Liz (amidala_thrace) wrote,
Liz
amidala_thrace

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FAQ

I know, it's silly and show-offy and nobody will read it anyway, but I was bored this afternoon and didn't feel like writing. Sue me. ;)

THE FANGIRL

So you used to be senatorsfan_ink, right? Why'd you change your username?
Yep. :) I thought of putting "Liz, the LJ user formerly known as senatorsfan_ink" as my name on my profile, but that seemed like a bit too much trouble and I figured that anybody not on my f-list who wondered who the hell I was would have enough common sense to click on my username and find this explanatory post. ;)

As for why I changed my name, there's more about that in the above-linked post, but the short version is that I originally intended this journal to be meant for my writing, and chose a username pertaining more to that. Once I transitioned fully to using this account for both fandom and personal matters, the old name no longer seemed to fit, so I began contemplating changing it. amidala_thrace is much more representative of my interests and my fandoms at this time - and though I wanted to include a reference to hockey, there unfortunately wasn't room for that. Alas.

Who are you in real life?
In real life I'm 24, my name is Liz, I live in Canada and I work full-time as subeditor of a small community newspaper. I hold a degree in Journalism and a minor in History, and I live with my three adorable cats.

What fandom activities do you partake in?
I write fanfiction, co-edit three fandom newsletters, mod two general icon communities, a fic community and two hockey communities, and moderate four icontest communities.

Good grief!! How do you manage so many commitments?
Basically, I'm hyper-organized. I have a very strict schedule to follow, and certain tasks blocked out for completion on certain days. I'm at work typically from eight in the morning to about four-thirty in the afternoon, and after that plus on weekends I'm free to deal with fandom stuff. I've taken on my commitments because I enjoy each and every one of them, and because I know from my own schedule and activities that I can handle them. Your own mileage may vary, however, so don't try this at home, folks. ;)

Also, I don't sleep. I suffer from migraines, chronic pain and some other things that combine to make me physically uncomfortable a lot of the time, with the result that I spend much of the night and early morning awake. When my brain shuts off but my body won't, fanfiction or work on my other projects/commitments are the usual results.

Are you, like, obsessed with Padmé Amidala and Kara Thrace or something?
Yep yep. Readers of my journal will quickly notice multiple references to my Girlfriends, not to mention the fact that a lot of my fic is either centered around them or features them prominently. And of course, there's my username! I can't say precisely what it is about them that attracts me - other than physical attributes! - but they were my entrance points into Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica respectively, and I'm relatively sure that I wouldn't be as interested in those fandoms as I am without Padmé and Kara.

Are you, like, obsessed with Star Wars or something?
Yes. It's been my main fandom for almost four years now, and I've been writing TIS for three of those years. My preferences run to the Prequel Trilogy as that's what I watched first. And before you start screaming that my childhood was ruined because I didn't see the OT to begin with, please note that my father tried to introduce me to A New Hope when I was twelve, only to have me inform him that it was the most boring movie I'd ever seen. ;) I honestly felt as though I'd walked into a theater in the middle of a play, and seeing the PT filled in those blanks for me and helped me to better appreciate the OT.

Are you, like, obsessed with Battlestar Galactica or something?
Yep! Recent obsession, as of December 2007 (y halo thar two-year anniversary!) but obsession nonetheless. Among the highlights of my participation in this fandom have been my character study of Kara Thrace, and getting to meet - and be hugged by - Edward James Olmos at FanExpo in August 2008, and also meeting (and getting hugged by) Mary McDonnell at FanExpo 2009. Not to mention all the awesome friends I've made!

Are you, like, obsessed with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Lee Adama or something?
Pretty much. What can I say, I like emotionally-repressed fictional characters. ;)

Are you, like, obsessed with Star Trek or something?
I was once. It was my first fandom, and Picard/Crusher my first ship, at the tender age of five. I have a lot of fond childhood memories of Next Gen and Voyager, and though I'm not really so active in those fandoms anymore, I still treasure them.

