A Read Down Memory Lane

I got together with a few friends on Thursday night to see The Lovely Bones. As these friends are the ones I most often do my best complaining about my novel and particularly my troublesome characters to, there was talk of the Shitty First Draft.

Which is not nearly as shitty as a great deal of the fanfiction I wrote as a teenager. I mean, for all their faults, at least the three books that this blog has chronicled the writings, meanderings, and such of have endings. And characters of a reasonably original variety. And yet, I think of the fics with fondness. And I’m surprised at how well my dear friends remember some of the twists in them–and actually, you know, they’re not entirely shitty…I’m pretty surprised at that aspect…and also at my terrible sense of fortune telling *sigh*

For fun–here are some excerpts from various fics over the years. Girls–how many do you recognize?

“Neal!” I exclaimed.
“Mar!” Neal said back. “’Sup?” He looked me up and down. “You look so…”
“Corporate?” I answered. “Hey Kyle. Hey Joey.” Kyle raised a drumstick at me. Joey waved.
“Bloggie!” Another voice said. Bounding at me from center stage was a large presence—here was the big kahuna of this band—David Cook, American Idol winner 2008, Grammy Award winner last year in 2010, former bassist in Andy and Neal’s band MWK, and, yeah, the creator of that hideous nickname for me.
Did I mention that he’s occasionally my boss?
“Sugarfoot!” I said back. Hey, man, tit for tat.
He rolled his hazel eyes and enveloped me in a tight hug. I haven’t seen Dave in…oh, what is it now, June? Yeah, so about four months. Which, after traveling with him and the guys for the majority of last year, all over the country, all over the world, is a little weird. It’s even stranger considering that he, Neal and Andy still live out of the same house in California and I’ve been there a few times in the last four months. David’s stayed in Los Angeles since he won Idol, practically, and he has yet to buy a more permanent house for himself.
“How is everything?” He asked. Then he saw my business attire. “Oh, shit. What’d they do to you?”
“This is what people with office jobs wear,” I said, making sure all of the guys could hear me across the small stage. I tried my hardest to glance pointedly at all of them, T-shirt clad with jeans. Their show clothes were a little flashier, the jeans tighter, but they didn’t have to squeeze into heels and wear stockings and crap like that.
David put an arm around my shoulder and then very cheekily said, “I’m sorry.” As in, I’m sorry you have to abide by a dress code.


The monster, in question, was a well-kept secret and Dom often suspected that even the writers didn’t really know what it was. It had already killed a pilot in season one, episode one, and one character had come close to being eaten, but was miraculously saved. Dom’s character, Charlie, had had one run-in with the damn thing this season. It was the perfect threat to give to a prima donna actor: behave or the monster will eat you.
“So, who’s coming today?” Amanda asked. Jessica thought for a minute, failed to remember the names of Hollywood’s best, and pulled out her planner.
“I wrote it all down…where is it?…Oh, here it is,” Jessica said, paging through the book that contained her life. “Um…Josh Hartnett…he’s a little too old to play Jimmy, but we’ll see. Elijah Wood—can’t see him doing that either. Colin Farrell’s coming in for Steve…” Amanda whistled. “Yeah, I know. Oh, and…Orlando Bloom.” Amanda’s eyes opened wider and her mouth did, too. Jessica laughed. “I see that we’re still obsessed with Orli.”
Amanda blushed and sunk down in her chair. “Oh. My. God. Orlando Bloom’s auditioning for my movie? How is that possible?”
“He has an agent. We—well, you—have a really superior script,” Jessica grinned all of a sudden. “And we’re gonna make all those teachers who told us to ‘talk up’ pay.”
Amanda laughed. “Yeah. No one can spot it except us, but I based the teachers in here,” she said, pointing to the script, “on some of the meaner ones at FHHS.”
“I was just thinking…” Jessica started. “Well, okay, we’re casting for Jimmy first, right?” Amanda nodded. “Well, then, whose gonna do Grace’s lines or Jolie’s lines to Jimmy? I don’t think it’s fair to make actors read with monotone studio executives.”
“We should’ve cast for Grace first,” Amanda mumbled. “Oh, well. I guess I’ll do it. I wrote the damn thing, I know how to read it.”
“Besides,” Jessica added, eyes sparkling, “you’re the director. They’re just actors—what do they know?”
They both cracked up, stopped laughing, and then started up again until they had tears of laughter and giddiness running down their cheeks.

“I know!” Amanda said back. By this time, the boys were openly laughing at the girls.
“Amanda,” Jessica whispered. “Look.” She glanced at a table near them. Johnny Depp was sitting there, sans the eyeliner he wore in Pirates of the Caribbean. Sure, he was in his late forties now, but he was still pretty hot for someone that age.
“Oh, my God,” Amanda breathed back. “ Too bad: no eyeliner.”
Colin and Orli follwed the girl’s gazes. Orli and Johnny nodded and smiled at each other. When Johnny looked their way, the girls pretended to be fascinated with the table setting.
“ Uh…Jess? Jessica?” Colin waved a hand in front of her face. “ No sexual fantasies during the show.”
“ That goes for you, too,” Orli told Amanda.
“ I wasn’t having a sexual fantasy,” Amanda replied. “ At least not about him…Orli, honey?”
“ Yeah?”
“ Would you put on eyeliner for me?” She asked, giving him her best “ I’m so cute and you love me, now do what I ask” look. He just grinned at her in reply.
The show was pretty uneventful, the first awards were mainly for TV. But then the award for Best Supporitng Actress in the Motion Picture, Drama, was called out and the members of their table tensed up until the name was called out and Alex wasn’t the winner.
The first commercial break came up and that was when Johnny Depp walked over to talk to Orli. They hadn’t seen each other in awhile. All Amanda and Jessica could do was look at him without seeming like what Orli called “ fan girls.” After all, Amanda was 24 today. They were mature women.
They might be mature and women, but idols from their teen years would never die.
“Wrong,” she continued writing. As she continued writing, she pictured her friends in California, casting and writing a movie. She pictured her friends’ husbands, both actors. But most of all, she imagined a blue-eyed actor with talented acting chops. Bah. What was she doing? She was too old for a celebrity crush.
Once she finished the column, after about four hours, she went online and found herself going to Google and searching for Belfast. Closing her eyes, Shari repeated her mantra: Two more months and I can be in journalistic glory. Two more months and I’ll be recognized. Two more months and I’ll be honored as a brave American journalist who helped the country.
Just two more months until her utterly normal existence changed.

But the biggest surprise had to be Sonal and Brian. In early August, during a business trip to the West Coast, Sonal rang her friends up. “ I’m in Las Vegas,” she said. “ And Brian’s here with me. He asked me to marry him a few weeks ago. And we’re doing it. Now. Wish me good luck.”

2 thoughts on “A Read Down Memory Lane

  1. Wow way to take a trip back in time. I recognize the first one as the most recent journey to fanfiction with David Cook. And then the Dom one from the Dom/Ian fic. And were the last 4 all from the Orli/Colin neverending fic?


  2. Yup, 1st is DC. Then Dom.3 & 4 are the neverending Orli fic (surprisingly, it's not that long….it's all single-spaced, that's why. Imagine if it was double). 5 is also the neverending Orli/Colin fic, with Shari and Elijah thrown in. And 6 is the Dom fic—I completely forgot that I wrote that actually. See, Sonal? I put you with other people besides fictional Kennedys!


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