Category Archives: meta

posts about a blog or blogging in particular; “posting about posting”

The New Deal

The New Deal

My website has been languishing in internet limbo for years now, and I recently decided I need to put an end to that. I have not stopped writing, as many of my friends will attest, but my willingness to have my writing made public waned to nearly nothing over the past couple of years. I just printed out a bunch (like, a thousand or so) writing prompts from various websites and will try to use some of them to get back into the swing of posting for readers rather than just writing whatever I want for myself.

I’m setting the bar relatively low; I’d like to post onceĀ per week, preferably on Tuesday. I’ll also write several posts ahead of time so I have a little buffer just in case real life happens, which it inevitably will. I will not be backdating any posts. That is to say, I won’t be trying to fill in the empty months and years that have passed by this site without so much as a “Hi, I’m still alive” update. I encourage you to respond to any post with your own thoughts, but I won’t be offended if no one ever does. Though I will try my best to be professional and not petty, this is still my space, and I still get to say what I want to say in the way I want to say it, and I reserve the right to block spammers and trolls from posting on any and all of my material.

I’ve been posting off and on since December 12, 2001, so if you’re an oldtimer, welcome back. If you’re new to my space, please let me introduce myself. I’ve gone by many names online, but most recently it’s just been Viannah, the name given to me by my parents at my birth. I publish under my full name, Viannah E. Duncan. I am still learning to integrate my online persona with real life, so please be patient with me and I’ll try not to make it too irritating. If you read through my older posts, you’ll notice that I’ve often tried to hide my real name because I was either underage, trying to protect my own privacy or that of my family and friends, or just plain thought it was cooler to have an alias of some kind. Seeing as I’m getting too old for that kind of thing, I’ll try going by my given name for a while and see how that goes.

I live in the BaltimoreĀ area with my cat, Cleopatra. I like writing and editing, which is a good thing because I do that professionally. Despite being an editor, I won’t be editing these posts for more than general grammar, spelling, and punctuation since they’re not meant to be professional copy the way some of my other work is. That being said, these posts are meant to showcase my writing ability and versatility, which is partially why I’ll be writing in so many different styles (essay, short fiction, poetry, etc.). I’m leaving all my previous work up as a testament to how far I’ve come in my personal and professional journey, but please note that I’m not the same person I was then. If you have any questions about who I am or what I believe, please ask; I may end up writing an entire entry about it!

Aside from what I’ve noted here, I am a daughter, sister, sister-in-law, and best friend to my family and close friends. I believe in the Oxford comma, though I will write without it professionally if that’s required of me. I’ll choose tea over coffee any day of the week; I like postal mail, public transportation, and cold weather. I am feminist, queer, and extremely politically liberal. However, I also respect those around me and refrain from arguing with anyone who’s obviously trying to incite anger or otherwise raise my hackles. I have nothing to prove to anyone except myself, and I intend to keep it that way.

Hiatus Ends!

You know it’s a great hiatus when life is so busy that you don’t have time to write anything on your site about your life, right? Right?

All right, I’ve got a lot to share, including the publication of three anthologies, my progress at work, and the upcoming YaoiCon (of which I am assistant director this year). I’m excited to let you know of my recent goings on and my future plans!

I will see you all again soon. ^_^

I am just not with it today

I am just not with it today

I have a three-item list of “things I have to do today”:

1. writing at Zeli’s (apply for 2-3 jobs)
2. books with [friend] (if there’s time)
3. family night

One (#2) is even optional since it hinges on a friend’s ability to sit in my room and make help me do it. Another (#3) is going to happen whether I want it to or not since it happens every Sunday whether I want it to or not.

That leaves this morning, writing at Zeli’s (#1). Here I sit in Zeli’s, an independently-owned coffee shop, having intended to apply for two or three jobs in my field of study or at least something not-what-I’m-doing-right-now-related. Unfortunately, I completely forgot my flash drive, which has all my cover letter material and various resumes for tailoring. (By that I mean I have several differently-formatted resumes with varying degrees of the same information, not that I’m a con-artist, obviously.) I’m kind of stuck.

I’m so tired I’ve nearly fallen asleep in Zeli’s this morning, which is completely unlike me. Usually, I write and do other things with my writing group (we literally sit together on our own laptops and just write—that’s it) and I make my ride wait five or ten minutes once they arrive because “I just have to finish this sentence; gimme a second.”

Today, I’ve looked at the clock ten times already and it’s only 11:30ish and I’m about to keel over.

What. the. hell.

Spam is a food

Dear everyone who’s ever subscribed to my site through WordPress,

I have deleted your account. But wait! Don’t leave yet. It’s not you, I promise!

I had nearly 3000 spam subscribers, and early this morning, I decided I needed to start fresh. If you’re a real person, I would still love to have you as a subscriber, so please leave a comment below or email me, and I will add you to the list manually.

Spam is a food, not something that looks good on this site. Besides, I’m vegetarian.

See you soon,
Me

EDIT:
This notice does not apply to the subscribers with the following usernames because I already know you’re human and didn’t delete your account. ^_^ —admin, Bobby, duckie, sirhcsenots

Spelling

Spelling

This morning at 6:21 AM PT, I was left a (spam) comment on my post about Strawberry Eggs by someone calling themselves Samira Stoots (email address Kornfield[at]gmail[dot]com—yes, really). It reads

Certainly I like your web-site, but you have to test the spelling on several of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very troublesome to inform you. However I will surely come back again!

Um, no; sorry. I’m laughing at you right now. Not to be mean, but… well, yes, actually… I am being mean here: everyone makes mistakes (gasp! even me, heaven forbid!), but I’m not the kind of person who makes spelling mistakes on a regular basis. I’m a writer; I should hope I don’t make a lot of spelling errors, you think?

Anyway, I’m deleting that comment, but I thought I’d share the laughs with you all, too.

My name is Eve… sometimes

My name is Eve.

My name is Eve. I believe in the right to privacy and in voluntary information disclosure, and that’s not a contradiction.

My name is Eve… sometimes. When I was young, my parents made clear to me that I had to use a fake name online so that I would be protected from predators. I chose the name Gabrielle, and it’s still one of my favorites. My online persona grew up with me, and eventually I took the name Eve, which is the name I most often use today.

And yet my parents (and others) are surprised when people call me Eve in real life (that is: not only online), and then tell me that my “real friends” would know my “real name” if they were truly friends. But do they not realize that some of my friends have never known me by any other name? To some people, my name is Eve, and that’s fine with me. I am Eve. I am Gabrielle, too.

Maymay’s name has been with him since he was nine. “Maymay” is just as much his real name as his legal name is. He writes, “Young people are routinely admonished for giving out personal information online, but the services they use increasingly demand that very data.” I’m looking at you, Facebook. I’m looking at you, Google+.

The networks and services online that require legal names are trapping us into the use of those names, whether we like or want that or not. Imagine a school teacher who goes by her maiden name in her class but her email provider forces her to sign her emails—even the ones to her students’ parents—with her married name. Nobody wants that (or needs it) and that’s only considering that person’s legal name, not her chosen one!

I don’t understand why (mostly) older people seem to want to protect young people online while at the same time discouraging them from using chosen names in any sphere besides the internet. If a young person uses his or her legal name online, he or she is reckless and unsafe. If they use their chosen name in real life, they’re dealing in fantasies. Kinda makes for a no-win situation, don’t you think?

My name is Eve. And Gabrielle. And V. My name is me. Respect my privacy and I might just be more willing to give you my information freely.

420 visits on December 23

Not that I’m complaining, guys, but why did I suddenly have an influx of visitors to my site yesterday (December 23)? 420 unique visits, to be exact. The past few weeks have been 120 visitors or less per day, with the average somewhere in the low 70s. I mean… what happened?

Like I said, I’m not complaining, but… whaaaat?