Hello and welcome to my blog! I’ve been hard at work building this site for a while now, and I’m thrilled that I finally have something to show for it. Even more, I’m thrilled that you are here to enjoy the fruits of those labors and to celebrate the birthday of my new blog with me – on my own birthday too, no less!
There’s a few key reasons that this site has come to be, and I think it might be worth mentioning why I decided to develop my own site with Jekyll instead of using one of the myriad website and/or blog development and hosting services already out there.
If you’re at all interested in the backstory of this blog, learning a little bit more about its development, or in reading up on what I intend to use this blog and the larger site for, keep on reading!
This isn’t my first author site ever. I’ve had similar web presences in the past, hosted through the likes of Squarespace, Tumblr, and Ghost, but none of them seemed to quite hit the mark. I found myself almost always wanting something a bit more tailored to presenting text rather than images, but not something so aggressively dependent on blogging as Ghost and similar blog sites tend to be. I spent a lot of time searching the web for alternatives and, about a year ago, I stumbled into a discussion on Jekyll sites. The way that static Jekyll sites function and the immense amount of customizability that they have to offer are much in line with what I had been looking for, so I decided that I would take a crack at building my own site in my free time, using all that Jekyll has to offer in the process.
Since Jekyll is open source, I spent countless hours combing through GitHub’s pages and pages of Jekyll themes created by frontend developers across the globe, both to get an idea of what could be done and to find something to use as a base template. I knew I wanted to build something that included a blog, but I didn’t want the blog to be the main focal point. I also knew that I wanted to build a bibliography of my print and audio publications that was a bit more interactive than the standard list tends to be. I tried a handful of different themes, tweaking them here and there and testing out different forms of content along the way, but the more I worked on them, the more I felt like I needed to go back to searching and find something more in line with what I had originally envisioned.
When I happened across Samson Zhang’s gorgeous personal website design, I immediately knew it was what I had been searching for. I forked the site’s files and have since made more than a handful of modifications – some subtle, some less so. The end result is the site you see today!
For someone with little coding knowledge, building this site seemed daunting at first. But, now, with the site completed and the content I’ve been wanting to share displayed boldly and clearly for online audiences, I can safely say that taking the leap into developing my own site was totally worth it!
I learned a host of new skills along the way too, and I can’t wait to put them to use in future projects!
As alluded to earlier, the primary purpose of this site is to serve as my author site and as the center of my online presence. I have had a Facebook page, Twitter account, and Reddit account where I’ve posted about publications of mine and projects I’ve been involved with as they’ve come out, but none of them have felt as definitive as the idea of having my own site.
Now that the site exists, I intend to use it for the following:
More might be added to the mission of this site in the future, but for now that ought to do just fine!
With the building of this site and the wildness that 2020 had to offer, I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from writing fiction. Now that I’ve got a place to put some of that creative energy again, though, I have a handful of stories I’ve just been itching to tell and a venue to discuss my motivations for writing them. I’ll be sure to post more about them as they progress to keep you readers in the loop.
Until then, you can read more about a couple of big projects I’ve worked on in the recent past on my Portfolio page or you can check out some of my story publications using the links provided in my Bibliography.
That about does it for this first post! Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll check back soon!