Otis Solarin: in mid 40s, in a great shape, black male, originally from West Africa. Intellectual, measured, authoritative. Professor of space history.
Ny: mid-40s, black female from West Africa. Professor as well.
Ennuturat: an alien, cranky, curt, dismissive, a scientist of the Unkari species. Age in human frame of reference: mid-50s.
Hundigar: young alien, arrogant, with lightly veiled contempt to his older colleague Ennuturat. Age in human frame of reference: early 30s, with a rapid career above his age. Dies in a spaceship crash because of his careless mistake.
Immirtau: an alien elder, in 80s, weak, shaky voice, wise counselor.
OUR IDEAL CANDIDATE:
Male, 30-45, strong actor. Level of experience: beginner to medium. Must possess a demo reel of previous work or record a few paragraphs from the beginning of TSUNAMI (the final text may be slightly edited based on the suggestions of the voice actor). Must possess access to a professional studio. Non-union voice actor.
We are looking for a male actor able to read all these parts with distinction. The project may have continuation and the actor selected for this project will be our first pick to narrate the entire audiobook.
Submission deadline: December 15, 2015.
Location: Remote Recording.
Rate: $150 full buyout. No agency fee.
USAGE: Broadcast via youtube and other platforms. Actor gets full credits and may use the resulting product for self-promotion. The video will be distributed free of charge.
In the type of submission pick ‘other’ and mention the ‘VO for TSUNAMI’ in the cover letter. In the cover letter: list studio equipment; your experience in VO acting, agency/rep name/email/cell-phone; links to audio work, headshot.
Only qualifying talent will be emailed with further questions.
Commercial Flight Air Japan enroute Paris-Tokyo Over the Alaskan Air Space
“Anchorage, do you read me?”
“Yes, Japan 1628. Loud and clear.”
“Anchorage, eh… do we have traffic intersecting our trajectory?”
“Ah… Negative…” Sh-sh-sh.
“Anchorage, we have a visual on a… perhaps an aircraft carrier.”
“Beg your pardon?”
“Well I can’t tell exactly, but there is something there. My copilot and other crew confirm the visual…”
Sh-sh-sh – click – crack – crack – click
“Japan 1628, ah… we stripped filters from the radar data… On the raw data we … ah… confirm an object in your relative proximity, 3-4 km North West.”
“Well, Anchorage, do you know what is it? My passengers are edgy. I can’t prevent them from taking the pictures, you know…”
“Can you describe it?”
“Well, it is cigar-shaped… With the lights evenly spaced along the hull. It looks like it’s matching our speed and staying dead ahead of us, within the visibility range from the cockpit and the A isle, the window isle I mean.”
Sh-sh-sh. Click Crack.
“Stand by Japan 1628. We will contact the Air Force Base.”
“Anchorage, Anchorage, this is a distress call!”
“Come in Japan 1628.”
“We may be under attack!”
“We are reading two small crafts following you on the sides. What’s your visual?”
“They have separated from the mothership…” crack “Anchorage, they moved in leaps, not as any aircraft I can think of. What’s the update from the Air Force?”
“Eh..It’s not theirs. I mean, they know nothing about it.”
“Do you think it is hostile? God help us, Anchorage, I have a full aircraft of passengers.”
“We can’t say. Try evasive maneuver. We suggest dropping the altitude. Standby for the course correction.”
“We read you. Dropping the altitude to the mark.”
“Japan 1628! We follow your maneuver on the radar. The small crafts matched your position. Do you read me, Japan 1628?”
The com channel was open, but the pilots were not responding. The Anchorage air traffic controller’s booth was flooded with the high-pitch sound from the com.
“Sanders!” Yelled the Fairbanks airport shift leader Mitchem. “Get the fucking Air Force on the line!”
While Sanders was patching thought to the base, Mitchem was watching the Japan 1628 on the radar firmly locked between two small unidentified crafts. Regardless of the maneuver the passenger craft took, the two satellites seamlessly matched the trajectory and speed.
