Saturday, 24 September 2016

The Official Guide: How to be a real fan.

Hello, dear people of the interwebs.

Have you just discovered your new favourite movie? Have you decided you really looove this and that film star? Say you just read The Book Thief and decide it's your favourite book EVER. Or say you just started to watch Downton Abbey and decide you are a FAN FOR LIFE. Or that you just discovered Carrie Underwood and decide that there is no other human being on earth with a better voice than her. Or than you very strongly believe no-one on earth is better than Jennifer Lawrence.... congratulations, you are a FAN!

Now... being a fan is a large, pressing responsibility. According to Google Dictionaries, a fan is (no, not the wind-blowing machine) "a person who has a strong interest in or admiration for a particular person or thing." This is what boring people define fans as. What dictionaries don't tell you is that there is a price to pay; and there are duties you must fulfill in order to be a real, true, loving fan. Being a fan takes time, money and a huge place in your heart. Not to mention energy. Now I realise that as an early-born fan, it will be hard for you to know where to start. Your heart is probably bursting with love for The Hunger Games, Taylor Swift or whatever you are fan-ing about; you probably have no idea how to do this!

Don't worry, not to worry, I am here to help you out. As a very experienced fan I am proud to announce:

The official guide to how to be a real fan.

Number one - BUY ALL THE THINGS.

Let's take an example. For instance, Downton Abbey. You discover it; maybe via a friend or via the peer pressure of society. Then you get hooked; as of course one would.

Now, the first duty you must take into practise as a fan is to own ALL the fan-material. In the case of Downton Abbey, this would be: Buy all the DVD's - aka, the entire box set. Then buy the 'official guide to Downton Abbey' by Julian Fellowes' daughter. Then that behind-the-scenes book with the gorgeous full-colour pictures; then the 'entire Downton Abbey scripts.' But we don't stop there; oh no. You still need the posters; the cushions, the bed-spread, and the Downton Abbey cookbook. And then find out if someone made Downton Abbey bookmarks or necklaces on Etsy and buy them too. Oh, and these tea-cups. DUHH.

What the haters do is they say it isn't worth all the money. We must do everything in our power to prove to those haters that that is not true. At all.


Number Two - Go to places

So, your bedroom is all whatever-you're-obsessing-about-themed? You have four Tom Hiddleston-T-shirts? You have ALL the cd's in which Jeremy Jordan is featured? You own every single Hamilton keychain avaliable on Amazon, Etsy and Ebay? Great. Good job. Your fan points are rising.

However, in order to call yourself a real fan, I'm afraid you'll have to redig your purse. All in good cause, of course, because as a fan you should only be dying to go and visit allll the places. That museum - that exhibition - that movie location - that concert... as a fan you should be able to tell you friends, 'Oh yeah, I went to two Willis Clan concerts' or, 'Oh yeah, I've been inside Highclere Castle several times' or, 'I've been to all the seven Florence Nightingale museums in Britain.' (I have no idea if there are seven - just invented it for the sake of creativity.)

This one will make you a Very Important Sounding Fan. High fan scores.

Number Three - Watch ALL the videos

Whatever your fandom is, there are videos on Youtube to watch - there are ALWAYS videos to watch. Interviews, documentaries, trailers, behind the scenes-stuff, q&a's... watch all the videos.

A prime example in this situation is Newsies - the fun-loving, rythmic musical of newspapers boys going on a strike while singing ridiculously amazing songs and striking ridiculously impressive dance moves. There are loads of behind-the-scenes Newsies videos ("Hi, I'm Andrew Keenan-Bolger and I play Crutchie in Newsies" - tell me that rings a bell.) on Youtube and as a fansie it is thy honourable duty to WATCH THEM ALL. Your life is NOT complete if you haven't see them ALL.

(Also, one needs to get and understand allll the fandom's inside jokes, ammirite?)

Number four - Fan accounts

This is for when your fandom is so near and dear to your heart that you want to do something even more. It shows true sense of devotion and seriousness and people will truly see you as a real fan of whatever it is. Create a fan account: a fan blog / a fan tumblr / a fan instagram account... I mean, the list of possible fan accounts and websites and blogspots and webspots are endless.

The fact that you'll probably get sick of it and stop posting on it after a while has nothing to do with the matter. And of course you have TIME to run these accounts... time is love and you LOVE YOUR FANDOMS RIGHT?!!

(PROVE IT THEN. You NEED to PROVE your LOVE. In fan accounts. Now.)

Number five - Be creative

Examples are indicated in the following list:

a) Fan sketches. You like to doodle around and have fun with the pencil? Sketch your favourite actor! Or your favourite Anne of Green Gables character. Sketch Lizzie from The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Show your love for these people and fandoms through the magic of sketch. (If you cannot sketch you can i) try or  ii) just don't do it because it might be terribly embarrassing.)

b) Fan hashtags. This is one you could start if you're on Instagram or Twitter - start a fan hashtag! Make it go trending. #elizabethanddarcyforthewin #elinorlovesedward #iamafansie #Hamiltonforthewin #DowntonAbbeyisthebest #WHYDIDMATTHEWDIE.

c) Fan videos. Here's how you make fan videos. In five short steps: i) Just take some clips of your favourite fandom couple. ii) Put it in slowmotion. iii) Use a cool filter to make it look unique. iiii) put a love pop song on the background. iiiii) Post it on Youtube and share it on Google+. EASY.

d) Create shipnames. Dr Turner + Sister Bernadette = Turnadette. Darcy + Lizzie = Dizzy. Emma Woodhouse + Mr Knightley = Knighthouse. All the couples need a shipname.

e) Make gifs. And scatter them all over the interwebs.

f) Fan pictures. They're all over pinterest. MAKE THEM yourSELF. We need MORE. (Easiest way to make it look like you're an excellent fan by creating cool, creative pictures? Put a filter over a picture and put a quote or an overused sentiment on it. In a nice font. Aaaand you're done.) Example:

(In all seriousness, this is a cute picture.)

Number Six - Pin all the Pins

On the subject of pictures and Pinterest... HAVE FANDOM BOARDS. Pin every single lil' pin there is to find on the Thing you Love. Make loooooaaaaads of separate boards. (Say you love Jane Austen? Make a Pride and Prejudice board. A Sense and Sensibility one. A Persuasion one. BE DEVOTED.)

Number Seven - DEFEND IT.

Discussions with the haters - these require sweat and energy and true strength, but as a real fan, this is one of the most important things you have to do. It is a duty and an absolute must - you HAVE to interfere and discuss and defend and rant whenever you hear someone (or see someone) say anything slightly offensive or negative about this and that movie/person/whatevs you love. Use A LOT OF CAPITAL LETTERS TO DEMONSTRATE YOUR POINT, use italics shamelessly, and Why not bold things up. Lines such as 'ur a hater!' and 'go away' and 'ur have NO idea what ur talking about' are great persuasive tools.

There are always occasions to do this - I mean, go to any Youtube fan video/ or trailer/ or documentary/ whatEVER and you'll see mean comments. If you don't, you'll see that there's at least one (probably like, 31, or, if it's a popular video, 49800000) dislikes - which gives you the sublime opportunity to comment: "The 31 people who disliked this do not have a heart." Or SOMETHING icy and defensive.

Basically, as a true fan, you must make other fans - you must tell people the TRUTH and tell it them right in their face - the hard way.

Obviously EVERYTHING in the fandom is PERFECT. Nothing in it is even remotely bad. Nothing your favourite celebrity does is even remotely bad... I mean, everyone makes mistakes sometimes but they are really PERFECT human beings. They are superhuman and amazing and well they are famous and popular and beautiful and that must mean they are perfect. DUH. I mean, the fact that they need defending proves that... um... right?!!

(*insert picture of Big Head Kid and Famous Person to see how many people watch Blimey Cow*)

Number Eight: Identify yourself as a 'fandom name.'

The fandom name. Ahh, they are badges we wear with honour and gratitude and pride. Haniacs (Hunter Hayes Fans), Austenites (Jane Austen fans), Cowmoonity (Blimey Cow fans), Swifties (Taylor Swift fans), Cumberbabes (Benedict Cumberbatch fans.)... the list of titles in the world of fandoms is endless. Be proud and stand tall and wear the fandom name with grace, dear people. Maybe you can wear a T-shirt with the word on... maybe you can hashtag #iamahiddlestoner (if you're a Tom Hiddleston fan) on every single Instagram post. I mean, it's part of your IDENTITY guys. Show it.

I mean... because you need to have a NAME to PROVE that you're a fan, right? To prove that you're part of the family... the fan-family, right? If you don't have that it's like you are ashamed of it and it's like you don't want to be a fan.

Fandom names is also what brings the fans together. Vital. Mary and Lavinia were both Matthewites, and it created a very unique bond between the two of them.

Number nine: Know facts/lyrics by heart.

... DUH.

I should have mentioned this earlier, but... duh. I mean... DUH.

It is EXPECTED of you that you know allll the Hamilton songs word to WORD before you are worthy of the title 'real fan.' You should know all the background information... all the facts... all the lyrics... all the quotes... I mean DUH.


Number ten: Tell people you are the BIGGEST fan.

Now you can actually TELL people you're the biggest fan. The fact that you can't in reality really weigh love or obsessions has nothing to do with it - if you feel like the number one fan, that means you ARE the number one fan. You can tell people stuff like: "Oh my gosh! I'm like, her number ONE fan...' and then you can talk about all the stuff you have to prove it. Because obviously, as a real fan, you have a lot of backing up to prove that this fact is true.

If it is an actor or a person you are a huge fan of, you can actually interact (or attempt to) with whoever it is - you can comment stuff like:

"You are my fave I'm like your biggest fan srously I've got all your books."
"i drew u!!! i love you!!! i'm yr BIGGEST fan!!!"
"like if ur a swiftie"
"Like this comment if you are a REAL fan."

This will really warm the heart of whoever you are talking too. They will feel enormously flattered.

