Random Act of Cuteness

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Closed Circle Errata

Please GO HERE to report typos or other problems in Closed Circle files.

New Book!

NW: Homecoming Games

First Draft

70,500 of 150,000 Words (47%) complete

Battle of the Bulge

One day at a time

30 of 60 pounds (50%) complete

New Book on Hold

BRM II

First Draft

3750 of 120000 words (3%) complete

Changing the way User Registration Works

Like CJC, I’m changing this to setting up an account personally. The spammers are just getting to be a pain in the pituzza. So…It’s gonna work like this. Send me an email at myfirstname@myfirstnamemylastname.com. Tell me in your own words that you’d like to comment/become a ‘NetWalker, send me the user name you’d like to use and I’ll set up an account and email you back with a temp password.  You can then login and comment to your heart’s content! :D And do a change password.

When I’ve settled down, I’ll write a post about the Olympics. :D Right now the way NBC butchered the Closing Ceremonies has me cleaning house like mad!

36 comments to Changing the way User Registration Works

  • Hanneke

    OT @BCS, I just sent you an email but I’m not sure I’ve got the right address. Would you please let me know if it arrives or not?

  • Hi, Hanneke. :) Yes, I just got the email, thanks. — I’ll try pinning the red hoodie. I might have some small safety pins or can get them. Sewing, though, is probably not too possible for me. (The last time I tried sewing on a button, I got too frustrated trying to thread the blankety-blank needle.) But yes, I can try that method and send it to you. (Hmm, I need chalk to mark cloth, lol.)

    I’ll look at things and post more by (or on) the next weekend. — Thank you.

    • Hanneke

      I’ll send you some straight pins and some needles you don’t have to thread in the next batch. They’ve got a sort of long thin U-shaped harpoon-end instead of an eye, and you just lay the thread across it and pull it in – the harpoon-bits stop the thread from pulling out again, and as they’re a bit sharp laying the thread across can be done by touch. Being able to attach a button is useful. ;)
      And straight pins are easier to put in without shifting the cloth than safety pins.
      I think that’ll bring it up to the best weight without waiting to add the clamdiggers – those can go in the next envelope with the brown trousers.

      • Hanneke

        @BCS, the package is in the mail.
        I still don’t know what to call them in English but I found a picture of the no-threading-required needles; I’ll try to put it in here:

        It’s not quite clear on the picture, but the top bit is open and has barbs pointing inwards. You can just lay the thread in the top notch and pull down, and it slides past the barbs into the hole, and doesn’t pull out past the barbs unless you really jank on it. As you shouldn’t do so anyway because of risking your thread breaking, that’s not so bad.
        Just don’t try pushing the needle through too many (>4) layers of cloth at once without a thimble, because the notch on the end will prick your fingers.
        As I’m starting to need reading glasses, I find I’m preferring either these or the embroidery needles with larger eyes and sharp points, to ordinary sewing needles.

        Sorry for talking so long about this, but as there are more doll ‘couturiers’ who visit here and I’d never heard of them before visiting a special shop full of aids for aging and handicapped people, I thought it might be useful for other people here. And now the local large cheap and cheerful store has started stocking them, so if you know what to look for, it should be possible to find !

  • Hanneke, thank you VERY much. Hmm, I’m not sure what you call those in English either, but they’re needles.

    That photo might make it into a story. Would you mind if I use it as an illustration, and is it yours or someone else’s photo?

    • Hanneke

      @BCS, it’s just a picture I found on the internet, not mine. It’s from Janny’s hobbylog (in Dutch)at http://janny.vermaat.name/log/, from February 2011. I haven’t got a place to put pictures on the web. I think just referring people to it as an illustration is allowed, but if you want to use it in a story you want to sell I guess you’d better ask permission – or take your own pictures when they arrive.

    • Hanneke

      @BCS again: Jim Hines is running a series of guest blog-posts about representation of minorities in speculative fiction, and I just found one about the way people in wheelchairs are often portrayed. As you said you were wanting to include a character with a wheelchair in your Toybox Tales, I thought you might be interested, and maybe others as well. It’s here, and in the comments there’s another link to a resource for writers who want to know more about this.

      Sorry everyone, for posting so much, and off-topic at that. I’ll try to be more quiet for a bit.

  • ready4more

    @Hanneke and BCS. The needles are called “self-threading.” A search of sewing needles on Amazon will bring up packs of 30 or so for about $5.00US. I use them myself.

  • getHanneke, that link, and the other guest blog posts connected with it, are terrific. I’ll check his blog, and possibly some of the guests, in future. And I like hearing from each of Jane’s blog visitors. I hope you won’t be too quiet.

    As a beginning fiction writer, I’m finding things like this difficult. I want to present balanced characters, but with real, understandable human problems and weaknesses and strengths. But if something’s perhaps close to me, such as a handicap, I feel a responsibility to get it right, to show others, whether handicapped or not, what it’s really like, a little unvarnished, but balanced.

    I got frustrated with one draft where it felt like the character, or the situation was too whiny, woe-is-me, and negative. It felt like that wasn’t giving the full picture: that although it can be hard at times, it is something that can be overcome, and most of the time, it’s more like background noise. It’s always there, but it can’t get in the way too much. Life has to be lived. You still have things you want to do, people you want to be with, all that. On the other hand, there are days (or hours) when things just really don’t go well and you don’t handle it well. (Everyone has things like that, too.) I feel a responsibility to get across the message that, hey, if you happen to be this way, or if someone you know is (whatever the issue may be) that you (or they) are still a worthwhile person and can still enjoy life and overcome the struggle. …And that those people who want to say no, to make people feel bad for who they are…really don’t get it and often aren’t worth the worry. (Easier said than done.) Or…that those people really need a wakeup call: surprise, these other people are real, they have problems and feelings, and making them feel bad, or making their lives harder / worse is not going to make you feel better. (Grumble, grumble.)

    But with that comes the need to present things accurately. — I found, when I tried a couple of times to write characters where I know the issues first hand (handicaps, for instance) that, hmm, I was having trouble capturing what it was like, without giving a distorted perspective. …Which means more practice writing is needed, to step back and approach it differently.

    Where it’s a controversial thing on which people may not agree (such as being gay) or where feelings can get very mixed up, or very intense, then there’s also the need to present it right, so (for example) someone who’s affected by that, that person or someone they know, gets again a fair picture, and isn’t scared off by the picture, the discussion.

    …This writing thing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It’s tough; there’s so much to learn, to get it right; a continual learning process.

    So — Those guest blog posts, or things where people are represented accurately in fiction, are really needed.

    • Writing is hard, plain and simple, esp if you care. The whine-factor is one of the hardest to control. Humor is your friend. Not slapstick…altho that can come in, esp when dealing with mechanical devices and limited reach. Another trick is making the character whump him/herself upside the head occasionally and saying “get over it.” Or having another character whump them. The idea is to avoid wallowing. People in rough situations have a right to feel sorry for themselves. It’s how they conquer that situation and mindset that’s important. Remember, lead your readers into a dark place, and you must lead them out again with believable options.

  • Teegan

    I’m finally able to log in and comment on Jane’s page too! The new registration method has worked well for me; I could never create an account before on this site even though I’ve been on WWAS for a long time.

    • Yippee! You should be able to post freely now. First one had to be approved, tho I think I can now take that step out. Ooo…I wish someone would invent an effective spam-zapper that would put these jerks outta business for good and all. Sorry about the problems with registration. Sigh…

      Welcome to the ‘Walkers!

  • ready4more

    @Hanneke and BCS, Of coarse I can’t find the pack I originally quoted. Here is an equivalent pack of 48 in varied sizes “http://www.amazon.com/Self-Threading-Needles-Set-48/dp/B00FVAFS7O/ref=sr_1_36?ie=UTF8&qid=1393567299&sr=8-36&keywords=self-threading+sewing+needles” Price: $7.88 & FREE Shipping There are better quality needles but these are the most economical…

  • WOL

    Well, congratulate me, ya’ll. I’ll be moving in May. Just put the deposit down on a 2br 1.5b apartment that’s less than I pay now. I’m pretty chuffed. I will have an upstairs neighbor, which I don’t here, and won’t have covered parking which I do here. The ol’ brain is starting to hamster wheel. Garage sales and estate sales in my future, plus lots of packing.

    • Wheeee! Congrats and sympathy. Packing is never fun. If I were there, I’d come help. Hope the new place is just the ticket in every way!

    • Hanneke

      Congratulations, WOL! I hope your new neighbors are nice, or at the very least quiet. Pleasant neighbors that you can count on for assistance when it’s really needed make life so much easier.
      I assume 2br means 2 bedrooms, so you can have a separate workroom/guestroom, which is nice; but what is 1.5b?

      • WOL

        1.5 b is a 3-piece bath (sink, toilet, tub/shower) and a 2 piece, or half, bath which is en suite to the br I’m going to actually use as a br. The other br will be my awffice.

        • Oh…for that 0.5. We have version 1.0. Sigh. Maybe after the fence and the floor we can find a way to put a 0.5 in the basement. We sure need it.

