[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Because that Day 13 was really Day 1...

I'm proud to announce that Livejournal has listened to the People and has brought in a crisis specialist to move all the servers back to San Francisco and restore people's faith in the system again. Welcome Steve Bannon!!!

Note: That took you a second didn't it? Because that sounds like a move LJ would make. But you *had* to know it was a joke, Livejournal never gives you that much heads up on any move that is being made! :D

http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1001426.html is the new topic and the Work Room can be found http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1001636.html

So far, I've heard largely positive reactions to the decision for Idol to stick around. But of course, those opposing it might not even be able to see this! :O

I do have a Dreamwidth account for Idol set up, just in case. I've had it over there for awhile now, just to keep my options open. Hopefully it will never come to that.

For those who *do* go over to DW and spend time there? What's it like, because I've heard two entirely different criticisms - (1) that no one is there and it's a ghost town and (2) that compared to LJ the folks who go over tend to be the "holier than thou" annoying types. (I can see the latter from some of the Facebook responses I've seen (on the Livejournal Lives group, NOT my own friends list).
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
When you put your hopes and dreams out into the universe, sometimes the answer is "No".

How do you deal with that? Especially when it's something you consider to be fundamentally important?

Not as important as these links, obviously. But still, pretty important...

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
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Good morning. If it is indeed still morning when you read this. If not, please change that to whatever time of day would be appropriate. Unless of course you never read this, in which case let's assume that I am greeting you anyway, and that that greeting is taking place in the morning.


The Second Chance poll is up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/988636.html Make sure to vote to move folks one step closer to getting into the main competition!

Speaking of that main competition, the new topic: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/989342.html and the Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/989672.html are up.


Happy International Women's Day!

and by "international" I mean anyone who doesn't live at my house.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
I haven't actually gone to sleep soon, and will be needing to wake up soon. But I just got off what was probably one of the most important phone calls of my life.

I just want to remind you - if you need to talk, please reach out to the people you love and talk to them.

If you even *think* that someone might need to talk to you and they aren't reaching out, please reach out to them.

Knowing where someone is, mentally and emotionally - and knowing you made a difference in changing that to a more positive place, even for just one night, is worth any amount of lost sleep.


Link to the Write-off: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/986105.html

Link to Second Chance: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/981280.html

Link to the new topic: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/985303.html

Link to the new Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/985477.html

Link to a picture of Link: https://www.google.com/search?q=link&biw=1536&bih=774&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiXg6LRrrLSAhXK6SYKHaBxDcQQ_AUIBigB
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
"I can't get to sleep
I think about the implications
Of diving in too deep
And possibly the complications

Especially at night
I worry over situations
I know we'll be alright
Perhaps it's just imagination"

Or in my case (well, our case) wedding details.

When we first set this thing up - in those forgot days of yore (what? a week ago? Week and a half? something like that) we were just going to show up, get married, and then go get dinner.

Then people wanted to come... and we thought "we should have a cake".

In the process of getting a cake, the woman in charge of catering started getting in our heads that "people might expect food". Which is something we didn't think about - because they are going to a movie where we just happen to be getting married... and so the discussions into the night, with neither of us able to fall asleep.

Only one week to go...


What is keeping YOU up at night? Is it the new topic? http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/977744.html If so, you should get some help in the Work Room! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/978031.html
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
One of my most recent public LJ posts was from 8 years ago, when I talked about my hopes for the Obama Presidency.

I thought he could bring people together (by not being Clinton or an "established Democrat") and I *extremely* naively thought that the race issue would actually work in his favor by giving him a greater grace period because "who would want to risk being called a racist".

In addition - I thought the idea of using the Republicans own health care proposal from the 90s and the personal responsibility-based mandate that their own nominee had ran on was a great way of reaching across the aisle and would be an early win for the administration. Because: Why would anyone NOT support something they were all in on a few years before?

*laughs and points at younger self*

I say this on the day Obama leaves office for a couple of reasons:

- Obama made me happy at some points and upset me other times. Ultimately, I think history will judge him favorably. But I think it's too soon for that verdict. *I* liked him though and think he will be a really good "ex-President". (although no "ex President" is as good as Carter, that guy is just a decent human being. Maybe too good of a person for the White House)

- To point out that I don't really make a lot of public LJ posts. Or a lot of posts in my personal journal at all actually.

- As a way of saying "I'm really bad at predicting how these things are going to go". If all my hopes for Obama weren't realized, maybe all my fears for the incoming Trump administration won't be either.

