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July 5th, 2019

July Sixeth

 

[community profile] sunshine_challenge

 

FANNISH IDENTITY

Although I had been active online since the early days of the internet, mainly participating in Usenet groups for musicians – Nick Cave, Einsturzende Neubauten, Tom Waits, Bonny Prince Billy, and 1980’s death rock and Industrial – I had no idea what folks were doing elsewhere on the net. UNTIL, 2003 when I was googling how the movie Hannibal ended (because I don’t watch a ton of scary/disturbing movies, but I wanted to know if Clarice ran away with Dr. Lecter). The rabbit hole opened beneath my clueless feet, and I fell in.

It was crazy. From Hannibal fic to Harry Potter in fifteen minutes of following links. Of course, I was super familiar with Harry Potter because I had little kids! But I had no idea that Snape/Potter or Snape/Granger was even a slight imaginative blip on someone’s radar and to find out that it was, in fact, an entire horizon of blips just blew me out of the water.

I hadn’t written creatively for ten years, having been busy with children and sculpting and photography and I thought, I can do that. I began writing a Snape/OFC fic and posting it on fanfic.net. I have no idea what username I was using at the time. I met a gal (who is still a good friend and we’re RL friends, too.) who turned me onto LJ and that was the beginning of my fannish life that lasted a wonderful decade.

I think my first LJ username was bleodswean, which I lifted from Barbara Walker’s The Woman’s Encylopedia of Myths and Secrets, or skull_theatre, which I created from trying to explain my writing process. (Strange that I can’t remember which. I’m not an archivist, and most of my past journals are long deleted.) I found a group of like-minded writers very quickly and because the Potterverse was exploding, things were fun and busy and filled with a ton of interactions. It was really, really good times.

Then a fellow writer turned me onto Asian Ball-Jointed dolls and another fandom was born and I changed my username to Zagzagael in homage to my angel obsession and the fact that I was creating these resin angels that began to populate my home. I was still writing fanfic – Supernatural mainly, but I began to write original to entertain fellow doll fans who were likewise building dolls based on original characters. I wrote a ton of angel and satyr fiction during that time.

Doll obsession faded as most obsessions do and I found myself a bit unmoored. Tried to return to fanfic, discovered everything was about Tumblr and AO3 and got frustrated at the lack of a personal sense of community, so I hunkered down with some of the comms still active on LJ and began writing in Sons of Anarchy, Deadwood, The Walking Dead and True Detective fandoms. Alas, I had been away too long. I had lost my hipness and realized that much of the fun of fannish things had been interacting with other fans. Right around that time, the last kidling began preparations to leave the nest and on the day he moved I sold my first short story.

That shifted things for me entirely into original. A friend talked me into competing in [community profile] therealljidol. I was a finalist the first season and finished in the top five all the rest of the seasons and mini-seasons that I’ve played that crazy writing game. It’s been five years of that now and it feels like a full circle for me as I had spent all of my young years writing and then attended uni for a degree in Creative Writing.

I still dabble in fanfic when I’m hit with something that must find its way into other people’s eyeballs. Like a speck of something or t’other. But more often than not, I’ll channel the obsessive fannish thing into an original character. 




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