The Gift, or No Banshee Yet

Man, can I just say I have been busting my backside? I’ve been so busy I could barely look up. This is a good thing for my family and for my hip pocket. But it’s not so good for this blog. Every time I get ready to post something, a major issue comes up that I simply can’t ignore. Case in point was yesterday when I was going to rev up the old blog again, and I got a call from someone who was frantic about their site being hacked and now they’ve been blacklisted by Google. Do you know what people sometimes sound like when they’ve been blacklisted by Google? It’s like a cross between nails down a chalkboard and the sound of a banshee. (edit: to be clear, I had never seen this site until someone called me to clean it up).

If you’re not sure what a banshee sounds like, well, this may give some idea (yes, YouTube has everything):

Okay, so I’m not entirely sure if that’s how the mythical banshee would sound, but I loved the facial expressions, and when I’m talking to someone on the phone who is scared to death they may never be found online again, I wonder if their faces don’t look something like that.

Google and websites and search engine results are not really what I want to talk about but rather how I’ve been going down memory lane with my Richard Armitage fascination and reading through Natalie’s blog and remembering how I was commenting and commenting and commenting there and egged on by others expressing themselves until I finally became so overcome with the need to express myself at a gush that I started my own blog.

This seems to be a common phenomenon in RA fandom. So many of us have the need to express ourselves — even some of you lurkers who send me email and swear to me you will never comment publicly. A few of you took the plunge and have commented on blog, but whatever the case, you just couldn’t keep from expressing how you feel. This is the chief gift Richard Armitage has given to so many of us. I hope he knows that — knows that it has manifested in more than some who have published books or blogs.


Contrary to how it may appear to some, I have no clue if you have ever read one of my fake fan letters, but I still have so much fun writing them and just expressing something zany or sincere. It is a great release, and that’s coming from someone who has a reputation for being a straight shooter in face to face interactions. Doesn’t matter. There is so much to everyone that you can’t pour it all out in personal interactions. Sometimes you just have to write and write and write, and it seems the more that happens, well, the more it happens, and can I say thanks for priming the pump on that. Yeah, I’m saying thanks for being a catalyst for my unleashing of thoughts that needed to get out — even if no one ever reads them but me. It’s been a wonderful therapy, and no, I’m not sure where I’m going to end this paragraph. In fact, I used to worry about crap like that and wouldn’t write anything unless I was reasonably sure it would be perfect. To hell with that. I mean that literally. That kind of thinking is from the pit of hell and paralyzes too many of us. Plus, I’ve been rethinking what I deemed perfect. Probably a discussion for somewhere other than this blog. Then again, maybe not. Whatever I write, I just want to explore something that keeps moving around in my head and wants to get out.

Onto the second paragraph.

Now the third. I keep saying I’m going to let go of this place, but I’m so undecided. At some point I will let go, but it won’t be until I can develop a voice as myself and not this insane persona I’ve allowed to take over. Who knows when that will be. I surely don’t, and I’ve stopped listening to others about when it should be. I’m just going to keep going and believe it will become clear when it’s time to stop — at least in this place, because I’m never going to stop.

Did I mention how much I appreciate your effect in this not only by exercising your craft but also the people you’ve drawn who have also inspired me? Read the first paragraph again, and maybe I’ll say some more another time. Scratch that. I will say some more another time.

One of your crazy fans, who has thoroughly enjoyed being insane and the good friends it’s brought me

P.S. Do yourself a favor and read Nat’s blog. Even if you’ve read it before, do it again. It’s that good.


Certainly self-expression has exploded in the last 15+ years with the advent of blogs, YouTube, social media in general and of course the ease of publishing books. If I think about all of that, I could grouse about the crap that’s out there. But there is something in me that is not opposed to all the crap if it’s honest. Let it come out. Let people express who they are — even if it’s not to my taste. I don’t want gatekeepers to the public dialogue. And yes, if I’m being utterly candid, it allows me to express myself as well without feeling I’ve got to walk on water before I do it.

And now that I’m going down this road, let me also say that a few years ago someone wrote something that was not to my liking, and I said as much. Many times I’ve regretted my statements. Not because I don’t stand by most of what I said. I still feel the way I did in most respects; however, I don’t think my saying it was well done. None of that is to say that someone should not express a dissenting opinion. They certainly can, and for most of my life, I’ve not had a problem doing that when I felt it was warranted. In fact, I’ve been expressing my cussed opinion verbally since I was a little kid old enough to talk — saying very forthrightly what I think to my family and friends and sometimes strangers. But I like to think in my “old age” that I’ve learned that my opinion does not always need to be heard. That I’ve learned discretion. Yet that particular day was not my most discreet. If I could take it back, I would, because I have no need to set myself up as the arbiter of acceptable behavior. Again I say all of this not because I’ve changed my mind on much of what I said, but because it served no good purpose to say it.

