Not much to report
Not much to report this week. A few tweaks here and there on the site as I have time to clean up how things work... mostly streamlining while I try to think of work arounds for more complicated bits and pieces.
From the story side of things: I've got a new story and character from Morpheus to share with everyone. Also, coming up in the next month or so, We'll wrap up Odds and Ends (and with that, close out the first year of school in the original timeline). I've got a piece introducing my Fall 2007 freshman character, Esoteric... and Morpheus has been waiting eagerly to sweep in and fill most of the cottage himself. I understand we also have a couple summer break stories in progress. Some of the titles I've seen people mention progress on include "Boys of Summer" and "I Don't Think We're in Kansas Anymore."
On the Gen 2 side of things, E.E. and Bek are working to get the next part of Road to Whateley out the door to you... which will let us release the last part of Calamari and move on to the 'third' story in our Gen2 plotline, where we reintroduce you to Whateley Academy. Then we might release a few Gen 2 origin stories. There's Bek's origin for A.J. "The Curse of the Dragon Queen", and Morpheus has Bianca's backstory "Written in Blood" ready; and there's Tia's story from Nagrij tentatively called "Down the Rabbit's Hole"... Of course, we probably won't get through ALL of those before we move on to story four of the main plotline, which will be from my character Shieldwall's pov... called "Good Cop / Bad Cop."
While a lot of this isn't done 'right now'... most of it is getting close and the only reason I'm not releasing things faster is that there are a few linchpin pieces that we want to release 'in order' that are going to act a lot like the latches on the overhead storage compartments on airplanes when we finally do get them up. I think it's safe to say that 'most' of the rest of the year should be very positive in quantity of stories released... especially if I can get the fan fic team moving forward (not that THEY are dragging their feet, it's mostly ME that's the bottleneck in that system right now... and I want to solve that problem).
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Bunches of stuff
If this is the first time you've been back on the site since last Monday, you'll notice that there have been a few changes. I finally combined adequate understanding of how some of the modules work (and how to work around them to make them do something the way we want them to) and sufficient time to do some site work in the same week. As a result, I've restructured the menu system into something that (while not ideal) should be functional for everyone. This is important because some aspects of the drop down menu system that we had been using required people to get creative in their means of finding links to stories. Now, everyone should be able to find and access things quickly and easily.
The different types of stories can all be found via the Stories button. The Forums, your private messages, various profile and forums settings, and such can be found under Community. Policies, FAQ, Help, links to the WIKI and background material about the Whateley Universe can be found under the WA Universe button. If you're an author or admin, you have some additional buttons... if you are not a registered member, you have fewer.I've also rearranged how the Latest Articles list works (and where in progress stories are placed). As a result, you should have a fairly consistent list of recent stories linked there, for quick reference to what you've missed if you haven't dropped by in a couple weeks. The Latest Articles list, given the current rate of releases, should have everything new from the past two to three months. As we start to accelerate that pace, it will probably reflect just shy of two months of releases.
The story migration is COMPLETE! WOOOOO!. Well, ok, there are some duplicate transfers and we have found one or two that we might have missed... but it should currently be possible to read through the entire body of canon stories without leaving the new site. We do still have some things to move into place (in the Library section, for example)... and then in the next few weeks, I'll be turning my attention to the Fan Fiction authors who have been patiently (or not so patiently) waiting for me to get around to reviewing their submissions for published fan fic. Expect some of those to be popping up shortly.
In the meantime, for this week: we have the final few chapters of Whisper completing the trek of this young lady to Whateley... where she immediately goes into hiding and is mostly out of sight for the Spring quarter.
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A few tweaks ...
Some of you might have noticed or caught the forums post announcements about some changes that I finally got around to making. I've tweaked how some story submission things happen, which doesn't really impact most of the visitors to the site but it DOES cut down on the number of things that bottleneck at my approval. It means both fan fiction and canon authors can start projects without me being online and ready to change some settings on their newly submitted story before they can do any editing or have their peers look at the story for feedback. That'll help the behind the scenes process lots.
I've re-arranged some of the menu and sidebar positions a little. The Login panel is now upper left and is there all the time, it SHOULD also now include a note that you have mail if you get a Private Message.
Over on the right hand sidebar, you might have noticed that I added a little Sudoku panel. It interferes with some of the features in the forums, so I turned it off there... but if you're just killing time... now you can play Sudoku while waiting for the story deadline to happen.
I'm planning a few more fixes to the menu bars. I'd like to get everything organized in a way that doesn't need a drop down (like the one under Content) and I'd also like to get the User menu out of the left sidebar. It doesn't have much in it if you aren't an author or admin, anyway. So as soon as I figure out how to get the menu modules to do what I want them to, you can expect those to streamline some.
And, of course, continued thanks to Phoenix-Spiritus and Valentine and other fan fiction authors who have helped out with the migration of the story collection/archive to the new site. I think we might have passed 3/4 or even 4/5 transferred in the past couple days... and the list of remaining items to migrate gets visibly smaller almost every day. Please be sure to thank them for their help, I do what I can, but if these folks hadn't helped, we'd still be months away from being finished.
Finally... the main reason people show up for these Front Page News posts... today's story release. We're going to go with the continuation of Elrod's Combat Finale based mystery and the hunt for the gambling leak. That'll move us closer to the official end of the Spring semester and the arrival of a new class of freshman. So here is "Odds and Ends (Part 2)" ... if you are looking for Part 1, you can find it along with Part 2 in the Content->Canon Stories category list.
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