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Scrivener vs. Ulysses

Journal Entry: Mon Nov 16, 2009, 9:22 AM
This Nanowrimo I've more or less spontaneously decided not to stick with „good" old Word 2003 anymore, mostly because its rendering of Monaco is horrible, and I've taken a recent liking to the cuddliest of monospace fonts.
So here's a comparison of those two writing tools. If you aren't a writer, there's no real interest in reading this, for you. But, I'm still alive, in case you were wondering. I have lots of nice photos to post actually, but I've gotten too self concious about them, so I haven't gotten around to that yet. But I will. Someday. And once I have a little more time I'll also try to get back to commenting and replying.

I started out using Ulysses, but since I read in the Nanowrimo Forums that so many people were raving about Scrivener, I decided to test that one as well. So here's my comparison of the two writer's tools. One would normally post this on a blog, but right now this is my only journal of the kind because I want to make a costum wordpress theme before starting to use it, and wordpress themes confuse me.

Anyway. What are the pros and cons of Scrivener and Ulysses?

Their general premise is pretty much the same. A tool, specifically for long writing projects, which does more than the usual wordprocessor and is more focused on the actual writing and eliminates many of the hassles normal wordprocessors have. Both are project based and both let you split up your draft into many little documents, that you can arrange in folders and the like.

Ulysses is one of the first Mac Programs to be aimend specifically at creative writers. Its party piece is semantic editing, which means, for instance, if you want something emphasized, you put it in Tags to emphasize it, and can see later, whether you want to bolden that, or italice it, or whatever else you fancy, leaving you to worry about what you want to say, first, rather than what it's going to look like.

Scrivener's party pieces are its outliner and its corkboard, two very useful features for arranging your novel and probably very helpful to make massive rearranging and editing, as my last nanonovel from 2008 needs, very easy.

Both have a fullscreen mode. Ulysses fullscreen mode, called console mode, was again one of the first of its kind, and I like it a lot. You get yellow Lucida Grande text on a black background, if you hover your mouse to the appropriate places a wordcount and a scrollbar appear. Simple, elgant, distraction free. You have to pay a lot more attention to what your writing, though, since spell check can't be bothered in fullscreen mode.

Scrivener's full screen mode is much more costumizable, but it looks fine the way it is, mostly. There, you have a whitish sheet of paper on a black or translucent black background. The settings bar that appears when you hover your mouse on the bottom of the screen has a word and character count, but it also has several other options, which I personally don't need. It has spell check while writing fullscreen, but whenever you change the window the corrections made in the other mode disappear, which is a little strange. While Scrivener's fullscreen mode is nice, because it has the same concept as Ulysses' it has one quirk that really annoys me. The text you're typing is always on the middle line of the screen. That's not really a big deal, but in Ulysses you're typing at the botton and in exchange you can see much more of the screen. But in everyday typing life it doesn't make as much of a difference as I originally feared.

Both are project based, but it Scrivener you can open several projects at the same time without any trouble, while in Ulysses your original project disappers when opening another one, and reopening the old one after that made my harddrive make a weird noise. And Ulysses crash.

The two programs utilize screen real estate in a rather different way. In Scrivener you can have your window contain all kinds of things at the same time, but usually it's only your text editor next to its file browser, the cutely named „Binder". Ulysses on the other hand has more elements on screen normally, such as document notes and info. I really like the way Ulysses looks, and I'd be sad to say its window was inferior to Scrivener's but I guess the way you can have Scrivener show you several documents at the same time along with many other things but never forces you to probably makes more sense for the tiny 12" iBook screen I'm testing both of them on. But Scrivener uses a much smaller default window than Ulysses, which is probably why I don't mind all the things on screen with Ulysses, but feel crowded when I activate them all in Scrivener.

Perfomance wise I haven't really had a problem with either. Both have a much better wordcounter than Word, that really is life. The one thing I've always loved about Word for Mac and that made me reluctant to swith was that it had a character count at the bottom of the page. Kind of disillusioning to see that that's done better everywhere else.

One thing that I don't know if it should bother me, is that the version of Ulysses I'm testing right now claims only to work on Mac OS 10.5 and up. The laptop I'm testing it on, however, only has 10.4.11. It's worked just fine so far, though. But Scrivener says that it's compatible with 10.4 and up, and somehow I find that more reassuring.

