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June 14 2017

A sad, lonesome-voiced Hallelujah

This is utterly self-indulgent, but I care not!

Erik Lehnsherr, while visiting Wanda, comes across Pietro as he plays and sings in a language Erik never knew Pietro would speak. Hover for translations.

Inspired by this gorgeous Yiddish translation of Hallelujah.

Erik stops in the corridor, utterly silent: his boots make not the slightest sound on the cool, marble floors of the Avengers Tower, where had been meeting with Wanda. His helmet is carefully placed upon his head, ensuring that no telepath might read his thoughts, but the children that pass him in the corridor don’t seem to be at all deterred by the helmeted, imposing figure of Magneto. He even smiles at them, and they smile back.

Now, however, he doesn’t hear the children laughing or running – he hears the sound of music, slightly distant, and familiar.

Erik takes a few steps down the corridor, careful not to make any sound, and he sees a door that is an inch ajar. He carefully slides it a little more open, and its well-oiled pieces don’t creak: Tony Stark might be a lot of things, but he’s a good architect, and a better engineer.

Erik has sung in his time, but he has never been a musician.

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He recognizes the chords and the tune, however, and yet it takes him some time to recognize Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.

And yet…

Pietro’s head is bent over the piano, his eyes closed as his fingers move over the keys, his body swaying slightly with his own music. “Zol zayn mayn got iz gor nishto… Un libe zol sayn kol-mumro—” Pietro’s singing voice is rough and husky, and what strikes Erik isn’t that his son can sing, or that he can play such an instrument with such apparent finesse…

But Yiddish? When has his son ever spoken Yiddish, or Hebrew, or even German, without being under duress? When has his son ever taken to poetry?

The sound of the music washes over Erik, making his every hair stand on end, and he stands stock still, barely daring to do so much as breathe. Pietro’s fingers continue to move with such nimble ease over the piano’s white and black keys, as if he’s singing with them as much as his voice, and in Erik’s chest, heavy and slightly cold, he feels a weight.

An apikoyres rufstu mikh,” Pietro’s voice is suddenly softer, sweeter. “Mit shem-havaye lester ikh, Iz meyle, ikh dervart nisht keyn geule.” Pietro sighs softly, and as he continues, Erik takes a step forwards, unable to stop himself. Pietro stiffens, but he doesn’t stop, and his eyes remain tightly closed. The hallelujahs roll from his tongue with a practised ease, and Erik cannot help himself, cannot help but wonder - do they come from a place of faith, or not?

There are tears in Erik’s eyes, and he allows them to roll down his face.

“I asked that no one disturb me when I play in here,” Pietro says. His eyes are open, but he focuses resolutely on the book of music he hadn’t needed to play. There it is - Pietro’s English, designed with his biting, Mid-West accent, a thing of complete fabrication with none of the easy music of his roots in it. Erik remembers how much it had struck him, when he had met the boy again, once he was a man, and how his speech had cut Erik like a knife. Wanda’s voice might be softer, but one can trace her beginnings from it. “There’s a sign on the door.”

Erik feels that if he speaks, his voice will crack: he feels the sob on his tongue, now, and so he says nothing.

He steps forwards, slowly, but his boots make such noise on the floor. His hand rests on Pietro’s strong, broad shoulder, and he feels the pulse of his heart under his fingers - Pietro’s heart beats like that of a bird, and Erik knows he could never hope to count its beats. Pietro glances at the fingers, perplexity showing on his features, and then he looks up at Erik, his grey eyes showing his confusion–

And then his upset.

“Father,” Pietro says, too surprised to show real anger.

“That was beautiful, my son,” Erik whispers. “Sheyn vi di zibn veltn.”  The tears shining on his cheeks embarrass him, but Pietro seems too shocked to say a word: Erik squeezes his shoulder, takes in a breath, and turns on his heel to leave.

He and Pietro have been beyond talking for decades, now, and he knows he cannot settle and chat with him as he can with Wanda, and yet… Yet he feels a certain warmth, now.

