22 Ways to Ask Someone to Dance With You

The end of year dance is coming up in two weeks today, and that may seem like a long time but I’m already stressing. I’m going with a girl I can barely form coherent sentences around, much less ask to dance. I have the bad habit of being either awkwardly silent or babbling incessantly in her presence, but I don’t want to do that. I want to look cool. So here are 22 cool ways to ask a girl–or anyone–to dance with you:

1. Walk over to her. Look at the ground in a cute, abashed way, and run your palm through your hair backwards, intentionally messing up your hair. According to my Sources this is a primary queer girl flirtation ritual. (My Sources being the LGBTQ+ blogs I read and my real-life nonstraight friends who do this constantly.) I have tried doing this with my hair but it doesn’t quite work because it’s too long. After this, look up and say sheepishly, “So…I was wondering…would you like to dance with me?” You look cute and irresistible and it probably won’t be hard pulling off the embarrassed part.

2. Grin at her, hold out a hand, and say, “I don’t really know how to dance, but wanna give it a shot?”

3. Optionally, do the same thing as in #2, only say, “I’ve been practicing my moves for weeks. Care to help me test them out?”

4. Or you could get even cheesier with “Come and get your groove on with me, baby!”

5. Or you could say “Screw this I know how to dance” and grab her hand and pull her onto the floor with you.

6. Casually drop not-so-subtle hints during conversation to get her to do the asking. “I really like this song. It’s good music to dance to.” “So I learned how to waltz the other day.” “Yeah, I was trying to practice slow dancing in contemporary women playwrights yesterday, but it wasn’t really the same without a partner *wink wink nudge nudge*”

7. Write her a song, ask if you can perform it, go up there and own it, and then afterwards when the crowd is going wild over your musical genius, sweep over to her and say “Dance with me?” in a cute, flirtatious way.

8. Or just, you know, ask her flirtatiously to dance. I’d provide an example but my knowledge of the subject is limited to Captain Jack Harkness and I don’t think I can really pull off the same charismatic appeal.

9. Write DANCE WITH ME? on the front steps with sidewalk chalk.(Because of that one time, when she was like “Do you have sidewalk chalk?” and you were like “Yeah I have sidewalk chalk!” only you couldn’t find it and were so upset you resorted to overusage of the word “like.”)

10. Look her squarely in the eye and ask her if she would like to dance with you. (But come on, who does this? Eye contact? Pfff…)

11. “Hypothetically speaking, if someone in your immediate presence were to ask you to dance with them, would you, hypothetically, say yes?”

12. Go up to her and twirl her around, then when she’s laughing pull her out onto the dance floor. Works best for faster songs.

13. You know you’re going to be awkward with her. I mean, come on, you’ve stared at the moon together, alone on a balcony on a rainy night, but never even so much as hugged because you’re too afraid. So own your awkwardness. Stutter. Blush. Stare at the ground. Trust me, it’s cute. As long as you get across the general impression of “Would you like to dance with me?” you’re good to go.

14. Start quoting song lyrics at her. “We spun around a thousand stars / I dreamed a dance with you / I know the night is dying, dear / I know the day will dawn / the dancers may disappear / still the dance goes on.”
…Maybe those exact lyrics don’t really work, but I never pass up an opportunity to quote Next to Normal.

15. Optionally, quote poetry at her. As my Shakespeare teacher once told me (and as they say in Dead Poets Society), poetry was invented to woo the girl of your affections. And also possibly to lyrically state universal truths and metaphysical concepts while working for social change. Possibly. But also for wooing. I know poetry by no means makes everyone swoon, but I can assure you that if a girl were to quote some Emily Dickinson or T.S. Elliot at me I would probably faint conveniently into her arms. I have many many favorite poems, but right now I adore “To a Stranger” by Walt Whitman and “somewhere i have never traveled,gladly beyond” by e.e. cummings. My favorite lines from that last one are “i do not know what it is about you that closes / and opens,only something in me understands / the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses / nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands”

16. You could get even more specific with that and take a leaf from the Bard. “If I profane with my unworthiest hand / This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this:/ My lips, two blushing pilgrims ready stand / To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.” (Romeo, you flirtatious person you.)

