we see the great in others but refuse to see it in ourselves

The 5 Elements of a LIKABLE Main Character

“I don’t like your main character. He’s kind of obnoxious.” my beta reader laughingly told me, after reading the first chapter of my novel.

On the surface, I looked like this: 

Inside, I looked like this: 

Aloud, I said “Oh, well, he’s kind of hard to understand. He changes by the end.”

Inside, I screamed “How could you not like him?! Do you have a heart?! Is there a void where your soul should be?! Are you actually a Dementor that’s really good at makeup? Well, I guess this is what the Dementors are doing after getting kicked out of Azkaban!”

Outside: “But I really enjoyed it!” *Hugs between broken writer and Dementor in disguise* “Thank you for reading!" 

But you know what? That person that might be a soul-sucking cloaked demon creature? They were right. The character was unlikable, or more accurately, there was no reason to cheer him on. There was nothing to make the reader connect with him, relate to him, transfer themselves into his story, feel affection towards him. 

And if the reader doesn’t connect with the character through empathy? Nothing else in the story can work. Everything relies on this one fictional person. The basic definition of story is "A flawed hero with a goal overcoming obstacles to reach that goal, and how that journey changes them.” So without character, you don’t have story. Without empathy from the reader, you don’t even have character. 

So what is empathy when it comes to characters? 

It’s the process of a reader transferring their own lives onto the character. When this happens, the character’s goal and inner desires, values and weaknesses, everything about them, become proxies for our own. We learn of a shared piece of human nature between us, something we have in common on a significant inner level, and suddenly we want to see this character succeed. Because now, they are us – and we want to see ourselves succeed in real life. We feel what they feel, we experience what they experience.  

The best way to sum up character empathy in my opinion, is this quote from C.S.Lewis: “Friendship is born at the moment when one person says to another ‘Really? You too? I thought I was the only one!’”

That’s empathy. 

Which doesn’t mean the character has to be an angelic little cherub …

There are characters that operate in a moral gray area, there are characters that are downright awful, there are characters that shouldn’t be lovable …but we love them. So this is NOT saying that a main character has to be a perfect angel that rescues baby squirrels when they’re not busy volunteering at the local soup kitchen, it just means there’s something WORTHWHILE in the character that persuades the reader to stick around. We need a reason to relate with that at-first-glance unlikable character. Just as we have flawed people in our own lives who we can forgive and love.

A good quote for this one would be this, by G.K.Chesterton: “That’s the great lesson of Beauty and the Beast; that a thing must be loved before it is lovable.”

So how does a writer accomplish a good empathetic connection?

Luckily for us, establishing this only takes a little planning in the beginning of the story. Certain elements foster empathy, elements which you can give to your character and display in the story. Making sure to incorporate a few of these will ensure that first connection between reader and character. A connection which you, the author, will then be able to grow. It’s this tiny first note of shared humanity which deepens into those important links we hold with characters. We’re living people, they’re imagined and comprised of words on a page; yet these people can be friends to us, family, mentors, role models, and become some of the most influential people in our lives. 

And how does that begin? Evoking empathy. 

And how do you evoke empathy? Well here are the characteristics that human beings instinctively identify with and admire … 

– Courage (This is the one EVERY main character should possess. Gumption to pursue what they want separates main from background characters.)

– Humor (Wit charms us without fail.)

– Goal-Obsessed 

– Hard-working  

– Noble motivations

– Loving

– Loved by others

– Kind 

– Treated unfairly

– In imminent danger, physically

– In imminent danger, emotionally

– In a sorrowful situation

– Smart/Expert at something

– Suffering from psychological weakness  

– Haunted by something in their past

– Dissatisfied with current state of their life

– Lacking something like love, friendship, belonging, family, safety, freedom, etc

It’s a good plan to give your main character at least FIVE of these empathetic little “virtues.”

If this sounds like a resume, that’s kind of what it is. “Dear Potential Reader, I’m applying for the job of Main Character of this book series. I aspire to consume your every waking thought and drastically change your life, for better and worse.” It’s a diagram of the worthwhile traits of the hero, the characteristics that win us over, which promise the reader “If you follow my story, knowing me – and experiencing the story through me – will be well worth your time.”

These traits will be displayed in the set-up of the story, the first ten pages or so. But the story CANNOT stop to let the character exhibit these winning behaviors; the story must KEEP PROGRESSING, every empathetic element must be shown with a story reason for existing within a scene. Like exposition, empathy needs to be added in subtly, as the story motors onward, slipping into the reader’s knowledge without them noticing. If it’s a scene created for the express purpose of convincing the reader “This character is lovable! Love them! I said love them!” then it will be glaringly obvious and the reader will feel the exact opposite. (They’ll also feel that way about the author, incidentally.)

Now! How does this work? 

Harry Potter: 

Harry is the poster child for being treated unfairly. Yet in the face of the abusive treatment of his childhood, Harry is courageous. He does not succumb to the Dursley’s relentless campaign to stamp the magic out of him, and become a proper Dursley; though this would’ve won their approval, put him in their good graces, and made his life exponentially easier – but he didn’t do it. He knew they were wrong, knew what was right, and refused to become like them. So heck yes Sorting Hat, there is “plenty of courage, I see”. He was loved by his parents, by the three that dropped him off at his Aunt and Uncle’s, and by the majority of the Wizarding World. He’s also snarky, loving, and in constant danger. 

Judy Hopps: 

Every reason why we care about Judy is established in the first few scenes. She’s courageous. She’s funny. She’s loved by her parents. She’s motivated by noble values. Definitely goal oriented, hard working, and smart. She’s also in imminent danger, and being treated unfairly.

If we took out the pieces of the story meant to evoke our empathy, what would happen? 

Nobody would care. Judy Hopps would have been an annoying, smug, and consumed by ruthless ambition. Harry Potter would have ceased to exist because everything about him is empathetic. 

Establishing these early allows us to begin the process of temporarily transferring our lives into a story. Or in the case of some life-changing stories, not temporarily transferring, but letting them become part of our souls forever. 

Yup, having your story connect with a reader forever starts with just a little empathy. Pretty useful.

Oh, and speaking of souls, give me mine back, Dementor reader. I learned how to make people like my characters. Now you’re out of the Azkaban job and the beta reading job. 

The Third House - The House of Communication

This is the third part of a twelve part series briefly explaining how the signs work in each house. Enjoy!

The Third House is known as the house of communication because it is in this house where we learn to speak with our conscious. Our communication skills in this sense are deep rooted because the things we say impulsively can be a reflection of how we grew up. Another aspect of this house is intelligence. Essentially, the third house represents how we use our communication skills to spread our knowledge and make an impact within our environment. In the third house we asks ourselves, “How do we best state our case with others, often those we love the most? Will our actions be true to our environment, and our planet, for all time?”

Aries in the Third House: As a doer, you speak with your actions. You are not afraid to take initiative of your own life sometimes refusing the help of others because you can be too impatient. You come up with great ideas and are very expressive in sharing them. Learn that it takes time to get something done, not everything has to be rushed. Patience is a virtue when it comes to communicating and sharing ideas with others. 

Taurus in the Third House: You use your materials and finances as a means to communicatively express yourself. You like to learn about how to continuously increase your wealth so this would have an influence on the people you spend your time talking to. Like the bull, you are stubborn with other people’s ideas, try not to quickly shut them down just because they don’t seem right to you.

Gemini in the Third House: This is a natural placement since Mercury rules the Third House and with it, Gemini and Virgo. Knowledge and wit will come easily to you, and you will have a great capability of sharing it with others. You are highly intellectual and creative, showing a constant interest in learning new things to keep your mind occupied. Because of this, you tend to leave things undone.

Cancer in The Third House: Overthinking and intellectualizing your emotions is a common thing you do. Your emotions are important to you so they affect the way you speak to people and who you choose to speak with. Since you can be highly emotional you wish to speak to those who  only make you feel nurtured and protected. However, you must learn to push away from these emotional limitations and not let them affect your journey of self discovery.

Leo in the Third House: You are very critical in your self-expression. The knowledge you search for is of the kind that will help you shine your light on others. Like the proud lion you are you can be stubborn about what is right or wrong, almost always believing that your right is the truth. However, if you can learn to set your pride aside, you may find yourself collaborating well with others since you are able to enthusiastically share your creative ideas.

Virgo in the Third House: Logical and rational as the Virgo is, this placement brings forth many anxious feelings. You tend to overthink every part of your life, constantly trying to think of ways to be the most efficient. Because of this, you have some of the greatest ideas, but you get too critical to the point where you over think your ideas, bringing you to a halt. Learn to communicate with others for help and you will see that you can achieve many great things once you share your ideas. 

Libra in the Third House: Using your natural charm, you are able to smoothly communicate with others. This helps you network because you have a calm presence that makes you attractive in a way that people are comfortable with you. You are unbiased and want to feel balanced, so you tend to not take sides but stay neutral. You can also be artistic in the way you talk so you may find yourself communicating through music, writing, or painting. 

Scorpio in the Third House: The way you communicate with others is very dark and brooding. You are forceful because you are passionate in what you believe. You tend to force your opinions on others because you want them to see what you see, often finding yourself frustrated. Learn that you must share your acquired knowledge in a selfless way and think more for mankind and how you can help everyone. 

Sagittarius in the Third House: If there’s one thing you want to expand, it’s your mind. Sagittarians are known for seeking adventure and exploring new places, so it only makes sense that the way you communicate and acquire knowledge is going to be very abstract. Education is important to you so you will find yourself tackling on more than one subject, for example, going back to school to major in something else. Explore your mind selflessly and remember that it’s helpful to search for knowledge to help others and not just yourself.

Capricorn in the Third House: Slow and steady is the Capricorn in this placement. You take your time and there is nothing wrong with that, you just learn at a different speed than others. However, this might cause you to become introverted so you tend to not communicate well. You are more interested in finding out how to achieve your goals but struggle in putting these ideas into actions. You must remember that in order to fully achieve your goals you need to communicate with the people around you and do the things you aim for.

Aquarius in the Third House: You are very idealistic and out of this world with the views and beliefs you express to people. Sometimes you come off as an extremist because you feel very strongly about your beliefs although people are more interested in the now and not so much the future. You do well in gathering groups and networking, but when doing this, do not forget to stand up for your ideas because although a little out of other people’s element, that just might be the idea everyone is searching for.  

Pisces in the Third House: Intuition is a strong trait of yours. So much so, that sometimes it wins over logical arguments. Your mind ranges far with fantasy and this is expressed in the way you communicate. You can be vague, quiet, and stick to creatively writing your thoughts instead of sharing them with people. It is also important to resurface and gather your dream-like thoughts back to reality. Overall, you have a mind full of wisdom that others can trust because of how impressively intuitive you are. 

EMPOWERMENT

Things that are actually empowering to women and girls:

1. Physicality
becoming physically stronger empowers us. exercising your body not only makes your body stronger and more powerful, but it brings discipline and helps you connect with your body instead of disconnect.
being able to physically be at a location is empowering. feminists should be fighting to make all places accessible to disabled women.
disabled women should also have access to any type of exercises and physical therapy they can do. i would especially like to see more public pools having more physical therapy programs. swimming is a great way to exercise for strength while not putting any gravitational or impact on your body

2. Knowledge

Knowledge is empowering. having knowledge about how our own bodies work is empowering. women and girls who are.knowledgeable are not easily misled. in this vein, learning how to properly debate arguments and think critically about yours and others words and beliefs is empowering. having the ability to trust yourself comes with gaining knowledge.

