Monday, September 28, 2009

Readers Series: Melba87


Wife of Rhage
Mother of FlysWithDragons and ChooChoo (aka Turbo)
US Navy Veteran
College Grad
Twilight FanFiction Addict


How I became a Twilight FanFiction Addict is not an extraordinary tale. I was introduced to Twilight by my twelve year-old (at the time) daughter. At first, I completely dismissed her exuberance as soon as she said the word “vampire.”

Vampires? Really?? Sound familiar?? I finally broke down and read Twilight six months later when my fifty year-old neighborhood walking buddy, the most perfect woman I know, began raving about it. I then voraciously read New Moon and Eclipse. The movie was being filmed at that time, and I discovered TwilightMoms.

When I first discovered FanFiction, there were less than 11,000 stories under the Twilight thread, which I thought was a huge number—how was a girl to choose? But, now there are over 103,000 Twilight fics. I joined Twilighted in its first week when there were less than fifty members. Now Twilighted boasts 72,750 plus members. That blows me away. I can remember freaking out when membership broke 500. It has been amazing to watch our little community of die-hards grow exponentially.


I read Twilight fanfiction because I love Edward Cullen. I don’t consider myself a very reliable reviewer. I think many of the authors I follow around the fandom would agree that Melba87 does drive-bys. I do drive-bys in the forums and drive-bys for reviews. I am the reviewer who says, “I loved the chapter! Thanks for the update.” Rarely, I will say why I loved the chapter or what I loved about a chapter. There are two reasons. First, I am not a writer. After reading a particularly awesome chapter, I have a gazillion thoughts running through my brain. I can never get those thoughts onto paper. Never. I think there must be missing road-signs in my brain that would properly direct those thoughts to the routes that would lead out my fingertips. Ninety percent of what I want to say gets completely lost. Therefore, I am never satisfied that what I write in a detailed review is an accurate reflection of what I think or feel. So, basically I would need a review for my review. This relates to the second reason I don’t leave long reviews.

Reading, I feel, is subjective. It is not math. There are no right or wrong answers. Reading is personal to me. What is significant in a chapter to me may not be significant to someone else. Not only that, the author may not have intended for it to be a significant part of the chapter at all. I regard writers as artists, and just because Melba87 misses the point, it doesn’t mean the point wasn’t more than adequately made to all of the other readers. Moreover, I don’t want my twisted inferences, or my life experiences to discolor or diminish the way a writer views her piece of work. I want to read a story where an author strings specific words together, because those are the words that can best represent her imagination. Plus, I’m a Libra. I can see value in E-VER-Y-THING. It can take me forever to decide. So, if I leave a review that says, “I loved it!” You can bet on it.


I never dive into a story cold. I only read stories that I’ve heard about through the forums, chat, or twitter. I also pay close attention to the delicious banners attached to signatures. They make me wish some of my favorite fics could be turned into movies!!! Most recently, I’ve been relying on the Indie Awards as a resource for some great hidden gems. I also hit up my favorite authors’ Favorites Lists.


I currently have about 170 fics bookmarked on my browser. I estimate I’m reading about half of them. The other half are either complete, have not updated in a long time, or I haven’t started them yet. I suffered a hard drive crash and lost my original bookmarked list. I’m sure there are titles I was reading but couldn’t remember when I started tracking them down. It was then that I discovered the beauty of favorites and signing up for alerts. Heh. I have approx 110 stories that I get alerts for from Fanfiction, and 30 on Twilighted. I am certain that everything I’ve favorited was something that I enjoyed at the time. I only have time for Bella and Edward stories. They are what I enjoy. So, I rarely read anything else. I know I am probably denying myself real pleasure by limiting myself, but people who have time for butt secks say the same thing. I don’t have time for that, either. J

Here are a few completed favorites that I have loved while they were active, and even long after. Snippets and scenes from these fics have accompanied me in my real life, making me giggle, weep and swoon. I consider them “musts reads” in the fandom.

Stories that have kept me glued to my laptop more recently include:

Failure to Thrive by Julesnerd My first Parka Fic — moving with humor

In the Land of Milk & Honey by Mysterious Edward, unpredictable.

A Little Crazy by LolaShoes and tby789One-shot. My second Parka Fic — I hope it’s continued.

