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January 24th, 2011 02:57 pm - I can do five things. Sure.
1. Ebook piracy: the latest hot topic. I have been staying out of this discussion, mostly because: I have been listening to pirated audiobooks since before I could *read*, since pirated audiobooks meant "check the LP out of the library and copy it on to reel-to-reel tape." I worked through all my moral and ethical questions about the issue by the time I had hit kindergarten, with the assistance of the fact that *all* of my peers and authority figures did the same things; I had picture books that were photostat copies bound with brads; I had Boxcar Children books that were bookstore remainders with the covers stripped.

My father was a math and programming teacher in the early 80s; the county-wide department inservice days were the best thing ever, because Dad would come home with 5.25-inch discs holding pirated copies of all the latest Apple II games that all the teachers were trading around under the desks. (True story: I once asked Dad what the "kracker" did in programming, since all the programs we had at home had a "kracked by" credit before the opening screen.) In fact, I have never met a single teacher, at any level, and growing up a TK I've met a lot, who has taught for more than five years and doesn't routinely make illegal copies of things for her classes. When a law is that widely flouted (by pretty much everyone who doesn't directly benefit from its existence, and also often, quietly, by them as well), what you need to do is change the law, not human nature.

Which is to say, I got over this topic two decades ago. Can we move on and stop acting like fainting flowers about it? ^_~

2. Still listening to (pirated) Dresden Files! 3.5 books in have reached Step 10 in the getting-into-a-fandom timeline. Current fic bunnies: A Day In the Life of Father Forthill; 5 Times Harry Dresden Narrowly Avoided Learning About Slash; and Ray Kowalski Dances With The Winter Lady. Also did another meme fill, which was probably obvious to anyone who knows me and is reading over there. However, I've reached the point where I know just enough canon that I no longer feel comfortable writing fic without knowing it all, sigh, so that's stalled, mostly.

Luckily, the anon meme is keeping me in fic for now! Actually I was just thinking that maybe Dresden Files has finally cured me of politics RPF, given the relative numbers of times I've been reloading the two memes, but then Dresden Files fandom decided on its own to adopt Rahm Emanuel as a character, so I suspect I'm just cursed to read politics RPF forever. (Oh, Rahm, oh.)

3. I am almost finished with my mending basket! Which means time to start a brand-new sewing project, maybe! (Or go back to a years-old retired one.) The last thing in the basket was the Madelyn Mack dress I wore at con-txt and ripped the hem out of. It's 100-year-old black silk, so thin it's translucent in sunlight. I have a picture of my grandmother wearing it, c. 1930, in an "Old Hometown" history pageant; I have a picture of her grandmother wearing what might be the same dress, 30 years earlier. I was really, really nervous about attempting to repair a dress that's practically an artifact and such fragile fabric, too - until I actually started the repair.

I am at *least* the fifth person who has attempted to repair the hem of this dress! (And a better seamstress than at least two of them.) That makes me feel a lot better, and, somehow, love the dress a lot more, too. In fact, its value as a historical artifact may not so much be its value as a dress, as it is a record of Edwardian and early-20th-century home clothing repair techniques; this dress wears its scars proudly, and I'm learning things about effective and efficient repair just from studying it that even my mother's generation seems to have forgotten. (I never did get a picture of me wearing it last summer. Maybe once the repair is done I'll attempt a photographic record. Repair being done make take awhile - there is literally six yards of hem around this skirt.)

4. Last Thursday was the first 10 O'clock Live! It was not terrible! It could use some settling-in time, but it was legitimately good. It actually feels like it's kind of halfway between wanting to be the Daily Show and wanting to be something more like W$W - a serious but irreverent real current events magazine. Am looking forward to more.

...and then the next day Keith Olbermann signed off for the last time. D: D: He wasn't always right and he wasn't always good, but he almost always said the things that the American left needed said but was afraid to, and shouted them when they needed shouted, and now who's to do that?

