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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:56 am 
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So uh... I'm seizing power again.
The M:EMperor is dead. Long live the M:EMperor.

Man why do I keep getting in this situation? I mean, absolutely no criticism, because real life stuff totally takes priority and lord knows I'm not the memo making type, but I tend to think grand, I guess. Hell knows I have my hands in pretty much everyone's business anyways.

And I won't stop bugging people. I mean REALLY, you know who you are. I can get annoying, can't I? Can't I? Can't I?


Anyways, I guess the proper thing to do would be to have a vote, but... that sort of undercuts the entire revolution thing and I do so like to get my tyranny set off on the right foot.

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At twilight's end, the shadow's crossed / a new world birthed, the elder lost.
Yet on the morn we wake to find / that mem'ry left so far behind.
To deafened ears we ask, unseen / "Which is life and which the dream?"


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:01 pm 
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Just so no one can say that I didn't warn them, this is your advance notice that this is going to be one of *those* OL posts.

Which is to say, you can count on it including:

-A pop culture reference!
-Oversharing!
-About a thousand more words than are strictly necessary!
-Schmaltz galore!
-Digressions!

If this doesn't sound like your jam, then please feel free to skim down to the bottom. I'll give you a second to get the heck out of Dodge.

... *whistles to himself* ...

Alright, only consenting adults left? Good. Let's proceed.

First off, I am reminded of one of my favorite jokes from The Simpsons, which is when Lisa gets a letter in the mail from her foreign pen pal:

Quote:
Dear Lisa,

We are very sad in my country today, because our beloved President has been overthrown and [narrator's voice changes] REPLACED, BY THE BENEVOLENT GENERAL KRULL. ALL HAIL KRULL.

SINCERELY,
LITTLE GIRL


Alright, checked that box. Next up: feelings! (Ew!)

As one of the new kids on this block (and, admittedly, not even a Wahlberg - one of the less-cool kids), I don't feel particularly qualified to comment on the how the leadership of the M:EM should work.

What I do want to comment a little about is the M:EM itself, and the people who make it what it is.

The body of work which has grown up inside this project is really pretty remarkable. There is so much high-quality fiction, poetry, and world-building under the aegis of this collective project, and that's something which it's probably easy to lose track of if you've been around it for some time. As someone who is still pretty fresh to this collection, and who is still picking his way through the back catalog, I keep being surprised and amazed by the things which the people here have created. So I hope that everyone who has contributed to the project in whatever manner, be it large or small, be it as an author or a supporter, feels justifiably proud of the work they have done and the content they have created or helped to create.

And yet, at the end of the day, the content's not even the best thing about this little corner of cyberspace. I love it, but it's not the thing which drives me to spend an objectively unhealthy amount of time hanging around here, doing things like cracking-wise, passing along Mrs. OL's bon mots, and trying to bait Raven into making MST3K jokes.

It's the people which make this place so much fun. You're a wonderfully talented, funny, and supportive group of totally-sweet internet persons. I love to read what you write, be it a story, a poem, a quick comment about what you ate for breakfast, or a truly terrifying suggestion for the shipping wall. You keep me entertained, you give me great ideas, and you inspire me to try to write and to write better.

For someone who spends so much time flapping his gums about writing fiction, it’s something which I haven't actually managed to do very much of in my life, much to my own regret. For something I genuinely enjoy doing, I have always had a hard time actually getting myself to do it. The critic's voice inside my own head can get very, very loud, and at the end of the day I usually find it's easier to shut that jerk up by just putting down the pen than by telling him to go stuff it. He is a genuine, class-A troll, and he knows exactly what to say and exactly where to poke in order to have maximum effect.

Left to my own devices, I have always been better at finding excuses not to create things than at creating them. For example, I wanted to take creative writing when I was in college, but I had a hard time summoning up the guts to do so. What if I couldn't cut it? What if it wasn't for me? The syllabus said that spots were limited and were primarily reserved for underclassmen in the creative writing program, so it probably didn't make any sense for someone majoring in a social science to apply anyway.

Finally, in my senior year, I got up the courage to just sign up for the class. What was the worst that could happen? Well, the course was full, and I started the term on the wait list. But, after a couple weeks, someone dropped the class and a spot opened-up, and this clown here had to find the English department building on the campus map so that he could show up and try to learn a little bit about writing.

Things went surprisingly well. I was enjoying the experience. The internal critic started to sound a little tongue-tied at times. I decided to sign-up for another class the next term, and I got in. I felt like I had broken through a barrier.

And then I got sick.

