Monthly Archives: July 2013

Writer Workshop

(Posted by chris the cynic)

Those of you who also frequent Ana Mardoll’s Ramblings will find this somewhat familiar.  Here, as there, it was requested that there be a regular post to talk about writing projects (and other artwork-creation). Thus this post exists.

Pencil by Elisa Xyz

What are you working on? How are you feeling about it? What thoughts and/or snippets would you like to share? How does your activism work into your art? What tropes are you hoping to employ and/or avoid? Are there any questions you’d like to ask or frustrations you’d like to vent?  Writing workshop below!

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This forever in the Slacktiverse, July 30th, 2013

(posted and compiled by chris the cynic, written by members of The Slacktiverse)

If everything were as it should be there wouldn’t have been a long hiatus, this would have been posted on Saturday, two out of the last three days wouldn’t have been Hell, Monday would have had pictures of cute wombats, and so forth.  But this post isn’t about me.

In fact I want to take this opportunity to say how very much not about me things are.  I’m not the only one behind the curtain, I’m not the only one in the comments, and I often wish we had more people getting in the bylines because having my name there over and over can, I think, overshadow that this place has always, since Fred created it by giving his typepad site to the community when he left for a new home on patheos, been about the community.  No one person, us as a group.  A group that changes with the time and whatnot, so no one member can truly represent it.  Which is why I wish we were seeing more names in the byline, more links in the blogaround, and so forth.

Even if you think your blog posts are crap (and to the one person likely to think I’m singling zir out: I’m not) they were good enough for you to put out there once.  Share with the rest of the class.  Look at the crap I sometimes submit for [profane expletive of choice]’s sake.

Rant over, now to your regularly scheduled, except not on it’s regular schedule, post:

The Blogaround

chris the cynic wrote:

With respect to movies I wrote that Percy Jackson and the Olympians annoys me because it has Percy as the single most precious snowflake of a demigod in the history of history.  That post also had a bit of how I would do it.  (It’s one of the four vaguely formed stories with a transfemale main character kicking around in my head.) I commented on spelling movie titles using ancient Greek letters because one spelled out “S#SKT%L” (punctuation marks for not-Greek letters) which was not the title of the movie.  I speculated that the movie title Sharknado was created using two dartboards.  And I commented that the Sci-fi Channel (still not calling it SeeFee no matter how many proper-noun-terminal-Ys they put in) couldn’t decide whether the theme of Sharknado was in the shark or the -nado because they told my local provider they were doing weather movies and Sharknado but actually did shark movies and Sharknado.

On the original stuff front I proposed a series based around the idea of an action movie.  Instead of showing the action movie, it would show all of the people who the action movie with its requisite explosions and gunfights and car chases had an effect upon.  After the idea was refined in the comments (upbeat series about how one takes being run over by an action movie and still gets happy ending) I made another post on four installments of such a series (the two people who had their cars stolen for the for the chase, two street vendors who had their carts destroyed in that chase) and asked, in all seriousness, if people thought there was any chance of making this thing into a comic book/graphic novel in real life.

Had a lot of stuff on my computer but the end result is this: I have a new screen and a new cable connecting the screen to the rest of the laptop.  It still cannot produce the color red but at least all of the other problems are gone.

My financial state is problematic as ever, had some posts on that.  Just in general as well as thank you for donations. The fact that donations are probably the best present you can get me for my birthday on the third.  How right now I can be financially OK while still on the brink of disaster in about a month.  More Birthday talk.

My mental health is worse than usual.  I finally got insurance (yay!) that I was due via the state but this came at the same time as the free samples of the only medication that ever worked ran out and the insurance wanted me to try a cheaper thing first which, while there was hope it might work, didn’t.  So first I lost the ability to care.  Most other stuff is not documented but four days ago I was laying on the floor wishing I could just close my eyes and have the world go away.

I also spent way too much time answering someone’s questions about the Avengers, when almost (but not quite) all of them could be easily answered by watching the movie.

And, to end on a happy note: I am now a published author.

In Case You Missed This

Firedrake wrote:

Brin Bellway wrote:

Smells Like Words: a personal view of anosmia (lacking a sense of smell).

Here’s a few links people might find interesting, Silver Tyger wrote:

Gender’s Giving Sci-Fi and Fantasy the COOTIES! – “I wasn’t just a no-frills kind of girl. On school picture day, I rocked a pair of boys’ Transformers sandals. There was more to me than met the eye. True, I was born with certain genitals and I wore my hair very, very long until I was an adult. But no matter how hard people tried – and sometimes they tried with fists and guns – nobody was able to convince me that my crotch defined my self.” Discusses writing varied heroes. With cites! (From I like a little Science In My Fiction). CN: discussions of gender essentialism, minor mention of gender-based threat)

Reactions to My Gender – reactions to different types of cis-sexism (from Nerd is my Gender). I’ve had too many of these happen to me.

The sickening grunch – “Anyway, I was talking with another young woman about Irish monastic penitentials or something like that when a couple of guys in a big ol’ car started the wolf-whistle-leer-and-comment-suggestively bit, with particular reference to my breasts. There it was-the sickening grunch as I landed involuntarily back in my body-and not my entire body, either, but specific parts of it. The conversation was ruined.” (from Caveat Lector)

chris the cynic writes:

My Birthday is August 3rd.

