Thursday, October 31, 2002

Fangirl says

Happy Halloween, but more importantly, Happy Birthday to Zendom! Jemima steps up to the podium and delivers the zenniversary address. Long live the snark and the meta!

The quiz results are really rather... frightening.

What's your inner fangirl? Take the test!
Took a trip down memory lane. Everything I learned about webdesign came from Webpages that Suck and Dive into Accessibility. Both worth a read if you're a website owner or in my case, looking for a refresher. Unfortunately, I've also committed one of the sins listed here, so I will be taking care of that problem this weekend. New reading: Top Ten New Mistakes of Web Design.
To cry or not to cry, that is the question

My creative writing teacher once told me that writing about a character crying was dull and tedious. Of course, I was taken aback - especially since I had a weeping character in my story. But the truth is, she was most probably right. There are about 80 million different ideas on how to write and how to get published - and really, these days, with the power of the internet, you don't really need much experience to do either. So, I won't be offended if you take my thoughts with a sack of salt.

Emotionlism in writing is more about showing than telling. Some of the most emotional work I've read has given some wonderful descriptions of how a character looks, how they move, how they react to a situation. In addition, it's possible to 'show' sadness in ways other than tears filling eyes or expressions crossing faces. What about the way someone is holding an object? What about the way they respond to a comment? How is their posture? Are they leaning against a wall for support? Is their manner distracted or concentrated?

When writing about an emotional response to an action, consider how you would react, considering you can't see yourself crying or what the expression on your face is. Once Liz told me, re a story she was writing about Sisko, that she was thinking of him as being punched in the stomach. So how does it feel to be punched in the stomach? How do you react? Tears might be one thing, but perhaps you'd grip your stomach first and double-over. Maybe you'd slump to the floor. Maybe you'd feel weak, wobbly, maybe you couldn't breathe. All of these things are possibilities and by including detail like this, it's giving insight on how it feels to get punched in the stomach. Compare that with someone who just cries after getting punched in the stomach - we have no idea how it feels to this character that they just got socked in the gut, all we know is that this person is perhaps sad.

It's okay to give details on how people feel about certain events. It's not enough to move a character through a scene without descriptives, not only of how the scene looks but also how it feels to the character. What memories are stirred up? What triggers the memory? If it's a sad memory, how does the character react? A lot of times, I read a story and I'm thinking, "Okay, I know where this character is, I know what they're doing, I know what the room looks like, but what is this character thinking?" A lot of times, we get the wide-angled view of a character and it sterilizes the reader's opinion of what's happening. The emotionalism in a scene is sucked out and instead, you're watching a two-dimensional person go through the motions but not really understanding why.

Back to the crying thing. It's really easy to write: "A paperweight fell on Mary's foot. She cried." That really doesn't give much indication of Mary's state of mind. There's also, "A paperweight fell on Mary's feet. Tears streamed from her eyes at the pain." Trying it again: "A paperweight fell on Mary's foot. Pain shot through her and she hopped up and down, cursing herself for her stupidity." And again: "The paperweight landed heavily on Mary's foot. She yelped as pain shot through her and she fell backwards against the sofa, cursing herself for her stupidity." And one more time: "Mary yelped as the paperweight landed on her foot. She hobbled to a chair, clutching the edge of the desk for support. Thanks to her clumsy fingers, she knew she wouldn't be able to play in the soccer game on Tuesday."

People get around the crying "problem" in different ways. There's the "blinking back tears", "eyes filling with unshed tears" (though, one could argue that if tears are unshed, then they aren't tears), "bright eyes," "glistening eyes," "water pooling in eyes," "glittering eyes," "shiny eyes," etc. These are all ways of avoiding the phrase "Mary cries." No problems there, but if a someone is going to cry, the reasons and the motivations behind those tears should be clear and there ought to be more there than just waterworks. Some indication of what the character is feeling physically and mentally. The same thing goes with any other vague concept, such as love. If two characters in love, don't just tell the reader that they are - show how they interact together, how they speak, the tone of their voice and the word choice used.

That's not to say there's a problem with "telling." A lot of advice types say that writers should avoid telling at all cost and concentrate on showing. Which works to an extent, but there's a fine line. At some point, a writer's got to spell out what's going on. Perhaps, along with the glistening eyes, a character feels dismay. Telling us someone feels dismay is not "show", but the previous part of the sentence which gives us a bit of "show" makes the "telling" more palatable later on. There are different shades of info dump and vagaries - the trick is to find what works best for a writer given their particular writing style. It's a little too much to expect that there is a "one size fits all" guide to good writing.
More snark

Terri O responds to the latest article from the "How to Write For Trek" expert.

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Bright Shiny Objects has been updated. Go get yer fresh fic recs there.

I was hanging out on today and saw that the title bar reads "Monster - My Monster." ::giggle:: (oh come on, don't you think it's funny?).

A lil bit 'o snark

Do You Have What It Takes to Write For Star Trek?. Here's part II. Absolutely verklemped. I'd take him a lot more seriously if he knew the difference between you're/your and who's/whose. And oh yes, if he had actually been published in the ST universe as well. Want Trek writing advice? ASC is probably the place to get it. Some of the best ASC authors have gone on to be professionally published and more importantly, they know the difference between they're/their/there.

And oh yes, the link below is to a CNN article about spammers' latest tactics. I was between classes and couldn't elaborate more on the subject but thought it was worth giving people a head's up about.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Email greeting is actually porn.

No rain. The rain is gone. Wow. Apparently, by this afternoon, we will see sun. Not sure I can handle the excitement.

I'm officially registered now for the National Novel Writing Month.

People who spoil without spoiler space should have to read "The Eye of Argon," watch the "Star Wars Holiday Special," eat Ramen noodles and for good measure, have to read the material for my strategy class as well as having to sit through what is arguably the most tedious 150 minutes of my week. For 366 days straight. So there. Think before spoiling or I'm going to have to hurt you.

Election day is one week from today. If you can, go vote. I voted on Sunday in Early Voting. But I can't wait for this to be over. Dear God, I don't know what it's like in your neck of the woods, but the negative ads here are insane. I don't even know what anyone stands for - only how terrible everyone is. Which begs the question, why should we vote for anyone at all if we don't know what they're going to do once they get elected? Me, I vote a straight-party ticket, with the occasional exception of voting for a Green party candidate - saves me from actually having to judge anyone on their undoubtedly questionable merits.

