- Creating things is hard. Being a creative person is hard. Trying to create things as a creative person while not doing much creating is foolish, not to mention impossible and probably a violation of several laws.
- Books are more fun when you share them with friends. Even if your friends occasionally bend the cover back 2° more than what is preferred by the book owner, the pleasure of having someone to share ideas and concepts with is nearly as essential to being a book reader as having access to books.
- Most publishers aren’t interested in stories that have been published elsewhere, even on blogs. Makes sense.
- I’ve been missing an essential part of my life. Granted, eleven months ago, I was holed up in a corner of the house and either reading or knitting or doing little else, and now I travel the east coast and hike and travel with my family, so my life is complete in ways I couldn’t dream of before. (And trust me, I have some pretty bizarre dreams.) Still, I’ve been missing this outlet, and I think I realized this when my Facebook posts (original and comments) started to stretch out over multiple screens. Consistently.
So, we’re back. I’ll still talk about books and my programming projects and my writing, and I’ll still welcome the readership of the blogosphere to tell me where I’m wrong and exactly how wrong I am. I’ve missed that as well.
So the light blogging period is over and I’m back to keeping up with you guys every day, and then some. All in all, it was a pleasant drive to New York, with a stop on the way up with my awesome and artistic friends Joy and Daniel. The way down… well, my first day’s plans to meet someone for lunch fell through, and my plans to spend Monday and Tuesday hiking in Shenandoah and perhaps Mount Rogers in Virginia were greeted with rain and storms and lightning. (I was still thinking about hiking Old Rag Mountain, but something about spending time on an exposed granite summit during a thunderstorm seemed a little silly.) I finally spun off I77 in a huff (I can still do a pretty good huff) and went to the south bank of the New River, which has 20 or 30 miles of good trail alongside. It was sprinkling, but damnit, I’d planned on hiking, and I was going to hike.
The rest of the drive back wasn’t too bad. I crossed the perimeter into Atlanta around 1630, and a few wide turns later, I got my first view of the Atlanta skyline after almost a week away. And apparently, every single car in Georgia (and a few from Alabama) knew that I had missed seeing my city, so they all got together and blocked traffic on the freeway so I had more than enough time to look at it. sigh And the strange thing is, I’m still glad to be home.
Working on an inspirational post right now, along with this week’s story. I’m having issues with one since I’m afraid it’s a little too dark, but eventually I’ll probably put it out. It’s always a little bothersome when you peek into the dark corners of your mind, looking for something scary, and actually find something scary. Or disturbing. Or both.
I’m still working on the new theme for the blog (though Thursday’s story is finished, and next week’s is slowly peeking out of the closet I keep all my new ideas in). So, most of my inspiration today will be related to HTML, CSS, PHP, and WordPress hacking. Those of you with a blog might like these articles. Those of you who’ve tweaked your WordPress might want to offer me suggestions. And those of you who just read can either apply some of this stuff to writing bitchin’ comments in full HTML, or read something.
From WordPress: Five Elements For Your Front Page
Also from WordPress: Site Design and Layout
And here’s the CSS tutorial from W3Schools… there might be flashier ones, but this tutorial is short and blunt and to the point.
Digging into PHP and MySQL and such can get a little trying, but HTML and CSS are pretty powerful on their own, and really aren’t hard to learn. (Especially if you’re like me and grew up with a word processor or typewriter that had control codes.)
I’ll be back a little later with more inspiration.
Just when I thought that my hard weekend was last weekend, my to-do list crawled out from under my desk and started giggling madly at me. Let’s see what’s on the agenda…
- Another four chapters of the novella’s final draft
- Finishing the rough of next week’s story, which is about half-done at 1200 words
- Playing with an essay about writers as cheerleaders, including sections on why I often find lists of random writing prompts anywhere from distracting to insulting. (I have one exception, but that’s because it’s set up like a huge creative writing site, and not just a random list given to writing students like they are some sort of magic.)
- Play and perhaps plan the next story, which is either another novella in this same world, or a new novel.
- Sleep, if possible.
I do hope everyone reading this has something planned for the weekend. Let me know what it is so I can live vicariously whilst sitting in the corner, feeling punished, and banging out my sentences.
I do have a few links to share, and those will come later. Feedback on the stories, even if it’s bad (especially if it’s bad) is definitely requested. Next week will see me hitting the 1/13 mark, and that’s far enough in to start making changes, if changes need to be made.
You know, just in case there were any questions about how my weekend editing project went.
On the bright side, I hit my goal and got my submission package finished. I’m working on another part of the story now, and hopefully, the whole thing will be finished by next weekend. The new weekly story is coming along as well; like the other two, it’s completely not like them. Poetry to follow. I thought of posting one of my old ones…
I’m more depressed than anyone and I hate my life
I took down all the mirrors just to stay out of my sight
I really wish someone would come and kill me in the night
To save me all the trouble of getting my suicide note right
…but I decided against it. Happy positive thoughts, right? Though, according to electrical theory, negative thoughts would suck all the positive thoughts out of the air and to my head, right? Isn’t that how it works?
Beyond just having a good handle on HTML and CSS (even if you’re entirely using a third-party design from WordPress or another blogging site, it’s nice to customise) some of us like to take a little more control. One forum I go to on reddit is the amazing “www.reddit.com/r/learnprogramming” one, and their hypercritical (that’s a good thing) denizens recently put up a link to a new Web Development Curriculum. I spent this morning poking around a little bit of it, and it’s quite well laid out. If you have any kind of interest in doing something with your site besides dragging, clicking, and activating, take a look at it.
The Odin Project