Archive for the ‘Site Stuff’ Category

New year, new…year.

Tuesday, January 1st, 2019

Okay, I meant to have a more upbeat title, but I honestly couldn’t think of one. O.O

2018 was a wicked rough year for me, and I wanted to share some of what I’ve been going through. Some of you know that I have Schizoaffective Disorder, which is this oh so joyful combination Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. I was diagnosed in 2001, but by 2006 (year I published my first novel!) it was pretty well controlled. Last year, though, my brain was like “nah.”

Medication was no longer effective. Went through a whole lot of other meds trying to find one that worked, but I’m medication resistant so that’s been a challenge.

Back in June I had a full-on psychotic break. Shortly thereafter I attempted to kill myself 1 and a half times. I say “half” because the second time I called my local crisis center and was talked down by a very nice lady whose name I cannot remember. It was my first time ever calling a crisis hotline, and if you’re depressed or suicidal or in the middle of a psychotic break or whatever, call yours. If you don’t know yours, call the national hotline at 1-800-273-8255. They are open 24 hours a day. Please please call if you’re in trouble. There’s a good chance I wouldn’t be here if not for the nice lady whose name I can’t remember, and honestly we all deserve a chance to be here.

Also in June, I woke up and found out I couldn’t walk. Two days after that, my mom almost died after a routine colonoscopy (perforated colon). Now I’m walking with a cane, which is good, and my mother is fine, which is better.

But you can see how June was a royal suckfest for me. I’m still recovering.

This month I have to see a neurologist and start tests to see if I have multiple sclerosis. I also have to get screened for 2 separate forms of cancer. I’m choosing not to worry until there’s something to worry about.

Now I seem to be on some psych meds that are helping me want to do things again. Like {gasp} write! Currently the plan is to upload a few of my orphaned stories, update “The Jascian’s Toy,” and work on “True: William.”

Here’s where I need your help. Since all but one of my publishers closed, I am now an actual starving artist. I’m scraping by okay, but I can’t renew my website hosting fees. And I love that website. I learned html over the course of a weekend and created every single page myself. I don’t want to let it go.

So if you could help by donating through my Ko-fi page, I would sorely appreciate it. I’ve posted chapter 1 of a rough draft of “True: William” as a thank you if you do happen to stop by. Ko-fi has rules about linking to and from pages containing adult content, and I’m not sure if this blog would count, but it is connected to the main website, so maybe? But the link is easy enough. www dot Ko-fi dot com/rowanmcbride.

2019 has just started. As of now I’ve updated this blog for the first time in FAR too long, and I’ve posted something new to read. That alone pretty much makes it an improvement over the whole of 2018, and I genuinely feel like I’m just getting started.

How’s that for upbeat? 😉

Don’t mind me…

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

Just making some long overdue updates to my website.  🙂

Streamlining the site

Monday, August 31st, 2015

If you got to this page by clicking one of the “news” links on my site, you are not lost. I’m in the process of streamlining, and suddenly having both a “news” and a “blog” page seemed redundant.

So now the two are one, and my site’s about to be slightly easier to surf.

(ง ͡ʘ ͜ʖ ͡ʘ)ง

One of Us Must Know

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

So… That Next Page work ethic I was trying out, oh, a year ago? It didn’t work for me so well. I mean, it worked. I had four chapters of One Good #3 written before I knew it. But they were crap chapters. Choppy, disjointed, almost to the point of incoherent chapters. I ended up scrapping all four of them. No worries, though. For me, “scrapping” means putting the files into a separate folder, so I can always go back and see if there’s anything I can salvage later. And I think there will be, because writing “wrong” for so long gave me some insights into better directions the story can go, and that’s always a good thing.

But I must admit, not liking anything I wrote was a new and scary experience for me. I realized I was very rusty at my craft, and that I needed to stretch and practice. But I didn’t want to risk screwing up a book, and I didn’t want to derail any of the serials I’ve been working on for so long. Truthfully, for a while there, I was afraid to touch a keyboard at all.

Luckily, I’ve got good friends. Some of whom suggested I write for fun, with no goal in mind. It was good advice. I eased into it. Saw a few images on Tumblr that inspired me to write some flash. Mostly about merfolk which is kinda weird. You can read those extremely short fics here:

Sunrise
Hangover
Sunset

And — AND — I wrote my very first piece of fan poetry. My first piece of fan-anything. It was about “In the Flesh.” You can read it at:

In the Flesh

Please please please watch the show. It is amazing and there’s still no word on a third season. I — personally, selfishly — need a third season, so watch it and tweet/blog/tumbl (tumble? tumblr?) about it with a #SaveInTheFlesh tag and also talk to me about how great it is and your favorite parts and all of it. XD

The next step was writing something long-form. I didn’t really have any ideas, but I did have two characters, and I was curious to see how they would work together. So I gave myself permission to just start writing, with no plot in mind, no end in sight. A new serial, but one without a plan.

