November in hindsight

November2017

All throughout this month I’ve been thinking about my ‘November in hindsight’ post and I decided that I wanted to post this on my blog on November 30th. To literally finish the month off in the only right way, especially since I’ve been posting these hindsight post quite late these last couple of months. So half way through the month I started to write the first couple of things for this particular post. So that I would be able to just add some last minute changes to in on the 30th before publishing it.

Nanowrimo

My November has been all about Nanowrimo and it was a good month. We’re now literally at the end of the month and I can tell you that I have a accumulated a grand total of 33 516 words. A word count which I’m really happy about. This is way, way better than I expected to do and I’ve written way more creative stories than I ever could have imagined. And even though I haven’t reached the 50 000 words which were our goal for Nanowrimo I am content with what I did. It was hard – I’m not going to lie about it – I struggled but in the end I was able to get to a really nice word count. A word count which is much higher than I expected to reach, so nothing to be ashamed about. Maybe I’ll reach the 50 000 words next year. We’ll see.

Our Epic Blue Unicorn group had four meetings at the Library on Friday afternoon, around five we would gather and sit at ‘our table’. The only thing missing is the fact that they don’t put up one of those plates with reserved on the table for us. But other than that we can easily call it our table. Next to our Library meetings we also had one Ikea meeting. We had so much fun, we’ve invited some new people to our group and I sure hope some of them will stick around for the future. This was the fifth year our group was active and during those five years I’ve made some wonderful friends who are really dear to me.

Reunion

I was supposed to go to Groningen for another meeting with some of my vacation friends but that didn’t happen. For several different reasons we had to decide to move the weekend to February or March of next year. Because December and January are just going to be too busy to make it work. Hopefully I can tell you all about my city trip to Groningen in the first couple of months in the beginning of 2018. I’m looking forward to it.

Efteling

Since Groningen wasn’t going to happen I was free to make some last minute new plans for the last weekend of the month. My parents were going to the Efteling – it was a day out to the park provided by my dads work – and my mom asked me if I wanted to join them. The Efteling is a beautiful theme park in the Netherlands, and during the winter months they turn the park into a winter wonderland of sorts. It always has a special atmosphere which is vastly different if you go there in the summertime.

If you ever have a chance to go to the Efteling you should really do so it is a really beautiful theme park, whether you go there in the summer or in the winter. The theme park is different from any other theme park I’ve been too. They have their very own style which appeals to young and old people alike. Most people in the Netherlands have been there at least once and the park has been voted best theme park many times over. This year the park has even been voted the most beautiful theme park in the world by the Americans. And the park has been scoring well on all types of theme parks lists. It’s an original park by which I mean that it is not based on Disney for example so it has a very unique style.

I’ve been to the park so many times and I still love it each and every time. From an early age on I’ve been going there, with my parents, with our school on a school trip and nowadays I often go there with a group of friends. It is always fun to see that people from a young age all the way up until the elderly enjoy themselves.

Reading and writing

Since November is all about Nanowrimo you have already been able to read all about my word count and writing for the month in the beginning of this post and in all the other posts I made about Nanowrimo. So it would be a little redundant if I repeated it all again. So for now this is all going to be about my reading.

I’ve finished up my latest book in the last couple of days of this month, it was The Circle. A book which really got me thinking about all the things we’re giving up when we aren’t careful with our privacy. I learned one thing, I don’t ever want to give my privacy up. Not because I have a lot to hide yet simply because we should be able to keep some things to ourselves if we want to. And everything – every single detail certainly isn’t a good thing.

Music and television

I decided to write some posts I haven’t previously added to my blog, the first one was about the 300th episode of Grey’s Anatomy. One of my favorite shows of all time. Another post I wrote about a television show was the one about the Once Upon A Time season six finale.

I also managed to wrote two cd reviews from albums I’ve been listening to these last couple of weeks. The first one was about The Corrs’ new studio album, named Jupiter Calling. I’ve loved the Corrs for at least the last twenty years and I was really surprised when this album came out. The second one was about Pink. A singer / songwriter who I really admire. She has been at the top for so many years and each and every time she comes up with a new song or a new album which tops the charts. Beautiful Trauma is a great new album – with a wide variety of songs.

