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Hands on computer screen, glitch. Photo Credit: Andre Moura (Pexels, adapted)

By Jeremy Bursey

Jeremy Bursey is the author of many short stories, essays, and poems, along with a modest number of novels and screenplays. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Central Florida and currently works at a local college as a writing tutor. He appreciates feedback for anything he offers to the public. He also takes too many pictures of cats and the ocean.

April 20, 2022

Goodies and Glitches: Newsletter for March, April, and May 2021

Note: The content of this article was originally written for my newsletter subscribers on June 5, 2021. If you want to read these articles while they’re still fresh, please subscribe to my newsletter today. You can find the signup link in the side panel (desktop) or at the bottom of this page (mobile).


Hi Everyone,

How’s your summer going? Enjoying picnics? Sunshine? Gnats? Or are you keeping yourself shrouded in the indoors? Regardless of which of these elements dominate your days, I hope you’re making the most of it.

So, I’ve been quiet for the last few months, and for good reason!

In short, I’ve been busy…

Fixing my website…

That basically self-erased in March…

Thanks to a save bug…

Leaving me to start over almost from scratch…

After four months’ worth of work went poof.

Okay, not exactly from scratch. And the part that went poof is closer to two months’ of work.

But the point is this:

Even though I’ve encountered this save glitch on three separate occasions (two due to misfortune and one due to intention so I could prove to the theme’s tech support that I’m not making it up, and that their expensive product really does delete entire swaths of content on a bad save), the first content purge nuked only half of my page layouts, mostly content pages that shared a design with other pages that didn’t get blanked, so I was able to create separate templates from the survivors. That way, when it happened again, I’d already preserved my most important page designs, so I didn’t actually lose anything irreplaceable. Fortunately, rebuilding what I’ve lost is now a simple matter of reloading the theme on its respective page and saving it.

The hang-up, however, is with actually saving my progress. The company that designs and maintains my web theme found the bug after I’d spent almost three days, five techs, and a supervisor going back and forth with tests and staging grounds, and all the things that I never dreamed I’d have to discuss with strangers because I never thought I’d spend more than a few hours slapping together a website to showcase all the books that I can just as easily display on Amazon. What they figured out was that there’s a problem with the theme editor when it has too many themes assigned to too many pages.

Yep.

Thousands of professional web designers have never encountered this problem. But the amateur…

Sigh.

So, what’s that magic page number?

Art doesn’t rely on numbers! It either works or it doesn’t!

Anyway, my theme editor is broken until someone fixes it. When it’s fixed will depend on its position on their priority queue. I have no idea what could be more important than a site-breaking bug. But I’m not a web developer, so there may be many things for all I know.

But that’s why I haven’t sent out any newsletters in the last few months. It’s been a cascade of headaches, questions of whether any of this was even worth it, and just hasn’t been good news.

That said, I do have a few story updates for those of you interested.

Perhaps the biggest update of this newsletter is that I’ve released a brand new update for The Computer Nerd in April. This update includes a few new scenes that address story or structure problems that have bugged me for years. I’ve also moved the old “post-credits scene” into the position of a proper epilogue. I decided I don’t want to take the chance that readers will miss it, so I’ve placed it where I’m sure they’ll find it. I’ve also updated the paperback edition to the most recent version, so all formats are now the same. Provided no one points out a major logic hole I’ve missed, this should be the final version until I re-launch it as a rebooted series sometime in the future.

I also created a book trailer for it.

For those of you who haven’t redeemed your Smashwords coupons to get it free for being early subscribers (use code NR97R at checkout), I’ve renewed the expiration date to January 31, 2022. So, don’t forget to get your copy! Note: This code also works for Cannonball City.

The other big news (also from the month of April) is that Amazon has recently announced a new episodic reading platform for U.S. mobile users called Kindle Vella, and they’ve solicited every author on their mailing list to start publishing ahead of the launch for later this year. Because I’m trying to figure out which platform will give me a career, I’ve started producing one of my long-awaited story ideas for Vella. This story, which borrows from that coffee game I’ve been designing since 2009, is a 1980’s coming-of-age tale about teen angst, lost love, and defeating bullies through the deadly art of unadulterated capitalism in the coffee industry. I’ve based the story’s structure and themes off eighties movie classics The Karate Kid and Better Off Dead.

Here’s the description:

Early summer 1985, in a place between Los Angeles and Seattle, a boy becomes a man. But to become that man, the boy first has to lose a girl. This is the story of that boy’s vindication and the financial empire he builds in the aftermath of her betrayal. But nothing in life is ever so simple, and ’80s teen angst is never so innocent. In his quest to regain his lost love, he must battle his love thief through the deadly arts of capitalism and coffee sales and take back what he’s lost. If he can.

Kindle Vella’s purpose is to deliver content via episodes rather than by chapters, so The Hybrid City Entrepreneur contains a series of chapters called “episodes” that range between 600 and 5,000 words each. So far, I’ve uploaded seven episodes, with the eighth currently in draft mode. I have no idea when Vella will officially launch, but I suspect most of the story will be finished by the time readers can access it. I’ll certainly alert you when that time draws near.

In the meantime, here’s the cover art for the story if you like eighties stuff.

Lastly, I’m still picking at Paperweight, the novella I’m writing exclusively for my newsletter subscribers, but the good news is that I now have a place to upload it once it’s finished. So, once it’s ready, you’ll have immediate access to it. Maybe by August. Maybe. I’m currently writing Chapter 5. I plan to have 16 chapters when it’s done.

Okay, that covers the major stuff. Now you’re informed! Congratulations.

Maybe I’ll have something new for you in July. Stay tuned! (Note: This isn’t a teaser for something huge and/or life-changing. I mean this “maybe” literally. July could just as easily be a wash like March and April. We soon shall see!)

And don’t forget to check your messages if you want my provider to recognize you as “engaged,” thus continuing to actually send you the newsletter whenever messages are “optimized.” That’s basically code for “my provider wants to keep its delivery rates high, so it stops sending messages to anyone who stops opening them.” I do have the ability to override the “optimization.” But I have to remember to deselect that option, and that doesn’t always happen. So…open my emails, even if you decide not to read them. :p

Now, if you don’t want to receive my newsletter anymore, you have an out. At the bottom of this message is an “unsubscribe” button that will take you off the list. And if that’s what you want, no hard feelings (only soft feelings around here). But hopefully you still want to hear from me. I’d like to keep sharing the latest news (even when I’m three months late).

Okay, go have your hot summer picnic with the sunshine and the gnats! Until next time.

–Jeremy


Cover Image: Andre Moura, adapted (Pexels)

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Welcome to Jeremy Bursey’s information superhighway. Why is your seatbelt on?

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