Sorry for dropping off unexpectedly again. My VAIO went for repairs and ended up staying with Sony for almost two weeks. :/ I've been surviving on a flimsy diet of iPhone browser, but it's not the same and communication has been difficult. I have my VAIO back now though, yay!
In a fit of passion, I ordered a MacBook Pro with HD retina display a couple of weeks ago. OK, maybe it wasn't so much a fit of passion—I've been seriously considering it for almost a year now—but it was a big leap. It just felt like the right time, what with the release of OS X Mountain Lion and the recent problems with my PC. The MacBook arrived this morning, all sleek and sliver-sexy and chill. I am in love, though I'm still getting used to the Mac way of life. Gosh, but it's a gorgeous piece of machinery! The downside is that a lot of websites look bad on the HD screen. The upside to the downside is that it has lit a fire under me to hurry up and finish my blog redesign.
Argh, and there's so much to blog about! I don't know where to start. In fact, I'll break everything into a few posts, otherwise this will take hours and become epic, and nobody wants that. :)StorySlam:Live
at London's Southbank Centre was excellent. Different to what I imagined—not in a bad way, just unexpectedly cosy and informal. There were around 35-40 people, 25 of whom were writers and who had signed up to read a story, though in the end they could only fit eight readings into the event. The crowd was energetic and supportive, and the judges, compère, and DJ were all fab. What I liked most was that the judges provided individual feedback for each story after the reader had finished. I'm sure the authors took away a lot of good advice and encouragement.
The stories themselves were really diverse, from conceptual arty pieces and darker dramas to light-hearted humorous spins on the "Sheet lightning" theme. The winner, Carys Nelkon
, read out a charming story about a boy who had been struck by lightning seven times, which you can read at her link. The coolest thing is that it was her first ever short fiction. I hope to hear more of her work at future slams!
Then a week later, it was the Storyslingers Story Slam. My little writing group! All grown up! Jennifer B has put together a great write up at our website
already, and I plan to blog soon about my experience as a co-organiser and the surreal excitement of it, and I'll also post the flash steampunky piece I read out on the night.
F-list catch up tomorrow. For now, I must get back to the MacBook Pro!
♫ Born to Die
, by Lana Del Rey (Gemini Remix). Dubsteppy.
I was reading this blog post
by the fabulous 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!
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.
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
Has anyone else been getting notifications from their anti-virus of 'Exploit Blackhole Exploit Kit' threats here on LJ? AVG keeps blocking these virus missiles when I'm on the site. I did a spot of research but there's not a great deal of info about the threat. According to an answer on Yahoo! it's a Russian-made software that delivers viruses and other malware to computers. There's also this page on Malware Intelligence
about its history. I've reported it to LJ, and hopefully they'll be able to stop it.*
Those who know me are aware I have a firm love/hate relationship with Facebook, but I have a feeling it's borne out of unfamiliarity with the interface more than anything else. I can't deny it's an excellent way of meeting people and sharing info, and it's necessary for certain types of social networking. My personal FB page is mainly for close friends and family, so I thought it was time to set up a separate account for writing and reading endeavours. Hopefully with the new account, I can post about writing or reading events, locations, recommendations, and follow people with similar interests. I want this new FB page to be open to anyone and everyone who wants to connect.
So! Here is my Jennifer K Oliver Facebook page
. It's a bit sparse right now, and I will be adding more info and photos over the coming weeks. If you're on FB and you want to connect, feel free to add me or give me a shout.
Rather than bore you with a massive rant about my connection woes, I'll quickly say that after I made my last post my phone line died again and I was without Internet for the past week. The phone guys came out Monday and finally fixed the problem, so hopefully it's all good now. For realz!
Moving swiftly on, I made a batch of Tron
icons weeks ago, after seeing Tron: Legacy
and liking it. It got me feeling nostalgic enough to dig out the original movie and take some screencaps as I watched. There are also a couple of Legacy images here, made from various promo pics. Oh, and some silly moving gifs!
( Oh man, this isn't happening, it only thinks it's happening... )
Icon resources are listed here
Please don't hotlink or re-post these.
Credit would be lovely!
Hello, LJ folk! It seems as though my Internet connection is back, and stable for the time being, although I've now lost my home phone line instead. Eventually, this will all be sorted and I will look back and laugh. Eventually. In the meantime, I'm going to try and get on with blogging as normal. If I vanish again... well, you'll know why. :) I'm going to spend the next couple of days catching up with the more recent posts, but I just wanted to drop in and do a blanket hi, and hope you're all doing excellently!
While I was mostly offline I wrote a new short story. 10,800 words in six days. SOMEHOW. I don't really get it, either. I'm not usually quite that prolific, but I'm guessing it may be related to the whole not-online-and-thus-not-distracted thing. >.>
A while back I saw Black Swan and was blown away. I wasn't really sure what to expect - it's not the sort of film I'd usually jump at - but man, I'm glad I watched it. So dark and intense! I was already a Portman fan, but I think this could be my favourite of her movies so far. The direction and writing was stunning, too. If you haven't seen it, and you like angsty-beautiful films, I'd highly recommend this one. *nods*
I have new icon batches to post soon, maybe early next week (I didn't just spend my time in exile writing. Wicked is the lure of Photoshop...). Until then!
Ever since New Year I've been having major connection issues with the Internet at home, making it difficult to participate in my usual online activities. I'm in touch with my ISP and for the past couple of days we've been trying to fix the problems, but until it's done I might be a bit sparse around these parts. In fact, it might be good to consider me MIA for the time being.
I'll be back to regular commenting and updating as soon as my 'net is sorted. I do have separate Internet on my iPhone, so I can still receive emails, but I find it very fiddly emailing on my phone, and I won't be using it to socialise - only for emergencies or really important messages.
Have a great week, everyone! :)
You'd think upgrading software would improve a program's performance, but this hasn't been the case with OpenOffice
3.2. I've just downgraded
to the previous version I'd been running (2.4), because I was finding so many issues and bugs with 3.2. The program had countless formatting problems when transferring text from other documents, it crashed on me, and some of the features seemed more clunky than in older versions, which, y'know, defeats the whole point of an upgrade.
The annoying thing is, I haven't seen anyone else complaining about it, so it's likely the program I downloaded was buggy or there was a problem with the download itself (although I don't recall any error messages), and a simple reinstall is needed. But to be honest, this has put me off using newer versions. Sometimes, jam-packing your program with special features hampers the performance, and I didn't need half of the stuff they'd included in the upgrade.
Anyway. *cuddles OO 2.4* I feel like I can write in safety again!