“1628! 1628, come in! What’s your status?” Insisted Mitchem biting the skin around his big fingernail.
Sh-sh-shhhhhh click click
“Anchorage!” Came through agonizing cry of the 1628 pilot. “We are blasted…” sh-sh-sh “…light… heat….flooded…” sh-sh-sh “and heat, like a furnace… bright light penetrated the walls!”
“1628, perform emergency landing. Confirm!”
“Negative! We have lost control. The electronics is not responsive.”
“Let us try to override it from here!”
Mitchem tried to take over the flight control, but his attempts met an unusual firewall.
“1628… Unfortunately we cannot take over control… How are you holding up? What is your status?”
The 1628 took longer than usual to respond. Mitchem gnawed at his fingernail a bit too hard drawing blood from the cuticle. Finally the com channel lit up green.
“Anchorage… ah… what’s the status on your radars?”
“1628, I no longer see them on the radar. Do you have the visual?”
“Ah… negative… They are gone….”
“Can you control cruising?”
“Take course on the emergency landing. We opened a lane for you.”
“The course for the emergency landing is established.”
“1628… What’s the status of the passengers and crew? Any … eh… casualties?”
“We are still checking, but the quick assessment is that everyone is fine. Minus a few hysterical ones, but that’s understandable considering.”
“Good to hear. Ehhh…. 1628, safe flight.”
“Yeah right. Over.”
“How many times do I have to repeat myself?” Pleaded exhausted Japanese pilot of the flight 1628 Ichiro Akiyama.
“As many as we require.” Flatly hissed the man in a civilian suit and shaded aviator glasses, although the room was dim as the devil’s soul. The man, who introduced himself as a liaison from the Reagan administration, took the last drag from his sig and squeezed the butt in the filthy ashtray, the only decor attribute in the entire interrogation room.
Upon landing, the crew was whisked away by the U.S. military cogs and transported to the unknown location in the vehicles with two-way shaded windows. Akiyama only knew that he was a forty minute drive from the Fairbanks International Airport.
“Am I under arrest?”
“On what? I am a Japanese citizen. I need a lawyer.”
“Mr. Akiyama. We found illegal narcotic substance among your personal belongings.”
“As a captain of the airplane, wouldn’t you say that you receive reduced security attention when you are boarding?”
“This is nonsense. I need a lawyer.”
“Just. Answer. The. Fucking. Question!” At that last word, the bureaucrat smashed his fist at the desktop suspending the ashtray in a momentary zero gravity spilling half of it’s pungent content.
Akiyama’s neck muscles went stiff.
“Perhaps. This doesn’t mean….”
“So you were aware that the security is unlikely to check you with scrutiny. How long have you been on cocaine, Mr. Akiyama?”
“Never! I have never consumed cocaine or any other recreational drug!”
“Perhaps the blood test will testify otherwise”, smiled the nameless bureaucrat with the corner of his mouth.
“What do you want? Where is this all going?” asked Akiyama in a defeated voice.
“Glad you want to go straight to business, Mr. Akiyama. Your choices are limited. We may arrest you right here for international drug trafficking. We have just the right criminal ring to connect you to. It is a federal crime, and you may forget about extradition.”
“I’d prefer a different option.”
“Alright. You go back on the plane, you fly your passengers home, and you live happily ever after.”
“I like that. But what is the catch?”
“You change your testimony. There was never a UFO, there were never two aircraft that ceased the cruise control, and there was never a supernatural light show.”
“What do you know about this? What happened to us there?”
“Mr. Akiyama, we requested medical records from all passengers and the crew. We know that you were diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.”
“We know that there were two other persons on board with the same condition. We cannot guarantee you, but chances are, and your physician will confirm, that you are in a remission.”
Akiyama stared at the bureaucrat speechless for some time and then broke in tears. Those were the tears of confusion, hope, fear, but mostly of extreme exhaustion. The prospect of the ordeal to be over destroyed all the bravery Akiyama worked so hard at keeping up.
