I’ve been published | Learning The Writers Craft…

I’ve been published | Learning The Writers Craft….

Kazka Press logoMy first ever published piece has come out. Please head over to Kazka Press to check out The Peregrin.

Leave a comment to let me know what you think and if you feel like it, share it around.


The Sharp Angle: Keep Writing and Finishing New Stories

This post by Lydia Sharp is really worth a read by would-be writers.

The Sharp Angle: Keep Writing and Finishing New Stories.

Expanding on “Blogging with Scrivener”

Back in April I wrote a post about blogging with Scrivener. Since then I’ve expanded on this a little more. Previously I had just broken down each month into it’s respective days. Well now I’ve gone further and added the following folders to the months:

  • Days
  • To-Do’s
  • Focus
  • Reviews & Giveaways
  • Notes
  • Stats
  • Social Media


I’ve also added a couple of general folders to cover the entire blog:

  • Ideas
  • Monetary

I’m not actually using the last two, but thought they were worth including for future possible planning. I’ve used tables and pretty colours to make it all look a little stylish.

bloggingI also spent a little time changing the icons to make things a little clearer to find (and yes, a little prettier). I really like having everything in one convenient place. Although, I still wish I could link to files inside other projects and push finished blog post directly to wordpress.

I’m only just starting to enter data into my lovely new folders and files. I’ve just finished setting up the planning really and I still find a few things that don’t work for me or need a little tweaking to fit my needs, but still I thought you might all like to see my current thought processes on this.

To be honest, Scrivener needs to do more work on the ‘tables’ feature. It’s unpredictable at times, the cell’s will change size unexpectedly or you will have to tab or Shift-tab through cells to actually be able to select and write in the cell you want at times, but there’s always a work around that you can find pretty quickly, and although a little annoying, it doesn’t slow me down.

A feature that comes in really handy for planning is the duel screen mode.


It’s great to be able to see both your To-Do list and say your Reviews planning screen  at the same time. Or perhaps you want to see your To-Do list and your year planner:


Obviously you can add as many folders or files to cover whatever information you want to plan for on your blog, get creative or just plan crazy. Happy blogging and planning.

The vagary of the internets

I was going to write a post about how I really had no excuse for not having written anything this week, how I’ve totally failed my first week of Camp NaNo July and blah blah whine whine. Then, I thought, ‘no, I’ll see if I can find a random word generator and use it to get a bunch of words and actually write something’. Only to discover something even cooler, and creative procrastination fun.

It’s a website called Creativity Games.net. On Monday’s they release a new game where you play along by leaving a comment for that days game. So this week it was The Heaviest. They give you three random words and you have to explain which and why one of them is heavier then the others and you can’t use the same word as the comment before yours. The week before was A Murder Mystery.

They do actually have a random word generator too, with some cool features I’m yet to fully explore, I kind got distracted with the rest of the site.

On Wednesday’s they post resources for honing your creative skills. The last one was using CodeBreaker to predict ability. Now, this brings us to Fridays on their blog, Creative Challenges day. They use hieroglyphs and you have to guess what the object is. This week it was an animal you might find at the zoo. I’m not sure that I’m so interested in this part of the site, but the rest is awesome and I think I might dedicate the rest of July (shhh, don’t mention Camp NaNo) to Creativity Games.net.

I’ll try to do their Monday and Wednesday challenges but Friday I might use the generator or their prompts tool instead of the hieroglyphs. That’s if I can manage to organise my life so that I can fit in all my current projects. Meep!

Anyways, go check out the website and have some creative writing fun.

Dialogue, quotations, comma splices, punctuation oh my!

There is so much that I don’t know about writing, I’m sure that doesn’t surprise anyone. I do have to keep reminding myself of this fact though, and when I do, I also need to remind myself that I can learn. If you don’t know something, then of course you can throw up your hands, say that you suck at xyz and throw in the towel, OR, you can suck it up. Accept the fact that you are not omnipotent and start researching, learning, practising  ask for help and advice and keep striving to advance your skills and (ick I hate this next bit) do some personal growth!

The following is just basically a list of resources I recently found through Scribophile and I wanted to store them somewhere so that I could refer back to them later. Life is a learning curve, this is my next one to overcome:


http://www.scribophile.com/academy/what-are-comma-splices (didn’t even know this term existed until a few days ago)





General writing tools



http://www.scribophile.com/academy/cliches-and-their-place-in-prose (I can spot at least two of these in this very post)



Yeah, ok so I have a lot of reading to do *sigh*

Blog planning with Scrivener

Blog planning

I thought that others might be interested in hearing how I’ve started to setup Scrivener to plan out my blogging. This is all new for me, blogging on a regular basis and using Scriv to plan with.

To start with, I create a new project called “Blogging”, because I might do the same for other blogs, I decided to place everything for traceyambrose.com inside a folder. I then created two other folders called “Planning 2013” and “Ideas” (the later folder contains my previous posts and various odds and ends I just don’t want to look at right now).

Inside the planning folder I have created months May, June and July. I basically setup May first and then duplicate that for the following months (you obviously need to do the duplicating before you add any additional details or else you will have to delete those bits).

I use the corkboard view for folders, this means that I can see a sort of year planner view when I have the “Planning 2013” folder selected or a month view if I have a particular month selected.

In the image above you can see that I currently have the May folder selected and thus I can see each day for that month. If you right click on note you can select a “Label” for it. I created three labels, “Journal (red), Image Inspiration (pink) and Flash Fiction (green). I then worked out that the 1st of May was a Wednesday which means Image Inspiration day for me. I then went through and coded each day of the month.

I also wanted to know when a post had been finished and scheduled for publishing or had been published, and could thus be ignored. To do this, I used “Change Icon”, and selected a red flag in “Way-stations”.

The last thing I did was to write on the cards:


I wanted to be able to quickly add a few details such as the title, where I was at with that entry and whether it had been scheduled or posted yet. I’m keeping the content here simple, such as:

Title: Blood Charm
Progress: Finished
Scheduled/Posted: Yes

If I want to, I can actually write the blog post itself into the cards main text section by expanding the folder for the month I want and then selecting the day in question. If that particular days post is stored somewhere else, like my Short Stories project in Scriv or written straight into WordPress, then I can add notes to that day to tell me where to find the info. You can create  internal “Links” inside Scriv, but only to items within that project, I wish I could create links to items in other Scriv projects, that would be awesome. But at least I can create links to things like the image I’m using for a Wednesday post. I store these in the “Research” folder, so that’s handy.

I can also use other Scriv features for storing information for a post such as any websites I want to link to meta data, keywords, notes etc etc. It’s such an amazingly powerful tool.

I believe this is going to be a fantastic way for me to keep focussed and organised. I love being organised, little boxes for everything, woohoo.

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More stories by Tracey Ambrose @ traceyambrose.com
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Developing film using coffee & Vit C

I’ve just come across the coolest post in Photojojo that tells you how to develop film using instant coffee, vitamin c powder, washing soda, water (distilled or tap), fixer and a little dishwashing liquid.

I love this eco-friendly idea, I love removing horrible chemicals from the process of film development. Now all I need is to get my hands on some developing equipment and I’m so going to play with this.