Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for the gorgeous Geekerella, I reviewed this book a few months ago, and you can check that review out here!
Now check out a guest post from the lovely Ashley Poston about her first fandom, and the age of livejournal!
My First Fandom:
Come back with me to a time when Little Ash was wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, and knew little of the world outside of books and Mario Kart. Come, come back when LiveJournal was a fresh land of imagination and wonder…
And let me tell you about my first fandom.
I stumbled into it quite by accident. I think most of us do. We’re kids, or teenagers, or adults, searching for something that will fill a small, secretive space of ourselves that nothing else has. Perhaps we search for the fandom itself, or perhaps people to share it with—someone else with the same sort of spark. And it just so happens that most of us find each other online, in message boards or geocites or LiveJournal communities. We each, in our own time, embark on this quest when we hear the call.
I just so happened to embark when I was twelve. I remember the moment my spark ignited—it was a rainy afternoon after school and there was nothing else on TV. This was back when the local cable channel aired a kid’s block after school. It was a Thursday at four o’clock in the afternoon.
And so, without anything else on TV, I succumb myself to a show about a children’s card game. Episode Seven. The Evil Spirit of the Ring had trapped our heroes into their favorite cards, and so it was the duty of the spirit of the Millennium Puzzle to duel for their souls. Not like pistol duels. But with monster cards. I know—I know.
That was the end of my simple life as I knew it.
You could say it was fate, or destiny, or the heart of the cards guiding me to that singular moment in time—but let’s face it: I was bored and curious.
If you haven’t guessed it by now, my first fandom was Yu-Gi-Oh! And I was absolute trash for it.
Like you know all those old early-2000s binders with clear plastic outsides? Mine were filled with fanart of my OTP—I will puzzleship until I die—while the inside held print-outs of my favorite fanfics. And inside those thin computer pages was where my real fandom heart began to beat in earnest. I poured over the craft—and by “craft” I mean the mechanics of my favorite ship(s). How they functioned together, how different authors wrote my ships differently, what I liked (and what I disliked), and what I wanted to emulate.
I remember this one fanfic—I found in on LiveJournal back when LiveJournal Communities were a thing and people waited eagerly for the newest installation of their favorite fics. It’s been so long, I can’t remember the title of the fanfic in question, and I’ve since lost the binder I had printed it out and stored it into, but I remember how I felt while reading it. It was a fic that followed the arc of one of the seasons, and the author wrote about the down-times not otherwise specified in the anime or manga…
The best I can describe it is this way—you know a Miyazaki film? How his films, for the most part, are filled with dips and lulls of the unseen? His movies take a slower pace, lingering on blades of grass, on mundane chores and slices of life. He once described these moments to Roger Ebert as “ma”—and clapped three times. The spaces between his claps were the “ma” or the “dead time.”
This odd Yu-Gi-Oh! fanfic was filled with dead time, and it was the most interesting thing I had read. Not because it was fast-paced or dramatic, but because it lingered. It moved from one scene to the next with an exquisite eye for detail. I poured over that fanfic. I studied the dialogue, the emotional cues, the character arcs.
I wish I could find that fanfic again. Perhaps I remember it better than it actually was, but reading that fanfic helped me decide to write it. That story pushed me just enough to build a dreamwhere, someday, my words could mean as much to someone as those words meant to me.
And so, I wrote my first fanfic and I tumbled into the world of Yu-Gi-Oh! And from there, a book I never knew open wide to all of its glorious pages, and I found myself surrounded by people with that same flickering spark inside.
“Oh, you too?” my spark would blink.
And theirs would always answer, “Me, too.”
Since then, no matter where I found myself in life, I could just look to my spark, and knew that wherever I was—I was home.
What was your first fandom? Comment below!
Ashley Poston’s fangirl heart has taken her everywhere from the houses of Hollywood screenwriters to the stages of music festivals to geeky conventions (in
cosplay, of course). She lives in South Carolina, where she hangs around the internet tweeting at @AshPoston.