but i spent too much time on it so i'm posting

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Tumblr completely killed the quality, click to see them properly.

I have been trying to finish this since Wednesday

I’m not really happy with how it came out, particularly the bottom half, but I spent too much time not to post it. Deciding to draw this particular dress may not have been the best idea.

♡✧ ♡✧ ♡✧ HAPPY BIRTHDAY KOMAEDA !!!   ♡✧ ♡✧ ♡✧

it’s also my 1 year anniversary for starting SDR2…a hope-filled day…

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Here you go whatisyourlefteyebrowdoingdavid. You want to shoot angst at me then I will shoot it right back. David upset on the beach, that’s versatility for you ;). And I don’t think I need to explain who the “inappropriate kissing situation” was about. LOL. The war continues!

yall my heart is rly gonna break, monsta x always work so hard and improve each comeback because not only do they want to better themselves and their music, they also feel like they can’t disappoint fans (which is impossible really, they’ve never disappointed us) and to hear that all they want now is a nomination instead of a win is so terribly sad because it’s really on us as fans to give them those things and it’s definitely not too much to ask of us considering all of the hard work they’ve put into their careers and the love and trust they’ve given us. really, all i can think of is that one vlive during rush promotions where they were telling us it’s their fault they didn’t get a win and how sorry they were and how they’ll work even harder and it makes me want to cry now just thinking about it because it’s never their fault. it also just makes me worry because how hard do they have to be on themselves to feel like not getting a fan-voted award is their fault??

i know they have plenty more years to come but they deserve this long-awaited win NOW!!! this comeback is evidence of the amount of effort and care they’ve all put into the album as a whole and i really think it’s the best comeback they’ve had so far. can we just applaud the fact that their first full album is absolutely amazing?? they’ve never released one bad song but this album really hits it out of the park! ‘beautiful’ is an amazing song and has stunning choreo, it deserves all the hype it gets. plus, i feel like this first win will give them the recognition and validation they deserve. they put so much pressure on themselves, this win could ease some of their worries about how they’re doing as a group and show how much we care.

can you just imagine they finally get their first win??? on a song from their first album??? JUST BEFORE THEY HIT THEIR 2-YEAR MARK???? i know we have a few odds stacked against us so please, monbebes, i hope we can pull it off this time and give them a win. fans of other groups, i hope you can give our boys a chance to at least check out their music and see why we love them so much, or just help us out with streaming and voting because we are a kinda small fandom and only have about 4 weeks before they stop promoting ‘beautiful’. please, let’s do this for them.

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I believe some of our stars will always be the same.

(Please click to make it bigger <3)
I. FINALLY. FINISHED. THIS.
For @hannibalcreative‘s current event, #ItsStillBeautiful c:
I hope you all like it <3
My art blog  ☆

Please, do not repost :)

Why I don’t put an underage tag for characters 16 and older

This is going to be a very long post. But I am writing a story with Yuri x Otabek and Yuri is 17 and I know someone is going to be a fool and call me out on not placing an underage tag. Someone already asked me to put a tag on for my Killing Stalking fanfic and I told them “no.”

I want to make a post about this so that all readers understand where I am coming from.There are several reasons I don’t put on the tag for sexual content between 16-year-olds or older.

First, legally, it doesn’t make sense.

The idea that 18 is the age of consent in the USA is not that accurate. It is the age of majority–different–but it is not the age of consent. In the same way that the age of consent for Japan is between 16-18 depending on the prefectures but the age of majority (voting, etc.) is 20. In the US, 33 states list 16 as their age of consent. 6 states list 17 as their age of consent, and only 11 states list their age of consent as 18. Lastly, most countries list their age of consent as 16 as well.

Secondly, submitting to this fallacy goes against my beliefs.

I make it clear who’s under the age of 18 in my stories in the author notes and in the story and summary before anything sexual happens. I am very good about that.

If you have a problem with me not using tags, understand that this isn’t me trying to be defiant. This is me protesting the use of an enforced western standard of morality onto countries perceived as a “lesser” or “uncivilized.” Colonizers have enforced similar regulations throughout history.

Countries are responsible for knowing their own citizens. Sometimes they are wrong but in most instances, it is not the job of a western imperial power like America to correct them, and it is especially not the job of a teenager online. Many third world nations have a younger age of consent due to the lower life-expectancy or cultural expectations. While not a nation, take Hawaii for example.  Communities in Hawaii are more segregated into smaller groups. If you date someone within your community, there is a chance your parents know their parents, even if you are years apart. That is why Hawaii also has a (rather high) close in age exemption of 5 years. Some people judge that as “immoral" without knowing our backgrounds because they believe “know better than us”

If you believe that countries do not know their own people and intend to “correct their behavior,” you are using the same tactics that colonizers use to suppress indigenous populations. And I refuse to submit to that intimidation.

The Yuri x Otabek drama angers me because more than anything, it shows proof of the enforced morality I spoke about earlier and the complete narcissism of Americans that allows them to disregard certain cultures to satisfy their own beliefs.

It’s legal in Russia for a fifteen-year-old to date and has sex with an eighteen-year-old. Russia’s legal is sixteen (as mentioned) but they have close in age exception for 14-year-olds up to 4 years. Why has no one researched this? Because they did not care. They refused to take into consideration another culture’s boundaries but went straight to enforcing their own.

The most common argument against Yuri x Otabek is that it reinforces pedophilia.

There are lots of places where that age different at that age is legal. This sickens me because it is basically saying: “countries who don’t adhere to MY moral standard towards this matter means that they are morally apprehensible and are wrong.” They are saying that states like Hawaii or countries like Russia or Vietnam, because they don’t adhere to my moral standard, are pedophiles.   

Do you understand this backward thinking? You are no better than the colonizer who enforced their religion, their politics, and their beliefs on indigenous people.

And for you people who think it’s different because “there’s proof of teens getting taken advantage of.”

Let me remind you that colonizers also had “proof.” 

When the English came to Hawaii, they were able to convert a huge number of natives by persuading that the Christian god had made them immune to diseases (that they themselves brought over) and there was proof—Englishmen at the time were immune to their disease because they had the antibodies from back home. Hawaiians did not. Therefore they died off easily. If they married Englishmen, their children often had the antibodies in their system so they were less likely to die off. So the proof was real but not accurate. This happens throughout history so I am not buying your truth. 

Yes, some teenagers get taken advantage of. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have an age of consent. I firmly believe they are essential. 

But some other country should not be the one deciding this. 

Do not pretend that you know better than anybody else in that culture. They made these laws for a reason and they know better than some teen on the internet. Sometimes cultures are wrong. But if you’re only reasoning behind something you deem wrong is “my cultural says so” and some half-hearted facts, then it’s a good idea to research. 

Opening the Map

Lily Potter sat on her bed with a piece of folded up parchmentin front of her. She had finally nicked the map from her where her brother,James, kept it hidden. Lily had spent an entire summer looking and she’d almostgiven up until she realized the Halloween feast tonight would keep everyonebusy for a few hours. As much as she hadn’t wanted to skip the feast, shecouldn’t pass up the opportunity to nick the map. It was a good thing too.James, probably less concerned than usual about the map’s safety now that hewas busy snogging his new girlfriend all the time. Either that, or he’d rushedoff to stuff his face at the Halloween feast and not bothered to hide itproperly. Lily snickered, his knickers drawer, really? 

She’d known about the map, of course, since James firstnicked it from their Dad’s office during his first Christmas break home fromHogwarts. They had overheard their Uncle George talking to Dad about it, although Lily had a sneaking suspicion that maybe Uncle George had wanted them to learn about it because she was quite sure his eyes had flickered towards their hiding spot on the stairs. James was the only one at Hogwarts then, so she hadn’t minded much when he’d been the one to find it. It wasn’t of any use to her. Now, though, she felt she deserved a chance to pull some pranks of her own without the worry of being caught. Not to mention the secret passage ways to Hogsmeade would be great to have access to. 

Now, if only she could remember how James had accessed it. He’d certainly bragged about figuring it out enough. Lily swore at herself for deciding to ignore his bragging, she could only remember how to close the map. That wasn’t helpful at the moment though. She hesitated, holding her wand above the old parchment, then tried the first thing that came to mind.

“Open,” Nothing. Lily mentally rolled her eyes at herself, that had been a stupid guess. Who in their right mind would make it that easy to get in?

“Please show me Hogwarts?” Again, nothing.

“I have things to manage?” That was a stupid variation on how to close the map, but Lily didn’t know what else to do but try anything that popped into her head. She was not going to give this back to James after finally getting ahold of it.

Thirty minutes later Lily was running out of ways to try and open the map. What was the point of going to the trouble of getting the map if she couldn’t use it? She was mindlessly tapping her wand on the parchment out of irritation.

“Oh come on, I just want to pull a few pranks without getting caught–Oh!” 

To her surprise words started to form on the page. 

Mr. Moony offers his compliments to whoever is wanting to create some mischief, but must sadly inform them that unless you swear we can’t share.

Mr. Wormtail solemnly agrees, it’s such a shame they won’t be able to manage.

Mr. Padfoot would like to point out that even if they were up to no good, they couldn’t out-prank the Marauders. We are the Kings at this school.

Mr. Prongs agrees and wonders who might possibly be trying to swear they are up to no good? 

Lily was stunned, this was the oddest map ever. The words started to fade and she quickly tapped the map again, deciding to just go with it.

“Lily, my name is Lily.”

Lily?

The writing seemed to almost hesitate, then started up again as her name faded away.

Mr. Moony is wondering why Lily would be pulling a prank?

Mr. Wormtail thinks Mr. Prongs is sharing things he aught not to be

Mr. Padfoot thinks Mr. Prongs is trying to impress Miss Prongs and deserves a detention cleaning bedpans in the Hospital Wing, the prat.

Mr. Prongs thinks Mr. Padfoot is a git and is sure Lily could pull a prank if she was serious.

Mr. Padfoot thinks there’s a strong possibility that Miss Prongs is, in fact, not serious.

Mr. Moony would like to share his disapproval in Mr. Padfoot’s poor taste in jokes.

Now she was really confused. She felt like she was being discussed by people–not even people, but a map!– as if she weren’t in the room! Lily tried not to feel insulted, she could pull a prank better than almost anyone. Kings? She may as well call herself Queen then. After all, everyone knows who really runs things in a kingdom. She’d learned from James, after all, and watched out all the ways he got caught. Lily almost never got caught, not to mention that she’d perfected the art of talking her way out of trouble. And if she could just figure out how to open this map, there would be no more obstacles to trying to out-do James.

“I pull amazing pranks!” she said indignantly while tapping the map again, before reminding herself she was getting huffy with a map.

Mr. Padfoot is sure Miss Prongs can pull pranks now since apparently Mr. Prongs wants to assist her with our secrets.

Mr. Moony wonders if Miss Prongs should focus on her homework instead?

Mr. Wormtail wonders if Mr. Prongs is thinking with his head?

Mr. Prongs would like to inform everyone he has no idea what they are talking about.

Mr. Padfoot would like to kindly ask his best mate to come off it, and thinks Mr. Prongs is trying to hard to win Miss Prongs over.

Miss Prongs? Win her over? What the actual hell was going on? Lily was starting to think maybe the magic on the map was starting to wear off. After all, it had been her dad’s while he was at school, and her Uncle’s before that. And it sounded like these people had made the map, and who knows how long ago that was. She looked down to see three different handwritings that all seemed very busy picking on the one called Mr. Prongs while continuously referring to her as Miss Prongs, which seemed to be a running joke. She signed, if he was being singled out then she guessed she should probably use that to her advantage. Boys were always so obvious. 

“Mr. Prongs, I, Lily, request assistance opening the map,” she made herself sound as confident as possible. The written argument between the four of them stopped mid scroll and faded.

Mr. Padfoot wants Mr. Prongs to know he’s going to break his broomstick the next time he sees him.

Mr. Prongs would like Lily to know she can always ask him for help.

Mr. Moony would like to inform Mr. Prongs that he’s pathetic.

Mr. Wormtail agrees that Mr. Prongs is…up to no good.

Mr. Padfoot thinks Mr. Wormtail should shut his fat mouth

Lily grinned, “I swear I am!” only the handwriting from Mr. Prongs appeared after that.

Do you solemnly swear?

“I solemnly swear! I solemnly swear I’m up to no good!” Lily almost yelled, laughing triumphantly as the map blossomed over the pages like watercolor with hundreds of labels in the Great Hall. It was obvious why James was so keen to keep this nearby.

“Bloody hell, this is fantastic!” She wanted to jump up and down like a five year old at Christmas. Once she had calmed herself down she watched the map until the giant mass of students in the Great Hall began to disperse towards the four Common Rooms.

Reluctantly tapped the paper and whispered “Mischief managed.”

Of course she would be sharing this with her friends tomorrow, but for tonight she just wanted to keep the victory to herself. There was something about the map that she felt almost drawn to. It was silly, she thought, to be affectionate towards a map, but here she was, grinning like she just made a new friend. Climbing into her bed, she drew her wand one last time for the night, and tapped the map.

“Thanks Mr. Prongs, you’re the best.”

Lily felt a bit stupid, but she did owe him. Whoever he was. However this charm worked, the person who cast it trusted her for some reason. She wondered vaguely why as tucked the map away where she was sure her brother wouldn’t look. Not that it mattered much, she thought. As far as she knew, there was no way for him to get up to the girls’ dormitories. She smiled into her pillow, all the while missing the last message scrawled across the paper, fading into nothing.

Always for you, Evans.

Naruto Names

Why do people have such a hard time naming their Naruto OCs? Like Kishi literally just picks something that “sounds good as a name.” He doesn’t even use real Japanese names. He just picks random nouns and names his characters after them.

  •  “Kiba” means “fang”. Whoa good job. 
  • “Kurenai” means “lipstick”. She wears lipstick. Congrats. 
  • “Temari” is a Japanese hand-ball game. 
  • “Ino” literally means “boar”. Why would you name your little girl that? 
  • “Kisame” means “shark demon”. Wow, Kisame’s parents were horrible people.
  • “Sasori” means “scorpion”. That was clever of him. 
  • “Orochimaru” literally means “snake child”. I wonder how much time he spent coming up with that one…
  • “Shikamaru” is “deer child”.
  • “Itachi” means “weasel”. What a great idea to name your son that.
  • “Madara” can mean “spots/speckles” My dad always makes fun of this one because it reminds him of “Madera”, which means “wood” in Spanish. I don’t know why he thinks that’s so funny. Another meaning for Madara is a certain kind of codfish.

Ok, these are literally just nouns that are used in everyday Japanese. It’s like if you named your kid “Hashi” or something. Hashi means “bridge” and “chopsticks”. Talk about confusing. 

“Man, I love hashi.”
“You talking about your son, or a bridge or what?”

Kishi deliberately uses common nouns, all you have to do is go on a Japanese dictionary and type in something that has to do with your OC, and you can find something. 

For example, I picked “Hisame”, which sounds awesome. It means “hail; chilly rain”. Or how about “Oroshi”, meaning “Wind blowing down from mountains”? It takes like two seconds- you don’t have to waste time picking a legit name for your character. Actually, it’s more true to the show if you don’t. There are some characters with traditional Japanese names, such as Sasuke, but not many.

All of these don’t necessarily mean what I have written here, however, if you said the names out loud, they could be interpreted as these translations. Some other Naruto Name meanings for you guys:

  • Kurotsuchi: Black soil/black terracotta
  • Darui: Sluggish/dull/listless <- OMG
  • Kakashi: Scarecrow
  • Iruka: Dolphin
  • Naruto: The swirly cake in the ramen
  • Uzumaki: Whirlpool
  • Tsunade: Mooring rope
  • Minato: Harbor/port
  • Uchiha: Japanese fan
  • Akatsuki: ”Dawn” if written as 暁, or ironically can mean “red moon” if written as 赤月
  • Suigetsu: Water and moon
  • Tenten: Moving from place to place/ here and there/ rolling about
  • Shino: Japanese bamboo
  • Hinata: Sunny place, in the sun
  • Hanabi: Fireworks
  • Konahamaru: Foliage/ leaves of trees + child
  • Sakura: Japanese cherry blossom
  • Neji: Screw/ key/spring of a clock or watch
  • Yamato: Japanese province
  • Hebi: Snake
  • Taka: Hawk
  • Yamanaka: In the mountains
  • Hidan: Bandit gang, being shot/bombed (I know for a fact that his name uses different kanji, but the pronunciation is the same and that’s what counts)
  • Hoshigaki: Dried persimmons
  • Anko: Red bean paste
  • Kabuto: Helmet

P.S. “maru” at the end of a name simply means “child”

What she says: I’m fine. 

What she means: I’m still not over how they treated Pam in The Office finale. Jim gets to thank the doc crew for giving him the ability to watch himself become a husband and a father. Pam says that she didn’t watch the whole documentary because it was “too painful” and talks about how “I spent so many years being less happy than I could have been. Jim was 5 feet from my desk and it took me four years to get to him.” She even says she would like if other people would learn from her own mistakes in not finding happiness earlier. 

I’m sorry, (and I love Jim and Pam together as much as anyone, maybe more) but can we talk about what actually happened here??? 

Jim and Pam had a mutual crush while she was engaged. The end of Season 2 is the first time that Jim says “I love you” and he’s kind of a jerk when she says “I can’t.” Instead of giving her space to process what he’s said, Jim then kisses her without permission and the next (day? week?) leaves town to work at a different branch. He is the one who starts dating Karen and then says that Karen should move to Scranton with him so they can continue to date even though he knows that Pam called off the wedding.   

Pam makes a move in asking Jim out for coffee after he moves back. She backs off when she finds out he’s dating Karen (it’s called being respectful) Pam dates Roy again but breaks up with him for attacking Jim right in front of her. Jim is really rude when Pam says she was stupid for dating Roy again “Yeah we’ll see.” He had just been attacked, but come on.

After the coal walk Pam gives a speech and tells Jim she called off wedding because of him but doesn’t try to break up him and Karen. She is the one who took that big leap to confess her feelings and unlike Jim she doesn’t immediately transfer to a new branch when he stays with Karen. 

So Jim leaves Karen for Pam and they are together in about one year from when Jim first said “I love you.” That’s not being stupid for four years. That’s relationships being messy and hard. 

Pam and Jim have a really solid relationship from first dating, through an unexpected pregnancy, getting married, and another kid. It’s not until Jim keeps taking a new job a secret from Pam that they start to waiver. Even then she supports him, and they both continue to make big romantic gestures for each other.

They’re ok until Pam lies about having trouble at home to protect Jim and Jim plans for them to move to Philadelphia without telling Pam. They both get worse at communication and start feeling overwhelmed (Like the writers were so aware of this that as the relationship gets rocky, the opening sequence shortens to just a kiss between Jim and Pam to reassure us that they’re going to be okay).

The miscommunication culminates when the sound guy mentions that Pam has been crying and Jim feels threatened. Pam is the one who says “I want you to stay and I want to fight” when Jim is just going to go back to Philly on Valentines day. She is the one who took that step towards saving their relationship. They go to counciling and even though Pam is really “blocked up” emotionally, Jim is able to reach through to her. He gives up his dream job for Pam. When she gets worried that he’ll resent her down the road for it, he doesn’t blame her or say she’s crazy.  He finds a way to show her that she means more to him than everything else with some help from the doc crew and the letter from the teapot he gave her before they even started dating (but, may I add, changed his mind about giving it to her back then. Something that might have brought them together sooner than the “four years” Pam took).

I guess the writer’s differed in opinion though, because the one that wrote the finale included questions at the documentary panel that completely blamed Pam for her reactions. “We’d all love to know, Pam, what romantic thing did you do to pay Jim back for leaving Athlead?” and  “Everyone watching sees how much you love each other and how you’re soul mates. So, Pam, how could you doubt that when Jim moved to Philadelphia?”

Jim takes some of the blame and is supportive, but it just feels like the writers want to play up him being the “nice guy.” Later in the finale we find out that Pam got an offer to sell the house as a surprise for Jim so that they can all move to Austin and he can work his dream job after all. It’s a great romantic gesture, but she certainly didn’t “owe” Jim anything and we didn’t need to have her attacked in the panel to believe that she just might be ready to move now when she wasn’t before.

Which brings me back to the ending comments and Pam being so hard on herself for something that she and Jim took equal steps backwards and towards throughout their years together. They could have kept the lines at the end without all the bullcrap about wasting time and being unable to see love right in front of her.  

“…it would just…just make my heart soar if someone out there saw this and she said to herself ‘be strong, trust yourself, love yourself. Conquer your fears. Just go after what you want and act fast, because life just isn’t that long.’”

This is exactly what Pam Beesly actually did. Pam is an important character to me. So I take this line and reject the rest.

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I SPENT WAY TOO MUCH TIME ON THIS but anyways, this is my presentation on why you should get into Folklore if you haven’t done so already. This game is very near and dear to my heart, and the fact that Cryaotic is playing it makes me want to explain exactly why this game is so great. (Psst: here’s a youtube playlist with the awesome Folklore OST if you want to have a listen.)

A note about tagging stuff related to Folklore - you can use folklore (game) or folkssoul / folksoul (which is the Japanese name). The fandom has been small for a while, so we always love more fans!

Renault’s Books

I made a proper post out of this because it got too long for the ask (I needed to be able to save what I wrote). And I actually re-read both Fire From Heaven and the Persian Boy in order to be able to answer this well. @uponthewaters I hope that this format is more easily accessible/readable and I also hope that I have answered your question in the way that you wanted. 

I will preface this by saying that I always feel a bit bad critiquing Renault. Please remember that I have nothing against Renault. I respect her and I am flattered that she loved my life so much. If what I am about to say sounds cruel or harsh, then just remember that I am only speaking about the content of Renault’s books, not anything about her personally. But I won’t lie and say that I like her books when I do not. Brace yourselves, I wrote a lot (and added a drinking game to spice things up!).

I will start with Fire From HeavenPut simply: In Fire from Heaven I am boring.

Fire From Heaven

Aside from the aforementioned boringness, most of the major issues I had with Fire From Heaven have to do with the portrayal of Hephaistion:

“At the stair-foot Hephaistion was waiting. He happened to be there, as he happened to have a ball handy if Alexander wanted a game, or water if he was thirsty; not by calculation, but in a constant awareness by which no smallest trifle was missed.” (163)

^ Let it be known that Alexander the Great always cites his goddamn sources. Alright, Hephaistion was not only there for me; I was also there for him. He had his own life and his own thoughts and troubles. We comforted each other, he was not just a shoulder for me to cry on. Our friendship was not one-sided. He was not my slave and did not act like my mother or my nurse. In this book it is unclear why I loved Hephaistion, our relationship was merely predicated on the fact that Hephaistion was enamored with me and I appreciated his loyalty and servitude. 

“Hephaistion thought of the coming war without fear, erasing from his mind, or smothering in its depths, even the fear that Alexander would be killed. Only so was life possible at his side. Hephaistion would avoid dying if he could, because he was needed.” (221)

Um only because I needed him? Not because Hephaistion didn’t want to fucking die himself? Come on. Hephaistion had his own thoughts and fears that didn’t always have to do with me. Even I’m not too self-absorbed to recognize that. 

“Hephaistion called to mind the tale of Semele, beloved of Zeus… she had burned to ashes. He [Hephaistion] would need to prepare himself for the touch of fire.” (157)

God, this made me laugh. Well, if Hephaistion wants this ass then he better get some oven mitts. And that lube that heats up is definitely a no-go. I just don’t even know what to think of this. I mean I know I have a hot ass but really… On a more serious note, Hephaistion was the only one who didn’t think of me as divine but still loved me and my imperfections. So no to this quote.

“Hephaistion, who was not very quick at shaping his thoughts into words, usually found that someone else got in before him. He preferred this to making a fool of himself.” (173)

OH FUCK NO. Hephaistion loved to argue and was certainly not shy about voicing his opinions. And Hephaistion was brilliant, Aristotle thought so, too, and corresponded with Hephaistion later on. Hephaistion’s intelligence is the reason why I trusted him with both solo military commands and also administrative/ diplomatic functions. And just common sense: I would never have an idiot who couldn’t even debate as my second-in-command. Hephaistion only made a fool out of himself if he was drunk or if he was fighting with someone over something stupid (and the same goes for me).

Think of Achilles, how his mother dipped him in the Styx. Think how black and terrible, like dying, like being turned to stone. But then he was invulnerable.” (211) 

This really took me out of the story. If Hephaistion had said that to me then I would have laughed at him and told him that Achilles isn’t invulnerable in the Iliad. Achilles bleeds right before he fights the river Skamandros when Asteropaios hits Achilles with a spear, “but the other [spear] grazed Achilles’ strong right arm and dark blood gushed as the spear shot past his [Achilles’] back…” (Iliad 21.166-167 for you modern readers). The Renault version of Hephaistion certainly is dull and unintelligent if he can’t even remember the Iliad. And the Styx story with Thetis and Achilles was not around in our day, either. It was actually first written down hundreds of years after our deaths (95ish CE) by Statius in his Achilleid. So this entire piece of dialogue is anachronistic. I’m the biggest Achilles fanboy of all time, I know my shit.

Some other thoughts:

  • I DO like the part where Kassander gets beaten up by a woman. That was hilarious.
  • Ptolemy was not my half-brother. And I don’t like how the book treats the character of my real sister Kleopatra (who I loved very much in real life). Or my mother. It seems that modern representations of my life are not very kind to the women in my life. Not cool.
  • Dear god, that part with the courtesan. That story was completely false and only made up to slander me, but at least in the ancient story I sent her away. I would never suffer the indignity of my parents hiring a hetaira for me and then actually have sex with her. That’s adding insult to injury! And I had sex with both men and women, my parents weren’t worried about me (although of course I was not as uh “prolific” as good ol’ dad).
  • OLYMPIAS WAS NOT PRESENT AT PHILIP’S ASSASSINATION. She was in Epiros. If you are going to write a book based largely on historical events then please get the details correct.
  • Speaking of details, when my father was assassinated my father’s cloak was white, not purple (see Diodorus 16.93.1). A small nitpick, but still. 
  • That 2004 movie Alexander ripped off a lot of material from this book. I feel bad for Renault about that. Not cool, Oliver Stone.

Renault also gets the timing of the death of Hephaistion and my own death wrong in her historical author’s note:

“Alexander survived his friend by about three months, for two of which he was travelling with the body from Ecbatana to Babylon…” (409-410)

This is incorrect. Hephaistion died in October. I died in June. If you are writing a historical note please get the facts right.

One of my main issues is that Renault tries to describe the historical context/detail so much that she loses sight of the essence of the story. I didn’t really understand what she was trying to say in this book, it just read like a more boring and expanded version of Plutarch. So yes, Fire From Heaven was boring (as was my character in Fire From Heaven). And I’m someone who actually likes the catalogue of ships in the Iliad.

The Persian Boy

Where to start with this one… This is probably the complete wrong reaction to have, but I laughed my way through most of The Persian Boy. At least the prose was more interesting than Fire From Heaven. But the pacing was off, it takes Bagoas more than 100 pages to meet me.

One of the central problems was with the narrator. Bagoas is forcefully inserted into the larger events of my life and it simply makes no sense for him to be there. Some problems I had:

  • Bagoas was supposedly with me the night after the torture of Philotas? Oh god, that is so ludicrous. Common sense: after an assassination attempt a eunuch would never be left alone with me. Hephaistion probably would have murdered him; Hephaistion wasn’t feeling particularly happy then. And we were in a camp with tents, not a building as Renault states (see Arrian, Plutarch, and Curtius for confirmation of that). It’s a small detail, but I wanted to point that out.
  • I did not trust Bagoas. It may seem cruel, but Bagoas was nothing to me. If Bagoas had died then I would not have to be dragged off of his corpse. He was simply someone that I had sex with a few times. Hephaistion was everything to me. He was the sole person that I completely trusted. I also trusted my own generals and friends. I did not trust a random eunuch. And Renault says I cried over Bagoas’ birthday? Birthdays weren’t even really celebrated in my day…
  • AND RENAULT TELLS THE DYSENTERY STORY. WHY THE EVERLOVING FUCK DOES EVERYONE LOVE THAT STORY?! Oh yes, it is so funny that Alexander shit himself, that story is absolutely essential to understanding his life. No, no it fucking isn’t. It’s embarrassing. 
  • And dear god, Bagoas was not with me at the Mallian siege. That makes absolutely no sense at all. Even the majority of the army was not there, most of the land forces were stationed with Hephaistion down river (see Arrian 6.13).
  • I liked that Renault showed Hephaistion’s kindness. That was much appreciated. I wish he was in more of the book, but he would most likely be mischaracterized (although at least I could blame the unreliable narrator in this case). 
  • What the hell was the wedding with Roxanne about? She tried to poison Bagoas and then I beat her? WHAT THE FUCK? I can’t believe that Renault would actually write that. I don’t know why she hates all of the women in my life so much. I don’t know why she would think my wife would poison a random eunuch. I don’t know how she could think I would beat my own wife. I mean we were obviously not the pinnacle of feminism, but we weren’t animals. I was angry when noble women were just forced to dance (see Curtius 6.2.6-7 for this one), I don’t know how anyone would think I would harm my own wife. Everything about this is disgusting. I’m fucking appalled.

I found the book mostly amusing and I didn’t get very annoyed (except of course for the wedding/poison episode) until Hephaistion’s death.

He [Alexander] was standing with a dagger in his hand, hacking off his hair. […] So I found the trimming knife, and said, “Let me do it. I’ll do it just as you want.” “No,” he [Alexander] said, hacking away […] But he grew impatient with the back, and let me finish it, so that he could be off. (370)

I would have killed anyone who tried to cut my hair for me when I cut my hair over Hephaistion’s body. And unlike in Renault’s account, I actually cut my hair over the corpse (Arrian 7.14.4 backs me up). I would have stabbed Bagoas or anyone else who tried to help with my own dagger (I was not in a great mental place then). And as if I couldn’t cut my own hair? I’m a warrior, I know how to use a goddamn blade. This also makes it sounds like cutting my hair was something that I thought I had to do so that I “could be off.” No, it was very significant and personal and painful for me in my grief and doesn’t deserve to be treated as something I had to get done quickly. Also, Bagoas was not the one who had the idea that Hephaistion be made a god (Renault 373). Reading that was a test of my very poor anger management skills. 

And on my deathbed I did not say Krateros or kratistos or anything like that. Ugh. I couldn’t even speak at all, I was too sick. And Bagoas was not there when I died.

I made a drinking game to make reading this book more fun:

  • Take a shot whenever Cyrus (aka Kyros) is mentioned! 
  • Take a shot when you can’t tell if Bagoas and I are having sex or not! 
  • Take a shot every time my ~golden~ hair is mentioned! 
  • Take a shot whenever Bagoas is jealous!
  • Chug through the entirety of the dysentery scene (so that no one will remember it happened…)

This game may give you alcohol poisoning if you’re not a Macedonian, be warned.

All in all, I really do appreciate what Renault was trying to do. I am so happy that people read these books and got more interested in my life and in Hephaistion’s life. I am also happy that these books helped people dealing with issues relating to their own sexuality (and I appreciate the fact that Renault was a lesbian writing about same-sex relationships AND that she described me as bisexual in her author’s note- good job Renault!). So I think that the good that Renault’s work has done outweighs my issues with it. 

I hope that this very lengthy response answered your question well.

4

Supergirl + Parks and Recreation pt 9

“We live together…”- Leslie Knope

“And work together.”- Ben Wyatt

“And we are so…” “In sync…” “that we finish each other’s…” “sentences.”

“We rehearsed that at home. Naked in bed.”- Leslie Knope (6x11)

5

Actual Harem Anime Protagonist Lithuania.

@hinotorihime @meadowlarkx i feel like this is entirely your fault.

most names are from this post. it’s @twilightjoltik-toumei who came up with them, so thanks !! :D