because they were not neil gaiman

I’m going to tell you something important. Grown-ups don’t look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they’re big and thoughtless and they always know what they’re doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. The truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.
—  The Ocean and the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman
Hello, Gentle Reader. This is Fan Fiction.

Recently, I’ve seen some rumblings across my dashboard about fan fiction again.  

I don’t want to dive into a debate because all the information that I have to go on are second hand sources and there’s always going to be a bit of bias there, because one person can see it in one way and another person can perceive it in another way.  

I’d rather explain to you, New and Gentle Reader, what fan fiction is, if this is the first time you’ve heard about it.  

Fan fiction is what happens when you walk out of the theater, turn off the TV, the radio, close that book or whatnot for the first time and ask yourself  “What happens next?"  Or:  "What if it happened THIS way instead?"  Fan fiction is what happens when you are six or seven years old and you take your dolls, your action figures, your stuffed toys and various household items as props and send them all onto adventure.  Maybe Barbie rescues G.I. Joe from Cobra or Optimus Prime fights the Evil Transforming Kitchen Thingy that Mom uses for making meatloaf but should really be the Evil Transforming Dark Lord of the Sith.  

Fan fiction is what happens when you are ten and you’re discovering how to really write for the first time and you put words on the page, in your math and English notebooks, one sentence after another, style be damned, painstakingly bringing forth to life the images in your head of your cartoon and movie and book heroes.  

Fan fiction happens when you are in your teens and you want to be the hero or the heroine of the story and you want to fight alongside Captain America and the Avengers and go on the Quest to Erebor or save Frodo from the effects of the Ring.  

Fan fiction happens when you are in your twenties or your thirties or beyond that and you are still writing because you just enjoy and love telling stories.  There’s a new maturity to your writing and that happens because you’re a bit older, though maybe not wiser, but you still love telling the stories anyway.  People tell you that you should write for money and sometimes you think, hey I could try that and you dream.  And sometimes you just smile and say, "I just like telling stories” and that is more than enough for you.  

And sometimes people fall in love in your stories, regardless of sex or gender.  Sometimes they fight.  Sometimes they laugh.  They cry.  They hate.  They die.  Sometimes they kiss.  Sometimes they make love.  Sometime it’s just sex.  You keep writing.  You can’t help it.  You get that idea and you just need to write it down.  Word for word.  One sentence after another.  Just like when you were a kid and you’d wear your pencils to stubs and let your pens run out of ink as you shape the letters.  

That’s fan fiction.  Sometimes, the best stories in the world start because they were fan fiction.  Ask Shakespeare.  Ask Jules Verne.  Ask Neil Gaiman.  

Gentle Reader, if this is your first time in here, then I hope you might find the time to read my stories.  I humbly ask, because a fan fiction writer’s currency is in the feedback of his or her readers and we’re happy to hear from them when it’s good and devastated when we get hate from those who don’t even have the courage to sign their names.  If it’s not for you, then I understand.  It’s all right.  Move on, that’s okay.  These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.  Maybe there’s something else you’d like.  It’s fine.  

And this is what I hope for if you do decide to venture in.

I hope you smile.  I hope you laugh.  I hope that you ended up snorting coffee out your nose in the middle of Starbucks.  (Here’s a napkin.  Sorry that I’m not sorry?)  I hope that I made you giggle in the middle of the subway or the bus stop and you get weird looks from folks passing by.  

I hope you cry, because sometimes I write sad things and that makes me cry too.  Here’s a tissue.  It’s okay.  Sometimes there are no happy endings.

I hope you are frightened, but only in a way that a good, scary story can make you feel frightened.  Sometimes there are dark and terrible things out there and they’re part of the Story too.  Hold my hand.  It’s all right.  I’ve got you.

I hope you blush and maybe smile a little later when love and romance and sweet things are told.  Love is a gift and true love is meant to endure.  And sometimes there’s hurt and pain and grief in there too, but you already know that.  You’ve lived that.  Sometimes we do have happy endings after all.  There’s always hope.  

Are you ready?

It doesn’t always start with “once upon a time” or “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” but every story starts somewhere.  

Turn the page.  Click the button.

Here we go.    

