October 22nd, 2014

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Validation Therapy

One thing that happens to me a lot is that people ask if I'm a psychologist or counselor. Technically, no; I've only taken a few classes in that sort of thing. What they're picking up on is that I'm a student of human nature, I like digging into the source code of the wetware not just the user interface, and I've researched a ton of this stuff for my writing projects. The practical application is from pastoral counseling; when you're a priestess, the community's problems wind up on your couch, and you either learn to deal with it or you find a different social role.

That said, one of the most common reasons people identify me that way is validation. It's something I do a lot. There is a tremendous amount of imposter syndrome, gaslighting, internalized oppression, bad tape, and other bullshit that distorts people's worldview and makes them question their own perceptions. This is best addressed by having an outside source validate their perceptions. It's particularly useful in cases of trans identity, abuse, and other things that are highly targeted. So if someone posts about their gender realignment work, I'll validate their expressed gender. That comes not just from my study of how humans work, but my archivist tendency to protect the truth. Validating it helps it stick. I've had people say that just this was more useful than what their professional therapists have done, so clearly there's a need for it.

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Trust in Media

Here's a comparison of media sources by trustworthiness across different social groups.  I think I'd put Al Jazeera and BBC at the top of my list, although I prefer the non-American version of Al Jazeera when English is available from it.  I have found Mother Jones and Huffington Post pretty reliable; Daily Kos and Think Progress have some useful stuff.  In general, I distrust American media now, as most of it is propaganda meant to flatter corporate owners.  I prefer venues with a variety of viewpoints to monofocal ones, because anyone with an ulterior interest or party line makes me suspect they're cropping the data to fit it.
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Today's Yardening: Daffodils

 I finally had time to get out and plant another bag of daffodils, most of them around the birdgift apple tree.  I still have one more big bag to plant.  

I've been so busy with other urgent projects, I'm running behind on the daffodils and a lot of other things.  :/  But at least I made some progress today.
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When Not to Extend a Scene

[personal profile] dialecticdreamer and I got into a fascinating discussion about when not to extend a scene, based on Part 3 of her story "Clearing the Air."  Scroll down to our comments and you'll see us picking apart why we both agree that Tran's part is finished, even though both of us have a tendency to extend scenes or revisit bit characters. I'm very gratified that we managed to pin it down.  This is a crucial thing to understand for writing complex storylines that may have multiple parts.