Ana Mardoll gave an update on the Texas Fillibuster transcript project.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about go there and learn about it.  Though be warned: Wendy Davis will reaffirm your faith in humanity; the other side will crush it.  These two things will happen at the same time.  Where you’ll end up on the other side is unclear.

Things You Can Do

Often Things You Can Do is for some other, a stranger or a group you can’t place a face on.  This is good and right and proper and such.  When we stop caring, or at a minimum making ourselves act like we care/remembering we should care when we are unable to actually care, about those we don’t personally know we lose a vital part of what makes up morality.  But we also have people here who are not others.  That’s what a community is.  It was up to me (chris the cynic) to decide whether the following submission belonged here.  No special authority, the submitter didn’t know; I’m compiling the post.  So it falls to me.  I say it does.

Ellie Murasaki wrote:
I got diagnosed with asthma last week and the meds expense has kicked a nice hole in my budget. I’m offering to write fiction on commission, semi-pro per-word pricing. Details and Paypal. My preference is that all these stories be fantasy focused on marginalized people (women, people of color, queer people, people with disabilities…), but I’m willing to take a crack at about anything. I also have jewelry for sale and a book for sale (and keep an eye out for another this autumn!) If you can’t, won’t, or don’t want to pay me for art but you do want to give me a hand, signal-boost me and/or leave appreciative comments on the poetry and flash fiction on my Dreamwidth, the master publications list is here.

–Co-authored by the Slacktiverse Community

Extending the very extended extension filled extention

So, what do you do when your medication doesn’t work and real life hits you like a-

Enough.

I mean it’s not like you can hide in a hole or anything, you have responsibilities.

I can hide in a hole just fine.  I don’t even take up the whole hole most of the time.

And people are counting on you-

You haven’t seen the traffic stats, I have.

So you’ve got to do something.

Generally I announce that I’m late… again, remind everyone that when I’m late they’re allowed to be late, implore them to send something in, hammer home the fact that it’s since the last time they submitted (even if that was never) not the last week, and hope and pray two things.

Those being?

One, that people will make submissions.  Two, that I’ll manage to do the post another day late at the worst.

Does that work?

Almost never.

So why do it?

I have to do something.

The weekend post won’t be happening in the weekend.  It’ll be the Monday post, at best.  Again.  Until the post is up consider submissions open.

If, soon after it goes up, you have a submission ready, send it.  There is a procedure for this and it is in no way bad for you, whereas waiting to send it could result in forgetting to send it in which case that is bad for you.  There is, in fact, no reason that you have to wait until the last minute to send in submissions to the “This Week” post.  If you want to you can send a submission every Wednesday.  No one does, but it is theoretically possible.

Though if you were to choose an early day to send submissions it would be nice if you indicated what post they were for (i.e. if you decide to send submissions every Sunday it would be good to note that they’re not late submissions for the previous Saturday’s post, they’re on time submissions for the next Saturday’s post.)

Anyway, occasionally me being late has led to other people getting submissions in where otherwise they wouldn’t, normally it has no effect.  The rule is always the same: if you have something, submit.

Hell, look at it this way: If me being late results in you submitting then something good came of my failure.  If me being late does not result in any additional people submitting then my failure is complete.  There is no silver lining; all is lost.  A world in ruin.  All the sads all the time.  So please, for the good of humanity and all other sapient species, submit.

Or something like that.  I’ve just had a very bad day.  Forgive me if I’m a bit loopy.

Deconstruction Round Up, July 28 2013

(by the Slacktiverse and others; collected by chris the cynic)

So much for catching up to one day behind.

Ana Mardoll: Ana Mardoll’s Ramblings

[Editor’s note: I was discussing with someone where our lives would fit if we were in a work of fiction.  Imagine, if you can, a world in which the problems in Texas and various other states didn’t exist and all the energy expended on keeping up on that were spent on deconstructing Twilight and Narnia.  Twilight and Narnia are still full of fail that reflects the larger culture, so that isn’t a perfect world, far from it.  But it is uncountably better than this world.  If this life were fiction it would be a dystopia.  Probably a Near Future Dystopia but that depends on the tech level of the writer.]

Multiple Deconstructions:

Erika M. and Will Wildman: Something Short and Snappy

Fred Clark: Slacktivist

Froborr: My Little Po-Mo

RubyTea: Heathen Critique

Multiple Deconstructions:

Justice_Turtle: ReadAllTheNewberys

Mouse: Mouse’s Musings

Omskivar: Omskivar Reviews

In Theaters: World War Z

Philip Sandifer: Philip Sandifer: Writer

Yamikuronue: Raven Wings

Multiple Deconstructions:

Please comment or e-mail us if we’ve forgotten anybody or you have anyone to add. Or if any links are broken, or if you’re linked to and don’t want to be, or if you have a universal cure for depression, or for more or less any reason really.

Board Business, July 26th, 2013

(posted by chris the cynic)

Irregular Business

By posting the Writer Workshop thread earlier today that got us to about two days behind where we should be.  I’d like to bring that up to one day behind by getting the decon round up up tomorrow and the weekend post on Sunday.

Since we haven’t had a weekend post in forever and a day seriously feel free to submit anything you’ve written ever that you want to show off because it’s not like I’m going to be checking dates.  That’s for the blogaround.  Anything you’ve read ever for in case you missed this.  Things you can do still need to be current because, you know, you still need to be able to do them.

Regular Business

Submission deadline for the weekend post is pushed back one day to Sunday 20:00 (8PM) US Eastern Time.  

Anyone who has submissions for the weekend post should send them in.  Some people wonder if they really deserve to be in the post.  The answer to that is always the same: You do.  So try not to be afraid and do try to send in submissions if you have them.

The sections of the post are as follows:

The Blogaround

Any denizen of the Slacktiverse who has posted an article to their own website since they last submitted to a weekend post is invited, enticed, and cajoled to send a short summary of that article along with its permalink to the group email. That summary and link will be included in the next weekend blogaround. This will help to keep members of our community aware of the many excellent websites hosted by other members.

Remember, this is since you last submitted to a weekend post, not since the last weekend post. For example, if the last time you submitted was a month ago, everything you wrote since then is fair game.

In Case You Missed This

Readers of The Slacktiverse can send short summaries of, and permalinks to, articles that they feel might be of interest to other readers.  These should be sent, as you might expect, to the group email.

Things You Can Do

Anyone who knows of a worthy cause or important petition should send a short description of the petition/cause along with its url to the group email.

Deadlines
For the Weekend Post Sunday 8PM US Eastern time.  Articles are welcome any time, as are ideas for open threads and writing prompts.  All submissions should be sent to the group email which is SlacktiverseAuthors (at) gmail (dot) com.

This can be used as an open thread, if you want.

Writer Workshop

(Posted by chris the cynic)

I was more or less away from keyboard the past two days and while it would make sense to schedule these in advance I don’t so sorry for being late.

Those of you who also frequent Ana Mardoll’s Ramblings will find this somewhat familiar.  Here, as there, it was requested that there be a regular post to talk about writing projects (and other artwork-creation). Thus this post exists.

Pencil by Elisa Xyz

What are you working on? How are you feeling about it? What thoughts and/or snippets would you like to share? How does your activism work into your art? What tropes are you hoping to employ and/or avoid? Are there any questions you’d like to ask or frustrations you’d like to vent?  Writing workshop below!

Meta/Open Thread: Articles, regularly scheduled programming and all that

So, coming to the end of the week of open threads which require basically no work on this end… uh… stuff.

The person who does cute animal Mondays hasn’t been lately for what I assume are completely legitimate real world based reasons.  Probably safe to assume they will not be lurching back to life, though it would be nice if they did.

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday are theoretically supposed to be article/open thread days.  While there are articles in the works there are not a lot and the pace at which they move from learning they’re in the works to being posted tends to be glacial.  On the open threads front I’m largely out of ideas and no one else is really chiming in with them.

Other than that we’ve got Wednesday Writers Workshop and Board Business, Friday Deconstruction round up, and Saturday weekend thread.  The one of those that is of most concern to me is the weekend thread.

There was a time when people said it was one of the most useful things in the Slacktiverse to them because it kept them up to date on what was going on the various blogs of the greater Slacktiverse (the blogaround), let them know about things going on they might have missed (In Case You Missed This), and let them know of worthy causes they could help with (Things You Can Do).

Now it’s reached the point where it’s not uncommon for no one to submit anything.  Either no one here has a blog, no one here reads any articles worthy of sharing, and no one here ever comes across a worthy cause, or basically no one here gives a damn.

That exaggerates slightly.  The most recent weekend post had two “In case you missed this,” submissions.  The person doing the weekend post (not always me) occasionally puts things that weren’t actually submitted in.  To find an example of an actual submission to “In case you missed this,” other than the most recent two I had to go back to February 23rd.

Three submissions in that long.  Sending an email saying, “I read an interesting article about X [link],” is a very low effort threshold.  People are, with three three exceptions in that amount of time, not willing to meet that threshold (or are reading as little as I am.)

That’s disheartening.

Honestly compiling the (often lack of) weekend post has become a regular experience of, “What the fuck’s the point?”  If no one cares I have to wonder if this place serves a purpose.  Though that could be related to my insurance forcing me to switch to a medication that doesn’t seem to work.

So that, more or less, is where we stand.

So, here’s my suggestions for what to talk about:
Articles: For the Nth time, what would you like to read?  What might you feel comfortable writing?  Are there any collaborative posts you’d like to collaborate on?

Cute Animals: Did people like it when it was happening?  If so, would someone like to take that over until/unless normal cute animals person has time to do it again?

Weekend Post: We’ve reached a point where we often don’t get any submissions for the blogaround, we get “In case you missed this” submissions far less frequently, and “things you can do” submissions even less frequently than that.  Any ideas on how we could change that?

Just in general: This is a place that’s always been intended for the community.  You (every one of you, including lurkers) are the community.  If you have any thoughts on this place that don’t fall into the above, please share them.

-chris the cynic