A hundred years ago, (or so it seemed), before I started writing to be published, I cut my teeth with writing fan fiction. Star Wars fan fiction, to be exact. And I loved it. Personally, I had a “thing” for Obi-Wan Kenobi, and I loved writing stories about him.
Anyway, when I was writing it, I wanted to set up my own website to house the said fan fiction that me and a friend Noni wrote. But I didn’t know anything about web site building.
So I did what any person would do. I asked a teenager to set me up. I was 26 or so at the time, and it felt so strange to have a 12 year old showing me how to do this… Anyway, he taught me some very basic HTML, and “poof” Tranquility Amongst The Stars, or TATS, was born–(no the site is no longer active).
I figured out really quick that I was going to need to know a lot more to really make my website look like I wanted it to look.
So I bought a book (that I still have, by the way) about HTML coding, and I read it cover to cover. The pages are marked with paper clips, certain sections are highlighted so I could quickly find specific coding that I wanted to remember, and I even kept a cheat sheet in it with the proper color codes for HTML.
As a result, I rebuilt my Star Wars fan fiction website at least a dozen times over the years, changing styles, fonts, layouts, color schemes, whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to. (The picture is an actual graphic I used for one of the many themes I did for the TATS website)
I actually became quite good with straight coding. Then I discovered Dreamweaver–this program changed my life. I could do all the HTML I wanted, but I could also do adjustments in WYSIWYG format, and Dreamweaver wouldn’t layer a million extra lines of code in with it, so if I had to tweak something, I could, without any trouble.
Eventually, I became the go-to person by several of my friends when it came to building a website, or tweaking a blog. Granted, I’m not a programmer, I haven’t been trained to do most of the stuff I can do, I just hobble along and do my best, and usually I can figure it out.
What I find fascinating is today, I went in to tweak my friend A.E. Rought‘s blog for her, and while I’ve messed with my own blog on occasion, I couldn’t get over what would have taken me lots of copying and pasting HTML code into this and that to get what I was looking for, that now, I did it all with a few clicks. Her posts had auto-link buttons in them for people, her Twitter updates were in the window, background changed and adjusted, even color schemes tweaked in less than ten minutes.
It wasn’t that long ago when I was doing all that kind of stuff manually. Now, it’s just a click, a drag, and poof, it’s done. I felt kind of bad, because it was so simple, that I know my friend would have figured it out, had she had time to mess with it more.
Still, it amazed me when I was finished how easy it was to do all those things. So different from just a few years ago.