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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

116!! *falls over onto the floor*

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

116!! *falls over onto the floor*

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For this year's MEFAs, my first act during voting season was to go through and put every story set in the First Age or earlier or involving characters from that era, as well as anything else that sounded intriguing, onto my Wish list. I ended up with 116 stories on my Wish list.

I thought there was a snowball's chance in Hades that I'd ever get to read them all. Working fulltime, going to school fulltime, and trying to keep the SWG afloat (plus family obligations, beta-reading, SCA, my own writing, my website, the Heretic Loremaster, my artwork, and the occasional hour of sleep) doesn't leave me with much free time these days. But I direly miss the days when my involvement in fandom included a good amount of reading stories about stuff I like. That's one of the reasons we're all here, isn't it?

Besides that, last year, I managed a dismal two reviews. I felt terrible for that. I have been well-nominated for the MEFAs for three years now, and it seems wrong to me to expect others to read and review my work while I sit and collect reviews and never glance at anyone else's stories. (Especially when, last year, each one of my nominated stories won third place or better, so people were generously reviewing me.) I know that it is not the MEFA expectation that nominees must review, and I do not judge people who I know accept nominations knowing full well that they have no intentions of reviewing, but for me it does not work to accept nominations without contributing as a reviewer.

So I really really wanted to get as many of those 116 stories reviewed as I could.

And, about ten minutes ago, I turned in my 116th review.

*falls over onto the floor in a happy stupor*

If I missed any First Age stories, it was purely by accident. Otherwise, I read and reviewed them all, feel like I've been a good community member this year, had a great time, and--perhaps most importantly to me--found some phenomenal new stories and authors. And got to reread some of my favorites too.
  • Wow, having managed all but *seven* reviews this year, I'm very impressed. I do feel bad about not reviewing more, but I simply don't have the time I used to have. It's a shame:(
    • Oh, I understand, believe me! That was me last year ... and I only managed two (both of which I'd read before the MEFAs; one of which I'd beta'ed and the other prepared for SWG References! :D)

      I set out at the start of the season to make up for my poor performance last year and didn't lose sight of that over five months, and I was very lucky that schoolwork settled down enough to make a surge at the end possible.
  • 116!!! Amazing. And you also make ice-cream? Even more amazing. Sleep? Almost unbelievable.
    (I reviewed 21 - running to hide)
    • I do make ice cream! I think I've probably been making ice cream for about five years now. Though, not surprisingly, I rarely have time for it. ;)

      21 is great! Personally, I think that even 1 is great; it really depends on so much, like RL schedules and other fannish obligations and also how comfortable one is with the sort of writing required of reviews. I'm lucky that many writers' workshops and four years in fandom have trained me well in writing reviews. :)

      For some, 21 may be more of an accomplishment than my 116 was; it really depends on the person, I think.
  • That is... quite a feat. I've set a target for 35 and was working on the 8th when the site went down a moment ago - and while university is keeping me busy, I am not nearly as busy as you are. Reviewing 116 is an admirable feat, and I hope you know it. *hugs*
    • Thank you, Elleth! *hugs back* I don't know that you're any less busy. ;) Online university is nice in that classes can be staggered so I'm not taking more than three at a time, I'm not spending two hours a day commuting, and I can read forum posts between ... well, reviewing for the MEFAs! :D

      I think that anyone who works hard to review stories, whether they reach a target or an impressive-looking number or not, really has something to be proud of. Even 1 review is an accomplishment! :) If that one review was on a story of mine, I would not turn it down.
  • Oooo so that is what those nr's were about in your gmail away message. Duh!!!!! I knew at the start of the MEFA's with what I had on my plate back then that I couldn't review as much as I liked. I do feel immensely bad about not reviewing those stories I did nominate, but go me, just two to go of those (one of yours dear). I set my review target immensely low and I really can't concentrate on saying something decent right now, but I almost doubled my review target the past 24 hours. So I am patting myself on my back. There are so many more I wished I could have read, especially the medium length ones, but you know, one must know their limits and you planned it immensely well. 116, how about that! Go you and thanks for your wonderful reviews, they in a way made me smile and warmed my heart. :)
    • You're welcome! :) Thank you as well ... I'm hoping to thank all of my reviewers personally over the next few days. :)

      I really think that "accomplishment" where reviewing (or, really, anything) is concerned has to be personally tailored. A lot of things went right this year that 116 was possible for me. Schoolwork plateaued at just the right time, I was really in the mood to read and review, work wasn't too busy ... not everyone is that lucky, so someone might review five stories, and that might be more of an accomplishment than my 116.

      So I think that you and all the other reviewers should be proud because even 1 review can really make a writer's day! :)
      • I know, that is why I partly felt a bit guilty for not doing as much as I wanted to, but then there were other stuff that I wouldn't have forgiven myself. Real life vs Fandom, many (fandom) friends have told me it made sense, but ah that tiny voice that said... it will make people happy too :)

        Some of yours I've read before, but some I really could sit down for :) And that was really nice!

        Edited at 2008-12-06 11:20 pm (UTC)
  • Congratulations! I fear I didn't review many First Age stories but did sample a handful this year and eanjoyed them.I meant to write 50 reviews and ended up with 212!
    • Wow, that is awesome! Congratulations! :D

      I also set my review target lower than I ended up with ... much lower. I wasn't sure how school would go, so I set my target at 30.
  • Congratulations! You're such a master multi-tasker--you are fit to be a Noldo. ;-D

    I'll try to review more next time--I joined mostly for the SWG folks only but next year I want to earn a shiny too.
    • I'm really not happy unless I have ten things going on at once. ;)

      I think the MEFAs are addictive. I got involved because I had stories nominated, and my involvement has only increased. I think it's because I think of the MEFAs as an event where it is impossible to "lose." Even if a story doesn't place for an award, the author ends up with new readers and new reviews of his or her work. I don't know any of us that would turn that down! :D
  • *cheers* Go you! I'm truly proud of you, and glad that you chose to review through the MEFAs. :-)
  • I met my minimum goal some time ago, which was considerably more modest. But at this late date, I still have many reviews left that I sincerely hoped to do. I hope I can squeeze some more in before the close. (As far as your achievement goes: frankly, I'm not sure if I am proud of you or worried about you!) I try to console myself on my own rather smaller number with the fact that I gave big points and reviewed a lot of long stories and tried venture beyond my usual preferred categories.
    • I don't think that any consolation is necessary. 116 was an accomplishment for me because it was something that I really had to push myself to do; for someone else, that number might be 20 or even 5. I think that anyone who reviews should be proud; even 1 review makes a writer's day! :)

      Also, I think you have a good point about the length and depth of reviews. I think that every review is worthwhile, whether 40 words or 400, but I also think that there's something to be said for wanting to say something of quality about one story versus dashing off one-sentence reviews about five stories, even if the latter reviewer is going to have the more impressive achievement at the end.

      One thing that I regretted, because I wanted to review all of the stories on my Wish list, was that there were some where I could have written much more but did not because I'd already given full points and needed to move on to the next story if I hoped to finish them all.
  • Good lord, Dawn, you desire some special kind of award just for that Herculean effort. Kudos!
    • Thank you! :D I was actually quite proud when I reached my reviewer goal (which was a rather modest 30 ...) I still haven't gotten my banners for the stories that won awards but I put up my reviewer banner right away! :D
  • Wootage in the extreeeeeme! 116 reviews with how busy you are! The mind boggles. In a good, confetti filled way. :D Go Dawn! *waves flag*
    • Woohoo! Flags and confetti! *dances around*

      Thank you! :D

      And my handsome Nelyo sees your handsome Feanaro ...
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