Don’t. Delete. Your work. Don’t throw it away, burn your paper notes and scribbles, character doodles and failed verses. Keep a record of everything you do, every trip and every hilariously bad piece of work. Because often its hard to see the quality of your own work up close. In a few years, you’ll be rummaging around trying to find a different paper, and you’ll find some scrumpled draft scene from a book you started writing but gave up on. And you’ll read through it, and there’ll be lines that /sing/. You won’t recognise your work for the first few lines, and you’ll be thrown out of the writers chair and into the audience for the first time, and you’ll be able to have the magical experience of hearing your own words and not knowing how the sentence ends. And yeah, sometimes it’ll be laughably bad, but then you can see how far you’ve come. And when its not bad, its usually really, really good.
Keep your notes. Keep copies of your drafts and keep your old notebooks. You are your own best inspiration.
“Is Bruce in here?” Tim figured he might be— Bruce spent a lot of time in the children’s wing of Wayne Enterprises. There were a dozen or so kids in daycare most weekdays, and Bruce liked to hang out.
Tim liked to hang out too. They had nice snacks, and he’d known most of the kids since they were toddlers. And sometimes naps were mandatory.
“Conference call,” Damian told him. (For someone who claimed to hate naps, snackfood, kids, and humanity in general, Damian also spent a lot of time in the children’s wing.) “I don’t know where.”
He went back to what he was doing, which was arranging a set of pewter soldiers into a complex model of a battlefield, presumably for the benefit of the preschooler sitting next to him.
“The Battle of Issus, 333 BC.”
“Right, obviously.” Tim decided he was curious, so he settled down on the mats to watch. Damian finished his model; he pulled a marker from the art table and used it as a pointer.
“Okay. This is the Macedonian army, outnumbered but in the better tactical position, south of the Pinarus River. Their leader is Alexander the Great. And this—” He pointed to his enemy line. “—is the Achaemenid Empire. They’re about to lose.”
Damian tapped his marker on the Macedonian right. “This is the companion calvary, Alexander’s elite force, and they—” he cut off when he noticed his pupil digging in the toy bin, clearly distracted. The kid came up with a battered Transformer, which he set behind Damian’s lines.
“Elliot. Alexander did not have robots.”
“But,” said Tim, rummaging through the box himself, “did he have wizards?” He pulled a bearded magician out of the tub and held it up for Damian to see.
“You know he didn’t.”
Tim passed the wizard to Elliot. “But what if he did?”
“How would that go?”
“Abracadabra, Alexander!” Elliot yelled, gleefully smashing through Damian’s entire left flank.
“Damn it, Drake.” Damian sighed in frustration— not quite the rise Tim was hoping for, but still something. He dropped Elliot’s discarded robot back into the box.
“I don’t know what you were expecting,” Tim told him. “Elliot’s four. He’s too young for— what is this— military history?”
“He was doing fine before you showed up.” Damian started to re-erect his soldiers, but he gave it up after Elliot came in for a second pass. “Which is typical, isn’t it?”
“Thank you.” Damian crossed his arms. “Fine. I’ll bite. When is he supposed to learn this kind of thing?”
“High school? Maybe never.”
“That can’t be right.”
“Have I ever lied to you?”
“Frequently.” Damian rolled his eyes. “I’m getting a second opinion.”
Damian checked the room for potential allies. “Thomas?” he called over his shoulder, “You learned military strategy as a kid, right?”
Duke looked up from the book he was reading to a pair of kindergardeners. “Just you, man.”
“Told you.” Tim fished a bag of plastic ninja from the toy box and arranged them pointedly into a row. “How are you still surprised by this kind of thing?”
Damian glared at him. “Okay, first of all? I’m not a— hold on a second. Elliot!”
Elliot froze with a large, plastic dinosaur held aloft over the battlefield. He drew it sheepishly back to his chest. “Sorry.”
“Not in the calvary wing,” Damian told him. “You’ll scare the horses.”
“Here?” Elliot pointed to the front of the phalanx.
“Aim for his center.” Damian turned back to Tim. “Anyway. Why are you still talking to me? I thought we had an agreement about unnecessary contact.”
(( Hey guys! As you all know by now it’s been a long while since I’ve properly updated this blog so I thought it’s time to give y’all a final update.
This ask!blog is now on indefinite hiatus.
As much as I love Luciano and ask!blogging, I think it’s time I move on. My priorities and interests have shifted, and ask!blogging is no longer something I have the consistent energy to do anymore. I might update once in a blue moon here if nostalgia hits but I make no actual promises.
If some of you guys have been with me since my early Egypt ask!blog days or when I began this ask!blog, man, it’s been an up and down ride but it’s been a pleasure. I’ll still draw my muses from time to time over on my personal blog @yenpon though if you guys ever want to see them again.
Thanks for all the support and love and for sticking with me and my art over the past few years, guys.
Hey i was wondering if you had any thoughts on the whole Icarus' pride/fall analogy for fahc Gavin that seems to have gone around a bit? If you feel like it of course!
Oh Ramsey’s perfect little frontman, all polished shine and pearly whites, mouth dripping charm like poison, like promise. How fitting to dress him up in ancient fables, a cautionary tale that has stood the test of time, how apt to deem him doomed from the start.
Is it any surprise that the people can’t stop talking about about him? Can they really be blamed when he goads them into it? When he wears vanity like the finest cloak, teases rumours out of thin air, when he seemingly lives to be in the limelight no matter the cost.
They’ve named him Icarus, like hubris. Like ill-fated glory hound. Like pretty fool with his head in the clouds. Like the fatal fall is inevitable and he has already lost. It’s funny how no one ever talks about the fact that Icarus was running, hurled into the sky to escape the fickle fancies of a cruel king, less human trying to play god than prisoner willing to risk everything for one more day in the sun. Child still naive enough to believe his father could never steer him wrong.
They call him Icarus, and it fits.
At birth he was named Gavin and as a child he’d have given anything to fly. A tyrant needs no crown and cruelty has never been limited to kings; Gavin outgrew blind faith years ago and since that day he has been running. It’s made him cautious, most would never know it now but he has always been calculated where it counted, has never needed another to build his escape route.
He’s as skittish and distrustful as an alley cat, as anyone who has ever been powerless, who is determined never to be again. He investigates every outcome, he does his math twice, and though many laugh when he sets his sights on America Gavin has always known exactly how perilous his wings are. By the time he arrives he has been reborn; all that swanky blasé confidence didn’t come naturally, was built piece by piece, fragile feather by fragile feather, stitched together with fear and need and the hardened resolve of someone who has run out of options.
They say Icarus, like hubris. Like there is any pride in desperation. Like ambition is the enemy, and chasing the brightest, purest thing you’ve ever seen is arrogant. Like that first winged boy wasn’t absolutely aware of what he was doing, like he didn’t aim upwards on purpose, didn’t swear that after a lifetime in the dark he was going to kiss the sun whether it killed him or not. Salvation or bust.
In Los Santos he is golden. Ramsey’s boy, untouchable boy, brilliant, brutal, menace. He is vital, important, he is vicious, he is streaking towards the sun blazing so brightly no one can look away, burning up right before their eyes. Gavin is higher than he’s ever been but he can’t stop now, not when death is coming from above and below and behind, not when everyone knows it’s better to go out on top. Better to choose it, to taunt it, to die laughing with the sun on your face.
He knows what the people call him, knows what they all expect, and can’t quite stop himself from laughing at them; no one ever seems to talk about the fact that Icarus didn’t die in the fall. It was neither height nor folly that that got him in the end; Icarus drowned. Blinded by hope and dropped into an environment he had no way to prepare for, dragged down with no way to help himself and no one around to save him.
For all Gavin’s many faults, real and affected alike, no one can say he is alone, not anymore. Not after he built himself a safety net out of hard eyes and loaded guns, leather jackets and bared teeth, weaving desperate affection and steadfast protection so deeply into the most ruthless crew he’d ever met that they’d drain the entire ocean before they’d let him sink.
They call him Icarus, and it fits, but they are missing half the story. Gavin built his own wings, omitting wax in favour of blood and bone, coated them in bullet casings and gold leaf so they’d catch the sunlight and blind any who tried to look too closely. Who can tell, then, if he is climbing or falling? Who can see clearly enough to know when the ocean is rushing up to greet him? Gavin who is always two steps ahead, who could talk a fish out of water, could charm gravity, who has never feared the fall. Gavin who dreamed of flying, who spent his whole life learning how to swim.