New theme/layout preview.

We have a new theme/layout that we are running on the main site that we want to introduce to you here. It enables us to do a lot of things that we can’t do using this old theme.

It will look similar to this, but not identical.

Themis/MBD can give you a better idea of the tweaks that we are running over there. They both rock at CSS and other tech stuff. I’m not so great at that, so I’ve just been along for the ride. But we really like the functionality of this theme!

Let us know thoughts below.

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Announcement on GR

I did a thing. I felt like we were far enough along in the process to let our original Outpost group know that we are actively working on something that we are hoping to group test with the 24T2021 game, starting in November. Go ahead & take a look at the announcement post over on GR, and offer any contributions.

Having said that, I do think that it is time to begin moving forward with setting up our final home. This site will remain open after we move over to the final home – The Secret Reading Room (or SRR) – as a place for the site admin team to work on things behind the scenes. When we open the new domain and start building, we are able to start from scratch with respect to the themes. We will also be adding the book database & Ultimate Book Blogger plugin to that site so you will all be able to see how they look. We have an idea of how we want to structure the organization based on how features have been able to be added to this site as we’ve been working through it.

If you want a preview, look at my site: All the Vintage Ladies. I am running the book database there now (I just started using it, so it is in the earliest of all possible iterations). You can see how posts looks on my Peril at End House post here. Note that terms like author name are live links, when you click on them, you will get any reviews related to books written by that author (give me a few days, and there will be more Christie posts). Also take a look on the header menu & click on the Review Index, which contains all of the reviews that have been added so far, and My Library, which is a list of all of the books I have added to my database, sorted by author.

MBD has also been using the book database much longer than I have – so check out her site as well to see how slick it is.

With respect to the site itself, we are planning on sharing the domain between MBD, me & Themis, so that there are multiple owners in case someone needs to drop out. I am also asking Mike Finn & Jennifer if you guys would like to join the admin team and help us out with site build and troubleshooting as we move forward.

There are still lots of questions to answer, so no one abandon us now! But I have really high hopes that we can build a really wonderful community here!

Site Avatars

MBD & were discussing an avatar or image for our site, assuming with go with the domain name Here are some ideas I threw together!

Fonts are completely interchangeable, so if you like an image/color palette but hate the font, I can easily modify. If you don’t like the frame, that can come off. If you like the look of the image that I cropped round, that can also be squared up.

If you have a completely different idea, post it!

Thoughts so far?

Christine, 10.5.2021

I’m just posting this to open up the comments section for thoughts so far about this space as a possible replacement for BL.


  1. Is it easy to use?
  2. For our two non-WP users (Wanda/Jennifer) is the sign up process easy/difficult/intimidating?
  3. What elements of site organization are working/which aren’t?
  4. What do you think about the feed?

Question for MBD about Book Database

Christine; October 4, 2021

I left this on your blog as well, but it maybe makes sense to talk about it here because it impacts our decisions about the Book Database vs the UBB plugins (or using both). I added the Book Database to my blog by transferring to a new host (which has caused me a whole shit ton of problems that I’m trying to resolve, btw, but that’s another issue). I tried to write my first review today on a book that I added to my database.

Your reviews are always so nice on your blog, with hot links to authors, etc. Does that information import to your post automatically with the Book Database function or are you doing something to make it happen? Because even though I have linked my review with the book in the database, it isn’t bringing over the cover image/author/etc. at the top of the post, which is what I expected to happen. I’m annoyed and frustrated.

Meandering Thoughts 2.0

Christine; 10.01.2021 Note: since we are private I am considering using a picture of my actual face here, just for fun.

Today is my 27th wedding anniversary, which gets a woo hoo. I have been married to my husband for almost as long as I wasn’t married to him – I’m 55. Next year this will flip, and I will have been married to him for longer than I was alive before I married him. Crazy, huh?

Anyway, I changed the “header” image, although that’s sort of a dumb name for it, because it’s on the side, not the top. The blurriness of the image I was using was bugging me and I couldn’t figure out how to fix the issue, so I just found something new. It is suitably spooky, I think. Plus, a cat!

I also changed our secondary site identity line to “An International Bookish Community” because I think that describes us quite well!

In addition, I figured something else out last night and now I feel dumb. We don’t really need to give anyone their own category because if you click on the author name at the bottom of the post, it provides a separate feed for only those author posts. We could use categories for organization, rather than to create an author menu if we want to.

Welcome to Themis, Darth & OB, and anyone else who checks in!

Meandering thoughts

Christine; 09.29.2021

I’ve added a few thoughts to some of the comments, and I have a question for MBD.

First, I really like Mike’s table set up for the space images & text descriptions. I’m wondering (if we go this direction) if it would be possible to add a link to the text that would take readers to a separate booklist page, where we could embed a table, sorted by author last name, with the booklists that we have compiled on BL/GR. I don’t think that they need to be linkable because that would take a tremendous amount of work.

Second, we’ve been discussing the book database versus the Ultimate Book Blogger plugin. I am only familiar with the UBB plug-in – I used it on an old blog that was hosted by Ashley, who developed the plug in. It basically provides a format for posting book reviews – you enter the information about the book, including cover image, link to GR page, plot summary from GR, publication date, etc. It creates a very attractive post, and includes a star rating function. It’s nice.

I know nothing at all about the book database, though. Maybe MBD could provide us with a sort of a compare and contrast of the features of both. She uses the book database for her site. I find the idea of building our own book database intriguing, especially if we end up sort of wholesale moving the group over here for all purposes, including but not limited to Halloween Bingo.

Finally, I think that I like my byline better without the block quote – this on is just a thumbnail of my avatar (which I cropped into a round shape on picmonkey) and the name/date italicized and bolded.

This has been great fun so far.