i wanted this for her character so badly :(

NaNo Prep: How Understanding Conflict Will Make Your Plot Explode

November is almost upon us, and in the build up to NaNo, we’ve asked for guest contributors to share their advice on how to craft great stories that will engage writer and reader alike. Today, author Cari Noga tells us why “GMC” should be in everyone’s vocabulary, and how it’ll help drive your plot. 

Fiction is conflict.

You’ve probably heard something like that before, and filed it away with other writing advice. Take it out, shake it off, and prop it up it next to your coffee mug. Besides caffeine, you won’t find a better buddy on your NaNo odyssey.

First—a definition. Conflict is the obstacle(s) between a character and his or her desire. It varies with novel genre: the enemy agent out to kill the hero; Mom’s new job that forces the middle-school kid to move and change schools; the character’s yearning to spurn expectations and do what she really wants. Conflict is fundamental to advancing plot, setting it back, twisting and turning it, as the characters wrestle with their particular nemeses. It’s also crucial to reader engagement. 

In the best stories, we become invested in a character overcoming their conflict. We root for them to get what they want, worry when they seem to succumb, and, above all, keep turning pages to see which way it goes. Steven James, one of my favorite writing coaches and a bestselling thriller author himself, puts it this way: You don’t have a story until something goes wrong.

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a collection of ginny weasley’s best moments, because the movies butchered her character so badly i think we all need a reminder of how amazing she is

