Since my longtime website host, SFF.net, is closing down its hosting service on March 31, all its denizens have to vacate, taking along all their goods and chattels, before then. As with my physical house, my web house has a lot of stray goods and chattels (four websites, embedded blogs, and one subsite), but I’m now in the process of moving them to a New Home. Or, to be honest, my new website maintenance person, Karen Shull, is doing the heavy lifting while I try to ignore this set of chores, and the political train-wreck now occurring (good luck with that, says the Citizen part of my head: you should be harassing your so-called representatives), and finish Into the Fire, whose title now seems unfortunate and prophetic both.
Anyway. So Karen’s hoping that everything got moved over to the new host this past week, and I think she’s on the testing phase now. Since some of the sites are older than others, and SFFnet didn’t use the same whatever-the-heck C-whatsit is (don’t ask me, I’m in the middle of a firefight in the book), we think there may be some hitchups, but Karen says the new host’s tech support is really helpful. My fingers (when not typing) are crossed up to the elbows, sending “hope, hope, hope” vibes that direction.
It has been suggested to me that the WordPress blogs embedded in the sites may be a source of difficulty, so if the blogs go wonky, but the sites are OK, please check the sites for updates. If both are wonky, you can find me on Twitter and Facebook and I will (in the event of major site problems) post on how things are going and what’s coming when and so on. Warning: though I’m spending hours/day on the book, my social media feeds do contain political content because I’m not just a writer, I’m a citizen.
When the testing part’s done, we can start the DNS propagation thingie. This weekend I need to get my SFF.net mail set to transfer to my other email address, and figure out how to download newsgroup archives as well. While trying to finish a book. And work with the art department on Into the Fire‘s cover art. (A reason why constricted writing/publishing schedules can be difficult for all: the cover’s supposed to be done before the book is turned in (or finished) and every extraneous thing breaks concentration–for art department as well as writer. I missed a couple of emails yesterday because I had headphones on listening to music while writing, and I don’t stop to check email if a scene is flowing well. So now the art people are waiting on my response, which they can’t get until Monday. OTOH, having to stop and consider something and how to say “Can we tweak this bit here?” so it sounds helpful and not whiny or petulant-writer-being-difficult, interrupts me. )
The book, meanwhile, stuck its hooves in the muddy bank and refused to cooperate with the planned ending. This just about never happens to me. Trying to get it all written was like trying to get a stubborn and frightened horse to cross a stream. Backing, sidling, wheeling, plunging–all of that. As one does, I let it stand quietly while I tried to think what was wrong and how to fix it, and with the help of one of my first readers was led to see that the planned ending, after the way the book had developed, was…um…lame. In horse terms, the horse knew there was a nasty patch of quicksand (or a sucking mudhole) under that water, and wasn’t about to go in there and sink the whole project. So…new ending. Not finished. But on the way to it. Requiring changes earlier in the book, of course, because a radical change at the end does require changes at least halfway back. But it feels right and the book, presented with a new place to cross the water, has walked out into it, hooves making that particular skloosh, skloop, skloosh sound they make on a gravel bar under water as opposed to hard sand or mud.
We will all make it to the other side–the book, the websites, me, and you–but I have no idea exactly how long it will take.