Fans make the distinction between being a Trekker and Trekkie. A Trekkie screams a lot. A Trekker creates.
I'm a Trekker.
I got so much from Star Trek from the first moment I got into fandom, that it became an obsession to give back.
Even though I wrote professionally, I didn't believe I could write
fiction. And I'd had enough art classes to know that I couldn't draw a good likeness. So I went back to an early
enthusiasm - library science. I thought that I could build bibliographies of fan writing. Which just meant that I
wasn't yet into fandom enough to know that many feet had trod that path before.
The afternoon before leaving work for my first trip to a slash con, Idicon in Texas, I wrote a short story of my
mother's death disguised as Kirk's. And there died, also, my planned bibliography.
Because you are surrounded by people who need others to feed their own obsessions for
more and more stories, even bad writers will be read by someone. And when you make mistakes,
there's always a kindly, obsessed soul who will explain what you can do to make your
story better. After I began writing, two separate people made up summary lists of the
rules of grammar I had evidently forgotten. And I was endlessly grateful to them. That
didn't mean that I rigidly followed those rules, but I really did want to know
what I was choosing to go against.
I had already known that I could write technically quite well. One of my first
computer publications for the Navy had been made the standard of quality for the future
Navy contracts. And I knew I could change voices from the spare style of a reference
manual to the more explanative style of a tutorial. From computers, I knew that the
hardest computer language to learn was the second, because that's when you had to generalize
concepts to tell what was an underlying truth and what was just the particular way this
language chose to say it. From Trek writing, I learned to generalize writing so that I could
write in any voice.
There were things besides story
continuations that I needed to say. Paul and I have no children, so there was no one to
whom I could repeat what I had learned at the knee of my
mother or grandparents. No one to
hear what conclusions I'd drawn from the time I've been in this world. Until I found
Trek. And there I found the place to say my things. All that was needed was to find the right
person to say them for me. And that's why I've grown to have a special love for the good
Doctor Leonard McCoy, played by the equally good DeForest Kelley. He's gone now, and the
hole in the crew will never be filled. Wherever you're traveling DeForest, may the wind be
at your back.
Unfortunately for my fan writing, I also discovered music videos in the Starsky and Hutch community. The potential
power in this art form took over my soul. We went out and immediately bought an RCA VHS video recorder and another
obsession took root. My first tries in Starky and Hutch were emotional, but unskilled. As were my early Trek pieces.
Today I'm digitizing my old songs, and those oldest ones are getting a complete rework. So much for historical records.
But I do have to say that one of my favorites of the old ones was a version of Wind Beneath My Wings. I have only so
long I can sustain high drama before my tendency toward humor overwhelms me. I made one serious version of the song to get
it out of my system, then immediately redid it with John Belushi clips, the cartoon show, and scenes from the parody
show with Richard Benjamin, Quark. Captain Quark captained a space ship and his mission was to collect space baggies.
This was the takeoff from the Trouble with Tribbles insult of calling the Enterprise a garbage scow.
|WHERE TO GET STUFF
Please contact Cathy, tranya at frontiernet.net.
The Star Trek videos are becoming available online thru
She currently has up 6, and will have a changing collection. She has, herself,
a great fanfic site.
Lord of the Rings, Buffy/Spike, Misc:
Please contact Tricia, grandmat at adelphia.net.
No matter how much you give to fandom, it always manages to give back more.
Sure I had to worry about my fan writing style affecting my computer publications.
Maybe I didn't really want to describe how to turn the screen pink in a light-hearted
way. But it did increase my confidence in my ability to change writing styles.
After listening to IBM Research Vice President Abe Peled give a talk on Pursuit of
Excellence, I took the big leap. I told him I gave him what I had to and gave my
hobbies everything. Could he reverse that. A few days later, lunch and almost spilt soup
from a very shaky hand, I had an international multimedia magazine for which I could
directly thank fandom. We found 1" broadcast machines around research and my husband built
a half million dollar studio around my magazine. Editing speech was easy compared to editing
to music, and I learned that writing scripts was pretty straightforward.
When we took advantage of IBM Research's last great early retirement package (health benefits
until social security kicked in, and a 7 year bridge that assumed we were still working at our
last salary!), I thought we'd just be making industrial videos. But there was this other
retirement perk - retraining money. So off I went to the Maine Film Workshops to increase my
editing skills with the editor of The Pawnbroker. And all would have been fine except
for this one little class I thought I'd take in writing movie scripts.
My first movie script was read by 16 agents and 6 offered to represent it. Vampires, of course.
I took the NY city agent that handled John Grisham and they subbed me out to Writers & Artists.
I was high as the sky. Wrote another about a werecub taken in by a vegetarian that they thought was
even better. 2 years later, my no-way-out contract was over and they hadn't sold. Ah, well. One
of the agents I turned down had become my best buddy, and he got the Forever Knight people to take
an episode script from us. We mailed on Tuesday. They called on Thursday. Unlike the implication
my agent had made, I was not Canadian, and would be no help for their balancing act of
Canadian and American talent. Besides, they had neglected to mention that they'd gotten rid of all
So I haven't sold yet, but I have become much more knowledgeable about byways and highways, and
there is no doubt in my mind that the joy I've had from these creations can be directly traced back
to the joy of fandom and the support of fans.
Is this a great world or what?