3. Access to Fulfilling Work.

work that feeds our love and passion is empowering. workplaces with atmospheres where everyone is happy and excited to work with women are empowering. workplaces free from sexual attacks empower women. women stimulating their minds and souls is empowering. women doing the work they find stimulating gives us a sense of purpose.

many women of all different walks of life have a high propensity for art. charging them with female representation in media will empower us all by putting forth the huge diversity that women display as human beings with full experiences and lives and stories to tell.

evidence shows that the least depressed cohort of women are the ones who work and who are financially independent, not the married housewives.

4. Reproductive and Sexual Rights.

women having control over our own.reproduction is empowering. women having orgasms and thinking about our own pleasure during sex is empowering. women accepting their own physical form and refusing to be disrespected by men who find them unacceptable because of their physical form is empowering. women refusing intercourse if it does nothing for their pleasure or they dont want to take the risk is empowering. women not being forced to sell their own bodies is empowering. women having control over OUR OWN BODIES is freedom.

Things that are NOT empowering to girls and women:

1. Femininity

being small, delicate, and on display is not empowering and it never will be. wearing high heels damages our feet and is not empowering. wearing makeup because society does not believe we as women are acceptable without it is not empowering. having long and/or fake nails limits the use of our hands and is not empowering. our collective bodies are not for men to look at and enjoy as they go about their day in comfortable, dignified clothing.

kindness, nurturing, and the desire to help others are good qualities in moderation, and they should be thouhght of as sex-neutral qualities everyone should work on, not just women. women are not the only ones who should be expected to be nurturing and giving.

aspiring for smallness is the opposite of enpowering. women need to eat. women are allowed to grow. our goal should be comfort and health, not emancipation and fragility.

2. Self-objectification

our hands are for doing tasks and our feet are for mobility. our faces are to house our brains and feed us, not a thing for men to find either acceptable or unacceptable to look at. every part of our bodies are for OUR use, not for the use of others. we exist for ourselves. our bodies are not naturally political and they are all acceptable and worthy of humanity, no matter what they look like or what issues they have.

3. Submission

Submissiveness is not empowering. lowering your worth until it is under the worth you give someone elses humanity is self-harm. humiliation and degredation arise out of the degraders sense of superiority over the one submitting to him. being treated as inferior will never empower anyone.

4. Marriage and Traditional Nuclear Family

marriage is a contract of ownership where women take on the last name of men. nuclear families are an extension of male ownership to not only include women but the children they objectify as their legacy of power. men expect women to raise children while they work, but women have goals and dreams too. men expect women to drop these goals and sacrifice only their lives to raise children that men see as their property and investment. men leave the majority of menial housework and micro-cleaning to women. marriage and nuclear families will never be empowering.

5. Outside Control over Reproduction.

up to and including abortion. ALSO involving lack of access to childcare and paid leave. this one explains itself.

6. The Sex Industry.

Mens entitlement over females and our bodies will NEVER be empowering and MUST end.

Now, can people stop using this word for things that ARENT giving women any actual power? Glad we had this talk.

I’m All Yours

Oneshot
Member: Jungkook 
Genre: Angst/Fluff
Summary: “I promise to never lie to you again. I promise to always be there for you no matter what. I promise to prioritize you before anything and anyone else. I promise to be a better man so that I’m worthy for you.”
Word Count: 3.651
Request: title from this song


~Gif is not mine. Credit to the original creator.~ 


a/n: this probably will make more sense if you read part one first


A few months ago, you had sort of forgiven Jungkook for what he did to you, but you still struggled every day. It was hard to trust in what he said when all you could think about were the lies he had told. You wanted to move on from this and return to how things once were, but his betrayal left a wound that was taking forever to heal.

“Y/N!” your mother’s voice calls. “Jungkook is here!”

“Be down in a second!” you call back, grabbing a pair of sandals and your small purse before running downstairs. Jungkook is standing by the door with your mother and making small talk when he sees you descend the stairs. He stares at you with this stupid looking expression on his face (one you’ve never even seen before, that’s for sure). When he realizes he’s been caught, he quickly looks away.

“Oh that dress looks so cute on you!” your mother gushes. You sit on the last couple of steps to slip into your sandals before standing again and turning to Jungkook. However, you notice his eyes are looking everywhere but you. You try to shove down the hurt you feel at that.

“Shall we go?” you ask, slinging your purse strap on your shoulder.

“W-we shall,” he says, opening the door and motioning you through before following after you. You turn to say goodbye to your mother as you follow Jungkook to his car.

“Have fun!” your mother calls from the porch, waving goodbye as Jungkook drives off down the street with you in the passenger seat and the music blaring.


It was a beautiful day for early summer - the sun is out and a gentle breeze blows through the park where Jungkook’s cousin’s birthday party is being held. You and Jungkook are making your way towards the playground, specifically the swings, while his cousin and his friends clamor over each other to get a slice of cake.

Keep reading

100 Positive Things to Say to Myself ☀️

What we think in our minds will eventually become what we believe.  This is why it is so important that we start saying positive things about ourselves many times each and everyday. Choose two or three of the statements below and repeat them to yourself throughout the day.

  1. I love myself.
  2. The world has a need for me.
  3. I am unique.
  4. I can and I will do things to promote healing in my life.
  5. I can handle this one step at a time.
  6. The sun is shining; I am ready to take on another day.
  7. My problem has a solution; I will work on a plan.
  8. I am a survivor.
  9. I refuse to give up because I haven’t tried all possible ways.
  10. I will inhale confidence and exhale doubt.
  11. I may be one in 7 billion but I am also one in 7 billion!
  12. I am smart.
  13. I believe I can change the world (or at least my corner of it).
  14. I am important.
  15. Today, I will celebrate me.
  16. I matter.
  17. I can find peace through prayer and meditation.
  18. I am strong.
  19. My confidence is beautiful.
  20. I am imperfect but I’m perfectly me.
  21. My smile can make someone feel better.
  22. I choose to focus on what I can control.
  23. Everything will work out in the end. If it hasn’t worked out yet, it’s not the end.
  24. I am happy with who I am.
  25. Every day, in every way, I am becoming better and better.
  26. I am a good person.
  27. I keep going because I believe in myself.
  28. I choose to see the good in the people I interact with today.
  29. It is always too early to give up on my goals.
  30. I can reach out for help if I need it.
  31. I am special; I will not change myself for anyone.
  32. I choose hope.
  33. The answer is right before me, even if I do not see it right now.
  34. I am thankful for…
  35. I choose to take good care of myself.
  36. I accept myself.
  37. I can make a difference.
  38. My past does not define my future, I do.
  39. My life is filled with possibility.
  40. I refuse to be pushed by my problems; I will be led by my dreams.
  41. I am awake and ready to be awesome.
  42. I will focus on my talents; I have things to share with the world.
  43. I choose to have the strength to move on to healthier relationships.
  44. I deserve good things in life.
  45. I release myself from my anger.
  46. I love who I am.
  47. I will allow peace to fill my soul.
  48. Today is a new day; I will see what adventure it holds.
  49. I choose to be proud of myself.
  50. I will do my absolute best in all things.
  51. I will speak kindly to others and to myself.
  52. I choose to be brave and tell others if I need their support.
  53. I have the power to control my reactions to the challenges I will face.
  54. I am becoming healthier each and every day.
  55. I choose to see each obstacle as an opportunity to grow.
  56. I will step out of my comfort zone and try something new today.
  57. I am a success; I can make this a great day.
  58. Note to self: You are amazing.
  59. I can control my breathing.
  60. I will stay calm, it will get better.
  61. I allow myself to forgive; it will allow me to move beyond the pain, to a place of peace.
  62. I choose to make today amazing.
  63. I choose to let the past go and move on to the future.
  64. Today, I will be courageous.
  65. I release all fear from my mind.
  66. I can reach my goals, I am unstoppable.
  67. I am ready to write a new chapter for my life.
  68. I will take the time to notice and be thankful for the little things.
  69. I can write down my thoughts and take control of my emotions.
  70. My hard work is already paying off.
  71. I am thankful for life.
  72. I choose to be happy.
  73. I accept the good that is flowing into my life.
  74. I will not allow anxious thoughts to steal my joy.
  75. Today, I forgive myself.
  76. My body knows how to get better; I will listen to it and rest when needed.
  77. I am stronger than my worries.
  78. I’m not the only one who struggles; I choose to be kind to everyone that I meet.
  79. Yesterday was a bad day, not a bad life. Today will be better.
  80. I am braver than I feel.
  81. While I wait for the storm to pass, I will choose to dance in the rain.
  82. I am loved.
  83. I will remember; often difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations.
  84. There is more to life than this moment; I choose to keep moving forward.
  85. I am capable of bringing my dreams to life.
  86. I am okay. I am breathing. I am alive.
  87. I am capable of achieving great things.
  88. I light the world with my smile.
  89. My spirit is beautiful.
  90. I make a difference in the world.
  91. I allow myself to take a break and do something I enjoy.
  92. I can make a difference.
  93. I’m not sure what will happen tomorrow, but I’ll take care of myself so I am strong enough to face it.
  94. I choose to approach my problems with a calm heart and mind.
  95. I trust myself.
  96. I will do my best with whatever comes my way.
  97. I have a purpose that I am fulfilling.
  98. I will listen to that whisper of hope that says, ‘you can do it, try again’.
  99. I can change my life.
  100. I will learn from yesterday, live for today and hope for tomorrow.
Method Acting

Dan Stevens x Reader
Words: 2,136

ask and you shall recieve my friends. ask and you shall recieve…

little backstory on this fic, i love dan stevens. i love him a lot. all i do is watch dan stevens videos and movies.

i hope you’re all well. have great days and you know, requests are open so thats a thing. 

i also hope you enjoy this. it’s a stretch from what i usually write so yee

Originally posted by imwhe

~

When you started dating Dan, you found that sometimes he took on different personalities. Of course, it wasn’t something unusual. Whenever he began to work on a new project, he always seemed to get deep into the character’s mind and likeness. He was one of the best actors you knew, so you encouraged him to try things out on you as he began new projects.

When he was filming “The Guest”, he would walk around the house practicing his American accent. He would stare at you with an almost murderous look in his eyes. It often made you flinch when you looked up and found his striking blue eyes not leaving you. However, eventually his murderous stares were just a normal part of life.

Legion had him twitching and talking to himself as the two of you watched television. You were concerned at first, but eventually you understood as he let you help him with read throughs of the script. There were times when you’d even catch him switching from his accent to the fake American one, which sounded awfully strange from an outsider point of view.

When Dan told you he had a new secret project coming up, you were excited as hell for him. You couldn’t wait to see the character he would bring to life this tiem. But when Dan came back from the first reading of the script, something was different.

Instead of coming in and kissing your cheek, he walked in with the slam of a door and headed straight to your shared room. Your smile turned to a frown as you watched him go. Maybe he had had a bad day? It was possible, after all… but even on his worst days, he never acted like this. You followed him, knocking lightly on the doorframe. “Hey babe… rough day today?” You asked, taking a seat on the bed next to Dan.

He chuckled. “Quite the opposite actually, but I can think of a million ways this new movie can be improved. The staff and the other cast members… definitely need to upgrade their looks. Why would they hire such foul looking people?” He said, an arrogant smirk plastered on his face.

You glanced down at his feet, raising your eyebrow slightly at the shoes he was currently tying up. He only wore those for special occasions, like red carpets or photoshoots. It was strange for him to be putting them on now.

“Maybe now’s a good time for you to tell me about this new, secret project?” you suggested, taking his hand and resting your head on his shoulder. Dan rolled his eyes slightly, dropping your hand and standing up.

“Or maybe not. I’m heading out now and I expect dinner to be ready by the time I return. I hope that’s clear. Ciao!” Dan said, picking up his wallet and heading out of the house.

You stared after him in shock of his words and his actions. Dan had never been anything but kind to you, had you done something wrong? Was this all apart of some cruel prank he had going? Maybe there wasn’t a new project after all, maybe it was just all a lie so that he could-

Taking a deep breath in, you stood and headed to the kitchen. If he wanted his dinner, he could have it. After all, you loved your boyfriend with all of your heart. Even if he was acting out, you knew that he was a softie deep down. You were going to treat Dan with the same respect and love you would any other day.