5. I joined [community profile] inkitout - the DW community to challenge yourself to keep writing all year - and so far, thanks to Dresden Files, am doing okay. But! This week's support post was to introduce one of your characters, and I was like hooray! I always want to talk about my original characters! Until I tried, and realized I couldn't do it. original character wibbling )

(22 comments | Reply)

November 2nd, 2010 10:33 pm
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 36

Pick one option:

View Answers

If I am already on your (never-used) origfic filter, and you start posting nano stuff to it, I want off.
1 (2.8%)

If I am not already on your (never-used) origfic filter, and you start posting nano stuff to it, I want on.
19 (52.8%)

Ahaha, who are you kidding, you're never gonig to actually use that filter, or win nano either
0 (0.0%)

Actually that's right, this whole poll is really just a bugfix test for DW developers, so I'm going to choose an option anyway
2 (5.6%)

This optoin is not a radio button.
3 (8.3%)

Blorg! I Am A Pickle! (The Blorg-Pickle Master's guide to transformative enlightenment.)
11 (30.6%)

(6 comments | Reply)

October 18th, 2010 02:56 pm - Your Current Events Update Now
1. Everybody who knows anything about British politics in the last 20 years should go read the THoC shared AU on the lolitics meme.

The House of Commons is an AU that postulates that BBC Parliament is in fact Britain's longest-running sitcom/drama, and the AU exists entirely in the form of press clippings with behind-the-scenes articles and interviews with actors on the show.

It encapsulates everything that draws me to RPF fandoms: the fact that things happen and characters get starring roles that would *never* happen in a fiction verse, because they would simply be too overdramatic and too unlikely and to difficult to sell; the way we use RPF both to comment on real events, and to re-write them into a better world; the layers of reality and unreality, that wrap public figures' personae, both in RPF and in the mainstream press; the alternating detachment and overinvestment that come with modern media coverage, the way press information is filtered and turned into a story; and also the sheer collective fun of it all, of course, all wrapped up in a lovely package of fluffy fourth-wall-breaking meta fic.

It currently exists as six "articles" on the anon meme and growing, and they are all, universally, brilliant. Even if you usually squick on RPF, you should still go read; the stories are all about the fictional 'actors' who play the RL characters and their experiences, so it shouldn't trip anyone's privacy buttons (and it's g-rated, of course.) I love it so much.

(The other really amazing group AU currently going over there is the Strap!Verse, which postulates that party loyalty in the British Parliament is really enforced with whips. And canes. And straps. And bare-hand spankings. But I don't suggest you try that one unless you are already comfortable with RPF kink. And have an afternoon free - it has about 30 heavily interconnected stories already.)

2. 10 O'Clock Live is really happening! 10 O'Clock Live is the new weekly British fake news show starring David Mitchell, Charlie Brooker, Jimmy Carr, and Lauren Laverne. As someone said on the Charlie Brooker community, this is either going to fail miserably or turn into the next Top Gear.

In the meantime, the new trailer on Youtube is making me very very happy. :D

Also HIGNFY is back, and I am totally writing a boarding school AU where Paul and Ian are classmates and make life hell for all of the teachers, because they can't be expelled now that Ian has photographic evidence of Headmaster Deayton's little coke-and-whores problem. (Causing trouble in Mr. Clarkson's chemistry class is difficult, though, because he usually manages to accidentally set something on fire himself before they get a chance to.)

3. Oh, if anybody wants an invite to the SEKRIT TORRENT SITE for British television, I have two to give out now!

(I believe the SEKRIT TORRENT SITE for Australian/Canadian/occasionally another Commonwealth country television is still in open membership; if you want to know how to sign up I can tell you.)

Also, if anybody wants an invite to Demonoid, I am not sure how many I have? But probably enough for anybody here who asks for one. Lots.

I also have an AO3 invite and lots of DW invites, while I'm at it.

Drop a comment here or a PM and I'll PM you with a code if you want any of those, first-come-first-served, no questions asked.

4. I am still not doing NaNo with a barely-disguised lolitics RPF sci-fi AU, but I did reactivate my NaNo account. With its less-than-10,000 user number. I may try to find any of y'all who are doing it this year and buddy you there, if I can figure out who.

Also I went and drew a cover image for it. Because I'd been staring at lots of great old SF paperbacks covers from the '70s while cleaning the things, obviously, and not because I'm actually going to write the thing.

But, I know a couple of times on [community profile] gimp_gate people have asked for tutorials with scanned art and comics-style work. Would anybody be interested in a detail tutorial on my method for taking a pen-and-ink drawing and turning it into something that looks like this - computer colored and shaded and vaguely slick - using nothing but freeware, a digital camera, and a laptop touchpad?

(16 comments | Reply)

October 14th, 2010 11:48 pm - Do All the Things
I was going to say something along the lines of, "Okay, the good thing is that I still haven't signed up for nanowrimo. I have signed up for five new volunteer things, but at least I didn't sign up for NaNo."