In the end, both are great writing programs and I have a hard time deciding between the two. I think Scrivener's outlining and planning features are clearly superior, but I really love Ulysses' semantic editing. Ulysses notes feature seems to be better than Scrivener's but I don't really use that one either, so it doesn't matter.

But even though I love Ulysses, I'll probably end up getting Scrivener, because the time when you really need an advanced writing tool is when editing, and Scrivener is much better suited for that. Both are great for writing.
Also Scrivener is 50% off for Nanowrimo winners, and since I already crossed the 50k mark, it's very cheap for me.

  • Listening to: The Show - Lenka

Deviant for 3 Years (with some features)

Journal Entry: Sat Apr 11, 2009, 1:55 PM
On April 6th was my 3 Year deviantART anniversary, and I've decided to pronounce that the occasion to finally renew my subscription, so say hello again to my horrible CSS (unless you haven't seen it before, in which case you're welcome to just say hi.)

Recently I did a Thumbshare Thread because I'd noticed that I had so little comments (around 800 at that time) which was a shame, because I really like commenting on people's work and do my best to leave meaningful comments, too. But I am a little lazy. In the Thumbshare thread I asked for people to give me stuff to comment on, and they did. I wrote over 400 comments in the first two days alone  and kept on commenting for quite a while after that too. I'm ashamed to say that I still have some responses to wade through, but I'm determined to get to those, too, even if not right away. I guess it's my own fault for commenting three of everyone's pieces that I progressed so slowly.

But it was a lot of fun and I really like commenting and exchanging thoughts with other artists, so I'm really excited about the critique feature. Haven't used it yet, though. Anyway, in the process I discovered some amazing talents that I added to my watchlist, and some of those have way too low a pageviewcount (at least they used to, one of them had a DD in the meantime, but I'm gonna feature her anyway, because I promised.)

So I decided to feature those that I wrote down (I hope I didn't miss writing some down), and here they are in alphabetical order:

aiyoshi

Splash by aiyoshi Sunset by aiyoshi Blue liquid by aiyoshi

Aiyoshi is a photographer from Indonesia who really impressed me with her use of colors. All of her compositions are spot on, without superflous things and with a beautiful contrast between elements. She captures some beautiful nature scenes as well.

asieybarbie

:thumb117426819::thumb117651158::thumb113493392:

Asieybarbie is the one who got a DD just recently, and she really desevered it. She does some great drawings in a unique style and I love how she colors her images. Apparently some of the characters she draws are fanart, but I don't know the stories they're from. I'm sure you can appreciate them more than I can, if you know that, but I love all of her stuff nonetheless.


BeckyFTW

Rainbow Maker by BeckyFTW Loooove Rocket. by BeckyFTW She Had The World. by BeckyFTW

BeckyFTW hasn't been on dA for too long, and her pageview count reflects that, which isn't at all justified, because her stuff is simply amazing. Her coloring looks very natural, and her drawings have a kind of childlike, cute style that I find absolutely endearing without ever being too simplistic.

Long-Pham

Tully The Colonist by Long-Pham Burning Concordance by Long-Pham:thumb115287644:

I'm a huge fan of Heavenwill's artwork. His work is mostly about space and science fiction and he has some really amazing drawings among those. I'm always mesmerized by the cosmic colors he uses. And he's also one whose pageview count is way too low for his incredible artwork.

Birgitte-Gustavsen

Coffee by Birgitte-Gustavsen Baroque Allure by Birgitte-Gustavsen:thumb115970386:

If I had to recommend her to someone personally I really wouldn't know how to prounounce her name... Anyway, Maverchare has some really impressive drawings and paintings, and I think she has some quite interesting historic themes in her artwork that make for a unique and beautiful style.

I actually had one more on my list, but she seems to have erased her gallery... that's a real pity. Anyway, those are my newly watched that had a pretty low pageview count when I went there to comment, so check them out, they all really have potential. I might do a feature of those that are a little more fortunate in their pageview numbers later, because I found some great artists of that sort, too.

Happy Easter everybody.

