Triumphal Site Trek Processional!

Well, for most users anyway. DNS propagation has reached the majority of servers, a few stragglers are still circling the walls looking for the entrance and bouncing off the old Featureprice site. Most of us are in, the community's up and running at Forward Motion and the first page should say Jatol on it. If it says FeaturePrice, you're kinda stuck among the stragglers till your server chain coughs up the right address. But it's there. It really is there again.

Monthly Marathon #2 is in progress and so is my World Building Dare. It's back to Ziriavan, city of catswool and boring fishermen and low magical stuff that needs a boost of weirdness and drama to sustain my interest, which I might be building into it. 2,719 words into what will be an 8,000 word document, I am fishing for Inherent Conflict and finding relics of an old one but not much happening there. Reason for characters to stupidly mutter "Nothing ever happens around here" which is the kiss of death if an author hears it.

Still it's nice to get all the nuts and bolts down and I've got elbow room to set up some cool stuff.

Robert and Ari >^..^< (There is cool stuff! There are lady cats!)


Site Trek Day Three: The Great Unpacking - DNS propagation finally reached Holly just as I was going to bed. Now she's up and setting up the community again in our new home.

The mighty gates of Jatol open for the peculiar caravan of idiosyncratic writers, Word Warriors roaring up and down the line of robot cattle driving them in with their remote controls clicking. Ari the little cat in the turret fires anti-gremlin flak and flares just to declare our joy at the new site. And at the center of the glorious oasis, a datastream fountains high into the air with the green words graven on its rim: "Honey, I'm home!"


Marti Kellerin's still in the book too.

Robert and Ari >^..^<
New York Heat Wave

It got bad yesterday, today. It went up to 95 or so with 105 degree heat index and once again my body proved that I just can't take extreme temperatures. I got sick. I'm still sick, it takes me a while to get over it and I've been doing alcohol rubs, sitting in front of one of the fans, soaking my feet in cold water, anything I can think of - and not getting anything done, because I wound up too sick. That gets scary. But my mind gets foggy when it's that extreme, either hot or cold.

I've done everything I can.

It feels like I'm back in New Orleans, and on top of that I did throw my back going out and my leg swelled again. This bites. This day job of being a weak cripple sometimes demands time but nothing actually gets done in that time. Arrgh.

It's the day or two after I go out that I start getting the symptoms, something I didn't understand till Sheila blogged it once. It's a bit hard to soak my feet and elevate them at the same time. It's still too hot to move, though at least I'm feeling better enough that now I'm actually sweating - at the worst of it I wasn't sweating at all, one of those nastier symptoms that means yes, this is a major health problem. I don't remember what it is they do for it beyond getting you into an airconditioned place.

I wouldn't normally go to bed this early, but maybe if I'm rested I can make it through the day a little better tomorrow. It's the climate - and the architecture of this apartment, which I'm beginning to see is scraping the bottom of the barrel for the area, they probably couldn't rent it to anything but a housing program...

Robert and Ari >^..^<


Site Trek

Faint lights glimmer on the horizon in the second night of Site Trek. Signals from Jatol are clearer and more frequent. Signals from the past are faint and few. The night is hot, the creaking joints of staggering robot cattle break the silence as their mottled sides jerk and heave in the manycolored bloglight. Not much longer, Ari. Shaggy and ragged, the little Siamese gunner flops in his turret, watching the flow of writers, machines and alien beasts, still vigilant for gremlin-sign. Smells of burnt oil and unpleasant fumes rise from the caravan. Beard the cheerleader still dances on the great rolling cart where the diehards party and look forward to the triumphant end of this weird diaspora.

DNS is propagating and the great unpacking will come soon.

Robert and Ari >^..^<
Thank you, sswain!

You might notice SnorComments is gone completely now! One commenter, and it works! Whoohoo! This is great!

N54 chat is in and out, but the crash chat is still up. 8 writers hanging out at the moment, shooting the breeze and banging out wordcount. I did another article today, this one for an easy crafts project "ideas to decorate your computer case" pretty much aimed at Country Living or a magazine like that, decorating and crafts. I have to actually do up one of my computers to have a photo but it'll be neat.

