Come outside

Chickadee 1

Qarrtsiluni, the literary blogzine I help edit, begins the year with a new theme and a new guest editor. Fiona Robyn writes,

Come outside. Put on your coat, leave your comfortable home. Outside there is weather, the generous sun, the lonely stars. Outside there are gardens, with slugs and poppies and last night’s half-empty wine glasses. Outside there are tangled forests, wide rivers, fields of corn. Outside there is a boy kicking a can across the street, and an old lady talking to herself at the bus stop.

I’m looking for words or pictures that will transport me to where you are. I’m looking for work that shows attention to detail, that is pared down to the bone — something that will shock me a little. I can’t wait to see what you’ve got for me.

Send your submissions through right away — they’ll be considered until February 15th, for publication throughout January and February. A shorter-than-usual word limit of 1000 words, please.

* * *

In other news, yesterday afternoon and this morning, filled with the New Year’s spirit, I scored two genuine, personal “firsts.”

  • I successfully edited a PHP element on my own for the first time. PHP is the scripting language used for this and many other websites, and boy is it powerful! By changing a single word, I was able to reconfigure all the monthly archive, category, and search result pages so they display full posts rather than excerpts. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Since the Table of Contents provides the option of browsing by post title, it really didn’t make sense to have all other browse and search functions restricted to excerpts. Now, categories such as “Photos” are a whole lot more fun to browse, I think. And I’ve begun going through the archives and assigning “Words on the Street” cartoons to a new category page, too, though it’s going to be a while before I finish.
  • Emboldened by this success, today I redesigned my old Geocities web page — my first attempt to write CSS from scratch. Don’t laugh. I wanted that minimalistic look, I swear!

7 Replies to “Come outside”

  1. Well, that’s great … about your success with PHP. I am waiting see what new goodies this skill will bring to your site next.

    Happy New Year, by the way!

  2. maria – Well, I do have some more navigation aids in mind, but I think they will all require plugins developed by others.

    patry – Thanks. You too.

    beth and robin andrea – Glad you liked the photo. This is actually its second appearance here, but the first for this larger version of it.

    That would be great if you could send something in, robin. The theme does seem like a natural for you.

  3. It’s a heady feeling to write your own code. My Web pages and blog began as an experiment in writing html and css. The danger in “do-it-yourself” Web work is that the mechanics become primary and content is stretched thin.

    I’d never laugh at your geocities revision–it’s very nice. I think I recognize results of the css tutorial. My long-neglected template is a direct descendant of the two-column tablefree layout.

    I’m in the early stages of exploring your Shadow Cabinet. It’s inspiring to see you developing new writing projects. Be careful–don’t get dragged into the dark side of the code!

  4. I think I recognize results of the css tutorial.
    Yeah, I stole liberally from them. Glad to hear we have that in common.

    No worries about me getting lost in coding — I’m strictly a dilettante. Besides, won’t let one change anything BUT css, which keeps one from going too crazy with bells and whistles. I think I’ve already made all the changes to shadow cabinet that I need to.

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