A collection of vintage clocks

Why I took a break from Geekdom

Calling Time out on House Geek

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-type 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

When boredom strikes

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

The realisation hit me 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.

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

Geek burn out

The diagnosis? Geek burn 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.

Recently, I 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?

 

Landscape photograph of a woman sitting alone by a wall

When someone challenges your Nerd Cred

What happens when someone challenges your Nerd Cred? It’s not as rare as you think. Here are three accusations I’ve had thrown at me or are commonly discussed in the community.  #testmynerdcred

1. ‘You only like a nerdy trend 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 impress. 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 thing 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 find satisfactory sexual relationships.

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

2. ‘What do you mean you don’t like…?’

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’ or ‘geek’ (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 meltdown and breathing into a sonic-screwdriver-shaped asthma pump right now. But, take a breath friend! I find it dull and boring – that’s my right.

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.

 

3. You don’t belong because you don’t conform

First, 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 calling 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 the things that we love. For years, many of us were misunderstood by family, friends and peers for enjoying ‘that weird stuff’

For example, I once told a colleague I was going to see a Marvel film. She looked at me as if she’d just stepped in doggy-doo and then said, “I’m not into that stuff.”

nerds are not immune from being prejudiced 

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, homophobia 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.

Group of people standing in front of white wall

Many of us will have found shelter within this 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 perpetuate the prejudice that caused us to form these communities 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 who share common values – and THAT is what makes us POWERFUL!

Writing fatigue and f-bombs

Warning: unasterisked 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: Keep Writing by Tyece at Twenties Unscripted

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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.voices-in-head

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!

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…