Month: December 2008

Web site soft launch

I finally pushed the new Web site out to the public for feedback. I am aware of several bugs and haven’t gotten all the content up (even after all the functionality and content scale back), but Web sites grow and change continuously, and it was time to just do it. πŸ˜›

I only did a soft launch though, meaning the old site is still the current site and has a link to the new one. I will change it over completely the beginning of the new year (just to get a little more time to fix all the bugs).

I would love to hear feedback, suggestions, comments…. I had to do this without a content management system or calendar software (or any third party software as it is practically forbidden here), but the functionality I have in mind will come. I am working on it.

The new Army Europe Library Web site.

Chapter Two: The Departure

“She has learned so much already.” Arilorn, the head tribesman of the Lenoans spoke in low tones to the high druid, Xiliar. They stood perched atop the highest peak of the Lenoan Mountains, overlooking the young woman that was the topic of their conversation. She, in turn, sat cross legged atop a thin pillar near the edge of the open temple, the steep precipice echoing the chill hollow winds below her…

Read more.

From the story Thaw.

Berlin 2008

The weekend before Thanksgiving we took a night train to Berlin for two days. Again, I didn’t really sleep on the train (I think it is an acquired skill), but we still saw a lot despite lack of sleep!

Our first stop was the Bundestag, or the German parliament building, with its glass observatory dome. Nearby is a two-brick wide line down the road in front of Brandenburg Gate marking where the wall once stood. By the time we reached the gate, the weather turned wet. We decided to take a double-decker to Museum Island.

At the Berlin Dome overlooking the destruction of an East German government building, we made it to the top of the dome to catch the first snow fall. Very slushy snow that made wet feet wetter. The crypt was interesting though, a good cathedral to visit. The Pergamon Museum was worth all the squishy walking, though. Absolutely awesome collection of classical architecture and artwork.

After spending much time in the Pergamon, we went next door to the Bode Museum, which houses Renaissance and Christian art. We were actually looking for the Egypt collection but didn’t make it in time. I would not recommend the Bode Museum, unfortunately. Everything was depressing (it is my least favorite period for artwork).

The second day started in the Kudamm shopping area, where we walked by a Christmas Market setting up underneath the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, which was bombed out in WWII. We made it to the musical instrument museum just in time to hear an organ performance. Personally, I am not a fan of carnival organs and the musician played everything much too fast, but it was set up so observers could look inside to see its innerworkings.

At my brother’s suggestion, we hopped the metro over to East Berlin for an early dinner at Gugelhof. I could tell it would have been pretty good, but almost everything had alcohol in it and our waitress wasn’t very focused (friendly though). We went back to Kudamm for one last quick shopping sprint before catching our train back home.

Overall, I thought Berlin’s history and museums were awesome. I am still having problems with Germany’s affinity to alcohol and cigarettes though, and Berlin was no exception.

More photos:

NaNoWriMo results

Well, I have to say I did not do as well as I hoped I would quantity-wise, but I do believe the story is coming together nicely. Although National Novel Writing Month is technically over, a few of us at the library are thinking of getting together to keep up the motivation.

Honestly… I haven’t worked on it in three weeks (eeep!), but then again, I haven’t worked on much of anything except work. Lame excuse, oui, mais c’est vrai. In any case, the 3400 words I did write I will make available on my Web site, a chapter a week. Hopefully that will also be good motivation for me to get moving while I am still ahead. πŸ˜›

So, the story I chose to write is called Thaw. It is a coming of age epic of a young girl, Elanai’i, who is raised to fulfill a prophecy that will make the will of the heavens known. Okay, so the story is a bit far fetched, but hey, that is what you get when a feminist fantasy fiction reader writes a story…

Available is the first chapter (don’t worry, they are short chapters). Enjoy…