Feb. 24th, 2015 10:39 pm
daidoji_gisei: Tarot Queen of Swords (Queen of Swords)
The only fun thing I got done tonight was a little ink mixing. Last fall I got a bottle of Noodler's Red Black and after trying it decided it wasn't black enough, so I'm mixing it with some Heart of Darkness to find something more to my taste. When I was in KC in January I was able to pick up a bottle of Noodler's Blue, which I really like. But you can't have too many different blues, so I'm seeing what it looks like with a wee bit of Heart of Darkness added in.

Right now both blends are sitting in sample vials. I'm not expecting any problems with them, but there is no reason not to hold off for a few days to make sure nothing untoward happens. This will give me time to write a pen or two dry, so much the better.

In unrelated news, maybe it's time I hunted down a real fountain pen icon. Though the Queen of Swords does have some applicability, given that Swords are the suite of Air.
daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
Having missed three days in a row of writing on my NaNoWriMo novel, I really really need to hit the 2000/day mark if I am to finish on time. Trying to stay calm about this.

Yesterday I inked up the fox pen! I used Diamine Sepia, because that is the first in sample I came across that coordinated with the color of the pen. The pen itself feels nice in the hand, which makes me happy. The ink, on the other hand, is very blah. I think I'll try switching out the fine nib for something more dramatic and see if it helps. If not, I'll just make an entry in my ink log and dump it. I have too much ink on hand suffer through one I don't want to look at.

I also tried the Franklin-Christoph Dark Denim in my Black Ice pen. I like the color, but it seems like a very dry ink--the nib just kind of drags, and I know from previous experience that this is a smoother nib. I'm tempted to add a pin-prick of dish detergent to the converter and see if that helps.

While browsing a writers forum over breakfast I came across a post that broke down just how impossible it is for a new writer to get a short story sold. At least now I can tell myself that it isn't me, it's just the numbers. And DA started life as an experiment in writing first-person, so I still got that much good out of it.

Now on to a busy day of housework and NaNoWriMo.
daidoji_gisei: "Because I'm worth it" (L'oreal)
I didn't spend as much money on games at Gencon as I thought I would (but I tried! Alas, Helen, the Witcher board game was not available yet) and thus I have extra discretionary money on hand. I could (and probably should) spend it on something useful, like a new suitcase or getting my Birks repaired. What I want is this little piece of sky.

I don't think I have to explain why I want it. I haven't gone so far as to put it in my cart, but I have decided to ink up my Black Ice version and spend some quality time with it today. I'm hoping it wasn't as nice to write with as I remember, which will cut down its appeal. And if it is as nice as I remember...well, I'll burn that bridge when I come to it.
daidoji_gisei: Tarot Queen of Swords (Queen of Swords)
I'm doing this via my new tablet, so this will probably be quick. As I am not one of those people wedded to their cell phone, typing with only two fingers is slightly unnatural.

I was reading FPN over lunch and became irked at a young man who announced that he couldn't possibly date someone who used BIC pens because obviously their thoughts meant nothing to them. Having written most of my L5R fiction using a computer and cheap ballpoints I could not possibly see how this could be true. I posted a terse rebuttal which may have included the word "horse-hooey". I hope I don't get modded, but whatever.

In unrelated news, I have a new pen in the mail. I am hoping it arrives before my new Ink Drop samples do.
daidoji_gisei: Tarot Queen of Swords (Queen of Swords)
I’ve promised a few people on Facebook some words on fountain pens for beginners, and I’m putting it here because I don’t like how FB handles long posts and links. I'm not an expert on fountain pens, but here that may be an advantage. I also have some biases when it comes to pens, but I’ll point them out as they come up so that the reader can allow for them.

I’m going to start by explaining a bit about how fountain pens work. I’m not going to say a lot on this because other people have already done it better, in exhausting detail. If more information is needed, I highly recommend the Fountain of Knowledge section of the Goulet Pen Company website. (Bias: I have a mad pen-crush on the GPC and have bought many of my pens and most of my inks from them. Knowledgeable people, excellent service. There are other online businesses I use, but Goulet is my first stop when I am shopping for pen-related supplies.)

