Jun 212011

This has been a good news / bad news sort of week.

Since I’m the sort of person that prefers to get the bad news first, I’ll share some of the challenges of the week.  First, I received an email from my “brother from another mother” letting me know that the email subscription button I had on the site here wasn’t working.  I’ve spent a little time with it (admittedly not too much), but the fact of the matter is that it’s not a quick and easy fix, and looks like repairing it will require some expertise that I don’t currently have.  That means dedicating time to reading up on the widget – time that I don’t have just now.  So for now, my solution has been to remove the email subscription button and replace it with an RSS feed button.  I’ve tested it, and it seems to work fine.  So, while I would prefer to offer the email subscription option, it’s going to have to wait for a while until I have the time to read up on one and determine what I’ve done wrong.

I also have to admit at this point that I’m not entirely happy with the way the site conversion process has gone.  There seem to be quite a few little things that are giving me a little trouble, and I think a lot of it is related either to the fact that I am using a theme designed for use in the WordPress.com hosting environment, or to the fact that I updated the version of WordPress that I’m using here.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the look of the theme (Motion 1.1.6 by Volcanic Web Design Company), but several of the options that I used at WordPress.com no longer seem to work – little things like being able to replace the “Just another WordPress site” tag line in the header, or being able to remove the category bar just beneath the header.  To paraphrase a certain “superior intellect”, it tasks me!

As a result, I will likely begin playing with various other themes soon, in an attempt to find one that not only gives the site a look and feel with which I am comfortable, but also one that I can customize and maintain easily. 

On the good news front – the second edit of Half Past Midnight is now complete.  The little meter in the sidebar is now at 100%, so I am going to take a moment to celebrate.

Okay, that’s long enough.  :lol:

Now its time to get with the next round of editing.  The previous edit was the easy one.  It was time-consuming, but not terribly difficult.  It was just a matter of going through the edited manuscript that Lynn sent back to me, going over the changes she made in it, and either accepting or rejecting those changes.  In probably ninety-five percent of those instances, I heartily agreed with her.  There were a few where I felt that the changes were simply stylistic choices, but for the most part they were things that I screwed up – and she fixed.  Thanks again, Lynn.

So now I begin the more difficult, but hopefully shorter, third editing pass.  In this pass, I have to fill in some characterizations and correct a few plot flaws that she pointed out.  These are things that will actually require some more writing and/or rewriting, which will be considerably more difficult than simply determining whether or not to accept Lynn’s suggested changes.  On the other hand, there aren’t nearly as many of them either.  Hopefully, another week will see me through with this phase of editing.  At that point, I’ll be able to submit my revised manuscript back to Lynn for another edit by her, and we’ll see where it goes from there.

Jun 062011

Am I moved yet?  Well, it looks like the answer is an un-equivocal yes… and no.  Okay, so maybe it’s pretty equivocal, but cut me some slack.  I’m learning this stuff as I go along. :)

In my last post, I mentioned that I had gotten some messages indicating that GoDaddy.com was working on transferring my little blog here, and that they were having some problems that they needed me to rectify.  That was Friday.

Well, it just so happens that my youngest daughter was graduating high school the next day, and her graduating class was so large (nearly 700 students) that there were evidently no facilities in the area large enough to host the graduation ceremony.  So we had to travel over an hour to Texas A&M University.  The ceremony lasted a few hours, and then the drive back, followed by the after-graduation festivities all combined to pretty much eat up all day Saturday.

Sunday was the first chance I had to get back to the transfer, and when I investigated, I found that there were several problems, not just one.  Of course, all of them were the result of my own ignorance.  Having never transferred a website, I am (or was) pretty unfamiliar with the process.  I am quickly learning, though, out of sheer necessity.  I already mentioned the timing problems I ran into (attempting to change hosts on a domain that was only thirty days old).  Well, on June 3rd the automated process started again.

And it stopped again.

