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Green Room - Break Week - Day 4

When I got divorced, Christmas was horrible.

Being alone in general sucked, but the holidays were the among the toughest times in the year.

So, for the first couple years I did something special for myself.

Something that most people were cool about - but people who didn't have anything to do with it, other than see my posts - got riled up about.

I would put aside a little bit of money during the last couple months of the year and around the holidays, I would give that money to my Mom, along with a long list of things that I wanted. The list would be longer than could be purchased with that money. As it happened, I ended up with plans on Christmas Eve, so my Mom came over and put them under the tree.

It amused my Mom to "be playing Santa" and I had something to look forward to when I woke up on Christmas morning.

It didn't harm anyone and it amused the people directly involved.

Oh, but there were opinions about it - anywhere from "you shouldn't be spending money on yourself" to "you're an adult - suck it up!"

People always have an opinion to offer, when it doesn't impact their own lives. When it does - they often have excuses on why *their* decision to do things *isn't the same* as the people they were complaining about.

I'm not posting this to have people weigh in on if it was a good thing or not. It was. For those first couple years, that made a huge difference. The reason this came to mind is that I know there are people out there reading this who DON'T have family during this Christmas, or even ones who do, but are still feeling completely alone.

I know this because I've been there.

I'm lucky that I'm not there right now. Believe me, a few different decisions at crucial points a few years ago, and I would have been. I'm aware enough to know that.

So here's something I want you to know - DO WHATEVER YOU NEED TO DO to get you through the holidays. *As long as it doesn't negatively impact someone else directly involved*. (have to put that in there, just in case. :D)

Don't let the "Well *I* wouldn't do that..." chorus make you as unhappy as they are. Find that bit of happiness and wonder - embrace it as long and hard as you need it. (But also be aware enough to know when you no longer do, especially if it ends up being more of a crutch. You'll know when it's time).

I would wish you "joy and happiness" during this holiday season - but instead I will wish you fear and torment knowing that this break will come to an end and you will be plunged into the fray once again!!


Here are your Free Topics:
And here is a cut-and-paste of the t-shirt and Gift Shop information: (only needs one more shirt sold to make goal!)
and the second run: of a white lettering variant.

Or check out our Gift Shop:

Free Topics- Break Week

"Free topics" are non-mandatory prompts that I put out during breaks.

You don't *have* to submit anything - but if you want to, you can.

ANYONE can post their links here. The only real deadline is "How long will people be coming back to this post to read!" ;)

So here are some Free Topics!

Reindeer Games
8 Crazy Nights

Have fun!

Green Room - Break Week - Day 1

All the news you need to know:

We had people who were voted out of the game:

and an old friend of Idol passing away:

We also had someone who is celebrating their 100th Week:

One of those things is clearly *not* like the others. Our hearts go out to the friends and family of erica_crawford


The other thing you need to know is that if my FIOS (internet *and* cable) had to go out, this was a good time for it - because I had said that last week was the "final vote of 2014" and I meant it.

Happy Holidays everyone!

There will still be Green Rooms - and I'll probably be posting some "Free Topics" to keep you occupied. But Topic 32 will NOT be posted until Jan 1st.

I know this will mess with some people's momentum. Which should make it even more interesting to see people downshift, only to have to get back into gear in a hurry! :)

When we come back, you will be going headlong to the finale. So make sure to rest up!


For those still looking for gift ideas: (only needs one more shirt sold to make goal!)
and the second run: of a white lettering variant.

Or check out our Gift Shop:

100 Weeks

Getting to 100 Weeks in LJ Idol isn't easy.

Doing it while being completely awesome is even more difficult.

This guy has managed to do both of those things.

The one thing that sticks out in my head is back in Season 6 a comparison was made by one of the other contestants: That most of the writing in Idol was "told in the feminine voice" but this guy was the "definitive masculine voice of Idol".

It's been a few years, and other guys have definitely added their own voices to the mix. But I think there's still some truth to that.

Welcome to the 100 Weeks Club alexpgp!!


Our Friend Erica_Crawford

When I said that I had "special announcements" to make today, this one wasn't even on my radar.

But when I got up I received an email telling me the news.

There are so many contestants who come in and out of this place every season - and you get to know some of them, and with others you have pleasant interactions but never really get the chance to become friends.

That's what it was like for me and erica_crawford (aka meirion) I would enjoy entries and whenever she would post in the Green Room. But we never really talked outside of that.

Which is a shame.

For those who don't know, she passed away on the 17th.

She will most definitely be missed.


Please no one else die out there. OK? Not to make this tragedy "all about me" - but I'll do it anyway - I've really had enough of it.

Results – Week 31

The dates results blindsided me almost as badly as my Internet provider did! Apparently, they cannot fix it remotely and need to send out a technician. Which means nothing can be done until Tuesday!

So I am using my phone. Which means I will be brief, and give you the topic information tomorrow, as well as a couple special announcements!

The only announcements I have now all about immunity and elimination. So, a little good and a little bad news.

The good news first - The jury gives immunity to halfshellvenus!

The killing floor he gives immunity to swirlsofblue

Congratulations to you both!

However that does have repercussions in the poll, and it means we are saying goodbye to

the_lettersea and tsuki_no_bara.

Those are difficult losses to take, but aren't they all?

They will become a part of the jury, responsible for giving immunity in future weeks, And I hope we will see them in the home game!

Thank you for helping make this season awesome!

Green Room - Week 31 - Day 7

There is a poll that closes tonight:
There is a Killing Floor/Home Game that is going on, where people who are contributing are going to be able to give someone immunity!

There is also the Jury who will be able to give someone else immunity!

With the votes as close as they are currently, and have been for the duration of the poll - I think it's safe to say that *no one* should be feeling entirely comfortable right now!

If you want to make the case for why your favorites should stick around - and what is so awesome about what they did this week, this would be a good time to do it!


There is also something on my mind today, and it's about the Topics from the season.

I honestly can't recall if I did end up explaining them or kicking the can until the end of the season. But I was just looking at the list this morning and thought "You know - I should probably talk a little more about that". :)

During the last part of Season 8 and through the Exhibits, I was watching the "Idol Friends" feed. Which contains everyone who has LJ Idol on their friends list and their public posts. (Unless I personally am friends with you) I usually check it out, just to see what is going on.

The question of "Where did some of these weird ass/stupid/horrible/insert negative word here topics come from?" They came from *things Idol contestants and followers were TALKING ABOUT during that time period.* Things that I thought "Hmmm - that's interesting." or "I can relate that to *my own experience* through the duration of Idol."

So yeah, the topics this season have been extremely personal. Not just MY journey throughout the years being reflected, but literally taken directly *from you*!

Which is part of what was so frustrating about the response to them. You were talking about each other! (as well as, again, my reflections of my own journey)

The Muppet Show is a collection of diverse and completely wacky characters - all doing their own thing - coming together under the direction of one determined and often stressed out frog who just wants to put on a good show. Which definitely has a connection to what goes on here at Idol! Which Muppet are you?

Green Room - Week 31 - Day 6

Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate it. Even to those who don't celebrate it.

My main criteria for a holiday is "Does anyone give me presents?" Since I have not yet received any for Hanukkah, I am doubting that it exists. However, there are still more nights for me to be proven wrong!

(Note: It's the same reason why "Your Birthday" doesn't really register to me. As far as I know, fourzoas is the only one with a real one)

There was a comment tucked into the space of the sparsely commented Green Room from yesterday. One that I thought merited more attention, so I'm grabbing it and putting it right here in front of you! Of course, you could very well ignore it again. ;)

The parts in quotes are the original statement. The rest is me adding my own charming commentary. Which is both charming and commentary.

"I think this season, maybe more than others, has a lot of Identity stuff going on."

I definitely agree with this statement.

"What is LJ Idol when LJ is allegedly "dying"?"

It still very much has a place in LJ, and in writing communities in general. I think we are still are doing some cool things, even if it's on a platform that doesn't have the attention that it had when we started.

"What does it mean for LJI to be cross-platform, on twitter, facebook, and ello and all that?"

My take (and plan) for posting cross-platform is the same as it was on Day 1 in Idol when I decided that people would post *links to their posts* on the Idol site rather than their actual stories. Several people (including my assistant at the time) argued that they should be posted here, and that the community should be entirely self-contained.

I maintained "it's THEIR stories, they need to be posted *in their space*". It's the same reason I set things up to have open voting, with people encouraging their friends to show up to Idol to vote.

I put up a topic and then send you out to your space. You post it there and gather attention for it... then you bring that back into Idol for voting... the voters then go out from this center hub to *other people's posts*... and the cycle continues. It's all about creating word of mouth and new blood into the system, so it's not just the same people sitting around reading the same old things.

That's how I look at cross-promotion with other platforms.

I *hated* it when LJ introduced it. So anyone saying "YOU ALLOW IT!". I didn't have a choice. It is literally "LJ is doing this. You adapt or you throw up your hands saying OMG IT'S NOT THE SAME!!!" and pull the plug.

But as time has gone on, I've slowly been figuring out ways to use it. My intent is to throw it out there in these various places and bring back new readers/writers. People who may have forgotten about LJ, or never heard of it. People who thought "that's dead" can see "wow, there's something cool going on over there".

Throw out the net, and bring them all back into LJ... hopefully encouraging them to set up accounts in the process. (I don't* require it, because again, that would mean me saying "Yeah, those 3 votes don't count... sorry person who was eliminated by 2 votes. Take my word for it, those were from Twitter")

That's why I did the interviews and have been trying to get the word out about Idol - to bring more people into the fold. Which, hopefully, gets more people to read your entries! :)

"Who is it "for"?"

LJ IDOL has been "for" the same thing from Day 1 until this very moment - to amuse me. :)

It started because I wanted to have some fun with friends. It's continued because it was a way to make new friends and have some fun with them.

You, as writers and readers, *get something out of it* as well. Which is awesome - it's designed to be that way *because I want you to keep coming back*!

(So anyone who says "Gary will understand why I want to work on such-and-such instead of play Idol this season". On some levels - sure. On other levels - I want all my friends to come over to my house and play in this sandbox! Why wouldn't I???)

"What comes next, for any of us, including you? These are all things we've been asking - quietly or loudly or muttering continually under our collective breaths - all season, trying to figure it out."

Which probably hasn't been helped by the fact that *I* don't know either! :)

I made the "Season 9 will be the final season, unless something unexpected happens" back when - honestly - I was feeling like "maybe I won't be around that long". It was a goal, a commitment at a time when every season had a huge "Maybe I'll come back and do this again - and maybe I won't."

I wanted to lock it down. Set it in stone. There WOULD be a Season 9. After that was entirely up to "unless something unexpected happens".

Along the way, several unexpected things *have* happened. Both good and bad. What that means for the long term Idol - I have no idea.

Here's what I *can* tell you: I have a project that I want to run after this season ends. I keep calling it my "special project" but I've told a few people about it off-Idol, it was my last email conversation with Nathalie actually) so I might as well say it "out loud":

It's a couple week "Idol Jr" - for kids. There were a couple kids participating this season, and in the past. My own bonus-daughter-to-be *wants* to play Idol. But there's no way I'd throw her into the shark tank! But maybe a thing with prompts and voting (but no eliminations) with kid-friendly topics might be fun.

*shrug* That's the plan anyway. We will see if there is any response to it.

After that, I want to run a mini-season in the late Spring.

No guarantees after that. BUT it will put us awfully close to our 10th anniversary. That's really tempting. If there was going to be a full Season 10... it would certainly fit, wouldn't it?

So there you go - *most* of my thoughts on the subject of "what's next?"

All of this, of course, is entirely dependent on my friends showing up to play in the sandbox - and bringing *their* friends with them! So I hope that you will!

"And as we're all part of this collective community, that also means figuring ourselves out, and this space out. "

Which has been a conversation that's been going on from the very first moment I posted in here, and continues to evolve with each new group making their contributions to the dialogue.

We have a Vote going on:
We have a Killing Floor/Home Game happening:

and because no post would be complete without it - there is only ONE shirt to sell with the original design before the first run of Idol t-shirts can happen: I'm debating if I should leave them open, or close them (thus giving the order to print early and making them a Limited run) and just sell the alternates for a bit.

Green Room - Week 31 - Day 5

I just received a phone call from Adnan Syed letting me know that he had absolutely nothing to do with this week's poll:

I'm not sure what to think though, so I will be exploring this in a 12 part podcast.

In the meantime, make sure you check out that link so that you can weigh the evidence for yourself!

Or take part in the Killing Floor/Home Game and help protect the innocent!


Who is innocent in YOUR life? Who is most definitely guilty?

Vote - Week 31

A few words from clauderainsrm:

The Moon Bears have been busy this week.

Our contestants have gone through the gauntlet, taking a critical hit to their numbers. Now that they are on the other side though, with the finish line in sight - it turns out the Moon Bears were waiting for them on the other side.

They mauled crackpotpie and took what was left of her body to their secret base inside the nostril of the Sphinx. (although no one knows for sure if it’s at the real one or the one at Vegas that is controlled by the reanimated Elvis)

Because of this, she is no longer with us. But if she ever escapes, I hope that she will find her way to the Home Game and to enjoy being part of the Jury!

Soon the Moon Bears may come for us all. Well, all of you at least.

One of you may be lucky enough to get away though. It’s just a matter of figuring out which one!

The past couple of weeks have had twists on who can vote.

This week does not.

It’s an Open Poll - so anyone with an account is allowed to cast a vote - so I hope you encourage people to check out what is going on here! There aren’t many folks left, so people definitely “have the time” to read them all - and it’s guaranteed that it will be worth their time, because everyone is pretty damn awesome!

The only twists come in the form of the Jury, who will be giving one person immunity this week. Also those participating in the Home Game/Killing Floor who will be doing the same!

That could end up altering the results quite a bit!

We will be losing the bottom two this week.

So get out there - Read, Comment and Vote for your favorites!

The poll closes Thursday, Dec 18th at 9pm EST

Good luck to you all!

Click here to Vote!Collapse )


season 9
LJ Idol: a writing rollercoaster with iffy brakes

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