And btw, it really, really makes me mad when I see an attack ad that accuses a candidate of supporting Clinton instead of Bush. How is that such a bad thing? It really, really irks me that Cinton's dismal personal problem is equated with his political successes. So I'm going to say it loud and proud right here: I SUPPORTED CLINTON IN BOTH ELECTIONS AND I DIDN'T VOTE FOR BUSH AND I DON'T REGRET IT. I'm just making it easy, y'know, for people to dig up dirt on me in case I ever choose to run for public office.

I've been trying to figure out what dirt people would dig up on me if I did run for public office (liberal bias, Clinton-supporter aside). Here's what I've come up with:

  • Seema is obsessed with a fantasy universe and creates stories revolving around fictional characters. This proves that her ideas for XX are not grounded in reality.
  • Seema used to pour salt into her Coke while an undergrad just to watch the soda overflow the cup. This was a waste of valuable salt and soda that could have been used by other less fortunate students.
  • Seema occasionally forgets to return emails. This proves she doesn't care about others.
  • Seema once spent $60,000 organizing a meeting for work. This high figure shows that she is not cost-conscious and will waste tax payers' money.
  • Seema worked for a Big!Insurance company for four years. This means she is on the side of the Big!Insurance and not on the side of tax payers.
  • Seema once refused a political candidate's request to pull a news article that was to be published in the next morning's paper. This blatant disregard of a candidate's wishes once again proves that Seema is out to get people and provide only one side of the story.
  • Seema is from New England even if she has lived in this state for five years. She doesn't understand this community as she says she does and worse, she's a Yankee!
  • Seema doesn't eat beef. This means she doesn't support one of this state's major agricultural industries.
  • Seema once asked a question about Enron. Enough said.

I think there's enough there for at least five or six negative ads. I'm sure there are more skeletons in my closet, but these are the big ones.

Monday, October 28, 2002

My midterm paper is done. Just one paragraph left to go. I hurt. My neck, my shoulders, my back, and the telltale throbbing in my wrists. I blame the paper. I'm exhausted now - but finished - and will have to call it an early night. Good night, moon.
If nothing else, the recent BNF "scandals" have given birth to a whole bunch of new quizzes. So instead of being a BNF, I'm now a dinosaur. How ever did we manage before quizilla?

Which fandom dinosaur are you?

brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, October 27, 2002


The weekend got away from me. No email answered. Okay, just one, but it was a short one. And now I'm feeling guilty. For those you interested in Seema!minutia, I've got a paper due on Tuesday that counts as our midterm - it's basically a strategic analysis of AOL and what their next steps ought to be. I've got that database assignment due on Tuesday and hopefully, it did save to my zip disk properly. I've got a case update to do for tomorrow morning on American Express that I haven't started yet and I have a team meeting at 6 tonight on Microsoft - we've got to write up that company's strategic moves over the last 20 years.

In other news, I had a nightmare last night. I dreamt that I had an accounting exam and I was so confused. I kept asking the professor how come I had an exam because I didn't even know I had an accounting class and so I never bought the book, so I never read it etc, etc and the professor just cackled, gave me the exam and said, "Do the best you can." And all the time, I was thinking, this is wrong because I'm not in an accounting class. How did I get into an accounting class? And then I got a 55 on that exam. So yeah, major nightmare there.

I'm formulating my thoughts on realism versus unrealism in fic, but it's going to have to be backlogged for now while I get myself squared away with everything else RL-related. So much to do, so little time. Can't believe I was belly-aching about not having much to do a few weeks back. Bah. At any rate, it's official. I'm pulling a Bjorn. I'm applying for a second Masters. This time in International Affairs. It's got a Fellowship program and really, it's only worth it if I get accepted as a Fellow or get a sizeable scholarship. But I'm already facing reality and reality tells me that I won't have a job in June or even in August and I can't bear the thought of having to sit around for six monhs to a year while looking for a job. Twenty percent of the class that graduated in May is still unemployed, including some people who received job offers in the fall and then were laid off in the summer, just weeks after they began. Companies simply don't want to hire MBAs - we're too expensive for them, or so conventional wisdom says these days. So I figure, a Fellowship is just as good as a job, right? Of course right.

Saturday, October 26, 2002

Cell phone decision made... reading fine print helps. ::grin::
And we're back... my brother changed my passwords yesterday because blogger was hacked which means the security of privately-owned web space was compromised. Anyway he emailed me the new passwords - which I couldn't get because, well, couldn't get it into the account without the passwords. But it's all good, he gave it to me last night over dinner and now we're back in business again. He's renting a server with some friends and soon, I'll be moving there from over here and when that happens, it's official - I'll be ditching blogger (::sniff::) and going with Moveable Type (the bro has spoken on this issue - never argue with the person who arranges your web space, really).

Friday, October 25, 2002

It's all my fault

The other Mods have resurrected this and apparently, I'm last to hop on the bandwagon. Jemima asked why the rebirth and I figure it's because no one has made a BNF quiz at where our names are the answers nor have we been successful at spreading memes throughout fandom despite the 80 million readers who stop by (Why oh why? Don't you love us?). Despite my best efforts, I'm still me.

You Are Seema
You Are Seema
The Nice One. When other mods are losing their heads,
you are being calm, diplomatic and reasonable. You take your
fic seriously, aside from the occasional foray into poolboy fic,
and that was all Lori's fault anyway.
Take the Which Zendom Mod are You? Quiz

In other news, does fandom make anyone else's teeth hurt? I mean, seriously hurt Today, I came very, very close to taking my toys and going home and I've had to hit the delete button many, many times. Better "delete" than "reply" I think - no good comes out of replying, especially when you're debating such deep, philosophical issues such as realism versus unrealism. Bah. Give me a history text any day or something on ERP and I'll be a happy girl. Don't make me think too hard about what's going on - that's what my 800 pages of strategy a night is for, not fic. Some people can read right through and not even think critically about if something makes sense as long as their two favorite characters smooch at the end - I'm not that nice of a person.

I do think anyone can write whatever they want (and I'll gladly support your right to do so, as long as you're not equating freedom of speech with the right to write NC-17 fic, because it's not the same thing and I'll have to hurt you if you do) - but don't tell me to like it when it doesn't fit into my definition of "good." In Seema's world, good fic equals "realistic." I'm a business major - undergrad and graduate both and I need facts and I need numbers; none of this "read between the lines" kind of thing. If I can't believe it, if I can't see it, if I can't understand it, and my brain gets even more twisted up than it already is trying to decipher who is doing what to whom, then it's not realistic and it doesn't fall into my guidelines of "what makes a good fic."

Where are my toothpicks again? Poolboy!

