Kid TV is for adults
I wasn’t planning on this topic for a blog post this morning. Actually, I was going to continue along the theme I’d started for my ROW80 Check-in and try writing a piece of flash fiction about a cat and his/her human. After all, cats do make up a good portion of the internet… and my personal life.
But, I tried something different today… mostly because I wasn’t finding the words. I needed help, and I didn’t want to spend too long finding it. So I hopped over to the One Minute Writer site for a kick in the writer butt.
But the prompt today had nothing to do with cats….
It’s okay though, because Approval Cat said if I could come up with an idea about Kids TV during a one minute writing session, then I should write a post about that instead of cats. Approval Cat is so very understanding… especially after some catnip and sardines.
So I’m going to write about inspiration, and how some of the silliest things can trigger one’s imagination and drive her to create stories and art. I’m going to write about an 80’s cartoon.
Back in high school, I wasn’t the best student. Bored often, distracted always… I gave my teachers (and parents) no end of despair when homework was involved. I liked to draw, but had stopped doing that for a few years because my father had thrown all my work away in a (failed) attempt to get me to focus on schoolwork and not obsess over horses and fantasy worlds.
I firmly believed I couldn’t write. My grades in English were abysmal, and my best friend seemed to know everything about the subject, could write perfect sentences, spell perfectly, etc., so that felt like her thing, not mine. And because I had been above-middling in arithmetic all through school without any effort, I listened when people said I should do that instead.
…fade out to middle school and earlier…
Thing was, I’d always created stories. In the early days, I had created nations with my horse models and Barbies, scribbled little notes and plot lines of an Arabian princess (quite literally an Arabian) named Anocka-Jenay and a helpful rapscallion named Coca-nora helped the queen of the humans find a way to make peace with the equine people against the dangers of… well, all sorts of kid fears, but usually the “bad” humans.
When my horses were taken away, for a time I still tried to make those stories, but my confidence had never been that high, and I didn’t have the same connection to a lot of other ‘kid things”. Most of my childhood entertainment had been dismissed by my parents as too juvenile; most of my age peers didn’t talk about Jacques Cousteau, Walter Kronkite, and Quincy M.E. with the same passion I did (if at all).
… fade back in to high school…
There was Star Trek… I liked it, a lot. Like a lot of girls (born a decade before me), I thought Walter Koenig was incredibly cute as Chekov, and I did have a short phase of idolizing Spock, though mostly it was a fondness for Leonard Nimoy himself, since In Search Of was also one of my favorite shows, and the “Spock makeup job” made my skin itch.
But for me, Star Trek wasn’t unique. My parents were avid sci-fi and fantasy readers and watchers, and every weekend there was something genre on the television, either the original Battlestar Galactica, Lost In Space, Buck Rogers, and so many others. I used to fall asleep listening to Rod Serling’s silken voice drifting up through the floor because it was on so late in syndication.
So, when Shan Jeniah encouraged me (or I encouraged her… or it was mutual encouragement, I forget now) to start creating a fictional world based on Star Trek because she’d fallen in love with it… I definitely didn’t refuse. I did love the show, and I definitely needed an outlet for some of that creative (and often very silly) energy I’d been building up.
But while I enjoyed the show and the writing, I didn’t love it. And I hadn’t really found something that connected quite right.
Then, one morning while getting ready for school (I often watched cartoons in the morning while eating breakfast), I passed an odd show… a bit Star Wars-like, a bit corny (okay, a bit more than a bit), with better than average art and cool music. And, without even knowing why… I was hooked. I saw so much potential in these characters for more. Questions like: why did Gillian have a domed garden before the Monster Minds came; what sort of magic was he using in such a technologically advanced world, flying fish(!), space ships that looked like ancient sailing vessels… what kind of name for a powerfully intelligent plant creature was “Saw Boss” anyway?!
And.. it didn’t hurt that one of the first real episodes of the show was this one: Final Ride at Journey’s End. It wowed me. In the 80’s, it seemed pretty much impossible to find a cartoon that pushed boundaries the way this episode did, leaving viewers wondering if one of the heroes (or somewhat anti-hero) of the story might have died in a suicidal assault on the enemy.
Okay, so it wasn’t that unusual. But at the time, even my cartoon experience had been severely limited, and though I loved what I’d seen of Robotech, I hadn’t yet seen a whole episode of it, and so didn’t know how dramatic a cartoon could be. I liked knowing there wasn’t an answer… answers were offered everywhere in kid’s shows, reassurances like the constant parachutes in G.I. Joe (not that I ever watched that show) or the friendly (read: annoying) commentary of 7-Zark-7 in G-Force that filled in the blank spaces with comforting words about how a town was going to be rebuilt soon or so-and-so was recovering in the hospital and doing well.
As if children needed constant protection against the truths of the world without a huge sugar-coating…
I liked the ambiguity that Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors left me with. I could work with that ambiguity, and I did. I created worlds upon worlds based on that ambiguity.
While most of my fiction has moved far away from its roots in Star Trek and JatWW fanfiction (most, not all… the Was Long Variation and The Dots get regular doses of word love), this show in particular sparked a passion in me that has lasted to this day. And I don’t see it fading soon.
