As part of this blog, I promised to highlight those Death Note fans who scattered when MangaBullet went down. Welcome to our monthly Focus on a Fan feature!
The rest of this entry is given over to, and penned by, Mistress 9!
So. My name is Madelyn Holly, aka Banen, and yes I answer to all of those IRL. I never used to give my name out, but I'm nearly 24 so I'm less paranoid now. I live in sunny southern California, just a short traffic-filled drive from Downtown LA.
I'm not sure where to start so I'll go ahead and begin with my ongoing relationship with Death Note and all the things that branch from it.
It was love at first light (bad pun).
That was 2008. This was during the time of my life where my only online presence was a long-forgotten MySpace and a semi active MSN messenger. I was a total n00b with computers; I'm surprised I had an email! And then 2009 happened.
2009 is important for several reasons. UCLA and Japan.
Mistress 9: Yaoi and UCLA
I entered UCLA in September of 2009 and my life changed because I discovered the power of non-dial up internet (I had dial-up internet in my house until late 2010).
With the explosion of the internet came my ability to explore the online world, albeit only while I was on campus because I've been a commuter student all my life.
(That's one hellish commute btw. I live only 33 miles from campus but I still have to get up at 4:30 AM to get to school on time).
One the first courses I ever took at UCLA was a year-long general education cluster titled Politics, Society, and Culture of Modern East Asia. I had four professors and nine post-doc teaching fellows teaching that class (you read that right, exactly thirteen people, each with their own specialty, working together to teach a single class).
Yes, yaoi was on the curriculum.
That was also the time I found out about manga scans and where to read manga online. I quickly rediscovered Death Note and my world changed.
Then in November my parents surprised me with a late 18th birthday present - they sent me to Japan.
MangaBullet's Mistress 9 Goes to Japan
Going to the Pokemon Center, visiting Akihabara, Harajuku fashion, all the hype for the tenth anniversary of One Piece, eating real ramen for the first time, rubbing the statue of Hachiko and pretending like I was Neku from The World Ends With You DS game as I ran around all the places featured in the game, riding the subway, visiting shrines, taking pictures of Lolita and wedding ceremonies, discovering that Palette Town is a real place, going to Tokyo Disney Sea...
Due to some magical intervention from my cousin, I was set up at the Prince Park Tower in Akebanebashi district just a floor below the penthouse suites, and I kid you not, the view from where we ate breakfast... it was nearly the same view of the Tokyo tower that Light and Takada have during one of their meetings in the manga!
I was blown away. So very blown away. Best time of my life.
It was in Japan that I found out what doujins were, and consequently fan-fiction in general.
A Californian Death Note Fan
By chance one of the fics mentioned this redheaded character that I didn't remember from anime. I changed my search settings to look for stories with Matt. My mind exploded and I never went back. I began publishing my first Matt and Mello story in February of 2010.
That same year, in that same class I mentioned earlier, around the time we were coving yuri after watching Ghost in the Shell, my TA Noriko asked if any of us were into fan-fiction, and more specifically, yaoi fan-fiction. I raised my hand and tried not to explode as I explained to whole class the merits of MxM.
School is so awesome sometimes.
But as time went by I was slowly crashing into deep depression.
Dark Looking-Glass: When Mistress 9 Went Down the Rabbit Hole
I wasn't posting so often anymore. I wasn't logging into MangaBullet, ffnet, Facebook, anywhere. I slowly began to isolate myself and I stopped caring about anything.
Even spending my 21st birthday at the 21st anniversary of the Anime Expo and meeting Vegeta's original Japanese voice actor didn't lift my spirits out of deep depression.
Although dressing up as a Lolita and meeting fashion designer Cyril Lumboy (aka Dolldelight), was probably one of the most fantastic moments ever.
Nothing could hold my attention for long, though.
I started skipping classes and not doing my homework. UCLA threatened to kick me out if I didn't get my grades back up to par and I found myself switching majors just to keep myself afloat. It was an ordeal to force myself to shower in the morning, much less do anything else.
Fast forward to December of 2012 and I found myself very close to jumping in front of a train in Korea Town on my way to a final exam.
