Why I took a break from Geekdom?

I have never hidden my allegiance to House Geek. I am a proud Nerd Warrior Princess!

But even a staunch warrior needs respite.

I had to take time away from everything: from my blog, (in fact I stopped writing altogether), from Twitter and finally from consuming any geeky related content.

Yes, you heard me correctly. Nothing! No television shows. No films. No comics. No books.

I called ‘time out’ on House Geek.

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Calling ‘time out’ on all things geeky

The thing is, I lost my passion for the geek stuff. I closed down my blog for eight months because I had nothing left to write.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way

Charles Dickens, ‘A Tale of Two Cities’

I realised I was bored senseless one day, while watching an episode of Supernatural. I’m a hard-core fan but not even Dean Winchester’s handsome face could entice me to watch more than 15 minutes. I turned it off. Tried again a week or so later and again felt nothing but acute boredom.

It’s not just Supernatural. I still haven’t seen Age of Ultron. I tried to sum up real excitement about it, but all I could manage was a ‘meh’ shrug.

Legend of Korra has been left unfinished. I’m only halfway through season 2 of The Originals. I gave up on Gotham and I couldn’t give a shit about Suicide Squad.

I was geeked out. Totally burnt out. I have no idea why it happened, but I was over saturated and over-stimulated. There were too many shows to watch, too many books to read. There was too much of just about everything. And being around like minded people on social media only made it worse.

After a while, I began reading non-fiction and crime novels. While on holiday, I read two chick lit novels in 12 days, while still managing to clock up a marathon or two of mileage on the streets of New York.

I barely watched TV, except for Pointless (I love that quiz show) and I cancelled my subscription to Now TV, LoveFilm (aka Amazon Instant Video – but that’s such a shite name for a brand right?) and my Netflix went unused.

I recently went to see Mad Max: Fury Road. I loved it, but didn’t want to write about it. I wanted to enjoy it as a consumer and a fan. I tweeted a few lines but had no desire to tweet again and again and again about the film.

I feel ready to (slowly) return to House Geek. But maybe not as the highly vociferous Warrior Princess I was once was. Perhaps a Librarian?

 

#TESTMYNERDCRED

Ever felt like your Nerd Cred was being questioned by the very same Nerd community? It’s not as rare as you think…

#TESTMYNERDCRED No.1: You only like ‘xyz’ to seem cool or sexually alluring

Usually, our choice to be bear the title of ‘nerd’ or ‘geek’ (or whatever classification you chose) had little to do with trying to appear impressive.

I know, I certainly didn’t opt into geekdom to excite or to invite male attention. My choice to proudly straddle the nerd-geek spectrum was (and has always been) a personal choice. I’m old enough to say that I liked ‘that nerdy stuff’ before it was cool (and when being a ‘geek’ or a ‘nerd’ was the epitome of being an A-grade loser).

I knew I was into comics, fantasy and anime before I realised boys could provide a whole new level of entertainment.

This is not a fashion ‘thing’. I repeat…this IS NOT A FASHION-THING!

NB: Dear reader, if you do happen to be following a nerdy trend in the hopes of appearing cooler/sexier to your peers, I sincerely hope you stop and try to find the ‘xyz’ that makes you truly happy – just for you and no one else! You’re already perfect as you are, and fakery isn’t a great way to make friends or to find satisfactory  sexual relationships.

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We’re supposed to be a community not an exclusive membership club

 

#TESTMYNERDCRED No.2: What do you mean you don’t like ‘xyz’?

This topic arose on Twitter a few days ago under #UnpopularOpinion (via @BlackGirlNerds) about the credibility of one’s nerdiness based on a person’s likes and dislikes.

When the ‘nerd-geek’ (because I use both words regularly within this context) community starts to attack its own simply because a person doesn’t like something (popular or otherwise) then we have a problem.

What right do you have to judge someone’s suitability based on your own bias?

Now, let me throw a huge, shiny chrome spanner in the works by stating unequivocally that I CAN’T STAND DOCTOR WHO!!

I’m sure there’s a Whovian out there having a flipping melt down and breathing into a sonic-screwdriver-shaped asthma pump right now.

And you know what? It’s my prerogative to find it dull and boring.

Phew! Now that’s out of the way… pray, let us continue.

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I don’t like Doctor Who. Never have. Never will.

 

#TESTMYNERDCRED No.3: You don’t belong because you don’t conform

First up, we’re humans not The Borg and our community is not The Collective!

Secondly, respect what a community is meant to represent:

“A community is a social unit of any size that shares common values.” (underlining my own)

In my opinion, one of the reasons we respect our delineation as ‘nerd-geeks’ is because we refuse to be standardised. Sharing common values does not equate to a homogenised society.

