I understand how HTML coding works. I understand How CSS stylesheets work. I understand how content management works under Drupal to the point where I can set it up in less than an hour not counting downloading and searching for the modules I want.
What I don't understand is how to make the theme look like I want it to. Or more specifically, I don't know where the conflict is to make it go away.
I don't understand how PHP works. I bought books, read websites, asked questions, but there is something about it that does not connect in my head. Drupal's theme engine (from what I understand out of the Zen's theme building project) works by using the *.info page plus PHP pages to take what has been listed in the CSS stylesheet, and bam! make the Drupal site look customized pretty.
Remembering the pain in the ass time I had hacking into whatever theme I had hacked into while setting up Alt. BM Site, I was sold on this idea. Those hacks have been one of the brakes on updating Alt. BM Site, and anything that could help me build a theme I could just turn off and on or easily correct if I got something ugly on it sounds like a perfect no brainer. Circulation Desk would match the rest of the Library once set up correctly. I could fix things like poll sizes on a CSS stylesheet and watch them take effect site wide for Alt. BM Site without deleting something that allows stories to show up (for example, can you tell I don't trust myself in PHP?) And this is a great example of why theory is always more fun than fact.
So I follow their directions and set up the library desk theme. Then I cracked open the CSS stylesheet and transferred code from the BookWorm's Library. Upload and turned it on, and was greeted by brown as far as the eye can see. Okay, brown is the background color I have lurking under the background image, so that part worked. Where's the image? Dug out the CSS coding tags from HTML Goodies. Oops, I deleted a pair of parenthesis thinking I didn't need them on a style sheet. Added back, saved, uploaded, and refreshed. And still brown as far as the eye can see.
Now I didn't clean out the cache; something I didn't remember until typing this up. SCORE! I just checked it on the work computer and I got the background working. So that's probably the problem at the home computer. Maybe I can get this thing working after all without needing to find someone to do it for me.
Besides that hair pulling, I've been hit with the 'tween-projects-slump also. It's not exactly true, but it still feels weird not to breathing the story in and out all day long. More than once I've had a what should I be doing now moment during the day. It really hit me last night eating supper at a restaurant that was starting to know me as the writing customer. Sure, I could pull out the notebook and start on a new idea, but I have two stories in editing stage plus the website updating. The writing muse can put her feet up for a rest. And that just makes her feel weird.