Phantom Soldier (1989).
Candrakirti – a disciple of Nagarjuna in the 7th century – “compared the mistake of reifying emptiness with the example of a person who, upon being told that a merchant had nothing to sell, asks if he can buy some of that nothing.” It is said that emptiness itself has to be emptied.
Candrakirti Prasannapada, quoted by Richard King – Indian Philosophy, 121
Lawrence was a pleasure to see again, and thanks God he was there to talk some sense into Zetta ! "Sometimes our secrets are what makes our lives worth living. No matter with what high cost they come attached” What power in that sentence. What I also loved was that Zetta was honest with Richard. She has always been a straight shooter and it's interesting to see a dynamic where she would have much to lose from it but chooses to be (somewhat) honest anyway. With him. With herself. /6 (I think ?)
Part 2 of my response, sweet Nonny!
Let me start saying that:
1. You do not have to apologise for your English because it's brilliant and I'm Italian so no pressure!
2. I absolutely love your talkative mood and because of the kind words you reserved to my writing, I swear! I almost wish we would be sharing a table at a cafe (let's make it a patisserie: I'm a sweet tooth and you have decadent desserts up there!) and chatting about Zetta, Adele and a bit of everything 😊
Giving a voice to wlw characters is my main mission so thank YOU! I'm glad I could make fellow members of our community happy with my stories. I write them for free because it sounds like the right thing in these dark times when many face new personal budget struggles. Maybe one day, if I build enough confidence, I will try to get some works published but today's not that day.
Back to Titanic, I'm particularly glad you appreciate your compatriot Sabine (who will get a scene in the next chapter) and Lawrence. They were minor characters but gosh, how I love them. I tried to add more depths and give them a bit more space in the series since they only appeared from time to time in the original book.
I find the friendship between Lawrence and Zetta quite interesting and a bit endearing. At the Turkish Baths, Zetta described it in these terms:
Of course, it refers to the fact that they're both gay and they can understand each other better than anyone else. But these lines and the affability they showed when he joined Zetta's table for dinner in first class made me picture the two of them as that kind of friends who aren't close as they don't keep in touch or hang out together all the time but whenever they find each other, it's as though they never parted. As many of us feel today about their fellow gay/bi/trans and so on friends, they rely on each other for a support they cannot find elsewhere so they can chat of nothing and everything, laugh but also have deep conversations out of nowhere without needing explanation or excuses. They simply understand the need to talk of certain parts of their lives: finest historical mlm/wlw solidarity. I cannot bring myself to imagine, for instance Lawrence talking of Felix with other gentlemen but Zetta would surely ask him how he's doing. Vice versa I can see the only one Zetta would truly speak of Adele being him.
"Sometimes our secrets are what make our lives worth living. No matter with what high cost they come attached"
I must admit I am quite proud of that sentence 😅
I just thought the story needed something that could explain why Zetta eventually decides to "fight for Adele" in her own way, writing her that note begging to come to the party after months of silence, but also Adele's change of heart about secrecy. We know that Adele has been stagnating for some time after the sinking and the abandonment, dealing with trauma, loss and starting anew in a new country...or at least that's how I picture her? Hileni says she's hardly leaving the shop, she looks afraid to live in full survivor sense of guilt and suffering from the sudden disappearance of her love. Through those months she changes and I reckon this change includes the shift from this (in my playthrough)
Back on the Titanic Adele seemed almost unapologetic about showing her affection as if "pushing boundaries". True, she's an outcast unlike Zetta and the adeline pumped high in the aftermath of the collision but she was the lesbian hero everyone dreamed in the moment: proclaiming her love for Zetta and kissing her passionately in the crowd. Quite a shock for super closet lesbian like Zetta! Then, months later she no longer says "I don't care who's watching" but is the one proposing a secret romance, accepting to live her love behind closed doors and putting up a mask in public if that's what it takes to be with Zetta. I think she came to the same conclusion Lawrence stated. And I think it's interesting how the change in Zetta is somehow symmetrical: from freezing on the l word to realising she doesn't want to part from Adele - and kissing her on the deck uncaring of the crowd - to make it happen after her own stagnation.
As for the Richard discourse, I believe that what Mateo said was for once true:
Adele and her conscience, her courage inspired her to be a better version of herself while her compassion softened a bit Adele. At the beginning of the story, Zetta is bitter, sarcastic, utterly gorgeous but not so pleasant to have around, for her own decision: her guard is up and she's unhappy. Through the story, she shows a new side of her, compassionate, protective, smart and gentle that was there but Adele rekindled. In the next chapter I will give a hint of other ways in which I believe Adele inspired her to action.
But a change I picture being a tail end of this is being (somewhat) honest with Richard. Adele put her freedom at risk for her and I want to believe that gesture impressed Zetta more than she admitted to herself maybe. She praised her conscience and courage...now it was her time to be brave. Zetta not saying a thing after what happened made little sense to me, if she suffers so much as we get to understand. Complete honesty is not a safe route or at least one she is not willing to go for but she pushes herself as far as she feels comortable stating the truth: is he convinced to marry her even knowing that she cannot love him like he does? Seems like an honest and merciful warning: Zetta cares for her career but she is not a heart of stone and I headcanon she likes Richard even if not romantically.
Richard doesn't get the true meaning behind her confession but as you said, could she? Zetta is closeted and very careful not to draw the slightest suspicion on her. He couldn't possibly imagine the truth but I cannot bring myself to see it as completely dumb either. We cannot read a person's heart with Suisse precision but we can perceive coldness or when our feelings are not fully reciprocated. He probably knew already that Zetta didn't love him "like he loves her" and it explained it to himself as stemming from her independence, her being a lady who can't be entirely tamed. Which is not a lie, just one part of the truth.
Sorry, I went down a tangent here and ended up flooding you with words!
Hope to hear from you soon! Stay safe and healthy ❤
VINEY CASTLE, WINDENBURG
“His blessing has been further proved in that the Queen is with child, and will surely give the realm an heir before the end of Winter.”
Arthur deleted the picture of TomatoFace Dick, but here is the man looking like a greasy douchebag, you’re welcome
Alexandria was so close to being born on Christmas that it's barely funny. December 28, a cruel joke of a day, especially that day. A frenzied storm, winds ripping the snow that had managed to make it to the ground right back up and into the eyes of wanderers, those brave enough to brave the storm. But Amber and Nico had to, for her sake.
The hospital was running on a backup generator when they made it, and were lucky to get a room. Thirteen hours later, Alexandria took her first breaths as the generator huffed along, as the storm grew more intense, as Nico Marino passed out at the sight of blood. It's quite fitting.
Alexandria looks so much like her mother that no one says anything. It's not until her hair grows long enough that everyone can clearly see it's walnut colouring, that's when the questions come. Who did she get that from they'd ask, and both young parents would scramble for an answer, grasping at straws and claiming skipped generations.
You see, Alexandria Marino was Amber Prescott's daughter, but not Nico Marino's. Amber and Nico were life-long friends, and had eloped when Amber's ex-boyfriend left her, pregnant and still in University. People found that strange, odd, even disgusting. Neither cared much, but worried how those comments would affect their daughter.
Alexandria took it all in stride. She grew up to be a confident girl, with a strong usage of sarcasm. A natural flirt, her step-father had commented, long after expanding their family of three to four. A real bombshell, said her step-dad, bumping four to five. Frederick, unable to talk due to being a newborn, just smiled and gurgled at his half-sister, taking five and making it six. While their little family expanded and Alexandria grew to reflect the day she was born, there was something else lying beneath the surface, ready to rear it's head.
And rear it did. On June 5, a seven-year-old Alexandria discovers her powers, and kicks things into motion. She can manipulate sound waves, and is soon enrolled in the Guardians program, where she meets her closest friends. She grows with the program, under the careful tutelage of one Lillian Park, the last December Guardian.
She's a force to be reckoned with during training. She pushes her limits and the limits of the others, then laughs it off after, grinning as she heads to the locker room. Alexandria Marino is as wild as the rock music she sleeps to, from her layered, messy hair to the constant glimmer in her green eyes.
As the years roll by, eventually she's fifteen and taking on the persona of Song Bird for the first time. Where Alexandria is wild and unpredictable, Song Bird is careful and calculating. Both have the sense of humour of a fox, and both wear the same humoured smirk.
