What's up at Ravens March.

Vintage pens-Handmade books-Silly statements

Posts Tagged ‘TWSBI’

Posted by Dirck on 19 April, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 16 April
  • 17 April
  • 18 April
  • 19 April
  • First draft of “Stuckman’s Miracle Men.”
  • Lucky Day,” a draft-and-a-half flash.
  • 26 manuscripts pages (four of which didn’t work at all).
  • 999 typed words.

Just a little note on the pens to finish off– I found myself wondering why the Parker doesn’t get into the cycle more often when I filled it on Monday morning.  Two hours later I was reminded.  There’s a factory-original vent hole in the cap at exactly the level of the point, ensuring without fail that it will dry out before next use.  Someone at Parker UK in the mid-1960s really dropped the ball.

Advertisements

Posted in Progress Report | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Posted by Dirck on 12 April, 2018

Day What How Much Pen Ink
  • 2 April
  • 3 April
  • 4 April
  • 5 April
  • Second draft of “The Monster in the Cabin,” which is, despite appearances, a much better title.
  • Bag of Bones,” which is a result of a Steal-a-Title Challenge I decided I should get in on.
    • 3,627 words typed.
    • 1,040 words.

I will admit that I’ve actually spent some moments giggling and clapping at the scale of the latest story– not only being able to get to “show it to the readers” stage so quickly that I can actually remember what the weather was like when I began, but being able to hold the whole of the narrative in my head easily.  All the more giddy to find I had sufficient think-tokens left in my reserves to work on a second story at the same time!

Something else I got around to setting myself up with this:
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com
I’m not going to give it any more time on this branch of my online existence than this mention, but over at the writing preserve, it’s now an inescapable fixture in the sidebar.  I do not expect it will make me a rich person.

…but I will hope, every so slightly.

The sharp-eyed will notice that I’ve done away with the “Duration” column of the chart.  I know none of you care how long I’ve been at the task on a given day, and I’m finally convinced my own inward monitor that however long it it, it’s long enough.

Posted in Progress Report | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Upping Their Game

Posted by Dirck on 10 April, 2018

I have been distracted lately, by both my (over-documented) artistic endeavours and the collapse of my site… in addition to all the other current events stuff people spend much of the day screeching about.  The distraction momentarily cleared recently, and I find that the world as I knew it has changed and one of the bedrock foundations of my understanding has become alarmingly wobbly.

I am shaken to discover that Wing Sung can no longer be discounted with, “Oh, they make the cheapest pens you can imagine.”  At least, not completely.

Two pens of recent development bring this home.  First, there’s this thing:

No, it’s not a TWSBI Diamond.

All right, I guess it is a cheap pen.  In fact, the main expense in getting a Wing Sung 3008 is the cost of postage, and even that seems to be available at a cut rate; some people are getting them for three dollars.  I do go into some detail in my profile of this pen regarding the evident cheapness of the materials, but for all that, it has a functional piston filler and it costs less than a Pilot Varsity.  If it lasts through three fills, it’s well worth the price, and mine is in the middle of its second with no sign of impending failure.

“Well, fine, but that’s just one pen, and it’s still a cheap, rickety piece of plastic.”

True.  But then there’s this other, even more recent development–

Yes, it’s a familiar shape. And yet… it’s not quite what you expect.

A lot of Wing Sung pens can be called a Parker “51” knock-off, but I’m inclined to call the 601 a loving recreation, right down to the Vacumatic filler.  The only things it lacks which the Parker had is a gold point and a network of factory-supplied service centres backing it up.  It also costs more than the 1947 Parker which it closely emulates– about $16.00 rather than $12.50.  However, when you start factoring in seventy years of inflation…

Also, the Wing Sung is very slightly bigger than the Parker. That’s not just perspective at work.

One might say that the Chinese pen is in some ways an improvement upon its predecessor.  There’s an ink window (although, in some body colours, it’s absent– baffling!), and the mechanism is made to be removed with a simple crescent wrench rather than an exotic and specialized tool.