I will spare everyone the nitty-gritty details of my breakdown, because the important thing isn't what was going on in my head during the times I wanted very much to die. The important thing is that I was kicked out of school and told sent to professionals who helped me reclaim my brain.
And that is what I've been doing since February of 2013.
A Life Reclaimed with Mello & Matt
For the past two years I have been on a mission to not give up on my life.
There were hits and misses.
I've had panic attacks, my hair fell out in chunks, I gained tons of weight after having lost a grip of it.
My brain turned to mush. I lost the ability to recognize emotions in both myself and other people and I honestly feel like I'm rediscovering everything. Sometimes I burst into tears folding socks because I realize that I'm having the emotion of 'oh this isn't so bad' and that freaks me out.
It's incredibly crazy. But I'm getting better.
Every morning I look at that little Matt and Mello as they gaze up at the full moon under a tree and lean into each other for support and it helps.
Because that is what Death Note is for me, it's my greatest help and my greatest therapy. Death Note will never let me down. Mello and Matt will always be there for me. I'll grow up and become a proper adult who pays bills and takes care of herself so that I can have time indulge in the great pleasure that is MxM. :3
So what am I up to at this very moment in time?
School: Educating Mistress 9
I'll be graduating from UCLA in 5 weeks with a BA in Spanish and Linguistics.
Yay for finishing, finally! June 27 (my real birthday) is gonna be my graduation party. Anyone gonna be in the LA area? You're invited. <3
I'm currently tutoring English Language Development students at my old high school, deciding if I like the idea of being a teacher. I might try the whole substitute teacher thing. My mom wants me to join the Navy and that certainly would be awesome but I'd have to lose weight and get off my meds first.
The thought of graduation is super scary because I have no idea what is gonna happen and I'm scared of the thought of being an adult. I should be looking for a job but I'm not read to grow up! Somebody take me to Neverland!
Death Note Writing: Mistress 9's Fan-Fiction
My main titles (Tearoom, Barbie Boy, and White Chocolate) are getting make-overs and dear God do they need them. But I hate editing so I'm going a little slow at it. I'm still sticking with Death Note 99% of the time. First loves die hard.
But I'm must more excited about two projects I've put the front of my writing folder!
The first is already up a few chapters and it's called The Headliner. It's an AU where Mello has been rotting in jail for forty years, long-since convicted as Kira (but not in the conventional sense of Kira). But suddenly he has a chance to leave prison to go hunt down and reunite with Matt (who should have been dead).
The real kicker here though is that I'm finally getting around to including a NearxMello scene in one of my fics. I had hinted to this sort of relationship at times in Tearoom and more than a handful of people told me I should try writing it because seme!Near is so off the wall bizarre to imagine. But I'm gonna do it, and keep it in character if it kills me... I just signed my own death warrant didn't I? *gulp*
Buuuuuut I'm drowning in plot bunnies at the moment for a project I was just given to the green light to do! A fanfiction of Mrs-Jeevas' fanfiction! *dies* My own take on how Mello paves his way into the Mafia, but written in Matti!Canon. *devilish grin*
I've never bothered to really sit down and research and get source materials for a story before, so if nothing else this will be the best researched story I have ever written... whether I actually adhere to my own research is another thing *cough* but I'm so excited I can't sleep at night. I'll be in the shower and imagining Mello doing xyz and then rush to my laptop to jot it down so I don't forget to add it later.
Hook Back Up with Mistress 9
- Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org Don't feel awkward about sending me emails. This is the easiest method to find me because I get everything to my cell phone;
- Banen on ffnet, because ffnet is still my main home;
- I just made an A03. Gonna start posting soon under my most recognizable pen name, Miharu_is_Harukas_Love_Child;
- I'm still hArUkAs-lOvE-cHiLd on DA, though I'm rarely there;
- Facebook. I don't discuss the yaoi in public, but I most certainly will in PMs. If you request me, please send me a PM explaining who you are and how you found me.
Contact me privately and I'm not above exchanging phone numbers. Or you could get one of those fake texting numbers that let's you text from your computer and hit me up that way. I'm terrified of phone conversations but I'm all for texting :D Texting is my favorite method of communication atm.
- Madelyn <3