I typed The End on my latest book on December 19, just in time to really enjoy Christmas with my family. We ate. We exchanged gifts. And I went to see Marley & Me with a friend (good movie; not as good as the book but still good).
Today, with another snow storm due in the Treasure Valley (snow is falling now), I am settled in with a hot cup of tea and am ready to begin writing my next book (May 2010). I want to be well into it by the time the revisions for my last book (November 2009) arrive in January.
I am a Mac user, and many of my Mac-using writer friends have begun to use Scrivener to write their books in. I tried writing in it, but it wasn't working for me. I guess I've written too many books in a word processing program. I like to see the words on the page exactly as they would look on a printed manuscript page. However, Scrivener is the most wonderful tool for organizing and keeping my research in that I've ever run across. I used to print countless pages from research on the web. There was always a paper blizzard on my desk. No more. It's all in Scrivener under Research, organized in folders. Also in Scrivener are my character profiles with photos of what I think they look like, plus other photos that represent the town and the ranch house and the horses and the dogs, etc. Any and all visuals I'll want to pass along to my publisher to help with the cover art and copy. If you're a writer and are lucky enough to own a Mac, then you need to check out Scrivener.
But since I didn't like writing in Scrivener and since I am sick to death of Microsoft's Word (it kept crashing on me the last time I had a full manuscript with lots of Track Changes in it), I have decided to begin using Pages, Apple's word processing program that comes as part of iWork. It loads so much faster than any bloated Microsoft program and has (I believe) everything I need, including Track Changes. And it can read and then save to Word documents so I won't have to worry about my editor not being able to open the file. Hopefully, it won't take me too long to learn where everything is located.
Well, it's time I actually get busy using these writing tools rather than just talking about them. If you're a writer, here's hoping you'll fnd all the right tools that you need to make the writing at least a little easier.