A few months back I noticed some links on my creative/writing/music blog that were no longer working, and as things spun out of control I decided to redo both the platform for blogging and the look and feel of that website.

The old version of my creative website ran marvelously with wordpress on the smallest available instance size inside google cloud. That worked fine, but it was always just a tiny bit slow and the more I thought about it, the more I realized I didn’t need many features. The unfortunate truth is that because wordpress is so popular for blogging, is that it creates a wide target for bots and hackers to attack. In short, all the management features that made wordpress a very nice and easy to use platform, was also creating this insecure mess that I felt I needed to extract myself from. Why does a very simple, mostly static, website require a database backend and bunch of miscellanies ways to log into the “backend”? All this website should do is present content, words, and images, nothing more.

The creative website is now compiled by Hugo, a static site generator, then uploaded to Amazon’s S3 Storage solution, then using tricks with their CDN called Cloudfront, you are served a website with no backend to manage, just content, words, and images. Plus it is far…far…far…less expensive. like ~$1.50/month vs ~$12.

The hard part, that took many months, was finding a way to convert the old website content from html to markdown syntax, fixing ALL the links, and then working with the new system/layout to get everything perfect.

I also created my own hosting/backend for playing music. I was tired of services like SoundCloud or Fanburst retiring or limiting what I could do, so I rolled my own.

Crossing the Streams

In general, I try to keep my creative works separate from my professional work, but today I thought I’d break that rule if only because I’m so proud with how the website turned out.

So yes, I amateurishly write books and music as way to let off steam and because I like creating and exploring a non-technical side of my nature.

For one post only, below is a condensed view of what all I’ve made and feel proud to share with all of you.

Among The Clouds

A Wild Girl, A Toxic Mist, A Rebel Princess && The City Among The Clouds

Jai is a huntress warrior for her tribe. When her village and mother falls sick from a toxic mist, she sets her target on the floating city that abandoned the surface centuries ago.

On her journey to find a cure, she encounters allies, violent arcade games, rebel gangs, kings and queens, and a weapon so dangerous that it could rewrite human history. With the help of Alice, the disgraced princess, Jai stumbles and battles through the maze of skyscrapers, love, and advanced technology aboard the floating city. Fighting to return home before time runs out on her loved ones.

Among The Clouds is a female-fronted, fast-paced, YA novel, set in a backdrop of cyberpunk and science fiction aesthetics. Among The Clouds is Stew Stunes third full-length novel which exists within his shared narrative “Universe of Chaos.”

Read More Here: Among The Clouds