Looking ahead:

  • December is right around the corner, everyone in the world knows what that means, the holidays are coming!
  • December also means lots of extra time at work! The busy December month, probably goes for a lot of people at work.
  • We in the Netherlands have Sinterklaas, which we celebrate on December 5th. We do a Secret Santa type of thing which is always a lot of fun!
  • Of course there is the TGIO party (Thank God It’s Over) and that refers to the party to celebrate that we’ve survived another November full of writing. I’m going to Utrecht to meet up with my fellow Dutch Nano’s.
  • Christmas! Who doesn’t love Christmas? I know I do, it means I’ll get some
  • New Years Eve still sounds so far away but it is right around the corner! And this year I hope to celebrate it in a different way than I did previously.
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Once Upon A Time

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Recently I’ve started my one month free subscription to Netflix and I have to say I love it. For the longest time I tried to stay away from it because I can be somewhat obsessive with these type of things. In all honesty I bench watched television shows before there was a name for it. So knowing myself I thought that I would be better off not having Netflix at my fingertips. But now I have and the first show I watched was ‘Once Upon A Time’. Mind you I did watch it, Once Upon a Time (pun intended) but when they stopped airing it on television here in the Netherlands I stopped so I was pretty far behind.

However that show is so good, the characters are sublime. Especially when they switch from their fairy tale character to the regular character. I was intrigued when I saw the announcement for the show – way back when. Bringing fairy tales into today’s world sounded like an awesome idea. Especially since I’ve always liked that idea, I was even thinking of doing a modern version of a fairy tale for Nanowrimo that particular year. But then Once Upon A Time started in September and I wasn’t able to stop myself I had to watch this show. And therefor I threw that writing idea right out of the window especially since I fell in love with some of the characters – namely Regina and Emma and I knew that no matter what I tried to write it would become Femmeslash fanfiction.

I’ve now finally been able to watch all six seasons of it and I love it, still I do. But I am afraid that I could have done without those last couple of minutes of the sixth season finale. If they had cut the show off right after that look into the future with the Charmings living happily ever after, Emma and Hook married and Regina finally being called the Queen in a positive manner. And of course Belle and Gold dancing together to that oh so well known song from Beauty & the Beast.

I mean, really wasn’t that all we ever wanted to see a happy ending for all of the fairy tale characters. And the worlds that have been destroyed when Emma lost her faith during the final battle have been restored from Wonderland to Neverland and from Arendelle to Oz. And even the Evil Queen got her happy ending and a new adventure with Robin Hood!

But then they added those last few minutes! And I’m sitting here and all I can think is why? Why? I mean I knew that there was going to be seventh season and I also know that a lot of people aren’t returning.

Why oh why

I know myself, I’m going to watch the seventh season – even if it is just to find out if my assumptions, the ones that I have right at this moment are going to be true. I need to see it for myself.

How can I not worry about the seventh season when I know that a lot of the regular characters are not coming back or only as a guest role. I mean there is no Snow White, no Prince Charming, no Emma Swan (only as a guest star), no Belle (only as a guest star), no Zelena (she will only be a recurring star) and Henry has been replaced by an much older actor. As a fan from the start I can only worry until I actually see it. And right now the seventh season is not available to me, I have no idea when we will get it on Netflix. Once it is though I will be watching it and I hope with all my heart that my fear is not coming true.

I often wonder why they can’t stop a show at it’s peak, why do they always have to drag it on. On one hand I’m wondering why they can’t stop at the top, however I am one of those people who feed this kind of behavior. By the simple fact that I continue watching the shows. Let’s face it most shows keep adding seasons, why? Simple, because we keep watching them and it generates money – lots of money. I’m not saying that all shows loose their appeal but some certainly do.

And while I keep watching them I have to admit that it’s sometimes really hard to do so. A really good example is Glee, I loved the singing (I really have a weak spot for musicals) but they should have finished long before they did. Charmed is another one of those shows, loved it but it continued way too long. Bones, CSI (plus the spin offs), the Law & Order franchise, ER and the X Files are all shows which ran out of steam long before they stopped or should have stopped. I guess with The X Files they gave it another boost with the new seasons. Law & Order SVU is still running pretty strong, I mean I still watch it but I can imagine that a lot of people have given up already. Especially since most of the original cast have been replaced several times over. And the list continues on.

