Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Treatise on Female Geekery

Back in my day...

Isn't that a terrible way to start a story?  I don't care; this story warrants it.

Back in my day, it was definitely not cool to be a geek.  It wasn't cool to like Star Wars more than Saved by the Bell, or arcade games more than Beverly Hills, 90210.  You didn't dress up as Captain Kirk for Halloween; you dressed as a sexy nurse, or a sexy ninja, or a sexy nun.  Your Friday nights were spent partying at the football game, not hunched around a coffee table in your parents' basement, rolling a strangely-shaped die.

And yet, in that harsh, anti-geek environment, a few of us managed to thrive.  Maybe it was because we weren't that popular anyway.  Maybe it was being geeks that made us not-that-popular.  I don't know.  Frankly, I don't care.  After my parents' divorce, some of the happiest times I had were hanging out with my geek friends, being geeky and doing geeky things and dreaming geeky dreams.

We geek chicks banded together, the few of us that there were in high school, and quietly read our comic books, designed Jedi costumes, and wrote our own fanfics.  Now, we're the ones blowing people's minds with incredible art at Renaissance fairs, dabbling in miniatures, and writing, writing, writing.  And if no one ever remembers us, who cares?  We left a legacy.  We were Geek Girls before it was cool.  We were HIPSTER fangirls!

I don't know when it became cool to be a sci-fi fangirl.  Maybe when sci-fi got tall, leggy, British, and developed incredible cheekbones and brooding personality quirks.  I think that's funny, you know; I'm as big a fan of the BBC as anyone (I watched Are You Being Served? while I was still too young to understand all the innuendo), but I think it's funny that suddenly the concept of the "fangirl" came into play with the onset of Pinterest, facebook...with Tom Hiddleston/Benedict Cumberbatch/David Tennant/Matt Smith as the objects of fangirl admiration/adoration/obsession.

Wait a minute, here, chickens.

A real Geek Girl is not a fan only of the dazzling blue eyes, nor the spectacularly whimsical hair, nor the oh-so-delicious accent of the actor!  Not that there's a problem with that...but a true Science Fiction devotee, an honest-to-goodness advocate of the wonders, joys, and creativity that come with unleashing your innner geek...

...she ultimately prefers the TARDIS itself over the Doctor.

He's just a fantastic special feature.

I guess what I am trying to say is that we used to love science fiction for its own sake.  Of course there was the aspect of's even more epic and intoxicating if you're sweeping past solar systems and unknown planets while you're being wined and dined.  We all admit that.  But the teensy little percentage of hipster that's in me wants to ask a lot of so-called fangirls what they would think of Sherlock if, say, Simon Pegg were playing the lead role instead of Mr. Cumberbatch?  Pegg's a charming, clever, geeky boy himself...but alas, he lacks the proper cheekbones for the part.

True Geek Girls, I know you're out there still!  You'll sit on your bedroom floor, leafing through the lastest issue of The New Avengers and patching together your own Princess Leia outfit (not the slave Leia outfit, but the take-charge princess-in-command camo-friendly Forest Moon of Endor Leia outfit, of course), dreaming of somehow making it to ComiCon (again, while wearing a smart, savvy and not-too-embarrassingly sexy costume), writing your own graphic novels, majoring in physics and art, being as postmodern and progressive as you want to be while still acting like a lady.

That's what it's about, girls.

Not cheekbones.

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*Disclaimer: Yes, I am also a huge fan of all the actors mentioned above.  But just FYI, I don't think any of them can pull off posing with a child's pink bicycle.  Please prove me wrong.  That would be stinkin' cool.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


I am awesome at making excuses about my writing.  For example, here's a great one: I haven't written lately because I've been too busy thinking about writing.  Lame?  Maybe.  But true.  At least, mostly true.

This past month has brought a lot my way.  There was the Chick-Fil-A rally/scandal/protest (depending on your viewpoint), some disappointment (my husband did not get the job he's been holding out for), and adventure (we took 7 members of our youth group to summer camp).

And a lot of thinking.

There are about half a dozen blog posts rolling around in my head that I just haven't sat down to write yet.  Every time I think of working on them, I get caught up pinning, or tweeting, or instagramming (is that a word?), or watching My Little Pony on Netflix (yes, really), or, to my chagrin, eating (I love to eat).

This is why we take the kids' cell phones away from them at the beginning of each youth group meeting.  Because we as humans, and particularly our generation and theirs, are far too prone to distraction.

For example, since starting this blog, I have gotten up from the computer four times: for snacks (at least one was vitamin-fortified cereal), to play with my cats, to keep my cats from assaulting each other (all in play, of course) and to check the laundry.  Not to mention, I've checked facebook and Pinterest, too.

As with weight loss, I find myself having a hard time disciplining myself.  There are so many "shinies" that are tempting me away from my ultimate goal.  I know I want to be a writer.  I've wanted to since I was probably about eleven years old.  Every choice I made in school, every elective, everything was to further my goals are a writer and performer.  Even now, I blog not so that my incredible and impassioned ideas make their way into mainstream thinking (please: note the self-deprecating sarcasm), but so that I would have another outlet in which I could express myself and entertain others the best way I know how.

And yet.  Even as I scroll through Pinterest and smugly mutter to myself, "I could have made that", I hear a tiny voice whisper back, "Yes, but they have and you haven't."  I skim through the books available on my Kindle and, after reading some with their grammatical errors and flimsy plots (and please don't get me started on the eight thousand vampire series out there now), I say aloud, "That is what people are reading?!"  Yet I have not given those people any other options.

Ross has encouraged me.  The comments, made both by friends and strangers, on my blog and facebook, encourage me.  My family has encouraged me.  God himself has encouraged me in ways that only I understand.

But where the rubber meets the road, I find that I'm likely to veer off the highway and into a comfortable embankment of all-too-available technology.  A pretty elaborate metaphor, but most of you understand completely. 

So it's time for me to really, really start writing again.  Not just blogging, but sitting down, doing research, and working on my novel.  I've been told that a plus-size superhero isn't that great an idea. 

I've also been told that I was foolish to wait for the man of my dreams, because he didn't exist.

After two and a half years of marriage, we can see how super that advice was.

I don't want to reveal too much here, but it's a dream that is too big for me to handle alone.  I love what my pastor says: "If that dream you keep having is too big for you ever to achieve on your own, then it's from God and you will need his help!"  A young adult novel with a plus-size heroine and an underlying Christian theme?  Yeah...that's media poison. 

So it's got to be God's way.

I get down on myself for lack of discipline, both with eating and with writing.  But then, I think...discipline isn't about getting up at 5 AM to go jogging, or resisting every single sweet that comes my way.  It's not about giving up every ounce of free time to work on my writing.  It's more about obedience than willpower or personal strength.  It's about doing what you're supposed to do, even when you don't feel like it, because you know it's the right thing and it's good for you - and others.

Which is why I am ending this post right now, ignoring my cats, silencing my phone...and working on the book that I will someday publish.  God's way.