Thursday, October 24, 2002


I've broken my browsers and I don't know what to do. IE went nuts on me yesterday so I had to reinstall 5.5 (I didn't feel like downloading 6.0 and installing that so I just went with the .exe file I already had). Mozilla and Netscape 6.0 both refuse to load images (I've checked the Privacy settings in both browsers and they're set to accept all images - plus, ads show up beautifully. Non-ads however won't show.) and Mozilla now refuses to load pages. I think Mozilla went nuts after Win ME did its background Windows update and figured out that I'm now using Yet Another Browser That Isn't IE. IE, I'd like to point out, is working beautifully except for the fact that it's having a few problems handling flash. Any ideas on what to do here?

I've already reinstalled Mozilla (version 1.1) and I'm holding off on reinstalling Netscape 6.0 as my initial exe file is corrupt anyway and I'm really not wanting to download Netscape 7 (though Jemima says there's a way to get it to act like Mozilla but I'm so not looking forward to having another 80 million AOL icons on my desktop). I also prefer Mozilla's mail client to Netscape's - cosmetic differences, yes, but there are some really awesome things about Mozilla. I'm going nuts, so any help y'all can give would be much appreciated.

In other news, Act of War is the latest story in the "Glory Days" universe.
That sound you hear? That's me banging my head against a brick wall. I came into the lab yesterday and started a huge data mining assignment that's due on Tuesday. The prof suspended her late policy (you can turn it in up to a week late with no penalty) for this assignment so I figured, get a head start and finish it off so I can figure out what's going on as she's going to ask us to replicate our results in class on Tuesday. I came in today and lo and behold, once again the Demon!Computer refuses to boot up. Absolutely refuses to boot up. And I was an idiot and didn't save my database to my zip drive so two hours of work, gone, gone, gone. I've got only 90 minutes in the lab today as the buses stop running on a regular schedule and it means I have to replicate everything I've already done. I may come in tomorrow and do some then as well. Ack! Ack! Ack!

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

I got the "report card" on my site, thanks to Here's the skinny. Apparently there are 2,366,302 sites that people would visit before they'd visit mine. And is it just me, or does this page look suspiciously like

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

In other news, I forgot to mention that the Mod Squad now has a group blog where it's war all of the time.

What I'm listening to: Matchbox Twenty's "Back to Good" - one of my favorite songs.

I missed all the "Who is a BNF?" discussions while I was away. I hate it when I miss controversy. Not that I ever jump in with two feet or anything, but I would have liked to read more - only because I'm still musing over the concept (thanks to the Inimitable Miss Barr and a bit of silliness she wrote over the weekened) and so I'm wondering what it is that makes people embrace the concept so whole-heartedly and others flee in fear. I'm a "flee-er" btw. The very idea makes me nervous - like all of a sudden I have to do something profound and marvelous. I rather think of myself as a minion, albeit one who nags a lot.

There ought to be a checklist to figure out if you are a BNF or not. Not that I'm volunteering to create one. I hardly know what makes a BNF. I like to think quality fic has something to do with it, but I'm learning, thanks to zendom, that fandom is greater than fic and that it takes all kinds to have a happy fannish experience. I really wish there was a working definition of BNF out there that we could all look at and say, "Okay, this is why X is a BNF and this is why Y isn't one." It's not so much that you can write a great fic these days and be considered a BNF on the merit of that fic. You can also be a BNF if you are an archivist, listmod of a popular list, or a witty, interesting blogger.

Hmmm... or I could just be a Mod Squadder. Which is just as cool, if not cooler, than being a BNF (if I were a BNF, that is).

Monday, October 21, 2002

So cool: I made my own radio station on Yahoo! and it's so wonderful. Got to pick my own music etc and it's like playing a mix CD. Listened while I was working on the paper (which I'm happy to report after version 6, it is finally, finally done). Bjorn, you probably won't like my selections ::grin::
So many XF quizzes, so little time

What kind of Shippiness are You?

brought to you by Quizilla

What Unusual Scully hair are you?

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It's raining. Again. You'd think I live in Seattle or something...

Because it's raining (again!) and I'm here early.

This one is particularly apt:

What Weird Quote Are You?

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I am Fan!Grrrrrl... hear me roar! (I can't believe I just used the term "Grrrrl" in my blog.

Which fandom archetype are you?

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Going Mozilla

I've gone and done it. I've defected from Netscape. Today, Netscape decided it wasn't going to allow me to hit "Submit" buttons and so the choice came down to reinstalling 6.0 (which meant another download as my exe file went corrupt during the time it was living on my hard drive) and Netscape 7 received mediocre reviews. Furthermore, pop-ups are driving me absolutely batty - I don't think I can honestly handle anymore and the proxy I use to connect to the internet with - webwasher - was no longer getting the job done.

So I did it. Since I figured I had to download something anyway, I went ahead and downloaded Mozilla. I'm very pleased. All of the weird quirks I've been experiencing as of late in Netscape are missing from Mozilla and better yet, Mozilla looks exactly like Netscape - except it has a built in pop-up filter. Which means I no longer have to use a proxy when surfing the internet. It also imported all of my Netscape bookmarks and it still has access to my POP email - that was one of the things I was concerned about, whether I'd have to rebuild my bookmarks file and redo all my settings. But no, Mozilla took care of that.

From what I've read on cnet, Mozilla is simply Netscape but without the pesky interference of AOL and since it's open-source, it's built by the people who actually use and who are trying to make web surfing less annoying. So definitely, a very, very good thing.

Sunday, October 20, 2002

Seema's Most Excellent Adventure

Miss me?

Anyway, had a most fabulous weekend. I went to the Big City to the North on Friday afternoon to visit A. A is a good friend of mine - actually, we're childhood friends from Vermont and generally have been friends for our entire lives. So that makes everything just really comfortable and we are pretty easy-going when we're together because really, when you've known each other for 26 years, it's really hard to have any secrets or weird ticks the other person doesn't know about already. We also don't really ever have plans to do anything - we play everything by ear, so sometimes it's hard for us to end up somewhere.

Anyway, I got there around 6 pm on Friday. It's a three hour drive from here and I made four stops - gas, money, onion rings and Half Price books. A and I usually swap books every time we see each other and so I picked up a few on my way - paperbacks are 50 cents apiece there, so I picked up three John Grishams I hadn't read yet. BTW, it was pouring rain when I finally got to her place. Evidentally, we got four to five inches of rain that night. It was pretty miserable and I was soaking by the time I made the short distance between my car and her apartment door.

We went out for dinner, which was a story in itself. Both A and I enjoy a variety of cuisines and since we're on the same wavelength when it comes to what we will eat and what we won't, there's really no fuss when one of us suggests something. Anyway, we drove around in the swanky part of the swanky city and finally settled on a restaurant. We got out of the car and walked there and the valet who was guarding the door looked at us with a bit of disgust. A was at least wearing nice pants - she had come from work, but I was wearing jeans and we both had sneakers on. The valet told us that it was a five-star restaurant and basically turned us away. We got a good laugh out of that - we've never been turned away from a restaurant before. We figured the valets at the door must have gotten a kick out of our utter cluelessness as well.

When we go out to eat, we have some very specific criteria: no chain restaurant (mention Chili's to A and smoke comes out of her ears), must have people and must have parking (non-valet). Anyway, we finally settled on a Mediterannean cafe which fit all of our criteria and got a couple of platters to share. The food was quite good, though the hummus was a little too smooth for my taste and A didn't particularly care for the pita bread. We then had the second adventure of the night when we went to a wine bar but no one would wait on us - we realized that the wine bar had actually closed at 10 and we walked in just a few minutes later. We finished off Friday night by going to a swanky Irish Pub, where we ran into some of A's coworkers so we ended up having to stay there for a while and chat with them (because of that whole workplace mentality, y'know?). I got a glass of "sweet" white wine which wasn't so good. So we hung out there for a while and then we went to another neighborhood bar near A's place - which I preferred and which had a pretty darn good margarita as well.

Saturday, the skies looked threatening, and I checked the weather map. I had originally intended to come back on Saturday night, but the weather map showed a wide band of rain south and I had no desire to drive through that rain again. Plus, we had plans to go to the State Fair - which is apparently the biggest and the best in the country and so I figured I might as well stay Saturday night as well and just leave early in the morning. So we had a leisurely morning - watched the Top 20 Video Countdown on VH-1, and then walked to the grocery store, where we got eggs, vegetables and a few other things. A made scrambled eggs with veggies and I made homefries. Toast and salsa finished off the breakfast and we were both very, very satisfied with the meal we had made. Around 1:30, we decided that it was worth going to the State Fair - the skies didn't look so bad and we thought we'd take the chance. So we got to the Fair around 2 pm. We got really lucky with parking and ended up a block away from the fairgrounds in a free spot (both A and I have a "thing" about paying for parking, so we drive around a lot looking for free spots - we figure we can always walk the distance).

The Fair was really cool, not like the country fair we'd grown up with in Vermont. We saw several shows, including an Irish dance spectacular, a free-flying bird show (with talking parrots - Lori, you've got to teach your parrots how to sing!), African acrobats, Japanese drummers, the flag ceremony and a light/water/fireworks show. We also visited a few displays, like the JFK memorabilia exhibition, the movie exhibition, an auto exhibition and Barbie mania. We finished up with the fair around 8 pm and then headed home.

Dinner was at an Italian place - yet another family-owned one - and we then walked to Blockbuster and rented Kissing Jessica Stein which I highly recommend (but would advise you to first read the movie summary carefully before renting just in case). Watching a movie like this is always fun with a friend because you can talk about it (and I actually called the ending in the first five minutes - crazy!). But it's cute and funny and well-done, so consider that a movie rec.

Anyway, so I drove back this morning around 9:30. A wasn't up yet, but that's the other good thing about good friends - I just helped myself to breakfast and then let myself out. I'd have waited but I have a team meeting at five and have much work to do to get ready for that.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

My newest internet addiction: Virtual Stock Like I needed something more to keep me online. This is a competition hosted by one of my fellow classmates and I figured it was a good way to figure out how to manage my own portfolio. So far, I've been randomly picking stocks, trying to make sure I have diversity in my picks and since we're restricted to buying stocks priced at minimum of $1, I can't do my favorite thing of buying a stock at 20 cents and selling at 25 cents. That's a sure way to make a little bit of money. Anyway, very addicted. We were given $1 million to play with and I've been very cautious about buying stocks in bulk at the moment. I did buy Dell, which wasn't the smartest move, but I figure I'm looking just for a short term gain and then I'd sell it off. Unfortunately, I didn't buy IBM yesterday and so I missed the 10 percent gain that happened this morning, but I did rectify that immediately as soon as the market opened this morning. So now I have IBM in my portfolio, along with 19 other companies - 17 of which I've never heard of before.
Does anyone else get really annoyed when the phone rings, you pick it up, and the person on the other end says, "Who is this?"

Especially when a) they call you on your cell phone and b) they call you when you're just, just, just waking up. Bah. Had to have an extra large cup of coffee this morning to get over my irritation at said individual who woke me up, wouldn't identify himself, yet insisted on me telling him who I was.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Browsers are really starting to annoy me. I'm debating on whether to reinstall Netscape 6.0 or switch completely and go to Mozilla. Out of the principle of the matter, I refuse to consider IE as an option. Even though I'm using IE at the moment, but only because Netscape 6 has thrown a temper tantrum of gigantic proportions and doesn't allow me to do things like answer my school email account or go to the Career Center website or the online forums for two of my courses. And oh yes, it hates as well.

Updates Galore

Whew! I think I got them all.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Livia weighs in on BNFdom. Interesting conversation and I don't have time right now to add my two cents, but I agree with the majority of what she says. It still doesn't answer my question as to how do you know you're a BNF and how do you become on the first place? I still stick to my assertion that it has to do with the Cult of Personality and those with more personality are more likely to be a BNF. Of course, having a cool LJ/Blog, great innovative fics, and a Presence in fandom doesn't hurt. But how you get there, the answer to that question still alludes me. I know whom I consider a BNF, but I'm not sure that everyone else agrees with me that X is a BNF.

In other Seema!News, whee! I get entirely too verklemped over minor things like exams which are worth 30 percent of my final grade. I think I leave every exam thinking I've done gone failed it. And I thought last Thursday, despite the ignoring of the inbox and generally keeping myself offline, I'd blown the Market Research exam. So I was glum about that and generally thinking I'd have to really, really knuckle down for the next one and not to mention, we'd have to excel at the research project. But it was too early to call for a shovel, because kids... it came back with my very favorite letter grade on it. Life is good. Life is happy.

And now, on to the next exam... which starts in one hour.

Monday, October 14, 2002

For those of you who have never had the displeasure of seeing the Teletubbies Bye Bye.
This and that

I'm breathing (thanks for the reminder, Bjorn), but I still have about 12 articles left to summarize for tomorrow.

But, first, a newsflash. Virtual Voyager Season 7.5 returns tomorrow with a brand new season of adventures, beginning with a blooper reel.

And welcome to the weird, wild, wacky world of the Mod Squad. Because some things needed to be immortalized.

