Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview with Flamingo

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Media Fandom Oral History Project Interview with Flamingo
Interviewer: Franzeska Dickson
Interviewee: Flamingo
Date(s): August 11, 2013
Medium:
Fandom(s):
External Links:
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In 2013, Flamingo was interviewed by Franzeska Dickson at Vividcon as part of the Media Fandom Oral History Project.

Length: 59:18:00.

For more information about the origins of this interview, where it is housed, contact information, suggestions regarding future interviewee candidates, and how to become volunteer interviewer, see the Media Fandom Oral History Project page.

Some Topics Discussed

Excerpts

[her fannish beginnings]:
I got into fandom basically through stress. I had many friends who were Trek fans, so I was hovering around the edges of Trek fandom. For a long time, early years, when people were going to the really big Trek cons, I would stay home and take care of everybody's horses, and dogs, and whatever. And they would call me and tell me what great things were going on at the con, and I'd be like, "That's nice." But, so I knew about fandom, and people would bring back zines for me, but I wasn't that interested in it. I watched shows, I loved Trek, but I didn't watch much television. Trek was pretty much it. And I had a pretty complicated life. I was a lot younger, you know, I was in my twenties; I was dating, and that was a little more important to me.

In 1991, one of my very closest friends, who was a lot younger than I was, developed breast cancer, at a time when – it wasn't a death sentence, but when a forty-two year old person gets breast cancer, it was not a good thing. We were pretty devastated, and three months later, another friend in the same age category got the same diagnosis. Plus I was having a lot of family problems with my family; it was, things started piling on emotionally, and these were issues I could not control. You just kind of had to ride it out, and just deal with it day in and day out. My job was really difficult. And I went to Shore Leave, I went to Shore Leave most every year.

I had a fourteen-year old nephew who begged me to take him to a Star Trek con [laughter], so I did. And while we were hanging around at the con, and looking at the zines, you know, and I wasn't really, you know, we were just buying t-shirts, the stuff you usually do. And I walked past a table that had a slash zine with the cover of Illya and Napoleon on it, which was my childhood fandom. [laughter] That was the first things I ever wrote in. I wrote Man from UNCLE Mary-Sue fiction when I was in high school. Deep secret. And I was horrified. I thought slash was a great thing. I thought it was great that they were slashing Kirk and Spock, but now they had gone too far. [laughter] You couldn't slash Illya and Napoleon! Illya was mine! So before the day was over I had to buy the zine, and of course since I had to pay $20 for the zine I had to read the whole thing.... it was the first issue of "Dyad", the very first issue. And actually there were quite a few really good fics in it, and what happened was, Laura Campbell, under the name of Tira Kei, had two Miami Vice fics in there. A show I had never seen, never wanted to see, had no interest in seeing, and I stumbled on to these two fics, and for some reason they grabbed me by the throat. And Miami Vice was being shown twice a day in syndication at the time, and I started watching it because I knew that there were parts of the fic I didn't understand. I mean, because I hadn't seen the show. So I started watching the show, and the next thing you know I'm buying zines, and the next thing you know I'm hiding in my office, typing a mile a minute.

Now at the time, I was under contract for writing professional books. And I had deadlines, for which they were paying me. [laughter] I had a co-author who expected me to produce my own work. And I'm suddenly falling into this thing that I don't understand, and writing fan fiction about a show I'm watching when I don't even like television that much. So the whole thing was very weird, and I soon realized it was because Miami Vice had nothing to do with the rest of my life. It was as far from my life as it could possibly get. And when people found out what I was doing, when I finally had to 'fess up that I was writing porn in my office [laughter] as fast as I could type, most of my friends thought I was having a nervous breakdown. It was that alien a concept, since I had avoided fandom for so long, had no interest in it, and now I was plunging into a fandom with guns, and boats, and, you know, drugs, and stuff that.
[the reluctant social fan]:
I met Rosemary through my publisher, who introduced – Rosemary was writing for them too, and they were friendly, and everybody would meet at my house for Con Zone on the east coast, and I made good friends with [Rosemary C]. And that was the best thing that happened to me. That was 1991, and Rosemary lives in my house with me now. And things didn't go that great for me in Miami Vice fandom, and eventually the people who were publishing me eventually got tired of the fandom, as people were wont to do, and moved on, and I was still there, and they were trying to get me to move on. I was not interested in doing that, and so we kind of agreed to disagree, and kind of parted ways, and so that kind of left me hanging out in left field. And I thought, "Well, that's fine, I spent a while practicing fandom in my house by myself, I'll just continue to do that." And then Rosemary said, “I want to introduce you to some people," and I was like, “I don't want to meet anyone." I always said that... "No, I don't want to meet anybody." [Casey K] was trying to, she was writing me mash notes. "I love your fic. We live six miles apart. Can't we meet for lunch?" And I wrote to her and I said quite bluntly, “I don't meet people that I talk to on the Internet." I was from New York. I mean, I just thought that was... It didn't matter if they were on they weren't [axe murderers], it just wasn't anything that I was interested in. Why would I want to meet somebody I talk to on the Internet? I had friends. I didn't need more friends. So, I wouldn't meet Casey for lunch, and next thing I know, Rosemary's visiting me for the weekend, 'cause we had gotten to be pretty good friends, and she says to me, "We're going to lunch with [Casey K]." And I go, "I'm not going to lunch with her. She's been stalking me for two months. I told her I wasn't going to lunch." She says, "Yes you are. You're going to lunch." She says, "She's my friend, and she's not a stalker. You're gonna meet Casey and Suzan Lovett." And I go, "Oh. All right." [laughter] Because I had my own stalking interests, and meeting Suzan Lovett was right up there, even though the first conversation I ever had with her was I complimented her on the wrong piece of art. So that's how I made my best impression with her. I complimented her on a piece of art that belonged to Jean Kluge. So I made a complete jerk of myself. But anyways I ended up going to lunch with Casey and Suzan and, of course, they were lovely people, I had a very nice time with them. Suzan insisted we should all show up at her house, she was going to have a fan day at her house, and they were going to watch a whole bunch of shows, and she said to me, "Bring some Miami Vice tapes, and we'll watch some Miami Vice." It was a lie. It was the first time anybody said "Bring some Miami Vice episodes. I was like, "Oh, ok." I was very, I wasn't really comfortable with this kind of thing. I didn't know anybody there but Rosemary, I barely knew Suzan, I'm not even sure Casey was there that day. I didn't think she came. Martha Bonds came, but they were all in to Wiseguy at the time. And [Jan D] came, and she was in to Man from U.N.C.L.E.. So basically they would start watching some episode, in some fandom. Man from U.N.C.L.E. interested me because it was my childhood fandom. So halfway through the episode I got bored and left. And went in to the, Suzan's got a huge library, and I went into her library stacks, and they turned around saying, "We're missing somebody. Where'd she go?" And they'd go get me: "You need to come out here and see this." "Oh, all right."

When they hit Wiseguy I was like, oh, so bored, I thought I would die. And I thought, "How much longer do I have to stay here?" I was from New York. It's was like, “I went out with guys like that. I don't need to watch programs about them." [laughter] I said, "They all talk like my brother. I don't want to watch this show." I mean, I couldn't have thought of anything I was less interested in. "But look how cute he is!" And I'm like, "So what, he talks like my brother. It's gross." No, I was not a fun person to be with that day. And so we went through Pros, and I was like, Pros, how do you even understand these guys? This was before the dvds. "You can't see anything. Why are they…What did they say? What did they say?" So I kept ending up in the stacks. And by this time I was halfway through a book I had found in there. And they kept having to get me. "We lost her again. She's back in the stacks, somebody go get her." "Don't make me watch any more." I was like, "Isn't it time for me to go home?" It was getting worse and worse. I thought, “I can't get through this. This is just the worst day of my life. I'm trapped here with people I don't know, that I don't want to be with, watching things I don't want to watch." [laughter]

It could not have gotten any worse. All so I could get to know Suzan Lovett a little better, and that wasn't happening because she was hosting this thing. The food was great; I was there ten minutes and I got into an argument with [Jan D]. It was just not good. And Rosemary's trying to usher me through all this, and I'm being totally uncooperative... And at this point, nobody's asking to see the Miami Vice tapes I'd brought, which I noticed, so it's like, I'm like, ok, in a couple hours I can get out of here, and I never have to do this again.

