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InkBlot's Journal

I'm not sure what this is, it's just here...

Category: Important Stuff

Quick note…

Well, I seem to have had a site crash. Not sure what happened, exactly…I was able to back up my database and with some work I’ve restored my posts. Unfortunately, I haven’t restored any comments – as I suspect that’s where whatever horked my site is hiding. Sorry, folks…

Epic Fail

Some hours after wrestling with the daemons of LiveJournal, I peek at my blog to discover my epic failure. In having to delete and recreate my LJ, I’ve inadvertently spammed anyone who had me on their friends page.

I honestly never expected reposting entries back dated to last year would show up in friends lists. I sincerely apologize to everyone affected by this, I hope I fall off your lists soon.

Important journal news stuff…

Yeah, real fancy on the titles there, I know.   Well, if you’ve been watching the craziness this afternoon, I’ve been blowing up my livejournal real good.   That’s because of two things:

  • I actually host all content at my own site: inkernet.com and I’ve just updated said site to the newest WordPress, and with that, changed to a new LiveJournal crossposting thingie, that also supports…
  • Another mirror I’ve created at dreamwidth.org.   It’s a spinoff of LiveJournal, to which some of my friends are already moving.   So, I have a foot in both doors, so to speak.

So….after much loss of brain matter, I’ve merged old comments from LJ over to the “core” website, inkernet.com.   And, I’ve now set it where thats the only place to leave comments.   I hope this doesn’t scare away any LJ or DW people, there’s no registration needed!   Just click the link at the bottom of each post, and you’ll be at my site.   A name, e-mail (which stays hidden), and your comments are all you need. This is all to protect my sanity in the long run, but it may kill comments entirely…I tried this in the past, but had actual user registration running over at inkernet.com and no one posted.   I think it was just too much for anyone to take.   So, I turned that off and I’m relying on akismet to keep the spam off me. I will just have to try and post such witty, such incredible, such wonderful content you won’t have any choice but to come tell me how spiffy I am. Failing that, cute kittens:

jedi-kittens

Understanding your fellow man.

Because we just don’t come with owner’s manuals.   Recently, over livejournal way, an sci-fi/fantasy author posted an article on her blog about “writing the Other”, that is, writing characters of different races or genders than yourself.   Now, it seems funny for the science fiction or fantasy crowds to worry over this, but we’re not talking about bug eyed aliens, or orcs and goblins.   We’re talking normal, every day people not unlike ourselves…except for that one important difference that makes their life completely unlike anything we’ve experienced.

Let’s face it.   When you’re writing about elves, you’re usually not expecting them to actually READ your books.

So, this author took a stab at trying to encourage other authors not to shy away from such characters (as often we do, for fear of looking foolish), and even offered some tips to keep foot from mouth.   Much discussion ensued, particularly from the sort of people that fit into the   “Other” category in relation to the author.   It began well enough, with constructive criticism that explored the topic more deeply.   Then it began to segue into comparisons to the author’s own works, including one book which began with kind of a classic example of “How Not To Do It” (on purpose, being something of a theme in that book).   Which is where, from what I can tell, things began to get out of hand.

Some folks who hadn’t read the books being discussed all the way through had ill-informed opinions, some friends of the author began to intervene on her behalf, and conversation became even more heated.   You might be tempted to say, “well, that’s how this sort of thing goes.”   However, looking from the outside, I think the biggest derailment was caused more by preexisting personality conflicts – that is, friction between some people in the overall discussion that exisited well before this drama erupted.   Be aware, that’s my opinion and may or may not reflect reality.   I found the whole thing disappointing, and stayed far out of it.   If you truly wish to try and sort out the real story for yourself, there’s a chronicle of links here, or a more concise summary here.

The overall drama has been dubbed Race Fail ’09.   Don’t let the name fool you, as acutally more useful conversation about race and understanding was had than not.   The “fail” part, as I said, seemed more about personality conflicts and errors in communication that led to battle lines being drawn, livejournals being deleted, and people being hurt.   The thing to remember, is there really aren’t any battle lines; there’s no “sides” in this.   There’s people.   People trying to understand one another.

So, I recommend to you the following discussions.   They’re closed now, but they happened over on John Scalzi’s blog: Whatever.   Scalzi had remained out of the drama until it was unceremoniously dumped on his porch step.   His initial reaction was to fire the shotgun in the air, and demand everyone off his lawn.   He was harshly criticised for this, for being dismissive of the overall topic.   After some time to calm down, and some thoughtful voices reaching out to him, Scalzi apologized and reopened discussion on his own site by inviting a few guest speakers over.

I learned a lot from these threads, and it’s given me much to think about.   I hope it will do the same for you.   I don’t ask anyone to go in there thinking, “this is the correct and only way to think about this.”   I do want you to realize this is some very well reasoned, thoughtful insights on a topic area that, frankly, I’ve never had to think about before.   But some people have….some people have no choice.   So listen to their words, their thoughts.   And consider yourself, and where you’re at in your life.

Mary Anne Mohanraj Gets You Up to Speed, Part  I

Mary Anne Mohanraj Gets You Up to Speed, Part  II

Taking One for the Team: K. Tempest  Bradford

Three posts in one day?

I know, frightening…but I saw this clip on some livejournal friends’ blogs, and I was moved.   There’s a video here, and a transcript below.

Continue reading

Sometimes the lemmings know where they’re going.

I’m usually slow about these things, so I’m sure you’ve probably seen this elsewhere.   Match It For Pratchett is a grassroots effort to raise support and awareness for Alzheimer’s Research.   The site itself does not collect money, instead it directs people to the Alzheimer’s Research Trust in the UK.   Why the UK?   Because the site was started in honor of top UK author Terry Pratchett, who was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s this last year.

Terry Pratchett recently donated $1 million ( £500,000) himself, with the comments, “I am, along with many others, scrabbling to stay ahead long enough to be there when the Cure comes along. Say it will be soon – there’s nearly as many of us as there are cancer sufferers, and it looks as if the number of people with dementia will double within a generation. In most cases, alongside the sufferer you will find a spouse suffering as much. It is a shock to find out that funding for Alzheimer’s research is just 3% of that to find cancer cures.”
If, like me, someone in your family suffers from Alzheimer’s…or even if you don’t know anyone who suffers this horrible disease now, I encourage you strongly to take action.   The Alzheimer’s research trust is in the UK.   Here in the US you can also check our the Alzheimer’s Association. Whether you realize it now or not, you’ll be helping someone you love.