2018 Fandom Achievement Awards

Friday at Noon
The Naked Guy Upstairs
The University of Edward Masen
Under the Apple Tree


- Blinkie by Mina Rivera - 

- Tribute by iambeagle -

When I was asked to write a tribute piece for Amber (107yearoldvirgin), I without a doubt said yes. This would be easy; I love her, know her personally, and have nothing but heartfelt things to say about her as a writer.

Cue the panic.

And where the hell do I start?

We’ll start from the beginning. Well, our beginning. I met Amber near the end of 2011—online, of course. After our first conversation, it was easy to see how she’s able to write such witty, genuine, and heartfelt characters, because she embodies every single one of those traits. And so I quickly decided that yes, I needed Amber to be my homie.

After countless, and insanely ridiculous, conversations online and a handful of real life hang-outs (yes, one of those times includes gallivanting around a graveyard together), I can truly call Amber one of my dearest and most talented friends.

Not only has Amber's warm and honest personality drawn so many people to her, it’s a bonus to the reason we’re really here: her writing.


You know how most people stick to one genre and do it well? Enter Amber, who can write just about anything from humor to angst to drama to fluff. And she doesn’t just do it well; she shines.

For nearly a decade, we’ve been lucky enough to have Amber share with us diverse plots with equally profound people. She creates flawed, realistic characters, ones who are always redeemable. But the most magical part about her writing is that her characters go way beyond the world of Twilight. They translate so well into real people, ones who aren’t named Edward and Bella; characters who are, and always have been, her very own.

Over the years, Amber has gracefully transformed from Twific author to published novelist, and no matter what the plot, she proves each time that she can tackle any subject with sensitivity, ease, and her signature quick wit.

With Puddle Jumping, she dived into developmental disorders with tact and grace, giving us a tender and quirky Colton and a patient and understanding Lilly. This thought-provoking story about unconditional love will steal your heart and leave you with an overall feeling that it’s okay to be different.

With Eight Days a Week, we were introduced to Andrew, the non-committal man-child who finds his purpose after responding to Gwen’s Craigslist ad for a live-in nanny. Laced with humor and some seriously sexy scenes, the back-and-forth between Andrew and Gwen will have you smiling and swooning. In the end, Amber leaves us with the urge to peek into these people’s lives following their happily ever after.

In For Authentication Purposes, we’re gifted a humorous and steamy plot. Dawn, an online historical romance writer, lacks first-hand experience with writing sex scenes. Enter Warner, who’s had a crush on Dawn for years and so generously offers his services to help her. With his wit and confidence, Warner attempts to seduce Dawn, and we’re reminded that Amber can do it all, especially silly and sexy.

Don’t be fooled. Those are just a few of Amber’s highly reviewed novels. No matter what mood you’re in, she’s got you covered. They don’t call her a multi-genre author for nothin’. She Dims the Stars, Maybe, Where We Fell, and Beatless also grace her Goodreads shelves.

Amber, I know I won’t be the first or the last to say how proud I am of everything you’ve accomplished. It’s truly inspiring to watch you flourish as a writer, and we could not be happier to present you with this Fandom Achievement Award. You deserve this, and so much more. Creating an escape for others and putting yourself out there takes guts and raw talent. Your careful curation of stories and characters is truly astounding. Never forget that you’re such a gem to this fandom. We’ll never be able to thank you enough for letting us indulge in your writing, your worlds, and you.

LYLAS, homegirl.


- Blinkie by Mina Rivera - 

- Tribute by JenRar -
(presented without edits)

Whether it's a tortured vampire who returns to his mate and becomes a whole new man, a sexy-as-sin mercenary, a quiet and studious young college student, a rock-n-roller tired of the lonely high life, or a heartbreakingly sad and hurt little boy (and everything in between), Deb (Drotuno) writes the most memorable, perfectly flawed, stunning representations of Edward in the Twilight fandom. And let’s not forget her Bellas… Deb can write the most kick-ass Bella on the planet, even if the poor character had to overcome a horrendous beginning to do it (yes, I’m looking at you both, Angel Bella and Gravity Bella!). Deb clearly doesn’t limit herself to writing a brilliant Edward or Bella. Her supporting characters are always fantastic. Kevin from the Angel Series is one of my personal favorites (he’s the gay best friend we all wish we had), but there’s also poor Archie in Haunted Angel, and Bella’s girls in the Gravity Series, who all kick ass. And of course, we can’t forget the ones we love to hate, too… Jake (almost always!), Carlisle in Nature of Love, and Tanya in the Angel Series. We may hate them, but that’s only because Deb writes them so perfectly.