  •  “famous harry potter,” said malfoy. “can’t even go into a bookshop without making the front page.” “leave him alone, he didn’t want all that!” (cos, pg 61)
  • his eyes are as green as a fresh pickled toad, his hair is as dark as a blackboard, i wish he was mine, he’s really divine, the hero who conquered the dark lord (cos, pg 238) this is literally the cutest thing can you imagine little 11 year old ginny writing this
  • “so i made ginny write her own farewell on the wall and come down here to wait. she struggled and cried and became very boring” (cos, pg 313)
  •  “oh, that,” said ginny, giggling. “well - percys got a girlfriend.” … “it’s that ravenclaw prefect, penelope clearwater,” said ginny. “that’s who he was writing to all last summer, he’s been meeting her all over the school in secret. i walked in on them kissing in an empty classroom one day.” (cos, pg 341)
  • “ah, there’s penelope!” said percy, smoothing his hair and going pink again. ginny caught harry’s eye, and they both turned away to hide their laughter as percy strode over to a girl with long, curly hair, walking with his chest thrown out so she couldn’t miss his shiny badge. (poa, pg 71)
  • “go away, ginny,” said ron. “oh, that’s nice,” said ginny huffily, and she stalked off. (poa, pg 74)
  • “er - why are you calling that owl pig?” harry asked ron. “because he’s being stupid,” said ginny. “its proper name is pigwidgeon.” (gof, pg 52)
  • “she just didn’t want to go with neville… i mean, who would?” “don’t!” said ginny, annoyed. “don’t laugh -” (gof, pg 399)
  • “fine! ginny - BED!” ginny did not go quietly. they could hear her raging and storming at her mother all the way up the stairs… (ootp, pg 91)
  • “yeah, size is no guarantee of power,” said george. “look at ginny.”… “you’ve never been on the receiving end of one of her bat-bogey hexes, have you?” (ootp, pg 100)
  • “don’t call her a mudblood!” said ron and ginny together, very angrily (ootp, pg 108)
  • mrs. weasley was wiping her face on an apron, and fred, george, and ginny were doing a kind of war dance to a chant that went “he got off, he got off, he got off -” (ootp, pg 156)
  • “i’m nobody,” said neville hurriedly. “no you’re not,” said ginny sharply. (ootp, pg 186)
  • “he [hagrid] isn’t a very good teacher, is he?” “yes, he is!” said harry, ron, and ginny angrily. (ootp, pg 200)
  • hem hem,” said ginny in such a good imitation of professor umbridge that several people looked around in alarm and then laughed. “weren’t we trying to decide how often we’re going to meet and get defense lessons?” (ootp, pg 345)
  • “yeah, the d.a.’s good,” said ginny. “only, let’s make it stand for dumbledore’s army because that’s the ministry’s worst fear, isn’t it?”  (ootp, pg 392)
  • ginny was teamed with michael corner; she was doing very well… (ootp, pg 394)
  • “we’ve got another seeker!… ginny weasley…. she’s pretty good, actually.” (ootp, pg 453)
  • “yeah?” growled harry, his hands deep in his pockets as he watched the snow now falling thickly outside. “all been talking about me, have you? well, i’m getting used to it…” “we wanted to talk to you, harry,” said, ginny, “but as you’ve been hiding every since we got back -,” “i didn’t want anyone to talk to me,” said harry, who was feeling more and more nettled. “well, that was a bit stupid of you,” said ginny angrily, “seeing as you don’t know anyone but me who’s been possessed by you-know-who, and i can tell you how it feels.” harry remained quite still as the impact of these words hit him. then he wheeled around. “i forgot,” he said. “lucky you,” said ginny coolly. (ootp, pg 499)
  • “c’mon, ginny’s not bad [at quidditch],” said george fairly, sitting down next to fred. “actually, i dunno how she got so good, seeing how we never let her play with us…” “she’s been breaking into your broom shed in the garden since the age of six and taking each of your brooms out in turn when you weren’t looking,” said hermione from behind her tottering pile of ancient runes books. (ootp, pg 574)
  • “well,” said ginny slowly… “if you really want to talk to sirius, i expect we could think of a way to do it…” “come on,” said harry dully. “with umbridge policing the fires and reading all our mail?” “the thing about growing up with fred and george,” said ginny thoughtfully, “is that you sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” (ootp, pg 655)
  • “hi,” said ginny uncertainly. “we recognized harry’s voice - what are you yelling about?” “never you mind,” said harry roughly. ginny raised her eyebrows. “there’s no need to take that tone with me,” she said coolly. “i was only wondering whether i could help.” (ootp, pg 735)
  • ginny was still trying to stamp on the feet of the sixth-year girl who had both her upper arms in a tight grip. (ootp, pg 744)
  • “but ginny was the best, she got malfoy - bat-bogey hex - it was superb, his whole face was covered in the great flapping things.” (ootp, pg 760)
  • “excuse me, but i care what happens to sirius as much as you do!” said ginny, her jaw set so that her resemblance to fred and george was suddenly striking. “you’re too -” harry began. “i’m three years older than you were when you fought you-know-who over the sorcerer’s stone,” she said fiercely, “and it’s because of me malfoy’s stuck back in umbridge’s office with giant flying bogeys attacking him-” (ootp, pg 761)
  • “okay, fine, it’s your choce,” he said curtly. “but unless we can find more thestrals you’re not going to be able -” “oh, more of them will come,” said ginny confidently… “what makes you think that?” “because in case you hadn’t noticed, you and hermione are both covered in blood,” she said coolly, “and we know hagrid lures thestrals with raw meat, so that’s probably why these two turned up in the first place…” (ootp, pg 763)
  • “not anymore,” said ginny resolutely. “he [michael corner] didn’t like gryffindor beating ravenclaw at quidditch and got really sulky, so i ditched him and he ran off to comfort cho instead.” (ootp, pg 866)
  • “whereas bill and fleur… well… what have they really got in common? he’s a hard working, down-to-earth sort of person, whereas she’s -” “a cow,” said ginny, nodding. “but bill’s not that down-to-earth. he’s a curse-breaker, isn’t he, he likes a bit of adventure, a bit of glamour… i expect that’s why he’s gone for phlegm.” (hbp, pg 127)
  • “tonks is okay looking when she isn’t doing stupid things to her hair and her nose, but-” “she’s a damn sight nicer than phlegm,” said ginny. (hbp, pg 129)
  • the door opened again and mrs. weasley popped her head in. “ginny,” she whispered, “come downstairs and help me with the lunch.” “i’m talking to this lot!” said ginny, outraged. “now!” said mrs. weasley, and withdrew. “she only wants me there so she doesn’t have to be alone with phlegm!” said ginny crossly. she swung her long red hair around in a very good imitation of fleur and pranced across the room with her arms held aloft like a ballerina. (hbp, pg 130)
  • “’e is always so thoughtful,” purred fleur adoringly, stroking bill’s nose. ginny mimed vomiting into her cereal behind fleur. (hbp, pg 146)
  • “but you’re moving through boyfriends a bit fast, aren’t you?” ginny turned to look at him, her hands on her hips. there was such a mrs. weasley-ish glare on her face that harry was surprised fred didn’t recoil. “it’s none of your business. and i’ll thank you,” she said angrily to ron … “not to tell tales about me to these two.” (hbp, pg 163)
  • “au revoir, ‘arry,” said fleur throatily, kissing him good-bye. ron hurried forward, looking hopeful, but ginny stuck out her foot and ron fell, sprawling in the dust at fleur’s feet. (hbp, pg 175)
  • zabini gave a tiny little cough that was clearly supposed to indicate amused skepticism. an angry voice burst out from behind slughorn . “yeah, zabini, because you’re so talented… at posing…” (hbp, pg 192)
  • “that’s right,” said ginny staunchly. “neville and i were both there too, and all this “chosen one” rubbish is just the prophet making things up as usual.” (hbp, pg 193)
  • “he saw me hex zacharias smith,” said ginny. “you remember that idiot from hufflepuff who was in the d.a.? he kept on and on asking about what happened at the ministry and in the end he annoyed me so much i hexed him.” (hbp, pg 195)
  • after two hours… harry had found himself three chasers… ginny weasley, who had outflown all the competition and scored seventeen goals to boot. (hbp, pg 292)
  • “and ginny, don’t call ron a prat, you’re not the captain of this team-” “well, you seemed too busy to call him a prat, and i thought someone should.” (hbp, pg 368)
  • “i don’t want too find my own sister snogging people in public!” “this was a deserted corridor till you came butting in!” said ginny. (hbp, pg 369)
  • right,” said ginny, tossing her long red hair out of her face and glaring at ron, “let’s get this straight once and for all. it is none of your business who i go out with or what i do with them, ron -” “yeah it is!” said ron, just as angrily. “d’you think i want people saying my sister’s a-” “a what?” shouted ginny, drawing her wand. “a what, exactly?” “he doesn’t mean anything, ginny -” said harry automatically… “oh yes he does!” she said, flaring up at harry. “just because he’s never snogged anyone in his life, just because the best kiss he’s ever had is from our auntie muriel-” “shut your mouth!” bellowed ron, by-passing red and turning maroon. “no, i will not!” yelled ginny, beside herself. “ive seen you with phlegm, hoping she’ll kiss you on the cheek every time you see her, it’s pathetic! if you went out and got a bit of snogging done yourself, you wouldn’t mind so much that everyone else does it!” … “you don’t know what you’re talking about!” ron roared… “just because i don’t do it in public-!” ginny screamed with derisive laughter, trying to push harry out of the way. “been kissing pigwidgeon, have you? or have you got a picture of auntie muriel stashed under your pillow?” … “harry’s snogged cho chang!” shouted ginny, who sounded close to tears now. “and hermione snogged victor krum, it’s only you who acts like it’s something disgusting, ron, and that’s because you’ve got about as much experience as a twelve year old!” and with that, she stormed away. (hbp, pg 369-371)
  • … ginny having scored four of gryffindor’s six goals… (hbp, pg 381)
  • “ginny, where’re you going?” yelled harry, who had found himself trapped in the midst of a mass midair hug with the rest of the team, but ginny sped right on past them until, with an almightly crash, she collided with the commentator’s podium. as the crowd shrieked and laughed, the gryffindor team landed beside the wreckage of wood under which zacharias was feebly stirring; harry heard ginny saying blithely to an irate professor mcgonagall, “forgot to brake, professor, sorry.” (hbp, pg 383)
  • “it looks like he’s [ron] eating her face off, doesn’t it?” said ginny dispassionately. “but i suppose he’s got to refine his technique somehow.” (hbp, pg 387)
  • “ginny’s been nice, though. she stopped two boys in our transfiguration class calling me ‘loony’ the other day-” (hbp, pg 400)
  • “you could’ve taken anyone!” said ron in disbelief over dinner. “anyone! and you chose loony lovegood?” “don’t call her that, ron,” snapped ginny. (hbp, pg 401)
  • don’t push me, please, dean,” she said, sounding annoyed. “you’re always doing that, i can get through perfectly well on my own…” (hbp, pg 611)
  • there was ginny, running toward him; she had a hard, blazing look in her face as she threw her arms around him. and without thinking, without planning it, without worrying about the fact that people were watching, harry kissed her okay not a total ginny moment but take notes @hpdirectors this is how you write a quality kiss (hbp, pg 681)
  • you’d think people had better things to gossip about,” said ginny… “three dementor attacks in a week, and all romilda vane does is ask me if it’s true you’ve got a hippogriff tattooed across your chest.” … “what did you tell her?” “i told her it’s a hungarian horntail,” said ginny, turning a page of the newspaper idly. “much more macho.” “thanks,” said harry, grinning. “and what did you tell her ron’s got?” “a pygmy puff, but i didn’t say where.” (hbp, pg 684)
  • “just because i’ve given my permission doesn’t mean i can’t withdraw it-” “your permission,” scoffed ginny. “since when did you give me permission to do anything?” (hbp, pg 684)
  • “we can’t be together.” she said, with an oddly twisted smile, “it’s for some stupid, noble reason, isn’t it?” … “voldemort uses people his enemies are close to… he’ll try and get to me through you.” “what if i don’t care?” said ginny fiercely.  “i care,” said harry. “how do you think i’d feel if this was your funeral… and it was my fault…” …. “i never really gave up on you,” she said. “not really. i always hoped… hermione told me to get on with life, maybe go out with some other people, relax a bit around you, because i never used to be able to talk if you were in the room, remember? and she thought you might take a bit more notice if i was a bit more - myself.” … “well, i can’t say im surprised. i knew this would happen in the end. i knew you wouldn’t be happy unless you were hunting voldemort. maybe that’s why i like you so much.” (hbp, pg 822)
  • “i couldn’t think what to get you,” she said. “you didn’t have to get me anything.” … “i didn’t know what would be useful. nothing too big, because you wouldn’t be able to take it with you.” … “so then i thought, i’d like you to have something to remember me by, you know, if you meet some veela when you’re off doing whatever you’re doing.” “i think dating opportunities are going to be pretty thin on the ground, to be honest.” “there’s the silver lining i’ve been looking for,” she whispered, and then she was kissing him as she had never kissed him before, and harry was kissing her back, and it was blissful oblivion, better than firewhisky; she was the only real thing in the world, ginny, the feel of her, one hand at her back and one in her long, sweet smelling hair. (dh, pg 99)

I have yet to see someone write one of those white feminist think piece about how it’s important for Daenerys and Arya or Cersei to be friends.
But everyone got their panties tight over a Sansa and Danaenerys fríendship.

Even if everything Daenerys wants is jeopardising everything Sansa worked for throughout season 7.

Let’s just discard their conflicting wishes and have them bound just because they are women.
That’s white feminism at its whitest.

I’ve yet to see a convincing meta or a headcanon about Sansa and Dany’s friendship that put them on equal footing.

Most people insist that Sansa HAS to understand that they need Daenerys to save the day. She needs to get it through her skull and give up on Nothern Independence.

It can’t go another way. Also people think that friendship will be so sweet if Sansa offers to give up on title as Lady of Winterfell and give up to Daenerys after her marriage to Jon.

I’ve seen this heacanon polluting Sansa’s tags for awhile and I have to address it.

Why would you want Sansa to be stripped off the only thing that grant her power and keep her from being used again by other people?
If you really care about Sansa’s character, you would know how badly she wants to control her own life and protect her home.

It doesn’t matter to some people because in their headcanons, Daenerys taking another title is more important than Sansa’s agency.

That goes hand in hand with this infamous headcanon of Sansa braiding Daenerys’s pale hair.

I mean, some of you just want Sansa to become a glorified handmaiden for Daenerys. That’s the only explanation behind it because I can’t see why something like that would make sense in Canon.

I’m tired of this hypocrisy disguised in performative wokeness.

You don’t care about empowering women or female characters if you want one female’s characterization to be ruined beyond repair just to prop up the other.

So yeah I’ll be sitting here rooting for Sansa to stand her ground and protect her home from a Targaryen invader.
If that’s too negative for you and anti-feminist, you can choke.

That Girl - Tom Holland

summary : Y/N has been infatuated with her Co-Star and friend Tom Holland for quite some time now, but can’t admit her feelings for him because of his girlfriend

word count : 1.9k

warnings : angst, sad reader, sad Tom, mentions of cheating, cursing.

pairing / characters : Tom Holland x reader, Harrison Osterfield x reader, Zendaya, OC, Jacob Batalon

prompt : “Can you make an angst fic with Tom Holland where the reader likes Tom but he has a gf or vice versa???” - anon

A/N : angst is my life. ughhh.

master list | requests | prompt list

Originally posted by tomhollandisdaddy

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here are my thoughts on why adena chose to get back with coco

it seems to me that coco may have some serious mental issues. coco called adena at 3AM and when adena picked up the first thing she asked in a worried voice was “coco are u okay?” this isnt a question u ask someone you have just broken up with. Also adena looked so sad when kat was telling her that she wanted to be with her, she was trying her best to hold back her tears, she is in such a dilemma. The girl she is in love with was standing right in front of her confessing her feelings for her but she had to muster every ounce of self restraint and turn down the girl of her dreams. This is a testament of her character, she wants to be with kat so badly but she also doesn’t want to be responsible for anything bad happening to the person she once loved. i really hope that coco loves adena enough to let her go, because it seems like adena is such a caring person and will never allow herself to be the reason someone she cares about harm themselves and so may choose to remain in the relationship even though she is not happy and it is not what she wants. The thought of adena breaking down after kat leaves–

im gonna rant about princess allura for a second

holy…………shit what a well written strong female character. first off, she takes no shit. doesnt let the fact that shes a princess stop her from getting her hands dirty and saving lives. fucking pelted pidge with goo when sassed. shut lance tf up by insulting his ears (FIRST THING SHE DOES AFTER WAKING UP 10000 YEARS IN THE FUTURE IS ROAST A FUCKBOI I LOVE HER)

shes physically strong, she hurled shiro through that door like he was a wet towel going into the hamper. holy shit girl pick me up and carry me away

she has weaknesses!!!!! she wants to go home so badly, she let the corrupted hologram of her father lead her straight into a star. even after that, she was able to prioritize the core mission of voltron over keeping the memory of her father alive. she sacrificed so much to keep the entire mission on track.



anonymous asked:

Can you explain to me why y'all are so happy with that she has bellamy thing? Yikes. Stop making it all about a man. She can't be independent? She needs a man? Of course, if a woman is strong, writers have to give her a male character. So groundbreaking.

Hmmm…..sorry but I’m not sure where you’re coming from. I don’t want to think badly so let’s assume you just hate the idea of a strong woman being in a relationship with a man and this is not related to Clarke’s sexuality.

Everyone has the right to have an opinion. The way I see it, strong female characters should be allowed to fall in love. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you’re weak or depend on the other person.

Clarke loves Bellamy and Bellamy loves her too. When bellarke finally gets together in a romantic sense, Clarke will still be strong and independent. If you really watched the show you’d know that she has bellamy since s1, they share the leadership role. Just tell me a moment when the narrative doesn’t acknowledge her as leader.  

Can we stop talking about gender for a second? Clarke doesn’t need a man, nobody’s ever said that, but she needs Bellamy.

She doesn’t need him because he’s a strong man, she needs him because he’s her best friend, the one who is there when she’s scared or broken, the one who helps her to bear the burden, the one who would make a joke about his own torture just to make her smile…

The show has pointed out that Clarke needs Bellamy, either through words or gestures. 


Originally posted by kcismyreligion

Originally posted by shaelit

Originally posted by hisstericallypawesomesleepurr

This is not my interpretation, this is canon!!


I’m so so sooooooo HAAAPPYYYYY O(≧▽≦)O GANGSTA will resume its serialization in July!! Gangsta is my favorite manga and I wanted to know how the story goes and ends so so badly. Kohske is a huge inspitation for me and I really hope she’s feeling better, her health goes first ᕙ[ ・ ∧ ・ ]ᕗ

so to celebrate the good news I draw two really amazing characters, I love this women, really both are incredible, interesting  and strong. Ginger is so OP, she’s so beautiful and I love that Gina has all the control and respect, plus there are (spoiler) hints about them being together ♡ …but I want to know moreee!

Chess Scene Thoughts

At first I was very ‘I WILL IGNORE THIS OMINOUS MUSIC’ but as I’m working through my gay coma form all of those feelings, I find myself liking the scene more. I know the obvious read is that ‘she’s could still be evil’ but that’s really surface level. I offer an alternative read:

Lena is contemplating Kara as her white knight (whether she knows she’s supergirl or not) and seeing how she fits on the chessboard with Lena’s plans. I don’t think Lena cares much about alien stuff, but she DOES have plans for herself and making L-Corp successful. She can see the game for what it is, but she doesn’t look happy about it or what that means about her character that she sees things like a Luthor. 

At the same time, I think it’s very foreign to her to HAVE a white knight sort in her life. I don’t think she see’s herself as a damsel in distress, but it means everything that Kara is there to champion her. Thusly, she has zero chill about it and fills Kara’s office with flowers and gushes to her and wants her so badly. 

So she’s stuck in this in-between place of wanting something badly on a personal level like anyone else, but also seeing it from a Luthor utilitarian standpoint and I think that makes her more complex and interesting as she navigates that. 

bitch there are people in the tags angry that Sara kissed a girl this week??

cause oh no she’s no bisexual anymore?? like yall want her to bang a dude so badly.

like you’re right. I’m bisexual and one day I kiss a girl and other i gotta kiss a guy. I gotta keep that balance cause if not. I stop being bi.
like. Imagine being that ignorant and pathetic. #cantrelate

also people saying she’s a slut cause she’s not in a serious relationship?? 
literally some bullshit criticism that only happens to female characters tbh.

Can you imagine that. we’re blessed with two beautiful girls .kissing in a medieval setting after a battle. literally some shit straight out of a fanfic and…people are angry. cause they kissed???

again. can’t relate.

Anyways. Sara Lance Bisexual queen and icon kisses girls throughout time and history as she pleases and I encourage you all to show your love in the tags cause Sara Lance deserves it.

maryloubird  asked:

There is a song by The Fast Romantics called "Why we fight" and ever since the first time I heard the song on the radio, I always thought it really fits Jamie and Claire's passionate relationship, and would make a really good AU prompt or fic. Do love all the mod's writing! :)

In our bedrooms we are free
deep in the guts of me
I love you violently
until the dawn’s early light

This is why we fight

Cool, fresh air whipped Claire’s face, the mad curls of her hair pushing free, her whole body thrumming with *life.*

Still she urged her horse to go even faster, galloping across the open field, leaping over streams and shearing the tops off wildflowers. Chasing the horizon.

