Negotiations and Love Songs

This is #Blogmas, and welcome to a month’s worth of posts which are supposed to act as a shop window for the site and my content. All the images you’ll see this month are pulled, in roughly historical order, from the archives of various websites, pages and social media forum in which I have existed, since the Internet was downloaded on a modem and all you had was text.

In the main these were either made for me, or I did it myself, and looking at my archives there appears to be quite a lot of them.

Let’s begin therefore with a quick overview.

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And You Are?

I have an actual biography page. It has existed for as long as my personal site has been here, which (according to the files) is October 6th, 2011. My Warcraft site came into being on February 2nd, 2009 which means, as of next month, it will be almost a decade since I started blogging. It’s like a completely different world between there and now.

What am I saying, it IS a completely different world, and if anyone tried to write this as fiction, nobody would believe it.


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What Do You Do?

I love to make graphics, and did that for nearly two decades, with lots of other stuff, often in an attempt to impress people who really didn’t really care that much at the results. I’ve been in and out of numerous fandoms. My daughter worries that she’s got no consistency in that regard, but considering my track record… it’s clearly genetic.

I’ve treated a lot of people really poorly too, but in my defence only now is it clear why that happened, and I’m really sorry. No, genuinely it’s the truth, but I’m not off to offer any olive branches any time soon. The past, for everybody’s mental health, needs to stay exactly where it was left.

What I wanted to do more than graphics however was to write. It just needed a while to remember how that happened well. It has taken about 18 years more or less; now we’ve arrived at the point where, with some confidence, there is progress.


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Deep Thought

The process of redemptive blogging really began thanks to World of Warcraft. There were blogs before (and a LiveJournal account I still get the odd acknowledgement from) plus a Facebook page which was sensibly closed well before all the real drama began.

I’ve adopted various pseudonyms and now, in the last week, was my my real name attached back to this website. I only do this with the knowledge both mind and body is ready for whatever the consequences of such actions will be.

That’s taken a phenomenal amount of work. I suffered from depression, anxiety and self esteem issues for decades. We’ve reduced that to just anxiety now, and to maintain it that way is a priority. Understanding why all this happened has been a tough ask, but now I am in control of my own destiny.

Most of the toxic elements in my life have been purged. This is the best it has ever been. This is the happiest I’ve ever felt.


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The Grand Plan

Yes, I want to get my work published. No, I’m not expecting miracles. Yes, hard work is its own reward. No, you don’t get anything unless it is worked for. This website is part of a plan to produce content, on my terms. At the same time, I’m entering contests and looking to generate pieces that others will think good enough to reproduce.

There’s at least one epic Science Fiction novel in me, but more and more there’s the pull of something far more personal. What that means going forward is anybody’s guess. I pulled out of NaNoWriMo this year: there’s too much left unfinished. That’s getting fixed starting today.

Lots of things get fixed starting now.


So, this is the starting point. Tomorrow, we’ll deal in some specifics.

Mulder and Scully

Origins

The year is 1995. My boyfriend (now husband) and I are living together, and decide to go to the USA for a holiday, to stay with people I’d met via the Internet.

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The early days of Usenet are an incredibly significant part of my life, that I really don’t like to talk about at all. I’ve written and subsequently trashed about a dozen drafts of this post as testament to just how much this period screws with my brain. It’s been holding up everything else I’d really like to write about, because… I wasn’t the most emotionally adult person during my twenties and early thirties. Yeah, that’s a diplomatic way of putting it. I’m not proud of a lot of what happened, which covers early days of newsgroups and arguing in ASCII to Livejournal and arguing in web-browsers. I was an antagonist back then too: I’d like to say they were simpler times, but they weren’t. I should have learnt my lesson during that 1995 trip: people who you meet online will often hide things, or lie in order to get what they want. Turning up with a boyfriend on the East Coast in August did not go down well with our first host, and things went largely downhill from there.

On reflection, it is probably why this holiday never gets talked about that much.

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My husband being booked for speeding is the only physical part of that holiday which remains, and now becomes useful as a marker. One of the three people we stayed with for that trip visited us a year on, and that weekend’s best left forgotten in history too. What that entire period taught has only become clear in retrospect: emotional immaturity can completely screw you up. In fact, let’s just ignore my 20’s and most of the 30’s and move on. It is important however to note at this juncture how the Internet shaped the future of just about everything I would then go onto do, including writing. My first piece of fan fiction, for instance, was X Files related. However, that was not the show that became my biggest obsession and ultimately caused the most damage.


I was involved in B5 Fandom up until the birth of my son in 2000, and again it is a case of bad outweighing good in my own mind: that means I’ve fairly systematically removed all references and links from that period and am now at something approximating peace with what happened. However, if you really care I can be found, fingerprints almost impossible to delete across a platform which really never forgets and is the most brutally honest remembrance of history. I never wrote fiction for that sci fi show (and know why:) it took another US series, which first aired in the UK whilst I was pregnant for the first time, to push me into what became a legitimate effort into organised working. That co-incided with my life on LiveJournal (which I joined shortly after launch in 1999) and was, for the most part, never truly me at all. However, it was the first time I ever felt comfortable sharing my work in public and for that fact alone, my West Wing fan fiction days should be recorded for posterity.


A cursory Google search brings up only sixteen hits for my old username, but my work is still out there. The Internet never forgets, people. There’s other stuff too, but nothing that I’ve found which is enough to reduce me to embarrassing bouts of toe curling. When that reckoning comes I’m ready for whatever gets thrown at me: I learnt a lot in those couple of years, most of which was built around how I ‘see’ action literally play out like a TV show or film in my head. It wasn’t just West Wing either: CSI, Dr Who and Torchwood have been poked by me over the years. I promised someone I’d pull out some of that old work, and that will happen in the next few months. To learn from the past we must embrace both the good and bad to move forward.

I’ve kept in touch with the only person I ever really connected with back in those days, who is still friends and will probably berate me for being overly hard on myself. The fact remains that the years since my kids have been born are the best of my life, not simply in writing terms. I need this period marked on my history, but nothing more is required to understand what I am. Everything of real interest happens after 2000, but really it is 2004 where the world around me finally shatters and forces a complete realignment. Before I return to the week of the Madrid Train Bombs, however, there is one last story to tell, wrapped around genre TV, and I’ll keep that for next week.

For now, let’s just forget that 1995 to 2004 ever happened.