Are you, like, obsessed with Harry Potter or something?
No. I once was, though. It sort of fizzled after I graduated from university for reasons that are hard to explain in under six pages, but I still follow the movies and occasionally reread the books.

Are you, like, obsessed with vampires or something?
Somewhat. Both True Blood and Twilight have managed to hold my attention lately, True Blood moreso than Twilight. I love anything by Alan Ball (including the dear, departed Six Feet Under *sniff*) and so TB was something I absolutely had to check out. It's awesome. As for Twilight, while I haven't written anything in it yet - or seen the movie for that matter - I really liked the books, a lot more than I thought I would. And yes, Breaking Dawn is my favourite and I don't care what anyone else thinks. :P

Are you, like, obsessed with hockey and the Ottawa Senators or something?
How'd you guess?

FANFICTION

What fandoms do you write in?
Primarily Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica at the moment.

What kinds of fic do you write?
All sorts, really. Shortfics, multichapter AUs and character study tend to be the categories into which most of my projects fall. I'm working on getting better at drabbles and PWP (Porn Without Plot), although that's proceeding pretty slowly. My fic also tends to conform to the major pairings I ship - Obi-Wan/Padmé, Anakin/Padmé, Kara/Lee, Kara/Sam and the very occasional Anakin/Obi-Wan and Adama/Roslin. Yep, as you may have guessed (and as outlined elsewhere), I'm a multishipper and proud of it.

I usually don't have more than one longfic project on the go at once in the same fandom, due to my brain's bizarre inability to focus on two long stories with different arcs at the same time. My current one is called To Ignite the Stars (or TIS for short), and you'll often see me referring to it as "my baby" because that's really what it is to me right now. My focus with that fic, as it almost always is, is to preserve the integrity and characterization of canon while allowing for the differences that arise when one little thing is changed (for instance, when Character A falls in love with Character C instead of Character B).

I'm also working on a second longfic set in the Battlestar Galactica (2003) universe. It's called Insanity Underrated, and it has gradually taken over from TIS as the project that's getting the most of my writerly attention at the moment. (That does not, however, mean that To Ignite the Stars has been abandoned, so folks should not assume that to be the case.) Insanity Underrated follows Lee Adama and Kara Thrace and their lives as a result of a single decision that changes the path of their destinies and brings them closer together, allowing them a sort of happiness that they were never able to experience in canon.

I enjoy telling things as they are, which means that violence and graphic sex will sometimes be a part of my writing. I always warn for them, though, and all pieces will be clearly labeled with ratings appropriate to their content. I do understand that everyone has things about fic that squick them, of course, so I encourage you not to read if you are under age 18 or if that sort of thing doesn't appeal to you.

And my own squicks? I will not read or write fics in which love triangles, infidelity or dubious consent are a core plot point. This is particularly the case with Obi-Wan/Padmé, where infidelity and Anakin/Padmé/Obi-Wan love triangles tend to feature prominently. In BSG it applies principally to Kara/Lee and Kara/Leoben. The latter I also don't enjoy in a romantic context, mainly for personal reasons.

Can I borrow your original character(s)?
Possibly. Maybe. Probably not. I've gone to a lot of trouble to create them and to make them believable so that they fit into canon, and I have to know you well enough to trust you with them. There are very few people I trust that way, and if you're one of them you probably already know it.

Where is your fic archived?
Primarily on LiveJournal, at my writing community jedionpaper. I've experimented in the past with posting on other sites, but experience has taught me that LJ really is the best place. A partial archive exists on Archive of Our Own (AO3) under the username Amidala_Thrace, and I am also working up an account on the Fallout Shelter (username to be announced).

I'm on Dreamwidth as [info]padme_kenobi, and you may find all of my fanfiction archived at my writing community over there, [info - community] padmeonpaper.

Can you rec me a good fic in one of your fandoms?
Possibly. It depends on what your preferences are. I have to admit, despite editing a fanfic newsletter and modding a fanfic community, I don't read widely in either of my fandoms anymore due to time constraints and the astonishing amount of badfic that exists out there. I have a select few authors that I read, most of whom are on my friends list, and I'm usually unwilling to venture outside that sphere.

Will you read my fic and tell me what you think of it?
Maybe, if I've got the time and you're sure you can handle my honesty. My preferences run to mostly canon-tight fics in which the characters act like themselves and there are few plot holes, and although I do criticize constructively, there are many authors out there who unfortunately can't handle that and construe an honest attempt at constructive criticism as flaming. I won't pull any punches, even if you are my friend.

Can I beta for you?
No, sorry. The odd, odd time you might find me seeking a beta for shortfic, but that's the exception rather than the rule. Since the majority of my longfic projects take place over a period of many years and require detailed outlines in order to be written, I need to work with a beta who's familiar with that outline and who, in most cases, has actually helped me to hash it out. These days that beta is canceron_jedi, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Thanks for the offer, though!

Could you beta for me?
Sorry, but no. As you can see above from my list of fandom-y things on the go, I tend to be quite busy, and there are only so many hours in a day. I don't usually take beta requests from strangers, and if you're one of those few people for whom I do beta, you already know it.

How long is To Ignite the Stars going to be?
As of this writing, I anticipate To Ignite the Stars ending with the close of Return of the Jedi.

How long is Insanity Underrated going to be?
Insanity Underrated will span from the Season 1 episode "You Can't Go Home Again" to the Season 4.5 finale, "Daybreak, Part 2."

How often will you be updating these two fics?
One of my most popular questions: "When will the next chapter of [insert name of fic here] be posted??????" ;) While I'm obviously very flattered and pleased that you're enjoying the story so much, the frequency of updates depends on a couple of things. One of them is, of course, real life - working full-time hours at my job is a pretty big preoccupation for me at the moment, and it takes necessary precedence over all fandom activities. The other is my muse, and my beta reader's schedule. I try to write a little bit on my projects every day, but some days will go better than others, and like all writers I have those times when I think everything I've written is crap and therefore make liberal use of my delete button.

In addition, each chapter of every longfic project goes though an extensive editing process before it's put up on my writing community. Basically, my beta and I get together over IM and she gives me comments about the characters, the plot, the writing style, etc., and then we check the outline to make sure I've included everything in the chapter that I need to. These sessions will also often include me rewriting substantial portions of each chapter. So, obviously, both Katie and I need a large chunk of time in which we can do this, and given our real life obligations, finding such time can often be tricky.

However, with all that in mind, this is the rough sked I try to keep to. Insanity Underrated will, with luck, be updated once per week. Readers may expect to be occasionally spoiled by the posting of chapters more often than that, depending on the aforementioned vagaries of my real life and my muse.

After careful consideration and much thought, I have decided to place To Ignite the Stars on hiatus for now. As I mentioned above, I want to be very clear: this DOES NOT mean that the fic has been abandoned. It merely means that I am going to set it aside for now in order to focus mainly on Insanity Underrated. By so doing, I hope to complete IU by late spring, and once that is done, I can focus my energies fully on To Ignite the Stars once more. Please check both my journal and jedionpaper for further updates.

Do you write original fiction?
Not right now, no. I used to, but lately fanfiction has sort of taken over my brain and I haven't done anything with completely original characters and concepts for a long while now. I was going to participate in the 2009 edition of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), but those plans were unfortunately scuttled by my renewed focus on completing Insanity Underrated, in addition to some personal issues which occupied much of my attention. I also felt it unwise to take on yet another writing project while I already had my hands full with two multi-chapter stories (and a mishmash of other commitments).

Whether or not I choose to do NaNo 2010 will depend on a variety of factors, including but not limited to the status of my current writing projects. Updates will be provided as we draw closer to November.

ICONS/GRAPHICS/LAYOUT

Do you make icons/graphics?
Very occasionally. My graphic-making skills are still quite limited, and I usually have to be in the mood to make large batches of icons. I sometimes do, though.

What program do you use for graphics?
Photoshop CS3. It's complicated, and I'm still learning my way around, but I really do find it the best image editor out there.

