Thursday, January 31, 2013

2013 Goals: Week 4 Postmortem

Novel: [NOT ENOUGH]/ 14,000 words.

Basically, see last post. This week I will be getting together at least SOMETHING, but it won't be enough to catch up, I already know. The contest has been seriously absorbing my time.

Working Out: 4/4 times. (+4 from earlier weeks)

Well, at least I'm not getting further behind. Need to knock out that backlog. I've worked out twice this week so far, though, so maybe I can do 5 times total.

Blogging: 2/3 posts.

Well, goddamn it.

Hopefully four posts this week shouldn't be a huge issue. This counts as one, of course, so - three to go.

I'm doing pretty excellently on my work for the SCP Foundation, though... at least, I think I am. Sigh. Don't you hate it when you're just not sure if the stuff you've written is actually good?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Taking On Too Much

What I've done this week so far:

* Read almost 2,000 articles for research for this motherfucking contest.
* See above.
* See above.
* See above.
* Rewrite my article for the SCP Foundation posted last week (which took an entire day).
* See first bullet point.
* See above.

I haven't worked on my novel at all, and the contest still has seven more days to go. And I'm on the line for at least three short stories.

This is going to be pretty interesting!

Also, I'm not going to make my blog post goal for this week. Obviously. I'll do four next week to make up for it. And finally reply to Jess!

Also also, here's my article for the Foundation that I posted earlier this week: SCP-1985

I'm pretty pleased with it, but I think it could use a little bit more work, and almost certainly some additional material to flesh it out in an entertaining way. (Like an interview log. Hmmm...)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

2013 Goals: Week 3 Postmortem

Time flies. Today was another day of non-stop writing (minus a large chunk of midday, where I was either driving, or meeting a friend).

Novel: [NOT ENOUGH]/ 10,500 words.

I'm not going to measure this. I already know I fell short. I feel less badly about this than I usually would because I've been so productive this week in other writing areas. I'll start feeling pretty bad if it puts me behind a month, though. Don't want to be forced to make up too much ground.

Speaking of which...

SCP Foundation: 1? of [2-4] articles.

An unexpected change in how many articles are due, because of the contest mentioned last post. The question mark comes after the 1 because I don't know yet if it's going to survive (though I certainly hope so), and the [2-4] is there because I don't know if I need to ultimately write 2, 3, or 4 articles this month. Depends on what the rest of my contest team is able to produce.

Working Out: 3/4 times. (+3 from earlier weeks)

I'm just going to say "argh" to this. On the plus side, I already worked out today, which is the first day of the 'resolution week'.

Blogging: 3/3 posts.

Success, even though the posts were not exactly what I'd been planning to write. Jess, I will try and reply to your post this week!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Deadlines Approaching

Weekly deadline fast approaching for my writing goal this week, 10,500 words. I've thrown away so much that I'm actually not sure I'm going to make the goal. I'm in a buffer-free area; I've got some material later on already written, but that doesn't count til I reach that point. So I may be about to get behind. We'll see. Perhaps if I do, I should post when , even if it's not a post-mortem post.

This is also when I'm working on my monthly SCP article or articles. In this case, articles, because I'm entering a contest (more updates on that later) and it's got its own deadlines. This means I have three total articles on my docket. One actual SCP document (indirectly related to the contest), two "Foundation tales" - IE, short stories (directly related to the contest).

By end of tomorrow, Tuesday, Jan 22nd: Basic story outline materials should be finished. This is going to require approximately three hours of reading, which I need to do either today, late tonight, or tomorrow evening, because otherwise I'm busy. This is in addition to finishing my weekly novel goal. This is why I'm not sure I'll make it. We'll see.
By end of Wednesday, Jan 23rd: First draft of first story should be done.
By end of Thursday, Jan 24th: First draft of second story should be done. This is also the date entries may be submitted for the contest (for about a week, I think - I'll have to check on that too).

That's a hell of a lot of writing to do. At least I've spent Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and today doing almost nonstop writing, so I can probably keep the trend going. Gonna try, at least. Either way, all this is getting done, whether on time or not.

Friday, January 18, 2013

2013 Goals: Week 2 Postmortem

This update coming a little late because my blog stopped working for a day or two.

Novel: ????/ 7000 words.

I think I'm on track here. Unfortunately, I didn't think to measure on the day I was supposed to since I wasn't writing a post anyway, and since I'm also in territory where I'm keeping some of the previously written material, extrapolating an actual count is going to be difficult. And now we're a couple days into next week. We'll see.

Working Out: 3/4 times. (+2 from earlier weeks)

Wow, I really suck at this. What partly is killer here is that I've had a few days where I worked out more than 15 minutes at once, but that doesn't count towards resoltions.

Blogging: 3/3 posts.

Success. The contrast between working out & blogging here is actually pretty amusing, because working out is something I've succeeded at before, whereas blogging is something I've failed at pretty consistently before. I mean, my history on this blog is peppered with posts saying that this time, maybe, I will actually start posting regularly.

Already I've posted more posts this year than I posted in all of 2012, which was my worst year to date (I'm actually surprised to learn that). My best year was 2009, which I should pass in February if all goes well. We'll see.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Template Change

Changing the template because Dynamic Views appears to be just... Broken.

Because I couldn't get the blog to load for most of the day, last week's postmortem will go up tomorrow.

Any suggestions for another template from fellow Blogspot people?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Questions Re: Authors & Reviewers

I found this story while searching for something entirely different, and I thought it would be interesting to pose some questions about it.

The short version of the story:

  • "Vine" reviewer (blog author) reads book, posts 4-star review on Amazon.
  • Author starts pushing for #1 New York Times Bestseller slot on Facebook; is unhappy that it stays steady at #2.
  • Someone gives the book a 1-star review on Amazon. It's not abusive, mind you. It's just harsh.
  • Author's husband tears into the 1-star reviewer; legions of fans jump on board. Death threats ensue.
  • Author references the fracas in an amused fashion
  • Blog author changes review to 1-star, explains that it's because they can't support the author's behavior:
  •  Both the blog author and the original 1-star reviewer receive threats and anonymous phone calls.
  • Author steps in, sorta-kinda. One of her comments:
amy--we did reach out to her with an official apology. if she is really getting death threats, which is appalling, she should probably remove her post--or at least stop talking about it. alternatively, she should call the police ASAP. There is nothing i can do to help her from atlanta. why are you still talking about it? i think you are making it worse for this poor woman by drawing attention to it on my page. if you care about her and want it to die down, please stop posting about it on my page. that is what i mean by "protect all involved". i'm sorry you don't seem to follow this logic. but maybe you want the drama to continue? if so, THAT is really, really bad.
...And that about summarizes it. Full details in the link in the post above, naturally.

So my questions to you, dear blog readers, are:

Should the book's author have acted differently? How?


Should the blog author have changed their review? (edit: I meant, from a 4-star to 1-star, which they did; was that a good thing or a bad thing?)


If you were either of these people, what might have you done differently? What might you have wished you'd done differently?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Homestuck Race Debate

Warning: This post is mostly for my own benefit. Most people who I personally know read this blog either don't read Homestuck or haven't caught up. And many of them actively dislike Homestuck, if only for the crazy fandom that circulates around it. And this is an 'aggregator-style' post about a kerfluffle in the Homestuck fandom. So you've been warned.

On that note, this post contains spoilers.

 If you're continuing anyway, a brief notes of context.

First, go here: Look at the front page, which is also the first page of the (several-thousand-page and running) comic called Homestuck.

Actually, what the heck, I'll paste it for the lazy.

What race is that kid?

Well, you might assume he's white, and he's certainly drawn as if he has straight hair, but Homestuck characters are canonically aracial. Naturally, this leads to most people assuming they're white. And a vocal minority of fans who hate that assumption (myself amongst them, though I'm not really clear on whether I count as part of the HS fandom because until now I haven't participated at all). The author is well aware of this debate. (That context is important.)

Making characters aracial is potentially problematic, but I am going to skim over that for the moment in interest of brevity, and also because I don't think my thoughts have wrapped around that completely anyway.

Homestuck has often had a "Trickster Mode" as a joke in the Flash entries where you can control the characters involved.

Here's a screenshot:

That's the same character as the one depicted in the opening page. Note presence of skin color (and alternate hair color, and alternate colors everywhere.)

Now, partially as a nod to fans, partly as a plot device, the author, Andrew Hussies, has made Trickster Mode an Official Plot Device in Homestuck. The character who enters Trickster mode has a similar skin color to the one in the picture above (IE, they're apparently white, and not white in the literal sense).

This twitter conversation ensues:

Following that, the next few updates had the Trickster mode character commenting to another character (who's horrified at her change): "I feel so... CAUCASIAN!" on this page (bright flashing colors warning, by the way). With a bunch of skin color tones in a row at the bottom (and the choice of pantone 7507c - the character's current skin tone - blinking).

Spiderlass on Tumblr summed up pretty well many peoples' problems with this in this post: (I won't quote, just go read the whole thing if you've gotten this far.)

If you go to the Homestuck page I linked, you'll see that the word now reads "PEACHY!" And the skin color tones are replaced by a series of fruit. Because the author got horrified at the reaction and tossed out the joke.

His explanation: "I thought the joke was funny, but..."
But actually what motivates me more to revise it is noticing more than a few unsavory individuals using it as justification to harass POCs or anyone who, reasonably, wanted to voice their concerns. On reflection I’d rather not have my decisions serve as fodder for the arguments of such people.
Full post here.

And he followed up after people got ANGRY!!! that he stooped to self-censorship!!!:
This is why the claim “social justice is in essence a form of censorship” is so ironic here. Because the forces of social justice aren’t actually making me change anything. In this case, it’s actually the people who OPPOSE those concerns in the ugliest manner who motivated me to “censor” myself.

Most people here would agree that some SJ enthusiasts can get pretty carried away. But if you feel convinced social justice is a crushing form of censorship, you might want to rethink that idea. Because apparently “one of the only people who could say and do whatever they damn well pleased” for the first time ever decided to redact a joke, not because of SJ bloggers, but because of the behavior of their most strident critics. And if you truly dislike censorship, and do not wish to see more self-censorship in the future, then you would be doing your part to behave in a way that doesn’t make creators feel embarrassed to be defended by you.
Full post here.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2013 Goals: Week 1 Postmortem

Novel: 5,836/3500 words.

I built up a bit of a barrier just before the New Year on this draft, intentionally, and it's paid off. I'm still ahead of schedule, even though I spent a few days ruminating on necessary changes to another chapter. I'll try to keep writing ahead of schedule to allow myself those occasional 'thinking days'.

SCP Foundation: 0/0 articles. (+0 to make up.)

This isn't due yet! In the next two postmortem posts, I won't mention it unless there's a reason to.

Working Out: 2/4 times. (+0 to make up.)

I didn't think this one would be my first stiffed resolution, but there it is. My sleep cycle got in the way of this one, and my own desire to procrastinate. Sigh.

I now have two micro-sessions to make up by the end of the month. On that note, I've signed up for some workout classes, so hopefully after this month this resolution gets easier to keep.

Though I'm thinking of modifying it to make it so that I have to be physically active for one minute per hour. To combat the ill effects of sittin' around.

Blogging: 3/3 posts. (+0 to make up.)

Success! Even if I posted the last one at the last second. Having Jess to reply to really helped with that. Thanks, Jess. Let's keep doin' that.

Total Resolutions Kept: 3/4

Let's see if I can do better this coming week.

Monday, January 7, 2013

New Blog Subtitle Time

Your thoughts! Give them to me.

I like "Then Again", but I'm a bit tired of "Fairies, Sex, and Spacemen." Any suggestions for a new title?

I'm tempted to steal "Middle of May" from an old journal... but I'm not certain.

I am also happy to change "Then Again" if necessary, or just get rid of the subtitle altogether.

I may change this again in the near future, so don't be afraid to suggest silly things, so long as they're not too silly to be usable.

January 7th 2013, Early Morning

Hey Jess.

This is the post I am replying to. (We should probably keep linking back to each other or this will make even less sense.) Update: Now cross-posted here!

I am writing this at about 4 AM. But it's not as bad as it sounds: I woke up at 4 PM yesterday (after an all-nighter that lasted til 9 AM. I intended to stay up all day to reset my sleep cycle, but it did not work). I slept at 9 AM and woke up at a little bit past 2 AM. I will probably nap soon before I have to get up at 8 AM. My sleep cycle is pretty hilarious.

Yes, blogging. I am technically not yet behind on my blogs for this year because I set myself a rule that I can make a whole bunch of posts at the end of the week. This year, the end of the "week" is Monday, meaning I have a whole entire day to meet my quota of ... three ... or was it four... posts. Meaning, counting this one, that I have... two... or is it one... post/s left for this week.

