www.marilynbrant.com

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Website Launch, 100 Posts & January Giveaways

First of all, congratulations to...Lainey Bancroft on winning a copy of Brenda's book, JACK WITH A TWIST!! Yours was the name my 10-year-old drew from my pink Jane Austen bag this afternoon (yes, I really have one of those--thanks to the lovely folks at JASNA who make and sell things like this :). Lainey, please email me your snail mail address (marilynbrant@gmail.com), and I'll pass along the info to Brenda so she can send you her new book!

However, for those who entered and didn't win a book this time, I'll have other novels to give away soon (some from GCC'ers and others from special author guests), as well as little fun things to match the mood of each month. Why? Because it's my debut year and I want to celebrate...

I've been fortunate to know many of you for months--or years!--but even if you're new to my blog, I consider anyone who stops by, reads and comments to be a potential friend. And I've got to tell you, during times of stress, we need our friends. (No matter how naturally introverted we may be...) Getting a book published is a thrilling experience, yes. But, just like getting married or having a baby or being promoted or any other "good news" occasion, it brings with it a major life change and lots of new stressors. Some of them I anticipated. Some I did not. But I've been really, really lucky because when the world looked awfully messy--like during much of this week--I had friends to thank for their insights and emotional support. And since those of you reading this post care enough to be here with me for a little while, I'd like you all to know how much you're appreciated.

So, my January giveaway (the "It's Seriously Still Winter" contest) is a simple one: Anybody who leaves a comment on any Brant Flakes post from this one through the end of the month--specifically, by noon CST on Saturday 1/31/09--will be eligible to win some gourmet hot cocoa and a box of 12 glittery snowflake decorations. One person will win both items but there will be at least two others who'll win just the cocoa. Maybe more than two. I've been drinking a lot of cocoa this winter already, and I'd like to share the warmth...

I have a list of some of the other giveaways coming up on the "Contests" page of my website, which is a new addition. Actually, the website itself is new. The design is a change from the one I'd had for the past couple of years, and I've been able to include some exciting new features, like advanced reviews of my book! And a novel excerpt! Photos! Song titles! And, soon, I'll be able to put up the book's cover (I hope)! I've even got a newsletter group you can sign up for, which will have other fun things for you (target date for Issue 1, Volume 1 = sometime in February). And, eventually, there'll be more information on my 2nd women's fiction book, which I'm happy to say will be out in October 2010.

So, I hope you'll visit and you'll find the pages interesting and informative. I also hope if you find glitches or errors of any kind that you'll PLEASE let me know!! I'm new to designing (massive understatement) and have had some hilarious discussions with friends this past week. One went something like this:

Me: How does my Home page look?
Friend (surprised): I didn't know you were such a Chicago Bears fan.
Me: Huh?
Friend: The colors. They're all dark blue and orange. And, um, you can't see the text unless you highlight it...
Me: Really? I used mostly golds, reds and blacks. That's strange. I can see them all on my screen.
Friend: Well, sometimes different browsers are incompatible with a design program and there can be visibility issues.
Me: What do you mean by "different browsers"...exactly?
Friend (explaining patiently): Firefox. Internet Explorer. Safari. You know?
Me: Ohhh, right--I've heard of those. Mine's that Explorer one.
Friend: Yeah, well, you've a problem with Firefox, then. Unless you want your Author Message to be "Go, Bears!"
Me: Crap.

Yeah. So, let's just say I have LOTS to learn and am still not entirely clear on all aspects of CSS. However, I love, love, love being in complete control of the design and content, and nothing I've done lately has matched my delight in figuring out how to make one browser window open into another or how to make text change to a different color when the cursor passes over it. It's those little things...

And on that note, I'll add one final thanks--this is my 100th post (my 101st is going to be shorter!)--and I thank you all so much for reading it.

22 comments:

Pamala Knight said...

Hooray Marilyn!! I'm on my way right now to go see your secret Bears-loving website design, lol. I'm sure that it will be filled with everything that is good and light, because let's face it--that's describes you perfectly.

Congratulations my friend. See you tomorrow night.!

Amethyst Willow said...

Hey hey Marilyn, congrats on your new web site! I personally love CSS so I have some tutorials that really got me started on the basics and a bit more:

Basics: http://www.html.net/tutorials/CSS/

Lists: http://alistapart.com/articles/taminglists/

And to get rid of that Chicago Bears look ;) some colour picker things:
http://www.pagetutor.com/colorpicker/index.html
http://www.colorschemer.com/online.html
http://www.ficml.org/jemimap/style/color/wheel.html

All of those colour links show you the hex number reference that you can put into your CSS. Firefox is pretty forgiving though I reccommend downloading it! Maybe you'll even convert (huge firefox-lover here!)

Have fun!
Kate xx

Brett said...

Marilyn, I hadn't noticed the Bears colors on your website, but since I live in Wisconsin, there's always the risk of being stoned to death in the town square if I don't admit to being a Packer fan, much as I try NOT to pay any attention to football in general! :) At any rate, I love the new design (and noticed that it recently switched to light green in my browser), and I always love reading your blog. Congrats on the 100th post, and I look forward to checking out the newsletter too! Remember to take deep breaths and enjoy what is sure to be a busy, stressful, eventful, fun year for you!! :)

lainey bancroft said...

Whee! I won! I won! what a great way to start the week.

Marilyn, your site is all my favorite shades of new spring green. It looks gorgeous, and I'm mega impressed you did it yourself. I wouldn't know where to begin!

And I also have to add, your advance reviews rock! Why do we have to wait so long for your books? lol

Marilyn Brant said...

Pamala~thanks, my dear! I'm really hoping the weather holds so we can all get to the party tonight...I miss talking to you!

Kate~you wonderful computer person, you! Thank you SO much for all of these links!!! I was able to switch the colors, but now there's this weird font thing w/the header and nav. bar--in IE it shows up correctly in Lucida Handwriting, in Firefox it goes to the default Georgia... So, I'm still trying to understand the mind of CSS + Firefox :). All of my Firefox-loving friends here are telling me to convert, too, though, so there must be something great about it...

Brett~you guessed it exactly! I figured, hey, if I'm going to be unintentionally called a football fanatic, I ought to at least be using Packer colors!! (Wisconsin origins die hard. :) Thanks also for the reminder to breathe deeply... I need to remember.

Lainey~HUGE congrats! (And don't forget to email me your snail mail address!!) Thank you for the sweet comments on the website and the reviews--I was really excited to get them!

Robin said...

Marilyn, your new website looks awesome from my Firefox view! Congrats! I really enjoyed looking around it, and feel like a total fan girl because I actually *know* you and you have a book coming out! I hope the months leading up to the release are everything you hope them to be. Enjoy this special (and I hope not too stressful) time!

Congrats on 100 posts!

Caryn Caldwell said...

PLEASE post your cover as soon as you have it! I am absolutely dying to see it! Really. I've looked for it on your website with no luck. Or you could always email it to your newsletter subscribers... ;-)

Marilyn Brant said...

Robin~thanks so much for taking a look at the site and thanks even more for the good wishes. There are lots of little anxieties, but the really fun part is getting to share these moments with you all!

Caryn~there will be no chance any of you will miss seeing JANE'S cover the moment I finally have that thing. I'm afraid it's going to be plastered EVERYWHERE I can reach--limited only by the fact that I'm 5'2" :).

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Marilyn,

Congrats on your 100th post!!

I'm heading over to your website now. 100 blog posts and a newsletter- you are way ahead of me. :)

Vesper said...

Marilyn, your website looks fabulous and I LOVE it! (a small typo on the Welcome page: stoy instead of stop) It gives me a wonderfully warm feeling.

Congratulations for the book! I look forward to reading it. I'll start with the excerpts on your website...

Happy New Year! :-)

Marilyn Brant said...

Nancy~thanks! The 100 posts, perhaps. The newsletter, well...that's still an experimental document on my desktop :).

Vesper~oh, thank you SO VERY much! I appreciate your kind words and I can't tell you how grateful I am for your typo spotting!! *hug* Will fix it immediately.

If anyone finds any more...pleeeasse let me know! Revision is necessary everywhere in my life, I've learned, not just in my manuscripts :).

Maureen McGowan said...

Marilyn! Great job on the site.

And how did I not know about the Susan Wiggs quote!!! Good for you.

Marilyn Brant said...

Thanks, Maureen! I've been really lucky to have readers react so kindly the book so far. (We'll see what the reviews think, though. :)

Nadine said...

Love the new look Marylin! Congrats!!!

Caryn Caldwell said...

You changed the look of your blog! Very nice. Just stopping by to see if there were updates, and I couldn't help but notice (and comment)!

Marilyn Brant said...

Nadine and Caryn~glad you both like the new blog look! I was in the mood for something different after all those muted browns and beiges!

LJCohen said...

Marilyn--thank you so much for your time today and your well wishes! I had to laugh about your conversation about web design. I'm pretty much a computer geek. Drop me a line if you need help with the website.

:)

lisa

Marilyn Brant said...

Thanks, Lisa~I will happily and gratefully accept any and all technical support!! And, btw, I loved that beautiful photograph you posted on your blog...what a great "couple" shot :).

Pam said...

Marilyn--I volunteer Montana (he's 6'5") to reach the high places when your book comes out! Plus, he's a Bears fan, so it all works out!

And what a pretty, pretty site! I know Jane would approve.

Marilyn Brant said...

Pam~LOL! Please thank Montana for allowing himself (however unwittingly) to be volunteered! I have a healthy respect for "Da Bears" but simply prefer to let them keep their color scheme!

L.A. Mitchell said...

Marilyn,
Your sites are beautiful and reflect the I-hate-winter-weather theme I sense in your blogposts :)

Marilyn Brant said...

Thanks, L.A. :) And, yeah, I haven't been too subtle about my preference for warm weather...