new! shiny! website!
Thanks to the efforts of the magnificent Thirzah Brown, I have a beautiful new website! Equally excitingly, I have, through the good graces of a reader, acquired a comments moderator, which means the comments have been turned back on for the site! COME ONE! COME ALL! SPEAK TO ME! :)
This has all been in the works for quite a long time now, and I’m really delighted to see it go live. My needs for a website have changed over the years, with me gradually wanting a greater focus on the CE Murphy side of things on the main page of the site, without losing the more personal aspect that mizkit.com, specifically, means to me as an individual. There is, as there was previously, a CE Murphy-specific landing page, but the broad delivery of the main page is more business-oriented too. Basically: plenty of book information for the blog to snuggle up in. :)
A brief tour of the new page:
To your upper left, behind the “CE Murphy” (and frankly, I’m still debating whether that’s going to remain CE Murphy or return to The Essential Kit, with a tag line of “The Official CE Murphy Website” or something to that effect), we have the Miz Kit Productions logo that will be gracing the spine of my self-published books (thank you, Eleri Hamilton!). I’ve wanted to bring my Sassy Lady, as I call her, element back onto my webpage for a long long time, and I’m ridicuously chuffed that Thirzah found such a lovely way to bring her in organically.
Beyond her we have (clickable!) book covers that will be primarily featuring The Backlist, because sweeping down to the right hand nav bar we have a gorgeous new Featured area, where (mostly) the newest books will be featured. I *love* the emphasis there, I’m just really, really happy with it. I think Thirzah did a beautiful job (and you can click the title bar for more Features!). It makes me feel like it’s delivering the book content in a big important way while also not totally dominating the page, which is just perfect.
Swooping back toward the left we obviously have the (COMMENTS ENABLED, WOOT!) blog, which we’re changing the landing-page structure of after I had a look at the site on a mobile device and had to scroll for fifteen years to find the secondary nav bar. There will be extended excerpts (around 250 words, rather than the oft-seen 100ish) on the main blog page, then a read-more link, so that the page continues to deliver content but doesn’t overwhelm. I’m also going to limit the number of posts on the main page to five, which will reduce the wordcount to about 1250 words instead of thousands, making it a much more friendly experience for mobile users. This makes me feel good about the site. :)
Then to bring it around full circle we’ve got my twitter feed (only one post from there at a time, is that enough? do i need 2 or 3? it may, i know, turn out i don’t need it at all, but right now it’s the Done Thing, so i’m Doing It :)) and then above it the much-neglected, all-important mailing list link. Honestly, with Facebook’s crappy reach and Twitter’s ephemeralism, the website and the mailing list are the best way to know what I’m doing professionally and I live in the eternal hope that I can make a community out of it all. Yay!
step by step
I am slowly getting there, in terms of amalgamating mizkit.com and cemurphy.net. In fact, tonight I’ll be redirecting cemurphy.net to mizkit.com in preparation for MOUNTAIN ECHOES’s release this week.
Nothing is nearly as organized as I’d like, but the basics are in place, which is to say the links should all work with the redirect. I need to go through and fix images, and in the slightly longer run I have hopes of making the CEMurphy.Net pages look different from the mizkit pages (because my delightful web designer lady has put the thought that it’s possible in my head :)), but for the moment, I’ll take “basically working” as good enough.
It’s getting there. It’s getting there. Keep calm, sure it’s grand.
In other news, it’s a bright and sunshiny, if slightly chilly, day, and I am feeling more positive and capable about, oh, everything. It’s amazing what a little sunshine does for my mood.
asks, “How did you come up with your LJ name?” which seemed like a good question/meme thing to participate in, so I thought I’d answer!
Kit was a character I played on an X-Men MUSH about twenty years ago. She was a comic-book me, though I always imagined her physically a bit more like Linda Hamilton. She was a photographer with a kid, and I’ve always sort of regarded her as having a life of her own: she’s one of the other paths I could have taken. (Curiously, if I took a Myers-Briggs test as Kit, it came out ENTJ, whereas if I take one as me I’m an ENFP. Kit, it appears, manifests as the part of me you really don’t want to rile up.)
Anyway, very early on, my long-time roleplay partner Sarah, in a scene where she was playing Sabretooth, referred to Kit as “Miz Kit”. I *loved* it. Fred, who later picked up Sabes as the full-time player, also picked up the nickname. I was using it all over the net by the end of 1994, having by then permanently abandoned the other names I’d gone through in the previous four years.
