Blog Archive - September 2013

In His Corner and Writing Update

In His Corner CCochetHello all! As some of you may have noticed, In His Corner is currently unavailable. Its one year contract with Torquere Press came to an end a few days ago, as my story was part of their Charity Sip Blitz. So what's going to happen to my little story now? Well, I hope to make it not so little, and get it re-published. Why? Because the original word limit was 8000, and as I was writing it, Jessie and Eli really grew on me--as my fellas have a habit of doing.

I'd done a good deal of research regarding 1920's boxing, much of which I didn't really get to use, and I kept thinking about how much more I could do with the story, how it could really benefit from being longer.

While I loved the short story, I only just managed to dip into Eli and Jessie's personalities, not to mention their history. With Jessie especially, I felt there was a great deal more to him than what I was able to fit in with the original word count. I really want to go more in-depth with him and what he went through when he lost everything, how it wore him down, stripped him of his confidence, and then how everything changed when Eli came back into his life.

Once I wrap up some of the stories I'm working on, I hope to give Eli and Jessie the opportunity to tell their story without a word count limit. I'm thinking novella, but who knows, it may even become full length. For those who enjoyed the short story, don't worry, none of it will be lost, it will just be incorporated into the new story but with a lot more added in.  Boxing during the 1920s was fascinating, with its legendary figures, celebrities attending matches, and the gangsters and bootleggars of the time trying to muscle in on the action. There was excitement a plenty, and I hope to capture a little bit of that.

On the writing front, Johnnie's third edits are going back today, so *fingers crossed* next should be the galley. I've got some fun stuff to share with you regarding the book as soon as it hits Dreamspinne's 'Coming Soon' page which I hope will be... er coming soon. I imagine Jack's book will be in soon for first edits as well. I don't have a release date for Johnnie's book as of yet, but I'll be sure to let you all know when I do. I'll also be posting more about the story soon, so stay tuned!

Website Shenanigans or OMG What Fresh Hell Is This?

Ah, I remember the good old days when having a website meant coming up with some graphics, text, links, arranging it nicely and letting it do it's thing. Nowadays it's not so simple, and if you're not tech savvy, it can be a nightmare. There's all kinds of crazy things necessary to maintain a website, keeping it running smoothly, protecting it from vile spambots, and promoting it. If you can afford a snazzy tech to do everything for you, awesome. But if you can't, well, it's sink or swim. For those of you who have a wordpress.ord site, you know all about the behind the scenes stuff. For those of you who don't, there's all sorts of plug-ins, plug-in updates, wordpress updates, theme updates and at any point any one of those can go wrong and the website you shed blood, sweat, and tears for is suddenly floating belly up like the goldfish in the plastic baggie you won at the fair when you were a kid. It's enough to drive you barmy. Even so, I stick to wordpress. Aside some of the headaches, it's still--in my opinion, the easiest to use, and the most flexible.

NW035smallSome of you may have noticed both my sites were offline all of yesterday, this one and the Tea House. I was woken up at 1 a.m. by a phone call from my website host provider Hostgator to notify me by databases had been suspended for hogging up the CPU usage. I didn't even know what that meant. Now I know it was because my site was bugging out and greedily stealing all food from the other kids and refusing to share, so Hostgator put my babies on the naughty step. Fair enough. Of course, I've had the websites since Feb/March, and it's the first time this spike in usage has happened. I was informed it was down to Google Analytics. Of course it was Google. I wasn't surprised. Google is a memory gobbler, but I've had it for months, so why now is beyond me. Seeing as how Hostgator provides detailed traffic reports, I decided to sacrifice Google Analytics and got rid of it from both sites. Problem solved right? You know where this is going.

Hours and another tech later, still nothing. I was given a list of things to do that would help optimize my websites: update to the latest version of wordpress--done, update my theme--done, get rid of deactivated and unnecessary plug-ins--done, use the hHstgator recommended settings for my WP Cache plug-in--done, got rid of a bunch more stuff--done. That should do it.


bitchfaceSome frustrating hours later. Tech number three: Add a Cron job. OMG, WHAT THE HOLY LIVING F@#$! IS A CRON JOB??!! Basically, from what I understood, it makes the pages load faster. Anyway, I followed the instructions and did that. That should do it, right? RIGHT??!! Sam's expression there on the the right pretty much says it all, and he knows a thing or two about hell. Tech number four was very nice. He sounded cute so my ire was tamed long enough for him to walk me through how to optimize my databases through my CPanel. That should do it. 10 p.m. rolls around and now Charlie's exhausted, frustrated, and had enough. Call up, ask for a supervisor, a lovely tech on the other end takes notes on the masses amount I changed, expressing her confusion as to why after all that, my databases were still blocked. That made two of us. Finally, at 11 p.m. (two tickets and 13 emails, four techs, one online chat, and two telephone calls later) I was emailed that my account had been unsuspended, but they'd continue to monitor my server.

Obviously I got nothing done yesterday that didn't involve my blood pressure spiking, stomping around the house, and talking to web techs. I'm not annoyed with Hostgator because they were just doing what's in their Terms of Sales, but I would have preferred to have been notified of what was happening and how to resolve it before they suspended everything. I shall now forever be living in fear of the 'database error' page of doom. At least I learned how to optimize my websites, even if it left me technologically scarred for a good while. Lesson: just because something's supposed to make your life easier, doesn't mean it will. Either that or I'm correct in assuming technology hates me. Just ask my printer.

I Made a Thing! But...

recent news and updates150As the title of the post says, I made a thing. But... I can't show you yet. Evil, I know. With The Impetuous Afflictions of Jonathan Wolfe (why do I pick such long titles?) coming out soon, I've been racking my brain trying to come up with something creative for its release. It's been a while since I've had something new out that isn't a free read. It will be almost a year actually.

Anyway, I've finished first round of edits (yay!), and I've been thinking of what to do when it comes time to promote it, especially since it deals with some tough issues. Every time I read particular snippets, I get a little teary eyed. Which of course makes me nervous, but then again, I don't know if I'll ever not be nervous when I have a new book out.

I've been creating some exclusive artwork for Johnnie's book and getting crafty for Jack's. Since The Heart of Frost is a holiday story, coming up with some cute promo items isn't too difficult and I'm excited about what I've come up with so far. So at the moment, I'm working on any edits that come my way from both those stories, and coming up with ideas for some exciting promo bits. More to come soon!

x Charlie

Susan Mac Nicol is at the Tea House for her Stripped Bare blog tour!

teahousebuttonHey all! Susan Mac Nicol has stopped by the Tea House on her book tour of Stripped Bare. She's chatting about her new release, her writing circle, and being Wiccan! She's also hosting a fantastic giveaway!

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