“Alright. I’ll sign whatever you need me to sign. But tell me what happened out there. And don’t insult my intelligence by the unusual weather patterns.”
“That is exactly what happened, Mr. Akiyama. That is all you need to know.”
Ichiro Akiyama never flew again. At least not in the pilot capacity. His brain scan indeed confirmed an unprecedented remission. Akiyama’s doctor kept pressing for the information where he received such an effective radiation treatment, but Akiyama only laughed it off.
His luck did not last forever. In two years, the tumor returned to active growth phase, and his time on Earth came to an end.
You were reading an excerpt from ‘329 Years Awake’, my upcoming #scifi #novel. I just finished writing this piece and couldn’t wait to share with you. What can I say, I have a problem with delayed gratification ;). If you are interested, you can sign up for a #FREE advanced reader’s copy here. http://www.jalapenopublishing.com/ellie-maloney.html
All you need to do is to want the book and sign up with your email address. I will not spam you with anything that is not related to this book, promise. I don’t have time for that. Thanks for reading! Please comment and share!
Nearly complete, in the final revision state after several beta readers.
329 YEARS AWAKE
Sci fi, (literary/commercial), speculative fiction, with LGBT/diversity themes.
Year 2585. The Earth Nations are on the brink of war with the Unkari, an alien race from Sagittarius Dwarf galaxy. Captured during a failed reconnaissance mission, Lt. Mazula and En. River are in the thick of the conspiracy. History of humanity comes to light. Shocking realization that our destiny and evolution was never our own.
Year 2275 The Unkari Research Lab. Atlantic Ocean, Earth
“Master Ennuturat! You need to see this! I have identified a research subject that is going through the final stage! Look at his brainwaves during the sleep period!”
Old Ennuturat slowly got off his reclined chair and proceeded to the monitor, where his young assistant was pulling up various databases on someone named Otis Solarin.
“Hmm” The coefficient of the thalamus activity correlated with the oscillation ability is extremely high. “Are you sure he has the gene?”
“Positive! I am so excited! This is the first time we received this good of a result since the subject named Carl Jung, although the gene was not passed onto either of his five offspring. I’ve been monitoring Otis Solarin since birth. The gene runs in his family.”
This youngster was too much like the foolish Hundigar, with all his excitement and exuberant youth. Obviously, it was not a compliment in Ennuturat’s vocabulary. He looked thoughtfully outside the large transparent force field of the research lab that separated them from the ocean. A large school of fluorescent fish hurried by, casting shadows on the rippled sandy ocean floor, lit up with the green lights surrounding the lab building. He would never admit it to anyone, but he had grown to love this view and the serenity of the ocean floor. Sometimes he would open the sound channel and flood his personal quarters with the sounds of the ocean. The songs of the aquatic species worked miracles for his old body.
“Presuming it is so, and all checks out, do you think he can oscillate when awake?”
“Hmm. I don’t know, master. We haven’t found anyone who could yet. But I know someone on Erinozhan who is creating an artificial field that would amplify the brain waves and simulate the collective network effect of their ancestors. Perhaps he could oscillate in the field. But in any event, his descendants, a generation or two away, will be able to. The projections are unanimous.”
“We need him then. As soon as possible.”
“Is this going to be an ethics lecture?”
“Master, you know as well as I do. Abductions are ruled illegal by the Council.”
“Black hole on their heads! When we are so close, they decide to fall for this ‘human rights’ nonsense.”
“I know, master, it is extremely frustrating, but we have to follow the protocol.”
“So what do we do?”
“Well, we discussed the First Contact for some time now. Maybe this presents a good reason to officially introduce ourselves. This Otis Solarin may agree to join our research project willingly. With a little white lie of course, but willingly nonetheless.”
Ennuturat was old school. Negotiating with the lab animals was beyond his comprehension, but he knew one thing for sure: this universe belonged to the new guard, for better or worse. And the new Unkari, with their evolved vision of these humans, would have to deal with their dangerous ability. Looking towards eternity, Ennuturat had resigned to this new vision, no matter what he personally thought of it.
