WordKeeperAlpha Update

I’ve been promising an update on WordKeeperAlpha for a while now. While I haven’t provided that update, I have been working on it.

My project for a while now has been updating the Projects and Goals page, which currently shoves them all into the same page. What I’ve been working on is breaking them out into their own pages, adding new functionality, working on some new graphs and building a new API backend to support everything. For the non-programmers, the API backend is both to make the site faster in general, and a beginning step to making WordKeeperAlpha smartphone app. That’s still a ways off yet, but this is the first step toward making that happen.

This update has taken so long because of that background work. I’ve had technical issues that have taken way too long to get sorted out, mostly because I can only work on it during my free time. Now, though, I’ve gotten those technical issues solved. The backend is in place, and I’ll be able to expand on it much easier. Once this major update is out, I’m going to devote some time to fixing some of the non-critical bugs that have been reported, update the graphing software that I finally purchased a license for and do some other light updates

Once this major update is out, I’m going to devote some time to fixing some of the non-critical bugs that have been reported, update the graphing software that I finally purchased a license for and do some other light updates before I start working on another major feature. I’ve been focused on this for too long, and I do want to get to work on a social aspect to WKA. Anyway, that’s it for right now. I’ll be back with you in a week or two when I launch the new features!


WordKeeperAlpha Status Update

Hoping that everyone is enjoying a good start to their summer. The weather is perfect here in my undisclosed location and I’m seriously considering writing outside. Or I would be if this world weren’t orbiting a ball of fire, ever burning in the sky and raining down filthy, cancer bearing sunlight. You might be different though! If the outside is your thing I highly recommend <REDACTED>. <REDACTED> is wonderful this time of year.

Still, you came here for news about what’s going on with WordKeeperAlpha. First, we had some trouble with my host for a couple days last week. That’s thankfully over now, and WKA should be back up for everyone. Let me know if you’re still having any problems and I’ll get right on it. Continue reading…


Where I will make exactly one resolution

I don’t have anything against New Year’s resolutions. I really don’t. The only one I can remember making last year was to write more than I did the year before. In that I succeeded. I had other goals: such as finishing Impervious and getting more done on WordKeeperAlpha. Well, I didn’t finish Impervious. I didn’t even finish the second draft, which is a little disappointing. WordKeeperAlpha, however saw a lot of success in 2015 as I added some new features, tightened up existing functionality and in general made it marginally better.

This year, like last, I’m not going to make a lot of resolutions. I’m going to resolve to write more than I did last year, and that’s about it. That means I need to write more than 130,000 words.  All said and done, that shouldn’t be too difficult. I did that this year and that was with buying a house.  Granted, 50,000 of those words happened in November, but I’ll take any win I can get.

What I’d really like to do, is focus much more of my energy on completing the second draft of Impervious, then finishing the third draft and so on.  I’m going to do my best to stay focused on that goal, and get the second draft done as early on in the year as possible. I just finished plotting it out through the end of the book, and I’m getting close to the point where I won’t have to completely rewrite quite so much of the content.  I’ve got a few plot snags to tighten up, but otherwise I feel really comfortable with wear its going.

Don’t worry, anyone who’s reading this for the WordKeeperAlpha update. I also plan on putting a lot of effort into that. I’m going to have an update sometime in the next two months that will add some much requested features (which I’ll explain in another blog post) and hopefully give a visual refresh to several pages.   I gotten a lot of work done on WordKeeperAlpha already this year.

I’ll also try to keep my blog updated with relevant information, and maybe I’ll even get around to writing a few more interesting posts. *sigh* I need to keep my social media more updated anyway. I’ve been letting Twitter and Facebook slide lately. Part of that is because Facebook is just lousy with politics and if I see exactly one more person come out in support of Trump or Cruz I’m going to get a little stabby.

 

A knife holder that signifies my feelings about certain presidential candidates.

You get stabbed! And you get stabbed! Everyone gets stabbed!

 

Anyway. Here’s to writing, coding and staying sane this year amidst the storm of politics that is going to descend on the land.

Oh…and any of my friends abroad…you guys got a place to crash? No reason…just … Ugh… Trump. *shiver*


2015: Excuses and Explanations

Ok, so, as years go, 2015 was actually pretty good from a writing perspective. Granted, I didn’t accomplish several goals that I set for myself, but I did make significant progress on many goals, and accomplished others that I hadn’t set. One goal that I did accomplish was writing more in 2015 than I wrote in 2014. I’ve got graphs to prove it too! Still, the title of the blog post has more to do with my love of alliteration than of anything else. Now, onward!

