Despite my general dislike for the heat of the Southern California sun on the plastic slide, or the feel of sand in my adorable shoes, back in May I fell in love with our local park because, one Saturday morning, I overheard two Moms watching their kids play while talking about Twilight fanfiction.
I kept my distance, eavesdropping (completely obviously, no doubt). I am 5’11” – without my heels, mind you – and not easy to miss, especially on a Saturday morning at a gigantic, empty park where I have no business standing five feet away from two women I don’t know. But they kept talking, and after several minutes I surmised that they were talking about The Submissive by tara sue me.
I had never seen these women before but, aside from the TwiFic convo, I knew they were all right because they didn’t look like they lived down street and behind the Hellmouth that barred entrance to The Real Housewives of
The community of TwiFic fans is everywhere. I had an old friend from high school review my story. That was a surreal fucking moment. My best girlfriends – two of whom I love enough to remind them that they are uber-intellectual snobs – actually bought the series so they could know what I’m spending all my time doing now that I no longer email them daily. I have made friends in this community that feel more real than some of the people I see every day at work.
TwiFic ‘s appeal is unbelievably broad. It shows us alternative lifestyles, slash pairings, and emotional confessions that only seem possible in fiction yet somehow trigger us to be more open in our own relationships. It shows us how a personality trait of a loved one can be at once adorable and maddening. It opens our eyes to the generally invisible young and homeless, teaches us a thing or two about ice cream, and makes us grateful for the nights we can fall asleep easily. It makes us think of all the ways we can abandon someone, be forgiving, be possessive without jealousy, and trust when something feels fated.
Who knows what it is about these stories and characters that made us seek out more after the series ended? I’m taking a wild guess that at least 50% of us wanted to gouge our eyes out with a spooned Slurpee straw at
Or maybe that’s just a personal pet peeve.
In any case, we’re here, we’re writing, we’re all obsessed, and safe in that admission with each other. In just a few short months, I’ve come to love this community – all its creativity, all its variety, all its sass. Maybe not the drama, but I’m coming to realize that can’t be helped. It’s that love for this community that made me push – hard – for a Twilight fanfiction panel at the San Diego Comic-Con this year.
I’ll leave the history of the Comic-Con to the official website or the thousands of articles, blogs, and websites devoted to it. I do know enough about the SDCC to know that people positively clamor to get in. The fact that we have a room for our panel (technically it’s a “Fan Group”) is just the fucking coolest thing I can imagine. If you are coming and have never been, or if you are simply curious about Comic-Con, let me assure you that everything you have heard is true:
- You will see someone dressed as a Storm Trooper.
- You will see someone who thinks they are really a vampire (and you will be pretty sure that you do not want them to bite you).
- The lines are hideous and the food is overpriced.
- And, yes, there really is a rule about costumes with weapons. And, yes, it really is almost a page of bullet-pointed things to consider when wearing said costume to the convention.
You will also see 125,000 of the happiest and most excited people all in one place sharing their love for any and all geekdoms. There’s something so fucking real and earnest about the fact that “dressed up” means a
This year our TwiFic Fan Group is starting small. In my head, next year we get Hall H (I kid, I kid), but first we have to demonstrate that there is an audience, an interest, and a sane community that wants to come together.
The group will take questions, discus trends in TwiFic, and meet the fans of their stories. It will be casual and – although I may not get my Bob Barker mic after all – I will be moderating to ensure that we use the hour wisely and pack as much in as we can (stop snickering, pervs).
The 2009 Fangroup includes:
- tby789 (The Office, Twigasm podcast)
- Angel/EZRocksAngel (Creature of Habit)
- AngstGoddess003 (Wide Awake, TLYDF and, of course, listed after Angel because I learn fast and those two are not to be separated upon penalty of death)
- Ninapolitan (The Wingman, Head Bitch in Charge at the Perv Pack Smut Shack, Twigasm)
- Manyafandom (The Arrangement, and Perv Pack Member)
- Bella C’ella Luna (Anticipation and Good & Evil)
- americnxidiot (Cascade & Cyanide)
- Bethaboo (Turning Dust into Gold, Going for the Gold)
- Psymom (founder of Twilighted, author of Stranger than Fiction).
Of course, there were far more authors that I wanted to invite, and it killed me to have to limit it. Honestly, I was raised by hippies: I hate any form of exclusion, even if only by default. This type of group is impossible to build to please everyone because it would be 5,000 writers strong before everyone’s must-have authors were included. All of mine aren’t even in there, not even close. This is a testament to the range and depth of the community and yet another thing that makes me proud to be involved. After my initial probe emails were sent and I received two “no”’s (heart attack), the panel literally filled in less than 48 hours, much to my slack-jawed, shrieking, fangirling surprise. I had no idea how big this would be outside of my world where Comic-Con looms large.
Needless to say, I was blown away and humbled. I’m totally fucking excited.
How the FF Panel Was Created
For some background on how this came about,
The more I've thought about the panel in the last few weeks, the more convinced I am that we need something like this, some legitimate way to educate the public that fanfiction is more than just Mary Sues having badly written smut. The fellow ladies on the panel with me are brilliant writers, and I am honored that I'll be able to share a stage with them as we talk about our work. A year ago, when I first became involved in the Twilight fandom, I never would have thought an event like this was even possible, nevermind that I'd be asked to join. It's an amazing opportunity and I'm so excited to participate.”
So when I was told that this panel was put in the SDCC schedule, my first reaction (as is often the case with me) was absolute elation and Tigger-bouncing. My second reaction (as is also often the case with me) was holyfuckingshit what did I get myself into?
I had been involved in TwiFic for only four months. Do I know this community at all?
How do I go about asking people to be involved?
What kind of range do we want – all over the map, or within a certain genre?
I quickly asked the readers on my thread to list their favorite authors. I looked around for people who were involved in blogs and contests. I tried to look not just for review count, but for interesting stories, and authors writing a mixture of canon, AU, and AH.
But, the truth is that as the responsible party and moderator, I want this to be a success so I ultimately went with what I know. I asked people whose stories I had read, whose activities I had followed, and who had helped suck me into the TwiFic universe.
I decided to build a panel with authors of M-rated stories for a variety of reasons; the primary reason was that we have a limited amount of time, and I want to encourage discussion among authors as much as possible. This seemed to be easiest with authors who all embrace mature, if varied, themes. If you love the composition of the Fan Group, I’m glad. If you think I should have altered the theme a bit, please, let me have it. Hopefully we’ll do this for years to come and we can try something different every year.
So here are the details:
The Fan Group is
Saturday at 10-11am in room 24A. This room seats 100 people. Depending on your experience in classrooms and/or lecture halls, this either sounds like very many seats or very few seats. To me, it sounds like very few given the possible
No hugging, mkay?"
Please note this from the ComicCon website:
There is no one in the room before us on Saturday. Having said that, 100 seats fill quickly. We hope everyone who really wants to come gets to be there.
If you plan on coming, please bring questions or thoughts on the stories, the authors, and the TwiFic world in general. After it’s all over, please send me feedback to let me know what you thought, what worked, and what didn’t. I truly hope that we can do this for years to come, and want everyone to feel ownership over the event.
We can hardly wait; we are, after all, just a reverberating circuit of shrieking fans, more excited to meet other authors than we can possibly articulate. Even if you can’t meet us there this year, we plan to take the entire community with us in spirit and represent the fandom with the appropriate mixture of credible writing and inappropriate joking. Do you trust us?
And now, a letter from our resident Robsessed grumpykins:
Yes, you. You know who you are. The ones that scream and screech when someone says Rob or Edward or Robward. You. I have some words for you.
Stop screaming, chasing, yelling or harassing him in any way, shape or form.
See FanGirls, you are young and do not realize the damage you are doing. I know you think this is the best way for you to lure him to you. To distinguish yourself from the others - that by shrieking his name really, REALLY loudly he will see you, look in your eyes and declare you the love of his life. Right? This is the plan?
Or maybe it’s the fact that once you see him in person you completely lose all sense of yourself and become an idiot. I believe this. My BFF did this last week at the TwiTour in Atlanta when Peter F walked past us to go to the bathroom. She went from normal woman to complete and utter FanGirl in mere seconds.
What did I do? I laughed at her so hard that I almost died. I did. I almost died. Well, after I stopped swooning over his gorgeous self. Because really, he is more beautiful in person than you could ever imagine.
So back to the damage. Do you know Johnny Depp? Sure you do. Pirates, Willy Wonka? Sadly I am older than most of you and I remember him when he was Rob’s age. Maybe younger. He was famous. And young, and had crazy awesome hair and pouty perfect lips. He smoked and was elusive and played guitar. He was amazing. Then you know what happened? He turned wild, hooking up with leading ladies, and only worked on artsy films. Then he wised up, ran to France and married some model but only after hiding out for a few years in an effort to escape the FanGirls.
Yes, the screaming, hysterical FanGirls turned him French. And you know what else? I bet you that model didn’t scream in his face the minute she met him. Yeah she probably had an inner squee but kept it all on the down low, and THAT is how she snagged JD.
So, ladies and girls, we are going to ComicCon next week. Please let’s remember that we all love Rob. We all want to hear his beautiful voice. What I don’t want to hear is YOUR voice screeching in my ear. Because look. IF we get in to see the panel, IF we are blessed to breathe the same air as Rob I REALLY want to be able to hear what he says. I do. I want to hear every single word that comes out of that angel’s mouth and pray that he drops the F-bomb so I can replay it in my head over and over again.
Soooo, please, please, please do me a favor. Scream while you’re in line. Scream after it’s over. Scream into your pillow at the hotel later with your friends. But don’t do it in the auditorium. PLEASE!? Because first of all he has made it very clear that it scares him - he doesn’t like it. And I swear he is one shriek from hopping on a plane and moving to Thailand where he will get involved with harder drugs and stop bathing entirely and shave his head and then become a monk and never be in a movie again and one day I will turn on VH-1 and it will be “Where are they now?” and he will just not be anywhere good. And it will be your fault.