Hello, Redesign

The truth is, I probably spend more time working on my blog than I actually do writing for it. It must say something about how much I love this stuff that I spend eight hours a day coding in one CMS and then go home and work on my blog that uses another. This site was inspired by the orange-red color #f30 and brought to you by the number 30.

It’s not finished, but it should all work. More features will be added later. I thought instead of just the standard announcement I would include some tools I used when building the new theme:

_s – Or “Underscores” is the perfect starter theme for WordPress. Unlike anything else I’ve encountered, it doesn’t impose any styling on you that needs to be removed or overwritten. It’s the basics you need to get a theme up and running, and after that it’s up to you. They call it “just the right amount” and it’s true.

LESS – I started using the LESS CSS preprocessor at work and became quickly addicted. I know preprocessors have been around for a while, but if you’re at all hesitant–don’t be scurred. Their documentation is killer.

Pure CSS Speech Bubbles – In case you want to know how I did the comment bubbles, here you go.

Lato and Vollkorn – The Google fonts I used. Aren’t they lovely?

Unsemantic – What I love about the Unsemantic grid system is that instead of counting columns, everything is measured in percentages. You can also easily turn any column into a container and it helps you make sites responsive without really thinking.

The rest was just CMS magic and mad brain power.

I’ve Been Writing, Just Not Here

Maybe I haven’t been blogging very often, but I have been writing. A while back I mentioned volunteering for the Write/Speak/Code conference for women developers in New York City. The articles I wrote can now be found at their website! I think the one on contributing to open source projects is my favorite. I wanted to contribute to something for a long time but I didn’t really know how, and at the conference I learned how to do just that. The conference is getting ready for it’s 2014 session. If you’re a female developer I can’t recommend it enough. The articles are just a few tiny pieces of what we learned, and while I’m normally cool with being the only woman in the dev shop, it’s nice to know that there are other women out there who do and love the same things I do.

My other published piece comes from FastCoLabs, FastComapany’s coding and technology blog. They contacted me a few months ago asking if I wanted to write something for them, and of course I did.

My piece is called What You Need to Learn to Code in 2014 and it’s about mastering related skills that can help make you a better programmer.

Programmers receive abstract concepts from managers, designers, and clients and have to turn those ideas into a working component. This usually involves breaking something down from the big picture into doable chunks, and then completing those chunks while keeping the big picture in mind.

Of course, I’ve also been doing quite a bit of programming, too. At work I’ve been mastering the super-powerful Kenico CMS at home I’ve been working on a new theme for the blog (yes, again). But that’s not all the writing I’ve been doing:

I finished my novel! Well, the rough draft anyway. Some of you might remember that I won NaNoWriMo in 2011 after having failed it for several years prior. Even though I reached the 50k words needed to complete the challenge, I wasn’t finished with the book. I finally wrote the last words of the draft in December. Now I’m on to editing, thinking about book 2 of the trilogy, and gathering ideas for a completely unrelated book that popped into my head.

Aside from writing and coding, I’ve been having fun with family and friends in Michigan despite the freezing temperatures, snow, and ice storms.

Icy!

 

Stay warm, friends!

Life Lately

I’ve been busy.

Not even two weeks after my return to Michigan and I’m doing the full-time job thing again. I’m working for a wonderful local company doing front-end development. In other words, I get to play with HTML and CSS and JavaScript and build websites all day.

I’ve been writing–although not in my blog. The first draft of my sci-fi novel is getting very close to the end, and I’ve been working on some technical writing as well.

Much of my time has been spent with family. My Grandpa, a Veteran, passed away two weeks ago. He was a good person and was loved by many people, and I’ll miss him.

grandpa

I loved seeing the photos of him as a young man. Like me, he was very creative and had many different interests. I will miss him.

Lately, my thoughts have been on getting myself even more settled in my new/old town. Soon I’ll be buying something I haven’t owned in over six years–a car. Once winter ends (IF it ends) I’ll be looking for a place of my own. A place I’ll be sharing with Sashimi, of course.