Hmm... good question. Lemme think.
Well, on Television Without Pity, I'm Sinkwriter72, where I frequent the episode commentary threads for Prison Break, for the most part. But I'll visit other shows' episode threads if I have something I want to say -- I've visited the episode commentaries for Gilmore Girls, House, The West Wing, and Heroes, but those are rare (and in some cases, now no longer airing).
On yahoo, I'm part of a few different West Wing groups (as curviegirl72) -- that's actually what got me started. I'd never seen The West Wing before, even though a friend said its style and humor seemed right up my alley; I just didn't think a politically-themed television program would speak to me. I thought it might annoy me, especially if it felt like the program was telling me how to think. Maybe I simply wasn't ready to watch it, when she first recommended it.
But one day I was in the middle of unpacking in my new apartment, and had the TV on in the background for noise to distract me as I unpacked, and Bravo had a West Wing marathon going on that day. I watched part of an episode while taking a cold-beverage-break, and suddenly realized I was getting less unpacking done and more watching of the show. *GRIN*
My friend Liz was right -- the show's humor and style really did
speak to me. And I found myself gaining a level of respect for those who work in public service, and a better understanding of how they're probably not easy jobs (and now I can see why they can't get a lot done sometimes!). As well, I gained a level of respect for the position of the President, even when I don't agree with his political views.
Anyway, I eventually went online to look up what season they were currently airing on NBC, and how many episodes I'd missed, and where in the order of episodes were the ones that I'd seen that day on Bravo. That's when I discovered this whole crazy world of fan fiction. I'd never heard of such a thing before.
At first, it seemed baffling, just the sheer volume of stories written out there, in so many different styles and approaches. But when I thought about it, I could understand how someone might feel motivated to try their hand at writing a scene or a short story to try to capture something that felt missing from the original program, maybe something that didn't get enough attention because there wasn't time or it had to be cut or the writers got sloppy or it just wasn't the direction they wanted to take, etc.
Still, I wasn't motivated to try writing fan fiction myself until I saw two things: one, an incredibly moving and beautifully written episode of The West Wing entitled "In Excelsis Deo" (from season 1); and two, an interview with one of the featured actors from that episode, Richard Schiff, who expressed how that episode had touched him and changed him in certain ways. It was very poignant, and really affected me. I watched the episode a second time, and -- I know this sounds really psychotic -- but it was like his character spoke to me. Not literally, LOL ... I mean, it was like, there was something about the character that was left unspoken in that episode, and I suddenly felt compelled to explore it.
I sat down on a Saturday morning around 11 AM, and wrote for about nine hours straight (ok, yes, there were bathroom and stretching breaks, as well as one break for food). I hadn't written anything in probably four or five years, but on that day, in that moment, I felt I needed to return to writing and say something for this character. And I was amazed to find how much I enjoyed writing again, and realized how much I'd missed it as part of my regular life.
Anyway, in my exploration of online West Wing sites, I found a few yahoo groups to which people posted regular fan fiction, as well as discuss the show and episodes themselves: WestWingFanFic, CJTobyFanFic, S_W_connection, and TobysTarts2. Once I'd gotten to know the people on those sites a little better, I felt braver about sharing my story with them. It got a positive response, so I ended up writing two more stories (in different places in the canon of the program, in different styles) and a couple of tiny 155-word pieces.
It became this sort of personal writing challenge, really, to explore character and mood, and return to writing after so long but under the vow to simply play and experiment and see what spoke to me most. No pressure, just fun and an opportunity for learning to improve my writing, bit by bit.
The only other area for which I've written fan fiction is one piece for The X-Files. It was a sort-of 'Christmas gift' challenge from someone else, and as a writer I was curious so I just couldn't say no, and decided to give it my best shot. It's a short story in the POV of Alex Krycek, definitely someone whose head was difficult to explore (since he's such an enigmatic character on the show, as well as a bit ruthless and dangerous, and all sorts of things that I am not).
If you're interested in reading any of my stories, let me know. I'm currently editing one that is already online on a couple of sites, but I want to sharpen the writing now that I've learned more and can more readily see where areas could be improved. I'm a perfectionist, so I'll probably end up editing all of them. But I'm not sure if I'll touch that first WW piece I wrote -- sure, there are definitely ways it could be improved, but it was my first jaunt back into the writing realm and it's such a personal piece to me that I'm not sure I could stand to change it.
Anyway, other than those sites, I usually just browse about -- especially for West Wing, X-Files, Buffy/Angel/Firefly, and now Bones (though I only recently started looking around for Bones sites, so if you have favorite recommendations, please don't hesitate to post links). Of course, as shows go off the air, it's difficult to find good conversation threads to discuss character development or writing or the episodes themselves. There's definitely a drop in conversation on those West Wing sites now that it's done. So I hope we can have some decent chats about Bones this season.
PS. My friend Susan (aka Bardsmaid, the brilliant XF fan fic writer) has been trying to get me to start my own LJ, but I just haven't done it yet. I want to find a good name for my site, as well as a good idea of what I'd like to post on it. Do any of you have LJs?
PS, again. What's Boneyard and Anti-Boneyard?