“First Contact you say. That should be fun. I’d like to see their reaction when we come out of the ocean,” said the old Unkari with a mischievous smile. “Alright, send a memo to the Council. If they approve, we’ll have some fun before I drift into eternity.”
“Don’t say that, Master. You have many galactic rotations ahead of you,” coaxed the young Unkari scientist, fully aware that he was lying. But what’s a little white lie, when someone’s peace of mind is at stake?
TO BE CONTINUED
Download the first chapter, ‘TSUNAMI’ in a PDF document:
Recently, for the purposes of my sci fi novel ‘329 Years Awake’ I’ve been researching various UFO themes, and I am particularly fascinated with the 1947-1963 period. Let’s recap what was going on in the U.S. history during that period.
During Truman administration, in 1947, near Roswell New Mexico, we all know what happened. At least we know that something definitely happened. Namely, something crashed on a farm, and the rest is history. High ranking military looked into that crash and briefly it created hype in the media. Thanks to that event, good ‘al folks in Roswell still have jobs selling UFO merchandise. The official version of the events: a weather balloon crash. The two unofficial versions state that it either was a top secret military object or the extraterrestrial UFO.
Here’s what happened next, in pure facts. The Roswell and other lesser known UFO claims led to creating a military Project Sign (1947-1949), and it’s successors Project Grudge (1949-1952) and the most famous one Project Blue Book (1952-1969). These are the facts. Also the fact is that plenty of cash and manpower was allocated for these research projects.
During the Sign era, each air force base had a Sign officer designated with special authority – to question anyone on the subject of UFO suspicion and not to follow the proper chain of command. This is a rather unprecedented scope of authority which points to the seriousness of Truman’s perception of the situation.
In March 1952, began the new era of the UFO investigation, namely the revamped Project Blue Book.
In July 1952, a famous incident of numerous UFO sightings in Washington DC was recorded. Apparently, in Washington DC, over a period of Jul. 12-29, numerous sightings of UFOs were repeatedly confirmed by:
The air traffic controllers on the radars;
The radars of at least two air bases USAF F-94 in Delaware whose jets were in the sky repeatedly trying to chase the thing and USAF Andrews whose servicemen traced it on the radars;
Pilots on the runways of the Washington DC National Airport (now Reagan); and
Numerous eyewitnesses on the ground.
The ‘lights’ were spotted over the White House, the Capitol and Pentagon. This scare lead to creation of the Robertson Panel on the request of the CIA and the Truman administration. Officially the panel debunked the event saying it was an unusual weather pattern.
Project Blue Book produced a famous Report #14 written by then head of the Project Edward J Ruppelt. According to the report, of the thousands of ‘cases’ (the UFO claims), about 23% could not be explained away with any natural or logical phenomena (and I suspect they tried hard to debunk them). Ruppelt ended up writing a book ‘The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects‘ which is in public domain and free on kindle. I just picked it up yesterday, but the summary claims that the work on the Sign and the Blue Book made him if not a devout believer, but at least an entertainer of the possibility of the extraterrestrial origin of at least some of the claims.
On Jan. 20, 1953 Dwight Eisenhower takes the presidential office. Eisenhower was a five star general, and according to some rumors personally witnessed something of an unidentified origin, perhaps a UFO. According to some sources, in 1952, when on a boat USS Rosevelt, he observed a bright light for over 20 minutes. As a U.S. president, Eisenhower certainly received an access to all the UFO materials. Not only he continued the Project Blue Book, but he took it further.
Consider the historic context. The Cold War. The Space Race. In 1957, the USSR launches first two satellites – Sputnik 1 with a beacon and Sputnik 2 with an unfortunate passenger on board – a stray dog named Laika. Laika dies within five hours from heat exhaustion and perhaps stress, because by all means the ride to the orbit was bumpy, but it symbolically stakes the supremacy of the Soviets in delivering a living thing to the orbit.
