Tag Archives: Scrivener


Sing that as falsetto or Norse metal growl it still sounds great! I HAVE FOUND THE ELLIPTICAL GRAVE ARRRR!!! ONTO THE VILLIAGE, MATES FOR TONIGHT WE FEED ON HUMAAAAAAANNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously though. For about four years I have been on the hunt for R.A. Lafferty’s The Elliptical Grave. I searched for a hard copy with absolutely no luck. The closest I got was some sort of online documentation that a private copy with handwritten page numbering had sold on eBay in 2009.

There were a couple of links in earlier searches that claimed to have The Elliptical Grave but took you to dubious websites written in the Cyrillic alphabet. Probably Russian, and no one not internet-stupid clicks a button on a Russian site – or does anything but high tail it out of there. Erase history, wipe all caches, and pray to St. James they have a dime left to their name come morning!

But I went a little further today and landed on a site that turned out not to be a link to the cesspool of the internet but just a plain old long online text of the book. Man, I copy and pasted that sucker into Scrivener, hit the Compile as ePub button and flopped that baby like a eel onto my iBooks on my iPad.

Kudos to iBooks for letting me just put a file like that right into the program to read. Kudos to Scrivener for being the awesome product it has always been, but manages to surprise me anew every time. It made a great formatted book in about ten seconds with little effort. All I did was hit command c on the website, opened new project in Scrivener, opened a single chapter file, commanded V that whole book into the single chapter and ran it off in compile. Less than a minute for the whole operation.

Later I think I’ll work with it in Scrivener and make it into a more presentable eBook, maybe even give it a cover (for myself, I’m not the bootlegging type) and break it up into chapters. Although that last would require me to read it first.

And, lastly, a little thumbs down to Kindle for not being able to do anything with it that wasn’t from Amazon.


It is Time

Gather around, brothers, sisters. The campfire is grown now and mature, she will burn through the middle of her life for a time and keep us warm. It is time to get back to it.

To writing.


The last time I wrote was January 21st 2015. And then I had that catastrophic idea of going into medical coding.

Still haven’t found work in that area. They do not like newcomers in that field. I might never. But, and pardon my French – fuck it – I gotta write. Over two years with not even the time to think about wanting to write. Nothing.

I fear, like a person who finds an ominous lump in the wrong place on their body (but mine would be the anti-lump, a hole, a void where flesh should be) that I may have lost what I had. Like the last two years twisted me as though through some twisted form of baptism, from poet (at least in heart, I can be quite hideous in my use of language) to logician.

But there is nothing for but to dive – not step! DIVE! with thy whole body! – back into that river and lose self to its churning flow. And to see whether I still have the scales to survive or to be torn apart by my rigidity.

It is really too bad that I had to decide such a course at the time that I did.I had just started to produce sentences, and even paragraphs, son, that I felt good about. The lack of a desire for a match tells me the prose is good. Good, at least, enough for me.

I’m still going to go the typewriter route for the first draft stuff. I did a self-taught touch typing course last month and got myself up to 49 words a minute. I imagine I can attain 60 when I am actually looking at the paper! I just can’t do it on the computer. The thing is a distraction machine.

Hold it, is that the color I want to use? Let’s Google a red color palette so we can peg the exact hue we want! Yes! Right now! I couldn’t possibly write another line without this knowledge!

Two hours later I’m checking out yurts in northern Arizona.

However such meanderings have their place in dreamland where you wander wherever ye may. And so I do not have a problem with throwing together ideas and rough outlines on the computer. In fact, with this program:


it is optimum.

I had, before the school debacle, thought of pursuing a degree in theology. It is my humble opinion that there are more answers about man and the world to be found in theology than in modern “wisdom” or even in science. Note, that is a very limited statement referring to ultimate ends and aims and morality. Obviously theology will not inform you on how the eye works, nor on its physiology, that belongs to science. But theology will answer many of the very crucial questions that science can say nothing about.

That would be a discussion unto itself, I merely state my motivating factor and go about my way. But I had been thinking about an AA in Catholic Studies from Catholic Distance University. Two years later and I’m thinking about my approach to my 50’s. Damn me, I’m thinking cash value nowadays.

I have many things to repent.

