August 17th, 2007

john in thought

back in the annals of time

A. The Crazy


Considering current events, I really think it's about time we picked a subject to be really, really psychotic over. Fannishly, that is.

I mean--haven't you ever noticed? The really crazy people seem to have a blast. Or at least a remarkably rich inner life of astral families.

(I mock out of love. Sometimes I seriously wonder about the awesome of that.)


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B. The Less Crazy

Less being the operative word here.

Horrific realization yesterday.

I like mocking myself as much as I like writing. This cannot be a good sign. But I was sitting at my innocent laptop last night, trying to troubleshoot svmadelyn's network with Tarot cards, and suddenly realized the most fun I could think of having was making someone do a podcast of Flight with me so I can read my own commentary while they read the fic.

And I was this close to IM's Ami to ask!!!!!

Jesus. I suddenly understand reality tv. You can get *addicted* to your own humiliation. Except it's not so much. Granted, back then I would have possibly had some kind of vaguely public diva-ish break with reality (though it's a lot more fun to do that with one's lj than it ever was in mailing lists). But now, it's *funny*, and it's me when I still found this all amazing and new and it's something I tried and failed dramatically at, but that at least I was trying new things.

It's also interestingly like having found a bit of a map to a place I lived once.

Livejournal and diaryland became my history, one I can touch and see and re-read and occasionally lockdown if I feel like it, centralized and complete. Cartography's easier when you know where you've already been, and in some ways, lj and diaryland spoiled me by giving me the means of keeping my own history, chart my own journey, my fandoms, the things I did well and the things--that are like Flight and I have to admit anyway. I know the me that was in Smallville and I know the one in QaF and I know the one in early SGA and how differently I see the fandom now. (not in a bad way. Discovering ltlj is possibly the highlight of my fannish existence, along with miss_porcupine)

Before lj and diaryland and social networking, we had Fannish Histories, with you know, Signficant Historical Personages and Signifcant Flamewars, Hugely Significant Authors, and Significant Archivists. The Extraordinary, like in any history, was preserved, annotated, recorded, passed on from person to person and place to place and convention to convention, zine to zine, big massive webpage to webpage. The rest--kind of got forgotten. You don't know what daily life in Rome was like for the average shopkeeper, but we know what Julius Caesar *ate*. You see where I'm going with this.

Now we each write our own, whether we were signficant or not. We're our own autobiographers--what we contributed, small and large, is here. Our tiny archives and our small challenges, and freaking *drabbles* are documented, recorded, found by others, remembered.

There's a metaphor in this about civilization that would actually make me look incredibly pretentious, but I wnat to do it anyway. Sadly, I can't think of it. But I think it does come down to the concept of fannish literacy, the shift that's kind of like equalization; becuase these days, while the Stephen King of Fandom X might be the most read, the less-popular of fandom are known too. And we can find them pretty much on the same shelves. And right beside each other on the same newsletters.


basingstoke wrote the first Five Things fic. The idea has--changed a lot, both in concept and execution and meaning, but I remember when she posted it. I remember because I posted a rec in diaryland and mentioned what it was, and now I can go back and look and think, here. This is where it started. That's fannish history, the history she gave us, a new type of story.

thete1 wrote the first story I'd ever witnessed flatten a fandom in Smallville, Past Grief. I read it and watched it ripple, watched it take hold of people's imaginations and so many of us followed her. I remember because I recced it, then I wrote one in chat for her. And I have both recorded in my diary. That's Smallville history, the history she gave us, a new type of Smallville Clex.

I wrote a fannish novel live, Somewhere I Have Never Travelled when fandom had just started moving to livejournal. I wrote for a life audience in chat every night, then posted to lj and missed only one day before it was completed. I'm sure it wasn't the first time that's ever been done, but it was the first time I had ever done it. That's my history, the history I built for myself, something I'd never done before.

And I wrote about them all. Just some of them get thought about more than others. But they're all in the same place(s), recorded with the same care, equal with entries on fannish tropes and my deep dilike of wontons.

Sometimes I miss mailing lists and forums and single-pairing groups, and being able to go no-mail. And I miss being able to killfile and usenet flamewars and fandom not being so much a part of my daily life. Sometimes, I even miss the privacy.

But I want this history more.

This is why Flight makes me wince and blush and laugh and mock ruthlessly, because I can and because I love it and I love knowing I got better. But it makes me sad, too--that's all I have of two years of my fannish life--this and a handful of fic I posted to ASC, ASCEML, and PTF. I don't remember who I talked to, who read it with me, what formed the idea of it, what drugs I was on (obviously). I don't know why I had a style change that makes it like nothing I else I'd written at that time, but I carried with me, worked on, tried again and again until I got it right. That story was a prototype for over a dozen fic I've posted, for two of the most popular fic I've ever written, In a Thousand Miles, X-Men, and Sleep While I Drive, Smallville. I tried something new a long time ago, and then I kept trying until I learned how to do it.

I just don't know why I wanted to.