[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
What is your favorite genre to write?

To read?

Are those different, and if so, any insight into why?

***

Throwing stuff out here people... hoping someone bites on *something*...

Um...

Trump

Lady Gaga's belly
*looks at trending topics*

Iron Fist trailer

Walking Dead is coming back...

***

The new topic is up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/977744.html
and there's a Work Room http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/978031.html
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
I put together an Amazon Store for LJ IDOL:

http://astore.amazon.com/li0cd-20

Some of your favorite Idolers have books available there, as well as other stuff by "friends of Idol" and just some cool kinda-sorta related things!

If there is anything we are missing, let me know and I'll add it!

That goes triple for the "Other Books" subcategory. I just threw in things off the top of my head that I've enjoyed. So, feel free to share your own recommendations on books that should be there as well!

(and any books by Idolers that I may have forgotten! I know there are quite a few that slipped by)

You are probably going to go to Amazon to order books, and other assorted items anyway. So, if you are going to do that - why not click through our link to get there? You get what you wanted, and Idol gets a little cash in the process! (emphasis on little, but hey, it's something! :D)

***

If you'd rather give directly - there is a Pay Pal (and an Amazon, for those who would rather use that site) donation link on the user page and now on the sidebar of the Idol page. (the same place you can find the Store, for future reference!)

***

If you don't. Absolutely no worries. But people have asked for a chance to "give back", and now here are several ways to do it!

So spread the word! And thank you to everyone who has already done so, or is planning on doing it sometime in the future!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
The dust is settled and the results are in, and people are being “encouraged” to leave the Green Room by the gas that is seeping in through the grates.

As the final one is carried out on a stretcher, desperately hanging on to the piece of chair they broke off in their last stand, even as it tumbles from their raptly going limp hands - the doors to the Green Room are slammed shut, locking from the inside. So that no one can open them, until the resortation is complete and we meet again next season!

For now, it’s off to the Banquet Hall, and from there - maybe, just maybe, there will be a door back to “your real lives”. I know you don’t remember them, and some of you will prefer to stay here, where it’s safe. But I’m sure there are folks who probably miss you out there.

I can’t imagine why! ;)

Welcome to the Banquet Hall! There is a buffet and an open bar. There is also a good old fashioned “Friending Frenzy”.

So, if you have been waiting to friend someone, or just want to put yourself out there... or tell a friend or 15 to stop on by, it’s a great way to cap off a great season, and a way for newbies to stick their head out and get to know people!

So step up and say “Hello!” and tell your friends to come on in and do the same!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Season 8.

Damn, what a finish!

That’s how we do it in Idol, and that’s certainly consistent with how this season has been since Week 1!

I don’t think that I have to lavish praise on either of these two. I think that they do it for themselves, and have all season long, with their entries!

But since I get to eliminate one last person, I will say that the second place goes to the individual who was referred (by that mystery almost Gatekeeper that unfortuantely couldn’t join us in the first round - and who I’m keeping secret, because I hope to use him next time! ;D) as “the clear winner”.

She might not have taken away that prize, but calling that she would be in the finals - from that far out, that’s a pretty good trick!

Having seen her work over the past 10+ months, it’s been nothing short of delightful. And although I’m kicking her hippie foreigner self to the curb with a steel-toed boot, it’s with the knowledge that she deserves every single bit of her success (as well as every single kick! :D)

Congratulations to our second place finisher for Season 8:

[livejournal.com profile] notodette!!!!


Which brings me to our Winner. I started hearing people say that she could win quite early in the season. When she came into town a few months back, and I saw her for the first time in about 20 years (eek) and heard her strategy (as laid out in her final entry) I started to think that she might prove them right.

I also thought she would have a hard road to get to this point, with a ton of pitfalls. She would have to not only excel as a writer, but as a competitor as well. She managed it.

When I say “hippie foreigner” - I’m not lying when it comes to her.

She has now, officially, become our FIRST INTERNATIONAL WINNER (being born in Canada and living outside of the US for most of the season). People said that it couldn’t happen. That was just proven wrong.

She has also just tied everything back up on the “winners with kids” scale, as well as “where in the alphabet their user name falls”, becoming our second W! I guess next time will decide it once and for all!


Congratulations to our Season 8 Winner: [livejournal.com profile] whipchick!!

and thank everyone for a fantastic season!

I’ve quoted this before, but it’s one of those things that continue to be true. Craig Finn of the Hold Steady says it quite a bit at the end of their shows, and if you can say it after doing something, and mean it, you are ahead of the game.

