“I know what I swore.” Jon said the words. “I am the
sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that
burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that
wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. Were those
the same words you said when you took your vows?” // “They were. As the Lord Commander knows.” // “Are
you certain that I have not forgotten some? The ones about the king and
his laws, and how we must defend every foot of his land and cling to
each ruined castle? How does that part go?” Jon waited for an answer.
None came. “I am the shield that guards the realms of men. Those are the words. So tell me, my lord— what are these wildlings, if not men?” Bowen Marsh opened his mouth. No words came out. A flush crept up his neck.
I lost you for a while
When I found you, you’d moved on
Of course; I hadn’t expected you not to
I hope she knows who she’s kissing
I hope she wraps every part of herself around you,
like you deserve
I hope when you’re kissing her,
your breath remembers me
and forms a hand around her neck
I hope there are words you say out loud
that are still painted black
You won’t be able to figure out why
It’s me, love
It’s only me
this is by far the fluffiest, most tooth rotting thing i have ever written. i blame taylor swift and stephen amell equally.
Oliver says I love you in a million different
ways every single day. He says it without words, and with words that
were designed to hold an entirely different meaning. He says I love you with every breath he takes and every beat of his heart.
He says I love you
with the Epi pen he keeps in his jacket pocket. They’ve never had to
use it, and she rolls her eyes at him for being overprotective,
overcautious. But he never stops carrying it. And three years down the
line, when she feels her heart still for a second because her throat is
swelling up and oh God she knows that feeling, she’s never been more grateful for his caution.
He says I love you
with his new rule of never ending a day without kissing her at least
once. Ever practical, she says it’s not going to be possible; eventually
one of them will have to be out of town or otherwise indisposed, and
their little tradition will be put to bed. But that hasn’t happened yet.
was one close call, when he almost didn’t make it home in time and he
woke her up at 11:50, tiredness evident in his eyes, and a little out of
breath from trying to get to her before midnight. He’d kissed her
sweetly, and even in her half asleep state, she’d automatically
responded, before cracking some joke about her being Cinderella and will you still want to kiss me if I turn into a pumpkin, Oliver? (He’d assured her that he’d still want to kiss her if she turned into an ogre.)
course, most days they kiss a lot more than once. Most days they do a
lot more than kiss. But sometimes life gets in the way and interrupts
those precious moments, when nothing matters but each other. And in
those times, it’s a nice promise to hold onto, that however bad her day
is going, she’ll get to kiss Oliver before it ends.
let me read you like a book — my favourite one of all. some of your pages are worn but i love those the most. some of your ink has been smudged and i wonder how it happened and i keep reading. i find out that someone once dropped your heart like it was nothing. i find out that you’re scared of not knowing what’s going to happen. and sometimes the writing is so small i can barely read it. like you’re trying to hide what happened to you. what made you so sad. or angry. or broken. sometimes the words seem to bounce off the page — the holiday you went on as a kid and your first kiss and the day you met me. let me read you like a book. let me unravel you. teach me how to read between the lines. show me all of the hidden chapters and pages glued together. every word you’ve ever crossed out. let me know you. all of you. let me read you and know you and love you. maybe i’ll let you do the same.
A talk with American Sign Language interpreter Tracey Halmagean
Music is universal. This is why Coachella works with the Americans With Disabilities Act to make the festival accessible for everyone. To wit: the American Sign Language interpreters who flank the Main and Outdoor stages during select acts, translating the emotion of the music and lyrics into manual gestures.
In honor of the artistry and unexpected beauty of this craft, we spoke with a true expert, interpreter Tracy Halmagean.
I’m just so fucking hungry I could devour everything.
I want to this to be the man that sates me,
who feeds me the eight times a day I’m hungry and watches me lick the plates.
I want to suck on tea bags and his neck.
I want to let my tongue trace the lines and veins of him.
When he speaks I want him to keep speaking for days until his throat is so raw that I can see the words press themselves out of his bloody lips.
What did he do to me for me to have become this hungry thing?
I want everything he can give me.
I want him to fill me in every sense of the word.
I can’t control this desperate, aching, feeling in my fingertips.
I want to dig my nails into him and look for answers.
The spaces between my teeth want to know him.
This man is born of earth and meat and bones and I want to love him raw.
Okay, so every VA reader knows those infamous four words: “Love fades. Mine has.” We all hate the way Dimirti went about putting Rose at a distance because of his guilt. However, those four words didn’t bother me as much as something else…
It’s actually what he says right before that famous line that kills me the most. “I’ve given up on you.”
Imagine for a moment that you are Rose. You didn’t know your father for 18 years. The mother you did know was both physically and emotionally distant, showing her acknowledgment with criticism more than anything. She lives in a world where her thoughts, opinions, and general existence is put behind someone else because of her race. Her adoptive family was killed in a brutal accident. One of her oldest and best friends was murdered in front of her and I can imagine she still feels some survivors guilt about it. Her other friends are distancing themselves from her in one way or another. Even her bondmate is more concerned with someone else at the moment and isn’t available to support her. The only person who you could argue is on her side is Adrian, but their relationship is understandably on the rock with everything else going on.