And then they finally got disgusted with me. ‘Cause, the problem was, it was that there was nobody in Miami Vice any more. It was me. And nobody was, I had readers, but I didn't have a fandom to participate in. And what they were trying to do was interest me in something else so that I would write something else that actually was active, and I could participate. Which was not really a big interest of mine. I just wanted to do what I wanted to do. I didn't care what other people did....So here I am, trapped in Suzan's house, surrounded by things I don't want to do, with people I don't want to meet, [laughter] having like the worst day on the planet, and saying to Rosemary, "Can we go home yet?" And finally Suzan threw up her hands and said, "Look, okay, enough of this. We can't keep her in the seat, she's bored to tears." She says, "I know what will work." And Suzan digs around in her tapes, and she comes out with this thing, and she plugs it in, and she fast-forwards through a whole bunch of stuff, because, you remember, you had multiple episodes on each tape, and she's fast-forwarding, fast-forwarding, and she's, "Just sit there a minute. Be patient." And she finally turns the thing on, it's the middle of an episode, I don't even know what show it is, and it's Starsky doing the walk around the porch on "Class in Crime". Within two seconds I was like, "Who's that man?"

Now, I hadn't seen Starsky and Hutch since it was in first run, and I never watched it much because at the time it was on I was dating. But a friend of mine, I had trouble pulling, the friend who had the breast cancer, at the time she was very depressed, and getting her out of the house was almost impossible, so every now and then I'd catch an episode. But it wasn't like, I didn't know who was who. I didn't know which was Starsky and which was Hutch....I'm watching the walk on the porch, and I'm like, "Oh my god, look at the basket on that guy." [laughter] It was the first thing I said. And then Suzan said, "Wait 'til he turns around." And sure enough, I was like, "Oh my god, look at the ass on that guy!" And the next thing I know I'm leaning forward, and Suzan said, "I told you this would work." [laughter] I don't even know who she said it to. And they said, "Let's play 'The Plague' for her," because now they had me. So I was not in the stacks any more. I'm suddenly leaning forward watching this guy – "Who's that again?" "That's Starsky." Ok. So, they didn't play the whole episode for me, they just played that clip. And then they played "The Plague," but they played it on fast-forward because a tremendous amount of it is about the bad guy....I hate watching things. I'm one of these people and I need to watch everything linearly, but it was funny, and it was obvious the stuff they were speeding through was boring as hell, and I could not stop watching that man. And I'm like, oh my god, that is a beautiful man. I never even noticed the blond. He was like invisible to me for a long time. And they said, "Casey will lend you some zines." Okay. Casey had been lending me zines. She made me read Pros zines. I thought they were the worst piece of crap I ever read in my life. So it got to the point where she was constantly making me read zines, and I would critique them for her, and tell her how badly they were written, what was wrong with the plot, there was no theme, there was no consistency, characterization was all over the board, and I'd basically give her book reports to try to make her stop making me read these things.

