i have things in my drafts that are over 1 year old so i'm posting them now

Why I'm OK with the romance in Fire and Hemlock

This has been languishing, unfinished, in my drafts for months. Now seemed an appropriate time to finish and post it.


Not every one is comfortable with the romance in Fire and Hemlock, and with good reason.

But, all things considered, I like it. So I thought I’d talk about why…

I’ve written before about how I’m interested in seeing problematic power dynamics explored in fictional romances (so long as I am ultimately convinced that the couple see - and treat - each other as equals). I’m not sure if Fire and Hemlock quite fits that category, if only because for so much of the story there isn’t a romance.

But the novel does explore a relationship that is problematic. Moreover, it acknowledges the problems, and this means the characters have to deal with them.  

Book spoilers. Also, this is long… Consider yourself warned.

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anonymous asked:

I'm curious your thoughts on a couple things. 1: How to define lawful good simply (in layman's) just to keep it easy for folk to digest? 2: Any historical folk that pop out as Lawful Good for you?

  1. Simple definition of “Lawful Good” - A belief that one should do whatever is best for the greater good, and that a system or structure should be present to ensure their needs are met and protected.  I’m not sure if that’s actually “simple” or not.  How about - “Be nice, but you don’t get to decide for yourself what ‘nice’ is.”
  2. Oh heck yes.  Listen up nerds, we’re going to talk about Lucius Quintus Badus Assicus Cincinattus.

You haven’t heard of this beefcake because he’s hella old school Roman, like “before Roman Empire” Roman.  Shortly after Rome got tired of doing the “King” thing, they were being run by a Senate (a period known as the Roman Republic).  As indicated by the name, it was a Republic, governed by the patricians(thank Jupiter they didn’t actually use the word patriarchs, tumblr would light this post on fire).

Cincinnatus’ son Caeso (yes I spelled it right), made some serious political enemies who brought some trumped-up charges against him.  He YOLO’d & skipped town, leaving his dad to pay a hefty fine which resulted in Cincinnatus losing much of his land & family farm.

Not too long after this, the Roman army was getting its butt kicked by an approaching army, and the Senate was like “frick on a stick, we can’t decide what to do.  Instead of all this bureaucracy, why don’t we just let a dictator make all the decisions for us.” You would expect perhaps a collective WTF from the patricians, but instead they agreed and decided to make Cincinnatus  “Master of the People” aka, The Boss.

Now, you’re probably thinking “Wow, I can’t believe Cincinnatus convinced them to do that,” because you’re thinking why would anybody want a dictator.  But remember, this is 450 BCE and most folks had a king/emperor/dictator, so it was more like the Romans were asking for a red mustang for their birthday because their friend Becky got one for hers.  Oh, and by the way, while the Senate made this decision, Cincinnatus was out plowing his field.  (not a euphamism).  He wasn’t even there to “convince” them he should be In Charge, they came up with the idea on their own.

So while the Senate’s in a tailspin of “The British are coming!  The British are coming!” (well, Aequi, but whatevs) Cincinnatus is busy playing Old MacDonald.  The Senate shows up at his house and he looks at them all and goes “WTF why are you doing at my house?” and they say “Umm, You look like a hick, why don’t you put on some better clothes?”  (Painting above entitled “Cincinnatus gets pissed at uninvited guests but changes clothes for them anyways”)

So Cin gets his church clothes on for them and they say, “Good you don’t look like a redneck anymore c’mon we’re going back to Rome” and he says “why?” and they say “oh yeah, you’re The Boss now.”  So he gets back to Rome and instates a draft to go take care of the invading army, but instead of then saying “Good luck suckers, I’ll be plowing my field (total euphemism) while you’re at war” he instead falls in line with the infantry and charges in with the rest of them.

After Rome is saved (and he doesn’t slaughter all of his enemies mercilessly as was the custom of the day.  He definitely slaughtered some of his enemies, but no more than he felt he had to), he came back to Rome and said “Whelp, back to the farm.”  The Senate said, “Um, you sure?  You’re still The Boss.  You could do anything you want.”  And he said “Anything?” and they said “Yes anything.”  And he said “Anything?” and raised his eyebrow and they went “Yeah, anything” and he said, “Cool, I’m going back to my farm.”

That’s right, Cincinnatus decided being a farmer was more fun than being dictator, so he bailed (see what I did there?).  But that’s not the only time he passed at being a dictator.  Several years later, there were some rumors that a dude named Spurius (yeah it’s probably why we got the word that means what it means) was trying to get himself crowned king of Rome.  There was a conspiracy and nobody was really sure who was and wasn’t involved, so the Senate said, “Hey, remember Cincinnatus?  He’s a pretty stand-up dude.  How about we turn over the reigns of government to him, instead of somebody who sounds spurious (badum-ching).”  Once the conspiracy was put down (at the end of a sword), Cincinnatus said “can I go back to my farm now?” and they all said “Yeah, okay.” 

So he gave up being dictator not once but twice, serving the Roman Republic to the best of his ability, even after it cost him his family and his fortune. This brought out later comparisons between him and George Washington, who also could have probably had the United States of America on a silver platter because everyone loved him so much but he just wanted to go back to his farm.  The comparison was so strong that officers in the Continental Army formed the Society of the Cincinnati to honor the ideals of civic virtue, limited authority, and serving one’s country.  (The city in Ohio was named after it as well).

Other kick-ass Lawful Good historical people I would have talked about if this post wasn’t already too long: