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Topics - oblivion

General Discussion / NaNoWriMo 2016
It's 4 days away.  I'm ready!
General Discussion / The Phantom Time Hypothesis
I never heard of this hypothesis before today.

Why 614-911, specifically, I wonder,  The Carolingian era wiped out, just like that.  No Roland.  No Charlemagne.  No Pope Joan.  No King Offa.  No Emperor Justinian.

Why couldn't it be the years spanning the 1st through 4th Crusades?
Artists' Projects / Weekly Writers Roundup
This is the first of an ongoing series of blog entries that I plan to post weekly.  May be of interest to the writers among us.

Weekly Writer's Roundup

The series will consist of links to useful articles I find about writing, publishing and promoting.

Technical Stuff / Recent time-outs are resolved
During the last few days, the whole site, including this forum, has been slow due to a software problem the web host was working on.  Here's the deets

We have, unfortunately, been experiencing issues with the S1 server over the last week. We believe the issue to be in the LiteSpeed Web Server Software on S1.

We have configured the server to switch to Apache+LSAPI [keeping many of the benefits of LiteSpeed, while using Apache at the core]. This should have been seamless but I personally failed to communicate this to our team effectively resulting in them working to restore LSWS when I switched it to Apache.
Ultimately the miscommunication on my part is the reason for the outage.
We are testing/monitoring the server's performance with Apache 2.4 + MPM Event.  One of the primary reasons we switched away from Apache many years ago was due to how resource intensive and bloated Apache was to accomplish the same goals.  At the time we were limited to systems with 2 to 8 GB of ram so being conservative of resources was a huge benefit and being faster was great as well.
At this point we're running machines with 100GB of ram or more - often 20 to 50GB of ram just not doing anything at all.  As such we don't mind so much the extra resource usage of Apache if it performs better/more reliable than LiteSpeed.
Many of the issues we've faced over the last 6 months have been LiteSpeed related - be it compatible with CentOS7 or simply bugs we've found and had to work to have resolved.
If you have any issues with any of your sites please let us know.

The site is pretty zippy now.  Hopefully it will stay that way.
Artists' Projects / April Camp Nanowrimo
Anyone else plan to do this?

My plans right now are to continue working on my Gideon Saga revisions, and to do at least one substantive blog post per week.  By substantive I mean 2000+ polished words with appropriate images and citations, on 4-5 different topics that I want to become recurring themes on my blog.  And I want to get into the habit of promoting my blog entries via social media.

When the July Nanowrimo comes around, I want to tackle something new in the way of fiction.  I have a couple ideas for stories not set anywhere near the Gideon milieu, but have been reluctant to start something new and further distract myself from finishing it.

It would be cool to put together a cabin!
Technical Stuff / Server migration
I just received a email that this site will be transferring to a new server sometime tonight.

We will probably have at least a short outage during the night.
General Discussion / Freelancing
Is anyone doing this?  Is anyone interested in freelancing?

I've just begun doing a little research on blogs and websites that pay (meh not a lot mostly) for articles/guest bloggers.  Given the pay (generally $25 to $100 for an article of <=1000 words), most opportunities look more like a way to build a resume than to add more than a little pocket change to one's income.

I can throw some links out occasionally as I run across something interesting.

One that caught my eye today was

A couple of their upcoming themes are of enough interest that I could probably write an article without too much annoyance.  I'm not sure if my perspective is unique enough to interest them, but there's one way to find out.

Not something I have to worry about any time soon, but especially if our characters speak with a non-mainstream voice about non-mainstream experiences, however moving their stories and articulate their voices, this could happen.
General Discussion / Fodder
This thread is for strange things that catch your fancy and give you artistic ideas.

This, for starters:

The Silent Twins
I believe there's the potential for DT to feel that way, since the way we're setting things up will put some of the most substantive discussion in private, invitation-only forums.

I'm not sure if that's a problem that should be prevented or fixed.  I'm not sure if it's a problem at all.  I'm not sure if that's how the site will evolve to feel.