Note also; you can’t just stuff one mechanism in another body. Even if they’re compatible diameters (which I don’t know), a Parker blind cap would have nothing to cling to.

They have even started to improve upon the mechanism itself– I have a variant creeping its way here on the proverbial slow boat from China which sees the diaphragm replaced with the sort of piston-head found in the 3008, which should reduce the rate of filler failure and incidence of serious maintenance.  Since there is not a network of service centres and… well, I don’t know if the (relatively) readily available Parker diaphragms fit the Wing Sung mechanism, a more durable filler seems like a splendid idea.

And all for the cost of burgers and shakes for yourself and a companion.  In Wing Sung terms, sixteen dollars is a massively expensive pen, but on the broad spectrum of genus Fountain Pen it is very cheap indeed.  It’s right in the same neighbourhood as the Pilot Metropolitan, which is my personal go-to as a recommendation when someone expresses an interest in trying a fountain pen but doesn’t want to spend a load of money.  The only disadvantage the Wing Sung has in shoving the Met out of that default position is that it’s not available in so many outlets… at least in North America.  Balancing that is the fact that it has a built-in filler and a huge ink capacity compared to the Metropolitan’s converter, so I’m a little torn.  If the notional someone is expressing interest in vintage Parkers, and has no experience with a hooded point, then I have a pen for them, all right.

What these two new objects from Wing Sung indicate, and I’m not the only one saying this, is a willingness to explore outside the “cheap pen with a press-bar filler” territory they’ve staked out for a long time.  This is excellent news for we fans of fountain pens, and not just because it gives us a couple of new toys to play with at a price most can afford.  If Wing Sung is getting experimental, perhaps their augurers see the continued revivification of the market for this kind of instrument.  That is a thought I will cuddle to my bosom.

Today’s pen: TWSBI Mini (and looking somewhat nervous of this new competition, too)
Today’s ink: Skrip Black

 

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Shiny New Things

Posted by Dirck on 6 April, 2018

Not really part of my brief, but I find this all VERY hopeful for the future because it’s mostly “in production in 2019” rather that “perhaps sometime in the next decade but one.”

I just hope I’ll be able to afford the VW van when it makes its appearance… in a couple of years.

Today’s pen: TWSBI Mini
Today’s ink: Skrip Black

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Posted by Dirck on 21 December, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 3,526 words typed.

Thank you, extended action sequence! That balances out last weeks miserable plodding nicely.

This week has been remarkably productive, indeed.  Not only that great outpouring of novel, but I got a little story up on the other enterprise as well, AND… well, let me show you a very nice thing indeed from my profile on Submittable:

I have not been diligently submitting my stories, since most of my thoughts are filled with novel, but I have been poking away at it, and that poking had pulled out a plum!  I won’t mention the name of the publication just yet, fearful of drawing the ire of Fate under the Counting Of Chickens Act of 1609; rest assured, there will be a big fat link to them as the date of presentation firms up.  This is a pretty wonderful Christmas present for me, even if it did appear a couple of weeks ahead of the official day of HoHoHo.

 

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Posted by Dirck on 14 December, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  •  1539 words typed.  Wait… what?!

Yeah, that word count is accurate.  Technically.  I did a stupid thing yesterday– I took another look at my first chapter.  It seems that despite having been conscious at the time, or so I claim, I did not apply sufficient thought to the thing.  It needed a good deal of work, because it spent a sad amount of energy introducing a character who does not appear in any subsequent chapter.

That is… not a good way to tell a story.  I know this.  I have known this for a while.  Why I forgot entirely not only back in August but also the previous November (second draft, yes?) is a dark mystery.  At least I noticed it before I handed it around to a lot of readers, so I haven’t damaged my reputation in the eyes of any but myself– and I’m well aware than I’m a vast collection of flaws lodged in a matrix of well-marbled meat.

The fix, which had created a vastly superior opening chapter, did so at the cost of about eight hundred words of length.  Eight hundred gangrenous words that needed to go, certainly, but however medically necessary, an amputation always leaves a smaller patient.  That and a relatively steep bit of revision on the part of the story I was already working on this week produces what looks like a very poor week for output indeed.

