[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
It's the start of another Idol week, which means there's a ton of links to share, so let's get to it!

The results from last week: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/992806.html
The new topic: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/993116.html
The Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/993488.html
and the Second Chance poll: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/992643.html

Maybe that's not "a ton". Unless of course you are printing it out on something really heavy. In which case, it weighs as much as you want it to weigh!


I was going to publish my tax returns from 2005 today. But apparently everyone is doing that these days, and besides, I didn't want anyone to injure themselves from laughing *that* hard!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Good morning,

It was really busy last night - so here are your links:

The eliminations from the main competition: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/988703.html

The start of the Second Chance fun: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/988636.html

Celebration of 100 Weeks mark for two more contestants: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/988997.html

The new topic for the main competition: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/989342.html

and a Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/989672.html


You matter.

Well, maybe you the specific you, but the general "you". :)

Within the confines of Idol, none of you matter of course. But in the broader sense - you all do. Please remember that.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Last night, we had results, in which we learned that La La Land was eliminated from the competi... oh wait, sorry. I read that wrong.

Moonlight was eliminated... oh wait, that wasn't it either.

My bad.

There were results however, and they involved sacrifices and a Write-off! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/984904.html So make sure you check that out!


The new topic is also up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/985303.html with it's Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/985477.html


We also have some questions about byes. Well, one specific one that I've decided to address in the Green Room.

The question was (essentially) "How can we get 'additional byes'"? Because real life interfered early on and now there's actually an *important* reason to miss the deadline (getting married)

There are people with extra byes. Some of them got them from being a Patron https://www.patreon.com/user?u=70027 and others earned them for taking part in the challenge during Break Week.

Patron byes *have* to be used for someone else. The Break Week ones are personal use.

If you are someone with an extra bye (from either of those methods), or just haven't had to take any time off, and you *want* to give one to someone else, you can.

It's called a "Gift Bye". You are giving part of your Idol life to someone else to allow them to survive an extra week.

If you are someone in need - it doesn't hurt to put out a call for someone to help. I can't personally advocate either way on what anyone can do or "should" do, because it's your game and asking someone to put their own game at risk for someone else? That's not something I can do. BUT, when it happens, it's always a kind gesture to witness.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
A lot is happening right now, so if anyone is friends with the Congressional Black Caucus, please let them know!

We had results from Week 8: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/981177.html
a new topic for Week 9: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/981676.html
and the Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/981915.html

Second Chance is also getting started: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/981280.html

(Hoping for at least *9* people who have never played before to sign up, so we can hit that elusive 1,000th member!)


How are you doing today?
Me? I'm still pretty much walking on air.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
I think I mentioned how I band I really like broke up, and the lead singer came out with some vague statements about his past behavior and how damaging it had been. Maybe I did, maybe I didn't. But it happened.

People in that thread, of course, starting spelling out some of what he was talking about (more of them had theories than actual "this happened...") but all of them had the same reaction: "I'm done with this band/their music!"

Which, I was pretty pissed off at the singer and what he had done (or the vague idea of what he had done at any rate) but find myself in that position where I still have those songs in my head. Despite people saying that they can just turn off their love of that music, I wonder if maybe it's more like a relationship that ended poorly. You catch yourself thinking of them all the time, even though you know that it's really bad for you, and the only thing that really gets you through it is the passage of time.


Speaking of the Passage of Time - we had eliminations last night: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/977621.html

a new topic: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/977744.html

and a Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/978031.html

I've also contacted 84 Lumber to build a wall around Idol so no one can escape. They seem to have done a good job, I haven't watched the *whole* commercial yet, but I imagine it ends up people in tears, unable to leave.


What was YOUR favorite Super Bowl commercial? (other than the one announcing the new season of Stranger Things)
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Write what scares you.
Write what gets you excited.
Write about Who you are.

That's what needs to be at the heart of everything you do. If it's not - then no one is going to care if you wrote a clever bit of dialogue. Because people want something *true*, an authenticity that they can feel in your words.

