Thursday, September 22, 2016

Acceptance speeches - Kim Possible Fannie Awards

Remember when I was all, "Vote for me?"  Well I won two awards.  And as such I wrote two acceptance speeches which were incorporated into the story of the awards show, which can be found here.  The text of my speeches is excerpted below.

If you want to see them in context, be aware that has an annoying habit of numbering chapters even when the numbering doesn't make sense because, for example, there's an introduction or a prologue before chapter one.  So my bits can be found in Chapter 1, labeled "2", and Chapter 3, labeled "4".

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["This year's winner is for Best KP Style Name is Chi Mira, who is used in the story 'Bent, not Broken', by chris the cynic!"]

First off, thanks. Second, I wanted to talk about the genesis of Chi and his name.

Most of my original ideas come from so many places that, looking back, I can never figure out what started the whole thing. Chi is like that. On the one hand, he's supposed to be a part of a massive, if vague, idea I have for a saga level series of Kim Possible fics. I wanted someone who could come onto the scene and have an episode or two like a Justine Flanner. The idea being that Middleton was the one place weird enough that he would fit in. Like Jacob in Life After, he ended up coming to readers early (I haven't started the saga) because he was a good fit for a role in a current fic, Bent, not Broken.

On the other hand, and probably the one I should talk most about, he came from me trying to reconcile my feelings about meaningful names in fiction with the fact that Kim Possible positively overflows with them. We'll get back to that.

On Zaphod Beeblebrox's third hand, he comes from a desire to take a certain trope, the part-animal enhanced-human, to its logical and absurd extreme.

Back on the second hand, there are (I'm simplifying a bit because I have limited time) more or less two kinds of meaningful names. First there are ones where the meaning comes before the name. We see this with Monkey Fist giving that name to himself after he has both modified monkey-like fists and mystical monkey power. Then there are the ones where the name comes before the meaning. These require us to accept the coincidence that someone with name X will randomly become someone for whom name X is strangely descriptive. I tend not to like these.

Kim Possible, though, is full of them. Mr. and Ms. Leon decided to name their daughter Camille long before anyone could have guessed that she'd become the only human chameleon, or only one of note, in the Kim Possible verse. Professor Acari's family has likely had that name for centuries, it has meant "mite or tick" for millennia, but he doesn't become the inventor of the cybergenetic tick until Kim Possible Season 1.

So to fully embrace Kim Possible I felt like I had to have at least one KP style name. I wanted it to be like Camille's name where it was composed to a real first name and a real last name. I wanted it to have an in-universe explanation like "Monkey Fist".

And this is where we return to Zaphod's third hand. Chi didn't pick up traits from various animals by being bitten by a radioactive menagerie; he was grown in a lab. A perfect name for the project that created him would be "Chimera". Since that can be separated into an actual first name, Chi, and an actual last name, Mera, it seemed like exactly what I was looking for. I decided to change the last name to "Mira" because it seems to be a more common last name and there's really no reason to perfectly duplicate the spelling of the animal. Camille Leon, after all, is not spelled "Chame leon".

I'll close by talking a bit about Chi Mira himself. Does he have snake, lion, and goat bits? Not sure on the lion and goat yet. What he does have is anything that might be vaguely useful. He was created to be a weapon: an all terrain super solider. But he was raised as a person and the result is someone who spent his teen years trying to be normal, and his adult life pursuing a relatively mundane job, for the Kim Possible verse at least.

Again, thanks to everyone who voted for me. Without the support of readers, I probably wouldn't write.


[Crowd response during intermission that mentioned me or the above]

Invader Johnny:
Heh well I loved all the Fannie speeched but the one that struck the most was the one that explains why the name Chi Mira was created, XD.

Congratulations to everyone, and not just the winners.

"Chi Mira" is a perfect KP-style name. [...]
Congratulations to Chris the Cynic, ShadowDancer01, and especially to my girl Kawaiigirls5.
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For the second one there was more description so I'm just leaving it as was, embedded in the story of the awards show.  Still in italic though.

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[I actually considered cutting and pasting this as it was in the story because a) they did a good job with inserting mannerisms for description of how the speech was given, and b) they got my gender right (for the first one they erroneously called me he/his/him pronouns.)]

["chris the cynic, you have won Best Drama with your story 'Bent, not Broken'."]

So, first and foremost, thank you everyone. Again.

Most of what I write, fan work and original alike, straddles the line between action/adventure and drama, but, in many ways, 'Bent, not Broken' was intended to be a departure from that.

I started the story because someone pointed out, rightly if rudely, that the KP fic I had at the time was lacking in action. My first KP fic, 'Being more than a Simulacrum', is sort of a serial friendship story. It's also about making a unique identity for yourself, so none of that really lends itself to action. My second, 'Forgotten Seeds', has no antagonists. Just nine characters trying to survive together. Again, not something that really calls for action.

So I set out to make a fic that would be much more… actiony. I'm a fan of LJ58's 'Bad Girls' and I was reading (and still am) ShadowDancer01's Action and Reaction and I wanted to do something in that general arena. Kim is set up. Kim loses everything. Disillusioned, Kim then sets out for retribution."

I actually wanted to take it further than either of those and write straight up id-fic, which is about pulling out all the stops and just letting loose on the organ. It's non-stop movie action where problems are solved by beating up the bad guys and blowing things up. It's about appealing to that part of your psyche that just wants to punch antagonists and other human obstacles in the face.

"But… I'm . . . not the best at writing it. In fact, I'd say I failed. (A year later I still haven't gotten to the part of Bent, not Broken where Kim embraces her dark side and really starts to let loose.) Id-fic is just not where my writing takes me. I tend to do more adventure than action, more think than punch, more Banner than Hulk, more Loki than Thor, and so forth.

And that's how I ended up with a drama when I set out to write, essentially, 'River Tam Beats Up Everyone'. Yes, Kim's going to cut loose, yes there's going to be action (and adventure) but what I've been trying to do, which I hope this award means I'm succeeding at, is tell a story where all of that fits.

A story where it makes sense that Kim has been pushed beyond her usual limits, and it makes sense that she's finding, and fearing, her dark side. It makes sense that she's doing things that aren't Kim-like (yet we're still rooting for her.) I've also been trying to create an enemy that is simultaneously so powerful that it can't be stopped without going full action movie, so pervasive that it can't be dealt with quickly, and so insidious that Kim can't figure it out in the space of an episode or three.

And all of that? That's drama. Drama that I totally didn't set out to write.

So, I guess the message that I really want to give to all of you is don't be afraid to try new things, and don't be frustrated when they don't turn out how you intended. Maybe you don't end up with what you were going for, but if you keep putting in solid effort and bring your best to bear, you can still end up with something good.

Thank you to everyone who voted for my story, and good luck to all of the writers out there.


[Crowd response during intermission that mentioned me or the above]

Belated congratulations again to all of the winners - Eddy13, Imyoshi, ShadowDancer01, and chris the cynic.

[...]. 'Bent, not Broken' is a terrific read and Kim's plan with the alarms is brilliant.


Oh, and bless you, chris the cynic, for the 'River Tam Beats Up Everyone' reference.
I guess its time for me to catch up on the awards show.

I want to say congrats to all the winners from chapter 4 - Eddy13, Imyoshi, ShadowDancer01, and chris the cynic.
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And that's those


  1. Congratulations on not one but 2 wins Chris! Hopefully when you get your creative juices flowing again you'll turn out more cool stories/ideas!

  2. Congrats on winning!