Catching Up

I know that it’s been a while since I last blogged; I’ve been busy. It’s actually hard to recall a time when I didn’t have something that needed doing, whether it was reviewing something, interviewing someone or just publishing news stories. And that’s just for the site! I also have my family life and day job to think about. Oh, and let’s not forget my often neglected screenwriting career.

While I’ve considered getting away from it all – taking a vacation, I guess – I don’t know that I’d ever mentally leave this behind, even momentarily. I don’t relax well. I like to stay busy. To get away from work or a chore, I will sometimes actually take on more work if for no other reason than it’s different. For instance, even with screening and junket invites dying in my inbox, I decided that I should devote my entire focus to redesigning the Working Author site.

So, here we are with a new svelte layout, which I feel gives the site more of a webzine feel – even more so than the previous version did. My last incarnation of the site was perhaps too ambitious. I featured way too many sections that I couldn’t hope to keep updated. This time around, I’ve pared down the categories to make sure the site has new content more often in the necessary places.

Also, I’ve added more functionality to the video section so that it accommodates YouTube videos. In truth, this addition was borne from laziness and diminishing server space. Downloading high-definition videos and then converting them to flash videos and then uploading them to my server started to take a toll, and it doesn’t make sense to do all that just to own the video. You may also enjoy the new gallery section. I’m using the gallery style provided by WordPress Jetpack and I’m pretty happy with the results. I’ve decided to keep my galleries at a 20-image maximum going forward.

Converting the site to this new format over the last two weeks has reminded me of something very important: web development is tedious and time consuming. The experience is probably different for professional web developers, but for me – completely self-taught – the process can sometimes boil down to simple trial and error since I don’t truly understand much of the language syntax. So, lesson learned (once more), I don’t think I’ll be overhauling the site again for a long time. Unless, of course, I make it big and can hire a professional.

So, I hope you enjoy the new layout and invite your friends and family to visit.

Before closing, I’d like to take a moment to congratulate Working Author contributor Jim Shilander. He’s moving on to better opportunities and, sadly, won’t be contributing as much here. His writing has always been superb, his analyses always insightful and his company always welcome. Jim will still contribute what and when he can, but his presence will definitely be reduced and missed.

When I started Working Author years ago, I never imagined the site would get as far as it did. Nor did I think that it would be the kind of site that actually had a staff. Yet, here we are, a tight-knit group of hungry writers that has achieved amazing goals, and I can only hope that Jim’s experience here has in some small way contributed to his current and future success.

So, congratulations to Jim Shilander. You will always have a home at Working Author.