Hey Alex, how do you produce So Much Content?
Well, the first and easiest answer is that if I’m not writing and creating content I will literally dissolve.
The second and possibly less unsettling answer is that most posts are scheduled at least a month in advance, so generally I’m not actually churning out five whole posts each four-week period (to use this month as an example). My AniFem piece was also in the editing pipeline for a couple of months (due to a combination of the editors being uber busy with convention season and the piece going through a rigorous and amazing editing process. Seriously, Caitlin and Dee are powerful and work very hard to make the articles that go up the best they can be!) so the only posts I generally write the month of publication are for Lady Geek Girl, since those are pitched on a monthly basis.
That said, I’m still working hard to write the posts to put in the queue for the next few months, so maybe I do end up writing an equivalent of five posts every four-week period… it would depend on the period in question, what else I have going on, et cetera. This ties neatly back into the first answer.
You’re writing about a helluva lot of anime these days, aren’t you?
Jeez, I sure am. There are a couple of factors behind this: first, that anime is so very, deliciously accessible these days with the rise of legal streaming sites. It’s such a blessed change from even five years ago! I’m also much more plugged into the anime blogging community than I have been before, so I can keep an eye out for recommendations of what exactly to try out. Bobbing in a pool of writers publishing fun and insightful articles about anime also inspires me to do the same, and of course watching and thinking about anime gives me potential pitches for both AniFem (obviously) and Lady Geek Girl (where I am one of a small fraction of weebs on the writing staff, which means anime reviews and discussion are a less common angle and subject matter, so I can safely pitch knowing it’s less likely to have been written about before).
The last reason is that I’ve been doing a lot of reading, reading, reading this year, so visual media has been the way to go when I’m trying to unwind! (Yes, I know, I have the subtitles to read, but it’s a wholly different experience)
Is it difficult balancing a thesis with blogging for fun and writing for other websites?
You just have to manage your time well. Again, if I’m not writing I will become a puddle of a human being, so having that drive definitely helps. For the love of goodness don’t sign up for any kind of higher degree if you don’t love reading a lot and writing a lot.
Alex you dweeb, are you just writing gay mythology fanfiction for your thesis? How did you get away with this?
Well, yes and no. As I said in my three-minute presentation I’m responding to Campbell’s assumptions and other scholars’ critique of his work with a “reimagining” of an old story: an original narrative in its own world that borrows The Hero’s Journey structure, rather than a direct retelling of a myth but with the hero’s gender simply switched out. As well as giving me more wriggle-room to build the world and the supporting cast around the point this project is trying to make, this is basically so readers don’t need to know the myth it’s based on to understand and enjoy the story. Obviously it’s being written to come parcelled with the academic exegesis explaining all the research and intent behind it, but it’s also super important that it’s just an engaging and accessible story. With heroic lesbians!
Anyway, everything’s a little bit fanfiction, and there’s nothing wrong with that–in fact, it’s a perfectly valid form of creative response in the field of academia (though obviously you have to make sure your copyright stuff is all in order. Ancient myths written down by monks: not such a big deal. Contemporary fiction: have a long talk with your supervisor first). I have a barrel full of sources talking about how revision of myths, fairy tales, and other familiar cultural stories for the purpose of reflecting or inviting cultural change is a much-loved and progressive practice, but since I’m miraculously still excited to talk about this project rather than exhausted with it, I’ll save all that for another post.
You finished watching both Flip Flappers and Revolutionary Girl Utena this month. Have you overdosed on metaphor-laden queer coming of age story?
…just a little bit
You didn’t get sick this month! Congratulations!
Don’t jinx it!!
On the blog:
Baccano! vol. 1: Live Forever or Die Trying (in which I read a light novel for the first time. People get shot)
The Death of Innocence and Rebirth of the Hero in Revolutionary Girl Utena (in which I realise that Utena is exactly my jam in so many thematic ways)
Adding Salt to Sweet Vanilla: The Complex Women of ToraDora! (in which you were incorrect if you thought I’d finished having thoughts and feelings about this show and these characters)
On Lady Geek Girl:
The Garden of Words: A Masterpiece, But Did It Have to Be a Love Story? (well? Did it???)
Magical Mondays: A Journey Inside the Mind with Madoka Magica and Flip Flappers (in which two magical girl series delve into the inner worlds of their characters and results may vary)
I have never watched The Big Bang Theory, so it’s nice to have someone else so eloquently explain why the whole vibe of it upsets me so much:
Here, Cracked argues that Game of Thrones has finally been screwed over by the conflicting laws of genre it’s trying to play with
Here, a lovely personal piece about anime, personal growth and nostalgia
Here, The Fandomentals discuss and define “superhero fatigue” and ponder that Wonder Woman’s success was probably because it was, finally, something different, in having a woman in its starring role of course but also by attempting to be optimistic in a world of Nolan-esque Batmen, hitting this particular nail on the head:
Here’s the thing, grimdark for the sake of “edginess” is a privilege. Our own reality has become quite bleak over the years and most of us have to deal with some sort of oppression, hate, or prejudice. Pretending to live in a Crapsack World is no longer that fun or relevant. But stories? Stories are more relevant than ever. They’re a powerful tool to keep us going in times like these, to resist and refill our hearts with hope and positivity.
Here, a reflection on non-binary identity and the magical girl genre: “If gender isn’t binary, then being magical isn’t either”
Here, a post about hunting for ace representation in the media you love (and maybe, just maybe, finding it in My Love Story!)
Here, Artemis and Watson continue their slog through the series voted Worst Anime Ever with the baffling concept of Vampire Holmes
And here, a post about three different food-focussed series and how to strike the perfect balance between being a story about delicious edible goods and a story about people
Alas, I don’t have any new podcasts to recommend this month, but Chatty AF suffered through both Netflix’s Death Note and Neo Yokio to come out with some great discussion and insight that is definitely worth a listen to. Travis and Theresa were also particularly adorable in the Shmanners episode about eloping.
As always, take care out there everybody. Stay safe, stay hydrated, stay rad.