Gunmetal Skies
& Neon Fireflies

.steampunk / arthuriana / history / travel / nautical / abandoned places / japan / lgbt / photography / literature / film noir / atompunk.

We do onstage the things that are supposed to happen off; which is a kind of integrity, if you look at every entrance as an exit someplace else. - Tom Stoppard

Crescenda // 20smthg American expatriate currently living and working in Japan.

Eleven questions.

Was tagged by nonesane, so here we go  (questions for those of you I’ve tagged are at the bottom of this post, behind the cut) ~

Rule 1: Always post the rules
Rule 2: Answer all the questions from the person who tagged you and post them. Also write 11 new questions.
Rule 3: Tag 11 more people and put a link in their ask boxes
Rule 4: You can’t answer questions unless you were tagged by the poster

nonesane’s questions:

1) Is fanfiction easier, tricker or both to write than original fiction (according to you)? If you don’t write, switch to fanart/original art.
2) Do you play video games and if you do, which is your current favorite?
3) Do you like heights?
4) What holidays did you celebrate in December, if any?
5) What are your favorite genres to read/watch?
6) Tell me about a person who’s really important to you.
7) How good are you with technology?
8) What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever seen? Could be a movie, a video game or a real life event.
9) Fire, earth, air or water?
10) What fandom will you be in forever?
11) If you had a super power, what would it be and what would you do with it?

My answers (put behind a cut to protect the majority of you who are only here for the pretty pictures. XD)

1) Is fanfiction easier, tricker or both to write than original fiction (according to you)? If you don’t write, switch to fanart/original art.

I think it depends on the projects in question.  With the exception of the Holmes Big Bang challenge I participated in a few years ago, my personal fanfic tends towards (usually brief) explorations of a certain canon character, relationship, or situation, meaning that they generally aren’t very plot-driven.  So while some characters are certainly difficult to write convincingly, especially when trying to mimic another writer’s style, original fiction has to be more carefully outlined and plotted, which can make it much more difficult.  I have rarely worked on a single piece of fanfiction for longer than a day, but all my original works have taken/are taking years.

2) Do you play video games and if you do, which is your current favorite?

I don’t play video games, and never really have.  I do like watching other people play video games, though, for whatever reason, and I still remember fondly the summer vacation when my brother and I tackled The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time together (he controlled Link and fought the baddies, I worked out the puzzles while sitting next to him on the floor.)  I still like to play fighting games with my friends a-la Super Mario Smash Brothers, which allow me to stand a reasonable chance at victory even with no skills and a penchant for wild button-mashing. XD  But when I was younger, I didn’t have the patience for them, and now that I’m older, I don’t really have the time.  So I’ve never been much of a gamer.

3) Do you like heights?

I do!  As a kid, I was always climbing trees and furniture or sitting out on the roof of our house to read, and as an adult I like hiking up mountains and riding roller coasters, etc.  In general, I just like the view.  I’m fairly short, so it’s nice to have a vantage point above everything else for a change.

4) What holidays did you celebrate in December, if any?

This year?  None, really.  Technically, I celebrate Christmas, though as an atheist it’s really just a family holiday for me.  This year I was in Japan with no family around, though, and had to work on the 25th to boot, so there really wasn’t much celebrating to be had.

5) What are your favorite genres to read/watch?

Anything besides horror and romantic comedy, really.  I hate the sugar-sweet cliches and (generally) bad acting in the latter, and my imagination is too hyper-active for the former; even really bad horror flicks tend to give me nightmares for weeks, and I hate when things jump out and scare me (probably another reason I don’t really go in for video games.)  But really, if it looks interesting, I’ll give it a go.

6) Tell me about a person who’s really important to you.

Just one?  There are many, but I guess I’ll talk about my father.  He is, generally speaking, a terrible listener, has no constructive advice to give when life really goes to hell in a hand basket, and is rather willingly blind to obvious things which he’d rather ignore (he still tells me I’ll meet the man of my dreams someday …), but. But.  The man would walk through fire for any one of his children, and would happily give us anything we asked for without ever pausing to ask for an explanation.  He still sends me a text message every single morning telling me to have a good day.  He is patient and supportive, has a fantastic sense of humor, and is a really, remarkably good teacher (which is what he does for a living.)  People like him instantly upon meeting him, because he’s naturally charismatic and an obviously Good Guy, and I am always in awe of all the things he can achieve - really, of all the things he can get other people to do.  He’s a natural leader and a community-builder, and, really, everything that I’m not.  I admire and adore him.  He has never understood the first thing about me, but he’s never stopped trying to be supportive of  my interests, even though they’ve never made any sense to him.  We’d all be lost without him.

7) How good are you with technology?

