[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Second Chance results posts hurt even more than the regular eliminations do. Because these are people who went through that, and who are trying to get another shot. And when the results are filled with contestants that I've gotten to know over the years (two of them I've actually spent time with in person)... yeah, that's never a fun post to have to make.

But "have to make it" is what it comes down to. It's why we are here. Only a handful of people are going to make it out of Second Chance, and at the end of the day, only one person is going to win Season 10 of LJ Idol!

Which means that there will be eliminations, and all of them are going to be sad.

So, might as well rip that bandaid off instead of just talking about it...

Leaving us from Second Chance, and hopefully joining us in the Home Game, are

[livejournal.com profile] copyright1983
[livejournal.com profile] dee_aar2
[livejournal.com profile] estelle
[livejournal.com profile] lawchicky
[livejournal.com profile] sra33

I'd say that my stomach hurts writing that. But I'm not sure that has anything to do with the results. ;)

Thank you so much for coming out this season and helping to make it special!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
A few words from [livejournal.com profile] clauderainsrm:

The Week 3 poll of Second Chance Idol is here.

They are operating without a safety net with one goal in mind - getting back into the game! From what I’ve seen, I think those who survive this are going be stronger than ever when they eventually get back into the main competition.

Did I say “eventually”? I meant that there is a max of two more weeks for Second Chance. It’s getting down to the wire.

5 contestants are going to be leaving us this week. That’s a third of the field.

So make sure to read, comment and vote for your favorites!

The poll closes Tuesday, March 28th at 9pm EDT

Good luck to everyone!

[Poll #2065143]
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
It's Week 3 of Second Chance, as the field is narrowing and the time to get into the main competition is getting closer.

There's only one way to get to that point though, and it's the same path as this particular topic:

Getting to Carnegie Hall

Post your entries to this thread by Thurs, March 23rd at 8pm EDT

Have fun!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Sorry for the delay.

This time I can literally blame it on Canadians!

Damn them and their unexpectedly coming into town for a couple days and springing it on you at the last minute.

Fortunately, I already knew what was going to happen this week.

I said there would be 2-5 people leaving, and that it would be decided by where the numbers broke. Well, people made it extra easy for me.

We have three sacrifices!

Which means leaving us this week are:

[livejournal.com profile] alephz
[livejournal.com profile] cindynmuttnaz
and [livejournal.com profile] karmasoup

Which is definitely some very talented people, but they are also people that I'm relatively sure will be fighting for a spot during Second Chance when that rolls around.

For the rest of you - I'll be posting the next Topic thread and Work Room shortly, with an extra special surprise/treat.

I am still tallying the actual results. Once I am done though, if you want to email me at clauderainsrm@gmail.com and ask where you ranked this week (the general "low/medium/high") I will be able to provide you with that information.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Good morning!

Today is the final day of contestant only voting for Week 3! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/960470.html Pretty sure I know how this is going to go. BUT, as usual, "pretty sure" only goes so far... and is often wrong! So keep those votes coming!


Yesterday, there was a conversation that might have gotten lost given how busy the Green Room ended up getting. ;)

It was about the efforts of 2017 Revival/Livejournal Lives to "Make LJ Great Again".

I've noticed though, how quickly that tends to dissolve into a bunch of white people (mostly women, from the comments I've seen. That's probably just because LJ has always been "mostly women") sitting around talking about how awesome it was back when they used to be gather together to be nasty to other people.

Which I think is something not part of the discussion yesterday: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/961239.html?thread=82713303#t82713303 that there was a shift away from cyberbullying and the anon-communities ended up going deeper underground. (I've seen some folks express regret, or at least acknowledge that things got out of hand)

LJ definitely did a lot of the damage themselves through some "bad PR moves" to try to clean up the place, to make it safer for advertisers - instead driving away some of the folks they were trying to keep!

I DO hope that their efforts to bring more people back to the fold are successful. After all, a more active Livejournal has been something Idol has been doing it's best to achieve for years!

There are, of course, going to be naysayers. But I think it's a worthwhile tilt at the windmills.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Apparently, the US electoral college will be changing their votes today to make *ME* the new President-Elect of the United States!

It's extremely flattering, and, I must say, well-deserved.

I promise to unleash my minions upon the Earth to feast upon mortal flesh and, in general, rule with an iron fist.

Part of this rule will be to make sure that all contestants vote in the Contestant Only poll: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/960470.html

It's one of the cruel things you can look forward to during my reign of terror!

That, and extra long weeks!


People have been asking what the schedule will be like for the next couple of weeks - so they can plan around Idol. Of course I'm not going to tell you.

But I *will* say that (1) Topic posts will be going up following this elimination on Tuesday and (2) you're going to want to make sure you're paying attention to the schedule/what's going on.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
It's the second weekend of Week 3. :)

The contestant-only voting is happening right now, so make sure to get those in to me: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/960470.html


I'm starting to get ready for the Christmas party at the yacht club. Yes, that's where Cynthia's work has their parties.

My work? We have them in the conference room and it consists of a cookie making contest. (this year there was also an ugly sweater and wreath making contest). We had it on Friday, which means extra cookies and getting to leave early for the day, so you can't really beat that - even with a weekend visit to "the yacht club".

Once a year I end up feeling *really* out of place, dressing up and going somewhere that wouldn't want me there any other time of year. :)

But it is interesting to see just what the inside of those places is like! I suppose that's probably a good thing, getting to see life from a different perspective.


Those with jobs where you go into an office - what are they doing the celebrate?

Others (or them as well) - what have been some of your favorite 'holiday parties' that you have gone to/heard about?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Everything is down at work - external Internet, internal programs and general morale. But my phone is working, so I'm coming to you via hunt and peck on a tiny screen!

The voting thread is up - someone please post a link in the comments - so hopefully you are busy reading and giving some love to your favorites!

What is going on this weekend, in between Rogue One viewings?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
I'm not going to lie, going into this week I knew it was going to be brutal in terms of bye-outs, and it was. The following folks have byed-out, meaning that they used up both of their byes, and then missed today's deadline.

Quite a few of them had wrote something for the Week 0 Introduction topic though, and I'll admit, there were some of the newbies that I thought we would be seeing a *really* long time this season.

There's still hope for them to come back via Second Chance, later this season. But for now - yeah, it's brutal.

We are saying goodbye to
[livejournal.com profile] calliemajor; [livejournal.com profile] dubheach; [livejournal.com profile] elbielievable; [livejournal.com profile] emperor_smooth; [livejournal.com profile] ewok_626; [livejournal.com profile] fodschwazzle; [livejournal.com profile] geekmomof2; [livejournal.com profile] gratitude1943; [livejournal.com profile] heatherenchantd; [livejournal.com profile] lespere; [livejournal.com profile] lupinlover; [livejournal.com profile] lyrical_liessss; [livejournal.com profile] muchtooarrogant; [livejournal.com profile] narniarose; [livejournal.com profile] nonhelema; [livejournal.com profile] rsn_studios; [livejournal.com profile] slavezombie; [livejournal.com profile] superhappytime; [livejournal.com profile] tabloidscully; [livejournal.com profile] teresath; [livejournal.com profile] turned_in2_moon; [livejournal.com profile] turnerwolf; [livejournal.com profile] violaconspiracy; [livejournal.com profile] witchwife

But here's the cool thing - this wasn't the entire list of people who could have byed-out this week. There were some who have come to fight the odds and stay in this thing! Which makes me extremely happy to see! Hopefully that will be the case in Week 4 as well - and the number of those who want to fight for their spot in this competition continues to grow.


Even with those loses though, the game moves forward - and we lose some more.

This week, it's a CONTESTANT ONLY vote. Meaning you need to be a current (non-eliminated) contestant in order to vote.

Here's how this works:

You read the entries: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/958277.html Read them, comment on them, tell other people about to them to spread the love and then...

You send me a list (to clauderainsrm@gmail.com) of the names of the folks who wrote your favorites. No limit to how many or few you send. Make sure to identify yourself with your user name so that I can mark it off that you've voted.

You have until Tuesday, Dec 20th at 7pm EST to submit your choices.

We are going to be losing between 2-5 contestants this week. (depending on where the vote separation happens to land).

Good luck to everyone!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
It's deadline day!


So get to work you slackers!!

*cracks whip*

*steps on a crack, breaks your Mama's back*

*wears a bright red flower pot on my head*


So, Survivor fans - Adam.



So, Non-Survivor Fans - people who you know named Adam.

[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Good morning Idolers!

Friend of Idol (and current contestant) [livejournal.com profile] kathrynrose will be having a "Goal Setting Workshop" in the coming weeks http://kathrynrose.livejournal.com/847130.html has all the details.