As I said in Friday’s posting, I had purchased the privacy option with my WordPress account, and so GoDaddy was unable to send me the requisite authorization email that would allow them to initiate the process.  As the initiator of the request though, they were able to email me to let me know that they were unable to email me.  :)  Yes, I know.  It’s a security device to keep me from hijacking someone else’s site, but I still had a good chuckle at the irony of the situation. Dear Mr. Brackett – We are emailing you to let you know that we were unable to email you….

This time it turns out that I while I was now confirmed as the administrator of the site, it seemed I also had it locked to prevent transfer.  Once again, I checked through the settings on my WordPress site, found the lock setting, and unlocked my site so it could be transferred.

Success!!!!  Well, sort of….

I had already received instructions on how to monitor the transfer process from my new GoDaddy dashboard, and was excited to find that step two of the clearly marked four-step process was now completed.  The flow chart showed that step three consisted of them requesting formal authorization from me allowing them to complete the transfer of the domain.  The “recommended action” listed was for me to “authorize transfer”.

I sat back and waited for the email.

By now I knew that some of these steps could take up to a few hours, so I wasn’t too concerned when I didn’t received any email for the first hour.  After three hours, I checked the GoDaddy dashboard again to see if I had missed something.

Nope.  The same status showed, with the same recommended action. I refreshed my email account.


So I went into my WordPress dashboard and spent the next half hour examining the various domain settings.  Finally I noticed a link to “Status”.  Clicking that link showed that there was a “Pending transfer”, with an option to “authorize” or “decline”.  I authorized, and almost immediately received three emails.  One was from Automattic (WordPress’s domain host) telling me how sad they were to see me leave them.  The second was from SecurServer.net (evidently some watchdog entity for the internet?) indicating that I had transferred my domain away from Automattic to “another registrar”.  And the third was from GoDaddy, congratulating me on the transfer of my domain to them.

Eureka! Success.

Only not quite…   You see, despite all the hoops I jumped through yesterday, my blog still appears to be here on the WordPress site.  While I appear to have successfully transferred my domain from WordPress to GoDaddy, it seems that simply typing “jlbrackett.com” into my browser still takes me back to WordPress.com and the resulting blog site still has the WordPress.com dashboard, and I am typing this entry on the WordPress.com interface. To me, that seems to indicate a DNS issue and I’m hoping that changing the DNS forwarding will fix that little issue.  I think I know how to do that, but want to re-read the emails to make sure that this is what the problem is this time.  I want to make sure I don’t break anything by jumping to a wrong conclusion.

Hopefully I’ll get this resolved in the next day or two.   :)

May 042011

Holy crap. I can’t believe all the money I’m spending. :o

You see, I got the editor. So the logical thing to do is to spend even MORE money, right??

So now I’m transferring my little domain with my blog on it to a fully functional hosted web site. I’m currently looking at another browser window that tells me “Your setup is complete! We’ll email you when your account is ready. … Typical wait time – 30 Min. (In some cases, this may take up to 24 hours.)”

Yep, I just bought the Ultimate hosting package on GoDaddy for 4 years. Unlimited space, unlimited bandwidth, 1000 email accounts (like I’ll EVER use that!), unlimited MySQL Databases, and a free SSL Certificate (for use in e-commerce). All of that, plus privacy registration for just under $400.

I guess I’m pretty much set for podcasting, book sales, or whatever else I might want to do in the future.

I just hope I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew. :?

Damn it’s great to have a supportive wife, though.

She’s the one that got me off my hump and got me to look at this as if I were starting up a small business. I’m probably going to end up dropping about $2k on this little startup, and there are no guarantees that I’ll see any profit on it for a while to come. But I’m committed now. I are a bizniz now. Once I got that through my thick skull, the whole thing began to make more sense. It’s a bit frightening, but it’s also a bit of thrill.

Guess this is Sm1ley the Gambler, coming into being. Wish me luck folks, I think I’m gonna need it. :lol: