A bit of site housekeeping news.

After a bit of finagling, I’ve managed to make my domain name, tikatu.com, redirect here without, well, the redirect. So, no more starting out on my old homepage; this WordPress build is now the official homepage for my domain. If you have my site bookmarked, you might want to update that.

Still working on my fanfic when I have the time and energy. I’m on Chapter 3, still, and need a bit more dialogue before I move on to Chapter 4. I don’t think the finished story will be 10K words but you never know with me.

Yes, a new theme.

I’m trying out this new theme as it seems 2014 (even with the added child theme) is used a LOT around the Web. There’s a lot I like about this one: it’s already optimized for various devices, the menus and widgets are hidden until they’re needed, and the custom header has that sort of muted overlay.

On the other hand, I don’t like the fact that all the headers seem to be uppercase, despite my specifying “Capitalized” on the theme settings. I don’t know if they’ve picked up the typefaces I specified, either, at least, not on the homepage. I find the all uppercase kind of overpowering; it’s like I’m shouting all the time. I also don’t know how to go about making changes as it’s written in SASS, a totally new coding language for me.

In any case, feedback from any of my readers would be very welcome, so let me know what y’all think! Thanks!

Well, the shortcut still has a few bugs in it…

At least, I think it might. Someone was trying to access chapter 12 of The White Winds and couldn’t. Kept coming up with “unknown page”. Doing that too many times throttled their IP, too.

Not sure just why, but chapter 11 and 12 had rendered the HTML markup for the <> symbols in the posted page instead of the symbols themselves. I’ve gone in and tweaked those two chapters and tested the links to make sure they’re functioning properly. I’ll take a quick run through the other chapters to see if there’s some kind of error in the WP build itself. Hopefully not!

Sorry about that!

Edited to add: All is well. If you can’t get to a chapter you know should be there by way of the previous/next chapter links, try getting there via the novel’s landing page. There should be a current link to any live chapter.

Found a shortcut!

With the HTML function down at fanfiction.net, I’ve had to find a different way to upload and edit my chapters. Up until now, I would load my HTML to An Archive of Our Own, edit it there, and then replace the original copy in my .txt file with the edits. This worked fine, until suddenly there was no more shortcut at fanfiction.net.

Continue reading “Found a shortcut!”

One step back

Well, not me taking one step back but fanfiction.net. They added new formatting tools to the user profiles and forum posting windows–including a “source code” button, but removed that one function from the actual document manager. (On the doc manager it was labeled “HTML”.) Do they really think we’re going to want the HTML versions of our forum posts? What were we going to do, post them at live journal? At WordPress? Facebook? Twitter? I can see the possibilities for the profiles; a user could conceivably make their profile standard across boards and archives they frequent. But not the forum posts.

Unfortunately for me, that “source code/HTML” function in the doc manager was one I used a lot.  It made posting my stories in other places (including here) so much easier! I’m not saying that posting here is now totally impossible; I’ve found a HTML converter which works from my Dropbox account. Converting ten files at a time doesn’t take very long. Neither does cleaning up the superfluous code when I use my free HTML editor (from CoffeeCup software–consider this a plug for them). The editor allows for find/replace through all open files, a time-saver to be sure.

Still, the HTML generator at fanfiction.net was easier still. Just export a chapter, toggle the generator, select all, copy, paste into an open Notebook file, and then save. Even with the neat features of my HTML editor, stripping the coding down to the bare formatting essentials still takes time I could use doing other things–like proofing said chapters for undetected SPaG issues. (That’s spelling, punctuation, and grammar, for the uninitiated).

Yeah, I realize Xing and company probably don’t want to facilitate an author’s move to another archive, nor do they have any obligation to offer such a function to the disaffected  (or to those who just want to spread their stories around, like I do).  But they have bigger issues to deal with if they want to keep their unsatisfied clientele–such as deleting plagiarized or copyright infringing stories. Better they focus on those than tweaking a relatively minor section of the entire site.  (I wouldn’t mind them reinstating the source code function for the document manager, either. In for a penny, in for a pound, as it were.)

I really wish I knew CSS!

Or actually thought before I acted.

First, my primary menu disappeared again. I have no idea why; I’m working in a child theme and all but just like the last time, it went poof! I’ve had to rebuild the verdammt thing all over again! Maybe styling it would help? Might have to try that.

