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
The King’s Challenge
My second full-length novel is available on Amazon! A female-fronted dark fantasy adventure set in the same narrative universe as The Writers of the Universe, this story takes place in the world of Aura 400 years after the events in my first book.
The once prosperous nation of Redren fought back against the darkness. A darkness that entered their world through an impossible event and promised to deliver every living soul to its master, Death. The king and magici of an age long past found a way to defeat the darkness and wrote The Knowledge, a historical account that should never be forgotten. Within The Knowledge, they created The King’s Challenge a once in a generation event to determine the king‘s worthiness and readiness should the darkness return. As family and friends fall victim to a faceless shadow who has haunted Khymn throughout her life, she must decide on the ultimate choice: Save the world and turn her back on everything her people hold dear or be the one who allowed permanent darkness to fall over the entire world of Aura.
Read More Here: The King’s Challenge
The Writers of the Universe
The ending has changed! Through their words written in stories and books, The Writers of the Universe control the lives of us all. A struggling human author and quite possibly the most unlucky person in existence is about to leap from the page and journey to realms unknown in order to bring back chaos and free will to the universe. For without uncertainty, without fear of the unknown, there is no point in going through life if its only purpose is to get to the end of the book.
Read More Here: The Writers of the Universe