That must sound so weird, so shallow, to people who don't understand. But if you are a Oncer, you more than understand. You feel it too, deep within you. That profound effect that usually only people or life events (or in my case, as an English Major, books) can have in altering your perception of yourself and/or the universe. It causes you to act differently, to take the road less traveled. Yeah, a TV show did that.
Before October 2011 I would have scoffed at the idea of a TV show having that much impact on me. I was never a big TV watcher. Oh, over the years I had my shows that I followed, like Buffy and X-files, but I was never as invested in them as I was in my favorite book series, never as touched emotionally or intellectually by them as I was by my well-worn Wuthering Heights, Le Morte Darthur, or my collections of T.S. Eliot or the Bard himself. But the minute the opening scene of Once Upon a Time's pilot unfolded before my eyes, I was enthralled.
This TV show was no longer just entertainment; it became something deeper than that. It was a book for me, a literary expression that I could not get out of my head, and I became desperate to find people who understood exactly how I felt, desperate for an outlet to talk about the show with the passion that I felt for it and the literary analysis it inspired in me.
"We will always find each other."
I found Once Upon a Fan. There were other sites as I surfed around the web, but this one had the upfront news I craved, the passion and creativity and humor in the pictures and the fanfiction that kept me coming back for more each day. And, best of all, it had people who were in love with the show, as I was (and still am). I think joining Once Upon a Fan on the website, Facebook, and Twitter is when I truly became a Oncer, a part of a real, vital fan community.
"With one breath, with one flow/ You will know/ Synchronicity." The Police
It happened fast, the changes. I posted comments on Facebook, Twitter, and the website, interacting with other Oncers and forming friendships. One of the first cast interviews was with Lee Arenberg, and I remember tweeting him and Diane Reed, the interviewer, about how impressed I was with the quality of the interview. And they both answered me! I learned that Diane was a published author, and she encouraged me to re-kindle the spark of creative fire that watching Once and reading the fanfiction had brought out in me, and I began to write my own stories again. Chris and Teresa, Oncers who began by writing fan-fiction and became staff members, also became my beta editors for my own work. And I was inspired to write my first Origins articles, after which Gareth (site founder and our fearless leader) asked me, to my utter delight, to become a Staff Writer for the fansite. To top it all off, my own novelette was published, which was an old dream come true. What a whirlwind! I made so many new, lovely, creative friends, became a published author and OUAF Staff Writer, and had the opportunity to go to Enchantacon at the Doubletree Hilton in Orlando and meet these Oncers and some of the cast (like the gracious Raphael Sbarge), as well as to be our fan panel moderator. Once Upon a Time was the crucible for all these wonderful, life-changing events, but really it was the fandom and Once Upon a Fan that inspired me even further, to take what the show was offering me and act upon my creativity. I believe that everything happens for a reason: it was truly synchronicity for me, a magical chain of events that helped me to further realize my best self, my true self, as a writer again.
Magic is Here!