writing as a means of survival

And as much as I hate to say it, I just realized that as I grew older, I already accepted that some people will not always be there for me every time I need them. That no matter how wide I opened my door, they would never come in. That no matter how loud I shouted their names, they wouldn’t turn around and face me. I already accepted the fact that they also have their own problems—to solve. That sometimes they need to save themselves first. It wasn’t being a bad friend nor a selfish one. But it was just us human beings wanting and searching for a mean to survive. And yes, I understand, even if it broke my heart not only once but too many times.
—  ma.c.a // Cold feet, warm heart
Sometimes, you go through something and it hurts and you don’t know if things are ever going to be okay again. But then days go by and you don’t feel like crying and you wonder what it means that you’re fine. You think maybe you’re ignoring your emotions and that they’ll come back out of no where. Until you’re driving home from work, singing along to the radio and wondering what you’ll have for dinner, and you realize you’re happy. Maybe that thing didn’t break you because you’re stronger than that. Maybe you can survive anything. Maybe you finally want to.

(This picture was taken right after I shaved my hair since I was losing it from chemo. It’s actually my favorite picture of myself.) On March 9th 2017 (after a long year and a half of extreme pain, being passed from doctor to doctor, and two surgeries) I was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma which had traveled to my bones and lungs. a week after I had a third surgery to place a port in my chest so that I could receive chemo without damaging my veins. Chemo started almost immediately. It was hard for me because my whole life had just changed in an instant. I wasn’t even allowed to work with the kids that I hade been nannying for three years which was heartbreaking. Every other Monday for 5 months (my last treatment was September 5th) I was in a Chemo room at the hospital for 3-5 hours and you best believe that Taylor Swift was the one who kept me entertained! From listening to her music to watching the live tour specials she always kept me strong and happy. I was at my treatment when she posted the first video hint about reputation! All of my nurses were laughing because I was freaking out about new music the whole time. Taylor and her music have gotten me through so much and this is just another thing I can add to that list. She means the absolute world to me. Taylor taught me to be fearless and that is how I survived this. In about a year I can have my port taken out and from the moment I had the surgery I knew I wanted to get ‘Fearless’ tattooed above my scar. I don’t just want a normal tattoo though… I want it to be in Taylor’s writing. I know that it is a long shot but maybe this will reach Taylor and she will see how much she means to me. Thank you so much for reading -Jess @taylorswift @taylornation

There’s no such thing as the Dark Ages, but OK

As a very serious adult, with a respectable career and life, and a healthy ability to let petty shit slide, I spent much too much time last week arguing with strangers on the internet who believe in the myth of the Dark Ages.

The arguments in question focused on a massively inaccurate meme, which some observers of the group pointed out was originally supposed to be about knowledge loss after the burning of the Library of Alexandria, but which some very cool EDGE LORD had changed to be about ‘The Christian Dark Ages’. Please feast your eyes on it in all it’s massive wrongness:

This is, pretty obviously, a bunch of honkey bullshit and also massively incorrect, as many important scholars have noted. As a result, I spent hours of my life – which I will never get back -  pointing out repeatedly that the ‘graph’ in question has nothing to do with reality, and arguing with non-experts about the medieval period.

For the most part – these people were well-meaning. Many pointed out that this was a very Euro-centric world view, and that Asia, Africa, and the Arab world were all making huge advancements in scientific and medical theory at this time. That is absolutely true. White people have never been the entire world. The Chinese had a massively advanced scientific culture by this time, for example, and had been holding it down with hermetically sealed research laboratories since the third century BCE. The Arab world, meanwhile was compiling treatises on eye surgery. Scientific advancement was something that was happening in this period. Europe is not the centre of the world.

Having said that, while it is important to acknowledge that the-rest-of-the-world was making huge strides in scientific advancement during this time, and that Europe and white people are not the entire world, nor responsible for all of human advancement, there was no such thing as the Dark Ages in Europe either.

While everything about the idea of the Dark Ages is incorrect, lets start off with the way the term was meant to be used. The totally ignorant graph above, unsurprisingly, is completely fucking off. Hilariously, the idea of the ‘Dark Ages’ actually originated in the medieval period itself. Petrarch – the poet laureate of fourteenth-century Rome - was actually the originator of the idea that there was a period of stagnation that Europe was moving out of. Petrarch had a political axe to grind. He considered that any point at which Rome – where he lived and worked and had considerable sway – did not completely dominate the world was a BAD TIME. This is not an unbiased assessment of world history.

The actual phrase ‘Dark Ages’ itself derives from the Latin saeculum obscurum, which Caesar Baronius – a cardinal and Church historian - came up with around 1602. He applied the term exclusively to the tenth and eleventh centuries.  However, and very significantly in his use of the term, Baronius was not decrying a state of scientific malaise, or a particularly turbulent political period – he’s talking about a lack of sources surviving from that time.  Indeed, Baronius sees the cut off point for the dark ages to be the Gregorian reforms of 1046, following which we see a massive increase in surviving documentation. Witness an actual useful chart:

When we move into a period where there are more texts to be considered, Baronius argues, Europe moved out of the period of darkness and into a ‘new age’.*

Now this is some real talk. As you can tell from that graph, during the Carolingian Renaissance of the ninth century, we see a flurry of Latin writers emerge, and a lot of text copying. This drops off again until what we term the Twelfth-Century Renaissance – home to this blog’s favourite philosopher/proto-Kanye –  Abelard. (Shout out to my boy.) However, when people use the term ‘Dark Ages’ now, they usually use it to talk about the entire millennium of the Medieval period, and they aren’t talking about source survival.  They aren’t thinking ‘dark’ as in ‘occluded’, they are thinking ‘dark’ as in pejorative.

