A novel-length TMNT fan fiction that originally grew out of what was meant to be a one-shot.
Usually when I write something this length, I like to have a plan…I started this one with a vague concept - a situation, really - and then just let the character do what I thought they would do, and let it flow, for better or for worse. In retrospect, I ended up with something that could have been much tighter, much more sleek and streamlined - but I wouldn't change anything now. Even for all its flaws, there are so many little moments in here I enjoyed, and I hope that you enjoyed them, too…and it was nice to go on a journey together, with friends at my side, and see where we ended up, instead of presenting you with a glossy, finished package, saying "HERE" and then sitting back and waiting for the response.
So, you know how sometimes you read those fics and they are such obvious author-inserts? Like, Mary Sue with the cascading turquoise-and-pink tresses and the eyes that change color when she's angry and the magical powers and everybody's in love with her and she's actually THE CHOSEN ONE, YOU GUYS, and you're like, "okay, I see what's happening here."
Well the truth is - every fic is really an author insert…and the more you love what you're working on, the more you find bits and pieces of yourself in it.
I wanted to write a fic about difficult relationships and how hard marriage is, having just gotten out of one. I wanted to write a fic about polyamory, being poly myself. And I wanted to write about different sexualities, being queer myself. I wanted to write about Nick and Don being self-conscious about their bodies, because that's what I grew up with. I wanted to write about Leo dealing with an aging parent, and confronting mortality. I wanted to write about Candy and Mona being abuse survivors and having to re-learn to trust people and live their lives as successful adults because that's what I had to do as well.
I wanted to write about having a plan for your life and at a certain point, realizing that nothing ever really goes according to plan, and then having to adapt and do the best you can with what you've got, and be the best person that you can - not perfect - just your Best Self.
I wanted to write about social justice, and discrimination, about patriarchy, and racism, because these are things I'm passionate about, and these are the terrifying things I see going on in the world around me - people being literally murdered in the street just for being black, or for being trans, or for saying "No." Through Bishop and Mona's arc, I got to talk about WMD, indefinite detention, torture, whistleblowing, privacy issues, and the role of government in safeguarding its citizens while also respecting their rights.
Most of all, however, I wanted to write about family…including friends (because really, true friends are family.) I wanted to write about these characters because I love them to pieces, and I also wanted to write about how much they love each other as well, even when it's difficult, and how even when life is very painful, it's also inherently good.
Was I successful in doing any of that? Fuck if I know. xD But if you've made it this far, something kept you going, so…I thank you very much for that.
One commenter said (very politely, and I think maybe accurately) that the ending came off somewhat trite and unsurprising…that it was basically Harvey Milk. I not only agree, I'd go one further - this story, this archetype, keeps repeating over and over. It's not just Harvey Milk, it's MLK and JFK and Abraham Lincoln, and as far back as Jesus. Someone says something like "Hey, we should really work together to create greater justice for everyone," and the minute it looks like they might actually succeed, the lunatic fringe responds with violence, because kindness is threatening to a status quo that only protects the powerful. Unfortunately, it sometimes seems that the only way we take a leap forward is through tragedy.
However: the wheel of time is slow, but it bends towards justice. When I started this fic, we didn't have marriage equality in this country, and now we do. That's wonderful to me. If you asked me in high school if we'd ever have a black president, I'd have told you "Probably not." I just didn't think the world was ready - I was never so happy to be proven wrong.
Thanks again for reading :)
Thank you to everyone who followed and favorited this story, for taking this journey with me:
Prismatic Rain Deer
turn forever you and me
As of the moment I am writing this, just having clicked "publish" on the final three chapters, this story has received 7,240 views. That is mind-boggling to me. For all of you silent viewers - thank you also, for giving my story a chance.
But most of all, I want to thank every single person who left a review, even if it was a negative one. As fan artist, we can never profit financially from our work - but that is not to say we do not profit - for a fanfic writer, reviews really are our paycheck, and you all were very generous in your compensation. I fell in love with this fandom all over again and met so many wonderful people who share my interests, and it's been a really wonderful taking this journey together.
Lots of love to my reviewers:
Guest (7/4/15) (Somebody read my fic on the Fourth of July! I don't know why, but that makes me so happy XD )
Wows Guest (11/8/15)