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Downtime November 2018


Bob Mueller:
As you can see, we're back, for now.

One of the primary files that runs SMF somehow became corrupted. I had an email in to support, but they never responded. I was able to do some digging and some researching and some tweaking, and figured out how to fix the corrupted file. That's the good news.

The bad news is somewhat more ominous. I found out tonight that the woman who has run my hosting service for the last fifteen years has been taken home for hospice care. I knew she had been ill, and had spoken to her somewhat jokingly in August about how things might be passed on if she were to disappear. Then in September, we had the outage and again no response from support. Dena has always been a one-person shop. Generally, she would respond to emails within fifteen or twenty minutes, or a phone call by the next day, explaining that she had already fixed the problem.

But her daughter posted on Facebook today that Dena was facing multiple organ failure, as well as encephalopathy, which is swelling of and fluid on the brain. The doctors said they couldn't do anything more, and Dena's family is taking her home today.

I don't know what that's going to mean for Mystery Writers Forum.

It's not a financial issue. I maintain the Ravensbeak domain for my own personal use, and the software is free. But it does cost time to keep things going, and I haven't been able to devote nearly as much time as I'd like to keeping things going here. What generally happens is that I go hands-off on the site until something breaks. Then I spent a couple of weeks fixing everything I've been meaning to work on once I found the appropriate tuit, and then I sit back and forget about the site until the next time something breaks. That's not the best way to run things.

I don't know what's going to happen with the hosting service. The last time I talked to Dena, she did say that she had plans in place to keep things going. But Elizabeth's Facebook message suggested that she was not yet up to speed on things. So while I am hopeful my hosting plan will continue as it has in the past, I'm not necessarily expectant. That means not only will I have to move MWF, but I'll also have to move all of the domain email accounts for my family, plus my writer's website.

What that means for now, is that we're going to stay the course as long as I can. I'll keep everyone updated as much as I can, and I promise I won't close the door suddenly, if that's what I end up doing.

Keep a good thought for Dena's family as they deal with these next few weeks. I suspect this came up a lot more suddenly than they expected. Then again, these things usually do.

Grace and peace,


Bob Mueller:
I hope you all will indulge me on this very rare request.

As I mentioned, my web hostess is in hospice care. I suspected things had progressed much faster than the family expected, and Dena's daughter basically confirmed that today, when she posted a GoFundMe.

I think I've shared perhaps 2 GFM since the company has been around. I just tend to not do that. But I know how expensive end-of-life things can be. Dying isn't cheap, especially if you haven't had time to prepare for it.

I know over the years, many board members have offered a few dollars here and there to help with forum expenses. If you're still feeling charitable, would you consider supporting this GoFundMe? Dena has done so much to keep everything running at Ravensbeak over the years.

I appreciate everyone here.


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