(In fact, starting to use ce_murphy on things really kinda bothered me at first, because I was so tied to the mizkit moniker. That’s a lot of why I separated out mizkit.com and cemurphy.net; mizkit was always very personal to me, and cemurphy was (and is) a business name.)
I also used “Kit” on our online social MUSH, which led to people calling me Kit. Even though it was an online name, I became so accustomed to it referring to me that I periodically got confused and offended if I was somewhere with someone also named Kit, because that was MY name, dammit! (This apparently has something to do with the visual of seeing myself referred to as Kit in typing all the time, and of the third-person nature of writing in MUSHes, which emphasizes possession of the name to me.) Anyway, in time the name spilled into real life as I met more of my online friends in real life.
Though I’ve never become entirely accustomed to being called Kit *Murphy*: Kit’s last name is Ellis. And I’ve never gotten good at introducing myself as Kit, which is kind of a shame in Ireland, because the accent here often turns “Catie” into something that sounds like “Cathy” to my ears, and I haaaaaaaaate being called Cathy. So I learned to introduce myself as Cate, which I also don’t like, but which is better than Cathy. And now it’s habit, so it’s hard to remember to try to introduce myself as Kit here instead.
So that’s where Miz Kit comes from, and perhaps that helps to explain my emotional trauma over losing the site name, and the depths of my gratitude toward Fred and Laura for rescuing it for me. <3
shame, shame :)
After all the helpful answers yesterday about Kitsnaps photos, I forgot to set one to post this morning. You’re all certainly good for my ego, so shame on me. :)
But it’s okay, because my AWESOME WEB DESIGNER is telling me all kinds of nifty things that WordPress can do that I didn’t know about, and we are going to make Kitsnaps BIGGER! STRONGER! FASTER! Or something like that. This will be AWESOME. With AWESOMENESS on the side!
(Actually, now that you mention it, I may have been watching Kung Fu Panda* a lot lately. Why do you ask?)
Seriously, I feel slightly kid-in-a-candy-shop about this. I’ve wanted for years and years to make Kitsnaps a viable Thing, and with one year-long-or-so exception, have pretty much failed in that. I’d love to have a professional photographer aspect of the site/my career, even if I don’t pursue it with the singlemindedness that I’ve gone after writing, and this at least gives me a step toward that. I’m delighted.
I’m equally delighted to actually be hiring somebody who knows what they’re doing. It seems the last of my shame, shame, shame of being unable to do it myself anymore is evaporating in the face of working with someone who knows what she’s doing and has cool ideas that implement my wishes without me even knowing those wishes could be implemented. So I cast off the chains of my former career and embrace somebody else doing it now!
(It’ll probably be hardly more than another month or so before I stop gibbering gleefully about the website and things we’re doing with it. Honest. I’m just really happy to have it back, and full of squee over how things can be arranged with it.)
NEXT, THE WOOOOOOOOOOOORLD!
*Legends of AWESOMENESS. And things.
Mizkit & Kitsnaps
This is a bit of a test to see how well this WordPress gallery works. I’ve long since concluded I’m never going to manage Project 365 (at least not for some years yet), but I’d like to try /posting/ a picture a day, anyway, even if I don’t take one daily. I’m sure I can auto-set it to post, which would help, but even if not, I can give it a stab. And that might help me make an effort to get out and take more pictures, which would be great.
Oh, hey, look. It works fairly splendidly. Awesome!
I’ve been wanting to launch this idea all year (all 36 days of it), but I was waiting to get mizkit.com back up and redesigned, which it now is! It’s still undergoing a lot of renovation–I’m going to amalgamate cemurphy.net into it, because I lack the spoons to manage two sites, and cemurphy.net is the one that suffers for it. So mizkit’s got a lot of pages to be folded in, and there’s still a bunch of fiddly detail work to work out, final decisions about color schemes to be made, etc, but the heavy lifting in terms of major design work is done.
And for this I am exceedingly grateful to Thirzah.co.uk, who has tackled the redesign with equanimity, speed and skill that I cannot match. The former web designer in me is one part envious, and the current novelist is five parts thrilled. :)
I am every bit as grateful to Laura Soapturtle for bailing my ass out in terms of hosting, and for not biting my head off when I’ve come to her with a dozen finicky problems. I have awfully, awfully good friends. *happy dance*