Pietro sits, for the longest time, at the piano, with his fingers frozen on the keys, still poised for the A Minor chord.

He sits there until the sun goes down, and Wanda, worried for his absence, comes looking for him. He doesn’t speak a word that night, and when he finally settles, at around four, to sleep, he finds he is too overwhelmed to actually cry.

June 12 2017

Saw Wonder Woman yesterday!

Anyone have any ficlet requests with Diana or anyone else in the movie? I’d love to write some!!

June 11 2017

As with everything I’ve ever written, I start out paralyzed by fear of failure. The tarantula ego–starving to be showed up by praise–tries to scare me away from saying simply whatever small, true thing is standing in line for me to say.
The Art of Memoir, Mary Karr

June 10 2017

itstartswithablankpage:

I’m about to give you some advice that I don’t usually follow myself, but that I know works.

Confused? Yeah, me too.

Motivation is often a story killer. You’re tired from a long day at school or work or looking after kids. The last thing you want to do is glue your face to a computer screen and do even more work, right? That scene you were thinking about all day can wait, you’ll get to it another time when you’re rested and bothered.

But you (I,) shouldn’t think like that. This is what I tend to do If I want to write but aren’t bothered to.

Open your word document, and just read the last few sentences you wrote to get your story fresh in your mind.

Then do something else. Make some food, do some cleaning. Something mindless, that doesn’t require a lot of attention. Something to move yourself away from the screen- and no, social media doesn’t count. You don’t want to get sucked in.

(I find that I’ll be thinking about my story as I do these tasks, which makes my motivation slowly return.)

After a while, go back to your document and write a few lines. I usually end up writing a hundred words or so, which isn’t great but still progress.

Of course this might not work for everyone- there are people out there who write regardless of motivation or inspiration and I hope to get to that level some day.

But for now, I hope this can help someone with motivation , even if it’s just for a moment.


Happy writing.

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whenyouworkatamuseum:

My new go-to response for all manner of things.

looking @ old drafts

countingprimes:

inkandowl:

I just saw a fic tagged with “lemon” on AO3, and it was so jarring my whole being just astral projected back to 2003

#at least you know they are of a decent age to be writing a ‘lemon’ if they call it a ‘lemon’

June 09 2017

Coming up this evening: a Skulduggery Pleasant/China Sorrows smutfic. Skulduggery will have skin. Keep your eyes on this space. 😎

Once

In the rarest of cases, two such souls will revolve in orbit of one another for centuries on end, at most touching for a second or passing by each other, until finally they collide in a burst of stardust and certainty, and can never again be truly pried apart.

Loki and The Doctor meet once. After that, they meet again, and again, and again.

It is sometimes the case that two beings, for whatever reason, are drawn to each other despite the odds of the universe and the laws of time. Sometimes, such beings might brush past each other like ships in the night, their souls for a moment entwined and yet destined never to meet again. At other times, so star-crossed a pair will be united from birth, and will never know the sorrow and heart-ache of parting until Death comes for his toll.

In the rarest of cases, two such souls will revolve in orbit of one another for centuries on end, at most touching for a second or passing by each other, until finally they collide in a burst of stardust and certainty, and can never again be truly pried apart.

One

You see him, but it doesn’t matter.

It’s the barest glimpse on the corner of a foreign street as you wear a second skin that is not your own, and you move forwards without another thought.

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Two

You shake his hand in a crowded throne room, once. His hand is warm, and dry, and you notice how well-kept his fingernails are in comparison to his tousled, bowl-cut hair.

He doesn’t seem to matter.

He doesn’t.

Three

He is an old man with glossy, silver hair, and he picks up your coin when you drop it upon the cobbled streets of blue brick. You play the young girl delighted at his charm and chivalry, and you beat at him. As your lost coin is replaced in your small, dark-skinned palm, you find yourself struck by the sadness in his eyes.

Four

The scarf is, in many ways, an obscenity.

At its numerous, ridiculous knitted panels, you smile, and when you see it has drawn through the mud on its journey through the villages, you drop to one knee and offer its owner a sweet smile as your seiðr weaves through the dyed wool, drawing the brown stains from their moorings.

Clean, you let the garment go, and you are on your way.

You forget him. He remembers you. You are both still so very long.

Five

You see him run by one day, and the fleeting thought lingers in your head – where is that man going? For what reason does he hurry so?

You never find out.

Six

You sell him an umbrella, each panel brightly coloured, complementing and clashing with his ugly, motley suit in turns. You both have the moment’s suspicion that you have met before, and yet neither of you recognizes the other. You do not, after all, know each other.

You will not for quite some time.

Seven

You steal his hat once. You are a child with raven hair and a playsuit of woven leaves, and he doesn’t mind when you hand it back – he laughs, sweetly, like a man with children of his own.

For decades after, you remember the hatted man with the fatherly smile.

Eight

You dance together, once, in an old-fashioned dance hall: you recognize his clothes from a long since-past Migardian era. Despite his blue-eyed, soft-featured beauty and his lovely hair, you offer him your hand with the assurance that you will not fall in love with him even if he holds you tightly to him in your dance together.

He laughs, pulls you flush against him, and lays his hand upon your hip.

You cannot help but wonder if he thinks you will love him, but you do not, and you forget him as easily as you forget the dress you wear that night.

He forgets you in kind.

Nine

You pass him once, when you are yet young in your Earth skin, and his glance toward you makes you panic.

“Rad jacket, man,” you say, and the American accent and apparent confidence seem to give him pause. He grins, the expression effervescently bright, and he gives you a nod of recognition before you each go on your way.

Ten

It’s a simple meeting.

For the first time, you notice him, and he notices you, and rather than parting ways, as so many times you have, you move on together. You realize what he is, and the effect of his wide-reaching legend electrifies and excites you: this is a chance you cannot allow to slip through your fingers.

He runs, and you follow him. You run, and he follows you. For once in your life, being chased does not affect in you a sensation of entrapment.

You laugh, and you draw him into a dance with you one night, and if it feels familiar, neither of you say so – you do not tell him a long, stupid scarf would suit him, or that you can imagine him with curly hair, or that you can imagine him carefully manicuring his nails.

You adore him.

You love him as you’ve loved no other in all your years – you have loved so few, even including your brother, your mother, your children, and yet you’ve never loved in the way you love him: you mirror each other at every turn, and he feels so deeply – and yet you do not find his empathy repulsive.

It is endearing, in fact, in a way that surprises you.

You forget, for a while, that Timelords do not die as men do, and that they do not live as you yourself do.

Eleven

You repulse him, and he terrifies you.

He is a storm wrapped in ribbon and soft pastry, heated and cruel in a way that even at your worst, you never were. He is a child, a callous, callous child, and the stars are his playground, and you are nought but an unflavoured toy.

He hurts you, and you let him, until you don’t.

You do not know why.

When you last see him, it is with your hand wrapped tight around his pale throat, threats and barbs upon your tongue that haven’t flourished there in so very, very long.

It hurts you to abandon him, but you will not a place a child who hates you – a child who is not even yours – above an empire.

(You see him just once more: he is broken, and he weeps. Despite yourself, you are as soft and gentle with him as it is possible for you to be.)

Twelve

When you see his face, it shocks you.

You had not expected to see him ever again, and you let out so loud a sound one might think you a babe in arms anew: you grin as you come closer, for he feels so different now, and the change is most welcome.

You offer him cocoa when he visits you at work, and he takes it, settles in an armchair you each pretend wasn’t purchased just for his benefit, and he watches you work, pretends not to be entertained by the genius you both know you possess.

You accept his apologies, his age, his tired hands and tired eyes: you entertain his faux-fierce moods, and you love him as deeply and loyally as you are capable. He accepts your chaos, and your fury, and your love.

He does not pick up your pieces when you are broken: he merely watches as you draw yourself together once more. Perhaps this shows your age. Perhaps it shows his.

You confess to him your thousand sins, and confess to him your virtues. He takes your confession with all the quiet comprehension of a priest, and with the careless affection of a distant god.

You have never known a god like him before. You have known so few beings that make you feel so insignificant and so very, very good.

It is a feeling you adore.

You are sure he will outlive you, and for this, you are grateful.

Over your millennia of study, you have learned such tricks, but there are limits to even your talents. You absorb the split of a time rift as a super nova occurs behind it, within it, for the surrounding stars, planets, galaxies, would all die under such helpless heat. You skywalk in the centre of it all, and you draw it within you: stardust runs through your veins incandescent energy boils your blood, and worst of all is the time energy that digs its way into your skin. It is not your first selfless act, but it is, without a doubt, your last.

He holds you close, uncomprehending, angry and wide-eyed. You feel as if you are the older of the two of you once more – a balance has been restored – and you smile a warm, tired smile.

Even as that desperate, ineffable agony burns through you, exhausting every part of you, you put your fingers upon his temple, and you close your eyes.

You remember that you do not live as Timelords do, and you know that you will not die as you yourself ought.

Thirteen

When you wake, gasping and dry-mouthed on the TARDIS floor, you are full to the brim with past lives, and Loki’s form is sprawled, cold and lifeless, before you. You have never seen his eyes look so empty, or his mouth so still.

He would want you to simply cast his body to the passing stars, but he is dead, and you make the decisions now.

You bury him on a hill that overlooks a violent ocean, beneath a field of golden grain: once upon a time, Loki you ran here with your children, the very day before Odin had one of them slaughter the other.

As you grieve for him, for yourself, you grieve through both his eyes and your own.

Rather than parting ways, from here, you move on together.

Hey, hope you enjoyed that! Check this link out if you’re interested in making a request or seeing my commission deets. I love requests, so please feel free to send them in! This is my Patreon, and this is my tip jar!

June 07 2017

bemusedlybespectacled:

sonneillonv:

universalfanfic:

writing advice: never italicize words to show emphasis! if you’re writing well then the reader will know and you don’t need them!

me: oh really??? listen up, pal, you can just try an pull italics from my cold, dead fingers

LOOK.  IF I’M NOT ALLOWED TO CAPITALIZE WORDS TO SHOW EMPHASIS, I WILL USE ITALICS, YOU CANNOT TAKE ALL MY SHAPING TOOLS AWAY FROM ME.

Clearly whoever said “don’t use italics” has never seen the “I never said I stole her money” italics trick.

earthshaker1217:

scribbleymark:

freelancerkiwi:

thenearsightedmicroraptor:

obstinaterixatrix:

*everything* that’s considered romantic has been conditioned by society, it’s performative, like the emotion can be genuine but romantic *gestures* are a societal construct, chocolates, flowers, rings, there’s no inherent act of romance, the purest form of what is conceptualized as “romance” can probably be boiled down to emotion + intent, and the manifestation of that combo’s gonna be different for everyone

an action evoked from a feeling of adoration and the need to express it can be constrained by what society provides, but once it’s made irrelevant the meaning becomes tailored to those experiencing it; someone giving fancy chocolates to their s.o. because it’s ‘the thing to do’ can’t measure up to someone giving the chocolates because they know their s.o. thinks the boxes are nice and really likes hazelnut fillings, same gesture, but former lacks ‘inherent’ romance because romance isn’t ‘inherent’, the later has a standard approach but it goes beyond what’s considered ‘romantic’

Hello I am a big fan of Obstinaterixatrix’ Romance Meta and I’m just gonna add to this bc it’s a good post.

I feel like what makes the difference between something being romantic and something being What Society Says Is Romance is the connection between people.