The ball-point pen that everyone is familiar has a ink in the form of a paste that is laid down on the paper by the ball in the point of the pen. (Hence the name.) This takes effort on the part of the writer, though admittedly some brands of ball points are less of an effort to use than others. In a fountain pen the ink is water-based, and it uses capillary action to get the ink from the reservoir in the body down on to the paper. One does not need to press the pen against the paper when using a fountain pen (indeed, pressing a fountain pen is bad)—physics does all the work for the writer.
Read more... )

And again

Apr. 3rd, 2014 05:40 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I'm very tired; still carrying sleep debt from Monday. I had gone to be early last night to try to catch up, but since I got four phone calls during the course of the night from my new baker this didn't help as much as I would have liked. (First call was a little after 10 pm, last was around 4 am.) This is part of the training of new bakers; most of them go through a period where they feel nervous about what they are doing and I take pains to let them know that I'm available for them if they need help. It's part of my job, but it isn't helping me sleep.

My Ink Drop for April arrived today, and I'm feeling a bit mixed about it. Three of them are in the yellow/orange range, which is my least favorite part of the spectrum. I have some faint hope that the PR Shoreline Gold really is more golden than orange, but I'm not liking the looks of the Diamine Coral at all. Oh, well, you put your money down and you take your chances. I have one more month of Ink Drop and then I'll decide if it is entertaining enough to keep up.

Last night I went hunting crochet hooks, and confirmed something that I already knew: you can't get a 7mm crochet hook at your local big-box craft store. For reasons unknown to me, crochet hooks in the US go from 6.5mm (size K) to 8mm (size L) with nothing in the 1.5mm gap between. I haven't decided yet what to do about this, though pleading emails to my non-American friends are not out of the question.
daidoji_gisei: Tarot Queen of Swords (Queen of Swords)
Today on Fountain Pen Network someone posted a rumor (they gave no sources, so I am not treating it as fact) that Sailor might be bringing back their limited edition Yama-dori ink. I spazzed out over this during my lunch break. I'm still spazzing out over it.


According to Google it's even a color that I like; kind of a dark bluish teal. The idea of having to contact a business in Japan to order fountain pen ink has me shaking in fear, but it's so ridiculous I might have to do it. YAMADORI INK. (Yes, I know they write it Yama-dori. I'm not going to let a little thing like graphology get in the way of my squee.)

In unrelated news, (no, really) I've been wondering if now that I'm off the story team I should finish ACH. Does anyone besides me care how it ends?


Jul. 28th, 2013 10:52 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Today I canceled the apocolypse by calling up the library and convincing them that yes, I had returned that book on Korean cooking at the beginning of the month and they could take that $35 library fine off of my account. Go me!

I did a fair amount of cooking, so I have lunch for the next day or two. I really need to be better about taking my lunches to work, because even though a burrito is only about $3 at work, it all adds up and Gencon is coming.

I managed to write empty five pens this weekend. Not that I started with them full, but still it was nice. I'm trying to get all my pens empty before I leave town, or else I'll have to have my apartment-sitter write with them every day so that they don't dry out. One of the pens I emptied was the Pilot Metropolitan that Yoon sent me, and as I started to clean it out I felt the urge to refill it. I didn't (see beginning of paragraph), but that is a strong sign that I liked writing with that pen. I have the black one, and I like black pens, but I think that someday (meaning, not right before Gencon) I'll pick up one of the gold versions. For as cheap as it is, it is of amazing quality.

This is going to be a busy week at work and I am kind of dreading it. Lots of things to do, some of them fairly stressful. I know I'll muddle through, but that doesn't make it more palatable. Some days being a manager sucks! Also, this afternoon I learned that one of my bakers broke her toes. I am not looking forward to the monkey-wrench this is going to put in the bakery's production plans.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
So apparently of late I have been so busy I haven't even had time to talk about myself. How terrible is that? Also for some time I have owed [personal profile] lemon_badgeress a review post of the lovely BPAL scents she gifted me with for my birthday. I have worn them both several times since I received them, but my sinuses keep messing with my sense of smell so I'm not sure I'm getting all the notes right. But I do intend on posting about them, because they are both very interesting.