17. Draw her a picture explaining your proposition.

18. Just become Daenerys Targaryen (circa the beginning of book 3, since I’ve not read farther and who knows where her character arch could end up).

19. Get your friend to do it.

20. …just kidding, don’t do that or you’ll look like an idiot. Get your house elf to do it for you, since no one can resist adorable fictional creatures and also they have magic. Just be sure to pay them in socks.

21. Frost it onto partially-burnt loaves of bread and toss them to her unsuspiciously.

22. Find the Doctor, hop into the TARDIS, and pop off and have some adventures, which will make you courageous and bold. Then time travel to the dance, ask her while you still have the confidence, and then when you go back to your own time to wait for the dance, once it happens you’ll have already asked her and there will be nothing to worry about. (Don’t ask me how my logic works on this. I’m not even sure myself. Wibbley-wobbley timey-wimey.)

Okay, if I even had the courage to try any of the slightly more reasonable ideas from my list, I couldn’t pull it off. I have resigned myself to awkwardly sitting at a table in the corner and making puppy eyes at the back of her head. I’m sure she’ll be thrilled. Any additions to the list you may have (silly or otherwise) greatly appreciated. Genuine advice even more greatly appreciated.

The 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who: A Few Thoughts

I just got back from watching the 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who. Twice. I would love to post a very fangirly, spoilery ramble about my thoughts, but I may save that for tomorrow. Today, I would just like to take a moment to commemorate what the 50th anniversary really means, and how much this show means to me.

50 years. This show has been running for 50 entire years. That’s more than triple how long I’ve been alive. It is so fascinating to see how times have changed since then. Wars have been lost, and won. There have been moments of bleak despair, and moments of untarnishable hope. Perhaps recently there has been a bit more despair than hope, but I know that it was the same way when Doctor Who first aired. Inventions have been created that were unimaginable since then, new technologies and innovations and medical discoveries that have shaped the world we know around us. Yet through all of the changes the core of the show has remained the same: a loveably mad Time Lord with a blue box, off to see the Universe, to save the day, to have adventures. And no matter how much the show changes in the next (hopefully) 50 years, that core will remain the same.

I wanted to do something really special for the 50th. It’s not every day a brilliant TV show celebrates its anniversary of being around for an entire fifty years. I wanted to watch all the Classic Doctors, or cosplay a different character every week, or bake another TARDIS cake, or write an epic fanfic, or do drawings, or write long, in-depth, character analysises. But, even though I have had an apallingly large amount of free time recently, I still have other important matters to attend to, like homework and NaNoWriMo and my ongoing mission to seek out new life, new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before (or maybe just traverse to the fridge to grab some ice cream to eat on my procrastination endeavors). I think that represents another theme of Doctor Who: the importance, in spite of staggering events, of the little things, the ordinary things we take for granted. So you could say that my tribute to the 50th anniversary is that I just kept on doing what I normally do, if in a rather more excited fashion than usual.

The drawings, of course, and the long character analysises and the cakes and the cosplays and the fanfics and the speculations and the Trock band I’ve decided to call Cardboard Dalek, will come later. Just because this is a celebration of the past 50 years doesn’t mean this is the end. Perhaps there’s another 50 years in store for us.

Sometimes I don’t feel like a real Whovian. I only started watching the show in June, and even though I’ve seen all of New Who I haven’t seen a single episode of Classic Who, yet. Still, even in that short time this show has done so much to better my life, cheesy as that may sound. I’ve always been an optimist. It’s one of the qualities I despise in myself, actually, though I have no control over it. I’ve been restless lately. Nowhere to go but school and home for the past six or so months, and that wears on me more than being busy does. It’s getting me down. But Doctor Who has helped restore in me something I never thought I’d loose: hope. For every moment that rips my heart out and leaves me sobbing there’s another that fills me up with the wonders of the Universe. There is such a strong sense of wonder, of hope, in the creation of Doctor Who, that it can’t not rub off on me.

