Scrivener Quick Start Day 2

I’m still working on the Scrivener quick tutorial. There are many features, but I can already see the strength for organizing ideas. For my professional work (textbooks) the references widow will let me document info for my students on the fly. We are switching to an online lab text next fall, and this program will allow me to incorporate media right into the document. That’s a tremendous bonus for a book that will be published and used online.

Scrivener’s media features will allow me to bring in images that are inspirational (novel) or are critical visual elements (lab text). The cork board is another element that seems useful, but I’m not sure how I’ll use it just yet.

I started a bullet journal for my next novel. Eventually the ideas and outlines I jot down will be transferred to Scrivener.  If you don’t know or do bullet journals, she has excellent YouTube vlogs on both Scrivener and bullet journals . I highly recommend both.

Finally, if they install Scrivener at my office, as I asked, I’ll do some screen captures and post what’s happening on my YouTube channel/s.

Today was miserable and stressful. One of the professors let her student destroy two (expensive) pH meters. Another one, can’t be trusted to make her student obey the lab security rules. Also, it was Monday, raining and I left my wallet at home. Writing this has helped me to de-stress. I hope that isn’t to much passive voice…




Learning Scrivener

I’ve been following fellow writer Rachel Stephen ( who does excellent vids on how to be an organized writer. I wanted to try Scrivener, which she highly recommended, but my novel was too advanced to delve in. I do have several textbooks that I’m going to turn in to free, online documents for our students (bookstore just rips the kids off), and Scrivener seems like the right software for this project. It has a few multimedia tools that have me excited

I’m trying the free 30 day trial of Scrivener. It is a sophisticated program, but I think it will be worth it. The tutorial is long and necessary.

My textbook revision project is mature enough to get me up the learning curve I think, and I’ll work on that over the summer.

It the meantime I have a great little notebook for organizing my next novel. The Key to Mnau

BTW. I have Grammarly dowloaded, it works on all my social media, and as I am the world’s most dyslexic speller, it saves my butt.

I’ll blog.


I’m Done

With book one, mostly. Hard to believe it took two and a half years to finish this book.

Now I have time for yard work, blogging and DIY projects around the house. I’m also working on my story arcs for book two: The Key to Mnau and book three: Buck Wilder and the Master Key.

There will also be more time for my Facebook group the Eye on Sacred Knowledge. Yeah!

Follow me on Twitter: @scifiotica

On Facebook: Lisa Cooper

Gravity Key Updated Synopsis

Gail Wilder is the descendant of ancient Ethiopian queens and the unwilling guardian of a magical device that unlocks instantaneous travel to every habitable planet in the galaxy. While serving as a technical specialist on the starship Europa, she has a passionate tryst with Ambi, an alien warrior with a dark past. When Gail is forced to spy on Ambi’s space station, Guardona, she must learn to fight shoot and defend against all enemies, alien and domestic. Soon, she finds herself at the center of a contest of wills between her superiors and the station’s nefarious second in command, colonel Rhycin. All are determined to discover the truth about her device and use it for their purposes. When the lies surrounding her mission begin to unravel, Gail is forced to battle Rhycin not only for her life but for the lives of those she loves. Ambi’s now divided loyalties between Gail and Rhycin will decide who controls The Gravity Key.

Reality Check

Has it really been a year and a half? Where the hell is my brain and where did the time slip? I guess life has gotten in the way of writing but I am determined to have the Gravity Key finished by the end of August. In the meantime I’m writing about why I’m having trouble writing.

I went to the doctor yesterday and, well long story short (no pun), I’ve got to drop 20 pounds and get my blood pressure down. It was a reality check. At least I understand why I have felt like I’m in a freaking fog . I’m sure that I ate something in the last few days (ok a lot of things: salty chips, homemade death by chocolate, Japanese fried food high in sodium) that ran my pressure up. And I haven’t been to the gym in a couple of months either. So no choices, my weigh goes back to 130 lbs and my writing increases  before I get slammed with the fall semester work load.

The story as it stands:

I’ve decided that the many problems that I’ve had with this novel is due to only having one view point character. The entire story was based on the heroine’s first person view point. I’ve introduced a second view point, that of the alien admiral Borabi. He is a simple character in an exceedingly complicated position. Borabi could really use the heroine’s help to solve his major issue, which is rescuing his surviving family from slavers. She doesn’t trust him because he conspired with corporations and the military of earth earth to do some dastardly things. Eventually, the old admiral will be ordered to kill the humans that are working under his command to make sure the secret remains a secret. He will agree with great reluctance; he’s basically a decent guy. I’ve also decided to kill more of my darlings. Half of the humans who initially accompanied the heroine to the aliens base are going to get waxed (red shirted shall we say) thanks to admiral Borabi’s ‘difficult choices’. The guy has his reasons and in his position, many of us might do the same. We might not ever get a good night sleep again but…

I’m also working to make my villain more villainous, so he’s going to execute one of the main characters best friends early in the story.  He’s also going to get a sub plot about reversing his chemically induce sterility which will lead to his high jacking one of his twin brother’s testicles.


next blog: The world of the gravity key.

The Gravity Key Update

I finished the very last chapter. It isn’t happy, exactly, but it is hopeful and sets me up for the sequel.

Possible titles for book II:

The Key to Mnau

Nine Shall Be the Number

The Time Keeper

Big problem now is chapter three, which I haven’t written because I have to show some personal relationships that don’t matter until ACT III and a bunch of world building. And it can’t be boring even though it feels that way right now…

I’ve worked out ACT III in my head. Now I have to mind map it and make the outlines for each chapter. I use MS EXCEL instead of notebooks to track everything and that mostly works for me. I have the timeline, world, chapters, characters and scenes set up as sheets in a workbook. I hate keeping up with notebooks; they are to bulky.

Love Lisa

Gravity Key Update

Eleven strong chapters are completed. (non consecutive 1-8, 13, 21,22)

Chapters 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 23 are well fleshed out and progressing.

Other chapters are in outline or preliminary form.

The climax and confrontation is taking shape.

Stars in the Night Sky, Milky Way Galaxy
Stars in the Night Sky, Milky Way Galaxy

The end is in sight.

A sample from chapter 15:

I turned and peered into the darkened alcove. A man, his face partially hidden by the cowl of his dark gray robe sat at a small table cut from the recessed rock less than two meters behind me. I stood, picked up the candle jar  and slung my bass over my shoulder. I put the candle on the tiny table in the alcove and took a seat opposite the man. Now I could see his craggy face, rough with day old beard and weathered by exposure. In his lap rested a rustic Spanish style acoustic guitar made from dark polished ebony. His bright emerald eyes twinkled in the candle light and the straight white hair made him unmistakable. He looked exactly the way my grandmother described. My breath caught in my throat as I whispered his name. “Valdor Lon.”

A crocked smile filled his face. “And here we haven’t even been properly introduced yet.”

I was confused. “What are you doing here? I thought the ESF contingent were the only humans in beldan space.”

“Please,” he replied and strummed the guitar. “I’m Valdor Lon. I know how to get onto a beldan yevat without being noticed.” He nodded towards the four nearly naked yakuta leaning against the bar. “Besides these ladies don’t care what species their customers are as long as they get paid.”

“How did you know I was here,” I asked.

“Well you were stupid enough to give a blood sample to a yakuta hunter for starters. That’s making the galactic news.” He played a few cords then leaned forward and looked into my eyes. “Besides, I’ve kept tabs on you ever since your grandma went off the radar. I knew you weren’t back on earth or eridani. All I had to do was follow the noise.”