1
Happy belated Thanksgiving (and a quick note)
2
What’s Next?
3
The Bad and the Good
4
An update on the layoff
5
Well this sucks…
6
The New, the Upcoming & the Poll
7
Site updates (again)
8
*Drum roll please*
9
Updates
10
Social Media Extravaganza

Archive

Happy belated Thanksgiving (and a quick note)

I’d just like to take a moment to wish everyone a happy belated Thanksgiving. I hope it was a good one. In the spirit of Thanksgiving I would like to thank everyone for reading, commenting and assisting me over the years. Most especially, the late Holly Happy Heart, Morpheus, The Rev. Anam Chara, Zapper, Enemyoffun, Loki, Maggie Finson, Beyogi, Djkauf and so many countless others. Many of these people provided valuable feedback and much needed grammatical corrections throughout the years (or allowed a fledgling TG writer to play in their backyard) and without their help it’s likely many of my stories would never have seen the light of day.

Thank you all.

 

On a related note, I will not be posting a serial part this week. I’ve yet to finish final edits for the most recent part due to the holiday and I won’t be able to complete them before next week. Rest assured you can count on reading your regularly scheduled dose of the Fall of Kruhl next Saturday.

 

Thank you and have a delightfully demented holiday weekend,

 

Daniel A. Wolfe

 

 

All that being said,

What’s Next?

Yay! I finally completed the last few parts of the Virtually Twisted rewrite and hey it only took me six years to finish this thing off. Okay, so five years and ten and a half months, but whose counting? Yes, that right, I starting this thing back in October 2013, way back before this website even existed! Seems almost like yesterday.

So, exactly how many parts are left, you ask? Part thirty-seven and part thirty-eight (aka the epilogue) still need to be edited and posted here on the website, but that’s it. I’m rather pleased with how it turned out, but I’ll let you folks be the judge of that. Sometime in the coming weeks, I’ll see about having someone comb through it one final time for grammar errors and get this thing posted to all the usual places.

After that… Well, you probably noticed the ‘Featured Image’ for the post and put two and two together, but I’ll just go ahead and said it outright just so everyone is on the same page. Previously, I stated that I was leaning toward another Twisted Universe Story, but after spending so long entrenched in another person’s story universe, I’m itching to work on something of my own. As such, my next project will be a new entry in my Exemplar Universe, the Fall of Kruhl. At one point, the title was going to be the Rise and Fall of Kruhl, but the short title has a better ring and truth be told the Rise comes after the Fall and doesn’t happen until the end of the story. This Tale is set in Amelia van den Broeke’s home town of Tondzaosha, Idaho and picks up pretty much where the prologue to Psyren’s Redemption left off. Part of the story will revolve around Amelia and her past and the other part will revolve around a girl in her late teens who shows up in Tondzaosha, half dead, dragging a massive broadsword and calling herself Kruhl. What initially seems to be an open and closed case ends up becoming a battle for the survival of an entire town as power from another world is unleashed upon the denizens of Tondzaosha. There will probably be a cameo from Sapphira, but she will not play a very large part in the story.

It might be a bit spoiler-ific to say this, but the cover art pretty much gives it away anyways so what the hell? Kruhl’s transformation will involve a change to a seven-foot tall Anthropomorphic Lion (a furry) to a rather small human woman (under five-feet). BTW, the proportions on the cover art are to scale, at least in regards to Kruhl not quite so much with the sword, but that’s something for which I hope you’ll forgive me.

Speaking of the cover, I decided to go with something a little more work-safe. Partially this is because one of the websites I post stories to wants only work safe images on their main page and partially it’s because I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the original cover art I created for the story. Additionally, I think it complements the cover art for Psyren’s Redemption rather well.

I have started writing bits and pieces of the Fall of Kruhl, but at the moment I don’t have enough finished to post even one part. Altogether I’ve written something like 2000 words, but mainly that the start of about four different scenes and half of those are probably getting discarded. That being said I want to have at least three parts completely down before the serialization of Kruhl begins. I should be able to do that before I finish posting Virtually Twisted, but I’ve been wrong before.

For those hoping for a Legacy of Earth update, I don’t have much to comment on other than that progress is slow. I haven’t written on it much lately, but plan to spend some time on it after Kruhl is underway.

Well, that more or less sums everything up. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the ending to Virtually Twisted.

Have a delightfully demented night,

Daniel A. Wolfe

The Bad and the Good

The sewer in my basement has backed up… again! Fortunately, I managed to catch it pretty early and nothing important inside the house is damaged, but I did have to go to the laundromat to wash all the clothes that got sewage on them… NOT FUN! The last time it backed up, a lot of stuff got thrown out and nothing important is stored down there. Unfortunately, this time the back up was caused by the main sewer line collapsing. Which means I can’t use my toilet or shower or really use any running water at this point. I took off work to deal with this mess, and have had to run to a nearby store to make use of the facilities. The one good thing, at least for me, is that I rent and it my landlord who is paying for the repairs.