We unite because there is a lack of acceptance. For years, many of us were misunderstood by family, friends and peers for enjoying ‘that weird stuff’

NB: I once told a colleague I was going to see a Marvel film and with a look like she’d just stepped in doggy-doo, she said, “I’m not into that stuff.”

The ‘Nerd-Geek’ Community generally feels like an inclusive one, but we’re just as susceptible to prejudice as the rest of the world. Racism, sexism and heterosexism (among some of the many prejudices in existence) still provide walls to be torn down. Our community is still a work in progress.

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Many of us will have found shelter within the ‘nerd-geek’ community because we’ve come across some form of prejudice. It can happen at any age and to anyone, and we should know better than to perpetrate the prejudice that led us here in the first place.

It’s easy to lose oneself in the hive mentality of social media like Twitter. But always remember we are a community of passionate individuals that share common values – and THAT is what makes us POWERFUL!

PS: My nerd cred was tested this weekend, when MightyO was scrolling through Netflix and passed Teen Wolf (1985). I said that I’d never seen it all the way through, and he thought I was joking (I wasn’t). When he realised I was being sincere, there followed a shocked silence before he pressed play on Netflix. I don’ t think I’ve ever seen him so confused (and slightly disappointed in his own perception of his wife!) HA!

PPS: Nice to be back. Existential crisis not over, but now managable.

PPPS: I really enjoyed Teen Wolf (1985) and couldn’t get over how young Michael J. Fox looked.

PPPPS: Stiles is still my favourite character.

 

Writing, fatigue and f-bombs

Warning: swearing 

No energy for lengthy writer’s musings today.

I’m writing. Sometimes it’s Story A, sometimes D…probably a line or two from narrative Z…but fuck it…I’m writing.

The writing’s at that ugly stage, where I dislike everything.

But fuck it…I’m writing.

Autumn’s almost here: hoping it brings a fresh wind of creativity and enthusiasm for wordage.

If not, fuck it…I’ll still be writing.

 

PS: http://www.twentiesunscripted.com/keep-writing/

 

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Narrative Infidelity & The Cheating Curve

Narrative Infidelity

Back in April, I started writing ‘properly’. What I mean by ‘properly, is I regularly glued my rear to a chair and churned out words, with the idea that one day, I would have a novel to show for my efforts.

It’s officially July, so I’ve only been at this ‘properly’ for a few months. However, the process hasn’t been without its problems. It seems the more I write, the more I find myself cheating on my own stories.

Firstly, let me say that I accepted my calling to write a long time ago. I have acknowledged the voices in my head – who like to talk my ears off, if I don’t open a fresh word document and put fingers to keyboard. However, what I didn’t consider was that the competition for narrative dominance would be so loud or demanding! voices-in-head

My literary motto comes from E. L. Doctorow, who said, “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia”. And for good reason, it seems.

Fickle Fiction

Somewhere around 20,000 words into my original narrative (which I’ll refer to as Book A), a short story began calling for my attention. Since I needed a break from Book A, and I would rather write than not, I decided to give the short story a chance.

The short story was written and packed away into the archive.

I returned to working on Book A.

There I was, happily tapping away, when halfway through a scene, a horror plot snuck up on me, and the concept for Book B was born.

I furiously wrote down as much as I could so I didn’t lose the initial genesis of Book B. Once it was out of my head, I returned my focus to Book A…again.

After a flurry of a few more thousand (or so) words, Book A was shoved unceremoniously out of the way by a crime thriller!

Please welcome Book C.

Did I mention that the fantasy fiction I assumed would be my ‘go-to’ genre, has yet to make a solid and consistent appearance anywhere in my writing exploits? (Where are you Book D?)

The Cheating Curve

The more I write, the more ideas come to me!

I’m like that kid in the Sixth Sense: I see plot developments and characters everywhere! Some are even dead too!

Kudos to my creativity…not so great for my writing discipline.

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I feel as if I’m cheating on my own story! Can I add that it is exhausting! How do people cheat in real life? Where do cheaters find the time and the energy? How do you keep everyone happy for Chrissake!?

Romance wants a handsome protagonist and some witty banter, but horror demands detailed scene-setting with chilling undertones. Fantasy needs solid world creation, but crime requires scientific fact. Each genre of fiction, wants different things: tone, development style, speech patterns, research!

*mutters something about genres being a bunch of self-centred arseholes*

I need stability: a story I can rely on. I thought my days of flitting from one plot to another were done. I don’t have the energy to flirt with this many potential books! I should be in a monogamous relationship with only one story. Right? Isn’t that the appropriate way to do this thing called novel writing?

Maybe not…