We can thank the Enlightenment historiography for the expansion of the idea that the medieval period was a bad dark time. Kant and Voltaire in particular liked to see themselves as a part of an ‘Age of Reason’ as opposed to what they saw as the ‘Age of Faith’ of the medieval period. To their way of thinking, any time that the Church was in power was a time of regressive thinking. The Middle Ages, then, was a dark time because it was so dominated by religion. 

The first push back against the term dark ages began with the Romantics. After the, um, unpleasantness of the Reign of Terror, and the major cultural and environmental upheavals of the Industrial Revolution it became fashionable to look at the medieval period as a time of spiritual focus, and environmental purity. Obviously this is a super-biased way of looking at the period – just like it was biased for Enlightenment thinkers to take one look at the primacy of the Church and declare an entire millennium to be bad. I mean, really what the Romantics were doing was just casting shade on the Enlightenment historiography because they felt like it inevitably led to the guillotine. But what can you do?

By the twentieth century historians had moved on from the idea pretty much completely. If you take the time to actually, you know, study the medieval period, it becomes very apparent very quickly that there was a tremendous amount of intensive thought happening. This is the era of Thomas Aquinas – a bad ass philosopher who will think you under the fucking table. Of Hildegard of Bingen – who basically founded scientific natural history in the German speaking lands. Hell, like we talked about last week Rogerius and Giles of Corbeil were throwing it down for major medical advancement. There was a lot going on. On the real, without the contributions of medieval thinkers you would not get Galileo, Newton, or the Scientific Revolution. The medieval period was not a period of stagnation, it was a time of progress.

But it’s not just that the idea of a ‘Dark Ages’ makes no sense when you look at what incredible advancement was happening at the time, it also makes no sense because it implies that stuff was going really well under the Romans. We estimate that somewhere between thirty to forty percent of the population of Italian Rome were slaves. The Romans had total bans on human dissection, meaning that there was no real way for medicine to progress any further than it had by the time of collapse – a problem that medieval people didn’t have. I mean even if you just want to make it about religion - the Roman Empire was Christian at the time of its collapse and had its heads of state worshipped as LITERAL GODS during the pagan era. Somehow every edgy motherfucker with a fedora is totally cool with this and thinks it is super reasonable though. Because ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. The Romans were not a bunch of really awesome people living a life of idealised rationality any more than medieval people were all ignorant savages living in fear of God.

Is there a time that historians use the term ‘Dark Ages’? Yeah, we do use it to talk about source survival rates. It’s not a term we use as a value judgment, however. We just mean that we don’t have a lot of evidence to go off of. By the same token – if we somehow move on to another electronic format without converting the way things are stored now, we could be moving into a theoretical Digital Dark Age, where historians in the future won’t be able to study what we are writing now. (And that would be a tragedy, because legit, I would kill to be a historian working on Donald Trump’s tweets in the year 2717.)

We’re now moving away from using the term Dark Ages at all, however, because of the frequency with which it is misinterpreted. I mean, if every basic motherfucker out there who never bothered to read God’s Philosophers (hat tip to James Hamman – this book is amazing) will insist on willfully misinterpreting us, we just ain’t gonna give them the ammo.

What it comes down to is that the medieval period was as vibrant as any other period of history. If you’re going to player hate, go ahead, but please don’t act like you know anything about either medieval or ancient history when you do. There is no period of rational supermen followed by ignorant monsters. There are just people doing their best in the circumstances.

* Caesar Baronius, Annales Ecclesiastici Vol. X. (Rome, 1602), p. 647. “Novum incohatur saeculum quod, sua asperitate ac boni sterilitate ferreum, malique exudantis deformitate plumbeum, atque inopia scriptorum, appellari consuevit obscurum.”

Summary of That GOT soulmark au I'll probs never write

In this au everyone in Westeros gets a soulmark at puberty, nobility mostly never tells anyone where the mark is for safety reasons and because 99% of the time highborns get matched to lowborns and that’s just sad or dangerous for all involved, the mark is only visible if the person wants to show it so soulmarks in Westeros are some high kept secret people never share and such.

Some lucky people were like Ned and Caitlin who had the marks of a silver wolf and a blue fish in their arms respectively and yayy for them. Ned was intimately the only one who ever knew his sister Lyanna had a dragon in her chest and that’s why he took in Jon, because hd knew Raegar and not Robert was her true soulmate.

Depending on the place of the mark people can tell what kind of soulmates they’re matched to, arm means strength, legs means endurance, head means intelligence and so on.

Nobody knows what the Starks had as marks because like all houses they never told.

Robb was probably the most sad because he had a thorny rose in the palm of his hand and he knew what he was giving up when he married Talisa. And despite being married to Renly for political reasons when the grey wolf in Margaery’s own hand dissapeared only Loras knew that she mourned Robb in a way only people that never get to meet their soulmates do.

Joffrey never cared to look for the girl who had his mark and Roslin Frey was better off for it when the black lion in between her shoulder blades disappeared the day the ‘king’ was poisoned.

Cersei’s mark was a golden lion in her hip, she was convinced that it meant Jamie was her other half because they were twins, Jamie loved his sister so much he lied and told her that he was, only Tyrion knew that Jamie’s mark was a sword in the underside of his arm. The Lannister cousin that shared Cersei’s mark eventually married someone from Casterly Rock and outlived her by decades, Heynri Lannister didn’t mourn the soulmate he never met, because he never knew who she was.

The sword in Jamie’s arm eventually led him to think that being a knight was his life’s calling, he served under Aerys, then Robert, then Joffrey. He crossed paths with Brienne of Tarth, grew to admire the great amazon woman greatly but it wasn’t until she named his gift 'oathkeeper’ that he knew why there was a sword in his non dominant arm. Arms were supposed to mean strength and Brienne was all that and more.

