Thanks and personal notes. Which kind of got out of control.
Most of my personal notes up here tend to be vague references to that thing we call Real Life. Or tales of me being a complete nutter. Things that don’t or can’t be posted elsewhere. Tumblr for me is one of those last places around where I am completely anonymous (well, except for those few who have weaseled their way into my Real Life but promise to keep my secrets), and can be my completely fractured self. In the last year, it has been a place of release and healing in ways that most of you will never understand.
I wanted to post just a quick thank you for the notice of a Highclere Award nomination that arrived in my email this morning, but things (i.e., my emotions) have tumbled completely out of control, so you get a bit more of an honest glimpse of the person behind the screen name. I ended up falling asleep last night as Lupita finished her acceptance speech and woke a few hours later with my phone on my face. I managed to roll over, plug it in and fall into an additional 12+ hours of much needed sleep. As such, I have things in my queue you’ve already seen that will be posting today. Sorry (not sorry).
It also meant that I didn’t get to read until this morning the final chapter of Strangers that lala-kate sent as I fell unconscious last night. And I’ve been weeping ever since. Strangers was not a story I could bring myself to read when it first showed up – the loss of M/M hurt too much (it still does), and the first chapter with 1 year old George nearly destroyed me for weeks, though not because of the fiction, but because of the reality of being way too close to the loss in my life. And this was sometime back in August or September when I tried to read it. Truthfully, I was only able to jump in somewhere around Chapter 19, and go from there, and it was only a few months ago my soul became fully invested as a last minute invite to join lala-kate & gazelle-legs in a Friday night session of writing prompts has become the longest conversation ever. We’ve never stopped talking since that night, and I honestly don’t know how I would have gotten through the last couple months without their shoulders to lean on.
But I’m jumping ahead in my thanks. I want to do this properly, but I’m sure to leave someone out and be disorganized, but I’ll see if chronologically if I can’t figure this out.
To orangeshipper, whose fics were some of the first I found in the pre-S3CS hiatus after marathoning all 3 seasons. This then led me to tumblr and the selling of my soul. Her painfully honest and open approach up here has led to many a conversation that happily has turned to constant text messages which are closer to novels as characters and motives are analyzed and reanalyzed, and plot “but only if!” and “what ifs” are discussed and explored. She has become an invaluable sounding board for me, and I’m honored to be able to beta some of her writing, never mind have her look at mine.
To nicky-nacky-noo who was one of the first on tumblr I ever messaged privately, and found a delightful and equally snarky fan-girl on the other side. Things quickly dissolved into texts back and forth, and she is the one who encourage me to start writing fic in the first place. I fed her dribs and drabbles and she keyboard smashed in response. I don’t know how or why the messages suddenly stopped, and despite the gaping hole and pain in my heart because of that, my start in DA fic will always lead back to her, and now bittersweet memories.
To shiparker who was also willing to be fed my writing in small bits, even though she had jumped that ship before it sank. Her notes of encouragement, fic ideas, and fierce loyalty is something amazing and inspiring – especially when I have wanted to throw in the towel on it all. She is my precious dragon of protection, and this fierce mama could not be prouder.
To R. Grace, who accepted that message of mine on ff as I went searching for a beta, and was terrified to ask anyone, but found her posting on ff.net saying she was available. I’m still pinching myself that she said yes, and she has been incredible to take those last minute emails saying “I HAVE SOMETHING I WANT TO POST PLEASE BETA BECAUSE I’M SO EXCITED!" I wish we had more of a chance to talk outside those quick blips, and I’m hoping as life settles down at some point for both of us, we can have some more serious conversations. Because plot: it is that I lack.
To chickwriter who has so graciously held off on taking out a restraining order on this crazy fangirl. Though I am much better now, and only say that to tease her (mostly). But what her writing did to me during 2am panic attacks was some kind of wonderful catharsis. I know I sent many a rambling fan mail with pieces of my soul clinging to them to try and convey to her how very much her fic meant to me. Her encouraging notes along the way have made me wish for more conversations and ideas. Hers is writing I read and want to chop my hands off after and burn all my fic. Instead I go back and reread six million times, because they always tell you to read more of those you want to write like. And god, she is a story-teller like no other with a clean and efficient style that makes me hate myself. ;) (also, my flailing when she followed me up here was epic. The fact she left me a review on a fic??? I can’t begin to think about that or I’ll dissolved into a puddle of gibberish)
To oneithersidetheriverlie who knows just when I need a note to pick me up. Her writing still blows me away, and is something I can only take in small doses because it does something to my very being that makes me want to find the nearest cliff to push my worthless writer-self off of. Her words become a feast for the senses, and remind me to push myself harder to be more honest with what it is I want to bare on the page.
To piecesofnever/ofravenwings who has known me for over a decade now. Over a decade. Oh, the messed up infants we were on LJ back then…. We may not have constant text conversations of emails flying back and forth, but I think it was established a long time ago that we are sisters stuck on the other side of the world from each other. I don’t think she realizes how much she inspires me as a writer and as a woman, but I know that she is a solid foundation to a part of me that is very fragile.
To eternallyromantic who has shown me the power of a drabble, and the beauty of AU. I was never, ever in to AU until I reading her fics and now…. Well, now I have too many ideas and too little time. I need to learn from the master of the drabbles and follow in her stead as it is the only way I will ever be able to share some of the fic running around my head.
And of course to the partners in crime who started off this note, lala-kate & gazelle-legs. I remember being stunned when gazelle-legs started following me – she was one of the "cool kids” in the fandom, and then she started sending me fan-mails that had me cracking up. And she was there for every episode of fangirlitis, each of us propping the other up with our flailing. And lala-kate was of course far too sophisticated and talented to follow me, or me to follow, but I was stalking her the whole time. To be asked to exchange fic prompts with? You must be kidding! Instead, I have found two sisters so very much like me, at just the time when I would need them most. The prompt ideas they continue to fling at me on a daily basis (oh look, there goes another coconut bra and grass skirt) is close to causing a meltdown as I try and balance time away from the computer and the desire to write it all. We might joke and tag things The Bacon Mafia, and goodness only knows what our collective reputation is up here. But jokes and silliness aside, I have found two of the most beautiful and strong women whose faith, support, laughter, and tears have finally given me that safe place to fall that I need so very much. My grief and pain are far from over, but I know I have those who are going to help me on that journey no matter how long it takes to put a soul back together. Thank you for finding those pieces of me that I lost, those pieces I was missing, and those bits I’ve ignored. The tears I’m shedding as I’m trying to find words write now will have to suffice to how much you both mean to me.
And, I have to say it, to Julian Fellowes who has created characters and a story that has consumed my soul and given us all the basis for our happy place of fic. Weaknesses and flaws there may be, but then, we wouldn’t have room for fic to fill in gaps, have head-canon fixes for characters, or any bit of the wonderful world of Downton to explore. (and if he answers me back on tumblr, I’ll be entering a witness protection program and bid you all a fond adieu….)
But to ALL of you, every single follower, everyone who has sent a note, left a review, you don’t know how much that means to me. To take the time to read my own little imaginings, and then take that extra second to say you like them means everything. I am not a secure writer, and still have a lot of rust to scrape off. But you all help me to do that and you are all what makes this fandom, as fractured and crazy as it can be at times, the most wonderful and supportive one.
Know that I am always hosting a party of thanks in the Pillow-Fort of Happiness ™ and you are all invited to pop in at anytime and share. I admire and adore you all, and really want to know you all better. So raising a glass of red wine in thanks to you all, come and let me seduce you Mary seduces her men. You have your choice of sandwiches or scrambled eggs, or both if you would like.