Tag: Writing

Book Production the Hard Way

Over the past few weeks I’ve been working to put a large project to bed. What started when a potential client contacted me about producing an ebook ended with the development of a combined ebook and PDF build system that saved a bunch of time when last minute changes were needed. This project built on what I learned from a previous project where I paired an overly-complicated makefile with Pandoc to generate an ebook in French.

MVW Travels: Day 08, Kutaisi isn't Tbilisi

Dateline: Kutaisi, Georgia—07 Mar. 2017 I woke up this morning and pretty much decided that today would be a lazy day. The blisters had healed some, but today wasn’t the day to put them to the test. I was awake by 8:30 a.m. and stayed under the covers a bit to enjoy the benefit of a duvet heavy enough to cause a foot cramp if I pointed my toes at the ceiling.

MVW Travels: Day 07, Tbilisi and Kutaisi

Dateline: Kutaisi, Georgia—06 Mar. 2017 Last night was the first night where I’ve kept normal hours. I made plans for the morning, and I was in bed by 9:30 PM and asleep not long after. It’s nice to finally be caught up with the time zone I’m in. As for the morning, my goal was to make it to the Kutaisi train on time. It turns out I didn’t need the alarm after all.

MVW Travels: Day 06, Tbilisi Legs

Dateline: Tbilisi, Georgia—05 Mar. 2017 I've gotten into a habit of going to sleep in the afternoon and waking up around 2:00 AM or so. Part it was jet lag, another part of me was just diving into a warm bed to avoid the weather. Once awake I would start to write the previous day's trip report. I've also found that the large packing cube makes a better-than-average desk for bed writing.

MVW Travels: Day 05, Tbilisi Reflections

Dateline: Tbilisi, Georgia—04 Mar. 2017 I've managed to settle into the new room. I'm glad I booked for three nights. This give me some stability and a chance to spend a few days without a pack on my back. So Tbilisi... Over the past few reports, I've touched on some of the things I've seen. But I've also glossed over any deeper impressions in favor of recording my travels. As the wind howls outside, I can stay in and process some of what I've seen and felt.

MVW Travels: Day 02, Toronto and Istanbul

Dateline: Istanbul, Turkey—01 Mar. 2017 If yesterday was about trains, today is all about the planes. Specifically the Turkish Airlines 777-300 that flew me into Istanbul. Boeing 777-300ER safety card. It's the biggest plane I've ever been on. The inflight entertainment system had screens in the back of every seat. I wasn't sleepy at the beginning of the flight, so I watched two movies I had been putting off seeing, Jack Reacher Never Go Back and The Accountant.

MVW Travels: Day 00, Phoenix

Dateline: Phoenix, AZ USA—27 Feb. 2017 I’ve decided to cash in my chips and hit the road for a while. This trip is one of those where I’ve been thinking about it for a while, but only bought the tickets a few weeks ago. It will also give me a chance to test out some of my MVW strategies, as I’ll be traveling light. I’ll be leaving tomorrow (28 Feb.) and my trip begins with a 28 hour flight.

MVW: Why Bother with all of this?

As I’m putting together this series of articles about becoming a Minimum Viable Writer, one thought keeps coming back to me: why bother? I briefly touched on this in the last article, but feel it deserves more explanation. On some level, MVW might seem like just another backup strategy or a guide about how to work more efficiently on the road. The MVW concept covers that and more, but it has also grown into a mindset for me.

MVW: The Concept of the Minimum Viable Writer

The MVW is a writer who can work in any situation while maintaining almost full productivity. The question becomes how to get there and what’s needed along the way? I envision the MVW as someone who is hardware agnostic as possible. There’s no harm in having a favorite platform or writing app, but when the chips are down, the MVW can get by without. Also lurking around the edges of the MVW idea is the question, why bother?

Recreating Ulysses with VIM

I like to work on a variety of computers. Only one of them is a non-Apple product. It’s a cheapo Lenovo laptop I got three years ago at Black Friday sale for $300. The original Windows 8 didn’t last much longer than the first battery charge. Now it runs Xubuntu Linux off of a small solid-state drive I installed. Overall, its 11″ screen and poor battery life make it a mostly pathetic specimen soon to relegated to the scrapheap.