Some years ago I stopped making New Year's resolutions. I forget exactly when this happened, perhaps some time in the last few years. I had become discouraged by making lofty goals and then was unable to keep them. Hurt by my own lack of progress, I decided to ignore the entire thing.
When 2007 was nearing its end, a coworker asking me if I had made any such resolutions. I was rather surprised with my own answer: "I tend not to make resolutions. After all, if you're going to try to improve yourself or succeed at something, why wait until the end of the year?" I felt a distinct tongue of disingeniousness stir within me.
I haven't been living up to my own ideals.
Since the Holiday season began, I've had difficulty returning to creative pursuits. There's no one reason why this has occurred. I was mentally and physically exhausted from nearly three solid months of travel for work. The holidays always leaves me feeling melancholy, draining what little reserves of energy I had left. There was funeral and a family emergency.
Stability seemed to return sometime after midnight on January first. I went to bed sometime around 4am that evening after a lengthy Skype discussion, exhaused but calm. I rested.
Since then I've been thinking a lot about what I would like to accomplish this year. I already have several goals for my career and my life. While I could write about those here, for this entry I'd rather focus on my creative pursuits.
Deninet is my first concern. Last year the server had a hardware failure that resulted in a near loss of the primary data drive. While I managed to rescue the data and slot an alternate drive, I lost 160gb of additional storage capacity. I would very much like to fix that by building a new server with RAID, but there isn't enough money in the budget. That may change if I can find a used system with the proper configuration. Hardware isn't my only concern.
Until recently, the website has been running on Drupal 4.7. While this is technically a supported configuration, since the advent of Drupal 5, and now 5.5, updated modules and installed sites has been falling quickly. Compared to some, aDE is a relatively small site. There was only one dependency that held it to 4.7 -- the Webcomics module. Shortly after I announced I was going to develop my own version of this module for Drupal 5, an upgrade appeared.
I hadn't decided what to do about the module, but I did decide not to delay the upgrade of the site any further. As of last Sunday, A Denizen's Entertainment is running on Drupal 5.5. The upgrade wasn't perfect. There are still malfunctioning features and bugs in the theme, but over all, it works.
I would very much like to develop a new theme for the site. There are several problems with the current "Starlights" theme, including table display and inline images. Much of this is due to the bizarre structure of the center column. A throughly researched update to Starlights will hopefully correct many of these problems. A properly functioning theme is important, as I would like to open the site to additional users.
Technically deninet is already open to multiple users, it has been since I first ported it to Drupal. What was different, however, is that not all users have the same abilities. General users can create forum topics and make comments, but little else. Another group, composed mostly of my friends, has the ability to create book pages, stories, blog posts, and many other things. If you've stopped by the site lately, you may have noticed posts by such individuals.
Why open the site to other users? I don't know really. I like the idea of sharing a site dedicated to the production and consumption of creative media with my friends. Deninet doesn't currently have the proper set for this goal, but I think it's possible with some reorganization.
I hope that Paper Girl finally makes headway both on the site and this year in general. I've been stalled the last few weeks as I lacked a satisfying way to begin the story. I've tried to start the story a few different ways now, but became unhappy with it shortly afterward.
I'm quite apprehensive to tell the story at all. The last time I attempted a big project like this, it had gone down in rather embarrassing flames shortly thereafter. And then I was telling a mere cyberpunk story, not a complex psychodrama involving suicide, gender, and sexuality. I'm intimidated by it. I'm intimidated by what can happen by telling it. Yet, I want to write it and want others to read it. Putting my anxiety aside has been extremely difficult for me and is hampening my writing efforts. I hope I'll find a way to finally work past these issues this year.
I have to definite list of goals for this year. I have many things I would like to accomplish, some I eagerly anticipate as much as fear. Time, however, doesn't seem to notice. It grinds steadily foreward irrespective of success or failure, resolutions or expected accomplishments. The waveform goes on mindlessly, only to be scattered by cosmic dust.