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Got the first round of edits back from my Co-PI on the R21 grant I’m writing. At first they didn’t look too bad, but it turns out he reworded quite a bit. Not that big of a deal honestly, but he did suggest that it was close to perfect, so I would hate to see what “not close” looks like. Today I figure we can discuss what I have left, why there’s a rush to get all this done, and why the heck I’m…


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this song

is incredibly soft and i completely love it!!! obviously this ended up being real tender akdnakdn

(send a song + pairing and i’ll write a ficlet! requests still open :D)

“I’m fine, don’t worry about me,” Taako says, hurriedly wiping at his eyes as if to hide his tears from Kravitz. But no, he sees them. He also sees how Taako is clearly not fine.

He had seen this coming, too. After years of living together, Kravitz has picked up on patterns. When Taako gets upset he withdraws, opting to deal with his emotions alone. But… he’s not good at it. The alone part, at least. He just doesn’t seem to realize yet that Kravitz is more than willing to help, plus he’s patient.

It hurts. Seeing such a strong, powerful, intelligent, gorgeous man be so sad and unsure of himself. But if Kravitz has to be the one to remind him that he’s all of those things and more, so be it.

“I’m your boyfriend, it’s my job to worry about you.” He shifts a little closer on the bed, his hand placing itself gently on Taako’s knee. Taako stares down at it, a small pout on his face. Kravitz says, “Do you wanna talk about it?”

“No, I’m fine,” Taako says, sniffing and looking away as his shoulders raise to his downward pointed ears.

“You know… it’s okay if you aren’t. I don’t mind.”

Hesitantly, cautiously, Taako meets Kravitz’s eyes. He looks so unsure and it breaks Kravitz’s heart. He knows why, he knows Taako’s messy backstory, but still. He shouldn’t have been hurt at all.

Then Taako looks down, sighing so heavily his shoulders sag. “I’m just… I’m sick of crying all the godsdamn time.”

“It’s okay to cry, love,” Kravitz says, wrapping his arms around Taako and pulling him close. Taako instantly reciprocates it, his head in Kravitz’s shoulder. Kravitz kisses his cheek and starts to rub his hand up and down his back. “I know you don’t like to cry in front of people, but I want you to know I’m here for you, okay?”

Taako just nods. By the quick rise and fall of his chest and and shake of his shoulders, he’s probably crying into Kravitz’s shirt. That’s perfectly fine.

“We can talk about it if you want, but we can also do something else to get your mind off it,” Kravitz says, kissing Taako’s cheek again.

Taako’s voice is muffled and wobbly, but he still manages to say, “Can we just… go to bed? It’s late.”

“That sounds perfect, darling.”

So Taako backs up, only to start to get under the covers. He’s already in pajamas while Kravitz is still in his work clothes, but he just wills his construct to change his suit to pajamas and put his hair under a cap. He settles in next to Taako and holds him close.

Their faces are inches apart and Kravitz watches moonlight filter through the curtains and onto Taako’s face, in his hair.

“I love you,” he says, the words coming as easily as breath. Well, as breath would come if he needed to breathe.

Taako rolls his eyes, but he’s fighting back a fond smile with little success. “Sap.”

“It’s hard for me not to be, with a boyfriend like you.”

“Yeah, a boyfriend that just sobbed into your shirt for the billionth time. I’m real great.” Taako shakes his head bitterly, opting to stare down at his pillow.

“Hey, don’t be like that,” Kravitz says, pulling Taako even closer. Their foreheads brush together as Kravitz says, “You’re allowed to be upset whenever you want, for as long as you want. You worked hard and you keep working hard. It’s okay if you need breaks and it’s okay if you need to cry. I’ll be here for you, for as long as you’ll have me.”

As he spoke, Taako watched him with a blank shocked expression. Then his face scrunches up and fresh tears well in his eyes. Kravitz wordlessly moves to tuck Taako’s head under his chin, but Taako instead takes Kravitz’s face in his hands and pulls him into a kiss.

