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

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