On the other hand there are also shows that never really got a chance. For instance Firefly – yes, I am one of those people who still thinks after all of these years that this show never got the chance it deserved. And I think that’s a shame, however the show got a cult-status right now something which it might have never gotten if they just kept going on and on.

In conclusion I guess it’s fair to say that there is a fine line between the top and that slippery slope. But once you’re over the top there is no turning back. I really hope I’m wrong when it comes to Once Upon A Time.

Do you have a favorite show? Or know of one that should have stopped a long time ago or one that didn’t get a chance. Let me know.

300 times Grey’s Anatomy

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This morning I was reading this article about the 300th episode of Grey’s Anatomy that is airing this week.

It’s Nanowrimo and you might be confused and thinking that this is a very random post, it literally has nothing to do with writing. However I think you’re wrong and I will prove it to you!

If the 300th episode of Grey’s Anatomy is airing this week I can guarantee you that I’ve seen 299 episodes so far. And I have loved that show from the very first episode. One of the main reasons why I love this show is the amazing writing. The show is called Grey’s Anatomy – named after the ‘main character’ Meredith Grey. But in my opinion naming her the main character is ridiculous. The show might have been extremely focused on Meredith in the first season but soon they started to show other characters as well.

Before Grey’s there was ER the biggest medical drama ever (with 15 seasons, GA is currently on it’s 14th season) and while they had a huge cast as well the main focus was the hospital and the way it all worked and you only got glimpses into the lives of the doctors and nurses. However in the case of Grey’s they choose to focus more on the characters. And I loved that, they gave it just that little bit extra that I had always missed on ER. With ER I always wanted to know more about the people behind the doctors. So from that first moment on I was hooked. Even though that was the part that I loved I also have to admit that Meredith is far from my favorite character. In fact I think she has been my least favorite character for a long, long time. But I liked the interaction between the group of year one interns. The show kept growing and expanding on characters and while there might be times were certain characters are mostly in the background there will also be a time where they can shine. And I really like that, the different characters and their story-lines bring something new to the show. The power of this show is that they keep renewing themselves and that they aren’t afraid to shy away from certain topics. The characters they create are well rounded, yet flawed and human and that is what I love.

The biggest thing I love about Grey’s is the writing and the person to applaud for that is Shonda Rhimes. I think she’s an outstanding writer who’s created some of the best moments on television. That is of course my opinion but for me the main reason why I love this show. I’m often blown away by the writing of the episodes (the same goes for the other shows Shondaland produces) and the feeling they are able to express through simple dialog. Because often these particular scenes are very simple in the buildup and staging yet strong in the dialog.

Favorite onscreen couple

I was reading the article and they asked cast members and writers what their favorite onscreen couple of all time is. I personally was really surprised by the fact that no one, not a single person spoke about Callie and Arizona. I know it ended badly but they had some amazing scenes together and I will forever be a ‘Calzona’ shipper. Even though I know that both of them have moved on from their marriage to one another there will always be a little bit of hope in my heart that roots for them. I still believe that they are endgame.

No one mentioned them and I think that it was a very defining relationship on the television at the time that it happened. From the first second Callie was added to the show I fell in love with her. I loved that woman she was so different than the other women on the show. I remember thinking the first second I laid eyes on her; ‘Wow! I hope she’s gay!’. Which is ridiculous, I know. Especially when she fell in love with George. But in the end I was right and she was at least bisexual, so I identified with her because she gave being bisexual an identity. And I really hope that in the future more shows will do that. Because we’re all people and loving someone shouldn’t define who we are it’s after all only a small part of our lives.

I could never quote a bible to anyone but that is simply beating them at their own game. And the perfect example of what I meant by a simple scene – the setting is very basic a room which doesn’t say anything but the dialog does. And to this day I still get goosebumps when I watch this scene. It’s so powerful!

