New Site Themes

Vacation does a body wonders doesn’t it? The recent one we took was a whirlwind. It was one of the busiest cruises we’ve ever been on. In a port just about every day. Up early. Rushing off the ship to start a full day of sightseeing. Get back on board and grab a quick dinner before dashing off to nightly trivia, shows, maybe dancing or some other entertainment. Collapse in bed to fall asleep to movies in our stateroom. Then up again and repeat.

So maybe “vacation” isn’t the right word. That usually conjures up images of rest and relaxation, yes?

If I’m lucky, I get maybe an hour or two of that poolside each trip. My husband is a go, go, go kind of guy who expects his wife to keep up with him. I try.

However, even with all the hustle and bustle that came along with this trip, instead of being flat out exhausted, something funny happened. I came home brimming full of energy, optimism, and enthusiasm. I was literally twitching with new ideas I wanted to implement on my sites.

Not to mention new blog posts, especially for Haunt Jaunts. Shoot, our trip was basically one big haunt jaunt wrapped into a cardio endurance workout. I always doubted I could tackle the Amazing Race but with the way Wayne drags me here and there and everywhere on vacation? Traveling with him is like Amazing Race Boot Camp!

But I digress…

Back to vacation. Or the lack thereof. As is a favorite saying from out West, I felt like I’d been “rode hard and put away wet.” I thought it would take me weeks to recover.

Which I dreaded. August thru October is my busy season, what with Halloween and all. That’s when Haunt Jaunts and the Scareporium thrive. I needed to hit the ground running when I got back. My laundry list of To Dos included:

  1. Finish reading submissions for the anthology.
  2. Submitting stories to two Chicken Soup for the Soul topics with end-of-this-month deadlines.
  3. Halloween posts to prep for and the Scareporium to tidy up.
  4. Shadyside to finish and get ready for Fall publication.
  5. Not to mention the book fair appearance. Had to design promo materials and such.

However, instead of feeling overwhelmed and wanting to slow down upon our return, I couldn’t stop thinking about all the ideas I’d had while I was away. Which fueled my excitement to get busting!

Physically I had to let myself recover, though. Jet lag got the best of me. I had to fight through some of it to get materials ready for the book fair. Luckily by Sunday I was back to 100%. (I think that actually transpired somewhere between Friday and Saturday.)

This week started off with doctor appointments. (Super happy –and relieved– to report the cancer’s still at bay and I’m now 6 1/2 months in remission! Plus, I can see better again. My contact prescription just needed a little tweaking. Downward even, instead of up. My eyes are slightly better this year. Phew! Thought I was having worse issues in that department. So glad I’m not!)

Yesterday was the first day I had both time and energy to dive into some of the improvements I want to make. Priority #1? Getting a better theme for Haunt Jaunts.

The one I’d had was okay in the interim. (The one I’d had two themes ago that I loved crapped out and developed bugs galore. I settled on something that was only supposed to last a month or two until I could figure out what I wanted. That was over a year ago.)

Yesterday I found a great new theme for HJ, but in the process stumbled across this one for It was love at first sight. Could these images be any more me? (HUGE thank you to the developer who made this one available!)

  • The desk with a mug on one side of the open book and a pen on the other. Writing represented!
  • The open book. Again, both a symbol for things I feel define me: writing and reading.
  • Grass and the umbrella. Called to my nature loving self.
  • The dog. Animal lover represented!
  • The plane. Hello? Travel!
  • The little girl. My inner child always feels soothed, nourished, appreciated and acknowledged when following a PATH (notice it in the grass?) that leads to any of the items mentioned above.

So, now HJ and my author site both have fresh new faces to go with the fresh new ideas I want to implement. WOOT!

But now I want to give the Scareporium a makeover. Not so much for cosmetic reasons as behind-the-scenes one.

Themes are constantly evolving. What I’ve discovered after playing with the new ones for this site and HJ I decided would behoove the Scareporium and perhaps make it more user-friendly for visitors so…

I’ll end here. More work to do. But keep an eye out. You’ll be reading and hearing a lot more from me.



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