Stuff I Like: Scrivener

showcase-scrivener_headerOkay, writing people, I’m going to make a very brash and likely controversial statement: If you’re not using Scrivener to write your book, you’re crazy. Downright loopy-in-the-head. It is by far the biggest time and sanity saver I’ve ever encountered and you MUST make it part of your writing toolkit. I’d put it up there with ‘ol Strunk and White. It’s THAT good.

Before you go and tell me to jump in a lake, know that I’ve been a writer my entire adult life…a technical writer, but a writer just the same. I’ve used everything including Continue reading

A Picture Says a Thousand Words…Now How to Get Them on Paper?!?

My good friend Jilly Wood, who lives in London, recently visited Kenwood, an historic estate near Hampstead Heath. In fact, if you’ve seen the movie Notting Hill, you’d recognize the back of Kenwood as the estate where character Anna Scott was filming the Henry James period piece.

The back of Kenwood House. Photo (c) English Heritage.

The back of Kenwood House. Photo (c) English Heritage.

The library in Kenwood was recently restored to its original state — paint colors, flooring, decor, etc. — and it’s gorgeous. Jilly wrote a bit about it on our group blog site Eight Ladies Writing and I made a mad dash for Google Images to find more about this fantastic national landmark.

What resulted from my search was this picture of the music room. Continue reading

Visual Imagery with Playlists

justine covington, book playlist, romance writingIn the McDaniel Romance Writing program, we had two assignments to help us visualize our book. One was a collage (hated it; hard to do using modern magazines to represent a story that takes place 200 years ago; I’m so not showing you what I did); the other was a playlist. I didn’t mind the playlist too much, because much of the music I like was actually “modern” for Regency England. Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach were all well-regarded composers at the time and ladies would perform their work at musicales.

It’s been over a year now since I visited my playlist for Three Proposals, but I played it yesterday and was surprised by how well my musical selections still stand up to my story, despite the massive changes I’ve made since then. In truth, about the only thing that’s the same story-wise are the character’s names! Continue reading

Four Months? Really?

Life has been busy. It’s been four months (!!!) since I posted something here. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been blogging, because I have! Just not here. I’ve been spending every Friday blogging on my group site Eight Ladies Writing, which is great, but I need to make a more concerted effort on this blogging front.

So, fingers crossed that I can extract a few additional hours from our current space-time continuum to write something original here every couple of weeks. At least.

Gravitas in Storytelling

gravity, sandra bullock

“Gravity” (c) 2013 Warner Brothers Studios.

Last night my husband and I saw “Gravity,” starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. It’s a mesmerizing film that anyone who appreciates a good story should see. It’s the only movie I’ve been to where almost no one got up to use the restroom during the film. When the movie ended, there seemed to be a huge exhale from the audience, as if we were all holding our breaths (I think we were). To say that Bullock is outstanding in the film would be a gross understatement. Don’t bother with Academy judges; just give her the Oscar now. Continue reading

Noisy When It’s Quiet

tinnitusThis post has nothing to do with writing. (You’re shocked. Sorry.) It’s about the lack of quiet in my life.

I’ve been struggling with tinnitus recently. AKA ringing in the ears. It started about 6 weeks ago…one night before bed, I went around the house, turning off all the lights, TVs, music I listen to when I work, etc., but I could still hear this high-pitched radio frequency (RF) sound. I thought it was an electrical device left on (like leaving on the CD player, but nothing is playing). I went through my office and our family room trying to find the offending appliance only to realize there wasn’t one. Continue reading

Queen of the Curve Ball

throwing curve ballMy first job is and always will be a mom. I have two wonderful, precocious boys who keep me on my toes. They’re five and four and full of energy. My second job is writing (although my husband would argue it’s being CEO of Our Household). Because I’m a mom, I have to play a bit of baseball, too. Position: batter. Goal: avoid the curve ball. Continue reading