Brienne suspected the rusty Lannister pretty boy was her soulmate since the bear, knowing he had that weird thing for Cersei, Brienne didn’t bother to ask him, but she knew for sure that the sword in her dominant arm was Jamie’s when he almost died in the battle of dawn. It kept blinking in and out of existence while Jamie was being tended to the maesters of Winterfell…plus Tyrion totally tattled.

When Arya Stark had her first moon blood a black stag appeared in her leg, she didn’t care about soulmate business tough, not when she had already seen so much death and half of her family was already dead, or when the man in the house of black and white told her to cut off the skin where her mark was in her mission to become no one, and didn’t care when she decided to become Arya Stark again.

Gendry tough, he knew that Arya was his soulmate from the moment she told him who’s daughter she was, his leg had the head of a brown direwolf and how much of a coincidence could that be? He only knew her for a short time and she had her list of names but he knew he would love her even if he never saw her again.

He did see her again, in King’s Landing, Arya never knew who found who, but one minute the city was celebrating Cersei’s death and the next thing that happened Arya and Gendry were face to face. From then on its unclear if it was Arya who dragged Gendry to Winterfell or in Gendry followed Arya on his own. Point is that Sansa told everyone that Arya and Gendry were a thing and everybody took her for her word no matter how much Arya and Gendry denied it.

Samwell Tarly almost died ten times before meeting his soulmate, because of that, Gilly was fairly used to watching the owl on her shoulder appear and dissapear since way before anyone told her what soulmarks were, Sam’s was a gillyflower naturally and his father thought that it was such a stupid mark that it only accelerated his wish to send Sam to take the black. These two were such dorks, they were the type of soulmates that thought that love and destiny and survival against while walkers meant that they were always supposed to be together because 'soulmarks’. Gilly still looks down on people who give up on their soulmates and Sam eventually writes his own book studying the subject after Gilly’s boy grows up.

Sansa and Tyrion were the rare type of people who had a mark in their neck, which means that quite literally their other half will be… not good for said neck.

Sansa used to dream that her soulmate was someone like Jory, but on getting her soulmark in King’s Landing, horror of horrors Sansa thought that her mark was Joffrey’s, because she had on her neck an exact replica of the Lannister sigil in black, exept for one detail…her lion had gold dragon wings. So she consoled herself that it couldn’t be Joffrey and since she didn’t know any man who fit the description of a BLACK lion with wings, she told herself and anybody that asked that she’d never met him or her. Tyrion was the only Lannister who she thought she trusted enough to ask about the sigil but the day she finally plucked the courage was the day he was forced to tell her lady mother and Robb.

While he didn’t believe in soulmark hogwash even before Tysha, Tyrion thought that his soulmark was the most handsome thing ever, his neck had a red direwolf howling to the moon, it was a piece of artwork straight out of a artisan pen. He thought being a dwarf and a Lannister he wouldn’t ever meet his soulmate let alone be allowed to marry her so he was reckless with his dick and never paid it much attention. Even tough he fancied that he knew her when he was drunk, his neck wolf. The soulmate who could cost him his neck. He went in a very deep denial when he met the stark children, because he suspected that Sansa was his mark, even deeper during the battle of blackwater and it wasn’t until Tywin forced Tyrion to marry her that he realised that it was far more likely that HE would cost Sansa her life. So he tried to protect her and didn’t tell her.

Then Joffrey died and Sansa left and Tyrion was accused of murder. So it always came back to the neck metaphor. Tyrion and his survival and Sansa and hers.

Then of course Ramsey happened and Mereen happened and the battle of the bastards happened and Danny happened. So Tyrion and Sansa were a bit busy playing the game. It wasn’t until they saw eachother again while brokering a treaty between the south and the north with Danny and Jon that literally everyone noticed how Sansa and Tyrion simultaneously touched the same spot in their necks on sight.

Sansa never knew if it was parentage, being considered worthy to ride Viserion on becoming the hand of the 'dragon’ queen that gave the golden wings to her soulmark’s black lion, neither did Tyrion( tough Varys probably did). But for them the soulmark thing was more of a full circle kind of omen. When Danny used Sansa as an excuse to leave Tyrion in Winterfell while she mobilized supplies and troops to battle the white walkers Tyrion in Sansa’s turf was almost a thing of déjà vu when Sansa had to use HER influence as sister of the king to avoid getting Tyrion by Lannister haters.

Eventually they settled into a routine of Tyrion protecting Sansa’s neck, Sansa protecting Tyrion’s and when the war of dawn was over Tyrion took Sansa to the ruins of Casterly Rock and asked her to marry him again. They became the kind of soulmates everyone looked up to, powerful, smart and very much in love, the couple everyone else went for advice on THEIR soulmate troubles because Sansa and Tyrion went trough all these stages of loss and separation in between meeting, falling gradually inlove and getting (voluntarily) married that they usually did have an answer for everything.

Daenerys and Jon both thought that they were born witout soulmates, Viserys liked to taunt Daenerys saying that Targaryens never got things like soulmarks but Jorah was the one who told Danny when she married Khal Drogo that people with the blood of old valyria were rumored to get their soulmarks only in unusual circumstances, since the gods had a tendency to match power with more power, endurance with endurance and strenght with strength, marked Targaryens were by far the most dangerous.

When a wolf shaped icicle surounded by fire appeared in Danny’s breast the day she emerged from Drogo’s funeral pyre with her hatchlings. She knew she was destined to take back Westeros, because she was the first marked Targaryen in centuries.

Jon always thought that not having a mark meant that he was defective and that’s why he was okay with taking the black and becoming a crow, but the night Igritte died he woke up to a burning in his chest only to find the mark of an impressive white dragon just above his heart and it almost broke him.

Blood of old valyria soulmates were so unheard of that nobody could tell Danny why she kept dreaming of snow and cold, or why Jon kept seeing the sunny buildings of Essos and Mereen when he warged into ghost. Eventually they got used to it and even found it nice to have a mystical 'companion’ share their soulmark, why not let it be?, it wasn’t like it was harming anybody.

Then Jon died and Drogon had to almost burn Daenerys back to life again because she felt it all, Tyrion and Varys were worried as hell when Danny collapsed one moment and then spent a week with her children recovering from how frightening the ordeal was.

Mellisandre saw Jon’s mark when she revived him, she warned him that there was only only one person that dragon could belong to but Jon didn’t listen. Not to her or the fire God. He knew the heart of the person his mark matched and it wasn’t some egomaniacal people burning dragon queen.

To be fair when Danny told Tyrion what her mark looked like the imp knew her soulmate was someone she might want dead, but he did tell her who he suspected. And likewise Danny didn’t listen, because the very idea was ridiculous.

Ironically when Jon and Danny met for the first time in the battlefield after Danny took the throne from Cersei, it was Raegal and Ghost who recognized eachother like some sort of long lost animal brothers. Forcing Danny and Jon to admit that they had a problem, Danny didn’t want to kill her soulmate anymore than Jon wanted to kill his and they were in the middle of a battle.

So Sansa and Tyrion were called in to broker a ceasefire and in the process Jon and Danny joined forces to fight the real threat to Westeros: the night’s king, Daenerys almost died, Jon almost died, even when they held lightbringer together and pushed it in the monster’s stomach there was a moment both thought that they wouldn’t make it, but they did and when Westeros united itself once again to celebrate the end of winter nobody was surprised to hear that the people wanted them BOTH in the iron throne. And since Jon refused to live without Daenerys anymore and Daenerys was willing to execute anybody who told her she couldn’t keep Jon, it was decided that on marrying Danny Jon would in good faith take the Targaryen name for the sake of any offspring they might have.

An: so yeah I wish I could write this, but I have to many projects and cant, still at least now you know the condensed version.

List of Themes

Themes are interesting to discuss in books and artistic works alike, but can be difficult incorporate- especially if you haven’t yet settled on one (like I rarely do!). To help kickstart things, here’s a list of some potential themes.

All of these can be good/bad or bad/good or a grey area, a concept your characters/society has or lacks, or gains or loses along the way. A lot of these may seem ‘cliche’- because hey, they work!

These all have endless variations as well. Family can be blood family or found family. Death can be a thing to accept or a thing to struggle against. Honor can be meaningless or worth fighting for. Betrayal can be of a friend or of a love, or a perceived betrayal versus an actual one. Change can be ‘things always change‘ or ‘things never change‘.

Try putting the theme into a sentence to give you a sense of where to go. “Survival” could be a theme, but “Survival is only possible because of the community we have built” gives you a goal in mind- whatever the context of your story.

This list is not exhaustible or complete. Share some themes you’re a big fan of and/or add more to the list! ([x] means fill in the blank!)

  • Betrayal
  • Change vs Tradition
  • Chaos vs Order
  • Circle of Life
  • Coming of Age
  • Convention vs Rebellion
  • Discovery
  • Death
  • Escape from [x]
  • Ethics
  • Evils
  • Faith vs Doubt
  • Family
  • Fate vs Free Will
  • Fear of [x]
  • Good vs Evil (vs Grey Areas)
  • Individual vs Society
  • Isolation
  • Innocence
  • Judgement
  • Justice vs Injustice
  • Home
  • Honor
  • [X]hood [Mother/Father/Parenthood, Brother/Sister/Siblinghood etc.]
  • Knowledge vs Ignorance
  • Loneliness
  • Love
  • Man vs Nature
  • Names
  • New vs Old
  • Oppression of [x]
  • Power and Corruption
  • Quest
  • Sacrifice
  • Self [Inner vs outer, awareness, preservation, reliance]
  • Spirituality
  • Suffering
  • Survival
  • Technology
  • Temptation
  • War
  • Will [power, to survive]
Is Will Byers Gay?

@byelertrash wrote a great analysis of Will Byers’ sexuality. I wanted to add to it – this is a sort of long post, so bear with me. 

I was looking for a script of the pilot online, and while I couldn’t find the shooting version, I did find a version of the pilot when the show was still called Montauk. It’s really interesting to look at all the differences: for one thing, Steve’s character is still what the Duffers intended him to be in the first place — a shallow asshole, he and Nancy have sex basically right away, and from what I remember, Barb dies.

There are lot of minor dialogue changes, but there was one discrepancy that caught my eye, from the scene between Joyce and Hopper when Joyce first reports Will’s disappearance. 

In the actual scene (i.e.: the one that aired), Joyce says “[Will’s] got a couple of friends, but you know, kids, they’re mean. They make fun of him, call him names, they laugh at him, his clothes…” Hopper then says, “His clothes? What’s wrong with his clothes?”, to which Joyce responds, “I don’t know, does it matter?”

The Montauk pilot makes a critical change. When Hopper asks what’s wrong with Will’s clothes, Joyce responds saying it’s because they’re too colorful. Here’s a screenshot:

I initially thought this part of the scene was an allusion to the Byers’ poverty; that maybe kids laughed at Will’s clothes because they were hand-me-downs or unfashionable or worn out. But I really don’t know what else about colorful clothing kids could take issue with, apart from the fact that it could theoretically imply homosexuality. I’m not sure why the Duffers removed the line (though I imagine it’s probably a matter of subtlety) and I’m not sure what it means as far as the canon is concerned. But I thought it was interesting.

