Doing “Writerly” Things

I’m back. Did you miss me? You probably thought I gave up on blogging.

With all deference to Kristen Lamb, who has taught me, “Blog several times a week”, I’m guilty and I have no excuse. I allowed myself to get ensnarled in a myriad of projects, anything but writing.

I thought that if I wasn’t going to write, I could do other “Writerly” type things.

What kind of things? Oh, you know–er–um.

  • Take out the trash
  • Buy a new battery for my Dana
  • Build a new website or
  • Improve the present site

The following item provided a push: I got an email from GoDaddy telling me that my Hosting fees were coming due. I was paying for hosting fees on both my website and my blog, and I thought

“Hey, this looks like the perfect time to eliminate my website and move it to my blog. That shouldn’t be too difficult for a techie like me.”

 

In my early days before the dawn of the PC I had worked as a programmer using Assembler language for the S360. I must have done a fairly good job as I was paid well.

 

Having said that, I sadly confess, (hides face in shame  and murmurs) “I am totally inept at WebPages”.

You ask, “Why”.

(Said in total FRUSTRATION)! “Because, I have no CONTROL!

At my age CONTROL becomes very important. My wife wants to CONTROL me; the government wants to CONTROL me. You have to fight for every last thing that YOU could possibly CONTROL, and I can’t even CONTROL where a picture is going to be placed.

I insert the cursor at the point where the picture should reside, I Insert image; it appears, filling the entire page. Oh well I can handle that. With great skill, I shrink the image to the desired size, yes that looks good.

No, I want it a little closer or farther from the text, it doesn’t matter which. The damn picture won’t move!

After throwing a minor tantrum, I realize that I have not activated text-wrap and therefore the picture is locked in position, I change the setting and move the picture to the spot where I want it. Success

 

So now I have a Word document to copy to my Blog site. I do a Copy and Paste from Word to WordPress.

Looks pretty good but where are the pictures. Oh right, I have to Insert them, No you can’t Copy and Paste them.

Okay, I find the jpegs and upload them to WordPress and then insert them into my Page/Post. The picture magically appears–but it’s not where I want it. I try moving it, nudging it, backspacing it, nothing works—-I go to edit the picture to see if I can set the location. Oh, yes there it is, Left, Center, Right.

How about 1/8 inch to the right of the text?

What do you mean I can’t do that! I used to manipulate individual Bits of a Byte, and you’re telling me I can’t do that. Programmers can do anything!

(With profuse apologies you say), “I didn’t realize that you had this extensive technical background; you can do anything you want using CSS.

What the Hell is CSS? Oh it’s another language like HTML, XML, Java, and Pearl?

Languages, what kind of languages are those? What happened to Autocoder, Assembler, Cobol, and Fortran?

You never heard of those. What’s the world coming to?

Back to your languages, I know where Java is, do they speak Javanese? What about Pearl is that short for Pearl Harbor? I thought they spoke English?

Oh, you say it’s a programming language. Well, I should be able to master that.

I bought a book, WordPress Web Design for Dummies, I looked through it, I slept on it but it wouldn’t sink in. I needed a Rosetta stone to make sense out of this.

I sent a message to my mentor Laird Sapir who suggested a marvelous website W3Schools.com with tutorials and opportunities to practice the lesson. W3Schools.com was a big help.

Armed with my new knowledge I added fonts to my blog, changed font size, changed colors…..

But I still couldn’t place those pictures exactly where I wanted them.

In desperation or frustration over my inability to CONTROL I emailed Laird who readily agreed to help me. I felt an immediate sense of relief the moment I turned the problem over to her. In a week the pages were ready for publication. Her rates were very reasonable and I was very pleased.

 

So here I am writing this blog post to announce the new pages added to my blog site Donald Bueltmann

What do you think of it? Please let me know.

I have now been able to return to my WIP a trilogy about a parallel universe.

So what’s the purpose of all this rambling…?

You have to choose your role in life. Are you a writer, a publisher, a web designer, etc? Do what you excel at and give others a chance to demonstrate their skills.

One of my other mentors Harvey Stanbrough said this on his blog “I’m a Little Annoyed”

I think I’m going to listen to Harvey and remember this last experience and stick to what I know I can do and give others a chance to show what they know.

 

 

8 thoughts on “Doing “Writerly” Things

  1. Hey Don,
    Thanks for the mention and the pingback. Hang in there. A lot of people can create websites, design covers, etc. etc. etc. ad nauseam, but only YOU can write that particular trilogy about that particular parellel universe. And take it from me… having control doesn’t always mean doing it yourself; it means hiring competent people to do what you can’t or what you can’t do as well or as quickly. It’s still Your product, so You’re still in control.

  2. H Don, I’ve done a few of those desk-pounding, hair-pulling tantrums myself over some of this techie stuff in setting up my blog…especially dealing with pictures and moving them. I now have a fairly friendly, calm voice speaking relationship with wordpress, although even as late as today I had a tussle with an uncooperative widget. I finally did win, but I was annoyed!
    Thanks for the link to Harvey Stanbrough. His writing makes sense.
    Keep writing!

  3. Hey Don! Thanks for the mention! I’m so glad I could help, and even more glad you can get back to your writing! I can’t wait to read this trilogy you’ve got cooking!

    • I’m glad you were there to help. You may have a long wait to read my trilogy. I have about 30 scenes from book3 written and the same for book 2, and about 12 for book 1. I have too many unanswered questions in book 1. Like why the hell am I writing it and why this and why that.
      I wish I had someone to bounce questions off of.

  4. Don – I can relate. I would so love to have more control over the techie stuff. One of these days, I’m going to learn WordPress because I’ve heard so many good things about it. For now, I use my Blogger because it’s simple and I can handle simple. Yes, I’ve heard of Fortran. I’ve even done a little Pascal but I forget it all. I remember it was fun, having all that control.
    I still need an “illusion” of control, so I try to manage my characters with charts. Sometimes they even cooperate.
    Good for you getting technical expertise and get on with THE BOOK!

  5. What kind of charts do you use Suzanne?
    When I was working on my degree I took a course in Cobol, I had to take a list of book titles and print them across the spine of a book. I had to bounce through the title word by word to determine if that word would fit or whether I needed to start a new line. It would have been so easy to do in Assembler but Cobol had taken that Control away.
    I was losing Control way back then.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *