Success! Progress bars, a new blog design, and an excerpt

I decided I was not going to post today until I got the blog design and progress bars figured out, and I did! There’s obviously still some tweaking to do. I don’t understand what the thing is with the big white patch in the upper right hand corner, frex, since the header tool cut my image to the size it is now. I may just need a much larger image, something I will have to mess with. (*Figured it out, I think — looks good on my browser now. Please let me know in the comments if you still have any issues!) But not today. That’s enough formatting for one day. After this, I want to get some writing done.

Speaking of writing, my word count last week was down a bit from the week before, but with a total of 4300 words for the week, I’m still happy with it. I also got the first draft of the new Mars cover made with my daughter, and got good feedback on that — which means I’m closer to uploading to Amazon and making it free.

I did skip posting anything for “Starting Out as an Indie Author” this week. I really needed that time to get a few other things off my to-do list. Besides, while the series is getting me a lot of traffic to my blog, it isn’t doing anything for my sales. As a result, I think I will switch to a bi-weekly schedule with the series, so that I will have more time for actually working on marketing my books.

As to the progress bars, I got the link from Critique Circle, as someone suggested in the comments of one of my previous posts. Thanks! For those who are interested, here’s what the code maker looks like:

Progress bar code maker

Once I had my base code, I made a Text widget in WordPress, replaced my word count with the code, and copied the list into the text box. And now I have my progress bars! 🙂

With progress and progress bars out of the way, I can move on to WIPpet Wednesday. The excerpt I’m offering today comes again from A Wasted Land, a little after the one I gave you last week. After a confrontation with Celemon, Kustennin has headed to the town at the foot of the hill-fort of Sarum in search of Bedwyr. My math for 9/3 is to take the 3 from the 9, leaving me with 6 paragraphs:

The town at the foot of the hill-fort was not laid out in a grid of straight lines like the cities planned by the Romans. Instead, it hugged the base of the hill, the roads curving with the landscape — aside from the Roman cross roads, that is, around which the town had sprung up. There was no forum or principia or amphitheater, although there was a private bath house, catering to travelers, more modest than the Roman baths of Caer Leon or Isca, but more than one might find elsewhere on the road in Britain. Despite the organic layout of the town, the houses were built in the Roman style, although many of them were of wood rather than stone and stucco.
The house of the magistrate, which held both living quarters and administrative center, stood near the junction, and Kustennin followed the curving road away from the river toward the center of town. Here, on the outskirts just below the hill-fort, a number of tents had sprung up — the inevitable camp followers that seemed to know where troops would be before the leaders knew themselves. Kustennin had only brought a force of twenty warriors with him to inspect the sites on the borders to Cerdic’s lands, doubling the number of soldiers in residence at Sarum, and yet there were over a dozen tents here.
He was reminded of Celemon’s words, of how many men had been lost in the recent wars — and how many women would never be able to found a family as a result.
A woman with long, wheat-blond hair, sitting in front of one of the tents and darning a woven blanket spread out across her lap, looked up at his approach. As his eyes met hers, she rose, laying blanket, needle and yarn aside. He saw that she was tall, like Celemon, probably almost of a height with Kustennin.
Slowly, she walked towards the road in the same direction as Kustennin, at an angle and pace calculated for them to meet. He found himself anticipating the moment their paths would cross, knowing what would come of it. Briefly, he thought of what his foster father Cador said about casual sexual encounters, that they were not worth the complications involved if the woman got with child — and there were many women who would be happy to bear the bastard of a king. But even as he recalled Cador’s words, he turned and began walking to meet the camp follower.
This woman promised much better distraction than discussing travel plans with Bedwyr.

WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of K. L. Schwengel. If you’d like to participate, post an excerpt from your WIP on your blog, something that relates to the date in some way. Then add your link here — where you can also read the other excerpts.

10 thoughts on “Success! Progress bars, a new blog design, and an excerpt”

  1. This leaves me curious as to how he “knows” that’s what will come of their encounter. Because honestly, I had sort of a sense of foreboding when she got up to go meet him. I’d like to tell him this could be a very, very bad idea.

  2. Great excerpt. I like the way you describe his obvious attraction to the woman. It seems she’s attracted to him too.

    I also enjoyed your descriptions of the town, the buildings and the camp, the way you compared and contrasted them with the Roman towns and buildings. I thought you brought the scene before Kustennin to life. 🙂

  3. Look at you, all fancy with the progress bars and new blog design! I’m impressed. On my computer, though, the image at the top of the screen doesn’t stretch all the way across it.

    I absolutely love the historical detail that you included here – the information about how Roman towns are built in the hillfort and the camp followers. Kustennin certainly thinks a lot about consequences, doesn’t he? Most men I know are struck dumb by the appearance of an attractive woman and cannot think clearly enough to know that they shouldn’t follow her, haha!

  4. Congratulations on the progress bars! That seems like WAY to involved a process for me to ever do such a thing. I also don’t like being reminded of how often I go long stretches with doing nothing.

    One nit, and I imagine it’s just formatting and not the way this is in your word doc, but here it looks like one big long paragraph, and that gets kinda overwhelming. Maybe break it up into smaller chunks.

  5. The blog looks great. I like the progress bars you’re using. I might have to check those out. I’m using a different one right now.

    I haven’t decided on my publishing path yet, but I have enjoyed the Starting out as an Indie Author series. Are you planning on expanding it and putting it into e-book form when you’re finished?

  6. Maybe she’s going to offer to knit him a blanket. I’m scowling at Kustennin at the moment. How dare he. Okay, fine, I know he and Celemon don’t have anything between them…yet…so he’s free to do as he wishes. Still…

  7. Blech. Rotten Kustennin. No regard for whom he might hurt with his casual treatment of sex. Suddenly, I don’t find myself rooting for him getting with Celemon. I hope that woman has something else in mind. Some scathing criticism or humiliating information would be nice. 😛

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