Your background image is beautiful! May I take it, with credit?
No, sorry. The Padmé & Kara image was made especially for me by a very dear friend, and I would very much appreciate if people did not take it for their own use. It's really special to me, and it means a lot. Thank you for understanding. :)

Are your icons snaggable?
Most of them are, with a few exceptions. Those exceptions are (in order by keyword): Obi-Wan/Padmé Wedding; Obi-Wan/Padmé Thinking of You; Obi-Wan/Padmé Frame; Liz's Girls 1; Liz's Girls 2; Padmé Queen Amidala Username; Padmé AtoC Tatooine; Padmé RotS Coruscant Apartment; Padmé TPM Parade Queen; Writing NaNoWriMo Liz; Sens New Logo Closeup; Sens Cash Line; Padmé Kara/Lee Love; Insanity Underrated K/L My Medea; Insanity Underrated K/L Yellow Text; Insanity Underrated Kara Sickbay; Insanity Underrated K/L White Text; Kara White Username Text; Kara Hand of God Username; Kara Toasting Username; Lee Captain's Hand; Insanity Underrated Kara NC Apartment; Insanity Underrated K/L Hatch; and Insanity Underrated K/L Hide and Seek. Those icons were given to me as gifts by friends, and while I obviously can't prevent folks from taking them (or the background image), common courtesy to me dictates that if someone says a graphic is not snaggable, it shouldn't be taken. Thanks. :)

All other icons are obviously free and clear; I would just ask that you credit the original artist on your icon page, if an artist is listed.

I love your layout! Where did you get it?
The original S2 Flexible Squares stylesheet is by evolretsalp at runningrockets, with a few modifications by myself.

ICONTESTS

Okay, first things first. What the heck is an icontest?
Glad you asked! Basically, it's a contest (big surprise!) in which entrants can submit icons based on a specific theme and then have members of the contest community vote on which icons they like best. Usually the moderator of an icontest picks the theme around which the weekly competition will be based, and members of the community submit icons based on that theme to be voted on at the end of the week. A couple days later, winners are announced, and the whole thing begins over again. There's a further category of icontest known as a stillness competition, in which icons submitted must be still images only - not animated. Most fandoms have their own icontests, and there are sometimes other icontests for individual characters and pairings in that fandom. I've also seen icontests for non-fandom themes (such as fruit, holidays, actors etc.).

Cool! So what icontests do you moderate?
As you may have guessed, icontests are something of an obsession with me. ;) Currently I moderate four: obidalastills (icons of Obi-Wan/Padmé), swicontest (general Star Wars icons), bsg_stillness (general BSG icons), and karastillness (icons of Kara Thrace).

Can I join/watch even though I'm not an icon-maker?
Of course! We always need more voters, and that's something you can do even if you're not into graphic-making. All you need to do is stare at a bunch of beautiful icons each week and pick your favourites from among that bunch. :D Just go to the community's profile page, click Join Community, and it will automatically take you to the page where you can add the community to your friends list.

Do you need co-mods? I'd love to help out!
Not at the moment, no. Occasionally I'll put out a call on one of my communities for a banner-maker (basically someone who can make pretty banners featuring the winning icons for their artists to display), so that might be an option for you if you've got some skills with Photoshop - or another graphics program - and are willing to devote a few minutes each week. Watch my communities for further details, and thanks so much for the offer!

Okay, so I want to start my own icontest. How would I do that?
A really good community to check out if you want to start your own icontest is mod_stillness. It'll tell you almost everything you need to know about creating an icontest, and it's a good place to ask for votes or entries if your icontest starts sputtering later on. I keep meaning to write a general guide for people who want to create their own icontests, but so far I haven't gotten around to it. Some tips I would offer: be sure your chosen subject doesn't have an icontest already devoted to it, as they're common as dirt on LJ; be sure you're willing to undertake the time commitment involved; start small and uncomplicated and then work up to more difficult themes; and always be willing to compromise and think up new ways to invigorate the community. An important thing to remember is that although you're the mod and have to do a lot of work on the community, you will be relying on your members to provide the bulk of the community's content, so it is really theirs rather than yours. The way I like to think of my icontests is that they belong to my members; I just work there.

