ellistrae (Week 14) - When I set myself the task of trying to write goodbyes for everyone, obviously I knew that I probably wouldn't be able to keep up with it. I'd hoped for a bit better, but then who can map out what life is going to end up giving them?
One thing that I do like about being so far behind though, is that it gives me (and hopefully anyone who is coming back to read these things) a better sense of "what was" and more importantly, "what might have been". In Week 14 there was still a pretty big field, and I think ellistrae was one of those folks who ended up slipping through the cracks for a lot of folks.
It's a shame, because there is a lot going on under the surface, both from writing structure wise, and as a person.
There is always a debate on if it is more about the writing or about meeting people, that I think some folks miss the obvious: meeting people *through their writing*. Because unless they happen to live next door, that's what you have. That is how we get to experience who they are and what their lives are like.
Bringing people together through a shared experience, and getting underneath that edge of the matter to peel it back a little so you can just barely peek inside. It's what it's all about. It's something that ellistrae does with her work.
http://ellistrae.livejournal.com/66972.html was her first entry this season, about the letter she receives every year. I'm not going to say more than that, other than, all that stuff that I just said applies and then some. http://ellistrae.livejournal.com/74051.html and http://ellistrae.livejournal.com/78788.html (from the Home Game) have the same qualities though.
It is so easy to overdo it when it comes to description. I think she manages to walk that line by gravitating to the feel of the words together in things like http://ellistrae.livejournal.com/76032.html and http://ellistrae.livejournal.com/71429.html rather than over reaching. I think she maintains a decent balance.
I missed this the first time around - but http://ellistrae.livejournal.com/73307.html and http://ellistrae.livejournal.com/74725.html are very much companion pieces, playing off of each other. I'm not sure if that was just ruminations on a theme or if it was deliberate. Either way, it works.
She has everything tagged http://ellistrae.livejournal.com/tag/lj-idol which makes it easier for you to go back and explore. If you missed the chance to get to know her the first time. Don't pass this one up.
stormkitty (Week 22) - You pulled the classic mistake in the first couple of weeks and I was really wondering if you were going to recover. Commenting to everyone is a fantastic goal and being able to say "Hey, I read this" is a very real and sincere thing to do - You want to acknowledge that you have done it, that you are reaching out.
Unfortunately the cynical reaction to that is the "and what?", because it's not just reading, it's also bringing something to the table as far as showing that you did more than click a link.
What I think they missed with you though is that you weren't actually messing around or "playing the game". You were excited. You were happy to see everyone and bounding up to everyone in your path being friendly and letting them know how much they were appreciated. I can understand why there was some backlash to it, but I think it was more about how they were seeing it than your intention when you were doing it.
After all, you were the *first person to sign up* for this season!! You had just been waiting for that rope to drop to run on through!
It did start a conversation about the value of feedback though, so there's a silver lining! Plus, you *did* rebound from the situation quite well. So, it's all good.
Given the way your life changed during the course of this season - you lasted a really long time under hmmmm "unfavorable" real life circumstances. It is pretty darn awesome though to see where you are now though!!! It either shows how remarkable it is how life works out OR just how long the season has been given how much has changed in your life during the course of it! ;P
http://stormkitty.livejournal.com/tag/ljidol - thank you for that. Especially since Idol entries are not the only things tagged under it. There are also some things about Idol, or places where Idol just happened to come up. Which, to me, is your strength.
I've said this before, and I have no doubt that I'm going to do it again and again before I finally stop doing these - but livejournal. People use it for all sorts of wonderful things, but the heart of the website itself is journaling, relating your life to the people who are interested in finding out about it. So seeing someone willing to step that notion up a notch or three in stuff like http://stormkitty.livejournal.com/882282.html and http://stormkitty.livejournal.com/874578.html , that just brings a smile to my face.
http://stormkitty.livejournal.com/860556.html and http://stormkitty.livejournal.com/815530.html ? The two serve nicely together.
http://stormkitty.livejournal.com/843948.html and http://stormkitty.livejournal.com/788964.html have very different tones to them, but the personal narrative style I feel brings out the best in both of them.
The one "downside" for me of journaling is the more self aware nature. If handled well, it can be cool. If not, the act of talking about writing the entry in the entry itself, or the awareness that it is an entry, it can trip people up. That would definitely be something that I personally try to avoid. Then again, by the time I reached the last few lines of most of your pieces that *did* have that sort of reference, I had almost forgotten about it!!
I will say, for completely personal reasons, that one of my favorites was http://stormkitty.livejournal.com/849859.html - it was actually one of my favorite intersections. Knowing Amber, I'm really biased when I say that- but I think that the story of friends having a fight, going their separate ways, only to find each other again years later and realizing what is important, I think that's a lesson that couldn't be more timely.
Part 1: http://community.livejournal.com/therealljidol/330062.html
Part 2: http://community.livejournal.com/therealljidol/347182.html
Part 3: http://community.livejournal.com/therealljidol/348753.html
Part 4: http://community.livejournal.com/therealljidol/351336.html
Part 5: http://community.livejournal.com/therealljidol/355319.html
Part 6: http://community.livejournal.com/therealljidol/357155.html
Part 7: http://community.livejournal.com/therealljidol/358961.html