Rose has lived a lifetime of both intentional and unintentional abandonment. But there is one person she had in her life that made her feel like she was worth more: Dimitri.
He saved her from expulsion and offered to mentor her the first day he met her. He saw potential where others saw nothing more than uncontrolled defiance. He molded her skills and made her the best possible guardian he could, to the point where she was top of her class in that respect come graduation, despite missing two full years of schooling.
Beyond her professional skills, he also was there for her personally. I’m not even talking about romance here. I’m talking about the fact that he continually treated her with respect (yes, he said some stupid things in Frostbite but promptly apologized for them), encouraged her to push herself, and picked her back up when she fell. He didn’t baby her or belittle her, he was firm but not domineering. He put her wellbeing before his own. He put her first.
Even when he was denying the ability to have a relationship with her, he stood by her.
Even as a monster, he took care of her and protected her.
He NEVER gave up on Rose.
Until that moment.
The one person who had fought along side her to make Rose the best possible version of herself essentially told her that she wasn’t worth fighting for anymore. She wasn’t enough.
She risked EVERYTHING for him…and he told her that it wasn’t enough.
I’m not saying that he automatically owed her anything for doing everything she could to save his soul. That was Rose’s choice. Heck, with the pain he was going through, he might even resent her a little. However, imagine how damaging it would be to be willing abandoned by your mentor, lover, friend, and the one person who made you feel like you, as an individual, was worth more.
He didn’t even want to SEE her. She had to jump through hoops to TALK to him. Forget romance, he didn’t want to be in her life at all, in any remote capacity.
The truth is, Dimitri is right. Love fades. People argue, drift apart or pull away, feel hurt or slighted by the other, and go through some personal issues that make a romantic connection secondary in priority. Love isn’t static. It’s constantly in motion. Sometimes it’s growing. Sometimes it’s fading. However…they can work through it.
i haven’t been honest;
i haven’t spoken words
i should have spoken
words that seem to trip over
as they claw their
way out of my chest.
i haven’t been honest;
i mean i should have
spoken these words
breathe them in
and let them pass
through my diaphragm
my lungs and back out
speaking these words
out loud should’ve
been easy, but saying
them feels like ripping
my insides to pull
and every syllable,
pulling and dragging
hoping that somehow
they’d be coherent;
that along the lines
you would know,
you would understand
what i’d like to say.
that my heart craves for
the feel of yours
beating against mine,
that my skin longs
for the feel of your
and midnight kisses,
what i mean is,
i miss you
but i don’t know
how to tell you
that i do.
The hardest thing after the split was sorting through the box of lies and broken words, and sitting there for hours knowing damn well that every line in these letters you wrote for someone else, all these pages were misplaced feelings for her.
i tuck you away in the glove box, fold you over like a page dog eared to mark something i loved, except with you i didn’t just love phrases and quotes and words and individual chapters and pieces, i loved the whole thing. the whole goddamn story. and i would have reread every line and let every word resonate with me all over again, but that is why i have to hide it away now.
i don’t think about it anymore.
not unless i have to. not unless it’s right in front of me, staring me right in the face and somehow saying your name without saying anything at all. i block it out. i block it all out.
i closed the door. i turned the page. i bought new books, i threw all your old letters away.
but i’d be lying if i said that i didn’t still find pieces of you everywhere. you’re the smell of the boys who wear your cologne and you’re every single book on physics in the library and you’re in maple lattes at coffee shops, and you’re just, well, i guess you’re still in a lot of things.
but i don’t go to those coffee shops anymore. i stopped going to the library. i don’t pay attention to the boys who wear your cologne. i ignore everything else.
i don’t talk about it anymore.
you’re still here, you’re still fucking here. but i just try to pretend that you’re not.
you’re not. you’re not. you’re not.
today i was at our old place and i saw a boy who looked like you ordering coffee and i almost got up and tapped him on the shoulder but then he turned around and he was beautiful but he was not you, he was not, and i realized that i am still looking for you everywhere. i tell myself that i do not love you but i still try to find you in every place that i go.
I guess it just surprised me a little, all of it.
How I didn’t even know your last name
that night we talked on the phone for hours.
How I didn’t know your family or your darkness
or the last thing that made you cry. Or the first.
How I could tell I was starting to fall for you
right on the other side of the line by the way
I said ‘oh, oh, oh’ a little more convincing
with every secret you shared. How you were
the first person who ever really touched me by
just giving words and words and quiet breaths.
How I didn’t have a thing to say after you hung up.
They say that butterflies can’t see their own wings,
so they never know the beauty that they possess.
That’s not a mistake that I want to make with you,
and all the frantic wings that I now suppress.
You give me butterflies with each word you speak,
and they’re multiplying every minute of every hour.
Every energetic line that escapes your lips,
comes fluttering through me like butterfly showers.
That’s why whenever you say that you love me,
there’s a pause, as you take my breath away.
I allow your shimmering words to linger on my ears,
and let their beauty shine bright on display.
