The Curious Evolution of Jennifer K. Oliver
A stroll through the mindfields
entries 
jenniferkoliver: (Stock | Book!)
I said it on Twitter but I want to say it again: it's so, so sad about Iain M. Banks and he will be greatly missed. It seems to have come a lot quicker than anyone thought. And he'd been talking about trying chemo, too. We've lost an incredible author. May he pilot spaceships forevermore.

After the Other Worlds workshop with the Year 10 students in January, the school ran a short story competition to the same theme and I was asked to judge the stories. I read through the shortlisted entries over the weekend and picked my top 4, but decided to give a little feedback on all of the stories because they all had potential. It was quite fun being a judge, but goodness, it was difficult selecting my favourites.

For ages I'd been hoping to recreate my LJ layout on my Dreamwidth mirror journal, to no avail. But recently I found this brilliant tutorial on the community Starlit: Adding LJ Layout to DW (All Users). In a few short steps, it shows you how to create theme layers, and import the LJ theme layers for S2 styles like Flexible Squares, Smooth Sailing, Mixit and Nebula. I've now got my skeletal moose look on DW and it feels a lot more like a home. :)

Dragon Age: Inquisition Official Trailer - released at the E3 2013 EA Conference. Should be out in autumn 2014, omg omg. Morrigan! Words cannot express how excited I am for this. kgsa;hg;ahj!

Simple Man, cover by Deftones.
jenniferkoliver: (Let the Right One In | Eli & Oskar)
This Thursday I'll be attending StorySLAM: Live at the Southbank Centre in London. I'm not reading, as I doubt I'll have time to write something to the theme "Sheet Lightning" by then, but I will be listening happily and hopefully networking, and at the very least learning some tips and tricks we can apply to our own Slam on the 20th.

Over the last few days I've been making new story flyers and booklets to give out in a couple of weeks. I love this stuff, though it does take up quite a bit of time, so I have to be firm and only allow myself an hour or two each day. I've also discovered the joy that is the bookmarklet, which is a slim notebook the size of a bookmark you can use to take notes on whatever book you happen to be reading. I've made a few with our amazing Slam poster design by Dan Morison (see it here).

Here is my stash so far – new flyers, bookmarks and bookmarklets, as well as a few leftovers from last year ) Craftypants!

My new website and blog design is also nearing completion, at least on a Photoshop level. I've yet to start chopping it up and coding. But I'm really excited about getting a new look! I just hope it's not too much pink. OK, I was going to sit on it until it's ready, but I need to re-learn how to make image maps for LJ-based layouts which could take some time, so I might as well post a preview: New journal layout WIP – The Curious Evolution of JKO )

In between writing and designing, I'm trying not to get too distracted by Zombie Swipeout, a new game by Zynga for the iPhone. It's like Fruit Ninja, but with zombies instead of fruit. Zombies are better to swipe than fruit ("Zombies vs. Fruit"–the next big anthology, Y/Y?). The app has issues, though—issues I hope Zynga rectify, otherwise they'll be missing out on such a big investment. At times it almost feels like the app is only three-quarters finished. And I don't recommend buying the paid version, because apparently it's barely worth it. But still! Zombies.

Pretty Life, by Jakalope.
jenniferkoliver: (Stock | Kitty Love)
This past week's been exhausting but in a positive and productive way. I'm still behind on all things LJ and I'm sorry if I've missed anything important. I hope everyone is well!

The Dorset Writers' Network publishing day went swimmingly. Me and Jennifer Bell gave a talk on e-zines and online publishing, and amazingly I wasn't all that nervous, even though it was my first time addressing a (small, but big to me) crowd on a Topic of Interest. At one or two points we thought we were losing them, but the feedback was good and a few people asked if they could send follow-up emails if they had any problems. We also got to see a real, live Agent—in the flesh!—which helped demystify them a great deal. She was extremely nice, and after finding out she represents the genres I write in, I took her business card.

Then yesterday I skipped over to Bath with Becky Bye, Beth Stewart, and Jennifer Bell for a speculative fiction workshop held at Roscoff Deli and lead by a lovely group of post-grad creative writing students. It was so nice to connect with more local writers, and we've since swapped Twitter handles so we can stay in touch.

On Sunday I finally got to type "The End" in my steampunk novel document! It's a first draft that's sparse in places, and a draft that's full of plot holes big and small, but I am aware of those plot holes and I know they can be fixed. I'm letting it settle for a few days before I begin any editing, and in the meantime I'm going to write the outline (yeah, backwards!) and shuffle things around for maximum impact. My little first draft is woefully broken right now, but I do love it. ♥

And at last, I'm slowly cobbling together my very own custom layout for www.jenniferkoliver.com. It'll run on Wordpress, using the Thematic Framework (which is brilliant, btw) , and I'm really excited about it, but man it's a slog figuring out some of the code. The design hints at the Victorian era and is light and fun and whimsical, which will work nicely alongside my current projects (and a few on the distant horizon). I've also been itching to change my LJ shoe layout for a while, so I think I might adapt the new layout for this blog, too. Anyway, once I'm down with the WP theming, I should be able to switch it up now and then to keep everything feeling fresh. On top of that, I've got a couple of small web design commissions on the go. All in all, good times!

Deathcar, by Fightstar.
1st-Jan-2011 10:33 am - Happy New Year!
jenniferkoliver: (True Blood | Eric)
HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE! I hope you all had a lovely evening, and here's to an awesome 2011!

I'm kicking off my New Year with a custom LJ layout which you can see here. Took about four hours to make overall (I haven't made any blog layouts for over a year, so I was a little rusty). It's nice to have a theme that's completely mine and reflects my interests and fun side, and really, I've been wanting to make a personal layout since I got this journal because I write about a lot of personal stuff here. It's kind of like interior design; you put your stamp on a place. So, yeah! Shooooooes. The layout has been tested in the recent versions of FireFox, IE, and Safari, but if anyone sees anything wonky, do let me know.

I was also thinking of maybe opening up LiveJournal layout requests, just for you lovely friends list folk. It would be a great opportunity for me to do some more blog designs for my portfolio, and it means you get a free, personalised layout that's uniquely yours. Right now, I only work with the S2 styles Smooth Sailing and Flexible Squares, so you would need to switch your base layout to one of those if you don't use them already. Drop a comment here if you're interested, and we can discuss ideas.

Also, consider this post open indefinitely for the time being, something you can always come back to later if you're not sure or don't have time to discuss a layout.
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