The scene was followed by one where Arizona goes to Callie’s dad to talk to him and the same thing happens. They are just standing next to one another and she simply talks and he listens.

Callie’s father; We’re not gonna do that.
Arizona; Most people think I was named for the state, but it’s not true. I was named for a battleship, the USS Arizona. My grandfather was serving on the Arizona when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, and he saved 19 men before he drowned. Everything my father did his whole life was about honoring that sacrifice.
I was raised to be a good man in a storm.
Raised to love my country, love my family and protect the things I love.
When my father, Colonel Daniel Robbins of the United States Marine Corps, heard that I was a lesbian, he said he only had one question.
I was prepared for, “How fast can you get the hell out of my house?” But instead it was, “Are you still who I raised you to be?” My father believes in country the way that you believe in God. And my father’s not a man who bends, but he bent for me because I’m his daughter. I’m a good man in a storm.
I love your daughter and I protect the things I love.
Not that I need to, she doesn’t need it.
She’s strong and caring and honorable and she’s who you raised her to be.

Grey’s Anatomy – Season 6 episode 5 – Invasion

I hope to one day be able to write powerful scenes like Shonda Rhimes does for Grey’s Anatomy, to put that much feeling into a couple of simple looking sentences. For now I’m looking forward to that 300th episode and I hope that there will be many more in the future.

TGIT! Thank God it’s Thursday! And in a couple of hours we get to see the 300th episode!

 

Nanowrimo kick-off write in

Nanowrimo-2017

Our first Nanowrimo meeting of the year is a huge success, next to the usual suspects their are currently five new people who joined us at ‘our table’ in the local library. The first of our group arrived around four in the afternoon but most of us joined in around five or six – with work and all that other grown up stuff earlier isn’t an option for most of us. We completely took over one of the tables, even sent someone away who was already sitting there away – sorry! There just wasn’t enough space! It’s fun so much fun – everyone is talking about their novels and stories. As usual, all of the people in our group are so divers but when it comes down to it we all have the same passion and that is what makes it so much fun.

It’s in my opinion the best thing about a write-in, to hear all the different ideas everyone is working on. I’ve heard so many different story ideas from across the table its amazing. I feel a bit left out because I don’t have a story nor do I have an idea of what I shall be writing about. I’ve heard all about aliens and zombies, super heroes, a story with a historical aspect and a storyline set in the Harry Potter verse but set at a different and new school. There is so much creativity flowing around me.

I really need to get my shit together. Let’s be honest here I used to love creative writing – don’t get me wrong I still love it but I’ve been struggling for so long now that I sometimes wonder if I ever get that creativity back. Sometimes I wonder if it’s an age thing. I mean I’ve been changing so much I like different things now. However I still feel like writing is part of my life. But I really haven’t done it in a long, long time. It’s itching … I want to write but I feel empty. It’s strange how you can be so blocked, so closed off. That really is my goal this month. I want to get back into creative writing – will it get me to 50 000 words. I’m not sure, maybe with a combination of different things. There must be some writing exercises I can do.

Lately I’ve been watching a lot of Once upon a Time on Netflix, I’ve been catching up on the show. I stopped watching it when they decided to no longer air it in the Netherlands. The only way to see it would have been if I had gotten HBO. And now that I’m catching up on it I realize how much I love the show. Right now I’m thinking of writing fanfiction again, I’ve been doing that for years and it has always given me a lot of joy to write. So maybe I should just start out with some easy add ons to the show. Or search for some ‘Once upon a Time’ story prompts. I’m sure there should be enough to go around. That is what I’m going to do. I’ll search for some prompts and see if that’ll get me writing again.

Anyway during our first official Nanowrimo 2017 meeting we had homemade blue unicorn cupcakes and brownie cookies. And we talked and talked a lot. Of course that doesn’t really help your word count when it comes down to it but that doesn’t matter we talked about writing and in the end you feel rally inspired to continue once you get home. I for one continued writing this blog post with a smile on my face. I’m already thinking ahead of the next blog I’m going to write.

