Monday, November 30, 2015

Grammar Gratitude Day Six


When I first started this writing endeavor, Nic told me she had a person in mind to be my beta. Of course I’d heard of you, you’re amazing at what you do but never did I think you’d agree to work with me. You’re kind of a big deal. I’d had the pleasure of meeting you (albeit briefly) before I’d ever really talked with you, at the meet up in Nashville. I saw this group of women flock to you and sing your praises. And at the time, I didn’t fully understand how important what you do is but I get it now. You give me the ability to put my thoughts into readable material, actually fit for consumption. I’m always nervous making an author’s note at the beginning of a chapter because you’ve not gone through it. I depend on you for so many things beyond just grammar. Working with you these past few months has been invaluable. I was actually able to tell a coworker with absolute certainty, what a comma splice is. Something I’ve no doubt learned from you. I want to thank you for everything you do for me and the entire fandom, we’d be lost without you!


Betas are amazing! The wonderful stories we fall in love with and cherish would not be possible without the selfless work they provide without any compensation. I feel honored to have a chance to express my gratitude to mine.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I should acknowledge that for a beta, I am the worst kind of writer. My schedule is horrible and I never get ahead in my chapters, yet I’m dedicated to meeting a posting deadline. For my partners in crime, that unfortunately equates to sending them everything at the last minute. I am incredibly lucky that I have two wonderful souls that have stuck with me despite that horrible habit and I appreciate them more than words can say.

Beautiful LostInPA,
You graciously offered to help me with my next project after I completed my first story. I’m still amazed that you wanted to, and I’m so thankful that you came into my life. You were truly my rock when I was writing Somewhere Between Nothing and Everything. I appreciate your willingness to re-read chapters as I worked my way through, even when the hour was late. You provided much needed confidence when I was nervous with gentle reminders to stop tweaking the chapter and send it off. You also gave me some much-needed sanity when I was overwhelmed and sure that I would never be able to make the next post. I wouldn’t have made it through without you and your beautiful spirit. Thank you from the bottom on my heart.        

Amazing Beautifulnightmarex,
Fate shined down when you were randomly assigned to me through Project Team Beta. Thankfully, you agreed to take me on fulltime and quickly became a constant support for both of my stories. I learned so much from you regarding the details of the scene, which helped to make everything better. Your thoughtful questions have become the voice in my head as I check each chapter. I am so thankful to you and your willingness to give me your time, even when your schedule was so hectic. This crazy writing journey wouldn’t have been the same without you. Thank you, you are truly amazing!

With all my heart,

Dear Kim/VampsHaveLaws/Srupy,

Hi. About a month ago, Nic and Lay approached the fandom with the wonderful idea to write a thank-you letter to our betas. So of course I said yes. And of course here I am, procrastinating, writing it two days before the submission date. Don’t pretend like you’re surprised by my laziness.

Anyway. I sat down, poured a glass of wine (no surprise there, either), and did a little thinking. And the more I thought, the more I realized why it’d taken me a month to write this thing. I couldn’t find the words to thank you as my beta, because you’re SO MUCH more than that.

You’re the person who puts up with me. You’re the one who’ll stay in a document with me for an entire day, just so I can get a paragraph just right. The one who endures drunk Skype calls at 2 A.M. and doesn’t hang up when forced to listen to me sing.

You entertain all of my ideas, no matter how big or small. You correct and simplify, but you never make me feel like an idiot (and let’s be real, I can be a HUGE idiot sometimes). You encourage any and all writing, even when I should be writing that one thing I started ages ago but seemed to have forgotten about.

You’re the most loyal person, the best encouragement, and I’m so fucking lucky to not only claim you as my beta, but a lifelong friend.

(This became much sappier than I’d intended, but I refuse to change a thing because every word is true.)

I love you, dude. Thank you for always being there, and for reminding me that I don't need to begin every line of dialogue with the word "well."


I’ve always felt like a late-comer to the fandom, having not even had Twilight on my radar until the New Moon movie was released in theaters. And then an even later comer to Fanfiction, since for some strange reason I resisted getting into. (Maybe I knew it would consume my life). But even back then I had plot bunnies hopping a muck in my head, but never an outlet for them.

My first attempt at writing in 2011 was a good one, the story wasn’t good, but the experience of getting the ideas out there was good. Then came the idea for The Most Eligible Bachelor and my first story was put on hold. I started posting chapters of MEB without it being beta’d, because I didn’t have connections or completely understand the whole beta process. I honestly don’t remember how it came to be but Texas Bella and Ja Mash took me under their wings. They took each chapter and fixed them. They pushed me to change things, improve it, but most importantly they encouraged me to keep going, to finish what I had started. Without them coming into my life at that time, I can almost guarantee I wouldn’t be still writing now. So I owe them so much. They have both phased out of twific, but Texas Bella is now a successful author on her own, RE Hargrave.

My second beta was cejsmom (Colleen). She too pushed me and encouraged me. I had the pleasure of meeting her in person. She’s a lovely person inside and out.

Many others have helped me along the way with banners, prereading, betaing and rec’ing: Ana Fluttersby, Ja Mash, Carrie ZM, Midnight Cougar, Nic, The Lemonade Stand, Cejsmom, Iris, Dawn, TwiFanFiction Recs, The International House Of FanFic (Ficsisters), and all of those who have tweeted, posted, liked and commented on fb links for my stories.

However, the person who I currently owe everything to is Rachel Kitchmill. She’s beta’d the majority of my recent stories, and is currently helping me complete Ready for You. She has been so flexible, easy and just amazing all around. She has a busy life, family, children, etc. and she always manages to squeeze in my chapters. I’m sure she’s thoroughly frustrated with my recurring grammatical errors, but I’ve hopefully made some improvements under her tutelage. She is always positive with me, giving me constructive feedback and suggestions on ways to improve my writing. I will be eternally grateful to her for all she’s done for me over the past couple of years. Only with her help has my current story Ready for You been well received.

Whoever started Fanfiction and the whole concept, especially Twific, had it right. If you think about it, for the most part Fanfiction is women inspiring and supporting each other, and that is always a good thing.


Dear Mid,

From the moment I entered the fandom you were one of the names I heard over and over. Both as a beta and a reader, your enthusiasm cast a light across Twilight fanfic, and I have to admit I thought you were way out of my league. So when you first reviewed Fix You I was all fangirly and excited, and when I replied and we started to chat, I realized just how much we had in common.

Although we live in different countries, separated by thousands of miles, there are a lot of similarities between us. Our love for our families, our love of reading, and a really dirty sense of humor are just some of the things that bind us together. But what really keeps us going are the stories. The excitement we get when a new fic starts to grow, the fun we have when we discuss plot twists and character flaws. The pure delight you show when you tell me, “people are going to hate you for this.”

But it isn’t simply your enthusiasm that makes you a wonderful friend and beta. It’s your kindness. From the beginning you’ve been nothing but gentle in teaching me the importance of sentence flow, that certain words are better left out, and that further and farther definitely aren’t interchangeable. In fact, reading through this letter I can see that it needs a good beta – perhaps you can cast your eye across it and let me know how it can be improved!!

It isn’t only in fanfic that you’ve helped me along the way. We worked closely together on both Halfway Hidden and Broken Chords, and you spent days combing through the story, bringing out the characters and then working on my often-woeful grammar. It was such a wonderful experience to be able to have a trusted friend edit what was an emotional and difficult book to write, and I’m so grateful you held my hand through it all.

There are some people that make the world a better place just by being there, and you’re one of them. A shining light in the fandom, a great friend when I’m facing writer’s block, and a wonderful beta who lets me know when something simply isn’t working. In short, you’re amazing.

Thank you for all you’ve done for me. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be here without you. When I’m down you put a smile on my face, and when I’m stuck you send me inspirational pictures (and often rude ones too!) I know how lucky I am to be able to call you my beta, my editor and my friend.

