Menus, Venues, and Story Updates

Hi, there. This is a non-fancy post about the latest additions to this website and to a few of my stories.

Growth on SiM

Did you notice the faeries? The wide cavern in my previous header image needed an uplift. I got carried away and compiled an entirely new scene.

The top right menu below that contains several new pages. External Links is one of my favorites but badly named (for now). That page is a cheat sheet for writing reference sites.

I’ve been wanting to track information on Twitter better so created my own account under @writeramlynn. So far, the most active part of my new social media account is the lists of fiction-related accounts.

Baby sparrow in a hand
No guarantees that @writeramlynn will grow into anything beautiful.

Story Developments

Long fiction

Do7 is at 5,000 words of the estimated 40,000 I’m trying to complete by the end of February. Also, all seven of the dwarves now have names that are much better than [D1], [D7], etc.

I’ve given in the temptation to write a cold war between the merpeople and humans into the outline for OotS. My little sea-prince is more subversive than submissive. Although he will retain his naturally sweet nature in his silent battles.

Ocean sunset
“The sun rose above the waves, and his warm rays fell on the cold foam of the little mermaid”. (Andersen)

Short fiction

I completed one flash of science fiction and a longer short that’s maybe literary? (Genres outside of speculative fiction confuse me.) They will travel more of the world as soon as I can figure out who to test these stories against.

Aaaand, this last update I wasn’t sure how to announce. I’ve made my first sale to a professional magazine if you can believe that. One of my sci-fi pieces was accepted by Strange Horizons! The editor tweeted about the acceptance.

 

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New Design for the 2017 Holiday Season

Every time I visited the site during my recent 15 Every 15 series, I faced a design that looked outdated and mismatched.

We’re entering the holiday season (here in the US that means the cluster of Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving, Hanukah, the winter solstice, Christmas, New Year’s, and the like). This is a time for redecorating, contemplating personal appearances, and frantic repairs around the home before relatives arrive. Seems like a fitting time for a new design, right?

I decided to go big with the layout and colors. Either way, this theme offered:

  • accessibility features for a better experience on various devices,
  • a fixed navigation bar that remains at the top while you scroll, and
  • more room for content on the screen.

The current gold, gray, and white color scheme might stick around past January. We’ll see. I also took the opportunity to drop in a new site icon (image in tab bars) and tweak the static pages (available from the top navigation bar).

So, what do you think?

Shadow’s Second Year in Review

Yellow Fireworks - Click for source

This blog is two years old!

For last year’s anniversary, I posted blog statistics and blogging goals for 2010. How did the second year compare to the second? Let’s find out.

Posts: 45
(13 fewer than in 2009)

Comments: 230
(95 more than in 2009 — Thank you, readers!)

Total Views: 3,730
(about 870 more than 2009)
Most Views in a Month: 354 in March
(96 more than September 2009)
Most Views in a Day: 40 on August 22
(6 more than on September 8, 2009)

Most Viewed Posts from 2010:
The First Letter of Character Names

Are Non-Genre Authors Slow? (Parts I and II)
The Hero vs. the Main Character

Terms Bringing in the Most Traffic:
bliaut / surcoat and similar terms took about 90 visitors to Glimpse
writing on mirror / mirror writing / writing in condensation
(for How to Fight Writer’s Block With a Mirror)
variations of “forever by judy blume”
(for The Elusive Definition of a Young Adult Novel)

Like last year, the tags on images brought in most of the traffic from external searches. I still wonder if this is problematic for visitors.

Visitors wanting to know a way or reason for writing on a mirror might find useful information in my post. Unfortunately, visitors won’t find on Shadows any sewing instructions, history, or descriptions of medieval garments (such as a bliaut and surcoat) nor  a review of Judy Blume’s novel Forever…yet.

Goals: “My goals for 2010 include convincing more people to subscribe–
Fast and easy! Click on the button now!–
posting more consistently, and presenting readers with something useful in every post.”

Did I meet these goals? Yes, no, and not as much as desired.

I won’t set goals for 2011, because there’s too much uncertainty. Blogging is low on a long list of priorities list. Instead of guessing at what I can accomplish for the year, I’ll concentrate on private, monthly goals.

Do you have any suggestions for me or advice for bloggers/writers in general? Now is a great time to speak up.

Monday’s Topic: Review of yWriter Software

New Links: Hatrackers

Several members of the online Hatrack River Writers Workshop are blogging for the first time. To show my support, I’ve added these brave writers to a new link category, Hatrackers’ Blogs, on the right-hand column.

  • Heidi Lacey
  • Justin A. Williams
  • Meredith Mansfield
  • Ryan Edward
  • Steve Husk is a more experienced blogger but a new addition to the Shadows link bar. Learn more about him at his website, Bloggathah.

    Please tell them Hello when you have a moment.