[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Good Almost-Afternoon,

There's a lot of stuff to cover, so let's get to the links:

The Second Chance Results:http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/998421.html
The Second Chance FINAL topic: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/998873.html

The main competition poll: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/998161.html

***

Maybe that wasn't "a lot", but it felt like it was last night when I was posting. :)

There are certainly some big implications though to Second Chance coming to an end after this week. With the new people coming into the competition, after fighting their way (back) in, it's definitely another stage of the game that will be unfolding. How will it impact the main competition? We've had people come back from Second Chance and end up in the finals!

It's going to be interesting to see what happens, and who those contestants end up being.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Tomorrow is the deadline for the Second Chance poll: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/996359.html where people will be fired, like Brad's wife.

It's also the deadline for new entries to be posted for the main competition: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/997016.html I guess like the opposite of Brad's wife.

Either way, there is an internet meme involved! So everyone post thousands of comments! Even if it's one that's several days old, it's still "timely", right? Right? *kicks you* Right????
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
It's Deadline Day!

Our Second Chance poll is coming to a close: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/988636.html so please take the time to read, comment and vote for the people you want to see hang out to continue to fight for a spot back in the competition!

BTW - For those not sure, This means that Second Chance's topic will go up tonight.

It's also the deadline for the main competition's entries: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/989342.html

Which, for those under a rock, means their poll will go up tonight!

So make sure to get your entries in!

***

Any big weekend plans?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
LJ Idol is all about your personal growth as a writer.

Or it's all about the fun.

Or the strategy.

Or the torture.

Or the combination of all of these things!

Perhaps it's about the all-you-can-eat virtual buffet!

The bottom line is that it always ends up meaning something different to different groups of people, which means that the way folks approach it are going to be completely personalized.

Sooner or later, the idea of "who "deserves" to move forward over others always ends up coming up.

Different people are going to approach that differently.

I'll use an example that I *think* is safe because it can be a real life one, that hasn't really come up this season - and I'm pretty sure the people involved won't see this to take personally. (hopefully no one related to them does. Because it isn't.) The kids participating in Idol this season.

There is a huge difference between Season 9 and Season 10 in that regard. Week 1 of Season 9 the kids and the "troll accounts" (people who folks thought were just there to stir things up) were eliminated. In the coming weeks the remaining "troublemakers" were taken out. Pretty much every time you poked your head up, the voters were chopping it off.

For whatever reason, people in that season decided that it was going to be "really serious", and the overall tone reflected that. And you can't have kids outlasting adults in something that's "really serious".

I'm still trying to figure out what Season 10 is, and honestly, I don't think we will know it's full shape until we see the first couple of post-Second Chance weeks, if not even later than that. But, for whatever reason - maybe as a reaction to the seriousness of Season 9. Or maybe because of the influx of new blood who make their own rules - "the kids" have done better/gotten further than almost any Under-17 year old contestant. Which I think is remarkable. Does that mean they will be gone soon? Does that mean that people are grading them on a scale and they could end up outlasting *all* of the adults? I'll be honest - I literally have no idea right now. That is entirely up to the voters. It's up to YOU.

Not just with the kids, but with every other person - and every kind of writing that you see. You get to decide the "who 'deserves' to stay". That's all you.

The collective "you" has the power to shape the kind of place you want this to be this season, and the bigger story you want to tell. Let's make it a good one!

***
Second Chance sign-up http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/981280.html and the first Second Chance Topic:http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/986817.html

The main competition topic, due *today, March 2nd* - http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/985303.html So make sure to get yours in!!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
#NotMyGreenRoom

Oh wait, nevermind - yes, it is. It's totally my Green Room!

We have a topic, that is due tomorrow - with *a lot* of empty space right now. So hopefully you are hard at work on your entries: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/981676.html

and the Second Chance sign-up sheet: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/981280.html

***

What isn't yours today?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Remember that time when your favorite singer-songwriter wrote a song about your upcoming wedding? Yeah, me too.

Good times. I assume this is just something that happens, right? ;)

https://soundcloud.com/garydreslinski/prayer-tree

***

What is something that has "just happened" to you? Other than me kicking you. Which is about to happen. Better brace yourself.

