but not all my books

2

Klaroline/Warnette parallels | Part 6

“I intend to be your l a s t.

However long it takes.”

8

get to know me (6/10} favorite films ☰ matilda (1996)

Everyone is born, but not everyone is born the same. Some will grow to be butchers, or bakers, or candlestick makers. Some will only be really good at making Jell-O salad. One way or another, though, every human being is unique, for better or for worse.

3

A thread about millennials and stories (sorry for all the typos I was fueled by too much emotion to type well)

general li mulan

okay so i LOVE mulan okay. as far as i’m concerned it’s a Perfect Movie and doesn’t need any fixing. but i was thinking today and -

- what if mulan didn’t go to war to save her father?

say her father is dead, okay, killed by the previous war. so she’s raised by her mother and grandmother, women who’s complacency and softness has been worn away by necessity. she needs to marry well, for her family’s sake, because her mother has refused the hand of every man who offered. but mulan is even more rough around the edges than before, is educated not only in books (her mother said men wouldn’t find smarts attractive and grandmother pointed out that men aren’t always around and off to school mulan went) but in the sword too, taught to her by her classmate, ping.

mulan is considered in the lower end of the upper class, coming from a family of military men and scholars and successful merchants. ping is near the top, the son or nephew of an advisor to the emperor. his family is very rich and very important, and the reason they become friends is because mulan manages to notice something about him that he’s been hiding from everyone else - he’s going blind.

not totally blind, enough to get around, but blind enough that reading is difficult and swordplay is even worse, although once he has it down he has it. ping is no fool, he’s not weak or bumbling. his eyes just don’t work. so mulan notices and confronts him about it. she promises to keep it a secret, and hey, she’ll even help him with his assignments by reading the books out loud and helping him study. but in return he must teach her the sword, must teach her about military and tactics. he agrees.

ping and mulan become very good friends and there’s some raised eyebrows about it but they are TOO far away in class for it to be inappropriate, so they make tutting sounds and disapproving faces and let it go.

then the draft happens. ping can’t go to war, he won’t survive it. not with his eyesight like it is. so mulan offers him a deal - she’ll go to war for him, in his place. in return, if she survives, he must marry her. if she dies he must take care of her family.

ping can’t make this kind of family decision on his own, so he goes to his mother and tells her everything, about the eyesight and how he’ll die if he goes and mulan’s offer. his mother says he must keep it a secret from his father, but agrees - if mulan fights in her son’s place and survives, a wedding will be arranged. either way, mulan’s family will be taken care of. ping will be sent to live with some cousins in the meanwhile.

“you’re not in love with me, are you?” ping asks, helping mulan saddle her horse in the middle of the night. she scoffs and rolls her eyes, “not even a little. but marrying you will make my family happy, and besides, you’re my best friend,” she says, smiling, “better you than some grabby old man.” he smiles and hugs her and says, “i’m not in love with you either. but don’t die out there. we have a wedding to plan.”

so mulan goes to the camp, pretending to be ping, and she’s a little bit less lost but things still go as they go. she’s educated and trained, so it’s not hard for her to pass as ping. shang is keeping a special eye on her, thinking that she’s the son of an advisor, one of his father’s friends. and he sees how easily she excels, how quick thinking and smart she is, and starts giving her more and more responsibilities. by the time they’re called out, shang considers ping ie mulan to be his right hand man, and possibly his best friend.

he’s also a little bit in love with ping, and he’s long known he’s attracted to both genders, so he watches ping laugh and smile and the crease between his eyes when he frowns and does his best to let his feelings chase away the best soldier he has. every time shang looks at ping his heart clenches and he things to himself: i wish i could have you, i wish this was a time and a place where one man could have another, i wish you were a girl, is wish i was a girl - i wish we could be together. he’s literally a step away from doodling ‘li ping’ with little hearts over his battle plans. 

so the battles happen. shang and ping lead their men together, respected and loved. they each get promoted, and promoted, and promoted. it’s been years, and it comes to a point where they’re both generals in their own right. they trust each other, care for each other. and are both secretly in love with the other.

mulan is so conflicted. because she wants this war to end and to go home and settle back into life and become ping’s wife, so she can have an easy life spent studying and learning with her family taken care of. that’s what she’d wanted. but now what she wants is shang, her best friend, her brother in arms, her fellow general. she wishes to be everything to him, aches to be the woman on his arm and in his bed, but knows it’s the one thing she can never be.

