the world is watching; a winner's trilogy fic

Title: The world is watching
Fandom: The Winner’s Trilogy
Pairing: Kestrel Trajan/Arin
Summary: But, for one split second, Kestrel wondered how it would feel if some truth rang through the lies.
Notes: Set in the first half of TWC where Kestrel’s reputation stars to fall apart because of the merciless rumors spreading throughout Valorian society. For deathlessmarya
Word count: 1450
Read on AO3

***

Society was a vicious sort of animal, especially when it came to one of their kin. Society was the kind of wild beast that loved tearing at their own – it brought more pleasure than striking out the weak outcasts.

It was a fact well known, Lady Kestrel had bought a slave. Fifty keystones the Herrani had cost her.  At first, the fact had puzzled the inner circles of Valorian high-society. Why would the General’s daughter pay such an outrageous sum for a brute of a man, a mere blacksmith?

The answer revealed itself the first time Lady Kestrel took her newly purchased slave to a society outing as an escort.

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2

“Valorians are interesting. They’re different.”

“Indeed they are.” It stirred a dread in her, simply to see the printed language stamped on the pages. She had never been to Valoria, but everyone knew what people from that country were like: irreligious, brutish. Bloody-minded. Why, even the women took up arms. She could not imagine it.

-Bridge of Snow by Marie Rutkoski (x)

The Winner’s Curse Challenge # 5: Valorian or Herrani

4

Kestrel’s lips parted. This was real, yet not simple at all. He smelled of woodsmoke and sugar. Sweet beneath the burn. He tasted like the honey he’d licked off his fingers minutes before. Her heartbeat skidded, and it was she who leaned greedily into the kiss, she who slid one knee between his legs. Then his breath went ragged and the kiss grew dark and deep.

Fiction Week!

Thorn by Intisar Khanani

indiebookya submitted to medievalpoc:

Here’s a review.

[mod note] From the author’s website:

For Princess Alyrra, choice is a luxury she’s never had … until she’s betrayed.

Princess Alyrra has never enjoyed the security or power of her rank. Between her family’s cruelty and the court’s contempt, she has spent her life in the shadows. Forced to marry a powerful foreign prince, Alyrra embarks on a journey to meet her betrothed with little hope for a better future.

But powerful men have powerful enemies—and now, so does Alyrra. Betrayed during a magical attack, her identity is switched with another woman’s, giving Alyrra the first choice she’s ever had: to start a new life for herself or fight for a prince she’s never met. But Alyrra soon finds that Prince Kestrin is not at all what she expected. While walking away will cost Kestrin his life, returning to the court may cost Alyrra her own. As Alyrra is coming to realize, sometime the hardest choice means learning to trust herself.

Read a PDF of the first three chapters for free by clicking here.

l-inhcinder said:

fandom: teen wolf & ship: kestrel x arin

001 | Send me a fandom and I will tell you my: Teen Wolf

  • Favorite character: Stiles
  • Least Favorite character: Gerard
  • 5 Favorite ships (canon or non-canon): Stydia/Martinski, Scallison, Sciles brotp, Scira, Papa Stilinkski & Mama McCall
  • Character I find most attractive: Stiles and Scott
  • Character I would marry: Stiles hands down
  • Character I would be best friends with: Scott or Lydia
  • A random thought: Super excited for the new season and how is it almost time?!
  • An unpopular opinion: I don’t really give much thought to Sterek ever (not anti-sterek just to be clear)
  • My canon OTP: Scallison
  • Non-canon OTP: Stydia (so close)
  • Most badass character: Allison Argent
  • Pairing I am not a fan of: Lydia and Aiden
  • Character I feel the writers screwed up (in one way or another): I mean, I think we all have our issues with Allison. 
  • Favourite friendship: Sciles 5ever

002 | send me a ship and I will tell you: Kestrin (Kestrel x Arin)

  • when or if I started shipping it: .5 seconds into The Winner’s Circle
  • my thoughts: Babies. I just think they are freaking precious and his stupid words made me want to die.
  • What makes me happy about them: Everything but the end. Just the build of their relationship was so intriguing. 
  • What makes me sad about them: The END.
  • Things done in fanfic that annoys me: haven’t read
  • Things I look for in fanfic: don’t read
  • My kinks: none
  • Who I’d be comfortable them ending up with, if not each other: No one at all. 
  • My happily ever after for them: How about she doesn’t marry the other guy and they get to be together and they figure out how to broker peace between their two peoples.
WORKAHOLIC // KESTRIN PANTERA

Kestrin Pantera is a force of nature. She’s an actress, musician, director, style icon, mother of a one-year-old girl named Elektra, and an all-around rock star. She’s a jack-of-all-trades in the best way possible. Her previous accomplishments include performances with Beck and Weezer (she plays rock cello), a feature film she directed and stars in (which debuts in LA on January 31st at the Arena Theater - buy your tickets here) and she is the owner of the coolest party bus you could ever dream of (The RVIP Lounge).

We sat down with Kestrin, picked her brain, and are now officially obsessed.

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Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Kestrin Pantera: writer, director, and animal lover. I’m releasing my first feature, “Let’s Ruin It With Babies” in LA Jan 31 - Feb 6, and it’s available now on nationwide VOD. It’s about being afraid of having kids and in an art-imitates-life-imitates-art situation, I got knocked up by my husband mid-production. We now have a 12 month old daughter (who ruined NOTHING) and is a perpetual life-enhancement. I’m currently directing commercials and preparing my next film and TV show… and running the RVIP Lounge, a mobile karaoke lounge housed inside a customized RV.

Where is your workspace?
I run my company, RVIP, Inc., out of my home in Los Feliz as we prepare to move into a real-live office. I also love working at Caffe Vita, on Sunset.

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How did you get to where you are now?
When I first moved to LA I was a professional rock and roll cellist.  I had freakish dumb luck and got to work with rock heroes that I loved and admired. I managed to make a career out of it, but my passion was always to make my own films. A director friend, Jonnie Ross, told me to get a camera and learn Final Cut Pro and to “always be shooting and editing.”  I followed his advice and honed my skills touring with bands, shooting videos and editing them together while backstage or in the car. It got to the point that filming & editing myself— and those around me— was a state of being.

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What made you turn directions?
To be clear, it was fucking amazing for a LONG time. I was very, very lucky. But at a certain point, it became unfulfilling. I was frustrated by being a back up cellist. Living an endless supporting role in someone else’s vision can be unfulfilling. The turning point was when I was offered a gig touring Japan with one of my favorite musicians, and I said no. It was the “I know the world sees me as a cellist, but I see myself as a filmmaker,” moment. I started to write & shoot narrative pieces, asked friends for help, and failed until I succeeded.

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Was this always your dream job?
I always wanted to be a young girl Clint Eastwood- by which I mean, a writer/director/producer/performer— who can also score a movie, in a pinch.

How much of the work is play, and how much is work?
Other than hang out with friends and family, there is nothing I’d rather do than write, shoot, perform, and edit. I DO have resistance around editing- that’s the only part that feels like actual “work.” Once in the zone, though, everything outside Final Cut disappears and the universe goes into a state of timeless flow. 

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How do you find inspiration and how do you stay organized?
I write every day, even if I don’t have anything to write about. I’m deeply inspired by those who pull off multiple creative leadership roles in TV and film— the Louis CK, Clint Eastwood and Tina Fey-types. Though extreme outliers, they are biological evidence that one person can truly bust several big jobs with success. I appreciate their very existence— especially when faced with someone trying to convince me I can’t/shouldn’t do it. Organization-wise, I use geek techniques like “Getting Things Done” (David Allen), Asana, Dropbox, and Google Calendar. Super nerdy: right now I’m focusing on “leveraging” and “chunking”…  if you know what I mean.

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How important is your work? Does it define you?
Yes. My work, my family, and my relationships define me.

What’s the most exciting thing you’ve done with your work and what dream situation would you like to find yourself in?
Most exciting/terrifying experience so far was presenting “Let’s Ruin It With Babies” to a 400 seat jury of my peers. I was scared shitless and sat on the floor, by the door, to see if people stayed. They did. At my favorite part of the film there was a huge, full-audience belly laugh & spontaneous burst of applause. That was a Top-5 Life Moment.

I dream of making heartbreakingly beautiful and hilarious films that connect with global audiences. I’d love it if they were also profitable, so I can keep making them! I dream of making artistic, commercially successful TV show(s) with networks like FX and companies like Pig Newton. Essentially, to do great work with my heroes and create avalanches of good. I also want Dolly Parton to star in one of my projects— I constantly fantasize about kick-ass roles for her.  

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How do you define your personal style, work, clothing, etc?
When I wear awesome clothes, they come to me like a vision; be it a flowing caftan for a day on the beach, skintight black skeleton leggings for dirty work, or a tulle dress with shimmering headdress for ladies brunch. For now, let’s call it, “Yves Saint Laurent meets Indiana Jones.”

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Do you listen to music during your work day?
Depends on if/what I’m editing. I wake up every morning to the slow funky groove of “Aquarius” from Hair. Musical go-to’s are Stevie Wonder, Willie Nelson, Zero 7, and The White Stripes. I’m really into Random Access Memories, by Daft Punk. God bless those guys.

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What’s something someone might not know about you?
I fucking love Tony Robbins.

Anything else you’d like to say/let us know?
Come see my movie, nerds!!!

