Quote of the Moment

"It's never wrong to hope, Byx," said my mother. "Unless the truth says otherwise."
- from Endling #1: The Last, by Katherine Applegate

Friday, July 27, 2007

The I-Haven't-Blogged-In-Nearly-A-Month Blog Entry

Well, July's sliding down the drain faster than a greased racing snail, and I have little enough to show for it. So why not procrastinate a little longer and post a blog entry?

I went into July bound and determined to get Skyhaven improvements ready, make significant progress on at least one story, sketch at least a page a day, get holiday ornaments designs laid out, and read the final Harry Potter book. Let's see how I'm doing...

Skyhaven fans, take heart in the knowledge that I'm currently assembling the New and Improved Skyhaven Hunt (v3.0), with one brand-new Hunt-exclusive species scanned, cleaned, and ready to debut... in August. I mean it this time. It may not be the beginning of August, but it will be in August. I'm taking a less random approach to the Hunt this time... less wandering around aimlessly stumbling across puzzles or mazes of random difficulty levels, more focused areas (which will still have the potential to hold random things to stumble across.) Thus far, it looks to be a bit more graphic intense, but I expect more text-based, in-depth material once I get things back online. In addition, I have a new species ready to go for the main Skyhaven site. So keep an eye out in August to see what I've been up to!

My main story has languished - I'm thinking at this point I either need to strip the thing back down to the original core idea or work a lot harder on hammering out a strong outline, because it seems to be drifting through too many sideplots and peripheral characters - but I have a new one that's going fairly strong. If/when I need beta readers for that, I'll let people know. It's fantasy, of course, currently with more of a teen/young adult angle, and it's based on a dream so it's kinda weird... like I ever write anything normal... Anyway, so far I'm still feeling my way through a first draft and seeing where it goes, which is fun and a welcome break from slogging through revisions. (This mentality, of course, is perhaps the main reason why I've never had anything published. What can I say? I'm my own worst enemy. I've lived vicariously through enough fantasy and sci-fi characters to be thankful that my worst enemy is just as lazy and useless as myself, and not endowed with galaxy-rending ruthlessness and terrifying physical, mental, or magical reserves that test my own to the core.)

Sketching... well, I've done some sketching, but it's been closer to a page a week. Unfortunately, I can't sketch much in my room because the cats seem to think that it's an invitation to their favorite game, Grab The Pen. (This often leads to other feline favorites such as Climb Into The Occupied Lap, Sleep On The Sketchbook, and Get Between The Human And Whatever She's Doing.) This leaves the living room and the backyard as my sketching options, both of which are chock full of distractions that keep ink from meeting paper in any meaningful manner.

Last year's inadvertent head start of having several ornament armatures ready to go led me to try a similar approach (though not so drastic) this year. Thus far, I'm having my usual level of success, though I've narrowed down final designs in my head. The possibility of doing ornaments for work (I have no idea what library policy is on holiday decoration, but if there's a chance to foist ornaments onto more unsuspecting strangers I'm up for it) has already increased the impending workload, so I'd best shake a leg... though I'd get more done if I sat down, dusted off my workbench, and got started.

And what about the last Harry Potter adventure? I can proudly say that I have indeed accomplished this. Not only that, but I've already updated Brightdreamer Books (check Brightdreamer.com in my Links for the link) with my spoiler-free review. A most satisfactory conclusion to a most enjoyable series. I've heard rumors that J.K. Rowling is writing an encyclopedia of Harry's world, which is supposed to tie up some of the peripheral characters' stories in a way that she couldn't manage to do in the book itself. Beyond that, I look forward to her future writing endeavors, whatever they may be. (I have a very hard time believing she can quit writing cold turkey, even if the odds of another Harry Potter-scale phenomenon are astronomical. It's not about the sales, it's about the creation... though sales certainly must be a nice bonus, especially sales like hers.)

So, as the clock ticks down toward August and the year, having passed the midpoint, builds momentum as it rolls toward its conclusion, I find myself in my usual position: a thousand things left to do, and all manner of reasons why they're not done. Not so different from last year, but, hey, at least I have a job now. That's something...

Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Blog Entry Without A Title

Hmm... can't seem to get a Title line cursor to take... maybe when I edit. (EDIT - Now it's taking. Go figure...)

Okay, I suppose I ought to take a swipe at the meme I was tagged for. I can't think of eight things worth mentioning that others don't know about me (that I'm willing to admit to in public), so this may be a bit lame... oh, why kid you? It's going to be very lame.

Eight Things I'm Not Sure People Know About Me

1 - Between my speech issues and chronic shyness (due in no small part to the fact that people couldn't understand what I was saying, so why bother talking), I was mistaken on more than one occassion for a special ed student. The fact that they'd only send the "short" bus out on my route for high school can't have helped.

2 - I had few friends going into high school. By the end, they no longer were friends, and I never bothered making new ones.

3 - As the only person without glasses in my family, I often wished I had them... which happened round about sixth grade. (Hey, I'm an idiot... what can I say?)

4 - I have never had a boyfriend, discounting friends who happened to be boys.

5 - I am about to drop-kick a cat across the room if he doesn't stop pawing at the cat door for no earthly reason.

6 - I once dreamed of being a part-time cat trainer, and even came up with a "feline versatility" sport which bore an uncanny resemblance to the recent wave of feline agility expos turning up at cat shows. (You know that whole "clicker training" movement dog people latched onto a few years back? I read about it in eighth grade, in a book on training cats which I cannot for the life of me locate - the guy trained animals for movies, and clickers were used because they were easy to edit out of soundtracks.)

7 - Speaking of dream careers, I never had one. Every thing I wanted to do - writer, artist, cat trainer, animator, etc. - was always "part time" in addition to whatever I "really" wanted to do. Either I was hedging my bets or I was an uncommitted lazy lump a lot longer than most people. (Later on, I never committed to one because I saw what jobs did to people - my aunt and uncle were both zombies for much of my childhood due to being overworked - and lived in fear of that happening to me, especially with something I liked. I still am afraid of it, to be perfectly honest...)

8 - I spent the majority of my creative time pacing aimlessly; my brain generates more ideas when I'm moving, though it kicks off the moment I sit down to implement any ideas it comes up with.

And a bonus 9 - The cat has stopped pawing at the door, so he will live. ;-)

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Tech Support Tag - Week 3

So it's been three weeks since I first had problems with my website. I still cannot publish to the /dreamspire subdomain. I still cannot get any help from tech support. So I'm on to Plan B: creating a new (third) subdomain. If this screws up my existing /skyhunt subdomain (working fine, but possibly at the cost of the /dreamspire subdomain), then I'll know it's a problem with IPowerWeb and can start yelling at them again via a brand-new help ticket. Usually IPowerWeb's not this clueless, but I've run out of ways to explain the problem and they don't appear to be listening anymore. As far as they're concerned, resetting my passwords fixed everything. (My personal favorite suggestion is their insistence that I add an index.htm page to the subdomain that I cannot update. How am I supposed to add it, by carrier pigeon? Yeesh...)

What does it mean to you, the average websurfer who may or may not visit my sites? Well, for one thing, it means I may have a temporary interruption in service before Monday (that being the tail end of the 24-48 hour window they give for setting up a subdomain.) It also means that the Skyhaven Hunt return (on its brand-new subdomain) has been pushed back to August; I did not anticipate having to spend three weeks wrestling with a balking site host, so my progress has ground to a complete halt until I can get everything up and running properly. On the plus side, this is giving me a bit more thinking time to hammer out exactly what I'm doing and where I'm going with the revamp.

Anyway, I thought I'd let all none of you who were wondering what's up with the site and the delayed Hunt return. (And, yeah, I know I was tagged for a meme... I'll get to it in a bit, after I've sorted out my site.)

UPDATE - It's Monday afternoon. Operation Subdomain has proven a complete success! I can update to the new address, and I can still update to everything else! I have transferred my links to Brightdreamer Books & More to the new subdomain, and later I will be attempting to delete the old /dreamspire subdomain.
I suppose I have no more excuses to put off Skyhaven Hunt work, now, do I?