if link leads to author it means the work was removed

anonymous asked:

Hi, I'm not sure if this has ever been asked before or if I'm allowed to even ask it, but does anyone have any tips on writing fanfics? Im attempting to write my first one after reading dramione for years and finding it really difficult 😩 if anyone could help me I would really appreciate it!

Congrats on starting your first story! There are a lot of writers on tumblr who’ve shared their tips and advice, and there’s a wealth of articles linked on Pinterest too if you search for “writing advice.” Really though, there’s no teacher like experience, so the more you write, the better you’ll get. 

Some of the admins here are Dramione writers. Some of us have written fanfiction and original stories but aren’t regular HP writers. Some of us aren’t writers, but we’re all voracious Dramione readers. 

These are my own thoughts, and perhaps some of the other admins will chime in:

On Process - figure out what works best for YOU. 

To outline or not: Some writers swear by detailed outlines, and if you have a lot of characters and are juggling multiple subplots, you may need charts or outlines to keep track of everything. JK Rowling had some pretty detailed charts for her books. Other writers tend to fly by the seat of their pants and will take a spark of an idea, start writing, and see where it goes. George R.R. Martin falls into this category. There are pros and cons to both, and it really comes down to finding a method that works best for you. 

If you work best with a strict outline and will stick to it, then there’s probably no harm in posting as you finish a chapter. If you are a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants-er, then you may want to hold off on posting until your story is closer to complete. Once that chapter is up and shared, it’s there for all to see, and it’s much harder to go back and re-write if you find you’ve written yourself into a corner or you want to make major edits later on. 

If you start posting a story and you build up an audience, you’ll get comments like, “more please!” and “when are you going to update?” Yay! That means people like your story! 

If that seems like the sort of thing though that would make you anxious and give you a lot of pressure to produce more content right away, then consider finding a few good betas to give you constructive feedback as you write and wait to post the story until it’s complete or close to complete. 

Some people swear by a strict writing schedule where they set aside time each day to write, and others write only when they feel moved to do so. There are no right or wrong answers for process. Go with what works best for you.

On characterization:

The plus to fanfiction is that your characters and universe are well known, so you don’t have establish your characters and their personalities too much unless you’re elevating a minor canon character to major character status or adding an original character (OC). The downside to fanfiction is that your characters and universe are well known, so your readers probably have their own opinions about who these characters are and what constitutes “in character” behavior. 

In a fandom as big as HP and with a pairing as popular as Dramione, that means that no matter what, someone is going to dislike some aspect of your story. That doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong. It just means someone has a different opinion about what they think would/should/could happen. 

If you want to deviate wildly from canon, then look at what your characters do and say in canon and give some thought to what a reasonable development in their behavior could be if X, Y, or Z happened. If you want to write a dark Draco, then what would need to change from canon to make him that way? Perhaps he suffered great punishment for failing to kill Dumbledore, and it hardened him. Perhaps he witnessed his mother being tortured and chose to close off part of himself to power through the awful things Voldemort would expect him to do. If you are writing post-war/EWE Dramione, then what happened to your characters after the Battle of Hogwarts that led them to where they are at the start of your story? You don’t necessarily need to describe that action in the story, but do give some thought to what they did and how those actions and the war itself affected them. People change as they grow up too, so how does age change them? 

As a reader, I’m willing to read stories that seem pretty far removed from canon in terms of characterization, provided the author makes that leap for me. If Draco is dark, then tell me what made him that way. If Hermione is a bitter, underachieving mess, then tell me what happened to her to lead her to that point in her life. 

On Feedback (betas)

Even professional writers have editors, and they’re designed to give you feedback and help you produce a stronger story. There are many wonderful readers in the fandom - some who are also fanfiction writers themselves - who are happy to beta [edit] a story for you. Some people use the terms alpha and beta, but I’ve always used beta to mean someone who can provide feedback on any aspect of the story, from characterization and plot to grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Some writers have multiple betas, and some use only one. It’s all about finding what works best for you and your beta(s). 

It can take time to find a good beta who works well with you, but if you find one, be open to what he or she has to say. A good beta might be able to find a plot hole you’ve missed or help you with you writer’s block.  

Fanfiction.net allows users to create beta profiles, and I believe that Shaya Lonnie has a list of people who are willing to beta HP stories too. I was asked to beta after I left a lengthy review on the author’s story, and I know plenty of writers who’ve found betas that way. 

Try to be clear on what it is you want from a beta - is it spelling, grammar, and punctuation? Checking for consistency in little details in a very long story? Suggestions on plot? What kind of turn around time do you expect from your beta? Do you want a response the same day? Within a few days? Do you want someone to edit your chapter in Microsoft Word using tracked changes with lots of comments, or do you prefer more general suggestions? The more openly you can communicate your expectations, the more effectively your beta can help you.

You don’t have to have a beta if you don’t want one or if you want to start sharing your story before you find a good beta, but many writers find it helpful to have that extra input.

On Feedback (reviewers)

How often do you go online and leave reviews of restaurants or contact a company’s customer service department? If you have basic good service that you generally expect to get, then if you’re like most people, you probably don’t comment all that often. The people who contact customer service are generally there to register a complaint or to comment about something truly exceptional, but there are usually a lot of otherwise happy customers who don’t really say anything. The same is generally true for fanfiction. You’ll probably have a lot more readers than commenters. 

As big as the fandom is, don’t be surprised if your reviewers contradict each other. For every reader who wants more smut, there’s probably another who could do with less. For every reader who loves the marriage law or head boy/head girl trope, there’s another who hates it and thinks it’s overdone. So what do you gain from contradictory feedback like that? I’m of the “take what helps you and leave out all the rest,” mindset. If you really want to write a story with smut, then write your smut, and if people don’t want that, they’ll look for a different story. 

Some writers believe strongly in writing the story they want to tell, regardless of how popular it is or how many reviews it may garner. Others who have an established audience may prefer to tailor their stories to their audience and write what experience tells them is popular. My personal opinion is that you should aim for a good balance - tell the story you want but be open to reader feedback. If you are consistently hearing, for example, that the pacing is off in your story and action is happening much faster than seems realistic, then you may want to consider slowing down the progression of your characters’ relationship. For OTP stories, I often see the opposite, by the way - the writer seems to enjoy the characters being in the happy, fluffy romance part of their relationship, and the story stalls a bit with multiple chapters of them dating but little plot movement.

It’s natural to be defensive when someone says, “I like X, but Y doesn’t really work for me,” so sometimes it’s helpful to step back and consider if there’s any useful information in a review. On the flip side, we all love to get, “OMG!!!!!! I LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!!!” reviews, and it’s always good to know that someone likes what you’re writing, but that kind of review doesn’t really give you much useful information to help you become a better writer or develop your story.

On length:

If you’re just starting out, a one-short or short story might be less intimidating as a first attempt, but if you feel compelled to write a long story then go for it! There are plenty of fanfiction writers who started out with longer stories. 

There’s no right or wrong answer about chapter length either. Some people like to have a consistent chapter length. I personally prefer that chapter length be organic and reflective of the action, which means some may be only 1,000 or so words and others could be 10,000 words or more. 

We get a lot of requests on our site for stories that have a certain number of chapters, and we tend to sigh when we see those asks because the number of chapters isn’t really indicative of the length of the story. A 10 chapter story could be 10,000 words or less, or it could be 100,000 or more, so don’t get too hung up on the number of chapters.

On sharing:

When you’re ready to post your story, consider sharing on multiple sites to build a bigger audience. Fanfiction.net, AO3, Hawthorn & Vine, and AFF are some of the main sites for Dramione fiction, but be open to livejournal, tumblr, and others. 

Tag your story appropriately when you post it. If you have graphic violence or rape, most people like to know going in that it’s going to be part of your story, as these are common triggers for people. If you have graphic sex or violence, err on the side of caution and rate your story M/E/NC-17, depending on the site.

Be aware that not everyone reads the author’s notes many writers post at the beginning of their chapters, so perhaps try to limit how many you post/how long they are. Even if you provide valuable info in an A/N, odds are you’ll have readers who scroll right past it. 

As a reader, I totally understand that creativity doesn’t always flow on a schedule, and that “real life” often interferes with fun hobbies like fanfiction. However, I also read a truly shameful amount of fanfiction, and if a story hasn’t updated in a few months, I may have to go back and re-read at least part of it to remember where it left off when I last read it.  If you can update your story frequently and with some consistency, it may be easier for you to build an audience.

Finally, when you share your story, SHARE IT WITH US! Send us an ask with a link to your story, and we’ll include it in our tags.

Happy writing!

-Elle

anonymous asked:

okay, your writing hamilton now and im ready to follow you into a new fandom, any recs i should start with?

I wasn’t looking into Hamilton until quite recently before I came back, so l’m sorry if this list doesn’t seem complete or if I forgot anyone y’all really love. Keep in mind that I was gone for quite a long time, and I wasn’t actively involved for quite a while even before I left. When I checked out of tumblr Hamilton was just starting to gain steam, and it hadn’t really caught a fanfiction community on tumblr yet. So, my recommendations mainly come from things I’ve read recently, since I came back and in the weeks leading up to that. If anyone has any to add, please let me know because I love recommendations too. (Shoutout to Jan over on @smollittlebean because she’s recommended a lot to me in recent days.) That in mind, here are some of my favorite Hamilton fanfiction blogs so far:

