Saturday, September 14, 2019

Week 4 Famous Last Words: Storybook Website!

So, I published my Storybook website, and I am really excited how that turned out; I struggled at first because none of the story illustrations was really good for a banner image, and so I tried designing a homepage without a horizontal banner, but it just didn't work... so I started searching for swamp images, and I found this great George swamp image at Wikimedia. I think it turned out really well. Google Sites darkened it up some to make the title show up; here's what the original image looks like: Swamp at Reed-Bingham State Park, Georgia. By Yinan Chen at Wikimedia Commons.

And here's the website:

I set up all the pages so I could make sure I was going to get the super-scary story Taily-Po done in time for Halloween. The other stories are more trickster type of stories, but Taily-Po is definitely a horror story, which is not usually my type of story to tell; that is going to be a fun new experience trying to make sure I come up with a version suitable for Halloween.

When I publish this blog post, that will be it for the Week 4 stuff I wanted to do... although I might do some reading tomorrow too. I've got a book proposal I am working on and, to be honest, it's killing me; I waver back and forth between thinking it is the best book proposal ever and then wanting to throw it out and start over again from scratch. I've started over twice, and this time I'm thinking it looks pretty good. The publisher gave me a soft deadline of Monday the 16th, and a hard deadline of Monday the 30th. I'm thinking if I get it done by Monday the 23rd we can both feel satisfied. It's for a book series where the books have a solid color cover, and I'm currently obsessing about whether I can be the purple volume in the series. But that's putting the purple horse before the cart; I need to get the book accepted first. And then, uh, write it ha ha.

So anyway, I might be wrestling with the book proposal all day tomorrow instead of more fun and games with Anansi and Brer Rabbit. Either way it's good, though. This is the first really and truly relaxed weekend I have had for over a month, and I am enjoying it very much.

Happy weekend, everybody!

My musical soundtrack this weekend: Michael Franti.

Week 4 Tech Tip: Google Size Side Navigation

I decided to go with side navigation at my Google Site Storybook this semester, which is what I did last semester with the Hanuman project also:

So I thought I would write up a Tech Tip about how I did that:

Go to Google Sites and the site you want to edit.

Hover your mouse over the navigation area along the top left until you see a Gear icon show up.

Click on the Gear icon, and then choose the navigation style you prefer:

That's all there is to it!

The side navigation is dynamic based on the page width; when the page is wide, it displays down along the left side. When the page is narrow, it reverts to a hamburger menu in the upper left-corner (like many of the Blogger templates do).

I'm usually working on my desktop monitor with a really big browser window, so I like the side-bar navigation option!

Storybook Plan: Brer Rabbit and the With-Rabbit

The main theme I want to work on is "conjuring" in the Brer Rabbit stories, especially as connected with the stories about Mammy-Bammy Big-Money, the Witch-Rabbit.

I'm going to just use third-person style; that's been working well for the first two Brer Rabbit stories that I told here at the blog: Brer Rabbit Finds Brer Wolf Under a Rock and Brer Rabbit and Brer Turtle Run a Race.

I was really happy with how the website turned out; as soon as I found this image of a Georgia swamp, everything fell into place. I decided to set up all five pages now so that I could make sure the side navigation option would work. The one problem I have at Google Sites is that the fonts are so impossibly small, so I decided to use the header style for the text on the pages (except for the image captions). Yes, that's just wrong. But there's no other way I can get a bigger font, and I need a bigger font to be able to do any kind of editing here. (Just last week a survey from Google popped up asking me about Google Sites, and I said we needed more control over fonts and font size!)

Anyway, so far, so good. I arranged the stories so that Taily-Po will be ready in time for Halloween. :-)