If you have a chance to join a write-in in your area if you’re participating in Nanowrimo I can only tell you to do one thing and that is to join them. It might not be the thing for you, but join them just to see if it might inspire you. I once didn’t have a very good experience with a write-in in a different city but I’m glad that I didn’t let that stop me from trying again a couple of years ago. When we initially started this group there were a few of us that stuck to it, the main group has been going strong for five years now and every year people have joined us. Some stay and some leave again but all in all our group has been growing and right now I can assure you that I have gained some amazing friends through my writing adventure. We’re not only just meeting up for writing during November but all throughout the year. And also for trips to different Cons – we’re all nerds – the movie theater and workshops or courses. And it looks like we’re meeting up for New Years Eve as well. A whole new world can open to you if you join a writers group. So do it, give yourself that chance to meet like-minded people.

Book 7 – American Gods by Neil Gaiman

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I was really looking forward to reading this book. Reason for it was that a lot of my friends from my writer’s group absolutely love it! Granted, a couple of them are huge Neil Gaiman fans, but still if you hear people talking about something with so much passion you’ll end up being curious about it. I heard them talking about it so many times that it really got me interested.

I liked the idea of the old Gods in today’s world and seeing how they would remain standing while new Gods try to take their place. I really like the concept and the idea of the story. In that regard it reminded me of ‘Once upon a time’ the HBO television show where fairytale characters live in our world. Little by little you’ll find out who is which fairytale character and how their story fits into the bigger whole.

American Gods is similar, the title tells you that it’s all about Gods but without telling you immediately who’s who. It sets for a very intriguing story line. But at the same time it’s also a very confusing story. Reading the book took me quite some time, it was a book which I really wanted to read however there were also times where I needed to process what I was reading. Confusing that is what it was at times. I honestly can’t say that I love the book, yet I don’t hate it either. The book had also parts which pulled me in and made me wanting more and more. I was determined to finish the book, sometimes when a story confuses me I get bored with it. This was different though, I wanted to finish it and despite it being difficult at times I really enjoyed reading it. Although I do think that this is one of those stories where you want to read it more than once and if you do you’ll probably see a lot of signs and connections you hadn’t seen before. So this book will surely go on the must-read-again list.

The book versus the television

As you might know there is also a television show. The book and the television show are very different in my opinion and while that is in some cases a shame and often causes an uproar among fans. In this case it works, probably mostly because Neil Gaiman is working on the television show as well so nothing happens without his approval and in complete Gaiman style he’s said before that he wanted to surprise the fans of the book as well as new fans. There were some things I’d expected to see in the television show but we haven’t seen them so far – yet it doesn’t feel wrong. With Gaiman involved in the whole process and it can’t be wrong. It’s his story after all – these are his characters and knowing that he approved it all makes it good.

So while it might be vastly different it’s still the same story, just in a different format. I really loved the portrayal of the characters, they certainly came across as the same characters in the book they represented. Seeing it all on screen cleared some things up for me personally – it made it easier to grasp certain connections. There where some scenes in the book where I wasn’t sure what they meant in the whole story while I was reading it, but seeing them on screen made it easier to give them a place and to understand it all.

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Visually the television show is absolutely stunning! It’s dirty and it’s grimy, shiny and radiant all at the same time. It all fits the characters as you can see in the posters above and the same goes for the story. I think that the tone of the television show is simply perfect.

I love how they choose to diverge from the story and give certain characters a bigger role, most importantly Mad Sweeney. His interaction with Laura Moon is so funny and the macabre humor really brings some fun to the show as well.

I’m looking forward to see more. I certainly recommend this book and the television show. Yes, I certainly do however I do recommend both of them. In my opinion the television show makes the story easier to understand.

 

 

Casting call

I love writing and the creative process of it. But I’m also a very visual person. After all I am a graphic and multimedia designer by profession. So I cast every story I write. I find it helps me to keep better track of details about a person’s appearance. So for these past couple of days I have been wearing the hat of the casting director in my project.

