Fangirls: Encouragement or lack of encouragement from family

Fangirls: Encouragement or lack of encouragement from family

  

The other day I was down the aisle with all the Star Wars toys at a local big box store, when I noticed a young girl, about 6, come to the end of the aisle. She was looking at the rack of Star Wars The Force Awakens trading cards wth Rey on the packs displayed there. She was looking intently at the display until her mother walked up and steered her away from the aisle saying that the toys she wants is in the next aisle, the one with the dolls.  A few minutes later, I saw that young girl again looking down the Star Wars aisle, while her Mom was occupied with something across the aisle. I saw longing in her eyes and wanted to say to her that she was not alone, but again she was steered away before I could say anything to her.

I am saddened that, like the example mentioned above, that budding fangirls can be discouraged by the immediate family members who are stuck on the perceived gender divides encouraged by the marketing. If I was that little girl’s mother, I would not discourage her in the least from loving whatever fandom she likes and would encourage her to embrace whatever fandom she would be interested in, no matter if it was for girls or for boys.

This brief encounter made me realize how lucky I was that, even though I was raised in the 1970’s and 1980’s, that I was not discouraged from looking and even having Star Wars or other ‘boy’ branded merchandise. That I was not told that Star Wars, Star Trek, Transformers, Robotech, He-Man and even James Bond were just for boys. We might not have been able to buy much of the merchandise available at that time because finances were tight, but I was never discouraged from looking.

This may because my Mom and Dad were really big on sharing. Whatever we watched or played with in the house was watched or played with by everyone. Especially whatever toys we had including the few Star Wars toys we had. Trust me in a house of 7 children, there was not much that was not shared by both genders in the household.

It also helped that both my parents were fans themselves. My Dad was a big Science Fiction fan and my Mom was a fan of fantasy and musicals. Both of my parents did not discourage me in any way, by pointing out that something was just for girls or just for boys.

  

Thank you Mom and Dad for giving me encouragement and helping me become the everyday Fangirl I am today.

Interview with a Fangirl: Laurel

I am continuing with my series of interviews with Fangirls that I have met through social media!

Today, it is my pleasure to interview fellow fangirl, Laurel A. Rockefeller!


I first became aware of Laurel through another Fangirl, Sarah Cole.

Welcome Laurel to The Adventures of The Everyday Fangirl and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions about being a Fangirl.

When did you begin to realize you were a Fangirl?

I think the original Star Wars was the first film I really consciously realized I was a fan of. I turned six in 1977 and I remember being so proud that I could read the title “Star Wars.” But I actually was a Star Trek fan even before then, making a point to watch reruns of Star Trek whenever they came on. So I suppose you can call me a lifelong Trekkie.

How has social media helped or hindered you?

I refuse to pay for cable given I watch so little television in general, so I would say that social media is really how I find entertainment news. I do confess to being influenced by fan blogs that I read. It’s actually one of the reasons I refuse to watch Star Wars The Force Awakens; I read a blog post about the Star Trek reboot and key areas where JJ Abrams changed Star Trek from the Star Trek I grew up loving. And quite honestly, that article was spot-on and really made me think. As I said before, something I really love about Star Trek is the way it explores social issues and makes you think. And I love Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future. That’s all absent in the Star Trek reboot which makes me feel I would also not like the new Star Wars films. I am a huge fan of the original Battlestar Galactica and absolutely refuse to watch the reboot, as popular as it is, out of loyalty to what made me a Galactica fangirl as a child.

When did you first see Star Wars and did you love it right away or did this grow on you over time?

October 26, 1977! Yes, I remember the date because I was in kindergarten at the time and it was only the second film I’d ever seen in my life (the first was the original Benji which I saw with about a dozen members of my extended family in a little theatre in rural Nebraska). This was STAR WARS — not “A New Hope” and I did love it right away — though probably not as much as Battlestar Galactica when that came out about a year later. My favourite shirt in first grade was my Battlestar Galactica shirt.

This love of Galactica was probably also influenced by the fact that my parents forbade my brother and I from seeing “The Empire Strikes Back” when it came out; instead we had to read the novelization (not easy for a second grader). The novel of course puts a greater focus on the Anakin Skywalker part of Darth Vader than the film does so I never really saw Darth Vader as a truly bad guy; that was the Emperor. That also may be why I prefer “Attack of the Clones” and “Revenge of the Sith” over “The Empire Strikes Back.” For me, Star Wars is all about Anakin Skywalker and his relationships with those he loves.

