Tribute to Angela

Kittyinaz’s  Tribute to Angela

What can I say?  Angela, or as many people know her, EricIzMine, was a wonderful woman.  Now, to be blunt, that seems so very little to say.

She brought me to the fandom by reading Bored To Death.  I was easily hooked, and she amazed me.  Then I joined the Brat Pack.  Imagine – little ole me.  I was a known name in the Alice 2009 fandom, and had just started in this new fandom.  I had written in Twilight, but while I was accepted there, I was not a well-known name.

I had started a WordPress account just before I came in, Mavrosal being the one who introduced me to the website.  I spoke with Faeregina, and we decided to try.  It was a lot of work, because as most of you know, I can’t seem to write just one story.

I remember the first time I was in the Brat Pack, and after being interviewed by Angela for it, I mentioned I was trying to figure out WordPress.  And Angela, who I was frankly amazed even read the post much less would pay attention to little ole me, PM’d me.  And that started a friendship that, honestly, amazed me.

I was nobody.  No one (I thought) was reading my story “In The End”.  No one had any idea who I was, and here was this awesome writer taking time out of her day to help me with some of the simple things.  She would always ask how I was, and she remembered me.  And when I was trying to figure out Photoshop and GIMP, she told me what she could do and what she used.

She would talk to me, and I was truly stunned.  Yes, my group started because I had people ask to talk to me.  And I admired her Brat Pack, the friendliness and the sense of encouragement.  The monthly Banner contests and just the freedom we had to talk about whatever we wanted.  I was part of the Adult Chat, and it was an eye opener to find people who could be adults, and share pictures and stuff that was definitely Adult.  There was no sniggering, or if you admitted that you honestly have no idea what you are talking about, they would explain it to you as an adult.

My education had only just begun.  Angela would come in and share sites with me, and introduced me to the Adult world that I had hovered around for years, but due to my upbringing I had no idea of what it really was.  Instead of being ridiculed, Angela and her Brats would instead help me out.  You want to get toys?  They would share with you their favorite sites, and tell you what the difference was in them.  You’re getting a tattoo?  They would discuss placement and so on.

This was a freedom that was not normal in my prudish family.  I am not a prude.  (Hint, I write not one, but now 2 threesomes and I grew up with gays and lesbians.  My philosophy?  If you love someone, it doesn’t matter what’s on the outside.)  And for once, I could be myself.  I could discuss things with intelligent people and not be judged for it.

Then there was WordPress.  When I would ask her how she did something, she would tell me, or have one of her admins help me.  When I had an idea that I wanted to do, she asked in the pack if someone would help me.

This meant a lot to me.  I often cruised on the edge of technology, and was often thought the odd one.  I would be the one to jump into a program to figure out how to work it, and I think outside the box.  But I have always been pushed to the outside.  I am shy when I meet people, but once I know I won’t be made fun of, I come out.

The Brat Pack, and more importantly Angela, is the one who helped me the last couple of years to build up my confidence.

Then came the day that I found out people were recommending others to read my stories from her site.  I was floored.  I admit I got on Facebook and squealed to Angela.  She laughed at me, and told me of course.  I was a good writer.  That astounded me.

It may make you look at me oddly, but seriously, I had very poor self confidence.  That was me.  But I had this wonderful, intelligent person telling me that of course I get recommendations. What?  Me?  Nope.

She never wavered in her support.  She would tease me that yes, I can multitask with the best, but she took it to a whole other level.  She would talk with her Brats, to me, and to others personally, and write on multiple stories at one time.

Amazing cannot describe this woman.  She didn’t treat me any different from anyone else, but her support made me what I am today.  Then came the start of my years of misery.  My grandfather died, and then my dog that I had for 15 years, my first dog that was truly mine, died.  I was sad, I had been so sick, and nothing was working for me.  I even lost my job due to being so sick.

But Angela would talk to me, and tell me that it will all end – that while it will hurt, the memories would become happier.  She supported me in a time I was so frustrated that nothing was going right.

I still remember the day I told her my husband bought me Connor.  She laughed, and told me that I will love and hate the puppy.  And she was so right.  I loved the puppy, I would laugh at him, but there were times I would watch him and remember Bear when he was a puppy.  And it helped.

Then I got better, and didn’t bother her so much on needing help, and started my own group and encouraging people to help each other.  And then… she joined MY group.  She would come in and chat.  Again, I was amazed by this woman.  She recommended people to my groups and teased me on my torturing of Bill Compton.  She even left a review on In The End!

And as you can imagine, I fan-girl squealed.  She thought that was the funniest thing in the world, but again, this is the woman I only dreamed of being even close to.   I offered my help to any and all, paying forward the help she gave little ole me.

Then, my life started to crash around me again:  my dad was sick.  I told Angela, who, without ever telling me that she was in the hospital, told me it gets better.  She would check on me as my family started to fall around me.  My uncle that I was close to on my dad’s side of the family?  He died.  Then came the message that my dad died.

Word spread quickly. I was torn up about it.  My dad and I were not close, we were too alike for that, and in the ways that we weren’t alike, to him I was too much like my mother.  I was temperamental, and I later found out that – without knowing – all the things he did to my mom, I did back to him.  I was a strong willed young girl, not the docile young girl he thought he was getting.

But then, there were computers.  I understood them in a weird way that he could understand.  He teased me, made the computer do things that still to this day I tell stories about.  But later on, he got it in his head he wanted to be alone, and he drove me away.  Words were said, and both of us were very angry with the other.

Then, eventually,  he had two strokes and a bleeder.  It was the worst week of my life, I thought.  My brother had been sent from Texas to me because I was making decisions at 22 that nobody should have to make for a parent.

Then I found out he had died.  I sat there in shock, and then I cried.   He was my dad.  He may not been the best, but he was my dad.  Do I regret us being angry?  No.   It sounds so odd, but that is how we were.  I felt I was right, and he felt he was right, but he was happy that I stood up to him, and did my own thing.  He was confused, but he was proud.  We had started to work on our relationship before he had the strokes – it was awkward, but we were trying.

During this time my mom had found out she had breast cancer, and in fact was going into surgery just days after he died.  I refused to tell her about it, not wanting her to worry.  I was dealing with shock after shock after shock.  I then found out that what I thought was a small chance of me having it actually turned out to be a VERY large chance, and I shut down.

Angela, though dealing with her own things, talked to me, and told me again it will get better.  She told me that I needed to remember the happy times, that I needed to remember that, just like last time, it will get better.  Then she told me bluntly, “Your life sucks.”  I burst out laughing, and it helped.

Then one night, as I was trying to figure out what had happened, it was announced that she had died.

I refused to believe it.

I couldn’t believe it.

It had to be a joke – she had just talked to me that day earlier, reminding me to write my post like I did with my grandfather and how much it helped.  She told me again that I needed to break away, and realize that life can suck.  I had laughed.  When I found out that she was in the hospital, I told her to go play, and take a pic, to get better and that she could tease me later.

I still have that PM.  I have not erased it. When her death was confirmed, I walked away from the computer, and in some way I knew she was gone, but in another, I refused to admit it. I couldn’t take any more.  I couldn’t lose anyone else.  And after that I left the state and went home to Arizona to just be able to grieve.

I write to music, and I am writing this to I’ll Be Missing You by Puff Daddy and Faith Evans.  It reflects everything I felt for this amazing woman.  She did her passion, and left us way too early.

So when the time came and I mentioned that I would like to do an awards for the TB/SVM fandom, I had Robin, Jessica, Mags and Gyllene all say they would do it.  Within days we had started it.  We discussed many things, and from the start, we decided that we wanted to do something special for Angela.  The first thing we did was name an award after her.

The next step, well, it is this.  While she easily would have won all the awards she was nominated for, we wanted to breathe life into the fandom and let others know that we admire them.  But…WE wanted to honor her for her amazing stories, too.

So, we came up with this, this Lifetime Achievement Award.  Gyllene was passionate about it, and me?  I wanted it.  But still, I have not really admitted to myself that she is no longer around, that she is gone.  So this is my good bye to a woman who inspired me to be more.

Writing this is one of the hardest things.  How do I explain the fundamental changes this woman made to me?  How do I explain the weird friendship we had?  How do I let you people know how much strength she gave me during the hell that has been this past two years?  No one knew how we talked, or how we connected.

It may have been nothing to her, but it meant the world to me.  She gave me the courage to do so much, and to work to inspire people now.  My group is open, we support each other.  There is no flaming, there is no discouragement.  I had people ask for inspiration, so I made a writing contest.  A bunch of us learned how to do banners, and I started a banner contest to encourage them all.

All this is in memory of the woman who inspired me, who helped me to become who and what I am today.  Things that may have been little to others have made a huge impact in my life, and so I turn around and try to pay it forward.

Life doesn’t end.  It just passes on to the next stage.  Whether you believe it is heaven, or some other belief, life doesn’t end.  I believe she is probably up there, laughing at me crying right now, and telling me that it will all get better.

I hope so Angela, and even as new grief for your passing hits me as I pour these words out, giving my thoughts on the impact you had on my life as even more tragedy happens to me, I think of you.  I think of what you said, and I still chuckle as I remember you telling me that my life sucks.

Thank you for all you do.

Thank you for the stories that we all hope to reach your level on.

Thank you for the help you gave so freely, and for the time you gave to us.

Thank you.

