I've started work on this past week's eliminations and sacrifices. But I wanted to post these (minus the one that I wrote for a certain someone who is now back *in* the game. They have to wait for that now.)
My apologies to the people who were waiting. I hope that everyone takes the time to make sure that you have said goodbye to these folks properly. Sooner or later, everyone will be leaving, except one (who leaves the regular game in a far more serious way actually. . .)
kenakeri - I loved your Sexual Ethics piece, the one that you were eliminated on. Then again, I personally relate to that subject matter, and your grandmother's take on it, so I'm extremely biased. I did think though that you continued to have solid pieces throughout the competition, and now into the Home Game.
Even your fiction has a very personal approach to it. There is a connection that reaches out from your words and takes hold on the reader, not just propelling them along with the story, but into it.
There is a real simplicity to the style itself that hides the layers from casual view. It is only when you get into it that you really have a full appreciation for what it is that you are doing.
Earlier in the competition I kept hearing your name brought up as someone who should have done a lot better than they were doing every week. I agree. Hopefully through the Home Game you will see a little more attention thrown your way.
thndrstd - After doing this 6 seasons now, one thing that always sticks out to me is that there are always people trying to be a little too clever. They get this idea that they are just a little better than they actually are, and ultimately it ends up hurting their writing in the long run.
By contrast, that is why people like yourself always end up being truly enjoyable to read, because the pretense isn't there. You manage to be clever without hitting anyone over the head with it and have this sense of conversational pacing to your entries that tends to draw people in, and makes them want to stay. It's a natural talent and I hope that you continue to develop it, because that is the true building block of anything worth reading.
kiwiria Bubbles! Sorry, this isn't the meme is it?
In looking back over entries from the past few weeks, I rediscovered your Moments of Devastating Beauty entry. With everything else going on - and with the Reprobate one the piece that I most often heard mentioned - that and Smile were two pieces that really struck me as showing what sort of emotional pull you were able to put into your words.
I really love that you were in Idol Musings, because it gave me the chance to rediscover your work. (So many user names, so many entries, I do read everything, but that doesn't mean that it always stays in my head. Having it in front of me, where I get to read for the sake of reading, rather than "who will be going home" that changes the experience entirely.)
You're not bad - for a foreigner. :p
plastrickland23 - I think you have come a long way from where you were this time last year. Not just placement wise, but writing as well. Heck, I think you improved since the end of last year. I've been going back and rereading some of my comments from the Christmas free topic commentaries, just to get a sense of what I have said to people already so I don't just end up completely babbling and repeating myself, and rereading that entry and then your Home Game for this week: http://plastrickland23.livejournal.com/491403.html I see definite process.
Granted, that Christmas one was on the choppy side so it's probably not exactly a fair measuring stick, but I think your pacing and overall presentation has improved quite a bit over the past few weeks/months from an overall standpoint. You've got a lot to be proud of, and I hope to see you get even further next time! :)
kandigurl - I remember that first post, the introduction, fairly clearly. After 14 weeks and hundreds of entries (and this being the 6th season of it) sometimes things get a little muddled. But I remember when I first clicked on the link and saw the video of you hula hooping. I wasn't sure what to think at first, and then I actually watched it. There is such joy in what you do.
Oddly enough one of the lines that really stuck in my head was part of your final official entry: "Make it permanent. Make it mean something. Make it last."
It's such a simple notion and you say it in a very straight forward way. There aren't any swoops or tricks in those words, and I think that is what stands out to me in your work in general. It's honest and sincere. That comes across, regardless of subject. Heck, you once mentioned liking Hanson and I just kind of nodded along and had to go back and realize that you got me to agree that someone could *like Hanson*. ;P
What you have is wonderful, raw, and above all, real. I hope you appreciate and cherish that. It's all too rare.
You missed the deadline for the run off and thus were eliminated. So I'm not sure if everyone got to actually *see* the entry that you ended up posting. Just in case they missed it: http://kandigurl.livejournal.com/535401.html
malruniel11 - The entry that popped immediately to mind from you was Zuppa Toscana.
It's kind of weird for me, because looking back over stuff that was the one that I kept coming back and rereading. Maybe I'm hungry.;)
I don't know what it is, especially when you consider that most of it is actually a recipe! Which I'm sure turned some people off. I hope they go back and take another look at it though.
The key for me was in the line that cooking was a way you showed your love. The act of creating something for the people that you love, it's giving of yourself.
The fact that you shared that as an entry, so that anyone could come along and experience it for themselves, that they could make it for the people that *they* love. . . I think that was a tremendous gift to us all that I think too often could be simplified as "a recipe post". There was a lot more going on there. I think that's true of much of your work.
It's still very much developing in parts, but I think the ingredients are there. I'm looking forward to seeing what you make with them.
(complete aside, but send a link to your jewelry site to www.ljidol.info, there's a "Friends of Idol" section for stuff like that. I didn't even know that you made jewelry until I went to your LJ in order to look back over old entries as part of my refresher I do with everyone. If I didn't, there's a chance other people didn't see it either.)
morning_stand - Confession time: You are one of my favorite players of all time. Seriously.
It's just so cool that you have been able to come into Idol, and just continue to give so much.
You are so amazingly clever and talented and an absolute joy to have around.
I'm not going to guess what my favorite entry from you is going to be. But I'm betting it will be my among my favorites of all time. I'm so looking forward to you coming back in a future season. That's going to be fantastic. We haven't even started to see you tap your potential. The best is yet to come.
Oh yeah, Julia, btw - tell your Mom I said I was sorry that she was eliminated. Hands down her "best entry" of the season was having you. :D