Friday, October 24, 2008 is back!

If any of you have looked at my website in the past three or four months, you have no doubt been frustrated. Me, too. When I tried to update the site, I had some space issues, so I moved it to a new web host, which went well. Then I began doing the intended updates, some really minor ones, and Dreamweaver crashed. And crashed. And crashed again. Puzzled, I kept working on it, seeking answers online and in my manuals, without success. The site was fine, but the "index" page, which most people call the home page, had issues with the navigation buttons.

Then my new Macbook Pro died. Hubby took it to Peachmac for repair. The service department there wasn't able to bring it back to life, so it had to go to Apple. The manufacturer was able to resurrect the laptop, but even a fresh install of Dreamweaver did not prevent the unexplained errors. Indeed, I have read a number of forum posts regarding problems with Dreamweaver, Intel Macs, and OSX.5. Finally, in desperation, I turned to my old faithful computer, a rock-solid 1999 model G4 tower. While not the latest, this machine was owned by a graphics design firm before I bought it, and it has been upgraded with OS X and has many graphics programs installed, including an older version of Dreamweaver. Honestly, I'm not all that technically adept, but it did not take long to download the site and repair the damage done by my other computer and its ever crashing software. Finally, the site is now back up and seems to be working as well as it did back in the summer, which was when the site was corrupted. When I am between quarters at my technical school, I will do a more thorough update, with new items which I could not use previously, due to limited server space, but for now, a working site beats a site which was not working.

Last evening, hubby and I attended a combo work/social event, and one of my readers asked, "Are you writing another book? When will it be out?" I hedged a bit and she said, "You aren't, are you?" Ah, she is a perceptive lady indeed. The answer really is "yes" and "no" because I am always writing something. I just can't help myself. But, realistically, I need to spend my time on ventures which put money into the bank, and writing has not done that for me. So I am writing, but I am not seeking a contract at this time. I'm also toying with the idea of using a new pen name, an entirely fictitious entity who can write and publish without all the strings attached. If that happens, and if this new identity gets a contract, I will have a chance to create a new website. Some of the authors I know have several identities, and they seem to manage just fine.

In the meantime, I have papers to grade, so I had best be about it.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

What I've Been Reading

With my knee keeping me from some of my normal activities, I've had more time to read. Alas, I didn't go on a book-buying spree prior to my surgery, so I have been reading items which have languished in my "To Be Read" pile. None of these are new releases, and most of them are in the science fiction or romance genres.

The best of the bunch is apparently no longer in print, The Changeling Plague, by Syne Mitchell. I read this author's debut novel, and I was sufficiently impressed to pick up this one. The Changeling Plague grabs readers and holds their interest with a good plot and engaging characters. I do wish I had not let it languish so long. Rather than write a mini review of it, I will point readers to a good review in the webzine Sci Fi Dimensions.

Kris Longknife, Mutineer, begins a series, and it is a decent space opera, reminding me somewhat of the early works of David Weber. Only somewhat, however. Nowadays, Weber writes too long on topics which are dull, but he once wrote action packed, thrilling yarns. Until the climax, Mutineer was entertaining, but toward the end, I kept saying, "no way" so I can't give it high marks.

I've seen titles by Sharon Shinn listed as favorites by lovers of science fiction romance and fantasy. Without so much as reading the back cover blurb, I began Jeanna Starborn, and I was struck with the beauty of Shinn's prose, and the plodding nature of the plot. As I read, I kept thinking that it was a tale out of time, one which belonged to couple of centuries back rather than in the future. Then, as I was toting this rather lengthy tome with me to an appointment, I read that it is a retelling of Jane Eyre as a science fiction story. And it is, which explains why it seems so odd. I'm still working on it, along with many, many student papers, but I can see why this effort garners both good and bad reviews. If you want a fast-paced futuristic, this isn't it. The novel is well written, but I will have to try another novel by Shinn before I make up mind about her role in the ever growing pantheon of science fiction.

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Checking in

I've been bad about not updating Pam's Pages of late. Four factors have contributed to my hiatus from the web.

First, I had "end of the quarter" duties at my technical college, which included grading a good sized stack of research papers.

Second, my son wore out his welcome at the local public school, so I have begun the "homeschooling" experience. I must say that the Hall County Home Educators have been a blessing in this endeavor. Those folks have provided advice, contacts, and they have a nifty drama club which my son is enjoying.

Third, and most significant, is my decision to have arthroscopic knee surgery between quarters. While not major surgery, in fact mine was done as an outpatient, I have had some difficulty with the recovery. The enemy of this type of surgery is swelling, and there has been a fair amount of that. My doctor promised that I could return to work if I had a "sedentary" job, but apparently mine is not sedentary enough. I've been on crutches, which makes it difficult to do many things, from grocery shopping to cooking. And certainly, it isn't easy to get upstairs to my circa 1999 PowerMac G4 desktop computer.

Finally, the reason I need that old G4 is that my new Macbook Pro is dead, and Peachmac in Athens has had trouble getting a logic board from Apple to complete the warranty repair. When I am downstairs, I am using an old Dell laptop that belongs to hubby, and it is not equipped with the latest software.

I am in hopes that I will soon ditch my crutch, finish up physical therapy, be able to stand for an appreciable amount of time, that Apple will fix my notebook computer, and that certain educators will, as one presidential candidate stated, "find a new line of work." Just now, I will keep on keeping on. I did get manage to read some good books while I have been sitting around, so I will be talking about some of those soon.

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