Scrivener Hybrid Workshop July 9-30, 2020

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Scrivener Creative Writing Workshop - PaypalI will be leading a hybrid workshop focused on Scrivener, a leading writing studio that will help you turn your writing from chaos to published.

The 4-week workshop will be hosted in AltspaceVR and on the Creative Writing Meetup in VR Discord server.

Thursdays, 9-11AM PST / 5-6PM UK, July 9-30

Participants will be learning about how to use Scrivener’s powerful features to research, write, structure, and edit their work from the beginning to finished manuscript ready for publishing in various formats from print to ebooks.

This course normally starts at USD $100 for the 8 hour workshop. As this is an experimental hybrid workshop, I’m suggesting USD $10 / 8 GBP or whatever you feel is appropriate.

  • Once paid, contact me through DM (Lorelle#1596) or public post on our Creative Writing Meetup Discord.
  • Provide your AltspaceVR Username (not display name, the one you log in with).
  • I will add you to the private Scrivener Channel in our Discord and to the private events in AltspaceVR.
  • To access the events in AltspaceVR in-world, go to Events > My Events. They should be listed there and open 3 minutes prior to the event.
  • The private Scrivener Channel will feature a private voice channel as well for teaching that happens there.

How Will This Workshop Work?

For social and informational teaching, we will be meeting in AltspaceVR, typically no longer than an hour. The rest of the teaching will be on Discord with voice and text.

Links to articles, resources, and homework assignments will be there and here on this website.

While the workshop will be eight hours of education, the Discord private channel is open 24 hours a day, thus you may post questions there, successes, failures, screenshots, and other shares. Please help each other! It’s too easy for the teacher to just hand over the answers. If you see a question, answer it. It helps you and everyone learn better and faster.

Scrivener ASVR Workshop 2020

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As someone who loves to read and study ahead for a class, here is the general outline with resources, of the Scrivener classes in AltspaceVR and Discord.

Scrivener Books

In truth, you do not need a book for this course or for Scrivener as its Interactive Tutorial and help manual are excellent resources, and a quick search on the web will find you most of the help and inspiration you need. However, if you are a book lover and feel one is necessary, here are my recommendations.

Class One: Introduction, Structure, and Organization

Class one we explored example uses, structure, and organization of Scrivener content, as well as some of the features and tools.

Class Two: Organization, Inspector, Meta-Data, Backups, and Import

Class two, we explore more about navigation and organization and backups, then open up the Inspector and go exploring. We will also work on importing documents.

Have ready a COPY of one or two documents, anything you want but NOT the original. It needs to be a Word, WordPerfect, or other word processor document or one created in a text editor that has search and replace capabilities.

We’ll play around a little more with organizing the Binder as well as working with the Corkboard and Outline Scrivener views and how to customize them to your needs.

As we work on the Inspector, we will explore all its features including:

  • Synopsis
  • Labels and Status
  • Document Notes
  • Document References
  • Keywords

We may touch lightly on the things listed below, diving deeply into some areas, brushing others. The articles below will help you explore the vast customization and features available in Scrivener beyond the scope of the class.

This class will be all in Discord.

Class Three: Inspector, Research, Revisions, Templates, Project Templates, and Compile Intro

We will start in AltspaceVR for a demo of Project Templates and the Compile feature, then heading to Discord for some hands-on work if we stay on schedule. We have many things to cover in this class, so be ready.

We will go deeper into the powerful search features and the Inspector, exploring more about how to set up custom-meta data, snapshots and revisions, footnotes, comments, and other goodness. We’ll explore how to handle research material imported into Scrivener, and begin the process of learning more about printing, exporting, and using the highly customizable Compile features.

Class Four: Compile and Show Off Your Scrivener Projects

This is the last class and time to show off your Scrivener Projects.

We will be focusing on the Compile feature, and showcasing your own work. Bring one or more examples of your writing at any stage, whether you are starting off or have organized and structured an existing work. We will be meeting in Discord and taking turns sharing our screens. Remember to share on the second tab that says Screens and choose the appropriate monitor if you have more than one.

