So a lot of things have been happening lately that I can’t seem to find a way to see through no matter how hard I try. I’ve figured out – in a strangely cold moment of angry clarity – that it’s because I am getting opinions from both the ‘new world’ in this case, and the ‘old world’. And they are, as all new things and all old things, either in constant conflict or simply confused by each other.
I see the benefits in both, honestly. But the issue comes in wanting to join one or the other, and being utterly confounded as to which to go with.
I’m talking – to simplify things somewhat – about publishing.
For those who know me well enough, you know I’ve wanted to be published for a very long time. I’ve tried getting my short stories out there, no success, I’ve tried penning novels, and gotten a few chapters in before I canned the whole thing. I’ve been doing this gig a while, I know what failure tastes like very well.
In November, my writing partner and I finished a trilogy of novels (using NaNoWriMo as an excuse to push our count) and within a few months, a mutual acquaintance on Tumblr asked if we would like to publish the trilogy with their new company, that they planned to establish in the coming new year. The offer was wonderful, and flattering as all hell, and enticing.
And then I made the ultimate mistake of asking questions, because I can’t quite manage ignorance is bliss, anymore, apparently, though I wish to all holy hell that I could.
And here is where all the worlds started to meet and crash and make a mess in the cavities of my mind.
Because I had someone who I trust, and whose work I have seen do well through online self-publishing tell me that I should do that. That I should forgo all publishing companies and work on my own, that I should somehow organize my own editing and my own promotion and my own everything, and magically succeed as they have been.
Then another side tells me that I should steer clear of self publishing like the plague, that it will get me nowhere and nothing, and that all the effort I take to get the novel out there will end in nothing more than disappointment, since no one will see it and I will have set a boat to sail in a swamp and not the ocean.
For a while, I agreed fully with stance number 2. Too many people nowadays self publish and put their work online, and no one sees it. But they have that weird sense of success that they have written something and it’s gone somewhere. Which is fair enough, if that’s all they want. But I want MORE than that. I want to see some evidence that my book is doing well, that people like it, that people give a damn. I want to see it in stores and in windows and have people pick it up to browse on their way through a shop.
I worked in a bookstore just over a year, I know how fickle people are there, how they go for something with a pretty cover only, or something that has had ‘good reviews’. I know that. But at the same time, the person whose book has been published can say ‘YES this is my book, I got it here, there is physical evidence that I have DONE SOMETHING WORTH CELEBRATING.’ Whereas I feel that someone who has self published something on the Kobo store can’t say much more than ‘if you search my name something should come up’.
So many people try and fail to get published, so they do it on their own. And so many thousands, millions, never, ever get seen.
When it’s physically there at least you can bloody well SEE it. It gets people’s eyes pass over it if anything, people will remember, even if they don’t read, that they have seen your book. That means something.
But at the same time, I know how much money goes on physical pubishing. How you end up getting perhaps 5% of anything you sell because the rest goes on editors and cover art and publicity and your company and agent. And how is that fair? And how is that not, at the same time?
I have worked myself to TEARS with this, so many times, this week, last week, most likely weeks to come. I hate not knowing what to do. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have a choice. Choices fuck things up. They make you weigh up options that, in the end, might not even matter at all ever. Sometimes I just want someone to tell me what to do and either help me through it after or just leave me alone.
Sometimes I really wish I did not give a flying crap about anything.
I understand, somewhere, that this is the new world. That soon people won’t buy books in print in bookstores anymore. That people will not browse through aisles of books looking for a specific author, they will go online and search it. I know that.
But at the same time knowing that my dream of seeing my book in a storefront coud be ash in under a decade just HURTS. It’s scary. It’s so scary being told with statistic and fact that your dream doesn’t matter anymore.
So… I’m trying both worlds. I’m trying to figure out if I can reconcile them at all. I’m trying to see if one is truly better than the other.
It’s exhausting and frustrating and scary and so goddamn annoying but fuck, I have to have an answer somewhere, and obviously listening to advice does nothing more than anger me and confuse me and set me on a path of doubt regarding anything and all. So trial and error it is. It certainly feels like a trial.
Updates as they happen,
An entry that must be read, considering the outbursts lately in the media and the fandom. Do take the time. Hettienne is a smart, beautiful woman and this entry is worthy of your attention.
Originally posted on Eat This:
I’m an American actress and I play Beverly Katz on NBC’s HANNIBAL created by Bryan Fuller. (Spoiler Alert coming right now!!!) And she dies in episode 4 of Season 2. That episode got a lot of positive reviews, but it also incited an on-line storm of vitriol directed to Fuller himself for killing off Katz, or more specifically, for being racist and sexist. I caught wind of this myself via Twitter from our beloved Fannibals. And I thought maybe it’d be productive to talk about rather than ignore it.
Fuller cast me in a role that I didn’t think I had a chance in hell of getting. I rarely if ever see minorities, women, minority women, let alone Asian women, get to play characters like Beverly Katz. I rarely if ever see characters like Beverly Katz period. And her last name is Katz for Christ’s sake. Pretty open-minded, non-racist, pro-feminine…
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I decided a long time ago, that I would not write blog entries when I was upset or down. Not because I didn’t want my emotions out, not because I feared I would be judged for them, but because I knew that should I write them in such a mood, they would be dull and depressing things that no one would want to read, or enjoy if they braved it.
Because of this, I’ve been absent from entries for over 5 months now.
I’d apologise if I felt it appropriate, but, quite honestly, this is my personal blog, and although I am very privileged and very honored to have followers at all, what I choose to write about is my choice and decision – just as it is yours to read or not to read.
So I suppose I won’t apologise, but I will explain.
The last few months have not been easy. In a nutshell, around November I found out that the company I’m working for was sold, and everyone on the payroll made redundant. It was a very stressful time, none of us knew how long we had before we had nothing, and the management kept delaying giving us news because they were given nothing either. So initially we were told that by January, there would be no more work.
January became March. March melted into April.
Regardless, fearing for my income set me into a very low headspace, and it was very difficult to get out of it without help.
On top of that, I came down with whooping cough mid January, and that set my body into the low point my mind had already fallen into. For those unaware, whooping cough is sometimes called the 100 day cough. It is not something you can treat. It’s painful and frightening and messy, and it had myself and Holmes (who had gotten it earlier by a few weeks) pretty much horizontal (sitting up in a chair, pure horizontalness would result in endless choking) for 2 months.
I was lucky enough that I could work from home, a huge thanks to my boss for that. But as you can imagine, being unwell and having the impending axe hanging over your head regarding your income was not something that helped me feel good.
Applying for work, for those who haven’t done it before, or in a while, is also one of the most stressful things a person can put themselves through.
We’re all taught that we have to show enthusiasm, we have to put time and effort into our applications, that we have to allow our experience and our attitudes to speak to our potential new employers off the page before we can wow them in person.
Let me just tell you, as someone who has been doing this for several months now, enthusiasm runs out. Experience doesn’t matter. No one gives a damn about attitude.
Applying for work was a painful process that felt near enough to torture that it was more than a little off-putting. When you are told time and again that although you fit all the criteria the company is looking for, you aren’t hired due to not having a little rubber stamp saying you have experience in their particular industry, you start to bevlieve that you’re good for practically nothing to practically no one.
You are so experienced and you have so much to offer.
Sorry. You don’t have the job.
You need the experience.
We won’t hire you, though, you can find experience elsewhere.
Where? Oh, we don’t know, but that’s alright, we’re sure someone will hire you soon.
It was painful and humiliating and discouraging. No one would even consider my experiene. No one wanted to hire me to give me any. April loomed nearer and my cough wasn’t getting better.
Before this reads like a complete tragedy, I will add that I now have a job. A new one. I was called yesterday morning to confirm that I wanted the position and a contract sent out earlier today for me to fill in.
My cough, too, has gotten much better. We are close to the 100 day mark, so fingers crossed soon it will be a very bad, very close to home nightmare memory.
Beyond these complications, life has gone on, as much as life can.
The novel I plan to publish with my writing partner is being edited as I write this, and the first draft as well as all synopses and summaries are due to the publisher in June. I’m very excited, it’s a trilogy that both my partner and I are very proud of, and one that we have had great feedback on so far from friends who have asked to read it.
Another good piece of news is that I am finally, after years of planning and hoping and aching for this, going to go to America for a fortnight to visit my friends, travel, and just unwind. This, too, is because of my writing partner, and I can’t thank him enough. More on this as I know more, and I will be keeping a blog throughout my time away as well, hopefully have more entries come up for 2014 and get the page up and running once more.
Otherwise, not much to say on my end. Bandit has been busy and sick and tired and upset. Bandit is getting her act together and getting shit done. Bandit would like to thank the people who still visit this blog and check out the old entries.
Bandit talks about herself in third person.
I am Bandit’s exhausted mind and calloused fingers.
Bandit is also working on organizing another charity event for June; and much more will be posted on here about this – it’s a wonderful cause and I am very proud to be the organizer for such a program. It was rather successful for its first attempt over Christmas and I think that this time it will be even better.
I have also removed some pages from the blog that no longer matter to me personally, and that I no longer want to have on here for people to see. I may add more pages in their place, I may not. I’m thinking of linking my writing and fic to this blog, off of a separate page, but I may reconsider.
Thank you again for anyone still following this, hello to anyone who joined during the radio silene. I’m hoping to have more posts out this year, and really make an effort to do so. As always, comments and likes are welcome, questions even more so.
