Writerly Snoopy

courtesy of NPR Books,


The Literary Mustachioed

Flavorwire posted slides of their top 15 best author mustaches. It seems that a former trend for the writerly type was a huge or unique display of facial hair. Will this make a comeback or are we stuck with throwback spectacles and trite sweater vests?

Contemplating Scrivener

Yesterday, I read about this fascinating software designed for writers working on long projects. It is called Scrivener and it is designed to keep track of all of your writing, research, notes, etc.

In Scrivener, you can enter a synopsis for each document on a virtual index card and then stack and shuffle the cards in the corkboard until you find the most effective sequence. Plan out your work in Scrivener’s outliner and use the synopses you create as prompts while you write. Or just get everything down into a first draft and break it apart later for rearrangement on the outliner or corkboard.

As an aspiring novelist, I have multiple files saved on two computers, many scribbled in notebooks, files that I email to myself, and stacks of books for research. Everything has been growing day-by-day; I find myself amending character profiles on random scraps of paper.

I’m always a little behind when it comes to technology and the internet, and had no idea about this software. I was about to go out and buy a corkboard/white board combo to hang on my bedroom wall, but if Scrivener lives up to its hype, I might have to nix the bedroom wall idea. Some of the features include: corkboard, outliner, tools for non-fiction writing, etc. (it even boasts a name generator).

I’ve never used this software or anything like it (just your standard Microsoft Word). I don’t know anyone who has it but I am very interested in hearing people’s reactions or personal experiences. Scrivener is an affordable $40 (with a $5 discount for students and educators). Should I take the plunge? They have a 30 day free trial. Perhaps, I will take a test run this weekend.

Their website also offers an extensive listing of Links for Writers. In the very least, that seems like well worth a glance.

Also, some information and reviews of the software courtesy of my tech writer, mamma.

The Writerly Desktop

I stumbled upon this article in the Guardian the other day. It mostly stood out to me because they were interviewing the always intelligent and always fascinating, Tom McCarthy. He was staying in NYC this past spring and making the rounds at our various well-respected literary venues as a guest speaker.

The Guardian chose him to be their first writer for their inaugural series called, “My Desktop.”

In the first of a new series where writers show us around their working lives by revealing what’s on their computer desktops, Tom McCarthy explains how technology is woven into his creative life.

Tom’s desktop (click image to enlarge)

The way McCarthy is as both a person and a writer is completely exuded through his personal work space (e.g., computer). It made me think about my own computer desktop. I differ with him over having a blank slate. I like an image and I like it to be high quality. On my normal desktop, I have an image of Ganesha–the Hindu god of success and remover of obstacles–and on my netbook, I keep a photo I took in the Czech Republic of a castle. Anytime I start up the little fella, my memories of that beautiful and inspiring country come back to me. On my desktop, I also have randomly placed folders, which is unexplainable because I am a tidy person; I think my rationale is if they are haphazardly placed, I look more productive. Also, “sticky notes” to remind me what to do (my brain is usually being pulled in all different directions!). For the first time, I realized that my computer desktop is a microcosm of how I function as a writer.

click to enlarge