NCOhW Retreat

What happens when you toss 15 writers in a cabin for the weekend? You get one heck of a writer’s retreat.

The fearless (and very silent that weekend) leader of NCOhW (North Central Ohio Writers) plotted an amazing retreat for us to all get together, talk, and write.

I won’t go into all the details of what we did, as there are already three other posts that describe some of the events (just beware of language, if that’s a thing for you).

For me, the best thing was being able to spend the time with such a great and diverse group of people. This Writing Tribe that I call friends, new and old. As a person (and writer, runner, parent, sibling, etc.) your tribe (or tribes) are key to your success. They keep you going strong. They encourage you. They help when you are down. Don’t neglect your tribe(s), they are worth it in the long run.

iOS Scrivener

Scrivener, from Literature & Latte, is a great program for writing on a desktop or laptop computer. But there are times when it’s either inconvenient or not possible to work from either. Now almost everyone has a phone or tablet these days. That’s why Literature & Latte (L&L) decided to build Scrivener for mobile, starting with iOS.


I’ve been using the iOS version for a couple months now, I was part of the first round of beta testers. All I can say is that this product works. I have had no issues with the Dropbox syncing feature, and the ability to write away from my home computer is amazing. And I don’t need an iPad to write, my iPhone works just fine. Toss in a wireless Bluetooth keyboard, and I’m all set.

I could go in depth with the features, but I won’t. Because L&L has been doing an excellent job with their blog posts on the features. I’ve got links to all of them at the end. Plus, I can’t explain everything as well.

One caveat users need to know: this isn’t the desktop version. Phones and tablets might be more powerful than the computer that landed the Apollo mission on the moon, but they do not have the power of modern desktops. There are features that are scaled back. There is a Compile feature, but it can’t do everything the desktop can. You can’t view multiple documents as one (Scrivenings Mode). The iPad display allows you to work with the Binder, while the iPhone doesn’t have enough real-estate to allow it. Those are a couple of the larger ones I’ve noticed.

As with desktop Scrivener, this product won’t be for everyone. If you are looking for a mobile document editor that has a lot of good features, you won’t go wrong with iOS Scrivener. Especially if you already use the macOS (OSX) or Windows version of Scrivener. It is an excellent addition to your toolbox.

Other tidbits

Android users, don’t despair. It has already been mentioned that L&L would like to make Scrivener for your system as well. Also, it sounds like the next major versions of macOS and Windows will have the same features. As it is, there are only a few the Windows version doesn’t have now. The future of Scrivener is looking good.


A couple tips to get you started with iOS Scrivener:

  • There is a built in Tutorial Project. Read (and work) through it (in app). It is a big help.
  • You can also read through an online Tutorial. I haven’t looked through most of it, so I’m not sure how much is the same as the in app tutorial.
  • If you are having Dropbox Sync issues, L&L did a Sync Screencast to walk through how to set it up.
  • If you are still having issues, there is an article about Dropbox Syncing with iOS on their bug report page.
  • If nothing else, the L&L iOS Forums is a great resource as well.

L&L Blog

As new ones get posted, I’ll add them here as well. They aren’t linked in any particular order (other than the Release Info at the top)

NaNoWriMo 2012

2012 NaNoWriMo logo

November is upon us. That is the month my wife loves, because I’m not in her hair bugging her. Either that, or she hates because she becomes a single parent. Why? One word. NaNoWriMo.

And you’re right, it’s not a word. It’s four. National Novel Writing Month. And it’s exactly how it sounds. Write a novel in a month. Or to be more specific, 50,000 words. It’s a fun challenge, and I’m undertaking it again.

I plan on posting updates as I go, and maybe some snippets of what I’m writing. I’m also going to include a widget on the sidebar to show how many words I’ve written. I like to keep that up to date, so if you visit, you’ll see where I’m at. Or, you can go to my profile page and see some info there. I keep that one pretty basic, though.

So, what I’m I writing? This year is a rewrite. Again. Two years ago, I did a rewrite of a project, and I’m rewriting that one. I’m not happy with the direction the story went, and it needs reworked. So, that’s what I’m doing. The working title is Hero’s Tale Book 1. And yes, it does relate to my Vote Your Adventure story. But, I’m not going to say how at the moment.

I plan on talking more soon. After all, you need to know how to make your own pumpkin spice coffee, right?

Poll of the #MyWANA gals

I’ve talked about the #MyWANA Twitter community before over at my Hero’s Tale blog. But let me give you a quick refresher: WANA stands for We Are Not Alone. Writing is an extremely solitary practice. So, to have somewhere to gather on-line like this is important. And a lot of fun. See founder Kristen Lamb’s blog entry, or my link above if you want more info.

As I’ve participated in the community, something became quickly apparent. The vast majority is female.

Now, I don’t know if this is an indication that there are more female writers, or just more females involved. It did make me wonder something about this group. So on August 23, I asked this question 3 times during the day: How many of you were at home during the day (with kids or not) and how many worked and did writing afterwords.

Now this was an idle curiosity, not a scientific survey. Please don’t take my results as anything more than some interesting results.

I got 15 replies, and had to rework my initial categories a bit:

  • 3 work full-time.
  • 4 work from home
  • 6 are at home
  • 2 work part time

Of the 15, 8 said they have kids:

  • 6 who have kids are at home
  • 2 work part time

All the gals who are at home are at home with kids. Plus, all those who work part-time have kids. I shouldn’t say I’m surprised, but I didn’t think I’d see something that extreme. I thought there might be one or two that had no kids at home. That could be explained by the sample size, though.

To extrapolate a little, the vast majority of the women on #MyWANA are at home in some fashion (home full-time, work from home, or part-time). I suspected that might be the case, but didn’t quite expect so much variance.

Part of me wants to think that this group would have a lot of time to write, and so they are hanging out on #MyWANA, writing. But I’m probably wrong. This is where my favorite quote from this exercise comes in. Christine Ashworth’s reply addresses this perfectly:

I work. I was a stay-at-home, but I get more writing done now that I’m working again.

I thought about that, and I completely understand. I thought about my wife at home with our 3 kids. There are days that she gets more done after the kids are in bed than during the rest of the day. I know I do. During NaNoWriMo, I get most of my writing done during the week in the evenings. Weekends are all but useless to me for writing.

Truthfully, other than some fun stats, I really don’t know what you should take from all this. So I’ll leave you with this. The #MyWANA tribe is a great place to hang out. Everyone is friendly and willing to help. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom/dad or work for any amount of time. Everyone is welcome. See you there!