Sunday, October 13, 2002

Finally finished my assignment from hell. Fourth time through and I finally got it off and turned it in. It's a major datamining project, complete with three predictive models. Which is all well and fine, except I was working on the computer from hell and I'd gotten a hefty chunk done about two weeks ago and then the hard drive had to be reformatted. Good bye project. Tried it again, but apparently didn't save it properly. Once again, good bye and try again. Last week I came in to find that the computer I was working on had gone completely haywire. Not only were all my files gone, but the SAS and JMP software packages had gone AWOL as well. So anyway, I'm done now and mucho happy about it. Also finally compiled my team's paper and edited the first draft. I see some holes in the first section of the analysis, but given that we still have a couple weeks, I think it's pretty good that we have a rough draft in place. I still have two chapters of strategy to read tonight, but I may read half today and half tomorrow, as it really isn't the most exciting stuff on the planet. And oh yes, I still have to write up that summary for my team and start on the seafood research. No indeed, there's no rest for the wicked.
BRAD, October 13 2002

Because I love my betas. Yes, yes I do. Do you know how much work it takes to make a Seema!fic palatable for public consumption? Hmmm? The brave, brave betas o' mine, they probably cringe every time they see my name in their inbox. I know that just the mere mention of That Fic can send Liz clear across the Atlantic in fear. Half the time, I don't have a point, the other half of the time, I don't have an outline. I start out one place, end somewhere else and hope it all makes sense in the end. Most of the time, it doesn't. I've got a penchant for experimentation that would drive the strongest of betas insane, not to mention I forget where I've left characters or what they were doing and occasionally, they have 10 hands and extendable limbs. Since I can never remember anything I'm doing at any given moment, I've got canon and fic continuity problems. I'm a mess, people, a mess! And my betas, they save me from being a complete disaster in public. So big hugs (huggles?) to my wonderful betas, Liz, Rocky, Paula (Snowleopard), Sara, Lori and Bjorn. Never leave your hard drive without one.
Yet Another Fic Survey

This one gacked from the P/T Collective. Slightly edited here from my answers over there.

Of your own written works, which story is your favorite?

This changes on a daily basis, but I'll just go with my favorite P/T one, which would be 100 Days. I wrote that in a weekend, I think, and then did the unspeakable by not consulting my beta when I posted it because it just felt perfect (even though it did have errors and typos throughout). It just felt wonderful as I was writing and I could almost hear Tom and B'Elanna whispering in my ear during the entire writing process.

What story are you the most proud of?

Eh, another hard one. I'll go with Stay here because that was one of those stories that really had the potential to fall into the traps that were mentioned in another thread here - a difficult B'Elanna, Tom putting up with her moods, etc - but I think it worked in the end. I think.

What story was the most challenging?

Lines in the Sand. My head still spins thinking about it. Present tense, first person, written in four alternating POVs (what was I thinking?), not to mention alternating timelines - past and present. And I was writing scenes out of order so I was constantly getting whiplash trying to keep track of who was where and why and when and how. I didn't set out to write a novel, but it happened and by the time I got to page 300, I had no idea what had happened on page 5. I still marvel that I even finished this story.

What story did you think sucked big time, but everyone else liked it?

All of them? Honestly, I'm just surprised when anyone likes any of the stories. The worst offender here would be a bunch of my first DS9 stories which really, really sucked, (Liz, I can see you nodding in agreement ;-)) but because there were only about 2 other W/D stories out there, they were popular ::grin::. But if I had to pick a VOY one, it would have to be Exhale, a "Unimatrix Zero II" coda and gak, so choppy, so incoherent and without a point and I'm highly embarassed that I even posted it.

Saturday, October 12, 2002

To Tele the Truth

Previously on the Blog Wars...

It was official. Once again, time for a blog war. The Mod Squad watched as Liz gathered up her assorted muses, most of them looking distinctly unhappy by the prospect of yet another non-bloody, nonsensical war. One of the muses - was it the boy wizard? - asked for chocolate for his efforts.

"What is this about again?" Christine asked. She was wearing her black robes and this time, a powdered wig. Seema hoped that Christine was going to make them beta her legalfic. "Is there a precedent for this battle? Is there a clear and present danger? Is an inalienable right being stomped on?"

"Liz says she's the coolest mod," Seema said. "Because of her smurf flares."

"What are flares?" Lori asked as she wandered by, followed by her entourage.

"Something you keep in the trunk of your car in case you break down on the Mass Pike," Jemima offered helpfully.

"I think they're pajamas," Seema said, "but I'm not rightly sure."

"Isn't this the same mod who called a peach a 'stonefruit'?" Lori asked as she settled into her lawnchair. Sean proceeded to serve Lori a drink, while Russell gave her a foot massage.

"And I take exception to anyone who doesn't use Mozilla to surf and has a distinctive lack of yellow on her site," Jemima added. "Or style sheets. One must have style sheets to be cool."

"And write epics about unusual pairings!" Lori added. The poolboys cheered.

"Or write in a lot of fandoms," Christine said.

"But the idea of smurfs on pajamas is kind of cute," Seema said, musing on whether she ought to go get a pair for herself. Her current pajamas weren't very cute at all.

"There ought to be yellow smurfs," Jemima said. "Wouldn't that be smurfy?"

While all of the Mods stared at Jemima, who never before this moment used the word "smurfy," there was a flurry of excitement by the main gates of the Zen Resort. Christine went off to check what was going on, grumbling something under her breath about noisy fen.

Liz wandered over. "Not to be impatient or anything, guys," she said, "but are we going to have a war or not? I've been ready for a couple days now and all I get are vague declarations. My muses are not happy, Jan!"

The Mods looked at each other. Was there a new mod? Was her name Jan?

But the question was not asked (and since it wasn't asked, it wasn't answered), as the Mods saw Christine being thrown up in the air by four rotund creatures with dilly-popper things sticking out of their heads. One of the creatures was lime green, another red, still yet another was yellow and the final one was purple. All of them had little pot bellies and walked with a skipping gait.

"Eh," Liz said, backing away in horror.

"True evil!" Seema exclaimed, as she crawled under her lawn chair.

"'Something wicked this way comes,'" Lori said in horror as she pulled a towel over her head.

Jemima stared. "What... are they?"

"Teletubbies," Liz said in an ominous voice as the Teletubbies started dancing with Christine. The Mods watched as the Teletubbies cackled with glee and giggled as they hugged, hugged, hugged, and hugged some more. Every now and then, a Teletubby would say, "Whee!" or "Again!"

"Make them go away!" Seema whimpered, cover her ears with her hands.

A big sun came out, with a baby's giggly face in it. Apparently, it was time for Teletubbies Bye-Bye. The baby giggled. The smurfs screamed at weird, obviously not-scientific phenomena. Somewhere, a mother was proud that her baby had been chosen to be the face of the sun. The Teletubbies did a dancy thing again and jumped through holes in the ground. Lori immediately ordered Russell and Sean to pour cement in the holes so that future generations of PBS watchers would not have to be subjected the horror that are the Teletubbies.

"Whew!" Jemima said. "That was close."

"So, about the war?" Liz said.

"Actually," Seema said, "I'd like to see these flares of yours. They sound cute."

"I knew it! I'm the coolest."

"Well," Lori said in her best imitation of Samatha Stephens.

Christine flounced over. "I am not happy, Jan!"

"Chocolate?" Seema asked helpfully.

"Don't mind if I do," Christine said, helping herself to a gigantic box of chocolates from Belgium.

At that moment, a fax showed up magically on the waterproof fax machine. Seema grabbed it.

"It's an application for a poolboy," Seema said.

"There's no applying," Lori said. "You're either a poolboy or not. We choose them, not the other way around. The Zen Resort and the Mod Squad do have a reputation to maintain, you know."

"Economy must be worse than we thought," Jemima said. "So, who is it? Simon from 'Seventh Heaven'?"

"No, it's Bjorn," Seema said. "He wants to be a poolboy."

"Bjorn?" Lori asked. "Bjorn of the 80 million degrees?"

"That's the one. He also asks for special consideration as, despite his identification with the Canadian people, he doesn't want to wear a Speedo," Seema said. She shook her head. "Poor kid. The rain has finally gotten to him."

Friday, October 11, 2002

Because you can never answer enough surveys

This one gacked from Jemima.

Firstly, how do you feel about feedback? Do you live for it, ignore it, think it's nice but not essential?

The first year or so when I was writing and not posting to ASC, I could pretty much count my feedbackers on one hand. Of course, I didn't know any better, so it didn't really bother me. So that's really the attitude I have these days: I was writing without feedback and I'll continue to write without feedback. I consider feedback to be the icing on the cake - a treat, but not something that ought to be expected or required to keep writing. And pack rat that I am, I have almost every piece of FB ever sent to me saved and I do reread them and feel warm and fuzzy all over again.

If 27 people tell me my story is great, but then it's beaten in a contest by a story I consider to be a total piece of crap, does that mean the feedback has been meaningless?

No, not at all. Of course, an opinion is an opinion and my tastes in fic run very differently than most. Contests are contests and few contests, I have to say are meaningful. Especially when you have 80 million of them, all being run, entered and won by the same people over and over again. I have great respect for the ASC Awards because even though you do have friends for voting for friends, you also have to justify why you're voting for that story/author. That's a meaningful measure of why a fic is good - some thought goes into it. I give more credence to feedback than I do to contests (other than ASC of course, which is a feedbacked-based contest).

I agree with Jemima when she says that contests are the bane of the fanfic world. And for the very reasons she states (and at the risk of sounding petty), I don't enter contests that aren't ASC as it's frustrating for me - not because I personally want to win, but because 9 times out of 10, I don't agree with the results. When certain people, who are acknowledged to be universally superior in fandom yet somehow don't even place in a contest, there's just no way to justify that outcome. It's for that reason I would place much more value on feedback and little, if any, on the outcomes of a contest.

How many of you writers *know* when you've written something good, regardless of whether you get feedback on it?

When it feels right. I don't like the majority of my work most of the time, but there are a few that I have a soft spot for. To me "good" means that I felt something during the writing process and I didn't have to force anything to come through or the dialogue flows smoothly and there is some meaningful character development. Some of the stories that I consider my best have received very little feedback, if any at all, but that doesn't change my opinion of those stories. Something happened while I was writing the stories, and that is always an awesome feeling that you can't push away.

How many of you try to do something different with each story you write?

Not with each story, but with a good number of them. I like to experiment and I'm never sure how it's going to be taken. I remember when I met Liz this summer, she told me about 80 million times that "The Absinthe Heart" was good and I believed her because I was actually standing in front of her so I knew she wasn't just placating me to keep me from sending "Demons" to her.

In general, while I adore experimenting and stretching as a writing, I am really uncertain when I decide to redefine the way a story is told in terms of character and style. Trying new things keeps things fresh and exciting. Not to mention, it's always an incredible rush when something does work. I wouldn't consider myself a stylist like say Kelly or Liz Barr, but I'd like to think that one day I could get there and that means being unafraid to take risks. (There you have it, Seema's secret ambition is to grow up to be a Kelly or a Liz Barr).

How many of you have a billion ideas and use only a fraction of them in your stories?

Nah, I never have a problem with too many ideas. I just farm them out to others ::grin::. I have quite a few ideas and I write most of them if I think it's something I can do. But there are certain ideas that other authors would just do so much better than I would. In that case, I am more than happy to give the idea up to a new home. Unfortunately, now that means that "It's all Seema's fault" is a standard header on ASC.

And how many of you sometimes think readers are a bunch of morons who wouldn't know a good story if they fell over it?

Oh man, talk about a harsh question!

I think it comes down to why people read fanfic. Most of the attraction is romance. As long as the reader's favorite two characters are romantically involved, the fic is awesome. That's all that's required (and I believe most readers require good grammar, spelling and punctuation as well). People want to extend the characters beyond what's seen on screen and plot and character development usually takes a backseat to romance.

That's not to say romance stories are ungood. They're fluffy indulgence, satisfy the reader's desire, and there's not much to think critically about as long as A and B are together at the end of the fic. It's important to differentiate between satisfaction and critical analysis in other words, why versus the how of fanfic. We've got English classes for the critical analysis and when it comes to fanfic, most people just set their brain on automatic pilot because they're looking for an escape and there is nothing wrong with that motivation for reading.

However, it does also explain why there are such differing opinions on what a quality effort entails and that's probably where the frustration comes from how does one author of middling quality get so much attention while the Fic Goddess gets virtually ignored by the masses.

Thursday, October 10, 2002

I'm promised to declare war on Liz Barr but I'm too tired to do it tonight. So, tomorrow or this weekend. Whatever. I'm still assembling the poolboys and confetti and whatever else one goes to war with.
Not enjoying the current bout of fatigue, but this certainly was fun. I have a couple nemesises (nemesi?) but I'm not sure I'm the bane of anyone's existence. I actually think it might be fun to be someone's nemesis. Then they'd waste a whole heck of energy thinking about how they can avoid me and I'd stalk them anyway and send them FB on how they are just generally wrong and even though I don't like their character coding, I read their fics anyway and flame them. Monosyllabic flames, of course, and not even witty flames. Preferably something that doesn't have anything to do with the actual story. Just something really lame like, "Why do all fanfics have to break up C/7?"

Um, yeah. Like I said, fatigue. Aches. Nausea. If it wasn't for exam this afternoon, I'd go back to sleep for another hour or so, but I want to review my notes one more time.

Liz Barr on fandom titles. I'd like to kindly point out that it's been at least a week since I've had a craving for smurfs.

Confidential to Liz Barr: I'll get you my pretty, and your little smurf flares too!

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Survey Says

1) What's on your bedside table?

A lamp (white), a small travel alarm clock because I can't read the clock on my radio alarm from my bed, an old issue of the Wall Street Journal, and a few "light" reading novels.

2) What's the geekiest part of your music collection?

Eh, all of it? It's mostly Adult Contemporary, New Age and Classical music. No top-40 or Indie music in the collection.

3) What do you eat when you raid the fridge at night?

That assumes that there is anything in my fridge to begin with ::grin::. I like carrot sticks, those Baby Bel cheeses (though in France, I heard that those cheeses are really for small children), and whatever pickled type thing I have in there - pickles, okra, olives.

4) What is your secret guaranteed weeping film?

Steel Magnolias. No question.

5) If you could have plastic surgery, what would you have done?

I used to want a nose job but now, I don't think anything at this time. Nothing wrong with me that the gym can't take care of.

6) Do you have a completely irrational fear?

Lots of 'em. I can't even begin to start naming them here.

7) What is the little physical habit that gives away your insecure moments?

Nail biting, my right leg shakes, and I play with the rings on my fingers.

8) Do you ever have to beg?

I wouldn't call it begging but yeah...

9) Do you have too many love interests?

One would be nice.

10) Do you know anyone famous?

I once gave rides to swim team to the girl who grew up to be this year's Miss Vermont. Does that count?

11) Describe your bed.

It's a queen-size bed, Shaker-style, with a lavendar colored bedspread on it and matching everything else. The stain is natural - I bought the furniture unfinished and it's an Aspen wood, so it's very light-colored and it really brightens up the room.

I also have a fouton, which is really just a mattress on top of a wooden frame. That one has a cranberry colored bedspread and green pillows.

12) Spontaneous or plan?

Depends on my mood.

13) Who should play you in a movie about your life?

I'm curious as to why anyone would make a movie about my life, but if so, Julia Roberts. She's the only one who has lots and lots of hair and a toothy smile ::grin::

14) Do you know how to play poker?


15) What do you carry with you at all times?

Wallet, sweater, something to write with and personal items.

16) How do you drive?


17) What do you miss most about being little?

Not having to do the dishes.

18) Are you happy with your given name?


19) What was the last song you were listening to?

Faith Hill was on the radio this morning, "Breathe," I think it was.

20) Have you ever been in a school play?

Yup. I was Townsperson #5 in "Steamboatin'" when I was in fifth grade. I had one line in the whole thing: "He's a fine boy, we're all proud of him." Later in high school, I played in the pit orchestra for several musicals and then I actually adapted and directed (but did not act in) Moliere's "L'Ecole des Femmes."

21) Do you like yourself and believe in yourself?

Most of the time. When I'm not guilt-tripping or beating myself up over something.

22) Have you ever done any illegal drugs?


23) Do you think you're cute?

Eh... I have my moments ::grin::

24) Do you consider yourself to be a nice person?

When I'm not eating smurfs, yeah.

Monday, October 07, 2002

One Hundred Things About Seema

1. Two out of five Mod Squads members have done this, so Seema figures she should as well.
2. Seema usually does what the Mod Squad does.
3. It saves her from having to make a decision.
4. Seema doesn't like to make decisions.
5. Especially decisions involving her car.
6. Decisions involving said vehicle usually end up with Seema spending a lot of money.
7. Seema hopes nothing happens to the car until she gets a job.
8. Seema used to work for an insurance company.
9. She was there for four years.
10. Seema's not sure what she's going to do next.
11. She just hopes it will be fun.
12. Seema has lived in three states and two countries.
13. She liked two of those states very much.
14. She doesn't like her current state very much.
15. The current state is very conservative.
16. Seema is a liberal.
17. Seema is a registered voter.
18. She votes in every election.
19. Which reminds her, she needs to get her absentee ballot.
20. Because Seema doesn't currently live in the county where she's registered to vote.
21. Seema has only 7 months left in this particular county.
22. Which is why she isn't a registered voter here.
23. Seema has been writing fanfic for five years.
24. She keeps thinking she's going to quit, but that never happens.
25. She started writing fanfic because RL was no fun.
26. Fanfic, on the other hand, was fun.
27. RL is fun again.
28. Deep Space Nine was Seema's first fanfic fix.
29. Ginomo was the first ficcer Seema read.
30. Seema just archived Ginomo's official last fic at the WDFA.
31. Archiving is a lot of work.
32. Seema used to run two archives.
33. The first archive was called The Write Connection.
34. Seema's friend Chris named the website.
35. Chris worked with Seema at the school newspaper.
36. Seema was the Arts & Living editor and Night editor.
37. Seema stayed up until at least 3 am when she was night editing.
38. She knows the Associated Press Style Manual by heart.
39. Seema has low tolerance for bad grammar and tense shifts.
40. She finds her patience for stupidity wears thin as she gets older.
41. Seema is older than Liz Barr.
42. Seema is not older than Lori.
43. The first president Seema was old enough to vote for was Clinton.
44. The first president Seema remembers is Carter.
45. Seema has worked on Habitat for Humanity projects.
46. Seema scrubbed floors, washed windows and landscaped for Habitat.
47. It was relaxing, even though it was hot.
48. Seema doesn't like the heat.
49. Seema likes snow and wants to live somewhere eventually where there is the possibility of snow.
50. Seema would also like see mountains.
51. She likes to hike mountains.
52. She also likes to travel.
53. A lot.
54. Seema spent six weeks in France this summer.
55. She wishes she had done it earlier and for a longer period of time.
56. Seema spent 10 days in the London in 1999.
57. She went on a Henry VIII scavenger hunt.
58. She also got to see one of her favorite musicals, "Les Miserables."
59. Currently, Seema is taking a break from studying.
60. She has an exam on Thursday.
61. It's a multiple choice exam.
62. Seema cannot believe that at the graduate level, she has a multiple choice exam.
63. Last year, exams were at minimum 3 hours long.
64. Seema usually slept for hours after the end of the exams.
65. Seema wants to thank everyone for all the feedback they send her.
66. Feedback makes Seema very happy.
67. Especially when it's been a bad day.
68. Feedback makes so many things so much better.
69. Seema has one younger brother.
70. Seema is much shorter than her brother.
71. Seema's favorite colors are green and pink.
72. Seema's favorite fanfic characters are Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres.
73. In Voyager, that is.
74. Mulder and Scully.
75. Without doubt, Seema's favorite 'ship.
76. Seema has been reading a lot of MSR fic lately.
77. It's more interesting than Corporate Strategy.
78. But no one gives quizzes on MSR.
79. So Seema always does her homework.
80. Seema rides the bus to school.
81. It saves gas and sanity.
82. Seema hates trying to find a place to park.
83. She's also concerned that she might hit a teeny, tiny freshman.
84. Seema admits to having a soft spot for C/7.
85. Seema grudgingly admits that there might be something between J/C.
86. Seema needs to stop procrastinating.
87. Seema can't really cook.
88. Rice-a-Roni is too a balanced meal.
89. Ramen noodles are not a good thing.
90. Seema lives alone.
91. She always has either the television or the radio on when she's at home.
92. Except when she's reading and needs to concentrate.
93. Seema takes notes when she's reading.
94. Just in case she gets called on.
95. Seema tries to volunteer at least once a class so she doesn't get called on.
96. Seema has several plants.
97. Currently, the plants are in the custody of the Maternal Unit.
98. Seema has a habit of killing plants.
99. Seema finds it hard to write about herself in the third person.
100. Which is why she's glad this list is over.