Moreover, the entire scene itself is EXTREMELY loaded with meaning. It initially confused me, because I wasn’t sure why Joyce would bring up her son’s perceived homosexuality at that particular time. It didn’t seem immediately relevant to his disappearance. But, I think the Duffers wanted to hint that Joyce was worried about her son because he’s already a target. It’s important to note that Hopper asks about Will’s sexuality — when Joyce says that Lonnie used to call Will a fag, Hopper asks, “Is he?”. Later in the show, Troy says that his dad speculates that Will is dead; probably killed by “some other queer”. So, it would appear that even other adults are aware of Will’s perceived homosexuality, and that to some extent, it’s a topic of speculation and gossip in the town itself, and not just at Will’s school. So, I think Joyce, in this scene, is trying to explain to Hopper that Will’s disappearance isn’t just symptomatic of his age — she’s trying to explain that he’s queer, other people know it, and that makes him vulnerable. 

It’s ESPECIALLY worth noting that Joyce says “he isn’t like you” to Hopper right after he mentions “screwing Chrissy Carpenter”. This probably means that Will isn’t the type of person to skip class at all, but it could also mean that Will isn’t the type of person who would skip class to do something like screw somebody. Perhaps it’s because Joyce, who we know is very close with Will, has never observed him express romantic or sexual interest in anyone. One possible interpretation is that he hasn’t had those feelings yet, but another, more probable one, is that he has, but a) is confused and scared by them, b) knows that it’s unacceptable to have same-sex leanings let alone articulate them, and c) is already worried about being a ‘freak’ and an outcast, and therefore chooses silence. (But I bet you Joyce already knows this about Will, that’s kind of what I think the subtext of the “I was so proud of your rainbow ship” scene was…)

If you need anymore evidence of this, throughout the show, Lucas, Mike, and Dustin all express romantic interest in someone. Will, however, never does. There is only one instance where Will is paired with someone at all, and he neither initiates it nor seems too enthusiastic that it’s happening. Will’s own romantic inclinations have been unaddressed thus far, and I think that’s intentional. If the Duffers were really concerned with portraying Will as straight, the girl he danced with at the Snowball would have been introduced earlier in the show, if briefly. They would have included some shot of him looking at her longingly, or added a small subplot where he laments how being “zombie boy” has affected his romantic opportunities. And I’m almost certain they would have had him ask her. Instead, the girl is a rando; we don’t even know her name. We’re meant to be uninterested in her. The fact that she asks Will to dance is absolutely critical, because it means we have yet to see Will’s own romantic impulses – we only see someone projecting theirs onto him.  also Will doesn’t lament his romantic choices because he already has a crush on Mike.

Now, of course you could make the argument that assumptions about Will’s sexual identity don’t necessarily have any bearing on his actual identity. I would agree. But I don’t know why a) Will has repeatedly been targeted for being queer when Lucas, Mike and Dustin, all outcasts, have not, b) why even adults seem to be aware of this rumor, and c) why Joyce feels it’s necessary to bring up in a meeting with Hopper about his disappearance. And of course, there’s this clue from the pilot script, which is, IMO, unquestionably about him being gay.

Again - I’m not arguing that the speculation itself proves that Will is gay, I’m arguing that it seems like too much of a conscious effort on the Duffers’ behalf to amount to nothing. It seems that the Duffers are developing Will’s storyline, by planting subtle hints at his sexuality. They did it in the first season by belaboring everyone’s speculation about his orientation, and in the second season by emphasizing his close relationship with Mike. (I could write an entire tumblr post about the way their relationship in the 2nd season was shot alone). 

I think it’s especially possible given the fact that we have yet to really get to know Will as a character independent from the supernatural trauma he’s had to survive the past two seasons. If the Duffers are going to keep the show fresh, and I imagine they will, they’re going to change things up, which means we’re going to get to know Will in a different way. Dustin, Lucas, and Mike all have had romantic storylines, and each of these have deepened our understanding of and love for them. It would be repetitive and boring to yet again introduce a new character to be a love interest for Will, so in lieu of that, we may get more evidence to Will’s sexual identity. I am NOT suggesting that we will get Byeler, and I doubt we will see Will “come out” (because he’s 13 and this is 80s Indiana), but I don’t think that doesn’t mean he’s not canonically gay. It just means that we have to wait and see. 

i know marvel didn’t intentionally write matt murdock as a bitter crip hero but guess what they fucking did and they can just try to pry him from my cold dead hands 

did they mean to write a character who is unapologetically disabled, who is so far from innocent and vulnerable and is in fact fucking furious, whose literal weapon is intrinsically tied to his disability? no but here he is, scarred and bloody and grinning 

they definitely didn’t mean to write a character who became a superhero because systemic and interpersonal ableism meant he had fewer avenues for helping people in his day-to-day life, who is so fed up with being forced into this mild-mannered persona for survival that he fights dirty in secret, but GUESS WHAT 

he isn’t an “overcoming disability” character. he’s living within, fighting within, being a hero from within disability, fighting specifically from a position of disability. they tried to write a supercrip, whose disability is not really a disability at all and is in fact his superpowers, but they fucked it up!! and instead, they wrote a character whose power lies in his application of his skills and knowledge and experience living in his own disabled body!! you did that marvel!! no take backs! fuck you!

I wrote things about you because you gave me the slightest bit of hope in this world, that despite the hurricane, there’s some good in this life. I wrote things about you because you gave me a little bit of love, or at least what I thought was love, and I wanted so much more. I wrote things about you because I wanted you to be different, I wanted you to give me the love that I gave you, I wanted you to stay…

But like all things in this life, the truth starts unraveling and all of sudden it hits you like a freight train - what was once there might’ve been just your imagination this whole entire time. And you feel foolish, because you gave your all and he gave you nothing.

