It is such an honor to be invited to contribute to the Reader's Series of this lovely blog! Thanks for giving me a little space to thank some of the authors who have left a deep impression on me.
I guess I should start with what led me to this fandom. In contrast to many of you, I kind of came late to the world of fan-fic. I had never really heard of its existence until the end of last year. I'm sure I am not alone when I say I discovered the fandom by performing a google search to see if others had thought about filling in the great missing lemon gap left by SM in her Isle Esme chapter. After all that build up to finally get to that honeymoon scene, I should have known it would have resulted in the ultimate cock-block. Damn Young Adult books! Yet, all I can say is TGfFF. Thank.Gawd.for.Fan.Fiction.
So after enjoying some honeymoon stories (I especially loved Vixen1836's amazing "Isle Esme"), I decided to branch out in my google searching. While reading the Twi series, I always got a sense of Edward playing a more dominant role in his romantic relationship with Bella. So this time, I searched for stories that wove bdsm themes into the lives of our beloved Twi characters. I somehow landed upon "The Submissive" by tarasueme. At the point I discovered this story, Tara had posted about 17 chapters so I eagerly devoured it in one very long night. When reading the reviews, I came across a comment from a reader warning Tara to write the story in a way that people would not associate B&E's relationship with domestic violence. I quickly wrote Tara, defending her story, as well as complimenting her for highlighting such a romantic portrayal of a D/s couple. Eager to discuss "The Submissive" with others, I found the story's twighlighted.net thread. It was there that I was also introduced to MsKathy. I'll get to her in just a bit.
While trying not to sound too dramatic, I can honestly say that "The Submissive" spoke to me on a very personal level. Without going into too much detail, I used to be active in my then local 'bdsm scene' about a decade ago. I was involved in a D/s relationship that after some time came to a natural end. Shortly later, an incident happened in which a play party became the focus of the local news. Cops busted up a party, trying to cite old puritanical laws that were still on the books. (Charges were later dropped.) Suddenly, I became very aware that my private life could have been subject to media scrutiny as I knew many of the names that were being said in the news. In fact, had my relationship not recently ended, chances are I would have been at that party. Hearing co-workers and friends (not in the know) tease about it after reading the paper or watching the news, scared the living hell out of me. From there on out, I stuffed what was once an important aspect of my sexuality deep inside. As ridiculous as I knew it was, I felt shame and guilt and went back to a vanilla way of life.
When reading Tara's story (and later, "The Dominant"), I suddenly found my old self starting to awaken. Her story reminded me of the true beauty of a D/s relationship and how trust and communication are so vital. I found myself discussing bdsm on the thread, something I had not done for a very long time. It was very healing in terms of coming to grips with my past. MsKathy, author of "Yes, Mistress," also played a huge role in helping me accept my past and welcome back a side of me that I had hidden for too long. I can only hope that the reviews I have left for both Tara and MsKathy have conveyed just how much their stories mean to me. In addition, I think we have something very special on the threads for these stories that go beyond the usual fangirling. I have seen a community reach out to those with questions and concerns, and I have certainly found myself learning a thing or two along the way.
Aside from reading themes of bdsm and lemony honeymoon details, I can assure you that I have branched out by reading a variety of stories that cover different eras, places, characters, and themes. While there are many additional authors I would love to share my accolades, I need to speak briefly about hopeful wager, author of one of my favorite stories, "Twice as Long as Yesterday." Her story was the first one I read which took me out of modern (or non-canon related) times, bringing me to Ireland over a 100 years ago. I instantly fell in love with Lord Cullen, feeling a close kinship to him as I had toured the author's inspiration for his estate, Muckrose in Killarney. I am in constant awe of hopeful wager's poetic words, and how she has me almost forget I am reading fan fiction, save for the reminder when reading the characters' names. If you have not read her amazing o/s for the Age of Edward contest, "Kama Sutra," I highly recommend checking out this extensively researched and believable story.
Thanks again for letting me chat a little about my Twi fan-fic journey. I am in constant awe of the talented pieces of fiction that are all born out of our love of Twilight. As a person who has recently crossed over to writing fiction, I now understand the value and importance of hitting the "review this story" button. I also have a stronger appreciation for all the work it takes to post a chapter. You will never, ever hear me utter the dreaded words, "update soon." Thank you all for taking the time to contribute to this amazing fandom.
Author's Blurb by Hopeful Wager
FloridaChickie is one of those few readers who, when I put out a new chapter or one shot, I wait like a seventh-grader at Science Fair for the judge's decision to get the feedback from. Her reviews are always insightful and point out specific passages or plot points that she found exceptionally engaging. I know she must pay this same homage to the other authors she follows, and called her to the TLYDF stand as an expert witness in quality fanfic.