Monday, September 26, 2011

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me . . .

Hey! I remembered something!

Well, actually, Adam remembered something: we meant to celebrate the twelve days of Christmas this year with the kids, giving them a small gift on each day from Christmas Day till Epiphany.

He remembered this when we were out shopping today and the kids got excited about gloves (gloves with snowflakes, gloves with camo print, gloves with flames). At first he said, "Hey, stocking stuffers!" but then he remembered, "weren't we going to skip stuffing the kids' stockings and do the 12 Days of Christmas instead?"

Yes, we were. And now we are, because we remembered in time!

So, I'm blogging just in case any of you out there had similar plans, since these things always go better if you start a few months ahead of time, so you can pick stuff up as you see it. It's a neat way of observing the entire Christmas season and not just the 25th (I hear).

And I promise, we're not being horrible parents by forgoing stuffing their stockings because their grandparents do such a good job of that already. :) Anything Adam and I added was just superfluous compared to the Awesomeness of the Grandfolk.

So now I'm contemplating what else I want to look for: maybe some new Bible story books or prayer cards or such, as well as fun stuff like bottle candy (I know, but they think it's really cool) or pop-guns and such.

Peace of Christ to you,

Jessica Snell

Friday, September 23, 2011

Links: Wizards, Writers, Walks, and Walls

-In Hollywood and the Hacker, Steven Lloyd Wilson critiques the way television and movies handle technology:

Movies and television have conjured computer geeks into modern wizards in perhaps the truest sense of the word that has ever been realized, conjuring hidden knowledge from the very air with arcane language and the clattering of fingers. The reality of a computer expert is a black screen full of white text, completely impenetrable to the untrained, but too intimidating for an audience according to the standards of Hollywood. Fancy monitors and slick touch interfaces, anything to put a visual face on the black hole of text that represents real coding. Never mind that there’s a reason coders type. Text is the most efficient form of communication yet devised for interface with the human animal, a dense soup of information that can nonetheless be engineered into speech and processed into meaning like lightning. Graphical interfaces? Touching the screen to select things? That’s nice for your mp3 player, but if you want to tell the computer to do something complicated enough that it would take sentences to explain to another person, you’re going to need words not pictures. If words weren’t more efficient, our vocal cords would have atrophied by now in favor of charades and pictionary.

Great explication- of the way Hollywood treats technology like magic. As Wilson says later in the piece, "The effect is being idolized without understanding the cause." It's a great essay for the person who enjoys modern entertainment, but who doesn't want to digest it without analyzing it.

-In "Hold the Scalpel!", Jim Rubarts writes:

I'd finished the manuscript for my first novel, ROOMS and through connections I made at the Mt Hermon Writers Conference I got the story in front of three agents. All three were interested in representing me. But none signed me.

Why? My story needed more work. My novel was 90% of the way there. But as agent Steve Laube says, a novel from a first time author needs to be 95% - 98% of the way there . . .

I'm fond of this classic writing anecdote which illustrates my view:

An author and a brain surgeon went golfing one spring day and the brain surgeon said, "I'm taking a six weeks off this summer to write a book!"

The author stared at his friend and said, "That's a stunning coincidence. I'm taking six weeks off this summer to become a brain surgeon."

The rest of the post is really encouraging - encouraging in that actually encouraging, tough-love sort of way, not in the there-there-it's-all-just-fine sort of way. Love it.

-Anne's post on discovering new walks around her new home is beautiful.

-Check out the cool Church Year Timeline Kelly's put up on her wall!

Peace of Christ to you,

Jessica Snell

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Using the Prayers of the People for intercessory prayer

My two oldest kids go to school every weekday now and recently I've been feeling more called to intercessory prayer.

Could there be a connection there? ;)

All kidding aside, I really have been feeling called to intercede more than I have in the past - or perhaps, a better way to put that would be that the Lord has been reminding me that this is something He has asked me to do and He still wants me to be doing it. (I first got the impression that I was really supposed to be doing this on my honeymoon, actually. I remember journaling then that I thought a big part of my job as a wife and a mother was going to be praying for my family.)

One of the things I did in response to this most recent reminder was to email my grandma and ask her about her prayer life. It only made sense, because she's one of the people I always ask to pray for me when I'm in need of prayer.

Her response was both generous and helpful. And as I read her list of the different people and groups of people that she prays for, I thought, Huh, that sounds a lot like the Prayers of the People.

So I've started using the Prayers of the People in my own prayer life. I'm using the version that's in the back of my St. James devotional, as I already have that with me during my Bible-reading time.

And that's it. That's all I've got for this blog. No great spiritual insight, just a passing-on of something I've found useful. If you're having trouble structuring your intercessory prayer life, try the Prayers of the People. Pray them and let them remind you of all the people you were planning to pray for anyway. I'm finding them immensely helpful, both in reminding me of people I meant to pray for and of reminding me of how I ought to be praying for them.

Praise God for his servant Thomas Cramner.

Peace of Christ to you,

Jessica Snell

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Summer Camp!

So . . . when you think of summer camp, what do you think of? What activities, games, relay races, experiences really made summer camp summer camp?

It's research, honest. :) I'd really like to know. Capture-the-flag, canoe-ing, weenie-roasts, sing-a-longs, horses, cabin raids . . . what does a summer camp have to have to make it really, really good? Extra points if it's something competitive.

Thank you!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

crocheted finished objects: hats, gloves, and more!

I've finished a few things lately. First, a little vest for a friend's soon-to-arrive baby:

I love how it looks a bit like an old grandpa sweater. I think it's the folded collar that really cements the look of the piece:

Little baby boys so often look like funny little old men, I thought the old-man vest might be especially cute. :)

I crocheted it in Wool-Ease, my first time using that yarn, and I quite liked it. The wool content takes away that artificial slickness you sometimes get with acrylic, but it's still largely acrylic, so it'll be easy for the new mom to just toss into the wash if it gets burped on.

Then, I finished another Christmas present, a beanie crocheted up in a self-striping sock yarn:

This was the project I carried around in my purse for a few months, working on it here and there as I was out and about. Happy with how it turned out, but glad to be done with it!

Then, a favorite, my dad's handwarmers:

This was fun because he actually requested a pair after I wore my own pair on our backpacking trip, except he wanted some in green. I hunted about, found a yarn that would work, and played with the pattern till it fit him. They're his stocking stuffer, but not a surprise, as I kept making him try them on as I tried to adjust the pattern!

Then, I made up just a few more yarn-eating baskets. I had fun with these, but I think I'm done with them for awhile. I achieved my goal of using up some yearn I had no other plans for and making room for some yarn that my sister had recently passed on to me. Everything fits in the crates I have set aside for yarn storage again.

Here's my favorite:

I like the subtle, tweedy appearance.

This one's not bad either:

This one, however, is downright Seussian, from the garish colors to the crazy corners (hey, I was experimenting):

I have no idea what I'll do with it.

And, finally, one last, heavy-duty tote:

Whew! That was a lot of single crochet stitching! I just started up a new project, using some of the laceweight cashmere I harvested from a thrift-store sweater, and I think it'll be a nice change of pace after all this heavier work.

Of course, the laceweight is so light and delicate that it snags on any bit of rough skin on my fingers and threatens to tear if my tension is even slightly too tight. So it's got its own challenges! But it's delicate and pretty and just what I'm in the mood for now.

What are the rest of you working on?

Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

Thursday, September 15, 2011

7 Quick Takes- Quotation Edition

1. I've been mulling over this line from Mumford and Sons for a long time: "If only I had an enemy bigger than my apathy/Then I could have won."
I think this is something you want to avoid having to say.
2. I'm also mulling over this from Gerard Manley Hopkins: "The effect of studying masterpieces is to make me admire and do otherwise."
3. More goodness, this time from Aristotle: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit."
4. And this one, I think, could apply to television and the internet: "Leave the presence of a fool, Or you will not discern words of knowledge." - Proverbs 14:7
5. Have you ever heard the old chestnut, "God moves in mysterious ways"? I would like to point out (having just discovered the fact myself) that the poem that's from ("Light Shining Out of Darkness" by Cowper) ends with:
Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain. *
So . . . the poem ends insisting on pretty much the opposite of what everyone who quotes the more famous first line means.
6. The above-quoted poem also includes this cheering stanza:
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take:
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.
7. And I've been thinking, all week, about John Donne's "Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward." I thought of it because of the famous line, "Who sees God's face, that is self life, must die; What a death were it then to see God die?" and because of the heartbreakingly hopeful end, but when I went to read it again, it was the beginning that struck me:
Let man's Soul be a Sphere, and then, in this,
The intelligence that moves, devotion is;
What a thought, eh? that the intelligence that moves the sphere of our souls is devotion. (It was an old belief that the heavenly bodies were moved by intelligences proper to them.) "Devotion to what?" is the next logical question. But Donne goes on:
And as the other Spheres, by being grown
Subject to foreign motions, lose their own,
And being by others hurried every day,
Scarce in a year their natural form obey;
Pleasure or business, so, our Souls admit
For their first mover, and are whirl'd by it.
Doesn't that sound familiar? We admit pleasure or business in place of devotion to God, and like a moon caught in the gravity well of a planet, we're whirled away from our native trajectory and spin far, far, far from our proper courses.
The poem goes on, of course, to talk about which direction Donne is facing versus which way he ought to be facing, and why, and what that means, but I've found myself simply sitting and soaking in the idea that it is devotion that moves me in the direction I find myself going each day.
"Devotion" and "attend" were the two words I started the year with. What am I given over to and where am I looking? Anyone who's every mountain-biked knows that you go where you look (which is why you don't look where you don't want to go - don't look at the scary ditch or you'll find yourself heading over the handlebars into it).
This poem is all about that.
If you are what you repeatedly do . . . well, you ought to think about what you want those repeated actions to be. You ought to attend. And having attended, you'll quickly be called to devote yourself to God - he who has ears, let him hear. If you pay attention, you can't help but hear His call.
But alas, Lord, we are "fools and slight". So the poem ends the way that it does:
O think me worth thine anger, punish me,
Burn off my rusts and my deformity,
Restore thine Image so much, by thy grace,
That thou may'st know me, and I'll turn my face.

More Quick Takes to be found over at Conversion Diary.
Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

*emphasis mine.

Extra Links: Edition Question-Not-the-Need

Erm, I forgot two links on the last post, but they're both about yarn, so if you're not into yarn (and you're not someone looking for ideas for my birthday), you can skip this post.

First, isn't this the prettiest blue-and-green combination you've ever seen on spun fiber? It's called "Mallard" and it's lovely, and I want it in laceweight, yes I do.

Second, there is such a thing as Doctor Who yarn. Oh, let my nerdy heart rejoice. Check out this colorway, called "Tenth Doctor", in TARDIS blue and cool-suit brown. I could see doing another Visage Lace Beret in sock yarn from this colorway and whispering "Allons-y" to myself every time I walked out the door wearing it. Hee, hee.

I think the whole Internet is just one giant nerd-enabling device, don't you?

Peace of Christ to you,

Jessica Snell

p.s. Yes, quoting Lear in the title is silly. Yes, using the word "need" in reference to yarn is silly. Yes, I know, I know.

Links! Why Writers Drink, Let's Rush to Judgement, and more

Sharon Lee (coauthor of the excellent Liaden books) writes about "Why Writers Drink, Part Whoknows", a post about intellectual property rights and the villains who don't know what those words mean. I like:

The whole Orphan Works Issue that we all hear so much about and which is the total justification put forth by universities and Google and proselytizing professors? Is a red herring. There are NOT millions or even hundreds of thousands of Brilliant! Works! Still! In! Copyright! just lying around the place whose authors-or-rights-holders have fallen off the face of the earth and cannot be found, that in-force copyright therefore Robbing! The! Ages! of those gems.

Fellow fans of Georgette Heyer will enjoy this interview with the author of a new biography on the grand dame of the Regency romance. Plus, the author's giving away a copy of the book!

NPR's Monkey See blog has a great feature called "Let's Rush to Judgment" which critiques movies solely based on their trailers. The post for the new Breaking Dawn trailer is hilarious, including sentences like this:

As if that weren't enough, MONSTERBABY is not a very easy pregnancy, since it is attempting to devour Bella in a "trapped in a giant pile of M&Ms, I could only try to eat my way out, nom nom nom" kind of way.

Oooh! "Om-nom-nom danger!" Seriously, this is going to be the most unintentionally hilarious movie every made. It's so, so sad.