As the weeks passed, you began to realise that the Dan you knew and loved was long gone. This arrogant asshole had walked into your life and he didn’t seem to be leaving anytime soon. You were blown off, yelled at and treated as nothing less than a speck of dirt.

You weren’t sure who the hell he thought he was, but you had had enough. You had it all planned out in your head. Dan was going to walk through that door and you would confront him. You would refuse him entry to your bedroom and you would talk because you knew you deserved at least that.

Your head snapped up as the door opened. Dan walked in, wearing one of the biggest and furriest coats you had ever seen. You raised your eyebrow at his fashion choices, taking a deep breath as you remembered your plan.

Dan glanced at you for a moment, a look that seemed almost sad in his eyes. You stood, gesturing to the seat next to you. “We need to talk,” You said quietly, a frown appearing on your face as you noticed that the way he held himself had changed.

He let out a grumpy huff, sitting down in the chair and resting his chin on the table. You raised your eyebrow, watching him in confusion. “That looks rather uncomfortable,” You stated, looking him up and down.

“Well, life is uncomfortable and if we don’t accept that now, we’d be fooling ourselves,” He muttered, his voice a lot deeper than usual. You sighed, sitting down in the chair next to him.

“Do I make things uncomfortable? Is this my doing, or have you had a bad day at work?” You asked quietly, looking down at your feet.

“Stop asking about bad days and look at reality. I’m trapped inside this castle, I’m nowhere near human… I’m a monster,’ He muttered, running his fingers over the groves in the wooden table.

“Well, at least we agree on something… look, I’ve been thinking that maybe we need some time apart. I don’t think this thing is working out anymore. I mean, it was once the most wonderful thing in the world but ever since you came back from your new project…”

Dan’s eyes softened for a few moments as he looked into yours, but just like that his eyes were replaced by those of someone you didn’t know. He sighed, picking up the script and standing up. “We’ll sort this out another time. For now, we’re staying together,” He muttered, walking towards your room.

You frowned even more than you had been, quickly standing up and attempting to grab the script. An anger you had never seen before suddenly appeared as Dan screamed at you, rinpping the script out of your grip. “What are you doing? It’s mine! Get away!” He yelled, pushing you away. You quickly regained your balance, grabbing your wallet.

“I’m coming back tomorrow to grab my things. You’d better not be here when I do,” You snapped quickly, leaving the house and slamming the door. You sat down on the front doorstep, putting your head in your hand as you began to sob.

The man inside your house was not the man you had fallen in love with many years ago. And as much as you wished your boyfriend would return, he seemed to be lost in the mess of anger in his head.

It was about a year before you saw Dan again, but you did your best job at avoiding him. You would hear about him on the news sometimes or see your mutual friends talking about him on social media, but you had mostly blocked him from your mind. It broke your heart that something so beautiful had become nothing but a forgotten wreck.

Part of you wished he would come back. Part of you wished that the old Dan would waltz right in and sweep you off your feet, but you knew that would never happen. You had both done things that you could never take back.

It was a quiet afternoon when the doorbell rang. You had been reading one of the old scripts you had managed to take with you when you moved out. You could still imagine his smile and the way his eyes lit up when he would tell you about the character’s glorious feats.

The doorbell rang, followed by a loud knock. You placed the script down, sighing as you stood and headed for the door. You eyes filled with shock as you opened it and felt Dan’s arms embrace you tightly.

“Love! I’ve missed you!” He exclaimed, resting his chin on your shoulder. You stood with your arms by your sides, pushing him off quickly.

“What are you doing here? How did you even find me?” You asked, going to close the door. You groaned when he walked in and sat down on the couch. “You know, usually when a breakup happens, the people don’t see each other afterwards.”

“That is a good point, a great one in fact, but I believe breakups are supposed to be mutual and while my character was an asshole, I like to think I am not. Well, I guess I am for not telling you what was happening, but I promise I’m a good guy deep down. Anyway, I have a proposition,” He said, standing and taking your hands.

“Well actually, I was kind of busy reading…” You picked up the script, blushing slightly. “Legion, episode five. So if you could just make your way out the door, I could continue my comfort reading.”

“That’s a good one. I promise I won’t take too much of your time. I just want to explain things to you, because legally I couldn’t before. But there are test screenings of my new movie so… I was hoping you’d come along and watch it with me,” He said quietly, looking at his feet shyly.

You sighed quietly. “Just the movie? Nothing else?”

He shook his head. “Nothing else.”

“I suppose I can spare at least two hours of my time… as long as you promise to drive,” You replied, smiling weakly as he held up his car keys.

“Let’s get a move on,” he said, pulling you out to the car and getting in.

“This isn’t some sick kidnapping trick, right? We are actually seeing a movie?” you asked.

Dan chuckled. “You’re so sceptical. I guess I do deserve it… but yes, I promise we are only seeing a movie. Unless you want to go out for dinner afterwards…”

“You’re pushing your luck,” You mumbled, glancing out the window as the car drove further and further away from your comfortable home. “Where the hell is this screening?”

“Well, the one I was planning on going to was in Texas, but I suppose that if you were to get on a plane with your ex right now, you’d probably freak. I know there’s one in London, which is still a little while away, but it’ll be worth it. I swear,” He said, continuing to drive.

“Can you at least tell me what the movie is about? Fill the silence?” You asked, biting your lip slightly.

Dan nodded slowly. “Well, it’s the story of an arrogant asshole who doesn’t know what he’s got until it’s gone. He used to have love in his heart, but then it all changes for him. Everyone he ever loved is pushed away and they forget about him. He ends up in isolation where he feels sorry for his actions… I think I’m telling more of my story than his. It’s one of your favourite movies though. You always told me you’d love for them to remake it.”

He parked the car, getting out and opening your door. You smiled weakly, getting out and taking his hand. You looked up at the building in front of you, a small smile on your face when you saw a poster for the upcoming Beauty and the Beast film.

You froze for a second, your eyes widening when everything began to click. “It all makes sense now!” You exclaimed, smiling wide. “You were being an asshole to get into your role! And that day you came home and called yourself a monster…”

“My method acting got the better of me and I still feel horrible about it every day. But this, this is a big thing. If I didn’t get it right… it’s a make or break. The film looks pretty good from my eyes, but why does that matter? My girlfriend always helped decide if the movie was good or not,” Dan said, holding out his hand. “Shall we?”

You smiled, taking his hand and entering the cinema. “So, what does this mean for us? Are we friends? Enemies? Accquaintances?” You asked, biting your lip slightly.

“I’m not sure. I suppose we’ll find out over time… that is, if you’re willing to have me back in your life…”

You looked at your feet for a moment. “We were an incredible team… okay. I accept, on the condition that you buy me ice cream after.”

Dan chuckled, shaking your hand. “It’s a deal.”

you know what? autistic people are amazing!!

like… we’re so observant and good at noticing patterns and we catch stuff other people miss and we see the world in such a different way that it gives us a great perspective on things that neurotypicals dont have

and we care so much about stuff and we get really passionate about it and its really cute and we have things in the world that are Good and so much can be conveyed in that word and we survive and adapt so well in a world not designed for us and i think that’s awesome?

and we stim when we’re happy bc its how we interact with the world that despite everything we can still see so much wonder in

like we’re really cool

and its important to remember that when the majority of the world at best doesnt understand and at worst outright hates us

especially when most autism positivity posts are “its okay if u cant do things neurotypicals can do” and “autistic people can be intelligent!” because yes those posts are important but also autistic people can be better than neurotypicals bc we’re a diverse and intelligent and beautiful group of people and i refuse to be held to a neurotypical standard of brilliance when we’re doing pretty great by ourselves

*Edit - its perfectly okay for neurotypicals/allistics to reblog this!

Possible references to ‘The Ones Who Walk away From the Omelas’ in the BTS ‘Spring Day’ teaser

Since I know a big part of you have never read ‘The Ones Who Walk away From the Omelas’ (by Ursula K. Le Guin), I wrote a small summary of things I noticed were quite directly referencing the book. All quotations are from TOWWAFTO (that’s a mouthful).

With a clamor of bells that set the swallows soaring, the Festival of Summer came to the city Omelas, bright-towered by the sea. The ringing of the boats in harbor sparkled with flags. […] I incline to think that people from towns up and down the coast have been coming to to Omelas during the last days before the Festival on very fast little trains and double-decked trams, and that the trains station of Omelas is actually the handsomest building in town, though plainer than the magnificent Farmers’ Market.”

Setting: a beautiful town by the sea. A summer festival that people come to attend from other towns. 

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Save Me

[ Mafia AU ] 

Growing up you were thought of nothing more than a pretty face. Your only aspirations were chosen for you. Your job would be to become a token. You were the only daughter of a mafia boss.

You were to marry someone of your father’s choosing because after his death it would be up to you and your husband to continue his work. The only problem was you already had a boyfriend.

Kim Young Woo, he was an extremely handsome and capable man. He had money, power, and the leadership that allowed him to command a group even larger than that of your fathers.

To be exact… he was your father’s rival.

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Imagine breaking up with Rafael

Imagine breaking up with Rafael

You pulled out the last book and placed into the box and as you did you heard the floorboards creak and the front door. You swallowed hard but your breath got caught in your throat.  You were choking on the tension.

“Y/N?” You heard Rafael’s voice call out.

You ignored him as you closed the box of your collection of books. You grabbed the tape and yanked on it hard in frustration and nervousness. Making a loud noise, exactly what you were trying to avoid.

“Y/N,” He repeated suddenly appearing at the door of the study, he’d found you…clearly.

You looked up at him momentarily before looking away again. Picking up the newly packed box and placing it on one you’d already finished. Without saying a word.

“Are you not going to talk to me?” He demanded but you could hear the desperation.

“What else is there to say?” You countered quietly, refusing to look in his direction.

“An explanation maybe?” He suggested attempting to be nonchalantly but he was choking back tears.

Just like you.

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What I Hate Love You was all about

While reading all the posts concerning I Hate Love You I noticed that a lot of people said something like this – “I haven’t even read the fic, but what you are saying is horrible…” And, honestly, if I had read only those posts but not the actual fic itself and wouldn’t know how it ends I might be feeling the same way. That’s why I want to explain what was I Hate Love You is all about.  

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So, I’m a bit further ahead in my reread, because I’m starting with an anniversary reread (five years! I’m such a nerd!), and am almost finished with the first book.

It’s been a while since I’ve really dwelled much in the Hunger Games world. I mean, I’ve never stopped loving it, but recent years have been focused more on a lot of other things. So I feel like I’m reading them almost with fresh eyes again, so to speak. And the thing that’s really, really obviously to me now, that I know I picked up on previously, but was never keenly aware of as I am now? It’s just how much Katniss struggles not to feel Human Emotions, and how the events over the course of the book force her to begin feeling things. 

She pushes her mother away, she keeps Gale at something of a distance, even if she knows she does care about him. There are multiple times through out the book where she unconsciously lets on that she is, very naturally, attracted to Peeta in a way she really can’t help–but she’s so determined to prevent herself from being hurt, she refuses to even acknowledge to herself that she’s drawn to him. The only person she will openly allow herself to admit she cares for is Prim.

It’s interesting, because I think this is a pretty typical defense mechanism for someone who’s actually really tender at heart. Over the course, you really see her begin to break down these walls, and maybe even begin to understand how unhealthy and unobtainable it is to not care about anybody. Katniss wants to be a robot so badly in the first book, but the Games, the very reason she tries to be that way, are exactly what force her to confront and accept that she isn’t. That does, in fact, care a great deal about people, and even more, she actually does want them around. And the part that I think is really interesting is that you can see this as being something of a metaphor for Panem as a nation. Snow uses the Games to keep everyone divided: the Capitol is divided from the districts, the districts are kept away from each other, and even within the districts themselves we see division, such as the Seam vs. the Merchants in 12. But by Mockingjay, the nation has learned to come together, and people are allowed to mix and mingle with citizens from other districts and the Capitol.

I feel like the question Suzanne Collins wants us to be asking ourselves is, how can we apply this lesson to real life?

Keep it or Leave it (Part 4)

Prompt: When an early bird and a womanizer are roommates, they come up with a scheme that favors both of them. But some things are not as clear as they seem

Pairing: Bucky x Reader

Warnings: None that I know of…
*If you do feel triggered by something, let me know so I can add here and warn other readers!

Word Count: 570

Author’s Note: As always, if you see any words that could/should be replaced or sentences that could be better put together please feel free to point it out! English is not my first language and this will help me improve ;)

Part 1 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5

Originally posted by pandasubaru

< OMG!!!!!!

Nat, I’m serious! >
What do I do?? >

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Leliana's Development & Why It Is Natural (DA:I spoilers)

Alright, fandom, we need to get square on the character development of Leliana, because an astounding amount seem shocked at how she is presented in Inquisition, when in fact hers is one of the most genuien and smoothest transformations I have seen in any character.

Now the most common reactions I see to Sister Nightingale are;

  • “What happened to Leliana?! She was so sweet and innocent!”
  • “That’s the real Leliana! Badass and ruthless, she was just acting before!”

So neither of these are entirely wrong, but neither do her character justice.

I feel like I have to begin from scratch, meaning Leliana’s Song and up Inquisition for this to be conveyed understandably. So head’s up for spoilers on both (and Origins).

First and foremost; what we see in Leliana’s Song is the start. She is not innocent from the start (, in fact she’s never truly that)What you see in Origins is a result of everything that happened in Leliana’s Song, which although released after Origins was already a part of her character through an edited version of the events told by Leliana herself.

The ‘everything’ is important here, because Leliana’s lessons from LS was not only that the Grand Game is dangerous and hurts people (which notably was something she had carelessly ignored because she had fun tricking and killing people) and that Andraste will guide her. The probably most defining change in her character is from when she trusts Marjolaine to remove the incriminating documents that would pin them both as traitors to Orlais and potentially start a war, to Marjolaine instead stabbing her in the guts and leaving her and her friends to take the blame and (unecessary and excessive) punishment.
Leliana has lived a careless life of adopted nobility most of her life up until now, and when the Game suddenly isn’t as fun as its name makes it out to be Leliana is shocked. She now realises she had been blindly trusting,putting not only her own life but also her friends’ lives and the stability of two nations in danger. The fact that this realisation shakes her is what splits her and Marjolaine apart in personalities. (In the last paragraph you will see how she learnt from this and does not trust blindly in even the Chantry’s teachings.)

Now after Dorothea gives Leliana the key to escape (which in Inquisition Leliana phrases something like 'she showed me that I could save myself’) we see a beaten and apathic Leliana. She’s lost, she doesn’t have a purpose, she doesn’t even want vengeance on Marjolaine because she doesn’t know who she is anymore. A recurring theme for Leliana is doubting her identity. When she was young she sought fun and danger, now she feels guilty for ever having wanted that because the idols she had were people like Marjolaine who are ultimately egoistic and unsympathetic.

Leliana stubbornly refuses any similarities with Marjolaine, and leaves her for the new guidance of the Chantry. When Leliana is lost she goes from one guide to another, to reveal but not create her core. This is later seen as the Warden and Inquisitor can influence how she acts upon her morals.
Back on topic, however; Leliana refuses Marjolaine’s comparison of them because they do not share the same purpose. Leliana’s Song concludes with Leliana reflecting how her finding purpose is the heart of her story. She has found what she truly wants to dedicate her life to – the greater good, not the Game’s egoistic agenda, showing a great divide between Leliana and Marjolaine’s otherwise similar characters.

(A fun addition to this is the psychologist Søren Kirkegaard’s interpretation of mental development, in which a human goes from being satisfied by a life of aesthetics to a life dedicated to (religious) purpose and service.)

She now spends the next five years being taught how to be idealistically good. Desperately, we see her cling to this ideal way to be when she joins the Warden. She acts overwhelmingly innocent despite her natural contradictions because she needs to convince both those around her and herself that she canBut what gives her away is when her grey morals show, as in a few out of many examples here;

  • She happily accepts Zevran, an assassin of an organisation with legendary loose morals (to put it mildly) and deadly efficiency, in joining their quest as he will be a tool to help the greater good.
  • In conversation with Alistair, we also hear her saying that she does not fully regret leaving the people in Lothering to die at the hands of darkspawn as their effort overall will be worth more than she could do there.

Both in Origins and Inquisition we see her willing to be merciless if it benefits a greater cause. This is also why I believe that some/most of her positive attitude in Origins is genuine; she is happy that she can lead a life of both elements of what has defined her so far, and she belives she is utilizing that for everyone’s best. Leliana has both idealistic and pragmatic sides to her. (This is likely why your Warden will get negative reaction from her when they can be helpful, and why she didn’t react as strongly to choices in Redcliffe as Alistair did among other reasons).

What Origins and Inquisition does, however, is show the doubt even now (yes, with a ten years gap and further adjustment of her character to the dark side of good). As stated earlier we are able to guide Leliana in both games because she lives a life of such conflicting morals, and the fact that this is believable is what makes her a well-written and strong character. The fact that she is doubting herself is why the Warden and Inquisitor can influence her – and fear not, dear gamers! Both unhardening and hardening Leliana is true to her character;

  • Hardening Leliana makes her embrace her more morally grey side, that she can act bad on behalf of good and that does not automatically make her an evil person. Hardening her does not rob her of her faith in the Maker and that she is doing His work.
  • Unhardening Leliana as well makes her content that she is doing what she does for others’ sake, that the Maker approves, convincing her that she is therefore not like Marjolaine (in Origins, in Inquisition this doesn’t bother her because she has matured). Unhardening her does not rob her of her willingness to kill and cheat.

Either path shows that ultimately, Leliana does not only believe in the Maker no matter what but also in herself, which convictions are now so intertwined it is hard to say where one begins and the other ends.

This is why she does not hesitate to become the Left Hand of the Divine, knowing what shady work it entails but also that she is doing it for the people of Thedas.

This is why she is shaken seemingly out of her faith after the Conclave, but bounces back soon after.

This is why, when she realises her socially-imposed ignorance towards the oppression of elves and mages, that she takes a stand for them because she believes without being told so that it is right.

This is why her goal as Divine, no matter what, will be for the betterment of the oppressed and the inclusion of the excluded.

Even in Origins you hear her contradicting the Chantry with her own interpretations of what is important, and as Left Hand and Divine she continues on this path by working towards conversion. No matter what paths she takes, she stays true to herself.

Leliana’s strength lies in her faith and doubt in herself, in others, in the Maker and everything. With both factors the writer has made a balanced, believable and still surprising character, who can genuinely be both merciful and merciless.

“Sometimes it takes another to show us the truths we hide from ourselves.”
                                  - Leliana, Dragon Age: Origins.

Good Girl Ch 23: Night Out With Jihyo

“No,” Yoongi deadpans, answering Jihyo on my behalf.

“I’m not asking you,” She glares at our oppa.

“I’m just giving you the answer that you are going to receive from all twelve men. They would rather saw off their own foots before they hand Joo-ya over to you.”

She huffs cutely, looking to me for help, “Joojoo, you want to go out right?”

I sigh, debating on whether or not lying would do anything for me, knowing Jihyo she would twist it around so that it was my idea in the first place. I nod, “I want to go.”

“Great you convinced Joo noona, now you have all our hyungs,” Kookie teases.

“Why are those bastards so strict, you guys get to see her outside of school but god forbid me to see her at school half the time?”

“Maybe because the last time you guys went out, you ended up in a club that had to close because of a shoot out,” Hoseok reminds her.

“Because of that night they got to meet her, they should be grateful,” She snaps back.

“Please tell them that,” Namjoon laughs.

“Fine.” She stands up from her seat, a determined look on her face, that never ends with something good.

“Fine what?” I question, standing up with her.

“I’m going to go tell them that they owe me one night out with you. It has been two months since you’ve lived those bastards and I want my Joo back.” She huffs as she charges away from the table towards the hall. I wave to our oppas and dongseangs before following her out of the lounge. She is quietly plotting in her head, I feel kind of terrified for whoever she is in search of, Jihyo is not someone I would want to be on the wrong side of. But as she heads to Suho’s office I begin to fear for myself at the battle that could happen. I block the doors with my body, being dramatic as possible hoping to crack the bitch face she is wearing, but no luck.

“Ji-ya please don’t start a fight with our headmaster,” I beg.

“No Joo, I’m tired of them getting all of your time and attention, I get you for three hours five days out of the week and we are in class at the time so it doesn’t count,” I want to laugh at how she argued the same as I do with my daddies.

The door behind me busts open to reveal six of my daddies; five are wearing the uniform while Suho is looking wonderful in a three-piece suit. They beam at me at first, that is until they see Jihyo glaring at them behind me.

“What is going on?” Chanyeol questions as he comes over to kiss the top of my head.

“I’m here to speak with the headmaster,” Jihyo walks past Chanyeol, she grabs my hand to drag me away from the, now angry, giant. She makes me sit in one of the two chairs in front of Suho’s desk while she sits in the other, completely ignoring the six men glaring at her.

“Is everything okay Joo-ya?” Kyungsoo questions coming to my side to give me a once over. I nod, giving him a small smile, my anxiety begins rising as the others gather around the desk, Suho is in his seat scanning me as well.

“I’m here to talk about Jooyoung getting out for a night. Since you are her guardian while she’s in school I wanted to ask you to please approve my request,” Her politeness towards Suho calms me slightly.

“May I ask what you would be doing during this night out?” Suho asks as he mindlessly plays with a pen, his eyes are focused on an unwavering Jihyo. I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy Jihyo’s ice princess mood, where even six glaring gangsters can’t make her face falter.

“I want to celebrate her upcoming birthday, but since I’ve been told a dozen times by my friends that she would be busy that day I want to do it next weekend. We are going to get dressed up and go to dinner.” I try no to laugh at the bullshit coming out of her mouth.

“She already has plans next weekend,” Suho tells us. I raise a brow at him, I was not aware of this. He notices my confusion, “Since your normal appointment with Mr. Jiyong happens to fall on your birthday we discussed it so that we get you on your birthday and he gets you the whole weekend,” I can tell he’s annoyed with the last put but I can’t help but laugh, making every face in the room soften.

“Suho oppa, please, how about just for tonight. You guys can drop me off at her house and pick me up in the morning, no big deal,” I give him my best aegyo that always makes the cute man cave.

“Can you bring Kai and Sehun along at least?” Suho bargains.

“No,” Jihyo and I say together, earning frowns from the men.

“Why?”

“Because we can’t be ourselves with those two creeping over Joo’s shoulder,” Ji glares at the two boys on my right.

“I’m actually going to agree with Jihyo on this guys, I’m sorry,” I give them an apologetic smile.

“What about Jin and his boys?” Tao suggests.

Jihyo crosses her arms over her chest, “They are sitting at a different table.”

“Are you guys seriously letting me go?” I would be lying if I said I wasn’t surprised.

“Are you really that surprised?” Kyungsoo chuckles at the sight of my wide eyes.

“You go out every Tuesday with Mr. Kwon, Miss. Jihyo is a much safer option. Plus you’ve been doing really well in school, and you have been really well behaved. You deserve it,” Suho’s smile warms me.

