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A Year of Silence (and broken websites)

I didn’t think I would be spending a year trying to fix a website, and yet, here we are. Settle in; this is a long one.

At the beginning of 2023, I was still hip-deep in unpacking from my move. Honestly, I was overwhelmed, and while I tried to enter the Portland/Vancouver scene, I found my spoons low. With the looming deadline of July for when my house had to be put together when my family would descend upon my house to make sure I was not homeless, I decided to run an upgrade on my website that I had been putting off.

Yes, I know. Procrastination.

And so I set up to run my updates. Look, the site is old. Started in the 90s on free servers and moved through several blog suites until settling on a very early version of WordPress. Sure, I’ve been doing the updates, but this was a big one.

A catastrophic one.

I cannot describe what it is like to see something you have worked on for over 20 years melt before your eyes. The conflicts cascaded and destroyed my installations.

Building WordPress sites is part of my professional toolset. I took deep breaths, broke some bones in video games, and got to work. I decided to abandon Elementor for Gutenberg and set to rebuild and redesign the site.

I managed to get unpacked, and between work, travel, painting, and trying to be a successful adult, I managed a new design, a backend rebuild, and a new database. I carefully migrated content and hit new on Post.

Then BlueHost lost it’s fucking mind.

They sent out letters to all current customers that they would be downgrading our plans, and start deleting random files from our websites, as well as limiting traffic and possibly taking away the ability to park domains starting Nov 1st, unless we forked over 1000$. I had just renewed and they refused to let me cancel my account or get a refund. I could delete over half my files even though I was under the new limits or just lose them.

Fuck.

I scrambled to find a new host that wasn’t owned by Bluehost’s parent company and finally settled on Green Geeks. Then began the several months job of moving the sites I hosted.

And finally, I finished.

And 2023 was such a year.

Year In Review: 2023

It took me 9 months to unpack my house. I never thought I’d buy a house again. Never. And yet now I have a cute little town home with room for a studio. I had a deadline though. Friends and family were coming to visit starting in July and I had to be done enough for that. A new place, alone, and I had to spend the first 9 months unpacking. I did get out. I’ve found a few writer groups to join. There is a great year round farmers market here, and the sea, and the rivers, and mountains.

This far west it doesn’t really snow. And that’s been actually great. It rains all winter, and we may get half an inch of snow once or twice but that’s it. There are always flowers, and green grass. I live in a city in a forest.

Now that I have a studio, it’s become much easier to paint. It took a lot of setup and I still need to set up all the electronics so that I can do my Twitch stream from there. I’m filming all my YouTube videos there as well. Paiting has been such a gift. I love it. The paint, the time. I wish I could have done this years ago, but it does cost quite a bit of money. I still love digital painting. But I need to find a way to run a cables to my couch.

I post most of my paintings on Instagram. And I set up a little Ko-Fi but no members yet. I think I even have a painting I might want to turn into a print.

Cherry tree painting

I was streaming video games but it was becoming too much. I wasn’t enjoying playing and talking by myself. I’d rather spend that time creating and painting. I want to write more. I want to paint. So I have to make time for that.

Games are not gone. I’ve been very heavily back into Final Fantasy 14. It’s been so much fun to play. Worst writing of of almost any FF game, but the people and the play is fun, even though they are dumbing it down consistantly.

The dogs are good. Quibble had to have a tooth operation in July but he did well. Mochi is terror. Gir is just Gir.

Healthwise it was a bad year. I had a spot growing on my face and it turned out to be Melonoma… and then it wasn’t… then it was. Rather than risk it I made the surgeon take it off. So now I have a scar from my eye to my ear. Worth it.

And that’s been my year. Trying to find my place in a new location. 2024 isn’t off to the best start. I’ve been depressed and not writing or painting. I’m gettng back to it but lost two months. I have been submitting stories at least.

52 Stories
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Outline: Dreamfire
3/10
The life that is unexamined is not worth living.Plato (B.C. 427?-347?)

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