tikatu: (Tikatu's Logo)
Inspired by my former background at twitter (a pale gray background with slightly darker gray stripes and gray cats), I've created my own tileable graphic in GIMP. I've posted it to my twitter feed and, frankly, I love the way it looks. I used the colors and the cat of my personal logo (along with another cat from that particular font), staggered them, and put them on a striped background.

Yeah, I'm sure this is beginner stuff for some of you but... ;)
tikatu: (Lady Penelope)
Well, it's been a week, and I've managed to write one drabble a day, sometimes more. Of the six I wrote in my previous update, all have been posted. Of the ones I've written since then, only one of them is what I'd consider sub-par and it brought out a 2 a.m. inspiration.Two drabbles were about Penny and one was about Tin-Tin. One of the Penny drabbles is currently being Brit-picked (I hope). I've taken the time to download the all_unwritten picture prompts into a folder for easier retrieval. Not quite done with that project yet. I've also started adding to the prompts at [livejournal.com profile] fic_simplicity. It's been over 2 years since that comm has seen any action! I plan on trying to add a prompt a week. I've also updated Tikatu's Corner with the first five of these challenge drabbles.

Set written since last time:
--Shattered, all_unwritten prompt #374, "It only took a second to change everything."*
--A Perilous Wait, all_unwritten prompt #336, waiting for him*
--Unexpected Proposal, all_unwritten prompt #1408, "Will you marry me?"*
--Before The Fall, all_unwritten prompt #44, a moment of silence
--Last Rites, all_unwritten photo prompt #720, a picture of a church door opening, as seen from the inside
--Mayday, fic_simplicity prompt #37, critical malfunction
--End of the Line, all_uwritten prompt #472, the brakes screamed (spelled "breaks" in the prompt, I took some liberty to use a different spelling. This is the one I think isn't quite as good.)

So, all in all, 13 drabbles in 7 days. Not bad!
tikatu: (Brains)
Finally finished a bit of stuff that I didn't know was supposed to be part of Moonstrike! The more I post it at FanNation, the more I want to post it at ff.net. The files are there; I've uploaded them to ff.net to use their HTML capacity, which I've copied to FanNation as well as to my website files. I've had a couple of reviews, which have made me really happy (also got one for The White Winds today at FanNation - a bit of a shock, that!)

I just want this story to work, to be right, before I post it to ff.net. I want Rhea to be real, and to be part of the Tracy family without warping it too much. I've gone to the length of rewriting some of the family background, using ideas that aren't contradicted by canon (Jeff has siblings; Lucy has a part in planning IR before her death.) as well as bringing things out that are found in comics canon (John and Brains going to college together.) So far, I've got five chapters, and only one scene with Rhea!

So, I'm asking for feedback. The story allows for anonymous reviews, and you can find it here: Moonstrike! I'd post it here, but I've always found live journal awkward for just about anything other than short stuff. However, if people would like to see it here, I'm game to do it. I could also post it at devART for thems what wants it.

FanFiction.net is the site that gets the most traffic of all for Thunderbirds fanfiction. It's also the one glutted with the Tracy sister fics. As much as I crave the reviews, I want the story to be worth it.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings...
tikatu: (Default)

Been working on coding things for my personal fiction site. I’ve finished and posted Mosaic – though that will be updated when the muse strikes – and I’m working on The White Winds. There’s still lots to do, but I’m almost halfway through the chapter formatting. I’ve managed to get it down to a routine. Open the .txt files, put in the chapter coding snippet for each chapter. Scroll down and add the back and forward buttons snippet. Tweak them to the proper chapter numbers. Remove the “next time, next chapter” stuff and paste it in a .txt file. Scroll up; add new title and cut the teasers and disclaimer. Then save as a .shtml file. Leave them all open, find a scene divider and change it with the short horizontal line snippet. Copy that, and do a global replace on all open files. Do a preview skim to make sure things look right, then save and close all. Really, I just did about 15 chapters and it only took an hour or so.

