jenniferkoliver: (Quote | Zombie Brains)
If you're reading this at LiveJournal, I'm jenniferkoliver at Dreamwidth. Everything has been imported and moved over, and from now on I'll primarily post to my DW account with content being mirrored on LJ. I'll still answer comments and check a few communities at LJ, but it feels inevitable that gradually we'll all transition to DW. It's sad to see so many people deleting their LJs but I completely understand why. And though it's the end of an era for many, hopefully we can continue to build new memories on DW / other social sites and keep in touch with each other. :)

[community profile] getyourwordsout has kicked off for 2017! I believe you can still sign up if you haven't already, but be speedy - I believe the deadline is tomorrow (15th of Jan) unless I'm mistaken. I'm already loving the posts going up at the community, the sense that people are jazzed and eager to meet each other and talk writing and creativity. This is one of the best resolutions you can make this year if you're a writer.

Gods and Monsters, by Lana Del Rey.
jenniferkoliver: (PoT | Atobe)
Gillian Anderson is going to write a sci-fi book series, to be published by a Simon & Schuster imprint. Ooh.

Speaking of book series, I am bursting through my third Sherlock Holmes book, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, after gobbling up A Study in Scarlet and The Sign of Four over a couple of days. I'm enjoying the style; it feels quirkily modern in a lot of ways, but I wonder if that's because I'm writing in the mid-19th Century and am just used to a lot of the attitudes and lingo.

I also saw The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug recently, and liked it quite a bit more than the first one (which I liked, but had a few issues with). The romantic subplot, which I was almost certain I wouldn't go for, was rather sweet, and I loved the dragon. Er, I don't know if a spoiler alert is necessary considering the book was published in 1937, but I'll cut this just in case anyone hasn't read it and doesn't want to know how certain things turn out )

Recently [livejournal.com profile] jaylake couldn't update his journal because LJ treated his link salad posts as spam, even though nobody could find any of his links to be spammy. I guess it was just the volume of links in the post. Which is so daft. Come on, LJ, don't alienate your users, especially not the journals that get the most hits. You're only hurting your own statistics.

As I've said before, if anything should happen to my LJ or to LJ in general, I will immediately move over to my Dreamwidth and regroup.

Nothing Else Matters, by Apocalyptica (Metallica cover).
jenniferkoliver: (Steampunk Woman)
Watched Excision (2012) the other night and found it was not at all what I was expecting. At first I wasn't even sure if I liked it, but by the end I thought its surreal awkwardness, unforgiving teenage angst, and glimpses of genuine bittersweetness made it work well as both a horror and a dark comedy. It's certainly gory and uncomfortable, but at the same time it doesn't always take itself seriously. I think this contributed to the impact of the ending—and I truly was surprised; the balance of horror and humour was so finely done that I had no idea which way they were going to go with it. You can see the trailer here. A lot of the gore scenes are shown through the disturbed sexual fantasies of the main character, Pauline, and are intentionally bizarre, mixing art and absurdism and blood—something I found different and oddly amusing. At times I rooted for Pauline, and at other times I wanted to bash her over the head for making life harder for herself (and everyone around her). If you're looking for something dark but not always too serious, I'd recommend giving this a try. Though be warned, it is messed up.

I also really want to see Exit Humanity. Civil War zombies!

It's always a little unsettling when someone from my past adds me on Facebook. Not that it's terrible or anything, just peculiar to see them again after so many years. A lot of folk from school haven't changed much, and I wonder if they think the same about me. I feel so different from even five years ago; I can't believe how much has happened and changed in fifteen years. While I don't use it very often, I'm on Facebook here if anyone wants to connect. I rarely read my timeline, though, so please don't assume I'll see everything. At the moment I can only just manage a blog and Twitter. :)

Lately I've been thinking more about Dreamwidth and the flush of LJ users who are migrating and cross-posting. I still don't want to leave LJ, but it's starting to look inevitable, and I think eventually most of us will have to. There've been a lot of downtimes here, a lot of bad press in the last few years, and I can't see that changing. If I can figure out how to code one of the DW layouts to match my LJ, I probably will post there and have entries mirrored. I would still reply to messages and read my friends page here, for as long as the majority of it exists here. But if more and more people switch, I may have to rethink it all further down the line. If you've recently moved to DW or set up a backup, my username is the same: jenniferkoliver.

And a short article that tickled me: 4 Copy Editors Killed in Ongoing AP Style, Chicago Manual Gang Violence - from The Onion. Love the bit about the serial commas.

Almost Over, by Limp Bizkit.
jenniferkoliver: (EXO-M | Tao)
Can I stay in denial that LJ fandom is slowly dying? More and more people are leaving. I like Dreamwidth, but it still doesn't feel like home. I've been on LJ since 2003 in various incarnations; it's like watching an old, good friend gradually slip away.

OK, enough with the melancholy. There are positive things! It's my wonderful BFF [livejournal.com profile] davidrcooke's birthday this week, and that was cause to celebrate last weekend. After hopping down to Southampton on Friday night, me, Dave and his partner Chris went out to The Olive Tree restaurant, where I had the most delicious confit duck leg & pan-fried duck breast with herb mashed potatoes and Morello cherry sauce, followed by a mocha cheesecake. Nom. Later that evening, after they'd had some wine, I cunningly EXO-bombed Dave and Chris, making them watch the phenomenon that is shaky pockets in the History video. Oh, how I laughed. On Saturday we somehow managed to cram Portsmouth and Winchester into our day, though the Winchester Christmas market was so crowded we couldn't get to many of the stalls for a proper look around. In true me-like tradition, I bought my own Xmas presents: an Emporio Armani "Diamonds" gift set (if only we had smell-o-screen!), and a cute plum-coloured Superdry coat that was on sale. It was the last on the rack, it was in my size, and I saved £27. Mm, bargains. They almost taste as good as mocha cheesecake.

And in true me-like tradition, I forgot to take any photos.

I've passed 40k words on the steampunk novel draft #2. It's a bit of a milestone, possibly marking halfway. The first draft rounded out at only 63k words, but it was one-sided, told by only one of my two main characters. This version has both POVs, plus some little extras that I hope will make it more structurally interesting. I'm going to try and write the next 10k words before the 25th.

I've also been struggling with my zombies in a new short story in progress. The trouble with zombies is they're not prone to thinking, well, much of anything apart from braaaaains; they certainly shouldn't be having deep, literary thoughts about un-life and such, especially when they haven't eaten any brains in a while. There must be a way around this, however, and I'm determined to find it.

And now, I must go and write all the Christmas cards in the universe (or so it feels, on this side of the pile).

Night of the Hunter, by 30 Seconds to Mars.
jenniferkoliver: (True Blood | Eric)
I was reading this blog post by the fabulous [livejournal.com profile] acwise on physical books vs e-books, and something pinged me about having the ability to edit and change already published works:

If authors can constantly ‘correct’ and edit their text will there be such a thing as a definitive version anymore? Will there be a ‘real’ story, or will stories become fluid, ever-changing things?

This could be an interesting project—a social networked or live collaborative story that's permanently editable. You could have a finished work, post it on a blog or somewhere people can log in and edit it, then let other authors have at it. It would be fascinating to see how the story shifts and morphs into something totally different but with echoes of the original, and how long it'd take for those echoes to fade entirely, creating a brand new story. Tweaking even the smallest character trait or plot point could set in motion something colossal that transforms the whole theme of the book and automatically gears it toward a brand new audience. I'm sure it's been done before (though I've never seen or followed such a project), but now I can't get the concept out of my brain. I keep thinking, 'Do I have time to do this?' and the short answer is 'No, not really,' but it's a cool idea. Maybe one for the big dark scary thing over there—what's it called? Oh yeah , the future. ;)

And there've been more DDoS attacks keeping us away from LiveJournal. Woe. Someone on Twitter sensibly said: 'People who blame #Livejournal for being down: The DDOS attack is bc they're Russia's main venue of free speech. Get some perspective.' OK, I can see how that is—this has happened frequently for the last two years, ever since LJ was bought out. I've considered switching to another blogging site, but I've been using LJ since early 2003 and I have so many memoires here, plus I know the ins and outs of how it works, and to be honest, no other site can replicate the diversity of communities that are established here, the ease of communication and navigation, or the sheer number of awesome, interesting people. On LJ, you know you can find pretty much anything you want at any given moment (as long as the site isn't under attack, that is!). So, for now, I'm going to hang in here, but it does make me wonder if things will ever get better. Considering the above article, I doubt it.

Completely unrelated to anything, it's shameful how much I covet this samurai umbrella.

Also, I'm more than a little obsessed with Beyoncé's " Run the World (Girls)". It's like "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" all over again!
jenniferkoliver: (Quote | Zombie Brains)
Funny I was just posting about micro-fiction, because yesterday one of my Twitter stories went live @onefortyfiction. It can be found on their website here: Grey Matter. I'd recommend it if you like a smidgen of humour with your zombies. :)

The last few days my attention has been mostly riveted on the UK riots coverage, which continues to unfold like a horrific movie. It's almost unbelievable, and makes me damn relieved I don't live in an inner city where most of the trouble is going down. I hope the city dwellers on my f-list are keeping safe and well out of the way. Possibly related, me and Jen Bell hopped over to a neighbouring writing group and poetry reading Tuesday night, and when we left there was a guy getting arrested on the street outside. It was noisy and there were a few more people scattered around watching and egging it on. We ended up power-walking back to the car, a little freaked out, and I thought: holy crap, that was just one guy! I can't imagine what it must be like on the streets with hundreds of them. Bloody terrifying.

It's also weird that I was recently talking about book covers, 'cause I got the cover art through from Karl A. Nordman for my dark fantasy novelette "Dust City". There was joyous flail! There was much squee! And my cat gave me some odd looks.

I still have a couple of stories from Darwin's Evolutions to catch up on, too. Links forthcoming.

And I thought, what with the recent LJ-apocalypse near miss, it was worth mentioning again that I have a mirror journal on Dreamwidth here. That's where I'll relocate should LJ ever implode for more than week or two.
jenniferkoliver: (Stock | Typewriter)
Welcome back, LJ, after another exciting episode of DDoS Attack! I quite liked their Twitter update from a couple of days ago: "Down again! We've been slammed with another DDoS attack. Think you know why? Tweet your conspiracy theories here!" It certainly sounds like someone isn't happy with them right now. There are theories going round that it's an attempt to get people to move to other social networking sites, which is kinda lame.

Anyway, there's been a bit of movement in my life recently, resulting in me inheriting a writing group. Well, technically I've inherited the idea of a writing group, as the one that used to be active in my home town has long been dormant. Now I'm attempting to revive it, with loads of help from my local arts club. This is superb on many levels, particularly because in the past when I've tried joining courses and groups they've all ended up cancelled for one reason or another. I figured there had to be local writers eager to network and talk plot, structure, and style, and there are! I've already had six people contact me about the group, and I'm jazzed about meeting them. *jazzes*

When we begin meetings, providing it all goes well, I may ask if the other members mind me writing the odd article based on what we discuss and post them here (or at my website, which I am building slowly but surely, and hope to be able to launch soon!).

What I wanted to ask was if any of you have led or participated in writing groups, and what tips you've picked up to create a happy environment for writers of different levels, ages, and walks of life. Are there any activities you would recommend to get the ball rolling? Any official stuff you suggest doing to keep things organised? I'm sure between us we can work something up, but it's always nice to have a few pointers from experienced group participants.
jenniferkoliver: (Deftones | Chino)
Because of the recent DDoS attacks on LJ, parts of the site aren't loading. I'm reading, but alas, I can't comment on all the things I want to comment on! Plus, a handful of my userpics have mysteriously vanished. I'm going to leave them alone for now and see if they come back when LJ finishes fixing the damage.

Fun times yesterday when I went for a routine check up at the dentist and ended up having a monster of a filling. It's bloody huge! Thankfully it's an upper-back molar and doesn't show. My face was numb for hours after and I couldn't smile, so now I finally know how all those Hollywood stars feel after botox. Not cool! I've got another appointment on April 20th for a second filling. Now I wish I hadn't mentioned that dentist horror story in my other post - I'm sure I jinxed myself.

