Home(work) for the Holidays

I’ve been working on reorganizing the Other Site. Trying to give it that sleek, modular, animated-everything, sexy look that says, “Hey, yeah, I’m doing well for myself and am so tech savvy.”

On the one hand, it’s been really fun seeing how far forward technology has leaped in the two years since I’ve done more than a cosmetic overhaul to my sites. On the other hand, it’s been rough going. There are so many new things to learn, thankfully things I benefit from learning, and so many little ways to break it all.

In a way, it’s a game. WordPress is very modular. It’s framework that you hang a theme on, and then you use plugins to add functionality to your theme. There is a large and phenomenal community built-up around WordPress, and I love it. There’s that critical number of people using WordPress, of various levels of expertise, that every single problem you might have has been had, and been talked about, and been fixed. So there’s that.

On the other hand, it makes everything a bit like a group project, where you have to create your plan, then modify to meet the restrictions of your theme, and the various plugins. To compound the issue, I use the various free options, not the paid ones, so that makes things a bit more complicated, still. It involves a lot of tricking things into functions they weren’t exactly intended for.

I’ve been working, and working, and working on it over holidays during the lull, and I’ve made a lot of progress. There’s a rhythm to it that’s a bit addictive, like the Civilization games, where you can spend a whole night on, “Wow, it’s late, well . . . one more turn couldn’t hurt.”

You make a change, save it, and refresh another window, to see what the change did. Suddenly you’re in a loop of “Review, Revise, Refresh. . . Review, Revise, Refresh, Review . . . well . . . one more revision couldn’t hurt.”

I have nine tabs open on various pages and plugins right now, messing with things. I just needed to step away for a little bit and actually do a bit of writing. I have a lot of work left to do on Cities of the Mind, but I can see that narrowing on the horizon, where vision and practicality meet at an acceptable average.

Then I’m coming right back to this site, and tearing this one apart. I’m actually keeping the same theme, but I’ve become much more comfortable messing around with the Moesia theme while implementing it on CotM, so things are gonna change.

I’m home in Las Vegas, with my family. It’s the first time in a couple years we could all be home on Christmas, and it was really nice. It also snowed! In Las Vegas. . . well, okay, it sleeted for half an hour and didn’t stick, but that counts as snow on Christmas in Las Vegas. It’s been another mild year. The roses are still blooming, and the grape vine’s just started to turn to red. If this is global warming, Las Vegans can rest easy.

I still have the travel bug sunk deep into me, but there’s not much I can do about that just now. I’m feeling good, though. There was a long ebb of motivation in me this summer, as I worked, and worked, and got nowhere. Things did pick up again, of course, but there’s momentum to these things, and I was pushing uphill all autumn.

I work, even when I don’t want to. When the goal is apart from the inspiration, and it all feels like plodding. It’s not that way anymore. It might be a little seasonal. I don’t know for sure. I’m one of those oddballs who loves the rainy, cloudy, blustery, cold days. They electrify me, and the it may not be a complete coincidence that I’m hitting my stride as the cold finally arrives. In any case, I’m feeling it. That sense that the goal on the distant horizon isn’t really standing still. I look up and there it is, just a little bigger.

Enough metaphor.

It’s almost the New Year, and I’ve said it a thousand times; I hate New Year’s resolutions. Every day is a chance to be better than yesterday. I do love New Year’s reminders of that, however. And I could have been better this last year, in many ways. On the other hand, I think I’ve done a lot of pretty good things in my life this year, too. Gotta look at the good and the bad, and understand that one doesn’t cancel the other. They are each separate plugins; they have to work together, but they’re running their code independently.

Critically, we are not abstract concepts, we are individuals. Self-improvement doesn’t come from realizing or pursuing dreams, it comes from setting and attaining goals. It’s not about working towards, it’s about being.

So, here I am.

I’m not trying to be motivated to finish, I’m trying the sort of person who finishes.

I’m not trying to be a writer, I’m trying to write.

And, because life is full of contradiction, right now I’m going to be the sort of person who doesn’t write, because they’re finishing up their website overhaul. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas/Holiday/etc.


Family time.

About Connor Rickett

My name is Connor Rickett. I started out in the sciences, but left grad school to follow a dream of writing and traveling. Since then I have done a fair bit of both, visiting forty-five states and several provinces, and making a living (more or less) as a freelancer and ghostwriter. Feel free to swing by my business site, CitiesoftheMind.com

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