Writing about wanting to be Han Solo at The Mary Sue

Last week The Mary Sue published an essay that my friend and fellow VBP author Tamela Ritter wrote about our feelings for Han Solo. Neither one of us had a crush on him, exactly: I wanted to be him. Tammy wanted to be his best friend.

And the response has been amazing.

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Our feelings about Han were a little confusing when we were kids, because we both grew up at a time when “oh, girls just like Star Wars because they think Han/Luke/Lando is hot” because you know, girls are only supposed to like girl things and when we were growing up, Star Wars was considered a boy thing.

Anyhow, this was a piece we wrote together for an anthology, Golden Fleece Press’s The Fandom Universe… A Galaxy Far, Far, Away

Tammy emailed me in May to tell me submissions were due at the end of October, and I said, hey, that’s cool. We have six months to work on this. And then we forgot all about it until the end of October. (We ended up writing our essay in a weekend. It was the weekend of my brother’s birthday, in fact. I was making edits on my phone while my husband drove us to my brother’s house for a family party.)

Despite the rush, I was thrilled with the end product. I love writing with Tammy; she has a very poetic style, and when we work together, my prose becomes 20 percent more literary. The essay was accepted by Golden Fleece, but I really wanted to get it out there for as many people — women especially — to see as possible.

The Mary Sue had published one of my essays before, so I thought what the hell. Why not pitch it? The response has been incredible.

There have been so many shares, and so many comments from other women who wanted to be Han, or from women who wanted to be Luke, from guys who wanted to be Leia. There have been comments from kids of all genders who grew up with a crush on Han, or on Mon Mothma, or on Yoda, even. I’ve seen people in my own Facebook timeline sharing the article, not knowing that I was one of the writers. It’s been a little weird, seeing my own words quoted at me in my timeline – especially since wanting to be Han Solo (even if I didn’t really know that’s what I wanted at the time) was a central part of my childhood. Not a lot of people knew that I pretended to be a pilot in my childhood bedroom as a kid, and it’s odd to think that so many people have read that about me now.

But it’s also kind of amazing. If this is the only thing I’ve written that ever goes even a little bit viral, I’ll be happy with that.

Will I see the new movie? Probably not for a while. (It’s the holidays and I’d have to get a babysitter and being an adult is occasionally no fun when it comes to midnight film releases.) But I might watch all my VHS tapes of the old ones.

Leave George R. R. Martin alone!

I love how his wife is just sitting there, laughing.

I love how the lady next to him (his wife, maybe?) is just sitting there, laughing.

Look, I cherish a deep and abiding love for Weird Al Yankovic, and I laughed when I saw his Emmy performance last night, but man, I felt bad for George R. R. Martin when Andy Samberg ambushed him with that typewriter at the end of the Game of Thrones song last night.

I’m as rabid to read The Winds of Winter as any other Thronie, but dude. I mean, it’s bad enough to be a writer and always be thinking “I should be writing.”  In fact, it’s bad enough to have writer friends who take you to task constantly for not writing. (“Why are you on Facebook/Twitter/outside/buying groceries? You should be writing.”)

But for Martin? The world has become his obnoxious writing group. He can’t even watch his creations win Emmys without being handed a typewriter.

I mean, I know he’s achieved a ridiculous amount of success and this is part of the price for that, but still, I don’t envy him this.

Maybe I’m a little sensitive to his plight because I also can’t finish my final book in the Resistance Cycle. More on that later.

My favorite movies are pretty indicative of my mental age.

If I’ve been quiet on this site, it’s because I’ve been embarrassing myself fairly regularly over at Geek Eccentric. Remember the good old days, when I blogged about Legolas and feminism (not necessarily in the same post?) Well, they’ve been getting a lot of those posts since I was recruited as a writer/editor in the spring, which is fine, except I miss blogging here.

