chapter 16 blog
I'm sorry I haven't been on much lately guys. Between working on my big portfolio site update and socializing with other writers, I've been pretty swamped - but I can assure you guys that this site has not been abandoned!
My portfolio site is still my number 1 priority at the moment, I need to get that up and running so I can, you know, start linking it to people and getting my work out there and all that cal.
In the meantime just hang tight. I don't think anyone is eagerly waiting at the edge of their seat for updates or anything, but I will be getting to them soon, I promise. Once the site work is out of the way I can get back to actually working on some of my bigger projects again and get back on track in regards to my publication mission.
Thank you guys for your patience!
So, I am feeling a ton better after taking a day off. I feel refreshed and I even got a full 8 hours of sleep last night. Now to get back to the enormous list of things to do.
My portfolio site is still going really slowly. That being said, I have made some progress. I have set up most of my links so that when the title of a sample is clicked it takes you to the corresponding sample page (and all the text now matches my color scheme.) That took a surprisingly long time to set up. It's still mostly filler text and all that is actually on the sample pages is the layout for where stuff will go when I have it up (which I don't yet....) but still, it's some progress. I'm working on it.
So here's what I'm working on today:
And that's about it. It doesn't seem like a lot but I imagine it will be enough to keep me busy pretty much all day.
So I'm going to run off and get started on all of that. I will let you guys know if I have any site breakthroughs or anything exciting happens. Thanks as always for checking out the site.
I'm sort of proud of myself today. I've done a really good job getting work done and tackling issues as they come up, I've been very productive for the last 12 hours with only very short breaks to go pick up food.
The portfolio site is still a giant mess because it's going to take a lot longer to format than I would have hoped. but even with a ton of setbacks I got all the basic layout formatting done today, if not all of the linking. There's still a ton of stuff to do obviously, but I made lots of progress.
Around all of that I managed to do the final edit for a piece I've been trying to finish on and off for the last couple weeks, just in time to get it sent in for anthology consideration.
I know that it's going to get rejected. That's not pessimistic-Cat talking either, it's just sort of a fact. It's technically an open call but they're looking for more established writers and they're pretty hardcore. I like reading graphic horror stories as much or more than the next girl (and probably more than is healthy) but I'm not great at writing them. I'm probably going to have the tamest submission out of all of them, and there are probably editors laughing and saying "how cute" about my story as I type this.
Still though, it's good practice for me, which is why I submitted the story even though I know it's not going to make it in. I'm getting in the habit of formatting my stories in a specific way, of writing submission emails, taking risks, and sometime between now and September when I get a response I will be getting some much needed practice at being rejected - which I have been known not to handle well and I know I'll have to experience a lot of in the coming years.
Plus, they allow simultaneous submissions - which means that I can go ahead and send the story into somewhere that is more likely to consider it (and I have a few of those places lined up as it happens.)
I'm taking tomorrow off work - it will be the first time that I've not worked for a long time. I feel like I've earned it. When I get back I shall be sure to get some linking (and if I make it far enough, uploading) done on the portfolio site. Then I get to start work on next week's submissions.
I remember when I thought writing for myself full time was going to be less stressful than my ghost-writing job. It's funny how wrong I was. I'm working harder than ever and so far I've made a total of about $73 off of original content. I don't quite recall why I thought this would be a good idea...
But anyway, financial crisis aside, I do feel like I'm making progress and for the first time in my life I'm sort of staying on track and keeping at it. That's the part that I'm choosing to focus on today.
Anyway, thanks for reading. I'll be sure to let you guys know how it goes when I see you tomorrow or Tuesday.
I'm not sure if anyone noticed, but I have a new image for my background:
It's part of my whole "personalized graphics" thing - but it's still only a placeholder. This is my standard writing image which I originally acquired just for my tumblr page, but I was really happy with how it turned out.
It's currently the background image for this site which has some pros and cons. It's a little more personal (and in my opinion a little more aesthetically pleasing) but it has made the text a little bit harder to read - which I'm sure is probably pretty annoying. It's something I'm playing with. Part of the issue is that I haven't decided whether or not I'll be keeping this exact layout and I don't want to spend a ton of time arranging everything perfectly only to need to start over when I switch templates. I'll be making some decisions about that soon though, I promise.
First up is my portfolio site though - which I'm still designing. It gets priority because it's still sort of a mess right now and I'd like to have it up and running within the next week or so. If I can get my sample templates finalized today then the next couple of days I can go in and just replace my filler text with actual content and I'll be right on track.
Today's agenda is pretty much working on that, finalizing my edits for this week's submission piece, cleaning out my office and trying to stay awake for Game of Thrones. It's an exciting plan, huh?
One last thing, I just want to thank everyone again for your interest in this. I've been really surprised with the attention that this project is getting and it really does mean a lot that people are checking this out even as I'm still getting it set up. So far all the feedback has been pretty positive and it's making me very hopeful for the future of this. You guys are seriously all the best.
I got some really exciting news today. One of my pieces was accepted for this month's issue of Siren's Call - which is an awesome zine dedicated to edgy fiction and it's 100% free - available online. They also have some really amazing publication projects which you can check out on their site.
