Fandom Control of Stories

I really get tired of fandoms thinking they have the right to decide for the author what should happen next.

Fans becoming outraged because the author didn’t make the changes or endings or next books the ways in which they wanted them.

I’m seeing that with a lot of fandoms lately. Fandoms I’m a part of. Fandoms I’m not. Fandoms I couldn’t care less about either way.

There’s a book series I love which I wish would go back to a certain way it was. But I respect that the author has the right to do what he/she wants with their stories. I can either like it or not. That’s how it works. I do not, however, have the right to tell this person that they need to make so-and-so changes, and expect this author to do so.

It’s not my story. I’m just along for the ride. If this story suits me and my life, awesome. If not, there are other stories out there for me.

Okay – so I suppose it is my story also. It becomes mine once I digest it.

But that’s just it. I can make out of it what I need. And I can stop reading at any time I choose.

In fact, three series I used to LOVE, I have done just that with. I didn’t like where the focus was going. The women characters got real weak. Became real submissive, typical. They put up with stuff I’d never put up with. So I stopped reading them.

I still love the prior books in these series. Its fiction. I can pretend the other books don’t exist.

 

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It’s as if people are becoming more and more angered by the fact that they feel out of control of how reality is going – that they’re taking it out on the fandoms they claim to love.

Shifting their anger to their fandom – wringing their hands over how they can’t control their favorite characters or worlds.

As if, since they cannot get the real world to change, then they need their fictional worlds to give them what they want.

As readers, we’re not making orders. We’re finding art we click with and hoping that as it changes (since everything changes) that we’ll change in the same directions or vice versa. If not, oh well. That is life. People change. Stories change. Everything changes. And if you don’t like how something is changing, that’s called growing apart. Not – hey, I don’t like how you’re changing, let me grab you in a vice grip and try to force you into something I want.

 

But an author is not here to change their world to suit the wants of popular opinion or the needs of a shifting belief.

To an extent, authors are here to give people what they need.

Stories.

But an author can only give the stories they have inside them.

We cannot shift who we are to meet what fans suddenly want to see in their favorite books.

 

On some levels, authors change with the times. When it comes to the important things. Or they die out, keeping to an old way of thinking and probably not a very humane one any longer.

But that is an all-encompassing change of outlook on life.

Something that changes in the author.

It is not certain characters getting together, turning out different than prior seen. It does not mean that things left open to interpretation need to be zoomed in on or revisited and defined to suit the readers’ wants.

 

What readers want is to change their real world.

Punishing the authors they read for this?

Not cool.

 

No one can bully someone into changing the stories they have inside themselves.

Perhaps there is another author out there with the stories you want to read.

Find them.

Don’t try to change who someone is because you’re angry with how the real world is treating you.

It takes all kinds to make the world go round.

 

Besides, a bully is a bully is a bully.

If you’re bullying your favorite author to change the way he/she writes or to change an outcome or open ending – you’re a bully.

Even if you’re bullying for what you believe are the right reasons – you’re a bully.

I’m pretty sure that whatever wrongs you’re suffering from (which I’m not trying belittle in any way) come from a bully of some sort.

Don’t take your anger out by turning on someone and bullying them.

 

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I mean, can’t we all just get along? I like what I like. You like what you like. We find things we like and stick with them. And when we decide we don’t like them anymore, we find new things we like.

For example: Sure, I was angry when I heard they were going to make Captain America a Nazi or something. That is something to get angry about. That’s character and world building betrayal. That is making the entire story pointless. That is trying to get a rise out of people and score crazy ratings. It’s change for the sake of change, without me reading into anything or actually looking up if its what’s going to happen or not or any of their reasoning. Doesn’t seem like it’s for the point of the story.

But art is subjective. What I love, will enrage twenty other people in the same vicinity.  What I don’t like, someone else might find intriguing.

And don’t ignore the fact that publishers do listen to fans. That still doesn’t mean you need to be nasty about it. Or to treat the authors of the world like you’re holding a gun to their heads and telling them what to write.

If you’re angry because characters change, story lines change, if you’re angry because the world changes – well, everything changes.

 

How do you feel when someone tries to change you to suit their needs?

Doesn’t feel good, does it?

Don’t do that to writers. We’re people too. Sometimes we really have no control over the madness swirling around inside us.

We have stories to tell.

We can’t even change which ones.

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What Must is What Will Come

I have a lot to be thankful for.

I find that my conditioned way of seeing the world, my situations, others, and myself, is thusly:

I focus on the fear.

It’s said that everything stems from either fear or love.

This brings to mind the Chinese character for crisis. Coincidentally, I searched my blog to see if I’d spoken on it before, and what do ya know? I have. Three years ago, on Thanksgiving.

I love what this time of year does for me.

I examine myself. I remember myself.

 

Chinese character for crisis is written with two different characters. Danger and Opportunity.

The way I see life: the danger. I don’t see the opportunity. I don’t feel love, I feel fear. (I don’t mean I don’t feel love, I mean I don’t default to a place of love; serenity and peace. I default to fear; panic and misery, apprehension and doubts.)

Why I do this is no longer my main focus. I’ve picked my past apart and consistently try to see it for what it is. I’ve let go of a lot of resentment. I’m still trying to let go of the bitter cage clamped tight around my rib cage.

But I’m aware it’s there and I’m working on it. That’s the whole point. I can’t undo damage done. Even if it wasn’t my fault, the damage now belongs to me and is my responsibility to work with.

 

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More and more, I’ve been pointing out to myself the love, the opportunity.

But I find the more I work on adopting healthy outlooks and beliefs and faith – the tighter the old me clamps down on my lungs and the more misery life digs up.

So this Thanksgiving, while I struggle with anxiety, panic attacks, and a strange, subtle, and pervasive depression – I want to focus on the love. The opportunity crisis provides me. The things I’m thankful for, of which there are many.

I want to celebrate my success.

Because in some moments, I’m beginning to realize that my changing is a constant success. I may not feel it completely yet, but awareness and hope come before acceptance.

 

“There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands.”

~ Richard Bach

 

This Thanksgiving, instead of feeling miserable and self-disgusted because I haven’t reached perfection – I want to focus on picking through my life in a different manner.

I want to find all the positive changes I’ve gone through and lived through and brought to life.

I want to search for all my gratitude and find reasons to be grateful for myself as well as my life outside of myself.

This Thanksgiving, I want to smile because I’ve gained, through a lot of hard work, hope that I can lean on, instead of falling back into fear.

 

I’ve gained a second job. One I like as opposed to my first job, which just wasn’t for me.

I have an amazing, understanding boss.

My family. Look at the misery we’ve survived and continue to live through. Look at our hidden strength, which I think we often times take for granted. We’re stronger than we realize. Even though right now we mainly feel hurt.

I have new friends. Souls who understand and accept me. We understand our shared struggles, even as we live separate lives.

I finished Blair’s first novel after two years of not writing. I sent out to critique partners. I’m not afraid. What must, is what will come of it.

And can I back up here? I started writing again. My passion and identity as a writer newfound and settled into my bones, my skin, the rushing of blood through my veins. I’ve made writing a priority. Because I’ve become aware of how vital, how important it is to who I am.

I have learned I have the right to say no. I haven’t quite acquired the courage in most cases, but I’m working on that.

I’ve learned that I can say yes when its truth, even if it might hurt a little at first.

I’ve learned that I exist and I have every right to exist. I don’t need to seek validation for my desire, my urge to live a life I can identity as my own.

And mistakes? I can learn from those. I do. It hurts, but I learn. Mainly, I’m learning that everyone makes them and I don’t need to make myself out to be a devil when all I did was forget that I can’t fix others.

 

My health has gotten worse and I’m just plain confused with my life.

But this pain has taught me something, is still teaching me something.

Just take it one day at a time – one hour at a time if need be, one minute at a time – breathe, and focus on hope.

Maybe my health is also improving. I feel better.

Thanksgiving is such a great reminder.

Even if I forget to remember these new healthy beliefs and behaviors, they’re still here, slowly embedding into my psyche and soul.

There is so much beauty in the world.