And she showed up after this weekend, when she knew, she'd heard that I might be interested in reading Starsky and Hutch. She shows up at my house with a stack of zines about a foot and a half high. She drops them on my end table – this is word for word – and she says, "Look. I've been bringing you zines for six weeks, and all you're doing is giving me static. This is the best stuff that was ever written in fandom. If you can't find anything in here you're interested in, I wash my hands of you." [laughter] Those were her exact words. Her exact words. And I was like, "So you mean that, once I'm finished reading these, you will stop bugging me?" She said, "Yes. We'll be done." I was like, "Fine. No problem. I can get through these in a couple of days." And I got caught on Suzan's story, "A Fine Storm." And between that, the walk around the porch, and "The Plague", that pretty much did it. And I fell into that.
[dependent upon tech, or lack of]:
Remember, computers were very primitive. We're talking CPM machines and DOS machines. And we're talking impact printers, like daisy wheels and nine-pin printers and twelve-pin printers. Very primitive stuff. And I worked for the government, and so did my partner, and the thought of taking these reams of porn I was writing, and bringing them to a photocopier, was beyond my ken. Of typesetting something, of producing a zine, I could not, at that time, have produced a zine on my own. I simply wasn't capable of doing it, and I was too scared to do it because of my job. So I had no control over my own fic. If somebody else didn't publish it, it was never coming out. So I ended up having to do things publishers wanted that I knew was not good for fiction. I'd have big fights with them. They'd insist, for example, that you can only use a character's name once or twice on a page, and after that you had to use epithets. I kept saying to them, "Real books aren't written like that, I know, because I write real books." But no, nobody would listen to me.
[the first episode she saw on TNT]:
"Dandruff." [laughter] And I'm watching, and it's – I love it now, but at the time, it was like falling down a rabbit hole. It was like thinking everybody on the show was on hallucinogenic drugs. I'm watching this episode, and I'm thinking, "Suzan Lovett is a genius if she can get dramatic fiction out of this show. This is the worst piece of shit I've ever seen." And then I thought, "Ok, everyone has one bad show in them." So I watch it the next day, and what is it? "Groupie", which is not a whole lot better. And I'm watching this saying, "I can't do this. I can’t. Not after five years of "Miami Vice", which was a show with really excellent drama, I cannot watch this crappy music, this ugly car, how am I going to get through this, just to watch this gorgeous guy?" And the third episode was "Blues for a Lady," which Paul directed. Which was an amazing piece of film noir. The beginning. Everything about it. It was, I could not stop. I thought, "Ok. Now I know."
[vidding]:
I'm not a passive person, so I worked it, you know, finding ways to make the fandom more active. Nobody had done vids for - when I got in to Starsky and Hutch, I don't think anybody had done vids in ten years. We had a huge gap where people stopped vidding in the fandom. And I learned to vid, not because I wanted to, but because I was tired of sitting through vid shows where nobody ever showed any Starsky and Hutch vids. And I knew that you got new fans through vids. And so I learned to vid, and I was a really bad vidder! My first vid was so awful I never even, I don't even have a copy of it any more... My first vid was so bad, I showed it at Connexions, very large audience, maybe two hundred, two hundred fifty people. Connexions routinely had three hundred people there. And they laughed at all the wrong places. There was nothing funny about the vid; it was a drama vid, and they laughed all the way through it. It was just a nightmare. Oh, it was terrible. And, and, if people are laughing, and you've had, you know, it's a dramatic song, and you've had dramatic clips put to it, and they're laughing – and I mean, the audience is, they're ha-ha-ha. They're not tittering, they're laughing. You have done something wrong. [laughter] I mean, I'm a professional writer, I know how to take criticism. And I said, "Ok, this is a message to me that I was not meant to do this." And the message that I event – but I realized that if I didn't do Starsky and Hutch vids there were not going to be any. Nobody else was interested. So I figured, ok, maybe I need to do comedy vids, because, clearly, I know how to make people laugh.
[making male slash vids with a song with female pronouns]:
And that was about the time Ricky Martin came out with "La Vida Loca", and every time I heard that song, I saw Starsky. And the big controversy on the vidder list, which was the main communication forum of the time: you did not make a slash vid with a female pronoun in it.... You did not. You did not. And every time they said, "She this, and she that, and she the other thing," I kept seeing Starsky, and I thought, "Ok, I can do this." And so I did "La Vida Loca" which won Best Comedy Vid at Zcon. It was my second vid, and the woman who was in charge of the vidder list said she'd never seen anybody make a quantum leap like that, from my first, really dreadful, vid, to something that was coherent and made people laugh and actually won an award. Which was more than I ever expected from it. And Killa gave me one of the nicest compliments I ever heard, where she said, "Leave it to Flamingo to not let, not lose a really good song over a pronoun." Ah, but, yeah, there was a lot of controversy. "Do not use a female pronoun in a slash vid." In those days it was very hard to cut music, and, of course, in that song it would have been impossible.
[her vid [Discovery Channel"]:
And then Discovery Channel came out, and when I heard "Discovery Channel" I thought, "Okay, this has got to be the guys." And it took me something like twelve weeks to get the footage, the animal footage for it. And some of it that I wanted I couldn't get. There was a movie called, Creature from the Black Lagoon, black and white film, it's one of my childhood films. And at this point it was available on videotape but they had macrocopy on it. And there's a clip where the monster, who is a bipedal monster, is holding this unconscious woman, and carrying her through this cave with stalagmites. And I wanted to put that clip in with Hutch carrying Starsky from "Shootout." I thought that would be hilarious! I couldn't break the copyright on it. I couldn't copy it.... I spent, I must have spent a week trying to break that. I figured if I copied it multiple times; I couldn't get rid of it, and I had to abandon that clip. I've always wanted to go back and reshoot that. I probably will someday. But I did Discovery Channel; I didn't have any idea if it would work. Most of the stuff I found was accidental, because, at the time Discovery Channel was doing Egypt that month, and they had no animal footage, so I couldn't get anything with the great little Discovery Channel bug in the corner. I was so mad.