  • Listening to: Breathe (2AM) by Anna Nalick
  • Eating: A Nimm 2 Bonbon
I did it! Today I went across the 50.000 word mark on my Nanowrimo novel. For the stuff I did in november, anyway. Connected with my work from october thats over 87000 words of (not yet, but with the rewrite) shiny new prose, I did.

I still need to wrap my showdown up, and add a few parts that I omitted earlier, and I need to go back to work Mr. Tragic Dilemma in, but I've reached the wordcount goal, and there's still plenty of october left, so that should work for me.

*happy dance*
  • Listening to: Breathe Me - Sia
  • Reading: Schnee in Venedig by Nicholas Remin
  • Drinking: tea. But only because I have a cold
So, it's November and it's officially NaNoWriMo For those of you, who don't know what that is, check out the side, but if you're too lazy to do that, be content with the info that it's a challenge to write a 50.000 word novel in a month, specifically in November.

I did this once before, but picked my month a little off, and the draft ended up to pretty shallow and uninteresting, but it was fun nonetheless. Last year I didn't participate for lack of motivation (even though I was less busy than this year...), but now I'm really in. I'm not exactly doing it the Nano way though, but certainly in the spirit of Nano. I started in October, with the goal to write 50k then and 50 this month, but I didn't quite make it to 50 in october, only around 38000, but this month I'm pretty well along. It's the beginning of the second week and I'm 22000.

Anyway, I'm probably going to edit a lot, once it's done, or that's what I keep telling myself when I'm not happy with a scene.

One moral question though: is it okay to introduce a character, make him pretty much the narrator, and through that kind of main character, and then kill him off before the middle? Because I need a character to lighten the info dumps in the exposition, and I need a corpse. Mr. Tragic Dillemma would work perfectly, but is that a good thing to do?
  • Listening to: Breathe Me - Sia
  • Reading: Schnee in Venedig by Nicholas Remin
  • Eating: tomato!

Last Journal at 17

Journal Entry: Tue Jul 15, 2008, 2:50 PM
So, this is the last time I'm writing a journal entry while I'm 17. It's probably also one of the last things I'm writing at all, in my childhood.

It feels a little weird actually, that just like that, my childhood is over, even though I'll doubt I'll feel substantially different in about half an hour, but the thing is, from then on out I'm offically and legally an adult. That definitely has its perks, one of the major ones being allowed to really drive on my own (in Germany, if you want to drive at 17 you can only do it when your parents accompany you). Also I now get to drink as much alcohol as I want (of course not in connection with the other privilege!). I doubt I'll use that privilege too much, but it's nice to have it.

The whole 18 - adulthood thing is kind of an arbitrary line, but it does feel nice to finally cross it.

The prospect of becoming an adult made me think back on my childhood. Of course, anything I can think back on is inevitably my childhood, so when I do that I just look at my life so far (been nice, by the way), but it's interesting to think that from tomorrow on (or the few minutes it's still taking to become tomorrow) I won't be able to add to that.

Okay, I was gonna write some more, but I was rambling and decided not to. I guess once I'm an adult I'll find all the enlightenment in the world and be able to not ramble but instead always relay insightful revelations of wisdom. At least I hope so. Cross your fingers for me!

  • Reading: some fanfiction
  • Watching: House MD

Thumbshare 2

Journal Entry: Tue Apr 15, 2008, 2:23 AM
Yeah, it's still the same thread. It were so many that I decided to split it up, because I also didn't have the time. I'll try to get the entries I've missed so far done, so here goes:

Fried Chicken by Yelled:thumb54756437:

100 Themes

Journal Entry: Sun Apr 6, 2008, 5:33 AM
Hey everyone.

I've decided that I want to take up the 100 Themes Challenge. The basic idea is that you get a list with 100 Themes and you're supposed to create some kind of artwork for each of them. There's no time limit and you can do any type of art for it. I guess I'll probably be taking a long time, but that's the beauty of it, I can do it at my leisure. I think it's a cool idea that can spark a lot of creativity. More details can be found at: :icon100themeschallenge:

I already sent the join note, but apparently no one read it yet. I think I'm going to start soon, regardless.

So here's the list, I'll be updating it with the pieces I made for the themes as they come.

