Fangirl Thursday: A Thankful Heart

I know Thanksgiving isn’t until next week for those of us living in the U.S., but posting on the holiday itself is never very convenient—even if it does always fall on a Fangirl Thursday. Besides, you shouldn’t have to limit your expressions of gratitude to one turkey-stuffed day each year. And I have far more than a week’s worth of things to be thankful for anyway.

I write the words “thank you” a lot. I write them so much that—to some—they might seem like meaningless filler or something I just say to say something. But I hope you know those words have never lost their weight for me—no matter how many times I write them. I write them so much because hardly a day goes by (and sometimes hardly a minutes goes by) without me experiencing a rush of gratitude. I mean those words with all my heart every single time I write them. Thank you.

I’ve always said that running NGN is a labor of love, and I’m thankful for both the labor and the love. I’m thankful that it is challenging and scary and exhausting sometimes to run this site. Because that’s when I know it matters—when it’s more than just some writing I do for fun. And it’s those moments that remind me to always look for the love, to look for the reasons I started NGN in the first place. And I always find those reasons. I always find that love. And I am so grateful that something I love so much and care so deeply about has become something other people love and care about, too. My writing goal is always to make people feel less alone in their intense love for the things they care about. And it turns out that’s exactly what all of you who visit NGN are doing for me.

I want to thank all of you who show your support for me and for NGN as a whole through your comments, your Tweets, your Tumblr posts and reblogs, and your message board shout-outs. When I thank you for those things, know that I’m doing so with the utmost sincerity (usually while holding my hands over my heart and smiling, or even crying if it’s one of those days). When I first started NGN, I never expected people to embrace it the way so many of you have.

And in embracing the spirit of NGN—a spirit of positivity, enthusiasm, and love—you’ve created a family, a little Internet home for people who want to experience the collective joy of fandom together. For as much as I say NGN is mine, it’s also yours. You’re the ones who make it a welcoming place for your fellow fans. You’re the ones who keep me writing when I get discouraged. You’re the ones who support me and each other in a way that has reminded many (myself included) that fandom can be a place of light and love at a time in our lives when we need it the most. Thank you for inspiring me, encouraging me, and challenging me. It’s always my deepest wish that my writing can give you the happiness you give me.

I’m so grateful to have the best and brightest commenters on the Internet. I’m also so grateful to have the most insightful, passionate, and kind contributing writers. And—just to get sappy for a second—I’m so lucky to have a friend who not only helps me run NGN when I need it but is the most incredible source of moral support anyone could ever find. Without Heather there would be no NGN—or at least not the NGN that exists today. As we celebrate giving thanks, I’m so thankful for all the friends I’ve made through this little pink website, starting with my beautiful tropical fish.

I have so many things to be thankful for this year as a fangirl: the amazing experiences I’ve had (from Star Wars Weekends to NYCC), the outpouring of support and participation I’ve received already for my book, the amazing media I’ve consumed and the ways that media has changed me for the better, and—of course—you, my incredible NGN readers. Thank you for believing in my quest to make fandom a little bit brighter. Thank you for your infectious enthusiasm, your insight, and your unfailing kindness to me and to your fellow fans. And thanks for being the best and most beautiful group of nerds I could ever hope to be a part of.

I’m sure I’ll be posting again before the holiday, but I want to wish all of you who celebrate it the happiest of Thanksgivings. And even if you don’t, I want to wish you a day and a season filled with things to be thankful for and time to sit back and count your blessings.

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9 thoughts on “Fangirl Thursday: A Thankful Heart

  1. “I write the words “thank you” a lot. I write them so much that—to some—they might seem like meaningless filler or something I just say to say something. But I hope you know those words have never lost their weight for me—no matter how many times I write them. I write them so much because hardly a day goes by (and sometimes hardly a minutes goes by) without me experiencing a rush of gratitude. I mean those words with all my heart every single time I write them. Thank you.”

    This x a million. I feel this on such a deep level because there are times where truly ‘thank you’ doesn’t feel it’s enough, but there’s no other word to describe that deep gratitude. And I love that this basically says the weight of thank you can never get lost no matter how often it’s said. This is such a beautiful post, sweet friend. You deserve all the praise and all the love and you give back so much which is the inspirational part. Thank you for being so kind, insightful, and a determined woman who pulls through even though sometimes it gets tough. Your hard work never goes on unnoticed.

  2. This site really does have some of the most lovely commenters on the internet. Whether I talk to you on Twitter, through text, or simply enjoy your thoughtful comments on Katie’s posts, thank you for being a part of the NGN family and sharing your thoughts and enthusiasm with us all.

    This will shock no one but I’m gonna get sappy in reply to you, Katie. Thank you for creating this space and sharing your thoughts and passion with us all. Thank you for several years of sharing your writing, your fandoms, your favorite characters and ships, and yourself by extension with me . Thank you for pouring your heart into making this tiny space on the internet a place you can be proud of and a place I would want to spend my time even if you weren’t one of my best friends. We may have all come for the writing and the insights but many of us have stayed for you and the beautiful person that you are.

  3. This is lovely, Katie! I’m so happy for the community you’ve helped to build here at NGN, it truly has some of the best commenters on the internet, and the community all starts with the tone you set through your writing. Thanks for bringing your passion, your smart thoughtfulness, and your optimism to a site where fans came share the things they love with each other.

  4. Katie, you were one of the first reviewers I started reading when I delved into the OUAT fandom. I remember right from the very beginning, in a fandom that was torn by ship wars, finding your character and story analysis and thinking “YES SOMEONE WHO THINKS THE SAME THING I’M NOT CRAZY.” Thank you for always beautifully summarizing your love and thoughts for the shows you care about, and for oftentimes speaking more eloquently the words that I wish I had to explain how I’m feeling after an episode. Thank you for always being willing to share yourself with us. You are such a wonderful presence ❤

  5. I am always thankful everyday that I found NGN. NGN has made watching TV more fun. It’s made Twitter more fun. It’s made Tumblr more fun. And fandom should be fun!

    After over two years here, I have loved seeing how your writing has grown without compromising your ideals. Readers will come and readers will go, but I don’t doubt that you touch a countless number of people. You give them the feeling that they aren’t alone. They aren’t crazy for wanting to analyze their favorite show. They aren’t alone in loving a fictional character. They aren’t wrong to enjoy a flawed piece of media with flawed characters. As so many people have said, people find your blog and they say, “this is what I have been looking for!!” and I think that is something really special. It only reinforces that what you have here is rare and special and important.

    You are awesome. NGN is awesome. You will continue to be awesome in whatever you choose to do in the future. Thanks for being you, sharing your point of view with us, and giving us a safe space to share our thoughts.

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

  6. Hi Katie. What a wonderful post and a great reminder of why I first came to this site. In all the sea of negativity on the Internet, and mainstream media, NGN was an oasis that by rights should not have existed.

    I’ve had a break from the world the last 18 months to deal with my inner demons that threatened to devour. The frightening realisation is how much of an impact one person’s negativity can have on your mental health, and I’d never want anyone to experience what I’ve been through.

    Having stepped back into the world I’ve revisited NGN and have missed participating. Even though I don’t watch any of the shows currently reviewed, the comments and the respect that is so evident in everyone’s writings reminds me of why I came here. Site’s like this don’t just happen, they are a reflection of the owners core values and are much harder to sustain.

    Katie you are a gem.

  7. Writing is hard. It takes work; it takes effort. As with any art form, writing is deeply personal; it’s part of who we are. How we express ourselves,what we express are little bits of our soul out there for the world. Writing can be scary as we dig deep — not to just slam words together, but to make those words sing, to make them mean something. So,Katie, I’m thankful for the labor you put into this site.

    And thanks to everyone else, too, for embracing my goofiness and blathering. It’s nice to have a welcoming and thoughtful place to process and discuss these shows. I love that people will dig deep into characters and motivations without losing the sense of fun. I love getting the different perspectives as well knowing that I’m not alone in yelling at characters on TV. 🙂

  8. “My writing goal is always to make people feel less alone in their intense love for the things they care about.” – SUCCESS!

    It has made me sad in recent weeks to not have the time to write and comment here with any amount of regularity. Partially because I love the dialogue that ensues here and partially because I had so many thoughts and opinions about OUAT along the way. But mostly, I was sad because I missed the connection that NGN provides to my creative side. As is well known by now I discovered NGN at a time when I was probably feeling the most isolated I had ever felt in my adult life. It was a lifeline of joy and a safe space to just be. I was and remain deeply thankful for both the escape and outlet it provided. Not just for my emotions about the TV and art I was consuming, but for a voice I had long stifled under the myriad of realities life sometimes foists upon us.

    I am thankful to NGN and to you Katie for the outlet it provides. I am thankful for the blossoming friendships it has opened a pathway to and the great memories I have been able to make because of those discoveries. I am thankful for the camaraderie that has manifested not just in our shared likes but in navigating life as a whole. I am thankful that I get to marvel in other peoples passions, creative talents and critical analysis. In a world and space determined to lead with vitriol, you Katie have managed to create a sanctuary of celebration. That isn’t easy and I admire it so deeply as I admire you and your fortitude to step into the unknown and be vulnerable in that space. It’s truly inspiring.

    To quote Pippin, I am so grateful for this little piece of sky. And to maintain my musical thought, I was so moved by Billy Porter’s closing performance speech at Kinky Boots. He talked about rejecting the narrative that others attempted to impose on him and that through Lola he chose to be present and behold each of the moments. I think that concept and journey is similar to yours. I’ve watched NGN evolve and in the face of it all, you’ve held steadfast to the integrity you set forth for it. Not always easy, but you relish the moments and that’s what makes this place special.

    So thank you Katie for the honor and privilege of being a nerdy girl who stands beside you.

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