  • @americanrevelation - Everything Hamilton on her masterlist is also in my likes… suffice to say a blog I visit a lot. Just finishing up a great Thomas Jefferson fic that I can highly recommend. Check out the rest of her masterlist too though. Everything on it is quality.
  • @til-the-world-turns-upside-down - Soulmate AUs are my weakness, as pretty much anyone who has ever been on my blog knows. Check this one out, because it is adorable. Perfectly sums up Hamilton’s George Washington on the first try. Also, check out the masterlist, working on a soulmate au series for Thomas Jefferson.
  • @imdedicatingeverydaytoyou - This is one those you read on a bad day, and you just can’t stop smiling. Also, masterlist. So much John Laurens and so much fluff, it makes me happy; read through if you’re looking for a smile.
  • @wrotemywayoutimagines - Almost cried reading this yesterday. Quality masterlist. I’m still reading my way through all of it, but I absolutely love everything on it. Lots of smiles, quite a few tears, but all of it amazing.
  • @secretschuylersister - I related to this a lot, namely because as a broke college student I live off nacho Lunchables (and pizza rolls). Masterlist here. Her blog says requests are always open too, which is cool.
  • @c-jacksonn - This will make you cry a lot, like a lot a lot. Like I have proven I don’t have a heart, and even I cried. So, read that first, then read something else so you can cope with how emotionally drained you will become.
  • @gratitudejoyandsorrow - Of Loyalty and Duty is pretty much Jan’s favorite AU, and quickly becoming one of mine. So, check that series out. I’m a fan of quite a few of her other imagines too.
  • @daveeddiggsit - Lafayette Soulmate AU has to be one of my favorite combination of words that has left my mouth in a long time. As the blog implies, lots of Daveed Diggs. You can never have too much Daveed, and I love it.
  • @imagineham - I was up at 2 A.M. talking to Jan, about Daveed obviously, and found this, which was funny because it was 2 A.M. Only it started a spree reading pretty much the entire masterlist in one sitting. That was not healthy. Read the whole thing, but do it in sessions.
  • @tempfixeliza - This is actually awesome, like amazing. So is everything else I read, but the piano just gets to me. (Also occasionally reblogs stuff about Psych and it makes me happy knowing I’m not alone in my love for that show, but that’s not related to this). 
  • @diggs4life - If you’re looking for smut and/or Daveed Diggs this is where to go… and I realize after typing that that those two things are practically synonyms, and you could say that about almost any Daveed blog, but y’all know what I mean. 

That’s a good list to start with. I know this isn’t a complete list of all the amazing Hamilton writers on tumblr. I’ll keep this same post and update it as I read from more blogs. If any of y’all notice that I missed a blog you love please send it my way. Like I said, I love recommendations too! 

A quick thank you to my followers: I know I was gone a while. Quite a lot of people left, but y’all are absolutely amazing. This blog’s numbers took a pretty big hit when I left, but it’s almost back to it’s former glory already. That is so much more than I could have ever asked for.
Almost back to 10k followers already; thank y’all so much! 


Quick sidenote: If there are any authors on this list who don’t wish to be included let me know, and I’ll remove your links. This is just a recommendation of your blogs, but I understand if some people aren’t comfortable being posted like this. 

JiHan Fanfic Rec

for the anon who requested a jihan fic rec! ♡

i read through most of the fanfics in asianfanfics and archive of our own and these were the ones that caught my eye after reading them! and i also found a few chaptered fanfics while linking and gathering all of these for you so i’ll add them to this list if they also catch my eye. i’ll update this list every month or two, depending on the fanfics that were added.

i hope you enjoy reading these and message me and tell me which ones you liked the best! i’d love to hear your opinions on them because they’re literally all amazing. click on the hearts to be linked!

three sections:
one shots
chaptered
nc-17

(!!) bolded – favorite


one shots


The Train Doesn’t Stop For Anybody (And You Were Left Behind) | pg-13 | angst/romance
One night - no, one hour if they’re lucky - is all they get, and they spend it like they’re on their death bed. (summary cut short)

 What It’s Like To Be New | pg-13 | AU/romance| (main!jihan) (broken!jeongcheol)
After becoming a rather famous idol, with hit records, great reviews in dramas and movies, the time finally came for Jeonghan to participate on the dreaded but beloved “Who was your lover?” reality program. (summary cut short)

 A Morning with the Hong Family | pg | Family!AU/romance/fluff | (main!jihan) (mentioned!verkwan)
Jeonghan and Jisoo have a nice morning with their adorable little son, Minghao.

 Jacket | pg-13 | School!AU/romance
But for one Yoon Jeonghan, the only thing he looked forward to was hugging a certain someone named Hong Jisoo wearing his white fluffy jacket.

 3 Words | pg | AU/romance
Jisoo and Jeonghan had come to cherish 3 little words.

 The Invisible Dictionary | pg-13 | AU/angst/romance
Jeonghan kept discovering new words but couldn’t find the meaning of love.

 Trespassing Cat | pg-13 | Two Shot | AU/romance
Joshua’s cat invades Jeonghan’s apartment and through his kitty actions it leads to fluffy things happening.

 Would you please sign the visitor’s book? | pg-13 | suspense/mystery
Everything changed ever since his father went on a business trip to Canada.

 three reasons why | pg | romance/fluff
Junghan keeps a list of reasons why he should never confess to Jisoo. Jisoo disagrees with all of them.

 latching onto you | pg | predebut!era/romance/fluff
Every friendship has their beginning, and Jisoo doesn’t regret starting his with Jeonghan.

Lost and Found | pg | romance/mild!angst | (this is short but literally i died)
Jeonghan, a boy who just had his eyes removed, and Joshua, a boy going through numerous surgeries, share a hospital room. And Joshua decides to tell Jeonghan about what he sees every day from the view of the park from his window.

what’s with all the questions? | pg-13 | humor/fluff
Where everybody is wondering about Jisoo and Junghan and getting absolutely no answers.

Tooth Fairy | pg-15 | warnings – mentioned homophobia | mild!angst/fluff/romance | (side!docheol/seungyoon)
Jisoo finds an angel in a form of… his dentist assistant.

The Art of Tsundere | pg-13 | highschool!au/slight!angst
Jeonghan isn’t so sure if he’s content with his futile life anymore. Or at least ever since Hong Jisoo entered his life.

of unsweetened iced teas and scarlet red paint | pg | fluff/romance
Jeonghan paints the boy who sings down the hallway everyday. He doesn’t think much of it, the stranger is only a muse after all, but then he brings him home one day and he’s so in love.

Chocolate Tastes A Lot Like You | pg | fluff/romance
Jisoo gets stood up again, but this time Junghan is there.

Overwhelming | pg | predebut!era/romance
They’ve always been cautious about interacting near the other members – always one breath away from being that friendship, the ones that always talk about the wrong things, that always single each other out just a little less naturally than their group dynamic should allow.


chaptered


 Pizza and Other Cheesy Things | pg-13 | university!au/pizzaboy!au
It all started when Jisoo accidentally said ‘I love you’ to the pizza boy on the other end of the line.

 Nostalgia | R | angst/romance | warnings – abuse, violence | (main!meanie) (mainside-ish!jihan) (mentioned!woohan/jeongwoo) | unfinished, still being written!
Wonwoo has been bullied for years. Mingyu and Jeonghan are best friends and delinquents. Joshua is Wonwoo’s neighbour and childhood friend, and Wonwoo’s father is abusive. Their worlds collided one day, leading to a series of unexpected events.

 Four and Thirteen | pg-13 | fluff/humor/romance | hogwarts!au | (main!jihan) (side!jicheol) (side!soonseok) | unfinished, still being written!
Four Hogwarts houses, thirteen friends. Seventeen, obviously.“ In which Jihan is the terrible idea of a Slytherin/Hufflepuff couple, Soonseok is the even worse idea of a Gryffindor/Hufflepuff couple, and Jicheol is literally the worst idea of a Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff couple.

 English for Dummies | pg-13 | fluff/humor/romance | school!au
Jeonghan’s close to failing his English class. If he doesn’t pull up his grades he’ll be benched and his starter position on the basketball team taken away. Luckily for him his English teacher says she found a tutor for him; a native speaker who moved to Korea a few years ago. Joshua Hong is the English tutor Jeonghan’s been looking for: patient, sweet, and teaches in a way so the English actually makes sense. Joshua being easy on the eyes is just an unexpected bonus.

 Fight me, Hong Jisoo! | pg-13 | fluff/humor/romance | cafe!au | (main!jihan) (side!jicheol) (side!meanie) (side!soonseok) (side!boonon/verkwan) (side!junhao)
Yoon Jeonghan was known for being a specialist in his area… actually, every one knew him. he was after all, “The Yoon Jeonghan”, food specialist, regardless of his talent, Jeonghan owned a modest cafe. But even the most famous amongst us have rivals lurking. So what happens when a certain Hong Jisoo comes and threatens Jeonghan’s well deserved titles, but also his loyal customers? War, that’s what.

 Take Me to the Top | pg-13 | fluff/humor/romance | school!au | (side!jicheol – if you squint) | unfinished, still being written!
“Popular boys are no good, Hong Jisoo.” Seungcheol pokes a finger into his best friend’s chest. “No good, I tell you! They’re basic. They only care about sports and hot girls! So stay away.”

 It’s called a “man”-icure for a reason, right | pg-13 | romance/fluff | unfinished! (if you’re the author and you see this pls continue i love ur fic)
Joshua forgot that he could speak Korean when the beautiful longhaired man said hello to him and somehow because of that he ended up with manicured hands. Oh, and a bunch of other things happened in between but basically it all sums up to Johsua is in too deep and now he’s screwed.

 Let Us (Not) Count the Time | pg-13 | angst/major!characterdeath | unfinished, still being written!
Jisoo always counts the time but when a boy who has long-hair named Yoon Jeonghan moves into their neighborhood, Jisoo wonders what time really is all about.

 MALL AU | pg-15 (author didn’t give specific rating and idk if its gonna be nasty later so) | humor/romance | | unfinished, still being written!
Everyone in Seventeen works at the same strip mall. And it gets worse.


nc17 for u nasties (feel free to ignore this if this isn’t your cup of tea!)


 My Love, My Love, My Love | nc-17 | fluff/romance | one shot
Joshua has a special present for Jeonghan’s birthday.

 Not ‘Sex and the City’ | nc-17 | warnings – semi-public sex
Jeonghan and Jisoo ditch Jeonghan’s moms’ wedding reception.

Hufflepuffs Can Dominate Too | nc-17 | hogwarts!au | (side!jicheol)
Hufflepuff Jisoo feels little butterflies in his stomach when he sees that beautiful Slytherin.

L'homme Douceâtre | nc-17 | warnings – food!play
Jisoo ate sweets. Jeonghan ate Jisoo.


We need to talk about Anne Frank

As of this writing, John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars has sold over one million copies, and holds a place on several bestseller lists. The film adaptation of the book has made over two hundred million dollars in the domestic and foreign market. The book and the movie tell the story of two terminally ill American teenagers, and both contain a scene where the protagonists, Hazel and Augustus, share a kiss in the Anne Frank House. John Green made the following statement regarding the scene:

“Anne Frank was a pretty good example of a young person who ended up having the kind of heroic arc that Augustus wants—she was remembered and she left this mark that he thinks is valuable—but when he has to confront her death, he has to confront the reality that really she was robbed of the opportunity to live or die for something. She just died of illness like most people. And so I wanted him to go with a sort of expectation of her heroism and be sort of dashed.”

Here, Green makes it clear that he reads Anne Frank’s death as being from an illness like “most people,” like his protagonist. In doing so, he erases the circumstances under which she contracted typhus. “Most people” are not Ashkenazic Jewish teenage girls who contracted typhus in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. This fundamental erasure of the context of her death allowed him, those involved in the cinematic adaptation, and yes, a large portion of his readership, to accept the use of Anne Frank and her death as a prop in this American YA love story. Indeed, when further called on the issue, Green stated:

“I’ve been getting this question a lot. I can’t speak for the movie, obviously, as I didn’t make it, but as for the book: The Fault in Our Stars was the first non-documentary feature film to be granted access to the Anne Frank House precisely because the House’s board of directors and curators liked that scene in the novel a great deal. (A spokesperson recently said, ‘In the book it is a moving and sensitively handled scene.’) Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League and a Holocaust survivor, had this to say: 'The kissing scene in ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ in the annex of the Anne Frank House is not offensive or against who Anne Frank was. What Anne communicated in her diary was hope. She celebrated life and she celebrated hope.’ Obviously, the Anne Frank House and the ADL do not have a monopoly on Anne’s life or her legacy, but their opinions are important to me.”

I take issue with this response. Here, Green is divesting himself of responsibility for the scene, and communicating to his critics that he is not to blame, because the Anne Frank House board of directors, curators, and a Holocaust survivor approved of it. In other words, he is drawing these peoples’ assumed authority to silence criticism, and to avoid taking responsibility for the filmed version of a scene he created.

The Anne Frank House, for all the wonderful work it does, is a museum. Like all museums, it must work to attract and reach out to potential patrons. In other words, museums have to advertise because they require patrons and revenues to exist. Therefore, I read the official approval of the Anne Frank House simply as a targeted attempt to reach out to and attract a pool of untapped, younger patrons. They chose to support the filming of a sympathetic romantic scene about terminally ill teenagers in their institution to reach out to young people. While that is a sound business decision, I would argue that it’s hardly an ethical one for the Anne Frank House, an institution devoted, as per their website, to:

“the preservation of the place where Anne Frank went into hiding during the Second World War, and to bringing the life story of Anne Frank to the attention of as many people as possible worldwide with the aim of raising awareness of the dangers of anti-Semitism, racism and discrimination and the importance of freedom, equal rights and democracy,”

to support the filming of this scene. For, in Green’s own words, that scene had nothing to do with the context of Anne Frank’s death, and therefore, it did nothing to bring Anne Frank’s story to life. And it hardly raises awareness of contemporary European anti-Semitism.

As for the ADL, I very much agree with Mr. Foxman’s assessment of Anne Frank. However, what she celebrated in her life and her writings have little to do with what she has come to mean in within public memory of the Holocaust of European Jewry. Her narrative has been used by nations and educational systems to the extent that for many, she is the Holocaust; she is the face of the Holocaust. But what we inherit from her isn’t the experience of the Holocaust. That experience and her death at Bergen Belsen take place outside the pages of her diary. Readers are never forced to experience the Holocaust through her eyes; they are able to embrace the tragedy of the Holocaust through her story while remaining removed from its experiential realities. Thus, Anne Frank becomes the Holocaust without forcing anyone to experience it. Her name can be invoked to summon tragedy, without forcing anyone to feel it.

While Anne Frank may be the face of the Holocaust of European Jewry, the memory of the experiential reality of the Holocaust is male. The way we conceptualize and remember the concentration camp experience is constructed by male narratives. More Jewish men survived the Holocaust than Jewish women. Due to attitudes towards education in the interwar period, more male Jewish survivors had the education and literary capital needed to craft enduring narratives of their experiences than did female Jewish survivors. There are three foundational male Holocaust survival narratives: Night by Elie Wiesel, Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi, and Maus by Art Spiegelman about his father’s Holocaust experience. Never have I seen those three men and their narratives used as a joke, or a meme, or a cheap narrative device, or as self-promotion by an American pop star.

These men are revered, and their narratives taken extremely seriously. And none of them, none of them have been used in a prop in a story about terminally ill gentile American teenagers. They survived, in perhaps the type of heroic arc a John Green protagonist would yearn for. Yet Augustus doesn’t look to them. He doesn’t share a kiss with his girlfriend at Auschwitz. He shared a kiss with her in the Anne Frank House.

Anne Frank is not a prop. She is not a symbol, she is not a teenager who happened to die of an illness, and she is not one of the canonical Jewish male survivors. She is one of many millions of Jewish women and girls who were industrially murdered like livestock, incinerated, and left in an unmarked grave. That is the story of the Holocaust of European Jewry, and that is the story of the persecution and murder of all Europeans (the disabled, Romani, Irish Travelers, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Communists) who failed to fit into Nazi racial and ideological constructs.

And we would all do well to remember that.

If you choose to reblog, please reblog as text (link leads to visual guide of how to do so). Thank you!

frequently asked questions
ask historicity-was-already-taken a question

anonymous asked:

I really love your guides to ONS!! Also do you know any good Gureshin fanfics?

Oooooh, come here you little shipper! I’ve read pretty much every completed Gureshin longer than 7k words (and some shorther ones) so yes, I have something to suggest you.

First of all, one shots: 

This. by Seredemia, 5080 words (http://archiveofourown.org/works/3822430): you could say that it’s just Guren’s thoughts after he spent the night with Shinya, but it’s honestly so much more? There are flashbacks (both from canon and made up) from the light novels, and it becomes this really sweet inner conversation where Guren wonders how his relationship with Shinya changed and how much he means to him. And Seredemia is just a great writer.

orpheus and lyra by oeuvre, 1080 words (http://archiveofourown.org/works/4630533): normal high school AU. The two dorks are in love, they don’t communicate enough, and everyone is leaving for college soon. A little bittersweet but I loved it.

Lethargy, by DeyaniraSan, 9654  words (http://archiveofourown.org/works/6143974): Warning for depression here. This is a long journey into Shinya’s angsty thoughts. It analizes how he feels in different situations, starting from when he’s quite young to the hypothethical aftermaths of the final battle between humankind and vampires. It enlightens perfectly the whole “Guren being the sun” thing. Since Shinya is my favourite character (I know, you could never have guessed it) i loved this one. Happy ending!

Guren Still Doesn’t Know the Meaning of the Flower He Saw That Day, by KUROKOSEXUAL, 9468 words (http://archiveofourown.org/works/4881238): Guren is a pilot, Shinya is a florist who works in an airport. Once Goshi takes Guren to Shinya’s shop and things happen. Funny and sweet.

Pyreflies, by KUROKOSEXUAL, 11260 words (http://archiveofourown.org/works/4881238): this is one of those emotional scarring where Shinya goes through hell (in quite a literal sense here) in the Hiiragis household (there is some Kureshin too and hinted dub-con so don’t read if that kind of thing triggers you). Guren goes to the forest one night and gets lost, there he meets Shinya who helps him to get out and tells him he’s a spirit. When they meet again at the Hiiragis household Guren is a little pissed.

Creatures of the Darkness cannot linger under the Sun, by DeyaniraSan, 19399 words (http://archiveofourown.org/works/5231351): Shinya feels sick after a duel with Kureto, he goes to Guren’s house for help. After some really cute moments where Guren threatens to kill Kureto, Shinya asks him to read something to him to distract him from the pain. The story they end up reading is strangely similar to theirs, which leads to some awkwardness but mostly a confrontation on what is going on between them. Really light angst, but it’s really nice.

Everglow, by embrisch (flightlesswish), 10862 words (http://archiveofourown.org/works/6057961): reincarnation AU, a series of universes where Guren and Shinya find each other over and over again. I liked this one because all of the AUs are so good? You’ll want to read whole stories about each one of them, I swear. 

Letters, by kiafeles, 13780 words (http://archiveofourown.org/works/6445405): set in canon. Again, the two idiots are in love but they don’t communicate. Also thumbs up for Yuu in the background and Mito knowing everything because Mito is just great like that.

At the beginning by jestwane (transience), 2225 words (http://archiveofourown.org/works/7195808): set after the end of the war, Shinya leaves to search for his parents and Guren follows him, and learns about Shinya’s past. I particularly loved this one because Shinya’s characterization is really on point.

About the unfairness of attractive teachers, by Aki_no_hikari, 2811 words (http://archiveofourown.org/works/6650113): Guren, a graduate, ends up being Shinya’s professor. This one is nice, is funny, and there is no angst, so thumbs up.

sugar, by parkers, 3130(http://archiveofourown.org/works/3759793): Shinya is Yuu’s kindergarten teacher. SO MUCH FLUFF OH MY GOD.


Long fics:

count the seconds of dark matter, on your left hand (take my body, take my body), by pharadoxly, two chapters (10304 words)(http://archiveofourown.org/works/4765094): first of all, this one is really fucked up so READ THE TAGS and check if there is anything that can trigger you. I don’t even know how to describe this, a good summary could be “the Hiiragis are shit and Guren and Shinya fall in love. They also try to survive”.

Choose Me, by Emma (KarasunoShugoshin), 9 chapters (22339 words)(http://archiveofourown.org/works/3959725): Shinya is in love with Guren, Guren is in love with Shinya but he’s still crying over Mahiru, so Shinya ends up with Kureto, and Guren has to get him back. WHY DON’T THESE TWO IDIOTS JUST TALK FOR GOD’S SAKE

Uncompleted ones:

I’m Right Here, by Seredemia, for now 16 chapters and 81379 words (http://archiveofourown.org/works/3896275): AAAAAH MY FAVOURITE I probably don’t even need to tell you about this one because it’s possibly the most popular in the fandom. Modern AU in which Guren and Shinya meet at a supermarket trying to buy chicken nuggets and then end up bumping into each other over and over again. Young MikaYuus and implied non-con so careful (we’re talking about Ferid btw)

Somnia, by Seredemia, for now 6 chapters and 32123 words(http://archiveofourown.org/works/6373597/chapters/14598793): Gureshin here is more a sideship to MikaYuu but ehy, it’s a fantasy AU with dragons and a knight Shinoa, what more do you want?

I also have these bookmarked but I haven’t finished reading them yet so I can’t give you a comment (but they seem nice!):

A Eulogy for Tragedies by rimacchi:  http://archiveofourown.org/works/6535609/chapters/14952199,

No Place To Call Home (Until I Met You) by holdingontoyou:  http://archiveofourown.org/works/5617480/chapters/12941737,

 We’re Going Home by Murakamirai:  http://archiveofourown.org/works/5925550/chapters/13628257


Well, I’m sorry this turned from “I have a few fanfictions for you” to a whole long ass fic rec, but ehy, someone had to do it. Also thanks for the compliments, and I hope you enjoy!

EDIT: As an anon pointed out I made one of my usual idiotic moves and copied the same link in the last three shots but it’s corrected now. Also, I forgot to say but everyone is free to add their suggestion and if an author doesn’t want his fic on this list, just tell me and I’ll remove it right away!

Ale's Olicity Fic Recs List

In honor of my three years on tumblr, I wanted to make this list of my top favorite olicity fanfics i’ve read since i joined the arrow fandom. Honestly this list could have been so much longer but alas i’ll make myself make a part 2 sometime in the future. I hope you find new fics you haven’t seen before or that you choose to reread an old favorite. Thanks for being so amazing darlings, your talent and creativity has made my experience with the olicity fandom one of the highlights of this past year. 

Also a special shoutout to an amazing blog that i ALWAYS go to when i need to find new fics to read. theolicitylibrary check out this blog, follow it or bookmark it and enjoy all the amazing fics this fandom has to offer <3 

Enough chit chat, happy reading everybody!



Must Reads - These are the fics that I literally read over and over again without ever getting tired of them. And if you were to ask me which fics you should read first, these are it. Start with these ones. 

Pink Drinks and Pick-Up Lines - Frea_O, complete, rated t, strangers au, blind date au, there is just something about this fic that makes me laugh and smile and squee every time i read it. I think its the fic i’ve reread the most i practically have it memorized by heart. 

what does home look like? - sarcastic_fina, wip, rated t, series- 2works, i am SO obsessed with this fic, i just want to know what happens next and gah lovesick oliver always just makes me emotional. no island au, high school au, family feels , Lance is Felicity’s stepdad, Sara and Laurel her stepsisters kind of au. there is also a oneshot from Oliver’s pov that i practically know by heart i’ve read it so many times. 

The Victory- December_Daughter , not rated, complete, fluffy chance meetings au, this fic makes me smile and my heart melt i love it

Convergence - Nightkeepyr, complete, explicit, porn, straight up porn without a plot, strangers au, sooo fucking hot

should’ve left my phone at home (this is a disaster) - leviosaphoenix , complete, rated t, fluffy strangers au , so cute and fun and perfect to distract from all the angst

Dear John - Shideezhi, complete, explicit, i cannot say enough good things about this fic, felicity decides she needs to leave the arrow lifestyle, oliver doing everything to get her back, reeead it.

Open Heart and Lithe Tongue (Speak and We are Undone) - RosieTwiggs, complete, explicit, a fic dedicated to oral sex, need i say more?

Hang My Head Break My Heart (Built From All I Have Torn Apart) - ciara2531, wip, mature, starts off with a strong Thea x Felicity relationship before it gets to olicity. its incredible. 

and you know what??? honestly read all of lee’s fics, (sarcastic_fina) i mean i already posted a few of my top favorites into this list but ALL of her fics are amazing and i love all of them and it would take forever to post them all so here, this is a link to her ao3. have fun reading <3



Bratva!Olicity/Mob FicsThe title speaks for itself. I adore these fics, there is just something about them that has me hooked. also this genre could be an extension of my must reads, i reread these fics all the time too.

you could be the king (but watch the queen conquer) - sarcastic_fina , wip, explicit 

A Matter of Trust - bluesuedeshoes, complete, explicit, arranged marriage au

Russian Roulette - Caiti (Caitriona_3), series -7works, wip, teen

What He Needed - GeorgeHeesto, complete, explicit

Behind The Hummingbird  - GeorgeHeesto, wip, explicit

Я чувствую это слово для вас - angelica, complete, rated g,

Just following the map that leads to you - ohmypreciousgirl, complete, mature, arranged marriage

Russian Speaking Oliver - Mimozka, complete, rated t, series-3works, bratva

Oblivion (Is Calling Out Your Name) - seetheskyaboveus, wip, mature 

I let it burn, not afraid to feel it shine on me. - fueledbybooks, complete, mature

The Reluctant Queen - December_Daughter, wip, rated t, blackmail, protection au 



No Island Au’s- Sometimes its just nice to get away from canon. These fics do it remarkably well. All kinds of aus.

Stories Of Duke Of Starling - Saturn_Queen, wip, mature, historical au

You’re The Boss - gnimaerd, complete, explicit, prostitute au

Taste of Your Poison Paradise - HoodiesandComputers , complete, explicit, prostitute au

Felicity The Virgin - javajunkie , wip, rated t, inspired by Jane The Virgin

Let it rain, let it pour - Nightkeepyr, complete, explicit, pwp, strangers au

Creatures of the Night - thierhappystory, complete, rated t, prostitute au

Cleared for Take Off - Nightkeepyr, complete, explicit, strangers au

Confined Chaos - Nightkeepyr, complete, explicity, strangers au

Eye of the Beholder - Bre_o, wip, rated t, beauty and the beast retelling

My Little Corner of the World - javajunkie, wip, rated t, friends to lovers au

Camp Crush - bluesuedeshoes, complete, rated g, summer camp au

The Accidental Boyfriend - javajunkie, complete, rated t, pretend wedding date au

Let’s Remix This Business - Frea_O, complete, rated t, social media au

Everything To Lose (Everything Gained) - Hann789, wip, rated g, college au

Executive Stress Therapy - trueplainhearts, complete, mature, prostitute au



Canon Divergence-  So this is basically fics that are based off of canon but at some point take their own path.  

If I Were A Better Man - sarcastic_fina, wip, explicit, series- 3works, pre S.1 , season 1 rewrite 

You’re His Hope - ChronicOlicity, wip, rated t, EPIC, more than 78 chapters, post episode 9 in the 3rd season, league of assassins Oliver.  

What happened in Vegas… - Jules_Ink, wip, explicit, season 1 rewrite, vegas au

The Dilemma - goingvintage, complete, explicit , pwp, masturbation

Rivers and Roads - angelica , wip, not rated, season 1 rewrite, felicity is oliver’s psychiatrist

Click - LadyChi, complete, explicit, smut, CEO & Executive Assistant 

Hands - redtoes , complete,  rated t, post S.1 , friends to lovers au

Don’t you just love the desire taking hold of you (well, I can tell you do) - sarcastic_fina, complete, explicit, CEO & Executive Assistant

What’s Your Fantasy? - chasethewind, wip, explicit , series - 15 works, smut smut and more smut here 

Felicity Smoak, Technical Advisor - thatmasquedgirl, wip, rated t, season 1 rewrite, fucking AMAZING, one hell of a series. 

Devil’s Backbone - anthfan, wip, explicit, post sara’s death.

Sins - SmoakandArrow, wip, mature, season 1 rewrite

Without a Thought (Without a Voice) - cindysark, complete, explicit, something was bound to happen on the training mats

And A Bottle of Wine - ciara2531, complete, rated t, 

remove all doubt - puzzledhats, complete, explicit, post S.2 pre S.3

What happens in Vegas… - redtoes, complete, explicit, not to be confused with the other fic, if the different authors didn’t give that way already. vegas au, 

You told me I was like the Dead Sea (I never sink when you are with me) - sarcastic_fina, wip, rated t, island au

This Ain’t Love (It’s Clear To See) - callistawolf , complete, explicit, season 1 rewrite

One night stands and vanilla cupcakes - redtoes, complete, explicit, jealous oliver oooh, felicity doing what needs to be done to be happy, fuck yes.

Late fees - redtoes, complete, explicit, pwp, 

Lengths - rosietwiggs , wip, explicit, bdsm (but focuses more on emotional aspect and not just the sexual, its so beyond incredible)

Be Still - sarcastic_fina , complete, rated t, ANGST, SO MUCH ANGST, IT HURTS, IT REALLY HURTS YOUR HEART AND SOUL AND IF YOU DO NOT CRY FROM THIS HOW ARE YOU A HUMAN BEING????

Little Talks - december_daughter, complete, rated t, friends to lovers au, 

Filled with Gold - december_daughter, complete , explicit, sequel to Little Talks



Drabble Collections- So many writers in this fandom do these, they are wonderful and encompass everything from tropes and au’s to episode fixers and requests. I love reading them and they are quick reads too. 

Take a little piece of my heart (and keep it for yourself) - sarcastic_fina, wip, rated t

Sultry Sunday Smut Series - callistawolf, wip, explicit 

throw your soul through every open door - effie214, wip, rated t

Dim Sum After Fisticuffs - ihatepeas, wip, rated t

Olicity Flash Fiction - ihatepeas, wip, rated t

Fragile Things - bluesuedeshoes, complete, not rated

Russian Sunshine and Other Terms of Endearment - bluesuedeshoes, complete, not rated

Tropes - anthfan, wip, rated t

At First Sight - thatmasquedgirl, complete, rated t, all KINDS of au’s that lead to different series, all amazing. also these are more oneshots than drabbles, some of them are pretty long actually and so fucking amazing. i can not say that enough.

I’ve Never Truly Loved (Until You Put Your Arms Around Me) - thierhappystory, wip, mature 

Bits and Pieces - mimoska, wip, rated g

But You Stood By My Side Night After Night (You Loved Me Back To Life) - ciara2531, complete, rated t

I can’t escape this now (unless you show me how) - callistawolf , complete, explicit

Drabbling in Your Love - rosietwiggs, wip, explicit, series- 3works, 



Domestic Olicity/Family Fics - basically these are the fics where Oliver and Felicity are married or parents, fics where there is team arrow family fluff, and even fics where Oliver and Felicity aren’t together (yet) but everyone still considers them a couple/family figures.

nothing comes from nothing (nothing ever could) - effie214 , complete, rated g, ITS SO SWEET AND PERFECT AND I CRY DAMN IT, kidfic, sound of music appreciation life forever!!!!

