Thursday, September 3, 2009

Over the Top: A Look Back

A Look Back


What do you get when you throw together an unabashed, pleasure-seeking club king, an enigmatic, dangerous, subversive boy and an author with the vocabulary of a thesaurus and a heart of gold?

Well, you get an education - in life, love, family, and happiness. Katie aka Starfish422 has brought to us a beautiful story featuring Edward Cullen and Jasper Whitlock and their rocky road from "I want to make you sit on my nine inch cock." to "Our cup will run over. Our happiness and love will only grow; perhaps more than we can even imagine. After all, our lives will be over the top."

About month ago, Katie posted chapter 28. It was the return of Angel and Beautiful to their bed and it was beautiful and poignant and hotter than hell, but one thing reached out to me, grabbing a hold of my heart and squeezing it nearly to death. These words weren't even part of the chapter. No, they were in the author's note at the end. What were they? Well, they were...

I’m happy. Very, very happy for my boys (yeah, men, I know). As I see it, we have approximately four chapters left; and that will include a Jack outtake.


I nearly died in that moment. I couldn't fathom that it was nearly over and in my own way, I had to find some way - some how - to continue it. While posting a comment on the OTT Twilighted thread I had a lightbulb moment. Yes, they are rare, but they do happen and I'm quite proud of this one. A Look Back, from being to end. A moment to rejoice and say a farewell to Angel and Beautiful. I ran to Val and she was all for it, so I emailed Katie and told her the plan. To give her a victory dance for completing the story and a proper farewell for the awesomeness that is Over the Top.

Once the plan was in place, Val contacted a few key players and asked them for a favor: Write a reflection of their journey on the wild ride that is Over the Top. Below are these reflections and are a surprise for Katie as she's not yet read them.

Shannon aka mozzer0906

I remember the day that Katie sent me an email asking if I would look over this one shot she was writing. I opened up what is now chapter 1 and was completely amazed at the detail and beauty of her writing. I remember telling her “if this was a multi chapter fic, I know I would add it to my favorites and alerts immediately and count the minutes until it updated.” Apparently the beautiful angel Kas wouldn’t let Katie go without writing his POV and so Over the Top became a multi-chapter fic that wasn’t just about one fuckhot night after the club loosely based on Queer as Folk, but rather of the power of love and devotion. I think we all owe a huge debt of gratitude to Jasper for demanding his voice be heard.

I think by now anyone who has ever read any review I have written or frequented the thread on Twilighted knows that Over the Top is one of my very favorites – and that isn’t because I call Katie my friend. Her writing style is exactly what I love - it flows beautifully and is very detailed. You can close your eyes and go into the scenes in your imagination. I’ve since learned the reason for this is Katie’s painstaking attention to detail. About mid-way through Over the Top, I was privileged enough to be asked to be a part of her preview team. (I think the only thing I ever changed was catching those wacky Canadian words like facecloth and honour by the way). I saw how she would send me pictures of the characters, the clothing, the flowers; every minute detail about Over the Top was researched. Katie talked to people who lived in the Seattle area; she looked up hospitals, restaurants, schools and neighborhoods. All because she puts everything she has into making this fic great – and I think it shows.

Being on the preview team offered me the unique ability to experience much of the creative process that an author goes through. I can tell you that when the boys were apart, it put Katie in such a foul mood I recommended she go write some great sex for one of her one shots. Writing their sex scenes made her happiest (aside from, perhaps, their reunion). I felt her frustration when the words weren’t coming to her - she had to scrap entire chapters and start over as well as the outrage when cruel unreasonable “reviews” would come in demanding she update soon.

When Katie embarked on Over the Top, I remember I told her it was my mission to get her to 100 reviews per chapter. Never in our wildest dreams did we expect that she would end up with close to 5,000 reviews (I am sure it will top 5,000 by the time the last chapter is posted) and there was several chapters that had over 300 reviews. I have read every review anyone has ever written for OTT and I often have squeed right alongside of her when I read them.

Several people have made comments to me about how they originally wondered if Katie was a man because she seemed to depict the gay club scene and club boys so well. As Edward matured, we also saw the other facet of the gay lifestyle, that which isn’t at all different from heterosexual relationships – committed, devoted and madly in love. I think this is a perspective that needed to be shown more in the fandom and as the slash genre has grown we are certainly starting to see more of that. I think Over the Top had a hand in helping usher this in.

