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I've been seeing a lot of vanity press and pay-to-play adverts on FFN lately; since they're not showing up in other places, it seems likely that FFN is still selling their ad banners themselves, as opposed to letting the google machine target the ads we see. Live, let live, and internet billboards are just that. Except that FFN is the kind of place predatory publishers could easily phish for new stock -- so, some words of wisdom for writerly folk who happen across my corner of the internet: you should be aware of the brilliant resources available to you via Victoria Strauss and AC Crispin's blog, Writer Beware. Be informed, when you make decisions about publishing.

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Well, okay, not at Good Earth Cafe, where I'm now enjoying a pint of bitter. But that's not a long-term strategy for posting, or seeing/responding to reader comments. Anyone know how to get around an ISP block? If it were my own network, I'd just use Google's OpenDNS, but I can't (or should not) reconfig the network for the entire House. So.

Expect updates to be on AO3 in a timely fashion, with FFN lagging.

Oh, and haha, something changed deep in the bowels of LJ, and it now denies me access if I attempt to login from inside my VPN. *rolls eyes*
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I finally found a few minutes to run down to the post box this afternoon. Having unproductively waited half an hour for ProfBoss to return from his lunch, I figured, "What's a few more minutes?" [Much like Hermione does,] I discovered flyers, adverts, bills, some lovely holiday cards from [livejournal.com profile] candamira and [livejournal.com profile] goddess47:

and a mysterious parcel:
"Read me first" eh? Alright.

Properly Slytherin, of course:

Ahah! It's the wonderful [livejournal.com profile] mywitch up to tricks! (No, lovey, I don't think you're stalker-y. On the contrary, I'm overwhelmed by your generosity and thoughtfulness. It's a privilege to count myself among your friends.)

Now, what are all these teeny, tiny envelopes, and how many house-elves were cajoled into this exercise in amazing-ness? ([livejournal.com profile] mywitch did all of these by hand -- is that not the most crazy-awesome level of astounding you can imagine?)

Why, they're love-letters, from all of you! I've not had time to open every one of them, but I have every suspicion that these envelopes contain every nice thing anyone's said about my work. I'm overwhelmed, honestly, to see them all physically represented. I'm going to pack this in one of the 'Zigadenus' boxes: the stuff I'm keeping close to hand, so that I can continue to create wordy things for you guys! ~hugs to all~

ETA: OMG!!!! *Flails, dies* THERE ARE LITTLE SNAPEY NOTES!!!!!!!! (With Slytherin seals, because of course.) *flails some more*

And Hermione too!
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And because I'm procrastinating for a few minutes (whee, LJ!), here's my contribution to the

Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner

I'm just going to collate everything here, under cuts, and keep 'advancing' the post by changing the date (I think that will work). I'm persnickety, and hate having to clutter up my journal with multiple entries for the same topic. So!

Day 1: In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you have created. It can be your favorite fanworks that you've created, or fanworks you feel no one ever saw, or fanworks you say would define you as a creator.
Day 1 )

Day 2: In your own space, share a book/song/movie/tv show/fanwork/etc that changed your life. Something that impacted on your consciousness in a way that left its mark on your soul.
Day 2 )

Day 3: In your own space, set some goals for the coming year. They can be fannish or not, public or private.
Day 3 )

Day 4: Comment to someone you haven't ever interacted with before or introduce yourself to someone you've interacted with and friend/follow them.
Day 4 )

Day 5: In your own space, post recs for at least three fanworks that you did not create.
Day 5 )

Day 6: In your own space, create a list of at least three fannish things you'd love to receive, something you've wanted but were afraid to ask for - a fannish wish-list of sorts. Maybe someone will grant a wish. Check out other people's posts. Maybe you will grant a wish.
Day 6 )

Day 7: In your own space, create a fanwork. Make a drabble, a ficlet, a podfic, or an icon, art or meta or a rec list. Arts and crafts. Draft a critical essay about a particular media. Put together a picspam or a fanmix. Write a review of a Broadway show, a movie, a concert, a poetry reading, a museum trip, a you-should-be-listening-to-this-band essay. Compose some limericks, haikus, free-form poetry, 5-word stories. Document a particular bit of real person canon. Take some pictures. Draw a stick-figure comic. Create something.

Nope, I'm out. Maybe eventually. Not today.

Day 8: In your own space, make a list of at least 3 things that you like about yourself.
Day 8 )
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Or, well, not so much with the thinky-thoughts, but rather an explanation of why I really really REALLY mean it when I thank you guys for reading and commenting. Those of you who are behind the friends-lock know what's been going on in my life over the past year (or thirteen, actually), and especially the past several days, so you'll appreciate, too, that in creating things that will be appreciated by others, I am also trying to create a version of 'me' that is valued, that will continue to exist (i.e., be valued by someone, live in someone else' head, have meaning to them) once my mother passes away -- because our identities are constructed, at least in part, out of how the people in our lives think about us.

ETA But also see my comment to [livejournal.com profile] gelsey -- you are definitely NOT OBLIGATED to ever comment my stuff. I just really appreciate it when people do.
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Actually, anyone can play, but I'm assuming the writerly types may be more interested, and I'm not sure how to phrase my own interest to promote full inclusiveness (I'll try, with Question #2).

#1 a)When you are writing a canon character, to what extent do you rely on strict canon, headcanon, or fanon? b)If you have written multiple stories with a particular canon character, to what extent are they representations of your headcanon? Do you write the character differently (motivations, appearance, quirks, personality, etc) in different pieces, or are they essentially the same person?