“There is so much joy in what we do up here.”

There really is. I hope that is one thing that you take away from this experience. The sheer amount of joy involved in it. The sheer amount of love.

Thank you to each and every one of you for being a part of it.

Dreslinski out.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Like a car on fire crashing into a dynamite factory – LJ IDOL Season 8 is coming to an end!

Tonight!

Which means you have one last chance to decide who you want to win this thing - http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/603806.html

The last time I looked, it looked like we could very well be coming down to the wire again! Which is appropriate, given the talent level of our final two!

It also means that this is the final Green Room of the season. You also have one last chance to enjoy this space. Because the staff is getting anxious to get in here and start cleaning! Or at least attempting to… I’m really not sure about some of those spots. Especially in the corners.

The DJ has started the music down in the Banquet Hall and it’s about time to move out of here… so get your group pictures of “Us in the Green Room, in happier times” out of the way, before it’s too late!

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to miss this place.

So, thank you Green Room, for another season of, well, everything it is that you do! Whatever that happens to be! ;)

And (if you are so inclined) remember to tip your wait staff!







***
Most of all though, we have one last chance to enjoy this moment.

They don’t come around all that often, and you should definitely take a moment to let it all sink in when you get the opportunity. Where you were when we started. Where you are now. Where you see yourself going now, and where all of this craziness fits into all of it!


“A punk rock song won’t ever change the world, but I can think of a couple that changed me” – Wingnut Dishwashers Union

I’ll see you later tonight with the results and the Afterparty!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
What you are going to be doing today: Reading the final entries and deciding who you want to win this season of LJ IDOL: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/603806.html

What I am going to be doing today: Taking advantage of the free tickets to go to a taping of the Daily Show with John Stewart. Herman Cain is the guest!

Yeah, I know, you have the better end of the bargain!

While I have you hear, I did put out a general "question for the community": http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/603411.html?thread=62964499#t62964499
I know that it's probably only reaching a small percentage of the greater population, and different people are going to have different ideas. But I just want to hear them so that I can process options and decide what works best for what I want to do in the interim and going into next season! I don't usually do things this way but I think it's a big enough decision, that may impact a lot of other things, so I figured that I would throw it out there! So please take a moment to think about it, and get back to me!

***
It's the next to last day of the LJ Idol Season 8... so, how are you doing?


1
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
A few words from [livejournal.com profile] clauderainsrm:

It’s been a record-breaking season. Everywhere you look over the course of the last year. (Well, almost one at least!) you find a series of firsts! Sometimes frists!

You find victories and blowups. Meltdowns and people being lifted back up again.

You find Life.

LJ IDOL isn’t an ordinary writing competition. It has twists and turns, bumps and bruises, and it has Life. Hopefully, having gone through Season 8, you know that.

Those of you who have been on the fence, waiting for Season 9 to come - that’s something you will learn firsthand!

But before that can happen, we’ve come to the point that this has all been leading up to - finding out who is going to be crowned THE NEXT LJ IDOL and WINNER of SEASON 8!

Among the things you win: an icon, a banner, your user name on the sidebar, and course, the inability to play next season! :) Oh yes, but most importantly ETERNAL GLORY! That’s right, Eternal Glory for all time, or at least as it takes for someone to post a cat macro or someone to say something ignorant that catches the attention of one of LJ’s many fine drama groups! :)

Which leaves us with just what the experience itself has ended up meaning. I can’t tell you that. I can hope various things, maybe point you in a direction, but in the end, you have to decide that for yourselves.

That’s Idol, and that’s Life. You find your own meanings! :)

The most immediate thing in front of us though, the decision of “How do I want this season to end?” that is right in front of you.

Two very different entries. Two very different competitors.

They are vying one last time, for all the marbles.

(Note: the winner does NOT receive marbles!)

So come on - let’s join them! Gather around, and let’s all jump into that void one last time, while we still can!

Read their entries, comment and vote for your favorite(s)!

The poll closes Thursday, August 30th at 9pm EDT and the results follow shortly thereafter, closing out this season!

Good luck to both of you!

2



[Poll #1863034]
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
I can hear the sounds of them working on the Banquet Hall. Putting all the tables in place... Making sure the ceiling perfectly reflects the night sky… Keeping the House Elves in line…cueing up the dogs to take care of your meddlesome kids once and for all… oh wait, that was my outside voice! Nevermind about that last bit.

