national best seller

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———–  1969 Ford Escort   —————

—- The Ford Escort was introduced in the United Kingdom at the end of 1967 making its show debut at the Brussels Motor Show in January 1968. The Escort was a commercial success in many parts of Western Europe but nowhere more than in the UK, where it was the national best seller of the 1960’s. In June 1974, less than six years after the car’s UK introduction, Ford announced the completion of the two millionth Ford Escort, a milestone unmatched by any Ford model outside the USA. The Mk. I featured contemporary styling cues in tune with its time; a subtle Detroit-inspired ‘Coke bottle’ waistline and the 'dogbone’ shaped front grill - arguably the car’s most famous stylistic feature. —

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For many, Billy Collins needs no introduction. The former Poet Laureate is widely acknowledged as America’s most popular poet, regularly popping up on national best-seller lists (terra incognita for most poets, even beloved ones).

Public radio fans might know him best from his frequent appearances on A Prairie Home Companion … or may remember his lack of Phil Collins know-how, as displayed on Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me.

So when Collins sat down with NPR for a reading on Facebook Live, we didn’t have to do much work to drum up an audience. The comments were quickly filled with his longtime fans. One asked: How would someone who wants to become a poet get started?

Billy Collins On How To Become A Poet, And Why Poetry Can Be A Game

whatcolourmyeyes I loved your tasertricks Stranger Than Fiction AU post so much, I had to write a little something for it. I hope you don’t mind!

It starts out innocently enough. Her publisher has given her the green light so Darcy begins work on her second novel. It’s a lot of pressure, she admits, trying to follow-up a national best seller with something that won’t be a flop, but she takes it all in stride.

She’s a quarter of the way through her rough draft when she finally introduces him into the story. A prince who thirsts to be king. She’s been crafting this character for years, ever since she turned 18 actually, and it was on the eve of her birthday when she first dreamed of him. 

Darcy still remembers every detail of that dream. Shockingly bright green eyes, hair as black as the ink she scribbles into her favourite notebook, and a smile that oozes charm and distrust.

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Why We Read Fanfiction (final)

-deep breath- Well here it is. My take on why we read these glorious things. PLEASE bear in mind, that this by no means is intended to encompass ALL of the reasons- I wanted to get at why we read fanfiction specifically as opposed to original literature. This could have been (and tried valiantly to be) much, much longer. Also bear in mind, it was written so that those unfamiliar with the genre would also understand, so pardon the definitions.

My gift to you writers and readers- I bear my heart. I do not write fanfiction, but I find myself grateful for the chance to express my esteem and gratitude to all of you.

Why We Read Fanfiction

You’re walking out of a theater, basking in the glow of new characters to love and a plot to get lost in. But, what now? You’ve fallen in love with a protagonist, a couple, or some side character, and their story ended too soon. You need more. What happens now? There’s only one option. Fanfiction.  Merriam-Webster defines fanfiction as “stories involving popular fictional characters that are written by fans and often posted on the Internet.” Fanfiction is a boon to fandoms (the fan community) gasping to see more of their characters and the universe they live in. It has continued stories, developed characters, and explored new possibilities in a way that captures an audience with members that may otherwise not be interested in reading literature. I do not use the term “literature” lightly- many of the best fanfictions out there are novel length, masterfully written by both experienced and budding authors without the means to publish professionally. What drives us to read their derivative stories? We readers get an escape from the doldrums of life into a beloved universe, and writers get the attention that inspires them to grow and in some cases become published authors. Familiar characters can be developed and beloved universes explored while secondary characters and hidden subtexts can be fleshed out. Plot holes can be filled, and new plots in new universes foster fresh perspectives. Fanfiction is inherently inclusive, and diverse scenarios offer a chance for more consideration and acceptance of subjects close to readers, but too taboo for a mainstream audience. We read fanfiction to escape as we would in other literature, but in fanfiction, we are drawn in by the chance to see a story and characters we only got a taste of continue and grow in the shape of our particular desires.

I have been a fanfiction reader and editor since I was in high school, and have seen firsthand, and behind-the-scenes, how the genre has evolved and exploded. Fanfiction has actually been around long before the internet, where it is so prevalent today. Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre” was originally a fanfiction of sorts, as it began as a story about Jane Fairfax in Jane Austen’s “Emma.” P.D. James’ book, “Death Comes to Pemberly,” which continues the story of characters in “Pride and Prejudice,” was so popular that it was recently made into a television mini-series. Gregory Maguire’s “Wicked,” which suggests a backstory for the characters and universe of L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful World of Oz,” is a national best seller and has gone on to win multiple tony awards as a musical on Broadway. Modern fanfiction as we see it today took off in the 1970s as fan-published “fanzines” about characters from the hit television series “Star Trek.” The invention of the internet allowed an even wider spread for the genre, which saw a resurgence with the popularity of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” book series. Since then, more and more fandoms are growing and producing a berth of amateur works numbering in the millions. Fanfiction has become an increasingly meaningful and present aspect of adult and young adult lives as it fills particular desires we never knew could be filled.

We’re all human, with human desires. We get attached to people, places, things. Having a favorite character pairing or relationship is not too different from having a favorite food. We want more of it, become invested in it. Fanfiction is just one avenue to delve deeper into the story of a character and get at their inner workings, see how they could develop. We read fanfiction to see these characters grow beyond what we were first given and explore new possibilities. Most recently, there has been a massive wave of fanfiction about the movie “Frozen,” particularly delving into the relationship of Kristoff and Anna (a pairing lovingly dubbed “Kristanna” by the Frozen fandom.) Our hearts delight in reading about them courting, marrying, starting a family- all with that sassy banter we’ve come to love. Even secondary characters that caught our eye get the attention they deserve and become full-fledged protagonists (or antagonists) in their own stories. What trouble might goofy Sven the reindeer get into with the help of his new snowman friend, Olaf? When we read these new stories, our human nature to pull back the curtain and see what is happening behind the scenes is fulfilled.

We also read fanfiction for closure. Fanfiction is a vehicle for smoothing out and filling in original stories. Plot holes, continuity errors, and cliffhangers can all be things of the past, much to our relief. The 19 unspoken years after Voldemort is defeated in “Harry Potter” leave plenty of room for authors to satisfy our curiosity about how the young witches and wizards we’ve grown up with develop into the adults we encounter in the epilogue.  Open endings and subtle implications allow all sorts of possibilities to be explored. There’s an entire subgenre all about filling these holes—some called “fix-its”—that diverge from the “canon,” or original material, and propose alternate endings and scenarios to tie up loose ends or better suit reader’s desires. A particularly popular fix-it is the retelling of “The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies” movie, based on Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” where Thorin does not die, and everyone lives happily ever after- or continues with more perilous and angst-filled adventures. We happily see a favorite character restored and the novel timeline draws on.

These new scenarios often lead to “alternate universes,” that combine the development of familiar characters with a new world offering a whole new set of adventures. Sometimes the entire original plot is recreated in a different environment that might peak our interests or appeal to us more than the canon universe.  Protagonists from a favorite sci-fi drama can be cast in a fairytale, and vice versa. Alternate universes might simply be the modern day, leading to various practical changes in the characters (losing magic, becoming human, etc.) What would happen if the movie “Frozen” was set in 1940s America? Perhaps Elsa, even without her powers, would have a harder time living in that more conservative society, and Kristoff would find himself whisked to war with Anna left behind.  We might relate more to characters if, for instance, their stories are retold without their special powers, or the restrictive rules of the canon universe.  There is a whole swath of fanfictions about the characters in the television show “Supernatural” taken out of their “supernatural” universe and into the real world. Emotional bonds are tugged as we imagine them in the same situations we might face, and take on challenges that we have yet to stomach.

            We gain respect for characters in fanfictions that address gritty subjects that we deal with every day. When we find ourselves marginalized by our taboo desires and feel underrepresented by mass media, we find acceptance in the fanfiction we read. Rape and social stigmas are not hidden away, but confronted and overcome without fear of rejection by society (or publishers.) Fanfiction is universal and celebrates diversity. The earliest Star Trek fanzines commonly paired Kirk and Spock with great success, and that trend continues today as gay and lesbian pairings (as well as other sexualities) are widely common and rejoiced in fanfiction.

            Why do we read fanfiction? We read a book, watch a film or television series, and find ourselves invested in the characters and enchanted by their world. Re-watching and re-reading only deepen the ache to experience more and wonder “what if__?” We could move on, but would still find ourselves unsatisfied, and drawn back to that favorite story that starts and ends just as we remember (and have no doubt memorized.) Reading fanfiction satisfies all these human desires for more, for closure, for acceptance, all without judgment. Fanfiction authors do not write for profit or esteem, but are nonetheless celebrated and lifted on the shoulders of grateful readers across the globe. The original canon told by masters remains beloved, but as we read these new derivative stories, we find ourselves opening to new ideas, while still holding hands with our familiar favorites.

*****

My deepest thanks to all of you who offered your insight, big and small, while I was sifting through my ideas! Especially singtomedreams feistypaants (the author of the 1940’s Frozen fanfiction, Till We Meet Again, which is pure perfection in progress) ramyakitty jennyupabove ominouscloudsofarendelle jessica988 karis-the-fangirl frozenmemes neenorroar kuwaneko kingofthewilderwest ookaookaooka xxspiritkeeperxx searlait upthenorthmountain and redonthefly 

vands88’s PERFECT graphic is worthy of a plug here, as it was one of my inspirations for this piece.

-bows awkwardly- -scurries away to dive headlong into MOAR FANFICTION-

P.S.- LET’S PRETEND THAT ONE OF THE OTHER MAIN REASONS WE READ- ALL THOSE DELIGHTFUL PWP AND SMUT SCENES…. ARE INCLUDED IN THE TABOO AND CONTINUING RELATIONSHIP BITS. This was written for a class- I couldn’t very well go into the kinky bits, but we all know they’re there. ;)

Title: i could write it better than you ever felt it [Chapter 1: just off the key of reason]

Summary

Award-winning novelist Levi Ackerman has big writer’s block and big characterization issues on his newest novel. Good thing his protagonist Eren Yeager has quite literally jumped from the page to real life.

Well, they always did say, “write what you know”.

Notes: New fic! Read it also on: | FF.net | AO3

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