In other news, I did find a job and it will come with a bit of pay bump. I will be starting at the beginning of April so at least I have that going for me. On that note, I may have to change my posting schedule for the weekly serial to evenings instead of mornings. I would prefer to keep it as is, but my new work schedule is going to make that fairly difficult, but I will have to cross that road when I come to it.

On a side note, I split parts 7 and 8 of Virtually Twisted into two different posts just for better link consistency.

An update on the layoff

Regarding my previous blog. First, I’d like to thank everyone who rang in and offered their sympathies. Although the writing had been on the wall for a good amount of time, it came as a shock. I am still feeling down, but I believe I’ve accepted the reality of the situation. I wasn’t prepared for the emotional impact and I truly feel as if I am in mourning.

I received the information on the severance and was shocked to see how low the amount is. I’ve never had any illusions that the company I work for cares one bit about me, but it really is quite the slap in the face. A friend of mine had something similar happen to them almost thirty years ago and they were give a severance almost four times the amount I would get if I stayed on. Suffice it to say I am beginning the process of looking for another job.

One of my coworkers has offered to help me get a position at his wife’s place of work and I’ve submitted an application so please keep your fingers crossed. In addition, if that doesn’t pan out, I’ve caught wind from another coworker of possible positions opening up at another location which is yet to be opened within the next month or two in which I would be qualified for. Also my direct boss has also told me that when he will be looking for employment elsewhere and when gets settled if he’s in a position to help me get a job he will give me a ring. I’ve been very touched that so many of the people I work with would be willing to help me out and I just wish I could return the favor.

I hope that those of you who are in a similar boat as me are able to find employment and you have nothing but my deepest empathy and understanding. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

For those that are interested, as I predicted I wasn’t able to write much for the first couple days after the announcement, but I’m now back to putting word to paper (figuratively speaking) and it has been a very welcoming distraction.

Have a delightfully demented day,

Daniel A. Wolfe

Well this sucks…

Some of you may know this, most of you probably don’t, but I’ve mentioned at bigcloset in comments that I was afraid for my job. Well, it appears, just as I feared, that I will be getting laid off by April.

I do have my tax return to fall back on, and since the company I work for is closing the entire office, I will get what you might call a bonus for staying on until the bitter end as we have a lot of loose ends to tie up. I don’t know if that’s going to happen. I remain undecided at this moment, news has only just trickled down this morning so I’m unsure what this ‘bonus’ amount will be, but suffice it to say I am in a good enough financial situation that I should be able to keep myself afloat for some time after my final day. I’m trying to stay positive about this but it’s hard. I am really bummed about this, there are a lot of friendships I’ve made over the course of my employment and truth be told I’ve gotten very comfortable where I’m at in life. Also, I hate job hunting. Good news is I have enough experience and expertise to help me land another job and some of those skills could crossover into other fields if absolutely necessary.

What does this mean for my writing and my website? Well, I have another year of web-hosting paid for my website. So I won’t need to worry about keeping up on any payments. Internet is included in my rent so as long as I keep that up I should still have access. I’m pretty down today and don’t feel up to writing or really doing much of anything, but when I get bad news of this sort I tend to spend a day or two feeling sorry for myself and jump right back into my writing so I wouldn’t expect any delays in that regard. Even if it were I have enough of a backlog that it will be months before it becomes an issue.

Everyone have a delightfully demented day (at least better than the one I’m having),

Daniel A. Wolfe

The New, the Upcoming & the Poll

The New…

Well, now that I’ve worked out the kinks on this new site theme it’s finally time for an update.

First, let’s talk about the new snazzy site layout. I used the ‘Seashell’ theme by Meks and made significant alterations of my own. The appearance is the most notable change, but there are some important differences that are just a little less obvious. Rather than writing a  wordy blog extolling the virtues of these changes I’ll just list the new features and keep it short.

