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In the face of well-meaning folks who are tipsy with ‘Being Realistic About Their Offspring’s Prospects For Being A Writer’

Your parents were no good at being parents before they had kids, they were no good at raising toddlers before they did, and they were no good at raising children, tweens, or teens, before they did. Yet that didn’t stop them from doing it anyway. They had no victories or successes before they tried, but they continued because they loved you. It was hard, grueling work, some days were filled with tears, snot and shit everywhere. Sometimes the object of their affection puked all over them, broke their prized vase, clogged up the sink, and snuck into the kitchen in the middle of the night to schlurp whipped cream straight from the can (admit it – we’ve ALL done that one! 😀 ) But none of this adversity or unsettling amount of noxious bodily fluids being spewed all over the place, were enough to deter them from the course they had set upon – parenthood. No one told them they couldn’t be parents because they were utterly inexperienced at the beginning, or because they weren’t being paid handsomely to do it. They did it for love and that is more than enough to go on. If you parent then you’re a parent. If you write, then you’re a writer.  Some things don’t depend on qualifications, they just are.

On Fanfiction & Fanart

Let me state for the record:  I totally support fanfiction and fanart.

And as long as I’m done with a ‘verse, which will either be stated on the work itself, or on my website (or you could, ya know, just ask me), then I’d LOVE to see the fanworks you create!  But please don’t take it personally if I decline to read/view your creation until after I’m officially done with the ‘verse it’s part of.

But in the meantime, by all means, carry on! (my wayward son….sorry, couldn’t resist! 🙂 ).

But I digress…

Yes, there may be themes and activities in fanworks, just as in canonworks that may offend someone’s delicate sensibilities.  Appropriately tagged, it shouldn’t be a problem, and if it’s not someone’s cup of tea, well, there are plenty of different teas in the world. There are also plenty of ways to easily avoid such fanworks.

And I’m not so deluded as to think that just because someone’s written or read A/B/O dynamic, knotting fic, that that’s what they’re into in real life.  I’m not going to label them as a “nutter” or hold them up in mocking derision as something to be made fun of.  Even if it’s not my cup of tea, that’s someone’s creation, something they’ve invested a fair amount of time, effort and heart in, and I’m not going to crap all over that.  I wouldn’t want someone doing that to one of my creations.

All I ask, as can reasonably be expected of potentially triggery/nsfw works is that they be appropriately tagged.  AO3 has tags out the wazoo.  Tags are easily done.  Tags can be easily (in most cases) used to avoid what we don’t want (ourselves or our kids) to see.

In a live & let live/Golden Rule kind of world, works are tagged, and those who prefer not to need brain bleach would make the minimum effort required to avoid Things That Must Not Be Seen.

So send me links, and if what you’re showing me isn’t tagged but should be, put some tags or warnings in your link send, so I can decide for myself if I want to take a look or not.  If it’s ‘spoiler-y’ (still a ‘verse I’m working in), then save it for the future when I’m done with that ‘verse.  Please don’t shove it in my face if you happen to run into me – sorry, but that also goes for your Auntie Myrna’s selfies from that S&M club.

Oh!  Just thought of something – I really don’t want to put my autograph on someone else’s fanwork without permission, so unless you can produce the artist’s go-ahead in writing, I’ll have to decline doing that.

Storytellers: Ancient Tribal Functions vs. Modern Celebrity

"Storyteller Under Sunny Skies," a clay sculpture by Rose Pecos-Sun Rhodes (Jemez Pueblo), 1993, in the permanent collection of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

“Storyteller Under Sunny Skies,” a clay sculpture by Rose Pecos-Sun Rhodes (Jemez Pueblo), 1993, in the permanent collection of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

In ancient times, storytellers, writers, singers, dancers, musicians, actors, costume-makers were considered the intermediaries between the Divine/Higher Power(s) and the main population.

From Greek theatre to Native American dances/mythology, those tribal storytellers had a status in society of priest/teacher/doctor/counselor.  They were *part* of the tribe, necessary to the tribe members’ wellbeing in so many ways.  Whether beseeching the Divine for protection, good hunting/harvest, helping their tribe experience and express communal joys and sorrows, guiding tribemembers in their emotional/mental/spiritual/social development, they did so in a way that was engaging and entertaining for their group.  Unlike modern celebrities, however, the entertainment aspect never became the be-all, end-all of their endeavors, and they did not disengage or disconnect themselves from the people they ministered to.

They were available and accessible on a day-to-day basis, and whether in public performance, or a gathering of whomever happened to be around when a ‘teachable moment’ arose, the experience of their gifts was meant to be a communal one, that would create, enhance and strengthen the community’s bonds.

That is a very extreme difference from today’s celebrity figures who have become icons to worship, in and of themselves, and the sole driving force behind the dissemination of celebrity product is the acquisition of money for the massive corporations and their subsidiaries who promote them.  To that end, the base channeling of music, media and the persons of the celebrities themselves in such a way as to primarily stimulate sexuality and escapism has greatly reduced the innate and inherent value of those storytellers’ gifts.

In fact, a great deal of the entertainment ‘industry’ like Ouroboros, is to promote/feed itself, to generate more hype with awards shows, interviews and paparazzi and similar pageantry to keep the ‘celebrity status’ juggernaut viable and lucrative for the celebrities themselves, as well as the capitalistic behemoths behind them.

Yes, there are still some scant shreds of the original tribal functionality of storytelling still gasping for breath, but that is almost by accident than by design, no matter the original good intentions the storytellers may have possessed at the start of their careers.

We, as a species, are starving for those stray crumbs, however diluted they have become.

As an example:  Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” became the rallying anthem of everyone hearing it, who did not fit the ‘sheeple norm’ that society has ‘soma-tized’ itself into, but it resounded most strongly among those with alternative orientations/genders, and served as a communal expression of support and a rallying point for solidarity.


The wikipedia article for Born This Way, however, seems mainly focused on the commercial success, rather than on the message of the song itself and any impact it had on society and peoples’ lives.

Due to the proliferation and accessibility of social media, a number of celebrities, who otherwise would have been relegated to the background in favor of more commercially viable performers, have managed to forge more organic and personal connections to their fans.

They regularly engage with their audience via Twitter, Tumblr, convention appearances and Vlogging, building a community of engaged (tribe) group members who often supportively focus as much on each other, as on the celebrity they are interested in.  Thus the cathartic communal bonding experience catalyzed by tribal storytellers for their tribe members resurfaces, thrives and expands.

Indeed, in the era of increasing illegal free file-sharing, the storytellers who forge in-depth social/tribal connections with their audience may experience greater career longevity/financial success over the long-term than their more immediate commercially ‘successful’ counterparts who have become merely another in a long line of ‘faddish’ products manufactured by a bottom-line-driven industry.

Additional Reading:

Celebrities attempting (even unknowingly) to fulfill ancient tribal functions:

Wil Wheaton

Misha Collins

Orlando Jones

John & Hank Green