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Let’s Ruin It With Babies premieres in:

Austin on January 29th
LA January 31st - February 6th
SF IndieFest on February 8th and 10th &
Oakland on February 17th.

Follow @kestrin on Twitter and see about all of her projects at www.kestrin.com

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All photos (except Elektra eating the movie invite above) by Suzanne Strong

- Katherine Aplin

It was New Year’s Eve in L.A., which requires lots of driving, and we didn’t want to drink and drive. So we rented an RV and went around to all the different parties and stole all the best people from the parties. A few months later, my husband’s company wanted to throw an event at SXSW and so we just decided to replicate what we did on New Year’s Eve because we couldn’t afford a hotel room. So we were like, let’s drive around again, do karaoke and steal all the best people and sleep on the RV, which is gross because it was like sleeping in a dive bar. Everyone ended up liking the RVIP more than the company.
— 

Kestrin, Artist of the Day on MySpace, talking RVIP Lounge.

Fun interview. We need The Legends in Toronto.

youtube

This morning I watched LET’S RUIN IT WITH BABIES, that you can see on Amazon Instant with a prime membership. Watch it, support it!

I’m so excited about movies like this: it tackles a subject so close to my heart and to the subject of my own work, it was written, directed and stars a talented Kestrin Pantera and it seems to be a part of a wave of indie movies (or at least, I hope it’s a wave) that feature empowered women making decisions about their lives and bodies— like OBVIOUS CHILD. Ok, two movies do not a wave make, but I’m optimistic. These are two fun, heartwarming, funny, woman-centered plot driven movies. 

I think this movie was effective in conjuring up many sides to the issue of whether or not to have kids from a woman’s perspective. While I’m so happy to see a fun movie about a journey of this sort— I can’t help but think of my own agenda in relation to it. Here we get to see a few white women and one woman of color think these issues through. It’s such a narrowly focused story, you could almost forget that many women don’t have the luxury of choice. This story includes family members, friends, and even a stranger or two who feel like they should impart their wisdom about their own decisions to have children or not onto the main character during her time of emotional ambivalence. Advice comes from everywhere, but there seems to be any judgement, especially not from her charming husband, played by the writer/director/actor’s real-life husband. This ambivalence focuses on the woman’s lack of confidence about her professional decisions (which are not further explicated), and fear of the huge lifestyle changes that starting a family entails. 

It would be so nice, in real life, if this decision were only based on resolving emotional ambivalence. I’m most interested in seeing one day is a work that opens up that ambivalence to include more societal pressures— for example, it is never a question whether or not these characters can afford to have children. I was intrigued by the protagonists’s sister’s story arc—she is portrayed as being desperate to have a child but struggles with infertility procedures in her late 30s. She is single but can afford IVF, even if it’s ultimately unsuccessful. It’s ok, she tells her sister over skype. She has a dog and that’s enough. 

To open this conversation up, I’d like to share this excellent long form essay about the last abortion clinic in Mississippi from Esquire.

Also some coverage from Slate about Harvard’s study, aptly titled “Where is the Land of Opportunity?” that reveals some depressing information about families in America.

Of course, I can’t expect everything from even the best of movies. You should definitely see it!

ink and wine; a winner's trilogy fic

Title: Ink and Wine
Fandom: The Winner’s Trilogy
Pairing: Kestrel Trajan/Arin
Summary: The second Kestrel and Arin stepped onto the dance floor and began their waltz, it was as if the whole entire world melted away. Like an oil painting that had not yet dried and its colors were smearing down the canvas, dissolving into blur and shade, leaving but just the image of golden embellishments and formal attire swirling in an embrace.
Notes: For the anon that asked for a Kestrin fic with the sentence prompt “This would kill him.” Look at what you made me do. I hope you’re happy now. :D Some spoilers for first three chapters of The Winner’s Crime appear. I advise you to read those, if you haven’t, and then come back to this.
Word count: 3156
Read on AO3

***

Paper was as delicate as silk, spilling over the piano bench in the music room. It was as soft and gentle as gold, weaving through the air, spread out like a ship’s sail in the wind. It was as smooth as cream skin under calloused fingers which were marred with scars of the past. Paper was as fragile as crystal tears that fell and fell while red was staining the carpet.

Paper could be destroyed as easily a ship was sunk, as hope was shattered.

Arin’s fist closed around the beautiful Valorian script. The rich paper gave under the pressure of his hand, creasing its pristine appearance. Arin had to fight the urge to rip it into a million, billion tiny pieces, until the letter’s true content was unrecognizable for what it was. He dropped the object, letting it soar through the air, light as a feather. While the material it was made of was almost weightless, the ink settled upon Arin’s shoulders with a weight far heavier than anything he had ever hauled while he had still been a slave.

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