We live in a time when it's a click away to get somewhere else. The question people should always ask themselves is "Why should someone take the time to read what *I* have to say?" You should be leaving bits of yourself on the page, a trail of truths that people can follow back to something that will be more than "that was OK - what's next?"


Things on my mind at the moment (in the spirit of "talking about the things that scare us"):

I'm worried about my niece. She's transitioned into "the real world" and doesn't seem to be handling it well. I know that most of us went through a period of trying to figure stuff out, and stumbling around. But hers seems far more pronounced. I've tried reaching out numerous times, but she says she wants to talk about it in person and then cancels every time we're supposed to get together. I hope she does have some good people that she *can* talk to - but I know at least some of them have been giving her some really bad advice.

^ Is part of what I was talking about a few days back about having the "Dad brain". Discovering that I was worrying far more about someone else's future than I was my own. Which, in turn, is also a worry - because am I just assuming that I'm at "where I'm going" and the biggest change to come is eventual death? That's a terrifying notion.

Speaking of death - I went to a funeral on Sunday. Full confession: I didn't really care for the person who died. But she was important to people I *do* care about. She always seemed so "blah". Not really interesting at all.

But listening to the people talking at the service - there just seemed to be so much more. Stuff I had no idea about.

Everyone has those. Every single person you encounter. Everyone you pass. You are a minor player in *their* story as much as they are in yours. That's not only important for writers to remember, it's important for *people*. I had momentarily forgotten. Which is normal. We don't tend to keep that in the front of our thoughts. But that service really brought it home.

I wonder what people are going to say about me? I wonder how many people are actually going to show up?


In the worst transition ever - "speaking of showing up" - if you didn't show up last night, here's what you missed:

We have a new member of the 100 Weeks Club: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/967458.html

Week 4 Results: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/967722.html (There will be a Sudden Death Write-Off Tonight!)

There's a new Topic: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/968050.html

and a Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/968415.html

There's nothing to fear there.

But what IS keeping you up at night?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
One of the more interesting wrinkles in the "LJ Revival" efforts is that suddenly there is a push to *stop* people from coming back to Livejournal. Could some of this be accurate? https://puzzling.org/politics-and-society/2017/01/if-youre-still-maintaining-a-livejournal-your-journals-now-in-russia/ Of course. But it's also a narrative that Dreamwidth and other sites that have been attempting to piggyback on LJ and chip away at it over the years have been pushing.

Again, is it a true narrative? I'm sure there is some truth in there.

Just be sure though - and to cover us both in Russia AND the US: Putin is awesome! Yay Putin! Putin's the best.

Note: That won't cover us in the US until the 20th. But after that? We're golden! ;)


Week 4 of LJ Idol has started! Just in case you missed it - there were results from the Break Week entries: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/964763.html

There is a NEW TOPIC: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/965056.html

and a new Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/965184.html

If you know people who are in danger of "byeing out" this week, or who might just wander off in general during the break, you may want to tag/remind/send them an email to get them back on track!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Now that Survivor is over, I'm catching up on listening to my other podcasts. (as opposed to barely keeping up on just the Survivor ones).

I've been listening to the Nerdist Writers Panel's conversation with John Green. http://nerdistwriters.nerdistind.libsynpro.com/john-green Up until now, I've heard of the guy, but never actually read any of his books.

He's a lot more interesting than I thought he would be, and his frank talk about his "process" and how many times he's gone down the wrong track with his writing - and what some of those tracks looked like, have been really cool to hear. The idea that this guy, who is extremely successful at what he does, *still* struggles and has to be pulled off ideas that are going nowhere, it's the kind of thing that should give others hope that if he can do it, they can too!


The Results from Week 3 are in: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/961732.html

I announced that we will be taking a break until Jan 2, 2017 http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/961914.html but give 4 topics for people to work on until then and a Work Room http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/962246.html

Hopefully, by giving this break, we can avoid the mass bye-out that was about to come. Of course, now it will probably will still happen, followed by another one from people wandering off during the break! ;)
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Good morning Idolers!

If you missed last night, here's a quick recap: The results from the poll: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/958187.html and saying goodbye to those who were eliminated.