Bandit – OUT.
I remember someone told me once, that I had to follow my heart to get anywhere. That if there was something that I loved doing, that I could see myself doing forever, I should do it. And I remember thinking that they were being somewhat naively hopeful; that they assumed that just because you were passionate about something you could turn your life around and make it all work. Like magic. I also remember being painfully jealous, because they had obviously found their calling and managed to succeed in it. And I didn’t think I’d find anything I was good enough at to be able to be as successful.
The last few months have been intense. A lot in my life has changed drastically and it’s been a slow crawl to where I am. But I can honestly say that I now believe the person who gave me the above advice. I’m still finding my feet, but I am doing so with a lot more confidence and happiness than I have had for a long, long time.
So I guess I should start from the beginning.
I have been unhappy for a very long time. I had had depression first when I was 15, got counselling and got better. I had a relapse into it when I was 18, and again at 22. I have never taken meds, I refused them, and for a while I thought I could go it alone. Last year, my grades began to steadily drop. I was losing interest in everything, from study to writing to watching things to seeing my friends. I spent half a year staring at the ceiling lying in bed because I had no desire or strength to get up. It was scary, and I had no idea what to do.
My friends from high school were all doing well with their chosen courses. Two were already getting their masters’ degrees, a few others had jobs in the industry, one of my closest friends had taken the bar at 23. And here I was lying in bed contemplating the fact that I was a failure compared to all of them, that I had obviously missed a memo about how to be properly successful and now I was suffering for it.
Earlier this year, it started to get worse. I was crying all the time, I was angry, I was tired, I couldn’t sleep and I stopped eating for a while. I hated everything at university: the people there, the lectures, the classes, choosing new classes for the future. It all came to a head, in the end, when I realized that I no longer emotionally responded to things that should have caused me to be upset. I would read articles at work concerning rape and abuse and it wouldn’t register that it was bad. I would read about mass shootings and animal abuse and nothing clicked. And as someone who is very empathetic usually, it was a terrifying eye-opener.
I went to see the university counsellor and was diagnosed with mild to medium level of depression and medium level anxiety. We started our sessions, and it came to light that what was doing me damage, most of all, was that I was at university. There was a lot of pressure from my family to go to university initially, and I had been determined to go and finish, to have the piece of paper that proved I had been, even though it would do little in getting me a job later, and I had stuck it out for three years before it had started to hurt me and adversely effect my mental wellbeing.
The counsellor suggested I drop out of uni for the coming semester and see how I feel. I’m not sure how the tertiary education system works for people in other countries, but here in New Zealand you are allowed to leave your university degree ‘on hold’ as it were, for three years before it becomes null and you have to start again. So taking a semester off wouldn’t – in the long run, in theory – be detrimental to my degree as a whole. I had already fudged it by dropping my grade average from an A- to a C- so there was very little else I could have done to screw myself over.
In theory, the idea was simple, to take the semester off, work, get myself back together and see what I wanted to do after. However, it brought up a lot of conflict with my family, who believed, still, that I should have a university degree to show for my effort, and to have in general in case I wanted to pursue more study later on in life ‘when I was better’. Because of this, it took me a very long time to actually drop out of university properly; it had already been the first week in by the time I unenrolled.
It was a very difficult thing to do, I was very worried that I would screw up my relationship with my family, and for a time I thought I had. Because every discussion was somehow related to my study – or lack thereof – or somehow related to what I needed to do with my life. I felt, for a long time, as though they did not see my mental illness as an illness, but saw it instead as an excuse to do what I wanted and disregard their wishes. Honestly, I can’t say if that was the case. We all get blinded by pain and frustration, and it could have been that we were all in the wrong in that period of time. Regardless, it’s over now, and I shan’t bring it up again.
The first few months of recovery were difficult. I had just moved into a new house, with new people, and I was having a lot of financial trouble. A few of us were settling a court case concerning the property we had vacated the year before and it was adding stress to everything and everyone. I couldn’t find another job like I had planned to, and I had no idea where I was going. It was a bad time, I was wondering if I should return to study simply to get the government student aid payout so it would be easier to live.
I wrote often, with my writing partner, alone. I spent a lot of time online, I spent a lot of time in bed. I was still unhappy, but the pressure to go to uni and to work hard in classes I had no desire to take was gone, so it became easier. And then it got better.
In June, cognomen (my writing partner) and I put up a fic we had collaborated on, on AO3. It had been written for fun, just for us, and I had insisted we set it online. He let me, and I guess that’s where I can start the strange upward curve of success – or the feeling of it. The fic got a lot of attention. People commented and bookmarked, mentioned it to people who were our mutual friends… it was really fun.
After one fic, came another. And more still. And the more we wrote, the more people loved it. We got people asking for requests, giving ideas and hanging on our replies. In 3 months, my offer to write 3-sentences-ficlets went from getting one person submitting (usually cognomen) to 15, filling my inbox and getting me to really think about what I was working on. My character adaptation got much better, my character voices became near-flawless. I started writing metas (discussions regarding characters) and getting into discussions with others who did the same. My mind was engaged, my confidence was higher than it had been in a long time and things were looking up.
A month ago, I was offered extra hours at work, giving me the chance to save up some money and feel as though I could live comfortably with the finances I had. I submitted work to magazines for publication again, I did a collaborative work on a comic with cognomen and a very talented artist, I was offered the chance to co-run one of the busiest fanblogs for Hannibal on Tumblr, promoted to being the fic coordinator as well as general admin. Cognomen and I started planning stories we could set out for publication.
I started to feel good again.
On October 6th, I got an email telling me that one of my stories was accepted to be published in a magazine.
I remember setting goals when I was younger, because teachers had asked us too, at one point my psychiatrist asked me to, because goals help you feel grounded and give you a place to aim your efforts and something to work towards. When I was 18 I set myself a goal to be published by the time I was 25. I sent out stories, I wrote more, I worked at it, and for a while, nothing happened and I forgot. I let it go. But the goal was still there, to be published by 25, in a magazine or a book or somewhere that would justify my efforts, that would suggest that people enjoyed my writing and I wasn’t deluding myself in thinking I was good.
Now I know I am. I achieved my goal 2 years before my personal deadline, and I feel unbelievable.
So now I work 3 days a week, overnights, and earn enough to cover rent, bills, food, and have money spare for expenses and savings and treating myself.
I help co-run one of the biggest fanblogs for Hannibal on Tumblr.
I got a job writing for the magazine that published me. I’ll be reviewing websites monthly. My first article will be published in the same issue my short story will be.
I’m writing two original stories with cognomen for NaNoWriMo next month, both of which we would like to send to be published upon completion.
I have dedicated followers of my writing, friends I’ve made through it, connections – potentially helping set up an LGBT friendly publishing company with someone – I’m busy, I’m happy, and I feel like I’m going somewhere.
I am 23. I have dropped out of university. I work part time, I am struggling to make ends meet but they meet regardless. I was depressed and I’m slowly recovering. I’ve achieved a life goal 2 years before I had planned to, and I am doing something I am passionate about, something that I can see myself doing forever.
A lot has changed since the last entry, there is a reason I haven’t been posting and there is a reason why I am starting to again.
I can’t write a full entry now, but this is a preemptive attempt to get people looking again for when I post.
Should be within the week, thank you for sticking with me if you’re still here.
More soon. Very soon. And it will be a significant and interesting entry.
And accurately wonderful this morning, and thought I’d share. This is not my quote, sadly, I wish I was half as eloquent, but you can find the original post here and if you have a tumblr, you can reblog it because this is worth so much. Do take the time to read it.
As a professor, may I ask you what you think about fanfiction?
I think fanfiction is literature and literature, for the most part, is fanfiction, and that anyone that dismisses it simply on the grounds that it’s derivative knows fuck-all about literature and needs to get the hell off my lawn.
Most of the history of Western literature (and probably much of non-Western literature, but I can’t speak to that) is adapted or appropriated from something else. Homer wrote historyfic and Virgil wrote Homerfic and Dante wrote Virgilfic (where he makes himself a character and writes himself hanging out with Homer and Virgil and they’re like “OMG Dante you’re so cool.” He was the original Gary Stu). Milton wrote Bible fanfic, and everyone and their mom spent the Middle Ages writing King Arthur fanfic. In the sixteenth century you and another dude could translate the same Petrarchan sonnet and somehow have it count as two separate poems, and no one gave a fuck. Shakespeare doesn’t have a single original plot—although much of it would be more rightly termed RPF—and then John Fletcher and Mary Cowden Clarke and Gloria Naylor and Jane Smiley and Stephen Sondheim wrote Shakespeare fanfic. Guys like Pope and Dryden took old narratives and rewrote them to make fun of people they didn’t like, because the eighteenth century was basically high school. And Spenser! Don’t even get me started on Spenser.
Here’s what fanfic authors/fans need to remember when anyone gives them shit: the idea that originality is somehow a good thing, an innately preferable thing, is a completely modern notion. Until about three hundred years ago, a good writer, by and large, was someone who could take a tried-and-true story and make it even more awesome. (If you want to sound fancy, the technical term is imitatio.) People were like, why would I wanna read something about some dude I’ve never heard of? There’s a new Sir Gawain story out, man! (As to when and how that changed, I tend to blame Daniel Defoe, or the Modernists, or reality television, depending on my mood.)