Then I stupidly did a bulk action of delete spam to some comments that a non-functioning Askimet dumped in with the real comments. So now I have only two comments which I’d imported over from my WP.com site. I’m probably going to nuke those, too. Hopefully I’ll start getting comments here–if I ever get this site fully operational!

Waiting on one more beta for the newest chapter of Burning Muses. I’ve been told to make it more lyric, like a dance, but this is Scott Tracy’s voice and, like his father, he’s not given to flowery sentiment. Still, I’ll think about it. This will be the first place I post it!

Well, as much as I like Sunspot, it’s not working for me.

My menus keep disappearing for no reason that I can fathom, and since I’m a  total php noob (and a near total CSS noob as well), I’m going to look for something that will stick when I set up the menus. It also may make a decision I’ve been contemplating: whether or not to publish all my fanfiction here or just link to my fanfiction.net account. Any suggestions?

Beginning to get the hang of this theme thing

I’ve been quiet over the past months as I’ve worked on this site on and off. My goal is to shape this into my writer’s platform, using it to eventually promote my fantasy fiction–eventually being the operative word here. I’m going to replace my personal fanfiction site with this one, too. The original has served me well; unfortunately, my coding skills are not the best and it’s beginning to break down on the actual story pages. The one-shots and smaller chapter stories are already loaded here, as is the poetry. My drabble books are still to come as are the fanfiction novels. The latter will take some time as I’m trying to clean them up before posting; with The White Winds clocking in at 80 chapters and over 350K words, you can imagine this is going to take a while!

So far, I find Sunspot to be a visually appealing theme, so I’ll work with it for the time being. Hopefully I can get my daughter the graphic designer to work a little CSS magic and tweak it to my satisfaction.

I’m still debating whether or not to use this as a personal blog, too, as I have in the past. Many of my earlier posts deal with family as well as writing and I don’t plan on moving those offline. However, I have a family-oriented blog on WordPress.com as well as a livejournal where I can talk about the ins and outs of my personal life. Perhaps asking my writing friends would be a good idea.

In any case, consider this the first post of my writer’s platform! Welcome to my world!

I’m finding that coding my stories is very… therapeutic.

Been working on coding things for my personal fiction site. I’ve finished and posted Mosaic – though that will be updated when the muse strikes – and I’m working on The White Winds. There’s still lots to do, but I’m almost halfway through the chapter formatting. I’ve managed to get it down to a routine. Open the .txt files, put in the chapter coding snippet for each chapter. Scroll down and add the back and forward buttons snippet. Tweak them to the proper chapter numbers. Remove the “next time, next chapter” stuff and paste it in a .txt file. Scroll up; add new title and cut the teasers and disclaimer. Then save as a .shtml file. Leave them all open, find a scene divider and change it with the short horizontal line snippet. Copy that, and do a global replace on all open files. Do a preview skim to make sure things look right, then save and close all. Really, I just did about 15 chapters and it only took an hour or so.

Seriously, the biggest time eater is finding images for the splash pages and writing the foreword. On Mosaic, it took me beyond forever to figure out which screencaps to use (and I found I’d duplicated some from earlier stories), and then the free photos that spoke to the drabbles. For The White Winds, I’ve asked my daughter to update a piece of cast art that she’d done for me earlier. Her artwork has progressed soooo very far that she was embarrassed by the old stuff. Since I’m working so quickly on coding this, I should poke her about that piece.

I’m also trying to decide if I should add my two non-Thunderbirds one-shots to the One Shots book. I’ve done one for The Incredibles, and one for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. My fanfiction is so heavily Thunderbirds-oriented, but these deserve a home, too. (They are posted on ff.net and on FanNation.) Tell me what you think about that.

In other writing news, I’ve pulled most of my work from Lunaescence Archives. I have several reasons for this. Things that were broken aren’t being fixed is one of them (thinking of forum registration here), but an increasing dissatisfaction with the way the archive is being run, and the ever-stronger skew toward anime and manga (and reader-insert) stories are probably stronger reasons. I’m sad about this, really; so many archives tend to go downhill once their owners are no longer involved in running and upgrading them. And now this has happened (IMHO) to Luna. (Yes, this puts me in mind of Thunderbirds Central, and parts of IR:TNP that need updating, too.)

As far as my personal “cyberstalker” (Lillehafrue’s term) is concerned, I haven’t heard from her again. Hopefully, I never will.

Back to the HTML editor, Batman!