Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Fifth NaNoWriMo Victory!

It's official: I've just won my fifth consecutive NaNoWriMo! You can see my word count in the NaNo word count widget to the left. Come to think of it, I should have inserted the widget into the sidebars of this blog and my project blog. I realized this when I put another counter widget in that place. Next year, I'll know better.

Next comes NaNoFiMo (National Novel Finishing Month). My goal: finish Spanner book 1 or write 50,000 words, whichever is more. I haven't written much since I won NaNo about a week ago (I reached 50,000 words on the 22nd and the word count validator bot made it official on the 25th), so this counts as another good excuse to get writing again. This will be my fourth FiMo, but I'll be going for my first win — significantly, writing a novel other than my '07 NaNo novel, Bad Company. I'll post my progress toward completion on the project blog.

A NaNo winner who wants his novel published can't rest on his laurels. I'll get back to writing soon.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Blog Maintenance: November 26, 2010

What better way to procrastinate NaNoWriMo than to redo all your blog templates and then edit the posts accordingly? Now this blog, my project blog, my opinion blog, and my Posterous blog now look different than they used to. I'd even say the three Blogger blogs look a hell of a lot better than they did, now that I've updated their templates.

The reason I did it is because my Blogger templates were simply broken. I'd customized them for expandable posts and Twitter, Facebook, and Google Buzz share buttons long before Google gave Blogger its own. As directed, I'd copied the code off the customization blogs and pasted it into my own blog templates. It worked for a while. No longer. Upgrading was necessary.

Sometimes you just have to give up the old ways and join the modern world. I felt that way when upgrading my blogs. The old templates no longer worked. Now I find my Blogger blogs load faster than they did. Now it's the Posterous blog that takes a long time loading — but that may just be because I posted so many videos from YouTube and Archive.org.

One thing I noticed is that I made posts expandable that most people would consider too short. Early on, I was all but infatuated with the expandable post, to the extreme of making even two-paragraph posts expandable. I've grown out of that little neophyte vice. I've edited all the short posts on the Blogger blogs so that they're no longer expandable. I reserve that now strictly for the long posts.

In short, an attempt to fix my project blog quickly turned into a major blog overhaul. I guess I knew a serious change was in order...