Friday, January 11, 2013

A little housekeeping

There was a "winter storm advisory" for the Santa Cruz Mountains above 1,200 feet on Thursday, so I set out in the afternoon to see if any rare white flakes had graced the tip of Black Mountain. There wasn't any snow, but there was thick frost forming on the gravel and smooth ice across puddles. After a week of smoggy inversion, the air was so clear that I could look out across the valley and see intricate details in the cityscape and red sunlight stretched over the white domes of the Mount Hamilton Observatory, some 25 miles away. It was a beautiful afternoon, punctuated with a toe-tingling descent into the eerie quiet of the canyon at dusk — and finally, for the first time this year, actually dressed warm enough for the 2,700-foot plunge (thanks winter storm advisory.) Happy Hour. Or two.

I've been working on some blog updates, and I wanted to address something you may or may not have noticed on Jill Outside ... ads. Sigh, I know. It's an experiment. I'm working on setting up some advertising contacts for Half Past Done and decided I should test the waters with Google Adsense. But as I researched the program, it occurred to me I could get a much better sense about the earning potential of such advertising at my personal blog, which receives a decent number of direct hits every day. I've stated before that I never wanted to monetize this blog, and I don't. I'm doing this with a plan for it to be a temporary change. Still, it's interesting to see what this blog has "earned" in the 24 hours these ads have been up. While the numbers aren't going to send me to Disneyland anytime soon, I can't help but wonder what might have been if I sold out on day one of this blog's seven-year lifespan. That would be a fun vacation.

I also finally linked to Half Past Done in the sidebar. There's a feed-reader below the logo so you can view the headlines of the latest updates.

Also updated my blog links. There were more than a few dead or nearly-dead ones in there (why do so many bloggers abandon their blogs? This makes me feel lonely.) I'm going to fill up the links with more of the blogs I browse occasionally and enjoy, but the link lists are truncated to the top ten most recently updated. This is my own way of acknowledging my gratitude for frequently updated blogs.

Finally, I updated the book list with the most recent links, including my most recently published book, the blog compilation "Arctic Glass." If you enjoy the content at Jill Outside, the best support you can offer is one of those "cups of coffee" purchases of an eBook. If you don't have an e-Reader or iPad, you can purchase a PDF or text file from this link that can be read on any computer. Your support is appreciated.

One last update — the book projects. I am getting very close on one of them. It's a memoir about the year I lived in Homer, Alaska. If I tried to blurb it in one short sentence, I would call it "A love story about Alaska" but this makes it sound kitschy. There's a few different elements to this story — new Alaskan, quirky community, the trials of navigating young-person poverty and a need to survive harsh winters, and a sudden and strange desire to ride bicycles very long distances in the snow (I promise this is only a part of the book's content.) I've been working to incorporate more humor and less endurance focus in this book than my others. I need to work it through the editing process and, of course, finish it first. But I am hoping for a spring release, early summer latest. I am thinking about titling it "Becoming Frozen," in honor of my many Modest Mouse references in the early days of this blog.

Thanks for reading. Your support may help me avoid real jobs through another great year of adventuring. 


  1. My mom bought me Articglass for Christmas. I read only the first couple of stories and have really loved it. Keep the books coming (I have your two others as well).

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  3. If you decide to leave the ads up it won't bother me a bit. They aren't distracting to me, and I suspect most of your readers understand that you need to make a living. I also really like the changes to your blogroll. I usually check out a few of them after reading your latest, and this makes it easier to see if there is fresh content. Just my 2 cents.

  4. After our road trip, I thought that you downplayed, and therefore missed out on, some pretty golden humor moments in your last few books. I'm totally supportive of spending more time on the humor!

  5. I agree with you, Jill. My main limitation is that I am not a natural humor writer (read: no good at all). All too often when I aim to write something "funny," it comes out sounding forced and awkward. Luckily for me, many of the humorous moments from Homer all but write themselves. I still shake my head when I think back to the days I still believed that *all* of Alaska was like that. The relative normalcy of Juneau was a bit of a disappointment that took some getting use to.

  6. I like the new header picture. Where are the ads? I don't even see them.

    I've thought about adding them to my site too, but over-advertising bloggers (especially those with moving ads on both sides of the text) have made me reconsider. Maybe later.

  7. I look forward to your new book! And now I fully support you making money anyway you can. That will make it easier for you to come visit. I will split the plane ticket with you :-)

  8. The ads are barely noticeable, I say leave 'em up to help pay for your time writing.

  9. Yeah I remember reading the part where you are trying to relieve yourself in the middle of nowhere and that's when a car came by - it made me laugh, such a funny story, but you only spent about 1/4 page on it. You don't have to try to write humor, like you said, most times it just writes itself! Can't wait to read your new stuff.

  10. Adds are perfectly fine, your blog is in my opinion some of the finest reading on the net.

  11. Agree with what others have said re the ads. Don't bother me, and I really enjoy your writing so if it keeps you in kit (or just coffee) all the better.

    As for the book - surely there must be some puntasting title? 'Homer In Homer' or 'Homer on Homer'? Adjusting to Homer..?



Feedback is always appreciated!