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I think the time has come to break my silence about my view of what happened around the creation of the Thin Blue Line monthly movie length slash story project and the subsequent split that led to the posting of season one stories on two different sites, Brothers in Arms and Shaman's Journey. I made an LJ entry at the time of leaving the project to clearly disassociate myself from any future seasons, an entry that emphasized the achievements of the team and downplayed the personal conflicts behind the scenes. Other than that, and a brief explanation on TS Storyfinders a few months ago that it was a group achievement and not Lyn's alone, I've not discussed what happened outside the group. I didn't think the fandom needed the conflict that might well erupt over this, or that it was anyone's business really, what happened behind the scenes. We produced a great story arc and that is always what should have mattered.

However, Lyn has persisted in claiming that the entire project was all her idea and that it is none of her doing that the first season stories are posted on different sites. On two lists recently, she has virtually called StarWatcher a liar to suggest otherwise, and she has certainly gone out of her way on numerous occasions, publicly and privately, to trivialize my role in the project. Lyn can call me whatever names she wants, and tell whatever lies about me that she chooses, but I won't stand by and have her call someone as ethical and upstanding as StarWatcher a liar. To remain silent at this point would only lend credibility to her claims. So, this, from my perspective (and I also have a great many of the emails from way back when) is what happened.

Yes, Lyn did come up with the idea of producing monthly, illustrated, long, 'movie-length' stories. This followed a discussion between us while she was chairing the TS slash series discussions while Tricia Belle was off with a broken arm. Months before, as Linda indicated, while Tricia was chairing that group, I'd proposed a season-long scenario that was basically what we later did on TBL. But that group of writers found it too ambitious and scary to undertake ep writing with an integrated, shaman-based storyline that would run throughout the season. When Lyn called for ideas while she was chairing, I sent her a copy of the email I'd sent months before but reminded her that the list had already rejected the idea.

At that point, Lyn replied with her idea of monthly stories as easier to manage than weekly episodes. I liked the idea very much, and I also suggested we could have a series that had both romance and case/action in each ep, as that had recently been a subject on Senad as a rare and wished-for combination. We then brainstormed a bit around the story arc I had sent her. We were both very excited about this project, about having 'complete' episodes that also were intrinsically integrated to tell a larger, year-long story. When we thought the ideas were clear enough to begin bringing others onboard, I wrote the storyboard based largely on my original framework but with input from our joint brainstorming, as well as the invitation letter to the others that subsequently joined the team. She set up the yahoo discussion group for all team members with me as moderator. For the record, I brought in the webmaster, all of the writers of season one stories except Lyn and Annie, both betas (of whom StarWatcher was one who also undertook continuity by betaing every story), and several of the artists.

Once the group was formed, we spent a considerable amount of time 'fine tuning' our ideas ie is there a 'bond' or isn't there? is it sexual? was it 'fated' to be? We also brainstormed ideas about what to call the project and StarWatcher did, indeed, come up with the winning title: 'Thin Blue Line Productions'. We discussed all manner of things, including how we'd market the upcoming 'movies' on the lists, and how much we hoped people would 'speculate' on what was coming next ... and if they'd begin to get the clues we were inserting in the early stories about something 'bigger' going on. It was fun and exciting.

Lyn and I (cowriting with Syl) undertook to write the first two stories in tandem, because the others were waiting for them before they could begin their own stories, and the artists needed at least a month to produce the artwork. Max, with Peter Neverland's help, built a stunning website. When Syl and I had our story drafted, I put it up on the group for comment by everyone -- and Lyn realized she'd deviated from our original plan so very agreeably went back to revise her story, The Right Path, so the flow between the two would work. We were all working together effectively in the beginning. As other stories were drafted, those authors also put them up for comment by the whole group, to ensure we were staying true to the themes, not jumping ahead too fast with the clues we were seeding into the stories. Several times, authors needed to go back and do significant revisions to hold to the plan. It was hard work and everyone deserves a huge amount of credit for the wonderful stories produced that first season.

However, there were tensions that emerged and grew stronger as the year went on. One of the key areas of conflict that emerged was in how I had perceived my role on the project. Silly me. Given that Lyn and I had created the concept together and invited others in, I thought I was a coproducer of the project. Turns out, in Lyn's view, I was quite wrong about that and she resented my 'intrusion' as coproducer for months before things blew up between us and I realized that we'd been working under disparate assumptions. Things very much went swiftly downhill from there between Lyn and I and, regrettably, the tensions very nearly destroyed the project before the first season was completed.

But we managed to hold it together long enough to get that first season done. The season one team did brainstorm ideas for season two, as Lyn was very interested in continuing the project. Briefly, we had a scenario that would involve an evil shaman in a recurring role, one that could not be overcome until Blair and Jim both understood their shamanism better; and we all agreed that a detailed fully integrated plotline from story to story was too hard to sustain, so there would be room for more 'standalone' stories within the context of the overall plot line or first season 'canon'. However, Lyn didn't want to continue with the focus on the shamanism and preferred to go back to more traditional series canon-based stories that focused on Jim's senses. And TBL season two pretty much followed that decision.

When season one was finished, and particularly after it was clear that the shaman theme would be pretty well abandoned, I decided to leave the project, as did all the first season writers except Lyn and Annie. The betas also left, as did the webmaster. Not long into season two, many of the first season artists left. So season two is a very different project, very much more Lyn's own, than was season one.

During TBL season two, our original webmaster, Max, decided to close down all his fan-based sites, so we had to find a new home for the season one stories. Because of the tensions, a number of the writers were not comfortable with season one stories being housed at Brothers in Arms. Virginia Sky, one of the artists Lyn had originally brought in to season one, very graciously offered to host all of season one for us. For a day or so, I thought we might be able to keep season one together, which would have been a lot easier for the readers. However, Lyn decided that she wanted her story and the story she'd written with Annie on Brothers in Arms, where she was also hosting the TBL season two stories. At that point, she stipulated that we needed to change the title of our webpage because she was retaining the TBL banner, which made sense as she was producing the second season. We agreed and Shaman's Journey was born. This all sounds like it went smoothly but it didn't. There was anger and recriminations on both sides and copious tears were shed on both sides. When relationships deteriorate to this extent, hard feelings abound. Lyn has said on a couple lists that there was nothing she could do to keep the first season stories together. That's not true. It was, ultimately, her decision to split them up. Which is fine. It's a little confusing for readers, and that's unfortunate, but both sites have given links to one another.

Once the two sites were established, the opportunity emerged for the Shaman's Journey writers to pursue the storyline we'd been interested in seeing evolve into season two. We have created a loose group of writers, beta, webmaster and artists to do so, and the first two stories following directly from the season one themes have been written. Other stories will be written over time but we don't have a set schedule. Having been so deeply involved in season one, we know what a killer such a schedule is, and none of us are prepared to ever get into such an onerous commitment again.

All of this could have and probably should have remained 'behind the scenes'. Had Lyn left it alone, it would have. But she has exercised every opportunity to make the point that Thin Blue Line season one was 'all' her idea. It wasn't. Far from it. Everyone on the season one team worked damned hard to bring that season home, to give the fandom the best we had in us to give, and I think we did a terrific job. To have continued to remain my silence could have been misconstrued as an indication that Lyn's version was the truth, but it's not. And my continued silence would be unfair to everyone who contributed so much to season one's success. I guess, having seen myself as coproducer of season one, and being so grateful to everyone who did such great work under what were pretty adverse conditions, especially by the end, I feel I owe it to the others on the team to speak out now.

Lyn is already on record on at least one list as saying that I had little to do with season one story arc, that was hers from the get-go. But I did share the ideas with StarWatcher (as my friend and my beta) months before when I first suggested them to Tricia Belle's group, and she tells me she still has those emails. As for what happened after others came on board, well, StarWatcher has shared some of it on lists, and maybe others will, as well. In my mind, we were always a collaboration, a partnership and team effort. I'm sorry that Lyn in no way sees it the same way.

ETA: I've just returned from a month away at my Mom's place (where I had no internet connection) and see that there has been considerable discussion of this post. Though I won't be replying to any of the posts made since I went away (for fear of starting it all back up again), I want to thank everyone for their perspectives and comments. However, it seems that all have had an opportunity to state their divergent views, and comments are now more of the nature of 'why are we still talking about this?' or 'I said/she said/you said,' without adding anything new to the discussion. So, respectfully, I ask that discussion on this post now end.


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Dec. 8th, 2007 12:53 pm (UTC)
Part 1
Given that Lyn and I had created the concept together and invited others in, I thought I was a coproducer of the project. Turns out, in Lyn's view, I was quite wrong about that and she resented my 'intrusion' as coproducer for months before things blew up between us and I realized that we'd been working under disparate assumptions. Things very much went swiftly downhill from there between Lyn and I and, regrettably, the tensions very nearly destroyed the project before the first season was completed.

Right from day one it was sold to me, as a writer who was invited to participate, as a project jointly led by yourself and Lyn, and emphatically not by Lyn as the sole authority. I received the same initial proposal twice in January 2004, once from you, and once from Lyn (which clearly indicates that she saw it as a joint venture too). Here is an excerpt from what both of you sent me:

Lyn Townsend and Marilyn Hay (aka Arianna) have been bantering around ideas about reviving some kind of TS slash season. [snip]

We are imagining creating a small working group of folks who would be linked through a yahoo group to be set up to allow us to share ideas, ensure clarity on the major subthemes over the year and preview stories, to ensure continuity from one movie to another. We might also be able to set up regular MSN chats. This project would be kept under wraps until the year’s movies are all written and ready for posting, and then it would be announced to the fandom, say one every six or eight weeks. This would allow us to ensure that if, for unexpected RL reasons, a writer has to pull out, there is time to work up that ‘movie’ without causing a delay in ‘airing’.

If you’re seeing this document, you’re one of the people we really hope will be excited by this venture and that you’ll want to work with us to bring it into being.

Note the use of 'we' and 'us' throughout. I was never under any misapprehension right from the start, from Lyn as well as you, that the two of you were anything other than an equal partnership in terms of leadership of the project. If that understanding was in error, Lyn had ample time during the months the stories were in development to dispel that assumption, yet she did not do so. In fact, she sent an announcement to Senad on 11th April 2005, which she signed as follows:

Lyn and Arianna

Co-Producers – Thin Blue Line Productions

And here's an excerpt of another one sent in response to a query on Senad, on 1st May 2005:

Trust me, the season will be finished, the story will be finished. How do I know this? Because I'm a co-producer of this Virtual season.

Once the project got going, it was very much a team effort. Everyone involved discussed at length on the Yahoo group the way we wanted it to go. The whole team even voted in polls, to ensure that everyone was in agreement. One of the things discussed was the title: 'Thin Blue Line', which Lyn has since appropriated as hers and hers alone, but as I recall that suggestion was made by Starwatcher originally, and it was the one which was voted most popular by the group as a whole.

Dec. 8th, 2007 12:54 pm (UTC)
Part 2
There were tensions between you and Lyn, of course, which I only became aware of after I had decided to pull out of the project. My reasons for pulling out were personal, and rooted in my family life. However, Lyn chose to intimate to you that I did so for different reasons. This from the email she sent you:

You might like to know that the reason one of our great authors pulled out was because she found you too controlling and couldn't deal with that.</font>

Thoroughly and utterly untrue. Only one other writer apart from me left the project, and from what you have told me, I gather it was untrue in her case also. For the record, I found you very pleasant to work with, and was just sorry I had to pull out when I did, since I think it was a fabulous project. You kept a level head, despite the tensions which eventually spilled over into the group and the pressure you were under at the time.

I feel very much that your own integral role in the project has been erroneously devalued - and to be honest, it was your hard work and diplomacy that kept the season going once tensions spread to the whole group. Many of the writers were really demoralised and sick to death of the whole thing as time went on, and it was only your continued dynamism and encouragement which kept them going. But not only that; the whole thing was a team effort, as both you and I have pointed out - and emphatically not the work of one person.

I understand that Lyn is seeking to find validation for the important role she had in its inception, but she was far from the only one involved in making the idea come to fruition. It would be nice to see her acknowledge that fact, and the hard work everyone put in, despite whatever personal issues she still has with you.

Me, I was merely on the sidelines, most of the time. And I for one am really awed by the effort everyone put in, and the season of great stories which resulted from it.
Dec. 8th, 2007 01:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Part 2
Thanks, Bev. I'd forgotten about the public posts acknowledging the 'coproducer' relationship. I really appreciate you taking the time to give your commentary on how the group came together and worked together. And thank you, as well, for your kind comments about the role you felt I played, as you observed it all unfold, in helping the team keep going. It was a tough, very demanding project for everyone involved. I remain so grateful to the team for the great job they all did and for hanging in to get it done.
Dec. 8th, 2007 01:15 pm (UTC)
I’m not really sure about the rules of Senad, but I guess netiquette prevents me from repeating what is said on the list in a public arena, but I would like to question ‘why’ this tired old chestnut had to be let out of the barn, again! The original question could have been answered quite easily to clear up the confusion of where the stories are housed and in what order they should be read. There was no need for the public and very misleading statement that the Thin Blue Line project belonged to one person. Okay technically the ‘idea’ of movie style stories was Lyn’s, but that was all it was – an idea. I know for a fact that you took the basis of this idea and turned it into the project that it eventually became. Each and every story that was written in that series came from a basic storyboard that you wrote and one that we all worked our butts off to make work. I wouldn’t like to say that anyone worked harder than anyone else on this project, but there is no doubt if you hadn’t given the level of commitment that you did into this project, it would never have got off the ground. You also held it together when it started to fall apart and you should be proud to take credit for that.

When you have a group of people in a situation like this of course there is going to be creative discussions, and you have to open to that. But when a person starts to lay down the law in an effort to take control of what they wrongly perceive as theirs and theirs alone, it just doesn’t work. And again, I guess this question of ownership will also be the sticking point. From my perspective, I was asked to join by both you and Lyn and was never under the impression that this was any less your idea than it was Lyn’s. I guess this is way I find it so mind boggling as to why Lyn keeps on insisting that this project was hers. Anyone can have an idea, but there is a hell of a lot more involved in making that idea into a reality. From where I sat within the project – you made it a reality.

I would also like to say that it is disappointing that the stories can’t all be housed at one site, and again it’s disappointing to see the comments on Senad distorting the facts. We had the opportunity to house them on an independent site and that's how the majority of writers voted – to keep the site neutral – and Lyn was not in anyway excluded from this. Although she was asked to house her stories at the new site, she made her decision that her stories were going to BIA, and that’s fine we all respected her decision. But given the problems we’d had along the way, I have to say that also I can’t blame those writers (me included) for wanting to keep their stories at a more neutral site.

Yes it’s a shame it all feel apart but it’s more of a shame that it has to be continually aired in public by some people. I have to say that the fandom must be well and truly over it. I know I am and I know you must be as well. :0)

Edited at 2007-12-08 01:20 pm (UTC)
Dec. 8th, 2007 01:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Jess, for sharing your views on the project, and for your comments about the role you saw me playing.

I, too, am sorry that this keeps coming back to haunt all of us and I dearly wish Lyn would stop making the comments that open it all back up again. I'd like to think this might finish it, but ... I doubt it will. At least, I guess, we can now simply respond with the url to this page and any newbies who are curious can come read a different perspective from the one that I'm sure Lyn will continue to maintain on every list she participates in.

I think we can all remain very proud of what we collectively produced. The rest of this is just ... unpleasant noise. But I did feel that I had to give a different perspective from the one Lyn trumpets, for myself because she continually trivializes me and makes it sound like I'm trying to seek more credit than I deserve (when I rarely seek any), and for everyone else, too, because we ALL made it happen.

(no subject) - jessriley - Dec. 8th, 2007 01:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alynt - Dec. 12th, 2007 12:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jessriley - Dec. 13th, 2007 09:13 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alynt - Dec. 13th, 2007 09:27 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - starwatcher307 - Dec. 13th, 2007 08:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alynt - Dec. 13th, 2007 08:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - starwatcher307 - Dec. 13th, 2007 10:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
Brother, you just don't quit - alyburns - Dec. 13th, 2007 10:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Dec. 8th, 2007 09:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jessriley - Dec. 8th, 2007 10:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Dec. 9th, 2007 01:45 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jessriley - Dec. 9th, 2007 02:52 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - starwatcher307 - Dec. 11th, 2007 03:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alynt - Dec. 12th, 2007 01:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - starwatcher307 - Dec. 12th, 2007 01:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alynt - Dec. 12th, 2007 01:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
Part 1 - jessriley - Dec. 13th, 2007 09:18 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Part 1 - jessriley - Dec. 13th, 2007 09:19 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Part 1 - alynt - Dec. 13th, 2007 09:26 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Part 1 - starwatcher307 - Dec. 13th, 2007 08:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Part 1 - jessriley - Dec. 13th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Part 1 - alynt - Dec. 13th, 2007 08:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Part 1 - jessriley - Dec. 13th, 2007 09:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - starwatcher307 - Dec. 13th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Dec. 8th, 2007 03:42 pm (UTC)
Sorry for your troubles, and what was running through my mind reading this is how true Chaos theory is in our own lives. Also, how often people do the revisionist history thing. In these days of written networking documentation, it's fairly easy to dispute people's version of 'how things happened'. I glanced at "The Forutne Teller" last night when I saw it was posted in the news letter, but I was not in the right mood to read a long story (tired and ditzy feeling), but I will this weekend. It looks great from the taste I had.

Dec. 8th, 2007 04:43 pm (UTC)
Laurie, LOL, yep, 'chaos' pretty much describes a good part of this, as well as the creative process in general. Thanks for your comment. And I hope you enjoy The Fortune Teller.
Dec. 8th, 2007 05:54 pm (UTC)
Arianna, I think you're right to speak up. No one can get the full picture from one person's POV, especially when opposing POVs tell a different tale.

Like you, I doubt if this will die completely. There'll always be someone who wonders why the stories are split between websites. At least now they can be directed to read up on the opposing viewpoints. Hopefully, that'll keep the subject from exploding on the lists.
Dec. 8th, 2007 07:11 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Arnie. I'd be glad if this post helps keep the subject from further acrimony on the lists. The fandom doesn't need the drama or the angst, and as Jess has said, everyone is no doubt tired of it all. I'm not on many lists anymore, but if you see the subject arise again and you think this post would help clarify matters, feel free to refer people to this perspective.
Dec. 8th, 2007 06:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the post. Are you planning to post this link at Senad? Or has that already happened and the interface is doing its usual erratic thing about displaying messages?
Dec. 8th, 2007 07:06 pm (UTC)
Mab, No, I've never figured out how to post to Senad. Years ago, when I first tried, I always got it wrong and eventually gave up trying. Even if I could, I probably wouldn't, because I don't want to get embroiled in a flame war. However, if you or others wish to post this link there or elsewhere, now or in the future, I have no objections.
(no subject) - mab_browne - Dec. 8th, 2007 07:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 8th, 2007 08:25 pm (UTC)
I worked as a writer on a virtual season once (22 episodes of Angel) and it's an incredible amount of work. We all came out of it still friends, though you learned who could be relied on and who couldn't when it came to deadlines :-)

I'm sorry there were difficulties and it's still causing tension like this ::hugs::
Dec. 8th, 2007 11:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Jane. I've just finished another project where we've rewritten the entire five years of a series. Man, yeah, undertakings like this are a ton of work. But it's great to see the results, isn't it. To know it's been a substantive contribution to the fandom.
Dec. 8th, 2007 08:46 pm (UTC)
What a lovely fairytale. And if you read SW's comments on senad and TSFF, it was actually SW who called me a liar, not the other way round. Oh, and BTW, the message you posted on TSSF was not to point out that TBL was not my project alone but to respond because someone claimed that Thin Blue Line had been started by you. Happy to post the message here, if you want. I've never said the project was mine alone, but simply that the project was started by me. If you and SW want to twist that wording, go for it. I, too, have the emails you sent to me while we working on Thin Blue Line. Let's just say, you certainly have a wide vocabulary!
The only reason I've signed in as anonymous, is because I no longer have a LJ and trust me, I won't be back.

