apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Default)
Most people will not care at all about the contents of this post. Feel free to disregard! This is mostly for [ profile] eanor, who expressed some curiosity about how I do the matching for [ profile] sherlockmas's holiday fic exchange. It may be of interest to anyone else thinking about doing their own fic exchange. Or it might not. (As you all may have noticed, I am VERY SYSTEMATIC about certain things. This will be one of them. There are multiple spreadsheets involved. You have been warned.)

First and foremost, you should convince your friend [ profile] evilhippo to help you with the matching process, because she is a super matching genius with a savant-like talent for pairing people up to write fic. (She also makes a rather tedious task fun.) If you don't have an [ profile] evilhippo, I'm sorry: you're on your own!

Second, you need a deep and abiding love for Google spreadsheets. It is so much easier to organize these things with spreadsheets!

After that, the process is roughly this:

  • Spreadsheet all the info. At this point, I have three spreadsheets for this fest: a master, one for offers, and one for requests. The master is where I keep track of who has signed up, their email address, whether or not they've checked in, who they've been assigned to, who they are assigned to, etc. I like a spreadsheet, because I can sort by whatever category I like, to have the list sorted by participant, who has checked in/not checked in, who's offered to pinch hit, etc.

    The "offers" and "requests" sheets are what I use to do the matching. I put down participants' names, a link to the comment where they signed up to the fest, and the details of what they offered to write or requested to received: the category (slash, femslash, het, poly, gen), the rating(s) they're comfortable writing or receiving, characters, pairings, potential crossovers, and finally: a keyword summary of the kinks, tropes, and general details of fic they like to read or write. (Things like "casefic, domesticity, PWP, BDSM, fluff" etc.)
  • Once the spreadsheets are finished, it's time to do the matching! I don't match participants off just the spreadsheet: hippo and I use the spreadsheets to find potential matches, and then click on the link to the sign-ups to confirm that it's a good match.

    There's a general order that (I think) works for matching people up, as well as some things to keep in mind when matching:
    1. Try to match the difficult sign-ups first. In BBC Sherlock fandom, that's pretty much anyone who didn't request or offer slash.
    2. Plenty of people offer to write or receive gen, but few are actually enthusiastic about it. If someone is a gen-only writer, I don't want them to end up writing for someone who says they'll accept gen, but then only makes shippy prompts. It's just not fun if you feel like you're writing someone's last choice for fic. Same with people who request gen fic: I want to pair them with a writer who's happy to write gen.
    3. As for smut: about twice as many people will request smut as will offer to write it. It's a fact of life. So I want to make sure to match up people who want smut-and-nothing-but with people who are confident about writing porn.
    4. Beware the PG-13 cut-off. If a participant doesn't specify "any" for the ratings they're willing to read or write, they'll likely choose one side or the other: "G to PG-13" or "PG-13 to R". Since no one's actually sitting down with the MPAA guidelines and counting F-bombs to classify their fics, this is basically shorthand for "I prefer milder and fluffier" or "I prefer dirtier and/or more violent". Even though someone who offered to write "G to PG-13" is likely perfectly capable of writing a fic to please someone who requested "PG-13 to R", they might feel uncomfortable that their writing isn't "hardcore" enough to please their recipient. (The opposite can be true as well: a smut writer worried they can't produce a G-rated fic to please.)
    5. Certain tropes/kinks are super easy to match up: if someone says they like Mycroft/Lestrade and MPreg, and there's someone who's offered to write both M/L and MPreg, you're pretty much good to go. Same with crossovers: if participants have Molly/Moriarty and Good Omens in common, it's likely a match made in happen. It's good to put these matches together as you come across them.

  • [ profile] evilhippo and I talk to each in chat while we're matching. We tend to jump back and forth between sign-ups, and may have three or four matches we're actively seeking out at once. After awhile, you start becoming familiar with people and what they've requested.
  • When we make a match, we note it on both spreadsheets: on the "offers" spreadsheet under the "writing for" heading, and on the "requests" spreadsheet under the "assigned to" category. By sorting the list by these categories, we can see who has yet to be matched up.
  • It doesn't really get hard until you're down to the last third of participants, and you realize you missed someone who really, really wants Sally/Molly ageplay crossover fic with the Sweet Valley High books, and Oops! you've assigned the person who offered to write that to someone else.
  • Sometimes you have to re-match people you've matched up before.
  • Hopefully, you've left the easiest people (the ones who've made the broadest requests/offers) for last.
  • Somehow, despite best intentions, that doesn't always happen.