I also haven’t talked about the sex on Over the Top, but clearly only two words need to be said: sex ledge - the rawr-worthy sex ledge that made another appearance in the end simply because we begged for it. Actually I think it was Jasper and Edward who were begging for it – we were just hoping they would let us watch.

I loved that Katie officiated the wedding ceremony, because she believed in their love more than anyone else could. She could never pick a side to sit on and so I thought it was fitting she was the one who joined them forever in love as we surrounded them in a circle.

We have followed these beautiful men on their journey. We have laughed with them, cried for them and hidden video cameras to enjoy watching them having sex. Their lives have become a part of ours and I know I they will always be a part of my heart.

On a personal note, I just have to say how amazed I am to have been part of this fic in any way. I feel like the proud aunt who has watched her nephews grow and mature. I didn’t create them or raise them, but I was allowed to influence, encourage and beam with pride over them on every step of their journey. My thanks go to Katie for giving me such a wonderful opportunity. I am proud to call her my friend, but in my heart know that she is far more than that - she is the sister I never had.

Favorite scene: Carlisle’s POV stands out for me the most, simply because it was the one I was a blubbering sobbing mess while chewing on my shirt surrounded by a mass of tissues.


EJ Santry aka Bethie
Like every story, one must start at the beginning. Back in March of this year, my slash cherry was popped, when I decided to read “All I Ever Knew” by manyafandom. I was quickly drawn in, and was looking for more. I went to manyafandom’s favorite list, and it is there that I found “Over The Top” by starfish422. I almost skipped it, because all I could think of when I saw that title was the awful Gweneth Paltrow movie about stewardesses. I have never been so thankful that I always ignore my initial reactions to fics, and try them all out, despite reservations.

I was drawn into this story of two men who were comfortable with their sexuality; in fact, my favorite thing about this story is that it isn’t an “issue” at all. It is just a reality of this story, as much as Edward’s green eyes. It is a cause of discord with Edward’s parents, but other than that, it is just a truth of who these men are, but it is not what the story is about.

What this story is about is how love, especially a great love, can make us want to be better versions of ourselves. Edward, at the start of this story, is perfectly contented in his life. He is a promiscuous top who has long forsaken love. He is exists merely on encounters. He has no friends, and has long disowned his family. You would feel sorry for all that he is missing, and question his loneliness, but he is presented in such a fashion that you can’t help but think that he, in his emotionally sheltered existence, is content.

This kingdom of his was not built on as stable of a foundation, as he believes, when a mere conquest washes into his bed in a river of blue eyes and open heart, quickly erodes the hardened walls he spent his adult life building. There is nothing not to love about Jasper in this story. He is all heart. He happily wears it on his sleeve, and receives so much love in return from his family and his easily made, and never forgotten friends. Jasper leaves us all wishing that we could walk through life in the same unguarded nature.

Like all great stories, there must be conflict, and in this case, it is in the form of Edward’s present, Jasper, and his past, his father, crossing paths at work. Alas, the great downfall is the lack of communication. Edward’s sealed off past that he ignores and denies coupled with Jasper’s sensitive, un-intrusive nature manifest into their downfall, due to a chance encounter with Edward’s parents at a restaurant. Though, you want to point the finger at Edward, and curl up and cry with Jasper, as Edward’s walls shoot back up from the earth with titanium strength, Katie has presented them in such a way, that you feel sorry for them both.

The lack of villainization of any character is so difficult to pull off, when you have come to love and care for characters in a story. As humans, we tend to want some place to lay blame, but between Edward’s self-realization of how emotionally unhealthy he is to Jasper’s selfless need to show his fault and protect Edward even when he has been hurt so badly by him, you just hope they will both heal, love will survive, and they will find their way back to one another.
Katie writes their separate journeys so uniquely. No one is wallowing. No one has flung themselves into the arms of despair. Jasper grieves, and moves on with the love and encouragement of friends and family. He meets new people. He puts himself back out there, which is so consistent with his character. Jasper leaves himself open to experience and love. Edward in this time has a shift of character, but it is one of facing the past and healing severed ties. He realizes that if you can’t allow yourself to attempt to communicate and mend things with the most basic loving structure in your life, family, how can you ask someone to trust you to be able to forgive and try in the future.

