The commenting culture of my writing space.

I welcome all of the following types of comments on ANY of my entries:
  • Single or two word comments, e.g. , woo!, yay, yes, no, please, thanks, absolutely, agreed, seconded, so much, no way, etc.
  • "+1" or Facebook style "like".
  • Otherwise brief comments, e.g. single sentences.
  • A comment that is a punctuation mark(s) to let me know you read, e.g. a period, an asterisk.
  • A comment that is a punctuation mark(s) to express your response, e.g. an exclamation mark or question mark.
  • A comment that is an emoticon(s) to express your response, e.g. \o/, <3, :), :(, :-D, :-P, etc.
  • Long, wordy comments. Rambling is totally okay.
  • Comments and links on related topics.
  • Comments on single links, entities, paragraphs, topics, or words in the entry. I throw out a lot of things each entry, and I don't expect anyone to have to come up with a coherent comment on each and every one of them to comment.
  • Sequential commentary. It's totally okay to comment about one thing as you read it, then another thing in a separate comment, then a third thing after you've chewed on it for a while and feel ready to talk about it.
  • Incoherent comments. It’s all good. I would rather have you here and showing interest,, even if it's just a *flail*, than for you to stay silent because you are afraid or unable to get the perfect comment out.
  • Talking amongst yourselves in the comments is fine. I like creating a place where people get to interact!

I also welcome:

  • Comments on older entries, access-locked or public.
  • Comments on VERY OLD entries, access-locked or public. I have many years of archives.
  • Comments from people who are not subscribed to me.
  • Comments from people who I’ve never met.
  • Comments from people who haven’t talked to me in awhile.
  • Comments from people who’ve never talked to me.
  • I like knowing the provenance of new commenters. If you're new, I'd love to know where you came from and what brought you here.

My great anxiety is that there's nobody out there and I'm shouting into the wind. If you’re feeling like you want to comment with something, feel free to comment with what feels good and comfortable to you, whether that’s leaving a !!! or an essay. If you don't have the spoons for any comment, that's okay, too. No pressure, no obligations.

How I reply to comments:
  • I mostly try to reply to comments.
  • I normally try to reply to comments as soon after they arrive as I can.
  • My comments will probably try to elicit more discussion and longer-form commentary. Part of it is my professional training, part of it is because I like discussions.
  • You are never obligated to reply to a reply, nor to write longer-form than you wish.
  • If you would like a response to a comment, I encourage you to let me know. “I would appreciate a response to this if possible,” etc. is totally fine with me.
  • Absentminded. If I have forgotten to reply to something you want a reply to, a poke is totally okay.

Linking to my entries:
  • If it’s public, it’s fair game.
  • It’s access-locked, ask me.
  • Please do not archive my work without asking me first.
  • If you do link to me elsewhere, it warms my heart if you tell me where you linked, but it's not a requirement.
  • If something I linked or wrote inspired you, it warms my heart if you link me to it. Also not a requirement.

Transformative works:

As of the time of writing this (02013-09-09), the content of my blog is licensed CC-BY-SA (3.0 Unported), which says that if you use my work for something, your work should attribute me (the user name and a link back to my blog is usually sufficient) and your work should also be licensed under a license similar to the Attribution-Sharealike license. The stuff I link to is not governed under this license and may have additional requirements for you to use.

Adding and access:

If you want to add me, go ahead! Please feel encouraged to do so.

I like new subscribers. I also respect access-locks - if something you created is That Awesome, I'll ask for permission before excerpting or posting elsewhere.

I may not add you back - I tend to evaluate based on what's available on your entries page. If you're mostly access only, it may take some comments or a conversation in a third space before I have an idea of whether I want to subscribe. If your journal is a repository for your fiction efforts, I may not add you back, because I do not have near enough time to properly read anyone's fiction as a part of my daily list crawl. I would probably enjoy it, if I had the time.

I don't give access, generally. For one, nearly everything posted is public, so you're not missing out on anything by not having that access. If I do post something under access-lock, it is probably something intensely personal, and so I'd be hand-selecting who I want to see it.

(This idea stolen and modified from [personal profile] trascendenza, who first broached it in their own journal when talking about commenting culture and their own anxieties.)

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Political Parking Space

Everything here is under cut, because it involves politics or political figures. At least for this entry, you don't have to go there if you don't want to.

