Fri. Feb. 16, 2018: More Website Building Adventures & Digging in To Write

Friday, February 16, 2018
Waxing Moon
Rainy and mild

Busy day yesterday. Not enough writing done, but when is there?

The mid-month check-in is up on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site.

The Devon Ellington website is ready to move. There are tweaks I’ll have to do as soon as the site goes live, especially when it comes to creating custom perma-links. But the text and the look work for me. I mean, I kind of wish I could do a slight parchment color on the background, so the text isn’t against something so white, but I’m not quite savvy enough or confident enough to change the CSS script to do it. Not yet, anyway!

So now, I go into my pHp admin, change the links from the temporary building URL, and then dig in to my old webhost to try and point the site to the new address.

It’s also a case of creating the email addresses on the new site, and then setting up the subdomains for each series. I already put the pinned posts up on the various Facebook pages for each series to let them know that the old sites will be dark while the new sites are built.

I rebuilt the Devon Ellington Work site on a temporary URL, so I could test and tweak as I built and gain confidence. The subdomains, one for each series, will be built live. Yes, that’s a risk, but it’s easier (I think) than creating a temporary URL for each of them and then moving it. We’ll see, right?

I hope the site move will happen over the weekend, so I can start building the subdomains next week. I’d like to get them all up in about a week or so.

And then I’ll set up a temporary URL for Fearless Ink and work on that build, and, finally, the Cerridwen’s Cottage site. I’m looking forward to being done!

But I’ve learned a lot. And I have a stack of books to teach me more! ūüėČ

So, I spent yesterday morning building and editing the Devon Ellington site. I still have to come up with logos for the Gwen Finnegan Mysteries and the Jain Lazarus Adventures, but I can always create those and add them in.

Then, I took a much-needed break for yoga class. Boy, did I need it. The stress from the past few weeks took a toll on my body.

After that, I spent the afternoon on site working with a client.

Today, early morning grocery shopping, then time on the site move, and then, for the weekend, I’m digging into SPIRIT REPOSITORY. The original due date was yesterday; thank goodness it was moved. But I want to get some serious work done on it.

And I have to find a new drum for my laser printer.

Have a great weekend!

 

Published in: on February 16, 2018 at 10:48 am  Comments Off on Fri. Feb. 16, 2018: More Website Building Adventures & Digging in To Write  
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Thurs. Jan. 18, 2018: Pushing Through Illness

Thursday, January 18, 2018
Waxing Moon
Cloudy and cold

Still sick. I feel a little better (although I sound worse). My friend Jenn Mattern suggested oil of oregano and tart cherry juice, and that made a big difference. But it still lingers and slows me down. I’m too sick to go to yoga today, which makes me sad (although I keep up my practice at home).

It’s also slowed me down on SPIRIT REPOSITORY. I know what I’m going to write, but it’s harder getting the words on the page.

It was busy on-site with the client, but I got a lot done. My colleagues were worried I’d be upset about a thoughtless gesture; I decided not to be. It’s not that big a deal, although it’s telling in the bigger picture, and is reflective of how much more self-involved people are here than they are in the arts in New York. It amazes me how city dwellers are always portrayed as being selfish and isolated, when it’s really much worse away from cities.

I also have to rework my review. A few weeks ago, I got an email from my editor, citing new guidelines and rates. Okay, fine, I implemented them, I tried to upload my review, and it wouldn’t take. So I emailed her to ask why, and was told that those guidelines aren’t for the division for which I write. So why send them to writers for whom it doesn’t apply? Makes no sense to me. And annoys me, because I’d followed the new guidelines perfectly. Whatever. Back to the page on that one.

The Fearless Ink redesign is nearly done. I’m happy with it. I need to tweak some text, and then we move. I have just over a week to build the other six sites, which scares me, since it took me nearly two weeks to build this one. I’m hoping I get faster as I get more fluent and confident in the web language.

I also have to remember that these sites are living entities. They’ll grow and change all the time, because the content will grow and change. So, while I want to feel good about each site BEFORE it goes live, there are still tweaks I need to do to each one as it does.

