Angsty teen writings

I was going through some old papers and I found a fan fiction I had handwritten when I was 20 for The Flying Doctors, an Aussie TV series that ran during the late 1980s/early 1990s that I loved. At the time I didn’t know that what I was writing was something called fan fiction – this was pre widespread internet.

In my tale, the heroine, Esther Bergman (fictional surname and Esther was 7 years older than me with an unrealistic published writer, librarianship AND film production assistant career), is someone escaping some angsty stuff in London. She has traveled to Australia where she drives through the Outback for two months on her own (it was pretty well researched, if I say so myself, with an itinerary and distances noted and small town landmarks in the New South Wales Outback mentioned). After two months Esther comes to the little town of Coopers Crossing and of course instantly becomes very good friends with pretty much the whole cast of The Flying Doctors.

Nurse Kate (Lenore Smith) and doctor Geoff (Robert Grubb) become favourites in my tale and fictional Esther strikes up a close friendship with Dr. David Ratcliffe (Brett Climo). They are, of course, supposed to become each other’s true loves.

I never got that far in my tale. David and Esther had only gotten to the hugging and an occasional cheek kiss stage. My fan fic was too caught up in details (writing in daily (!!) diary form) which made the story development very slow and mired in nonsense and in the end I guess I just gave up.

Tucked into that notebook there were also some loose sheets of paper with some teen angst poetry I had written between the ages of 16 and 20. I used to write those in my diary but at some point I also copied them onto these loose sheets of paper – the collected poetry works of Esther, if you will. I didn’t have the patience to construct sentences beautifully or even use any striking words or phrases and there was only occasional rhyming, but these poems did come from my heart and I do remember writing most of these. It was really nice going down memory lane with them, bringing back old thoughts and feelings.

The notebook was falling apart, the ink on the loose sheets of paper was fading and I must have spilled something over it as many pages had these huge greasy spots on them. So, I decided to transcribe it all. The fan fic turned out to be someting like 19.500 words long and really isn’t worth finishing, especially as I can’t remember anymore what I had in mind for David and Esther. I am more pleased that I have now also transcribed those 13 poems. Most of them are bad to iffy (the world has not lost a great poet in me) but two of them I do still quite like, so I’ve decided to share them here.

The first poem was written when I was 16, about two months after I started going to an international boarding school in The Netherlands. During the first months there, one of the pretty, popular guys wrote me a few anonymous ‘love letters’. A go-between soon told me they were from Mr. Popular and that he wanted to date me. Inside I was feeling very flattered as I really wasn’t someone to normally be noticed by the pretty boys. I had sense enough, however, to tell the go-between that if that guy really meant it, he should come talk to me. Turned out Mr. Popular had no real interest in me at all and had only been interested in making fun of me publicly had I really reciprocated. Luckily, the crush I had secretly developed was instantly cured, but it had still been a painful incident. It inspired my first poem and imagine this as the setting with a lane and there’s also a stream on the premises:

Yesterday,
as I walked down the lane,
I thought,
“Is life only a game?”

Yesterday,
as I heard the rushing stream,
I thought,
“Why is it that I can’t scream?”

Yesterday,
smelling the clear fresh air,
I thought,
“I guess this is a nightmare.”

Yesterday,
in the beautiful autumn landscape,
I thought,
“I wish I could escape.”

Yesterday,
stepping into the dirt,
I thought,
“Why does it hurt?”

Yesterday,
it is passing by.
I think…
I don’t know why.

The second poem was written half a year later when I had just turned 17 and I had fallen in love with a guy I remained in love with for the rest of my school years there (although never requited).

Swimming,
in a lake.
It is peaceful.
Going on,
with the river.
It is enjoyable.
Coming out,
to the sea.
I’m losing strength.
Suddenly,
it is an ocean.
I can’t get out!
I’m drowning
in my thoughts.
I’m thinking of you.

