Friday Frolic

Well, Friday has finally gotten here! Not a moment too soon, and perhaps many days too late, but it’s here just the same.

I’ve been banging my head over an interesting problem with attachments and emailing through Lotus Notes from an intranet site. The one I support is largely built with ASP, which was from about 1996 or so, and replaced with ASP.NET in 2002 and after. The site I support was built in 2004, but hey, I didn’t get to pick the technology. My predecessor also had tied hands over what he could spend, probably, and how fast it had to happen.

So it’s my ball of fun now. I have a page which faithfully sends Lotus Notes email through the local machine’s Notes session, but the user can’t attach files to those emails. So I’m struggling to find out how that happens.

I’ve found a lot of information about how to do it, but none of the scripts I located seemed to work for my situation. Or I simply couldn’t figure out how they worked, which was bothering me no end. I can’t support something if I don’t get it.

So I thought about moving this to ASP.NET, but there’s a lot involved in that. I could move just this one page, like I’ve done before, but so far I’m not finding anything I can use “out of the box” (and I really need that, at this point).

So after a week of dizzying highs because of great success with VBA, it’s a hard crash back to reality with ASP.NET/VB.NET. I’m just not there with my skills. I’m just…not quite. Again.

But the weekend is upon us and I’m going to relax and enjoy it. I’ve got to get back to my videos eventually, but really need to think about what I need to see and how to approach my learning to best give me the results I need.

What are you going to do this weekend? Any big plans?

If you’re a Kindle user and are just sitting around reading, all my books are either on sale or free. You can catch ‘em here if you’re interested. (I ‘m no responsible for the Ch’od Action Figure, though. Sorry, WIGSF.)

Have a great weekend, y’all!

-jdt-

Breakthroughs

Well. I haven’t written a line – not a single word – since my last blog post. This represents the first bit of writing I’ve done since then. I’ll try to provide some updates on what I’ve been doing.

Work

The move is done. DONE. And, everything works. There was a single macro which needed to be updated. I guess I didn’t crawl through it far enough, but there, down in the code lines near the bottom, I found references to our old IP address for the server. Changed them in a single, simple maneuver, and re-ran the macros. They’re fine. Just fine.

Next came the website. It’s fine. Now I have to go about updating the heck out of it. On that front, I’ve also made progress.

Programming

I started a new module from the video series my boss paid for. As you may recall, I paid for one set of programming video training, and my boss paid for another. When I first started taking them, I learned a lot, but didn’t feel I was “getting” it. I was worried the value from those videos wouldn’t be there and the money was wasted.

But.

Today – actually, last night as you read this – I launched a new module which spoke about the exact problem I’ve been wrestling with for more than five months.

I can’t tell you how my jaw hit my chest. I can’t tell you how stunned I was. I sat in stupor for something like ten minutes watching as the exact problem I’ve been wrestling with got point-by-point deconstruction and walk-through. I almost fainted with relief.

The first thing I did was give thanks to God, and glory to His name. The second thing I did was eat dinner. The third thing I did was watch the video again and take a second set of notes on it. I’m likely going to do that again – and even again if necessary – until I feel I can implement that solution on the problem which has plagued me, vexed me, taunted me since May. Now, I’m going to end this. I have the tools. I just need to gain the skill in using them.

I will win. And I am so glad.

Writing

While I’ve not written anything, I have done a lot of reading about writing. (Which just seems strange, doesn’t it?) I have a new favorite book on craft, which shows so much about subtext, structure, how to construct scenes, build subplots… good, good stuff all over. Fantastic.

I’ll be sharing some of what I learn over on my fiction blog, but for now, I want to continue to absorb and learn. For the first time in my life, I felt the need to take notes and highlight in a book on writing craft. I’ve learned that much.

I also learned a new method of outlining, using what’s called the step outline. It’s amazing and while I’m not much of a non-digital guy, I believe this is the method for me. I’ll be describing it in some depth as I struggle to get the hang of it.

I’m ready for a weekend. How ‘bout you?

See ya on the other side.

-jdt-

I Duditz!

Yes, I finally finished it! I’ve finished the WIP at long, long last!

It took me almost seven months to do it. There were a lot of setbacks along the way. My back pain, things on fire at work, things here which got in the way…but my loving spouse and I stuck with it, and my First Reader LOVED the ending. She actually says it’s perfect. I’m very proud of being able to report that. She’s an avid reader and this isn’t her kind of book. She read – and enjoyed – every word.

Now, the painful process of re-writing what’s broken to fix it begins. I have to address the wonderful edits my readers suggested in the first five chapters, and of course I’ll have to redo chapter six entirely methinks. A bit of relaxation for a week or two and then the process of re-reading it from start to finish begins. Finally, a call to beta readers. That’s a few weeks away yet, I think.

So, that’s what I did over the weekend, and even got to start the plotting and planning for a couple of more books. I hope to have them finished faster than this, but that’s going to mean more careful outlining too. And I’m achin’ to try my new method out too, so we’ll see how that goes.

How was your weekend?

-JDT-

Chapter Six is Ready

If there are any beta readers out there interested in reading for me this week, I’d love to have you. But with Thanksgiving just a day away, I don’t think I’ll have any takers. Which is fine, I understand how busy you all are.

I’m really looking forward to this time off and being with family for this holiday. I’m so glad I took the extra time away from work. I haven’t been so relaxed in a long time.

Tuesday sorta sucked, though, because I had to address a nasty, fast-progressing headache threatening to hit migraine threshold at full steam. By the time I took enough OTC meds to kill it, I was exhausted and zombie-esque. No fun, and no writing for another day. On the upside, we finished watching Star Trek: Enterprise. I have to say, the end of the series was a disappointment, really. They had a lot of potential. I guess they also felt the need to tie back into other ST franchises, which probably didn’t do a lot of good for the show. Only the nods to the previous series — and Voyager got screwed there — made it sort of a wink-nod thing. But it’s not a big wonder to me the show failed.

With that off my chest and with ZERO interest in Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (I tried, I really did, but UGH — suckitude a-plenty!), I guess I can re-focus on what’s important. And baby, it ain’t Star Trek.

Nothing else to say, really, so sign up below if you’re interested in what will likely be the last chapter I send out on this book. I’ll only send out chapters by request after this. I want to get serious and finish it, but Lord knows, I’ve had a lot of trouble there.

God bless and if we don’t talk before, Happy Thanksgiving. Or Happy Thursday to my friends abroad. 🙂

-JDT-

The Mysteries of the Reader

Blogging’s a weird business.

Once upon a time, I was a traffic whore. I love that term, btw. What it means is, I’d do anything required get my page hits up. SEO, keywords, catch phrases, tags, categories…everything and anything I could think of. And, to a point, it worked. At one time, I could get my page views up to about eighty a day, five days a week.

Last week, though, I couldn’t seem to break through the 25 barrier. I tried to pander to my audience with rant posts (I do those no matter what though), I tried a heartfelt post, I tried to use a list of items…all things I thought might be of interest to the reader, but you know what? I got no love from the Interwebs and my page views stayed low.

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