Strange Days by jandco It’s jandco, need I say more? Bella in the 1960s. How’s that?

My favorites are here.

I would be remiss without mentioning my favorite story, Sanctuary by Jfly. It is by far the most beautifully crafted story I’ve ever read. It is poetry disguised as prose, or maybe prose disguised as poetry. I can’t decide. Regardless, the figurative language and sensory descriptions put you closer to the characters than you could ever imagine. It is an absolutely stunning and intimate experience that you won’t regret!

Happy reading and Salut!

Author's Blurb by JFly (also here as Thallium81).

I was thrilled to be told that Melba had complimented me, and my story Sanctuary here in the Reader series. She is one of those readers who shows up on my forum thread after a chapter posts and always has thoughtful insight to offer with her jokes and anecdotes about her life, but she also shares real, deep emotion in a raw and eloquent way on the forums. She makes writing this story so much more rewarding for me than it would be if I were writing it all aloney on my owney in a cubby hole of solitude. When I saw her avatar pop up on A Different Forest, I got all giddy. She is so supportive of writers in the Twi-verse - she has never been involved in any tedious cliquey drama - she is a superstar in her own right. Her comments on my story always mean so much to me, so I am please to have the chance now to give a little back to her and say I LOVE MELBA87 right here for all to see!


  1. I was horrified to find that has pulled her "In the Land of Milk & Honey." I also LOVED this fic, but something from reviews seemed to have upset her, and she pulled the entire story. I wrote her to voice my support for her and her story, and hope that if everyone does the same, she might consider reposting it. Just thought everyone should know.

  2. I will never forget the day I got my first Melba review...I felt like I had finally arrived. It sounds glib, but it's true. Her input makes me laugh, her cracked out avi makes me smile, and she's just all around win!!

  3. Melba 87
    Thanks for your recommendations. Of the twelve stories you specifically mentioned, I've only read three of them. So, thanks for expanding my must-read-list by nine!
    Hoosier Mama

  4. I'm always interested to see how people chose their fics. Since I don't really spend a lot of time in the forums or on Twitter, I tend to randomly pick a new fic every now and then and give it a go. Most often I try to pick the fics that don't seem to have a lot of reviews, hoping to find that hidden gem. Sometimes the story isn't really all the great, but sometimes I find really amazing fics.

    Kristin - I hadn't heard that about That's a bummer - I love that fic.

  5. Melba, I too am a Libra and someone who feels they cannot adequately say what they feel...I figure the drive by is better than nothing. :)

    Chris (aka wonkeygirl)

  6. pssttt...I love my melba...only she could call me hand job and I'd take it as a compliment....I'm going to eat some spam in your honor tonight...

  7. Hi Friends,

    Regarding the Giant Milk & Honey Pull-Out..I had just barely gotten thru the latest updates she had posted and had not gotten involved in any threads regarding that fic...and to be honest without knowing the whys...I was peeved. But, I am never bitter, I enjoyed it while it lasted...there are so many more fantastic fics to be found that I have no time to question the decisions of authors...I have her on alert and if she tries her hand at the fanfic again, I'll certainly give it a read through.

    hmonster4--reintroduced me to romance after a fanfic run of snarky bella and slutty edward. i will forever be grateful. <3

    <<<--blushes beet red, waves at shannon, falls over dead.

    Hoosier Mama, I was so stinking nervous writing that ^^^^ up there. I really did try and pull some of my favorites from "back in the day" and more recent "lesser-knowns" to recommend with hopes that someone would find a new favorite.

    writingedward, I rely on people like you who are brave enough to do the grunt work, and read a random fic outta-the-blue. thank you!!

    wonkeygirl--hehe. Your birthday must be coming up. (or you just had one!) I just had mine, but I'm counting backwards, now! heh. Happy Birthday.

    Hi my sweet hj! Fried spam and eggs, mmm. A regular meal in my house in 3rd/4th grade...And, just so everyone is clear: hj stands for halojones...i didn't think of 'hj' as anything else until the dirty-minded h00rs corrupted mah brain..

    Thanks for reading my attempt at writing. <333.
    *smooches to all*

  8. Melba! Great article. Really enjoyed reading. I could completely relate to your thoughts as a reader and not a writer. You have great taste in stories too!


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