Monday, January 28, 2008

Back to the stone ages

I've exceeded my data allowance for this month so my broadband is now narrowtwistyband at dial up speed. Grrrr. So you may not see much of me for the rest of this week until it speeds up again and there's no way the web site will go up yet. Double grrr.

In the meantime, I was too slow to sign up to help Patry Francis, an author who needs a little extra help, so I'll make my contribution by pointing you to Church Lady's very cool post about her: And what's more, it's competition time over there with the very lovely clergy supporter!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Web site hitching to completion!

It's not that I've been obsessed with it, but I've been obsessed with it. If you know what I mean.

The kids are on holiday here, which makes it hard to get involved in projects which need large chunks of time. Tinkering with the website for an hour here and there has been perfect and now it's nearly done. The words are now written and I've got over my issues with images by downloading a free graphics program which does the things I was hoping to do. Now there are images in the top left corner and also across the top of the screen. They are different on each page, which adds a lot more visual interest.

The only thing I need to finish off is fixing up a link to e-mail, so that if you click it automatically brings up an e-mail screen with my address. I'm hoping this will be straightforward, but I can't actually do it just yet, because I'm not sure what my e-mail address linked to the site will be. I'd like to use my domain name, but I can't set up any addresses at the moment until my web site host gets back to me.

Pay attention now, here comes the technical bit. For me, sorting out my domain name and site location has been a two-part process. It turns out I could have done both things with one company, which would have been much more straightforward. What I did was register my domain name, let's call it with a domain name registration company. All that did was reserve the name for me (dollars had to be provided). Now I have chosen a host - the company that will actually give me the space on their servers for my information - the web site - to appear (more dollars were provided).

The hitch in my case is that I now have to 'delegate' (move) my domain name from my registration company to my hosting company. It seemed straightforward, just a little electronic form to fill in with info from my hosting company. It's supposed to take 2-4 hours to work and then my host company would send me an e-mail letting me know everything was all set up and ready to go. However. I did this yesterday. 24 hours and no e-mail. And this, of course, is a holiday weekend here, so there's no point in harassing anybody, because there is nobody to harass.

Grrrr. I'm impatient now!

Coming up soon:
Will princess start school next week? At four and a half? Will the school take her? Is this wise or are we going to mess her up for life? On the other hand, will staying home for another year when she is clearly insanely ready for school mess her up even more? What about when she's 16 and her friends are 18? Why oh why can NSW not legislate more clearly on these matters so we don't screw up the life of our child?!!!
Will Cricket Boy's team ever win a match? Cricket starts again next weekend after a holiday hiatus so check in for more updates! (Caveat: soccer registration comes up in a few weeks and I suspect Cricket Boy will be more than happy to hang up his bat as soon as possible.)
Does Cricket Boy really have promise as a swimmer, as suggested by his teacher when he promoted him by two classes this week? Why, when he's actually good at something, does he hate it so much?
Why is Princess coming up the stairs and crying? Guess I'd better go and find out...

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Evil One Takes Over the Church!

The ever-beautiful Church Lady (just check out her photo on her blog, she's a stunner!) is hosting a blog party dedicated to the release of Evil Editor's book 'Novel Deviations 3'. Check out her blog between 9am and 9pm on Thursday, January 24, to commune with the Evil One, his minions and his weredingos. It's sure to be hilarious, sorry, highly educational.

The Evil One does not allow the public to see any photos of himself, but after much begging and pleading, he did finally release one to me. It explains much about his obsession with weredingos.

The wise words of the Evil One can be found here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Home page

This was a tremendous fiddle, but if I've managed it, this should be the home page of my web site:

What do you think? All critique welcome! This will have my real name on it, but I don't really want any links to my real name from this blog, which is why I've popped in McK. I'm also thinking black and white photo for the top left hand corner for the home page. That photo will change on every page, as will the title in the top bar.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Turning myself into a web monkey

I'm having fun! When I started researching HTML I rediscovered the fun I had had in creating a family web site many years ago. Then I got halfway into HTML and discovered a new thing - CSS! So I started to teach myself that, too. More fun! Maybe I was a computer programmer in a previous life, although in my previous lives a computer probably consisted of three stones and a stick.

Conduit clearly knows heaps more about this than I do, and I'm kind of hoping he'll jump in, but these days it seems that rather than writing, and then cutting and pasting, hundreds of HTML codes, you create a style sheet in CSS and simply attach it to a much simpler HTML document. More fiddlework up front, but as I add pages it's going to go very fast. It will also make it easy to make changes and add pages in the future. So it looks like I'm doing this myself, from scratch.

I've already created the front page; complete with menu, which means I have roughly structured the content, and am about to try and master inserting images, then I will move on to actually adding the pages the menu points at (links are working, but linking to nothing at the moment). I like the design (well, of course), but may mess with fonts. I'll post a lookie-see for you at some point, but I'll see if I can get some images first.

There's not much in the way of words on it yet - want to help? I'd like to put up a FAQ, so can you think of any questions that should be on there? I'll answer 'em, promise! Remember, I write YA, guys, so nothing too, um, well, yanno, no smut!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Back to the resolutions

I'm kind of liking this resolution thing. Keeping them very specific is helpful - it's easier to get started and, of course, easier to finish. My resolutions could have been summarised as 'keep writing' - but then I might start counting things like writing birthday cards, or forget about it all together.