On the up side, I finally got to order my shiny pink VAIO today. Yay!
jenniferkoliver: (FFVII | Sephiroth)
Here's an interesting post about the hazards of enabling pingbacks on LiveJournal. Yikes. I didn't realise pingbacks compromised security to such an extent. Go here to disable them.

The migration to Dreamwidth is pretty hard to ignore at this stage of the LJ security drama, and a lot of people are uprooting for less risky pastures. Thought I'd let you know I've got an account at DW: jenniferkoliver. While I've avoided using millions of accounts on different blogging sites, a move is a real possibility right now, so I'm letting you know where I'll be should I choose to leave LiveJournal. I've imported my LJ posts on the DW account, and from this point onward I'll be posting to both journals. If you're more comfortable reading me there, by all means add me on DW too/instead.

If you don't have a Dreamwidth account but you're nervous about the current state of LJ and want one just in case, I have six invite codes. Just drop a comment to this entry and I'll share 'em. :)
jenniferkoliver: (James Hook)
I got my first story rejection! *party poppers explode, paper hats are passed around*

I'm positive about the rejection, as the accompanying email was extremely encouraging. It sounded like the magazine editors enjoyed the story but it just wasn't what they were looking for, which is fair enough. It's one of those things that's not massively disappointing—as much as I like and respect the magazine, and no matter how much I'd love to be published there, it's feels more like a coming of age or rite of passage than a failure. They said they looked forward to seeing more of my work in the future, so I will definitely try them again with new material. Mostly, I'm happy because I'm now officially in the running, not just day dreaming! :)

I've missed a fair chunk of LJ these past three weeks, and I'll be catching up with as many posts as I can over the next couple of days. Hi to new people on my friends list! *waves* You'll have to forgive my sporadic behaviour during the summer months—I don't spend as much time on the computer as I'd like. I'm back to my day job now, though, and glad to slide into the old routine, which will give me better structure, less opportunity to go out shopping, and more chances for online socialising.

Btw, I've been reading about the latest LJ kerfuffle with Facebook & Twitter connect, and I just want to say that I will never use the cross-post function, for entries and/or comments. I also want to state clearly that I do not want any comments from locked entries on my LJ ending up elsewhere. While the locked posts themselves may be secure, personal details can still be leaked on FB and Twitter through comment replies. Not cool. There's so much I could say about this mess, but thousands of others have said it way better. Just read the [livejournal.com profile] news post.

Until (or 'if') LJ do something about this, there's a way of removing the FB and Twitter icons from comments boxes if you use Greasemonkey with Firefox. Try the DisConnect userscript.
jenniferkoliver: (Hot Fuzz | Law Won)
One of the annoying things about moving to a new journal is that a lot of communities have policies to keep out trolls, and these policies almost always relate to the age of an LJ. But they never consider that sometimes people switch journals or join the site genuinely wanting to participate.

There are far more effective ways of preventing trolling than a vague "if your journal is under 6 months old you will be denied access". That's like saying "anyone wearing blue isn't getting into this nightclub". It makes. No. Sense. Yes, we're all busy people, but if someone's got the time to create and maintain a community, then they've got the time to skim a profile, check whether there's genuine content in the journal, and make a decision based on what they see. Usually, you can tell if someone's messing about, because most trolls won't put a lot of effort into making themselves seem real.

I can't join at least three comms I wanted to participate in for this very reason. None of these comms are particularly big or unruly. The hilarious part is, some of the worst, most irritating trolls I've seen have had journals over six months old, have had hundreds of entries, and have had extensive friends lists. Based on their stats, they were more qualified to join a community than I currently am, and—get this—they were out looking for trouble.

Disapproving someone based on the age of their journal or how many posts they've made can shoot a comm in the foot rather than prevent trolling. I don't know many people who will actually wait six months to discuss a book, or movie, or whatever. And I don't understand why nobody considers this.

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jenniferkoliver: (Default)
Jennifer K. Oliver

March 2017

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