Archive for June 2009

Theme Merry-Go-Round

Yes, it's Theme Merry-Go-Round time again here at Sherri Blossoms. Well, only on the new site, which is probably where most everybody will read from here on out. I spent a long time working on that simple flower theme, which I liked a lot, but I couldn't get it just right. Then I realized I need more color. So I started looking for pictures of colorful flowers and found some beauties, but it just wasn't working.

The next one I tried was called Dark Wood and I thought it was near-perfect. Elegant with whimsical touches, natural, tiny flowers next to each post title to fit my theme...but in the end it wasn't customizable enough (for a code idiot like me) so I took it down. I might try it again later, though, if I don't find anything else I like. The one I'm using now, called Arclite, is cute. I love the colors, and eventually can change the header to my own image. I've already brought along the CSS changes from the old blog to make the rollover links pink. For some reason I just love that.

Problems with this template: No nested comments; if I use the optional 2nd sidebar it squishes the main content too much; lots of people use it.

I could probably make a new header with my old flower, but I'm actually getting tired of the whole flower thing. I guess it's a memorable title, Sherri Blossoms, with its play on "cherry blossoms," but then I always have to have a flower, and flowers get boring if you look at them too much. I don't know. Changing my blog is gut-wrenching. There are simply too many ways to go with it. Plus I love playing with it, so it eats up a LOT of my time.

The reason behind all this change is because I'm changing from the free WordPress hosting to GoDaddy's paid hosting. They have a plan especially for Wordpress users, where they do all the hard work of installing the WP open-source software on your site and changing your domain servers and such, and now I'm using an interface near-identical to the one I'm used to on the old WP blog. It even has the same options for themes and widgets, so changing the look is easier than a traditional website. I can't recommend it enough. (And no, I won't be in any GoDaddy commercials. One bimbo is all they need.)

One benefit I hadn't considered with getting paid hosting is that the page seems to load faster than on the free one, so that's good.

I feel like an expert now, on domain names and hosting and WordPress and stuff, so if you need any help with it, let me know. I don't know much, but what I do know I know very well, as I've been over it a thousand times.

Thank you for all your input, folks. And thanks for following me around during my time of wandering. Now I have a lot to do today, so I won't be around as much as usual. Don't feel like I'm ignoring you. Have a great day.
One benefit I hadn't considered with getting paid hosting is that the page seems to load faster than on the free one, so that's good.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

Introducing my daily spew

When I don't blog/spew regularly I get nervous. Nothing I say on here is earth-shattering, but it appears I need to say it. I want to start posting every morning, even if it's just what I ate for dinner the night before. You can ignore those posts, but at least I still get my daily spew. I think posts are more effective when they are short and to the point, but when I don't post about my life for a while, things get backed up and then you get long, rambling posts which make your eyes cross and glaze over as you drool on the arm of your chair, or a numbered list. Like this one.

  1. Still working on my domain problem. They make it confusing on purpose, so that only the strongest come out on the other side. It's like hazing in a sorority. In fact, on my last pass through GoDaddy Support, I'm pretty sure somebody poked me with a stick and called me Thunder Thighs.

  2. We brought home a gerbil. One child is allergic to cats, and one mom is allergic to cleaning up after a dog, so we're trying a gerbil now. Her name is Marmalade, she's black with a white goatee, and she chews everything. She's getting used to me holding her, mostly because I always have sunflower seeds, but she still doesn't like it much. I like her because her mess is contained to a 10-gallon area. We need to get a companion for her. I think she's lonely.

  3. Next on my to-be-read list is All the Windwracked Stars, by Elizabeth Bear. I have high hopes. After my previous reading experience turned out to be a major disappointment--so boring I skimmed large chunks, something I never do--I really need a decent one to cleanse my palate.

  4. Went to the Science Museum of Oklahoma Friday. It used to be called the Omniplex, and that's what I will call it till my dying day, because it's a cool name. We had a good time, besides the IMAX movie being the lamest freakin' movie in the whole world. It would have been lame on the small screen, but in an IMAX theater you want to be wowed, you want to feel like you're zooming, you don't want a sappy, idiotic story about flies on Apollo 11, where all they do is float weightless. There was about 12 seconds of zooming, total.

Posted by Sherri Cornelius
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Darcsfalcon's question: meeting a historical figure

I love being free from deciding what to write about, so I'm going to continue with the "A"s to your "Q"s. I've been quite restless lately, and I think it's partly because I haven't been expressing myself enough through writing. You writers know sometimes it doesn't matter what you write, as long as you write something. Sometimes blabbing is the best.

On that note, I shall now blab about what Darcsfalcon asked last week, and that is,
...if you could meet any historical figure, who would it be?

And of course that is the hardest question of all, because there are too many possibilities to narrow it down to only one. I'm going to take liberties with her phrasing and assume "meet" means that I will understand what it's like to be that person. In that case it would be some unknown person in a civilization like ancient Sumer, or Hitler, or a slave in the years leading up to the Civil War. Maybe one of the Underground Railroad people or the folks who risked everything to hide Jews during the Holocaust, whose courage, vision, and love for their fellow human beings astound me.

However, that's not what Falcon asked, she asked who I would like to meet, and that implies sitting down and talking with them. In that case I think I'd choose Eleanor Roosevelt, because she had so much wisdom to pass along about being a strong woman.

How about you?
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius
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Drive-by linkage

You guys have to check out this hilarious post by Holly the Waitress called The Sand Artist. It's the perfect meld of imagery and words. Since my readership is down to about five, Holly might not even notice a bump in her pageviews thanks to my link, but if I can pass laughter on to just one of my readers, it'll be worth it. Check it out.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

Blog changes

Come on in. Sorry about the mess. Looks like I'm forced to make some changes to the blog after all. I had subscribed to a year of domain mapping and CSS here on Wordpress ($25 for both, if I remember correctly) and it worked very well for me. I was able to tweak the colors of the template to match my header, and my readers didn't see the ".wordpress" in my URL. Very smooth and glitch-free. Then I let the subscriptions lapse, and it has been a couple of weeks of total confusion, trying to figure out who hosted what, which settings to change, and what to change them to. I'm finally back in control but unfortunately can't do a simple redirect from my domain, so the only access to this blog is through the wordpress URL.

Why not just pay the $25 per year to WP if it's that important, you might be wondering. Well, because. I've never liked the limitations that we Wordpressers have to deal with on a free blog, and yet the 25 bucks didn't give me total control, either. It was a good compromise for a while, but I want more control over what I can and can not do on my own blog. That either means going back to Blogger, or paying a monthly fee for hosting. If I go to Blogger I lose all my previous posts, basically starting from scratch. That hurts. But I don't have a reason to spend time and money on my own website, so... I don't know what I'll do. I guess I'll just keep limping along with the blog the way it is now and hope everybody keeps reading till I get something concrete. So if you're not getting my RSS feed anymore, just subscribe to . You can keep the old feed active, if you want. It won't hurt anything, and then when I do find a permanent home for my domain name, you'll already be set up for it.

I'll answer another reader question in my next post. Thanks, guys, just for being you.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius
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Vince's question: rise or fall?

Vincenzo came up with a philosophical question for me that ties in nicely with the book I'm reading right now, In the Courts of the Sun, about the going back in time and the Maya and 2012, remember? A rise and fall to rival the Roman Empire. (The review pretty much mirrors how I feel about it, in case you were wondering.)

Vince asked,
If you could choose to live in the ascent or descent of a civilization, which would you choose and why?

How about a plateau? I think that's where the U.S. is right now. But if I have to choose ascent or descent, then it's an easy choice: ascent. You'd likely have new technologies, conquest, discovery. You'd probably have plenty of resources to spread around. I like the fresh, the open, the adventurous.The feeling that anything's possible.

It's true that rapid advance can be reckless. And when a civilization ascends it's on the backs of people, so that's a downer. But there's oppression in any culture, is there not? Always a pecking order, and somebody's got to be on the bottom. And people tend to be more brutal when they have a lot to lose. An individual might not know they're in the ascent or descent of anything, so you almost have to look at the broad overview. An individual might not feel that sense of adventure in a rising civilization, nor the chaos of a falling one, because they have nothing to compare it to. Yeah, a lot can happen in a person's lifetime, but I'm assuming major changes taking place over hundreds of years.

I've really oversimplified here. What else should I consider? Discuss!
Friday, June 19, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius
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Ian's question

I opened the door to questions yesterday, expecting a flood and receiving a trickle (not really, expected the trickle, thanks for not letting me down :| ). Ian came through for me as usual, being the first querent and therefore the first answered. He asks,
I want to know if you had to write something in a different genre from your preferred genre, what would it be and why? (I’m a closet Westerns fan)

Well, that's hard to answer. It's been years since I tried writing anything besides fantasy, and my attempts at other things weren't exactly successful. I won 1st Honorable Mention in a major OK contest a long time ago for a confession story, but it never sold. But I guess this is supposed about what I would write if I couldn't write fantasy, right? My second choice?

It sure as hell wouldn't be confession stories. Wasn't for me. Ditto on westerns. Cozy mystery...blech. I used to like heaving-bosom lit but not anymore, so romance is out. Too squeamish for horror. Although I don't read those genres, I don't mind a story set in the Old West, or love scenes, or violence. I just like them with a crazy twist, and that usually means fantasy.

My interests have changed since I first started writing for real about ten years ago. (Yikes, has it been that long?) Now I read a whole lot more literary fiction, crossing over into what they call mainstream fiction. So that might be something I'd write. However, I also love spiritual books, inspirational books, books that help me empower myself and find my place in the world. I'm also interested in the environment and clean living. In fact, I think I have a lot to say about those subjects, and it's not up to me to judge whether other people care what I have to say. In all genres of writing, you have to put yourself out there and see how you're received. So I think I could really get into non-fiction, a self-help book or maybe inspirational memoir geared toward young girls, or maybe an environmental expose--something that empowers and informs people.

So the short answer after all that soul-searching is if I couldn't write fantasy, I'd write non-fiction. What a surprise. I've never seriously considered it before, but now it seems like a really good idea. Thanks for the prod, Ian. We'll see how that manifests in the future.

What about you guys? Have you ever considered changing genres? Or do you love writing everything?

Tomorrow's question: If you could choose to live in the ascent or descent of a civilization? Which would you choose and why?
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius
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Ask me anything--I'll answer

Again I'm at the point where real life is more interesting and busy than my digital one. I've neglected Facebook over Twitter, yet I haven't disconnected the link between the two, so it looks like I'm updating Facebook all the time. I don't mind except I miss FB comments and look like a douchebag. (I know the word "douchebag" doesn't usually apply to ladies, but I do love it so!) So I guess I should do a run-down of the low-down. Here's what I've been up to in a numbered list, so in your comments you can merely reference the number of the topic. You're welcome.

  1. I typed so much on my beautiful new/ancient typewriter that my bad finger refused to type anymore. Back to pecking the keyboard with my patented left hand/right index finger technique, and only when absolutely necessary. (yes, this is necessary.)

  2. I'm about halfway through Brian D'Amato's (you say D'Amayto, I say D'Amahto) In the Courts of the Sun, about a modern Maya guy who travels back in time to save us from whatever disaster 12-21-12 has in store. The subject matter is way dense, but it's something which has always fascinated me, and the language is just light enough to keep me afloat. And I do mean just. Even the lightness is dense at times, if that makes any sense. But overall I like it.

  3. Ummm, let's see...Oh yeah, speaking of dense, I spent two whole days cleaning all the viruses off my mom's laptop. (It wasn't her fault, btw.) She hasn't been able to use it for months, so she said if I could get it working I could use it, because...

  4. An editor expressed interest in BVA but wants to see a 15-20 page synopsis, so I had to get crackin' on that. I started writing by hand, thought of switching to the typewriter, but since I want to get it done a.s.a.p. I'd prefer to put it right into Word.

  5. Which reminds me, I have to get that installed on here somehow...

  6. I'm back to weaning myself off processed foods and sugar. It's not so scary the fifth time you do it. I'm convinced that reducing the toxins I take in with my food will help my body process the toxins I take in through the environment. I can control the former, but not the latter. Join me.

That's not all I have to talk about, but I have to save my finger. I'm going to steal an idea from Ian's blog and let you ask me questions for a future post. Anything you want to know, about writing or politics or my personal life? How about if I make it interesting and say that I will anwer any question you throw at me. Dare I promise that? Sure, why not? I'll answer anything. Might not be he answer you want, though...
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius
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[gallery link="file" orderby="rand"]

I hope the pictures show up right. That's my IBM Selectric II, all 40 lbs of her disco-era goodness. I got her for free on Craig's List from a guy who just wanted her out of his closet. This is very close to the kind of typewriter I learned to type on back in the 80s, but I think my high school's typewriters may have been Selectric IIIs. It uses a ball instead of a wheel or arms. What a blast from the past it was remembering how to take it apart for cleaning and re-install the ribbons.

I have to give a hat tip to Professor M for the idea. The typewriter was his solution to being distracted by the internet. It really does help. Feels weird to be physically unable to check Twitter while writing. Exhilarating in its freedom.

Nothing feels like a typewriter. I love how tangible the output is. I mean, on a computer your stories don't really exist. You always have to have that interface: a machine to view it on, electricity to run the machine, the correct software to open the "document," a printer to whisper out pages...

With a typewriter, you feel the creation of your words with your fingertips and in the vibration of the table. The volume of that creation announces to the world, "I AM WRITING NOW. DO YOU HEAR ME WRITING? Thinking... WRITING AGAIN." You can hug your pages to your chest or rip them up and throw them wadded against the wall. You can fold up your creation right away, put it in your pocket, and take it out to show someone later. Also, typewriter ribbon is way cheaper than printer ink.

There is only one con, as far as I can see, and that is the inability to easily correct a typo. But even that isn't a con to me. I have to type it into the computer later anyway, so I'll just mark my edits on the page and rewrite as I go. Or I could scan the pages into Word and do a spell check.

I wish I had gotten a typewriter long ago, and I recommend all writers do the same. Typos schmypos.

Monday, June 8, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius
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He sings the truth

I have no idea what most singers on the radio look like, and I don't care. Image gets in the way of my enjoyment of the music, so I just listen. Because of this, sometimes I'm liking several songs by the same artist and have no idea.

With that in mind, here's a little story. I'm cooking dinner, and one of my new favorite songs come on, "It Won't Be Like This for Long." (Some of you already know where this is going.) There's something familiar about the guy's rich, beautiful voice, but I can't place it. Every time the song comes on I run through all the country artists I can remember, and none match up. So last night I don't try to figure it out, just slice potatos and let my subconscious do its work.

Hootie. Of Hootie and the Blowfish.

I walk into the living room, chef's knife in hand, and tell my husband, "There's this new country song on the radio and the guy sounds exactly like Hootie. Exactly. Same vibrato, same timbre, everything. A really beautiful voice." Hubs replies, "Huh," and I return to the kitchen, slide the potatoes in the oven, and go a-googlin'.

Now, I know Hootie is not the guy's real name, but since I don't pay attention to such things, I don't know his real name. I know he's a black guy, I know he's handsome, I know he has a great voice, I know I haven't heard from him in a while. That's about it. But for some reason, I think of him as an old friend. I love Hootie. I have no idea why, since I didn't even own a Blowfish album, but I've always liked him. Maybe he just seems like a nice guy.

So I find the song I'm looking for, and see the name Darius Rucker. Familiar. And yeah, he's a black guy. Not jumping to any conclusions, I confirm that Darius Rucker is, indeed, Hootie. I'm ecstatic.

"It's Hootie!" I yell down the hall. "Hootie's singing country!" Hubs ambles up and says, "Huh. Really?" And I play "It Won't Be Like This for Long" on YouTube. Then I find out another song I like even more is also by him: "Don't Think I Don't Think About It."

And that's my story. I give you Hootie--er--Darius Rucker. (Yay!)

Thursday, June 4, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius
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