Hmm, that depends.  I’m a child of the computer age, so I can pretty easily navigate my way around any computer, phone, or entertainment gadget put into my hands.  I’m pretty good at working out software issues.  But when it comes to a hardware problem?  I’m just as clueless as the next person, haha.  And don’t ask me how any of these things physically work.  It’s a bit like the Stock Market; I will never entirely understand how it functions, no matter how many times someone explains it to me.

8) What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever seen? Could be a movie, a video game or a real life event.

I’m not really sure.  Generally, I’m a rational person who remains level-headed in a crisis situation, and I avoid things which make me irrationally scared (like horror movies, for example.)  I’ve gotten over - or at least, found ways to deal with - my phobias (spiders, needles, small spaces) because I’ve had to.  I’ve had some pretty graphic nightmares that have left me shaking in the dark for a while after waking.  But as far as real-life scariest … hm.  Two months ago, we had a fairly large-ish earthquake here, and even though nothing was damaged (and I don’t let myself get scared over earthquakes in general, because I’d never survive here if I did), I remember standing in the doorway and watching my manager do the same down the hall.  We’re supposed to open the classroom doors during an earthquake - something about the air pressure and the glass windows, I don’t really understand the science behind it - and I was watching her to see what else I should be doing.  She’s a very smart, rational, no-nonsense woman, and this wasn’t exactly a major disaster, but as I stared at her I could see the blood draining from her face.  And I realized that what was scaring her wasn’t the earthquake we were currently experiencing, but the memories of the Big One.  I felt that realization like a hollow space in my chest.  It wasn’t my fear, but in some ways, it was worse - because I realized that, no matter how many pictures I looked at or YouTube clips I watched, I would never, ever understand that disaster the way they did.  I had never actually thought I was going to die from something the way they had that day.  In it’s own way, watching her that random afternoon was terrifying.

9) Fire, earth, air or water?

Water.  I’m a water sign (Scorpio), if you buy into that sort of thing, but I’ve always felt drawn to water: oceans, rivers, lakes.  I am happiest when I live close to water.  I like the sound of it, the feel of it against my skin.  I like the way it looks.  I like swimming, and boating, and when I’m very stressed, I take a shower.  I love rain - thunderstorms in particular.  The various shades of water, whites and silvers and blues and greens and combinations therein, are my favorite colors.  One of my favorite sensations is rolling a river-smooth stone between my fingers.  I like that it’s impossible to destroy but so fascinatingly strong itself; I like that it’s fluid, and malleable, and able to take on the shape and appearance of its container.  It makes up so much of the human body, and we need it to survive.  It can destroy fire and earth and even capture air, but the other elements can only hope to change it at best.

10) What fandom will you be in forever?

None.  But let me explain: I think the word ‘fandom’ has changed over time, at least in the popular understanding of the term.  When I was younger, I used to feel comfortable calling myself a member of a fandom if I liked something more than average and was willing to consume it / think about it / talk about it / create things from it more than the average person was.  For me, being ‘in a fandom’ used to just mean being a fan of something and enjoying any and all opportunities to share that interest with other people who were also fans.  And when I started in with my first fandoms in elementary school - The Phantom of the Opera and Gundam Wing, etc., etc. - the ‘other people’ were small in number, the best source of non-personal contact we had was still Yahoo!Groups, and everything was cozy and informal and fun. 

But I think the advent of the Social Media Age has changed all that, for better and for worse.  With the creation and growth of social media sites like Facebook, LiveJournal, Tumblr, etc., it is now very easy to connect with other fans, regardless of what your interests are.  And that’s an awesome thing.  But it also means that the word ‘fandom’ has come to signify something different than it used to. 

I personally believe the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy was the start of the Mega Fandom period.  The timing was just right, really, given the technology available, and the tireless geniuses over at TheOneRing.Net really figured out how to utilize that technology into a form of community-building which I, at least, had never encountered before.  Then the Harry Potter franchise really came into its own, and voila - the Glory Days of the Mega Fandom began.  And all this is a good thing - a great thing, even.  I met some of my dearest friends through fandoms like these.  But it also means that the rules and definitions of ‘fandom’ have changed.  They had to - they were now struggling to incorporate an enormous body of members and of member-created works the likes of which they never had had to before, and the old rules and definitions just didn’t work anymore. 

To be ‘in a fandom’ now requires an enormous level of both interest and availability.  Granted, people scale their involvement to greater or lesser degrees, depending on their wants and needs, but overall it is an enormous time commitment.  Why?  Well, to me, it feels an awful lot like being back in graduate school: I am perpetually afraid to say something intellectual, because I just know in the back of my mind that at least a dozen people more devoted to and more obsessed with the media in question have already said the same thing, expanded upon it, micro-analyzed it, found it flawed and wanting, and then ruthlessly disproved it and moved on.  The only way to meaningfully contribute to the overall dialogue and not make a repetitive ass out of yourself is to stay on top of everything that fandom has produced - which is literally impossible.  There’s just too much of it.  

