Once Upon a Time

Many years ago, I lived with my husband in a house on a hill.  We were both working for my Father-in-Law and we had three cats even though we didn’t realize my husband was allergic to them yet.  I was (and still am) a homebody and a book worm – which made online friendships extremely handy.

As with most people, the illusion of anonymity on the Internet lent me to do things that I wouldn’t normally do… like share my stories with them (thought I was going somewhere else with that didn’t you? Get your minds out of the gutter!).

You see, I’d been writing fanfiction long before I knew what fanfiction was.  In high school, I used to write stories for my friends using their real life hopes and dreams… mostly about the boys they liked.  So, when I was introduced to the idea of fanfiction thru the Scarecrow & Mrs. King community, it made absolute sense to me.  Looking back, I realize it was an incredibly small and oddly like minded set of people compared to most fandoms.  When I discovered them, they were just a bunch of fans rejuvenating a television show that had limped so sadly to its end.  It was incredibly cathartic.

So when I quickly became obsessive about Harry Potter and impatient for the publication of new books in the series, I innocently searched for what the fans were doing in the fanfiction world.  And… my eyes! my eyes!!!!

I realized quickly that what I had to find was another, smaller, set of like minded fans to obsess and share with.  And that is where Cass comes in.  On a sweet little Harry Potter site, a fellow forum poster and I hit it off.  We were both totally hilarious, if I do say so myself.  Once we were both assured that the other was not a psycho serial killer pretending to be an awesomely funny person, we became “real” friends who talked about “real” life.  And one day, I honestly can’t remember how or why (maybe she does?), we started writing Harry Potter fanfiction together.

And that is how Cass and Ada first met and…why Cass and Ada finally met in person.

Ada & Splatt
California, 2003

(TO WRITE!  Isn’t that crazy? And 14 years later, that’s what we’re STILL doing!)

Anyway, I was pregnant, and not at all nervous… until I was at the baggage claim.  Then, several concerns crowded me all at once:

  • What if I didn’t recognize her? All the pictures of her I’d seen to that point suddenly melded together in my mind as one (kind of general) amalgamation of a nice human face with brownish reddish hair.
  • What if I’d screwed up in some way the directions? I am NOTORIOUS for getting directions wrong and giving bad directions.  Granted, the airport should have sent her in a pretty direct way to baggage claim, but… I really can’t take any chances with my direction-challenged brain.
  • What if my cell battery died? Oh – by the way – it did.

For at least five minutes I smiled at every female-ish person in the LAX baggage claim hoping to send a welcoming, non-psycho vibe that I wouldn’t be kicked out of the airport for. It was at this point that anxiety started in.  I jealously thought, well at least SHE knows she’s looking for a pregnant person.  That’s at least SOMETHING.  Why hadn’t we worked out a code? A red hat! A white rose! A Harry Potter Scarf!

But it wasn’t long before a person with a suddenly distinct Cass looking face appeared on the escalator.  Crazy how people look how they are supposed to when you’re not in an anxiety fueled panic.

Anyway, a big hug and a lot of undignified giggles later we were off.

Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 4.36.01 PMThe drive to and from LAX had long ago become old hat to me.  Apparently it didn’t feel terribly old hat to Cass who looked green and not at all impressed with my impromptu attempts at tour guide (there may have been some weaving involved).  Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 4.36.07 PM

This started a several years long in joke with me sending her pictures of the Staples Center lit up purple at night (it was midday when we passed it so she couldn’t see how purple it got!).

We learned several things during the trip:

  • California waiters cannot understand the word “water” when said with a British accent
  • My three cats had no hunting prowess (they surrounded a spider and it got away)  Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 4.34.58 PM
  • We CAN write together faster in person
  • We DO like each other in person
  • We CANNOT understand each other in a loud restaurant

And it was upon these truths that our “real life” friendship was founded and these truths have carried us through!*

*ok, the inability of my now deceased cats to catch spiders has not recently affected us, but you get the idea.

 

16 thoughts on “Once Upon a Time

  1. I honestly don’t remember who came up with the idea of co-writing Harry Potter fan fiction. I do remember our first co-write being about the fact something happened every Hallowe’en in books 1-4 in the series (and we were at the time in the vast hollow that was the wait for book 5!!)

    And I also remember us having an absolutely hilarious time writing the next story, Harry’s Dilemma! 😉

    Or was it the other way round? Okay, my memory of the timing is deficient, but not of the fun we had!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always enjoy stories on how people started out, thanks for sharing! It must be tricky/expensive to write better together in person but live so far apart. One of the amazing things about the Internet is how it can bring people together that wouldn’t otherwise meet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’ve not had much opportunity to write in the same place at the same time. In fact, I think it’s twice in our 14-year friendship – the first time we met in person in 2003 and last year when we got together in Bath to start the recent book! (Ada will correct me if I’m wrong).

      Although we’ve met often over the years in various places (US and UK), I think there were only the two occasions which had writing as their purpose!) 😉

      Ceri, I agree. If I start to think ‘what if’ over many of the people I’ve met in the last 15 years, I get too emotional about what I might have lost!!

      Thank you for stopping by! Hope you’re having a fabulous week!

      Like

  3. This was great! You two sound like such neat women, and, boy, am I lucky girl to have stumbled onto Tabby Cow. How did it get its name, btw? I’m still under the weather, so have not BEGUN to enjoy my fabulous BOUNTY, courtesy of you two sweet souls, but the box is here and it makes me smile. Thank you for this story, and for letting me ‘get to know you’ a bit. Thank you, Ada and Cass. Karylee
    ps. I envy you your friendship and common interests, and your ability to travel together. I have been blessed with WONDERFUL friends, but not the travel. Keep sharing with us!! It’s a joy. xx K

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s a bit of background to the name Tabby Cow on the tab above (called Tabby Cow), Karylee! It’s a bit silly really, but we’ve become attached to it now!

      Thank you so much for supporting us here on the Blog! We enjoy reading your comments and we’re so pleased you’re happy to be here too!

      I do hope you soon feel better and get to do some of that travelling!

      Like

    2. As with anything, no matter how grateful I am to have Cass, I always want more. So when I’m depressed and lonely I’ll bemoan that she’s not NEXT DOOR. Because that would be even better! Never satisfied, human me!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely post about how you met and Ada with short hair! I must admit I misread Harry’s Dilemma for Harry Dementia but that book is still to come I assume! I love that so many of my on-line buddies are now real friends, it’s a great place to be!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Ada that is such a wonderful post, I know how close you and Cass/ Sandra are and this post just shows how this is true. It’s was only 2 months later I met you and the wonderful Steve (Emmy award winner) love you both. See you in 2017…..

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I sit here with a huge smile thinking that your delightful road to a friendship and writing partnership sounds splendid. It never occurred to me to look for fan fiction until after I read published hard copies in the store. Scarecrow and Mrs. King had one!!! Just wow. 🙂

    Wishing you many more years of friendship and writing partnership.

    Love all the together pics, by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sophia Rose, for your lovely words and good wishes! It’s been lovely getting to know you here at Tabby Cow over the last few months!

      We are so grateful to everyone who has supported us, and we hope anyone who has the new book enjoys reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it, because we certainly had a blast this last year and a bit!

      Like

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