Ok guys, at first I was just doodling for myself, but now i kinda want to show it to you <3
I imagine it’s more of a flow chart he has to run through in his mind haha kind of like this:
(I apologize for my shit handwriting haha 🙈)
This is a Moving Forward PSA for everyone using AO3. I am witnessing the results of a culture class and communication failure. Not a lack of communication, but a misunderstanding caused by changes in fandom culture.
Before fic tagging was common, fics weren’t tagged. You had a pairing, if applicable, an author’s note about genre or general content, and if they were feeling charitable, a vague content warning. There are even a few genres of fic where even vaguely tagging literally spoils the plot and impact (such as horror, psyche thriller, in which the likely content is implicit to the genre). As a result, there is a basic category tag that permits this, as a courtesy to “old-fashioned” writers.
“No Archive Warnings Apply” means the fic is PG13 at worst, probably fluff, totally safe.
“Choose Not to Use Archive Warnings” is the polar opposite. It’s a glaring Enter at Your Own Risk billboard. It means: a shitload of warnings apply but I ain’t telling because this story requires shock value. It’s very important to read the author’s notes for those fics because they might be using that older format from above.
But without the context of fandom culture that generated AO3, it’s understandably easy to conflate the two categories, given their similar wording.
omg dude yes he is so smol. i used to be really short (i grew like 5 inches in 4 years) so here are some annoyances that andrew definitely deals with
but there are also some positive things about him being smol
idk i just love to think about andrew’s height as well :)
bridge to terabithia aftg au
i had this Idea and I… really just don’t have the energy or time to try and make it into an actual fic so have these bulleted point rambles abt it instead
-andrew is new to the school, because he was adopted by bee thank fuck and has suffered significantly less trauma than in the main series
-nathaniel has been going there, since the butcher doesn’t exactly move around
-andrew likes writing or drawing maybe? and gets bullied because he’s the new kid and he doesn’t exactly bother getting along w anyone
-nathaniel compliments his work and they form a “not” friendship
-they can’t hang out outside of school often because of Nathaniel’s family, but when they do they go to an abandoned treehouse that’s across a lake or some shit idk if I should copy btt that much so subject to change
-they talk a lot and build their own fantasy world, inventing all sorts of people and creatures (and perhaps even a sport, exy. sorry kayleigh stealing your thunder)
-it gets all elaborate. andrew starts to be able to tell more and more that nathaniel is having trouble at home, nathaniel gets gradually more anxious since he knows he and his mom will be escaping soon
-he cant tell andrew what’s going on so he puts his whole heart into his time with Andrew and making good memories. he writes a note to leave andrew not long before they leave but his mom finds out and burns it because the risk is far too great for both them and for andrew, it’s safer for all involved for andrew to know nothing
-so the day comes. instead of Mary taking nathaniel to school that day, they run. Nathan doesn’t catch on for a few hours because he’s used to Mary taking nathaniel to school. when he realizes, he and his men start searching but they’re long gone. Nathan doesn’t want to be exposed or ppl to talk so he frames things so “Mary and nathaniel died”
-andrew hears about the death, of course, and the loss is so great that he shuts down (thankfully he has bee)
-years pass, Andrew heals as much as he can from the death of his best friend, in that time he found out about Aaron and nicky and Aaron is living with him and bee and nicky visits when he can though he’s mostly living with Erik in Germany
-andrew pursued his passion and wrote and illustrated some children’s books based on the world he and nathaniel created
-nathaniel is now living as neil. His mom died a while ago and his dad may or may not still be after him idk
-he finds the children’s books and just “andrew still remembers????” and starts making his way to find andrew
-neil shows up on Andrews door step and Andrew thinks he’s seeing a ghost or a hallucination because there’s no way nathaniel is still around? but he Is
aaaand that’s all i thought of so. enjoy fjdjdjdjd
andrew’s grumpy bc neil told him he wouldn’t kiss him unless he agreed to spend one day without smoking bc “come on andrew we are soon-to-be professional athletes we can’t destroy our lungs any more than this” and neil just finds his affronted boyfriend adorable
//couldn’t decide if i liked the lineart or the shaded one better so you get both. thanks for the prompts!!
The foxes make the mistake of going to an arcade one (1) time but nobody has fun because andrew is literally unbeatable at air hockey
To expand on this- success at air hockey requires 2 things: 1) the ability to protect your own goal and 2) the ability to redirect the puck to your opponents weakest spots. This is literally what andrew is freakishly good at in exy and he has lightning reflexes and bouncing the puck off the sides of the table is just like bouncing an exy ball off the court walls. Of fucking course he is the undefeated air hockey champion.
Nicky probably zooms to the air hockey table and is bragging about how hes pretty good at it, he and erik used to play it all the time in germany. Maybe he and aaron play a few rounds, but eventually andrew decides to knock nicky down a peg and steps up to the plate. Everyone is a little surprised that andrew gives enough of a shit to actually play. Nicky is just happy andrews interacting with them so hes game, maybe jokes about going easy on andrew since its his first try.
Game begins, nicky serves the puck over to andrews side and so quick you cant barely see it, andrew just darts his arm out and sends the puck clattering straight into nicky’s goal. Nicky cant score a single point on him and the game ends 7-0.
This gets the attention of the others and so now everyone has to try and beat him. No one can even come close to beating him, and andrew is actually kind of sadistically loving beating everyone? Not outwardly, like hes totally trying to play it off as his normal disinterested self, but neil and renee can tell that he’s actually engaged in this.
Finally Kevin is like this is stupid i bet i can beat him following kevins flawed logic that any game that isnt exy should be a walk in the park for him because exy is the Greatest GameTM in the world and kevin is The Best exy player in history thus he should be able to handle a silly, simple arcade game.
Andrew clenches his jaw at this, rolls his eyes to look at neil and says “pick a number 1 through 6”. And kevin doesn’t care for that At All because by now he knows about the time andrew told wymack to pick a number and then that was how many goals he let the other team score. He knows andrew is toying with him and he cant stand it. Neil says “2.”
Sure enough, andrew lets kevin take two goals without even moving to block them. And then he shuts that goal Down. Kevin gets so riled up, he rage quits. Andrew uses all the tickets he won off the others to get shitty arcade prize candy much to Kevin’s chagrin. No one ever makes the mistake of challenging him to play air hockey again (at least not until the new foxes come around and naively disregard the OG foxes’ warnings). Neil swear he saw a the barest twitch of the corner of andrews’ lips upon defeating kevin but it could have been a trick of the light. The end.
For a fanfic writer, it’s been a strange and uncomfortable last two days. The way certain people are being called “problematic” is disturbing me. I’ve seen a few different people targeted and each for very different reasons, so this isn’t aimed at any person in particular but the general cultural environment.
This comes up in fandoms over and over again. It’s not new. It’s far, FAR from the first time I’ve seen it.
Because I love writing and I LOVE reading and I want to keep on doing both, I’m going to share a few thoughts.
For most people, writing itself is scary. Sharing your writing is even scarier. So imagine sharing your writing when you know that the mere fact that you’re writing fanfiction is enough to expose you to shame and ridicule? Let alone gay fanfiction. Let alone explicit gay fanfiction.
This is beyond being embarrassed by grammar or typos or POV mistakes or plot holes. The people who feel safe sharing this hobby openly with their friends and families are the minority. I know people who worry they would lose jobs if their fandom lives were exposed.
Fandom space is supposed to be separate and it’s supposed to be safe.
Yeah, there are dark and twisted and disturbing stories out there but you know what? If you think they’re dark and twisted and disturbing, that means they weren’t written for you. I’m not saying there’s no room for discussion and boundaries and warnings and maybe in the end there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed. But also keep in mind that the tamest of the tame G-rated Kirk/Spock fic could have been called dark and twisted and disturbing in the 1970s.
Go on AO3 in 2019 and there are more stories and novels out there than you could probably read in a lifetime. And they’re written by people who’ve said yeah, fuck that to the narratives that Corporations want us to consume. Who push boundaries, who push beyond peoples’ comfort levels. But also who add inclusivity where it didn’t exist. Who add love where it didn’t exist.
For most of the people who’ve posted these? It was fucking scary. It was a risk.
Though a combination of luck and not being high profile, I’ve avoided the shaming I’ve seen happen to many other authors. But I just posted a explicit 230k RPF canon-based fic about some heavy issues. I have ABO fics online that could better handle issues of consent. I have a fic that, years of hindsight later, could be read as invalidating a character’s sexuality. I’m sure there are a hundred other “problematic” things you could find on close (or not so close) reads of my AO3 account.
So, trust me, I’m well aware that my luck could change at any time.
And, guess what, your favorite authors? The ones you don’t think are problematic? Are like very aware of that as well.
In a few days I’m going to post a new H/L fic. There’s nothing intentionally problematic in it. But could you find something “problematic” if you looked for it? Yeah. Maybe. Probably.
I like reading fanfiction. I like writing it. I believe in it as a valid and important cultural medium.
But trust me when I say that for every author you publicly shame? You probably stop three others from posting their stories. And you might’ve liked some of those.
Let’s not screw it up.
AFTG unofficial PSU EXY Merch is happening
So the official tag for this is #redroanaftgmerch get ya updates here!
I’m currently setting up an initial, limited-run online store for t-shirts and pullover hoodies only. It is looking like for this test run customization will only be #3 Minyard, #10 Josten, and plain PSU Exy. I’m doing apprx. 40 t-shirts and 40 hoodies. If I sell through these I’ll consider adding more stuff if there’s interest. I personally am gunning for a bomber style or baseball/varsity style jacket! And tank tops and baseball caps. If that’s the case, I won’t be able to donate 100% of profits to charity, as I’d have to use some of it for the next round of overhead costs. However! I will announce the charity/charities and release the designs soon! Hopefully by the end of this month. I’m kinda extra busy in April because I’m running some parties/events, doing Easter, and it’s my birthday, so I’m gonna be spending like every weekend really booked. I’ll give updates as often as I can.
Okay… I feel like people need to know that the most important person to write for is… well… you! I read these questions and comments and it makes me feel so sad that everyone is so sensitive. I don’t want to make anyone feel bad… But, as a writer, if I write crap- its my crap. If I post it, I’ll stand by it- or I’ll edit it. Whatever. If I post something good and I get comments and kudos, awesome- I am not going to question it. I’m definitely not the best writer in the world, but, I enjoy it, and I usually love what I write. They’re my babies- and I’m not going to let anyone make me feel bad about my babies. So I hope other writers know that if they love what they are doing, that is enough- you have acheived something and made one person happy. And that is phenomenal! Congrats!
Thank you for not thinking I should die a violent death. And thank you for this ask! I love being asked things. And to respond to your point, that fiction does affect reality, with the example of how representation is pretty awesome: that’s a freaking good point you have there, that I agree with - partially.
This Essay is titled: Fiction and Reality and How the everloving Fuck do they interact and what by nathan wesninski’s underpants does that have to do with fandom discourse?
So, beyond the read more you’ll have a compilation of my thoughts on it (that didn’t take several hours to write and edit). I’ll talk about:
1. Definition Of Fiction, Definition Of Reality
2. (How) Does Fiction Affect Reality?
3. Representation In Fiction
4. Who Judges Fanfic?
5. ”this content is problematic,” says you. ”please don’t mention power dynamics,” replies I
7. A Brief History Of Why Fanfic Is Awesome
8. Links to stuff that might interest you
I’m just gonna. Quickly do that part in radioactive with the deep breath.
It was spring, and the cherry blossoms were falling.
It hadn’t been until his fourth year that Neil had discovered the botanical gardens at PSU when out on a run. Now he lay on his back on the closely-mowed grass, soaking in the last of the sun’s rays before it dropped below the treeline. A blossom drifted down and landed on his chest, and he reached up to touch its waxy softness with a finger. It felt alive, somehow; precious and irreplaceable, even with hundreds of its twins dotting the branches above him.
He could feel the earth spinning beneath him. It was both comforting and terrifying, that feeling of hurtling through space being hugged by the earth. He knew it wasn’t possible to really feel it; the earth was too big, he was too small; but at the same time the sensation was there, and so vivid he couldn’t ignore it.
The sun sank a little lower, shining directly in his eyes, the blossoms above not enough to shield him. He closed his eyes, marveling a little at the rosy light shining through his lids before letting himself drift.
Andrew’s voice calling his name pulled him from his doze. He stretched lazily, wondering at the lightness of his limbs. There was a faint music in the air, some chorus of distant voices in a language he had never learned. When he opened his eyes, night had fallen, the darkness punctuated by a brilliant array of stars above him, constellations he had never seen.
A crescent moon shone down on them, casting subtle shadows. Neil got to his feet. His balance felt different, and he looked down. His body was covered in russet and white fur, his hands shrunk down to paws. There was no surprise; it felt right, to dance on little round feet. He spun around to face Andrew, dropping into a bow.
Andrew too was a fox, watching him with unfathomable golden eyes. When Neil straightened and held out a paw in invitation, Andrew took it. Together they spun through the garden, tripping over the silver moonlight spilled across the grass while above and around them the music got louder. Robin was there, standing under a spruce, clapping her paws in time with the wild dance.
When they finally came to a stop, Neil felt a grin stretch his jaws. They stood shoulder to shoulder while they caught their breath, looking up at the stars that seemed yet closer. With a jolt Neil realized it was the stars that were singing, a glorious hallelujah. As they watched, one released its hold on the inky blackness of the night and fell towards the earth.
As it fell, it turned into a cherry blossom that floated gently on invisible currents. Another followed, and another. Some landed scattered on the grass, some they plucked from the air, savoring the sweet fragrance that followed. Neil wished for something to hold his bounty, and then realized he was wearing an apron that would do nicely.
Andrew’s apron was already full of blossoms, glowing faintly with the echo of their former brilliance. Robin and Neil darted through the grass, picking up all they could. The music continued, slowly fading as one by one the stars fell to earth. By the time the last star fell, the music was but a memory Neil would never forget.
He sank down into the grass, into the spinning of the earth below. The garden still pulsed with magic, but it was quieter, less urgent. He leaned back against Andrew’s warmth, and his eyes closed of their own volition as he was drawn back into the deep water of sleep.
He awoke to familiar fingers carding through his hair, that beloved voice again calling his name. His body felt heavy, imbued with the peace that filled the garden. He blinked up into golden eyes turned silver in the light of the gibbous moon above.
“I had the strangest dream,” he murmured, and Andrew bent down to brush his lips lightly with his own.
“We should go home.”
Neil hummed and closed his eyes again. Andrew’s hands were warm against the chill of the night air, and Neil wanted to stay there like this for the rest of time. But—
“I don’t want you to go.”
He barely whispered the words, but they seemed to rend the air like a shriek. One month. They had one month left before Andrew was off to Boston while Neil was left behind. He had been counting down the days with the same dread he had four years ago.
As if he could read Neil’s thoughts, Andrew’s fingers stilled in his hair, just for a heartbeat, before resuming their gentle combing. “It’s just a year,” he said finally.
“I know.” They would talk, and text, and visit. Neil wouldn’t disappear, as he had so many times. It wasn’t just Andrew that kept him anchored in his life, but all the Foxes. Most especially himself.
With a groan he got to his feet, then froze. Dozens of cherry blossoms fell from his lap, a cascade of tiny delicate stars tumbling onto the grass. He looked at Andrew where he sat cross-legged on the ground; he, too, had a lapful of the flowers. The fragrance dissipated through the air around them as Neil stared into Andrew’s eyes. Eyes that shone like a wild animal’s in the moonlight.
Andrew blinked, and the illusion was gone. They walked home slowly under the stars, now back to their normal positions in the sky. Halfway to the tower Andrew’s fingers slipped into Neil’s, and Neil leaned briefly against his shoulder, soaking in the warm sturdiness of him.
Neil could feel the month speeding by, dragging him along like the pull of a tide. Then another month spent alone with Andrew, a road trip with nights spent leaning back on the hood of the Maserati, listening for music that would never come.
And then he was back at PSU, alone in a dorm room that was the best home he had ever had while Andrew settled into his new apartment almost a thousand miles away. The distance yawned between them. Neil went to the bookcase and scanned the titles, looking for one Andrew had bought him at a used bookstore the previous year.
The slim book with its navy cover was tucked in near the end. He pulled it out and hugged it to his chest for a moment before setting it onto his desk. When he flipped it open, he thought he heard just a whisper of an almost-forgotten song, and a pressed cherry blossom slipped out onto the cheap wood of his desk, along with three ruddy hairs.
The flower looked perfect, as it had the night it had drifted down onto his chest. Neil blinked against the burning in his eyes, and felt a smile pull at his lips when he saw the words on the page where the blossom had been living.
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. The Little Prince
@fuzzballsheltiepants first of all you had me at ‘botanical gardens’. Nah scrap that, you had me when I saw YOU posted this!! When I read this it feels like the style and story are one thing together or maybe like they’re stimulating each other, make each other more beautiful. It reads like prose, so smooth <3 I love how the story has both surrealistic and realistic aspects but are at the same kind of harmonious; hm how do say it, it feels 'right’ neil had that dream and that it came back to him…if you understand :) Andreil’s long distance relationship always saddens me but your ending sounds hopeful, i like it very much! Thank you so much for sharing 😊
its nearly summer so just imagine neil sprawled out on the bed, taking up all the space. its sometime after midday and neil’s just had his post-run shower. his hair’s all wet and curly and sticking up where it’s started to dry against the sheets and andrew does. not. want to reach out from where he’s folded himself into the corner with his book to comb his fingers through it.
still, no matter how much he definitely doesn’t want to, his fingers reach out and do it anyway. they slot themselves into neil’s soft hair and neil leans into the touch, stretches out like a cat, all legs and arms, his shirt—andrew’s shirt—riding up so the strip of skin above the wasitband of his joggers is exposed in the cracked light from the window. andrew thinks he wouldn’t mind pressing his fingers there, too, but that would mean getting up, and he’s perfectly comfortable in his corner cocoon with sir curled up at his feet (not that he’d tell the bastard cat that, because she’s already smug enough as it is).
neil tilts his head back to look at andrew upside down, and whatever he sees makes him roll onto his side so he can stare properly like the idiot he is. andrew tugs on his hair and the corners of neil’s mouth turn upwards in a smile that is as soft as it is infuriating.
andrew turns back to his book so that he doesn’t have to look at it anymore, but he can’t concentrate on the pages with neil watching him in that way of his, all admiring and stupidly enamoured, like they’re in one of the awful rom-coms that nicky forces them to watch whenever he visits.
“stop it,” andrew says. he makes the mistake of turning his attention back to neil, who just smiles wider.
“i’m not doing anything.” neil does something with his eyelashes that andrew is sure is supposed to be conveying his innocence but only makes andrew want to shove him off the bed. or kiss him. it’s a toss up as to which would be more satisfying.
he pushes the curls off neil’s forehead and out of his eyes instead, because he has gotten horribly soft and utterly hopeless, and because his hand is a traitor with a mind of it’s own. neil sighs happily, like the child he is, and then: “you’re so pretty.”
andrew gives his hair another tug in warning, harder this time, because how many times has he told neil not to say such stupid things? neil only smiles lazily, sleepily, his whole body relaxed in a way that it is only when it’s just the two of them alone, hands curled and splayed out on the mattress between them, not touching, but close. his eyes are half lidded, his clothes wrinkled from where they’ve been lying on the floor, a blanket wrapped around his legs haphazardly. he smells like the apple shampoo they share, which means he smells like andrew, which means they smell like each other. it’s disgusting, really. andrew is definitely not waxing poetic and he’s absolutely not tracing the shell of neil’s ear with his index finger.
“shut up,” he tells neil. he doesn’t say you too, but the way neil looks at him, he might as well have.