Those who prefer to stay out of the intellectual squabbling and just produce Beautiful Things have it a little easier, but it’s still a major time commitment.  The sheer volume of fanworks produced means that there’s a lot of crap out there now, but it also means that there’s a lot of good stuff out there, too, and if you want an audience for your work you really have to compete for it.  You have to participate in all the mega-contests / challenges, you have to join the communities and the forums, you have to try to establish yourself as Somebody before anyone’s going to bother reading or viewing what you’ve produced.  (Tumblr makes this sort of thing a little easier for artists, I think, than it is for authors, but it’s still the same struggle.)  People have short attention spans, and there’s A LOT of stuff out there now competing for those few available seconds.

If you don’t particularly care whether or not people read/view your work, and are really only producing it for yourself, or if all you want to do is consume things which others have produced, that’s well and good, too - but then you’re not really ‘in the fandom’ anymore.  You’re just a fan who makes things and may or may not choose to put them on display somewhere, or a voueyer who likes to scroll through the internet’s daily offerings.  And there’s nothing wrong with that at all.  But this, I think, illustrates what I mean by changing definitions.  Being ‘in a fandom’ means being an active part of a very large and very active community, and that’s not an easy thing for most people to do.  Those friends of mine who are truly active in a fandom tend to talk about nothing else ever besides that fandom, because it has consumed their every waking moment.  And that’s fine; that’s the sacrifice you make to be Involved.  But that’s not a level of participation I’ve ever been interested in.

Lately, the bigger the fandom, the more I tend to shy away from it.  It’s not an elitist thing; I still think the fact that the internet brings so many people together is an awesome, awesome stroke of genius.  But I prefer to take the things I like in measured dosages now, rather than in a tidal wave of media, because (like many of you, I’m sure) I like rather a lot of things and don’t have a ton of time to devote to any of them.  I like to spread my interests around a bit.  I lack both the leisure and the interest to keep up with large fandoms - that tidal wave of constant media which I mentioned earlier is, for me, exhausting rather than exciting.  (I am so damned sick of the Sherlock stuff, for example, even though I genuinely love that show.  Ditto for Doctor Who. I’m starting to feel the same way about The Hobbit, and I haven’t even seen that movie yet.)  That doesn’t mean I look down on or criticize those people who are in the middle of these (or any other) fandoms; how they choose to spend their time is entirely their choice, and if they’re happy, then that’s wonderful.  I just don’t want to take my interest in something to that level anymore.  It also doesn’t mean I won’t read fanfic for these fandoms or reblog pretty pictures on Tumblr, or talk about it or consume it or think about it.  It’s just that I’m still at the level of fandom I always was - a fan who likes to consume/think about/talk about/make stuff for something above what the average person would be willing to do, and to share these things with other fans - and not at the level of Mega Fandom Participant which exists now.

So.  Do I count myself a part of any fandom?  No, I don’t.  And I don’t want to.  It’s all too loud for me; I prefer to take things I like and quietly cuddle with them in the corner at the moment, if and when I have the time for such things.  But that doesn’t mean I’m not a fan of many of these movies, TV shows, books, musicians, etc.  So while I won’t ever be ‘in a fandom’ for life, I will always be a fan of Star Trek, and The Lord of the Rings, and The Phantom of the Opera, etc., etc.

… Does that answer the question? XD  *hides*


11) If you had a super power, what would it be and what would you do with it?

Teleportation.  I’d use it to bop back and forth between the States and Japan whenever the mood took me, and possibly to other countries, too, to visit with all my wonderful friends.

Now!  My questions for those tagged (and I only tagged seven of you, because I’m lazy a rebel.  Also didn’t bother putting links in your Ask boxes, because again, lazy rebel):

1. What’s your favorite kind of sweet?

2. If you could be any animal, which would you choose and why?

3. If you could go on holiday with any fictional character, whom would you choose and where would you go?

4. Do you have any tattoos?  If so, what are they and why did you get them?

5. If you could meet any dead historical person, whom would it be and why?

6. What’s your dream job?

7. Describe your ideal wedding (even if you don’t particularly want to get married.)

8. Please tell me about a single moment which changed your life.

9. You’re home sick and by yourself: what movie do you watch?

10. If you could go to the moon tomorrow, completely for free, would you go?

11. What fictional animal/creature do you wish was real, and why?

1 year ago on January 5th | J | 2 notes