I also find fanfic fascinating because it takes all the barriers that keep people from professional authorship—barriers that have weakened over the centuries but are nevertheless still very real—and blows right past them. Producing literature, much less circulating it, was something that was well nigh impossible for the vast majority of people for most of human history. First you had to live in a culture where people thought it was acceptable for you to even want to be literate in the first place. And then you had to find someone who could teach you how to read and write (the two didn’t necessarily go together). And you needed sufficient leisure time to learn. And be able to afford books, or at least be friends with someone rich enough to own books who would lend them to you. Good writers are usually well-read and professional writing is a full-time job, so you needed a lot of books, and a lot of leisure time both for reading and writing. And then you had to be in a high enough social position that someone would take you seriously and want to read your work—to have access to circulation/publication in addition to education and leisure time. A very tiny percentage of the population fit those parameters (in England, which is the only place I can speak of with some authority, that meant from 500-1000 A.D.: monks; 1000-1500: aristocratic men and the very occasional aristocratic woman; 1500-1800: aristocratic men, some middle-class men, a few aristocratic women; 1800-on, some middle-class women as well).
What’s amazing is how many people who didn’t fit those parameters kept writing in spite of the constant message they got from society that no one cared about what they had to say, writing letters and diaries and stories and poems that often weren’t discovered until hundreds of years later. Humans have an urge to express themselves, to tell stories, and fanfic lets them. If you’ve got access to a computer and an hour or two to while away of an evening, you can create something that people will see and respond to instantly, with a built-in community of people who care about what you have to say.
I do write the occasional fic; I wish I had the time and mental energy to write more. I’ll admit I don’t read a lot of fic these days because most of it is not—and I know how snobbish this sounds—particularly well-written. That doesn’t mean it’s “not good”—there are a lot of reasons people read fic and not all of them have to do with wanting to read finely crafted prose. That’s why fic is awesome—it creates a place for all kinds of storytelling. But for me personally, now that my job entails reading about 1500 pages of undergraduate writing per year, when I have time to read for enjoyment I want it to be by someone who really knows what they’re doing. There’s tons of high-quality fic, of course, but I no longer have the time and patience to go searching for it that I had ten years ago.
But whether I’m reading it or not, I love that fanfiction exists. Because without people doing what fanfiction writers do, literature wouldn’t exist. (And then I’d be out of a job and, frankly, I don’t know how to do anything else.)
A huge thank you to Holmes for her support, beta-ing and fic suggestions for fandoms I am not part of
This entry isn’t sparked by anything in particular. I think it’s just a general idea that I’ve wanted to write for a while and now that I have the time, I’m writing it.
I find myself still defending fandom to people all the time. To my family, to my friends who aren’t part of a fandom or are in denial about being part of one, and it makes me wonder: how much do people actually understand fandom, really? I’m not exactly painting myself an expert here either, but just giving an opinion as someone in more than one fandom who is exposed to the other facets of it that I’m not involved in directly.
So, I guess, as a fan there are a few things I would like to clear up about fans and fandoms. This is probably the safest place to start, so let’s begin.
1) People who join fandoms are antisocial and awkward people
I get this a lot. I have my family tell me that I spend too much time on the internet and not interacting with ‘real people’ and I have some friends ask me why I sit behind my computer instead of going out and socializing like a ‘normal person’. First and foremost, people on the internet are real people. Believe me, they are not programmed robots specifically placed there to reply to you and make you feel like you’re interacting. You really are interacting. With people. Who are on the internet just like you are looking for someone to talk to. Second of all, ‘normal person’ is an inaccurate and unrealistic label. Normal is too contested a concept to be applied as an umbrella term.
Now that that’s out of the way, I’ll continue.
People join fandoms for the same reason people join any clubs: discussing shared points of interest. As a friend of mine said, it’s like having a penpal only more immediate. In certain countries, like America, films and television shows come out at the time they are promoted to do so. In others, such as New Zealand, where I live, we get things late, and sometimes we don’t get them at all. There are options online to find shows and films free to view through their original air channels (CW allows this, NBC is another that does), and some people choose to do this to keep up with the shows or television series they read about and are excited about online. Others choose to wait for the show or film to air in their country in the time it ends up doing so.
Of course, if you end up being one of the only people in your area who has seen a certain show or film, you suddenly want to talk about it and find yourself unable. There is nothing worse than talking to someone about something they have never seen or read. They get bored, you get frustrated and the entire situation becomes awkward. Joining a fandom (or technically, becoming part of one, it’s not an exclusive club you sign up to) gives someone an opportunity to talk about their shared interests with a community of like-minded individuals. It is not a place people get ostracized to. It is not embarrassing (more on this later). And it certainly does not make the person who is part of this community awkward or socially inept. The communities are as diverse as any community is, meaning some people are shy, others are outgoing. The fact that it’s fan related has absolutely nothing to do with it, and to assume everyone part of a fan community is an antisocial person would be as stupid as assuming everyone who goes to the same school likes the same subjects.
One final thing I think I have to make clear: fandom is not an exclusive thing. If you are a fan of something, more likely than not you are part of the fandom. If you have ever talked about it to others, recommended it, discussed theories and plot twists… you’re part of the fandom. It’s a very inclusive thing that brings people together, which is why it annoys me so damn much that this list of things I have to dispel is so huge.
2) Being a fanboy or a fangirl of something is a demeaning thing to be or to be called
To be honest, this one makes me very angry. While, certainly, there are people in fandoms the world over (or, more accurately, the internet over) that have their share of embarrassing fans, they are not the representation of their entire fandom, or fandom in general. If you don’t believe me, think again of the school analogy of the point before: there will always be someone at school who is the upstanding example of student perfection. Perhaps they do their homework and get excellent grades, or they’re the sports star that make the school proud, and there are, inevitably, those students who the school is not proud to have wearing their uniform. It’s the same thing.
Some fans I want to strangle. Those who send embarrassing images or quotes to the actors and expect them to be pleased. Those who ask that one question all other fans have resisted asking because they know the actor would get painfully uncomfortable. Those who send death threats. Those who pester actors claiming to be the love of their life. Those fans I really dislike, and those fans I am not proud to have in the fandoms I am in. But like with anything there will always be extremism. This is fandom extremism. Tattooing the face of your favourite actor is, in my opinion, extreme; hugging them when they dislike such contact at conventions is extreme; being rude about their friends and preferences and partners is extreme… as with any extremism, extreme fans are disturbing and not people I associate with. But what I’m trying to get at here is that they do not represent the entirety of what fandom is. And people need to understand this.
Don’t let people use the term in a demeaning way, it isn’t. If you are a fangirl of something, you are a girl who is a fan of something. If you are a fanboy of something, then you are a fan of something and you are a boy. It’s that simple. If you don’t believe me, think of some of the things people nowadays use in the derogatory way that are words in their own right. Calling someone a girl if they’re not as manly as their compatriots. Calling something gay if they dislike it. It’s wrong and stupid. And we dislike having our description used in that way just as much as women and homosexuals dislike it in the scenarios above.
3) People in fandom are in their tweens or teens only
While, yes, most fans – especially recently – start young, they too do not define fandom in general with their age. I’d say, with my experience meeting people in fandom and talking to them there, that the average age is somewhere between 20 and 26. People are usually surprised by this, because they believe that once you’re over a certain age, you’re no longer a fan of something, or you no longer belong in a fandom. Which leads me in a nice segue to:
4) Being a mature adult and being in fandom are mutually exclusive
Oh how wrong you are. I have known fans who have families, are happily married, hold down a steady and well-paying job and who enjoy relaxing on the internet by returning to their fandom. It doesn’t matter what age you are, being a fan of something or someone is not restricted by age. There are people who go to comic con dressed as Captain America and they’re 53, or who wear full Star Wars cloaks and you can’t tell how old they are. Age doesn’t matter. Fandom is meant to be enjoyed.
If you think about it, a lot of things (shows, films, actors, books) that people are fans of have characters in it that are middle aged or older. They are written to appeal to people of that age bracket as well as those younger who wish to delve into such things. Most of the actors I appreciate and follow the work of are not my generation. In fact, if you ask me to name 5 actors who are my age, I’m not sure I’ll be able to (Zac Efron, Anton Yelchin, Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Watson, uuuuuuhhhhh…) and to be honest, I don’t seek out work they’re in. I don’t make the effort to, because the people I enjoy watching are those who have made films that are before my time, or shows that have a more adult setting and fanbase that would rule out the chance of people my age being in them.
It’s a personal preference, certainly, but many shows and films today star a cast that is over the age of 22.
5) There are only two facets to a fandom: fanfic and fan art
This one was provided by a friend of mine, who is a brilliant artist. She told me that it irks her to no end that people only assume that fans can show their fan status by drawing something or writing something to do with their fandom of choice. This is quite wrong, though, I will admit, even I took this for granted until she reminded me.
She brought about an example of the fans of Star Trek (in this case the original series). This is considered one of the oldest fandoms (although Sherlokians disagree) and – fun fact – home to the grandfathers of slash, Spock and Kirk. More on this (and perhaps them) later. She said that there were people in the fandom back as far as the 60s, who would show their status as a fan by making exquisite things. Building computers that resembled those on the Enterprise, building working scale models of the ship, building working scale engines of the ship… it’s incredible. These were (and still are) scientists and scholars, professors and housewives, who would put incredible effort into something they were fans of. Because they were interested. Because they were inspired.
Personally, I have a talent only in writing fiction, so I express myself in the fan community by writing fanfic. Others, who are much luckier than I, draw. Or make graphics. Yet others still make fan mixes (collections of songs dedicated to a specific fandom or pairing in a fandom or a set of characters in a fandom) or more impressively write their own music. Others make fan films in which they star, or their friends do. People interpret books into book trailers (collecting other source material such as other films and series to create a fictional trailer for a book that has never been adapted), create fake trailers for exciting events, build the vehicles, design the clothes, get the hair that their favourite characters have. It’s absolutely incredible the amount of imagination people put into this, and it’s such a shame that it gets pushed aside as something silly and not worth people’s time because it falls under the umbrella term of ‘fandom’.
But that’s ok, that’s why I’m clearing some of these things up.
6) People in fandom only write/draw/read/talk about smut
For those unaware, smut is a colloquial term used to refer to sexual material in media. Ranging from sexualized imagery to outright pornography.
It is true that a lot of fan art, fic and discussion involves romantic and/or sexual relationships of pairs of characters or groups of them. This is not something I need to excuse or explain away, it just is. However, smut is not prevalent in every aspect of fan culture. I will bring up two fandoms that I am heavily involved in as examples, Supernatural and Hannibal.
Supernatural – for those unaware – is a show about two brothers who hunt supernatural monsters and keep them from destroying the lives of normal people. It’s a show I have been in love with since season 2 aired (I was a little late on the bandwagon) and it’s a show that I will always support through its ups and downs. It means a lot to me, as it does to a lot of people, and I am very invested in it. That being said, a lot of the graphics and writing for the show that I enjoy is not centered on romantic or sexual relationships. I enjoy looking at how artists combine shots of the actors with words from poetry, or quotes from the show, or their own personal ideas. I love watching people inject their understanding of a certain scene into an image or a story.
With Hannibal – for those unaware, he is a cannibal, but he’s also a psychologist who enjoys manipulating people in the cruelest ways – the show is so deep and so subtle with its nuances and implications that for this fandom I adore all the graphics and all the discussions that arise over this. Yes. Discussions. As in where people bring up ideas and others talk about them. This happens in fandom, we’re not idiots. In fact, some of the best discussions happen between fans, because they have so much of their other life experience to bring to the table.
The Hannibal fandom is also one of the most generous I’ve seen so far. In the hiatus between seasons (amusingly called the he-ate-us), they’re organizing a blood drive to donate to the red cross. And a book club to read all the Hannibal books as a group and discuss. The Supernatural fandom is another one that people seem to not realize does a lot for people. If you don’t recall – or haven’t been here long enough to know – I used to be part of Misha Collins’ charity organization called Random Acts. They built a school and community center in Haiti, they host personal random acts of kindness to people who need them, hell, I hosted one in this country and it was absolutely wonderful. And you know what? It was started by FANS.
So in short, no, smut is not the be all and end all of fandom. It’s just an enjoyable addition. Like a normal relationship where sex is the bonus.
7) Writing fanfic is an outlet for failed writers
As I mentioned just above, I personally contribute to fandom by writing for it. So the next few points are my personal pet peeves when it comes to fanfic. I would like to ask people to please read these next parts and not skip them, because fanfic and fanart are the most well-known and thus the least understood mediums of fan expression. Because I am so heavily involved in this, I feel the need to get this cleared up properly.
Think of any of your favourite characters, books, television shows, films, whatever. Why do you love them? Because they walk a certain way, or dress or present themselves a certain way. If you read them, they have a specific voice, an expression they use, a way the author chooses to describe their state of mind or their approach to others. If someone were to quote from a book to you about them, or a film, you would recognize them immediately, right?
Now imagine not being the original author of that, and managing to get the same response. Managing to get someone to look at you and say ‘wow, that’s totally so-and-so, but I don’t remember that scene, where was it?’. It’s not easy. Believe me, it’s not. It takes so much effort to be able to take a character that is not your own and to get their voice just right, to have it narrating to you what it wants to say and write it with the proper inflection, the proper tone and turn of phrase. It’s a skill, and people take that for granted.
Another thing people tend to forget is that despite having characters from other places in your story, you are still constructing a story. You are still creating a world they inhabit, you are still making them walk and talk in the way they would, had they been handled by their original owners. You are still imagining and creating something new, you’re just borrowing a character for a time. Some of my favourite written work has been fanfic, because it was written so beautifully that it touched my heart.
There are, as with everything, failures. 50 Shades of Gray was a horrific attempt at conveying a culture the author clearly didn’t understand, and it was based on a fanfic. But then there are very powerful works like Sempre, which touch on important and frightening issues such as human trafficking, and works like The Doors of Time which touched me as deeply as The Night Circus or Time Traveler’s Wife.
Still not convinced? Still think that fanfic is the outlet for failure? Well did you know that Neil Gaiman wrote fanfic, and published it? It was a short story in his collection Fragile Things, that was a crossover mix of H P Lovecraft and Sherlock Holmes characters. Look it up. Speaking of Sherlock Holmes, Anthony Horowitz has rebooted the series with similar characters, which is a best seller and, you know it, a FANFIC. So it’s not an outlet for failure. It is a very important and very effective stepping stone for people wanting to develop their ability to grasp a character’s voice before moving on to writing their own characters. Or not moving on. One way or another, writing fanfic is not something to be ashamed of, nor should it be discounted as nothing.
8) Fanfiction reading is considered to be for those who lack the intelligence to read a book (‘real literature’)
This is something that infuriates me to not end, again because people tend to discount fanfiction as trash. It’s not. Please understand that just because you personally may not enjoy reading a reboot of your favourite universe, does not mean that the effort someone put into rebooting it is void and not worthy of attention. And another thing I think I have to make clear, because it doesn’t seem to get through: not all fanfiction is smut. Remember point 6? Not everything in fandom is smut. In fact, I think most communities flourish with het pairings (heterosexual) or no pairings at all. Smut and slash (homosexual pairings) is just a part, a small branch, of the tree that is fanfic.
Now, back to the point. Why do people assume that reading fanfic is the ‘loser’ option for people who can’t read a book? Is it the length? The content? The fact that it’s published? Or is it because people consider that anything you read on the internet is not real literature? Let’s address that.
What most people don’t realize, is that fanfic has no word limit. It ranges from 300 word drabbles to 500,000 word series. I would know, I am about to complete one that’s skirting the edge of 100,000 words. I’ve also written a story that is 400,000 words, which is original. Length is not a legitimate argument for something being ‘better’. 50 Shades of Gray (to bring that shit up again) is much longer than, say, Lord of the Flies. But which is better? If you’re still pushing that argument, though, the fic I linked just above, The Doors of Time, is novel-length, the first part being over 65,000 words, the second over 121,000. It is a fully developed story, with a beginning, middle and end, and is one of the most beautiful, touching and powerful things I have ever read. But hey, if you’re arguing length being the issue, there you are as proof. Fanfic can be enormous.
What was next? The content. Right. Again we come back to the idea that not everything in fanfic is smut, first and foremost. Some fics are the realization of one character and their worldview through a totally new perspective, others explain the parts of ourselves that we like to ignore but that never really go away… fanfic is just as diverse as novels are, they just happen to borrow characters from others (and as I showed before, published authors do this as well, on occasion). Also, there is so much badly written smut that has been novelized nowadays, that I don’t think I have to defend fanfic here. In fact, most smut in fanfic is better written than the smut that’s been published. Funny that. Not only do people develop skills such as writing good characters and developing epic storylines, they also learn to write accurate and sometimes beautiful lovemaking, and thus people who read it know what it should technically be read like. Who’d’a thunk it.
The fact that novels are published and fanfic is not is another thing that makes people believe that it’s not a legitimate form of writing that should be ignored. But with the amount of people self-publishing online lately (a good example of this is Wool by Hugh Howey) I’m not sure that’s a valid argument either. Because we are all so plugged in in this new generation of ours, many people choose to read books on the internet, or as files on a computer or their e-reader or their phone. It’s jut easier for people on the go to have 500 books stored on their iPad than it is to carry 5 paperbacks on a plane. And sure, most of us can’t publish fanfic – and some of us are just smart enough not to, after the 50 Shades embarrassment – but we can adjust our stories and rename our characters and publish that instead. Also… define ‘publish’ please.
And finally the fact that if it’s published on the internet it’s not real. This goes back to point one about people on the internet not being real either. People are real, and so is the stuff on the internet. Not all of it, of course, but with the same adage of ‘don’t believe everything you read’ you should also not discount everything you read. One of my favourite poets, Richard Siken, publishes a lot of his work online that never made it into his anthology, or, perhaps, in preparation for his next one. This work can only be found on the internet, and Richard Siken is incredible. He is one of the most beautiful poets in the world. That said, a lot of magazine publications now choose to show more content on the internet than in their printed format, again suggesting that accessing literature online is not detrimental but rather the opposite.
9) Fanfic is plagiarism and should be banned under copyright law
Now this is an interesting dilemma. I’ve actually had this asked a lot, and have asked it myself, whether or not writing a fic for something is considered an infringement of rights. It actually, surprisingly, isn’t. But I’m not a hugely law-literate person so I’ll let wiki speak for me in this case. Take it away, Wikipedia:
“[In 2007], a group of fans who engage in creating fan works and are part of the larger fan community founded the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW). OTW has since advocated the legitimacy of fan fiction due its transformative nature. OTW’s position is that fan fiction and other fan labor products constitute copyright fair use under 17 U.S.C. § 107 because they add “new meaning and messages to the original” work, and thus fall under the exemption to U.S. copyright law the Supreme Court defined in Campbell and which was later revisited and followed in Suntrust. OTW’s vision includes seeing “all fannish works recognized as legal and transformative and … accepted as a legitimate creative activity.” Toward this end OTW works to educate fan writers and published writers about copyright laws, particularly the open legal questions around fan fiction and other fan works.
OTW also maintains its own fan fiction archive, the Archive of Our Own, commonly called AO3. All fan fiction on the site is recognized as non-profit derivative works. While OTW provides a centralized netspace for fans to acquire knowledge and aid regarding their own creative works, and a voice for the fan community, it does not represent all fans. Fans have many different views on the legalities of fan works, from the pure question of whether these works are transformative, to differences in how fans feel fan works should be disseminated.
Fan writers who argue that their work is legal through the fair use doctrine use specific fair use arguments in the context of fan works, such as:
Fan works do not deprive the owner of the source material of income
Fan works may work as free advertisement and promotion of the original source material
Fan works are usually non-profit.
Fan works do not copy, or attempt to substitute for, the original work.”
* this is taken from the article Legal Issues With Fan Fiction that can be found on Wikipedia.
Also, I am part of AO3, and it’s a wonderful community.
10) ‘Directors and actors and authors do not want to see their characters manipulated and exploited by fanfic/fanart’
This one makes me laugh. A lot. Simply because recently, with the emergence of Twitter and Tumblr as popular mediums for both celebrities and the marketing teams for films and television shows to use, more and more directors and actors are getting involved with their fanbases.
To name a few, Bryan Fuller, the creator of Hannibal, Pushing Daisies and Dead Like Me, hosts live tweeting about the episode that’s airing, describing what the production team did, posting photos of the actors behind the scenes and discussing things that fans may find amusing. He also heavily promotes all fan art and works that are tweeted to him by his fans, and is so well aware of the community, that he not only teases fans with their own theories, but also takes on some of the more amusing fan-started memes (like making his profile image on Twitter wear a flower crown. Don’t ask me to explain the flower crown phenomenon, I have no idea).
Teen Wolf creator Jeff Davis (the mastermind responsible for Criminal Minds too, if you’re not a fan of Teen Wolf but a fan of Criminal Minds like I am) hosts a weekly Q&A session on the Teen Wolf Tumblr page, encouraging fans to write in and ask about the show, bring up suggestions, start discussions and simply to interact with them. Since I’m not a fan of that particular show, I never write in, but I’ve read some responses and questions and it’s a wildly popular thing on Tumblr, and 99% of the discussion is polite and clever.
Supernatural takes the cake, I think, with its fan interaction, for actually mentioning fans and fanfiction on the shows itself, in the episode the Monster at the End of This Book. The characters found fanfic of themselves and integrated it as a plot point. It was beyond amusing for us, but a great example of how being in touch with the fandom can keep the ratings good for your show. We very much appreciated the fact that we were seen to exist, and even given a cameo (of sorts) on our favourite program.
Joss Whedon is another person who is not only supportive of his fans but in touch with their requests, wants and needs. And don’t get me started on the number of actors who not only know their fandom but interact with it, sometimes quote it, and in occasional but perfect cases, read the fic (Kacey Rohl, you are a hero to us all, we love you).
So while there may be some people who would prefer if there wasn’t that much attention on the fan-produced side of things, more are accepting and welcoming of it.
Good Christ that was a long entry, we’re at nearly 5,000 words here, and to be honest I feel so much better getting a lot of that off my chest. If you’re still with me, thank you. No, really, thank you. For taking the time to read this and perhaps open your mind to the fan community. We’ll go on no matter what, really, with criticism and put downs, we don’t care. But I thought it would be fair to give an insider’s view of things for a change, see if I can’t make some people – if not like then at least – appreciate the effort and beauty of fan-created things.
And with that I sign off for the week, darlings. Hope you enjoyed it, I would love to hear what you think (perhaps there are some more fans out there who have more pet peeves they’d like addressed? Comment and I’ll see what I can do!) and, as always, stay classy.
Still completely emotionally worn out after the finale… but this is a wonderful article
Originally posted on Aweful Writing:
In today’s modern television landscape there are far too many shows which focus on violent crimes and serial killers. Every channel has their own spin on the genre, being CBS’s Criminal Minds and CSI‘s, NBC’s various Law and Order‘s, Fox’s recent hit (a horrifying fact) The Following, and even AMC’s The Killing. The bottom line is that violence and murder are everywhere on television today, which is a problem, to say the least. These types of shows are deplorable because they are set out to a specific track within their run. First, they provoke the viewer with their subject matter. Then, they sensationalize that subject matter. And finally, they end up exploiting the viewer. However, there is one show which is focused on serial killers and violence that is different from all of its counterparts, which is NBC’s Hannibal.
At the time when Hannibal
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On a break at work, and I found one of the most beautiful posts by one of my favourite people: Girlfriend Wanted – by Matthew Gray Gubler. Of course, beyond making me tear up and smile like an idiot wishing I was at least on the same continent as the man so I could be considered, it got me thinking… how would I advertise for a partner if I were to take inspiration from the post and write my own?
So… here goes. Pens out, people, let’s get some interest going!
must own a cellphone with pixt capacity
(I enjoy starting discussions through images I take)
vanilla ice cream
and strawberry cake (chocolate icing is negotiable)
no preference when it comes to appearance
but I do like light eyes
and dark hair
a ready smile
a good laugh
and the ability to laugh at yourself
ability to play an instrument a plus
knowing never to give me red roses on any occasion
I sing loudly and mostly off-tune
I welcome company in this
in fact, I demand it
love of exploring and roadtrips a bonus
the willingness to make up a language considered higher than knowledge of pre-existing ones
you may be all that
but if you’re the only one who says so
you’re not for me
must be prepared for me to stay up at unholy hours
and writing more
enjoyment of a good book
I will dance in the rain
must be prepared to either join me outside in the storm
or in the shower later
I am impulsive
but if I’ve chosen you, you’re mine
I never cheat, I expect the same
I will judge you by the way you treat your pet and the people you call friends
I will not judge you by the way you dress
or the mistakes you’ve made – and admitted to – in the past
all I want is mutual respect
lazy morning sex
a companion and an equal
and to make you proud to love me
[FAIR WARNING: I ACTUALLY HAVE NO IDEA]
Sometimes all you need to cheer you up (or choke you to death if you’re ill) is a surprise disco party. Original found here.
You know what I’ve been thinking lately? The best ideas come to you when you’re insanely happy and in good company. Like just the other day, we were trying to get a fire going in the fireplace – Holmes and I – and we realized that no matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t get the wood to catch. We had paraffin starters, we had a shitton of matches, we had wood. A lot of wood. A whole box of free wood that Holmes had picked up near her old house before we moved. However this wood seemed to just be immune to fire. It just would not burn. We realized we’d stumbled upon an epiphany. If we had discovered wood that could not burn, we could market it and make millions. WOOD. GET YOUR WOOD. BUILD HOUSES THAT WILL NEVER BURN! So we went about trying to find out what magic this was, and who we had to bribe for more of it.
Upon closer inspection of this MacGyver wood, we discovered that it was covered in a magical substance: cat urine. No joke. It smelled rather gross. But hey, it wasn’t burning. But somehow, suddenly, selling this idea didn’t seem as easy… Because another thing I realized, is that once you’re no longer insanely happy (or you can breathe again) these ideas aren’t quite as marketable as you previously thought. WOOD. GET YOUR WOOD. GET SOME CATS TO PEE UPON IT AND IT WILL NEVER BURN. So that idea is on the backburner (pun fully intended) but do keep an eye out for Peewood’s Fire-Proof Housing. Coming to a township near you.
Returning back to the surprise disco parties (disco ball drop), Holmes and I also came to the astounding revelation that they have the power and ability to solve all kinds of issues. Imagine this: shit’s going down in the UN. The interpreters have not synchronized properly, and ended up translating something the Korean ambassador has said as something he most certainly didn’t say, and now the US and Russia and a few of the other very powerful and very easily offended nations are in an uproar. Threats of WWIII are in the works, plans are being made, treaties are being torn and then suddenly… Japan offers up a solution. Surprise disco party.
…Ok maybe this is one of those things that is just hilarious when you’re feverish and can’t breathe due to bronchitis but the idea still stands. Surprise disco parties are the sorts of things you need. To be able to walk into a tough situation, hold up a disco ball and have people just let loose. It would be wonderful. It would be stupendous. It would be foolproof. And we would market it. ‘I believe we need a disco ball to shed some light on this situation’. ‘Do YOU need a disco ball to shed some light on a situation?’ (correct answer: yes). CAUTION: CERTAIN SITUATIONS MAY NOT BE APPROPRIATE FOR A SURPRISE DISCO PARTY. YOUR SAFETY IS OUR HIGHEST PRIORITY, SO PLEASE ENJOY RESPONSIBLY.
We’ve had copious amounts of tea, made cookies and have watched Mission Impossible 4 today. It’s been a good day. A good feverish temperaturey trying-to-breathe-properly day. Also one of my favourite artists of all time on Tumblr replied to something I sent her with enthusiasm and I actually had a bit of a flailing heart attack of joy. That might’ve helped. And then, of course, the disco ball.
Good god so many changes in the last few days here with the showrunner of A&WT. First and foremost, I’ve moved house again. Currently living in a slightly bigger house with new people. Course, that also means that I have to pay an extra $100 rent a fortnight and will now be living literally day to day but *shrug* sometimes you make the sacrifice if it means you can spend your time relaxing in the living room in front of the fireplace rather than your bedroom where it’s colder.
The move went well, and I realized I actually have far less useless crap than I thought I did. Course I still have to go through the shit in my car and get rid of that but that will be after I get over my flu. Oh yes, change number 2: I have had the worst flu I can remember in about half a decade. It is horrific and just not going away. So I am – as I type – curled up on the couch with the thing reclined back fully with the footrest up, with a cat, under a blanket, and coughing so badly sometimes that I worry I might choke and die. Bad flashbacks to whooping cough of ’97.
Otherwise, we hadn’t had net for the entire weekend, and it was a slightly refreshing if a little disturbing change. I realized that I didn’t so much need the internet to function as I needed Skype to stay sane. I ended up using a hellofalot of money on my phone to stay in touch with the Resistance so I wouldn’t go crazy and shoot someone. Course, the weekend was very busy with building shelves and stacking things and arranging everything properly (we have a full library in our living room with shelves crammed beyond capacity and book piles on the floor) so perhaps that was the reason why I didn’t notice the internet being off.
I’ve started adding new reviews to The Midnight Screening again!! After about 2 years of absolute radio silence on there. For those new to AWT, it was once a rather frequently updated movie review page on here, but then it died down and then completely. Not sure why, it’s not like I stopped watching films. Anyway, slowly but surely I am making myself review films again and post the results up. I’m rusty as hell so they read a little awkwardly but I’ll get in the swing of things eventually I’m sure. Currently the only new reviews up are Hysteria and Blood and Chocolate (which, surprisingly, I absolutely adored).
Nyx City is still in limbo, due to my moving and others being busy with lives… it’s still on the cards though and will certainly be up and going once we’re all in a place where we can start it up. I’m still as excited about it as ever, just currently too tired and wheezy to think beyond a few sentences in a fanfic I’m currently working on with a friend of mine.
Well, short entry this week because although a lot of things happened, a lot of what happened is so mundane and normal that there’s no point blogging about it. I have my final English tutoring class tomorrow, and then I will be paired with a learner, perhaps then I’ll have something more to write about on here that could be considered a decent-length entry. Till then, hope none of you are as sick as I am, it really does suck epically to be in this state.
Stay awesome, be crazy,
And we hit study leave running, here on AWT, with Bandit being swept off her feet with projects and study and studyING, as well as real life plans and interwebby ones. At least I have something to write about! So, while the muse still holds and while I have a little time away from my conversational analysis essay, let us continue.
Semester one of my third year is over. I’m not sure how successful or unsuccessful it’s been, since success is judged in so many weird ways. I know that I survived the semester, I know it’s not been a happy one, but I’ve also enjoyed my classes, so we’ll see how this pans out. Technically this is my last year for linguistics ever before that’s done and I can concentrate on my English major and hopefully polish that little baby off in a year and two summer semesters. I also very much want to apply for the Disney World exchange program, and will aim to research more about it in the coming weeks. If all goes well and I get it and can afford it (just, I guess, ‘if all goes well’ is enough here) then I may end up in Florida for a year on a working holiday. Which will be FUCKEN BRILLIANT. But that’s on the backburner for the moment.
No results from the MRI just yet. Still waiting. Still joyfully speculating. I did figure out, though, that my headaches are a mixture of migraines, tension headaches and sinus headaches. Perhaps that’ll help in stopping them or avoiding them in future. I was also told by a few people that I should take up meditation or yoga to keep the stress levels down and avoid the headaches that way. I actually tried yoga for a little while, but never had the patience to keep it up. I think, however, with certain things changing in the very near future I will force myself to take it up as a regular and prolonged hobby. I remember yoga feeling utterly brilliant after the few days I did it, so I can only imagine what a few weeks will do.
AND THERE’S A HANDY LITTLE SEGUE.
The lease has been approved and I am moving out this coming weekend. Which coincides with one of my work shifts. And the date my major linguistics essay is due. Because heck, why would life be easy on me huh? But that’s not too bad really, the place looks good and the people are nice and once I’ve settled I think being in such close proximity to EVERYTHING (we will live literally 4 houses up from a major mall) will help with transport and travel costs. Anyway. I’m optimistic and once exams and assignments are done I have 2 weeks to enjoy the new place and potentially have another roadtrip before semester two hits me square in the face with four courses (not two like this time) and I’m rushed off my feet yet again.
On top of all this, I am one week away from finishing an ESOL teaching course, so once that’s done and I’m matched with my learner, I will be a tutor once a week for someone to learn English. Which sort of worries me since I’m not sure I’ll be a particularly good teacher since my personal learning styles are the most complicated and actually the most useless of all the ones presented (because, again, when is my life easy). Anyway that’s something to look forward to and potentially write about in weeks to come, since I’ll be confined by confidentiality I won’t actually be writing about my learner, but more about the idea of language learning and understanding for adult learners when it comes to English. Because English is a shit language to learn, anyone who had to learn it will agree with me here I’m sure.
And last but certainly not least, the reason I am writing so damn much and so damn fast in one go: I am finally excited about something again!! The Resistance is starting a collaborative writing/art project that we plan to write, edit and illustrate together and work on getting published in the e-book market and get some money and heads turning our way. It’s a work in progress and we’re still only building the world and the website, but if you want to check out what I’m on about, go visit Nyx City. Because we all finally figured… hell, we write 20,000+ words a week together, we have fun doing it, why not cash in on it? At least three of us want to do this for a career, and there’s never a too early or too late place to start so starting we are and starting we are very soon.
Questions and comments are welcome, and, in fact, encouraged. If you have ideas for us please submit them in the contact page, and we’ll look them all over and review. We’d love some feedback from people outside of the Resistance, on the design, the idea, the ease of access on the site and whether or not it would be a project you’d be interested in reading. Be honest, we can take criticism well (sets aside scythe) we’d be happy to get some comments.
And that be all from me for a while, guys. I have an essay to write, a world to plan and a house to move into. I’m fairly certain I’ll have a lot to write about next week, so till then. Adieu.
[lyrics from No Light, No Light - Florence and the Machine]
Been thinking a lot lately, how it’s always easier if there’s a scapegoat to blame for… anything. Not exactly a revelation, but something pressing recently. I can explain it a number of ways, so just bear with me a few paragraphs before I actually get to my point.
I have a character in a closed RP, who is a sadist. Not physically, just mentally; getting off on the fear of others, on their mental pain, on being the one they come to for aid not knowing they’re feeding the beast, as it were. He’s a complete psychopath: calm, quiet, soft and well-spoken, well presented, clever… and dangerous. But despite what you might think, not that way due to some trauma as a child or abuse or terror. He’s that way because he had no scapegoat when he was younger, nothing and no one to blame for the thoughts he had about other people and what he wanted done to them. It had started with him being bullied and not retaliating, and the rest grew from there. But because he has no scapegoat, he has to find one, make up things that never happened in order to define and justify his own reactions and feelings. He went to become a psychologist to see if he could find someone – anyone – else who could explain his psychosis away, or could relate to it somehow. He hasn’t yet.
For those who follow Hannibal, this is a spoiler for episode 10: Buffet Froid. Don’t read on if you don’t want to know what happens, I’ll put another bit up once we’ve passed spoilers.
Will is diagnosed with encephalitis, but Hannibal chooses not to reveal that to him, instead seeing fit to use Will as a strange experiment of sorts by convincing him that it’s not a physical problem but a mental one. Will’s symptoms are severe: losing time, losing spatial awareness, memory lapses… and all he wants is to know what the hell is going on, he wants something to blame for it all. And because he has nothing, he falls deeper and deeper into it and can’t figure out a way to get out of it.
Hannibal spoilers over.
For those that know, I’ve been getting bad migraines for a while now. They started in September but got frequent only recently. But they also got a lot worse. I ended up in hospital for them when they got too bad to deal with, and the CT scan said nothing. The dizziness and exhaustion couldn’t be explained. The only meds that took the damn thing away were in a drip. Results were inconclusive. So I went to a neurologist. And got referred to an MRI.
Said MRI is this Wednesday.
Setting aside the fact that I am terrified of going into the thing and requested sedation, I am looking forward to the scan for one reason and one reason only: that it could possibly find something. Because I am so sick and so scared of not knowing, of getting nothing but ‘it could be a stress headache’, ‘there’s nothing we can diagnose at this time’… I need something. Because the headaches are most certainly there, and they floor me, and they hurt and they scare the shit out of me. And it can’t just be nothing!
I need a scapegoat to blame, I need to be able to say ‘yes, it’s because I had a minor aneurism and now it’s the aftereffects’ or ‘there’s something in there that we can get rid of’ or ‘it’s fucken encephalitis’. But I need more than ‘sorry we don’t know’.
And I don’t blame the doctors, it’s not their fault they have no idea, but I need to blame something. Because it’s starting to screw with my life, with my job, with study… it’s making it hard to be normal and move on with being normal if I have migraines with no fucken onset just jumping me whenever they feel the whim to.
And that… was basically it. Sorry. Short entry and sort of out of my usual posting schedule but I needed to rant somewhere and this is my place.
Hope y’all and yours are well.
A very good friend of mine turned one year older yesterday (today his time) and, being the crazy group of people we are, we made him this.
I wrote the story, Jack edited, K drew and P formatted everything.
We’re nuts, we’re happy, and we wish the wonderful M a very happy birthday.
In other news, I am addicted to Hannibal NBC, I’m nearly at the end of my first semester, I might be moving out if things fall into place as they should, and I will try to be back within a week with an entry for you. Ciao!
“On Monday, researchers at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom announced the results of a new study that they claim traces hundreds of modern European and Asian languages back to an Ice Age-era “mother tongue.” The study, which will be published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has identified nearly two dozen words that make repeated appearances across several language groups, previously thought to be unrelated, hinting at one common ancestor for human vocabulary.“
This is a wonderful article, and I actually can’t believe how excited I am about this!! Guess I do like linguistics!
Not really an entry so much as a post about something that fascinates me. My wonderful lovely Swedish darling linked me to an astrology site that gave you a reading of – essentially – you. And I know astrology doesn’t hold much ground with people, but I’m open-minded to things like that. I don’t base my entire life on them but I find them to be very interesting and sometimes quite accurate.
Sometimes, scarily accurate, like my reading from this site. Feel free to not read any more if you dislike the whole concept, but… it’s freakishly cool. If you wanna get your own, just fill this form in, it doesn’t require much beyond your birthday, birth time if you know it and the timezone you were born in.
March 6 1990
12:00 PM Time Zone is BAT
Rising Sign is in 00 Degrees Cancer
Very sensitive by nature, you prefer to be in your own familiar surroundings. Cautious and conservative, you make changes in your life only very slowly, if at all. You do not open up easily to strangers. Friendships are made for life, however — once given, your trust is forever. Your mother, your home as a child and your early family life in general are very important to you. You are also very sentimental. When you feel self- confident, you are gentle, giving and protective of the needs of others. But when you feel insecure or threatened, you become overly sensitive to criticism, shy, withdrawn and moody. You have a strong need for security — in the sense that you are being loved, nourished and protected.
Sun is in 15 Degrees Pisces.
Extremely sensitive and emotional, you absorb the emotions of others (whether positive or negative) like a sponge. Emotionally vulnerable, you are easily upset and tend to cry readily. You are at your best when you can structure your environment in such a way that you are surrounded by positive, upbeat people. You are very helpful and understanding of the needs of others. Indeed, at times this can be a disadvantage, because you can be a sucker for anyone who needs help. Shy, dreamy, romantic in nature, you delight in retreating into your private fantasy world. Just be careful that you do not get lost in it! Trust your intuitions — you may be quite psychic.
Moon is in 14 Degrees Cancer.
For the most part, you are very strong and secure emotionally. You intuitively know what to do to make others feel comfortable, loved, accepted and needed. You naturally enjoy feeding and taking care of others. Be careful that your mothering does not turn into smothering. At times, you tend to feel that those to whom you are attached can never do anything without your assistance and support. Extremely sensitive by nature, it hurts you deeply whenever anyone criticizes you. You have an almost desperate need to be loved and wanted and needed by everyone with whom you come into contact, and you go out of your way to be accommodating to them.
Mercury is in 04 Degrees Pisces.
Your ideas and thought processes do not come to you in an orderly, logical fashion. Instead, you think with your feelings or with images produced by your rich and fertile imagination. A very subjective person, your dreams and fantasies are very important to you. You trust your intuitions and tend to reject ideas that are based solely on logic. Very impressionable, you are sensitive to the moods and emotional states of those with whom you come into contact.
Venus is in 01 Degrees Aquarius.
You are a friendly and outgoing individual, but close relationships are difficult for you to maintain due to your fear that they will cause you to lose your freedom. You attract friends and associates who are exciting, different and sometimes a bit odd. You are popular with others and enjoy working within a group toward group goals.
Mars is in 26 Degrees Capricorn.
Extremely ambitious, you are willing to work very hard to reach the goals you have set for yourself. Very practical, cautious and conservative, you demand tangible results for your efforts. You need to excel in whatever you do, and you have the required sense of responsibility, dedication and self-discipline to bring it about. Beware of your tendency to judge others only by their degree of status and prestige, or by how well they will be able to advance you in your climb to the top.
Jupiter is in 00 Degrees Cancer.
You must be emotionally secure in order to grow and develop. You are happiest when your family and community support and nourish you and boost your morale. Whether your childhood experiences of love and emotional dependability were positive or negative will set the tone for your emotional growth and stability as an adult. When you feel at ease with yourself, you are able to offer assistance to those who need a helping hand.
Saturn is in 22 Degrees Capricorn.
Very serious-minded and mature, you have the ability to take on responsibilities and to carry out important duties. You can also be trusted to be extremely practical and thrifty. A good organizer, you are the ideal one to be counted on to take a clearly defined project through to its logical conclusion. An achiever, you pride yourself on your ability to focus your attention totally on some worthy goal and then attain it.
Uranus is in 08 Degrees Capricorn.
You, and your peer group as well, seek out practical solutions to a changing society’s attitudes to customs, traditions and authority structures. Your logical and orderly manner of dealing with these matters will result in permanent and carefully planned, but sweeping, reforms.
Neptune is in 14 Degrees Capricorn.
You, and your entire generation, will idealize work, practicality and the ability to attain reasonable goals. But, because you will also stress the need to be selfless and giving, you may find it difficult to attain your goals unless you have lowered your expectations on all fronts.
Pluto is in 17 Degrees Scorpio.
For your entire generation, this is a period of intense research and discovery in areas that were heretofore considered mysterious, remote or taboo. The root causes for many complex occurrences will be unearthed due to the intensity and thoroughness of the search.
N. Node is in 16 Degrees Aquarius.
As long as someone else (or a group or organization) appeals to your intellectual sensibilities, you’ll try to ally yourself with them in some way. You may find that you always seem to get involved with many wide-ranging groups — so much so that you find it difficult to fit them all into your busy schedule. Your many friends and acquaintances provide you with needed stimulation. You’re loyal and fair-minded — you try to spend time equally with all your friends, never concentrating on just one or two for any length of time. Although probably quite conservative yourself, you’re attracted to those who are a bit offbeat or eccentric — you enjoy watching their minds work.
I was about to take a nap when I saw that chair. I fell a little in love with it actually and couldn’t take my eyes off it so… Here we are!
All photos were taken with and edited on the Samsung Galaxy SII. Edited with Aviary.
All photos are mine, feel free to use but link back to here if you do (I want to see where they end up!)
It’s nearing 7am and I have been up since 4:30. Mostly because I was awake to catch some friends overseas before they had to go to college for their day, but also because I feel like death warmed up and am feeling somewhat sorry for myself.
I was also thinking of entering this competition, but not sure if my stuff is good enough to even consider. I’ve been pretty happy with some of the photos I’ve taken and put on here for my mini series of photos, but not sure if that’s just me being proud of the product of my own boredom or if they’re actually any good. If I were to submit a photo (and it would only be one since I can’t afford another… I can’t even afford one but let’s not go there right now) which would you recommend? At the moment I am tempted to go with either the door from the last series or the close up of the rusty handle from the St Paul’s series.
Beyond that I met up with a friend who I hadn’t seen in a long time on Tuesday. It was good to see her again, we have far too much in common to not see each other often. In fact, weirdly, I’ve become a lot more social again. I meet friends on almost a daily basis between classes, either by accident or by planning, and it feels good. It feels nice being able to have a quick chat – or a long one – with someone about anything and everything. Especially if they’re friends from different times of your life and with different experiences.
On the downside, my headaches haven’t decreased in frequency nor in pain level, which sucks. Also the nausea thing is still getting to me. Although I have to say, the nausea pills are a gift from God or something… they work quickly and effectively and I could very easily get addicted to the things coz they don’t taste bad either. Which, now that I think about it, is not a good thing to say.
Other than that, nothing new with me, hence this is about 1/3 the size of a normal entry; I don’t actually have much to say this week I’m afraid. I think I’ll have a little more another day, in which case, watch this space as per normal.
Found a few undiscovered worlds on my way to a job interview this morning, before uni. That door, in particular, intrigues me. It’s very “Neverwhere“.
All photos were taken with and edited on the Samsung Galaxy SII. Edited with Aviary.
All photos are mine, feel free to use but link back to here if you do (I want to see where they end up!)
I’ve been thinking this a while, and I’m not sure how to approach it beyond just outright asking. It’s not a delicate question so much as a fascinating one. To me, anyway. I’ve read about things like this before and I never thought it would happen to me.
Guess the first thing to say is what it is I’ve read about.
I don’t even remember what magazine it was in, something silly like Cosmopolitan, years ago now when I used to actually buy the thing (and be able to afford it). It was a small article about someone who claimed that every man she ever dated would change for the better when they broke up with her. That… came out wrong. Basically what she meant was she felt like she had groomed those men into the perfect men. They had manners, they were kind and generous, funny and dressed well, because she’d made the effort to help them do so. And she was saying how every relationship the men had after they had broken up with her (most of the breakups were friendly with no animosity from either party, by the way) had turned out to be a fruitful one, one man got married to that woman, the others had kids or just very happy long-term relationships. She ended the article by hoping she would stop being the in-between person and meet someone who loved her and who she could have a happy ending with.