The new topic: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/958277.html in which not only did you find out what it is, you also discovered that you have a WEEK to complete it! (Hopefully that will reduce the byes and potential bye-outs over the next couple weeks. If it doesn't, honestly, nothing was going to reduce it)

and a Work Room http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/958506.html with a special guest Mentor, where there are a lot of discussions already happening.

So go check those out!


Recap your week! What's been going well? What's been going "not so well"?
Or what are you watching? Reading?
Or... I don't know, whatever it is that you want to talk about today! ;)
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
If you went to bed early last night, you may have missed what happened, so here's your link recap:

We lost our first contestants last night as the Results came in: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/954709.html

The new Topic went up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/954961.html

Which means there is also a new Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/955188.html


Going over to say goodbye in the Results thread is something that I would highly encourage people to do. I know it's not always the most comfortable thing, and people are, by nature, awkward. I also know that it's early and maybe you don't really know anyone yet. But, here's the thing - only one person is going to make it out of this without a "goodbye". Maybe that will be you. But the odds are against it. For me, it's kind of like encouraging folks to comment to each other's entries - because if you want people to comment on yours, you have to show the willingness to do the same.


I promised to post a reminder to the people who used a bye last week, so here it is: Hey guys. It's Gary. You know, THAT GUY.

I just wanted to remind you that the Week 2 topic is up now, and there is a deadline. You should really check that out. Because you've already used 1 bye. You only get 2. Once you use that up, you're out. I don't want to see you go out like that.

So I'm tagging you here, in hopes that either you will see it and go "OH yeah!" or someone likes you enough to reach out and remind you themselves: [livejournal.com profile] calliemajor, [livejournal.com profile] cheapxdate, [livejournal.com profile] dee_aar2, [livejournal.com profile] diaryofa_mom, [livejournal.com profile] dubheach, [livejournal.com profile] elbielievable, [livejournal.com profile] ellakite, [livejournal.com profile] emperor_smooth, [livejournal.com profile] ewok_626, [livejournal.com profile] feritatum. [livejournal.com profile] flipflop_diva, [livejournal.com profile] fodschwazzle, [livejournal.com profile] geekmomof2, [livejournal.com profile] gratitude1943, [livejournal.com profile] heatherenchantd, [livejournal.com profile] lapis_lazuli615, [livejournal.com profile] lespere, [livejournal.com profile] lupinlover, [livejournal.com profile] lyrical_liessss, [livejournal.com profile] m_malcontent, [livejournal.com profile] mirrorfortress, [livejournal.com profile] misfitmama17, [livejournal.com profile] mossmonday, [livejournal.com profile] muchtooarrogant, [livejournal.com profile] narniarose, [livejournal.com profile] nonhelema, [livejournal.com profile] rsn_studios, [livejournal.com profile] shanns_ljidol, [livejournal.com profile] slavezombie, [livejournal.com profile] sra33, [livejournal.com profile] superhappytime, [livejournal.com profile] tabloidscully, [livejournal.com profile] teresath, [livejournal.com profile] turned_in2_moon, [livejournal.com profile] turnerwolf, [livejournal.com profile] unmowngrass, [livejournal.com profile] violaconspiracy, [livejournal.com profile] witchwife and [livejournal.com profile] yuniebaby.


How is the "middle of the week" treating you?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Last night was busy, so let's recap for those just tuning in:

The Results of the Veterans poll are in: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/951424.html as well as finding out what the advantage is that they, and the newbies winners, were receiving.

The Week 1 topic, the first mandatory one was posted: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/951685.html

Note: You do have two byes, but do you really want to start cutting away that safety net out from under you on WEEK 1?

And, because the topic is up, there is a new Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/951867.html

The new topic also means that there is a deadline - and I've already stated that it will also be the deadline for people to sign up to play Season 10. So, next Wednesday evening that door will be closing for anyone still on that "should I?" bubble.


How are you doing today?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Good morning.

