Sunday, February 5, 2012

5 things on a Sunday

1. Awesomeness. 
I’m so excited that Pat Rothfuss and the worldbuilders team has EXCEEDED the goal of $250,000 donated to Heifer International, an incredible, fabulous charity!! There is still time to donate (it runs through the 7th). 

Not only do you give to a great cause, but for every $10 bucks you put in, you are eligible to win books and many many other mind-bendingly wonderful prizes. It’s the ultimate win-win lottery. A ton of league books are in there, and so much more. Check it out here and here

2. Comma freakout.
I have been close-proofing DEVIL'S LUCK, my novella about my character Simon, which I am going to self publish. I have had it professionally copyedited, but am now reading it over and changing things around and suddenly I feel like I don’t know how to use commas anymore! 

What is a comma?
Commas used to be so natural for me, but when I really think about them, then my understanding of them falls apart. It’s like that old story of the centipede, and somebody asks it how it walks with so many legs, and once he starts thinking about it, he can’t walk. It doesn’t help that I have been edited through the years by editors with different comma-using styles, the open and the closed, and my Chicago Manual of Style is possibly a few years old.

3. Website freakout.
I have been re-building my author site, a project I started a couple of weeks ago. It’s not up right now - it’s still my crappy old author site there. Honestly, I thought it would take a weekend, but that was before entering the odyssey of tutorials and crazy frustration and OCD perfectionism that is this process. I’ve been in trying to get it EXACTLY PERFECT, of course. My new site is turning out so freaking complex, but I think it looks cool. I sort of think I will get it up today, but honestly, I have thought that on many other days. Either there’s a snafu with the way-too-complicated-for-me theme I’m using, or I get a new idea for something to add or change.

4. Voodoo.
So, my new site is sitting on a development url right now, and I’m kind of scared to even look at it this morning. One morning when I looked at it, I’d changed one page the night before and all these other ones had inherited the change that weren’t supposed to inherit the change. So I changed them back, and then that changed other pages. And then I changed those others back and…etc. It was like a morning of whack-a-mole. 

My website building process

I know that right now the hyperlinks are bright purple, and I haven’t managed to change them to a better color, not for lack of trying, but I have decided to leave them as is, just to not mess with my luck, like the website gods might bite off my beggarly and shaking hand if I put it out, asking for this one last crumb of design goodness. Yes, that is the level of my mastery; it’s quite primitive!

What I’m really scared of is that it will fall apart when I migrate it to my normal URL. Actually, I’m petrified of this, even though Hostgator assures me they will help. But maybe if I leave the hyperlinks in that messed-up purple, my site will remain whole somehow.

5. Quandary.
One of my last quandaries on the site was whether to put up the home page “billboard” many authors have where there is a glowing quote or two or three about their work. I had this whole design done without thinking about that home page quote. And at that point, putting a quote on the home page would completely wreck the cool design. 

Helpful in website building
In my regular job as a copywriter, I work with designers who sometimes complain about this sort of thing, like this or that copy or subhead will mess up their design, and my feeling is often, "Screw your design, it’s the content that’s delivering the message!" But here, I was on the opposite side. Or, both sides. 

I had a discussion with blogger galpal who typically doesn’t notice the home billboard quote, and that made me feel better, and partly, my thinking was, they’re at your site, do you really need to sell them? But then I still felt uneasy. It then occurred to me that there are two main audiences/purposes of author’s site: to provide more info and resources to those who have read your work, and to build credibility and interest for those who haven’t read your work, and that’s who the billboard quote is for, that last group of people who don't know you. Who knows! It's all kind of voodoo, in a way. Anyway, I figured out a solution that wouldn’t wreck the design. Yippee!

Anyway, happy Sunday friends! I hope you're having a lovely weekend. 


Penelope said...

I can't wait to see your new website. It has taken you on an incredible journey. :^)

Billboard quote: Carolyn Crane will ROCK...YOUR...WORLD! Too much?

Carolyn Crane said...

LOL! :D Hey, welcome back!

Skye Warren said...

I know exactly what you mean about commas. Except worse, possibly. I managed to make it through school without learning how to use commas properly. I think it was one of those things where in every grade they would assume we learned it in some previous grade, so I made it through high school and college never having learned. It turns out you can get pretty darn far with the pause method in professional communications and actually be considered cogent. Who knew? Boy, did I feel like a dumbass when I started writing and realized how little I understood it. And yeah, I've got multiple editors, each with their own style, and then I try to reconcile that with my own style, better known as incorrectness. Big sigh. :)

Jenn Bennett said...

A) Website looks fab (screw the billboard quote)

B) I love those chips, too. *g*

TS Tate said...

X_X did I do that? Something I can help with the comma confusion? Sorry!! Let me know if you need to ask about something.

FYI I love the site as is, love the retro feel to it. Anyway, can't wait to see what changes you've made to the Simon novella. *twirls you*