Once everyone's matched up, I send out an email telling everyone who they've got and provide them a link to their recipient's sign-up. I've only ever had one complaint about a match, and the complaint was totally justified: I don't know what I was thinking when I made that match.

Fortunately, the person I assigned myself to was a much better match for this person, and so it was a mistake easily fixed!

So, that's basically how I do matching. If anyone else has matched participants for a fic exchange, I'd be curious to hear about how you do it! (Also, if anyone else has made it this far: stories about matches you've been part of in the past. Horror stories. Matches made in heaven. Lay 'em on me!)
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Sherlock - 221B)

Click to visit [ profile] sherlockmas, and give the gift of Sherlock.

Whether you want to participate in the exchange, or just sign on as a pinch hitter, I'd love to see more friendly faces from my flist. :)
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Sherlock - Complete Sherlock Holmes)
Friday is Drabble Day at [ profile] sherlockmas! Many brilliant fills, including this excellent drawble from the [ profile] sherlockholmes:

Click the pic to see what other works have been posted, and to tell the artist what a brilliant pic this is. :)
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Sherlock - Moriarty OMG WTF RLY?)

Click the banner to join the Sherlock summer fun!
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Sherlock - Moriarty OMG WTF RLY?)

Click the banner to join the Sherlock summer fun!
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Edgar Allen Poe)
(Click the banner to dive into the fest!)

Title: "The Tell-Tale Organ"
Rating: Teen
Warnings: Mentions of insanity and...human organs. :P
Prompt: ANY; Edgar Allan Poe (who died mysteriously on 7 October, FYI)
Summary: A human heart in the refrigerator is the last straw that pushes John over the edge.

Author's Notes: This is a parody of Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart, the full text of which can be read online. (My fic makes a lot more sense if you've read that story first! This fic steals borrows heavily from it.)

But why WILL you say I am mad? )
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Reading)
I have claimed my prompt for [ profile] sherlockmas's "Summer of Sherlock" ficathon! It is:

River Song, River Tam, John Watson; DOCTOR WHO and FIREFLY xover: Shooting gallery at a summer fair.

This may be my first time writing a crossover. I don't usually write them because I'm not familiar with that many canons, but here's a prompt that combines Sherlock, Doctor Who, AND Firefly! It had to be mine. :P

If you'd like to claim a prompt of your own: follow this link! (If you're not sure which one to pick, I'll you which ones were mine so you can claim them. ;)

And remember how I said I was going to take all of your book recs and compile them into a spreadsheet? Well, I have! There was some interest from others in sharing it, so here ya go: follow me!

One of these days, I'd love to host a book rec swapping meme-type thing: where people can ask for recommendations for certain genres/types of books, and people can post stray recs. Is there any interest for something like that?
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Moriarty OMG WTF RLY?)
PROMPTING is still going on over at [ profile] sherlockmas for the Summer of Sherlock festival! I know that a lot of you have seen the series, so even if you don't think you'll find the time to participate in the fest itself, do head on over and offer up a prompt. The only requirement is that the prompt have (at least) a tenuous connection to summer.

Click for Details!

Click here to prompt!
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Adorable Watson + Sherlock)
[ profile] sherlockmas has announced it's next festival event: Summer of Sherlock! This time, the intrepid Rachel, the other half of the Fearsome Twosome, will be taking the reins, and hopefully that will mean less angsting and fussing from yours truly!

Prompting starts tomorrow, 3 June! You don't have to plan on making anything for the fest in order to prompt, so if you'd just like to contribute a summery plot bunny, that's A-Ok.

Click for Details!
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Moriarty OMG WTF RLY?)

Click the banner to find out how you can vote for the best of the Spring Into
Sherlock Fest at [ profile] sherlockmas!
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (221B)
Hey, do you guys know what day it is? No, not Mother's Day. (Though it technically is...) To be honest, if you do know you're one step ahead of me...

It's the LAST DAY of [ profile] sherlockmas's Spring Into Sherlock Fest!!!

I...didn't quite realize it was the last day until I started typing the date "May 8" and remembered that voting was supposed to start May 9. You see, I thought there were 30 days for the festival, though I'd only scheduled it for 28. Oops! So, there's a whopping six new works up on the comm now, and I'm postponing the start of voting until May 10.

One of the works that went up today is my own. So, yeah: have a look if you're so inclined:

Name: Amy ([ profile] apple_pathways)
Type of work: fic
Category: Gen.
Title: “And Back”
Prompt(s) used: Sherlock has the head of Orpheus in his refrigerator.
Rating: PG
Warnings: Themes of loss and mourning. A severed head.
Notes/Acknowledgments: Much thanks to [ profile] sabriel75 and [ profile] evilhippo for the encouragement and company while writing this story. And thanks to everyone who took part in Spring Into Sherlock, for making this festival such a good time!
Summary: "A tragic widow, a severed head, and a rather unsettling view of the afterlife--all discussed over tea."

"And Back", over at [ profile] sherlockmas.
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Tomatillos + Tomatoes)
I know it's spring and time to move onto spring vegetables, but there were some yummy-looking leeks in the grocery store the other day, and I couldn't resist! So here's a quick recipe:

Leek, New Potato, and Kale Bake

recipe )

Tomorrow, for my friend's graduation BBQ, I'm making an orzo pasta salad with marinated veggies. They had some GORGEOUS-looking eggplants at the grocery store: deep purple, and cream and purple-striped ones. I also bought some zucchini, yellow summer squash, a red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, and some marinated olives and feta cheese. I think I'm going to add some oregano from the herb garden. What I can't decide is this: should I cook the veggies? How is eggplant raw? My instinct is to roast the veggies, but: before or after I marinate them? Hmm...conundrums.

(Good lord, is this journal boring! If it's not me complaining, it's me wittering on about food! When do I get my Old Lady badge?)

It was a beautiful sunny day, and I spent the afternoon puttering around in the garden. The cat accompanied me, and spent her time pretending to be a street-savvy Wild Animal. She very nearly went after a bumblebee who was working the hyacinths, but wisely decided he was out of her league.

I then went inside, and re-potted some of the seedlings I'd started that were getting too big for the starter trays. Remember the baby pictures I posted of my seedlings? Well, look at my pumpkins now: Trying to save flist space... )

I also have a FANMIX up at [ profile] sherlockmas. Check it out, and feel free to point and laugh at my taste in Angsty Chick Music. :P


Now THAT'S what I'm talkin' 'bout! Happy weekend, everyone. xx :D

And now, to work on the latest Music Battle Challenge from [ profile] evilhippo. This one is FIENDISHLY DIFFICULT: I must tell a story through my song choices, without repeating any artists!
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (P&P - Darcy (Gonna Bitch in Journal))
First, some miscellaneous bitching: I need a faster computer. I see no reason why I can't have 10 different tabs open in Firefox, two Notebook pages, a Word document, iTunes, Spider Solitaire, a few different folders, email, and still be able to edit photos in GIMP. I feel a big 'ol sulk coming on.

Anyway. My frustration with my computer's inability to develop superpowers means that I don't have a shiny, pretty graphic to advertise that:

Posting for Spring Into Sherlock over at [ profile] sherlockmas opens tomorrow! Super exciting, y'all: I'll have a banner eventually for anyone who wants to help promote, but in the meantime let me just say that I am very excited, and there are some fantastic submissions to the fest!

Now, since I can't edit the size of pics in GIMP at the moment, I'm going to resize these photos using the IMG tag. If it don't work in your browser: lo siento! (I'm sorry.)

"Oriental" Coleslaw with Peanut Sesame Ginger Dressing
(It's like cold sesame noodles, but with cabbage! And raisins...Mmmm...)

(I forgot to take a picture until it was almost all gone, so my apologies for the sloppiness of the presentation!)

recipe )

Photos of plants coming up in the garden. )

All right everyone: how was your weekend? Any miscellaneous bitching you want to get off your chest?
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Math Nerd)
(If I ever get around to joining a personals site, that's going to be my headline. [ profile] rachel2205, my love, you put up with so much! :P xx)

Spring Into Sherlock over at [ profile] sherlockmas is going well! *knock wood* The submissions are rolling in, and I've managed to design things in a way that I don't have to threaten to break any kneecaps if people don't come through with their commitments! (Though I may have threatened the lives of a few anonymous kittens. Hey, whatever works!)

