Tuesday, March 29, 2011
The FDL Fan Club
Last night I did something that I have never done before. I joined a fan club! I’ve always thought that fan clubs are silly. The only other fan club I ever considered joining was the Dr. Hook fan club, but, alas, I have never found such a thing. More’s the pity, too. Dr. Hook is awesome! They do have a web page, but it’s not well maintained. Oh, well. I have my memories! What possessed me to join this particular fan club is beyond me. It could be the combination of stress, fatigue, excitement and upheaval that currently dominates my life has made my brain go a bit mushy. Normally, I would never ever even contemplate becoming part of a group of people that call themselves fans. The very word fan, deriving from fanatic, is the off-putting part of the whole concept. It denotes obsession and an unhealthy attachment. Not my style. Not that I don’t obsess over things or have never formed an unhealthy attachment to anything, but to formally announce it to the world by joining a fan club is just too much. I doubt that my membership to my new fan club is not going to impact my life in any major way. It is, in the extreme, unlikely that I will ever be found in an all-night line up to meet the object of my fan-dom, or collect memorabilia, or spend every penny I have following said object of my fan-dom around the world. I will not plaster my walls with photos, nor will commemorate my devotion with a tattoo, nor will I dress like, talk like or otherwise try to embody this rising star’s image. I will not be obsessive or form an unhealthy attachment. Even if I wanted to do any of those things, it would be quite impossible, for the object of my fan-dom is not a real person. Doesn’t exist! Except in the imagination of a brilliant and refreshing novelist named Alan Bradley, who has blessed the literary world with his divine and inspired creation: Flavia de Luce. Flavia de Luce is the adorable and precocious eleven-year-old heroin in what is to be a series of six novels of mystery and intrigue as seen through her eyes. The books are a revival of the old-fashioned whodunit without gore, without graphically depicted violence, without profanity and without making one want to sleep with the light on. Yet they keep you up way past a sensible hour, turning pages, giggling, holding your breath in suspense and cheering young Flavia on. Through her adventures, Flavia has been an inspiration in my own life. Her determination and resolve has, like no other character before her, encouraged me to look at my own life very differently. She may be fictitious, but she crawled, nonetheless, into my heart and left an indelible message there: Just do it! Flavia is unaware of her limitations and so does not let them stop her from doing what she needs to do. She has woken my own inner child up and given her permission to... Well, just do it! She has come to symbolize freedom and hope and courage. I suppose my entry into the Flavia de Luce fan club is my way of paying homage to that symbolism, my way of embracing and connecting to that curious child within me. And honestly, if I could, I would stand in line all night for the opportunity to shake her hand!