Saturday, May 14, 2011

Should We Be Ashamed of Ourselves?

Wow, another "just Han" pic.  We need to be careful, we may be making some sort of statement here.

So, anyway, Zyra and I were talking the other day about what great lengths we go through NOT to be discovered as Han and Leia fanatics.  We both came to the conclusion that it is fairly silly that we are so worried about being discovered.  It's not as if we are committing a crime.  We aren't stalking young kids and trying to give them candy with razor blades in it.  We aren't stealing anything or cheating on our significant others.  It's all rather funny when you think about.  (Which I did.)

So, all that got me thinking about when and where everyone else writes their fanfic stories.  If most of us are so deathly afraid of getting found out, where do you write?  When do you write?  And where do you keep your stories?

First of all, I don't even like to write in front of my husband, even though he knows what a nerd I am and knows that I write Star Wars stories.  I find it a little disconcerting to write with anyone in the same room with me, especially if I'm writing a 'special' scene.  Man, when I'm writing those scenes it feels like the walls have eyes.  But I have been known to sit on the sofa with both of my kids and write while 'watching' Hannah Montana or other such quality television.  (You all have discovered my secret, everyone switch to Disney Channel right now!)

Second of all, I can write just about anywhere.  I don't need to be sitting at a desk.  (And let's just clarify when I say 'write' I don't mean a pen and paper - we are talking about typing on a laptop.)  I have written in my bed, lying back with my computer on my bent knees, on the sofa, at the dining room table and I even write at a desk sometimes while I'm at lunch at work (I always close my door.)  Where I am doesn't seem to matter as much to me as who is around me.

Third, I keep all my secret Star Wars stuff on a thumb drive that I backup to my personal laptop at home.  (No, I don't have Star Wars stories on my work computer!)  I carry this little purple thumb drive around with me like it's made of solid gold.  I have nightmares sometimes about losing it.  Not really about losing my writing, because I back it up, but of somebody else plugging it into their computers and finding all of my stuff!

If someone requests to borrow my computer, I freeze up.  It's not just a matter of deleting my history.  I have a toolbar full of shortcuts to Han and Leia pages, my background is Star Wars, my screensaver is Star Wars.  It's just all too much to hide!  But, honestly I don't try TOO hard to hide my love of Star Wars in general, I save all that work for hiding the fact that I write all these stories.  I think that would push it over the edge for my friends.  But maybe not.  I'll probably never know.

Sometimes when I'm driving I'll get a story idea (or in the middle of the night) and I'll record it on my voice recorder on my iPhone.  Those things I CANNOT wait to type up and delete.  Somebody accidentally listening to that would be mortifying.  "And then Han says to Leia..."  Oh yes, my friends would jump all over that!

So, where do you guys write?  Does anyone else know that you do?  Do you also go to great lengths to hide your dirty little secret?  And finally, what do you think?  Should we be ashamed of ourselves???


  1. I like to go outside and write if the weather is decent. Otherwise I'll either sit on my couch or lay in bed. I have a hard time writing when anyone is around...of course one time I wrote in the waiting room of a hospital. Even then I felt like, "Omg, they know". It was ridiculous, every time a nurse came through the door that was directly next to me, I minimized the window. Like I was getting caught with porn or something.

    No one knows I write or even read it. I definitely don't hide my Star Wars love though. I'm not ashamed of walking into a Toys 'R' Us to scour action figures, and people see my fanart (well, most of it ;D), but fanfiction? Forget it!

    I just don't think anyone would understand, and there's a chance I'd go from super fan to completely nuts, you-should-seriously-get-counseling-for-that.

    Lol, the voice recorder thing. I just keep all of my stuff in some random folder, within a folder, on my laptop. I figure no one would bother to ever click on it.

    Should we be ashamed? I don't think so. It really isn't any different than any other, uh, 'fan' medium. It just feels, in my opinion, the most personal. It's difficult to share.

    With that said, I still feel the compulsive need to hide it. :P

    By the way, is it just me or did all of the comments disappear in the last post?

  2. I've literally this minute come to the conclusion that I'm not ashamed of being slightly fanatical about Han and Leia or Star Wars in general but rather of writing. I'm pretty blatant of my love for Star Wars, I constantly wear t-shirts, my room is bordering on museum status, I even have a tattoo. I think if any of my friends are oblivious to it at this point, I'd have to worry about them.

    I don't like people knowing that I write, though. It doesn't matter what, I feel like they would laugh, and be like, "YOU write, seriously?" Although two of my friends do know but one of them writes herself and the other lives with me.

