into the wayside

2

In the summer break before their final year at school, Giu and Elise were inseparable, spending every day together; at each other’s houses playing Left for Dead 2, at the bookshop where Giu worked twice a week or at the beach when it wasn’t raining.

With Iris and her family out of town for the entire summer, Giu felt himself properly relax for the first time in months, the stress of going to school and being hounded by her falling by the wayside as he re-read books by his favourite author Hansen Blumann and wrote his own material. 

With a few writing competitions coming up in the next year, he was keen to keep turning over ideas, often handing them to Elise to read over; though brutally honest, he was grateful for her support, albeit sarcastic at times.

i hate so much when rich people claim they could live on minimum wage

you can’t. you absolutely fucking can’t.

it’s not just about how literally impossible it can be or how the rich are so accustomed to luxury they wouldn’t be able to stomach being poor – it’s about the fact that any experience rich people have had with poverty was temporary.

“to prove that $8/hr is humane i lived on minimum wage for a month – and it was fine. you just have to spend wisely and be frugal.”

i promise any rich person who’s done (if they even have) something like that was ACHING by the end of that month. that week. they were edging out the end of that month thinking “after this i can go back to my cozy $100k a year, i just have to get this month over with”

it’s livable, right? this guy proved it. one month and he’s sure – it’s totally doable! he ate gross food and kept his lights off and his AC off and scrounged up change for gas for a month and it wasn’t THAT bad!

but man…. imagine if that was your whole life.

i’m sure they felt a little stressed after realizing how tight the budget was at the end of that month… imagine that but for years. years and years with no end in sight. you never have the relief of going back to your $100k salary and flat screen TV. it’s years upon years of pent up stress and anxiety

what if your car breaks down? what if you miss your bus? what if you have an unexpected charge on your card and overdraft? what if the kids want pizza? what if you call out sick from work? what if you can’t afford christmas presents?

and on top of the stress, you’re poor and you don’t have much free time because you take all the hours you can get to make ends meet. instead of cooking you have to eat shitty banquet and michelinas meals because delivery and takeout are too expensive. and the more tired you get, the more exhausted, the more shitty food you consume just to try to keep going.

and you probably don’t have good healthcare!

you’re stressed, you’re eating poorly, your body hurts from all the work and you’re too poor to pay for medical help, things like car repair fall by the wayside in order to provide, you’re sad, you start drinking to cope, etc

this is the cycle poor people are fucking trapped in. this is why the minimum wage is a fucking failure to all impoverished people in america.

this is the toll “just being frugal” takes on poor people after living for decades like that. adddiction, mental illness, lawbreaking – these things are associated with low class and poor people because it’s what happens to us and what we resort to when the system fails us.

anonymous asked:

What are other books/series that you'd recommend that are in the same vein as Animorphs?

Honestly, your ask inspired me to get off my butt and finally compile a list of the books that I reference with my character names in Eleutherophobia, because in a lot of ways that’s my list of recommendations right there: I deliberately chose children’s and/or sci-fi stories that deal really well with death, war, dark humor, class divides, and/or social trauma for most of my character names.  I also tend to use allusions that either comment on Animorphs or on the source work in the way that the names come up.

That said, here are The Ten Greatest Animorphs-Adjacent Works of Literature According to Sol’s Totally Arbitrary Standards: 

1. A Ring of Endless Light, Madeline L’Engle

  • This is a really good teen story that, in painfully accurate detail, captures exactly what it’s like to be too young to really understand death while forced to confront it anyway.  I read it at about the same age as the protagonist, not that long after having suffered the first major loss in my own life (a friend, also 14, killed by cancer).  It accomplished exactly what a really good novel should by putting words to the experiences that I couldn’t describe properly either then or now.  This isn’t a light read—its main plot is about terminal illness, and the story is bookended by two different unexpected deaths—but it is a powerful one. 

2. The One and Only Ivan, K.A. Applegate 

  • This prose novel (think an epic poem, sort of like The Iliad, only better) obviously has everything in it that makes K.A. Applegate one of the greatest children’s authors alive: heartbreaking tragedy, disturbing commentary on the human condition, unforgettably individuated narration, pop culture references, and poop jokes.  Although I’m mostly joking when I refer to Marco in my tags as “the one and only” (since this book is narrated by a gorilla), Ivan does remind me of Marco with his sometimes-toxic determination to see the best of every possible situation when grief and anger allow him no other outlet for his feelings and the terrifying lengths to which he will go in order to protect his found family.

3. My Teacher Flunked the Planet, Bruce Coville

  • Although the entire My Teacher is an Alien series is really well-written and powerful, this book is definitely my favorite because in many ways it’s sort of an anti-Animorphs.  Whereas Animorphs (at least in my opinion) is a story about the battle for personal freedom and privacy, with huge emphasis on one’s inner identity remaining the same even as one’s physical shape changes, My Teacher Flunked the Planet is about how maybe the answer to all our problems doesn’t come from violent struggle for personal freedoms, but from peaceful acceptance of common ground among all humans.  There’s a lot of intuitive appeal in reading about the protagonists of a war epic all shouting “Free or dead!” before going off to battle (#13) but this series actually deconstructs that message as blind and excessive, especially when options like “all you need is love” or “no man is an island” are still on the table.

4. Moon Called, Patricia Briggs

  • I think this book is the only piece of adult fiction on this whole list, and that’s no accident: the Mercy Thompson series is all about the process of adulthood and how that happens to interact with the presence of the supernatural in one’s life.  The last time I tried to make a list of my favorite fictional characters of all time, it ended up being about 75% Mercy Thompson series, 24% Animorphs, and the other 1% was Eugenides Attolis (who I’ll get back to in my rec for The Theif).  These books are about a VW mechanic, her security-administrator next door neighbor, her surgeon roommate, her retail-working best friend and his defense-lawyer boyfriend, and their cybersecurity frenemy.  The fact that half those characters are supernatural creatures only serves to inconvenience Mercy as she contemplates how she’s going to pay next month’s rent when a demon destroyed her trailer, whether to get married for the first time at age 38 when doing so would make her co-alpha of a werewolf pack, what to do about the vampires that keep asking for her mechanic services without paying, and how to be a good neighbor to the area ghosts that only she can see.  

5. The Thief, Megan Whalen Turner

  • This book (and its sequel A Conspiracy of Kings) are the ones that I return to every time I struggle with first-person writing and no Animorphs are at hand.  Turner does maybe the best of any author I’ve seen of having character-driven plots and plot-driven characters.  This book is the story of five individuals (with five slightly different agendas) traveling through an alternate version of ancient Greece and Turkey with a deceptively simple goal: they all want to work together to steal a magical stone from the gods.  However, the narrator especially is more complicated than he seems, which everyone else fails to realize at their own detriment. 

6. Homecoming, Cynthia Voight

  • Critics have compared this book to a modern, realistic reimagining of The Boxcar Children, which always made a lot of sense to me.  It’s the story of four children who must find their own way from relative to relative in an effort to find a permanent home, struggling every single day with the question of what they will eat and how they will find a safe place to sleep that night.  The main character herself is one of those unforgettable heroines that is easy to love even as she makes mistake after mistake as a 13-year-old who is forced to navigate the world of adult decisions, shouldering the burden of finding a home for her family because even though she doesn’t know what she’s doing, it’s not like she can ask an adult for help.  Too bad the Animorphs didn’t have Dicey Tillerman on the team, because this girl shepherds her family through an Odysseus-worthy journey on stubbornness alone.

7. High Wizardry, Diane Duane

  • The Young Wizards series has a lot of good books in it, but this one will forever be my favorite because it shows that weird, awkward, science- and sci-fi-loving girls can save the world just by being themselves.  Dairine Callahan was the first geek girl who ever taught me it’s not only okay to be a geek girl, but that there’s power in empiricism when properly applied.  In contrast to a lot of scientifically “smart” characters from sci-fi (who often use long words or good grades as a shorthand for conveying their expertise), Dairine applies the scientific method, programming theory, and a love of Star Wars to her problem-solving skills in a way that easily conveys that she—and Diane Duane, for that matter—love science for what it is: an adventurous way of taking apart the universe to find out how it works.  This is sci-fi at its best. 

8. Dr. Franklin’s Island, Gwyneth Jones

  • If you love Animorphs’ body horror, personal tragedy, and portrayal of teens struggling to cope with unimaginable circumstances, then this the book for you!  I’m only being about 80% facetious, because this story has all that and a huge dose of teen angst besides.  It’s a loose retelling of H.G. Wells’s classic The Island of Doctor Moreau, but really goes beyond that story by showing how the identity struggles of adolescence interact with the identity struggles of being kidnapped by a mad scientist and forcibly transformed into a different animal.  It’s a survival story with a huge dose of nightmare fuel (seriously: this book is not for the faint of heart, the weak of stomach, or anyone who skips the descriptions of skin melting and bones realigning in Animorphs) but it’s also one about how three kids with a ton of personal differences and no particular reason to like each other become fast friends over the process of surviving hell by relying on each other.  

9. Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Louis Sachar

  • Louis Sachar is the only author I’ve ever seen who can match K.A. Applegate for nihilistic humor and absurdist horror layered on top of an awesome story that’s actually fun for kids to read.  Where he beats K.A. Applegate out is in terms of his ability to generate dream-like surrealism in these short stories, each one of which starts out hilariously bizarre and gradually devolves into becoming nightmare-inducingly bizarre.  Generally, each one ends with an unsettling abruptness that never quite relieves the tension evoked by the horror of the previous pages, leaving the reader wondering what the hell just happened, and whether one just wet one’s pants from laughing too hard or from sheer existential terror.  The fact that so much of this effect is achieved through meta-humor and wordplay is, in my opinion, just a testament to Sachar’s huge skill as a writer. 

10. Magyk, Angie Sage

  • As I mentioned, the Septimus Heap series is probably the second most powerful portrayal of the effect of war on children that I’ve ever encountered; the fact that the books are so funny on top of their subtle horror is a huge bonus as well.  There are a lot of excellent moments throughout the series where the one protagonist’s history as a child soldier (throughout this novel he’s simply known as “Boy 412″) will interact with his stepsister’s (and co-protagonist’s) comparatively privileged upbringing.  Probably my favorite is the moment when the two main characters end up working together to kill a man in self-defense, and the girl raised as a princess makes the horrified comment that she never thought she’d actually have to kill someone, to which her stepbrother calmly responds that that’s a privilege he never had; the ensuing conversation strongly implies that his psyche has been permanently damaged by the fact that he was raised to kill pretty much from infancy, but all in a way that is both child-friendly and respectful of real trauma.  
Day One Hundred and Eighteen

-An infant came through, shrieking until no end unless their one simple demand was met: a bag of marshmallows in which to bury their face. I feel a great deal of understanding for this child, and I will undoubtedly make use of this coping strategy in the future.

-Multiple dogs have come through the store today,each brightening my day enough to more than make up for the stormy skies. A guest could purchase a stuffed Minion and slap me in the face with it and I still would not mind. All that matters now is the puppers.

-A mother turned her back to her four year-old daughter for a split second, who, with an immediacy that left no doubt of premeditation, ran to an empty register and began shining the hand scanner into her eyes. My crew has been in need of a classic wild card for some time now, and I believe I may have found a perfect fit.

-I passed a woman wearing a shirt that read, “I Love Jesus A Little.” I appreciate the honesty here. After all, JC has always struck me as the kind of guy who values being real over telling him what he wants to hear.

-An eerie spell has fallen over the shopping center. Despite the vibrant landscapes outside being perfectly lit in the most picturesque way, the sky is covered in a deep black, nearly purple covering of clouds. The store is constantly fluctuating from full and crowded to nary a shopper to be seen, yet at no point is anything more or less than a muffled buzz heard. Every thirty minutes I look at a clock, only to see that only five have gone by. I know not what is causing this metamorphosis from storefront to purgatory. I can only hope that it passes soon, or, if it does not, that I am compensated properly.

-A toddler systematically discarded items as she was pushed through the store, tossing them by the wayside as they went. She knew precisely what the most valuable item in that cart was, and she would not stand for competition.

-A family came through my lane. The father placed a stuffed stormtrooper on the counter and, gesturing to his son, said, “This is his buddy.” Next, he put up several bags of mini chocolate eggs, remarking, “And these are going to be my buddies.” Finally, he told me of his wife, “And this, this is her buddy,” before placing a therapeutic massager on my counter. No living soul will ever know the truth of who was the most uncomfortable in this situation, but I will contest to my dying day that it was me.

-A man hurriedly approached my register and, in a deep and commanding voice, addressed me, “How you doing, chief?” Caught off-guard by my new promotion, I quickly scanned his purchase of girls underwear and leggings. He finished paying and told me, “Don’t bother bagging it, we’ve had an incident,” and, items stowed under his arm, hurried back off towards the sales floor. I sent with him my best wishes and a sticker for our fallen soldier.

Everything Has Changed (Part One)

Summary: In which everything changes when you discover Bucky’s true feelings for you in a very unconventional manner.

Pairing: Bucky x Reader

Word Count: 2,880

A/N: The goal is to make this a mini-series. Fingers crossed that it stays that way. 

Originally posted by caps-bucky

“All clear,” you whisper. For anyone else, those words would’ve been indiscernible because of how softly they were spoken. Luckily for you, you’re not with just anyone. You’re with a super soldier equipped with enhanced hearing.

From across the empty hallway, Bucky abandons his spot behind a tall filing cabinet and runs towards you, keeping his gun up and ready to shoot at any given moment.

Keep reading

“If you are a student you should always get a good nights sleep unless you have come to the good part of your book, and then you should stay up all night and let your schoolwork fall by the wayside, a phrase which means ‘flunk’.”

Lemony Snicket

man-ohh-man  asked:

Hey, what are your thoughts on the latest FT chapter? Also, have a nice day

I loved this chapter! The show of emotion is great and that tone of bittersweet happiness, not going to lie I found it to be quality content. Especially from Lucy. 

We see how much seeing Natsu alive meant to her. The expression on her face and in her eyes is beautifully done. 

Then we see the devastation of losing him. She can’t even hold her own body weight. 

Natsu has already been through this loss. And although we didn’t get to see how much this affected him yet, I have a suspicion we might get to find out. 

I believe Mashima is setting up these scenarios in which Natsu and Lucy have been forced to confront their love for one another. They can’t remain in denial when they’ve lost someone they love unconditionally like this. If Lucy and Natsu were dancing around their feelings, refusing to acknowledge them, Natsu’s return will force them both out their shell. 

Nothing like a death catalyst to trigger a reality check on what’s important and having the confidence to speak up and get what you want.  Worries of ‘it might ruin our friendship’ blown to the wayside. 

A Lesson in Love (Creative Writing)

Summary: (College!AU) In which you’re assigned to write a story about romance, a subject you know nothing about, and Bucky, a hopeless romantic, offers you his assistance.

Pairing: Bucky x Reader

Word Count: 2,547

A/N: The tag list for this story is officially CLOSED. Also, we’re nearing the end of this series. I’d say there’s 4-5 parts left. 

“A Lesson in Love” Masterlist + Soundtrack

@avengerstories - Forever grateful for your editing assistance.

Originally posted by thoranda

The sun is out as you walk to your Creative Writing class. It’s a sign that winter is really being left behind, only to be replaced by longer days, warmer weather and an abundance of thriving greenery.

As much of a fan that you are of the freezing season, you’re grateful to see it go. The temperamental radiator in your apartment made your nights especially cold and knowing that you don’t have to depend on that for warmth anymore is a big relief.

Keep reading

on loving the Fair

i. you will never love them any way new enough to be novelty. they’ve been adored, adorned, admired, doted on, devoted to—they’ve had sacrifices of life&death done in their name, do you really think your gifts of trinkets and cream are all that impressive? you might be amusing, temporarily entertaining, but that is your talent appeasing their vanity, not their hearts. poems to them bolster their ego, not warm their affections to you. your love for them will only make Taking you easier, not make them love you back.

ii. if they do love you back, know they have different definitions for that. know they are not always nice, not always pretty, not always safe. more look like a mouth too-full of too-sharp, dripping, stalactites/stalagmites-not-teeth than golden warm mornings, basking in their (many) arms. be ready for this: their obsessions are more likely to burn out than to bloom.

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i always laugh bitterly to myself when i read a medical website that describes fibromyalgia as a “treatable” condition. i’m sorry, treatable? really? treatable, where? because i’ve tried every form of “treatment” available in the last decade and am still suffering on a daily basis–suffering so much, in fact, that i can’t remember the last time my life was even remotely close to functional without marijuana, hot baths, and long days (sometimes weeks) spent incapacitated in bed–which, within the context of survival under capitalism, isn’t really functional at all.

please direct me–and all the doctors who have dismissed my symptoms with, “well, there’s not much known about your disease/not much we can really do for you/not a lot of belief in the medical community that your illness even exists”–to whatever form of “treatment” is supposably capable of giving me the illusion of a normal life, because apparently my firsthand experience of disability and discrimination is contrary to the “treatable” nature of my disorder.

labelling chronic illnesses like fibromyalgia as “treatable” creates the notion that it’s “not that serious,” which contributes to chronically ill people not being taken seriously, pushed to the wayside, viewed as “lazy/faking it/attention-seeking,” and, ultimately, silenced (see reference: ableism).

anonymous asked:

I wanted to say that I love the posts you made about writing about siblings! Most of all when it comes to same gender siblings, very often in fiction I see the siblings having issues with each other or not getting along. Or the sibling is mostly absent during the story. I would love to see more of siblings being super close, I know some sets of sisters in my life who are super close like they are friends, and it is lovely to watchh. Why do authors tend to avoid close sibling relationships?

Thank you for your kind words! Siblings in stories are a huge passion for me, and close siblings in particular are relationships I want to see in more stories.

Unfortunately, the problem doesn’t stem from avoiding just close siblings but from avoiding close family as a whole. I don’t have any studies or papers examining the idea, no statistics I can report; what I do have are guesses based on observations and conversations with other writers about why they’re writing what they’re writing.

Myth: Main characters must have tragic backstories to be interesting.
Somehow, the idea that in order for a character to be interesting, their backstory has to be tragic has become an integral part to story-telling. Taking it one step further has been the growing idea that tragic = the loss of a person or persons close to them, and who closer than family? Family is an oasis of people who know where a character comes from and theoretically are hoping for the best for them. They’re the people who are supposed to accept a character entirely and are obligated to always love them. That loss writers are looking to capitalize on may be death, but it could also be those individuals rejecting the character, shredding that expectation of love. Having encountered plenty of folks in their own lives and others for whom those tenants and core qualities of family haven’t held up and the pain that comes from that, writers’ first thought when seeking out a tragic backstory often land in the alienation from or destruction of the character’s family. Destroying what may have been something happy for them creates tension and tragedy from which a character may find their drive for the story or send them to a state of being from which the writer wants to watch them grow. More to the point is that by destroying the family, the character’s background all of a sudden has a better ability to become fraught with mystery, the best, fastest way to make a character interesting.

What writers don’t take into account:
Writers must evaluate why they think their character has to have a tragic backstory. If it’s an interesting character they’re looking for–someone compelling that the audience is interested in getting to know–there are better, more compelling ways to do it than by destroying their family. If that’s is how a writer has chosen to hide the Family Secrets™, they perhaps need to rethink why that trope specifically is what their story hinges on and not on a thousand more believable reasons for the knowledge to be inaccessible. More importantly, writers must begin to realize that their character can still be tragic while retaining their family. Just because they’re close with their siblings doesn’t mean that the tragic thing that happened is negated by the joy they get out of being with, talking with, or in general interacting with their sibling. In fact, it might be an excellent relationship to use as a vehicle for the character’s growth.

