fiction literary

anonymous asked:

wait, why is writing 170k words bad? is it too many or too few? how many pages is that? i am v confused

170,000 words is way long, even for literary fiction. How many pages that is varies depending on font, margins, etc. but most upmarket or literary fiction clocks in between 85 and 100k.

Happiness, as it exists in the wild—as opposed to those artificially constructed moments like weddings and birthday parties, where it’s gathered into careful piles—is not smooth. Happiness in the real world is mostly just resilience and a willingness to arch oneself toward optimism. To believe that people are more good than bad. To believe that the waves carrying you are neither friendly nor malicious, and to know that you’re less likely to drown if you stop struggling against them.
—  Carolyn Parkhurst, Harmony
a dragon’s alternative to kidnapping princesses

There comes a time in every dragon’s life when they have the urge to become a legend. The most fearsome and famous of dragons have been stitched onto tapestries for snatching themselves the richest of princesses to barter ransom, besting battalions over a spit, and becoming legends remembered in hushed voices and candlelight. Said most fearsome and famous of dragons are emblazoned on rich threads of gold and scarlet because they have been skewered by a thousand knights’ arrows. There is no great gain from kidnapping royalty other than the attention.

But mountain caves can only fit one dragon at a time, and the woodland critters flee when you stretch out your wings in the sunlight for a breath of warm air. Your mother and her mother before her have gushed about the thrill of kidnapping princesses but it has been a long time since either of them have graced the earth. There comes a time in every dragon’s life when they realise that they are desperately lonely.

As there are a limited number of monarchies within close distance of your mountain range, it is plausible that another dragon has staked a claim on the royal daughter. There are several alternatives to princesses that a dragon can consider.

THE JESTER: It will not be as enjoyable as you think. Within ten minutes he will sweat the paint off of his face, and even you will cringe at how thick a mask he wears in court. You will not hear him laugh once, but then again, neither do anyone else. You best swallow him whole, as nothing terrorizes a town more than hearing the clown cry.

THE BEGGAR: The town will suddenly think of you less as a nuisance and more of a convenience. You can be rest assured that no one will come with pitchforks into your cave. But there is little thrill when no one puts up a fight, and the beggar–once he realizes that there is no one who will pray for him–will stop giving you one. One night you may find him crawling between your teeth himself, and he will not even scream when you snap your jaws in surprise.

THE BLACKSMITH: The danger is not what scraps of sharp metal he may have down his boot once you snatch him from his anvil. The danger is when he notices how your scales glimmer, and how the edges nick his skin. Your scales are your comfort and pride, but to the blacksmith they are bags of gold. Be warned–you may suddenly wake up to find your hide raw and bleeding, stripped bare of what protects you. And if you weep from the pain, humans and dragons alike will scoff. You have teeth, don’t you, they would say. Why didn’t you just guard yourself?

THE PRINCE: An unrecommended substitute. Princesses could charm you as they outwitted you, or share stories of their home life, could talk with you for hours and hours because no one in the castle would lend an ear to collectibles that are expected to be seen and saved and never heard. Princes, on the other hand, are accustomed to hold out their hand to demand what they want. They have never needed to bargain before, so they would drive swords up your snout before you could even introduce yourself.

THE KNIGHT: You may have kidnapped him, but your skin will crawl when you feel his eyes follow you around the cave, how he will lick his lips at the thought of you and press deeply against your leathery belly to picture how deeply his knife will sink in. Yes, he may have dropped his sword along the way, or left his spear in the armory, but the hunger never leaves the hunter. Knights depend on valor to become legends, and you are nothing but a trophy to be hung on the wall. You will be too afraid to fall asleep in your own cave.

THE MIDWIFE: You expect her to cry and faint in fear of you, but the midwife hollers at howling women and screaming babies to settle her stomach. You expect her to tremble at death, but she knows above all else how stalwart a life can be when it wriggles through the impossible. She is accustomed to clawing through blood and pain to seek even the smallest morsel of life. Do not resist; she will find that warm glow of life behind your iron scales and bellowing fire and see you for the frightened, needy creature that you are.

Robert Heinlein

Robert Heinlein goes up to the counter and looks the barista up and down. 

“How much do you weigh?” he asks.

“That’s very rude,” the barista replies.

Heinlein smiles and responds, “May I suggest investing in a sizable life insurance policy any time between now and February 3rd, 2019?” 

The barista stares at him blankly.

“Oh, and could I get three cranberry scones, please?”


If we here at SparkLife had to sum up our life philosophy in one sentence, it would probably either, “Give us chunky peanut butter or give us death,” or, “Ask not what your Sparkitors can do for you, but what you can do for your Sparkitors; now bring us a dozen milkshakes, and don’t be stingy with the sprinkles.”

Thankfully for everyone, we’re not literary heroines, so our words won’t be immortalized for future generations. But the words of the brilliant, brave, and unique heroines in this slideshow have transcended time and genre, and now they’re here to inspire you—courtesy @thelatestkate‘s gorgeous illos and our peanut butter-covered laptop keyboards.

Love Is Gross and You Disgust Me

Love Is Gross and You Disgust Me

Summary: or the five times Phil tries to get Dan to go out with him, and the one time he gets it right.

A/N: waaaaayyyy late valentines day fic but shshhshshshhh and enjoy some way sappy dorks being in love (it’s also teen!phan bc there just isn’t enough in the world tbh)

Word Count: 3333 

Disclaimer: I own nothing or no one; this is all fiction.

TW: none i think


“Daniel!” Phil practically sings the boy’s name and plops himself in the seat next to him, smiling so wide, his eyes are nearly closed behind his thick framed glasses.

Keep reading

It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
—  J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Let us celebrate one bright spot from 2016, which saw three African-American authors win major literary awards: Paul Beatty became the first American to win the U.K.’s prestigious Man Booker Prize for his novel, The Sellout, while Colson Whitehead won the National Book Award for Fiction for his bestselling novel, The Underground Railroad, and Ibram X. Kendi won the National Book Award for Nonfiction for his brilliant Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. All three works further the discussion on the very challenging subject of race in America, and gives us hope that this dialogue will expand and evolve in the future.

The Freedom Writers

Become acquainted with the following consciousness expanders:
Alan Watts
Terrance Mckenna
Timothy Leary
Albert Hoffman
Ken Kesey
Tom Wolfe
Kurt Vonnegut
Charles Darwin
Henry David Thoreau
Walt Whitman
Robert Frost
Ernest Hemingway
Hermann Hesse
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Mark Twain
E.A. Poe
T.S. Eliot
C.S. Lewis
Franz Kafka
George Orwell
Aldous Huxley
Tom Robbins
William S. Burroughs
Jack Keuroac
Hunter S. Thompson
Carl Sagan
Robert A. Heinlein
Phillip K. Dick
H.G. Wells
Douglas Adams
Manly P. Hall
Buckmaster Fuller
Marcus Aurelius
Blaise Pascal
Jean-Paul Sartre
Albert Camus
William Blake
William Butler Yeats
Carl Jung
John Keats
Jules Verne
Albert Pike
Victor Hugo
Leo Tolstoy
Marcel Proust
Noam Chomsky
Howard Zinn
Bertrand Russel
Emma Goldman

et al.


If you know John Darnielle at all, it’s probably because your a fan of his band, The Mountain Goats.  However, Darnielle’s first novel, Wolf in White Van (2014), was nominated for the National Book Award for Fiction. His second novel, Universal Harvester, released last week, was described by Booklist as reading “like several Twilight Zone scripts cut together by a poet.” It’s an eerie literary chiller perfect to read during these dark winter nights.