Here's a conversation I had with two students tonight: (Isabelle is 10, Max is 13.)

Max (apropos of nothing): How do you think the world is going to end?
Me (unfazed): I think in a few hundred million years, the sun will expand, and...
Isabelle: You don't think the world will end in 2012?
Me: No...
Max: You don't think the world will end in a zombie apocalypse?
Me: I don't know...what if it did?
Max: I would hide out here! (Meaning the math center.)
Me (scoffing): Are you kidding me? Look at those big glass windows up front! The zombies would get right through that...
Isabelle: I'd hide in the prize case!
Max: I was going to say that!
Me: How would you even fit in there? Besides, it's made of clear guys really gotta work on your zombie survival plan!
Max: Well, then I'd hide in the trunk of your car!
Me: I don't know...I don't have a very big car.
Max: We'd drive over to Kroger (a grocery store), and eat a bunch of food!
Me: That could be a plan...I could die in a Kroger.

Sometimes, being a good tutor means teaching the kids about life, and not just about math. :P
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Bad Music (Life's Too Short))

Click the banner to get started or visit our FAQ for more info!

YAY PEOPLE ARE PARTICIPATING IN OUR FEST! [ profile] rachel2205, my fearless co-mod and Light of my LJ, has offered to write my Molly/Jim "Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf" prompt, and someone else is writing my Jim/Molly "Hades/Persephone" prompt! Life is good.

For anyone who missed my last post: we are throwing a retirement party for my father. I am In Charge of Music. Please list:

Songs you would be willing to boogie to in the company of your parents and their friends.

(Oh, and for anyone else who ever needs DJ advice: [ profile] ladybracknell is surprisingly knowledgable! It's true: there is nothing she can't do!)
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Adorable Watson + Sherlock)

Click the banner to submit a prompt, or visit our FAQ for more info.

Open prompting for [ profile] sherlockmas's 'Spring Into Sherlock' fanworks festival has begun! If you're familiar with the show, stop on by to offer up a prompt.

And if you're willing (please?), here's the banner code to share the news with the Sherlock fans on your flist:

apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Adorable Watson + Sherlock)
Thanks to everyone who offered an opinion on which name to choose. In the end, my all-wise all-knowing co-mod Miss [ profile] rachel2205 picked "Spring into Sherlock" as it most neatly captures the two elements we wanted to get across in our title: 'spring' and 'Sherlock'!

So I have created an incredibly-bright and (I hope) altogether eye-catching banner to spread the love! If you'd like to promote the fest to the Sherlock fans on your flist *hopeful smile* I've provided the banner code below!

(Oh, and if you're a member of [ profile] thegameison_sh: I'll promote this in the Team Sherlock comm, but if you're on another team and would be willing to share this banner on your team comm...)

(Look how happy he is! Won't you join us? :P)

Click the banner to get started or visit our FAQ for more info!

apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Alice)
A question, dear flist:

If you were running a spring fanworks fest, what would you name it? (Keeping in mind that I am likely to steal your answer...)

Quick poll:

[Poll #1681905]

Also: what other phrases/sayings can you think of that are about spring?

For some great Sherlock fic reading, here is a Masterlist of all the works produced for Sherlockmas's Christmas fanworks exchange. :D

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. ~Margaret Atwood

Why is it not spring now??? I want to dig in my garden!!!
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (Adorable Watson + Sherlock)
This is my entry for the [ profile] sherlockmas fic exchange, for [ profile] proxydialogue, who asked for some dark humor and a bit of psychologizing. I hope this fits the bill!

Title: "Experiment and Observation"
Characters: John and Sherlock
Rating: Mature teen?
WARNINGS: drug use
Word Count: 1,800
Acknowledgments: Much thanks to the deliciously thorough [ profile] evilhippo, whose services as a beta have made this fic infinitely better!

Summary: Sherlock's latest experiment requires John's help. Will he be willing to provide it if it means putting his flatmate's life in danger? (dun Dun DUN! Honestly, I hate writing summaries. Just ignore me now!)

Read me! )
apple_pathways: Whatever floats your boat! (221B)
A reminder to those in need of reminding, and a final last-ditch effort to rope in anybody who may have been holding out:

Sign-ups for the Sherlockmas holiday fanworks exchange end tomorrow!

Hurry hurry! :)

Happy Holmesidays!


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