Resolution is found in the end. Edward presents himself to Jasper this time a rehabilitating man. He shows up at Jasper’s door with his hopes and love, and places it before him. Hoping for reciprocation, but happy with just the chance to be a part of his life, Edward acknowledges where he has failed Jasper in the past, and how he is working towards being the man Jasper deserves. Jasper, not trusting is emotional reaction to jump in, takes time, and the wonderful presence of Mama Whitlock, as the voice of tender encouragement and wisdom, makes him face his truth. He might be scared, but Edward is his future.

With gradual steps back into each other’s lives, because we know their presence in each other’s hearts was always there, they weave their lives together once again. This time leading us to something we have yet to see in the fandom: a commitment ceremony. Not only do we all believe that this day has everything to do with love and devotion, but she welcomed us all to attend, to watch commitment and promises of forever that we utterly believe will never be broken. My favorite thing of all is that not one person in this story finds any objection to the union (other than the government). This is the start of a family. A family that should be recognized by all.

Alas, the beauty, of even this marvelous wedding of two devoted souls, pales in comparison of the woman behind it all. So, if you will allow me a personal moment. Katie is one of the purest people I have had the pleasure to get to know. She is steadfast in what she believes, and makes me a better person. She, too, has faced hardship, and didn’t let that stop her or leave her bitter. I am constantly thankful that such a beautiful soul considers me a friend. Love you, Katie.

Favorite scene: Chapter 1-30. LOL! I seriously can’t pick. I read back through the whole story, and the thing I love the most is how Katie evokes the emotion of every scene. Lust. Happiness. Heartbreak...no, heart destruction. Hollowness. Hope. Exhilaration. Love.


Val aka Touchstone67
Honestly, I am sitting here with Word open and absolutely no idea where to start with my look back at “Over the Top”. I can only express my adoration for this story through my experiences with it, and in turn, what it has led me.
I can’t take credit for discovering OTT, I came across it via another fan. Months and months ago, I happened to come across a little story called “The Forbidden Room” .I began TFR and was completely taken in, not only by the sexual content, but the complex nature of her Jasper. While I have always been a fan of slash, it had been about nine years since I had read any slash based fanfiction. At the time, I was emailing Angstgoddess003 back and forth, I mentioned TFR, gushing about the slash factor, in turn she sent me a link to “Over the Top”, gushing about its slash factor-which I believe there was three or four chapters long.

I don’t think two seconds passed before I was clicking on the link.

“I want to make you sit on my nine-inch cock.”


Need I say more? I read that one line and I was completely and overwhelmingly drawn into the world of Spin, hot cocky Edward Cullen, and the enigmatic Jasper Whitlock. Forgive me while I go all fangirly on Jasper for a minute.

“The blond blinks, and slowly turns toward the twink, breaking our gaze. He casts his eyes deliberately downward, to where Dance Floor Boy’s eyes are, at least six inches below his own. “Fuck off,” are the only words he spares to let the twink know he’s not welcome in this small gathering. He then returns his gaze to me and for the first time, his eyes move downward over my body. My body responds to his appraising eyes, and my cock begins to lengthen and harden.

Dance Floor Boy hesitates a moment, as though he might protest the loss. The blond doesn’t bother to look at him again as he calmly says, “Don’t make me say it again.” The twink accepts his defeat and departs – in which direction, I can’t say.”


How could anyone not love Jasper after that introduction? His ‘Jazz stare’, something he would revisit later in the story, and something a lot of readers could not wait to see again.

Their initial meeting, and the sex following, is easily my favorite part of the story, their intensity and physical chemistry was palpable and you just knew from that first chapter it was going to be great ride.

Let’s face it, these two fell hard and fast for each other. Even during their first encounter, Jasper convincing Edward to bottom-something Edward Fucking Cullen does not do. This scene leads to one of my favorite lines in fanfiction to date.

You,” I poke my finger gently in his chest, “are a dangerous, subversive boy, Jazz.”


While the sex in OTT is amazingly hot, it is intermingled seamlessly with the evolvement of Edward and Jasper’s characters; how they grow from boys to men, learning love, heartache, and the importance of family along the way.

It was hard not to fall in love with her Edward and Jasper, their sexy love scenes, dedication to their careers, and most importantly, their flaws. It was these flaws that provided the angst of the story, leading to some incredibly sad scenes as they both struggled during their time apart. Who can forget Jasper, kneeling, sobbing on his floor as he completely lost it. Or Edward, randomly trying to fuck Jasper from his memory, which worked-until a cell phone bill arrived-the catalyst that lead to Edward’s breakdown, and his revelation of his love for Jasper. This begins the redemption of Edward, starting with returning to his family, asking for their forgiveness and support.

