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Re: CHAT: facing your own mortality (as a conlanger)

From:Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...>
Date:Saturday, June 28, 2008, 15:09
On Sat, Jun 28, 2008 at 2:10 AM, Sai Emrys <sai@...> wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 10:16 PM, Rick Harrison <rick@...> wrote:
>> Let me draw an analogy. When I am doing a drawing or painting, I can't >> stand >> to have anyone see it before it's finished. If they say anything about it I >> will never be able to get the comment out of my head; if they don't say >> anything I will wonder why not. Maybe there is something in your life that >> you have the same feeling about.
> There isn't. > > I've seen this feeling before plenty, and I can understand it, but it's not > one that I have; I prefer my style.
I guess I'm somewhere in between your personality extremes on this point. Most of the stuff I've ever written, I've been keen to get somebody's feedback on while it's in progress, or at least wanted to find an audience for when it was finished. But there are a few things -- the bulk of my journal, obviously, but also some short stories and the like -- that are so personal or idiosyncratic, that it seems anyone reading them could easily psychoanalyze me; them, I wouldn't show to anybody while they're in progress, and if I publish them, it would be anonymously or pseudonymously. I have a short story I finished last summer that is straddling the borderline of these categories; I can't make up my mind whether to keep sitting on it, or rewrite it another way and then submit it to various zines under my own name, or submit it anonymously or pseudonymously as it is... Then there are some stories I've written in gzb that are never going to be translated into English, or posted on my website even without a translation or gloss; just possibly some of my brother's or cousins' descendants will learn gzb some day and read those stories along with my journal -- if someone comes along with both a talent for languages, an interest in family history, and access to these notebooks -- but probably not. Most of my better-developed conlangs I've posted about online sooner or later; the ones I've never said anything about here are, with one exception, too sketchy to be worth bringing to y'all's attention. There's one conlang I've been holding back on, not for reasons of privacy, but because I have a special reason for springing it on the world all at once after it's fully developed enough for me to write a bunch of text in it... But for some reason -- whether because gzb is more interesting to me and it absorbs almost all my conlanging energies in the last few years, or because the secrecy required for this project means I can't talk to fellow conlangers about the design decisions I'm making -- I've had a hard time making progress on it. I want to use it as an uber-puzzle, giving people just enough information to figure it out if they try hard enough but not making it easy by publishing a grammar, dictionary, lessons etc. On Sat, Jun 28, 2008 at 1:55 AM, Sai Emrys <sai@...> wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 9:43 PM, Rick Harrison <rick@...> wrote: > >> I think some of those sites delete pages when they have not been >> updated in a long time. At least that's the impression I get from the >> huge number of dead links I encounter on them.
> That's inaccurate. It's just that they typically only spider through links, > and if a page is old it won't be linked to... so it doesn't get rearchived.
Look back at the context; I think Rick was talking about free webspace sites, like Tripod, Geocities, etc. It sounds like you're talking about I think Rick is correct in saying that Tripod, Geocities,,, et al. will sometimes delete pages that haven't been updated in a long time, or haven't gotten many hits recently, or fail some other criterion of continuing importance. In "Think Like a Dandelion", Cory Doctorow is talking about a somewhat different issue, but some of what he says is still relevant to our topic here of ensuring your work survives you. -- Jim Henry Conlang fluency survey -- there's still time to participate before I analyze the results and write the article