Anyway, Something to think about.
Technical Stuff / Whooo! Google has found us!
I noticed the google spider having a look around yesterday.  Today, google returns actual links to search terms!
These forums don't show up in the main index for guests and non-subscribed members because they are private.  The member who requested the forum is the moderator (by default), and members whose join requests can read and post in the forums.  I'll update this post with new private artist forums to make them easier to learn about.

Forum NameOwnerMember GroupCurrently accepting new members?
Gideon SagaOblivionGideon ReadersYes
Staying Frosty: Alaska PhotographyTeshiTeshi's GroupYes
Jussr's ForumJussriJussr's Group
The SingularitynostrumNostrum's Group

Use this thread to request your own private forum.  The thread also has instructions on how to apply to join an existing forum.  Forum owners will decide who actually gets to join.
General Discussion / Bloggers?
Who blogs?  What do you blog about?  Having fun with it?
Technical Stuff / New Stuff
As I add features and what-not I'll post about it here so you can check it out, and use it if you're interested.

I've added a couple new text fields to user profiles:  About Me, and Works in Progress.  You can look at them on your Forum Profile Page, and change them on the Modify Profile tab.
Part of this conversation may lead to ideas about features needed for this site as a whole or for the forum, but it doesn't need to be restricted to forum tools.

I've been using Scrivener to write, revise and reorganize my novel.  I used the nanowrimo trial version last November, and purchased a licensed version in December.  It's a great platform for dealing with a huge unwieldy pile of text, and handles export to various manuscript formats like a charm.

For getting feedback on excerpts, I've been using Google docs.  It's not ideal, mostly because text formatting in Scrivener gets lost in the copy/paste.

A better way to distribute excerpts and maintain some modicum of control would be great!
General Discussion / The Creative Process
I thought about making this a throwaway in the random romps thread, but I've also been thinking about starting a "let's kickstart some stories/revise some shit/be writers again" thread.  The time is now.

Let's talk about writing, post funny stuff/kicks in the butt/etc., and see where it takes us.

It's not too much of a stretch to say that this meme was the impetus for my decision to come out more publicly as a writer, and incidentally to launch this website.  It took longer than I expected, :/

This thread is for sharing stuff that makes you want to do your thing, makes you laugh about doing your thing, or gets you through the dark days when you don't think you'll ever do your thing.
Artists' Projects / Writing Prompts
Daily?  Weekly?  Something else?

If there isn't a huge OH HELL NO before then, I'll post a prompt tomorrow and see what comes of it.
Technical Stuff / Change Log
This thread is for notification about significant changes in site configuration.

Inaugural change:  

The Gender field has been removed from the profile and other display areas. 

A field for preferred pronoun has been added.  You can fill this in (or not!) as you like.
General Discussion / Physical Books or eBooks?
As a writer (if you are) and a reader, which do you prefer, and why?  If you like eBooks for some things and physical books for other things, what are those things and why?
I made some quick edits to this when I was configuring DT, but I'm sure there's still some silliness in here.

You agree, through your use of this forum, that you will not post any material which is false, defamatory, abusive, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, adult material, or otherwise in violation of any International or United States Federal law. You also agree not to post any copyrighted material unless you own the copyright or you have written consent from the owner of the copyrighted material. Spam, flooding, advertisements, chain letters, pyramid schemes, and solicitations are also forbidden on this forum.

Note that it is impossible for the staff or the owners of this forum to confirm the validity of posts. Please remember that we do not actively monitor the posted messages, and as such, are not responsible for the content contained within. We do not warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information presented. The posted messages express the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of this forum, its staff, its subsidiaries, or this forum's owner. Anyone who feels that a posted message is objectionable is encouraged to notify an administrator or moderator of this forum immediately. The staff and the owner of this forum reserve the right to remove objectionable content, within a reasonable time frame, if they determine that removal is necessary. This is a manual process, however, please realize that they may not be able to remove or edit particular messages immediately. This policy applies to member profile information as well.

You remain solely responsible for the content of your posted messages. Furthermore, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless the owners of this forum, any related websites to this forum, its staff, and its subsidiaries. The owners of this forum also reserve the right to reveal your identity (or any other related information collected on this service) in the event of a formal complaint or legal action arising from any situation caused by your use of this forum.

You have the ability, as you register, to choose your username. We advise that you keep the name appropriate. With this user account you are about to register, you agree to never give your password out to another person except an administrator, for your protection and for validity reasons. You also agree to NEVER use another person's account for any reason. We also HIGHLY recommend you use a complex and unique password for your account, to prevent account theft.

After you register and login to this forum, you will be able to fill out a detailed profile. It is your responsibility to present clean and accurate information. Any information the forum owner or staff determines to be inaccurate or vulgar in nature will be removed, with or without prior notice. Appropriate sanctions may be applicable.

Please note that with each post, your IP address is recorded, in the event that you need to be banned from this forum or your ISP contacted. This will only happen in the event of a major violation of this agreement.

Also note that the software places a cookie, a text file containing bits of information (such as your username and password), in your browser's cache. This is ONLY used to keep you logged in/out. The software does not collect or send any other form of information to your computer.

What needs to go?

I'd love to get this down to bullet points.

As well as things members agree to by joining, there are some things I know I should agree to as the forum owner, and probably some things I should agree to that I haven't realized yet.

My agreements:

- You own your creative content.  This means that if for some reason I have to ban someone who has posted creative content, I need to give them complete access to it long enough for them to copy it, delete it, etc.

- I won't knowingly give DT access to someone who is under 13 years of age. (maybe this should be higher?  13 is the age cutoff for requiring parental permission by COPPA regulations.)

- I will do my best to make this a harassment free zone.

- I will request member input if and when I think about adding forum staff

- I will honor copyrights, including non-member copyrights.  Fair use, etc is a slippery concept, but if I'm contacted by a non-member about their content posted here, I'll remove it temporarily, talk to the person who posted it, and figure out if it should be restored or permanently removed. 

- if I learn that a member has violated another members' copyright by posting/publishing elsewhere offsite content that was originally posted here , this will be grounds for sanctions up to and including ban.

What would you like me to add?
This thread is to discuss and decide on forum aesthetics.

I've thrown a few things together as placeholders as I configure DT, but none of it is cast in stone.  I'll also be working on the look and feel of my blog, and I don't care if the forum looks significantly different from the blog in terms of logo, artwork, favicon, etc.  
Technical Stuff / Private Artists Forum Requests
Make your request here.  If you have a special name in mind for your forum, let me know.  If you decide you'd like your forum name changed, you can let me know here, too!

You can request more than one Artists' forum, if you need one.

You can also request additional moderators for your private forums.  This may be useful for collaborative projects.

Once you have an Artists forum, you can start adding members:

Members can request access to your forum and you can choose to give them access or not.  To invite someone to your forum, ask them to request access to your member group.

To request access to an Artist's forum member group:

Hover over the [username} button on the top right corner.  

Click "Forum Profile" in the menu that becomes visible

On the next page, hover over "Modify Profile".

Click "Group Membership" in the menu that becomes visible.

Click the group you want to join.  You can fill out a reason for wanting to join, or leave the form blank I think.

To approve a membership request

You'll see a button called "Moderate" beside the "Community" button.  If you have a pending request, there will be a number superimposed over the button.  Click the number and you'll go to a page that shows you all the pending requests.  

Click the MemberGroup Requests link.

On the next page, all the pending requests for your forum will be listed.

Click the check box beside a request, and choose the action you want to take from the drop down menu.  You can approve or disapprove, with or without a reason.

Please post links to smilies we must have...and suggest a :tag: for them.  Please note, I have installed an emoji library so you may run into some :tangerine: that have already been taken.  But really, what's a forum without :eggplant: ?
I'm doing some research on shared gallery apps that I could install here.

I'm not really sure whether it makes more sense to have a shared gallery that multiple users can upload to and organize, or if it would be better to give each person who wants one their own gallery.

This would be a completely separate thing from the forum itself.  It would just be a place to organize and share your images online in a high def format.

This could be a situation where it doesn't make sense to reinvent the wheel, especially if folks already have their favorite places for stashing images online.

Talk about what you'd want, if anything, in a gallery app.  It will help educate me and help me narrow down potential choices.