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Archive for the ‘book’ Category

Chronicles of the Misunderstood – Furry – Part 1: Definocentric Society

31 Oct

In an effort to make the process of building this book easier, and perhaps turning it into a digital book as opposed to a physical book as I’d originally intended, I’ll be documenting each portion of my effort here directly. I’ll be expanding on my views and beliefs, covering the points that I’d like to make, and looking for your input as I do so. Enjoy!

The first baseline to establish, and the reason why most people fail to accurately define the furry fandom, or truthfully any fandom, is due to the sheer variety and breadth of scope of a group of fans. In order to define something like this we need to focus on the commonalities, inasmuch as we can, and acknowledge the fact that such a definition fails to cover all individuals or circumstances. In this admittance of the incapability to fully and completely define something, we can begin to set a framework upon which to build a personal definition, which is fundamentally what any abstract concept depends on.

Those of us who hope to establish a definition that can be effectively ‘copied and pasted’ to all instances has fallen prey to the definocentric world view that is so common in our world currently. Our society has grown on linguistic definition. We focus on writing extensive dictionary and encyclopedia entries that fully and completely define all connotations and denotations of words. This works fine for objects, and arguably people and places. What we’re finding now is that definitions are required for more inexact items. Love. Science fiction. Buddhists. Any term that represents such an expansive list of perspectives and individual beliefs that it becomes nigh on impossible to capture everything in one selection of individual words.

The realization that we cannot hope to define such things in an all-encompassing way does not sit well with traditionalists. They want a means to put a label on the practice or group, but have no way to establish such a label so as to satisfy everyone impacted or part of the item they are trying to define. Not everyone who loves will love in the same way. Not everyone who is a fan of science fiction will like the same things. Not everyone who considers themselves a Buddhist will follow the teachings of Buddha in the same way, if at all. In order to satisfy the desires of definocentric society, we need to be careful what we assign in our definition, and firmly establish the flexibility and failings of such a definition to completely outline what we’re trying to define.

So with that note, we begin. Not to define, or to capture every element of the furry fandom, but rather to explore it. Give a series of perspectives, commonalities, and elements of the fandom that will help each person understand in their own way exactly what it is. Definitions of this scope and size will be a journey, not a process of simply looking something up. As we move into more abstract concepts with more open-minded understanding, such will be necessary. These writings will be a journey, and I welcome each and every one of you to pursuing this journey with me. We will all learn something, and my hope is that we will not realize what we know, but rather what we don’t. This is how we learn.

 
 

Project Blog – Reaching Out

28 Apr

Recent efforts related to my book project have primarily been reaching out for input on my initial concepts and chapter proposals, as well as hunting some fresh proposals from a few youth communities. I hit a bit of a roadblock with the youth community I subscribed to, due to having the lack of foresight to, y’know, post -anything- before putting my book idea out there, and the current administrator’s not knowing if I was some kook off the street or an actual furry, but still, I managed to get things settled in a good way, and now have a fair number of interested people giving input!

I’ve done some contemplating as far as the title is concerned, but I’ve had both good feedback and mediocre feedback on the title (the only issue really being with “Misunderstood”, which can be claimed of a lot of negative groups, whether or not they deserve good publicity). I’ve decided not to change it for the moment, and instead focus on content.

  • Furry History – Includes fandom history and the history of anthropomorphism. Very fact-based.
  • Furry Identity – Talks about the creation and discovery of a fursona, and about how it changes.
  • Furry Spirituality – Addresses the spiritual aspects of furry, including therianism and other belief systems that are widely held by furries.
  • Furry Art – Will address traditional and digital art and the communities that foster this.
  • Furry Writing – Will address writing and the communities that foster this.
  • Furry Costuming – Will address fursuiting and the communities built around it.
  • Furry Society – Includes event planning, social dynamics, and the prevalence of online communities. This will play off of the communities mentioned in the preceding sections.
  • Furry Gatherings – Includes talk of conventions, and a deeper dive into the dynamics of furry events.
  • Furry Media – Includes talk about the efforts of furries to be recognized by the media, or to make their own media streams.
  • Furry Sexuality – Addresses the relevance of kinks, and how furry itself isn’t a kink, but it does attract a lot of people who have kinks, and how it encourages kinks by its general acceptance and the number of likeminded individuals.

So it’s a start, at least. I’ll be working on doing some writing and breakdowns of individual chapters, determining where I need to get input from professionals in the fandom, and where my own views may be the best resource I have. I’d like to petition Kage, Kathy Gerbasi, and others for contributions, but I want a consolidated list of what I need first before putting out the calls. I also am in the process of sourcing some artwork for the cover (preliminary sketches of which look fantastic), but current finances and the stage at which I’m at in my writing are not making moving forward on this a priority.

Hope to be providing more updates soon!

~ Aiden

 
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Project Blog – Announcement

06 Apr

So, in the interest of producing interesting content and actually having a reason to post here, I’m going to start using this journal as a correlary to my writing process, in effect turning it into a project blog. Fascinating, I know.

That said, I’d like to introduce the first project. Despite my intentions of writing a fantasy novel for months and months, now going on years, I’ve finally found an idea that isn’t ‘too big’, and that’s also ‘inspiring’ enough for me to push after it. The idea came about following a local convention that I volunteered for. I’m sure I’m not the only one in a community that’s been faced with the arduous task of explaining the community’s culture in 20 words or less to a random passer-by, and for the community in question I’ve often wished that there was an instant reference that I could keep close to hand in order to better educate people. Maybe I should make one? Better yet, I’m part of several communities where this is the case. Why not make a few?

So I announce my first project. Working title: “Chronicles of the Misunderstood: Furries”.

That’s right, it’s a book about furries. I’m wading neck-deep into the controversy, the trepidation, and the challenge of self-publishing a book on furries, and better yet, am giving myself a deadline of next March. I’m aiming for a Furnal Equinox 2011 release date.

This blog will be used as a general space to house my thoughts, research, and results in advance of the release of the actual book. Should be interesting, yes?

Anyways, stick around. I should be throwing some stuff up here soon to start my thought process.

~Aiden Wrenne

 
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