June 10th, 2007

running, bomb tech

...at MY party?

So then there was giggling, and meacu1pa's "hand"-yman decided that he was going to start sculpting something else, but gave up in frustration because it was evidently hard to sculpt the other equipment.

"Hard?" I said, and broke out the red play-doh.

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lightswitch rave, The Cheat, the system is down

Friday and Saturday

Friday, I went to work and did paperwork. Then I came home and tried to get my computer in order. I was getting tired, but eventually went out in order to accomplish some shopping. This happened in the company of jai_dit and myrrhianna. There was assorted silliness. Polka-dotted umbrellas, the color pink, insane and purple, blowing on glass containers, pipecleaners so the cat poop would sparkle, holding shirts up against JD to see how they would look on him (he likes fun shirts, with flowers or fruit; we are leaning towards plaids); the thought of Nibiki vs. an exploding ball, lots of joking about soda and camera memory cards (don't ask), and the complete lack of steakums. I will dance around and look as if I am losing my balance when I get tired and silly.

Saturday involved sleeping in, then being a rather not productive zombie (but a clean one!) by poking at the computer and taking a nice shower. I called Darkside. He had to study, so there was not much phone-time, but a whole lot of giggling and bad puns happened. That's sort of inevitable when we talk to each other. meacu1pa's party followed, and it was good.

We came somewhat unfashionably late. Parking was horrendous, as advertised. We eventually found spots; myrrhianna was given a phone number by the guy vacating the spot. This was a *pear* moment. There was dinner. There was swimming pool. There was insanity. In attendance: meacu1pa and the "hand"-yman; rhea_windrider and husband; danielle_faye and husband; jai_dit, myrrhianna, easalle, trystan_laryssa, a cameo appearance from hcolleen, jetpack_monkey and midnightfae, and ... am I leaving anyone out? Oh, two of meacu1pa's friends who I don't know, who left around 7-ish.

There was sculpture. There were games. There was gossip. There was insanity. I may remember the ASL for "blowjob" in the morning; I may not. (It's very similar to the sign for "attack", which similarity evidently livened up a lecture on WWI that the "hand"-yman was translating.) Fun was had by all. JD crept up behind me in the pool and used a pool noodle held between the legs to poke me in the behind, and announced "Surprise! Buttsecks!" This meme got spread throughout the whole pool. We completely overflowed the hot tub; there had to have been a dozen people in a very small hot tub. I throw waterfight-toys like a girl. The Legend of AK-47 Guy was spread to the jetpack_monkey/midnightfae direction. It turns out that the "hand"-yman runs an Amber game.

We eventually all wound up playing Cranium. (Well, those of us remaining, minus the "hand"-yman.) rhea_windrider, her husband, and easalle formed one team; jai_dit, trystan_laryssa, and I formed another, and meacu1pa, midnightfae, and jetpack_monkey formed the third. The "hand"-yman occupied a couch and made sarcastic commentary. My lack of pop culture showed through in places. The most notable one was when I was supposed to act like a character. How the HELL was I supposed to act like The Fonz when I had never so much as seen the source show, much less read up on the characters? In desperation, I pulled the only bit of knowledge I had about the show out of the archives of my brain. "Look! A shark!" I said, and then took a leap. Amazingly, it worked! Immediately! My team knew exactly what I meant. I only knew the reference because I'd been reading up on the history of the phrase "jump the shark" way back when; if it had been a less iconic thing that hadn't worked its way into pop culture as a whole, I never would have managed to portray that character at all.

I wound up going home with the fruits of my adventures in sculpting. The red sculpture is still intact; the blue and green ones are not.

We do have to plot a coherent plan about the Return of jai_dit to California.
  • Current Music
    Cher - "Believe" (ahh, Google, correcting my mistaken song name habits)
wild rose

Celebration of Mary Sue, or, Writing Advice I Could Have Used at Age 14.

Mary Sue as Feminist Icon; Other people's wish-fulfillment fantasies are often boring to read unless you share the selfsame fantasies. I wonder if the world needs a guide intended for young fanfic writers on the topic of "So you want to write Mary Sue stories" -- I probably could have used one, and I know a rather lot of the young ladies out there writing them could use them.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to put yourself in the story and writing about wonderful and beautiful things happening. Nothing at all. It's a great deal of fun for you; if you're writing your friends in it, it's a great deal of fun for them as well. It isn't likely to be a universal classic, though -- unless everyone knows you and your friends, and likes you and your friends, they're probably not going to be interested enough to read it, and would probably prefer to avoid it if given the option. It is possible that you've written a universal classic, but the odds are very much against it.

Whatever you do, don't stop writing. All this writing that you're doing is helping you hone your technical writing craft, even though there will be places that very much need some work. Collapse )

If you have scenes that have to be cut, for gods' sake save them somewhere! Collapse )

Consider where you're sharing this story. Given that this is no longer the Century of the Fruitbat, you probably have it up online in some fanfiction archive or other, or in your journal, and you have the summary of the story written to be aimed directly at your intended audience -- your closest friends, the ones you're writing this to share with. The trouble with this is that while the story is your private little party, and you really wouldn't mind if the general public became friends with you and shared in the fun, the general public is not likely to share in your happiness with your shiny and would-be utopic (or dark and grim and would-be dystopic) bit of fanfiction. They're expecting fanfiction shared in that much public to be fanfiction intended for sharing with a wider and less specialized audience (all Harry Potter fans who like Hermione/Harry, for example, rather than all Harry Potter fans who like Hermione/Harry and are also your friends). If someone expecting a story of wide appeal comes in and winds up mistakenly reading your story of very narrow appeal, you may wind up in possession of a stinging review. And oh, how those fuckers hurt.

Instead of sharing on a fanfiction archive where anyone looking for the pairing you like can stumble across your fic by accident, consider archiving it only in your journal. The people who matter are going to wind up there anyway, and you can always post it to your favorite fanfiction archive site later, if the response you get in your journal from people who aren't close friends of yours is good enough to suggest that your story has wider appeal. Consider labeling your story with a summary that includes "Original character who is an idealized version of me", or "How would my friends and I fit into canon?" If people who really don't want to read those sorts of stories know this up front, then they'll be more likely to avoid your story and move on to something more to their taste.

Consider what you want to convey with the story. Collapse )

A lot of idealized characters are stunningly beautiful, with perfect skin, lovely bodies, unique eye color, perfect hair in unusual colors, and so forth. If your idealized character has any of these things going on, or other things like special powers or something, consider giving some of these things (or if not those exact things, things similar to them) to those around your idealized character. Collapse )

If you're playing with characters who are people you know, but they haven't told you that they want to be in the story you're writing, insert some plausible deniability into the situation by renaming everyone. Collapse )

If you're writing this not just because you're telling a story that's fun, but because the story has a lot of deeper meaning to you, be careful about who you share it with and how you share it with them. Collapse )

Showing it off in public is inviting criticism. If you can't take criticism, don't share it in public. There are many ways to share it that aren't in public, though. You can share it one-on-one with someone; you can share it via e-mail to a person or a group; you can put it up online in a restricted-access area (like a locked, perhaps even filtered post on LJ). If you do share it with someone, let them know what kind of feedback you're looking for, before they start looking it over. Collapse )

One of the most stinging quasi-constructive pieces of advice out there is the raw statement "Get a beta." The usual unhappy flailing response is either "I have a beta!" or "I can't find a beta!" Either way, that review means that there are so many technical and structural flaws in the piece that it shouldn't be let out in public on its own. Collapse )

If your reviewer suddenly winds up screaming and flailing at you and coming out of nowhere with a very strong and personal reaction that leaves you hurt and spinning, it may not actually be you or your work. You may have just managed to push the hot-button of that particular reviewer, one of the things that is guaranteed to drive them completely insane. Get a second opinion from someone who you don't think has that particular hot button.

Above all, just keep writing. You may only ever wind up writing for your own amusement; you may wind up at the top of the New York Times' Bestseller List; you'll never know unless you keep writing.
  • Current Music
    "'Til I Hear It From You", in my head
LJ fudge


If there are one or more people on your friends list who make your world a better place just because they exist, and who you would not have met (in real life or not) without the Internet, then post this same sentence in your journal.

I have too many friends to start naming names, but yeah. In particular, the Support crew would not exist without LiveJournal, and LiveJournal would not exist without the internet.

So. Yeah.
exhausted, tired, Azzsleep

That Damn Alarm Clock

Today I was cleaning out TFM drawer, and found TFM for my alarm clock. I wound up at the company website looking for support. Incidentally, if you're looking for The Effing Manual or support for Timex alarm clocks, you want http://www.timexaudio.com/ -- timex.com does not have any alarm clock support, nor does it cross-link to their alarm clock site. I wound up submitting a support request with them for the damn clock:

I wish to permanently disable the "smart" daylight savings time option on my T276. The manual informs me that this is a feature that I should be pleased with; however, I live in Arizona, which is a state that does not practice that heathen custom. The manual is singularly unenlightening on the topic of turning the feature off. Is there some secret button combination I must master to turn it off, or am I doomed to a twice-a-year unpleasant time surprise until I upgrade the dang thing? Otherwise it's a very nice clock that has served me well.
  • Current Music
    hColleen sleeping; JD playing with IRC