Mayageddon 2012, by Ken Baumbach - Book Review

I added this at the last minute to my weekend reading list and am glad I did. Ken Baumbach does an amazing job of intertwining political thriller and satire. As the story unfolds he shares a world of corporate greed, sexual dalliances and the possible end of the civilization. I often found myself grinning at its cleverness. I truly can't compare this to anything on the market right now. Well worth the price!
Mayageddon 2012 is a comedy with a liberal splash of political satire and a dash of spy thriller and science fiction. (Imagine Tom Clancy and Dan Brown meet Carl Hiaasen and Harlan Ellison in a bar for drinks and start brainstorming novel ideas). On December 21, 2012, the mysteriously abrupt ending date of the Mayan calendar, the earth is rocked by global seismic events as the earth and the sun line up with the center of the galaxy, an event that happens only once every 26,000 years. Dolly Roderick, ruler of the Roderickstan, the remnants of the ravaged USA, and Mary Ellen Martin, heir to the M-Mart fortune, are in a dangerously escalating struggle to become the most powerful woman in the torn post-Mayageddon world. CYA agent Ryan Jackson- The committee of Yenta Agents- (formerly the NSA)- uncovers the deadliest terrorist plot ever conceived and is convinced it is linked to Dolly and Mary Ellen’s battle for power. He must stop the plot before it wipes out the North American Eastern seaboard and kills tens of millions of people.
It's an entertaining romp through the world of political possibility. Mayageddon 2012 is available from Amazon in both paperback or Kindle.  You can also find it for sale at Barnes and Noble as well as Smashwords.


Scrivener Can Export To Many Different File Formats

    So you're wondering what formats Scrivener can export to? Scrivener allows you to take one large document, or combination of small ones, and compile them into a multitude of formats.  The following is taken from the Scrivener Users Manual (there are links at the bottom of the page).
The main purpose of Scrivener is to provide a place that will help you write a long piece of text (whether novel, thesis or factual book), which may be structured as individual pieces in the binder but which can easily be output as one large file for working with “the rest of the world”. Thus, you write, gather and organise the material for your manuscript in the Draft folder, and when you are ready to export or print the manuscript as a whole, you use File Compile... (Ctrl-Shift-E) which takes the contents of the Draft folder, formats it as you specify, and outputs (or prints) it as a single document. Using the various settings available, you can export or print your texts however you like—even regardless of how the files are formatted in Scrivener itself.

Each format has its own group of supplied presets for formatting.  Most users will not need to change these presets. If the need arises you can alter almost all of them in a few simple steps. The following are the formats you can output your document to depending on your needs:

Format Extension Description
Rich Text Format .rtf General purpose rich text format supporting multiple fonts, images, tables, bullet points, footnotes and comments. Almost always the best option when exporting for use in a general-purpose word processor. This is a Microsoft Word compatible format.
Plain Text .txt UTF-8 (Unicode) plain-text file. Plain text contains no formatting but can be opened almost anywhere, on all platforms and devices and as such is useful for long-term archival.
Word Document .doc Industry standard Word .doc file.
Open Document Format .odt Format used by OpenOffice, LibreOffice, and other word processors.
Web Page .html Creates a single HTML file suitable for webpublishing.
eXtensible Web Page .xhtml Likewise, though using the newer XHTML format and is thus better suited toward modern web publishing platforms.
Print N/A Use to send the compiled draft directly to your printer.
PDF .pdf The Portable Document Format is useful for archival and sending copies out for read-only use, as it will look identical on all machines.
PostScript .ps A typesetting standard similar to PDF in what it provides, a stable format that will appear identical on any machine or printout, used more commonly in the design and publishing industry.
ePub eBook .epub Generate feature-rich e-books for use in portable reading devices that support the ePub format, such as the Sony Reader, Nook or iPad (ePub files can be dragged into the iTunes Library to import them into iBooks).
Kindle eBook .mobi Generate feature-rich eBooks for use in portable reading devices that support the .mobi format,such as the Amazon Kindle. Requires Amazon’s KindleGen.

Here are some useful links:

Free Mac User's Manual for Scrivener
Free Windows User's Manual for Scrivener
Scrivener 20% Discount with this Coupon Code

Make sure to download the manual for your version of Scrivener and keep it handy.  They are full of useful information and should address any problems you run into.

Monk Mind: How to Increase Your Focus

I confess to being as prone to the distractions of the Internet as anyone else: I will start reading about something that interests me and disappear down the rabbit hole for hours (even days) at a time.  This all comes out of precious writing time.

But my ability to focus on a single task has dramatically improved, and that one habit has changed my life.

While a few years ago I couldn’t sit down to work on something without quickly switching to email or one of my favorite Internet forums or sites, today I can sit down and write. I can clear away distractions, when I set my mind to it, and do one thing. And that changes everything: you lose yourself in that task, become so immersed that you pour everything you have into the work, and it becomes a meditative, transformative experience. Your happiness increases, stress goes down, and work improves.


Ira Glass On Creative Work

A little bit of inspiration from Ira Glass.  We all have a learning curve, the trick is not to give up.  Accept it and keep pushing on

Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.


Weekly Express

Since I tend to spend way too much time reading other writer's blogs, I thought I would deliver some of the better ones I find. Here are this weeks articles delivered by the Weekly Express:

Scrivener For IPad

A 2012 release date has been set for the IPad version of Scrivener. An IPhone and Android version of Scrivener are also in the works. The IPhone should be released closely with the IPad verion. The Scrivener Android version has no release date yet.

Don't forget to grab your 20% Scrivener coupon code here for a limited time only.

 From the Literature & Latte blog:
I think it’s in the customers’ interests to have a dedicated developer for each platform to ensure that each version is always kept up-to-date, and my hands are full with the Mac version. To that end, I’m very pleased to announce that we have just signed contracts with a developer, Jen Yates, to develop the iOS versions for us. Jen has been beavering away in secret for two or three months now, putting together some proof-of-concepts.

I have to say that moving index cards around on a touch screen is a lot of fun, and the corkboard implementation she has come up with is, I think, one of the nicest I’ve seen on a touch screen device in terms of selection and dragging.
It’s still early days, though – we are about to embark on the design process proper, and all we can say in terms of a release date is that our iPad and iPhone versions will be out some time in 2012.

The ability for Scrivener users to seamlessly work between Mac, IPad, and IPhone platforms will be a writer's dream.

Don't forget to grab your Discount - 20% Scrivener Coupon Code.


Scrivener Templates

Scrivener is a great tool for both the fledgling and seasoned writer.  The ability to design a template that allows an intuitive workflow on every project is one of its strongest points.  Once you find out what works best for you writing style you can tweak and reuse a single template.  Don't forget you can download a free trial in wither a Windows or a Mac version.  If you decide to buy grab this Scrivener Coupon Code for 20% off you purchase of this great program. To make your search easier here are some templates to work with:

Most of these are zipped files. To use, first unzip the file. Then open the file with the .scrivx or .scrivtemplate extension in scrivener. Then go to “File –> Save as Template…” and follow instructions there (it’s very easy, but if you have trouble leave a message or email me). You may also be able to go to New Project, Select Options, then Import Template - depending on the template. Once you do that, the template should be available in the templates section every time you open Scrivener.  Again, if you have any problems, please leave a comment or email me and I'll give you a hand.

Get a 20% Scrivener discount code if you purchase here.

You may also like:


Weekly Express

Since I tend to spend way too much time reading other writer's blogs, I thought I would deliver some of the better ones I find. Here are this weeks articles delivered by the Weekly Express:

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