    I can't say I've ever used voice recorder on my iPhone. I did write in the notes section and someone found it so I quickly got a writing app with a password! I can write anywhere, as long as I have either my iPhone, iPad or laptop. I can't write on paper, that would be weird! I don't mind writing with people in the room as long as I can tilt the screen away from them so they can't read it! :)

    Yes, we should be ashamed! ;) Just kidding, I think like Elivagar said, it's personal, if something is important to me, I'd like to keep it safe from ridicule!

  3. Ok, Digs: describe the tattoo, please!

    Second, we had some technical difficulties so posts may have disappeared from the last topic.

    Lastly, I guess writing is a whole lot more personal than just wearing a tshirt or watching a movie. But I still don't think we should be ashamed!

  4. Well, I was thinking one day about how cool Darth Maul looks and I thought, why the hell not? So I have a red and black face now... ;) Okay, so that's not true. I just have some writing in Aurebesh. Kind of boring after the image of a Darth Maul face!

  5. I'm like Digs, I'm just ashamed of writing in general...I always have been, since the days of my 88-page "epic fantasy" (that was mostly a Tolkien ripoff) in middle school. It doesn't have much to do with the fanfiction aspect as far as I'm concerned, I just don't want people to read my writing and use it to psychoanalyze me. I never thought I'd say this, but "poor George Lucas!" Apparently he's a misogynist, he has serious father issues and an amputee fetish and is a good old-fashioned racist on top of it... or so say all of these people who have never met him. Maybe some of that's true and maybe it isn't, but either way, the guy gets judged based on his creative works, and especially since I write a lot of angst, I don't want my family and friends to think there's something wrong with me!

    I live in Japan and my husband doesn't speak much English, so it's not too much of a problem for me keeping files on our desktop computer. He might be able to tell that it's a Star Wars story, but he doesn't care enough to bother mentally translating the rest. And my kids are too young to read much more than three-letter words. I do have to delete my browser history when any of my family comes to visit, because I do some pretty weird Google searches in the name of research...but other than that, I guess I have it easy. :)

  6. I agree with Digs. Everyone knows I am a Han and Leia fan... well more so a Han fan because I have had a crush on him since before I could talk but it's a given when you are my friend. It's like I am introduced as "Hey! This is my friend, doesn't matter what her name is because she is a huge Star Wars fan and can tell you anything you want to know about it and Han Solo in particular. Go!" But that's not the embarrassing part at all. To me the geeky part is that fact that I spend most of my free time reading and writing these stories that only a small population of the world care about or even understand. I mean its pretty geeky that we care sooooo much about two fictional characters but we do and we cant change that. Whether its sick or not that's just how it is.

    I write when no one is around which is very seldom where I live. Me and my roommate are best friends who live together so the only time we arent together is when either of us is at work. And I store all of my stories as drafts in my email because I am surrounded by very computer savvy people so I would get found out in about five seconds flat. I also delete my browser history on my computer and my phone at least ten times a day. So needless to say that NO ONE knows what I do. Actually, now that I've said that, my roommate and I have been getting into a lot of fights lately because I want to write and he is around too much. I tell him all the time to go out with friends without me but it always turns into a big argument. He actually believes I have a porn addiction and should seek help. If he only knew. To be fair though he isn't far from the truth, lol. And I think that's probably why it's embarrassing for me because I believe him. And not only him but I do have one friend that knows and she is totally cool with it but she has said "Yea, dude, it's not far from a porn addiction." Do I just have ignorant friends? Am I being brain washed into thinking I am committing some sort of sin?

    Maybe that and the fact that this is the only part of my life I get even remotely girly about. I think a lot of people here have admitted to that but its just weird. I don't ever get sappy or romantic or emotional with boyfriends and I hate it when they do those types of things but if I read a story where Han is all romantic to Leia my heart melts and I turn into a little school girl. Maybe I just haven't found my Han Solo. God knows I have said those exact words to almost all of my boyfriends. But it's true.

    I have admitted to a lot of people that I just live my life through them. You always get your happy ending, no one gets hurt, and it's a lot of fun. Life outside of that is pretty boring and disappointing so I guess it an escape for us. Like some people listen to music, or exercise, or watch TV or other movies, it's just our way of getting away from the world. Should we be ashamed? I really have no idea. Some days I do feel ashamed and others I don't so I guess I just stay in the shadows no matter what I feel that day because after that you cant go back. But in all honesty I don't think anyone here is going to rat anyone else out. Is it also weird that we trust complete strangers with our deep dark secrets? I dunno. But that's my two cents.

