Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Happy Birthday Dearest Melody

Mwahahahaha!  This is Melody's younger sister Erudessa.  And I, along with some of her friends, am hacking her blog.  Completely unbeknownst to her!

From: Me
I know you won't be surprised by this, and that you will chase me to Mars and back just to kick my rear, but I couldn't resist it.  Having you for an older sister is very amazing.  You show me Whole New Worlds, New Fantastic Points of View (but sometimes you do tell me that I am only dreaming! ;)), you say that 'salmonella' is the sea's version of 'Cinderella' and so many other things.  And, although we don't always agree, and you insult me by calling Frank a 'toad', and telling me that "We don't need you having a crush on Viggo Mortenson", I'm very proud of my baby who's 'all grown up and saving China'!  You are an amazing, talented young woman and you help so many people.  One day all of your dreams will come true.  Just have faith and remember, "There can be miracles, when you believe..."  I love you, Mulan.

From: Mirriam
I've been trying to think up something to say.  That sounds bad at first, right?  Like I don't have enough thoughts to translate into words.  The truth is just the opposite - there's so much to say that I don't know how to condense it into a simple birthday message.  It's fitting I should write this so soon to the anniversary of the day our friendship really began.  It's hard to believe it was less than a year ago - it feels so much shorter and so much longer all at once.  You could say we've known each other
for far longer, since the day you sent me that first email, but we didn't truly form a bond until June 2015 when, for some divine, magical reason, the act of writing a novel drew us together like magnets.  Since then we've had countless brainstorms and lengthy, deep conversations.  We've shared heartache, tears, and numerous struggles; but they don't outweigh the laughter,
amusement, and joy.  I've never known anyone like you.  I could talk about this for hours and write a novel about our exploits, our talks, our agreements and disagreements (here's an itemized list of 30 - I kid, we've never had that many) but I'm trying to keep it short and sweet.  You share a piece of my soul, Lion Yin, and no matter what happens, I know it's in safe hands.
  Thank you for everything - and I mean everything in the full sense of the word. The laughter and the tears, the downs and the ups that outnumber them.  I know you will grow even more spectacular this coming year, and every year afterward. I can't wait. — Dragon Yang

From: Jessica
Dearest Ari,

Happy Birthday!!!! Reflecting on another year of fabulous friendship, a lot of words come to mind.

Thoughtful, meditative, snarky, lovely, wise beyond years, loyal, fierce, Lioness. These are just a few of the things that make you the amazing, caring and wonderful creative human, friend and writer that you are. You have a fierce and beautiful heart that sees beyond shells, walls, armor, and into souls.
When I was in Taiwan, I always appreciated that you were willing to stay up late and chat with me when I was struggling to make sense of difficult things, I know you gave me lots of your time, talking listening, caring and plenty of virtual hugs and encouragement. I always knew even though I was half a world a way that I could come running to the internet and find Ari—willing to chat and sympathize to get me through times where my world didn’t make sense.

Thank you for being a friend I can trust, lean on and love. You’re amazing!



From: Jamie
"So... I heard it was Lody Appreciation day... More or less >.>

When I first joined the pack you were the very first member to introduce yourself. You were very open and warm with your introduction. It may have seemed like the simple or obvious thing to do to you, but to me it was the ice breaker I needed. I kept the thought with me that you had made me feel welcomed and accepted in the group right off the bat. Continuously, you reminded me- be it in big ways or small- that I was wanted and loved... And learning of our common interests certainly didn't hurt my opinion of you  *cough, cough* mostly kpop *cough*
Over my first year in the Pack, I really needed the support, without even realizing it. This year, I've needed you and the others more than ever.
You're always there, making sure I and all the other packlettes know that you're praying for us and offering advice and support time and time again without fail.
During the skype call I felt like I got to know your personality better. I came to realize you aren't just a person, you are a painted galaxy. Fierce, insanely beautiful and when you get to know more about it, irreplaceable.

We may not be incredible close, and we may not talk a lot, but I want you to know you've made a significant difference in my life. And I want you to know that I love you lots

                                                                 -Your incredibly cute dongsaeng,

(P.S. We should get to know each other better and maybe spend some time together if you're ever nearby.)"