It’s hard to believe that it was almost a decade ago that Deb posted her first story, An Island in the Sun, about high school friends who found love before splitting up for college, only to reunite six years later. I didn’t know her then. But it was clear from that first story that she had talent. And when I did become her friend, I knew I’d found someone special. Deb has a sharp wit, an even sharper tongue, and she doesn’t put up with…bull poopy. But when she has your back, you know it. And no matter what’s going on in her life, she’s always there to listen when you need an ear and to be a shoulder when you need to cry. And there’s no one else in the fandom who could have partnered with me on the stories we wrote. It feels almost seamless when we write together. Some writing partners use Google Docs, but Deb and I stick to email. And as of this moment, we’ve written millions (literally! 448 pages of email threads with 50 threads each page, and about 100 emails back and forth per thread… Eek!) of emails back and forth. So clearly Deb’s had an important impact on my life.

But it isn’t just me she’s made an impact on. She may not be one of the most vocal in the fandom (this whole thing will embarrass her because ultimately, she’s pretty shy until you get to know her. LOL), but she has shown herself to be a strong supporter in the background, always ready and willing to do what she can for the fandom. Whether you need that shoulder or ear or someone to rant about something with you, she’s there. Every. Time. And if you’ve never had the luck to talk to her personally, most likely you’ve met her through her stories…and that makes us all incredibly lucky. (And if you HAVEN’T read her, what are you waiting for?!)

So Deb, this is my love letter to you. The fandom and I love you dearly. Congratulations on this Fandom Achievement Award. It may not fix all of life’s problems, but I hope knowing how much you are loved and supported at least brings a smile to your beautiful face. Mwah!

Fridays at Noon

- Blinkie by Mina Rivera - 

- Tribute by drotuno AKA Deb - 

When I was asked to put together something for Fridays at Noon, I laughed, because flashes of this story immediately came to mind: nickels and pennies and landmines, for sure. I’ve been active in this fandom for ten years, I’ve read a lot of stories, written a lot of stories, and some are lost forever in my head after the story has ended. Say what you want about popular fics versus the obscure, but if the mere mention of the title brings with it tangible memories or specific lines, then that is a sign of a well written story, whether you liked the plot or not. If something sticks with you—good or bad or otherwise—the writer did their job. They told you a story that you will remember forever, whether you liked how that story went or not.
All of us are here because of the same core story: Twilight. For the majority, we’re here because of Edward Cullen and Bella Swan. Whatever string of the story we grasped onto in the original carries over into the fics we all read and write.
I was around for the big ones—The Office, Master of the Universe, University of Edward Masen, and The Submissive—and some I even read when they were posting. I was late reading Fridays at Noon, so it was complete when I read it the first time, and it’s honestly been years since I’d absorbed the story, which meant I needed to read it again.
Rereading it was so very different this time around. I knew the story, though some parts had been forgotten, but this time I was able to focus on the construction of the story. I was able to concentrate on why this particular fic captured so many hearts.
We all love certain traits of Edward Anthony Masen Cullen from the original book/movie. My fellow writers of him bring those traits over in whatever we write, whether it’s intentional or not. We all know the story: Aloof, handsome guy, who thinks he knows best, gets knocked on his ass by a girl he never knew he needed. I know I’ve brought that idea to the table, changing it and morphing it into something mine. We’ve all tried to enhance, downplay, or magnify character traits of this man and other Twilight characters, and Fridays at Noon does that with flare and originality.
I’m the first one to tell you that symbolism is a strong player in this story. I mean, Pennyward earned his name by the second chapter, and it carries throughout the whole story. The penny and nickel are the most unique symbols I’ve ever read. And because it sets the tone, the foundation, and the give and take of this Edward and Bella, I learned to crave those symbols whenever they were brought up or mentioned.
“If I had a fucking nickel for every time someone has told me they’re sorry today…”
This line sets the mood for when our favorite couple meets for the very first time. He’s abrasive and intimidating. He’s clearly used to being catered to, but it’s Bella’s reaction that counters Edward’s attitude.
Most of this story is told from Bella’s point of view. It sets the voice, really. Bella comes across as someone who isn’t stupid and isn’t afraid of hard work, but at the same time, she’s simply trying to make ends meet while trying to do a job that’s completely new to her. I feel her nerves, being someone who is also unsure when thrust into new things or unfamiliar places. I’m sure it has everything to do with being a touch introverted—most of us writers are, really. And while Edward clearly makes Bella nervous with his rudeness, it only adds to set up the disastrous spilling of wine on a suit that costs more than what Bella could make in several damn months, and you want to throat-punch the spoiled-ass billionaire when he sends her the cleaning bill. However, how Bella deals with the situation is what kept me reading.

