#EarperView with @HaughtsCuffs

Friends, welcome to today’s creator-themed EarperView with Haught’s Cuffs! I am super excited about this one, because I am a HUGE FAN OF HERS.

So, she came onto my radar after she started doing her superfun Twitter min-fanfics, and then I started reading her regular fanfics, and let me tell you — they’re all amazing. Some of my favorites. I would rank Haught on a Horse up there with my top-three favorite fanfics of all time, any verse. When she started following me on Twitter, I legitimately started fangirling a bit.

And though we have never technically met in person, I do have a fun Docstache-like almost-meet-cute story with Cuffs as well. I knew she was going to FanExpo, but I knew from the Twitter that she and Mrs. Cuffs were celebrating their anniversary, so she was going to be pretty low-key. As I was standing in the musterbluck line-up to get in the panel, I got a very strong feeling that the two of them were standing behind me, and I turned around. I saw a couple chatting quietly, smiled at them, but lost my nerve on asking if one of them was the random person I followed on Twitter, because that feeling was based on nothing in reality. When I told her this story a couple of weeks ago and she described what they looked like, I realized that yes, in fact, Mrs. and Mrs. Cuffs were standing behind me in line at FanExpo.

Crazy, right?

Tell us a little bit about your non-Earper alter ego.

Well, Monica, I’m an INFJ, middle-child, Hufflepuff, Pisces, who likes walks on the beach – Juuuuuust kidding. Well, I mean, all those things are factual, but to really get a sense of who I am, we have to go back to my youth. I was raised in upstate New York amongst orchards and farms, where my long-standing love affair with apple crisp began.

Okay, okay, in actual seriousness, I currently live in Massachusetts with my wife, who happens to double as my favorite person on the planet.  We love to cook together, travel as much as we can, eat sushi (and chopstick spar over who gets the extra piece of spicy scallop roll), and hike /trail run in the good ‘ole outdoors.

My full-time day job is in real-estate law, so to offset the raging amounts of excitement that comes with such a position, I have a constant list of hobbies and new goals/challenges I like to engage in.  Over the years that list has included anything and everything from completing a marathon/Spartan/Tough Mudder/Triathlon, getting my motorcycle license, trying out bowhunting, working jigsaw puzzles (I have a special affinity for ones with farm themes), taking up road biking, golf, to even trying my hand at writing a novel length story about a girl on a horse.  I’m currently working on my list for 2018, which may end up being a sole line that reads “survive this administration.”

I’m also a coffee enthusiast, as in I drink a lot of it…enthusiastically.  I’ve been known to get giddy when I find a good whiskey/wine/beer.  One of my favorite places to visit is the Southwest (U.S.), and I consider cacti to be friends.  And someday I hope to hone my writing skills enough to maybe work in an industry that allows me to share my words and make a few dollars.  Clearly it’s a work in progress…

Oh, and I’m ready to launch my ‘make gay westerns’ (without all the racism and sexism please) 2K18 initiative. [ Editor’s note — let’s crowd-fund this shit. Gay holiday westerns. ]

I just threw out the longest list of random facts that you probably never wanted to know, but rest assured, there WILL be a quiz. (It is also in no way a verbal vomit brought on by nerves.  Nope, nope, nope.)

How did you find Wynonna Earp and the fandom?

I saw someone on Twitter tweet about the show after the second episode aired.  They used some of my favorite buzzwords like “kickass female leads,” “complex sister relationship,” and of course, “sci-fi western.”  I decided to watch the first couple episodes on demand, and I was hooked right away.  I started live tweeting with episode three, which is where I came across other Earpers, and I happily dove right in with the growing fandom.

Is this your first fandom?

Technically, yes, in the sense that this is the first fandom that I’ve created specific Twitter accounts for, regularly live-tweeted, and attended a meet-up.  There’s been other shows that I felt a deep connection to. Buffy the Vampire Slayer premiered when I was a freshman in high school, and that show has meant so much to me over the years, but I wasn’t actively involved in any of the fandom side of things.  Watching episodes an absurd amount of times, and sometimes chatting about a show when I came across fellow fans, is the extent of my fandom activities prior to Wynonna Earp.  

What is your favorite fandom memory?

As someone who hasn’t spent much time in person with other members of the fandom, at this point I have to say it was the Season 2 announcement at San Diego Comic Con. Leading up to it, there was so much fandom activity online with the No Chill events, power hours, etc. that Bonnie spear-headed like the badass she is.  There was this extra buzz and hope that we would get an announcement at the SDCC panel, and I even bought a bottle of Champagne just in case we got it.  When the announcement was made, it was like this collective online party celebration started instantly.  It was just really, really cool to see the excitement and happiness unfold when everyone heard our little shit-show was getting another season.

What is your favorite con memory?

The only Con I’ve been to so far is FanExpo in Toronto, so I’ll have to draw from that and say my fave memory is going to the Wynonna Earp panel there.  It was the first, and currently only, panel I’ve ever attended, and it was awesome being in a room filled with Earpers getting to hear Emily and the cast speak in person.  My nerves and anxiety decided to show up a bit that day, so I didn’t really introduce myself to anyone or chat, but I’m hoping to rectify that at ClexaCon next year!  Hopefully I’ll forge some new favorite con memories there.  (PSA to any fellow Earpers I may meet at ClexaCon: Despite what my eyebrows might be saying, I am open to conversation!)

What is your favorite Wynonna Earp/Earper activity?

I think it’s a tossup between the live tweets and writing fanfic.  With the live tweets, I’m just blown away with how clever, funny, and well-spoken the fandom is.  It’s so fun to see everyone else’s reactions and thoughts as things unfold.  With the fanfic, I adore delving into the Earp world and exploring the characters in different ways than what happens each week on the show.  I don’t crank out a lot of fic, but what I do write is really close to my heart.  Which, by the way, if you don’t mind me veering off topic a skosh, I don’t think I say thank you nearly enough to all of the wonderful Earpers who have taken the time to send feedback and kind words on stories or tweet threads I’ve written.  You are all amazing, and I can’t tell you the amount of times someone’s words have improved my day.  Is it dusty in here?  Moving on…  

What has Wynonna Earp come to mean to you?

Well, the show itself has become a bit of a beacon of hope to me in a TV landscape littered with so much darkness and harmful tropes. I think they are doing so many things right, and it’s an example of a different kind of prestige TV that I want to see more of in the future.

Love, strength, kindness, and found family are my takeaways each week, not only from the show, but also from the fandom.  It’s amazing the way the show has brought so many people together in a positive way.  I’ve been to two meet-ups now, and the joy, happiness, and kindness is palpable in the air when you’re in a room full of Earpers, even when you have the tendency to hang on the periphery like me.  What a blessing to have a show that treats its fans with respect and kindness, and a fandom that engages with each other in the same way.  It really is incredible.

Are there any pictures you’d like to share of your Wynonna Earp experience?

Why, yes, here I am getting ready to murder a stack of pancakes, a true Earp experience. 

IMG_6673

Widow Beth or Widow Mercedes?

While I do love Widow Beth, and the way she wields her malice, Widow Mercedes wins my heart.  Whether she’s taking an idiom literally and actually checking to see if she sat on a silver spoon (seriously, I love that scene so freaking much), or experiencing a feminist awakening, Widow Mercedes is a goddamn delight to watch.  If I had my way, there’d be some Purgatory voodoo that allows her to come back in Season 3.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you Fandras?

The limit does not exist.

Describe why Fandras is a thing in 7 words or less.

Well deserved respect, love, and kudos.

What is your favorite Earp sisters moment?

As much as I want to answer “all of them” (because,..all of them), I have to give the nod to the bar scene in the finale.  It’s so representative of their entire relationship.  The way Wynonna begs Rosita to let Waverly go, because she’s always tried to keep Waves distanced from the things that could hurt her (including herself, for a period of time), only to have Waverly proclaim she’s not goin’ anywhere, it’s such a powerful Earp sisters moment.  Because Waverly has always insisted on facing the difficult things; always wanted to help Wynonna face down the demons, figurative and literal. Wynonna’s “Waverly Earp, yes Earp”, forcefully laying to rest any question about Waverly being her sister and part of the family, whether they share blood or not, was an entire season coming.  And of course, the echoed “you’re the best of us” kills me every time I watch it, because I will always maintain that in many ways, Wynonna and Waverly are the best parts of each other.  It is such a finely crafted scene.

How have you Earped your life?

I’ve Earped my life in several small, mundane ways.  I keep a clear schedule on Fridays at 10:00 during the season, wait to pick up my pull-list at the comic shop until the next Wynonna Earp issue comes out, and anytime someone mentions they’re looking for a new show to watch I’m all up in there with my Wynonna Earp recommendation. But bigger picture, it’s also the way I’m inspired to pay it forward by the love and kindness I see other Earpers engaging in.  

