Melody C.

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Fan
Name: Melody C.
Alias(es):
Type: fan writer, vidder
Fandoms: Altered States, Blake's 7, Bonanza, Brokeback Mountain, Dark Shadows, The Flying Nun, House, Law & Order: SVU, Monk, Northern Exposure, The Sentinel, Sherlock Holmes, Wiseguy, X-Files
Communities:
Other:
URL: http://melodyclark.net (personal website)
melarry (YouTube)
Melody C. (FF.Net)
some zines posted online by Melody
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Melody C. wrote her first fan story in 1978.

She started participating fannishly online in the early 90's, briefly as an early member of Virgule Mailing List.

In addition to her fan fiction, she has written several articles about women in fandom: An Obsession with Homosexuality? published in 2008 uses House, M.D. as an example and discusses "the strong arm of straight male preferences in media and its impact on women and bisexual/gay men. And in Fear of Flying Nuns - a feminist defense of a 1960s girlhood TV hero(2008) she asks "what makes a flying nun any sillier than a flying Kansas farmboy?"

In the mid-90s, she owned and ran a Paul McCartney mailing list MACCA-L [1] which was founded in 1993 or slightly before. The list was moderated by Melody C beginning in 1996. Starting in May 1997, Melody co-moderated with Cathy Munro until Melody left the list in December of that year. [2]

Melody, along with Beth Klapper and Monica Ortloff, was co-director of The Grayson Hall International Fan Club, a Dark Shadows fan club during the early 1980s.

From time to time, Melody has announced her departure from fandom activities. These departures are, to date, not permanent. As of early 2017, her most recent fandom activity has taken place in Sherlock BBC fandom.[3]

Her Zines

In the early 2000s, she briefly published fanzines under the name The M Press and distributed them via Mysti Frank.

Melody C.'s Blake's 7 and Wiseguy novels were published by Agent With Style.

Judith Proctor published the Blake's 7 novels that Judith herself reedited and republished as the initial published version was fraught with errors.

Kathy Resch published Melody's Dark Shadows Grayson Hall zine as well as the award-winning Fire and Ice issue #1 which Melody co-edited with Kathy.

In 2009, Melody created the Media Fen website with the goal of offering fanzine publishers a location to advertise their zines. That site went offline early 2010.[4]

In 2011, Melody wrote:
All of my print fanzines are now officially public domain where print publishing is concerned. Anyone with a first-generation master may print publish them. This master has to come directly from me, so that known zine pirates won't be spreading crappy copies. However, I do not profit from fan fiction in any way and I never have. I believe absolutely in the non-profit spirit of fandom. I will not okay anyone from a zine-for-profit enterprise. My zines sell about .25 copies a year, so it's no loss to anyone, but I need to do what makes me feel comfortable. I want to thank Mysti Frank, Judith Proctor and Kathy Resch for publishing my stuff for many years. They've always been aboveboard and honest to and with me. This decision is irreversible. [5]

Some of Her Comments on Fan Writing

2008

List the five stories you have written that you LOVE the best. Not the best one or the most popular one but the ones that you personally love the best.

I can't remember the early, early stuff well but ...

The Last, Best Hope - R - Blake/Avon preslash, Blake's 7, because I wrote it for about ten friends (after I'd started a short story on the topic that just wouldn't condense to a story). I figured it would be fun. The friends liked it so we printed up a bunch of copies and my friend Kathy took them to a con. It was well received enough that we printed up more. Thus was born the mystery of the missing gun and my weird word choice (thanks to spellcheck and my own weird predilections).

La Tormenta Grande, TFN, Carlos/Elsie, I was sick and depressed at the time and asked myself "what would I REALLY like to write" ... I just had one hell of a good time writing it. Wrote it all in one draft (did two edits after the fact, though).

The Cure, Part One - Adults Only - the Fugitive/Us Marshals -- Mainly because Cosmo took control of the damned story and just would not STFU. He forced me into writing a sequel. I mean that literally. It was a weird damned experience that only other writers will understand.

