alternative narratives

Now Presenting: Brujos


Installment 1: The Devil

Episode 1: Aries

Episode 2: Taurus

Episode 3: Gemini 

Episode 4: Cancer

TV can be art. TV can be revolutionary. TV can be popular entertainment AND incite critical dialogue. Audiences are hungry and intelligent enough for challenging work. This describes the philosophy behind BRUJOS, a counter-hegehmonic web series. Produced by Open TV (beta), conceived, written and directed by Ricardo Gamboa and to be shot by cinematographer Ben Kolak, BRUJOS is a queer-of-color web series.

BRUJOS blends the Latin American soap opera, American sitcom, and critical theory as it follows a coven of four queer Latino doctoral candidates as they learn magic, indulge in nightlife, navigate intimate relationships, and write seminar papers all while trying to survive a witch-hunt. These young protagonists confront histories and realities of racial and gendered inequality as they battle the secret society of white, heteronormative male descendants of the first New World colonizers behind the witch-hunt. Twelve, seven-minute episodes corresponding to signs of the zodiac cycle have been developed through queer men of color testimony; interviews with actual practitioners of divination and magic, i.e. psychics, santeras, tarot readers, etc.; and with academics of cultural studies, performance studies, and queer theory.

BRUJOS addresses the current the landscape of television: Gay men and people of color are more apparent than ever in mainstream television. Sitcoms like “Blackish” and “Fresh Off The Boat” depict families of color attaining the American dream. Programs such as “Looking” and “Modern Family” feature middle and upper class white gay men searching for love or functioning as an all-American family. While these shows are representational achievements, they are not revolutionary ones.

In these cases, ethnic, racial and sexual minorities are portrayed in ways that support dominant culture, narratives, values and relationality. Commercial television studios and networks preoccupied with “scale” and “big data” seldom produce aesthetically or politically challenging work to secure mass viewership. This only further marginalizes non-normative people who’s lives, realities, and stories do not fit within their depictions and who devise new ways of being under the pressures of inequality that are never affirmed.

Moreover, Chicago has become a hotbed for television production. However, series such as Chicago P.D. reiterate stereotypes of people of color as criminals. Mega-hit EMPIRE provides more complex portrayals but it’s get-rich-or-die-trying messaging is consistent with popular culture. Too often work that offers alternative images, narratives, and values is not seen as viable by mainstream producers.

For such reasons, Stephanie Jeter moved from big budget television producing to assume a critical and creative approach to television production. Jeter’s commitment to working with independent artists led her to BRUJOS. BRUJOS was conceived by Ricardo Gamboa, an award-winning “artivist” committed to creating work outside institutional frameworks. Gamboa began development for BRUJOS in 2014 through informal interviews with queer Latino men and healers and psychics.
‘Black America’: Amazon Alt-History Drama From Will Packer & Aaron McGruder Envisions Post-Reparations America
EXCLUSIVE: A century and a half after slavery was abolished in the U.S., the wounds left by one of the darkest periods in American history are far from healed, as evidenced by the controversy surro…
By Nellie Andreeva


Here’s the alternative to Confederate that we wanted. It was already in the works, with the premise closely under wraps, and with all the uproar over Confederate, the creators felt like now is the time to let the public know what they’ve been working on.


Part of my problem with HBO’s Confederate stemmed from exhaustion. I’m tired of white people writing alternative histories where someone is still oppressed. Like, do you not have enough avenues in the modern world to uphold white supremacy? You need to create an alternative narrative where you can uphold even more white supremacy?

White people are never writing an alternative history where they stayed in Europe and minded their own business. Or an alternative history where they didn’t squander the opportunity for a united country after the Civil War and erase all of the gains Black people made during Reconstruction. Or an alternative history where race actually ceased to exist – or was never codified into law in the first place!

So Black people now have an alternative history where we organized Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama into a sovereign nation called New Colonia and I’m here for it. And it’s being created with Amazon by Will Packer (Ride Along, Straight Outta Compton) and Aaron McGruder. Yes, The Boondocks Aaron McGruder.

This finna be extra dope.

Remember everybody it’s really really bad to do research for yourself, journalists and academics have magic hats that allow them to discern what is and was objectively true, their sources, even when obfuscated and known to lie, are unquestionable, as is their judgement. Even though you’ll have access to most of the same first hand sources and information that they do in this day and age, any alternative narrative speculation is dangerous, bad, offensive, or even worse, annoying

anonymous asked:

I thought I was over of how bad s4 was but I'm not and it's now 4 am and I can't sleep. The thought that's making me loose sleep is why did they have to make Mary part of the team? It's just the two of them against the rest of the world, right? why did they have to love her and include her in the cases? Why can't at least Sherlock see how horrible she is? I know I'm being rediculous but it gets to me it really does

Hey same ridiculous insomniac anon do you know what gets to me too??? John cheating on Mary even if it’s texting… people argue that it’s in character he’s a womanizer after all but isn’t he the guy who’s loyal very quickly? What do you think?

Hi Nonny!

Yeah, I never understood why they went the route of making all of S4 essentially NOT about John and Sherlock. I liked the visuals of T6T and TLD, but Mary REALLY fucking killed it for me, especially the magical redemption arc they chose to give to her. The whole season felt really ooc for me, and Mary being more of Sherlock’s partner than John was REALLY rubbed me and many others the wrong way. The way the narrative was going, it SHOULD have been her being on the run FROM them, not working WITH them.

