My Blog

January 14, 2016

On Writing – Back to Fiddling with the Web Page

“They” say you have to have web page if you are going to publish.

University site           Upon retiring and taking up writing novels instead of serious non-fiction, “everyone” said I had to have a web page. “The agents and publishers will look at it,” they said, “and decide if you are even capable of writing a sentence worth publishing.” Evidently, I am not.

University web site  While I was at the university, I could call on those warriors of the internet: the student workers in the computer department.  They were, thank goodness, always available. One of them struggled mightily to help me get a web page together (thinking all the time, I’m sure, that I was a moronic Troglodyte who refused to come out of the Dark Ages). There was a great deal I had to add—and certainly planned to—but never got around to it.  As a matter of fact, that is still the first site that comes up even though I haven’t been an Associate Professor for fifteen years.

Mexican Web sites            Three years ago, as a complete naïve innocent, I launched my first solo flight onto the internet. Having no knowledge of web pages, I put my skills at Power Points to work. I inserted text boxes, filled with color and pasted pictures. Being Mexican, my colors were garish and shocking in the extreme. That attempt never made it onto the Internet, thank goodness. Kind of like a novel you wish you had never published.

Mexican blog  And blogs? I didn’t know what they were, why they existed, or how to write one. Very slowly, I began finding blogs by, for and about writing. These were the “theys” that said I had to have a web page. They knew. They blogged. They understood.  Now I subscribe to some of them: The Write Life, Writers in the Storm, Wise Ink, Eric Spellman, and of course, my favorite of all, Chuck Wendig, even with all his F bombs.

Six blocks Web page            At long last, realizing I couldn’t fly solo, I gave in and called on Ken Shipley at Huntsville Techs. Patiently, he found out what I wanted and what I needed. Slowly, over several meetings, he began to put my ideas into finished form.  Laboriously, he went over how to post pages, how to post blogs, how to add material. Click here. Add there. Push Publish. Hit Update. Don’t forget to save. Don’t forget to Save. DON’T FORGET TO SAVE.

I wrote down all his instructions and remembered none of it. I couldn’t do much more than post a blog. Everything else was a mystery. But I couldn’t face the agents and publishers if I didn’t have a workable web page. I HAD to learn how to make changes, add calendar dates, include speeches I’d given, and post videos. I couldn’t submit manuscripts or contact agents if my web page wasn’t finished. (How’s that for a good excuse?)

Three strip web page          Thanks to blessed Kim at our Small Business Development Center, I learned about ed2go and their course on “Creating WordPress Websites.”  It’s been six weeks and I’m finally beginning to understand why I need a Web site and how to handle mine. I’ve come up with those critical Key Words (History, Writing, Researching, Popular Speaker, Student Activities, Teacher Materials) and learned how to put them on my web page. Or I will, as soon as I get back to Ken.

Getting there web page            So, it is back to Ken Shipley today for the final changes. At least this time I will understand what he is saying. I speak the language! I’m getting close, but it certainly hasn’t been easy. These young blogging whipper-snappers toss off suggestions as though everyone should know this stuff. Well, this Troglodyte is still struggling. I think it’s finally starting to come together, though, after much blood sweat and tears.

And I would really, truly appreciate any suggestions and comments you may have for improving my web page! Please put your comments in the Comments!  THANK YOU!

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About Caroline Castillo Crimm
Retired Professor Emeritus from Sam Houston State University, interested in writing novels and speaking about topics such as the history of Latin American. Would like to share the AMAZING world of the 18th century in Northern New Spain, that's Spanish Texas and Mexico!
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