My contribution is called "Sole Survivor" and it's post-apocalyptic zombie flash-fiction piece that I wrote last August for consideration in an all-undead anthology. It was actively considered before ultimately being rejected on the grounds that it was too "subective", "dark", and for it's "frighteningly pessimistic social commentary." Earlier this year it made it's debut appearance in the first issue of my own collaborative zine; Toxic Bubblegum.
As of right now it's the only piece I've ever submitted for publication and it has earned me my first rejection letter AND my first acceptance letter - which has given it a special place in my heart forever and always.
The story is currently available online. This is normally where I would link you to my portfolio site, but that's still under some heavy construction so instead I will link you to where it is featured on Writing.Com (where it has been met with some mixed reception- I'm proud to say. Definitely not a piece for everyone.)
(You can also track it down on Toxic Bubblegum's site in our zine issue archive page, waaay at the bottom if you feel up to it.)
I guess that's about it for this post. I'm very, very excited for the opportunity to be featured alongside so many talented writers and artists in what is undoubtedly one of my favorite horror zines - and I'll be sure to share a link with you guys when it becomes available. In the meantime, if you like my work, zines, edgy fiction or just awesome content that you can view for free you really should check out some of the zines previous work because it's absolutely amazing.
Thank you guys for reading, and I'll be back soon.
So this is yet another work blog that I'm starting, but it's going to be the best one so far. I've learned a lot from the previous ones, this one will bring together all of my projects, notes, blogs, updates and promotions into one place. Best of all, it doesn't require a membership or an account like my previous blogs that have been hosted through social media sites.
This post I'm going to talk a little bit about this site, the site it's replacing and the sort of changes you can expect to see in the very near future - because this is a work in progress.
The site that this is replacing was called Chapter 16. It was the first site I ever created and it was home to all of my commission information. I made it when I was 18, I had no experience with commissions, professional writing, or web design and it was a complete mess. I put a notice up saying I was going to fix it but then I got a full time job and there was just a sort of half-assed page for about 3 years. It continued getting traffic so I continued to leave it up for a long time, and it still got me a lot of commission requests surprisingly - and because of that I figured it couldn't be too bad. It was.
Now I'm older and I have a lot more experience with the aforementioned things. I can code sites from scratch (though I did use a site-builder for this one), I know about SEO, I've been making a living writing for 3 years and I've taken just about every kind of commission you can imagine. Since I've taken a break from my paying writing gig and am trying to establish my work, I figured this would be a great time to finally set about building a proper site for myself.
Originally I was just going to update the information on my commission site, but then I realized that doesn't make a lot of sense because I don't do full-time commissions anymore. For the amount of requests I accept it seemed like all that information could be put in a post or on one page rather than requiring a whole site - and at that point I got the idea for this site.
It's still in the very early conception stages, and I guess it's going to be a trial and error thing. The basic idea is for me to keep all of my work stuff on this one site - there's a page for all my commission info, there's a project that outlines my current and upcoming projects, there's an about me, and of course there's this blog. It's going to be sort of an ever changing site, I'll keep what works, ditch what doesn't and we'll see how it goes. I'm really excited to be working on it, and it's nice to have a site that I'm not embarrassed to link to people.
So, uh, it's also getting a lot more traffic than I expected. I published this site a little over 24 hours ago and it's already gotten over 25 hits which I was not expecting. It's not like that's a ton of people or anything, but I haven't done a ton of promoting for this yet or even set it up to be visible by search engines - I pretty much gave the link to my Twitter followers. I'm glad people seem interested - though if I had known it would be getting so much attention I would definitely have waited to publish it until I had it polished up a little more.
That brings me to my last topic - the updates. I know that there are some issues with the site, and I'd just like to address those really quick. I have some custom graphics pending for this, I'm not quite sure when they'll be done but it's something I'm working on. Until then I'm sure you'll notice that I have some generic writing-themed graphics up as placeholders - courtesy of Weebly and their default theme images. (Weebly for those of you who don't know is the site builder I'm using. I typically prefer to do my own coding but Weebly has free domain names which works out so amazing because this site is more about promoting my work than bringing in money - so it's great to have a place to host it for free.)
Some of the links are also broken - primarily my social media links and my portfolio site links. The social media ones I just haven't set up yet and the portfolio site links are broken because I changed the url for my portfolio site after setting them up. After seeing how many hits the renovation was getting this site I decided to do an overhaul for my portfolio site as well, it deserves the same level of attention as this one. I've ditched everything, started from scratch and it's taken up a ton of my time. As soon as it's done (or close enough to being done that I feel comfortable sharing) I will announce it here and fix my links. Thank you everyone for your patience as I work this out. You have to understand, I really didn't expect to have anyone on the site yet.
I think that's about everything I wanted to cover here. I think it's really neat that I already have people on here and I really do appreciate all the interest and support in this project - especially here in the beginning since I'm sort of stumbling over set-up and everything. If anyone has any questions, comments, advice, complaints, really anything, you can shoot me an email at Cat.Voleur@gmail.com, and I really hope you guys keep checking in.