but to me it's one of the most important moments in the whole series

theguardian.com
Ten things I learned about writing from Stephen King
The novelist James Smythe, who has been analysing the work of Stephen King for the Guardian since 2012, on the lessons he has drawn from the master of horror fiction
By James Smythe

Stephen King is an All-Time Great, arguably one of the most popular novelists the world has ever seen. And there’s a good chance that he’s inspired more people to start writing than any other living writer. So, as the Guardian and King’s UK publisher Hodder launch a short story competition – to be judged by the master himself – here are the ten most important lessons to learn from his work.

1. Write whatever the hell you like

King might be best known – or, rather, best regarded – as a writer of horror novels, but really, his back catalogue is crammed with every genre you can think of. There are thrillers (Misery, Gerald’s Game), literary novels (Bag Of Bones, Different Seasons), crime procedurals (Mr Mercedes), apocalypse narratives (The Stand), fantasy (Eyes Of The Dragon, The Dark Tower series) … He’s even written what I think of as being one of the greatest Young Adult novels of all time: The Long Walk. Perhaps the only genre or audience he hasn’t really touched so far is comedy, but most of his work features moments that show his deft touch with humour. It’s clear that King does what he wants, when he wants, and his constant readers – the term he calls his, well, constant readers – will follow him wherever he goes.

2. The scariest thing isn’t necessarily what’s underneath the bed

Horror is a curious thing. What scares one person won’t necessarily scare another. And while there might be moments in his horror novels that tread towards the more conventional ideas of what some find terrifying, for the most part, the truly scary aspects are those that deal with humanity itself. Ghosts drive people to madness, telekinetic girls destroy whole towns with their powers, clowns … well, clowns are just bloody terrifying full stop. But the true crux of King’s ability to scare is finding the thing that his readers are actually worried about, and bringing that to the fore. If you’re writing horror, don’t just think about what goes bump in the night; think about what that bump might drive people to do afterwards.

3. Don’t be scared of transparency

One of my favourite things about King’s short story collections are the little notes about each tale that he puts into the text. The history of them, the context for the idea, how the writing process actually worked. They’re not only invaluable material for aspiring writers – because exactly how many drafts does it take to reach a decent story? King knows! – but they’re also brilliant nuggets of insight into King himself. Some people might think that it’s better off knowing nothing about authors when they read their work, but for King, his heart is on his sleeve. In his latest collection, The Bazaar of Broken Dreams, King gets more in-depth than ever, talking about what inspired the stories in such an honest way that it couldn’t have come from another writer’s pen. Which brings us to …

4. Write what you know. Sort of. Sometimes

Write what you know is the most common writing tip you’ll find anywhere. It’s nonsense, really, because if we all did that we’d end up with terribly boring novels about writers staring out of windows waiting for inspiration to hit. (If you like those, incidentally, head straight for the literary fiction section of your nearest bookshop.) But King understands that experience is something which can be channelled into your work, and should be at every opportunity. Aspects of his life – addiction, teaching, his near-fatal car accident, rock and roll, ageing – have cropped up in his work over and over, in ways that aren’t always obvious, but often help to drive the story. That’s something every writer can use, because it’s through these truths that real emotions can be writ large on the page.

5. Aim big. Or small

King’s written some mammoth books, and they’re often about mammoth things. The Stand takes readers into an apocalypse, with every stage of it laid out on the page until the final fantastical showdown. It deals with a horror that hits a group of characters twice in their lives, showing us how years and years of experience can change people. And The Dark Tower is a seven (or eight, or more, if you count the short stories set in its world) part series that takes in so many different genres of writing it’s dizzying. When he needs to, King aims really big, and sometimes that’s what you have to do to tell a story. At the other end of the spectrum, some of King’s most enduring stories – Rita Hayworth & Shawshank Redemption, The Mist – have come from his shorter works. He traps small groups of characters in single locations and lets the story play out how it will. The length of the story you’re telling should dictate the size of the book. Doesn’t matter if it’s forty thousand words or two hundred, King doesn’t waste a word.

6. Write all the time. And write a lot

King’s published – wait for it – 55 novels, 11 collections of stories, 5 non-fiction works, 7 novellas and 9 assorted other pieces (including illustrated works and comic books). That’s over a period of 41 years. That’s an average of two books a year. Which is, I must admit, a pretty giddying amount. That’s years of reading (or rereading, if you’re as foolishly in awe of him as I am). But he’s barely stopped for breath. This year has seen three books published by him, which makes me feel a little ashamed. Still, at my current rate of writing, I might catch up with him sometime next century. And while not every book has found the same critical and commercial success, they’ve all got their fans.

7. Voice is just as important as content

King’s a writer who understands that a story needs to begin before it’s actually told. It begins in the voice of the novel: is it first person, or third? Is it past or present tense? Is it told through multiple narrators, or just the one? He’s a master at understanding exactly why each story is told the way it’s told. Sure, he might dress it up as something simple – the story finding the voice it needs, or vice versa – but through his books you can see that he’s tried pretty much everything, and can see why each voice worked with the story he was telling.

8. And Form is just as important as voice

King isn’t really thought of as an experimental novelist, which is grossly unfair. Some of King’s more daring novels have taken on really interesting forms. Be it The Green Mile’s fragmented, serialised narrative; or the dual publication of The Regulators and Desperation – novels which featured the same characters in very different situations, with unsettling parallels between the stories that unfolded for them; or even Carrie’s mixed-media narrative, with sections of the story told as interview or newspaper extract. All of these novels have played with the way they’re presented on the page to find the perfect medium for telling those stories. Really, the lesson here from King is to not be afraid to play.

9. You don’t have to be yourself

Some of King’s greatest works in the early years of his career weren’t published by King himself. They were in the name of Richard Bachman, his slightly grislier pseudonym. The Long Walk, Thinner, The Running Man – these are books that dealt with a nastier side of things than King did in his properly attributed work. Because, maybe it’s good to have a voice that allows us to let the real darkness out, with no judgments. (And then maybe, as King eventually did in The Dark Half, it’s good to kill that voice on the page … )

10. Read On Writing. Now

This is the most important tip in the list. In 2000, King published On Writing, a book that sits in the halfway space between autobiography and writing manual. It’s full of details about his process, about how he wrote his books, channelled his demons and overcame his challenges. It’s one of the few books about writing that are actually worth their salt, mainly because it understands that it’s about a personal experience, and readers might find that useful. There’s no universal truths when it comes to writing. One person’s process would be a nightmare for somebody else. Some people spend years labouring on nearly perfect first drafts; some people get a first draft written in six weeks, and then spend the next year destroying it and rebuilding it. On Writing tells you how King does it, to help you to find your own. Even if you’re not a fan of his books, it’s invaluable to the in-development writer. Heck, it’s invaluable to all writers.

Your senior year roommate calls herself Clarity. She’s very small and rumpled and distant, and she goes for long walks in the forest south of campus when she’s frustrated. You aren’t friends, but you coexist peacefully. It’s enough.

The creature on your co-owned Walmart futon isn’t Clarity.

It looks like her. Enough to fool a casual observer, certainly. Enough to fool someone who hasn’t been soldering sterling silver for six hours. But you have, and the truth of silver lingers, and the Thing That Looks Like Clarity is sprouting delicate flowers from the skin of its bare shoulders.

It’s sitting cross-legged and perfectly, terribly still, tracking your eyes as you take all this in. When you sigh and set down your backpack, it says, “Hello, smith. There didn’t seem to be any sense in pretending.”

“Jeweler,” you say, and, “I go by Florence, these days. What should I call you?”

It blinks, languid and slow. “I’m not here to usurp. I’m a… placeholder.”

“It’s still confusing as shit, my guy.”

It considers this at length. Finally, with the air of one who has just solved a great puzzle, it says “Claire. We will know, the two of us.”

“Works for me. Nice meeting you, Claire.”

And that seems to be all there is to say. Your roommate’s been stolen by the Fair Folk, you’re living with a changeling, and there’s not much you can do about either of these things. You scroll through Instagram until it gets tired of watching you and wanders out into the hallway.

So that’s Claire.

Keep reading

Rambling about Reigen

Okay, so i really like the popularity of the whole Reigen is asexual headcanon. 

For a lot of reasons. so I’m going to ramble for a bit. not just about that, but also about Reigen and friendship in general.

One thing being; he’s not the sort of character that usually gets seen or portrayed as asexual. He’s not innocent or childish or naive in any way. He’s a sly con man whose greatest weapon is his words and he isn’t above outright manipulation. but he’s also a character who places great importance on being a responsible adult, and damn well tells off adults who pick fights with children. 

But he’s also really lacking in personal connections, and throughout the series thus far has shown no interest in forming romantic relationships, never so much as acting flustered or infatuated around anyone even as a gag. 

but while he has shown no interest in romance he also seems to neglect most other relationships too, but seemingly unintentionally. his neglect of his friendships, unlike his lack of interest pursuing romance, is something that it’s often shown he regrets.

His only real interpersonal connection in the series is with Mob (and Dimple) for the longest time, and after they fall out and we find out more about Reigen’s life outside of his connection to Shigeo we also find out more about the people he knows:

The closest thing he has to friends are a bar full of easily manipulated and flakey people, who turn on him the moment the whole media scandal starts. 

But what makes this different to most ‘loner’ asexual stereotypes is the fact that Reigen is actually incredibly adept at understanding people and isn’t socially inept at all, in contrast to Mob (who in further contrast, is also really good at making friends despite his social ineptitude). 

His main downfall really is that he can be a bit too dismissive of the people he actually cares about at times, both intentionally and unintentionally. Which affects the few interpersonal connections he really does care about since he does take them for granted at times, first with mob in the separation arc, and later in a much more minor way with Serizawa, when Reigen waits until the last minute before asking to hang out with Serizawa for new years:

Serizawa is so important to me as a character, but in regards to Reigen he’s also Reigen’s first real adult friend/employee in the entire series. so while minor, this incident does inform us of quite a bit in contrast to the start of the seperation arc. For one, Reigen accepts the rejection much better than when Mob told him he was busy that time, and even though Serizawa is just as, if not more socially inept than Mob, Reigen doesn’t dismiss his claim of having other friends. So, character growth!

The fandom likes to joke about it a lot, but Reigen has become a beacon of “Dad” to all the kids in the series, as well as the adults who act like kids if i’m honest! (looking at Claw with that statement) And despite being a fraud he’s the one everyone comes to for help, adults and kids alike. 

He’s the person the former Claw members go to at the start of the second Claw arc in order to get help, same with Teru. He’s the one Mob calls to take him and his friends out alien hunting rather than asking his parents. And he’s the one who solves the problems of so many other people in the series using words or plain old common sense. He may not go about things in the most ethical way, but he always honestly tries to leave people in a better place than where they started, even if that involves manipulation.

All in all he’s a unique and complex character, and honestly I couldn’t support the ace Reigen headcanon more. 

Writing Series #2: Plotting

Everyone has their own strategy for this one, but it’s also probably the aspect of writing that we ask each other about most of the time: what do you do to figure out your plot? How do you stick to a plot? How do you know where a story is going? How do you stay interested long enough to finish? How do you keep from getting lost? For first time writers, this is particularly daunting, as we tend to think of a book–all 80,000 words or so–as overwhelming and more than we know how to accomplish, as something too big or unattainable. 

Some writers sit down with a single idea and go from there, letting the story come as it may and waiting for the ideas to strike as they write. For many writers, this works. For me, it doesn’t. 

My process looks a lot more like this:

  1. Wait for an idea to strike (and I mean strike; it has to come to me, haunt me, bug me, until I’m sure I can do nothing but write it)
  2. Plot. Plan out everything. Write it all down, outlining each chapter–what will happen in each and how many there will be.
  3. Write. 
  4. Edit. 
  5. Edit again. 

Step One: There are lots of good ideas out there, and my notebooks are filled with ideas; ideas that occurred to me in the middle of the night, ideas I thought up after witnessing something in a park or listening to a good song. New ideas are exciting and can lead to great things, but I won’t turn any of them into a book until I’m sure the idea won’t go away. 

I don’t write it down. That’s the first test; if I haven’t forgotten it the next day, or the next, or the next, then I know it might actually lead somewhere, that it’s not a fleeting idea that will tempt me and then leave me hanging. I let this go on for a month–yes, a whole month–and if at the end of that month, I still can’t let that idea go, if it’s still rolling around in my head, waiting to be explored, then I move onto step two. By then, I know that the idea and me are long-term, that we’re in this for the long run. 

Step Two: I plot. I plot everything. 

  • I start with the main arc: where do I want the story to start, and where do I want it to finish. In my most recent story, for example, I knew that I wanted the main character to begin cynical of love and relationships, and I wanted the story to end with him opening his heart to the possibility (even if he wasn’t yet in a relationship–that bit I’d find out later). I knew I wanted the three strangers at the beginning of the story to be best friends by the end. I knew they’d all start with some trauma, and I wanted them all to successfully be on the path to recovery and healing by the end. 
  • Then I looked to time: I believe it’s important to know just how much ground, chronologically speaking, a book is going to cover. I needed to know how long my characters would have to experience the emotional growth mentioned above (the less time, the more the plot would have to directly affect them, the more intense that plot would need to be). I gave them the summer. Just three months to learn and get to know each other, which meant every day was going to count, and I wasn’t going to be writing a lot of moments skipping ahead in time. (If the story was to last five years, for example, I’d have a lot more room to build these relationships, and so things could unfold more subtly and with large chunks of time between.)
  • Then I look to characters: I write down all the main and minor characters (naming them is a good first step, though this can change later) and I write down both their emotional state when the story starts and what they’re actively doing with their lives, and their emotional state when the story ends and where they’re at/going with their lives then. 

As you’ll see, there’s a pattern here: I figure out point A and point B. Then I make a list of little things I want to happen, different scenes that have begun to play out in my head, interactions I want the characters to have, pitstops no the way from A to B. And slowly, I build the story around them. I begin to figure out how we get there, which road the story is going to take, and little by little, the story comes together until I have an outline that looks a bit like this:

Chapter One: Opens in [setting]. Character A talks to Character B about [topic] They meet Character C. Ends with Character A realizing [topic]. 

And so on, until we get to the last chapter. In a way, this outline becomes a script, my go-to plan. 

Do I always stick to the script? No. But when I begin to write, I keep that list pulled up beside my new blank word document, and I read it from time to time. Sometimes, once I get writing, once I begin to know the characters a bit more, and once the story finds a voice of its own, I go off script, and the story takes me places I wouldn’t have expected. But I always make sure I refer back, make sure that one way or another, I come back to to road map. It’s okay to take a pitstop on the path, to go off on a tangent, but the plot map allows me to find my way back to what’s relevant, to what I know has to happen to get from A to B. 

For any writers out there who worry about making their stories big enough, who have trouble thinking of side plots, this is also a good way to map that out and see where your story has room to grow and what it can encapsulate. It lets you see just how big the story will become and if it belongs in novel format or if, perhaps, the idea is better suited for a short story. 

To all the writers out there: how do you plot? Are you a planner or a wing-it sort of writer, or is there some way to write in between? Feel free to comment her or message with your go-to tips!

anonymous asked:

Hey, I saw your tags on the ladywongs post, so I just wanted to know your opinion about the latest touka/mutsuki. honestly, I feel it unnecessarily complicated something so simple and it made me feel violated, cause I feel like I loved a character that was not touka. Do you perhaps...have an insight you wanna share?

Well, I was grateful for the shoutout that meta gave me and I’ve been a fan of a lot of metas that writer has produced, but this one in particular I very much disagreed with. I think the claim that Touka loves the idea of Kaneki while not really understanding the person ignores the fact that every time she’s made a serious observation about Kaneki she’s been bang on the money.

If she idolises Kaneki so, why has she made such a damning assessment about him? And it’s not just an assessment of the changed Shironeki that she resents, it extends to the Kuroneki she supposedly idolises as well. And what’s more, she’s completely right. This is even acknowledged by Kaneki himself.

Touka doesn’t idolise an image of Kaneki. Far from it. The chapter on the bridge is titled “Penetration” because Touka sees past the roles Kaneki plays to the scared kid inside. At this point, she probably has the best understanding of Kaneki than anyone in the series - maybe even more than Hide. For further proof, Touka knows at a FREAKING GLANCE just what Kaneki intends to do to himself when they meet up at Cochlea.

If this was just a casual “Seeya”, do you think it would be all Touka would say to him after all this time? She can tell Kaneki has no intention of making it out alive, so the first thing she does is to remind him that his death won’t affect him alone, and it very clearly shakes him up; setting him on the path to choose to live. Just like how their confrontation on the bridge convinced Kaneki to go back to Anteiku, if not quite in time.

Touka’s not being unreasonable because the Kaneki she idolised has changed. She’s mad because Kaneki’s going down a path of self-destruction, and it does destroy him. In the last quarter of the first manga the narrative breaks its back pointing out that Kaneki’s gone too far down the Shironeki path - it’s not just Touka, it’s also Yoshimura, Nishiki, even resident devil on Kaneki’s shoulder Shuu, not to mention events like Kaneki stabbing Banjou, seeing Rize crazed and helpless, and all the foreshadowing packed into ‘The Hanged Man’s McGuffin’. Touka is trying to help Kaneki because she genuinely does know what’s best for him because she genuinely understands him. I don’t think anyone would try to claim that convincing Kaneki to live at Cochlea was a bad thing either.

Now if Touka is ‘obsessed’ with Kaneki, if it can’t possibly be love because they only knew each other for two months, then it would stand to reason that Kaneki would be far, far more important to Touka than she would be for him.

Then why is it that in Kaneki’s mind, after only knowing Touka for two months and Hide for all his life, Touka is on equal footing with Hide? He includes the whole of Anteiku in the above panel, but Touka gets special mention with Hide in the next. 

And here, in his dying moments, Touka gets the biggest panel, placed on the next page for the biggest effect. Touka is just as important to Kaneki as vice-versa. 

But neither is ‘obsessed’ with the other.

Touka broke into Cochlea to save Hinami, not Kaneki. She didn’t even know he was there. She most definitely has a life outside Kaneki and her love for him is far from all-consuming. While he had lost his memories, she was fully willing to accept the possibility she might never talk to him again. She might love him, but if she was obsessed and didn’t have a life outside of him, there’s no way she could make a sacrifice like that even if her aim was selflessness. Yoshimura loved his daughter, and set up Anteiku anticipating her return, but he had a life outside of her too. It’s the same with Touka.

The original post tries to dismiss Touka’s feelings being a healthy form of love by comparing it to spending three years dedicating yourself to a co-worker who you knew for two months, but dumbing it down to their official relationship and a span of time removes an enormous amount of context to explain why she feels this way. In real life, you wouldn’t have fought side-by-side with your co-worker in life-threatening situations time and time again. These kind of high-pressure environments cause bonds and trust to become much much thicker much more quickly. “Summer friends will melt away like summer snows, but winter friends are friends forever”.

Sure Touka sees Arata in Kaneki. That’s not a bad thing at all. Arata was a great dude. Having an Arata in your life is a real positive thing, and there’s absolutely no reason why Touka shouldn’t chase it. People are hardwired to get with people who remind them of their parents - it’s in our genetic programming, it doesn’t diminish the love they feel for that person or make them love them less for who they are in the slightest. Trying to heal the wounds of old losses by emotionally investing yourself in new people is totally healthy - the unhealthy thing would be to shut yourself off from the world, just like Touka was doing at the start of the manga - a rut Kaneki helped her out of. It would be bad if she were just pretending that Kaneki was Arata, but she isn’t - she behaves totally differently around him and she has demonstrated many times an understanding of those personality traits Kaneki possesses that are completely different from Arata’s. It would be problematic if Kaneki got with someone who reminded him of his mother (read: Rize) because his mother was a horrible person; but Touka, even if she occasionally throws a hit at him (a product of her upbringing which is very rare nowadays - also Kaneki is nowhere near as vulnerable in this situation as he was a child, he’s the OEK for crying out loud), constantly gives Kaneki both the emotional attention and the hard truths that he needs.

This panel:

Is unambiguously a good thing. Touka’s development was never about growing into herself without the need for others, because she was already like that at the start of the manga. Touka’s development was about rediscovering the humanity she cast aside to protect herself from pain, and then balancing that with the strength she found with being a Ghoul. The first stage was greatly aided by Kaneki - whom she indeed admired, but never idolised - and the second stage she completed herself. 

Mutsuki’s love is a different beast entirely than Touka’s love. Mutsuki’s focus on Touka was precisely to emphasise Mutsuki’s jealousy, because Mutsuki recognises the bond Kaneki and Touka share. Mutsuki’s feelings are not meant to parallel Touka’s, but tie in with the other complicated entanglements of this arc, showcasing different kinds of love. I do strongly believe we’ll get both Touken and Akiramon resolutions soon, and positive ones too; the negativity around love this arc has displayed to us so far is set up to make those two relationships shine brighter.

So don’t worry anon, just because a meta says Touka is different from how you think about her doesn’t mean it’s right - it’s all a matter of interpretation. No one person’s opinion is automatically more important than another (except in this case maybe Sui Ishida - and maybe not even then, if you adhere to Death Of The Author literary theory), your analysis is just as valid as anyone else’s if you can argue it with evidence.

But even so, I am very much of the opinion in this fandom that if you see any meta that tries to claim that none of the main characters have developed at all since the start of the manga, take it with approximately this much salt:

Epic Movie (Re)Watch #124 - Zootopia

Spoilers below.

Have I seen it before: Yes

Did I like it then: Yes!

Do I remember it: Yes.

Did I see it in theaters: Yes.

Was it a movie I saw since August 22nd, 2009: Yes. #412.

Format: Blu-ray

1) From the very start this film is excellent storytelling. The opening scene where young Judy and her classmates clearly establishes the conflict of predator vs. prey and the biases that come from that, the film’s humor and heart, and Judy as a character.

2) My mother is an actuary. My brother is studying to be an actuary. Actuaries don’t do this.

Little Jaguar: “Today I can hunt for tax exemptions. I’m going to be an actuary!”

3) Judy’s parents (Don Lake & Bonnie Hunt) are so funny in such a sad way.

Stu: “Judy, you ever wonder how your mom and me got to be so darn happy?”

Judy: “Nope.”

Stu: “Well, we gave up on our dreams and we settled. Right, Bon?”

Bonnie: “Oh yes, that’s right Stu. We settled hard.”

4) Gideon Grey.

Originally posted by masha-russia

Gideon is a perfect example of how nothing - NOTHING - in this film is superfluous, but I’m actually going to speak on that further into the film.

5) The police academy scene gives wonderful exposition. It sets up the environment and rules of Zootopia’s various ecosystems in a way that feeds into Judy’s conflict and character.

6) Ginnifer Goodwin as Judy Hopps.

Originally posted by floppy999

Goodwin (a massive Disney fan herself) breathes perfect life into Hopps. The best voice over work is when you’re not distracted by the voice actor. When their voice and their heart match with the character so perfectly that you don’t hear - say - Kristen Bell as Anna or Mike Myers as Shrek, you only hear the character’s. Goodwin is able to balance Judy’s massive optimism and heart along with the scenes where Judy has lost those things perfectly. I don’t think anyone else could have voiced Hopps as well as Goodwin.

7) If you want to avoid a slew of bad animal puns, don’t look too hard at Judy’s iPod.

8) “Try Everything” by Shakira.

Originally posted by raddestboy

Written by Sia, Tor Erik Hermansen, and Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, the theme song which deserved an Oscar nomination captures Judy’s optimism and struggles perfectly. The song’s lyrics speak of optimism in the face of constant failure, a theme which is very relevant to Judy in the first half of the film. It also provides the perfect backdrop to the visual introduction of Zootopia as Judy enters the city on train.

9) Subtle.

Judy [after Clawhauser calls her “cute”]: “Ooh, ah, you probably didn’t know, but a bunny can call another bunny ‘cute’, but when other animals do it, that’s a little…”

Originally posted by wish-for-the-moon

10) This film really runs with the animal puns.

(GIF originally posted by @baawri)

Bogo [turning to an Elephant officer]: “Francine. Happy birthday!”

11) I love the way the filmmakers handled Judy’s office discrimination. She is treated just as a token bunny, someone who’s only there for PR. Except she was top of her class at Zootopia police academy: a difficult feat for anybody, let alone a bunny. But this just feeds into the biases Bogo already has about Judy: she’s not really that good, they just said she was because she’s a bunny. That plays into real life way more than it probably should.

12) Wow, I did not catch how entirely speciesist this line was until now:

Ice Cream Parlor Owner [to Nick]: “Look, you probably can’t read…”

Damn that’s speciesist.

13) Jason Bateman as Nick Wilde.

Originally posted by a-zootopia-fan

Remember how I said great voice over work is noted by not realizing you’re listening to a voice over artist? The same can be said of Bateman’s performance of Wilde, 100%. To start, Bateman captures Wilde’s surface level of sly con artists WONDERFULLY well. He’s devilish and charming in the same vein as Danny Ocean or Han Solo, and Bateman expresses this perfectly. But as the film progresses Bateman is also able to show off Nick’s layers. His troubled past, his occasional lack of self-worth and anger at the world. And the honest level never changes. It’s not like Bateman was hired ONLY for the slyness of Nick’s role and had to power through the rest, he’s able to do it all. It’s a great voice over for a great character.

14) The relationship between Nick & Judy is the cornerstone of this film. What I personally like about it is its honesty. There’s no BIG moment when these two meet, it’s a chance encounter which grows to conflict and then budding friendship so organically you don’t even know it’s happening.

Originally posted by surreal-teal

15) There is nothing even remotely superfluous in this film. Nick makes a comment about how he’s been running his popsicle con his whole life and that will come back to bite him in the butt later.

16) This pig is played by Josh Dallas, Ginnifer Goodwin’s onscreen partner in “Once Upon a Time” and real life husband.

17) The chase through Zootopia is an incredible amount of fun, especially when Judy and Duke get to Little Rodentia. The filmmakers are able to play with their concept in a visual entertaining and imaginative way, which in turn keeps us as the audience wrapped up in the world they’ve established.

Note: I’m going to take about Alan Tudyk as Duke later in the film, at a very specific moment.

18) Again, there is nothing superfluous in this film (a note I’m going to be making a lot):

Judy [after saving Mr. Big’s daughter]: “Love your hair.”

Mr. Big’s Daughter: “Aww, thank you!”

It is this little encounter (and, you know, the fact that Judy saved her life) that saves Judy & Nick from getting “iced” by Mr. Big later in the film.

19) Again, nothing superfluous in the film. As the “non-onions” that Duke stole end up being very important later on.

20) Disney is at its bets when it pokes fun at itself.

Bogo: “Life isn’t some cartoon musical where you sing a little musical and your insipid dreams MAGICALLY COME TRUE! So let it go.”

Originally posted by rinshi-chan

21) Can we all just take a moment to appreciate Nick’s face after Judy says she’ll arrest him for, “felony tax evasion,” after he brags to her about how he’s been running this con since he was a kid and how much money he makes?

(GIF originally posted by @animations-daily)

22) Again, with the idea that nothing in this film is superfluous: Judy’s recording pen becomes very important as the movie goes on.

23) Only Tommy Chong could play this character.

(GIF source unknown [if this is your GIF please let me know].)

Like there’s a chance he’s not even reading from a script, they just had Tommy Chong come in and told him what the movie was about and he just started talking.

24) This is the funniest part of the whole film, in my opinion.

Originally posted by officialmoviegoer

The entire DMV scene plays well not only with the concept established by the film of an animal society in a way which is funny on its own, but the continuing conflict of Judy’s eagerness, Flash’s slowness, and Nick’s desire to throw a monkey wrench into the whole thing leads to amazing comedy.

25) Did you know Kristen Bell is in this film?

Originally posted by musicallyfoxypokemon

Bell landed the role not only because of her working with Disney on Frozen, but also because she is a noteworthy sloth enthusiast (as seen on “Ellen”).

26) It is nice to see Nick freak out when he realizes he and Judy are in Mr. Big’s limo, as it shows us a part of him we haven’t gotten to look at much in the film so far.

27) Maurice LaMarche as Mr. Big.

(GIF originally posted by @rocktheholygrail)

LaMarche is a noted voice over actor known primarily for his roles as Brain on “Pinky & The Brain”, various characters including Calculon on “Futurama”, and Mr. Freeze in the Batman Arkham series of video games. Here, we get to hear the veteran voice over artist do his best high pitched Brando impression.

28) This film has its fair share of nice surprises, details and twists which keeps you on your toes. The earliest of these is the revelation that the missing mammal Judy & Nick are looking for - Mr. Otterton - was in fact the one who attacked the limo driver (and not that he was the one attacked, as originally perceived).

29) This scene gives me life.

Bogo [after Judy’s witness disappears]: Two days to find the otter, or you quit. That was the deal. [Holding out hand] Badge.

Judy: But sir, we…

Bogo: Badge!

[Judy starts to turn in her badge]

Nick: Uh… no.

Chief Bogo: What did you say, fox?

Nick Wilde: Sorry, what I said was… NO! She will not be giving you that badge.[Bogo flinches] Look, you gave her a… a… a clown vest and a three wheel joke mobile and two days to solve a case you guys haven’t cracked in two weeks? Yeah, no wonder she needed to get help from a fox. None of you guys were gonna help her, were you? [Bogo starts to speak but Nick cuts him off] Here’s the thing, chief. You gave her the 48 hours, so technically we still have… 10 left, to find our Mr. Otterton. And that’s exactly what we’re gonna do. So, if you’ll excuse us, we have a very big lead to follow and a case to crack. Good day.

30) And then there’s this…

I saw this film twice in theaters and both times I was tearing up during Nick’s backstory. Anyone who has ever been bullied as a kid for being different will relate at least a little bit to what Nick went through. And it is this scene when Nick is at his most honesty with Judy, when they become pretty good friends and form a trust with each other.

31) NOTHING IN THIS FILM IS SUPERFLUOUS!!!! NOT EVEN A BLINK OR YOU’LL MISS IT STICKY NOTE ON BELLWETHER’S DESK!!!!

32) I did not think a Disney movie would make me jump like this (stop at 2:11).

33) This is incredibly rare for me, as someone who sees more than 60 films in theaters a year, but after Nick & Judy found the missing mammals and had the mayor arrested I had absolutely NO idea where the film was going after that. At all. I love it!

34) Nick’s face when Judy links the savage animals to being a predator…

(GIF source unknown [if this is your GIF please let me know].)

35) I had a film student criticize this film not based on the merits of its story or character’s or anything, but because they didn’t understand the metaphor. He noted that it’s not a clean comparison between white people and minorities and that’s exactly the point. This film is not about the people in power vs the people who aren’t, because who’s in power? The mayor may be a lion but the most biased character in the film - Chief Bogo - is prey. Bias goes all around and it can infect anybody, no matter what you think. Even Judy, for all her merits, is biased. She carries around fox repellent all the time and even has this line:

Judy: “It’s not like a bunny can go savage.”

That’s what I love about this film. It’s universal. It’s not about one real life society, it is about all societies everywhere and how bias can infect them and taint them and it’s up to us to work against that.

36) Fun fact: I had no idea otters were predators before seeing this film.

37) Gideon Grey returns.

Originally posted by klaus-baudelarie

If only all childhood bullies were like that, but again it gets to my oft-repeated point that nothing in this film is superfluous. Gideon could have easily been the one note bully from Judy’s youth who gave her the motivation to prove him wrong, but he comes back 15 years later in the most perfect way. She sees that people can change and that people who are good now are not always good (Gideon when he was younger, Judy when she was biased). It is a really important moment for her that was established all the way in the first ten minutes of this movie. I love that.

38) Judy’s apology to Nick and the way he handles it is something I truly love about this movie and their friendship as a whole.

And then I really love the little joke at the end about Judy trying to get to the pen and can’t help but wonder: was that written in the script? Was it Jason Bateman’s improv that made it into the film? It’s just so natural I must know!

39) Okay, I think this is the last time I will give this note, BUT NOTHING IN THIS MOVIE IS SUPERFLUOUS!!! This is most apparent to me when Nick does a little thing like expressing how much he likes the berries on Judy’s farm and it becomes so important to the plot latter when they switched out those berries with the Night Howlers in Bellwether’s dart gun.

40) THE BOOTLEG MOVIES!!!!

(GIFs originally posted by @bridgetjones)

41) And it’s followed up by this!

Both characters are voiced by Alan Tudyk. Because Disney just can’t let that one slide, can they? I love it.

42) Same Duke. Same.

(GIFs originally posted by @baawri)

43) The sticky note on Bellwether’s phone earlier was for Doug, the guy who mixes the night howler drug that makes animals go savage (this is the same drug who’s key ingredient was mixed from the non-onions Duke stole earlier in the film, FOR Doug).

44) At one point Doug - who is dressed in a yellow radiation suit and makes drugs for a living - lets his client know that “Woolter and Jesse” have arrived.

Originally posted by knurd-dna-denots

And yes, they did that on purpose.

45) The entire subway chase sequence is really great, because it is based heavily on the idea of action = consequence. A ram is running at the door, he gets through and hits another ram. The train goes too fast into a turn, it tips over and Judy/Nick are up a creek. It all works very nicely

46) Honestly, I didn’t figure out Bellwether was the bad guy until just before it was revealed the first time I saw this.

Originally posted by lostchel

47) Bellwether’s line about, “Fear ALWAYS works!” to keep the people in check should not be as relevant in 2017 as it is.

48) Okay, one thing I need to know: Bellwether is in jail, Mayor Lionheart is in jail, and Chief Bogo is still the police chief…SO WHO’S MAYOR NOW!?!?!?

Originally posted by justalittletumblweed

49) I know this film was pretty much a buddy cop movie, but I would be totally fine with a buddy cop movie where Nick is actually a cop.

Originally posted by blueberrycarrots

Lethal Weapon where Nick is Mel Gibson and Judy is…Danny Glover? Okay, that comparison doesn’t really work, but you get me!

50) And of course…

Originally posted by livelovecaliforniadreams


I honestly think Zootopia may be a perfectly written film, and that is not something I say lightly. I made it clear above how I find nothing in the film superfluous, which is an incredible feat I think. And they did it in a way that was never boring, with entertaining characters, an intriguing mystery, and a fun world. Zootopia may be my favorite Disney animated feature film, and it’s definitely my favorite of the “Modern Era” we’re in now (The Princess and the Frog - Present). Just a great, great, great film which deserved its Best Animated Picture win at the Oscars. A true treat all around.

How to become a good student (again) 1: Slow down to speed up

Hello, fellow ex-good-student! 

If you’re anything like me, you feel this immense pressure on your shoulders, yes? You want to be good, you want to succed, you want to know more, but somehow -… somehow it just ain’t enough to actually get you to do something? Until the very last minute, that is, when all the pressure comes rushing down like a waterfall?

Ah, or perhaps that stress has driven you over the edge and you have achieved the next stage: being so stressed that you’re oddly calm again and nothing really fazes you anymore? Perhaps you have cynically accepted that this is just who you are now? Perhaps you say:

But somehow you fail to say it proudly. Somehow you’re just really unhappy with the state of things, but feel like you don’t give enough of a fuck to really change anything? 
Yes? Well, then this is the post for you!

Let me start with three observations that are less obvious than you might think: 

1) “Naturally” good students (NGS, so people, like you and me, who didn’t have to learn how to be good at school, but kinda slipped into it) are good thinkers. 

2) Good thinkers like to think.

3) Good thinkers are trouble-shooters. 

Got these three ideas lined up? Alright, let’s move on.

These two attitudes above, where do you think they come from? I’d argue it’s disillusionment. 

See, when I got to uni, I thought it would be like school - just WAY better. That would mean professors who fit their programmes around me, personally, who help my mind become sharper by letting it battle against just the right problems and getting taught how to really get to the bottom of life, to face the really Big Ideas, the Final Problems, the Why is the universe the way it is?s.
Instead, it turns out, uni is like summer holidays - just WAY worse. No one fits anything to you, personally, no one picks out just the right problems, no one connects subjects in just the way you’d like it. You’re thrown into a maelstrom of ideas and it’s up to you to do whatever the hell you’d like with them. You’re on your own, but not in the hero vs. bad guy-way, but it in the loner in a crowd-way. 

You quickly realize, uni is just a slightly filtered version of life in all its random glory and sadness. And I think that any student, anywhere, can have this epiphany at any given moment. You don’t need uni to suddenly look life in the eye and be overwhelmed by how sublime, how overwhelmingly huge it is and to realize: There’s no end goal (we know of). Just loads of open ends. An overwhelming amount of open ends, really. 

Now, what do I mean when I say that NGS (”naturally” good students) are trouble-shooters? I mean that we’re good at working well within systems. 
We like to be fed input, to take it apart, to analyze it and to see how you could perfect it even further. That’s why so many of us are drawn to video games or TV series or fictional worlds with their own reward system. We like to figure out patterns. That’s also why we were so good at school - school is a fairly easy system. 
Once you’ve seen through which lessons will be important for a test, once you notice how teachers stress certain things more than others, once you notice you really only need to pay attention in class and you’ll spare yourself so much trouble, once you notice that doing your homework actually does help, once you notice these few pillars of school, you’re set, man. 

I’d like to compare this to thinking on two different levels: a life-level (where you actually do stuff) and a meta-level (where you think about doing the stuff). My preferred analogy for this is a cube.

Ideally, you first figure out the shape of the cube (meta-level) and, once you’re comfortably settled into the system, you work within it (life-level). I’d say that most people operate this way, but NGS are …a little obsessed with this. The basic idea is that the system must first be perfect (or perfectly understood) before it is implemented, so it runs smoothly.  
This is what I mean when I say we’re trouble-shooters. We detect the trouble ahead of time and pew, pew, pew. And, as I said, this works with video games. And books. And school. And subjects. But life? Life looks a little more like this:

No one’s (yet) succeeded to fit life into this box. 
“But”, a little voice inside you says, “But I can try!” (and another, more smug voice, says “And who’s to say I’m not the one to succeed anyway?”)
And, well, I’ve got good news for you! You’ve already tried! That’s why you’re here. In limbo. 

You and I both, we’ve tried to figure out the perfect recipe for life. We tried to figure out when to best get up, when to best go to sleep, what the perfect conditions for studying are, what best to study in the first place, what artsy pursuits to keep doing to flex creativity, but to also focus on practical things and how to figure out the whole family and friends-thing and schedule it somewhere in between and maybe write a book or two. You’ve tried to create the box. I’ve tried to create the box. We both failed.
Let me show you a highly artistic representation of what your brain has looked like lately: 

Okay, fine, I’ll invest a bit more time:

There, that’s your mind. Pulling in every single direction. Is it really a surprise that you’re not going anywhere? Y’know this meme?

Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. Now, if you’re anything like me, you’ll have a whiny voice at the back of your head going “But picking fewer battles is defeat! I’m sure I’ll conquer it somehow!”
Well, then, let me mindslap you with the cold, hard truth: No. What you’re doing right now, that’s defeat. 

This?

This is DEFEAT. You’re not going anywhere and you’re disrespecting yourself, your mind and the subjects you’re interacting with by spending a fraction of a thought on them. You’re just using them as stepping stones. They deserve better. You deserve better. That’s why you fail to say it proudly. You know that, at some point, you looked at the big, huge mess that is life, realized “I won’t figure this out” and said “Well, I’ll stop trying, I guess.”

I’ll talk more about this in my “Yearn for friendship”-post, but for now, the main take-away is:

You won’t be done with figuring out life any time soon.

So, don’t think “I want to be done with this.”

Think “I want to be doing this.”

Step out of the meta-level into the life-level. It’s okay not to perfectly understand life right now. You’ll figure it out.Trust me, you’ll figure it out. But only by doing things.

Because, see, NGS may be trouble-shooters, but the trouble-shooting isn’t the fun part. It’s the first step to entering a magical world with which you can interact, be it maths, or Middle Earth, or a birthday party. 
We like to think. 
And you’ve been depriving yourself of the fun of thinking by thinking you have to do it in a perfect way. 

“But what if it’s not perfect?”
That’s okay. You’ll get better. And something imperfect that’s striving to be good is always better than nothing at all. Some things you figure out by doing. Life is one of those things. Imagine you’re in a dark street and you want to illuminate it. You can either miserably sit in darkness and try to figure out a way to turn on all lights at once, or you can start with one and let the sight of snowflakes or petals welling up underneath it give you strength for the next. Allow yourself little successes. Allow yourself to have fun with imperfect things. Make the first step. Let it give you strength for the next.”

“But what if I lose time?”

“Be patient. Life will literally last all your life. This is as much time as you’re ever gonna get. Allow yourself to take this time and to take it slow. Again: think not about getting it done, but about the joy of doing it. Time spent doing the thing you love is never lost time. Put the pressure of your shoulders. Trust me, if you take it slow, your brain will speed up because it has breathing room.
Let me repeat this:
If you take it slow
your brain will speed up.

So, allow your brain to think like this:

(or at least like this:

Be patient. I cannot stress this enough. Be. Patient.
Time is not your enemy that you have to outrace. Time is your partner, whom you have to trust. Time helps you to grow. Time helps you to understand. Time literally helps you to BE. 
For me, the phrase that really struck a chord with me somehow was
I will grow as my hair did”, because it a) shows how long it can take for tiny changes to become visible, and how b) they do become visible in the end.)

“But I don’t want to completely lose my grip on the meta-level! I don’t just want to blindly run into one direction!”

“I get you. So did I. So here’s what I did: I made a pact with myself. 
On the 25th of every month (because my birthday is on the 25th, but pick whichever day you like best), I ascend to the meta-level and critically assess my own situation. 
I exit the cube and check if I like what the cube looks like right now. 
No? Okay, time to introduce some big changes. 
Yes? Okay, carry on as before. 
I actually wrote down basic rules for what life in the cube looks like (when to do laundry, etc.), so I wouldn’t have to worry about it during the month and let me tell you, it works great. During the month, I just let my mind slice and dice away (I’ll talk more about the mind as a weapon in the next post) and once a month, I check if I like the results. For me, at least, it’s the perfect arrangement. 

So, be patient. And watch Hyouka - it’s about this very struggle and the MC slowly realizes that, sometimes, it’s worth to spend energy, mind-power and time on certain things. Some things… just take time. And that’s okay.

Grow as your hair does.

(Here’s the masterpost for all the posts in this series: x)

(Part 2)

Writing Series #6: Worldbuilding

When I went to speak with a group of high school writers (the event that prompted this “series”,  almost all of them asked me about “worldbuilding.” Wikipedia defines worldbuilding as “the process of constructing an imaginary world, sometimes associated with a whole fictional universe;” I define it as that thing I always forget to do. 

Worldbuilding is particularly important if you write fantasy because in a completely made up universe, everything is up to you: there are no pre-established rules. You event the landscape, the towns, the people, the hierarchies, the leadership. You are god. 

But for all of the realistic fiction writers out there, world building is a little different. It’s certainly less overwhelming, definitely takes less memorization, but it does have more rules. The question I always find myself asking is: do I base this story in a real town, or do I make it up?

What I’ve found to be the best solution is a mix of both: I choose a town I am familiar with, and I base my “fake town” off of it. This means I can add in a grocery store that doesn’t exist, a local pool that was never built, and, of course, if I want to talk about how terrible a place is, I don’t have to defame a real location. 

The advice “write what you know” is probably the most prominent in settings, which is why it’s so common to find all of an author’s books set in the same location (or coincidentally in all the different locations that author has lived in throughout their life). The way I see it, there are so many other things I need to keep track of (like character arcs, plots, actually writing) that I don’t have the patience to also research and learn new places, but for some writers, this is the best part, the chance to escape the place they know and go anywhere in the world via their writing. 

If you fall into this second category, here are a few rules of thumb:

  • Just because a place is “foreign” to you, does not mean it is to everyone, so please don’t treat your setting (especially if it’s in a different country) as “exotic” (as this can often come across as a fetishization of a race, people, culture, or land). It’s also, frankly, just less realistic. If your character lives in that place you desperately want to live in, they’re not going to see it every day with the wide eyes and fascination that you, the author, have. They’re going to complain that the drug store on the corner isn’t open and bitch about the weather. (This is different, of course, if your character is a newbie in this land and visiting, if they are seeing it for the first time; then the wonder and first impressions are valid to express.)
  • It might help to get a map. Finding a city website will also help (there you’ll find information about parks and rec, town history, libraries, public buildings, etc.). But being able to actually visualize the place will you allow to drop your character into that setting with a better idea of what will really be surrounding them. If you can visit the place even better! But what’s important is to get a street view one way or another, an idea of what it looks like to the left, right, forward, and back of where your character will be standing. Will they see hills on the horizon, just above the buildings’ tops? Is there a skyline? Is the air cool or muggy? What amenities does the town have? What is the wild life like? (Don’t write a squirrel into the scene, for example if there aren’t any in that climate.) 
  • Don’t let the setting hold you back. If there is no city on Earth that has everything in it that you need for your story to take place, it’s okay to make a place up. Just make sure that place has its own set of rules that make sense and add up logically (don’t say it’s a town of 300 people and then give it a strip mall, for example–that sort of thing would never be built for that population).
  • Keep track of your location! Whether your setting is real or made up (in which case you should keep a folder of your notes and maybe a hand drawn map), you should have something (a map, a list of places, a picture, etc.) to refer back to while writing. In order to keep the surroundings consistent, I find myself constantly scrolling up to an earlier moment in the story; I can never remember if I made the local park have a purple slide or blue. It sounds silly, but it’s all in the details, and the more accessible you can make this information, the easier a time you’ll have later (and the less time you’ll spend editing).

To all the writers out there: how do you figure out your setting and what are you tips for keeping things consistent and realistic throughout a larger work?

Feel free to add to this post or submit your own advice to share with your fellow writers at ancwritingresources.tumblr.com

Cursed Child Scorbus Rec List

This really has become more of an index than a rec list, with categories of: 

Full length chaptered stories, Series, arcs, collections and short chaptered stories, Atmospheric, poetic, ficlets and drabbles, Pre-slash, Fluff, Established relationships, Flangst, Dark Angst, Humor, Holidays, Coming Out, Smut, Fix-Its/Re-Writes, and AUs

Last time I counted there were over 200 fics on here!

Basically my requirements for this list are:
Is it Cursed Child compliant, in the CC universe or do the characterizations feel close enough to CC?
No disturbing side-pairings or themes (i.e. no dub-con, abuse, drug use, infidelity or major character death. Exceptions will have warnings.)
Is it decently written, easy enough to understand and not cringe-worthy?
Did it make me smile or feel things?
Have I actually read it?

There are many stories, especially multi-chapters and WIPs, that I haven’t gotten around to yet, so this list is mostly made up of one-shots. It is my New Year’s resolution to read longer works. Feel free to add your recommendations in your reblog! Happy Holidays you wonderful little fandom! 

Note: I have categorized these fairly loosely. Some fics may fit into more than one category, but I don’t list them twice unless they are individual parts of an arc. The first section is uncategorized. They are a few of my faves, though I definitely have favorites in other categories like atmospheric and fluff, however these ones seemed slightly more complex and are a bit longer. So consider this category…


A Good Place to Start

*Best Mates- picascribit

“You deserve to be with someone who really likes you. Who thinks you’re brilliant.“

Scorpius grinned. “I’ve got you for that.”

One of the first Albus/Scorpius stories I read after CC, and still one of my favorites. This is Part 1 of Pica’s Scorbus Arc, but it is perfect as a stand-alone. The stories do get more mature.

*The First Date- rainystreetlights

“Still under the impression that you should have been the first to get a girlfriend eh? What can I say… Ladies love me.”

“Ladies tolerate you.”

‘One-Shot set in Albus and Scorpius’ sixth year at Hogwarts. When Rose doesn’t show up, Albus and Scorpius end up going on an accidental first date. Pure Scorpius and Albus fluff. Awkward conversations and a lot of strange situations’.

I love this so much. This author has seen the play and it shows. Her characterizations and dialogue are so spot on. So awkward, adorable and heartfelt!

*The Ball- torestoreamends

‘A ball is being held at Hogwarts to celebrate the end of fifth and seventh year exams. Scorpius has agreed to go with Rose, and Albus shouldn’t be as upset about that as he is. Dancing, fancy robes, obliviousness, and a small sprinkling of brotherly advice ensue.’

This is so gorgeous. Just her description of the robes slayed me. Read everything by torestoreamends!

*Seasons- starlightpeddlar

‘From the moment Scorpius and Albus get on the Hogwarts Express for their fifth year, things start to change. Albus starts to gain confidence both in the classroom and out of it, and Scorpius’ realization that he has greater feelings for his best friend threatens to leave him more alone than he’d ever imagined’.

Wonderful four chapter prequel to ‘Quietly’. Quietly is quite long and intense, but this is a nice getting together story, though it is still quite meaty and introduces important themes for the series.

*Put Your Guns Away Its Tea Time- frombluetored

‘Ginny Potter estimates it will only take three days into the Weasley-Potter family holiday for Albus to act on his feelings for his best friend. Albus estimates it will only take three days for him to die of embarrassment. And Scorpius, well. Scorpius is just glad to be there with Albus in the first place.’

I love this so much! The characters are so spot on and we get to see other Next Gen kids as well as all the grown up characters we love. Come for the Scorbus, stay for Ginny and the whole Weasley clan.

Keep reading

SnK 90 Thoughts

Have you ever had this perfect story idea in mind, then realized that in order to get to it, you have to write basically an entirely separate book to set it up?

Have you ever decided that you really don’t feel like doing that?

Usually, that is when the words stop and the project goes into a desk drawer. Mostly a figurative one these days.

But–bear with me here–what if

You just skipped all the boring parts.

Keep reading

Left Behind

Originally posted by multi-fandom-imagines13


Summary: Request-  May I request? It’s quite angsty and the scenario is where the reader, Winter Soldier and Captain America are in a life threatening situation, in which only two of them can make it out alive so the reader devises a plan - Prompt line: “You have to trust me on this one” that requires her to stay behind and get killed. The other two don’t realize what the reader has done till it’s too late.

Warnings/Themes: Angst, Panic, Implication of character death, cussing

Author’s Note: I’m not lying when I say that I wrote this at 2am in the morning. This has not been checked for errors, so woops. Enjoy some angst and bad fluency!

Word Count: 2,270 words

Y/N = Your Name

”Making my way to the front of the compromised helicarrier. (Y/N), Buck, do you guys copy?”

“Got it Cap. How many are you seeing, Bucky?”

“Three by the looks of it.”

You were looking for a bomb, the reason unknown to you. The problem was- it was designed so compactly that it would’ve been the size of a fucking lipstick tube and no one would know.

Keep reading

Chuck and Amara - the ultimate Destiel expositions

Ok so I can’t help but think of Austin Powers and Basil Exposition while writing this whole post cos thats where I learned the term as a 10 year old….

Originally posted by austinpowersquotes

Anyway! 

After writing quite a few pieces on Mary as a catalyst for the emotional growth of Sam and Dean I thought about Amara which in turn made me think about Chuck and then came an absolute lightbulb moment (for me). Chuck has already been shown as the narrator and expositional over-voice in Swan Song and alongside this and how I view nearly all Amara’s dialogue in season 11 my brain went to….

Chuck has always been important to Cas’s story obviously and it’s clear that Mary is important to Dean (and Sam’s) story. Going back I’ve noticed so many exposition moments for the bond between Dean and Cas and I realised when noting them down that Chuck often exposes Cas’s side of the story and Amara Dean’s. By exposition moments I mean something that’s not between the two of them but a parallel or an interaction with a different character that exposes their feelings towards the other. This is key on screen because you can’t know what’s going on inside a character’s mind like you can in a book, this has to come another way so you get expositions or self-aware moments like Dean’s praying/longing scene or interactions with other characters like Metatron’s multiple scenes with Cas.

With hindsight I feel like Chuck is a character exposition of Cas’s feelings for Dean and Amara a character exposition of Dean’s feelings for Cas. 

Below the cut : How I believe Chuck & Amara reveal Destiel exists in S11.

Keep reading

Okay, I have a ton of one-sentence prompts to fill, a gazillion prompt requests and two of these prompts lurking half-finished in my documents folder but YET the Bughead pic for tomorrow’s episode got releashed and Betty’s wandering hand got my mind in dark imaginative places. I thought I was the only thirsty one but I guess there are a lot of us out there so you asked and I happily deliver. This is SIN, this is something I don’t know where it came from. Nevertheless, I hope you all enjoy! <3</b>


“Well, never thought I would be stood up by Jughead Jones but I guess there’s a first time for everything.” Veronica mused around the stripped straw of her milkshake, lopsided smirk intact and chocolate eyes shining in teasing, feeling Archie’s chest vibrate from light laughter besides her, the back of her arm brushing casually his pec.

Betty rolled her pretty eyes from across them, the happy grin that she was sporting all day turning even more delighted. “He’s on his way.” She let them now, abandoning her phone in the space next to her on the leather seat, its screen still illuminated by the private chat with Juggie <3 on top, the kissy emojis she had sent him last depicting her playful and bubbly mood. “They had a lot to talk with his dad now that everything’s over.” She sighed in content, still trying to settle down after the emotional roller-coaster of the previous days, the two other teens on the table nodding in understanding before all three of them engaged themselves in an easy-going chat about tonight’s successful jubilee.

As per queue, the characteristic chime that indicated the arrival of new customers echoed in the small diner and Betty whiped her head around, golden locks dancing graciously around her beautiful face, only for her perpetual grin to turn into a full, dashing smile, along with rosy cheeks and all, at the sight of her boyfriend, smiling charmingly back at her and making his way to their now personal booth in his typical lazy strides.

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SnK Chapter 93 Poll Results

The chapter 93 poll closed with 1,143 entries. Can I start with a wow? With so many responses, this is going to be a long one.

RATE THE CHAPTER
(1024 responses)

The Marley Files continue to grow on us. 77% of respondents rated Chapter 93 very highly.

Best chapter I’ve ever reviewed in a while. I hope next month will deliver heavy stuff.

My Jaeger reunion hype was amplified by 3000 eggplants after this chapter

Loved the diversity in the new characters. Riener is so torn mentally & emotionally. I believe few more pages on the warrior are still needed before getting back to Paradise. I sense a glimpse of hope in escaping a doomed end. somebody will live & achieve freedom. who? hard to tell.

Everybody has different opinions about the plot, but I do not think anyone can argue about the art. Love this manga. Want to see Levi again!

I never imagined I could love these characters even more. Now I do. Bravo Isayama-sensei, I never felt so hyped for this chapter for the longest time!

Stop trying to make these new kids happen, Isayama. It’s not going to happen.

My interest in the manga is reaching an all time low with this focus on Marley. And it looks like we’ll still be there next month. I’m so done.

I haven’t minded these recent chapters, but I haven’t felt like I enjoyed them since its a virtually unknown cast. I did however enjoy chapter 93!

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“Alien: Covenant”

-I fucking loved this film, utterly and wholly because Ridley Scott let his freak flag fly

-this film is mythological in stature; combining Greek gods, Mary Shelley, Old Testament, haunted houses, the cosmos; goddamn delightful

-as the first shot implies, the android David is our protagonist

-in fact this film starkly makes me realize that he is kinda the whole key to the “Prometheus” saga (which makes it separate from “Alien” saga)
+everyone else plays second fiddle /he is an id for Ridley

-this might be Fassbender’s greatest performance yet; he is given great leeway and pedestals for the character and hits all of them on the bullseye

-I think the little opening mini movie is marvelous; deftly setting up the idea of mortality and creation

-nice to Guy Pierce play Weyland young, allowing him to put his distinctive gravitas stamp on the character

-the shot of David at the piano is a scrumptious shot that exists inside the film and by itself

-the scope of the space station with the yellow sail, immediately tips us off this will be a grand adventure, far away from the tight corridors of “Alien” and very much its own thing, in the 50’s sci fi mold
+I love it

-didn’t expect a person to burn to death in their cryo sleep chamber. A sharp note to unsettle our nerves

-Fassbender plays a second, pretty much identical looking android named Walter, and his very small adjustments become pronounced the more we see him interact, creating a separate identity

-he is much more docile and very tender to the grieving Daniels (the wife of the burned man)

-Daniels is played by Katherine Waterson, who has a moppet look but fierce convictions

-I find her scene mourning his loss and their shattered co life together very moving and well done
+interesting to note a woman getting over a man’s death when often in films it’s very much the opposite

-what is up with both films in “Prometheus” saga making the pilot the most amusing character, and a name actor playing them? Ideas Elba before, Danny McBride killing it here

-I laughed out loud when the Daniel’s ex is revealed to be James Franco; face timing while rock climbing without a safety rope is exactly what his reputation would infer he would do

-I find the use of McBride humming along to the transmission to the tune of John Denver very amusing
+again echoing Elba playing Stephen Stills’ “love the one you’re with” (and I suppose the disco in Scott’s “The Martian”). 70’s music in the 22nd century. Interesting motif

-I like how the film establishes billy crudup’s character as a total chickenshit, unable to handle the responsibility of leading the crew
+interesting detail where it talks about him being super religious, referring to his fellow colonists as “my flock”, leaving him thought to be unsuitable to delegate and survive under pressure

-crudup of course ignores waterson’s perfectly good advice and reservations, which makes me wonder if the morale of the Universe is “He should have listened to her; the story of the cosmos”

-it is very strange to see so such forest and green land in this series

-I particularly like the line “do you hear that? Nothing. Absolutely nothing”

-the chemical warfare of “Prometheus” is very pronounced as the black substance makes its way into the victims ears noses; again, this directly clashes with the Ripley saga but it’s doing its own thing here and and is pretty consistent

-nice little moment as Walter tries to comfort Daniels’ reservations by simply stating “it would make a lovely spot for a cabin” then walks away; contrast to Crudup’s character overselling how great he finds it, and continues to rattle off how over worried he found Daniels, this smothering her and make her apprehensive
+brevity is the soul of wit is set up here

-good god, there is a ton of blood here, a smattering of it

-I find the scene where the first infected strobes out and spurts blood out his back to be effectively creepy

-I’m considering the creature in this film (“neomorph”) a in between. Not as well designed as the giger perfection, but a huge step up from the black sea liquor from “Prometheus”. It is startling and very well directed

-a masterful little shot as a dead colonist is shown partially in frame, his wedding ring clearly in shot, another man cupping his head, and whispering to his mouth “I love you”; succinctly setting up their same sex love and marriage

-the neomorph is definitely far more animalistic in this film. It’s given unhuman like movements, that suggest more primal instincts

-I cannot do justice to the goosebumps I felt as the party was lead by its stranger savior and we see the charred bodies and landscapes

-the stranger savior is at this point revealed to be David (with iggy pop type hair at first) who then hijacks back the film, rightfully so

-immensely hilarious moment as David shoulder knocks Walter, and adds “Hello there, brother”

-David is giving me Dr. Pretorius (“Bride of Frankenstein”)/Dr. Moreau (“Island of Dr. Moreau”) vibes
+ie creators who bent the structure of biology and didn’t care who got destroyed in the way

-there is a long, long scene where Walter and David take turns playing the flute that is frankly worthy of an entire essay in itself

-firstly, it’s a big fuck you to anyone who was dismayed by the flute segment in “Prometheus”
+there it was five seconds, here it’s like 10 minutes and two identical people are doing it at the same time

-secondly, they are playing the fucking theme to “Prometheus” on said flute
+those is self-reference in the scale of Mel Brooks (and makes me think Ridley was grinning during the Sean bean-“lord of the rings” scene in “The Martian”

-the line to Watler from David “just blow, I will take care of the fingering”

-it is revealed that David unnerved people by being so human like in temperament that future versions like Walter were “streamlined”/neutered, so that Walter can play but not compose
+there’s going to be a whole genetic modification bit coming up, but now I realize how eugenics/forced sterilization this sounds

-the contrasting glee in David’s voice and unease in Walter’s eyes as David relates how he was around their creator when he died, and David notes “he was stupid and weak, like all humans”

-the whole scene the camera is robotically swerving around clearly adding to the tension the audience feels in witnessing this unorthodox meeting

-needless to say, the film takes a monumental leap and variance in tone hereafter

-David mentions that Shaw (From “Prometheus”, last seeing going with David as a decapicated head) died, but she was “so kind to me” and David loved her
-“much the same way Walter looks at you” (Daniels disagrees) “oh, does he call it ‘duty’? I know the difference”

-Ridley is really digging into the horror elements of the film as the neomorph comes up the wall and severs a woman’s head, leaving it floating in a full sink
+the neomorph is eating her shoulder, shoring carnivore habits for the time in this universe

-one of the strangest moments (and there will be plenty coming up) where David and the tall albino neomorph are communicating via breathing

-the most emotion David has is when crudup kills it and David screams “how could you?!? He trusted me!”

-crudup has a equally odd non sequitur where he threatens David to “tell me what is going on, or I will destroy your perfectly calm composure”

-this film is bizarre and exploitive in the extreme

-for those that are keeping track, the importance hierarchy is as follows
David
neomorphs/xenomorphs
humans
+we are fucked

- my favorite sequence in the entire film as we see (via David’s memories?) that he dropped the entire payload of black goo/chemical weapons upon an unsuspecting engineer population (who look totally different from ones we saw in “Prometheus” in facial structures and eyes) and they die as the goo descends upon them like locusts.
+it seriously looks straight out of Exodus as God wrecked his vengeance upon Pharioh

-so yes, that was the charred bodies we saw before

-we see the lair of David as it is littered with graphs, illustrations, designs of his work in the goo into the neomorph and beyond
+ his response, dripping with sarcasm: “idle hands are the devil’s anything”

-we are officially one step closer to classic “Alien” universe as the first facehugger is introduced (to kill crudup)

-Daniels is trying to reach Tennessee (Danny McBride) as still others are getting slaughtered, the neomorphs are clearly the hounds to David’s Satan

-line of the film as crudup wakes up to see David, asks him what his religion is, and he responds “Creation”

-a early beta of the xenomorph is here (still not quite Giger 100), as he splits from Crudup’s chest after the question, and he dances, mimicking the moments of David
+David looks like a puppet master pulling the strings

-more facehugger madness as others go after the remaining human sheep

-much like “Prometheus” this multi million dollar film has a strikingly low opinion of humanity
+ at this point, two films in, the expendable nature of the vast majority of people therein is a feature, not a bug

-positively bizarre sequence as David tempts Walter to his side, kissing him(self) on the lips, before ripping out his neck battery, depowering him

-I neglected to mention just before that my second favorite line of the film, after Walter cited a line then asks who did it, David answers Byron but Walter correctly notes
“No, Shelley. If one section of the orchestra is off, it changes the entire symphony doesn’t it?”

-David has officially gone too far

-David coos “no one knows what it is like to dream and be perfect like myself”

-remember early when I said the importance scales? Well, since Ridley seems to see David as a propionate of creation, therefore a creator it would perhaps follow as such
Artists
Art
People

-possibly subliminal moment where David corners Daniels and she’s asks what really happened to Shaw, and David says “this” then forces a kiss upon Daniels
+so did this robot, who was too human for other humans, teach the neomorph to rape?

-Walter is back (they made a few safety measures since David) and this we get to see someone hitting his own face repeatedly
+it is fucking weird to see this brawling action in a Ridley Scott film

-Tennessee is here to save the day, but now the brute pronto xenomorph is here, and this murder is getting more grisly by the second

-David asks Walter to decide whether to reign in hell or serve in heaven as he reaches for a knife

-the sequence where Daniels is held by a straight line as she keeps falling over the side of the ship, swings and shoots at the proto xeno is jaw dropping

-is Tennessee the giant claw dropper of doom as he uses an arm to crush the proto xeno? Seems like it

-you better believe I was eagle eyes to see if it was Walter or David helping Daniels

-aboard the main ship there is a unidentified life form aboard, but where are the co pilots?

-in a scene straight out of the sleaziest slasher from the 80’s (like prime “Friday the 13th”) the co pilots are having shower sex (to some r&b music) when the xenomorph puts his phallic tail between their genitals
+then impale tongue’s the guy’s head. Sexploitation!

-every close up on Fassbender’s face is a mini master class in suspense

-I fucking cannot believe they brought back the xenomorph point of view, the first time since “Alien 3”

-this second proto xeno is slobbering like the cerberus he is

-my heart is pounding like a jackhammer the entire time Daniels is staying barely ahead of the creature

-“care to lend a lady a hand?” might be the mantra of this depraved series

-the subtle continuity of the cabin comes up as her face screams in terror as she realizes David is here, and there are no cabins in hell

-one final twist of the screw as David coughs up some proto xeno eggs and looks upon the vast laboratory of human frogs to dissect

-this film took everything I loved about “Prometheus” and kicked it up ten notches, while adding many many more layers of cosmic craziness. Oh, and blood.
+ I am fully confident the “Prometheus” saga will gain a cult following and be seen as one man’s tremendous exploitation of his own creation(like David?) and a particular, articulate and demented journey into space hell.

-I myself feel the flames get higher and higher, and wonder if I will be making repeat journeys to this particular corner again. I feel it to be so.

anonymous asked:

I read several days of this blog and did basic research, but I still don't understand what's going on that led to #Norbury. Why are the Pike fics significant if they're not officially connected? I know ARG, but what does PTB stand for? Why do we have sufficient reason to bring Takei into this? I see the arguments about why /not/, but I don't see anything why /for/. Everyone's acting like these are things everyone already should know, but I can't find simple explanations?

Ok anon, strap in:

  • I believe the Pike fics are officially connected. Though it takes some extrapolation to get there (which I’ll explain in a moment), the content of the fics themselves are such that there would be no purpose or motive in writing them UNLESS you had the knowledge and opinions of a showrunner looking at fandom from the outside in. Read The Players for yourself.
  • “TPTB” means “The powers that be,” referring to the nebulous group of people in charge of Sherlock (in this case) who call the shots.
  • Dale Pike’s legitimacy comes from the assumption that the twitter elements of the ARG are real (imo, likely controlled by Joe Lidster). There’s a large network of these, I haven’t been super tuned in, but essentially, consider them NPCs that exist to wave flags and give us sidequests.
  • Our attention to Dale Pike came from parody twitters for two once-prominent members of the Sherlock fandom. These led to Dale Pike’s twitter, which, in turn, led us to their AO3. The AO3 contains a fic series called “Spoiling Sherlock in Real Time,” and has written and published several fics with info about s4 episodes prior to the episodes airing. Identifying Eurus as an imposter, that Sherlock would not be saying “I love you” to John, and…… jesus christ, just trust me on this? They predicted things they couldn’t possibly have known. Although it is possible for ao3 fics to be backdated, we know from the twitter and tumblr bots that update when new johnlock fic is posted that they were published when Dale claims.
  • These fics intricately express tjlc #moods, often featuring female audience inserts who bemoan about the existence of “The Good Story.” In several cases these inserts can be identified as specific Sherlock fans. Ashleigh @kinklock​, for example, is clearly The Girl from the Bus. (Yes, in the show too! That is why she LITERALLY LOOKS LIKE HER FUCKING CLONE.)
  • On the 29th, when most hope for a special was spiraling, Dale posted a plea that we tweet #norbury, complaining again about ALL. THIS. SHIT. Unfortunately, however, Moffat read his audience incorrectly, as they blew up the theater, and the audience fell into chaos. (READ THE FUCKING PLAYERS.)
  • I believe #norbury is the correct course of action because the emotional climax/resolution, post-bomb blast, is Steven (YES, STEVEN IS NAMED IN THE FIC) begging a lone remaining believer to PLEASE pull him out of the mirror well and to “TELL THE WORLD WHO I REALLY AM!!!!!” Capslock all Dale’s.
  • While I’m also willing to believe the bomb in the theater is about exposing canon johnlock (vs. blowing up the show with TFP), I feel like there’s no other real way to expose canon johnlock than complaining about how canon johnlock didn’t happen, AND with the who you really are thing, like, how else can we throw him the rope? What else is there.
  • Also in The Players, John and S are searching for the bomb, which they INSIST must be on the main stage. It must be (it turns out to be strapped to S(herlock) and John themselves–who, imo, might mean Moffat and TJLC), but as they’re searching John discovers two things: That it’s S who brought this dangerous bomb into the theater, and actually, oops, he doesn’t know how to solve the problem.
  • (This is debatable, because S and John have this whole conversation about whether or not this is a trick and he knows how to land planes, but this post is long enough as it is lmao.)

About twitter:

As far as I’m concerned, what’s really important is attempting to get #norbury trending at 7pm London Time/2pm EST/11am Pacific on March 4th and 5th. Whatever methods we want to use to try and get this to happen are up to the people that decide to play.

***WHY NOT TRY TWEETING TOMORROW, MARCH 1ST AS WELL?

George Takei comes from the fact that one of the NPC ARG twitters, I believe @contactWSSH, contacted one of the people organizing #norbury from the get go (I’m sorry idk who you are! pls message me if you want me to edit this and credit you!!!) and suggested that 1) If we can get someone with 50k+ followers to retweet our message, we will be trending within minutes, and that, 2) Why not try good ol’ George, elder of the gay tv community.

I personally feel that there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS COURSE OF ACTION. Whether or not you believe contactWSSH to be legit, the advice about retweets is, and there’s nothing wrong with @’ing a celebrity on twitter. This is actually laughable and perplexing to me. I’m not wild about the concept myself, but one of the basic appeals of twitter is the ability to talk to verified celebrities. People are asking George to retweet shit all the time. This man almost certainly has interns fielding this shit. The worst case scenario I can possibly imagine is George seeing the tweets and going “huh.” If you’re down to believe that WSSH is Joe Lidster/TPTB/what have you, then you can further conclude that maybe George (or George’s PR team) has been NOTIFIED about this and is READY AND WILLING to help us try to make sure this happens.

Because in The Players, in its opening lines, the narration acknowledges that things aren’t going as planned. There are far fewer people milling around backstage than expected. Maybe, just maybe, imo, George Takei is a failsafe.

Hope that covered all the bases. 💜!

Fic: Heartlines Chapter 12

New chapter of my modern AU series. Slightly different as I’ve taken it out of Jamie’s POV (thought its still third person so hopefully its not too jarring)

The rest can be found here 

As always I would love feedback and I’m happy to incorporate prompts into future chapters.


The Home of the Heart

Originally posted by thecartierrug



The rest of the weekend was blissfully uneventful. Jamie showed Claire every inch of the estate of which he was so rightfully proud. They strolled through valleys, stole kisses behind trees and out buildings and every night he laid her down on the laird’s bed and loved her.

All things must come to an end though and Jamie spent the last day catching up with Lallybroch business before they returned to Glasgow, reality, and in Claire’s case a week of double shifts. Claire opted against her original plan of shopping in Inverness, instead choosing to spend the day with Jenny and the children. Already there seemed to be a budding friendship between Claire and Jenny, which heartened Jamie no end. They were very different women, of that there could be no doubt, but at their core both had a strength and determination of purpose which drew them together.

They spent the morning entertaining Jenny’s children, a trip to the estates soft play barn (“You have no idea how handy this is on wet days” Jenny had told her conspiratorially. “Even if it made no money I’d still think it was worth building”, followed by a walk up the meadows to check on Jenny’s pride and joy, her herd of imported Merino sheep.

After lunch the children were dispatched to the kitchen to do some baking with Mrs Crook, the estate’s housekeeper and the Murray’s nanny, JoJo.  Once safely distracted making fairy cakes and flapjack, Claire and Jenny had escaped to the tea rooms so that Claire might have the opportunity to sample Lallybroch’s famous afternoon tea.

As always the tea room was bustling, the cream tea, often booked out several weeks ahead, was the talk of the Highlands. Claire and Jenny seated themselves at a small table near the back and surveyed the room.

“Wow”, said Claire. “Jamie told me the afternoon tea was popular but I had no idea”

“Aye” replied Jenny. “We have a good reputation for it. Everything is baked fresh, here at the farm, the jam made here, the cream comes from our own sheep. I’ve worked verra hard to put this place on the map” There was no denying the pride in her voice or the way her shoulders straightened slightly as she talked.  They chatted amiably, schools, the dreadful Glasgow traffic, films they had seen. Jenny told some entertaining stories about her university life in Edinburgh, whilst Claire  shared her own stories, omitting all but the most vague mentions of Frank. As the talked she became aware of one of the women working in the tea rooms. Probably in her late twenties, she had shoulder length blonde hair, deep blue eyes and a delicate complexion. She was also looking at Claire with unconcealed venom.

“Um, Jenny?” she asked “Who is that and why is she staring at me like I broke into her house and stole her puppy?”

Jenny looked up to see who Claire was talking about and let out a laugh. “Ah that would be Laoghaire”. Claire raised an eyebrow encouraging Jenny to elaborate on what she saw as a wholly unsatisfactory explanation. “She has a bit of an unrequited crush on Jamie, ye ken. Has for years. Jamie has never encouraged her even a wee bit, but that hasna really discouraged her much. Ye’ll notice Jamie avoids the tea rooms unless he really has to come here. That’s why.”

“Oh.” Was Claire’s response, unable at that moment to come up with anything more.

Jenny continued. “Laoghaire is a verra distant cousin on our mother’s side so we’ve always known her a small bit, though she’s a lot younger than us so we were never that close.She moved over this way about 10 years ago, got married to Simon McKimmie and lived at Balriggan. She’s two lassies, the eldest is the same age as Maggie and the younger one the same age as Wee Janet and Michael. We got to know each other quite well again doing the school run and what have ye. Anyway, when wee Joanie, the youngest, was hardly more than a baby, Simon was killed. He was trying to break up a bar fight in Inverness and got glassed. Bled out before the ambulance could arrive. It was very sad. Laoghaire was no much more than 21 at the time and Simon was a good man. Loved her and those girls. The whole thing was very sad. Everyone rallied round to try and help them, we’re a close knit community bein’ so far away from civilisation, “She chucked at this before continuing. “Our bit was giving her a job here in the tea rooms. The hours suit the girls school and it no bother in the school holidays to have them around the estate. And she’s verra good at it it too. When she’s no glaring over the milk steamer at you or simpering at my brother, she’s got the right personality and temperament for it. “

Claire nodded and glanced at the girl, who was glaring again. She smiled at her, very much moved by the tragic story she’d just heard. Laoghaire flared her nostrils and flounced away. Jenny laughed. “Dinna fash, Claire. Yon lassie has no chance. She never had much in the first place, but now you’re in the picture those have gone down to less than zero.”

Claire tipped her head to the side in acknowledgement, but said nothing. She wasn’t the jealous type, nor was she insecure but after the drama with Geneva she wasn’t keen to once again find herself between Jamie and the amorous attentions of another.

“Do you love him, Claire?” The question was asked outright, startling Claire out of her revery slightly.

“Wah, what? Why do you ask?” The question had been unexpected and put Claire on the defensive slightly.

“I ken he’s in love with you, Claire. I’ve never seen him the way he is with you. Never, and Jamie and I are close. I know him. And I know that he is completely and madly in love wi’ you Claire. I also ken its probably not my business and I shouldna ask, and don’t get me wrong I’d never interfere in his relationships. I never liked Geneva, but she was his choice so I never said a word. But I also never saw him like this. I’m so happy for him, but I’m also scared for him.” She looked at Claire intently.Claire returned the look. She took a deep breath.

“Yes. Yes, I love him.” she said quietly but with certainty. “I’m not a flighty young girl who gets carried away in the moment. I’m a grown woman, a surgeon, I have a career and a life outside of Jamie. I’m not with Jamie because I’m afraid to be alone, or I need a man to complete me or even because I’ve been swept off my feet. I’m with him because I love him. I want him. I want him in my life. I want to share what I have with him. I want him to share his life with me.” She gazed steadily at Jenny. Jenny nodded in a business like manner. “I just needed to check ye ken” A small smile played on her lips and was mirrored on Claire’s. “Yes,” she replied “I ken.”

They both laughed. “Well then,” said Janet, “how about you let my brother drive that funny coloured car of yours back to Glasgow and we’ll have a bottle of Moet to go with our scones”

And so it was that Jamie loaded a slightly drunk Claire into the car for the drive back. Jenny had embraced them both with enthusiasm, whispering none too discreetly to Jamie how happy she was for him and how he shouldn’t “fuck it up, for fuck’s sake”

Claire dozed as the drove through the fading light, the rain starting to come down steadily. Jamie kept his eyes on the road but he could sense her there and just the knowledge of that made him smile. The trip had been a success. Of that he was sure. After Claire’s initial doubts she had taken to Lallybroch as if she had always belonged there. And he was sure that she did. He could feel the shape of the box in his jacket pocket, the true purpose of his afternoon’s endeavours. He jumped slightly as Claire spoke, he hadn’t noticed her stir.

“Sorry, Jamie. I didn’t mean to nod off. It’s just Jenny…” Jamie laughed and waved a hand. ‘

“Aye, I know full well what Jenny’s like. And I wouldna mind of the two of you had spent the afternoon drinking the 18 year old whiskey and I had to listen to ye snore all the way back to Glasgow. I’m glad ye had a good time, Mo Neighean Donne. I’m glad ye and Jenny got along. You’re the two most important people in my life.”

“I had a wonderful time, Jamie. Not just with Jenny, but the whole trip. Inverness, Lallybroch, the kids, Jenny and Ian… you” She reached across and put her hand on his arm. With little warning, Jamie pulled abruptly into the side of the road and kissed her intensely, leaving them both a little breathless. “I’m sorry,” he said when they broke apart, looking slightly sheepish. “It just couldna wait all the way to Glasgow.”

Claire smiled at him and then kissed him again. When they broke apart they rested their foreheads against each other, just breathing each other in, sharing air. In the confines of the car in the gloaming light it was as if they were the only two people that existed. Claire reached out and kissed him lightly this time, running her fingers through his hair and down his neck.

They kissed again, letting it go on and on. The windows of the car steamed up and they eventually broke apart some time later when the local constable, who had been alerted to the possibility of a stolen Porsche parked on the Inverness to Glasgow road, tapped discreetly on the window and with many blushes suggested they move on.

“Let’s go home, Sassenach” he smirked

“I already am home” was Claire’s answer. And she was. They both were.

Neil Gaiman on writing 'American Gods' gay love story

It’s the bold American Gods scene — well, one of them — that has everybody talking, and for good reason.

On the third episode of the Starz fantasy series, a depressed salesman named Salim (Omid Abtahi) is struggling to make a dime in New York when he finds himself in a cab driven by a jinn, an ancient Arab god (whom most Americans might colloquially call a genie). Played by Mousa Kraish, the centuries-old jinn finds kinship with Salim, and what begins as an intimate taxicab conversation about faith transforms into a daring and important sex sequence — and, at its core, a love story — between both men.

EW recently moderated a Paley Center panel on behalf of Starz and GLAAD, screening the May 14 episode and exploring its content with the actors, executive producers Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, and the author of American Gods, Neil Gaiman, who described the experience watching the finished onscreen result as “absolute amazement and absolute joy.”

He recalled writing the scene 18 years ago, inspired by a New York cab driver who did, in fact, fall asleep at the wheel and admit to having been driving for 30 straight hours. “Afterwards, I just thought, that’s awful. The idea that some guy, in order to make a buck, was that pushed. And I think part of it may have come from reading the whole of One Thousand and One Nights, particularly the [J.C.] Mardrus and [Muhsin] Mahdi translations. I think it was the first thing that I’d ever read where I went, you know, there’s an awful lot of this sort of homoeroticism in the Arabian Nights. It was this really interesting part of Arab culture that I had never thought about, that I was learning about. And that had sort of stuck. And at that point, I wanted a genie in American Gods…and, I think it’s going to be a gay relationship… and after that it just kind of wrote itself. It probably wouldn’t have written itself quite so sexily, had I not read lots of Edmund White and Armistead Maupin and gone, ‘Okay, well, I can do that!’”

In translating the scene to television, Fuller says his and Green’s goal was simply to “make sure that it was undeniably beautiful for even those who were uncomfortable with same-sex romance.” (Fuller goes in-depth in EW’s postmortem show here.) Green, elaborating, explained how Fuller’s perspective as a gay man fused with his own as a straight man to create a definitive approach as “a beautiful romantic story between two people who find each other,” he said. “The more Bryan and I talked about it and the more he brought his perspective into it, I saw it as a story of a god giving a man permission to be himself and to enjoy sex and to be made love to.”

The scene (directed by Guillermo Navarro) marked Kraish’s first-ever onscreen kiss and sex scene; coincidentally, it marked Abtahi’s second, as the actor played another gay character named Salim on Showtime’s 2005 series Sleeper Cell. Both actors have been friends for a decade, which they say aided their experience during shooting, and fans of Gaiman’s novel. But more importantly, they laud the filmmakers and Gaiman not just for the beauty of the eroticism, but for the representation onscreen.

“This was my first time seeing it complete, and it was beautiful and everything that I expected it to be… but sex scene aside, just seeing two Middle Eastern men represented in that way, with humor and love and joy…it’s taken me eleven years to get to that,” said a visibly emotional Kraish. “And I want to see more of that.” (Narratively, viewers will, as this is just the beginning of Salim and the Jinn’s story in the series; in the book, this scene is their only appearance.)

RELATED: American Gods: Inside the Episode “A Head Full of Snow”

Abtahi confessed to nerves ahead of watching the scene with his wife. “I just felt, ‘God, I hope it’s not raunchy.’ And when I did see it and saw how it was shot and the music and the slow motion and the attention to detail and [Mousa’s] eyes, it was just so f—ing beautiful. I’m so proud to be a part of it.”

Of course, a slice of the scene’s artistic achievement sits on its very surface; atop its deeper implications, the Salim and Jinn sequence is still uniquely cinematic as it transports its characters from a nondescript hotel room to a cosmic desert at the moment of the Jinn’s climax. Gaiman said, “I remember when they sent me the script, and at the point where they’re describing moving in and out of the desert and somebody being filled by an ejaculation of flame, I’m going, ‘This is very beautiful written in the script. Obviously, they won’t actually do this. Only a madman would have written this.” Fuller, sitting beside Green, was quick to offer a correction: “Or two!”

The Promise

So I saw The Promise last night with my sister and ho boy, emotions were real. I’ll try not to spoil too much because I’m not a complete ass. But if you want to know more specifics, you can always message me or whatever. Tagging the people I regularly pester for ease in tracking @fandom-writes @poe-also-bucky @rinskiroo 

So that said, LET’S DIVE IN. 

Originally posted by oscar-isaacs-eyelashes

The movie is a treasure. It is absolutely flawed, and on some levels can feel amateur, despite the sheer talent and work put in by all involved. I would say that it is due mostly to the fact that this is the first work of its kind; unlike the 47 million movies about WWII, where directors, screenwriters, and actors can pull for inspiration and also spot traps and storytelling mistakes, this is the first major Hollywood film to address the Armenian genocide. For fucks sake, nations and governments (including the US and Turkey) still refuse to acknowledge that the Armenian genocide ever even occurred. So for me, the movie’s flaws are nowhere close enough reason to discredit the movie on the whole as an important and pivotal work of art. 

The emotions of this piece are very raw and real, and I believe that’s a huge part of why it didn’t play well with critics. Unlike The Help, there are no White Saviors to come in and save the day. There is Chris Myers (Christian Bale), an American journalist with a passion for discovering The Truth (and also discovering just how drunk he can get). There are moments in the film that build him up for that role, and then just as quickly and masterfully deconstruct that narrative and push Chris into the role of an actual ally; someone who is there to help, not to Save The Day. Even Chris’s most monumental contribution to actually rescuing Armenian refugees is actually cause by and attributed to the sympathetic son of a Turkish general, who is immediately and brutally punished for his “treason.” When Chris is asked what he can do to help, he is told by Mikael to help carry a wounded old man down the mountain, and Chris does so without complaint or praise or heroics. Because that’s what he should do. 

And then there is Mikael. We all know the heart eyes I have for Oscar are so very real, yet I can honestly say that this is one of my favorite roles of his in a long time. Mikael is gentle, unfailingly so, but he is not frail. He is a man of honor, respect, sacrifice, and hope. To watch everything ripped from him, not all at once, but again and again is so heart shattering, but more importantly it is real. I know that it does not do in cinema to crush your hero too much; it ruins the storytelling and makes people sad, after all, to watch the protagonist suffer so greatly and not have redemption. But that IS what happened to 1.5 million Armenians who were slaughtered, and even more who were driven from their homes. They suffered, endlessly. They had everything stripped away. They were murdered. The deep and aching loss you feel watching this movie is not supposed to go away by the final scene; it is supposed to haunt you. You are not supposed to feel better about what happened, as if it is a distant memory or a nightmarish fairy tale told before bed so you’ll behave. It is real. And it is happening again. 

There is a moment where Mikael faces the Turks looking to slaughter him and every other refugee, and even then, with so much pain and need for revenge, he cannot pull the trigger. Instead, he instantly springs to the side of an Armenian man who has been shot in the leg and works on saving his life. Because that is who Mikael is. The film does not comment on whether or not shooting a man makes him good or bad, or if being unable to shoot makes Mikael strong or weak. Instead, it focuses on how Mikael keeps the core of himself; he is a man who loves his people and loves healing. Medicine and life are his passions, and he clings to those things when they are most threatened. Bless Oscar Isaac for the heart wrenching way he played Mikael because I’m not getting over it any time soon. 

The marketing campaign played up the love triangle much more than was present in the movie, and that’s a theme we see a lot to get people interested in a historical drama. While it is an important part of Mikael’s life and story, it takes a backseat to the Armenian genocide, as it should. To my pleasant surprise, there are no obnoxious Macho Man fights between Mikael and Chris over Anna (Charlotte Le Bon). There are no heated words between them over who Anna “really loves.” In fact, it’s rarely talked about, and exists within the audience as a series of emotions. Anna loves both men for very different reasons, and they both love her for their own separate reasons. In Mikael, Anna is reminded and reconnected with her home and heritage. In Chris, Anna finds a home and a safety that hasn’t always been present in her life. The resolution of the love triangle crushed my heart, because of how genuine and compassionate it was.


So, exceptionally long winded story made short (I know, this is the short version, FUCK), go see the fucking movie when you can. It is wonderful. It is beautiful. And I hope there are many more on the Armenian genocide, and all of the history we fight so hard to keep hidden out of shame and pride. 

title: maybe
fandom: skam
pairing: yousef x sana
part: i , ii , iii , iv , v

summary: a series of moments between sana and yousef throughout different points in sana’s life. 

note: this is going to be multichaptered but pretty short. this will probably be canon divergent since i plan on writing a chapter on the characters’ relationship in the future. the first chapter is pretty lacking in terms of dialogue but i really wanted to establish sana’s pov. prepare for banter in the future. p.s. regardless of whether or not these two are end game, i really like their relationship and hope i can convey that through this fic. this is simply an idea i’ve been toying with for a while and finally got a chance to write down.  tell me your thoughts!!! i’d really love to hear them. Edit: probably should have mentioned this in the first place but this chapter  is me filling in the blanks on their past. I want to say it took place before their first scene together in s4 where they make eyes at each other across the living room which honestly i think is mostly believable (or at least i want to believe it lmao)

i. (2016-09-12 17:50)

The first time she thinks that her feelings for Yousef might surpass the purely platonic ones characteristic of a sister’s for her older brother’s friend wasn’t an earth shattering moment of realization. It wasn’t an epiphany like the ones that suddenly emerged at the climax of every romantic comedy she had indulged in the past, where for some reason, none more important than the movie’s final credits fast approaching, the lead female finally became aware to the shock of no one but themselves that the man of their dreams had been right beside them the whole time. Whether it was their awkward colleague, their best friend or their hot neighbour, the similarity always seemed to lie in the fact that they had been there all along.

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