Posts Tagged With: wordpress

Help! Need advice on website hosting!

Greetings, all!

My hosting subscription with Justhost recently ended, and I’m trying to figure out what to do with my website (michelleproulx.com). I already renewed the domain name, but the hosting is something like $10/month, which seems pretty high to me.

I tried going directly through Weebly (website builder), but it turns out they don’t have “name servers”, meaning I couldn’t use my domain with them unless I already had a hosting account (which I had with Justhost, which is now expired).

So … thoughts?

I know a lot of people use their WordPress site as their main website — does anyone have any pros/cons to report on this? It looks like WordPress has “name servers”, so I should be able to hook up my domain name to my blog — I just don’t know if it’s the best idea. So, for anyone who uses WordPress as both their blog and website, what are your opinions on this?

The other option would be to get a new hosting account with a site like GoDaddy or Hostgator — but I don’t know much about them, and I don’t know if I should keep my domain name at Justhost, transfer it over to the new hosting site, etc. Or heck, should I try contacting Justhost and trying to get a lower hosting price?

Obviously I have no idea what’s going on, so any and all comments are appreciated!!!

 

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Categories: Blog-related | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Chasing Nonconformity is finally taking shape!

As you may know, I’ve been working on the sequel to Imminent Danger for a while now. I believe I started it back in … 2010? Possibly earlier. Anyway, it’s been quite the laborious process. I’ve never written a sequel before, so there was a lot of stumbling and self-doubt and re-writing (the current version is almost indistinguishable from the original draft) and … yeah. You get the picture!

Anyway, I’m pleased to announce that things are finally taking shape with the sequel. I’ve settled on how I want events to happen, I figured out Varrin’s motivation (he had one before, but it was kind of a stupid motivation, so that’s changed), and I flexed my mediocre organizational muscles and did up a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of what the heck is going on in the story. I even made a timeline!

Guys, I’m so psyched right now. You know that point where everything just starts to come together, and you kind of sit back and go: “Wow. This feels amazing. And I can’t believe it took so freaking long to get to this point.” And then you ask yourself if all the hours of writing and re-writing and agonizing and plotting and arguing with your brother who absolutely refuses to entertain the possibility that maybe characters don’t have to make logical decisions all the time were worth it. The answer is yes — yes, it was worth it!

There’s still a heckuva long way to go before Chasing Nonconformity is ready for publication (obviously!). Part of my plan calls for new scenes, which need to be written. And then other scenes have been completely flipped around to be from a different character’s POV, or the same events happen but in a different location, etc. It’s going to be an epic re-write, that’s for sure. But now I have my lovely, color-coded chapter breakdown to guide me, so I’m confident it will turn out more or less the way I envisioned it.

So for anyone wondering how work on Chasing Nonconformity is progressing — there’s your update! I’m going to be working on it a lot over Christmas (hopefully I’ll finish the re-write!), and after that the basic process will be:

  1. Run the draft past my mother
  2. Wait two months for her to actually read it
  3. Get it back — cringe at the red-coated pages — revise
  4. Run the draft past my brother
  5. Wait three days for him to read it and return it with a brilliant and in-depth analysis something along the lines of: “It’s fine”
  6. Correct the inevitable logical errors he points out
  7. Run the draft past my alpha readers (“alpha” makes them sound like a wolf pack — Arooooo!)
  8. Make corrections
  9. Run the draft past my beta readers (I might ask some of you awesome WordPress peeps for help with that, so stay tuned!)
  10. Make corrections
  11. Run the draft past my mother
  12. Go through the entire book with her page by pain-staking page, tightening up my inevitably sloppy writing and probably chopping off about 10k from the final word count
  13. Run the book past a copy-editor
  14. PUBLISH!!!!!!!!

Realistically I see this book being published no sooner than Fall 2014. Cease your tears, my friends! The novel-writing process is not for the weak-hearted. We must stand together or we will surely perish!

Right. Thanks for reading! Remember to enter my Goodreads Giveaway for a signed copy of Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It!

 

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Note: Cleverbot’s responses are in blue.

 

Categories: My Works, Self Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Reached 200 downloads on my silly short story!

200 downloads on The Coin Collector! Booya! I believe this means that people have officially downloaded my short story more than my debut novel. Ah well. The short story is short, not to mention free, so I suppose it makes sense. Still, happy day! Round numbers are awesome.

Speaking of short stories, a lovely lady in my writing critique group just published a short story called Chameleon – check it out here. I’ve only read the preview thus far, but it looked pretty darn good, so check it out if you’re looking for a quick read of the sci-fi/action/spy thriller variety!

In other news … yeah, I have no other news. Well, actually, I have officially started re-writes for Chasing Nonconformity. Two paragraphs down, several hundred to go! I stuck my notebook back in my bathroom and took out all the books so that I have no choice but to write during my morning … let’s call it a “sojourn”.

I also have a question for all you WordPress-literate types. My page views and “likes” have been down in recent months, mostly due to me being very lugubrious in my posting frequency, but I still get a few new people following my blog every day. So, no raise in views/likes … but new followers every day. Very suspicious. Any thoughts on this bizarre phenomenon? A mass conspiracy by the internet to mess with me? An unintended and inexplicable result of the recent American government shutdown? Could the United Platypus Alliance be involved?

 

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Categories: My Works, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

Guest Post: Reclaiming Right with a Handsome Face on the Side (Beth Madden)

Today we have guest poster Beth Madden from The Doll Thermometer here with us. We both had a lot of fun with this post — she told me to give her a bunch of random nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs, and then she crafted a scene out of the words I supplied. See the result below:

*

Reclaiming Right with a Handsome Face on the Side

And now, a randomly generated scene for Michelle …

Nouns: poodle, pizza, starship, hot chocolate, bridge, scimitar, magic

Adjectives: fluffy, crazy, awesome, gargantuan, translucent

Verbs: cavort, sprawl, collapse

Adverb: languidly

*

‘What I wouldn’t give for a bite of pizza.’ Rin’s wistful sigh joined the hum of the swirling wind at the cliff’s edge. Her sinewy body sprawled beneath a gargantuan shrub, she eyed the bridge spanning the strait below.

‘And maybe a hot chocolate chaser,’ Miki joined in Rin’s longing for simple fare. Or any fare, for that matter. The chill in the mist biting on her sun-accustomed skin, Miki was squashed in the shell of a collapsed tree, sheathed scimitar hugged close to her chest.

‘Soon, we can afford both,’ Rin promised. Despite the frequent traffic below – the steel suspension bridge was the only crossing between the mainland and the agricultural island adjacent, and was often thick with fluffy sheep, ten abreast – Rin had been assured her quarry would catch anyone’s eye. And Rin wasn’t just anyone. She was hired power. And she was hungry. Nothing could hone her eyes to a finer edge.

Miki was grateful Rin had asked her along, but had questioned the decision, knowing her abilities wouldn’t be required on this mission.

‘I won’t steal from you,’ she’d said, keen for the offered coins but reluctant to sink lower than she’d already managed. It was a stringent society they’d been forced to join, here.

‘It’s not stealing. You never know when you’ll need a sword master in your pocket.

‘There,’ Rin now breathed. Miki edged from her shelter. Keeping low, she wriggled forward on her belly to have a look, following the point of Rin’s fingers.

‘It’s only an old woman!’ she exclaimed, tasting dirt as Rin shoved her face into the ground.

‘Keep it down.’

Spitting, Miki peered over the cliff again. The woman approached the mainland, and Miki saw her furs were thick, adorned with jewels that glittered like far-distant stars in the translucent sunlight. But her finery was not as conspicuous as the pale purple poodle, fluffier than any sheep Miki had yet seen, trotting at her heels.

‘Lilac fluffball in tow,’ Rin muttered, satisfied she’d found her target.

‘Who is it?’ Miki asked as the poodle cavorted about the woman’s feet. Miki had no use for such creatures, but it certainly was endearing. Nothing like the stately, snobby lapdogs that stalked about town gardens with their equally snobby owners.

‘I don’t know. The deputy mayor’s mother? An old gang lord’s mistress?’

‘You didn’t ask?’

Miki suddenly tasted worse than dirt. She scraped her tongue across the roof of her mouth in distaste. However she abhorred the upper-class that demeaned them, picking off a potential innocent at a distance was hardly fair.

‘This goes against every code I follow,’ Miki grumbled. ‘The warrior’s code, my moral code… what have we become? We have to get off this moon.’

Rin said nothing. Hot magic gathered in her fist; Miki felt as though she lay alongside a pleasant campfire. Though she appreciated the warmth, she fought the urge to pinch her friend and break her focus.

‘Rin…’ she murmured disparagingly. But her stomach ached too badly to protest more.

What was that about not wanting to sink any lower? Miki thought dismally as she began to sweat, the air temperature jumping alarmingly. Rin cocked her weapon, fingers deadly double-barrels and blazing.

‘Almost there,’ she breathed, the epitome of concentration. Miki closed her eyes against guilt, hiding in the hum of the wind and the build up of power in Rin’s well-aimed fingertips.

Hmmmm. Hmmmm.

The hum was suddenly a lot louder. And where had the pale sunlight gone? Miki blinked open her eyes. The entire cliff was cast in shadow, and the air thrummed. Below, the poodle gave a yip and tore from its lead, racing back towards the island. Rin’s target turned about, puffing as she tried to catch her frightened pet.

‘Damn that crazy dog,’ Rin swore, and fired twice in quick succession. The blasts rattled Miki’s eardrums, but a far more pressing concern had just landed at their backs.

‘Rin,’ she whispered, making her furious friend look. Rin stopped cursing straightaway.

A massive starship had taken over the cliff’s edge.

They’d not seen any starships since – well, since the one that had marooned them.

Before the pair could truly accept the awesome sight, a door was sailing open, and a gangway streamed to the stones like a silver glacier. Moments later, a shadowed figure appeared at its head. It strode languidly towards them, its smile revealed to be charming as his features appeared with light and proximity.

Fear dissipating, Miki grinned, sheathing her rapidly-drawn scimitar.

Even had she dinner waiting, she would keep it hanging on for such a handsome face.

‘Do you girls need a lift?’

‘That’d be great,’ Rin recovered before Miki, his words more glorious than any they could have hoped to hear.

‘Where are you headed?’

‘Anywhere, so long as it’s away from here.

‘Still want to lecture me on morality?’ Rin whispered as they brushed over the young man’s questions. No, they didn’t need to fetch anything. They could leave immediately. No one would miss them, and they had nothing to miss.

‘I’ll get right on that,’ Miki murmured back. If their lost sense of right and wrong had given them the chance to escape this thankless moon and reclaim their souls – not to mention this gorgeous being to look at and an upcoming meal in the galley, if they were lucky – Miki considered that a win.

*

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In honour of my one year blogging anniversary, I present to you the ultimate milestone-achievement song:

Any else tear up when they hear this song? God. Every time.

Categories: Guest Post | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

I’ve been tagged! Now I know how sheep feel.

Several days ago, I learned that the esteemed Sahm King has “tagged” me in his post. At first I was alarmed that he planned on shoving a bit of plastic and electronics through my ear and tracking my every movement, but then I remembered that humans aren’t livestock.

Therefore I present to you the tag rules, which are supposedly important:

  1. Post these rules.
  2. Post a photo of yourself and/or eleven random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the questions given to you in the tagger’s post.
  4. Create eleven new questions and tag new people to answer them.
  5. Go to their blog/twitter and let them know they’ve been tagged.

