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Sunday
Jan062008

Assorted Geekery

Yup, that's me--it's pretty much how I think of myself still, even though this picture was taken about 37 years ago. My dad is a phenomenal photographer; one of my earliest memories is of going to a friend's house for a playdate and asking, "Well, where's your darkroom?"

There's a lot of pretty nerdy stuff going on with me at the moment; allow me to share some details.

1) I'm trying out some new software designed specifically for writers of longer works (e.g. novels, research papers). It's called Scrivener, and so far, it seems to overcome a lot of MS Word's shortcomings. Plus, its name is all cool and Melvillian; I love it.

I have two novels I'm marketing at the moment: ZF-360 and The Holly Place. Both are long--around 95,000 words--and with Word I haven't had a good solution for maneuvering around in these mammoth pieces of writing. With ZF, I broke the manuscript up by chapters, but that makes things like a global search and replace completely tedious. THP, on the other hand, is one big document, which makes scrolling to a particular chapter or page quite painful. Scan, overshoot; scan the other way, overshoot again; resist the temptation to commit seppuku--perhaps you know what I mean.

Scrivener was created by a writer, and it has a lot of cool features that are fabulously intuitive and easy to use. Finding all the parts of a manuscript written in one point of view, for example, to check for continuity: easy-peasy. Moving chunks (big or small) around: lead-pipe cinch. Saving a version before making some experimental, wholesale changes, then switching back if that doesn't work: no problem. I don't want to be hasty, but so far? Scrivener = Awesome. If you are a Mac-using writer, go check out the 30-day free trial.

2) I think I'm finally going to move all of my genealogy stuff from my desktop to my Mac. This means I need to buy Reunion, since PAF only works for Windows. But it will be great to have my massive pedigree chart and family group sheet collection fully mobile; I think it will be worth the work.

As always, I am not being compensated for my endorsements in any way whatsoever.

3) I do love me a good anagram, so imagine my delight when my pal Herb forwarded a link to this site to me. Scroll all the way down to near the bottom of the page (under the "Try GMP" section), then input any text you like to find a list of one-, two-, or three-word anagrams.

My favorite of my full name is 'limelike sulpharsenic.' It makes me want to run right out and buy that as a domain name. Here are some others for the rest of the family:

Patrick: skerret triarchy pipkin
Christian: kindliness polyarthic
James: sheepskin present jam
Hope: nurselike pieshop
Tess: diespark insensate
Daniel: jinn purselike dead
New Baby: spinnaker webby

Oh, you have no idea what a timesucker this particular little site could become for me if I let it....
That's all for now, my friends! Stay tuned for more "fablious" (as Tess would say) geekery coming your way soon.

Reader Comments (20)

that is a great picture! and sounds like a great program

this geek loves to hear about other geeky things. :)

January 6, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterpainted maypole

Long comment (didn't intend it to be . . .)

1) I've got a PC. Does it work only on Mac? Sounds like a dream to use. I personally despise Word with a passion right up there with my hatred of Faulkner. I prefer WP (SOOOO much more user-friendly), but virtually all publishers demand Word now. Plllh. I always have one big file for my books. The days of a chapter per file are long gone--way too tedious.

2) Have you seen the new Family Search online? Check it out. You can combine several instances of the same person and all kinds of cool stuff. (This is Rob's dept--he's one of the engineers on it.)

3) If you like anagrams, I'm guessing you may also enjoy palindromes--an other reason to run out and read Poisonwood Bible. (One character creates brilliant ones.)

I've missed you lately! Glad to see you back.

January 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnnette Lyon

PM, thanks for the vote of solidarity!

Annette, I believe Scrivener is Mac-only. WP was a dream (sigh). And I tried to check out the new Family Search just today, but it's only being released a few temple districts at a time, and we don't yet have access. (See if Rob can get us bumped up in the queue!) And that does it: Poisonwood has now moved up in the pile. Thanks!

January 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLuisa Perkins

Great minds again, lol. I just dl'd scrivener last night after reading the Times article. I'm still getting used to it, but OH the bliss of the full screen option, and also pulling the chapters together with one stroke.

I love your picture.

And I'm not going near the anagram site - I already waste too much time on freerice.com

January 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJen of A2eatwrite

You are one of my favouritest geeks ever. I only hope some of it rubs off on me!

January 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKimberly

I received Scrivener for Christmas. It is a delight; I especially love how it counts things so well. Melissa

January 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Anagrams in Swedish! What a delight!
K

January 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I have Reunion, and love it. I had the worlds oldest copy of PAF for Mac but it doesn't work on the new intel macs, so Reunion became necessary.

January 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThalia's Child

jarble Yucateco -- isn't that great? "a-muse-ing jarble Yucateco". or maybe just a-muse-ing jarble.Make some good $$$ on those books, sweetie!

January 7, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterrjlight

I absolutely love to hang with geeks who revel in their geekiness. Makes me happy. I'm off to the anagram site!

January 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDedee

I have been playing with the anagrams since you pointed out at RaJ's. We have a Mac but I don't do long documents. It is great you found something with so many options.

January 7, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercoloursofdawn

LOVE the picture.

I've heard great things about Scrivener. When I write my book tonight (what? Kidding!) I'll definitely look into it.

I've spent WAYYYY too long going through anagrams of the various variations of my name. What have you done to me? This is too fun...

January 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBrillig

Oh yeah . . . forgot about that queue thing . . . :)

Consider yourself lucky, though--you'll get it before we do. Utah is last in line, because there are so many members here (and cross-pollination of temple work) they'd blow the system. Then again, I can get on it because of Rob. :D

January 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnnette Lyon

Whoa, what a cute picture! Ali McGraw, step aside, Annie Hall Who?

January 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAdriana Velez

hmmm...
Anagram for my son's name came up:
monarchist enjoyably

Could there be a meaning here?

January 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

I looked at the picture and thought, "Luisa's son looks exactly like Luisa must have looked when she was little." Then I read it was you, and had to chuckle. What a gem of a photo.

January 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Bradshaw

Hey! Have missed you too...been SUPER busy with family STUFF over the weekend. All good! Love this post, and can't wait to check out the anagrams! Fun!

January 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJenna

OK...I know I posted on this once before....I said that you were a cute kid. I also said that I find it interesting hearing about the trials and tribulations of your "job" and learned something about writing that I didn't know. Ghosts in the Machine....

January 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersirdar

My poor aging computer can't handle that website, so I'll have to pay you a visit to find my anagram!

January 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAlice

I just tried to anagram my name. The only one that made sense was "nettle annoy."

Not something I'll be shouting from the rooftops. :)

January 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnnette Lyon

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