[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Marykate Jasper

shutterstock_Airport

This story is still developing, but United–delivering on its brand promise as America’s absolute worst airline–has apparently added sexist nonsense to its many other sins. A gate agent reportedly banned young girls from boarding a flight from Denver to Minneapolis because they were wearing grey leggings.

Shannon Watts, the founder of gun control advocacy group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, tweeted the following from the Denver gate, where she was waiting to board a flight to Mexico:

Watts later clarified that the young girls were white, and one of them was only 10 years old.

As is United’s wont, they responded with risible, tone-deaf customer service, tweeting the following response to Watts:

They then blanket-tweeted this response to all further inquiries.

Eventually, someone with basic PR experience must have been called over, and United offered this more specific, concrete explanation for their treatment of the girls:

Watts had the perfect response:

Whatever type of ticket these girls had, it’s still trash behavior to police the clothing of 10-year-olds. And yes, there are much bigger issues with U.S. airlines right now: the Muslim ban (2.0), “random” screenings, the TSA’s sexual-assault body searches, etc. But this is still an egregious example of the ways that girls are randomly policed and inappropriately sexualized. This is how we teach girls that their comfort is disgusting, that their shame should be paramount, and that their bodies are not their own.

I expected about a thousand tweets of leggings-wearing women on United’s competitors in 3,2…

(Via Twitter and Washington Post; image via Shutterstock)

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Half marathon race report

Mar. 26th, 2017 01:57 pm
semielliptical: woman running in a field (running)
[personal profile] semielliptical
Way back in January I committed to [personal profile] magnetic_pole's challenge to post 17 times in 2017...and then didn't post anything. For a long time. But posting now is better than never, so here I am!

I had a good experience running a half marathon this morning. In planning for the race, I knew that I was ready to improve on my half PR, so I set a goal of 2:10, which would have been a 2 minute improvement. The first 2 miles I was getting warmed up (due to cool weather, and getting to the race too late to do a warm up) so I was slower than the pace I needed, but talked myself into being confident that I could pick up the pace, and I did. My mile splits varied, but I came through the half-way point on target for 2:09. Around mile 9 I caught up with the 2:10 pacer, who turned out not to be the official pacer, but a guy who had volunteered to take the sign when the pacer had to drop back. He didn't have a watch, and said he was going to err on the side of finishing a little faster than 2:10. He had some friendly advice about the last few miles, which had the potential for a strong headwind blowing off a river, luckily not too bad today. He pulled ahead, but then I caught up to him about 1 mile from the finish and he encouraged me to "run it in" - it was nice to get that extra incentive to pass him, and a bunch of other runners, and I finished in just under 2:07! I had not expected to finish three minutes faster than my goal.

I love attacking the last section of a race, feeling strong and fast, and accomplished at the end.

It's been a while since I've run a race where my main goal was my time. I think it was useful to remind myself that I *can* run faster in race conditions, and that I could actually set even more ambitious goals given the right conditions. On the drive home I was thinking about why I tend to be cautious about race time goals. Some of it is fear of pain, but I think I might also be influenced by being conservative about goals in other settings. At work, for example, I think it's smart to set a realistic rather than overly ambitious timeline for a project.

How do you feel about ambitious vs. conservative goals? When does it make sense to set a goal that you know you can reach?

(no subject)

Mar. 26th, 2017 11:00 am
echan: Kaworu Nagisa from Evangelion (Default)
[personal profile] echan
I need refills on all my drugs, but I'm tired of dealing with my current pharmacy. Their logistical skills, which have always been sub-par, have lately gone in the toilet.

Last time I went to get refills they told me the wait would be an hour. It used to be 45 minutes, but an hour is fine too, time to go get dinner and come back. I get back and get told not yet, 20 more minutes. So I wait, and go up to the counter again and get told 30 more minutes and I say screw it I'll pick it up tomorrow.

My pharmacy before that one no longer exists. (RIP Target pharmacy bottles.)

I transferred all the scripts to another pharmacy, closer to my house. It was relatively trouble free, so far. But the one thing I can trust my current pharmacy on is complete disinterest in my drugs; very few pharmacies are quite so nonjudgemental.

