trumbulumbu said: I know this is not the right channel to ask this, but I can't think of any other... I've been a fan of ''itswalky/shortpacked'' for a handful of years now. A few months ago you posted a comic which had 4 virtually-identical panels with a single line of dialogue ( id=2074). My natural response was to comment "You can do better than this Willis, lazy comic is lazy", which got me auto-banned. Do you think that's even remotely fair? Wasn't it a little bit disproportionate? :/

hijinksensue:

itswalky:

No, that’s not disproportionate.  That was you being an asshole.  Why would I want someone around who tells me I’m lazy whenever my free comic isn’t up to their particular standards?  I have every right to keep my own website free of toxic attitudes towards myself as a human being.  

I want to high five David so hard right now. 

"I have every right to keep my own website free of toxic attitudes towards myself as a human being." 

I think I want to get that tattooed on me.

doreli12 said: Being that conlang work is highly competitive what would u suggest is a good alternative employment? What did u do before u caught your big break? Thanks

dedalvs:

This is kind of an odd question, because the answer is literally every single other conceivable job. I mean, whatever you like and whoever will employ you…? Playing in the NBA is a good alternative to any job you can’t get if you can play in the NBA. So is captain of a cruise ship. Or restauranteur.

I guess the main advice is to not plan on a career creating languages. I’m pretty much the only one that’s ever had that career, and it could dry up any second (just learned today that a new show I was hired for has been canceled before it even started filming). I never planned on having this career, and it would have been irresponsible of me to expect that conlanging could have turned into a career at pretty much any time in my life before 2011.

My original plan was to teach, and that’s what I did. After I got my master’s in linguistics I taught as an adjunct faculty member at Fullerton College. I’ve always been passionate about education, and I imagine I will return to it one day. Education is something I’ve always been around and always wanted to be around, but it also afforded me time to write and create languages and do what I do. It was an ideal field for me.

So the question, then, actually doesn’t have anything to do with conlanging specifically. The question is what do you want to do? What are you passionate about? Then, how do the answers to those question intersect with paid work? Conlanging is just an art, so if you step back and look at it as that—as an art like writing, painting, animation, etc.—then the question is what can you do to earn money while giving you enough time to pursue your art? This, I’m sure, is a question that has been answered many times in relation to the other arts—especially writing. If you look for advice given to aspiring writers, I’m sure it will apply just as well to aspiring conlangers.

In general, though, if you’re looking at staying in the same place for a while, I’d try to find a job that could lead somewhere. For example, you can make a lot of money as a waiter or bartender, but these jobs don’t lead anywhere beyond what they are. They’ll always be there, and you can always pick right up anywhere new, but there’s little room for upward mobility. If you could get in somewhere where there is the possibility of upward mobility while still getting enough time to pursue your art, that’s ideal, because then you’ll have something with a future while you’re waiting for your art to come through.

Of course, I’m also not a great person to give career advice. I went to graduate school because I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and then immediately went into teaching at a community college—and from there to Game of Thrones. Before that my only non-school job (e.g. being a TA at UCSD, working at the Northern Regional Library Facility while at Berkeley) was at a Togo’s (a sandwich shop). I didn’t last there long. I was extremely fortunate to have the financial support I did while I was going to school. Not everyone has that—and those that haven’t have much more inspiring stories, and, in my experience, give much better career advice. I encourage you to seek them out.

But, of course, in the meantime keep conlanging. That’s how you get better at conlanging! :)

This is excellent career advice.

edwardspoonhands:

Holy. Crap. I just found an email argument between me and some random internet person about evolution and creationism. Apparently I thought this was important enough to print out and save for TWENTY YEARS!!!

When I started college in 2000, I got a binder and began printing and saving my emails. It took about a month before I realized that wasn’t how email worked.

edwardspoonhands:

Holy. Crap. I just found an email argument between me and some random internet person about evolution and creationism. Apparently I thought this was important enough to print out and save for TWENTY YEARS!!!

When I started college in 2000, I got a binder and began printing and saving my emails. It took about a month before I realized that wasn’t how email worked.

Anonymous said: Re: your "rule about naked people" -- How about people who take nude photos of themselves not be stupid and use storage devices that can be hacked, like cloud storage (or take any risks close to that)? Just HOW much personal responsibility does your generation need to shed before you get it through your thick skulls that it only costs $20 for a decent external hard drive these days? :|

fishingboatproceeds:

"The lock on your diary wasn’t very good, so it’s your fault I read your diary."

hello-the-future:

TODAYBORDAY is LABOR DAY!

I love this song.

(And remember that Labor Day is not an actual holiday for a large percentage of Americans.  Supermarkets, restaurants, retail workers, service providers, etc. are all hard at work.)

ONE YEAR LATER AND IT IS STILL RELEVANT

So I was invited to be an interfilk guest for FilkOntario 2015, and they decided to use this photo of me in the promotions.
I LOVE IT.
Who took this? I know it’s from Geek Girl Con, but I had no idea it existed.
I would like to use it as my new profile and publicity pic for EVERYTHING.