I was getting everything off Animal Planet. Animal Planet was very cavalier about their scheduling. So they'd tell you that they were going to have a program on polar bears, and I'd think, polar bears spend most of their time in the water, and Starsky and Hutch are forever falling in pools [laughter] and I thought, ok, there's gonna be some polar-bear-swimming thing I can do with them falling into the pool and stuff. And I'd come home after setting up the VCR to record this stuff at high quality, and it would be some kid's show with hamsters. I'm like, "What?" This went on, and finally I'm like, "Wait a minute, those hamsters, they're in a red car, maybe I can use those.... Most of the footage I got was completely accidental because it was what I was supposed to be taping because they'd changed the schedule. And, uh, the beginning of that vid, with the lecturing part, are clips that were used in an advertising campaign that TNT did that I had, which I'd gotten from another fan. So, you know, I was trying to get it together for Connexions; it took me six weeks to pull that together because of all the excess footage with the animals, and watching hundreds of hours of Richard Attenborough documentaries about zebras, and people breeding, and all this stuff. And it was not easy; you couldn't get that stuff. A friend of mine worked for the college library and she was able to get me copies of it; it was hard to get kind of that material.

So, anyways, I put that together and it worked and Stacey was running the Connexions vid show and she looked at it and said, "I think I'll close the show with this," and I was, "Ok, whatever." And when we showed it, I had a Starsky and Hutch party before the main vid show, where I used to premiere the vids. We had a pretty good crowd, too. And I showed that vid, and Gloria, who was vidding Sentinel at the time, thought I'd filmed the hamster stuff in my back yard. She's like, "Did you videotape that in your yard? With little cars and stuff?" And I'm like, "No!" But it was a huge hit at the party; we ended up playing it like six times. Every time somebody new would come in they'd make us play it again. They'd yell at the new people; "Don't put anything in your mouth! Don't put anything in your mouth!" And when we played it at the Con itself it got a standing ovation. I'd never seen that happen before."... And that's when I should have quit. If I were smart I would have quit right then.... … because I've never done anything one tenth as good as those two vids. I got really lucky with the material on that, I got really lucky with the songs, and after that I've done a bunch of fairly standard kind of ho-hum kind of vids; they're ok, but -
[showing a vid at a con, dealing with rudeness]:
I did Smashmouth, "I'm a Believer". I did "Big Balls," which I'd always wanted to do, which went flat at the con I showed it at; nobody laughed, and I thought, "Well, okay, that's not good." But when I show it to people in small groups it seems to be a living room vid, not a con vid, which I would have never guessed. Because I'm a writer, really – and I am, that's something I am confident about - I'm a writer, not a vidder, I'm not visual. So I go for the obvious, and in humor, that's what you do. But I've done one dramatic vid, besides the one I don't show any more, and it got groans when I showed it at Connexions. It got to the point where I could not be in the room when I showed my vids. It just was too difficult, after spending, you know, days and weeks and hours working on this vid, and to have people say, "Oh god, you picked that song?" And I had somebody say that, out loud, as the first few bars of my song started to play... And the first time I heard ["Hero". It's a, not Julio Iglesias, Enrique Iglesias. "Let Me Be Your Hero."], it was right after 9/11, for a 9/11 special. The song was incredibly meaningful to me, which is why I used it. 'Cause I swore I'd never do another dramatic vid. And I did that one against my best judgment, and we showed it at Connexions. That audience can be incredibly rude. And nobody would ever scold them about it, either. It's like, which is why whenever I do a vid show, the first thing I say is, you know, "Respect the vidder. Even the worst vid we're showing has taken dozens and dozens of hours to do, and a tremendous amount of labor. And you're going to hear the same songs, you're going to see the same clips; have some respect for the work that it involves." And it's because of Connexions, a lot of the vid shows where I showed my vids, they just, I've had vids used for sound tests. I mean, there was never any respect for the work that went in to the vidding.
[putting together a vid show]:
I'm a big softie for vids, but for the vid shows I put together, basically, I was looking for balance in tone and music, not content, because I wasn't familiar with the fandoms. So I had no idea if it was an accurate portrayal of the fandom. Every now and then I'd, you know, I'd watch Stargate 1. I'd watch Stargate, and I remember getting something like a 60-second vid. It was one of the shortest vids I ever saw. Maybe it was a minute and a half. It was incredibly short, that told this powerful story in this tiny little piece of time. You know, and stuff like that. You knew that was art when you saw it.

