Stephanie is alive

You get the reference to the 1980s movie Short Circuit, right? “Number Five is alive! No disassemble, Stephanie!” “Innnnpuuuuut!”

Ok, maybe you don’t. Maybe you remember the other 80s movie that Jeff Lynne wrote songs for, Electric Dreams. “From out of the alley came Long Tall Sally, saying come on, let it run…” -my favorite Jeff Lynne song from that soundtrack, “Let it Run”, on the B side to his most famous hit from that movie, “Video”.

Then again, this post really isn’t about machines or computers. Or maybe it is because every writer and author in America and Europe owns a computer. J.K. Rowling must have several, along with her notepads, Neil Gaiman has a few, along with some Moleskins, and Steven Moffat, though he has a smartphone, he simply will not text emojis to Jenna Coleman (Clara from Doctor Who). But he does have a computer to write his scripts for his shows.

If you got the whole emoji joke about Doctor Who, bravo. It’s what Moffat said about the season ten episode “Smile”, where the Doctor and Bill Potts travel to the future on a plantation with robots that speak in smiley faces, and they kill anyone who’s sad or just scared, the anti-smile.

But that’s not exactly what I want to talk about in this post. We’re coming up on a year since Doctor Strange came to theatres, a year since I got sick with pharyngitis (I’m not getting sick this year- I got my flu shot yesterday! Ha!), and the new Thor movie is coming in about two weeks. And now that I finally have the DVD of the good Doctor Stephen Strange in my library, I can now rest easy.

Well, almost.

I just got brainwave in time for November’s annual writing marathon, as you know as NaNoWriMo. What if Dr. Christine Palmer, the love interest to ex neurosurgeon turned superhero Strange, neglected to tell him she now has a daughter, and this teenage daughter of hers inherited his abilities in the Mystic Arts?

Her name is Stephanie Strange. She’s 15, but will be sweet 16 in November (I gave her the date the movie came out last year as her birthday), and she does have natural born strength in spells to protect the world from the Dark Dimension.

Like her father, she also has a disability. Stephen crippled his steady hands in a car accident, getting severe nerve damage in his fingers that he could no longer save patients from spine injuries and severed nerves in their brains. His hands still shake, but he can control it by using magic.

However, Stephanie’s disability is more mental and invisible than Doctor Strange’s physical problem. Because she grew up without a father, her life has been weird, and she wants a different life that’s a little more ordinary and happy, she has moderate depression.

This is how weird her life gets: her mom is usually unavailable since she’s mostly on call as an ER doctor, or she’s just going on a date with Stephanie’s former nanny (and he’s a man- a guy nanny). Her first cousin keeps hitting on her like she’s Maeby from Arrested Development, but she is dead certain that her mother really gave birth to her and she is directly related to her mom’s sister, therefore her cousin. But since she doesn’t know who her real dad is, nobody knows exactly how Stephanie got there without a dad.

Kids at school treat Stephanie like she’s an outcast, because she’s a weird girl who listens to weird music like All Time Low’s earlier albums, Jack White, and Pink Floyd. (The only thing she has of her dad’s is his wicked music collection, plus the music she acquired in later years. She’s a connoisseur of classic and obscure/ alternative rock.) But then one night, she wakes up to see herself floating out of her body, and she does the same thing in class when she sees a dark dimensional entity, a shadow demon.

This is most likely the darkest I’ve ever gone with my writing thus far. But I think I like it, channeling my mental illness into a kind of superhero character. Also, who says women can’t master the Mystic Arts? Isn’t the Ancient One a superhero in the beginning when she trains Stephen Strange to be the next Master of the New York Sanctum?

It also inspired me for my new costume project that I most likely want to introduce at the next convention, either Farpoint or Balticon. It’s halfway done; I completed the cape, the gloves and the bustle, and now I just have to work on the blue tunic/ robes that were identical to the masters of Kamar Taj. I think I have an idea on how to get the short robe completed, maybe make an off the shoulder mobius shrug and work my way down.

I have ideas shooting out of my ears the more I draw closer to the holidays and the writing marathon happening next month. And yet, I still don’t know how I’m supposed to sell my crochet items on Etsy since I haven’t gotten any sales yet. But for now, I’ll keep writing.

Until next time,

-The Lady in the Blue Box


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