Reading, Writing and Watching

Reading:  If you stop by here from time to time, you’ve probably heard me complain about my lack of reading time.  Nothing’s changed.  I still buy books faster than I can read them.  But I keep at it, and recently I finished reading Lowcountry Boil, a delightful mystery by my friend and Firebird sister Susan M. Boyer.  The heroine, Liz Talbot, is a very modern P.I. who returns to her family home on South Carolina island Stella Maris to invesitgate her grandmother’s untimely death.  Her pursuit of the truth is complicated by a parade of family members and friends, an ex-flame and an ex-husband, a devious cousin and the ghost of Liz’s high school BFF.  It’s no surprise that this Golden Heart finalist made it to publication so quickly.  I recommend it enthusiastically.

Lowcountry Boil introduced me to Henery Press, a new publisher in Dallas, specializing in mystery and suspense fiction, much of it in the cozy/humorous vein I enjoy.  On Susan’s recommendation, I ordered another book, Portrait of a Dead Guy by Larissa Reinhart, which was a finalist in my own West Houston RWA chapter’s Emily contest last year.  That one’s waiting at the top of my priority To Be Read stack.  And isn’t the cover art on these books wonderful?  Stop by the Henery Press site to see more; the books are available as e-books or trade paperbacks.

Writing:  My One Hundred Words a Day loop is jumping again, with quite a few of us back on track, and even trying for 250 words a day.  I’m hard at work on my new Jinn story, and I’ve fired up my enthusiasm with a new piece of software for witers, Scrivener.  I had pangs of envy when Scrivener was a Mac only program, but a few months ago the Windows version was released, so I decided to try it out with a manuscript that was barely started, and therefore easily switched into a new file.  I had files relating to Bathtub Jinn in Word, Action Outline, Excel, and OneNote; Scrivener stores everything, including research, pictures, note cards, an outline, and no doubt things I haven’t discovered yet in one file.  It’s a large, complex program, so I did what I normally do:  I bought books.  Two of them, in fact (although Scrivener does come with a very good tutorial and a pdf manual), Writing a Novel with Scrivener by David Hewson and Scrivener for Dummies by Gwen Hernandez.  I’m just getting started with Scrivener, but so far I’m very impressed.  You can try it before you buy it, and it only costs $40.  (What would I have given for a program like this when I was in grad school?   I couldn’t have imagined it.  When I was in grad school computers were programmed with punch cards, and I wrote all my papers with index cards and carbon paper on a portable electric Smith-Corona typewriter.)

Watching:  I’ve tried to get excited about Revolution, I really have.  I love the premise.  I’m a sucker for abandoned amusement parks and disintegrating freeways.  Rebuilding civilization–or sliding back into the dark ages–has always been a favorite theme.  But I find myself watching the show on DVR or On Demand, when I get around to it.  When it’s actually on, I’m watching Castle.  I think, once again, that it boils down to characters.  As much as I like the premise of the show, the characters haven’t grabbed me and refused to let go.  But this week’s episode is on again Saturday evening, and I’ll give it at least one more shot then.

This evening I’ve been watching/listening to a show I recently discovered on the Travel Channel: Mysteries at the Museum.  Very enjoyable for a history/artifact buff like me.  I’ve started watching the schedule and recording episodes.  One of these days I’m going to find the beginning of a good story on that show.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lark Howard
    Oct 19, 2012 @ 10:37:08

    I’ve heard great things about Scrivener but I write on more than 1 computer so I don’t know how it will work for me. Keep us posted on your progress!



    • Kay Hudson
      Oct 19, 2012 @ 21:46:20

      I’m a one-computer writer, so I haven’t looked for info on synchronizing more than one. I’ll send back reports from the field.



    • Gwen Hernandez
      Oct 23, 2012 @ 20:30:58

      Lark: You can use Scrivener with more than one computer. The license is good for up to 4 (or 5?) computers in your household, so you only have to pay for it once. Then you can use a flash drive or Dropbox–or something similar–to save your file so you can work on it anywhere. Just make sure you close the project before you save it and you should be good to go.



  2. Gwen Hernandez
    Oct 23, 2012 @ 20:30:39

    Thanks for the mention, Kay! I’m glad you’re getting up to speed with Scrivener. Good luck with the new story. 🙂



  3. Kay Hudson
    Oct 23, 2012 @ 20:48:36

    The tutorial and manual in Scrivener are very good, Gwen, but but it’s really helpful to have your book (paper version!) handy to look up specific little things.

    I really like the Project Targets widget. Makes me feel like I’m making progress, even when it’s only a couple of hundred words at a time.



  4. Larissa Reinhart
    Dec 30, 2012 @ 20:22:53

    Thanks for the mention, Kay. Sorry I didn’t catch it until now! I hope you enjoyed Portrait of a Dead Guy! I was very honored by my Emily finalist standing. A wonderful contest with which to be associated.



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