Olivia Faulkner Mysteries
Projects and work
I am a writer. I make a living by stringing words together in cozy mysteries, romance novels, and blog posts. As a millenial who had the misfortune of graduating in 2008 I have never had a traditional job. Okay, not completely true. I did work as a cashier for a weekend back in high school, but it was too much interaction with the unpleasant general public.
As I depend on a rapid and consistent output of words to keep a roof over my head, to put food on the table, and to take care of my elderly mother, I have a very specific set of tools that impede my workflow as little as possible. Here’s what I use.
- My laptops of choice are Thinkpads. Even after IBM sold it’s flagship brand to Lenovo, I find that they still have the best laptop keyboards, which is essential when you’re typing out thousands of words a day. Currently I use a Lenovo W530 workstation when I’m at home and a much lighter Lenovo X220 when I’m on the road. Oh, and I still run Windows 7 on these machines because it’s stable as heck and Windows 10 blows. 😉
- Sublime Text – I write all of my blog posts in Sublime Text with markdown. Sublime Text is also my editor of choice for fiddling with code.
Scrivener – I do all of my novel writing in Scrivener. I’m not too crazy about the proprietary file format, but the ability to move content around and have everything organized in one file is a life saver once your manuscript gets into the 50K range.
- OneNote/Word – As of 2019 I have switched to a combination of OneNote and Microsoft Word for writing my novels. I use OneNote as a story binder to organize images, outlines, and moving scenes around. OneNote syncs between my computer and phone so I can keep working or brainstorming even when I’m on the road! My final manuscript is written in Word. Scrivener is just too unstable in its current form (at least the Windows version is).
- Alphasmart Neo/Neo2 – This is my favorite $19 piece of junk when I need to get a lot of words out without the distraction of the internet. The display is hideous, with only 6 lines of display. It’s like the display of a 90s era TI-89 calculator. Editing on the machine is also a pain, but words just fly out of my fingertips when I use this little machine. There’s also the Alphasmart 3000 (older model) which only displays 2-4 lines–for those of you who find 6 whole lines too distracting. 🙂 If you do get an Alphasmart, avoid the newest distraction filled model, the Dana, as it has all sorts of apps, internet access, and a much shorter battery life.
I have an interest in maternal and infant health and the breastfeeding movement. As a contributor to several blogs, I have written about tips for buying the best electric double breast pumps, baby sleep training, and postpartum healing for women.