Category Archive – What’s Going On

Week of Geek: The First Ever International Fanworks Day

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Wassup Geeklings?

So last week, while most of the known world was gearing up for Valentine’s Day and all the cute little red hearts and sugary sweets that come with it, there was a quiet little occasion on the 15th that kinda flew under the radar.  It was so quiet that even I, your resident queen of all things geek (if I do say so myself; I know I have competition in that title, so let me pretend I won) didn’t hear about it until afterwards.  Granted, it was the first year, so perhaps it’ll make waves if it continues.

On February 15th we had the first ever International Fanworks Day.

‘Say what now?’ you might be thinking, or saying aloud to your computer screen (I won’t judge).  Yep, some of our fellow nerds are trying to get a regular thing going to bring awareness to and celebrate all the art, writing, music, videos and other stuff (fanwork) fans make (for free, ’cause copyrights and just ’cause they love it so much) in order to connect to and build on their favorite fandoms.

And I for one, not surprisingly, wholeheartedly support this.  As you get deeper into being a geek, a nerd or whatnot, and you spend more than 2 or 3 minutes on the internet looking up your fandoms, you’ll start to see the fan art and the fan writings and just…everything that people way more talented than me come up with.  The results can be truly gorgeous, interesting, funny and/or surprising.  Even downright shocking.  It really builds on the imaginary worlds we embrace so completely.

It got me thinking about the one bit of fanwork I have actually dabbled in; Fanfiction (or Fan Fiction, depending on how liberal your auto-correct is).  If my writing regularly on a blog hasn’t made it quite clear yet, I love to write.  And I’m definitely one of those people who, as soon as a good bit of fiction digs it’s claws into my mind in a death grip, starts to ponder other scenarios, other pairings and other endings that involve the characters I’ve come to love.  Ever since I was a kid, long before there was ever an official outlet for this kind of thing (I still remember when we didn’t have a computer in the house; yeah, I’m old), I’ve been making up stories in my head featuring various heroes and villains I have come across in movies, TV shows, books, etc.  And when I was first introduced to fanfiction I realized I was definitely not alone in this, and it seemed like a perfect outlet for all the stuff running around in my head.

While I have published a couple of things online, most of what I write will not likely ever see the light of day.  First of all, I have a hard time finishing a whole story (I’m more of a ‘various scenes’ type of writer).  Secondly, I don’t like to post anything unless it’s complete or in the process of being completed and I think it’s good enough to be shown in public.  So yeah, most of what I write is just for me, just for my enjoyment and as a bit of practice to try to keep my writing skills sharp.  And that’s cool too.  It’s totally up to the fan what they want to post and what they don’t.

Fanfiction (and fanworks in general) has it’s haters.  It’s not real writing, you’re just stealing other people’s ideas, why can’t you come up with something original, you’re just living out fantasies, holy cow that’s really weird, (OK, some of them really are) etc.  Darn haters!  But it’s been around A LOT longer than people tend to think; people wrote stories about William Shakespeare, Jane Austen and Arthur Conan Doyle characters back when they were first published.  And there has been a lot of study on the benefits of fanfiction (click here and here for a couple of interesting articles).  It’s slowly becoming a more widely accepted form of creativity, and the same can be said for all forms of fan art.

Whether you want to expand on a character’s story arc, place the players in totally new scenarios, do kind of a ‘day in the life’ of a team (I love stories of the Avengers just hanging out with each other), crossover shows or books or books AND shows AND movies, get your OTP (One True Pairing; let’s face it, you can have more than one) to finally get together (there are COUNTLESS pairings out there.  I have had many favorites.), or just about whatever you like, give writing fanfiction a try.  If you’re going to post anything be sure to check out any rules and regulations for the various fanfic sites out there.  And one good place to start looking at fanart is Pinterest; there’s great artwork on there for many fandoms, and you can check out our page too while you’re there.

For a little more info on all this, we’ve got a couple of things to check out.  On Hoopla there’s a video called We Are Wizards, which is about some of the big players in the Harry Potter creative community.  Bronies is a great documentary about all the people who make up the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fandom.  There’s a book called Career Building Through Fan Fiction Writing, which has some tips and history.  And one of my most favoritist books ever, Fangirl, is all about someone who loves their fanfiction.

There’s a big world of fan love out there people!  And crazy, but that’s par for the course.

Until next time, End of Line.

Farewell Alan Rickman

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IMG_2301As most of you may know, Alan Rickman passed away today at the early age of 69 due to cancer (Avada Kedavra to you cancer!).  Many fans around the world, including Potterheads, are mourning such a terrible loss.  I can truly say that we lost an incredible gifted man, who brought Severus Snape (and many other characters/roles) more to life.

Unlike most of my friends, coworkers, etc., I did not grow up reading Harry Potter, nor did I watch the films when they were released. I just didn’t get the whole obsession so I ignored every bit of it as much as I could.  It wasn’t till a year ago, when my best friend convinced me to read the series.  It took me a while before I could start and get a hang of it.  It was something entirely different from anything I read before.  I was in my last year of university, hustling to get work done and reading a page or two every chance I could get.  So yes, it took me a lot longer to read than most.

With every book, chapter, spell and character that came along, I fell more in love with the series.  But, it wasn’t till the third book, Prisoner of Azkaban when I realized I was deeply drawn in.  It was that moment when I was introduced to Sirius that I knew I had to keep reading.  Of course, there were several characters I wanted to just strangle – Dolores Umbridge, Draco Malfoy, Lucius Malfoy, Snape, etc.  However, they each played a significant role that I would never, ever dare suggest to change.

