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#AtoZChallenge: Join me…

For Star Wars fans the phrase “Join Me” is used by both Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine to entice Luke Skywalker to turn to the ‘Dark Side’ of the Force.  Today, I am using this phrase, not to entice you to the ‘Dark Side’, but to ask you to ask you to ‘join me’ in helping to raise awareness and funds for the fight against Multiple Sclerosis (MS).   Many of you may be wondering just what is MS? 

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that creates a neurological condition that affects the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS includes the brain, the spinal cord, and the optic nerves, and it’s surrounded by a fatty tissue called myelin that protects the nerve fibers and helps them conduct electrical impulses. MS is NOT fully understood and is a highly unpredictable disorder that can cause a variety of different symptoms, which for many, can flare-up and then subside over the course of days, months, or even years. There are four recognized types of multiple sclerosis, ranging from those that cause periodic relapses or “attacks” that subsequently ‘remit’ or go away to types that progressively worsen over time.

While MS is not contagious, its causes are not yet fully understood and researchers continue to search for answers daily.

Here are some Facts About MS that are known:

*Every hour, someone is newly diagnosed with MS.
*More than 2.5 million people worldwide live with this unpredictable disease.
*MS is the most common neurological disease leading to disability in young adults.
*Many Celebrities have MS including icons such as Annette Funicello, who passed away in 2013.
*Check out the latest statistics on MS here

My husband, Michael, suffers the relapsing remitting type of MS, which can cause a variety of symptoms that can flare-up and then subside over the course of days, months, or Even years. Some of the more common ones that he suffers from includes: *Fatigue *Difficulty in walking *Vision problems *Emotional changes *Problems with memory, attention, and problem-solving *Bladder/bowel dysfunction *Dizziness and vertigo *Numbness/pain.  I watch him every day struggle to have a normal life dispite what this disease is doing to him. 

I might not be able to snap my fingers or use The Force to help my husband or anyone else that suffers from this life changing disease.  However, I can help raise funds, promote awareness and encouraging others to learn more about this disease and those who suffer from it. 

Today, I have signed up again to participate in the Walk MS event in Frankenmuth, MI on May 9, 2015.  This event’s purpose is to help raise funds and promote awareness of this life changing disease.  Participating in this event is important to me because many people suffer, including my husband, symptoms of this disease on a daily basis! Therefore, I encourage you to ‘join me’ in this effort.  

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You can find out more information on my fundraising efforts here.

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My team and I at Walk MS event in 2012!
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My team and I at Walk MS event in 2013!

My team and I at Walk MS event in 2014!

Tom Kelly, a Twitter friend of mine, is also raising funds for MS. He is participating in the Bike MS event in his area. You can find out more about his efforts here!

I know that many of you might not be able to donate financially to either of our fundraising efforts.  However, you can ‘join me’ in spreading the word!  ‘Join me’ and together WE can make a difference!

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Any kind of help you can give would be greatly appreciated! 

Thanks and May The Force Be With You, Always! 
 

Archetypes: Hero

Originally posted on Ariel Hudnall:
Life is full of peril. Danger and darkness lurk the corners, and in our blackest moments, most of those journeys would fail if not for the Hero rising up to save the day. He–or she–is the final trump against evil: resilient, strong, and death-defying. We experience most stories from the eyes…

Diversity in Fandom

My sister, my husband and I spent a few hours at Detcon1 yesterday!

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While we were there, my sister and I attended the panel on What’s New About Fandom’s Diversity. I have been an advocate for women and their right to be fans and creators of Science Fiction & Fantasy for awhile now. Therefore, this was a panel topic I was very interested in.

One of the things that stood out for me was that all of the panelists had diverse backgrounds and perspectives. I was really impressed with what each of the panelists had to say, especially Isabel Schetchter. Not only does Isabel represent the female point of view, but the Jewish and Latino points of view in Fandom as well. The most powerful statement she made had to do with a comment about not seeing a person by their ‘color’. I do not remember the exact quote, but it did make an impression on me and I my sister and will do my best to paraphrase it below:

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Do not tell me that you do not see ‘color’! This just tells me that you are trying to ignore my ‘color’ because it makes you uncomfortable.

I have to admit in the past that I told many people that I do not see their ‘color’, ethnicity, race, etc in reference to Fandom. As a Fangirl, I always looked at the lack of diversity in Science Fiction and Fantasy Fandom, as a female and not by other aspects. Therefore, I never realized that in the mind of another fan, who faces diversity issues in Fandom that may or may not relate to just gender, that it could mean the opposite. This is a revelation to me and I hope that I can learn from this in my future dealings with other fans.

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Dealing with Diversity in Fandom, as one of the panelists said (again I am paraphrasing)…

…is not about you and what you have experienced, but it is about listening to others. It is in the listening that you can learn that what you may have experienced, no matter how bad it is or was, may have also happened to another. Their experience may have been just as bad or even worse, but in a different way than what you experienced.

The panel closed with each of the panelist indicting what they see are the positives with Diversity in Fandom. The best quote on the positives of Diversity in Fandom is:

We are better off than we have ever been before because of panels like this!