Not saying that the people who are worried shouldn't be, or that those with concerns shouldn't be working their asses off to address them and hold the incoming administration accountable. Absolutely you should be doing everything you feel you need to do. I'm just trying to sleep at night. If this motivates you to become a more active and engaged citizen, and/or to continue to fight "the good fight" then at least one good thing will be happening.

There is also the old standby of how times of conservative gain are times are often great times for writers, artists and musicians. So I hope that holds true as well. Because regardless of my personal politics, or yours, I think everyone can agree that more creativity is always a good thing.


Speaking of "times of creativity". This is the portion where I give you the important links:

There is a Sudden Death Write-off going on right now: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/971968.html So make sure to get over there to give some love.

Your new topic is up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/971359.html

There are TWO Work Rooms up for those having trouble: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/971205.html and http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/971561.html

I brought in a Mentor this week - so PLEASE feel free to use her for help and feedback!

That's literally why she is here, as a tool for you! So please take advantage of that.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Good morning.

There was a Write-off that happened last night, sort of - http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/968834.html

(at any rate, a tie was broken)

Your topic for the week - http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/968050.html
and there are some great conversations happening with this week's Mentor in the Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/968415.html She's a fantastic resource! I'd highly recommend picking her brain!


Yesterday, at work, I was reminded about intention and how little it matters. What matters is how people *interpret* actions. Even if those interpretations are completely from left field.

People often mentally compose their version of reality from these mistaken interpretations - which form their view of you, and often, the world itself.

Which makes life interesting - because I (or the universal "you" in this case) are most likely doing the same damn thing. And people wonder why they have so much trouble communicating with each other...
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Last night, I sat down and wrote a thing.

Just under 1,300 words in a little over 3 hours and it reads like it. :)

Which means that it's going to spend a couple days with beta readers to make it into a better thing - and then a lot of back and forth to figure out how to make their suggestions fit.

There was a time when I would have rejected the idea of beta readers outright. Which is also the time that I wrote something - and years later found out that the reason why it never saw the light of day was that it wasn't very good. That happens. Not everything is going to be a home run. Heck, most things aren't going to be a base hit. Especially when you are in the middle of a swing, it's sometimes hard to tell if you're going to connect at all.

Which is why beta readers are so useful. If you have one, or a few - people that you trust with your words, then you are going to be better for it. If not, then the full weight of editing is falling back on you, and I hope you are able to take a harsh eye to your own work. I know that I, personally, can't.

Kudos to you if you are someone who can!

It's interesting, because there is this idea of writing as a solitary task. Which is strange, because so much of it relies on other people on almost every stage (other than first draft).

Who is it that YOU rely on?

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

and a new Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/965184.html
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Now that I'm seeing the non-mandatory topic thread filling up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/961914.html I'm thinking I should have made this more difficult! :D

But for those of you not planning on writing, or not planning on doing it right away - you should get ahead on your reading and check out what has already come in!

Show them some love for the holidays!

It's the Spirit of Yule!


Today is the last day in the office until next Tuesday! I'm pretty excited about that. It also means that it's the last dash of "omg, I still have so much to get and I'm almost out of time and don't have much money!" I hope people enjoy their gift-wrapped kicks. I've been saving them up all year!


What's going on with you?

Btw - if you can spare any good thoughts, please send them to our own [livejournal.com profile] puppetmaker40 and her husband, Peter. I'm sending all I can spare right now. http://www.peterdavid.net/2016/12/22/yes-peter-is-in-the-hospital-no-we-are-not-entirely-sure-why/
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Just for the record, LJ Idol is standing with Kellogg's and will also no longer be advertising on Breitbart.

Granted, we were never advertising there in the first place, and the principled stance has a lot more to hoping that they will learn of our allegiance and send free cereal... but that doesn't make it any less real or principled!!!


Speaking of real, it's just another example of the continued War on Santa: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/12/01/oregon-schools-santa-stance-causes-controversy/94721496/

(Note: the Winter Holiday celebrated in 'Merica is the Birth of the greatest person ever born, the one who brings light and happiness into the world, and endorses Coke products - Santa! This particular endorsement may actually have to do with wanting to receive more presents.)


There's no ulterior motive though for telling you that this is the link to your topic thread: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/954961.html nor that this is your Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/955188.html


What are YOUR ulterior motives now that we've officially crossed over into December?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
I voted.

Did you?

Unless of course you're not in the US, in which case - why are you voting? What did you vote for anyway?