At school, Alexandria is a star. The all-star goalie of the school's girls varsity soccer team with the highest grades in music tends to make you known. While she normally would be swarmed by other students, the constant presence of one Rowan Brown holds it all back. Rowan, while definitely not scary, has social power, and that scares people. Not Alexandria, who laughs when anyone says the shorter blonde girl is the source of their fear.
The two are two peas in a pod, maybe closer even. It's hard to tell, as they hide their affection in the dark of night, hidden in the darkened halls of the training centre. While the only one of the two that is open about her sexuality is Alexandria, the two couldn't care less. No one needed to know, so no one knew of them.
Alexandria Marino is sixteen now. She's still the same girl who was once called a natural flirt and a bombshell, but she's also someone who cares deeply and freely. She hides very little, and what she does hide is sacred to those close to her. Her passion for music and soccer don't define her, but make up a big part of who she is. And who she is, is Alexandria Marino, number twelve.
Hey guys, this is a first glance into one of my OCs for a project I'm working on called Warden's Guardians. Alexandria is a personal favourite, so I hope you all enjoyed learning about her. More on this 'project' is to come, but feel free to ask me questions about Alexandria or anything else about it anytime!
An assignment I had to do was to take a trailer which had to be at least a minute, strip the original audio and recreate it yourself. You had to source all the SFX and music yourself. I picked Dunkirk because I wasn't about to record VO myself lol
Anyway I hope you like it. Might edit it some more later just for fun.
12. Name an OC that isn’t yours but who you like a lot
I’m going to talk about the characters of the lovely @autofoebia for this one~
So they’re one of my writing partners for Wanderlust, and I am constantly in awe of their characters. Like, I’m so emotionally attached to them, I don’t know what I’d do without them.
I absolutely am in love with their OC King?? Like, I can’t tell if I want to smack him or hug him. (it’s probably, definitely the latter for the most part). The way that autofoebia writes him is so raw and real, there’s no way you can’t feel for him. Like, he’s kind of a dick but also that’s one of the ways he copes with a lot of things and it definitely tugs at my heartstrings. He’s definitely one of my favorite characters to discuss character relationships and headcanons with because he’s so dynamic.
Their character Glo is also fantastic. She’s so earnest and strong and such a force of nature that I can’t help but adore her. Glo is so down to earth and witty, I really wish that I could have a 3AM wild sleepover conversation with her because she’s so spunky, friendly, and I’d bet she’d have some insane stories to tell. I also really admire her strength and conviction; I firmly believe that she’s capable of pummeling anything that stands in her way.
Wow, I can’t tell if describing my own characters or describing someone else’s is more difficult. Hopefully I didn’t misrepresent them in any way!
Thanks so much for asking, I love gushing about other writers~
Send me OC asks!
Phantom Soldiers (1989)
Winding Up the Week #216
Winding Up the Week #216
An end of week recap
“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
– Elie Wiesel
This is a weekly post in which I summarise books read, reviewed and currently on my TBR shelf. In addition to a variety of literary titbits, I look ahead to forthcoming features, see what’s on the nightstand and keep readers abreast of…
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“Sometimes our secrets are what make our lives worth living. No matter with what high cost they come attached” You have every right to be proud of that sentence. It’s beautiful put, without sounding unatural or rehearsed or fake. I does take some changes to go from loud, bold, unappologetic (and jailed for it) suffragette to that quiet acceptance of Zetta’s love, only behind close doors. (Willl your write their reunion from Adele’s point of view eventually ?). Being with someone in secret is /15
It is definitely a HUGE change to the point that I think it surprised even Zetta herself!
Yet...it makes sense to me. Again, Adele has a lot to take in at her arrival in America but I believe that even I can quite picture her having mixed feelings about Surviving the Titanic, eventually - after much internal debating and suffering - she comes to the same conclusion probably Zetta meant as the moral of the story: in the end, what matters most is our heart affections, be they family, a lover or whoever we care about. To achieve her own, to make it last requires a sacrifice: a life kept secret, away from the cameras and prying eyes. Something no one would accept easily even back the I think! But one I believe many members of our community who lived in past eras eventually resolved to. Maybe with secret engagements and marriages, or being the true partner in a lavender marriage (a feature of another story I have in mind). If that's the price to pay to be with someone you love.
