Bad Case of Lovin’ You (Doctor, Doctor)

I sometimes post lists of my favorite fictional [insert category here] on this blog. Past lists have included kisses, Christmas-themed stuffmothers and fangirls. These are probably my all-time favorite type of posts. They’re even more fun to write than the ones where I get to rant about the patriarchy. So I decided to do another one. The doctor is in!

Dr Carter

Move over, McDreamy, McSteamy and McWhatever-They’ve-Come-Up-With-Since-I-Stopped-Watching-Grey’s-Anatomy: Dr John Carter is officially the hottest. He’s so hot I made you a little slideshow. You’re welcome.

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On top of all that gorgeousness, Dr Carter was also the greatest character on the show. He was clever, kind, resourceful and cheeky, while at the same time being a huge and adorable dork. He was also super-rich and philanthropic, and he ended up going to Africa to help out in a hospital there. Don’t you forget it.

Dr Bailey

The original queen of sass.

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Turtles All The Way Down Review

Today was the release of John Green’s long-awaited new novel: Turtles All The Way Down. I wouldn’t be a Frenzied Fangirl if I hadn’t immediately run to the nearest Waterstone’s to grab myself a copy, and I’ve just finished reading it. Here are some thoughts. Please be warned that this review contains SPOILERS. Although it does not go into the plot very much, if you want to approach this book without any prior knowledge of its subject matter, leave now.

IMG_20171010_173450.jpgHere’s a picture of our cat, the book, and the awesome t-shirt and bracelet I also got.

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A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad)

I’m still raising money for suicide prevention everyone. You can donate here. But I’m also doing something that is equally as important, if not more so: raising awareness. You should all be aware that thousands of people all over the world are struggling with their mental health everyday. If there was more understanding for their struggle, the world would be a better place.

What I’m about to do now is going to be super-frustrating: let me recommend a play to you. It is a play you can only see if you can manage to travel through time, and it is called A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad).

I saw the play at the Edinburgh Fringe this August, and it means a lot to me. I won’t wax lyrical about life-changing experiences or some such, because of course the real life-changing experience was my depression itself. But to see my illness recognized, understood, and performed so brilliantly and accurately on stage was a huge relief.

The play is accurately named. Its presentation, full of glitter and singing and chorus lines, is super happy. It’s subject matter, ranging from alcoholism to depression and suicide, is anything but. The writers and performers have managed to unearth the comedy inherent in anything that is bleak or sad, and made use of that comedy without devaluating the terrifying experience that is mental illness. Bravo.

I always tell people that no one is alone in their fight against mental illness, but I don’t always believe it. Jon Brittain and Matthew Floyd Jones made me believe it, and that felt incredible. Of course you can’t travel back in time to see this play, but you can do the next best thing: read it.  Paperbacks and ebooks are available from Amazon

World Suicide Prevention Day 2017

It’s only because of my Facebook Timeline that I found out today was World Suicide Prevention day. It’s been over two years since I’ve been so blissfully ignorant of that fact, and I’m not sure whether to be happy or ashamed of that. I’ve been way too busy living to think about dying, and of course that’s great; it’s amazing. 

On the other hand, I don’t want to forget. I don’t ever want to fully leave behind the things I went through in 2015. I don’t want to forget how fragile and precious my mental health is, I don’t ever want to take it for granted, and I think you shouldn’t either. So I decided to turn to my blog.

Once again it’s time for me to get on social media and fundraise. I’ve said it before, I’ll no doubt say it again, but someone, somewhere in the world, dies of suicide every 40 seconds. That’s way too many people, every single minute.

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Happy International Kissing Day

Oscar Wilde: “the curve of  your lips rewrites history”

You got that right. Today, July 6th 2017, is International Kissing Day. The perfect time for Frenzied Fangirl to list some of her favorite kisses in pop culture. Why? Well why the hell not?

For a fuller experience, check out the playlist I made of all my favorite songs about kissing.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES IS MY BEST FRIEND LILA TO ENTER THIS BLOG POST. IT HAS MANY WONDERFUL SCENES IN IT THAT SHE STILL NEEDS TO EXPERIENCE IN THEIR FULL GLORY, NOT CHOPPED UP INTO GIFS.

Lila, love, the first one is Dean & Rory – Gilmore Girls. You know it already. Do not click the “Read more” link!

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Becky’s Bookshelf: Required Reading For Fangirls

I haven’t done much with the Character’s Bookshelf series lately, but it is still a concept very close to my heart. So today, let me offer you Becky’s Bookshelf. Becky Rosen, of course, is the fangirl from within the Supernatural universe, the Mary Sue made flesh, the ultimate defiance of the fourth wall. She is a fan of the same characters every Supernatural-fan is a fan of: the Winchesters. And here’s what she, and any other fangirl, should have on their bookshelves.

Fic by Anne Jamison

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Fic is an incredible book by an incredible author. Anne Jamison is a professor of English at the University of Utah. She holds a PhD from Princeton, and she’s written an entire book about fanfiction and the way it’s changing the landscape of literature and culture. Apart from a number of surprising insights into the world of publishing and internet fandom, I also got an endless list of to-read fics from this book.