Because of this, I really, really feel like there is a false narrative at play here, that the entirety of S4 is being told like a blog entry (hence why they stopped the blog AND used the title of one of the entries to clue us into this fact) because of all the OOC-ness, inconsistencies, fourth wall breaking, “scene jumping” and the “fakeness” of Mary’s death and TFP. The season contains a sense of adventure,  is romanticized (though in the wrong direction), and fantastical elements, just like the blog. I found it SO bizarre that Sherlock CONSTANTLY kept saying “I’m Sherlock Holmes!”… just like John’s blog would have done. And TFP for me is John’s TAB, so there’s already an alternative narrative. Anyway, this went way off topic, but you get me. John’s blog is playing out on screen. Why, I don’t know; perhaps to show the general audience that not having John and Sherlock in the picture together doesn’t work, since most of the entries are told as if John is standing on the sidelines watching events unfold – ergo making the season seem very not-our-show. Plus, calling the first episode “The Six Thatchers” after a blog entry on John’s blog and ENDING the season with Mary narrating is so telling to me.

Second part of your ask: I AGREE. It’s really weird to me, simply because we SAW John was essentially done with dating by the end of ASiB because he was happy with whatever he could get with Sherlock. And it took him TWO YEARS to mourn Sherlock before he decided to move on, and for whatever reason, Mary was able to establish that trust with John within six months (I presume she emulated what she thought John wanted, but she’s a professional manipulator). He only stayed with Mary because he didn’t think Sherlock wanted what John wanted, and perhaps also some manipulation on Mary’s part, convincing John that Sherlock would never love him like she loved him.

So then when John is “cheating” I find it really OOC, if only because I just can’t see John ever wanting to get involved with anyone every again after the heartbreak of both Sherlock and Mary. Though, I still hold the belief that it’s really Sherlock John is texting in T6T, and we are told otherwise because of the false narratives (given that I think that the episodes are being told like a blog entry, it’s only natural to assume lies about the things truly happening are present). And maybe it was “just texting”, fine, but it just doesn’t really fit John’s character to me unless that person is Sherlock or unless John is doing another plan behind everyone’s backs with Mycroft (ie. the texting is coded and E is an associate of Mycroft). He has serious trust issues, even an emotional affair with some rando on the bus just doesn’t jive with his character arc they’ve built up over three seasons.

I don’t know. People say it’s in his character, but I just have a really hard time seeing it, especially since he knows the kind of person Mary is (killing Sherlock for trying to tip off John), like… I can’t imagine he would do that again. Mary’s complete shift from the character she was in S3 is what’s tipping me off the most about a false narrative, and as such we can assume the other characters may not be who they seem to be as well, at least in my opinion.

Good Comics That Had Bad Consequences

The Punisher Volume 1 (1986) & 2 (1987)

What they should have learned: Writers Mary Joe Duffy and later Mike Baron melded elements of men’s adventure novels and VHS-era crime films to superhero comics elevating Frank Castle from a fairly one-note Spider-Man foil to a compelling anti-hero whose popularity continues today.

What they actually learned:  Marvel and DC Comics churned out scores of deadly gun carrying anti-heroes trying to recreate Frank’s success over and over again.

Watchmen (1986)

What they should have learned: Alan Moore’s magnum opus is a one-of-a kind blend of world building, non-linear narrative, and alternative history to create a true mind-spinning work of unparalleled depth.

What they actually learned: Swearing and death scenes makes you “mature.”

Batman: The Killing Joke (1988)

What they should have learned: With it’s sickening violence, lurid nightmarish colors, and elaborate backgrounds Moore’s most controversial DC book is a masterpiece of tension that takes Batman & the Joker’s conflict to it’s furthest logical conclusion and intends to sicken the reader.

What they actually learned: Rather than being the apex of grimdark “The Killing Joke” inspires a generation of readers and writers to decide that Batman should ONLY be grimdark to the point that characters like Harley Quinn and The Mad Hatter have quadruple digit body-counts.  Also Barbara Gordon remains crippled for years despite Moore regretting making that part of the story.

Todd McFarlane’s Spider-Man (1988)

What they should have learned:  A young artist takes some visual risks and becomes popular by eschewing Marvel’s house style of the time creating a unique and striking visual. The time experimenting with Spider-Man gives McFarlane the tools to create his wildly popular original series Spawn.

What they actually learned: Rather than inspire companies to take risks with their artists the popularity of McFarelane, Jim Lee, and Rob Liefeld inspire Marvel & DC to make their house style an amalgam of “The Image Style” resulting in eyesores like “Extreme Justice” and “Force Works.”

Bone (1991)

What they should have learned: By mixing cartoon antics and high fantasy Jeff Smith proved that child friendly comics can reach a wide audience and that cartoonish books don’t have to be simple or boring.

What they actually learned: Once the value of a mint condition copy of Bone #1 shot to $100 in Wizard’s Price Guide speculators started looking at black and white indy comics like they were lottery tickets.

Alias (2001)

What they should have learned: Another genre mash-up this neo-noir mix of violence, sex, super-heroics and gritty story-telling FINALLY gave Marvel a critically acclaimed Mature Readers title that could compete with DC’s Vertigo line.

What they actually learned: Writers see Bendis’s take on The Purple Man and conclude that sex crimes are an easy way to show how bad your villain is. Thus paving the way for sleaze-fests like “Identity Crisis” and “Kick-Ass II.” 

Ultimate Spider-Man #1 (2002)

What they should have learned: By taking a thoughtful slow build a young Brian Michael Bendis proved that with clever dialog and solid pacing that character building can be just as exciting as superhero action.

What they actually learned: You can pad-out a one-issue story to six issues then sell it as a trade.

thehungryvortigaunt  asked:

Hi! I appreciate your analyses of popular stories (like The Princess Bride), but are you willing to look at video-games that prominently feature torture? Widowmaker of Overwatch is really popular on Tumblr, and I always felt her backstory/characterization invokes some extremely skeevy tropes about torture & femininity. She starts off as a ballerina and 'loving wife' of the leader of a counter-terrorist organization, but is kidnapped by terrorists and "subjected to neural reconditioning." (1/3)

She seems ‘normal’ when rescued, but 2 weeks later her conditioning makes her murder her sleeping husband. She’s then recaptured to complete her brainwashing, with extensive combat training and having her heart slowed to 'numb her emotions’. Despite this backstory of coercion, her behavior as an assassin is quite autonomous and willfully violent (like the devs wanted a female villain BUT absolve her of responsibility.) Only vestige of old personality is her guilt around dead spouse. (2/3) Being 'evil because of torture/mind-rape’ is also the excuse for her wearing a skintight catsuit, despite it not actually factoring into her assassination methods because she’s a sniper. Anyway, I was curious about your opinion not in the 'plausibility’ of any of this BS…but perhaps how to maybe re-write such a character to make her less, uh, cliche?

I am willing to have a go at video games so long as I don’t have to invest cash in the game and dozens of hours playing it for the ask.

And since we’re on the subject while I’m happy to take requests for the Torture in Fiction series I’m going to turn down some of them if I think it would take too long, I can’t get hold of the piece of fiction in question or if it’s something I think I’d really hate for reasons unrelated to torture.

There are probably some very good analytical discussions of the Star Wars prequels to be had but I’m not sure I could sit through them all without serious damage to my television.

I had rather a lot of questions on brainwashing just before I closed the askbox, to the extent that I’m trying to work out how to put together a Masterpost on the subject. One of the things I’ve been trying to come up with is narrative alternatives, more realistic ways to write about characters changing sides.

I’ve talked about why brainwashing doesn’t work before and this question is very much about methods of manipulation that actually work.

So- this is a little divorced from Overwatch and Widowmaker but this is how I would be tempted write a storyline like Widowmaker’s, keeping key elements such as her changing sides and killing her husband without rubbish about brainwashing, being ‘emotionless’ and slowing hearts.

To start with I’d establish the character (let’s call her ‘S’) has some sympathy for the terrorist group before she’s captured. This does not have to mean sympathy for their actions or methods. It can be as simple as an acknowledgement these people are human beings or something to the effect that the political situation is complicated. Good examples would be sentiments along the lines of ‘but that group of people have suffered so much it’s no wonder they turn violent’, ‘but they’re so poor they probably don’t have any other prospects’, ‘but the government they started out fighting against was awful’.

Note that none of these sentiments necessarily lead to support of a terrorist group or its actions. What they show is a willingness to recognise that these terrorists are people.

S is then captured. I’d have this take place away from both her home and her husband. If possible I’d go for another country entirely. I’d also have it happen quickly and with a minimum of violence. Aunty Scripty’s famous ketamine is a possibility. Others include spiking her drink and then volunteering to drive her home/to the hospital or setting up a fake taxi and locking her inside.

S is taken to a secure location and put in a cell by herself. I would make it two or three times the size of a US solitary cell, with a connected bathroom, a large comfortable bed, other furniture and decorations. I would make it look as far from S’s expectations for a terrorist cell as possible. But there’s no TV and absolutely no internet or outside source of news/information.

Then I’d introduce her to ‘A’. A is young, female, pretty, highly intelligent, extremely articulate and appears to be very sympathetic. She’s been part of the terrorist cell for years.

The first time A shows up she apologises for keeping S alone in there. You see the terrorists are really worried that if they keep S near the other prisoners she’ll get hurt. This is for her safety. If plausible I’d also have A claim that they weren’t trying to snatch S and that she was mistaken for someone within her husband’s organisation.

A is very accommodating. She wants to make sure S is alright. Is the food OK? Does she want any more books?

In fact A comes by for an hour or two every day, may be several times a day, just to talk and make sure S is doing alright.

For the first month or so they don’t talk about the terrorist group or the organisation S’s husband is part of, though A will always reassure S that her husband is alright.

Then, once they’ve built up a friendly relationship, A will casually mention one day that she finds it hard to believe a woman as nice and kind as S could ever have anything to do with that awful organisation her husband runs. And S will be surprised. She’ll probably protest that the organisation is made up of good people doing good work. A will look sad.

Over the next few months they’ll talk about the organisation more and more. A has a very different view of them. And she’ll talk, reluctantly, about how the organisation are butchers. She’ll tell S about ‘atrocities’ committed all over the world. She’ll talk about rape and enslavement, destruction of whole villages and poisoned water supplies.

And S will say that it isn’t possible. They’d never do a thing like that.

And slowly, very slowly, A will start to prove her ‘wrong’. She’ll bring in phones with video interviews of people crying about the horrible things the organisation did. She’ll bring in photographs of mounds of dead bodies. She’ll bring in any information the terrorist cell can fake.

Over months she’ll persuade S that the organisation is bad.

And S will insist that her husband can’t possibly know about this. And A will look sad.

Now their conversations will shift again, A will start talking more and more about things the terrorist organisation are doing. She’ll say some of the atrocities they’re accused of are lies and she’ll excuse some of them, because they’re a small group, they don’t have the best weapons, they don’t have that much money- What else could they do?

She’ll also talk about all the ‘good’ the terrorist organisation has done. She’ll probably have a heart wrenching personal story about how they saved her life, literally or metaphorically. She’ll talk about all the people she’s ‘helped’ since joining. How it’s given her life meaning.

A’s more willing to talk about the news now. She’ll tell S all sorts of awful things the organisation is doing. And when A leaves each day S won’t be sure who she’s hoping will ‘win’ any more.

Next A will start introducing the idea that S’s husband knows. That he’s behind much of this. She’ll listen to S’s stories about him and work in the details she’s learnt about how he talks, how he acts. She’ll weave him into her latest tales of the organisation’s recent atrocities.

