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

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