I started answering these questions normally, but then I got bored. So instead I will answer them in the persona of one of the villains from my book: Commander Hroshk, captain of the Sriss’Ras’Kris battle ship, abductor of random high school students, and devoted fan of face-licking.

Since Commander Hroshk is an alien, no human has ever managed to capture his likeness on camera. However, Celeste DeWolfe has attempted an artistic rendition of one of his species, which will have to suffice:

The Ssrisk in question would be the creature with all those blue arms, not the girl in the purple hoodie. Art credit: Celeste DeWolfe

The Ssrisk is the creature with all those blue arms, not the girl in the purple hoodie.
Artist: Celeste DeWolfe

Moving on to the questions. So, Hroshk …

1. What historical figure, dead, would you most prefer to meet, and why?

A pitiful beginning to your questionnaire, foolish terrestrial. We Ssrisk do not look to the past for answers — we need only see the fear in our enemy’s eyes to know the truth of matters. And the truth is that we are the Ssrisk, and we shall crush all inferior beings beneath our claws!!!

2. Who is more awesome: Superman or Goku?

I know neither of these creatures. However, I enjoy the delightful “sssss” sound of the first candidate. Let it be known here and now that Ssssuperman is the supreme winner of this contest of awesomeness!

3. What relaxes you?

Hearing the cries of the innocent, specifically when I am the cause of them. I also enjoy a nice bowl of space jelly from time to time.

4. Where is the most interesting place you’ve visited in your lifetime?

The only location in this galaxy worth mentioning is my homeplanet Ssriss. The feeling of diving into its warm cerulean waters is akin to seeing your mate polishing your egg, or feeling an enemy’s lifeblood squirt against your scales.

5. What epitaph would you like on your headstone?

Hroshk the Mighty. He came, he hissed, he conquered.

6. If you could speak any language besides the one you speak, what would it be?

Blasphemy. As if any language could compare to the inherent majesty of the Ssrisk tongue. Keep your heresies to yourself, nameless questioner.

7. You have any favorite podcasts?

If you insist on subjecting me to this torment, at least attempt to formulate questions that make logical sense. What in Kari’s name is a “podcast”?

8. Are you willing to take a bribe?  If so, what is your highest preferred denomination?

Of course. Bribes are the primary form of currency in the Ssrisk military. I never go below 20,000 tetras. Favors are for the weak.

9. You have a choice in how the world ends: black hole or comet swarm.  Which do you choose?

Black hole. As if a comet swarm could destroy Ssrisk. Pah! We have an orbital laser defence array in place to prevent exactly such an easily-avoidable catastrophe. What a foolish question.

10. Really, is there any problem with the pimp slap?  Why?

While I do not know what a “pimp” is, I heartily approve of slapping — or any form of violence, for that matter.

11. What would you say is your motivation for waking up every day?

My motivation is simple — I wish to increase my own material wealth, spread the glory of the Ssrisk through the galaxy, and crush all inferior life forms in my claws until they grovel before me and swear eternal servitude.

 

I have way too much work to do, so here’s my tag: if you want to answer the following questions, consider yourself officially tagged. Here are the questions:

  1. Which animal would you choose to rule the world? (humans don’t count)
  2. Do you sing in the shower? Best song?
  3. Folk music — yay or nay?
  4. Why did the chicken cross the road?
  5. A historical figure comes back to life, and you have one afternoon to spend with them. Who is it, and what do you do?
  6. Which is cooler — flip phones or smart phones?
  7. If your life were a colour, what colour would it be and why?
  8. If you could be the author of either Twilight or Fifty Shades, which would you choose?
  9. When you read the number “9”, do you immediately say, “Number nine, number nine” like in that Beatles song?
  10. Unicorns or pegasi?
  11. What is the evillest corporation on this planet?

Happy tagging!