Casting

I believe that the casting of a movie or a television show can make or break the show. For instance what if Regina (Lana Parrilla) wasn’t so perfect at being the Evil Queen on Once Upon A Time (OUAT)? Well, the show certainly wouldn’t be as good as it is right now. A small change in her expression makes a huge difference, she can be evil one second then turn around and look a her son Henry (Jared Gilmore) and all you can see is love. Pure love. And just in her eyes you can see that she would do anything – and has done everything – to make sure that he´s save. That just shows how incredibly talented she is. But someone had to cast her for that role, someone out there saw that talent in her and used it.

Another incredibly important part in casting is when younger actors need to be cast as the ‘child’ version of an already cast role. A really good example is Snow White/Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin) on OUAT. In some of the flashbacks she’s a child, the young Snow White is being played by Bailee Madison. Right now she´s fourteen but she´s been on OUAT since the first season. They really do look alike. And for all of those people who say that Ginnifer Goodwin and Jennifer Morrison who play mother and daughter in the show look nothing alike I can recommend you to look for pictures from a couple of years back where both Ginnifer as well as Jennifer had dark long hair. According to themselves they were often mistaken for one another in the press and at parties.

Snowwhite

Or when you´re casting the – ´Oh-my-God!-I-have-a-sibling-I-never-knew-about´ sibling, this is also something which happens in a whole bunch of shows – Grey’s Anatomy anyone? Another good example is the show ´The Fosters´, which is about the Foster family who – yes, you guessed it – foster children. There´s Maya Mitchell who stars as Callie, the girl who thinks she can handle life all on her own but is failing miserably. She´s in youth detention and has a problem with men who lay down the law. So she´s placed (temporarily) in the Foster household with Steph and Leena – who have a son from Steph´s previous marriage and twins who they adopted a couple of years ago. Flash forward to this season (I´m trying to keep this post spoiler-free) we find out that some things weren´t exactly the way she always believed them to be regarding her parents and that she has a sister. And that sister is coincidentally played by none other than Bailee Madison. They have this uncanny-resemblance which you might expect two sisters to have.

This in my eyes is perfect casting! And to be honest I looked up if they weren´t related and judging by the search results I got, I sure as hell wasn´t the only one who wondered about it.

BaileeMadison-MayaMitchell

My casting process

So with all of this in mind I started my casting process.

I take a lot of time when I’m casting my characters, I have a certain idea in my head of what the person should look like and what age they are. And that idea in my head fits a certain type, I guess. So that is what I’ll be looking for. At first I started looking for the men in my story. My first main character is a female, but I felt that so far in all my stories my male characters have been lacking. Probably because my main focus has always been the women, who are often in lesbian relationships. So it’s no real surprise that my ‘men’ have been lacking in the character development department. I want to do it right this time. So that is where I started.

Looking for the perfect people to cast your story is key, especially when you’re casting family members. They have to look alike – enough at least to be brothers in this specific case. But I also want them to be their own person. To have their own identity and their own quirks. If you have pictures of the person you’ve cast you can use them to spot small details like that freckle they have, or a small scar.

I’ve cast my main characters and I have some possibles names for side characters. And yes, I am of course fishing in the same pond which most ‘casting directors’ are fishing in. The current pond of young actors. But the funniest thing happened, I was casting two brothers for my story. And I randomly came across an image of Aaron Taylor-Johnson. It was perfect, there are a lot of pictures of him since he’s been in quite a few new movies. And he’s one of those people who look different in each and every movie. And that is perfect because I needed that. When this particular character starts out he’s going to be a really buff looking ‘guard’ but as the story moves along he’ll goes through a lot of changes … both physical as well as mental.

And by coincidence I also found the perfect candidate for the younger brother. My FMC and some side characters. Interested in my ‘cast’? Take a look at my Pinterest.

Hate in fandoms

Anyone who follows my blogs, previous websites or my tumblr knows that I love television shows, movies and books. And not only that – I’m also one of those people who can completely fall in love with a show or a character. For as long as I can remember I’ve been an active member of different fandoms, often more than one at the same time. And I’m a shipper – for those who don’t know this term let me explain it to you, it basically means that you would really like to see two people in a relationship on that particular show or in that book or movie.