1. Introduction
2. Love
3. Light
4. Dark
5. Seeking Solace
6. Break Away
7. Heaven
8. Innocence
9. Drive
10. Breathe Again
11. Memory
12. Insanity
13. Misfortune
14. Smile
15. Silence
16. Questioning
17. Blood
18. Rainbow
19. Gray
20. Fortitude
21. Vacation
22. Mother Nature
23. Cat
24. No Time
25. Trouble Lurking
26. Tears
27. Foreign
28. Sorrow
29. Happiness
30. Under the Rain
31. Flowers
32. Night
33. Expectations
34. Stars
35. Hold My Hand
36. Precious Treasure
37. Eyes
38. Abandoned
39. Dreams
40. Rated
41. Teamwork
42. Standing Still
43. Dying
44. Two Roads
45. Illusion
46. Family
47. Creation
48. Childhood
49. Stripes
50. Breaking the Rules
51. Sport
52. Deep in Thought
53. Keeping a Secret
54. Tower
55. Waiting
56. Danger Ahead
57. Sacrifice
58. Kick in the Head
59. No Way Out
60. Rejection
61. Fairy Tale
62. Magic
63. Do Not Disturb
64. Multitasking
65. Horror
66. Traps
67. Playing the Melody
68. Hero
69. Annoyance
70. 67%
71. Obsession
72. Mischief Managed
73. I Can't
74. Are You Challenging Me?
75. Mirror
76. Broken Pieces
77. Test
78. Drink
79. Starvation
80. Words
81. Pen and Paper
82. Can You Hear Me?
83. Heal
84. Out Cold
85. Spiral
86. Seeing Red
87. Food
88. Pain
89. Through the Fire
90. Triangle
91. Drowning
92. All That I Have
93. Give Up
94. Last Hope
95. Advertisement
96. In the Storm
97. Safety First
98. Puzzle
99. Solitude
100. Relaxation

100 Themes Challenger by 100ThemesChallenge

Artist Feauture: versleciel

Journal Entry: Wed Nov 21, 2007, 9:26 AM
So, now I'm going to start using the powers endowed upon me by my subscribtion to really feature stuff. I'm not yet sure whether I'll be doing that discussion thing, but I'm going to try to kind of do that this time.

So today I want to show you some work by :iconversleciel: who is a great artist and also a friend of mine and has way too few pageviews, because her stuff is really worth a lot of attention. (I don't know if I get enough attention so that people will read this and then go to her site, but it's always good to try.) Also, today is her birthday, so I think this is the perfect opportunity to feature her.

She's a great photographer and her specialty are really adorable shots of her little sisters. Eden's Third Kiss by versleciel Yay for Prince Charming by versleciel:thumb64319201:

I think she always has great composition and her style really defines itself through her lighting and the colors which are usually a little muted. Recently she's been on a trip to America and brought back some amazing photographs as well. :thumb67953279::thumb67954925::thumb67955094::thumb67953959:

So check out her gallery, it's definitely worth a look!

  • Listening to: some ballet music repeating in my head...
  • Reading: Bartimäus in French
  • Playing: Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines

Subscribed

Journal Entry: Sun Nov 18, 2007, 11:15 AM
I managed to get myself a subscribtion now. And it's awesome! seriously, it's got some great features that I really like and I'm definitely going to renew my subscription once my three months are over. And thanks to the magic of Paypal I didn't even need to have a credit card. Very useful thing.

I've been subscribed for about four days now, actually, but I didn't want to make a journal entry before I hadn't made a journal css, because that was one of the features I had known about and looked forward to. It was quite a struggle, less of the technical kind but more of the creative kind, because I finished a different desing before this one, and then didn't like it, so I had to start all over. But now I managed to make one that I could live with.

I'm planning on starting a regular feature, where I want to feature stuff that I find interesting for some reason and then make the feature a detailed comment on why I find it interesting, discussing the image more closely. The proplem is if I'm gonna go through that much trouble, I want people to look at it, too, but since my artwork isn't too impressive I'm probably not going to have a lot of people viewing my page and reading the feature... whatever, I'll probably do it anyway and hope that people will look at my page because of the feature then.

