As we are spreading into all of the crevices of our WordPress home, it seemed prudent to create some ‘about me’ profiles for the mod team so people who are new to the community can get to know little about them that their writing may take too long to uncover.
In addition to the bio information, a sense of dedication underlies the reason we are here to be moderators and maintainers of your community. For this reason, I wanted to share the individual testimonials on all of the sites. You should know how we feel.
Once upon a time, shuttling between countries, there was a writer of odds and ends. Stories and jingles and poetry and documentaries. Even sports writing from time to time. The important thing was to use the words.
…Then came bardi 2.0 and then bardi 2.1 and the words were replaced by actual working.
..The years went by, as words do. The original Bardi, in the States, discovered NaNoWriMo. In fact, enough that he became a Municipal Liason. And there was Script Frenzy, which faded. And APAD (April Poem a Day) which was sort of a one bardi thing for the most part. And then, being an LJ sort of addict, he discovered Brigit’s Flame. He wrote and he edited and he found himself elected as a mod. And he is still here, hoping to do his bit at reinventing the wheel. Or getting you…and you….and the slightly odd person in the corner to help the Flame continue.
.. Gods and dodos what was with all the second person. Of course, it is me and I am guessing you knew that, eh?
jlly_coppercorn (a.k.a. eadarD00dles on WP) –
I started out as a young storyteller, quite often with an audience of one. Throughout my young life, I desperately wanted to be an artist. I wanted to draw and paint – to create beautiful things – but I had no real talent for it and no real access to the technical training. It wasn’t until I crossed the line into my thirties that I realized writing was art too. I came to this epiphany when I found a group of friends who were all equally imaginative and encouraging. One in particular put all of their stories on paper (or in a post) to foist on their friends and ask for feedback. When I tried the same I got a lot of mumbles or excuses, which was either due to terrible writing or the sheer size of the text wall I was putting up in front of them. This taught me two things – I really needed feedback and I needed to find a different group of friends to share my writing with.
In 2008, I started working on a novel, quite by accident, that I took into NaNoWriMo and was able to earn the coveted badge with. I hit that word count goal and kept on going. The writing bug had really gotten under my skin. I was trying to write out a plot for every idea I had when my mind was at rest, but it was all unfocused and could not come to a resolution. Then one day LiveJournal shared Brigit’s Flame community in its spotlight section and I clicked over there to have a look.
A new prompt had just gone up. It tickled my senses right away and I proceeded to write a 9k+ word piece of garbage that I was so proud of because it had an end. I had actually finished something! It was pure crap, but it had an end. It took until the following October before I was writing stories people gave me glowing feedback on. In between, I spent almost every moment away from work writing stories, reading the stories written by the community, and socializing in the old flamechat rooms. I was so incredibly happy. I was learning from (and with) my peers and finally productive as a writer (even though most of the writing was still crap). It was communing with the community that drove me, as much as the love of telling a story.
I’m here now to give that back. If I can help someone else to find joy in sharing that spark of creation, feel it grow, and satisfy their inner artist; then I’ll have come full circle. If they also find in us a family or safe haven — we will all burn brighter for it.
In 2008, shortly after I lost my job, my little brother told me about an LJ writers’ community. Then he told me the name. Brigit is one of the many variants of the name of my Patroness – Goddess of the forge, smithcraft, making; of the hearth, the cauldron, healing; and the harp, bardic arts, poetic inspiration. I knew I was being given an opportunity to strengthen my relationship with Brigit, with the craft of writing (which is a spiritual act for me), and with other writers.
I wrote the then moderators, asking to be accepted into the community. (Lacombe later told me it sounded like a job interview!) I was accepted. I found the prompts to be evocative of many things. There were different kinds of prompts: regular word or phrase prompts; visual prompts; musical prompts. I wrote for a bit. The membership exploded because the comm was spotlighted. Mods changed. Some of us had a meet and greet around one of Desert Rose’s visits from Australia.
I wrote. I edited. I helped with/co-hosted “NaNoInFlames” several years. I wrote. I edited. The comments on my posts declined significantly. I began to feel that my work was just not the style of the new members. I stepped back for a bit. My life got complicated. I stopped editing.
Mods changed. I helped out as much as I could. I stopped writing for the comm. Time passed. I decided to write for the comm every month in 2014. That became the year of being poisoned and almost dying three times. My writing, of course, took a hit.