Site Trek continues, robot cattle stumbling in their tracks, dusty winds blowing across the blasted waste under the burning heat of an alien sun... toward a new oasis...

Robert and Ari >^..^< (We got all mudded up for this scene, right, Robert? But it isn't arid! It's hot and humid and sticky and I have to wear a fur coat! Meoooowww!)

Chat's up!

If you have the Forward Motion chat bookmarked as itself (I do) - it's up and N54 is done with maintenance.

Dawn puts gray and purple streaks across the desolate landscape ahead of Site Trek...

Robert and Ari >^..^< (We are Word Warriors! We got a cybermotorcycle with a kitty turret and I get to shoot gremlins while he drives!!!! KAZOT!)
Update on Site Trek:

I didn't follow up on that headline last entry, got sidetracked into venting about therapists who don't quite get the distinction between physical and emotional disabilities and mistake one for the other.

Site Trek Continues

Both links: http://hollylisle.com and http://www.hollylisle.com now lead to the temporary front page labeled Jatol - the new host. The DNS is propagating throughout the Internet, a process that takes 24 to 72 hours and is variable by a lot of variables. N54 Chat is Down. N54 is down for maintenance, and the chat we're using to stick together through the move is an N54 chat.

The Temporary Chat Room page is not accessible by any route that I know of at this time, the page with its links simply doesn't come up. Nothing comes up for Forward Motion going on the links from the Jatol hosted page - which probably means that nothing's wrong, the move is in progress.

Why do I think that?

Because the technical tidbits Holly's dropped in posts about the move give me a good logical reason nothing is accessible. The directory structure for all the pages in the community is changing. This is comparable to the changed directory structure I've been planning within my hard drives to be able to synchronize backups between Ema, Sonata and Toshi on a network.

Using mine for an example because I have got no idea what Holly's directory tree looks like, this is the type of thing I think is happening:

On Ema, I have "My Documents" and a folder "Novels" and several novels in their own folders scattered around outside it, plus another labeled "Piarra Novels" that actually has most of my novels in it, one or two of those scattered around in "My Documents" directly because they're up for rewrite pretty soon now. That's not even counting stories and the "Stories," "SF Stories," "Fantasy Stories," "Horror Stories," "Shorts," "More Stories" and an occasional folder with just that story's title - there are more than those I've mentioned. That is a disorganized directory tree.

Over on Sonata, I have a brutally simple directory tree for all my fiction and graphics. Everything is loose in "Robert's Home" which is what Linux calls the "main folder for user's own work" that "My Documents" is in Ema.

Now let's say you were phoning in my computer to download a story in Other Writers, because I critiqued it and archived it for you. I know you're doing this, I let you do it and have the DNS numbers for my computer. Whoops! Ema's down!

Your story isn't over in Sonata yet at all, but neither is its folder, Other Writers, with the subfolder "Yourname" on it where your file is kept. (I actually keep other people's writing more organized than my own. Scary, isn't it?"

But let's say I had moved over a bunch of archives the last time I got online with Sonata and your story really is in Sonata somewhere. It's in "Robert's Home" loose with a bunch of avatar .jpgs and a few other things like my test document on Abiword. I know who wrote it because I stuck your initials into the document title, which means the document title isn't even the one you're looking for, you doing it on your end. I did that so that if I misfiled it, I'd know which folder in "Other Writers" to stick it in.

And I did that in a hurry cause Ema was crashing and I knew anyone might want their backups fast.

With a brain, being a person, I could serve you that backup if we got in chat and you said "Help, I lost Chapter Four of my WIP! Do you still have the old version?"

Sonata's not as smart as I am and you dialing in to her, you'd never find it in a million years. She would just dumbly keep searching for "Other Writers" and "OriginaltitleCh4.doc" and reporting it ain't there.

Until I created "Other Writers" and put all the archives into it in their subfolders, no one but me would find anything. Though I could get you the file if we got in chat. But chat's down.

