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Alicorn

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Notice of Livejournal Obsolescence [Feb. 4th, 2014|06:06 pm]
Alicorn
As a matter of general policy, when I am putting content on the internet, what goes up stays up. To that end, the entire archive of my Livejournal is available for you to read if for some reason you want to do that. However, there is no reason you should want to do that. I started it nearly a decade ago, when I was sixteen, and while some sixteen-year-olds produce worthwhile content, I wasn't really one of them. Additionally, I spent a longish period of time using this journal as a food diary as part of what you could generously describe as a mindful eating project. The only worthwhile post for general consumption out of this journal has since been re-posted to my Tumblr, at which I do my blogging these days. I also have a Twitter now. My general repository of all things me is at my hub site.

I'm not going to go through my entire archive and mark the endorsedness status of everything in it, but this is my notice that it's not worth reading and if you read it anyway you aren't getting an up-to-date look at my thoughts and feelings. I have mellowed out a lot and gotten noticeably better at writing.
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It's supposed to be hard, what are we doing wrong or right? [Dec. 24th, 2012|11:46 pm]
Alicorn
Me and dudley_doright may be magic.

We pretty much don't fight. It's happened twice I can think of this go-round (I can't think of anything from the last one unless you count the breakup itself, which we can pretty much just characterize as Well That Was A Stupid Thing To Do). In each case about a concrete point of dissatisfaction that we solved inside of a few hours, and we spent the course of the arguments basically clinging to each other wishing for it to be over and being very creative and determined to find a way for that to happen. We get along with each other's outside partners, we are not wrestling with elephantine jealousy, we do not find each other unsatisfactory along major axes, we are good at communicating with each other and making sure we feel secure. We don't even seem to be making any obvious sacrifices in the outside relationships to prop this one up, unless some secondary partner resentments are being nursed extremely quietly.

I feel rather like everyone around me agrees that making scrambled eggs is extremely difficult. Some people decide that eating eggs isn't worth it at all and they're going to have cereal forever, some people think eggs are worthwhile but keep talking about how they burn themselves on the pan sometimes, how even experienced cooks get big chunks of shell in their food now and again, how adding cheese is most definitely for the advanced class only, and if your eggs not only taste kinda eggy but also yummy, this is invariably the result of Hard Work And Sacrifice And Compromise.

And I'm making a spinach and cheddar omelette for breakfast every morning wondering what they can possibly be trying that is getting them such spotty results. The worst breakfast-related metaphorical mishap I have suffered was when I ran out of eggs, and this supply problem has been fixed now.

I am half worried that we are not doing something right, but something wrong - that we are neglecting something huge, something obvious to everyone but us, something that will bite us in half in a year or five or twenty, something that we cannot think of however hard we wrack our brains but that would throw a wrench into our gears if we weren't ignoring it and will catch up sooner or later.

Or maybe we've lucked into a storybook compatibility - it's only the two of us, we don't seem to be especially magic with anyone else, so that could be.

Or maybe we're doing something exceedingly clever and we should bottle and sell it.

Help us figure it out?
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tweet tweet [Oct. 9th, 2012|10:28 am]
Alicorn
Have acquired Twitter. Am @luminousalicorn.
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Annual Reminder Of How To Birthday An Alicorn [Sep. 24th, 2012|09:34 am]
Alicorn
http://alicorn24.livejournal.com/47721.html

The date in question is October 21. I plan to have a big party! With six desserts!

Amazon wishlist here: Shower Me With Selected Gifts, Terms and Conditions Apply. I'll update this as I develop more wants. I think it's supposed to automatically deplete itself as people get things on it, but to the best of my knowledge it doesn't actually do that, so you still have to interact with me (you poor thing).
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Housewarming [Jun. 3rd, 2012|04:19 pm]
Alicorn
SOMEONE bought me and my primary a housewarming present without TELLING me. Said primary had to tell me that there was going to be a present at all, and said SOMEONE had to be badgered into identifying it. It's like people haven't met me.

To forestall further tragedies, I have topped off my wish list with a selection of things I want that are nifty enough to be good presents, non-urgent enough that I won't just up and buy them myself in the next week, and reasonably priced. If these do not suit your gift-giving needs/tastes, please use words! Words are good communication tools! No gifts at all are required! But for the love of chocolate covered strawberries, NO SURPRISES!
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A Most Impressively Discreet Reminder [Sep. 27th, 2011|01:38 pm]
Alicorn
http://alicorn24.livejournal.com/47721.html

My birthday's in a bit under a month. Darned if I know how it manages to happen year after year.