Now you have it... you know now the road to becoming a real fan. Good luck guys. ;-)

{Okay... for those of you who are confused: This post is STRONGLY emulated with little bits of dry irony and sarcasm. Obviously no-one should be this besotted about anything on this world. That would be rather stupid of you.} (Because um, you can be a fan of something without social media and T-shirts and dvd collections and concert tickets to prove it. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.)

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Well look what came in the mail today...


Look what came in the mail today to join my humble abode and possessions?!!! THE COMPLETE (as in complete) Downton Abbey collection!!! :-O :-) It wasn't the cheapest thing I've ever bought, BUT MY GAWWSH IT WAS WORTH IT. It's basically the prettiest thing that ever entered my life and don't you dare say I'm using too many hyperboles today. Seriously.

The box is all GOLD and CREAMY and well, obviously, epic. Inside are hours and hours of enjoyment, millions of epic storylines and swoony costumes and amazing characters and fantastical quotes... all. of. it. Like, every single episode and every single Christmas special all bundled up into this beautiful box. Can I get green faces of envy, please? (I find it funny that Amazon calls this a gift box. Like why would anyone buy it as a gift for someone?!... 90% of the people buying this obviously buy it for themselves.)

The box also contains some adorable extras (not to mention loads of behind-the-scenes footage and making-of dvds)... such as two Downton Abbey tea towels (I am now finally a REAL fan. I own the tea towels.) and two DA tea circly-things-to-put-your-cup-on, you-know-those-kinds-nobody-ever-uses-but-they-are-so-cute-anyway. Obviously I took some staged Downton Abbey Box pictures and well, for all the reasons, I demonstrate them to my sweet followers. Enjoy the gold and the epic:

(I also love that the box looks like a box of chocolates. What with the gold and all.)
(And no, Amazon didn't make me write this. It is all done out of the goodness and EXCITEMENT of my heart.)

*goes off to scratch "Own all the DA dvd's" off bucket list*

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Story Snippets

What do you do when you're running out of time but really feel like posting something? And when you need to be writing but need to do something to encourage you to write one some more? Well, you post Story Snippets on your blog, of course.

(None of this is properly edited, but I thinks it's good enough for Public Eye Judgement.) (Tell me what you think!)

{Character inspiration for Tom}

And Tom… well, Tom. Something sad happened to Tom. It wasn’t like with Esther and Susanna; who I sometimes forgot had ever even existed. In fact, I had to be reminded by someone; or the family Bible records, that I had two little dead sisters buried in some strange graveyard. That was okay; no-one really needed to talk about it. 
Tom’s disappearance (he ‘disappeared’ when I was nine) wasn’t talked of, but it was a gap that screamed screamed screamed to be talked of. I yearned to talk about it. So did Laura; I knew she did. But our parents never did. They never explained the reason for the silence either; so for years and years I just didn’t understand, and that annoyed me more than anything else has ever annoyed me in the entire length of my childhood.

In 1949, Laura turned thirteen. In those days, the term ‘teenager’ was just starting to become the fashion, so of course she used it endlessly. Laura vocabulary was very up to date. She said words like ‘tickety-boo’ and ‘heebie-jeebies’ and ‘bee’s knees’ in practically any sentence that exuded from her throat. 
Also, she said, ‘Mercy!’ The. Whole. Time. She thought it was cool or something.I contented myself with words like, ‘great’ and ‘fun’ and ‘nice.’ My vocabulary would have killed mice with boredom.

{Character inspiration for Laura}

He had the looks, of course. Inevitable – it comes synonymous to popular. Good-looking = Popular. Popular = Good-looking. How sad society is. 
He had a wave in his rich, dark hair, swept back with gel his mother sent him from America. (I wondered why he wouldn’t just go back. Go, sir. Bye. Buzz off. Now.) He had luxuriously dark eyes and well yes, he was divinely attractive. It could not be denied. 
Laura was easy to spot. She was sitting on a high chair at the bar, her yellow dress looking all gold and shimmery in the light of the darkening room. She was drinking; most likely Babycham. Her first time drinking Babycham – something she’d been dreaming of for ages. For months and months, she’d talked about one day drinking Babycham in high heels. Why didn’t she want to share this moment with me?!

{Character inspiration for my main character, Martha}

We would peek through the window and watch the lovers walk through our street as dusk gathered, their arms wrapped around each other. We would wait for this man who always walked through our street around 20:15 – we called him Pete Butcher, because he looked like a Pete and he looked like he was a butcher by trade – and then we’d wave at him. He never waved back, he always sent us a long scowl. Laura thought it was hilarious, and we always laughed about it. Once I dared Laura to stick out her tongue at him, and she did. Oh, how much we laughed!
They are odd things. They are new beginnings, but then they aren’t. They are like hope and dread rolled into one. Hope, because it’s a new day, and something wonderful might happen. It’s a new day and a new opportunity to start all over; fresh and new, like fresh morning breakfast rolls. 
But dread, because you know it probably won’t. Life goes on. If day no. 53 is a bad one, chances are big that day no. 54 won’t be that stellar either. Good and bad times come and go in long slow waves; generally, and everybody knows that.

Have a wonderful Sunday, dears!

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