But then I was messing around on the meme last night, and got a bunny for something I could maybe actually write for NaNo. I could write it as RPF crack and then change the names and then maybe actually sell it without having to do more than change the names; I don't actually care too much about it and it wouldn't take a lot of research and if I write it as RPF crack I might not start to get all overambitious; and it would come out as a simple, formulaic novella-length SF/romance; and I could set my goal at "end of story" rather than 50,000 words.

Arrgggh. I was being so good about not being tempted by NaNo!


...The five volunteer gigs aren't quite as bad as it sounds. The Candidates' Night is one time only. And so is the Rally, if they get back to me on that, plus I was planning to be at the rally doing nothing anyway. Tag wrangling probably won't start until after Yuletide, and will probably be patchy work after that. The Environment Trust researcher position who knows, but I've been meaning to put that in for months.

...and then there's the fact that I am apparently running The Ace Manifestos Project at [community profile] asexual_fandom. Which was probably an unwise thing to sign up for, but I really wanted it to happen, and I went into a fugue state and had a rules post all written, so I figured wth.

It's a pick-a-topic, pick-a-date type fest, designed to be low on the organization needed, and the community seems like it's at about the right activity level to make something like this happen without going overboard or needing to much mod work, so maybe it won't all go down in flames?

I already made one mistake: I realized that I should have made more effort to make the first-come-first-served thing fair with time zones, instead of just starting sign-ups as soon as I was ready, but it was 'do it while ou're rolling or you'll procrastinate on it forever', so it was a trade off. And people can still sign up for other iterations of the Doctor and Holmes if they want!

(And by "people" I mean all of you folks who are reading this. Yes, you too. Especially you, [personal profile] stellar_dust, you should sign up for Jack Harkness.)


Oh! And something else I did while I was doing all the things? I made an Xenokink entry on Fanlore. Since it needed one. I know some of you reading this are also into xenokink; you should go help out with the entry (and if you don't want to edit the wiki yourself, you can comment here with stuff I should change/add.)

(7 comments | Reply)

May 8th, 2010 10:31 am - Not Exactly Follow Friday (Again)
It says ... something ... about just what kind of a dork I am that I went to see Iron Man II, and while there were many things about the movie that I liked and would enjoy discussing, the actual squee!OMG! moments?


...I guess I am still a math geek at heart.

Also, a double pendulum (aka "Chaos Machine") is the best symbol for movie!Tony ever. I could go on and on about the scene with Tony and the double pendulum.

If I was the sort of person who could make things like that, I would figure out how to make a wind-up clock with a double-pendulum tick. I have wanted to for years. Since I can't, I am so tempted to go down to the cave tonight and build me just the pendulum, counterweighted to swing a long time like the one in the movie. With a box of scraps.

(Note: this is not cut because neither the pendulum nor the tesseracts have any actual spoilery significance whatsoever; they were set dressing. Thus my enormous levels of geekery.)


Click on this cut if you would like to see some racy vintage postcards of silent-movie era Hollywood Bathing Beauties. )

If you are not interested in racy vintage postcards of women wearing bathing costumes I would dearly like to own, then we clearly have very different tastes in postcards. But perhaps you would be more interested in one of these posts I have recently made on dreamwidth communities:

At [community profile] sca_attire, photographs of me wearing nothing but a period linen shirt! I understand some of you are interested in that sort of thing. Also featuring: discussion of crossdressing while re-enacting, and me whining about how sewing is hard.
At [community profile] topgearslash (locked) and [community profile] crossovers (unlocked), Part One of the Top Gear/Dr. Who(/Torchwood/Sarah Jane/Big Finish) crossover of doomy doom! (Featuring: men who love their cars and/or spaceships too much, and also bonus multimedia enrichment downloads.)
At [community profile] poetry, this week I am posting an elaborate four-part stealth argument-by-example for poetry as fanwork: NASA RPS from 1970, three variations on Dover Beach, and about a Flemish tapestry. And also some very silly things.
And at [community profile] common_nature, an account of a trip to the beach, in which there are kites, hidden treasures and fossil-hunting.


Also, overcome by election coverage (OMG, I have discovered that it is possible to be fannish over election results for countries that *are not mine*! So exciting: all the fun, 75% less stress. Hooray!) I have started writing up a post - probably to be posted to [community profile] punditfic - entitled "A Guide To British Fake News for Americans". Are there any British persons reading this who would like to look it over before I post it, for blatant errors?

I also now really, really want the alternate future where David Mitchell started the revolution, Charlie Brooker led it, Andy Zaltzman ended up Home Secretary, and mtf!Patchula J. Oliver spent years in prison after Bristol Palin was elected President of the USA. (They write these things *for* us, guys.)

And finally, if you would like to be on my "obsessing over diversity, privilege and appropriation re: my original characters as an excuse to not actually write anything in their universes" filter, first post to go up soon entitled "wow I have a lot of trans* characters", please click here:
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 38

I would like to be on the original fiction filter:

38 (100.0%)

(28 comments | Reply)

April 15th, 2010 04:08 pm - Original & Fandom Fic poll follow-up
Wow, that entry is almost tied for "most comments I have ever gotten." Clearly people care about this issue! Now, if only I could write some fic that got that much response! ...if only I could write some fic, period. :P

There is a lot of good discussion going on in the comments, too, some of them along tangents I really want to follow up on (I didn't reply to all of them that I meant to, either - somewhere around the point where comments on an entry collapse I completely lose track of what's going on and am mostly lost except for reading the email notifications.) There's good stuff in OTW's follow-up post, too.

Some people asked me to post the specific examples I was thinking of for each poll question, so here they are under the cut, at leas the ones I can link to, along with a teeny-tiny bit of analysis.

Poll examples )

% of examples currently published as fic that y'all declared original: 3/9, 33%
% of pro-published (non-tie-in) examples y'all declared fanfic: 1/5 as of now, but both "High Wizardry" and the Lovecraft example have been fluctuating right around the 50% mark.
% of examples that are within 20% of a tie: 11/32, 33%

Also, the con-txt panel survey is live!

No prizes for people who manage to guess one of the panels I submitted, because, umm, your odds just for picking one at complete random would actually be pretty good, plus a couple of them are re-posts from previous years. But feel free to guess anyway, and I will confirm yes or no :D

(28 comments | Reply)

April 10th, 2010 02:49 pm - On original fic and fanfic
There are currently a couple of debates going around - about the problem of Sue-shaming and about mixing original fic and fanfic in communities and archives - that have combined with other stuff to make me want to write about original writing.

So, re: the debate going around about whether AO3 should allow original stuff in with the fanworks:

There are some people who want to keep a wall between original and fan fiction, and want to keep AO3 limited to fan writers. And I can see their point - I, too, am far less likely to read something if it's original: it's harder work to read, less likely to be id-tastic, when I'm in the mood for fanwork I don't want original, and either the average quality of original fic is less, or I simply don't have good enough filters for finding the good stuff with original as compared to fan work. Plus, many original writing communities are not only very different in culture to fanwriting communities, some of them are openly hostile to fanwriting, or to some of the values that my particular fanwriting community espouses.

The problem I have with that viewpoint is that the separation between original and fan work *isn't* a wall. It is, at best, a long sloping gradient with something on it that might be an attempt at a wall that has fallen over in places and wasn't very straight to begin with (and has only been there for a paltry few decades anyway.) The boundary between original and fan work is not a hard boundary. People have brought up historical RPF several times already, but as far as I'm concerned, it's only the tip of the iceberg.

I write stuff that is definitely fanfiction. I write stuff that is definitely original fiction. And I write stuff that, um, I have no bloody idea if it's one or the other.

And the thing that attracted me, as an author, to AO3, is that it's one archive where I don't have to worry if my fanwork is "enough" for it. Is it slashy enough, or too slashy? Shippy enough, or too shippy? Too porny or not porny enough? Too long or too short, not canonical enough, not finished enough, too crossovery, too script-y or meta-y or poem-y to be a proper story, not angsty enough, too much or not enough... on AO3 I can just put everything up, as a proper archive, without having to stress over categories.

I would love if "not fan-fic-y enough" was one of those categories I didn't have to worry about on AO3. And since - *for me* - the most important role of AO3 is to be an archive for fanwriters to universally preserve and organize their work, I want all the edge cases to be allowed; if that means blanket allowing original fiction (and I suspect it does), then so be it. I would, however, support a restriction that every author account must have at least one definite fanwork uploaded, to preserve the archive as primarily fannish and to filter out people who are hostile to fanfic culture. And a rule that any original work hosted on AO3 must allow derivative work.

And, sheerly out of curiosity (and not intended to be anyone's opinion on what should or shouldn't get posted at AO3): Here is a poll about some of those "edge" cases. What do you think, fandom-at-large? Original or fanwork? (And no, you don't get tickyboxes or third options. You must make a judgement! Like archives always make me do!)

V. important poll under cut )

(I will stop there before poll gets even longer, but for the record, none of these are hypothetical cases - they are all either things I personally have written, or things other people who identify as fanwriters have done that I could point you to.)

(259 comments | Reply)

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