(I really should have made my working out resolutions and blogging resolutions have the same number.)

I am starting my week on Tuesday and ending it on Monday because New Year's Day was Monday.

I think I may be behind on working out already. But don't tell anyone.

Anyway, I could not help but notice that you did not explain what we were doing. Because I am the helpful friend, I will proceed to explain for our audience of two or three people.

You, Jess, are being my blogging buddy to help me, Jake, in one of my New Year's resolutions. We got the idea of chatting at each other from vlog brothers. Though we are not, in fact, brother and sister, we have often been mistaken for brother and sister, so it is close enough I guess.

Somehow I originally typed "brother in sister" in the above sentence, which I am happy to say was not a Freudian slip, because it would be terrible to somehow grow awkward sexual tension out of nowhere after knowing each other for approximately thirteen years. Or maybe hilarious. I don't know. Luckily, today is not the day we find out.

Is thirteen years right? I am not certain. I'm pretty sure we met late-1999 - early-2000. Do you remember? I know we bonded over media out before that point, such as The Phantom Menace...

Still sexy.

...and Gargoyles...

Still awesome. Also still sexy.

Also, we have planned since we were teenagers to co-write some stuff in the future, although, as you know, only I am currently writing, and when we are rich and famous, these blogs will stand forever in infamy. Alternatively, we will laugh at our hubris while we are on our death beds. In this version of the future, we are dying at the same time, which is actually kind of terrible.

You mentioned: "Regular updating? Um, I’ll try really hard. I hope that works for you cause that’s as good as you’re gonna get XD"

That's perfectly excellent for starters. Maybe we can challenge each other to keep to a schedule later! For now, let's take baby steps and rely on our compulsive need to chatter at each other, and our willingness to keep reminding the other person to reply when it's not our turn.


Oh my god. I had almost completely forgotten about my deadjournal. Oh man. I had this blog from 2002-2005. How old was I, then? I can't math. Let's figure this out:
  • 2013: I will (but have not yet) turn 28
  • 2012: 27
  • 2011: 26
  • 2010: 25
  • 2009: 24
  • 2008: 23
  • 2007: 22
  • 2006: 21
  • 2005: 20
  • 2004: 19
  • 2003: 18
  • 2002: 17
So I had this blog from age 17 to age 20. Sometime after or during that, I got a livejournal, and then migrated here. I have been blogging for over ten years.

Seventeen through twenty. Hot damn. Those were my "teen angst" years, coming on a little late and spilling into my twenties because I was overall pretty happy through most of high school. Don't get me wrong, some of it is horrifying in retrospect, but ignorance was bliss at the time. You remember.

Just look at my very first post: first entry ever here...or in a journal ever. ^_^ Actually, I was debating getting one for a while now, but it took Jessi registering to provide the impetus for me to do the same.

That's right, Jess. I have been using you to motivate my blogging for my entire blogging career.

Also, check out that badass anime emoticon. Hah. That's a theme throughout: tons and tons of anime emoticons. But I'll follow up on that in another post.

And Jess, that's my first challenge for you...

Blogging Challenge Number One!

Find your old deadjournal. You don't even have to link it if you don't have to - I know you sometimes come down with a bad case of Shy On The Internet. But go through the posts - all the posts. Skim wherever you like. Comment on the posts overall in some way as thoughts come to you.

If you accept this challenge, I will do the same. I might do it anyway. Who knows. I'm just so damn unpredictable. You can't pin me down!


Animorphs is a fantastic thing to talk about. Unfortunately, I have already written quite the wall of text on other things. Fortunately, there will be many more opportunities to talk about Animorphs in the future, especially since I'm planning to reread them at some point. I will just say right now that I am very very happy that they are re-releasing this series, and especially that they're doing it in e-reader format.

I cannot remember my favorite Animorphs character. I loved Jake, Rachel, Cassie, and Tobias... Ax and Marco came second, but I loved them too, really.  But yes, Jake was the hottest in the TV show. However, I barely watched that. Ah well!


Well, that depends, doesn't it? I have to imagine that people will be able to power our current devices or retrieve data somehow, if we keep the level of technology we have now or higher. If we don't keep that level of technology... well, we're going to lose a whole damn lot of work. But, you know, most civilizations have left much, much less behind than they would have liked. So it's okay, I guess, from the long view.