I woke up one morning, and I felt like someone had stuffed the inside of my head with cotton wool. I felt like I couldn't think straight. I felt like I would fall over whenever I stood up. I waited for it to go away, but it didn’t. So I went to a doctor, who sent me to a neurologist, who sent me to a counselor.

At the end of the day, the best diagnosis anyone could come up with was that this was the long-term consequence of binging for years on a nasty cocktail of not enough sleep and too much stress. I had just worked my brain into a bad place, and it needed time to heal. I had to simplify my life, and I had to slow myself down.

One of the things that meant was that I had to drop a class. I didn't have enough mental stamina to take a full course load. I only had one class which I was in which I didn't need to be taking for my major or minor, or in preparation for grad school.

So I dropped creative writing. And I kind of felt like a door had closed on that part of my life. I'm not saying that made sense, but it was the way I felt at the time.

Over time, I started to feel better. I graduated. I went to grad school. I married Mrs. OL, who just happens to be the most wonderful person it has ever been my pleasure to meet. We got jobs. We settled-down. We started to build lives.

And I didn't really do any writing. I tried from time to time. The hard drive on my laptop is full of abortive efforts to get words onto the page. I scrubbed out of NaNoWriMo three years straight. "Do some writing" was a perennial inclusion on my lists of New Year’s resolutions, and it was always back on the list again next year, sandwiched in self-improvement purgatory right between "lose weight" and "go to the gym."

It was just too easy to not do it. I was busy. I had work. Mrs. OL had work. There was always something which needed doing. It felt like we barely had any free time for ourselves as it was. I couldn't seem to justify squirreling myself away with the computer and banging the keys to grind out the first chapter of a crime novel which I knew I wouldn’t finish.

I needed a kick in the butt.

Then I stumbled across the M:EM, and that was a kick in the butt.

This was something which looked like fun. This was something I wanted to try to do. And I gave myself an ultimatum: write a story. It doesn’t have to be good. No one has to like it. Just write it, and post it, and prove to yourself that you can do it. No excuses this time.

And here’s the funny thing – I did it.

And I don’t know how many thousands of words ago that was. But I know it was a lot. And since then I’ve been writing, and enjoying doing it, and my life is better and more interesting and more fun as a consequence. All of which I essentially owe to the people in this community. Not just because you give great feedback – although you do. Not just because I love seeing what you all create – although I do. But because, by virtue of who you are, and what you’ve done, you created something which can be so much fun that it seemed harder not to be a part of it than to be a part of it.

And that’s the real magic here, if you’ll excuse the pun. I feel like I get more out of the M:EM than I put in to it. And I just really, really hope that other people feel the same way, and that this is something which people want to do because it’s fun, and because it makes everyone’s life just a little bit richer.

We’re all busy people, and we all have a lot going on in our lives, and we don’t always have the time to devote to things that we wish we did. And so I will never expect or want anyone to put time into the M:EM if life isn’t affording them that time. Life has to come first. I learned that lesson the hard way.

But what I would hate is for anyone to not participate because they feel like it isn’t fun for them, like what they get out of it isn’t worth what they put in, or like this is something that they don’t want to be a part of.

And so I guess this is my extraordinarily long-winded and roundabout way of saying that, if people aren’t participating for those reasons, I’d love to hear about it, because I’d like to see what if anything I can do to change the equation to make sure that this is a fun, rewarding use of people’s time. Because if there’s something to be done, I want to do it, or to at least try.

Anyway, that’s my two cents, inflated to about a buck-o-five thanks to runaway verbosity.

...

Reader’s digest version for anyone who just scrolled down here from the top: You’re all super. Thanks for being super. I hope you keep on being your super selves, and that here is where you want to do some of that keeping on.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:43 pm 
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:thumbsup:


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:06 pm 
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That was beautiful.
Image

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The King of the Warm Fuzzies
Feel the Warm Fuzzies!


Quoth the Raven, for truth.
Know your roots.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:51 pm 
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I got to the end of my submission for one of the Flavor of the Week prompts, using Final Fortune, and realize the story would work better as a non-MtG piece. That's how I feel about a lot of the synopses and edits I've got saved for my MtG fanfiction. I think my detachment from MtG canon has to do with the direction it's gone. I loved the Kamigawa novels, theorizing about O-Kagachi's identity and how Toshi was related to Tetsuo. The books were pretty good too. Around Alara I started wondering why Bolas wanted to regain the old Spark and how it related to Tezzeret's skills as an artificer. Then came Wintermute's additions to the novel line. I think this is where I stopped caring about canon, continuity and decided to do my own thing. I was/am also more into competitive play than during Kamigawa, and wanted to build characters and organizations around those archetypes (never mind planar restrictions/timeline problems).

