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Saturday, May 25, 2013

How to Be a Fan


How to be a Fan
Subtitle: I really shouldn't be writing this because apparently I've been going about this all wrong. 

I had you for a sec, didn't I, making you think I was gonna give ya ten steps. No, I really don't have ten steps for this one, though I reserve the right to break out into a list at any point in time, just so we're clear. This is just something that has been bugging the SNOT out of me, so in the interest of honesty I needed to get this out. 

Hope I don't offend, because that is NOT nor will it ever be the intention. 

This is my TRUE first hand experience as I have experienced it and I wanted to share. 

First, some background. You've probably figured out that I tend to NOT follow the crowd. It's not intentional; I'm not some angsty emo blasting garage band music bemoaning my daily struggle as a member of the middle class, but I was just raised to be who you are no matter what. So, I am a good Southern girl who hates country music and speak Spanish. 

That makes a hell of a lot of sense, right?

I just went with what made me happy and did it, as long as it didn't hurt anyone else. (Thanks Mommy - see I listened)

In middle school, high school, college and early adulthood, I liked things sure, but was just never THAT into anything. I mean, I LOVE Star Wars, can recite the original three start to finish including sound effects (gotta love a weird talent that will NEVER make you one red cent LOL) but I never did the fan thing. So when I found Stargate and got into that I decided to give this mystery called 'fandom' a try. I reactivated my Twitter account, followed some groups on Facebook and decided to go to a con to meet my inspiration Michael Shanks. 

Time to be BLOWN away. 

Apparently there are rules. 

My bad, I missed the memo. 

First, you can not be 'fan enough.' It seemed that, well, not seemed, as I got and saw some VERY rude tweets that informed me quickly of the following:

1. You're not a real fan if you are new. Yeah, that kinda blew me away. Granted if I was in the loop sooner I could have helped in saving a show in threat of cancellation, maybe, not like US TV execs really care, but I could have. So much nastiness abounded about 'newbies' that for a while I almost quit, but I stayed a little while longer.  Sorry, I was in college and grad school during the show's TV run; it wasn't intentional - I didn't own my life - homework did. 

2. You can be 'friends' with the celebs/actors and if you 'aren't' you don't belong here. Ok, that was kinda new to me because the thought of being friends with any of them never crossed my mind. Not only that, but the amount of times that you are answered by said celeb somehow supports that friend status. Sure, I get super excited when Shanks answers me, Daniel was an important inspiration in my life, but I would NEVER think to throw that up in someone else's face. Maybe that is back to how my mom raised me. 

3. There are cliques. (Did I spell that right?) And you have to be like a certain kind of person to get into said clique. I made an error of being nice to every single person that I met online and at the cons because that's what you're supposed to do. Be SUPER nice!! No!! You can't! Because you get to talking to people eventually on Skype who hate Fan A because she is whatever and they can't believe you talk to her and  you are not allowed to talk to her because she is this and that and WHAT?!?! Is this high school?? I'm just being nice to people, isn't that what adults do?? 

4. There is a way to act like a fan. Ok, this I for real STILL do not get, so I am gonna try to sublist these the best I can. 
 a. You have to be single and the celeb has to be single to say anything flirty, even jokingly, lest you feel the wrath!! If you are on the "special friend list" these rules do not apply. 
b. You might be told that you're not allowed to fan on a given day or at a place. The old school fans claim cons and other places/things/events and if you show up at these things you may be bullied, cyber and in person, or you may be straight up told not to come. 
c. You're not allowed to be too excited. That's considering rubbing it in someone's face. Unless you're "special" you're not allowed to exude any emotions lest you be bullied again. 
d. You cannot tweet the celeb, like ever. Even to say 'hi' I hope you're having a nice day. Unless you are an "old fan" then it's ok. 

 So you would think I would be walking away now right? 

Actually, no, and it's not because I'm stubborn. 

Because hidden in the mess and rubble, which I stood there virtually confused, lost, trying to figure out which end was up, there were some hidden gems. Somewhere in the 'you're not good enough to be in the in crowd (which by the way, I was in the 'in-crowd' in high school and I did NOT allow the 'not popular' kids to be treated like crap - just sayin' ) there are real AWESOME people!! 

They may not be rich! 

They may not be perfect! 

They may not be well, whatever the HELL people are supposed to be but they are AWESOME!

Through this brave dive into fandom I found the diamonds in the rough. I have made some FANTASTIC friends and really look forward to making more. This is me, this is what you get and I welcome you to the madness. 

Hi! 

My name is Bri.
I love Stargate but I'm too ADD to memorize facts and things so I'll BUM off of you guys to write FanFic and love and kisses in advance.
I am in love with Daniel Jackson and I think that Michael Shanks is a total sweetheart and it honestly warms my heart that he cares enough to support my running and support so many other fans with their endeavors! 
I think you should treat others they way you want to be treated and when I screw up and don't act like a nice person I APOLOGIZE right away. 
I will be friends with anyone, I don't care what you fit in to or what! A person's a person no matter what!! 
If you want to be my friend, cool, welcome. 
I am happy to be a fellow fan friend. 





Thursday, May 16, 2013

How to End A Series - A Book Review of Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris


Like many of the other readers, I have never written a book review before but after sitting on this for a week I really just want to say a few things. No, I am not a published author, but I do write and when an amazing writer and storyteller like Charlaine Harris does things in a fantastic series that I have been TORN apart for doing, I just feel obligated to warn other readers.

THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.

Ok, first this is not a review about the fact that I did not like the fact that Sookie didn't end up with Eric. To be honest, I feel the books set us up for this to be a childish fantasy of hers and not a long term relationship that Sookie began to crave as the years went by. In fact, I have been saying same for about six or seven books now and I do thing the way their relationship is portrayed in the show does not give their relationship in the books justice.

First, the writing. It is dismal and choppy. It was so bad that I went to my shelf and got the last four books to skim and see if maybe over the years of reading that I missed something in her style that was just bothering me this time around. Nope. This volume seems to be rushed, as if she just wanted it done and over with, with no real editing for flow. Yes, it is told from Sookie's POV, but that doesn't mean the "bad guy" scenes should be equally as choppy since they are told from third person. They were, however, and it was distracting and made me want to skim the scenes.

Which brings me to the bad guys...WHAT THE HECK?!? I love this series, not just for the romance, but the intrigue, the challenges Sookie faces outside of her disaster of a live life. It was as if she couldn't think of anything else to come up with, so she went back through her character charts and was like, oh Claude didn't die, or Steve Newlin...let's use them. That might have worked, especially the Claude post-torture angle, but the story of how the baddies came after her was so convoluted that even when Claude gets his big monologue in the end even HE admits it makes no sense! It's akin to when Christina on Grey's Anatomy said "Well we've been in everything else, why not a plane crash?". I KNOW this is a literary tactic, but sometimes, it doesn't give you the free pass you want, it just makes the whole idea look that much more stupid. I would have to give a negative star to the villain in this volume.

The romance. Gonna say it, I am and always have been TEAM SAM. I thought the lead up to Sam and Sookie together was wonderful except for TWO things.

1. When Sookie says that she has always loved him but afraid to say. NO.SHE.HASN'T. Did you read your own books? I do think that she has always loved him, always, but I think it would have been best if Sookie had a realization rather that acting like she'd been playing a part all along. An "Oh wow," scene would have been more consistant with the character, maybe even flashing back to the entire time they had known one another.

2. Sam accepts Sookie's 'taking her time' as long as they can continue to have 'hot sex.' What the hell!? With the ONE line, you completely destroyed the Sam character. Sam was her match because there was a real connection there, but to agree to that diminishes the entirty of their relationship. I am NOT a prude, at all, but love is love and sex is sex and while they mix pure love overcomes everything and realizes the difference. Think I've read too many book? Nope, I LIVE a real love and that is not how it works.

And then there is the supporting cast. First, the Quinn character never made any sense, was flat, and just someone for her to sleep with. So he comes back, makes no good sense, helps in no needed way and leaves. OK...Eric, wow, what happened there? I didn't need or expect them together but he was neutered SUPER fast and it just made no sense. Now, if we were to get an Eric book or and Eric POV to learn he had a plan, fine, but nothing. I don't need him with Sookie, I don't but he just died. Bill became, as Sookie herself put it, the friendly neighbor and after all of that power in his little Vampire Database thingy he was just the guy across the cemetery again. In fact, we got more resolution for Mr. C and his demon niece than ANY Of the characters we have come to love. Even Pam, who gets promoted to sheriff, was barely mentioned after being pretty much Sookie's closest friend for AGES.

