Never in my life will I ever forget November 11, 2014.
It was exactly one week after his birthday on November 4, and two weeks after the birthday marking the conclusion of the second decade of my life. In this time of change, after being stuck on Emmy (my special nickname for him) for over 10 years, I was dealing with some extremely confusing emotions and struggles... and I decided to write about it.
For the past 7 years, every year, I wrote a poem for him on his birthday—which I would never send. But this love was dying a slow death, and I knew that a poem wouldn’t fulfill any sort of purpose this year. I needed to close this love, and the only way I could see that happening was if I wrote a story, symbolically closing that love as I closed the book I planned to write.
It was an experiment at first. I first called it “A First Love Story” (did anyone else gag?!), and then I fortunately changed the title to “Dripping Mascara” because I remembered a college professor of mine telling me how much she loved that title for an essay I wrote. Besides, it was the same title for the diary entry I wrote at the age of 12 as I said goodbye to Emmy for the first time. It was decided, then. On November 11 of 2014, at the stroke of midnight, I published the first four episodes of Dripping Mascara. The story cover, which I created by myself completely on Microsoft Paint (see process above), took 6 hours on a Friday night, at which time I slept at 4 am... but like everything about this story, I got nothing but joy from developing it.
And now, we have completed 10 seasons, 132 chapters, and a collective total of 370,000 lines. I have laughed, cried, and punched pillows as I have written this story I so love to tell, and then did the same things all over again as I read all of the amazing reactions to my story. I have gotten songs (@alinaj0y) and little movies (@123camomile) that have warmed my heart. I've met an unmatched audience, and it is an honor to have your readership as I write this saga.
This story has grown life that I never anticipated it would even in my wildest dreams. You have called yourselves Mascarettes (believe it or not, I didn’t come up with that term… it was suggested on the Q&A by a reader). You have told me to make this saga into a real book in hundreds of messages, and even a movie in dozens of others. You have helped me heal, helped me grow, and you gave birth to a confidence and motivation for writing that would never have been possible without your overwhelming support. I have made friends from all over the world, both writers and non-writers. I have heard your most intimate struggles and listened to you thank me, telling me that my story has given you hope, joy, and strength. You have always thanked me, but that doesn’t feel quite right. Because honestly, I have to sincerely thank YOU for the gift of letting me touch your heart with my story. It is such an honor and privilege for you to give me that chance, and I can’t thank you ENOUGH.
"From the light, teasing humor to the infinitely darker undertones in this story, Dripping Mascara is perhaps the most brilliant and successful Episode stories I've read... it's the first story I recommend to anybody new to Episode." | Ana C.
“I'm a new player & I'm absolutely hooked on your story! The way you connect chapters & small fragments of information together, my jaw literally drops every single time! …You [have to] turn this story into a book someday, I've been writing for almost 20yrs & I can tell you have a gift.” | @msmedieval83