One of the things I love about Doctor Who is the number of things it can be at once. Funny, terrifying, suspensful, adventerous, deep, profound, entertaining, heartbreaking, inspiring–all can happen within the space of of just a few minutes. And I love it. I love that this is a show that can make me kaugh and cry at the same time. That whatever mood I’m in there’s generally some quote from the show that describes it perfectly. It makes me think, it makes me sad, it brightens my day, and it consumes me with its dimensions. Maybe I am obbsessed, but why not? There are so many wonderful, wonderful things about this show that it’d be a shame for me not to be.

And of course, there’s the music. The music is absolutely fantastic, brilliant, molto bene. It’s become my favorite thing to listen to. So much so that I’m dancing to a song composed by Murray Gold for a choreography assigment in dance class.

When the Doctor lands in a new world, the earth shakes. His presence has such a huge effect on the lives of those around him, whether for good or bad, and it changes them. After meeting the Doctor briefly only once, Lorna Bucket decides to join the cleric military just to have a chance to see him again. He has that much influence. The Doctor has shaken up my world as well. Provided a new and interesting thing to spend my fangirly time on, to ponder and to question and to be inspired by. And I am grateful.

I wanted to weave a bunch of quotes through this post, since there are so, so many I like. I wanted to choose the absolute perfect quote to end on. Well, as I’ve said, there’s a lot of things’s I’ve wanted in relation to the 50th anniversary special, so I’ll take my leave in the words of the Ninth Doctor, a message to the show I have come to love:

“Before I go, I just want to tell you, you were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. And you know what? So was I.”

The Night of the Doctor: An Analysis

If you are a Whovian (translation: Doctor Who fan) like I am, you’ll know that the minisode The Night of the Doctor aired a few days ago (it can be watched here, and I reccomend you do so to be able to understand this post). It features the Eighth Doctor, and as someone who has not yet seen his only other onsceen appearance, his movie, it may be a bit presumtuous of me to post an analysis without more of his character to go on, but I have really been wanting to write this. I have not yet seen Eight’s movie for lack of trying. I would like to take a short moment to glare at whoever decided to damaged the library’s only copy.

I wasn’t sure whether to just dive right in wih my feelings or go frame by frame, so I think I’ll do some of both. And again, as I have not seen Eight, some of my interpretations could be totally inncorrect, but bear with me.

I’ve been hearing quite a lot over the past few months about Eight fans’ worries about Moffat entirely messing up Eight and getting his character wrong, so I was relieved to hear that many of them were satisfied with the minisode, because I am too. I thought it was very well done and I was very happy that Eight finally got a regeneration. But more on that later.

0:09 Is it just me or does the computer sound rather smug here? Just a thought. Computers can have a way of sounding exraordinarily smug.

0:18 EIGHT!!! When I watched this minisode for the first time, that was also the first time I’d seen/heard the Eighth Doctor, and I immediately loved him. Maybe I’m biased because I know so many wonderful Eight fans, but I really like his opening lines in this, and the way he says them. “I’m a Doctor. Though probably not the one you were expecting.”

During the theme, more fangirling over Eight ensues. I sorely hope the movie will be ready at the library soon because I want to see it now more than ever.

0:38 As a side note, I like the way Eight walks here. That sounds strange, but it puts me in mind of brave adventurers and Shakespearean swordfights. Perhaps that’s the costume. I love Eight partially because of the costume. (Which I am not entirely sure is the same as his in the movie, so if you know, comment?)

0:46 When the Doctor says “Welcome aboard” and Cass says “Aboard what?” with so much longing in her voice, the way she smiles hopefully after she says it because she sees an escape, it’s heartbreaking. Especially considering what happens shortly afterward. I find the Doctor’s ability to instill hope in people so wonderful, it’s part of what makes the show so powerful, and that as well makes this moment particularly sad.

I love the music that plays while they’re running back to the TARDIS. Very dramatic and adventerous.

1:04 “I wanted to see the Universe.” The words spoken by so many throughout time and space by many a wanderer. Often in scenarios that sooner or later result in death, injury, destruction, or heartbreak. Every time I hear this line I like to think about how huge the Universe is, how dangerous, and how beautiful. And how we can none of us fully comprehend any of it.

1:06 “Is it always like this?” “If you’re lucky.” I love that brief little exchange. It’s so Doctor-y, and for me a touch nostalgic too. It makes me think fond, happy thoughts of a certain Time Lord and all his regenerations.

1:13 We’re starting to build up to it…

1:20 …and BAM! The pure and utter loathing in her voice when Cass says “Don’t touch me” is still moving to me. A few seconds ago he was her salvation, and now she couldn’t hate him more.

1:22 Oh Eight…”I’m not part of the war. I never was. I swear to you.” And then later he says he’s one of the nice Time Lords. I would love to see Time War episodes of Doctor Who to analyze Time Lords before, after, and during it to see how they change.

1:31 “Well look on the bright side, I’m not a Dalek!” “Who can tell the difference anymore?”
Oooooooooohhhhhhhh. Thses lines. These two lines are so, so powerful every time I hear them. The implication that the Time War has been so corrupting that the Time Lords are morally no better than their enemies, the Daleks, is staggering. This is part of why I’m okay with Eight being relieved of the burden of the Time War. He already gets hurt an exponential amount in the EDAs alone, I’d hate to think of him having to go through the entire war, especially because the Doctor has always been just that–a Doctor, a healer–and the war would change that.

1:37 Though I’m mad at Cass for hurting the Doctor, I can see why she does it, and I admire her dedication. She seals the door. She would rather die than associate with a Time Lord. Again with the power of the Time War.

1:41 “Go back to your battlefield. You haven’t finished yet. Some of the Universe is still standing.” Again. How terrible, how truely, utterly, horrifically brutal the Time War must be. And I don’t think Eight could have withstood all that evil as the Doctor. The Doctor is strong, but that much bad changes a person.

1:49 “I’m not leaving this ship without you.” Oh, Eight. Valiant to the last.

2:14 When I first heard them mention “Karn” I thought they said “Khan”, which led me to immitate Captain James Tyberious Kirk in a long, dramatic scream of “Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!”

2:24 I think the music that plays here is part of the episodes The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon, though I forget what the track is called at the moment.

2:31 I’m not dead yet!

2:32 I think the music that plays here is what the siren sings during The Curse of the Black Spot in season six.

2:52 “Four minutes? That’s ages. What if I get bored, or need a television, couple of books, anyone up for chess, bring me knitting.” I love you, Eight.

3:13 “Keepers of the Flame of Utter Boredom.” “Eternal Life.” “That’s the one.” Have I mentioned how much I like Eight? This quick exchange gives very good insight into the Doctor’s character.

3:45 I love the whole exchange with Eight saying it isn’t his war, and the Sister of Karn (I don’t know her specific name) countering that he can’t avoid the Time War forever, because I think it applies well to real life. Wars are inescapable, no matter what you do or where you live.

3:52 “Because you are a good man.” “I call myself the Doctor.” “It’s the same thing in your mind.” “I’d like to think so.” These lines are wonderful food for thought. What is good, and bad? What is the Doctor? Doctor means healer, but is it ever anything else than that? (Also I think the music playing here is Space 1969 from series six.)

During the whole part where the Sister of Karn is trying to convince Eight to join the Time War, I think she sounds very much like Galadriel. Not here voice, but the inflections, the tone, the way she uses volume and rhythm and whispers.

4:26 “You’re a part of this, Doctor.” “I would rather die.” “You’re dead already. How many more will you let join you?” Death as a theme is always very interesting to analyze in Doctor Who because the show has a lot to say on the subject about death and who’s responsible and its impacts.

5:05 Eight makes the decision to become a warrior.