#2 a)When you are reading fanfic, how important is it to you to recognize the characters as they occur in fanon -- and does this correlate with how close their fanon representation is with your headcanon? b)Have you ever read something that is not in accordance with your headcanon, but is written well enough that you suspend disbelief and accept the representation within that authorial universe? How common is that for you?
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If you have not yet done so, you MUST GO IMMEDIATELY and see the beautiful, spectacular, wonderful thing that [livejournal.com profile] mywitch has created. GO NOW
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For your perusal, here's the illustration I did for my 2016 holiday card. Line art is something I'm fairly incompetent at and this is only my second or third attempt at human subjects, so here's hoping you weren't expecting anything amazing. Needless to say, if you're receiving this as a card and would like to be surprised when it arrives, don't click into the cut. If you somehow missed that I was sending cards, and you want one, PM me your details.

His Apprentice
(SFW, implied SSHG)

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I am scribbling away at Quando Omni, although not in strict temporal sequence. A long time ago I mentioned that aspects of this story were political commentary and a response to JK Rowling's treatment of indigenous peoples in her Magic in North America/Ilvermorny essays. Having said that, this reason.com article stresses how residential schools in North America had a fundamentally different cultural context from the British model that the Potterverse nostalgically worships. Too, I'd like to direct your attention to the brilliant, haunting, and provocative new project from Gord Downie (The Tragically Hip): secretpath.ca, which was inspired by the tragic story of Chanie Wenjack.
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I am removing my fiction from fanfiction.net for now. I have entirely lost patience with the juvenile tactics employed by what are --in all likelihood-- a very small minority of people in the SSHG fandom. This is a case of everyone being punished for the actions of a few, for which I am deeply sorry.

Given what's happening in my personal life (family member's cancer), I don't need the compounding misery of having to wade through anonymous commentary -- sure, FFN allows you to set Anon reviews to 'moderated' -- but that still means I have to look at it in order to delete it before it automatically posts. And frankly, I don't need a spoonful of racism or rape threats with my morning coffee. Nor do I want to have to ask a friend to do this for me. This shouldn't be necessary at all.

To be clear, I'm not asking for readers to be kind (I like constructive criticism -- a lot). I just need a cessation of this relentless attack upon my fanwork. This is the kind of behaviour that makes fandoms toxic: If it's ok to assault me like this, who's to say it won't be another author next week? When these behaviours are allowed to set roots, a precedent is established that is hard to ever recover from. Harassing creators (whether you personally like them/their work or not!) is a strategy that will reduce a fandom to ashes and rubble over time.
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Ok. I've finished with the quantum physics bafflegabbing (which I won't assault you with -- but I needed to finish working it all out so that it was consistent in my own head). Big reveal? Magic can't exist, even if you start playing with Tegmarkian consciousness constructs. But you knew that, because... uh, no one can do magic? Anyway, I've finally got all the pieces of something that I can work with that's at least internally consistent. In my outline for this, I expect I was planning to armwave past this point (or, well, I know I was, b/c I wrote myself a note to that effect), but in actually writing it, I became terrified that I would postulate something and thus create screwball consequences down the line in the story's logic structure. So to my way of thinking that required a fully-fleshed, coherent understanding of the entire system.

Yeah. I just wrote a precis on how magic works in JKR's Harry Potter series. A different thesis than the one I was using for Smart Girls (but I like it so much I may eventually use parts of it there, too). And now the challenge is going to be to avoid burdening all of you with the details -- because, in SF parlance, no one wants to know how the hyperdrive works, they just want to see what's at the end of the journey.

Anyway! Having now done all this brainwork, and being fully cognizant of the giant gaping holes where my system can't work in reality, I'm exceedingly heartened to see this:

-- because at least I don't have intractable plotholes.

Quando Omni ticker:

21741 / 100000 words. 22% done!
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The [livejournal.com profile] severus_snape reveals are up; do have a look at all the lovely things people generated. My own contribution is not to everyone's taste, of course -- while I usually strive to reward both casual and analytical readers, the former definitely got short shrift this time.

Regardless, I am exceedingly grateful to those of you who have decided to interact with my work. Thank you for your kindness -- your words really have meant the world to me; I cherish your comments deeply, and I cannot thank you enough for sharing your thoughts and responses to my work. For those who didn't care for it, and have presumably withheld an opinion in deference to the expected positive nature of the fest, please know that I very much welcome your criticism and thoughts. I would like to grow as a writer, and would appreciate furthering my understanding of where I am going wrong.

If you're just now considering giving it a try, I'd suggest getting into a nice, calm frame of mind first. Try this:

... or you could even just open this playlist in a second tab and turn it down low.

Standard distribution note after the jump:

Philosophy of Fanworks (AKA standard distribution note): )

If it's something you'd like to do, I'm happy to chat in the comments here about what I think I wrote -- although what you think you read is certainly just as valid, and perhaps more so. Again, thank you for choosing to interact with my work. ETA: Warning, don't click into the comments if you don't want my ideas intruding into your perceptions.

As I mentioned above, I both welcome and delight in constructive criticism -- how else would a person grow? More importantly, though, I am a firm proponent of the belief that the reader/viewer is an intrinsic participant in any work of art or fiction -- there is a kind of alchemy that occurs when you take someone's words into your head, when a scene blossoms up, having precipitated through the lenses of your own experiences, the emotions that you bring to bear upon any topic. That's not there in the text -- it's in you, the Reader. I consider all Storytellers (artists, authors, musicians alike) to be involved in an intimate dialogue with their audience, and the success of any Story depends upon the audience's willing collaboration.
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