A quick post today to announce that my first novel, Black Wolf Lodge published in November of 2010, is finally available in Kindle format on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HJXPWAY).
There’s really no reason why it has taken so long, but thanks to Scrivener, it’s all ready now–very affordable–with a much better cover than the original paperback edition. Thanks for considering giving it a read!
I will be back on a regular basis following the holiday festivities and travels and look forward to hearing from one and all. Happy New Year, friends…CortlandWriter
It’s that time once again—it happens every year—when my focus shifts from daily routines of tasks around the house and writing regularly each morning to getting ready for another summer at the cottage up in Michigan. And now that we’ve had an uninterrupted string of beautiful warm spring weather, I’m finding it very difficult to stay focused on my writing duties, as much as I need and want to. I have no doubt that I will be able to pick back up once things are settled at the cottage, the pier is in place, the pontoon securely moored, and that first gray and rainy day comes along.
The winter just passed (finally!) was very productive in the writing skills development department, I must say. For example, February and March were devoted to learning Scrivener, that powerful Swiss Army Knife of writing tools created by the good folks at Literature & Latte! And it all came about rather unexpectedly.
I had completed a 50,000+ novel in Word during November’s NaNoWriMo event, something I jumped into for the fun of it and to actually be “forced” to have some kind of rough draft of a novel on hand at the end of the month. That was a challenge, though, as the month unwound, with all of the many November “interruptions” (Thanksgiving, guests, travel, etc.). Through it all, though, I exceeded the required word count of 50,000 and was more than pleased with what I’d created. For better or worse, I had something to work with in the months ahead.
It was during the conclusion and word count verification process in NaNoWriMo when I first heard of Scrivener. I learned that, because I was a NaNoWriMo “winner,” I could get the program for half price, about $22, following a 30-day Free Trial period. Being an old guy who has always loved learning how to use technology (I even taught those various things for many years), and since it’s been a while since I’ve really gone beyond the “basics” of Word, I jumped at the opportunity to give Scrivener a try.
It wasn’t long before I had the Free Trial up and running, and I figured the Tutorial that comes with the program would clarify everything I needed to know about using Scrivener. And, I must say, it’s a very good Tutorial, but I wanted more, and that’s where Gwen Hernandez rode in on her white steed and really opened the floodgates to understanding the program.
It wasn’t hard to come upon ads for a book Gwen had written, titled Scrivener for Dummies. Having loved all previous “Dummies” books, I once again jumped—leaped, actually—at the chance to purchase the book that I knew would be a wonderful guide through Scrivener and all its various parts. After all, my just-completed NaNoWriMo novel was resting and waiting for me to take it to the next steps, and my plan was to do so in Scrivener. So there it was, my winter project, something I could look forward to and feel that my growth as a writer would be something to make it all worthwhile.
Right about this time, I also discovered that Gwen offered online classes in Scrivener for Mac, the next one to begin in late February. Perfect! I not only leaped but did a double-back flip at the opportunity to enroll and be part of a “live” class. I don’t have time or space at this writing to list all of the wonderful positives that came from my six weeks spent in working through Gwen’s class. I’m sure there’s a post or two down the road where I will really be able to devote the time and space to extolling the positives that came from the class, her book, and an immersion in Scrivener.
So by the time April rolled around, work continued (it still does) on my novel The Bet. Meanwhile, I jaunted off into the world of publishing to Amazon. A couple of short stories (“Pinewood Farm” and “Hobo Willie”) which have been stowing away with me for a long time, were thrown into Scrivener and made ready for formatting as .mobi eBooks for Kindle. It’s a process that is pretty straightforward and simple—thanks to Scrivener! Long story short, in less than an hour, I had them on Amazon, ready for public consumption. I’ve actually sold a number of copies of those two short stories, something I smile at—appreciatively,
So now, back to my need to step back for a short time. Those cold and gray winter mornings allowed me time and space to get lots accomplished—writing and learning—but now it will be time spent packing, doing outdoor stuff here as needed, and checking into the cottage Memorial Day Weekend. But that’s not cause for concern, since my first book—Black Wolf Lodge—was written over the course of several summers on the wonderful screened front porch of that cottage, an ancient lady who turns 100 this summer. And the beauty of it is, Scrivener will be right there along with me as we watch the lake go by and the summer days grab my focus….CortlandWriter
The month of April has all but disappeared, and I thought it had only just begun. Where has the time gone? It really hasn’t been because I have been spending an inordinate amount of time keeping up to date with my blog posting. On the contrary, I have probably spent way too much time reading all of the useful information about the many ways to use Scrivener, posted on Everything Scrivener, by a vast array of writers and other contributors.
