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I came across an article yesterday (found here) that I became completely intrigued with. I finished it within a couple of hours. It was fascinating, and definitely a walk down memory lane for a variety of reasons. It's specific to the Harry Potter fandom, so if you're still interested in the ramblings of a nostalgic HP fanfiction author who misses the magic fandom had to offer right after Goblet of Fire, keep reading.

I got into fan fiction inadvertently. I'd been a huge fan of fantasy fiction for many years, but to my shame had never read what many considered the 'original' father of fantasy fiction, J.R.R. Tolkien. When the first Peter Jackson movie began to get a lot of buzz, I thought it was a fine time to read the books, so that when I saw the movie, I'd know the full material.

Well, one thing led to another, and my obsessive/compulsive tendencies kicked in. Surely there was more I could learn about Frodo? It couldn't end like *that*! ;-) I read Tolkien's letters, and began checking online to find out more about when the movie was going to be released.

This led me to Imladris (it's been such a long time, I don't even have the link anymore, but I'm pretty sure it was the forum section of this site). Within the forums, I came across what can only be described as Tolkien scholars; people so well read in all things Tolkien that their debates had references and quotes to letters and lectures not known to the general public.

It was fascinating. I was hooked. I began trolling the forums daily, putting in my two cents as I became more well versed in Tolkien. I began noticing that people would put links to little stories they'd written in the LotR universe, and that I adored them. ::still pets Frodo affectionately::

I began to learn the lingo: hurt/comfort, angst, et al. I also started looking for more. Updates, new fics, anything I could get a hold of. This is how I came across Cassandra Claire's The Very Secret Diaries of the Lord of the Rings. I read it at work, and nearly died laughing.

Of course I had to find everything else she'd ever written. I'd just started the Harry Potter books, to have them read in time for *that* premiere, and found I couldn't put them down. So of course I had to begin reading The Draco Trilogy.

This was my introduction to the Harry Potter fandom verse. I flitted from fanfiction.net to Fiction Alley to The Sugar Quill to Gryffindor Tower (site now defunct) and beyond. I started with the tame stuff, but went where the good stories were, no matter my personal relationship preferences.

Cybele's If You are Prepared series was just starting out, and her version of Snape (at the time I had no idea where it was going. Surprise! Welcome to H/S! *g*) was something I could get on board with (up until then I'd loathed Snape with a passion, but she helped introduce me to the inner snark that has been refined since then by her and many other fine authors).

Favorite Quote from that series: "A watched Potter never stirs." ::still dies::

There were so many good authors out there to choose from; it became my new crack habit. I couldn't stop trying to track down more, more, more... I finished the HP books that were published at the time, and was infuriated at the ending of Goblet of Fire. What? They were still sending Harry back to live with the Dursleys after that?! I had to intervene. ;-)

I'd been a closet writer since I was a teenager but had suffered at the hands of negative criticism, and looked skeptically towards my friends who complimented my work. Here, I'd thought, was a whole community of writers whom I admired, who I didn't know in person. If I posted my chapters, maybe I could get a few reviews. Maybe ever lure some of the writers I'd so admired to give critiques and suggestions that I could trust (since I knew they didn't know me and might not feel obligated to sugar coat things).

Thus began Never Alone, Never Again. The reviews began to trickle in, and got better, and longer, each chapter. More and more authors I admired began to leave suggestions, compliments and tips. My husband still laughs at the day I pulled him to my desk to show him when P.A.R. left an in-depth review for my story. *g*

Since then, I've gone on to many different things. I ventured into another universe for a bit (I'd stumbled into The O.C. fanfiction while avoiding HP spoilers, and how could I resist another lost boy in distress? *g*) to see if I could write something other than HP. I've dabbled in Firefly (Joss Whedon and Aaron Sorkin are both on my list of writing heroes), and I've finally gotten the courage to start serious work on an original fic as well (but am currently working on a cookie that keeps getting bigger by the day. I should know better *g*).

I don't know if this growth on my part would have happened if I hadn't felt safe enough to post that first chapter. I know the feedback has been incredible. I've gotten to know other authors within the community (waves to [livejournal.com profile] wishweaver and [livejournal.com profile] nightwolfwriter), and make friendships beyond the Harry Potter verse ([livejournal.com profile] brabbel). I've branched to other fandoms and met an amazing array of people (another wave to the Sushi!verse).

I guess I'm posting this because I wanted to talk a little bit about the good that HP fandom, and now a variety of other fandoms as well, have done for me. As I read the account of how MsScribe allegedly manipulated the community (the post seems to be well thought out and certainly sounds legit, but I'm always aware that there's two sides to every story, so try to reserve complete judgment), I'm saddened to think of how such a place rich with creativity and inspiration has been toyed with, at other's expense, for what appears to be someone's own personal gain.

I remember being bewildered the day Gryffindor Tower closed their doors (so to speak) and wondered at their cryptic goodbye. Equally, I remember the hubbub of Charitygate but had no idea how bad it got. As I wandered from R/H to H/H to H/G and beyond ;-), I was surprised by the hostility I saw in some of the posts, and never understood.

[livejournal.com profile] charlottelennox's post has been a fascinating read, and it certainly explained a lot. But after it's all said and done, the thing that stands most firm in my mind is that this place is where I learned to trust in my dream to be a writer, and to honestly pursue it. So thanks, everyone, for being a part of my life! No matter what the current round of 'wank' is, I can't ask for a better community to hang out with!

(no subject)

Date: 2006-06-21 08:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] beachtree.livejournal.com
What do I know about HP? Nada! However, since you surfaced, I will pinata you. Ole!

You promised...

Now, back to work and reminding myself that my evening WILL be devoted to playing comment ketchup- finally.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-06-22 02:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quillscribe.livejournal.com
*laughs* You are so awesome, [livejournal.com profile] beachtree! I hope all is well with you. Consider me pinata'd!

(no subject)

Date: 2006-06-22 02:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] beachtree.livejournal.com
I have accomplished nothing on the ketchup trail. What IS my problem.

You, on the other hand, Pancho, know you've been tagged!

Don't you forget it.

Hope all is well and your quill is scribing... ( I mean that in a CLEAN way.)

(no subject)

Date: 2006-06-22 08:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quillscribe.livejournal.com
What's bad is that I did giggle when I read it - even before your qualifier!

I do indeed know it. ;-)

(no subject)

Date: 2006-06-22 09:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] beachtree.livejournal.com
As soon as I typed it I thought it sounded more than a little suspect or demented. Ouch!

I did get a little ketchup done in the midst of work. That's real productive!

And as long as you're aware...


(no subject)

Date: 2006-06-27 10:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quillscribe.livejournal.com
You are too funny! ;-)

Work interferes with entirely too much, doesn't it? *g*

(no subject)

Date: 2006-06-27 10:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] beachtree.livejournal.com
Oh yeah, it sure does. I am finally making progress- uni-claw or not. That means I also expect to see an update from you, Senora! Vamanos!

(no subject)

Date: 2006-06-21 08:26 pm (UTC)
ext_7853: (Default)
From: [identity profile] polykleitos.livejournal.com
Have you seen the comments made at Bad Penny (http://www.journalfen.net/community/bad_penny/)? The same posts were made there, but there are many more comments and links and much more to read if you want.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-06-22 02:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quillscribe.livejournal.com
Thanks for the link! Amazing, isn't it? That someone could be so manipulative? One of the things that struck me was the hints every now and again that people got that they dismissed.

That is the story of my life. I'm *very* aware of the little voice in my head that says, "Watch out. She's lying," or "There's something more than what we're seeing here," only because of past experience.

I've had my little voice suggest something, and think, "Naaaaaah," too many times only to feel like a fool afterward. ;-)

(no subject)

Date: 2006-06-22 02:50 am (UTC)
ext_7853: (Default)
From: [identity profile] polykleitos.livejournal.com
That's part of the reason why I feel this story is important to read and spread around. While the fandom-y parts are certainly fascinating and the gossip-y and wank-y parts are hard to look away from, what's really valuable are some of the lessons that can be taken away from it. Not that I feel we should all be untrusting, but sometimes I do think that we're too trusting online. After all, at least one of the stalkers was real... :)

(no subject)

Date: 2006-06-22 08:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quillscribe.livejournal.com
::nods:: Exactly. I totally agree. The internet is a remarkably easy place to misrepresent oneself. All we have to go on is what is written on the page, when in real life how we make impressions is based on so much more than that!

(no subject)

Date: 2006-06-22 01:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] madderbrad.livejournal.com
Interesting. I've only been aware of HP and online fandom and fan fiction for 2 years, but I'm still finding this tale of the early goings on fascinating to read.

There were so many good authors out there to choose from; it became my new crack habit. I couldn't stop trying to track down more, more, more...

That has been exactly my state for the past year or so. I'm just at the point where I'm wondering how much this obsession is hurting me.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-06-22 01:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quillscribe.livejournal.com
You are so preaching to the choir! I've had to wean myself off HP ff little by little. It's helped that I'm not as happy with where canon is going, but still...

In the process of trying to distance myself from that ff, I got addicted to other fandoms. I've been trying to spend more time reading book/books instead of just the stuff online, but it's a hard habit to break!

(no subject)

Date: 2006-06-25 01:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wishweaver.livejournal.com
Me, too. I know it hasn't endeared me to those who read my story, but I had to start the 12-step fanfiction anonymous plan. :-(

(no subject)

Date: 2006-06-27 09:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quillscribe.livejournal.com
You are preaching to the choir! ;-)

She's alive! She's alive!

Date: 2006-06-22 11:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nightwolfwriter.livejournal.com
Oh my goodness, you do exist. I was beginning to think you'd wandered off into the night or something.

While I can't speak for fanfic as a whole, (my one little HP cookie notwithstanding), I am definitely not against it like so many other "published authors". Just watching how [livejournal.com profile] wishweaver and you have become more confident in your writing was worth the price of admission. Although, I'm glad to see you're both finally branching off into some orignial fiction.

BTW, I still appreciate the help you've given me over the years with my story proposals, and both [livejournal.com profile] wishweaver and I miss our afternoon chats with you. :-( Hopefully, we'll bump into you one of these evenings.

Re: She's alive! She's alive!

Date: 2006-06-22 08:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quillscribe.livejournal.com
Oh, shush. :-D I'm here...

Exactly! I'm so glad to hear [livejournal.com profile] wishweaver's still doing that as well! Sometimes all that's needed is a little prod by a stranger to say, "See, your family and friends aren't just saying it. They mean it. You're writing's worth reading."

You are most welcome! I hope some of what I've suggested has proven helpful, because truthfully you haven't needed much! ;-)

*sighs* Yeah, I miss being online too. It's entirely too quiet. *g*

I'd like that! Hope all is well with you!

Re: She's alive! She's alive!

Date: 2006-06-25 02:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wishweaver.livejournal.com
Original fiction? What is this original fiction you speak of?

Hi, Quilly! *waves* Glad you're still alive!

Re: She's alive! She's alive!

Date: 2006-06-27 09:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quillscribe.livejournal.com
*waves back* Howdy! Just what I've been working on forever. My sci fi story. I hear you're working on an original fic as well! Go you!

(no subject)

Date: 2006-06-22 07:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brabbel.livejournal.com
But after it's all said and done, the thing that stands most firm in my mind is that this place is where I learned to trust in my dream to be a writer, and to honestly pursue it.

Hear, hear! :)

And seeing you gain that confidence in your abilities has been a real pleasure for me! Go you!

(no subject)

Date: 2006-06-22 08:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quillscribe.livejournal.com
::beams:: Thank you! Well, you know, you've been a part of it since the beginning... For which I'll be forever grateful.

*blushes* After all, how practical is it for a werewolf to be rescuing Harry on the full moon? ;-)

*the kitty vampire icon somehow seemed appropriate* :-D

(no subject)

Date: 2006-06-22 09:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brabbel.livejournal.com
*lol* And I sooooo wasn't thinking of that when you wrote about posting that first chapter of NANA and the reviews you got back then. ;)

BTW, I'm usually not that much of a cat person, but I adore those icons!

(no subject)

Date: 2006-06-23 05:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quillscribe.livejournal.com

Thank you! I adore them, too. They show such personality! Of course, I've been getting lucky with finding awesome icons, too. So much so I had to go and upgrade my account (and I've still only got 12 free left).

I'm nothing if not obsessive! :-D

(no subject)

Date: 2006-06-25 08:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] inevitablefict.livejournal.com
Congratulations. You have been nominated for the Citrus Awards 2006. A list of all the nominees will be going up weekly; we will be putting the list up soon. Please contact us if you wish to pull out and not have your stories in the running. We would love for you to nominate your favourite stories when you get a chance!

Look out for the winners, and please make sure to vote.

Rachael and Jenny

(no subject)

Date: 2006-06-25 06:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quillscribe.livejournal.com
That's awesome! Thanks! And, thanks also for all the effort you've put into this. The site looks great! I'll be sure to put in my votes! :-D

I have to agree whole-heartedly

Date: 2006-08-25 01:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] smeggys-world.livejournal.com
Before I begin, I appologize for my spelling and grammer as I'm now in 'recovery' mode from a bad horse fall yesterday.

I was just scanning through your Fanfiction.Net archive, and re-read 'Never Alone, Never Again'.
Orgionally my mum got me to read it as she thought it was a on-line version of Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix, then I explained it wasn't she was sorly disapointed.
Now, I'm proud to say, your great writing has passed onto a younger sibling.
My 13 year old sister was sparked by your name, then proceeded to read the HP fic, literaly snarking at me that 'Snape was busy saving Harry, come back later'. Needles to say, she finished it... and asked (begged me more like it) me to ask you if you were continuing with writing in the HP universe or if a sequel was in the works for NA,NA (I did tell her it's been over 3 years since you wrote it).
But, I do remember my first fanfic that I wrote, how many friends I've made simply because of fanfiction, and how I once divided (unintentionly, of course) a doctor who live-journal because I asked the simple question of 'What is Rose's ethnic background apart from being a Londoner'. You don't believe me on that one, I've got the link to it.
Anyway, my opinion of you is that your one of the 'greats', in fanfiction, and I'm a crack addic of good authors, and I don't plan on going to rehab either.


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