Tag Archives: mobbing

Sylvia Rieß: Der Axolotlkönig

Read in English

Im Rahmen des Märchensommer erhaltet ihr meine Rezension zu Der Axolotlkönig von Sylvia Rieß.

Worum geht’s?

4 of 5 stars

Fynn, ein beliebter Musiker, findet sich 20 Zentimeter groß und mit seltsamen Auswüchsen, wo sein Hals sein sollte, in einem Aquarium; ohne eine Ahnung, wie er hierher kam.

Aber es scheint, dass es genau zur rechten Zeit war, denn seine neue Zimmergenossin Leonie hat nicht nur die letzte Verbindung zu ihrer Großmutter verloren, sondern sieht auch nur einen Ausweg….

Kann der axolotifizierte Fynn sie davon überzeugen, dass es eine schreckliche Idee ist?

Der Froschkönig trifft die Schneekönigin in dieser Märchenadaption der Märchenspinnerei.

Das Leseerlebnis

Aus irgendeinem Grund habe ich eine ganze Weile gewartet, um es zu lesen, nachdem ich es im Februar gewonnen hatte. Was wahrscheinlich nicht so schlimm war, da ich deswegen den Märchensommer geschaffen habe….

Wie auch immer, da Sylvia bereits auf Facebook (Märchenspinnerei Turmcafé) Einträge in der Lesegruppe veröffentlicht hat, konnte ich gleich ein paar Gedanken mit ihr besprechen. Das war eine tolle Erfahrung und ich bin wirklich froh, dass sie die Gelegenheit dazu gegeben haben. Darüber hinaus habe ich auch meine Gedanken über Goodreads festgehalten, so dass einige Dinge vielleicht vertraut klingen.

Ansonsten war ich nicht auf die Rückblende zu dem, was mit Leonies Großmutter geschah, vorbereitet. Es traf mich ziemlich hart, zumal es viel zu vertraut klang. Dieses und andere Dinge wie das Mobbing, die Depression und die Flucht in eine Online-Welt waren sehr gut dargestellt und sicherlich realistischer als das, was man manchmal von einem YA-Roman erwarten würde. Ich fand auch einige Ähnlichkeiten zu meinen eigenen Erfahrungen in dem Buch und sprach mit Sylvia darüber; anscheinend ist sie eine „Realitätsbändigerin“ und kreiert manchmal Charaktere, die sie später im wirklichen Leben trifft, was gleichermaßen erstaunlich und erschreckend ist.

Die Geschichte wird mit einem Ich-Erzähler geschrieben, der zwischen Leonies und Fynns Perspektive wechselt, was mir normalerweise nicht gefällt, aber ich habe mich mit der Zeit daran gewöhnt. Besonders gegen Ende war es die bessere Wahl, da die Gedankengespräche zwischen Leonie und Lurchi-Fynn noch komplizierter gewesen wären, als sie es bereits waren. Was übrigens eine interessante Wendung war, wie der Frosch mit der Prinzessin kommunizierte. Das einzige Mal, wenn sie von diesem Muster bricht, sind der Prolog und eine Passage in der Mitte aus einer dritten Perspektive. Die Geschichte hat auch einige Einfügungen wie Flashback (Oma, wie ich oben erwähnt habe), private Nachrichten von Leonies Online-Freunden, Facebook-Kommentare von ihren Klassenkameraden und ihre Tagebucheinträge. Seitdem ich Dracula gelesen habe, genieße ich gut gemachte Tagebuchnotizen und das war ein Beispiel dafür. Man wusste, dass es von einem Kind/jungen Erwachsenen stammt, aber zumindest nicht von einem nervigen.

Die Charaktere

Leonie ist im Grunde dein typisches gemobbtes Schulkind, außer dass sie eher dünn statt fett ist. Nur wenn man sie besser kennen lernt, was man beim Lesen des Buches tut ;), wird sie so viel mehr. Für mich war es schwer zu lesen, was sie durchmachen musste und wo sie anfing, nur um zu sehen, wo sie landete. Aber ich glaube nicht, dass ich sie bemitleidet habe. Sicher, ich wollte sie umarmen und mich mit ihr anfreunden, denn was ich über ihre Hobbys gelernt habe, klang großartig, aber ich war wütender auf ihre Klassenkameraden, weil sie ignorante A-Löcher waren…. Ich habe die Reise, die sie durchmacht, sehr genossen und war gegen Ende stolz auf sie. Sicher ist sie manchmal ziemlich melodramatisch und hat ein paar dumme Entscheidungen getroffen, aber ich denke, das ist für Kinder in ihrem Alter „normal“.

