A brief history
I've been a fan of fiction as long as I can remember, particularly science fiction and fantasy. I watched Star Trek and Disney films since before I could even remember, and over the years I was introduced to fairytales, mythology, Stargate (the movie), Stargate SG-1, and so much more. Before I was old enough to read, I was introduced to the high fantasy genre through the first and second Dragon Quest games (then titled Dragon Warrior) and the second Legend of Zelda game. I didn't play them myself, mind - I watched my mother play them. When I was four years old, I ran around with a garden spade pretending it was Link's knife, and for as many years as I played with dolls I wished they could have swords and armor!
When I was around twelve, I started writing fanfiction. My first fanfiction was a Star Wars story that was maybe a page long. Later, I wrote a series of rather awful Sonic the Hedgehog fanfictions, the first one involving a self-insertion Mary Sue, and the rest involving... well, let's just say that the only materials I had access to at that point were some of the classic games and one children's book based on the Saturday morning cartoon, and it only made sense to me the characters ought to have some relatives out there and fall in love and all that.
I was about thirteen or fourteen when I got into online roleplaying, and I made a great many newbie mistakes. I still remember my first venture into Harry Potter roleplay - take my Sonic the Hedgehog self-insert character and plop her right into Hogwarts with custom blue-and-salmon-pink robes! (*Shudder*)
It wasn't too long after this point (the very next year, I believe) that I encountered the term "Mary Sue" for the first time. After doing some research into the subject, I realized where I was going wrong with many of my characters. While there were many Mary Sue tests available at the time, there were a few problems - for one, most of my characters were used in roleplays, not fanfictions. For another, most of the tests were for specific works (most of which I wasn't even familiar with), while I was roleplaying more in original universes at that point. There was only one solution - create a test that would work for anything and everything, and that's what I did.
The random generators came about in a similar fashion - many of them were created to help me come up with new ideas, or just because I found them amusing.
Some things I have read/played/watched
Mostly Awesome: Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space 9, Doctor Who (before Moffat took over), Disney Fairies, The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, Aladdin, Mulan, The Avengers, Harry Potter, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, CSI, Bones, Corpse Bride, Nightmare Before Christmas, The Nutcracker & The Mouse King, The Nutcracker Prince, pretty much everything Pixar has ever made, Mom & Dad Save The World, Stargate SG-1, Lost, God of Thunder (1993 DOS game), Rayman 2, Rayman 3, Haibane Renmei, Strongbad E-mails, Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Rather Flawed, But Fun: Sailor Moon, Stargate (the movie), Final Fantasy 4, Monster High, H2O: Mako Mermaids
Guilty Pleasures: Master of Disguise, Inspector Gadget, Inspector Gadget 2
Liked It Then, Can't Stand It Now: Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Halloweentown
So Bad It's Good: The 1960's Thor cartoon
Wanted To Chew My Arm Off To Escape: Superman Returns, Star Trek 2009
Too Horrible To Bother With: the Inheritance Cycle (one book was enough), the Twilight Saga (again, one book was enough), The Left Behind series (three pages were enough)
Some trivia about me
- My mother used to buy me My Little Ponies (G1) when they were on clearance sale. I still have them.
- I was sick on my fifth Halloween, so my mother rented Fantasia. Since then, I've always had a fondness for fairies.
- The Dark Crystal scared me when I was young.
- I love picking up and collecting rocks.
- I love camping. I don't care so much for fishing, though - I don't like eating fish.
- I've added several pages to TVTropes, including Up The Real Rabbithole, Artistic License - Animal Care (back when it was called You Fail Animal Care Forever), and All Animals Are Dogs.
- If I had to pick a 'favorite' random generator, it would probably be the Sport-o-Matic, just because Camel Swallowing and Noodle Tipping are inherently funny.
- According to a Myers/Briggs personality test, I have an INTJ personality.
A few personal philosophies
I believe that very few concepts are inherently bad. When I watch or read things that other people simply decry as awful or horrible, I see them as missed opportunities - something that, had it been treated a little differently, might have worked. I've seen some people look at the Mary Sue test and conclude that I must hate this or that character, when in fact I really don't.
I believe that we shouldn't look down our noses on people who just want to have some fluffy fun now and then. If someone wants to read or write a story about a shy human gal and a smoldering vampire guy falling in love, then that's fine! But I also believe that even fun and fluffy works should be the best they can for what they are - IE, the characters should be well-developed, the story should be internally consistent, and the dramatic tension should be relatable. Following this rule can do wonders - it's the difference between the original My Little Pony cartoon and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. It's the difference between Fairytopia and Disney Fairies. It's the difference between Silver Age comics books and The Avengers movie.
We are responsible for the effects our words have. If I crack a joke that implies a certain group of people is less than human or say that they need to die, then I share part of the blame when one of them is beaten or bullied because they are part of this group. Same goes for you. Take responsibility for your words.
It's always good to remember to try to understand where other people are coming from and to try and put yourself in their shoes. Also, fighting hate with hate only makes more hate, which hurts everyone in the end. And Nietzsche was right - those who fight monsters must take care that they themselves do not become monsters.