But right now I just want to show you guys some amazing art done by people I watch. Check out their galleries! :

Dragon Shalika by CaelCyndar:thumb69459185::thumb65998100::thumb69952946:
:thumb65358751: Glazed Frost by Annielein:thumb60154614:

And I can do stamps, now:

Photohunt Stamp by photohunt Deviant Duels Stamp by deviantduels iPhotograph Stamp by iPhotograph:iconuniquephotos:

  • Reading: Bartimäus in French
  • Playing: Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines

A tagged person's journal entry

Journal Entry: Thu Sep 20, 2007, 12:53 PM
got tagged by :iconannielein:

RULES
1. Post these rules
2. Each person tagged must post 8 random facts about themselves
3. Tags should write a journal/ blog of these facts
4. At the end of the post 8 more persons are tagged and named
5. Go to their page and leave a comment telling them they're tagged

1. I like salt
2. My hair goes down to my butt because I thought that would be cool when I was a two year old
3. I use the kind of copics that are not as good for drawing, because I didn't know better when I bought them
4. I put my school stuff in one big binder
5. There's a tripod standing in the middle of my room because I was too lazy to put it away
6. I like covering the small light that my laptop makes in standby mode by putting a dictionary in front of it
7. I got electric candles
8. I'm a citrus vampire.

And my victims are:

:iconnapster4every1::iconzcochrane::iconsilentshadeofgray1::iconfallingbelow::iconnootie::icon03bakerd::iconpandashekki:

  • Reading: some dilbert book
  • Watching: Scrubs
  • Eating: salt sticks
  • Reading: Eclipse
  • Watching: Scrubs
  • Eating: pudding
Hey everyone!

One of my works (the one called "Untitled") got featured in a News entry (news.deviantart.com/article/32… (in the last category) ) by :icondwalker1047: (realizing how popular that picture got, I do think it would've been a good idea to give it a title... oh well). Also, another one (the one called "Floating") got featured by :iconleficia: in a journal entry (leficia.deviantart.com/journal…). I'm really flattered about that, because I never got featured anywhere before, so if any of you two read this, thanks a lot.

Speaking of features, I'm thinking about getting myself a prescribtion and starting featuring, too. I have a nice idea what to do, and I think making a journal CSS will be fun. I'm thinking that a kind of regular feature would be nice, where I pick up some pieces that I find interesting and discuss them as to what's interesting about them and stuff. I don't know if that sounds so good when I say it here, but I think it's an idea worth exploiting. I have to do something about the payment method, though. There's definitely a flaw in the deviantart system, it just won't accept it when I throw money at the screen. ah well, I guess I'll work around that.

Today I found something really awesome in my house. A colleague of my Dad's gave him an old Pentax SLR that uses Film complete with three different lenses, and a really big external flash. It's a really nice thing, I love it that you chose the aperture with a wheel on the lens and the viewfinder actually gets darker if you choose a bigger one, so you know its effect on the image. It's so awesome. I wanted to really try it out and put film in it, but all the film we still have at our home was due to expire 2003. We've been doing digital for a long time. I'm gonna try and get myself some black and white film, even though that's more expensive, but I think it would fit this baby so much better to do black and white, even though it can do color just fine. It looks very technical with all the turning wheels on the lenses, and the big levers and stuff. I actually plan on using it for taking real pictures, but it's definitely not going to become my primary camera, digital is just too convenient. But still, I want to play around with it.

And school started again, which sucks. I don't know what it is about the start of a schoolyear that is so bad. It could be worse, actually, but I'm still not too happy. There was a bad situation that started at the beginning of last school year which was a lot of trouble later on and there's a similar situation building right now, and I just don't want to repeat that, but it's not actually up to me... I'm probably being paranoid, but it's kind of bugging me. Well, we'll see what the rest of the year is like.

Oh and I recently started driving school. Cars are awesome, seriously.

And, last thing, I'm really into doing abstract stuff with illustrator right now. It's a lot of fun.
  • Listening to: Music coming from my brother's iMac
  • Reading: Thunderhead - by Preston Child
  • Eating: a pear
  • Drinking: water
It's finally there. My new camera, that is. I'm really happy, I already uploaded one deviation and a scrap and there'll probably be some more scraps, now, since most of the pictures I took so far aren't really worth becoming deviations, because of a lack of interesting motives for the most part, but I'd still like to put them up, because I'm so happy about the camera.