“I don’t thing the other hyungs are going to agree,” Sehun looks somewhat apologetic.

“How about you go home with Miss. Jihyo and we will deal with the others, okay?” Suho’s kindness is starting to throw me off, something is up but I can’t talk about it now with Jihyo beaming at me.

“You and the others made it sound like they keep locked in there like a prison,” Jihyo laughs.

The men raise their brow at me, I glare at the stupid girl, “I do not, they’re strict. At least they usually are.” I scan each man, noticing how tense they are I decide it’s none of my business, especially since it probably has to do with their business. “Thank you guys, I guess I’ll be borrowing Jihyo’s clothes tonight.”

“I have an outfit picked out for you anyway,” Jihyo jumps to her feet, already excited about tonight. “And it’s not like we wear pajamas to sleep anyway, too hot.”

Again I feel all eyes on me, “Okay, Jihyo since we got what we wanted we should go before the boys start to worry.” I jump to my feet and begin pulling the smiling girl behind me, I shove her out first before looking over my shoulder to blow a kiss to my daddies and mouth I love you. They catch my kiss, Jihyo pulls me out of the room right after, not giving me the chance to hear it back from them.

“That was a lot easier than expected,” I think out loud to myself.

………………….

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” I chuckle as we stand outside the restaurant that has become my weekly regular.

“What, have you been here before?” Jihyo hands her keys off to the valet who bows deeply to me, Jihyo is obviously confused at the sudden movement. I quickly pull her along, entering the lobby with our arms hooked. It feels weird being there with the hushed conversations of strangers and the hustle and bustle of more than one server. There are women in beautiful dresses and men in neat suits, I’m grateful Jihyo had picked out a simple black dress to match the jewelry I refused to take off. We walk up to the pretty young hostess who is staring down at her reservation list, glancing at the line of fancy customers I can’t imagine it’s easy to get a reservation here.

“Table for Song Jihyo,” My friend says with the utmost confidence in her name.

Without looking up the woman says, “We had issues with reservations so please take a seat, we will call you when a table is ready.” Jihyo has never looked so offended, I could see the fire burning in her eyes as she prepares to snap back.

I step in, “How about a table for Kim Jooyoung?” The girl’s head snaps up to stare at me in aw and horror.

“I’m so sorry Miss. Kim, please come this way.” She automatically scoops up two menus and leads a dumbstruck Jihyo and I into the main dining room. I’m happy to be set at my usual table that is the only open table in the whole restaurant. Jihyo sits across from me, still confused, the pretty girl sets down the menus before bowing deeply and scampering away.

“What the hell?” She breathes after a few minutes.

“You know the Mr. Kwon I have appointments with every Tuesday?”

She nods.

“He owns the place. We come here every week for dinner.”

“How the hell?” She huffs cutely. “Is that the reasons the boys said they would meet us after dinner?”

I shrug, “Probably, they are close with my oppas and my oppas are not a fan of Mr. Kwon.”

“Sorry to keep you waiting Miss. Jooyoung,” Junhoe, the waiter from my first night here, beams at me. He has been here every time Jiyong and I have come and has become somewhat of an acquaintance. In his hands is my favorite bottle of whine from Jiyong’s stash in the back just for us, two-glass limit for me.

“Oh no Junhoe, that’s not for us, Oppa wouldn’t want me to drink it without him. Could we have something else?” I feel bad turning it down but I feel worse doing it without Jiyong.

“Are you sure?”

I nod, “Some other kind would be great.”

“I’ll be back.” The blonde giant rushes off to find something else.

“Does he know how old we are?” Jihyo watches the man go.

I shrug, “They never asked so I think it’s kind of a don’t ask questions thing. Since my oppa doesn’t mind, they shouldn’t.”

“You have all the connections now, I’m jealous,” She teases.

“It’s fun to be the top dog for once,” We laugh, but our joking is cut short by my phone buzzing on the table. Looking down I see a text from Jiyong.

Take the wine.

Love, Oppa

P.S. Happy early birthday!

P.P.S. You look so beautiful

I chuckle at the message but pause for a minute before scanning the restaurant, only to come up empty. Junhoe returns with the same bottle in hand, horror on the poor man’s face.

“I must insist on the wine,” He basically begs.

“We will take the wine, sorry for troubling you,” I hold out my glass that he happily accepts. Jihyo watches him with predator like eyes as he fills her glass, setting it down in front of her once he is done.

“And for dinner?” He smiles at us.

“I haven’t had the chance to look,” I watch Jihyo as she does her little flirty thing as I scan the menu myself.

“I’m your personal server so if you need any suggestions I’m here to help.”

“Oh my, who are you screwing to get such amazing treatment?” Jihyo whispers as Junhoe goes back to the kitchen.

“Jiyong oppa is a really good friend, he reminds me of you,” I swat at her.

She grins, “Me? Oh my, please jump on that, if not, let me do it. I doubt he would go for me. Every single one of your oppas avoids me like the plague, it’s very insulting. But what makes you think of me when you see him?”

I laugh at the thought, “He likes to buy me things no matter how many times I tell him no. He likes making my oppas jealous. A constant flirt. You both love the fabulous things in life. There are no secrets between us, Jiyong answers any question I ask him. Your personalities are just so a like it freaks me out some times.”

“Has he offered to runaway with you to Paris? If so, I will fight him on it.”

“I stopped that idea before he could even think about it.”

She laughs, “I’m happy you have been able to become such a social butterfly. To think you used to only talk to me and the boys, now you have a line of suitors fighting to get your attention.”

“They aren’t really fighting.” I laugh awkwardly.

“What are you getting?” She mindlessly changes the subject as she scans the menu.

“I don’t know, I usually get the steak but I’m feeling daring.”

“Should we just let them pick?”

I nod, waving Junhoe over when the nervous boy sticks his head out of the kitchen doors. “We decided to let the chef pick.”

I don’t know why but this seems to make him nervous, “Are you sure? I can suggest something, maybe narrow down your options.”

“Are you afraid we won’t like it and complain to your boss?” Jihyo can automatically tell what is wrong with him.

The boy stares at the ground nervously, “Yes.”

I sigh, pulling out my phone I dial Jiyong’s number, he picks up on the second ring, “Who do I need to kill?”

I laugh, “I didn’t know I needed to prepare that list, give me a couple days to get back to you with that.”

“What can I do for my beautiful Joo?”

“I was wondering what suggestions you have.”

“Is Junhoe giving you bad service?”

“No, no, of course not, he is very wonderful and patient, I just feel bad making the poor man nervous.” I give Junhoe an apologetic smile. “And since I don’t want anyone else being blamed for bad food I figured I would call the boss.”

“Option 7.”

“I’ll trust you.”

“Have fun on your night out. I really like that dress, you should bring it along next week.”

“How do you know what I look like?” I scan the restaurant again.

“Look up and to your left.” Following his directions I see a camera hooked to the ceiling. “Wave.”

I laugh waving to the camera, “Thank you for the suggestion, now get back to work. I’ll see you next week.” I hang up before looking back at a dumbstruck Junhoe.

“No matter how many times I see you talking to him it is always so strange,” He says without thinking.

“Is he really that cold normally?” Jihyo barely understands what’s going on.

Junhoe and I both nod, “Mr. Kwon is a scary man. Unless he’s talking to Miss. Jooyoung, then he becomes a completely different person.”

“I tend to do that to people. Jiyong oppa said option 7.” Junhoe nods before returning to the kitchen.

“I wonder if he’s single,” Jihyo wonders.

“I can ask Junhoe when he comes back if you are that interested.”

She shakes her head, “I mean Jiyong. He does all this stuff for you, you guys talk so casually, is he your boyfriend?”

“No, just a friend. Like I said, a male version of you.”

She doesn’t seem to buy it, “You love me, so how could you not want to date the male version of me?”

I sip my wine as I try my best to ignore her question. Jiyong is not part of that group, at least I don’t think he is. As I try to figure out whether or not I should consider him an actual suitor or just a friendly flirt our food arrives. But even with a subject change and delicious food in front of me I can’t seem to get my mind off the gangster.

………………………….

“This wasn’t part of the plan Ji,” I groan as I’m dragged into the mansion that belongs to one of our classmates. The tall beauty looks back at me and beams.

“You didn’t expect me to tell them we were going to a party, did you?” With her hand still latched to mine I have no choice but to follow her threw the crowd of drunken teenagers. God I hate parties, filled with nothing buy snotty rich kids I feel out of place. “We’ll get a few drinks in you and things will be fine.”

“I’m already buzzed, I don’t think I need anymore. How about you go have fun and dance, I’m going to call the boys to come find us?” I try to shake her hand away with no luck.

“We are partying together, we are going to drink, dance, possibly make out, who knows, anything is possible.”

We find the drinks table that is filled with all kinds of expensive liquor that kids probably stole from the their careless parents or had an employee buy for them. I stupidly let Jihyo mix my drink while I stare at the beautiful house that is getting destroyed. It feels like a club with the flashing lights and the crazy bass that makes me tremble, there is a massive amount of bodies that are grinding together on the dance floor. I’m reminded of the last time I went out with Jihyo two months ago where we got shot at and I found my daddies. And as much as I love the situation I’m in with them, I would prefer not to add another guys to my list of mafia related friends or I guess boyfriends when I comes to my daddies.

She hands me the red cup filled with some blue horrible smelling liquid and I already want to throw up after one sip. Again, she grabs my hand and leads me away towards the dance floor. Thankfully we stopped at her house to change into something less formal, I found myself in a familiar leather skirt and crop top. My eyes scan the mansion for any sign of my daddies, figuring they could send Kai or Sehun to follow me but I would definitely know if they were here. There would be screaming or fainting girls at the sight of them outside of school which is apparently the rarest thing imaginable that this school. But once I think about it, it makes sense since they spend all of their free time at home with their brothers and me.

“Ya!” Jihyo yells bringing me out of my mind. “Dance, stop standing there like a deer in headlights.” She grabs my hips and begins moving them for me, making me realize she has already downed her toxic drink and is most likely feeling it. Great, guess we’re stuck here since I already know I can’t drive. She gives me her puppy dog eyes that give me no choice but to move my hips to the music. Of course she constantly encourages me to drink, not wanting to be alone in her drunkenness, and leave me alone in my sobriety. After about an hour my drink has been emptied and refilled three times, my feet hurt in my heels, Jihyo is a giggling mess, and I think we’re ready to go home.

“Oppa, oppa, oppa,” I sing to myself as I pull out my phone to call someone.

“Joo-ya, where are you?” Yoongi demands right when he picks up.

“Oppa! Why don’t you sound happy to hear from me?” I whine.

There is a brief pause before Jin comes on to the phone, “Joojoo, where are you?” He coos cutely.

“I’m not 100 percent sure, I asked Jihyo and she didn’t know, she just knew where the party was.”

“Okay, give us one second,” Again there is a pause of shushed talking and buttons being pressed. A few minutes pass of Jihyo and I mindlessly swaying to the music, beginning to feel tired. “We found you, now just go to the front door to wait for us.”

“Okay,” I sing before hanging up. “Come on my love,” I begin dragging Jihyo threw the party of already incredibly drunk teens, though I have no room to judge. I’m proud of myself for being able to stand at the point, especially with how sleepy I am.  We sit down in the foyer on the last few steps of the grand stair case since it’s still pretty cold out. Her head is on my shoulder, our hands our locked together as we wait. Even with the booming bass coming from behind us, I feel extremely peaceful right now, happy that Jihyo didn’t abandon me for once at one of these things.

“I’m sorry I dragged you here,” She slurs half asleep.

“I had fun actually, you are a lot more fun at these when you don’t wander away,” I tease.

“Ugh, I’m such a bad friend. I’m sorry I’ve been such a shitty friend.”

“You aren’t a shitty friend.”

