Tuesday, April 30, 2002

The four hour semester

In 24 hours, exactly 24 hours, I'll be meeting my greatest demon. No, not accounting. You would think accounting, but noooo... this is finance. And I wonder why we even bother showing up for 15 weeks in the first place when 90 percent of the class is only just now opening their finance books (me included). Yes!
You too can learn 15 weeks of material in just four hours! Let me show you how...

Not to mention the travel people are being insane on me. I now have two rooms booked for Salzburg and no one seems to know how to cancel one of them. My father speaks German so all is not lost if I have to call Salzburg myself this weekend and cancel the second reservation. It just means that precious time is being wasted on this fiasco - I have no idea what the hey the problem with Salzburg is. The travel people can't do anything with that city, I can't do anything with that city, and all I ever wanted from Salzburg was to go on the "Sound of Music" tour. But how do you solve a problem like Salzburg? Humph.

And heat wave. Ninety degrees. Dear God. Some things need to be outlawed. It's not even June yet. We're not supposed to get close to 100 before June. In July and August, anything less than 100 F is a cold front.

Blech. Can you say frappucino?
Liz - call home. Merci bien.

ASC Awards type people. Announcement looking on schedule ::Happy Dance of Being on Schedule::. Check a newsgroup near you tomorrow night for the results. I think podium results will be first, followed by the dinners. I hope you enjoy the dinners - we had fun writing them (too much fun, some of you might think - but hey, this is what you get when the coordinators chat around 11 pm every night, my time, not theirs. Things get a little strange).

Back to my demons...

Sunday, April 28, 2002

Over there be Jemima

Jemima talks about burnout. I had a whole thing typed up about it, but blogger ate it. So read Jemima's entry and envision me nodding heartily in agreement.

Saturday, April 27, 2002

You are here

Read Victoria. She's sooo cool. She says everything I'm thinking but so much better. I should just surrender to the Blog Goddess that Victoria is. If she isn't already on your blog rounds, she ought to be.

Victoria says:

The thing is this - I do try to give authors a second and third chance. I do read a few stories by people before I make my determination.

And there are authors on my autodelete list by whom I'll occasionally open up a story, just to see if things have gotten better.

Usually, they haven't.

Yup. I tend to be masochistic and read the same authors over and over again, hoping against hope that they have improved. It's worse when you see the talent there but they a) simply don't care enough to spell/grammar check or b) do weird, horrible, awful things to the characters that the Angst Bunny simply wouldn't approve of or c) they keep repeating the same storylines over and over again. Blech.

And yet, I do read, because I just think, "Okay, this time they're going to get it right." Yeah, I'm naiive and gullible.

I have come to the conclusion that some of these people are solitary writers. They don't have betas, they don't have friends, etc. Maybe they belong to an incestuous mailing list of some kind, but for the most part, they are just out there, producing, and not really talking about what they're doing with anyone at all.

I know that I got better exponentially when I met Liz and she told me, "You have a problem with redundancy and you keep forgetting where you put people." And when I got bold enough to post to ASC, the haven for some of the best writers in Trek, some of the BNFs were kind enough to help me out there. And as such, improvement... (I hope).

But these other people... I get the feeling they write in a vacuum. It's almost impossible to distinguish one story from another with them and it's like, "Okay, didn't you write this the last time you posted?" Other times, the story is incoherent - the great ideas are there, the spark of genius is there, yet, incoherence. And to be honest, this kind of fic irks me more than badly edited fics, because these are the people who could be good if they wanted to be.

Victoria again:

Don't you see that the punctuation goes INSIDE the quotation marks on dialogue? (For American readers/writers. I understand that things are done differently in Britain and Australia and possibly even in Canada, and I make exceptions for that.) But god, open up a book, people. LOOK at the formatting, the grammar, the punctuation. These are the basics, and if you haven't mastered the simple art of putting commas inside the quotes and before the "he said" portion by your third story, you're just not trying. And don't get me started on formatting issues. How freaking hard is it to insert a blank line between paragraphs? It's hitting the enter key twice. And yet, I still get fic in my inbox that isn't formatted to be readable on a computer screen.

I love the book idea. I use it myself all the time when I'm not sure of something. I've given up on ever mastering the use of a comma, but I definitely go to the books to look at other things. Mind you, books aren't always right either, but I think if you're using something other than Sweet Valley High you're probably on the right track.

It's common adage that in order to write better, you should read more. Read a lot. Different styles, different genres, different authors. Believe it or not, Danielle Steel has a lot to teach you on how to get from point A to point B (it's a start, folks). Amy Tan shows you how to write pointed, double-speak dialogue. John Grisham knows how to pace a story. Jane Austen is wonderful at irony. Jean Plaidy and Margaret George do a terrific job of weaving history with fact. And if you're lucky enough to belong to a fandom with profic (BtVS, X-Files, Trek etc), then read some of those. You get the idea of how a story ought to be done.

Victoria talked about weariness too. Yeah, know that feeling. I don't know what the cure for weariness is, sorry, Vic, but I do know what it feels like. It means you've been in fandom too long in some cases and in other cases, it means you've done everything you set out to do in the first place. I feel like I've done the latter - y'all might disagree or say "Good riddance!" but when weariness sets in, there's not much you can do about it.

You can only talk about fanfic for so long before you realize it occupies every spare moment of your life and you're not necessarily happy with that. You can only join so many mailing lists before you realize that too much is too much. You realize that you're grouchy, cranky and just plain unforgiving when it comes to certain things. Grammar errors set you off and thing that never bothered you before are now amplified. Blech. It's not BOFQ syndrome, but something else.

Burn out.

Plain and simple.

I started writing in the fall of 1997. My reasons for writing fic then and my reasons now are very different. Back then, DS9 provided an escape from reality. RL hurt too much in the fall of '97. I can't even begin to explain what that was like, but I can tell you that my friends are wonderful and that they got me through that time period. But writing about the Dominion War to me was purely escapist - it was something I could deal with, it was something that was happening on the pixels of my television screen. It wasn't real and I wanted to be some place where the enemy wasn't inside my head and heart, but rather somewhere I could see it, where I could fight it.

So I wrote fanfic.

Now, I think I write because I'm trying to prove something. I think I'm trying to escape my badfic days. Or maybe those aren't so bad - maybe they are, to borrow Victoria's phrase, pedantic, and badly plotted. But there they are, and I refuse to take them down, because weirdly enough, people do read them and send me FB on those stories. But I think I write to see if I can get somewhere else other than where I am. I also like to do things that people say can't be done.

But I'm also not drawn to writing like I was a few months ago. I don't feel the need to churn something out that often, maybe it's because I spend way too much talking about fic these days. Maybe it's because not a single minute of Trek airs in these here parts and no other show draws me to it like Trek did Maybe I'm just too involved in fandom and I need to take a step back.

And maybe it's because I've finally achieved everything that I've ever wanted to achieve in fanfic and I simply have no stories left to tell. But, you can never count a good Angst Bunny out.

This is entirely too precious *not* to blog...

So, it's Friday night and I have a hot date with my accounting books. I hear someone knocking on my neighbor's door. This surprises me. In the fourplex I live in, no one except Angry!Girlfriend ever comes to visit. The other three of us generally are quiet and don't usually have people over. So of course, it's a surprise when someone knocks on Edward's door at 9 pm.

I look through the peep hole and there's a guy talking on his phone. "Yeah, yeah, baby, I'm coming, I'm going to be there, don't worry, baby, I'll be there."

Anyway, Edward is standing there the whole time while this other guy is talking on his cell phone. Turns out this guy's wife is in the hospital, in labor in that Big City To the East. The guy says he lives in our complex. Could be true, but I've never seen him before, but hey, I live in the computer lab - what do I know? Anyway, so this guy has got a friend driving him to the Big City, not to mention he is willing to turn over his DVD player, VCR, etc - a whole bunch of stuff - if Edward will give him money for gas. (I did think he was going to ask if he could borrow Edward's car, but Edward is a bike rider, doesn't own a car, so maybe I missed that part of the exchange). Edward says no politely and suggests that this guy go to see Boyfriend upstairs.

Apparently, Boyfriend isn't up there, so guy comes back, says so, but Edward says no still. So poor guy goes away, talking on his cell to his wife, about how he is still trying to get gas money.

Anyway, Edward and I chat for a few minutes about the weirdness of the situation and I figure, this guy is gone. But no...

He comes and knocks on my door today. Yup. And I saw him coming as well through the sliding glass door. I'm sure he saw me too. And guess what? He had that same "I'm coming baby, don't worry, I'll be there" spiel going as he stood in front of my door. I didn't bother to open the door - he knocked twice - and I was really tempted to open the door and say, "Your wife is still in labor?"

But I didn't. He's bigger than me.

I saw him walking away, that cell phone glued to his ear.

His poor, poor wife. She's going to be in labor for a looong time.

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Say Goodnight, Gracie

Hi kids, just a quick note to let you know that I'm going AWOL for the next few days. A little thing called exams has come my way and I need to like, well, take care of those.

Then there is Europe- Karen and I spent 4 hours at the travel agency today getting about 75 percent of our trip booked. Note to anyone who might be planning a trip like this in the future: Maps and train schedules are absolutely necessary when planning the itinerary. Trust me on this. Otherwise, you spend mucho hours replanning because that overnight train you were counting on from Salzburg to Milan doesn't exist, nor does the one from Nice to Barcelona. Meanwhile the travel agents smile kindly at you, and you just know they think you're an idiot. In our defense, we did have a map/

Needless to say, I have no fannish thoughts at the moment, though this little LA Law fic is tugging at me for attention - they should have never broken up Michael and Grace ::sigh:: And if anyone knows of any LA Law fic, can you please let me know?

And Lori, why must people find your site while searching for my name in weird word combinations? Please stop, scary people. I don't like what you do to my name.

Victoria, your contact lense story made me smile. It's like the story of my life. You get the lense in, it feels comfortable, and bam, about two hours later, it feels it's either stinging like crazy so you start crying or it feels like someone has put something in your eye. Changing contact lenses without a mirror is an underappreciated talent. Without saline is even more risky (anyone use water - yowzers, how long does it take for that to feel comfortable again?).

ASC Awards end tonight. In approximately 6 hours. Less than six hours, actually. ::Happy Dance::

I think that just about covers me. For now. I apologize in advance for not updating but I think this site might be good for a laugh or two.

I'll miss you!!!!!!

And that's me, signing off.

Sunday, April 21, 2002


I'm restless. The second team - not the Hostile!Team, but this other one - wants to meet tonight. I'm bored. I'm procrastinating. I could watch ER. But then I'd feel all guilty for watching ER when I should be studying. But then, I'm playing on the computer. And I should be studying.

I read fic today. Mustang Sally. Goooooood stuff. MSR all the way. And I didn't realize how long it's been since I've read MSR. I had to flee X-Files after the Doggett warnings started to flare up and all of the baggage that goes along with that. But Strange Nights of Stone and All the Children Are Insane - beautiful. When I grow up, I want to write like Mustang Sally.

I'm feeling very peculiar about the Awards. I have been since day one. Charles Rando said it best and I get where he's coming from. I really do. Vote counting is depressing. Tie breaking is depressing. And I'm not even talking about myself. I'm long past concern about placement - I can honestly say that. This is my fourth awards and my expectations are minimal - please, please, please, I don't want to place in Best Author behind the Award Winning English Major or that another one. Any result but that and I will be overjoyed.

But I do like the ASC Awards. I like reading the FB. I like giving the FB. I like stumbling across stories I missed the first time. I just wish I could give everyone an award. That's really what it comes down to. Well, not everyone, but you know what I mean.

So I think that's what I'm trying to say. I just want to give everyone an award. And huggles. Lots of huggles.

I've been thinking about the Kasidy story. A lot. Suddenly, it's not longer a little vignette. It's something else. It's Kasidy, well, with depth, with feeling, with history. I like the idea of that. I have notes. Lots of them. And I should write them down because I have a memory like a sieve.

I feel like writing in one big paragraph. Just line after line after line with no line breaks. I want to see what happens if I don't use spellcheck. I want to leave anonymous reviews all over ff.net. I want to ask why. I want to say, "Why Minesweeper, why did you pick that?" I want to be out in the sun and feel it all over and inside. I want to be anywhere but here.

I should stop procrastinating. I should get back to finance. I should get it over with so I don't have to meet with Hostile!Team again. I'll just email them the answers and Hostile!Team can do whatever they want to with it. No need to aggravate my stomach with spending even a single minute more with them.

Or maybe I will make lunch. I have groceries now. And dinner yesterday was unsatisifying - some of us went out to the Indian restaurant in town. A group of MBAs can't go anywhere anymore without wanting to rearrange everything. By the end of our meal, we had figured out how to turn the restaurant around. Three months, we said, and we could have this place lively and jumping, no problem.

We also have a plan to redo Pizza Hut.

In case their people want to get in touch, here's my email.

We're constantly trying to subvert the system. We're white collar criminals in training. I propsed Ebribery.com - greasing the hands of business across the world. I also have a scheme to avoid paying parking fees in the pay lot on those days when we have to trudge through rain in our wool suits.

If I go to jail, please send me off with lots of MSR fic and P/T.

I think they have the internet in jail. But just in case...

Or maybe I should just redesign a restaurant.

What I'm listening to.

Liz makes me laugh. Don't forget, Lizola, to send me your snail mail.

Okay, forward rates, here I come.

Why do today...

TEN movies you couldn't live without:

Steel Magnolias
Top Gun
A Few Good Men
The Joy Luck Club
Return of the Jedi
The Breakfast Club
The Scarlet Pimpernal
Sense and Sensibility

NINE albums that are important to you:

Tori Amos, Little Earthquakes
Madonna, Ray of Light
Madonna, Something To Remember
Elton John, Made in England
Sarah Brightman, La Luna
Elton John, Love Songs
Sarah Brightman, Eden
Rent - The Musical
Sarah Brightman, Time to Say Goodbye

EIGHT "bands" you couldn't live without:

Tori Amos
Elton John
Billy Joel
Carly Simon
Sarah Brightman
Andrea Bocelli
Celine Dion (and while I'm 'fessing here, I'm going to admit enjoying boyband music as well)

SEVEN things that annoy you:

Bad grammar
Blue screens of death
People who pretend they know what's going on but don't
Judgemental people who think they know everything but don't
Being late (that is, when I'm running late)

SIX of your favorite songs at this moment:

"An Ocean Away" by Sarah Brightman
"You Can Make History Young Again" by Elton John
"China" by Tori Amos
"Time to Wave Hello" by Charlotte Church
"Please" by Elton John
"Melodramma" by Andrea Bocelli

FIVE tv shows you watch regularly:

Back in the real world... ;-) Keep in mind that I'm stuck in rerun hell on TBS - primetime no longer exists in my world at all.

Friends (the reruns - haven't seen a new ep in months)
The Cosby Show

FOUR of your all-time-favourite, desert-island books:

"Up the Down Staircase" by Bel Kaufman
"Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott
"The Six Wives of Henry VIII" by Alison Weir
"The Sun in Splendour" by Sharon Kay Pennman

THREE albums you've bought recently:

Oh God... does it count if someone else bought them for you? Because I honestly cannot remember, but here's a shot at it:

"Classics" by Sarah Brightman
"La Cielo di Tuscany" by Andrea Bocelli (my mom got this one for me)
"La Luna" by Sarah Brightman (I think... it's been a long time since I've bought new music)

TWO people that have influenced your life the most:


ONE thing you could spend the rest of your life with:

My health - everything else is incidental.

And a bonus - my family. I know they aren't a 'thing', but yup. Need them more than anything else.

