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.)

Updates

I’ll probably come up with a static updates page on the home page for such things but, for now, this will suffice.

Today I finished putting up all the drabbles for my first drabble book, Coffee, Tea and More. If you have no idea what a drabble is, it’s a little story of just 100 words. Not an easy thing where every word has to count! These were written for the Livejournal community 30_beverages and each takes a new prompt from that community’s list–even though some prompts may seem repetitive. Some of them are also cross-prompted (a term I created) with the livejournal communities all_unwritten or fic_simplicity. Fun stuff, connecting ideas like that!

By the way, I’m keeping an eye on any sketchy traffic trying to hack this site and banning potential hackers with extreme prejudice. Consider yourselves warned.

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!

On track

Probably should have posted this yesterday, but … oh well, I’ll edit and put it up today!

First, I’m right on track for word count. Hallelujah! Wednesday, I felt generally run down, ill, and grumpy, to the extent that we ordered comfort food (pizza) instead of what I’d planned for dinner (hot dogs) and I didn’t write a word. I was a full day ahead on word count at that point, so taking the day off didn’t hurt a bit. I’ve been getting out of the house in the afternoon, which helps immensely with my writing productivity. Today, I’m going to haul butt out when the D&D starts later on. I may try to do this every day until the end of Camp. It’s good to not have the chaos of housecleaning, laundry, critters, et al weighing on me.

When this is finished, I want to put it somewhere that my friends can see it and comment as part of the betaing process, but where it would be private and not necessarily considered “first publish”. Fictionpress is absolutely out; I’ve been hanging out at  the fpwatchers group on livejournal and seeing how many stories are plagiarized from there, even published online for cash at Amazon. Besides, that would be considered a first publishing situation. I could put it on my own site and distribute private links to my friends, but how to let them comment? The guestbook I’ve tried to use as a “review board” is FUBAR and no longer supported. I’ve tried Google docs before. Some of my friends had a hard time accessing it. Has anyone done anything with Disqus? How difficult would that be to add to a website and is it flexible enough to use as a review board?

I’m also thinking about consolidating my web presence. Right now I have several blogs; this one, another WordPress blog (for family tidings), my faithful livejournal, a Blogger (for religious issues), a sparkling new tumblr, and of course, Twitter and Facebook. The Facebook is personal, using my real name. The Twitter uses my online handle as does this, the livejournal, and the tumblr. I could easily add a WP blog to my site; that’s one of the apps my web provider offers. I’m trying to decide which way to jump so I can be poised for when I actually need/want to do self-promotion.

So, any ideas? My website needs some serious overhaul in any case!

Oh, and this blog is under an alternate spelling of my online handle, “Tikatu”. Just sayin’.

Crossposted from livejournal and tumblr.