Now we have some evidence that Eisenhower was aware of the Soviets’ capacity to deliver a small payload to the orbit, but he played a smart chess move. Allowing the Soviets to access the space first, we now have a precedent that anyone can go to space without the permission of the UN or NATO or anyone else. The game was on.
DARPA on the Fringe of Science
In 1958, Eisenhower establishes at least two agencies that changed the space exploration and the world of technology forever. First one was NASA and the second one was DARPA. While NASA was concerned with space exploration, DARPA was a an agency where science fiction became reality. It’s mandate was described as ‘high risk – high gain’ fringe science exploration to establish military and technological superiority of the U.S. not only for the immediate needs, but also for the future.
DARPA is extremely important in understanding of the Project Blue Book, and, perhaps, the Roswell events. The UFO proponents bring forward eye-witness accounts of the 1947 wreckage containing unique, never before seen materials, pieces of some aircraft, and even perhaps several, presumably alien, bodies. What DARPA has to do with any of this? Check out this video. Over it’s lifetime DARPA is responsible for radical revamping of the way we do technology, internet and GPS being only a few of it’s accomplishments.
There’s a curious fact about DARPA’s establishment. It’s first director was a former General Electric CEO Roy Johnson, who went from making $160.000 to $18.000 a year at DARPA. What would compel a well-off businessman to make such a career move? If only perhaps a promise of discovery so grandiose that rendered money irrelevant. Hypothetically, would an opportunity to reverse-engineer alien technology be a good enough reason? I leave this question for your consideration.
If DARPA’s quantum leap in technology is not impressive, think about one of it’s more obscure accomplishments: the Arecibo communication array. According to the DARPA website, “Located in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, the Arecibo Observatory houses the world’s largest single-dish radio telescope. The giant telescope “dish” is 1,000 feet (305 meters) in diameter, 167 feet (51 meters) deep and covers an area of approximately 20 acres (0.08 square kilometers). Development of the Arecibo facility was initially supported by ARPA in the 1960s as part of the DEFENDER Program, a broad-based missile defense program. It was intended for study of the structure of the upper ionosphere and its interactions with electromagnetic signals and communication.”
In the pop culture, Arecibo is known for the first attempt to communicate with the aliens. According to SETI website, “In 1974, the most powerful broadcast ever deliberately beamed into space was made from Puerto Rico. The broadcast formed part of the ceremonies held to mark a major upgrade to the Arecibo Radio Telescope. The transmission consisted of a simple, pictorial message, aimed at our putative cosmic companions in the globular star cluster M13. This cluster is roughly 21,000 light-years from us, near the edge of the Milky Way galaxy, and contains approximately a third of a million stars.”
Why M13 21.000 lightyears away? Why not something closer? But this is not even the most important question. Although the Project Blue Book is officially closed by 1969, in the 1970s, the U.S. government, which officially does not believe in aliens, persistently attempts to communicate with them. The most notable and expensive projects, of course, are the Voyager 1 and 2 crafts with the ‘message in the bottle’ on board – the so-called golden records. Read about some other messages and time capsules here.
Why spend money on something you don’t believe in? Eisenhower was sighted once saying “Anyone who would spend $40 billion in a race to the moon for national prestige is nuts”. This line is usually interpreted as a buyer’s remorse for the NASA budget that grew out of control. Indeed, Eisenhower was a fiscal conservative, but he was the vehicle behind creating NASA and any technological advancement the U.S. can get it’s hands on. In this light, perhaps this quote should be interpreted as an acknowledgement that the U.S. is in the space race for a much greater goal, unlike the narrow-minded and ego-ridden USSR.
Credibility of the Majestic 12 Leak
Now, to the Majestic 12. In 1984, a bundle of the allegedly ‘leaked’ photocopies of documents surfaced in the ufologist circles. The two documents are usually sighted:
Dated 18 Nov. 1947 and signed by Truman order to create a top secret research group on the subject of the UFO, allegedly in the wake of the Roswell incident and others. The group was supposed to have the highest clearance and consist of the military and civilian experts.
The memo on briefing of the future president Eisenhower, also signed by Truman, on the subject of the Majestic 12 activity.
There are a few reasons why I think this particular ‘leak’ is a hoax.
First, the way it surfaced was not credible. Allegedly a movie director who was working on the UFO movie received an anonymous envelope with a roll of film. When it was developed, it contained photocopies of these documents. If I was a credible person who wanted to make an important UFO information public, I would use a more credible source, like the national media, and not one, but many, and would perhaps include more information than just this film.
Second, it is unclear what was the relation of Majestic 12 and the leadership of the Project Sign which we know officially existed. Also, it seems redundant to have both Sign and Majestic 12 when the goal is to limit the exposure to sensitive information.
Third, it is claimed that the Majestic 12 refused to let Eisenhower in on the secret, and only after a threat to bring the National Guard to the air force base which served as the headquarters for the group, they caved in. This is such a silly and unnecessary plot twist that makes the whole story not credible. Why would they refuse to brief Eisenhower if they suppose to directly report to him?
Take this article with a grain salt, of course. I am fascinated with this period of history, the space race, and I love sci fi. I don’t know what actually happened in all of these famous UFO sightings, but I think that the hoax like the Majestic 12 leak is removing us further from the truth and ridiculing the subject entirely. I am exploring these themes in my novel ’329 Years Awake’ for the purpose of pure entertainment, and hope that you will enjoy it with me. You can sign up for the free ARC copy on http://www.jalapenopublishing.com, on my page and see how these themes will play out in my story. Also I’d love hear your comments about all of this.
Friends, for your consideration is my short story TSUNAMI. Some of you have read it and commented on the formatting issues, for which I am super grateful. Hopefully I resolved these issues – and now I am offering the story in both ePub (for Mac devices) and PDF – for the rest of the devices. If you have no preference – choose PDF as it supports images.
Also, since I’ve been discussing the Ulysses app, I’d like to inform you that the ePub is created in the Ulysses. Unfortunately, other images except the cover, did not show up so I had to remove them. I was able to insert hyperlinks and create simple structure. The PDF version was created in the LucidPress online program, which I’ve been using lately a lot. I will write a detailed review later.
It’s kind of a bragging slash review update post. I just finished a 8.000 word short story in the Ulysses and wanted to update you on my experience with the app. In short, the Ulysses app so far still rocks. It crashed once for an unknown reason, but I suspect it is more of my old laptop issue that the app itself. I was in the middle of writing and lost only a few words. The autosave works great. I found a bunch of useful features too – little optimization tools that just make the whole app experience even better.
What could improve the app?
MOBI file export option. It has the ePUB and adding MOBI seems to make a lot of sense.
That being said, I downloaded the Scrivener as well. And the first minute impression could not be starker. One word – complicated. Lots of instructions. But! If you persevere through it, it has definite benefits over the Ulysses.
Benefits of the Scrivener over the Ulysses:
Has more export options, including MOBI, and they are more robust.
Has more templates – the ‘looks’ of how your files come out, and all geared toward writers, all the useful stuff.
Has the option of non-linear writing. This is an option that is useful for long-form writing. You can start chapters and pieces of writing in separate ‘files’ or ‘cards’, and you can shuffle them however you want, and when you export they will seamlessly come out as a single document.
Offers the Screenplay format.
It has the option of virtual pin-up board for outlining scene by scene. If you are that type of a person – Scrivener is your choice.
But! And there is a big but.
Benefits of the Ulysses over the Scrivener
I feel reluctant to really explore Scrivener yet because it is so robust. I probably need to study it. Like, read the actual instructions. Also, the interface is not as clean and not as nice. The interface font is so small. It’s kind of the difference between artsy and less functional mac and less artsy and more functional microsoft that has loads of stuff you never use, if this makes sense. Also, the Scrivener takes up more space, it’s the bigger file. Also, Ulysses notes management sidebar is absolutely superior. This may be just my subjective opinion, but I feel pretty strong about it.
