thans francesca

4

if you want to view paradise,
simply look around and view it
anything you want to, do it
you can change the world,
there’s nothing to it.

Dear Night Valeans,

This is a PSA because I think it would be so terrible for WTNV fans to miss out on this amazing YA book, Radio Silence by Alice Oseman. It’s a book about a girl who got involved in her favourite fictional podcast and the author made no secret that the main inspiration for it is based on Welcome to Night Vale (the MC even has a WTNV poster in her room!). The author even had a paragraph in her acknowledgement page dedicated to Welcome to Night Vale.

Now, you may think that this sounds like a rip off of the podcast, especially if you read the description of the podcast in the book. But the best thing about the book is that it’s definitely captures the spirit of WTNV while telling its own unique story that most people can relate to: being true to who you are, realizing that what people want for you may not be the best thing for you, and finding your own people who can accept you for who you really are.

Furthermore, the book and characters are incredible diverse and when I say diverse, I mean really diverse:

1) MC is a bisexual mixed-race British/Ethiopian girl, and she uses the actual word “bisexual” to describe herself instead of the more ambiguous “I just like whoever I like.” Trust me, so many books would rather have their characters say that rather than to use the actual word. Also, the author did not use any love triangle to as a plot device to prove her bisexuality. She says she’s bisexual, so that should be enough.

2) There are two other gay characters and their sexuality was accepted without judgment, although there are discussions on why it’s not easy to come out to everyone.

3) Two of the characters (including the MC) are mixed POC and they have a discussion on how they regret not being in touch with their heritage due to being born in UK. Also another character is Indian and she’s more in tune with her cultural heritage.

4) All the main characters are NOT straight. Seriously, when was the last time you’ve read a good, well-written non-heteronormative book? Other than Francesca Lia Block’s brilliant Love in the Time of Global Warming of course. 

5) The main character is Frances and Aled. A boy and a girl. THEY DID NOT FALL IN LOVE (this is not a spoiler, there is zero will-they-won’t-they plot). In fact, after we finished the Meet Cute scene there is a special chapter in page 85 where Frances gives the reader a heads up that they WON’T fall in love with each other just because she’s a girl who met a boy. Also Aled declared that he’s platonically in love with Frances and Frances thanks him for saying the boy-girl equivalent of No Homo. THEY’RE SO CUTE GUYS.

6) The best and rarest thing: there is a genuine and honest discussion on asexuality. I repeat, there is a genuine and honest discussion on asexuality. Seriously, what other book does that, especially YA book?? There is a discussion on asexuality, demisexuality and also the burden of not knowing that your partner is asexual which will put strain in your relationship and this is why visibility and awareness is important people. It blows my mind that Oseman even went there and she deals with asexuality with kindness and sensitivity that the issue deserves.

You would think that all of this makes the book preachy and try-hard but it’s not, these facts are just part of the characters and not shoved in the readers’ faces and incorporated to show that the world and the people in it is so diverse and does not fall within the trappings of society’s binary expectations. 

I always wondered if I should find other podcasts to listen to other than Welcome to Night Vale, but the fact is there is nothing quite like Night Vale, with its truly diverse, female-friendly characters and incredibly clever plots. Similarly, I have never read anything quite like Radio Silence, and I hope to see more of this kind of writing and I’m forever thankful for WTNV for inspiring a generation of new voices that will not not be limited by the trapping of heteronormative, cliched storytelling.

2

LGBTQ+

Calum Hood Imagine: Wait. You play soccer too?

Request: Popular!Calum, where the reader is usually quiet and shy but they play soccer and is pretty good, so he notices you because you are playing.


*Y/n POV*

“Excuse me. Can I get past please?” I said, while trying to get past a large group of boys in the corridor of school. After waiting a while, one of them glanced at me and moved out of the way so I could awkwardly squeeze past. “Thanks.” I muttered as I tried to pull my gym bag through the small gap between them and the lockers. The boy that made the slight and only effort to move out the way turned and grunted slightly before going back to his conversation with his friends. 

And that was the famous Calum Hood. He was popular, had a string of girls after him but he would always play hard to get, he was great at soccer, played for the school team and because of all of this barely had time to move out of the way for mere mortals like me. Actually he was kind of okay, he never bullied me or said anything horrible about me or my very few friends, he just kind of left me alone and ignored my existence and I am okay with that because I do not want to be noticed, especially by him, he has too many friends and that is a lot of people and I don’t like lots of people. I am too shy. This is why I like my social status at this school, I have a few friends and the rest of the people here just ignore us and leave us alone most of the time. 

I walked into the changing rooms where my friends were all getting changed for soccer practice. 

“Hey Y/n.” Holly (who was the loudest out of our group) shouted.

“Hi Holly.” I replied waving slightly, before putting my bag down and starting to get changed.  

“So I saw you have slight interaction with other people other than us today. I had to sit down I was that surprised. And it was with boys as well, more specifically Calum Hood.” Francesca said. 

“Oh come on, all I said was excuse me, it was not that exciting.” I replied while sitting down to put my shoes on. 

“Erm, you talked to The Calum Hood. This is the most interaction any of us have had with him. Plus nothing dramatic has really happened in ages at this school so I have to try and find something interesting, because the whole thing with Laura, Sam and Cameron is over. Apparently Sam is the dad not Cameron which shocked all of us, including Laura, so I have to find something exciting to talk about.” Holly said. 

“Really Sam is the dad? I never saw that coming.” I replied, shocked

“Neither did Laura.” Francesca said before standing up. “Come on, we better get to practice, we don’t want to piss off Jane by being late to her weird warmup.” 