If you want to step up your writing game (outside of Idol) and need assistance and coaching for starting your 2017 off on the right foot writing-wise, this should be a great opportunity to do so.

People who know her well already know that she's really good at this. But for those who don't - this is a chance to find out exactly *how* good. :)


While I'm advertising things - I'll just remind people to use Idol's Amazon link for their holiday purchases: http://astore.amazon.com/li0cd-20

and becoming a Patron has it's benefits: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=70027 (Including an extra bye - to give to someone else, and being able to send me a list of potential topics *for this season* (among others)


The deadline is TOMORROW NIGHT http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/958277.html and we are still missing the vast majority of entries. In true Idol-spirit, if given a longer period of time, people will still wait until the very last minute!


One of my cats tends to get that classic "hair standing up and hissing" reaction when someone starts messing with her. (the other is far more mellow)

It's an intimidation tactic that seems to work for her.

Which got me thinking about what sort of intimidation tactics I've used over the years, to get people to stay away from me.

I know that in middle school and early on in high school I established myself as "that crazy guy". After getting picked on and bullied for quite some time in elementary and middle school due to being a stutterer I realized that if people think that you might not be "completely right in the head" that they tend to overlook things like "that guy doesn't talk right" and concentrate more on "that guy's crazy. Who knows what he might do. I'll go pick on someone else instead".

It was a more subtle form of social camouflage, but it put me in a position where (other an a couple times in 9th grade, I didn't have to get into any more fights and people - for the most part - left me alone.)

It's not as blatant as making someone think that I was going to hit them with a baseball. But it's still was MY way of "brushing them back". What's yours?

(and yes, this is totally me trying to motivate people who haven't posted yet)
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Over the past few weeks I've seen a number of posts on my various social media feeds about people fed up with dating and frustrated with the idea of meeting someone.

At the risk of being "that guy", it wasn't that long ago that I was in the same boat - and I know how easily I could end up being right back there. (depends on the day :D)

But I still want to share what ended up working for me. Maybe it will be of use to someone. Probably not. But perhaps it will end up starting a conversation in the comments and something good will happen there. Or maybe people will just tell me how really wrong I am. Which is always fun too!

I used the site OKCupid for years. Never really branched out much from there. I know there are a lot more options now, but what I really liked was the matching percentages, and how there was a separate "friend percentage" as well. I took time to answer as many of the matching questions as I could, and kept answering more whenever I had free time... eventually I had answered almost all of them! It wasn't just about setting my own numbers, there were a few of them that actually made me stop and ask "what is ACTUALLY important to me?"

For the most part, I used it as a way to make friends after my divorce. I helped organize "meet ups" of other single people who wanted to get out of their house, meet people (and play some "nerdy board games"). That didn't help me get any dates, because I was busy during the events just making sure everything was running smoothly, and, if I'll be honest, I really wasn't putting myself "out there". But it did put me in a position to form a new friends group that wasn't the married-with-kids completely settled types that I still very much liked, but I couldn't hang out with the same way.

The dating I *did* end up doing did end up being "meet up related", they were never women who showed up to the event - but I was emailing everyone and just telling them about the event, so I was checking out a lot of profiles and sending out a lot of messages. Which eventually led to some conversations that actually *about something*. We were talking about the event, and it went from there. I think the sincerity helped when they realized "Wow, this guy is ACTUALLY emailing to see if I want to go to this event to meet OTHER people" and the conversations could go from there with actually talking to each other rather than the usual awkwardness.

But even then, I didn't fully appreciate the percentages involved. There were two "significant" OKC relationships and they were both with women who I had a 86-90% match with. You would think "that's really good", and while we *did* get along, especially with the lower match, that was just too big of a gap.

The friends that I really hit it off with, were in the high 90s (both in friendship *and* relationship potential). I'm still friends with most of them, even years later.

It was after one of those break ups though - with a woman who was probably one of the kindest people I've met, but we were really not well suited, and we both knew it (one of those "both people don't want to hurt the other ones feelings, until one of them takes the risk and they are both kind of relieved" moments) - that I made the decision "I'm not going to worry about this anymore!" I was just going to take the time *for me*, and concentrate on who I wanted to be.

But I found that I kept looking over at the site. Even though I told myself I wouldn't.

After a few months off-and-on of that, I finally decided "I'm going to inactivate my profile". But, of course, I wanted to look one last time - one of those "well, if I *were* looking right now, who would be out there?"

and there was someone with a 99% match. (I believe 97% friend match, but it could have been a point in either direction)

I'd never seen a profile match THAT high before. The closest had been 96% and those had become really good friends of mine.

Well, it wouldn't hurt to look at the profile right? Maybe check out a picture and see...

I read her words and it was like someone was reaching into my chest and holding onto my heart. I saw the picture... and yeah, I would have followed that woman anywhere.

She wasn't really looking for anyone either, having just got out of a serious relationship. She was finding her feet again and wanted to take things slowly with any potential relationships - but was setting up her profile to start having those conversations.

There's an "Message Me If" section, where you can put potential conversation starters. Hers was about one of her favorite bands and really asked for an emotional response. Which is exactly how I reacted to their music as well... so I just answered that question and sent it out to the universe, thinking I would never hear back from her. (Because I'm me and that's how I think...)

She responded by the time I woke up the next morning. (at the time it felt like several days, but when I went back to check the *actual* amount of time, it was a few hours)

We've talked every single day since then. (and yes, I did abandon everything I had previously known and followed her to a town I previously wouldn't have been able to locate on a map.)


I'm not entirely sure where I was going with that. :) Other than to say that if you are out there looking for someone, go with a place with a Match system and answer as many questions as you possibly can, as honestly as you can.

More importantly though, and this is easier said than done - don't go out "to meet someone". That way leads to madness. At least it did with me. I've seen quite a few people just end up circling the drain because of that cycle. If you *can* get out and make new friends, definitely do that. Concentrate on being just being the best "you" that you can be. Concentrate on finding ways to make yourself happy.

Don't disregard that urge to "look one last time" though. Because (well, at least for monogamous relationships - other mileage may vary) you really only need it to work that one time. :)

/cliched "advice"


Something that works every single time is our topic thread: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/958277.html If you are a current contestant, go there and link your entry. You still have a couple days, but let's not wait until last minute. It would be embarrassing to miss when there is probably the most time EVER given for a single entry. (*that's* something you don't want on your dating profile!) (Granted, I've seen at least one good reason for someone to miss, and I'm sorry for her loss. The rest of you get extra kicks!)

The Work Room is still open for those struggling: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/958506.html

Take advantage of the room, and of the Mentor. Don't let the topic intimidate you and get into your head. There are *so many* ways to go with it, you just can't play *its game*, you need to play *yours*.

You've got this.
[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
The Phantom Menace is on TV right now. Specifically, it's on my TV.

I've got to say, I may have given it too much credit at the time. I remember all the naysayers and thinking while it had flaws, that it was still entertaining. At least at the parts that we've seen so far, I've got to say that those people had some decent points.

Has that happened with you? What was it that just lost it's sheen with the passage of time, or maybe something that gained it?


One thing that definitely is still awesome is the Topic thread where people are posting their Week 3 entries http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/958277.html another is the Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/958506.html
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Good morning Idolers!

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

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

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

So go check those out!


Recap your week! What's been going well? What's been going "not so well"?
Or what are you watching? Reading?
Or... I don't know, whatever it is that you want to talk about today! ;)
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
The results from Week 2 are up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/958187.html

as is the new topic: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/958277.html

Given how busy December tends to be, I've even given you the best gift of all, more time. Use it wisely.

But that's not all. This week I'm giving you something extra in your stocking - A Mentor!

The Mentor program, for those who haven't been around in a season that has had them is where I extort threaten convince someone to come into the Work Room to give advice and be around to answer any questions people might have, and generally bounce ideas off.

This week, it's the Co-Winner of Exhibit B mini-season - and the person who was the fastest in Idol history to join the 100 Weeks Club! Give a warm welcome to your Mentor for the week - the one and only [livejournal.com profile] lrig_rorrim!


Ok. I’ve got some important advice for you intrepid Idolers. You ready? Here we go.

1. Reread your entry. Then reread it again. Read it aloud. Then have a friend read it. And then another friend. Rope as many friends into this as you can.

That’s it. That’s the big piece of advice.

Perspective is incredibly valuable. I’m not saying you should be an authorial shape-changer, shifting your style and content and presentation based upon the whims of a mercurial audience. I’m saying that writing is a kind of magic trick - we have images in our mind and we want to smush those images onto a screen in words for others to read. And what images will they have in their minds when they’ve seen the words? Is it what you were aiming for? Could it be closer? The more feedback you get from other people, the more you can perfect that magic trick.

Also, your friends will catch your typos and stray commas and awkward sentences. You’re going to miss some. Trust me on this one.

I said that was it, but really this singular piece of advice comes with two important corollaries.

1a. Learn how solicit good and useful feedback.
1b. Learn how to apply the feedback that you get.

So! Finding people to read your stuff is one thing - that’s what this space can be used for, after all! But those corollaries? Yikes!

How do you solicit good and useful feedback? So often what we get is “I liked it!” or “That was good” or “Eh, it wasn’t my thing.” Now, there’s useful information in those statements, but not a lot.

The first trick is to make sure to ask your readers good questions. It’s nice to know if they like something, but it’s way more useful to know that a sentence wasn’t at all grammatically correct, or that one of your characters is super unlikeable (especially if that wasn’t your intention!).

So, set the tone when you ask folks to read a thing. Ask for help spotting typos and awkward sentences, but also ask questions like, “What do you think happened, in your own words.” If you’re going for a specific tone, whether that’s melancholy or funny or introspective, ask how the piece made your reader feel. Did they get invested in the characters? Was there any point in the entry where their attention started to wander a little bit? I think you start to get the picture!

And what about 1b, learning how to apply the feedback you get? You don’t want to twist yourself into knots trying to make things perfect for everyone, and you’re operating on a pretty tight schedule here. Here’s the secret to revision and applying feedback: it’s not all-or-nothing. You don’t have to take every piece of advice someone gives you about improving an entry and try to apply it. You get to pick and choose. Someone may have fantastic sentence-level feedback for you but be awful about seeing the bigger picture. Maybe non-fiction memoir really isn’t their thing, and so their input on style just isn’t going to work for you this time. That’s ok! The trick is to get enough perspectives on a thing that you understand what’s generally working and what isn’t.

And how do you fix those things that aren’t working? Well, sometimes your readers will have ideas on that score - more often they won’t, or won’t have time to articulate them clearly.

Take what input you’ve got, and remember that every single word of your entry has an impact - sometimes that impact is negative, so you may need to cut a few of those words out. Remember that the things which are so clear in your head aren’t necessarily always making it to the page. If readers are unclear about something important, it might be because you haven’t actually put the words on the page yet. Add words. Reread. Take some words away. Read it aloud. And if you’ve got the time, get even more eyes on it. Creation is an iterative process.

And when that deadline rolls around and it’s time to put your link in the topic post and share it with an even wider audience, take a deep breath and congratulate yourself. And then go read! All these writers, working with the same general constraints, coming up with so many different angles on the same prompt... it’s amazing. You’re all amazing.

Go forth and be amazing. I’ll be here, to answer questions, read and offer feedback on works in progress, and do what I can to help.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
It's Week 3, and we are staring down what could be a massive bye-out from everyone who didn't show up for the last two weeks.

Which made me wonder, do I switch up the topic? Should I throw something nice and easy, right in most people's comfort zone?

Or should I try to bean someone and do a little headhunting?

It's a tough choice.

But I think I'm just going with my original plan and bring a

Brushback Pitch

The deadline to link your entry to this post is Thursday, Dec 15th at 8pm EST.

Yes, I'm giving you a week to write.

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

That was a close race with some really talented people.

It seems to be the theme of this mini-season.

Three writers are moving forward and the rest will have one more shot to get back into the competition.

Those returning to the game for Week 11 are

[livejournal.com profile] barrelofrain
[livejournal.com profile] roina_arwen
[livejournal.com profile] tijuanagringo

Congratulations, and make sure to get in your entry for this week! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/902097.html
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
While I'm finishing up with the counting, there is the matter of the Second Chance Gauntlet.

It is, once again

Open Topic

So hit us with your best shot!

This is open to everyone who is not currently an Idol contestant. (Including those eliminated tonight)

The deadline to link your entry back to this thread, for the next-to-last time to win a spot in the competition is tomorrow, Tuesday, March 1st at 9pm EST

Have fun!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
In true Idol fashion, it came down to 1 vote in both the Friends *and* the Rivals categories.

But there was a winner for each - so I will be giving out an immunity for both of you that can be used to save yourself from elimination one time between now and Top 30!

Congratulations to

[livejournal.com profile] orockthro


[livejournal.com profile] rayaso!


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