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Friday, May 29, 2015

A Novel Expereince

So if you have been following my blog for a while, or have looked at past posts, you know that I have been working on a novel for about a year now. Well I am happy to say a couple weeks ago I completed the first draft!

How I feel about finishing my novel

Now as other writers know, I am a long way from done. I am currently working through my first rounds of editing, including adding in new characters, expanding some characters' roles, and inserting an entirely new subplot that wasn't even hinted at in the first draft.

Needless to say it's all a lot of work. But if I'm being honest, I would wish for anything else. There is nothing quite like the satisfaction of having completed a novel and I want to feel that satisfaction again and again. I already have plans on bringing out a manuscript I started before and redoing it. In the meantime, other than editing I am working on my first script attempt. I'll probably be on here to babble more about that endeavor later. Until then, write on folks.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Video: Beauty of Fan Conventions

I have been dabbling recently in the art of filming and film editing. It's been a fun thing to teach myself and I've been enjoying every part of the long frustrating process.Today I am sharing my latest effort, a video on fan culture and the world of fandom conventions.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Organization for Transformative works: Part Four Transformative Works and Cultures

Today is the final installment on my series about Organzation for Transformative Works. I have had fun talking about a couple of their projects, and saved my favorite of them for last. My academic heart goes aflutter every time I think about Transformative Works and Cultures. Anyone in academics can tell you the pain of having to find articles and the perfect one is behind the barrier of subscribers only journals. Even more so, those interested in fandom culture or pop/media culture in an academic light, find peer reviewed work scarce. Transformative Works and Cultures decided they do not want to be like other journals and made their peer reviewed work available for free to anyone. All you have to do is visit their website.

TWC is a bi-annual journal, that accepts work on different aspects of fan culture, media studies, and related topics. They keep the costs down by making the journal only available online. Having it online also helps to make the information covered within the journal easily available to any who want to read it. Being Gold Open Access means that anyone who goes on to the site are allowed to read and print the work, sharing it with others.

Earlier this week the TWC came out with their March issue, a special edition on Performance and Performantivity. The issue covered topics like "self representation in literary fandom," Doctor Who themed weddings, and football fandom.

Even if you aren't into fandom academics, you should check out the journal just for the different views on various aspect of fandom. It is all very interesting and would intrigue anyone who wants to keep their finger on the pulse of fan culture.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Eddie Redmayne and Trans* Actors in Hollywood

I  had some thoughts about the recent wank about Eddie Redmayne and The Danish Girl and thought to put it down. To at least attempt to keep the amount of wank down, I’m going to put this all under the cut. If you don’t want to see it, then don’t click.

All right kids, so I have see a lot on my dash lately about Eddie Redmayne playing Einar Wegener/Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl. At first, I too was upset that a cis man was playing the role of a trans woman. Then I had a discussion with my mother about the topic and how we need more representation of people on the queer spectrum and of races in the screen (this was not just about Eddie but also Scar Jo playing Motoko in Ghost in Shell). 

She was of the opinion that because there aren’t many trans* actors, it makes sense that a cis male would get the role. I heartily disagree with this sentiment. I think there are so few trans* actors in Hollywood because they are not getting hired, not because they don’t want to act. What struck me though is when listing the two examples of trans* characters played by trans* actresses, I remembered something. 

Laverne Cox’s character Sophie in Orange is the New Black had scenes that were pre- and post-op. The thing is, Laverne couldn’t play both parts. They hired her twin brother to play the part of pre-op Sophie. Not every actress is as lucky as Sophie to have a twin that can play the male version of her character. 

My point being that in order for someone trans* to play a trans* role that requires the character to be pre- and post-op needs to have someone that looks enough like them to play the other role. If that is not the case, then it is easier to get an actor that is of the same original gender. Especially in the case of a movie like there where a large portion of it seems to be on Einar pre-op.

Plus, this saves the film money, instead of having to pay two actors, they only have to pay one. I’m not saying money is a good reason for this to happen, but as someone on the fringes of film industry, I know films never have enough money in their budget. That’s why scenes constantly get cut. From the outsider’s point of view, the millions of dollars they have may seem like enough, but it never is. That’s an entirely different discussion though.

The point is, there may very well be good reason behind the hiring of a cis male for a trans*woman role. None of this is to say I agree with the decision, just that I could possibly understand where they are coming from. Even more so I would love to see trans* actors in both trans* and cis roles. If a cis actor can play a trans* role, why can't a trans* actors play cis roles?

Friday, March 6, 2015

Organization for Transformative Works: Part Three Fanlore

Fanlore was launched in 2008 and left the beta stage in 2010. Since then, it has been running strong. With a current count of over 30,000 articles, it is understandable why Fanlore has become a go to place to find out almost anything you want to know about fandom.

The site prides itself on being a place fans can "read about fan activites, fannish vocabulary, and the histories of fan communities--and add your own voice, memories, and experiences to [their] collective story." Fanlore also offers a chatroom, news page, and social networking communities for users to connect with each other.

Because anyone can edit, Fanlore offers tutorials on proper editing. And if you are totally new to their wiki, there is a New Visitor Portal to explain how Fanlore works.

Like other projects the Organization for Transformative Works is involved with, Fanlore has an intuitive and easy to use search engine. As an example, I searched for the first fannish thing that popped in my head: I'll be in my bunk. Typing that into the search engine at the top right hand corner of the screen, a page devoted to the phrase came up. The page explained the phrase's meaning and origin, plus gave sources for the information. I can admit, I spent several minutes searching things in order to stump the site, to no avail. I actually ended up learning more about the things I thought I already understood.

Fanlore is the perfect place for a fan, or someone even remotely curious, to learn more about fandom history and the things surrounding fandom.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Organization for Transformative Works: Part Two AO3

Okay one of my favorite things that the Organization for Transformative Works is their fanfiction archive, Archive of Our Own. I literally go to that website everyday. Founded in 2007, Archive of Our Own (more commonly referred to as AO3) is now the third largest archive for fanfiction.

For the fiction that is available on the site already, there is the most comprehensive and easy to use search engines on any fanfic archive site. You can search by character, ship, language, rating. Rank my comments, kudos, newness. These are only a few of the features you can use to search. I've been reading fanfiction for over ten years now and this is the best search engine I've ever come across. Even better is the tagging system. They make it easy to either use already popular tags that will help people  better find things related to what they want to read or the author can make up their own tags so they can be a specific as they want.

One of my personal favorite features of the site is the ability to add a piece to your account without posting it yet. The site will keep your work for up to a month. This is great for writers who have finished something and may want to keep it for a little while before posting it. Because many fanfic writer participate in bangs or exchanges, it is nice to be able to semi-post something while waiting on the deadline.

The volunteers for the website also run Twitter and Tumblr accounts to keep their users updated with anything that is potentially going on with the site. This is great for times when the website might be down for maintenance or there are problems with your account and you need someone to contact.

I could easily go on and on for pages about the wonders that AO3 brings to the universe. They are a marvel for both fic writers and readers. Despite there being a myriad of archives out there, this is the main one I use. Partly because it is gaining so much popularity, but also because it is most conscientious and helpful websites out there. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Organization for Transformative Works: Part One

I was recently reading an article and it was mentioned that media seems to "see bronies as far more newsworthy that Organization forTransformative Works or the Vlogbrothers' Nerdfighter movement." Now, I see a lot of things about Nerfighters, and the Green brothers in particular, but have not seen much on OTW outside of those in the know. So I decided to fangirl all over one of my favorite organizations for a post. Then I realized that I would need at least a couple posts to fully share my love and appreciation.

The first thing you probably need to know about OTW is their mission statement. Their website states that their mission is to "serve the interests of fans by providing access to and preserving the history of fanworks and fan culture in its myriad forms. We believe that fanworks are transformative and that transformative works are legitimate. The OTW represents a practice of transformative fanwork historically rooted in a primarily female culture. The OTW will preserve the record of that history as we pursue out mission while encouraging new and non-mainstream expressions of cultural identity within fandom."

Basically what this means is they want to support fan culture and the history of fan culture any way they can, which is pretty awesome.

The second thing that is probably important is that the OTW has seven main branches: Archive of Our Own, their fanfiction archive; Fanhackers, their fannish news blog; Fanlore, a wiki to document fandom history; Fan Video and Multimedia, a multimedia fandom project; Legal Advocacy, legal advice and help to do with fanworks; Open Doors, a project to help preserve in danger fanworks and archives; and Transformative Works and Cultures, a peer-reviewed academic journal about fandom and fanworks. This does not include the social media accounts (Twitter and Tumblr among others) that keep fans connected with what is going on within the organization and how they can help.

I have a passing familiarity with all of the projects OTW has going on, but I am most familiar with Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, and Transformative Works and Cultures, so each of these articles will focus on one of those three.

Friday, January 23, 2015

New Year and a New Blog

As you can probably tell, I have not been posting to this blog much in the past few months. That is partly because I felt lost with my blog. I enjoy doing reviews, but I felt that I was reading the same thing over and over and there wasn't much new out there. I was getting burned out.

So after some long deliberations I decided to turn this blog into something I enjoy more.

Don't fret, I will still be happily talking about books, just not only about new/unpublished book reviews. I will be talking more about movies, academia, fan culture, and all the other things that excite me. Almost everything will still be book related, but things will be more diverse and probably a bit more all over the place.

Another new addition you will see on here is a page keeping up with all of the books I read this year. It is a new years resolution of mine to read a piece of classic literature or nonfiction for every book I read for fun. I am hoping this will expand my knowledge and broaden my horizons.

I look forward to you enjoying the changes being implemented on this blog.