My Favorite Podcasts

It wasn’t until quite recently that I started listening to podcasts. I had always been ambivalent about the medium. I find radio frustrating, because I want to be able to choose my own music, thank you very much. I often find talkshows boring, and I also didn’t quite see how podcasts would fit into my daily routines. Either I’m devoting my full attention to one thing, like reading a book, and there’s lot’s of things I would rather be paying attention to than a podcast, or I’m splitting my attention, for example while doing laundry and listening to music, and I thought podcasts would have too much of a narrative for that kind of half-engaged listening. Oh boy, how wrong I was.

Podcasts are ideal. They make you feel like your time on autopilot was actually well spent. I can listen to a podcast during laundry or cleaning or basically any chore, or I can listen to it during my daily commute, and I will feel like that was time well-spent instead of time spent doing boring responsible stuff. This change of heart was brought about by one podcast in particular: Witch Please.

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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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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

Slash

You sigh. You roll your eyes. “Hasn’t Frenzied frickin’ Fangirl written enough about slash by now?” you ask. Maybe I have. But this time Slash is the title of a film I’ve just seen, and I’m here to tell all y’all that it rocks. As always, I have a few critical notes, but they’re not many.

So here’s the gist: Neil, the protagonist of Slash, writes slash for the fictional fandom of Vanguard. When his composition notebook is stolen (this is why we never take our attempts at writing erotica with us to school, children!) he accidentally befriends Julia, also a slash writer. Sidenote to people that know me IRL: There is a Julia in this film who writes gay fanfic, wears lots of t-shirts with cats on them and is an avid feminist. Sound familiar? I thought so. Julia encourages Neil to put his fic online, and when he does it soon becomes so successful that Neil is asked to do a reading at Comic Con. Then some other stuff happens that I won’t tell you for the sake of spoilers.

What I loved about this film: it’s about fandom, and more specifically: fanfic. It beautifully portrays the tensions within fandom that arise when old school fans are confronted with newcomers. Its full of in-jokes from RPF to curtain fic. It’s super open and honest about non-hetero sexual orientations.

What I didn’t love so much: Why is the protagonist a white guy? (SPOILER ALERT: Continue reading

What’s Next?

I know y’all are waiting for an in-depth analysis of The Final Problem and I promise that’s coming up really soon. For now, suffice it to say that I was, overall, really happy, in spite of some blatant queerbaiting. But, surprisingly, Sherlock is not what I’m blogging about today.

Today might be the pinnacle of my career as a Frenzied Fangirl. I threw a Disney-themed birthday party this weekend and people turned up en masse in costumes. It was lovely. Then, last night, I was more anxious than I remember ever being before about Sherlock. This morning I purchased two tickets for Hamilton on the West End. Next weekend I’m going to see Harry Potter And The Cursed Child and today….

Lin-Manuel Miranda published this video.

 

It is the catalyst for a blogpost that has been a long time coming: one about how great it is when people you are a fan of are fans of other people you are a fan of. Kind of like Lin-Manuel Miranda recording a West Wing fanvideo.

Explaining Slash Fiction

When I mention to people that I am a writer, and yes, that I write fanfiction, and yes, that I often write this fanfiction about men who fall in love with men, I am sometimes accused of fetishizing homosexuality.

A girl recently told me the following story: She was visiting a pub with her girlfriend when a group of men approached them and asked whether they’d make out so that the men could watch and enjoy the show. She felt violated by the experience, and a debate unfolded over the fetishization of lesbians, both in porn and mainstream media. The idea that women have sex because women enjoy it is somehow incomprehensible to many people. Instead, such people assume that women’s sexuality is there for straight men to enjoy. This fetishization is a disgusting, dehumanizing practice.

However, as a straight girl and an avid writer and reader of homoerotic (slash) fanfiction, I do not feel guilty of fetishizing gay men. Of course, I cannot speak for all of the fangirls all over the internet, as there are multitudes of people and viewpoints out there. I can only say that I consider fanfiction to be an innocent hobby, and in this article I will attempt to tell you why. Continue reading

Fictional Fans

I once wrote a blogpost about fictional fandoms. Well, it stands to reason that fictional fandoms have fictional fans, right? So, this blog post is dedicated to just such fictional individuals. Perhaps they are the ones I identify with most of all. Perhaps the creators of my favorite stories conceived of them to criticize me or, to put it more bluntly, to encourage me to Get A Life. I don’t care. I love being a fangirl and I love my fellow fictional fangirls.

16068905Cather Avery – Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl is centered around Cather Avery, a young girl who goes to university. She is introverted and struggles withe developing a social life, but on the internet she has no problem making friends. On the internet, Cath writes Carry On, Simon, the most popular Simon Snow-fanfic ever. The Simon Snow fandom is fictional, but it it obviously based on the Harry Potter fandom, and it pleases me a lot to see a respectful portrayal of fangirls and fanfiction writers in this book.

Penny Lane – Kate Hudson in Almost Famous

Contrary to popular belief, Penny Lane and her friends, Polexia Aphrodesia and Sapphire, are not fangirls.

Penny Lane: We are not groupies. Groupies sleep with rock stars because they want to be near someone famous. We are here because of the music, we inspire the music. We are Band Aids.

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Happy Birthday, Billy!

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Today is Billy Crudup’s 48th birthday. Have a great day, Billy, I love ya. I shall take this opportunity to celebrate what is perhaps the greatest achievement in cinematic history: Cameron Crowe’s 2000 masterpiece Almost Famous, in which Crudup played the role of the charismatic rock star Russel Hammond. What do I love about Almost Famous?

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Wishful Thinking: Fictional Fandoms

It is the eternal plight of the fangirl that the things she loves most in the world are not real. Hogwarts is not real. Sam and Dean aren’t going to save you from a monster because monsters aren’t real. Toys can’t walk or talk or think for themselves, no matter how many times we watch Toy Story.

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But fandoms are real. Books are real, TV series are real, films and games and stories are real. It really happens that I sometimes walk down the street, see a boy carrying a TARDIS messenger bag, and wave at him. Once, I even happened upon such an individual while I was carrying my own TARDIS messenger bag.

My point is, sometimes you can love a fictional world or character so much that it hurts to consider the fact that it isn’t real. It’s fictional. But when that happens, the fandom community can offer you support.  But what about fiction within fiction? What about the fandoms that were made up for the sake of writing about fandom? What about the things fictional characters fangirl over?

In this post, I’ve listed some. Just in case your life wasn’t infected with fandom enough as it was.

Books You Wish Were Real Continue reading