And I miss you.

 

“I’ll Be Missing You”
(feat. 112, Faith Evans)

Every day I wake up
I hope I’m dreamin
I can’t believe this shit
Can’t believe you ain’t here
Sometimes it’s just hard for a nigga to wake up
It’s hard to just keep goin
It’s like I feel empty inside without you bein here
I would do anything man, to bring you back
I’d give all this shit, shit the whole knot
I saw your son today
He look just like you
You was the greatest
You’ll always be the greatest
I miss you Big
Can’t wait til that day, when I see your face again
I can’t wait til that day, when I see your face again…

Yeah… this right here (tell me why)
Goes out, to everyone, that has lost someone
That they truly loved (c’mon, check it out)

[Verse One: Puff Daddy]

Seems like yesterday we used to rock the show
I laced the track, you locked the flow
So far from hangin on the block for dough
Notorious, they got to know that
Life ain’t always what it seem to be (uh-uh)
Words can’t express what you mean to me
Even though you’re gone, we still a team
Through your family, I’ll fulfill your dream (that’s right)
In the future, can’t wait to see
If you open up the gates for me
Reminisce some time, the night they took my friend (uh-huh)
Try to black it out, but it plays again
When it’s real, feelings hard to conceal
Can’t imagine all the pain I feel
Give anything to hear half your breath (half your breath)
I know you still living your life, after death

[Chorus: Faith Evans]

Every step I take, every move I make
Every single day, every time I pray
I’ll be missing you
Thinkin of the day, when you went away
What a life to take, what a bond to break
I’ll be missing you

[Puff] I miss you Big

[Verse Two: Puff Daddy]

It’s kinda hard with you not around (yeah)
Know you in heaven smilin down (eheh)
Watchin us while we pray for you
Every day we pray for you
Til the day we meet again
In my heart is where I’ll keep you friend
Memories give me the strength I need (uh-huh) to proceed
Strength I need to believe
My thoughts Big I just can’t define (can’t define)
Wish I could turn back the hands of time
Us in the 6, shop for new clothes and kicks
You and me taking flicks
Makin hits, stages they receive you on
I still can’t believe you’re gone (can’t believe you’re gone)
Give anything to hear half your breath (half your breath)
I know you still living you’re life, after death

[Chorus]

[Faith Evans] Somebody tell me why

[Interlude: Faith Evans]

On that morning
When this life is over
I know
I’ll see your face

[Outro: 112]

Every night I pray, every step I take
Every move I make, every single day
Every night I pray, every step I take
[Puff] Every day that passes
Every move I make, every single day
[Puff] Is a day that I get closer
[Puff] To seeing you again
Every night I pray, every step I take
[Puff] We miss you Big… and we won’t stop
Every move I make, every single day
[Puff] Cause we can’t stop… that’s right
Every night I pray, every step I take
Every move I make, every single day
[Puff] We miss you Big
[music fades out]

We miss you Angela.  Thanks for everything.  And yes:  Life sucks, but you do move on.

 

12 thoughts on “Tribute to Angela

  1. This is a beautiful and moving tribute. (I’m crying as I write this.) The world lost a very special and wonderful individual when Angela died, but I know she will live on in her writing and in the hearts and memories of those she touched, in both great and small ways.

  2. I didn’t have a chance to get to know her, but I had read some of her work and the first thought that crashed into me when I read that she was gone was, “Who will finish her stories now?” and for a long time I just kind of got lost in my thoughts thinking that question over and over. I’ve been asking it since then until I read what you said above.

    In your words I heard the answer, “You will finish them, others will finish them, maybe not those exact stories, but stories that need to be told find a way.”

    I am deeply sorry for your loss. I will be thinking of her and now you whenever I sit down to write.

    Blessings to you and yours.

  3. The video and this letter made me tear up again. The award is so deserved. I miss you Angela. I miss your wonderful characters. I miss the teasers before and the discussions after a chapter. I miss you! I hope you’re enjoying whichever skip you landed in 🙂

  4. oh Lord, how I feel you on this. Angela was so much more than a writer, she was like a mother to us all. Helping us out with whatever ailed us. A very fitting tribute sweetie

  5. Thankyou. This was beautiful. I’m glad that she was able to help you so much. I’m a big believer in paying it forward. Thankyou for sharing your story of a wonderful woman!

  6. What a beautiful and moving tribute. I think Angela had a lot more stuff going on in her life than she let us know. It’s still hard for me to think of her as gone and her stories unfinished. I didn’t know her outside of her fiction and the little bit of personal stuff she revealed, but I craved her stories. I’m learning more about her through the remembrances of those who truly knew her. People like you. You’ve had so much sorrow yourself and I’m glad Angela was able to be your strength. It’s obvious that you have learned to be strength for others. {{{HUGS}}}

  7. I still visit her site, but I haven’t re-read any of her stories. I can’t. Too soon.

    I really regret never getting in touch and telling her how wonderful her stories are. But you could tell she took a lot of joy in life, and that she was so generous with her time when it came to helping others.

    Thank you for writing this. She touched a lot of people.

  8. Pingback: This Weekend « Kittyinaz

  9. thank you for writing a beautiful tribute for a great woman that we all loved. it took me back to that night when we found out she had passed away but also remembering all the ways that she herself, her stories, and the BratPack have changed me for the better. that was one the things that I loved about fanfic; how you could interact with the authors, but Angela took it to a whole new level with the BratPack. it blows the mind that with so many people in a group that there is no drama – only encouragement. love, love, love my fellow Brats and I thank Angela everyday that I have one place to go to where everyone is a friend willing to help.

    thank you again for sharing your story & your loving words for Angela.

  10. I am bawling my eyes out. Last year, I was in an awful, awful place. I was in an emotionally abusive relationship of four years that had pretty much sapped me of my own identity and sunk me into the deepest and darkest place I’ve ever been. I was re-reading the books and re-watching the show (well, re-watching the first four seasons and watching the others for the first time), and as soon as the finale was over I went–what? No, someone needs to fix this and the end of the books too, and off to Fanfiction.net I went, and eventually made my way to WordPress.

    Reading Eric and Sookie fanfiction quickly became the highlight of my life, my escape from the dreary existence I wasn’t sure how to escape, and then CaliforniaKat posted a tribute to Angela. I went to her page and bookmarked it for later, and when I finished all of CK’s stories, I started reading Saints and Sinners and then moved on to Alcide in Wonderland and those three chapters of Life & Death that were posted. Already, I was amazed by Angela’s way with words and her incredible gift at storytelling–little did I know the best was yet to come.

    Not knowing any better, I started the Multiverse series in the way they’re listed on her homepage, in chronological order. Imagine my “what the heck is going on” reaction during the first skip–ha! I quickly realized I’d screwed up but figured ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’ so I kept reading and it’s truly a mark of her greatness that it was explained well enough for a complete newbie reading in the wrong order to understand and stay hooked.

    It must have taken me months to finish the Multiverse–especially as there were several ongoing stories I was keeping up with as well, not to mention the real life crap I was dealing with. (Being trapped in an eighteen wheeler for months at a time with a man who loves to make you feel like dirt underneath his heel really and truly sucks.) Then there was the fact that when I got to Breathless, I nearly had a panic attack and delayed reading it for a couple of weeks. I… I didn’t want it to end.

    You see, another thing that I feel the need to admit–and indeed, have already admitted to CK earlier this week–is that, for a while there, I was contemplating suicide at least once a day. I’m not saying this for pity or anything, but I feel it’s important to explain just HOW important you authors can be, even if you never know it. There were literally days that I could not think of one single thing to hang on for, but then I would think, “Well, I need to see how this story is going to play out” or “I’m not finished with the Multiverse yet, I’ve got to see what is going to happen” and that would be enough of a thread for me to hang onto and get me through another day. And I thank every single one of you who has ever written and published a word for that, on behalf of anyone who has ever felt that way.

    So when I realized I was almost done with the Multiverse and most of my series I was following were wrapping on, I panicked a bit. But in my time of delaying, new stories were started and I found new authors, and somewhere along the way I found myself… strengthening. I finished the rest of Angela’s work and I cried, but I kept going. Something about the various Erics and Sookie’s that I’ve read about really struck a chord in me, and I don’t even remember exactly when I began to change, but somewhere in the midst of fanfiction, it suddenly hit me that I deserved to be loved the way Eric loves Sookie, I deserve to be treated lovingly and not abused. Basically, I realized that I was with a Bill when I could be an Eric.

    I don’t admit my motivations behind finally finding my inner strength to many because I’m afraid they’ll think I’m crazy, but somehow I feel like you guys who are reading will understand, and I am going to quit going on and on now, but I will mention that, while it took a while, I left the abusive guy back in March and while things have been and still are rough, I am a million times happier now. My pain poured itself into a Sookie for a story that I wrote back in April but just found the courage to re-read and publish last week and after fifteen years of writing, I was reminded once again of the power words have to heal–whether they come from you or another.

    So from the very bottom of my heart, thank every single one of you who has ever written a word. I know there’s been a lot of hate spread around in our little corner of the world this past year, so I felt the need to spread some love and appreciation. You all have truly saved my life, so many times, but especially Angela and her truly supernatural-seeming way of writing brilliantly connected worlds that just sucked me in for hours at a time. I hope that wherever she is, she knows how much her work has meant and will always mean to me.

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