If you’re only going to write when you’re inspired, you may be a fairly decent poet, but you will never be a novelist — because you’re going to have to make your word count today, and those words aren’t going to wait for you, whether you’re inspired or not. So you have to write when you’re not ‘inspired.’
… And the weird thing is that six months later, or a year later, you’re going to look back and you’re not going to remember which scenes you wrote when you were inspired and which scenes you wrote because they had to be written.
—  Neil Gaiman


“My cousin Helen, who is in her 90s now, was in the Warsaw ghetto during World War II. She and a bunch of the girls in the ghetto had to do sewing each day. And if you were found with a book, it was an automatic death penalty. She had gotten hold of a copy of ‘Gone With the Wind’, and she would take three or four hours out of her sleeping time each night to read. And then, during the hour or so when they were sewing the next day, she would tell them all the story. These girls were risking certain death for a story. And when she told me that story herself, it actually made what I do feel more important. Because giving people stories is not a luxury. It’s actually one of the things that you live and die for.” –Neil Gaiman

#FANNIBALSLOVEGODS AT BARD!!!!!

The event at Bard was absolutely amazing!!!!!! We watched the first episode (FAB) and then Bryan and Neil answered questions they’d collected from the audience!!!! This included Bryan again saying how much he loves the #Fannibal community and treasures his fans, an impromptu Happy Birthday song to an audience member, and other interesting behind the scenes tales.

Sadly, service was awful, so live tweeting was hard, but you can check out the #AGatBard tag on twitter for all the tidbits we learned and all the fun stories we heard!!!! (Bryan’s Origin Story, Bryan’s delight about gay genie cum shots ;), Bryan being awesome, more Bryan being awesome…)

AND OF COURSE, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING, BRYAN CONFIRMED AGAIN THAT HE’D WANT SEASON 4 AND THAT HE, HUGH AND MADS ARE WORKING HARD TO “TRY TO FIND A WAY TO GET BACK INTO BED WITH EACH OTHER.” (Video here!!!) 

@wiith-my-hands will also be posting an almost full video of the whole talk very soon, so stay tuned!!! 

After the talk, Bryan very generously came out and spent some time with all of us Fannibals!!! He talked to everyone who had something they wanted to say to him and signed everything that was put in front of him!!!! He must have spent a good half hour with us and we all left with giant grin on our faces!!!! Bryan included! 

In a way, it was extra nice we were there, because according to the people running the event, Neil’s whole family was there after the talk since he lives in the area, but I don’t think Bryan really had anyone with him, SO HE GOT TO HAVE US!!! 

#FANNIBALFAMILYFOREVER!!!! 

So I finished @neil-gaiman ’s Norse mythology book!

It was WONDERFUL. 10/10 for having all my favorite stories, for being funny and filled with lovely dialogue and the gods as I imagined them – beautiful and temperamental Freya, dim but cheerful Thor who loves a good fight, brave Tyr and his friendship with Fenrir….it was perfect, some of the best tellings, and because of how real and lively the gods were.

And Loki – god bless you Neil for Loki. He was perfect. Mischievous and too clever by half, always causing trouble, but also able to be solemn and guilty and who really was fond of his Aesir wife and children, who was more than just…. Completely Evil. I can’t stand portrayals of Loki that turn him into a villain full of hate and viciousness and cruelty and that’s all, and bless Neil Gaiman for averting that.

The only thing to possibly complain about isn’t even a real complaint – I always wonder why Loki kills Balder. It always makes little sense to me; Loki is a troublemaker, but he is not fool enough to kill a god, one of his own, and think he will remain blameless forever. If he has no knowledge of Ragnarok, then why does he do it? (And even if he does know, why would he, god of chaos as he is, be so quick to accept fate as unchangeable?) That’s what I always wonder, and I’ve never seen a real answer. So it’s not really a complaint about the book as it is a general…hole in my knowledge no one’s filled yet.

TL;DR – 5 stars, 10/10, exceeded my already high expectations. Thank you Neil!!

[Neil Gaiman] was going through a small town in Alabama where he saw a statue of Vulcan. It was a steel town and, as he told the story, there was a factory that had a series of accidents where people were killed on the job and they kept happening because an actuarial had done the numbers and realized that it was cheaper to pay out the damages to the families of people who lost people, rather than to shut down the factory long enough to repair, and that occurred to him as modern a definition of sacrifice as there might be.
—  Michael Green on the genesis of Vulcan in the American Gods adaptation [source]

Here’s the book meme thingy I was tagged in by the exquisite @batmanisagatewaydrug.