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Domokun Anchor

Fandom Snowflake 15 - Without You, I Am Nothing

Fandom is both long-remembering and always distracted by the new shiny. Shows and media properties stay in our lives for a while, some leaving because the viewership isn't there, others because they've reached the end of their story and now it's time to go. Some creators love their fans and are happy to share the space of their creations with others. (Some only if no money is made from the transaction.) Others are okay with fans, but only if they keep their distance and observe.

More than a few come to the fandom because their media failed to show they existed, and those stories needed to be told. Some came because their media had managed to populate itself with plenty of people like them, and lots of other diverse people, and posted invitations at the boundaries for anyone to come in. Others came because they loved the show and were certain a couple were destined for each other, and it never happened. So clearly there has to be a point where it does happen.

And then it gets stranger from there. Some come because they think characters should be subjected to new and strange scenarios, like being part of an apocalypse, or all members or patrons of a coffee shop (or a bar), or entwined in ways that transcend death and reincarnation. Some have built an elaborate universe of social functions that are enforced by instinct so deeply ingrained that they couldn't break it even if their lives depended on it. There's idfic, crack pairings, and plenty of Plot? What Plot? to go around. The enthusiasm of fandom in its excesses and opinions, and the diversity of those opinions, is quite the thing to behold and appreciate, even when those opinions differ.

Fandom takes care of its own (a lot of the time, anyway.) There are plenty of stories of people meeting, whether for drinks or romance, people providing aid to each other to meet bills, provide happiness, and even sometimes help with long-distance moves. That protectiveness can sometimes get in the way of things. Some people use fandom to cloak their beliefs and prejudices. Others use it to take advantage of others and behave poorly and disrespectfully, counting on fandom to be too afraid of getting rid of one of their own to discipline them or demand improvement of their behavior. Sometimes we succeed at getting them gone anyway, sometimes they turn out to be not a single entity but a small (or large) group that wants to speak for fandom and normalize their own behavior. Sometimes they turn out to be trolls, sometimes that turn out to be just intent on hurting anyone they can get within their sights, sometimes they want to burn the place down and replace it with their own version of it, whether for good or for ill. Those things cause disruptions, but they are either handled and sent back to the darkness from which they came, or welcomed and listened to and integrated as best as possible. (At least on the fannish side. Creators and studios often are hostile to ideas that request diversity of characters and avoiding retreads of problematic tropes and storylines.)

Fandom is vast, it contains multitudes. Whether for gen, het, slash, femslash, multi, poly, or any and all of the pronouns, identities, and ways that characters and creators identify themselves, it's a great way of making connections and sharing creativity and the things that make art artistic and enjoyed by those who experience it. Long may it reign.

In your own space, write a love letter to Fandom in general, to a particular fandom, to a trope, a relationship, a character, or to your flist/circle/followers. Share you love and squee as loud as you want to.

And that's it for another year. I hope this has been an enjoyable journey through fandom.

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Fandom Snowflake 13 - One Shining Moment

In your own space, write about a moment in fandom that meant a lot to you.

Well, that's a bit difficult. Mostly because I tend to focus on the moments of the source material and how they affect me. What fandom does can sometimes be the subject of unwanted attention (witness some of Bronies, all of Puppies, the entire GamerGate splat), but then there are also things that are heroic and awesome that fandom does, like the Harry Potter Alliance. And the charitable donations in the name of fandom.

I think that the biggest impact that fandom does, or has done, are things like the 501st Legion / Rebel Alliance and similar cosplay groups that make it so that characters from fandom can spring into life and allow others to experience heroes. (Even better when you can get the actors to get engaged, too, as with the Iron Man prosthetic arm.)

Which points to the thing I find most touching of fandom activity recently - Batkid. The Make-A-Wish Foundation does awesome things for kids and funds then through donations and volunteers and asks people to get on board and provide time, expertise, and money. A young child's wish was to be a superhero.

San Francisco (and a lot of the surrounding area) responded. In the thousands. And the tens of thousands. So much so that the Foundation had to say "Thank you for your interest, but we have enough people to help with this." And all the fans turned out in droves, as bystanders, as other heroes, as members of a grateful city, as journalists and members of the media, as the entities of justice that help and handle the matters of prosecution. Even the President got into the act for a little bit.