Good luck with the EM, Barinellos.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:26 pm 
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Oh, yeah, I kind of totally got carried away by OL's post and forgot to comment on the coup.

As a suggestion, we could always implement some sort of caged death-match for whenever a new M:EMperor needs to be crowned. We could line up the M:EMbers in a line and you each take turns choosing who you want to be in your armies, until you each have three lieutenants* (or alternatively, you could hold sign-ups). Spectators can throw their vote in, so that each day the most popular lieutenants/emperor gains a life point and the least popular loses a life point. Meanwhile, each competing army (or M:EMilitary) will get to attack or reinforce, with bonuses and special abilities depending on who is playing.

For instance, Raven could get: Raven's Rhymes: if a move by RavenoftheBlack should make his life total equal to an enemy's life total, he may make an additional attack; if a move by RavenoftheBlack should make his life total equal to an ally's life total, he may make an additional reinforcement.

And Barinellos could get: Glimpse the Elder God: If an enemy launches an attack directly against Barinellos, that enemy loses 1 life.

*Alternative names: M:EMajor, M:EMarshal


EDIT: now I'm legitimately wanting to design a voting game to choose the next M:EMperor...

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Bow before my King!
The King of the Warm Fuzzies
Feel the Warm Fuzzies!


Quoth the Raven, for truth.
Know your roots.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:10 pm 
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I know Yxoque's been pretty busy but I'm surprised he hasn't commented yet, and I want to make sure he has no reservations about the changeover before we go ahead with this.

Also, what's your plan for the project moving forward, Barinellos? Things have been largely functioning independently I think, so I'm wondering what a changeover in power will actually do from a practical standpoint.

Not a challenge, just a couple things that I think are worth resolving before we dive in with this.

OL, it's really gratifying to hear that this project has meant so much to you. It makes me really feel like launching this whole thing was worthwhile. I really, really hope that we can reach out to some other people the same way.

I know I've been caught up with a mix of overwork and frustration with some of the people on the FA&S board, so that's driven my absence. And juggling other writing projects (StIT most notably, of course) means that I have less brainpower to spend on this. But that happens periodically anyway. I'm not sure why people drop completely off the face of the earth.

Speaking of which: where the heck has Ruwin been?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:42 pm 
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OL, it's really gratifying to hear that this project has meant so much to you. It makes me really feel like launching this whole thing was worthwhile. I really, really hope that we can reach out to some other people the same way.


Likewise.

I can always try wearing a sandwich board on the subway with the URL on it, but I'm afraid that might just get us confused with the other sandwich board guy on the subway. The one who's always handing out doomsday tracts.

I'm guessing someone else will have a better idea.

Quote:
Speaking of which: where the heck has Ruwin been?


Last I'd heard, he was also working on the Real Life. And not the MTV show.

Although, I guess I don't know that for a fact. Ruwin could potentially be on The Real Life.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:18 pm 
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Yo.

Ok, so I guess I'm done lurking now. For anyone interested, I'll explain my absence briefly in the below spoiler.

Spoiler


As for the position of M:EMperor: I can't say that the person in this position effects me very much. Barinellos, Yxoque, and Keeper are all great influences on the M:EM, and their input is valued by me regardless of whether or not they are the M:EMperor. All I know is that I don't plan on putting my name up for the position. >.>

I would play that voting game, though...

@OL: You're adorable. :D I'm glad you like this place - and the people - because I couldn't have said how I feel about the M:EM better myself. Thanks.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:35 pm 
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Keeper and Ruwin both back? This is a good sign of things to come...

I may just have to make that announcement I teased some time back...


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:45 pm 
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Also, what's your plan for the project moving forward, Barinellos? Things have been largely functioning independently I think, so I'm wondering what a changeover in power will actually do from a practical standpoint.

Mostly I've been managing and coordinating people's projects, making sure things are staying on track and offering suggestions if they get in a pickle. More than anyone, I've been helping OL get a larger idea of what he's working towards and helping him dive a little into the archives.

The thing is, I've been doing this anyways, and it seems like something the M:EMperor should do to facilitate people's creativity.

Also, HOW'S THAT SEDRIS PROJECT KEEPER?
Nah, but seriously, launch the Jakkard document my way and I'll see what I can do with what's there. We should also continue talking about what to do. I have a few ideas that'll help resonance with what I hope won't tread too close.