A Real Good Life - Adult - Brokeback Mountain. Once again, I rework an ending to suit my own evil purposes (bwahahahaha) -- it was an easy, stress-free write since I'd had the plot implanted (Phil Dick-like) in total after watching the film.

The Circle Drawn Pt 1 and Living Witness Pt 2 - my Bonanza G rated gen novella wherein I rescue an old friend's character from TV sequel oblivion. "Jamie? Who's Jamie? I didn't know there was a Jamie ... did you know there was a Jamie?"

Love is the Law -- Adult -- (the Fin/Munch novel part 1) I love writing Fin and Munch. They write themselves. Enough said. They make me laugh.

Already Spring -- Adult -- House/Wilson novel - Ditto, House and Wilson

Akin to Love (yes, I'm the same Melody Clark ... someone asked me that the other day ... I think I'm the only Melody Clark fan fic writer) -- The story took a long time to write because I wanted to be certain of word accuracy and also of getting "Watson's" prose voice right. But it was fun. [6]

2009

My aim [with fic writing] is to please the individual reader, whomever that is. If somebody else in some group dynamic likes it too, that's fine, but the important relationship for a writer -- imho -- is the one he/she has with the individual reader.

I write fan fiction and my own worlds. Most fan writers do. And in many ways, my translation of that fan world is my own world. I bring to it my sensibilities, my perspectives, etc. My Blake is different than xBryn Lantry's "Blake" which is different from EPS' "Blake" (gosh, whatever happened to old EPS ;) ... etc. The constraints are only those of something we love in the first place so they aren't really limits but guidelines.

I suspect the experience of fandom is something uniquely individual. It's kind of like a love of a certain type of music. If you don't get it, you don't get it. Musicians love playing their own stuff but they also love playing songs they have a special feeling for. That's all fan writing is.

That said, I don't write lit fic with the one exception of "Sherlock Holmes" and everybody writes Holmes ... even the pro writers kvetching about fan fic write pastiches. The Vampire John Lennon was mistaken as Anne Rice fan fic by the puritan enclave that took over GAFF, primarily because they were not sophisticated enough readers to get that "The Vampire so-and-so" is a common title for any vampire. As to the question of Real People Fic, it's only Beatles fan fic in the abstract sense (based in a holographic world spun out of their movies). Even so, the Beatles have been used in fictional form in over thirty professional novels and short stories. In the words of Sir Paul, at least the Beatles slash writers have the decency to call it fiction ... unlike various supposed "biographies". lol

I have no trouble with other people writing lit fan fic. People will always muse about scenarios in their own minds ... why not share them? To try to limit expressions seems on the edge of becoming thought police. I've had people write in my own universes. It doesn't bother me. I have pro writer friends who actually are touched when they read fan fiction (I haven't talked to her in a good while, but at one time L.J. Smith used to amiably correspond with her fan writers). I certainly think we should respect the wishes of writers who don't want people playing in their universes, though.

I also think the writer of Brokeback Mountain needs to realize that the fan fic isn't written in her universe. The people are ficcing the film, not her novella. Her caterwauling comes off a bit like ignorant drama queening to me.

Media fans are encouraged by most intelligent media producers. The smart producers realize that we're creating viral advertising that will only push their product. The producers of "Monk", for instance, actually created a graphics site to help fans build their own web sites. The producers had a directory of fan fiction, too.

I would point out that some of us "have gone on" and yet still write fan fiction. I've written pro novels and non-fiction books. I still write fan fiction. I consider my fan fiction as important and serious as my pro work ... in fact, in many instances, more so. I certainly have more readers overall for my fan work than I did for some of my novels. lol (Remaindered is my middle name). [7]
My Wiseguy slash was a lot of things ... weirdly-worded, long-winded, grammatically hazardous, occasionally purplish (though not nearly as bad as my Blake's 7 "made beauty a poor cousin to the truth" stuff) ... but "entry level", I don't think so. Still, everyone has a right to an opinion ... even me. [8]

Reactions and Reviews: From Others

Regarding her Blake's 7 story "In Another Time", published in the zine Resistance, a fan writes:
What a wonderful writer Melody C. is! Like M. Fae Glasgow, when I pick up something of hers I can be sure it's going to be a good read, and indeed, 'In Another Time' is probably the best thing in this zine. To describe it too closely would be to give away the plot, which wouldn't be fair. Suffice it to say that it is an unusual story, expertly plotted, and well told. [9]

List of Zines

In alphabetical order:

Online Presence

Over the years, Melody has frequently changed both her level of participation in fandom as well as how much of her fan fiction and vids have been available online. As a result, many links may be outdated.