Dec. 8th, 2007 11:14 pm (UTC)
Actually, I was responding to Kat's comment on TSSF, that TBL was yours all the way, in her correction to the poster you're referring to. As for the rest ... we all have our own perceptions of what happened, and of what's been said along the line. I doubt any of those perspectives will change much. I have never said that it wasn't your idea to create these long, illustrated stories. In fact, until now, I haven't said much about any of it.
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What, you cancelled - alyburns - Dec. 13th, 2007 10:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: What, you cancelled - cybelesundays - Dec. 14th, 2007 06:43 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: What, you cancelled - alyburns - Dec. 14th, 2007 11:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Re: What, you cancelled - alyburns - Dec. 15th, 2007 05:10 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: What, you cancelled - cybelesundays - Dec. 16th, 2007 01:17 am (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 9th, 2007 01:59 am (UTC)
Thanks to Arianna and the real team that produced the Shaman's Journey Series. It's terrific.
Words always reveal more than the meanings intended by a writer. Such is the beauty of language, taking on the color of its 'owner' just as kids or pets take on the personalities of those who raise them. As a newcomer on the block, with no preconceived notions about the TBL series, I carefully looked at the words and where they appeared. FWIW, here is my take on the problem.

A collaboration describes the process by which diverse abilities combine to accomplish something that would otherwise not exist in that particular form. Many times we see it happen in name only. An effort basically performed by a single individual who belongs to a 'committee'. The product stands or falls on its merits and the ownership of the product is apparent, no matter how many people claim credit. Generally, the one who actually did the deed considered the final product worth the work of getting around everyone else who stood in the way of progress.

More typically, one sees multiple 'stamps' on a new 'product'. Here, you have a loose alliance of individuals who never really allow the lines to dissolve between their individual contributions to the task. However, despite a lack of true blending, you still wind up with something unique that may be quite acceptable in quality. This is often seen in television series with multiple authors, directors and very few 'constants' guarding the overriding themes/goals. Industries and entire countries are run this way :-)

On rare occasions, one sees a true blending of talents in which the product is regarded as the main goal. Participants relinquish their individual identities (but not their talents) and give birth to something unique. Such products are valued as much for their novelty, as for their quality. Shared vision is hard to develop, much less accomplish. Having accomplished their purpose, the team then continues to work together or they move on. Rarely do you see them return to dissect their earlier achievements because a true blend doesn't lend itself to that kind of analysis. When this dissection does occur, it means some other form of group effort took place and someone from that group feels they didn't receive sufficient remuneration the first time around. Now, customers are being forced to pay a different price for the work.

In the case of fan-fic, there is little impetus for engaging in the effort for anything other than pure joy. This offers a more or less level playing field in motivation when people enter it. As expected however, a hierarchy quickly develops in which the diversity of skill levels are revealed and preferred niches become occupied. Plenty of room for all but the love of the game draws people together who could never manage a successful collaboration with one another if there were financial goals or other worldly end at stake.

Look at the language being used by those discussing the development of the TBL and Shaman's Journey series. The product was certainly amazing in its scope and ambition. It clearly required a great deal of effort by many to overcome the limits imposed by volunteers with varying amounts of time and ability to offer. Compromises were evidently made and a very fine product was ultimately offered to an appreciative audience.

It appeared to be a top notch collaboration at the start which means that any problems were taken care of without it showing in the product OR in descriptions of the collaborative process made at that time. The product meant something to all and the response was adequate payment for all to further extend their efforts. But not all teams manage to stay together because needs change. When payment is no longer sufficient, other people get 'charged' the difference by dissatisfied team members.

Go to part 2
Jan. 10th, 2008 01:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Thanks to Arianna and the real team that produced the Shaman's Journey Series. It's terrific.
But Roslyn, if Marilyn was so reluctant to tell what went on, why has she posted two 'what really went on with TBL'reports - in depth, yet both are quite in contrast with each other, I might add, when I have refused to discuss it, yet you say it's me that has brought it up? Why does Marilyn feel the need to explain twice her version of events? Yet if I add a comment, recanting anything she has brought up, I'm 'starting things' I can't recant anything she says and have you guys look at it and say, "Well, okay, I see her point." You can't see any comment I make without just having a kneejerk reaction to my name? And that maybe because I was there from the beginning, that maybe I'm not lying through my teeth? Again, I reiterate, you weren't there, you don't know. Why do you feel the need to post such a long commentary on something you weren't a party to and therefore must rely on hearsay? Why is it that important to you anyway?
And to the real team that produced the original Thin Blue Line, of which Shaman's Journey became a spin-off, thankyou!!!
Dec. 9th, 2007 02:00 am (UTC)
Part 2, Thanks to Arianna and ...

Evidently, Lyn is now retroactively setting new charges for the work which are quite expensive. These charges ask original collaborators to now revalue their efforts and state they didn't deserve equal billing. The readership is being asked to pay again for their pleasure by offering more than their original thanks to a team. Now they are supposed to offer an additional gratuity of some kind to Lyn while taking back some old gratuities offered to others involved.