For a day, fandom became the very best that people could be, to make a child's wish come true. Sure, the scenario was scripted, but the response and the enthusiasm that everyone brought wasn't. I'd love to see more Batkid moments in the future.

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Fandom Snowflake 12 - Gathering Places

In your own space, post a rec for fannish spaces and resources - comms, challenges, twitters, tumblrs, etc. Tell us where you hang out.

My fannish space, such that it is, tends to be on Dreamwidth and the Archive Of Our Own. I don't hang out in a lot in fannish communities, and I tend to be adding in exchange communities to do writing assignments. For that, I might mention there's [community profile] fandomcalendar, which has a lot of exchanges and events posted.

Much of my fannish presence is in linkspam and in the comments sections of other people's spaces. So, if you would like fannish commentary, you should probably talk about fannish things in your own space and see if I get wandered over there and say hello.

So, yes, hrm, I guess that using tag searching and the fandom calendar is really all I've got. Ah, well.

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Fandom Snowflake 11 - Great Influences

In your own space, talk about a creator. Show us why you think they are amazing.

There's a webcomic that I desperately wish was able to finish. But it was a comic about mental health issues and taking a journey through the mind to try and fix some broken bits, and, unsurprisingly, mental issues ended up causing the premature cancelation of the work.

It was 9th Elsewhere, and it no longer exists all that much on the Internet, except in the Archive. I miss Caroline, the character, and Eiji and the bakobako, Bubbles, and Optimism. Dorian was a good cosplay.

I met Caroline Curtis, the creator, on a lark during my university years heading to the local animation store. There was a webcomic showing, headlined by then-local Piro, creator of Megatokyo, and I got to discuss "umbrella-related poses" and follow the comic. Many years later, right before the end, with all the good adventures, there was enough interest to print a book of the first volume. I paid my dues in, and then the issues came, and everything went away.

It was an unexpected joy, then, many years later to get an email asking for updated addresses, as the book had actually, finally, happened, and so I got, after that many years, a collection of everything that was 9E. It's been a very important piece of work, and I sincerely hope that Caroline, wherever they are, is doing much better, and that perhaps some time in the future, 9th Elsewhere will return, and there will be happiness for everyone there.

(And then I left it behind in the hurry. I hope it's still there when everything finishes.)

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Fandom Snowflake 10 - These May Not Be The Tropes You Are Looking For

In your own space, share your love for a trope, cliché, kink, motif, or theme. (More than one is okay, too.) Tell us about it, tell us why you love it, give us some examples and recs.

I don't know if it's a specific trope, but I seem to be very much on the path at this point toward liking media that subverts or averts their tropes. And not just in a way that makes it painfully obvious that it's really a horrible story Recycled IN SPAAAAAACE, either.

For example, one of the most fearsome foes of the Final Fantasy franchise (Added Alliterative Appeal) is the Tonberry. Tonberries are slow, they don't attack quickly, but odds are good that the first time you encounter one, it's going to one-shot a character, if not the entire party. Because Tonberries usually have a move that deals damage to a character based on the number of other monsters and creatures that have been killed. Or the amount of steps the party has taken. Or some other hidden counter that springs forth in vengeance and then has to be dealt with on a regular basis. If you play the game the way the designers intended, retribution arrives.

I also like games like Undertale, where the player has to make real choices with consequences and players with Genre Savvy often find themselves strongly in the category of Wrong Genre Savvy. It's good to have your expectations shifted.

Witty banner also helps. Whether Beatrice/Benedick, Laharl/Etna/Flonne/Mid-Boss, or Vash/Wolfwood/Millie, a character group that can sustain some zippy remarks without falling too far into "that's what [x] said" sorts of territory, things are usually going well.

The early Big Bang Theory had gestures of this, but with increasing Flanderization, is become apparent that instead of setting out to write a properly geek sitcom, they decided to write a generic sitcom and then apply various geek flavorings on top. Contrast, say, Welcome to Night Vale, where the weirdness is so thoroughly cemented into the world that is not possible to tell the story without it being there.

I guess that's why it's a little harder to write Dear Author letters - because I'm not looking for specific storytelling tropes that characters can be slotted into. I'm looking for stories that grow organically and can't be separated from their characters and settings. So I'm thinking in plots instead of tropes.

I don't think I'm the only one, either.

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Fandom Snowflake 08 - I Like Me

In your own space, make a list of at least 3 things that you like about yourself.

