New Design and Writing


Some of you who visit here may have noticed that the look of my blog has changed. This is only the start of the changes for it. I’ve decided to stick with Blogger for now. I imagine that while WordPress might have some amazing features, such features will end up being a part of Blogger anyway, and the idea that I can edit and change just about anything for free on Blogger is more important to me than having some of the neat features of WordPress under restriction.
First and foremost, what do you think thus far? I’ve added the left hand sidebar and was trying to figure out how to add another bar so that the left is identical to the right. This was hopefully to reduce the length of all the information so it is a little more accessible for people. Does it look okay? I don’t want it to be incredibly cluttered and hopefully it isn’t that way. The idea is so that things look a little smoother without a bunch of annoying buttons and junk or an endless sidebar.
What other improvements might you be interested in seeing? I’m contemplating trying to replace the current banner with something a little more flashy. Nothing spectacular, but certainly something that might be a little more ‘me’ in regards to the blog and what I’m using this blog for. I have an idea how to put it up there, but it will take me quite some time to come up with something that I actually like to put there. I’m not great with Photoshop so either I will have to learn some tricks or have to make due with what I know. Most of my experience with Photoshop is generally randomness that becomes art, or in the instance of some of my space ‘paintings’ some predefined methods that I fiddled with to get different effects. I would use those methods except this blog isn’t really an SF blog and I don’t know if space type stuff would be good for it. But, we’ll see.

Now, currently I’m not writing anything. Mostly I’m editing and critiquing. I have several stories that are in need of some final edits and several that are going to some groups I’m a part of for crits. I have a lot of ideas mulling around in my head and I think before I start really digging in The Spellweaver of Dern, I want to get some other stuff on the page first. My goal is to start The Spellweaver of Dern around Christmas. The problem with starting sooner is that I want to be properly prepared with the story this time. WISB is going to have to go through some extensive edits, which means in the next month or so all the chapters will be pulled off. Those that are reading it may of course send me emails asking about the project, etc. WISB is not in a perfect state at the moment, obviously, but I intend to make it much better.
So, for now I’m working on other projects. Never fear, much will be done for the world in the satin bag. We’ll meet James again, and Pea, Triska, Darl, Iliad, and of course Laura. We’ll see a little more of this Captain Norp fellow and actually find out what and who he is, and more about who Darl is will be revealed. There will be many surprises and many things will be answered. The Lean will show up again, because the Lean must. I have to think a lot on this to figure out the best way to present all these things. The book may or may not be considerably longer than WISB. I don’t know yet. That depends on where the characters take me.
So, stay tuned to the blog, because other stuff will be discussed!

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Rhetoric and Writing at Bemidji State University. He received his PhD in English from the University of Florida and studies science fiction, postcolonialism, digital fan cultures, and digital rhetoric.

4 thoughts on “New Design and Writing

  1. The new layout is ok. It certainly makes everything more easy to spot. The header really does need improving. It’s booooring. If you want anything really specific done for that, ask me and see if I can manage it. I’m not bad with Photoshop, I just lack artistic skill. :p

  2. Aww, now i feel so bad for not being able to come up with a baner for you…
    Damnit if i could just work photoshop! curse you technology!

    Anyway, i am excited for the return of the characters, and i (probably more than anyone…) can’t wait for the lean to return!!

    The site looks great, it is alot more clean and the buttons are definately easier to see and read.
    I’m intruiged as to what the countdown is doing though? is it like in standby or have you just set it to countdown until christmas?

    Anyway, until spellweaver have fun editing!

    btw, those space pics are pretty cool! though i agree that i don’t know if it would look right.

  3. I like your three column layout. Makes for easy use.

    And the banner does not bother me at all, btw. I don’t visit blogs because of their design, I visit for content.(But I will avoid visiting if it’s difficult to navigate.)

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