I talk about this fic a lot, but today is the author’s birthday so I’m going to keep going and you’re all going to listen and then you’re going to go to the author and tell her happy birthday. Got it?
A few years ago, I opened up Empty Skies. Wanted to read it. Heard so many great things about it. Fuck, that word count. I’m bad at reading long fics. I hate getting invested in something so monumental because if it doesn’t have the closure I expected at the end, I’m disappointed. I hesitated to start the story. I read the first 1000 words or so and said fuck it. I don’t have time for this. Put it down for a few months. But, as fantastic stories tend to do, it continued to come back around. Finally gave in. I was a nanny at the time. I’d sit with my baby and rock him to sleep and lower the brightness on my phone and read (nanny of the year award). It didn’t take long before I was sucked in. Eventually stopped caring if it didn’t have the closure I wanted. Just wanted to keep reading and living in this universe. I’m a notorious skimmer. Didn’t do that once with Empty Skies. Read every word. Devoured it. Took me forever to finish it. When it was over, I felt this hurt in my chest that I relished in. A good hurt. I felt privileged that someone could come produce those kind of ideas and publish them for free, for us. Empty Skies set me back two weeks in homework. I couldn’t bring myself to do actual work when I knew that story was waiting for me to be read. I never told her this, but it also sparked the first fic I ever wrote (now abandoned, and total shit). I wanted to see if I could illicit the same kind of ache - the one that leaves you mulling and thinking and nostalgic. I have a lot of reasons for wanting to write, but Empty Skies pulled the trigger.
But she’s more than just her stories. That just happens to be where my love started.
Someone confused me with her a while back. I was honored. Shai reblogged the post and tagged it with “Shelly knows who I am?” Girl. Please. Floored (and confused) that you think someone like me has never heard of someone like you.
Shai, you have a beautiful mind and soul. You encouraged me (as I’m sure others) to tap into their creative side and dig deep. I’m thankful for you. Celebrate yourself today. It’s much deserved. Thank you for all you’ve done and know you’re very loved.
Have a beautiful birthday, @greenfeelings ❤️