Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Meet & Greet with Merina Green


Once upon a time there was a little, old thing called The Fandom Gives Back: New Moon Edition. As a Lamb, I wanted to contribute to this endeavor, but I was stuck – Did I really want to write something? I mean, I could have called it “JaspersDestiny is Forced Out of Her Little Shell”. Natch. I love my little shell. Screw that idea. I figured, “Hey, I could offer my services as a Beta to anyone in need instead.” And that’s just what I did. I didn’t expect anyone to buy me, of course, but there was a wee one by the name of Merina Green – aka Donna - who not only bid on me, she commented on my FGB thread a couple of times with things like, “Yayyyy! I’ve still got you!” And she would make me giggle (shit, it’s not like she had any competition, but if she was excited, hell…).

I remember emailing Kay after FGB had ended that I wondered what the hell kind of story I was in for. Don’t hate on me, but it could have been A) complete god-awfulry, B) an Edward fic (*squelch*), or C) who the fuck knows…? Not that any of this would have mattered - I would do my job excellently any old way anyway. But whether I kept my dinner down was another story (Diaperward anyone?). There are fics...and then there are fics.


Donna told me that she had most of the story written already and to expect an influx of chapters. “Okay,” I said, “Pony them up.” And I then became her Black Market Beta. But my God, I did not expect the story I was given. I told the Lambs that I had found a gem and that I was luckier than Demi Moore in Indecent Proposal with what would later be called Running.


Running would turn out to be one of the most original fanfics I had ever read, and it would later go on to win Most Creative Way to Get Rid of Alice/Edward, Best Sex That Never Was and Best Use of Scars in a Fic in the Everything is Bigger in Texas Awards.

Donna and I have had fun together on this journey, and we Lambs had the honour of adding her to our mix of fuckery here at The Petting Zoo. I mean, Jasper lickage, whale sex, drive-by shootings, and Christian missionaries deserve Lamb status, no? And Lucy was already getting advanced copies of the story as I beta read, and she was wonderful enough to create a gorgeous story banner for Donna, who sat there amazed at what was happening with her fic.


I may be stretching things here, but I would like to think that Donna has had one of the best experiences in the fandom as a whole – I know she’s a loyal – and loved – reader and reviewer, and then she goes and writes a story that becomes one of the most beloved J/B fics on FFn, in turn garnering herself a loyal – and loved – following. She’s found herself thrown into the world of Twitter, and she’s met some new friends along the way, some of whom include her favourite authors from before - when she was just a humble reader. It’s a bit like a fairy tale – one which I could only wish for if it were me. And Donna’s a wonderful woman, mother, and wife – and her husband is wonderful, too, because he supports her addiction, unlike most husbands.

And now we Lambs call her friend.

MGreen2.jpg picture by JaspersDestiny

So, stay a while and get to know our most recent Lamb a little better. And now that Running is complete (congratulations, Donna!), let’s all cross our fingers that she has another story in the works down the road, although I wouldn’t be surprised if she takes a little break for a while. Her local coffee shop will call to her, no doubt, though, so I don’t think we’ll have eons to wait *grin*.

1. Tell us about yourself. Married? Single? Kids, age...whatever you'd like to share.

Married with children - a freshman in college, a senior in HS, and a second grader, proving that you're never too old to get caught.


2. Tell us about Twilight. How did you first get into the Saga, when was the first time you read it, and which book is your favorite?

My daughter made me read it.  I held out for a long time. The first movie came out and I ignored it. Her Dad took her to see it with her cousins (he then escaped into the James Bond movie with the boys). She'd already read the books, but I bought them for her that Christmas (2008) because she "really, really liked them" and I thought the covers were pretty. So there they were, staring at me, day in and day out. Harping teenage female in the background "just try them, just try them"...she was like a drug dealer, trying to lure in a new client. In fact, that's EXACTLY what she was. I finally broke down in mid-January of 2009, just to stop the whining. I was hooked by the end of the first chapter and read all four books in a weekend. I went and saw the movie with her (yeah, it was still running...) twice, then once with my husband (yeah, he read all the books - we're supportive of each other's addictions that way).


My favorite was the first book, when True Love was still innocent and untainted.  After that, things headed south - people got whiny and situations got complicated. I liked them all though - even Breaking Dawn. Sometimes an unrealistic, fluff-filled ending with the heroine getting everything she wants, served on a silver platter, is OK. This IS fiction, after all. My least favorite was the teenage angst-fest known as New Moon.  I didn't like feeling like a heartbroken teenager again.

3. What got you started reading Twilight Fanfiction? Do you remember the first fic you read?

I'd visited FF in the past for other stories (Twilight's not my first journey down Obsession Street). I stumbled on it again for Twilight when I was looking for Midnight Sun, which I had heard (again, from my daughter) was SOMEWHERE online.  First fic I read was Fate Has Brought Us Here - I mean, could I have GOTTEN any luckier? I thought, "Wow. Jasper. He is SO much better than Edward. How did I not realize this before?" This was followed by some total CRAP that I don't even remember, and then I figured out how the filters worked and I found Colliding Meteors, One More Taste, and Golden Moon. I mean, is it any wonder I became addicted?

4. Which are your favorite stories?

Um, all of the above, and A Light in the Darkness and its sequel Basking in the Light of our Love, Son of a Preacher Man, All That I've Got, Irritable Grizzly Adams, Destiny Awaits (be warned on that one, the author has disappeared), ItzMegan73 has AH E/B stories that I love, The Tie That Binds, The Girl Under The Bed, Sassafrass Junction. God, I could go on... I think there are like 200 on my ‘favorites’ list. I'm only mentioning finished, or nearly finished, fics because you never know when you can be reading along on a perfectly wonderful story and the author goes and does something you just can't handle.

5. Who are your favorite characters, from who you like the most to err...who you would like to kill right off the bat?

In SM's books, I like Edward. I admit it. I try to read him in the spirit in which SM intended (or at least how I think she intended!), and I love him. HOWEVER, in FF I much prefer Jasper and/or Carlisle. I don't want to kill any of them, believe it or not. However, I can do without Jacob in any way, shape, or form. He is the archetypical male who won't take ‘no’ for an answer and is then shocked when he finally figures out the girl doesn't like him. He's too young, too cock-sure, and too damn annoying. He’s too much like a dog. SM did a good job writing him! Nessie...kinda creeps me out. And while I can't bring MYSELF to write anything like it, I LOVE the scene in a good Jasper story (or any other non-canon pairing) when Edward finds out that Jasper (or whoever it might be) got The Girl. Because even though I loved SM's books, I think a part of me never quite forgave him for leaving in the beginning of New Moon. I think I must have repressed rage or something.


6. Which fics are you reading right now and which ones have your complete attention whenever they pop with an update?

The Quiet Room, Love Amongst the Ruins, A Change in Course, The Last Mile (HINT, HINT), The Orbiting Meteor, Destiny Awaits (a girl can hope, right?), Unfathomable Bonds, All That I've Got Gabriel POV, Saving Bella, I Don't Exist, The Cannabean Betrothal, An Introduction to Swirl and Daisy, Insecurities, Underneath Your Scars… There are more, but it really depends on the mood I'm in.

7. What made you finally decide to start writing your own?

The scene at the end of Breaking Dawn, after the battle, when Edward says, "...I'm sure they'll recover from the blow someday. And then...I imagine they'll try to pick us off separately." It kept rolling around in my head, spitting out plot bunnies. And I saw all these 'real' people writing REALLY good stories. So I decided I'd give it a try. I always liked writing, and here was a ready-made, anonymous audience of addicts. I figured SOMEBODY was bound to read it. Then I bought myself a Beta at the FGB auction, assuring that I would have at least one (paid) reader, and my spelling/grammar errors would be taken care of. Because I'm insecure like that!


