relevant as of late

  • santa: what do u want for Christmas
  • me: i want sherlock holmes and john watson to finally speak to each other and sort out their feelings and end this cycle of pinning and kiss like their life depends on it and then cry from happiness because neither of them believed they could be that happier and be finally allowed to love each other openly
  • santa (tearing up): bitch me too....
Some Things Your Local Librarians Would Like You To Know

It is not a stupid question. Even if it is a stupid question, we have been thoroughly trained to answer your question without judgement or second-guessing. Besides, we’re mostly just glad you’re not asking us about the noise the printer is making again.

There are probably (at least) two desks in the library. One is where you check out books and is mostly staffed by people wearing nametags that say “Circulation Clerk.” These people can answer your questions about damaged or missing books, fines, and how many forms of identification we’ll need if you want to get a library card but your mailing address is in Taiwan. The other one is closer to the books and computers and is mostly staffed by people wearing nametags that say “Librarian.” These people can answer your questions about spider extermination, how to rent property to the United States Postal Service, and the number of tropical island nations in which you could theoretically establish the first United States Embassy. We would love to answer these questions for you. It would be a nice change from the printer.

We probably own a 3D printer by now. 3D printers, are cool, right? Please, please come use our 3D printer, it’s so lonely.

We spent a lot of money to hire this woodworker to come and teach a class at the library which you can attend for free. You will probably be the only person between the ages of ten and fifty in attendance, but your presence will fill the librarian with an unnameable joy. They will float back to their manager in a daze. “A young person came to my program,” they will say. You will have made their entire job worthwhile.

Every time you ask us for a book, movie, or music recommendation, a baby librarian gets their first cardigan.

Somewhere in the library, there is a form. If you fill out this form with your name and library card number and the details of the thing you are looking for, we will find you the thing. Sometimes the answer is “the thing is in Great Britain and they will not send it to us,” but more often the thing will just appear on hold for you, and one day you will pick up a copy of that out-of-print book you never thought you would read and maybe you will say, “Wow, the library is amazing,” and the librarian’s heart will glow. 

Please bring back book #2. The rest of its series misses it very much.

Five dollars is not a large library fine. Believe me, before I started working in libraries, I too wondered how someone could sleep at night, knowing they owed money to the library. When we laugh as you sheepishly apologize for your $2.50 in overdue fees, we are not mocking you, we are thinking of the ten people we sent to debt collection already today.

We really don’t care why you’re checking out Fifty Shades of Grey. Maybe you have a specifically-themed ironic bachelorette party to plan. Maybe you’re working on a thesis paper about mainstream media’s depiction of female sexuality. Maybe you just got curious. We will give you the benefit of the doubt. 

Whatever you’re smoking in the family restroom, please stop.

Somewhere on the library’s website, buried under “Links” or “Research” or “On-line Resources,” is a page that a librarian spent a month’s worth of work on. It contains many links to websites you thought everyone knew about, and one to a page that you could never have imagined existed that perfectly solves a problem you never expected to be resolved. 

Imagine the kind of person who would think to themselves, “Library school sounds like a thing I should do.” For the most part, you are imagining the kind of person who is now a librarian. We want very much to help you, but we’re not entirely sure how to do that unless you ask. You are not bothering us. Please, come and say hi.

the texts are just very loaded and it’s deliberately vague about who they’re from like there’s 1,000 other iterations that would sound less vague and sure they haven’t been apart for that long but they literally have seeing as they were starved for each other one month into john’s marriage and i don’t think they’d gone on a case after 59 missed calls? and i’m just saying what kind of gay reveal would it be if in the next episode or the final problem, time goes wonky to give us more info AS THEY ALWAYS DO and we see sherlock on the other end of that phone up late doing something plot relevant and we watch his small face lit up by the phone screen in the dark as he texts john “Miss you” [meryl streep voice] That’s all.

2

dan has a lot of pent up anger towards bread

Fanfic

Okay so I was thinking about these amazing posts I’ve been seeing of late about the relevance and importance of fanfic as transformative media and why it matters. And I think it actually goes beyond the fact that thousands of our most important cultural items are actually fanfic of another thing, and that it allows those of us outside of the mainstream mould (women, LGBT, POC) to make our own representation and tell our own stories in the worlds we love. It’s also the fact that fanfiction as a medium is different than other media based on the stories it can tell.

Think about it: the novella is basically dead at the moment for a start, meaning that written works have to be either novel length or a short story. This means that particular structures and meanings are going to be prevalent - your theme and message has to fit an expected length. Therefore things get either cut for length or expanded beyond the original intention in order to fit ‘novel’ or 'short story’. The intention is also then that the thing have a satisfactory set up, middle, and ending, to establish the universe, embellish, and bring it to a close. When you start out writing for publication, you keep in mind that you might not get a second book, and that a short story really won’t become a series. Any continuation is in the hands of how much money the original thing makes.

Fanfic destroys those limitations. Fanfic allows us to write the smaller story off to the side, within a universe we all recognise. Without having to focus so hard on world building and set up, more complex and interesting ideas start to emerge. You can challenge the worldview from the original story, or put a new slant on something. Your work can be what it wants to be without being marketable or universal. You can write 'what ifs’ and see what happens when you change one thing in a whole established universe. You can essentially do much more subtle, inventive and experimental stuff without the labour of justifying it with a whole conventional novel/movie/whatever first.

What made me think of this was a gifset from the movie Stardust. There’s a random moment in the ending during the wedding scene, where the gay transvestite pirate Captain Shakespeare leans back and winks at Humphrey, our hero’s original love rival. Humphrey looks pleased and flattered, and his girlfriend sneers. The joke is that the snotty original love interest, Victoria, has ended up with the man she said she wanted, only to discover he’s gay.

In an original story, Stardust, that’s all that can be: a joke. The story is done, Yvaine and Tristan are happy and the villain defeated. No one cares about two minor characters and a slightly problematic throwaway gag. From the creator’s perspective that’s that. No one would be interested in a second movie about Humphrey coming to terms with the new world beyond the Wall, or his homosexual feelings. No one would watch Humphrey, a minor antagonist, stumble through this new magical world and meet again the handsome older gentleman who winked at him at Tristan’s wedding. No one cares if he then joins the pirate crew, and the two men slowly fall in love as Captain Shakespeare starts to train this stupid (but hot) young dandy in the ways of his lightning ship.

But fanfic would allow for that. In a fanfic you could write a 100,000 word adventure epic about two supporting characters. Hell, you could parallel that story with Victoria growing up as well, realising that there’s more to the world just over the Wall, and finding herself a place beyond the provincial It Girl. And again, no one would watch a movie about that. No one could market it. In the original media it remains speculation what happens next. Fanfiction opens the door to exploring whatever part of this universe you want, without diminishing the original story.

And the question then comes 'well why not write a whole novel about a young man from a small village who becomes a gay Lightning pirate?’. And the answer is that the story then becomes divorced from its context. It matters for this hypothetical Humphrey story that we know that Tristan became the hero. We know he was humiliated when Tristan returned, having grown into an accomplished man, and made him small and unimpressive by comparison. It matters that we know Captain Shakespeare’s homosexuality and transvestism has only just been revealed to his crew (in the climax of the original movie) and that they were accepting of it. It matters that we come to this story with Humphrey and Victoria well aware that they’re supporting characters in the broader story. It matters that we know Tristan and Yvaine’s story just ended, and we come with an emotional tie to those people. Those details carry far less weight when explained in an opening chapter that also has to create an entirely new world. Those nuances matter less when we’re more concerned with introducing the characters for the first time and trying to make an indifferent reader care.

What I’m saying is that this story COULD be told as its own book, movie etc, but that it SHOULDN’T be. Yes, an original novel about a young country dandy discovering a homosexual life of piracy would be amazing. But it wouldn’t be -this- story. That character wouldn’t be Humphrey learning and growing as a result of Tristan’s actions. That novel wouldn’t include Captain Shakespeare, whom we all love already and whom we come in already emotionally invested in. It wouldn’t return us to a world were already familiar with, thus allowing us to take the fantasy elements for granted and focus on the characters and relationships. And those things change the audience’s perspective on the story, and create an experience wholly different to what you could get in any other medium.

What I’m saying is that even leaving aside mainstream media’s reluctance to show stories about LGBT, POC and/or female characters, fanfiction matters because it allows us to tell the weird side-story as the main story. It allows us to tell smaller stories, and focus on minor characters who were underdeveloped for good reason in the main story. It allows us to try weird shit and, on a meta level, deconstruct the story itself. It allows us to respect the original story’s focus and plot, the original world, and then put a new angle on it. It allows us to examine sexuality, character growth, motivation, race, gender, and whatever else we want within the confines of a world we already know and have emotional investment in.

Fanfiction writers are doing amazing things with structure, with character, with the focus and theme of their work, because working within an established universe gives you opportunities that an original story won’t. Fanfic can be terrible and trashy and cliche but y'know, so can original media. Fanfic at its best is transformative, original, literary and engaging. It expands the original characters and universe by shifting the focus, narrowing in on a particular facet, or changing the plot or setting in some way and examining the consequences of that change. Its more than a stepping stone before we become 'real writers’. And it isn’t for people who are just too lazy to make their own thing.

Fanfiction is beautiful, and it deserves more credit than it gets.

Taurids Meteor Shower Magick 🌠

The Taurids are an annual meteor shower that peaks this year on November 11th and 12th that is associated with the comet Encke. They are named after their radiant point in the constellation Taurus, where they are seen to come from in the sky.

The constellation Taurus is associated with abundance, regeneration, power, strength, and potency, therefore magickal workings having to do with such things would be appropriate to perform during this time.

Associated Herbs:

  • Basil
  • Bay Leaf
  • Bergamot
  • Cedar
  • Cinnamon
  • Cinquefoil
  • Echinacea
  • Frankincense
  • Ginger
  • Golden Seal
  • Heliotrope
  • Mugwort
  • Myrrh
  • Orange
  • Pine
  • Spearmint
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Star Anise
  • Sunflower
  • Tangerine
  • Wormwood

Associated Crystals: 

  • Amethyst
  • Aquamarine
  • Bloodstone
  • Chrysocolla 
  • Cuprite
  • Diamond
  • Halite
  • Infinite Stone
  • Lapis Lazuli
  • Lepidolite
  • Merlinite
  • Quartz
  • Richterite
  • Sardonyx
  • Seraphinite
  • Sunstone
  • Variscite

Associated Colors:

  • Orange
  • Green
  • Peach
  • Gold

Magickal Ideas:

  • Make Star Water using a pinch of orange, green, peach, or gold glitter
  • Create the constellation Taurus out of crystals
  • Carve the constellation into a wax cube or candle and let it melt 
  • Use the constellation pattern as a symbol of power
  • Burn a blend of corresponding incense
  • Brew up a potion for power, strength, or abundance (your favorite coffee or hot chocolate, perhaps) and drink it under the stars
  • Make offerings to Taurus
  • Go outside, locate the meteor shower in the sky, and harness energy from it 
  • Use the energy from the meteor shower to charge various items
  • Summon the spirit of Taurus to aid in your spellwork for the evening of the meteor shower