somniloquy: (Default)
2011-03-19 02:33 am

(no subject)

There really needs to be some sort of easily-accessible, socially-acceptable arranged marriage system around here. Apart from "meet somebody in your defined social circle at work, go out with them because why not, marry because you might as well and you know, kids".
somniloquy: (Default)
2011-02-12 08:14 am


"mobile device" (n)
An item of technology that allows one to do more things without getting out of bed.

"My iPad lets me email, listen to music, play games and watch porn! If I can only get the fridge and the toilet into the bedroom I'll not have to get up for weeks."
somniloquy: (Default)
2010-12-05 01:10 am

(no subject)

All right, so only six out of ten of the communities that I got when selecting "random community" in Dreamwidth were for fandom purposes. (One of the others might have been, but it seemed to be transcriptions of lyrics of songs in Japanese, which could well be fannish.) Out of the four remaining, only one was not set up for some private or inexplicable purpose.

I have no great issues with fandom at all, but it just isn't something I'm interested in. I am not, and never have been, much of a fan of anything. My sister, who is on LJ, can confirm that I was always the person who bought one book in a series and then said "meh" and never bought any others. I think I was in fact the original introducer of Pratchett to the household on that basis - no, actually I did buy a few of those myself, the first four or five, but not after that, somebody else bought them.

Possibly I count as a fan of China Mieville, in that I own pretty much all of his books, but not to the extent that I am particularly interested in discussing his work with other people. (There are other authors whose publications I have purchased en masse as well, but they tend to be both dead and not very genre.)
somniloquy: (nanowrimo)
2010-11-30 10:15 pm
Entry tags:

Tenth hour nano

Actually, I stopped writing at about the ninth hour, as I was fairly sure I was over the 50,000 mark, but wanted a little leeway. The problem with hand writing the thing is that you then have to count the words. On each page. Currently the novel is at... Well, let me show you my summary statistics.

Words counted 44,551
Pages counted 152
Mean words per page 293
Pages written 176
Mean pages per day 5.9
Estimated words 51,585
% complete 103%

As you can see I have been calculating the mean words per page from the pages that I HAVE counted, and multiplied out by the number of pages written, to get a projected figure of over fifty thousand, which given that I have counted an awful lot of the words is probably accurate. I would like to finish and get an exact count to submit but I'm pretty sure that's about right. Don't tell the Nano Police, anyone. (They are very small anyway, obviously, but they could turn my novel into grey goo.)

edit: Well, I counted a few more pages, and submitted 51,576 words. That'll do. If it's not over 50,000 when I finally count the last few pages I will post a public apology.
somniloquy: (spiral graph)
2010-11-23 03:53 pm
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Previous Dreamwidth cross-posting issues resolved

I discovered the reason for my failure to cross-post things successfully, by the way: I didn't realise (a) that DW also respected the default privacy settings of the LJ account as well as the privacy settings of the DW post itself, and that (b) I'd set my LJ account to post things as "private" by default (I remember doing this, now, because I had a habit of making stupid drunken posts at 2am that made me look like an idiot). So the function was behaving as it should, I just didn't quite understand what it was doing. Seems fine now.
somniloquy: (Default)
2010-11-17 12:48 am


Broads. I've gotten to love broads, recently. I have to say though that today a German broad came through my door that I think might be a bit too much to handle.

Assorted B nibs (and others for comparison)

I can't really keep this cheap gag up for very long, so I'll just write the post sensibly, shall I? This is, clearly, broad fountain pen nibs. I ordered a Lamy 2000 with a Broad nib and it arrived today. Lamy 2000s are excellent pens, and various folk had recommended a B nib on FPN, and I already have one with a Fine nib that I managed to screw up and a friendly pen shop managed to mostly repair but I'm still a little unhappy with it... anyway, I bought a 2000 with a B nib.

This is a broad nib. Really. It's easily the fattest fountain pen I have, larger by 0.1-0.2mm than the next broadest (which doesn't sound like a lot, but when you're writing with it, it's a lot). It's pretty much 1mm wide on the downstroke; it is slightly stubbed so is slightly narrower on side strokes, but not by a vast amount, it's not an italic.

On testing, my first instinct was to say "oh my god, I have to send this pen back, it's ridiculous". However, I loaded it with Lamy Blue Black and proceeded to try to write my NaNoWriMo pages with it, and you know, I think it might grow on me. There are positive points to broad nibs, one of the main in my opinion being that they are well lubricated and feel very pleasant on the page; no scratchiness. The fatness of the line is also more forgiving of slight hand jitters, and the amount of ink means that certain heavily-shading inks really do look very distinctive. So... I will keep using it for the moment unless and until it begins to annoy me.

I might buy one with a Medium nib now. Just so that I can see the difference. It's for research purposes. I can put that against tax, I'm sure.
somniloquy: (Default)
2010-11-15 11:55 pm
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somniloquy: (Default)
2010-11-15 11:37 pm
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Cross-posting to LJ not working with friends-only?

