Unexpectedly shattered

I’ve been working on editing the fourth episode of my Buffy the Vampire Slayer podcast, Things of Bronze, and in that episode I talk about how being a mom is like being the Slayer.

And then I’m reading Barbara Brownie and Danny Graydon’s The Superhero Costume: Identity and Disguise in Fact and Fiction and I run across Ana Álvarez-Errecalde’s beautiful work Symbiosis and it feels like my heart stops for a second. My breath catches.

And I go track down this interview with her, and save it for later, knowing it’s going in the February issue of Genetrix:

 Symbiosis (The Four Seasons, 2013-2014) talks about relationships that nourish each other both physically and psychologically. It challenges the idea of a negated mother who also negates her body and her presence to her children, so they will all ultimately conform to our unattended, unloved, and unnourished society. It is not about being a “supermom.” It is about two complete beings that strengthen each other by the relationship they establish. That is where the mutual empowerment resides.

But also then I go back to Brownie & Graydon and flipping through I realize that Álvarez-Errecalde’s photograph is in a section called “Parent power,” with quotes like these:

As the death of family provoked the adoption of heroic identities in Batman and Spider-Man, new parents find themselves transformed by the birth of a child. (p. 130-131)

and

It is just as impossible to define any parent without acknowledging their parenthood, as it is to define Bruce Wayne without acknowledging Batman. (p. 131)

and

Parenthood, like crime-fighting, is labor-intensive, exhausting and emotionally draining… Superhero imagery allows parents to express the tremendous strength that is required in parenthood, along with the new sets of values that emerge with their new identity. (p. 131)

And this is all serendipitously making me feel immensely seen and I’m on the verge of tears.

Fangirl by Rainbow RowellRainbow Rowell (goodreads.com)
Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan.. But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving. Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere. Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to. Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone. For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?
Fangirl Cover

I just finished reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. And now I want to be best friends with her, because she gets me.

This book means so much to me. I didn’t have a good time in college. I was lonely. I had no interest in partying. I was clinically depressed. And fandom saved my life.

I did have an adorable tall boyfriend with a receding hairline. (Reader, I married him.) He talked through my magnum opus with me, a blatant Mary Sue in which I wrote my hopes and dreams for season 5 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (I deleted it from fanfiction.net in a fit of embarrassment in 2009, but I’m planning to resurrect it from my old personal domain in the Wayback Machine and post it to AO3 soon.)

I was more distant from my sister than I’d ever been in my life. My little brother was very sick and ended up hospitalized.

I got a job explicitly to pay my way to fannish events. I made so many fandom friends. I printed up pages and pages of fanfic.

I started a fan campaign. It gave me a sense of purpose when my grades were tanking and my mom was in the hospital.

I embarked on a teaching career in a town two hundred miles away from anyone I loved. I read fanfic and posted on forums and LiveJournal and it was my only human contact outside of work.

This book just feels very personal and I’m so grateful to Rainbow Rowell for writing it.

Text: "Rupert Giles Actual School Librarian" and "A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Story by Kimberly Hirsh" on a brown background, in front of an image of antique books on a bookcase to the right of a wooden podium with a framed picture on the front of it.Still drafting the first chapter, but it has a cover and a summary…

The Watchers Council had made certain promises. First, that Rupert Giles would have no trouble getting his cover job as the new school librarian at Sunnydale High School. Second, that this role would require minimal actual librarianing, which was a good thing, as he had been rather distracted during his library studies coursework what with all the simultaneous advanced Watcher training. And third, that he would not have to deal with teenagers other than the Slayer herself.

The Watchers Council had lied.

I’ve fallen down an internet rabbit hole! My current work = reading about cosplay. Cosplay is part of fandom, and I feel disconnected from fandom so I started listening to Fansplaining to get me back in touch, and that took me to Wattpad, and then I started reading a Wattpad blog post that linked to Fanlore (which I already knew about but have never explored in-depth) and now I guess I’m going to just die of starvation while reading all of Fanlore? But also, please stay tuned for details about my upcoming fic, Rupert Giles, Actual School Librarian.