Because the deadline is tomorrow and the topic thread needs a LOT more love: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/977744.html Mass elimination *is not* what I asked for as a wedding present. So let's not do that, OK? ;)

If you still need some help, pop into the Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/978031.html
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Today is your deadline http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/974915.html and right now things are looking more like Week 5's massive bye-fest rather than the sweet sight of Week 6's redemption story. Hopefully you are just a bunch of slackers and the rest of the field will get there by tonight. (Honestly, you're a bunch of slackers regardless. Damn hippie slackers. Don't tell me you've been too busy interviewing for the job of Acting US Attorney General! You could have fit in an entry as well, it doesn't take that much time to use a rubber stamp!)

***

Last night Cynthia saw something online that made her go into a rage. Was it a story about the government? No.

Was it a story about something horrible that happened to a child? Nope.

Was it... no. Whatever you were about to ask, that wasn't it. UNLESS you were about to ask "Was it that meme with Kermit the Frog?" In which case - yes, that was it.

I know you've seen it - it usually has something cynical and snarky followed by "but that's none of my business" with a picture of Kermit drinking Lipton tea. I'm not entirely sure why Kermit is doing that. Was there a Muppets endorsement of Lipton at some point? Is this entire meme just a Lipton counter-ad campaign? I'm not sure.

But any cynical or snarky use of that beloved figure makes Cynthia completely see red.

For me? It's seeing people using Calvin (from Calvin and Hobbes) on their trucks. I don't care if he's peeing, or praying, or just standing there. Bill Watterson told you NOT to do it, and you are doing it. Which means you deserve to be shot in the face.*

(*Note - maybe not literally. Although, perhaps. That could just be an additional factor in the reasons it needs to happen.)

What seemingly simple thing makes YOU go into "irrational anger mode"?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Good morning.

I just responded to something from yesterday. I had something else in mind to talk about in the Green Room today, but the comment really hit me so I wanted to check in where more people would see it.

When I posted the "List of Shame" yesterday, there were some people who knew what it was about - and others who didn't.

The "List" used to be a regular thing - with everyone on the same page that the idea of "shame" was a playful, tongue-in-cheek thing. (That List part though was totally serious. It was a real list. :D)

It was my way of using the LJ tagging system to give people a "heads up" that the deadline was approaching, so it didn't blindside them.

Over the years though, "shame" started being a much more serious thing. Or rather - more to the point - people started recognizing that it was an actual serious thing.

The word became more loaded, and I started being a little uncomfortable with it. (and honestly, my assistant used to put it together and I stopped having as much time)

That lasted for awhile until Luna died. She had been the #1 advocate for bringing it back. So I brought it back, in her honor.

Seeing that did actually *demotivated* someone though - that brought the questions back up in my mind, that second guessing... because all of the evil being brought to bear (and believe me, none of the actual evil has surfaced yet this season, it's coming though!) is to get people writing and having a good time. I hope people *do* end up enjoying themselves this season, and if something *does* come up where you are impacted negatively by something that you let me know. Not saying that it will change anything - because it may just be that you're wrong. ;) But I definitely do want to know.


***
Reminder: The deadline is TONIGHT http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/965056.html
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Entries are being posted http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/958277.html and a Work Room is still happening for the vast majority who haven't posted yet: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/958506.html

But for those who have - make sure to get over there and check them out! It's one of the advantages of posting early, folks have extra time to read your stuff!

Then again, it also means that the spotlight is that much more focused!

***

How was your weekend?

Mine was OK. It seems like the last month or so has flown by. Not anywhere near as ready for the holidays as I thought I would be.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Warning: We will not be discussing Roy Roger's horse.

Warning: That may have been a reference that is way too old and/or obscure for younger Idolers and will make the Idolers who *do* know the reference feel a lot older.

The question was asked, in the Weekend Edition - "What about trigger warnings?"

That wasn't the exact question, but I think it is a good jumping off point. (Warning: Kris Kross will make you... Again, some of you will feel really old)

LJ Idol does not have a policy about trigger warnings.

If you want to do them - do them.

If you don't want to do them - don't do them.

Like most things, my advice is, if you do them, to make sure that they don't distract from the actual piece. (For instance: Making sure there is enough of a distinction between where one ends and the other starts is something I've seen folks, in the past, have some trouble with as far as spacing issues go. There are also some that argue that having anything before that important first-sentence dulls the punch.)

