Tag Archives: community

2019 Book Blog Discussion Challenge

To who it may concern:

Please consider this post the internet version of me throwing my hat in the ring. (I look pretty dumb in hats, so I really just store them in my bag for this exact situation; I go through a lot of beanies but it is so worth it.)

The 2019 Book Blog Discussion Challenge hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight was something I stumbled upon by chance, but I am incredibly excited about it.

At first, I wasn’t sure if fanfiction had a place here.

But this is exactly what M. Grace is about! Spreading the good word of fanfiction for all to hear. Proving that fanfiction has a space amongst the literary genres.

And this is exactly what M. Grace does. We write articles to inspire discussion around the issues relevant to the fanfiction community. We seek to promote a conversation in a space dedicated to representing the world of fanfiction, and all its contributions to the mainstream culture.

So if you are new to M. Grace, I encourage you to check out our news section and help us frame the discussion. Together we will explore the world of fanfiction and collaborate to advance the idea of fanfiction as an art form to the public.

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M.

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Eliminating violence with… green dots?

The Overview:

First of all, I will say that finding the YWCA is very easy… if you read the email correctly and don’t go to the YMCA.

I blame the song. Stupid middle school dances.

Eliminating racism – empowering women

The Green Dot movement was started by several local groups, and I will give you more on it as they unveil their program. It is still very much in it’s early stages. It doesn’t even have a website yet!

There were about thirty people participating, and the energy in the room was so powerful!

The Elevator Pitch:

Green Dot is about displacing violence in our community. Picture a map of your community. Red dots appear on the map for every act of violence. However, at least one green dot can appear on the map whenever a bystander, that’s you or me, intervenes in some way. That could mean directly intervening, or distracting or getting help. We can also place much larger green dots over large areas of the map by visibly or vocally changing the culture around us to be inhospitable to violence. In this way, we will displace violence by creating a culture of bystander intervention.

The Results:

After the Green Dot training, I swear to you I have never felt more motivated in my life to get out there and make a difference in my community!

Shout-out to my group, the Prairie Dogs, whose motto ‘Vigilance’ is based on the fact that Prairie Dogs are a tight knit community who watch each other’s backs by posting lookouts. How lovely <3.

I now feel confident that if I am a bystander to violence, I will know how to act.

Now, I have sworn an oath to the two most excellent trainers a gal could ask for: I will not be silent on issues of violence.

Each one of us has influence over our lives – through our families, friends, or even tiny little websites – and we all have a responsibility to use that influence to start conversations about violence in our communities and how we plan to stop it.

This influence needs to be used to make positive change. Things start small at first, but will grow. After all, we each model, through our words and actions, what matters to us.

However, we also model what matters through our silence.

If we are silent on the subject of violence, we are allowing a place for it to grow. By speaking to all of those that we can influence, each of us are saying that we do not tolerate violence in any form. This is how we place those larger green dots over the map, and how we create a culture that has no place for violence.

We don’t think about how we will act when we are a bystander to violence until it happens, and in that situation the last thing you want to do is freeze. However, if you don’t plan out some options before hand and are unprepared for that situation, that’s exactly what you will do.

If you need any help puzzling out the safest ways to be a Green Dot bystander, please start a discussion in the comments!

Together, we will create a world where violence isn’t tolerated.

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M. Grace

Fanfiction is a Revolution

There are moments in life where you discover something, and are for a time unware of how profoundly it will affect you.

For me, fanfiction was one of those discoveries. (Some things that didn’t even come close to making the list were crossfit, ice fishing, and rollerblading. Ew)

A fun discovery slowly became an irreplaceable part of my world. At first, the lingo was confusing, site navigation baffling, and the smut shocked me. I struggled to find my way, but once I found it I never looked back.

Now I am a veteran of thousands of fics read, hundreds of authors followed, and dozens of my own baby-content out there for others to enjoy.

Smut doesn’t really shock me anymore either. Good? Bad? Who can say.

But what is fanfiction, Auntie M?

If that is what you are thinking then I just have one question for you… how did you find this website? No really, I am wondering. Email me.

Anyways.

Fanfiction is where a creator takes the characters or the story from a piece of work that they love – maybe it is a TV show, a movie, a book, a play, etc. – and makes their own world.

Occasionally, people will take inspiration from more than one world, and that lovely unicorn is called a cross-over.

Of course, most everything that can be written already has been. Vampires? Been done. Does that mean that every book written about them since Bran Stokers’ Dracula is worthless? Of COURSE not.

Fanfiction is taking elements from someone’s story and making them your own.

Every creator brings their own wonderful interpretation or world view to a work, which refreshes old stories and re-inspires the public to love them.

It is really beautiful, when you think about it.

After all, what young teen cared about Dracula before Stephanie Meyer brought us the breakthrough hit Twilight? (Oh, there will be more on this subject later -_-) After that craze, the market was flooded with vampire books. The success of Twilight, inspired by Stoker’s universe, brought back the excitement of vampires.

Essentially, I am a passionate supporter of fanfiction being far more widespread than most people give it credit for. It is not a small niche interest group on the internet; it is a cultural phenomenon that shapes the trends we see in our movies, TV shows, books, etc.

Consuming Fanfiction: A Guide

I could write a really detailed dictionary of fanfiction terms, but that would bore everyone except me. So if you have questions, I encourage you to email me, or just head on over to AO3 or Fanfiction.net and start exploring!

The only advice I would give is to be watchful of the tags on each fic. If you aren’t looking to read something violent, sad, or otherwise potentially harmful to your well-being you can steer clear of those works. There is something (thousands of somethings) for everyone.

Fanfiction and Me: A Love Story

To me, fanfics do an amazing job of capturing the essence of our society. They lack the generic appeal of mass-marketed media, and represent the wonderful diversity of our world.

Fanfics are written by anyone for anyone.

They are written by all sorts of folks with a myriad of different experiences and identities. These intersectionalities provide readers with a truly endless glimpse at the breadth of human existence.

Something that I have always valued is how fanfics represent queer culture more completely than I have ever seen before. The fanfics that I read as a baby gay were the first positive representation and community that I had experienced. Seeing my favorite characters re-imagined as people that reflected my own identity was unbelievably impactful. They showed me that my experiences were not odd, or unusual.

Take Harry Potter for example. The fandom of fandoms. A book series that overtook my generations’ imaginations. Through fanfiction, we can see these classic characters firmly represented as people of color, queer individuals, and so much more.

So, if you are a person who finds yourself in need of an ally, fanfiction can provide that for you.

When I needed a space to find myself, fanfiction allowed me to do that.

It has unequivocally made me a stronger person. It gave me the language to describe what I was feeling as a young queer person and gave me a community of people to reach out to. This level of representation does not yet exist in the mainstream, but damn it folks, we will create our own representation.

The more time I spend thinking about this, the better I feel about that thought. It’s more accurate that way, don’t you think? This beautiful grassroots movement of people creating and connecting, providing spaces where people can feel affirmed?

We don’t need a boardroom full of Hollywood shot-callers to approve our stories. WE approve our stories, and we will never stop telling them.

M. Grace