Am Anfang war ich sicher, dass Fynn definitiv verdiente, was er bekam und ich schätze, dass ich es immer noch bin, aber auch er hat eine realistische Reise hinter sich. Ich denke, dass seine Zeit weg von seinen Mitschülern, die er mit Selbstreflexion verbrachte, in diesem Prozess sehr geholfen hat. Seine Art, Leonie zu helfen, war nicht immer die klügste, aber zumindest versuchte er es. 😀 Mir gefiel auch, wie er mit den anderen Charakteren – und anderen Aquarienbewohnern – interagierte. Letzteres war sogar ein Osterei, das ich nicht näher erläutern will und nur sage, dass ich es als Erste gefunden habe 😉 Und es sorgte für eine unglaublich originelle Idee, wie man eine SMS verschickt, eines meiner Highlights.

Eine kleinere, aber nicht weniger bedeutende Rolle übernahmen Leonies Online-Freundin Mamba/Cecille, die Leonie so gut wie möglich unterstützt, und Fynns älterer Bruder Rob, der eine Offenbarung macht, die seinen Bruder sprachlos lässt. Die beiden rundeten das Ensemble ab und waren großartig und notwendig für die Reise der beiden Charaktere. Sie hatten auch eine großartige Dynamik und ich fand mich wieder mehr an Seiten- als an Hauptfiguren interessiert, auch wenn ich Leonie noch umarmen wollte….

Und natürlich gibt es Poison….einen Charakter, dessen Namen ich für einen lustigen „Zufall“ hielt (Poison ist nicht wirklich ein in der Gothic-Szene unbekannter Spitzname), auch wenn meine Alarmglocken läuteten, als ich eine seiner ersten Nachrichten las. Leonies Interaktion mit ihm führt zu einem faszinierenden und frustrierenden Wendepunkt der Ereignisse und ich bin stolz darauf, wie sie damit umgegangen ist: 🙂
Lustige Seite Anmerkung: Als ich eine Mail über die E-Book Verlosung verschickte und es mit “ Poison “ signierte, war die Empfängerin der Nachricht ein wenig irritiert, da sie dieses Buch bereits gelesen hatte. 😀

Die Charaktere haben in den Kapiteln immer mehr Gestalt angenommen und sind gut dargestellt. Jeder der vier Hauptdarsteller hat Ecken und Kanten, die ich an Charakteren sehr mag. Leonies Eltern und Klassenkameraden waren im Vergleich etwas blass, aber mehr Konzentration auf sie hätte es nicht besser gemacht.

Generelle Meinung

Das Ende gefällt mir sehr gut, besonders wenn man das Original-Märchen betrachtet. Außerdem sind die Spiegelstücke eine tolle Metapher für Depressionen, es ist nur traurig, dass es im wirklichen Leben nicht so funktioniert, also ist das Nachwort genauso wichtig.

Mit Leonies Erfahrungen wird ein sehr wichtiges Licht auf die Entwicklung der Mobbing-Kultur und deren Folgen und natürlich auf Depressionen im Allgemeinen geworfen. Es gab ein paar schwere Passagen im ganzen Buch, einige vor allem, weil ich ähnliche Dinge durchgemacht habe. Es gab auch etwas sehr Ernstes über on-line-dating für Minderjährige, die Nachrichten nicht sorgfältig genug lesen. Kurz gesagt: Während ich dies als eine YA-Geschichte betrachten würde, enthält sie auch reife Inhalte, die häufiger diskutiert werden müssen, vor allem mit jungen Erwachsenen.

Ich hätte mir auch einen näheren Einblick in die Magie der Verwandlung gewünscht, aber ich schätze, das wäre über den Rahmen der Geschichte hinausgegangen. Es gibt auch zwei Szenen, die ich gerne gesehen hätte: Cecille und Rob auf der Polizeiwache und Leonies Schultag gegen Ende. Aber ich verstehe, warum Sylvia sich entschieden hat, sie nicht hinzuzufügen.

Alles in allem ist es eine runde und tolle Geschichte über ein junges Mädchen, das lernt, um Hilfe zu bitten und es schafft, aus einem sehr tiefen Loch herauszukommen. Es hat Spaß gemacht, die Geschichte zu verfolgen und in der Gruppe zu diskutieren.

Dinge, die ich hinzufügen möchte

Zur Erinnerung: Als Teil der Herausforderung kannst du Punkte sammeln, indem du selbst Märchen rezensierst 😉

[Edit]

Sylvia hat der Geschichte eine Bonus-Szene hinzugefügt und sie mir und ihren Lesern geschenkt, oder zumindest ist es meine Schuld, dass sie sie geschrieben hat…. Wie auch immer, ich bin begeistert! Es ist fantastisch! Jetzt geh und lies sie: „Ich will sie sehen.“ Bonus-Szene!

Und natürlich: Danke, Sylvia, dass du uns die Geschichte von Leonie noch ein Stück weiter abgeschlossen hast! 🙂

[/Edit]

In ein paar Tagen bekommst du ein Interview mit Sylvia über das Buch und andere märchenhafte Dinge. Also bleibt dran!

Poison

© Für das Cover gehören den rechtmäßigen Besitzern.

P.S. PoiSonPaiNter 😉
____________________________
Lies auf Deutsch

As part of the Fairy Tale Summer you get my review for Der Axolotlkönig (The Axolotlking) by Sylvia Rieß.

What is it about?

4 of 5 stars

Fynn, a well liked musician, finds himself 20 centimetres tall and with strange outgrowth where his neck should be, in an aquarium; with no idea how he got here.

But it seems it was quite on time, as his new room mate Leonie has not just lost the last connection she had had to her grandmother, but because of being bullied in school she also only sees one way out of this…

Can axolotified Fynn convince her that it’s a horrible idea?

The Frog King meets The Snow Queen in this Fairy Tale adaptation by the Märchenspinnerei.

The reading experience

For some reason did I wait quite a while to read it after I won it back in February. Which probably wasn’t that bad, seeing as I created the Fairy Tale Summer because of it…

Anyway, as Sylvia already posted entries into the Reading Group on Facebook (Magical Book Reading) I could right away discuss a few thoughts with her. This was a great experience and I’m really glad she/they provided the opportunity. In addition to that did I also keep track of my thoughts on Goodreads, so some things might sound familiar.

Other than that was I not prepared for the flashback to what happened with Leonie’s grandmother. It hit me pretty hard, especially as it sounded far too familiar. This thing and others like the Bullying, the depression and the flight into an online world were very well portrayed and certainly more realistic than what you’d sometimes expect from a YA novel. I also found several similarities to my own experiences in the book and talked to Sylvia about it; apparently she’s a „Realitybender“ and sometimes creates characters that she later meets in Real Life, which is equally amazing and terrifying.

The story is written with a first person narrator switching between Leonie’s and Fynn’s perspective, which I usually don’t like, but I got used to it over time. Especially towards the end was it the better choice as the thought-conversations between Leonie and Lurchi-Fynn would have been even more complicated than they already were. Which by the way was an interesting twist on how the Frog communicated with the Princess. The only time she breaks from this pattern are the prologue and a passage in the middle from a third perspective. The story also has some insertions as flashback (granny, as I mentioned above), private messages from Leonie’s online friends, Facebook comments from her classmates and her diary entries. Ever since reading Dracula I enjoy well made diary-narration and this was one example for it. You knew it was made by a child/young adult, but at least not an annoying one.

The characters

Leonie is basically your typical bullied school kid, except that she’s rather skinny instead of fat. Only if you get to know her better, which you do while reading the book ;), does she become so much more. For me it was hard to read about the things she had to go through and where she started only to see where she ended up. But I don’t think I pitied her. Sure, I wanted to hug her and befriend her, because what I learned about her hobbies sounded amazing, but I was more angry with her classmates for being ignorant a-holes… I really enjoyed the journey she goes through and was proud of her towards the end. Sure she’s quite melodramatic at times and made a few stupid decisions along the way, but I guess that’s „normal“ for kids her age.