So alive – and free – and full of joy.

Especially because of the man racing on his horse beside her – his red curls whipping around that fine, strong jaw she ached so deeply to touch, his blue eyes smiling in disbelief at her antics.

For she trusted him with her courage, and her daring, and her thirst for life. And he cherished them for the rare gifts that they were.

They hobbled the horses in their customary spot – a glade within the trees, on the far edge of the estate. Very private.

Three years now they had raced their horses – challenged each other. Always ending up at this same spot, which he had discovered by accident and which she loved as the one place she felt safe.

For here it did not matter that she was Lady Claire MacKenzie, wife of Lord Callum MacKenzie, an intimate of the King’s and one of the largest landowners on the border with Scotland.

It did not matter that he was Sir James MacKenzie Fraser, nephew of the Lord (via an acknowledged bastard line), an outlaw from his native Scotland come into the service of his feeble-bodied uncle. Who protected that which was valued most dear – the Lady Claire, sole heiress of the Beauchamp lands that had been subsumed into the MacKenzie holdings upon their marriage five years previously.

In this glade – cut off from the manor, and Court, and the stables, and everyone who constantly sought to isolate them and mold them into people they did not want to be – he was Jamie, and she was Claire, and they found refuge in each other.

“Tell me again,” she whispered, watching him play with the fingers of her right hand. Settled against a live oak whose trunk was wide enough to cradle the both of them – miles from prying ears – they dreamed.

“We’d sleep in my parents’ room,” he began, “in the bed I was born in. I’d wake ye wi’ the dawn – just when it’s light enough to see yer bonny face – and love ye, quiet, as the sun came up.”

She swallowed, and he dug his nail into the lines of her palm. She gasped.

“And ye’d ken in that moment just how much I love ye, Claire.” His voice rasped hot against her neck. His face turned against her cheek, nuzzling. “I’d freeze that moment in time, if I could – if it meant forever. Forever wi’ ye.”

She squeezed his fingers – watched his knuckles pop white – wanting. Wanting so much more than she could ever offer him.

“And then I’d hold you so close to me,” she swallowed. “Not believing what we have is real.”

Claire inhaled deeply – then released. “And then we’d need to scramble for our clothes because the children would come in.”

She felt his smile. “Aye – all of them, all at once. The eldest holding the youngest by the hand – settling into bed wi’ us.”

“And we’d hold them, and love them – let them know how much they were wanted.”  

“Because they are a blessing from God. And they will have choice over everything in their lives – how to live, where to live. What to do. Who to marry.”

Jamie undid the button at her wrist, snaking one large finger to trace the fine blue veins there. So soft.

“And then breakfast – and then you’d be off to tend to the animals, and check on the fields.”

“Aye – and then ye’d come wi’ me, bringing all the children, and yer wee basket of herbs too. Because ye never ken when ye’ll find something ye can use for yer healing.”

They knew this story – what would, could, would never be their story – by heart. It was woven from so many hours of loneliness – longing for the life they may have had, had dreams been reality.

Claire didn’t realize her eyes were shut – or that she had been crying – until Jamie began kissing her tears away.

She swallowed down a sob – but he knew, he always knew.

“Will we still be dreaming of this life when we are old and grey, Jamie?”

He kissed the tip of her nose.

“Is this – this moment now – all we will ever have?”

He kissed the edge of her mouth.

“Why do I keep dreaming of a life with you, when I know it will never come?”

He untied her bonnet, gently setting it on the grass, caressing her temples, gathering bunches of her curls into his capable hands.

“Ye keep me alive. And I ken I do the same for ye.”

He brought her brow to his, fingers tangled in her hair.

“That’s why. Even if it crushes yer heart, *mo nighean donn*. I canna live in a world wi’out ye in it.”

“But I want you to be my *whole* world.”

Fresh tears spilled. And he kissed them away again.

“Ye are, for me. Nothing matters more to me than yer happiness.”

Bravely he settled his hands on her hips – or where her hips would be, had she not been covered with so damn many layers of skirts and petticoats.

“Callum is no’ much longer for this world – everyone kens he marrit ye so that ye could tend him. You know as well as anyone – he’s no’ getting any better.”

She swallowed. “No.”

“So – when he dies, then that is our chance.”

“And what if he does not die soon?” Now her eyes opened, whisky eyes – the eyes that could get him drunk with just one glance – flashing. “He has already outlived all expectations. And then there’s Dougal – ”

“What about him?”

“You know that he’ll make a claim on me the instant Callum dies. And he’ll force me to accept him.”

“No’ if I have any say in it!” Jamie drew back, suddenly flushed. “Ye are no’ a plaything, Claire! Ye are a person – a whole, beautiful person – and – ”

“With the Beauchamp lands hanging around my neck,” she interrupted. Bitter.

“It’s my job to protect ye.” His voice was careful – measured – anger kept barely in check. “I love ye, Claire. I will fight for ye – Christ, I’d gladly *die* for ye, if ye’d let me. And if I canna protect ye at that moment – when ye’d need it the most – then I canna protect ye at all.”

He turned away, back hunched, head in his hands.

She knew better than to touch him.

“That’s why I’ve never even kissed ye, Claire. When the time comes, I want there to be no doubt. No whispers about yer virtue – no stains on yer character. For I may be many things, but I’d never play another man false. No’ where his wife is concerned.”

She crossed her legs beneath her voluminous gown, hands folded in her lap. Wanting so badly to comfort him – but damn him, he was right.

“And between now and then?”

Slowly he sat up – then crawled over to her – and took her hands in his.

“We race – and we dream – and we plan. We’ve never decided on names for the children.”

That got her to laugh – and his heart leapt at the sound of it.

“I do love you, you know.”

He kissed the back of one hand – and then the back of the other.

“I hope our son has a heart as selfless as yours.”

He smiled at her – and the world stopped.

“I hope our daughter will be as strong and confident as her mother,” he whispered.

The race back to the manor house was long over – and both horses slowed to a trot as they glided through the main gates.

Jamie was just behind her – befitting his station.

The stable lads were waiting to help her off her horse.

She slid to the dirt – and they bowed.

“Thank you, Sir James,” she called up to her knight, sitting quite still atop his mount.

He nodded in deference to her station.

And then she disappeared into the manor.

Jamie balled her handkerchief – which she had used to dry her brow after their race this morning, and then pressed into his hand as he helped her tie on her bonnet before leaving the glade – in his fist.

Through the upstairs window, he watched Claire enter Callum’s study and curtsy before his desk.

He said a quick prayer, then stepped out of the saddle, and led the horse to the stables to be cared for.

anonymous asked:

How do U feel about D@n3ryz as a character? What about j0n3ryz?

Oh good question anon.

This might get a little long.

When I first started watching Game of thrones (picked it up just before season 4 started), I loved Dany. I found her story interesting and her character interesting. Her struggles with her marriage to Drogo and Viscerys were appealing to me. As was her dragons and her determination to get back home and become queen. I thought it was cool to see a female character as a powerful leader and Dany’s idealism as character was a welcome departure from some of the other characters on the show.

Basically I used to love Dany…..but then I started to notice that nothing was changing about Dany. I like dynamic characters who evolve, characters who are allowed to have layers and flaws within the narrative….and Dany stopped doing that along the way. I felt like she was moved from one savior narrative to another. From one position of absolute worship to another. When she faced a hardship there was always an easy fix that usually entailed her amassing even more unearned worship and power than she had before. Dany stoped evolving as a character and became the epitome of a special snowflake. Every man who came in her presence loved her for some reason, every group of people ended up worshipping her greatness, every potential ally could never help seeing just how great she is. All of her extreme and selfish behaviors were applauded because it was Dany and Dany does whatever she wants because she’s the ultimate dragon flying fire immune badass and she’s the savior.

I was forced to watch her go on one slave mission after another, leaving nothing but chaos in her wake while still patting herself on the back for being a breaker of chains who brought “peace”. I was forced to watch her give the same awe inspiring speech about how she’s a amazing leader over and over and having the people fall in line with that idea despite never doing a single thing to prove it besides burning shit and riding dragons. None of this would have been a problem for me if the narrative would have addressed her worship for what it truly is….fear, but it doesn’t. Dany doesn’t truly inspire loyalty and belief based on her amazing capabilities as a leader and her honorable and trustworthy heart. She inspires fear and worship off the back of her privilege and her fear Inspiring power. This is barely truly dissected in the narrative with Dany tho. The men and women of the Dothraki just love Dany and think she’s a goddess, they don’t fear the shit it of her because she burned their holy land and all of their leaders to the ground. The Unsullied are just eternally grateful that Dany freed them from their slave masters so they happily act as slaves for her mission to win her throne back. According to the narrative people just can’t help but love and be loyal to the great Dany, even tho her antics over in Essos have been fear inspiring and chaotic. I mean we are still lead to believe that people just miraculously LOVE leaders that burn her opposition alive and let’s her dragons run loose. All of Dany’s short comings as a leader are rectified with advisors who get no credit for their work. All of her mistakes are erased with a display of her unmatched power. Everyone continues to march on to the beat of Dany’s drum just because and that’s that we shouldn’t question why. We are supposed to cheer her on because she’s our “heroine” even tho a lot of the times she feels like she has just as much of a propensity for selfish violence and destruction as the “villains.”

Take for example Ceresi….Ceresi is evil because she blew up a sept of people who humiliated her and came against her….but is what Ceresi did really that different from Dany setting fire to all the leaders of the Dothraki? They were people who mocked Dany, humiliated her and wants her to stand trial and be punished according to their customs and culture for her desertion just like the high sparrow and his followers were people who mocked Ceresi, humiliate her and wanted her to stand trial and be punished for her crimes against the faith according to their culture and customs. Ceresi seized control of westeros and its armies for herself and her selfishly driven desire to be queen and destroy her enemies….but is that different from Dany seizing control of all of the dothraki for her selfishly driven desire to come cross the narrow sea and destroy her enemies? Ceresi has been known to threaten people who will not be blindly loyal to her with death and hasn’t been afraid to take her power by force and shed blood. Dany has also been known to threaten people who will not give her blind loyalty with death by dragonfire, just as she has said that she will shed blood and rain fire down to get her throne. Dany and Ceresi share a lot of extreme behaviors but Dany is cheered on while Ceresi is admonished. Ceresi’s actions are always painted as firmly black, while Dany’s are given an easy out to keep her from looking like an truly mad queen.

After a while that sorta unearned elevation and lack of evolution, and an unwillingness to have her painted as anything other than special, good, and amazing becomes a turn off for me. I can see hints in the narrative that Dany isn’t as great and benevolent as she appears to be but the only way those hints will change my opinion is if it becomes more than hints, it needs to be a full on agenda for me to take Dany seriously as a character again. I don’t like special snowflakes, and Dany is everything wrong with a special snowflake. They always end up too grand for their own good and make the narrative suffer, they always end up with unmovable entitlement that overshadows all of their good characteristics. I can barely see Dany as the compassionate Queen who stoped the rape of women and was disgusted by slavery anymore because all I see now is a entitled woman who thinks the entire world owes it to her to worship at her feet and let her rule them.

I don’t think Dany is a bad character or person. I think she has some good qualities as a person and as a leader, but her ego, her narcissism, and her incompetence are hardly ever addressed in a truly negative light so she has never been forced to evolve beyond them. Even now, she’s in Westeros and we are supposed to believe that she is the greatest leader that the realm deserves and yet she doesn’t know anything about the people in westeros, expects blind loyalty, and It’s TYRION who is doing most of the thinking and planning for her. When you have a characters who thinks so highly of themselves, then you surround them with people who also blindly worship at their feet you get the Dany’s of the world, super special infallible characters that never evolve into anything beyond their own delusions. You get characters that embody everything wrong with privilege and power. There is nothing appealing to that type of character to me. It’s boring. It’s one dimensional, it’s unrealistic. That’s why I don’t see a lot that’s appealing to Dany at the moment.

Even though my dissatisfaction with Dany has been growing for seasons now I was still exited for her to cross the narrow sea and snatch Ceresi by her edges. But oddly enough crossing the sea has only shown me exactly why I started to become disillusioned with Dany in the first place. She’s strolled across the sea in all of her privileged and entitled glory thinking she was going to easily walk to the throne and yet now she’s looking like a selfish incompetent queen that is in over her head in a game with enemies and allies that she doesn’t understand. Ceresi is owning her at every turn and is so unapologetically evil in her victories that it almost makes you root for the crazy bitch. Meanwhile Dany is alienating people like Jon and the North and being stubborn even when presented with a threat to the people she so badly wants to rule because the extent of her diplomatic knowledge so far has been “submit to me I have dragons”. All she does is talk about how she’s entitled to power and worship and authority all while Tyrion has had to hold her hand at every turn so far. If she wasn’t coddled and propped for so long, if she had evolved beyond the girl who can survive fire and control dragons she would be more prepared for this game but she’s not, she’s not because Dany is a superficial leader just like she’s a superficial character, all shiny on the outside but terribly unevolved and ill equipped on the inside.

As far as her and Jon, many of the reasons I don’t care for Dany apply to why I don’t see any appeal in her and Jon. First, Jon is a borderline special snowflake his damn self if we’re being honest. The idea is this entire epic tale ends up being about these two super special destined for greatness people falling in love and saving the world and ruling the land in peace and harmony is so laughable and cliche I just can’t even take the thought seriously. Jon and Dany are predictable and and cliche.

The only thing Jon has going for him despite being a special snowflake is that Jon stays grounded as a character and because his personality and his narrative which is the exact opposite of Dany’s. Dany craves power and Jon usually wants no parts of it. Jon has been handed power on silver platters, but Jon has been given power because he has inspired faith and trust in the people around him based on his actions. Dany was born believing she was the most privileged of them all with her fancy last name that’s meant to rule westeros. Jon was born a bastard and believing himself to be the lowest of them all. Jon has fought and lost, Dany had fought and won at every turn. Jon sees no appeal in the life this game brings, Dany sees glory. I know some people like opposites attract but Dany and Jon are such polar opposites it would be impossible for them to ever work together, everything they are and believe fundamentally oppose each other. The only way they work is if one of them betrays their own character traits

Dany’s goals are also so singular and pose such huge threat to Jon and everything the claims to love and want. Dany wants to rule, she wants the 7 kingdoms. She believes she was born to rule, that it’s her birthright, she just told him that she’s been through a lot and that the only thing keeping her going had been her belief in herself and her destiny…..yet we know know that her entire existence is a lie. She’s not the true heir to the throne, Jon is. Once that is reveled how will it lead to anything else besides civil war with Jon? Dany didn’t come here and endure all her hardships to Marry the one true King and be his Queen, she came here to be THE Queen. That idea can’t co exist with Jon’s existence. Even if Jon doesn’t want the crown. How will she go on knowing it’s not really hers and never was? Is Jon’s magical love supposed to just erase everything about her?

And what about Jon, is he supposed to just forget about the north and his home and all the people who believed in him enough to make him King in the North despite being a bastard for Dany? The only way Jon can work with Dany is if he hands her the North and denies all that he is to give her absolute power, doing so would be a betrayal to North and to all of the things that Jon himself has said that he believes. If he doesn’t yield everything to Dany then how will a romance co exist with Jon being in power in westeros and even in the north? When Jon is standing in the way of what Dany wants? She’s already branded the north traitors in open rebellion because Jon refuses to kneel. Is Dany supposed to fall in love and just throw her want for power to the wind or is Jon supposed fall in love and throw the North under the bus?

Basically when I think about Jon and Dany what I get is two people who are incompatible on a character level and on a narrative level. Two people who are each other’s foils, not each other’s perfect partner. Two people who would make for a very boring and predictable story, and I don’t think anything about GRRMS ending will be boring and predictable.

anonymous asked:

I just can't get behind living nests until she actually freaking apologizes to freaking feyre.

See, this is the exact thing that makes me love her even more. That she hasn’t apologised properly yet.

Bear with me here, Nonnie, because this is going to be a long one. 

Nesta is not perfect. She has made mistakes and stupid/bad things. One very stupid thing would be letting her little sister, our beloved High Lady, provide for them all by herself and letting her carry that burden while at the same time being unsupportive. But a stupid/bad action does not equal a bad person.

When I was a kid my mama always put emphasis and made one thing very clear to me, as she was handing my ass to me, and that thing can be boiled down to this: “You did a stupid thing. You are not stupid, the thing was. You are smarter than this. Make it right and next time do better.”

In my opinion, Nesta knows she fucked up. She is a smart woman. But she is also a proud woman. Nesta telling Feyre that she went after her when Tamlin took Feyre, that she braved the woods and the unknown to find a sister she loves only to be stopped when she could not find her way through the wall, is a part of her making it better. Another thing is letting the Inner Circle use their house for meetings with the Mortal Queens, despite the danger it put her and Elain in. I don’t know if she’ll apologise to Feyre straight out, we’ll see. But I believe she will make it right, she loves her sister too much not to. 

I also very much believe this situation is similar to the one with Rhysand in the hiatus between ACOTAR and ACOMAF. Many people wanted so badly to love him but couldn’t because he had not apologised to Feyre for the things he made her do Under the Mountain. I know, he did not do these things to Feyre for years and he was not someone Feyre are supposed to be able to rely on, her big sister. But for us fans it was similar, you like the character but you will not allow yourself to 100% go for it because they hurt our Feyre. From your ask it seems like an apology is what you are waiting for, that is the one thing standing in the way. Same as many felt with Rhys. 

We got an entire book where Rhys got to redeem himself, show us his true self and explain his actions to Feyre. We have not had this opportunity with Nesta, yet. I think ACOTAR 3 will give us a lot more Nesta and I am freaking ecstatic about that. To understand her motivations beyond protecting Elain, see how she deals with being Made (into an Illyrian), how she will handle being around Cassian, how Rhys will communicate and talk to her as he is still very much thinking about how she treated Feyre, and that pisses him off, understandably. And I look forward, beyond words, to see her interactions with Mor and Amren. Gah! I am so excited! 

Another reason for me to love Nesta’s character is the fact that she is almost Mor’s opposite. We need characters like Mor that are kind and warm and girl power and likeable, she overcame terrible circumstances and is still warm towards those she cares about. But we also need characters like Nesta. Women who go through bad things and deal with it by closing themselves off to those they cares about. We need this because women in our society are not allowed to just be one or a few things, we have to be everything. We have to be perfect. 

We have to be good students, beautiful, dress well, be funny and cool, yet not too cool because a girl can’t possibly know if she is smart and hot because then she is obnoxious and cocky. We have to be good mothers, good sisters, good daughters. A woman is supposed to be sexy but not so much so she is slutty. Virgins are boring and too much work and pressure but if she has had sex she is a whore. We are supposed to be independent on our own but also not too independent because then we hate men and will become lonely cat ladies. We are not to tell men we want marriage and kids  because then we seem desperate but at the same time the women who do not want kids are shamed for it. We are admired if we are strong, work out and know how to fight but then “oh god you work out so much aren’t you afraid you will get too many muscles and look like a man”? A woman has to be kind and emphatic but she also needs to be fierce and not care what anyone thinks. The list goes on.

What I am trying to say is that we can’t win. No matter what we do we are set up to fail because society puts so much pressure on women to be all these things, to an extent men does not have to live with. And so writing amazing characters, basically flawless, like Mor, I mean she has her struggles but we have yet to see a real flaw in Mor, can end up putting more pressure on young girls. But then SJM balance it out beautifully with Feyre and Nesta and Elain. These three sisters who are all incredible and admirable in their own ways but are also very much flawed, in a way that only male characters really get to be flawed. Because if a man has one redeeming quality, that is usually all it takes because we as a society ask so little of men compared to women. 

So we have a almost flawless character like Mor who loves and befriends a flawed character like Feyre. Showing us that you do not have to be perfect to be loved by something good. To deserve good things. 

To end this rant I would just like to say that I would love to see Nesta apologise to Feyre. But I will love her even if she doesn’t. I love her because she is interesting, I love her because she loves her sisters in her own way, I love her because SJM has written such a perfectly flawed female character that is still a good person and what that represents to young girls. I love her because, at the end of the day, Feyre does too. 

Nesta, my (illyrian) thunderstorm

For some reason, I really like looking at colors in movies and analyzing what they’re supposed to stand for. So for kicks and giggles, I thought I’d do it for Tiana in The Princess and the Frog (an underrated movie in my opinion, but we won’t get into that today). I thought if I did this, it would also help to better understand her character development within the movie.

The main colors we see Tiana wearing throughout the movie are green and yellow (when she’s not in frog form). Green is quite obviously the color for nature, but it can also represent balance and wealth (being the color of money and all). And yes, she wears a couple of other colors, like her blue uniform and the blue dress when she first kisses Naveen, but I’m focusing on green and yellow because those are the colors she wears the most.

Keep reading

So I haven’t seen anything posted about her yet but this is Baron Chau and she’s coming in S2 of Into the Badlands and I’ve been crying over her nonstop for 24 hours LOOK AT HER SHE’S GORGEOUS I hope she’s amazing??? I’ve wanted a female asian character so badly and now we have one and she looks so cool 😭😭😭

It looks like she deals in human cargo tho like the cogs…so that’s going to be intriguing.

The Prince and the enchanted refrigerator is looking for voice actors!

details: The Prince and the enchanted refrigerator is a podcast told in the style of an audio book, being narrated by me, @heyitssamanthajackson , and  I was hoping to find some people who want to voice the characters in the story when they have dialogue. there are no requirements for auditioning, although I would like you to keep oin mind that I would be a bit more comfortable  working with people close to my age, as I am only 15. 

some of the characters you can try out for are listed below the read more, in order of their apperances from the Pilot episode, (currently completly written out) and the second episode, (currently only partially written). If you don’t get the part/parts you tried out for that are on this post, don’t fret, there will be plenty more future characters who’ll need voices.

Keep reading

That’s the crux of her argument with Jaime Lannister.

“Why will he not give everything to overcome that? Brienne is … not heartbroken, but incredibly shocked and hurt, and that hurt makes her question the relationship and what it really means to her. Jaime sort of treats her like she’s a stranger, and fobs her off. It’s incredibly tense. Their past trust and mutual respect just seems to be meaningless. They have had this complex relationship which really can’t be defined, so it’s a really fascinating setup to move forward, for where we will go in the final season. I think although he treats her fairly coldly, what we’ve seen with Jaime Lannister is that he might respond badly to something, particularly with Brienne, but then he takes the time to reflect and think about it, and he’s sort of brought back.”