I have a question about one of your communities. How can I contact you?
I welcome all questions and feedback, so please don't be shy. :) Feel free to PM me using LJ's personal messaging feature or send an email to sensfangirl6@aol.com. I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Please also note that occasionally my AOL email malfunctions and either bounces emails from certain addresses (particularly, for some reason, Gmail) or doesn't deliver them at all. If you're having trouble reaching me through AOL or if I haven't responded to one of your messages, try me at sensfangirl6@hotmail.com or through the aforementioned PMing feature. Odds are I'm not ignoring you - I may just not have gotten your email! ;) Keep in mind as well that due to real life and other stuff, I might not be able to respond as quickly as I'd like. But if you haven't heard from me in a couple of weeks, do try the Hotmail address. :)

FANDOM NEWSLETTERS

What is a fandom newsletter?
A fandom newsletter is a collection of links from around LiveJournal or the web pertaining to a specific fandom. These links may include news items about that fandom's creators or actors, discussion and/or meta about the fandom, fanfiction and fanart produced by members of the fandom, new communities pertaining to the fandom, and any other miscellany specifically having to do with that fandom. Fandoms sometimes divide their newsletters per topic, i.e. one newsletter for news, one for fanfiction, one for fanart, etc., but this depends on how big the fandom is - many have only one newsletter. Newsletters for popular fandoms may post every day, while those for less popular ones might go up once a week or once every two to three days.

Who creates fandom newsletters?
Links for fandom newsletters are usually collected and posted by volunteers - people in the fandom who love it and who want to keep others updated on the goings-on. Typically we call ourselves editors, simply because we're responsible for collecting the links, screening out those that may not apply, and generally fixing up the newsletter and making sure it looks all spiffy.

What fandom newsletters do you co-edit?
I co-edit daily_snitch (Harry Potter), jedi_news (Star Wars) and the_wireless (Battlestar Galactica fanfiction). daily_snitch and jedi_news post every day, while the_wireless gets posted on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Yikes, that's a lot! How long does it take you to put together a fandom newsletter?
It depends on the fandom and how much content has been produced since the last issue, but on average I count on at least an hour to an hour and a half, longer if it's a double issue or there's been a particularly busy day. Most fandom newsletters have watcher journals (comprised of all the pertinent users, communities and RSS feeds that contribute to the fandom) that are set up to consolidate the links in one place, and some also have email addresses to which fandom news can be sent, so it's not like I have to go chasing all over LiveJournal or the internet looking for fandom news. Still, it can be time-consuming, and often it's a very thankless job. I do it because I love it and because I think it's a great service, basically.

I want to be a fandom newsletter editor! How do I go about it?
Keep an eye on the newsletters in your fandom, because the usual course of action when new editors are needed is to put up a post requesting help. Once you answer one of those virtual help-wanted signs, you will usually be added as a maintainer of the newsletter's community and given a template for how the newsletter is to be structured. Most fandom newsletters will have very specific policies with regards to missed issues, so be sure that you are aware of those and that you are willing to take on such a steady commitment. When issues of a newsletter are missed without a reasonable explanation (i.e. illness, real life problems, whatever), it's very difficult for the next day's editor because they will be faced with double the amount of work they usually have to put in. One or two missed issues are understandable, but if it becomes a regular occurrence, that tends to breed resentment. We're only human, after all, and the amount of time we have is finite. As I said, if you sign up to be a fandom newsletter editor, be sure you can handle the commitment involved.

I have a question about one of your fandom newsletters. How can I contact you?
Usually the best way is to either leave a comment on the most recent newsletter posted, or to email the newsletter's editors at the email address given on the newsletter community's profile page.