This is always difficult because coming up with things is usually difficult, and it makes for some racking-of-brains to figure out things that work.

That said, here's my current attempt:
  1. I'm good at my job. I need reinforcement on this at times, which often comes in the form of happy wiggly children and the occasional parent comment. And the people that say thanks for when you know where to put the chalk mark and save them a lot of time and frustration hunting for what they know is there. And the fact that having worked in the same place for nearly a decade now has to say something about your competence. So, yes, I'm good at my job.
  2. I can make tech do neat things, usually in the service of playing games. Call it what you like, but I do have comfort enough with technology that I can make over technology work to do great things. Most of the limitations, though, have to do with old technology usually being a bit on the underpowered side. This isn't to say that I'm someone who gets elbows deep in code and hardware specs and hacking things that way. I have research skills that usually let me turn up someone else's hard work and allow me to use their fruits for my own purposes. It's the only reason I have much of what I have - gifts and frugality means learning how to build your own computer or how to install custom software on your devices so that their lives can be extended and their abilities brought up to a more current standard after their manufacturers have abandoned them to the tender mercies of time. It's nice to have a working setup that is basically all of your older technology in harmony.
  3. I'm a decent writer. While the kudos counts may never be in the ridiculous, they do come through, and the comments are appreciative. The discussions in the giving of grief to Pern are thoughtful and insightful from a core group that has accumulated over the years. The linkspam posts seem very appreciated, if rarely commented on because of their volume. Somewhere in the last [moped!] years, I think I've managed to put in enough time for skill to catch up to taste. Which is anyways a satisfying thing.
There are other things that I can say to feel good about myself, but they're not things I'm ready to talk about publicly or link to. So you get these, instead.

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Fandom Snowflake 07 - A New Work Is Born

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.

I cheated, slightly, and instead posted a thing that I had already created, but was willing to let sit in my file for a while. So you get this:

The Gold Curse (1193 words) by silveradept
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Once Upon a Time (TV), Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood, Rumplestiltskin | Mr. Gold
Additional Tags: Crossover

The curse hit Hogwarts, and only Hermione knows anything about what happened. So she goes to confront the source. Not that Gold is telling anything.


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Fandom Snowflake 06 - And Happily Ever After (I Wish)

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.

For people that have strong fannish preferences, this should be no trouble - the Omegaverse versions of X, Y, and Zed, for example. Or some hurt/comfort of one's favorite pair of frenemies. Since I'm still mostly working things out in terms of what sorts of major fannish places or AUs to hang out in, it's not quite as easy. Then again, I tend to lurk through other people's tagsets when signing up rather than nominating my own. My prompts also tends to be more open-ended and narrative-driven, rather than specific universe requests. Things like pointing out how well the contrasting energies is two characters go well together in a romantic or friendship pairing, but otherwise not actually giving much more than that. I'm not sure that's much help to artists and authors, since I don't have a list of established yes and no in fanwork that I can refer to.

Additionally, I might believe more than others in the idea that people aren't supposed to want, based on my circumstances outside of this space, so it's more difficult to muster up a request. I'm much more interested in filling other people's things at times.

But, since this is supposed to be a wishlist of things that I want, I should give it the collegiate try. Here goes.
  1. Arkos. Unless the people at Rooster Teeth have something very interesting up their sleeves, the Jaune/Pyrrha relationship, well, died. I am still rather invested in it, apparently, and it would be nice to get a fanwork that keeps the ship going or that is a picture of the two of them together before tragedy struck, or just about any other combination of the two of them (with or without others) that keeps the ship going or shows them both delighting in each other.
  2. Badass Hermione. She's the best magician Hogwarts has seen in a long while, save perhaps Molly or Minerva. And yet, in every narrative she's been in that's official (or at least has the author's stamp on it), she's not allowed to be very effective, whether because of the other two or because she's been tied up in bureaucratic everything. I'd like something that just lets Hermione loose on a problem and allows her to bring the full force of her skills and faculties to bear on it.
  3. Icons, banners, fanart, pictures, and so forth. It's the thing I don't have the skills for, but I really appreciate visual gifts. I also understand they take time and money and that it's really kind of an awful thing to ask someone for, to use their time and talent to make something for me and I'm not compensating them. I'd still like things ask the same.

Wishlist complete. Now to cower in a corner somewhere from having the audacity to ask.

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