At the beginning I was certain Fynn definitely deserved what he got and I guess I still am, but he too went through a realistic journey. I think his time away from his peers that he spent with self-reflection helped quite a bit in this process. His way of helping Leonie wasn’t always the smartest, but at least he tried. 😀 I also liked the way he interacted with the other characters – and other aquarium dwellers. The latter was even an Easter Egg, which I will not further explain and only say that I was the first one to find it. 😉 And it caused an incredibly original idea of how to send a SMS, one of my highlights. 😀

Smaller but not less significant roles were taken up by Leonie’s online friend Mamba/Cecille, who supports Leonie however she can and Fynn’s older brother Rob who makes a revelation that leaves his brother speechless. Those two rounded the ensemble and were great and necessary for both characters‘ journey. They also had a great dynamic and I again found myself more interested in side- than main characters, even if I still wanted to hug Leonie…

And of course there is Poison…a character whose name I considered a funny „coincidence“ (Poison isn’t really a nickname unfamiliar to the Goth-scene) even if my alarm bells went ringing when I read one of his first messages. Leonie’s interaction with him leads to a fascinating and frustrating turning point of the events and I’m proud of the way she handled it. 🙂
Funny side Note: When I send out a mail regarding the e-book give-away and signed it with, as I usually do, „Poison“ the receiver of said message was a little irritated as she had already read this book. 😀

The characters gained more and more shape throughout the chapters and are well portrayed. Every one of the four main ones has rough edges, which I really like in characters. Leonie’s parents and classmates where a bit pale in comparison, but more focus on them wouldn’t have made it better.

General Opinion

I really like the ending, especially considering the original Fairy Tale. In addition to that are the mirror pieces a great metaphor for depression, it’s just sad that it doesn’t work like that in Real Life, so the afterword is just as important.

With Leonie’s experiences some very important light is shone on the development of the Bullying culture and on its consequences and of course depressions in general. There were a few heavy passages throughout the book, some mostly because I went through similar things. There was also some very serious stuff about online dating for minors who do not read messages carefully enough. In short: While I would consider this a YA story does it also contain mature content which needs to be discussed more often, especially with young adults.

I would also have liked a closer into the magic of the transformation, but I guess that would have went beyond the scope of the story. There are also two scenes that I would have liked to see: Cecille and Rob at the police station and Leonie’s day at school towards the end. But I understand why Sylvia chose not to add them.

All in all is it a round and great story about a young girl that learns to ask for help and manages to get out of a very deep hole. It was fun to follow the story and discuss it in the group.

Stuff I’d like to add

As a reminder: As part of the challenge you can collect points by reviewing Fairy Tales yourself. 😉

[Edit]

Sylvia added a Bonus-scene to the story and pretty much gave it as a gift to me and her readers, or at least it’s my fault that she wrote it … Anyway, I’m excited! It’s awesome! Now go read it: Bonus-scene!

And of course: Thank you, Sylvia, for giving us a little more closure to Leonie’s story! 🙂

[/Edit]

In a couple of days you’ll get an interview with Sylvia about the book and some other Fairy Tale related stuff. So stay tuned!

Poison

© For the cover belongs to its rightful owner.

P.S. PoiSonPaiNter 😉

TimeLash 2015: Cosplay-Time

As I told you in my Review for the TimeLash do I want to expand on something I didn’t talk about, namely: The Cosplay competition.
What was supposed to be just us having fun turned into something I don’t even know how to call it, but read for yourself.

Preparations, preparations…

As I told you did Schmusi, Anna and I participate in the Cosplay competition – and I still don’t know what lead me to agree to that. Still, we had a lot of fun preparing our performance.
Quite soon we decided that the sketch we wanted to portray would feature the Tenth Doctor (Schmusi), Donna Noble (me) and Rose Tyler (Anna), wearing a Gallifreyan Wedding gown based on this FanArt.
Thinking back and forth Schmusi then wrote a little sketch for us and I added a couple of thoughts to it, but most of it was slightly changed again when we recorded the whole thing. As explanation of why Rose was wearing that dress, we simply decided that Jack Harkness gave it to her.
We laughed a lot while recording and practising the acting part of the sketch and the more often we heard it and the more running gags (including but not limited to: noise effects, quotes and variations therefore) we created for ourselves, the latter didn’t always work out and we ended up laughing our way through a test-run.
When we arrived in Kassel on Friday, I tried my wig for the first time and Schmusi couldn’t stop laughing as I looked like an old hag to her, so we decided to get some hair tint for me. Well, that didn’t turn out too well, as it barely made my original hair colour a bit lighter, but nowhere near the red of Donna. So we had to use the wig after all and Schmusi styled it a bit, so she wouldn’t have to laugh about it.
Until the very last minute before our departure to the Con on Sunday Schmusi and Anna worked on the last tweaks on the costumes. Schmusi’s suit for the Tenth Doctor was already finished, but Anna’s Rose-gown still needed some work and my cerecloth/table cloth-coat (they couldn’t get their hands on fake leather in time, so they had to improvise using this) got its final touches on Saturday. Schmusi even sacrificed her Sherlock-Cosplay coat pockets, so I could put my hands into my table cloth, yay. 😀 When the coat was finished we practised our performance once again in Nazgul’s living room and to get a feeling for it, I put the coat on. We didn’t even make it through the first part of the sketch, as the coat creaked when I crossed my arms and thanks to that and the smell of the table cloth we just burst out laughing, unable to continue any further. The next try Anna made a pouty face during one of her lines and from that time onwards Schmusi always saw a Jigglypuff whenever she said that line.
As last minute addition I prepared a little sign saying „From Jack with Love“ – were I tried to imitate the characters hand writing as it was shown in the Torchwood book the others got at the Convention – that should indicate that Rose’s dress was a present by him – some people took it as Rose was the present, but we’re fine with that, too -, which Schmusi sew to the dress shortly before our performance.
You see, we had a lot of fun during this part. 😀

The Play

As we haven’t released it on YouTube (yet?) – and it’s in German anyway -, you’ll only get a Transcript for now (and maybe later I’ll add a link to the Channel).

<Intro>
Doctor: „Once more for you Donna, I am the Doctor and I am right. What I say will be done“
Donna: „Oh?“
Doctor: „Ye-hes. You are my Companion and I am the Tour Guide. Whom of us is automatically right?“ <points to self>
Donna: „Me“ <points to self>
Doctor: „Why?“ <in a whiny tone>
Donna: „Without ME, YOU’d still be running around with those three brats looking for the Philosopher’s Stone!“
Doctor: „That – that was Beginners Luck!“ <protests>
Donna: <nods sarcastically> „I am right and you listen to me now. Good thing we  cleared that up“
Doctor: „Of course Donna. You’re right Donna-“
Donna: „So, where to now?“ <interrupts>
Doctor: „But at least my Tardis still likes me and sees me as an honourable owner“ <touches Tardis>
<Fault noise>
Doctor: „What?“
Donna: „See, the Tardis is on my side. Women do stick together after all“ <touches Tardis>
<Fault noise>
Doctor: „She’s is on my side! I knew it!“ <jeers and touches Tardis>
<Fault noise>
<Tardis Alarm noise>
Donna: „What’s happening?“
Doctor: „You tell me! You’re the one who’s right!“ <starts shaking due to the turbulences>
Donna: <grabs suit lapels and shakes him> „Don’t get cocky with me! What’s happening?“
<They stumble about in the Tardis until the noise ceases and everything is silent>
Rose: „The Tardis! Finally a le-“ <opens Tardis door, steps inside and sees Donna and Doctor, steps back>
Donna: „And who are YOU now?“
Doctor: „Gallifrey“ <takes Donna’s hands away from him and walks over to inspect the gown>
Doctor: „That looks like…hmm…that looks…like…like the needlework of Lord Needles!“ <he realizes while poking and pulling at the dress>
Rose: „Doctor! It’s me, Rose!“
Doctor: „No. No. You’re just a hallucination! You can’t be here!  You’re in Norway. I left you at the beach…“ <recalls sadly>
Donna: „Ah, that’s how that happened. Was she right as well?“
Doctor: „Not now Donna“
Rose: „Yes, you left me behind, but I can’t be mad at you for that. But I made it. I’m here. I’m finally back!“ <tells him and strokes his cheek>
Doctor: „Ro-Rose…“ <steps back>
Donna: „You Dösbaddel*. The kids real!“ <smacks him over the head>
Doctor: „Ouch! What’s that for now?!“ <looks at Donna, who points at Rose>
Doctor: „You’re – still here…“
Rose: „I told you so!“**
Donna: „Don’t you want to tell her something? You know, from back then?“ <nudges him and has to point him back towards Rose while he talks>
Rose: „Doctor?“
Doctor: „Y-yes. Yes. Y-yes, it’s time. Rose Tyler, I -“
<Outro>***
*Northern German phrase for dim-wit/dumbo
** This is the Jigglypuff line
*** I listened to this often enough that I quoted most of it by heart before I checked the recording and corrected the few mistakes I made and that even though we didn’t say any of those words live on stage… >_<

