Category Archives: Blog

Writing to read: Tombtown

tombtown coverRee is a teenage denizen of Tombtown, an underground necropolis of misfits and dark wizards with only one rule: do not disturb the dead. Her days are spent dodging undead and tending the necromancer’s archives, but though she keeps the books in order, she feels out of place herself.

When Ree rescues historian Chandrian Smythe from the clutches of the wandering dead, she believes she’s found a kindred spirit; a fellow scholar to help her explore and document the city of the dead. But Ree must master her ambition and learn to choose between what she loves and what is right, or she and Smythe might both be consumed by the black magic of long-dead kings.

Even necromancers fall in love …

Seriously, read this. It’s on Wattpad and done in installments so it’s only ten chapters in so far, but I LOVE IT. It’s Larry. Larry is just my favourite. You need to read it just for the wandering zombie who affectionately tries to chew on everyone…

Vicorva was writing it during NaNo, and I loved the idea then – so I’m really excited to get the chance to actually read it! It’s Mon-Weds-Fri updates too, so something to keep your week going!

Coding again: CodeCademy

I’ve been using CodeCademy this week. It’s a web package that lets you learn a whole variety of coding languages by doing exercises and seeing what happens! I was warned that it might annoy me, but it’s also considered a very good learning platform, so – I had a go!

It did annoy me. But it’s also a very good learning platform. So…best of both worlds, I guess?

I’ve got a number of languages on my list; HTML/CSS, Sass (a type of CSS), Javascript, JQuery, Command Line, and also Git & website uploading. Obviously, I already know HTML and CSS – and those were the bits that were very frustrating! Yes, I know how to write a table. Yes, I know how to change fonts, and WHY ARE YOU HARD CODING COLOURS SERIOUSLY DON’T DO THAT.  Argh. CodeCademy also has a mix of practical exercises and then projects, which allow you to use your skills in a more free-form environment. However, the HTML/CSS ones are incredibly repetitive; I like some of the others as they’re more structured to what I just learned, but to be asked to put a background image on for the fifth time…BLEG.

I’m currently on Javascript, which I’m finding hard as my brain just doesn’t get the logic of the language, but I love Sass – it’s essentially a shortcut way of writing CSS and it looks wonderful. I’m also halfway through Command Line, which lets you move around/create/delete files on your computer without using the mouse or clicking through folders, so that’s useful to know even if I won’t use it.

There are bugs in the platform; you can’t vary your techniques (so I got caught out on the HTML/CSS one a few times, as the way I’d do something wasn’t the way they wanted me to do it) and the error messages can be frustratingly vague when it comes to working out what I’d done wrong. I’d really appreciate a crib sheet or some way of just getting reminded about commands, too; if I’ve learned something literally two minutes before, I may just need a reminder of exactly how to spell it – and not the answer given to me! The platform bugs are probably the most annoying part; several of the CSS and Sass pages wouldn’t work unless I had Chrome on 60% zoom, despite a comment from others that they needed it on 100%.

Anyway. Essentially, if you like step-by-step tutorials, it’s a good learning tool. It doesn’t provide useful help – I could really use a crib sheet or a reminder tool rather than the Q&A forum or ‘assistant’ who I’m not sure how to contact – and it has some frustrating usability bugs. But overall, if you want a basic grounding in the languages, give it a try. It’s free for a basic version, and worth using to see if you get on with it!

I don’t have anything

Having accidentally missed a post on Monday, I was hoping to have more words today. I was feeling good over the weekend – I had energy!

But today I’m just drained.

The garden’s growing. The walls are getting covered in plaster. I got a little bit of writing done. I met Ryan’s family at the weekend, saw my own, had ice cream, did a lot of driving. I’ve got new review books and the cat likes me.

I’ve got a lot of big life changes happening at the moment, and while I knew it was going to be hard, it always feels different when I’m living it.

I’m still here. Just very tired. But on the plus side, that means the cat gets all the cuddles!