So I was invited to be an interfilk guest for FilkOntario 2015, and they decided to use this photo of me in the promotions.

I LOVE IT.

Who took this? I know it’s from Geek Girl Con, but I had no idea it existed.

I would like to use it as my new profile and publicity pic for EVERYTHING.

The reason I’m telling you this is that our shared childhood world of course came to an end. Endings are always interesting because they represent problems to be solved. You can solve them in a way that feels right, or you can solve them in a way that feels wrong and will feel wrong for the rest of your life. Entire books are written just so we can see how two people solve the problem of the ending.
I’ve got a piece in Yearbook Office today about the imaginative worlds my sister and I created as children, and what happened when we got too old to inhabit them.
Next up on “stuff Nicole reads:” Prison Baby: A Memoir.
I didn’t cry during the character deaths in Torch, even though they were better-written. But there was something about the plain language that Deborah Jiang Stein used in Prison Baby that made me tear up. When she wrote about losing one mother and then a second mother, I could feel what she was feeling.
Stein’s not a “capital W writer.” She’s a woman who has lived an extraordinary and complex life and who tells her story in very straightforward language. 
She was born in prison, a fact she discovers by accident when she comes across a letter in her adoptive mother’s dresser. That’s where the story begins: with Deborah as a preteen, reading this letter and not knowing what to do with the information. It takes her twenty years to tell her family that she knows this secret. This book explains those twenty years, as well as what happens afterwards.
I feel like you get to know the vulnerable, intimate truths of Deborah’s life in part because Stein isn’t trying to amplify them through metaphor or parallel structure or any of the other paint tubes in the writer’s art kit. She’s not telling a story. She’s telling her story.
It’s a story that is worth knowing. There’s so much to tell — it encompasses the American prison system, drug addiction and recovery, and navigating the world as a mixed-race child in a white family that refuses to discuss racial differences. (Whenever young Deborah asks her adoptive mother about her race, her mom always says “you’re the same as us.”)
Prison Baby is both heartbreaking and hopeful. It is, most of all, the story of how Deborah Jiang Stein became her own person.

Next up on “stuff Nicole reads:” Prison Baby: A Memoir.

I didn’t cry during the character deaths in Torch, even though they were better-written. But there was something about the plain language that Deborah Jiang Stein used in Prison Baby that made me tear up. When she wrote about losing one mother and then a second mother, I could feel what she was feeling.

Stein’s not a “capital W writer.” She’s a woman who has lived an extraordinary and complex life and who tells her story in very straightforward language. 

She was born in prison, a fact she discovers by accident when she comes across a letter in her adoptive mother’s dresser. That’s where the story begins: with Deborah as a preteen, reading this letter and not knowing what to do with the information. It takes her twenty years to tell her family that she knows this secret. This book explains those twenty years, as well as what happens afterwards.

I feel like you get to know the vulnerable, intimate truths of Deborah’s life in part because Stein isn’t trying to amplify them through metaphor or parallel structure or any of the other paint tubes in the writer’s art kit. She’s not telling a story. She’s telling her story.

It’s a story that is worth knowing. There’s so much to tell — it encompasses the American prison system, drug addiction and recovery, and navigating the world as a mixed-race child in a white family that refuses to discuss racial differences. (Whenever young Deborah asks her adoptive mother about her race, her mom always says “you’re the same as us.”)

Prison Baby is both heartbreaking and hopeful. It is, most of all, the story of how Deborah Jiang Stein became her own person.

Case Of The Modern Men is over, Expecting To Fly begins

scarygoround:

The Case Of The Modern Men is over! If you want to read it from the start, you can do that here. Bad Machinery is now on a break, probably until the new year. Thanks to everyone who wrote emails or sent tweets to say they enjoyed it.

A few people wrote and asked, “what was the supernatural element of that story”? When I started the the last case, I wanted to downplay that aspect a bit. Maybe King Gary’s scooter was evil and cursed, but maybe it wasn’t. It didn’t really matter to me either way. I’m always more interested in other parts of the story. 

After six months of mods v rockers, I’m ready to do other things for a while. I’ve spent a lot of time over the last year or so going back into the histories of long-running characters, and Expecting To Fly is the last part of that. It’s a different kind of story, with a slightly different tone. It runs for ten weeks, up to the start of November. (As always, no prior knowledge of my troublesome back catalogue should be required to enjoy these events.)

Then, according to my lightly pencilled comics itinerary, there’s a new Murder She Writes story in the run-up to Christmas. The only thing I can currently tell you is that it is about space.

After that, Bad Machinery should return. I’ll do my best to keep you busy until then.

I thought the supernatural element was the part where they were now all living in an alternate timeline where people cared about mods and listened to bands called “The Whom”???????????

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Nicole Dieker. Freelance copywriter. Essayist (The Toast, Yearbook Office, Boing Boing, The Billfold). Occasional nerd musician. Every week I post how much money I earn writing.

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