The actual thing is that the time of the Green Room is about to pass. So if you have left any personal belongings behind, make sure that you pick them up/try to get them off the ceiling fan. The staff will be coming in soon to clean this place. Although I have no idea how they are going to get some of those stains out!! We may just have to set fire to the whole thing and hope the wind is favorable!

But for now – you are still here! There is still time left to gather together in the Green Room, read the entries as they are posted: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/603168.html and enjoy what you have, before the door closes and the eternal darkness consumes all of you!!

3
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
And then there were two.

We’ve gone a long way, now officially the longest duration that any Idol contestant has ever faced. We’ve overcome a lot. Laughed. Cried. Grown. And most importantly, people wrote their ass off!

Now there is just one more hurdle.

Oddly enough, both of these women were chosen by several Gatekeepers (during the first round, months ago) as someone they expected to see in the finals.

Now, it’s here.

And anyone who follows Idol knows what that means. It’s the easiest, and the trickest topic of them all. Because you are not only making the case for yourself, more importantly, you are making the case for your opponent!

Why I Should Win LJ Idol/Why My Opponent Should Win

One entry. One last shot to plead your case, and make the case for someone that you have made this incredible trip with... make it good!

You have until Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 28th at 9pm EDT to link your entry back to this spot.

Congratulations to you both. Now get to writing!

Have fun!


4
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
The semi-finals of LJ IDOL Season 8 are in the books, now there are only two things left to do - to say goodbye and to decide this thing once and for all.

Goodbyes at this point have gone past the painful, and into the awkward, since there isn’t much time left for them to be “gone”! :)

Nevertheless though, you look at their journey, from the moment they started the season, to this one, and you just have to sit back and reflect on how they got to this point.

[livejournal.com profile] pixie117 may have been eliminated, but she is still “with us”. Hers is an incredible story of coming out of nowhere, seemingly without any confidence or belief in her own abilities, other than a vague sense of “I can do this!” and over the course of several seasons becoming a success story. I’m not just talking about her runs in Idol. I’m talking about who she is as a person. It’s about time that she has realized what a remarkable person she is, and IMO, she hasn’t even cracked the tip of that particular iceberg.

Her writing has grown better and better every season. She is definitely someone that I hope to have my eye on her growth well beyond the end of Season 9. Because if she keeps getting better at this rate, she will be a force to reckon with. (and she’s already pretty darn good!!)

Thank you Kristen, for an amazing run, filled to the brim with great stories as well as some great “reality moments”, and for the love that you have for Idol.

I won’t even mock Kevin in this post. That is how impressive you were! :D

Goodbye, and congratulations for finishing THIRD. Considering how close you are to your 100 Weeks (I’m going to have to check this, but you MAY have reached it the fastest...if not, you’re really, really close that mark!) I really hope that we will see you when the curtain goes up next season!!

5
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
It’s funny to think about the fact that if it wasn’t for the RNC being here, Tropical Storm Isaac probably wouldn’t have worried a lot of people. After all, its still not organized into an actual hurricane. So people would have been watching it, but not with anything near the intensity as they are now.

I was listening to a nationally based radio show this morning where they were talking about the effects of the storm on the convention, and the reporter in Tampa was talking about the “downpour outside”.

Meanwhile, I was sitting in a parking lot at the bus depot *in downtown Tampa only a couple blocks from the place where most of the convention is taking place* and it was barely sprinkling. Maybe closer to “misting”.

There’s still time for it to have an impact. It hasn’t gone by yet, and even if it does go by instead of turning, it could very well gain strength, becoming an actual hurricane (even if it’s just a 1 or a 2) and cause someone some problems. But it’s always amazing when the rest of the country starts paying attention to what we call “Late Summer/Early Fall” and how we react to it!

***

Today is the last day to decide who will be in the final, and who wins the Idol Bronze! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/601673.html

Like a gender/ableist issue exploding in on online convention/fan community, LJ Idol is the gift the keeps on giving!

6
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
On one hand, the track of Isaac seems to be moving further west. Which is good (for me). On the other, more and more seems to be closing and there is little doubt that we will be experiencing at the very least tropical storm force winds. (if not more than that)

As if the craziness of the Republican National Convention wasn't enough. (Anyone who has had their city host a Super Bowl/World Cup Championship - they aren't lying when they say a political convention is about four of those combined. We've had both now... I'm sure anyone who has lived through one of them knows what I'm talking about.)

So on top of convention, we have a hurricane coming our way.