Unlike Cersei, Brienne usually makes him want to be a better man. It’s kind of an inversion of the Beauty and the Beast scenario, where he is both the beauty and the one who needs to be transformed.

“Yes! It’s so interesting the way the parallels are played with, in that you have a female character who isn’t cute, isn’t beautiful, isn’t sexy, isn’t conventionally attractive, but she has an incredibly attractive interior world, a world that is firmly harnessed to a moral compass. She’s very focused on dedicating her life to the good of others. She’s driven and selfless, and that’s a rare combination.

When Brienne and Jaime are together, something incredibly magnetic seems to occur. Last season, there was that scene where she tries to persuade him to allow her to speak to the Blackfish, and she’s able to communicate and negotiate with him, and be heard by him in a way that doesn’t really exist between many of the other male and female characters. In a way that’s not about manipulation, but is positive. So I’m endlessly fascinated by their dynamic. I really am.”

And then there’s the dynamic with Tormund, which delights a lot of fans. He recently announced his desire to procreate with Brienne, despite the fact that she does not seem to reciprocate his affections, at all.

[Laughs] “Yeah! Do you think she actually likes him? I don’t think it’s something Brienne wants! Tormund is quite a rough and ready man. He’s a man who’s bragged about having sexual intercourse with a bear, and so I question whether that is necessarily the right person for Brienne. Does that man display enough sensitivity? What do you think Tormund would have to come up with to win her heart?”

Well, that’s a bit of a problem with wildling culture. The free folk believe the man should steal the woman. That’s their idea of courtship. With Brienne, he might have more success if he tried to have an actual conversation with her first.

“I think he’d have to have a conversation with her for at least four years. [Laughs] She seems fairly repelled by Tormund’s strong overtures toward her. She’s more enthused by a more cerebral approach. Brienne puts her hand on Jaime’s shoulder in this episode, to stop him as he goes to walk off, and that really throws him off balance. So it’s taken them, what? Nearly five years to just put a hand on his shoulder?!”

And that’s after they’ve seen each other naked!

[Laughs] “They’re working from Point 10 to Point 2. Exactly. And then I think, the poor woman. Look at her choices: the man who brags about having sex with a bear, or the man who has sex with his sister! Maybe there’s another option? I really want her to have someone more stable. I don’t know. I’m a bit surprised by how much attention that the most unconventional female character on the show has garnered for her love life!”

Nikkeijin - Japanese American

“Mom, seriously, you can’t forget particles they’re the most important part of Japanese.” 

“Ugh. There’s just so many of them and it’s easier to just leave them out.” 

Okaasan. Soto wa amari muzukashikunai. It’s not that hard, mom.”

“Mie, my sponge is full!” 

I smirk at the phrase. She is always using that as an excuse, that her brain is too old to learn anything more, despite her being the most dedicated student I’ve ever seen. I know that she is capable of learning this, she just doesn’t believe in herself enough to see the potential she has. The thought pulls me momentarily from my amusement at the conversation. 

Where did you learn to doubt yourself so much?

“Mom, don’t even start,” I say. “You pushed through a bachelors in your late thirties, you’ve taken countless courses at the hospital to better your career, you’re one of the smartest and most determined people I’ve ever met. You’ve memorized the other stuff, you can do the same with the particles.”

Mom rolls her eyes, but smiles at me. “Thanks for the confidence. It’s nice to know that someone thinks I can learn this language.” 

I frown, knowing that she’s referencing my grandma. I cringe thinking of all the times that she’s mumbled, “now you want to learn…” or said something else discouraging about my mom studying Japanese with me. 

“Let’s call it a day and move on. We can review next week.” 

Mom nods. “I’m ok with that.” 

I hesitate for a moment as she packs up her binder and flashcards. I’ve been wanting to talk to her for a few days now, but haven’t known how to bring up the subject. She’s so much more private than my dad—talking about the past doesn’t come naturally and isn’t something she particularly wants to do in the first place. 

“Hey mom?” 

She looks up, eyebrows raised. “Yeah?”

“You know I’m writing my thesis on grandma,” I start. “I have a lot of information on her life in Japan, but not as much as I’d like on when she came to the states. Is it… Is it ok if I ask you some questions about what it was like, you know, growing up with her?”

Mom furrows her brows but nods. “I mean, sure. Though I don’t know how much I’ll have to contribute.” 

I smile. “I’m sure you’ll have a lot more than you realize.” 

I reach forward, grabbing and opening the notebook that I’ve left on the coffee table during our lesson. It’s bright yellow, doodled on, battered as hell. It has all my notes from my interviews with my grandmother, and now a list of questions I want to ask my mother. I lift my legs up onto the couch against my chest, pen and paper in hand, ready for answers. 

“Besides,” I say. “I kinda just wanna hear more about your childhood. Dad tells us so much about his but you don’t really tell us as much.”

She scoffs. “What? Of course I do!”

I laugh at her reaction. Mom has never been aware of how private she can be, how closed off to intimacy.

“No, not really. We usually have to pry it out of you.” 

She rolls her eyes and shrugs. “I just don’t know that you’d be that interested is all.” 

“Of course, I am,” I say, reaching over to squeeze her shoulder. “You’re one of my best friends, mom. I want to know about you.” 

“Ok,” she sighs. “But you better have questions because I can’t just start talking. I don’t know where to start.”

I tap my notebook with my pen, smirking. 

“Gotcha’ covered.” 

I ask her a million things: what it was like growing up without a dad, if she felt she was influenced much by living with only Japanese relatives, what her Aunt Etsuko and Uncle Shuji were like, what they did together, if she ever went to Nisei festivals (celebrations of second generation Japanese Americans) or spent much time with other Japanese people. Most of the answers I have to force her to elaborate on, pull the memories out of her slowly, meticulously, until I get her to tell me everything. It’s like earning the trust of a dog whose past owners neglected it. 

As my questions progress, she becomes more willing to tell me all she can remember, all her feelings, all the things that I know she’s been hiding because they’re ugly and painful. I feel grateful for this, even if some of it pains me as well. I know how hard it is for mom to open up—emotionally or physically. She is a product of the shame based culture of Japan and it shows in every way.
We get stuck on one topic—her experience of being a haafu, the Japanese word for someone who is half Japanese and half something else. This isn’t the first time that we’ve talked about this—it’s one of the things that we relate to most between us. What it’s like to feel like you’re never enough for either side of your heritage. 

“I kind of grew up feeling more white than Japanese,” she admits. “Even though I didn’t have that presence in my life, my mom didn’t really try and raise me Japanese. I mean, sure, we ate with chopsticks, we went to Little Tokyo a lot, I heard her speak Japanese with Koko and Shuji, but for the most part, we were very American. I think that’s why she didn’t teach me Japanese—she wanted us to assimilate, to leave Japan in Japan and try and forget all the pain.” 

“Didn’t you want to feel Japanese?” I ask. 

“Yeah,” she sighs. “Especially as a kid… I remember I used to watch this cartoon on the international channel on Saturdays, it was Japanese, and I couldn’t understand any of it. But I wanted to, so badly, that I would force myself to laugh when the characters did because I wanted to believe that I could understand them.” 

“That’s kinda cute,” I say, holding back a laugh.

She chuckles, but her face falls soon after. 

“Yeah. And kind of sad too.”  

I nod, not knowing what to say. I realize how privileged I’ve been to be raised so heavily in the culture that she was cheated out of, how lucky I am that she, my grandma, and even my white father, tried so hard to keep that culture alive in our household. 

