OTW Guest Post: UsedKarma

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Interviews by Fans
Title: OTW Guest Post: UsedKarma
Interviewer: Sarah Loch
Interviewee: UsedKarma
Date(s): July 23 , 2017
Medium: online
External Links: OTW Guest Post: UsedKarma – Organization for Transformative Works
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OTW Guest Post: UsedKarma is a 2017 interview done as part of a series. See OTW Guest Post.

"“Hi! I’m Ophelie, aka Usedkarma on tumblr. I’m french, in my 30’s and I’m deep into a smallish fandom called Darcyland that I helped create in 2012 by opening fuckyeahdarcylewis on tumblr. Since then it keeps growing. I also have a twitter and a deviantart.” Today, Ophelie talks about starting the Darcyland network and the magic of fandom."

Some Topics Discussed

Some Excerpts

How did you first get into fandom and fanworks?

I think I started being into fandom since very young but before internet you kinda felt it didn’t exist, so when I had internet the very first time was when The X-Files was on air (yes, I’m that old). Being French and wanting to read in English for school, I discovered fanfictions (and boy, was that wild). I really started creating both graphics and fanfictions with Buffy, I was a huge Willow Rosenberg fangirl. Then years went by, BtVS went away and I sorta watched Smallville (in fast forward, I wasn’t that in love with the show but it was easier to create my own AU’s of the episodes). I loved the character of Chloe Sullivan, thus I created a French forum about her and wrote fanfictions in french — at the same time I started reading fanfictions in English on NaughtySeduction about Chloe and Lex. It’s not until I matured, started finally realizing that my English level was kinda good that I just decided to create fanarts and writing in English. I read what feels like a ton of fics, all in English and I can’t really imagine my life without fanworks now to be honest. Being surrounded by nice and nurturing people really helps going outside my comfort zone. Sometimes I write drabbles that go with whatever picspam I make.

What was the impetus behind starting the Darcyland Network?

I remember having newbies in the Darcyland fandom coming to me, asking for names of bloggers that counted. I thought ‘oh, what would be cool is to have a list of those people’. I wanted that if someone felt lost, they could go to a nice person that would show them the way. I always try to make the blog inclusive — feminist, anti-ableist, and anti female characters bashing. Since its beginning I have zero tolerance for trolls or people coming and starting ridiculous fights. We have zero ship wars for example. So a Network was to reinforce the openness we already had. It’s not a perfect fandom, but a network is a part of us trying to have a sense of community. It’s a guide in a way. I need to update it, we have a lot of new names that are usually women who are darlings and helping a lot of people in other areas than just the fandom.

What is your favorite thing about the Darcyland Network or Darcyland in general?

It may seems corny but the niceness? I hate BS, and ridiculous superficial fighting. I always rationalize things because there’s far more important things happening in our everyday lives. Fandom is a way to escape but also a way to translate our experiences. This fandom created a small community of women of all ages coming from very different parts of the world: some are teenagers, others are moms, we have disabilities, or financial differences, but we encourage each other a lot. I mean, we don’t have the same squicks, kinks, ships, but we are all positive, something a lot of them told me they didn’t find elsewhere. Which is sad, women talking about their lives or sometimes problems through the medium of writing and using a female character get hate sometimes, for just doing that. The themes we have in fanworks are varied, I always encouraged that and I am lucky everyone followed me (like POC week, femslash week for example). I feel I have a duty to keep the ship floating by having a certain sense of values and curiosity so that the fandom is easier to enjoy for all of my friends in the fandom. That’s how the niceness, the relationships lasts in my mind. We all have to nurture it so it comes naturally.