5:09 “I don’t suppose there’s any need for a Doctor anymore.” *sobs* This minisode is riddled with powerful lines.

5:24 The music that begins here is more from series six, but again, I’ve forgotten the track.

5:34 There’s been lot’s of discussion about why he only mentions certain characters, and not Grace, who was his companion in the movie, but the one I like is a sad, spoilery one so SPOILERS FOR THE COMPANIONS MENTIONED IN THE MINISODE with the exception of Molly, whose story I believe isn’t finished yet, these are the companions that have died, which is so powerful and so interesting. OKAY SPOILERS DONE NOW.

5:48 “Physician, heal thyself.” EIGHT!!! He finally gets a regeneration. Not only that, but he gets a regeneration with beautiful, chilling, heartbreaking last words. I cried, and I haven’t seen Eight apart from this minisode. The fact that he’s casting off his title as Doctor, that he’s trying to cure himself of helping others because there’s a war on, is powerful and staggering and tragic and heartbreaking and so many words I could fill a page with them. I love his last words so much, and in my Doctor Who book it lists them as “unknown”, but now I have crossed that off and written in the words the fandom has waited for for 17 years.

6:21 Still more series six music.

6:36 “Doctor no more.” I just…I can’t.

Comments? Critiques? Questions? Thoughts?

A Few of My Sketches

Speaking of serialized posts, I’ve been meaning to post a few photos from my sketchbook here, so I thought I’d share some today. Here they are:

Le Drawing Number One

I apologize for the sidewaysness. I was having technical difficulties. This one started out as a random picture that popped into my head of a Victorian lady after she was jilted at the altar, but then I wanted to make the picture colorful and I added a fez and she sort of became sort of a female Doctor. I mean, she looks nothing like any of the Doctors, she just seems really Doctor-y.

Tenth Doctor Yeah

I started this a few months back after I watched Ten’s regeneration (sniffle sniffle). I’m not totally satisfied with it, but I thought I’d share it anyways. Again, I apologize for it being sideways.

The Enigmatic River Song

Urgh. This one didn’t turn out as I was hoping either, though I am proud of the hair. I am not proud of it being sideways.

Another Drawing

This started out of a character of mine but ended up not being the character. Of all the drawings I’ve posted it’s my favorite, although the image quality isn’t the greatest. Like I said, technical difficulties.

And that’s all for today. Hope you liked the sketches!

The Libester Award

liebster-award

Super creative title, I know. I owe the honor of receiving this award with many thanks to The Impossible Girl, and no, I don’t mean Clara Oswald. (Who I don’t really know anything about because season 7 part 2 isn’t free on Amazon Prime yet. *glowers*) Anyway, you should go look at her blog because I am sure it is much more deserving of an award than mine.

And now for ze rules:
1. Post the Libester Award Graphic on your site
2. Thank the person who nominated you
3. The nominee has to write 11 facts about themselves
4. Answer the 11 questions from the post of the person who nominated you
5. Nominate 9 4 other blogs for the award
6. The nominee will create 11 questions of their own for their nominated bloggers to answer

Right then. Let’s get started.

Stuff About Artgirl I’m Sure You Really Wanted to Know

1. I’m always rotten at coming up with interesting facts about myself.
2. Usually the only romance in fiction I approve of is the kind where one of the characters dies at the end. (Actually, I plan on writing a post explaining why.)
3. One of my new dream roles as an actress is to play a companion on Doctor Who, but this will never happen because of my American accent.
4. Another dream of mine is to have one of my favorite authors say they love my books (because I will be published. I will.)
5. On weekends and school breaks I’m likely to spend entire days in my pajamas.
6. I have always really wanted a nickname.
7. I love to study smiles, and I can always tell when one is fake.
8. When I was younger I thought it would be really fun to be an olympic figure skater because I’d get to wear a fancy costume and have people throw flowers at me.
9. I’m a child at heart and refuse to accept that places like Narnia, Hogwarts, and Middle Earth don’t exist.
10. I stayed up past midnight when the seventh Harry Potter book came out to buy a copy right when it was released with my mom, who’d sewn us both wizard hats.
11. I have always wanted to try the fictional dishes that my favorite characters enjoy (shrimp in cream sauce, fish fingers and custard, sweets from Honeydukes, etc.)

Questions from the person who nominated me:

1.If you could be part of any story (a book or movie or TV show), which story would you chose?
This is a really, really difficult choice. The thing is, much as I love my favorite fictional realms, they’re so dangerous and I’d never survive. But, that aside, it’s really hard to choose just one. I think I’d travel through time and space with the Doctor, and along the way we could visit places like Hogwarts and Middle Earth.
2.Tea or coffee?
Hot chocolate.
3.Which fictional character bares the most resemblance to you (either in physical appearance, in character or both)?
This is a tough one. I’m not really like any fictional characters, since they’re nearly always brave, and I know I’m a coward. I’m very bookish like Hermione Granger, sort of average (in a good way) like Rory Williams, and I look a bit like Prim.
4.Summer or winter?
Both! I love summer because I have some free time and it’s my birthday, and I love winter because of hats and socks and snow and fuzzy blankets and cocoa.
5.Would you rather watch exclusively TV shows or movies for the rest of your life?
Nooooooo don’t make me choose! I am probably the most indecisive person on the planet (there’s another fun fact) and could never decide.
6.If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Well, aside from places that don’t actually exist, I’ve always wanted to visit Italy.
7.Gummy bears or chocolate?
Chocolate. Most definitely.
8.What’s the first movie you really remember? And why was it so memorable?
I think my fist movie was about Piglet, but the first movie I really remember seeing was Star Wars: A New Hope. I was probably six or seven, and my best friend and neighbor invited my dad and I to go over to her house and watch it. I managed to stay awake through the entire thing, and I think I enjoyed it. One thing I really remember was that my friend’s dog was in the corner the whole time, and I couldn’t tell his breathing apart from Darth Vader’s.
9.Which song could you listen to on repeat for hours?
Anything by Murray Gold. He is a brilliant composer and makes me want to listen to nothing but the Doctor Who score.
10.Comedy or Horror?
Definitely comedy. I’ve never seen a horror movie in my life, and don’t intend to.
11.Which Big Bang Theory character are you?
I don’t watch the show, so I really wouldn’t know.

My Nominees:

Nevillegirl at http://musingsfromnevillesnavel.wordpress.com
Miriam Joy at http://miriamjoywrites.com
Fishy at http://themagicfishy.wordpress.com
Orphu44 at http://amirrormadeofwords.wordpress.com

I apologize for not nominating nine like I was supposed to; I’m still working on my goal of reading more blogs.

Questions For My Nominees:

1. Pizza or pancakes?
2. What is your favorite word?
3. What was your favorite book as a child and why?
4. Would you rather be able to fly two feet off the ground, turn invisible (but only when no one’s looking), or make it rain squirrels?
5. What is your opinion on the word “weird”? Is it a compliment? And endearment? Would you use it to describe yourself? Would you use it to describe me?
6. If you could go on an adventure with one fictional character, who would it be and why?
7. Have you ever found yourself completely caught up in a fictional world with no chance of escape? What world? Did it result in any near-disasters?
8. What is your second favorite color?
9. Would you rather own a horse-sized goat or a combination dinosaur/platypus?
10. What is your opinion on the moon?
11. Which is better for building forts: an unlimited supply of cardboard boxes or blankets, pillows, and several chairs?

As the Tenth Doctor would say: I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.
But actually, I made the questions unusual on purpose, because it’s always fun to read the answers to strange questions. I hope you like them, and I hope you have a very lovely day.

Guest Post for Miriam Joy Writes

Hey all! I recently did a guest post for Miriam Joy Writes, and I thought I’d post it here as well. Enjoy, and click the link if you’d like to look at Miriam’s blog.