“I had a realization,” she says. “When I was sixteen. I was just hit with this thought: I’m not white. I’m Asian. I’m Japanese. Even if I was mixed, I looked and lived far more Asian than white, and I just realized that I’d been living a façade believing that I wasn’t.” She takes a sip of her tea then, giving herself time to think before continuing. “I think that’s when I started really wanting to learn about that side of my family. And your dad helped that along too. He’s always been so enthralled by other cultures and traveling. When we started dating he really just wanted to know everything about what it was like to be Japanese.” 

“It’s kind of weird,” I reply. “Hearing you talk about feeling more white… because I’ve always felt more Japanese. When white people find out that I’m Japanese that’s all they see, and we only barely celebrated dad’s Gaelic culture. We’ve been to some festivals and have our family crest on a flag, but that’s about it. The Japanese has always been far more present.”

“But don’t you feel like, when you’re around other Japanese people, full Japanese, that you’re… not enough? Like you’re a part of their world but you’re only on the outskirts of it, not truly accepted?” 

I hesitate, chewing on my lip. I try to ignore that feeling as much as possible. It makes me feel like I don’t have a right to an identity I’ve clung to all my life.

“Yeah,” I finally answer. “I didn’t realize how much I felt that until I went to Japan. Especially when people could see that I was mixed and assumed I could speak the language and I had to tell them I couldn’t. It was really embarrassing for me and I felt like I wasn’t Japanese enough. That’s probably why I started learning.”

“That’s exactly how I feel,” mom replies. “And even Karen Morita says that’s how she feels around her relatives—and she’s full!” She’s referring to our friends from Michigan who have been full blooded Japanese Americans for generations in this country. 

“Being mixed, I’ve found, means never feeling like enough for people.” I say.
She purses her lips. “I’ve felt that way my entire life—in being mixed, and every other aspect too.” 

I get out of my seat and go over to her, wrapping my arms around her shoulders and hugging her tight. “I’m sorry, mama.” 

She pats my arm and smiles up at me. “Well,” she says. “Now I have you to help me to connect to this side of me. And I couldn’t be more grateful for that.” 

I kiss her head. “Daisuki. I love you.” 

Watashi mo Mie ga daisuki. I love you too.”

NaNoWriMo Tip

If you’re like me, you’re struggling to get though nearly 2,000 words a day. You might even bounce back and forth between multiple projects in a desperate attempt to keep the creative juices flowing. You most likely suffer from the bad habit of editing while you write. 

This year, I had the good fortune of attending a presentation by Julie Berry, and what she said had a profound impact on me. She said we need to give ourselves permission to write badly. Unless you’re editing your work, when you sit down to write a scene for the first time–you need to just write crap. You’ve never written it before, why should it be perfect? Don’t kid yourself–it’s never going to be perfect on the first try. World-renowned published authors can’t do it. No one can. The real writing comes in the EDITING process, when you mold that misshapen lump into something unique. 

Her words were inspiring, but the full meaning of her advice didn’t resound with me until a few days ago, because I hadn’t realized what “write badly” meant. It’s painfully obvious in hindsight, but hopefully this will help someone. 

Originally, I thought “write badly” just meant writing a skeletal screenplay version–he said, she said, he did this, then she did that, etc. Light on the details and simple, basic dialogue. It helped me put more words on paper, but not enough. Then one day, I found myself wanting to describe how quietly someone moved. I wanted to make the metaphor relate to the worldbuilding/personality of the character, but the only thing my brain could come up with was “quiet as a mouse.” SUPER cliche, right? 

Except that’s exactly what writing badly means! Phrases like “the sunlight streaming through the tree branches peppered her olive skin” don’t come to you on the spot. You have to sit there and mull over a variety of words in your head, turning them inside out and sideways to get them just right. aka–the editing process. 

So what do you do instead? 

- Forget about the majority of writing skills you’ve been taught, just stick with writing coherent sentences and separate your dialogue. Those other skills are for editing! 
- USE AS MANY ADVERBS AS YOU WANT! I don’t care how many “quietly’s” or “slowly’s” you use, you can always embellish it later. You just need the basics.
- Cliches are your friend. Seriously. Again, you can embellish it later, just get that scene from your head onto the paper! Cliches are quick and fast and that’s what you need.
- Long, run-on sentences are fair game. You can fix that later. (see the pattern here?) If you end up with a six-line paragraph sentence? Great job, that’s six lines of your story that wouldn’t be there otherwise. 
- Be redundant. If you describe a character tightening their grip on their sword five times on one page–that’s fine! You can figure out later which one you want to keep. Your story will go through multiple drafts and you can discover which placement carries the most impact. 
- Use all the dialogue tags you want. They’re cheap and easy and let you know how your character is feeling or acting. You can–(say it with me)–fix it later and add subtle hints and gestures to better convey their emotions.
- Tell don’t show. This is a rough draft, you’re just vomiting words onto the paper.

tl;dr–In your first draft, do everything you’ve been told NOT to do. 

Embrace your inner ten-year-old again! Write for the joy of writing! You never stopped and wondered if you were writing well, you just wrote! DO THAT AGAIN!

It’s just like making a sculpture. Your rough draft is merely slapping pieces of clay on top of each other to create a lumpy mess you can refine later. A person who has a horrendous, cliche-ridden, third-grade level, completed novel is far more successful than the person who has ten perfect revisions of only one chapter.

Give yourself permission to write badly. You can always fix it later.  

anonymous asked:

What did you think about how Mon-El's secret came out and Kara's reaction to it? Hate to say it but Mon-El's mother was kinda right about her.

Oh boy, the whole thing was rather delicious, wasn’t it?  So emotional and we really learned a lot about these characters.  

I thought the reveal was appropriately dramatic, but I’m glad that Kara heard it from Mon El, even if it was forced out of him by having to introduce her to his parents, the King and Queen. 

Kara had every right to be mad and she is allowed to have whatever reaction she wants/feels, but I do have to say, girlfriend is badly in need of some self awareness.  She’s upset that Mon El lied about his identity, understandable, but you might expect some degree of understanding and empathy from someone who lies about her identity every damn day to pretty much the entire planet. 

There’s no question it’s different when you’re in an intimate relationship, but still, I don’t think Kara even made the connection, and it felt pretty hypocritical to me. 

As for what the Queen said, yes, she was pretty much right on the money. That has been shown to be Kara’s journey this season, learning to confront her own prejudices, learning that her judgmental, preconceived notions aren’t always right. That the moral standards she holds others to, are ones that no one can live up to, not even herself.  Actually I expect her to confront that directly at some point. Having to do something morally gray, or something for the greater good that doesn’t fit with her ideals and having a crisis of conscience and identity over it. (maybe next season)

While it’s obvious that by our cultural standards, Daxam had a lot of issues, it’s become clear that the history is not a clear cut case of Krypton=Good and Daxam=Bad. There’s two sides to every story. While Kara thinks Daxam has been the aggressor in past conflict, I bet we find out that Kyrpton may have been much more to blame than she thinks. So while she’s recently learned that her parents were not perfect (her father created an alien-killing virus that almost succeeded with Mon El, which by the way, he didn’t hold against her for a second) I think she may need to confront the fact that her planet wasn’t perfect either. 

Kara blamed the breakup on the lie, but it felt as if the fact that he is the Prince of Daxam is equally, or even more, the issue.  Kara was able to get over her sister lying about her job, and James lying about Guardian, plus Mon El’s issue has not been dishonestly.  He has been incredibly open and honest with her about his feelings every step of the way, (the real stumbling block in many romantic relationships) and his reasons for hiding his identity are understandable. 

It will be interesting to see her confront her own arrogance and prejudices moving forward.  To be clear, I’m not blaming her, but I think it should be an interesting growth opportunity for her, especially once she gets over the sting of hurt and betrayal and examines her feelings.