Well that's all, really.
  • Listening to: Something celtic I think... or whatever
  • Reading: The Book of the Dead - by Preston Child
  • Eating: just finished supper
  • Drinking: I guess it was water... didn't seem poisonous
Whoa. I just finished reading the novel "The Book of The Dead" by Douglas Preston and Lincoln child. I have before read several of their other novels: Relic, Reliquary, The Cabinet of Couriosities, Brimstone and Dance of Death.

To illustrate my point further, I need to mention that I started reading "The Book of the Dead" yesterday at about 5 pm, right after having finished "Dance of Death". I got home at about 1 pm (is that what I mean it to be? am and pm are stupid. It was 13:00, in real time)and I've read with only little pauses until 20:45 (8.45 pm). It's completely in English, which is not my native language, but I was not able to tear my eyes off of it. I've been captivated by books before, both German and English, but never to this degree, at least not that I can remember. I've never been this moved and shocked by a novel, no book or plotline has ever been this intense. And I'm a passionate reader. While reading I found myself often reading passages out loud, to savor the intense scenes fully.

The books I mentioned in the passage above are all featuring Special Agent Aloysius Pendergast of the FBI, one of the most fascinating characters I've ever met. This particular book was centered around his struggle with his psychopathic brother, Diogenes, who is possibly even more interesting a character than Aloysius (who is usually just referred to as Pendergast). The plot was incredibly intense, with many many unpredictable twists. I'm not going to give you a detailled describtion of the story, to not spoil it for you, in case you want to read it (which you most definitely should). If you decide to read it, I strongly suggest you read at least Brimstone and Dance of Death first, because they form the inevitable foundation for this one.

The German titles of the books are by the way: Relic, Attic, Formula, Burn Case and Dark Secret. (Ja mir, ist klar, dass es unlogisch ist von einem englischen Titel zu einem anderen englischen Titel zu übersetzen, aber egal. Ist ja nicht meine Schuld.)

So, that's it with my babbling. The books are all incredible (and I still have some left over written by the same authors) and I'm definitely going to do some fanart.
  • Listening to: Sugarland - These are the days
  • Reading: CSS Zen Garden book
  • Watching: King of Queens on DVD
  • Eating: junk food
Today I was wondering whether I should buy a new camera. I've been toying with the thought for a while, but today it hit me, when I saw an ad for the camera of my dreams at a very reasonable price. After some deliberation I actually decided to buy it, because I have just gotten money back from my graphics card that has lost its will to live and for some reason will not be replaced by ATI.

So I've been to the store and the overall result was: I do not have a new camera, because they were all out. But I ordered it and will get it at the advertised price. I don't know how long it'll take, since the guy working there didn't know either, but it doesn't even matter, it's worth the wait.

I'll update this as soon as I actually have it. It's a Canon EOS 400D. I'm really excited about it.
  • Listening to: Jewel - Satellite
  • Reading: CSS Zen Garden book
  • Watching: Telenovela Wege zum Glück
When I got home today I was in a really depressed mood, due to boyfriend troubles that are completely my fault and the fact that a so called "friend" (if you know Sex and the City, you'll probably know what a "frenemy" is, which is the perfect describtion for my relationship with that person) made me feel very guilty about it all. I don't think she knows that with the obnoxious way she always gets involved in stuff that's none of her business she almost made me cry today. But nobody's telling her either. In addition I also had a bad hair day (the fact that I walked through the rain before looking into the mirror probably didn't help my impression on that) and somehow a bad face day. At least in my opinion, I don't know the others even really noticed. I hope I don't always look that way, that would be even more depressing. Oh and on that particular day someone has to shoot a picture of me for the lokal newspaper... just greaaat.

Anyway, at home I first read a really well written fanfiction (and I still have some over to read. Lucky me ;)) then I watched some TV, of a kind that is really really low on brain cells, but exactly the right kind of entertainment when you want to flee from everyday trouble. Than I showered, washed my hair and used a curling iron, to curl up my edges a little.

Now I actually feel a lot better. It's amazing how much a person's self esteem can change with the way they look. Or rather the way they think they look. The hair in my face (which is called pony in Germany, but I have no idea what the appropriate word would be in English) looks so much better now, due to the curling iron, my hair is open right now and for once I don't mind wearing glasses because my face looks brighter that way.

My problems didn't go away, but at least I have a more optimistic view on them now. Yay for the curling iron!