100 Weeks

Jan. 27th, 2017 11:35 pm
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
At this point, even newbies know what it takes to make it week to week in LJ Idol. Which makes celebrating making it to 100 weeks extra special.

Considering that there are 2 people making that mark this week, it's extra reason to celebrate!

Well, one of them made it 2 weeks ago. But who's counting (apparently I wasn't) and what a 2 it is! Both have definitely made a huge mark on the competition.

Congratulations to [livejournal.com profile] porn_this_way and [livejournal.com profile] yachiru, and welcome to the 100 weeks club!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Every week comes with it’s own surprises, and this week is no different.

It was another close one, coming within a few votes of completely changing the outcome.

Going into it, I wouldn’t have said that we would be saying goodbye to 3 veterans, and yet, here we are.

We are losing

[livejournal.com profile] lostin_thestars
[livejournal.com profile] poppetawoppet
[livejournal.com profile] vik_thor

Hopefully we will be seeing you in the Home Game, and making another run at it via the upcoming Second Chances!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
The poll closes tonight: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/973316.html and we are going to be losing the bottom 3.

I just took a look though and there are quite a few folks within a couple votes of being in that group. So please make sure you get out and support your favorites. It will be sad to lose any of them, but it's especially sad when you see the "I wasn't able to vote" comments expressing how much you are going to miss someone!

Who isn't getting the love they deserve right now?
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
When I woke up yesterday morning, I had no idea what was about to happen.

I got up, completed my morning routine and walked to the bus stop.

I rode the bus/napped and went into my job, still not knowing what was about to happen.

Cynthia's cousin Angel had something up her sleeve.

She had seen an story about how the local historic theatre was hosting a special Valentines Day event where people could renew their vows. Tucked into the story was a mention that if folks wanted to, they could get married in a mass movie-themed ceremony.

Angel posted this on Facebook - without tagging anyone. Because although she wanted Cynthia to see it, she knew that the only way she would take the bait is if she thought it were *her* idea. Angel also knew that one of the major obstacles has been that Cynthia *hates* planning things, so anyone taking that off her plate would be appealing.

The first time I was aware of any of this was a few hours later when I received a notice that Cynthia had tagged me in a post. That post. Hinting heavily that we should sign up and do that.

I wasn't sure how serious she was. That is, until I received an email from her friend at work saying "She's serious".

Which led to some emails and a phone call... (which is why I was so vague yesterday that something *might* be happening - because I honestly had no idea what was happening).

I woke up yesterday morning thinking it was just another day.

I went to bed knowing that I was going to getting married on Feb 14th!!


The Week 6 poll is up - so make sure to go celebrate over there! http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/973316.html
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
The poll is up: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/973316.html so why are you hanging around here?

Go! Read!

and then come back and let us know what you found that is worth talking about! :)


So what's going on in YOUR life? I *may* have big news coming up... still working out the details though...
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
A few words from [livejournal.com profile] clauderainsrm:

Good evening Idolers!

Just when I think I know what is about to happen next, the competition manages to make a turn.

Which is the theme of the week, so I guess that’s appropriate!

Before we get to the action though, there is some bad news. [livejournal.com profile] kindabrisk, [livejournal.com profile] mirrorfortress and [livejournal.com profile] shanns_ljidol had to drop out this week due to real life.

We also had a bye-out,
[livejournal.com profile] alphaloria

No idea what happened, but I hope everything is OK.

Hopefully things will improve for everyone in time to take part in Second Chances!

[livejournal.com profile] shanns_ljidol dropping means that her opponent in the tie-breaking match, [livejournal.com profile] kbr_shorts, is automatically safe!

As for the rest of you, there is a lot of good reading out there this week!

So please take the time to read, comment and vote for your favorites, and spread the word! The best way to support those favorites is letting your friends know you’ve found something worth their attention!

The 3 with the fewest votes from Tribe 1, will be eliminated.

The poll closes Friday, Jan 27th at 10pm EST.

Good luck to everyone!

Click here to Vote! )
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
It's one of those days where there is a lot on my mind, but no time to really talk about it. (need to do that "work thing")

Your deadline is TONIGHT http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/971359.html so I expect to see everyone there.

(pretty good ratio *so far*, but still a lot of names that still need to update! So get to it! *kicks you* )
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Error 500

Oh, sorry, I thought that was what we were supposed to post today on Livejournal. :)


Today IS the deadline for Week 6. Or rather, it was.

Sometimes I give you a break, sometimes I don't. This is one of the former.

