Quote of the Day


How to view your Scrivener WIP on your iPhone or iPad

From the Scrivener File menu, choose "Compile".
Put checkmarks next to what you want to send.  I send chapters, not character notes etc.
Select "Compile for ePub."
Click on "Compile"

In the Export screen that pops-up, make sure the Folder is set to the Dropbox folder that your phone is linked to.
Click on Export.

On your phone, open your Dropbox app.
Click on the file in the dropbox.
When you get the "Couldn't Load File" message, click on the "Send to" icon in the lower left corner.
In the pop-up, choose "Open In . . ."
In the next screen, choose "Open in iBooks"


Writing Toys and Tools for the iOS environment

When I can't get my story to move forward (usually because I am writing a chapter from the wrong POV -- point of view -- and I haven't yet noticed that or because there are other people in the house making noise), I work on setting up my technology for the most efficient use of the wee writing windows I do have.

I do all the actual writing in Scrivener on my big home computer.  My arthritic fingers insist on its ergonomically correct keyboard and there is no way around this.  But I can't and really don't want to run to my desk whenever I get a thought.

No problem!

I just use the voice memo function on my phone to capture stray brilliant inspirations (rare) and/or crippling plot errors I just now realized (more common than I wish).  Then when I do get to the computer I listen to the memos and add to my running Manuscript ToDo list.

Another big happy discovery was Scriviner's ability to publish to iBooks.  I really dislike printing to paper as it is wasteful and cumbersome, but there are times that I really just want to read the story, or just that delicious chapter that fell from my fingertips last night, and I want to read somewhere other than my desk.

No problem!

I figured out how to send my work-in-progress to iBooks which lets it look just like a real book that I can read on my phone or my iPad.   As I read, if I find places to edit, I can make a note right in the book and then at the end of my session, I can email my notes, sorted in order of chapter, back to myself.  This gives me an ordered list of edits to make when I am next at my big computer.

Happy happy.


Mac Apps for Writers

Buy Scrivener 2 for Mac OS X (Education Licence)
Scrivener: My #1 just can't live without writing app is Scrivener.  It is amazing. I can't even begin to to it justice  -- in part because my head is in my story and in part because why bother? The Scrivener website will tell you all you need to know. I apologize that the link here takes you straight to check out. Just click on products and start toodling about.

Or check it out on the iTunes store: Scrivener. Or just take my word for it. Scrivener is the bomb.

Next up on the cool things list is Aeon Timeline - Scribble Code . This timeline generator helps me keep my storylines straight and keeps me from muddling my generations.  Best of all, it syncs with Scrivener!  You can get a trial copy at Scribble and here are a few discount codes just for fun: CAMPWRITER or SUMMERFEST

The last on my hit parade tonight (because I really should be writing: 700 words to go) is Snowflake Pro and if you leave a comment, I'll tell you how to get it for half-off.

It's a complete plot and plan application and I really should have started with this one 15 years ago when I started my story.  I'll be using it tonight to try to crumple up some of my flatter characters.


Five Day Writing Challenge

2,000 words a day for five days.  Can I do it?


Internet Monitoring aka spying on your kids

So, without going into the details, it has become obvious that we need more than the usual Computer In A Public Room and Mom Has All the Passwords for the computers our kids use. We have tried a lot. The Macs come with Parental Controls settings, with two problematic areas:
  1. the application restriction options works backwards. I want to be able to say "Let them use everything but these three." Instead, it is set up so that I have to say "Only let them use the ones I check." So any background app that is essential to the function of something we want triggers a "You don't have access. Allow access?" screen. This would be great if the option to Always Allow Access actually did anything, but it does not. So the process of getting called over to enter the Parental Control password is repeated ad nauseam
  2. The web-filtering was squiffy at best.
So, the next thing we tried was Net Nanny. She looked so good on the surface, but once installed we learned that she didn't always show up to work! Sometimes she would launch and filter, sometimes not. We fired her and moved on. Even if she had worked well, she wouldn't be enough.

We need more than website-filtering, we need to be able to track all the computer activity. Why, you may wonder. Well imagine that your child's homeschool work includes some software that will allow the user to check the answers after each attempt. And the software will allow for adding and deleting users at will. Yup. Your child could create a bogus account. Check all the answers. Get a screenshot of the answers. Delete the account. Copy answers from screenshot to the work on his or her own account. Grrrr.

Enter SniperSpy. Oh SniperSpy looked powerful and mighty and effective. Live Chat support 24/7! All sorts of wonderful monitoring tools -- live screen viewing. Periodic screenshots. Just what we needed. I could buy one license and install it for each user, or so I was told. The installation was glitchy, but no matter, live 24/7 chat suppport to the rescue. Not!

The automatia is good, I'll hand them that, even including typos and spellings errors for that authentic look. But really? Three different chat support people happen to type the same identical line with the same capitalization error and slightly unusual vocabulary word? "Please wait while i go fetch some data." And as soon my questions got complicated the responses got more and more bizarre. Plus the lag between questionand answer was 5-10 minutes each time. Really not useful at all. I have filed a request for a refund with PayPal (ALWAYS buy software downloads with PayPal so you have some hope of a refund if things go bad).

Currently I am working with SpyTech Realtime Spy. The installation was nearly trouble-free. At one point I got stuck and opened a trouble ticket. I got an email back right away from the CEO! Seriously. I looked him up and it was really him. The owner and CEO is working the tech support desk. I love that! And it didn't hurt that his response cleared up my problem.

Check out the Demo! It will
  • show live screens.  What the child is doing in one room, the mother can see in another room.
  • show the applications used and the time they were used.
  • capture screenshots at intervals I set.
  • show websites visited.
  • show windows opened. Helpful if one has a child with a quick mouse-finger.  History homework window was open at the same time as YouTube window was opened.  Interesting.
And if you end up buying, be a sweetie and click through here first.  I get a wee commission if you do.  But that is not why I am telling you about it.  NetNanny and SniperSpy have affiliate programs as well, but I'm not providing links to their products because I was disappointed in them.  So far, RealTime Spy is doing what I want it to do and I want to share it with you.

internet monitoring, spy on computer, net nanny, computer watch,