If you can, and finances allow, perhaps use both. If you have to pick:
Scrivener – if you want a robust all-inclusive option. If you need to write screenplays. If you need PDF, WORD, MOBI and EPUB files as the result.
Ulysses – if you want a distraction-free simple writing environment well integrated with the main social media. If you can get away without the MOBI format.
In terms of price they are identical.
As for my story, I am really psyched about it. It’s different, its speculative fiction heavy on the mix of history and fiction. I think it’s an exciting story. And it’s about alien abductions! I’ll keep you posted when and where you can read it.
Thanks for reading and please feel free to comment. Anyone else is a fan of the Scrivener? I’d like to hear from you.
Recently I posted about my issues with writing productivity when I write outside of the WordPress environment. Initially I thought that I get energized from the feedback I receive when I post my writing, but as Candace Vianna suggested in her comments that it might be my attachment to the simplified WordPress environment that helps minimizing the distractions. Since I am currently involved in a few promising writing projects and am intended to finish some of them by the end of the year, I need to figure out this problem as soon as possible. I researched writing that minimize distractions.
There is some plausibility in suspecting that I am an easily distracted writer. For once, my desktop is always littered with images and documents that I am working on, even though I clean the desktop regularly. It is just a terrible file management habit I developed, and I suspect that I am easily distracted because of all this stuff on my desktop which serves as my pin-up board and a to-do list all at once.
Yesterday I uploaded the desktop app Ulysses and worked in it all day today. I must say, for the WordPress bloggers it should take little to no time to get used to.
My positive first impressions after one day of using it:
Simple to use even without reading the instructions. Yes, I am one of those people who read the instructions only when confronted with an unsolvable problem. The fact that I haven’t yet read any instructions testifies about the intuitive design of the app.
The interface is really clean, and you can minimize it down to the bare worksheet.
It constantly autosaves (by default backup is enabled, so make sure not to switch this function off).
It has a very handy ‘goal’ icon that shows you how far away you are from the intended progress. If the word count performance stresses you out, you don’t have to use it and you can hide it at all.
My favorite feature is the right sidebar that allows keeping multiple notes and images. The ones you are currently not using may be collapsed, as you can see on my picture.
It is a desktop app and works without the internet connection.
It has nice but basic features of exporting your documents as PDF, ePUB, DOCX, HTML, and TEXT, and also to publish to the WordPress directly from the Ulysses app, which I am intended to check out as soon as I am finished with typing. (Update: works like a charm). By the way, when it comes to the ePUB, you can also add a cover image, but not a lot more than that, so don’t expect churning your e-books in this app.
You can create structure in the document by assigning various levels of headings, creating tags and such, but these options are hidden enough and won’t distract you.
Not sure, but it seems like the app is blocking the pop-up notifications. At least it seemed this way, because I normally get a lot of those, and I didn’t notice them this time.
Probably one of the better features is that despite being a desktop app, Ulysses is not a memory hog. I have a wee 4 GB Mac Book Air, which is regularly overworked, so lately memory consumption is a consideration for me.
Bonus: Integrated spellcheck.
So that’s eleven positives after the first day. As to the negatives (or shortcomings) they are the following.
It is very basic. To my current knowledge, you cannot write screenplays or see the page layout. The worksheet layout looks just like the WordPress in a sense that it just scrolls down forever.
There are no fancy fonts, which is probably for the good, but I thought I should point it out.
Compared to the Scrivener, it is roughly equally priced ($45 for Ulysses and I believe $38 for Scrivener) wile offering twice as little features. Bottom line: expensive and less functional tan the next competitor.
I haven’t found a way to use hyperlinks in the document yet.
Can’t find the ‘undo’ button! Exercise caution when deleting stuff.
That’s about it from the negatives. However, those negatives may actually be positives, considering that I spent no time at starting working in the app and already loaded all my current projects. The notes and images sidebar is brilliant. I think it will help me to keep my desktop cleaner.
Hope this information was useful to someone. I am very interested in writing optimization tips, so please feel free to jump in on the conversation. What are your favorite efficiency tools?