The Nameless Horror

Up from the depths

Shit me, it’s been a while since I used this thing, and I’m sure anyone reading this who knows/knew who I am will have assumed I died or joined a traveling circus. This will change.

The “being a while”, not the circus.

The principal reason it’s been a while is that I’ve been very busy since September. The editing side was crazy-busy all last year and especially during October/November, when I had a string of projects, big and small, all in a row. (I then worked till my eyeballs caught fire in order to have December clear to work on my own material for the first time in months, which was almost like a holiday.)

It’s been busy since, but Morgan’s nursery hours are longer and I’m spacing things out slightly less manically. (And setting aside a small amount of time per week to write, too, which stops that becoming an unwanted source of stress; “you’re not doing anything, John,” etc.. This is doubly good since the concept’s interesting, surprisingly challenging (no/limited action, for starters; you have to go back to the early Rourkes for the last time I did that at novel length), and the setting satisfying to write in. It’s crime, too, so back on old turf for the first time in forever.)

It’s good that the editing side has been busy. Not only does that mean it’s paying my share of the bills - not earning a pile of cash, probably not/hardly any more than minimum wage given the hours I put in (given that I’m dead thorough, me, insert grinning billboard graphic here), but keeping things ticking over - it also means I’ve been working with a broad range of writers over an equally broad range of stories, which is great, and I’ve had the pleasure of working on some absolute gems. Which is also great. Some jobs are tougher than others, but I enjoy editing. I like fixing stuff that needs to be fixed. I like being able to tell someone that “this is very good” when it doesn’t.

So there’s been that.

There’s also been a technical aspect to it. A couple of years ago, a bit iffy about Tumblr post-Yahoo buyout, I switched this blog to Jekyll. And for a while, all was well. Everything shunted through Dropbox and since everything can talk to Dropbox, things were dead convenient. But then my webhost killed that; even though the Dropbox daemon was being stopped once it had run a periodic update, it was still a daemon and that’s against their ToS (as it is on just about all shared hosting that I’m aware of). Fair enough. So the bit of networky stuff that uploaded to Jekyll had to run instead through Git, which it was really built for. And while Git’s ‘hook’ system allowed the site to rebuild every time I updated anything, I had to be on my laptop to do it in order to push the thing through. And that turned out to be a real gyp. No more automation (short of scheduling a script to run to do it, and that quickly got annoying since it requires a password to connect each time).

So I had less time and spare energy and a much higher hassle barrier to overcome. Fuck that.

Over the past couple of weeks, though, I’ve switched the hosting arrangement to something far fiddlier to set up, an arrangement which I’ll have to outline at some point for both my own failing memory and for the surprising number of visits I still get for that post of two years ago detailing the last collection of tricks, but which once done means that all (almost; scheduling site rebuilds is a work in progress, but manually doing it is literally two taps on my phone) the automatic create-post-in-Dropbox stuff happens again and there’s no faff involved for me to do quick life-dumps on the fly as well as longer walls of text like this one. (Expect some automatic pic-posting via Instagram in a little while as I test out the system for bugs.)

In short, I should be back on the internet proper, not just your Facebooks or your Twitters. No one’s reading this and none of you have missed it anyway, but screw you, I never liked you guys anyway.