And so I still write things about you, not because I still love you, but because I remember what it felt like to have someone drown you, scratching at the air just to catch a breath without even laying a finger on you. I remember what it felt like having all this faith in the world, but slowly one by one, physically seeing it start to get smaller and smaller until it’s just a piece of dust sitting in the middle of your palm. I remember what it felt like to see the light in your eyes, what it felt like to hear all those never ending promises, what it felt like to be loved.

And I remember how you left; not a word, not a sound, just footsteps out the door leaving me with a burning throat and cracks in my heart to carry on with.

Yeah I remember all of that. Doesn’t mean I love you, doesn’t mean I still want you. It just means you let me live, and it just means that I know how to survive when people like you come around next time.

—  c.f. // “i don’t love you anymore, but you’ll always carry a piece of me with you”

THIS IS THE STORY OF HOW YOU LEFT

When I said I wanted closure I meant more of an apology, not for you to elaborate to me how I was only good for sex, unlike the new girl you’ve got under your wing; the one you spent 3 months convincing me you weren’t in love with anymore. At least I knew that it was all fake, it was all just to get her back. At least I know now where I stood.

THIS IS THE STORY OF HOW YOU ALMOSY KILLED ME

A little too caught up in the moment, I cut a little too deep; a little too much blood. I remember thinking I was going to die. I remember thinking how much I didn’t want to die.

THIS IS THE STORY OF HOW I STARTED TO HEAL

I had never liked hospitals or doctors; there was always an overwhelming sense of death, but not this time. This time it felt like healing. One of the doctors told me that “the ability to win a war is what makes a person” and I value that over anything you ever said to me. I was going to win I was going to win I AM GOING TO WIN.

THIS IS THE STORY OF HOW I BECAME A NEW PERSON

I wanted to become someone you wouldn’t recognise;Inside and out. On the way to to the hairdressing salon I decide white; white to represent emptiness, the empty void you left in me. However, on the way out of the hairdressing salon I decide white for Pureness; just because you took my virginity doesn’t mean you took my innocence, doesn’t mean you took everything. I am not empty; I am pure. I don’t think you’d like my white hair, I don’t think I care.

THIS IS THE STORY OF HOW I GOT RID OF YOU. THIS IS A STORY OF HEARTBREAK AND A STORY OF HEALING. THIS IS THE STORY IN WHICH I TAKE BACK MY LIFE. THIS IS THE STORY IN WHICH I SURVIVE.

—  This feels like healing

The first guy that ever broke my heart is my Father. I love him very much but his selfishness has shattered me, killed my mom’s heart and cause my brother to feel insecure.

So tell me, do you really think I can’t survive a heartbreak caused by a mere guy when my heart was never whole ever since my Father broke it?

But surviving means you still have to go through the pain.

—  kissmylime 

“You say that like I’m going to survive this.”

Their stomach dropped. “What?”

“I mean, it would be nice. But I’m not banking on it. This - thing - is going to swallow me up. It’s going to swallow you up…The best thing we can do is make sure it doesn’t swallow the world up with us, yeah?”

“Yeah…it’s a good thing you have me. You focus on saving the world, and I’ll make sure we don’t die trying. Deal?”

Can you imagine if an internet connection was established between different worlds and suddenly people from different universes could communicate with each other

Someone makes a post complaining about how “an asshole at work today didn’t trim his dragon’s claws and now the floor is scratched” and someone else is like WAIT YOUR WORLD HAS DRAGONS EXPLAIN and OP ends up explaining what he sees as his boring everyday dragon job to all these strangers who think it’s the coolest thing ever

An elf from your average high fantasy world chats with a robot from a sci-fi universe and discovers that it doesn’t matter that he’s horrible with a bow and arrow because it turns out he’s really good at this thing called astrophysics

“What do you mean your people are suffering because the king got killed and everything’s falling apart? Here, I’ll send you info about the basics of our different governments. Go restructure your economy.”

The blending of different cultures. The discussion of different types of magic. Ideas about fusing science and magic. The sharing of technologies. Lives being saved because zombie-apocalypse-world is giving nuclear-apocalypse world survival tips or that one centaur told an alien about a new medical treatment.

inter-dimensional social media

Ch 93: Not the end for Ymir?

Chapter 93 gave us the confirmation that Ymir has in fact been eaten by Galliard, Marcel’s brother, seemingly marking the ending point of her character once and for all. Given the context of the new episode, as well as the little focus or pages dedicated to her apparent last moments, many of us are very upset with the seemingly lackluster climax of her character arc; and her decision to abandon Historia to save RB and let herself be killed seems to go very much against everything her characterization according to many fans. 

The point of this post isn’t to argue about any of that, but instead, to illuminate a possible indicator that we may have not seen the last of everyone’s favorite goddess.

Please let us think back to chapter 50; one of the most impactfull and monumental chapters in the entire series, for many reasons. It marks the only time so far in the story that Eren has successfully manipulated the founding titan within him, the godlike power at the center of the current (and probably final) plot, aimed at his very first enemy; that alone marks a milestone in the series, not to speak of the various character interactions happening along the way. Among others, this chapter also marks the moment Ymir chooses to abandon Historia, the person she seems to care for more than anyone else, despite the fact that the coordinate marks a real hope for the walled world to survive the dangers Ymir is aware of. 

Now, despite the fact that this game changing power debuts in this chapter, the narrator this time around focuses on one arguably lesser important event: the aforementioned separation. Let’s look at it.

“At the time, we didn’t know what Ymir’s actions meant. But after that, the armored titan stopped chasing after us”-narrator, chapter 50.

