do you have something you like to do? something that you would go so far as to call yourself an authority on?
i ask, because i had an interesting collision in my life this week of real life and fiction. it began when i started reading a terrific novel. can you guess what it is?
sorry. i couldn't help myself.
Fangirl is smart, sweet, funny, and it's one of those novels that never fails to floor me because tho i can't stop turning the enormously engrossing pages it isn't really about anything.
my beau has a theory about restaurants, if you pick one thing and make it exceptionally well - be it tacos, chopped meat on rice, or Cronuts - people will flock to you. Fangirl is like that. it's about people who do people things and have people days and it's written so re-donkulously well that it results in the best read ever.
books like Fangirl make me wonder if i truly needed the sub sub murder mystery plot in my novel.
(the answer is yes, because murder mysteries are awesome. and there is plenty of room for all kinds of books on the shelves, corrie dear).
anyhoo, back to Cronuts.
i mean Fangirl.
the plot is straightforward. Cather is a college freshman who writes fan fiction, has issues with boys, and experiences family drama in her first year away at college. the novel is interspersed with sections of her fan fic that's based on Harry Potter type characters that she's been obsessed with for years. and now...jump to my real life.
the setting was straightforward. my friend was invited by her friend to an employee and client art show at a large publishing house on Lexington Avenue. i was invited to tag along and i was psyched. not for the art, which involved Legos, but because walking through the lobby, i couldn't help fantasizing about the day that i'd enter a fancy publishing building just like that one to have an actual meeting with an actual editor who had actually bought the rights to my novel.
the whole night was great. it was great seeing the editor's cubicles. great raiding their room of free books. great eating three plates of strawberry-rhubarby cookies while drinking wine.
but especially great, as i mingled with the mix of editors and lawyers i found myself talking to, was realizing that i had landed smack dab in the middle of a group of Cather's. i had entered a world of Fangirls.
these were the best women ever. interesting, intelligent and witty, sure, but, stand aside when it came to Star Trek, Manga, Starwars, Doctor Who and all things Neil Gaiman. no seriously, stand aside. you might be floored by the gusts of their adoring verbal gales. yes, i was a little (come on, corrie. manga?), okay a lot, on the outside of the conversations. but i loved listening. it was the equivalent of watching a cat luxuriating in its sunny patch on the floor. these girls reveled in their geekery. (let's call a spade a spade). and i couldn't help wondering as i went back for another plate of cookies, what, if anything i was a fangirl of.
i like to eat. a lot. more than doing the "think about what i'm eating next whilst partaking in the present meal" i actually partake in the next meal while i'm still partaking in the first one. * see afternoon of bagel eating overlapping grilled cheese sandwich eating overlapping huarache eating.... and i could happily talk to you for hours about what you ate for dinner.
in fact, what did you have for dinner?
but that's more gluttony than fandom. and lots of people act like that here. it's new york. seeing as i don't follow food blogs (mainly out of jealousy. i'll never eat the food pictured and what's fun about that?) and my cooking involves two steps:
Step 1. boiling pasta
Step 2. sauteing on-hand veggies
then combining the products of Step 1 and 2 and dumping parmesan cheese over the whole concoction, i don't believe i'll be winning any food fandom awards anytime soon.
maybe i'm a fangirl of reading?
i love to read. love it more than any other visual or auditory form of entertainment. for the past few months, i've read three to four books a week. and i order three times that many from the library so that i'm in a constant euphoric state of wicked witch of the west "how will i ever get to it all, i'm melting amongst all my books ahhhh what a wonderfully cruel world."
sorry. what's that? what book did i just finish? oh it was this terrific book called... uh... gimme a minute.
nope. lost it.
does it count as fandom when you can't remember what you're consuming? i attended a reading in a bookstore tonight and i saw a book on the shelf and my first thought was, i have that on request from the library! before i remembered that the book came in three weeks ago, and i'd already read it and had liked it.
i've always admired the home cooks, beer makers, mechanics et al. those people who spend their free hours locked away, tinkering, simmering, creating. i'm usually too impatient, cheap, or easily distracted.
i'd begun to worry that i'm not interesting enough to be a fangirl of anything (which might still be the case, actually) when i figured it out. i know this will sound really cheesy, but it's the honest answer that i came up with. what am i a true fangirl of?
hiphop dancing. no. yes. but no...
i write all the time. i think about writing when i'm not. i could talk about the process of writing for hours. i read about writing whenever i get the chance. i can't stay away from writing for more than a few days at a time. and i don't see myself stopping, ever.
okay. so big yay. i'm a fangirl of my chosen profession (yes, i'm calling it my profession even though i've yet to make a regular nickle off it.). and although i'm not sure this actually even counts, i'm taking it. what i'm also taking away from my fiction and real life fangirl overlap, is the realization that bringing geek levels of enthusiasm to life rewards you with geek sized enjoyment of life.
and of that, i'm a fan.