I pulled out a shiny nickel and placed it on his desk. "Sorry for spilling on your pants." I reached in and pulled out another nickel. "Sorry for not meeting your standards today. Waitress school was a real bitch." And another. "Sorry you are a pretentious ass, who for some reason thinks that he can yell at people and make them a jittery mess when all they're trying to do is make a living because not everyone in this world can afford to buy eight thousand dollar suits or drink four thousand dollar bottles of wine. Some of us scrape by, having to watch every penny and nickel."

I opened the flap on my bag and dumped the contents onto his desk. One thousand, one hundred and forty nickels to be exact. They spilled over the side of his desk and covered all the papers and folders that were sitting in front of him.
I was asked to explain why this story had such an impact on the fandom, and I couldn’t tell you exactly what parts did it. I could tell you there was a period of time when a broken, sexy, demanding, arrogant Edward was the Edward to write/read, but aside from that, I don’t think that’s the sole reason. I think it’s because this story is a bright, shining golden representation of fanfic, because it takes all the things from the original and meshes it into a beautiful all-human/winding road of a love story, adding a dash of drama, humor, colorful characters, and suspense. It brings the emotionally stunted Edward and the strong, independent Bella together to weave a story that peels apart the tough exterior to reveal puzzle pieces that make up each character I came to love.
Those puzzle pieces bring us to landmines, the most intense symbol of this story.
I don’t know why I was given this particular story, but if I could tie a parallel to me and this author, then it’s the difficulty of writing a character with almost debilitating PTSD AKA landmines. Mine was Sweetness (Bella) from the Gravity Series, and troublefollow1017 does an astonishing job with her Edward, who has been through and survived things no one else in the story can comprehend (except his sister, Alice, who survived it, too). And while he hides his crippling fear behind a temper and a demanding tone, he really is a devastatingly broken young man. He fights his fear of the past by declaring uncomfortable topics as landmines.
It’s a fine line to walk. Is he damaged? Is he worthy of her? Is she worthy of him? Can he redeem himself after such horrible things? Should she even entertain that redeeming? Some readers can’t get beyond his abrasiveness. Some see the whole man. Again, I think this is what makes the story one of the “classics,” as we all call them. There’s no right answer. It’s not as polarizing as some of the stories out there, but Pennyward is quite an ass to absorb, never mind falling head over heels for him. This is the ultimate “you make me want to be a better man” type of love story.
The touch of action/suspense in Fridays at Noon is another thing I can appreciate. I’m clearly no stranger to action or suspense or murder, so I love, love, love this side plot in the story. The unseen enemy, the threat to Edward and eventually Bella, and the possibility that someone could get hurt or killed is cleverly woven into the plotline. It happens when least expected, and it knocks the breath out of you when it comes from nowhere.
I’m such a huge advocate for the “Happily Ever After,” so the fantasy of the frog-turn-prince factor of this story is all the things I live to read and write. I applaud troublefollows1017 for the intricately told story, for attacking a topic not everyone understands, and for her symbols that bind the story to my memory forever. I’m not sure I can speak for everyone, but if I had to guess, it’s those three factors that make it one of the greats. I’m personally grateful she wrote it.  

The Naked Guy Upstairs

- Blinkie by Mina Rivera - 

-  Tribute by Maplestyle -

Much like many others, I cut my fic teeth on Wide Awake. Once I was finished binge-reading every available chapter, I was left feeling lost. What now? What do I do while I wait for the next chapter to update? How do you find more good stories? Maybe ones that aren’t quite so soul-shattering? So I hit up Google to see what I could find, and with one Google search, I found fanfiction gold: Twlighted.
Twilighted was a one-stop shop for those who wanted to find Twilight fanfiction of all genres to read. It was on there that I first discovered AngryBadgerGirl, who dropped one of my favourite stories ever on February 14, 2010, The Naked Guy Upstairs, or TNGUS as Bella calls him.

We open our story with Bella moving into an apartment near Harvard at the start of her senior year.  It’s her first time living alone, and though she’s nervous, she’s a little excited for the venture. When her Wi-Fi fails to work, she takes a trip upstairs to see if her neighbour’s signal might be messing with hers, figuring it would be the perfect time for them to meet. And meet him she does. All of him.

And then when I look at him, I almost jump out of my skin again. Because all I can see is skin. There was a very good looking, very naked man standing in front of me.

Embarrassed, and more than a little flustered, Bella manages to spit out the reason for her visit, and Edward manages to fluster her all the more with his blatant flirting and nudity. What follows their first meeting is a series of run-ins that leave both Bella and the reader equal parts hot, bothered, and a tiny bit disgusted by Edward.