It’s soft, soft as silk. But there’s so much weight to it, all of Taako’s gratitude and sadness and love passed to Kravitz, who took it all in stride. He loves all of Taako, even the parts that Taako himself doesn’t love.

When the kiss ends, they don’t go far. Taako hugs Kravitz close again, almost solemn as he embraces him. He’s thinking about something.

Kravitz wraps his arms around his boyfriend, asking, “Something on your mind?”

“Will you marry me?”

Kravitz freezes, eyes going wide. Did he just…? “Will I what?”

“Marry me?” Taako asks, and when Kravitz tries to back up Taako doesn’t let him. “I know I don’t have a ring and this is a weird time but I love you, like a lot, and it felt… right to say.”

Silence. Then, “Taako, let me look at you.”

Taako relents, letting Kravitz back up and press their foreheads together again. Now that he’s able to, he takes in all of Taako. Glamour off, eyes a little puffy, tears running down his face, hair messy. He’s beautiful.

“Of course I’ll marry you. Is that even a question?”

A smile grows on that beautiful face, and Taako says, “Traditionally, yeah it is. On one knee and everything.”

Kravitz chuckles. “I suppose you’re right. I guess you don’t want to do that then…?”

Taako gives him a flat look, offset by the giddy smile he’s still wearing. “Are you kidding me? There is no way I’m passing up a chance to get a ton of attention and get fancy jewelry in the same moment. You better propose to me somewhere nice. Nice and crowded.”

Kravitz full on laughs. “That’s more like you. And we’ll have a big fancy wedding, right?”

Taako nods. “Yep. And I’ll have Lup make me a huge cake. Or, hell, I’ll make it!”

Kravitz kisses Taako’s forehead, the two of them snuggling close. “Sounds good, love.”

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“Jack Killian, right? Tell me, sir. Why are you here?”

“Why am I here?” I scoffed, “I broke the rules, isn’t that obvious.”

“Which ones?”

I observed the reporter, squinting against the bright lights behind her. We didn’t get much of that in the cells. Light, I mean.

She seemed inexperienced. Not because she seemed young, but because she kept glancing at her watch. As if time meant anything in this place. I wondered briefly how she got caught up with Time Corps legal matters so late in life.

She also felt oddly familiar. She felt safe. I scoffed at my own thoughts, I was getting desperate for human interaction.

Shifting in my chains, I tried my best to work out the crick in my neck while wondering if I could psych her out just by stalling for long enough. Maybe I could get out of answering these stupid questions early.

When her steady gaze did not let up I sighed through my teeth and grinned, “All of them.”

Her fingers hovered above her keyboard as her eyes flickered between me and her screen. “All of them?”

I nodded and fixed her with a grim expression, “You heard me.”

She worried at a ring on her finger and didn’t speak for a while. When she finally did, her voice was shakier than before. “How?”

“You really want to know?”

“It’s my job. And we need it from you directly for the records. Trust me, this way is easier than having them rip the memories from you by force.” Her eyes met mine and I saw something in them that I never wanted to see again.

Pity.

“Fine,” I spat, just so I’d have an excuse to close my eyes. Casting my mind back, I tried to pinpoint the exact moment this whole thing had started.

That’s right, July 3rd, 2023, her time not mine. “The first rule I broke,” I said, brow furrowed in concentration, “Was number five.”

All interactions with past or future inhabitants must be logged and submitted at the end of each time travel excursion. I’m still not sure why I didn’t log that interaction. It wasn’t incriminating or anything. I pushed her out of the way of an oncoming car. That’s it.

But there was something about her. I didn’t like the idea of Time Corps keeping tabs on her. So I didn’t say anything. Just pretended I wasn’t blushing as she thanked me profusely. Pretended I hadn’t desperately wanted to say yes when she offered to buy me lunch as thanks.