I’m terrified of the move of the Devon Ellington Work domain and all the subdomains connected to the different series. I’m probably making it a much bigger deal than it is, but after years of lies and misinformation from my previous web host, I’m finding it difficult to fully trust the new one. In spite of the fact that they’ve been so clear in explanations, so helpful, and completely reliable in this first re-design and move. I need to get out of my own way and just do it.

I’m in talks to go to contract to write again for a series of publications for whom I wrote for many years. I’d stopped because I felt I’d said all I had to say; now I have more to say, and they’re delighted I want to come back. We’re going to talk contract specifics in early April. This is for 2020 — we work two years ahead. But I’m pleased to be back with them.

A writer friend just landed a contract with a great traditional publishing house! As soon as she makes it official, I’ll share. I am so happy for her! She deserves it — she’s an excellent writer, puts in the work, and it’s finally paying off! As I said, when she makes the formal announcement, I’ll celebrate her here with more details. She shot me an email about it last night. Happy dance for her!

Reading contest entries. They run the gamut. The top choices are going to be very competitive. There are some other entries where the author’s message is important and relevant, but the execution is so poor that they’re knocked out of contention. You don’t get a prize just for showing up or because you’re writing about an important issue — you also have to have the craft to communicate it with power.

I started reading a WONDERFUL book last night, in between all the other stuff I have to read. This is something I WANT to read, and I came across its existence reading about it in another book. It’s called POET’S PUB by Eric Linklater, and was one of the original ten books that launched the Penguin line. It’s a delight. I borrowed it through the Commonwealth Catalog from another library off Cape; I’m going to have to hunt down my own copy. I must own this book.

Taking my mom to get her blood pressure checked, sending off the revised review, working on the web redesigns for a couple of hours. Then home to rest and recover, do some client work, and dig back in to THE SPIRIT REPOSITORY. I also have another book review due next week, so I’ll dig into that either tonight or tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I need to buy cat food, or there will be consequences!

Onward.

Monday, July 17, 2017: Breaking Points and New Covers

Monday, July 17, 2017
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy, humid, hot

Sometimes you go through a rough patch, which is what is happening right now. ¬†It will cycle through, but it’s not fun while I’m in it. ¬†This post is a bit on the downside; feel free to skip it. ¬†Tomorrow, hopefully, will be a more upbeat day! ¬†But it does deal with some of the more stressful and unpleasant realities of the freelance life.

Stressful weekend. The life stress has been very, very bad, ramped up to a height where I’m ready to break under it, and, added to that, the last few days were filled with creative stress (the wrong kind) as well.

Some creativity in there, too, but stressful.

Two of the interview subjects (with big name associations) who’d promised to have their information back to me by Friday for one of the articles didn’t. Which meant on Saturday, I had to nag — something I hate. Because let’s face it, it’s not “follow up”, it’s nagging, and if you say you’re going to do something by a certain date, do it. Don’t just not get in touch. One of them suddenly said she was too busy to take the TEN MINUTES to answer the questions. No, honey, you’re not “too busy”. You either don’t want to share your knowledge, or you suck at time management. ¬†Either one is your choice, and I respect it; perhaps you’re trying to be polite with the “too busy”, but I read your subtext. ¬†Moving on!

The other sent the answers, and they’re very good, so they go in to the article.

Three other interview subjects never bothered to get back to me. Two of them were businesses related to the topic of the article with whom I considered doing business in the next few months. I’ve changed my mind. If they can’t answer a few basic questions, they’re not getting any dollars from me. ¬†The third non-response was rather expected; it was a stretch, and I had the feeling that organization wasn’t about to share information. It proved something I suspected.

I thought the cover for PLAYING THE ANGLES was all set, but now I’m having second thoughts. I’m afraid the cover is too bright and peppy for paranormal romantic suspense. The cover has to properly represent and support the story; the image was more appropriate for one of the pieces in development.

The designer and I worked up a new cover this morning, and I like it much better. So that‚Äôs a load off ‚Äď it combines theatre, moonlight, and gives a sense of suspense.

I did some work on the galleys; I’m working on the series bible as I work through the galleys, so that I’ll have it ready when I go back to finish SPIRIT REPOSITORY. ¬†Tracking details is so important. ¬†This past weekend, I saw a post from a writer who asked her readers a consistency question because she couldn’t remember and didn’t feel like looking back through her own work. ¬†I was shocked. ¬†That’s the WRITER’S job — keep a Series Bible, for crying out loud. ¬†I was further surprised because it’s the only series this particular writer works on; I’d understand more if she was juggling multiple series.

Worked on SAVASANA AT SEA. While the pace of the last draft is decent, I had to dumb down a bunch of stuff in the previous draft for the previous team, and I want to figure out a way to put back some of the more interesting items I was forced to cut. The new editor and I are working on that together. The manuscript, as it stood, was only 70K, so there’s room for a few thousand more words, as long as they don’t hurt the pace.

Did more Lavinia Fontana research. I’m getting an idea of the characters I want to include. So much of her life was handled by men; even though she is the central character, there will be a lot of male roles in the piece. I need to find at least one patron or wife of a patron so she’s got a good female character to play off of.

Outlined a new idea and wrote about twenty pages on it, so that the characters would shut up and let me think about other things. There’s potential in the piece, but I’m not sure when or how to fit it in. There are several pieces with potential that have to get back on the schedule and have to get finished, polished, and out.

“The Ramsey Chase” media kit is almost ready to go. PLAYING THE ANGLES media kit is almost finished. I updated the Q & A to reflect what’s changed in the re-release. I finished drafting the fiction section of the overall Devon Ellington media kit. I’m about to start work on the nonfiction section.

I have to figure out how to do subdomains for both the Coventina Circle series and the Nautical Namaste series. I have the right to the subdomains from my host, but I can’t use the website builder for any more projects without being charged extra — and they just raised my hosting fees AND told me that I have to pay every month, instead of quarterly. I’m out of available web pages to add on my main Devon Ellington site — unless I agree, again, to a higher monthly fee. Not that they’re giving me the services supposedly included in my package. But I can’t afford to switch hosts right now. I should be able to create pages and upload them as ftp files, except the host won’t give me the correct code to get into my ftp manager. Because 1and1.com is one of the worst hosts out there. I’ve been talking about moving hosts for years; as soon as I have enough money so to do, I have to do it, because they are costing me so much in lost revenue every single month and they REFUSE to provide customer service when something goes wrong. They are just awful. Unfortunately, right now I’m trapped. I have to stay, because I can’t afford to move, even though staying is costing me lost income. They know it, and they’re screwing me even worse than usual.

Sunday, I worked on the article and its sidebar, and worked on a couple of pitches that have to go out today. Most of Sunday was devoted to the article. The initial draft, with all the information waaaay above my allotted word count. I cut nearly 1000 words, and I was still over, by a good deal. I contacted my editor and asked if there was wiggle room — and got it. While I don’t want to take advantage, and will try to cut some more, I am grateful that she trusts me so much.

I think I found a new market for a rejected short story. I’m irritated that there’s been no response to a follow-up I sent on a couple of pitches, where I’ve worked for the publication before and the editor seemed to like me. I’m even more irritated that now I have one late payment that’s a month late and another going on two months. Not acceptable AT ALL. I have bills to pay; I need to be paid on time, PER CONTRACT, not if and when you happen to get around to it.

Did several loads of laundry on Sunday, too.  Carry wood, chop water.  It keeps things in perspective.  Managed to deadhead some of the tiger lilies, too.

This morning, I mowed, did a grocery store run, finished a review and submitted it, submitted two short stories and a pitch. I have to write some follow up letters that might negate my original pitch, but I can‚Äôt wait any longer for an answer. I can’t be in limbo any longer with vague, “yes, you’re hired and we’ll get back to you.” To top it all off, I have a migraine.

I’m supposed to do something for a pro-positivity site I was invited to join, but I’m not finding much that’s positive right now. I’m being run into the ground, without recompense.

I posted a couple of upbeat things on Facebook and Twitter in honor of the day’s theme, but that’s all I can do.

However, the new cover for PLAYING THE ANGLES has cheered me up.

I just have to dig deeper and find a way to make things work. ¬†Maybe I’ll sing the “Cranky Pants” song and it will help me get over myself!

Tomorrow will be better!