For more on the topic of Diversity in Fandom you can check out the following:

Detcon1 and Diversity via Author Jim C Hines Blog, which includes a link to Detcon1 Diversity Video presented by two of the panelists, Anne Grey and Pablo Vasquez!

Sci-Fi Fans Blast World’s Biggest Fantasy Convention For Lack of Diversity via The Daily Dot

War is Coming to Science Fiction and Fantasy Fandom via The Province

Neurodiversity and Fandom via TOR.com

Support Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Fundraising

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I want to help raise funds for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society because my husband suffers from this disease. Therefore, I have signed up for a third year ear in a row to participate in the Walk MS in Frankenmuth, MI. Participating in this event is important to me because many people suffer, including my husband, symptoms of this disease on a daily basis!

For those who are not familiar with this disease, you may be wondering just what is MS?

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that creates a neurological condition that affects the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS includes the brain, the spinal cord, and the optic nerves, and it’s surrounded by a fatty tissue called myelin that protects the nerve fibers and helps them conduct electrical impulses. MS is NOT fully understood and is a highly unpredictable disorder that can cause a variety of different symptoms, which for many, can flare-up and then subside over the course of days, months, or even years. There are four recognized types of multiple sclerosis, ranging from those that cause periodic relapses or “attacks” that subsequently ‘remit’ or go away to types that progressively worsen over time. My husband has the relapsing remitting type of MS, which can cause a variety of symptoms that can flare-up and then subside over the course of days, months, or even year.

Some of the more common ones that my husband suffers from includes:
*Fatigue
*Difficulty in walking
*Vision problems
*Emotional changes
*Problems with memory, attention, and problem-solving
*Bladder/bowel dysfunction
*Dizziness and vertigo
*Numbness/pain

While MS is not contagious, its causes are not yet fully understood and researchers continue to search for answers daily. Here are some Facts About MS that are known:

*Every hour, someone is newly diagnosed with MS.
*More than 2.5 million people worldwide live with this unpredictable disease.
*MS is the most common neurological disease leading to disability in young adults.
*Many Celebrities have MS including icons such as Annette Funicello, who passed away last year.

*Check out the latest statistics on MS here

The Importance of Long-Term Treatment

*At the present, approved long-term treatments are only available for individuals with relapsing forms of MS
*10 disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) are now approved for relapsing forms of MS (as of March 2013)
*DMTs may: reduce the number and severity of symptom flare-ups; delay disease progression; reduce the number of active lesions; and potentially extend one’s lifespan
*DMTs have reduced or delayed the number of individuals who advance from relapsing-remitting MS to secondary-progressive MS

You can find out more information on my fundraising efforts here!

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My team and I at Walk MS events in 2012 and 2013!

Tom Kelly, a Twitter friend of mine, is also raising funds for MS. He is participating in the Bike MS event in his area. You can find out more about his efforts here!

If you are unable to donate financially to either of our fundraising efforts, then you can help by spreading the word! Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated!

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Happy International/Galactic Women’s Day!

Today is International Women’s Day, but StarWars.com reminded all of us that it is really Galactic Women’s Day with the following pic:

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As you can see there are some awesome women in that Galaxy, Far, Far Away including Leia, Ventress and of course Ahsoka!

This fangirl is hoping that the next Star Wars films, TV, etc will feature many more of these women role models!

Again, Happy Galactic Women’s Day and remember the Force will be with you always!!!

The Resurrection of the Disney Princess

Cool blog article on the history and the Resurrection of the Disney Princesses in films, TV and merchandising.

Character Motivations by Archetype

Topic: Character Motivations by Archetype

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I was reading the Summer 2013 issue of “Novel Writing” published by Writer’s Digest. One of the articles in this issue, ‘What’s The Motivation?’ by Victoria Lynn Schmidt, is about the motivations of characters based on gender archetype.

Below is an excerpt of each of the gender archetypes as listed in the article with a brief of description of each including characteristics, occupations and motivations…

Female Hero and Villain Archetypes

The Seductive Muse

• Physically centered, extroverted, great at listening.
• Occupations: artistic type (poet, sculptor, actress).
• Motivated by: self-actualization.

The Amazon

• Physically centered, extroverted, intuitive, evaluates situations via her emotional response.
• Occupations: realistic type (laborer, activist, gardener, soldier, store owner).
• Motivated by: survival.

The Matriarch

• Physically centered, extroverted, receives information by means of the senses, great at looking and listening, evaluates situations via her emotional response.
• Occupations: enterprising type (politician, lawyer, judge).
• Motivated by: love, belonging and respect.

The Mystic

• Spiritually centered, introverted, evaluates situations via her emotional response, intuitive.
• Occupations: artistic type.
• Motivated by: aesthetic need for balance.

The Female Messiah

• Spiritually centered, introverted, intuitive.
• Occupations: enterprising type.
• Motivated by: aesthetic need to be connected to something greater.

