Upside Down and Off Track

This  was the first post and an explanation of this web site.

This web site originally got started late 2012.

It was to be about writing books and how writing about one’s life when it gets turned “upside down” can help others and yourself.

It got off track quickly.
And all mixed up with different ideas that belonged on other blogs.
How this site got off-track is explained a bit below.

I wrote on this site about other books I had gotten published and this one.
Not really following “a life upside-down” theme.

As to the “Write-It”, that section to help others get their books written and published, it had just barely  gotten started, then I had to focus elsewhere.

2012 and 2013 were filled with some particularly large and exceptionally challenging situations.
Below are just a few of the Glitches I have had to handle in my life recently.

This blog is meant to be about handling challenges or glitches in my world as they appear, and will go back in time to relate how I handled ones in years past.

And hopefully it would inspire people to approach life and its little, or big glitches, in a solution based approach, rather than get all tangled up in the challenge.

Having my web sites hacked, flooding in my home town, Commonwheel’s basement flooded in covered in mud causing the loss Festival items, the Gallery’s POS system on a computer (just after the creator of that system had died, so no back-up) and moving an Art Festival in less than three weeks all contributed to my losing the focus of this blog.

I posted a variety of types of post that didn’t really fit with the theme. But I guess, I was writing about what was happening in my world and how many people were resolving the issues the flooding brought to our town and lives.

Handling all of these challenges in a very short time, and other major, and some minor, challenges, will be written about more in following posts.

This incessant hacking made have to look at the big picture for what I wanted to do with all of my web sites.

Don’t think I wasn’t very frustrated with the situation.

And I just can’t fathom why someone would waste time messing up small business people’s livelihood, which brought in a bit of anger to season the frustration.
But that question wasn’t one to focus on if I was go forward.

The only solution my hosting company at that time had for me was to spend $50 per site per year with another company to guaraentee no future hacking and clean up the sites.
I had about 10 functioning sites.
Some had just begun to bring in a bit of income, others, like this one, that were not bringing in any income yet. So that was not a financially feasible or practical solution.

I spent money on outside techs to help. But the hacking continued.

And the hackers kept accessing my FTP file, even though I changed my password many times.

The Art Festival took on a life of its own, and was all I could focus on during the three weeks in which I had to move it and all the challenges that involved. One never knows how strong and resourceful one can be until absolutely stretched to their limits. (More on this later.)

After the Art Festival was successfully over, I did some research on hosting companies.

I wanted a new hosting company that offered more protection and help than the one I was currently using.

A couple of friends suggested a local hosting company that they used and liked. And my computer tech gave me the owner’s name.

So I called Springs Hosting and asked to speak to the owner. And after explaining my situation, I was invited to actually come to the office and sit down with the owner and his top tech to further discuss the situation. They are a growing company, not just a small, one-man operation, it was an impressive site to get into for my office visit.

The tech shared a few ideas on how to protect a web site for much less cost than $50.00/year/site.

And they had a variety of suggestions of how to move forward and get my sites moved and safely functioning again.

Of course I could pay them to do that, but they knew that wasn’t very practical financially. But they could do it for a price out of my budget.

Another way was for me to clean a site on my old host, open a static IP address for it on the new host  and move the files over, then clean it again.
Having seen how hard it was to find all the bad code, that seemed tedious.
The tech actually gave me written instructions for how to do this.
We did experiment with one, but not being very technical, it was confusing to me to try to follow all the steps. As gracious as the tech was, she saw me struggling, yet was always encouraging when I called for more help.

Finally, I decided to go gather all the information I could from the various web sites, the posts, photos, links, videos, etc. and create a file for each web site and rebuild it from scratch.
I had to use for some of it. Techs at the old host would help me get a site back up for a short time before it was hacked again in hopes to gather more information.

Yep, that turned out to be pretty tedious also. But I did it.

Then I closed down each site, and began to move each of these the domains over to Springs Hosting.

Another piece was that I have about 45 domain names, each of which needed to be moved, some sooner than others as they reached their annual expiration date.

While gathering the information, it gave me a chance to decide what I really wanted to do with each web site. So looking at this as a fresh start, rather than making it a horrible ordeal, I was able to focus on the positive and what I can do, rather than what I had lost.

Sure, that took some time, after all, there was over 8 years of time invested in the oldest web site, but I was able to capture most of the data, and will get them back up and running more efficiently soon.

Now I am beginning to get all the sites back up.
Some are pretty complete, others, just have landing pages, awaiting re-posting of past information.

This one is in its infancy as of January 1, 2014.
I an very much looking forward to growing with it and sharing ways to stay focused when everything around you is trying to distract you from your purpose, as these past few years have distracted me, but not discouraged me from following my passion for many years to come.