I'm extending the deadline to Tuesday, Jan 24th at 7pm EST http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/971359.html

Use that time wisely.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Cynthia and I were in the line for "It's a Small World" tonight.

Yes, we were. Don't overthink it. Just go with it.

Maybe it's our way of protesting, by embracing a world where everyone comes together by singing in English and all dressing in white and for some reason inviting previously unseen clowns to show up in balloons.

Anyway - we were at the head of the line when the family in front of us had a bit of a run-in with the cast member. We saw the tail end of the exchange - with the cast member telling them they needed to get in line and get in the boat (at which point the teenage boy in the group literally *lept into the boat*).

Cynthia and I turned to each other with a "Damn", but it wasn't until a few minutes later when we were laughing about what we had seen, that we realized that it wasn't *the same "DAMN" moment for us.

I had seen the exchange and thought the family was really rude and while maybe a bit more terse that they are trained to be, that the cast member was dealing with a bad situation.

Cynthia had seen the exchange and saw the cast member as being completely out of line and nasty, and while the family may not have been on their best behavior, that it still didn't warrant that level of snark from her.

Why am I bringing this up? Because people see the same thing differently.

You can be right there, at the same event, taking it all in together - and still come away with a different experience.

This is true of life in general.
This is true of folks playing Idol.
But what occurred to me in that moment when I realized I was going to talk about it today, was that it's important to remember in your own writing. That people may think they are on the same page, but it's probably rare when they actually are completely so.

It's only be drilling down do you find the important differences, which are sometimes fundamental.


The thread for your entry links is: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/971359.html so make sure you get out there!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
One of my most recent public LJ posts was from 8 years ago, when I talked about my hopes for the Obama Presidency.

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

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

*laughs and points at younger self*

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

That's literally why she is here, as a tool for you! So please take advantage of that.
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
I promised you a Mentor, and here she is! :)

I was really hoping to get [livejournal.com profile] tigrkittn involved somehow with this season, but she's been so busy lately that it was going to be tough. I was really happy when she said she would be able to Mentor you guys this week.

I've got to get to work, so here's the link to last night's Work Room: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/971205.html

The Results/sudden death announcement: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/970905.html

and the new topic: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/971359.html

And here's your favorite kittn! ;)

I can't believe it's been eight years since I first discovered LJ Idol and started writing seriously for the first time in my life! I’ve gotten so much out of this game – wonderful friends, a new career I never would have attempted otherwise – www.shadowcatediting.com – and of course the opportunity to read hundreds (thousands?) of incredible stories written in various stages of deadline-induced panic.

Most of us are amateurs – or at least start out that way – and that means we’re writing pretty much from the gut. We haven’t necessarily studied a lot of books on the craft, taken any creative writing courses, or had our work professionally edited. And here’s where that initially puts us at a disadvantage, if we’re trying to write the highest quality essays and stories we can:

We don’t know what we don’t know.

Cliché? Sure, but that’s because it’s true – and that’s actually great news! Yes, really. Bear with me for a minute.

It’s great news because as soon as you discover something that you didn’t know before, your work can grow by leaps and bounds almost overnight. Writerly “tics” I’ve seen recently:

Favorite words. If your characters are staring, grinning, or nodding their way through your story, readers will notice – often before you do. Do events often happen “suddenly” in your work? How many times did you use the word “just” in your last story?

Favorite punctuation marks. Exclamation points and em dashes are likely culprits here. I’m overly fond of both, myself, and reducing their number is often a specific goal when I self-edit my own work before sending it to a pro.

“Words to use instead of said.” Several wonderful writers and editors have already written about this at great length and much more eloquently than I about why not to do this, so I won’t try to reinvent the wheel, but here’s the gist: “said” is invisible, and invisible is good. Unusual dialogue tags draw attention – and they’re drawing it away from what the character actually said and onto your description of it. Instead of describing how something was said, choose words that leave no question.

Short choppy sentences. They look fine when I’m writing them. I know what I’m saying. The scene is playing out in my head as I write. There are several things happening at once, or in sequence. Each one needs to be pointed out. Otherwise the reader won’t see what I see. But is this the best way to do it?
Dialogue tags that aren’t. This can be related to avoiding the word said, but not always. It’s often connected to actions, as in “We should order pizza,” she grinned. Or, “You never let me get anchovies,” he growled. Well, no. Have you ever tried to talk while growling? Try it. We can’t really growl sentences, and we definitely can’t grin them.

These are just a few examples, but practically every writer has some sort of habit that sneaks in to their work when they aren’t looking. So why am I bringing up these issues and not telling you what to do about them? Because you’re smart, and these problems aren’t rocket science. You know what to do about them – unless you don’t know you’re doing them.

That’s often where an editor or beta reader steps in – but you all have each other! Writing buddies can help you create your personal list of “quirks to watch out for” and give your work an instant boost.

So now it’s your turn – have you noticed any unusual or conspicuous habits in someone else’s writing? (When I’m listening to Dresden Files books in the car, I count how many times Jim Butcher uses the word “oblique” – it drives me batty!) Or in your own? Be brave – ’fess up! Then we’ll all know what to watch for!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
I invited a Mentor this week, and then I completely forgot to remind her.

She *is* coming - in Part 2 of the Work Room.

For Part 1, I'll remind you that there is a Sudden Death Write-Off: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/970905.html

and that the new topic is posted: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/971359.html


I will also let you know about some exciting news in the Idol-verse.

Friend of Idol Jason Franks SixSmiths was picked up by Caliber Comics and they have reissued the first volume: The Sixsmiths - Volume 1

"The Sixsmiths are a family of suburban Satanists who've fallen prey to the global recession. Now their life is in turmoil: the father Ralf needs to find a new job; the twins, Cain and Lilith, need to survive the horrors of the public school system; and wife Annie needs to keep them all sane and under budget. Meanwhile, their estranged elder daughter Jezabelle is having her own crisis of faith. Will the Devil rise to smite their enemies, or will he damn them with hellfire, wrath and underwater mortgage payment? Collects issues 1-4. A light hearted comedy satire for adults. Its The Simpsons meets The Osbournes. "

and closer to home, our own [livejournal.com profile] fourzoas now has an excuse that she byed-out in Week 5. She had work in this book that was just released

Rhetorics of Whiteness: Postracial Hauntings in Popular Culture, Social Media, and Education

"With the election of our first black president, many Americans began to argue that we had finally ended racism, claiming that we now live in a postracial era. Yet near-daily news reports regularly invoke white as a demographic category and recount instances of racialized violence as well as an increased sensitivity to expressions of racial unrest. Clearly, American society isn’t as color-blind as people would like to believe. In Rhetorics of Whiteness: Postracial Hauntings in Popular Culture, Social Media, and Education, contributors reveal how identifications with racialized whiteness continue to manifest themselves in American culture."

One of the things that I've loved seeing, over the years, is Idol writers (and "Idol-adjacent" in the case of Jason) putting their work out there!

So please, go and support your fellow Idol writers in this, and anything else that we have in the Idol store! http://astore.amazon.com/li0cd-20 (and if there is something I've forgotten, or you want to see added - of your own, an Idol-adjacent friend, or just something you really love and you think other people should check it out too). Be sure to mention it to me!


While we are waiting for the Mentor post though, first thoughts on the topic?

(and don't forget, those of you who are Patrons, you have the chance to *send me topics to use this season*. https://www.patreon.com/user?u=70027 )
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Things have been going pretty well so far.

Everyone gets along, and peace reigns throughout the land.

But sooner or later - you know it's coming.

There is going to be a

Heel turn

and that will be this week's topic! :)

The deadline to link your entries back to this thread is Monday, Jan 23rd at 7pm EST
The deadline has been extended due to LJ issues: the new deadline is Tuesday, Jan 24th at 7pm EST

Have fun!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Week 6 is over, and now it's time for the results.

Before we even started, the Rivals group already had two sacrifices: [livejournal.com profile] chasing_silver and [livejournal.com profile] fourth_horseman, two immensely talented individuals who threw themselves on the sword of Real Life in order to save their fellow contestants. Which means that there was one person from the Rivals leaving via the poll this week, and one from the Friends.

That's going to change dramatically over the next couple of weeks, but you'll have to wait and see what I mean by that.

In the meantime, we have the "saying goodbye" to the two additional folks who will be leaving us this week.

In both cases, it was a slim margin, one of those being 1.25 votes overall between the distance between teams, and a single vote between contestants!

But, that is the way the ball bounces sometimes, and I hope we will see both of them when it comes time for folks to try to earn a spot back in the competition!

Leaving us this week are: [livejournal.com profile] kehlen_crow and [livejournal.com profile] vik_thor
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
The poll closes tonight, which means it's time for the weekly "Who isn't getting enough love in the polls this week?" post.

Feel free to name your favorites!


I wasn't going to warn you. But I've decided to be ominous, that it might be a good time to find a team.

Am I making a threat? Of course not... I'm just giving those of you who care about such things a heads up that without the courage of the fearless crew, the Minnow would be lost...
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
Good afternoon to whatever snowbank you find yourself in today!

(those of you living in parts of the world where there has been a lot of snow)

It was snowing in Florida yesterday. Not accumulating on the group or flurries (although I did hear that some places in the northern part of the state had a "light flurry") but actual snow from the sky was falling.

Which, of course, meant that it had to be a day when I spent the entire time outside.

Not feeling great today. Hopefully some rest and warmth will make everything better.

That's what I hope for you today as well - rest and warmth, and reading Idol entries: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/886101.html because the poll closes tomorrow evening and there aren't many votes in yet, which means anything can still, and probably will, happen)

It's up to you to make sure that "thing that happens" is something that helps you read more great stuff!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
A few words from [livejournal.com profile] clauderainsrm:

It’s Week 6, which means it’s time for another poll.

It also means that we have another list of the folks who have byed-out this week. Fortunately, it’s a small list. Unfortunately, there are some talented people on it.

Leaving us this week are:

[livejournal.com profile] dreamsreflected
[livejournal.com profile] logical_fallacy

Thank you for coming out this mini-season. I hope that once your lives settle down that it coincides with when there will be a chance to re-enter the game!

We also have a couple other departures this week - Goodbye to Teams Celestial Coconut Pancakes and Raspberry Pi. I hope that next week we will see something new rise from your ashes!

We will be having more losses this week as well. Because that’s how we roll.

3 contestants will be eliminated from the Rivals and 1 from the Friends!

So that’s another 4 that will be gone from our ranks at the beginning of next week!

But for right now, that’s all in the future. What you have right now is the present. Both in terms of “right now” and in the terms of “a gift that is being given to you”. Because the entries that I’ve read so far have definitely been a really cool gift.

I can’t wait to read the rest!

The poll will be closing Monday, Jan 25th at 9pm EST

Good luck to everyone!

[livejournal.com profile] watching_ships did not take a bye. Her entry can be found here:

She will not be charged with a bye.

Click here to Vote! )
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
I got a message today from an old friend that I've known since high school. We are on each other's facebooks, but haven't really talked in awhile.

He's been through a lot over the past few years and it's really transformed not only his life, but his thought process. It was really nice to see how much he's grown from the person I knew (I liked the old guy as well - but if he had stayed that way into adulthood, he'd be pretty annoying)

How do YOU see yourself as having grown in a last couple of years? What did you use to believe/hold close that you now look back and go "What the hell was I thinking?"


The only *truly* unforgivable thing to be thinking right now is missing tonight's deadline: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/884842.html

So don't do it!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
On the way home last night I heard Golden Smog's cover of "Starman". It was a decent cover. Pretty straight forward, with them doing an impression of Bowie that if you had it in the background at a party you might not realize that you weren't listening to the original.

Which brought up a couple old questions for me - questions that pop up whenever I hear a cover: "If you aren't going to add something 'uniquely you' to it - why are you covering the song?" and more importantly, because sometimes the answer to #1 is "I felt like it"... "why are you recording it and putting it out there"?

Because every time you put something out there into the world, you are saying "This is worth your time to check out".

Even if you don't consciously say those words, that's the implication - you think this work is worth someone else's rapidly decreasing time on this planet.

It's not just true of cover songs, but original ones - or anything you create, including LJ Idol entries. ;)

(You knew I was going to bring this thing around!!)

I've banged the "this should be uniquely YOU" gong enough, but I'll add to it that you need to be aware that you are asking for someone else's time - and make sure whatever you are putting out there into the world is worthy of that very high bar.

I think it is. Or at least it can be. After all - what is a "vote" if not a way of saying "this was worth not only my time to read, but to come back here and click a box saying 'yes, I liked this thing you did. It was worth my time - I want to see more of it.'?


This week's topic thread is: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/884842.html where people are currently posting. Check them out as they come in!


Reminder: All team changes need to be in to me at clauderainsrm@gmail.com by 8pm EST tonight. So if you want to change up your existing group or create a new one (and I definitely am trying to encourage the latter!) send me an email with your information!
[identity profile] clauderainsrm.livejournal.com
You know that times are tight financially when ISIS has to cut their salaries in half: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/islamic-state/12110196/Islamic-State-forced-to-halve-its-jihadists-monthly-salaries-in-tough-times.html

I'm sorry to break the news to anyone considering that as a potential career change. You may have to wait until the salaries start going back up again... perhaps they will allow them to accept tips!


My "tip" would be to check out the Topic thread: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/884842.html

and maybe the Work Room if you still need some extra help: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/884693.html


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