Hurdles to Overcome

My life certainly isn’t perfect and the past six months have been fraught with difficulty. But through it all I’ve maintained a good attitude and have continued to share my life and interests through my blog. I enjoy writing but once the mechanics of keeping the blog up-and-running become too frustrating I tend to take breaks which tend to become lengthy periods of silence.

It has indeed been a very frustrating week. Really, keeping an online presence isn’t supposed to be this hard! i felt it would be very easy to bounce back from the theft of Phuket Bookworm by hackers last Sunday. I quickly re-registered on WordPress.com as I felt it would be nice to have them host it rather than deal with the free self-hosting I’d relied on for several years. That’s all fine and dandy but it would be a lot less frustrating if I wasn’t having to use an internet cafe; I’d get much more done in a timely fashion if I had internet access in the privacy of my home. That’s a priority when I move.

I thought publishing to the “new” blog would be easy now that I have a portable blogging client installed (Zoundry Raven). I could write the articles in my apartment using the app on my USB drive and then publish (along with uploading the photos) once I logged onto a public terminal. It worked fine with the old self-hosted blog.

But Raven doesn’t seem to play nice with WordPress.com-hosted blogs. At least it doesn’t work well with mine. It wouldn’t change the uploaded photos links so I’d have to go back in and edit from WordPress’ online dashboard. It kind of defeated the purpose as I go for speed when using the internet cafe. Also, articles had odd line-breaks so I had to go in and fix those as well. Very time-consuming.

I’m just going to go back to my old method of writing my blogs in the excellent Windows Live Writer, cut-and-paste the HTML into Notepad and then cut-and-paste back into the WordPress editor when I’m online. And also upload the photos to Webshots and link the articles with those. This I’d used in the cafe for at least a couple of years and it worked okay — it was much faster than what I had to do Sunday night, fixing already-published articles (and I haven’t yet touched the various pages). I really wish that Windows Live Writer had an official portable app (there’s an unofficial one that doesn’t work in the internet cafe — there’s a long wait before anything comes up and then there’s a message in Thai, probably telling me the computer doesn’t have the program I’m trying to use).

Not only have I had some problems with publishing and editing but also with WordPress.com itself. Don’t misunderstand me. I think it’s a great platform and there’s a lot more there than the last time I used it (for example, there are now 124 themes to choose from — but I have yet to find any that I like even a small fraction of how much I like Suffusion).

But I’m really frustrated by not being able to use my favorite plugins. There’s no “Quotes Collection”, no “Now Reading Reloaded”, etc. Sure I can proably use the text widgets to make something look like a few of these but that’s too difficult or time-consuming. Again. perhaps I wouldn’t feel this way if I had a connection in my home where I didn’t have to worry about people spying or the antiquated terminal freezing up (or giving me sharp shocks when I insert my thumb drive into the USB port) and trying to keep track of how long I’ve been using the computer so that I can afford to pay for the time and still buy a snack to take upstairs when I’m finished.

I cannot wait until I’m working full-time again. Then I can afford to put a little money into my online presence, buying my own domain once again and paying for a reliable web host. Then I can just upload a copy of the WordPress installation I’m running locally on my laptop and everything will be there just as if it had from the beginning. I certainly hope also that wherever I end up will allow me to have an in-home internet connection so I can constantly update and maintain the blog.

By the way, I should mention that out of all the free themes available to users of WordPress.com the one I felt was the best fit for me was the default, Twenty Ten. I noticed last night that an updated version, Twenty Eleven, was newly available so I switched to that. I’m looking forward to the release of WordPress 3.2 (should be any day now) so that I can have Twenty Eleven on my laptop installation. There’s another theme that I hope I can download as well called Vertigo — I’d use it if I wrote more about movies or mysteries as it’s nicely suited for those topics! I still miss my plugins…


Mark Jochim Daily Writing Word Counts:
This Article — 843
Total Today — 1162

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