The delineation of specific contributions made to a team effort is not possible when those efforts have been truly melded. However, it is certainly possible by those carried along on the tide of others achievements, to recall each and every bit of their own (real or imagined) efforts since they never considered themselves truly part of a team.

I'm writing about this here because I think that when someone comes to your home (or LJ) and disrespects your hospitality to leave you angry messages, it is a basic admission that they have a problem which they can't solve without you. If their own perspective was accurate and sufficient satisfaction for them, they would stay home and express themselves in language which indicated that confidence in their truth. Lyn's visit to this LJ pretty much confirms that the others who created Shaman's Journey were fortunate that it was removed from the TBL collection last year. Now it can be enjoyed at the original price set for it.

I am happy to see Arianna taking this reluctant step to show her sincere regrets that this product is STILL being taken to the chop shop by Lyn in hopes that its parts can be sold off - so much for your part, this much more for mine etc. Arianna obviously doesn't feel the need to do so. However, her explanations will make the Shaman's Journey series all the more valuable to its readers. It's already been paid for and you won't have to leave a tip separately for each participant in that effort. It was produced by a team who have good reason to be proud of their work and have no further need to review it.

Dec. 9th, 2007 03:01 am (UTC)
Re: Part 2, Thanks to Arianna and ...
Interesting and complex analysis, Roslyn. Very thought-provoking ... and yeah, we were an amazing team, all of us, particularly in the beginning but even when things were edgier at the end. Well, the proof of that is in the pudding, as you've pointed out -- the stories, the cohesion of them, the artwork, all stand proof of how committed people were to giving their best.

One point, though ... Lyn has indicated she doesn't have an LJ in which to make her own comments, so to make her own points in this discussion, she has to comment here. I have no problem with that.

Re: Part 2, Thanks to Arianna and ... - (Anonymous) - Dec. 9th, 2007 05:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Part 2, Thanks to Arianna and ... - caarianna - Dec. 10th, 2007 02:47 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Part 2, Thanks to Arianna and ... - alynt - Jan. 10th, 2008 08:44 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Part 2, Thanks to Arianna and ... - roslynsmuse - Jan. 10th, 2008 01:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Part 2, Thanks to Arianna and ... - alynt - Jan. 10th, 2008 01:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 10th, 2007 12:05 am (UTC)
TBL/Shaman's Journey
While I had no previous idea of the split behind the Thin Bue Line series, I personally feel as if I can attest to the fact that you certainly kept the information of a split having taken place to yourself. I remember distinctly reading the first story in season two and being left with a feeling of "what?". The story itself was fine, but I felt as if something were missing. I had become engrossed in the entire shaman theme and felt as if I was left hanging. I say all this to let you know that your efforts, and I mean those of the other writers as well, are highly appreciated. To know that you guys put out such great stories amid the tension and deadlines you describe is no less than commendable. I still remember when I first read "Holocaust" I was speeschless. I acually wished it was a movie, to see that depth of storytelling on the big screen. When I saw the posting for two more stories in the Shaman's Jorney arc I couldn't read "Fortune Teller" fast enough. I am even somewhat disappointed that I have to wait to read the next story.

Know that your efforts are not unappreciated and I personally plan to give more feedback to make sure that you do not forget. As for the rest hopefully speaking your peace has allowed the matter to be put to rest. Keep writing the stories and I for one will keep reading them.
Dec. 10th, 2007 12:07 am (UTC)
Re: TBL/Shaman's Journey
Sorry I didn't mean to be anonymous. My name is Laverne.
Re: TBL/Shaman's Journey - caarianna - Dec. 10th, 2007 01:27 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: TBL/Shaman's Journey - alynt - Jan. 10th, 2008 08:46 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: TBL/Shaman's Journey - starwatcher307 - Jan. 10th, 2008 01:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: TBL/Shaman's Journey - alynt - Jan. 10th, 2008 01:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: TBL/Shaman's Journey - starwatcher307 - Jan. 10th, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 13th, 2007 05:21 pm (UTC)
My view, Pt 1 of 4
So, Lyn, I see in your answer to Jess, you want her to post my entry that you think 'started it all'. Why don't *I*I do that... Going back a little farther, to show how it developed.

1) Rhianne announced the new Shaman's Journey story. She gave a link to Shaman's Journey site, plus Arianna's site with the new story on it.

2) AmyCat asked for a website where the links were in order.

3) You said, I'll try to get a full listing, complete with offsite links to each story on Brothers In Arms over the weekend, Amy, if the other writers from Season One are okay with me doing that, and will include season 2 fics of Thin Blue Line. I know it's confusing, and I apologize for that, but my hands are tied with having all the fics in one place.

And there's the first of your distortions - "if the writers from S1 are okay with that" - as if the stories aren't posted on a public website for everyone to see.

4) My first post, in response to Amy: Here you go. They're not numbered, but they're on the page in order.


The main site has a lot of pictures. There is an alternate graphics-lite site if you need it (under the big 'Enter').

5) AmyCat expressed frustration, couldn't find the two newest stories.

6) I said, Arianna (I hadn't noticed that Rhianne made the announcement) explained why the new story isn't on this site yet. You can read this site, then go to the other. Apparently, it will be put on this site as soon as the server quits acting up.

