Not so long ago, I was one of those really unsocialized homeschoolers who couldn’t hold up a conversation about Harry Potter but could tell you about ANWR (Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge), domestic (oil) drilling, and how little control our federal government really has over the control of oil prices. I’d only ever played racing video games occasionally – my favorite games were the educational ones my parents bought or that my grandpa got from school – namely, Mavis Beacon Typing, Story Weaver, and Amazon Trail. Those were just the games I was allowed to play, actually. My brother played Need For Speed, and Lego Racers (which I joined in on a few times) and was allowed video games and consoles.

I lived in a very controlling, mentally/spiritually/emotionally abusive home, where I raised and nurtured 6 of my siblings until I moved out days before my 7th sibling was born at 18. I was never encouraged in any artistic endeavor or to do anything but get married and become a breeder for religious reasons. That’s what I got for being born with a uterus – my reproductive organs defined my worth.

I never read The Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter because magic was witchcraft, which we would inevitably start practicing if we were exposed to it (because of our lack of brains?). At one point we abandoned our Disney collection, until my mom had too many kids it was impractical to keep them from Cinderella even if it did have a fairy godmother in it, and she did use a spell (bippity, boppity, boo).

I thus immersed myself in historical fiction and studying history so intensely that I still have a lot of random stuff memorized. It was the only allowed form of geekiness that I had, and so, I used it. I had 4 pocket constitutions; for a couple years I always had one on hand, just in case. I knew where to find ANYTHING by the article, and often section number.

Because I was so intensely set on learning I saw through the bullshit that a lot of the history “teachers” in the Christian community were peddling. Their revisionist history – while I was never allowed to say otherwise without being lectured – was clearly ill informed, completely untrue, and lacking in any historical context. I knew this because I studied everything around and leading up to events just for the context.

Now when people try to tell me that we were meant to be a theocracy by our founders, I call bullshit and brainwashed.

That’s kind of besides the point, though. The point is that I was sheltered. I was not allowed to play actual video games for more than an hour here-or-there if my siblings needed a player 2. I wasn’t allowed to read fantasy books because of religion. I hadn’t seen Star Wars until I was nearly 17, and even then I was bored because it was Episode 1. I’m convinced we only saw it because my mom was confused about the “classic” nature of it, and the kid from Jingle All The Way was starring.

I didn’t see LOTR until I was 17 at my boyfriend’s house, because he was really into it: Tolkien quote in email signature and everything. We started with the extended edition – I had to watch it 3 different times before I got the story and then I fell in love with the genre and with LOTRTwo Towers especially.

When I moved out, and moved in with my boyfriend’s family which is an even longer story, we started playing the PC version of Halo on occasion. That was my first “real” introduction to gaming, even though I hated getting shot all the time while figuring out how to move. I was also introduced to Firefly and Fringe – we’d watch these quietly to avoid waking up his parents, who are also not into science fiction or fantasy.

When we got married, we bought our first console, cable, and I’ve come a long way since then. I’d always identified as a geek, much to my mom’s horror, because I always knew I was – so you can imagine my happiness upon finding not only a ton of content, but a ton of people who were into the same things. We discovered that Focus on the Family outright lied about Harry Potter; Doctor Who is amazing; Browncoats are forever; and GAMING IS FUN. There are games that have stories, you guys! STORIES, not just racing and/or shooting. I had found that piece of me that was missing and wanting to manifest, that piece of me that helps everything else make sense.

Ask any ex-quiverfull or fundamentalist daughter and they’ll tell you it’s reallllllly hard to escape the you-are-your-uterus-mindset and find out who you actually are, what you actually like. This has been a long process for me – an ongoing process even, because I’m still unlearning old thought processes. On bad days, I just sit and wonder if doing what I want is even worth it – if being me (whoever that is) is even worth it.

It is.

Now, I’m making the third season of my web-series. I started it last year in a moment of clarity, sudden bravery, and lack of fucks to give after an existential crisis.

This project, KieryGeek Season Three, is all about storytelling: the things that I love about gaming, sci-fi, fantasy, and geekdom – I’ll be talking about world-building in games and collecting play-through footage. I’ll also be creating stories with the help of my co-conspirator Matt (MALE FRIEND I’M NOT MARRIED TO WHAT? TAKE THAT UPBRINGING!) in a hangout format. I’d really like to see this funded not just because it’s cool and another kind of community, but because it would mean so much to me personally and my constantly self-critical psyche to do something amazing and worthwhile and completely me for a change.

Thank you everybody!

We’ve been working on preproduction for Hendstrom a lot lately – I’ve drawn out some costume alterations, put together a list of costume thingies I need – and, as you can see in the last post, started trying crazy stuff with eyeliner. I’ve decided to invest in tattoo pens instead, because 10 minutes in the sink isn’t as fun as it sounds. Tonight, we braved the cold and quelled our stir craziness and stopped by Target so I could pick up some more makeup to experiment with.

I ended up with 2 kinds of mascara (well 4, but 2 tubes), eyeliner pen, face primer, foundation that is (hopefully) lighter than my skin tone, and makeup remover cloths – all for $22 because E.L.F. is the best ever and I don’t feel bad buying loads of makeup – because it’s good makeup and way less expensive; perfect for low/no-budget filming and preproduction!

Our notebooks are filling up with pictures and plot lines and rough set designs. Earlier this month, we started a vlog tumblr (vlogblr?) of our preproduction process and what we’ve been working on – we’ll be releasing another one later this week, so if you’re keen, follow hendstrom.tumblr.com because documenting is fun!

Work is ending soon which will give me time to expel some of this creative energy into doing ALL THE SEWING. I’m looking forward to it, honestly. And playing with face makeup. I have a book I’d like to order along with the tattoo pens that should hopefully help with the makeup-artistry.

Interesting thing about being a very very indie filmmaker, is that you have to balance everything that goes into a film yourselves. You have to build the world, write the world, fill the world, film the world, light the world, and dress the world all by yourself with whatever resources you have or can hack together. It makes you realize why exactly there are so many departments on movies: art teams, painting teams, makeup, costume, lighting, DP’s, AD’s, sound, noms, everything. Because it’s hard enough balancing all that for a handful of people, let alone hundreds.

Thing is though, this is an all encompassing art form, and I love it; that’s why I vlog, and draw, and pour everything into preproduction, and act, and watch Alex edit it all together.

Give Away Details from Clone Kiery:

The owner at my local game store, Dirigo Hobbies is awesome and wanted to give away this vintage collection of YuGiOh trading cards because you guys are awesome and he’s pretty epic. So, to *win* the awesomeness…

Like, subscribe (if you haven’t already), like KieryGeek and Dirigo Hobbies on facebook, and leave a comment on the video!

Winner will be drawn randomly and announced on September 28th. Yay for season two!

Other Linkage:

Pond lifeMistress of Mini’s