Nothing is True. Everything is Connected.
Tag: <span>Admin Posts</span>

Announcement: Twitter

A quick announcement to let everyone know that the Bobs have gotten themselves twitter handles.




You can read their tweets on the  Sylum Blog on the left hand side (you must be on the website to see these widgets doesn’t show on mobile devices)

Or you can follow their tweets personally.

Sylum Blog: Catch up!



A quick note from me – Bj!

There’s been a few delays on getting things up on the blog due to RL events that took priority over the past few days/weeks.

I’ll be working to get October’s Calender up in the next few days.

There will be no Throwback Thursday this week, but Coffee House Friday will resume.

Hopefully RL will calm enough to get back into my normal schedule.

Thanks for your continued support.

Bj Jones


Happy Anniversary – Sylum Blog

July 29th (yeah okay a day short – but you know me and dates/birthdays/anniversaries)

The Sylum Blog is One Year old today!





So far in one year, we have had:

264 Posts (well 265 counting this post!)

27 Pages

56 Categories

166 Tags (well 167 counting this post!)


692 Subscribers (come on just need 8 more for 700 – we can do this)

372 Users


Upcoming Clan Gathering!


Sylum Clan Gathering

July 23rd – 28th

San Diego, Ca


Just to let everyone know that the Blog will be quiet for the next few weeks do to the Sylum Clan Gathering!

We’ll work to post at least Throwback Thursday and Coffee House Friday.

But don’t be surprised if we suddenly disappear!



Actually you should be worried.


This is when all the Bobs come together and plot!


Transfer from Yahoo List to Blog



So as of yesterday the Sylum Yahoo Group has been closed.   Any and all information concerning Sylum will be coming from the Blog.  If you’re watching the blog, but not subscribed or signed up as a user or even follow on Twitter (@Sylum_Updates) – I would suggest you do so.  Just to make sure you always keep up to date with what’s going on in the Sylum Universe.


There were a few things that the Sylum Yahoo Group had that we’ll be implementing onto the Yahoo Group.  Some of these make take some times as we figure out the logistics.


Adopt A Sylum Character:  We’ve just opened this up on the Blog.  Quick Guide – You can adopt a Sylum Character to use when you post replies to the Blog.  If you really want to be active on the Blog – I would suggest doing this. It’s a fun activity that did get a lot of use on the List.  Just a reminder – if you pick adopt a character it doesn’t mean you get a say on how they are written in Sylum or anything to do with their bio.  *just click link and go to the Adoption Page*

Men's Fitness George Eads


Well except Nico – He’s mine 😀

CCL List: Yes! We will be keeping this.  For those of you who do not know what this is.  This is the Annual Christmas Card List.  I’ll be working with Sam/Tony to work on how to actually showcase and do this, so keep an eye out for announcements in late summer/early fall.

Christmas SAS 2010

Coffee House Fridays: Will be a new addition.  Fridays I’ll open a post that will be basically a Coffee House chat.  Can talk about anything you want.  Latest Movie, book, etc.  If you go political I will keep an eye on it – only to make sure it doesn’t get out of hand.   Basically think of it as a Sylum Coffee House.



So Welcome!

Enjoy your Stay!

Admin: Some Changes Around the Blog

As July 1st approaches and the shut down of the Yahoo Group will be complete – we’re looking at how to better optimize the blog.   We’ll be implementing a few fun activities that were on the list onto the blog starting in July.

But first a few things that has been adjusted.

Discussion Thursday – is now Discussion Tuesday (or when I can remember to actually put one up to have a discussion :D)

Now we’ll have:

Throwback Thursday – which will showcase fic, art, fanmix, vid or even blog post of something that brings back good memories.

We’ll keep everyone updated on the new events and changes as they come!

Sylum Information – Page Update!

Quick post to inform everyone that the Sylum Information Page has been updated.

Sylum Histories – From here you will be able to explore the Historical world of Sylum.  There are many important Historical References that have significant ties to Sylum Storyline.  Battles, Revolutions, People, and Agencies – just to name a few.

First Entry: In honor of May 6th (The Feast of the Pontifical Swiss Guard) the first History Page created is:  Pontifical Swiss Guard



Sylum Manor Donations – THANK YOU!




Because of your Generosity not only has the Hosting Fees been paid for this YEAR but also NEXT YEAR!!!

Now we can solely focus on Sylum and all those stories that the Bobs have been tossing at us!!!

I can’t say Thank You enough!

If you’re still interested in donating to the Manor Hosting Fees

Donate towards my web hosting bill!


All Donations go directly to the Hosting Company – No one who works on Sylum will be able to access the money.

These Donations pay for the hosting server and domain name.

Discussion Thursday: Warning Labels

I have no doubt this will be touchy subject for people.  So before we even get started lets get one thing straight.  I will not tolerate flaming, rudeness, or attacks on anyone who comments on this blog.  We’re all adults which means we’ll disagree on variety of things.  And as adults we can have rational discussions without lowering ourselves to name calling.

Now that we have the ‘Warning’ out of the way… *grins*


I actually personal despise these things.  As a writer and a reader.  Why? Because the idea of a story whether it’s told via film, tv, book etc… is to entertain.  Not to be warned that something may upset me.  If it does the writer did their job – they made me feel and think.   It doesn’t matter the emotion – the writer got a reaction out of me – they did their job.

Now before you already go off screaming.

Ratings are not Warnings.

If I see the standard Ratings I can expect certain things.  If it’s rated G – I’m not expecting anything that is shocking.  PG – I can expect some language. Pg-13 – some violence and some sexual situations.  R – language, violence and sex. Nc-17 – all that in technicolor.  These 5 Ratings already gives a viewer some heads up of what they will expect.  If you walk into a PG and get graphic torture and rape scene  you’ll be shocked cause wait what?  If you’re watching R and it’s more a kids film you’re also going to be shocked.

These Ratings have been standard in the movie, tv, video game industry for over 50 years.  We use a version of these ratings for fanfic – giving the reader a quick reference of what to expect.

So why Warnings?

There are no warnings on a TV show, Movie, and Video Game  The Rating system is your warning.  If you walk into a NC-17 movie you can’t be surprised by the violence,  sex or combination there of… it’s NC-17 which means the Movie Industry has deemed this not view-able by anyone under 17.   If you pick up a game and it says Mature – you shouldn’t be shocked when your ‘Assassin’ starts killing people and blood cascades onto the walls.

Now Books don’t even get a Rating System.  When you pick it up, check the summary on the back, flip through a few pages and decided to buy it you’re taking the chance that there is things in it that may shock you.  There may be sex, violence, rape, torture, and you really have no idea of the character you fall for will survive the book.  You can get ideas of what to expect from the book you’ve picked up by its Genre.  If it’s Murder/Mystery you can expect some type of violent act.  It’s in the Gay/Lesbian section – you can expect their to be a same-sex couple somewhere in the story.  Romance is likely to have vivid sex scenes.  True Crimes – could have bloody details of deaths.  Kids section not expecting much violence/sex.

So if we accept Ratings for Movies, TV Shows and Video Games, and Genres for books to give us a clue on what to expect.

Why? Why? Why is fanfiction so rabid on Warnings.

My God I’ve never seen so many fights/wars/viscous attacks on authors over a simple warning or lack of one.   You walk into a movie, sit down for a tv show, pick up a book having no clue where the story will take you.  You are letting the writer/showrunner/director tell you the story.  You didn’t sit at the end of Sixth Sense and go OMG M. Night Shyamalan should have warned us that he was already dead!  You didn’t scream at Tolkien and demanded that he warn us that Boromir was going to die in the FIRST BOOK! *though I still haven’t forgiven him for that :D*

Yet you will reply to an author and scream/rant/rave at them for not warning you that *this will happen in this story*.   Yet won’t reply to an author to tell them you enjoyed their story – But that is a whole different discussion.

I have a standard warning on the opening screen for the Sylum Archive.  You could possibly find any of these things in this series.

And I hate it.


Because my job is to make you laugh, cry, throw things, stare at the computer in shock and call me every name in the book but a child of god.  My job is to surprise you, make sure you didn’t see that coming, fall in love with the characters, look beyond your expectations, and hopefully you’ll walk away with new perspectives.  But mostly my job is to entertain – to lure you into the story to the point that hours go by and you have no clue.

My job is not to hold your hand in case something you read upsets you.

Warning for Death

I admit who wants to see their favorite character die – hence fanfic in general – Let alone Sylum *pointedly looks at Speed* But at the same time why limit yourself to what you are willing to read.  Some of the best stuff I’ve read have revolved around a characters death.  Though I still hate Tolkien for killing Boromir – that scene in the book is amazing to read and I choke up each time.

Another good example: Transformers 3 – I sat there in shock watching my beloved Ironhide die.  I was like wait what… then promptly called Bay every name in the book.  But I didn’t demand my money back or demand that he warn us that Ironhide was going to die.  Can you imagine for a second:  Opening Credits ready to role – then before we get to see Optimus…

Warning: This story may upset you as I’ve killed off Ironhide.

Sounds ridiculous right?

So why do you make a fanfic author write that exact thing?

Warning for words that are non PC

I’m not even having the discussion on the idea of how society as gotten to PC over the past years.  Sometimes you really just need to call an idiot an idiot.  Anyway moving on.

Words are powerful.  Seeing hate filled words hurts.  I’m not going to deny that.  It’s uncomfortable to see derogatory words used by characters we love and even by those we don’t love.  I’ve already discussed how you need to take the modern thinking out historical characters. But you also need to look at the characters and their position in life.

So why am I as a writer warning you that a racists, sexists asshole character is not going to speak PC?  And why are you as the reader yelling at me for using the words?  It’s not me it’s the character… A KKK card caring member is not going to use the words African American or Mexican American.   He doesn’t in real life and he sure as hell not going to do it in a fic.  Yeah it’s shocking can even make you stop and go what? Why does it do that? Because you aren’t a KKK Card Caring Member… but don’t assume that because the author wrote it – they are.

Warning for Sex

If my fic is R and Nc-17 – be shocked if there isn’t sex.  I’m not going to warn for sex.  Now if you list pairings: Horatio/Timothy – that should indicate it’s going to be Gay Sex.  And if it says Indiana/Lara – that should indicate Het Sex.

Now yes when you walk into a book store and pick up Harlequin Romance you would probably be shocked if there is a gay couple – I would hope at some point this won’t be shocking but we’ve got a while to go on that.  If you walk into the gay/lesbian section – the gay sex shouldn’t be shocking.

Hopefully when you read the summary and it says Tom is a lawyer new to Chicago and his life takes a turn when he meets Brian the Barista at Starbucks.  Does the author really need to warn you that – gay sex may pop up?

Oh and just because your favorite character doesn’t end up with the one you want them to – doesn’t mean the author has to warn you.  Now I’ll admit I’ve read that story – it was my favorite pairing – even listed as it – at the end they both where with someone else … I was like wait what?  Oh they got ripped to shreds.  The key here is not that they should have warned for it – they should have stated a different option in the pairing listing… So that isn’t a warning – its making sure you label your story right.

Next is even more difficult thing to discuss.

Warning for Triggers

I’m lucky. I’m going to say that upfront.  I’ve not had major traumatic experiences that watching/reading something could trigger a flashback.  And I honestly can’t imagine going through something like that and dealing with the emotional, psychological, and  physical ramifications.  I do understand that aspects of stories can trigger memories.  I will not deny that.  But then everyday things can trigger memories – from smell, a touch, sound.

But why is it my responsibility to make sure you don’t get triggered? I’m being honest here.

My fic is NC-17  its a strong possibility there will be graphic violence and/or sex.  I get yelled at for triggering them…

My fic is Pg – there is no graphic violence and/or sex but I still get yelled at for triggering them because there as a line that reminded them of ….

In the end I can’t win.   I can’t write a fic with the idea that a word, sentence, scene, will trigger someone.

So here are some questions for thought:

Your brother was killed in an accident – you blame Tolkien for triggering those memories when Boromir dies?

You walk by someone who has the same cologne as your ex – it flashbacks to the memories of fights and the breakup – do you blame the stranger walking by?

I know these are simple examples and there are lot more horrific moments in life – but the question is do you blame the person who inadvertently triggered them?

For some yes they do – they blame the fanfic author – Cause how dare they not warn that there could be something in their fic that could upset them.   I’ve heard the argument I shouldn’t have to read about Rape or Child abuse and its shocking when it shows up in my fanfic.  It’s also shocking when it shows up on your tv show/movie/book.   The problem is that the author does not know exactly what can trigger someone – a person could be triggered by variety of ways a rape scene can be written, someone may react to a cop talking to a kid about being abused, while someone else flinches when the main character is slapped because they were abused.

I’m not taking away that these moments have  impact on people.  But what I’m pointing out – an author can write the same scene different ways and styles – detailed not detailed and still end up triggering someone.

That’s why you need to put a warning on it!!  So the reader doesn’t get triggered!!

Okay.  So when do you add the warning?  When  Rape or Child Abuse is just mentioned? Or when it’s graphically detailed?  The Author starts to get antsy on what to warn for – either warns to much and gives the story away or not enough and gets yelled at.   Which leads back to the original question – why is my job to warn you?  If you walk into a bookstore buy a book or sit down for a TV Show/Movie and something happens to trigger you – what do you do?

– Keep reading/watching?

– Put it down/turn it off?

Do you contact the bookstore/studio, publishing house/cable channel, author/director and yell at them for not warning you?

So why do you contact a fanfic author and do just that?


Now I’m pretty sure I’ve either pissed you off or have you nodding your head in agreement.  Either way I’m hoping a rational discussion can come about on the subject.


Donations for Sylum Manor

Every year or so I send out a call to the readers of Sylum to help out with the Web Hosting Costs.

All of those who work on the website whether it be: redesigns to the actual site; prepping and designing the Sylum Events (aka: Spring Fling, Seven Days, Family… etc); updates to the Sylum Wiki; and running the Sylum Blog – we all do this voluntarily on our own time with no financial compensation.

But as much as we put our own love and labor at no cost – it takes money to host the site.

So I’m simply asking that if you could spare a few bucks, please DONATE to keep Sylum Manor up and running.

All Donations go DIRECTLY to Dreamhost Web Housing – No one who works on the Manor Site sees the money or has access to it; every Penny goes to pay for the yearly fees.

To Donate Please Click on the Box Below!

Donate towards my web hosting bill!
I give you my Heartfelt Thanks for any Help that you can Provide

Tweet Tweet!!

Sylum Blog has gone to the darkside and got a twitter account!!

If you do not want to subscribe to the Blog you can now follow us via Twitter!!

Look to your left (no your other left :D) to see the ‘Follow’ button for Sylum_Updates.

This Twitter Account will allow you to get any and all blog postings on your Timeline.

Also interesting fact – you can reply on the Blog to posts using your Twitter Account!!!

Technology rocks!


EDIT: It’s come to my attention that if you vie the blog on your phone the links on the side aren’t seen.  Link to Twitter Page: Sylum_Updates

Page Update

As stated I’m working to add links to the blog that will have information about locations and events that are important to the Sylum Universe.

Last week a Page was added to World Locations: The Sistine Chapel

This week I’ve added a Page to Clan Locations: New Orleans, Louisiana  (Home of Sylum Clan)

Take a moment to check out the pages, and always expect to see more Pages added as time goes on.


PS: Advent is just around the corner!! It’s looking to be an interesting set of stories and art!!!

Welcome to Sylum Blog

Welcome to the Sylum Blog.

The idea for this blog is to have a place where the Bobs can rant, plot, and torment their authors.

Forum to showcase what Inspires Sylum Writers: Music, Art, Books, etc.

Sites, Books, and other elements that the Sylum Writers use to Research ideas for Sylum Stories.

Discussions/Articles on writing.

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