  7. Sorry, I'm very late to this, but it was an extremely busy weekend. You also forgot to mention the fact that when you "snuck" out to meet me you lied to your family about where you were going. Now, that probably had more to do with everyone thinking you were crazy for meeting ANYONE in real life you'd only known through the internet, but I still find it funny. And for the record, if I wasn't staying by myself in a hotel that night, I would've lied, too!

    I'd say that the fact that nobody knows I do this says that yeah, on some level I guess I'm ashamed of it. Is that the right word though? Maybe just embarrassed by it. It's the kind of thing that you can sort of get away with more when you're younger and "allowed" to advertise all of your pop culture likes with posters on your bedroom wall and little toys on your shelves. Until I was about 22 my room looked like an 11-year old could've lived in there if not for the much larger clothing. At some point you are forced to grow up.... or at least forced to put up the facade that you've grown up. I still have my toys packed away and like to look at them now and again. The mint-in-box stuff and the crap I got at Taco Bell during the re-releases. My best friend in high school was right there with me collecting that stuff, but it's hard to bring up these "childish" things to friends you've made as an adult.

    I don't think it's a big secret that I'm a Star Wars fan. From time to time I'll put some sort of Star Wars-related post on facebook and Empire Strikes Back is listed as one of my favorite movies on there (it should be everyone's!) My basement is a workout area but also the walls are lined with movie posters including at least two posters for each of the three REAL movies. There was one for Episode I that I got before it came up, but I put my new ESB poster over that one. There is also a book shelf down there with mostly all of the SW books I've accumulated over the past fifteen years. There are certainly other books, but SW definitely makes up the majority. A couple of times people will come down there and in the back of my mind I'm thinking that maybe they'll be a bit weirded out by the whole thing, but nobody has ever said anything about it. I don't think they paid any attention to the books and there are enough posters for other movies around that it really only seems more evident of me as a movie fan in general rather than just a Star Wars geek. I mean, if I went to someone's house and they had the Lord of the Rings trilogy and a couple of posters on the wall I wouldn't automatically assume they were completely obsessed with it and spent their free time writing fanfic. I think we tend to overreact to what people are going to think when they see these things and what sorts of conclusions they're going to draw.

    That said, I don't know what I would do if someone found the fanfic I've written. I guess I have some idea, because a few weeks ago I was sharing a hotel room with someone and I had this dream that she found some of my stories. It seriously was the worst nightmare I've had in... I don't even remember the last nightmare I had. I felt absolutely sick. And the feeling didn't go away for a while after I woke up. Again, you'd think I had just been found with child porn on my computer with the way I felt (there is no porn of any kind on my computer unless you count pics of Han and Leia kissing) Is it really that horrible of a thing?

    My wallpaper is not Star Wars. I'd definitely pick and choose which friends I'd wear any of my Star Wars shirts around. Some would appreciate it, some I know I'd get "the eyes" where they'd look at it and be thinking in their heads, "Really?"

  8. Yes, I went on for way too long and this required two posts...

    If I know for a fact someone will be using my computer I will hide my bookmarks and certainly delete my history. I have thought about hiding my stories on my secret e-mail address, the one that I don't have the password to saved to my computer, but when I go on someone else's computer I do not make a habit of snooping around in their files and I'd like to think that they wouldn't either. I also don't snoop in their bookmarks and look through their histories. Still, the paranoia persists! I have my documents all in a folder marks SW, which maybe isn't all that secretive, but again, I'd like to trust people enough not to be going through my stuff. Although I do like Elivagar's "Folder within a folder" idea. I've toyed with the flash drive thing, but then someone can just take the flash drive, and I also don't have to write on more than one computer. I went so far as to joke with Push on our meeting, "What if I died and they found all of my fanfic?" Of course, I'd have much bigger problems if I was dead, but still! Even worse would be some of the, um, M-rated material. I think most people would be shocked that I would write anything like that.

    As for where I write, I only like to write when I'm by myself. If someone comes in the room my concentration completely disappears. I can't really read with people in the room, either. Actually, maybe a book, even a SW one (depending on the peopel - family would not even give this a second thought) but not fanfic. I think once or twice I've written while sitting in an airport, but I'd say those cases are rare. I was in an airport just the other day at like 6am with almost nobody near the gate I was waiting at and I still felt uncomfortable just looking at some Star Wars sites.