She scoffs, “I have a bad habit of picking fuck boys over you, I have abandoned you at so many parties, I’m rude, and mean.”

“And you always come when I need you. You can tell the second I’m upset and try to fix it. You protect me from all the bitches at school who are jealous that Kai and Sehun are always around me. You can be a bitch sometimes, yes, but when it comes down to it, if I need you to drop what you’re doing and come rushing to me, you will. If I need an organ you would give me yours or find someone who matches me and make them do it.”

She busts out laughing at that, “I love you Joo.”

“I love you too Ji.” We sit there for a little longer, just enjoying each other’s presence, something we haven’t been able to do for a long time, when some guy comes over to us, setting my alarms off the moment he gives me a drunken smile.

“Hey there ladies, you look like you need someplace to crash, there are plenty of bedrooms upstairs. I could show you,” His drunken flirtation only annoys my little side.

“No thank you, we’re waiting for our friend,” I do my best to sound polite.

“Come on, I can show you a good time,” He purrs leaning on the stairs railing.

My tone is firmer this time, “We are waiting to go home with our friends, no thank you.”

He huffs, “This bitch is supposed to be easy, if you don’t wanna go, I’m at least taking her.” He reaches for Jihyo but I slap his hand away.

“Ya! You leave her alone!”

“Who the hell do you think you are?” He snaps.

Before I snap back with a bitchy response alarms begin screaming, not the ones in my head but actual police sirens. I don’t have time to fully understand what is going on when people start scrambling to leave or hide. The bastard who was hitting on us scatters as well. Jihyo is too out of it to even sit up fully as police officers begin flooding the mansion in their full gear. I just groan, not even caring enough at this point to get up until two officers stopped to help us up. That wakes Jihyo up, once she realizes we have been detached from each other she gets a little crazy.

“Where are you taking us?” She growls.

“The station until your parents can come get you,” The woman officer responds. We are placed in the back of a police car with some other girl before being driven away from the house.

“Joo,” Jihyo attempts at whispering, “My parents are out of town this week. Can you call yours?”

“Mine are off moving my sister.”

“What about your hot roommates? They can do it right? Call them!”

Fuck.

To Gravity Falls, From Piedmont: Chapter 27

Summary: It’s a long way until next summer. Until then, Dipper and Mabel share their daily antics and life problems with their lifelong friends and attentive great-uncles through an endless string of e-mails. Distance makes the heart grow fonder after all, and there’s no place Dipper and Mabel love more than Gravity Falls. 


                                                      Chapter List


To: Wendy Corduroy (Lumberchick); Grenda Gosling (Hugsx0x0); Candy Chiu (SweetasSugar88); Pacifica Northwest (GravityFallsPrincess)

From: Mabel Pines (ShootingStarRainbowUnicorn)

Subject: School assignment

Hey!

Remember a couple of days ago, when I asked you guys what you thought of me for a school report? Well, I’m asking again, only this time I want to know what your opinion is of Dipper! He’s asked all the guys but refuses to ask you girls, which is totally biased. Since he’s being a dork about it, I decided to ask on his behalf! So fire away!

Much love,

Mabel


Stretching her arms over her head as she watched her e-mail disappear into cyberspace, Mabel stood up from the computer chair. She ventured out of her bedroom and went into the living room, where Dipper had taken over the coffee table. He was currently reading through a notebook, brow furrowed in a mixture of amusement and frustration.

“What’s up, bro?”

“I can’t use these!” Dipper exclaimed, holding out the notebook for his sister to read.

Written in his handwriting was a collection of quotes from their friends. Mabel bit down on her bottom lip to keep her laughter from escaping, as they were mostly various synonyms for the word ‘nerd’. “I guess they weren’t taking it seriously?” she managed to say.

“Robbie and Gideon? Apparently not,” he grumbled, grabbing his phone and typing a text to the aforementioned males. “Soos and McGucket were really nice, but these two are just messing with me. How am I supposed to compile enough material for this assignment if they won’t cooperate?”

“You know they love you.”

“I’m tempted to argue that point,” returned Dipper, though he smiled. “What did they say about you?”

“Robbie said I was a suffocating ray of glittery sunshine and Gideon said I was an angel who did not deserve to walk amongst regular people.”

Dipper stared at her for a moment. “Well, at least Robbie said more than two words to you,” he said at last. “And we obviously know I’m not Gideon’s favourite.”

“Any input from Grunkle Stan and Grunkle Ford?”

Dipper shook his head. “No. Which is kind of surprising. I thought Grunkle Stan would be the first with some sort of smart comeback for this.”

“Darn. I didn’t hear back either.” Mabel lowered onto the end of the couch and rested her chin in her hands. “You think they’ll respond in time? I really wanted to include them in my report.”

“I’m sure they will,” assured Dipper. “They always respond whenever we text, they just might be tied up right now. Fighting some three-eyed monster or whatever. So what did Soos and McGucket say about you?”

“Soos said I was the nicest person he’s ever met,” Mabel smiled happily. “And McGucket said I was so sweet I give him cavities. How about you?”

“Soos said I was the best pterodactyl bro he could ask for and I’m super smart. McGucket said I was clever, kind and should have more confidence in my abilities.”

“We have great friends,” said Mabel contently.

“Well, the jury is still out on Gideon and Robbie,” joked Dipper. As the words left his mouth his phone trilled, indicating a new text in his inbox. He checked the message, lips quirking in amusement. “They decided to make an effort this time. Gideon says I’m annoyingly persistent and determined, but it’s admirable. Robbie’s surprised by how tough I can be, and respects how I’m not afraid to stand up for what I believe in. He still thinks I’m a dork, but a cool dork.”

“What do the girls say about you?” asked Mabel innocently.

Dipper shot her a look. “You know I haven’t asked them, and I’m not going to ask them.”

“Why not? I asked all of our friends! What’s the big deal?”

“I don’t know, I just feel awkward about it! I’ve never asked a girl what they thought of me before, and I’m not sure if I’m ready to hear the answer.”

“You’re taking this too seriously,” said Mabel, unable to keep the amusement out of her voice.

“Story of my life. But I’m still not going to do it.” Dipper reached over to jab at her leg. “Stop pressing.”

Mabel let out a dramatic sigh. “Fine. I’m going to start on my report, then. Good thing it only has to be two pages, or you probably wouldn’t have enough material since you only asked half of your friends.”

“Goodbye, Mabel.”

Smirking, the girl skipped back to her bedroom, jumping into her computer chair and going for a quick spin before checking her e-mail notifications.


Mabel Pines: Remember a couple of days ago, when I asked you guys what you thought of me for a school report? Well, I’m asking again, only this time I want to know what your opinion is of Dipper! He’s asked all the guys but refuses to ask you girls, which is totally biased. Since he’s being a dork about it, I decided to ask on his behalf! So fire away!

Wendy Corduroy: I was wondering why I didn’t get a message from him. I know he can’t be worried about what I’m going to say because he asked Robbie for his opinion.

Grenda Gosling: Yeah, we’ll be nice!

Wendy Corduroy: With a healthy degree of sarcasm.

Candy Chiu: Dipper can be very silly.

Mabel Pines: Tell me about it. He’s never really had any girl friends before, so I guess he’s not really comfortable with hearing what girls might think of him, even if they are his close friends. I thought I’d help him out!

Pacifica Northwest: What exactly is the point of this assignment?

Mabel Pines: Well, first we have to write a page on how we view ourselves and how we think others view us. Then we have to talk to our friends and family and get their opinions to see how they view us. We write up another page and then we have to write a conclusion, comparing the two viewpoints and seeing how similar or different they are.

Wendy Corduroy: Dang. Wish my schoolwork was that easy.

Grenda Gosling: I think Dipper’s a great guy! He’s nice and he doesn’t act like a jerk to be cool and he’s still cool anyway.

Candy Chiu: He isn’t afraid to apologize when he is wrong and he means it. I know if I ever need his help he will give it to me. He’ll hang out with us and do girly things with us, even if he gets embarrassed over it sometimes he does it anyway. He’s not afraid to embrace his feminine side.

Wendy Corduroy: He’s thirteen and yet he’s already way more mature than ninety percent of the guys—and girls, for that matter—at my school. He can hold a meaningful conversation and he can just joke about the most ridiculous things. He’s not afraid to stand up for his friends and family and you can always count on him. He’s also a huge dork, but I love him for it. He’s my bro.

Mabel Pines: Thanks, guys! Dipper will be really happy when I tell him this. Pacifica, I know you have something to add!

Pacifica Northwest: No, not really.

Wendy Corduroy: What’d we say about the Ice Princess routine?

Pacifica Northwest: Ugh. Fine. Dipper’s okay. He helped me out with the whole ghost invasion incident even though he didn’t have to and I probably didn’t deserve it. He’s kinda funny. Doesn’t have much fashion sense, but that can be fixed. He’s got the backbone to tell people off. He’s nice, not fake nice but sincerely nice. But he can be a jerk sometimes which is good because it’s exhausting being around people who don’t know how to be snarky or mean. He can be way too uptight and serious. But all around, yeah, he’s a decent, cute guy.

Wendy Corduroy:

Grenda Gosling:

Candy Chiu:

Mabel Pines: SQUEE

Pacifica Northwest: What?

Pacifica Northwest: NO COOL I MEANT TO SAY COOL

Wendy Corduroy: BUSTED

Candy Chiu: That is what we call a Freudian slip!

Grenda Gosling: I knew it! You like Dipper!

Mabel Pines: I CAN SET YOU UP ON DATE! I’LL BE YOUR MATCHMAKER!

Pacifica Northwest: GO AWAY. It was autocorrected, you dorks! It was supposed to say 'cool’ not 'cute’!“

Wendy Corduroy: I wish I lived closer so I could see how much you’re blushing on a scale of one to ten.

Grenda Gosling: There’s no autocorrect in the e-mail server’s instant messaging!

Pacifica Northwest: Look you got your stupid opinions. Can I go now?

Mabel Pines: Aw, come on, you totally have a crush on Dipper! Admit it!

Dipper Pines: …you think I’m cute?

Wendy Corduroy: Oh snap.

Grenda Gosling: How’d you get in this chat?!

Dipper Pines: Candy tagged me into here a little bit ago. I should have spoken up sooner but…

Pacifica Northwest: I’m leaving.

Pacifica Northwest: And I meant cool, not cute!

Candy Chiu: I think I am going to go find a hiding place. I suspect she is going to come hurt me. I may or may not talk to you later.

Grenda Gosling: Wait until I tell Marius this one!

Wendy Corduroy: This went down a path I was not expecting and I am not displeased by. See you dudes later. Oi, and Dipper, next time you have an assignment like this one you know you can ask me anything, right?

Dipper Pines: I know. I was being, as everyone is correct in saying, a dork. Thank you. You’re my bro, too.

Mabel Pines: …are you mad?

Mabel Pines: Dipper?

When her brother did not reply further, Mabel hesitantly rose from the computer chair and started back for the living room. She peeked around the entryway and found Dipper sitting where she had left him. He was staring blankly into space, a smile on his features and a blush on his cheeks. He seemed to be taking in the fact that Pacifica Northwest thought he was cute, and was currently no longer working.

Mabel ventured further into the room and cautiously poked his shoulder. When she didn’t get a reaction, she grinned and said, "I’ll come check on you in an hour.”

She returned to her bedroom and grabbed her notebook, deciding she better start on her own report. She was just finishing up the intro when her phone trilled in her pocket. “Hello?” she answered.

Hey, pumpkin,” greeted Stan. “Sorry for not getting back to you right away. Hope you still got some space left in your assignment, because Ford and I have quite a bit to say. Is your brother around?”

“Um, yeah, but you might have to talk to him later, or I could relay everything you say.”

Is everything okay?” spoke up Ford.

“Oh yeah, totally. It’s actually amazing. Matchmaker Mabel is back in business!”


To: Pacifica Northwest (GravityFallsPrincess); Wendy Corduroy (Lumberchick); Grenda Gosling (Hugsx0x0); Candy Chiu (SweetasSugar88); Stanford Pines (Highsixer)

From: Stanley Pines (StantheMan)

Subject: Autocorrect my butt

You’re not kidding anyone, Princess. Ask him out already. Just be sure to treat him right or we’ll have to have a talk.


See all messages in this thread (Expand)


Pacifica Northwest: Oh. My. Gosh.

Wendy Corduroy: Ha! You’re never living this one down, Pacifica.

Grenda Gosling: He ships it!

Candy Chiu: I think they would be cute together!

Stanford Pines: Leave her alone, Stanley.

Mabel Pines: Grunkle Stan I told you not to tell her I told you!

Pacifica Northwest: I hate you all. I’m disowning you. I never want to speak to you again.

Grenda Gosling: …are we still on for the sleepover this weekend?

Pacifica Northwest: Yes.

Pacifica Northwest: AND FOR THE LAST TIME, I MEANT TO SAY COOL.

Yurikuma Arashi PSA

To all the people shrugging off or downright despising Yurikuma Arashi as disgusting male gaze fetish porn or something: I think you’re entirely missing the point. I think it’s time for me to explain you a thing, gaugau!

Yurikuma is one of the works of the brilliant but notorious Ikuhara, known for anime like Utena and production work on bigshot yuri-approved Sailor Moon. He’s said time and time again that he will write lesbian characters and yuri relationships into his stories, mostly for the reason that it usually does not detract from the story at hand, allowing him to build a great story without just romance to it to create substance.

You see, Ikuhara uses his stories to make points, and it’s up to us to try and figure them out. Sure, they’re cryptic, but it’s a fun and a wild ride for us as viewers, and that’s something I refuse to take for granted. With Utena there was a lot about adolescence and some important points about various other things that I’m too tired to think about right now, and with Sailor Moon it was a little more of proof that lesbians could be incorporated into a show for a relatively younger audience in a healthy relationship that didn’t define them wholly as people, amongst other things.

And in Yurikuma, Ikuhara makes perhaps his most poingant point yet. It’s all about you guys. Yep, all of you. Why? Because it’s a cleverly made criticism of both the anime industry, and society as a whole, and their treatment of lesbianism.

Society tries to stay inconspicuous, or invisible. Society follows trends. Those who break the trends pay the price.

From the beginning, the girls who are excluded are those who choose to love as they wish. Metaphors aside, it’s pretty clear that they exclude girls for loving other girls, causing girls like those that Life Sexy spies on to keep their love under lock and key. Many even confuse friendship for love, or at least mask love under the guise of ‘friendship‘, like Yuriika does.

Not only is exclusion a key factor, but the fact that the Yuri Court is under the supreme control of Life Sexy certainly is no coincidence. Yuri as a genre, and lesbianism as a theme or trend in the media, is governed by the laws of eroticism and sex, much more than is the case for gay males or those of another sexuality or gender. From the beginning, we have been both loved and hated by you.

We are loved in the sense that we are seen as objects of lust in the eyes of men, but hated in the fact that we exist and yet are not willing to become objects of their affection and so break the rules of society.

You see it all the time. When a new yuri anime comes along, the first general reaction is either ‘is it some male gaze bullshit‘ or ‘regardless of the content, it’s gotta be male gaze bullshit. ew.‘ Both attitudes factor into this, as yuri is so often portrayed for the eyes of those that cannot have us and refuse to acknowledge our sexuality that we automatically believe that everything yuri is male gaze and nothing is ‘real‘. That’s how far it’s gone. Don’t believe me?

I was sat in front of the TV with my mum once, flicking mindlessly between two music channels out of boredom. One was your standard near-naked twerking sorta deal, the other was a storytelling sort of music video with two girls falling in love. When the two girls kissed, fully clothed and innocently in love, my mum said that the other video, where girls were writhing nearly-naked around a single guy, was more ‘decent’ and less ‘male-gaze-y’. Now doesn’t that tell you something. Not to say that wearing little clothing and twerking isn’t ok, but to say that one video was clearly meant to be sexual whilst the other was clearly not.

The problem that society has with lesbians but not with gay men so much is one that has arisen out of misogyny. Somewhere along the line somebody thought that lesbians were clearly not lesbians, and in fact were ready to pounce onto the ‘right guy’ when the time came, and unsurprisingly it caught on. I went on omegle once (for shits and giggles) and the first thing the guy said to me was ‘so lesbian means you’re just hard to get, right?‘

A guy liked me once. He was pretty sweet and I didn’t know him well so I tried to turn him down as kindly as possible, explaining that I liked another girl and was 100% gay. He must have misheard ‘gay‘ as ‘i wanna take it slow‘, clearly, and decided to spam me with promises that ‘we can be friends first‘ and ‘it’s ok to start off slow‘. I deleted his number when it became too much. I’m far from alone, and many other people have had it worse.

My own family and people I thought I knew have fallen prey to this ‘invisible storm‘ in real life, and the ‘wall of severance‘ that separates us from the rest of society is built around false eroticism and misogynistic sexual colonialism.

It may sound like I’ve gone off on a tangent here, but everything that I have said and experienced is ultimately relevant. Why? Because Ikuhara is criticising the society that we live in in Yurikuma Arashi, and the extents that the invisible storm of society will go to in order to exclude and harm those who do not ‘follow social cues‘. When we get to a point where even lesbian love in its purest form is considered enough to make us all criminal-bears, then where the hell did we go wrong? If we can’t break down the wall, we are forever fated to destroy ourselves from the inside. 

2

Before you say, Write your own! – let me tell you that we do. But this page is a resource for writers, so we thought writers might want to know what kinds of representation would make us more likely to get excited about your book. We don’t speak for everyone in our demographic, just ourselves, but we hope this post gives you some cool writing ideas.

Note: This is additional info writers can keep in mind when writing characters of those backgrounds. We believe it’s a good thing to ask the people you’re including what they’d like to see.

Actually hearing from misrepresented and underrepresented people and asking us what we’d like to see of ourselves is much better than unthinkingly tossing characters into tired tropes or reinforcing stereotypes that do us harm.

Colette (Black): More Black people doing shit! Going on adventures, riding dragons, being magical! More Black characters in prominent roles in fantasy + sci-fi and historical settings and not always and only as slavess. These stories are important, but they’re NOT our only stories. We were kings and queens too. Let us wear the fancy dresses for a change instead of the chains, damn it!

More Black girls being portrayed as lovely and treasured and worth protecting. More Black girls finding love. More Black girls in general who aren’t relegated to arc-less, cliche “Sassy best friends” and “strong black women.”

More positive, dynamic roles of Black men (fathers, brothers, boys…) More positive, dynamic family roles of Black families as a whole, families that are loving and supportive and there. More Black people from all socioeconomic classes. More Black characters that don’t rely on the stereotypes that the media is currently going full force to reinforce.

Yasmin (Arab, Turkish): More Arabs who aren’t token characters. I want to see Arabs normalised in literature. Arab teenagers in high school, Arab young adults behind on their taxes, Arab dads who cook amazing food, Arab moms who refuse to soften their tongue for others. Arabs who aren’t mystical fantasy creatures from another planet. Arabs in YAs and in dramas and nonfiction and comedies and children’s books. We are human just like everyone else, and I’d like to see that reflected in literature. Often we are boxed into very specific genres of literature and made to feel ostracised from the rest. Let’s see some change!

Alice (Black, biracial): I’m hoping for more Black and biracial (mixed with Black) leading characters in all genres, but mainly in SF/F who fall outside of the stereotypes. Characters I can relate to who love, cry and fight for their ideals and dreams. It would be great if their race would play an active role in their identities (I don’t mean plot-related). Some intersectionality with sexuality and disability is also sorely missed, without it becoming a tragedy or it being seen as a character flaw. More mixed race characters who aren’t mixed with some kind of monster, fictional race or different species. Dystopias about problems usually faced by poc having actual poc protags, without all the racial ambiguity which always gets whitewashed. 

Shira (Jewish): More Jewish characters who feel positively about their Judaism and don’t carry it around as a burden or embarrassment. While the latter is definitely a real part of our experience due to anti-Semitism and all we’ve been through as a people, the fact that it overrepresents us in fiction is also due to anti-Semitism, even internalized. (Basically, Jews who don’t hate Judaism!)

More brave, heroic characters who are openly Jewish instead of being inspired by the Jewish experience and created by Jews (like Superman) or played by Jews (Captain Kirk) but still not actually Jewish. I’m tired of always being Tolkien’s Dwarves; I’d like a chance to play Bard, Bilbo, or even Gandalf’s role in that kind of story.

Elaney (Mexican): While we’re discussing what sort of representation we’d like to see, I am using the word “latinista” and I want to quickly address that since you may have not seen it before: “-ista” is a genderless suffix denoting someone is from an area (“Nortista”, a northerner), or who practices a belief (“Calvinista”, a calvinist), or a professsion (you’ve heard ‘barista’).  I find it more intuitively pronounceable than “latinx” and also more friendly to Spanish, French, and Portugueze pronunciation (and thus more appropriate), personally, so I invite you to consider it as an alternative.  If you don’t like it, well, at least I showed you.

1. I want legal Latinista immigrants. The darker your skin is down here, the more likely you are to be assumed to be illegal by your peers, and I want media to dilute this assumption so many have of us.

2. I want Latinistas who are well educated, not just smart, and I mean formally educated, with college degrees, professional skillsets, and trained expertise.  Being in fields which do not require a formal degree is no less legitimate of a lifestyle than being in a field which requires a PhD, but I want you to consider when casting your Latinista character that We, as a people, are assumed to be little more than the drop-out and the janitor by our peers, and People Of Color in scientific fields are mistaken as assistant staff rather than the scientists that they are.  I want media to dilute this assumption.  

3. I want Latnistas who are not marketed as “Latin American” but as their actual country of origin, because “Latin America” is a conglomerate of individual entities with their own, distinct cultures and if you are, for example, Cuban, then Mexican characters may appeal to you but they don’t have the same relatability as fellow Cuban characters. Wouldn’t you be a little more interested, too, to pick up a book that’s about a character who lives where you do rather than about a character who lives somewhere in general?

4. I want rich or well-to-do Latinistas.  Looking back, I notice that several of the character concepts that have been bounced off of us with regards to Latinista characters incorporate poverty despite an astronomical and diligent work ethic. I don’t think this is on purpose but I do think that it is internalized because so often the stereotype of us is poor and uneducated in a vicious cycle (uneducated because we’re poor, poor because we’re uneducated) and I think that there should be more media to dilute this.  

Lastly, I personally do not want these tropes to be explored and subverted by people, I want them to be avoided entirely because I feel that normalizing positive representation rather than commenting on negative representation is far more beneficial and validating to the people these works are supposed to help and represent. We don’t need sympathy, we need empathy! 

Jess (Chinese, Taiwanese): Stories that don’t center around the identity of being Chinese-American. That doesn’t mean “erase any references to protag’s Chinese identity” but I’d definitely like stories that have us go on awesome adventures every now and then and don’t have the Chinese character being all “I AM CHINESE” from beginning to end.

Please round out the Chinese migrant parents instead of keeping them as strict and/or traditional. PLEASE. I could go into how my parents and the Chinese aunties and uncles here are so awesome, seriously, and we need more older Chinese migrant characters who are awesome and supportive and just people. Also! EAST ASIAN GIRLS WHO AREN’T SKINNY AND/OR PETITE. Please. PLEEEEEASE. And more stories about Taiwanese and Chinese folks who aren’t in bicoastal regions (the Midwest, the Plains, etc.) WE EXIST.