As I understand it, there are some "Americans" who think they are having some sort of "election" tomorrow. I'm not sure why. My army of flying monkeys are already on their way to take over.

Don't worry. I fully intend to be a firm, but just ruler - who only occasionally forces the population in battle to the death writing matches. Things will be fine!


Speaking of - yesterday was fairly busy, so here are some links for you!

The topic thread for newbies: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/947581.html

The topic thread for veterans:

The Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/948116.html


I've been asking some more questions, and rather than put them in the FAQ, I will answer them here:

- Are Sign-Up still open? Yes. Yes they are! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/945807.html Please keep spreading the word!

- When will sign-ups close? When I announce that they are closed. I will give you advance notice when that happens. :)

- I have an alt account, can I use that as well as my usual account? You can write under both accounts, but you can only vote with one. Also, if you are veteran, an alt doesn't make you a newbie. Please use the veteran link for Week 0 topic. Thanks!

- Can I promote LJ Idol in another community? Only with the permission of that community/group's owner/moderator/whoever it is that can make that sort of call. I don't want people promoting their stuff here without my OK, it's kind of rude IMO, and I don't want anyone doing that to someone else.

- Is LJ Idol a version of (insert another group here)? Heh. Nope. In fact the group that was directly asked about was founded by former Idolers who did the rare thing of actually getting banned from this site and went to make "their own version". (there's a long version of that tale, but that's the short one.) LJ Idol has always been LJ Idol. In 10 years, the closest thing I've ever heard that predates us, and the concept, is a Harry Potter fanfic group - as part of a bigger event, did a couple weeks where they wrote entries and voted on them. I've never seen that thread, but apparently it exists and happened a few months before I had the idea for Idol. We're our own thing, and I hope you will come to agree that it's a pretty great thing!*

(* I may be a bit biased)

- Is it true that I have an army of winged monkeys that are poised to take control of the United States and install me as dictator?
To be fair, there are also land sharks.


How was your weekend?

[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
The Season 10 sign up sheet is officially up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/945807.html

So please make sure to spread the word. We've had a decent response so far, but the sooner we have a full house, the sooner we can get this thing rolling down the tracks to our inevitable doom.

People have been asking me: "Gary, why Season 10?"

and I've said, "Because it comes after Season 9."

They say, "Gary, why now? Isn't everyone in the world focused on the trainwreck we are calling the US Presidential election?"

and I say, "Yes. Which means that something with EVEN HIGHER stakes is needed! Something that truly matters - like who will be the next LJ Idol!"

People ask, "Kill kill kill"

and I say 'SHUT UP VOICES IN MY HEAD!!! NOT TODAY! NO. NOT TODAY... well, OK, maybe today... BUT NOT TOMORROW!!"


Anyway, it's nice to see you.

How have you been doing?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
It's our last few days together!

Last night featured eliminations: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/939959.html
the official announcement of the finalists: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/940342.html and their final topic: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/940205.html

*points to the buffet line* Grab something to eat, and mingle while we wait.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Did last night qualify as a "Game Changer"? http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/932150.html

It certainly opened up the possibilities of "what is going to happen/who is going to win". Or maybe those doors were already wide open, but not everyone was paying close enough attention.

I can honestly say that now I have it narrowed down to 6 possible winners. ;)


The new topic thread is up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/932438.html
and so is the new Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/932806.html

You have a couple days longer than usual to write - but you also have one more entry than you have been writing, and a lot more pressure!


How are you doing right now? Excited about the Final 6? Any predictions on how the rest of this mini-season is going to play out?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Still reeling a little from last night: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/929469.html

Which, that's when you know that Idol is "appointment TV", or "appointment Internet", when you're never quite sure what is going to happen next. Heck, I set the schedule and the twists and I wasn't 100% sure (especially there at the end with the surge) about what was going to happen. I certainly wouldn't have predicted those results - in fact, when I saw the byes being used in what *felt* like a strategic fashion (it could have all been coincidence of people just needing time off - and probably was, but "strategic" is a better narrative, so I'm going with that! :D) I thought I saw the writing on the wall for someone else!