Let’s say two people arrive on my doorstep. One of them has a bouquet of expensive roses from the florist. The other one has a dead bird in a plastic bag. We all know which one is to be considered the romantic gift (hint: it’s not the corpse)

And it’s not like I don’t like flowers or am allergic or anything, I would probably be flattered. But I have no connection to roses, and like, you can give roses to more or less anyone

Dead birds are not a standard gift, for pretty obvious reasons. A person bringing me a corpse in a plastic bag had to know me well enough to know that I collect bones and process them myself, and you don’t go shopping for birds in the Dead Bird Shop around the corner, so that means this person didn’t go out with the intent of getting me something and came back with an Appropriate Gift, they probably stumbled across something and thought about me (this ‘something’ just so happens to be a dead bird, because I’m weird) And then they had to go through the process of picking this bird up and bagging it and bringing it to me, probably pretty spontaneously and without a calendar event that says Find Dead Bird For Raptor with a timeslot between three and four pm.

You can’t have Corpse I Found In a Ditch be romantic without some sort of connection here. Roses can be romantic, but it can also just, be a formula. Two plos Two Equals Romance. A shortcut for ‘I care about you‘, even though the person might …. not, actually.

If it’s someone who loves fresh flowers in their home but rarely has the money to buy large arrangements, or like OP’s example where person A gets the chocolates because they know their s.o. thinks the boxes are super cute, then we have Standard Romantic Actions actually be romantic, but they might as well not be.

This is where my squad has the joke of someone posting a picture of a dead rat to the skype chat and goes ‘Raptor I saw this and thought of you‘ and I go -exaggerated gasping noise- “how dare you blatantly flirt with me right in front of my girlfriend“ from (and also THIS JOKE that bunch of people were confused about).
Because there’s INTEREST and CONNECTION there. They’re obviosuly not actually trying to steal me from my gf, but there is a human connection and a knowledge of who I am and what I want to be associated with.
The humor then comes in from the self-awareness that this could very much be the opposite of a compliment in, like, probably most other situations ever.

So TL;DR: Things can’t be romantic without the connection between people, no matter how ‘inherit‘ people claim the gesture is. However, more or less anything can be a romantic gesture if there’s the right connection and consideration behind it. Taking out the trash can be romantic. Bringing home a dead fox can be romantic. There’s no Romance Shortcuts. You have to actually care about the other person (sorry, Writers Of Like 9 Out Of 10 Mainstream Movies), there’s no way around it.

So basically: Care about each other!! If you’re writing, write characters who care about each other!! And if you don’t know what character A could do for character B, you might wanna look into whether or not you’ve made a Cardboard Love Interest, like I feel many mainstream writers do. But that’s a whooooole ‘nother can of worms.

There’s so many cans of worms.

Oh god there’s so many worms.

Please help.

I’ve wondered for a long time why so many fictional romances feel forced and this is the exact reason. So many main couples in media only express their love through performative romance.

This is also why a lot of platonic fictional relationships are seen as romantic because for some reason screenwriters have a habit of making friends express their love for each other with actual thought and intent to their actions.

“ Care about each other!! If you’re writing, write characters who care about each other!! And if you don’t know what character A could do for character B, you might wanna look into whether or not you’ve made a Cardboard Love Interest, like I feel many mainstream writers do.” (via @thenearsightedmicroraptor )

MESSAGE!

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theunnovelist:

It’s not easy for anyone, but it’s particularly trying for those prone to envy. Probably best to mind your own writing.

TWITTER I FACEBOOK I GOOGLEPlus I PINTEREST I WEBSITE

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awkward-dumpling:

Being a writer like…

June 06 2017

‘Please God, remember that even though I am an English poet I do not deserve to be eaten by rats’ I prayed silently.

Lawrence Durrell, Clea  

(via talesofpassingtime)

5 Tips to Write More Creative Fiction

thewordriven:

From Here [X]

1. Start with tension

Time and time again you’ll hear fiction writers and instructors tell you to start with action. This is flawed advice. Why? What good is the action if it isn’t grounded in context that’s important to the story or draws you to the main character? It’s better to start with tension, like a character falling short on getting something he wants—can’t save the life of a loved one, can’t beat a rival in a race, etc.