Myth: Family members hold main characters back from their adventures.
Family is often thought of as this immovable stake in the ground of time and place. They are the constant in a character’s life, a place and people they can return to. They are the refuge, but also the people who have the character’s safety at heart. They’re more likely to ask characters not to go (for a variety of reasons including that the family needs their help at home, the family doesn’t want them to die, the family disagrees with the endeavor, etc.). Writers feel like if the character were close to their family, they might not actually get to participate in the story the writer has planned because they’d never leave those people behind or the family would never let them leave.

Additionally, family as a main character’s greatest weakness is absurdly common. They are the ones to be abducted or killed first by those looking to lure a character somewhere or inflict the most pain on a character or force a character to step their game up a notch. Because of this, writers remove family before the fray even happens, intending to strengthen their characters in the process and make them immovable themselves, unable to be coerced.

What writers don’t take into account:
Family doesn’t have to mean helpless. Give your familial characters some agency! Writing close siblings will actually give a character a huge strength in that they always know they have someone who has their back. If they let their sibling in on what’s going on and what they’re struggling with, that sibling has an opportunity to help. The idea that a character’s adventure and struggles must be kept secret from their family has fed into this–the “I don’t want to make them worry,” conundrum. It’s another situation that writers need to examine about their story and find out what’s stopping them from writing in these characters. If the answer is ever “because it’s easier,” the writer has a problem.

Myth: The power of friendship is not the same as the power of siblings.
The power of friendship and love triumphing over the powers of evil and hatred is a theme nearly every story perpetuates, whether the writer intends to or not. In the same way that humans create categories and hierarchies of what’s more important or more worthy, they’ve also managed to create the idea that the relationship between friends and the relationship between siblings doesn’t hold the same amount or type of power. Love conquers all, right? But familial love doesn’t count because it’s a requirement between family members–it comes with being family. It’s not as authentic or impressive or whatever as love grown between unrelated individuals (whether platonic or romantic) because it’s perceived as being a “gimme,” something they don’t have to work for.

What writers don’t take into account:
I’m not sure writers have really, and I mean really, evaluated how hard it is to maintain a relationship with one’s siblings, let alone keeping it a good one. Seriously. When you’re growing up, you see each other all the time! You know what bothers them, and it’s actually mildly amusing to push those buttons and see them struggle with the reaction they want to have and the one they’re allowed to have because you’re family. You see each other succeed and do absolutely amazing things; you see what each other is capable of, but you also see them mess up and it’s easier to hold the grudge against them for it because they should have known better. As we become adults and move out on our own, ideas about what’s right and okay are expanded past what the family rules were, but those rules still linger and tinge our perceptions, even of each other, and maybe a style of living a sibling has grates on your nerves because that’s not how we were raised or whatever. Our schedules become so full that communication falls by the wayside and suddenly, five years down the line, you realize that this person you used to talk to all the time is a total stranger. Keeping that love and affection between siblings is hard work and it should never ever, ever be taken for granted. Unfortunately, it is. All the time.

Myth: Close siblings don’t have conflict and are therefore uninteresting.
Story is conflict, right? Events are happening that characters have to deal with, people with different ideas about right and wrong are blocking the way, friends are making dumb decisions, and family has chosen to never own up to the problem that runs in their veins. Writers have come under the assumption that close relationships that are healthy and benefit both characters can’t contribute to or create conflict and therefore are dead weight in the story. And no dead weight can survive to the final draft.

What writers don’t take into account:
Who says people in close relationships can’t have conflict? Who says siblings who love and support each other can’t support each other right into a bad plan? Who says close siblings can’t make dumb decisions? These are two separate characters who happen to have grown up together, which also means that while they can love and support each other, they can also see the flaws and dangerous leaps of logic they each make more easily than other people. They have plenty to contribute to conflict, including coming into conflict with each other. “Close” does not mean “perfect relationship.”


I’m sure there are other reasons, too, such as not having any experience and therefore not really thinking about it or not feeling confident in portraying that kind of relationship with accuracy. I think the biggest thing writers need to do is ask themselves why they think they couldn’t have a sibling in their story and evaluate their own reasons to see what’s holding them back. Understanding our excuses can help us better address them and face new challenges head on.

I hope this has given you some insight into the issue, Anon. Good luck! -Pear