A bitch of an eye infection has kept me away from LJ lately, but I think I've managed to chase it off now. That was a frustrating three or four weeks, though! At one point I was sat in a room with the curtains closed and two pairs of sunglasses on, and I could still barely keep my eyes open. I also got a free eye blister, on special offer, apparently, for picking up the infection. So that was a barrel of laughs. ;)
Anyway, I meant to post about the Arts Festival but the eye thing buggered up my plans. Basically, it went well and we learned loads about promotion and presence—things we can put into action next time. And speaking of the next time, there's a local literary festival in October and we've booked a table. This means the writing of more short pieces for flyers, printing out more copies of the old ones, making more bookmarks and fun things. Woohoo! I love getting crafty.
A while ago, back in May or June this year, I wrote a short story about an unfortunate young man afflicted with magnetic skin, who attracted cutlery wherever he went. On Tuesday someone at my writing group handed me an article from The Times
, dated 16 September 2011:
Boys show off their magnetism
Two "magnetic" boys in Serbia have shown that they can apparently attract metal objects. David Petrovic, 4, and his cousin Luka, 6, have been declared healthy by doctors. Similar cases have been reported in the region.
See that? MY STORIES ARE COMING TRUE.
Next I'm writing about how I became rich. What? It's worth a try!
Earlier I mistyped "Blazing bullocks" as "Blazing buttocks" in a friend's journal. Though thinking about it, it could've been slightly worse. ;) But not quite as bad as the time I mistyped Coke as something naughty (thankfully, that was also to a friend). Man, sometimes I need to slow down
when I type, particularly when in public.
Check out this post
listing some good typos. There's also lol_typo
on LJ which has some entertaining ones. Note: more than a few are rather rude. *is 12*
If you have any memorable typos to share, let me know. I have a soft spot for 'em.
also pointed out Damn You Auto-Correct
, which I'd forgotten all about. It's hilarious.
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.
Have you ever found an author, actor, musician, artist, or other public figure you've greatly admired, then stumbled upon their blog or website and discovered they're perhaps not as peachy-keen as you first thought and hoped?
This sense of disillusionment has happened to me a couple of times over the years. One of my most disappointing reader experiences was when I went hunting for an author who I'd read as a young adult and whose stories I adored, only to find out they were regularly rude about their readers on their blog. While the author wasn't writing as much by the time I found them, it was still bad form—fans were still buying their books, which IMO is the greatest praise whether the writer likes their old work or not. If the bacon is still coming in, the least an author can do is, y'know, not insult the people who are buying their product. I'm sure if the sales dried up completely, there would be epic indignation and shock-horror. Followed by more fan rants, no doubt.
I try not to let an author's/actor's/artist's personal attitude get in the way of my enjoyment of their work, but sometimes it's hard to look beyond their public conduct. This is why, when I discover someone new and I really like their stuff, I try not to dig too deep. The internet, social networking, and online marketing has made everyone incredibly accessible, but it can work against people, too. Yeah, we're all entitled to our opinions, but how far should we take it, and how do we recognise when we're not only damaging our reputations, but also unnecessarily hurting other people? Usually, it's not until after the proverbial shit has hit the fan (er, no pun intended), and by that time feelings have been stomped on, opinions have been formed, and it's hard to change that. It's almost impossible to make people forget you've acted like an ass on the internet, because everything we say is copied and pasted, screen-captured and logged in caches, caught on way-back machines or freeze-pages.
The lines between sharing our thoughts and airing dirty laundry seem to be getting blurrier and blurrier. I'm not saying we shouldn't talk about our feelings, but bear in mind that sometimes a little mystery goes a long way, and we don't have to leap head first onto every bandwagon that comes trundling along just because we want to be heard. There are certain topics I'd never discuss at a dinner party, and those same topics will never be discussed here.