It really wasn’t until I broke rule number nine that things started spiraling though. Never take anything out of its correct time period. I justified it initially because a piece of paper wasn’t really worth splitting hairs over, was it?

After all, it wasn’t the paper that was important. It was her number written on it.

You see, my mission that day had been to shadow this kid. No big deal, he was gonna be important in the future and I had to make sure nothing happened to him. A pretty typical mission all things considered. We often did it for critical people who had a high chance of screwing up for whatever reason.

The point being, the kid ended up at a mall and she was there too. Buying a new jacket.

I ended up talking to her again while I watched the kid out of the corner of my eye. Not very professional maybe but in my defense, he got lucky and didn’t actually need saving. I didn’t report that interaction either.

After that, it was only a matter of time before I broke rule number eight too. Never leave anything in an incorrect time period.

I called her of course. Multiple times.

We talked about nothing at all for hours. Life, I couldn’t say much. What was on tv, I had to double-check release dates multiple times, thank god she was from the past, not the future. Our love lives, I made sure she knew I was single.

I was an addict to her voice and her name burned in my mouth day and night.

Katherine.

You don’t know how badly I wanted to tell somebody about her who wasn’t Time Corps. But once you enlist, you don’t have friends outside of the job. Hell, you don’t have a life outside of the job.

But back to my rule-breaking. We became fast friends and the next time I got assigned to shadow the kid, I called and offered to take her up on that lunch offer at last. When she said yes, I decided I ought to get her a gift.

Again, it was just some jewelry. I didn’t think Time Corps would care. I’m sure now it was the rush of human interaction fogging up my brain. Of course, they’d care. It was soon after that lunch that I started breaking rule number one.

The Council must be informed of every time travel excursion and written permission from at least three members must be provided a week in advance.

I couldn’t wait for the Council to arbitrarily decide I was worth sending back. No, I needed to go back for reasons that were more important than them. So I started sneaking time keys and heading back there on my own. It’s not like it’s hard to do. Return to your perceived present at just the right time and they’d never even notice you were gone.

The first time I did it, I promised myself it would be a one time thing. Then it became twice, then ten times, then I lost count. She was just so worth the risk.

Before long, breaking rule number four was somewhat inevitable. One’s legal age must be periodically updated based on time experienced.

You see the point of this one was that the Council recognized a very important fact. Your date of birth was less important to your age than how long your body had actually been in existence. And existing for too long, even in your perceived past or future would take its toll on your body.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t exactly explain why I suddenly needed to add an extra year to my life when I’d only been on five missions. So I just didn’t tell them.

It’s crazy what technology and good cosmetics can do for you these days. No one even noticed that I got older. No one except for Katherine.

Which meant that, unsurprisingly, the next rule I broke was rule number seven. No person who is not a member of Time Corps should ever be informed of the true identity of time travelers.

As Katherine and I spoke more and spent more illegal time together, two things quickly became apparent. One, I was developing feelings for her. And, more surprisingly, two, she liked me back. But paradoxically, the closer we got to each other, the more strained our relationship became.

I wanted to show her I cared. She wanted to know why I was so difficult to get a hold of. Finally, I caved.

I told her everything. That I worked for an organization known as Time Corps. That it was run by the Council, a group that lived in the nebula outside of time. And that they deployed us as they saw fit to make sure time went the way it was “supposed to go”. After all, no future is set in stone, just highly likely.

To my surprise and relief, she believed me. At least, that’s what she told me. Though I don’t think she was really telling the truth, not until I broke rule number two. An updated permit is required for each member of a time travel excursion.

She was a history teacher, you see. Always loved the twenties. Fascinated by every aspect of it and knew more about the era than any other non-time traveler I’d ever known. Not that there were many that fit the bill.

But my point is, once I stole a time key and brought her back in time for a little visit, her heart was mine.

What started out as a stupid, spur of the moment decision, blossomed into something better than I ever could have imagined. We were in love, at least that’s what I believed. And for a while I was happy. That’s rare in my line of work you know. Not that the Council would ever admit it.

This little game of ours might have carried on forever if I hadn’t gotten sloppy. And by sloppy, I of course meant drunk. I’m sure you saw this coming thanks to rule number three. One must never operate a time key while under the influence of drugs, alcohol or other intoxicants.

Well, what happened was that I had a little too much to drink at a colleague’s birthday party. It was, Dakota, I believe. Yeah, that’s it. They were a model employee and as a result, the Council gave them a permit to do a little sight-seeing through time for their birthday so a bunch of us got together to do just that.

I’ll admit I was feeling a bit sentimental that day so maybe I should have known better. But I got stupid drunk and next thing I knew, I’d stolen a spare time key off of Dakota and fell from ancient Greece straight into Katherine’s lap.

Oh, I guess that breaks rule number ten too, doesn’t it? One must always return to their perceived present between time travel excursions.

It’s pretty much the only rule that’s set for our safety. Supposedly it’s not great for your internal organs to jump around so much without resetting. But by then I had bigger things to worry about.

Katherine’s worry sobered me up pretty quickly and we both came to the only logical conclusion. The Council would be after me very soon.

I’d worked in TIme Corps for long enough to know what would happen next. They’d find me with Katherine and, one brain scan later, realize how far off the deep end I’d gone. Then they’d lock me up to rot somewhere, wipe Katherine’s memory and everything I’d done would have been for nothing. So I came up with a plan.

Naturally, It involved breaking the only rule I hadn’t broken yet, number six. One must never interact directly with their past for future selves by way of physical or digital contact.

Go big or go home, right? And I did not intend on going home.

So I did a couple more time jumps, found my past self and told him to leave specific notes in specific places. With any luck, they’d jog Katherine’s memory after I was gone. Neither of us could bear the idea of forgetting each other, even if we could never see each other again.

Then I said farewell to her one last time and returned to my perceived present. Only, instead of returning quietly, I reappeared right in the middle of time square. My hope was that in all the chaos, they’d be too busy to hunt me down.

I was wrong of course, hence why I’m here now. Not only did they not forget me. They decided to parade me around as an example of what happens when you cross them as the solution to the problem I created.

What would you call that? Cruel irony?

Whatever it is, that’s my story. I don’t even know if my plan worked. If she remembers me or not.

I stopped talking and the two of us sat in silence for a long time while I refused to meet her gaze.

At last, she spoke up. “Mom always said dad was a time traveler.”

My head snapped up, “What did you say?”

I was surprised to see tears in her eyes as she smiled at me. “She was pregnant when you left her. And your plan did work. She remembered you. And she never stopped talking about you.”

“Is she…” I couldn’t bring myself to finish the question.

The reporter, no, my daughter apparently, looked away. “No. She passed away three years ago. I’m nearly your age by now.”

I sighed, I shouldn’t be surprised. It’s been a while. “Did she ever find someone else? Get married?”

My daughter shook her head, “She couldn’t. Just in case you ever came back.” She took a shaky breath then put her hand against the glass separating us. “I’ll get you your justice. Show them that their rules aren’t perfect and that you don’t deserve this. Thank you for your time.”

As she stood to leave, I felt a tear roll down my cheek and I dropped my head. “Wait,” I called, not looking at her. “I never got your name.”

Her footsteps stopped, “Jackie.”

I smiled to myself. “Thank you Jackie.”

“You’re welcome. Dad.”

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There was a line as long as the eye could see

Men and women standing patiently

Waiting for their opportunity to get ahold of the glorified Rose

I couldn’t help but smile

As my gaze studied the abundance of pleasure left untouched

The lovely Tulip

Standing tall, standing alone

Waiting for someone to teach it how to flirt with Love


-         Abundance -

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“unless it’s with your dense ass, i’m not going into another damn date anymore!”

