Monday, March 25, 2019

Mental Can Openers & Writer's Hash ~ Roulf Burrell

Mental Can Openers blog post image

Literature’s Run for the Roses - Part 2

Last time: A sleepless night, themes and JPEGS floating on the inner sides of my eyes, pillars of book sales by day and web subscribers by night...
Image for creating website SEO
Next morning, assuring myself the site didn’t construct itself, I made a hard left turn into the practical.  Actually, I check out Candee Fick‘s The Author Toolbox where she explains one of the first steps after arriving at the dashboard is to pick a theme.  This is a template that sets the look and feel to the site. To follow her real estate example, it‘s like choosing a floor plan and style for your house. Ranch or Victorian? Bungalow or Colonial? 
graphic with people building a website
But how do you know what various templates will look like? For visuals, most of the themes will give you a sneak peek. And many of the themes will tell you what use they had in mind at the start: business, artist, writer, sales. Just be cautious. While some themes are free, many themes cost you money. Some charge a one-time, lifetime use fee, others a lower, yearly rental fee. As the Grail knight warned Indiana Jones who was about to choose Christ’s cup, “Choose wisely.”
If you’re a visual learner check out YouTube. I have spent hours that would total days watching videos showing me the procedural steps to website construction.  I pause them, match my screens to theirs, open a Google screen up to find definitions I don‘t understand, then build my site with them — up to a point.
Here again, you must realize most videos will eventually push a theme or plug-in.  That makes them money. See, some themes are free, but many others are premium themes, costing money for additional support and options. YouTube videos often steer you towards these themes. But once they enter the details of setting up that theme, the help they offer is more limited. The number of videos dealing with free themes declines and the chance of some designer using my free writing theme spirals towards the theoretical. 
interlocking colorful spirals
So why do I (and others) press on through this jungle? Having control is part of the answer. With a level of control comes a level of security. But at a more elementary level, I want the mental challenge of learning a new area. My prior forays into the computer sciences provided the background that now allows me to plod through today‘s web technology, no matter how many naps it requires. It’s reasonable to expect that a fundamental understanding of websites and their design will enable future learning as technology progresses.
Besides, it’s handy for science fiction novels when you have to make the ludicrous sound scientific. 
Graphic of building a science fiction world
“The lepton compression rate on the CDN converter module is losing its spin momentum to the quantum flux curvature cloud, Captain. At this rate, our resolution-hold on this space-time domain will fail in 6 minutes.” Spock stared calmly into the visor of his science console.
“Where in the six bands of Orion’s belt did a flux cloud come from, Mr. Spock?” Years of experience held the tension in Kirk‘s voice to tolerable levels. He knew his bridge officers drew their confidence from him
“Unknown Captain,” Spock responded. “But if the UkeTubian widget doesn‘t lossy off the proton’s extraneous energy from the engines, the GDPR core will lose graphite cohesion and rupture.”
So, having shepherded a difficult and somewhat extended birth, my thoroughbred website is in its paddock. I continue the process of keeping it licensed, updated, optimized, secured and hot-linked. Once I place my Dragon Mist story in the saddle and the starting gates spring open, I, along with approximately 1 million other aspiring authors every year, can make my Run for those Roses, as fast as I can.
Picture of Roulf Burrell


  1. You can't even begin to imagine how much I relate to your situation!

  2. Hysterical as always, Roulf!!! And expressive of how I feel about technology most of the time. Congratulations on your tenacity sifting through it all! :) Donna