|Happy 46th Star Trek|
where is Sulu!?
I saw my first episode at age 9 while it was still airing but that was the one and only episode I saw before it went into syndication. That had been a special occasion, staying up past my bedtime and watching a show that my parents were not quite comfortable with because friends of the family visiting from out of town had a daughter 4 years older than me who was already a fan and half freaking because she was going to miss an episode.
Our TV was black and white vacuum tube with rabbit ears that took forever to warm up and the best picture was still often fuzzed and the audio crackly. Sometimes to keep a steady picture someone would have to stand beside the TV and hold the rabbit ears and watch the image in the mirror across the room.
I don't remember anything about the episode that night. What I do remember clearly was the intensity of this girl's anticipation and enjoyment and because she was already one of my role models its no surprise that I took notice and never once took any note of the cultural assumptions around me that this science fiction show was for guys not girls.
It wasn't for another two years when the show went into syndication and started showing up in afternoon time slots between 4 and 6 PM that I was reintroduced and by then I understood more of the science that was being extrapolated on. But I have to confess that it wasn't the science nor the social justice commentary nor the stories themselves that drew me in and kept me hooked at first.
It was Captain Kirk. I had crushed on Kirk so hard it makes me blush even today to remember.
Meanwhile though those stories were working their magic on me and by the time I was 14 I was in it for the stories at least as much as for the Captain and by then I'd seen many episodes many, many, many times. When I was 12 I started writing fan fiction. Though I did not know that was what it was. That was my first experience with stories I'd written circulating among my peers of both genders and receiving positive feedback.
The only previous experience of sharing my stories with peers had been a serial story about a girl my age whose parents took in twin foster babies on her 11th birthday. A story that was only received well by a couple of girls in my class who also soon tired of the endless inventory of baby paraphernalia and baby antics and the monotonous routine of child care and housework involved that I'd fixated on. That story had no plot as it had been primarily a riff on a wish fulfillment dream I'd had around my 11th birthday.
The Star Trek fan fic that I wrote between the ages of 12 and 15 though did begin to take notice of plot. So you could say that I cut my storytelling teeth on Star Trek.
I stopped writing those fan fics around age 15 after hearing enough adults telling me I was wasting my time since I would never be able to publish them and might possibly even get in trouble for sharing my manuscripts since every thing about Star Trek was copyrighted. By then I had started to move on to another genre that I also love to this day--the coming of age YA story. I began half a dozen of those between the ages of 14 and 20.
Remembering those stories now brings a wave of sadness over the loss during one of our moves in the first decade of my marriage of all of my juvenillia.