CyborgScribe Tutorials: Reboot and Re-energize

Ever tried to write a book? Most people I speak to haven’t. It’s tough. It’s even tougher without proper tools.
Nowadays, those tools often come in the form of software. I’ve got a few programs I can no longer function without.

So, I’ve decided to do something a little different with Wednesdays. I’d like to actually bring you behind the scenes and show you what my writing process looks like.

We’ll start next week with a redo of my first Aeon Timeline tutorial. In the meantime, let me tell you a bit about some of the programs I’ll be showcasing on my YouTube channel. And yes, you’ll be able to find the videos through my blog.


The first program I picked up to help streamline my writing process, it’s done so much more.

Effectively, Scrivener combines the traits of a database and a word processor. It’s simple to write scene by scene, move chunks of writing around simply and without fuss or mess.

Now yes, it has a learning curve. In fact, take a look at the sidebar in the screen-shot of this post’s draft.

Yeah, there’s a ton of stuff there. Color coded flags for days of the week (each indicating a different theme/category) and all kinds of other stuff.

The Fiction template has a similar number of folders.

Yes, this program confused the heck outta me for a while. Now? Not so much.

Then there’s its partner in crime.

Aeon Timeline

This is literally the only functional timeline software I could find. And since I can’t often make heads or tails of WHEN something happened, well, I needed it. It’s also learning intense bit of software, and I’m learning as I go. The website has some blog posts and things, but I’ve decided that in order to learn this thing, I need to know as much about it as possible.

To that end, this will be the first focus for my Wednesday tutorials. Especially since I found it, got excited, and made a few rather bad tutorials. Watch them if you dare.

So, if you want a peek into how my mind works when I’m writing, drop by my YouTube channel, and click subscribe. That way YouTube will actually tell you when I’ve got new videos out.

Strategic Retreat, Paradigm Shift, and Reorganizing the Blogging Plan

Ever have an experience that forces you into a radical paradigm shift? You know, the type where you reckoned you had everything figured out, and you knew what worked, and then…

Life hit you on the way out the door?

As of five days ago, this blog launched with my post, Why Not To Wear Only A Bathrobe In Public. In that year, I’ve kept up the blog, turned it into a website, moved my first novel from the idea stage to the publication in less than a year stage, and started a webcomic. And then January 28th came along, and I moved to the great Internet Sahara.

Okay, not really the Internet Sahara. My father-in-law uses his mobile phone as an internet hotspot. No Wi-Fi in the house.

Want to know the weirdest part?

Once I got over withdrawal, I’m LOVING IT! Except the whole writer/comic author/blogger thing.

Because, you know, tough to be an author without home internet nowadays.

Or is it?

The Paradigm Shift

When I started this post, I still had internet access on my phone. However screen outage has taken any of its use to me. Also, our wonderful 1997 Buick, after driving from Utah to California heavily weighed down with all our earthly possessions, gave up the ghost after barely another fifty miles.

In other words, time for me to take a look at how I do things, and find a different path.

Plus, my previous blogging method was about the most disorganized, unsustainable, illogical, and frankly distracted ADHD “process” a blogger could possibly use. I mean really, find a topic and write a post, whether it fits a category or not?

That’s barely a tactic, and certainly not pursuing a worthy ideal.

Since I’m not the type to dust off my hands and give up, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Crunch some numbers. Scrap what doesn’t work, sure, and then make something that does.

Find Your Tools


Lessons come in strange places. Dad took my husband and I to see the movie Hidden Figures. Beautiful movie. If you are a person with a strong desire to see something in society change, go see it.

Learn how these women changed history, and follow their example. Be the first.

That movie held another lesson, as well. Katherine Goble, one of the computers, spent her days double-checking the math for John Glenn’s manned orbit.

Problem was, the engineers were using modern, visual math. Getting him down from orbit with the math they had would kill Mr. Glenn. Miss Goble, later Mrs. Johnson, saw this.

And she remembered the Oiler’s Method. Old math with no pictures. Just numbers. It worked!

Well, blogging is a new method of writng. Get online everyday and scatter your thoughts to the digital wind. Sometimes that wind happens to be a tornado that bloggers like me get caught up in trying to keep track of my own work. I get stuck on the pictures and not the numbers.

With no internet, though, I had to figure out a different plan. Time to stop looking at picture math and go back to the numbers.

What happens when a database and a word processor have a baby? It’s called Scrivener. I’ve mentioned it a few times, and long ago when I first began my blog adventure, I started a project in the program for my blog, and…

I never used it.
That’s right.

I. Never. Used. What was right at my finger tips.

Have you ever done that? Ignored an incredible tool right in front of you because the “new, improved” shiny of the day seemed better?

But where does that leave the internet, you ask? Don’t I still need internet access?

Well, yes. However, most places will let you use theirs after you buy a drink. 😛

The Plan Moving Forward

As a database/word processing hybrid, Scrivener has the capability to give me a birds’ eye view of my blog and my direction with the blog. Thus, I spent probably two hours coming up with a brand new template that will let me keep track of that view.

Second, I’m actually going to be sticking to a schedule, and the days will be more predictable for you. Each weekday stays within a category. Tough to do when all you’ve got staring at you is a WordPress dashboard. Easy when you’ve got a color-coded blog dashboard that won’t let you forget.

Monday: Break The Path — Imagine a path through uncharted jungle. My life is much like this in ways, as is my writing. As such, I’ll go more in depth into these inner adventures. Some of the old Questioning Narratives will still appear, just far less often, and more writing related.

Tuesday: Success — I have plenty of “reasons” to fail. I’d rather discuss the effort I put into learning to succeed.

Wednesdays: Behind The Scenes — How do I build worlds? Why is there so much science in my fantasy? Why IS Cass’s hair purple? Such questions and many others answered on Wednesdays.

Thursdays: Mental & Physical Health — Art. Often we draw strong associations with addiciton, depression, and personal darkness. I’ve had my share, and I’m done living there. Welcome to my journey to Light.

Physical Health Fridays: Exercise, Gardening, Recipes — Keeping my physical health on task is a huge part of keeping my mental health in check. Fridays, we’ll focus on the best strategies I’ve found to do that. 😀

Saturdays: Dragon Hoard Books — Yes, my new joint project with illustrator Shay Nemrow will continue. We wouldn’t want to dissapoint, and leave you without our comics! As a note, some help on Patreon wouldn’t go amiss. 😀

So, have you ever had a moment in life where you got smacked with something absolutely out of control? Ever wanted things to be different but had to adapt anyway? How did you handle it? What did you do to cope? Share with me in the comments! I’d love to hear from you. (Remember, I can only respond about once a week.)