There are some things in life money can't buy...

Those of you who know me or my fic know that I really like the Master Card commercial.  I'll use it again here because nothing else does a better job at summing up how my obscenely overpriced visit to the San Francisco Twilight Convention was totally worth it.

General Conference Admission - $25
Photo Op - $35
Autograph Session - $40
Photos for autographing (+ protective covers) - $24
Small Group Meet and Greet - $200
Hugging Pfach after he smiled at me dazzlingly while sparkling his green-gray eyes - priceless


The Backstory

As of the morning of the convention, I wasn't going to go.  Sure, I wanted to bask in the Peach's aura of DILFy hot love, but what would I say when I met him?  Number one, I don't like superficial or contrived interactions, so these "fan" events, with their orchestrated photo ops and smalltalk meet and greets tend to rub me the wrong way.  Number two, I am too tactful to say what I would really want to say or ask what I really want to know, so I didn't want to make lame small talk, or worse stand there drooling like a St. Bernard.

Still, I got on Twitter circa 8AM to consult my Twi-hard friends.  It was at that point that bierbeck, ciaobella27, roselover24, fngrcufs and a particularly adamant mabarberella more or less tweet-shouted back "Of course you have to go get your Pfach on, girl!  Are you out of your f-ing mind?!?"

60 Minutes B.P. (Before the Peach)
Fast forward to 1PM.  I had arrived at the Burlingame Hyatt.  I had shelled out exorbitant sums to get as much Pfach as I could buy, because I'll be 8 months pregnant when ComiCon rolls around, so this could well be my only chance.  The conference itself was extremely disorganized so I got a front row seat, stage left (which was reserved for the ludicrously overpriced gold ticket holders, but the person whose seat I was in never showed).  I waited for his hour-long Q&A to begin while chatting with a bunch of fans who were there the year before and were already complaining about how bad this year's sucked.

Hellllllllo, Peter :)
Having missed his (earlier) flight, the Peach was right on time for his Q&A, literally out of breath as he hopped onto the stage (wait, was that him or me?).  Now, I had brought my good camera, which is how I got yummy shots like this.   I basically spent the Q&A listening with one ear but focusing on taking as many delicious commemorative pictures as possible.  At this point I should mention that the Q&A was comprised of questions that attendees had submitted the hour before.  Poor Peter had to answer a cadre of some of the dumbest questions I'd ever heard (e.g., how do you define success and do you think you are successful?  If you could ask Paul Newman one question, what would it be?  WTF, people!!?).  Unsurprisingly, he was a beacon of grace and class as he answered these inane inquiries, but he did start kind of ignoring the questions and doing some storytelling of his own.

What I learned from this?  He is actually pretty funny!  Sure, he's used to doing these events and is a pro at entertaining the crowd; he definitely has his schtick and he told enough stories I'd already heard to prove he probably tells the same few all the time.  Still, for the times he went off on tangents, he really brought the funny.  And the flirty.  I hae a sharp sense for these things, and I still walked away with the feeling that the flirty wasn't part of the act :P

Hugging Peter = Pure Love (The Photo Op)
The mere experience of being in line for the photo op reminded me of why I was reticent to come.  Literally hundreds of eager fans bounced with excitement as they waited for their few seconds with The Peach.  For some people, who didn't spend the $300+ that I did, this would be their only chance to get close to him.  Yet, the enormous money-making machine that is the Twilight Convention hustled people through so fast that they were photographing 4-5 people a minute.

All that said, I didn't expect much.  Thought I'd barely get a second glance from Peter.  As I approached I focused on making sure my hair was straight and trying not looking too fat (though no amount of sucking in my gut will fix the fact that I am pregnant).  Yet, when my time came, peter totally made my 12 to 15 seconds with him count.  He made really good eye contact with me gave me a beautiful smile and asked me my name and thanked me for coming.  He put his arm around me for the picture and gave me a little squeeze when the photographer said there was a problem with the first one and he wanted another.  And he gave me a little hug before I thanked him and said goodbye!

Now, I know this seems like a lot for 12 to 15 seconds, and obviously he had the slo-mo effect on me which is why I remember in such detail, but Peter totally dazzled me!  What was I thinking as I walked away in a daze?  I had forgotten to notice how he smelled!!

The Much-Coveted Small Group Audience with Peter
For the small sum of $200, 10 lucky fans could buy a ticket to spend one hour in a semi-private Q&A with him.  So, they took us to the green room where they served us sodas and snacks and put us all around a round table with Peter.

Now, it merits a mention that mabarberella had been kind enough to equip me with questions I could ask if I was at a loss.  However, since her questions included "Why did they put so much makeup on Tiff Amber Theissen in FastLane? Were they trying to make her look clownish?" and "Did you wank it while watching 90210?" I worried about coming up with ones of my own...

I needn't have worried.  Among the other 9 fans, two of whom were "Guy-hards" (e.g., male Twi-hards), there were two girls in particular who had not problem asking uninteresting or inappropriate questions.  At one point I was so horrified by the question that one of the attendees asked, I started laughing--HARD--and was afraid I wouldn't be able to stop my giggle fit!  Beyond that, a few girls presented Peter with gifts they had made him and one girl shamelessly usurped his time to get him to sign things for charity.  He also showed us some pictures from the Eclipse set and in the picture above, he was showing us an adorable video of his youngest daughter doing a play for him.

At the end of the hour, we took a group picture, his bodyguard taking a turn with each person's camera.  When Mr. Bodyguard couldn't figure out my fancy camera and finally commented that "it came out blurry", the Peach insisted he take a second :)  Another cool thing--in this picture, I was behind him, but I didn't mind one bit.  Why not? My nose was right next to his neck.  For a solid 3 to 5 minutes, I took in the wonderful aroma of his leather jacket + him in-between surreptitiously sniffing his hair...

The Autograph Hour
This was his last appearance, and since I didn't have the fancy ticket, I had to wait 'til the end.  He signed autographs behind the stage, while onstage the "actors" ::snickers:: from The Hillywood Show did a Q&A panel and a showing of their "film".  By the time I got back up to him, he was visibly fatigued, and his energy was much lower, but he was still very gracious.  He signed my stuff and I bid him adieu and (by now it was 7PM!) I got in my car and took my ass home!

The verdict
I had a good time and I was glad that I went.  All that said, I still hated the format.  The objectification of celebrities by the paparazzi and fans always leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and I was angry, sad, and embarrassed at witnessing fans behaving badly.  Though many people were respectful, I saw a fair bit of groping, heard blatant come-ons and inappropriate questions, and was privy to gratuitous in-your-face picture taking.  5 of the 10 people during the small group audience took flash pictures of him at close range THE WHOLE TIME!!  Not only was I disgusted by this dynamic, but I could see that Peter was guarded as a result (despite handling himself and the fans with the utmost grace and politesse).  Still, I'd love to meet him again, under more relaxed circumstances*.

Final Note
All of the pictures you see on this blog posting are ones that I took and are not for public consumption or for reposting/reprinting elsewhere.  Please don't copy them without asking!  I don't want them all over the place.

*mabarberella, get your mind out of the gutter!


Post-Cliffie Chapter Update Does Not Tell Us What Happens Next = Major Fic Faux Pas

You may remember an earlier rant, "Long Time Between Updates + Update only gives second POV = Major Fic Faux Pas".  In this second installment of my Fic Faux Pas rant series I bring you yet another.  This rant, of course, was brought on by a recent chapter update I read for a dearly-anticipated fic.  The prior chapter had left the reader with a little cliffie, so you can imagine my chagrin at finding that instead of telling the reader what happens next in the story, the entire update was A FLASHBACK!!

Listen, people.  I write fic.  I know that a well-conceived story requires more than plot.  I know that good character development often necessitates character back story, and flashbacks are one way to show that.  Here's the thing, though:  there is a time and a place for flashbacks, and that time is not right after a cliffie.  And if you have the audacity to place a flashback right after a cliffie, the end of the chapter had better come back to the present and deliver substantial plot progression.

So, here's a PSA for all the little girls who think it's fun to play with cliffies:  playing with cliffies is like playing with fire, and when you play with fire you get burnt.  If you're going to use a cliffhanger to build suspense, show that you know what you're doing:

  1. Relieve the tension in a timely fashion--no one likes a tease
  2. Make the resolution satisfying (i.e., don't use a cliffhanger as an empty device that ultimately fakes the reader out a la 80's show "Dallas").  Only a well-resolved cliffhanger will make the reader feel the update was worth waiting for.
  3. Use cliffhangers sparingly, and alongside other mechanisms that build dramatic tension.  In some ways, cliffhangers limit authors while a slow burn gives more license for authors to tell the story the way they want

That is all.


Oh, Golden Lemon Awards, thank you for understanding that "Best Lemon" just isn't good enough...

Thank God for Twitter.  If not for the big T how would I have found out about The Golden Lemon Awards?  Now, it looks like this is its first go-round for these awards, but I can already tell they will be totally perv-tastic.  How do I know this?  Because it is asking fans to nominate lemony award categories they'd like to see as a precursor to nominating fic!

Dirty girl that I am, I have already suggested several categories.  The last one is my favorite and I hope it gets picked up:

  • Best dirty talk
  • Best use of a sparkle peen
  • Best vampire + human lemon
  • Best gang-bang
  • Best cum-shot
  • Best sexification of an unsexy character ::cough*Esme*cough::
  • Best lemony diversion on a canon moment
  • Lemony fic scene you'd pay good money to join

So, friends, go forth and nominate all the lemony categories you'd like to see!  But not before sharing with all of us which categories will you suggest!


Art of Worship Chapter 5 Teaser

I secretly fangirl all over Ms. Kathy, and this teaser is for her.  I am having a lot of trouble with the last-last-last part of this chapter, which is why it hasn't posted, but a little taste won't hurt...

* * * * *

“Sleep, my love,” I whispered to Esme with a smooth of her hair and a kiss to her brow, though her whine of protest implored me to stay.

I’d loved her thoroughly (if not relentlessly) for each of the three nights and two mornings she’d been back home and I knew my wife was tired.  Wanting nothing more than to drift off with her, I lingered for a moment hoping I’d hear Edward’s engine coming up the drive.  But he wasn’t due home yet, and if I stayed in bed I’d fall asleep, and one of us always made sure the kids got home alright.  Tucking the covers around her after I slipped out of bed, I blew the candles out and gave her a final kiss.

I washed up a little and picked up the room, saving Esme the trouble of doing it in the morning.  After slipping on striped gray silk pajama pants and a fitted v-neck undershirt, I quietly exited our room.  Closing the door behind me, I strode toward the stairs, my footfalls silent on thick carpet.  Just as I reached the top of the steps, I heard Edward walk inside.

I watched my son as he closed himself in and fell back against the door.  His eyes were closed, his mouth curved in a crooked grin and he let out an indulgent sigh.  I smiled a little smile of my own.

Looks like we both got some tonight.

“Did you and Bella get in some good studying?” I asked, taking to my descent of the stairs.

I didn’t bother hiding my smirk, so he didn’t bother lying.  Deepening the angle of his grin as he slowly opened his eyes, he just shook his head.

“But, I take it you kids had fun, whatever you did.” 

His eyes had followed me to the foot of the stairs. 

“Dad, I think I’m in love.”

His expression was still dreamy, and I could only chuckle.

“I thought we’d already established that.”

“Not just with Bella, dad.  I’ve been reading that book you gave me.  I’ve been practicing what it says.”


He didn’t even find it in him to blush.

“And, I can’t stop licking her pussy.”

Facebook Friends Chapter 14 Teaser

BPOV (teaser begins mid-scene)

...but now was the time, and Edward deserved the truth and, for him, I’d put it all on the line.

Speaking of putting things on the line…

I glanced in wonder at the boom box by my side. It had taken only an hour to find it in my Dad’s garage but a full four to track down something appropriate on cassette. I’d had the whole ride to Port Angeles to sort through my mental music files and pick out the perfect song.

I hit two vintage stores that I knew sold tapes, but found nothing that remotely fit, much less the one song I was looking for. Half an hour at an internet cafĂ© and zero leads later, I was stuck with the tape that sat in the player. Before I had to resort to scanning the first tape of the “Freedom Rock” album for appropriate songs, I tried Freecycle and E-Bay local as a last-ditch attempt, hoping some random Port Angelite had what I wanted. I nearly fainted when I saw that the tape that I wanted was on auction for only $2.75.

Holy shit, it’s at Plastic Fantastic.

I raced there as fast as my truck would take me. Wet, frantic and no-doubt looking just a little scary, I made a beeline for the register.

“Hey, you’re Cullen’s girl!”

I had never been so happy to see the caught-in-a-time-warp hippie.

“Thank God you remember me,” I breathed, practically collapsing in relief on the glass display case counter. “Listen, I screwed up with Edward. I need to get him back. And I think you have something that could help.”

I elaborated, telling him about the boom box and my crisis of lack of tape.

“Righteous plan, babe! Very “Say Anything”—but are you sure you got the right song? What about “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” or “Can’t Fight This Feeling?”” He waggled his eyes conspiratorially. “A little REO Speedwagon never hurt.”

“I don’t know…” I hedged.

“Ooh! I got it!” he exclaimed triumphantly, snapping a soulful finger and breaking into song. “I wanna take a little time…a little time to think things over…I better read between the lines…in case I need it when I’m older…”

Grabbing an unseen guitar from behind the counter and switching into the right key, he wailed into the chorus to “I Wanna Know What Love Is”.  Ready to burst into tears from the kind of day I was having, I stood there helplessly and let him finish the song. When he broke out of his reverie, he refocused on me. My face must’ve given it away.

“No?” he asked, wincing.

I just shook my head. He disappeared for a moment and returned with my tape.

“Then this is on me, babe--not that you need it. Cullen’s totally in love.”

* * * * *

And there's your spoiler, folks.  Chapter 14 has been difficult to finalize and is on its third iteration.  Thanks a lot for your patience.  I expect the full chapter out (as well as outtakes with the stuff that was going in earlier versions of the chapter) to be posted well before the weekend :)