But most of the time, when I was putting on a vid show, I was just hoping that this piece of music didn't clash with that piece of music. And you started with something fast and bouncy and fun, moved on to slower things, but you always tried to, you know, I was looking for the balance of music. And fandoms so that, you know, you spread your fandoms out, so if you had six Starsky and Hutch vids, you played every third one, you didn't have them all in a herd. But, um, insofar as having an artistic opinion about them, most of the time I couldn't, because I didn't know the sources, and whether they were accurate or

... I basically am worried about, how does it play? Is it fun? And now, see, I do something different with SHarecon, because it's a single fandom con. We've only got so many hours of footage. Everybody loves the same footage. Most Starsky and Hutch vidders are very sophisticated, and they try really hard. They use special effects, they do things to make the show look different and to be fresher. But ultimately it's the same source material. So, you know, an hour of this does get, can get to be wearing. So what I do now is, I have commercials. I find bits to go between the songvids, almost like palate cleansers. Which frequently will come from other shows, or other source material. For example, Starsky and Hutch is mentioned in so many other TV shows. Seeing that, you know, having a, there's a Due South bit where the second Ray says, "I'm Starksy. He's Hutch." [laughter] I play that, give a little bit of background and play that. There's a whole bit in Stargate; they used Starsky and Hutch a couple times in Stargate. I've edited that done to a reasonable length and played that. We have a couple commercials with Paul and David in it. There was a really great bit I showed from Whose Line Is It, Anyway? where they did this whole song about Starsky and Hutch that was hilarious. And so I try to find these little small pieces, almost like palate cleansers, where people can laugh, and stop thinking about the vid they just saw. And this way when the new vid comes out which might have some similarities to the last vid they saw -
[keeping a fandom active]:
I think most of the people... most of the people in Starsky and Hutch, there's only a few of us who are exclusive to the fandom. Everybody in Starsky and Hutch – it's their nostalgia fandom. They love it because the guys are the perfect couple. The slash is right in front of you. There is no other show that ended up with guys in bed together. [laughter] There's no other show where the guys touched each other constantly, episode after episode. For slash fans, we hunger for that, that physical contact, that caring, the hurt/comfort that most slash fans love. You know, when you need it, it's right here. And I think sometimes a lot of the fans that are having fun in other shows, when they get tired of the near-misses, they come back and watch a few episodes of Starksy and Hutch. I think, I'm as sure as I can be, that eighty percent of the people who come to SHarecon are not actively in the fandom. Most of the con committee is not in the fandom. I think there's two of us that are, it is our only fandom, on the con committee. And it's always been that way. With two of us, it's a little frustrating. One of our biggest challenges is keeping people at the con focused on Starsky and Hutch. That's why we're there. But if you want to party with people you can't be in control of everything. You know, you give them all the opportunities you can. The con frequently causes an upsurge in fiction for a while after it's over. There's frequently, people get excited again, they see art, they interact, they talk about Starsky and Hutch for three days, and they have fun, and they laugh a lot, and they remember what a good time they have in this fandom, and then they stick around for a while longer. I think if I didn't have SHarecon it would harder to keep the fandom even as active as it is. Which is not very active.... It's a constant challenge with an old fandom like this. You know, we're not Star Trek. There are people in Star Trek who've been in it the entire time. There's a core of fans in Star Trek who have never done anything else. I party with them sometimes because I understand them, and they understand me, but this is, I think I can say as strongly as possible, this is it for me. I'm never going to do this again. I couldn't possibly face the investment of time, and money, and energy. I don't want to do it again. It's become a job. I don't resent the job; I love it. But it's still a job. I do, I gave up my pro writing career for this fandom. Those are years I can't get back. I've been doing this seventeen years. Those are books I'll never have written. That's okay with me – I'm not going to do it again, though. I mean, I can't see me falling for some other fandom the way fans do today. If I even thought it was happening I would just walk away. I don't watch things. I don't watch things I think would be interesting. Because I can't afford to get involved.
[views on hurt/comfort]:
It's like, let's get over this part, because it's just messy and nasty and my whole theory on hurt/comfort, which completely mystifies me – I do not understand why anybody thinks hurt/comfort is sexy. [laughter] Basically, I write slash so that people will fuck. If I didn't want them to fuck, I would go back to writing pros books. In my pros books nobody ever fucked, because they don't buy those kinds of things in the stuff I wrote, in science fiction. I came to slash so I could write about fucking. And when people are hurt, they don't want to fuck. They want Advil. [laughter] And that's my theory on hurt/comfort. So I find no appeal to it. I don't get it. I think it's creepy; I think it's a little bit icky [laughter]. Like, you know, the whole unnecessary bathing part.

You know, I'm an animal caretaker. I know what it's like to take care of sick things. I don't want to read about it. I just don't. I just don't see the pleasure in it. It doesn't- because my friends day, "What's wrong with you?" I just had to review "99 Miles from L.A." for Crack Van, I barely could get – I edited that story. [laughter] That story wouldn't exist if I hadn't edited the hell out of it. And I had to reread that story, after years of not looking at it, and I'd forgotten how incredibly tedious the entire first section is, where Starsky is recovering from Gunther's wounds, and Hutch has to bathe him, and Hutch has to give him his medicine, and I'm like, "I'll never get through this. [laughter] How am I supposed to rec this horrible fic where the guy just walks around like an invalid for half this story?" It was horrible. I got through it, and it's a great story, but my friend Kerry is saying to me, "There's something wrong with you. Why are you in this fandom?"

I hate the five fics, the five episodes that everybody loves. "Coffin for Starsky", "Shootout", "Bloodbath", you know, "The Fix", and there's at least another one where Starsky is dying by inches. Spare me. Spare me. Though I don't mind "Survival" at all, and "The Fix" doesn't bother me all that much, though we spend way too much time with Hutch throwing up.

Um, but, uh, no, I'm not a big fan of hurt/comfort. I said this at a panel once, that I really don't like hurt comfort, people who are hurt want Advil not sex. And somebody leaned over, Marilyn leaned over and said to me, "Have you even read 'Total Eclipse'?" So that was a bit embarrassing. But I don't consider what I wrote in "Total Eclipse" to be hurt/comfort. Nobody bled; nobody got hit by a car; nobody had a brick building fall on them. To me hurt/comfort usually involves physical hurt. Blood, guts, wounds, broken bones, limping, casts, crutches. I just find that incredibly tedious.

I like psychological problems. I don't think of that as hurt/comfort, but apparently hurt/comfort fans do, and that's fine. Um, but it's, ah, to me that's conflict. You can't have a story without conflict. And conflict usually is brain conflict. You can write a story where the Torino has a flat but I think it has limited appeal. But, psychological problems. I like the guys to be in conflict with each other, but most of the fandom really doesn't. Um, but, ah, no, I could spend my whole life without another hurt/comfort story. [laughter] But people love 'em, so we're gonna have 'em. Yeah, that's my feeling about hurt/comfort. And yeah, I remember Rosemary saying, "Boy, are you in the wrong fandom!"
[enduring fannishness]:
I still find these guys endlessly fascinating. And I go through entire stretches when I just don't have time to watch episodes, or vids, or anything, or read, and when SHarecon comes around I'm suddenly having to, you know, like right now, I'm stuck doing that, the Crack Van, because nobody signed up for it, and I was afraid they'd drop it. So I signed up for it even though there's only, all the fics I would have recced were already recced, so I'm not quite sure what to do. And I'm scrambling to find stuff to recommend. But, so, it's forcing me to read, which is great; it's good for me. And it's, I'm being forced to watch vids, and I'm having to make time. I've got to do a review of "The Set-Up", which I haven't watched in years, so I'm going to have to watch that a couple times. And the minute they're on a screen, the minute I'm reading really good fic about them, it's like the first day I discovered them. It never gets stale for me if I have the time to spend with them. If I don't have the time to spend with them then it's just a job. But if I can spend some time with them it makes my life better. It makes me happy. You know, I love them, and I hope I will always feel this way, because I enjoy it, even though it makes work for me. It's forced me to meet people I would never have met otherwise. I've made lifelong friends in this fandom, which I did not do in Miami Vice [laughter] and would never have done. I have met wonderful people who are very close to me, who I love very much, just because of this fandom. I think it's a good fandom for engendering relationships because that's what the fandom is about.