Even if the projections don't have it coming right at us, anyone who has experienced an Idol poll http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/601673.html knows there is always the strong possibility of it taking a sudden swerve at the last minute and coming right at you!

So, that's what I'm doing today. (Well that and waiting for the True Blood finale!) How are you?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
It's our last weekend together.

Kind of weird when you think about it that way, isn't it?

It's that in-between time when you are watching the semi-finals http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/601673.html
and reading the Home Game http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/600987.html

and realizing "This will be over soon", running around getting your yearbooks signed before the final bell rings.

Which is followed by (at least for me) "Next season will start, and end, and then it will be over" Kind of a weird feeling. OK, there's no "kind of" in there.

What are you doing today?

9
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Back in Black is the first album released by AC/DC with their second singer. Per their Wiki, another interesting fact is that "The album has sold an estimated 50 million copies worldwide to date, making it the second highest-selling album of all time."

It was also the video posted as a teaser for the season.

People have asked me all season long why we have two official Idol icons for the season.

There were two Topsy Turvys in play at one point in the competition.

Quite a few of the special powers were released in lots of two or on even numbered weeks. (Not all of them, didn't want to be *too* obvious!)

Week 22 was a non-elimination round, where special powers were handed out.

I flat out told everyone that there was a clue to the finale in the placement of Hell Week, and that it was math related. Hell Week was Week 36. 3/6. (and took us from an odd number, 7, to an even one, 4)

There have been a number of references throughout the season to "two" or even numbers. That's because we are having a Final Two this season. Some people like the Easter Eggs. Others don't care. But there are some of the ones I've thrown into the mix over the course of the season.

Right now, we have the poll that is going to help decide who those two contestants are going to be! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/601673.html

So I hope you take the time, read, comment to, and enjoy those entries! After you check out that, go check out the final Home Game as well! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/600987.html

I hope you folks are having as much fun as I am watching this unfold!

What other fun things do you have on your plate for the weekend?

10
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
A few words from [livejournal.com profile] clauderainsrm:

Coming into this week, and knowing these three writers, I knew that we were going to be in for a very diverse and exciting group of entries. What I didn’t realize was that it would be a diverse, exciting, with a twist of meta, group of entries! ;)

***

We had a stat breakdown before of where these contestants fit into the big picture of “Idol winners”, but when you take a look at this shockingly tiny poll, one thing jumps out at you about the nature of Season 8 - the beginning of the alphabet got slaughtered! :)

***

With all the talk about pimping going on, people have been asking me what I think about it, and how I think it should be handled. My suggestion is what it has been all along, strongly encourage people to read all the entries. There are only three of them. If someone honestly can’t read them and pick their favorite, you don’t want their vote anyway.

This isn’t 300 entries. Or 100. Or even 10. It’s 3 of them.

I know, you can’t stand over them watching their every movement. But you can send a strong message to them about it. If they care enough to come out and vote for you, if they believe enough in your work, they should care enough to listen to what you have to say.

These three entries are definitely worth reading. And hey, maybe the meta aspects will encourage people to check out what this crazy ride is all about!

***

After a comment I saw today I went and checked the dates - and sure enough, tomorrow Season 8 will enter into a tie with Season 6 for being the longest season in Idol history. On Saturday, it will pass it! It’s no wonder people are falling down! :)

All good things though, they come to an end. Season 8 is no exception.

But there’s still a little life in this party! So go check out our Top 3, and help decide who is going to the FINALE!!

The contestant with the entry receiving the fewest votes will be eliminated. The other two will be going to the big show!

The poll closes Monday, August 27th at 9pm EDT

Good luck to everyone!

11



[Poll #1861997]
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
In with the pink air. Out with the blue.

It’s what an old friend of mine used to say (To be fair, she probably still says it, we just don’t talk as often as we used to) to get someone to stop, think, and breathe.

Because you can’t get perspective when you are waist deep in the swamp. That’s going to come with time, and distance. Possibly with a helicopter. Or an airboat tour.

The important stuff? The Top 3 have been set: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/601329.html
And they need to get their topics in: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/600343.html so that we can put this season to bed once and for all!

Speaking of “once and for all”, well not really, but that’s as good of a transition as any: the Home Gamers are also having some fun: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/600987.html so check them out!


12
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
You folks certainly do know how to keep life interesting, don’t you?

I was preparing for a battle to the death, fight to the finish, no-holds barred/no bars held 24 run-off. Instead, we get a drop: http://n3m3sis42.livejournal.com/1120057.html

[livejournal.com profile] n3m3sis42 - It was a truly brilliant run! You have a hell of a lot to be proud of, and having talked to you, I know you are well aware of it!

Going from not even being sure that you could write, to the Top 4, and getting noticed by someone from the Tesla Science Center? Yeah, I’d say that was a journey. (Even if, like Mirror Girl, it took me an embarrassing amount of time to make the connection with your name! :D)

Thank you for sharing that journey with us!

With posting her entry: http://pixie117.livejournal.com/688662.html

that means [livejournal.com profile] pixie117 joins [livejournal.com profile] notodette and [livejournal.com profile] whipchick in the last hurrah before the finale!!
http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/600343.html

Congratulations to the three of you. Now go kick some butt!

***

Before I let you go, a pet peeve of mine and something that shouldn’t be ignored It’s seems silly to be saying it now, but I’m saying it as much to Season 9 as I am to people who are currently assembled to see how this season ends!

I keep hearing “Idol is this” and “Idol isn’t that” to somehow justify why certain people make it further and others don’t. I understand, ego is involved. People like to assume that if only it wasn’t for this one little thing - that they would be sitting at the end. Maybe on any other day, they would be. You play out any given season 10 times and I’m sure there would be quite a few different combinations. It doesn’t take anything away from the people who won in our particular time line. Nor should it.

They are amazing and whoever walks away with this thing this season is going to be a worthy addition to them.

You know how much dumb luck comes into play in the writing industry? Ask any professional writer about their big break - I guarantee that it involved persistence and dumb luck, and a hell of lot of writing their fingers to the bone.

Idol is very much about the writing. It’s about the love, the passion, the times you want to pull your hair out and times you would just rather punch someone, it’s what you don’t get in a workshop and the stuff that if you are smart enough to apply it, can and will get you wherever it is you want to go.

Hearing people say that it’s not, it riles me up. I don’t say that Idol is “not just a writing competition” because it’s LESS. I say it because it’s MORE.

I think that’s something people frequently misunderstand, or misinterpret deliberately.

I like a variety of writers who come through this doors for a number of reasons. Some I think are technically awesome. Others move me on a primal level. Some, I don’t know - I just like ‘em. I think everyone who shows up is offering something worth hearing, and is bringing something vital to the mix, and to the experience.

The key is to figure out what that is, and allow your own ego to take a back seat for long enough to learn something.

This is something special here. It’s worth celebrating.

How do I know? Because of things like this: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/600657.html?view=62859601#t62859601

You don’t have to win to gain from this experience. You have to show up. You have to commit, and you have to turn around and do something with what you learned.

My winners are awesome. My contestants, in general, are awesome. Remember that, and treat each other - and Idol, like you remember that.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
I always feel weird posting a Home Game entry for “Open Topic”, since it’s ‘WRITE WHATEVER YOU WANT TO WRITE!”
But considering that this is the final Home Game of the season, I figured it was appropriate to have a thread!

You know the task. You know this is where you link it!

Go have fun!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
I less than three passionate people.

4SRS.

I want to wrap them up in plastic sheeting and keep them in a sealed compartment under my floor boards so that they, and their passion, will be safe for ever…. Was that a little too specific? ;)

Anyway - This probably explains why I’m surrounded by crazy people, because crazy people often have the loudest and most passionate opinions. But at least they have a point of view, and that’s never a bad thing.

As long as they are also able to recognize that what they are saying is their personal opinion, and not the “one great truth”.

By now, everyone should know that the “One Great Truth” is whatever I happen to be saying at any given moment, and respond accordingly.

If more people stopped to realize that, they wouldn’t end up butting heads so often, regardless of their opinions. Because ultimately, they would know that they were completely wrong!!! Unless of course I happened to agree with them, and even then, it would just be a coincidence that they were right!

Knowing that “Gary is always right” will help bring about a new age of prosperity (but not “peace”, I don’t go for that hippie garbage!) into the world – and it starts right here!


One of the many things that I am right about is that we have a new topic: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/600343.html
We also have a run-off to deal with: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/600316.html

So, by all means, get passionate about your favorites. Just keep it about your favorites. Not about the ones you don’t like as much. Why? Because there is nothing constructive with that, nothing that builds up the people you like, and in fact, probably ends up hurting them by association. And no one wants that.
Except me. I, of course, want to hurt them – and I’ll find new and interesting ways to do it!! :D

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