Disclaimers: This isn't Uber or Fan Fic or Original or Classic but it is Alternative in nature.
Sex: Not in this one...maybe alluded to.
Violence: Brief Mention but nothing to get jumpy about.
Feed The Bard: firstname.lastname@example.org
I don't know where to start, so let me start with the quote that got me thinking along these lines.
"Life is not an Uber Xena Fan Fic! Hurt and comfort don't come from the same source and there's not always a happy ending!"
As I said this to my ex partner I had to chuckle. The conversation and subject matter was not really funny. The situation I found myself in was really not funny, but the words coming out of my mouth amused me.
Of course her response was "Uber? Uber Xena what?"
My response was "I can't believe I spent five years with a woman who doesn't know what Uber Xena Fan Fic is!"
And this confirmed my suspicion that the woman was not right for me. No way she could be right for me. As if the lying and cheating and verbal abuse wasn't bad enough, now I find out she honestly had no idea what Uber Xena was. Baffled, I did the right thing. I ended the call and gazed in wonder at the novels lining the walls of my new apartment.
A good number of them were Uber or Uberesque. Blayne Cooper, T. Novan, Radclyffe...I clutched my coveted copy of "Cobb Island" and stalked over to my new favorite place.
My couch to consider this new revelation.
Actually, it's like this. Growing up I didn't know I was a lesbian. I didn't even know what a lesbian was. I knew that when someone called me a lesbian it was usually accompanied by a kick or punch or a shove. I never fought back. If I could run, I ran. If I could talk my way out of it, I would talk until I had no more words. I knew that fists hurt and I would not use mine to inflict pain on anyone, deserving or not. (I later found out that according to the folks at Ren Pics this is known as "The Way of Love" I also later realized it's not my way.)
You might ask how I didn't know what as lesbian was. I grew up on a mountain and I had parents who thought it best to keep me sheltered. When Ellen came out of the closet I was no longer allowed to watch her on TV. I asked my mom "What's the big deal about her coming out of a closet? Why would anyone want to be in a closet?"
I thought she was actually opening a door and physically coming out of a closet. My parents were content to let me think so.
I grew as children tend to do. As I grew, I noticed I didn't fit in. I wasn't like other girls, but damned if I didn't try. Then I realized, not only was I different from other girls, I liked other girls. A lot. Did I know I was a lesbian? No. Did I think I was the only girl who liked girls existing in the world? Yes. Yes I did. So I tried to dress like a girl, but it didn't work. I looked awkward and I felt even more so. I gave in. I was me. I was beaten. I was cursed. I kept my secret. I liked girls.
It was a revelation to me that there would be anyone else in the world that might feel the same. I was sure if there was they'd be hiding too! But I got sick. I had Mono. For about three months. I couldn't get rid of it. But that's when I found them!
Lying on my Aunt's couch in a stupor, my hero, my younger but much wiser cousin, said "Hey, I want you to see something."
She knew things. She knew things I didn't know and wouldn't know for a while, and she knew more about me than I did myself.
Well I wasn't doing anything so I was agreeable for once. She flipped on the TV. WPIX New York and I heard it! "Can we cook with your juices!?!"
I opened my eyes and there she was...Gabrielle! Waving a frying pan at Xena! This was the episode called "A Day In the Life..."
This was also my first encounter with either of them. My first encounter with seeing two women in a bath together. My first time hearing the word...
"They're lesbians ya, know? It's in the subtext..." My cousin told me.
I looked at her and asked, "Lesbians?"
She smiled and nodded, "Yeah, they like each other. Lesbians...like you..."
She said lesbians and smiled and called me one. I thought I was hallucinating. I acknowledged briefly that she was right, but it was still three long years before we discussed it. Three years before I understood. Three years before she she laughed and said, "Yeah, sometimes I like the ladies too!"
Thus, the beginning of my young life as a Xenite! Now I knew there were three of these supposed lesbians lurking around the world. One was me and two were on television. I needed to know more and low and behold, from the Internet did appear the most alluring web pages I had ever found! The Royal Academy of Bards! ForevaXena! BeyondUber! What began as a simple search for television listings for reruns morphed into something that taught me there were WAY MORE than three of us.