(But read the NPR post. It's funny.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Daybook for 9/13/11

outside my window . . . a nice, cool, end-of-summer day. The clouds this morning were glorious, covering half the sky, but in little cotton-ball puffs, the edges of each all a-shining.

I am listening to . . . Mumford and Sons' "Home" and Brooke Fraser's "Something in the Water". One is mournful and longing, the other is upbeat and triumphant, and I like them both so very, very much.

I am wearing . . . shorts, a grey t-shirt, Celtic knot earrings from a dear friend, and my hair up and off my neck (of course!).

I am so grateful for . . . a good school experience, so far, for the two oldest.

I'm pondering . . . how I want my writing life to look, now that Adam's gift is finished and I'm back to ordinary times. I think that I always want to be editing/querying a book (so one finished), be writing a book (in process), and be plotting/researching a book (prospective). That way I can move smoothly from one project to another. Ideally, when I finish writing one book, I want another one waited for me: plot outlined and research complete.

We'll see how that goes.

I am reading . . . Ghost Ship, by Lee and Miller. And I'm sadly almost done. Write faster, guys!

I am creating . . . I just finished a tiny vest for a new little boy due soon at our church, and I'm about to cast on a cardigan for Adam's cousin's new baby, also due soon. Oh! And I'm starting my next novel - my first contemporary romance! The research on that one is finally done. Exciting times.

around the house . . . everything's actually pretty clean and calm, now that the rowdy summer days are gone. I'm enjoying the peace.

from the kitchen . . . I have chicken baked; I'm going to shred it and put it on bagels tonight with some marinara sauce and cheese to make mini-pizzas. Strawberries are waiting to be washed for our side dish.

real education in our home . . . spending time each day listening to the kids talk about school, reading books, helping with homework. Doing some popcorn reading of the Psalms with my eldest.

the church year in our home . . . today is the feast day of Cornelius the Centurion and of St. John Chrysostom. I find myself wanting to pray, "May God give us both faithfulness and golden words."

recent milestones . . . the two eldest started school! They both like it, and I'm very grateful. For my part, I'm enjoying having more one-on-one time with the youngest two in the mornings, and with the oldest two in the afternoons, while their little sisters are napping.

the week ahead. . . hoping to get a handle on the new rhythm of our days, now that we've got two in school.

picture thought . . . We had the pleasure of spending a long Labor Day weekend with some dear friends who live a bit north of us, and one of the things we got to do was to help with the bee harvest. It was so cool!

Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

Saturday, September 10, 2011

addendum to the last post

Emily and Ingrid's comments made me realize that I should add: now that Adam's read the book, I'm glad to send it to anyone else who wants to read it, provided I actually know who you are. Just shoot me an email or a comment. Skip it if you don't like sci-fi or (clean) romance, as it's both.

Peace of Christ to you,

Jessica Snell

the Project That Must Not Be Named

Jess' note: this post was started a couple of weeks ago, because I was working on a project for my husband's birthday, and couldn't talk to him about it, and not talking to my husband about what I was doing was making me crazy. So I blogged about it, keeping a log of what I was working on. But I couldn't publish the post, because my husband reads my blog.
So, I'm publishing it now, two weeks delayed

I am writing this because not talking about what I'm doing is driving me nuts.
I'm writing my husband a novel for his birthday. Or at least, I am writing my husband a novella for his birthday.
I'm always making things for people with my hands, but it struck me recently: I'm a writer. Instead of a handmade silk-and-alpaca scarf, why not give a novel? The receiver's very own novel, a novel no one has ever read before?
I've only done something like this once before, when I gave my friend Deanna a story for her birthday, a piece of X-Men fan fiction (hey, we were in high school). Deanna, being awesome, took the story and illustrated it, and my gift became this cool, two-person piece of art.
This time is sort of similar, but not because I expect my husband to illustrate the book. It's because he helped to plot it.
When the kids were younger, we used to take long walks every night, with the kids up on our backs or down in a stroller (or both), and one of the things we enjoyed doing on those walks was plotting our own sci-fi story: something swashbuckling and fun, using all of our favorite story-ish things: Sir Percy-ish disguises, Vorkosigan-ish intrigue, and Liaden-ish high romance. It was fun to take those walks and build our impossible story in words.
So when I give my husband a stack of paper with a title page that says, "Julian and Kiana", he'll know exactly what it is. And he'll be very, very surprised.
But is it possible? I had a little less than two weeks when I decided to do it. Less now.
Over the years, I've kept a file with notes on the plot, and even written a scene here or there, when inspiration struck. To be added in when I finally wrote the real thing, "some day". On the weekend, I pulled those all together and put them in order, stringing them in between bullet points that summarized what I knew of the plot.
That gave me about 10,000 words. Only 40,000 to go!
Day 1: I am insane. I wrote 4000 words today, which I almost can't believe, but I feel like my brain has parted company with my head and I don't know where it's gone to. This reminds me of staying up late on Christmas Eve trying to finish the stitching on Bess' stocking before her first Christmas morning. Or of the time I tried to speed-read Don Quixote before class (note to the wise: don't speed-read Cervantes). Or of the end of a very long hike, when putting one foot in front of the other isn't any fun anymore, and hasn't been fun for hours now, but has to be done if you want to get to water before dark.
I skimmed back through my work, and it's not bad, but I found many places where I'd left out a simple word or used the same word twice or other such errors of exhaustion.
I'm glad I already have those 10,000 words of scenes written in a more relaxed mood, because they'll probably be the streams of deeper feeling that carry all these action scenes along.
Day 2: 2700 words today. Which puts me 1300 behind. When I talk to Adam, I have to search around for things to say, because the first thing on the tip of my tongue is always the story. I'm swimming in story and not talking about it feels like lying. I think when this is over, he'll not only be surprised about his gift, he'll be enlightened about why I've been so out of it for a week and a half.
Is it still a good present if he has to spend a week and a half with a wife who's not all there?
Day 3: I want it on record that I'm giving up my exercise time in order to write this book. That right there tells me that 4000 words/day is not sustainable in my normal life. I don't mind it for a couple of weeks though. (And I'm beginning to think that 2000-3000 words/day might be more sustainable than I'd imagined.)
Later on Day 3: "I won't be seeing you again, because I'll be killing myself once we reach the honeymoon suite." "Won't that be nice? She kissed me! cackle, cackle." Seeeeriously, here folks.
Later yet on Day 3: Today my brains came back, and I rewarded them by taking a handmixer to them, blending them, and snorting them out my nostrils. This is insane. No one was meant to imagine this hard and this fast. EXTREME IMAGINING. DON'T FORGET YOUR HELMET. DON'T BE SURPRISED IF YOUR BRAIN FEELS LIKE IT JUST DID THE DEATH-VALLEY-TO-MT.-MCKINLEY RUN.
3000 words in. Can I make it to 4000 before I call it quits for the night?
Later yet: 4,300 total. Awesome.
Day 4: I hit a point in the story today where a lot of my prewritten scenes come in. You would think this would be good for my word count, but it isn't, because going through those scenes and tweaking them so that the details fit the story-as-written-so-far is taking a lot of time. At about 2000 words right now.
Day 5: I am reminded of what Stephanie Pearl McPhee said about knitting: I do magic: I take two sticks and some yarn in my hands and wave them around and, poof! fabric!Only I wave them around for a really long time.
It's like that: I wave my fingers around in the vicinity of my computer and POOF! a STORY appears!
Only I wave my fingers around for a reeeeeeeeally long time.
Day Whatever-the-heck-we're-on-now: Well, we traveled up to central California. Did I mention that I was insane enough to try this during a two-week period that includes a five-day trip? Also, that includes my two oldest children's first day of school?
Actually, this nutty project is keeping me from worrying about my children's first day of school. So that's good, I think.
I've discovered that my laptop has enough battery to let me write all the way from Lodi, down the 99, to the 5, and to the place where you first catch a glimpse of the Grapevine winding its way over the mountains and down into the Los Angeles basin.
Day We're-Almost-Done: Well, it's my husband's birthday and the first day of school for the kids, and I'm almost done. Happily, Adam's party is tomorrow night, which gives me one more day to bring this story to its close.
I'm finding that I can write a lot faster than I gave myself credit for before. This isn't good, because it means from now on I'm not going to be able to coddle myself. The whole illusion I had of Artist-as-Fragile-Flower is completely gone. Turns out that not only can I work, I can be a workhorse. I can actually sit down, seemingly idea-less and without inspiration and keep writing anyway. And the writing that comes out isn't crap, it's pretty much just as good as the stuff I write when I feel inspired.
So, there's that.
Day HURRAH: It's done, it's done, it's done! And I love it!
Very violent book. It's not a sit-and-take-tea like the romances I've written.
But even as I write that, I realize that the last romance I wrote also involved soldiers, beatings, and violent death.
I think I might not be the writer I thought I was.
(Note: I told this to my mom, and her response is, "Maybe you've found something to do with your anger." Ha!)
On the other hand, as I was writing it, I noticed that the words I used over and over again were "grinned", "laughed", and "smiled". (Better than "grimaced", "sneered", and "snickers", Twilight.)
I found myself using those words over and over and over because, well, the hero and heroine were falling in love. And falling in love is, in my experience, full of laughing and smiling and grinning and then laughing and smiling some more, because here is this person, and he constantly delights you, and you're so happy, and it's just good.
And that, of course, was the impetus behind this whole project. I love you, Adam!
Later yet: He loves it. :D I gave it to Adam and he knew exactly what it was. And he got the biggest grin on his face. And he's sitting next to me now and reading it and laughing at all the right parts. Yay!