There's also the one script I never bothered to get the prior auth approved for. That self pay price has ballooned from $40 to $600. I'm not even sure I want to take that one anymore; maybe I'll just get surgery and be done with it.

The drugs only change when the doc changes. They all want me on them indefinitely, forever. But no 10 year supply, nope, docs love a short leash.

The first unit nurse I ever had called our medication 'drugs'. I was 12, the rest of the kids not much older. We loved it. The tshirt that had the Olympic rings made out of colored condoms didn't hurt, too.
[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Marykate Jasper

shutterstock_240128791

When appeals to compassion and science don’t work, sometimes it’s time to try sportsball money.

The NCAA is deciding where to host its championship games for the next four years, and they’ve made it clear that North Carolina will be cut out of contention if the state does not repeal HB2, its discriminatory transgender “bathroom bill.” The NCAA committee will announce all championship event locations for 2018-2022 on April 18, and  “once the sites are selected by the committee, those decisions are final.”

The April 18 deadline means that, realistically, Republicans in North Carolina need to repeal HB2 within the next week or so if they want North Carolina to even enter the discussion. And there is a lot of money at stake here. According to the Associated Press, “The North Carolina Sports Association has said more than 130 bids have been submitted to the NCAA, estimating more than $250 million in potential economic impact.”

In its statement, the NCAA didn’t budge on its existing opposition to HB2.

“Last year, the NCAA Board of Governors relocated NCAA championships scheduled in North Carolina because of the cumulative impact HB2 had on local communities’ ability to assure a safe, healthy, discrimination free atmosphere for all those watching and participating in our events.

Absent any change in the law, our position remains the same regarding hosting current or future events in the state.”

Given both the moral and economic incentives, a rational government might be moved to repeal HB2. However, over the past year, North Carolina Republicans have repeatedly prioritized discrimination over the welfare and economy of their state, as HB2 cost North Carolina jobs, prestige and money. The NCAA already moved seven scheduled championship games out of North Carolina last year; the NBA moved the 2017 All-Star Game to New Orleans; a cancelled conference in Asheville lost the state $1.5 million; both PayPal and Deutsche Bank backed out of planned job expansions in Charlotte and Cary, respectively. Multiple states banned official government travel to North Carolina. Musicians have cancelled concerts. Hell, Duke fans even blamed their March Madness loss on HB2, since the NCAA had moved their tournament game from home turf in Greensboro, NC to Greensville, SC.

None of this has convinced Republicans to do the right thing, so I don’t know how much impact the NCAA’s statement will realistically have.

However, there are ongoing talks in the state legislature. North Carolina recently elected a Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, and he has repeatedly called on Republicans to repeal HB2. “We can’t let this law see its first birthday…HB2 has divided us and stained our reputation,” he said in a statement back in February.

Cooper offered a compromise solution, described in the Charlotte Observer as “repeal coupled with stricter penalties for bathroom crimes and a requirement for local governments to notify lawmakers 30 days before adopting any non-discrimination ordinance.” Unfortunately, neither the Republicans nor Equality NC and the Human Rights Campaign like Cooper’s proposal.

In addition, North Carolina has the option of opting for a slimey half-measure. Texas, for example, is considering a similarly discriminatory “bathroom bill” called SB6–but with a key clause that allows private organizations to decide their own bathroom policies at any public facilities that they rent. This would theoretically protect Texas from an NCAA ban, as it would allow the NCAA to set inclusive bathroom policies at any Texas stadiums where it holds championships. That said, this clause is untested; it’s unclear whether it would ultimately be acceptable to the NCAA, as SB6 would still affect the hotels, restaurants, and other amenities surrounding the stadium itself.

The moral arguments against HB2 have been obvious for a long, long time. As the economic arguments continue to stack up, North Carolina’s legislature is running out of defenses for a bill that was indefensible to begin with.

(Via LGBTQNation / Associated Press, USA TodayCharlotte Observer, and SB Nation; image via Shutterstock/Nagel Photography)

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moetushie: Beaton cartoon - a sexy revolution. (Default)
[personal profile] moetushie
Fic meme! Gathered from at least three different sources!