Like A Queen - leli1013, rated g, complete , everyone can see it au

Legacy - ash818 , rated t, complete , next generation, 

The Man Under the Hood - ash818, rated t, wip, next generation

His Little Genius - CSM, complete, rated g, precious fluffy fic, kidfic

Give a Little Love - jemmaniac, wip, rated t, inspired by life as we know it , godparents to guardians au, kidfic

The Gorgeous One - ohmypreciousgirl, complete, rated t

Sunshine and Rain (Make A Beautiful Thing) - ciara2531 , complete, mature, kidfic

Ways To Grow - lizook12, complete, rated g 

You can tell - mariss95, wip, rated t, everyone can see it au



Olicity + Others - Not gonna lie, sometimes I indulge myself and read some smoaking canarrow or better yet some smoaking billionaires (i mostly just read tommy felicity oliver but if you have recs for smoaking canarrow let me know, i’m not opposed). Threesomes can be so much fun.

How the Mighty Fall (in Love) - abbie & rosietwiggs, complete (ish?), explicit, smoaking billionaires, 

Lustful innocence - nightkeepyr, complete, explicit, smoaking billionaires, strangers au

You Owe Me - bluesuedeshoes, complete, explicit, smoaking billionaires 

After Hours - chasethewind, wip, explicit, smoaking canarrow , prostitue au, bdsm

Curse of Cuervo - redtoes, complete, explicit, smoaking billionaires

 Where Heaven Stops and Earth Begins - rosietwiggs, complete, explicit,  smoaking billionaires 

amadeus-rhapsody  asked:

Advice on creating an anarchist society? I'm trying to avoid a "chaos," and aiming for an actual system based off anarchy standards.

Anarchy is not chaos. Anarchy is a political belief system which means “without rule”. No person rules over another. Pure anarchy would be complete equality of political power. This political power comes in the form of a state, andbecause its effects are more negative than positive it shouldn’t exist.

In 1875, Henry Thomas Buckle wrote “no great political improvement, no great reform, either legislative or executive, has ever been originated in any country by its rulers.”

George Woodcock wrote that anarchism rather that being a mere doctrine of politics is essentially concerned with fundamental questions of a moral nature.

Anarchists recognize that power is both, definite and necessary, but there’s a distinction between social power and political power. If there are people there will be subtle forces of social control, but this control shouldn’t contain, or being based on, coercion. Coercion is what turns social forces into political power.

To Laurence Lowell anarchists are essentially anti-authoritarian; any kind of authority of political nature should be abolished. Lowell states the definition of authority by anarchists which is “power of coercion of one person over another”. Now, the authority found on moral values, ideas and aesthetic inspiration is not the same as political or religious authority.

The misconception that anarchy is synonymous of breakdown the law and order comes from C. Northcote Parkinson “anarchy, if it can be termed a form of rule, means the refusal of a large number to be ruled at all.” The abolition of any kind of social structure, or organization, is not what anarchists advocate.

There are two lines in anarchism, individualism and collectivism. While the first one maintains that any kind of conscious organization of society is to be avoided at all costs, the second one recognizes, along with some individualists, that some social machinery is necessary. One of the aspects that differs our existing social machinery from an anarchist social machinery is administration, social organizations on an anarchist society are to be free and rising spontaneously from the natural social disposition of men.

The same goes with conflict and its resolutions; anarchism doesn’t suppose that all people will live in harmony, the settlement of conflicts should arise from people involved and there shouldn’t be an external force imposing said settlement.

The idea of freedom to anarchy begins with the freedom of people, because man is by nature a free being. As Thoreau wrote “without the idea of a free man, the anarchist idea falls to the ground: because the future society cannot exist, or its beginnings be nurtured, without him.” In modern society freedom, for anarchism, has become a central point of retaining one’s identity. Proudhon noted that there’s a basic conflict between the interests of an individual and the interests of the mass. The same author also tells us that mass never knows where it is going, and is individual action the one that should lead society, as Thoreau wrote “when we say, people can become free only by will, only by acts of freedom, we are not juggling words. We mean that freedom is not merely the absence of restrictions – it is responsibility, choice, and the free assumption of social obligations.”

How to accomplish freedom? Without regard to the “crippling destructive principles of power, monopoly-property and war” as Wieck pointed out. Some revolutionary, most revolutionary, ideologies have given certain individuals power to organize institutions, in anarchism that wouldn’t happen, because as soon as individuals arise as leaders, freedom would be lost.

A concept that has been linked to anarchism is revolution. From an anarchist approach, revolution shouldn’t be a political phenomenon (overthrowing a government only to be replaced by another one). Centralization, both political and economical, shouldn’t exist in an anarchist society. The same applies to war.

Anarchism isn’t the same as chaos, and isn’t a utopia either. Anarchism recognizes that there will always be thirst for power among men, as Plato pointed out.

Anarchism doesn’t overturn the state by force and/or violence; it rejects both of them as elements of maintaining social order.

Those are some foundations of anarchism. There are more, and there are also more authors to check when writing an anarchist society.

When creating an anarchist society keep in mind

  • Time for how long your society has existed?
  • History has it always been an anarchist society or there was a different system before? If there was a different system before anarchism, what was it and how it changed?
  • Population size of your population, a big population isn’t the same as a small population.
  • Resources access, distribution.
  • World Void is your anarchist society alone on this vast world as some books, especially YA books, have made their societies, or there are other societies, countries and continents? If there are, what kind of system do they have and how relations are being carried, if there are any, among them? The same goes for your society being under attack, how do they react?
  • Remove the idea that anarchy is chaos. It isn’t.
  • The most important thing to keep in mind when writing about this, is how your population will behave? Do they know they live in an anarchist society, because there are other societies to make the contrast? What if someone, or a group, wants to achieve political or economical power?
  • Every political system has pros and cons
  • What about racism, sexism, gender roles, homophobia in your anarchist society? The same with work and education. 
  • People have written about different political systems letting them control the plot (restart democracy, start a revolution, overthrow a tiranny). There are stories where the political system isn’t even mentioned, just assumed, and it remains the same after the story. You have to decide if you are letting anarchism take control over the plot, or it will be just a political setting for a different plot.

Good luck (:

L.-

Do you have a moment to talk about our savior Catherynne M. Valente

I noticed a lot of you totally feeling her poetry the other day and do I have fucking news for you

If I wasn’t the completely non-paid non-official bpal publicist I’m not, I would totally volunteer to be Valente’s priestess publicist because I have so many feelings.

Let me fucking introduce u for a second here.

This woman is a fucking force of nature as an author, okay. I mean I routinely read over 100 books a year, and when I got my hands on my first Valente novel, the heavens opened and the angels appeared and brought me up for a glimpse of the Forever Hereafter, and I was cleansed and never again able to read mediocre fantasy/sci fi/speculative fiction thereafter.

“Oh my god dusken what’s so great about valente”

Let me tell u.

She writes in a glorious blend of poetry and prose, to the point where if you HATE description, well, you might as well back away now. But if you’re like me and FEED on the stuff, you may as well throw your money at a Valente novel right now. 

She is a MASTER of voice. I’m sure you know the feeling of when an author tries to write from multiple character POVS–and it falls flat. You forget who is even talking, because it’s all the same voice. Not so with Valente. EVERY. SINGLE. FLIPPING. CHARACTER. is handled well. She writes Angsty Teenaged Girl Turned Almost Vampire, Tough Midwestern Girl at the End of The World, Half-Trickster Deity, Cyborg with Curiosities, World (astral) Traveler, hell, as you’ve seen, even Dragon That Gives no Fucks–with equal tact. With equal care, equal thought, equal measure and understanding, and because of this, her writing never gets boring. Because you know she has such versatility, it’s like you AREN’T reading the same author. She’s a chameleon, and it’s gloriously good.

She is a master of metaphor, and of blending poetry right into prose without making it sound forced, like a high school Insert X Metaphors assignment. Everything feels purposeful, yes, even the stories in which the metaphor drips all over you and puddles on the floor. Even that part has meaning. Even in Palimpsest when the description gets so intense it feels claustrophobic. All of that was thought out, and delivered to elicit some feeling in the reader. Palimpsest feels like a trap because it is one. The Labyrinth feels like a thick, gross ooze because it is one. Etc etc

She is a master of tropes. She easily twists expected tropes and endings around and SAYS SOMETHING about them, without preaching or throwing it at the reader. You can spend days wondering how she did it, because it’s subtle. She humanizes monsters all day long, and you don’t even realize how well it’s done. She makes you wonder how it feels to grow up as a Minotaur, and that’s pretty fucking cool. 

She’s a hugely feminist writer with a ton of female leads that kick ass, take names, and give no fucks while being eloquent besides. You will never get tired of reading about her protagonists, because they are all beautiful in their own ways. She is constantly challenging and reinventing what sci-fi fantasy authors think a female lead in fantasy should mean.

She routinely writes queer relationships and in most stories it’s not even questioned or Made A Thing, it just is. This is very prevalent in her most recent short story novel, and I was VERY pleased and pleasantly surprised to see it. It was like wait, was that just–it was. Blink and you’ll miss it, because for once representation is handled as Something Else That Happens and not a Major Plot Point, which is refreshing.

And this brings me to my last point. She has a deep, earnest understanding of fairy tale and archetype, which is why she is so good at rewriting and twisting them for herself. She understands that These Are Bad Characters, and These Are Good, and our cultural conditioning means we EXPECT THAT, and that she will turn them on their heads just to do it. She makes you sympathize with the demon, with the villain, with the creatures in the forest your parents told you never to befriend, and she makes it amazing and believable. In this way she challenges also the conventional understanding we have of each other, and ourselves. She understands stories have a Rising Action and a Climax which is why she deliberately subverts and removes them just for the funsies.

ENOUGH BLABBERING, THOUGH

HERE ARE SOME LINKS

I am dividing her books up by difficulty and by type. I say DIFFICULTY because reading some of Valente’s works is like adjusting to a new, rough language you may not be accustomed to. I certainly had to give it a few days, and certain books are much denser, and much less linear, than others. Her roots come from poetry, and while that’s rad, it can be difficult if you like a Nice, Linear Storyline.

POETIC/DENSE

Myths of Origin is a tome, and arguably, the most poetic and least linear of all the books from her I have read. It contains 4 previously published novellas, which are all sort of loose interpretations of existing mythos, beautiful reimagined. But absolutely not linear. The most dense, ironically, is Labyrinth.

Palimpsest is going here and not with the novels, because to me it’s vastly more poetic than linear, and also has the curious feeling of slowly suffocating me to death while I read it, which to its credit makes it a very successful book, writing wise.

A Guide to Folktales in Fragile Dialects 

SHORT STORY

Melancholy of Mechagirl is Valente’s short story collection inspired by the years she spent in Japan, and can I say she NAILS kami in this one. She nails the essence, the feeling, of Japanese mythology, and all I can say is READ IT. READ IT YESTERDAY. And if you’re asking the question “How can somebody anthropomorphize a folding screen” imma need you to read this and we can discuss what sorcery that is.

The Bread We Eat in Dreams is another short story/novella collection, with a few old works and a LOT of new. I LOVED this collection. She is at her best here. There is honestly something here for everyone, including the dragon poem, which was in this volume. I enjoyed every single piece, which never happens to me in short story compilations. Somehow she says something poignant with every story, too.

Silently and Very Fast (included in Melancholy of Mechagirl but also available alone) is so many things it’s hard to describe. You almost need to experience it. On the surface it’s an exploration of a future society and cyborgs and feelings and robot-human interaction and all the cliches you thought you’d had enough of, except it becomes something so much more than that. This is another one that made me feel bizarre, not in a bad or good way, just the same way Palimpsest did.

NOVELS

The Orphan’s Tales: In The Night Garden was my very first Valente book, and the one that made me fall in love desperately. I had never encountered storytelling like this before. It loosely takes inspiration from the structure of the Arabian Nights, which, if you’ve read it, you know the entire idea is the stories in the novel never end–they are nested, one in another, so the stories last years and years. In this novel, you are sometimes around 6 stories deep, meaning character A begins a tale, in which character B begins a tale also, in which Character C begins a THIRD tale…so on until you’re 6 deep. In any other person’s hands this idea could have been a confusing mess, but somehow, someway, it’s perfectly handled. I absolutely loved it. There is also a sequel which actually is BETTER than the first, and when the hell does that ever happen?

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is probably the most novel-like Valente novel so far, partially because it’s kind-of aimed at a younger market. This is the fairy tale you wished you had as a young person, especially if you were surrounded by pretty coiffed princesses in ivory towers. The entire series is a masterpiece, and if you like fae, trust me, you’ll love this. Finally, fae are handled well.

Deathless is to date the one of the few Valente novels I haven’t read, but judging by tumblr, one of the fierecest loved. It’s a reinterpretation of the Russian folktale by the same name, and again, could have gone wrong in another author’s hands; handled fabulously and made SHARP here. She captures the essence of European folktale and makes it grittier.

In MY personal opinion I would always start with The Orphan’s Tales because I think they showcase everything I said up there Valente handles masterfully as an artist, but you can really start wherever.

Now that you have heard the word of our savior, do get back to me on what you pick up.

Mercy as Shae in The Bloody Hand

In GRRM’s latest TWoW spoiler chapter “Mercy”, Arya is continuing her apprenticeship with the Faceless Men by learning the mummer’s art with Izembaro and the company of The Gate. The play currently in production is “The Bloody Hand” by Phario Forel and as the chapter unfolds we learn it is to be performed in honor of an envoy from the Seven Kingdoms. Mercy is playing the role of a girl who is raped and murdered by the dwarf, a not-so-subtle caricature of Tyrion Lannister, whom we believe to be inspired by the whore Shae.

Our first hint that the characters in the play correspond to people in Westeros comes when we learn “The Bloody Hand offered two kings, the fat one and the boy. Izembaro would play the fat one. It was not a large part, but he had a fine speech as he lay dying, and a splendid fight with a demonic boar before that.” No doubt as the author intended, we immediately think of King Robert. The Queen, played by Lady Stork, wears a cloth of gold gown and imbibes in a glass of wine before each performance. Undoubtedly this is Cersei. The boar itself and the Stranger, the personification of Death in the Westerosi religion, are each given distinct parts. But it is the character played by the dwarf Bobono, referred to as “the Imp” by Mercy, who appears to be not only the central character but also the most significant correlate to Westerosi current events. The dwarf’s entrance is followed by these words:

“The seven-faced god has cheated me… My noble sire he made of purest gold, and gold he made my siblings, boy and girl. But I am formed of darker stuff, of bones and blood and clay…”

If a dwarf in the midst of a story about Robert Baratheon and a boar wasn’t clue enough, this seems like proof positive that Bobono’s character is Tyrion Lannister. Shortly after we get Mercy’s line “I’ll come back after the Imp’s done raping me.”

The meaning of Mercy’s “tonight I’ll be raped and murdered” is becoming clear. It’s perhaps understandable that many at first believe this young girl to be Sansa. Besides Sansa’s well known connection with Tyrion Lannister, her familiarity as a character and the delicious notion of Arya performing as her own sister, we have the fact that Mercy’s character is described as an innocent young maiden (“Please, m’lord, I am still a maiden”) But given the very first information we have about the character is “…tonight I’ll be raped and murdered” it seems clear that we should look elsewhere to identify Mercy’s character, as Sansa was neither raped nor murdered.

By examining the events that led to this play appearing at this time in Braavos we can gain a great deal of insight on the identity of this young maiden. The death of Robert Baratheon is clearly referenced, but we find several subtle references to events following the death of the boy king in Westeros, notably the trial of Tyrion Lannister and his subsequent murder of his father and Shae.

During Tyrion’s trial, we get this testimony from Shae:

“…He used me every way there was, and… he used to make me tell him how big he was. My giant, I had to call him, my giant of Lannister.” […] The sudden gale of mirth made the rafters ring and shook the Iron Throne. “It’s true,” Shae protested. “My giant of Lannister.” The laughter swelled twice as loud.

It’s easy to believe this detail becoming a part of the chain of chinese whispers that led to “The Bloody Hand” being written in Braavos when we return to this detail from the play:

Bobono’s cock was indeed flopping out. It was made to flop out, for the rape. What a hideous thing, Mercy thought as she knelt before the dwarf to fix him. The cock was a foot long and as thick as her arm, big enough to be seen from the highest balcony.

And further testimony from Shae:

I wasn’t only Lady Sansa’s maid. I was his whore, all the time he was here in King’s Landing. On the morning of the wedding, he dragged me down where they keep the dragon skulls and fucked me there with the monsters all around. And when I cried, he said I ought to be more grateful […] “I never meant to be a whore, m’lords. I was to be married. A squire, he was, and a good brave boy, gentle born. But the Imp saw me at the Green Fork and put the boy I meant to marry in the front rank of the van, and after he was killed he sent his wildlings to bring me to his tent. Shagga, the big one, and Timett with the burned eye. He said if I didn’t pleasure him, he’d give me to them, so I did. Then he brought me to the city, so I’d be close when he wanted me. He made me do such shameful things…”

Not only do we find the language here that echoes Mercy’s line “Please, m’lord, I am still a maiden” and a clear insinuation that Tyrion raped Shae on more than one occasion, but we also see Shae protesting her former innocence (maidenhood) while reminding the court that she was Lady Sansa’s maid.

One more line of dialogue from the play that seems to clearly place its origins at the trial is:

“As I cannot be the hero, let me be the monster, and lesson them in fear

in place of love”

Compare with Tyrion’s outburst at his trial:

“You make me sorry that I am not the monster you would have me be, yet there it is.”

While Tyrion is referred to (even by himself) as a monster repeatedly, this is the most public such reference and it comes at the event where we find the origins of the main action of the play, the rape and murder of the maiden played by Mercy in the second act.

As for the rape and murder themselves, we must take a look at the events surrounding the discovery of Shae’s body in Lord Tywin’s bed. First in a clever nod from the author to the chinese whispers that lead to a story like this getting around, we have

The hall was full of fools speaking in whispers […] Guards and servants alike shrank back before her, mouths flapping.

Then Cersei’s discovery of the body:

She strode to the bed, flung aside the heap of bloody coverlets, and there she was, naked, cold, and pink… save for her face, which had turned as black as Joff’s had at his wedding feast. A chain of linked golden hands was half-buried in the flesh of her throat, twisted so tight that it had broken the skin.

Probably not a leap to imagine that those golden hands embedded in the broken skin are bit bloody (thus the bloody coverlets.) Not to mention that Tyrion, the former Hand of the King, has the figurative blood of both Shae and his father on his hands. Nor can it be a leap to imagine that her naked state might lead some witnesses to assume she had been raped, especially since she had insinuated at the trial that Tyrion had done exactly that on more than one occasion.

Cersei commands the Kettleblacks to remove the girl and adds-  “No one is ever to know that she was here.” However, we know that the Kettleblacks work for Littlefinger and we have no reason to trust in the discretion of the other guards and servants who had already borne witness to the corpse.

So here we are with a young woman closely associated with Tyrion Lannister, who has protested her own innocence in a public forum,  whose naked and strangled body is discovered moments after Tyrion is known to have murdered his own father. Shae ticks all of the boxes of Mercy’s character in a way Sansa does not. For this reason we conclude that Mercy’s maiden is indeed Shae.

As discussed in Radio Westeros Episode 01: Arya- A Gift of Mercy

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my hands are shaking, too - tumblr callout culture

My hands are shaking; I can feel my heart throbbing against my ribs. I am sitting here holding my breath and trying to relax because I am scared of Tumblr.

Specifically, I’m afraid of tumblr’s alarmist callout culture.  I’m scared because as a website, Tumblr doesn’t encourage its members to bother to look up the facts of a situation, or to give anyone the benefit of the doubt.  Tumblr is a ‘write the furious reactionary callout post first, gather facts later’ blogging site, and it’s genuinely scary to see.

Today a post* crossed my dash about a mafia AU fic written in the Agent Carter fandom.  The post was written by someone who declared themselves to be shaking and crying even as they wrote.  They were deeply upset by the summary of a fic on AO3 which in some way mentioned the Cosa Nostra, and wrote up a lengthy, strongly-worded post with referenced links demonstrating why the Cosa Nostra is alive, horrible, and not to be written about lightly.

I say ‘in some way’ because I have no idea what context the mafia was mentioned in.  I don’t know if it was well-written, thoughtful, considerate, problematic, uneducated, or otherwise.  I don’t know if the context of the fic were a thoughtful dissection of the Cosa Nostra, or if it was a gross cultural appropriation.  The fic, which was linked in the post, has been removed from AO3.

The callout post indicated that the person who wrote it did not read the fic in question - and who can blame them? The Cosa Nostra is clearly a very upsetting subject for them. But instead of writing to the author directly, or calling on someone else to review the story in question to find out more about the contents, they went to tumblr to shame the story - and thus the author - for their misstep.

This kind of calling out happens with some regularity on tumblr, and it happens because we encourage it:

1) person sees a fan creation that may have a problematic element - mentions of rape, cultures of people who aren’t white written by a presumed-white author (thus leading to possible cultural appropriation), violence, characters with homophobic/transphobic/etc views, etc

2) person does not research the fan creation - does not read the fic or view the art (or, if potentially triggered, ask someone else to act as a proxy). they do not ask others about the content or try to verify the content in any way

3) person does not contact the creator directly to point out problematic elements, giving them a chance to respond or react.  the author has no opportunity to either correct their problematic content or explain why, in context, the content is not problematic.

4) person posts reactionary callout post on tumblr, declaring the fan creation problematic without context and based on an unresearched position.

5) reactionary callout post is reblogged unquestioningly, as the author of the original callout post is assumed to be telling the truth.  Misinformation is spread far and wide.

In the best case scenario, the OP’s accusations are correct, but the creator, having never been directly informed of why their creation is problematic, never gets a chance to learn from their errors and fix the problematic content before being treated as a social pariah.

In the worst case scenario, the content is not problematic, and the creator gets  a bad name for no reason.

*I have not linked the post because this is not intended to ‘name and shame’ the callout post in particular - it’s just a quintessential example.  If the post had not directly linked back to the fic in question, I would have considered it a PSA.  But with the link back it became a public shaming event.

When this kind of behavior goes unchecked - when people do not go back and check the content, or call the OP post into question, and the OP does not think critically about what they are doing - extreme situations like the case of sodomquake occur - in which a person was doxxed for writing rapefic focusing on the victim and their recovery, because the OP implied the author was glorifying rape.  (This case was special because the OP specifically set out to create as big a splash as possible with their post.)

I’m not here to talk about why I think this occurs - smarter, better people than I have spoken about that, and how worrisome and cruel this culture is - but I do know that this kind of culture heavily stifles creativity.  If you cannot discuss problematic content in any context except outright condemnation, you lose the ability to use nuance, to explore the mindsets that cause problematic thinking, and the means to change people’s minds by examining and demonstrating the damage these kinds of issues cause.  People are not convinced they are wrong by a person shouting in their face that they are wrong!  Stories and works about problematic things are necessary: when done well and thoughtfully, they can show even the most stubborn person why a bad thing is bad.

All I ask, then, is that as a Tumblr blogger, bear these things in mind:

No fanwork will be perfect.  It’s literally impossible to be completely inoffensive. People will be reasonably offended or upset by literally anything, because every person on earth brings different experiences to the fanwork they are viewing.  But it’s okay to be offended and upset by something without it being a big problematic issue.  It can be your opinion without having to have a justifiable reason, and you can be upset without calling a fanwork to the tumblr floor.  When offending any one person might be enough to get a creator dogpiled on, it’s difficult to put out any creation.

Don’t assume a fanwork is guilty before understanding its context.  I don’t mean that authorial intent is something that always matters, because the best of intentions do in fact pave the road to hell.  But in a multi-chapter fic where a character is homophobic in chapter 1 might lead to the character learning the error of their ways, or they are otherwise shown to be wrong by the narrative.  Judge a whole work, not just the first few pages.

Give the creator a chance to respond to your problems with their work.  You might be surprised to hear the reason for the content you have judged problematic!  They might have a nuanced reason for approaching the subject. You may find they respond by changing the content because they agree that it’s a problem.  Don’t sacrifice their reputation and story without some notice.

I’m disturbed and grossed out by the fact that tumblr’s culture is not one of education, but one of shame and fear.

It needs to stop.  Right here.  Right now.

diamond murals

i wanna take just a bit to talk about what all we can gather from the diamond murals from it could’ve been great

first of all, i think it’s interesting to note that all diamonds, including pink, are facing to the right EXCEPT white diamond, who is facing forward.

what does this mean? well this combined with the fact that the white diamond is on top in the diamond authority symbol, i don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that white diamond is the leader of the diamonds. well this begs the question, if she is the leader, then what do the other diamonds do?

people have been speculating about the roles of the other diamonds based on what they’ve seen from them so far, and i think these murals help. 

blue diamond is likely linked to water since 2 gems under her command have water-related powers (sapphire creates ice, lapis can manipulate water), and i think this could be linked to her role as a diamond, to maintain law and order as speculated by some based on her and her gems’ eyes being covered, which symbolizes how justice is blind.

yellow diamond is most likely in charge of leading the expansion of their empire, shown by her gazing upward and holding many planets and their moons above her head. it also makes sense as to why jasper and peridot are under her command, because peridot’s mission was to check the progress on the cluster from the earth colony.

what’s REALLY interesting though is how pink diamond plays into all this. i saw some who were a little upset that no information could be gathered from PD’s mural, but i disagree. my evidence: the shape by her feet.

that could just be a meaningless shape meant to fill the space around her, but since when has steven universe just given us meaningless clues like this? i thought the shape looked too familiar to be a coincidence. it isn’t random at all, it’s a raw quartz cluster.

what exactly does this mean? well it’s tough to say for certain, but i do think it strongly links pink diamond to the kindergartens, since that’s where we know quartz-type gems come from. i believe that pink diamond’s role in gem society had to do with managing kindergartens. but when rose quartz saw what her diamond was doing, she couldn’t agree with it. and i think that the fact that a pink colored quartz is shown in the same mural as a diamond may signify that rose quartz, either she herself or her entire gem class, were/was an incredibly important gem. 

where is pink diamond now though? we’ve seen in several places that the diamond authority symbol shows that the pink diamond has crumbled, and even some newer versions of the symbol don’t show the pink diamond at all. she may have been removed and her responsibilities were given to the remaining diamonds, which is why yellow diamond gems such as peridot are now working in kindergartens when in another life they may have been working under pink diamond.

bonus:

What if Yellow Diamond is the only diamond left?

I mean, okay, it sounds strange, but hear me out.

(TL;DR at the bottom)

Our “proof” of the Diamond Authority is some ramblings by Ronaldo. We know of one diamond, Yellow Diamond, because she’s been mentioned by name and spoiler’d at SDCC.

But that’s it. We don’t have any confirmation of any other diamond on Homeworld still existing. The basic four diamonds we know about are Pink, Yellow, Blue and White:

And of course we’ve seen gems wear diamonds on their clothing to signify who they work for, or whose jurisdiction they fall under:

But think about it. The only diamond we’ve got confirmation of is yellow.

Now why do I think Blue and White Diamond are dead? Well, how about the gems from the Strawberry Battlefield and the Lighthouse?

The one from the lighthouse is diamond cut, and the one from the Strawberry Battlefield looks pretty diamond-y to me, with its long pavilion and all. Not to mention the fact they’re freaking huge, which isn’t incredibly normal as far as our cast goes. The gems we’ve seen all have gems about the size of your hand, but these two are gigantic.

So basically, Pink Diamond is Steven now, White Diamond was a death trap until freed by Steven, Blue Diamond was trapped in the lighthouse, and Yellow Diamond is all who remains, which is why she stood alone in the SDCC spoiler and is so far the only diamond to be mentioned by name on the show.

The only thing I can think of that would negate this would be the mural in the hand-ship Peridot uses. It has three diamonds; White, Blue, and Yellow.

Now here’s where the timeline would come into play. How old is Peridot, how old is her ship, and when did white/blue diamond die?

If you want to say White and Blue diamond died around the same time as the main gem war, that would mean that this mural is either in memoriam or that the ship is roughly that old. The war happened about 6,000 years ago, or at least that’s when it ended, since Amethyst is the “last” Kindergarten gem we know of and she’s only about that old. The gems got here 10,000 years ago, more or less, so that would mean for this ship’s mural to be just an old mural, it would have to be 6,000 years old or older.

However, the gem ships before it (the ones we saw in Friend Ship) were the ones used 10,000 years ago, so unless they underwent a MASSIVE technological revolution within the 4,000 years during the war for Earth and didn’t leave any of their stuff behind, that ship can’t be that old.

So if it’s in memoriam, why is Yellow still represented here? Did Yellow Diamond not want to be alone on the mural, and if so, why not include Pink, since she was also a diamond? Which leads me to another question:

Would the Diamond Authority actually be the Diamond Conspiracy? Is Yellow Diamond controlling information on Homeworld, and not letting onto the actual casualties of the war? She could say that Blue and White diamond are still alive, just not accepting any kind of visitation. To admit that a four-gem monarchy is now just a one-man show because of one gem and her army would be to admit weakness, and if Homeworld really is the cruel, uncaring caste system it’s been portrayed as, it would make sense that the Government would be restricting the freedom of information.

And if Rose Quartz really was Pink Diamond, erasing her from the diamond iconography would make sense. They don’t want to associate themselves with a traitorous diamond who forwent her Homeworld, thus wiping all evidence she existed as a leader. This wouldn’t affect the gem-stuff left on Earth, of course, but anything more modern than that wouldn’t have Pink Diamond on it at all.

Then we come to Lapis Lazuli in “The Message.”

“Homeworld…it’s not the way it used to be.”

Now obviously in context she was referring specifically to the weaponry being advanced. Lapis was trapped in the mirror on Earth for a very long time, anywhere up to 10,000 years. She’s an old gem, just like our main cast (sans Steven, obviously.)

But what if she went back to Homeworld and her leader, Blue Diamond, was gone? She has a blue diamond on her clothing, so clearly that’s who she serves, but she was then treated like a prisoner by the underlings of Yellow Diamond. That seditious behaviour shouldn’t be allowed if Yellow and Blue diamond are equals.

Blue Diamond probably would have welcomed back Lapis Lazuli unless they suspected she was a Crystal Gem (and Lapis could’ve been a Crystal Gem, it’s not like their star icon was a thing until some time after Rose met Greg, most likely after Rose’s death, and Lapis was coming from Earth.) There was literally no reason for them to take Lapis back, since Peridot already knew about the Crystal Gems. Nothing Lapis knew was new information, so for Peridot to claim Lapis was an “informant” while she was treated like a prisoner seems suspect. Perhaps they wanted to kill Lapis as well so that she wouldn’t squeal about Blue Diamond’s disappearance?

But, more or less, my theory is thus:

Yellow Diamond is the only diamond remaining on Homeworld, and she may be controlling the information on Homeworld. Pink Diamond/Rose Quartz, under commands of Yellow Diamond, has been erased from Gem history for being a traitor, and removed from any modern Diamond iconography created after the war for Earth. Blue and White Diamond’s defeat and capture/death on Earth are being kept secret by Yellow Diamond so as not to make the Homeworld Government appear weak. Lapis Lazuli is a weak link, since she served a now-dead diamond, and her capture and subsequent imprisonment may have been an attempt on behalf of Yellow Diamond to silence her so that gems younger than her on Homeworld wouldn’t come to learn that Blue Diamond has since disappeared.

The McReedus Story - The Red Strokes Ch 1

**The brilliant author would like to remain anonymous FOR NOW!

**I am sure that some feedback will encourage her to reveal her humble secret identity

Once they were safely out of ear shot of their fans Mel giggled.
Norman shot her a look. “Did you see the dirty looks I was getting from all those women?”

She had arrived to the set on the back of his motorcycle. The location had been leaked and there was a huge crowd of fans gathered at the entrance.
She noticed the evil glares the second she slid off the bike and removed her helmet.
“Oh come on, there were lots of guys there who were wishing they were in my spot,” Norman shot back with a flirty smile.


When he smiled like that she understood why every girl back by the gate was weak in the knees. Her coworker was undeniably one of the sexiest men on the planet. He was also charismatic, charming and just incredibly nice.


Melissa considered herself lucky to call Norman a friend. He always knew how to make her laugh and his constant flirts, and touchy feely nature made her feel sexy even if it was essentially harmless and meant nothing.


“So I’ll see you in a few hours,” Norman said, giving her a peck on the temple.


Mel nodded and waved bye. They had both been called back to reshoot a couple short scenes. The filming likely wouldn’t take long but wardrobe and makeup certainly would. The transformation to dirty, sweaty zombie slayers took time.


The day passed quickly, as it always seemed to on set. Melissa loved her job and the people she worked with. But even with the short reshoots she was tired by the end of the day. Norman found her once he was done and they got ready to leave.


“Want to go for a drink?” he asked. Thankfully security had cleared up the fans or she would be waiting a long time to get Norman past the screaming women.


Mel sighed, “I could really use a cup of coffee, though I doubt that’s the kind of drink you had in mind.”


“Nope, but it’s fine. I know the perfect place.” He got on the bike and steadied it while she took her spot. They roared off into the night and she had no idea where they were headed.


Norman pulled into a parking garage, found his spot and then got off. “Your place?” Mel asked with a tight lipped smile after removing her helmet.


“Yep, I make a mean cup of java and I have a fully stocked bar. Oh, and a shower if you’re interested?” he waggled his eyebrows flirtatiously and Melissa rolled her eyes. Though she did plan on taking him up on the use of his shower. Even though she didn’t have a change of clothes it would be nice to rinse off the dirt, makeup, and sweat.


Turned out Norman’s condo actually had 2 showers and after leading her to the guest bath and finding her towels Norman left to use his shower in the en suite.
For all the times she had showered in hotel rooms across the country it still felt odd to shower at someone else’s house. When Mel stepped out and went to reach for a towel she noticed a clean t-shirt sitting on top.
Her eyes widened when she realized that Norman must have snuck in at some point while she was showing to deliver it. She blushed, wondering how she didn’t notice, and hoping the glass had been fully steamed before he made his appearance.

Melissa got dressed and wandered out to his living room. She had been there once before at a party Norman hosted over a year ago. It was a pretty wild night.
Most of the cast hadn’t seen each other for weeks as shooting had wrapped and they had a great night of drinks with crazy friends.


While Norman was busy in the kitchen getting drinks Melissa got out her phone and started to browse. He came back and handed her a steaming mug. She grinned and said thanks, taking a sip. “Hey, have you heard of McReedus?” Mel asked setting the mug down.


He shook his head and plunked down beside her. “Whatcha lookin’ at?”


“Tumblr,” she replied flashing the screen in his direction. “There’s a McReedus tag devoted to you and I.”


Norman looked a bit confused, “I thought we were called Caryl?”


“That’s the name for Carol and Daryl. McReedus is you and I. They think you and I are together.” Mel looked at him with a smile, “there are even stories about us fucking.”


“How do they know we’re fucking?” he asked.


“We’re not fucking,” Melissa laughed.


“Oh right,” he snorted and moved closer. “Well are any of them any good?”


She raised her eyebrows. “You want to read one?”


Norman shrugged “Why not? Our fans are pretty talented at most things. I bet writing is no exception.”


“Well, there is this one they keep talking about. Let me see if I can find the link…Ok got it,” she replied after scrolling a bit on her touch screen.


“Just highlight it and have Siri read to us,” Norman suggested. Mel turned up the volume a bit and set the phone on the coffee table to listen.


When the first chapter ended they looked at each other. “For the record, I have never masturbated, thinking about you, in the shower,” Norman said. “In bed, maybe, but never in the shower,” he joked. Melissa smacked him but laughed.


“I think I’m going to need something stronger than coffee for Chapter 2,” she sighed. “Got any good wine?”


Norman stood, “red or white?”


“Both,” she said, not entirely kidding.


He returned moments later with 2 bottles and 2 glasses. Norman poured her a glass of Red to start. He poured his own glass and resumed his position beside her, entirely too close for most people, though Mel was used to fact that Norman likes to get in your space, and she never minded.


“Ready?” she leaned forward and started Siri reading chapter 2.


“Holy fuck,” Norman muttered, several times. Melissa felt her own face burning as they listened.
At the same time it was fuelling something inside her and she wondered if the story was turning Norman on too. As creepy as it was to hear an explicit sex scene about themselves Melissa had to admit it was making her incredibly horny.


When it ended she took a long sip of wine before making eye contact. “For the record, I don’t have any piercings below my ears.” She laughed, “but I’m seriously considering getting some.”


Norman snorted. “I’m a fucking stallion. That was awesome.” He tipped back the last of his wine and poured them both more.
Melissa knew she should have declined, but the wine was a great distraction from the fire burning low in her belly.


“I’m kinda liking this McReedus thing. Are there any more?” Mel gave him a look, but he was pumped.
Norman grinned, “We should totally do some crazy pose and tweet it, then see how fast it’s all over tumblr.”


“I don’t know…”


Norman nudged her, “Oh come on, we do it all the time for the Carylers.”


“Okay,” Mel gave in. She always gave in so easy to his crazy schemes. “What have you got in mind?”


Norman smirked, “How about a McBride tongue shot? And I’ll Tweet it from my account? That should do the trick.”


So Melissa found herself hanging out her tongue, imitating one of Norman’s signature poses, while he snapped her photo. He tweeted it and within seconds there were favorites and retweets.


“Okay, check Tumblr now,” he said after a few minutes.


Mel opened the app on her phone and went to the McRedus tag.
“You have got to be kidding me,” she said in awe.

The photo had already been blogged by 4 different people and there were comments and reblogs on all of them.
Mel laughed and blushed as she read a few of them.


“MMB can lick me with that tongue any day.
Hmm, what are McReedus up to tonight?
Are they trying to kill us?”


They looked at each other again and laughed. They both adored their fans fiercely and weren’t laughing at them, just at the craziness of the world they were caught up in since joining the cast of The Walking Dead.


Mel hadn’t noticed that Norman had filled up her wine glass again until after she had taken another sip.

“Um, I guess it’s going to be a cab ride home for me hmm?” she said, as Norman drank more wine.

She didn’t have a vehicle but even if she did, neither of them were in any condition to drive.
Coffee with Bailey’s and 3 glasses of wine for her, and a shot of something earlier and at least 3 glasses of wine for him meant neither was getting behind the wheel.


“Why don’t you just stay?” he suggested.
“It’s late. It would be a long and expensive cab ride.”
He used the excuse as if money was a huge deal, which was obviously amusing.


“I don’t know. Probably not a good idea,” she replied hesitantly.


“You can have my bed, I’ll sleep on the couch. No big deal,” he shrugged.


Once again she found herself giving in to his crazy schemes.
Must be the alcohol, she thought.
“But there’s one thing we have to do before we go to sleep,” Norman said, standing up.


When Mel stood, she realized just how much she had drank.
It took a minute to get her bearings before she was ready to walk.
Once again she had no idea where she was going as Norman took her hand and led her from the room.

New Membranes Key For A Thirsty World

by Michael Keller

Nature often plays a mean trick on thirsty people. Unless you’re stranded in the desert, there’s often water, water everywhere, yet nary a drop to drink.

The problem isn’t ever the water itself, but the things suspended in it. The grit, organic matter and larger particles are just the start of the problem. In even the clearest running streams, disease-causing microbes, industrial compounds or naturally occurring arsenic can pose serious health risks.

Then there’s nature’s biggest barb—more than 97 percent of the water on Earth is too salty to drink. Whether it’s seawater or saline groundwater, imbibing salt causes the body to dehydrate and start shutting down.

Significantly less than one percent of the planet’s total supply of water is available fresh water for the 7.2 billion people living today, the animals and the wild and crop plants. While that supply stays about the same over time, our growing, urbanizing population and expanding industrial footprint means ever more demand. Societies around the world must deal with freshwater scarcity every day—the UN says some 1.2 billion people live where water is physically scarce.

Yet with saltwater all around, the answer to the problem has always seemed so close.

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