Zoundry Raven – update (updated 9-26-2012)

So, I’m still using Zoundry Raven and I thought I’d give a breakdown of why.

First, I want an editor that’s portable. I work on a number of computers. This limits me severely as the only portable blog editors I’ve been able to find are Zoundry Raven, w.bloggar (currently down because of the GoDaddy thing), and ScribeFire Next (a Firefox plugin – and there is a portable version of Firefox.) I may try the others at some point.

What I like about Zoundry Raven:

  • Portable
  • It downloads all of your old posts so you can reference them
  • It’s easy to use and fairly intuitive
  • Fairly good layout
  • Free
  • Not relevant to me, but you can have multiple accounts for multiple blogs
  • Supports a ton of blogging platforms
  • Drag and drop support for images and other media

What I dislike:

  • No tech support – it has a forum, but nothing is answered. It’s been released as open source now, which is groovy and all, but doesn’t help those with problems
  • If you update an entry on your blog it doesn’t update the archive in the app See below for how to sync.
  • Some weird behavior – you can’t copy text from archived posts (but you can copy and paste within a post)
  • It can’t caption pictures (but there’s a work-around which I’ll explain in a bit)
  • Somewhat laggy, but I’m sure that’s computer dependent
  • The tagging system could be a lot better – you can find posts by tags, but there’s no way I can find of adding previously used tags aside from typing them in
  • No way I could find to reuse pics from previous posts Yes, there is. See below.
  • Doesn’t allow for scheduling posts (have to publish and then go to the dashboard to change the date) See below.
  • Somewhat buggy – for me downloading a template so I can preview things doesn’t work at all, switches screens when I don’t want it to, sometimes alignment doesn’t change when I tell it to…

I was afraid that since it kind of syncs with the blog, that it wouldn’t be useable with no internet. I haven’t tried this yet, but I think that was a baseless concern. It seems to only sync the first time (so not really a sync at all…) See below.

ETA: I’m getting more and more annoyed. It keeps screwing up my formatting, which is frikking annoying. It’s trying to be more clever than it is.

Edited 9-19-2012: w.bloggar is not WYSIWYG, so I won’t be trying it. I looked at ScribeFire briefly and didn’t like it. There is a portable launcher for Windows Live Writer, which everyone seems to love, so I may try that later.

To add previously used images: in the sidebar, go to images and find the image you want. Right-click and select copy image location. When you start to insert the image, paste that into the open dialog. The image will show up.

To schedule a post (or publish it as a draft): There’s a drop-down labelled Configure… in the header. Go to the ‘General’ tab. You can select ‘publish as draft’ or ‘override publish time.’ Tested and it works.

To resync the blog: Select the account in the sidebar. An account summary will show, with the option to refresh / sync the account. ETA 9-26-12: Yeah, it doesn’t update the old posts after all. It just downloads any that you made directly to the blog. Lame. What you can do is delete the local copy and redownload (right click, select delete, uncheck the blog and check ‘delete local copy’. There’s a Download button up top.

(end of edit)

 

So, to the workaround with the captioning. I’m using WordPress, so these instructions may not work for other platforms, but it’ll give you an idea. This worked about 75% of the time, and I think I know what the problem was.

If you look at one of your downloaded posts that has captioned photos you’ll notice code around the picture that Zoundry Raven doesn’t interpret. It should look something like this

[ caption align=”aligncenter” width=”100″ caption=”Caption goes here” ] test-image.jpg[ /caption ]

The important thing to note is that there are NO spaces or returns between the code and the image (or between the brackets and the caption tag – that’s just here because I don’t want WordPress to interpret the code and for some reason Raven won’t leave the HTML entity codes alone (but it changes quotes and ampersands without asking…). With longer captions sometimes it’s hard not to have spaces – I think that’s what broke it on the two I had to fix in WordPress. You get the width by right-clicking and going to image > edit image (or CTRL-M). (I’m not sure if the width or alignment are strictly necessary).

If I did it right, the image should appear with a caption below.

test-image.jpg
Captioned

Hopefully, this helps out somebody.

Test post

I’m trying out Zoundry Raven so I don’t always have to use the WordPress dashboard. It’s often a pain with image heavy posts, because I have to scroll back and forth to get to the insert image button. And I think, with Raven I could then write posts offline. But I’m not sure how it’s going to handle the crossposting, thus the test post.

And it does exactly what I want. Perfect. (Well, unlike the dashboard, it won’t let me pick the avatar for dreamwidth and livejournal, but that’s incredibly minor.)

