Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy Trails

So, TWIO is done. I've clicked the "Complete" box on FFn. I'm 40% sad, 60% relieved.

You may or may not have noticed that the EPOV of the shooting didn't post as I previously mentioned it would. I'll explain why further down in the post.

There were only a couple of questions PMed to me, so I'll start off with those.

From Sarah: "I was just wondering how Edward felt being only friends with Bella, and Bella with Edward. I mean, did they still think of each other as the great loves of their life? Or did they move on and just think of each other as someone they used to love? Usually in fic, when E/B break up, they never love who their with as much as they loved each other, so I was wondering if that was how you pictured your E/B, or did they truly move on and not have that typical E/B "no one can compare love."

Also- do you think if Edward hadn't died E/B would have eventually got back together?"

By the end of the story, both were perfectly OK and happy with their friendship status. They both recognized that they had a great love, but it was in the past. They grew up, became adults, and moved on. Of course, one never forgets their first love, but they each took life lessons from that experience to better their future relationships. They didn't have that lingering "I want to get back together with E/B" feeling. They did, however, have the "What if?" bug. It's only natural, though.

No, they wouldn't have gotten back together.

From War123: "
I was wondering what were Edward's last thoughts or regrets. Bella or Angela."

I think enough time had passed that Edward didn't have any regrets at the front of his mind when he died. I'm sure, though, that in the back of his mind, he regretted the way his romantic relationship with Bella ended. Because Edward was a good guy, I'm pretty sure he regretted how he treated Angela, though his lack of communication with her didn't allow him to voice that. He may have done some deplorable things to and with Angela, but that wasn't his usual nature.

My general thoughts:

Yes, despite his actions, Edward did love Bella. It's possible to love someone and make the biggest mistake possible where he/she is concerned. A lot of people will say, "If he loved her, he wouldn't have cheated." This, unfortunately, I feel only applies in a perfect world. We don't live in one, however. We hurt people we love all the time, intentionally and unintentionally.

Yes, Angela did love Edward. Toward the end of this drama, she wavered on this notion, but that was only because she was trying to come to terms with how it was all ending. Her loving Edward, however, is not an excuse for betraying Bella. Unfortunately, this is all part of growing up. You make mistakes, you learn from them, and you move on.

I have a hard time with the idea that some readers have that Angela never cared for Bella. While her actions were a betrayal of their friendship, Angela did what a lot of girls do and acted on her feelings. When you think with your heart, logic and sensibility are usually thrown out the window. Angela's remorse, guilt, and need to come clean with Bella are evidence that she regretted what she began with Edward, not because Edward didn't necessarily return her romantic feelings but because of what it was going to do to Bella.

Edward was a good guy. For the most part of the story, this incident is all you knew of Edward, because that's how I wrote it. It wasn't until the funeral that you learned about the good deeds he'd done in his life, the good man he was. Making a huge mistake in a relationship doesn't make you a horrible human being. It simply makes you a human being.

I know a lot of people think that only Angela got her HEA. I wholeheartedly disagree with this notion. Is a HEA defined as only a romantic relationship between Edward and Bella? Why? Just because they didn't end up together, it doesn't mean that they weren't happy in their personal lives at the end of the story. Bella graduated college, had a job she enjoyed, she was dating a guy who treated her well. Edward graduated college, was in medical school (something I didn't reveal in the story), learned from his childhood mistake, and was a great boyfriend to Kate.

Some people feel that Angela never received any sort of punishment for what she did to Bella. In fact, a lot of people reviewed and PMed me with ideas that Angela deserved to die. One even said that the only way she could redeem herself is if she committed suicide. Um, what?! First of all, as someone who has dealt with suicide personally, it's not a joke. Wishing someone to commit suicide is an evil and inhumane act. I'm extremely appalled at those that would even suggest such a thing. If eye for an eye is more what one thinks Angela deserved, then Ben cheating on Angela would be more sufficient. That, however, was never going to happen. I know that everyone feels for Bella in this story, because she is, in fact, the victim. This was something that was done to her by two people she wholeheartedly trusted. Karma would be to have Angela feel what Bella felt. But Angela did suffer. Many readers felt that Angela's depression wasn't sufficient enough, but unless you've actually dealt with it, you really can't make that assessment. Depression is extremely serious. It affects you and the lives of those around you. It can lead to suicide. It's definitely not a kittens and puppies subject.

One scene I specifically wanted to address is the conversation Angela and Edward had on the curb after Bella left town. Quite a few people felt that it was out of character for either of them to sit down and speak rationally and calmly. First, is everybody assuming that Angela and Edward have never spoken to each other before or even during the affair? Angela was Bella's best friend, and Bella was with Edward. If the three of them partied, hung out, and went to classes together, Angela and Edward would have to have some semblance of a friendship. Otherwise, they'd look ridiculous. Even if the affair had never happened, Bella would be suspicious of something if her best friend and her boyfriend -- who hung out together with her and showed no ill will toward each other -- never spoke. If you reread, it states that Angela and Edward didn't speak to each other when it was just the two of them during the affair. Outside of that, they had what would appear to be a normal friendship brought together by Bella.

Edward's death. This is a big deal for those who continued to read. I lost a lot of readers when that chapter posted. It's a hard limit for some, and I completely understand why people would flounce. Some were nice about it, sending PMs that they couldn't continue, while others were unbelievably hostile. As I've said before, I underestimated people's love of angst, so I never believed that TWIO would garner any sort of attention. Because of that, I had no flipping idea that the death of Edward would be so *envisions pitchforks and flaming catapults* :/

Did Edward have to die? No. Why did I kill off Edward? Because life sucks and shit happens. As simple and maybe even cynical as that sounds, it's true. Not everything ends in sunshine and roses. Not everyone stays together. Not everyone lives. I like my stories to have elements of reality. Death is one of those elements. Edward's death wasn't a cop out or included for shock value, and I resent those who say it was.

Why I wrote TWIO the way I did:

When I had the idea to write this story, I wanted to write it from the third party's perspective for several reasons. 1. I hadn't come across a Cheaterward fic in which the POV wasn't Edward or Bella's. I wanted to explore the mind of the person who would involve him or herself in an affair knowing that the other party is already in a relationship, 2. I wanted to write a drabble in hopes that it would increase my abilities as a beta/editor. By knowing what my authors go through, I hoped to gain a better understanding of the process and be able to give better, more helpful suggestions to my authors. It's my duty as their friend and beta to offer them my best work, 3. I wanted to test my own abilities as a writer, to see if I have any talent in this area, and 4. I needed my own form of therapy.

*sob story ahead. feel free to skip to "In conclusion"*
Way back in the day when I thought the world was a great place and I couldn't be hurt, I had myself a boyfriend. He was amazing and sweet, and I was super duper in love. So, when he proposed a year and a half into our relationship, I said yes. I didn't hesitate. I didn't have a doubt in my mind that he was the one I was supposed to spend my life with. That changed six months later when I found out he was cheating on me with my "best friend." I didn't catch them fucking or anything dramatic like that, but the amount of trauma to my heart and mind was enough to stay with me to this day. She never apologized or showed any sign of remorse, and at the time, he was happy with his decision. Less than six months later, they broke up. A few months after that, he was in the hospital with kidney failure and had fallen into a coma His mom begged me to visit him, thinking that my presence or whatever would make him wake up. I went and camped out in his room, though I had made it very clear that I didn't want him to know I was there. Thirty-six hours later, he started waking up, and I bailed. Years later, he showed up at my house while I was home for Christmas, and he told me he was getting married in a few months. He asked me to give him a reason to call off the wedding and told me he still loved me. I slammed the door in his face.

To this day, I still have trust issues and this desperate need to be loved. While writing TWIO, I wanted to explore the idea of why I still loved him after what he'd done, why I felt it was OK for me to give in and see him in the hospital. I wanted to know where that bit of strength it took to throw him out of my parents' house came from. I wanted to dive into the third party's mind to see if there is anything that could be deemed as excusable to create that type of hell. And I wanted to know if I would ever be OK again. While I'm not 100% there, yet, writing TWIO has helped me a great deal. You ladies have helped me a great deal. There are no amount of thank yous for that. :)

In conclusion:

I didn't set out to write a story that was necessarily different. I didn't think, "Hey! I'll write a story about Edward cheating and get a shitload of people all riled up in hopes that it becomes a big story." I simply wanted to write something that would challenge me and satisfy the itch I had once the idea for this story popped into my head.

I do have three people I'd specifically like to thank. First, always first and foremost, is EdwardsBloodTpe. I don't know why she agreed to pre-read this. She's a BNA of the non-bitchy, good-hearted variety, and she definitely didn't have to have anything to do with little old me or this story. She was there to keep me going, push my limits, challenge my train of thought, and talk me down from the ledges. My gratitude to her is eternal. Second, to the ever beautiful Kharizzmatik. Your words of wisdom, love, and encouragement during moments when I thought I should just throw in the towel will forever stay with me. To have someone of your level of talent even give me or this story the time of day is astounding to me. Grazie. To my boyband-loving, pirate-writing Tkegl. You are the only person who can ever get me into a WC and actually write. When I wanted to be like, "Enh," you cracked the whip and didn't let me fall behind. You loved and scared me enough to keep going. I pop lock and beatbox my thanks to you.

Fandom For No Kid Hungry:

When I announced that EBT had asked for an EPOV of the shooting, there were a lot of mixed reactions. Some were for it while others were wholeheartedly against it. So, when the lovely @ToTheDreaming asked me to look into and be a part of Fandom for No Kid Hungry, I knew I was about to kill two birds with one stone.

Fandom for No Kid Hungry is a great fandom cause. The ladies behind it have done an excellent job of promoting it and bringing in some of your favorite authors. You can go HERE to see if your favorite authors are participating and to see what is being offered up.

My contribution for FNKH comes in two parts: 1. EPOV of the shooting and 2. Readers' choice outtake.

1. Nothing about this particular outtake is any different for the cause than when I originally announced it. I haven't finished writing it, yet, so I'm not sure how long it's going to be, but I can say that it will be a little heavy on the feelings (at least that's what it's like for me).

2. The readers' choice outtake is just that; an outtake decided on by the readers. It can be from any character's POV (Bella, Edward, Angela, Ben, Esme, Alice, Jasper, etc.) and from any point in the story. You may either leave a comment here or PM me with what you'd like the outtake to consist of. This is a majority rules sort of deal, so the most votes for a particular outtake will be written. If there aren't any suggestions, I'll figure out something to write. The cut off to send me your request for the outtake is May 5. That should give me enough time to construct and write it. I'll announce what the POV will be the next day, May 6.

So, that's it. I'm finally done. I'm sorry it took me much longer to get this post out. Between being in and out of the hospital, the madness that's going on with Jackson, and other RL things, I simply haven't had time to sit down and get all of my ramblings out.

For those who have asked, my next story is E/B and will be fluffy (I need a break from the drama angst can bring). Ms. EBT has gotten the lowdown for it, and she *seemed* excited for it. I hope that feeling remains and passes along to those who choose to keep reading what I write. :)

Again, thank you for EVERYTHING you have done for me with this story. You've made me happy and cry and doubt myself and stronger and rage and appreciate. It was quite the experience to write and post this story. I've learned a lot about myself, my abilities, and the people in this fandom, both good and bad, and they will stay with me. <3

Con Amor Siempre,