He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. —Psalm 113:9

May 14, 2009


Yesterday, I finished the second draft of This Old Haunt and submitted it to the Round 1 beta readers. I'm a little worried, because it was too short to qualify as a novel to begin with, and the first round of edits saw a lot of words and sections being cut, leaving it even more firmly in novella territory. Hopefully on the next draft I'll find some threads that can be teased out into whole chapters and increase the wordcount without just adding filler. Otherwise, I guess I'd better start checking out the novella markets. Or consider self-pubbing this one.

I'm going to take a week off from fiction writing so I can focus on my various web design projects. Today, I'm attempting to learn how to do this, with the goal to implement the snazzy site redo I mocked up in GIMP. If I feel really ambitious, then next I'll start learning PHP so I can implement the whole thing in Wordpress. I'm feeling a little intimidated by all of that right now, though, so the plan to move everything over to WP has been downscaled from definite to tentative. Right now I'm shopping around for other, simpler free platforms (I'd happily just do everything in Blogger if they, like WP, offered the capability to create non-blog pages and have them all under one domain); but I might just give up on free and look for a cheaper web host instead.

Then again, I really should learn Wordpress, given its popularity, if I want to sell myself as a web designer, which I do. Yes, still. I figure, if I still love designing web pages as much as I love writing stories, and still wish I could do it professionally on the side, 10 years after I started doing it as a hobby, then it really is high time I quit whining about it and just made it happen. With all of the advances since I started 10 years ago, though, I feel like I'm starting from scratch. Thank goodness for all of the excellent free tutorials out there.

What else is going on? Earlier this week I scored a paid blogging gig at Lighting By Lux -- and hey, my first post, The Right (Light) Bulb, is already up. It's not going to get me off of unemployment any time soon, but it's extra grocery money, which is always nice, and professional experience to add to my resume, which is even nicer.

I feel like I've accomplished a lot this week already, which is a nice feeling, and one I haven't felt in too long. It's amazing how something simple like setting my alarm clock for a reasonably early hour can make me feel so capable and in control of my life. And having the laptop's portability and not having to worry about keeping Husband out of his office sure aren't hurting.

At some point today, though, I'm going to have to put the laptop down and get some housework done, since Uncle Joe is coming over tomorrow so he and Husband can show each other their guns. No, that is not a euphemism. Yes, we bought the gun that Husband was pining for, which was only fair, since he was a good sport about getting the laptop that he wasn't entirely convinced we needed. It's a slick-looking Springfield .45 mm with a comfortable grip, and I'm looking forward to firing it. Good thing it came with a one-year membership to the shop's firing range. Now we're just waiting for them to mail us our membership card so we can go get in some target practice. Yeehaw!

What else what else? Oh! I took my mom to see Star Trek for Mother's Day, and we loved it. We laughed, we cried, we both thought it was awesome, bad science and plotholes be damned. I went in with reservations, just hoping not to get pissed off by retconning and character assassination, so it was a very pleasant surprise to find that the retconning was handled in a way with which I was totally fine, and that these characters can be portrayed by other actors and still ring true, and I not only can't wait to see this movie again, but I can't wait for the next installment. Yay!

So that's what's up with me lately. Next week will see me taking some time off for car maintenance, yard maintenance, and helping my mom get her house ready to sell, among other things, but it will also see me getting back to work on The Hero Factor, and I think I know how to fix what was bugging me about that one, so revisions might not be quite as daunting as I feared they would be. Also, I'm almost finished knitting a case for the laptop, and if I can get my old hand-me-down sewing machine working, I'll finish it off with a padded liner and then post pictures. Meanwhile, I'm going to get back to work on that site redo.

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