Wednesday, March 4, 2015

IWSG: Have You Found Your Tribe?

Jeff Goins wrote a great blog post on Finding Your Tribe. It's about the steps you take and the method you use to find your tribe, or as Jeff put it, your "true fans". These are people who really 'get' you and support you because your outlook, values, or life path coincide with their own. When you meet a member of your tribe, it's as though you've come home. You can be yourself - all of yourself - without judgement, and share your quirks and passions with another who's just as quirky and passionate as you are.

SSU Fantanime Club 2000. I'm in the purple skirt
My family has always been my tribe: creative people who value a relationship with God, self-improvement,
helping others, deep thinking, broadening their horizons, discovering new interests, and following their true calling. My parents and siblings are bookworms, teachers, students, caregivers, builders, creators, sharers, pioneers, initiators, optimists, geeks, writers, artists, and life coaches with vast imaginations. Most of my family and friends are in creative or educational fields, concentrating on furthering the dreams and education of others as well as themselves.

If you work in a job you love, chances are you can find members of your tribe there. College and graduate school are some of the best places to find your tribe. Through the years, I've found members of my tribe all over the place - from online roleplay groups, to various themed conventions, work events, and church functions. The internet can make it even easier to find your tribe, if you know where to look.

For writers, the best CPs come from your tribe, beta readers too, so it's a good idea to get looking. You can find readers in your genre on Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook groups, and many other places. And, of course, there's Insecure Writers Support Group! If you haven't found your tribe, this is a good place to start.

Have you found your tribe? What suggestions would you give to those still looking?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

What Animated Movie Changed Your Life?

Whether you often watch animated movies as an adult, or watched them when you were a kid, there's always that one film that altered your viewpoint or became an obsession for awhile. Mine was All Dogs Go To Heaven.

I didn't grow up with tv. My family got it in the early 90s. So, the first movies I saw were those that had been released on vhs some years before. We're talking mid-to-late 1980s animation. There was some good stuff there, let me tell you.

Before Hayao Miyazaki's wonderful, beautiful, emotionally moving films, there was Don Bluth and his layered, morally-charged, and often rather dark animated work. It blew children's minds (The Secret of N.I.M.H. anyone?) and kept them awake pondering life and death, loss, and good vs. evil. Evil carried greater weight in Bluth films, because evil was usually someone you knew who did things you couldn't understand and never imagined doing yourself. But they were people - or in many cases, dogs and mice - not monsters.

That brings me to All Dogs Go To Heaven, the movie that forever changed the way I looked at children's films. On the surface, this movie looks like a quirky story about singing, dancing dogs who adopt a sweet little orphan girl and become best friends. Really it's a story about a gambling, alcoholic stray who steals a little girl from his shady business partner and uses her to get revenge on said partner. There is quite a lot of boozing, gambling, and violence. That is SO not a story for kids!

I didn't hate All Dogs Go To Heaven, but it didn't make me comfortable. It was grittier and darker than any animated movie I'd seen before. That was probably why I ended up obsessing over it.

I loved the characters and the deeper plot in the story (Charlie's fall from grace and path to redemption) so much I created tons of fanart - a lot of it out of modeling clay. I acted out the story with my toys and even created new stories for them, following the canon of the movie (fanfiction in its earliest form).

Charlie's character type of the lovable scoundrel still fascinates me in movies and literature. I still seek out stories where there's at least one rascal with a tendency toward goodness. Seeing this movie when I was a kid not only affected me then, but still affects me now (and not just because I still cry when I watch it).

What animated movie changed your life?
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