Scrivener…To Do or Not To Do??

What is Scrivener? Short answer, project management software: outline, edit, and writing. I’ve been considering this and watched a webinar/mini boot camp about it recently, presented by Lisa Alzo, hosted by Thomas MacEntee.


* A great place to get your writing done, being able to import your information from other spots and have it handy.  Great tool for editing.
* 30-day free trial period is not consecutive days. If you use it one day and then let it sit dormant a few days, the next time you use it will be your second trial day and so forth.
* Relatively inexpensive. For Windows, $40 license.

Cons: Learning curve, big learning curve. It can seem a bit overwhelming at times with different screens, corkboards, the binder, files, folders, etc.

Along with the boot camp webinar, I’m also checking out some of the YouTube demos.

One of the reasons I’m considering this is to possibly be able to transcribe oral interviews for personal historians (more info here). I’d like to join their association and possibly offer my services to those who need interviews transcribed. Still in an embryonic stage, though!

Fast forward a couple months…

I took the plunge and started my free trial.

I’m beginning to write up the findings of the research I’ve done for my friend. She wanted to know more about her 2nd-great-GM, so I’ve been working on tracing that lady back. I have the info in RootsMagic7, which will give me a dandy narrative report of this lady’s ancestors. I’m going to use that as the outline and add what I can from newspaper articles and social history of the time/place that that particular ancestor lived in. I’m going to use Scrivener to create that.

The first part of the report will be about this lady and her life, Then her parents and their parents, as far back as I can document with certainty. Right now, I’ve taken this lady’s life and broken it down into different sections using the corkboard and notecards. I think I’m going to do a direct-line narrative, focusing on my friend’s direct ancestors, but will add what vital statistics I can find on the collateral relatives. What I think I’m going to like is being able to add the supporting documents to the report for my friend to have, instead of saying I found this info on a marriage license in this county, now you go get a copy of the original. I’ll put the citation, of course, but I’ll procure a copy of the document and add it to the report. This excites me! Basically, I’m doing this work pro bono for my friend to 1) gain the experience and 2) use in my BCG portfolio. It looks like I’m going to have to travel to 2 counties here in Indiana and possibly 2-3 counties in Ohio for documents.

So, I’ve committed to this. I hope to get a good amount done during the free trial and finish this up before summer ends. Lofty goals!

One-day Seminar: Women, Tragedies, Oral History, and Eastern European Research Have What in Common?

Speaker: Lisa Alzo, MFA

On Saturday, 21 March 2015, I spent the day at the Indiana Historical Society to hear Lisa Alzo speak about the following topics: Women, Tragedies, Oral History, and Eastern European Research. I have heard her speak before, which is why I was so eager to attend this 1-day seminar!

And what a day it was! Ms. Alzo has a way of presenting her topics such that you don’t even realize an hour has passed, the subject material is so engrossing. There were a number of people at the seminar of Eastern European descent. As far as I know at this point, I have no ties to Eastern Europe. However, I wanted to learn more about this region just to be better educated. Ms. Alzo has authored a book about her maternal ancestors, Three Slovak Women, among several other books. I’m anxious to read more about her history!

I must say the folks at the Indiana Historical Society are truly gracious, in the seminar, when I wandered around on breaks, in the gift shop, and at the front desk. Really a very nice place to visit and on such a lovely day! Spring dropped by in central Indiana that day for a moment; it was nice to enjoy the sun and 60s!

I posted a couple pics on my Twitter feed from IHS, a fun quote in the Lily Center and a book I picked up authored by James H. Madison and Lee Ann Sandweiss.

Great day! I urge you, if you ever have the opportunity to hear Ms. Alzo speak, please do so! You most certainly will not be disappointed.


I’m sitting in on an APG webinar entitled “Building Your Author Blueprint: Writing Opportunities for the Genealogy Professional” presented by Lisa Alzo. It’s great, so many wonderful tips and information about genealogical writing, including blogging.

It did get me to thinking, though, that I need to keep track of the webinars I attend since I have a generic statement on my genealogical resume that I’ve “attended webinars”…people might want some sort of proof.

What better place to keep track than right here? I’ll start with this one and then go through my notes and add the others. I have registered for a number of upcoming webinars, as well.

*Expect change and make your own opportunities!*
*Keep a running list of ideas and keep motivated!*

Has it seriously been 5 months since I’ve had this blog up?!