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At twilight's end, the shadow's crossed / a new world birthed, the elder lost.
Yet on the morn we wake to find / that mem'ry left so far behind.
To deafened ears we ask, unseen / "Which is life and which the dream?"


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:04 pm 
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Every time you remind me about Sedris Grixis I feel like bellowing an oath and jumping through a window and just bolting.

Oh, wait, hold on, I have a gif for that.

Image

I've been thinking over the stuff you were talking about the other day and I'll try to get back to you on that soon. It's a lot to wade through because I've basically been going through and disrupting the typical binaries of the genre in a lot of ways with some weird results and as a result I've kinda lost track of what information a casual reader needs to know, if that makes sense.

And yeah, I keep forgetting that you've been working with a whole bunch of people behind the scenes.

@Ruwin:

Welcome back, man :D Good to see you around.

I did a full body wince when I got to the bit about your ex. :( That's brutal, man.

And yes. The longer the gigapause lasts the more likely the end is to basically wreck us all. It's terrifying. It's like sleeping with a slowly overpressurizing boiler... @_@

@Raven:

Doo iiiit


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:19 pm 
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Every time you remind me about Sedris Grixis I feel like bellowing an oath and jumping through a window and just bolting.

Oh, wait, hold on, I have a gif for that.

Image
I could watch this for hours.
Which actually reminds me of this:



Quote:
I've been thinking over the stuff you were talking about the other day and I'll try to get back to you on that soon. It's a lot to wade through because I've basically been going through and disrupting the typical binaries of the genre in a lot of ways with some weird results and as a result I've kinda lost track of what information a casual reader needs to know, if that makes sense.

Well, as always, I'm here.
Also I just threw something at the wall that'll either help or make your life miserable.

Quote:
And yeah, I keep forgetting that you've been working with a whole bunch of people behind the scenes.
I am the puppetmaster... :incognito:

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At twilight's end, the shadow's crossed / a new world birthed, the elder lost.
Yet on the morn we wake to find / that mem'ry left so far behind.
To deafened ears we ask, unseen / "Which is life and which the dream?"


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:34 pm 
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@OL: You're adorable. :D I'm glad you like this place - and the people - because I couldn't have said how I feel about the M:EM better myself. Thanks.


Ruwin, I'd offer you an internet hug, if it weren't for that pesky court order.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 4:52 pm 
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Barinellos, if I support you as M:EMperor, can I count on you to support me for AF&S President (AF&Sident?)? Or at least help me crush Theamazingcat? I don't really need to win that thing. I just want to make that monster lose.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:16 am 
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@Keeper: Eh, she's a nice girl and deserves to be happy. I'm not super broken up about it any more - we talked it out anyway and ended up on good terms. It was just difficult at the time. I do, however, appreciate the empathy. :)

As for the gigapause, I wish there was a projected date so I could take work off and sequester myself in my room for a week, laughing. And crying. Definitely crying. I'm so scared. T_T

@OL: NO COURT CAN TELL ME WHAT TO DO!! ***AGRESSIVELY HUGS EVERYONE OVER THE INTERNET***

***POLICE SIRENS IN THE DISTANCE***

OH ****!

@Aaarrrgh: Uh... What... exactly has been going on in AF&S? I'm doubting that I want to look into it...

It occurs to me that this is probably not the right thread for my ramblings, so I'm going to quit while I'm behind.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:29 am 
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It occurs to me that this is probably not the right thread for my ramblings, so I'm going to quit while I'm behind.

I'LL ALLOW IT.
... what? All this authority has to be wielded hideously irresponsibly at some point.
SHUT UP! OFF WITH HIS HEAD. I WILL DRINK FROM YOUR SKULLS AND BE SAD BECAUSE ALL THE LIQUID RAN OUT YOUR EYE SOCKETS!



.... I'm just... just so damn thirsty....

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At twilight's end, the shadow's crossed / a new world birthed, the elder lost.
Yet on the morn we wake to find / that mem'ry left so far behind.
To deafened ears we ask, unseen / "Which is life and which the dream?"


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:02 am 
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As for me, I'd be the new kid on the block here, whose already not making a good impression....
Then again, too many people won't read my story just because it has furries in it...(Not here but...)

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:09 am 
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@OL: NO COURT CAN TELL ME WHAT TO DO!! ***AGRESSIVELY HUGS EVERYONE OVER THE INTERNET***

***POLICE SIRENS IN THE DISTANCE***

OH ****!


Welcome to life on the run! It's not really as bad as you'd think.

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