Every time we got an entry from someone who hadn't written anything before, I did a silent little squee of excitement and pride. It's kind of like all those fics you read where Bella has saved herself for Edward and when they finally get together it's beautiful and wonderful and Edward is all giddy because she's never been with anyone else, and so no matter what, he has solidified himself as numero uno in the story of her life. That's what it was like for me, knowing that writer saved herself for this contest, and it's like this magical beautiful thing and we were her first, well, or Jasper was I guess. I guess it's kind of like the writer's first time ends up being a foursome with Jasper, Elle and me, and well...with a whole lot of people watching. Actually, I guess that's kind of skanky, so I don't know why I ever thought it was so special...
Wait, no. It's amazing because here we thought we were going to be this little dinky contest and then boom all these people decide to write their first-ever story for us, and about Jasper. And since we love Jasper, we love that he inspired so many people to write and that we could provide a vehicle for them to get a little extra attention for it. So yeah, it is magical how many amazing entries we got, and how many of those were from folks who never posted a story before. "Underexposed" by daisy3853 is an example of one of the best from that category.
Man, this one spans the categories. It's got a JILF, a JILS, hell, a BILS, and even a damn RILS (that would be Rose). It begins in a photography class, ends in a darkroom and everything in between is a gorgeous, heart-wrenching, beautifully written story of two people who fall in love, while sharing a love for the camera. Jasper and his little sister Rosie have a lot of pain in their lives and Bella picks up on it instantly. She's no stranger to it, having lost her mother just shortly after she gave birth to Bella, and knowing she is a constant reminder of that loss to her father. Bella is instantly drawn to Jasper and feels an almost immediate desire to dissolve, or, at the very least, shoulder some of Jasper's pain. They get to know each other in photo class, and as Bella learns more about Jasper, she falls deeper in love. The feeling is far from one-sided but before Jasper can give himself over to Bella, he must learn to let go of his darkness and let her in.
Daisy does a beautiful job weaving the beauty and power of photography into the story and using it as a tool to show the deepening of Bella and Jasper's relationship and affections. Her love for the art shines through clearly in this story and yet it never becomes boring or instructional - not even close. As I read, I often found myself wide-eyed at the sheer beauty of some of her words and images, and I was deeply impressed at how fluidly she tells the story. I read the end again, to write this blurb, and again my jaw dropped and my eyes teared up. That her first endeavor could be something so masterful and moving is insanely impressive. I truly hope you'll give it a shot, if only to read that wonderful ending.
So thank you, Daisy, for making us your first. Jasper, Elle and me. We think this may be the start of something beautiful.
Link to story: Underexposed by daisy3853