For his part, Edward is sick of bringing random, vapid women to his work functions. He asks Bella to accompany him instead, and she agrees… for a price. As the two get to know each other better, both as friends and intimately, we get to know them better, as well. Is there more to Edward then the playboy gynecologist? What will it take to get wound-up Bella to relax and just enjoy life a little and put down the books?

The Naked Guy Upstairs introduced to the fandom one of the first Manwhorewards, and though typically one wouldn’t root for a manwhore, AngryBadgerGirl managed to create one you didn’t want to just yell at Bella to run far, far away from. She provided a legitimate reason in his fear commitment, but it also quickly becomes apparent that, deep down inside, Edward is a one-woman man. It helps that she provided him with the perfect counterpart in a Bella, someone who had a good head on her shoulders and wasn’t going to allow him to steamroll her.

The Naked Guy Upstairs was more than a story; it was an interactive experience. Some of the characters had a Twitter handle that actually exist to this day, and each time a character would tweet in the story, it would appear on their Twitter profile, as well. You can look them up at @BadKittykillkil or @DrWhoHaHa.

For all intents and purposes, The Naked Guy Upstairs is complete. We were left in a very good place, and there really are no questions that were left unanswered. That being said, I would probably do a million cartwheels if AngryBadgerGirl ever came out of retirement and gave us the epilogue I have always dreamed of. You know, Smoosher and his Brown Eyes and their 2.5 children. 

The University of Edward Masen

- Blinkie by Mina Rivera - 

- Tribute by Jennifer Locklear AKA AquariumJenn AKA Miss Cranberry -

In March 2009, I was guarding a secret. At the age of 35, I’d developed an unconditional and irrevocable obsession with Edward Cullen.
As a native of the Pacific Northwest, I’d been aware of Twilight for years, but only noted the filming of the first movie near my home in Oregon with mild interest. I wasn’t one of those eagerly anticipating the onscreen debut of the Cullens. Although, to my credit, I rented the movie from Blockbuster the same day it was released on DVD.
(The world has changed a bit since then.)
I first watched Twilight in my living room along with my husband, Morgan. When it was all said and done, we liked it. I returned the DVD the next day and assumed that was the end of it. But then this weird thing happened in my brain. As the days moved on, I couldn’t stop thinking about Edward and Bella. I needed more of their story.
One night, on my way home from work, I stopped by the local bookstore. When I asked for Twilight, I was informed all copies were sold out, but the clerk presented me with New Moon. Having already seen the movie, I figured it was okay to move on to the second book. That night, after dinner was made and the family settled, I curled up on my blue sofa for what I expected to be a magical continuation of a supernatural love story that had taken hold of me.
My bliss was obliterated by four words …
When Edward left Bella in the forest, I literally flounced the book across the living room. And then I called my sister-in-law (who had read the series) and chewed her out for not warning me about this disastrous turn of events. She took my meltdown in stride and then calmly reminded me that there were more books in the series. She promised me the hell of New Moon would all be worth it in the end. She wasn’t wrong, but even after I finished Breaking Dawn, I still wanted more. I found and devoured the unfinished manuscript for Midnight Sun, and then there was nowhere left to go.
I quietly observed that no one my age possessed the same mania for Edward Cullen I did. I was now a lone, unsatisfied Twi-Hard in my local community. All I could do was turn my attention to the movies and wait for the upcoming theatrical release of New Moon.
Remember when Peter Facinelli bet his friend that he couldn’t get 1 million Twitter followers in a few days’ time? Yeah, Bikini Rob still owes me his thanks for losing that one. But considering how that bet changed the course of my life, I guess we’ll call it even.
In June 2009, I opened my Twitter account, @AquariumJenn. No one in my real life was on Twitter, and so the site became a safe haven. I logged on to keep up with all the latest franchise news, far away from any potential prying eyes. I spent the next six months being incognito. Even in the relative safety of my timeline, I chose a handle that didn’t draw attention. Convinced that all Twilight fans were teenage girls, this wife, mother, and career woman didn’t believe she’d ever fit in with the community. As time went on, I noticed braver fans chatting with each other, many of them often referring to FF. The mysterious code was frequent cause for excitement and had something to do with the characters I’d come to love so much. But I couldn’t quite put the pieces together on my own and was too content in my lurker status to ask.
That all changed when I crossed online paths with a fellow Twilight fan in Portland. Here was someone living nearby, just a little younger than me, and also tweeting about FF with regularity. Sometime around New Year’s Eve, she asked what I was up to and I replied that I was home, bored. She tweeted back, suggesting I pick up a good FF. I asked her to explain what that was, and she immediately replied with a link to a one shot that had been written for the Fandom Gives Back fundraiser. Here was a new short story about Edward and Bella set in an alternate universe. I can’t remember the title or the author, but it was well-written and brought me to tears. When I finished reading the one shot, I went back to my friend, interested in more.
Her next link arrived with a disclaimer: “This story has a Domward, so it’s not for everyone, but I love it!” I didn’t know what a Domward was, but I assured my friend that I didn’t scare easily. And thus, I was introduced to a brooding CEO and his Red Room of Pain. While Master of the Universe wasn’t canon, this version of Edward consumed me just as much as the original character had.
Suddenly, my Twitter account was opening many doors. Between MoTU updates, I finally started interacting with other readers online, and because I was such a huge fan of Fifty, I started following the author, @SQicedragon. Meeting Twilight fans from all over the world through Fan Fiction was an unexpected surprise. An endless number of TwiFics were waiting to be discovered, but I was convinced none would connect with me like Master of the Universe had.
By January 2010, I was becoming well-versed in Twilight FF. This was when I learned of another story that was capturing the fandom’s excitement. People were tweeting about The University of Edward Masen. Their passion for a character nicknamed “The Sinward” was unavoidable. I was intrigued, but much like my initial response to the Twilight books, I noted this fic’s existence with passing interest. I added UoEM to my mental TBR list, but never quite got around to looking it up.
One Saturday morning, @SQicedragon excitedly tweeted about the latest UoEM update. I concluded that if she was liking the story, then I probably would, too. I clicked on the link provided in her tweet, thinking I’d read a few chapters before moving on with my day.
From the opening lines, it was clear that Sebastien Robichaud was a talented storyteller. While most TwiFics took place in Forks or Seattle, UoEM was set in Toronto, automatically standing out from the crowd. The writing was intelligent and graceful. Reading each scene was effortless, yet each paragraph was constructed with intricacy. It felt as if every word was chosen with precision. Each plot point was a critical piece of a growing mystery. I visualized every detail as it was revealed to me, and when I reached the end of a chapter, I barely blinked before moving on to the next one.
When I arrived at Chapter 6, I discovered this introductory note from the author:
With this chapter, the labyrinth takes a left turn; time flows backwards and then stands perfectly still.
In other words, the following chapter is a flashback.
Looking back, this was the moment when a really good fic transformed into an unforgettable love story.
“Through an opening in the trees, they entered a clearing that was carpeted in thick grass. Wildflowers in purple and white grew haphazardly across the meadow. The air was quiet and vibrated with peace.
"This is it." Edward gestured widely. "This is Paradise."
He pulled Bella to a large rock that stood inexplicably at the edge of the meadow and lifted her by her waist so that she was perched on top of it. Then he climbed to her side.
