Busy building

Yep. I am busy building a new website. My old archive is falling to bits, mostly because I have only a passing acquaintance with HTML and none whatsoever with CSS. It pains me, in a way, to do this.  I felt my original site had some rather interesting features; for example, quite a few people commented favorably on my Library page with its shelves and books. However, the guestbook script I downloaded to act as a reviews board was no longer supported (indeed, no longer exists!) and was buggier than an ant hill. It filled with spam–though the spam catcher was really good a quarantining it and deleting it. The whole site is built on tables within tables within tables. It’s just too unwieldy. So, I’m going for a WordPress build on my own domain. I need something that looks sleek and will function as my author’s site as well as my fan fiction archive.

So far, so good. There is some tweaking still to be done but I’m learning as I go. My daughter, at least, has more than a passing acquaintance with CSS. (She’ll tell you she’s no expert but she’s better than I am!) I have already exported this blog and imported it there; eventually I’ll be posting there exclusively, I think.

I also like the fact that WordPress.org had the WP Copy Protect plug in, as well as JetPack, which is used here. There is entirely too much plagiarism on the Web these days. I’ve seen people copypasting stories they don’t own from Fictionpress and selling them on Amazon.com. There’s the whole issue with the food bloggers who are having their recipes and photos snagged and used in like-farming sites all over Facebook. The issue is part of the reason I’ve been leery of posting my novel online anywhere. But with the Copy Protect, I can do that safely. (Plus, I can put it behind a password for extra security while it’s being betaread.)

I’ll put up a link when I’m ready.


About Jeff Tracy

When will Thunderbirds fanfic writers get the memo?

Jeff Tracy is not a coercive, moronic,  business and parental failure. In either universe. If he was, he would have neither the finances nor the trust of his sons, both of which he needed to start and maintain International Rescue.

This short rant brought to you by a review on FF.net, the letters TB, and the number 5.

That is all.

Resolutions–at last

I’ve taken my own sweet time trying to figure out some New Year’s resolutions for myself this year. I’ve a bad habit, as many people have, of making resolutions and promptly breaking them. But I think I have a couple this year that I can stick with.

One, is to try and get back with FlyLady. When I was working with her system, my house stayed cleaner and my life felt better organized. I’d like that feeling again.

Two, to try and stay on top of the checkbook. I’ve fallen down on that a little so far, but I can catch up fairly easily, I think. I really need to know how much money we have in the bank and where it’s all going.

Three, try and write something every day. This is where using FlyLady can be to my advantage. She advocates doing things in baby steps, using a timer and doing housework 15 minutes at a time. If I can write for 15 minutes a day, using a timer like I often did during NaNo, I might be able to get more done.

Four, respond to reviews. Starting this year, I’m going to respond to every review I get. Like today, I got a review for Serendipity, which I’ve started posting at Lunaescence Archives. Surprised the heck out of me, but I responded as quickly as I could. I’ve responded, too, to a couple of recent reviews for my little Incredibles ficlet. It feels good to respond to those who have taken the time to review, and I think it makes me look less… stuck up. (There, I said it.)

Those are the top four resolutions. I might just open up my little sticky note app on my computer and put those down where I can see them. (Along those lines, does anyone know of a Magic 8-Ball app for XP? I have one for Vista on my laptop and like it a lot.) 

Enough for now, I guess. Better get a move on and maybe get some sleep.

The World filter – someone doesn’t like it

Someone has left a couple of anonymous reviews on The White Winds, as well as on my friend TimeGuardian’s latest story, excoriating me for putting my movie-verse story in the TV-verse section using the World filter. I think I know who it is: someone who has very recently returned to the fandom after several years away, and who thinks the movie sucks. She’s also someone who I went head to head with at a fandom RP. Because she’s been out of the fandom, she obviously doesn’t know the history of the movie section and the World filter.

And other than TimeGuardian (who I encouraged in a review to move her story to the TV section using the filter), I’m the only author she’s gone after, and The White Winds is the only story she’s “reviewed”. 

I’ve removed the reviews, explained the whole thing on my ff.net profile, and discussed it with TimeGuardian on the Classic Thunderbirds Forum. I’ve also disabled anonymous reviews. I don’t need this kind of crap, nor will I put up with it.