I don't know if the paper saving is staggering yet, but I would wager it at least eventually will be. And that's almost as good.

This make me think of a question for you: How do you think the world will end?

Something happy, something sad.

I'll do this one next post! I already know what I'm gonna write, but I'm out of time for now.

And another thing:

I have been also been watching vlogbrothers as you suggested. That's where I got the challenge idea from. You're right. The first few videos are really awkward. As these blog posts surely are too. But they are pretty much all great. And inspiring! Even though I still hate the introductory music.

I would like to suggest something else...

Suggestion Time

One of the things we've done constantly throughout the time we've known each other is drag each other into consuming media.

This blogging back-and-forth comes from that. I got you into Crash Course. You segued from that into Vlog brothers (which I had ignored) and now you've got me into that, too.

So... let's keep doing that, but through our blog. Maybe we can work this into challenges later, but - baby steps! For now, let's do meters.

I'll start with Vlog Brothers. I suggest you start with Homestuck: Note which page you're currently on. Update when you post, even if it remains the same between posts. I will do the same, noting which Vlog Brothers video I'm currently on.

We can add more meters as we blog more.

Do you accept this suggestion?

Bonus question! Should I make a tumblr and cross-post things there? 

I close my post with this adorable cat picture.

Aw yiss.


Suggestions Summary:
  • Deadjournal Challenge.
  • Meter Suggestion.

P.S.: I noticed you used a "hey jake" tag on your tumblr. That is a good idea and I am stealing it.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Resolutions 2013

I've never made resolutions for the new year before. Gonna try that out this year.

My first inclination is to take on way too much, and make a ton of ambitious resolutions that will inevitably fail. My second inclination is hopefully more reasonable. I'll stick to the "writing" category, since that's probably the most reasonable.

Resolution #1: Novel.

I partly mean "finish my novel" and I partly mean "rewrite my novel" here, because most of it has already been written at some point in the last year and a half. But almost all of it needs to be rewritten, and half of what I've already written needs to be discarded. Such is rewriting. Especially when you're me, and using this novel to learn how to write (something which, I am told, is not necessarily recommended).

I'm dividing this one up by months. Fantasy word counts tend to range between 80,000 words to 120,000 words if you want to play it safe as a first-time author. I want to be generous with these goals, so I'll say 120,000. I'll divide that by 8 months, leaving 4 months to rewrite, to get 15K words per month. Divided by 30, that's 500 words per day. I could write more, but again, I'm trying to be generous with myself here.

* January: 15,000 words
* Feburary: 30,000 words
* March: 45,000 words
* April: 60,000 words
* May: 75,000 words
* June: 90,000 words
* July: 105,000 words
* August: 120,000 words
* September: Revise first 30,000 words
* October: Revise first 60,000 words
* November: Revise first 90,000 words
* December. Revise all 120,000 words

If I have to do another rewrite later, that's fine. Some form of rewriting is to be expected. The goal is to have a complete, polished draft.

Resolution #2: Twelve new pieces for the SCP Foundation.

(For those of you who aren't familiar with the SCP Foundation, the short version is that it's a collaborative writing website, based primarily around short stories in the horror fiction category. There's a large number of pieces that fall into the humor and general speculative fiction genres, too. I write and staff for this site. If you visit this month, January 2012, you'll find that the featured Tale on the front page is one of mine: "Recovered Data File".)

This one's pretty straightforward: one piece a month. Technically, I could write more: these aren't long pieces. But I'll also be working on staff projects for the site and writing my novel. And these resolutions are supposed to be generous. So a piece a month is more realistic.

Resolution #3: Work out.

(I'm vaguely embarrassed to type this one out.)

I'll say that the way to fulfill this is to work out for a total of no less than 15 minutes per day for 4 days a week. Any skipped days must be made up within a month. Can't cheat and do 45 minutes one day and count that for three days. That's a pretty low bar to reach, yes. But generous, remember?

Resolution #4: Blog.

This is actually going to be the hardest one, because for some reason blogging is the first thing I forget to do. That's why I'm setting the bar even lower: one blog post per day, three days a week. If I get to the end of the month and I'm way behind, I can write several per day to make up for lost time. Skipped posts still have to be made up within a month, though.


And those are my four resolutions for the coming year. Let's see if I can manage to not break them. Hopefully the systemic way they're set up will help.