REQUESTS

Do you take icon/graphic requests?
Maybe, if you're sure you want to risk my amateur-ish efforts! ;) I'm kidding, mostly. If there's something you want me to whip up, PM me or leave a comment to any post, and I'll see what I can do. It may not be filled immediately - as I've said umpteen times, I am busy! ;)

What about fics? Can I request a fic from you?
Ahh, now we're back onto territory I recognize! :) Again, kidding. I do occasionally take requests, which usually consist of me posting an open call for fic prompts on my journal. This tends to happen mostly when my muses have run out of their own inspiration, and in those requests I generally prefer if you give me a pairing or a character (i.e. Anakin/Padmé, Kara/Lee, Kara), a situation (kissing up against a wall, an unexpected gift, etc.) and anything you'd prefer not to see in the fic (graphic sex, slash, violence, whatever). Prompt posts will usually contain reminders of things I won't write (refresher: infidelity, love triangles, rapefics/fics featuring dubious consent on the part of either partner). I don't care if you yourself like that stuff - if you do, more power to you! - but they're just not my cup of tea.

FRIENDING POLICY

Do you have a friending policy? What is it?
I'm pretty loose overall. I usually friend folks back unless they look blatantly like trolls or spambots, haven't updated their journals in two or three years, or I have no idea who the heck they are. I'm not going to freak out at you if you don't comment on every single post I make, either. (I don't expect that of myself with regards to my friends' entries, so why should I expect it of them in return?) I get friend notifications emailed to me and I check my profile page almost every day for one reason or another, so I'm not likely to miss you. Posts containing personal content, like stuff about my real life or my family or my job, will be locked, but all fandom stuff is public and accessible to all.

That being said:

- If you wish to be added back, we need to have interacted somewhere, either on or off LJ. I find it a little bit weird when people just add me out of the blue and I have no idea who they are or what we've got in common. It's nothing personal, honestly; I just like to get an idea of how you found me and maybe a couple of common fandoms. If in doubt, comment to this post. :)

- If you're here for the fic, allow me to point you to jedionpaper. Both To Ignite the Stars and Insanity Underrated are there, my other SW fics are there, and my BSG fics are posted there too. I don't put my writing in this journal anymore, since it got far too cluttered and confusing.

- You must be respectful of my views, particularly with regards to multishipping. This doesn't mean you have to agree with everything I say or even with the pairings I enjoy, just that you not demean or flame me for choosing to like what I do. I am perfectly willing to debate the plausibility and/or merit of the ships I like in a mature manner (i.e. "I don't think Obi-Wan/Padmé works because of X, Y and Z" is great, and I'll probably enjoy debating with you!); what I don't accept are outright flames and name-calling (i.e. "OMG Obidala suxxors how can u lyke such a dumb couple, ur delusional and u must hate SW!!!!!" would get you banned).

- Same goes for other opinions. You respect mine, and I will be happy to respect yours.

- As discussed above, my world does not revolve around LJ comments, either given or received. Life is just too short. If you comment, great, if you don't, great! I behave similarly with regards to my friends list. I read each and every post that my friends make, but I don't necessarily comment on each entry. This DOES NOT mean I'm not reading. It might just mean I don't have time to leave a comment, or that I don't think anything I could say would be very helpful to you.

- Corollary: I will not leave comments on entries saying "Comment to this post or be unfriended!" on principle. Basically, if you need me to comment to a specific entry to want to continue reading my journal, it's probably best just to go ahead and remove me. Those kinds of posts are generally just cries for attention, and there is always the possibility that I wouldn't see such a post anyway - what if I haven't read my friends list yet, or real life got in the way, or I couldn't be bothered to log on that day? For those reasons, I make it a blanket policy never to leave comments on those types of posts, and to encourage their authors simply to remove me from their f-lists on a preemptive basis. I'll remove you back, and we can both go on our merry ways. :)

- I will NOT friend you back if: you are not respectful of my opinions; I do not know you from anywhere; you think multishippers are heretics/traitors/evil/the scourge of the Earth; you look blatantly like a troll or spambot; or you do not use LJ cuts for spoilers.

Otherwise, c'mon in ... so long as you can stand the insanity. ;)

Last updated: July 10th, 2010
Tags: faq
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