I, of course, cast my vote for Biggy Pop.

Regardless of who you voted for this election - I hope that everyone can come together in the coming weeks/months/years and agree that the one *true* threat and the one everyone hates the most *is me*!

I am ruining this country, and will do so for the foreseeable future. You're welcome!


In the meantime, we have topic threads: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/947581.html (newbies) and http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/947738.html (for veterans); a Work Room http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/948116.html Where a question was asked about how to link from a Kindle app. Anyone know?

and of course the Sign Up Sheet - which is still open! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/945807.html People are still trickling in. But I imagine that will increase when I announce the closing date. (which I should be announcing soon)


I hope that your day goes well. Or at least I hope that for some of you... many of you.... um... a couple of you? I hope that maybe one person's day goes well. (it's you. Don't let on to the others)
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
You can still sign up for this season of LJ Idol! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/945807.html So please make sure to spread the word!

We're probably going to be keeping that open a little later than usual. But as I've said previously, I planned this as a "slow start" to get us through the NaNo period and maybe let people get their sea legs back, before ripping them back out from under you and throwing you into the pit of sharks!

Don't worry though - there will be stuff to do as we wait.

In the meantime, we have a Green Room!


We also have something that occurred to me as I was prepping this season. It doesn't matter what previous year we are talking about, there is always at least one person who tries a new format (cartoons, songs, youtube videos, etc) and a bit of push back that comes with it from some circles that say "that's not writing!"

There is also always someone who does "better" than you, personally, might think they deserve to do, because what they are doing isn't suited to your individual taste.

Which usually puts me into lecture mode, and at some point I bring up at writing, on any level, is going to garner differences of opinion and that even the winners for the Nobel Prize in Literature face the "That's should not have won!" stigma.

I say it all the time. This year? Oh 2016, after so much loss you wanted to give me a present didn't you?

Bob Dylan won for his lyrics.

I bring this up to not only head-off the discussion that I know I'm not really going to head-off, but also to tell you "It's OK. Do what you want to do. Express the things you want to say the way you want to express them."
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Babel fish are a real thing: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3592753/Don-t-panic-250-Babelfish-like-gadget-fits-inside-ear-translate-foreign-languages-real-time.html

Or at least the technology is emerging that have made it into a real thing. Now to just implant this tech into a fish!


Something that's really easy to understand is "Here is the topic thread": http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/932438.html

another is "Here is the Work Room thread: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/932806.html

No Babel Fish needed!


But if you COULD have something that not only cut through the language barrier, but also the understanding barrier (clearing up the misunderstandings once and for all) - who would you go to talk to first?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
All the talk of "how things used to be" in Idol, and of course the anniversary has gotten me thinking "What are some *positive* changes?" I think a big one is that very few people have my phone number now. ;) I used to give it out, that and my work email - so that if someone had an issue that we could talk it out. You know how many people called to yell at me? Or tell me how much Idol sucked because (so-and-so) did better than "they should have"? (People doing "better than they should have" is pretty much always code for "I don't like their writing/how could anyone else?" ;) )

Yeah, more than a few.

How many people did I sit and talk to their bad days? Quite a few.

So maybe it's NOT as personal these days and I don't have the same good connections with everyone that I had in previous years. That also means that I don't get the same levels of the bad stuff either. ;)

And I don't mind the "talking through their bad days" bits - I'm only an email away if you really need to talk, or vent, about something.

It's just the "bad days" were frequently *really bad* and they usually ended up using Idol as something they could take it out on! (Because I *knew* they were having a bad time, why would I put that twist into the game now???" Um... maybe because the game isn't organized around your life and the twists have little to do with you?) That's the part I don't miss.

What else? Hmmm - I don't miss the trolling groups.

Although there is still a ways to go, I don't miss people not getting that all of the aspects of LJ Idol, and it operates on different levels, all of those are actually writing-related in that they correspond to things and distractions that all writers face day-to-day. (The Idol ones, IMO, tend to be more interesting! :D)

No death-threats and even the worst "this is stressing me out" email hasn't been anywhere near the "LJ Idol ruined my life!!!!" level.

So good job folks on being sane. Or at least "sane".

Now that I think of it, I wish double quotes were a thing ""sane"" because that's pretty questionable with this group. ;)


Speaking of not knowing about sanity levels - there's a Topic thread: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/929542.html
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
I was looking at the Top 10, trying to figure out if I had anything to say to them individually. I was asked to do so by a contestant, and I like to try to follow up on these types of requests.

So I took a look - and I realized something. Of the Top 10, 7 of them are on my "They are going to win" mental list. Which isn't to say that the other 3 are dead in the water. Quite the contrary, I think they actually have pretty strong chances to make it to the end and could pull off an upset. What I'm saying, or attempting to say, at the very least is that I can easily come up with scenarios where it's any one of 7 of the remaining 10 contestants that ends up in the winner's circle, and people being really happy about it.

I even, briefly, considered a "Why you won't win" list with the same sort of anonymous listing of factors of why I thought all 10 might end up going out. But I'm not sure that's entirely constructive, even if I'm probably right. ;) (Obviously I will be wrong about one of them!)


In other news: May the 4th Be With You!

I also saw that the new Ghostbusters trailer had the worst reviews of all time. My first thought was "F- the MRAs" because they have been trashing this movie since it was first revealed there would be an all-female cast. I've actually been pretty excited about the movie.

Then I watched the trailer. It's definitely not *the worst* trailer of all time. But my excitement for the film has definitely taken a hit. Really hoping that it's better than it seems, because I really don't want to give the MRAs an "We told you so!" moment. (which would have *nothing* to do with having an all-female cast", but that would certainly give them ammunition in the "See, we're not being sexist, we just knew it was going to be bad" argument)


The new topics are waiting for you: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/927053.html

as well as a new Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/927346.html
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
"Where is the Green Room?"

I woke up this morning to go to my doctor's appointment. I was running late for the bus, so I figured that I would just post afterward when I got to work.

I went on the bus - over the bridge - to my doctor's appointment. I went in, it was a *really* sort talk (literally she hasn't seen me in over 6 months and just asked me if there was anything she should know about and sent me on my way). I got the paperwork for the routine bloodwork she wanted, and I was off.

I walked to the usual lab - which is near the bus stop and was thinking "I will be able to make this next bus across the bridge and back to work really quickly".

I sign in. Sit down. Wait to be called. I go up, hand them my paperwork and my insurance card - and they tell me that they don't take my insurance.

Apparently my insurance company has an exclusive deal with *another* lab company. So I leave and start trying to figure out where the closest one is... walk back another 15-20 minutes to the closest stop for a bus that will take me close to that location... and then wait...

and wait... eventually a bus shows up. I get where I need to go.

I go into the lab, they have me sign in and tell me "It will be 45 minutes to an hour wait".

I look at the clock. There is no commuter bus that will go over the bridge for at least an hour and half after I'm supposed to be getting into this appointment.

I text my boss to let know that I won't be coming in. (Fortunately I took the day off, but I told them I would *try* to come in.)

And I waited... and waited... finally I got in, and they had trouble inputting the doctor into their system. So I waited some more for them to figure that out.

Finally everyone was set - and the blood work itself went smoothly. Maybe the best it ever has.

So I caught the bus back to the station where I'd be catching the commuter bus... waited about another hour and half.

I thought "I'll put the Green Room from my phone while I wait!" But my phone was almost dead. So I figured I would do it when I got home...

Ended up missing the connecting bus after I got off the commuter. Sat in downtown Tampa until the next one showed up about a half hour later.

Eventually I got home, fixed myself a snack and felt something weird,.. one of my back crowns fell out!!! Note: My dentist was about a 15 minute *walk* from where I was at the lab. If this has happened earlier, I could have fixed it easily. As it is, it will be awhile before I can get back there and have it recemented.

So that's why there was no Green Room until right now - and that's the kind of day I've been having.

How has yours been going?


Your topics are at: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/924359.html, in case you've forgotten! :)
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
It's been a busy few months, going state-to-state and purging the voters logs. But I think, in the end, it's going to be worth it!

Soon, I will be the only one registered to vote - and will, at long last, cast my ballot for *me* to become the ruler of the free world!! (Note: Not "leader" of the Free World, I'm going to rule it!!)


Topic: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/921736.html
Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/921875.html
Home Game! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/922333.html

Those are your links!


Based on the last updates I saw, the groups this week are:

[livejournal.com profile] kickthehobbit, [livejournal.com profile] gratefuladdict, [livejournal.com profile] fodschwazzle, [livejournal.com profile] cheapxdate and [livejournal.com profile] lrig_rorrim

[livejournal.com profile] prog_schlock, [livejournal.com profile] whipchick, [livejournal.com profile] bleodswean, [livejournal.com profile] porn_this_way and [livejournal.com profile] halfshellvenus

[livejournal.com profile] encrefloue, [livejournal.com profile] orockthro, [livejournal.com profile] witchwife, [livejournal.com profile] yachiru and [livejournal.com profile] kathrynrose

is this correct?

Let me know if anything changes between now and the deadline!

Definitely some interesting groupings. I wonder if you're right... ;)
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Good news: Bruce Springsteen has announced that he *will not* be cancelling any future LJ Idol appearances!

Nor will Bryan Adams or any other musician famous in the 80s.

There was some concern that it might happen, following the NC boycotts, because LJ Idol does not allow for transgender folks to use restrooms *at all*. It turns out that Idol doesn't allow *anyone* into our private restrooms, instead pointing people to a shovel and a trench that we have outside in the back.

We do not discriminate - we hate *all* dirty hippie foreigners!!

So we're fine and we will have exactly the same amount of Springsteen Idol appearances as were originally on the schedule for this calendar year!!!

The Topic: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/919252.html
The Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/919439.html
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
One of the most difficult things for me to learn over the years has been "people have different tastes, and that's OK". Sure, I had enough experience even back in high school on a literary magazine and was exposed to the idea, on a regular basis, that my tastes didn't always mesh with other folks.

But I knew they were wrong. ;)

I still know they are wrong, but I'm more accepting of it.

That comes up quite a bit in Idol. "Gary only voting" would look as different, with different results, as "anyone else only" voting would look like.

Because, even if people "tend to agree" on something or have "similar tastes" - when push comes to shove, there are areas where one person might like something more than another.

I actually took that power out of my own hands by voting for everyone - so that when it came down to 1 vote making a decision about who stays and who goes, that vote wasn't mine!

Which isn't easy to sit back and watch other people make the decisions about how things will play out in something so close to me - but that's the power I gave *you*, and I hope you use it responsibly.

(and yes, I will often think you are wrong! But that's OK!)

Given how close this entire mini-season has been, results-wise, and the fact that we are down to the Top 21, I can only predict that it's going to continue to be that way - with every week being a stunning loss of someone that folks have been enjoying all season long, folks that many of us thought were going all the way (or close to it - and let's face it, we are all "close to it" right now!)

So, if everyone's tastes are different - what exactly is *Gary* looking for? Because we know his vote doesn't matter, so who really cares what he thinks!

- "Have I read this before?" Idol's rapidly approaching it's 10 anniversary. Story-telling has been around forever. But give me something original!

- I want to walk away from reading your entry feeling like I've learned something about you, or that we've connected. Regardless of the format.

- I want each season/mini-season to play out in it's own way. If it was the same final 10 in each season, that would be extremely dull. Fortunately, we always seem to have new blood each season and even if there are people who frequently do well, Real Life has a ability to have a huge impact on our proceedings!

- I want a compelling finale! Closely matched competitors, writing their fingers to the bone all the way to the end! I want the type of spectacle that people can't help but want to watch, but that, when the dust settles, most folks would be happy with any of them being the ultimate victor!

What are some things *you* look for to determine how you would like the "end game" to play out?


Topic: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/916255.html
Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/916621.html
Home Game: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/916769.html
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
It's not like we've had any real time to reflect, or see how the mini-season ends up playing out and what influence the Teams were in that happening. But looking at the Top 23, I definitely see an influence.

As a general observation, I think veterans benefited from it more than newbies. Although newbies, in general, tend to not do as well in mini-seasons as they do in full ones. (less room for the learning curve to kick in and being able to carve out their own niche in the community) There is still definitely a few chances for newbies to still take this thing, but the numbers aren't in their favor at the moment.

I would probably also figure out a way to encourage teams to shuffle their memberships a bit, in order to get folks to meet new people. Not sure how well that one would work - since the thing that I've heard the most in favor of teams is that folks have liked being able to form and deepen existing relationships. I also put things in place that, if used, could have given people a reason to move around a little more. But not every twist is always seen for it's full potential the first time out. (some twists never are)

What are your "early takes" on the Teams? Is it something you'd like to see in the future? A nice "one time" experiment that you hope Idol never repeats? A little of both? ;)


This could be the last round you can use a Bye. So if anyone is hanging onto them - or wants to use a gift bye to help someone else out... now would be the time!

After this, no more safety net for anyone!

That being the case, it's also the last week to "tag out" with someone. (since that was based on being out of byes)


The topic thread: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/913429.html
The Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/913760.html


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