So, thank you, One Minute Writer, for giving me a chance to speak about an inspiration. And… thank you too, Approval Cat, for letting me write about something non-feline. And thank you most of all, DIC Audiovisuel, for producing this great show.
Or rather biggish things that are somehow so small we tend to ignore them….
I wasn’t going to post anything for a while, but I kept thinking about pictures and how a photo can make something so ordinary seem surreal and amazing. It’s a matter of focus and highlighting the right details.
Just like fiction… we writers take ordinary people and put them in situations that show how extraordinary they actually are. And why? Because we’re all extraordinary in our own way, but we tend to forget it when the world moves by so fast that everything feels out of focus.
A picture, a story… these are moments when the world stops and we can see the details that make a place, a person… special.
Like the picture above…. It’s no place unusual. Down here at the edge of Green County, there are crumbling stone walls pretty much everywhere you look. This spot I’ve driven past at least three times a week for the last fifteen years, and except for noticing the daffodils in the Spring, I never really stopped to look at it. But Wednesday night after my karate class, I had some time on my hand as The Boodle has advanced enough to be in the class after mine… so I walked along the road to get a picture of the small pond there. A little slowly because gravelly, hilly roads and Dr. Scholls sandals don’t always mix.
In doing so… I saw this. I think it was the best picture I took that evening.
So… what haven’t you slowed down to look consider the beauty of lately?
Yes! Oh, so very much…. YES!
Originally posted on Kristen Lamb's Blog:
We live in a wonderful world. We are connected more than ever. Through Facebook, I’ve connected with friends and family that I couldn’t even FIND before 2005 without hiring a P.I. Through this blog, I am able to help authors all over the world and that is wonderful. I’m able to keep up with all kinds of news and world events and be a better citizen.
But all this technology has a steep price and we are wise to remain vigilant. Lately some things have me really overwhelmed (verklempt) so let’s chat.
Tawk amongst yuhselves. Just do what Barbara does….
Social media sites like Facebook now keep us abreast of all the horrible happenings in the world. In a way this is good. In the “old days” news and opinions were filtered through media gatekeepers. And sure, news is supposed to be unbiased, but so long as humans are relaying…
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So here we are… the 1st First Friday Photo a blog hop I started (today) to make sure I made time for photography, even just a bit a month. The rules are simple to join in:
- post a photo (one you took, please don’t post other people’s work) on your blog
- include a link to the linky (so visitors can visit each other’s work)
- add the link to your post to the above linky (so we can find your work)
- visit other people’s posts
I had to put that “enjoy” there. Every time I open a package of instant ramen, I giggle because of that. I mean, of course I am going to enjoy… yummy ramen is, well, yummy. :-D
Anyway, to the photo… After so many months of not shooting anything, suddenly I saw pictures I wanted to take everywhere. I missed a lot of them. Too slow adjusting the shutter speed or even waiting for my old G5 to turn back on… But I caught a few. I think this was my favorite of today’s shots.
This girl was teaching a small group hooping tricks at a local playground. Really fun to watch.
As for the photo, my son had borrowed the camera earlier today, and I’d forgotten to check the settings before using it, so “Auto” mode. The post-processing I did with Photoshop: cropping and some auto tone and color.
A quick announcement… starting tomorrow, First Friday Photo will be hosted here.
Just a few simple rules:
- You can post as many pictures as you want, but you need to post at least one.
- You can only post your own work. Photoediting is acceptable, as long as it is your own work.
- You add your post link to the linky
- You add the linky link to your post so people can visit everyone else.
Beyond that… have fun! I’m excited to see what you all come up with. If you want to add links and a bio to your posts so we can find more of you work, please do so. We’d love to see your Flickr and Imgur pages (at least I would). And if you would like to tell people how you shot the photo and what (if any) post-processing you used, even better.
And if anyone feels inspired to write a piece of Flash Fiction based on their image, go for it too. Let’s see where the creative muse takes us.
Won’t you join me tomorrow?
Sometimes people mean so much to us that all “things” seem inadequate. We say we should give of ourselves, but that comes off as so trite. And it’s hard to define anyway. I can’t speak for most people, but I try to make myself available and try to do things for those I love without being reminded or asked anyway. I love them and try to be attentive to them.
So what to give a life partner who makes smiles just happen by being in the same room? Who frustrates me by leaving the butter out and staring at me blankly when I ask if we need anything from the store before I head out then asks me why I forgot mustard when I get home… Who perfected the infamous Muppet Dance and does pseudo-ballet twirls in our kitchen as I’m moving boiling water around….
I wrote a poem.
I don’t like
take one of my
Make sweet, hot, wet
Drops on your lips.
taste of yours.
My fingers reach to your hair
I hold you there
lick it up
take another bite.
I don’t like coffee
but your flavored kisses
are too brief.
I wrote this before my husband’s birthday, but sharing it is a very different step. I hope you’ll all indulge me for the moment as I wish Dan Happy Birthday (a few days off).