Scrivener

Early rising yesterday and a drive to the airport to get the misses Hawaiian-bound. Hanalei looks to have much rain and high surf this week, while Soquel keeps itself in sun. I look at the new living room and now gain some sense of what life will be like there, now that all the sheet rock is hung. The men doing the work, friends, take such pride in their craftsmanship that I am also proud of them, and makes the room itself feel as though it were an adventure in creating warmth. The old now gone sheet metal fireplace, will no longer torture us with a nasty draft on cold winter nights. The new natural gas fireplace which I have been sitting in front of in the evenings for several weeks, provides a shining blue and yellow fire that makes me feel like I am out camping on the beach.

I am shopping today for writing software, something to perhaps free my thinking. This trusty old outliner program, Treepad, has been a part of my language stream for so many years that I could never easily let it go. The new software might allow me to view my composition differently. One would think just type into a word processor and this clever mind would naturally evolve the ideas. I began writing before computers were known to writers, so the process was painful when writing three novels with a typewriter and tablet of paper. The pain must have provided me with some discipline, however, just as in the days of film cameras you were careful to shoot photographs with just the right composition and color. Editing and re-work were such a hassle that I would often nearly lose my senses when doing the work.

I have shunned using writing software that was specifically designed for any kind of creative writing, and see that there are now many available options. Understanding how to use one of these new products might put my mind into a different kind of flow that is less linear, a little freer to rearrange or artistically control the development of my thoughts. The one I see highly recommended that looks like it might best fit my needs is called Scrivener. It seems to have some of the flex power and outliner capability I need to help me better manage and make sense of what I write.

I still believe good writing consists of proper use of grammar and spelling. A word is the most basic element, then phrasing of words, and how they might best adhere to one another in a sentence. A paragraph should be a complete thought, somewhat self-contained. I may not always abide by the values I espouse, but I am at least cognizant of the standards. I don’t expect any writing software to restrict my expression because of my lack of conforming to the software’s internal rules. If it wants to do that for me, I would prefer that it leave me alone. Just show me where I can turn off the policing option.

Rather, what I’m looking for is the ability to examine and blend larger chunks of writing that have become incongruous because of the organic fashion of my journal keeping style of writing. I have all the ingredients for a recipe with no bowl in which to easily mix them. After mixing, I need to just sit in front of my fireplace and read what it is I am saying.

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