Night falls dark in the deep desert of an alien world. Creaking mechanical sounds and the hiss of dust as splayfooted robots pound the sand mindlessly working to bring the Forward Motion caravan to the next oasis... the one we'll settle... are counterpointed by the sounds of strange insects and animals stirring as the heat recedes. Silence holds as we all keep our relative positions, hoping the trail leads into a host oasis and not to just more deep desert. Clouds obscure unknown stars and no light pierces the black depths surrounding Site Trek, save a few strange flashes in the distance: bloggers posting to the rest of the caravan to let them know we're still on trail.

We are still on the trail and this is a sign Holly's thing is working.

When we unpack the site in all its glorious diversity and pitch camp, there's a "Kill Cato" thread I started on Main Discussion. In 150 words or less, describe what tortures you'd like to inflict on the Chat Gremlin that's destroyed short term communications! No mercy! Andi, now's a good time for the Anti-Gremlin Death Ray!


Dripping gremlin bits fall from the sky in the light of the blast.

Hehehe. Let's see if that works. Thanks for lending me the big gun - the little cat in the turret has good aim!

Robert and Ari >^..^< (He let me sit in the turret blasting with the death-ray! Purr!)
Site Trek Continues from Forward Motion

Got a lot done yesterday. Four nonfiction articles for the Dare in the first 12 hours of the Dare. Yeah. I was a little frustrated not writing. It didn't help that all my friends in the chat room at Forward Motion kept throwing Word Wars and throwing topics. One of them, I'm going to have to take the time one day to cut up a piece of leather and make a couple of samples, because I don't have any left. Used to have a nice three inch Celtic design carved leather roundel that I did on a scrap of dark red leather at the class where I learned that trick and found out why to buy a cool dental tool instead of the approved Tandy swivel knife.

Researching the article, I found Inland Hobby and got very annoyed that I haven't sold articles and gotten spending money, because the whole set of 18 dental tools is very appealing. For hobbies and crafts of course, I'm not going to mutate into a dentist. Closest thing I'd come to it is getting a large tooth or bone and attempting scrimshaw. I don't need a new hobby. Bet you I find the spending money somewhere. Hilarious if I place the article about it in a high paying supermarket magazine and wind up ordering the tool set after I get paid. Ironic, but in a nice way.

Tandy Leather was worse. Yeah. No matter what range of spending money you've got, they will soak it and leave you drooling at something very cool that you'd like to pick up next time. This is the nature of craft stores and it doesn't change online. It gets worse.

Dover Books is one of the main reasons that when I've sold novels and gotten to be a writer who's living on something resembling a working man's income, I will still keep up the trading in persona at SCA events, SF cons and other colorful costumed get-togethers. Because when I have a car, I can make that pernicious site pay for itself by ordering five copies of anything that's on my A list at wholesale (or whatever the wholesale lot price is, maybe for small dealers they'll let you split the titles like that) and naturally always have a relatively unbattered version of my favorites, plus two or three of all the ones that grab me by the eyeballs as very nice to have on the shelves. That's an accumulation of years, my SCA library and crafts library. Not to mention my camp stuff and crafts stuff. I dream of being able to do it on a better budget, but, once I've got a vehicle that will be doable in a gradual "every year my camp is better and my bazaar table better stocked" way. When I have transportation, I will go back to doing things in real life that are as much fun as my online life.

The other half of Monday wasn't as pleasant. A visit to a therapist with whom I haven't even gotten to the meat of why I'm going to one in the first place - to deal with PTSD symptoms after the shelter years and the worst of it, the two week hospitalization that I'm not sure if it's literally malpractice or if I could sue, followed by six weeks of required group therapy that was also hellish. Though I'm fairly sure I did them some good while I was there, because when the moderators didn't moderate the groups I started doing it sometimes unofficially in self defense. The little graduation certificate from this pointless exercise in torture reads "increased awareness of anger management." Basically I had to retreat to a frame of mind not all that far from a fictional Vulcan in order to stand up against group hate, when I didn't know from day to day what weird unheard of thing about me, like my being a writer or my being pagan or my not having kids or whatever it was for the day would set the whole group freaking out in my general direction. I question whether having a scapegoat for the group is good for the group. I question whether, if that's so, that has to be a real human being or animal being subjected to it. Just writing about it, the incidents are coming back to me and the nightmare terror of losing all of my civil rights to people who think it's delusional to claim that I've written novels. Real people don't write novels. No, of course not. The people who write novels are all rich and famous like Stephen King and they don't ever wind up homeless before they've even managed to sell one of them. Oh, starving artist. That didn't even come into it, if I'd said I was a painter they'd have believed it. I don't know what they think novelists are or if they believe that somehow when you type The End on the first decent novel, wham, it will sell that week and you're working full time on your way to King's big money.

