For certain definitions of “grown”
Today I called my webhost (Lunarpages) and got to talk to a person (unlike over the weekend, when all I could get was a recording.) They helped me fix stuff. Here’s the results:
Images: Every image I ever posted was intact, except for the lighthouse banner. The hackers didn’t get into any folders besides the /heartscontents one, so no work was needed.
Permissions: The hackers had changed the permissions of the files in the /heartscontents folder so that I couldn’t overwrite or delete the hacked files. The Lunarpages tech restored my permissions and I was able to get rid of all those files and replace them with a notice.
Email: I couldn’t send or receive emails from houseofsixten.com addresses for a while. I got messages like “550 verification failed” and “send limit reached”. I was suspecting that the hackers had turned my email into a spam-sending robot, but that probably wasn’t the case. My houseofsixten.com email capabilities have been restored, but I’ll keep using my Yahoo address as my primary email and as the email of this blog. Those who have been trying and failing to email me can try guuonearth (at) yahoo (dot) com. It worked for one of my friends who was having trouble reaching my old address.
Database: The database is recoverable (they could restore it from backups), but it would cost $75 per hour.
It seems like I could have made a full recovery if I was willing to pay for it. Big props to Lunarpages for actually keeping regular backups of both the database and the files. If Heart’s Content had important business data, I’d be glad to hand over that money for the recovery. Unfortunately, I’m cheap, and I also like the chance to start fresh, erasing all the mistakes I made during the almost two years that this blog has been operational, and promising never to repeat them. Every post on the old blog has been read by its intended audience during the time that its information was relevant. I’ll only restore the posts I have to, such as the Miao Diary ones.
For some reason, the old blog isn’t worth $75 to me. If I had lost all the images as well, then maybe I’d think about it. Apologies to Author (who was so kind as to send me a text file of the blog posts from his reader) and everyone else who lost their links to Heart’s Content. For the community’s sake, I can and probably should do something to recover the lost blog, but for some reason, I who am normally diligent can’t seem to be bothered in this case. Maybe it’s because I would rather spend my time creating, rather than restoring.
The end of Miao Diary and the start of a new project
Come this March, upon finishing Miao Diary and taking care of some old debts like the Ravnica series, I’ll be a free agent. People have started asking me if I want to illustrate their project next.
The last collaboration I worked on was never completed.
I’m in demand probably because I’m at an odd skill level where I’m good enough to stand out from among the beginners, but I’m not yet good enough that a company would hire me or people not named Stripey would buy my full-color artbook if I made one. (Case in point: if I offered commissions for US $5 per hour, which is below Washington State minimum wage, none of my readers would be willing to pay.)
So people who think they have a project that suits my taste enough for me to work for free have started pitching their work to me. If they can offer me enough enjoyment such that it would be the only payment I need, then my skill is enough to make them happy. After I finish the Ravnica project (there are still two main characters left to design as well as one of the old characters who needs to be redesigned) I’ll have to decide which offer to accept, or whether I would just work on a project of my own creation.
But that’s not my concern right now, because finishing Miao Diary is my priority. I promise to repost Miao Diary in its entirety when I complete Chapter 4. There will be a preview and a release date announcement this Sunday, 15 February.