Monday, November 1, 2010

Putting My House(es) In Order

Things always pile up when I leave, even for a few days. Bills to pay; dog hair to vacuum; house plants to water. Time to toss out some of the inadvertent experiments in biological warfare that were growing in the back of the refrigerator. Time to organize my receipts from travel in the hope that much of it is deductible; time to critique my students' latest assignments . . .
In my on-line house, it's time to post a new newsletter, time to complete a requested on-line interview for another blog, and, at long last, time to update my website -- about a year overdue.  

My previous web mistress found herself overwhelmed with other obligations so now I have a new web mistress and she's already hard at work,  sending me proposed looks for the various pages. It's going to be, I think, fresh looking and easier to read and navigate.
I hope to incorporate the DAY OF SMALL THINGS blog -- which was no more than a stop gap measure when I couldn't get in touch with my previous webmistress -- into the updated website. And I plan to add to the recipes and folklore pages on my website.

I'm also trying to figure out how (without spending big bucks) to do a good quality recording of me reading a bit of the new book (so Joan and Marilyn in New Zealand will get an idea of what Appalachian dialect sounds like.) Any ideas? Anyone?

And speaking of ideas, if any of you take a look at the website and have suggestions for additions or improvements, I'd love to hear them.  We may already be working on it -- or it may not have occured to us.
And when both my real and my virtual houses are in somewhat better order, I'll  be more able to focus on writing the next book . . . 
 
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23 comments:

Joan said...

You are amazing Vicki, all you manage to fit into your life as well as write wonderful books and still have time to think of recording dialects for far off readers. I hope you have managed to catch a falling Autumn leaf to keep colds away! I love that. Arohanui.

Martin H. said...

Well, I wish you well with the new website design. Getting it to a stage that you're happy with, can be quite a task. Apart from appearance, there's functionality, navigational ease and accessibility to consider. It used to be a part of my work, sometimes a lengthy process but, oh, so worth it, when it turns out right.

As for recording for web, could you not read straight into your computer, using the built-in or an external mic?

Would you believe it? Word verification is...mouse

Marilyn said...

Oh how wonderful of you to think of making a recording so Joan and I can hear the Appalachian dialect. As Joan has already said, you are amazing.
Your photos are wonderful, you certainly do live in a beautiful part of the world.
I wish you every success with your website.

My word verification for this pots is egift - and it certainly would be an e-gift if you were to make a recording so us in NZ and other places of the world could hear you read a piece from your new book.

Brian Miller said...

nice. i think the recording is a great idea...always fun to her the voice of authors...it adds tot he reading experience for me...sounds like you got a lot going on...best wishes.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

You have been busy Vicki. I don't know how you do it. Your husband must be more understanding than mine.

I wish you well with the new website. We had a dot com when we had a rental/guest cottage in the islands that we owned and managed. Once the kinks were ironed out, it worked beautifully and our web mistress was fabulous.

Your new website is gorgeous. I did notice however when I clicked over to see the nominees that the link was broken. Sorry I'm not any help on the recording, but it;s a fabulous idea.
Sam

Merisi, Vienna said...

Putting one's houses is a never ending task, isn't it?
Bon courage, Vicki!

willow said...

Like Martin suggested, I read mine directly into my computer using an external mic.

Best of luck with your new website! I'll be looking forward to checking it out.

Wonderful images.

Bouncin' Barb said...

You have amazing energy Vicki. I'm sure whatever you put up will be great. Love when you post pictures!

Subby said...

Love th' new header pic!

Plants all watered this morn'...

And thoroughly enjoyed "The Day of Small Things", especially Mr. Aaron :)

Big hug from Subby :D

NCmountainwoman said...

I have no ideas but I do admire your ambitions to get all houses in order. Glad you are back home and getting ready to get some writing done.

Friko said...

I can't wait to hear your Appalachian accent.

Good luck with putting your virtual house in order, I am looking forward to the result.

jennyfreckles said...

Gee, you sound really busy - thank you so much for making time to vote for my photo. Best of luck with the website revamp.

Kristen Haskell said...

All of your web-house keeping will pay off. Have you heard Willow's poem "I am October" She posted a button that you can play to hear her read her poem. I thought that it sounded very good. Perhaps you could do what she did? I just noticed that I am not the first to suggest this. Whatever you choose to do, I can't wait to hear your voice. That will be very exciting.

Vicki Lane said...

Oh dear, I'm not amazing at all -- just overextended... didn't know about the falling leaf but shall make a point of catching one, Joan!

I'd love to do it myself, Martin, but being realistic ... I figured it was smart to hire a pro. The website as you see it now is the product of a beginner plus a lot of my own input. I think the new one will be easier to navigate.

From the suggestion Willow made, Marilyn, I think all need to do is go get an external mic and I'll be in business. Then I can read some excerpts to put in a post.

That link is to the old website, Sam. And while I was very pleased with it, it's a year out of date and there are several problems we're addressing...

Thanks for the suggestion, Willow! I tend to forget about my laptop's capabilities.

Hey, Subby -- so glad you liked Mr. Aaron. He's an interesting character.

Thanks, all, for the comments. I've been busy today with our third chicken massacree -- we were so pleased to have dispatched all 22 today, No more till spring..

Anonymous said...

There's a recording studio available to the public in the old Brown dormitory in Burnsville, but I'm not sure if it's just for Yancey County residents. You could check that out. It's run by the Yancey County Cultural Commission, if that's the exact name. Joy might know more about this.
Deana

Tammy said...

Love the third picture! Looks so mysterious. Always so much to keep up with isn't there? But a great satisfaction when you get caught up. I'll look at your website maybe later today. I just now got mine back up and running, after a long downtown (DNS problems, I think).
Tammy

Tipper said...

Good luck with your new website-can't wait to see what you 2 come up with. I have one request-but it's about the blog-can I subscribe by email? I prefer email to the readers. I've looke for the link before-but maybe I overlooked it?

Tipper said...

Oh and I forgot-for the recording. You can get pretty good sound with video recorders-you could video yourself reading while the camera was pointed towards a nice mountain scene or old house-then upload it too youtube. Or you could even rip your voice from the video and make a mini movie with your sound and pics of the area.

Kath said...

I assume when you ask for ideas on getting an audio of your book that gives the flavor of the Appalachian accent you are looking for a reader. Have you considered a small college in your area or nearby that might have students interested in doing a recording? That is if you think your own accent insufficient to the purpose.

Vicki Lane said...

Thanks, Deana, for the tip. I've just bought an external mic to try using with my laptop. I can also try some of the things Tipper mentioned.

Let me see, Tipper, if I can add a way to subscribe by email.

Kath - actually, I can do a pretty credible accent for my area. It's the mechanics of recording it that I'm trying to sort out.

Vicki Lane said...

Thanks, Deana, for the tip. I've just bought an external mic to try using with my laptop. I can also try some of the things Tipper mentioned.

Let me see, Tipper, if I can add a way to subscribe by email.

Kath - actually, I can do a pretty credible accent for my area. It's the mechanics of recording it that I'm trying to sort out.

Anonymous said...

If you use a headset with a mic, its a good idea to get one with a USB connection instead of the plug in prongs. Less feedback and much better sound quality.

Lynne in GA

Vicki Lane said...

Thanks for the tip, Lynne. Fortunately, I hadn't yet cracked the package the mic I bought was in. No, it didn't have a USB connector. And then I looked on line and reviews of it were uniformly awful. So I'll take it back and get a better one.