Thin skins, foul mouths, and big heads

Consider this a rant.
For every polite, talented, eager to learn teenaged writer, there are at least three who have thin skins, foul mouths, and big heads. TracyLOVER is a fine example of this latter category. She finally got back to Hobbeth (I wondered what took her so long) after that worthy took her to task for her flaming me on The White Winds. From the account I got, the letter was foul mouthed, and told Hobbeth to shove off (in far less polite terms). This after Hobbeth, a seasoned and experienced writer with a lot of skill (especially in the mechanics of writing), took it upon herself to try and guide this child to better her writing.
The child seems to have skin as thin as an onion’s, and a head as big as Alaska, because she obviously thinks her writing needs no help. The report I got from Claudette (who also got flamed by this infant) is that TracyLOVER considers writing to be a fun and diverting pastime, not to be taken seriously. Rather like… oh… collecting dryer lint… though I’m sure there are some people out there who might consider such an activity to be an all-consuming passion.
Writing not to be taken seriously? Talk to Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, or any other author published beyond the web. They’ll tell you how serious writing can be. It has made them some serious money.
Writing not to be taken seriously? Talk to every single teacher of any language across the world who is trying to drum the rudiments of grammar and composition into the hard heads of their students. They’ll tell you how they always despair of actually succeeding at their job, but what a genuine thrill it is to find someone who not only "gets it" but uses it to create a masterpiece.
Writing not to be taken seriously? Talk to any journalist who reports on a breaking story, or writes a feature article, or an op-ed piece. The written word is the repository of much of our understanding of the world around us, having supplanted the oral tradition throughout most of the globe. Without clear, concise writing, we cannot get a clear, concise picture of what is happening to us, to our neighbors, to our loved ones near and far.
Writing not be taken seriously? Ask any scientist who is trying to describe his or her latest discovery to his or her peers. Ask any doctor who goes through your medical notes in an effort to understand exactly how you got that odd growth on your skin. Ask any organization trying to secure grant funding for their works. They’ll tell you how important it is to be precise, how one ill-chosen word can bring a whole new meaning to the science at hand, how the monies needed can be granted or denied on the strength of how a request is written.
Writing not to be taken seriously? Ask any teenaged boy sweating over a letter to a girl he likes, knowing that if he says things one way, she’ll turn up her nose at him in disgust, and if he says them another way, she’ll laugh him to scorn.
Writing not to be taken seriously? I don’t think so. Writing is serious business. And those who would dare to write and create with words their own worlds (or even play in other people’s worlds, as is the case in fan fiction) had better practice and be willing to learn from those who have gone before them and have that much more knowledge and skill.
Writing is a serious business. It’s time some of these teenagers learned that lesson.

I like Walmart!

Hubby gave me permission to buy myself some new clothes as a lot of my old ones are just hanging on me. The shorts I wore yesterday kept wanting to slip down and off. So I went to Walmart today with the hopes of buying some new button-and-fly jeans.
Well, I got two pairs of stretch denim jeans, one by Just My Size and one by Faded Glory, plus a pair of stretch twill capris! I was so excited! I even found a new leather belt on clearance that fit! But the best part was the shirts. I picked out two that were my usual size and went to try them on. They were TOO BIG! I had to go back and find the next SMALLER size, and even those are roomy! I bought three. The kids, especially the Girl, said I look thinner now that I have clothes that fit better. I have to agree.
Got chapter 13 of The White Winds up today after a beta by Liz, who wrote a note to TracyLOVER to chastise her for her so-called review.  I noticed that TL took me off her list of favorite authors and my story off her list of favorites, too. I wondered what took her so long!  She also took off some other authors, which makes me think that she got more fallout and flack about her antics than she wanted, or that I’m aware of. Now all I have to do is tell Rain about TL, and she’ll have to take Rain off her list, which will basically give her no favorite stories anymore. TL has no idea the crap she stepped into when she did what she did. I do have friends in the fandom, and more than that, there’s a cadre of writers who would agree with my assessment of the story in question.
Well, enough about the PWP for now. I have to begin work on Overtures 6 and I don’t know why I’m being so hesitant about it. I know what I have to do and the ground I have to cover. It’s just getting it started that’s the trouble.
And I had a little discussion with the Girl about some of the characters I was trying to create for my possible magic fiction. She wants to draw them and put a bio beside them! So we talked about them, but the characters aren’t totally fleshed out in my head… yet. Maybe some more writing will help me to get them down pat. The problem is that I’m not exactly plowing virgin ground here. When we were talking, Hubby brought up at least two characters that are already out there in comic book land who do the same things that two of my characters do! Oh crumbs!
More as the muse moves.
A further note about TracyLOVER: I was thumbing through Classic Thunderbirds Showcase to see if any of our featured authors had gotten new reviews from being showcased and ran across a flame in one of Claudette’s works. It was anonymous and much more polite than the one I got, but on checking through both TracyLOVER’s and Virgil’s Grl’s reviews (the two of them being the most likely to have made some complaint), I found the review Claudette had left in one of TracyLOVER’s stories. It was nowhere near as blunt as mine, but was definitely constructive criticism. So, of course, Claudette was removed from the list, if she was on it in the first place. This girl thinks she knows everything there is to know about Thunderbirds… but she’s wrong. Very, very wrong. She thinks that those of us who write prolifically have no life. Personally, I think she’s the one who has no life. And she is making herself more and more enemies by the minute.

I hope I can recover my brain here.

Had my brainstorming session with the gals; it was okay. Created a new timeline for IR:TNP. Posted chapter 35 because C reviewed, then Frankie did. Amanda did, too, but it was a bit of siliness… Don’t know what I’m gonna do with that girl!
The Girl’s gallery has been updated at last. Hubby is sleeping; gotta make dinner for the crew tonight so he doesn’t have to.
The transcript will wait until tomorrow and so will the birthday post. I may be able to eke out more of chapter 36 tonight. We’ll see.
Update: Hubby got up on his own and made eggs and biscuits for us, of which I ate too much. I am feeling rather fried, ekeing is the best word for how things are coming along on chapter 36, though I did manage to edit the transcript, and post on both IR:TNP and CIR. I keep waiting for more reviews… not that any are forthcoming. I have to wonder who is still reading this besides C, Frankie, Becks, Janet, and Amanda… I think I might go to bed at a decent hour tonight, like before midnight.