Tag: blog (page 1 of 2)

New Year, New ‘Do

Well. This is looking a bit more professional and whatnot, isn’t it?

It’s been over a month since my last entry here at Blue Ink Alchemy. That I can only chalk up to travel, changing seasons, a few unpleasant cycles of mental states, and general shenanigans involving real life things like looking for work, juggling financial woes, and finding tiny moments of catharsis. It’s been a rough ride.

But here we are! It’s 2015. A new year has dawned. New challenges await on the road ahead. And new projects will be hatched and, hopefully, nurtured into fullness with a little time, attention, and care.

The second novella, Bloody Streets, will be assembled and readied for publication as soon as I can afford a professional photographer and designer to tackle its cover. I plan on contacting the same team I used on Cold Iron (ladies, you know who you are), but I need to be a little more financially solvent before I can do that sort of outsourcing. I have some information on freelancing that I plan on capitalizing as you read this. I continue to interview for dayjobs of various kinds in an effort to keep the lights on, the pantry stocked, and this very site going. I might (emphasis on might) begin streaming my efforts to improve in Hearthstone, discussing various topics of the day while yelling in frustration at Priest players I encounter.

And on top of all of that, I’ve started work on a new novel in earnest. I will not say much, other that it is aimed for young adults, has been rather carefully researched so far, and deals with witchcraft, other worlds, tolerance, hard choices, and intestinal fortitude.

This year is going to be a good’un. I can feel it.

Change is Coming

Courtesy norebbo.com

Change is never easy. But it is necessary. Growth and change are what make us alive. They are dynamic elements to existence; without them, we stagnate and remain static, which to me is worse than death. I’ve been meaning to make some changes to this webspace for a while, now, and I think the time is near to do just that.

My plan is to do as some of my contemporaries have done, and move the blog you’re currently reading to a location subordinate to the main page. The main page can then feature my products, my services, my broadcasts, my efforts for fundraising, and all of that good stuff. I think it’s a bit more professional to have that sort of thing front and center, and this sort of thing available if you really want it, but not “all up in your grill” as soon as you plug in my address.

If any folks who’ve made this transition have tips, please let me know! Also if there are good themes to download and/or worth an investment, I’m all ears. I’m hoping that making changes to the site, and to what I can do in terms of telling stories and entertaining people, will make 2015 the best year yet.

New Year’s Changes

Courtesy allthingshealing.com

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted lists of resolutions or any of the other traditional things that ring in the new year. You may have also noticed that I’m having a bit of a struggle maintaining the old schedule I used to have of what gets posted when. There are reasons for both of these occurrences.

I don’t do resolutions. Any time I’ve tried to make a concrete resolution, I’ve fallen short of the goal. As it is, I’m struggling to regain healthy habits I’d tried to establish last year. I will need to realign over the next few days even if it means going to bed earlier in the evening which will require me precluding myself from fun activities and time with friends. I do have long-term goals for the year ahead, but they’re not resolutions. They’re goals. It might be semantically splitting hairs, but I feel there’s a distinct difference between the two. Either way, the goals I have in mind will change my life, hopefully for the better in the long run.

As for the blog, it’s going through some changes as well. I’m going to shift the reviews to Friday of every week, and do my Writer Report on Wednesday. This is another move aimed at long-term goals. I have some ideas for the year ahead and while I don’t know if they’ll go anywhere, it’s still worthwhile to shake things up now and again. I’m also thinking of revising the blog with a new theme. Change is good, and the blog has remained somewhat unchanged for a long time.

So stay tuned! There are good things ahead. At least, I’d like to think so.

Writer Report: Blog State

Bard by BlueInkAlchemist, on Flickr

While working on Cold Streets does take up most of my writing time, I do take notice of trends here on the blog. And it seems to me that my hits have diminished somewhat over the past week. I’m not sure why this is, but I’m going to keep at it.

I have plenty of material, after all. Tomorrow I finally will make it to a Gatecrash event, and on Sunday is a double-header of films I’m interested in both watching and reviewing. I’m also going to formulate a review of PlanetSide 2, which is quickly becoming a favorite after-writing way to unwind, and finish reading a book or two. But the important thing when it comes to the blog, if you ask me, is that I keep writing it.

Not necessarily because I want the attention (though I kind of do, it may help sell books and like all writers I’m a bit of a narcissist), but because writing every day doesn’t just mean the novels. It means stuff like this, too. If I made more time for it, it could also mean articles or non-fiction or more gaming stuff than I already write. So far my attempts to put game rules down on paper has been somewhat helter-skelter, and I really need to find a way to playtest said rules once I hammer out the basics. But more on that as it develops.

For now, just know that Blue Ink Alchemy isn’t going anywhere, and if you’re still reading after all this time or you’re just stumbling upon me out of the blue, you have my heartfelt thanks.

Technology Rots

Not what it once was.

Technology may seem like a purely static thing, unchanging as years go by. Something that’s painstakingly perfected and replicated through manufacture should persist in its level of performance and precision, right? Unlike houses and cars, which are some of the highest maintenance bits of property anyone can own, computers are completely self-contained electronic instruments. Websites don’t even have physical components other than the servers on which they exist, going back to the aforementioned computers. However, there are factors in play for both computers and websites that make them just as succeptible to the need for maintenance as your car or your home.

Computers do have moving parts: hard drive motors, fans, etc. But even if these ran flawlessly for years, their parts would ‘rot’ in a sense. As technology advances, software grows in terms of the ways it uses processors and renders graphics. From games to productivity suites, software is constantly finding ways to do more tasks more efficiently in a shorter amount of time. Just shaving a few seconds from a process can place diabolical demands on a processor from two years ago. Like replacing a struggling furnace in your house, upgrading your computer’s internal systems can have your system doing what it does faster and more efficiently for years.

Websites, similarly, suffer from what is colloquially called ‘code rot.’ As the average speed of our Internet connections increases, processors grow more efficient and browsers get better at displaying colors and graphics, older sites begin to look dated, shoddy or even incomplete. Better coding techniques and updated programming scripts can leave older, less efficient methods behind causing old animations and banners to either display incorrectly or not at all. And the chances of developers or programmers being either familiar with these old methods or willing to deal with their antiquated and inefficient ways and means are slim. It’s more often a better investment to look into a redesign, preserving the essence and content of your site while incorporating the latest design methodologies and programming techniques, as well as integrating SEO options and flexibility, something old sites very rarely accounted for.

Sure, some folks will keep a Commodore 64 or an original NES in the corner for the sake of nostalgia. And others will find ways to squeeze more life out of computers that maybe should have been recycled years ago, keeping their old workhorses shod. But more often than not, a time comes when one needs to take a hard look at the extant systems at home or the office, compare them to what’s available, and make the decision to invest in an upgrade.

I mean, you could also spend that tax refund on a coffee machine that tweets your favorite blend, but the novelty of that’s likely to wear off pretty darn quickly.

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