  • ‘Tags’ are now ‘themes’
  • ‘Categories’ are now ‘Categories’ (Yes, they’re different, trust me on this).
  • All Taxonomies can now be filtered on the main page as well as on Archive pages.
    • Available Taxonomies include: Books, Categories, Genres, Story Lengths, Series, Theme, Universe
  • New “Random Fact” and “Arbitrary Quote” widgets located at the bottom of the page.
  • Subscribe and Follow widgets are now located in drop down menus within the navigation bar.
  • Subscribe and Follow widgets also available in the site’s “Contact” page to ensure functionality for users with older browsers. (Seriously though, keep your browser up to date. It’s important to keep your information safe and secure.)
  • Date, author, comment, and taxonomy meta now located within Meta Boxes on the right of every post.
  • More colorful follow widget including a rainbow effect on the tgstorytime button. (Trust me I had the darnedest time making that work which is why it’s been mentioned).
  • Customizable colors on meta box (see poll at bottom of the blog)
  • Recent comments widget now located at the bottom of the page.
  • New subheader box which includes unique background images on all the main pages. With the exception of the archive, individual posts and home page which all share the same header.
  • I’ve transitioned the site to the new Gutenberg Editor which will become the defacto editor in the next major WordPress update. This won’t effect the user experience over all, and the difference will be negligible when actually viewing the site. It is, however, a big change under the hood and vastly changes how I compose my posts.

The Upcoming…

I’d like to thank everybody for participating in the previous site poll. It really helped me get a better idea of what stories people are most interested. The absolutely most popular choice was the Twisted Story, which I suppose shouldn’t surprise me given the popularity of Morpheus and his story universes. That being said, it’s between that story and the next runner up my Morgana le Fey centered Ragnarok Rising prequel. I haven’t made my final decision, yet, but I am leaning toward the Twisted story. I’ve worked out what the plot will be and the physical description of the protagonist and created cover images for both.

In addition, since I’ll be coming out with a revised version of Virtually Twisted I decided to update the cover image. Unfortunately, The images I used in the original were rather small so in order to preserve the overall look of the original cover and make a larger vision I had to make a few sacrifices. Overall I think it turned out rather good so I’m willing to live with the shortcomings of the new version.

 

A quick note on the cover for “Morgana”. It is not strictly speaking an original work, it’s based off a very old cover for “Norse Stories” by Hamilton Wright Mabie. It’s fallen into public domain, so there are no legal worries over using the image. As some of you recall I took a similar route with the Ragnarok Rising cover images creating images. You may view all three cover images below. 

See all three covers below:

With the exception of Virtually Twisted, the titles of the stories are not, strictly speaking, set in stone. They could change at some point down the line, but I’m relatively happy with them so it probably won’t happen. The title for A Rock and A Hard Place isn’t particularly original, I admit, but it does have a double meaning. The meaning of the original idiom is very applicable as is the Rock Music motif that you’ve probably picked up on. 

As far as actually story progress, my considerable backlog of story parts for Psyren’s Redemption, isn’t so considerable anymore. Unfortunately, my vacation, real life issues and the site redesign occupied a fair bit of my time. Have no fear, I plan to continue weekly postings. You should not notice any difference on that front.

What you should know, is that I may not be able to serialize the revised Virtually Twisted and whatever story I do finally settle on at the same time. It was never set in stone to begin with, but I feel I should give some form of notice. _If_ it does happen, I do believe that the serialization of A Rock and a Hard Place will begin some time after I’ve begun to post Virtually Twisted.

Sorry, it couldn’t be better news, but those that have been following me since my early days on tgstorytime, bigcloset topshelf and fictionmania probably aren’t very surprised by this new development.

 

The Poll…

One of the coolest things about the theme I’m using is the ability to customize the color of the meta boxes on each post, and, in truth, this particular feature is the main thing that initially attracted me to the theme in the first place. That being said, the more time goes on the less I’m certain that I want the site to be so colorful. I’m considering just using the default color and keeping the meta boxes all the same.

To show you what I mean and for those that desire a visual aid, please refer to the images below (they’re from my test site):

So taking the images above into account, what do you think?

[democracy id=”5″]

Thank you for reading and participating, and don’t forget to have a delightfully demented day,

Daniel A. Wolfe.

Site updates (again)

Well, boys and goyls I’m at it again, extending the functionality of the site. This times, it’s something that I’ve been trying to figure out for months and have finally managed to wrap my head around. Posts are no more, or more accurately they’re still around, but I won’t be using them. Instead, I will be using ‘custom post types’ for the different content I add to the site. Stories, blogs, reference docs (glossaries), and  (gasp) biographies will now be posted as separate types of posts instead of under the same type. This is mainly for my benefit as it helps me keep them better organized on the back-end of the website. Instead of scrolling through a list of all posts, I can click on a menu that says “Stories” and have all my stories together instead of filtering out the content I want.

The main issue, was actually getting  these custom post types to display on the main  and archive pages. I could create them just fine, but, unfortunately, I couldn’t figure out how to get them to actually show up on the relevant pages. The solution was surprisingly easy, I was just going at it the wrong way.

The biggest thing you might take away from this blog, is the addition of Biographies as a post type. This enables me to more easily create character bios and share them on the website. Instead of a big image with text, I have a posting with a character image with editable text. Which, believe me, makes it a lot easier. Best of all, this means, I can create more detailed character bios with spoiler tags for readers who want to read the full back story of a character.

