The Grand Tour

Tales to Tide You Over front pageI recently got a note from someone who visited my website (through an old link based on the reporting address) thanking me for my plotting by scene spreadsheet. Now beyond the total squee of getting what is in essence fan mail, if for my teaching rather than my writing, this note reminded me that while I mention specific blog posts, I rarely talk about the various things I’ve put together on my website for visitors.

Therefore, I decided to take this Monday post and give a grand tour of Tales to Tide You Over, to remind those who haven’t been there for a while or to welcome newcomers who never looked beyond the specific posts I call out. Fair warning: I reserve the right–actually am planning–to rearrange things at some point, but I’m unlikely to eliminate any of these elements.

My blog, as you’ve probably figured out, runs in patterns:

Monday – This post could be almost anything. My original blog, over on Blogger, was titled Stray Thoughts. It was a place for me to capture musings and see if anyone wanted to join in. Monday is where I put those kinds of posts now, but I also talk about where I’m going, put out challenges to my readers, tell canary tales about the dangers of life, and pretty much anything that doesn’t fit in the other types. You never know what a Monday might bring.

Tuesday – This is a new part of my blog, but I post something every week that made me smile. It’s a reminder to focus on the positive and keep my mind open to what delights me no matter how grim the rest of the world is looking.

Wednesday – Here’s where I share the books I’m enjoying, offering a spoiler-free (or at least an attempt at same) look at what compelled me. The literary analysis aspect of my bachelors degree shows through here as well as my writing on occasion because I will look not just as a reader but as a writer at how certain effects were achieved.

Friday – A long time ago, I put together a Perl program to transform some of my browser favorites into an HTML page which I posted to my website so I could access my favorite writing and programming sites from anywhere. Turned out to be hugely popular, but a real pain to maintain. When I started blogging consistently, I came up with the Friday Interesting Links. They’re less permanent, but still allow me to share the fun things I run across on a variety of topics. I do have plans to convert them into an organized page, but its low on the priority list.

That’s the extent of the frequently changing areas of my site. The News & Events section pulls appropriate posts from the blog to make releases, appearances, and other news easy to find.

I hope the labels Bookshelf, About Me, and Contact Me are clear as to what you’ll find there. Bookshelf does separate my publications out by type, so if you’re browsing for something specific, that’s probably your easiest path.

In the For Writers section, though, are two pieces I want to call out. One is the Writing Tools page that was the reason for the fan mail that started all this. I’m an Excel addict, and I have a couple friends who take advantage of this fact on top of my own uses. Sometimes, I mention what I’ve created to make writing or writing related tasks easier, and the response is often “Can I have a copy?” After this happened a number of times, I created this page where you can download a number of my spreadsheets for free, and modify them as you please. I haven’t posted any new spreadsheets for a while because the ones I have meet my needs, but the ones up there are ones that many have found useful.

The other subsection is the recommendations. Everything listed there is a site or product I have used to improve my writing and writing processes. Some are free and some you have to buy.

Finally, there’s the For Fun category which is really a catch all of the extras. Under there you can browse the Interesting Links post, see the books I’ve reviewed outside of the other blog posts, and visit the original links page which is slowly getting unlinked as links go bad. Sometimes I leave the name up there because searching can find another source, but I no longer add content to that page.

And that’s the whole of it. Is there something you just discovered, or rediscovered? Is there something you’d hoped to see on my list that I might add in the future? And how are you doing on this Monday morning?

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