Seriously, the biggest time eater is finding images for the splash pages and writing the foreword. On Mosaic, it took me beyond forever to figure out which screencaps to use (and I found I’d duplicated some from earlier stories), and then the free photos that spoke to the drabbles. For The White Winds, I’ve asked my daughter to update a piece of cast art that she’d done for me earlier. Her artwork has progressed soooo very far that she was embarrassed by the old stuff. Since I’m working so quickly on coding this, I should poke her about that piece.

I’m also trying to decide if I should add my two non-Thunderbirds one-shots to the One Shots book. I’ve done one for The Incredibles, and one for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. My fanfiction is so heavily Thunderbirds-oriented, but these deserve a home, too. (They are posted on ff.net and on FanNation.) Tell me what you think about that.

In other writing news, I’ve pulled most of my work from Lunaescence Archives. I have several reasons for this. Things that were broken aren’t being fixed is one of them (thinking of forum registration here), but an increasing dissatisfaction with the way the archive is being run, and the ever-stronger skew toward anime and manga (and reader-insert) stories are probably stronger reasons. I’m sad about this, really; so many archives tend to go downhill once their owners are no longer involved in running and upgrading them. And now this has happened (IMHO) to Luna. (Yes, this puts me in mind of Thunderbirds Central, and parts of IR:TNP that need updating, too.)

As far as my personal “cyberstalker” (Lillehafrue’s term) is concerned, I haven’t heard from her again. Hopefully, I never will.

Back to the HTML editor, Batman!

tikatu: (Default)

Have you ever had someone in your life who wants to rewrite their history? Instead of being seen as acting selfish, or vain, or jealous, or generally unhinged, they want you to edit things you have said to make them look good? To remove those times when they were selfish, or vain, or jealous, or whatever else they might have done?

I have.

Since 2006, someone has been so obsessed with the way they look to others that they’ve wanted me to erase or lock or ignore what they’ve said and did to me… mostly by harassing me into locking up journal entries that showed a less-than-perfect side to them. The main portion of the harassment happened in August 2008 (two full years after the event that made me vent so strongly about it), but just today I received two more emails about that whole subject. I really should have gone with what I’d said in my last missive to this woman back in 2008, and opened up all the posts to public scrutiny. Since she contacted me twice, even after I specifically told her not to, I will likely file a complaint with her ISP. She has written me emails using new addresses that I’ve had to block. She has been stalking my blogs and my personal sites, and the whole gist of it is, that though I forgave her of what she did long, long ago, she can’t let it go. She won’t let it go. She has to look perfect, and so she wants all that time, and everything she did and said swept under the rug and forgotten.

During the last bout of harassment, I really tried to be patient. I tried to explain my side of things. I did as much as I was going to… which fell short of actually deleting my vents and complaints about what happened. And when some of those vents and posts reappeared due to a migration from one service to another, that’s when she decided it was time to revisit the situation. So, since she couldn’t contact me using my new blog, she had to stalk my personal site and contact me from there. She knew that she couldn’t use my normal address as I had probably blocked all the addresses she had used before. In fact, I think she used one of her mother’s addresses to email me this time. Her second email (after I’d specifically told her not to respond) just showed me how much she just has to excuse her actions.

In that last email, she promised to stop. Somehow, I know that if I write anything at all about the situation again, I’ll be hearing from her… unless, that is, her ISP takes her internet privileges away.

This post is public, which I warned her I would make it. Comments by non-friends are screened by default. If you want any more information on the specifics, I will be glad to give them to you.

tikatu: (Default)
 I  knew this was coming. First, they mess about with ads. Then, they cut back the ad blocker from three days to one.

Now? FanFiction.net has put interstitial ad on their page, like the one you get once a day when you come to lj. The difference? THERE IS NO WAY TO X IT OUT. You have to 1. Listen to the video and 2. Do one of the quizzes listed. The page states that ff.net will get $1.40 for every quiz. If you don't do this, you can't get to the ff.net pages. They are LOCKED.

I guess this is one of the neat new things that they were crowing about on the home page. /sarcasm

To say I am hopping mad is an understatement. This is beyond annoying. I am contemplating just leaving my stuff there and using Tikatu's Corner and Fan Nation exclusively (I'd update my stuff at Lunaescence, too.)