Not only does Katie do a masterful job with Edward and Jasper, but she manages to include fantastic side characters, using them to push Edward and Jasper together. Whether it was Esme and Carlise’s support of Edward, Jasper’s mother staying with him during his difficult time, or even co-workers of Jaspers, who helped get him back on his feet.

And how could we forget Jack.

Jack was completely original character birthed from Katie’s creativity, yet her readers fell head over heels for the beautiful boy suffering from unrequited love. Jack was brilliantly done, and while some of us hoped for some hot Jasper/Jack action *coughmecough*, Jack ended up being a wonderful supportive friend to Jasper, helping Jasper make up his mind in giving Edward a second chance. Jack explained to Jasper that not everyone gets their happily ever after and when the chance comes up, particularly a second chance with your soul mate, you would be a fool not to take risk again. Once Jack realizes that Jasper’s love in question is none other than Edward Cullen, he replies with:

“Then drink up,” he encourages. “Because if you’re in love with Edward Cullen, you need these a hell of a lot more than I do.”


Of course, we all know that Jasper does let Edward back into this life, and they begin to form a life together, finally completely each other. Their wedding was beautiful, utterly heartfelt, and truly perfect.

This story has a devoted and passionate following of fangirls (and boys!) that I doubt Katie expected when she first posted. All of the accolades, from reviews and blog recommendations, to artwork and videos are all well deserved, as when OTT was first published, it was one of few in depth, well written Twilight slash fics available.

On a personal level, I was completely honored to have been one of the previewers for “Over the Top”, joining Shannon about half way through. The fact that Katie-someone I had long admired- trusted, and more importantly wanted my input- completely blew me away. While we had gotten to know each other via private messages and emails, boding over our love for QaF, I was shocked and incredibly honored when she asked me to look over the dinner chapter. I also know many people that been inspired by OTT, myself included, to make videos, collages, manipulations, and even write.

I would like to publically thank Katie, for allowing me to be a part of and witness her creative process. I am incredibly proud to call her a friend, and I look forward to watching her continue her writing, in any fandom. Katie, her writing, and her boys were truly over the top.


Donna aka Whitlock's Girl

Okay, I don't know about y'all, but I've been in tears almost from the moment I opened up the Epilogue tonight. Now, having read through these three reflections on Over the Top and the personal notes to Katie, I'm typing through the flood of tears that I can not get rid of.

Tonight, as I read the final chapter of Over the Top, I realized something. Katie has written one of the best stories that I have ever read, be it fic or published words. Over the Top wasn't just a story that I dropped everything for, it is a story that I found, and continue to find, myself obsessing over. I author three stories myself and while I love all of them, none of them have a hold on me like Over the Top does. I find myself rushing back to re-read it for the umpteenth time, because someone, somewhere, said or did something that reminded me of Angel and Beautiful.

I've yet to review the Epilogue, because I just can't bring myself to say that last goodbye.

Sometimes, I am embarrassed by my reactions to this story, but then I'll look around the fandom and see that I am not alone. Katie, Angel and Beautiful have reached through the computer screen and grabbed a hold of a lot of us - capturing our hearts. I know that, for me, the hold that Over the Top has on my heart will not soon be relinquished. I foresee myself holing up one day soon, reading it from beginning to end, yelling at the family to shush and then having to explain to the kids why Mommy is crying. I'll also have to deal with the Peen's howling laughter as I squee, sob and sniff my way through Angel and Beautiful's happily ever after for umpteenth and first time.

Looking back through all my emails tonight, I found that Katie and OTT first appeared in my inbox in late March. I have to giggle about this because almost all those early emails I found in my sent folder and they are between Val and I squeeing over various fics. Now, with the Epilogue posted, the ending of Over the Top is like the end of an era, but it was a beautiful journey for these two men - a journey I, for one, am thankful to Katie for sharing with us.

Favorite: This is another giggle moment, because when Bethie was writing up her reflection, we kept IM'ing each other. She literally cracked me up with her utter fail at picking a favorite moment or quote. The thing is, I'm with her. How do you choose just one?

The one that sticks out is this...

Yeah. I just can't do it. If you want to know my favorite moments you would have to memorize every single word and emotion from the moment Edward "fucking" Cullen approaches Jazz at Spin until the their passion is spent and they are cuddling together in their bed at the very end.


So, we've ohh'd, we've ahh'd, we've squeed and we've most definitely cried and sobbed through 31 chapters of Katie's beautiful story and while she has shared with us a lot of her thoughts and feelings throughout this journey, I thought now would be the time for her to have her moment. Below, you'll find Katie's thoughts and feelings, her favorite moments and favorite reviews.

Katie's favorite reviews

BeautifulBrkdwn (review from Ch 29)
-------------------
I've decided that my favorite thing about poor Kas is that he's such an easy
crier! Emotional men make me happy...and they redeem all the douchebags out
there who are too macho to shed tears.

Xrazzlesx (review from Ch 29)
-------------------
I, for one, can go to the library and choose
four or five books, read them cover to cover and
not feel the least bit moved by what I've read.
It does't enlighten me, or make an impression or make me
want to be a better person, mom, friend, etc.

Your story on the other hand has made quite an
impression on me, made me feel things I hadn't felt before, enlightend me,
opened my eyes to a new way of thinking, helped me open a dialog with my son,

made me realize that love is worth every risk.
Hopefully learned that raising compassionate caring children
can one day change such a narrow-minded, sometimes cruel society.

marimotchee
2009-08-03 . chapter 29 This is a truly beautiful love story. People who are disgusted by the thought of two men in love should read this and see what they think then.
AngstGoddess003
2009-02-26 . chapter 4
I am such a sucker for E/Jas fics. I sigh. It's beautiful bb. I love the work you put into their emotions and the background story.

I wish I could wax more poetic, but I think you've managed to mindf*ck me rather thoroughly.

Thanks so much for writing it.

[love]

Ezzery
2009-04-29 . chapter 4
I think that you just wrote the most descriptive orgasm I have ever read (and not just fan fiction) You are very talented and I feel privileged that you are allowing us to read your wonderful work.

westbie
2009-06-02 . chapter 4
...I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, but thank you for using proper grammar and spelling and such and I'm just in love with your metaphors and analogies. My biggest pet peeve is cliches (I want to stab everything in sight every time I read "and he played me like a fine instrument" in a fic, which is quite often), and it's hard to use analogies that aren't hackneyed. And basically, the point of this lengthy review is that this line made me smile: "His body is a hang-glider, and I just jumped off a cliff."...

cassidy104
2009-02-28 . chapter 5
I have been reading fanfic on this site for about 5 years now and this is the first time I have felt compelled to sign-up for an account just so I could comment on a story...

eternallymusical
2009-02-28 . chapter 5
...all of my gay, lesbian, and bisexual friends had horrible experiences with that subject matter, and i always made a point to be there for them no matter the consequences. i will gladly be gay by association for the rest of my life if that means i can be someone's solace and their shoulder to lean on...


Via PM (shared with permission)
Hi Katie,

I wanted to send you a quick note to say “thank you” for your beautiful story. I can honestly say it’s changed me in a way I never thought possible.
I grew up in a very conservative, very religious, and I’m realizing a very close minded home. It’s been engrained in me to believe that there is no such thing as “gay love”. It is supposedly nothing more than perverseness and a sickness.

Well, I don’t believe that anymore. Over the Top has shown me that love is not for heterosexual couples alone.

I fell in love with the Twilight books, which ultimately lead to fan fiction.
I was initially appalled by the “slash” concept, I’d never heard of it and I was a bit taken aback. I had heard of your story, but was dead set against reading it. After several of my favorite authors continued to recommend your story and I kept seeing OTT mentioned everywhere, I decided I wanted to know what the uproar was about.

I won’t go through the 28 chapter process that brought me to my note, but I will say that OTT has brought me to a whole new line of thinking that has shaken me to the core. I’m rethinking a lot of things in my life and I’m glad. I’m not sure I’m ready to sit my parents/grandparents and siblings down tomorrow and tell them they’re wrong in their prejudice, but hopefully I’ll be able to sooner than later.

I just wanted to thank you again for sharing your lovely words and your lovely boys. I cried during chapter 16 and 17 and have been teary every chapter since. My heart ached for days after reading chapter 16; I felt like I had been broken up with. It was horrible and beautiful all at the same time...Your writing is beyond beautiful and the way you can make the reader feel what your characters are feeling is amazing. I’ve felt it all along with them and it’s been an amazing experience. Thanks again for opening my mind and enabling a change in my judgments. I am grateful.

Sincerely,

Kristen


Reviewer: tuleangel (Signed) · Date: August 25, 2009 10:12 PM · On: Chapter 8

I'm not exactly sure if this will come out right but this story has totally changed my view of gays and their relationships. I'm not saying I was anti-gay, more on the fence. Not sure which side was right and which side was wrong. Now after reading a little bit of your story (and I did skip ahead and read bits and pieces of your most recent update) and other similar stories on this site, I feel like no one is wrong or completely right either. We (I am a straight woman btw) are all the same. Whether you are gay or straight or bisexual all it is is different kinds of love and we all have a right to experience love no matter what form it comes in.

Artemis of the Golden Apple
2009-03-13 . chapter 9
Dear gods, woman. How do you do it? Your writing is absolutely *phenomenal.* The way you get into his head, the way you show the emotions...not to mention the incredible sexiness factor...this just rocks. Entirely. I know you just updated and all, but a thousand fangirls shrivel up and die every hour you don't update this. Remember that completely and totally not made up statistic, it could save lives.


letempspasse
2009-04-25 . chapter 15
you's a natural born sender, baby.

*this story gives me hope.
how does that make you feel?

algonquinrt
2009-04-25 . chapter 15
*sigh* They are so effing adorable that I find myself looking for the heartfail that's gotta be waiting around the corner to strike when I least expect it.

celinewilliam
2009-05-22 . chapter 16
..."What kind of person doesn’t even have a picture of the people they love?" In french, I would say : "La phrase qui tue". That's to say: The sentence that kills...

xrazzlesx
2009-05-09 . chapter 17
ERROR
FATAL FLAW
Ctrl+Alt+Delete
RESTART...

Blaculicious
2009-05-08 . chapter 17
My Dearest Starfish…THANK YOU and the heavens:
For introspective moments, though they can be devastatingly painful and depressing, learning to step outside oneself and reflect inwardly provides invaluable insight into our own behavior, thoughts, and errors… I hope both Jasper and Edward benefit from introspection…

For loving, compassionate, un-judgmental sisters, for those of us who are lucky to have them these readymade best friends make the even the most cataclysmic experiences survivable.

For mamas who accept their gay sons with unconditional positive regard, who know when we need them, their affection, the sweet and deliciously safe comfort of their arms, and endearing names for us even when we don’t.

For Sleep and exhaustion for providing us, temporarily, with a reprieve from painful memories etched on our souls
For Time and distance because though it’s cliché they do collectively heal all wounds…

Lastly thank you for this story, for making me genuinely love these characters so much that I want to insert myself between scenes to comfort them, reprimand them, force them to make up and be happy. Truly Fantastic Chapter BB! THANKS, LEAH

genlaren
2009-05-18 . chapter 19
...This is the first story I've read involving homosexuality. I wasn't sure I'd like it. I've never, ever read about or even watched movies with men kissing or having sex. I loved the show 'Will & Grace', but it just doesn't go there.

Anyhow, I feel very enlightened having read this story. I never thought about the love two men could share. Not that I doubted it's existence, just that I never considered it. You've helped me to see something I've never allowed myself to see.

I've never considered myself to be homophobic at all. But after reading this story, I realize I had a closed off mind before. Didn't let myself understand the connection two men can have for each other. You've really opened my mind. Thank you.

ReluctantRomantic
2009-05-28 . chapter 21
Wow. Just... wow.

My daughter is gay, and while we've always had a close relationship, and her coming out and my response was very different than described here, I can empathize with some of the struggle and the conflicted feelings. I can also imagine that those feelings would be hard to express and be misinterpreted to the extreme as you describe in this chapter.

You did a great job.

Hollibell
2009-07-03 . chapter 25
Ok, I'll admit it. I've been lurking. I don't think I've reviewed at all. Shame on me. When I first found this story, I was new to reading slash and a little embarrassed. I am well over that now...

Master of the Boot
2009-07-24 . chapter 28
You underestimate yourself, this is no mere slashfic. This belongs with the rest of the great romances of Shakespeare and Greek mythology.

Despite that the characters are gay, I find this one of the most enjoyable and relatable stories on this website.

I am not a man for romance, usually. But honestly, I can't get enough of this story. I'm sad that it will end and surprised that there is more.

MoodyBlued
2009-08-09 . chapter 29
...And my partner and I wish Wash St. would legalize gay marriage too...together 16 years with two beautiful children...it's about fucking time! We ARE legally married in your place of residence however...hooray Canada!...

PolkaDotMama
2009-08-06 . chapter 29
...Three weeks ago I would have never thought I would have even read slash. Now I can't get enough and you had a huge part to play in that. Thanks for opening my eyes to the wonder of male slash!...

time to start
2009-09-02 . chapter 30
Katie, you've made so many people happy. I think you've made the world a little better with the love that shines through in your story, especially this chapter. If anyone can read this and not be touched by how boundless and transformative love can be, regardless of sexual orientation, there is something wrong with them.

There ARE words: glorious, amazing, radiant, perfect, blissfully romantic, magical, etc, etc.
You are killer with all the details that make it real, like Jasper constantly looking at his ring and the exquisite wedding details. So many touching moments: Christmas Eve together, Edward's gift to Jasper, Halo (perfect!), their vows, Carlisle's words, Edward's words to his parents. One of my favorite moments was when Edward pulled Jasper upstairs and was overwhelmed by his feelings, because it shows the radical transformation he has gone through due to Jasper's love. Opening up and showing his vulnerability would have been inconceivable to him when this started, but now he seeks Jasper, who is his comfort, his safety, his soft place for landing, to do just that. That touched me so much.
Edward made a friend! That made me so happy. And you married them! It couldn't have been anyone else.

What a beautiful journey...



And last, but never least ...

Katie aka Starfish422

I know I’ve shared before, how I originally intended for OTT to be a smutty QAF-crossover oneshot; but that Jasper just wouldn’t shut up. :) Seven months later, I am putting the finishing touches on the story that has become one of the highest-reviewed slash stories on FF.net.

I wish I could tell you how much this experience has done for me; how much it means that these characters have found a place in your hearts, your souls...not to mention your spank banks! Hehe. Every time I got a review telling me how invested you were in the boys; how you loved that they were getting closer, or that you were heartbroken about their breakup...it was like a gold star. Nearly five thousand gold stars later, and you have provided me with a constellation. Thank you so much.

I fell in love with these two men – I loved Edward and my heart ached when he thought back to his coming out. I adored how close Jasper was to his family. There were elements of my life in this story – from the insignificant details like Starbucks Christmas blend and putting the cream and sugar into my cup before pouring the coffee; to the emotional moments such as when my husband lifted our newborn son to his face and burst into tears. Reconnecting with a younger sister whom I lost when I left home amidst acrimonious circumstances. Falling in love almost immediately with someone who became the love of my life.

I also heard from many of you, how the story contained elements from your lives: coming-out stories, parents of gay and lesbian children, friends and allies of the queer community. Everyone has a story to tell, and every story is significant because it involves real people, with real lives. You have honoured me by sharing your stories with me.

There were also reviews and PMs from people who admitted that they had never read slash before; or that they had been taught that homosexuality was wrong; and that Over The Top was the story that changed their minds. To all of you: I applaud you for pushing your own envelope; I thank you for listening when my story spoke to you; and I challenge you to continue to shine light into the dark corners, where homosexuality is considered deviant and shameful.

And then...there was the sex.

Little did I realize, when I imagined the ideal bachelor pad, how wildly popular that darn shower ledge would be! I’ve been asked many times how I could write gay male sex so well. I’m going to share with you, that it isn’t that difficult. I’m a hetero woman, so I understand the physiology of male sexual response. I’m observant; knowing what makes someone else feel good is the first step in being a good partner, and it’s, um, a transferrable skill. Hehe. Having gay friends and being a devotee of Queer as Folk was another factor in the equation; because you have to know your subject matter. Already knowing the terminology and common expressions used was hugely helpful.

Finally, having a killer vocabulary and a kickass thesaurus rounded out my skill set. It was definitely a challenge to write lemons that stood out, not only from other stories, but also from the ones I had already written; but it was a challenge I enjoyed meeting again and again. And...again. Mmmm.

I am in awe of the Twilight ficdom as a whole. I will never forget the day Hopey sent me a PM letting me know that she was going to give me a little rec on the Perv Pack’s Smut Shack and that they would feature OTT as their regular weekly rec when I’d added more chapters. Or the day I was reviewed by AngstGoddess003, whose work I fucking idolized. Or when Over The Top was mentioned on the Temptation podcast or the Twigasm podcast; or when I was invited to be a guest on Twigasm. Each of these honours, and many others, came to me as a result of my peers – my fellow authors in this fandom – and for that I am so grateful.

Among the acquaintances I have made in the ficdom, I am happy to single out several as my good friends. Shannon, whom I knew before Twilight: you are my second self forever. Val and Beth, both of whom I met as a result of this story: I heart you both so hard.

Thank you, Donna and the TwiSlash Unveiled blog, for allowing me the opportunity to share what this experience has meant to me. And thank you, everyone for sharing it with me.

xxxxxx Smooches infinity xxxxxx,

Katie Starfish

9 comments:

Miztrezboo said...

I'm with Donna.. I teared up with the wedding.. I bawled like a BABY with the epilogue. I still have it open and the review window up. Yet I haven't filled it in and sent it because that would mean its truly over.
Reading over all of your memories, moments.. so many that are the favorites of mine or I can even recall when I read them, has brought even MORE tears to my eyes.
Katie's story, was amazing, thought provoking, heart cleanching and more than that.. it was real.
I wish I had more words to say, I'm sure they'll come when I finally hit that send button on my final OTT review. It's a sad moment realizing that the last update notice to hit my inbox was today. I may never delete it..

So thanks Katie. Thanks for letting us inside your world.
Much MUCH love, Cass

Subtle Pen said...

Ohhh, Katie - i started this comment i think 8 times, and just kept erasing my words becasue they weren't right.

thank you for gifting us with these parting words and recollections of this wonderful story, and of your journey in bringing it to us.

i'm proud to have read it, to have been moved by it, and inspired by it.

if only the whole world could know that, as someone recently told me, genuine love in any form is beautiful.

oscar519 said...

This retrospective was just perfect. I'm honestly a little emotional from reading it. To be quite honest, I haven't read the epilogue yet. I'm not sure I'm ready for it to be over yet. I'm also actually afraid that the first time I truly cry over a fic will be be because of OTT's conclusion. Hell, I got close just reading this post.

Thank you for honoring this fic, it truly deserves it.

Thank you, Katie, for writing such a beautiful (and fuckhot) story. You have deserved every rec and every glowing review.

Cheri said...

I was introduced to the world of slash from the Temptation's podcast, one week when their whole feature was on slash. I didn't know if I could "go there" with the Twilight characters. I used to find new fic by browsing the "Most Recent" list on Twilighted, and I know I passed OTT's summary up many times, just thinking it had to be some kind of crazy crackfic or something. Oh how wrong I was!! All I Ever Knew was the first slash fic I read but I think OTT was second and it quickly became my all-time favorite. For all the reasons mentioned in this post...for her wonderful writing, the beautiful and complex characterizations of Edward and Jasper. The whole middle part was so heartbreaking to endure, but it was also real and needed, and she handled it so well...not rushing them back together even though it was so hard to see them apart. And the wedding...so beautiful...I went back afterward and re-read the first chapters again, re-living how they met and fell in love. (stopping before the heartfail breakup though, couldn't relive that again)

I just found out the epilogue was posted from reading this, so I'm off to go read...and sad that it is the end. :(

CherBella

mozzer0906 said...

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk one last time about Over the Top. *smooches* - Shannon

Whitlock's Girl said...

Shannon, I just wanted to thank you for taking part of this article for the boys and Katie. I really appreciate it.

To all those who have tweeted and left comments here about the Look Back, thank you.

DefinatelyStaying said...

Katie wrote what was in her heart and created a beautiful and enduring work that will become a classic on FanFiction.

I think - even after Breaking Dawn has gone to DVD, people will still be reading and loving Over The Top. I applaud her for making this a wonderful story from beginning to end.

Maureen said...

Allow me to have a fangirl moment:
OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG! OMG!
I'm in Katie's favorite reviews!!!

Katie, it's been a huge friggin' privilege reading, absorbing and obsessing over OTT. In my reviews I've tried to convey how much I've loved and admired the masterful portrayal of emotion, the wonderful characterizations, and your exceptionally beautiful writing. I've always felt pathetically inadequate, so it feels like a big honor that you've chosen one of my reviews. It makes me happier than the fact that I'm celebrating my 15th wedding anniversary. (Don't tell my husband...) I was just trying to show some gratitude for the enormous pleasure you've given me. Thank you again for this story that defies categorization, for it goes far beyond slash. It is TRANSCENDENT.

Shannon, Bethie, Val, and Donna: amazing job on the retrospective. Everything I would have wanted to say, yet so much more eloquently.

Maureen

veddersgirl said...

I'm crying reading the look back as much as I cried reading the Epilogue. I really don't have words to describe how much I love OTT. It's the only story I've read multiple times. I cried like a baby each time I read the part where Edward brakes up with Jasper. This is a wonderful tribute to an amazingly touching love story.