          Or maybe they’ll make a movie of something and we can put a little addition on the house! With a hottub! Now we’re talkin’!

          As for guests: that’s why god invented Aerobeds! :D (I fear there’s a part of me that never escaped the student concrete blocks and boards bookcase mentality.

  • ready4more

    1.5b is one full bath (with tub/shower, sink and accommodation) and another half bath (accommodation and sink). It truly is an art to read the shorthand of real estate such as all mod cons (all modern conveniences-dishwasher, oven and stovetop, possibly refrigerator, garbage disposer, hook-up for washer/dryer, and usually hookups for cable, phone, and internet). And then there are the euphemisms — fixer-upper (really poor condition, would not pass building code if it has to meet the latest requirements), gem-in-the-rough (slightly better than fixer-upper), cute (tiny), ranch (single-story). etc.

  • kokipy

    My luck with self threading needles has been mixed. sometimes that threading thing breaks the thread and sometimes it doesn’t hold. but you can also get a needle threader, which is a dime sized disc of tin or something into one edge of which is attached a double strand of wire, closed on the outer end and pointed there so as to go through the needle’s eye. you put the thread through the wire thingie and put that through the needle eye, and hey presto.

  • ready4more

    Kokipy-nadi, I think the problem with needle threaders is that you still need to get the threader through the needle’s eye in order to pull the thread through. BCS was complaining about not being able to see through the eye. I agree that the self-threading needles don’t always work well, but they are much better than the alternative of having someone else do all the minor repairs for one.

  • Something like that, yes. It’s exceedingly difficult for me to see the thread, the eye of the needle, and hold both long enough to get a needle threaded. So it’s more luck than skill. This has to do both with focal distance and acuity, and probably a little to do with depth perception. Before about 2004, I could do halfway OK with it. After then, when my vision had changed, wow, so frustrating. (I’ve always been legally blind, low vision.)

    I’ve also always been stubborn and wanted to do for myself. :D — I try to keep positive about my handicap, and I’d like to think I’m as well adjusted about it as I can be. … But there are certain things that are a real PITA about it, and certain kinds of work with small or distant parts are doable and some aren’t.

    BUT — Folks, I have never minded honest interest, helpfulness, and curiosity. I don’t mind honest questions from people trying to understand and learn, for instance. (That was one of the points in the guest blog post Hanneke linked to.) — In other words, I appreciate the help, the suggestions, and the time taken, the thoughtfulness. Very much so.

  • My #3 brother is my hero. He’s got cerebral palsy and I’ve never once heard him complain. He’s a pilot, an architect, a marketing-person by training, the one who taught me to drive stick shift, to think Philosophy, and to understand engines and complex video systems. He played a big part in shaping who I am and I love him dearly…as I do all my sibs. I’m very lucky in that department.

  • I’ve known (an acquaintance) at least one guy with CP. As a boy and younger teen, his motor abilities, speech, and sight were strongly affected. During his later teens, he “outgrew” (or out-therapied or out-adapted) a lot of that, so that as a young adult, it would be much harder for anyone first meeting him to notice his CP; still there, of course.

    —–

    The guest blog series on Jim C. Hines’ blog, that Hanneke linked to, are in process toward a (brief?) anthology ebook.

    After reading several of these, I know I’ll get the ebook and I’ll be following his blog.

    These have spurred me into thinking more about how to represent people in fiction, and the value of showing them.

    It’s also led me to sit back and think how I’d do that, for physical abilities, and in a way that is both realistic and shows how someone gets into and out of a problem, as well as something about daily life.

    The blog posts and the comments have me thinking about the issue and how to show it, whether it’s someone “differently abled” or sexual orientation and gender, or racial/cultural representation…any number of things. Good story material, and lots of challenges for a newbie fic writer.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that, much as I want to jump in and write, I need to step back and outline more. That, and I have more characters and ideas running around in my head than I can put down in notes…but not enough full plots for ‘em to do things with. (Also, pretty sure several are avatars of a smaller set of characters or archetypes.) … In other words, I’m still wandering around in the dungeon trying to figure out what’s going on and who’s in the adventure party for any given story. (Not that I have a D&D-type story running around in there, but still.)

    (Whoa! Massive thunderclap. Guess I’m switching off the desktop for the night. Storm’s brewing.)

    • Hanneke

      If you’re thinking about ways to tackle the things you keep running into with your writing, you might also like Wrede on Writing, the blog of Patricia C. Wrede.
      She posts twice a week, almost always about some aspect of writing. I have no ambition to write, but I like reading her posts; she’s very much of the opinion that there is no ‘one true way’ and that each writer develops their own process that works best for them, but she does give a lot of different examples of things one can try when struggling with some aspect of writing good stories or being a writer.