2. Know what your characters’ wants are

Interesting stories come from characters who want something. Romeo and Juliet want each other. Harry Potter wants to beat Draco Malfoy and Slytherin in Quidditch. Hannah Baker wants the people who led her to commit suicide know how they hurt her. Writing a fiction book requires that you have compelling characters, and characters who have strong wants and desires are the most compelling kind there are.

3. End each chapter on a cliff

OK, you don’t have to end each chapter on an actual cliff, but you do need to leave them with unanswered questions. This doesn’t mean you can’t answer questions during the book, it just means you need to create new ones as you go along. Be creative. Fiction is built on the curiosity of readers. If you don’t spark their curiosity (especially at the end of a chapter), what incentive do they have to start the next one?

4. Give your characters obstacles

The obstacles can be as difficult as you want (and should be pretty darn difficult to help spice up the story). But the key here is that they have to be able to overcome the obstacle no matter what it is—drug addiction, in love with a person who’s on the antagonist’s side, etc. Fictional writing is strongest when characters face tough odds and still come through in the end.

5. Understand your audience

Are you writing a fantasy novel? A crime novel? Erotica? Fiction genres are different and are told in different ways, so audiences of each have different expectations that you need to cover. For example, if you’re writing crime fiction, you have to reveal what happened early and spend the novel solving the crime (and the whodunit). If you’re writing a thriller, your story is dedicated to characters trying to stop whatever it is from happening.

Some questions for writers!

dr-pickle:

nicolawritesnovels:

Reblog with your answers! I want to get more communication going in the writing community here. Answer one, answer some! Answer whatever you want to!

1. What was the first character you ever created? No matter how embarrassing.

2. Is there a specific thing that made you want to start writing more? 

3. Favorite character you’ve ever created? 

4. Do your stories tend to have only a few characters or a lot?

5. Do you sit down and plan out your worlds or just let them build themselves as you write?

6. Do you ever meet people and want to write about them?

7. What kind of environment do you do most of your writing in? Music or no music? Loud or quiet? In private or wherever? 

8. Do the people in your life ever read what you write, or do you tend to not show them?

9. What inspires you? 

10. What’s the weirdest character you’ve ever created?

11. What’s the most boring character you’ve ever created?

12. Do you name your background characters? Do you even have them?

13. Are you one of the writers who writes in symbolism and specifically thinks about things like the color of a hat or that kind of thing? Or do you just pick those things at random?

14. Are there any authors you feel have influenced your style? Published authors, fanfic authors, ect. 

15. Were you a story teller before you could write?

16. How many characters have you created? 

17. Do your stories tend to take place in the real world or in a fantasy world? Both? Neither?

18. Do you tend to set your stories in the present or the past or the future? Do you think about when it’s set or does that not factor into the story?

19. What kind of things do you like to write? Poetry? Short stories? Novels? Fanfiction? Children’s Books? Nonfiction? Something else entirely? 

20. Do you like to do events like NaNoWriMo or the Three Day Novel, or do you prefer to do things at your own pace?

Ask me pls

Does anyone have any ficlet requests?

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cannibalcoalition:

flippyspoon:

Chuck Wendig is not here for writing ultimatums. 

If I may add to this the comedic stylings of completely unreal author Jessica McHugh:

Useful Writing Resources

wordsnstuff:

This is an extensive list of resources for every problem you could come across while writing/planning/editing your novel. Use it well;)

{ *** } Indicate a Highly Reccommended Resource

Planning/outlining Your Work

Writing Your Work

Characters

Editing

Setting

Miscellaneous Resources You Can Use In Between

Writing Sketchy/Medical/Law

Writers’ Block Help/ Productivity

Info You Need To Know & Words You Didn’t Think Of

Using Feedback And Reviews

Authonomy
Teen Ink
Figment
Fiction Press
ReviewFuse

These Are Trusted Critique Sites ;)

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dreamychocolateprincess:

sinclair-wildstar:

I will reblog this every time it crosses my dash.

People who don’t get this infuriate me

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