Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Get To Know gkkstitch

PROFILE: gkkstitch
FANFICTION: http://www.fanfiction.net/u/327203/gkkstitch
TWILIGHTED: http://www.twilighted.net/viewuser.php?uid=63892

So I was told I had to write a profile for myself. Hmmm.... where to start. My name is Gretchen, but most fan-folks call me Mouse (a nickname I picked up from my first fandom experience for having lots of gadgets). I've been officially in fandom since 1988, but looking back, I know I've been "fannish" since I was a kid with a ton of favorite TV shows that I would constantly imagine stories for. So I guess I've had writing in my blood all that time, too, even though I never wrote fanfic until 1989 and even then it was written with the idea that maybe someone would want it as a script. Ahh.. dreams of Hollywood!

FWIW, I'm secretly jealous of Manyafandom's moniker. Shh! It's a secret!

I often describe myself as a paddle-ball game, bouncing all over the place and connecting with folks but always returning back to my "calm" state.... um... eventually. Truth be told, as boisterous and outgoing as I am, I'm actually the quiet one in my family! I'm also as tenacious as they come, because I don't often let folks go when I move on to another fandom. I still stay in touch and travel often to see them wherever they are in the world. It helps that I love to travel. As odd as it sounds now, I have been a regular visitor of Forks, Washington, because a college friend lives in Seattle and when we visit her, we immediately head into the Olympic Peninsula to hug trees. Forks has always been one of our gas station stops on those trips. Who knew?

I love to cook and often send goodies through the mail, just because I want people to smile. Never challenge me. If you dare me to do something because you think I won't, I'll surprise you. A former neighbor and now long-distance friend called me on my birthday to chat and when she heard about the birthday cake my husband made for me, she teased that she wanted a piece. The next day, she had one! I mailed her a big chunk through over-night delivery. She called me, laughing, to tell me I was crazy.

My Twilight adventure with the books is simply another indicator to my level of Crazy. Having recently been burned by Sookie and Bill breaking up in that series of books, I was hesitant to start on Twilight and face another heartbreak. When I finally let myself be convinced, and started reading and enjoying the first book, my suspicions got the best of me and I peeked at the end, needing to know that Edward and Bella were together. But what did I find? I found a chapter from New Moon, where Edward was leaving Bella! I flew to Target in a pure rage to read the end of New Moon and was relieved to see them together. But now I had no trust in the author, so when I got home, I couldn't stop myself, reading both the first and second books at the same time! As I started to have faith again, I went back to Target and got the third and fourth books (again checking to see happy endings). Again, because I'm weak and desperate and a big sap for a love story, I couldn't stop myself from peeking at book three... and then book four, until I was reading all FOUR books at the same time! To date, I've read the series six times—a new low in my OCD tendencies, apparently.

I love the magic in these stories, but I've always known that magic is a fickle and fragile thing. Too much of any one thing can ruin it forever. This is why I prefer canon and since it was Edward and Bella's love story that captured my heart, they are the only ones I really prefer to read about. Edward has to be with Bella, and Bella has to be with Edward. I'm also picky about the story being about vampires. That's why it's called Twilight fiction and not "A couple folks named Edward and Bella" fiction — although there are several AH and AU stories I really enjoy.

I've written several stories for Twilight fiction (as well as Harry Potter, Beauty and the Beast, and Hunger Games). I started writing my first Twilight story in January 2009 that introduces an original character, Rolle, who is the opposite of Edward. He has been Edward's friend for years and he had a Bella once, too, but she was taken from him. The story, "Antithesis", is an exploration of loss as seen from Bella's point of view and is set primarily in Post-Breaking Dawn. I refer to this story as alternate-universe, because I left out BabyTeeth, um... er, I mean... Renesmee. I didn't feel I got to know her very well, and was disappointed that her appearance detracted so much from the love affair that I wanted to read more about. That was when I discovered LolaShoes "Let Your Light Shine." That story is the Breaking Dawn I really wanted to see and I jokingly refer to my own stories as LYLS fiction, above and beyond Twilight.

Many other FF stories have inspired me as well. Giselle-lx and her Carlisle (http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4988866/1/Ithaca_is_Gorges), and LorileD (http://www.fanfiction.net/u/2040358/LoreliD) and her Jane and Alec stories are in the top five of that list. But again, in LolaShoes' "A Life Extraordinary" and "This Hungry World" I found the love-affair that I needed and am now near completion of a sequel to "Antithesis," called "Absolucion." My original character, Rolle, makes an enormous sacrifice to protect his friends from ever experiencing the painful loss that he, himself, has suffered. He hands himself over to the Volturi to keep them away from Bella, but as more of his past is uncovered, the Cullens learn that Rolle is actually a vampire assassin—a real person they thought was only a rumor.
Both "Antithesis" and "Absolucion" received The Indies Twific Award nominations.

It's the strength we have as a writing community, drawing on each other for inspiration and aspiration that I have always admired about fandom. One of my pet project, to highlight this enormous reservoir of talent, is to create a public google doc that we, as a community can draw on to create "Fanon" — one of my favorite expressions. Canon is the foundation of our stories, using guidelines established by Stephanie Meyer. Fanon is the fan-created stuff that we all decide to use, together. For instance, what if we decided that at some point in his past, Carlisle practiced psychiatry? If everyone writing a Carlisle story started to imply or even write about Carlisle being a psychiatrist, then it would become fanon. There would come a time when people would have to go back and read the books again, to look for the real reference. Trust me, after 20+ years in fandom, when we achieve fanon it is a fabulous and remarkable feeling.

My two pet projects have been Carlisle's backstory, as told by fanon, and the Volturi guard!

Carlisle: http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AZWpUpHQo7lGZGd3ZjJjd2hfNzRocDl0dHdtbQ&hl=en
Volturi: http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AZWpUpHQo7lGZGd3ZjJjd2hfNzUzNDh0eDZoYg&hl=en

To Emmy and Kimpy and Bethie... Thank you for inviting me to be an honorary perv. We have such fun poking each other (see what I did there?) over Twitter, it feels like we've been friends for years. I look forward to exploring my perviness with you all!