Let's see, what's been going on?
1) I outed myself
To those who don't know, I'm not only Frea O'Scanlin, but also Moonlight Pilot. Yes, I wrote Walker's Eleven. It started during the Thanksgiving/Jill arc of Fates, a story idea that wouldn't leave me alone. My reasons for taking up a penname (my brother's from ten years ago) are myriad, but the most important thing about W11 was that I wanted people to read it without "Frea prejudice." I know there's things people expect when they see the Frea name, some of them hopefully good, others not so great (it's going to be long, Frea's not going to put Chuck and Sarah together right away). I know my reputation isn't stellar with some parts of the fandom, too.
My reasons were never to make anybody feel stupid for not "recognizing" me or to taunt the fandom. I simply felt W11 deserved a chance to stand on the power of the writing alone, so I took up the penname. Just because Fates came first doesn't mean that I don't have anything left in me but Fates or that every story I write is going to be like Fates*, but sometimes people have a hard time understanding this about authors, so I chose to keep W11 on a different name. A lot more published and fic authors do this than most people realize.
Perhaps I could have published W11 under my Frea name and things would have been fine. I've no way of knowing that for sure, despite hindsight being, as they say, 20/20. I do know my Frea reputation sometimes took a little bit of a hit, as somehow the rumor got started that I dislike Charah and only write stories keeping Chuck and Sarah apart because I am "too afraid to put them together" or because I am evil and gleefully keeping them apart. There were many times I wanted to be like, "You think so? WALKER'S ELEVEN, BITCHES." Yes, occasionally, I am vain. But I chose to wait until the final Awesome Awards had gone through because I wanted to see how W11 did on its own merits.
And from the Awesome Awards, I'd say it did pretty well. I'd like to say a very belated thank you to everybody who voted for it to win the Chuck, the Sarah, and the Ellie last year. It came in second for the best All-Time Charah story, too, which was a bit of a shock to me, so thank you for that.
2) mxpw won a hat-trick
I'd like to talk about Max for a minute here. I'm pretty sure I make his life hell. I'm even more sure I made his life more hellish this past week when I got into a challenge with a South African to post two chapters in two days. I'm sorry for that, Maximus. And Nervert, too. But anyway, Max took home his third beta editor award, and I'd like to talk a little about how much he deserves it. Not that the other nominees didn't (anybody who ever genuinely betas and assists an author in helping their vision come true deserves an award, in my opinion), but Max has been my beta for almost two years now. Not just my beta: he's looked over stories for so many authors, like Kate and Crumby and quistie64 and Wepdiggy. He's generous and selfless (mostly. Sometimes I wonder if he doesn't do it just so that we'll inundate him with pictures of Yvonne), and he's patient. He doesn't believe in just one step of the beta process, he believes in all of it. From helping an author stuck with writer's block, hours and hours of speculation and spitball, learning to work around an author's foibles. He does it because he wants to see you and your story improve, and not because he has an agenda. Fates wouldn't be 1/10th the story it is without him, and I've learned so much from him. So to hear that he got this award for the third time was my favorite moment of the Awesome Awards, no offense to the others that I'm about to congratulate.
3) Some of my favorite people won Awesomes!!!!
St. Crumbylicious took the Best First Story award! Rogue Spy FTW! And quistie! Sound of Music did exactly what I predicted it would do and made a clean sweep with the Chuck, the Sarah, and the Ellie! All completely well-deserved and amazing. KateMcK's awesome Sarah vs. the Substitute got a Lester (hi, Frank!), and some credit for that one also goes to BDaddyDL, so I'm thrilled. Aerox nabbed himself that awesome New Author trophy. And of course, where would I be without acknowledging the crackiest trend of them all, the birth of the Adorable Psycho? To see Wepdiggy win the All-Time crack award was like a dream come true. Sure, there might be tapdancing penguins and a room full of auditors in that dream, too, but it's still a dream. A sincere, heart-felt congratulations to every single one of you, ya big lugs.
4) Spies and Nerds has started.
I know the first couple of chapters require a bit of a mental adjustment (Ellie Bartowski is our Intersect, not Chuck), but I'm going to do something different and advocate for a story I'm co-writing. Guys, quistie64 is a genius. Like, such a genius that I want to study her brain and figure out how I can be that awesome. So if you're not reading S & N, I think you're missing out on some of the cleverest moments in the fandom, all courtesy of la quistie. We always post "homework" before the next chapter, and the homework this week is for one of my favorite songs in the musical. I'm putting the Youtube video here for your convenience, but if you follow either of us on Twitter, you'll probably see that link float around shortly.
We're posting on Mondays for this story, unless it's a holiday. And yes, we've written ahead, so there's less worry that somebody that won the Verbanski this year is writing on this story. Besides, the q is a harsh taskmistress. She's so bossy. She wants this story to be a Charah story. What's up with that?
5) I did something silly
In my exhaustion this week, I completely deleted Fates off of Archive Of Our Own. But it's all back up, hopefully not too much worse for the wear. AO3 lets you do a lot of things like put a series in order and download Kindle/Epub right from the site. I've also put up That Which is Greater on AO3 as a series. My goal is to put W11 up next as a psued under my name, which is another one of the reasons I outed myself. I like AO3's interface.
6) I posted my outtakes up online
You can read the Google document of bits of Fates and Walker's Eleven that I've cut over the years here. I've enabled commenting on the document, so if you have a question about why I removed a scene or went in a different direction, leave me a comment there, hit me up on Twitter, or send me a PM on ff-net. I'll try to do my best to enlighten you, but I can't promise I'll remember.
There's probably a bunch of other stuff I've forgotten to tell you. We're on the final stretch of What Fates Impose and my last chapter has convinced people that Chuck and Sarah aren't meant to be together, so I have some work ahead of me. I'd better get back to that.
Thanks to listening for my rambles. I hope you have a wonderful day.
*To be honest: Fates? Not my typical writing anyway.