    So, why is this different from any other hobby? Why can someone be obsessed with sports, say decorate their whole house with NASCAR stuff and it's totally fine and they feel no need to hide it? Maybe we fear it will be perceived as childish and silly. And yeah, maybe it is. But the funny thing I've noticed is that a whole lot more people than you think would appreciate or even use a good Star Wars reference. They just maybe aren't as open about it. Heck, just this past weekend I was at Disney World with a couple of people and we were just checking around the gift shop and we all collectively agreed that the Artoo version of this weird, spinning light-up toy was definitely the best version. People in their 30's and 40's, all making Artoo's head spin repeatedly. I was smiling much bigger on the inside.

    Lastly, like Jarik, it almost makes no sense to me that I am this caught up in this particular "romance" because I have almost zero interest in most of your typical romantic crap. I don't like romantic dramas, I'm so-so on romantic comedies, even less interested in those starring Julia Roberts, and I have absolutely no interest in reading a romance novel. But I could read sappy Han and Leia stories all day long. In fact, I have :)

    So, I think I'll probably just continue to hide it. Maybe more people would read and write fanfic if they were aware of its existence. I know I would never have known it existed without an unrelated internet search that led me to a fanfic site. Or maybe they'd still think it was incredibly dorky and whatever, to each his own. I wish I didn't have to hide it, but I just don't see it as being anything but fuel for ridicule, even if it was good-natured. And I bet I can blush even worse than Leia from the embarrassment, so it will all remain a (hopefully) well kept secret.

  9. This is a very interesting topic. Should I be ashamed? Well, before I answer anything, I'd like to share that I have approximately four Star Wars (OT) posters, a Star Wars shelf, an R2D2 Droid, and talking Han and Leia stand-ups. Yep. Life sized. In my room. For all to see. I wear my brothers Star Wars (and my own) t-shirts to school and one time I even did the braid thing around my head. My iPod is filled with John Williams and one time I had a debate with my Latin teacher who's in the army regarding Jedi and Sith's.

    My answer? No way. Sure, I'd be embarrassed if anyone found out I spend half my free time drawing pictures of Chewbacca (and checking back on this blog every day to see if there are any new posts) and reading the stuff you guys write. Oh yeah, and searching the internet for OT stuff. But yeah, it's not that much of a secret that I'm obsessed.

    In fact, I have this condition that reoccured this past week and forced me to stay in bed for the majority of my time. My friends gave me blueprints of Harrison Ford's home and home-made Jedi get-better-soon cards.

    I can see how this sort of thing might become a problem as I get older, but hey, if they have a problem with it... well, they lost out on knowing some pretty talented people. You guys really are amazing.

    Anyway, thank you for making this past week more endurable to me. If not for your stories... I might have died from boredom. There you go, you can officially tell your kids you saved a life!


  10. I find it really interesting how many of "us" (because you know, there's so many of us ;)) don't buy into the whole mushy romance thing, but we'll jump right on it if it's Han and Leia. Maybe its a coincidence, but it just surprises me. Before it was brought up, I think I just assumed everyone else was into that stuff. Oh, how judgmental of me.

  11. I have to agree. I assumed the same thing but now I think there is something to be said about a group of people who get mushy over two science fiction characters. Right?

  12. I think it's because it is just impossible to think of any couple even half as awesome as them. I think it's because they're NOT mushy. I read somewhere someone comparing Han and Leia's declarations of love to Anakin and Padme's. "I love you." "I know." As compared to... some ridiculously long monologue about beauty being intoxicating and blinded by love and blah, blah, make me puke, blah. They're both really independent and not even looking for anything when they wind up in love. I could go on, but I'm sure nobody wants to hear any more of my commentary!

  13. Their love is really natural. I think it's easy to identify with them too. Who hasn't found themselves falling for someone who they'd told themselves specifically NOT to? ;)

    I think it's a lot harder to "know how it feels" when you're watching someone spout a lot of gibberish about sand.

    There is one famous couple that Han and Leia can pretty easily be compared to, though (who, ironically, were my favorite fictional couple immediately before I got into SW). Did you know that the "I think you like me because I'm a scoundrel" scene was very, shall we say INSPIRED by Gone With the Wind?

  14. no there is no SW on my work computer but I have a Lego Yoda sitting on my monitor. My fanfics live on a thumb drive that lives in a zippered pocket in my wallet. and I shut down the screen in total embarrassment when anyone comes in the room while I am reading or writing fanfic. my niece reads and writes Harry Potter fics and I've never told HER that I do this, let alone anyone else. my husband has no idea I write fanfic but he benefits from the ideas I sometimes get when I'm writing a juicy scene.

