December 2001 Christmas Review

Web Page Progress

Happy Christmas! Lets all hope 2002 is bigger, better, and happier than years gone by! Now back to the mundane!

I renewed my domain name just before Christmas. It didn't cost me as much as I thought, or half as much as I paid for it in the first place. But I think that was because I got two years worth when I first bought it. In all, the site doesn't really cost me much to run, so as long as it stays that way, I'll be happy.

When I started out, I dreamt that this would be somekind of money earning venture. I designed and built the site both with anticipation and eagerness, only to find apparent apathy on the internet. Of course that isn't the case, the internet is always busy, and sites are always getting larger and longer to load. Computers get faster, telephone systems get faster, but you still end up waiting. Annoying isn't it? But of the millions of websites on the net, its only the popular ones that get visited by the thousands, and like a lot of other dot-coms that rushed into existance, I found my site wasn't one of them. Fortunately, I have nothing too lose by the absense of sales, basically because I have little or no overheads. So I soldier on.

Visits have declined somewhat over the holiday period, but I suppose that's no surprise. Hopefully, the numbers of visitors will rise again during January. As I anticipated in a Review a couple of months ago (or longer?), this New Year will see the three thousandth visitor to the site. It took a year for the first thousand visits, and another year for two thousand more. Hopefully it will continue to rise at the same rate, or maybe even better.

But despite the lack of visits and sales, I still enjoy loading up the site with my stories. Even now, as I write another story, I am looking forward to the time when I can load the first twenty chapters onto the List Page. So what started out as a commercial enterprise has now become a shop window for my stories. I'm content with that. And if all you do is read the Short Stories, or just the first twenty chapters of any of the longer stories, then that's okay too. So long as you enjoy them, tell your friends, and come back for more.

Writing Progress

Having got my brain in a vicious and tight knot over the order of events in "The Friendly Ambassador", I have now managed to reach twelve chapters with the story going more or less how I planned. I say more or less because, like usual, the characters and events are beginning to fight me for control. I've already got far more characters than I originally planned, and the events are forcing me down one road when I intended to go down another. The problem is that I always like to go with the flow, to let the story and characters take me where they're going naturally. Sometimes I force the issue, and take the story in a particular direction. But the characters always have their say, too, and I always end up going back to alter things, to add something missed, or to put in an extra scene. In the end its always a compromise. But so far I'm more than pleased with the results. I think its good so far, I like the story and a lot of the characters in it. That has to be a good sign. But the most pleasing aspect is the number of times events in the story make me smile and think "That's good!" I hope you feel the same when you get the chance to read it.

As I said in last month's Review, if the writing keeps flowing I'll try and get the first twenty chapters up on the List Page during January. I can't guarantee anything, but I'll do my best. As an appetizer, the Trailer page for "The Friendly Ambassador" is already up on the List Page, as is last months Short Story (as usual!).

See you next year!

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