I also knew that my own twist on the votes would be unexpected in that spot, so that it would put things a little more up in the air.

That said, the poll is closed, so I can address a question that was put out there into the cyber-ether: the moral implications of byes.

Do they exist? Yes.

(Both byes and morals both exist, although some would say the latter are social constructs and the former are Gary constructs)

I'll go with this angle to it: Have there been people who, in the finals, have used, as one piece of their argument, "I never used a bye"? Yes. There have been. They were proud of that fact. They weren't judging others for needing to do so, but that was an accomplishment that they didn't.

Have there been times when someone was "boxed in" by byes? Where they didn't have one left and everyone else - or nearly everyone else - used them, at least one time I *know* (because they told me) that it was an in a purposeful strategic act to get rid of them or force them into an one-on-one with someone they thought was more likely to survive? Yes. That has happened as well.

There are moral arguments to be made with just about everything we do in our lives. Some people disagree with that, but those people are wrong. ;)

Most of the time though it's not going to be "light and dark"/"good and bad". I won't say that there are shades of grey, or how many there are, because you are writers and people who love writing in general and I don't want to injure your souls with those words. :)

All of that said - Idol is a game. It's writing. It's a game. It's a community. It's all of these things and a whole lot more to a lot of people. People decide how they are going to get to the end. Some people are going to clash along the way, when tempers get high.

People are going to approach things with different levels of comfort. And that's OK. As long as everything is above the belt and no one is trying to "game the system", it's all good.

Ultimately, all you can do is focus on your writing and make sure that it's something you are proud of that you are putting out into the public eye. Because everyone, except one person, is going to be eliminated over the next couple weeks. "Not winning" is pretty much guaranteed. But there are more ways to win than ending up in the victory circle at the end - and the best way (IMO) is to be true to who you are and putting out writing that makes you proud of what you have accomplished.

That's the true moral victory.

(Which isn't the same as an Idol victory. An Idol victory is the best victory of all!!!)

Speaking of victories - the new topics are up, for you to use to get one step closer: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/929542.html and a new Work Room to use to help you: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/929949.html
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Good almost afternoon!

Last night I cut the baby into 10 parts: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/926733.html

Posted the new topic: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/927053.html

and the Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/927346.html

There's also something interesting happening on our Facebook, and the Work Room discussion is continuing on Twitter.

But the *most* interesting things are always happening right here at Idol Proper! :)

What is "interesting" about your life right now?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
It's the first morning of our Top 12! Congratulations for making it to this point. If there is "no rest for the wicked" though, that must mean that you don't even get to shut your eyes for a moment!

Because it's back to the salt mines!

Last night we had eliminations: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/923926.html

The new topics: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/924359.html

and the Grumbling Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/924662.html

Oh sorry, that last one is technically "The Work" room, but for the first night, that tends to be appropriate! It's part of a lot of people's writing process!


Idol's own [livejournal.com profile] puppetmaker40 wrote about a recent experience in a public restroom, that I think is important for people to read: http://puppetmaker40.livejournal.com/1093059.html
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Last night we had some surprising results: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/921465.html

A surprising twist with the topics: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/921736.html

A surprising reveal in the Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/921875.html

and now a surprising Home Game! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/922333.html

(OK, technically none of these were surprises *to me*. But for you - SURPRISE!!!)


One of the most common questions I've been getting via email since last night is "Is this a trap?" (the twist)

I promised I would address this in the Green Room, so I was answering everyone at once.

Do I *look like a guy who would be trying to get you to fall into a trap*?

The follow-up, of course being, what part of it is a trap?

Is the "trap" that it looks like a trap so you can worked up and trip? Is it actually a trap? Does it just look like a trap and the actual trap is off to the side where you normally would step to avoid the trap?

Is it just a trap set for Admiral Ackbar?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
It's one of *those* days.

I don't even have the time - or interest - in getting into it, other than to say It's one of *those days*.

The Work Room has some interesting things going on: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/919439.html

There's a new topic: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/919252.html

and last night's results: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/918826.html

Give me some GOOD news!


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