Bella shivered. The rock was cold in the shade of the setting sun and was already sending chills through her thin jeans.
Edward shrugged out of his jacket and placed it around her shoulders. "You'll catch pneumonia and die," he said absently, placing an arm around her and drawing her close to his side. His body heat radiated through his bare arms and his t-shirt, warming Bella immediately.
She inhaled deeply and then sighed with contentment, marvelling at how well she fit under the crook of his arm and into his side. As if she had been made for him.
"You're Beatrice."
"Dante's Beatrice."
Bella flushed. "I don't know who that is."
Edward chuckled to himself, his breath warm against her face as he nuzzled her ear with his nose. "Didn't they tell you? Didn't they tell you the prodigal son is writing his book on Dante and Beatrice?"
When Bella didn't answer, he brought his lips to the top of her head and brushed a gentle kiss against her hair. "Dante was a poet. Beatrice was his muse. He met her when she was very young and he loved her from afar his whole life. Beatrice was his guide through Paradise."
Bella's eyes were closed as she listened to his voice, inhaling the scent that clung to his skin. He smelled of musk and sweat and beer, but Bella ignored all of those distractions and focused solely on the scent that was Edward, something very masculine and potentially dangerous.
"There's a painting by an artist named Holiday. You look like his Beatrice." Edward reached down and brought her pale little hand to his lips, kissing her skin reverently.”
At some point in the day, I interrupted my reading to leave an anonymous review. My first words to SR were brief, but something along the lines of how much I was blown away. I went on to say that I couldn’t believe I was reading fan fiction and how lovely it was to be introduced to the city of Toronto. This was a story worthy of publication, and I wanted SR to know that. I gave the author these brief thoughts, and then I returned to the fic. I spent that weekend reading every last word, until I was caught up with the rest of the fandom (and gaping like a codfish along with Bella over “the barest glimpse of the most beautiful gluteus maximus muscles”).
I won’t lie. By the time Professor Masen dropped that purple towel, he was giving Fifty some serious competition. I was falling hard for The Sinward, and I was completely unprepared for this. Torn between two alpha FF boyfriends, I wasn’t able to choose just one.
I was soon grateful that SR published a new chapter almost every Saturday because the days in between each new installment dragged. Unlike @SQicedragon, SR was nowhere to be found on Twitter. Word on the timeline was that the popular author was an introvert and only frequented social media via an author account on FanFiction.net and the UoEM story forum on Twilighted.net. Eager to soak up more about the incredible fic and its author, I indulged my curiosity and found the thread.
I took a brief glance at the posts there and then made up my mind to never post a word of my own. I’d been reading an intellectual story, so it was natural that lively book discussion would evolve. But the readers posting on Twilighted had taken the UoEM talk to a level I’d never encountered. They spent the days in between postings analyzing the current chapter in any number of ways. Ivy League quality discussions took place about Dante and Beatrice, the symbolism of the art and music highlighted, speculation on where everything was ultimately headed between The Professor and Isabella, and even whether or not Peter was a serial killer in the making. I’m decently intelligent, but there was no way I could insert myself into the ongoing discussions without dumbing them down.
I returned to Twitter, where I ended up connecting with one of the regular Twilighted posters. Once she realized what a fan I was, she encouraged me to join her and her friends on the thread. I hesitated, sharing my concerns. Instead of shrugging me off, she took the extra time to put me at ease, convincing me it would be all right to introduce myself. Little by little, I began adding my own posts to the thread, and in the process, I found a magnificent group of friends. After ten years, many of us are still in daily touch and have even left the relative safety of our monitors to meet up in person. I’ve traveled throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe to hug my online sisters in person (and share a Slortini or three).
Beyond that, I made another important friendship.
One Saturday, I read something in UoEM that forever changed how I felt about the story and Sebastien Robichaud. All these years later, I still struggle to articulate that moment. It took my breath away? It broke my heart? It profoundly moved me? All those things certainly, but also so much more than that. Unable to remain incognito any longer, I took a chance. I sent a private message to the elusive SR, sharing how much this story was resonating with me, not knowing what to expect in return. To be honest, I was just proud I hit the send button instead of the delete key.
The next time I logged on to my computer, SR’s thoughtful and kind reply was waiting for me. I could hardly believe my own eyes. Here was an author I’d come to admire so much, taking the time to chat with me. A decade later, we’re still in touch. I’ve watched proudly as SR took a captivating FF and transformed it into an international best seller, minus a detail here and there ...
“In the next room, near the large and formal dining table, stood an ebony grand piano. Bella took in its richness and expanse and wondered if Edward still played. Esme had kept a baby grand piano tuned and at the ready in case Edward visited. She had covered her piano with photos of her children.
Edward's piano was bare except for two things; a large, crystal vase and an ornate silver tray that held various crystal decanters, each filled with amber coloured liquids, a crystal ice chest and crystal old-fashioned glasses. Silver ice tongs completed the vignette, angled across a stack of small, square white linen napkins with the initials E. A. M. embroidered on them. Bella giggled to herself when she envisioned what those napkins would look like if Edward's last name had been, say, Turner.
Bella thought it very strange to turn a piano into a bar, but it was Edward's condo and perhaps that was the way he wanted it.”
Today, eight of Sylvain Reynard’s novels have a place of honor on my favorite bookshelf. I eagerly await the release of The Professor’s fourth book, Gabriel’s Promise, later this year, and soon, we’ll all get to see Prof. Gabriel O. Emerson come to life onscreen, following in the footsteps of Christian Gray and Edward Cullen.
My recollection is one in a fandom of thousands. It’s crazy to look back and see how much our fascination with Twilight impacted our lives. It’s surreal to have witnessed a reading phenomenon emerge first in the FF community and then expand out into pop culture. And it’s astonishing how this worldwide online community still welcomes this unremarkable resident of the Oregon coast with open arms, giving me a reason to smile each and every day.
Kindness is never wasted.


