Archive for Web sites

The return of Pig in a Poke … call for submissions!

Posted in All posts, Life, On writing, Pig in a Poke with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2010 by Trina

Announcing  Pig in a Poke— a literary magazine of poetry and fiction. New and resurrected! Brought to you by Harry Calhoun, the publisher of the ‘80s underground magazine Pig in a Poke, and guess who? Little ‘ol me: fiction writer Trina Allen.

“The Pig” featured work by Charles Bukowski, Jim Daniels, Louis McKee, lyn lifshin, Judson Crews and many more.

This new literary journal in electronic format is looking for writers with passion — poets, storytellers, essayists and others. Harry will pick the poems and literary essays, and I will select the fiction.

I am now a Web master. Wow! I spent the last week learning how to use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to develop Web sites. I learned enough to start up Pig and a Poke and also find out how much I don’t know about CSS. I hope my first attempt at using CSS is successful. Let me know what you think. I’d love suggestions. I now know that the pages look different on PCs, laptops, and probably Macs. Let me know if the home page doesn’t look like the image above on your computer.

Go Pig!

I’ve also organized a fiction writing group for Raleigh area writers. I’m looking forward to the discipline the group will give me. Perhaps now I can post more often about my publications. I have a new story out in April. More on that next time.

I hope I have time for it all. Maybe sleep is overrated.

Learning HTML

Posted in All posts, Life, On writing with tags , , , , , on September 22, 2008 by Trina

I think any serious writer should have a Web site. I am always amazed when I meet fellow writers who do not one. Victoria Strauss says:

A website, if it’s properly publicized, is 24-hour-a-day, nonstop billboard advertising for your writing. It launches you into a virtually unlimited public space, where huge numbers of people potentially have a chance to see you and your work. It can introduce your books to people who have never heard of you, place you in contact with readers who want to know more about you, and serve as a professional tool to which you can refer people who want to learn about your writing.

It is also helpful to me to have a Web site because I can refer to my own work. My stories are Online there and I can send the links to anyone very quickly. In addition, I think my writing has improved as I work on my Web site. The act of writing the pages helps me develop my writing skill.

I prefer to build my own site. I like the control and instant gratification of seeing my pages Online at the click of my mouse. I would never be happy waiting for a host to load the content. Plus, web design services can be costly.

Even people like me, folks with little knowledge of HTML, can build a site. There are hundreds of resources on the Web and in bookstores and many free hosting sites, like GeoCities, the one I use. If you can use a computer, you can make a Web site. I did update from the free site to a paying one because I didn’t like the ads that GeoCities puts on their free sites and I did not want geocities in my domain name.

Maintaining the site is what takes time, but a stale old site can be worse than no site at all. Thus, I am in the process of updating my site. I decided than since I will be contacting agents to represent me for my young adult novel, I want a site that reflects who I am now. I had posted several short stories, essays and articles, but nothing geared toward young adults. I decided it would be a good idea to include a page for young people on the site, with perhaps an excerpt or two from my young adult novel. I am developing that page.

I had previously been using the PageBuilder on GeoCities to build my pages. I have outgrown that program, which I think is helpful for beginners. When I first started building my site I thought HTML was a secret code that designers learned. I had no idea where to start in building a Web site. PageBuilder helped me create and edit my pages without software such as Dreamweaver or Frontpage. I found it to be much like using Microsoft Word.

PageBuilder may be a good tool for beginners, but it is tedious to use and I sometimes could not save the pages after I had developed them. I could usually make a few changes, save the page, and then the program would freeze and I’d have to reboot. It was frustrating and a time waster having to redo work. Others have had the same issue with GeoCities.

This weekend I stumbled upon this HTML tutorial at It has changed my Web building life. The tutorial makes it so easy to learn HTML that I taught myself on Sunday morning in a couple of hours. I had always thought HTML was complicated, but it is quiet simple. It is actually quicker to put in the HTML tags on my pages than to use GeoCities page builder. I won’t suggest that my site looks like a professional developer built it, but I am happy with it. I think it will be a good platform to show case my work for now.

I wanted a simple site without many bells and whistles. I dislike flash on any Web site–I always skip introductions and hate any pages that take forever to load. So I wanted my site to be bare bones. I hope I succeeded.

The site is now about half finished and I’ll continue to work on it when I have time. The home page and several other pages done or in process. For now, I’ve linked to some of the old pages–I’ll get to them when I can. I plan on plugging away on the Web site and sending submissions to agents. Wish me luck.

I welcome any suggestions on how to improve my Web site.