Love you loads, lady,
Chocaholic123 xxx

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Grammar Gratitude Day Five

My dearest Carrie ZM,

I consider it a huge honor that you are willing to read my little bits of nothing. It’s nerve wracking as a beta to send something you’ve written to another beta – I’m always afraid that I’ve missed so many things. Each time, I’m completely convinced that you’re going to make me relinquish my betafairy wings. You’d think I’d get over that considering how sweet and kind you are (and how much you laugh at me for being embarrassed by my missing commas). You are so fast and good at what you do, and beyond fixing the commas and awkward sentences, you’re so supportive of my writing. It’s something I’m really unsure about, and you are always there to reassure me and cheer me on. I cannot tell you how much that means to me. I also know that I can trust you to tell me if it’s not working or if it needs that something extra. And I love that we can PM each other and ask random grammar questions!I do have to thank Planetblue too. We were getting a beer one night and I checked to see if she minded if I asked you to beta a contest entry of mine. She was fine with it but then gave me a look and said, “You’re lucky I like you.” She knew something I didn’t yet - I was about to hit the beta jackpot. My respect for you goes beyond what you do for me though. As a fellow beta, I love seeing the friendship that developed between the two of you and with Lay. The beta/writer relationship can be wonderful or can be fraught (or both) and I love seeing it flourish between you. Big thanks and love go to all of my beta friends who I learn from on a regular basis. I think of us as some weird, grammatically correct sisterhood, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. As much as I love you all, though, my favorite sister has to be Carrie. She’s an amazing, caring, kind, and hilarious woman who also happens to be the best cheerleader I know. I’m so lucky that she’s willing to take her red pen to my stuff, and I’m even luckier to call her my friend. I love you, girl!

xo, SueBee

Back in 2009, when I decided to participate in the original Age of Edward contest, I enlisted my good friend and fellow fandom devotee, Nicole (aka NicNic, or @nicnicd on Twitter) to help me as a pre-reader and beta. She was someone I trusted, and as we started working together (my oneshot didn’t place in the contest, but it did become a multi chapter story) I realized that I could not have chosen a better beta.

Nic is not only stellar when it comes to the nitty gritty, like grammar and spelling, she’s also gifted with context - which is a lot subtler. She gets *me*. She understands my style, which, admittedly, doesn't always submit to traditional methods of writing prose. So while she was quick to point out inconsistencies or errors, she always knew how to let me be myself. She got my flow, from day one. She is so intelligent, so quick, and yet she’s humble - we never clashed because our mutual respect overrode bickering.

I never looked for a different beta. I didn’t have to. I had the perfect one.

One fic turned into many, and while I didn’t have her beta my WitFits and a few other stories, she remains my go-to gal. In fact, she’s the pre-reader and frontline editor for the original fiction

I’m currently writing. There are few I’d trust, and I feel so blessed that I have her on my team.

Nicole started as a friend, became a beta and confidante, and remains a true girlfriend. I adore her, and am forever grateful that she stuck by my side as I dipped my toes in the world of writing. She’s really busy these days, and not too active in fandom anymore, but she’s around.

Love you, Nic! I don’t know if you’ll see this, but the sentiment remains the same: I appreciate you.

Ro (Rochelle Allison)

When you start out as a new writer you have no idea where to start, unless you’re lucky enough to know someone beforehand, so you take the first leap and hit publish, praying that someone reads your story and likes it well enough to leave you reviews.

As time goes on, you learn the ropes and soon realize that writing is a process and you can’t do it alone. You need a team of at least one pre-reader - to make sure your story flows as it should because, as hard as we try, we ALL miss the mark on key points sometimes - and you also need a good beta. You’d think these two elements would be easy to find, and for some it is, for others it takes longer to find the right people who work best with you. For me, it took some trial and error behind the scenes.

There are some fantastic betas in the fandom. You also learn this along the way - who is who and what they do. I was floored when one of them started reading my work and telling others about it on social media. I had a huge fangirl moment, and then another when she agreed to work with me when I needed to make a beta change.

The relationship is still fairly new, and I haven’t regretted one. single. minute. Not only does she do awesome beta work, but she helps you develop as a writer. Through her process of corrections, she shows you the rights and wrongs and all the whys behind them. It’s truly amazing.

Beyond and behind the technical stuff, and most importantly, she’s an all-around, wonderful person who’s been there when I needed advice and support. I can’t imagine doing this without her, and I wouldn’t want to.

My beta is Iris - aka MariahajilE - and I feel honored to work with her and even luckier to call her my friend.

Jenn ~ ifyouweremine

Dearest Jen328,

I can’t say enough good things about, you. You’re my Yoda, editor, and share a brain with me. And in April of 2011, for one glorious weekend, we got to hang out a lot. In fact, we went to the red carpet premiere of Water for Elephants and met Rob! I think we were shaking from the time we saw him to the time we got back on the train to leave the city. It was absolutely amazing, and it will be a memory I cherish forever.

I got into the Twi fandom in early 2009 and lurked for a good year or so before I even wrote anything. My first fic was unbeta’d, but as nearly every writing friendships starts, I met you on Twitter along with so many other amazing women.

You started pre-reading my stories then eventually became my beta for my last few Twifics and then my TWD fics. Jen, you’re the absolute best because even though you had nothing to do with TWD or even knew who Daryl Dixon was, you read my stories and edited them, and never stopped telling me to push myself.

Then there’s the fact that you’re so busy, but you’ve always made time for my stories and me. You’re a mom to two very active girls, you work, you co-founded Write Divas and act as CFO as well as editing OF for them. I don’t think you know how much it means to me that you keep up with me. You would edit my chapters on your lunch break when you could have taken some time to relax. You didn’t just check for grammar either. You would invest time into each chapter and question how this would impact the rest of the story. Jen, you pushed me to write better, and my absolute favorite quote of yours is, “Show me. Don’t tell me, K.”. It’s something I consider every time I sit down to open up a new doc.

Even now as I write a fic that you’re not editing, I use everything you’ve taught me, and hopefully I’m stringing together decent thoughts that would make you proud. The truth is, I miss your comments and sprinkles throughout my docs. The whole process feels like it’s lacking without your presence. That’s how important you are to me when I’m writing.

Jen, I’m so freaking proud of the things you’ve accomplished. You wanted to edit books, and now you do. You’re leaving a lasting impact on the writing world, and you’re using your gift to help other writers find their voice and also dig deeper and write better.

I’ve watched you grow as a writer in the past five years I’ve known you. I’ve watched you grow as an editor. You’ve moved on from the fandom in a lot of ways, but like all of us who have been here for a long time, you’re never far away, and you’ve made so many lasting friendships because of Twific, too.

I’m so thankful to know you and to be a part of your ride. I love you, and one day, I’m coming back to visit with my girls and husband in tow, and we can just let the guys babysit and flail our way all around the city.

All my love and **tacklehugs**,
Katie <3 (tanglingshadows)

Dear Lovelybrutal, Lellabeth, and Melissa,

I am more appreciative of you than I can express, but thanks to TLS for letting me try! I also need to thank Nic and The Lemonade Stand for this amazing opportunity, and all that you do for the fandom. You are a true treasure.

When I was first asked to write a letter to thank my betas for all they do my first thought was, “Fuck! Who the hell is going to check my commas and grammar?” So thank you, Cappie, for looking over this for me!

MelissaMargaret / Melissa, you are going to get in trouble one of these days for betaing during class and it will be all my fault. You are a writer, reader, and college student, who also works and has a life - yet you still manage to fit in looking over anything I send your way! And I mean anything. You take the time and effort to fix my commas, splices, typos, and general mess-ups. You encourage me to keep going, and knowing you’ve looked it over gives me the confidence to post whatever I’ve written. You are such a blessing to me. I hope you get the extra push you need to write again soon. We need less of my words and more of your beautiful Carlisle and Esme! Thank you for all you do, Melissa!

You may not see this, Lellabeth - school keeps you busy and I can only hope you are still writing - but I simply cannot thank those who have helped me without including you. Like Melissa, I know you are super busy, and write a good bit of your own amazing stories. Hell, I’ve read your Avenger slash not knowing who Cap or Bucky are and not liking boy sex, but I still loved every word. The idea that you even bother to read what I write is astounding to me. Masen Boys would never have been completed without you. I am thankful everyday for your betaing, but even more so for your support. You had my back and that means so much to me. I miss you so very much. Thank you for the all time you gave me, Lella. I am forever grateful.