“Oh great Jane, I don’t see why her insulting us before each practice is going to help me get better. It doesn’t make me want play the best game ever it just makes me want to sit in the shower and cry while drinking alcohol because someone has just told me all of the things I feel insecure about.” Violet said quietly while standing up. 

“She doesnt mean it she just wants to make us practise more because we have only ever won one soccer game and she thinks if we are mad and angry we will practise better.” Holly said while hugging Violet. 

“Come on let’s go.” I said while walking through the door as they followed. 

“GIRLS. I SWEAR TO GOD IF YOU DO NOT START PRACTISING HARDER I WILL MAKE SURE THAT EVERYONE ON THIS TEAM NEVER PLAYS SOCCER EVER AGAIN. IN FACT I WILL MAKE YOU ALL SCARED OF SOCCER AND EVERY TIME YOU SEE SOMETHING REMOTELY RELATED TO SOCCER YOU RUN AWAY SCREAMING AN CRYING. SO COME ON. FUCKING PRACTICE.” Jane barked at us. 

We all turned around and went off to practice with less motivation than we already had. Francesca was hugging Violet as they walked off. I went to practice in the corner of the field where there was a bit of wall I could kick the ball off as I couldn’t really be bothered to do any practice, especially after my I had been temporarily deafened by Jane. I was concentrating very hard on kicking the ball at a certain point on the wall when I heard a familiar voice on the other side of the wall.  

“Wait. You play soccer too?” I heard the voice say. I looked up to see Calum Hood looking over the wall I was attempting to try and knock down just by kicking it with a ball. 

“Erm yeah. I suppose.” I said awkwardly. 

“You suppose? Why are you standing on the football field with a football and the coach giving you a very angry stare for what I can only assume is not doing any actual practice?” 

“Yeah, I play soccer, so.” I replied still concentrating on the ball. 

“Cool, from what I saw before the coach was shouting you were really good.” 

“What? Erm thank you.” I smiled keeping my head facing the ground so that Calum didn’t see me blushing. 

“You’re welcome. Listen I have to go now, I was supposed to meet my friends 20 minutes ago, but I would love to talk more about soccer. Here have my number and text me later.” He smiled as he wrote his number on a piece of what I assumed was unfinished homework and handed it to me. “See you around Y/n.” 

“Yeah see you around. Wait you know my name?” I asked confused. 

“Of course I do. Why wouldn’t I do. How could I not know a pretty girls name, I am Calum Hood.” He smiled before walking away. 

“WHAT WAS THAT?” Holly screamed from the other side of the field. 

“WHAT WAS WHAT?” I shouted back as she walked towards me getting Violet and Francesca on the way. 

“You talking to The Calum Hood.” She said.

“Nothing we were just talking about soccer.” I said before Jane shouted at us to practice otherwise we are off the team. Something told me I should start listening to Jane from now on, as I now had a reason to stay on the soccer team, not just for my friends. 

8

“One song in particular that was brought to me in the second workshop that we did was my first introduction to who Francesca would become for me, and that was To Build a Home. I had never been presented with a piece of music I knew that I would feel better than I’ve ever felt in my life singing it.”

tbh im more bothered by stereotypical but “correct” names for poc fcs (like a hispanic fc being named santiago montoya de francesca) than them having simple white names like it’s not as problematic as you’re all making it out to be?? it’s more problematic if you believe poc can only have names strictly from their country than having a few a poc with the last name smith. like, yes, whitewashing and erasure are terrible things, but you got a chinese dude named kevin it’s not the end of the world.

Colors // Evan + Bennett

If there was one thing that Bennett would not admit at this very moment, it was that he was nervous. Normally, this wasn’t an emotion that Bennett felt very often, he normally was too caught up in his own head to even take a second to think about the situation at hand but as he prepared himself to dye Evan and Francesca’s hair with the hair chalk, he found himself feeling a bit antsy. This was probably because he’d never used hair chalk on anyone’s hair before and because he was eager to meet Evan’s daughter along with the fact that they playful banter had him blushing a bit more than once, not that he was complaining. Despite the feeling of nervousness, Bennett was more excited than anything. If Francesca did like him, they could hang out a lot more and Bennett could already tell that she was a sweetheart that he’d love to spend time with, especially if she had colored hair while he did. Smiling slightly at the thought of the events to come, Bennett began to pack a backpack full of the items he’d bought, a few packages of different colored hair chalk, a small tiara, bows and a bag of gummy worms along with a slushy. Admittedly, he’d gone a little bit overboard when he’d went to the corner store after the toy store but he wanted everyone to have a good time and he wanted them to be as excited about it as he was. Throwing the backpack over his shoulder and taking a sip of the slushy in his hand, Bennett walked his way towards Evan’s room. Softly, he knocked on the door, not wanting to disturb them too much, just in case his timing wasn’t the best. Admittedly, he probably should’ve put more thought into planning rather than buying but he couldn’t help it, he was feeling like a small child on Christmas morning.

For more than a second, Francesca forgot she wasn’t in her room as she listened to the Whitney Houston track through her earphones. Here she was, in the middle of the park early in the morning, belting out the words and dancing along, eyes closed, before she bumped into another human being. She turned around, alarm written all over her face. “Oh, my gosh,” she exclaimed. “I’m so sorry.”

4

and a million miles between
the fires she used to set,
the hearts she used to break,
the lies she used to tell,
and the woman she grew up
to be.