I've been working a few hours now, and I think I've got all the kinks worked out of the new layout. Please let me know if it doesn't look as good in your browser as it does in mine. I've tested it in both Mozilla Firefox and Explorer, but feedback always helps, you know?
So...why did I choose this layout? And why did I want to change the layout in the first place?
The layout change was inspired by Kristen, whose cool new blog look made me want to try and go for something a little less generic. For something half a million other Blogspot bloggers weren't using.
The search for a new layout proved more difficult than I anticipated, though. I had to find something that was me. Something that either fit my personality or the style of stories I write. Easier said than done. I came across some beautiful layouts: some that made me wish I was more "froo-froo" in personality, some that made me wish I wrote paranormal or fantasy, some that made me wish I was a chick-lit kinda gal.
But I'm not in the least bit "froo-froo", so the pretty flowers were out. Although I love to read paranormal, I can't write it to save my tail, so the otherworldly, the ethereal, the mystical, and the fairies were out. I'm not cutesie, so out went the sweet layouts and the anime. I live in rural Georgia and favor faded jeans with either my Avias or my beat up old cowboy boots, so anything that hinted at hip urban chic was out of the question too.
What did that leave? Not a whole lot.
I finally chose three layouts that I thought were pretty close to me. I set them up with test blogs, then decided on the one that looked best, in my humble opinion. The result is what you see.
Once upon a time, I wouldn't even have considered this layout. I would never describe myself as a coffee addict. But I do drink coffee now (for years my caffeine jolt came from a can of Coke) thanks to Teresa introducing me to Kahlua Vanilla Cream flavored coffee (have I mentioned how much I love Kahlua?).
I settled on this layout mainly because I liked the title (and the colors were nice). Not because of the coffee insinuation, but because it described the real eye-opening smack in the head I received when I first started researching romance writing.
What? You mean I can't just write whatever story that comes to me? You mean there are occupations considered tabboo? The hero and heroine can only be with each other and nobody else once the story starts? They have to meet in the first few chapters? The hell, you say.
Hence, my jolt of reality.
I won't even mention my jaw-dropping discoveries of POV, GMC, and scene and structure, or the hell commonly known as the synopsis, query letter, and agent/editor research.
But now I'm aware of all these things. I'm dealing with them. Gaining proficiency. I'm working to expand my knowledge. And my writing is stronger as a result. I've come a long way, baby.