Additional Scrivener Resources and Information

This is a list of some additional resources and information on using Scrivener. If you find others, please share them with us on our private Discord channel and I’ll update the list here.

Inequality

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Why can’t we all live together in peace,
in justice, in love.
Why can’t we just get along.

We preach the golden rule to do unto others
as we would do unto ourselves
Yet, we don’t practice what we preach.

Fairness. Who said fair is fair?
We judge, we jury, we prosecute
those different from us.

We test, push, shove, protest.
We want it all, but we settle for less
Than each deserves in this world.

Why does a layer only so thin,
Get under our skin so much
when it differs from ours?

Peel your skin like a grape and
find we are all the same.
We are beautiful inside.

It’s time to change the game,
Find new ways to connect and relate,
And just get along.

Are you with me?

Everything Moves

I made a cup of tea this morning. The scent of Taiwanese Milk Oolong wafted up from the boiling water and drifted through my senses, entangling with memories forgotten.

Many years ago, my husband and I sold our lives, quit our jobs, and retired in the middle of our lives to toss the cat and ourselves into a one ton truck pulling a 30 foot fifth wheel trailer. Like turtles, we lived with our house on our backs. We crisscrossed North America following nature, not maps, passing back and forth and up and down as the seasons changed, bird and wildlife migration shifted, and wildflowers and fall colors peaked.

Working from within the aluminum box we called home, I’d take moments in the day to walk from my desk to the tiny sink and tea kettle. Waiting the 3 minutes for the water to boil, I’d look out the windows.

It is a strange feeling to be in your home, safe and familiar, yet outside, the world around you changes as you move from place to place, new environments, new people, new cultures, new perspectives. I treasured those moments, but lost them when I moved into a home that didn’t move. I kept moving, but it wasn’t the same. I missed it for a while, then I forgot.

Some days, the view would be of wildflowers, pinks, purples, blues, reds, yellows, and green as far as the eye could see, bowing rainbow heads in the soft Texas breeze. Or elk gathering around the back of the trailer eyeing my tiny garden preciously hung on the top step of the ladder to the roof, evaluating the effort it would take to stand and reach for the delicate foreign tastes of parsley, basil, and thyme. Or vast stretches of gray, white, and blue as we parked on the moraine of an ancient glacier in Alaska, it’s cracking and shifting pace, calving bergs, and river rushes music white noise and vibrations that rock us to sleep.

Moving into a home that doesn’t move doesn’t mean life stops moving. People change. They age, move, shift in their perspectives around you. Life falls to construction as homes and businesses consume nature with the never-ending need for expansion, expansion, expansion, and money. Politics changes the world, ebbing and flowing around justified positions of right and wrong, good and bad, constantly judging others and finding fault, and once in a while, a precious moment, comes together in unity over a shared cause, filled with such hope and expectation, then limited or completely dashed by bureaucracy and greed in the long run, returning back to a changed but new normal.

Just as a home that moves doesn’t stay still, so goes a home that doesn’t move. Foundations shift, roofs leak, paint peels, plants grow, threatening to take over the plants you want with ones you don’t. It’s the politics within the home. What stays, what goes, and who says it should be just this way or not? As you struggle to keep up with the changes outside the home, you struggle to keep up with the changes within.

Everything is in motion. Everything moves.

I look down at the tea cup, the warmth easing into my arthritic fingers with comfort, the scent of chocolately orchids pulling memories of life on the road before my eyes. Staring against the blank wall of my office, I see the wildflowers, elk, and mountains. I rock with the memory of movement that is in every step across the trailer as it responds to the shifts in weight across the four tires. I’d forgotten how important it is to take a moment and reflect on the view outside your window, be it the same or different than the day before. It is always different. Nothing stays the same. We don’t have to be moving all the time to remember that. Yet I forgot.

I take a sip and remember. Then take my cup and walk outside my home into a new world.

Paradise

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He looked at the two of them. On the outside, they looked the same. He picked one up and weighed it carefully in his hand. He picked up the other one and closed his eyes, using his body as a balancing scale. They felt equal. He put them down, the black dots on both staring at him like alien eyes against the smooth white surface.

His mother had told him to go to his room and take a chance. Risk a little. He knew that meant go clean his room and be surprised at what treasures could be found in the process, but he wasn’t into chances, which lead him to consider the concept of chances and risk taking, gambling, which led him to the back of the top drawer of his dresser where he stuffed everything and anything that didn’t belong anywhere else from the last time he cleaned his room. And his mother was right. He did find treasures. He found the baseball he and his team mates had signed three years ago and gifted each other for being the worst team in the little league championship. He found the pocket knife his grandfather gave him a few years ago, and another, and another. His grandfather always gave him a small pocket knife of some kind for every holiday, birthday, and just because. Gramps never went anywhere without his, but he’d lost bits of pieces of his memories, so they’d all learned to be surprised at the repeat gift giving of pocketknives, thrilled he could even remember what one was.

He found some old candies, a moldy ham sandwich from a couple months ago when he’d gotten up in the middle of the night when he was hungry. When he bumped his knee on the dresser sneaking back into bed, he’d tossed it in the top dresser drawer and covered himself up and faked sleeping when his dad came in to check. He’d fallen asleep and forgot about the sandwich. Well, that was trash. But it was a treasure, green fuzzy hairs and white spores forming across the meat and into the crust. he gave that a quick look over, recorded the finding for future reference on how not to store food, and tossed it.

At the back, behind shiny silver and white gum wrappers were the two tiny cubes. He brought them out and set them on the top of the dresser like precious cargo, and studied them. These represented chance. Opportunity. Choices. One role, it would be a number that could change a life. Maybe. But they didn’t work alone. You needed them in games to drive the players forward, or back, he realized, depending upon the flip of a wrist and the skitter of the plastic across the cardboard game board. He’d gone with his family to a fundraiser with gambling games. He’d been fascinated with the roulette wheel, a role of the dice combined with chips on a number and a steel ball that bounced across the spinning forces to a matching number, or not, causing more sighs and moans than shouts of success. So they didn’t work alone. He wondered how he should use these to take his own chance.

He picked them up and shook them in his cupped hands and tossed them up into the air, really taking a chance, and a risk. They came down in two places, one turned up 6 on a pair of sweaty sports socks. The other tilted 2 and 4 up on a pile of homework waiting for his attention. Six was higher than 2 and 4, but also a combination of the two numbers, but he decided that a single die over a pair of dice won, and liked those odds better. He picked up the dirty socks and put them in the hamper and ignored the home work.

It’d Been Three Weeks Since

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It’d been 3 weeks since the power went out. Aunt Maggie ran out of bullets the second week. We thought we was being attacked by the villagers coming up into the mountains looking for food and supplies. We heard strange noises in the forest around the house and she charged out there and shot up the woods shouting her head off. Any one out there would have run for the valley if they heard her banshee screams, and saved us some bullets. But no one was there, save for a group of quail. She shot up a bunch of trees and killed a quail. Not even good eating. She blew it to pieces with the buckshot. Goodness me, she is so excitable. Uncle Max took the gun away and threatened to shoot her for running out of bullets. Maybe it was a good thing she used them all up. I don’t know. Was a bizarre day.

Every day since the power went out has been bizarre. Yeah, we are coping, but every day brings strange things to our mountain home. The first week, we were so busy taking stock of the stores and the inventory of supplies and figure out how to get the power back. We made many trips to town to ask around, but no one even knew where the power went out at. No one in the village had power, and anyone driving to the big city came back saying there was no power there and people didn’t know anything. We stopped going to the village when the gas tank got to a quarter tank. We couldn’t refill as the gas pumps ran on electricity, so that was miserable and strange.