Well, that’s it. Our little sketch. It’s nothing special and as far away from canon as you can probably get, but with Rose turning up before Stolen Earth, it’s kind of hard to stay there…
We considered it to be fun and it wasn’t supposed to fit in with canon anyway, it is just something to accompany the costumes…

The Competition

On Saturday we met up with the von PuchsKes and Frank, the couple that presented the competition – and were positively surprised how supportive and lovely they were and it eased the nervousness a bit. We talked with them about issues and negativity Schmusi had experienced at and especially after other competitions, as some reviewers tore her performance apart due to her physical appearance. Kes told us she had experienced similar things in her times as a Cosplayer and that we shouldn’t let stuff like that get to us.
After the Panels were done for the day we used the chance to see how less-large-than-we-thought the stage actually was and try how far we could/had to go to have the space we’d need for the movement during the sketch.
When it was time for the competition, everyone squeezed into the small space beside the stage and one after the other got called to their performance. Some were showing their incredible sewing skills, others had collected their Cosplay over the years. Some said a few lines, others just used the stage as a catwalk. It was a variety of people and Cosplays, fitting for the occasion.
And then there was us:
An unusual group of three stoutly build women playing a pre-recorded sketch, with Cosplays that could not match any of the high quality Cosplays, but were fitted for the person and created using the material available (*cough*table cloth*cough*).
We didn’t plan on winning anything anyway.
We just wanted to present our little sketch and make the people in the audience laugh, when we weren’t allowed to do it ourselves.
And they did.
They laughed when the Tardis didn’t want to work with The Doctor.
They laughed when Donna smacked The Doctor over the head.
And that was enough for us. It felt great.
We didn’t look perfect, but at least recognizable.
Neither of us fell or started laughing throughout the performance and that’s what matters to us.
It was a lot of fun to play our little sketch, even though all of us were awfully nervous.

