The reason behind Edward's plan is revealed in a phone call. The 17th chapter is now available.
Summary: "There was a reason behind Edward's rebellious period – a reason that still holds true and brought him to Italy. His existence has been predicated on revenge for decades, to the point that forgiveness seems impossible. When Edward meets Bella, only a winter separates him from his last human prey and his own destruction." AU-Vampires.

Reviewers get a little gift (different for each chapter)

This chapter's suggestion is 

The Child in Time by 
Ian McEwan

"Later, in the sorry months and years, Stephen was to make efforts to reenter this moment, to burrow his way back through the folds of events, crawl between the covers, and reverse his decision. But time—not necessarily as it is, for who know that, but as thought has constituted it—monomaniacally forbids second chances."
(Ian McEwan)

Here (http://www.ianmcewan.com/) you can learn more about this writer.

Announcement time!
    • An Italian Winter's next chapter is due on April 13. Happy Easter.


    CyraBear, author of For Whom the Bells Tolls -- one of the first fics reviewed on MyReadingLounge -- and other fics, has passed away March 18th after a heroic battle with cancer.

    Our prayers today are for Cyra; our thoughts are with her. 

    She also left the following note in her tumblr last month. 

    An Open Letter to the Fandom
    by CyraBear

    I am going to die soon.
    I will go up to heaven, and I will be reunited with old friends long forgotten.  They will welcome me with smiles, and I will wonder what I was afraid of for so long.
    And then someone will lead me away from the throng and say, “Now that you’re here, what would you like to do?”
    I will be surprised.  “Do?”
    “Yes.  It isn’t just sitting around being holy all the time.  There is plenty of work to be done.”
    I will be a little disappointed. I had thought that my work was finally done.  “What are some of the things the others do?”
    He will point at a group of children, laughing and playing together like children in the street back home.  “Those ones make rainbows.  And they make little breezes for butterflies to dance upon.  And they make shapes in the clouds that have never been before.”
    “But I thought God did those things.”  But I will be delighted to watch the little ones shriek and play together.
    “God does.  And sometimes He gives the task to someone who will find joy in it.  It is all his will.”
    I will point.  “What are they doing?” It is a group of ladies who are standing still. I will feel a special kind of peace when we pass close to them.
    “They are helping mothers.  Mothers who are in labor, mothers who are weary and short-tempered.  When they were on Earth, most of them were mothers and feel a special empathy towards those who suffer so.”
    My guide will point to another group.
    “These are similar.  They help the helpers.  The ones who cared for the sick, who eased their way through death, who encouraged them to persevere and be strong until they were better.”
    “I had lots of those.” I will look at the people doubtfully.  “Is that what I should do now?”
    “You may, if you like.  When you were on earth, what did you like to do?”
    “I was an accountant.  I played with numbers, and sometimes made them dance.  I found where they fit and rejoiced when they all worked together like they should.”
    “That was a worthy skill.  But are you sure that it was what you found your greatest joy in?”
    I will consider.  “My greatest joy was to make beautiful things.”
    “Aha.” My guide will look at me approvingly, as if I have just solved a puzzle.  “What sort of things did you do?”
    “I sang songs.  I added my voice to other instruments and tried to make the song as beautiful as it could be.  To make it pleasing to God.”
    “You did well in that.  God loved your songs.”
    “I liked to make little things, like jewelry and pictures and trinkets that made people smile.  I would find beautiful words and make calligraphy so that they were as beautiful to look at as they were to hear.”
    “How wonderful.”
    “But my favorite thing was to write stories.  I would write stories about men and women who fell in love and loved deeply.” I will look around, a little nervous.  “My stories weren’t always holy.”
    My guide will laugh.  “When we are on Earth, nothing is ever fully holy.  Nothing is ever fully evil, either.  It is always a struggle.  There is no need to be anxious.  While you are here, those parts of you that caused you grief and grieve you still will burn away, and you will be only light.”
    “On Earth, we said that it would be boring to be that way.”
    My guide will shake his head in amusement.  “On Earth, we said many things.  We were misinformed.”
    I will be intrigued.  “You were on Earth once?”