Confidential to Liz: check this out.

In other news, I'm eating pickled okra. Yes, by choice and by like. Gak. Next thing you know, I'll be eating hominey and grits first thing in the morning. Someone, please, stop me before I start twanging and drawling.

Sunday, October 06, 2002

I'd always heard rumors about the Star Wars: Holiday Special but I thought it was a myth. Alas, no, it's real - yes, that's most definitely Harrison Ford - and it's currently playing on one of the public access channels here. Video quality is horrible - obviously a bootleg, but no matter - it's not like it's easily understood in the first place. Other than the initial 5- minute thingy at the beginning featuring Han and Chewie flying somewhere, it's mostly been Chewie's son and his wife growling at each other and pounding on their chests. No, there are no subtitles telling me what's going on and I can't even begin to explain where the juggler type people just came from. Luke also has really bad hair. And who knew that a galaxy far, far away was where the Commodore computer ended up? Verklemped am I. So no, Jar-Jar Binks is not George Lucas' most evil creation.
New update at zendom. Crossover recs, good for you. Also, October 13, Beta Reader Appreciation Day. Hug a beta.

Saturday, October 05, 2002

Finally caught up with some email. I've been on "strike" since Thursday evening when the in-boxes of two of my email accounts exploded with stuff. I got panicky and logged off immediately and haven't bothered to really read much email until today, when ASC-business type stuff showed in my inbox. Of course, that meant thinking about things I haven't thought about in six months and trying to organize my thoughts coherently into something meaningful. Which I think I did. The worse part about working on the Awards FAQ is the acknowledgement that there haven't been a whole lot of stories posted in any series and it's possibly the most meager Awards season I've seen yet.

So, all you people who haven't posted to ASC yet, go forth and post. Just posting makes you eligible for Awards and really, for those of you completely overwhelmed by the number of fic contests out there, let me just say, an ASC Award is possibly one of the most desireable and wonderful awards you can win. It's an open process, it's feedbacked-based and because it's so public, a whole lot more thought goes into the voting process than just "Ah, A is my best friend, let me vote for her." Questions? As always, feel free to email me.
New blog: Hire Seema! where I talk about job search type things and not fannish-type thingies in pink and yellow technicolor.

Thursday, October 03, 2002

Not that I needed any convincing about how cool Jo is, but go read her manifesto.. Ah, if only more people would heed this...
Hire Seema!

I got an interview. Holy cow, I actually got an interview. Excuse me while I do the dance of joy. Mind you, it's not really for a company I want to work for or a job I want, but it's an interview. Interviews are few and far between these days - I know of exactly two people who have had an interview to date and I got turned down by seven companies for an interview before I got this one. So mucho excitement.

And really, if any of you know of anyone looking to hire an MBA with a concentration in marketing (preferably in research or data analysis), please let me know. Location not a problem - I'm flexible to move almost anywhere in the continental United States. And oh yes, I have it in writing from my former boss - I'm not a bum.

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

Start your word processors

National Novel Writing Month. Quantity not quality.

As per the FAQ

Can anyone participate in NaNoWriMo?

No. People looking to write classy, complex novels should not participate. People who take their writing very seriously should also go elsewhere. Everyone else, though, is warmly welcomed.

Any takers? It might be fun to try and see what we come up with.
Courtesy of Bjorn: cartoon

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Nothing to see here

Feeling a little unmotivated. I blame the stairmaster. I was running late this morning so I ended up cramming what's usually an hour's worth of gym-time into 30 minutes on the stairmaster. Ouch.

And then it was a Tuesday. For those of you in the know, Tuesdays and Thursdays are absolutely tedious for me. Classes straight from 12:45 to 7 pm (and I get there just before 12 in order to get a parking spot). Last year, we had the three-classes a day thing, but at least they were mildly interesting. Unfortunately, very little makes my Tuesday/Thursday classes interesting. By the time 3:35 pm rolls around, I'm actively thinking about the snack in my backpack and then, in forward-thinking, what dinner will be.

To give you an example, in market research today, about 15 minutes of the class was spent on the professor fast-forwarding a tape. We then watched the tape for about 10 minutes (which consisted of four women talking about they wanted to see in a hotel). We then discussed the tape for 15. And then she proceeded to spend the rest of the class on one PowerPoint slide. Next to me, one of the first year Masters students was playing Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon - I'd given him an assignment while we were waiting for class to star to match Gregory Peck and Marilyn Monroe to Kevin Bacon. Before the professor had finished fast-forwarding the tape, he'd gotten it.

I'm in awe. This is also a kid who somehow managed to link Michael Jordan to Kevin Bacon last week. Impressive. I'm going to have to come up with someone else to stump him.

I'm thinking about adding a recipe section to my site (stop laughing, Mom!). The theme being quick and easy and in bulk. Back when I was the editor of the Arts & Living section, I had a columnist who called himself the "Dormroom Gourmet." I kid you not. His forte was easy-to -make, inexpensive meals that you could make in a dorm, including interesting things to do with Ramen, quick Thanksgiving meal, what to do with leftovers and the recipe that won him the column in the first place: Coca-Cola Steak. (Bjorn, does this ring a bell with you?).

While I poking around the archives, I found the April Fool's Issue from 1998, to which I contributed two stories under the oh-so mysterious moniker of - you really think I'm going to tell you? Tell you what - I'll actually bake something (and not burn it) for anyone who can figure out which two articles belong to me in that issue.

That is all.