[Kali's Scrapbook] On the Way to Greatness

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The player scrapbooks forum is literally a place for writers to warm-up, brainstorm, keep little scraps of notes, or just post things to encourage themselves and each other. Each player can feel free to create their own thread - one per account - and use them accordingly.

[Kali's Scrapbook] On the Way to Greatness

Postby Kalina on March 25th, 2014, 9:13 pm

So people have probably noticed that replies for Kalina, Verin and Hope have been coming in slow. That's because of university. I handed in my dissertation last week and will be handing in three more essays on Friday - and then I'm free!! (For a little bit before the last essay of my undergrad degree, and then exams...) But I'm almost there, guys!

Anyway, when it comes to writing essays and posts, I have a simple formula which helps me to decide which piece of work I am going to do next. It's all about time, enjoyment and tiredness, and it means that I will get through as many pieces of work/posts as efficiently as humanly possible. Because.. we all know that some posts are more enjoyable/easier to write than others, and this helps me (and might help you) sift through what to do next...


You have a series of projects to complete.

You aren’t certain exactly when you will get tired but you know you will get tired eventually.

Each of the projects has an expected effort level ‘E’ and an expected reward level ‘R’.

‘Effort’ is anything which makes the project hard to complete, be it time, relative lack of enjoyment or preparation time. ‘Reward’ is the financial, emotional etc success one gets from completing the task.

E.g: Paying your monthly phone bill is effortful because you have to spend money and time doing but the reward is that you get to fulfil your contract and keep using your phone for one more month.

E.g. 2: Cooking a meal for yourself is more effortful than getting in take-out (if you find cooking expensive or time consuming like most students) but the reward for a cooked meal is generally greater than a take-out (unless that’s some damn fine take-out or you just plain suck at cooking)

Anyway, if you compute the reward/effort ratio for a group of tasks you have to complete. I.e. you calculate/estimate “R/E” for each of your unopened emails and then rank them in descending order of these “R/E” values and then work on these projects solidly until you get tired… guess what? You’ll have done the most rewarding amount of work possible in that time.

Maths.


Credit to my PhD Maths buddy for telling me about this nifty little formula.
So if I prioritise threads, I'm really sorry, and I will get to you eventually, but it's helping me to keep my motivation going!
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[Kali's Scrapbook] On the Way to Greatness

Postby Kalina on April 27th, 2014, 9:09 pm

To my beautiful Vice, I didn't really have anywhere else to post this, seeing as I'm not setting up shop; Paint Shop Pro trial runs out soon! But, as promised, this is for you.. sorry it took me such a long time to get around to doing...

SuSpeshAwesome Team Go?

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[Kali's Scrapbook] On the Way to Greatness

Postby Kalina on May 2nd, 2014, 12:27 am


So I've been exposed to my first ever anime (other than the childhood Pokemon, etc - which aren't real "anime", apparently). It was Attack on Titan. And I freaking loved it. First time round, my housemate and I watched it in two sittings.. and then I watched the odd episode again.. 'cause why not?

Anywway. Levi is the best person ever, mainly because I share nigh on the same philosophy as him (at least as far as death for the sake of death goes, and the logic of "choosing the situation you would regret least" - which is advice I've been giving to rl friends for years)... and it's a philosophy I've passed on to my most emotionally rounded and stable character: Verin. Except Verin actually shows emotion. 'Cause he's not a robot.

Anyway, here's a lovely scene (first time posting a vid, dunno how it works... magic, I suppose..)
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[Kali's Scrapbook] On the Way to Greatness

Postby Abstract on May 2nd, 2014, 1:34 am

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Ah... that scene. That was just the best scene. So amusing. Did you watch the after-credits scene? Future plots await! It's one of my favorite animes :) The whole concept is quite interesting, and I like the 3D maneuvering gear... ingenious!

If you want another good anime, I'd recommend Code Geass... my all time favorite, just above Attack on Titan. I could go on about both, but I'll refrain. If you start Code Geass, though, you need to finish it. That ending is just...

I'm not going to spoil it :)


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[Kali's Scrapbook] On the Way to Greatness

Postby Kalina on August 30th, 2014, 8:31 pm

This is a sentence. This second sentence explains that the first sentence can be called a sentence because it contains a verb. Non sentence. Sentence fragment? Writer likes. Short. This one will be a little longer, just because the writer felt like it. Here it will be explained that the previous five “things” give you, as the reader, a clear perspective on how the writer’s brain works. Following the theme of the last sentence, this one will let the reader know that the writer is a very paranoid person. The paragraph will conclude by informing you that the writer can often be bored.

This sentence explains that, by starting a new paragraph, a new train of thought will be undertaken. Here the writer feels the need to inform you that this sentence contains exactly twenty four words, and so she has done so spectacularly. Two words. The writer is having fun. This is the second paragraph… and after the first use of ellipsis in this particular piece, you are now to be told that there will be five more paragraphs to come. The writer idly wonders if this is spoiling the surprise for the reader. The writer doesn’t care. The writer imagines a troll face should be entered here. The writer thinks it should be clear to the reader by now that this is, in fact, a self-referential story. The writer also lets the reader know, in case they haven’t worked it out for themselves yet, that she clearly isn’t taking herself very seriously anymore.

Smiling, the writer informs the reader that she is proud of her embedded clauses, such as this one here, and urges all writers to use them more often. She is a big fan of them. As well as sentence fragments. Here, have another one. And another. Pretty. Smiley face. Here it will be explained to you that self-referential stories aren’t as easy as they look. Now you’re told that they’re relatively easy too. Confused? Amused? Should the writer give up?

The writer thinks it prudent to let the readers know that she is currently enjoying life, though cannot say the same thing about the horrendous weather she has been experiencing. A shrug is what the writer gives here. Here is a realisation that this is the shortest paragraph. Except for one. That is, on the assumption that the next line is its own paragraph.

“I wanted the self-referential story to contain some dialogue,” said the writer, “so here it is.”

A short break for the writer to scratch her leg. She might have fleas. This sentence acknowledges the fact that the previous two sentences are utterly irrelevant to the form of a self-referential story, that the writer is fully aware that the reader had no idea what circumstances the writer is in when writing. Now the story in forms you that she’s in bed. In case the reader wanted to know. The writer begins to wonder for how much longer she would be able to draw this out.

This beginning of the final paragraph, you’ll be pleased to know, is here. The plot (if you think there is one) is running out of steam. Steam trains are cool… old fashioned. The writer’s brother’s best friend loves steam trains. See what the writer did there? Train of thought… different tangent… interlinked? Never mind. This is not the last sentence of the piece. Nor is this one. This paragraph needs to be a little longer to not infringe on any of the other statements in the story. This sentence confirms that the paragraph is now long enough. This is not the last sentence, though. This one is.




I wrote this a couple of years ago for a blog that I haven't used for... long long times. But it made me smile and I wanted to remind myself of what I think is a funny, so I'm posting it here :)
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[Kali's Scrapbook] On the Way to Greatness

Postby Kalina on October 22nd, 2014, 9:17 pm

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The World in Grey


Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few months... year? you will undoubtedly have heard or seen or even read the phenomenon that is the Fifty Shades trilogy. They exist in book form and, Gods help us, the first film is going to be released for our misery in only a few months. Valentine's Day for the UK. Is it the same for the rest of the world? I bought the first book in a WHSmith’s back before I knew what I was about to delve into and within the first paragraph, I joke you not, I had a strange sense of deja vu creep over me. This is because I had in fact already read this book. When it wasn’t a book. The Twilight fanfiction “Master of the Universe” was circled around many online communities following a search to find something which might be able to match the infamy of “My Immortal”, a beautifully written Harry Potter fanfiction. I seriously recommend this particular one to all. It is something to behold.

Anyway. I read “Master of the Universe” back when it was first written, I think I might have been fourteen or fifteen at the time, so a good seven years ago now. The only thing I regret is that I paid £8 to buy the paperback of something where the only edits had been to change the names of the characters. I’m pretty sure anyone can work out who is who. The book itself, though poorly written to match its inspiration, isn’t all that awful. I didn’t read it wide-eyed and horrified at the graphic sex scenes portrayed. Because, bluntly, movies with a 12 rating can be worse. The lack of vulgar language makes the book not-so-pornographic, as the world seems to think it is.

Hell, I've written far worse, and I'm of the opinion that most of my stuff isn't needlessly... violent or sexual. Only when relevant to plot, and even then I don't really have the desire to bluntly "stick things in places". But Gods was this book dull. I've read my fair share of novels with such thematic basis (c'mon, I have a slave PC, an ex-slave PC and a master PC. Doesn't take a genius to work out that, whilst my real life interest is limited, my theoretical interest is bordering on unhealthy). Some are works of art, written much like any mainstream novel, but with more character development... and I can say that hand on heart that many such books do have more dev to them.



