Summer Report: Issue 1

Hello all!

Sorry for being such a bad TealArt-ist of late. I guess I have a few things of interest to tell you all about.

First off I'm starting a summer research project of my own. I'm doing some work with cyberself-representation among gay men on a couple of websites. I'm working from posted profiles, which makes the whole "participant" issue much less complicated. It does mean that I'll eventually need third party rateors to ensure some measure of validity, but I'm still working out the kinks and doing the pilot part of the study. It's pretty darn cool. I've got a little bit more data to collect (for the pilot), then I have to fix the questions a bit, figure out how to make it work in the statistics program, and then throw together a rough lit review I think. Shiney.

I also listened to a lot of fandom related pod-casting today whilst driving back from East Tennessee, which has left me really inspired. What was I doing in East Tennessee you ask? another post for another time! And what is fandom you ask? Fandom is the 'verse (as it were) that fans of a particular segment of popular culture develop, that includes fan fiction and art, RPGs, and fan communing. It's a noun that encompasses all fan related activities, but fandom also frequently is more specific and refers to a specific segment. There is celebrity fandom, Trek fandoms (segmented more or less per series, believe it or not), lots of Harry Potter fandom, House M.D. fandom, etc. You name it, it's out there. And I think as a cultural phenomena, it's damn cool, and though more tangentially the community that springs up around fandom is defiantly a big interest of mine as a social scientist. One thing I can write for TA in the upcoming months is some background on fan stuff. Hell I might even find links like a good blogger. Who knows. But anyway. Moving on; having properly defined fandom, I think it's time for a paragraph break.

Good. Ok. So all of this podcast listening and fandom, has inspired me to do a couple of things. First, I want to start my own fandom. This seems like a huge undertaking, and perhaps it is, but I think it would be cool, to develop something (and by develop something I mean use the 'verse that I developed for Circle Games (the novel I wrote during junior year,) and make it public domain, and rework parts of the book to see if I could get people into writing for it. While I will have to do a little work to rewrite some parts and post them online for the world to see, I think I want to try it out as a pod-cast, and see how that works. This is still in development clearly, but I think it's exciting. Clearly it requires thought, but.... Yeah. Stay tuned. Moving on.

Secondly, and a little bit related to Circle Games. By the way, I'm still carrying the binder around with me, every time I move even, 3 years later. Despite this, it's become abundantly clear that I'm not going to revise it. Parts of it are good, and as a whole I like the work (hence the above project,) but I don't think it's really worth going through page by page and revising the whole thing to create a 2nd draft of the manuscript (hence the above project.) And the second novel project (which I figure I'm only 1/5 of the way done with, at 20,000 words,) upon retrospection I appear to have been attempting to tell a story without any leading characters so no wonder it fell flat. So having come to that conclusion, I think we're due for a paragraph break.

My strike of inspiration, which seems to have "unstuckified" my writing process after two years, is to not, attempt to flagelate deceased equines and finnish outstanding projects as I thought they needed to be finished when I was 17, but rather, re-imagine them as I think they should be told today. Currently my notes include: meshing the environments, making the motivations a little less outlandish, narrating the stor(ies) backwards, demilitarizing the story/'vers, omitting the awkward straight relationship (this is what you get when you write a story as your coming out), combining the villains, taking out the space opera feel, and making the setting seem more claustrophobic and somewhat darker.

In my head, the re-imagination would be set 150-300 years and a relative dark age/isolation period after the end of Another Round (the second failed project), but that's just for my sanity. Also it helps if I'm turing this 'verse into a public domain fandom, if I can situate/develop an master timeline. My tentative title for this project it Square Pegs, Again, another play on the circle motif, which I always rather liked. But in any case, it's nice to be at least thinking about fiction again in this way.

Well I think I'm just about done with this post. More later. I promise.

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