      I have a blind spot about the size of my head, that anything I know or can do is something absolutely ordinary that everyone knows and can do (and anything someone else can and does that I can’t is *incredibly* clever and worthy of much admiration), so I never considered people might not know about Jim Hines’ and Patricia Wrede’s blogs, and what they are mostly about.
      Having just bumped my nose on that preconception, I’m offering the link to any aspiring writers here who didn’t know her already. These are not blogs like Jane’s and CJ’s, nice places to hang out with friends and chat about whatever strikes our (host’s) fancy, but more of a twice-weekly formal ‘column’ devoted to a few subjects dear to their author’s hearts. So it’s no competition with the pleasant safe space Jane offers us here, but might be a useful addition for some.

      • Sigh…you have no idea the number of unwritten posts about writing that I think of and never get done. It is something I WANT to do….

        But I’m also glad people like the “hanging out” part. It’s what I like best.

        • Hanneke

          Well, there are only so many hours in a week, and on balance, I’m glad you’re getting ahead with the stories you want to tell, rather than spending more of your getting words down and crafting good text time and energy on more blog posts, especially on a subject that several writers are already heavily investing in on their blogs.
          Not that what you could add to that wouldn’t be interesting, but that your books feel much more unique and lasting than blog posts, and I’m really looking forward to reading Homecoming Games!
          Somehow, the way you handle the blog at present feels much more relaxed than something like the formal columns of Wrede on Writing, and thus less as if it might take away from the same kind of energy needed for the serious business of writing the books.

        • chondrite

          One of our online friends referred to our ‘fleet’ as “The Comfy Couch – With Ice Cream Sandwiches”, when their own fleet’s political maneuvering and shibai got to be too messy. Jane, your blog is very much a ‘comfy couch’!

  • Othin

    Thank you Hanneke for linking that representation of minorities blog. It’s got a lot to think about. An eyeopener – in a lot of ways.

    And thank you also for Wredes blog, which seems more specialiezed.

    That is so much better than writing the outline of a tenderers offer (with lots of technical terminology still to learn) – just nice after a working day.

  • Oh, thank you, Hanneke. :) I’ll check that.

    BTW, no note yet from the post office about the package you’d sent, but it may take a while longer. I’ll be sure to say when it arrives.

    —–

    Over the years, when I’d had chances / urges to write, I had tried both outlining and simply writing without an outline. I had come to the conclusion that I’d start outlining, then I’d end up almost writing sections, rather than outlining. My results from just jumping in and writing seemed pretty good, so I’d defaulted to that.

    But now that I’ve been more steadily writing, and reaching some stopping point, putting one thing down and picking up another story idea to go with it a while, then discovering, hmm, there’s similarity in the archetypes going on there (eegad, what a run-on sentence this is) — I’ve come to the conclusion I ought to outline again and see if that helps.

    Meanwhile, world-building is going on as I write, and I have a better idea of backstory and some history and social elements. Great, but…I want to write story, more than a travel guide, lol.

    I *think* I’m making progress of a sort, but geez…this is an incredibly scattered, round-robin way to write anything, :laughs: ! … My writing muses / ee-vill plot bunnies have ADHD, even if the rest of me does not (afaik).

    —–

    Last night, I read a fine short story by David Gerrold, “Dancer in the Dark.” Allegorical, not Bradbury-like prose poetry, slightly gritty, and a worthwhile read. There are (at least) two main themes he’s talking about in the story. His own site is at http://www.gerrold.com/

    I also discovered his books, The World of Star Trek, and The Making of The Trouble With Tribbles, are (yay) at last available as ebooks. However, Stephen E. Whitfields, The Making of Star Trek, is still only available and out of print in paperback, no ebook edition still. — Those three Trek books were part of my early teen fan years and did a lot, besides reading books and watching shows, to fuel my ambition to write the stuff. :)

    • David Gerrold is totally cool in every way.

      Outlining is one of those tools that is vital to some people, anathema to others, and most writers I know find that they sometimes do and sometimes don’t. It can be everything from essentially a rough draft to just a couple of lines about the upcoming series of scenes.

      World building as you go along frequently becomes the writer writing to him/herself, i.e. the vast majority will ultimately be excised out in an edit, but it helps you understand and keep track of the world you’re walking through. Some is important, most isn’t. It’s one of the main sources of the “write garbage, edit brilliantly” adage. :D

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