Last, but never least, is my dearest Lovelybrutal. I tweeted one day that I needed a replied “beta coughs betafully” and holy shit, I almost fainted. I could not believe you would be willing to look at something by me, a nobody writing hundred word flashes in between my kids’ gymnastics classes. But you did. You spent the time to not only fix my splices (I think I’ve gotten a little better at those) but to also make suggestions. You ‘ALL CAPS’ commented your love for my words and my heart melted as my confidence soared. You asked me for more details and when I write anything I wonder what questions you would have for me; what more should I add? You are the girl who wrote Purple, and Shelter, and my favorite kiss on a ferris wheel, and you thought I was worth your time. Like me, you are a mom being pulled in a hundred directions at all times, and you squeeze me in. You honestly care about my little stories and I still pinch myself and wonder why. But so much more than my teacher and beta, you’ve become my sister and friend. When my family was thrown into chaos you kept me sane. You, pinkmoon, were and are my rock. I don’t have the words to properly thank you for all you’ve done for me. I’m not the poet you are who thinks up “obscene loudness” or “low lidded lusty” - but I can say I am eternally grateful to God for crossing our paths. Thank you for everything, especially for being you.

All my love and gratitude,
Jamie aka Jdifrans1

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Grammar Gratitude Day Four

Dear Iris,

Where do I even begin?

There was this one time I got a PM from this girl. I kind of knew who she was, but not really. I read a story she'd written a year or so before and it was great, but I didn't know much about her. Then she sent me that PM asking why I wasn't using a beta on the new story I was writing. I hadn't used one in a while and I was okay with it, but she was really nice and sounded super smart, so I was like “Why not?” and I sent her chapters of my story. Sure enough, she was smart, and funny, and so, so sweet. And willing to beta anything for me, from story chapters to one shots to interviews to Christmas letters. You know that saying “You're everything I never knew I always wanted”? That's pretty much how I feel about you. Every single day. :)

I was so excited to meet you at the TwiFic Meet-up last year and I was all nervous, which my friend Stacy just laughed and laughed about. Then we were at the Friday night mixer and I remember looking around, but I didn't see you. And then, I did. I don't think I'll ever forget. You probably thought I was a crazy person since I kept looking at you, waiting for you to recognize me. You knew what I looked like. You'd beta'd my Christmas letter with pictures, for goodness sake.  But you didn't seem to recognize me, so I resorted to holding my name tag right under my face as I stared at you and smiled. I think it took about 30 seconds before you finally realized who I was and then screamed and ran around the table with a blur worthy of any fanfic pixie-like Alice. The next day when I gave you the present I brought you, you yelled, “Shut your pirate-whore mouth!” at me in a room full of people. They probably thought we were crazy. :D We probably were. Are. Whatever.

You make my life easier. You overlook my hectic mom-craziness. You laugh at my random thoughts. You encourage me and support me like very few others ever have. You make me laugh. You make me smarter. You inspire me to want more from myself. You listen to me ramble and vent. You tell me I'm not crazy. You trust me. You endure my endless use of two spaces after a period. You make my words and my thoughts less jumbled and easier to understand. You make me feel special, and loved. You make me try harder. You make me forget I've been let down before. You make this whole fanfic thing simple and effortless and easy for me, while pushing me for more, to work better, to be greater.

You're more than just a beta to me. You're my friend. I love you endlessly and want desperately to make you proud. I hope you know that. And I hope you know how grateful I am that you took a chance on a random, disappointed, loner, rebellious, author-posing girl. Because I am grateful. More than you'll ever, ever know.


Hey Carrie, I'm not 100 percent sure I want to do this, but if I asked you to read what I had so far for story two, would you be willing? I've admired your reviews, and feel you might be brutally honest which is what I'd want. Not sure I'm ready to share, just feeling you out. Let me know.
Jan 19, 2013

Carrie ZM:
Oh wow ~ I totally just scared the hell out of my husband (I may have squealed rather loudly when I read your pm ;)
yes..yes...yes... I would be HONORED to read what you have written so far. Just let me know ~ I'm at your service:) ...and you totally just made my night !!
Jan 19, 2013

And so a beautiful relationship was born.

Those are the first few words (not as a review) that you and I shared one night, a night that has led to the best doggone decision I ever made. Working up the courage to approach you, I didn’t know that what lay ahead of us was years of laughs, support, tears, some anger, and the beauty of finding someone you were meant to be friends with.

Because I honestly believe that if you and I didn’t meet here in the fandom, that we would’ve crossed paths another way. It was destiny that you and I should become the friends that we are. No… the sisters that we are (cue cheesy, but heartfelt music).

Working with you is a dream come true. You’re brutally honest as I requested from the get-go because you want me to be as good as I can be. You want me to succeed; you want me to give our readers the best of me. Bette Midler would be proud of the support you give me and my writing. We’ve tackled oversexed bikers with funny mustaches, bloody and reckless road trips, art thieves with wacky eyes, controversial relationships and even death himself. This whole thing could never be as much fun if you weren’t by my side.

No one knows how hard you work to make my words pretty. When you aren’t sure of something, you do your homework, searching multiple websites for the answers. You take time from your family - from your life - in order to be a part of something that can be a one-sided venture sometimes. You don’t get the praise you deserve, the praise that the writers get with each review, but you get as excited about one of my stories as I do, if not more so. You’re my biggest cheerleader in the fandom and a lot of the success I’ve stumbled across is because of you. Every story we’ve worked on together is ours, because you give as much of yourself to them as I do. You never hesitate to tell me when you disagree (ahem, Half Pint leaving) and in most cases, you’re absolutely right. Your opinions really do mean so much to me and I take them all into careful consideration because I respect the way you see things. I want to scream from the rooftops about how dedicated and nurturing you are as a beta, but I also don’t want anyone to know so that I can keep you to myself.

Outside of fic, you and I have been handed some hard times the past couple of years. Unemployment, friend issues, family problems, and some really serious stuff. At the end of our first fic together, I faced one of the scariest health crises anyone can face. You proved to me what an astonishing human being you are. Excuse me; I’m tearing up… hold on….

Carrie, you were so scared along with me, but you thought of me first and hid that away, making me laugh, reassuring me, listening to me whine, soothing me while I cried, and sending me all the cookies. My time in recliner city was made so much less depressing than it could’ve been, and that’s because of you. Just knowing that there was someone out there that loved me so deeply her first concern was making me feel better meant more than you could ever know. It’s a trait that is so bright within you I can only hope for everyone to experience it someday.

And we hadn’t even met yet.

Two months later we met at TFMU in Chicago. It’s a moment of hilarity and wonderfulness I’ll never forget. I was recovering from surgery and the damn hotel room doors in that place were soooo heavy I couldn’t pull them open. You texted me when you arrived and I was all butterflies in my stomach, hoping you liked me in person. You told me to hold the door handle down in my room, and you’d push the door open from the hallway so I didn’t have to pull it. Well, that was hysterically funny but the moment we saw each other I remember both of us just smiling so big. It was like we were two pieces of a puzzle that had gone missing but finally ended up in the same box. I don’t think I had to struggle with one door that whole weekend because of you. You also introduced me to LayAtHomeMom that weekend, and the three of us started a relationship that has become more than just the stellar team I rely on for my writing, but a friendship that I can’t imagine life without (#MG4life). I’ve been lucky enough to vacation with you, and you’ve taken me into your home and shared your beautiful family with me.

BB, you are someone I aspire to be. Kind, generous, honest, funny, loving, gracious, positive, warm, smart, forgiving, witty, sympathetic, loyal, and encouraging. This was supposed to be a love letter to my beta but you’re so much more than that.

You are my best friend. I thank karma above for being as deserving as I am to have you in my life and that you put up with me and my frantic texts for immediate beta help before I hit the ‘post’ button, those calls that whine about what I’m working on sucks, and all of my craziness in general.

I make jokes about peeing on your leg, but honestly, I’ll pee AND cut a bitch if they ever try to get between us. I don’t know what I’d do without you and I know you’ll never let me find out.

xoxo, pizza confetti, and kissy emoticons


Your biggest fan,

To my lovely Beta, Kyla713:

When I was first asked to write this, you were the first person that popped into my head that I wanted to pen this thanks for. I've had my share of Betas, some who still remain friends, but none of them come close to you. I've gained a best friend in you, despite how many times I mess up my tenses, or have too many commas, you still stick with me. I am beyond thankful for that. I don't know what I'd do without you.