What have you learned from the Star Wars fan community or other fan communities that has had a positive impact on your life?

I’m not actually involved in the Star Wars fan community — not for many years. Back in the 1980s I was but that stopped once Star Trek the Next Generation aired. And yes, I like Wesley Crusher!

Now that I am a fan of Sherlock and Benedict Cumberbatch, I do find those fan communities are great distributing news of interest to me so I can find more great films and programmes of interest to me.

What else do you Fangirl about?

Benedict Cumberbatch and Sherlock lately. I saw “The Imitation Game” six times last winter and really became a fan of him. So it’s my passion for history and work as a historian that brought me to love Cumberbatch’s work and subsequently discover Sherlock. Smart writing that is witty and fantastic performances by both Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Give me something smart, thought provoking, and really well performed and I will watch it, even when it comes from a genre I might not normally like (just keep the sex and violence to a minimum please).

Another fangirl: Pride and Prejudice, especially the 1995 BBC production starring Collin Firth. It’s easy to tell I love P&P because there are copious dance scenes across the Peers of Beinan series. I am a former medieval re-enactor and I absolutely love English country dancing.

Anything else you want to say to others about being a Fangirl?

Always be willing to move outside of your comfort zone, especially when it comes to genres. As a rule I do not like the crime and mystery genre which is why despite all the rave reviews of “Sherlock” I never noticed the series until Benedict Cumberbatch’s work on a biographical film about someone I knew about from university (Alan Turing was one of the founders of cognitive psychology, not just computer science) led me to look into what else he has performed in.

Don’t make that mistake. Explore. Try something different. You never know what your next fangirl will be about until you push your comfort zone a little.

Thanks again Laurel for answering these questions and letting us to get to know you and your fandom better.

Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Is Here! 

I am a Sailor Moon fan from way back when this series aired on Cartoon Network. I have collected all of the officially released versions of the series including the DiC dub VHS and DVD version, to the Pioneer DVDs and finally to the ADV subtitled DVD sets.

However, I was not able to view or buy, through any of these offical versions, Sailor Moon Sailor Stars. The only version available in the USA was a bootleg, like this one pictured below, which included poor picture quality and poorly translated subtitles.

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Thanks to VIZ Media, Sailor Moon Sailor Stars has FINALLY been officially released here in the United States, legally and available for me to watch anytime and anywhere! This makes me a very, very happy Sailor Moon Fangirl!


These never before officially released episodes started streaming on Hulu and Neon Alley December 14th with what is considered to be the ending of the Dream Arc, which shows how Sailor Moon transformed into her true form, Eternal Sailor Moon.

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However, this week starts the arc that many fans thought would never come, the arrival of the Sailor Star Lights and the official start of season 5 of Sailor Moon!

I am so looking forward to watching two episodes of these every week and of course will be waiting for the Dub version and the BluRay/DVD release as well.

Are you a fan of Sailor Moon?  Have you been looking forward to the official release of Sailor Moon Sailor Stars as I have?

Interview with an author: Laurel A. Rockefeller

It is a pleasure to welcome Science Fiction author of The Peers of Beinan Series, Laurel A. Rockefeller.

  

Welcome Laurel to The Adventures of the Everyday Fangirl and thanks so much for taking the time out your busy schedule to help us get to know you and your story better.

What does the title of this novel, series or set of stories signify?

The Peers of Beinan Series is about a medieval feudal monarchy in another galaxy on the other side of M31 (Andromeda). “Peers” here signifies that the stories involve nobles and royals from across Beinarian society. The planet name “Beinan” has a double meaning depending on how you pronounce it. Say it as “Bei-Nan” and it means “North-South” in Chinese (a point I was very strict upon when the first two novels were translated into Chinese). But if you say it “Bein-An” it means “beautiful” (Tolkien Elvish) “peace” (standard Chinese).

Do the names of the characters in your novel have some sort of significance or importance to you? If so, give a few examples…

I like to name my characters based on meaning. I used a wide number of languages in this process. For example, “Anlei” means “peaceful tears” in Chinese to signify the sorrows she experiences during “The Great Succession Crisis.” Her descendant, Lord Knight Elendir has a partially Elvish name — “Elen” of course means “star.” The arch villain Lord Yelu gets his name from the Liao dynasty of northern China. Yelu was the family name of the Liao dynasty emperors. Princess Anyu has a Chinese name meaning “peaceful treasure.”

What prompted you to write in this genre and who or what inspired you to?

My passion for science as a little girl made me an early fan of classic science fiction. I grew up on 1970s and 1980s classics like Star Trek, Star Wars (before it was “A New Hope”), Wonder Woman, Incredible Hulk, Battlestar Galactica, and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. In 1983, I was one of the few fans of Benji, Zax, and the Alien Prince. In fact Prince Yubi (played by Christopher Burton) was my first fangirl crush back in 1983. Though BZAP was cancelled after just 13 episodes, I never forgot the show, even as I enjoyed new favourites like Star Trek the Next Generation, Babylon 5, Star Trek Voyager, Quantum Leap, and the 1984 film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s “Dune” starring Patrick Stewart and Dean Stockwell. In 1991, I discovered J.R.R. Tolkien and became a massive fan of his books as well.

But as much as I loved watching these films and television series and reading these books, it really never occurred to me to write science fiction until November 2010 when I found Benji, Zax, and the Alien Prince on Netflix. That is when I decided I wanted to write a prequel novel exploring planet Antars and the revolution that brought Prince Yubi to Earth. In fact the original title for the series was “The Prince of Antars” which was conceived as a single book.

As planet Beinan emerged from math/science I used to create it (including calculations of planetary size, mass, and rotational speed; chemistry, ecology, and sociology), I discovered that the world I created was completely different from the world Joe Camp outlined for his series. Prince Yubi and Trask quickly morphed into Princess Anyu and Lord Knight Elendir before taking on lives of their own. Divorced of BZAP’s canon I was free to create my science fiction epic that used the best of what I felt works and while avoiding the errors I found in my favourite classics like Star Wars and Star Trek.

Today, the completed Peers of Beinan Series books (three novels, two prequel novellas, plus companion books and boxed set volumes) retain very little of the original ideas and details that originally inspiring their writing. But the result is a vibrant, believable medieval feudal society grounded in math, science, and social science. You are completely transported from your everyday life into a complete world with its own units of time, distance, plants, animals, technology, governments, religions, even its own system for mapping the universe. There are murderous villains, conspiracies, personal vendettas, romance, and even a secret alien society playing with people’s lives from behind the scenes. Characters struggle with religious questions, with unfair laws, with political corruption, and are haunted by the sudden deaths of loved ones. It really is a complete world and complete society designed to be everything that I like best in science fiction and fantasy.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer and do your characters reflect some of these attributes?

It really helps to have a life outside of your writing. Leave your desk. Play with your pets. Spend time with family and friends. Do not fight your inner process. And when you are having writer’s block, that is the time to really sit down with your metaphorical red pen and go into editorial mode. Don’t be afraid to delete what is not working. Start over if you need to. There is no shame in that. Do keep archives whenever you make major deletions to your work so you have something to look at later if you need to. But above all else, you stay sane by keeping a work-life balance.

As to my characters — I think in my fictional work (I am best known for my Legendary Women of World History biography series which is non-fiction) reflect deep parts of myself that I usually do not feel comfortable sharing with even family and friends or they are not comfortable hearing from me.

For example, when I was writing “The Ghosts of the Past” (the epic 400 page middle chapter to the Legacy of Princess Anlei Trilogy in the Peers of Beinan Series) I experienced a lot of nightmares. That’s because the book required me to tap into my darkest memories of childhood violence. Quite unconsciously, but inevitably, I channeled qualities from those extremely violent and terrifying childhood events into my villains. So these villains really do have a believable and often frightening quality to them. They kill without mercy and rejoice in the agony they create. They are truly sadistic and very intelligently so. Just as my assailant did, they know how to use flaws in the social system to get what they want. In that respect, in sharing through those characters what I cannot talk about otherwise was very therapeutic for me.

Despite all that darkness though you can really see the optimism, love, and light that are at the core of who I am personally. The original songs in the novels really reflect that with their message that no matter how bad things get in life, there is always hope if you have the courage to believe in tomorrow.

What kind of research did you have to do for the novel, series or set of stories that was different from others?

The Peers of Beinan series involved creating an entire universe from scratch — starting with math and physics. So for example, I consulted three different versions of the periodic table of elements so I could reference every facet of every element and work out plausible plants, animals, and physical conditions. All life on planet Beinan is silicon-based. This is scientifically sound because silicon is directly below carbon on the periodic-table. I also used this chemistry in “Princess Anyu Returns” when Princess Anyu is in exile on D425E25 Tertius, a carbon-based world where the animals breathe in oxygen (called “bilast” by Beinarians) which is extremely poisonous to Beinarian humans and animals. Princess Anyu Returns was very challenging to write because in the first half of the book (her exile) I had to stick to Beinarian points of reference while interacting with a planet that holds much in common with our own. So for example “water” had to be rendered “arnile-bilast” (hydrogen-oxygen).