Unfortunately, all these changes broke one small little feature of the site and that is the “featured post”. Basically, it was the post that displayed at the top of the main page and was larger than any of the posts below it. I am hoping to fix this feature, but I suck at php so it may take a while. I’ve attempted to ask for help a support forum, but I’m unsure how long it will take to get a response.

As usual everyone have a delightfully demented day,

 

Daniel A. Wolfe

*Drum roll please*

I just thought I’d mention here that I finished the first draft of Legacy of Earth: Genesis, the second part in the series. I will be looking for an alpha-reader sometime in the next few days just to make sure I haven’t miss-fired. I will likely approach the usual candidates, but I would be open to other individuals if they could prove they are able to provide constructive criticism.

For those that are interested in figures and numbers and all the fun stuff  that goes with that the following is for you. Currently, the total word count runs at about 97,000 words. The first part, Birthright, is right around 52,000 words and the second, Genesis is right around 45,000 words. Those lengths will change once it gets some more polishing and editing as there are some scenes I want to add and expand upon. The fight scenes in part two, in particular feel a little rushed. Beyond that I am not planning any significant changes. My overall goal is 200,000 words for the whole story and the goal for each part is 50,000 words. I didn’t quite reach that goal for part two, but I ended it in a different place than I originally intended as I felt the cliffhanger made for an exceptionally good stopping point. The overall story will be at least four parts, but, like the Battle For Earth,  it could end up being longer.

Also, as many of you noticed I added a Book progress widget a few weeks ago on the right sidebar. It lists all progress in percentages, but given the figures I just listed, I think, most people can do the math.

Everyone have a delightfully demented day,

Daniela A. Wofle

Updates

So, I’ve been a bit of a busy bee in the last little while updating the website.

Because the default WordPress search engine, sucks, I’ve kicked it to the curbside and replaced it with a more advanced one. Don’t worry, it works and pretty much looks the same. The main difference is that it now works better. Instead of displaying results by date it now lists results by relevance AND is capable of searching all categories, tags, and custom taxonomies (more on those below) whereas the old one couldn’t.

Custom taxonomies (basically they’re another way of organizing content similar to story tags or categories) have been added to the website of the following types:

  • Genre – Science-fiction, fantasy, action/adventure, etc.
  • Universe – Spellbinder Universe, Earth Source Universe, Tales From Meridian Universe, etc.
  • Book – This one currently only lists Psyren’s Redemption as I’m mainly using it to contain stories with multiple parts. Technically, I could list Battle for Earth or Ragnarok Rising under this taxonomy, but elected to use a series taxonomy for those instead.
  • Series – Ragnarok Rising, Battle for Earth, Legacy of Earth, etc.
  • Length – This one lists a range of story lengths so that you may find story in your desire lengths.

Any of the above every posts on the main page and any of the ‘archive’ pages as well as the actual page for the story itself. These taxonomies only apply to stories and not to blogs as I feel the current categories and tags are more than sufficient for blogs.

The addition of these new taxonomies not only allow me to better organize the site, but also to keep the lists of tags from getting so crowded.

In addition, adding these taxonomies have allowed me to do something I’ve wanted to do almost since I’ve launched the site, but haven’t quite figured out how, until now. If you click on one of the Series, Book, or Universe taxonomies you’ll be taken to a page that lists every single on of those stories or story parts. Not just a list of excerpts, but the actually text itself. In other words, if you clicked on the “Psyren’s Redemption” book taxonomy, you would find yourself looking at the full text of every single part of Psyren’s Redemption.

The only downside is that the posts are listed in ascending order, in other words newest on top. To get around that limitation, I’ve enlisted the help of a plugin that allows you to sort the posts by date (among other things) and you can now sort them in descending order. All you need to do is find the little widget on the right sidebar, right below the search bar and click on the ascending link which will toggle the text to descend instead. It’s only a stopgap solution until I can puzzle my way through all the coding and figure out how the crap I can get the page template to work the way I want. PHP isn’t my strong suite (a server side language which wordpress uses), but I can generally figure my way through it with enough time.

Everyone, have a delightfully demented night and be sure to check back Tuesday or Wednesday for the next part of Psyren’s Redemption.

Daniel A. Wolfe aka D.A.W.

Social Media Extravaganza

I’ve decided to embrace social media and as such I’ve enabled a lot of the social media capabilities that come built into WordPress. So, feel free to find me on Google+, Twitter, Tumbler, or Facebook. Each of my posts will be automagically re-posted on each social site so now you can follow/friend me on each one of those sites and be notified when I post a new story or blog.

You may also share my posts on various social media sites at the bottom of each of my posts. Enjoy!

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