A Fan Girl Confesses

Yep, it started early
Yep, it started early

I couldn’t sleep last night after a grueling tabata class so I played around on the Internets looking at Han and Leia sites until the battery died on my laptop. By 3am I realized that there were way more fan sites on the subject than I ever imagined. Actually, I thought I was the only fan of Han and Leia in the world because I tend to think I’m the only fan of something. Even thought logically I know that’s not true, I still get that feeling when I like a TV show or movie. Much of that reaction has to do with the fact I would hide my nerdy interests when I was growing up. Scifi or anything related wasn’t understood, and to some degree wasn’t acceptable, in my home or my small town. Sure, there were kids who were into scifi or fantasy or both but we hid it so well that we may not have known that each other existed until we were in junior high school. And when we did discover others with like minds, we kept it quietly to our circles.

Star Wars was the exception because it was such a blockbuster hit. I loved it but I was starting to get into Star Trek and Doctor Who. I was writing fanfic before I knew it was a thing (which I discovered when the Internet came along). When I went grocery shopping with my mom, I would run off to the magazine rack, searching for Starlog. I would hide it inside Tiger Beat, of course. I devoured as many spoilers or tidbits of sci fi that I could before my mom found me and it was time to leave. I would lie in bed at night thinking about Luke and Leia and Han Solo and Captain Kirk and Spock and Doctor Who. I would think about the stories and imagine heading out to space and meeting aliens. I knew they were out there!I

As I got a little older I discovered Bladerunner. It came out in theaters when I was 14. I didn’t understand much of it but it was so different from the other more polished TV shows I loved. Then I saw Indiana Jones and my crush on Harrison Ford was solidified. Still is to this day, as I write this post. When I lived in Los Angeles (that’s another fanish post waiting to be written!), my roommate had a poster of Harrison Ford promoting the Los Angeles Public Library with the word Read across the bottom. I saw that every time I came out of my room and every time I’d smile a little. I mean, Bladerunner and Star Wars and Indiana Jones. No wonder I was hooked. I hear he did other films, too?

I’m putting all this out there now because it’s only been in the past year that I’ve been open and out to the regular outside world about my high level of geekiness . Of course my close friends knew (well, some of them) and my online friends knew because I was active in Star Trek and Stargate fandom email lists. I made some of my closest friends being on those lists.

Now that I’ve been on social media for a while, I see others like me. I see that geekiness and nerdiness is acceptable and even hugely popular. I get to geek out about my TV shows and find like-minded people who are equally as detailed in their analysis of which Doctor was the best and why. (David Tennant because of the hair and the energy). So here I am world. Let’s discuss.

Like most of my fanish friends, I could go on and on about my fandoms but I’ll leave it here for now. I’ve got 22 more blog posts to write for this challenge so I’m sure there will be a complete breakdown of each Doctor, more confessions of guilty sci fi pleasures (Babylon 5) and of course a rant or two about shows that stayed on past their welcome (I’m looking at you, Stargate). So feel free to share/confess your favorite sci fi shows in the comments below. No judgements here.

Today’s Hipstamatic Image

This is a tree I pass every time I take my dog to the Willow Waterhole. It always looks so free against the clear blue sky.

Tree, Willow Waterhole
Tree, Willow Waterhole

Workout

I hiked 4.5 miles with my husband at the Memorial Hike and Bike Trails.

Try not. Do.

IMG_1652No. Try not. Do or do not. There is no try. (Yoda)

These words are staying with me today because after a week of my 30-day challenge, I’m tired and out of ideas. I’ll write about writing.

Write Every Day

These words have always been with me. Try to write every day. Do write every day. I can’t wait until inspiration strikes or else I’d be writing about once a year. Most of writing is physical: sit down and work until the ideas start to flow. Get those fingers dancing on the keyboard and beat out the words until a story forms. Clickity clackity, clack clack clack. Most of it will be crap but there’s always a sentence or two that gets your heart racing and then you start again from there. Do write. There is no try.

Inspiration

A quote I’ve always liked goes something like…I write when I’m inspired, I just make sure I’m inspired by 9am every morning. This morning at 9am I opened my laptop to start a blog post and 5 minutes later I closed it to watch last night’s episode of Arrow on Hulu. That’s more like my writing discipline. And then, about 3pm I realize that I need to write something so I open up my laptop and immediately start checking Facebook, Twitter and TVLine. Then, about 3:30pm I finally start writing. Sometimes I put on an episode of Parks and Recreation to have some background noise. Other times I play my playlist called Thinking. I can’t say that I get inspired, it’s more like I mentioned above: write until something forms. Inspiration comes and goes, it’s the work in between that is the true test.

Snacks

For me, snacking is essential to my writing time. Since I’m trying to lose weight, snacking has to be healthy. What I really want is a big bag of Doritos but now I settle for popcorn or carrots. Right now I want a large piece of chocolate cake and some french fries.

Distractions

I’ve learned to accept distractions because they’re a natural part of who I am. Social media can be a time sucker. My dog dropping a toy on my keyboard and wanting to play is a wonderful distraction. And then there’s TV. These are all good and I’ve learned to limit them. I’ve found that getting the work done is more rewarding than spending hours on social media. Go figure.

Discipline

As I write this post, I see a theme forming about being discipline. It’s been a hard lesson to learn over the years because I never had much of it growing up. I was allowed to quit things I didn’t like and generally got what I wanted. If I wanted to watch TV from the time I got home from school until bedtime, I could. Schoolwork could be done later or not at all or at the breakfast table. I made my own schedule, pretty much. If I didn’t feel like going to school, I could usually get out of it. I didn’t have to do anything I didn’t want to. Period.

As I got older, I realized this didn’t work in friendships or in trying to pursue a career. I would give up if it wasn’t easy or if I got tired of it. Of course we get bored, even with things we’re passionate about. I didn’t know that. Now, at almost 50 years old, I’m finally learning that lesson.

Today’s Hipstamatic Pic:

Yes, I know, it’s my dog again. I have a pretty dog and this picture brings out her brindle coat.

Sibba
Sibba

Workout

3-mile walk with my dog, elliptical and tabata class. (3 hours total)

Grief

My grandmother, age 2
My grandmother, age 2

This past year has been about death. I clumsily wrote about it in a previous post but as with grief, it’s an ongoing process of healing.  I’ve tried to write this post so many times but my vocabulary isn’t large enough to express the nuances of my grief. Each death and it’s requisite grief builds one on the other. First my cousin, then my grandmother, then two of my closest and dearest friends. And when I sought comfort in my favorite film franchise, they sent my favorite character to his senseless death. I became lost in earlier films when he was alive and fighting the Empire with his beloved by his side. And then Bowie died. And Alan Rickman.

Give me an occupation, Miss Dashwood, or I shall run mad.

I took Colonel Brandon’s words to heart and started finding any task I could find to keep me busy. I took on more hours at my part-time job, I was at the gym a few hours a day and sometimes I would take my writing work to a place that was loud and filled with noisy people. I hate noisy people. I watched Star Wars 4-6 over and over and discovered the Start Wars Expanded Universe (now Legacy) novels. Anything to keep my mind or body occupied.

Then one day it was okay to be still and enjoy the quiet. Spring was early in Houston this year so the days have been bright and blue. I was okay to be alone with my thoughts and this grief wasn’t as heavy. It was and is still there but it’s easier to get through a day without needing to escape.

We all handle grief in different ways. My grandmother would be sad but never devastated or depressed. She outlived her siblings but many years and lost her first husband (the love of her life) at an early age. She would tell us to grieve and then move on because there was nothing you could do about it. She lived to the age of 97. I don’t think she tried to suppress her grief or deny it but rather dealt with it immediately and head on. And then she would move on.

When I grieve I tend to deny it then wear it for a while then break down. Repeat. Or, I hide and let the grief out little by little. I still can’t listen to Bowie’s last album but I will eventually. I listened to Heroes and broke down in sobs. But it wasn’t just about Bowie. It was about all of the grief of the past year. I still feel it lingering inside wanting or needing (not sure which) to get out and be done with it and move on. I want to be a more like my grandmother but I’m not.

I feel like I should handle my grief a certain way but I can’t. We all deal with it in our way and in our own time. When my first grandmother died, I didn’t cry for two years and then one afternoon I cried for several hours. Sobs and sobs. So it could still be a while before I let all of it go. And that’s where I get unnerved. Because I want it to done and gone. And I don’t know when that will be. Tomorrow? Ten years from now? It’s there. It’s waiting but it’s not sure how to get out. Maybe I should listen to Bowie’s last album and see where it takes me.

Today’s Hipstamatic Image:

It’s palm trees along Westheimer against today’s beautiful blue sky. I’ve got to try some new lenses and film on the app.

Palm Trees, Houston | Iram2000 | Triplecrown
Palm Trees, Houston | Iram2000 | Triplecrown

Today’s Workout

I walked my dog for an hour. My body needed a break.

The Band is Back Together

My post about death will be tomorrow because today I’m volunteering at the dog rescue shelter with the lovely sound of barking puppies who have homes to go to. So I’m too happy right now to write about my grief. I’m sure it will still be there tomorrow.

I’m also happy because the blogging band is getting back together. That band was a group of us who found each other when blogging was in its infancy. This was before social media and blogging was where we commented and connected online. I made friends. I wrote every day. And, I was part of an online community that didn’t have anything to do with a sci-fi TV show. Progress.

In the blogging community I met a lot of really smart, funny people who could write. I was training for my first half-marathon and that was the focus of my blog. I tried to stay on topic but like most blogs then we usually wrote about whatever was on our minds. As Pea mentioned in a comment on a previous post, we seemed to have an endless choice of blog post topics.

As blogs became more popular, people began to focus on one topic. People were getting book deals based on those single topics. But I’m too much of an all-over-the-place kind of person to stick to a single topic. I tried to make this blog all about travel but here I am writing about everything but travel.

And then social media happened. We all started to follow each other on Twitter and became friends through Facebook. Our status updates became our blog posts or we used the notes feature on Facebook. What use to take a few days to craft, could now be typed up in under 140 characters in just a few minutes. We all stopped blogging, with the exception of a post a two every few months or years. Had we said everything we needed to say?

Then Jules at Laurastina tagged a few of us on a Facebook post and asked if we wanted to get the blogging band back together. Turns out that, yes, we did. Slowly I began to see updates and posts and comments were back! I love comments! Not the spammy ones with horrible grammar telling me my blog is the fantastic or all the blogs. I like the ones from people who respond because of something I wrote.

I’ve covered many personal topics on the many variations of my blogs. One month all my posts were about the blossoming relationship between me and the guy who worked down the hall. I recently found those posts from that year and I laughed at the flirtations and my happiness at that moment in my life. The next month my posts were filled with grief and change. It’s real life showing out there on the blogosphere.

When I started this 30-Day challenge to write at least 500 words a day I knew there would be days I’d forget or days I wouldn’t know what to say. Some posts would be crap (most of them) but some I hope will be insightful or funny. I can’t wait to see where this takes me and I’m glad others are along for the ride.

Today’s Picture of the Day

It’s my dog Sibba again. I’m in love with her and want to capture every moment of here life. Like when she’s licking her lips.

Sibba licking her chops | Jack London
Sibba licking her chops | Jack London

Workout

I did Bodypump this morning and cycle class this evening. I’m starting to feel the 5 straight days of working out. I almost forgot to write a blog post. Now it’s time for bed!

Doris Kearns Goodwin, Carrie Fisher and Amy Poehler

Leaves at the Houston Arboretum, Meadow Lake
Leaves at the Houston Arboretum, Meadow Lake

I can’t decide if I want to be Doris Kearns Goodwin or Carrie Fisher or Amy Poehler when I grow up. Or, perhaps a little of all three. I’m not feeling comfortable in my own skin right now but they’ve all offered something that I’ve been able to connect with. Ms. Goodwin and her knowledge and grace, Ms. Fisher with her humor and honesty and Ms. Poehler who apparently taps into my inner most thoughts.

Clunkiness

On my vision wall I have a piece of paper torn from an envelope where I scribbled the words…be more like Doris Kearns Goodwin. She was on the Daily Show or Meet the Press, one of those shows, and the way she spoke and carried herself in the debate made me want to be more like her. I’m often clunky and trip over anything and everything both physically and verbally. I want to sit in a room with really smart people and discuss history, politics and with an acerbic response as needed.

Quirky-less

On twitter I try to be funny or quirky and often fail in this attempt. I get a retweet or two from time to time but what’s funny in my head usually doesn’t thrive within 140 characters. I’m the queen of retweeting others with humor. Maybe I keep hoping some of that will filter onto my feed and into my brain. Or maybe I just want to be popular. Yep, that’s probably it. And popular for being smart and funny and charming, of course. Not for stumbling on a sidewalk and my dress goes over my head revealing my white granny panties. Because THAT’s never ever happened to me. (And let’s say that, if it did, it was way before social media.) My point is that if I’m going to open and honest about wanting to be famous, I want it to be for something substantial so that my true desire for wanting to be famous is overshadowed by my intellectual and humorous depth. (I kept typing intellectual incorrectly in the last sentence. #honesty)

Yes, Please

I am trying to be myself but I find it helpful to idolize look to others for inspiration. I’m in the middle of the audiobook of Yes, Please by Amy Poehler. As I was hiking the Memorial Park Trails today I listened to the book and it was as if Amy was speaking my exact thoughts, only in audiobook form that she wrote and recorded. And she seems much better at getting my thoughts out there. So if you want to know how I’m feeling these days, go listen or read Yes, Please.

What struck me most about Amy’s book was the preface about the reality of writing. When I lived in Los Angeles I would sit at a coffee house with others and work on my screenplay. Hello?! It’s Los Angeles, it’s required. But mostly I would write in my journal and whine about how I would never be a writer. I never finished my screenplay. See section above about wanting to be famous. Yes, I was a poser. That’s only mostly true. Part of me deep down wanted to write. For real, write words that meant something. I’m still working on it but I spend less time at Starbucks and more time writing between letting my dog in and out. All day with that one – in and out in and out.

While I am going to be myself (because that’s all we can really do), I’ll still try to avoid the cracks in the sidewalk, be a little funnier and try to figure out how Amy Poehler reads minds.

Today’s Hipstamatic Image

Buffalo Bayou | Love 81 Film | Loftus Lens | Triple Crown Flash
Buffalo Bayou | Love 81 Film | Loftus Lens | Triple Crown Flash

Workouts:

Hiking 3 miles

Bodypump