1. Which book has been on your shelves the longest? I’ve owned my copy of The Eyes of the Dragon since I was in second grade, and it’s not going anywhere any time soon. I’ve also owned my Harry Potter books for fuck-all ever, to the point where they’re literally falling apart. Like, to the point where Chamber of Secrets has been held together by packing tape since like, middle school.

2. What is your current read, your last read and the book you’ll read next? I’m bouncing between The Graveyard Book, The Wizard and the Glass, and The Collected Short Stories of H.G. Wells. I just finished Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs and reread Coraline. Next is… oh gods, I have so much sitting in my Audible library. On the physical book front, it’ll be Wolves of the Calla, since I want to finish The Dark Tower before the movie comes out. On the listening front… probably between Wuthering Heights and Four Past Midnight. But that could easily change on a whim.

3. Which book does everyone like and you hated? I have never and will never understand The Hunger Games hype. They basically put me off YA for like four years. Also, I know this isn’t exactly novel (HAH), but FUCK Ernest Hemmingway. Fuck your old man and his shitty boat and his shitty fish. I love To Kill a Mockingbird, but absolutely detest the way it’s taught in schools. As a social commentary, it’s worthless. As a coming-of-age novel, it’s practically perfect.

4. Which book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t? So many. Soooo many. Anything by Isaac Asimov, a whole lot of Dickens (I really like Dickens, but that “paid by the word” thing did the man no favors), uuuuuum. I keep telling myself I’m going to return to Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, which I started and never finished and SWEAR I’M GOING TO GO BACK TO SOMEDAY BUT OH GOD IT’S BEEN FIVE YEARS I’MMMMMM SOOOOOORRY TONI. A whole lot of poetry (here’s looking at you, Dickinson). A bunch I’m forgetting. Oh, and The Vampire Chronicles. Still, now that I’m working overnights and can listen to audiobooks eight hours per night, my rate of reading has practically quadrupled and there’s a good chance that I’ll use that as an excuse to finally get around to all of these.

5. Which book are you saving for “retirement?” I’m dying by twenty-six, so I gotta shove all those words in now.

6. Last page: read it first or wait till the end? 

Not since I was a little kid reading Goosebumps and had to know what bullshit twist R.L. Stine’s ghostwriter of the week would come up with this time.

7. Acknowledgements: waste of ink and paper or interesting aside? It’s a popular misconception that writing a book is a solo endeavor, and it’s self-indulgent bullshit. No book is an island, and the people that surround it deserve credit.

8. Which book character would you switch places with? Oh frick. Maybe not switching place with a specific character, but I want to be friends with the Hempstocks from The Ocean at the End of the Lane.  

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time)? Matilda reminds me of when I was a little kid and books were the most magical thing in the world. Like, they still are, but there’s something about it that just recalls the innocence with which I could view literature as a kid. Hard same for A Series of Unfortunate Events. Jurassic Park was the first “adult” novel I ever read, and introduced me to a whole new idea of what books could be. IT reminds me of middle school summertime, devouring books on the beach while I wiggled my toes in the sand. The Eyes of the Dragon made me love fairytales, and years later Stardust reminded me why I love them.

10. Name a book you acquired in some interesting way. Um… I have a bunch of classics (Lord of the Flies, Brave New World, 1984, a few others) that I nicked from a storage room in my high school of books that used to be part of the literary curriculum but hadn’t been touched in about twelve years.

11. Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person? I gave a really nice gold-leaf fancy-pantsy edition of Huck Finn I got from my Nana and Papa to one of my old friends because I forgot to buy him a birthday present. I also stole like, a dozen Discworld books from him, so it more than evens out.

12. Which book has been with you to the most places? The Eyes of the Dragon has been with me on at least five or six trips as a kid (I used to travel a lot with my dad for business), and has been with me everywhere I’ve lived.

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad ten years later? The opposite, actually. I read Gatsby for the first time on my own, absolutely loathed it, reread it my Senior year for AP Lit and loved it.

14. What is the strangest item you’ve ever found in a book? I found an old bus ticket from the early Nineties in my copy of A Confederacy of Dunces

15. Used or brand new? Both. Books. Just… books. Both have their own unique smell and feel that I love for different reasons.

16. Stephen King: Literary genius or opiate of the masses? Don’t know, don’t care. All I know is that he’s my book dad and always will be. He was the writer that made me believe that I could actually be a writer through On Writing. The Eyes of the Dragon is my favorite book and the one that’s influenced me more than any other. A lot of his books kind of blow, but when you’ve put out the sheer amount of words that he has, you’re bound to have a few stinkers. When the man hits the vein of a story, he hits it hard. I can’t imagine my middle school years without The Talisman or Firestarter or my high school years without Misery or IT. Speaking of, I’ve been waiting for the new IT movie since it was stuck in development hell however many years ago, and I’m absolutely going to cry in the theatre if it sucks. I don’t even need it to be good, I just need the relationships between the kids to be done well. They’re my children, dammit, and I love them so much.

17. Have you ever seen a movie you liked better than the book? American Psycho is unequivocally better than the book and nothing will ever convince me otherwise. Ditto for Fight Club. I don’t know if I’d say that Stand by Me is technically better than the book, but it’s also tied for my favorite movie of all time. A Clockwork Orange is in a similar boat. And Holes. OH. I can’t believe I almost forgot The Silence of the Lambs. I adore the movie, but the book runs almost entirely on the “male author wants to fuck his lady protagonist” trope, and eeeeeeew.

18. Conversely, which book should NEVER have been introduced to celluloid? Um… now seems like as good of a time to shit on the majority of Stephen King adaptations as ever. Like, I get that this is by no means a new observation, but fuck. Speaking of, I am so confused by the “dOnT rEmAkE iT tHe OrIgInAl WaS a CLASSIC” crowd. The miniseries is ass and the only redeeming factor is Tim Curry because, well… Tim Curry.

19. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks being excluded from this question? See my previous comment about wanting to be friends with the Hempstocks. I want that blackberry jam, dammit.  

20. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take? Um, I’ll basically read anything that @batmanisagatewaydrug throws my way. She’s like my only book friend (and my best friend) so I sort of figure out what I want to read on my own. Oh, I have been working on some of Neil’s recommendations from The View from the Cheap Seats, which has been rewarding so far (@Diana Wynn Jones, where were you all my life?).

I tag no one because I don’t have book friends (ahem ahem, HINT HINT IF YOU HAPPEN TO SEE THIS AND LOVE BOOKS FOR THE LOVE OF GODS HIT ME UP), but I will tag back @batmanisagatewaydrug just to prove I actually did it.

Some really cool bits from Vanity Fair's Interview with Orlando Jones, re: American Gods and Anansi
  • VF: In your “Coming to America” intro, you get to wander in between some accents and dialects as you’re giving all the different angles of this African and African-American experience. Can you talk about some of the vocal choices you made there?
  • OJ: For me, one of the interesting things about American Gods is the way the world is laid out: it’s the old gods versus the new gods. Because Anansi is a trickster god, for me, his speech definitely had to have some African element to it—some patois. It was key that at certain moments, particularly when communicating on a slave ship full of Africans who are soon to be sold at market, he communicate in a tone that is familiar to them. That’s just the nature of communication.
  • I was just mindful that the patois, Gullah, all those were a part of those different languages that morphed from African under the American influence. The gentleman that plays the slave that’s praying to and summons Anansi, he does so obviously speaking in an African dialect. To not lean towards that worship is really to divorce yourself from everything American Gods is about, because the problem of the old gods is they’ve lost their following, they’ve lost their worshipers. It was a way to do that. Without speaking African, in an African accent or an African language, that was a way to do it.
  • VF: One of the very fun things about Mr. Nancy in that scene is that partway through, and all of a sudden, he’s got a spider for a head. I was told they went through many, many different spider designs before they landed on the one. Did you get to be a part of the process? What are your spider thoughts?
  • OJ: Bryan and Michael were awesome. A lot of show-runners don’t necessarily include the cast in those decisions, but they sent the design to me and were like, “We really want to know what you think about this spider.” The spider was three different colors—the red and the green—and it had these whiskers. These jowls.
  • That’s what I was hoping for, because I wanted him to have this hair on his face and this crazy hair on the top inspired by a lot of South African street fashion, which I think is the most interesting street fashion in the game right now. It’s very colorful. It’s very in-your-face, but at the same time, it’s super-elegant. I had been flipping through spiders, and I’d seen the yellow gloves that Anansi was supposed to have, and I couldn’t figure out how that was going to work because I felt like that would be so distracting. I was happy when Michael and Bryan were like, “No, let’s just do this.” But then I thought the visual-effects bill on this was going to be ridiculous.

Catching up on the American Gods show, and it’s pretty dang good (though super NSFW).

I am going to be horrifically disappointed though if no part of it was filmed in the actual House on the Rock or a danged fine imitation, because that place is insane. Me and my youngest sib dragged my dad to it on a family trip once, and although he was a party pooper who complained that he had thought we were doing the architectural tour of the outside (and later said that he didn’t “get” the inside), I can’t imagine that it’d live up to the inside.

Basically, if you’ve ever read the novel, Neil Gaiman got the description dead-on, though he neglects to mention how the carousel will probably make you sick if you look at it too long, because it goes at a breakneck pace. Also, the ceilingful of homemade angels in the carousel room looked rather better than I’d expected based on the book description. 

Maybe it’s just me, but Neil Gaiman is boring and pedantic and people who say they loooooovvveeeee him just want to feel part of the cool crowd? Or maybe I’m just dumb because the graveyard book was actually pretty good.

But still, I have tried and tried and literally bought every single book he has written because of their reviews and they were all just so…. blah

“Shadow tuned the radio to an oldies station, and listened to songs that were current before he was born.  Bob Dylan sang about a hard rain that was going to fall, and Shadow wondered if that rain had fallen yet, or if it was something that was still going to happen.”

anonymous asked:

so i... god, i found your salim/ifrit fic today. i can't believe you wrote it so long ago. i'm still sobbing, tbh.

…oh, anon *hugs if you want them*  

2005: I can’t believe it was twelve years ago (for a story set in 2001, which is the year American Gods came out).  So many things happened that year in my writing landscape, both in fandom and outside of it.  They remain some of my sharpest memories.  One project begun that year is still actively with me.

I watched the AG episode today.  I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.  I got my writing out of the way by noon specifically so I could watch uninterrupted.  I’m glad nobody was around for my first viewing, to be honest, because I was talking to Salim almost constantly and tearing up to a ridiculous degree.  

(I’d share my tissues if you were here, but the best I can do is virtual ones.  That we fall in love with these stories—and add our own, and remain compelled to interact with them even years later—is the greatest miracle of all.)

American Gods’ Yetide Badaki and Emily Browning: ‘You are what you worship’

Monsters and Critics: I think American Gods is about following an emotional story: people who are lost and searching for their place in the world. That applies to man, and that applies to gods. Yetide, can you talk about Bilquis’s need to connect to humanity and her unusualmodus operandi — getting men to worship her and then consuming them through sex?

Yetide Badaki: I love that you can see that need for her to connect. I think really the worship is about…yes, they do end up in the vagina nebula [laughs] which is not such a bad thing…it’s a good way to go if you are going to go. Even coming in to audition for this role that was what resonated so much for me, and Bryan [Fuller] and Michael’s [Green] beautiful writing — you could see that basic human need to see and to be seen. To really have that connection with another being. It is something that I think a lot of people can relate to. It is also something that at least, that I as Yetide could understand and get into these big feelings that this goddess was expressing. Even in the audition and by the end of it, I remember with the actors and the redirect with Bryan, it ended in tears because it was truly…it reminded me of the African goddess Oshun. Usually, she possesses an individual. What struck me about her was when she [Bilquis] would possess someone…there was first this moment of complete elation, then there was a seductive time and then it would invariably end in tears because she knew that she couldn’t show them all the joy and glory that she recognized and wanted to show them. That really resonated with me in regards to Bilquis. She has come from such a wealth of beauty and is currently just struggling to survive in the present day.

M&C: Conversely, Emily, your character Laura Moon is so lacking of joy…even sleeping with Shadow [Ricky Whittle].

Emily Browning: Oh yes. I know. That was the biggest challenge for me [laughs] — imagining and trying to be depressed when I had Ricky in my bed. It’s kind of impossible! [laughing] Yes, I think that Laura is…I mean, I think it was very important for the character and the audience to understand the character that we sort of went back and did a deeper dive into her history [episode four] and what she was like, not just before she died but even before she met Shadow. I think she is really finding it difficult to exist in the world that doesn’t really make much sense to her. I [also] think Laura has some social issues. She doesn’t really know how to connect with people and doesn’t have much awareness of other people’s feelings. I think she’s absolutely in a place that’s joyless. I don’t think she is necessarily sad, I think she just can’t feel as much. She doesn’t have any idea what she wants but she doesn’t want the life that she has. Then ironically after she dies, she realizes…I don’t want to call it her purpose because I am always cautious to not talk about Laura as though her purpose becomes to love her husband, because I have a few issues with that. But I think she realizes that she had someone giving her this unconditional love and she completely didn’t appreciate that. There’s a conversation she had with Shadow where she explains to him that she doesn’t believe in anything. Then when she dies and she meets Anubis and he says ‘since you believed in nothing you will go to nothing’, and then she sort of magically manages to escape her fate, she realizes that there is something more. It’s love, which is really odd considering she is not a particularly loving or lovable person but she realizes that it was important — to have this love that she completely ignored. Which doesn’t necessarily make her a better person in any way. I think as the season goes along if anything she becomes even more difficult to deal with, but she has a purpose now. And it makes it become more herself.

Yetide: I want to say as the Goddess of Love I approve of that message [laughs].

Emily: It’s true [laughs]. We realized the other night that actually essentially that Bilquis would be the god that Laura worships, so we are thinking about how that can play into an interesting scene for us! [laughs]

M&C: Emily, the fourth episode, Git Gone, is all about Laura Moon’s backstory. But when do we learn about you as [Emily’s second role in the series] Essie Tregowan?

Emily: That is episode seven, and I think Essie is just in the one episode as a stand-alone, it cuts back and forth between…the way that we spoke about it was that episodes four and seven were my episodes essentially. Episode seven is mostly Essie but then it cuts back to moments with Laura and then also moments with [Mad] Sweeney, because Sweeney is connected to Essie as well. That was really interesting and very exciting, and I haven’t seen any of that yet so…I am excited to see it. But Neil [Gaiman] told me yesterday that it was his favorite episode, which was a huge relief. Very exciting.

M&C: Yetide, How does Bilquis tie in with Mr. Wednesday’s Old God brigade?

Yetide: Well, how much…it’s time to put on the dancing shoes [laughs]. I think what’s going to be fun is that you get to see a lot more of where Bilquis came from, so in that way you learn a lot more about the old gods, and you also see how she was possibly on the nexus between the old and the new and you see how these gods are trying to survive by almost any means possible. And you see how they have been around so long. Yes, they are survivors. That’s safe enough to say…they are survivors. Don’t count us out yet! [laughs].

M&C: Was Laura punished for not having any gods?

Emily: I think it’s really what I like about the whole premise of this world and how it operates — that each individual human being has a lot of choice in their own beliefs and worth. It’s essentially saying all belief is meaningful, and I think it’s more of…kind of an egalitarian system like what you choose to believe in, that is what is going to be true to you. I think that is completely reasonable. Laura didn’t believe in anything, so her afterlife is going to be nothing. That makes sense to me. I think it’s unfortunate that she didn’t really realize that that was the case beforehand, and maybe she would have chosen to believe in something better. I think that kind of makes sense to me, I like that idea and I don’t think she was particularly being punished for it, I think the thing that makes Laura extraordinary, I mean, she is not a god, the thing that makes her an interesting character is that she managed to escape her afterlife. I think that is why she is allowed to be part of this world, there’s something special about her. I think over the course of the season and hopefully the next season, we start to figure out what that is and what that means and why she is special. I don’t know, I kind of like that idea, that whatever we believe is essentially what our fate is going to be. It’s kind of…

Yetide: You are what you worship.

Emily: Exactly.

We were talking about The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which was something which resembled an iPad, long before it appeared. And I said when something like that happens, it’s going to be the death of the book. Douglas said, No it won’t be. Books are sharks.

And I must have looked baffled at that because he looked very pleased with himself. And he carried on with his metaphor. He said, Books are sharks … because sharks have been around for a very, very long time. There were sharks before there were dinosaurs. And the reason sharks are still in the oceans is that nothing is better at being a shark than a shark is.

He said, Look at a book. A book is the right size to be a book. They’re solar-powered. If you drop them, they keep on being a book. You can find your place in them in microseconds. They’re really good at being books, he said, and books, no matter what else happens, will always survive. And of course he’s right.

2

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman 

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Synopsis

Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales. In Norse Mythology, Gaiman fashions primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds; delves into the exploits of the deities, dwarves, and giants; and culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and the rebirth of a new time and people. Gaiman stays true to the myths while vividly reincarnating Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki, the son of giants, a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator. From Gaiman’s deft and witty prose emerges the gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to dupe others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.

(from Goodreads)

Thoughts

Reading these stories gave me such a surge of nostalgia. I grew up on these myths. The battered big book of myths for children (which is still on my shelf to this day) was my favourite bedtime storybook. Perhaps I am especially fond of these stories because I’m Swedish, but part of what makes me like them so much is that once upon a time people believed them to be true. Somehow, that makes them “real” stories in my eyes. Gaiman has taken the original myths and added a bit of character and vivaciousness to them, making this book a captivating read. I recognized almost all of the stories from my childhood, save for some details and the more gruesome stories. I now realize that my storybook for children was rather edited and simplified. Fortunately. Some of these myths are extremely gruesome and violent, and would’ve probably emotionally scarred 5-year-old me for life. Even so, for the most part these stories are just incredibly entertaining, switching between thrilling and funny. I love seeing the parallels to other famous fantasy stories in these myths, because many fantasy writers have been inspired by these stories of heroes and giants and magical objects. For example, the Fenris Wolf, the monstrous wolf who is destined to swallow the sun and moon at Ragnarok, inspired J.K. Rowling when she created and named Fenrir Greyback, the werewolf from Harry Potter. It proves that these stories were not only important to Vikings in the olden times, but still have an impact in our lives today. They have lived on, and are still as spellbinding as they were then.

//love from L

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takeabulletfory0u  asked:

Hi! I found you from a friend's post on Facebook and came to check out your writing. I AM IN LOVE. And I'm so happy you're planning on writing more about the Reaper. Where do you draw inspiration from when you write?

Wait, what? Facebook? Did your friend post it to Facebook, or were they reblogging it from a Facebook page? Asking because I’m trying to keep track of where this is popping up.

Anyway, thank you! I really appreciate it.

Concerning inspiration, that really depends on the piece. I tend to draw a lot from fairy tales, history, mythology, and so forth. From what I can tell, Reaper has been inspired a bit by Neil Gaiman (thank him for vagueness and open endings), a little by medieval understandings of death and the supernatural, and a whole lot from my recent grad work on personhood and the relationship between body, mind, and soul.

Then you get visual influences like a stained glass angel’s wing, a woodcut from Dante showing the beatific vision, vintage ads for spam. That kind of thing.

A lot of it has been anti-influences. When I saw the prompt, the first thing that came to mind was stuff like the first episode of Heroes: the person finds out they might be immortal and immediately start jumping off buildings to test it. I wanted to explore an alternate reaction.

#reaper #writing

So @lilyrose225writes had a thing idea and it’s so late it’s early and I cannot be a functional person who can answer in simple sentence, so I wrote an essay back and completely digressed from what we were even talking about. Sorry dear

I think I channelled some sort of loopy inner @neil-gaiman because, honestly, wtf??

.

You know, I get that you’re using this a plot point and a whole “oh the devil doesn’t condone this either hmmm” but if we look at the devil from the Bible, who is a fallen angel, there’s nothing necessarily evil about the devil, just jealous. The idea that the devil makes people commit sin steals their agency as people, excuses evil and cruelty, and on top of that, gives organised religion a convenient scapegoat for when they fuck up.

The devil, or fallen angel, is, in a nutshell, simply a creature that dislikes humans. And that isn’t exactly a big surprise now, is it? Humans are on one heck of an ego trip with the whole “image of God”, “stewards of the earth,” thing and, to be honest, I don’t think anyone likes to serve someone else if they don’t deserve it. Same idea of customer service jobs; you don’t do it because you like self-entitled assholes giving you shit and thinking they own you, you do it for money so you can survive. If you didn’t need money though… Damn straight you’d tell those assholes where they can stick it.

So, in a way, the fallen angel is a customer service assistant who didn’t need money and went “lol, fuck this noise, I ain’t dealing with you” off the bat and got shat all over for it.

But there’s actually nothing in the Bible that in any way states that the devil causes people to commit evil, or that the devil even revels in it. In fact, most of that stuff is added later, in gospels and psalms and revisions to the text.

Arguably one of the only cases of the devil being in any way truly shady after the whole Eden thing, is with Jesus in the desert. But all he does there is try to convince Jesus that his dad is a douche, doesn’t really care and, if Jesus tried to have an Original Idea™ would end up shafted too. Whether that’s right or wrong is irrelevant, because, really, this is one of the only cases of the devil directly trying to influence someone.

What I’m trying to say is, good idea, do approve, but also jfc don’t talk to me about anything to do with religion when it’s three in the morning…