I had Korean food today for lunch! This was a result of the fact that near my credit union there is a small "Chinese" restaurant run by a Korean couple, and so in addition to the run-of-the-mill Chinese food there is also a menu of Korean food. I was out today on a deposit paycheck/buy groceries run, so I decided to treat myself to lunch there.
More songs about buildings and food )
daidoji_gisei: Tarot Queen of Swords (Queen of Swords)
I bought myself a TWSBI Vac 700 tonight. This was entirely unexpected. But I had gotten through my annual evaluation today without wanting to stab myself, TWSBI was running an interesting sale, and I happened across a review of the Vac 700 which said, basically, that this was a pen that put functional design over pretty styling and I was sold. It also helped that the pen has a novel filling system that excites my inner physicist!

I ordered it as a demonstrator. I'm neither hot nor cold on demonstrators, and the smoke version of the Vac 700 is very stylish, but in this particular case I'm buying the pen because of its engineering so that's what I wanted to see. I'm looking forward to putting ink in it, though due to its filling method it looks essentially useless as a way of using up ink samples: I'll have to feed it from ink bottles only. Not that I lack for those....
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I repaired a fountain pen nib today. No one could be more surprised at this than I.

It was the nib of my Serwex MB: the tip of one of the tines was bent back perpendicular to its mate. This had happened because the cap has an inner lining and if you don't pay attention when you recap it you can catch one of the tines and bad things happen. I had the urge to ink up a pen (which I should have ignored: I have so many pens inked up right now) and the MB is actually kind of pretty so with one thing and another I got out my jewelry-making tools and had a go at trying to bend the tip back into position. I got it more-or-less where it should be, to my unaided eye, and tried a dip-test on its writing performance. It wrote! It had a bit of tooth, but it was still smoother than most ball-points. I filled it next and proceeded to write two pages of fanfic. I still think it could use some work, but until I get a jeweler's loupe (or ship the pen off to Yoon's House of Pen Repair ;-) ) I don't want to do any smoothing. If it's really just residual misalignment, anything I do to smooth the nib could make it worse in the end.

This morning's perfume was Dragon's Musk (from the PBAL website:Dominant, passionate, devastating. Dragon’s blood and five deep musks) and I liked it a lot. However, I liked it a lot because it reminds me a lot of Spellbound, which is roses, amber, and red musk, and apparently I have a thing for florals with musk. (Who knew?) I don't react as strongly to Dragon's Musk as I do to Spellbound, so I could arguably find a use for it. On the other hand, it's not like I lack pretty scents to wear and I still have a lot of rose scents in the general catalog to sample through. (Based on my recent experience with the leather note in Dragon's Hide, I am now thinking seriously about getting an imp of Whip (rose and leather), which hadn't previously interested me.)

After my bath I tried on Dragon's Tears (Bittersweet yet powerful: salty aquatic notes and bursting with dragon’s blood) which to me smells like a weaker copy of Dragon's Blood. Thus, I still have no idea what an aquatic is supposed to smell like.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
So the last day of 2012 has been weird.

Work was weird for two reasons. The first of which was that I just had a three day weekend, I was going to work for a day, and then have Tuesday off. That makes for an odd day of work. Second something happened, or more accurately I was informed of something that had happened, and that thing is odd and mysterious. I can't go into details, but it has me scratching my head over what is going on.

Then this evening I've had an extended run of fountain pen trauma. Read more... )

The last, or possibly first, weird thing is the perfume I'm wearing today. Last month I had ordered a flight of imps of various dragon's blood-based scents from BPAL. I did this because I had previously fallen in love with one, Dragon's Eye, and I was curious to see how the basic note of dragon's blood changed when combined with other scent notes. Today I wore Dragon's Hide, which BPAL describes as "dragon's blood, leather, and smoke". Leather and smoke are not normally things that interest me as a perfume, but I've developed a tertiary interest in matching scents to fictional people and this sounded like an ideal combination for a particular character. What's weird is, I like this. I think. I mean, it's not pretty like Hymn, and it doesn't beat me over the head with a rosebush like Red Rose, and it doesn't make me want to ask me for my phone number like Spellbound does, but it's such an interesting scent. I can catch the dragon's blood, but it's heavily modified by the other notes. And it doesn't smell of leather or smoke, except when it totally does, but no sooner am I aware of it the dragon's blood springs back into view. Err, smell. Five minutes after putting it on I was wondering if I needed to go wash it off; ten minutes after I was wondering if I needed to buy a bottle. Weird.
daidoji_gisei: Tarot Queen of Swords (Queen of Swords)
Admittedly, if it's minor how much of a trauma could it be?