"Shaman's Journey" was originally called "Thin Blue Line". Due to a schism in the ranks, the authors removed the original story 1 and story 5.
(Do you see any blaming or name-calling there? Simple statement of fact.) They *used* to be on Lynn's Brothers in Arms site, but she seems to have removed them. (Based on the fact that I searched TBL 2 and could not find a link to those two stories.)

However, the developing relationship between Jim and Blair, and the story arc, holds up without those two stories. (My opinion. Others' may differ. Even in Bush's America, stating an opinion is not yet a crime.)

If someone knows how to make the Wayback Machine cough up an unknown URL, the original Story #1 was "The Right Path" by Lyn, and the original Story #5 (after Hunter's Moon) was "A Rampart to the Mind" by Annie and Lyn. (I tried to give enough info for someone to search and find the stories.)

7) Pam gave the link to Right Path and Rampart at the bottom of Shaman's Journey main page. (I had missed it previously.)

8) You said, Sorry, I don't think the story arc does hold up without those two stories, considering The Right Path is the beginning of the series and Rampart to the mind is when Blair fully begins to develop his shamanic visions. (Fair enough; I would expect your opinion to be different from mine.) Schism in the ranks - nice way to put it, I guess. (I was trying to be circumspect, and not air past disagreements on the list. Apparently, that isn't good enough for you.) And Annie and I *didn't* remove our stories, the webmaster closed down his site and the other authors from Thin Blue Line chose to take their fics and have them hosted elsewhere instead of at Brothers In Arms, under the new name, The Shaman's Journey. (You conveniently neglect to mention that you were invited to keep the stories on the new site.)

Dec. 13th, 2007 05:23 pm (UTC)
Re: My view, Pt 2 of 4
Season 2 of Thin Blue Line continued on with a full series of fics that led straight on from Season 1, but concentrating more on case stories, whereas The Shaman's Journey focuses more on Blair's shamanistic abilities. (Straight information, helpful to the readers.) Both series, IMHO, are worth reading. (I never said otherwise, or even hinted at it.) I'd appreciate you at least getting the facts straight, Linda, if you're posting the info to members here. (Excuse me? I said there was a schism in the ranks - true - and that the stories were housed on different sites - also true.)

I'll try to get an index of 'all' fics up complete with links over the weekend.
Brothers In Arms moved to a new site a couple of weeks ago. I'll also get season 2 of Thin Blue Line moved back to Brothers In Arms to make it easier for everyone. The Right Path and Rampart To the Mind can be found at Brothers in Arms:

9a) I apologized to you for not having the links earlier - My apologies. I checked the Season Two page, and couldn't find links to Right Path and Ramparts. I'm pleased someone pointed out the right direction; I now have the URL saved. To which you answered, You're welcome. Glad I could straighten things out. Am working on getting *all* the links to *all* the stories in one place now.

9b) I corrected my earlier mistake of suggesting Right Path and Rampart were no longer available by saying, Thanks, Pam and Em; I did not see that link, and couldn't find it direct from the Brothers in Arms site.

To clear up confusion, Aly's story is not first -- it's simply the one that comes directly before the newest one. The stories in order, are on the following websites --

(Notice, please, that I gave the correct links to RP and RttM, in the proper order.)

10) You followed that post with this - Just as a heads up, there is a full season two of Thin Blue Line here: http://www.thinblueline.tvheaven.com

This season focuses more on case stories rather than the mystical. I'll be moving it to Brothers In Arms this weekend and will let everyone know as soon as that's done.
- which was a valid addition.

11) Later, you wrote, I've uploaded an index of all the season 1 stories of Thin Blue Line [some of which became The Shaman's Journey] here: http://www.brothersinarmsfiction.com/tbl1/intro.html - straight, factual information, letting fans know what is available and where.

But then you just *had* to add a note completely irrelevant to the issue -- where are the stories -- boosting your ego (it was painful, the idea was mine, I started it, I floated it, others came on board, I was left in an untenable position) and completely avoiding any mention of it being a team effort. You said, Please note, it's a long, complicated story regarding the split of Thin Blue Line into two entities: Thin Blue Line and The Shaman's Journey. One that I'd rather not rehash too much. It was painful enough the first go round. I would like to make mention here though that the idea for Thin Blue Line was mine, I started the project, floated my idea to others, and then others came on board. It wasn't my choice to split the stories but I was left in an untenable position.

Anyway, the index above shows the stories in order as they were for the first season and indicates which fics take you offsite.

Re: My view, Pt 3 of 4 - starwatcher307 - Dec. 13th, 2007 05:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: My view, Pt 3 of 5 - starwatcher307 - Dec. 13th, 2007 05:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: My view, Pt 5 of 5 - starwatcher307 - Dec. 13th, 2007 05:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: My view, Pt 1 of 4 - alynt - Jan. 10th, 2008 08:47 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: My view, Pt 1 of 4 - starwatcher307 - Jan. 10th, 2008 01:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: My view, Pt 1 of 4 - alynt - Jan. 10th, 2008 01:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: My view, Pt 1 of 4 - starwatcher307 - Jan. 10th, 2008 03:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 13th, 2007 07:53 pm (UTC)
To Lyn, since it's obvious you are reading this post: Part 1
It’s interesting how you’ve ignored many of the actual points people have raised in this post, and chosen instead to make ad hominem attacks. In my experience, that is the recourse of someone who is unable to back up their arguments or provide evidence to the contrary. Attacking the character/credibility of one’s opponents is usually an attempt, in cases like this, to distract from the very real issues at hand by eliciting an emotive response.

But really, in terms of this topic, emotion is what it’s all about, isn’t it? So perhaps that is the best way to explain this whole thing. To put it in simple, easy-to-understand terms, you and Arianna had a falling out during the initial season of Thin Blue Line. Whatever the reasons for that, it was – and still is - a really, really big thing to you. You dislike her still, and that continued, intense anger you feel towards her frequently spills over into comments you make, whether on the topic of TBL, GMO, or even (more recently) feminism. You’ve even been inspired (in cahoots with others) to make a sockpuppet and post on a couple of Yahoo groups, so you can get in a few extra digs. No doubt Arianna’s continued silence on the matter, and determination to keep her interaction with you civil, has made you feel even more wound up.

But it’s not ended there. It’s not only Arianna you have a gripe with – it’s anyone who has not actively taken your side against her. And here, my dear, I speak from experience.

You initially dragged me into this sorry mess by telling an outright lie, so you could use what I hadn’t said as a stick to beat Arianna with. At the time, I thought you were a nice person – you even hosted my stories on your site - so I was rather shocked to find out about the lie you told. And Arianna had already become a good friend during the short time I’d known her (I’d even met her and hugely enjoyed her company), so it rather disappointed me that you would try to drive a wedge between us in that way.

I told you at the time that your issues with Arianna – whatever they were – were none of my business. That I wanted to be left out of it. I liked you both, and didn’t have a problem with either of you.

Your response was to offer to send me e-mails to prove to me what a nasty person she was, as though this would somehow justify your lie. I’m afraid I rolled my eyes at that! What part of, “It’s nothing to do with me?” and, “Keep me out of it,” did you not understand?

Unfortunately, Lyn, that clear refusal to take sides on something that was none of my business was not enough for you, and neither was my attempt to be equally friendly with both of you. If I was not with you, I was against you, as you made very clear after that. The sly digs – and not so sly ones – began to come my way. In fact, you are amongst the very few people I ever banned from my LJ, since you decided to vent your frustration by posting one of my friends-locked posts in public. Congratulations! You got me off that fence, purely by your own behaviour, a long time ago.

Since then, it has become clear that anyone who is openly friendly with your nemesis is on your shit list. You just can’t let it go – and you won’t let it go until everyone in the known world agrees with your version of events, in which she is some nefarious villain, and you are this poor, innocent, hard-done-to victim. You’re like a dog with a bone. And why? Because once upon a time, in private emails, you and she had a bloody argument! She didn’t murder your family, or kill your dog, or even say nasty things – in public or otherwise - about you. Yet because you once clashed heads, and you have been unable to discuss your issues with her and come to some mature resolution, you persist in actively treating her (and anyone who agrees with her) as the Anti-Christ. You can’t even agree to disagree, and leave well alone. You really hate to be disagreed with, don’t you?

Edited at 2007-12-13 08:21 pm (UTC)
Jan. 10th, 2008 01:51 pm (UTC)
Re: To Lyn, since it's obvious you are reading this post: Part 1
Of course I could share the abusive amils I received from Marilyn. She says she has saved her emails. Is she prepared to do,likewise?
Dec. 13th, 2007 07:54 pm (UTC)
To Lyn: Part 2
Cont. from Part 1:

It’s apparent that you feel enraged, and you just have to express it, even if it means dragging (a) anyone who does not 100% take your side or (b) the rest of fandom into it. I’m reading from your behaviour over the past few years (and jeez, it’s been a long time now since this should have all been over) that you are an intensely angry person who is desperately unhappy, and I’m deeply sorry for you that you feel that way. Really, I am. It can’t be nice for you to continually be embroiled in such a bitter, hopeless dispute, just as it’s not nice for any of us who end up becoming targets of your ire.

I’d love to give you some advice – take a deep breath, talk to each other, work it out and move the hell on - but I’m pretty sure that I made your shit list a long time ago, so I expect it would fall on deaf ears. So all I’ll hope is that this current bout of unpleasant venting ends soon, and that you’ll give us all a bit of a break until the next time you just can’t hold it in anymore.

Edited at 2007-12-13 08:36 pm (UTC)
Dec. 13th, 2007 11:55 pm (UTC)
Seriously, it's a real shame that some negative elements in fandom force good authors such as yourself and Bev and the other commenters here to spend time explaining this issue. THIS MEANS LESS SEX FOR JIM AND BLAIR AND THAT MAKES ME VERY SAD. BECAUSE WE SHOULD ALL BE FOR MORE PORN, PEOPLE.

Edited at 2007-12-13 11:56 pm (UTC)
Dec. 14th, 2007 07:10 pm (UTC)
Lol, well said! I second that. This really is all a damn shame, which is not to say that I disagree that the argument should at least once be taken out properly. If only it could then be laid to rest...
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