And having taken Gwen Hernandez’s Scrivener for Mac online class in February thru March, I was hooked, and I have grown as a writer thanks to all of that. Without a doubt, during this period, I have been having massive amounts of fun, while at the same time learning new things about Scrivener and the process of formatting stories and books every day!
Though I feel that I’ve pretty much neglected my regular and consistent posting during this time, and that I should, perhaps, be doing more actual writing instead of reading about writing, what I’ve gleaned from the articles and other tutorials found on YouTube have proven quite worthwhile. What I have enjoyed this past month in reading through the very helpful articles posted at Everything Scrivener, is that one tip seems to lead to another that is equally as informative and useful.
During this time, perhaps the most beneficial tutorial I found was a wonderful video posted by writer Julie Kenner titled How to format .mobi and ePub in Scrivener. After I watched this several times, I actually applied her step-by-step, clear-cut instructions to a couple of my short stories (“Hobo Willie” & “Pinewood Farm”) and compiled them perfectly to publish as Kindle Edition books. That was the first step toward actually realizing that I could do this after all!
Of course, after I’d successfully compiled my stories into the correct .mobi format required by Amazon, I needed to know how to get them into the Amazon store. As it turned out, that was one of the easiest steps—thanks to having done all of the formatting in Scrivener—and the very helpful YouTube tutorial Publishing your eBook on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Platform from Paul Salvette of BB eBooks.
As with the Julie Kenner tutorial, I watched Mr. Salvette’s presentation a few times and proceeded to go through the steps to upload “Hobo Willie” and “Pinewood Farm.” In less than an hour’s time, I had two short stories on Amazon! And in checking not so very long ago, I’ve actually sold a few and had a nice review for each.
So what’s next as I work up this learning curve? I’m putting the finishing touches on my novel titled The Bet, and I
cannot wait to compile it into a format for Smashwords and/or CreateSpace as well as eBooks. There’s still a way to go, however, but at least I now have a grasp on how it’s done. And regardless of the format, it still all comes down to having a story that is well written, full of characters who have something to share, and a problem or two that needs to be resolved satisfactorily….CortlandWriter
In my mind this morning I had a wonderful blog post all configured and worded regarding yesterday’s horrific incident in Boston. But as this day has worn on, I have begun to realize that what I might say about that incident—yet one more example of how this country’s morals and standards have eroded exponentially—would be lost in a sea of words and platitudes offered up by others far more eloquent than I.
So I’ll leave all of that to the more erudite and prolific shapers of words and only say that what took place yesterday in Boston is not a surprise. In fact, I’m stunned that something like this hasn’t happened sooner—much closer to the date of the tragedy of the World Trade Center.
Not knowing who is responsible for the deaths and injuries causes the most anguish at the moment. I think of a little boy—eight years old, about the same age as my first grandson—who was taking part in a wonderful event and, but for any other explanation, was in the wrong place at that right time—the moment the explosions happened. I think of his sister and all of the others who, if for no other reason than their positions along that major avenue in Boston, would be well today, celebrating the terrific event in all of its festive glory!
I had planned to write about my own accomplishments since my last post, finishing and compiling via Scrivener, two short stories and publishing them on Amazon KDP for Kindle. (Two or three copies of
them have even sold already!) And although I’m thrilled that I’ve come this far in learning the wonderful tool that is Scrivener, and that I now understand the process of how to get my finished writing projects on to Amazon.com, I’ll save my ramblings and espousals of glee for another post. There will be a time for that, but right now it’s difficult to get too enthused about my offerings.
Those two short stories, “Hobo Willie” and “Pinewood Farm”, were especially fun to write. Of course, I’d love to sell millions of them, but I’m happy at this moment just knowing that they’re “out there” and available to anyone in the world.
For now, I’ll leave all of the wit and wisdom and other mundane thoughts posted here for another time. Right now, though, I’m in that “hug-your-kids-and-grandkids” state of mind, so I hope anyone reading this will think about doing just that.
And when doing so, please offer a prayer or two for the families who were caught up in something they didn’t deserve and for the loved ones taken from them. God bless those little ones who didn’t deserve it!…CortlandWriter