orikes: (miranda)
This is more than just picspam. This is spam. I've been meaning to talk about a few different things, but fighting off the plague last week really sapped most of my brain power. So, for your edification, here are some random things from me.


I am feeling better finally. The hacking cough and laryngitis is hanging on, but I survived a full night of work last night. Even though I could use it to get caught up on things and for monetary reasons, I will not be asking for overtime this week. I'm still sleeping nine to ten hours a night, so overtime would probably just set me back health wise.

Ultimately, the doctor decided it was a virus, so there really wasn't much they could do for me other than tell me to get lots of rest and drink lots of fluids. It was all sinus and upper respiratory stuff which was not fun. What's worse is that it was spreading. One of my roommates got it and some people at work got it. Not sure who started it, but it was definitely not fun.


Before I got sick, I did get to go see this in the theater. It was pretty amazing. I loved the casting of pretty much all the characters (though I expected Ozymandias to be prettier, the actor still pulled it off very well) and I was delighted with how faithful they were to the original graphic novel.

Some things were changed, but most of it was either very minor or in the case of the one big thing they changed, kinda important. To be completely vague and avoid spoilers, things happen at the end that are world changing. In the comic, what happens is tied to many subplots and minor characters that couldn't possibly fit in the movie. Not to mention what happens is barely plausible in the comics and I never believed that the general public would buy it if they stuck with it. What they did to change it fit seamlessly with the movie and made sense. It also didn't change any of the results which was key.

It's definitely an R-rated movie with all the sex and violence that should suggest. Don't go expecting Iron Man or X-men. That's not what this story is about. It's still a damn good movie, though.


Since I was sick, there reached a point where I couldn't sit in front of the computer anymore. I couldn't concentrate enough to play or write, so I finally gave up and lugged my DVD player into my bedroom and settled in to watch some television.

I've loved Lost since I first started watching it. It's got a lot I love about serialized storytelling and ensemble casts. For some reason, though, I was dragging my feet watching Season Four.

The first season was fantastic. The second season struggled a bit as they introduced the tailies, some of whom worked better than others, but ultimately just confused things more. Third season was better, but still had some rough spots, especially with the Paulo and Nikki addition. Talk about a mistake. With the fourth season, though, you could tell things had changed. The writers and producers had finally hammered out a deal with ABC where they have an end date.

In some ways, I find it interesting comparing Babylon 5 and Lost. The two are very different shows with different feels, but they're both excellent examples of serialized storytelling with an ensemble cast. Babylon 5 was able to build slowly into its story arc, but then ran into trouble when they weren't sure they would have enough time to finish everything. As a result, the pace of the fourth season and then the unexpected addition of a fifth season feel forced. The show still worked, but you could see where the producers and the writers had to struggle to adapt.

With Lost, it's almost the exact opposite issue. Being a prime network show, the producers and writers hedged their bets in the first couple of seasons. They tried to keep their mind trippy storyline moving forward, but tried not to give too much away. They were a successful show, but they still had the network's headsman axe hanging over their heads. By the time they were finishing up the third season, though, they managed to wrangle a deal out of ABC that gives them an end point to actually END the show. It also gave them freedom to start going whole hog with some of their plotlines without worry about the network freaking out. This showed in Season Four.

Admittedly, Season Four is short because of the writer's strike, but there wasn't a single episode that didn't completely grab me. I also really liked most of the new characters they introduced into the story. Miles was especially intriguing, and I hope they do more with him in Season Five. I also really liked Keamy, despite his sadistic nature. Something about the big scary man with the laid back voice and boyish smile just grabbed me.

Anyway, if you enjoyed Lost, but hesitated at following it because it seemed like it was getting nowhere, I think you'll be pleased with the fourth season.


Okay, so I'm a little slow. De and Jamie and Doc and Stacie have all been telling me to watch Supernatural. I kept saying I would, but had dragged my feet picking up the DVDs. Being sick was finally the excuse I needed to have someone get me the first season so I could lay in bed and watch it.

I'm hooked.

It was pretty cool seeing where Dean's original inspiration came from as well as finally getting to see what everyone was talking about. I love the chemistry between the actors playing Dean and Sam. You can totally buy that they're brothers and would do anything for each other, even if they'll constantly rib one another.

There are a couple of minor issues I have with it, but they're all pretty minor.

- Vancouver can look like a lot of places, but Colorado, Oklahoma and Kansas really aren't some of them. Every time they say they're someplace specific, I generally look at the scenery and go, "Yep. Pacific Northwest." Part of this is probably my own geographic snobbery since my job lets me actually SEE these places on a pretty thorough basis. The wilderness in Colorado doesn't really look all that much like the wilderness in the Pacific Northwest. It's not nearly that WET.

- If the boys are traveling around the country, why does it always look like they're staying in the same seventies decorated motel room? I know the budget was probably limited, but I started recognizing features of their standard hotel room.

- SHUT YOUR CAR WINDOWS! I mean, dudes. You've got a trunk full of more weapons and spiritual paraphernalia than you can shake a stick at and you're walking away from your car with the windows left open? You're just asking for someone to steal your car. Your sexy, vintage car with a perfect paint job. DUDES. Use a little common sense.

Like I said, these are really minor issues. They haven't stopped me from loving many of the episodes and loving the dialogue. I'm really looking forward to seeing where the show is going and how they're going to ramp up the storylines.


I feel like I'm so behind. I've been sitting on 4.11 for weeks now. I tried writing last week while I was sick, but that wasn't happening. I've tried picking it up again now, but it's still not happening. I think I may need to skip the scene I'm on and get to something else to get some forward movement on the story. I'm not making any promises as to when it will be done, but I'm not giving up.

Anyway, here's some picspam.

Cecil, is that you? )
orikes: (fairy)
A couple of weeks ago, De brought up the idea of talking about our plots and characters. It was an intriguing idea, so I said I would write something up. This was extremely easier said than done. It was kind of like trying to catch fish in the middle of a rushing river with just my bare hands.

Slippery Fish Within... )
orikes: (celo)
Even though the drama has died down, the whole Sim Secret rant on 'cliquey' Boolprop authors has been occupying a place in my meandering brain. While I know the secret was meant to be hurtful, it didn't really bother me other than raising an eyebrow. I survived high school as the 'fat kid', so I've got a pretty thick skin as far as this type of schoolyard bullying goes. Actually, I'm more interested in the whole thing from a an almost academic perspective. Thinking about it, there are several layers to the whole subject that are interesting to ponder.

First, there's the very idea that I'm 'famous'. That any of us are 'famous'. I write a Sims2 story that's fairly popular for what it is, but it's still a story being told about and by little pixel people in my computer. Not to belittle mine or anyone's effort, but this isn't going to be winning anyone a Pulitzer prize. I'm proud of the work I put into the story and the product that I've put out and I think there are Sims2 authors out there doing absolutely amazing things with their stories, but this is still a very specialized 'genre'.

As Robin pointed out in Ruby's blog, this fame is also a very localized thing even if you look at within the Sims2 community as a whole. There are so many separate little communities within the whole of Sims2 fandom that it's silly to think that there's anyone whose internet fame transcends through the entire 'community'. Perhaps some of the modders (like Pescado or Squinge or TwoJeffs) or some of the cc creators (like Nouk or Peggy or Aikea Guinea) might qualify, but story writing covers a vast spectrum of individual interests. Not everyone who reads Sims stories is going to be interested in the same thing. A while ago, there was some drama over the whole legacy vs. non-legacy stories on the Exchange. Just because someone writes a 'popular' legacy doesn't mean they're famous. Not in the slightest.

And even if it did mean actual, honest to goodness fame, I'm still the same person I was before my stories got popular. I have to go to work five days a week for a paycheck to pay my bills. I still haven't finished my Bachelor degree and I probably never will. I still have to do laundry. My house is a mess. I have to clean the cat box on a regular basis. If I don't, my house smells. You'd think that this mystical aura of fame would at least take care of cleaning the darn cat box.

Despite all of this (stinky cat box included), there are still people who start publishing Sims stories with the goal of becoming 'famous'. They want someone to wave a magic wand over their keyboard and instantly have their story put them in the upper echelons with Candy and Toast and whoever else they consider famous. They're not writing the story because they want or need to write the story, they're writing it because they see it as a vehicle to popularity.

Now, I've thought about this long and hard and I came to an interesting conclusion that some might call hypocritical. I realized that if I was getting no feedback whatsoever on the Pseudo Legacy, I would have given up a long time ago. I'm coming up on my two year anniversary for the ongoing story, but if I didn't have a spectacular support group of people offering me feedback and encouragement, I'd have let the whole thing fade and just gone back to playing the game without publishing my stories.

Even though some pieces of art are created in a very private, solitary process, most artists still need some sort of response or feedback to keep going. Most of us need to know that we're not putting our creations out there into a vacuum where it's lost in the ether with no one ever being the wiser to its existence. Painters want their work to hang on a wall where it will be seen and admired. Authors want their stories to be read and discussed. Actors want their performances to be seen and applauded. This is a natural piece of the whole art of creation.

