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* I squeaked by in therealljidol this week. That's sobering. And not depressing, I mean I can't whine about any of this. It's a HUMONGOUS amount of fun and it's a writing challenge that has been gratifiying to rise to. But it is sobering in a mood dampening way. Although my mood has been dampened for a year now and it don't take much to feel like a little more rain. Heh. Here's the thing, I've been hammering away at this game now since March of 2014. 89 weeks of WRITING to prompts and several of those weeks required multiple entries! My Muse is getting cranky and coming up with fiction ideas has gotten more and more like pulling teeth. To look at the INSANELY positive side - I have 100 short pieces of fiction that I can now work with for publication! THAT IS AMAZING and for that I am utterly beholden to this crazy writing contest. On the down side is the competition aspect and the work involved reading each entry every week and commenting with something deeper than a cookie tray. I don't want to write with an eye on the polls...but I do think it's time to switch horses a bit and work with non-fiction. I am not a good essayist. I know this about myself. I should spend what time I have left massaging my essay skills. This week's prompt falls squarely into non-fic territory for me because I worked so many years on the Emergency Preparedness Committee in this small emergency-threatened village and I know exactly what the Waffle House Index means. That was a relief yesterday when I realized I could tap the reservoir of life experiences rather than formulate a fantastical fictional interpretation. And I'm not sure....what that means, that sense of relief. I do think it's time to let the Goat-Footed Muse have some pastoral vacation for a while.

* Whenever law school kidling is home we watch "law" shows. Usually documentaries. Last night we started with "Monster" and got sucked into the black hole of the two Eileen Wousa documentaries. Last week it was "Devil's Knot" and then the docs about The Memphis Three. Sad sad stuff. This morning we had a rousing family discussion about the death penalty and bail. D and I collectively solved this issue by deciding that the city of Phoenix should become the national prison and everyone gets thrown inside with the clothes on their back. Yes, very "Escape From New York" but there you have it. Kilding1 seems more discerning.

* D and I are back, full force, on the idea of an RV. My niece is getting hitched in December in Vermont and we want to go but we don't want to fly....

* What are you guys watching? Reading? Listening to?

I've been listing non-stop to this wonderful rock opera that feels as though it were written JUST FOR ME -


( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 23rd, 2017 06:38 pm (UTC)
We get cable today for the first time EVER so we'll be finding something to watch Probably Game of Thrones. It'll also take two years to get through the last six seasons. I'm already spoiled for up to the last episode that aired last week.

Surprisingly, I am very much looking forward to the new Once this fall. Whole knew set up, whole new stories. It's set in Seattle now, but to my disappointment, they aren't even doing B-roll footage locally.

I've lived in Gilbert, AZ ...Not sure I'd make it a prison colony, though I can see the appeal of putting everyone in one place. However, I've also spent a ton of time in a prison (visiting my dad when I was a kid) and I can also tell you that it's not as simple as just chucking people in jail and letting them sort themselves out. The entire system does need an overhaul though. Our prisons and jails are shameful and scary and I don't know what my mom was thinking in letting my grandparents take me to one every. damn. weekend. For five. long. years. It's like I had a sentence, too.

Reading? Not much, but I am getting started on two books. One a smutty follow up to another one I wrote earlier (so I can make a series woo!) and another is a children's book. I even have a new alliterative pen name picked out. :)

Do get an RV. I would live to do that with Shawn sometime when the kids are up and out.

Writing contests such at the LJ Idol are intense, but you learn a lot about writing and yourself and what it means to write for an audience. Sometimes it's easy to gauge what readers want and sometimes it's difficult to make yourself write that. Especially when you write very cerebral tales.

Also I had to look up the Waffle House Index. Interesting. I can't wait to read your entry.
Jul. 23rd, 2017 08:48 pm (UTC)
I want cable, too! We've never had it...and it's soooooooooooo tempting. We miss so much freakin' tv because we have to rely on Netflix and amazon. D refuses. Have fun with your new shows!

I hope OUaT comes back strong. I'm really disappointed they let Emilie go...in my opinion, that was one pairing that was really working. I am, however, super pleased that they let that kid actor go. He was not working at all.

Sorry to hear about your childhood and your father. That's tough. I do think we need to re-examine the penal system in this country.

Yay for YOU writing! I love to hear that!

If we get an RV we would have to swing by on our way to Alaska! ;)

There is no question that I have gotten waaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than my money's worth out of Idol (and I do use patron to express my appreciation)! This contest has been utterly invaluable to helping me move away from fanfic and back into original. It's been hugely inspiring and encouraging and I have so much material now. I know that most writers would give their eyeteeth to have this amount of raw material to work with. It's been a gift and a blessing. But I'm very tired now. Switching to non-fic is going to be a breath of fresh air for me. Regardless of the polls.
Jul. 24th, 2017 03:53 pm (UTC)
I tried to reply on my phone and it wouldn't post. Naturally I've forgotten what I said. (this was yesterday).

My childhood wasn't nearly as bad as some, but mom and dad had no business being parents. I've spent my own time being a parent looking back and thinking WTF. I had no idea any of that was crazy until I had kids.

Anyway, yeah, I'm looking forward to the new season. I had a whole thing about they why, but it's gone now.

Jul. 23rd, 2017 07:20 pm (UTC)
This week Idol was brutal and made no sense to me. Generally the numbers were low. I think people who were voted out are not voting. It looks like mostly contestant voting. I vote. And I will until Gary tells me to stop. I also GR, and intend to HG until maybe down to five or four players. It's good for me to write once a week. Last week my HG bits were both non-fic.

Your essays have been wonderful. Especially when you incorporated dreams. I'm very much looking forward to reading your entry.

Watching GoT, of course and The Great British Baking Show. I love that show. Nobody screams, nobody swears, just lovely, lovely baking. And Sundays are KSPS heavy. Masterpiece, The Tunnel, all kinds of TV goodness. I have decided that after GoT ends I'm going back to basic cable. I have tons of DVDs and video tapes, and enough books to last a lifetime. I spend a lot of time watching the news channel. I think this is lending itself to a growing cynicism on my part. The whole thing is so Big Brother.

Reading. I loved the Millennial series by Stieg Larsson, so when I saw there was a new book by someone else I thought I'd try it. I've been struggling through it. It's like reading long, long, long fanfic. Bad fanfic. Lisbeth Salandar is an amazingly sympathetic character, she's hardly in it. August Balder is the definition of a sympathetic character. He's a child with Autism who witnessed a murder. Also hardly in it. The other characters talk about him a lot, but I want more of him. Mikael Blomkvist is the protagonist. The center around whom the other characters and plot twist. Also, hardly there. Instead David Lagercrantz has created a group of mediocre characters most of whom are villains, or at best anti-heroes. There are too many of them! I want to finish it, because I hope there will be more about Salandar and August, but I keep putting it down.

RV! Yes!

Edited at 2017-07-23 07:23 pm (UTC)
Jul. 23rd, 2017 08:51 pm (UTC)
I've never really understood the polls, but this week's was especially confusing. Ah, well. I do need to take a breather from the fiction, though, M. It's been weeks and months and years now and I'm feeling the burn out and I do not want to get BURNED OUT. It will be nice to switch this week. Regardless of the polls.

I wish I had FOX so that I could watch the news without hyperventilating. I've been mired in my The Vampire Diaries and it's been rewarding.

Wow, you're reading a lot!
Jul. 23rd, 2017 08:09 pm (UTC)
Jul. 23rd, 2017 08:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I love those! And they are strangely strangely haunting.

Jul. 23rd, 2017 08:20 pm (UTC)
They are. They look like they have a story to tell.

Yeah, I'm officially one year older, oh well...Thanks.
Jul. 23rd, 2017 08:44 pm (UTC)
Hey! It beats the alternative! And you are in the absolute PRIME - enjoy your beautiful self!
Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:24 pm (UTC)
The voting numbers do look down. It would be interesting if Gary released the number of voters, because it looks pretty much like the current writers plus a handful.

An essay?! I'm looking forward to that. Guess what I'm writing -- light fiction! No, really. I know it's a surprise. I honestly would like to write something more standard, but even when I sit down with that in mind I get hijacked and it's off to the loony bin. Oh well, I guess I'll ride the horse that got me here.
Jul. 24th, 2017 03:39 pm (UTC)
It would be interesting to hear more about the voting pool. It feels like a different season, G. But as I said, no complaints from me! I love Idol! My issues are my own and I'm learning a ton about myself and my process and my Muse.

Definitely stay astride that steed!
Jul. 24th, 2017 03:50 pm (UTC)
This week it's been more like a pony, and a very balky one. I have definitely been learning about the process of writing and it has been very interesting.
Jul. 23rd, 2017 11:56 pm (UTC)
The voting numbers were really low this week. I wonder if it was because of the two entries per person thing.

I'm still working through the second season of Twin Peaks which is starting to get weird(er) and I'm bound and determined to finish up the last few episodes of Vikings in the next two weeks. Then I'll see about new shows. Shannara comes back in the fall and I need to set the DVR to record that.