then that final battle happens. mulan’s quick thinking saves them all and ends the war - but she’s injured.

shang finds out the ping has been a girl all along. he demands explanations - so she tells him everything, that she traded places with ping to save him, to become his wife.

and the lies should sting the sharpest, but they don’t. she’s still the same person, after all. it’s that she’s promised to another man, for one second he’d thought he might have her, but no. so he agrees not to reveal her but he’s furious and furious at himself for being furious and they’re not the same now, broken and splintered and neither of them know what to do.

the war is over. they leave. mulan returns home, and thanks to her ping is now known as a respected general. she’s done her part and survived, and now she gets her reward - ping’s hand in marriage.

but she sees ping for the first time and flings herself into his arms and starts crying. she tells him everything, because he’s still her friend, her very best friend besides shang, the man whom she lied to and betrayed and loves. and ping listens and takes her by the shoulders and says - i’ll uphold our bargain, if that’s what you want. you can be my pampered wife, you’ve more than earned it. but if you want to go to shang, i won’t blame you. you deserve your happiness.

and mulan goes back and forth, but ultimately she decides she has to try. if shang rejects her she’ll return and marry ping and uphold her family honor. but if shang wants her - he’s not as high up as ping, but he’s high up enough to satisfy her family, and also she would love him and want him if he was no more than a farming peasant so it doesn’t matter much anyway.

she rides to the capitol. she finally meets ping’s father, running into him while looking for shang. “ah mulan,” says this man who was never supposed to know of her until she became his daughter-in-law, “i didn’t expect to see you here. how fortuitous. walk with me.” she does, wary, and that’s how she discovers - he and the emperor had discovered her deception a year in, but at that point she’d already proven herself too skilled and valuable to lose. he tells her that he will uphold his son and wife’s deal and gladly welcome her to his household - but that she’s earned her rank as general, and that he and the emperor have no problem with letting her keep it.

she says thank you, shocked and joyful, but that she has to talk to someone first. “ah, yes, young general li,” he says, eyes twinkling, “i do believe he’s around here somewhere.”

she has no idea how he seems to know everything, but she finally tracks down shang who’s ecstatic to see her and hates himself for it. she confesses - says she loves him, that she’s engaged to ping but willing and able to break this engagement for shang. who is dumbfounded and elated and says yes, of course, finally and forever.

and mulan accepts her rank and marries shang, and they become the literal power battle couple of the general li mulan and general li shang. ping becomes a scholar and marries a very nice young woman who loves reading and is happy to read aloud to her husband with his failing eyes.

and they all live happily ever after.

“Not only are there no happy endings…There aren’t even any endings.”

Every time I read American Gods by Neil Gaiman, I find more things to adore about this novel. I read it this time while traveling across the United States, and I have to say, something about reading this book in transit just makes sense. It makes even more sense reading it while soaring over America itself, gazing down on fields and hills, a New Jersey import who lives in Chicago, went to LA a week or so ago, and just left Florida. There is something so intensely American about this novel, and it wows me every time. From the smaller mythic chapters telling folk tales and stories of the people who brought their gods to America, to the gods themselves and their characters, this novel always gets me. This was my third time reading this novel, and I’m going to dig deep to highlight new things that I had forgotten, so solid warning: Spoilers ahead.

I will never get over the way that Neil Gaiman melds together the idea of the gods and the land, and gives them both their own power and will. Something that wows me that I often forget about the standalone is now astoundingly diverse it is without being appropriative, and how Gaiman incorporates so many cultures, a diverse range of characters, as well as a huge amount of humor without it becoming problematic. I think this novel could be a guidebook for authors who want to know how to write diverse stories and mythos respectfully. I forgot about so many fantastic characters that Gaiman pours himself into, from Samantha Black Crow to side characters that brim with energy and character themselves, like Whiskey Jack’s son or Bilquis. I also never noticed before the two mentions of Mr. Nancy’s son that point to Anansi Boys. Not to mention the wealth of research and knowledge that goes into the bottomless well of background characters and visions leading up to the battle. 

One thing I gained a new appreciation for in this novel was the character of Shadow. He is big, and not dumb, and I remembered all that, but what I forgot is how nice he is. Shadow’s such a cinnamon roll of a character, and I forget that. He stands up for a waitress and believes in the good of people. At the Lakeside library book sale, he tries to find the book that’s least likely to be purchased, so that he can help the library out by buying it. He performs coin tricks for children. He is obligated to hold Odin’s vigil, but he never questions whether he should also hold Mad Sweeney’s. As Laura speaks with the cutting, too-open words of the already-dead, Shadow still refuses to tell her about her appearance or to not hold her hand, because he doesn’t want to hurt her still. When Shadow picks up bodies with the coroners, he carries them always in his arms. 

The scene between Shadow and Odin before his death is one of my absolute favorites (other favorite scenes include Samantha Black Crow’s protest kiss, the scene in which Shadow thinks snow into being, and Shadow’s long death scene). Odin recites to Shadow what he knows—the charms, in a long list. And it ends with that long scene where Shadow wonders what would have happened if he touched Odin’s hand, and wishes he had. And Odin’s twisting grift of the fiddle is so complicated and well done that even on the third re-read, I find myself forgetting about it until the moment Odin dies, and doubting myself on it until the moment Shadow says it out loud.

@neil-gaiman’s American Gods just gets better every time I read it, and I am cautiously thrilled and excited for the show coming out later this spring. 

“It doesn’t matter that you didn’t believe in us. We believed in you.”

Things that fucked me up in The Foxhole Court series (warning: spoilers):

  • Every single time Andrew did something just because Neil asked
  • “He pressed Andrew’s palm to the ugly scarring across Neil’s abdomen” 
  • Dan’s entire existence as the biggest boss in the galaxy
  • “You are a pipe dream.”
  • “I am not a pipe dream.  I’m not going anywhere.”
  • Renee saving Jean
  • Renee doing literally anything
  • Wymack hating that Neil flinches away from him and doing everything he can to prove he’s the good male role model Neil deserves???
  • RESPONSIBLE AND CARING ADULTS
  • “You hate me, remember?” “Every inch of you,” Andrew said.  “That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t blow you.” ANDREW LMAO
  • SHOWER BLOW JOB/CODDLING/ANDREW FINALLY LETTING GO ENOUGH TO LET NEIL SEE HIM FEEL PLEASURE (partly because he can’t bear to leave Neil’s side to take care of it alone FUCK)
  • “Yes or no?”
  • VIGOROUS CONSENT and Andreil knowing each other well enough to tell when the other isn’t in a good enough place to consent even when they think they are??
  • Neil calling Andrew a “drama queen” behind his back
  • Nicky getting the happiness he deserves in Erik
  • “Who’s humanizing who in that relationship, anyway?” NICKY OMFG
  • Andrew needing to map every single scar/wound on Neil’s body and Neil letting him
  • Andrew saying “I told you not to look at me like that” after Neil stares at him with fucking giant anime heart eyes when the sunlight hits his hair
  • Matt and his spikey hair (/everything)
  • Casual 3 hour bus chats where Andreil loses track of time smh
  • How fucking short Andreil is???  5 foot **nothing*** is right
  • Neil saying he wants a vacation and Andrew almost cutting Kevin’s dick off when he tries to get in the way of it
  • BED SHARING IN THE CABIN ffs
  • Honestly that whole woodland retreat with team bonding took me the fuck out
  • “The only one I’m interested in is you.”  Demi!Neil is watering every crop in my field??
  • “Thank you.  You were amazing.”  (aka me @ Nora Sakavic)

‘Isn’t it lonely without him?’

'It’s like the stars forgot to come out one night and instead I was left in the dark, wondering what I could do to make them come back.’

—  j.f // but they were too far away to listen to my tears • excerpts of stories I will never write

Today, my history professor made the mistake of announcing that she believed that you could categorize people into two groups: those that preferred Sound of Music and those that preferred Grease.

I have never heard a room of history majors become so outraged.

“–Grease SUCKS–”

“–excuse me but have you heard of our Lord and Savior PHANTOM OF THE OPERA–”

“–don’t talk to me unless it’s about Fiddler on the Roof–”

“–BOOK OF MORMON. BOOK OF MORMON. BOOK OF MORMON–

–did you mean Les Mis?–

And, me, in the corner with my Newsies shirt on (which was a perfect coincidence):

–neWSIES IS BEST–

an incomplete list of lines in aftg that will always fuck me up

“Did you know I’ve never been skiing?”

“I told her what would happen if she raised her hand again. She had no right to look so surprised.”

“His father. Your coach.”

“Who said ‘please’ that made you hate the word so much?” “I did.” / “I was seven,” Andrew said. “I believed him.”

“If it means losing you, then no.”

“Go on, tell me again how I’m too unbalanced to understand normal brotherly affection and love. Tell me this is natural.”

“Good,” Neil said quietly. “So now you understand why Andrew killed your mother.”

“Do you honestly think that if I wanted to kill someone, whether it was myself or someone else, that I would fail so spectacularly at it so many times?”

“Neil,” Wymack said, “between you and me, I don’t think you’ve ever been fine.”

“I’m tired of being nothing.”

“Would it kill you to let something in?” “It almost did last time.”

“Neil? Are you all right?” Neil smiled. It felt like it tore his face open. “No. No, I’m not.”

“Thank you,” he finally said. He couldn’t say he meant thanks for all of it: the keys, the trust, the honesty, and the kisses. Hopefully Andrew would figure it out eventually. “You were amazing.”

“Everything I needed, you already gave me. You let me stay.”

“You are a Fox,” Andrew said, like it was that simple, and maybe it was.

“Wait, he chose Neil over you? That sounds a little serious for a fling, don’t you–” Nicky glanced at Neil’s blank face and faltered. “News to you too, huh?”

“That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t blow you.”

“I won’t be like them. I won’t let you let me be.”

“Stay,” Andrew said, and leaned down to kiss him.

This was everything he wanted, everything he needed, and Neil was never letting go.

3

As long as he could see Jean’s guard drop and his eyes go soft at the edges. As long as he could talk to Jean about his problems openly and not have to worry about being judged. As long as Jean knew Jeremy would do the same.
                                                   As long as he was with Jean then it would be worth it. 


- he could taste the stars,
 x.

“We both tried to grab at the last copy of that desired book at the same time and had a tug of war.” (from this post)

Sterek ficlet, T, ~1.6k words. Basically, I was going to just do a tiny little drabble as a warm-up for working on one of my WIPs, and then I was having too much fun with it to stop.

(Btw, if you couldn’t tell, I totally made up the book series in question. Any resemblance to any actual book is completely coincidental.) 

It’s definitely some kind of torture that on the day the seventh and final Path of Wolves novel comes out, Stiles still has to go to school like it’s not the most important day of the year or anything.

And okay, so it’s not like anyone else in Beacon Hills has even heard of these books except Scott, and then only because Stiles can’t shut up about them, but still. Stiles spends the entire day practically vibrating out of his skin with the anticipation. He’s pretty sure he hasn’t taken in a word any of his teachers has said today. The only reason he doesn’t try to make a break for it during lunch is that he can’t afford another detention on his record, and even so, he’s still sorely, sorely tempted to risk it. In the end, he has to get Lydia to hide his car keys from him.

(He was going to ask Scott to do it, but Scott would have caved as soon as Stiles started begging, and Stiles is definitely not above begging, so Lydia it is.)

The instant the final bell rings, though, Stiles is out of there, flying across the parking lot and gunning the Jeep. The bookstore probably only ordered a few copies, and if Stiles isn’t holding one of them by the time he leaves, somebody’s about to get murdered.

Not that he actually expects any competition, but it’s better not to let these things go to chance. He already messed up once by procrastinating on pre-ordering until they were sold out; he didn’t think it was possible for a Path of Wolves novel to be sold out. He was wrong, and now he’s paying for it by having to physically go to the bookstore to get it.

Either Stiles vastly overestimated how many copies the store was going to order, or else he vastly underestimated how many people in Beacon Hills read these books, because when he skids to a stop in front of the New Releases shelf, there’s only one copy left. One beautiful, perfect hardcover copy.

Lucky for him, one copy is enough.

Except that when he grabs ahold of it, someone else does, too.

For a long second, Stiles can’t even believe what he’s seeing. Another hand, on his book. Another hand that’s not letting go, even though Stiles has already clearly and unambiguously grabbed it by the spine and isn’t letting go, either.

Stiles turns his head incredulously to get a look at this usurper, and it’s Derek Hale. As in, made-of-muscles, leather-wearing lacrosse captain Derek Hale.

Until this moment, Stiles wasn’t even sure Derek could read, and now he’s trying to steal Stiles’ obscure eight-hundred-page fantasy novel. What.

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We dangerous ones

Aaah, the Lethifold! One of my favourite creatures from reading the book as a child. Thanks to @zinfandelli for suggesting it as a creature, I was psyched to draw Credence with one. 
(And of course I saw the official design on the bluray just as I was about to start colouring, and had to change up a bunch of stuff from my sketch haha)
Art blog: questionartbox

y’all: i’m not gonna watch the trc show if [x] and [y] and [z]

me, with my popcorn already popped: ……………………………