But I am working, damn it.  To the spectral figure of Work Ethic who floats about my head, I say stop hounding me!

Posted in Progress Report | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Posted by Dirck on 7 December, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 2744 words typed

Posted in Progress Report | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Posted by Dirck on 30 November, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 2130 words typed

Why such a low week? Well, apart from the efforts called for by events mentioned on Monday, yesterday’s writing session finished with me saying, “Well, that’s it for today.  Time to save!” followed immediately by the failure of power in the entire northern half of the city.  Autosave meant that I only lost about a third of the work… but still.  Boo.

Oh, for those who are putting a bow on their NaNoWriMo efforts today, let me offer this admission of marginal defeat:

Marginal defeat, of course, because I’m not actually running that race, and if I claimed to be you could all shout Cheat! because that’s not talking about the first draft and I started in late August.  I mention it only because it’s (sort of) close to the official participant’s goal.

Posted in Progress Report | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mea Culpa (Non Vere)

Posted by Dirck on 27 November, 2017

I found out over the weekend that my site was cranking spam out into the world.  Are you one of the evident thousands receiving a come-on from my front page, urging the purchase of (probably not real) Ray-Ban sunglasses.  I am heartily sorry that this has happened.

However, I deny all but the slenderest shred of fault for it.  And I’ll explain why.

The fact of the spam first came to my attention when my brother, who got the ball rolling on the whole family name-as-domain thing some ages ago, was told by our ISP that my end of the domain was up to no good, and we’d better cut it out.  When he told me on Friday, my response was in essense, “What? What the…? How? Huh?” because that’s how evident the problem was to me.  From what we could tell from the overly-complex email the ISP sent, the problem lay in a contact form.

So, I jumped into action and updated the contact form plug-in which I had got from WordPress.

And on Sunday, the ISP-brother-me chain was activated with the same message.  He actually talked to a tech at the other end, who told him yes, it’s doing it right now.  My response was the same as Friday’s, with extra vigour and some swearing.  I clambered onto my computer, and found that I was indeed using the latest available version of that plug-in. So, let’s try something else:

"Visit plugin site" link

Not that I was VERY hopeful, but explanation may lie there…

What I found was a big notice, which began thus:

Explaining that plug-in was sold to a villain

Which disjointed my nose somewhat.  It would have been nice if WordPress’s response to me poking the UPDATE button on Friday had been a declaration that I wasn’t going to get a supported item, even if they didn’t tell me “this is now a horrible infection under control of a venomous reptile.”  Having now been told about the venomous reptile, I deleted the contact form entirely.

Which means that right now, no one can contact me through my site.  But, hopefully, no one is being pestered by my site, which balances out my inconvenience.

You can see, I hope, how I decline to accept this as my fault.  Much blame to the unthinking brute who decided to abuse trust in this way.  Some to WordPress for the failure to mention this might be an issue.  I’ll take a tiny share for not paying a little more attention, but apart from not looking into the plug-in site every damn time I update, I don’t feel like I’ve really been unduly negligent.

I also save an enormous slice of the Your Fault cake for that toxic spirit of our age, Capitalism. The reptile mentioned above is clearly inspired by urge to gain profit regardless of who it might inconvenience.  Since my ISP was suggesting a possible solution to the problem was the shutting down of my site, not only would I more than momentarily lose contact with people who might like a repaired, and they with me, but the broader informational aspects of the site would be gone.  I have no illusions about the depth of my scholarship, but it is pretty wide-ranging, and more than a few people seem to enjoy having it around.

So, boo to unfettered filthy greed.  I continue to experience a breed of suffering, as an updating of the whole site leaves it looking rather funny, and I need to put that right.  I also need to find another contact form, and since I’m now afraid of all of them, this might take a while.

Today’s indignant pen: TWSBI Classic
Today’s reticent ink: Diamine Oxford Blue

Posted in General Blather | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Posted by Dirck on 23 November, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Progress
  • 2992 words typed

 

Posted in 1 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »