Ch-ch-ch-changes

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Cripes, I’ve been busy. Since the last time I’ve posted I feel like my life has gone from boring to stand-still to FULL THROTTLE. I can’t stop effusing about how happy I am and it’s such a great change, it feels so wonderful, that y’all are just going to have to deal with good-mood Molly.

Let’s see. I guess the last thing I mentioned about life changes was that I’d heard back from grad schools. I was fortunate to get in to every school that I applied to (all three of them), and I settled on Syracuse University where I am happily, besottedly studying Television, Radio, and Film. I’m half-way through the summer semester and head over heels in love with it.

Which means that since my lease in DC ended in May, I have moved twice. First was a short stint at my parents’ house back in Cleveland. It was nice to be home. I think being able to spend some quality time with my family and have some semblance of a summer vacation was the best thing I could have done for my mental health. Then, on the first of July, my Dad and I each packed up a car and I moved to Syracuse, the place that I’ll call home for the next year. My house is super cute, and I’m more than a little in love with the front porch. (I will admit to desperately missing air conditioning.)

Clocking in at eleven months, 160 pages, and 67,000 words, I finished the first draft of That Golf Story. Kate and Bailey kept convincing me to add more make-out scenes, but I am done! It feels great to have another manuscript under my belt and it’s given me a chance to really sit down and focus on editing Delia. I managed to shred the first half and really rebuild it. With 50 pages left to edit, I’ve already cut out 30,000 words. I’m hoping to get the rest done in time to send it to K & B by the end of the month for preliminary feedback.

Life is almost moving too quickly, but I’m loving every second of it. I’d managed to forget that productivity breeds productivity, so after having a quiet six weeks at my parents’ house, I’m getting an absurd amount of work done. Aside from my personal writing projects, I just revised a script that my production class and I will be turning into a short film over the next three weeks. I’ll also be starring in it!

I’ve never felt a closer kinship with my heroine Hermione Granger in my entire life. We’ve been sorted (into production teams), the class selection is so overwhelming I feel like I need a time-turner, my hand snaps into the air at every opportunity, and there’s even a castle-like building on (the surprisingly gorgeous) campus!

Also, I keep forgetting and then remembering that Aaron Sorkin went to school here, and I keep dying little happy deaths. I hope you, too, are having the best July of all time.

Fantasy Christmas List

It’s mid-December and I still don’t have a real Christmas list cobbled together, so I thought I’d give you a peek into my fantasy wish list. All of them would be pretty much guaranteed to improve my quality of life, albeit to varying degrees. I’m going to start from the most realistically do-able and move to the more farfetched and fantastical.

  1. The ability to save gifs as phone/computer backgrounds. It is 2013. This seems like the most reasonable request I could make. Soundhound/Grooveshark can exist but this can’t? I think not. I would really like to be able to have a folder of gifs consisting entirely of foxes and Dylan O’Brien that would constantly rotate. This would improve my mood by at least 66% every day, I’m sure. How could I not smile like a loon every time I checked my phone? It would be impossible.
  2. Implantable microchip medical records (e.g. allergies, pre-existing conditions, medications, etc.) Update via wifi or bluetooth or something. I’m sure science could make it happen. Doctors could just scan and go. This would be so overwhelmingly convenient and would save so many lives. It’s ridiculous. Getting hold of medical records in emergency situations can be entirely too difficult between incapacitated patients and frantic EMTs. Realistically, this would probably be mostly used in first world countries, but the global impact is too great to ignore.
  3. Closets like Cher Horowitz’s in Clueless. Seriously, I don’t have time to mix and match the perfect every day for work. It’d be pretty great if I could get a computer to do that for me. It’d be even better if the closet came pre-loaded with clothes I would be guaranteed to like that were also flattering, but that might be a bit of a stretch.
  4. Videoscreen showers. Not, like, a TV in your shower as I’m pretty sure those already exist. Even I think that’s excessive. More like tiles that display images/video. How cool would it be to be in your shower but be in a forest? Or a beach? I don’t know, whatever you find tranquil.
  5. Enchanted windows a la the Ministry of Magic. Imagine being able to set the weather to your mood. My office workspace is in a walled-in area with no natural light. It makes me kind of crazy. And there’s nothing I love more than watching rain/snow, so this should just be a thing already.
  6. Moving tattoos. Listen. I want a tattoo, but what I really want is a moving tattoo. I read an article about a guy with a gif tattoo, which sounds cool, in theory, but then you have to watch it on your phone and I think that kind of defeats the purpose, you know? I don’t want to have to use a phone to see my tattoo. I want it there, on my person. Moving. Preferably to my moods. Like, if I’m restless and I had a fox tattoo it would pace or stamp its foot. Or if I were sleepy it would curl up and take a nap. I just think this would be adorable and awesome.

Basically I just want magic to be real.

Informative Speech: Fandom

Okay, show of hands – who here has ever heard of 50 Shades of Grey? Everyone, right? If you have, you’ve inadvertently stumbled across fandom. Today I’m going to explain what exactly fandom is, how it started, and how it has managed to make its very own subculture, complete with its own language.

First, it must be said that there is a difference between being a fan of something and being part of a fandom. Fans are casual in their interest – they will tune in from week to week to watch the show or pre-order the next book in the series, but they don’t devote any more time to it than to set their DVR or actually enjoy the material.

A member of a fandom is an entirely different story. For a member of a fandom, they invest their time and emotions to their interest. And it’s a phenomenon that’s been going on for over a century.

One of the facts I find most surprising about fandom culture is that it’s not new or recent by any stretch of the imagination. Though I only stumbled upon fandom in the last few years, fandom culture has actually been around for decades.

The first modern fandom is considered to be Sherlock Holmes. That’s right, there were fans sitting around as early as 1887, writing about these beloved characters in the first recorded cases of fan fiction. In 1893, fans of Sherlock Holmes even held public demonstrations of mourning when the titular character was “killed”.  Let me do the math for you – 125 years this has been going on. And for the record – Sherlock Holmes is still being written about today. I saw a story about him that was updated this morning.

The thing about fandom is that it can be for fans of literally anything. The most common and mainstream fandoms tend to be related to television shows, movie franchises and book series. They even have nicknames – you’ve probably heard of some of them:

  • Twilight fans are Twihards,
  • Firefly fans are Browncoats;
  • for Star Trek there are Trekkies
  • and Dr. Who has its Whovians.
  • Janeites are those who adore Jane Austen
  • Whedonites worship at the alter of Joss Whedon – figuratively, of course.
  • And yes, there are even Bronies – fans of My Little Pony.

I couldn’t make this up if I tried.

But there are less mainstream fandoms as well – for musicians and bands, anime, plays and video games. Even celebrities.

And when I say that fandom is a culture, that’s not a lie. It’s so expansive it has grown to have its own language. My friend Diana and I, though we have zero fandoms in common, can hold an entire conversation about the phenomenon without anyone understanding. It’s not their fault, they’re just not part of the culture.

So if you hear a strange conversation about a new ‘fic’ someone read, know that they’re probably talking about fanfiction – or fictional stories – anywhere from a few words long to a few hundred thousand – about a show or movie or book. In case you didn’t know – that’s how 50 Shades of Grey was born. It was originally published – probably on a site like fanfiction.net or Archive Of Our Own as Twilight fanfiction.

Or maybe you’ll hear the word ‘ship’ but no context clues to think the conversation could be about boating. They’re probably talking about two characters being in a relationship, or wanting characters to be in a relationship.

And beyond that, there are OTPs, or One True Pairings – the couples a fan thinks should belong together.

These ‘ships’ or OTPs may or may not be canon, which means they take place in the continuity of the fandom’s universe or ‘verse. If something is ‘canon’ it means it happened on the show, or in the book series, et cetera.

But something may also be ‘fanon’ or “fan canon”. That means that a fact which doesn’t necessarily exist in the universe or continuity of the show has been accepted by the fans as fact – such as minor character backstory or the first name of a character.

I know this is a lot to hear, especially if you’ve never been exposed to fandom before. Believe me, I understand. The first time I stumbled across a fandom I was googling every other word to understand this new language.

The thing about people that take part in fandoms is that you may never know that it’s a hobby of theirs. While I’ve always been a television addict, I’ve never had anyone that truly shares my passion about the same shows.

But then I joined Twitter and could follow the writer’s room of my favorite show. I thought – no big, I love to write, I wonder what their process is. And then I started recapping television shows for a small blog. And then I befriended THOSE writers on Twitter. And then I joined tumblr and all bets were off.

It grew slowly, and steadily, my delve into fandom. And now, after watching an episode of my favorite show, I no longer turn off the TV and get ready for bed. Now I log onto Twitter and see what is being said about it, and complain about how many FEELINGS the show has given me.

Fandom can be a bit of a life ruiner, but at the same time it’s rewarding to connect with people about my interests. It’s nice to live in a world that makes it easy to connect, and make friends. Now you don’t have to trek to San Diego to take part in Comic Con or Austin to go to the Austin Television Festival. Now if I want to talk about my crazy theories about ANYTHING I can take to tumblr or twitter, and immediately find some camaraderie.

Fandom is a strange concept to some. It’s even a strange concept to me, and I take part in them. But they can also be rewarding. And if you’re still lost, think of it this way – do you have a sports team that you’re devoted to? Do you take part in fantasy football or baseball? Then you, my friend, are also part of a fandom. Welcome.