I almost sent a hurricane with the tap of a button. The wind was in my lungs, my chest heaving as every “what if” poured down in my mind. I almost started a tsunami that would shift the very core of our connection. The words were so basic, glued together with an honesty poets can’t capture in their search for perfect lines. I wanted him to know a two year old truth—one so fundamental it had carved itself into my bones. A storm could have started with my cataclysmic emotions, and I’d weather it with the grace of swaying trees caught in chaos. I wanted the truth to wipe away towering constructs of false pretenses.
“Has it ever been mutual?” // I desired disaster (and I still do, deep down where the storm rages inside, waiting to be set free)
Conquering the Great King by
SuggestiveScribe (105,716 words) Iwaizumi blinked his gaze over to Oikawa, “Last time was supposed to be a one time thing,” he said, voice low, lacking some conviction. Oikawa’s lips twitched into a smirk and he brought them hovering just over Iwaizumi’s, “One time thing, Two time thing, what’s it matter as long as it’s not a Relationship thing?” I know this one is on like every iwaoi fic rec on earth but it’s not for nothing, this fic is amazing
Love me like you do by
crossbelladonna (100,596 words)
Iwaizumi’s family line is cursed to die a year after they fall in love. Admittedly, he knows falling for his childhood friend may be a mistake. But he did and he passed and Death got what he wants that is until Oikawa makes a trade—his memories for Iwaizumi’s life.
Loves me, loves me not by
parasolghost (8,763 words) Oikawa shook the magic 8-ball with furious desperation. “Does Iwa-chan like me back?” he chanted at it as if he had done this many times before. He stared at the ball’s window and waited for it to settle, holding his breath in painfully slow anticipation.
Drawn to you by
SportsAnimeRuinedMyLife (KnightOfRage) (16,248 words) Iwaizumi is a shoujo manga author, Oikawa definitely isn’t stalking him and Hanamaki and Matsuwaka manage to make falling in love look easy. aka. the GSNK crossover that no one asked for
Close to the chest by
darkmagicalgirl (61,185 words)
It takes Yahaba thirteen years to realize he’s different from the other kids, one to figure out how to hide it, and two more to learn to be happy just the way he is. Yahaba’s journey ft. an extremely annoyed Kyoutani, best friend in the world Watari, and loads and loads of good senpai Oikawa.
It’s tradition by
hicsvntdracones (5,577 words) It’s tradition, it’s tradition, they all say as they gather up the second and first years. The second years have a look of hard determination, while the first years are simply confused. Oikawa claps his hands together.“Let’s begin this year’s annual training camp truth or dare!"Kunimi tries to run. This is one of my favorite fic, I almost died of laughter
Rated m for by
orphan_account (10,692 words)
He should have known that there was a Specific Reason™ why it was so absolutely vital that he and Matsukawa specifically meet for a reading of the script. He should have known that there had to be some evil catch beyond sitting in a tiny, cramped studio with his newly sworn enemy.
True Ending by
SheenaChan (12,856 words)
He never really questioned the handsy nature of their friendship, it was just something that felt normal after falling asleep on a tiny couch while watching movies too many times. Who was Hanamaki to say no to cuddles with someone he considered his best friend? The fact that Matsukawa was always a bit cute in the wee hours of the morning was just something Hanamaki would have to file away in the back of his mind…
Man, this is a really tough one! But it’s also something I’m sure all writers grapple with. I know I have.
The debate of whether to consider your audience during the writing process has been contested forever. John Steinbeck said, “Your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person-a real person you know, or an imagined person-and write to that one.” Maya Angelou worried, “Each time I write a book, every time I face that yellow pad, the challenge is so great. I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody and they’re going to find me out.” JK Rowling didn’t think that way (at least at first): “I just write what I wanted to write. I write what amuses me. It’s totally for myself.”
But what happens when, despite your decision to write only for yourself or for no one or for one trusted friend, a potential audience creeps into the audience of your mind anyway?
As hard as it sounds, you may just have to power through. All kinds of anxieties deter writing motivation, from self doubt to writer’s block, but a strong writer keeps on anyway. The more you write, the less anxiety you’ll likely feel.
Another more practical remedy would be to password protect your writing. Hopefully, knowing that no one is going to see your audience without your permission can give you a little peace of mind. Here are some useful links:
I might also suggest actually sharing some of your finished work. Give it to very “safe” readers, such as family members or close friends—the people who are almost guaranteed to give you positive feedback. Or, if you’re feeling more brave, Yeah Write has a network of writing workshoppers who you can send your work to. Workshopper are fellow writers who can give you constructive criticism, which is essential to be able to take as a writer (or any kind of artist). We have a post on sharing your work that expounds on that. I have a feeling that once experience positive feedback—or even just see that you’re not going to banished from humanity by a pitchfork mob because of the state of your writing—you’ll feel more relaxed during the process.
Yeah writers, do you have a tip for theseekr that helps you ignore a potential audience while you write? If so, share it with Yeah Write here and I’ll add it to this post.
This post will be archived on our Writing Advice page, under “The Writer’s Life”.