Thursday, June 27, 2013

For Blogger or for Worse

In my case, the choice was obvious: Blogger wins!

Don't get me wrong, having my own blog was a fun and educational experience. However, my old hosting provider eventually gave me a steady stream of problems. I kept on getting PHP errors when trying to log in. After scouring the web for solutions and trying them out, I was dismayed to discover that it was getting worse, generating PHP errors that made it impossible to even view the blog without manually disabling half of my plugins. Plus, I simply don't have the time anymore to play webmaster, so I finally decided to let Blogger do the heavy lifting for Digital Dreamer into the foreseeable future.

A big, big shoutout goes to the wizards who built CloudFlare, both for supporting my old Wordpress blog in it's final months and for making the behind-the-scenes transition to Blogger easier. I'm also still very thankful for the folks over at for making their top-level domain service available to the masses. Finally, this move would not have been possible without the Data Liberation Front's efforts to make it easy to get in (and out) of Google's products, such as Blogger.

I think I've got things set up pretty much the way I like them and most of the kinks are worked out. I will continue to make revisions and add some new content in the following days. In the meantime, enjoy the AWESOME and appropriate theme that I found for the blog, let me know if there are any problems that crop up, and have a good day!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Chapter?!

After a long, long time without inspiration, I finally got some new ideas, hence the new chapter, "Doubt." Although only partially written at this point, it's a pretty important chapter because it gives me a chance to start taking character development in a new, less narrow direction than what I originally considered in my first blazing run to write everything down. (Hence why they say you should take a break sometimes to gain perspective!) It's a very small step overall, but I see how I can build off of some new plotlines in the chapter to make the book as a whole more interesting and realistic (science fiction realistic?) as a whole.

In other news, I've decided to take my blog updates off of my personal Facebook page for various reasons, at least until I get closer to releasing something. Mainly because this is, after all, just a fun hobby of mine. As much as the extra traffic is appreciated, it's not ready for advertising just yet.

P.S. Ok, I also added a chapter called "Gamble" at some point, but I can't for the life of me remember when I did, only that I apparently forgot to stick it in the list. Fixed :)

Friday, February 24, 2012


Long time no blog! It's been slow writing too, since I've been writing other things for fun and taking care of other things. This isn't a bad thing, really. I've often heard that it's a good idea to let something sit for a while and then come back to it later. That way, you can gain a fresh perspective, implement new ideas, and catch old mistakes. That is certainly the case here as well.

For me, the easiest things to write are the most significant events. I write about big changes, drama, conflicts, resolutions... Each time I start writing a story, I immediately jump from one major event to another until every single one is in place. That's where the hard part is: filling in all the space in-between.

What I tend to do is get things established, which I do in this story with the Prologue and chapters 1-3, and then immediately launch into a summary/transition chapter, reaching desperately for the next "milestone" chapter. While this gets things done faster, it doesn't lend itself to particularly interesting writing. (Plus, the summary starts to fall apart when I dip back out of "summary speed" more than once to illustrate memories/points, since the summary gets pulled in multiple directions at once and looses cohesion.) It also doesn't do very well at all when it comes to immersing the reader in the story, putting all of the strain on the milestone chapters and referencing story elements that exist only in my own mind, and not in writing where the reader can see it. The "mundane" that I struggle to write is only "mundane" because I try to skip over it instead of letting it play out and seeing what happens.

The interesting thing about all this is that, when I imagine a story, I don't have any milestone chapters to reach for. All I have is the beginning, and whatever results from putting myself in the character's shoes and letting things play out, which works because the only audience I'm writing for is myself. With that in mind, the next step to getting myself "unstuck" is to harken back to the old days, back when this story was first taking form in my mind, and spend some quality time writing for myself, rather than you, my future readers. (Just kidding! ;) )

Seriously, though. Thinking about enhancing the calmer aspects of the story is exciting, and that's what'll get this thing written!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

SOPA Blackout and General Update

Like several sites across the web, Digital Dreamer will be participating in a SOPA protest blackout on the 18th and on other future blackout days. During this time, it will still be possible to access the website, but on your first visit, you will be greeted by a black screen that simulates the site being blocked and information about SOPA will be available until you dismiss the notice. Basically, SOPA stands for the Stop Online Piracy Act and aims to block certain websites in the US. Make no mistake, it is a noble effort. The argument here is how much we want our internet freedom to be restricted. China, for instance, blocks several websites and content that we would consider tame here in the US. I don't want things to be like that here, even for a good cause. The Internet was never intended to be restricted. Information should be free.

Aaaaany way.... Back to less stern topics. :) Writing has been a bit slow lately, though I have tweaked things here and there. (Particularly in the "Bonus Chapter" that I posted about in the last update. Are you all even able to view that?) Just a mild case of writer's block. In the meantime, I've been writing other things for fun, so that I can come back to the books with a fresh perspective and new ideas. Then there's life in general, to keep me occupied.

Speaking of writer's block... What else was I going to say? I forget. See you later!

Edit: Err... Forget the blacked-out part. I guess the plugin I installed just puts up info instead. My apologies for the SOPA spam. Understand though... It's all for a good cause >;)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Go figure...

(Merry Christmas!) Not too long after my last post, the one where I mentioned wanting to add more content but not knowing how, I had an idea. Originally, I was thinking about plucking Gaiden and Edelweiss out of the story and "interviewing" them, but then I thought of a better idea.

Shortly after I started writing the series, I decided to write it almost entirely from Edelweiss' direct perspective, rather than switching people or telling it from a narrator's bird's-eye view. (I do take liberties in the Prologues in order to set the stage, though.) While I think this will help provide an anchored viewpoint and help the reader relate to her, there is one major disadvantage to this strategy: it's really hard to write about anything, especially dialogue, that she doesn't witness herself.

As it just so happens, there is one part of the first book that Edelweiss doesn't see, yet is significant to the overall story. In fact, this particular part gives a fairly complete overview of the world my story takes place in. I'm not mentioning any details here, in case you're worried about spoilers. However, if you're curious... I put this extra chapter up for everybody to read. It's not quite done yet, but the cool thing is that it'll update automatically as I continue to work on it. Go to the "About The Book" link to find it. Also, since it's Christmas, I also put up my working copy of the Prologue as well. Just click on it in the status list if you'd like to read it. Enjoy!

Edit: Whoops, the extra pages were posting to Facebook before I was ready. I'll have to fix that...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Upgrade Complete!

After a botched auto-upgrade attempt that rendered the site worthless, we're finally back online! (This'll teach me to look both ways before updating!) I had to complete the upgrade manually, by uploading the new files to the server. I'm sorry to say that I've never had much luck with FTP on this webhost, so it took a few tries to get everything uploaded without something getting stuck halfway there, but you get what you pay for, I suppose. Besides, the fact that I've got a domain name means that moving to a different webhost should be relatively painless, just in case. ;)

Anyway, writing's been a bit slow lately, although I did come up with a neat idea that will help contribute to the depth of a particular character late in the game. It ebbs and flows, really, so it'll pick up again at some point.

In other news, I went ahead and grabbed a donate button and stuck it underneath the chapter listings. I could be more pesky with ads and donations, but I know how annoying a page with nagging ads can be. I figure that people can find them if they want to support my writing.

My writing... There's very little of it here. I'd like to change that somehow, but I've been... Perhaps a little too overprotective of it. That and I'm not sure what I would put up. I'd want something interesting that gives more insight into the characters, but not something that gives anything important away. While I have a few "complete" chapters, I'm not entirely sure that they qualify. I might just have to write something that exists outside of a chapter.

Monday, November 21, 2011


I just finished reading through all of my previous blog posts, my how time flies, and I noticed that I talk a lot about the (unique?) way that I write.

What a coincidence, that's what I'm talking about now.

I mentioned before that I write in chunks, with all but the least defined content already placed in a chapter/placeholder. In fact, the chapters themselves exist as separate files, which makes it easy to zip to whichever one I want to work on and add in more chapters wherever needed. This is a very modular and flexible way of doing things, and it makes sense to me because that's how the story is organized in my mind, in a way that I can jump to whichever part needs work.

However, there is at least one disadvantage to this way of doing things. Namely, it is hard to get an overview of how the books as whole units are progressing. For quite awhile, I've been itching to know how much paper would be used if I tried to print everything out. So, I did some file-splicing and came up with some milestones.

For each book, I removed all manual page breaks and used only files that represented chapters (and prologues/epilogues) and not things such as notes, summaries, or any fluff at the beginning or end of the books. Finally, I set the font to times new roman at size 12. Assuming a standard letter-size page and one-inch margins, here's what I came up with:

Book One
33 Pages
14,521 words

Book Two
14 Pages
5,537 words

Book Three
25 Pages
9,870 words

Grand total... (Assuming I did everything right)
72 pages
29,928 words

Wow, that's some food for thought. Overall, it's about the length of a short chapter book. If only writing for school was this easy! 72 pages, and I've still got a long way to go. (Seriously, book 2 only has 14 pages so far. How sad is that?) It's bizarre thinking back to when I first sat down to write the first words of book one, back when it was the only book and there wasn't an ending yet. I'll update these totals from time to time, when I have less placeholder chapters and more content.

By next time, maybe I will have 100+ pages under my belt. I haven't even included the backstory material in these calculations...