No, therapist and I were on two different trains yesterday afternoon. I think I would not be this angry about it twelve hours later, banging my head on the desk angry, if I wasn't starting to get the excruciating knee and calf spasms from going out up and dT that hill to go to see her. We had a logistic problem. The chairs in her office are the kind that wreck my back. I can look forward to losing hours of work and going through hours of a lot of real pain if I sit in a bad chair, that's like extra exercise for throwing my crooked body way out of whack and the only cure that actually works is either chiropracty, which Medicaid does not pay for, massage, which would be self defeating if I had to go out for it, or... time, just putting up with it and waiting for it to go away and dropping way below even my limited activity range till the pain stops. Sheila put it in Star Lines. Do not ignore back pain, ever. I can underline that in red.

Do not ignore back pain, ever.

Lately it's been knee, ankle and calf going out before my back goes. My back's probably in pain right now but I do not feel it because my knee is flashing a much brighter Red Alert along every nerve.

We had worked out something about the chairs in the first session, she'd go across the hall and get a better chair from a conference room near her office. So last time they're holding a conference and she's afraid to knock on the door and ask them for a chair and just tell them "I have a disabled patient in my office who can't use the regular chairs, could I please have one of these?" Not very assertive. No, instead she tries to engineer the kind of compromise that may work for some people in emotional arguments but does not actually cut any ice with my back, she pushed the bad chair up against a bookcase so I'd have something to lean on and I elevated my bad leg on the other chair. It did not work. Flat out, did not work. Elevating my leg may have reduced the problem but it sure didn't feel like it when my back wound up taking the lead in the neurological screamfest that followed, naturally, a day later.

And today, they had a conference again and she wanted to set up the same arrangement. I told her that didn't work and frankly, was so fed up I'd have wanted to have our session out in the waiting room (best chairs in the place) but she thought of getting one of the waiting room chairs. Then she stood there waiting for me to pick it up and carry it in there. I'm struggling not to laugh because how she sees me in personality and what my body will do, they are not the same thing and I know better than to push this body. She was expecting mister macho author man to go hefting stuff around like he's healthy. When the fact is, I know those limits kick when they're pushed and it ain't gonna save someone's life picking up that chair. I had to say it in front of everyone there. Moment's deep embarrassment. "I can't lift that. I'll have to ask you to move it."

If I could lift it and drag it around like that why the blazes would I need it?

After the awkward pause, she moved the chair into her office and then as I was trying to get down to things that are current stressors started going off in weird directions, wanted to know if I felt she hadn't been "sensitive" enough about the chair thing, half the session was her fishing for emotional reactions about the chair idiocy. When it was solved. She doesn't have to knock on doors of people who rank her to grab a waiting room chair, I do actually need a special chair.

"How do you feel about it?"

"I hurt. What do you think? I mean, it really hurts when I strain myself like that. I'm not having a good day with it right now."

"No, I mean emotionally."

"Huh?" Blink. "No, this is a logistic problem. It got solved. Finally. It's over."

And then later on she goes "it's not over" and starts going all over it again wondering if it was something about her manner or something and it's like, give it up. This is a petty point. It is not something to fight over, it's something that I do have to take care of and don't think about once it's taken care of. She wound up getting all insecure over whether she hurt my feelings when the point is that I go through a lot of physical hells just to go to that office and it's not about that.

And some of it, well, yeah. She knew I was a guy who's angry and clamming and deliberately not making a big deal about something that I perceive as petty. IE solvable and necessary and I shouldn't have to give a whole lecture on it repeatedly - or go through all that physical agony just to make her feel better and pretend to be like anyone else to impress her. That is dangerous.