I'm not even sure how it came about that you became my Beta. I remember I was still trying to get over you liking my story The Missing as much as you did, and yet somehow getting up enough nerves to ask you if you'd Beta something else for me. You see...I still look at you as one of my favorite fandom authors. My love for Late Night Encounters knows no bounds, and when we became friends, I was still all insert fangirl screams here when it came to you. So, when I finally got the guts to say, “, wanna Beta She Gave Me Words?” I kept telling myself the worst you could say is no, and we'd still be friends. So when you said yes, you more than made my day! Then, naturally, the second thought that popped into my head was, “Oh my god, what if she hates this?” Which, I've slowly learned could never happen no matter how many times I drive you crazy with, “Was this good? It sucked, right?” You give me confidence in my writing, and you make me believe in myself when it comes to putting each and every chapter up, especially when I am so close to wanting to throw the towel in and quit.

I'm not sure if I can possibly explain just how thankful I am for all that you do. You take your time going through each doc I send you, even when you probably don't feel your best or on minimal sleep. You make my writing better, stronger even. So, like I said, there isn't enough thanks in all that you do for me and my stories, so I'll settle with thank you for being the amazing Beta and friend that you are. I couldn't ask for anyone better.

With Love,
myonlyheroin (Krystel)

Dear Best Beta Ever (A.K.A. Kim),

Do you realize we’ve known each other for a year and a half now? You’ve been my super fantastic beta for over a year and a half! Can you believe that?!

Now, onto the reasons why I’m writing this letter.

Firstly, you’re awesome. Honestly, I’m so lucky to have you betaing for me. Not only are you beyond helpful and ridiculously good at editing, you’re hilarious. The gifs and comments you leave for me have made me laugh out loud more times than I can count. Also, when I’m in a writing slump (as I’m in now), you’re encouragement always helps push me forward. Without you, I would never have seen Hollywood through and would have given up on Dark Paradise forever ago. Sometimes just the fact that I’ll get your sweet comments and crazy gifs give me the motivation to finish a chapter and get it sent off to you.

Secondly, you just need to know how talented I think you are. Not just at making edits but writing itself! I can’t wait to see one of your books on shelves one day. Your writing is honestly at a level I want to see mine on one day. I think you’re so much more skilled than you give yourself credit for, and I’d love to read anything else you’ve written (hint, hint, cough, cough).

Not only are you great at what you do, you do it with such kindness and grace. You’ve really made a name for yourself in our community as someone who is sweet, generous, and the best of the best. I know life has gotten in the way for both of us and we haven’t talked in a few weeks (which is longer than I’d like and I need my butt kicked), but I know that the next time we talk, it’ll be the same as always. Though we’ve never met, I count you as such a dear friend. Not only have you encouraged me every step of the way, but you’ve also improved my writing with your explanations and edits. Truly. If you read something I wrote before I met you and after, you can see the difference. I owe that all to you. So never doubt you’re talented and influential.

Love you so much! <3


I first “met” Midnight Cougar (D JS White) when I was collaborating with CullensTwiMistress on our story Seven Forty-Three. To say I was nervous to have her looking at my stuff would be an understatement. She works with some really big names, and it was overwhelming, as I often lack confidence when it comes to the words I write. I really had nothing to worry about. Mid is a fabulous beta. She doesn’t just pen up a document, she actually adds valuable input and ideas! The thought she puts into everything that she’s reading for me is phenomenal.

When I was writing Love Hurts it was her idea to change it from a one-shot into smaller multi-chapters, the idea would have worked better had I been more patient and able to stick to a posting schedule, but the way the story was received I was amazing and I doubt it would have been as big if I posted it as a one-shot. Not only is Mid a fabulous beta but she is a fabulous friend, always there for you if you need someone to vent to, and one of the brightest lights in our fandom! I love you girly, for everything that you do for not only us writers, but for the fandom as a whole.

Love, Maplestyle

Friday, November 27, 2015

Grammar Gratitude Day Three

When I think about how hard a Beta works to help an author make a story possible, it's impossible not to feel an extraordinary amount of love and gratitude. Trying to work up the confidence to compose and post a story can be stressful enough, so a strong bond with a trusted partner is truly significant in a creative journey becoming a reality for any author. We worry about the reception of our ideas, how we will tell the story, and if the reader will touched in some way by our effort. Having a credible confidant in your corner, as they correct your mistakes and guide you, makes all of the difference in that journey, and I've had the exceptional pleasure of working with two talented women over the years – Jennifer Locklear and CarrieZM.

In my opinion, I could not have asked for better Betas, and friends.

Many years ago, when I first started feeling the itch to write fanfiction, Jennifer Locklear (previously AquariumJenn/RandomCran) offered to Beta my first attempts at story-telling, bravely tackling my wordiness and striking away my overly-used punctuation and wayward schemes with her red pen. She was and remains one of my biggest supporters in my attempts a creativity. But when Jennifer was preparing to release her first novel through Omnific Publishing (Exposure, Co-written with her husband Morgan Locklear), I'd been asked to participate in a then “secret” fandom compilation of writers called The Sinners, and because secrecy of the authors was important to hiding the identity of the participating authors at that time, and because Jenn was involved in making edits to her novel, CarrieZM graciously offered to help me with my Sinner's entry. It formed a friendship and a trusted-partnernisip that I continue to treasure to this day.

Both Jenn and Carrie share their talents in a steady and creatively nurturing way, never fearful of voicing their true feelings when it comes to creating a consistent plot and improving upon the bones of a story. They've both helped make me a better story-teller, pushing me in ways that were both difficult, yet rewarding. I trust their skills, their reliability, and their opinions when it comes to breaking a story idea apart or starting over from scratch. Their dedication to helping me become better, a gift of their time and own creative energy freely given, is a truly priceless contribution. Knowing the reward of working with these dedicated hard-workers leads me to this simple fact...I have been blessed to have worked with two of the most talented and nurturing Betas in the Twilight Fandom.

Dearest Jenn and Carrie, I love you, and I thank you for all you have done for not only me, but so many authors you help guide along the way!

Love, GothicTemptress

The comma is not my friend.

I realize that it has important grammatical uses, but for the life of me I like to randomly stick it in unneeded places or just forget about it because I can. It really is amazing I graduated from college with a Bachelor’s degree.

Don’t even get me started on my hatred of the semi-colon.

People like me need betas. We need that guidance to know where to stick in a question mark or to stay in the present instead of slipping into the past in the same damn sentence. We are hot messes without betas and I can guide you to many stories that I personally have written that are terrifying, not because they’re horror, but due to the grammar mistakes that can be found throughout.

It takes a brave and kind soul to read my stories and try to fix the wreckage I left behind in those Word documents. It takes a saint and one of the nicest women I have ever had the honor to meet. That amazing woman is Sally Hopkinson aka Alice’s White Rabbit.

There’s more to being a beta, then just fixing the spelling mistakes that spell check misses. Authors are a needy breed. I mean that in the kindest way. We are prone to self-doubt, have low self-esteems, and have an eager need for accolades. Authors are like toddlers. We desire hand holding and constant approval, yet still need gentle guidance that makes our stories worth reading. Sally helps me grow and become the writer that I want to be one day. She makes me better. She even likes my messy words when I post things without her looking at them first. (I have too many WIP’s. I probably need an intervention.)

In this wild and crazy fanfiction world, Sally is the one of the shining lights of calm and goodness. I have only seen her be positive about all of our stories. She protects me from reading bad guest reviews and, I bet, she would do it for all my fellow writers too if she could. If there is a protector of authors in this fandom, then it would be Sally. Our words are precious to her and I believe so are all of us.

Sally is an adventurous reader. She follows our tales onto worlds that can be romantic, terrifying, and even goofy. The stories she betas are fun for her to read and in her edits I can see the joy she has in discovering what is going to happen next in the story. It’s not a job to her. It’s not a way to find fame in this fandom. (Though she deserves to have her name heralded for being one of the best.)

The most important thing to know about Sally is that she is an amazing friend. I trust her judgment and she makes me smile with the lovely things that she does like sending me a voodoo doll to use as stress release. This is a woman who cares deeply for the people around her and lets them feel her support.

These words are heartfelt, because they are about Sally. They are also a mess, because she didn’t beta them first.

Your friend and Sally’s biggest fan,

My Dearest Iris;

I needs to tell you what you do for me, but first I’ll set the scene:

I started posting.

Just like that. I just started and there was no one looking over what I wrote for a little while.

And it showed.

Man did it show.

A kindly guest review suggested I get a beta. People were starting to notice my work and they were right. I needed some eyes that weren’t mine. So I put it out there in an author's note. Nic said she might be able to help and asked you to take a look at my work and see if it was something you were willing to take on.

I was a nervous mess. I knew Nic was sending me to The Best. I had no expectations that you’d take me on. But you started reading. And you started sending me shouty cap notes.

And you took me on.

I had no idea what I was getting into. You don't just check my grammar and spelling - OMG my spelling! (starring or staring? Remember that chapter Iris?) You make me a better writer. You’re the one who helped me put contractions into my conversations, (seriously guys, go back and read some early Goodbye Peter Pan dialogue. So many formal people with formal things to say).

These are things you do that are your job as my beta.

But I didn’t just get a beta. I ended up with the fierce, driven, tour-de-force of a woman.

You work mad long hours, just to get my chapters back to me. You go through the thing three times. Every time. And if I want to make a change you do that again. You run the Twi Fic Fandom Awards. By yourself! And we can’t even nominate you. You promote my work. Before I’m finished posting, you’re tweeting my chapter is up - with the link!

You're all these things. But you're so much more. You're a friend first.

You take care of me when I have panic attacks about posting. And in the early days, that was every. single. time. You help me when I am struggling. And lately that’s every. single. day.  You check in to make sure I’m okay. You are my New York City missed connection. And I love you; even if you don't get my love for the Rangers and do not believe in the God among men that is Henrik Lundqvist (even though he is the King of your city).

And every single mistake in this is my secret love letter to you. Because I know you're going to go through this and hate all the lovely things that make you squirm and find comfort in everything I’ve done wrong. And Iris. There isn’t a single fucking double space in this. That’s how much I love you.

With all my fanfic heart,

My dearest Midnight Cougar,

I still remember the day I was on Facebook, I saw your green light on, and I summoned the courage to send you a PM. I only wanted to thank you for your kind reviews and say hello. New to the fan fiction world, I still had no idea really of what I was doing. I had written a small story and had an idea for another one, but I needed a beta—someone who could smooth out the rough edges, add the right commas (since I always seem to put them in the wrong place) and listen to me vent on occasion when ideas wouldn’t mesh.

By the end of our hour long chat I knew I’d found that person. We clicked right away, and when I started telling you about my idea, we were off—and we’ve never looked back. Twenty plus completed stories on fan fiction, two books, and countless hours of chatting, phone calls, documents going back and forth, a great deal of cursing, and so much laughter has occurred since then.

I won’t even mention the amount of red ink that has been spilt.

You correct my non-ending errors patiently (usually). You laugh at my constant misuse of the word lay. You add and change words to make the story better. You drop in comments that make me laugh, notes that make me grimace, and send me the most awesome pictures as inspiration. I love your enthusiasm when I share a new plot bunny that has taken hold and the way you refuse to let me do anything less than my all.  I adore the fact that when I suddenly come up with a plot bunny I cannot stop, you simply shake your head and tell me to shut up and write it. Your praise is not given lightly, so it means so much when you give it—and my heart smiles.

But the best thing of all, is the friendship we have shared. Four years of getting to know each other, one wonderful face to face weekend. We have shared our lives with each other—the good and bad, and have always been there for encouragement and support. The love and kinship we felt with our mutual love of Edward and Bella has transformed to a bond of friendship that will stand the test of time.

You, MC, are so much more than my beta. You are my dear friend. I love being your “baby girl” especially given I am older than you are! You are talented, funny, strong and amazing. Your love for your family makes you so special and I am honored to be a small part of your life.

Your grammar skills and editing are second to none, and I am thrilled when you agree to work on any project with me— either in the ff world or the outside one. Although we don’t live in the same city and our world is connected via computer screen, I’m as close to you as if you were right next door.

Thank you for being my beta. For your time and effort that goes mostly unrewarded, except for my thanks and the occasional case of coffee pods that arrive at your door. Thank you for never yelling (for too long anyway).

Thank you for your support and the way you defend me.  For your suggestions and corrections from that red pen you wield so well. And, yes, I know you are looking this over with an arched brow, wishing I had let you read it first!

But above all else, thank you for being you.

Because you are the most wonderful thing of all.

My friend.

I love you!

EE (Edward's Eternal)

Dear Momof4luvntwisaga,

When I first starting writing fanfic, I think my first story had like 7 readers and I was thrilled. Second story had 35 and I was sure I was pretty hot stuff. Slowly but surely more readers found my stuff (which was never ever beta’d) One reader began to stand out as someone who consistently read my stuff and reviewed. She was so nice and always added a little guess as to what she thought was going to happen next, and a lot of times, she was right! I was getting ready to begin posting Fridays at Noon and decided I should get some feedback from someone. I mean, all these other writers had ten people to thank at the end of every chapter and I had no one. I needed a friend. So I went to that one reader, the one who had momof4 in her name, meaning she was someone just like me - a mom with a love for Twilight. She luckily said YES and the rest is history.

Momof4luvntwisaga became my beta, who never complained that I wanted to stick to my once a week posting schedule, even if that meant she had to read a chapter late at night on a Thursday, who freaked out with me when the story blew up and became so huge neither one of us knew what to do, who came with me to the Facebook world and tried to make sense of all these readers who were in love with Pennyward. She was encouraging and incredibly insightful. I could not have done it without her.

Momof4 was my very first fanfic friend and I will forever be grateful. We have met in person a few times, shared laughs, watched each other’s kids grow via Facebook, and remained friends all these years later. I am so glad I sent that email asking her to join me in this story I was going to write about a Bella who works in a restaurant and has to deal with this Edward who was a pain in the ass, egotistical CEO who has a thing for saying, “If I had a nickel …” Oh, he had some nickels. Thank you, Momof4/Jannice/friend!! You are the very best a girl could ask for!


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Grammar Gratitude Day Two

Dearest SueBee Beta Fairy Thundercocks Ho,

Writing fan fiction has always been about how much fun it is, for me. From day one, what sucked me in and kept me going was that singular idea I’d get from some crazy conversation, or a picture *waggles eyebrows*, writing the story, reading the feedback, learning new things, tweaking my style, meeting new people . . .I had some pre-readers that had adopted me over the span of time. You know them. And they truly helped me get through blocks, gave me great ideas, encouraged me when I was frustrated (lord knows they encouraged me) . . . but I hadn’t, at that point, given much thought to a beta. I didn’t really know any. And I wasn’t too sure about how to go about getting one that wouldn’t hate the way I write.

In short, I was too self-conscious to reach out to someone and ask them to do it for me. Until one day, I sucked it up, and submitted a chapter of Vines to a beta group. I was so nervous, like I had been with every chapter before, that I would hear back that I absolutely sucked, my story sucked, my writing sucked, and I should just quit now. It was nerve racking like you wouldn’t believe, the waiting.

Then I got my chapter back. I took a deep breath, opened the document – and about three (maybe four, I can’t remember) betas had looked over what I sent in. All of it was good feedback. All very helpful. But one stood out for me.


“Holy shit, she really gets me,” I thought. “She read it, liked it, and most importantly, she heard his voice and gets me.”

I was so excited. I cannot even begin to tell you – but there were all these rules about contacting the betas directly, at that point - and that so I wasn’t really allowed to write you and say thanks. Which kind of drove me nuts, because I really wanted to thank you for improving upon what I’d sent, while maintaining the integrity of the character. I mean, that’s talent.

Anyway, I (sort of) moved past my frustration and figured, okay, I’ll submit another chapter, and hopefully I’ll get her again. I didn’t hold out much hope though, because I knew it was kind of random. But then, one day, I got a PM on Facebook (shhhhh!) – and . . . it was you. It was you and not only were you dropping me a note to tell me that you loved the chapter and my writing, but you were actually asking me if I wanted a full time beta.