This narration is interesting for various reasons. First of all, it marks one of the rare occasions in which the narrator is not impersonal, but in fact identifies with present characters. Other notable occasions of this include Kenny’s flashback in 69, and Eren’s description of the photograph in chapter 85 (both chapters with heavy plot and thematic value for the story, just like ch 50, if I may add). Here, the narrator refers to himself as part of a group, but opposes themselves against the armored titan, implying narrator is not part of RB’s team, but in fact of the Survey Corps escaping back to the walls (most likely part of the EMA, maybe even Armin himself considering Marina Inoue typically voices the narrator. We should hear that animated soon enough). 

That’s not the only thing the narrator is implying though. The use of the past tense as well as “at the time” is crucial. It literally means that, although they did not understand Ymir during chapter 50; at the time of narration, some form of understanding is clearly present. If, at the time of narration, the narrator was still as clueless as back then, there would be no need for “at the time” of past tense, but this particular formulation very much implies that an understanding of Ymir’s actions is very much there in the present time. And here’s the thing: even though Ymir’s death has been confirmed, our characters among which the narrator finds himself have yet to reach a point of understanding Ymir’s actions.

First of, let’s determine “Ymir’s actions”. Ymir herself is a big mystery to our cast, but according to the narrator, Ymir’s actions are what directly precedes the armored titan not following narrator and co; in which case, “Ymir’s actions” has to refer to her abandonment of Historia and her helping out R and B. In that case, the narration above implies the following: the narrator part of the surviving SC forces will eventually come to understand the meaning behind Ymir’s betrayal. Now, as of chapter 93, let’s ask the question: Does anyone present back then understand Ymir?

yeah……

Ymir herself expresses surprise at her actions, Ymir herself is unsure of her actions when writing the letter, which marks the most recent time anyone inside the walls has received information concerning Ymir. As of chapter 90, the last moment we spent with whomever the ch 50 narrator is, said narrator has yet to reach a point of understanding Ymir. OUR CAST STILL DOES NOT KNOW THE MEANING OF HER ACTIONS, AS FORETOLD BY CHAPTER 50. Isn’t that basically a confirmation that Ymir’s story isn’t done yet?

You may counterargue that its been 4 years and that Isa has changed his mind since, esp since he doesn’t want to drag the story out at anymore. But I find it so hard to believe that, in one of the most important chapters in the series, one that is still relevant to this day, the narrator focuses on this one plot point that simply ends up dropped over the course of the series. Chapter 50 is too important for that kind of redesign, wouldn’t you say? Who knows, maybe it’ll wind up different in the anime and will mark a retrofit by Isayama that fits better in line with 89 being the end of her story, but until we see it animated, I’ll chose to keep doubting that.

As for how Ymir’s story can still be told to our main cast? Here’s one possible option: Galliard

 According to the (admittedly bad) fan translation, Galliard understands Ymir and her wish to bring back her titan-something neither us readers nor the narrator in question do as of right now. Granted, this could just be terrible translation, but Galliard could wind up being the gateway between Ymir and the main cast. Or its something entirely different. In a story about time travelling memories, matter that forms out of thin air, and the literal power of a god capable of reshaping the planet and controlling an entire species, death seems like a far too small barrier to stop someone from being relevant to the story, one way or another.

Since the majority of this argument is based off the lines spoken by the narrator in 50, there is a minor chance this is all ridiculous blunder if the official translation turns out to somehow differ from the Japanese original, and if anyone knows if it does, I would appreciate if you could inform me. But otherwise, I personally will start taking those words from chapter 50 as heavy evidence Ymir’s story hasn’t fully been told yet. I don’t want to create false hopes for anyone, but until proven otherwise, I don’t think it’s too unreasonable to believe in it. 

if you can’t handle uncle petyr at his worst then you clearly need to stick to your fav “cinnamon rolls” or whatever the kidz call them today

Damian Wayne Headcanons: Catwoman S/O

Request:  Oh my goodness, requests are open! Can you please and thank you write some head cannons on seducing older!Damian Wayne? I shall now hide in my shell out of embarrassment- Turtle Anon™

Notes: YOOO! I know you said you wanted just plain seducing, but I always think of flirting/sexy things and end up with Catwoman so… Catwoman ii, I guess? You said older so I guess this means Batman!Damian x Catwoman!Reader, which I am way more than just “fine” with.

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Taglist: @followeroonieclassic @instantangelstudent @puggleprincess @robincoalition


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butteredonions  asked:

So. Ulaz. if he survived. and was on the castle with the paladins for a while. what he might think of 'strange earth customs'. that maybe shiro introduces him to. accidentally. or on purpose. maybe. I mean. you know.

MISS ONIONS HOW DARE YOU COME INTO MY INBOX WITH ANOTHER PAIRING POSSIBILITY. HOW DARE.

(also I apologize this is only like PART of your prompt because I didn’t want to write a 10k story at work IT’S JUST ABOUT TOUCH AND TOUCHING AND ANYWAY)

a lazy temptation

The Castle was quiet, a gentle hum of energy accompanying Ulaz as he made his usual rounds of the halls. The Princess had kindly gifted him a map of the entire complex, though some spots were suspiciously blacked out. They were easy enough areas to get into, but Ulaz appreciated her general wariness in giving a potential enemy access to the Castle of Lions.

The patrols calmed him, channelled his unused energy into a useful task. Since leaving the Empire to assist the Paladins in the daunting task of wresting control from Zarkon, his routine had become more…lax. The Castle of Lions spanned wide; usually, he was on patrol for hours, just the quiet of his thoughts and the hush of his feet his only company. Solutions came easier in the calm of patrol.  

As he turned another corner, the room on the far left flicked, light spilling and fracturing the gentle shadows of the hall. He picked his way over, peering inside, and was surprised to find one of the many lounges in use. A holograph played across the entire far wall, aliens moving and dancing and talking in a language Ulaz could not quite track.