There has got to be a better way to generate income. How about reinstating the paid subscriber option? If it meant going without ads of any kind - and it was reasonable - I'd be willing to plunk for it. I did before. At this point, I'm more willing to donate to the other two sites and keep them running. They, at least, are pretty much ad-free.

Locking up the intellectual property of thousands of people? NOT COOL to the nth degree. What can we do to convince them of this?


Apr. 18th, 2009 12:28 pm
tikatu: (Default)

Yes, we already knew that Microsoft/Windows Live was made of Fail when they deleted the MSN Groups.

What really emphasizes the level of Fail was in my email box this afternoon:

Dear Groups User,

Your MSN Group, TB: Top Secret, has had no activity in the last 90 days. As a convenience to our users, we periodically delete groups that have become dormant. We hope you'll consider coming back. It's not too late!
If your group remains inactive for another 14 days, we'll go ahead and delete it. If you would like to keep your group, simply click on the link below and follow the instructions on the web page.

Keep my group

We hope your group is back in action soon,

MSN Groups


You only DELETED it with the rest of the MSN Groups two months ago, nitwits!


tikatu: (Default)

That's the title of the warning posts that I've been spreading around the fandom this morning as I got the news that Lycos Europe is shutting down both their email and their Tripod webhosting services next month. For some fandoms, this being a European thing isn't all bad; the US isn't affected (yet) and most of the active sites on Tripod (if there are any) would be on the US servers. However, for my fandom, this isn't good. The UK is where the widest fan base is, and I know there are still sites on Tripod. Tripod has been around a long while, and some fans moved on to other places - like MSN groups, which is also closing down next month.

Adding in the AOL Groups closure last year, I get the distinct impression that the fannish world is shrinking. Like being on an ice floe and all the edges are falling off, floating and melting away into the surrounding ocean, leaving less and less space to stand on. Many of the webmasters/groups owners have moved on in fandom; some have dropped out entirely. Now the information, pictures, discussions and fanfiction stored on these remaining sites, abandoned or not, will drop out as well.

Is this necessarily a bad thing? In a way, yes. A lot of unique material is going to be lost forever. I went hunting through Tripod's search engine, looking for sites specific to my fandom. None were terribly active, but one had some fanfiction that I've seen nowhere else, and another had some unique computer generated art. Will these be saved by their creators? Will they be posted elsewhere? At this point, I doubt it. How much more of this is tucked away in abandoned Yahoo groups, or Angelfire sites, or Geocities sites? What happens if these are shut down, too, as being "unprofitable" or not "best of breed"? In the greater scheme of things, I suppose they're not much of a loss. Fandom, as important as it is to some now, won't necessarily be important to the same people later. But even in closed canon fandoms, such as my own, there are still fans that come along, all fired up by their new shiny, and it's good to see where others have been before. It's good to know what the clich├ęs were, who the BNFs were, where to find the fanworks that aren't in the mainstream, or where that plagiarist might have found the work s/he is stealing. Those unique contributions are lost, and it stings.

That's what's got me so determined not to let my own MSN Groups go quietly. I've spent the past couple of days copying all the custom pages and downloading any pictures that I don't have on my own hard drive. I hope to use them in building a new site elsewhere... but will that one day go the way these others have gone? I guess only time will tell.

tikatu: (Default)

I must say I'm not impressed.

There is a bland uniformity to the site, and it seems that the entire group is dedicated to chat and discussion - not necessarily sharing information or being a repository of such. My MSN groups were more than just discussions and messageboards - they were/are a place to go and have questions answered, to find both information and pictures, to post creative ideas in an eyepleasing format.

They are unique, and easily identifiable. When you visit, you know what they're all about. Not so much Windows Live Groups.

Just for comparison: screencaps of IR Central at MSN Groups and Tracy Island at Windows Live Groups. Which one is more distinctive? Which one is more appealing? Which one promises more dedicated information? You tell me.

tikatu: (Default)
ETA 7/24/12 Locking this to comments as it's been the target of an annoying spammer.

Cut for those who aren't interested.... )

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