When the mods changed this time, it was much the same. Word went out “We need help to keep the community alive.” I volunteered to write a chatter post. (I didn’t realize it was a blog post until my brother asked me why it wasn’t on my writing resume!) The end of 2014 came around. I did NaNo. Then I blinked, and the next thing I knew they were calling me a “mod”. OK, not a problem, just a surprise, I would have expected to KNOW that I had become a mod. The December Mini Contests happened. And I wrote stories that *I* was proud of and the rest of the world could go hang. (At which point, I got comments and they were largely positive.)
I have written in January, and in February. I plan to write every month, at least the first week. My writing has grown. My spirit has grown. I now self-identify as a writer. I have two writing buddies. I write almost every day – in my journal, for the Flame, for other things. I plan to work on my 2013 NaNo (which was a retelling of the 2008 NaNo because the electronic copy and the manuscript both disappeared), with the goal of at least having a draft I’ll be willing to let some of my folks read and give feedback by the end of the year.
I would not be where I am as a writer, or as a spiritual being were it not for my relationship with Brigit’s Flame and the support and encouragement of the other mods and many of the members.
I joined Brigit’s Flame in early 2009, in hopes of learning how to write for a reading audience. I had, by that time, filled thousands of notebooks with stories, and I loved one in particular. I wanted others to read that story, but wasn’t quite so deluded that I didn’t realize I was in over my head.
Some of the scenes were problematic, the dialogue and setting descriptions rattled on and on, and I couldn’t deftly transition from one chapter to another. I had enrolled in college courses by that time as well, but writing reviews on seventy-five year old literature wasn’t really turning me into the writer I wanted to be. An online search of writing communities brought me to LiveJournal, and a few weeks later I was invited to Brigit’s Flame by an outstanding community mod and writer, firesign10.
In three years of sharing my stories in weekly contests, I was given feedback, encouragement, in-depth constructive criticism, and generous amounts of online friendship. Some of those friendships grew beyond the boundaries of social networking into cherished, personal relationships that continued long after I had to leave the community and weekly writing to take care of real life responsibilities that had grown to overwhelming proportions.
This community gave me support and inspiration to find myself, as well as a potential lifelong occupation. A world of strangers helped teach me who I was, who I am, and who I want to be. It is a privilege to be back, to be helping my friends bring Brigit’s Flame out of it’s dark little corner of LiveJournal and begin sharing it with a larger audience.
Enter Stage Left. A seemingly simple woman, of seemingly simple intention. She (both physically and by spirit) is statuesque, bold, and focused. There is something dynamic to be said for her presence. She is a pillar; a potent construct of confidence, both justified and self-indulged. Sick of her yet? I would be too, except she’s me. She didn’t start that way — self-assured, vaguely certain of her own skill (though wildly adept at faking something stronger), and legitimately capable.
There was a time when she was clumsy, confused, and fond of using alliteration and sets of threes to compensate for a lack of actual ideas. Then came the Flame. I found the Flame in 2008, when the Community was enjoying its prime. Though I was awash in a sea of writers far more experienced than I, there was an air of welcome and encouragment that subdued any fears I had of submitting that very first week. It’s worth mentioning that I scored highly despite no popularity under my belt, and that it definitely boosted my courage to compete again. Though I could sing of its praises at length, I often sang most loudly of the sense of commaraderie, the skilled (and cutthroat) editing team, and the legitimate room to GROW. I came into the game as nothing but raw materials, and now I am a Writer. A capital “w” Writer. That is an irreplacable identity that comes with a skill set one cannot help but to pass on. So, that is what I aim to do. I aim to pass the Flame.
New beginnings are rough, and they take time to foster and cultivate. In most parts of my life, I am impatient and easily discouraged, but the endeavor of bringing the Flame back to a roaring glory is an exception to even those intense flaws. I believe in a place where aspiring writers can come to share, to explore, and to learn. I believe in a place where seasoned writers can challenge themselves, or write without obligation or pressure among like-minded peers. I believe in our senior members, in our ambitious and passionate Mod Hydra, and I believe in the endless potential of anyone who writes so much as one entry and gains from it. An irrefutable wisdom inspires the adage, “There is strength in numbers.” I would have the Flame rebuilt upon the shoulders of those who believe in its worth, and made brilliant and glowing by the kindling of those whose talents and dreams burn brighter by its influence.
I write because I am a Writer. I write for the Flame because I am not the only one.
Just a reminder –
We have a vote going on. The last of the February drabble mini-contests is awaiting your opinion. Vote ends tomorrow.
We also have a fresh new prompt series starting this past Sunday. First in line is “Local Color” – come write for us in your native tongue.