- Blinkie by Mina Rivera - 

- Tribute by pattyrose –

Let’s be honest. Who, as a Twilight fic writer, hasn’t squealed with delight when hitting “Complete” on a fic and then woken to find you’ve been tagged in a post by Joanne Riddy/Scott, the woman behind the wonderful TwiFanfictionRecs? We know why we get so excited. It’s because if TwiFanfictionRecs is tagging you to let everyone know your story is being rec’d on her blog, the story has made it into the Twi fandom big leagues. For Twific, there are few, greater honors.  

Being on the reader’s side of TwiFanfictionRecs posts is no less exciting. Who, as a Twific reader, hasn’t dropped everything—a major deadline, a latte, maybe even a baby or two—the moment a recommendation post comes in from TwiFanfictionRecs?

Scientific polls aside, at any given moment, there must be literally hundreds of Twilight fic works-in-progress on Fanfiction.com. Imagine, then, what a feat it is for the few stories which are recognized and recommended by TwiFanfictionRecs. From among all the copious stories, those are the few which stood out to a blog whose comprehensive compilations and recommendations have throughout the years become the benchmark for the fandom. Because being recommended by TwiFanfictionRecs is just the beginning of what this wonderful site does with Twific stories.

When I first began gathering my thoughts on the main points I wanted to make regarding TwiFanfictionRecs many achievements and fandom contributions, the list in my mind was awe-inspiring and impressive. However, it wasn’t until I actually sat down to write that I realized how utterly overwhelming and how much work is involved in all of TwiFanfictionRecs tasks and achievements.

Let’s begin with one of the most popular features of TwiFanfictionRecs:  the Top Ten Monthly Poll. As I mentioned, being recommended on the blog is a huge honor in and of itself, but it doesn’t stop there. Every month, TwiFanfictionRecs gathers the top stories completed that month and creates a public voting poll for the top ten fics of the month. So, when I mention the squealing that goes on when tagged for being rec’d on the blog, imagine, if you will, the collective shrieks at the beginning of each month when authors are tagged for being nominated in this poll.

But, again, TwiFanfictionRecs doesn’t stop there. The nominations are announced all over social media, then Joanne posts reminders on the thread, while readers and authors alike post their thrill, their honor, their anticipation, and their exhilaration day after day for an entire month. That excitement builds, and then BAM!

The poll closes.

Winners are announced, and I’m not even going to get into the fist-pumping that goes on at that point. Winners of monthly polls are then included in the Top Ten Completed Fics of the Year poll. Guys, having been included in these polls, I can tell you firsthand that the honor of being included never goes away or diminishes.

But there’s so much more to TwiFanfictionRecs beyond these wonderful polls; so much so that it would take pages and pages to include everything this delightful blog entails. Nevertheless, I’ll try.

TwiFanfictionRecs is a veritable and amazingly well-organized compilation/anthology/collection/assembly, etc. of all things Twilight fanfiction. When preparing for this award presentation, I went through my email and found emails going back to when I first opened my email account, from Joanne, tagging me on a poll, and I smiled to myself. TwiFanfictionRecs archives and links stories from years and years back. The stories are categorized by every manner imaginable. Seriously, by every. single. manner. imaginable.

You can search stories by year completed, by month completed, by genre (you want abduction or zombies?), by word count (you want a shorty story or a life-overtaker?), by contest (you want a dirty-talking Edward or a May-to-December romance?), by pairing (whatever floats your boat), by point-of-view, by rating (lemons or no lemons?), and by my personal favorite categories: type of Edward and Bella (because who doesn’t wake up in the mood for a Constructionward or for a Doctorella?)

What’s more, TwiFanfictionRecs ain’t stingy. The blog shares the fandom love by including updates for other blogs. It creates banners for stories, it allows readers to rate and review stories which have been featured on the blog, and it provides links for different mediums for downloading fics (a wonderful addition). The blog gets its word out on other platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Goodreads.

And another personal favorite feature of mine is TwiFanfictionRecs’ “On This Day…” posts, which are reminders of fics published on specific dates—a year, two years, or even seven years ago.

*Wipes forehead*

I’m exhausted from just trying to mention all the amazing features of the blog. I know I’ve missed some. Of course, I have. There’s just too much to include, too much to gush about without completely taking over this year’s achievement awards. Seriously, TwiFanfictionRecs, how do you do all this?! The time and effort and dedication to keeping the blog and posts running year after year, month after month, and on a daily basis… It’s mind-boggling.

Suffice it to say, if you’re an active part of this fandom, you know about TwiFanfictionRecs, and you know that the blog is everywhere and involved in everything Twilight fic. TwiFanfictionRecs is a Twific legend, deservedly so, and for all the work she does, Joanne is my hero. Just recently, TwiFanfictionRecs celebrated its seventh birthday. Happy, happy birthday, darling, and many more!

So, TwiFanfictionRecs, after years and years of my being a dropper of deadlines, lattes, and babies when a rec comes through and a squealer when one of my stories is the actual rec, after years of being on the receiving end of your honors, it’s thoroughly my honor to thank you on behalf of all of us. On behalf of the entire fandom, I present you with this little write-up, which we hope gives you an inkling of our gratitude, though it’ll certainly never be enough to convey what you mean to us.  

Side note: As I write this, I received a Twitter notification from TwiFanfictionRecs, and I immediately clicked over. I read it, smiled, checked my mail, and found two new followers to the story just rec’d by TwiFanfictionRecs. Then I came back and kept writing while TwiFanfictionRecs tagged me on Facebook. True story. *smiles* 

Under the Apple Tree

- Blinkie by Mina Rivera - 

-  Tribute by Sil Simoes - 

When I was first asked to do this, I really had to pause and think about it.  Due to things going on in real life, I’ve felt out of the fic game, having not read anything new in months.  I have a Gmail folder full of updates that gives me anxiety every time I think about it.  Then I thought, “You know what? I’m going to do this for me.  I am going to make time.”  Before I started reading, I decided to log back on to fanfiction.net and dive into my safe place.  I checked my profile and couldn’t help but laugh, because it says I’m in my “dirty thirties” and I haven’t been in my thirties for years!  That’s how long I’ve been around!

For those of you who know me, angst is my jam (and slash, but that’s a different story).   I want to get my heart ripped out, I want to feel the pain in my gut, but I also like a happy ending.  This brings me to a Twific classic, Under the Apple Tree by danieller123. I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, just in case there’s one of you who hasn’t read this one yet.  In a way, I envy those who read this story once it was complete.  I had to suffer through updates—the kind of updates you run to the bathroom at work to read on your phone because you can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Summary: Love that hurts can sometimes heal. Ever wish you could go back and change something
you did in life? Bella does.

Bella is broken and working as a stripper in a shady club that allows for “opportunities to make extra cash.”  She drinks too much in order to feel nothing but, in turn, ends up feeling everything.  Edward appears to be perfect; pediatrician, organ donor, the son of not one but two doctors, has his own practice but still helps his father cover shifts at the hospital. 

Then there’s a random meeting, then another, and another.   

At first, you think, okay, this is a knight-in-shining-armor story where Edward comes to save poor, helpless Bella from herself.  But you soon realize that Edward may be just as broken—broken in a different way, but nevertheless broken. He has secrets.   As the relationship progresses, you start to wonder who’s actually helping who.  There is always a push and pull, one step forward and two steps back.  There are also twists and turns thrown at them, from family to from friends to Bella’s former “customers.”   There’s a baby, infertility, adoption, a disability, crooked ties, park benches, apple trees, picnics, life, death, redemption, and love.  Of course, there are happy moments, funny moments in between the heartache. These help ease the pain of when things hurt, because when they hurt, it’s the kind of hurt you feel in your gut, just like I like it.

“I hate him and I hate him and I hate him. He holds me and I hate him. He tries to wash my face and I hate him. He is being Edward and I hate him.”

I could read a sentence like that over and over and not get sick of it.  I didn’t expect to get so sucked in during the re-read.  I felt all the feels all over again, just like the first time, even though I know what would happen in the end! 

Then there’s this one:

And she smiles like a shy girl. Her cheeks flush and she is not the same Bella. I reach down and take her hand from her lap. She looks scared and it's too funny, but I don't laugh. She stands up as I pull her. One hand around hers. One hand on her hip. The thick coat is awkward. Her hand in mind. Her other hand on my shoulder. I move slow. I lead her and I'm sure she hates it. She likes being in control of men and she has none. She knows I won't back down and she hates it. She looks scared. She looks vulnerable. She looks like the girl she should have been.

On its face, it’s a nice image—they’re dancing—but once you read it again, you realize it’s actually quite sad.   In this one moment, you see what Bella’s life could’ve been had life been kinder to her.        
This is what danieller123 does so well in Under the Apple Tree. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and bitter, happy and sad. It’s just like real life.  So go ahead, pour yourself a glass of wine, put on your Snuggie, grab a box of tissues, and pick up a first aid kit for your feels.  You will thank me later!
I accidentally fell into this fandom, but looking back, it’s exactly what I needed at the time, and it’s what I need right now.  Thanks you, danieller123, for the heartache and pain, and thank you, fandom, for keeping me sane!

(I want to give a shout out to the TwiFic Fandom Awards staff, not only for asking me to do this but for keeping us going.   Like I always say, “Fandom is family.”  And if I’m being honest, I like most of you more than I like my biological family.)  

1 comment:

  1. You all made me cry with your inspiring words. Just like the song, "Have you found my letters and read each one out loud?"
    Do you realize what it's like for me, a mere mortal who could not write to save her life, read all those brilliant stories and make feeble attempts to convey my pleasure, my gratitude for all the awesomeness you authors bestow upon me? It's so frustrating! Not to mention the barrier of a language with a completely different structure and prose (don't you know it Sil, my fellow countrywoman). And BANG! thanks to the amazing Mariah Hajile here you are with the words I always wanted to say.
    Thank you ladies, from the bottom of my heart. *bowing in reverence*