And now I can’t get it to caption images. I could work around it, but I’d rather not. I guess I’ll see if I can find another portable desktop editor.

Gypsy – Cocktail of the Night

This was rather impromptu. I hadn’t had a drink using a recipe in a while and decided to suddenly. (If you want to know, I’ve been drinking something of my own:

Half orange juice
Half cranberry juice
A couple dashes of Angostura bitters or a glug of sweet vermouth – these are VERY scientific proportions
A glug of grenadine or blood orange syrup or both

It won’t get you drunk, but if you’re like me and you forget to eat your fruits and vegetables, it’s a good alternative to whatever you usually drink. It’s sweet and a bit spicy and nice.)

But on to the actual drink. This is one of those simple classic cocktails. According to the book (The Bartender’s Best Friend), it dates from the 30s. Two ingredients, originally no garnish (and I didn’t use one), just a jigger each.

Continue reading “Gypsy – Cocktail of the Night”

“Reading is My Favorite Adventure” – Craft show update

Sorry about disappearing. Been busy and not feeling well. I have another cocktail of the night entry just about ready to post, but first I thought y’all be interested in seeing some of the stuff I’ve done for the craft show. Those of you who are Facebook friends have seen the first draft of one of them.

I’ve got three designs done, two of which are in two colors. These are all bookmarks and I’ll be adding ribbons. I’m planning on charging one or two dollars a piece for them. I’ve got 29 other quotes to make bookmarks for – I might do art cards for some of them as well.

Working Title: Ostanes – Session Ten & Eleven

I’m doing both, because I skipped over a big section while writing each of these so they’re rather short. I’m afraid, they need a lot of work, although they have a couple of good character moments.

I’d be willing to post Chapter 12, which is better, if I get, let’s say, three or more requests. Otherwise, y’all have to wait until I get the whole thing shaped up.

Continue reading “Working Title: Ostanes – Session Ten & Eleven”

Link Dump

I would post another chapter of ‘Ostanes’ except I had a stupid moment (they’re unfortunately not uncommon, but usually small) and left the thumbdrive with it at home. I may post it later today, since I finally have internet at home.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about doing a link dump, and then I saw the first thing and HAD to share it.

  • House with Bird Feet (from Tea with the Squash God). The start of a story from Ursula Vernon. As you may guess from the title, it’s got Baba Yaga. “If you’ve ever wondered how I write a thing (and lord, why would you?) the answer is that I sit down and write something like this one afternoon, and then I shove it into a metaphorical drawer and see if it ever bothers me again.” (This is about how I end up writing as well, except I tend not to write them down until they’ve been bugging me for a while.)
  • 19 Old-Timey Slang Terms to Bolster Your Vocabulary (from MentalFloss). I tend to find the lists there lackluster, but this one has good things like zib and John Hollowlegs.
  • Forest Tutorial (from the ConceptArt.org Forums). Basic, but useful. I imagine it would well for any sort of background as well, like cityscapes. The ‘duh! Why didn’t I think of that?!’ moment for me was ‘start from the back’.
  • Varying Your Body Types (from Fritter and Waste). Has naked female model, so probably NSFW. Personally, I’m good about not having all my women (or men) look the same, but this has some points I hadn’t thought about and it’s really well illustrated.
  • Vum (from Languagehat). Just a fun word from a language blog I like.

Working Title: Ostanes – Session Nine

Alright, I’ve decided I’m only going to post up to chapter 11. I knew it was a bad idea to post unedited stories, but I let my excitement carry me away. Creative types will know what I’m talking about (‘I’m doing this thing! It’s so cool! I must tell EVERYONE.’) But Chapter 11 is a good breaking point, and once I’ve edited it I’ll repost chapters 1-11 and then post the rest.

As always, comments are welcome, whether good or bad.

ETA June 2013: Trigger warning for discussion of Ostanes’ killing people (not much) and child abuse.

Continue reading “Working Title: Ostanes – Session Nine”

Working Title: Ostanes – Session Eight

Nice long chapter, that needs some work (internalization, descriptions – which would clear up the whole ‘talking heads’ thing – better worldbuilding, changing ‘Dochia’ to something not chuckle-worthy – thanks to the person who pointed that out – and some more I can’t think of now. Ostanes’ first name is going to get changed at some point – probably to Michael – and that bit will need smoothing out.

In general, the only editing I’ve done is changing the place names just now, and removing about 2/3rds of the times Ostanes says ‘doc.’ And probably half the times Neill says ‘Ostanes,’ although those didn’t stick out quite so badly (when I’m voice recording I don’t have as clear of a memory of what I’ve said, and I tend to have people address each other by name far more than is necessary. Additionally, I know there’s some stuff I covered in two different chapters, but I think I’ve edited most of that out.)

I’m trying to resist the urge to edit right now – I really need to let it sit for a bit, and work on other things. It’s very tempting though.

Anyway, that’s more than enough rambling from me, now for banter and stuff.

Continue reading “Working Title: Ostanes – Session Eight”

Working Title: Ostanes – Session Six & Seven

I decided I really didn’t like the old working title, so we’re back to basics. I realized I forgot to update Wednesday, so you get two chapters. The first one is short and will get expanded on rewrite. The second one is nice and long and I’m pretty happy with it, although I need to add descriptions and more of Neill’s thoughts. (I also still need to decide what to do about Ostanes’ accent, which shows up a lot more in these chapters)

I’ve been reading through The Other Side of the Story, which seems to be a pretty good writing blog. I’m bookmarking posts on things I need to work on. Mostly I need to stop thinking about this story right now and work on other things…

ETA June 2013: Trigger warnings for discussions of violence/death, corrupt doctors.

Continue reading “Working Title: Ostanes – Session Six & Seven”

Working Title: All Face – Session Five

This chapter is a little short, as are the next two. They’ll get expanded on rewrite. I have to decide what to do with Ostanes’ accent – I haven’t added it to all of his dialogue. I may do italics instead of the doubled letters or I may just drop it (I have a sneaking suspicion an editor would say ‘drop it, add a narrative note if you must’).

ETA June 2013: Content notice for mention of parental death.

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Novel news, general plan of the year

The first draft of the novel is finished. Yay! I still have to type up the last couple of chapters and I’ve made some notes of things to fix during rewrite. (I also still need to come up with a title or at least a better working title.) But that won’t be until the end of this year or beginning of next for a couple of reasons.

1) I haven’t ever heard of people recommending editing immediately. It’s good to let it sit for a while so you’re not so close to it (I tend to do some editing while I write anyway). It’s not uncommon to hear of writers letting them sit for a year or more.

2) I have a craft show coming up in October that I need to make a ton of stuff for.

So my plan for the rest of the year is this:

August, September, October: make bookmarks and art / postcards for the Solvang Faeriefest.  I’m really only hoping to make 50 or 100 dollars profit, but since I’m going to be selling everything for less than five bucks, hopefully it’ll be more. But the idea is more to get me crafting and doing artistic stuff again, that isn’t related to other projects (and thus I can show here).

November: Nanowrimo. I’m going to try to finish my other novel and 3 – 8 scripts of the White Knight. Should be totally doable, considering I just wrote a novel in less than 20 days while doing RenFaire and working full-time. November has lots of holidays.

December: possibly edit, probably try to work on the house again. I have a lot of projects I’ve put off and I’ll have more time off.

Anyway, thanks for everybody’s support on the novel. I haven’t decided if I’ll post the whole rough draft here or not. I may just do the first part, but then y’all miss my favorite characters…

Working Title: All Face – Session Three

I got feedback, so that means another chapter! BTW, if you want to say I suck, give some specific reasons, otherwise I’ll just think you’re a troll.

Again, this is a rough draft with next to no editing. This session I was getting into the swing of it, so it’s nice and long (also… well, you’ll see.)

A note on locations: Dochia is approximately equivalent to California. Eillios is Washington DC and Washington, the state, mixed (climate of the state, politics of DC near the capital, more laidback elsewhere). Odede is Oregon. None of them are in the same relative positions as the states. This is set in the AMF, the Anitian Mirevian Federation, which is basically the US, and uses abetaries (a word I’m pretty sure I made up) instead of states.

I still need to make it more therapy and less chatting, but that’s just editing (and getting input from people who know things).

ETA June 2013: Trigger warning for assault. Highlight for specifics >>> (specifically forced undressing and bathing. No actual abuse.) <<<

Edited slightly August 2013.

Continue reading “Working Title: All Face – Session Three”

Working Title: All Face – Session Two

Very rough title. Again, this is a rough draft, with next to no editing. If people like it, I’ll post more (that means you have to comment). At some point I have to get a beta-reader with experience in mental health stuff so these can be more like therapy and less like chatting, but that’ll wait (I have a bunch more research and prepwork to do too, but that’ll also wait).

Continue reading “Working Title: All Face – Session Two”