My situation, I feel, is somewhat similar. I’ve had it happen a few times to me, and I will not name names here, but if those people were to read the entry they would know who they were. In case they do read the entry, I am not trying to demean you or make you out to be the bad guy. You’re not. This is just how I feel and since I’m not naming names, no one will know who you are anyway. Feel free, however, to comment – anonymously, if you must – and tell me what you think if you recognize yourselves in the entry.
Basically… I feel as though I am the in-between person for productive people. Not to say they weren’t productive before, but there are certain things that I would have suggested when we had been friends that these people brushed off as silly, or pointless, or useless, and later, when we stopped being as close or lost touch completely, would take up or use and enjoy. As I said, I will bring about examples, because otherwise it’s just me ranting and getting upset. And I am upset, I won’t lie, certain things that the people have gone on to do now were things that I truly believed from the heart they would have liked, or benefited from, and when they brushed me off it hurt. And it hurt so much more when later I learned they had taken my advice and my suggestions had turned out as I had told them they would: well.
Person 1 was a while ago. Say two years now. They were shy and quiet and very talented in a certain area, which I encouraged them to explore and they did. But there were things they didn’t do that I thought they should have. For instance, they decided not to do higher education, didn’t want to get a cellphone even though it would have eased their communication with friends, family, me… they didn’t want to make the effort to get a job or make friends in their neighbourhood, and I kept encouraging them to try. Every day. Eventually, Person 1 and I grew apart, it happens. We never fought, there was no big blow up, we just stopped talking and never picked up again.
But what hurt was that they now have a cellphone, and not just any cellphone but an iPhone, which they claimed they would never get since ‘a phone should just be for ease of communication and not so fancy’. They went to college, or a technical institute to hone their skills. Which is great, but they claimed for so long that they didn’t want to that it was a complete punch in the gut when they did go. They got a job, they started actually planning things instead of imagining them going well just on a whim. They made friends close to home, went out more, had fun… and they did it after me.
Person 2 was a little more recent, and the person I think is more likely to read this entry than person 1 is. This person and I agreed on a lot more things than Person 1 and I did, we got along well, we shared a sense of humor. Still do, really, we just don’t talk as much anymore. The thing we disagreed on was the idea of watching television or films in general, and going out. I suggested, since one of this person’s passions was acting, that they watch more films, get inspired, play out scenes. I would only suggest movies that I knew they would enjoy, and while, yes, I pushed a few, the rest I left alone, and waited. Unlike with Person 1, Person 2 and I did have a falling out. It was due to a huge collection of factors that I won’t get into, but we didn’t talk for a while, and they were angry at me and I at them.
But of course as soon as we weren’t as close, Person 2 started watching films. And television shows. And what hurt the most was that they were the exact ones I had recommended, and told them they would love. And they had watched them, and enjoyed them with someone else. They also became less shy about their acting, going on more projects, taking part in film sets, wanting to go oversees to study acting after their degree…
And don’t get me wrong, I am happy for them, for all the people who have moved on from me and gone away doing things I had told them would be good for them. I am jealous, sure, but I’m happy that they finally listened and chose to try something and found it to be good for them. But I just want to know… why me? Why did it have to be me? Why couldn’t they have moved on on their own, kept me in the loop, kept me as a friend? Why did my leaving have to be a catalyst for their good fortune? Am I bad luck? Am I just the person that absorbs their procrastination and when they leave it allows them to go on with their lives and DO something with them?
As I said, I won’t lie, it really truly upsets me! It hurts that the person I suggested a job to brushed me off and then went and got one when we no longer spoke. It really hurts that the person I suggested those films to refused to watch them with me and enjoyed them greatly with a mutual friend of ours. It really, really hurts.
And it gets me thinking, when will I find someone like that for me? When will I be able to do something that makes me happy? Because recently life has become really, really shit. It has become almost painfully difficult and I hate it. I hate the person I am in it, and as much as I want to change I am stuck in a place where I just can’t. I have no means to. I can’t change or quit my job because I have nothing else to fall back on. I got called by the student services of this country the other day telling me I had some allowance repayments due and asking if I would be able to pay them back. They put me through the student hardship questionnaire and at the end of it the lady on the other end of the phone asked me if someone was helping me with food and fuel because she couldn’t fathom how I was making ends meet, and I’m not. I’m struggling and I need help.
-sighs- but… enough about that. The entry’s over. Not much more to say. I guess the point that I was trying to convey was that I feel like I am a road marker at a crossroads for a lot of people, and I wish I wasn’t. I wish I meant more to people than that. And I wish I could find someone who could help me move on in my own life and my own choices, and that I wouldn’t have to sacrifice them and leave them behind to move on.
Hmm… what else. Beyond the fact that I am struggling, I am trying to get out of that pit. I’ve started freelancing on a site called Elance. So far, I’ve been hired as a transcriber for an international online company. It’s hard work, and I’m scared as hell that I will screw it up, but it’s something. If anyone has any suggestions, please, let me know how else I can make more money. It’s gotten to the point where it’s to make up rent, not for personal spending.
I’ve also finally opened up an AO3 account, for all my writing. I won’t link it on here because I don’t want some people to get their hands on it. A lot of my fic is on there and a lot of it is slash, and as much as I respect choice and opinion I do not want people demeaning my work when it means so much to me. If you want the link, ask for it, and I will consider giving it to you.
Other than that.. that’s me for the month of March. Till next week then, lovelies.
The bus never came today, so I had an hour to kill before the next one. It’s interesting what your brain thinks of to do when you’ve missed the bus, forgot your book and have no food to snack on at 6pm. This church stands between the University of Auckland and AUT in the city center.
All photos were taken with and edited on the Samsung Galaxy SII. Edited with Aviary.
All photos are mine, feel free to use but link back to here if you do (I want to see where they end up!)
Till next time the muse takes me,
Just a small photo series I did when out with Q and some people over from New York. This is Takapuna Beach on the North Shore of Auckland in New Zealand.
All photos were taken with and edited on the Samsung Galaxy SII. Edited with Aviary.
All photos are mine, feel free to use but link back to here if you do (I want to see where they end up!)
I might start doing these mini series to see what I can see in the monotony of my life; thanks Q =)
I have been AWOL for almost exactly two months, and that’s been for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, and this seems to be my most common reason for not writing on here as often as I’d like, is that I had absolutely nothing to say. Yes, life’s been tough, yes, life’s been boring, work’s been hard, friends have both picked me up and shoved me down, situations screwed me over, issues arose, blah blah blah. We all go through that enough in our own lives to not want to read it on a blog.
Course it could be argued that since this is my personal blog and people just occasionally show up on here to read stuff or revisit old articles (my most popular one is still, weirdly enough, Knight In Shining Armani) I should be able to post whatever I want on here, and that’s true. But at the same time I don’t want to be going back through old entries and seeing just angst everywhere.
That’s not to say, of course, that anything in particular happened lately that I have a reason to blog about, I just felt that 2 months was too long to leave AWT without an entry.
Second, I have had very little time to blog in the last little while. As I said, I had work, I took on extra hours to get more money before uni started and then all that promptly went on uni itself and bills and rent and bills again. Besides work, I started uni again on the 4th of March – two days before I turned 23, how exciting! – and I promised myself that this semester would go better than the last did. It just… it has to. Last semester was one of the worst of my life and I don’t want to go back there again.
Guess all that leads up to why I haven’t blogged… but as mentioned before, there’s not really a reason I’m blogging now beyond the fact that I want to break the AWOL streak with something.
It’s been an up-and-down few weeks, both emotionally and financially, and I won’t lie, I’m feeling somewhat trapped inside four small walls that are just pressing into me. I’ve been tired, I;ve been unwell, when I went to give blood today they told me my iron levels were 18 points too low to donate… I don’t even know.
I’ve been writing a lot more, I’ve been RPing with my friends, I’ve been plotting older stories, reworking newer ones, still planning more on The Watcher for later. I started editing again, for Holmes’ upcoming birthday, first time in over a year that I’ve even opened Sony Vegas.
I had a wonderful birthday with a great day and wonderful people and thoughtful gifts. My phone died that day but miraculously I got the thing back exactly a week later and didn’t have to suffer with a piddly little just-talk-and-txt phone for longer; though it did feel kinda nice to be able to use buttons on a phone again and to hear that little clicking sound as the buttons were pushed down.
Oh God what else…
I’m taking only three papers this semester, four the next. Computer science (for my general ed requirement), syntax (apparently it’s a requirement for my degree and I happened to fail that paper last year) and conversational analysis, which I fought tooth and nail to get into and kinda adore. It makes me feel like a mix between Cal Lightman and Spencer Reid when I’m analyzing a transcript. Also I’ve caught myself viewing normal everyday conversations through the CA filter and it’s utterly fascinating.
Beyond that I’m reading a very good book, The Dirty Streets of Heaven, by Tad Williams. I’m very happily obsessed with the band Imagine Dragons (It’s Time, Nothing Left To Say and Radioactive in particular). I’ve been watching Criminal Minds season by season and swallowing anywhere between three and eight episodes a day and loving it thoroughly.
Beyond that… nothing new with your humble narrator (Christ, now I know it’s late when I quote A Clockwork Orange) except that she hopes to write more frequently in the next few weeks. Things may be happening and it might be note-worthy to mention them.
Then again, maybe not.
Till then, though,