Greetings, nerds! I have been off in the wild for some time, and although this blog has been sorely neglected, I’ve kept up on Twitter (daily) and Instagram (far less frequently) but the last five months have been one hell of a ride. Where was I? Where am I now? I’m gettin’ to it. This photo of Gillian Anderson kind of communicates the general vibe of my fall and winter thus far.
Summer was mostly very chill, I kept my conventioning to a minimum after the insanity that was Star Trek’s 50th in 2016. I did my 7 panels at Shore Leave in Maryland and they were fantastic! I met so many cool people and solidified existing friendships even more, especially with my peeps in the Trek author community. I also added to my author portfolio with Outside In Makes It So, in which 174 authors wrote about 174 episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Go forth and find it at ATB Publishing’s website!
After being released from my cubicle last March, I started freelancing as a digital content manager. Then, a good college friend who now teaches English at a nearby university called me up and said they needed writing professors – would I teach? I was super excited to add “professor” to my resume and pass on good writing foundations to the next generation. My kids were all freshmen and so young that they didn’t understand my Game of Thrones references! My husband pointed out that they were about 10 when it started, and would you let your 10 year old watch GoT? Indeed not. They also asked me to talk about where I was on 9/11, which made me feel super old because I had been about their age (18) and they had been…one year old. Wow. Talk about perspective!
I was planning out my syllabus readings and delighting in how I could finally teach some feminist authors when, one week after I started teaching, I fell very badly and broke my left kneecap in a truly spectacular way. It was a Sunday, I had just been to the beach and I was wearing flip flops. I slipped on a bit of water, my knee met the concrete, and that was the end of me! The ambulance had to come, I spent about 48 hours in excruciating pain before my new orthopedic surgeon operated – my first surgery ever. He put some pins and wire in there to hold things together and I spent the next five weeks teaching from a wheelchair. It was not fun and I do not recommend it. I couldn’t drive for a while, I missed a good friend’s wedding, I had to take painkillers to sleep (which I hate, they make me very nauseated), and my husband pretty much had to do everything for me. I have never seen a more bruised body part than when I took off the surgical dressing that first time. Plus, have you ever heard of a nerve block? They put one on my leg so that I’d be numb for about 24 hours post-surgery. When it wore off, I wanted to die. I cried a lot and watched favorite Star Trek: Voyager episodes while high on pain meds.
My husband and I also could not go on our planned Banff/Vancouver trip, which was a damn shame because it was right in the middle of The X-Files filming in Vancouver. You know I would have tried to wrangle myself a set visit! I am glad that our travel accommodations were all very sympathetic and we got pretty much all our money back, and a flight credit to use when I was feeling better. No Canadian foliage for us in 2017! No, sir.
I did manage to teach the entire semester despite the knee, which taught me a lot about wheelchair and crutch accessibility on college campuses. Namely, there isn’t any – or there is very little. Any college with lovely old historic buildings does not have to comply with the ADA (American Disability Act) in terms of ramps, rails, and elevators within said historic buildings. That said, I truly did enjoy teaching and interacting with my students and fellow professors. It is a nice feeling, to enjoy going to work! I hadn’t felt that in a long, long time. I am still looking for a more permanent, full-time gig, but hopefully teaching writing will be part of my future for a while to come.
One of my biggest ideas and projects this fall was an Indiegogo campaign that I set up with two of my fellow X-Files obsessed friends, Karen and Taylor. We all had gone to the NYCC X-Files panel, where series creator Chris Carter said that Scully wasn’t getting a desk again in season 11. FOR REAL? Even plopping a “Dana Scully, Special Agent” nameplate on Mulder’s desk would have helped, but nooooo. Carter seems to really hate Gillian’s status as a feminist icon and must use any power he has to deny her basic professional courtesy. Well, I could NOT handle that. I started a campaign for #ScullysDesk.
The idea was pretty simple: I ordered a bunch of name plates bearing Scully’s name and title from a laser printer and I added them as a perk on the Indiegogo campaign. People could buy a name plate, a portion of which went to one of Gillian’s favorite charities, Childreach International, or they could just donate to the charity. Then they needed to take a selfie (or a desk selfie) with the name plate and hashtag it #ScullysDesk so that everyone could see how much Scully’s fans value her. The campaign just ended about a week ago and I sent out over 70 name plates all around the world! We raised over $1200, some of which will need to be backed out for production and shipping, but I think we’ll have around $700 to donate in Gillian’s name on behalf of Scully and all of the professional ladies who grew up with Scully as their inspiration.
I was pretty excited that the last 48 hours of the campaign were so active – I sold more than half of my final total in about two days. You are all ninjas! I am considering offering them on this blog as an item for purchase, but I do need to source them from a third party. We’ll see, but it is definitely a trend I’d love to continue. The demand is there!
I actually needed a second knee surgery four days before Christmas to remove all that hardware – the pins and wire were stabbing me from within and it wasn’t pleasant. I took it real easy over the holidays, I’ve been going to physical therapy a lot and relearning how to walk down the stairs and pivot and all that good stuff you take for granted as a mobile human. I am off the crutches – my permanent companions for the last four months – and I am SO glad to be walking slowly but with something approaching normalcy. The only time I get worried is in crowded spaces, because if someone jostles me I might not have the balance to stay upright. It has been a lot of blankets and cats since the new year!
Right now, you can find me recapping season 11 of The X-Files for Legion of Leia and I had two articles published on The Mary Sue: The Rape Culture Is out There in The X-Files Season 11 Premiere, and Fans Are Angry and another one about Chris Carter’s Reddit AMA, which I found disappointing. As I noted at the end of the article – “Carter should familiarize himself with modern, intersectional feminism. The man who created Dana Scully could be an amazing ally—if only he wanted to be.” I stand by that, and I wish he were doing it better! I hate to criticize one of my most beloved shows of all time, but Scully deserves more than yet another fertility story line. I can see why Gillian declared herself finished after this season.
Last night’s X-Files episode was also written by Carter, and the fandom is on fire because Mulder and Scully finally, finally, had sex on a case and it happened just offscreen. We got zero kisses, but I got to hear Scully say “Mulder, come back to bed” and that was pretty sweet. The dialogue between them in the rest of the episode (also written, but not directed, by Carter) was pretty stupid so we need to take our moments where we can get them. I look forward to the rest of the season – we have seven more episodes to go! Including one that is all about Skinner, and you know I love me some Skinner! I love his gruff little grumblings, and we all know he secretly adores Mulder and Scully.
What is going on with your 2018? Tell me here or on Twitter/Facebook – I’m glad to be back in action and full steam ahead on all things X-Files!