I was doing a bit of sorting and reorganizing of my ink collection this morning while breakfast was cooking and discovered that the Noodler's bottles are too tall to put in the box I wanted to move my bottles to. I went ahead and put all the other bottles in the new box and left the two Noodler's in the old one, but now I'm fussed because not all my bottles are in the same box. This despite the fact that the two inks in question--Lexington Gray and Turquoise--have been in continuous use since I got them and I will never ever forget that I own them.

In the process I discovered that my bottle of Organics Studio Mercury had gone bad. There's dried-on gunk on the outside of the jar-top, and when it's opened up the ink is sludgy-looking. This made me sad, as I had been looking forward to trying it. This just shows how far gone I've gone into inkphilia, because OS Mercury is a red ink and I already have a bottle of De Altramentis' Dante Alighieri, which means I have a red which is pleasant to look at, well behaved, and enough to last me for most of my natural life. But I wanted to see what Mercury was like!

I've decided to cheer myself up by inking the Serwex MB today; this will mean deciding on a color. What I should do is examine what colors I already have inked, decide on what color family needs some representation, sort through my samples to find members of that family, and then make a choice. What I'll probably really do is randomly paw through my boxes until I find a color/ink name that makes me go, "OOH, PRETTY" and use that. I'm fairly predictable that way.
daidoji_gisei: Tarot Queen of Swords (Queen of Swords)
My Serwex MB arrived today, which pleased and surprised me. It is a fountain pen of Indian manufacture, and I bought it from a company based in India, and I didn't expect to see it until next week. But it showed up at work today, which meant it traveled from New Deli to Lincoln, NE in only a week. It is an amazing world.

With this pen I now have a complete collection of Serwex pens, by which I mean I have a complete collection of all the Serwex pens that Fountain Pen Revolution sells. I had hoped that this would slake my thirst for Indian fountain pens, but now I find myself eyeing the Airmail Wality page at FPR. Luckily for me, some of them are really ugly so I'm not inclined to collect the set. (Few of the Serwex pens are beauties, but the worst of the lot still manage to attain a pedestrian dignity.) Even luckier, even the most expensive Airmail is still cheaper than a Safari!

Now that I have the MB I want to ink it up Right Now so I can see how it works. Part of me thinks this is not a good idea, due to the number of pens I already have inked up. Part of me thinks that this is a dandy way to make me write more! (I don't quite trust that part of my brain.) The good(?) news is that it comes with the same ridiculous tiny slide converter that the Serwex Executive came with, so if I do ink it up it truly will not take me long to work through it.

In related news, I decided that I had used up enough of the cartridge in the Pilot Penmanship to declare it empty and rinse it out: the nib unit is now soaking in a glass of water. This technically takes a pen out of the Inked pile, but I will have to reink it because it's my only Japanese EF nib and I need it to write in the margins of books. (Came home from a shopping spree today with Apologia Pro Vita Sua by John Henry Newman, The Confessions of St Augustine, and The Interior Castle (Study Edition) by St Teresa of Avila.)

I could eyedropper the Penmanship at this point, but I think I'll play it conservative and just refill the cartridge. I could use one of the Pilot cartridges I have on hand, but what's the fun of that? Also, I think it would be best to save the cartridges for when I'm traveling and need emergency refills. I think I'll sort though my ink samples and see if I have any of Noodler's X-feather; two of the books are Dover Thrift Editions and the paper shows it.
daidoji_gisei: Tarot Queen of Swords (Queen of Swords)
I have a ton of things that really should be done tonight--bath, wash dishes, wash clothes, write, etc--but I came home feeling exhausted. My current plan is to take my bath first, on the logic that as I only feel like lying down and doing nothing I might as well get clean doing it. Then I'll have dinner, and then (I hope) I will have caught enough of a second wind to get something done.

