I am back because I am now, amazingly enough, working for a fantastic online news source that has asked me to ferret out stories about the things you all are doing. They require me to be actively engaged in the community I'm reporting on. And I can't be actively, effectively engaged in fandom if I'm not (somehow, don't ask me how this will work) actively, effectively engaged on Twitter/Tumblr/Dreamwidth/AO3/ff.net and Livejournal. Of course Livejournal.
So, remember last year when I took a 7-month LJ hiatus and then came back? Let's just pretend that's what happened here. :)
The circumstances that led to my needing to lock much of my content have not gone away, either. For those of you who wondered why it all had to be locked, the answer is that I got a fantastic job teaching music at the beginning of the year, <3 and there are rules about teachers in fandom. I have abided by those rules diligently for both periods of my life when I've been a teacher. But although I'm still teaching, now that I am literally professionally writing about fandom, that horse is out of the barn, and I'm okay with that. So if you want me to unlock things, just ask. I may not say yes to everything, but I probably will. Much of my fic is posted over at AO3, and some of my main posts have been archived at architect.
I am also writing a new column over at Manga Bookshelf, Fanbatte! and I will still write for the Mary Sue, but my publisher gets first dibs on everything, including my time.
OKAY HEADS-UP OVER, RANT GO.
Tumblr, I have such a love/hate relationship with you.
Here is an illustration that encompasses what I hate about Tumblr.
2 years ago, when I wrote a self-indulgent missive about our Mr Eames on Livejournal, this is what happened. Discussion happened. Squee happened! Debate happened. Loads of fanfic happened. And then even more discussion happened!
Here is what happened when I wrote a self-indulgent missive about our Mr Eames on Tumblr two days ago.
Literally 400 reblogs, all without comment, roughly 15 reblogs with versions of comments that amounted to "I HAVE FEELINGS!" and literally 3 people who actually wanted to reply substantively with thoughts about meta.
The other day, cherrybina said, very eloquently, to me:
You and I have discussed this before, but what I loved the most about Inception fandom was how it exploded in this flurry of energy, and people were making art based on fic that inspired more art, and entire verses grew out of massive comment threads, and there were memes and fests with thousands of comments, and all of the energy and interaction just kept inspiring more. More people, more squee, more fanworks - more of everything. That's what I love the most about fandom in general - that shared energy, and Inception was basically an entire fandom illustrating what that kind of energy can do. If Inception came out this year instead of 2010, that wouldn't have happened. It couldn't have, because the kind of interaction that created it is impossible on twitter and tumblr.
jlh also recently said to me that Tumblr gives voice to the lurkers. And I love that, because I have always loved lurkers and tried to make my LJ/DW a safe space to, uh, lurk and still have fun! And I also love that I can go to Tumblr and not have to say things, that I can just reblog and be done with it. I love, too, that my dash is visually diverse and progressive and a constant reminder that the world is not just for white people.
But I miss that discussion and I miss that interaction, and god knows I miss Inception fandom. Are we still here? Do we still have thinky things to say?
Or is my tumblr future just an endless round of a) gav and I trading insults and b) Ifrit and I having endless long-winded discussions that inevitably end in the two of us shrieking "STOP BEING MAUDLIN!" "STOP HATING EVERYTHING!" "NO!" "NO U!" at each other ad nauseum?