The Feedback

Obviously we didn’t win any of the prices, as those were given to the people that actually deserved them, but we did get a few gimmicks and some positive response by a few people we met afterwards.
E.g. a young girl came up to us and delightedly told us that we portrayed her favourite characters and that she really liked how cheeky our (my 😉 ) Donna was and that really lifted our spirits. Some of the winners and participants and a few other guests gave us their approval as well, which is really great, but can’t compete with the girl. 😀
Still, there was also negative Feedback, though I am not entirely sure if I actually want to call it that, I guess negative Opinions would be the better term.
In the official Facebook group one commenter announced that she was afraid for the on-stage Tardis at some point of our terrible performance. Another guy wrote in his review for Sunday that when he tries remembering our performance his nose starts bleeding and his ears start to buzz. When I asked him – I admit, I didn’t tell him, who I was, but it would have been easy for him to make the connection – he revealed that he considered the performance to be quite bad and that someone even showed him a similar sketch from an English convention and said we just copied it (If someone knows that video, feel free to send me a link, because we had no idea a thing like that existed), but instead of simply asking US, he spread the misinformation.
Though this could be the reason that so far you could barely see us on any of the competition shots…no one wants to include people that just steal their ideas…or wear awful Cosplays…
While I wrote the review for the Convention another German review, this time from the WhoView, was published that called our performance embarrassing and bad Fanfiction that turned Rose into a Time Lady and just wanted to see some naughty action between the Tenth Doctor and Rose, disregarding all female empowerment in 5 minutes and I don’t even want to go into more detail about the paragraph that talked about us in a very bad light and a quite polemic way, as I simply cannot understand how one could get THAT idea from our story… or does anyone feel the same after having read my explanation and the Transcript above? I mean, it’s a flipping Wedding gown/dress, by a Time Lord randomly called Lord Needles that was given to her by Jack to make her look pretty when she finally meets the Doctor again. o.O
Still, it created quite a discussion in the Facebook Group, when we spoke up about the fact that we didn’t agree with the way he talked about us…though we are not entirely sure how many people noticed the connection. We didn’t mean to start such an uproar from it, but it just felt wrong to stay silent. I admit, some of the phrases used in our statements weren’t thought out properly, but I do believe that was the initial rage at the way it was written. Yet, the author and his friends continued talking down on Anna and everyone that tried to defend us, repeating over and over again that it’s nothing bad and just the way the author talks/writes and no one should get agitated by it and it just spiralled upwards from there and all the sides got more and more frustrated by the whole thing.
From what I now learned about the author, I believe it was deliberately written in that way to cause a discussion or at least tuck at the strings of those jumping at the chance to discuss something like that, but I still don’t agree with the way it was written, as it – as a part of the group – felt insulting and degrading, even though he didn’t use any direct insults and wrapped everything in more or less harmless phrases. It still hurt and there would have been several different ways to portray such a dislike for something without stepping on the people involved in the process. The author chose this way of writing and all we can do is accept his decision. I feel like no one deserves a treatment like that, that’s why I will not return fire with fire by insulting the author. We accept your opinion, we do not agree with it and are disappointed that you resorted to such tones to describe us and not even considered talking to us in person, but we accept it and hope that this settles the matter once and for all.
At some point the organizers got involved into this – we had thought about informing them, but in the end didn’t do it -, which caused the Link to the article to be deleted from the group. The author and the boss had a talk and the author apologized to him about the fact that his article resulted in such an uproar and as punishment the author has to participate in next years Cosplay competition. So far he has not said a word to us on this matter nor did any of the officials contact us about it.
I don’t care if someone insults me, I’ve been a target to a lot of negativity before, but Schmusi and Anna are two of the most amazing people I had the fortune of meeting during the last couple of years. They give so much for their friends and work hard on different Cosplays using whatever material they can get their hands on, all the while juggling the organisation of a regular Fandom meeting and everyday madness. They don’t get much in return and then something like this happens to them – again – and this time in a community that for a brief moment felt different, felt more open minded, felt like family.
It is a really disappointing and sad turn of events that what we anticipated and feared to happen prior to entering the competition did indeed happen and that in a Fandom that is supposedly so inclusive and supportive, where individuals suddenly turn on you behind your back because you don’t fit in with the norm – at least that’s what we get out of this. With the encouragement from the Puchs and the overall atmosphere of the Convention we had really hoped that we’d get the respect every participant of a competition deserves and not become the butt end of a polemic joke.
Yes, our Doctor is not as thin as he is supposed to be and neither are Rose and Donna.
Yes, our Donna had a table cloth for a coat and the rest didn’t look nearly as good as some of the more expensive costumes, but we were still recognizable.
Yes, we aren’t the best Cosplayers, let alone actors in the world. (Heck, it was MY first time Cosplaying at all…)
But we had fun and the audience laughed and – I dare to say and some of the positive responses in the group agree with me here – had a good time and that was all we wanted. Obviously except those that fled the room or whose insides crumbled while witnessing our disaster of a performance, but that’s to be expected.
And if anyone has anything to say about us and/or our performance that person should at least have the decency to tell it to our faces – or through a message – and not start talking behind our backs, but that doesn’t mean we’re not open for constructive criticism, so we know how we can improve.
Regardless of that would we like to thank all those lovely people that stood up for us and/or send us encouraging words! After all the negativity this whole ordeal created your words helped us to find the strength again to look at this matter from a different angle. Thank you!

What I got from this experience is

  • As long as you have fun, you shouldn’t let others negative opinions bother you – which they still do and it will hurt, but you have to try to not let them get to you too much and overcome them.
  • As soon as you start playing, you don’t notice the audience any more.
  • Getting applause and laughter while on stage feels great.
  • Table cloth can be quite warm.
  • Anna is a yellow broccoli.
  • Schmusi wears children’s caskets instead of sand shoes.
  • With my wig not prepared properly I’m an old hag with a standing table cloth coat. 😀

Anyway, I know I’m repeating myself, but we still had a lot of fun with this and as we enjoyed the recording part of the preparations and really like the result, we decided to do more with that. So stay tuned. 😉
I/we don’t know if we will be at the next TimeLash as well, we would like to go, but aside from the planning, the whole negative behind our backs discussion regarding our performance really makes us want to stay away, but at the same time there is this urge to not back down, to show everyone that we ain’t bovvered by those remarks and we obviously will continue to create and learn and have fun doing what ever it is we want to do.
PoiSonPaiNter