Fictional Friends and Nonexistent Universes

Recently I have been suffering from an advanced case of what I like to call Too Much Fandom. This condition results in spending more time in a fictional universe with fictional characters than in the real world with real people. (Side effects may include daydreaming, rocking back and forth moaning about feels, crying, maniacal laughter, absentmindedness, and the general appearance of being totally insane.)
My case of Too Much Fandom was brought on by my discovery of the amazingness that is Doctor Who at the beginning of June. I haven’t begun school yet, my friends are always doing something else, I have no job or classes to go to, I’m not currently in any theater productions, and I have been procrastinating on my writing, so the only thing breaking the monotonous boredom of day after very ordinary day is watching a new episode or two with my family each night. And now I can’t stop thinking about it. I’ve started spending my time writing stories and song parodies about the show, letting it influence my sketches, fangirling over Murray Gold’s brilliant score for each season, listening to far too much Chameleon Circuit, and generally spending more time aboard the TARDIS than in my own dull life. I have fallen into a gaping void of obsession and I don’t know when—if ever—I’ll be able to climb my way back out. Which leads me to a question—when it comes to immersing oneself in fiction, how much is too much?
I think one of the greatest things about fiction is that it provides an escape from the troubles of our daily lives, a rare chance to be somewhere else. When I’ve had a bad day or am worried about something, I can just open a book and lose myself in a fantasy land. Or when I’m feeling alone I can pretend for a while that my favorite characters are real, and that they’re my friends. I think most devoted readers consider their favorite characters to be their friends, and wish that they could somehow meet them. I know I do. Stories are a way of escape and a means of healing, a way to find friends and people who understand, and that is such a wonderful, wonderful thing. Because if the world seems sad and lonely and dreadfully boring, you can be sure a fictional one will be filled with excitement and adventure.
And then there’s that point when I’m feeling dull and dreary and I open a book and think I wish I could just live in this world, or at least visit it sometime. It’s a rather silly wish, because even if I could visit one of my favorite realms, like, say, Middle Earth, I wouldn’t last a day. I have no self-defense skills and would rather spend time drawing or writing than doing actual work or going on adventures. And my dream of traveling through time and space with the Doctor is absurd, because I’m terrified of virtually everything and being onboard the TARDIS is dangerous, and like nearly all the companions I’d end up with some tragic fate during the season finale. Being in any fictional world would be much less enjoyable than I would imagine it to be, and yet I still want to visit one. That’s the magic of stories. Even though I know that stepping inside a wardrobe will never lead me to Narnia, I try anyway. I think that’s another one of the wonderful things about fiction, the way it can bring hope and spark imaginations, make us believe in worlds and people we’ve never seen.
If wanting to visit fictional worlds and meet favorite characters isn’t a bad thing, what then classifies as “too much”? Try as I might, I can’t answer this question. I would say that as long as a fictional universe doesn’t consume your life, then you’re good to go, but that’s not entirely true. Letting fictional worlds become a very major part of my life has led to more than just procrastination: friendships, a very awesome drawing of River Song’s hair, and me staying up late to re-watch the saddest parts of my favorite films and TV shows, because I truly do enjoy sobbing over my favorite stories and characters.
Overall, I think immersing oneself in fiction, unless it causes someone to do something dangerous (like jump from a 20-story building to test out a replica Iron Man suit), is one of the best things there is. It’s led to quite a lot of putting things off on my part, but also to me finding people who can truly understand me and accept me for who I am. And I think the “too much” part is relative depending on who you are. For me, there is no too much, or maybe there is, but I’m too busy enjoying myself to care. There are so many wonderful things about the world of fiction—the amazing stories and characters, the fans, meeting someone who loves a story just as much as you do, creating and writing and dreaming a universe, making shirts with fandom references written on them, crying and laughing, hugging a book because it is just so good—and I don’t want to deny myself any of it. So, with a side effect of appearing totally insane, I am going to let my case of Too Much Fandom continue. Because I love it.
I am generally dreadful at coming up with profound, thoughtful last sentences, so I will end this as I sometimes do: live long and prosper, dear readers. I hope you have a lovely day.

