East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Wine and Scrivener and Zelazny’s Corollary

In the end, I was able to run a Windows version of Scrivener in Wine, and I am back in business full time – and not a minute too soon. I was rather wary of Scrivener on Wine, but it works surprisingly well with a minimum of fuss. A backlog of work in progress formed while I was re-installing and updating my system, and now I have to work on the double to finish everything and go on with my projects.

My idea to hit fifteen calls within the month is still on – with a few changes.
The story Monkey & the Cat was supposed to go to a very low-paying market, just for kicks, but has at this point cost me so much time and work, that sending it to the original target market would not be profitable. In the meantime, what was supposed to be a 2000-words short has evolved into a 5000-words story, that also provides a glimpse into a world it would be nice to explore further, and the plot has moved away from the original theme of the call. So, I’m looking for a new market, and a high-paying one.

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Always look at mishaps as if they were opportunities

First day with the new Operating System, and while I am well pleased with Linux Mint, I am still unable to run Scrivener, and this means 90% of my work-in-progress is out of reach. All the files are safe and nicely backed up, but I can’t read them, and I can’t work on them.

But this provides me with an opportunity – there’s two stories I have in Word format, one I was editing and the other I was translating and re-writing. These are the only ones I can work on at the moment, so I’ll stop procrastinating and I’ll finish the work straight away.
Because working on multiple projects at the same time provides us with a fantastic opportunity for procrastination – I’ll work one hour on this one, then OK, maybe I’ll move to something else. Then wait, this idea would work great with that story… let me take a break while I think about it.
It can be a huge waste of time, and we need to exercise a terrible discipline, or we’ll get lost in too many projects, too many ideas, to many wastes of time.
Or a software mishap that leaves you with very limited options.

So today I’ll nail closed the revision of The Queen of Spades, a tarot-based story for a forthcoming Italian anthology.
I think I’m going to add a 250/500-words, high action scene.
Boy, will the editor be pleased with this surprise!

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Scrivener for Linux, end of the run

scrivener-300x253So, the good news is there is a new version of Scrivener for Linux – version 1.9.1 – and it is an unlimited edition, meaning it will never expire.

The bad news is, this is the last Scrivener for Linux that we are going to get – and that’s the reason why this is an unlimited software.

In the future, should Linux users decide to update their Scrivener, they will have to purchase a Windows version, and run it on WINE or some other emulator.

Considering that the Scrivener for Linux has been so far run for free and as an act of kindness to the community, we have been very lucky so far.
Running the next Scrivener in WINE, paying the forty bucks for the license, will not be a great sacrifice.

As of now, the Linux 1.9.1 version of the software can be downloaded from this link, in various formats and for both 32 and 64 bits systems. It works like a wonder.

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New surprise project, and Scrivener

OK, so yesterday I got an idea for a new non-fiction book in Italian – a fun thing that might have a market and is based on the classic 36 Stratagems by Sun Tzu.
A nice intersection of some stuff I’ve been doing recently and my long-standing interest for Chinese culture.

Scrivener (software)Currently I have a lot of stuff on my plate, but this is the sort of sweet and easy thing I can do in my spare time, and it’s probably going to find a lot of readers and sell nicely.
In the spirit of doing the maximum work with the minimum expenditure of energy1, I set out to outline and plan the book as a sort of ultrafast, guerrilla project.
Scrivener, the software i normally use for big projects, was pretty useful.

Here’s how I planned the thing, in case you are interested2Continue reading

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5 Tools Everyone Writing Adventure Stories Should Be Using

toolboxIt was suggested to me I do a list of five about adventure writing and about the sort of tools that can be a real life (or time1) saver when you are writing adventure tales.

Yes, of course, Wikipedia and Google Translate, these are quite useful. And Google maps.
And a good reference library does help, too.
But is there something more, or something more suited to writing, and adventure writing in particular?
These are of course my fave tools, and I am sure many out there are using other software/websites/services.
If you’d like to add to the list of suggestions, please do so in the comments sections.
It’s always nice discovering something we don’t know, and that might get handy.

As for me, here goes my list of five. Continue reading

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Writing on spec – developments

. Viable idea sketched.
. Research done – details checked out.
. Story outlined.
. Scrivener file set up.
. Three scenes (roughly 600 words) written out of the thirteen scenes planned (might become fifteen for structural purposes).
Tomorrow – first draft finished by sundown.
Sunday – revision, proofing and delivery.

I must admit this writing-on-a-tight-schedule thing might become sort of fun, in the long run.
With a little luck, I might be able to deliver the finished story almost one day before the closing of the deadline.
And even should it not work out, it’s great exercise.