Radios with batteries kept reporting something about a big blow out in the state capital or maybe beyond, something about a nuclear plant, so many people guessing at what was going on, getting more and more outrageous with their guesses, and we still didn’t know for sure. Honestly, people tend to just make things up when they don’t have the facts. By week two, I swear people were trying to out do others tall tales about what really happened. About then, we ran out of batteries, along with those bullets, so it didn’t matter any old how. Uncle Max had a shit fit and stormed out of the house kicking the dogs out of the way. So we don’t know much that don’t come by word of mouth through the neighbors who pass through every few days with checking on each other. It is amazing how fast word travels when you don’t have a working phone. The mountain gossip machine didn’t need electricity! Who cares about why we don’t have power. We now know things about our neighbors we wish we didn’t know. We gets our entertainment where and when we can. Woweeee.

We still have food as we’ve been careful, but all the fresh food ran in about a week and a half. We’re on dry food, saving the chicken, ducks, and cattle for the really bad times. Don’t know when that time will come, but mother is keeping an eye on things.

Cousin Phil started a fuss over the toilet paper and refused to use the newspaper, but he got over it. Well, he didn’t have much of a choice.

Alex, my brother, is the one struggling the most. He really loves being with people and he misses hanging out at the bar down in the village. It is making him crazy not having access to his beer and buds. He’s taken to roaming the woods around us, which is good as he takes out the dog and the two prowl around acting like a defense guard, and we feel safer. He wishes there were bullets, but he still carries his 15 knives around his belt and on his leg holsters.

My father stays out in the barn save for dinner and sleeping, though I think he would sleep in the barn with the animals if mother would let him. She stays in the kitchen the whole time, baking, roasting, cooking, and keeping an eye on the perishables and supplies, passing them out with tight lips and fists.

Me, I’m just hanging out in the corner of the living room, reading books, studying, and trying to stay active in my noggin, keeping the noodle active. It’s easier than trying to get the family to fiddle with my wheelchair outside. The motorized one’s batter stopped about day five and now I’m in the old fashioned one that I had when I was small, so it’s a little tight, but I’m fitting better now that we are stretching the food out to last longer. Moving me around is hard on the dirt and gravel outside. Alex is near useless and bitches the whole time, and my father just grunts and groans, so I just hide in the corner with my books and no one pays me any attention. It’s safer that way.

Isolation Memories

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This was a collaborative project by the Creative Writing Meetup group that meets weekly in AltspaceVR. The prompt was to share personal reflections about the recent COVID-19 self-isolation decisions, with some participants not yet isolating, and others already into their second or third week.

Everywhere is dead.
Access is different now.
Access to food, people, work, family.
Too little, too distant, too hard, too much.
Big city is empty. Village is bigger and emptier.
Streets are empty.
I hear birds not traffic.
I wander, helpless.
I’m lost.

There is a shift from normal.
A new normal.
Watching this happen far from me
Drawing closer and closer
To work, to home, to life.
This is something that happens
To other people not me.
I didn’t believe.
I didn’t listen.
It is. Happening.
It is happening to me.

We are adapting, or are we?
Normality drifts away.
A new normality replaces it.
You barely notice the shift
As life changes around us.
Plans cancelled. Life on hold.
I didn’t prepare.
Shortages are my loss.
I order take out.
I call two hours later.
It was delivered an hour ago.
I tighten my belt.

We live together, yet apart.
One person living alone.
Nine people living alone.
Who is safe? Where is everyone?
Everyone is alone.
Everyone is together.
I feel alone.
I feel left out.
I feel forgotten.
Misplaced.

There is a deterioration of routine.
The schedule is falling apart.
Times, days, weeks fall off the calendar.
Scattered. Lost.
I’ve lost my purpose, my senses.
I have more time than
I remember ever having
Yet I don’t know what to do with myself.