The series was a deep emotional rollercoaster for me.  When I really think about it, I think if I were to have read the series at an early age in my life, I wouldn’t have had such a deep connection or appreciation as I do now.  I’ll be honest with you – I turned 28 when I read the first novel.  So you can just imagine, a girl at 28 with so much personal history, emotional drama, relationships etc.  I understood exactly how Hermione, Ron, Harry and Snape felt.  I felt excited when feelings started to flourish, I cried the moment we said goodbye Sirius, I cried the moment we said goodbye to Dumbledore and I cried when we said goodbye to Snape.

My feelings for Snape changed dramatically once I figured out the truth – I felt sorry for him as I would for any friend of mine.  I understood his love and his reasons for being so angry.  So today, when I discovered that Alan Rickman passed on, I couldn’t help but remember those feelings I had when I fell in love with Snape.

So thank you Alan for making Snape, and the Harry Potter world that much more real for me.

/*

Lumos

More picks from the Pleasant Ridge Teen Book Club

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This month the Pleasant Ridge Teen book Club recommends:

Elizabeth – Shades of Grey Jasper Fforde

Shelly – Written in the Stars Aisha Saeed

Paula – Shadowfell Juliet Marillier

Juliana Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall Katie Allender

Kaitlyn Scorpio Races Maggie Stiefvater

Shruthi We Were Liars E Lockhart

Talia Lying Game Sara Shepard

Jennifer Sword Art Online Aincrad (Volume 1) Reki Kawahara

Theepa Unquiet Past Kelley Armstrong

Maya Dead Girls Don’t Lie Jennifer Shaw Wolf

Dina Going Bovine Libba Bray

Katia Winter Marissa Meyer

Sherlock Holmes and The Mystery of the Locked Rooms (Escape The Library)

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Sherlock3 

Come John! They have issued us a challenge. We accept!

John Watson: We do?

Sherlock: Yes, yes. Come on! Time waits for no man so devil take the hindmost and let us be off!

John Watson: But where are we going? Sherlock, details! I can’t read your mind remember. And will you slow down!

Sherlock: Slow down? The countdown is on! We are running out of time! We need to get to the library! There are mysteries to be solved John. Mysteries!

John Watson: Well, yes of course, but what mysteries? Which library? What time? And why are we running? For heaven’s sake Sherlock for the last time I am a doctor not a psychic!

Sherlock: John, do you not know? How can you not know? Faster man!Sherlock John

John Watson: To be quite honest I don’t. Would you mind explaining? What are you? Part gazelle? Will you please slow down!

Sherlock: The library John! The Vaughan Public Libraries have issued a challenge to solve the mysteries of the Locked Rooms! They expect people to solve whatever maniacally clever contraptions they have devised in hopes of preventing us from escaping. They want us to Escape the Library John. Do you know what that means!

John Watson: For once spending Saturday evening locked up with nice regular people instead of ones trying to kill us?

Sherlock: YES! You always go on about how we should get out more often so now we can. It’ll be fun John. Just think of the possibilities! Think of the riddles. The codes. The cypher keys. The encrypted messages. The ticking time bomb!

John Watson: Wait…what?!

Sherlock: I meant that metaphorically. It adds to the suspense.Johnlock

John Watson: I’m sure it does. But what time does it start? Or rather when?

Sherlock: Saturday. The 28th. Of November. After hours only. At the Bathurst Clark and the Pierre Berton libraries. The message said they lock the doors at 7:00pm and it is supposed to end at the final stroke of midnight. Five hours locked in with strangers, books…and librarians.

John Watson: Really?

Sherlock: Yes. Really. Also, there will be food. And some sort of prize. And a movie, for those that prefer that sort of thing.

John Watson: So a regular Saturday night out then?

Sherlock: Indeed.
Sherlock

John Watson: Well. That doesn’t sound so bad. But, do they know we’re coming?

Sherlock: Of course they do. I have signed us up months ago. I do not leave situations like this to mere chance.

John Watson: And you’re only telling me about this now?

Sherlock: You have always said you wanted a surprise that would not be the death of you. So…surprise.

John Watson: How considerate of you Sherlock. I do believe you’re starting to grow as a person. But before we go promise me that you’ll give others the chance to solve some of the problems.

Sherlock: What? Why? No!

John Watson: Sherlock. We talked about this.

Sherlock: sigh Fine.  
Sherlock

Can you Escape From The Library?

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Mission impossible

This message will self-destruct in 30…29…28…27…

Your Mission: Escape from the Library

Details: You find yourself locked in a room with a handful of others. You may know them, you may not. But you all have one thing in common. The door is locked and the clock is ticking. Use your individual strengths and skills to team up and figure out how to solve puzzles, decode encryptions, and get the key before the clock runs down.

Outcome: Impossible? Only one way to find out.

Reward: Food, prizes, movies, and more. Come for the rooms, stay for the fun. That is if you make it out of course.

Date: Saturday November 28th, 2015

Time: 7:00pm – 12:00 am (After hours until midnight)

Location: Bathurst Clark Resource Library and the Pierre Berton Resource Library

Where to Sign-up: Pre-register at the Service Desk and do it soon because spots are filling up fast.

Price: Free

5…4…3…2…1…Tom Cruise