[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
The last few hours of that poll = crazy! It came down to a couple votes in the last few minutes, that changed the results. It's why things aren't done until I hit "close", and no one is "out" until it's official...

It's official now.

Congratulations to everyone who survived it, and who have made our Top 21.

Unfortunately, in order to get there we have to lose two of our own.

Two really talented people, who I have loved having as part of the competition. I really hope that they continue in the Home Game.

Goodbye to:

[livejournal.com profile] alycewilson
[livejournal.com profile] favoritebean

and thank you for everything!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
I have a bat covered in barbed wire. I called her "LJ Idol".

By the end of the night, you are going to know who is going to be bashed in the head. There is no cliff-hanger, or "fade to black", you are going to *know*! (You definitely won't have to wait until next season!!)

I'm not going to play "eenie meanie" with anyone. I know where that supposedly came from... and even if I didn't, that's not how I do business.

I leave it up to the voters!

So make sure you are reading, commenting and voting for your favorites: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/915342.html

Right at this moment - the "top" of the poll and the "bottom" of the poll are separated by 12 votes. Which, given how close every poll has been this season, you might think "Wow, that's a lot". It's not. 12 votes is something that could very much change during the course of a day. Especially as things get closer to the wire and there are fewer entries to read.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
It's Week 16 of LJ Idol: Friends and Rivals- which is, according to a recent reviewer: "begging money on a masterrbatory exercise even the self published have outgrown"!

I'm thinking about putting that on the profile page. I think it will attract a lot of new members! :)


The "masterrbatory exercise" (sic) continues with the new poll: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/915342.html and I agree, there's a lot there to be excited about!


How is YOUR weekend going?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
A few words from [livejournal.com profile] clauderainsrm:

No more Teams.

Which means this is the first time in the entire mini-season when everyone has been in one poll!

Nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide.

Just 23 contestants are left. 1 of them will be our winner, and 22 of them will be eliminated!

So make sure you are reading, commenting, and voting for your favorites! Because that is how we narrow things down week to week. And be sure to tell your friends - after all, it’s only 23 entries. That sounds like a lot, but most of them are short. They can totally get through them to find some stuff they are really going to enjoy!

This week I thought I was being clever. Which is why someone totally figured out my move. :)

Byes are over when we hit our Top 20… we have 23 contestants.

This week we will be losing the bottom 2! Which means you have one more chance to use a bye, or any of the special powers and abilities that come from having a bye.

It also means we will lose 2 talented writers on our journey closer to the end.

The poll closes Monday, April 4th at 9pm EDT

Good luck to everyone!

[Poll #2041191]
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
You are such wonderful people, and I respect you a great deal!

I actually like you as *people* - real live people who have actual lives!

Am I doing this "April Fool's thing" right?


What *isn't* a joke is that tonight is the deadline! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/913429.html

or http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/914928.html

and while I can't "say" this is the last week to use your byes - they expire at the Top 20. We are now at the Top 23. So use that knowledge accordingly.

That also means that it's the last chance to "tag out" if you want to bring someone else in (for people currently out of byes) or give a "gift bye" to someone else to use. (I'll accept either of those up until an hour before the deadline)
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
You're not a contestant, but you want to write entries on the current topics as well? http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/913429.html#

You're not sure where to post those links?

That's what the HOME GAME is all about!

Just post your links here!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
I've never been entirely aware of "what the kids are doing these days". Even back in the day when I was one of those kids! ([livejournal.com profile] whipchick can attest, I've always been in my own world, possibly in my own universe)

At one point in high school I worked part time at a book store, setting up their comic department. I (obviously) knew they had a huge porn section, and I figured that was how they were doing well enough to stay in business. It wasn't until years after - when rumors and an arrest - that I discovered that they were selling drugs the entire time, and the owner's girlfriend was actually selling "something else entirely" in the back. I didn't have a clue.

So it probably shouldn't be too surprising that it took until last night, on the bus ride home, that I finally figured out why I was seeing so much loose tobacco on the floor (and sometimes the seat) of the bus I ride.

It was always just really weird... and disgusting. But I chalked it up to "weird things you see on the bus".

But last night I sat behind a guy who took out of pack of cheap cigars, unwrapped them, dumped the tobacco out on the floor and put the wrapper into a zip-lock bag. I'd like to say that I immediately knew what he was doing. But it took me a little bit even then to figure out that he was most likely going to be using that cigar wrapper to wrap up something he had at home.

I *didn't* consider that he might just have a "cheap cigar wrapper" collection. Which, being me, should probably be considered progress! ;)

What are some things that YOU figured out - after the fact?

(One of my all-time favorites was from my ex, who as a child, was told that pepperoni came from a tree - and never questioned it until she was in her teens. :D)


One thing that you need to make sure you are figuring out is making sure your entries are in: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/913429.html The deadline is tomorrow!
[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
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
We are now 16 weeks into Friend and Rivals and nearly to the official 10 year mark in Idol in general and a couple questions have been asked over the past couple days that gave me a bit of pause.

Mostly because if veterans didn't know the answers, then obviously I was not getting the message across in a strong enough way.

The questions being "Can I vote even though I am no longer a contestant" and "Do you need to be a member of the community to vote?"

Sure, there are exceptions to the rule - and when those happen, I will let you know "Hey, this is a Contestant Only vote" or "You have to be a member of the community to vote".

But, as a general rule - the votes are open to everyone. This is deliberate. Because I *want* you to tell your friends what is going on here. NOT as a "Just click the box for me!!!"

But rather a "Come and check this out!", encouraging them to read not only your entry, but other people's as well. This has been going on for 10 years, and a big part of that is that everyone has been doing their share over those years of bringing in new readers!

Readers don't appear from nowhere. (Well, occasionally we get a friend of a friend of a friend who once heard about Idol and decided to check it out - but even those you can trace back to their source) Every time someone reads your entry, and votes for you, or you get a comment from "someone passing through" that you don't personally know - that's someone that *someone else* brought into the Idol fold. Maybe it was three years ago, maybe it was 9. Perhaps they just started reading last week.

So yes, absolutely you can vote if you're not a current contestant.

Yes, PLEASE tell your friends about this place. If we are going to have *any* sort of future, that's on your shoulders in the same way it was on the shoulders of the people who told *you* about it in the first place!

They don't *have* to be a member of the community to vote. Obviously, that would be awesome and during a community only vote they would already be set up... and it certainly makes it easier to follow what's going on if you get the updates. But it's not required.

So get out there and spread the Good Word of Idol as a place where you can read some awesome entries (and maybe make a few friends in the process)!


If you have any other questions you've been hanging onto, now would be a good time to ask them!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
It's the first week of the All-Rivals!

Sure, friendships still exist (of course) but now it's every woman, man, and alien-in-a-skinsuit for themselves until the end of the game!

You still have choices to make though, including which topic you are going to write.

You only need to pick one of them:

“When is a monster not a monster? Oh, when you love it."
A blanket that leaves your feet cold
Why is that turkey dancing?
"You expect me to do what now?"
Sofa Square

The deadline to link your entries back to this thread is Friday, April 1st at 8pm EST. No joke. That is apparently Friday's date. :) (it would have worked better for an elimination date!)

Have fun!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Birdie Sanders.

Even if you're not from around "these here parts" (the technical term), if you have an internet connection, you've probably heard of him.

It's that little bird that flew into a Bernie Sanders campaign rally and become an internet sensation.

Part of that was coincidence - a bird flying into the right place at the right time.

Part of it was Senator Sanders being able to think on his feet and see the potential in the moment - and his campaign staff's ability to turn that little moment into something much bigger.

I'm sure you see those moments in your own life, and in your writing, all the time - where something small and seemingly insignificant can be turned into a metaphor for the much bigger picture.

What are some of your favorite examples of that? (a moment that you were able to make into so much more) and did you go into that piece of writing intending to expand it or did it just "sort of happen" and you went with it?

What was YOUR "Birdie Sanders" and how did you make the most of it?

The new topic thread is up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/913429.html

as are last week's results: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/913323.html

100 Weeks

Aug. 21st, 2014 02:58 pm
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
There are times when I may overlook something, and I'll get a friendly reminder via email about it.

I got one of those a few minutes ago, asking me to look into how many weeks they had. It was then that I noticed something staring right at me.

That someone had managed to hit that mark *2 weeks ago* and I had completely missed it!

Which (to me at least) is kind of funny, because she's the kind of writer that you might not notice at first, but as her work starts piling up you start going "Wait a second, she's really good!" and before you know it she's getting closer and closer to the end again!

Anyone who survives Idol intact has done something amazing. The people who keep doing it, season after season? Those people should probably be committed. ;) Getting to the point where you have survived 100 weeks of it? Yeah, that's padded room territory right there!

You know her. You love her. (or you will)

Welcome to the 100 Weeks club [livejournal.com profile] lawchicky!!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Here we are, in the first elimination on this side of the Top 100.

Before we got started, there was a sacrifice announced - [livejournal.com profile] elledanger.

Which means there are three more people set to be eliminated.

However, there was a second sacrifice that ended up happening - [livejournal.com profile] alephz.

Which left us with two people going home.

Based on the votes, one of those two would have been [livejournal.com profile] deidrewilliams, however, part of her coming back into the game this week granted her an one week immunity. Which means that she is safe from the vote.

Which means that
[livejournal.com profile] esteletheque and [livejournal.com profile] hipsterthulhu

are going home this week.

Thank you to all four of you. It was fantastic to have you here, and I really hope that you consider Home Gaming it, and perhaps coming back when Second Chance opens up later in the game!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
I just spoke to some friends at the CDC in Atlanta, and they let me know that they were looking for a place to house a couple unexpected guests.

So I volunteered Idol.

I'm sure these are really nice people, and that you will get along great! So feel free to mingle. Make out. Maybe do a blood transfusion or two with them. Whatever it takes!

Everything is fine. I'm sure that everything will be fine.

I'll just be over here, with the poll, reading to cross out a few more names!


Speaking of - there is a poll going on right now: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/766648.html and it closes tonight, so make sure to get out there and keep your favorites in the running!


That said, I'm going back into the depths of my project... oh, I mean *working*... yep, totally working right now. :)
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
It's not a new discussion by any means, in fact, it's probably one of the oldest Idol-related topics! But since it has been popping up more and more lately:

As a reader, what are you looking for in an entry? How clearly does it have to relate to the topic?

With people writing serial fiction, how high of a hurdle for them to get your vote?

With the amount of people with byes left dwindling, and things speeding up a bit, we could very well be at the Top 75 faster than anyone can accurately plan on. As a competitor, what are you doing to make sure YOU are one of those people?

What advice would you give to others to make sure that *they* are?


There's a vote going on right now: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/766648.html from last night until tomorrow night. So, it's a smaller window. Hopefully you followed my advice and started reading early!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
A few words from [livejournal.com profile] clauderainsrm:

Congratulations to the Top 100!!

You’ve made it!

LJ IDOL is many things to many people, but one of the things that everyone can agree on is that it’s all about endurance. Getting to this point isn’t easy - but you did it. So congratulations to you!

Unfortunately, in order to get here, we had to lose some people on the final climb, just within sight of this peak.

They are: [livejournal.com profile] kenakari, [livejournal.com profile] morleysnow and [livejournal.com profile] puppetmaker40 who dropped

and [livejournal.com profile] belenen who byed out.

All of them are awesome, and I hope they will be considering jumping at the opportunity when Second Chance comes around!

In addition, there’s a sacrifice post in the mix. I’ll announce that one as part of the eliminations at the end of the week, to make it official.

There is another bit of good news in that [livejournal.com profile] belgatherial used her power of the Resurrection Stone to bring a player back into the game. That player is [livejournal.com profile] deidrewilliams. Welcome back, and welcome to the Top 100. Just FYI: She has a one week immunity, to help her get her footing.

As for the rest of you - you may have noticed that there is one tribe now - and a Redemption Tribe. Given that one of them took a bye, it would be an automatic elimination - but I hate doing that to someone who showed up to play. So instead, they are safe.

In the main tribe though, we will be losing the four with the fewest votes. (Well, three and the sacrifice).

So make sure to read, comment, and vote to keep your favorites in the competition!

Your support is what determines who moves on, and who will eventually win this thing!

The poll will close Thursday, August 7th at 9pm EDT

Good luck to everyone!

Click here to Vote! )
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
You have horrible taste.

No seriously, it's awful.

That book you love? *shudders*

That movie? How could you sit through that?

Let's not even get started with your music taste. Because... seriously...

Or maybe people just like different things, and thus have different tastes... and that when dealing with the Arts, we have to take into consideration that there will be perspectives that may not match our own.

Nah, your taste is just awful!

Because of this - we will now have Gary-only voting for the rest of the competition*!

(* Note: Not really. Although that would be fun!)


I'm bringing this up because it comes up every season at one point or another. It hasn't really come up this time. But I'm sure it will. Because most discussions end up coming up at some point or another. I can pretty much set my watch to it!

If you want to make sure that your favorite writers get further in the competition than the writers you don't enjoy as much: Vote.

Then get other people to READ THE ENTRIES, and decide for themselves who they want to see get further.

If enough people agree with you, then Yay for your favorites and Boo for someone else's favorites! If they don't, then put that in reverse!

With a planned sacrifice and someone already letting me know that they are dropping - that Top 100 is staring you right in the face, what are you going to do to make sure you, and the writers you admire make it to see the Top 75?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
For those who missed it yesterday, I extended the deadline to get entries in until Tuesday at 8pm EDT. So make sure that you get them in: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/764463.html

Those rare times when I show mercy, I always get the question - "What about people who don't follow the community, who might not see that announcement!" (1) that's why I always do a recap of important information in Green Rooms and (2) At this point - you're still not following the community to make sure you get important information??? If you know someone who isn't though, make sure to let them know!

And then kick them until they sign up for updates!

Then kick them some more, because they deserve it!!


This weekend marked the "Tax Free Weekend" in Florida, which meant it was spent doing school shopping. Yay school shopping! /end sarcasm

What "fun" did you engage in this weekend?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
It seems like a lifetime ago, but I'm sure it's a little more recently than that - my life kind of sucked.

Sure, there have been times when life sucked, but I was still having a good time by making the best of things. Heck, there are times *now* when life kind of sucks, for entirely different reasons.

But during this particular time I'm thinking of - I was fully aware of how much life sucked.

I try not to classify what I was going through as "depression", since that's an actual thing. So let's just call it "really, really, really sad".

A friend of mine that I knew exclusively online did something for me. She set up a website where I could go every time I felt down, to remind me that I was, in fact, awesome.

Every year since then, she has continued to renew it.

She just did it again, and I'm hoping to justify the existence, and increase the traffic a little by posting about it here and hoping some people decide to click on the link to see for themselves. It's garyisawesome.com

That's right. Gary is Awesome dot com. It exists, and it's *about me*.

That will never cease to make me smile.

Speaking of making me smile - seeing you post your entries: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/764463.html that's also a good thing.

If you are having difficulties, your personal "awesome" link is at http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/764710.html


What is making YOU smile today?


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