I have improved the system by creating an Amazon wishlist: Shower Me With Selected Gifts, Terms and Conditions Apply. I'll update this as I develop more wants. I think the way it works lets you claim things on the list so you don't have to interact with me to avoid collisions with one another, but if it doesn't actually work that way, you can tell me to remove spoken-for items from the list manually.
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Betaing [Jul. 7th, 2011|06:10 pm]
Alicorn
I could really use some beta readers for Elcenia's re-launch who have not been exposed to the prior incarnation of the work. The betas I have nearly all have at least some familiarity with it, so they will make inferences that arbitrary new readers won't be able to and won't catch certain kinds of unclarity. (I'll happily take new betas who have read prior Elcenia versions, too, but am specifically seeking those who haven't.)

Here is what my beta readers do:

1) Be on an IM client a lot. Receive raw-HTML pastes of a few paragraphs at a time of yet-unpublished installments of writing.

2) Listen to me think aloud about future plot details, character development, etc. Be discreet about privileged information. (I'm not cagey about spoilers, but I prefer that they all be handed down directly from me, not disseminated indiscriminately from reader to reader.)

3) Supply feedback on the pastes and the thinking-out-loud. This has two purposes: One, I write faster and more happily when I feel like writing gets me attention. So if you have a comment or two on every paragraph, that is extremely helpful, even if the comments are just "Hahahaha! I like $SENTENCE!" or "Awww, poor $CHARACTER!". Two, to point out typos, catch grammatical brainfarts, identify areas of poor clarity, and otherwise find things I might want to change about the story.

Betas are given Borg designations in the form of Greek letters. (i.e. I have an alphabeta, a betabeta, a gammabeta, etc.)
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A Food Thing [Jun. 6th, 2011|12:03 am]
Alicorn
Toast ciabatta.

Spread herbed goat cheese on it.

Add avocado slices.

Top with a spice-sprinkled fried egg, bonus points if you get it so the yolk has that smooth soft buttery texture.
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Sneak Peek: Elcenia Cover Art [Apr. 17th, 2011|01:37 am]
Alicorn


Cover art for the first novel of the Elcenia relaunch. Sketchy and unfinished, obviously.
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Speak To Me Of Spoilers [Apr. 16th, 2011|04:34 pm]
Alicorn
I'm going to relaunch Elcenia soon. By my estimates, unless I cut out a decent chunk of content, the material already written will (when condensed and rewritten) comprise 7 (possibly 8) novels, 7 series of novellas/shorts, 12 standalone novellas, and 6 individual short stories.

A lot of these things take place concurrently, or partially concurrently. The first three things I'm going to write - a novel titled "Summons", a five-novella series titled "Blood", and a three-novella series titled "Silver" - overlap considerably. Summons begins at the chronologically earliest point I plan to cover; Blood starts during Summons but ends close to the last chronological point I plan to cover. (Some things happen in other stories after the end of Blood, but they're mostly either on another continent or a "next generation" sort of thing.) Silver starts near where Summons ends, and ends during Blood. All of these stories share significant numbers of characters, too, although they're focusing on different plot threads. Subsequent stories form similar overlapping clusters.

Speaking of characters...

Dear lord does Elcenia ever have a lot of characters. I was once challenged to name 50 of them from memory. I did 200. Without looking anything up. (I did name several dead characters to achieve this feat, but I also left out a bunch whose names I couldn't remember readily.) Even if I pare away as many extraneous individuals as I can, there's still a lot of characters. Oh god so many characters.

I cannot do without some form of character reference here. I mean, I know who everybody is and if you give me a big enough sheet of paper I could get at least 60% of them onto a single family tree from memory. But my readers would be lost, the poor lambs.

I don't know, though, how to make the character reference interact with spoiler potential.

For example: take a character I'll call Sister so you don't know who she is later on when you read Elcenia. Sister has a long-lost brother who I'll call Brother. While this relationship is (intended to be) fairly obvious once Brother is introduced, it is not something you know about Sister when she is introduced. If someone opens up the first chapter of Summons, meets Sister, and then goes and looks her up in the character reference, her page must not state the correct number of brothers that she has, because that's a spoiler for a later revelation. So such a page must either lie about or omit Sister's sibling-having status.

But, after this information is made known, the spoiler-safe page is actively misleading. The reference page is there to help readers keep track of the characters: there is a nonzero chance that a reader who looks up Sister has read past the revelation about Brother, but is having enough of a challenge keeping track of the cast list that ey will be badly misled by a spoiler-free page.

I don't know how to model the spoiler-averse brain, because I don't have one (the government took away the one I was studying, and its mason jar too). Somebody who doesn't like spoilers, please tell me what you would like a character reference page for Sister to look like so I can decide on how to present this type of content.
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