The Maiden

• Emotionally centered, introverted, receives information by means of the senses, great at looking and listening.
• Occupations: conventional type (cashier, flight attendant, bartender).
• Motivated by: safety and security.

Male Hero and Villain Archetypes

The Businessman

• Mentally centered, extroverted, receives information rationally or logically, intuitive.
• Occupations: investigative type.
• Motivated by: self-esteem.

The Protector

• Physically centered, extroverted, evaluates situations by his emotional response, receives information by means of the senses, great at looking and listening.
• Occupations: realistic type.
• Motivated by: survival.

The Recluse

• Spiritually centered, introverted, receives information by means of the senses, great at looking and listening.
• Occupations: artistic type.
• Motivated by: the need to know and understand.

The Artist

• Emotionally centered, typically extroverted (but can be introverted).
• Occupations: artistic and social type.
• Motivated by: survival.

The Male Messiah

• Spiritually centered, introverted, intuitive.
• Occupations: enterprising type.
• Motivated by: the aesthetic need to be connected to something greater than himself.

The King

• Mentally centered, extroverted, receives information rationally or logically or by means of the senses, great at looking and listening.
• Occupations: enterprising type.
• Motivated by: self-esteem and self-respect.

Here are some of the question that came to mind while I read the article….

    Why do character stereotypes come to mind, when I read these archetypes by gender?
    Why are these archetypes based on gender and not by motivation or characteristics?
    Why are some male archetypes ‘mentally centered’, but not any of the female archetypes?
    Why cannot a female be a ‘king’ or ‘businessman’ archetypes?
    Why are there so many archetypes with ‘artistic’ characteristics?
    Where would a more complex character that has multiple motivations and characteristics fit within these archetypes?

In my opinion, the author of this article did not include any good answers to these questions of mine. Therefore, I would be interested to find out what any of you think of these archetypes and my questions.

Video Games, Holodecks, and Playing the Hero

A great post about being a hero in a virtual world, that can help someone be a hero in the real world. The examples used to illustrate this are from a few great episodes of Star Trek Deep Space Nine. Overall, a great blog article that I had to re-blog!

Robo♥beat

link zeldaLately I’ve been trying to pinpoint exactly why I game. Some people play for the challenge, but that’s not the draw for me. I think the reason I keep returning to games is that there are few things in life quite as satisfying as spending time in a fictional world where we are able to be heroes. That’s what children do when they play make-believe. And that’s what we adults do when we play video games… right?

This brings me to one of my favorite episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine — and my favorite bit of Star Trek tech, the holodeck. The episode “Our Man Bashir” takes place almost entirely in a holo-program that Dr. Julian Bashir has been escaping to during all of his free time, apparently. The program casts him as a suave spy — an obvious James Bond type — taking down bad guys and getting the…

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#AtoZChallenge Quizzes For Fangirls

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A-Z Blog Challenge Topic: Quizzes For Fangirls

While I was looking for Fangirl definitions for my The Year of The Fangirl related post, I ran across several sites with quizzes for fangirls. For this post, I am focusing on two different quizzes on the following topic: “What Kind of Fangirl Are You?”

Quiz 1 by FlamingoDuke:

This quiz seems to focus on the objects that are related to the concept of “fangirlism“. When I completed this quiz a screen came up with the following results:

The Ordinary Fangirl
You are an ordinary fangirl. You have a well-balanced life and are perfectly capable of focusing on things other than the object of your fangirlism. You lead a healthy lifestyle and although occasionally you may find yourself overcome with screaming fits and overactive giggling when confronted with your object, you are otherwise a normal and socially adept member of society.

Quiz 2 by Kyoliciousness

This quiz seems to focus on music and the related singers or performers of anime series. When I completed this quiz an image came up with the following results:

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You’re the Average Fangirl. You like stuff, but not to the point where people want to kill you.

So, both quizzes, even though they have different focuses, each seem to define me based on my answers to the questions as an “Average, an Ordinary or a Normal” Fangirl.

Reader Request Week 2013 #9: Women and Geekdom

Thanks John for answering this question in a positive light for us geek girls who are trying to shatter the stereotypes, especially the negative ones. It is why this is The Year of the Fangirl #YOTFG and I wish more of the fanboys thought like you did. Hopefully, this post will help explain why we are making so much noise!

Whatever

In e-mail, Brian asks:

Women in Geekdom. Why is this all exploding now? Where is it going?

I am assuming Brian means women in geek-related fields taking a stand against the both latent and overt sexism in those fields and having to deal with outsized, histrionic freakouts some geek dudes are having about it in response.

What’s happening? To explain, let me go to one of my favorite little bits in the film The American President, which I think these days is best known as writer Aaron Sorkin’s rough draft of The West Wing. The scene has President Andrew Shepherd navigating his way through a Christmas party at the White House and coming across a florid, very concerned man in a green jacket:

INT. RESIDENCE - NIGHT An informal Christmas party is underway with maybe 20 GUESTS, some of them familiar faces. SHEPHERD and a GREEN-BLAZERED MAN GREEN…

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