So last week, my editor asked us all to write our top 10 lists of movies, an exercise which I resisted a little because I don’t watch a lot of movies. I go to the theater maybe twice a year. But then I got to thinking about my favorite movies – the ones I watch over and over – and I noticed that they all have a few things in common. Action, adventure, well-drawn roles for women (mostly) and excitement. I can’t see any of these without wanting to jump into the plot. They all reduce me to my nine-year-old self, and that’s a good thing. Below is a photo of Number 5 (oh, Ahnold, you were a better Conan than a Governor) and here is a link to 10 Movies that are Nothing but Swashbuckling, Blastery, Monstery Fun.

Picture 1What do you think? Which would you add?

 

Want to see what I’ve been up to lately?

I’ve been railing against sexism in fan art in the geek world, over at Geek Eccentric. This week’s installment is a g-chat interview with the administrator behind The Hawkeye Initiative. What’s the Hawkeye Initiative? It’s a Tumblr with fan drawings of the Avengers’ Hawkeye (who is a dude) twisted into the back-breaking, butt-baring poses that female characters are often drawn into in comics. Click the link for some choice Hawkeye poses and an interview with a really cool lady: Females in Fanart: The Hawkeye Initiative

(UPDATE: The above link is broken. Click here for the archived article.)

Here, have my notes from AWP.

I’ve been on about last week’s AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) conference since I got back home on Sunday. I promise this will be my last blog post about it.

Today I finally organized my notes from the panels I attended last week. Because I used Twitter for this (because it lets me take and pass notes at the same time which would not have been okay in high school but which is okay at a conference), I decided to compile the notes online, with Storify.

If you want those notes, you’re welcome to them. They are here.

They are a work in progress. I still haven’t mined my handwritten notes yet. I will be doing that and adding to the Storify story at some point when my eyes aren’t whirling from organizing my Twitter feed chronologically.

I’m dreaming of a Gandalf the White Christmas.

Today, after another bout of house-hunting, my husband and I stopped in at the Goodwill to unwind and I saw this:

Gandalf

Yes! Gandalf and Boromir. But not just Gandalf and Boromir. There were two Boromirs, two Aragorns, a Legolas and a facially deformed fellow that I can only  guess, thanks to the process of elimination, is Faramir. There were also a knee-high Aragorn and a knee-high Legolas, complete with fake flaming torch and fake bow. So the way I see it, my husband should have been impressed by my restraint when I picked up only Gandalf.

Me: Oh my god. We need this. This is our new Christmas tree topper.

Husband: If you get that, it’s coming out of your own money.

Me: It’s $4. We need a tree topper. It’s an investment.

Husband: (sighs) He’s too heavy for the tree.

Me: (shaking Gandalf) YOU SHALL NOT PASS.

Husband: I’m going to go look at the jeans.

He’s PERFECT for the tree, really. He’s like the British version of Santa Claus, only with a sword instead of presents.

My husband is not getting into the spirit of this. He didn’t support my suggestion that Aragorn should come home with us, too, which would have only made sense.
And the first thing he said when Gandalf came out of the bag at home was “Time for Gandalf to go into the dishwasher.” Which is just rude.

But seriously, Gandalf is a great find. We lost a ton of our ornaments in the flood a few weeks ago, including our tree topper, so we do need a new one. And since The Hobbit is coming out next month, Gandalf is totally appropriate. And if other nerds have the TARDIS on their trees, I see nothing wrong with putting Gandalf on ours.

Later, I was telling Tom that we should get an LED light and put it in the top of Gandalf’s staff and he said “I need to make a Balrog whip out of LED lights.”

Hmph.

My husband would not be talking like that if Aragorn were here.

So, how does everyone else feel about prequels?

Yesterday, prompted by my trip to the movies to see Prometheus, I vented my spleen about how I hate prequels. Now I want to know how you all feel.

Do you like them? Do you hate them? Do you not care, so long as you get to see more Duncan Idaho/Legolas/facehuggers/Lestat/Severus Snape?

I’m curious.*

*And not because I’m thinking of writing a Beware the Hawk prequel. Because I’m not.