Faking Fountain with Ulysses

I think the most important but often overlooked aspect of the adoption of Markdown is how plain text has made a comeback. There are many Markdown variation and flavors. Most are still used for Markdown’s original purpose—turning text into HTML. But one project has built on the idea of markdown and is using plain text to fill a different need.

The Fountain project has created a plain text format that is designed for print (or PDF). But not just any print job, it’s only purpose is to produce properly formatted screenplays and scripts. Sadly, Ulysses doesn’t speak fountain as one of its markup styles. But I found a way to fake it.

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Hacking GTD

Regardless of the system, I’m a big fan of getting things done. That’s in the lower case context of completing things. I’m still waiting on my library to get me David Allen’s book, but I’ve read enough to be familiar with the system. I’m more interested the parts of the book that don’t get covered much in blog posts. Especially how he approaches the daily/weekly review process.

But as for the actual GTD todo list—with next actions, etc.—it just wasn’t working for my creative projects. I thought it was just me. But then I ran across an article by Antony Johnston, and his GTD failure and revelation.

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Inbox Zero in 3 easy steps

The thing that makes email worthwhile is also the reason it’s a royal pain to deal with: it’s universal. If you’re on the Internet, you have some sort of email. It may be the account that comes with your home internet subscription. Or one of a hundred other sources, work, phone, online free mail, or a provider attached to an owned domain name. My point is that everyone has at least one email account. Most importantly, it just works. You don’t have to sign up for some startup powered webapp just to send a message.

This makes email incredibly useful. It also makes it ripe for abuse. Email abuse spans the range from the person who insists upon using “reply-all” in the office, to the worst of the porno-spammers. One thing everyone agrees on is that we get too much of it. The way I deal with it is a simple three-step process that keeps my inbox clean and mostly empty.

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Book Tour: Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy, Ch. 10

Sometimes I run across an older book that’s usually out-of-print, but has exceptional wisdom locked up in its pages. I found this one at my local Half Priced Books.

First Edition cover, 1991.
First Edition cover, 1991.

The very nature of this book—20 essays about writing by the best SFF authors—makes it hard to review as a whole. I think a better strategy is to look at each chapter in detail.

See all of my WSF&F chapter reviews.

Chapter 10: The Creation of Imaginary Worlds

This chapter by Poul Anderson is subtitled The World Builder’s Handbook and Pocket Companion. After reading this chapter, I can say it truly earns its name. Unlike the previous chapters, it doesn’t discuss the mechanics of writing or storytelling. It is focused on one thing: building a planet for a story.

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Fitness Update—Week 4

This is my weekly fitness updates. I’ll be posting one every Monday for the foreseeable future.

I update a shared iCloud spreadsheet every day. Follow along!

Weight & BMI

I gained 1.7 lbs., which I am not happy about. The activity is helping with overal body fat, but I’m not seeing the progress I want.

Today’s weight: 192.1 lbs. with a BMI of 28.4.

Date Weight +/- BMI Fat
March 23 191.8 0 28.3 37.1%
March 30 190.1 -1.7 28.1 40.0%
April 6 192.6 +2.5 28.4 36.0%
April 13 190.4 -2.2 28.1 34.2%
April 20 192.1 +1.7 28.4 30.4%

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Word Count — Week 16

It’s time for my weekly word count check-in. At the end of every week, I post a screen shot from my writing results spreadsheet. This shows the current week and the three before. My week starts on Monday. The numbers are current through Sunday night. I also only average over six days. This allows me one day of no writing that doesn’t impact the weekly totals.

This was the first full week using the new “accounting” system. And I think it captured my work time much better.

Week 16, April 13th – 19th:

Week 16 results.
Week 16 results.

My other posts tagged word count.

Book Tour: Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy, Ch. 9

Sometimes I run across an older book that’s usually out-of-print, but has exceptional wisdom locked up in its pages. I found this one at my local Half Priced Books.

First Edition cover, 1991.
First Edition cover, 1991.

The very nature of this book—20 essays about writing by the best SFF authors—makes it hard to review as a whole. I think a better strategy is to look at each chapter in detail.

See all of my WSF&F chapter reviews.

Chapter 9: Good Writing Is Not Enough

This the first chapter of Part II: Ideas and Foundations and is second of Stanley Schmidt’s four chapters. Here talks about the absolutely dismal odds of getting published and what it takes to stand out.

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Book Tour: Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy, Ch. 8

Sometimes I run across an older book that’s usually out-of-print, but has exceptional wisdom locked up in its pages. I found this one at my local Half Priced Books.

First Edition cover, 1991.
First Edition cover, 1991.

The very nature of this book—20 essays about writing by the best SFF authors—makes it hard to review as a whole. I think a better strategy is to look at each chapter in detail.

See all of my WSF&F chapter reviews.

Chapter 8: Learning to Write Comedy or Why It’s Impossible and How to Do It

Connie Willis, who has won of eleven Hugo Awards and seven Nebula Awards for her comedic science fiction, writes about what makes comedy tick in chapter 8.

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