I know we all would have loved a brave Zetta, breaking off her 'business arrangement' engagement and being openly with Adele. But that way she would have truly lost everything: consensus, reputation and most importantly a career she has sacrificed so much for. It's not fiction, it's something very real: it happened to a popular actor of the Thirties who refused a publicity marriage because he already had a partner, a man. I will add the link to his story if I find it again but yeah, the movie industry (and society back then in general) was brutal. Can you imagine the immense amount of guilt someone would feel to marry another only to save themselves and being forced to offer the one they truly love an existence behind closed doors? When the magazines are full of pictures with your bethroted and glorifying you as a champion of femininity/masculinity and the rampant heterosexuality you don't belong to.
As you noted, we're lucky things are different right now. Even if I believe it's a matter of generations? I don't want to generalise but I've known a few fellow lgbtq+ over forty who are not out. I think younger generations, the kids especially, are more likely to get out of the closet sooner. Hope it makes sense!
Richard was an interesting character: surprisingly I would have loved to get to know him a bit more in the original book! Apparently you only get to talk to him at the party if Zetta dies. He looks a bit infatuated to me but I don't know if it's true romantic love for Zetta or her artistic projection so to speak since he mentioned falling for her when he saw her in a movie. I believe his romantic feelings cooked a bit when he realised she wasn't receptive of his affections. He tries to be romantic and all though. But I believe he genuinely cares for her and his affection is somehow real seeing how he trusted her when James asked for money. I'm lead to think he kind of sees Zetta as a Muse and their partnership as a romantic/artistic one, not the conventional marriage.
Yeah, I wasn't sure if it was the right call or adding that scene, that confession I was getting off character. Looking back at it, it makes sense to me that she would follow Adele's path of courage (in her own way) before reuniting with her..
VINEY CASTLE, WINDENBURG
The King rehearses his speech.
Jason: Gothamites are the most masochistic group of people on the face of the earth.
Jason: The fuck are you saying? Gothamites.
Jason: Stop it. You’re wrong. Gothamites.
Jason: Do I need to go into the whole etymology of the fucking word, you little goober? It’s Gothamites. No one in history has ever said Gothamians. Shut up.
Bruce: Where’s Tim?
Jason: don’t worry about it
Bruce: …Now I’m worried about it. Where is he?
Dick, running into the room, distressed: Bruce, Tim has a dictionary glued to his head—
Zoë Kravitz: "I guess we assault people on stage now"
Hi! Curious about oc road trip questions 4 and 11. 😊
Sorry for the late reply, I was chasing down @autofoebia and @decantae, my writing partners for Wanderlust to help me write this!
4) Imagine your OCs reacting towards staying overnight at an incredibly shady motel
(So @decantae was too busy to join us for this lil scene, so there are actually two missing characters: Astrid and Mal. Thanks so much to @autofoebia for writing their OC, King!)
“Is it too late to go back? I’d prefer lethal injection to sleeping on that bed.” King said, stringing one limp arm over Jess’ shoulder while the other adjusted under the weight of three different duffel bags. “All in favor of returning to the van say ‘aye’.”
“Jess, you were the one that was complaining about sleeping in the van and not being able to shower,” Aiden sighed, fixing her with a flat stare. The days of nonstop travel had left their mark: The dark circles underneath his eyes were a testament to that. “I told you guys that we should’ve just settled for the haunted hotel we passed by a while back.”
“Again, lethal injection. Sounds much more peaceful.” King said as he dragged himself and Jess past the threshold into the room, “ghosts and I don’t mix, Philips. At least here all I’ve got to worry about is bed bugs and STDs.”
“You don’t need to worry about STDs if you’re not getting laid, King.” Jess kicked open the bathroom door and shuddered at the contents. “Look, I take it back okay? I can live with truck stop showers if this is the alternative, let’s just go and never come back.”
11) What happens when your OCs meet a hitchhiker?
So this actually happens within the story, so you’ll find out ;)
It involves mirrors, a guitar and gay boyfriends. Whether it’ll be a good experience or not remains to be seen...
Thank you so much for asking :D