Pick a fic, ask a question.

My works, sorted by length

1: What inspired you to write the fic this way?
2: What scene did you first put down?
3: What’s your favorite line of narration?
4: What’s your favorite line of dialogue?
5: What part was hardest to write?
6: What makes this fic special or different from all your other fics?
7: Where did the title come from?
8: Did any real people or events inspire any part of it?
9: Were there any alternate versions of this fic?
10: Why did you choose this pairing for this particular story?
11: What do you like best about this fic?
12: What do you like least about this fic?
13: What music did you listen to, if any, to get in the mood for writing this story? Or if you didn’t listen to anything, what do you think readers should listen to to accompany us while reading?
14: Is there anything you wanted readers to learn from reading this fic?
15: What did you learn from writing this fic?

In Chicago

NSFW Mar. 25th, 2017 06:29 pm
petra: Barbara Gordon smiling knowingly (Default)
[personal profile] petra
( You're about to view content that the journal owner has advised should be viewed with discretion. )
[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Amanda

The Kindle Daily Deals today are amazing! We’re going to feature a few of them today so you don’t miss out while they’re on sale, but be sure to check out the rest of the books discounted!

Year of Yes

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes is $2.99! This is a Kindle Daily Deal and it’s bring price matched. I’ve had this recommended to me several times, especially on audio. Even most people who don’t normally read memoirs or self-help enjoyed this one. However, some admittedly found it to be slow and without direction.

The mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder chronicles how saying YES for one year changed her life―and how it can change yours, too.

With three hit shows on television and three children at home, the uber-talented Shonda Rhimes had lots of good reasons to say NO when an unexpected invitation arrived. Hollywood party? No. Speaking engagement? No. Media appearances? No.

And there was the side-benefit of saying No for an introvert like Shonda: nothing new to fear.

Then Shonda’s sister laid down a challenge: just for one year, try to say YES to the unexpected invitations that come your way. Shonda reluctantly agreed―and the result was nothing short of transformative. In Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes chronicles the powerful impact saying yes had on every aspect of her life―and how we can all change our lives with one little word. Yes.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo iBooks

 

 

 

Cream of the Crop

Cream of the Crop by Alice Clayton is $2.99! This is another Kindle Daily Deal and features a dairy farmer hero who looks like Jason Momoa. Clayton’s books are usually hilarious, but light on angst if you’re a reader who likes their drama. I also made a salted caramel White Russian to go along with the books release!

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton brings her trademark blend of funny and sexy to this second contemporary romance in the brand-new Hudson Valley series!

Manhattan’s It Girl, Natalie Grayson, has it all: she’s a hot exec at a leading advertising firm, known industry-wide for her challenging and edgy campaigns. She’s got a large circle of friends, a family that loves her dearly, and her dance card is always full with handsome eligible bachelors. What else could a modern gal-about-town wish for? The answer, of course, is…cheese.

Natalie’s favorite part of each week is spending Saturday morning at the Union Square Farmer’s Market, where she indulges her love of all things triple cream. Her favorite booth also indulges her love of all things handsome. Oscar Mendoza, owner of the Bailey Falls Creamery and purveyor of the finest artisanal cheeses the Hudson Valley has to offer, is tall, dark, mysterious, and a bit oblivious. Or so she thinks. But that doesn’t stop Natalie from fantasizing about the size of his, ahem, milk can.

Romance is churning, passion is burning, and something incredible is rising to the top. Could it be…love?

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo iBooks

 

 

 

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert is $1.99 and part of today’s Kindle Daily Deals! I’ll be honest; this book sounds delightful and delicious. I know I’ll be taking advantage of this sale. Readers loved the writing, but some found themselves wanting more in terms of the romantic aspects. It has a 3.7-star rating on Goodreads.

YOU’VE GOT MAIL meets HOW TO EAT A CUPCAKE in this delightful novel about a talented chef and the food critic who brings down her restaurant—whose chance meeting turns into a delectable romance of mistaken identities.

In downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lou works tirelessly to build her beloved yet struggling French restaurant, Luella’s, into a success. She cheerfully balances her demanding business and even more demanding fiancé…until the morning she discovers him in the buff—with an intern.

Witty yet gruff British transplant Al is keeping himself employed and entertained by writing scathing reviews of local restaurants in the Milwaukee newspaper under a pseudonym. When an anonymous tip sends him to Luella’s, little does he know he’s arrived on the worst day of the chef’s life. The review practically writes itself: underdone fish, scorched sauce, distracted service—he unleashes his worst.

The day that Al’s mean-spirited review of Luella’s runs, the two cross paths in a pub: Lou drowning her sorrows, and Al celebrating his latest publication. As they chat, Al playfully challenges Lou to show him the best of Milwaukee and she’s game—but only if they never discuss work, which Al readily agrees to. As they explore the city’s local delicacies and their mutual attraction, Lou’s restaurant faces closure, while Al’s column gains popularity. It’s only a matter of time before the two fall in love…but when the truth comes out, can Lou overlook the past to chase her future?

Set in the lovely, quirky heart of Wisconsin, THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE is a charming love story of misunderstandings, mistaken identity, and the power of food to bring two people together.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo iBooks Audible

 

 

 

The Leopard King

The Leopard King by Ann Aguirre is $2.99! This is the first book in her paranormal romance series, Ars Numina. And man, that cover is amazeballs. Readers loved the emotions the hero and heroine experienced, but some wished there was a bit more information about the world and setting. I also totally bought this one the last time it was on sale.

Proud. Imperious. Impassioned.

Until three years ago, those words applied to Dominic Asher, the leader of Ash Valley. His family has ruled the feline branch of the Animari for hundreds of years, guiding the pride through perilous times. Unspeakable loss drove him into seclusion, a feral beast nobody can tame. Now he’s wrecked, a leopard king in exile, and he wants nothing more than to die.

Fierce. Loyal. Determined.

Fortunately for Dom, those words still apply to Pru Bristow, his dead mate’s best friend. She’s had her heart broken too, but she never quits. With the conclave approaching, alliances with the Pine Ridge pack and Burnt Amber clans on the verge of collapse, she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to drag their leader back, before his second can start a war.

At best theirs seems like a desperate alliance, but when their mate bond turns hot and fierce, there’s no end to the questions and the doubts. Neither of them expects to fall in love. But sometimes people don’t know what they’re looking for until they find it.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo iBooks

 

 

 

(no subject)

Mar. 26th, 2017 03:39 pm
lookingforoctober: (Default)
[personal profile] lookingforoctober
I seem to find it easier to construct a story around a character arc than around a plot. Structurally, I just seem to be able to hold on to that better.

But it's hard to retrofit a character arc into a plotty story, if it's not obvious already from the plot...

So I'm not convinced the answer is to make everything into character arcs instead of plot (since I do want to write plotty stories), but it's still a thought.
[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Jon Skovron

shutterstock_350514203 (1)

We all live rich, complicated lives. And yet many of us have a tendency to think of things outside ourselves in the binary of this or that, yes or no, good or bad, right or wrong, male or female, gay or straight. It keeps life simple, and gives us a feeling of safety and security that the world is—if not likable—at least understandable. Most of the time, reality seems to square with this mode of thinking because on average, most things are close enough to seem like they fit in one category or the other. But every once in a while, life throws you something that simply won’t work within that reductive, binary thinking. Those moments can be disorienting, upsetting, and at times even frightening.

There have been many moments in my life where I was forced to confront the fact that life is not as simple as “this or that”. When my ex-wife, and mother of my children, fell in love with and married a woman, I sent an emotional and perhaps somewhat hysterical email to a lesbian friend of mine asking if it meant that my ex, with whom I’d had a nine year relationship, had never truly loved me. Sure, the marriage had ended, but I’d always thought there had been a lot of good times. Above all, I’d thought it had been real. But had it all been a lie? A fake out?

That was when my friend, who is as levelheaded as she is kind, gently explained the concept of fluidity to me. It is this idea that there may be times in our lives when we fit into the neat binary categories of straight or gay or bi, but that ultimately, the nature of life is to change. To slowly grow and mature, then just as slowly (if we’re lucky) decline. We accept that this happens to us physically, so why not in other aspects of ourselves? I am not the person I was twenty years ago. None of us are. We don’t even have the same cells in our bodies. Why would we think that there are fixed points in ourselves, some unchangeable elements, when nothing in the entirety of existence suggests that is true?

Look, I know. It’s not easy to step outside the construct we’ve grown up with our whole lives and see things differently. And that, my friends, is where the monsters and magic come to our aid! Our fantasy worlds can be anything we want. All our dreams manifest. If we can imagine flying dragons and elves, why not a third gender, or a fourth, or a whole spectrum of gender? If we can imagine someone with the ability to move things with their mind, why not someone who’s mind works completely differently from our own, and that’s it ok and doesn’t need a “cure”? Fantasy opens the doors to possibilities so wide they are nearly endless. It offers an excellent opportunity for an author to ask, “Is this particular social construct necessary for my story? Or is it actually holding it back?”

I experiment with concepts of gender a fair amount in my Empire of Storms trilogy. One of the two main protagonists, Red, is a charming, roguish thief. And while he is a man, he is not what you would call stereotypically “manly” or “macho”. He is thoughtful, sensitive, emotional, and creative. He was raised primarily by a woman, most of his friends are women, and his one close male friend is gay. When I described this character to one of my few male friends, a man who is also gay, he rolled his eyes and said, “Write what you know, huh, Jonny?” And he’s absolutely correct. Red is, in part, my attempt to embrace and celebrate my own somewhat unconventional masculinity. To imagine it as something cool, when for most of my life I have been told by other men that it is not.

That is a fairly subtle example, I suppose. Perhaps a more pronounced one would be the character of Brigga Lin. Although her name doesn’t appear in the title of either Hope and Red or Bane and Shadow, I’ve always thought of her as the unofficial third protagonist, mainly because from the first moment she hit the page, she has been such an endless joy to write. In Hope and Red, she magically changes her body from male to female. While it’s true she has a specific goal in mind when doing so, there were other ways she could have attained that goal. Ways that would have been easier, and far less physically painful (side note: my editor dubbed this “the exploding penis scene”). Her ultimate goal is power, and as many transgender folk will tell you, there’s a whole lot of power to be found in truly understanding and accepting yourself. I would suggest that it is this self-acceptance, even more than the magical power she gains, that makes her such a force to be reckoned with throughout the trilogy. She is not perfect. None of us are. But she is damn cool. And I’d like to think that if you are someone who is not accustomed to hanging out with transgender folk, then maybe as you get to know and like Brigga Lin—perhaps even love her, as I do—it might give you some practice in imagining having a transgender person in your own life.

Because while fantasy can be reductive and polarizing, with good versus evil cliches, it can just as easily show a world that is rich and complex and messy, and all the more beautiful for that. Once we imagine something outside our own experience, our brain can begin to process it. We can work out our fears and misgivings toward these unfamiliar elements to make them not only accessible, but relatable. And maybe even cool.

(image via Shutterstock/Tithi Luadthong)

Jon Skovron is the author of several young adult novels and his short stories have appeared in publications such as ChiZine and Baen’s Universe. He is the author of the Empire of Storms series of books from Orbit: HOPE AND RED, BANE AND SHADOW, and the forthcoming BLOOD AND TEMPEST (Fall 2017). He lives just outside Washington, D.C. with his two sons and two cats.

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

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Weekly Random Post of Random

Mar. 26th, 2017 08:57 am
alisanne: (Default)
[personal profile] alisanne


And, since we're all fans, I thought we'd all appreciate this )

And remember! LOVE TRUMPS HATE. <3

Beauty and the Beast

Mar. 26th, 2017 09:53 am
lunabee34: (are those men kissing? by animekittysama)
[personal profile] lunabee34
I went to see this with Emma yesterday, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. I've been reading a lot of grousing about everything in this movie from Emma Watson to the music to the yellow dress to the pacing; lots and lots of people are prepared to despise this movie (most of the grousing is from before the movie even aired, naturally). I thought it was pretty great.

SPOILERS )

Meme from [personal profile] naraht

Mar. 26th, 2017 02:29 pm
el_staplador: English Royal Arms; caption 'honi soit qui mal y pense' (honi soit qui mal y pense)
[personal profile] el_staplador
Usual drill: pick one of my fics; pick a question. Fics are here, in descending order of word count to send the drabbles to the bottom.

1: What inspired you to write the fic this way?
2: What scene did you first put down?
3: What’s your favorite line of narration?
4: What’s your favorite line of dialogue?
5: What part was hardest to write?
6: What makes this fic special or different from all your other fics?
7: Where did the title come from?
8: Did any real people or events inspire any part of it?
9: Were there any alternate versions of this fic?
10: Why did you choose this pairing for this particular story?
11: What do you like best about this fic?
12: What do you like least about this fic?
13: What music did you listen to, if any, to get in the mood for writing this story? Or if you didn’t listen to anything, what do you think readers should listen to to accompany us while reading?
14: Is there anything you wanted readers to learn from reading this fic?
15: What did you learn from writing this fic?

Fic meme from Tumblr

Mar. 26th, 2017 01:33 pm
naraht: (Default)
[personal profile] naraht
This is one of the best fic memes that I've seen. I love most of these questions.

My fic

1: What inspired you to write the fic this way?
2: What scene did you first put down?
3: What’s your favorite line of narration?
4: What’s your favorite line of dialogue?
5: What part was hardest to write?
6: What makes this fic special or different from all your other fics?
7: Where did the title come from?
8: Did any real people or events inspire any part of it?
9: Were there any alternate versions of this fic?
10: Why did you choose this pairing for this particular story?
11: What do you like best about this fic?
12: What do you like least about this fic?
13: What music did you listen to, if any, to get in the mood for writing this story? Or if you didn’t listen to anything, what do you think readers should listen to to accompany us while reading?
14: Is there anything you wanted readers to learn from reading this fic?
15: What did you learn from writing this fic?

(no subject)

Mar. 26th, 2017 01:32 pm
quarter_to_five: (Default)
[personal profile] quarter_to_five
I have this writing bunny bouncing around in my head where it's a kind of campy pastiche of orientalist Edwardian lady derring do ala Gertrude Bell but set in Central Asia instead of the Middle East (beats me why) and seems to be situated somewhere between romance and erotica genre-wise and, like, hopefully not racist,

which, ok, so far so good, but for some reason the brain is insisting on a framing device, possibly multiple framing devices, where its set much later (WW2ish) and its someone finding this personal/political/elaborately smutty journal and having to track down the protagonist for Important Information To Defeat Nazis (because why not, nazis) accross soon-to-be-at-war Europe and then Gertrude-Bell-Character gets involved with his wife (I dunno, k?) etcetera, and the journal in and of itself as a physical object is also stolen by someone else back in the original Edwardian timeline so there's a second point-of-view first-timeline character emerging all of which I feel is really unneccessary for the actual thing but there we go.

Point being, I'm writing none of this because I'm in grad school and never write anything that doesn't have a citation anymore, but I did spend half the weekend working out in meticulous detail the perspective switches and epistolary interjection one pivotal scene would need to work with this needlessly elaborate framing device.

*headdesk*

(I also finished an abstract tho!)

OMG! I ficced!

Mar. 26th, 2017 11:34 am
kayim: (Mag7: Ezra)
[personal profile] kayim posting in [community profile] mag7daybook
I actually wrote Mag7 fic today, for the first time since (*checks AO3*), November 2015!!

That's actually a little depressing, considering how often I think about the boys.

But anyway, if you would like to read (and comment, critique, throw additional plot bunnies), it's over on AO3. It's only 405 words, and seems more like the first part of something, rather than a full fic, but I quite like it.

A gun, a bullet, and a bottle of Jack Daniel's. [WARNING: There are mentions of suicidal thoughts, but they are not acted on.]

If you want to brainstorm some ideas for more fic based on it, feel free to do so!

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