Monday, 30 April 2018

On being the Captain

A few thoughts today on my alter-ego cosplay identity, Captain Janeway. I appear as her often at SF conferences, comic-cons, young writers' events, Halloween parties, even home movies. Of course I like her stories on Voyager; it was a natural progression to consider how I might sew a version of her uniform jacket, and once I put it on, I began to notice that "acting the Captain" was something I really enjoyed. There's something about wearing a uniform, the collar pips, the inherent authority, that makes me stand up straighter and walk more decisively.

I suppose it feels like an outward reflection of the leadership roles I hold in real life, though these are definitely not military in nature. I ran a small publishing house for a while, steering my authors to publication and later guiding most of them in the jump to indie publishing. I still work as an editor and mentor for indies. I've long been on the committee of national writers' organisation, most of those years as president - just a title, but someone's gotta do it. Then I signed up to be the chair of next year's SF Natcon (New Zealand's 40th) and that promises to be an exciting ride. Already I'm loving seeing the team come together, people bringing their strengths in areas where I am clearly helpless.
(Go check out, by the way. More on that some other time, I'm sure.)

Anyway, all that to say, it's amazing what effect an authoritative persona can have on how I feel when I'm her. I'm not the only one to experience or consider this; let's just say I have a great deal of empathy for a certain Admiral Naismith and his search for identity.

And just for fun, and in case you haven't seen it, here's one of the home movies facilitated by the excellent and all-round fun Mitchell family in Arkansas, with help from lots of friends:

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