Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Love Letters

 How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, love is in the air here at The Lemonade Stand. So we asked a group of authors to choose an author they love – someone who moves them, be it through their words or uplifting presence in our fandom – and write them a love letter. Due to the overwhelming positive response, we will be posting these daily, from now until Valentine's Day!

Dear Mortissues,

The time for Valentine’s Day has once again come into my world. The house once again has been filled with red, crooked construction paper hearts, the children begging for heart-shaped lollipops to give to their sugar-crazed friends, and a husband reminding me that Valentine’s Day is just a scam to sell cards and stupid crap. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I’m not the biggest fan of Cupid’s big day.

That was until the lovelies at The Lemonade Stand asked me to write a special letter to one of my favorite authors in the fandom. I thought to myself, “Stace, which author do you stalk the most?”

Lucky you, Mortissues! You won!

There are millions of Bellas, Edwards, and all the other assorted motley crew of characters in Twilight. It seems that, after a while, fan fiction stories seem to overlap and are almost identical in plot and characterizations, so it becomes difficult to tell them apart. It takes a true author to create something original out of an original book. You, my friend, are one of those creative souls  who can make something truly unique in multiple stories.

A prime example of turning the original source material into something amazing is Bachmann Twilight. Switching the roles of iconic characters and creating something new out of a story the majority of us know by heart was inspired. You made me care for Rosalie as I never had before. You even made me care about Emmett, which in itself was a Herculean feat, because I can’t stand Emmett. Then there was Bella in that story. She was a secondary character but you put so much life into her that I couldn’t help wishing that the canon Bella had that much gumption.

I’m a lady who loves a good story. Canon couples have no hold over me. I like the idea of switching it up, and you have done it several times. Rosalie’s Baby was such an enjoyable read for me. It was the start for me to enjoy all of your bold Jasper and Bella pairings. Then I discovered your Bella and Garrett in Repudiation. Have I ever told you how much I love the character of Garrett? Well, I do. If you ever get bored and feel like writing some more Garrett for me, I will be one happy girl. I have to mention Arthur in The Blue Hour. He slipped in that story stealthy as comic relief and became the hero. You were brave with this story. Not all authors could add in an original character and create a story with equal parts romance, action, humor, and real emotional turmoil for the main characters. I laughed and I cried. You did good, girl.

Troika is still one of my favorite stories. I guess I can relate. I’m a thirty something mom who sometimes wonders what life can be. Daydreaming and wishing about my choices when I know  I’ll just continue on my path with a smile plastered on my face. This Bella was partly me. Except for one thing. I would never have such an intense sexual chemistry and amazing banter with almost all the main male characters. Lucky Bella. What happened with Edward? I won’t spoil it for others but you will surprise them if they know your previous work.

I’ll finish up with Dissonance, your WIP. I get giggly when an update appears in my email. I have been known to read those updates in parking lots with irate children yelling at me from the backseat telling me to hurry up. I have been laughing, crying, and enjoying the relationship between Bella and Edward with all their twists and turns. Never doubt that you truly write amazing romance.

Thank you for being my friend and writing wonderful stories that bring me joy and make me want to be an amazing writer just like you.

Your goofy friend,

Dear Les16,

When I was asked to write a love letter to a writer I love, of course, I knew it would have to be you. Five years ago when my friend Carla told me I had to start reading a fic she was in love with, I never would have guessed it would lead me to a person I cannot go a day without. My soul friend.

I still remember the email you sent me after I favorited the story on Fanfiction.net. It was the day after Thanksgiving, and I thought, wow, what a sweetheart to thank me for adding her story. I thought at the time, this chick really goes above and beyond. That only touches the surface of who you are.

I became an instant fan of your writing, and more importantly, a fan of you as a person. You are one of the most generous, kind and loving people I’ve ever met in my life. Your strength astounds me.

When you sent me the very first notes on The Greatest Gift, I was floored. I knew it was going to be incredible, and the fact that you trusted me to be a part of it, just little ol’ me, meant so much at the time, and now even more so. I was so thrilled with each morsel, every new chapter that came my way was better than the last. I would get lost in the story and wish more than anything that I could tell a story half as well as you do.

I still wish for that.

