Friday, December 19, 2008

Merry Christmas!

This will probably be my last post before 2009, so I wanted to say Merry Christmas/ Happy Hanukkah to everyone.

And, because I love music, some Christmas Music.

Aly & Aj - The Greatest Time of Year

Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO) - Carol of the Bells

Oh yeah, one more thing I was supposed to post before I go. My Christmas Tokyo Mew Mew picture.

I had this cool idea to remake the Mew's outfits so they were dressed for Christmas. Lettuce's outfit was the easiest to make; I didn't have to change a doggone thing. Mint's was the trickiest, because of how she's holding her Mint Arrow. I like the redesign I did for Ichigo the best. I really like the white with red trim.
I was going to put this against a nice Christmas background, but I couldn't find one that worked well, so I decided to just post it up as is..
And that's all for this time. Happy holidays, and have a Happy New Year! Lord willing, I'll see you in 2009.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

No Bratz for Christmas this Year

I don't exactly know why, but for some reason Bratz dolls have never appealed to me. Maybe it's the big heads, or the pouty lips. Chibi only looks good in Japanese animes/mangas.

Additionally, I find the "Bratz big babies" nothing short of disgusting. I'm just not impressed with this line of dolls. I never watched the cartoon, (I didn't want to) and I heard plenty of bad things about the movie. (which I don't plan to see.)

Well, the Bratz reign of "Bratitude" is over. As reported on Yahoo news:

A federal judge in California on Wednesday ordered MGA Entertainment Inc to stop selling its popular Bratz dolls and banned it from using the Bratz name, finding that "hundreds" of Bratz products infringe on copyrights owned by rival toymaker Mattel Inc (MAT.N).

U.S. District Judge Stephen Larson also ordered MGA to recall all Bratz dolls from retailers and to destroy "specialized plates, molds and matrices" used to make the dolls, according to a permanent injunction issued late on Wednesday, but stayed until at least early next year.
I never thought this would happen. The judge ordered them to destroy the plates and recall the dolls. Though there is an exception to the recall:

The ruling appears to allow MGA and retailers to sell the Bratz dolls through the Christmas holiday season.

Larson rejected the idea of allowing MGA to continue to make the pouty lipped, urban chic dolls that made its name and fortunes while paying Mattel a royalty. Larson set a February 11 hearing on post-trial motions.

"Mattel has established its exclusive rights to the Bratz drawings and the court has found that hundreds of the MGA parties' products -- including all the currently available core female fashion dolls Mattel was able to locate in the marketplace -- infringe those rights," Larson wrote in the ruling.

Mattel won the rights to the $1 billion-plus Bratz franchise earlier this year in a lawsuit against MGA and former Mattel Barbie designer Carter Bryant, who invented the Bratz concept while under contract to Mattel.

A jury later ruled Bryant had secretly sold the concept to MGA.

...In his ruling, Larson said his own side-by-side review of the drawings and dolls left him with no doubts that MGA was infringing on Mattel's copyright.

MGA attorney Thomas Nolan said the company plans to appeal the injunction along with other issues from the trial.

"We will ask the court to continue to the stay until we take the appeal to the 9th Circuit (Court of Appeals)," Nolan said.
So I guess the title of this is wrong, becuase apparently you can get the dolls during Christmas. I wonder what will happen after the court of appeals.

Okay, so my review of the movie came from World magazine. Still, this review is pretty close to what I read. A review of the Bratz movie -->> Click Here

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Review Rant

Sometimes, on FanFiction.Net, I see people who say, "I hate how people hold thier stories for Review Ransom." Don't believe me about that? Here's an actual quote from someone's profile (I won't be giving any names.)

One of my pet peeves on ff net is authors who hold a story hostage for reviews, i.e. "If I don't get X reviews, I'm not gonna post any more." All that does is guarantee I won't review. Nor will I read any more of the story. I write to entertain, not get my ego stroked.

Here's another FFN author's view of it:

It's becoming one of my pet peeves- the idea of "review blackmail." You and I both know what I'm talking about: "I won't post the next chapter until I have TEN, yes T-E-N reviews." People- don't write for reviews. You might say "but I don't want to write something that nobody's going to read!" Write for fun, not for reviews. The creative process is a fantastic adventure that shouldn't be squandered on worrying about a "payoff" in the form of reviews. Who knows? If you're a bad writer who enjoys writing, you will keep writing and eventually become a good writer, and the reviews will come on their own. If you're a bad writer who writes for reviews, then you won't get them and you'll get discouraged and quit.

And if you're a good writer, then chances are you have at some point been a bad writer who loved writing, and you won't put those silly blackmail statements at the end of your chapters.

I notice that these two authors are most probably fairly well known in thier respective fandoms, and I therefore doubt that either of them have much trouble getting reviews.

For me, that is not so often the case. When you only write for two or three fandoms, I presume that eventually you will become known in those two or three fandoms. I am not that lucky. Here's the fandoms listing from the top of my profile:
Author has written 60 stories for Winx Club, Sonic the Hedgehog, Cartoon X-overs, Teen Titans, Ned's Declassified SSG, Kingdom Hearts, Avatar: Last Airbender, Navy NCIS, Tokyo Mew Mew, Game X-overs, NiGHTS, Super Smash Brothers, and Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch.

Between the time I began writing this, and actually posted this, I added two more fandoms to that list. You don't become well known by jumping all over fandoms. This causes me problems, becuase I have a wide range of interests, as you can clearly see. And I like to write about these interests. I don't turn down good story ideas.

So I hear people say, "You should write because you like to write, and not because you just want feedback.

I like to write. Therefore I make an attempt to update my stories. You know something? I hate putting all that time and effort into writing another chapter of my story, and then having no one review it. Feedback, or reviews, is what tells me it's worth my time to work on these stories.

But if no one cares, there's no point wasting time working on that story. I can imagine what you'll tell me now: "But you can just check the stats and see if someone read it or not." Just because I got hits doesn't mean anyone read it. The only way I'll know for sure if someone read it is if they review. To illustrate my point, let me tell you the tale of a story called "Recovery."

I wrote that story. At the time, I thought it was a good story idea, so I typed it up and posted it up on FFN. The first chapter didn't get a review. I figured that okay, I left everyone at a nasty cliffhanger, and that's why they aren't reviewing. So I posted the second chapter. No reviews. I finally got one review, when I posted the third chapter.

Reviews were skimpy after that. I don't know how that fic managed to scrape by ,but somehow it did. Finally, by the seventh chapter, I'd lost patience. Here's the note I posted at the bottom of that chapter:

... For a long time I have despised this story, and have come close to taking it down on numerous occasions. Thanks to Dragon Girl ... and Rae Logan, the first and second chapter of this story actually have reviews. Originally I had to post three chapter[s] before I got a review. This story is currently on five favorites lists and four alerts. At the time I am posting this chapter, it has had 1073 hits.

Anyway, what I said before still stands. I got reviews recently from three people, which convinced me that I had to get this chapter written and up. For a time, I lost both interest, and my muse for this story, but I found a new muse and got back to work. We did indeed skip four months so I can revive this thing and get going. Like I said: No reviews for this chapter equals no more story. So that's all I have to say. I guess now the only thing left to do is post this chapter and see what happens.

I actually got reviews after that. Impressive. But without reviews, I had no incentive to keep working on it, and now I'm struggling to bring it back.

Now, I'm not demanding "ten reviews, or else I won't update." When I open my inbox and see one review sitting there, it makes me happy. When someone likes my story enough to stop and leave a comment, it encourages me to keep thinking about it, to come up with more plot, and to keep the fic alive.

On the other hand, if no one reviews, why should I update? It's like Avril Lavigne said in her song Losing Grip:

If you don't care, Then I don't care, we're not going anywhere.

That's about the size of it in my mind, you know. If you don't care, why should I care?

It's really not fair to say "I want ten reviews or no more story!" When I am logged in, I can only review one chapter of your story, once. And I'm not going to log out and give you nine more reviews for the same chapter.

It's not unfair, though, to ask for one or two reviews for a chapter. I don't need ten reviews (although I would like ten reviews). All I need to tell me somone cares and wants to see the story continued is one review.

And that's my "Review Rant."

Begun 12-5-08
Completed 12-9-08

Thursday, December 4, 2008

New For Christmas: Death!

I was watching Fox News tonight, and great news. Now, you can give death for Christmas.

Planned Parenthood wil let you give gift certificates now. Isn't it great? ( Pay close attention to the fact that that sentence contains sarcasm.)

From the Fox News website:

A number of Planned Parenthood clinics in Indiana and Illinois are offering gift certificates for their services this Christmas.

Officials say the vouchers enable people to give their loved ones "the gift of life" — that would help pay for annual checkups and birth control — but also can be used for abortions.Chrystal Struben-Hall with Planned Parenthood of Indiana said the idea is a response to economic woes that have forced many women to put health care at the bottom of their to-do list.

"People are making really tough decisions about putting gas in their car and food on their table," Struben-Hall said.

Planned Parenthood said the stocking-stuffers — that range in value from $25 to $100 and can be ordered online — are redeemable for health services at clinics throughout the two states and can go to any service offered. "We decided not to put restrictions on the gift certificates, so it’s for whatever people feel they need the services for most," Struben-Hall said.

Health care? Honey, you're NOT known for healthcare. The first thing that came to my mind when I heard that stupid commercial of yours on the radio the other day was abortion. And what do you mean by "The gift of life?" 49,915,603 children have been murdered since Roe vs. Wade's reign of terror began.

Fox News continues:

A number of religious and pro-life groups are outraged, saying that at a time when millions are preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, Planned Parenthood is offering a gift that could fund an abortion.

"They can and will be used to end the lives of children at Christmas," said Cathy Ruse of the Family Research Council. She believes the gift certificates will anger many, even those who are not deeply religious. "A coupon for abortion at Christmastime?" Ruse said. "That’s just inherently offensive, I think, to all Americans."

It's offensive, disgusting, and wrong. From the Lone Star Times :

Planned Parenthood of Indiana is celebrating the most important ... pregnancy of all time by selling gift certificates, perfect for the woman who has everything but moral fiber:

Comments under that story include:

- It is difficult to think of a more tasteless, ghoulish thing to give anyone. I refuse to refer to these financial instruments as gifts as they are nothing more than a legal way to put a hit out on someone.

Those at Planned Parenthood who came up with this idea has apparently sold their souls, both individually and collectively. I cannot think of a more evil organization.

-A gift for those who only want to kill the very innocent.I wonder what will be printed on them?

“Good for one dead baby.”“Redeem this at Planned Parenthood. No other redemption possible. Ever.”“Made a mistake? Use this coupon to make an even greater mistake.”

The possibilities are endless.

Well said.

This setup is a disgusting insult. Merry Christmas. Here, have a certificate good for one murder.