Words from the Wizard

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New Year's Resolutions

As I write this, 2006 is only hours away, and so I've decided to tell you all about my plans for this website for the coming year. For 2006 is a major milestone in the history of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Website — it's the site's tenth anniversary. And ten years is a mighty long time when it comes to the internet. So I thought I'd celebrate with some changes. Next year at this time, maybe we'll come back and see how I did. It won't be easy, with my having to work two jobs and applying for something that will allow me to not work two other jobs, but I'm willing to give it a try now that my time is at least a little more manageable than it has been in the past. So, here are my resolutions for this website for the coming year.

1. Update the FAQ.

Okay, this one isn't tough, as I've already been working on it, and I'm just getting it ready to upload now. I had hoped that the newly updated FAQ would debut with the new year, but it look slike I'm not quite going to make it. Still, it should be up soon. I may even make a change that will allow me to update it and add new questions a lot sooner. Also, over the course of the year, I hope to finally add more graphics. Which leads me to...

2. Start up the art gallery.

From the very start, I had hoped to have an art gallery as part of the site. But other items just seemed to demand my attention first. I finally took down the "Coming soon!" graphic a few years ago, but now I'm starting to think about it again. At least it should be a lot easier to do now than it would have been in 1996. I now have my own scanner, so I won't have to lug large stacks of Oz books to the copy store to scan pictures. Not only that, I can even snag them from other sites now as well — with permission, of course.

3. Update the code for the site.

This is one you're probably not going to notice much. My wife/technical expert has been learning about XHTML and CSS (whatever they are), and she says it makes things a lot easier for her. So I'm going to see what I can incorporate here. But it's all behind the scenes, so you may not notice a big change. (But if I never tell you, how will you know if I kept this resolution?) Heck, I've already started converting some of the code to something that's at least a lot more XHTML friendly.

4. Update the look of the site.

My site may have a lot of information, but let's face it, it looks like something some guy first learning about HTML was dinking around with in 1996. I'd like to at least streamline the index page a little and make navigation a little easier. Some of that, at least, may be accomplished with the previous resolution.

5. Start up a message board again.

All of the comments I got on my last column seems to indicate such a need. But there has got to be one big feature that I haven't seen on any other message board system: I need to be able to preview notes before anyone else sees them, and reject them if they are inappropriate. So, does anyone have any ideas on how I can accomplish this, short of learning a lot more code and creating my own (which seems like reinventing the wheel)?

6. See Wicked.

Okay, this one's a softball, since it is coming to Seattle this fall, and we already have tentative plans to see it. And it doesn't really have much to do with the website, I just felt like putting it in!

7. Write "Words from the Wizard" columns more regularly.

Well, at least I'm off to a good start here, having started off the new year with my second column ever...

Update: One year later

The FAQ is updated — and probably already in need of another go-over — and seeing Wicked was definitely the Ozzy highlight of 2006. But otherwise, it was a pretty mixed bag. I made a few feeble token efforts to update the code and appearance of the site, but that was it. The art gallery is still a long way from happening, I still don't have a message board (but there may be some developments in the near future), and my latest "Words from the Wizard" column, on the main page, is my answer to the last point. Not too successful, I'd say, but that's what happens when real life gets in the way of what you really want to do.


(These are all comments that were left on this page when it originally ran on the main "Words from the Wizard" page. I've cleaned some of the grammar up, and left out comments that weren't actually about this column. Otherwise, I'm trying to let people say what they said back in the day. My reply in italics.)

Thanx for all your hard work!! You are fantastic... this internet site is the Bible of Oz land!! Go on...

—Davide (Italy)

Sounds rather spiffy to me!


Ah. First of all. I've fallen in love with this page. I've always loved The Wizard of Oz the movie, the educational computer game, the cartoon, and the Return to Oz movie. But Wicked has spiked my reinterest in the books. Definitely read Wicked if you haven't. I'm a musical theatre major and love the musical, but love the book all the more. Nice job with the site!


I've love the movie forever and I just saw Wicked on Broadway and it was amazing. I'm ashamed I haven't read Wicked but I do own all of the Oz books by our fav LFB. Another cool fact: Elpheba from Wicked was named for L. Frank Baum's initials: L-F-B.

—Whitney 2

Thanks for all the kind comments, everyone. I keep trying to make my site informative, and I get enough kind comments that I must be doing something right. (I get complaints every once in a while, too, but most of them just seem to be grumps looking for someone to spout off to. I pretty much ignore them, but if it's something I can actually do something about, I try to take care of it.) Keep coming back, even I may be surprised at what happens here. And to the Whitneys, yes, Wicked is a lot of fun, as both a book and a play. I've read the book twice now and listened to the audio, and I definitely plan to see the show next time it's in whatever town I'm in. Just don't forget all of the other books as well!

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