Life gets real

Jaded kobold

Been kind of a while since I blogged, huh?

Real life has an annoying habit of interfering with DDO. Various surgeries for both parents, trying to get established as a serious freelance writer, dealing with some medical issues my kitty has… it all takes a toll. I *need* my playing time to decompress; unfortunately that means my time for blogging and working on OurDDO gets cut.

Months n’ months n’ months ago, the lovely and talented grimorde coded a rather brilliant carousel for OurDDO, much like the “Featured Blogs” section on the old MyDDO. I uploaded her test file to the site, admired it… and kinda left it there, because there was still the drudgery of updating a ton of links and finding/making icons for 40+ blogs.

Anyway, I finally buckled down, spent several nights updating links and such, and then blew off NWO with Shin and Comic tonight (sorry, guys :/) to do all the icons and port everything over to a new site, because I’m having some issues with the hosting on the current site and want to make sure I have a backup plan. The new site’s got a small display issue I haven’t figured out yet, but it’s functional. I’m going to keep both sites going for the time being.

Sadly, I’m *not* going to continue updating the feed at present. I’ve had too many issues trying to find a site to handle it – small limits on the number of feeds you can add; serious unreliability; not being able to add/edit feeds; etc. I had high hopes for Yahoo! Pipes, but 1) it’s no longer actively supported by Yahoo!, from what I’m told, and 2) it kept “dropping” feeds because apparently the way it pings sites looking for new posts tends to get it flagged as malware. The current feed is operational, but doesn’t contain recent additions to the blogroll. I’m hoping to eventually have the time and ambition to come up with another solution, since I know a number of people like to use feed readers.

Acanthia

And now for some really awesome news – I’ve been participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) for the past several years, and I’m a member of a NaNo group that meets a few times a month. My friend and fellow NaNo-er Carrie submitted her novel, “Seashell, Stork and Apple Tree,” for Amazon.com’s Breakthrough Novel Award this year.

“Officially,” there were 10,000 entries for the award. So we were excited when she was named a quarterfinalist (top 100 in each of five categories). And we were REALLY excited when she made it to the semifinals (top five per category).

And now… SHE’S A FINALIST! She won first place overall in the Young Adult category, which guarantees her a $15,000 advance and a publishing contract with Amazon.com. Now she’s facing the winners in the other four categories for first place overall!

While Amazon.com made the selections from the start of the contest through the five finalists, now it’s up to a public vote. You can download and/or read free excerpts from all five finalists and cast your vote here.

I’m lucky enough to have read Carrie’s whole novel, because she E-mailed it around to our group for critique before she sent it off. But I’m not giving any spoiler alerts! If you have time, please do check out the finalists and vote… and if you happen to vote for Carrie’s entry, consider yourself gifted with virtual cookies from me! πŸ˜€

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12 thoughts on “Life gets real

    1. Yeah, I’m wondering if maybe the new site doesn’t support something? Because the files are identical. I opened the control panels in two separate windows and made sure I uploaded everything that was on the old site to the new site. Very strange.

      Also, there were actually only three or four people who sent me an icon, so the rest are kind of scrounged from what I could find, if anything, along with a couple that I assigned generic icons to because I couldn’t seem to scrounge anything else for them. Anyone who doesn’t like their icon can send me a new one via E-mail, and I’ll get it changed hopefully in a timely manner.

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  1. I want to say, thank you for maintaining OurDDO etc.

    But something that I’ve been meaning to get off my chest. No offence pls. The graphics of the site is pretty bad from a website design perspective. There’s just too much color. If you look at some tips online, the main advice is to keep things light and simple, with easy navigation. The site would improve greatly with a bit less color, and a simpler bg.

    I do like the carousel, though. The new page is missing the arrows, though, and a pause button would be fab.

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  2. Spence, Mizz, Mari – you guys are awesome. Thank you! πŸ™‚

    And Grim, there’s no way I can ever thank you enough. I LOVE the carousel, and I’m really wishing now I’d found the time to get the rest done and make it live a LOT sooner! πŸ˜€

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    1. Anytime chick!

      Also, you should try finding time to blog more! Even if it’s just some random ‘putting down my thoughts’ type of blog. Miss seeing how my favoritist DDO buddy is doin!

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    2. Hey it’s a community – we chip in what we can to help πŸ˜€

      And considering how long it took me to get around to doing the carousel in the first place…. I wouldn’t worry about how long it took you to implement! Real life does have this annoying habit of getting in the way of the fun stuff πŸ˜›

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