Last Friday I finally got the frankenpen (which I've decided needs a name, so that I can refer to it as something other than 'the frankenpen') inked with De Atramentis Hyacinth. This ink, I learned, is docile in nature, an attractive purple in color, and strong of scent. Sadly, I only had enough to partially fill the pen, but I used it enough to consider putting it on my Someday list. I used up the last of it Sunday night and made the interesting discovery that the frankenpen is freakishly difficult to get clean--something about the feed just wants to hold on to every last ink molecule. I do like the pen, so I've decided the coping strategy is to decide what ink I want in it and never change. OK, sometimes I know I will want to change, but if I do it at very long intervals it will be less of a pain. For now, its default ink is De Atramentis Black Roses, because I'm the kind of person who has to match the ink with the pen and I'm far more likely to use black ink than red. (Also, I already have red loaded in my Serwex Exectutive, a delightfully cheap pen that I can replace easily if I accidently let the red dry up in it.)

Last night I had a chat with a fellow writer and felt the better for it--they were the first person who has understood the problem and didn't make me feel stupid for feeling the way I feel. It is such a relief. They had an interesting perspective on the issue, which I'm still mulling over. Even if I decide they are right I am not sure what I'm going to do about it, but I feel better--I've been chasing my thoughts in circles for such a weary long time.
daidoji_gisei: Tarot Queen of Swords (Queen of Swords)
This morning one of my new bakery employees, M, expressed curiosity in my fountain pens. It seems that she had experimented with calligraphy and dip pens in her teen years (which were not in her distant past, I note) and thought that fountain pens sounded cool.

Like any good fountain pen user, I was more than happy to start corrupting her help her gain some fountain pen experience. When it was time for her break I lent her the Serwex piston-filler I use at work and the charcoal Safari I keep in my purse and told her to try them out. At the end of her break she came back and told me she had enjoyed using them, which I found gratifying. I happen to have multiples of the Serwex (a result of my hunt-for-decent-cheap-pens phase), and I don't like it enough to need more than one (it's a little thin for my grip, though for the jotting I do at work it's not a strain) so I offered her one, if she was interested.

She accepted, so tomorrow I'll take it to work. I'm still going back and forth on whether I should ink it myself, or bring her a vial of ink to go with it. I'm leaning towards inking it myself; it holds a fair amount and by the time she gets it empty she will know if she wants to continue using it. (And then I can give her a vial, and a link to Goulet Pens.) Having sorted through my collection I've also decided to bring her a Platinum Preppy and a cartridge or two, because it has a wider body and will show a contrast to the Serwex.

I selfishly hope that she ends up liking them, because then I will have another person to discuss pens and ink with! But if she doesn't, she doesn't. That's life.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Yesterday I came home tired and weary and discovered a box from [personal profile] yhlee on my porch. In it were three boxes of various teas, which I was expecting; three intriging fountain pens, and a lot of ink. I think now I have figured out Yoon's fiendishly clever master plan to get me to write more by indunating me with ink. (It's so crazy it just might work!) :-)

I'm going to work more on my rpg game (now titled Judgement Night) tonight, and then tomorrow I have to put it aside for L5R. Duty calls, etc etc. I'll probably ink up one of the pens--the E M Wheatcroft is calling me; I can't get past it's odd and compelling grainlines. How do you even get plastic to do that? I'll have to think about the ink choice: I had been planning on using Scabiosa next, but it's an iron gall and I don't want to put it in just any pen. (Indeed, I'm thinking of dedicating the AL-Star to iron gall inks. As a Safari-clone it ought to be indestructible, and this would make it easy for me to remember which pen has iron gall in it now.) Maybe now is the time to bust out my Black Roses...

Walking home from work today I realized that the PDQ System makes building demons trivially easy. All I need to do is define a Quality (like, say, Demonic Nature) to have the things I intend all demons to have (unnatural strength, super speed, resistance to getting killed, killing frenzy, etc) and then the Quality Rank (Average, Good, Expert, Master) will correspond to how powerful the demon is. If I want a demon to have a special ability, say, the ability to spit streams of cream cheese at a target, I just need to define the Quality: Cream Cheese Projector. Done! (Note: I do not plan on having cream-cheese-spitting demons in my game. That would be weird.)