Yep, pretty angsty stuff! I actually remember writing that second one pretty quickly, like it was all there and ready, waiting to flow out. That’s the way I like them, quite short and sweet and with a meaning I can easily interpret. I’m not that much of a poery fan, although I do like some. Poems always need to make some sort of immediate sense to me and I don’t like puzzling over them for ages, trying to figure them out. I guess I’m more of a prose girl, which is why I never really honed the poetry craft.

So, these are what they are and it’s been fun, but now that these old writings have been documented, it’s off to better things. 🙂

Fan videos, fan fiction, fangirling

The latest “Mach was!” (“Do something!”) topic is Pö’s challenge to do something with your favourite TV series.

I have loved stories in movies and stories in certain TV series for ages and ages. And I’ve always been a fangirl of some sort! I’ll stick to my TV series fangirling here (although, when I started ‘fangirling’ I don’t think it had that name yet!).

The first TV series I loved as a young girl was Little House on the Prairie. I loved the series, I loved the books, I wanted to be Laura Ingalls, wanted long brown hair like her and the worst possible insult was being compared to Nellie Oleson (which sometimes happened because I was blond like her)! I found out much later that as much as Laura and Nellie hated each other on-screen the actresses portraying them (Melissa Gilbert and Alison Arngrim) became good friends in real life.

I collected pictures from magazines, read everything I could about Laura – basically did the best fangirling I could do before the internet.

My first own fan creation is a fan fiction I wrote (not typed, but actually wrote in a paper notebook!) at the age of 19 or 20. I still have it somewhere, never finished it though. I wrote it for an Australian TV series called The Flying Doctors that I was absolutely addicted to at the time. My favourites on the show were Dr Geoff and nurse Kate and I loved watching their relationship slowly unfold.

The fiction I wrote, however, was not about them but about Dr. David Ratcliffe, a young new doctor who came on later in the show.

I wrote a story about him falling in love with an original female character (travelling through the Australian outback but setting roots for a while in the town of Coopers Crossing where the doctors were based), as the writers didn’t seem to be able to give David a proper love interest on the show. I never realised I was writing what is now called ‘fan fiction’ and I imagined I was the only one in the world doing that. Thanks to the internet I now know many many others have the urge to write fan fiction as well!

The next fan fiction I wrote was some 16 years later! I had seen the North and South TV mini series, I had fallen in love with Richard Armitage and I just needed to continue the story! So I wrote about Margaret returning with John to Milton, making peace with Mrs Thornton and about Henry trying to break them up again but not succeeding… Here’s the title page I made for that fic:N&S continued

Reading it again, it’s alright but not great and rather sappy with quite some mistakes in it too, so I don’t think I want to own up to it here… It was the first fan creation I shared on the internet, though! And it’s still around if you know where to look. 😉

North & South also awakened my interest in fan videos. I watched countless fan vids online that were being made at the time. I had no clue how to make them myself, though. But finally one day, I tried one. Not for North & South however, as there were already so many good ones for N&S out there; I made my first fan video for another TV series.

The TV series was called Silent Witness and again, there was a couple at the heart of the show – the developing relationship between pathologists Dr. Nikki Alexander and Dr. Harry Cunningham. In fact, my interest in these two had been awakened by a fan video I had accidentally come across and had really enjoyed! So, I started watching Silent Witness and along the way made screen caps for myself. I one day decided to set these screen caps to music in a PowerPoint presentation. Only after I had done that did I discover I actually had video making software on my laptop and I started experimenting with it. That old Windows Moviemaker software has more possibilities than the current newer version, so every time I got a new laptop I installed the old Moviemaker on it. To this day that’s what I use to make videos. It’s not very advanced software but it’s free. Anyway – I remade that first Powerpoint video in Moviemaker, set up a YouTube channel and posted it. Here is that first crude effort, in case you’re interested (I made vids under the pseudonym of  ‘Hannah’):

