Finally, Everything Is Completed

October 29th, 2016

Oh, be still my trembling heart! Can it be? Is it truly possible? Is the first installment of Book 2 finally done?

YES! It is done. After almost a year, it’s finally done. And not only that, with its posting comes a totally revamped World of Letoria website.

I cannot express just how relieved I am to have this one in the books. It’s been jinxed from the start. It seems as though one obstacle after another has been thrown in my path. Since I first sat down to begin writing, I’ve been through four different computers: my old laptop, an all-in-one desktop meant as an upgrade to the old laptop, the old laptop again as an emergency backup when the upgrade ignominiously failed after six months (actually a combination of three different “emergency backups”; it appears I don’t toss out old computers “just in case”), and now another desktop, one from a company I’ve always found reliable if unspectacular. Let’s hope it holds up, and that abomination known as Windows 10 doesn’t cause me to utterly lose my mind.

Alongside the seemingly endless computer problems, I had to deal with a death in the family, and the deaths of two dear, beloved cyber-friends and mentors. In particular, the unexpected death of Invid Fan rocked me to my core. He was everything to me in regards to my writing. He was my teacher, my cheerleader, my occasionally harsh critic, my Rock of Gibraltar. I didn’t see how I could go on without him to lean on.

Fortunately, I am not without some very generous friends, a fact that became unmistakably evident over the last two weeks. I intend to address these special friendships in more detail in an upcoming blog entry, but I do want to briefly give my thanks to a few who’ve been instrumental in helping me get this chapter finished and posted.

Poppa Bear Paul, my kind and patient editor from Scotland, has helped me polish the latest installment into something better than it was when he received the final rough from me. He stepped up on short notice and did way more than I had any right to expect. Thank you, Poppa Bear.

Robert, my professional songwriter friend from sunny Southern California penned the lyrics to the lullaby Karen sings toward the end of the chapter. He did so on very short notice, and he did it with great enthusiasm and skill. Thank you, Robert!

Jacques, my dear, precious “Father in Spirit” from the Bordeaux region of France is my spiritual and emotional rock. I think he understands my emotional makeup better than anyone else except my wife. He keeps me grounded emotionally as I struggle to turn my recently discovered passion for writing into something I can share with you, my readers. Thank you mon pere Jacques.

And Ian from Oz, my new web guru. My god, what would I do without Ian? I don’t know where he gets the patience to put up with me. Maybe it has something to do with his love for ferrets. He is far more responsible than I for the overhaul of the World of Letoria website. I picked out colors, images, and fonts. He did all the work of converting everything into something tangible. He also managed to set it up so I’ll be able to do all the work of posting new content except uploading it to ASSTR – and he’s working on a way for me to do that as well. He created a mechanism that is as close to idiot-proof as it’s possible to get. How he managed to simplify things to a point where I’d feel comfortable playing around under the hood is one of life’s mysteries. From my perspective, it surely had to include midnight incantations to gods unknown, potions made up of eye of newt and wings of bats, and the howls of a black cat. Whatever it took, he did it, and he never once complained or was anything but supportive and enthusiastic. Thank you, Ian, – you rock

Now a few words about the new and improved WOL website. My aim has been to make it more visually appealing and easier to navigate. I wanted a softer, more feminine feel to it, something reflected in the images, colors, and fonts I chose. I wanted it to be easy for you to find whatever content you’re looking for as quickly and effortlessly as possible. I’ve long wanted to include a page dedicated to the music that I find so crucial to my writing, the stuff that accompanies me and provides a background rhythm as I write, and I wanted to have a way to link to the YouTube videos I downloaded to my library. It’s now a reality, not just an abstract concept to get around to creating “someday.”

I’m pleased with how it looks. However, what I think doesn’t matter as much as what you think. I encourage you to send me your comments on the site. Tell me what you like and dislike, what can be done to improve it, any pages and/or content you’d like to see. I want it to be as reader-friendly as it can be, and the only way I can do that is to hear your thoughts and opinions. Please don’t hesitate to send me feedback. It truly matters.

I’ll leave things there for now. Let’s hope life settles down enough for me to get my groove back. Thanks to all of you for your patience and forbearance.