I'm still in a writing slump, but I think I needed it. There are some big changes I need to make in the epic and a couple of fanfic pieces want to be heard. Now it's just a question of getting motivated enough to write them.
Jul. 24th, 2017 03:40 pm (UTC)
After Idol we need to group together and encourage fic - original and fan!!!! I need YOUR Vikings fic!!!
Jul. 24th, 2017 10:38 pm (UTC)
If by Viking you mean Skyrim, then I've got plenty. Although you just gave me an idea for something involving Athelstan and the gods. Hmm....
Jul. 24th, 2017 11:03 pm (UTC)
NO! I mean YOU writing Vikings fanfic! I can see the gears moving in your head!
Jul. 24th, 2017 12:28 pm (UTC)
*Hugs* Idol is hard. But you're right, the bright side is all the wonderful pieces that you manage to produce.
Jul. 24th, 2017 03:36 pm (UTC)
Jul. 24th, 2017 01:34 pm (UTC)
I really prefer reading fic at LJ Idol and would like to see a Fic Idol and Non-fic Idol run concurrently. Essays, political rants, and personal tales are different from the creativity of a crime drama, fantasy comedy, sci-fi horror, etc. "My life is hard" shouldn't, to me, win votes over "cleverly told tale with a twist"but that's why I hate "reality"/talent shows in the first place, hard luck backstories sometimes winning votes when other contestants have more talent :P (see also why it's often runners up who have careers post those shows while many winners fade away!)
But you have to write where your passion is! And I wish you the best of luck! You always do bring some great turns of phrase and intimate detail to whatever you write :)

(also on subject of LJ Idol, I'm thinking of posting to an idol workroom but I feel like an outsider; problem is I haven't heard from dmousey since she had to drop out for health reasons, haven't got a response to an LJ pm nor a Twitter message and I don't know if anyone else has been in contact recently? *anxious*)
Jul. 24th, 2017 03:34 pm (UTC)
I, too, prefer the fic over the non-fic. Two very distinct and different skill sets and reading experiences. I just think I'm rapidly approaching a dry spell. 89 weeks, L! That's a ton of fictional writing. I can still capture the idea, but the editing is getting more difficult. Very rough pieces.

PLEASE post into the Green Room or the Work Room! That is concerning. Have you tried reaching out to her daughter?
Jul. 24th, 2017 05:00 pm (UTC)
Oh yes, 89 weeks is something you should be so proud of! Maybe you just need some time to refill the creative pool?

I might do that later then. I don't have contact details for any of her family :/
Jul. 24th, 2017 05:08 pm (UTC)
Jul. 24th, 2017 06:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Jul. 24th, 2017 03:34 pm (UTC)
I think you're great at the social side of idol. I know I've seen many kind comments of yours and wished I was as good at articulating my thoughts on a piece. Soooo I usually leave nothing and feel bad. :(

I'm currently binging Hoarders because it gives me nightmare fuel. Also watching the last few American Gods episodes. Reading trashy romance and the Paper Menagerie and Other Stories so I can truly know how much I suck.
Jul. 24th, 2017 03:36 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks, babe. I do feel it's an exchange...but this season, not so much. It's a strange collection of writers....You've been really hitting it hard this season and I hope you begin polishing and submitting some of your Idol pieces!

Hahahaha - I think that's what Hoarders is for, actually! I was so disappointed in AG. Damn.

You don't suck. And Trashy Romances are a guilty pleasure.
Jul. 24th, 2017 08:30 pm (UTC)
I've been at the Idol thing even longer, so I totally understand the feeling that it's like pulling teeth to get out an entry!

That said, you've written a ton of really good stuff for Idol, and your suffering isn't apparent in the final result. :)

Unless your niece is NOT from the family of self-entitlement, that's a long way to travel! If she's on your side of the family, you could potentially fly alone-- because your husband's issues with air travel shouldn't have to always keep you grounded, too. It's a huge distance to drive, unless you're retired and want to see everything along the way, slowly and steadily. ;)

We just finished the available streaming for "Hinterland" (and I want S3!!!). We're watching "Shetland" now (a police drama in the Sottish Isles instead of Wales), and "Bordertown" (ditto, but in Finland). It's a little hard telling some of the characters apart in "Bordertown," unless you're Finnish, I suppose. There seem to be several rough-hewn blond women in it, who are either one character (no) or three (no) or probably two.

I'm starting to think about watching "Luther" again, just to round things out...
Jul. 24th, 2017 08:45 pm (UTC)
When did you first jump into Idol, K? And what is your week tally? You really have been doing a ton of writing for this game!

Thanks for the nice compliment! It's always good when you don't bleed on the paper. Ha!

Yeah, it would be quite the road trip...but we are beginning to think about RVs because of the fact we like being out there and we do have time off enough to do it. Flying over the Christmas hols sounds like a hell to me!

Damn, we've seen all those. Have you seen Fortitude?
Jul. 24th, 2017 11:59 pm (UTC)
I came into Idol at the beginning of S8, and then did Exhibit A and Exhibit B before the S9 season I talked you into. ;)

So, October 2011. o_O Wow, almost 6 years ago? I must be nuts.

We haven't seen Fortitude (I'm not sure I've even heard of it). We liked River (just a single-season series, but good). Luther is really good, but definitely needs the English subtitles turned on.

I have Shimmer Lake and The Ozarks in my aspirational viewing list, but who knows whether/when we'll watch those or even like them.
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )