Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Special Note: For those of you who have read the first chapter … please go back and reread it to be current. I recently revised the story. I added and deleted somethings that will be important to understand the story. You might wonder why this happened when the last chapter you read was like this. I apologize for this inconvenience, but I had a change in the direction I wanted to take the story.
I would like to thank my wonderful betas for reading this chapter. Both of them have been a great inspiration, to me. They have held my hand and encouraged me, even when I wanted to give up. Thanks for princess07890, cullennbella, dannibags, and piesmom.
In this chapter, we find out how Bella got her start at writing and some of the trials she had to go through to get to where she is. She finds her greatest inspiration along the way. If I were to write the story similar to my life, this would be the version I would have like to taken. Bella follows in my shoes and this is what I experienced while entering the fandom. With the exception that I haven't met Edward yet; though, I'm still holding out … Enjoy…
"Writing with Errors"
I sat in front of my laptop, aimlessly staring at the screen in front of me with Facebook open. Once my crops were planted and all the latest updates were read from everyone I was friends with, I retired to my couch. I sighed as I closed the laptop. I walked to the kitchen and poured another cup of coffee, then parked my butt on the couch to watch another episode of CSI. My life couldn't get any duller at the moment.
That was my life, day in and day out, for the past couple of years. I had no friends or family. Some could argue that I was alone in the world, but I had my cats, and that was all that mattered to me. I had three cats, and they kept me sane with their unwavering love. Goatee, whom I named because of the little goatee he sported under his chin, was my tuxedo cat and extremely loveable. He was toilet trained, and I still couldn't figure out how he learned how to do that. I sure as hell didn't waste my time to train him. He even talked to me on occasions, which brightened my day. Anna was my long-haired princess. She was young, and I found her lying in my driveway and had to take her in. Out of the three, she was the one who loved to lie in my lap for hours. Tinker was multicolored and stayed to herself, but she did come out when feeding time came along.
I went to work every day at Newton Outfitters, where I have worked since high school. I had to constantly fight off the owner's son; he was always making passes at me. I made the mistake a couple of years ago and finally gave in. I went on a date with Mike. One thing led to another, and we ended up sleeping together. I was lonely and horny, and since he was close and interested, I allowed it to happen. Huge mistake; now I couldn't shake him. Men weren't exactly knocking down my door, and there he was, ready and willing. I hoped the date, sex we had was bad, or my behavior after the fact was such that he would lose interest in me, I had no such luck.
The few boys that were around here, I wasn't interested in. The ones I was interested in were gone before I even worked up the courage to ask them out. I had taken a couple of college classes, but quit when my father became ill. I stayed here in Forks to take care of him, and when he passed, well, I never left. The day of my father's funeral, I stopped at the gas station to get gas and buy a lottery ticket. Who knew that paying tribute to my father would pay off? I mean, he bought lottery tickets from there all the time; it was something that he liked to do. Since he was no longer with me, I thought, what the hell, and bought one in his honor. He was able to win back a couple of bucks here and there when he bought one, but when I did it in his memory that day, I won millions. After the dust cleared and everything was said and done, I was set for life. I never saw the need go back to Phoenix with my mother; my house, Dad's house, the home I grew up in, I couldn't bear to get rid of it. Also, the car I got; both were paid off, and all I had to worry about were the other monetary things in life. I didn't have to work, but kept my job at Newton's to pass the time.
My life changed when I fell at Newton Outfitters one day. I was laid up in bed for weeks on end, trying to recover from the surgery I had to have. Walking was something I always had trouble with and apparently when I fell over the stupid parking block in front of the store, well, I did more harm than good. The doctor told me that years of constantly falling had weakened the ligaments in my ankle, and they needed to repair the damage. Since I was alone, the doctor wanted me to hire a nurse to help me out. I did; she cleaned and did a couple of things around the house, and I spent the majority of the time in bed.
I needed something to occupy my time, so I finally picked up the books I had been dying to read. I had seen 'Sunrise' the movie, and it was okay, but never thought anything of it. When I learned 'Curve' was coming out, which was the sequel, I bought the books to read, but never did read them. The movie was okay, but it didn't really do anything for me. Then they made another movie, 'Darkening', and I was hooked. I didn't have anything else to do, and I had the books at the house. 'Darkening' had really drawn me in.
I started reading the first one, and I could feel the love pouring off the pages. I couldn't get enough and quickly picked up the sequel, and cried during the first four chapters. When I finally managed to get to where the movies had ended, I couldn't wait for it to be released to see what was going to happen to them. So, being that I couldn't move and the newest movie wasn't out yet, I read the last book. 'Enduring Sunrise' still left me wanting more. I couldn't get enough. I felt like an addict.
I started perusing the author's website looking for updates about the books or movies. I was shocked to learn that the author had written 'Witching Hour,' from a different characters point of view. That story would never see the light of the day because someone had to go and mess things up for the rest of us. After reading everything she had and reading all the outtakes that never made it into the books, I still wasn't satisfied and needed more.
One day while searching her page, I found a site for Sunrise fans. Fantasyjunkie was a website devoted to the characters of 'Sunrise'. I was shocked to see that people were writing stories about my favorite couple and their families. I thought my prayers were answered. I clicked on a story featuring my favorite pair and got lost once again in their love. But after reading it, I felt let down when my lovers didn't sail into the sunset. I decided that if all the stories on that website ended like that story, I never wanted to read from there again. I headed back over to the author's website, looking for something else, something that would bring me joy, something to heal the loneliness I felt inside, and something to idle the time I had to spend in bed.
Scrolling her list of fan sites, I finally stumbled on, another website devoted to the 'Sunrise Series'. They also allowed people to write stories. I was giddy with anticipation as I scrolled through the stories and read each author's own little blurb talking about their stories. They even had contests, and stories with lemons; I couldn't for the life of me figure out what lemons were. So I had to learn the lingo for the site. After a couple of interesting reads, I had finally found my home, and my reason for living.
I was blowing through stories like a crack addict with an endless supply. I would finish them in record time. I would search for more and save them to my browser bar to read later. I was reading so many stories that, after a while, I forgot which ones I loved and which ones I had already read. I would start a story, only to realize that I had read that one before; I put a stop to that when I learned how to favorite them. So, I would favor them and move on.
Eventually, I started dreaming and thinking about my own stories I could write. I held myself back; I knew I wasn't good enough. I had only been an average student in school, and English was my worst subject. I would think and dream, though, and the stories would bounce around in my mind, constantly plaguing me to write them.
Once I was back on my feet, and back to work, Mrs. Newton insisted that she set me up with someone. The first suggestion was her son, but when I adamantly declined, she started picking others. I went on a couple of dates, but I couldn't pull myself away from my stories. When those were failures, she found others who were willing to go out with me. Where she found these men was beyond me. None of them held my interest and were nowhere near as exciting as the world that was created within my stories.
I had a couple of guys who hung in there, and we successfully went out several times. However, once they came over to my house and watched as I successfully ignored them to read an update from my favorite author, they too lost interest in me. When I would get excited about a new story I was reading, I would tell Mrs. Newton about it. She looked at me like I was crazy, or something. Hell, even Mike lost interest in me after hearing about all the stories.
Some would argue that I was obsessed, but I didn't think I was. I had just found my source of happiness, and my creative muse. I couldn't help but think about the stories I wanted to write, and when I slipped and told Mike about wanting to write, he laughed in my face and told me that I could never make it as a writer. He pissed me off; I mean, what did he know about the world? He was twenty-eight years old and still lived with his mother.
I finally broke down and wrote the story that plagued my mind. It followed the author's original story line where she had left off. I needed more and I wondered how many other people out there were like me. I wondered if anyone would even like my stories. I finally got brave and looked at the posting recommendation on Sunblocked, trying to decide if I seriously wanted to go public with my stories. I read the recommendations and analyzed every small detail, and the description of the rules.
Once the first chapter was typed and printed, I read it regularly, searching for ways to improve the story. I worked my hardest to make sure that it flowed, had no grammar errors, and was what I wanted to present to Sunblocked. I finally worked up the courage to submit the story. I held my breath and closed my eyes tight as I hit the send button. What was the worst that could happen?
They could tell me that it wasn't good enough, and that it needed work. I figured that, but I never heard a single word from them about my submission. I checked my email daily, even hourly, just to see if they would post my story, but nothing. Not even 'thanks', or, 'the story was good, but you need help with grammar,' nothing. I stopped writing and put aside the dream of having one of my stories featured on their website. Despite all of this, the plot just kept drumming away in my mind.
Two years passed, and I never tried to write again. The stories on Sunblocked were drying up, and I couldn't find anything that appealed to me anymore. I had stumbled onto a couple of stories. The ones with a BDSM theme rocked my world, both physically and mentally. I craved those stories. Once I finished reading everything Sunblocked had on it and realized that my time on Sunblocked was up, I finally stumbled back over to Fantasyjunkie, thinking that maybe I had misjudged them two years prior, and decided to give them a whirl. I was able to successfully locate some of the story genre I wanted, but was still left a little unsatisfied. The best thing that came out of Fantasyjunkie was I did have new stories to read, and that was all that mattered to me.
Right around my birthday, the writing bug hit again, and I couldn't shake the feeling that I needed to at least write the one piece that had been plaguing my mind for years. There were others, but the one that picked up where the books left off just wouldn't leave me alone. I had to finish it. I read the guidelines for Fantasyjunkie again. I read the rules almost daily. I tried to think about what to do. Did I want to post my stories for others to read? Or, did I not? Before the night was over, I bit the bullet. I rewrote the entire first chapter in record time and posted. Once I hit send, I then crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.
The first story I wrote after picking up where the author had left off was a little story I had thought about while singing karaoke. I had always been an old soul at heart, and often found myself listening to the older hits of the seventies. The song "Main Street" would play on repeat in my brain. So, I wrote about the two lead characters from Sunrise, playing out the song. Edison Callum would stand outside the pool hall just to watch Annabelle Swain get off work at the Gentlemen's club to walk by him. She was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. Young and sweet and filled his dreams every night.
The reviews from the story were a blessing. Whether the people who reviewed realized it or not, they built me up and made me feel fulfilled. The more they reviewed, the more I wanted to write. It was like a drug to me.
I had finally done something fairly decent in my life; that was until I had my first negative review. Why did people have to be so hurtful and nasty about things? I took the words to heart, and I knew somewhere inside, she was right to a degree. My grammar sucked, my spelling was mediocre at best, and I had no clue where to put the commas or punctuation. She did offer to help me, if she had time, but I didn't know where to turn. I had thought that finding a beta or pre-reader would be difficult, and that they would require monetary payment for services rendered. I searched through the list of betas on Fantasyjunkie, but not everyone I messaged returned my request for services.
I didn't know what to do; should I just keep writing and hope for the best? Or, should I just pull the story off the website? That reviewer had hit a soft spot that almost made me quit. I finally toughened up and decided that it was only one in a sea of great reviews. I wasn't going to let one person ruin the dreams I had of writing; I'm sure everyone had bad reviews sometime in their career. You can't please everyone all the time. Why was there always one person who was determined to knock you down? Especially if things were going well, and people liked the story; why did one person try to destroy that? I thought of it like this … if you color your hair, talk to ten people and ask their opinions. One out of those ten would be against it. That one would stick out, and would make you reconsider.
I never left a negative review on a story. If I didn't like a story, I walked away; closed the computer and went on to the next. No one was the wiser. I could have potentially written some terrible reviews, too. Not every story out there was something I liked. I always thought; what if they were like me? What if they were nervous? Worried? Or, didn't have the self-confidence? I wouldn't be the one to ruin their dreams and, if this made them happy, who was I to take it away from them? Everyone has to start somewhere, and we are only human after all. Humans make mistakes. Besides, I might not like it, but other people might love it.
I put on my big girl panties, and posted more chapters until I could locate a beta. When a beta finally responded, I was so excited to have someone to talk to about the things I liked about my stories and about the fandom. The woman I met was Rosalie Hale, aka callumnswain; she lived in London, while I was destined to never leave Forks, Washington. We struggled sometimes to connect because of the time difference separating us. She was a godsend and an inspiration. She slowly worked on weeding out my problems while I wrote and posted more chapters.
I never gave up reading and still read stories regularly, but still couldn't really find the ones that tickled my fancy.
I would chat with Rosalie regularly through emails. She was a stylist in London, and often times, we would have to work around her schedule. I was thankful to have someone reading and correcting my mistakes though; so I couldn't complain. She was also there to inspire and encourage me through my journey in writing. I even bounced new ideas off her. When new plot bunnies would plague my brain, she was the first to know. She was the one who encouraged and supported me through the negative reviews I often received. I promised her that, if I ever made something of myself, she would be the first one to whom I sent a check.
I used every opportunity to write. Even while sitting in the doctor's office, I jotted down thoughts about different stories. I had outlines and plans for every story I had. When things weren't busy at work, I wrote down ideas and would rewrite and plan them out. There wasn't a moment that I didn't have a pen in my hand, scratching down something to turn into a story. At night, as I crawled into bed, I would think about plot ideas. I placed a clipboard by the bed. When the ideas would come, I would lean over to write them down before I forgot them. Sometimes they pertained to stories I was writing at the moment, and sometimes they were epiphanies that would eventually get written and then put on the web for everyone to read.
I advertised my stories everywhere possible. I posted on Fantasyjunkie, and even found a new website that catered to the same things as the other two. I posted my stories there, too. The stories had only been on the website for a couple of days when another beta found me. Alice Brandon, aka princessalice; she was a teacher and only lived a couple of miles from me, which was a great advantage; we usually had the same schedules.
She helped to polish the work I had done and encouraged me as well. When Rosalie was unavailable, I could always turn to Alice. Often times, she would send me inspirational cards just to help me get through the hard times. There weren't too many, but you always had someone who didn't like the things you wrote. That was something I had to come to terms with.
Standing in line at the grocery store, I saw some much need inspiration by way of an advertisement for Peninsula College. I had taken a couple of classes before Charlie got sick, so I decided to go back. I had nothing but time on my hands, and I wanted to better myself.
So, the following day, I headed to the college and enrolled in their spring semester class, Introduction to Creative Writing course. When I go to the college, I took the test again. Even though I had taken it years ago when I was eighteen, I didn't see how I would potentially lose the knowledge I had back then.
Once the tests were over, I waited for the advisor to come along and help me sign up for the class I wanted to take.
"Ms. Swan," she said coming out of her office.
I stood up and followed her.
"My name is Mrs. Cope, and I will be your academic advisor. It is my understanding you wanted to sign up for classes?" she asked.
"Yes, ma'am. I would like to sign up for the creative writing class," I said proudly.
"That's great, but you're going to have to take a couple of classes before you get to that point. Not to mention the fact that you need to pick a major, and creative writing wouldn't be listed in some of those majors, but could be picked up as an elective."
"Why can't I just take Creative Writing?"
"Well, you have to have a couple required courses first. Remedial English would be one, plus Remedial Reading would also be required in your case."
"How long before I would be able to take the classes?"
"Depends on you really. When do you want to begin, and when you plan on taking the prerequisites?"
"Do I have to pick a major right now?" I asked feeling like my world had come crumbling down on me.
"No, you can go general. You can even graduate with a general major and be accepted to any college. You will have all the prerequisites out of the way for your career choice."
"Can I come back when I've decided on what to do?" I asked.
I wanted to take the creative writing course and that was all. I really had no use for a college education. I had money and didn't need to work; so what would be the point of getting a career?
I left Mrs. Cope's office with a decision to make. Did I want to take the other classes? I headed to work, saddened by not being able to do the things I wanted.
A/N: This is the story of my life so far, or at least my writing life. There will be more, and there will be some surprises. I hope. Thanks for reading and please show some love we all need it. Edward will be coming soon, I promise, lemons too. Hang in there!