Hate because you ship

Even before I knew what that word meant I was a shipper. But since I started reading fanfiction – and later on started writing it as well I got more and more into the fandoms and the terminology. One thing though that I never got was the hate. I really don’t get that. There is so much hate, in so many different forms. It annoys me to no end that we love the same thing and at the same time express so much hate towards one another, the characters and the actors.

gsrWhy would you hate someone for shipping a certain couple? For the life of me I can’t understand that. I’ve been on the receiving end of the hate a couple of times. In my case some people might say that I brought that upon myself for shipping the ships that I do. I am bisexual, so in any case I’m open-minded in regards to the couples that I like. But I do ship a lot of femmeslash couples and that’s sometimes difficult for people to understand. Because in general most shows stear their public towards a certain male/female couple. For instance Gil Grissom and Sara Sidle on CSI, for years they  gave hints about a relationship between the two. Eventually they even ventured down that road. But my preference always was with Sara Sidle dating Catherine Willows. I could see it, even though I know that a lot of people can’t understand that, and I have to admit that you need to do a lot of reading between the lines but I never had any trouble with that.

Back then as a lesbian or bisexual woman there weren’t many shows or characters who gave us what we were looking for, so part the solution was coming up with our own stories in fanfiction. Nowadays thanks to shows like The L Word, Glee and Grey’s Anatomy there are several shows who give us lesbian, gay or bisexual characters.

It really sucks when you write fanfiction or create fanart and you receive hate because you don’t follow the general idea of what the ship for a show, book or movie should be.

That’s one part of the hate in fandoms that really ticks me off and I can’t be the only one.

Hate between shippers

The second part is the hate between shippers, people who think that they ship the swanqueenOTP (one true pairing) and for some reason whenever they see anyone who doesn’t like that particular ship they see that person as a threat. Also something which I don’t get, you all love the same show, book or movie and the same characters. What does it matter that I ship couples that might not be the most logical or conventional? I don’t think that I’m hurting anyone by shipping Rizzles (Jane Rizzoli & Maura IslesRizzoli & Isles) or Swan Queen (Emma Swan & Regina MillsOnce Upon a Time). But apparently that can be a reason for other people to hate you.

And yes, I am aware that Rizzles (even though the show is really gay) is not meant to be seen as such, a lot of people believe in that ship. And even Sasha Alexander (Maura Isles) seems to have no problem with the idea of Rizzles. It’ll never happen, I know that … most Rizzles shippers known that. The same goes for Swan Queen. rizzlesBut does that mean that I will stop shipping it – No. Of course not. Does that mean that we – Swan Queen shippers – should get hate from for instance Outlaw Queen (Regina Mills & Robin Hood) shippers? No of course not!

The hate seems to be even worse if the show, book or movie in particular steers the public in two opposite directions. For instance The Hunger Games were Katniss is torn between Gale and Peeta. And she isn’t the only one, the fandom is divided as well. Or True Blood were Sookie is constantly torn between the many men in her life.

Why can’t we just be part of a fandom and stay civil to each other? Despite of who we love, or would love to see together on a show? If you don’t like femmeslash or the idea of a certain couple  there is a simple solution – ignore it! If you don’t like a ship move on! It’s not that hard! Is it?

Hate against characters

But the worst kind of fandom hate – in my eyes – is hating a character and therefore hating the person portraying that character. I’m sure it happens in each and every fandom, but let’s focus on one fandom here.

jemilyCriminal Minds, I love that show. I really do. But a lot has happened with this show over the years. A lot of it which has been very publicly fought over and I have been part of that. I was part of the fans who tweeted and retweeted messages to make the network see that the choices they were making were wrong, especially the way they handled everything. A couple of years ago with that whole firing and rehiring AJ Cook and Paget Brewster thing. And for once the fandom worked together to make the network and everyone involved know what we thought of their way of handling things. Which eventually resulted in the rehiring of both AJ Cook and Paget Brewster. But sometimes too much has happened and Paget Brewster unfortunately (yet very understandably) choose leave the show. During this time when the shit hit the fan, CBS hired Rachel Nichols as a replacement for AJ Cook.