And she’ll be so so sorry to have to tell S all this.

After a year or so they’ll start letting S out of the cell. She’ll help A with A’s ‘regular duties’ which should be simple, non-violent, things like cooking in the mess hall or cleaning up the pathetic ramshackle ‘hospital’ the terrorists have put up.

A will be very careful who she lets speak to S. (The wrong word at this stage could destroy everything).

S will find she enjoys this unpaid work far more than she enjoys being alone in her cell.

A will not encourage her to become violent and angry. If A has done her job correctly she won’t have to. She’ll talk about the destruction of cities by the organisation and S will volunteer to help build bombs.

Then after two or three years of this, S is ‘rescued’.

She’s home. She’s with her husband again.

She can’t stop thinking about A.

She’s awkward, hesitant and distant. She insists that the terrorists didn’t hurt her and she doesn’t engage with therapy. She distrusts the mainstream news.

She asks her husband strange, open ended questions. ‘What happened on the mission to x last year?’ ‘And the mission to y?’

Her husband shrugs. He might give her a couple of brief overviews but he’s probably not supposed to talk about his missions in detail. So he says they were normal missions.

And S lies next to him at night thinking about the photos of bodies, the people in the videos who cried. She thinks about the smiling terrorists in the mess hall thanking her for their lunch and the bandaged children in the hospital.

And then one night she puts a kitchen knife under her pillow and stabs her husband through the heart while he sleeps.

She showers. She puts on clean clothes. She packs a bag.

And she walks away.

She finds A is waiting.

A’s role is creepy, manipulative and completely immoral but ultimately this transformation, these actions are S’s choice.

There’s no force and no violence. Keeping S isolated means that she’s more likely to become dependant on A because without A she is literally alone. It could, potentially, turn her relationship with A into the most important thing in her world. That would be the ideal outcome for the people manipulating her.

There’s a lot of lying and misrepresenting information and limiting S’s access to information. That happens in real cults and real terrorist organisations.

But despite all that, murdering her husband and going back to the terrorist cell are ultimately the character’s choice. The trick is showing the readers why she’s making that choice, how she got to that point.

That’s how I’d write it.


every steve/tony argument ever

the world: is fucked and in immediate peril

tony: how about this pragmatic but morally dubious solution

steve: TONY NO that’s imperfect and therefore wrong

tony: ok, what should we do instead then?


                                   Tʜᴇ Bʟᴏᴏᴅ Mᴏᴏɴ Aᴡᴀɪᴛs…

                                 Wᴇʟᴄᴏᴍᴇ ᴛᴏ Hᴏʀʀᴏʀᴡᴀᴛᴄʜ


| | > Hello, spooky nerds! Admin Neptune here with the introduction to Horrorwatch: an Overwatch RP Halloween event! Me (simple-geometry), @silver-haired-76 and @deadeyeshootist have come together to bring you a loose-narrative, alternate universe for the OW rp community this October. This is meant to be a fun way to reimagine characters in a spookier setting and celebrate Halloween! 

The Basics

| | > Soon after this post airs, we’ll be posting a submission form in which participants in the event will reimagine their characters as a creature/human/hunter literally anything spooky! Said character will then be accepted by us and posted to this side blog. 

Please read the following pages before submission

The pages above should answer most questions about this event. If you have literally any questions about submission, the world we’ve created, what you can do in your submission, literally anything, shoot us an ask. You can either shoot said ask to the this side blog, or personally to one of the mods. We’ll get to it as quickly as possible. 

Once your submission is accepted, it will be posted on this blog. Once that happens, it would be a good idea to follow this blog as it will be the source of all information, events and character questions once it begins. 

Submissions will be accepted from now till Oct. 1, 2017

Tracking tag: #horrorwatch // #horrorwatxh

Are people actually shocked by the latest sorry and obvious stunt developments with Louis? Well, you might as well pull up a chair and get comfy cuz some of us have been in this space for over a year now.

1DHQ has made it pretty clear for a while that they still call most of the shots. They still believe in keeping fans addicted to drama, awkwardly illogical narratives, alternative facts, forced closeting and keeping lowlife broads relevant. They hate 1D, hate the fans (women in particular), but love the money and 1D’s brand value.

Are we all on the same page now? We should be. Seeing the fakery surrounding 5/5 is the only way to gauge how deep the rabbit hole is. Btw, it’s so deep we can’t see daylight anymore. Prepare to deal accordingly, if you choose to deal at all.


Identifying historical romances set outside the British Isles or North America can be a bit of a chore. Here I’ve put together a batch of stories located in one of my favourite countries, France.

Asterisks denote romances set partially (*) or mostly/entirely (**) in continental France as defined by its current borders, including Provence, Languedoc, etc.. Standard warnings apply to some of the older titles. As for diversity, a regrettable consequence of being a little-used geographical setting is that diverse characters remain rare even as boundaries have expanded elsewhere in the genre.

Night Fires by Karen Harbaugh **. French Revolution. Vampires with a unique twist, redemption.

Whisper His Name by Elizabeth Thornton *. Regency. Heroine opens book business, scholarly hero has secret profession, light suspense.

A Wheel of Stars by Laura Gilmour Bennett **. Medieval / Timeslip. Templars, Cathars, Inquisition, troubadours.

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase *. Regency. Forced marriage, heroine-as-saviour, rakehell hero, clever repartee, perennial romance reader favourite.

The Last Arrow by Marsha Canham **. Medieval. Heroine is a skilled archer, swashbuckling adventure, Robin Hood & King John.

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig *. Regency / Contemporary. First in the Pink Carnation series. The dual narrative framework alternates between Eloise, a modern scholar researching “that demmed, elusive Pimpernel”, and British spies romping about in Napoleonic France.