That said, it can't be the ONLY reason that someone creates something. If I only published my story for the adulation a new update receives, I'd have given up long ago. Putting these stories together is HARD. There has to be something more there than just the praise of a few people on the internet. This is where I think some of the more fame-hungry authors miss the boat.

I've whined about how hard it is for me to buckle down and actually write my updates. The playing is easy, the picture taking is fun, the scene staging is challenging, and the image editing is cake. But the writing... I'm lucky I have any teeth left in my head with as hard as that can be for me. As I've said in the past, I think my writing comes out good in the end, but it's not EASY. I actually have to work at it to get it right. If all I wanted out of this was a few nice words about my pretty pictures, I could get involved in the photo competitions and call it a day. That's not what this is about, though. I WANT to tell a story. I want the people reading my story to laugh at the funny bits. I want them to cry during the heartbreaking moments. I want the story to be so involving that people are drawn into it and they MUST know what happens next. I want them to care as much about my characters as I do. Sure, I like the nice things people say when I upload a new episode, but I'm more concerned with finding out if I did my job as an artist and author right.

While I also need the comments and the feedback to keep going, there's a reason I tell new authors that they have to do it because they WANT to do it, not because they want some elusive, mythical fame. Whatever that motivation is, it can't be as simple as just wanting popularity. There has to be more there. Write your story because you want to create something, not because you view it as a ticket to some special club.

So, while the fame is a lie (mmm, cake), that doesn't prevent a few people from believing it anyway. That leads to two things that I actually do find bothersome.

First, stalkers. I'm not, thankfully, talking about the type that casually shows up at your door and secretly loves you so much they want to wear your skin as a hat, but there's still something disturbing and unnerving about fawning praise from someone you've never met before in your life. Sometimes these 'stalkers' are just young and enthusiastic kids who don't really know any better. Sometimes they are people who should know better and are all the more creepy for it. Regardless, I can understand why they scare some people off from continuing their stories. I usually try and keep some distance from people like this while still staying polite. It's a very tough balancing act. You don't want to encourage them, but you don't want to be rude.

The other end of the spectrum are the people who backlash against the popularity, as if it was undeserving and granted by some unseen social police force. I suppose this happens with anything that people consider 'over-hyped', but I despise the underlying message that those of us that are successful were undeserving and are only 'popular' because of the people we know. I know how much work I put into my stories and I know how much work other authors put into their stories. The majority of 'popular' authors all put a great deal of work into making their stories and it shows with each update

This leads me to the whole concept of the boolprop clique. A clique is, to quote dictionary.com, 'a small, exclusive group of people; coterie; set'. The key word there is exclusive. That would mean that this metaphorical clique doesn't let just anyone enter. That's honestly the farthest thing from the truth.

Yes, there is a group of authors on boolprop that offer feedback and support in an interconnected network. But the last thing in the world this group could be called is exclusive. The so called membership of this group is constantly growing and changing, and I guarantee if you asked any one person perceived as being a member, they'd give you a different list of people they consider part of it. From my perspective, the group is a large collection of people whose work and opinions I appreciate and respect. I want their opinion on my work because I know they'll give me feedback that makes me a better creator. Some of them are people I count loosely as friends. Some are folks who I simply respect. The key point, though, is that the 'membership' is always changing.

DocNerd just had her one year anniversary, but I didn't start reading the Vetinari Dualegacy until sometime this past spring. Some of her posts intrigued me, so I read it, liked it, and started talking with her. It was a very natural progression. Earlier this summer, I decided to give Jamie's 'Bohemian Legacy' a try. In the beginning, her enthusiasm was a bit overwhelming and a little scary (no offense, Jamie), but I realized what she was saying was interesting and I was hearing good things about her story. I finally gave it a try and it was wonderful. Now I count her as one of the people whose opinion I look forward to when I come out with something new. Even more recently, I fell in love with Di's 'Victorian Legacy'. Now she's also part of the extended network of authors I keep an eye on and respect. I don't see how it can be termed a clique if there's always new faces joining the mix.

Boolprop is NOT an exclusive forum. The last thing in the world that the board tries to be is exclusionary. Anyone is welcome to join in any of the threads in the chat areas (legacy, apocalypse, random sim2, etc.) and comments in story threads often turn into conversations. Many of the authors I have looked up and become fans of started as people who made intelligent, interesting comments in the threads I was reading. In fact, I think MOST of them were found that way. Professor Butters, Sarah, Stacie, WriterTina, Ndainye, and so many more.

There's no secret password. There's no secret meeting to determine membership. Honestly. I just wish the people that are jealous could see this. It would certainly help improve their blood pressure at least.


orikes: (Default)

June 2009



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