First mistake – in my eyes – is that they use the word replace because that is the wrong word specifically in this situation. She was not replacing AJ Cook since that would imply that she was going to be playing Jennifer Jareau and that was not what was going on. They basically traded AJ Cook in for a younger model (harsh but true). They should have used the words ‘Rachel Nichols is joining the show’ sounds less harsh especially when the fandom is in uproar. The whole situation regarding Rachel Nichols was handles so badly that I felt sorry for her. She received so much hate from the fandom for joining the show at that moment in time. On the internet, in comments and blogs and on twitter. There was a lot of pain and sadness going around in the fandom because of everything that happened but that gives you no free pass to hate a woman who didn’t do anything wrong.

Worst thing is that she received even more hate when the episodes that she was in aired. Her role was very badly written – looked to me like a rush job – and they simultaneously decided that they should give Paget Brewster’s character Emily Prentiss more screen time than they had initially intended. Probably partly to soothe the uproar in the fandom. Because we – the fandom – were making it very clear through twitter, blogs and other outlets what we thought of the situation. So Rachel Nichols was screwed before she even started. And then she was fired, thrown aside like a piece of trash in my opinion.

AJ Cook came back, she signed a new deal and she has been part of the Criminal Minds team since that moment. Paget Brewster however was forced to come back, she didn’t want to, that much was obvious. She was done with the show. And who could really blame her, I wouldn’t want to work for people who treated me like crap either. She did another season of Criminal Minds and left again, this time because she wanted to leave.

Jeanne Tripplehorn was added to the cast, she’s a great actress but again the fandom started with the hate because she was replacing Paget Brewster … yes, again that word replacing was used.Jlo

And now Jeanne Tripplehorn is leaving after a short two season stint and it’s Jennifer Love Hewitt who’s receiving hate because she’s joining the show as a new series regular. I personally couldn’t be more surprised by that turn of events, I’d never expected that she would even be considered. She’s a wonderful actress – but I might not be the best judge of that because I’ve seen a lot of shows she has been part of. I religiously watched Party of Five (1994) and the spin off Time of Your Life (1999), Ghost Whisperer (2005) and The Client List (2012). That is a grand total of 250 forty five minute episodes which I have seen that Jennifer Love Hewitt was part of and I enjoyed watching them so I might be a little biased. But I’m looking forward to seeing her step into this new adventure and hope that the fandom will give her a chance. A chance she certainly deserves. Let’s remember that Paget Brewster – who we fought so hard to keep  – actually joined in Season 2 after Lola Glaudini left.

One final sort of fandom hate…

A character is written by a writer, good stories need all kinds of characters. Even bad characters, characters we might hate for their ideas or actions. And those roles need to be portrayed by someone, usually good actors or they wouldn’t be able to pull it off. But really is that a reason to hate the person who portrays that particular character? Of course not! We need them! Imagine, what would Game of Thrones be without characters like Cersei or Joffrey Lannister. But that doesn’t mean that we should hate the person behind the character, it’s kind of sick to ‘hate’ a person because of a role he or she plays.

I’ve hated characters – and that’s fine. You can’t like everyone, certainly not when the roles portrayed are meant to gross you out for one reason or another. An example is Nicholas Brendon, he used to be Xander on Buffy. Many people my age grew up watching that show. Years later he suddenly appeared on Criminal Minds – which we’ve already established is one of my favorite shows – as Penelope Garcia‘s boyfriend in a similar kind of role. A nerdy but very likable character. During that same time he also showed up in another show, Private Practice, were he brutally attacked and raped Charlotte. The role was so different, the brutality of the actions and the way it was filmed creeped me out so much just thinking about it gives me shivers. And even though I had trouble seeing that good guy Kevin on Criminal Minds shortly after I watched those scenes on Private Practice. Those scenes really gave grossed me out, but Nicholas Brendon is not to blame. He played a role. However that doesn’t say anything about the person behind it.

 

In any case, I have been irritated a lot by all of the hate I’ve seen and I really needed to get this off my chest. I didn’t think that it would take almost 2000 words to write this down.

And I really hope that we as fans can find it in our hearts to unite as a fandom, and leave all the hate behind us. In the end we are all fans of the same fandom despite of who we might ship so please let’s keep that in mind.