 

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Categories: Blog-related | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Magnet Giveaway Results + FANART!!! + Vlog #6!

Today was possibly the most awesome day ever. I will explain why in a convenient-to-follow numbered list.

  1. First, several friends and I went to a local micro-brewery, took a tour complete with samples, and then went for sushi.
  2. Then I got home and discovered that fellow WordPress blogger Misha Burnett had mentioned my book in his latest blog post in a very flattering manner.
  3. Then I discovered that fellow WordPress blogger J.R. Wolfe had finished reading my book and posted a glowing review on Amazon.com.
  4. And to top it all off, Celeste DeWolfe sent me my first ever piece of fan art. And it’s gorgeous!!!
Artist: Celeste DeWolfe

Artist: Celeste DeWolfe

When I first started writing, I always thought the coolest part about being an author must be getting fan art — seeing how other people envision your characters, and watching them brought to life. And now Celeste has fulfilled that lifelong dream of mine, and I’m beyond ecstatic. Woooo!!!

I’m getting too excited. Let’s all take a deep, calming breath and move on to …

The Magnet Giveaway!!!

I decided to record the name-drawing event for posterity because, heck, why not, so here is Vlog #6 — Magnet Giveaway + The Book is Here! ((to just see who the winners are, skip down to below the video))

 

As you discovered in that super exciting video, the winners of the magnet giveaway are:

  1. Jo of all trades
  2. Lizbethwrightbooks
  3. Misha Burnett
  4. Paula Acton
  5. Mari Wells
  6. Celeste DeWolfe

Congratulations, my magnetic friends! (Get it? Magnetic? Hehehe …) I will attempt to contact you tomorrow to acquire your postal addresses for mailing purposes, but if you feel like dropping me a line at michellishelli@gmail.com and letting me know your addresses, that saves me a step!

So, most awesome day ever? Possibly. It’s definitely in the running. Thanks to everyone who participated in the giveaway, and thanks especially to the personages mentioned above for supporting/enjoying Imminent Danger!!!

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Categories: Book Reviews, iUniverse, My Works, Self Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

Last call for magnets + random cute animals!

Just a reminder that the super exciting, knock your socks off, totally rad (do we still use that word?) FREE MAGNET GIVEAWAY!!! is ending tomorrow morning. So if you haven’t done it yet, hop over to this post and leave a comment about any old thing to be entered for a chance to win A MAGNET!!! I know it’s not the most exciting thing in the world, but work with me, people!

Here’s a comment prompt: You win a million dollars. What type of exotic animal do you acquire as a loveable household pet? I was originally going to say tiger, ala Jasmine and Rajah from Aladdin, but then I remembered that tigers eat people. So I’m back to the drawing board.

And now, as promised …

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Categories: Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Super amazing fantastic unbelievably awesome FREE GIVEAWAY …

… of magnets!

Ha! Fooled you, didn’t I? Since I haven’t actually gotten my hands on copies of my own book yet (iUniverse for the win!), I have decided to have a slightly different type of giveaway. And this giveaway will involve … MAGNETS!

Don’t get too excited. You haven’t even seen them yet.

2013-01-23 18.32.23

Okay, you may now get excited. Ain’t they bootiful?

So here’s the deal. I’m giving away an unspecified number of magnets to an unspecified number of people who comment on this blog post in celebration of the publication of my totally rad new book, Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It. I have a sparkly bowler hat left over from New Years into which I will place the name of each person who comments on this post. You get an extra draw if you reblog/share this post (or, preferably, this post) on your own blog.

The prize?

A MAGNET!!!

Perhaps not the most exciting prize in the world, but you can always use it to … um … do whatever you do with magnets. Stick flyers to your fridge? Plus you get to boast that you own an original Imminent Danger magnet! Wow!

Anyway, here is a picture of me and the magnets to get you motivated.

2013-01-23 18.30.59

The bear’s name is Tibbers. Don’t worry, he only comes alive and attempts to devour me whole every second full moon. Thus far I’ve fended him off via locking my door, but I found a lockpick set under his crown a few days ago, so I have a feeling my cunning ploy won’t work much longer.

This “contest”, so-called, is open to anyone currently living on the planet Earth. Visitors from foreign planets need not apply, as interstellar postage rates have really space-rocketed recently. (Get it? Sky-rocketed … space-rocketed … never mind.)

And your comment can be about literally anything. It can be about how beautiful the magnets are. It can be about my gigantic teddy bear. It can be about the current state of politics in South East Asia. You can even try to answer the age old question: Star Wars or Star Trek?

The contest ends when I wake up on Saturday morning and draw a name (so, probably around 9-10ish).

Remember, comment and/or reblog/share!

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Categories: My Works, Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 73 Comments

Read this if you asked me to review your book!

What up, fellow bloggers. This post is for housekeeping purposes, so bear with me.

I’ve amassed a large selection of self-published books I’m supposed to read and review, and I’m getting a bit confused. Therefore, here is a list of all the ebooks that I currently plan to read/review. They aren’t in order or anything, just me scrolling through my tablet and typing them as they appear.

If you asked me to read/review your book, and it’s not on here, TELL ME!!!

  • The Altar of Deimos — Antoinette M
  • Can’t Live Without — Joanne Phillips
  • The Crimson League — Victoria Grefer
  • Entanglement — Maya Panika
  • L’Aria Onyx — Sahm Attaine King
  • Trapper & Emmeline — L. Flinch Bedder
  • Poor Percival Stories — Matthew Milson
  • Remember — Cristian Mihai
  • Water — Terra Harmony
  • Why Aren’t You Sweet Like Me — Carrie Nyman
  • Shadeland — DL Miles
  • Jazz – Cristian Mihai
  • Once & Always; Heart Stealer; Wishing on a Rodeo Moon — Grace Brannigan
  • 28 Shades of Black — Sahm Attaine King
  • Heroes’ Awakening — Rigel Ordinario
  • Shadows of Penumbra — Margaret E. Alexander
  • The Friendship of Mortals — Audrey Driscoll
  • The Valley Walker — T.W. Dittmer
  • Surviving the Writing Apocalypse — Tania L Ramos
  • The Warden in the Gates — DL Miles

Again, if I said I would read/review your book and it’s not on that list, TELL ME!!! 

Otherwise, I won’t read it. Because I don’t have it.

In other news … what’s with the new WordPress format?

Anyone else ticked off by it? I hate that they’ve put the author name in tiny little letters at the bottom of the blog post on the Reader. I click on posts because I want to read what the blogger has to say. Now the author name is so small that I’m worried I’m missing posts by bloggers I love because their title isn’t super eye catching and I scroll right past it.

I tried to send WordPress a letter asking them to change it — at least make the blogger name larger!!! — but I can’t figure out how to contact them. Anyone know the secret to contacting them?

Unrelated video of the day:

This song is so happy. How can you not love it?

 

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Categories: Book Reviews, Random | Tags: , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

2 Quick Blogging Tips

In my surfing of assorted blogs, I’ve found two little nit-picky issues that really annoy me because I’m ridiculous like that.

Therefore, here are my 2 Quick Blogging Tips (so that you don’t irritate your readers):

  1. Give every post a title. Otherwise what the heck am I supposed to click on to read your post?
  2. Make sure there’s a “Like” button accessible under every post. Some people disable the Like button due to personal aesthetic choice, but I feel that having to mouse up to the WordPress bar and click Like there is such a hassle. Give us both options, or we will become unnecessarily rageful! RAWR!

That’s it for now. Check in tomorrow, as I’ll have some exciting news (I hope!) to share. Maybe even a vlog. We’ll see how ye olde work goes.

Peace out, home skillets.

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Categories: Blog-related, Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

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