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Cold and flu season is upon us and for that reason, I bring you this public service announcement:

For god’s sake: stop coughing!

The next person to stand in line behind me at the grocery store or come to my desk in a coughing fit is going to get an ice pick to the eyeball. The left one.

Because I’m partial to the left eye so maybe I’ll start a collection.

Seriously, Heather has been sick all week and so have half the staff on my floor. Three times this week, I was out running errands and someone coughed or hacked in my face and only one of them apologized. It’s as if people lose their last shred of civility when they feel a little under the weather.

Just don’t be in public if you’re that sick. Do you have any idea how annoying you sound? All the phlegm and the clammy hands and the runny noses and the coughing.

It’s the coughing that really gets me.

It is silent and peaceful and I can sit at my desk and concentrate when suddenly someone will start coughing and that’s all I can focus on. If it would help, I’d rip out their vocal chords or make them a cup of tea – one of the two. Just. Stop. Coughing. I beg of you.

It’s bringing back my urges with full force and my desire to shut up the plague-infested rats is actually very strong. I’ve taken to using the lame-ass stress ball Dr. Owlface gave to me last month. “If you ever feel a moment of desire for violence, use it to absorb your tension” he said.

There isn’t a stress ball big enough to absorb my tension. That’s what I have my husband and children for.

Those poor darlings have been absorbing a lot of my frustration lately. Just in the last few weeks with the stupid army or sicklings invading my space. I’ve taken to scolding and shouting over little things and it gotten so bad that Sandra called me out on my shit on Saturday.

I don’t understand why that girl wants to be a research analyst when she has the ability to put a serial killer in her place. That takes a lot of skill. I suppose I’m obligated to support her no matter what she does.

But research analyst?

I’m still not positive I know what that entails. But she’s confident in what she wants so that’s all I can ask for. I wonder about her brother, though. He really enjoys…

Shit.

I don’t know what he’s interested in.
Good lord, I am a horrible mother. Have I just not been paying attention?
Have I ever talked about Jason’s interests? If I have, please let me know in the comments. This is really going to bother me. I’m going to have a talk with James tonight.

Sweet Jesus.

Sorry, I just can’t believe I can’t think of a single thing off the top of my head.

This is embarrassing and very distressing.

I need a day.

As always, dear readers,

Stay Safe

(And stay healthy, for both our sakes)

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“When you said you had a thing for _____, I kinda thought you were joking.”





Bonus: “But now that I know the truth, I’m all for it.“

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<div> —  <a href="https://t.umblr.com/redirect?z=https%3A%2F%2Fcoolfamousquotes.com%2Fquotes%2F&t=ODY1ZWFlOGY3ZThkZTM0MjIyNDA1MWNjN2Q3NzQ0MDZjZjYzNjdjNixNVENRR0J4dg%3D%3D&b=t%3AZklBUhD1OtpG3D6knCq-Cg&p=https%3A%2F%2Fcoolfamousquotescom.tumblr.com%2Fpost%2F640940456743731200%2Fwe-either-make-ourselves-miserable-or-we-make&m=1&ts=1611249025">Carlos Castaneda</a> </div><span>We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.</span>
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your character is the youngest member of a royal family, but unlike their other sibilings, they are forced into a engagement with a commoner to consolidate the ties between the royal family and their people. 

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<div> —  Maya Angelou<br> </div><span>A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer; it sings because it has a song.</span>
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The Best Self-Publishing Services. (And the Worst). Rated by ALLi
https://selfpublishingadvice.org/best-self-publishing-services/
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An Old Book Is Sacred

An old book is sacred,

Of old paper and leather

With the letters worn.

The smell of libraries and knowledge,

Bookstores and history.


An old book is sacred.

It holds the shadow of the fingers

That so long ago caressed the same page

As you.


An old book is sacred,

Candlelight casting elegant shadows.

The soft, grainy texture of the pages,

A finger brushing over the weary binding.


Nowt can compare.

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