Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tools Update 2012

I've  been working on the next chapter of Bluebottle Tree. It's not quite ready yet. I admit, I'm a self diagnosed A.D.O.L.S. sufferer. 
That would be "Attention Deficit, Oh Look, Shiny!"
I heard it first from a patron out at Sherwood Forest Faire, and it seemed to fit me well!
As does the picture above, no doubt.
At any rate, I thought I would post an update on one of my earliest posts about writing tools. (April 8, 2010).
I'm still regularly using the yWriter5 program I mentioned before. It's a dandy. I'm also enjoying the Tarot procedures for plotting from Tarot for Writers, by Corinne Kenner. Good tools, both. Everything I said about all the tools in that previous post are still valid. Go back and check it out if you wish. 
Another of those, Celtx, has recently updated and it is getting better and better for all sorts of writing. I still use Celtx for writing play scripts, but it has tools for most varieties of writing now.

As you may know, I'm all about "free" tools. One I just found is Zen Writer. If you just want to sit down and write, and not bother with bells and whistles and other distractions, Zen Writer is wonderful. It is a simple, uncluttered, word processor. Zen aptly describes it. The screen is very uncluttered, with a few very restful choices for background image, and a few really soothing musical pieces to accompany. I like it a lot. In fact, I copied the songs over to my music program (Windows Media Player) and included them in my "writing" playlist. I haven't found the exact niche for the program itself in my toolbox, but I will, it's just that good.It can be easily installed to a flash drive, so it's readily available to any machine I use.

One more tool I don't think I ever mentioned is a Meetup Group. 
This one is in Austin, called "Sit Down, Shut Up, and Write!"    Check your own area for Meetups like this. It's very good. 
The premise is simple, as you can see from the link. A group of writers bring their projects and writing tools, show up at a coffee shop or other location at a specified time. They visit for half- hour or so, then at the agreed time they write for an hour solid without interruption. 
It's pretty cool to have this enforced writing time to do the work and be in company of other writers at the same time.  I went to several and enjoyed it. It's a trip into Austin for me, though, so it's not really practical if we're not going into town anyway. Ideally, of course, you can make this sort of writing date with yourself at home. It's always easier to leave home and go somewhere else. Fewer interruptions and distractions. 

Speaking of Meetups, the local Austin Writer's service company Write By Night has opened their facilities to a regular session of a similar nature.  They call the Meetup "Write Here". They offer all the benefits of working in a coffee shop but quieter surroundings and their own writing library.
I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds great! Check it out.

Okay, back to work!

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