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.

 

 

Tagged — Eleven Questions Answered-Looking for IT

This week I was tagged in the Eleven Questions game by Elaine Smother’s fabulous friend frog, Forrest.

Being tagged means I need to follow some rules:

1. Post the rules.

2. Answer the questions.

3. Pass the questions on to eleven other bloggers by tagging and linking to them in our post.

4. Let them know they’ve been tagged.

And now…I will answer the questions.

1. If you could live in a fictional world, where would that be?

If I can’t choose to remain in Tucson or to enter Heaven, I would probably chose Tolkien’s Hobbiton or Rivendell.

2. Do you prefer to read Fiction or non-fiction?

Definitely fiction. The only non-fiction books I read are technical books on computers or writing.

3. Do you read in noisy or quiet places?

I prefer reading in quiet places. But I usually sit and read while my wife watches TV and continually says, “Look! You missed it.” I think missed what? And who cares.

4. Do reviews influence your choice of reads?

Not unless the reviews are from people I know.

5. Audio books or paperbacks?

Paperbacks, If I were in my car a lot I might listen to audio-books.  For any other activity they would require too much concentration. I bet they’d probably be great on the treadmill. Wonder if you can get them in mp3 format?

6. What was the first book you remember reading?

The first books I remember reading were the Wizard of Oz and the Doctor Doolittle series.

7. Favorite author?

Can’t pick just one: JRR Tolkien, David Gemmel, Maxwell Alexander Drake

8. Classic or Modern Novels?

Mostly modern. I prefer Fantasy novels

9. Have you ever met your favorite author?

I met Maxwell Alexander Drake at the Society of Southwestern Authors Wrangling With Writing conference in Tucson. My other favorites are deceased.

10. Book groups or solitary reading?

I belong to a writing critique group but I prefer solitary reading.

11. If you could read only one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I was stumped by this question and then it became so obvious, there’s only one book worth reading our whole life. The User’s Guide to Living—The Holy Bible.

And now I am supposed to tag 11 people. This might be tricky. I think almost everyone I know has already been tagged!

I’m going to violate the Rules of Eleven and just post this with an invitation to Come and Read and let us learn more about you.

Have a good weekend.

Donald Bueltmann