Monday, September 25, 2017

What Content Management System (Website program) Do You Like?

I just finished a job working on a CMS (content management system) for a business on the West Coast.  This job used software that is used just for businesses and costs a lot of money per month.  It required knowing HTML and a few things that I knew from over the years.  It took me a while to learn the idiosyncrasies of the software, which is common for every system you pick up.

My next possible client is with another company, also on the West Coast.  They needed something for businesses, as well, that allowed the business to keep a list of clients and have a shopping cart.  Square Space was recommended.  I signed up for a free 14-day trial and made a website for the client, just to show them that it could be done.  It was a success.

If you've ever used Wix, Weebly, or WordPress, you could probably use Square Space.  It's similar to all of those CMS systems, where you plug the information in using WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get).  You don't need to know HTML, but if you want to do simple things (like change the color of the font), it's good to know how to code.  There aren't as many themes as in WordPress, but they support their themes.  Sometimes, the themes in WordPress are sent in by users and aren't supported.

It's been a fun thing to learn.  I've heard of people in NY charging $4500 for one of these websites on Square Space.  Even if I can get a quarter of that for a few hours' work, that'd be fantastic!

If you're an author, you might want to consider one of these CMS systems to promote your website.  Although they can be quirky, overall, they're easy to use and easy to learn.

Or you could just do like I do for all my personal websites, and code it yourself.  It takes longer to learn to do that, but the quirkiness is gone.

Have a great week!
Markee

Monday, September 18, 2017

Writing Accents and Slang

Our daughter and I have been watching a Scottish sitcom on Netflix, as well as a few British sitcoms.  They're all really funny, and I think funnier and better than American sitcoms.

Besides the plots, I find the accents very interesting.  We have to watch them all with the closed captioning on.  Our daughter was down the hall and heard the dialogue for the Scottish show.  She said it sounded like a foreign language to her, because she couldn't see the words at the bottom of the screen.

They might speak English but it's not the norm.  For example, in the Scottish sitcom, they might say, 'Innae ye frae doon the street?'  That means, 'Aren't you from down the street?'  They also call a woman a 'hen.'  In the British ones, I've heard words like 'chuffed' (means excited, I think), and quid (pound).  I've resorted to looking some of the words up while watching the shows, just to figure out what's going on.

When I worked on my Scottish Football Series, I did a bit of research into the language.  I didn't put a lot of the different language into my books, because I didn't think Americans would understand it, unless they'd spent time in Scotland.  Even so, the language is gorgeous to listen too all over the U.K.  I even find myself slippin' a few wee words into my brain once in a while.

So, when you're writing a different language or dialect, don't inundate your reader with difficult to understand words.  Slip them in every once in a while and your reader will thank you.

Have a great week!
Markee

Monday, September 11, 2017

Alone Again! YAY!

I love to write but many times, I get a lot of disruptions.  It's so frustrating.  Between kids, the dogs, and a small job I had, I could barely remember what I wrote in the last sentence, let alone in a whole book.

Starting today, that small job is over, the kids are all employed, and it's just the dogs and me at home.  Wow.  I'm so excited!

Have you ever had that problem, where life gets in the way of your dreams?  Welcome to my world...and welcome to some new stories that are bound to come now from SweetTale Books.

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

Monday, September 4, 2017

To be a writer...

...you have to write.  I forget where I heard that from, but it really struck a chord with me.

It's one of those 'well, duh' moments, I know, but it means a lot more than that.  You can't just say 'I'm a writer' but haven't written much or anything at all.

I've been watching this one series where one of the main characters is a famous writer.  He's worth a ton of money...but you never see him writing.  He's probably a 'one-book' wonder, and now is terrified that he can't write anymore to live up to that expectation.

Have you ever had that fear?  After one book, you know you can never get back that mojo?  We've all done that, as writers, but I go back to the phrase, 'To be a writer you have to write.'  Fear inhibits that writing instinct, so get rid of the fear and just write.

Have a super week!
SweetTale Books