Wow, this was the hardest thing I've done in a long time. But it was worth it. So, so worth it.
Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

p.s. Here's my log of my word counts from the project. It says I started out with 13,000 words already written, but the truth is that once I cut out the stuff I couldn't use, as well as the plot prompts from my outline, I only started with 8000 words already written.

8/29: went from 13,000 to about 17,000 (4000 total)
8/30: went from 17,000 to about 19,700 (2,700 total) – should be at 21,000
8/31: went from 19,700 to 24,000 (4,300 total) – should be at 25,000
9/1: went from 24,000 to 26,500 (2,500 words total – but lots of prompts cut, which means I actually wrote a lot more that that) - should be at 29,000
9/2: - went from 26,500 to 27,000 (500 words total – but lots more prompts and whole scenes cut, so I don’t know how much I actually wrote) – should be at 33,000
9/3: - went from 27,000 to 27,500 (500 words total) should be at 37,000
9/4: - went from 27,500 to 28,200 (700 words total) - should be at 44,000
9/5: - went from 28,200 to 29,200 (1000 words total) - should be at 48,000
9/6: - went from 29,200 to 31,100 (1900 words total) should be at 52,000
9/7: - went from 31,100 to 34,400 (3300 words total) should be at 56,000
9/8: -went from 34,400 to 36,600 (2400 words total – but erased lots of prompts)
9/9: - went from 36,600 to 38,700 (2100 words total – but, again, erased lots of prompts)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

pretty, pretty, ugly, and pretty again!

I've made some more of the yarn-eating totes, and I'm still loving them!

First, this color-coordinated effort:

Then, this garish item, which the children nonetheless love:

They use it to carry their toys around the house - they tie ropes on the handles and haul their toy animals up and down the stairs.

And then, my very favorite, this lovely Easter-y one:

The only problem with this project? All the ends I have to weave in. Check it out:

But I'm close to getting all my old Red Heart skeins down to the place where they'll be merely a stripe or two on my scrap afghan.

Maybe once the one at the top is done, I'll be there.

Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

Links! - Cancer, Criticism, and more!

This news - that scientists have tweaked a smallpox virus so it just attacks cancerous cells - is super-cool. Even if it does spookily remind me of the beginning of Feed.
Simcha Fisher on how criticism is not un-Christian.
Even though I knew some of the 18 Things You Didn't Know About Firefly, there was enough in there I didn't know to make this link interesting.
In the wake of the reality-TV-related suicide, the excellent Linda Holmes proposes an ethical code for the producers of unscripted television. It's pretty brilliant, especially as she admits that some types of reality shows could never sign on (hi, Jersey Shore!). Some however - basically the ones that involve any level of skill on the part of the contestants (from game-playing on Survivor to dress-designing on Project Runway) could benefit greatly from agreeing to a standard code of ethics, including things like psychological after-care for the contestants.
Reality TV is still pretty young, historically speaking, and the ethics of it are still under a lot of debate. I think it's a fascinating discussion (and I think the popularity of books like The Hunger Games bears me out one this).
Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell