I really wanted to do a facelift on my blog. My regulars will remember me asking if I should go even deeper down the wormhole I've created using Lisa Burton as my spokesmodel. Popular consensus was not to do that, and keep a piece of it for myself.
One of the things I really wanted to do from my very first blog post was to include Easter eggs here somewhere. Not the kind you get at Easter, but the kind that show up in video games and such. Fun little things that will change from time to time.
My thought process went like this. Easter eggs, Easter, Easter Island… How do I keep a bit of myself in this and make it about me?
Dear Sean Harrington, I need a new banner. Here's what I have in mind… It involves leaving an open area where I can place whatever I like.
I got my new banner yesterday and assumed I'd be working on it today. That was before the disaster of italicized words showed up.
I woke up at 7:00 this morning. That's sleeping in for three hours by my work schedule. I ran out and checked my email first thing. Nothing from Amazon, lots of blog comments. Then I heated up some coffee and got some breakfast. This should give you an idea of my mindset over the italics fiasco.
Sat down with my coffee, and responded to blog comments. All combined, an idea was starting to form in my brain. Mae Clair was the one who pushed it over the top. Something had to be wrong with the way my word processor was closing the HTML command to close the italics out.
Apple Pages won't let me look at the HTML code. If it does, I haven't been able to figure it out.
Checked email. Nothing from Amazon.
Decided to get all artsy while waiting for Amazon. (Patiently, because that's how I am.) Used my Apple Pencil to modify my groovy new banner and include the Easter Egg. Right now it's Clovis' car and the dog from The Playground. This also comes with a bit of a learning curve, and some trial and error. It involves using something called masques, then layers, then making the background of the Easter Egg opaque. Turns out there is a vocabulary to this stuff too.
I'm 55 years old, I shouldn't have to learn new things. Why do I have to learn new things?
Check email. Nothing from Amazon. Look at that, Apple released a standard sized iPad Pro, and it has its own keyboard available and supports the Apple Pencil. Should I be mad? Am I mad? No, I like the larger amount of real estate, and the larger keyboard.
Delve deep into the inner workings of WordPress to change my banner. Stop, check email, nothing from Amazon.
Load my groovy new banner. Admire my handiwork.
Check email, nothing from Amazon. (I am so proud of how patient I'm being.)
Decide to change my Gravitar. Delve back into the inner workings of WordPress. Make appropriate changes. Like one of my own posts. It didn't work. Unlike that post.
Check email, nothing from Amazon.
Click on unchanged Gravitar, and attempt modifications through that system. Test by liking one of my own posts. It works.
Check email, nothing from Amazon.
We're burning daylight here people. I have Wednesday off, but I don't have Thursday off. I have to get up at 4:00 tomorrow.
Decided that it had to be something with the HTML code. Maybe if I typed and changed the font to italics when I typed, then changed back, the coding would be correct. The important part is manually changing it back.
Checked email, nothing from Amazon.
Made changes to a future Lisa Burton Radio episode. Emailed the author back. Check email… You know the drill by now.
Worked up the initial shtick for an even more future episode of Lisa Burton Radio, forwarded it to the author. Check email etc.
Open up The Playground in Apple Pages. Modify the italics sections line by line. As an example, if I write, “But you are stupid,” I deleted 'you' 'are' and 'stupid.' Then I retyped those words using “Courier – Courier italics – Courier.”
Checked email, etc. Fill in the blank.
Checked Facebook, accepted a friend request.
Checked email, (all together now) still nothing from Amazon.
Created an ePub version of The Playground.
Maybe I should check email one more time. Nothing.
Upload the new and improved version of The Playground to Amazon and wait for the document to process.
While I'm waiting, I can check email using my phone. Nothing.
Check The Playground using Amazon's previewer Kindle thingie. Everything looks great now. Am I good at this? I could be good at this.
Tap fingers, tug at beard.
Upload a new version of The Playground. Begin waiting 24 hours to see it go live. Then I can grab a review copy and check it line by line. (Looks like someone is going to be up past bedtime tomorrow.)
What the heck, check email. Amazon has answered. The guy was a total professional, and asked for more information including screen captures. I thanked him for his efforts, told him what I'm trying, and promised to get back with him either way.
Checked other forms of social media. John Howell left me an awesome 5 star review on Goodreads. I liked that puppy to get it into my timeline for my friends to see. Ran to Amazon and saw it was there too. Feel like a million bucks now. Probably ought to figure out how to share that on Facebook. New things, I swear I shouldn't have to learn new things.
I'm still uptight about things not working like they should, but I feel much better about it now.
If this all works, I have a dozen short stories to go through using the same process, and then there's the 35000 or so words in The Yak Guy Project. My attempt at an epistolary style short story is going to be a mother with the italics issue. Will that stop me? Noooo, but it may require some complaining.
Here are the takeaways. I have a cool new banner, and the ability to include Easter eggs. I have a new Gravitar image coming soon to a blog near you.
If you already bought The Playground, there may be a decent repair job available tomorrow for you to get. If you haven't, what are you waiting for. Read John's review and let him convince you.
I confess that I didn't get to read all the blogs today. I usually browse the 1000 or so that I follow and read the ones when something catches my eye. I finally made a list of must read blogs and put everyone who interacts with me in there. Today, I managed my list but that's about all. (Bonus takeaway: Those who interact are more likely to get read.)
I have a full growler of Old Chub Scotch Ale by Oskar Brewing, in Colorado. This is one of my favorite beers. I may start early today. I missed my nap, but beer is its own reward.
I hope it all works now. I won't have another chance to pull my beard and work in panic mode until Saturday.
By the way, Lisa Burton Radio is going to be fun tomorrow.