greerwatson
05 January 2015 @ 04:19 am
The mods at [livejournal.com profile] maryrenaultfics have just announced that it is going on "hiatus". Meaning (since the gap is clearly intended to be open-ended) that it is closing down. On the one hand, this is not really news, since they gave some of us the heads up a short time ago. On the other hand, it's a shock: like being wakened at dawn to be told that your father has just died when, the previous evening when you visited him in hospital, it was obvious that he only had hours to live. Not a surprise, therefore; but a horrible, unbelievable, unwanted finality.

Actually, at the moment, I believe it is still possible for a few of the members to post at the mods' discretion. As my sister and I have just got back to working on the final tenth anniversary (10YO) celebration posts, I'm glad of that. We got so depressed this past summer that we never got them finished; and recently, of course, we've been frantically writing for Yuletide. We do want to finish 10YO—and in the original venue, too, where the posts belong.

(I was meaning to post tonight about Yuletide. Now that Flo has gone home after Christmas and things here are less hectic, I had intended over the next week or so to make webpages for my own stories, post about them here, do wiki articles about the Forever Knight and Renault Yulefic, and then either get back to work on sundry Fanlore articles or revise a pair of FK stories that have been waiting for a long, long time for me to fix the holes in them. This announcement about [livejournal.com profile] maryrenaultfics has kind of got in the way.)

I joined the comm in 2007, having lurked for a while reading the archive and current posts. It was [livejournal.com profile] lorie945 who persuaded me to join. I had just read two of her stories in a row, loved both, and belatedly realized they had the same author; so I e-mailed her to tell her how much I'd enjoyed them. We got to talking; and, when she realized that I was aware that there were two very different editions of The Charioteer, she told me that the comm was just about to start a long chapter-by-chapter (CBC) discussion of the book focusing on the effects of the changes, and that I should join in order to participate.

I could have come across like the newbie-from-hell: pushing into every discussion and talking at length as if I knew the book word for word from cover to cover. (Well, I pretty well did.) In fact, everyone was incredibly welcoming. And the mods were so helpful: showing me, on my first long post, how to make an lj-cut, for instance. Later, when I persuaded my sister to join, they helped her even more: she didn't seem able to figure out how to join, how to comment, how to post, or ... well pretty well anything. I had never been on LJ before. Flo had never been in fandom, as far as I know. (At least I had mailing-list experience.)

So, for several years, all seemed well. More than well: things were grrrrrreat!!!!! Insert Tony the Tiger here: things were thoroughly enjoyable. The comm went from high to high: CBCs, ficlet challenges, poetry challenges, bookcover contests, and character interviews. People often posted new stories and art, or links to them. We celebrated the fifth anniversary of the comm in style (though I certainly hadn't been there that long). We compiled glossaries of the characters and indexed all the stories. Basically, there always seemed to be something new going on, often two things concurrently. I popped by every day to see if there had been a fresh post—and there so often was!—and check out what comments had been made, and add my own.

Oh, there were the occasional spats and flurries; but these mostly came in reponse to events outside. (Surely, I can't be the only person to recall the Russian bots?) It is true that gradually the comm changed; but these seemed the sort of shifts in response to altered environmental conditions that any living organism makes. People drifted in and out, as they do; but there always seemed to be new faces icons popping by.

It was gradual, that's what I'm saying. And to those who were already members of the comm, a lot of things that were supposed to be temporary were still taken to be so even when they continued indefinitely. Gradually, there were fewer people around, and fewer posts being made. But all communities go through busy and idle times—or so we told ourselves.

Then, of course, it became obvious that the comm was in serious difficulties and had a bad reputation. The reasons for this were far less obvious, though, when one knew the place from the inside. We were all ... oh, I suppose, living in the halcyon Golden Age of past joys.

It's been obvious for at least three years that the mods have been less interested than they used to be. It's been obvious for a couple of years that they are, for some reason, not merely going through a bad patch—busy in RL or that sort of thing. (Nor drifted off to other fandoms, as far as I know.) It's been sadly obvious for about a year that things were dire. So, in that sense, we've all been on a deathwatch. And in denial.

De Nile is for de Sphinx. It's no place for a comm.

Riddle me this: what could we have done? Where did we go wrong? I don't mean the mods: the decisions were theirs, of course; but I'm not privy to the truly behind-the-scenes stuff. I'm talking about the people who loved [livejournal.com profile] maryrenaultfics. (In its day it was lovable.) What could we have done, more than we did? At what point, if we had had crystal balls, might we have turned things to a better course?

