Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Too weird to be normal--too normal to be weird

This is just about a constant refrain in my household. We live in limbo...in that gray twilight that knows neither mainstream nor alternative.

I'll speak mostly for myself here, since I'm sure my husband would rather I didn't mock him on the internet, though he is the one who told me I must blog on this. Anyway, as a Christian who is an artist, I find myself in a strange position. The parts of me that look artsy: my hobbies, the strange things I think about while I'm doing the dishes, the fact that I have more than a few sketch books full of elves, knights, and unicorns...these leave me with scant common ground with most of my physical social circle.  I think I appear ordinary enough until you get to know me a bit...then it becomes glaringly apparent that I'm a little kooky. My physical social circle (those people I have actually stood beside, rather than those whom I know only virtually) pulls mostly from church and homeschooling, and those people who are fantasy enthusiasts are few-and-far-between in general, let alone in conservative bible-believing communities. So while I enjoy my friends from church, and I like to believe they enjoy me, I get the sense that I am just a shade wackier than most everybody else I fellowship with.

Then there's the group of people with whom I have much in common when it comes to interests and hobbies--most of whom I am not quite gung-ho enough to quite keep pace with either. I don't own a costume for the Renaissance Faire. I have never carried a sword anywhere. (Well, not recently. I did have to bring somebody's broadsword back to the dorms in college after I used it for a sound-effects recording session. I believe it saved me from a potential mugging...but that's another story, for sure.) I have never dyed my hair...not black, not striped with any color that does not grow naturally out of human heads. I refuse to talk role-playing-games in mixed company. So, when immersed in a group of overt fantasy enthusiasts, I don't quite fit the bill there either.

So, I suppose that leaves me with the option of simply remaining who I am and forgetting my inclination to try to pigeon-hole myself into a group of easily-defined peers. (As I write this, it seems that perhaps my best compatriots would be those who over-use hyphens.) If I look at things objectively, I can see that my opportunity to rub elbows with both ends of the spectrum is a good thing. It helps me keep some perspective. When you spend as much time as I do trying to create magical problems and fantastical solutions for people who don't exist, it certainly helps to hang around people who have a better grip on reality than I do. When I'm dry on ideas and can't seem to come up with a fresh angle from which to approach anything, those people I know who are happy to set aside the world's conventions are a breath of much needed fresh air. So I suppose I'll continue to hang out here in the middle, and try to absorb the best of both sides.

*****

In other news, keep your eyes trained on www.digitaldragonmagazine.net sometime after the 8th for the finale of season 1 of The Windrider. In a couple of weeks, I hope to have another dose of stand alone fiction, or perhaps a preview of a bigger work, posted here at Call of the Creator. Thanks for reading...if you like what you've seen, invite your friends.

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for dropping in, Michele. Ah well...life would be boring if we were too easily understood.

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  2. Gee, Becky, either we have a lot in common or you've been spying on me ;). I'm the same way--a homeschooler surrounded by conservative Christian moms. There are a few in my group as artsy as me, but most look at me as though I'm one of the fantastical creatures I draw and write about. I'm loved and accepted, but usually with a half-cocked eyebrow :).

    I'm grateful for the artsy fantasy fans I've met online (including one Becky Minor) with whom I can connect in ways I can't connect in "real life." Those I know understand the bizarre workings of a fantasy writer/artist.

    I love your take on this. I never quite thought about the non-artsy people around me keeping me grounded. Another thing to be thankful for.

    Loved this post, Becky!!!

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  3. I'm glad that the post resonated with you, Kat. Hehe, I totally know what you are saying about love and acceptance with a cocked eyebrow. There's a book title in there someplace. :D

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  4. I'm nerdy enough to talk to myself when I am deep in imagination trying to figure out dialog, to have a White Tree of Gondor tatoo on my back and to have named my firstborn Lorien, but not so nerdy that I bring any of those points (one ones like it) up in conversation with non fantasy inclined friends. And even with fantasy inclined friends I watch what I say for fear I would come across far stranger than I actually am. If I am off at all in the worlds eyes (say at my job) it is for being a Christian, and not for anything I do or dont enjoy in my pass-time. There's that hyphen.

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  5. I have found the same thing to be true. I have met no one in real life, much less a group of people, with whom I can chat about what I am most passionate about (be that fantasy or biblical government or whatever). I have learned to simply be myself, connect with people where they are (not where I am), and also start communities on the internet of people like me (hence the number of forums that I crank out haha).

    So I guess the point is to not rely on peers. :)

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