23 May 2021

I hit 200 pages of the novel!

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

This took a really long time, with many starts and stops, but I finally broke 200 pages of writing the book. 

I like to use the Pacemaker app to keep track of my word count and according to the word count planner, I am at 57,987 words and am 73% done with the book. My goal is 80,000 words minimum, which is about the standard for fantasy novels. At the rate the book is going, I might go over that amount, but for the time being, this is my goal. 

This is the longest I've ever worked on a book. I conceptualized Son of the Siren as a graphic novel years and years ago, like in 2013 or 2014, and made the cover and first page of art and gave up because it was too difficult. 

Then in 2018 I decided to make the comic into a YA fantasy novel. This means I have been outlining and plotting and drafting this baby for three years, and based on my timing it'll probably take a fourth year before I wrap this up. My goal is to have the draft completed before I return to the United States in 2022.

I wish I could write faster. I wish there weren't moments of self-doubt and moments of relived trauma that occurred while writing. That may account for a lot of the stalling I experienced as I write this book. I admit this is one of the most challenging pieces I've ever written thus far. 

But 200 pages is a pretty big milestone for me, after five years of not writing anything, so I'm pretty proud of myself. Thanks for being here with me on my book journey! 

16 May 2021

Yesterday's Blogger Debacle

Photo by Andrey Metelev on Unsplash
So, I put up a panicky emergency post yesterday because I didn't know what was happening to this website (I deleted it because I wanted to give you the full story here now). 

Google emailed me to tell me my blog violated their terms and conditions for viruses and malware, and they started deleting both my pages and my posts. 

Reader, I freaked out. 

Then when I tried to access my website, I got the red screen of death warning me my site was dangerous for phishing, and URLs not affiliated with my blog started popping up. 

I did my research and couldn't find anything about what was going down at the time, so I did more research to try and find a way to remove the malware. I was pointed to a security company who you could pay for malware removal (plus add things like a firewall and additional monitored protection). Thinking I was going to lose 10+ years of posts, I ponied up the dough (and reader, it was expensive. I'm too embarrassed to share the amount here). 

THEN...Good friends started sending me information.

According to reddit this was happening to different people who use the Blogger platform. My sister confirmed it happened to her, too, and then a bunch of us piled on a post in the Google Blogger Help forums and a rep finally told us what happened (before lecturing us about posting on a resolved thread). 

So, I wasted my money. A lot of money. I am currently trying to see if I can get a refund since the malware removal request actually didn't get completed. We hit a snag with technical stuff that I didn't know anyway, like FTP or whatever the heck that is. 

In the meantime, Google restored the deleted content from this as an unpublished page, so I had to republish them to get them to reappear and I see now that they're working. 

I also downloaded the .xml file (which I don't exactly know what it is) which apparently backs up all posts in case there is an emergency or I want to switch to a different blog provider...

Which is exactly what I started researching. I've been thinking about transferring to WordPress, because between this episode and Google doing away with subscriptions by email through Feedburner, and the "new" Blogger interface they made like a year ago that I still fight with to get my posts to look a certain way...I just thought it was time to look into switching. 

The other website I worked with, Speculative Chic, uses WordPress and I'm just so impressed with our site and what we've been able to do with it, so that's largely what sold me on WordPress. 

Then I did research. Transferring domains to a new host is freaking expensive. Then there are expenses involving blog design and features as well. 

I just don't have the money to switch right now, and the technical aspects of it are blowing my mind. 

So it looks like I'm going to be here with Blogger for a good long while. 

I really hope that they have a handle on whatever happened yesterday and we don't see something scary like that again. 

What was so frustrating about all of it is that Blogger just arbitrarily deleted posts without giving you a chance to rectify the situation. This means that we are beholden to Blogger's whims. I know it was probably in the terms and conditions when I signed up for this blog over ten years ago, but you never really think of it being relevant until something like this happens to you.