Saturday, June 1, 2013

So... I'm Back. Sort of.

Once again, I have the "I've been busy" excuse for why I haven't posted anything lately. I've been focusing on my writing, on my book tour, and on myself for the past couple months. I've made some progress on some things, and am still waiting to see progress on other things.

I've made some good progress on my writing. I completed my goal for Camp Nano and hit 15k words in 30 days, and since then, it's been slower, but still going. I thought I got stuck, but it was more weariness than writer's block. I just needed a break, and after having had one, I was finally able to jump back into it a couple days ago and I got going so well that I lost track of the time. A good sign :)

My book tour is off and running this week! It started on Monday, and now that I've been through my first week, I'm exhausted! It was really frustrating being at work and not being able to check in on the host blogs during the day--even though there aren't THAT many people following along. While I don't expect my sales to take much of a leap, I am hoping that it helps me build some "brand" awareness for my writing, and so far, it's been really great to read the comments and feedback from the few people who have stopped by.

I officially took about a week off earlier this month to not do anything. I was seriously burned out on everything, and I really needed a break. I mostly sat around watching Netflix (I'm into the West Wing now for some book research O.o) and catching up with my soap opera, but it was awesome. Then I started getting a ton of posts (in advance) for my book tour stops, and I had to get back into it. It was a much needed rest, however, and I'm glad I had the sense to do it.

Since my tour is already half over, I don't have much work to do on it except checking in for comments and sharing the posts, trying to get people to visit, comment, and interact. I have one more post to write, the topic didn't arrive until today, so I'll have to work on that this weekend, but that's not a problem.

As much as I like the story I've been working on, I did spend quite a bit of time on my "break" procrastinating and doing character outlines and plot mapping for a few other ideas I've been kicking around. I had a blast with all that, but I can't start writing any of those until I finish the one I'm working on now. I know myself too well, and I know I'll never get back to the first one if I start a new one.

As to the blogging, I'm so far behind and out of touch, it's ridiculous. I haven't been on here since mid-April, and I got back to Happy to Entertain for a couple weeks before my overwhelm hit and I took another break. Not to mention my three other blogs... I am hoping since it's summer, I will have more time to post. Less TV, longer daylight hours, and not having any upcoming publishing plans will definitely help. I just have to get back in the habit again.

Despite not having been blogging about it, I've been seeing a shit-ton of movies already this summer, and I've been keeping up with my shows and all the finales that have been going on this month. There have been some really good ones (Star Trek, Now You See Me, Hangover 3) and some not so good ones (Gatsby). I actually recorded a YouTube video (it's private, so don't bother searching) of a review of the movie, but the video isn't showing up right on YouTube, so that's why I haven't shared it. It shows fine on the video manager and on my computer with the recording and sound and everything, but for some reason, on the video's page on YouTube, the color's off and it's split like a mirror and it's just wrong. Disappointing. I had wanted to share it, because I thought it turned out pretty well for my first ever self-recorded video.

Oh, if you haven't noticed, I redesigned the blog, again. I actually went through the trouble of dumping everything over to WordPress.com because I was thinking of switching to get a cleaner look, but then I remembered why I moved Happy to Entertain off WordPress and onto Blogger in the first place--free WordPress sucks.

While I like the widgets and plugins (self-hosted only) and the fact that there are categories AND tags, it's way too limited with the design elements. It won't even read Javascript or Flash in the widgets, not to mention iframes, and you can't even edit your own CSS without paying an extra 30 freaking bucks A YEAR! Total bollocks. It's cheaper to buy a domain and add it to my existing host for my self-hosted WordPress blogs! On the one hand, their domain purchasing is pretty great because it includes hosting, but you still have to "upgrade" to edit your CSS which makes that domain purchase money not worth spending.

Anyway, I spent two days messing around in WordPress trying to find a way to make my blog look like I wanted it to, and I decided, for all the trouble, I think I'll just go back and update my Blogger design. I am no expert at coding, so I can't replicate some of the elements I'd like (like a full width header image), but I think it looks quite nice, and I've also gotten rid of some sidebar stuff that I didn't think was necessary. Hopefully you like it too, and if you don't, tough shit. :P

Also, last piece of catching up, I've become addicted to Etsy. Who knew? I had heard about it a while back, but I didn't realize how much stuff they actually had, and how much of it was pure awesome, until about two weeks ago. If I suddenly came into some extra money, even a hundred bucks, most of it would probably end up being spent on that site. As it is, I can only get one or two things a month on my current budget, but that's ok. Probably for the best. Not like I really NEED any of it, it's just pretty :)

My eyes are starting to get blurry from looking at too much blog design stuff today, so I'd better switch off to something else for a bit.

This was my jams today while blog (re)designing:


Come on try a little, Nothing is forever.
There's got to be something better than in the middle.

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Etsy Addict: A Few of My Favorite Things