Priorities

The good people at Literature and Latte have notified us that Scrivener for iOS is expected to reach the App Store on July 20th. It’ll cost $19.99, which is much more than I’m willing to pay for the overwhelming majority of iPad apps, but this is possibly the biggest case of “shut up and take my money” I’ve felt in years.

Yes, literally years. I have spent actual money on trying to achieve a reasonable approximation of Scrivener on the iPad, and the best I found was Notebooks, which is useful up to a point. Notebooks is a good program, but it can’t edit Rich Text, and I’ve seriously stressed myself out trying to find something that does everything Notebooks does and also edits Rich Text. I got Textilus, and it’s fine for doing little one-off documents, but for working on a long-form piece, don’t waste your money. It’s hard to describe what it fails to do, because I gave up trying so long ago.

Evernote is sort of helpful for working on novels, but they’ve pissed me off for the last time and I will not give them any more of my content. Google Drive is better, but it’s not meant to approximate Scrivener’s functionality and it doesn’t. I wasted a good deal of valuable time trying to make a Google Drive folder partner with a Scrivener project, and it didn’t work.

Oddly enough, a not-terrible Scrivener substitute DID come out recently, called Scrivo Pro, and I was lucky enough to win a free download, but I tried the program and I’m not quite ready to trust it. The Dropbox sync takes some coaxing, the line breaks can be unpredictable, and generally I’m not comfortable with putting my novels into the app. I may have written a couple of slideshows for FanSided in Scrivo, so it’s definitely useful, but for the big things, it doesn’t quite meet the mark. It needs some polish.

And unlucky for Scrivo’s developers, L&L has finally, after so long telling us “we’re still working on it!”, submitted the actual iPad-ready version of Scrivener to the App Store. I swear I’m not getting paid by L&L, but I’m so ready to buy the new app. I may have purged some unnecessary apps from my iPad to make space. If there’s still not enough space for Scrivener, I haven’t ruled out buying a new iPad Pro. If it comes to that, I pre-emptively regret nothing.

Meanwhile, if L&L can make Scrivener for iOS happen, I think GRRM can finish The Winds of Winter.

Good things are happening…any second now!

Status

I’m at the “wait to hurry up” stage of making good things happen in a writing capacity. The last time I had this sensation, the process ended up not working out very well, and I may never know to what extent that failure was my fault and how much was out of my control. Not going into details, as you all don’t need that in your lives. Suffice it to say that the failure resulted in a crash in self-confidence that led me to take a sabbatical from my original fiction for the better part of a year.

Right now, though? I’m waiting to get started on something new. I’m going into it with basically no expectations, so it’s not likely to disappoint me like the other thing did. But I’m at that stage where I can’t do anything yet, I can’t tell how long it’ll be before I can (hours? days? minutes?), but I don’t want to waste a second once the process is open.

The sabbatical seems to have been a good idea, let’s just say.

In which red roses are a problem in a shipping essay.

I started formatting an essay this morning. I’m using iBooks Author, and the template I’ve chosen makes frequent use of a photo of a red rose. (The template is the most appropriate one for the essay, but not because of that photo.)

It’s a pretty red rose, but I’ll have to change it to other pictures.

When you see the essay, you’ll understand why a rose picture cannot stay there.

Someone is trying to keep us in the Snow.

(I just thought of that pun, maybe 3 second before beginning this post. I deserve to be pun-ished.)

An addendum to what I said yesterday about Kit Harington’s latest appearance in Belfast: maybe he’s not just tired of fans taking selfies with him after all.

There’s another post with basically the same news at Winter is Coming, but this time they include a screenshot of someone’s Facebook post, with a very blurry shot of Kit Harington and his man-bun. The user says, in so many words: “Literally just shook (jon snow) kit Harringtons hand and he said he’s not allowed pics but it was nice to meet us!”

Well then. If he did indeed say he’s “not allowed pics,” while otherwise acting as friendly as this fan says (and it’s possible the fan is embellishing a bit), that is interesting. If he is walking around Belfast at the same time as all the other cast members are showing up, and being pleasant to fans while telling them he’s not allowed to take pictures with them, that probably means he’s still on Game of Thrones for S6, and not just as a corpse, but the producers want to keep his presence a secret. And they’re doing a lousy job of it. We can all see him. Either get the guy a better disguise (read: any disguise at all) or just admit that Jon Snow isn’t staying dead for long.

Putting a Story Idea Out There

Don’t ask me how this idea came about, but I’ve just thought of the coolest premise for a little sci-fi story: suppose someone found a way to install extra time in the day.

How many people would have access to this exciting new innovation? And what would they do with their extra hours? What would be the dark side of being able to create more time for yourself?

I’m putting the idea here because some other writer may be able to do good things with it. I’d keep it for myself, except I don’t have the time to take on any new projects.

A Gentle Reminder That Writers are Only Human

GRRMartin has this to say at the end of a recent Livejournal post:

Yes, I know that THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER named me “the third most powerful writer in Hollywood” last December. You would be surprised at how little that means. I cannot control what anyone else says or does, or make them stop saying or doing it, be it on the fannish or professional fronts. What I can control is what happens in my books, so I am going to return to that chapter I’ve been writing on THE WINDS OF WINTER now, thank you very much.

Even the most powerful writers among us cannot control the world outside of our books. We can always control the words. But we can’t control how anyone reads them.

Good luck with The Winds of Winter, Mr. Martin! I’m looking forward to reading it!

On the difference between inclusiveness and justice:

Chuck Wendig has a thing to say about Tor’s recent shaming of Irene Gallo. I will focus on this much, as it is especially important:

Regardless of whether or not you agree with what she said, the fact remains: her publisher publicly rubbed her nose in the mess, then threw her under a bus, then threw her body to a pack of wolves. Again: publicly. Not privately. Perhaps this was all part of some legal stratagem or even a legal necessity — but what it feels like is an entreaty by the publisher to appease folks who believe and opine about really horrible things. And any time you want to make sure that your “inclusiveness” includes the most awful amongst us, please understand you’re not creating a safe space for anybody but the abusers. It’s like putting up a sign in your flowerbed: POISON IVY WELCOME.

We like to talk about creating spaces in which “everyone” is welcome. Yeah, we welcome all kinds! Everybody come on in and make yourself at home!

It’s a great idea and I’m all in favor of inclusiveness, but only if we recognize the necessary limits of inclusion. This is something we’ve been debating in the atheist community (to the extent that an “atheist community” exists) in recent years: we can’t be inclusive to everyone. For example, we cannot be welcoming to feminists while also welcoming those who love to harass and threaten feminists. If the harassers are allowed in, then feminists aren’t welcome because the harassers make sure we feel unsafe. There’s no such thing as a welcoming environment when some people refuse to recognize the humanity of others.

Sometimes, the most inclusive and welcoming thing to do is to recognize which elements need to be kept out.