That is probably not all but I am kind of crushed. No Sookie, you are not being you if you want to have some Sam on the side. No, you are not being you by casting aside all of those supernatural people who have nearly DIED for you. You just were tired of telling the story, but we deserved a better ending.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How to wake up from a nightmare

Hey everyone!

Long time no blog, huh? To be clear, I haven't been here for a while and the reason isn't just because I'm writing Fan Fiction, although a Daniel Jackson escape is always nice, and it hasn't been because I haven't had plenty to talk about, because I do, but it's simply because I haven't had anything funny to talk about.

Why not?

So far it just hasn't been a funny year.

Let's not confuse ourselves as the less intelligent often do. The world is not black and white, but a myriad of shades of grey in between. If you think otherwise, I hope daddy's money and connections hold out for you, because you gonna have a RUDE awakening in the real world. 2013 has been an ok year and has taught me a lot.

Fine, ok, she's rambling at 5 a.m. (if you are checking the timestamp) what is this about and today my topic is about heros. You see, when people get into these debates about who or what can have an impact on your life like they are the judge & jury of all being, I tend to shut up, which for me is rare because usually I only shut up to prevent something serious like starting a family feud. But I had a dream last night and yeah, I'm gonna use some names because people need to be called out and praised for their behavior.

The dream starts as I am getting papers back as an undergrad from a woman who taught me math in high school. Now I won't give a name here but let's just say that she's one of those "my way is the only way people" and had me convinced I was an idiot at Math. (Uh, yeah, I'm not, one of my COLLEGE professors showed me that. And your comment on homeschooling my kids and my sister - all are excelling in life and know more about social skills than I hear you STILL do.) In the dream though, she is teaching English, and I am getting 50's and 70's (grades I never get and never used to get) for not writing full essays on a test where it only asked for parts of the essays. (i.e. write thesis and into and first sentence of first body paragraph). So, as I would do now or did then, I went to see the teacher and ask why and what I could do to get better. This teacher, however, not only chooses to mock me in that 'I think I am smart and sassy and sarcastic and funny but really I am just mean' kind of way but to berate me in front of the class. After back and forth for what seemed for forever, she basically tells me that I suck as a writer and there is no helping me.

Funny thing.

That happened, just not her and I'm not talking about Surprise Package. I was told essentially the same thing by a professor at R-MC who unfortunately still teaches there. Not only that but this woman does it in front of another student (back to dream) and I completely lose it, crying my eyes out asking why she won't she help me improve. Her answer: Some people don't belong here.

Some people don't belong here. 

Who in the FUCK decides that? In anything, who are YOU to judge the place of another, especially someone who strives to do better for themselves, to enhance their life experience. Who are YOU? Are you GOD? Because if that answer to that question is NO, then you need to shut your ignorant mouth. It's not just that it's mean and wrong to treat another person like that, sick, it's that no matter how strong the person, no matter how hard you try, things like that come back and haunt you.

And you have dreams about a Math teacher that said crappy things to you as a student and when you went back to teach in that hellhole of a high school when you are 32 years old.

Ah! But, I'm not just blogging about a silly nightmare and a bully, though I would love and am tempted to start calling people OUT for their idiocy, but this is about heroes.

Enter James Scanlon.

Before Daniel Jackson/Michael Shanks motivated me to change my stars I was that "trailer park" kid in an elite college told that I didn't belong. And on some levels I didn't, because a Patrick Henry High School education prepared me for very little, not because I didn't have some great teachers, but because the curriculum was so watered down I had no idea what it really was to earn an 'A.'
Dr. Scanlon, on the other hand, was the HARDEST professor at Randolph-Macon College, the HARDEST, but he NEVER gave up on any student that tried, NEVER. He spent countless hours with me, bringing me up to speed, and when an event in my personal life almost made me give it all up, he refused to let me quit. So it really shouldn't have surprised me when he showed up in my dream as I marched through town in tears, headed for the registrar.

The last words I remember before waking up crying: I'm not gonna let you quit.

I sobbed for fifteen minutes after I awoke.

It's a silly dream; I have finished college AND grad school and do well at my job. I have nothing to be worried or insecure about other than common things, I want you people to like my fiction, I want to have friends based on the content of my character and not the fact that I spoke to you and let you talk about people for two hours. I have spent a lot of time cutting people out of my life that are toxic, but it takes falling asleep and being your most vulnerable to really see what is important.

You have no idea how important you can be in someone else's life with one seemingly small action.

Thanks Dr. Scanlon. You even became a hero in my dreams.