    “Oh, yes.  When I was on Earth, I loved to teach people.  I loved to talk to people who were eager to learn, and to see them surpass me in wisdom.  It was my favorite thing, to watch a student of mine grow wings and take flight.”
    “But were you never jealous of them?”
    “Often.  But as I said, that part of me is burned away here.  It is almost gone.  I would rather be free of it and find complete joy than hold onto it for my pride’s sake.”
    “But…I didn’t teach, and I didn’t heal the sick, and I was never a wife.  What should I do?  I see no paper or pencils to write down stories, and no metals or rocks to make jewelry from.”
    “And if those things were here, what good would they do?” My guide will ask gently.  “Our God has read all the stories.  We don’t need jewelry or trinkets.”
    I will be sad.  “Then what should I do?  Join the heavenly accounting department?”
    My guide will smile.  “Would that bring you joy?”
    “Not really.  I have a feeling that the numbers always work out up here.”
    “Then, if I may make a suggestion, perhaps you would find joy in being a muse.”
    “There are may like you on Earth, who long to make beautiful things.  Did you never itch to use your hands and brain, but didn’t have a good image to begin with?  You can give them that.  God will have a good idea, and he will ask you to find someone who it should belong to. An adornment that will dangle just so and sparkle against a certain color.  A poem that should be illuminated in bright colors on paper that shines.  A story that begins with a certain image that captivates the imagination.”
    I will imagine leaning over the shoulder of a frustrated writer, stuck on a page and unsure of how to continue.  I envision myself touching her hair, and suddenly her eyes will light up and she will begin typing with new vigor.
    I will find sudden excitement in the image.  But then something will make me sad.  “On Earth, I had stories in my mind that I didn’t have time to write down.  I wish I could finish them now.”
    “You can.  You can give them to someone who needs them, and they will write them down and have joy in them.”
    “But then they won’t be mine anymore.”
    My guide will look at me seriously.  “Do you think they were ever fully yours to begin with?”
    I will find this sad.  “They weren’t?”
    “No. They started with God, who perhaps gave them to a muse who found you and thought you needed them.  You bent and shaped them to your imagination, so that it was a collaboration between you and God and your muse.”
    “I like this idea very much.  But…there was nothing on Earth that was truly mine?”
    “No.  It is all God’s.  And sometimes he gives it to us to keep and to cherish, until it is time to give them away again.”
    “I think that I should like very much to be a muse.”
    My guide will be happy.  “I am so glad.  I think you will find great joy in it.”
    I will look around, at everyone who seems so busy.  “When do I begin?”
    “God will give you an idea, and you will know it is time to go give it to the person it will belong to for a while.”
    “But you said that all the evil things in me are still there, and it will take time for them to burn away.  What if I accidentally give those along with the idea?”
    My guide will shrug.  “I think God has a handle on that sort of thing.  You really don’t have to worry about details, up here.  All the worries that you had on Earth are irrelevant.  God will take care of it.”
    I will be a little angry for a moment.  “When I was on Earth, God didn’t always take care of me.  I wanted to fall in love, and I never did.  A cancer killed me.  Why did God not answer my prayers for love and healing?”
    “Well, if he had, you wouldn’t be here now.  You would still be on earth.  Were you happy there?”
    I will think for a moment.  “No, I wasn’t very happy.  But I prayed for happiness.  Why didn’t he give it to me?”
    “Are you happy now?”
    I pause.  “Yes, I think I am.  I have lots to learn, lots of exciting tasks ahead.”
    “Then perhaps God has answered your prayer after all.  He has made you happy.”
    “But I was so young!  I never had a lover.  I died alone.”
    “And now you are alone no more. “
    “I wanted a husband.  I wanted that kind of love.”
    “What makes you think you’ve lost your chance?”
    “It’s different here.”
    “Yes, it is different.  It’s better.  You will understand with a little time.”
    “There is someone here for me?”
    “I don’t know.  God hasn’t told me.  But I suspect you won’t be disappointed.”
    I will consider this.  I haven’t been disappointed since I entered this place.  Perhaps my guide is right.
    “I think,” I will say thoughtfully, “That God is asking me to take this conversation we are having and give it to someone.  A girl, who is sad and crying because she is soon going to die.”
    “I think you’re right.  Go on, I will see you again soon.”


