Greetings all! Well the week has been productive enough though its still going to be a little while before you fine folks will be able to enjoy all the things I have brewing.
I’ve been able to do a little writing on the epic, lengthy, and squick-i-licious animation I’ve mentioned previously. Its one of those frustrating situations where I know, more or less, what I want to do with the writing, I just haven’t had the time to really sit down and work on it at length.
Speaking of length, I’ve received a few very nice notes on the lengthy story attached to Treatment Program. I’m glad people enjoy seeing that kind of material from me as I certainly enjoy creating it. It wasn’t that long ago that I would’ve scoffed at creating ‘short fiction.’ It just seemed such a lofty goal in comparison to the humble endeavors of my caption work. But, as time has worn on, I seem to write a bit more and a bit more with every new piece. And, I must say I enjoy letting my imagination run free.
The changes I’ve made to my website theme have been especially helpful in breaking out of the confines my caption work has traditionally been in. In the past, the caption text needed to appear as part of the image; arranged beside or below the action. That worked fine for the most part but as I transitioned to creating animations, that method became problematic. Bigger dimensions mean bigger files and longer page load times. Uncoupling the text from the image solved that problem while also giving me the freedom to write as much as I like.
Between you and I, its also been wonderful to go back and be able to fix misspellings by simply tweaking a page on my site. 😉
Speaking of tweaking my site, I’ve been doing a bit of work behind the scenes lately. One project was to write a plugin that would drastically cut down on the amount of time required to create a new manip page. So I brushed up on my php skills a bit and spent several days last week banging out the necessary code. The final product is mostly invisible to the viewer, but it makes things -much- easier to manage on my side.
In the course of doing that, I needed to make some adjustments to my site’s theme, which turned out to be easier said than done. The theme I’m currently using was selected as a time saving measure. When I began using it, Google had mandated that, in order to maintain their search rankings, all sites needed to be mobile-ready. I didn’t have time to update my custom theme so I selected an off-the-shelf theme I could live with and saved my site’s search rank.
But now, I’m thinking its time to move on. The theme’s author intended it to look a certain way and hasn’t made it easy to change some things I’d like to change. Rather than fighting with a theme that was only ever meant to be a stop-gap, I’ve decided to start working on a new, modern custom theme of my own.
In order to speed that process along, I’ve started exploring the world of responsive frameworks and SASS, an extension language of traditional CSS. I’ve settled on Foundation as the framework for my new theme and have already completed a rudimentary prototype.
Its been a fun learning experience getting to know these tools and, sometime later this year, I’ll be rolling out an updated website that looks more like I always wanted it to while also looking and performing great on mobile devices.
I also recorded a very fun interview earlier this evening that will be showing up soon on The Black Room podcast. I promise I’ll tell you all about that next time!