A new look!

At last, the beginnings of a new theme for my website! I am approaching the point where I want to migrate content from by-words.com to this website, and I've created a tab for Editing & Publishing, my business (officially now known as Hazel Becker, Editing & Publishing LLC). Progress ... but yes, a work in progress!

A fresh start on setting priorities

Nearly five months ago I suspended my consulting and freelance business in the face of Robert’s then-impending surgery to remove a large melanoma from his scalp. I was too distracted, not to mention too busy with medical appointments and emotional upheaval, to concentrate on work, and I didn’t want to let any clients down by not meeting deadlines or by handing in sub-par assignments.

Now that the scare of a four- to eight-month prognosis is behind us and Robert’s status is “healthy” and “No Evidence of Disease,” the question comes up from time to time: am I “ready” to go back to work? And the answer is – NO!

A worthy experiment with open accounts

When I first set up this site, I configured the New User settings so that people could register for an account but I would have to approve any new accounts before the user could gain advanced access to the site - to blog, for example. I want my family, friends, and colleagues with my same interests to be able to post their thoughts on the site. However, that experiment is now over - I'm annoyed by the number of requests I'm getting from people who are interested in "cars" or a jumble of characters (just for example), and who were claiming to be my family, friends, colleagues, or clients when - clearly - they were not.

So, as of now, if you want me to set up an account for you, please use the contact form or one of my email addresses (if you know one!) to ask me to do that. I will follow through if I know you, or if you send me links to web pages that show me you are interested in discussing melanoma, drupal, or publishing/journalism/blogging.


Good news from Dr. Convit today - we can plan to go on vacation! We need to go back to see him next week, and by then he should be ready to cut us loose. Now all we have to do is figure out where/when to go.

The skin graft is mostly healed now, and the stubborn patch is beginning to close up since we started putting silver sulfadiazine on it (instead of bacitracyn) last week. The graft donor site is healed and just needs to be softened with some skin lotion. As of today Robert is cleared to drive, and after one more week he can get back on his bike.

Progress at a crawl

I suppose it was unrealistic of me to think I could install Drupal 7 and have it ready to do all that I wanted right away. I really wanted to allow my family and friends to sign up to receive emails whenever I update the melanoma portion of this blog. Whatever was I thinking?!

Why Drupal?

In responding to one of my earlier posts, Sandy asked why and when to use Drupal. Probably the best answers are those given by Tom Geller in the Lynda.com course “Drupal 7 Essential Training.” On most Lynda courses the first few videos are available even if you don’t have a subscription, so Tom’s answers may be available to anyone who’s interested. I’ll spell out my answers below.


I'm trying to make this website work well enough to keep people informed of Robert's progress on Monday. I don't think I'll succeed.

It's a good time for me to bring some perspective to this effort. True, I would like to avoid countless telephone calls on Monday. I was hoping to have the site built out so that I could ask someone else to post updates for me. That way the burden of updates could be shifted so that anyone who wants one could get it without my having to post them.

Another step

To learn about Drupal 7 I'm going through Tom Geller's course, Drupal 7 Essential Training, on Lynda.com. In the video about creating user accounts, Tom talks about the site developer's need to understand why the site is being created in order to decide what policies to set for new users:


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