Freehold Friday: The awesome scary post.

No, not scary awesome. Awesome. And. Scary.

First the awesome.

I just had to share this article–it’s about the Authors Supporting Our Troops campaign I joined this year and thought y’all might be interested to read it:

http://floridawrites.com/writers-in-action—authors-supporting-our-troops.html

Now the scary part. To set the stage, I’m knee-deep in the revision process on The Shift (sequel to Apache Dawn) and rapidly approaching the finish line. I’m preparing to send the book to the printer so I can do the final read through.

I’ve been enjoying the hell out of my new Mac Mini and the benefits of Scrivener for Mac. I can get up early and edit in the basement office on the Mac and save the file to Dropbox, then make changes on the Windows laptop wherever I might be later. The functionality is dfferent but the words in the file stay the same. Sweet.

Until I forget that my laptop takes about 10 minutes to upload anything to Dropbox versus about 30 seconds for the Mac (yeah, I’m scratching my head, too). Anyway, I’ve been spoiled by the Mac these past few weeks and totally forgot about the sync lag on the laptop.

It was syncing and I opened the file to make a change. Realizing my mistake, I tried to quit the program. I let the sync finish and tried to open it again.

Blank file.

Cue the cold sweat. 3 months of work gone, just like that. Somehow, I’d completely screwed up the file structure and erased my entire book.

Relief was in sight, though: I have multiple backups (on the computers, external drves, and in the cloud) and long story short, nothing was lost.

I think I gained a few gray hairs and a healthy dose of respect for Apple. Their automatic backup Time Machine thing saved my bacon. And my book.

Which, if you reading this, you’re probably grateful for as well…

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Sic Semper Tyrannis in print and how I made The Change

No.  I did not pull a Bruce Jenner. 

My change: I ditched Windows for a Mac.  Why, you ask?  I’ll give you a one word answer: Scrivener.

All writers who use Scrivener know that the Windows version is a poor relation to the Mac version.  It’s no fault of Literature and Latte–they created the Mac version because, well, the developer used a Mac at the time.   Makes sense. A few years later, they branched out and created the Windows version.  So the Windows version is years behind it’s cousin in terms of functionality and ease of use.  Don’t get me wrong, the Windows version is still the best writing software for PCs that I ever used.

Plus, I have hated Windows 8.1 since I was forced to use it when we bought our last computer, around Thanksgiving of 2014. The previous one died in a freak thunderstorm. Fried motherboard. Since then Windows 8.1 has growing increasingly buggy, slow, and more irritating on a monthly basis. When the chance presented itself to make the switch, I jumped at it and haven’t looked back. While I haven’t fully explored/embraced the Mac OS yet, what I have seen this far (since Tuesday of this week) is VERY promising.

Now that I have myself a Mac and the Mac version of Scrivener…oh my.  Let’s just say I’ve been playing around with it this week and I’ve barely scratched the surface of what this beauty (the computer and the software) can do.  I was compiling review drafts for my editor–exactly how I wanted it to look–in minutes, using only Scrivener.  When I used the PC version, I had to spend a considerable amount of time just tweaking the backwards settings, then export everything to Word to get it looking the way I wanted it (don’t get me started on how I had to tweak things for Amazon).

Long story short, I think biting the bullet and switching to Mac is going to speed up my production, reduce the stress of publication, and result in better products for you, my readers.  It’s a win-win situation for everyone!  Except Bill Gates.  But he’s the richest man in history, so I don’t really feel sorry for him at all.

Anyway, the other big (bigger, really) news is that the proof copies of SST arrived in my grubby hands (with the weather finally taking a turn for the better lately, I’ve been in the garden every day) and she is a BEAUTY!  I think–and I don’t mean to toot my own horn here–that this is the best paperback book I’ve ever produced.  It’s seriously tempting to take the skills I have now and go back to redo the covers, formats, etc., of the other books just so they’ll all be in line.  When I think back on that first cover for AJE in print…

 
image

and compare it to this:

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Wow.  Big difference.

The new paperback should be available on Amazon this weekend.  It comes it at a whopping 646 pages and looks like proper Clancy-esque doorstop.  Lovely!