Saturday, April 20, 2002

Angry!Girlfriend is back. I think her voice could shatter glass. My question - if I ever get the nerve to open up my door and talk to her - is, why does she stick with this guy when it obviously requires so much vocal power to keep him in line?

I'm procrastinating again. Bjorn called me on it and I admit it. I voted some more in the ASC Awards, trying to fill in the blanks again of some of the people/stories I might have missed during my first go-through. In a way, I wish I had waited a bit to do Overall, because I'm now thinking of all the things I wanted to say, but at the same time, I wanted to get all of my votes in early so that I could concentrate on other things.

But I'm procrastinating now.

And now Angry!Girlfriend is Weepy!Girlfriend.

Should I offer her a hug?


Things I feel guilty about today

Not being disciplined enough to get through all of Operations today. In fact, I only to to capability process index and then zonked on the spot.

Should answer emails. I owe quite a few people quite a few resposnes.

Not visiting my grandmother this weekend. I should, but honestly, I've got a lot to do and she wouldn't let me just stay for a few hours. I'd have to stay the whole weekend. Maybe Friday.

Things I don't feel guilty about today

Hmmm... guilt is a perpetual state of being with me. Okay, I watched the news. I haven't watched the news in a week. Actually, this is the first time the television has been on since... God, can't even tell you the last thing I've watched. So I don't feel guilty about that.

Things I wish I had time for

I echo Lori. I wish I had time to meet some of the wonderful people I've met online. I've met one person and that was wonderful - she was exactly as I thought she would be. But then, it might be scary for people to meet me - I really am that flaky in RL - it's not just an online thing.

I wish I had more time to write. To read things that aren't the WSJ and Business Week. I wish I had time to go see my grandmother before I leave.

Things I won't make time for

Like Lori, cleaning house. I do it if I'm on the phone. Then I'm walking around, picking stuff and cleaning like a mad woman, and then I have a neat, nice place for a while. I should talk on the phone more often.

Cooking is incidental. It's just me. I don't need 80 course meals. One box of Rice a Roni will do it.

Things I wish I could do, but can't for lack of funding

I can't think of anything here. Really. I feel very content in many ways. I do live an indulgent lifestyle in some ways - I should probably try to marry rich ;-). But my favorite thing to do is travel and people who know me, know that every six months I have to go somewhere, so that's always a priority before anything else - including high speed internet. This trip coming up is going to be a slight strain on the pocketbook, but I have been saving up for it for a couple years, so my regret here is that it can't be one week longer than it's going to be. but I also think after 6 weeks of hoofing it around Europe, I'm going to want to come home.


Weepy!Girlfriend's friend came to pick her up. So I don't have to feel guilty about not giving her a hug.

Friday, April 19, 2002

Discombulated Me

Just various thoughts...

Liz Barr made me a pretty little graphic that goes nowhere. I've always wanted a graphic to put on my site that goes absolutely nowhere. Other people have them - it's kind of like a teasing thing, you know? I mean, in the sense that they belong to a clique, but you can't ever find out anything more about it and this graphic is just there, taunting you (Or maybe just me - I'm the curious type). So now I have one as well. I just have to figure out where to put it.


Guilt. Victoria and Jenn both mentioned it. Victoria feels guilty about not updating her blog. This I can relate to. I used to feel this way, but lately I haven't been. I haven't got anything to say really, and my RL has gotten out of control. About the fic - don't feel guilty about that either. I always feel weird when I'm being prolific. Because in my head I always think, "Well, since I wrote a story last week, how good can this one possibly be?" And I also think whether people might get tired of constantly seeing my name on ASC or on mailing lists. Plus, having no time to write as of late - well, guilt cannot be an option right now. Even if I do miss writing.


Sat down with Karen today to plan the trip. In about two hours, we had our entire first week itinerary done. We went to Barnes & Noble, had coffee, pulled out the travel books and the maps, and voila. Then it was a quick walk down the sidewalk to the travel agency where the nice travel agent agreed to make all of our reservations for trains and hotels. Lovely. We're done except for the Spain portion of the trip. I feel so much less stressed now.


Voted in the ASC Awards today even though I said I was done. I realized that I had forgotten someone whom I think I may have forgotten in the VOY Awards as well. Which I'm not happy about. There might still be a story or two left to vote for in MIS, which I might do sometime tomorrow, but don't count on it.


I haven't seen ER. Missed it last night because we were working on the Operations final. I did tape it though, but didn't see it today either because I spent time this morning on the Operations final as well as planning the trip. Maybe I'll watch it tomorrow evening.


Spent $50 in the grocery store today. That's how empty my cupboards were. Really, really empty. No juice, no milk, no bread, no vegetables, nothing. Just saltines. That's what I had for breakfast. Saltines. How sad is this? But now I have bagels. And cream cheese. And vegetables. And lots of other really good things. So I'm very, very happy.


How much does a fanfic award mean to someone? I mean really, how much does it mean? Does it mean enough to cheat? I've always wondered. If you cheated and won, wouldn't you know you cheated and if so, wouldn't it be a tainted award? I'd rather not get an award at all, under those circumstances. In fact, I can see the votes coming in and know I'm not going to win anything, but that still wouldn't drive me to stuff the ballot. I just don't get it.


I'm a single fandom girl. I admit it. I feel strange, knowing how many fandoms other people have been in during the same time I've been in just Trek. Brief forays in Gladiator and X-Files, notwithstanding. I don't know what it is about Trek that I adore, that keeps me here. I think it's the people. The shows and actors help, but I like Trek people. Plus, I admit it - I'm way too lazy to learn even more canon. Trek canon itself makes my head spin even though I'm constantly looking stuff up or asking people.

I think I just feel myself getting better in Trek. I'm not one of those people who is insta-good no matter where she goes. So I like the comfort of Trek. I like that I know where I'm going or what I'm doing. I don't want to feel inadequate in another fandom again. So, Trek it is. And thanks to ENT, I probably have another seven years ahead
of me as well.


Got some lovely, lovely pieces of feedback today. I was very happy. All three emails were from people I've never heard from before. I love it when that happens and they cheered me up greatly. Especially the one from the J/J fan who said that she liked my stories even though they were W/D. And of course, the ASC Awards continue to make me happy. It really is all about the FB. Placement is incidental.

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

"If you never planned to do it, you can't possibly be behind." Wisdom from a classmate as I was lamenting how far behind I am right now.

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

Be careful what you wish for...

You just might get it.

Note Rant ahead. I'm thinking a lot about what happened on zendom, but I'm really, truly not directing this at any one person. If you still feel passionately about that discussion, please do not read further - my intention is not to provoke anyone.

The return of the smut debate flooded my inbox yesterday. People who were there during the first time already know how I feel about this issue. So, no need to rehash it here. Suffice it to say - YMMV.

So I'm not happy. That's to put it mildly. An HBR case didn't improve my mood much either, but that's another story entirely (Harvard Business School: Torturing Business Students for a Millenia). But what bugs me most about the debate is that we lost someone this time around, we lost someone that time around as well. Which I just don't get and it makes me miserable because I automatically 'miss' the people who leave and I feel bad, because deep down inside, I wonder if there is something I could have said or done to prevent that particular departure. I also worry about what a list's overall reputation would end up being in the wake of a heated argument.

A list I'm on had a really, really heated argument about a year or so ago and that was just bad. Feelings were badly hurt, things were said that would never be forgiven, and it definitely changed my attitudes towards a couple people whom, up to that point, I'd considered great fic resources. Now I wouldn't even dare to ask for help because I'm not sure what the fall out might be and it drives me deeper into lurkerdom because dang it, I'm a wimp and the last thing I want is a confrontation with anyone.

Call me dense (the HBR certainly would after seeing my dissertation on fasteners and attaching machines), but does an online discussion really matter so much that doors have to be slammed virtually at the slightest hint of disagreement?

The last time around, we agreed to disagree. So that's what I don't get. We're not talking a matter of life and death - and forgive me, because I'm about to sin, but it's *fandom* and *fanfic*. It's a good time for me, it's something I like to do and I spend valuable time in pursuit when I really should be spending more time doing other things. Like finding a life that doesn't revolve around an ISP. But in the end, when it comes to down to the wire - it's just *fandom* and it's just *fanfic*. No one is going to change their opinions, no one is going to change their minds about anything. The horse is dead, it's not getting up.

I understand that some things can be taken personally, that emails don't translate well online, especially among people who don't know each other well. I'm more inclined to tease my regular correspondents because they 'get' my sense of humor and I'm less likely to use that sense of humor on a list, because I figure that if I say the wrong thing, the door is going to be slammed virtually in my face.

The point is - zendom came about because people with strong opinions wanted a place to say it. It's not for the light of heart and when it comes right down to the philosophy of fandom and fanfic, opinions will vary depending on experiences and preferences. There's not much we can do about it unless we make the list invitation only. Which defeats the purpose for which Jemima formed it in the first place. If we wanted people who agreed with us, then we wouldn't have had open subscribership in the first place.

I guess my point is, I've been on a variety of lists for the last four years, and invariably, at some point, there is a public proclamation of departure and poof! It always comes in the wake of a storm, and maybe I'm just not sure why a virtual argument between people who don't know each other - who will probably never meet - is such a big deal.

Yeah, an argument with a friend would be devastating. When I think of my closest online friends and what would happen if I ever got into a tiff with them - well, that would be devastating. List arguing - no, not really. For the most part, I don't know the people on most of my lists that well and I don't have connections with them.

If someone loathes second person POV, that's fine. I don't agree, but it's not my mission in life to change that opinion. It's interesting to find out why someone doesn't care for a certain POV or whatever, but again, your mileage may vary. In the end, it matters most if you can see the other person's POV more clearly. But unfortunately, emotion gets in the way and lines are blurred even more between the issues and it's impossible to even see straight anymore.

In RL, you agree to disagree and you move on to the next topic. I'd like to suggest the same for lists. I'm not really sure how or why Virtual Life allows for behavior that wouldn't be permissible in RL - it's possible that anonymity has something to do with it, or maybe it's because 90 percent of the time, you haven't invested much in an online relationship so it doesn't matter. You just unsubscribe, and if you don't run around in the same fannish circles, you don't have to worry about 'seeing' each other again (though, I'm starting to realize that fandom is much, much smaller than I thought it was).

So, blame HBR for my bad mood. I'm not really sure I should even say this in public, but I'm curious as to how people take something so personally when not enough information even exists to make something personal.

And my apologies for saying "It's only fandom." I look at what's going on in the world around us and the fact that there are countries that are literally at war and it boggles my mind that fannish issues can take on such monumental importance. Not that I won't argue them myself, believe me, but in the end, I'm not sure that I have the passion necessary to go on about it either.

I apologize to anyone I may have offended. It's not personal.

Monday, April 15, 2002

You are Fiction Alley. You're probably the best fanfic archive, but your commitment to pleasing the ignoriant majority often works against you. You probably run the fandom, but you?re too PC to ever admit it. Our advice: embrace the power of the Ring, slap on the jackboots, and crush the fandom under your heel like you know you want to. You have nothing to lose but your souls.

Find out which fanfic archive you are.

Saturday, April 13, 2002

I was reading ASC's archives on Google today re the Godawful Trek site (new information made me all curious again - darn when that happens) and I found a post by me from wow, way back in '99 re the mess. Freaky, freaky, freaky. I mean, I know I've been hanging around ASC for a long time, but wow, this just solidifies it. Well, that and also the fact that a good many of my stories are archived at trekiverse, the earliest being from June of 1998. And even then I was pontificating about feedback. Strange. I mean, it feels really strange - because it means I was there when Godawful happened, but I have absolutely no recollection of being there, if that makes any sense. Yet I posted, so....

And Lori, you were there too. How weird. We were both there. And no one else who was there is still around ASC.

Which makes me really, really sad. Rereading those Godawful Trek threads made me really nostalgic for those who were there when I showed up - Marlissa, Laura Taylor, Cheile, LJV, Wolfen..... the list goes on and on.

Our trolls were more fun back then too.

writing rituals

best time:

Probably between 9 and 10 pm. But it varies. I like to work on things little by little, so I can spend 5 minutes here and there, but I like that magic hour between 9 and 10. It's a nice bookend to the day.

got a specific play list?:

Depends what I'm writing. Tori Amos is terrific for angst. In fact, you can blame all of "Lines in the Sand" on Tori. Sarah Brightman is another favorite - she's easy to write to. Madonna's "Something to Remember" is also angsty type music. Upbeat, fun music - usually Madonna's "Ray of Light." I do like Elton John's "Love Songs" as well - especially "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word", "No More Valentines" and "You Can Make History Young Again." Speaking of Sir Elton, for a while, I was writing constantly to "Made in England." "Please" has to be the single-most romantic song out there. Really.

prose easier than dialogue?

They are the same, but it depends no the scene. Sometimes, it's the dialogue that comes to my mind, sometimes it's the prose. Then comes the battle to either a) fit the prose around the dialogue or b) fit the dialogue around the prose. 'A' is harder than 'B', I think.

most troublesome words:

Spelling wise? I can't spell 'approriate'. Not at all. Thank goodness for spellcheck. What's worse is that I use that word all of the time and somehow, I still haven't figured out how to spell it correctly.

favourite character pov right now:

Hmm, depends on the story. Right now, I'm looking at a Kira story and it's a very strange story in terms of its careful and quiet violence and that really fascinates me. I'm really quite taken with this particular Kira - she's fun to write. I like Tom's POV a lot - he's easy to torture. Angst for him - it's almost like he's the bunny's primary caretaker. B'Elanna is fun too. I'd like to do Chakotay and Janeway better as well, but I understand my limits ;-)

smut, yes or no?

Depends on my mood. Sometimes a hint, mostly not. It depends if it's necessary to the story or not. More often than not, I can get by without, but I do skim the edges a lot - I'm just not as good at it as other people are, so I leave it to the experts.

I went shopping in the juniors section today - which felt very odd because I'm what, a decade older than the average junior? I felt very, very oversized wandering through the aisles there. The women's section was a little on the frumpy side, not to mention that most of the clothes were either maternity or just way too big. The petites section was, well, not good. It was like the dumping ground of.... something. Well, in general, Ross (and other stores like that) are dumping grounds, but they do have really, really good prices - which is awesome if you're looking for a quick, one-time wear only (which is what I was looking for).

My friend Sarah suggested shopping in juniors - she actually can shop in Boys as well (which frankly makes me jealous) - but I think juniors is pushing it for me. Plus, I feel really, really weird about the whole thing. Like everyone who is there is either into Britney or has a daughter who is into Britney. I just don't fit.

I also got a pair of sandals today. Something about lovely, warm weather - blue skies and sunshine - unleashes my sandal fetish. I just love having different strappy pairs of sandals, though admittedly my tastes run more towards the practical, comfortable type. Plus, I always buy black shoes - with the exception of one pair of navy high heels - because black goes with everything and when it's way early, I don't want to think if my shoes match my clothes or not.

Friday, April 12, 2002

Finished all of my ASC voting this afternoon while the database and website were updating. Love multitasking :-). Best Author was really, really hard, kids. Good luck to you. I know it had me pondering a lot. But maybe that is the point - maybe we shouldn't have a gazillion author awards, maybe we should just really look at who was the best overall in Trek fandom. Yeah, it's going to be skewed, I already know that - but it did make me think instead of willy-nilly typing out whatever. The people I voted for are people I read regularly or have read regularly. Since it's about FB, I couldn't let exceptional talent go unrecognized even though I feel that Best New Author should be broader than what it'll probably end up being. So call me a hypocrite, but it's about the FB and dang it, I have an opinion, and the rest of the world needs to know who I think the best of ASC really are.

Thursday, April 11, 2002

The Awards... oh my. I've got another 48 hours to take a look at Voyager and decide if I'm going to vote for more stories. And then it's time to move to Overall and Mis. The Overall category is killing me right now, absolutely killing me. No individual series authors this year (don't ask me, please don't), so this means that every vote counts in terms of who I want to recognize. And given that we're looking at the Best Author Overall - well, that definitely changes how I would vote and who I would vote for, because theoretically, I'd be looking at the people who most exemplified quality writing on ASC this year and contributed majorly to the NG.

And being difficult, I don't necessarily think being awesome in one series makes one the best overall author. I have a profound respect for people who can write in multiple series and do it so beautifully. That's not to say that there isn't standout talent that stays simply in the boundaries of one series, but to me best overall signifies a lot more than what most people will probably recognize in the awards.

Please don't even get me started on this one tonight.
Does anyone else look at their inbox and get completely and totally overwhelmed?

No fannish thoughts. Sorry. I really don't have any. Fandom is the last thing on my mind these days. No deep thoughts either - I'm getting increasingly shallow as brain space gets occupied by stuff I'll probably forget on May 4.

And the muse is advising me to take a break and I'm going to take her advice. For once. This is a good thing, folks, not a bad thing. But sometimes, you just need to take a break. And if the ASC Awards don't kill me first, then yes, I'm going on a break.

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

My Mormon name is Confederate America Marandastarr!
What's yours?

The Quotable Lori

If the muse doesn't care what you're doing, neither will the reader.

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

Liz has a whole new concept on making it. Mind you, beta'ing for me entitles you to one free pass to the afterlife of your choice.
Making a list, checking it twice...

It just occurred to me that we are leaving for France in less than a month. And to date, all I have done is purchased a plane ticket and the student discount card. And oh yes, bought one of those 'wallet on a string' type deals that you can wear under your shirt. So that's all I've done. I started making a list of things to do today - everything from making sure I have a supply of hard candy to lots of extra socks (and eight rolls of film). I'm not doing the backpack thing - unfortunately, I live in a state with no mountains, so I can't find anyone with a large pack. But still, my 'things to bring' list is on the minimalist side - I can see myself getting very sick of my limited wardrobe within a few days, but I don't feel like dragging my entire closet through Europe - and yes, I am a clotheshorse (not to mention a walking advertisement for Petite Sophisticate and Casual Corner).

Anyway, anyone have an suggestions of what to do? Where to go? What to see? Countries in question are: France, Spain, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. We also have potential for Corsica, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands - depending on how ambitious we get. Any tips of what to bring? How to pack? (and yes, Liz, I'll bring a compass ;-))

Friday, April 05, 2002

A new article is up at zendom. ChristineCGB discusses "Coming Out of the Fanfic Closet." Next up, Liz Barr will present zendom's most memorable quotes (or koans).

Lots of neat things being said in Victoria's diary about my thoughts about the blog/LJ culture. I'm too tired to respond tonight - ASC Awards are really sapping all life out of me atm - but soon, because Victoria's thoughtful comments very much deserve response.

Thursday, April 04, 2002

Happiness is...

The bluebonnets are out and they are lovely, lovely, lovely! So in honor of the sudden eruption of blue, red, yellow and white, I give you a fic rerun: Among Bluebonnets.

Wednesday, April 03, 2002

Odds and Ends

I'm really way too tired to be sitting here typing anything. It's been a rough 36 hours, but hey, it's all good. I can now finally eat the dinner I set to defrost yesterday evening... :-)


Anyway, I've been thinking a lot about blogs and livejournals and the culture that they spawn. When I started blogging, I didn't know anyone else who had a blog. Now I know lots of people. I've linked to some people, people link to me- and randomly, people find significance in something I wrote and link to that. And I do a lot of linking back when I find someone who has managed to put into words exactly what I've been thinking - and then I'm completely in awe that those people are just so in-tune, sooo... well, coherent.

Blogs and livejournals get you to know a person better. We're ficsters, so of course we want to know how other ficsters think and what their modus operendi is. It's really voyeuristic in some ways - popping in and out of people's journals and unless you leave a comment, for the most part they don't know that you've ever been there. But I wonder if it's too much. In addition to all the other fannish work we do, throw the updating of the blog onto the pile, not to mention the endless loop of meta-discussions as one blog links into the other and if you miss one day of reading, all of a sudden you're out of the fanfic loop. And on that same note, is it necessary to have a blog if you have even the slightest intention of being a BNF? I don't know that many Trekkers who have blogs - with the exception of those listed in my links - but I've noticed that other fandoms like Smallville, X-Men, BtVS - blogs abound. Anyone who is someone has a blog. And yeah - blogs drive traffic. Is there anyone here who gets more hits on a page that isn't their blog?

But at the same time, it's fun to have a public soapbox to stand up on and just generally broadcast to the world. But when is enough enough? There's been talk that the blog culture is sucking life away from mailing lists. Discussions and reviews re the latest shows make it into the blogs now. WIPs are posted in this space, not to mention the occasional tempest in a teacup brewed. About those WIPs - could those be considered 'pre-posting' publicity jaunts? You know - throwing out a crumb for the readers?

But on a positive note, thanks to the blog, I 'found' Bishclone again - aka Kat Hughes to VOY folks - who was an absolute sweetie in beta'ing my first VOY story, Grief, and today, she cheered me up greatly in her diary. Lovely girl, that Kat. And a fabulous writer. So, if you haven't read her stuff, what are you waiting for?

In a way, blogworld is incredibly small and occasionally claustraphobic - you see how people know each other by the number of links running down the side of the blog - author's notes are no longer enough to figure out who the BNFs in fandom are. The cynic in me has to wonder about the journals with 80 million other journals linked - are those actually a daily read? A once in a while read? Or is there some kind of measure - that when you reach a certain number of reciprocal links you've "made it" as a blogger? Seriously - can you measure an author's popularity by their blogs? And how much of that fic popularity is transcended into the blogs - ie is a witty journalist the same as the writer in a particular fandom? Because in the daily blog rounds, it's obvious who the "in crowd" is - and I wonder how much our mutual public gushing contributes to that. Or doesn't contribute, ie does familiarity breed contempt?

Gak. There's that "making it" discussion again. Dinner. Good. Can't think about that right now.


On another note, what was McDonald's thinking when they decided to bring the Spice Girls back for their newest ad campaign?

Tuesday, April 02, 2002

Fannish Things

Jenn was musing about fan circles and fandoms and general closeness among writers. Lots to agree with there - especially the VOY comments and the intimidation factor.

Even after all this time, there are certain people I simply won't FB in VOY for the intimidation factor. Gak. I've spent hours - well, not hours - but I'll sit down, write an email, and then promptly delete it because I'm not sure of what X's response will be. Or whether they'll care. Or whether it's even worth the time necessary. So yes, intimidation. It's there. Even in Trek. After All This Time.

How wrong is that? I mean, seriously, how wrong is that? I know some of these people - read their work, they read mine, hey, occasionally they rec it - but I can't bring myself to drop them an email of FB because frankly, they scare the heck out of me. Don't ask why. I can't figure it out myself.

We won't even start on X-Files - I've only gushed to Jill Selby and that's only because I didn't realize that she was a BNF at first - only that I really, really enjoyed "Paper Saints" and ended up going as for to OT rec it on a Trek list. For the record, she was very un-Divalike. "Paper Saints" is another one of those stories I wished I had saved to my hard drive - Jill's site disappeared before I could finish reading everything there. ::sniff::

Anyway, Jenn writes: And I wasn't very--I suppose the term has to be social--with any of the more established Paris/Torres writers. I'm not exactly sure why now--part of it was intimidation, part of it was a strong anti-social thing I had going, and part of it, to be honest, was just the fact that I was new to the web and really wasn't that aware there WAS a social component to fanficsters outside of conventions and so forth.

Social component aside - it depends on the fandom. Some welcome you with open arms. "Hey newbie, cool!" Others don't necessarily take notice of you - no welcome wagon in some places and so it can be a very solitary thing to be plugging away in fandom with absolutely no company. Seriously, instead of welcoming you, the wagons circle up and then you've got to make the decision whether you're strong enough to do this without the support of the BNFs. It's so easy if you get a BNF support when you first burst onto the scene (because face it, many people who 'make it' in fandom do it immediately - there's none of this 'creeping onto the scene' deal, no, they simply explode onto the fannish scene). But back to the BNF support - if you get it at first, wow, you're pretty much set if you have the work to back it up. But if you don't, don't expect that support to last. The BNFs unfortunately are a fickle lot. They can take away their support as quickly as they gave it.

But that's another topic entirely. I was more thinking along the lines of how social interaction and the lack thereof affects what you do in fandom. You either have it or you don't - no real gray areas, unfortunately. Which leads to one of two things: you either a) become self-sufficient and do what you'd like or b) you drift to another fandom.

More Jenn: It's the social influence that actually DOES anything for me. Granted, I wrote a lot while off-line, but with a few exceptions, most of it is going to be hitting the trashcan or being totally rewritten now that I have my outside influence.

Ah that social influence. It made me actually think about the possibilities of J/C (and only once, have I attacked that pairing head on in fic, I think - meaning 'writing') when previously I stayed away from that pairing with a 6-foot pole. That pole is now just a 3-footer. Darn her. ::g::

But what I'm saying is that outside influence is fun. It's someone making an offhand comment about "Risa and checkers" and voila, there be a story. Someone throws out R/C and I'm intrigued. A discussion about Beverly in season 2 gets the wheels turning. And so on. Maybe the reason why DS9 is so slow for me these days is that the social influence is so far removed with Una off on her dissertation and me no longer haunting IM (and thus Liz) for ideas.

But then, I realize that I was out there alone before Liz came along and found me. But it was sure much more fun once I got 'found.'

Monday, April 01, 2002

The Cure for Insomonia Found!

Please use only under superivision

Level 3 contains Items E and F. Because E and F are each used in several places, Exhibit 14.17 is presented to identify more clearly the parent item, the number of units required for each parent item, and the week in which it is required. Two units of Item E are used for each Item A. The 1,200-unit planned order release for A in Period 7 becomes the gross requirement for 2,400 units of E in the same period. One unit of E is used in each B, so the planned order release for 400 units of B in Period 7 becomes the gross requirement for 400 units of E in week 7. Item E is also used in Item D at the rate of one per unit. The 1,530-unit planned order release for D in Period 5 becomes the gross requirement for 1,530 units of E in Period 5 and a 1,500-unit planned order release in Period 4 after accounting for the 30 units on hand and the one-week lead time. The 1,200-unit planned order release for D in Period 6 results in gross requirements for 1,200 units of E in Week 6 and a planned order release for 1,200 units in Week 5.