But all of that aside, I’m glad I’ve written in this blog even when I’ve written something I wish I hadn’t, or my writing was just crap. It’s been a worthwhile pursuit. It’s changed me for the better, and you can’t know that unless you knew me beforehand which none of you did. You’ll just have to take my word for all of this.

In honor of those who grapple with expressing themselves, one of my favorite Richard Armitage characters:


Screencap courtesy of RichardArmitageCentral

note: I’m really trying to control the need to get on my soapbox about security on a site. Oh well, I guess if people keep having a cavalier attitude about their websites, I’ll keep making money. So on second thought, no complaints here. :D


  1. Good post but burst out laughing at the paragraph thingy. I always remember RA being interviewed about his readings of Georgette Heyer and he specifically mentioned her long paras/sentences. It made it quite a challenge, he said (this is only my recall here, not his verbatim comments), to give the necessary pause and weight in any given para/sentence. I always keep it in mind when I write my books – and then go on to write long sentences anyway! ;) But it’s interesting that what he said stuck in my mind…

  2. Did you find yourself curling your lip and crinkling your brow when you watched that vid?

  3. The banshee girls so killed me!
    So did the 2nd para of the fan letter ;)
    Then truthfully, I really loved the first para of the fan letter. I was a recovered perfectionist before I “met” Richard (maybe even a little too much so now :P But I completely agree with you. I think the right kind of perfection is found IN the digging & striving, not really as a consequence or after-effect of it. It’s the struggle itself that perfects, though that may mean something different in every situation. I think Richard himself pushes and strives his guts out in his own work. And maybe what he does seems so perfect simply because he’s made it so completely “his own”. I have to think about that some more- but my eyes are crossing so maybe tomorrow :)

  4. Go, girl, go! You’re on a roll, don’t slow down!

    I didn’t avail myself of the banshee demo, I admit, but know that I’ve followed many of your satisfying video referrals in the past. Thank you again for introducing me to “serpentine,” for reminding me to re-watch Peter Sellers’s fabulous movies, and right now? The Big Lebowski arrived from Netflix today and awaits my attention in the other room.

  5. Frenz, Don’t stop writing, even if you cannot do It more then once a month or two months. Use It as a stress therapy. I know you feel great about your blog and some of will miss you a lot.
    Don’t Let go a spear corner, miss when you are so busy. ;)

  6. Anon, I’m not going to stop. But thank you for the words of encouragement.

  7. This is what I love most of all about the experience of being a fan: the Masculine Muse can be so inspiring that you simply have to express it. It’s really a joyful thing. I agree too about avoiding negativity. It’s not that I feel I should never disagree with someone online, but the only comments I have regretted have been critical ones. I’ve never regretted telling someone how much I enjoyed her blog :)

  8. Dear Frenz, someone in an earlier post said that particular post was “an epiphany”. To me and for me, your whole blog is more of an “epiphanying”. I hope you get my meaning although the word doesn’t seem to exist. I haven’t read the entire diary, but even so I kept telling myself that most of the time you were making my portrait, right from the first days. And that this blog is actually a wonderful, helpful (I was about to say “therapeutic”), true book in progress. It’s not an onion you are bringing us to find out about, but a gem, and a funny one at that. Please don’t stop.
    Claire (member of the Introvert Fellowship)

  9. Prue, I sometimes can’t help but falling into stream of consciousness, or maybe that’s just another way to say I’m lazy. I”m not sure yet.

  10. Kitty, I did! :D

  11. SH, perfection is a subject that has begun to fascinate me intensely in the last 10-15 years. Some of the things I believe I’m coming to see are things I have written about extensively but never published. I need to start doing that, but it wouldn’t work here. At least I don’t think it would. Not sure about that either.

  12. Besotted, I always appreciate your encouragement. I hope you know it’s been so helpful — both on blog and off.

  13. Linnet, Definitely the thing that makes me marvel, and it just never seems to stop. I did try to factor in the rush for self-expression these days, but I don’t think that’s quite it. This seems to be something more.

  14. Claire, Thank you. I hope you know that I’m not going to stop. That was not my intent. I’m just saying I probably will sometime in the future, and it surprises me that I haven’t already. But it’s been a worthwhile pursuit and continues to be, so I’m still at it and will remain until that ceases.

    Thank you again. You will never know how very long comments like yours resonate with me.

    Go Introverts! :D

  15. Good post. And I love John Standring. :-) I keep going back to him – I confess I was gobsmacked when I realised that, in relation to the main characters, he was playing Isabella Linton, but Sally Wainwright’s script was so beautiful that JS won me over completely (and yes, he is IL mixed in with a good dollop of Hareton Earnshaw, which is where the irresistible shyness and rough-country-boy comes from).

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