Mo (mofic) wrote in fannish_parents,

New here

I just joined this community, having found it on a link from fanthropology. I have three kids. We live in NYC. I coparent with my ex, the kids' other mother.

I discovered fanfic in 2000 after the first X-Men movie came out. I thought it was this wonderful creative enterprise that my comics-loving, writer-aspiring son would love, so I went looking for some stories for him. Then I got interested in the kind of stories you don't bring home to your 12-year-old. Then I started writing. I write X-Men slash fanfiction, the kind we used to call NC-17 before the MPAA was breathing down our necks. Explicit sex, some disturbing themes.

I'd love to hear how others deal with fandom and their kids, particularly if they are engaged in fannish pursuits that are not appropriate for children. Particularly if they are involved in fandoms that interest children. I'm pretty content with how I've navigated that stormy sea so far, but I'm always looking for suggestions and BTDT advice.
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Basically, I rely on my kids' eewwwww! factors.

Young Obi is still at the "They're kissing again" stage with movies. I don't worry too much about him.

My oldest, Bunny (13), is getting curious about Harry/Draco (she sees the subtext). I figure if she's interested, she can read it. If it makes her go Ewwww! and hit the Back button, she wasn't quite ready for it and will be more cautious next time.

After the art show at Media West where her Neopets drawings got hung next to Jim boning Blair over a table, she's pretty unflappable. We were just down the hall from the "Their heads are pastede on, yay" door where sexy male bodies their faces covered with velcro and fannish faces had been set up with the other side of the Velcro. I caught her adjusting it so Blair was opening Blair's pants (there were 3 or 4 Blair heads).

I remember what I was reading and doing at 13, and mostly just stay out of her way.

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Mine are older (16, 12 and 10) and they were X-Men fans before I was. Well, sort of. I was an X-Men fan as a kid, but I got back into it as an adult through my son.

The kids do understand that the stories I write are for adults and not for them. They sometimes like to hear excerpts, so I read them expurgated sections. My elder daughter asked me at one point to write a story for her, so I wrote a gen one to order. My son (who's now 16) went through a period where he didn't like that I wouldn't let him read the stories in their entirety. We talked about it and I explained that it's a boundary issue for me - I don't mind him reading explicit sexual descriptions, I don't want him reading what *I* write about sex. The kids are all writers, so we do talk writing process, technique, etc. fairly often. They like to hear what I'm working on and I like to share.

I'm pretty comfortable in general with how we're dealing. Occasionally I worry that Other People will freak out (whenever a RL friend wants to read the stories, I make a point of saying that the kids don't read them). Sometimes I worry that my ex will be an Other Person who freaks out. Occasionally when I get very young readers writing to me, I think "I've got a kid that age. Should I respond?"

So, it hasn't been a big issue for me, but I think about it sometimes. And was pleased to see this community and wondered about others' appraches.

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I didn't tell my kids when I started writing fanfic. Actually I didn't tell anyone in my rl. It was a Deep Dark Secret. Over time I got more comfortable with it and wanted to talk about it. And over more time it became my primary hobby, so I talked about it more. And I had an article published at (website of The Advocate, glossy gay mag) a couple of years ago about parenting and writing fanfic, called "How the X-Men Changed My Life." Anyway, a lot of people saw it and it made it a much more public hobby, I guess.

I like talking with my kids about writing. They've all learned to write through the Columbia University Teacher's College method, which ime leaves you with "writer" as a core part of your sense of self. So sharing writing has always been something we've done in our family. This is the main writing I do now, or at least the main writing I do for fun. I talk to them about work, too, of course, but I like talking about the fanfic.

I've also always been the Storytelling Mama (their other mother is very artistic - when we were together we used to say that I'm words and she's pictures). And this just fits in with that in a lot of ways. I tell them a lot of family stories and other true ones (e.g. historical events told as stories), but I invent stories to order, too. I make up stories for them; I make up stories for other people, too. Okay, so the stories I make up for my kids don't involve mutant superheroes who have sex with each other, but the principle's the same.

Which reminds me of a story :-) I was just telling elsewhere. Last year my youngest, Z (she was 9 at the time) asked me en route to school: Tell me a story.

Me: Okay what kind of story.

Z: Oh, any kind. It doesn't matter. It could be a family story; it could be an X-Men story; it could be post-apocalyptic fiction.

Which makes for a CTTS but also a somewhat embarrassing window into life in our house.