Though he wasn’t interested in the movie.

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Blizzard

Originally posted by peterparkerimagine

Summary: You missed the train home after school and you need to survive the long walk through the massive snowstorm coming your way.

A/N: this was not requested, but I just saw Homecoming and I needed this! This also means I can write for Peter Parker ;)

Pairing: Peter x reader

Warnings: Death thoughts, near death, blood (mention)


The bell rang signaling the school day’s end, and an overwhelming skid of sneakers burst out after the silence caused from the ring. You were walking in the full hallway, sliding between people and bags, watching your feet dodge papers discarded on the tiled floor. The entrance was backed up and you took a turn, heading towards the library for the decathlon meeting. As you neared the door, MJ was posting a simple white paper with scribbling in the center, assuming it was writing or a notice. She turned around and gave you a smile. You two were the black sheep in the decathlon team, for whatever unknown reason, and immediately formed a connection over the similarity.

“Meeting is canceled today, (Y/N). Sorry to burst your bubble. Have a good winter break!”

You nodded your head, taking a step forward and putting a hand on her shoulder. MJ rolled her eyes at the gesture, yet she brought her arm up to your elbow and patted it. She turned on her heel and walked the opposite way. You stood in the nearly abandoned hallway and listened to the eerie silence, your ears buzzing from lack of noise. A sudden breeze ran through your bones and gave you a chill. Then it hit you, the train was your only way home. You started walking backwards, turning, then sprinting as far as you possibly could to the doors. As you ran outside, a harsh slap to the face came from a gust of light sleet. You slipped slightly as you jumped down the steps and got to the gate that held you from entering the platform. In the distance, you could see the lights from the train fading beyond the snow fall. A slight groan escaped your already frosty lips, and you began your journey home.


The snow became thicker, wetter, and heavier the longer you treaded on. Your shoes filled with snow and water, sloshing around with every step. The snow was up to your ankles like a thick blanket, and it was hard to see the concrete underneath it. Your jacket wasn’t dense enough to keep your body head in, instead it was sizzling to the flakes landing on your shoulders. It dripped through your coat and shirt, bleeding down your back. You could feel how heavy your hair was, and it was weighing you down, mentally and physically. Your heartbeat was pounding in your ears, your lips were chapped and you could feel the flush on your cheeks. The sky turned a single white and you couldn’t see beyond dots and gusts. There was no difference between a fire hydrant and a corner store, as the snow was blocking all color and shadows from the seeing eye. 

You looked down at your shoes, losing feeling in your toes a long time ago. You needed to verify if you were still treading on. A thought carried you farther than you’d like. Would I die? Would my parents ever find me? I will never get to tell MJ how much she means to me. I will never build the Death Star with Ned or Peter. I would never get to tell Ned how much he’s helped me this past year. I would never tell Peter I loved him.

You looked up and saw a flash of red and blue through the white, and it disappeared faster than you’d like. It went to the sky rather through the blanket of cold. Suddenly, with a surge of energy, you took off into a run, waving your arms to the person who went missing.

“Hey! Hey over here! Can you help me, I’m lost! Please?”

You could barely lift your legs through the snow, and then, the white turned red. The black cement was in your vision, the snow began melting around the dry tar and then a small trickle of red poured through the water. Your heartbeat was pounding in your ears and it created a migraine the size of the snowstorm. A chill shook your body and you couldn’t help but convulse. Your muscles clenched and tore, a fire erupting from inside your core and it became comforting. Slowly rolling onto your back, the snow no longer felt torcherous.

Instead, the white of the sky turned brighter, the snow fading around your face and body. It shone like stars and glistened in the light. Your face was warm, and it brought a blush to your cheeks. You closed your eyes to relish the heat, to bask in the glory. You heard your name coming from around you, but it didn’t matter. You felt calm.


“Aunt May, Ned, I need your help! Please?!”

Peter Parker’s strained voice ran through the apartment in Queens, tears and sobs wracking his body. He was sprinting through the kitchen, the snow dripping off his suit. Aunt May and Ned ran from his room and gasped. May ran to the table, pushing things off and gestured Peter to set (Y/N) down. She turned to Ned, who was frozen in place, staring at his best friend bleeding out on their kitchen table.

“Ned, run to the bathroom and go behind the door, there is an emergency med kit! Sprint!”

It took Ned a moment to collect his thoughts, then he ran away to the bathroom. Peter was pacing around the room, hot tears trailing down his face. May placed her hand on your neck, and her head on your chest, listening. A grateful sigh escaped her lips and she pulled away. Ned ran back in, tossing May the kit. Peter ran to your side, holding your hand.

She tore the case open and grabbed a sterile wipe, cleaning the blood and wound to the best of her ability. She snatched gauze and pressed it hard onto the area, it turning from ivory to pink in mere seconds. May took medical tape and secured the gauze down on the edges. Ned put his hand on your head, the non-injured side, and gasped.

“How is she freezing and burning up?”

May looked at Peter and gestured to you, signaling him to pick you and follow her. Peter wiped his eyes and carefully put his hands under your legs and shoulders. You were limp like a ragdoll in his arms, and he felt terrified you would shatter like glass. May lit the fireplace and grabbed blankets and pillows from the couch and set them down on the floor, next to the flame. Peter placed you on the made bed and tucked you in. He turned to look at Ned and May.

“I’ll stay with her, you two can go to bed. I’ll wake you if anything happens.”

They reluctantly nodded their heads and walked to their rooms, Ned going to spend the night in Peter’s room. Peter turned back around and sat down next to you, curling up outside your blankets and watching your body illuminate by the red flames. His gloved hand was tracing shapes into your limp palm and he watched your steady, shallow breathing carefully.


part 2 {x}