Not long after that I ‘graduated’ to making videos with actual real video clips (that I had painstakingly sourced myself)! Figured it all out on my own and was quite proud. Those vids aren’t great, but hey, it’s a learning process! Alas, Harry & Nikki never actually got together on the show, so in my frustration I also wrote fan fiction about them where they of course do get together! Also still around on the internet if you know where to look. 🙂

Sometime later I discovered The Mentalist and became completely enamoured with that show! Four years ago I made my first Mentalist video to the song That man. To this day that remains one of my absolute fave vids that I made. The image sizing isn’t ideal, which at that point I hadn’t quite figured out yet, but I still love the pacing and rhythm in this video and how the lyrics suited the images (all of them from season 3) that I had chosen. To this day it is also the most popular video on my channel.

I have made videos to some other TV shows as well. There are a few The Lizzie Bennet Diaries vids (technically not a TV show, but a YouTube vlog series), I even made two Remington Steele ones, I made a few for Call the Midwife and lately I have been vidding like crazy for two new (to me) Australian TV series that I have absolutely fallen in love with! What’s extra fun is that both these series connect back to The Flying Doctors, the object of my first fan creation!

First off, A Place to Call Home which stars Brett Climo in the lead male role. Climo also played David Ratcliffe, the doctor I wrote my first fan fic about! In A Place to Call Home he is even briefly reunited with Andrew McFarlane who played his colleague Dr. Tom Callaghan on Flying Doctors and on A Place to Call Home McFarlane plays the small role of a far less heroic psychiatric doctor in season 2…

Anyway, I digress. I have made a few fan videos for A Place to Call Home that I already blogged shortly about here, here and here.

And now I am also obsessed with Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and there are Flying Doctors connections in that too! Phryne Fisher’s best friend Doctor Mac is played by Tammy Macintosh who also briefly played nurse Annie on Flying Doctors.

And Phryne’s ex-lover Rene is played by Peter O’Brien who was pilot Sam on Flying Doctors.

And even my fave doctor Geoffrey Standish (Robert Grubb) had a small guest role on Miss Fisher (series 1 episode 4 as owner of a business whose workers are on strike).

But this post isn’t about Flying Doctors connections, it’s about doing something with your favourite TV series. So, adding to the many favourite TV series I’ve known, I am right now into making Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries videos. I already posted about two video’s I had made here and here but in the meantime I have made 4 more videos… Yeah,  I know, it just needs to stop… Anyway, here they are:

“Ain’t she sweet”:

“A heart that runs as deep as the Pacific ocean” (a bit of an angsty video):

“A coffee, a sandwich and you” (as Jack loves his food so much):

“That’s what friends are for”(highlighting the tactile side of the Phryne & Jack relationship):

There are more TV series I really enjoy (like right now Blindspot) but not all series make me actually want to be creative. For Blindspot for instance, I would have no idea where to start or what to do. I’m not sure why the series I have mentioned above have made me do something creative. Maybe it’s a sense of needing to add something, the need to resolve something that is unresolved or the need to relive a certain aspect of certain characters’ stories. Yes, reliving certain aspects has a lot to do with it, now that I think of it… in my videos I am always highlighting a certain aspect of a relationship I love, telling that part of the characters’ stories.  But sourcing clips takes up a lot of time, so I only do it for those TV shows where I feel I have something to add to what’s already out there.

As for fan fiction – that’s about resolving unresolved issues. In addition to fics already mentioned, I’ve written a Mentalist short one shot and I even wrote a short Ally McBeal one because I always felt she should have ended up with Larry (and I pretended the last season never happened). I sort of start writing the fan fiction in my head in bed before I fall asleep at night. It relaxes me and takes my mind off any worries I might have, works better than any sleeping drugs out there. Sometimes the nighttime stories in my mind need to be written down and they turn into fan fiction. They never feel quite good enough, though. I am braver about posting fan videos than owning up to my fan fiction attempts…

So yeah, I have done quite a lot with TV series… perfectly fitting to share all of this for the “Mach’ was!” challenge, I figured! 🙂