Love

#equalmarriage

I know I just made another post with youtube embeds, but. It's the 29th March in the UK now.



Been ten years waiting
But it's better late than the never
We've been told before
We can't wait one minute more

Ohh, me and my baby driving down
To a hilly seaside town in the rainfall
Ohh, me and my baby stand in line
You never seen a sight so fine
As the love that's gonna shine at City Hall

Me and my baby been through a lot of good and bad
Learned to kiss the sky
Made our mamas cry
Seen a lot of friends, after giving it all they had
Lay down and die
Lay down and die

[...]

Ten years waiting for this moment of fate
When we say the words and sign our names
If they take it away again someday
This beautiful thing won't change

Ohh, me and my baby driving down
To a hilly seaside town in the rainfall
Ohh, me and my baby stand in line
You never seen a sight so fine
As the love that's gonna shine at City Hall.


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Books

meme: 30 song questions (1-3)

I have started 30-day memes in the past and never finished them. This may happen here, but I'm hoping not. And I can actually ramble on about songs for a surprisingly long time!

Also I'm doing three questions at once. That might help too.

Day 01 - Your favourite song
King And Lionheart — Of Monsters And Men

This has been my favourite song since pretty much the first time I heard it. It's good to listen to in all moods -- happiness, sadness, depression... Many of my favourites songs are ones where the lyrics are along the lines of "yeah, things are shit, but you can go on", and this is a prime example. Howling ghosts they reappear in mountains that are stacked with fear, but you're a king and I'm a lionheart. It's just lovely the whole way through.

Also the official video is gorgeous. (I recommend viewing HD and fullscreen.)

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Day 02 - Your least favourite song
Blood — My Chemical Romance

There is a very simple reason why this is my least favourite song. When my sister was in her emo years she realised that I wasn't a fan of MCR and found this song rather annoying. So she put her speakers against our dividing wall and played it very loudly. For hours. And hours. And hours.

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Day 03 - A song that makes you happy
Wicked Girls — Seanan McGuire

(I can't find a youtube embed of this song, so I uploaded it to my tumblr. You can play it here.)

This is the song I'd been wanting for all of my life without knowing it. Especially as I grew increasingly dissatisfied with the fates of the girls in the books I'd read since I was a child. (Then of course I got into sci-fi and computer gaming... :P) This is a song about how we deserve better stories, and it's beautiful.

It's also another example of songs I find very motivational when I'm massively down. Our roads may be golden or broken or lost, but we'll walk on them willingly knowing the cost ... We're wicked girls saving ourselves.

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Toby

[fic: white collar] Talking in Code

Title: Talking in Code
Characters/Pairing: Neal, Peter; Gen
Word count: 1500
Content Notes: Spoilers up to the end of season 5.
Other Notes: Written for an anonymous prompter on collarcorner. Also fills the "nightmares" square on my hc_bingo card.

Summary: Neal drops by Peter's house late at night. (Set post-cliffhanger resolution.)

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~

Posted at http://frith-in-thorns.dreamwidth.org/120555.html with comment count unavailable comments.
Love

Various fics (October Daye, Welcome to Night Vale)

Finally cleaned up and posted the October Daye fics I wrote for [community profile] fandom_stocking! All Christmas-themed, all on AO3.

(Btw, if you are one of the people I haven't yet convinced to read the Toby Daye books, you should be reading them :P)

All is Calm, All is Bright (400 words)
Li Qin/Janaury, with April
Li Qin and January aren't used to celebrating Christmas, but they'll do their best for their daughter. (Set before A Local Habitation.)

Deck the Halls (1500 words)
Toby, May, Quentin, Tybalt, Raj
May's first Christmas. (Set between An Artificial Night and Late Eclipses.)

Love And Joy Unto You (2000 words)
Toby/Tybalt, May/Jasmine, implied Quentin/Raj, the Luidaeg
Toby feels she's beginning to lose control of her own house. At least where May and Christmas parties are concerned. (Set between Ashes of Honor and Chimes at Midnight.)

~

Also a tiny Welcome to Night Vale ficlet I wrote ages ago and forgot to link anywhere. About the angels, because they fascinate me.

space to star to stone (350 words)
Angels listen to the ticking of the sun, and when they speak they lie.

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Toby

SIGNAL BOOST

Do you like writing and reading female characters? Do you like remixes?

[personal profile] theladyscribe and [personal profile] tielan are gauging interest in a remix challenge focusing on female characters! Since this is obviously a great idea, if you think you might like to participate then go and let them know over here. (No commitment required at this stage.)

(Also, from the post: "It's been brought to my attention that I should mention how alien/trans/non-genderbinary characters will be dealt with. I'm open to discussion on this, but I'd like to be as inclusive as possible. So if your favorite character canonically falls under any of those categories (or another category I have failed to mention), they are included.")

Please also spread the signal-boosting!

Posted at http://frith-in-thorns.dreamwidth.org/119635.html with comment count unavailable comments.
Toby

[fic: white collar] Heavy Water

Title: Heavy Water
Characters/Pairing: Neal & Peter plus others; Gen
Rating: T
Word count: 4000
Content Notes: Car accidents, drowning
Other Notes: For kanarek13, as a get-better-soon present!
Fills the "hospital stay" square on my hc_bingo card.

Summary: Neal's on the wrong side of a high-speed chase, and he and the mark find themselves trapped in a sinking car together.