In addition to the pure science research, I also consulted lots of experts to help me get the details right. For example, I consulted an emergency room doctor when it came to exactly where a crossbow quarrel landed during one murder. I needed the victim to be able to speak a few last words but die quickly. Asking a physician made all the difference in the world on that scene. Likewise, I’ve talked to engineers when designing technology and medieval re-enactors when describing some of the heritage weapons or when writing a fight scene. This research really helped me keep the details accurate and believable.

What makes you laugh?

Cockatiels are usually a good starting point. I have two beautiful birds who give me endless hours of enjoyment. I also really enjoy the company of my best friend in Wales. Not only does he have that irresistible British accent that always puts a smile on my face, but he is kind, caring, and is good at helping me smile when I’m having a bad day.

What makes you cry?

I’m very emotionally sensitive and empathic, so it’s pretty easy to make me cry. I cry out of both happiness and sorrow. The first time I heard the first draft of “Boudicca: Britain’s Queen of the Iceni” performed for audio edition by British voice artist Richard Mann I actually cried tears of joy because the performance was so beautiful and because until I heard him narrate my work I didn’t really realize just how powerful of a writer I am. I knew before hearing him narrate that the biography was accurate and compelling to read because of the human drama it explores, but I didn’t know just how lovely the writing was; that’s something that often needs an actor’s touch to communicate. So I will cry when I find something beautiful and that audio book absolutely is. I’m very proud of it.

What are you a fan of and is this reflected in your writing?

I love classic science fiction: Star Trek (original, The Next Generation, Voyager), Star Wars, original Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Babylon 5, and Quantum Leap are all favourites. I love J.R.R. Tolkien and his Middle Earth.

But in terms of actual direct influence on my writing, I must give credit to Frank Herbert’s “Dune” series. If there is a book or film that the Peers of Beinan is most like it actually is Dune. That’s because I love Herbert’s world building and the way he explores social issues (another reason why I love Star Trek actually) and social institutions. I know a lot of people in fandom love the JJ Abrams reboots of Star Trek and Star Wars, but I personally do not. Instead I really love it when a book or film makes me think and I find Dune does exactly that. So does the original Star Trek canon that upholds Gene Roddenberry’s vision. My favourite episodes are always the most thought-provoking episodes, not the action-centered ones. As a matter of fact action-heavy sequences bore me until I want to scream. Okay, so these characters fight. Great. They fight; let’s move on to something more intellectual or emotional. Let’s explore whether or not someone has the right to commit suicide (Star Trek Voyager: Death Wish) or our attitudes towards the elderly (Star Trek the Next Generation: Half a Life). Let’s do more than entertain; let’s make the world a better place in the process. As a rule, those are the works I am most interested in and the kind of science fiction I write.

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Again, thank you Laurel for answering these questions and helping us to become better acquainted with both the The Peers of Beinan Series and yourself.

  

The Peers of Beinan Series
is available on Amazon or iTunes.

About Laurel A. Rockefeller

Born, raised, and educated in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA, author-historian Laurel A. Rockefeller has published over twenty book titles since August 2012. Best known for the Legendary Women of World History biography Series, she is a tireless history educator and advocate for social justice.

Laurel is very active on social media, especially when working from her home office. You can check out her Amazon author page or Website: http://www.laurelarockefeller.com. You can also like her on facebook or follow her on pinterest or Twitter: @laurelworlds. Most social media tweets/comments are responded to within 48 hours.

EverydayFangirl 2015 Year In Review

Today is the last day of 2015 and the WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared an annual report of EverydayFangirl.com.

  

With 2015 being the year of Star Wars and with the recent release of The Force Awakens, it is no suprise that the top search terms used to find EverydayFangirl posts were related to this topic:

  
Here are some other fun stats from 2015:

The Everyday Fangirl blog was viewed 5,019 times, which is almost 2 times higher than the 2,800 views in 2014.

The busiest day of the year was March 8 with 96 views, which is only 4 short of the 100 view goal!

In 2015, there were 135 new posts, counting this one, growing the total archive to 393 posts.

  

Visitors to this blog are from 87 countries, which is higher than last year, so thankful for this truly worldwide audience!

One of the most popular posts this year was from 2013, Wedding Gowns in Fandom, who would have believed that this article would have such staying power!

Thank you to everyone who has visited this blog and see you again in 2016!

Year End SFR eBook Bargains

Did you get a new Kindle or other eReader for the holidays?

Do you like to read SciFi Romance?

Do you like a bargain?

  
Then check out the Scifi Romance Brigade Facebook page for year end ebook bargains, most for $0.99! 

Below are a few examples of some of the bargains available…

  
Project Enterprise Bundle by Pauline Baird Jones
  
Farewell Andromeda by Laurie A. Green

Three stories by Aurora Springer…
  
The Lady is Blue, Book 1 of Atrapako on Eden 

  
Grand Master’s Pawn, Book 1 of the Grand Master’s Trilogy

  
Captured by the Hawk

And many, many more End of Year specials! 


Happy Holidays from The Everyday Fangirl

The Everyday Fangirl wants to wish you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, a very exciting 2016 and of course May The Force Be With You, Always!

  

From HerUniverse Sweatshirt

The Force Awakens Questions


December 18, 2015 saw the offical release of Star Wars The Force Awakens. I, like many fans, had questions going into the film based on what had been revealed through the trailers, posters, commercials and other promotional materials. Below are some of these questions and my thoughts on what was revealed when I watched this film

Warning: May contain light spoilers, but trust me, nothing major, yet….

Who are all these new characters and what is their role in the Star Wars saga?

This has been a big question since the names were revealed through the trading cards, especially Rey and Finn, who did not have last names. The Force Awakens reveals a bit about who each of these characters are, but does this, for me, in an unexpected, but satisfying way. This film also leaves room to reveal more about their pasts and of course their role in the entire Star Wars saga. I will need to watch the movie again, a few more times, before I dive deep into each of these characters.

Where is Luke?

Ever since the release of the official posters, there were many, like me, that asked this question. I thought that this was a marketing decision on Lucasfilm’s or Disney’s part to increase the hype. However, this is actually a plot point in the movie that carries all the characters in the story forward.

What is a Snoke?

This is the question asked by my friends at Fangirls Going Rogue.  Supreme Commander Snoke, Leader of The First Order, can be seen and heard during the film, but I really do not believe we get enough about who or what this character really is. Hopefully, Star Wars Episode VIII will reveal more.

What happened to Han and Leia after Return of The Jedi?

When I heard confirmation that these characters were to appear in the film, this is one of the biggest questions I had. I like many others believe they lived ‘happily ever after’ after the Battle of Endor. The Force Awakens not only shows us what happened to them, but it is for me, one of the most emotional arcs of the entire film.

What were your questions going into the film?

Today is the day The Force Awakens

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As you can see, I have my ticket to see Star Wars The Force Awakens this afternoon! #FangirlFlail!!!

This Everyday Fangirl is very excited to see this new movie and will be posting my spoiler free thoughts and feelings right after I see it today.

May The Force Be With You!

The BB-8 Phenomenon continues

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BB-8 Facebook sticker created by artist Katie Cook

At The Cantina Cast blog I wrote about the BB-8 Phenomenon that has been happening since it was introduced in the first teaser trailer.

Now with Star Wars The Force Awakens opening world wide, there is no doubt that the BB-8 Phenomenon is continuing with the following…

An appearance of BB-8 on the red carpet

BB-8 with Rey on Jakku digital trading card from the Star Wars Trading Card app

An emoji from Star Wars app for use in messaging systems

A BB-8 backpack luggage available from Amazon.com

BB-8 reward from The Force For Change campaign

BB-8 on a t-shirt that came in the Star Wars Special Edition Loot Crate

BB-8 A-Line Dress from HerUniverse, which I will be wearing tomorrow!

During the Star Wars The Force Awakens Red Carpet event, Lucasfilm presented a featurette about BB-8, which included…

JJ Abrahms first sketch of BB-8

and the final concept art.

You can view this featurette below:

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Featurette – BB-8 (2015) via YouTube

The most interesting is this quote from Kathleen Kennedy on the red carpet, which I believe is about BB-8, that makes me wonder just what is coming next for this character…

an unbelievable droid that will become a huge star on the Disney Channel

Therefore, I believe we are still in the infancy of the BB-8 Phenomenon. Not only in the Star Wars movies, but beyond as well.

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