I wrote — AND FINISHED — a first chapter, and it was hella fun. My plan was to post it on the Evolution Forum, because that’s where I got my start writing for public consumption and it was great interacting with the readers there. I was seriously looking forward to recapturing that magic.

But, alas, the Fates conspired, and the Ev Forum shut its doors the day I was going to post. Heh.

Side note: Because I got emails suggesting I post to one of the two spinoff forums, I’m going to address that here. It comes down to the terms of service.

• Forum #1:

  • Allows people to post stories that don’t belong to them, and I’m apparently the only one freaked out by that.
  • The moderators are allowed to edit your post as they see fit, which seems…weird. I know I’m a “pro” writer and I should be used to getting my stuff edited, but that’s with my consent and with, uh, reasons.
  • Once you open an account there, you can never ever ever get it closed. I don’t even know why that freaks me out but it does. Maybe it’s the possibility that the site could fall into nefarious hands who do nefarious things with it and, just like that, I’m part of a nefarious organization. I’m paranoid, I know. But it’s part of my job description.

• Forum #2:

  • Not easily accessible by my phone or even my e-reader. I know that’s totally petty, but my computer’s so old that it’s pretty much only capable of wordprocessing at this point, so I use my phone for almost everything internet related. When I first designed my site, I designed it with a variety of screen sizes in mind, so while it’s not optimized for mobile, it’s readable on most phones. I’m currently working on the optimization part, but it’s a delicate balance because I also want people with dial-up to be able to access my site fairly quickly. This is personal for me since I have friends who still have dial-up. Anyway, my point is that if a site is impossible to read/navigate on my phone, I won’t bother.
  • The TOS states that you cannot delete a post once you’ve put it up, which essentially gives them infinite rights to that content. Non exclusive rights, sure, but many places won’t accept a story that’s already available to everyone everywhere. Let alone pay you for it. Advice to any newbie writers out there — don’t do that. Especially for free, even with stories you intend to be free forever. You might want to take it down for completely non-money releated reasons, and unless your wrote a story on commission, you should be able to do it for whatever reason you want. Also, read the Terms of Service and/or contract (even with a commission) with a fine tooth comb before handing over your story. Also, don’t mix metaphors. Also, try not to start three sentences in a row with “also.”

Those are my reasons. To the people who sent me emails regarding this, genuine thanks for trying to help. It’s just that neither of the new sites feel like home to me, you know?

Speaking of home, I didn’t know what to do for a while. I kept scratching away in my notebook. When I had three chapters, I realized I really wanted people to see them, even though I still had no idea where I was going with the story. 🙂 Then I remembered, duh, I’ve got my own site. And a blog that allows comments. If that’s not a recipe for a playground, I don’t know what is.

So now you can read the first chapter of “One of Us Must Know,” on my site at http://rowanmcbride.com/stories/serials/, and you can comment by either clicking on the link at the bottom of the chapter, or going to http://rowanmcbride.com/blog/?p=315. If you read it, please comment. I would very much like to know what you think. I’m needy like that. 😉

Oh, if you’re signed up for my newsletter, you got to read this chapter October 1st. From now on, that’ll be one of the perks of the newsletter — members get to read a new chapter on the first of the month, nonmembers still get to read the chapters, but they won’t be posted to the public until the 15th. If you’re interested, sign up for the newsletter at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rowan_mcbride/. It’s free and very low traffic. I think my record number of posts was a whopping five in one month.

I think that’s it. I hereby present you with OoUMK (wow, no matter how many times I see it, that is one unwieldy acroynym), a story with no plot, no planned ending, not even a smidgen of a general direction. Sounds fun, right? WheeeEEEEEEeeee…eee?

Go go. Read. You don’t really have to comment. But I’d honestly love it if you did. XD

Testing the new blog software.

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Okay. It’s still mostly bare bones, but I think I have the necessities of the new blog set. Hopefully it’ll post to my Goodreads, Amazon, and Twitter pages.  And, theoretically, you should be able to subscribe via RSS and Email now.  I think the move will be for the best since the blog is fully integrated with the main site now.

I’m also planning some major tweaks to the site overall, so if you have any suggestions, let me know. 😉