Oh my goddess, there was a WHOLE TRIBE OF THEM!
Please keep in mind, patient reader, that in the midst of all of this was a sullen young girl, who'd not yet learned to love herself. That this girl was me. I wanted to die.
I tried to die. I kept a secret that I thought nobody would understand. I didn't think anybody could. I learned later that some people already knew, but that a lot of people didn't understand and wouldn't understand. But I saw these sites and they were filled with stories of love! Love between two women and I understood truly at sixteen years old that I was not alone.
I clicked. It was a link to something called "Madame President." I read this even though the disclaimer specifically told me not to, as I was not seventeen.
I was close enough. I cried. I could be the President! If not me, then someone like me could do it! Maybe even would do it! Someone like me could find love. Real love and happiness and not just in subtext but in pretext and reality too! I was awed. I was not a bad person. With one story, I could see myself as something! I could see myself grow and blossom and be a person of substance. This was something!
I'm not going to say that life was perfect then. Far from it, but for me, Xena and Gabrielle, and a story by Blayne Cooper and T. Novan saved my soul from being devoured by misery, unhappiness, terror, and loneliness. Bad things happen, yes, but there is hope.
I'm not going to tell you that the world of Fan Fiction completed my life. Nor am I going to tell you that Xena was the be all and end all of things.Couldn't be farther from the truth. I was a bit misguided actually, by some of what I read. A recurring theme was always, "Love Conquers All." I am laughing as I write this, because twelve years later I know it doesn't.
I had a conversation with a friend of mine a few months back. She grew up like I did. She also learned about lesbians and relationships like I did. Through Xena Fan Fic.
We talked about the parallels of our lives. We both spent five-ish years in bad relationships because we were in love with women who were not good for us. In both cases our basis of comparison was what we read. I was twenty when I entered mine and she was nineteen when she entered hers. I am now wiser than that. There isn't good in everyone and some people don't change. Gabrielle didn't give up on Xena, but Xena wanted to change.
I gave up on my ex because she wouldn't change. She didn't want to and she took me for a ride. She has our daughter, my dogs, my house, my furniture. I have an apartment that I've nicknamed "The Amazon Hut" furnished with a bunch of free stuff I permanently borrowed from friends. A lot of people tell me I got the shit end of the stick, but I live my life by a code I learned from reading all the works by all the bards out there. When in doubt ask, "What Would Xena Do?" The answer is "Everything she can if she thought she was doing the right thing!" And this ties into 99% of Uber Fic, unless of course it's PWP...
But my point here is that after a six year spouse imposed sabbatical from the world that changed and probably saved my soul, if not my life, I have returned.
I see that there are still bards writing and creating. I feel the urge again to create and this the first thing of substance I have penned since 2001, when I completed 1944: Year of The Mandolin Wind and it's sequel In a Broken Dream. I was seventeen when I wrote that. I was pleased by it. What pleases me even more is the multiple stories I have residing on my hard drive.
What makes me smile is that tomorrow is a new day. I might not be president, but I have a good job. I might not have meet my soul mate, but she's out there somewhere. I'll miss her until I find her, but until then I have a life that's worth living! This piece, is not really Uber, it's not really Fan Fic, it's about me, and how Xena and Gabrielle and Fan Fic and a story changed my life. A genre and community of people who unknowingly helped to save it. To people who read what I wrote and Fed the Bard. These things all came together when I needed them to. They have helped to shape me into the adult I am today. I am a twenty-seven year old Boi Bard, and I owe a thank you to this community. I owe a thank you to Blayne Cooper and T. Novan. I owe a thank you to LL and ROC for portraying our heroines. I owe a thank you to my cousin and one of my best friends (who I met in an Amazon RP village back in 1998-ish) and just finally met this year!
In the wake of all the tragedy I see on the news, I see how truly luck I was to have found you all! So Thank You and Battle On!
(c) 2010 AC
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