Is it just me or does cross-posting from DW to LJ not work properly if you select "minimum security level: friends"? It seems to set all my cross-posts to "private", which is not what I want at all. I don't want to reveal my old LJ ID to any sod who happens to be reading, but I'm quite happy with my friends still being able to read my entries and also know this username.
somniloquy: (Default)
2010-11-15 11:16 pm
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Things that I have learned from NaNoWriMo #1 - about fountain pens

Fountain pens don't just run out of ink - they can have inadequate flow from whatever ink storage mechanism they are using through to the nib.

I am hand-writing my Nano as I've mentioned, and I use fountain pens. (I can only imagine the state my wrist would be in if I'd been using a biro to do 24,000-odd words so far.) In the past, I have rarely run out of ink in pens, generally getting bored with inks and changing them before that happened, but now it does happen.

More importantly than that, though, the flow of ink is sometimes inadequate. A little explanation of the mechanism of fountain pens here, which may be inadequate or incorrect in some detail: there is an ink reservoir (internal or convertor or cartridge) and from that the ink flows into the feed, and from there, to the nib. Both flows are by capillary action and gravity.

The feed is the part between the nib and whatever ink supply you have, and it's there to hold a reservoir of ink for use with the pen so that it doesn't suddenly stop being able to write if you turn it in the wrong direction, and also control the flow of ink through the nib so that it doesn't just gush through. Early fountain pens often suffer from poor feed design, so that they have trouble with both of these. Feeds are often removable, and have ridges and channels which fill with ink which then passes through tiny gaps to the nib. Feed design is a significant part of the difference between pens, and one of the hardest things to change - nibs can be altered and replaced but feeds are mostly too integral.

Obviously, the feed has to fill before you can write with a pen. Usually this takes place quite quickly, but what I seem to be finding is that you can write so quickly that a pen just can't suck up ink from the reservoir by capillary action at the same rate as you're pouring it out onto the page. I've been writing at times with Parker 51s, which have famously huge feeds that are really hard to flush out because of how much ink they hold, and after a few pages non-stop there is a definite difference in the amount of ink coming out of the nib. Not that it isn't working, but it is certainly drier to the page.

In contrast, I have to say that the Pilot Vanishing Point with a B nib continues to write with a consistent flow until it runs dry. The VP is more modern than the antique P51s that I have (over 50 years old) and the feed may have a better design, I suppose. Tragically, the VP also holds about half the amount of ink, so it does run dry, quite often.
somniloquy: (nanowrimo)
2010-11-08 08:56 pm
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(no subject)

Completely dead in the water with the Nanowrimo at the nanowrimoment. I was getting on quite well with hand writing it, that isn't the problem - it is more that I've simply lost interest in the protagonist. He is just boring.

Maybe I'll have someone kill him.
somniloquy: (Default)
2010-11-08 12:52 am

(no subject)

Does anybody remember Jenny Everywhere? She still seems to be, well, everywhere. I just came across somebody in Second Life, producing the following:
somniloquy: (Default)
2010-11-07 09:27 pm

(no subject)

I am suddenly concerned that it is now too late for me to start saving up for the university tuition fees and general funding of children that I don't actually even have yet.
somniloquy: (Default)
2010-10-05 09:41 pm
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I never learn

Well, I signed up for NaNoWriMo again.

I have an actual vague theme this time - I have an ongoing project theme which I am going to exploit for this, and hopefully generate ideas and characters during the process which I can use in the future. I'm not assuming that this is going to be in any way a finished product.

I am also writing it all by hand. I bought a large A4 ringbound notebook of Oxford Optik paper that, by my calculations, should get me at least 70,000 words, which means I can use the back to scribble notes in, and happily start chapters and not finish pages. I will be using a vintage Parker 51, loaded probably with Waterman Blue Black ink, or maybe J Herbin Poussiere de Lune. Or R&K Scabiosa. Or Lamy Blue Black. Or something else. Or all of them.
somniloquy: (Default)
2010-09-28 06:27 pm
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This week's activities

(in reverse order of date)

* Sunday: visiting The London Writing Equipment Show 2010. This might possibly involve the spending of significant sums of money. My daily affirmation until then will be "Buying Pens Is Not Necessary To Validate Myself As A Person".

* Tomorrow evening: going to see "19th Century Anarchists and the World that Never Was" organised by the Last Tuesday Society of which I had not previously heard until I picked this out of an RSS feed somewhere.

* This evening: sitting in my local pub, for the last day as it is being sold and closes tomorrow, which then had about thirty Millwall fans suddenly run across the road and pile into it, closely followed by three riot vans of police, who arrested one person but after that just stood about outside. Despite there technically being a sign up saying "home fans only" (meaning QPR) there wasn't a lot to do about it I suppose, but on the other hand, everyone was terribly polite and just bought beer and talked on their mobiles. Conversations did indicate that there had been impolite moments previously.
somniloquy: (Default)
2010-09-27 09:19 pm

(no subject)

This is the original username that I chose when first getting a DW invite; I did later create [personal profile] rational, but in practice, I think that's a boring name.

One advantage of "somniloquy" is that I won't be able to log in when I am too drunk to remember how my fingers work. That can only be a good thing.