Intergalactic Paintbrushes and What it Means to be a Nerd

Is Wren *gasp* posting something that doesn’t include Doctor Who? Er, no. Not exactly. But unlike my tendency of late, this post will not revolve solely around Doctor Who. You’ll see.

A question that has been on my mind a lot recently is “What exactly does it mean to be a nerd?” Actually, it’s been on my mind for the past few years, but more so these past few months. So what is a nerd? Well, according to the Merriam Webster online dictionary a nerd is “an unstylish, unattractive, or socially inept person; especially: one slavishly devoted to intellectual or academic pursuits.” While this may be a fairly okay textbook definition, to be a nerd is so much more than such a simple sentence can hold, now more than ever, I think.

But then what exactly is it to be a nerd? Different people at different points in their life would answer differently. Some might say being bullied as a child, being a social outcast, an introvert, poor social skills, loves computers, watches this or that TV show, plays this or that game. Is that what being nerdy is? These days it seems, with nerdy being the new “cool”, there are ever more rigid criteria for nerddom. Certain fandoms such as Doctor Who, Sherlock, or even My Little Pony might mark someone as a nerd, or those strange “hipster” nerd glasses that have become so popular these days, or being able to quote the right pop culture reference at the right time. When in the past to be nerdy may have just meant someone who watches obscure sci-fi shows, doesn’t talk to people much, and spends thirteen hours a day on the computer, now it seems there is an art to it. Or perhaps there was always an art to it, and I just missed it. The point is, being a “true nerd” seems to be so much work these days.

I have been a nerd my whole life. I grew up in a crazy, silly, loveably nerdy family doing nerdy things like watching Star Trek and Star Wars and listening to my dad’s rock’n roll music. I have always felt reasonably comfortable calling myself a nerd, and now I wear that term with pride. Yet nowadays I feel more and more like I don’t have what it takes to be a “true nerd”. I’m awful with all kinds of technology, I have a difficult time quoting certain references in conversation, I don’t watch a lot of the more recent movies and television programmes considered to be nerdy, I don’t know very much obscure information about my fandoms that would mark me as a “true nerd”, I read the wrong books, and I am most definitely not a gamer. I feel more and more like I have to prove myself as a nerd and am falling short.

I don’t think being a nerd means liking or doing certain things or acting a certain way or being good at certain things or having no friends, and I think the definition of nerdy may vary from person. I am a fiction-loving good-naturedly insane socially and technologically inept fiction-loving nerd. Maybe someone else is a nerd who plays Dungeons and Dragons or World of Warcraft or an MMO RPG twelve hours a day but has never read more than a handful of chapter books. Or maybe another nerd loves to read more than anything but doesn’t watch TV shows like Doctor Who and Sherlock because they give her nightmares. Or another nerd can quote references like no one else and has loads of friends because of it. We are all nerds so long as we do that title honor and wear it with pride. Maybe I am different from other nerds, but isn’t that the point? As nerds we celebrate our differences from each other and society and appreciate each other because of it. I am a nerd. I am an individual. And I am proud of it.

John Green, one of my favorite authors and vloggers, says it best in one of his videos : “Nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff…Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can’t-control-yourself love it. When people call people nerds, basically what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ ” Although the video was posted close to four years ago, that statement holds true today. A larger part of being a nerd is simply the freedom to be unironically, unabashedly enthusiastic about something, which is completely wonderful. So no matter if it’s Doctor Who or Dowton Abbey, a new book or movie or game, if you are incredibly enthusiastic about something you have the right to call yourself a nerd. Really, you could call yourself a nerd anyway, but I think the truly awesome thing about being a nerd is the excitement, as John Green mentions. I cannot think of anything to be that is more amazing than a nerd, despite the outcastedness and the negative stereotypes. Being a nerd is awesome, and I am happy to call myself one.

Oh yes, before I close: I have thought of a new nickname for myself. As this post’s title would suggest, it is “The Intergalactic Paintbrush”. That is all. Hope the rest of your day is happy and nerdy.