In 2014 I wrote a little more than 100,000 words. There are significant periods where I wasn’t writing much, which was primarily due to working on WordKeeperAlpha.

wka2014

In 2015 I wrote around 135,000 words, which, while not the 180,000 I was aiming for, is a significant improvement. This year, too, there were significant dry spells, having to do entirely with buying a house.  That was a pretty huge thing.

wka2015

While I wanted the second draft of Impervious done by November, that just didn’t happen. I did make really excellent progress with it though, the story going through several changes and revisions for the better. I’m roughly half way done with the draft two rewrite at the moment, with a pretty clear path of how to finish it out.  Draft three will have some significant work involved, but thankfully not a full rewrite. But, that’s for my “2016: Some clever title” post (coming soon.)

I spent a fair amount of time working on WordKeeperAlpha this year as well. Not too many new features, but mostly because I’m saving them all for one large update in the first half of this year. I’ve made significant changes to the graphing system that will let users choose their own goal graphs and graphs based on projects, too. I’ve also got the beginnings of an API that will let users post their progress on their blogs.

I ironed out a lot of bugs over the course of the year. Thanks to all my users who let me know about them when they crop up. I try my best to correct issues you guys have as soon as I hear about them, so please, keep letting me know.

Other things that happened in 2015:

  • We bought a house and moved! It’s completely awesome, and my office is sweet.
  • I got glasses and became that much older.
  • I won NaNoWriMo, which felt good after not completing it last year.
  • I built more IKEA furniture than I knew existed.
  • I replaced a faucet, earning my Homeowner merit badge!
  • Played perhaps too many video games and didn’t read enough books.
  • More stuff I’m forgetting about, because it’s lost in the pre-history of ‘last year’.

Well, that’s another year done. A new one is already under way, but as I said, I’m leaving goals and projects for another blog post. November – December were kind of non-months in terms of blogging, and that means I’m going to overcompensate by stretching out my ‘life-update’ posts as much as possible. That being said, I’m going to check out and try to get a head start on this year’s goals.


WordKeeperAlpha and National Novel Writing Month

In the beforetimes, there was National Novel Writing Month.  A spectacular explosion of writing and creativity, it brought author to keyboard like nothing since the creation of the typewriter.   When I first participated it was an interesting experiment to see if I could manage to write a full fifty thousand words in a single month.  By some miracle I managed to do it!  It was awesome!  I felt invincible and was keen to keep using their mighty handy tools and graphs to continue on into December.

But then they disappeared: Gone until next November (or the camp event that’s in the summer but we all know that it isn’t as good.) This, I thought, shall not stand, for I have a need for those motivational tools.  Thus was born the inspiration for WordKeeperAlpha.  Now, just a couple short years after my first NaNoWriMo, its a thing that I created that people actually use.  This is enough to blow my feeble mind.

Now, I would never want people to not participate in NaNoWriMo on their website.  That’s where the magic really happens.  You get together with your fellow authors and keep pushing the words out until you hit your goal.  But, if you use WordKeeperAlpha too, and want to keep track of the words you write in November, here’s a quick and handy guide to getting your project set up.

First, if you don’t have one, sign up for an account on WordKeeperAlpha.com.  Go on, I’ll wait until you’re up and running.  … … Good?  Eh, they’ll catch up.

Next, go to your Goals and Projects page, and click the “Add a project button.” Refer to the image below to add in the information then click “Create”.

nanoproject

Bam! You’re already ready to go!  But wait, you probably want one of those nifty graphs like you see on NaNoWriMo.org.  For that, you’ll need a goal, in fact, you’ll probably want two goals.  First, we’re going to create a repeating monthly goal, which is what will create that nifty graph.  Before we do that though, you’ll have to remove any other repeating monthly goals that you might have, or just edit one.

Use the information below.

nanogoal

Make sure you keep the project field blank.  Due to a problem with the way I originally made the code you can’t have a project selected for that graph, but its something that will be fixed in time for next year’s NaNoWriMo.  This means that all the words you log in November will be displayed on the graph…which is a short coming, I know…but if you’ve got time to write more than one thing in November you really have my respect.

Next, you’ll probably want a repeating daily graph.  Use the information below to create it.

dailygoal

There! You’re done and ready to go for National Novel Writing Month!

Some people have asked me if there’s any way to support WordKeeperAlpha, (yes, they really have) and one of the best ways is to spread the word.  The more users I have the better I feel about myself as a human being.  It’s a sweet balm to my black soul.  But, there’s no financial way to do that yet for reasons.  While I will have something soon, this month, if you’d like to do something for WordKeeperAlpha, instead think about going over to NaNoWriMo.org and making a donation.  Without them, this crazy project never would have happened.

In future years, once I’ve gotten better organized, I plan on doing an actual campaign for them, so for now I’ll just send people to donate to them directly.  The good people at NaNoWriMo.org depend on the donations of all the authors they encourage every year.  So if you’ve got five dollars to spare, go and drop it in their tip bucket, or give them a shout out on Twitter or Facebook.  We want to keep them doing what they’re doing and supporting developing authors into the far future.

Ok, that’s enough chatter from me.  I’m six hundred words into my day’s word count and I have much more left to do.  Later, Keepers.