It's been a while now since I posted a journal about anything other than Critmas. So let's start with... Critmas!
The results are in:
Critmas: The Results.8 years ago, I started a small community challenge to encourage people to offer a little bit of critique for their fellow deviants. Back then, it was a simple challenge with no team, no bonus games and a handful of awesome people participated. We were happy with the 100+ delivered in just 12 days. Fast forward to now and some individuals got more than our total in year one. This is crazy and I love it!
Just to put into perspective, here are the totals for the previous years:
2018- 1375 critiques delivered.
YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!
48 of you signed up to the challenge, with 41 active and an amazing 31 people completed the threshold of 12 critiques! The bonus challenges also proved popular, with 3,606 bonus points scored on the challenges!
I was a bit unsure about putting the bonus challenge in, but wanted to try something different and have learnt what does
You've probably seen them. Everyone involved is acknowledged for every single thing they did, so there would be no point in me doing it all again, even if I could be bothered (which I can't). I'm just going to give a very special mention to one person in particular, and that is the overall winner, ninebark
. Although we didn't win, this incredible participant was on my team, and did more than could reasonably be expected of anyone. We were never high on the leaderboard, and there came a time when I gave myself two personal goals: keep my team out of last place, and motivate them/do what I could to get our total score into four figures. Both of these things were achieved, thanks to everyone who scored any points at all, and particularly ninebark
, who was responsible for more than half of our total score
My friend, that's flipping amazing, and I highly recommend you for the leadership next year because you were also an incredible motivator!
We cannot acknowledge squanpie
enough for her incredible Critmas artwork. You may have noticed that I used a small square from her Critmas 2018: Mistletoe Bow
emblem for my avatar during the event. After that, I decided to change my (let's say) regular avatar for the first time in many, many, many
years - almost (but not quite) since I first arrived here, so if you pay attention to such things it may take some getting used to. I spent a little time yesterday framing a detail of an illustration by Harold Copping, in exactly 50x50 pixels, to my satisfaction. It's a scene from my second favourite book, and I think many of you will easily see what is being depicted (and if not, there'll be a clue later in this journal).
In December, I received my 13th Daily Deviation, and so I made a special effort to get to the most recent DD discussion hosted by JessaMar
. It was great, and I thoroughly recommend all such discussions in the future. They do generally take place during a mealtime for me, but this has convinced me that I really must try to attend some more when I can.Media
They made us wait an extra year for the BBC/Netflix adaptation of Watership Down
, and the first thing anyone really found out about it was that it looked ugly. Yes, ugly, ugly
I could overlook that, though, if it was any good. I mean like, if it wasn't a complete and total travesty and I'd rather watch it than look at a pile of vomit for two hours and forty minutes. I do not
immediately go off an adaptation at the first sign of any deviation from the book, and many people really enjoy watching something a bit different, just as long as the true characterisation shines through. Now, I can't see how any true Watership Down
fan can enjoy this pile of absolute crap that a bunch of people dumped on their favourite characters. I never, ever, ever
want to see that complete and total load
Incidentally I wasn't exactly enamoured with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
either, but I was more prepared for that and I didn't hate it.
Now there are some more things I'm anticipating; I don't say 'looking forward to', because they might turn out to be terrible. It happens. Greta Gerwig's upcoming adaptation of Little Women
, from what I have seen, looks
absolutely beautiful (which gives it something over Watershit-on-my-favourite-book Down
, at least):
I really, really want to see it. I really, really want to like
Speaking of Little Women
some time ago I expressed an interest in seeing the 2018 'modern retelling', but it seems to be keeping well away from UK cinemas. I don't really mind, though, because I've seen some clips and it looks like crap anyway. Print
I read some amazing books in 2018, and I'm anticipating (that's anticipating
again) a couple of follow-ups that are going to keep me waiting until August. AUGUST!
I discovered a couple of new authors, including Catherine Barter, who had a YA novel out last year called Troublemakers
that I thought was amazing. No sign of a second novel yet, though. There was also Moira Fowley-Doyle, who had been around for a couple of years when I found her first novel (also YA), The Accident Season
. I liked that a lot, and then her second novel, Spellbook of the Lost and Found
, was incredible. She has a way of writing that is unique, and really speaks to me, and she does
have a new novel - All the Bad Apples
- coming out in August.
On the same day as Doyle's new book, the second instalment in Sally Green's The Smoke Thieves
trilogy will be out. I avoided the first book for a while, because I had been terribly disappointed with the conclusion of her Half Bad
trilogy, and then this new series promised to be high fantasy ('There will be a map!'), and I've never really been able to get into things like that. Reading the reviews, I saw that a lot of people didn't like The Smoke Thieves
because they found it lacking in its attempts to be a Tolkein-esque fantasy, and actually I can see what they mean, but that wouldn't have put me off even if I'd noticed it whilst reading. For me personally, the world was made by the story and the characters, and I got so into them I am now panting for the sequel.
I also finished Veronica Roth's Divergent
trilogy today, and it was a real struggle to get through the last forty-odd pages, because I hated what had happened. I'm now in two minds as to whether to try Carve the Mark
by the same author, after this and seeing several negative reviews of her second series. If anyone has an opinion on this, please, I'd love to hear it.Real Life
You remember that new job I was so excited about? Well, it sucked, for a number of reasons. I guess you can't blame the college for the ridiculous cuts to the bus service used by dozens, perhaps hundreds of students, which meant I had to fight not to get left behind in the mornings, and frequently share a cab to the train station with a colleague in the evenings. But you can
be pretty miffed with the high-up member of staff who dismissed this as unimportant and refused to write the bus company an email on behalf of the college. This is just one example of the complete and total and utter lack of support in that place. Let me not bore you with everything that was wrong (this journal is too long as it is); suffice it to say, I was not happy there, and they were very long days in which to be miserable. I had a few people still wanting personal tuition from me, and when I got a message from my ex-boss saying she'd found new premises and needed her teaching staff back, I handed in my notice.
I know I'm lucky. I had somewhere else to go, and only myself and my cat to think of. A lot of people stay in jobs they hate because they don't have these freedoms (including most of my short-time colleagues; honestly, no one really seemed to like it there). I now have a much better time when I'm at work, more time in which I'm not
at work, and I'm thinking about some of the things I'd like to do with that time. Now it remains to be seen whether I can get over my laziness and actually do them all...