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Snowflake Challenge 2018 - Day 2

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Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner 2018

In your own space, share a favorite memory about fandom: the first time you got into fandom, the last time a fanwork touched your heart, crazy times with fellow fans (whether on-line or off-line), a lovely comment you’ve received or have left for someone. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

Ok, fair warning here - I'm going to get a little personal about my less than pleasant RL childhood, because to me it's relevant to my fandom life.

How I got into fandom...

I grew up in northern Manitoba. When I was very young we often visited my grandparents, who were even farther North at the time (Churchill MB). That was when I discovered Space 1999 - and as terrible as it was, I loved it. I have fond memories of watching that, Marine Boy (early anime, baby!) and the original Tomorrow People. Sadly, my mother met and married Voldemort the step monster and we moved to a backwater, cultural wasteland full of small minded bigots and bullies just like him in the hickville Saskatchewan town of his youth. Star Trek was my salvation there, the tales of Kirk, Spock and the intrepid Starship Enterprise were quite literally all that saved my sanity for many years. I was mocked and bullied in all the stereotypical ways you can possibly imagine for being an outsider weirdo freak who liked Science Fiction. Life at home was somewhere between the 4th and 5th ring of hell. In all the time I was trapped in that shithole, I only once found someone who, like me, thought SF was cool, and gave me someone I could talk to about spaceships, robots and life on other planets. The rest of those years, I pretty much lived in our small town library for every waking moment that it was open, and read pretty much every SF book I could get my hands on on that time.

From time to time, I would buy a Starlog magazine when one appeared in the tiny bookshop our town had - there were listing of cons and fangroups and things that made me realize I was NOT ALONE and there were OTHERS LIKE ME out THERE and that ONE DAY I WOULD FIND MY PEOPLE!

Eventually, I grew up, graduate high school and went off into the world. After a year at university, I escaped Saskatchewan moved to Winnipeg where I met a fellow Star Trek fan - at my cousin's church of all places! She was running a Star Trek writer's club and invited me to join - the first person I ever met who didn't think making up stories about a TV show was a stupid waste of time. Then she introduced me to a friend of her's who needed a roommate, and the next thing I know, I'm writing fanfic and moving out to the West coast with them the following summer.

Many things have happened since. I started attending cons. I discovered costuming and filk music. I got involved in the local fannish community and felt like I had come home in a way I'd never felt before. It was community and family and finding people who were safe to be myself around. Not that they were perfect, Ghu knows that they have their own set of issues, but at least there was a meeting of mind, and dialogue, and willingness to entertain ideas not their own, and acceptance of being different... yeah. There was fandom and overall, it was good.

Crazy Times with Fellow Fans

OMG SO MANY, but probably my absolute favourites were:

Running Hospitality at Writercon (all years, really, but Minneapolis Writercon holds a special place in my heart)
And then there is this collection of posts from the time we built a Stargate parade float and got to show it off to David Hewlett.

Last time a Fanwork Touched My Heart

Well, this changes day to day. Not even kidding, I don't go but a few days before I read something or see a piece of art that makes me squee, tear up, or catch my breath at the utter beauty of it.

And comments? Oh man, I don't get a lot of them, but at least a few times a week I will get a ping from AO3 that someone left a kudos on something, and then I sit here and say, "Really? People still read that thing?" And then I think, ok. I must have at least a little bit of talent for writing if there are still people reading the stories and liking them. And that makes me very happy.

This entry was originally posted at https://shaddyr.dreamwidth.org/396524.html. Please comment wherever you want.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
popkin16
Jan. 3rd, 2018 07:23 am (UTC)
I'm glad you found at least one person to share your love of sci-fi with! And that you got out of that awful town.

I have no idea where I'd be without fandom. It is truly a lifeline...
shaddyr
Jan. 5th, 2018 02:53 am (UTC)
Escaping to other worlds saved my sanity, man. I kid you not.
trepkos
Jan. 3rd, 2018 08:48 am (UTC)
Star Trek has saved so many people. Well done for getting through those bad times.
shaddyr
Jan. 5th, 2018 02:54 am (UTC)
Truer words, my friend, were never spoken. The Enterprise carried me away from many horrible realities and let me live somewhere else for awhile.
gelbes_gilatier
Jan. 3rd, 2018 12:59 pm (UTC)
This is lovely!

It also made me realize that I miss fandom :( I was there when the Stargate fandom was at its height (between 2005 and 2009, I'd say) and to this day, I compare every other fandom to that time. And they always come up short. Damn, I just really miss it :(

Edited at 2018-01-03 12:59 pm (UTC)
shaddyr
Jan. 5th, 2018 02:57 am (UTC)
Was Stargate your first fandom? I think there really is something very special about the first - the giddy rush, the passionate involvement (ok, sometimes obsession) getting to know the characters almost like they are real people - yeah. I think the first one always holds a special place in your heart. That's kind of how I feel about ST:TOS - it's like home.
snogged
Jan. 3rd, 2018 01:14 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you got out of that town.

It's amazing how fandom can save us.
shaddyr
Jan. 5th, 2018 02:58 am (UTC)
I was so glad to shake the dust of that place offa me, you don't even know.

Yup, fandom was my escape, my haven, my safe place. Thank Ghu for the storytellers!
desdemonaspace
Jan. 4th, 2018 01:14 am (UTC)
Don't you just LOVE getting comments or kudos on old fics??? Heartwarming.

I also love this post. I too was an old Trekker who thought I was the only one. I need to go to a con now. Why is there no more WriterCons, except in the UK? Wish we were still doing them. I'm a Minneapolitan - loved the WriterCon Minneapolis write-up.
shaddyr
Jan. 5th, 2018 03:12 am (UTC)
I know, right? Those kudos and comments bring on the warm fuzzies like nothing else.

So the thing about Writercon - when Chris wanted to step down as Con Chair, no one else had the wherewithal to take the job on. Writercon was a huge logistical nightmare in terms of planning a floating con with a non-localized concom. What was left of the seed money for con scholarships went to Wincon (fanlore article here) but I think that's defunct now as well.

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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