Get your very own copy here:

Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World

 

Harry, A History: The True Story of a Boy Wizard, His Fans and Life Inside the Harry Potter Phenomenon by Melissa Anelli Continue reading

Prospects & Presumptions: The Ebook

Ladies & Gents,

My 2014 novella Prospects & Presumptions is now available as an ebook. You can buy it through Amazon here.

As a special treat I’ve decided to publish an excerpt on this blog. Enjoy!

Part I: Northing Cottage

It is generally considered rude to wake people with bad news. However, like most unpleasant things, bad news usually has unpleasant timing. That is why Mr Porter came to Northing Cottage that night. He dismounted, wiped the rain from his brow and knocked on the door. Northing was a small house that could, with a great deal of cramming and good manners, lodge five people at most, and so it often did. This particular evening, however, it housed only three.

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Smurrie

With apologies to my English friends and readers, I’d like to share a short story of mine written in Dutch. It was published in Babel Magazine this month, a publication affiliated with the Humanities Department of the University of Amsterdam.

The illustration is by the talented Winona van den Bosch

Attached to this story comes an interesting tale of its production: I originally wrote it last year, when I was reading Neil Gaiman’s excellent bundle of short stories, Trigger Warning, and wanted to try my hand at something similar. This year, I sent the story in to be judged for the Harland Awards, where it was ranked at the very bottom. The judges did not like it one bit. Naturally, I was discouraged, so it was with some apprehension that I ended up sending Smurrie in to Babel. WhatI’m trying to say is that this story taught me something about being a writer, or an aspiring writer. Never give up.

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Text available under the cut.

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Sense8…… CANCELLED!?

For almost a year, I’ve had a blogpost in my drafts folder titled 80 Reasons To Love Sense8. It was originally going to be titled 8 Reasons, and the setup was that I’d link each of the main characters to one of my favorite aspects of the show. The reason it didn’t work was because I had TOO MANY THINGS I LOVE ABOUT SENSE8and so, after the New Year’s special and the equally stellar second season, I started working on the 80 Reasons. It’s a moot point now: the show has been cancelled.

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The first stage of grief, as you know, is denial. Is this a hoax? Is Netflix on some sick power-trip? Are they going to up their monthly rates and is this an attempt to show us how reliant we’ve become on them? Because if so, it’s working. I’m biting my nails to the quick and tearing my hair out and one wrong comment away from crying. No kidding. They don’t call me Frenzied Fangirl for nothing.

And the reason I’m sad isn’t even primarily that I won’t get to see any more of my favorite cluster, although, after last seasons cliffhanger that breaks my heart. I’m dying to see how Nomi and Neets organize their wedding. I’m dying to see what Kala’s shady husband is up to. I’m dying to know how we’re going to rescue Wolfgang, and what we’re going to do with Whispers now we’ve got his sneaky ass caught. I want justice of Sun Bak. I want Capheus to be elected president and I want to see Lito achieve commercial success as an openly gay man. Is that too much to ask?!

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But that’s not the main reason I’m sad. I’m sad because this television show was a game-changer for the entertainment industry and I’m afraid its cancellation has brought us back to square one. I’m sad because of what Sense8 means to me, and to countless other people who have felt like they were other for most of their lives. I’m sad because Nomi was shoved under boiling hot water for being trans, and I’m sad because Lito’s career has somehow become threatened by his sexual orientation, and I’m sad because Nigerian politics are corrupt and because the world is full of sexism and racism and homophobia. I’m sad because sometimes, sometimes, just for a little while, Sense8 made me believe that a strong sense of community, empathy and mutual understanding could overcome these hateful phenomena. Tonight I mourn a show that gave me a sense of empowerment and agency and belonging.

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Nomi: Your life is either defined by the system or the way you defy the system.

Sense8 was cancelled tonight, but in a thousand ways it’s only just beginning. For me, this show was the opening salvo in a long-lasting war against bigotry and hatred, which will be battled in terms of television and books and songs and comics and any type of media we deem useful. I will miss Sense8 because it reminded me of the political power of stories, and that power is not something Netflix can cancel.

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Trigger Warning: Broccoli

(The first anniversary of this blog reminded me I’ve been neglecting it a little. Forgive me. The end of the school year is approaching and the weather is much too nice to stay inside and write. Okay, okay. I’ll write outside more. Be patient with me.)

Trigger warning for discussion of suicide and anxiety attacks

Recently, I was triggered by something I saw in a seminar. This occurrence made me aware of the misunderstandings surrounding the words ‘trigger’ and ‘trigger warning.’ I’ll endeavor to shed some light on them for you today.  What happened was this:

For a module on affect studies we examined some examples of shame in popular culture. An obvious example was the 2011 film Shame directed by Steve McQueen, starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan. There was a scene towards the end of the movie that triggered an anxiety attack in me.

From here on out, this blog post contains spoilers for the film Shame Continue reading