So, I have 11. I won't bore you with them again, but, suffice to say thanks to some speedy beta readers I sent out Ghost Boys yesterday, so yippee and goodbye to resolutions 1, 2 and 3. The Christmas drinking is over, alas, so number 9 is gone. Ah, happy, but vague, memories. Did one of Church Lady's writing exercises today, so there's number 8 gone, and I'm managing to keep blogging with remarkable success, so I think I'll cross out 10 as well. See, this is going great!

However, it's time to get started on number 4: 'Get a website up and running - by the end of February, sooner if possible'. This might be the stumper. I wish I'd broken this one up a little, so I might do it now:

4a - register domain name (done!)
4b - research some HTML sites to see if I can be bothered teaching myself HTML again
4c - research some easy-to-use web creation, Mac-friendly sites/programs to see if that would be a better option - must combine a certain amount of creative freedom with idiot-proof simplicity
4d- structure web site (kind of done; I know most of what I would like to have on there)
4e - write copy (should be easy; I do this for a living along with other types of marketing copy, but, as we all know, doing it for yourself is, oh, a million times harder, than doing it for anybody else)
4f - source photos
4g - knuckle down and design website
4h - consider whether or not design is so pathetic that I should hand it over to one of my friendly design agencies to do for me - disadvantage is the megabucks it will cost
4i - test thoroughly in all programs and fix hitches
4j - choose host and get up and running

Did I miss anything? More experienced web folk please pitch with advice! I know December is partway through the process, as is Church Lady, anyone else ever tried this/feel like coming along for the ride?! Or, can anyone recommend any good writer web sites for me to snoop around? I like simple, edgy design. Simple is important if I'm doing it myself!

I think resolution number 4 is going to take a little time, but I want to create something that will last me for some time.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Blogging words of wisdom

No, not from me, sillies. Somebody much wiser. The sexy overcaffeinated one known as Sex Scenes at Starbucks, possibly the best blogging name in the entire world. Anyway, she's been doing this blogging thing for a while and this week she posted some of her tips as to what makes a good blog. Let's see if I can do a fancy link: Wise Words from a Master

I break many of these rules on a regular basis:

1. See a** below. Duh! Just call an ass an ass you slacker koalie
2. I don't visit many new blogs; just keeping busy with the ones I already visit is enough for a slacker like me
3. I'm a posting slacker

At last I know why I don't get 150 hits a day! And I'm not sure I ever will. See use of word 'slacker' above. However, this is all great, practical advice and I insist that the rest of you go off and follow it to the letter.

I love the visits I do get, so please keep checking in and I may even post more often (I've done well this week, haven't I?)

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Is it all over for Robin?

At the start of the year, well, a few days into it, one of my regular commenters, Robin was challenged to Fight The Smut over at Evil Editor - the link is at the side of this blog.

Alas for Robin, some of Evil's regulars had noticed a tendency in some of her posts. Or plain, honest smut. She was challenged to keep it clean for as long as she could. Evil Editor, who is a harsh taskmaster, thinks the jig is already up.

To follow the tale scroll down to 'The pool' where the challenge is set, then for a giggle read the comments trails to Fight Scenes numbers three, five and nine. Then check out Fight Scene fifteen and see if you agree with the Evil One.

It's been fun and Robin's been a good sport, but I can't believe it might be over so soon!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Getting up off my blogging a**

Here's the final list of resolutions, numbered for efficiency and satisfying crossing-offability:

1. Finish editing Ghost Boys - by early Jan.
2. Find Beta readers who can read and return by mid-Jan:-)
3. Make any sensible changes and send out by end of Jan.
4. Get a web site up and running – by the end of February, sooner if possible.
5. Finish half-done rewrite on Maureen. Consider whether or not it needs third total rewrite (she's my problem child). No deadline. I want to get it right, as long as I'm working on it and progressing I'll be satisfied.
6. Try and find a mag that might be interested in the two short stories I am happy with.
7. Write more short stories.
8. Do more of Church Lady's writing exercises and keep visiting her blog. (As requested by Church Lady)
9. Break the Christmas habit of two glasses of wine every night - by the end of the first week of January!
10. Stay in touch with your blog friends, and keep your persona going strong where we can all enjoy your refreshing self. (As requested by Robin, and pretty much in her words, because it's my blog and I like the compliments, I do, I do, purr.)
11. We will definitely buy your work when it's published. Promise. (oh, hang on, I think that's Robin's resolution. But I'll buy yours too, Robin.)

OK, let's get going on the crossing off... What? Why did you think I was posting?!

Number one - it's done! Yippee! Well maybe it could do with another re-read, but I can do that while carrying out numbertwo... It's already off to one reader.

Number eight. I'm still visiting Church Lady. That's an easy one!

Number nine. Two nights ago I had a gin and tonic instead of wine. No, really, that counts. Oh, OK then. Last night not a drop passed my lips, just a lot of chocolate. It's a step-by-step process...

Number ten. I haven't written much here, but I've been flitting about the blogosphere in my breaks, so I'll take a yes on that one. Another easy one really. I think. Assuming I've been refreshing, which I will allow you to judge.

Not a bad start to 2008!