• Single Sourcing My Cookbook

    Part one of two on single sourcing content to produce multiple attractive outputs. In this case, a write-up about the creation of my personal cookbook!

    Note: This was originally going to be a single post about both my Cookbook and my CV, but it turns out I can really ramble, so I’m splitting it into two posts.

    One of the benefits of using a static site generator (in my case Jekyll) to build this website is that all the underlying content is stored in simple text files. Most of the page content itself is just markdown files with a YAML header block. The page layout is simple HTML templates using liquid macros. Formatting is SASS that’s transformed into vanilla CSS.

    This has a few of benefits. First, the site is future-proofed–plain text means I can move to a different engine any time I want, as the content is stored in a format that’s easy to extract and transform. Second, the ecosystem of tools to handle text files generally, and YAML and markdown specifically, is enormous, which means I can lean on all that existing infrastructure to do interesting things.

    In this post I’ll cover the first of two examples where I’ve taken advantage of these benefits to produce, not just this website, but beautiful PDFs, ebooks, and even Word documents, from the same source content.

    Continue reading...
  • Blogging for the Holidays: Wrap-up

    The ninth and final post in my Blogging for the Holidays project. Just a little wrap-up post to tie a bow around the whole thing.

    Well, it’s hard to believe but my two weeks of vacation are coming to a close and tomorrow morning I return to the grind. It says a lot about my mental state before my break that I feel like another two weeks would be welcome, but alas, until I manage to earn myself a sabbatical or, some day, retirement, I suppose this will have to do.

    As for this blogging project, I’m really glad I set myself this writing goal! For folks who have their own blog but struggle to get motivated to write, this approach–setting a queue of topics over a fixed period of time and then tackling them steadily–was very motivating and rewarding! I definitely recommend it as a fun way to get inspired.

    I was particularly happy with how a theme emerged across the various posts. And I felt pretty darn smug when, in the January 1st episode of Slate Money, Stacey-Marie Ishmael, a writer and journalist who’s much smarter and articulate than me, summarized the theme of this blog series: the pandemic is making the invisible visible. I have to admit, when I heard her say that, I felt a rush of validation that maybe I was onto something!

    So, where did I end up clocking in? Well, over the course of the last two weeks, counting short posts, I wrote a grand total of approximately 13700 words. Counting only long form posts, roughly 12900 or about 800 words a day. Not bad at all! And I know of at least one person who actually read most of them!1

    Anyway, for folks who weren’t following this project as it was being published and want to check it out, here’s a list of the long form posts in the order in which they were written:

    For those few people who actually stuck it out and read these posts, either as they were written or afterward, thank you! I hope they were interesting and worth the time.

    And for those folks who’ve heard me going on about these topics throughout 2021 and still read these posts, a special shout out! You’re a trooper!2

    Finally, I hope everyone had a happy holidays in spite of all the difficulties of the past two years, and I truly believe this next year we’ll see things start to get better.

    Have a fantastic 2022!

    1. Thanks love! You are nothing if not patient, supportive, and a glutton for punishment. Then again, considering who you’re married to, this shouldn’t be that surprising. 

    2. Thanks again, love!