I would quit if I wasn't still going out for Social Security and half the point is to document the PTSD stuff on top of the physical, which is getting worse with all these people thinking I can do things I can't. Physically. The longer I put up with this stupid runaround, the more I'm beginning to see that they can't help. There is a real problem I wanted to work through with her. This is not helping it. The real problem is that I'd have trouble making myself go to a doctor if I broke my leg, because I don't trust them as far as I could throw them. Too many mistakes and too much blindness to things right under their nose, they make mistakes with me and I pay in pain and time and trouble and they get paid a lot to wind up dragging me through hell only to tell me there isn't anything they can do - or worse, try to do something that would make it worse, like put me on pain medication so that I'll inevitably overexert and won't feel it, won't stop, will get knocked out longer and nastier by my stupidity in trusting them.

I have lived with this little twisted mutant lump of a body all my life. I know its ins and outs. Believe me, if I did come into a situation where someone's life was in danger, I would not hesitate. Yep. I would bother to go in and get a kid out of a burning building or whatever and I would make this corpus perform for that short run and I would live and the kid would live and then I would pay for it afterward. I'd do that kind of thing knowing that I would be on my back for months afterward for doing something stupid like picking up a child. And that would be worth it. I mean, that kind of thing is a real emergency and there are real stakes. The emotional comfort of a therapist who's supposed to be there to help with my problems and doesn't even remember what they are, that is not on the list of emergencies demanding extraordinary effort.

Pleasure trips aren't worth that.

She's not as destructive as her predecessor. She's just that frustrating. I'm just glad I'm not paying for this out of pocket, it's the other situation financially. I'm not taking drugs that cause harm, so I must be doing something conventional for the PTSD (and oh, it bugs them that Group Therapy isn't right for me either. It would be if they had a writers' group, but it doesn't cut it when the people in the group do NOT share a common situation and a common problem. I actually understand the group therapy or support thing and it's great when it works, the group doesn't exist cause my problems are RARE you idiots!). I'd have given up on individual therapy long ago and thrown it into the same category but for two people: Betsy and Roland. Both of them did me so much good when I was seeing them that I know what good therapy can accomplish.

It drives me nuts to have a phobic reaction that I know is irrational.

There's a level on which it is, and that bugs me, and I wind up facing it down the way I did my roach phobia, but I'm not getting any real help with that. I've beaten it down to the point I'm fit to be around other people - the point at which, like with palmetto bugs, if I am freaking out I can manage to just quietly walk away and keep some dignity and tell someone in the abstract that I'm freaking out.

I just hope that I do not have any unrelated medical emergencies before I've managed to cut loose of this one, because she ain't helping with that at all. Maybe given time, maybe if she knows me well enough to know what's physical and what's me poking at my problems to dig them up and work on them. Which is the point of it. That's why I'm there. But at this point the thing I'm going to her for is easier to face than the trouble of getting there and the only thing that keeps me going in is the "and it is your Social Security" documentation motive.

And that sucks. Oh man, would I love to just win the turtle's race and kick a book out the door into something like a decent advance. Maass talks about six figure advances. A five figure advance would be enough for me to get a car and a trailer and some roustabouts to pack the stuff and just blow this town for someplace with a cost of living low enough a writer can live there.

Hmm... now there's a variation I hadn't thought of on "RV versus trailer home." Not a trailer home like the kind in parks, but the kind that you hitch to the car that is an RV type arrangement without the engine - the tiny well organized gypsy-cart type of interior (and every foot saved in terms of crossing the room for stuff is more recovery for back and legs, small is GOOD for how I'd live) that gets parked in campgrounds when ordinary people go on vacation and retired people live in it. This might be cheaper than the Winnebago and as lifestyle, more comparable - because I do not need to take the whole RV down to the dang grocery from wherever I camp. No, I need to get my domicile into a cosy little campground in climate appropriate to season and then make trips into town for stuff in the little VW beetle that doesn't take much gas. That could be workable - and that plan could bring the threshold of Own Don't Rent down one notch further too. Heh. That kind of thing would also be at ground level for real with the car parked right next to it.

And I'd be out in the woods... a good thing, a very good thing for me and my soul and my sanity.