She gave an account on her website explaining why she left several fandoms.[10]

In June 2009, Toft, a fic writer, posted a rec/review of Melody's Holmes/Watson story "Akin to Love" which had in the print zine No Holds Barred #1. Some of that comment:

I hesitate to rec this, but it really is one of my favourites in the fandom. The thing is, it's hysterical, and also charming. It harks back, I think, to an older style of fic writing, incredibly overblown and florid, and I've read it about five times now whenever I feel sad, because it just makes me laugh so much. If you appreciate the use of the word 'ganglia' while describing a blowjob, or extended similes comparing Holmes to a stallion, then this is the story for you.[11]

In reaction to these comments, Melody announced she would no longer be publishing her fan fiction on the Internet for free, choosing instead to work with print fanzines exclusively. Melody later explained her reaction:

The reviewer criticized the twenty-year-old story for its Victorian wording when it was written in the Watson first person ... in other words to suggest Conan-Doyle's Victorian wording. She obviously had never read the original Conan-Doyle stories and didn't know what I had been trying for. This story took me a long time and a great deal of work. Sadly, it is one of two that cause me endless grief. THAT is the reason it was deleted, not simply because of the reviewer's comment. If we can't respond to reviewers' comments without being dragged onto wank forums, what other form of redress do we have except simply deleting them?[12]

The original exchange between Melody and Toft was linked in the comments to an unrelated Fandom Wank post six months later.

Melody briefly re-posted some of her zine fic in August 2011, but deleted it again when it was linked from Fanlore.[13][14] In October, she created an anti-fan-history-site LiveJournal community.[15]

She posted her own fan history [16] "as a response to fan gossip going around the grapevine".[17]

References

  1. MACCA-L & LindaMac-L Press Release; archive link, 28 March 1999. (Accessed 18 March 2011)
  2. Melody Clark and MACCA-L: A Brief History; archive link by Mark Tovey, posted very early 1998
  3. Melody's tumblr (Accessed March 26, 2017)
  4. Media Fen (accessed on 4 Jan 2010, but was offline on 8 Jan 2010)
  5. FYI About my fanzines, December 4, 2011
  6. a dumb thing, a fun thing and a dangerous thing; archive link, December 27, 2008
  7. Melody: Erotica versus porn writing: I am actually going to be quasi-controversial today; archive link, see original post for more context, December 18, 2009
  8. Melody: Erotica versus porn writing: I am actually going to be quasi-controversial today; archive link, see original post for more context, December 18, 2009
  9. from The Zine Connection #16
  10. "I'm going to set down concisely my reasons for leaving various fandoms, so that I may link to it from fan history sites." Mel's fan history; WebCite, accessed 14 October 2011. Note: Melody has substantially changed the text of the page from what was first posted. As of 28 June 2012, she notes, "I have had to change URLs to keep fan history sites from picking up links they weren’t intended to index."
  11. Toft. recs! Psych and Sherlock Holmes. 21 June 2009.
  12. Melody's Fanlore edits, 8 January 2010.
  13. Melonetics, posted August 19, 2011, accessed 9.11.2011, "I give you what I said I'd never put back on the web. Don't know how long it'll be there, but here it is. Just the slash for now."
  14. Melody says, "It was not intended to be a public site. Due to publicity here, it was deleted." [1]
  15. antifanhistory; archive link, Created on 2011-10-11. "For discussion of problems with personal privacy relative to fan history sites." (accessed 14 October 2011).
  16. Mel's fan history (now offline), Melody Clark Books and Bloggery, accessed October 20, 2011. Note: Melody has substantially changed the text of the page from what was first posted.
  17. Melody Clark's edit, 16 October 2011