Every season though, the people who make up the group have slightly different ideas about what they like, and what they don't.

So I'm throwing it out there for discussion - what do you think about trigger warnings? Where are they needed? How can you use them without taking away from your entry? (is that even something to consider or is the warning more important?)

***

Your important links: Topic for Week 1: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/951685.html
Sign-ups, which close Wednesday evening: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/945807.html

***

The buffet line starts to the right for anyone hungry this morning (or whenever you stumble in)
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
So, how are you doing? No. Seriously, how are you?

LJ has always been home to opinionated and extremely diverse folks - so regardless of where you landed in the US election, I hope you *personally* are doing well.

That said - you have that deadline for the Optional Week 0 topic TONIGHT! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/947581.html is where Newbies link and http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/947738.html for Veterans. Still a lot of names I'm not seeing. But then again, it's optional, so that won't count against anyone.

But still, it's always good to get into the practice of meeting that deadline. The time is coming when you won't have that luxury! (We WILL have byes. I'll announce how many and when they can be used when the time comes).

I'll also be announcing the close of Sign-ups soon. So if you still know people who want in, it's a good time to let them know: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/945807.html
(I know I personally have been emailing with some folks who keep asking if there is still time. Yes, but that window is shrinking)

I'm looking forward to the first poll tonight! Even if it's not an elimination.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Sign-ups are still open! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/945807.html So tell a friend! Tell two friends! Tell a friend to tell an enemy to tell that dog at the end of the street that is always running loose to bite people until they sign up!

Or skip the middle-dog and just bite them yourself!

***

It's Friday.

Normally, that would be "It's Friday!" but it's still early enough that I can't get much excitement up, and I used all my available exclamation marks in the section about signing up.

Other than waiting for the topic on Sunday - what else do you have planned for your weekend?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
It's the final week of Friends and Rivals, and the deadline for the final entries http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/940205.html. Considering the sheer strength of the Final 2, I should be celebrating. Instead, I'm having trouble sleeping.

The attack at the Pulse was very much on my mind - especially the detail of all the phones ringing with people trying to contact their loved ones. Phones ringing to calls that would never be picked up.

I don't really comment much about how I feel about social or political issues. Because honestly - the spotlight isn't on me. It's on you. I want to set the stage so you can be free to talk about them. (and who wants to hear from another cis-gender old white guy anyway? :p)

Being in Orlando that night though - just a few minutes away... had we stayed to get something to eat (like I wanted to do), we would have probably still been in the area when the shooting occurred.

I wasn't at the Pulse, to the best of my knowledge none of my friends were there that night (although some of them definitely go there). I wasn't close enough that I was in any real danger (unless he had decided to come to the club I was at , a few blocks away and a few hours earlier. But "we" weren't his target - unless he decided he also hated Gogol Bordello)

It's still profoundly disturbing though. If something like this *doesn't* rattle something inside of you, you may want to check the gears of your robot heart, because something might need oil.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
People are discussing all kind of stuff that are happening in the news lately, to various degrees of outrage. But are they talking about this? http://www.cbsnews.com/news/malawi-albinos-hunted-and-murdered-for-their-limbs/

People are being hunted for sport - and I'm not actually involved in it! That's the biggest part of this story, it's NOT my idea!

I'm just hunting people for sport in a literary sense - using polls: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/938897.html

***

In other decapitation news: https://nypost.com/2016/06/07/internally-decapitated-4-year-old-likely-to-make-full-recovery/

What news stories have you been following lately that have made you lose your head?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Last night was the middle school awards ceremony where my bonus daughter received their ribbon for Principal's Honor Roll.

Tonight is the Induction Ceremony to the National Junior Honor Society.

Next week is the last orchestra concert of the year, where I'm sure it will be announced who is in next year's exclusive "Chamber" (she made it in).

It's amazing how accomplished she is and just as funny to think back at just how "anti-accomplishment" I was. Maybe some of it was being lazy, some of it was "not wanting to be one of THEM" (whoever the "them" was at the time") and, looking back, a lot of it was that I didn't want to give my step father any more excuses to hate me. His kids didn't excel at anything, and if I could avoid putting myself out there in any way, I didn't risk pissing him off more than I did just by existing.