    Then again I was raised Catholic. if I'm having fun I am pretty sure I am supposed to be ashamed of myself.

  15. Haha, yes, we are supposed to be ashamed of anything fun, aren't we?

    My niece is still young but only recently started writing poetry just because she likes to write. That would be kind of funny if she started writing fanfic for something. My nephew I love showing my comic books because he is totally obsessed with Star Wars, though still pretty young. I should probably be careful soon because even though he thinks I'm awesome, him telling other people the extent of my collection might not think it's so awesome!

    That is funny about your husband unknowingly benefiting even though he has no idea you write. Ah, so funny how far some of us go to hide it!

  16. Yes, I was raised catholic, too. Catholic school, nuns as teachers, Stations of the Cross every Friday during Lent and I can tell you, we should most definitely be ashamed of ourselves...

  17. while we're on the subject of being ashamed of ourselves... I totally convinced my son that Star Wars is way cooler than Transformers. And not just because, well, it is.

    But I won't pretend that I wasn't secretly hoping for this day to come: My son says he's asking Santa for a Lego Millenium Falcon set.

  18. I sure hope that didn't take much convincing. I have a nephew who LOVES Star Wars. I love when he visits because he helps me validate the fact that I'm a grown woman who has Star Wars comic books. And NOT ones that I've had since I was a kid. But I love showing them to him. Maybe someday I'll let him take them and read them, but he's too young now and I'm afraid he'd mess them up!

    Good to hear he already knows what he wants for Christmas. And what a great request! I can't wait until my nephew is old enough for the bigger Lego sets. I can only get him the really small ones right now. I end up putting them together anyway...

  19. Aside from the thumb drive, you and I are apparently very similar. Most of my writing is done lying on my bed or at the island in the kitchen, but if someone is around, I close the screens on my computer - often times, even if they're on the other side of the screen and only there for a minute. I'm very paranoid. It's all kind of pointless, though, since Harrison Ford's face is always plastered on my desktop in various collages.

  20. I can't blame you, Push, for having nightmares about losing the thumb drive! I did break mine and it is a nightmare. There's nothing that embarrasing that I should be afraid of someone else to discover... Because it's inpossible, the drive is unreadable... I'm just sad for all that stuff missing. I found these lovely groups in Facebook called Retro Star Wars and Star Wars Archives. I spent all my Christmas downloading all those lovely OT pictures and now it's all gone... There was something other important stuff, too... Well, that was quite embarrasing to become aware of my Mom asking WHAT was I doing. I spent the Christmas at my parents' house, by the computer in the kitchen. For some reason, I had to make sure I download not only Leia+Han stuff in case someone pays attention behind my back... :P

    When I was a kid, I loved writing stories. It wasn't fanfiction, just about life of some made-up kids of my age. We didn't have computer, so I wrote them with pen or typewriter on a real paper. I have nosy Mom and Granny so I was almost paranoid hiding my notebooks everywhere in my room. Unfortunately I always ended up destroying them, because they were a huge burden to me. I was a messy kid so I always had to be afraid of them to go clean up my room and find something...

  21. I forgot to mention that almost everyone who knows me, knows my obsession on Star Wars. My family knows also that I read fanfics, and I haven't hidden it from anyone else, they just haven't seen my reading it. It was my little left behind sister who found first and started to read stories about Tekken IN ENGLISH!!!!!! It's not even our language but somehow she managed to do it and now she seems to be doing it fine. :O She mentioned me there's also Star Wars stories and someday I visited the site and found out I'm not the only H/L fan! So I read even on my parents' kitchen computer. But I assume they think it's all about shooting and space traveling?!?!?!

    What I'm hiding is that Leia is SOOOO my favorite character and most of the SW pictures I've downloaded are Leia or Leia+Han. It sounds very embarrasing, I don't know why. And that I read love/sex stories about Star Wars... I guess my parents have never even thought they exists. :D And I want to keep it that way.

    I wouldn't be ashamed about writing in general because I do it a lot and have always done. But if I someday dare to write ff, that would be very hidden in a subfolder of a subfolder......

    Jarrik, that's just like me! :D "I don't ever get sappy or romantic or emotional with boyfriends and I hate it when they do those types of things but if I read a story where Han is all romantic to Leia my heart melts and I turn into a little school girl."