The way you crafted your characters and the way they entwined themselves into my mind as I read was beautiful.  You will forever be my lemon writing Yoda, as you well know. You have a way of making a scene come to life without it slapping you in the face. That’s special, and not something most can say. Your unique voice is precious. Each story you write has been a little better than the last, but of course you know The Greatest Gift will always be my favorite.

You’ve made me want to be a better person, a better writer, and braver than I’ve ever been. Your help and encouragement means more to me than you’ll ever know. Without you, nothing I’ve done to date would have happened. You never made me feel like I was less than even though I was just the little guy in the pond.

Everyone and everything matters to you. That is a trait not many possess. Your humility is what makes me love you even more.

I can’t wait for you to share with the world all the amazing stories you have jumping around inside your head. Your readers love you and they’re ready for more. I am excited for you to move onto the next step and take the world by storm. You have been with me every single step of my publishing journey and I can’t wait to take the trip with you.

I love you so very much sisterlove. I treasure your friendship so much and thank my lucky stars every day that I was blessed with you as a friend.

All my love forever and ever.

I love you more,
Jami (Prettykittyartist)

Dear Jandco,

You know when you read someone’s fic and you feel like you know them? And like you just want to move into their house and wear their pajamas and do all the mundane stuff they do because if they can write like that then even watching them make sandwiches or whatever will be cool? That’s how I feel about you. Luckily, I kind of actually know you now so this will all come off a little less stalkery. I hope. It’s amazing that it took that many years for us to connect, actually. Alas, neither of us is very forward. We’re both very polite (in public) and conscious of not being too big of a creeper (in public).

To write this I actually went back and looked at the dates of some of your fics. It turns out I’ve been reading your work since 2008. Remember 2008?! I did some research. In 2008 we would have been listening to Flo Rida. Or maybe that was just me. Apple bottom jeeeeans. Boots with the furrrrr. Anyway, all I remember was being hopelessly in love with a series of books, walking around with a feeling I hadn’t had since I was a tween. I started reading fic and found many that appealed to me early on, but you completely changed the game for me. I recognized myself and my friends in your characters. I was amazed by your ability to toss canon out the window and yet still keep my completely invested in the story (which is something that we can snicker about now because neither of us have written anything truly canon in many, many moons). To say that you were a major influence on me is an understatement. To say that you ARE a major influence on me is an understatement.

So, now that we’re really friends and I don’t have to admire you from afar you’re going to have to continue to endure my constant IM’ing and ridiculous drunk texts that are so embarrassing the next day. YOU KNOW THE ONE I'M TALKING ABOUT. PEARL JAM.

I'm still laughing and cringing about that. Mostly laughing.

Anyway, I feel lucky to know you. I feel lucky to call you my friend. I feel lucky that the stars aligned and that (omg this is going to be the sappiest thing I’ve ever written and that’s saying A LOT) we found each other. You’re so wonderful. Thank you for being you.


Dearest Lilybellis,

I don’t expect you’ll ever see this… see, like me, you were around “way back when,” and even though I know you’ve been gone from the fandom for years now, I keep hoping and dreaming of the day when I’ll get to read your words for the first time again.

There was never any doubt who I would pick when I was asked to write this letter. I have had an amazing love for your stories from the day I first found them and I suppose I always will.  If anyone ever asks me what they should read, your name is the first to come to mind and while We Come To Life Beneath The Stars is my absolute favorite, not a single word you’ve written is a bad one. In fact, Rhapsody in B is probably the one and only fanfic that has made me cry.  In a good way.

The genius in your storytelling is that you can turn the ordinary into something extraordinary you can take conflict and drama and weave it seamlessly through your story without having to go over the top to make a point.  You create beautifully layered characters who I can imagine in real life, who face struggles that are relatable and you create wonderful, wonderful love stories that pull me in and don’t let me go… I mean, here I am 4.5 years later still in love with them.

But ultimately, the best part of your storytelling for me is the beautiful prose and style. Your dialogue is spot-on and realistic, and you choose your words with such attention and care.  Your stories are filled with emotional and poignant moments that make me fall in love each and every time I revisit them.

Thank you. Thank you for your beautiful words and stories. Thank you for leaving them here in fanfic land for new readers to experience and fall in love with, and thank you for being a shining star in this fandom… one that will never be forgotten.

jaimearkin (jarkin33)

My dearest prettykittyartist:

Life has a way of showing you what’s important … and who in your life is there to make things better. I have no idea what I ever did to be lucky enough for the gift of your friendship, what good deed I was rewarded for, or what someone out there—up there—saw that they went ‘Hey, maybe Erin could use someone like Jami’ and poof, there you were. Who knew way back when that a few conversations on Gchat talking about Cash and writing fic would lead to you being on the most important people in my life and one of the greatest treasures I’ve ever been granted.

