Scrivener Joy

Naming characters is one of the things I struggle with, so when I come up with one, I’m usually pretty happy. Trouble is, I don’t always think of the context and the other character’s names when I do. I ran into this snag in my most recent proposal. I had come up with a lovely name for the heroine of the second book in a new series I’m working that takes place in Saddlebank, Montana. This town was featured in my most recent Refuge Ranch series coming out in January 2014, April, 2014 and June 2014.  I’m going back to the area for this next series.

I named the heroine of the yet-to-be-written books, Lauren. I liked the name. Lauren has a twin sister Erin and I thought I would find a way to make them match. BUT…in my previous Refuge Ranch stories, that also take place close to my town of Saddlebank, I had a church pianist/organist. Her name was Laura. Now Laura is already entrenched in the series, so I had to change Lauren’s name. Trouble was, I already had used Lauren’s name extensively through my manuscript. I didn’t feel like going through the whole manuscript to change the name.

This should be a simple fix – do a search and replace, right? Well I knew how to do a search and replace in Word and Pages, but I used Scrivener exclusively for my writing. It’s the bomb, amazing, wonderful, life changing….I love Scrivener. However I didn’t know how to do a search and replace in Scrivener. Now, in case any of you other lovely readers use the same program, here’s the solution.

In Scrivener you go to this:
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Then you click on Project Replace and this comes up:

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There is my dear Lauren whose life is about to change forever……or at least her name. I chose Michelle. I did a replace throughout everything, just in case I wasn’t tempted to hang onto the name or in case anything I might use when I hit compile would get attached….and voila, Lauren is now Michelle in my manuscript!Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 11.09.25 AM

Amazing. So if you ever run into this snag in Scrivener, here’s how you fix it. Hope this helps someone else besides me. Have a wonder-filled day and week.

Boxing Day Adventures

I’m not a brave flier. And the thought of going up in a plane that two grown men can drag around gives me the willies.  So when I had the opportunity to fly with my nephew in his Stinson plane, I demurred. So small. So scary. I couldn’t imagine doing this even as part of me would have loved to see what our place would look like from the air.  My husband went up. Then my nephew. Then my niece and they all returned with stories and grins and excitement over what they saw. I felt a moment of envy and then  thought, I’m getting older. The window for flying in one of these little planes is getting smaller. No Commercial plane will ever, ever fly low over my house so I can take a picture. So I thought  even though I changed this kids diapers and watched him crash skidoos and quads, I figured he must have an inkling of what he’s doing. So I took my chance.

What a hoot! Sure he did the scary banking thing and I was looking down at a wing pointing down at my husband who was down below, cheering me on, sure I had to look the other direction sometimes, or close my eyes when he did it a few more times as we went flying over the bog at our place checking out moose. But over all everything else felt the same. Engines rev, buckle up, faster movement and then up and once up, smooth sailing. I could see so much from up there it was stunning. Amazing. Breathtaking. I also got some cool shots of our house.

I was actually quite pleased that I overcame this fear. Don’t know if skydiving is next on the list, but it’s so fun to know that I could do this and have fun.

The eight or so moose we also spotted from the air was just an added bonus.IMG_3947

Settling in

We’ve had snow on the ground for a couple of months now and the settling in time has begun. I always feel, however, that this doesn’t truly happen until after Christmas. Before Christmas I have a sense of deadlines approaching. Getting cards made and sent. Planning Christmas menus. Shopping for presents. Gathering all the detritus that belongs to what I consider a proper festively decorated house. And in the midst of all of that, trying not to let myself get so busy that I can’t reflect on what Christmas means for me. Salvation. A surety that this world means something. That there is a purpose and a reason and a season to the things that happen in my life. But for now, I feel like part of me is waiting, leaning in toward the season, breathless, anticipation of so many things swirling through me. I pray for a blessed season for all of you. May you find moments of peace even if this Christmas can’t bear the weight of the usual expectations of the season.Christmas tree

How to keep writing

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Resistance. It’s all part of the writing life.

I write in a genre that requires a fairly steady output. And the reality is there are days I don’t feel like it. Outputting. But I don’t have much choice if I want to keep my family in food and clothes and buy all the stuff I want for my grandkids.

I thought I would share with you some of the things that keep me going.

Whenever I start, I face this annoying resistance. This ‘Don’t Want To’ that rises up from the mist and follows me through my day. But what I have noticed is that this resistance seems to be imbedded into my psyche. I have it when I stare at a pile of laundry or a dishwasher that needs emptying or a house that needs cleaning. I’d sooner do anything than the job ahead of me. You’d think after decades of doing this I shouldn’t be fighting it. But I do. However the job is not going away and eventually it gets done. I have found my best tool is simply  acknowledging the resistance as part of my life. Yes. It’s there. As always. It’s not going away but neither is the job. So may as well just do the job in front of you.

Then once my hands start folding, emptying, moving, I fall into the rhythm and soon the job is done. I have found the same needs to apply to writing. Acknowledge the pernicious “Don’t Want To,”  then just start and sooner or later the discipline kicks in and I just keep going. I live by Nora Roberts sage advice – “You can’t edit an empty page.” So I just write and figure I’ll make it better after it’s written. Just get it down. Release and keep going. The job is not going away, may as well do it now.

What do you do about resistance? Or are you one of the blessed few who sits down at their computer every day with joy and anticipation?