My life is not mine any more.
My life is no more.
I don’t know who I am.
I am missing.
I am a robot.
I am blind.
No emotion.
I need guidance.
Everything I ever knew and was
Gone out the window.

My perspective has changed.
The virus is a mirror
I didn’t expect to look into.
It’s changed who I was.
It’s changed who I am.
I am becoming
Different
Yet the same
Facing my new reflection.

His and Hers Isolation

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His:

There was no one to talk to but her. The office at home used to feel huge, so he’d filled it with boxes of round-to-its and when-I-get-time-to-do-its, the clutter of a life lived outside of the home in an office kept pristine with plenty of chairs and tables for interaction, spreading out drawings, plans, spreadsheets. All those endless meetings he’d complained about that were the fuel that fired his imagination, his problem solving ability on overdrive. Without someone to bounce ideas off, to lean over their shoulder and point out an error or the right answer, it wasn’t the same. He was now trapped behind the desk, his face shoved into the computer monitor’s camera, trying to recreate the personal experience through online cameras, conference calls, and the phone. His biggest adventure was removing all the clutter on the wall behind him, and putting some of the boxes of whatevers and need-to-deal-withs on the floor out of view in the background of the web cam. Woop. Without the two hours of commute every day, he now had to fill those hours with something. What? How would he survive.

Hers:

Having spent the past 5 years immersed in virtual reality, the phone, email, and social media requests for her expertise were flooding the digital airwaves. She couldn’t remember the last time she was this busy. Endless meetings. six am to 8pm, non stop online meetings, Zoom, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and even in Engage, AltspaceVr, Second Life, the list of virtual spaces was long. She was jealous of all the people with extra time. She dreamed of taking a few minutes to read her book abandoned by the side of the bed, her knitting next to her chair in the living room where her cup of tea poured 3 weeks ago turning moldy on the surface of the butterscotch liquid surface.

The Memories in the Corner of the Mind

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Dark shadows dim recesses.
Flashes of light and insight.
What was so long ago shines dully
In waves of judgement.

Opportunities taken, moments lost.
Goals dreamed, hopes dashed.
What was so long ago seems cleaner purer
In waves of judgement.

When we look back, what shall we see.
Choices like dust motes drift by.
Was this right, wrong, good, or bad
Or was it just us being us?

Regrets are for the young.
They have time to redo, replace, rejuvenate.
Regrets for the old are memories
Of just being alive.

Can We Go Outside?

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Light flooded the living room, a bright sunny day worthy of playing outside.

“Mama? Can we go outside?”

The answer was always the same. No. Not today. Not yesterday. Not the day before yesterday. Not tomorrow, though maybe in a few days.

Janice didn’t know what that meant. Days were wrapped with light mixed with dark, but she rarely saw the dark. She lived for the light. She lived to go out into the light, to feel the warmth on her skin, to breath in the leaves and trees, tilt her head in the direction of bird song and search through the branches for a glimpse of blue or red feathers.

She knew better to argue, so she turned around and looked for the cat. The cat always found the warmest spot in the 5th floor flat. If even a sliver of sun came through, the cat found it with her heat-seeking radar. Yes, there he was, a silver tabby, curled in a ball in the largest swath of sun. She laid down on the floor next to the cat, pulling him in close for a snug, then stared up into the ceiling.

Did mama ever have to spend weeks on end locked in the house waiting for illness to pass by their door? She’d asked and was told about war and hiding under desks to protect themselves from bombs falling out of the sky, but never hiding from something no one could see that was killing people.

What would she remember from this time when she was mama’s age, she wondered? What would she tell her child?

The first few days, she’d worried about invisible monsters breaking down the door and hurting the family. Now, she understood better and now worried about other things, school, friends, other family members, and her teachers. She didn’t worry much as they stayed connected all the time on the net, but she missed the hugs and arm punches, the teasing that she and her friends would do, but now they could only tease each other on the vid and not see or touch each other.

She understood. It’s just the way it was.