You are my rock, the sister of my heart, and the person that I count on being there more than anyone else. Even if a day or two goes by and we don’t talk (and by the end of that 2nd day I am going through serious withdrawal, js) you are always with me. Always. You have helped me in ways I don’t think I can even put into words.

The past six months have sucked major MAJOR monkey ass and there have been more than a few times that just getting out of bed in the morning is a monumental feat. Some days I don’t know up from down, nor do I care all that much, but through it all, through the tears and the anger and the helplessness I feel, there you are to always, ALWAYS, make me smile and remind that you’re there, and that you love me. There aren’t enough words in the English language to be able to tell you just what that means to me.

We’ve dreamed together, planned our futures where we’re side by side kicking ass and taking names, and while my dreams might have changed a bit, the one thing I know will NEVER change is the fact that whatever I do, whatever we do, I know we’ll do it together. I am so SO freaking proud of you for following your dream, for putting yourself out there to write your stories. Your talent awes and inspires me and your courage to do your thing, to persevere when you want to quit, humbles me beyond measure.

You gave me Cash, then Promiseward, then Hockeyboy (I’m a greedy thing, I know, and I’m not the least bit sorry either!)  but nothing in the history of ever compares to the gift of you as a constant, irreplaceable presence in my life.

I love you, sisterlove, more than the stars love the moon, more than you love the beach and your cats, more than I love Chick Fil A, the color purple, and Sonic strawberry limeades—combined! I love you more than my heart has room to hold.

You are one my greatest blessings and I thank God for you every single day.

Happy Valentine’s Day, babycakes!


My Dearest Queenie,

I've been given the opportunity to let you, and many others, know just what you and your writing mean to me. I've often told you just how special your words are, how you can so say much with only a few lines. Your stories are so special, each very different, yet all so full of emotion and feeling.

When I first stumbled upon you, I found Eventide in a basic search on Ffn. I was immediately captivated. I became your stalker, speaking to you through rambling reviews.  My stalking paid off, though. Years later, you are one of my very best friends and my own writing has improved solely because of you.

From across the room I looked up into emerald green eyes. A slight flicker of awareness lit them for a moment before turning quickly from my gaze. 

In that briefest of moments, I knew my fate, as well as his, was sealed.

As his neck bowed over his laptop, one large hand came up and pushed the hood away from his head. His hair was everywhere. A riot of waves in brilliant coppery colors.

Something moved inside of me.
(Excerpt from Eventide)

Your characters exude emotion with so few words. You can see Edward pushing his hood back, can see the scene in your mind's eye. A crowded classroom, Bella watching from across the room, Edward feeling her gaze.

That first story grabbed me, hook line and sinker. Gone. Enthralled and enraptured.

Out of the Blue was another one that took my breath away. That was filled with such heartache and grief. I cried more than a few times reading Bella struggle with everything she had to deal with.

With every new story, you grow as a writer. I've always felt that you would do well as a published author, sharing your words with so many more readers. I feel so lucky to be able to be in your head every so often when your words are being put into print. You are a gem that I want to share with the rest of the readers in our fandom, always pimping you to anyone who will listen.

You aren't afraid to go against the grain, creating real characters with lives and pasts and remain completely non-apologetic for it.  Bella and the res boys in Bird Girl threw a few people for a loop, but that is real life. She had a past, a present and hadn't met the one who would be her future.

Most recently, you have Pie. Generally speaking, I am not a fan of kids in fics. You make it so I love reading her. Not too cutesy, not too syrupy sweet, but just enough and still keeping it real.

Writing aside, you are one of the coolest people I know. I admire you in so many ways. You're a great mom and wife; such a strong woman when you need to be. I know it's not always easy, but you make it through. You're smart and funny, witty and real.

Most of all, I am proud to call you my friend.

I love you,

1 comment:

  1. This is a great idea! As a huge Mortissues fan, I am RIGHT THERE. Reading the other letters, I immediately made plans to check out the other authors' fics, as well. Happy Valentines Day to the greatest fandom in the world! *hugs* LetsJustDance