My biggest middle school accomplishments include failing 8th grade because I spent more time playing D&D in the back of the room with my friends than concentrating on class and convincing everyone (including teachers) to play along that I had an invisible friend, who also had an invisible dog. (Why? I have no idea. Even then, it just seemed funny, so I went with it.)

Oh, and getting into fights. I got in more fights in middle school than any other time in my life.

Even in high school - my biggest accomplishments were forming a underground zine and in my senior year the English department made up an award to give me, and gave the official one to [livejournal.com profile] whipchick! :D (I'd completely forgotten about that until last night when I was waiting for the awards to be called and went "Oh yeah, that was pretty funny")


Of course, that path led me here - to spend a decade torturing writers and forcing them down paths they normally might not tread. So maybe *that's* my accomplishment! :)

What have YOU accomplished? (Other than linking your entries to http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/932438.html )
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Good morning Idolers!

I'm not sure if you saw this yesterday, but there is an anthology out there featuring several former contestants that is having an Indiegogo campaign! So check it out, and if you can help - do so! If you can't, then spread the word so that others can find out about it! https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/marked-by-scorn#/ (One of the levels is $4 and you get the e-book version! That's a really great deal! With the names that I know on that list, it's bound to be a good book.

Speaking of "good books", this is a good time to mention our Amazon store! http://astore.amazon.com/li0cd-20

There's a lot of great books there as well! (and of course, just by visiting it before doing the rest of your Amazon shopping helps!)

Which reminds me that I need to start coming up with the new incentives for our Patrons! https://www.patreon.com/user?ty=h&u=70027

What are some things I could offer that might tip you over into joining the team? ;)

***

Happy Friday the 13th!

***

http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/929542.html is the place where you go to link your entries! I hope to see a lot more action there, and soon! :)
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Cynthia came into the room this morning and said "Why are you still here?"

That's when I realized it wasn't Saturday! Oops.

Of course, I should have known that because I didn't post a poll the night before. Because everyone knows the deadline for contestants to get their entries in is Friday evening!

http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/927053.html

So if you've been oversleeping, it's time to wake up!

I ended up getting to work late, but fortunately the fact that I'm more awake means that I've probably ended up getting just about the same amount of work done! ;)

***

What have you been "sleeping on"? How are you going to wake up in the Top 10? (or for those of you who are not in the Top 10, are there any "sleepers" in the ranks that you think people need to be paying more attention to, because they are awesome and you never hear enough people talking about their work?)
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
We're already at Deadline Day! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/924359.html

Time goes by so fast when you're having fun doesn't it?

It also goes by quickly when you have a pack of wolves at your heels. One of those is about to happen now!

Right now there is only 1 person across the finish line. Hopefully the rest of you will get there soon. If not, we have our winner. *cue dramatic music* as I continue to torment you!

***

So what do you have planned for this weekend, other than recovering from being tormented?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
The topic thread is really quiet: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/921736.html But the entries are due tonight. That means readers are going to have a lot to do this afternoon if they want to get ahead!

The Home Game is also vacant at the moment.

*grabs a tumbleweed and puts a gun to it's head*

Get busy or this tumbleweed is gonna get it!!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Following this mini-season, I have something planned that I would love to have everyone not only participate in, but also to promote. It's a special event for the 10th anniversary of LJ Idol so I'd love for you to get out your thinking caps on ways that you can help get the word out!

I've sent emails to the folks I had been talking to inside Livejournal before Season 9, hoping they could help out - but no response. I'm wondering if they even still work there.

No details yet - because closing out *this mini-season* is what we are focused on now. But I'm pretty excited about celebrating. I hope it's as much fun in reality as it is in my head!

(I have someone tentatively working on the graphics for it, which will be awesome if it works out the way that it should).

***

This sort of ties into the the idea of "Where should you promote to get new writers". Because going into existing writing communities and promoting IMO is rude. I definitely don't condone that - unless there is some sort of open call policy where the Powers That Be have declared it OK. Non-dedicated spaces where writers just happen to be though - those are the sweet spot! ;)

Then again, it's a "special kind" of writer we are looking for... the kind that can survive and flourish in the Idol-atmosphere. So maybe we should start putting up signs in mental institutions!!!

****

Speaking of the current mini-season- the new topic enrtries are due today! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/919252.html

There is a Home Game for people not currently in the competition who want to write anyway: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/920176.html

and, of course, the Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/919439.html if you still need help banging something together!

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