But I digress. Let's pretend that the book could match well established works such as The Story of "O" or The Marketplace. What I find amusing about this, though, is that if you walk into any book shop in the country, you will find at least one shelf dedicated to the Fifty Shades series and all following books of the same theme. They’re easy to pick out with the symbolic keys or chains on the front covers. And each book is probably as dull as the next, with two dimensional characters who fit seamlessly into the prototypical Mary-Sues and Gary-Stus of the writing world. Because that’s all we want to read about.

The problem is that, and this is for any budding authors out there, the concept of a BDSM-esque novel is now just as mainstream as writing about a boy wizard who has to defeat the ultimate Dark Lord or die trying.

Another prime example is incest. Flowers in the Attic, when first released, was a scandal. Now, with the growing popularity of the Game of Thrones TV series, based upon A Song of Ice and Fire, it is still obscene, but people don’t seem to mind it as much. To the contrary, many writers are actually exploring the concept themselves. Films that were once 18s (or R rated) would now be 15s or even 12As. People are becoming desensitised.

All we need now is a book or film or TV series to make Lolita obsolete.



The point I am trying to make is… soon enough, nothing will surprise us. And with that, nothing will excite us or pique our interest. When my parents watched Doctor Who, they were terrified by the sea monsters and would hide behind a couch. Now… children the same age watch it with bored expressions.

I wonder if there will come a day when parents take their children on safari, or to Niagra Falls… and they just shrug and turn away.
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[Kali's Scrapbook] On the Way to Greatness

Postby Kalina on November 2nd, 2014, 11:44 pm

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Roundabouts


Did you know.. America doesn’t have any?

Or… when I say it doesn’t have any.. I mean it has approximately 3,000 roundabouts (as of 2011) in the entire country. Now.. 3,000 might seem like a lot to you.. but bearing in mind that the USA is… a substantial size bigger than the UK, it should definitely not seem like a lot when we consider that the UK has around 25,000 roundabouts (as of 2009). Weird, huh?

Now.. I only realised this when my sister came back from a school trip to Missouri (strange place to go on a school trip, I know) and she said that she had seen her first American roundabout. Now.. my family is reasonably well travelled, especially around the USA, and it had never occurred to me that I had never seen one, so I immediately jumped on all of my American friends and asked them about this strange phenomenon.

The most popular response I received? “What’s a roundabout” O.O After a brief explanation, some people still didn’t have the faintest idea about what I was talking about.. but most realised, “Ooooh, traffic circles!” Yes. those old fashioned things that Britain has moved on from. Them.

By this point I had been raving about how Americans could ever be allowed to drive in the UK, and a few of them hastened to inform me that they, in fact, had at least three within ten miles of where they lived. It was a good moment for me when I could tell them that I could drive for about 20 minutes and easily happen across 30 of them. Round one to the Brits.

I also took immense pleasure in explaining to them what a “Magic” Roundabout was. Wikipedia definition as follows: “This roundabout is at a junction of five (or more) roads and consists of a two-way road around the central island with five (or more) mini-roundabouts where it meets the incoming roads. Traffic may proceed around the main roundabout either clockwise via the outer lanes, or anticlockwise using the inner lanes next to the central island. At each mini-roundabout the usual clockwise flow applies.”

I have to admit that I LOVE driving around Magic Roundabouts, and am fortunate enough to have three of them within 40 minutes of my house. Yay. But it went deeper for the Americans. Apparently they don’t know what a mini-roundabout is. It took me a while to recover from this, because, let’s face it, roundabouts are such a massive part of driving in the UK.

One friend in particular began to show me pictures on the internet of a few roundabouts near him. He thought they were mildly impressive. They weren’t. My Magic Roundabouts easily trumped him, as well as showing him the Handy Cross roundabout in High Wycombe (just a stone’s throw away from one of the (in)famous Magic Roundabouts near me, which is an impressive feat if you cross it alive.

I suppose a lot of you will find this incredibly dull.. but as a new driver, having only been driving for two and a half years, I still love the whole experience, and roundabouts are fun. Conclusion: the Yanks are sorely missing out. That and they hould not be allowed to drive anywhere in Europe.
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