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~

Posted at http://frith-in-thorns.dreamwidth.org/119241.html with comment count unavailable comments.
Books

in the dark we see, in the black we run

I am currently experiencing "being driven crazy by vague memories of a children's book". Can anyone help me? (I've also cross-posted the below to [community profile] whatwasthatbook.)

I'm looking for a book I had as a child (in the 90s), but was already quite old.

It was a collection of poems about various monsters/creatures, all of which were original to that book. It had a lot of non-colour line illustrations among the text.

I don't remember the names of any of the creatures, but there was a species rather like dragonflies but with six wings, one where the creatures were shaped like eggs and hopped on a singular leg, one which had large eyes and lurked at the edge of a park, and some massive sort of mammoth/elephant thing.

Anyone recognise any of this? Please feel free to suggest your own reward...

Posted at http://frith-in-thorns.dreamwidth.org/118546.html with comment count unavailable comments.
Toby

Meta on happy endings in fiction

This is a perennial debate I've been having with a few people, especially sholio, so I thought I'd type it up for general interest/discussion. This is all highly personal and subjective, of course, and I accept that people have many different opinions on this topic which are all correct! (Unless you're Thomas Hardy. He can go jump off a cliff into a SEA OF CHARACTERS' TEARS.)

First: I find angst fun to write, as is probably blatantly obvious. I enjoy torturing, breaking, and sometimes outright murdering characters. And I enjoy reading the same — some of my favourite fics, and books, are the ones which make me sob until I'm an utter wreck.

However, I'm also a massive fan of happy endings. Or, if happy isn't quite the right word, than at least hopeful. Some of the characters can be dead, the survivors can be battered — but if the ones who are still alive are also still standing, looking forward and knowing that they'll be able to continue on, then I'll be satisfied.

I think a major part of my feelings on this topic are born of a strong belief that reading is a reciprocal act. The writer is telling the story, but the reader is giving their hand to the writer and trusting them to lead them through it, and out the other side. Some writers delight in dragging the reader over jagged rocks and then abandoning them there. (I've done it! It can be really fun! And I also enjoy reading oneshot deathfics for my favourite characters in which the character dies and that's the end!)

However, I'd never write a fic like that that was more than a few thousand words at the most. Certainly anything over ten thousand words is pretty much guaranteed a happy ending, and even more strongly if it's posted in chapters or as a series. This is because I firmly believe that, having trusted me enough to invest the time and energy in reading my stories, I at that point owe it to people reading to lead them to an emotionally satisfying ending. Especially in multi-chaptered things, if I'm dragging people through chapters of EVERYTHING IS AWFUL, it doesn't feel fair to not provide the recompense of pulling everything back together and ending on a high note. (Yes, this is why I hate Thomas Hardy. And Wuthering Heights. And the pointless character death at the end of The Tenderness of Wolves. I carry GRUDGES about these books.)

(Again, things can end satisfyingly/hopefully without being happy, or without the happiness making up for/overshadowing what's gone before. A couple of examples I can think of here are The Lions of Al-Rassan and A Thousand Splendid Suns. Both of which I am a mess by the end of, but I still looooove the endings.)

And, fundamentally, unless I end a story with a total nuclear holocaust or something, I feel that I should be able to bring out some sort of hope for the future. I know I often hide it behind my massive cynicism, but I'm actually pretty optimistic about the human ability to eventually find happiness out of most situations, given time and sometimes a little narrative nudge!

I read a formative quote, when I was a baby writer of sixteen who was just starting out on the internet, which went something like: Unhappy endings are easy, and very Sixth Form. Fixing what you broke is harder. It's very much stuck with me. To me, and this is entirely subjective, breaking everything and then not doing the harder work of fixing/rebuilding feels almost like cheating. In a short piece I can let myself "get away" with it, but in a longer thing — no. I haven't done the work the reader was expecting, and that isn't fair.

What are your thoughts?

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    The Mechanisms: Skin and Bone
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Toby

[fic: white collar] Relentless as the Rain (3/3)

Title: Relentless as the Rain (3/3)
Author: [personal profile] frith_in_thorns
Characters: Neal, Peter/Elizabeth, Rachel, Bruce, Mozzie
Rating: Teen
Word count: 9,300 (/20,900 total)
Content notes: SPOILERS for all of S5. Specific for this chapter: All the fallout from the previous two chapters. So, loads of angst.
Other notes: This was written from an idea of kanarek13's, who also did the AMAZING cover art. Beta read by sholio.

Summary: Diverges from canon during the S5 finale. The standoff on the roof goes in Rachel's favour. In the aftermath, both Neal and Peter try not to fall apart.



Chapter One | Chapter Two
Read on AO3

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Toby

[fic: white collar] Relentless as the Rain (2/3)

Title: Relentless as the Rain (2/3)
Characters: Neal, Peter/Elizabeth, Rachel, Bruce, Mozzie
Rating: Teen
Word count: 6,100 (/20,500 total)
Content notes: SPOILERS for all of S5. Warnings for this chapter: Emotional manipulation, romantic coercion, non-consensual drug use. Deeper levels of angst than I usually write.
Other notes: This was written from an idea of kanarek13's, who also did the AMAZING cover art. Beta read by sholio.

Summary: Diverges from canon during the S5 finale. The standoff on the roof goes in Rachel's favour. Now Neal's stuck depending on her, whether he likes it or not.



Chapter One | Chapter Three
Read on AO3

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