My heart sang. *THE HILLS ARE ALIVE . . . WITH THE SOUND OF MUSIC* Seriously.

I said yes. You started reading over my chapters full time – and the rest (as John Bunyon might say) was history.

The cool thing about this story though, isn’t how I managed to land myself one of the best betas out there. But about how you became a friend. A truly lovely, loyal, honest, awesome friend. That’s rare.

To meet someone like we did, and beyond the fandom, and the fun, and the other “stuff” that was going on – to become true friends.

You love with your heart, and not your ego. You are always honest and forth coming. You make time when you are needed. You support my crazy. You are true to yourself. You have a great laugh. You have a terrific sense of humor. You make sense. And you are my friend. THANK YOU SO FUCKING MUCH FOR SENDING ME THAT PM. And everything else you’ve done for me, since then.

Love, Jo (who once upon a time, was fictionfreak95)

PS – I’m sorry about the horrendousness of grammar mistakes in this letter. It’s not like I could ask you to beta my love letter to my beta. Right?

Dear Geeky,

You’re two cups of sugar, equal amount of spice, a few pinches of salt, and as much lemon as we can squeeze. You’re a great friend, a shoulder to lean on, one of the best fangirls, a stellar porn dealer, and our beta extraordinaire.

We were already friends in the fandom and fans of your work but didn’t realize what an amazing beta you were (or are) until you answered our cry for help.

We’ve been a team for over a year now and in that time; we’ve worked on 340,000 words together. That’s crazy! But, we know we couldn’t have accomplished all of that without your help, love, and support.

Whether you are yelling at or cheering for our characters, or fixing our horrible misuse of commas, you are always a joy to work with.

We wondered how we could love you anymore, and then we met you in person.

Being able to put a face and a voice to your name made us fall for you even harder and we loved getting to know you on a deeper level.

And you have dimples. Adorable, deep dimples.

Thank you. Thank you for your red pen and the time it takes to use it. Thank you for your grammar expertise and your patience. Thank you for your ample supply of gifs and porn. Thank you for your encouragement and friendship. Lastly, and most importantly, thank you for being you. We, along with this fandom, are lucky to have you!

We love you,
Jiff and Jenny Kate

As a writer I should be able to find the words easily, right? It should be easy to tell you how much I appreciate the time, effort, and pure dedication you put into betaing my stories. How thankful I am to know you and to have your infallible advice on the other end of an email.

But I can’t.

Because no matter how I put it, thank you doesn’t seem to be enough.

I’m going to try though.

We both know you have your work cut out for you with me. I’m a semi-newbie author who writes for fun, even though I know I’m not one of the best out there, yet you never judge my writing. You encourage and push me just enough so that it remains enjoyable, but that I continue to improve. I can never say thank you enough for the day you decided to help me out.

And don’t even get me started on my daily struggle with British/American wording, phrases, and spelling. One day I will win this battle. And there is my love of commas. I know I overuse them - I’m trying to stop.

And after all this, you’re still with me. (Is it because of my accent?)

Whatever the reason, I’m proud to call you my beta. I couldn’t have a beta person (haha, get it?!) helping me with my stories. One day I will figure out a way to get to New York, and I will bring baby Ben with me for those cuddles I’ve promised you. For now, please accept my emails of baby photos and videos as my way of thanking you, and also (partly) as bribery for keeping you as my beta.

The main thing I hope you know is how thankful I am. You have a bunch of other stuff going on fandom wise, and I know you have a hectic life, and it means so much that you have taken me on board as well. I want you to know you aren’t doing this for nothing - please know all your work is worth it.  I notice a difference in my writing, and I hope you do as well.

Thank you for everything you do.

My ninja.

My beta.

My friend.

Sending hugs across the pond

Karen aka Twilightladies (and Baby Ben) ♥

Dear Jenny (JenRar),

I’m not sure I could sit here and get everything I want or need to say down in one letter, but I’m going to give it my damnedest.

See, what started out as you offering to help me out with Nature of Love, has now blown up into…well, everything. You aren’t just my beta; you’re my best friend. You’ve become a shoulder to cry on, a great big hug when I need it most, and the push and shove I need to keep going. You’ve been my writing partner, my clean-up crew, and the person not afraid to say, “Umm, no. Do it this way.”

We can talk grammar. You once called me one of the fandom’s elite writers, which I don’t see, because I always have this long list of who is better, but I don’t think you understand just how amazing you are at what you do. It’s not all about the red pen and God knows, all the commas I can’t seem to keep straight. It’s about the panicked phone calls you get from me when I’ve written myself into a corner plot-wise or can’t figure out how to say something specific.

We can talk behind the scenes. There’s so much that you do that has absolutely nothing to do with being a beta. Some of it is secret-keeping, not to mention the little things that wouldn’t happen without you – blogs and names and suggestions that go way beyond being a beta.

There’s not much that you don’t know about me, yet you still continue to love me, which either makes you angelic or a masochist. I’m not sure which. ;)

I really don’t think I’d have lasted this long in the fandom without you. It wouldn’t have been as rewarding or as fun or worth some of the negative parts of it all. I’ve wanted to walk away more times than I could count, but you wouldn’t let me. And I need to thank you for that, because in all honesty, I’m extremely grateful to you, this fandom, and every word of every story I’ve ever read or wrote myself, because without this thing that we all love to do, I’m not sure I’d still be on this planet, let alone still be writing stories.

I love you. I love that you are this quiet, talented force in the fandom, but that I know you better than most people. I love how we can pretty much talk about anything. I love that you keep me going on things I’m unsure about, things that scare me, but you force me to face it, to reach for more. And I love that after you scared the shit out of me this year, you’re okay.

There’s not much more I can say without becoming a snot-sobbing mess, so I just want to say thank you. Thank you, and I’m leaving this un-beta’d just to drive you crazy. ;)

More love than I could possibly explain,
Deb (drotuno)

My Dearest Hadley Hemingway,

How can I express my gratitude for the years of partnership and friendship you've so selflessly offered? Asking for nothing in return, you've dedicated hundreds of hours of your precious time to laboring over every typo and comma.

Because of your gracious diligence, readers were spared my grammatical atrocities and illegible prose. You've talked my characters off the ledge and led them out of their own navels. You've corrected my course, challenged me, supported me, and been the voice of wisdom above the competing noises in my head.

Most of all, you've been a true ally.

I count myself lucky because every writer needs a Hadley. A champion, friend, motivator, sounding board, and critic. Someone who sees through the clutter to the truth on the other side. Someone to talk us down and cheer us up. Someone to sort out the messy pieces and point the way to a clearer picture.

Basically, every writer needs a therapist. You've saved me hundreds of billable hours,and now I'm starting to think I've ripped you off. But I digress...

Because of your encouragement and unwavering support, The Precious has a bright new future, and I can't wait to share that adventure with you. I owe you so much,and hopefully this letter demonstrates my sincere appreciation and gratitude for all of the many ways you've given so much of yourself along the way.

Thank you, Hadley, for everything.

Your friend,Ta Paixao

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Grammar Gratitude Day One

We wanted to take a moment to send some love to all of the betas out there – some are mentioned in these letters and some are not, but we are grateful for (and in awe of) all of you. Many of you are the unsung heroes of fic, working tirelessly behind the scenes. You get blamed for things that might not be your fault (and sometimes quite publicly) and rarely get the recognition from readers that you deserve. When betaing is done right, it’s seamless and barely noticeable. You walk the tightrope of being supportive while being critical so that the story can be the best it can be. It’s a tough role sometimes and you handle it with grace and class (and good grammar) and it’s all done in service of the stories we get to read.

Thank you all for that.

 SueBee Beta Fairy Thundercocks Ho

Ten million people reading fanfiction. Ten reviewers who showed potential for future beta work. Ten private messages sent back and forth between us before I sent through a chapter. Ten fingernails bitten clean down to nothing waiting for a response. Ten days before we exchanged numbers, and I let that sucker ring ten times before I worked up the courage to actually answer the phone.

Nine weeks spent crafting the end to a story together. Nine weeks of hand holding. Nine weeks of soothing commentary and ‘you can do this.’ Nine weeks before she got down to the business of asking me exactly where I lived.