Write me an AU someone, please.

Meanwhile, I mourn. This is not what I wanted for Christmas.
 
 
 
 
greerwatson
16 September 2012 @ 01:56 pm
It's that time of year again. According to this post on Yuletide Admin, nominations will officially open on 24 September. People are already starting to try to whip up interest in their favourite tiny fandoms.

Naturally, I've been thinking what I'll nominate myself. As was the case last year, we are only permitted three fandoms. Forever Knight and Mary Renault's The Charioteer are certain. For my third, I'm vacillating between Prehistoric Park and Time Team RPF. I asked for the former last year, but didn't get it. As for Time Team, I love the show, and would dearly like to read a "behind the scenes" gen story about the making of an episode (whether an actual aired episode or one that was made-up just for the story).

Well, some time before nominations close, I'll have to make that decision. For the moment, though, I'm concerned about the other problem: the rules only permit a maximum of four characters to be nominated for each fandom.

Last year, Forever Knight was nominated more than once; but there was a fair amount of overlap between the characters people asked for. That's a waste, isn't it? If, say, three people nominate the show, then we want this to mean a full dozen characters from whom to pick! Mary Renault fans have the same problem, multiplied by the fact that she wrote quite a few books, most of which count as separate fandoms.

As a result, [livejournal.com profile] queen_ypolita has started a post over on Dreamwidth so that Mary Renault fans can coordinate.

I'm thinking that I'll start a post myself for Forever Knight fans. We've a proud list of characters; and it'll be possible to come up with more interesting prompts if the nominations include as many as possible.
 
 
greerwatson
16 September 2012 @ 01:56 pm
It's that time of year again. According to this post on Yuletide Admin, nominations will officially open on 24 September. People are already starting to try to whip up interest in their favourite tiny fandoms.

Naturally, I've been thinking what I'll nominate myself. As was the case last year, we are only permitted three fandoms. Forever Knight and Mary Renault's The Charioteer are certain. For my third, I'm vacillating between Prehistoric Park and Time Team RPF. I asked for the former last year, but didn't get it. As for Time Team, I love the show, and would dearly like to read a "behind the scenes" gen story about the making of an episode (whether an actual aired episode or one that was made-up just for the story).

Well, some time before nominations close, I'll have to make that decision. For the moment, though, I'm concerned about the other problem: the rules only permit a maximum of four characters to be nominated for each fandom.

Last year, Forever Knight was nominated more than once; but there was a fair amount of overlap between the characters people asked for. That's a waste, isn't it? If, say, three people nominate the show, then we want this to mean a full dozen characters from whom to pick! Mary Renault fans have the same problem, multiplied by the fact that she wrote quite a few books, most of which count as separate fandoms.

As a result, [livejournal.com profile] queen_ypolita has started a post over on Dreamwidth so that Mary Renault fans can coordinate.

I'm thinking that I'll start a post myself for Forever Knight fans. We've a proud list of characters; and it'll be possible to come up with more interesting prompts if the nominations include as many as possible.
 
 
greerwatson
09 September 2012 @ 09:01 pm
Problem solved. I just downloaded over a hundred Microsoft updates that I've neglected to install. Although I do still sometimes have to refresh [livejournal.com profile] maryrenaultfics once or twice to get the posts to appear, they do eventually; and every other problem seems miraculously to have disappeared.

There's a moral in there somewhere, I suppose.

One thing's for sure, though: no credit accrues to LiveJournal Support, who basically just left me dangling. Let us instead thank ESET: when I was about to do a virus check, it decided as a preliminary to tell me that my operating system was not up to date, and suggested I click for updates.

Light dawned....

Ah, the sun is out (though it's actually nearly nine p.m.); birds are singing; and I see little apples on the tree. They will be picked in the near future, I promise.
 
 
greerwatson
09 September 2012 @ 09:01 pm
Problem solved. I just downloaded over a hundred Microsoft updates that I've neglected to install. Although I do still sometimes have to refresh [livejournal.com profile] maryrenaultfics once or twice to get the posts to appear, they do eventually; and every other problem seems miraculously to have disappeared.

There's a moral in there somewhere, I suppose.

One thing's for sure, though: no credit accrues to LiveJournal Support, who basically just left me dangling. Let us instead thank ESET: when I was about to do a virus check, it decided as a preliminary to tell me that my operating system was not up to date, and suggested I click for updates.

Light dawned....

Ah, the sun is out (though it's actually nearly nine p.m.); birds are singing; and I see little apples on the tree. They will be picked in the near future, I promise.