Book Review: FanGirl

I’ll admit, Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell is not in my normal genre, but it was about someone who does write in it, if that makes sense. The protagonist is a college freshman named Cather. Cather and I have several things in common, so I felt invested in the story right away.

Cather is a twin, and her sister Wren (Cather Wren, yeah her mom was not as funny as she thought she was when she named them) is starting school with her at the university of Nebraska at Lincoln.Cather is internet famous in the Simon Snow fandom as a slash fiction writer. I happen to be a twin, and I did briefly attend the university of Nebraska at Lincoln, and I LOVE slash fanfiction.

I immediately related to her insecurity and uncertainty of going to college. Like Cather and Wren, my sister and I attended the same college and there was the constant struggle of trying and wanting to break out and be your own person and still being part of the “unit” as we were called.Wren decides to break the bond and take a roommate that is not her sister.

It is probably lucky for me that the internet did not exist when I was a freshman or I would never have left my dorm. Cather is an introvert and very shy, I could relate here too, I was very nervous about doing things as simple as going to the dining hall alone or making new friends. She struggles with trying to define her identity as an adult and college student and reconcile this with her identity as MagiCath on the fanfiction site she frequents.

I think we all may go through a little of that. Who I am at work and with my non-writing friends is not the same as who I am as a writer and fan. Finding a balance is hard for an adult, and a confused young woman with issues with abandonment and co-dependency (she feels compelled to take care of her unstable father rather than face her problems and find solutions.) has a much harder road to follow.

She has some of the normal trials and tribulations of a freshman, the difficult roommate, the first crush and betrayal, conflict with a professor, drama with her second crush, and watching her sister struggle with her own demons as the year wears on. There is even a tense semi-reunion with her estranged mother to make things even more complicated for her.

Over all, this is a very good book. I felt it bogged down a little, but I made the mistake of putting it down for several weeks so it was most likely just me trying to catch back up. The characters are well developed. They have a very real feel to them. And to me, characters are the real heart of the story, if you don’t love the characters, you won’t remember the story.

This is well worth the time to read it.

~Heather

Is this what I have been doing with my time?

I may have lost my mind. For some reason, I remembered that I owned the SIMs game. I cannot remember the last time I played it, but I got a wild hair this weekend. I could have played one of the stories I started who knows how long ago. but I decided to use our Kryos characters instead.

I tried to give them the right personalities and as much as possible the right looks. Ezra is a flirt, slightly neurotic, and no clear direction. Hunter is military with no sense of humor. And these two think I am mad as hell trying to get them together.  They cooperated so much better in the book. It is crazy how hard they are fighting a relationship.

 

Hunter  Ezra

Hunter                                                                                                   Ezra

Hunter and Ezra Ezra and Hunter

The two of them together.

Raziq

Just for fun, Raziq. Don’t kill me, Idun. Hahahahaha

I would say I need more constructive hobbies, but really, this is about as productive as I get.

~Heather

 

I may be a hoarder…

A story idea hoarder that is.  I just opened my file where I keep all my story ideas and found that it has fifteen entries. Fifteen. Four I have started, five are with other people, one of those is with Idun. 🙂 That leaves six that I have not even touched. Is there a 12 step program for that?  I keep collecting ideas like a hoarder does cats. I think this means I need to work harder. Yikes.  I also have a draft of a blog post that i need to finish here soon. I guess I can’t complain. I used to worry that I would run out of ideas, I guess that was absurd.

Self Promotion

How do you do it? I cannot figure it out. I have never tried to hide the fact that I am as neurotic as a person can be and still be considered functional. I can can get myself worked up and stressed out over anything. It is really absurd.  Today I did it just by submitting a short story to a contest.  That is something that should be fun, or exciting, but as soon as I clicked the last button I started on the negative self talk.

“That was stupid, there is no way it is good enough.”

“What makes you think you are actually a writer?”

“You should not have wasted those poor people’s time with your ridiculous story.”

The list goes on and on. I still am not sure how I ever got the courage up to submit Kryos with Idun. Even now that the book is published I still can hardly accept it.  All I can see are the flaws and the mistakes.  I know, rationally, that it is all part of the learning process, but it makes it hard to promote it.

How does a neurotic go about self promotion? My every instinct is to just brush it off.  Just the other day, a friend asked me about the book and I could not bring myself to say anything much about it. I can’t even make myself post links or anything about it on the writer’s groups I belong to on Facebook, even on the days where everyone is doing it. I am not a salesman at all.

It is kind of a shame though, we worked really hard on that story and I should be proud of it, but I let myself get in the way. I need to think of a way to promote it, without feeling like I am promoting me.  The whole look at me aspect is really hard. I understand Idun’s resistance to self-promotion, it is a cultural thing for her, but as an American, should I not be better at this?

~Heather