From: Lisa
"Lody is like the big sister I never had. For being the 'unni' of our group, it's so nice and refreshing to know I have an unni too XD I feel valued and appreciated when she asks my opinion or thoughts on a subject. Many times I've gone to her with my mess of emotions and feelings when I didn't want to tell anyone else. She's amazing and I am so tremendously blessed to have her in my life. I love you, Lody ^.^"

From: Rana
"My first impression of Arielle was: sass, snark, and consistent encouragement. You can tell she really means it when she says, "Praying!"

From: Katherine
Oh, Katherine, if you ever need another beta reader (for any of your stories!)... I would be thrilled and honored to volunteer!! =) =)

Not many friendships have a beginning that can be traced to a single sentence. 

In this case...well, I turned her down. (Horrors.) As a general rule, I just did not send out my stories to blog readers. But Miss Melody Muffin continued visiting my blog, leaving comment after insightful comment that time and time again nailed the heart of what I had been writing. After about a month of more such responses...Dear reader, I sent her a novel.

I thought I was getting a beta-reader, even as she noted that she'd never beta read for anyone outside her family before. I've never asked her exactly what all she expected. :D But I certainly had no idea that the next 3 3/4 years would be the establishing of a friendship that really is the stuff of stories. They knew each other's heart. It's a phrase from a book we both love, and it is the essence of our friendship. 

Melody is incredibly clear-sighted, with a rare ability to see others and to know them for who they truly are, and beautifully strong - few people are as mentally disciplined and rigorous in what they require of themselves as she is. What she loves, she loves deeply and passionately, and while she is constantly searching and trying what she believes, attempting to argue against what she knows to be true is simply asking to be verbally taken apart. She will fiercely fight for what she loves, and her skill is a thing of beauty. Trusting people absolutely does not come easily to me, but she has proved herself to have my back time and time again, and I have rare belief in her loyalty. This is a woman with a sense of responsibility as wide as the ocean, talents that are a delight to watch unfold, and a glorious, if occasionally wicked, sense of humor. 

May you have a truly beautiful birthday, Melody, and may this year be full to overflowing with the blessings of God. Looking forward to many more years of a friendship filled with everything from heavy theological discussions to magical midnight chats - I love you!

From: Gabrielle Martin
We’ve only just met a short time ago,

And yet our friendship had grown a whole lot.

There’s so much about you I want to know

And yet there’s a lot I already got.

You’re smart and creepy as a mind-reader

Our biases often of the same things.

Your tastes are good, it’s becoming clearer

Your favorite band the amazing younglings,

Our favorite Song? Of course called Joong Ki!

Our favorite singer the tall Choice One

“Swoon” you call him, he never sings off-key.K

dramas are our favorite marathon.

These are just a few ways we’re the same kind,
And why I like you: we’re of the same mind.
(I just have to say, I LOVE this poem!  And I understand some of those references!)

From: Prudence
A u t h e n t i c
R e l i a b l e
  I n t r e p i d
E n c o u r a g i n g
  L o v i n g
  L i o n h e a r t e d
E n t e r t a i n i n g
And here is the rest of my little message: There are so many reasons to love you! Lody, you’ve been with me through it all—and it’s a joy and a privilege to always know that even if we haven’t chatted in a long while, and regardless of physical distance, we’re still as close as ever, because you put up with my abrupt disappearances and long absences so unbiasedly.  I know that our friendship is a lifetime deal and I look forward to facing it all at each others side. You are and forever will be my Octopus of Encouragement. I LOVE YOU MORE THAN TIME CAN TELL & YOU ARE MY PERSON - Your Pixie Girl  

From: Shelby
So when I first met Lody through our online writing group, I thought that she was cool and nice, and she had an interesting Facebook profile picture that never showed her face, which was intriguing XD  I didn't talk to her a whole lot at first.  I didn't know a whole lot about her, and there never seemed to be much reason to talk to her one on one.
Until we did.
I don't remember exactly how we started talking more, but once we did, it was like opening up a floodgate of friendship.  She told me a few weeks after we really started talking that she had decided to adopt me as her sister and was that alright?  Naturally I said that was fine, being completely ignorant of how seriously Arielle takes adopting a sister XD
Before I knew it, she was checking in with me all the time, asking what I was up to and how my life was going.  She gave me advice on everything from my writing to my job and lots of stuff in between.
I know I've told her that her reaching out like that meant a lot to me, but I'm not sure she will ever know how much.  I had been going through a lot of changes in my life when she first "adopted" me. All my friends had been moving on and getting busier with their lives, and my life long best friend left on her mission, leaving me in a weird position of not being able to talk to her whenever I wanted for the first time in eight years.
So even though I didn't know it at the time, I really needed the support of a friend, and I was so blessed to find that friend in Arielle.
Everyone should strive to be the kind of friend that she is, and everyone should strive to be /worthy/ of such a friend.  Because when she decides to make you part of her inner circle, she makes sure you stay there.  She will be the best, most caring, most compassionate friend you have ever had, and I am so grateful that she made me her adopted sister.  I realy don't know what I would do without her.
I had the amazing opportunity to go meet her IRL and it was the most amazing Spring Break ever.  We were forty five minutes away from the nearest Walmart, and I think the closest gas station was in the next town over.  You'd think that set up would make for a really sad Spring Break, but if anything, it made it even more worthwhile.  I got to spend an entire week with my close friend and the rest of her super amazing family without any kind of distractions or obligations or any place to be.  If we hadn't been good friends before I came to visit, we would have been after.
Arielle is one of the most genuine people I have ever met.  She is exactly the same online and off, kind, compassionate, intelligent, funny.  She never puts up fronts with you, she tells you like it is, but she's always kind and considerate when she does it.  I have never had a friend I disagreed with so politely XD
I'm not totally sure what else to say... Um... Happy birthday Lody!  You have no idea how happy I am to have you as a friend and adopted sister.  Thank you for always being there for me, even when I didn't know I needed it.  I hope we have many, many years of friendship ahead of us, but for the more immediate future, have a wonderful day.
You absolutely deserve it. 

(I learned from Shelby's visit, that if ever these girls get together all at once, I am going to banish them to a mansion that covers and acre and is on a high mountain with no one closer then 80 miles!)

From: Melody 
Dear Arielle, When I first met you it was through the Pack email chain and my initial thought was “Lody, like Melody, like me!” I’d never met someone with my name before, and even after learning it was a nickname I still automatically liked you because of it. Needless to say my opinion of you has only blossomed from there. Unfortunately I do not know you as well as I would like to, but what I do know is marvelous. You are a very strong, loving, and amazing woman. You are an excellent friend. And while the barrier of the internet does stand between my ability to get to really know you, your personality still shines through the words that you write and the sparse videos that I have seen you in. You are all the real life Regina Mills I could ever dream to encounter XD. Your sass and attitude is quickly and perfectly coupled with your determination and fierce love for the people you care about. Your quick readiness and loving advice are a wonderful thing to have. You are a wonderful friend to have. From my limited world knowledge I have realized there are at least two types of friends out there: The kind that support you from the sidelines and the kind that shoulder their axe and run head long into battle with you. You are a warrior Arielle, and I would gladly go to battle with you at any moment. Happy birthday! Thank you for being an awesome example and a spectacular friend. Your comments, prayers, and friendship are great treasures to me, and I am so blessed to know you! Hope this next year is packed with adventures fit for a protagonist such as yourself.
Love, Mel.   

From: Dabby
Dear Arielle Fairy,
If hearts could be measured in size, yours would be a continent. You have so much love, so much kindness, so much strength and gentleness. You are the friend who truly deserves the world. God took extra delicate care when he made you. I love you so much! Your constant friendship even when I'm a slacker inspires me to be more genuine, more consistent. Thanks for being an example of so many good things and bring a gold mine of a friend <3

Many tiny hugs.

From: Kash
Dear Lody,
I legit wouldn't know what to do if I didn't have you in my life. You have helped me through things I didn't even knew I needed help through. You're there when people need you and that is more than enough for me.
You are a beautiful strong woman and are so very kind. You don't get upset when asked for help, and if you're busy you make time or promise to be back later and always are.

You are the best pack grandma I could have asked for 😉 and I thank God for you every day. 
Love you, Lody Love, Kash/Kashie/Kashlet/Kashrine/Kathrine XD

From: Liz
All right, so here we go.
As I'm writing this, you're totally oblivious. It's almost funny, to watch you affirm requests in the Pack Help Line chat, while several of us plot to make you cry. Honestly, I hope we succeed, even if it's just because it hit you that you. are. loved. That would be enough (for me, at least).
The point of these words is to "say something nice, if you've "say something nice, if you've got something nice to say"; I don't think my problem will be saying something nice, I think it will be summing up all the nice things I have to say. XD I'm not sure that I can be even borderline-sappy, but I don't think you'd expect sappy from me, if I'm honest. (On a related note, the fact that you pay attention to the tendencies of so many people, and keep them

straight, is one of the many reasons I love and appreciate you.)
I can continue that by reiterating: I love you a ton. You inspire me to aspire to your level in so many things, whether it be exploring different cultures, branching out in writing, or educating myself in literature - as you'll recall, I only bought Hamlet because of you. Your analytical mind keeps me on my toes - it's so nice

having someone in my life who understands how that side of the brain works. Your logic is a breath of fresh air - whenever I need an objective conversation, about pretty much anything, I know I can come to you. (I mean, I can come to you at about any point in time, but. You know.)
You're the college aunt that other college aunts only dream of being - it's not that others lack qualities, it's that they are found so abundantly in you. You love so deeply in your own Lodyish way, and sometimes that may not manifest as "I love you", though it often does. Sometimes it's sending us random messages, or things that remind you of us. Sometimes it's a "you should go eat". It's pretty much always practical and/or with some purpose in mind,
because you aren't one for excessive nonsense, thank the good Lord Almighty. You are perpetually a woman with a point, whatever the point may be.
This is getting long - whoops. I tried to condense it, but it didn't really work. XD Anyway, suffice it to say we love you, I love you, & happy birthday. Basically. (& thanks for reading this train wreck).
- Liz

 To all of the girls who contributed, thank you so much.  Especially Mirriam, who contacted everyone for me.  And thank you to Mum for the beautiful birthday banner.  We love you Melody!

From Mom:
 My dear, sweet Melody is all of this  ...  and so much more.  Yes, that is possible.  She has been my Lieutenant for more years than I can count, she is fierce, loyal, and when she loves, it is with a depth that very few can understand.  I thank God for this lovely woman every day, am so blessed to have her as a daughter, and pray that her years continue to be filled with joy unspeakable.  
I love you!!  Happy Birthday!!


  1. Hey Mel, Its me Taz. I know I don't really know you that close, but you still mean a lot to me. You are a very dear person, thoughtful and sweet. Happy Birthday!!! ~Taz

  2. Okay. This is the sweetest thing I've ever seen! And well deserving for our amazing Lody.

    You are absolutely like a big sister to everyone, always there and supportive. I love that about you! You are a trasure of light in this world that so desperately needs light. Thanks for just being YOU. Happy Birthday, Lody! I hope you have a blessed one!!! <333

  3. This- this is so sweet.
    And now I've made another connection in my head. I know Erudessa and I knew she had a sister called Mel.In fact I think I've half met you somewhere on the internet too Mel. And most of that time I'd been following your blog.
    Have a happy Birthday.

  4. Happiest of birthdays to my lovely Lody! You're one of the nicest people of ever and I'm so blessed to know you! :) I so love chatting with you and thank you for being there for us non-FB fairies. YOU'RE THE BEST! *many huggles* <3 And you named me Flori. Which I cherish. ^_^ Love you, Lody-Maleficent!


  5. Happy Birthday, M'dear! :-D

    Thanks for all the e-mails, the fun chats, and above all, for understanding my sometimes crazed self. ;-) Thanks, too, for not giving up or writing me off when I've said something stupid, for all your encouragement and sympathy. In short, thank you for being my friend. I love you, Twin! ;-)

    May your day be full of fun and laughter, and may God bless you for all you are and do for so many people. *Rainbows*

    Lotsa Love and BIG HUGS from me...and the Peanut Gallery. ;-)

  6. Yes, Happy Birthday Melody, my ever-so-encouraging reader who has kept me from chunking many a story in the trash/given me inspiration to continue on a story that I'd been stuck on forever. Our plans for conquest are still a go, right?

  7. While reading this post I was thinking of two things: first, wishing I was the kind of person whose friends would say this of me, and secondly, imagining the look on your face when you discovered what they'd done :).
    I know how rare it is to find someone who understands the mind that always tears ideas to pieces before accepting them, who goes for logic and reason before feeling, and how wonderful it is when you find someone like that, all the better for being rare.

  8. Oh.....I'd meant to do this!!! Happy birthday!!!!

  9. This is a beautiful post. :') As it should be. Though it's late, happy birthday! Hold your head high, because you are a warrior princess and you are deeply loved.


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