i'm writing

As some of you may know I’ve been studying Professional and Creative Writing for three years now, and I’m heading into a fourth year of study for Honours, and one thing that has really stuck out for me over the past few years is how much pressure people put on you to write a story with some kind of important meaning.

This needs to stop.

There’s nothing wrong with writing a story with purpose and meaning, but when you limit yourself to writing a story around those morals, then you restrict what you can write.

Write what you want to write. 

Write stories for fun. 

Write stories with no moral messages and see what meaning other people read into it.

Write a story by focusing on the characters, the plot, the narrative, whatever; just write the story you want to tell, becasue if you limit yourself to writing around that moral message then you lose the possibility to open your text up and create depth to it by having multiple meanings and moral messages, contradictions and ideologies that your readers will hold onto and literature students will gush over.

Write what you want to write.

i am doing a terrible job
at forgetting you
because i dreamt
about you last night
and your facial features
appeared so neatly.
especially a year after i last saw you.
—  i’m pretty bad at moving on, i guess.

You are poetry in a person,“ she spoke softly.

Her eyes glistened up toward him, “you make me, a writer, lose all sense of words to describe you. And that both terrifies and exhilarates me in the most comforting way.”

Then, after a pause, “But I want you to know that I’m ready, I’m ready for all of it.

The Common Room

You come into the common room after a long day, and take a deep breath. The earthy smells and the golden light never fail to calm you down. As you walk under the plant suspended from the rafters you feel their tendrils softly brushing your hair. You’re home.
There’s a group of 1st and 2nd year students gathered around one of the 6th years, who is reading the Tales of Beedle the Bard aloud to them.
You look around, searching for your friends, you find them tucked in the big, squishy armchairs on the other side of the room. As you make your way to them flashes of black and yellow rushes past you shrieking with delightful glee. The 3rd years have just found out that they will be going to Hogsmeade next weekend.
You sink into an armchair next to your friends. Yes, life is pretty good in the Hufflepuff Common Room

Last names

Okay so yeah, of course I love the idea of Draco changing his last name to Potter once he and Harry get married. Of course I love the idea of them hyphenating, and all the drama that ensues when they argue about which name should go first. But you know what I really like? What doesn’t get nearly enough thought IMHO?

The mere concept of Harry Malfoy.

Harry Malfoy, nauseated by the fame that came in a package deal with the name “Potter,” fame he never asked for, changing his to that of the person he cares about most.

Harry Malfoy, searching his husband’s eyes for approval before signing the legal documents to have his last name changed and finding just that and so much more. Finding hope and adoration and love. Real love. The warding-off-killing-curses kind of love. Harry holding onto that moment as tightly as possible.

Harry Malfoy, practicing his new signature for hours on end with every spare piece of parchment he can find, and finding an innocent sort of joy in the way his “M” melted perfectly into his “a.”

Harry Malfoy, a reinvented version of himself, finding the strength to move on from his past and sleep through the night without being afraid something might come for him.

Harry Malfoy, being able to breathe in his own skin again because he’s finally been granted the fresh start he’s always wanted.

Harry Malfoy, a name that has never plastered newspapers, has never been on the wanted list, has never been hunted by Voldemort, has never been spat out of the mouth of his aunt and uncle, has never been.

Harry Malfoy, the first page of a journal that is yet to be filled with love poems and stories and happy memories.

Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived.

Harry Malfoy. Man.

My RBB piece featuring old men in love, glowing claws, and an affectionate reaplet
My buddy, @segadores-y-soldados , wrote a gorgeous story (I’m still crying over it as I type these words) involving all 3 of those things and sooooo much more. (But seriously, I was totally tearing up while I was reading it, for more reasons than one. The person sitting next to me on the plane wasn’t prepared)
Check it out here: https://archiveofourown.org/works/12769494
It’s so good! Leave him lots of love for all his hard work! 🙏🙏🙏

Quick Editing Tip: “That”

Rule of thumb about the word “that”: If the sentence still makes sense without it, delete it. This is subjective, of course. But you might be surprised how often you’re using “that” unnecessarily, cluttering up your writing.

Example: After Clayton left the kitchen, Iris told me that he hated onions. I wondered if that meant that he never wanted to eat pizza with us again. Later, I told him that his distaste for onions was understandable, but that he should’ve just kept his mouth shut about it.

wake up ml fandom they’re lying to you

Something I’ve talked about with friends before, is that Peridot’s character arc has been about learning empathy and compassion, right? She knew nothing of those things before landing on earth, and has had quite the crash course (heh) in giving a shit about other people. 

Or as Rebecca Sugar put it once, “She’s excited by the infinite potential of everything, and fascinated by her own capacity to care, because those things had been a total blind spot for her.“ 

And like…thinking about her friendship with Lapis, I feel like she accidentally swung too far the other way. She went from “I don’t care about any of you, I just want off this rock before it explodes,” to “Upsetting Amethyst, even by accident, makes me feel so awful that I’m going to record an apology.” She had an episode of her trying to empathize with Garnet. She saw Steven’s empathy save the planet from the Cluster. She had an episode where she had to see things from the perspective of a corrupted gem (in order to poof it, but still). She tried to make Amethyst feel better about the Jasper situation by taking her to the Beta Kindergarten (which backfired, but her heart was in the right place). 

And she sometimes has the zeal of a recent convert–look at her little speeches to both Jasper and Navy. 

Then there’s Lapis. Peridot fumbles the beginning of that one, but she’s trying, yeah? And she just keeps trying. And trying. And trying. And she just doesn’t know when to stop. Lapis’s reactions, on screen, range from polite-but-distant interest to outright hostility. She doesn’t try to kick Peridot out of the barn again, and she half-asses some morps and watches TV with her and uses her water powers to water their field and takes a lot of naps. 

Meanwhile Peridot constantly tries to engage her and check in with her and is always monitoring Lapis’s emotions if she’s around. Because Peridot doesn’t know that there’s a happy medium between “I don’t care about you” and “your needs are more important than mine.” 

Eventually Peridot got into the habit of changing her words and actions to appease Lapis’s moods. It’s worth remembering that Lapis can be genuinely terrifying when angry, and she’s incredibly powerful. I’ve been around people with mercurial moods who are frightening when they’re angry, and you end up hypervigilant and walking on eggshells all the time. It sucks!! And Peridot has no idea that that’s not what caring for someone means–that a good friendship has give and take; that you shouldn’t have to censor yourself around them out of fear; than you don’t have to (literally!) bend over backwards to please or placate them. 

Peridot’s only other experience of caring about someone else, prior to landing on earth, was caring about Yellow Diamond. “I don’t matter! What’s important is that I’m of use to Yellow Diamond!” Poor baby’s only experience of caring about someone else was slavish devotion without question. No wonder she doesn’t think about herself or her own needs.

So I’m hoping the pendulum will swing the other way a little. I want Peridot to find that she can care for someone and they can care for her just as much–that there’s something really amazing in caring about someone who cares equally about you. That kindness and compassion can go both ways.

in a language that doesn’t have the word ‘love’ I say

“I still have the receipt from the film we watched on

our first date” I say “I bought four red sweaters after

you told me it was your favorite color” I say “it’s been

exactly two hundred and twelve days since our last kiss”

I say “last week, in a hotel room, the complementary

pantene shampoo was the type that you use” I say “I walked

around smelling like you and nobody else cried over it”

I say “yes, I’m still crying over it” I say “the other day

somebody’s ringtone went off in class and it was the same

noise you set for your alarm and it took me a minute

to figure out where I knew it from” I say “I’m terrified

of someday not knowing where I knew it from” I say

“every poem I write nowadays is about the same thing”

I say “I’d almost give up writing altogether if it meant

we could try again” I say “please” I say “please” I say


another untitled poem where I’m exceptionally loud about how much I love people // WRITTEN BY CAITLIN CONLON