What’s the Earpiest thing you’ve ever done?

Toss up between doling out a constant barrage of sarcastic quips to deflect from feelings, and stumbling over my words awkwardly when faced with an attractive lady with lots of swagger…oh, is that not what you meant by the question?  My bad. [ Editor’s note — totally what I meant. ]

The Wynonna Earp characters are the stars of their very own Hallmark/Lifetime holiday movie. Describe the plot and don’t forget to include what role Dean Cain will be playing, since he’s in every single one of those movies.

I feel so blessed by this question, Monica.  You may regret having asked it after my War and Peace-length response. [ Editor’s note — FALSE. ]

Picture this, the setting is a quaint town in December, we shall call it…Purgatory.  

Waverly is a (seemingly) happy and beloved elementary-school teacher.  This year she’s in charge of the school holiday play.  We see her deal with unhappy parents with her usual smile and sunny disposition, putting their minds at ease about the fact that their son didn’t get cast as a (literal) star in the play, and they leave assured that he will make a wonderful candy cane.

Nicole Haught is the fairly new-to-town owner of Haught’s Tree Farm and Lumber Mill (because, quasi-lumberjack Nicole Haught? Sign me the hell up).  

Our two love interests meet when Nicole and her right-hand man in operations, Doc Holliday, deliver pine trees to the school auditorium for the play coming up in a few weeks.  Waverly meets Doc first, and mistakenly assumes the mustachioed man with a twinkle in his eyes is the owner of the business.  Doc laughs and informs her he’s just the hired help, and directs her towards the boss lady setting up a tree downstage.

Waverly introduces herself to Nicole, who, with beanie on head, and the sleeves on her flannel shirt rolled up, smiles and shakes Waverly’s hand with a pleasant kind of confidence.  Waverly thanks Nicole for donating the trees, tripping over her words as she does so.  The trees are so very lovely, she always did love a nice pine tree, and, yeah, Waverly can probably just stop talking now.  

Nicole is gracious, smiling as she ducks her head in slight embarrassment at the praise, because it’s the least she can do, being fairly new in town.

Along comes Nedley, who is the gruff and tired principal of the school, to inform Waverly that Curtis, the town handyman who was supposed to help construct the backgrounds and scenery for the play, has come down with chicken pox.  Nedley walks away grumbling that he doesn’t understand how a grown man comes down with the chicken pox while Waverly wonders and worries out loud about how she’s supposed to have everything ready in time for the play.

Before she realizes what she’s doing, Nicole offers to help (including Doc in the offer, much to his chagrin).  Waverly’s face is so hopeful and happy when she asks if Nicole is sure, that there’s no way she’s rescinding the offer.  Later, Nicole will wonder what prompted her to offer her services without hesitation. After all, this is their busiest season at work.  It certainly has nothing to do with the pretty teacher who has the most amazing smile. It can’t possibly be — because Nicole has spent a long time protecting her heart, you see.  Her last relationship, the one she thought might be forever, fell apart spectacularly a few years back, and ever since then she’s kept anyone who might inspire romantic feelings at arm’s length.

Wynonna is Waverly’s sarcastic, tough-as-nails sister, who is a single mom to Alice, a too-wise-for-her-years, precocious 7-year old who goes to the school Waverly works at.  Wynonna arrives on the scene after receiving a phone call from the principal’s office that Alice called a boy in her class a stupid jerk and shoved him when he said girls weren’t as cool as boys.  Waverly asks Wynonna how she’s going to handle the punishment, to which Wynonna responds “Pssh, punishment?  Hell no, I’m here to give my girl a high five for being so awesome.”

After meeting Wynonna, Doc doesn’t seem to mind so much that Nicole volunteered him to help out with the play.  

Dolls is the gym teacher at the elementary school.  To make sure the audience knows this, he wears a whistle around his neck throughout the entire movie.  They never show him without the whistle, no matter where in town he is.  He’s the type of gym teacher who lines all the kids up to explain the rules of kickball, walking up and down the line with his hands behind his back like a drill sergeant, because he takes his job very seriously. It is clear to the audience that he has affectionate feelings for Wynonna.

Jeremy is also a fellow teacher at the school, and Waverly’s best friend. He performs fun science experiments with the students, and he often has unidentified goo or slime on his outfits after class.  He helps out with the play as well, and gets noticeably flustered whenever Doc is around.  

Rosita, the wise bartender at the popular small-town bar, rounds out the cast.  Early in the movie, she listens as Waverly tells Wynonna she can’t shake the feeling like something is missing this Christmas season.  She knows it’s silly, because she has Wynonna and Alice, and friends like Jeremy, but she wishes she had someone to share the holidays with in a romantic way. Someone who makes her smile and feel safe, who won’t make fun of her enthusiasm for Christmas and all the trappings that come with it.

Wynonna makes a (loving) joke about how corny that is, but Rosita tells her to keep faith, that the right person will come into her life, and she’ll know it’s right.  Of course that’s when Nicole and Doc enter the bar for a couple of after-work drinks.  They make sure to say hello to Wynonna and Waverly and engage in some polite chatter, all while Rosita looks on knowingly.  

We now have the stage set for our two love interests to fall hard for each other.

Along the way, we get scenes like Nicole Haught with a power drill(!), Jeremy accidentally stapling his gloved hand to a set piece when Doc says hi to him (an amused Dolls looks on), and Nicole steadying Waverly on a ladder when she gets a little too enthusiastic in her motions adorning the top of a tree with a star.  

One night, it’s just Nicole and Waverly left in the auditorium.  The play is a few nights away, and they’re finishing up the painting on some set pieces.  Waverly makes a joke about Nicole’s painting technique, so of course Nicole says “What’s wrong with my technique?  I think it works just great” and dabs a bit of Christmas-tree green on Waverly’s nose.  Waverly responds that Nicole’s technique is fine, but it’s just a little childish, and retaliates by swiping a festive red streak along Nicole’s cheek.  They can’t stop smiling as they both slightly lean in…but then they remember themselves.  There’s some awkward bumbling as they pull away from each other and call it a night.  It seems our leads are not quite ready to listen to their hearts.

But fear not, viewers, for our sharp, observant youngster, Alice, has noticed something whenever she sees Nicole and Waverly together.  She takes it upon herself to invite Nicole and Doc to the holiday dinner Waverly hosts each year at the homestead.  When Wynonna asks her daughter why, Alice says it’s because Auntie Waverly’s smile is always real, and bigger, whenever Nicole is around.  Also, she likes when Doc does finger guns.  

And so, we get a dinner at the homestead with Wynonna, Waverly, Dolls, Jeremy, Rosita, Doc, Nicole, Alice, and even Nedley, who grumbles about not getting paid to do extra work as he carves the turkey (but he secretly loves that they ask him to do it each year).  It becomes clear throughout the night the Nicole has found a family of sorts here, and that she, in turn, seems to fit Waverly in a way that Waves has never experienced before.  At the end of the night Waverly walks Nicole out, and in the lightly falling snow, she softly thanks her for coming and goes up on her toes to kiss Nicole’s cheek.  

They both know then what’s right in front of their faces, but it’s not quite time yet to put a bow on this story.  

First, we must have the school play, full of dancing children costumed as stars and candy canes and trees.  Waverly directs from the wings, showing a nervous excitement until the final curtain drops.  Nicole arrives backstage to tell her what a wonderful job she did, and Waverly is touched that Nicole came to see the play.  Nicole tells her she wouldn’t have missed it for anything, and finally, they kiss.  “Best Christmas present ever.” Waverly murmurs.  Alice arrives just in time to say that Nicole isn’t a Christmas present, silly, she’s a person!  All the adults, who have also appeared out of nowhere, laugh in that corny, holiday movie way, and we have our ending.

Oh, and Dean Cain is the town mailman who delivers everyone’s mail with random words of wisdom about love and appreciating the people in our lives during the holidays. He really is in all of these movies.

 

I should have just written this as a whole damn story, huh?  Oh well, happy holidays, and give us our wlw holiday movie already, Hallmark/Lifetime, damn it.

OH, MY GOD, IT’S FUCKING PERFECT.

Ahem.

Here’s where you can find Cuffs:

@HaughtsCuffs (fandom Twitter)

Her works on AO3

Anyway, thank you so much, Cuffs, for participating, for writing that story, and for the joy and entertainment you bring to this fandom. We appreciate you.

I’ll see everyone else back here tomorrow for another amazing Earper creator!

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