But all my hopes of gaming make cleaning my living room all the more urgent a task. I hope to get to bed at a reasonable hour tonight, so I can be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (or at least mobile) tomorrow morning. I can't keep laying around in bed until 9 am; nothing gets done in a day when I do.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Things going on in my life: I got a new portable space heater this week because October has been cold and annoying, but not so cold and annoying as to make me want to turn on my furnace. It has been approximately 8 weeks since I bought a fountain pen or ink. (Mostly this is because I still haven't managed to try out one of the pens I got at Indy, and I'm desperate to play with the supply of samples I got earlier in the summer. Not to mention my bottle of Scabiosa. Though I was really tempted by that sale on hand-made pens from India.) I finally got my mother's birthday gift sent to her, thanks to Licorice International's website. (And honestly, considering that postage would be about the same amount as bus fare, I might as well just order for myself and have them mail it to me. I could use some good black licorice right now.)

I got into an RPG game late in the summer; it's a hybrid thing using the Forgotten Realms setting and the ruleset of Savage Worlds. As a player I tend to be unfussy about both setting and rules, so I have no particular issues with this. I'm still trying to make my character click, but that's my issue and eventually things will work out. (I actually got a moment of roleplay in last Thursday's game: it was thrilling. It even involved one of her disads!)

The problem with this is that playing in a game has reminded me of all the amazing possibilities rpgs offer in terms of storytelling, and that's collided with the current swirl of ideas in my head *and* merged with my own mental version of Jupiter's Great Red Spot, thus spawning a desire to run a game of my own. This is very, very dangerous. Games take time, but they offer a lot in return. I'd have more social contact, which is always good, and (potentially) some interesting group story-telling. And a reason to keep my living room clean. (I'll have to find more chairs, and find homes for all my books. And groom my plants more often.)

I've gone so far as to make inquires on possible rules systems. As 99% of my Facebook friends are gamers, it wasn't hard to do that! I was originally thinking of doing the game in the FUDGE system, and still might, but I've gotten pointers to similarly rules-light systems. (As a GM I'm really not interested in reproducing reality, so a system that takes every possible detail into account is of no help to me. Also, I hate memorizing large amounts of rules.)

I'm not sure how far this project will get--I'm about to run headlong into a bunch of L5R deadlines--but I think I'll keep toying with it. At worst I'll have some groundwork done for the next time gaming fever hits me.
daidoji_gisei: Tarot Queen of Swords (Queen of Swords)
I am slowly recovering from Gencon. Had a great time, but the end phase was marked by some unpleasant drama. Still, into each life some drama must fall, and some good might come of it so?

One of the good (and bad) things about Gencon is that I come back with a head stuffed with story fragments from other worlds/games, and then they start fermenting and crossbreeding in my head. This morning the froth in my head produced this sentence: "She had devoured the souls of two demon lords, and she no longer felt the same way about chitin." I totally want to write the story that produces this sentence (which, I assure you, makes perfect sense in context) but when am I going to find the time?

I hardly did any shopping in the Gencon dealers room, and thus came home with most of my mad money intact. So I did the sensible thing and bought a bunch of inks from Goulet. No, really, it was sensible! They were all on sale, I got five bottles total (giving me a discount) and I got the FPN member discount. I even kind of needed 3 out of the five inks I ordered: two are iron gall inks (and everyone needs some iron gall inks) and one is a red I can used for editing. Because you can't expect to get stories involving chitin right on the first pass.
daidoji_gisei: Tarot Queen of Swords (Queen of Swords)
I don't like the way 'epic' gets used these days, but when dealing with a 15,000 word review of a fountain pen that covers everything to its relationship to Braun razors to how to completely field-strip the pen I think it's a justified use of the word. This review is epic.

Lamy 2000 and the Origins of Lamy Design appeals to me as a growing Lamy fangirl, but there are sections that I think would be relevant to anyone interested in design issues. And it has Neil Gaimen quotes, if you are into that kind of thing. :-)

It's only flaw is that it doesn't explain why I would want to completely field-strip my pen. Honestly, the idea terrifies me.


daidoji_gisei: (Default)

January 2017

8 91011121314
15 161718192021


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 20th, 2017 01:29 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios