Tag Archives: blogging

Changes of All Kinds

Well, first thing, I gave my site a bit of a long-overdue upgrade. At some point, WordPress started running ads on free accounts, and it had bothered me for a very long time because it looked so unprofessional. And yesterday they had a nice sale on paid accounts, sooo goodbye, ads! I also finally (FINALLY!) got to get rid of the annoying “Colleen M. Hughes” in bold Times New Roman that had been sitting in the top right corner from day 1, conveniently right *above* the banner that also has my name on it. I have wanted that gone from the very beginning. I think I mentioned it in my first blog post. Then I went and tweaked the font just because I can. So I’m happier with it so far. There are still a lot of things I want to fix, mainly the layout of the Plays page, and I need to go through my links and make sure they’re all updated and such, but YAY to the must-fixes finally being fixed.

A lot has changed in my life since the last blog entry. I lost my sweet, lovable, special cat Marmalade very suddenly to lymphoma at the end of last May. It was really rough emotionally and I hadn’t wanted to write about it publicly. The only bright spot in the summer was that I also met a Dave in July, and he’s been a big part of my life since then. (I also got to make a return trip to Coláiste na Rinne in Co. Waterford to continue studying the Irish language, huge thanks to the Fulbright foundation for offering summer Gaeltacht grants.)

And, of course, a lot has changed in the world since my last blog entry too. As anyone reading this somewhere around the date I publish it will know, we’re in the middle of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. Boston, like practically everywhere else, is shut down, with only essential businesses remaining open. My mom is a teacher and has been out of school since noon on March 11 and will not be back till May 4 at the very earliest (if at all). Colleges are closed. People are advised not to go out unless it’s for groceries or medication. “Social distancing” has become a commonplace term.

It’s been strange for me, both in day-to-day life and as an artist. I work from home as the norm, so I’m completely used to it and nothing about my daily work routine has changed. But my living situation is a bit weird… I live in my grandmother’s attic in sort of a faux-apartment (it has a bedroom and a big living room, but no kitchen other than the minifridge/keurig/kettle corner and no bathroom). My grandmother lives on the second floor, and my mom lives on the first floor, along with two of my three brothers. And now all of them are home all day. And with my mom home, I feel sort of obligated to work downstairs in her apartment to keep her company rather than my usual workspace in the attic. And weird things start to bother me, like I can’t have the background noise that I want because I go with whatever my mom decides to have on tv, and I can’t have my cat sitting with me while I’m downstairs. I feel like I’m ignoring him and leaving him all alone, and I hate that. But then if I just stay up in my own space as usual, I feel like I’m ignoring my mom. So that change has been hard, but I’m lucky in that working from home is not a change for me and (so far anyway) my workload hasn’t been negatively impacted.

Writing-wise though, things are tougher. I know all the theatre companies have been hurt badly by having to cancel shows. And once again I’m lucky because it’s not like I make any huge amount of money from my writing, so I didn’t lose anything that would really hurt my financial situation (yet anyway). But I’ve had two one-acts I’m writing for a summer theatre camp, and I’ve been worrying that the camp will have to be cancelled. It’s in August, so we’ll see.

But just getting the plays done in and of itself has been a battle too. My anxiety has been sort of in high gear with the combo of constantly worrying whether every migraine or sign of allergies means I’m sick and have therefore infected everyone I’ve been around and at the same time managing my mom’s anxiety. And I still have all the usual barriers to getting writing done, like the fact that I work such long hours freelancing because I don’t make enough money. And my writing group is meeting virtually, with staggered days for each member to send their play to the group and get written responses from everyone. So instead of carving out one work-free night to devote to feedback, I have to fit in reading and responding to five scripts in addition to the time it takes me to write my own. And I love my writing group and love reading their work… it’s just the “having to fit so many hours into the day” thing that’s been rough. I start to feel a tad jealous of the people who are like “I’m so bored and I have no idea what to do with myself” because I’m scrambling even more so than usual.

But it will all be ok. I have to remind myself that it’s GOOD that I’m so busy. It means I’m still working, still receiving a paycheck. It means I have writing projects to work on. I need all of that when everything else is so uncertain and just seems to get worse every day. Hope you’re all hanging in there too. Ní neart go cur le chéile.

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Filed under playwriting, state of the blog, theatre

Back to the Blog

I just had a master class that involved (among other things) good website practices for playwrights. And WordPress informed me that my last blog was published two years ago.* Clearly, these two things are related.

So where have I been? Working like crazy, for one. That’s the main thing. Helping my mom write her blog for her classroom (aka doing it for her). I started taking Irish language classes a year ago. That’s been challenging and also kind of amazing and also I am a huge language nerd. Oh, and writing things. I do that at times too.

I’m also in Company One’s PlayLab Unit this year. That’s where I had the above-mentioned master class where we talked about website design. It’s been such a great program so far. I want to write more about it. It also inspired me to try to make time to update my website. Not just the blog, but give it an actual redesign. Nothing big yet, because my writing group has our showcase in a month and my script needs to be done, but I need to at least keep the website in mind. I need to not feel guilty logging out of my mom’s blog to update mine.

Things will be pretty soon. Or, you know, eventually.

*EDIT: I did something good! I’m starting to go into my drafts and publish things I started but never actually hit publish on. So there will be more entries in that gap appearing back when they were actually relevant and on my mind.

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Dear Spambot Commenters,

Hello, spambot commenters! Thank you for stumbling across my blog. And for leaving me comments. It makes me feel like my opinions bring up many interesting points that are really spot-on. Especially when you tell me that you “like all the points I made about this subject” and that I was “spot-on with this writeup.”

However, I really don’t need your advice on how to make my website better by getting more Google hits. I do not need to visit your spamlink for alleged SEO software that can create unique Google-friendly content in a couple of seconds.

You see, when I’m not writing, I’m editing. I do a lot of editing for SEO. A lot. In fact, I should be doing that right now. I have basically been editing nonstop today for over 12 hours, until I received a comment on my website about my interesting content that was exceptionally well written but could be even more successful.

So, next time you want to auto-spam my page, please just stick to the usual pEn!s enLarGements and young 18 y.o. Russian ladies.

Thanks.

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The Twitterz, and other possible updates

Today I figured out how to add a Contact page… yay! Now people can email me without my having to publish my email address and get all kinds of spam. Next on my list is to get rid of that “Colleen M. Hughes” in the top right corner, but doing so requires purchasing the Custom CSS upgrade, and I have to do things like paying rent and buying groceries first. Which is no fun.

I’m also wondering if I should maybe break down and join Twitter. I’ve never quite understood it. I don’t understand why people’s names are preceded by an @ thingie (I mean, I know it links to their username, but I don’t get why the @ needs to be visible) or why the “pound sign” is now called a “hatch tag.” And why they’re suddenly all over the place. I sound like such an old lady. I at first balked at the idea of Twitter because I can’t for the life of me be succint because I turn everything into a story. Trying to keep myself to 140 characters is pretty damn hard. But the wonderful Ilana Brownstein pointed out in her Dramaturgy class that I took that Twitter can be a great way to keep up with the local theatre scene by following everyone’s feeds and linking to them when you “tweet” about seeing a show and such. I like that idea. But I’m not sure if I would have anything much to say on my own Twitter that I wouldn’t already share on facebook or here in my blog, so I don’t know. I did read a Twitter feed for one of the first times in my life the other day… I followed the BTM’s feed during the Marathon, and it was really funny. So having a positive experience with Twitter makes me feel better about potentially using it.

And I learned today that I *could* migrate my entire livejournal over to this blog should I want to. Now I have to decide whether that is something I want to do. I kind of want to have my blog all in one place…. but a lot of the stuff on livejournal is rambling and nervous and just plain stupid. It’s not like I want to hide who I am… it’s just that most people probably don’t care about random thoughts I had or surveys I took when I was 23. 😛

Lots to consider.

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Content added!

yay! I finally finished adding links to script samples of my plays and filling out the Bio section. So now I think all my information is up here, and I can always tweak the design and add icons and pretty things later. I can haz website?

*little happy celebration dance that I finally got all of my content posted*

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Welcome!

I’ve been mentioning for awhile on my other blog that I want to migrate it somewhere new and more updated, potentially tied into a place to provide info about my writing–s0, here we go. I’m still as of writing this entry only beginning to learn the basics of WordPress, so everything still looks very much like the theme default, with the addition of a background that is a weird, somewhat radioactive shade of green. Eventually there will be fun things like a fancy customized header, a bio, links to other fun places, and of course, info on my plays. And blog entries that are more fun to read than this one.

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