More Chinese-Americans who aren’t necessarily Christian. Maybe it’s because of the books I’ve wound up reading, but there seems to be this narrative of Chinese migrants joining churches and converting when they’re in the US. This doesn’t mean I want less Chinese-American Christians in fiction, mind: I’d also just like to see more Chinese families in the US who are Buddhist or who still keep up with the traditions they learned from their homelands, like me, without having it considered in the narrative as ~old fashioned~ or ~ancient~ or ~mystical~. Tangentially, when writing non-Christian Chinese families, I’d rather people keep the assumption of Communism being the underlying reason why far, far away. I have been asked in the past if Communism was why my family didn’t go to church, and needless to say, it’s really, really offensive. 

Stella (Korean): I’d love to see more Korean (and Asian-American) characters that don’t perpetuate the super-overachieving, stressed-out, only-cares-about-succeeding Asian stereotype. These Koreans exist (I would know; I went to school with quite a few of them) but they don’t represent all of us. I want to see more Korean characters solving mysteries, saving the world and having fun. More Koreans that aren’t pale, petite, and a size 2. Not all of us have perfect skin or straight black hair or monolids. And some of us love our short legs, round faces and small eyes!

And fewer stoic&strict Korean parents, please. So many of us grew up with loud, wacky, so-embarrassing-but-endearing parents!  

Recently, there’s been quite a few novels with Korean American female protags (particularly in the YA section) that deal with being in high school, dealing with strict parents, getting into college, and boys. Lots of boys! I think it’s awesome that there are more books with KA protags, and I’m so so so glad they’re out there. But I also recognize that those are definitely not the kind of books I would have read as a teenager, and it’s not the kind of book I want to read now. I want to see more Korean characters that are queer, trans, ace, bisexual. More Korean characters that are disabled or autistic or have mental illnesses. More Korean characters in fantasy, SFF, mystery! Heck, space operas and steampunk Westerns. I want it all! :DDDD

A lot of Korean-Americans struggle with their identity. It’s hard to balance things sometimes! But I’d love to see more stories that *aren’t* overtly about Korean-Americans dealing with their racial identity or sexual orientation, but stories about Koreans saving princesses and slaying trolls and commandeering spaceships. I want a plot that doesn’t center on Korean-American identity, but on a Korean-American character discovering themselves. White characters get to do it all the time; I want Korean characters to have a turn. 

And honestly, I just want to see more Asians in media, period. South Asians, Southeast Asians, Central Asians! Thai, Hmong, Tibetan, Filipino, Vietnamese characters. Indian characters! There’s so much diversity in Asia and among Asian diaspora. I want us to be more than just ~~mystical~~ characters with ancient wisdom and a generic Asian accent. We’ve got boundless oceans of stories within ourselves and our communities, and I can’t wait for them to be told.

I would also love to see more multiethnic Asian characters that are *not* half white. It seems to be the default mixed-race Asian character: East Asian and white. But so many of my friends have multiethnic backgrounds like Chinese/Persian, Thai/Chinese or Korean/Mexican. I have Korean friends who grew up in places like Brazil, Singapore and Russia. Did you know that the country with the largest population of Koreans (outside of Korea) is actually China? 

And while I’m at it, I’d love to see more well-translated works from Asia in the US. Like, how awesome would it be to have more science fiction, fantasy, and historical novels from Asia that are easily accessible in English? SUPER awesome!!

Kaye (Muslim): I am so hungry for Muslim representation, because there is so little of it. You can see one or two (YA) titles I currently think or have heard are good representation on the shelves - notably, Aisha Saeed’s Written in the Stars - on an AMA I did the other day for /r/YAwriters.

However, I’d just love to see stories where Muslim characters go on adventures like everyone else!

I’ve been saying recently that I’d LOVE to see a cozy mystery. Or a series of Muslim historical romances a la Georgette Heyer (there are a LOT of Muslim girls who love romances, and I’m just starting to get into the genre myself!). I’d love to see Muslim middle grade readers get girls who find secret passages, solve mysteries, tumble through the neighborhood with their dozen or so cousins.

I have a lot of cousins and thus I always have a soft spot for cousins. And siblings.

I’m looking forward to Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham because Jen is writing Scarlett as a detective a la Veronica Mars. And she’s Somali-American. How cool is that?!

Let’s see some classic road trip YA with Muslims. Let’s see comedies with quirky characters - for instance, I know one or two tween Muslim girls who are driving their moms MAD by suddenly turning vegetarian and refusing to touch the celebratory biryani at family Eid parties, who join relevant societies at their schools and start preaching to their extended families about the benefits of going vegetarian and all the funny little interactions that are involved with that. Let’s have a story with some wise-cracking African American Muslim girls.

My cousin is a niqaabi who loves YA and hates that she doesn’t see herself in it. Let’s see some stories with teen niqaabis! Let’s explore the full, joyful spectrum of diversity in Islam. Let’s have stories where we talk about how one word in Bengali is totally different in another language, and one friend is hilariously horrified and the other friend doesn’t know what he/she said.

(True story.)

I want to see joy. I want to see happiness. Being a woman of color and a hijaabi often means facing so many daily, disheartening scenarios and prejudice and hatefulness. So many of the suggested tropes recently in the inbox focus on trying to force Muslim characters into beastly or haraam or just sad and stereotypical scenarios. I know that writers are better and have bigger imaginations than that.

You want angst? Push aside the cold, unkind, abusive Muslim parents trope. Let’s talk about the Muslim girls I know who have struggled with eating disorders. Let’s talk about Islamophobia and how that is a REAL, horrible experience that Muslim kids have to fear and combat every day. Let’s approach contemporary angst without the glasses of the Western gaze and assumptions about people of the Islamic faith on.

We can have Muslim novels that focus on growing pains like Sarah Dessen and Judy Blume (and speaking of that, my “auntie” who used to teach in a madrasah used to press Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret on the Muslim girls she knew because of how Margaret approached growing up and had concerns about her faith and her relationships, etc.)

Having Shia friends, I would like to see more stories that aren’t just assumed to be Sunni. How about stories about Su-Shi kids, too? (Sunni and Shia - the name always surprises me!) Let’s see some Muslim-Jewish friendships. Because they exist.

And of course, I always, always hunger for Muslim voices first. Because it’s so important to have these voices there, from the source, and some of the issues with answering here at WWC is how people seem to be approaching certain tropes that a Muslim writer could explore with the nuance and lived experience of their faith behind it.

Word Count: 1531
Author’s Note: from @malindacathI keep playing in my mind of the reader and Jim getting married. Since they both know what the other is wearing, the reader decides to write Jim letters like her grandmother did the day she married her grandfather. One would be on the pillow when wakes, etc; he would find them in places he was not expecting all the while he had done the same after hearing his grandparents did the same; kind of like vows before the marriage vows??As to my letter writing vows, I think that Spock and Scotty would be hiding hers while Uhura and Bones would hiding his with help from each team. I imagine Bones being the one to give her away. Maybe even Pike marrying them. 
I loved this idea. I don’t normally like the idea of the Enterprise crew being married. I don’t know why. But I loved this idea and really enjoyed dredging through the romantic I keep locked up in the back of my head to make it sweet. I hope it worked. I’m not super romantic :D


You yawned and stretched, the sensation of waking on your own time strange and luxurious. You turned your head to check the time and were mildly amused that it was only ten minutes past when your alarm usually went off. You stretched a second time, and groaned, feeling your shoulders and wrists pop. Your hand dropped onto Jim’s pillow, and met with a paper envelope and you smiled. So old fashioned. You’d never expected it from him when you first met, but Jim was a man who loved the past, even as he boldly pushed forward into the future. When he’d suggested the letters as a way to personalize a wedding day that by Starfleet regulation needed to be very structured, you’d thought it was a sweet way to make the day truly belong to you both. As your hand slid across the crisp envelope, you realized it was utterly and completely romantic.

You sat up, and pushed your hair out of your face. Leaning against the wall, you slipped your finger under the edge of the envelope and broke the seal, pulling out a small notecard.

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“For all the young people in this room and those who are watching, know that this country belongs to you –- to all of you, from every background and walk of life.  If you or your parents are immigrants, know that you are part of a proud American tradition –- the infusion of new cultures, talents and ideas, generation after generation, that has made us the greatest country on earth. 

If your family doesn’t have much money, I want you to remember that in this country, plenty of folks, including me and my husband –- we started out with very little.  But with a lot of hard work and a good education, anything is possible – even becoming President.  That’s what the American Dream is all about.  

If you are a person of faith, know that religious diversity is a great American tradition, too.  In fact, that’s why people first came to this country –- to worship freely.  And whether you are Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh – these religions are teaching our young people about justice, and compassion, and honesty.  So I want our young people to continue to learn and practice those values with pride.  You see, our glorious diversity – our diversities of faiths and colors and creeds – that is not a threat to who we are, it makes us who we are. So the young people here and the young people out there:  Do not ever let anyone make you feel like you don’t matter, or like you don’t have a place in our American story – because you do.  And you have a right to be exactly who you are. 

But I also want to be very clear:  This right isn’t just handed to you.  No, this right has to be earned every single day.  You cannot take your freedoms for granted.  Just like generations who have come before you, you have to do your part to preserve and protect those freedoms.  And that starts right now, when you’re young. 

Right now, you need to be preparing yourself to add your voice to our national conversation.  You need to prepare yourself to be informed and engaged as a citizen, to serve and to lead, to stand up for our proud American values and to honor them in your daily lives.  And that means getting the best education possible so you can think critically, so you can express yourself clearly, so you can get a good job and support yourself and your family, so you can be a positive force in your communities.

And when you encounter obstacles – because I guarantee you, you will, and many of you already have – when you are struggling and you start thinking about giving up, I want you to remember something that my husband and I have talked about since we first started this journey nearly a decade ago, something that has carried us through every moment in this White House and every moment of our lives, and that is the power of hope – the belief that something better is always possible if you’re willing to work for it and fight for it.

It is our fundamental belief in the power of hope that has allowed us to rise above the voices of doubt and division, of anger and fear that we have faced in our own lives and in the life of this country.  Our hope that if we work hard enough and believe in ourselves, then we can be whatever we dream, regardless of the limitations that others may place on us.  The hope that when people see us for who we truly are, maybe, just maybe they, too, will be inspired to rise to their best possible selves.

That is the hope of students like Kyra who fight to discover their gifts and share them with the world.  It’s the hope of school counselors like Terri and all these folks up here who guide those students every step of the way, refusing to give up on even a single young person.  Shoot, it’s the hope of my – folks like my dad who got up every day to do his job at the city water plant; the hope that one day, his kids would go to college and have opportunities he never dreamed of.

That’s the kind of hope that every single one of us -– politicians, parents, preachers –- all of us need to be providing for our young people.  Because that is what moves this country forward every single day -– our hope for the future and the hard work that hope inspires.

So that’s my final message to young people as First Lady.  It is simple.  I want our young people to know that they matter, that they belong.  So don’t be afraid –- you hear me, young people?  Don’t be afraid.  Be focused.  Be determined.  Be hopeful.  Be empowered.  Empower yourselves with a good education, then get out there and use that education to build a country worthy of your boundless promise.  Lead by example with hope, never fear.  And know that I will be with you, rooting for you and working to support you for the rest of my life. 

And that is true I know for every person who are here – is here today, and for educators and advocates all across this nation who get up every day and work their hearts out to lift up our young people.  And I am so grateful to all of you for your passion and your dedication and all the hard work on behalf of our next generation.  And I can think of no better way to end my time as First Lady than celebrating with all of you.

So I want to close today by simply saying thank you.  Thank you for everything you do for our kids and for our country.  Being your First Lady has been the greatest honor of my life, and I hope I’ve made you proud.” —First Lady Michelle Obama giving her final official remarks as our First Lady