Monthly Archives: August 2014

The Names The Thing

Daily Prompt: Have you ever named an inanimate object? (Your car? Your laptop? The volleyball that kept you company while you were stranded in the ocean?) Share the story of at least one object with which you’re on a first-name basis.

This is Jim. Jim is a prop that I have from a dance show back when I was about fourteen and we did a dance to Michel Jacksons ‘Thriller’. Jim has lived in my room ever since then, but didn’t get a name until a few years ago when my four year old god-daughter came into my room and was instantly terrified. In an attempt to stop her from being so afraid, we gave him a name and a full back story. After getting to know Jim, she wasn’t afraid of him anymore so in this case, naming my inanimate object was pretty necessary.

I also have a Robin doorstop.

His name interchanges constantly based on the first Batman’s Robin names that comes into my mind. So at any time his name could be Dick, Damian, Jason, Tim, Stephanie etc. Because of this, my youngest sister has learnt a lot about the different Robins and can name them all as she walks past. There wasn’t really a reason to name my robin, it’s just further proof that I’m a geek.

I’ve also named a lot of my electronic devices, my laptop is called Jeff and my phone is called Nick. And yes, I did name them after the Warblers from Glee. I can’t bring myself to regret my Glee phase. Basically I only named my devices so that I would have something to yell when they mess up.

Have you named any of your inanimate objects? Just let me know in the comments. It would be nice to know that I’m not the only one who would do this to my belongings.

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The Power of Fanfiction

In the class ‘Harry Potter: The Age of Illusion’ at Durham University, I learnt a lot about the ‘potter-verse’ and all of the different aspects which go into creating the fictional universe, for example; the books, the films, interviews with JK Rowling etc. And the main thing that I took away from the class with this; fanction isn’t all that bad. In fact, our first piece of homework was to read one of our lecturers favourite fanfictions (which can be found here if anyone is interested: Hogwarts Houses Divided). We also looked at ‘drapple’ in class, but that’s another story…

There are a lot of arguments against fanfiction which largely really on the legal standpoint of copyright infringement. But on the whole fanfiction is a pretty great phenomenon because it expands the fictional universe. Let’s face it, we don’t really know a lot about the marauders school days because Rowling didn’t write a great deal about then. But through fanfictions, headcanons, fanart etc we all have a shared idea of what the era was like. (The only large disputes over the era which I’ve seen are about the characterisations of teenage Peter and Snape which, given their actions later in life, is understandable).

Fans are able to pick up a universe and expand it as a community, which is something that even Rowling advocates. And this is why I think that it’s a shame when authors expressly ban fanfiction of their work. Fanfiction.net gives a list of all of the authors who have banned fanfiction which includes;
• Anne Rice
• P. N. Elrod
• Archie Comics
• Dennis L. McKiernan
• Irene Radford
• J.R. Ward
• Laurell K. Hamilton
• Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb
• Raymond Feist
• Robin Hobb
• Robin McKinley
• Terry Goodkind

This is always disappointing because fictional worlds such as that created by Anne Rice through the Vampire Chronicles are perfect for fan expansion. I want to see more interview with the vampire head canons. I want more fan castings (we need them after the terrible castings of the movies of both Interview with the Vampire and Queen of the Damned). I want as many au’s as humanely possible. But alas, the restrictions mean that it isn’t likely to happen anytime soon.

Let me know what you think about fanfiction in the comments. Like me, do you get a bit disheartened when the author limits the potential for fan expansion of their universes or do you think that it’s their choice?