Wicked Becomes You by Meredith Duran **. Victorian / Belle Époque. Jilted bride decides to ditch nice girl image, black sheep hero, road trip.

The Making of a Duchess by Shana Galen *. Georgian / First French Republic. First in a trilogy about French brothers. Governess, spies, rescue mission.

Storm Winds by Iris Johansen **. French Revolution. Dark suspense, graphic violence including rape (not involving h/h), class divide, Marie Antoinette.

Moonrise by Roberta Gayle **. Victorian / Second Empire. Art world, artist heroine, seafaring hero, poc h/h, Paris.

A Bed of Spices by Barbara Samuel **. Medieval. Forbidden love, Jewish hero, Christian heroine, hero is medical student, virgin hero (IIRC), Black Death.

Ruthless by Anne Stuart **. Georgian / Ancien Régime. First in the House of Rohan series. Rakehell hero, sexually abused heroine, bluestocking heroine, May-December.

The Forbidden Rose by Joanna Bourne **. French Revolution. Third in the Spymasters series – in which France is a recurring location - but chronologically the first. Secret identity, spies, suspense, sexually experienced heroine.

The Heart’s Wager by Gayle Wilson. Regency / Bourbon Restoration / The Hundred Days. Friends-to-lovers, physically scarred hero, heroine brought up in gambling den, spies.

King of the Castle by Victoria Holt **. Nineteenth century. Gothic. Heroine is an art restorer, château set amid vineyards, dead first wife, promiscuous hero.

Dance by Judy Cuevas (also known as Judith Ivory) **. Edwardian / Belle Époque. Independent heroine who produces and directs films; starchy, self-denying, head-of-the-family hero; heroine jilted hero’s brother. Their backstories are encountered in a connected book, Bliss. A third historical, Beast (as the title suggests, a Beauty and the Beast tale), takes place in France and on an ocean liner.

Don’t Tempt Me by Sylvia Day. Georgian / Ancien Régime. Fourth in the Georgian series. Erotic romance. Twin sisters, mistaken identity, spies, suspense, amnesia, rake hero.

Angélique, the Marquise of the Angels by Anne Golon **. 17th century. Not a standalone as the book finishes on a disconsolate cliffhanger and forms the first installment in an extended adventure romance series. Still, no list of historical romances set in France would be complete without this vintage classic. Long wildly popular in Europe, the Angélique series was known for its action-filled blend of intrigue, history, and lustiness, including pirates, slavery, and the court of the Sun King. In line with some earlier romances, expect a strongly heroine-centric storyline in which she (due to plot-spoiler circumstances) has more than one relationship yet recognises only one true love. If you enjoy Bertrice Small, Angélique may very well work for you. In addition, some of the books have been made into feature-length films, the first one twice (1960s and 2013).

A Midnight Dance by Lila DiPasqua **.17th century. Erotic romance. Loose retelling of Charles Perrault’s Cinderella, debt-ridden but resourceful heroine, childhood crush, privateer hero, acting troupe, deception, thievery, revenge.

The Protector by Madeline Hunter **. Medieval. Fifth in the Medieval series. Alpha heroine, warrior heroine, heroine prefers convent over marriage, alpha hero, honourable hero, sieges and battles, Black Death. I only recently discovered the story deals with Brittany, then an independent Duchy in the grip of succession struggles in which England and France aggressively meddled. Those familiar with my blog will probably not be surprised to learn that the Breton setting has made it shoot up to the top of my TBR. [ETA 11 Feb. 2017: Cannot disagree more with reviewers who’ve deemed the hero honourable. He’s an old school romance misogynist. The other major negative is the slut shaming and all other women being belittled unless they’re the heroine in another book by the author. Strong points include the fluid writing style, an interesting, smart, and capable heroine, and decent historical texture. Blood pressure warning re. said negatives. Hero: D (a few, small redeeming moments rescue him from an F). Heroine: A. Story: B.]

The Treasure Keeper by Shana Abé *. Georgian / Ancien Régime. Fourth in the Drakón series. Dragon shapeshifters, hero-in-pursuit, disabled hero, heroine betrothed to someone else, the-trouble-with-ghosts.

The Champion by Elizabeth Chadwick * (?). Medieval. Tournaments, separated lovers, miscarriage, court of King John. This is a romance that pulls toward romantic historical fiction (Chadwick later transitioned to biographical historical fiction).

Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart **. Since nearly seventy years have passed since its original publication, I’m now classifying this vintage Gothic romance, written and set in the 1950s, as a historical romance. Cinderella, governess, child-in-peril, hero who may or may not be a villain. Also set in France are Thunder on the Right, Stewart’s first effort and a very purple gothic (though published second), and Madam, Will You Talk, a taut, atmospheric romantic suspense in which the heroine’s superb driving ability plays a central role.

Maiden of Fire by Deborah Johns **. Medieval. Templars, Cathars, Inquisition, heroine with a secret mission, scribe heroine, hero belongs to enemy force, forbidden love.

The Prince of Midnight by Laura Kinsale *. Georgian / Ancien Régime. Friends-to-lovers, cross-dressing heroine, angry heroine, recluse hero, disabled hero, hero-in-pursuit, pet wolf, revenge. And yes, that’s Fabio on the original cover.

A Lady’s Secret by Jo Beverley *. Georgian / Ancien Régime. Malloren series but works as a standalone. Road trip, heroine in peril, kind and fun-loving hero, heroine born out of wedlock, famous but secret father, competent and adventurous heroine, scene stealing Papillon.

Surrender to a Stranger by Karyn Monk **. French Revolution. Rescue missions, commoner hero is spy, noblewoman heroine is betrothed to someone else, adventure, suspense, revenge. (Note that Goodreads and Amazon synopses are messed up, conflating two unrelated novels. For example, the hero’s name is Armand St. James, not Damien Powell.)

Rake Most Likely to Rebel by Bronwyn Scott **. Regency / July Monarchy. Fencing, secret identity, blackmail, cross-dressing heroine, heroine expert at her profession, duteous hero expected to marry someone else, hero not a rake despite book title.

ladyruthless71  asked:

Hi! First off, I love all you do and write! Thank you for all of it! Second, I've just had an epiphany of sorts about the memory stuff. The stuff that erases your memory, I don't remember what it's called. It's explained, at the very beginning, that it will make the last 5 minutes or so disappear and could also affect your memories up until that moment. Sherlock can;t ever remember Greg's name, that the Earth revolves around the Sun or his own sister's face! I feel this may be key. Thoughts?

Hi Lovely!

Okay… I’m not trying to be mean, but I’m giggling at the irony of you forgetting the name of the drug that ERASES MEMORY hee hee. It’s TD-12, and I have seen some theories surrounding how it could be the big “plot device” in the series that accounts for a lot of the inconsistencies within the series. Too bad they literally ruined that with TFP.

HOWEVER, I don’t think it has anything to do with Sherlock’s consistent blind spots on the solar system and on Greg’s name. With Greg, I think by the end of S3, he’s just doing it to piss off Lestrade; but I think it’s more a little running gag than anything else, as a nod to original canon where Lestrade never was given a first name, just simply the initial “G.” 

The solar system, however, we found out he deleted on purpose… BUT. By TAB, Sherlock has learned stuff about astronomy (”the obliquity of the ecliptic”). I personally think that this is because IT IS IMPORTANT TO JOHN, so Sherlock made it important to learn about it.

His sister’s own face, well… I have a biased belief that Eurus doesn’t really exist and that her appearance is like that of the random character of Lady Charmichael in TAB (which we later found out Sherlock stole her face from the stewardess on the plane). I don’t doubt “E” exists, but I still believe her face is that of the bus stop lady who is working for Mycroft. HER FACE IS THE ONLY ONE TRUE FACE, I think. The other “E’s” are faces stolen for alternative narratives in the unreliable narrations being told in S4; I’m still deciding who each other “E” is representing. I just feel that TFP is John’s TAB, and this is why Eurus has E’s face – John’s brain is making the association of “E works for Mycroft” and confusing it with “E is related to Mycroft and therefore Sherlock”. Mixed associations.

Anonymous Submission - The Lost Ophie Hunter Interview

In an exciting and exclusive interview Rachel Cumberbatch breaks her silence and speaks publicly for the first time in 3 years!

Interv: Hello Mrs. Rachel Hunter. Can I call you Ophie?
Rachel: You can call me Mrs. Cumberbatch.
Interv: Tell us something about yourself.
Ophie: Where should I start ? I am an Oscar® award nominee, a 7th time BAFTA-nominee, I won an Emmy Award and a Lawrence Olivier award.
Int: Those are your husband’s awards…
Ophie: Making those kind of distinctions is so terribly middle-class. Bob’s awards are my awards, his accomplishments are my accomplishments.

Interviewer: Talking about the latest news, how does a woman who was notorious for not wanting to be called maternal, get involved in a project which depicts motherhood in a dystopian world? What made you change your mind?

Rachel Hunter: It was always a firm belief of mine that Motherwood is not so much about being a mother per se, it is not about giving birth to a baby as much as it is about the power to create an ilusion, to give birth to your avant-garde art. Biology is not your destiny and yet it is.
When I finished reading my sister-in-law’s manuscript, I saw opera and I saw art in it, a narrative of the individual so utterly unique and so powerful that I felt a moral obligation to share it with the masses. I owe to the world to share my hidden Production talents.

Interviewer: What happened next?
Ophie: I went into to my craft’s room and started to create moodboard after moodboard searching for the perfect one which could reflect my creative vision: a vision that included Michelangelo’s Pietà sculpture in Saint Peter’s Cathedral, the Norwegian born, expressionist painter and printer Edward Munch’s 1899 lithograph “Woman in Three Stages (Sphinx),  American photographer Gertrude Käsebier’s 1899 “Blessed Art Thou Among Women,” and Pablo Picasso’s 1901 painting from his blue period “Woman and Child”.
My aim is to challenge all the preconceptions of underrepresented mothers with ambitious, alternative narratives. Something I as an avant-garde artist tried to do in the 2015 Oscar campaign.

Interviewer: Some people say that you do not have the knowledge, skills or the background experience to do such a job…
Rachel: Nonsense. My past work, my acting, writing, producing and directorial credentials during the 2015 Oscar campaign speak for themselves. People seem to forget that I was casted by Harvey Weinstein himself, chosen out of thousands of auditions conducted throughout the world. The Oscar campaing director, the casting director, the Publicists, the PR teams, the Agents, they All praised my natural acting talent.

Interviewer: Some people say that you didn’t do your job properly, and you went rogue on the Red Carpet…
Whoever he married: If that production was a flop it was not my fault. It was entirely Bob’s fault.
I had a silent acting part and yet you can see my trademark comedy, brilliant timing and patented facial expressions! Bob is an oscar nominee and yet he was the one who could not improvise like I did.
He didn’t understand that going “off script” could offer the audience moments of magic in the Red Carpet events. That’s what I did during the entire course of the scripted oscar campaign.
Unscripted and improvised acting (as the one I did when I lowered my clutch and revelead my nascent bump on a RC event to Bob) - that was amazing and an established art form in his own right.

Interv: ….

Interviewer: But exactly how did you get hired as a Producer for this upcoming film ?
Rachel Hunter: I went straight to Bob and asked him if he was interested in providing invaluable support and funding to one of the UK’s most promising producers so that this person could build her career and develop relationships and projects with some of the UK’s most exciting and creative emerging filmmakers and at the same time contributing to the cultural and economic success of the UK’s film industry…
Bob said that he would be interested in meeting such a person. And I told him that he had already met her. You can imagine his surprise and his amazement.

Interviewer: And what is your response to those who accuse you of Nepotism ?
Ophie: Those accusations are beyond ridiculous and are extremely offensive. I want to be crystal clear: there was no nepotism. The only thing that happened was that favoritism was granted to Bob’s relatives based on their connections and relationships, instead of their credentials and merits. Maybe some outsiders were better experienced and qualified for the jobs but they were not his relatives like I was, so they were not considered. THAT was all that happened.

Interviewer: You just gave the exact definition of Nepotism…  
Whoever He married: Oh.

Interviewer: What are your career plans for the future?
Mrs Rachel Cumberbatch: My immediate goal is to demonstrate through this film my ground-breaking style and my original and unique vision for the future of UK film.
After this project’s sucess I expect to branch out, to develop my own projects. I have a reputation for driving forward award-winning, ambitious work in a variety of forms – red carpet and live events, art installations, digital media – as well as continue my innovative collaborations with UK filmmakers, Freelance paparazzi Tabloid newspapers, Gossip blogs and Haute-couture fashion designers.
I also have plans to write a semi autobiographical play based on my own life experience as a Star entitled:
EXCUSE ME, maybe you don’t know who I’m married to!
It’s a critique to those people who are self-entitled star wannabes, with no sense of self-awareness or detachment whatsoever.


You, dearest Nonny, are an evil genius!

there’s something i’ve been mulling over in my head and i’m really nervous about posing this question given recent events and because i completely understand the painful implications behind it so all i ask is that you PLEASE be gentle with this. 

if we know that the israeli state purposefully blurs the line between zionism and judaism, if we know that the israeli state commits violence using the star of david (on war planes, on bombs, on uniforms, graffitied on palestinian homes, etc.) if we know that our cultural symbol is being actively used as a symbol of genocide, as anti-zionist, radical jews, do we need to agree to stop using it? or find some alternative that subverts that narrative? i ask specifically with the native american tribes in mind that agreed to renounce their cultural symbol and stop using the swastika after WW2 given its new horrific connotations. i’m presenting this question in hopes that someone disputes this equivalence and points out a massive difference that i’m just not seeing because i would hate to come to the conclusion that we need to relinquish our use of the magen david in the diaspora or draw a legitimate comparison between the magen david and the swastika. i really want to hear more thoughts on this!!! also non-jews if you even blink in the direction of this post you’re getting blocked lmao

My Husband Betty: Love, Sex, and Life With a Crossdresser

Author Helen Boyd is a happily married woman whose husband enjoys sharing her wardrobe - and she has written the first book on transgendered men to focus on their relationships. Traditionally known as cross-dressers, transvestites, or drag queens, men like Helen’s husband are a diverse lot who don’t always conform to stereotype. Helen addresses every imaginable question concerning the probable and improbable reasons for behavior that still baffle not only “mental health professionals” but the practitioners themselves; the taxonomy of the transgendered and the distinct but overlapping societies of each group; coming out; bisexuality, and homophobia.

The book features interviews with some very interesting people: a dominatrix and her crossdressing husband; a crossdressing Reiki master and his son; a woman who after dating one crossdresser wanted to date others and fell in love with a transsexual instead; and a woman whose husband promised her he was only a crossdresser who later realized that he was transsexual.
The stories and opinions chosen to represent the spectrum will surely titillate, shock, and disgust some readers; alternatively, Helen’s narrative is a powerful lens with which to examine our own notions of gender and equality.



Little Game is Benny’s debut single and music video as a dark alternative pop narrative on gender roles and gender equality. The video demonstrates the skewed enforcement of falling into masculine and feminine archetypes. Available on iTunes now.

anonymous asked:

Hi there!! I'm trying to decide whether I want to write my story in third person or first person. Can you list some pros and cons of each? Thanks!! :)

When it comes to matters like this one, I don’t think pros and cons really exist. It’s a matter of what works best for your story and your characters. Therefore, I’ll point out a list of some of the most prominent aspects of the two perspectives, and leave it for you to decide what fits your story best.

First person perspective:

  • Direct connection between your character and your readers. Your readers will be “living” inside your character’s mind for as long as the story lasts, and therefore they will get to have a faster connection with the character they’re learning the story from. 
  • Limited information. Everything we learn is limited to what your character has experienced. Anything important that happens when your character is not present cannot be learnt by the reader unless someone describes the event to your character. (Assuming you are going to be writing from the perspective of only one character. This certainly doesn’t apply if you will be alternating between perspectives).
  • Subjective Narrative. With a first person perspective, your readers have less room to evaluate situations and characters, as their perspectives will always be clouded by the character’s. If you want your readers to judge situations and characters, you might have it harder if you choose to go with a first person narrative.
  • More intimate and realistic story. In real life, we live inside our own selves, and therefore, when we’re reading a story that’s written in first person narrative, we get a more realistic feeling of it. It’s like we’re actually inside the story, rather than just listening to it. 
  • Show don’t tell? It’s harder to show instead of telling when it comes to a first person narrative. It definitely can be done, but some books written from a first person perspective often end up with a lot more telling than showing - which isn’t always a drawback. Telling instead of showing is often done a lot more efficiently in books written from a first person perspective and you can often get away with telling more than showing when you’re going for a first person perspective rather than a third person one.
  • Too much introspection. When we are reading book written in first person, we often find ourselves dwelling inside the characters mind while they wonder about every single worldly problem and thinks about the meaning of their own life. Does it really matter to the story line? More often than not, no, it doesn’t. It might be great for character development, hence why introspection shouldn’t be completely eradicated, but it definitely slows down the story and takes the focus out of what really matters.

Third person perspective:

  • Possibility of omniscience. Of course, you can write from a third person perspective and still not have an omniscient narrator - that’s where third person limited comes in, in which case the advantages and drawbacks of its use would be similar to those of first person perspectives -, but here you can be omniscient and that can be both good and bad. It definitely makes it harder to create suspense - If you have an omniscient narrator and hide things from your readers they could have known all along, they might feel cheated. On the other hand, they can receive more knowledge than they would with a first person perspective or a third person limited one.
  • Character Emphasis. It gives you the opportunity to develop all your characters equally, have your readers know a bit about all of them and put emphasis on more than one person at the same time.
  • Too Much Information. When you have a God-like narrator, that knows everything about everyone, you often run the risk of providing the reader with information they definitely don’t need. You want to develop your characters and your settings so much that you forget to ask yourself whether the information you are including is actually relevant to the story line. While in first person narration you run the risk of too much introspection, here you run the risk of feeling like your readers need so much information that you end up giving them all at once. Space out your info dumps, if you’re going to go with this sort of perspective, and all will be well.
  • More quick scene transitions. Third person narration allows you to jump between scenes faster, because you can leave one character having dinner in New York and then pick up the story with another character back in London.
  • Distancing the readers and the characters. Again, this can be both good and bad. You have a harder job allowing your readers to connect with your characters, but at the same time you always allow them to judge them by their own values. You give your readers the freedom to form an opinion on your characters and settings that is not clouded by anyone’s perception but their own. 

Ultimately, try choosing what you think works best for your story and what fits your purpose best. Good luck!

For further reading:

anonymous asked:

If Robb Stark is so militarily adept, why didn't he recognise Roose Bolton's apparent incompetence at the Green Fork and it's aftermath?

I think there were several factors. The first is that communication between armies isn’t good at the best of times - look at what happened when Jaime and Tywin (or Jaime’s cavalry and Jaime’s infantry) got separated, for example. Unless both parties have a rookery that both know to write to (and even then, ravens can go awry), you’re down to riders trying to get across hundreds of miles of very dangerous territory. This only gets more complicated when Robb takes the goat path into the Westerlands and is essentially behind enemy lines, or when Roose is on the march from the Twins to Harrenhal and isn’t near a rookery.

The second is that communications can be controlled. Roose is in a very good opportunity to dictate the narrative of how the Green Fork went down, and when he’s both at the Twins and Harrenhal, he can control what goes out by raven. You would need a subordinate to have recognized that Roose intentionally threw the battle rather than making a forgiveable mistake, be willing to be wholly insubordinate by informing on his commanding officer to the king in violation of chain of command, and then get a rider all the way to Robb Stark without being noticed, and be believed when that rider gets there. 

The third has to do with expectations and perceptions. Roose Bolton stayed within the general framework of his orders at the Green Fork - he made a bunch of bad tactical choices, from failing to carry through with his night march to leaving the high ground to firing on his own men, but he didn’t violate Robb’s orders, and most importantly, Roose’s actions achieved the intended strategic effect by engaging with Tywin and allowing Robb to relieve Riverrun before Tywin could move to block him. So Robb doesn’t have any reason to perceive what happened at the Green Fork than the necessary sacrifice he thought it was.

Likewise, when Roose takes Harrenhal, he could plausibly say that A. it was the major enemy asset in the theater of war so it was good sense to take it, B. an allied commander had asked him to do it, and C. he wasn’t given orders to the contrary. Robb doesn’t have any reason to see this action as treasonous, and indeed the victory helps to obscure the pattern of Roose’s actions. It also helps that Robb is a bit distracted by Edmure’s actions at the time. 

It’s not until Duskendale that Robb has something that really rings false, and Robb immediately picks up on it, recognizing that Duskendale is a target of no strategic value:

When they brought him word of the battle at Duskendale, where Lord Randyll Tarly had shattered Robett Glover and Ser Helman Tallhart, he might have been expected to rage. Instead he’d stared in dumb disbelief and said, “Duskendale, on the narrow sea? Why would they go to Duskendale?” He’d shook his head, bewildered. “A third of my foot, lost for Duskendale?”

But here’s where Roose’s control of communications kicks in. Sitting at Harrenhal, Roose is the one sending Robb information about what happened. So Roose constructs an alternative narrative in which he had nothing to do with Duskendale:

“Your Grace is too kind. I suffered grievous losses on the Green Fork, and Glover and Tallhart worse at Duskendale.”

“Duskendale.” Robb made the word a curse. “Robett Glover will answer for that when I see him, I promise you.”

“A folly,” Lord Bolton agreed, “but Glover was heedless after he learned that Deepwood Motte had fallen. Grief and fear will do that to a man.”

Robb has no way of knowing this isn’t true, because Roose made sure that the men who could have contradicted him were either killed or captured. The only people present when Roose gave the orders to take Duskendale - through a raven, so it’s not like any of the men at Harrenhal could have talked to Glover’s army and heard about new orders, and even then those men were almost all Freys and Bolton men by that point - were Arya and Qyburn

The only, only way Robb could have heard differently is if Robett Glover had turned the ship around at Duskendale and headed for the Twins instead of White Harbor and gotten there ahead of the Red Wedding. Even then, odds are that Robett would have been seen as a rash incompetent looking to excuse his folly by making a scandalous accusation at his forgiving commanding officer. 

But even if Robb had believed Robett, the 5,000 Stark loyalists in Roose’s army were dead or captured, and Roose and Walder had Robb outnumbered two to one. The damage was already done.