There are 18 hours of driving time between us. 1,100 miles, give or take. A bunch of red-rock desert, some mountains, and what seems like a billion miles of flat, boring prairie. Some days, it feels like we live on opposite sides of the universe, other days we’re so close it hurts. Our trio of visits every year are never long enough, precious moments we rarely squander on ‘work,’ even though we always have the best of intentions.

The number of bottles of champagne the two of us have drained together.

The average number of times she nicely explains to me why a two hundred word sentence wont fly before she just starts highlighting them and using foul language on me.

Five full length stories. Eight one shots. Three contest entries. One monster original manuscript. Hundreds of thousands of words passed back and forth between us. Millions of comments, billions of “add a comma here,’ or ‘maybe you should think about this,’ and ‘here is another goddamn run on sentence, deal with it.’

The first text I sent when that end-all-be-all pregnancy test came up positive. The first call I made when we found out he was a boy. The first picture I sent when that kid made his appearance. Thousands of tearful phone calls stuck in my bed with a sloppy newborn and a bad case of the sads. Hundreds of hours of advice and encouragement and love. Millions of hours on speaker phone, her voice embedded in soft, squishy baby brain.

The number of times I rewrote this because, I didn’t have a beta to look it over.

Two hours. The average length of a phone conversation between us. Often while hiding from our families in closets or garages or backyards. Always plotting bunnies, debating minor details, arguing over those damn run on sentences.

There is only one Hadley Hemingway. Often emulated, but never matched. She is sweet and silly and thoughtful. Pragmatic and smart and sometimes totally weird, but always, always completely lovely. Call her my stroke of luck. Call her my shining star. Call her my soul sister, my bestie, my beta, my one true love. Call her whatever you want, but I call her darling.

♥ ‘Bee

Dearest MariahajilE,

The first time we worked together seems like forever ago. There was this hot little country contest going on, and you worked some serious magic on my entry. We’d been friends for a while before that, but I had no idea how serious business you were until you sent me a message to tell me you were checking and double checking the word I’d chosen to use for Edward’s truck: dually.

Thanks to you, we used it correctly.

My respect for you has continued to grow the same way our friendship has. You work so hard for so many of us. It’s like a full-time job – you do multiple edits to make our word docs beautiful and readable. You have the patience of a saint, I swear. I make the same mistakes, over and over, and you never complain or laugh at me.

Every time I’ve needed hand-holding, you’ve been right there. A quiet, but persistent, cheering section. I don’t know how to thank you enough for the help you’ve given me. You’ve been a shoulder to cry on more than once, as a beta and as a friend. I’ll love you always for that.

Nan (MrsSpaceCowboy)

Dear Edward's Eternal,

I'm not sure where to start.

Do I begin with your amazing abilities as a beta? Your keen editor's eye and fantastic ear for dialogue?  The patience you show as I go endlessly back and forth on plot ideas?

Or should I start with your incredible warmth and friendliness, your kindness and compassion, and your wicked, wicked sense of humour?

Do I mention the mangoes?

I can't believe it's five years since your message arrived, out-of-the-blue, in my inbox, complimenting my writing and shyly offering your services as beta, should I ever need one.

I did need one. I was halfway through my second un-beta'd fic and the warmth that came through in your message had me jumping at the chance to work with you.

Since then, you've beta'd four of my stories.

And you've become my friend.

Doesn't matter that we live in opposite hemispheres and different time zones.

We've shared a lot of laughs, some great achievements, crazy ideas and home renovations, as well as a few real-life ups-and-downs. That's what a real friendship is.

You've also fixed my semi-colons, Americanised my language (turns out "pot plant" means something very different in America than it does in Australia), made gentle suggestions and offered honest opinions, and helped me tweak and polish my words. But while I've been beyond lucky to have you as my beta, it's been beyond exciting for me to see your own writing career take off, which isn't surprising given your gift for storytelling, your way with words and talent for dialogue.  I have to say, I feel pretty damn chuffed that I can say Melanie Moreland, author of 23 fics and three published novels, is my beta.

I'm even more chuffed that I can call you my friend.

So thank you Melanie, thank you very much, for everything. Here, have a mango...

Love, Sue (Windchymes)xx

Dear Carrie ZM,

*Turns on Wind Beneath My Wings and sways slowly, all the while making uncomfortable eye contact with you*

 Are you ready for me to get weird on you? Good. Because that’s kinda our thing.


The word just isn’t big enough for all that you are or all that you do. Sure, it’s enough to encompass the general gist of the job. Reading with a critical eye and making sure that I’m using proper punctuation and appropriate word choices. You know the whole day-to-day-make-Lay-sound-literate thing you do so well.  This in and of itself is an amazing feat – you’re pretty much equal parts a Grammar Goddess/goddamn magician to pull this off. I tip my hat to you.

But it’s more than that, Care – you’re so much more than that. And while I’m grateful for all of the above, my appreciation for you as a beta goes far beyond grammar.

It’s the time you spend nurturing plot bunnies until they become story lines.  It’s the morning phone calls where we go ‘round and ‘round, folding laundry and fleshing out the plot.  It’s the random texts or messages with picspiration or some funny little quip that came to you. It’s the hours you spend with my characters and words. Hours you could’ve spent with your hubs or your little ones… or even pinning stuff on Pinterest (you know I don’t believe in it). Instead, you’re happy to sit with your laptop, poring over the words, reading them… out loud. I admit it – I giggle whenever I send you a lemon, knowing you’re going to be sitting there all pink-cheeked, stumbling over the dirty words and peeking over your shoulder, hoping your husband doesn’t hear you.

In addition to the time, I’m grateful for your enthusiasm. I love that whenever we take on a new story, you’re all in. Legit – your excitement is palpable and it’s a fantastic feeling to know that someone is just as dedicated to making the story the best it can be. I love that you always keep it completely 100 with me when you let me know what works, what doesn’t and even sometimes ‘what are you thinking?’ I adore your honesty and I feel like we know each other so well that I can tell what you’re about to say depending on how you begin your comment. A few of my faves are: ‘ummm,’ ‘nope,’ ‘THIS,’ and ‘gurrrrrlll.’

Writing with you is like going to a great party – we laugh, we get loud, we get weird and once we’re done I feel like I have a hangover for days… and not a single regret.

I love you and I appreciate you more than you’ll ever know, Care. You’re the Jay to my Ye.

The Salt to my Pep. The Hall to my Oates.

In short, you’re simply the best and I thank you for all that you do, pal!

Warm Regards,

Dear Midnight Cougar,

I can’t believe I’ve been writing for almost five years already. Luckily, I ran into you about four years ago and haven’t looked back. You, my wonderful friend, have been a blessing. You’ve taught me more grammar than my English teacher ever could. To be fair, though, I went to a French high school and never did learn true English grammar.

But I digress.

You’ve stuck with me through some good and bad, and now you’re even there for me as I try my hand at publishing. I couldn’t ask for a better friend, and the fact that you’re a fellow Maritimer makes me smile everytime I think of it. You get me and my Canadian humour. Something that’s a definite plus when working on edits together.

Anyway, I’m thrilled these ladies at TLS have given me this platform in which to express my love and appreciation. Without you, my words would be crap.

Thank you,
Melissa (aka CullensTwiMistress)

"You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what's burning inside you, and we edit to let the fire show through the smoke." Arthur Plotnik

EdwardsFirstKiss became my beta in 2012 for my very first fanfiction, How to Date a Movie Star. She remained on with the series along with an incredible team of women. Ellachanted, Tinsley Warren, Content1 and Agrutle.

EdwardsFirstKiss continued to assist me through the next two fics along with my published works.

Words truly cannot express the appreciation and respect I have for her honesty, while pulling the best out of me. She has a heart of gold, and a red pen that bleeds love all over my words.

Thank you not only for giving me your valuable time and wisdom. But, also for your friendship. That is something I cherish most of all.

I love you.

My sincerest gratitude,
Z.N. Willett (Redtini)

Monday, November 23, 2015

What we're reading in TLS this week:

It is Thanksgiving week here in the United States. Time to reflect on the many things we are thankful for. We want to thank each and every one of you for continuing to support our blog and the writers we feature each and every post. This week, these are the fics TLS is very thankful to read. We have some veteran writers and a few new shining stars to check out. We hope that you will enjoy them as much as we have and give them some love in the form of a review.

