Greeting fans and welcome to another rambling by the writing fisherman! I have to admit I’m kind of digging this self-proclaimed title. Not to compare myself to Hemingway, mind you. No, no; not at all! Though it does have an adventurous ring to it which I really like.
First I’ll catch you up with an update of my first novel, “Nine-Mile Bridge.” I’m currently into my 4th edit, having received some fantastic critique from not only friends in the writing group, but also family. Ironically it is my family who is my toughest critic so far as they want to see me do well so when something doesn’t make sense, or is stupid, I hear about it! Also, the prologue has become almost a stand-alone short story which I’m feeling is a good thing. It takes place many years prior to the main story, but is a tantalizing tease of what is to come so I may enter it into a short story contest once I’ve polished a bit more.
For today’s subject I wanted to talk about fandom. I recently discussed this with my daughter in how we, as fans of (enter subject here), are sometimes capable of deluding ourselves. I’ll use myself as an example. There is a podcast about writing which I’ve mentioned before that I’m a big fan of. I won’t mention the name of it in this post as it’s not crucial, but if you really want to know you’ll have to go back to some of my previous posts; it won’t be hard to find. Anyway, I really enjoy this podcast and have found it to be very enlightening, educational, inspirational, and just fun overall. I’ve downloaded, and listened, to their entire series multiple times (the episodes are only 20-30 minutes long). Often I hear something I missed before, or there may be a part which is relevant to me now. I’ve written to them and corresponded a few times in the past 9-ish months since I found the show and a funny thing has happened which my daughter called me out on. I started calling them my, “Friends,” when mentioning them, or something they said on the show!
My daughter looked puzzled saying she didn’t realize we’d become friends, then asked if we’d spoken on the phone or something.
I was taken back by her observation and I stuttered, “No, I…well I mean…I didn’t mean…uh…” What had I been saying; friends? Why? They don’t really KNOW me, but I certainly feel like I know them. Then it occurred to me that in speaking about their own writing, likes and dislikes, and other things shared over time, I’ve developed a real kinship with them. Certainly a feeling of camaraderie, and mentor-ship, as they’ve corresponded to my past letters and given great advice, but would they know me if we met? Not at all.
My daughter laughed at my expense, imagining the embarrassing situation if I was to meet them one day. “Hey you look like you’re doing better. Did you ever get that problem solved? Oh, I love it when you say that, it’s so YOU!”
Inside my head I shrunk away, dreading the thought of whether I’d ever written something to them which sounded like a star-struck fan.
This got us talking about fandom as a whole and the phenomenon of ownership. Ownership of a show, and the connection we feel, as fans, with celebrities and athletes. Seriously, how many times have you either said, or heard someone say about a particular show, “That’s MY show!”
I’ve begun to realize the evolution of fandom in TV and movies the past couple of decades has come to rival any sports club out there. More than likely you yourself are a dedicated fan of some sort. Whether that be in television, a movie franchise, a sport, or even a author, you’ve probably got something which you move your schedule around to accommodate. Take a moment and evaluate yourself and see where you stand. Do you scream at the television for a great sports play, or cry when a favorite character is killed?
One day I do hope to meet the people of MY podcast and hopefully I’m casual about it. Even more so I hope we have a good laugh at my own expense as we share stories of fandom in other areas. Have you met a celebrity and totally geeked out? Perhaps you’ve waited in line for hours for a ticket to YOUR movie, or the perhaps last Harry Potter book? (guilty) Let me hear about your own fandom in the comments below and with any luck, one day, we ourselves may be the subject of such fans. It is in that spirit that I hope MY first book will be YOURS!