Whoosh! Issue 13 - September 1997

A CYBER HISTORY OF THE ONLINE XENA COMMUNITY:
APPENDIX E --
LILLIAN VARESSI ON FANDOM AND THE FIRST XENITE CLUB FAN MAILING TO LUCY LAWLESS

A Whoosh! Archive Project
By Diane Silver
Copyright © 1997 held by author
553 words



Questions were asked in the spring of 1997.




Lillian Varessi on Fandom and the first Xenite Club Fan Mailing to Lucy Lawless




DIANE SILVER::
[103] How did you first get involved in Xenadom?

LILLIAN VARESSI:
[104] I first got involved with online Xena fandom last May (1996). I lurked on the NetForum for awhile, and then slowly began to contribute thoughts and ideas about the show.

SILVER:
[105] How have your online activities change over time?

VARESSI:
[106] My online activities changed soon after that. It seemed that a number of people had a great deal to say to Lucy and Renee, so I put together two anthologies with which they could send their messages to me. In turn, I would type them up and send them to Jetthead (who sent them to Lucy and Renee). It was the first anthology that Lucy responded to on the NetForum.

SILVER:
[107] What was it like in the early days?

VARESSI:
[108] I can't speak for the early days as I came in early in 1996, but I can tell you that it has changed dramatically from early 1996. Back then, the forum was a place where fans could share ideas about the characters, the show, the stars. A place where incredible literary talent was born, nurtured and then flourished. Unfortunately, what also evolved was a shameless display of jealousy, in-fighting, and behavior so outrageous that most of the original members of the NetForum have fled in disgust.

[109] My online activities have changed dramatically. My duties as Vice President and Editor of the Xenite Club Newsletter; as well as the handling of the website have increased my awareness of, and accessibility to, thousands of fans who are true believers of this show. I have said from the beginning that X:WP has empowered women from all over the world to make a difference in their lives. This has been clearly shown through the letters I receive from fans who wish to contribute to the Newsletters - fans who thought they could not express their feelings so openly. This show has empowered them to find the words; they found something they could identify with; and began to open up to "strangers" if you will and write poetry for the first time; or editorials; or messages to Lucy and Renee describing how they feel about the show and how the show has touched them.

[110] I have been moved to laughter, tears, and empathy for all those who have voiced their feelings. These are the heroes - these are the people that have been impacted greatly by the show; these are the people who, despite incredible adversity in their lives, have found the words that, in some cases, have set them free; changed their lives for the better, and found a voice that had once been lost. This show has given hope to so many; brought laughter where there was despair; strength at a time when weakness prevailed; and love of oneself. To be a part of this positive force has been an honor.

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