Saturday, September 02, 2006

Ok, I'm Moving to

After getting some sage advice from my friend Steve, I've decided to go ahead and move my blog over to With everything going on in my life, it's definitely going to be easier to maintain just one blog.

Of course, that's not to say that I won't start more in the future. I'm just getting into blogging and I'm still pretty new to it. There's much more for me to learn. Hopefully, I'll have a lot more time to spend on blogging as time goes by.

I'll keep Shadows of Clouds here for now to help direct new traffic toward the new blog. Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

New blog:

Those of you who read this blog fairly often will have noticed that over time, the content has changed somewhat. As I've gotten more into blogging, my interests have expanded into posting about things that weren't initially included in the focus of this blog.

When I started blogging at Shadows of Clouds, my primary interest was in posting about my fiction writing and networking with other bloggers and writers. I haven't lost interest in writing stories, but my interests have expanded a bit now that I'm not busy with school all the time.

I've been concerned lately about some aspects of my life that aren't the way I want them to be. Because of this, I've been searching out new ways of dealing with life, and new perspectives on the same issues everyone seems to be facing today. This is where comes in.

I decided to come up with a new blog that gives me more freedom and control to explore new ideas. These ideas are somewhat divergent from the original purpose of Shadows of Clouds, named after one of my short stories. On the new blog I intend to post about broader issues in life and what I'm discovering about how to deal with them.

The focus of will still be on writing, but that writing will be more geared toward productivity and self-improvement as well as the more practical aspects of writing and blogging for money.

So what happens to Shadows of Clouds? I thought about closing this blog, but I decided to keep it. I'd like to bring the focus here back around to fiction writing and reading. I'll continue to post about my writing experiences (and my rejection slips) and what's going on in the fiction writing world.

I hope you'll stick with me and continue reading. Please check out if you've enjoyed what I've been writing here.


Monday, August 28, 2006

Stay Tuned for the New Blog

I'm currently working on getting my own domain and web hosting set up so posting may be a little sparse over the next few days. I've been planning on doing this for a while for several reasons. I wanted to have my own unique domain name rather than just a hosted subdomain (i.e., not I also wanted to have more control over my web site than I could have with a free blog.

Another big reason has been underscored in the last few days with all of the trouble I've had connecting with blogger. I don't want to be at the mercy of a huge monster like blogger when it's necessary for me to update my account. I need more reliability than that.

I have to say, though, that for the most part my experience with blogger has been very positive. I've learned a lot about blogging in general. The service and reliability has been fairly good considering that the account is free. What they offer is something that's valuable for a large number of people. Bloggers who want more than the basics will eventually have to get their own hosted account. Stay tuned...

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Blogging: Personal or Personality?

Something that has always been a concern for me since I started blogging, is the question of how personal I should get. I could talk about the events of my life in great detail, using the blog as a journal to divulge my innermost thoughts. Is this a good thing to do? Probably not.

Leroy Brown at Blogging Blog has a post (that also refers to another post) asking this question about personal blogs. This is, however, a good question to ask about any blog or web page.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you've gotten some of my personal thoughts and feelings. I've even posted a few pictures and thoughts on my family. Yet, I have to admit to hesitating before doing this. I asked myself, who's going to be reading this?

The truth is that it could be anyone. All of us who blog or have a web presence of any kind have to be aware of this fact. Once we let fly with that post button, we are giving away whatever information contained to potentially anyone, friend, enemy, or complete stranger.

So, what's an appropriate level of personal information to include in a blog or web page? One major factor is the purpose of the site. If your site is geared entirely toward revealing your own thoughts and feelings, go for it. Just be prepared for the consequences.

Those who read your blog, especially those close to you who may even be mentioned in the blog, might not care for how they have been characterized. Also, they may not want to be posted about at all, good or bad. Other people's privacy is something you should consider before posting.

On the other hand, if your blog is about business or some other niche, perhaps the personal information should be kept out of it. Your readers may not be interested in reading about your life. They may only be there for the information you're presenting. With the deluge of information available today and the typically hectic pace of people's lives, this is always a factor. If there's too much noise and too little signal, your readers will no longer be readers.

Of course, there is some information that is never appropriate to post on the web. This includes personally damaging details about another person or intimate information that you know will hurt someone or make them vulnerable to attack. This is a moral consideration that must necessarily be subjective.

Some of the consequences of revealing personal information have already been discussed in great detail. There are many references in the news recently about people who've gotten into trouble because of what they've posted on the web. Employers, for instance, are more and more googling the names of job candidates to find if there is anything out there on the web that might make them a liability for the company.

Although it's marketed more toward younger people, MySpace is a great example of personal blogging gone out of control. People of all ages post just about anything about themselves, including pictures, that they might not want an employer or their neighbors or pastor to read or see. They seem to forget that the internet is pretty much wide open to everyone. If you've posted something connected to yourself and someone wants information on you badly enough, they'll find it.

With all of this said, how much, then is the right amount of personal information? Consider this: human interaction is all about stories. Each of us has many to tell. It's what makes us human and real. This is what defines our personalities and what interests people and what, ultimately, keeps them within our circle of interaction.

To be truly engaging, anything that is written needs to have a personal touch. It doesn't have to be personal per se; it just has to have your own personal mark on it, your brand, if you will. If who you really are comes across in your communication, it has a much greater chance of success.

This isn't a guarantee, but, think about it: who likes reading a dry textbook? Info dumps are great for just getting information, but without a personality behind it, who's going to keep coming back? Your writing will be best received if it's honest and from the heart (although, those of us who write fiction might be quick to point out that all of it is lies).

When you click that button to post your thoughts or feelings or informative article, consider this: have you put a little bit of yourself into it?


Friday, August 25, 2006

Free Software: Bryce 3D Landscaping and Animation

For those of you interested in graphical art software or just interested in expanding your creative horizons, you may want to check out the free offer from DAZ Productions. They are offering free downloads of Bryce 5 for a limited time.

I don't have much experience in this area, but the graphics I've seen created by this software package are pretty impressive. I downloaded a copy of Bryce 5 for my iBook and it looks cool so far. I plan on spending some time in the near future playing with it. Hopefully, I'll be able to put together a nice header graphic for this page.


Web This Blog
Get your own email button

Powered by Blogger

    Subscribe in NewsGator Online
    Add to Google
    Add to My AOL
    Subscribe in Bloglines