Between the lines

The decision to overhaul the website happened suddenly a couple of weeks back. At the time, I hadn’t underestimated the amount of work the transfer would take: I knew that the site would be offline for a couple of months. There was a learning curve to be considered, as I’d be working with a new system, and since KiraButler.com is fairly expansive, I wanted to go ground up and rebuild within the new theme, rather than trying to repair everything that got damaged while implementing the transfer.

Between the lines: KiraButler.com Design Overhaul

I didn’t post about it up front; I just sort of shrugged, picked up a baseball bat, and started smashing things.

Basically, the instant I flipped the switch, it broke down everything that was relying on the old system. That’s WordPress for you. On the bright side, the new structure handles content differently, for which I am mighty grateful. I won’t go into details because I’m impatient and I’d rather do the thing instead of talk about the thing. I’m preserving the feel of the old site, a few of the graphics, the colour palette, but the functionality, structure, content, etc. is all under the knife. If you’re interested in being a guinea pig and doing QA for me, feel free to drop me a note saying so. I’m going to need another set of eyes to ensure everything is performing correctly before it goes live.

This is the mid-way-through announcement that, if you haven’t yet seen the countdown on the homepage, I’m hacking away back here retooling something familiar while adding some new stuff as well.

Books & Reading Material

Back in Montreal from travels through the states for the holidays, and I’ve amassed a stack of books that require review. That’s the nature of travel: I have my Kindle with me always, and also, since we were visiting family for Christmas, I was gifted with several more hardback copies that came home with me.

A few favourites include Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt, Maresi by Maria Turtschaninoff, Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter, and Floating Staircase by Ronald Malfi. I’m also whittling through my list of classic horror reads, having recently finished Shirley Jackson’s We have always lived in the castle, and starting (just last night, in fact) on Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos.

The effort to “broaden my horror education” runs alongside a pretty rigorous writing schedule. Ultimately whatever I’m reading at the time feeds my practice, or my practice feeds off of it, or on it, or something. I’m not sure what Lovecraft will do to flavour my work: that’s not something I can readily anticipate, but I do know that each book devoured is fodder for something else put to paper later.

Dreams and nightmares and starless skies and unnameable, unknowable horrors of the Stygian void, etc. etc.

The New Addition

Meet Shirley: a 1923 Corona typewriter I got for Christmas. All she needs is tiny batwings and she’d emulate my logo perfectly. (I did use a Corona as a model when I was designing it. That I now have this typewriter to call my own is just cherry.)

 

She’s named after Shirley Jackson, who, from what I understand was using a Royal typewriter to get The Lottery and The Haunting of Hill House down on paper. That’s okay; it’s the namesake that’s important.

As far as actually using it goes, Ian tells me that Shirley needs just a bit more work before she’ll be fully functional. She’s got a couple of sticky keys, and quite frankly, I’ll need to read the manual. Analogue devices like this aren’t exactly plug-and-play: there’s a learning curve, and a lot of white-out required to get the job done.

I can’t imagine what typing on this thing will be like. I am the tortoise, and clearly not the hare.

On Writing

There’s only on resolution I’m willing to put out there this year, and this is it:

That amounts to three novels and a short story or two, by my estimation. I better get to work.

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