And what I focus on, is what I magnify in my day-to-day life.

 

 

This Thanksgiving, I challenge you to dig up all the dirt, all the memories, all the tears and smiles and indifference, spread it out, and peer through it. Find what you’re grateful for.

I’m going to attempt the very same.

 

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Non-Static Tomorrows

The more I try to put a magnifying glass to “who I am” and try to figure it out, the farther away I fall. The vaguer the answers get.

I know who I am. Even if that means, right now, I don’t have all the answers about myself or my motivations or my deep, dark, hidden secrets from myself.

The more I try to peg down who I am in specifics, the more I lose my ability to define my identity.

Who I am, is someone who changes.

Every day.

 

Today, I don’t have all the answers.

I’m the chick who cried in a room full of people who understand her, and didn’t want to get the headache that might turn to a migraine because she cried. The chick who doesn’t cry out loud often. But feels safe in that room.

Today, I’m the gal who prepared a small lesson to teach tomorrow about self-reliance and tied it in with how to fold an origami heart.

I’m the person who listened to her neighbors shriek at each other and wondered if I could put them in a story and fix them.

 

Today, I’m Daphne. I was Daphne yesterday. I’ll be her tomorrow.

But today, I’m not the same as yesterday and I won’t be the same tomorrow.

 

Today I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety and come out of it with a touch of serenity in my rib cage. I’ve been honest with myself, even though it hurt, and felt better for it.

I’ve felt a touch of hope. Hope that I’ve changed. Hope that I’ll continue to grow.

I’m the one who read this post and felt an immediate connection with her words.

Who laughs a real laugh, content, even though my insides are a mess.

The same Daphne who hasn’t taken all of her Halloween decorations down yet, because hey, bats and pumpkin-skeletons are part of Fall too!

The gal who took her dog out in the freezing cold and thought of all the homeless who must be shivering in old clothes, and wished she could save the world. The same gal who realized a lot of people don’t want to be saved. Not really.

The same Daphne who grinned at herself. California isn’t freezing, not compared to other places.

To me, it’s freezing.

I am the writer who watches Scooby-Doo reruns while writing about death, rebirth, pain, suffering, hope, and a woman who fights herself to freedom.

 

Yesterday… I don’t want to think about yesterday. It hurts. And the hurt slides back in so easily, just at the mere mental mention of it. It pervades.

But the Daphne I am today is okay with that.

Today I have choices, I’ve decided.

Today, I can be all of me. Vulnerable. Raw.

I keep telling you this. Because I know it’s true. I feel it from the soles of my feet to the hollows behind my eyes.

 

Meet Daphne Shadows. She takes a selfie about once a year. So she's terrible at it. Don't judge.

Meet Daphne Shadows. She takes a selfie about once a year. So she’s terrible at it. Don’t judge. And she’s been crying. Also, she’s upside down. Again.

 

I know where I’ve been, what I’ve been through, how I’ve coped, how I’ve survived. What I was thinking, what went on inside me even as I smiled and people bought, all the time, that I was doing fabulously. I know what’s brought me joy. What I’ve tried and failed to do. What mistakes I’ve made. I know how I’ve grown. What I’ve accomplished.

I know who I was yesterday. Last night. This morning. A few hours ago.

 

I know who I am.

Even if I don’t want to own up to it.

I am the Daphne who expels misery via the ink she types or pens, embedding it into pages.

I know who I am even if I focus on what I feel are my failings and can’t seem to find any successes until I talk to someone else who truly knows me.

Even if I hide who I am, from myself.

 

I know who I am. I am learning to be all of me, out loud.

Even if I don’t know a thing about my tomorrows.

 

Tomorrow I’ll be different. Tomorrow, I’ll be the same me.

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When I Leak

Does it matter? The endless mind numbing chatter. The inner dialogue running until you’re frozen.

I’m slowly falling apart. From the inside out.

Pieces are falling off.

I’m a shambling, bleeding mess. Shuffling towards something I don’t know.

Am I wrong, for trying to feel?

The blood just pours.

Am I wrong for wanting truth, for wanting the genuine article?

I want to let go of the pain. But it follows. Stalking me from the gallows.

 

There’s so much beauty. But I’m drowning in terror, in black claws, perforating my lungs, my tears, my voice, only a hair’s breadth away.

And I am lost while I am falling and fighting and drowning.

I’ll make more of it than it really is. Then I’ll strip it away. The glass won’t break but the plastic is molding.

Is it funny? That I’m screaming as its burning. Yet I won’t step back from the fire.

It’s good for me, I sob.

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Who am I?

Sticky notes I can’t find. Pens keep running out of ink. Letters crumpled in the corner.

The advantage is soaking.

The sorrow tastes like sweet beauty. Something I can embrace.

Is it okay to be like this?

Yes! I finally scream, voice breaking, the emptiness staring me mute.

 

The dust hid it. I lost the broom.

Can I just keep the delusion?

And it swells until it destroys the whole point.

The whispers can’t hear me. They keep creeping past, leaving the candles lit.

I know its new. But I can’t find the ticket. And the roof fell in.

Its waiting in the box but I can’t seem to take it out, to save myself.

Nothing sturdy. I can’t put life here. It’ll shatter.

 

Sometimes the best thing to do is let go, come back tomorrow, and try again.

The spine is well worn. The pages are empty.

Can I, please?

Just take my time.

I won’t stay if this keeps up. I’ve only got so much pulse.

It’s not really numbing. You’ll regret that.

And I’m so tired. Its worn me down.

The tendrils slip right in and rip it all out.

I’m finding part of me in this divide.

 

Beneath the glitter

Beneath the paint

I found the sinner

I found the saint.

 

I found your soul

I spat it out

It fixed my faith

It fixed my doubt.

 

I’m surprised I’ve lasted this long. Sometimes the flame doesn’t realize the heat’s gone.

 

I ran

I crawled

I found the door

I can’t stay here, anymore.

 

It took my present

It took my past

I took a breath

It took my last.

 

You’re not lucky

I find it best

To remember the truth

I’m here, I’m blessed.

 

Correct me if I’m wrong

You’ll correct me if I’m right

I’m really very tired

Of circling this same old fight.

 

I’d like to pause with a smile. But I find I’m merely content.

 

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Me, My Muse, and I

As writers – no, as any creative type out there in this insane asylum world – I think we’re insulting ourselves when we talk about capturing and keeping a muse.

There is no muse.

There is you.

You creative.

You’re inspired, you’re helped by a Higher Power if you believe in such things (a deity, the universe, a spark of something, whatever you believe), you work hard, and enjoy it, and you write (or do whatever your brand of creativity is).

You don’t yank some robe wearing, fancy-shmancy, cocktail drinking, snobbish, childish, prudish, or sensually enslaving chick out of the ether and chain her to your desk. You don’t capture a muse. You don’t lure a muse. You don’t entice, beg to attend to you, leave food out for, sit around and wait for, write until you hope it’ll show up – a muse.

YOU put in the work.

You capture inspiration that works for you.

You find time, you find a reason, you enjoy, you feel driven – to write.

You write until you feel that magic. You write when you don’t feel it.

You do all of this.

 

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I’m not trying to offend anyone who believes in finding their muse.

I simply think we’ve taken it way too freaking far. It’s gone from metaphoric to depressing.

It’s our responsibility to create the stories in our head into something magickal, fierce, lovable. We should get the credit for putting in the work.

I think we deserve to think better of ourselves.

We don’t need to wait for someone/something out of our control to saunter on in, decide we’re worth her/his time all of sudden, and lend a hand.

 

If a muse exists, it’s you. Its inside you. I’m not talking multiple personality disorder (which by the way is now DID). I’m talking you.  If you want to use it metaphorically, go right ahead. But I’m tired of people talking like they’re not the amazingness behind their amazingness. We all draw inspiration from the world and people around us. But we’re the one dedicating time to what we’re doing.

So, if you must believe in a muse. Believe you’re your own muse.

 

I wrote this a few days ago when I entertained (for about half a day) the idea of writing one blog post a day in Rara’s November #nanopoblano. (I think I’d run out of things to talk about and probably get real boring. For some reason, I really like the idea of trying anyway.)

Anywho – afterward, I opened up “Zen in the Art of Creativity” by Ray Bradbury and started reading the next essay. Which happened to be on the ever-elusive muse.

In my opinion, his essay backs up my crazy ranting. To feed your muse is to always be hungry for life. Your muse is a collective of everything you’ve absorbed and stored. If I’m reading it correctly.

 

Meaning, your muse isn’t some creature you keep chained in the basement after you lure it and bash it over the head.

Your muse is everything which inspires you. Every breath you take in while you’re imagining. Your muse is every childlike awe. Every memory filled with angst or wonder.

Your muse is you. The hidden you. The real you. The you that screams inside your skull and heart when the fake you is speaking through a mask.

Your muse is inside you, behind your rib cage, peering out, waiting.

So stop selling yourself short.

If you want to feed your muse, figure out what you’re hungry for.

 

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Occasionally, From Time to Time, Persistently Often

Sometimes unneeded pain is the only way I learn to pay attention to myself.

Sometimes a fictional character is the only one that can convince me I’m worth loving.

Sometimes the stories in my head are the only way I can remember to hear what I’m saying and to watch for what I’m feeling.

Stories are a balm to my soul.

Reading is an escape, a way to breathe, a moment to stare into infinity and the most finite pebble all at once.

Sometimes a little excess is the only way I realize I respect myself too much to keep soaking in the opposite extreme.

It’s okay to enjoy. To spend a little extra on myself, whether that be time, money, patience, love, or whatever I may be denying myself.

Sometimes something new is the only way I can realize how much I love what I already have.

Sometimes success is the only thing that allows me to look at the failures no one else sees of me. The ones that hide inside me, hidden away from all other eyes.

Sometimes telling myself ‘no’ is the only way I find that the truth inside me is actually, ‘yes’.

Sometimes being redundant is the only way I learn.

 

 

“Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over.”

-F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

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Halloween Spotlight: The Addams Family

Last week I watched the 1991 movie for the first time.

I’ve totally fallen in love.

 

Once you get past the pure amazingness of the movie over all, a few things really stood out to me, which made me like it even more.

 

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Morticia and Gomez are a couple, even though they have children. How often do you see that anymore?

Most people have kids and its like they turn to each other and say, ‘well, it’s been nice knowing ya!… but you know, we don’t exist anymore’. 0.o

Morticia and Gomez are parents who actually treat each other like lovers. Take time out for just the two of them, without discussing the children.

When they do spend time with their children (like at family meals) they don’t treat them like annoying morons.

Their relationship is just as alive as their relationship with their children.

When I get married, I want a marriage like theirs!

 

Wednesday and Pugsley are awesome people. Not immature brats who believe the world owes them its constant attention.

I love those kids! They’re off on their own in the house, doing their own thing. Not complaining, wining, expecting their parents to entertain them all freaking day and night long. Not obsessed with schoolyard drama or what they’re wearing.

They’re not bent on enslaving their parents, as if their parents aren’t human beings too.

I don’t look at them and think children. I think people, with personalities. Developing their own interests and opinions. *gasp* It’s awesome.

 

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That scene where Wednesday and Pugsley perform their play. The entire audience is silently disturbed and the Addams family stands and claps for their kids.

The.

Best.

I love this. They’re a weird, eclectic family that doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. They’re just who they are, unapologetically. And they support each other all the way.

 

 

The entire family respects each other’s individuality and space, and yet they’re closely knit and love each other to scary extremes.

 

They’re strange.

Come on, who doesn’t love that.

The entire movie is a smorgasbord of weirdness and Halloween spirit.

I love how Gomez has a hat for everything he does. And Morticia’s facial expressions, especially those eyes? Freaking perfect! Wednesday, I love Wednesday. I love how she and Pugsley are constantly trying to kill one another, yet they’re totally fine, and get along great. I don’t have any idea how the guy that plays Fester can move around like that and make it believable, but he does.

Okay, anyway, I could go on forever.

 

Do you like The Addams Family?

What’s a recent movie you’ve watched to get into the Halloween spirit?

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