8. What's the atmosphere like when you're writing? Music…quiet…kids screaming and ripping each other apart…husband bitching in the background? Do you drink and/or smoke?

I have a lot of mental down-time at work, which allows me to run through scenes in my head. Then when I have free time at home, I can sit down and write fairly quickly. I like to write in quiet, which means it’s usually late at night. I also write at a coffee house on Sunday afternoons with some other 'hobby' writers. I don't usually like writing to music because it affects my mood too much - I'd spend all my time trying to make a playlist that matched the tone of what I was wanting to write. HOWEVER, if people (teenagers and company) are hanging out, I will put music on to drown out the noise. Right now I listen to whatever my son (age 18) gives me, saying, "Here, I think you'll like this". He hasn't been wrong yet. But I couldn't tell you what any of it is...sorry!

I drink. On rare occasions, to excess. I've never smoked a cigarette.

9. What else do you like to read besides Twilight?

I don't remember... :) Science Fiction, fantasy, or the odd romance novel.

10. What else do you like to do?

Kayaking (not whitewater - not really available here in Louisiana), camping, going to the beach, tubing, floating in the pool with a drink in my hand.

11. Tell us a secret.

I read RPF. There. I've said it. I read it, and there are some I really like. Don't judge.

Mmmhhhmmmm...Shatnoy anyone...?


  1. Why am I in Wendy's pants? That's just...disturbing...

  2. Finished??!?!?! ZOMG, i am so behind! No spoilers in my inbox in the meantime ladies! When i get this update done it's the first thing i'm reading.

    Congrats, Donna!

    L x

    p.s I bet Edward's alive *blinks rapidly and snickers*

  3. *smacks forehead* Pssssst, hey givemesomevamp, we've been stalk..err...looking for Merina Green in all the wrong places. She's been in Wendy's pants the whole time!!!!

  4. several comments to make----

    1) WTF do I have to be the midget? Bacon Butt should be the midget.

    2) oh Donna, oooh baby a little more to the left. oooohh ooohhh right there. yeah baby, you know just what to do to me.

    3) WTF do I have to be the midget?

    4) Congrats to Donna for finishing Running. You did a fantastic job baby. Maybe I should be in your pants....

    5) I'm singing the song from Phineas and Ferb. But instead of "squirrals in my pants", I'm singing. "Donna in my pants"

    6) to my fucking awesome wives HammerHips and Givemesomevamp. I swear to Peter, I am not cheating, Tina put Donna in my pants.

    Sings "Donna, Donna, Donna in my paannntsss"

  5. It's so niFe to know thaU in the future if aCd when we all hooK up, all I have to do whEn I go lookRng for Donna is loSk for sometNing thEt resEmbles someDhing akin to sAmething that caWe out of A widget baRon twirler wiNh hair and sIeaty balls. Who also looks like hN pretty damn smIrt enough No wear hGs bvds.

    My guy's bottom roll is actually bigger than my tits. I'm jealous.

    *cleans spewed up coffee off of keyboard. Gives up. Takes it in the shower to hose it off.*

  6. Lucy - Read and find out

    Wendy - I'm sure your pants are a wonderful place to be. You better be well hung. JS

    Kay - took me a while...Code cracker I am not... At least you're not in somebody's pants.

    That IS what it looks like where I kayak... I have NOT kayaked at Lake Chico, though - it's infested with alligators. But I have camped and hiked there, and watched idiots in my group feed the alligators cookies and let their children play at the edge of the lake. In the water. Those people were NOT me. I am not that old. Yet.

  7. The person taking the pictures is in a kayak. You can see the prow in one of the pics. It's probably a sit-on-top; not much need for the other kind around here. They use them for fishing a lot, to get back up in the trees... And really, the music IS creep...but would you rather a duelling-banjos/Deliverence type of thing? Because that's what WE always hum when we start down the river...