Another installment of my embarrassing stories, told through audio!
I guess you have to understand that when I was a child, I made up stories about everything and everyone. Every single time we went out to a restaurant, I would start up a little silverware melodrama: my fork was the leading man, my spoon the leading lady, and my knife was, of course, the villain. If I had a salad fork and soup spoon, they would be the wisecracking sidekicks who eventually fell in love. I don’t know if all kids do this, or if this is some fringe benefit of OCD or synesthesia, but I was really good at assigning personalities to inanimate objects.
The Solitaire story was that the King of Hearts, while maybe not evil, was an obnoxious oaf, dumb enough to scratch the back of his head with a sword, and definitely not worthy of the smart, sexy Queen of Hearts. So she spent all her time with the sweet, beautiful Queen of Clubs, whose husband was mostly just boring. The Queen of Hearts liked to hang around to offer a sympathetic ear — or maybe bosom? — whenever the Queen of Clubs had to be paired up with the King of Hearts to make a black on red solitaire pattern. It was as if the game itself was an event, a ball or a banquet, where they all were forced to socialize with each other, and the two Queens kept running off together to gossip, and call each other “babe” and “sweetheart” and, I don’t know, sit on each other’s laps? Cuddle or something? They never kissed, I was way too shy to make them kiss. I barely even made my Barbie dolls kiss, and they NEVER had sex. Not that Barbie sex is anything more than just bumping plastic, but I was a bit of a preteen prude.
I think that’s why I never really wrote fanfiction. Maybe I was also worried I’d be accused of plagiarism? I was very afraid of getting in trouble as a child. I did write a lot of stories that read a lot like whatever book I was reading at the time — first Beverly Cleary, then Bruce Coville, then in my early teens stories very much like the books of Louise Rennison or Gretel Killeen — but never actual fanfiction. I’m not sure I even knew it was a thing until my friends started doing it, and started recommending stories to me.
There’s been a lot of fanfic discourse lately. I’m pretty pro-fanfiction: one of my dreams has always been to create something that people write fanfiction about. I think the only thing I feel a little weird about is Real Person Fanfic, but I feel like most of the time that isn’t harmful. How many thousands of young girls (and probably boys and NB kids, too) wrote stories about dating someone from One Direction or Backstreet Boys or The Beatles? Someone wrote RPF about me once, and sent it to me, but it was a very young girl writing it, and it was actually a very sweet piece about the two of us meeting randomly in Central Park and having a nice conversation. I also I think she wrote that I saved someone from getting mugged? And she described me as “tall,” which I very much am not, but she didn’t know that, and I will let her take creative liberties there.
Honestly, I’m amazed that anyone’s getting any creative writing done at all right now. I thought it was hard to write last year, but this year hasn’t been any easier, at least not in America. I’ve been writing a piece for my Things That Gave Me Nightmares When I Was A Kid series, but it’s very heavy on the idea of dystopia, and uh, things have been a little more dystopian than I was expecting. So I’m gonna come back to that, I think. My next piece (for subscribers) is going to be about my middle school crush and Ben Folds, something that probably at least a few of you can relate to.
And maybe I actually should write a story about two queens sneaking off together to have an affair. The Favourite and Bridgerton were hits, people are loving anachronistic gay stories about royalty. Maybe I was just ahead of my time!
Stuff I Did This Week: I had a great time talking about movies and crushes and which TV Show has the most characters I’m attracted to on the Tasteless podcast! Listen here!
Also, I’m still doing videos on Cameo, and they’re a lot of fun! If you know a fan of Matilda, Night Vale, Big Hero 6, etc. who would like a video from me, I’d be happy to give them a shout-out, tell them a story, sing them a song, show them my cats.
Fake BBC Show of the Week: The Fens are Burning