Grand Reopening

Every now and then it’s time to redecorate. When I was younger, I often rearranged the furniture when this urge hit. Today our furniture is more complex and the rooms more limiting, so moving furniture isn’t an option. Not wanting the exertion, disruption or expense of painting walls, I turned to something more manageable: I redid my website.

When I set up The Heart and Craft of Life Writing site on, I planned to fill it with downloads, articles on writing, book recommendations, and other useful information. I wanted it to be the premier site for free information and downloads. Alas, I’d fallen far short of that goal. This blog holds what would ordinarily be the articles I’d post there, but it's more than that. Basically, I find web design stressful and had left many aspects of the site “under construction”.

The urge to dig in and finish the site's structure came when I discovered that Ritergal’s Story Site, which had been hosted on free space on since 2001, went POOF! sometime over the last few weeks. Although I hadn’t posted anything new on that site for seven years, I liked the design. Fortunately, the files were all backed up, making it relatively easy to rebuild on my own turf.

After several days of riding alternate waves of tedium, adrenaline and elation as I worked on both the Heart and Craft and Story Site portions, I’m done. Let me assure you that for those of us who don’t work on websites very often, haven’t mastered the high end tools, and insist on custom design, this stuff is seriously tedious. Believe me, I’m celebrating now that it’s done!

Please click over to take a look at the new additions. You’ll find listings of programs and workshops, a link to the newly reinstalled Story Site, links to articles and stories I have published various places in cyberspace, and a page of downloads, many of which you may already have seen. I’ve also included a long list of recommended books. I have read each of the books on the list and recommend them to others. These are the cream of the crop. I have many books on my shelf that did not make the list. Clicking on any title will direct you to the book’s Amazon page where you can read reviews and other information. (Most of the titles will be in your local library, or available through interlibrary loan.)

This whole adventure is a good example of the value of backing things up. I would
never have redone that site from scratch. It’s also an example of technology creep. After seven years there were some aspects of the coding in those pages that needed to be updated to comply with current standards. It still worked, but it’s likely to keep working longer with the touch-ups I did.

Your story files are the same way. Very old files, say ten years old or more, should be opened and resaved to keep them current. I have some old WordPerfect files from around 1990 that are clunky to open, even in WordPerfect (which I keep around for such purposes). I’ve been opening a few now and then and freshening them up if they are worth saving at all.

Maybe now that I have the site set up the way I intended, I’ll add material more often. Stay tuned.

One last thought: Although I finally bought a basic HTML book for ease of reference, I learned nearly everything I know about web design from online tutorials and searches. You can find free lessons for nearly anything on the web, including grammar and punctuation.

Write now: about how you handle the urge to change things. Have you redone your house? Bought new furniture? Moved? Redone a website? Bought a new wardrobe? How do you approach changes in technology?


ybonesy said...

Very nice. I do think there is a compulsion (not yours) to tinker and tinker. I wonder if it's almost like those people who can't stop improving their faces (until their noses are whittled down to nothing) or their homes.

But you seem to have quite the sane approach to it all.

Ritergal said...

LOL! My cyber nose is in no danger of disappearing. Wild horses visit only so often. But it is the sort of thing that once you get your stride, it's easier to keep going than to stop and start.