Detail of 'Vision' by mousewords

I can see farther today than I could yesterday.

A part of that is due to the world of information on the web. I’ve only recently been getting involved in the latest trends online—before, I was too busy to spend much time browsing. Now, though, I find I need to do that for the sake of promoting my work.

It fascinates me what can be found on the internet these days. The volume of information has always been amazing—but the tools for accessing it now are impressive. Being a writer, I find that to be a blessing.

With, I can track and keep “tabs” on the websites I find interesting. What’s more, I can tab all my research sites, and have them at my fingertips no matter where I go or what computer I’m using. No more saving a copy of my favorites list and e-mailing it to myself periodically! No more forgetting to update that list, either.

With RSS feeds, I can have the latest updates from my favorite blogs and websites sent to my feed reader, where I can access them in one place. Which means that now, when skyM blogs about something new, I don’t have to wait for an e-mail from her to find out about it.

And best of all, with blogs, I not only have access to the thoughts and writing of thousands of people all over the world, but my thoughts can travel the world over, as well.

Now if somebody would just come up with a good way for me to remember all my passwords.

Published in: on June 29, 2007 at 7:30 pm  Comments (2)  

A Symphony of Web Page Design

It’s one of those days. My afternoon coffee hasn’t kicked in yet. I’m staring at a page that has some HTML started on it. I need to build my home page for my website. But I just can’t seem to envision it today. Instinctively, all I want to do is grab a sheet of paper and do a preliminary sketch.

But I can’t exactly grab the monitor off the desk and start scribbling on it. So what on earth do I do? Amazing how art is so visual, and web page design is about visualization. If I’m working directly with HTML code, I write out the information and can only picture in my mind what the end result looks like—until I view it on a practice page, that is.

It reminds me a great deal of music composition. While I have never written music, and have only a bare knowledge of notes, I’ve heard stories about how talented composers will sit down and write an entire symphony…never once hearing it with their ears until it’s performed for the first time. I thought that was fascinating when I read it. Now, it comes to me how similar it is to web page design.

…Okay, the strong coffee is kicking in. I’m getting some ideas, and I’m browsing some sites for helpful information and some inspiration.

…Five minutes later, I’m laughing out loud to myself! I just looked up some web design tips on Webmonkey, and point #6 on the second advice article is, “Sketching is for sissies.” Whoa! Hands off that paper! JJ

Hmmm…and yet…another person tells me to DEFINITELY make a sketch first…

Okay, this is not confusing at all. Whatsoever. Yeah…

Published in: on June 24, 2007 at 10:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Take Your Candle, Light Your World

Well, it’s a big day—I am officially considered a webmaster.

 I was thrown into the world of computerdom when my three techno-savvy brothers went away to college. The support of the PC was left in my hands. Since then I’ve managed to stumble my way up from Word Processor and Web Browser to Computer Techie. No mean feat, and frustrating along the way, but mighty fun.

 Recently, I’ve discovered the world of HTML.  Once again, necessity drove me to expand my horizons. My sister and I began selling our work on eBay—my art, her photography—and it didn’t take long before I felt the need to have a fancy listing like all the other cool people. It became tiresome to have to pay for a template, when I just knew I could write one myself, if only there were some way I could see how to do it.  Well, you can find anything on the web, even an HTML tutorial.  So here I am, a few weeks later, tossing out terms like “font-face,” “div style,” and “bgColor” like they’ve had meaning to me my entire life.

I took the step up from eBay listing page to website page a few days ago…but today I made the biggest step of all.

 Today I am a webmaster.

I registered a domain name this morning.  It was a big step for me, even bigger because of what the new website will hold—it will be the official website of the novel I’m finishing up.  When the book goes to press, the website will have been up and running for some time, doing the wondrous work of “teaser” marketing.

I’ve been working on this book for almost four years now, struggling to complete it while dealing with the side effects of chronic carbon monoxide poisoning.  (That’s a post for another day.)  After all this journey, the book is near enough to completion that I’m actually beginning the marketing for it—awesome.  There was a lot of meaning to that instant when I clicked the button to submit my domain name into the world.  Oddly enough, I was listening to Chris Rice’s album, “Short Term Memories,” while I worked, and at the very instant I registered my domain name, the lyrics said:

“Take your candle…go light your world.”


Published in: on April 24, 2007 at 11:15 pm  Leave a Comment