It's something to think about because I'm getting better at this crazy job every day and I will hit the point when I've got to build a lifestyle that can last through crazy ups and crazy downs - a lifestyle that if the downs crash too low I can still flip the bird at the world, go on writing, make sure the taxes on the dang thing are paid-up in advance over years but not carry mortgage or car payments or any of those things normal people do by taking on debt. It's probably not advantageous for my taxes to avoid major debt. But that will be very good for my sanity.

And for major trips like dropping in at MediaWest Con or next year's Kansas City con to go swaggering into the Forward Motion get together room with a big Joyous Obsession sweatshirt and a picture of Ari on my totebag, well, if not swaggering, stumping in dignity with my dress cane, laptop slung on my good shoulder and big silly grin pasted on my face... sure would save hotel costs! Just nearest campground and park. Move to go to things that big. The only big problem with mobility that great is that I'd have to have a good mail drop somewhere in my range of driving, for mail that's physical.

Heh. Didn't mean to whine that much today, but it's just that frustrating. Wish she'd see that the physical issues are just that and actually get around to talking about the emotional ones - but writing it out like that, I can see I was holding off so that I wouldn't flame her. Doing my usual thing of getting something sorted out first before actually resolving the conflict. We got far enough today that she understands she's not respecting my boundaries because she doesn't recognize them half the time - and I have got to get it through to her that my physical limitations are not things she or I can reason with. They exist. And if it takes too much pain to go to see her, it's not going to do me a lot of good to go to see her.

Robert and Ari >^..^< (He's not as much fun when he's in pain, he doesn't play as much. But he's cuddly.)


Save Early, Save Often

The commenter didn't work in the edited template. Enetation didn't work without something I stripped out.

So: FYI - the commenter on the LEFT is the good one, the one that says X is X'ed out and doesn't work.

Hopefully just copy-pasting the old template in over the butchered one fixed...

Robert and Ari >^..^< (I'm not scared of code! I know Kitten Code! I can wreck any code! Shred, shred, shred!)
Testing Without Snogcomments

Hopefully this entry only has the functioning Enetation commenter.

Robert and Ari >^..^< (He's so scared of code...)
Forward Motion is Moving Forward!

Heading off into the dusty electronic wilderness toward our new host, Holly put up a nice little temporary board at http://hollylisle.com with a couple of threads on it. Just to keep everything together as we make the long trek. Pictures are blooming again on posts, including my little orchids jpg, which I uploaded to N54 to finally be able to show it to people.

I mailed all the current batch of avatar jpgs to myself this evening, got them into Ema out of Sonata and have them available for browsers. Now if I can figure out how to do that code with the pictures...

Robert and Ari >^..^< (He's having fun. He wrote tonight!)


weblog commenting has been added to my side links. I was even able to find the spot where it goes! Very happy about that.

The link to Forward Motion is going to work after the move too, I got a moment to check it and it should be all right. And we'll have little avatar pictures again! I've been making up 48x48 pixel artworks in Gimp to learn the tools and might find a way to post some of them here. They'll be put in a library on the site along with other contributed art for people to select "avatar" images. Need to do some animals and things like that...

Robert and Ari >^..^< (I'm probably better at webwork than he is cause I read Help screens!)
enetation works!

weblog commenting

That's the enetation link they put on the signup page. I'm getting a look at how it comes out when the page is posted, and may put that in my side links if it's not screwed up. This commenter worked! And they have nice templates. I had a wide choice of styles.

I've been a bit frustrated with my SnorComments because they don't work. I suspect I would get comments every now and then with a working commenter - now I'll find out!

One chore done!

Robert and Ari >^..^< (Adore the little cat in the window)
Midnight Mixer Crashed by Cato

"Boost Your Wordcount, Midnight Mixer" was supposed to be scheduled for midnight June 7 going till 2am Sunday. I found out it got listed for tonight instead at about two minutes to midnight. Hastily posted the class reminder and jumped into Classroom One.

At least three times during the two hour class, chat crashed. Yikes! It was bad. It got rough, we only really got to discuss one person's question but several chatters gamely stuck it out. And so here's a thought to continue on... what would make it easier for a teenager to create undisturbed writing time?

Robert and Ari >^..^<