There is a backlog of projects stored in Scrivener I haven’t looked at in over two years. That, my friends, if you don’t already know, is like going into an old family chest, the contents of which you only vaguely remember and you are not the same person you were when you first engaged these objects. Or maybe the photo album analogy is better?

If any of you play a music instrument then you know the feeling. Sometimes I get to play my guitar a couple times a week and I can get rather stale. But stay away from it for a few weeks and suddenly I’m riffing and chording from a whole new perspective.

Anyway, I am looking forward to opening the chest and looking forward to going back to Elfland, to my imagination. Lot’s of friends there.

Scrivener for iOs


That is not a picture of my set-up. I, ready to jump into the whole mobile writing thing, to be a jet-setting, on the go pep in the step writer, got an iPad in the summer of 2014. That was in anticipation of the Scrivener ios release. Now, almost two years to the day, I have neither the time nor the money for it. School sucks 7 to 8 hours out of all seven days at the moment and that is not even enough.

I thought medical coding was something relatively easy! Program can be finished in as little as four months! LIES! LIES!

Anyway, if you’re an iPad mobile scrivener, I can certainly attest to its parent program for the Mac. It is, the Mac version, the best writing app out there bar none. It does do a lot more than I would ever need.

In fact I think it does too much more than I need nowadays. My whole philosophy to writing changed radically a little before I made the dumbest move in my life and pursued medical coding. I was reading a Lafferty essay (interview? I can’t remember and it was less than a week ago) where he was describing his writing process. Basically you start an idea until you hit a wall, shelve it, start something else, then dig the first thing out again later. That was pretty much how I was thinking about it before I made the most stupid… ah, hell, I’ve been belching that bitch of a yarn out a year or more now.

I think when I do finish school and get into the field and just simply work like everyone else, I am going to move away from the whole Scrivener thing anyway. I’m not investing in $1500 machines anymore. For what? Most everyone puts stuff in clouds now. I’m just going to buy a Chromebook, keep my stuff (very well organized) on Google Drive (and a memory stick – gotta cover your ass) as well as the paper copies I like to keep because I love buying printer cartridges and paper.

Alright, I actually do love buying paper.

But if you are one of those (and I was too) that likes to keep all their notes in the same place with their audio files and the links and annotations and etc, etc – well, then, Scrivener is for you.

Here is the thing though. I did find, and I did enjoy, that I spent almost as much time tinkering with the software and my writing planning as I did writing. Probably more so since I was such a fusser over plot points and theme points. You know, I think you can get a lot more done (and learn so much quicker) just throwing all preparation into the wind and diving into that plasma pool and letting it take you over. Forget the damned condoms, boys! You’re already married, dive into the river!

You know I am completely sober for every single one of these posts…

Anyway I highly recommend Scrivener and I am sure they took very good care to release a good ios product as well.

Scrivener for iOS in 2015?

They first started talking about an iOS release for late 2011. I bought my iPad (and keyboard mount) in anticipation of its release in mid-2014. The iPad still has its uses for me, but as a writing tool, it still waits. And it still waits because I don’t like writing stuff in a bunch of different programs, in different parts of the hard disk, format issues between different programs, etc, etc, etc.

Then again, I still don’t like writing on a computer (yes, I still whine about it!) but I don’t see us going back to the typewriter so…

Still the best writing package out there (for Mac, I haven’t touched a PC since ’05). But let’s get it out there! I want that mobility!

Adventures in Editing

I got the chance last month to participate in some actual editing. An author I know was preparing a collection of essays for publication and solicited readers of his blog for help with editing. I have never edited anything but my own work (although if you work with me, I have edited at least a sentence of yours as it is a compulsion) and have always enjoyed the process.

Each of us was given access to an online file sharing site where the raw first draft lay. Now I have always had my own way of doing things and I guess it is rather behind the times. I write on a word processor (the excellent Scrivener) but I print out a draft and edit it longhand. I do so for the same reason that I dislike mind-mapping software – doing it on the computer lacks speed and spontaneity.

The process was to be to download an rtf copy of the manuscript into Word and keep corrections visible through Track Changes and their add comments feature.

I do not own Word being a Mac user and not of favorable opinion on most things MS. I quickly found that Continue reading