gwendolyngrace: (ScuseMe?)
Okay, so I haven't posted in forever, I know. Are you really surprised?

But I had such a weird and random day today I just had to share. But I'll cut for the disinterested. )

So, yeah. Welcome to my world of Random. Only in my life would missing a bus (twice) and forgetting my phone and my hat and everything else today LEAD me to a serpendipitous discovery of Potter activity. Yeah.
gwendolyngrace: (SadDean)
Tuesday I tried to plug FictionAlley’s Pepsi Refresh Project entry and made a complete mess of it.

Charitable giving is a very sensitive and personal issue for everyone. We all have different definitions of what is and isn’t an important cause or a “real” need. There have been some good posts on Dreamwidth about the topic of fundraising and non-profits in general and the absurdity of the rhetoric (and some of the assumptions) in this kerfluffle. And some of that rhetoric was mine, and for that I’m sorry.

On the other hand, FictionAlley shouldn’t suffer further because I was outspoken.

Tuesday night I went on sabbatical from FA. FA is still dear to my heart - obviously, or I would not have spoken passionately, if inappropriately, on Tuesday. But this is the right thing to do for the time being.

The opinions expressed in my post of 11/2/10 and in my comments, as well as in this post, are solely my own. I deeply regret the embarrassment I have caused FA and any ill-will my post has generated.
gwendolyngrace: (Default)
As many of you know, I've been part of a giant HP website for almost 10 years: FictionAlley.

For years, we've had the luxury of a practically-free server host and we used to make a reasonable amount of money off Amazon partnerships and such - enough to essentially cover our costs. But recently that changed.

Our host was purchased by a larger company and our server hosting fees went from almost nothing to over $200 a month. We've done some fund-raising drives that just haven't worked well, and our staff members have contributed all they can (and in some cases more) to keep the site running for the time being. We've been aware for a few months, though, that the situation is really getting dire.

So we've been looking for opportunities to help achieve financial independence, including grants. Unfortunately, most of the grants out there don't fit our organization well, for a variety of reasons.

But we've kept trying. And this month we received confirmation that our proposal was included in the Pepsi Refresh challenge!

This is potentially the solution to our problems - but we can't win alone. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE help us! Go and VOTE for FictionAlley. You can vote three different ways (and each counts as a separate vote) AND you can vote for up to 10 causes per day, so FictionAlley and nine others. There are some awesome proposals out there, both in our category and in smaller and larger request amounts.*

PLEASE vote. Every Day, Every Way. Set a recurring reminder on your calendar to go vote, pass this on to your friends and anyone you think would be willing to give us three minutes a day through November 30 to try to be one of the top ten proposals in our category.

You can vote on the site, via Facebook, and by texting (normal texting rates apply):

Vote three times a day! Yes, you're allowed to - we checked with Pepsi.
Vote at http://www.refresheverything.com/fa
Vote via Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/refafb
Text 103643 to Pepsi (73774) (standard text messaging rates apply)
Remember, you don't have to be in the US to vote.


Vote for FA, Every Day, Every Way! Help us get refreshed!



*Believe it or not we've already heard some objections of the, "But think of the children!" variety: i.e., that we are somehow taking money that could be better used elsewhere by trying to win this grant. I've done the research and I'm here to tell you that there are far more sources of funding available to traditional charitable causes than there are to fan-oriented websites, even ones with a clear educational component like FA. Our 501(c)3 is just as deserving as any other - and we've never said we're trying to solve the problems of the world. Just this one problem. And again, you can vote for 10 charities per day, so if you see a proposal that touches your heart, by all means, vote for it! But please vote for us, too!


ETA: an earlier version of this post got wanked. I apologize for the incendiary comments that got everyone's attention. It was useless hyperbole and was inappropriate.
gwendolyngrace: (Made of Awesome)
Okay, I am a genius. I'm sure this has also been done before, but shut up. I'm SMRT.

So, for reasons that probably don't need to be explained (or, well, better not have to be because I really can't right now), I was thinking last night about how much one could condense and compress the core story of Harry Potter - and specifically, could one get it down to a drabble?

Well, I couldn't quite manage 100 words, but I think I did a pretty good job with 200. It could be tweaked, I'm sure.

Mind you, this is pretty bare-bones - no subplots, no explanations, no characters unless they're absolutely integral. Okay, one or two things because I had room. (The really bare-bones version is 150 words!) But here, for your amusement, is my open beta double-drabble on Harry Potter:


Harry Potter lived in a cupboard until age 11. He learns he’s a wizard whose parents were murdered by Voldemort, who is not quite dead. Voldemort tries to reincorporate during Harry’s first year at wizarding school, but fails because he can’t touch Harry. In year two, Harry also destroys a diary containing a past echo of Voldemort. In his third year, Harry learns that his godfather Sirius was framed and the man responsible, Peter Pettigrew, has been hiding ever since. Harry helps Sirius, but Pettigrew also escapes and helps Voldemort return. This breaks the enchantment protecting Harry from Voldemort’s touch. Harry realizes he can see Voldemort’s thoughts, but Voldemort tricks him into thinking Sirius is in danger. Harry tries to rescue Sirius but Sirius falls through a curtain and dies. Harry then learns from Dumbledore that Voldemort separated fragments of his soul into Horcruxes, like the diary. Dumbledore assigns Harry the task of finding and destroying the others. He does. Meanwhile, Voldemort searches for a magic wand that will make him invincible. Neville kills a snake, Voldemort kills Harry, which busticates the Harry-horcrux, but Harry comes back and wins because Voldemort grabbed the wrong wand. The End. Epilogue? What Epilogue?


Thank you, ladies and gentlemen! I'll be here all week. Tip your waiters!

Comment with your own versions! HP in 200 words or less!
gwendolyngrace: (Quibbler)
I got an email today from someone who has created this resource:

Werewolf Act of 1947

It's heavily based on my "Regulations of the Ministry," which I wrote back in, um, 2002? Yeah. Before Order of the Phoenix and Tonks and any of that stuff. I LOVE the formatting, and it looks like many of the changes she made to the documents make *a lot* of sense based on the new information we got in the later books.

It's wicked cool!


(Also, one of the guys in "Fiddler" is a big fan of [livejournal.com profile] copperbadge's. And loves "Stealing Harry." And HATED Deathly Hallows. How awesome is that? (Of course, he's about 24. Sigh. I'm sooo ooooollllld.))
gwendolyngrace: (Azkatraz2)
Hey, all.

Beginning Friday, in the (roughly) 12 remaining days until Christmas Eve, Azkatraz brings you an announcement a day.

Yes, I know, it's technically Advent, and the 12 days of Christmas begin on Christmas and run until Epiphany. Heidi came up with this and she doesn't know these things and it's hard to keep a good idea down. But it's okay - because our 12 days of announcements include some cool Holiday presents and other things to buy and to ask for.

Friday's announcement: Claymation Workshop opportunity on Monday, July 20 at ZEUM. Make your own animated short film. Includes a session for families and kids.
Saturday's announcement: Bus Tour to Comic-Con International, leaving the Parc 55 on Wednesday, July 22 and arriving in San Diego that evening. It includes a 2-hour VIP tour of the WB studio and museum.
Sunday's announcement: Discount on Susan Gunelius's book, Harry Potter: The Story of a Global Business Phenomenon. One of our Keynote Speakers and her publisher have generously offered a 20% savings on her book!
Monday's Announcement: Wrock Around the Rock. Our long-awaited Wrock Concert announcement. It's a little more expensive than past concerts, but that's because it's in a fabulous, once-in-a-lifetime venue: Aboard the California Hornblower, cruising San Francisco Bay!
Tuesday's Announcement: Last-Minute Holiday Shopping ideas at Cafe Press and with AZKATRAZ Gift Certificates. Give your friends the gift of AZKATRAZ - or ask for something in time for the holidays!

Five down; seven to go! Stay tuned - and check the website each day for the upcoming announcements!

Eureka

Aug. 26th, 2008 08:17 pm
gwendolyngrace: (???)
I'm catching last week's Eureka before this week's.

They're doing Groundhog Day / Mystery Spot.

Sweet.



ETA: And this week's episode is Bugs.

HEE.
gwendolyngrace: (Objectify)
So.

I drove my car to the mechanic this morning to ask about the potential harm to the car if I drove around with the emissions system leaking.

The mechanic didn't even want to look at it. He said, "It's not going to lock your engine. The most that'll happen is you might see a decline in your mileage. But if you're getting rid of it...don't bother doing anything with it. Come in right before you're about to trade it in and we'll turn off the engine light for you. Then let them deal with it."

Which was GREAT. But it left me with my car, halfway to work, and nowhere to leave it.

So I drove back to the mall again, and parked by Best Buy this time, and caught the bus. Missing the first one, as usual. But that's okay.

Work was...work.

But then. I took the bus back and got off at the mall and went into Best Buy to see if they had a. any sort of case for the sidekick; b. anything inexpensive and t00bulous to buy. They didn't have a case that would fit, but that's okay. I walked around the movies and carried a $4.99 Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure for a bit, and also a $14.99 double-set of Good Morning, Vietnam and Dead Poet's Society - all of which were short on features, but hey, the *movie* is what you watch most often?

Then I saw the Alien Nation Movie Collection. For $40. Which felt too expensive. So I put it back.

Then I saw something *else* for $25. Which felt about right. But I said to myself, "I should check it on Amazon before I get it. I wonder how much the Alien Nation is?"

Then I remembered that I had a SIDEKICK with me.

Ahem. They have the Alien Nation set for about $26ish - so that was right out. But the other thing? It was actually $2 more expensive, which, by the time I paid tax, was just about the same. So I put back Bill, Ted, and Robin-squared and bought the other thing.

You guys.

Voyagers. Jon-Erik Hexum and the kid.

OH. MY. GODS.

Yeah, so when I was 10? I wanted to be that kid. Not because I crushed on Jon-Erik Hexum but because I'd get to TRAVEL THROUGH TIME. With a device kind of like the old TARDIS, in that it *malfunctioned* all the time and there was no predictability. YAYS.

This is SUCH a guilty pleasure. I'm sure it's going to be utterly painful, because, hello, it wasn't that good then, but to a 10-year-old, it was AWESOME.

And yeah, I shouldn't be buying DVDs just before Pennsic. But hey.

Jon-Erik Hexum. As a bad Jules Verne pun. And the OMNI.

I'm just sayin'.

Anyway - the point is that the Sidekick? Totally made me feel good about my purchase. (Thanks, Heidi!)

And I've just driven the car for probably the last time until I return from war. Sigh.

Update

May. 6th, 2008 11:17 am
gwendolyngrace: (Clank gets a clue)
I'm working from home!

Co-worker T showed me Friday how to set up the work computer (and gave me a URL) so that I can log on to my work computer from home.

It's not a workable solution for a regular basis, but I really needed an at-home day. And this way I can work on more stuff without interruption and still relax in my jammies. And I'll be able to run some errands this afternoon, because my workday will be over at 3.


Awesome essay about how people absorb stories differently (and it offers some great insights about how to respond when people are picking up on something completely different). For example, I know many of you watched the "Henriksen is amazing and should totally have lived to become a hunter" episode of Supernatural recently, while apparently [livejournal.com profile] etakyma was watching the "Henriksen is just one more minor character in a string of undeveloped minor characters who get killed too quickly" show.


Skittles should not be in chocolate flavors. Just sayin'.

I had something else to say but now I can't think of it. Feh.
gwendolyngrace: (Ivory Pure Sam)
I'm borrowing this post from [livejournal.com profile] heidi8:
In a follow-up to LJ's dropping of Basic Personal Accounts, LJ has also removed various Interests from the Popular Interests list includng "bisexuality", "fanfction", "fandom", "boys", "girls", "depression" and "faeries".

Yep, "fandom" no longer exists as a popular interest on LJ.

Honestly, the basic account thing...I can understand that. No, really. They have to fund the site somehow. But dropping "fandom" and "fanfiction" and "bisexuality"? Uh.... "Faeries?" WTF?

So, I'm participating in this on Friday. I hope y'all do, too.

ONE DAY CONTENT STRIKE
For one day, Friday, March 21, make no posts. Make no comments. Let there be NO new content added to LJ. DON'T VISIT LJ AT ALL. SUP obviously does not realize that Basic users have given something of value to them, that it is content that drives the site. So, for one 24-hour period, from midnight GMT to midnight GMT, let's see how many people we can get to pledge to contribute NO CONTENT. This will create a permanent downward spike in the daily-posts statistics, a permanent reminder of the power of the userbase. Full information at The Fox's Den. SPREAD THE WORD!


ETA: More on this and some cogent ranting over on InsaneJournal:

Stewardess's IJ entry
gwendolyngrace: (InyourPants' Twix!Dean)
So, yeah, it's been a while since my last general post.

Main thing to make public: I've found a job. Yay. It's right back at BIDMC, but it's in Facilities Management, learning (among other things) how to manage new buildings, backfill of newly opened space, and engineering operations. Should be interesting, and I've heard nothing but good about the department. My two bosses (Engineering and Operations) give off no crazy vibes. So far. Starts Monday.

The book signing at Balticon was a blast. We're already talking about putting together a "sequel" and possibly another project for next year. My cousin's wedding was fine, but it took until Saturday night (at the after-party) to find anyone with whom I had anything in common to talk about, so it was fairly boring most of the weekend. (If you haven't bought "Bad-Ass Faeries," go order it!)

My father has left Baltimore and took a couple weeks getting up here. He's coming in to Boston today and will stay presumably through the weekend, I'm not sure exactly when he leaves yet (but after Father's day is a good bet). Our only planned activity is a Boston Duck Tour, because neither of us has ever been on an amphibious troop transport. :^D

Because I'm going *not* going to be looking for work for a while (really, really, I hope!), I'm looking at auditions again. I really want to be in something this fall, not just helping out on production. Lots to do this upcoming season, so yeah, gotta get back in the swing of that.

I'm also looking forward to working again. It's good to have someplace to go in the morning, and I know (ironically) that I'll lose weight when I'm working - I'm annoyed that I actually gained weight during this layoff period. Sitting around with nothing to do but snack, dammit. (Work will fix that. So will getting in a show and rehearsing in the evenings.) Lately I've been doing the temp thing, though the jobs have been *insanely* low-key, really just getting paid to sit around, answer the phone and emails, and the rest of the time read fanfic. Which I've been doing. A lot of.

Because...here's the thing: I found my new fandom. I fell hard. Supernatural pwns me. I've been watching it intermittently since about mid-first season, but not religiously, and not even all that closely. Thursdays at nine? Yeah, usually in rehearsal, or packing to go away for the weekend, or whatever. So even though I'd have it on in the background, it wasn't, like, appointment TV. And I hadn't even really approached any of the fanfic, despite all you wonderful flist-people telling me how awesome it is.

So, two things happen: 1. [livejournal.com profile] etakyma gets the Season 1 DVDs and we started watching from the very beginning (the first ep I ever saw was 9, "Home"); and 2. I get this job at MetLife and have nothing to do all day but read fic. Which incidentally, I had to do by saving files to a flash drive, because I couldn't get to LJ on their servers. Ahem.

Anyway, that's done it. I'm well and truly hooked. Completely obsessed. It's kinda like the rush of those early days of HP, and that's kinda weird too, because given the spoilers about S3 (I'm reserving judgment and I won't talk about them here, for those who want to be spoiler-free), I may again be entering a fandom just as the source material is peaking. But who knows?

What I do know is that I've got an incredibly frightening crush on Jensen Ackles, way too much for my own good. Again, this is odd, because I was *aware* of his character on Dark Angel, but didn't really pay attention to him on the show. Then again, he was (IMO) not even as good-looking then, *too* young and hadn't really filled out the way he is now. Now he's serious man-candy. Sigh. Sorry, [livejournal.com profile] grouchyoldcoot! But be comforted by the fact that a. he's way too young; b. he's got a girlfriend; and c. it's not like I'd have a chance anyway.

So, the upshot is that I'm working on a bunch of SPN fic, devouring the episodes as fast as I can get [livejournal.com profile] etakyma to share them, and delving deeper into the fandom online. Most of the message boards (supernatural.tv, winchesterbros.com, television without pity) kind of scare me, and I'm trying to cultivate that healthy fear to keep from teetering off the edge. But oy, it's hard to resist the information. We even bought the comics because I just have to know!!! I'm such a geek.

And I was even so t00by as to start a community (mainly because I couldn't believe there wasn't one by the name): [livejournal.com profile] wee_chesters. Of course, no sooner do I do this than I find out about [livejournal.com profile] spn_flashback, [livejournal.com profile] sn_flashback, [livejournal.com profile] weechesterfic, and a bunch of similar comm's, but that's what happens when you're late to the party. You don't know what stories people have already told.

And I really, really wish I could go to 10-year, but there's no way, even before my father decided to visit this weekend. I keenly miss AEthelmearc.

I still suck at guitar. But I suck on many different songs and chords and strums. It's amazing how many songs one can play with G, C, D, A, D7, Am, E, and Em. Though apparently none of these is the one I need in "Seasons" for one particular change. Hope to find it soon - maybe at Pennsic if not before. But I can't barre to save my life. And any chord requiring 4 fingerings? Forget it. Changing chords? Also kind of a problem.

Jeez. Looking at the last few months of my life like this really sums up how lame I am.

Does anyone else ever wish they could get a do-over, like from college on? (With all experience and knowledge intact, of course.)
gwendolyngrace: (Default)
Just curious:

Who else out there might be interested enough in George RR Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" to start a discussion group?

I've been lurking for a bit on the existing fan sites: Tower of the Hand*, Westeros, and the Westeros message boards (powered by EZboard), and I found one LJ community recently.

It's strange how fundamentally *different* their fandom feels from my corner of HP. Kinda.... Well, they're more "grown-ups" (at least, supposedly), but their behaviour is decidedly *less* grown-up than I'm used to. They're not as polite with one another, for one thing. Okay, granted, *every* fandom has its snark, and lord knows I'm not naive enough to think that HP doesn't get nasty. (Wank fests? Ship wars? BNF deathmatches? WHO, US? Never.) But I dunno.... Maybe it's because it's more heavily male. Maybe it's because it's smaller. It just doesn't seem a very friendly fandom.

Funnily, someone started a thread there recently asking about people's ships...and one of the first responses was from a (male) user telling the original poster to "Please return forthwith to whatever Harry Potter "ship" you disembarked from." All I could think was, "You arrogant asshat." I mean, sure, a lot of fans can say that HP was their first fandom. A lot of them take shipping too seriously (it's not the be-all and end-all of the series, although I'll state that HP has a different focus and thus the "ships" are part of the resonance of the books). But for fuck's sake, is HP really worth that much derision?

So far, it's attitudes like this that have left me completely uncompelled to comment. But I would like to be able to discuss the books with people who are inclined to speculation (their boards seem more geared toward simple clarification, which I can totally buy. The books are massive and very difficult to keep track of). I crave meta-discussion and filled-in backstory. And I've noticed lately that many on my flist have been reading or are talking about ASOIAF on their journals.

So... anyone out there feel like carving out our own niche?


*This is one amazing site, but I wish it had some more meta conversation as well.
gwendolyngrace: (Default)
So this has come up over and over, going back basically about 4 years at this point, but it's a point that people seem not to get.

The point is about lines in the sand in fandom. Any fandom. Pick your poison, I don't care. The idea is that everyone comes to a fandom because of an obsessive (some might say unhealthy) love for the thing - movie, TV show, book series, whatever - and that, whether it's an open canon or a closed one, they spend time analysing and nitpicking and poring over the minutiae in ways that, really, just aren't normal.

Now, even a closed canon cannot possibly fill in all the cracks. Heck, even Tolkien left chinks unexplored (though arguably not many, and his notebooks go on for miles), as well as room for interpretation when it comes to matters of character. There are always characters who are little more than names on the page, and who aren't ever meant to be expanded. There are always "cut" scenes, just as there are always details about the characters - main, secondary, and cameo - that the author will never tell us, because they Just Don't Matter to the central story.

But...the fan, the really active, obsessive fan in each of us picks and chooses, just like the author, what is important, by assigning it some measure of personal importance.

It's difficult to take this apart from authorial intent. For the purposes of this discussion, authorial intent doesn't matter. Trust me on this. By authorial intent, I mean a sort of Occam's razor interpretation here, leaving aside so-called "subversive" or "alternative" interpretations of what the author could have meant. With me so far?

Because now what I'm going to talk about are those moments when the fan finds himself out of synch with that authorial intent. We *know* that in the original Star Wars, Han shot first. We *like* it that way. Lucas went back and *changed* the film to reflect his revised decision, so it's clear that he *wants* us to accept the "new" Han as the same Han he has been all along. But countless SW purists drew their lines in the sand and rejected Lucas's interpretation.

That's an imperfect example, because what happened there was a change, and not an "it's always been that way," but it does provide a good analogy to "open" canon, where new installments "change" what fans have believed they knew. Some roll with the punch and pick up the "new" information and run with it, folding it seamlessly into their consciousness and rejecting any of their "old" interpretations where they contradict canon. They simply drop that line of inquiry and go on with what they've now been told.

But some fans don't.

This doesn't have to be a major plot point, or even a minor one. It doesn't have to signal the end of a fan's career in fandom, nor does it even mean that they'll stop participating in and discovering other things about the "new" canon. It simply means they hit a wall on one point, regardless of its significance (or lack thereof), and have drawn a line in the sand.

No. No, I'm sorry. I love *this* fact that you told us, or *this* connection that you allowed us to make. I always knew I was right about *that*. Really? You're kidding. I could have sworn that character was going to turn out to have the Force. Oh, well. Okay - no skin off my nose. But you say that *this other* character is really in love with her? The hell you say. Nope, sorry. Not buying.

One fan's line in the sand may be a name; another's may be an entire theory that they just love and want to keep playing with; someone else may be able to accept everything about a character except what kind of people their parents were; or another fan may not care about anything except what happens to the red shirt on page 278 who will never show up again, most likely. Sometimes we don't even know which lines in the sand are the dealbreakers until after the author (or creators) crosses them. In other words, not until after we're proven to be incorrect. Not until after we're faced with a choice: Which do you like better? Your version, or theirs? What's more important? Your own pet backstory, or the "reality"?

In fandom, people assign these things their own level of importance. It doesn't matter whether, in the scheme of canon, these small and large details are necessary. It doesn't matter whether, in the course of the story, it will turn out to be "important" or whether a plot will hinge on it. It doesn't even matter if it's never mentioned outside a character sketch in the role-playing guide.

It only matters because the fans make it matter.

So while it's tempting to bash fellow fans because one theory seems more crackpot than another, because someone truly believed (read: hoped) something was going to turn out to be true, when it's become clear that either the author never intended it, or decided against the possibility, because anyone dared to care what a character's second cousin's brother-in-law's name was, remember: Next time, it could be your theory being dashed, or your assumption that was wrong, or your nonsensical fascination with a minor character being exposed. Okay, so, this revelation didn't matter to you. Great. So, you had a rival theory that turned out to be more aligned to the author's plan. Congratulations. But you know what?

I'll bet you still have your own line in the sand. Maybe you just haven't encountered it yet.

Come on, 'fess up. What's your line in the sand?

Huh.

Jul. 13th, 2005 02:44 pm
gwendolyngrace: (KlingonSnape)
Wow. There really is an Inner Circle. 0_0

Dudes, turn off the computer and walk outside in the light, yo.

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