Archive for the ‘Technical’ Category

There Goes My Beautiful Website

Posted on:

So, last week my website broke and after consultation with my host, we figured out that my beautiful customized theme was the culprit. Very sad, since it was so lovely with its custom artwork, but the parent theme is no longer being supported by its maker and with a book launch coming up in October and trying to secure a new agent and get working on the sequel to The Bone Flower Throne (not to mention a vacation coming up), I just don’t have the time to relearn php and css to fix the theme myself (and who knows what dumb stuff I did when I modified the original theme anyway). I’m officially declaring the death of my lovely theme. Sniff!

But, I have hired the good folks at Clockpunk Studios to build me a new website with better functionality than the old one, and I’m excited to see what they make for me. In the meantime, the website shall languish with the ultra bland Twenty Twelve theme, but at least all the pages are working again.

Find More on Facebook

Posted on: 1 Comment

After an hour of tinkering with Wordbooker, I finally have the blog posts cross-posting to my fan page over at Facebook, so now you can follow me not only here and at LiveJournal, but at FB as well. There’s more reasons to visit the fan page though. There are convention pictures in the photo albums and I will be sharing links related to writing, publishing, agents, and my favorite topic, Aztec mythology and history, of course. Right now you can find links to writing posts by Nancy Fulda and Gareth D. Jones, and this morning I posted a link to a fascinating article about Meso-American food, specifically produce, which includes lovely photographs and a plethora of links to references for further study. Tecpaocelotl’s blog is an interesting read all around, with lots of fascinating articles about Mexican history. I’m going to post more links as I find interesting things that I think would be of interest to readers, hopefully on a daily basis, so it’s worth coming by at least once a day.

So if you’re on Facebook and haven’t yet visited the fan page yet, now’s a good time to start following.

Revamped Website Revealed!

Posted on: 12 Comments

Back in August, I commissioned artists Kurt Huggins and Zelda Devon to do some art work for my website and I couldn’t be happier with what they made for me. They did the original art for my Realms of Fantasy story “The Hearts of Men” and I so loved that piece that I just knew that they could make some fine quality art for the website. And indeed, it turned out beautiful. All of their work is exquisite and it’s really worth a trip over to their website to see what they’ve done for companies like RoF, TOR, Night Shade Books, and Pearson Education.

About the art work itself, the four characters are the major players in my Aztec fantasy novel The Gardens of Omeyocan (unpublished, but close to completion). The woman is Mayahuel, goddess of the maguey plant. Below her on that left side is Tezcatlipoca, or the Smoking Mirror, god of darkness and deceit. On the right hand side, at the top, is the legendary priest-king of the Toltec, Ce Acatl Topiltzin, who is also the Feathered Serpent Quetzalcoatl, god of civilization. And below him is the war god Mextli–usually known as Huitzilopochtli. All of them are characters I write about quite a bit in my work, so they were all natural choices for the artwork.

Please do take a look around. The fiction section features fragments of the original sketches for the art work and they are just as lovely as the full-color versions.

Blog will be down most of the day

Posted on:

This is a note to let readers now the blog (WordPress) will be down most of the day on Sunday the 9th while I do another revamp of the website. This won’t affect the LiveJournal blog. This will be the last major revamp the website will undergo, and I think it’s going to be very cool. I’m very excited for the reveal since it’s been in the planning stages since September. More on this after the reveal. Thanks for your patience while the website is down.

Writing on my IPod

Posted on:

I’ve always wanted a way to take my writing with me to work on while I’m waiting to pick up Gaaron from school, or when I’m on the way to the in-law’s house for dinner or birthdays, and though the Mini is…well, mini, it’s just not practical to take on short little trips like this. It takes a long time to load up, and, (I know this is probably going to sound strange) I’m paranoid about people looking over my shoulder while I’m writing. I don’t like anyone reading over my shoulder–and I do mean anyone–and the screen on the Mini is still large enough that people sitting next to me on a plane can easily see what I’m doing. I’ve kind of chalked this up as an acceptable risk, though on the way to Montreal last summer it resulted in having to talk to the people I was sitting next to because they wanted to know all about being a writer rather than getting to do much actual writing. Oh the horror! Having to actually be social with complete strangers! Yep, I don’t like talking to people I don’t know and will not know because it’s a chance meeting on an airplane. I’m not a social butterfly like my mom who will strike up conversations with anyone, anywhere, at any time. That’s just me.

So this summer, Jeff bought me an IPod Touch for my birthday, and up until yesterday I was using it primarily to listen to music and audio books, and to play games like Bookworm, Sudoku, and Bejeweled. I never even considered that it would be useful for actual writing. Then I got an email advertisement from Dropbox talking about all the cool Apps available that let you use their product on your mobile device. I’m a fan of Dropbox so I decided to read the ad rather than delete it, like I do with most advertisements. One particular app caught my eye, one called QuickOffice, touted as “a mobile office tool with great Microsoft Office file editing.” Now I’m all ears, and I get very excited that it’s available for the IPod Touch, and I get even more excited when I see that it’s only $10, half-price. How cool is that? So I downloaded the app and installed it, and though it took a little while and some reading to finally figure out how to work the thing, soon I had my latest novel document open on my IPod and I was writing.

Some observations about the app:

  • Some folks are saying that it doesn’t work with PowerPoint even though the website claims it does, but that doesn’t matter to me since I don’t use PP. It does work with Excel and Word documents, including .docx versions (I personally use .doc for 2004, since that seems to be the least buggy version). It also doesn’t appear to support RTF (or at least it’s not listed in the supported file extensions list…), but does support straight-up .txt. It will open PDF’s too.
  • The word processor is very basic, but you can italicize and underline, justify and add a tab at the beginning of paragraphs. It will also search for text, copy and paste, and has a word counter. It also wraps the text so you don’t ever have to scroll sideways to see what you’re doing.
  • There isn’t any button to take you to the end of a document, nor will it start you where you were at last save should you close the document. However it does stay where you were if you merely put the device into sleep mode and come back to it later, or use the Home button to go do something else. So long as you keep the file open, it remembers your place. The search function is pretty good though, so I think if I want to save a file and close it, I’m going to start putting keywords where I left off so I can use the search function to get to where I was the next time.
  • You can use a file storage service like DropBox or MobileMe or Google Documents with it, or you can directly upload files to your mobile device via your web browser or by docking your device to your computer as a drive.

This isn’t something I’d want to use in place of my computer for daily writing, but having spent most of the afternoon acquainting myself with the program and learning to type with my thumbs, it will definitely be useful on airplanes and in the car, where space is limited. Definitely worth the $10 I spent on it.