♥ Nic & Six

Deeper Discord by Ifyouweremine-rec'd by MariahajilE
Edward is a boxer with a dark past and secrets. When his best friend's little sister moves in, he finds himself in the biggest brawl of his life. A story of love and sacrifice and fighting for what matters most. Rated M

Fly Away Home by LyricalKris-rec'd by Sixdlb5
Because her own life was so devoid of it, Bella always wanted to protect sweetness and innocence in other people. Maybe that was what drew her to Edward, a strange, socially awkward, but very sweet man. She couldn't know the secret he held-that he wasn't what he seemed, and she was the one being protected. Rated M

Hope on the Horizon by Content1-rec'd by Nic
In ten minutes, you can run a mile, make Mac n' Cheese, and get a manicure. In ten minutes, you can vacuum your room, get takeout from McDonald's, and sign up for yoga lessons. In ten minutes, your life can change forever. Rated M

In the Blink of an Eye by thatwritr-rec'd by Edmazing
Bella went cliff diving but it didn't turn out well. She broke her back. A decade later, Edward reappears in her life on the same night she loses her best friend and husband to a freak accident. She's not thrilled to see him. Rated M

In the Pines by Soleil2-rec'd by SixDlb5
They all loved her. One of them killed her. Rated M

Island Nights by Compass54-rec'd by Nic
I would always remember him as a dangerously beautiful twenty-two-year-old, a sensual and affectionate lover who could put a gun to a man's head and pull the trigger. Why I couldn't forget him was no mystery. I was still in love with him. Rated M

My Shipper Heart by Marvar-rec'd by Midnight Cougar
Edward wasn't looking for anyone, but he found her just the same. It's too bad she thinks he's just a client. Rated M

Outbound by Aftrnoondlight-rec'd by Midnight Cougar
Two beautiful souls humbly traveling life's lonely path, until fate suddenly shows her hand. Will Edward and Bella surrender willingly... A tender, romantic tale of love and life in the clouds. Rated M

Ride The Wind by Iadorepugs-rec’d by JennG
Based on the Harleyward in my author note for ch 27 of A Stable Romance. Bella meets Edward, and his Harley, after a concert. Will she just get a ride on the Harley, or much more than that? No longer just a one shot due to demand. LEMONS GALORE! Rated M

Rising Dream, Fallen Star by MrsShortHand-rec'd by Nic
He was the lead singer of The Volturi. I was a new musician with everything to prove. We were Hollywood's It couple. Until he ruined everything. Can our love be saved if he can't save himself? A story about love, lemons, lies, and learning to forgive. AH Rated M

Secrets, Lies & Family Ties by IdPattThat-rec'd by Midnight Cougar
He walked away from his true love for his career. Now, five years later, one phone call changes Edward Cullen's life in a way he never expected.  Rated M

Something Beautiful Remains by Bethesda Gray-rec'd by Midnight Cougar
After terrible loss, Bella returns to Forks to tie up loose ends. What she finds, though, is a new beginning she never could have imagined. Rated M

The Age of Innocence by Pattyrose-rec'd by SixDlb5
On the eve of the Second World War, young Isabella has been taken from all she knows and is now stepdaughter to one of the richest men in America. Spending her summers in Washington State, she's unaware that this is where she & a young boy will find their fate, where childhood friendship will mature into the fiercest love: a love that must endure the end of innocence. Rated M

The Stable Boy by fitterhappier-rec'd by Layathomemom
"Blame it or praise it, there's no denying the wild horse in us." Rated M

Watch and See by JiffyKate-rec'd by Everyfreakingbody!
Her sexual experience is limited, at best. She's never found pleasure in it, so what's the point? Now, though, she wants what he's giving. Seeing the women fall apart against his window has her yearning and wanting to the point she almost combusts sitting on the ledge, merely an observer. What would it be like if she were one of them? Rated M

Monday, November 9, 2015

What we're reading in TLS this week:

TLS is excited to bring you some new treasures from some of our favorite fandom authors on this Monday morning. We've also sprinkled in a few suspenseful gems to keep things interesting and some old favorites to revisit. We guarantee you will find something to love from this list! Be sure to let the authors know where you saw them recommended and leave them some love.

♥ Nic & Six

A Few Tables Away by Drotuno-rec’d by Everyfreakingbody!
Edward spent most of his life trying to be invisible until he got to college. All alone, 3000 miles from home, there's only one person he wishes would see him. His Library Girl, just a few tables away. Rated M

AB Negative by Ooza-rec'd by Nic
Since making their species known, vampires have been met with varying degrees of acceptance. Bella just wants to meet one. When Edward opens up to her, their relationship takes a turn neither expected. But there are unknown dangers in a world where humans and vampires struggle to coexist, and it isn't always clear who the enemy is. Rated M

Atmosphere by Christie Hart-rec'd by Drotuno
Having been imprisoned for the last twelve years, Princess Isabelle is the last person you'd think to be the savior of the Royal Cullen family, but she is. And she's going to do it. She's going to save them all. Rated M

Buried by Ericastwilight-rec'd by Nic
His reality was made of nightmares. She was plagued by them. Will she conquer her fears in time? Can he protect her? Rated M

EIDOLON by Raggdolly-rec'd by SixDlb5
Shadows and flesh. Humans and monsters. They're the same thing. (Halloween 2015)
Rated M

Everlasting Why by Suitablyironicmoniker-rec'd by Edmazing
A student of social work & her troubled client. Longing to help him, she suspects & soon learns there is far more beneath the surface than she could have ever guessed. & perhaps her motives for helping are more complicated than she's willing to admit. Rated M

Here to Stay by FallingInLoveInDecember-rec'd by Nic
Bella and Jacob have been married for six years when he dies suddenly, revealing a long going affair. Edward is her best friend, Alice, brother in-law who recently moved into town to work at the family law firm. Jasper, Alice's husband knew about the affair and caused Bella to pull away from Alice. Will Edward be able to bring her out of her grief and anger,will her to trust again? Rated M

Hollywood by Allihavetodoisdream-rec'd by CarrieZM
"She's Audrey Hepburn, and he's Cary Grant. She's Marilyn, and he's James Dean. She's timeless elegance, and he's old grace. She's searching, and he's already found, already taken. She's sixteen. And he's twenty-seven. But that doesn't matter. Not to a girl in love. Nothing matters, then." Edward & Bella in the definition of a forbidden relationship. Rated M

Jurisdiction by StillDreaming85-rec'd by Nic
War has ripped the world apart and Bella is living in one of the few cities left in the States. Life is cruel, there is no freedom, food is scarce, and a few people hold all the power. Will Bella be able to survive? Will Edward be able to save her from Mike's snare? Rated M

Que Sera, Sera by Livie79-rec'd by Nic
Isabella's life was nothing more than a series of unfortunate events since the day she was born. For her, monsters are real, love is the fantasy, and fate is a cruel mistress. The future's not ours, to see...what will be, will be. AH ExB Rated M

Rest My Soul by MrsSpaceCowboy-rec'd by Nic
On opposite corners of Third Street and Beale, two lonely people fight to stay that way. Her scars are on the surface, soft on her skin and in her eyes. His run bone-deep, seeped in bourbon and blues. EPOV. Rated M

The American President by Rushed-rec'd by Monica Nopi
As the President of the United States, Edward Cullen finds it difficult to meet women. So his brother secretly employs the services of an escort agency to help fulfill certain presidential needs. Rated M

The Baby Whisperer by Compass54-rec'd by Nic
She manipulated me so easily. Twenty-one, beautiful and curious is a perilous mix. Host's Choice and Judge's Choice in the May to December Romance Contest. Rated M

The Heist by KreativeKreature-rec'd by Evilnat
Have you ever felt like every event in your life is out of your control? Like it's all a lie? Hoax? Sham? "I'm no one, and pretty soon… you will be too." Welcome to The Heist. Rated M

Your Life Can Change in a Moment by Coloradoperson-rec'd by Midnight Cougar
Bella didn't like surprises. Her life was safe, predictable and she knew what to expect until fate brought her breast cancer and everything changed. This is not a tragedy; it's a story about love and hope..because that's what life is all about. Rated M