    "I could have easily destroyed the rocks in my grip. As it turned out, Bella was even more powerful," Edward says. How is it possible? Go read the 16th chapter and you'll know!
    Summary: "There was a reason behind Edward's rebellious period – a reason that still holds true and brought him to Italy. His existence has been predicated on revenge for decades, to the point that forgiveness seems impossible. When Edward meets Bella, only a winter separates him from his last human prey and his own destruction." AU-Vampires.

    Reviewers get a little gift (different for each chapter)

    This chapter's suggestion is 
    Decameron by 
    Giovanni Boccaccio, 1313-1375

    "Heaven would indeed be heaven if lovers were there permitted as much enjoyment as they had experienced on earth."
    (Giovanni Boccaccio)

    Here (http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Italian_Studies/dweb/texts/) you can enjoy Decameron by Boccaccio.

    Announcement time!


      Lissa Bryan's and Jmolly's lessons for the Writing Lab have been very appreciated. These lovely writers are back to give us more ideas to discuss. Let's talk about...

      What Can You Do to Improve Your Stories -- and How Can You Become Aware of it.
      By Lissa Bryan

      Question: You write a lot and very quickly. How do you deal with reflections and insight?

      Lissa's answer: I do produce quickly, but the actual "writing" of the story takes much longer. The stories have been "written" in my head, sometimes re-written a few times, before I ever sit down at a keyboard. I've had a long time to mull over the characters and their motivations, and the way they'll change and grow over the course of the story.

      Q.: What would you like to improve in your writing?

      A.: I would like to improve my lemon writing, first and foremost. I'm terrible at it. How do I recognize this weakness? Because I sit and stare at the screen for hours trying to write a one-paragraph love scene. I think the closest I ever came to a good fanfic-style lemon is Alice and Edward's first time together in "Sacred to the Memory."

      They're the one part of my stories that aren't written ahead of time. Unless it's central to the plot, I usually gloss over them when I'm writing the stories in my head.

      I guess what advice I would impart to fellow writers is that if you're not enjoying writing it, it's likely your readers aren't going to enjoy reading it, so you have to find a way around it that feels comfortable to you. For me, focusing on the emotions and pleasure is easier to write than graphic "insert tab A into slot B" descriptions.

      Thank you, Lissa Bryan!

      Lemons (and especially good lemons) are difficult to write, indeed. Jmolly has prepared a great tutorial. Don't miss it!

      So You Want to Write a Lemon, by Jmolly.

      What would you like to improve in your writing?
      As usual, your comments are welcome.

      Lissa's stories: http://www.fanfiction.net/u/3300533/Lissa_Bryan
      JMolly's stories: http://www.fanfiction.net/u/2058077/jmolly


      It took them fifteen chapters, but finally Edward and Bella...what? Go read the 15th chapter and you'll know!
      Summary: "There was a reason behind Edward's rebellious period – a reason that still holds true and brought him to Italy. His existence has been predicated on revenge for decades, to the point that forgiveness seems impossible. When Edward meets Bella, only a winter separates him from his last human prey and his own destruction." AU-Vampires.

      Reviewers get a little gift (different for each chapter)

      This chapter's suggestion is 
      Chiare, Fresche, Dolci Acque ("Clear, Sweet, Fresh Water") by 
      Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch), 1304-1374

      Francesco and Laura, XV century miniature

      "Clear, sweet fresh water
      where she, the only one who seemed
      woman to me, rested her beautiful limbs:
      gentle branch where it pleased her
      (with sighs, I remember it)
      to make a pillar for her lovely flank:
      grass and flowers which her dress
      lightly covered,
      as it did the angelic breast:
      serene, and sacred air,
      where Love pierced my heart with eyes of beauty:
      listen together
      to my last sad words."
      (Francesco Petrarca)

      Here (http://www.poetryintranslation.com/PITBR/Italian/Petrarchhome.htm) you can find more poems by Petrarch.
      Announcement time!


        How do you write a perfect review?
        Here are some reviews written by fellow readers and writers.

        They introduce the winning stories (1st and 2nd place) of the Twilight of Craigslist Fanfic Contest, hosted by Nayarit, Wonderwallthefirst, and InYourHonor1211.
        Writers were required to create their best Craigslist ads with their favorite Twilight characters in mind. This was a two part, anonymous contest. The first part of the contest was looking for original Twilight Craigslist ads. The second part of the contest focused on one-shots based on Craigslist ads.

        If you read these stories, say "Ciao" to the authors from MyReadingLounge.

        1. 1st Place Favorite Ad Popular Vote: Beautiful Girl with the Baseball Bat by ManderBetis, won also 2nd Place Funniest Ad Popular Vote.

        (review by LifeintheSnow

        Beautiful Girl with the Baseball Bat by ManderBetis is the sort of delicious craigslist-ad-as-story-prompt that gets a writer’s wheels turning. Dramatic situation…impressively unhinged Bella…no-self-control Edward…ill-advised disclosure of details in a public forum. How to build from here is wide open, which is fun to imagine. Will Edward get prosecuted for supplying misleading information to the police—or maybe felony assault? Or is love in the cards for the muscular (former?) cheater and the blonde in a BMW who is presumably about to be ensnared by Edward’s false testimony? And can Bella find more satisfying ways to channel this temper of hers, perhaps inspired by the way Edward’s mom-approved ass looks? There’s so much to mull over and nibble on here, it even stands on its own as a fun micro-story. Great job, ManderBetis, and great job, judges and voters!

        1. 1st Place Favorite One-shot Popular Vote: Keep the Tofurkey Bring on the Beer by MrsSpaceCowboy, won also 2nd Place VampiresHaveLaws' One-shot Choice. The Ad: 2nd Place Funniest Ad Popular Vote: Free Tofurkey and Beer! by MrsSpaceCowboy.

        (review by Happymelt

        The Twilight of Craigslist Popular Vote First Place entry, Keep the Tofurkey, Bring on the Beer!, introduces us to a high-spirited, no nonsense Bella, who, along with her roomie, Heidi, gets shitfaced and posts a cheeky ad on Craigslist, asking for someone to pose as Bella’s boyfriend and accompany her to Forks for Thanksgiving. Of course, the story kicks into high gear when Edward replies to the post, and we soon find out these two already share a history, albeit a short and disastrous one.

        Contest judge and brilliant author, VampsHaveLaws, had this to say about her Judge’s Selection: “I hadn't read something as funny as this in a long time. It literally had me laughing out loud... And not only was it funny, it had me smiling with its sweetness, too."

        "My family is nuts. Are you absolutely sure you want to go to Forks?" she asks dubiously.

        "Positive." God's honest truth. I would follow her (and her fantastic ass) to the ends of the earth and back, battling small children, perverted massage therapists, and crazy relatives along the way.

        It’s no surprise this story also won the public vote for Funniest One-Shot. And yet, as VHL points out, amidst the comedic situations and the entertaining cast of secondary characters, we see the spark and the connection between Edward and Bella grow, and those heartwarming moments are what makes this gem by MrsSpaceCowboy much more than just a funny read.

        1. 1st Place One-shot Judges Vote: Lost and Found by albymangroves, won also 2nd Place Plummy's, Midsouthmama's and Nolebucgrl's One-shot Choice.

        (review by Plummy

        The Thing About Alby...
        Her stories are so visual. So much so that even at this late date, when I have read and forgotten lots of other stories, I can recollect almost every moment she details. This is especially true of "Lost & Found," her winning entry in the Twilight of Craigslist Contest, which was my choice both for "Best Story" and "Most Romantic."
        And the thing about her writing is, it’s so simple. Except it’s not. She draws such amazing word pictures that I feel I’m reading a memory, given just enough detail so that I can insert myself at one of the tables in the cafĂ©, but not one smidgen more than any scene requires.
        And there are cherries.
        And knitted cardigans
        And a mistaken identity.
        And a nostalgia for something that never was.
        And a hopeful, fretful man.
        And a camera.
        And a cat.
        And phrases that linger in my mind, long after I’ve turned the page.
        He smiles, and unexpectedly, it is heart clenching shyness that she sees, not the aloofness that she's used to sensing from him.

        "...I would have told you that you have the most beautiful smile I have ever seen."

        Suddenly, everything makes sense.

        She gives him that smile, and he beams back at her, dazzling her with genuine happiness. Bella can't breathe.

        "Why did you... I mean, how," she clears her throat, in an effort to clear her mind, too. "In the ad, you could have said it was you! Why didn't you?"

        Edward studies the camera she now holds in her hand. "Because I'm a tool."

        I want to say that reading "Lost & Found" was like watching a missing episode of Friends, but without any of the cloying bits. Excepting it's way better. It’s the kind of story that every one of us has probably imagined for ourselves when trying to hide our stare from the beautiful stranger across the room, or when we make appointments with ourselves to be at the same place at the same time, hoping that this time – this time – he might be for me.

        Read "Lost & Found," and send Alby love, because she will make your day brighter and you will dream of cherries for the rest of the day.

        1. 2nd Place Best Canon/AU Ad Popular Vote: Infuriating Bookstore Jerk...wfm by badjujube.

        (review by the contest Hosts)

        * This ad is one of our AU entries. It has Bella interviewing for a job at a local Forks bookstore and running into a moody and emo Edward, the same guy she met for all of one day in high school before he disappeared.
        * I loved this ad (and the one shot that followed it) for this spunky Bella not letting Edward give her any crap. I love how she doesn't fall over herself for his looks or take his strange behavior as a reflection on herself. This doesn't seem to be an insecure Bella. She puts all his weirdness on him and rightly so. What's more, I love a story that doesn't take "Twilight" so seriously. I think Badjujube gives us just enough of a fun teaser here to get us wanting a longer story with these two. I really do hope she continues it. I'd read it for sure!

        1. 2nd Place Most Romantic Ad Popular Vote: Abandoned Blue Barns by anonymous.

        (review by Faireyfan

        Wanted: Abandoned Blue Barns - searching locations of barns; must meet specific criteria. Help me find her. (your city)

        This entry in the Twilight of Craiglist AD Contest grabbed my attention because it is both specific and vague. The poster of the ad is looking for one thing: an abandoned barn, painted blue, built before 1960. He (I’m assuming it’s a man,) is trying to find a replica of the barn where he hung out with school friends. Interestingly he describes it in sensory rather than architectural terms, giving us a clue as to the emotional tenor of his quest.

        I need to find the kind of barn that is so old, the smell of rotting wood mixed with the sharpness of crisp fall air is the best thing you’ve ever smelled...”

        The poster then describes in abstract what is obviously his personal experience of goofing around with a girl he’s been crushing on and then having it become more.

        And as if by some cosmic gift of the gods, she suddenly confessed that she liked you, too, so you spent the next five minutes of your life in complete and utter bliss because that first kiss with her was like magic.”

        He tells us the number of years, months and days since this happened, and that the barn has since been demolished, but he doesn’t tell us why he needs to find a stand-in.

        This is where the ad becomes vague. He mentions that he can’t lose her again, so we wonder what happened to make him lose her the first time. What will he do with the barn when he finds it? Will he take her there? Or just take pictures to show her? Time is a consideration - is she ill? About to marry someone else? My mind is full of questions like these, and with the details that are provided I find myself creating different scenarios depending on my mood. I, the reader, become an author!

        Your comments about these stories and reviews are welcome!


        Bella was the last person to see Mike alive. Why? How will Edward react to Bella's backstory? The 14th chapter is up!
        Summary: "There was a reason behind Edward's rebellious period – a reason that still holds true and brought him to Italy. His existence has been predicated on revenge for decades, to the point that forgiveness seems impossible. When Edward meets Bella, only a winter separates him from his last human prey and his own destruction." AU-Vampires.

        Reviewers get a little gift (different for each chapter)

        This chapter's suggestion is 
        Italo Calvino

        Novels, Short Stories, Essays...

        “The ultimate meaning to which all stories refer has two faces: the continuity of life, the inevitability of death.”
        (Italo Calvino)

        Here (http://des.emory.edu/mfp/calvino/) you can find more about Italo Calvino (short stories, essays, excerpts...).

        Announcement time!


          Jmolly has already posted a lesson for the Writing Lab (Training as a Writer in a Writing Community). She's back, and the subject for today's discussion is...


          So You Want to Write a Lemon
          By Jmolly
          Who am I? I’m a writer with 27 stories on Fanfiction.net, I beta 8 people and I’ve probably written 400 lemons within those 1.5 million words I’ve posted since 2009. I strive never to repeat myself. I don’t focus on lemons, but storyline. Oh, and you should thank Room340C (my regular Beta) for pre-reading this for me, because she is hilarious, and makes all kinds of comments that get me snarky. Now let’s get down to business.
          So, you’ve been writing a romance story, or planning one out, and something has you biting your nails: how exactly are you going to go about writing that love scene? There are writers who get downright sick to their stomachs about it, I kid you not. That’s logical, because along with trauma and fight scenes, a love scene is very hard to write in a way that will please your readers. However, a well-crafted one can get you lots of respect.
          In the fanfiction world, we call this ‘citrus’: zest, lemons, limes, lemonade, you get the picture. So. First things first: ought you to be writing it?
          Number one rule: if you’re not an adult, you should not be writing about sex. Please stop reading now.
          This is going to be a bit of an amusing article *sticks out tongue at Raum* because I’m writing about lemons on a T-rated blog. That means you aren’t going to be reading a lot of sexy words, even if you are as old as me. Is it weird that I find that adorable? Hah. Stick with me. I have a handful of excellent authors who have let me quote their lemons (and racy words shall be replaced with bleeps, just to tease my hostess). I heartily invite you to click on their links, and give the stories some love.

          Part One: Should You Write a Lemon?

          I write NC-17 rated lemons. The first time I posted something lemony, I was terrified, and my characters were not even having intercourse. People might have thought I was a –you know- (*looks both ways*) pornographer. Shh! Don’t tell my Mom, she’s old and you will kill her. By the time my monogamous couple progressed from petting to penetration, I had received positive feedback and was much more comfortable. Now I write lemons that are very graphic. Sometimes the content is controversial, and posting it still makes me nervous. There are certain topics, which, while pretty mainstream in some circles, are still taboo in others. So seriously consider your comfort zone before you post a lemon, because you are definitely going to hear what people think of it.
          You will often hear people quote the old adage, ‘write what you know’. In some situations, this is Bullbleep. You don’t need to be a mother to write about being one. You don’t need to be a man to write from a man’s point of view. But be very careful about writing a love scene if you have never made love. Most of your readers will be able to tell. I have certainly written about things I haven’t tried, and I have written many love scenes from a man’s pov. But if you have no personal experience, you need to do extensive research (and I don’t mean ‘go out and have sex’, naughty!). As professional writer Jim C Hines says, “Know what you write.”

          Part Two: What Kind of Love Scene Should You Write?
          Part Three: Don’t Write a Lemon that Will Truly Embarrass You & Bite You on the {Beep}
          Part Four: Constructing a Good Lemon: The Bones of It
          Part Five: Constructing a Good Lemon: The Flavour

          Thank you, Jmolly!
          The complete tutorial is available here: http://www.sharepdfbooks.com/H4MKFIECF5I2/JMolly-SoYouWantToWriteALemon.pdf.html (.pdf, 442kb, with images). To download it, scroll down the page, enter the code and wait 20 seconds.

          Jmolly's stories are posted on FF.net: http://www.fanfiction.net/u/2058077/jmolly. Don't miss them!


          What do Edward and Prince Calaf (from Puccini's Turandot) have in common? How long is Edward's deception going to last? The 13th chapter is up!
          Summary: "There was a reason behind Edward's rebellious period – a reason that still holds true and brought him to Italy. His existence has been predicated on revenge for decades, to the point that forgiveness seems impossible. When Edward meets Bella, only a winter separates him from his last human prey and his own destruction." AU-Vampires.

          Reviewers get a little gift (different for each chapter)

          This chapter's suggestion is 

          Canti, (Poems) by Giacomo Leopardi

          ‘What are these sparks,
          this infinite air, this deep
          infinite clarity? What does this
          vast solitude mean? And what am I?’

          (Giacomo Leopardi)

          Here (http://poetryintranslation.com/klineasleopardi.htm) you can read the whole book, in its English translation.

          Announcement time!


            Follow me on Twitter!