R.I.P. It or Ship It: Round 1

For round 1, I picked:

Daine Sarrasri from the Tortall Universe
and
Alexander Hamilton from Hamilton

Background
Daine Sarrasri, the lame follow-up protagonist to Alanna of Trebond, almost made me swear off fantasy. Daine represents everything I hate in female characters: she has the power to talk to animals, but is too incompetent to be of much use. She’s so pure and shy that the plot practically glosses over her. The Strong Female Character trope rose as a reaction to characters like Daine. Shyness, femininity, and empathy don’t have to result in bland, weak, useless characters, yet HERE WE ARE.

You either love or hate Alexander Hamilton, the fast-talking immigrant from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s magnum opus. He outwits British armies! He fights political corruption! He stands up for his ideals! He cheats on his wife! A bunch! Enough times that his murder at the hands of Aaron Burr comes as a relief!

The Couple
All arguments about his complexity aside, Alexander makes a TERRIBLE husband. He picks work over his wife every time, flirting with his sister-in-law through letters meanwhile.

Gross.

Let’s say both Schuyler sisters are out of the picture. Would this arrogant founding father enjoy being eclipsed by a woman who has supernatural abilities?

Related image
“Nope!”

“I’m a wizard with the press!”
“I’m a literal wizard.”

“I defeated the British armies with my tactical brilliance!”
“I deposed a king by storming his castle with an army of zombie dinosaurs.”

While Daine isn’t the one-upping type, no way would Alexander be cool with sharing the spotlight.

As much as I hate Daine, she deserves better.

Verdict: R.I.P. IT

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R.I.P. It or Ship It

It’s time to ship some characters.

love stupid ships. When writing with friends, my go-to prompt is always, “Write the most unlikely couple you can think of.” I find this exercise fascinating even if they hate doing it. Some of my favorite ships have started as a joke; the more I laugh, the more sense the pairing makes.

So I played “R.I.P. It or Ship It” and the results were intense.

I picked 30 characters from 15 of my favorite franchises. To make things interesting, I picked a character I love from each franchise alongside a character I have more complicated feelings for.

Then I made some arbitrary rules:

  1. I tried to pick only 2 characters per franchise. (I may have cheated with “Star Wars.”)
  2. Any underage characters were aged up for the purposes of this game.
  3. Because I was more interested in dynamics than in canon potential, incompatible orientation was not a dealbreaker.

Here were the players:

The Lunar Chronicles
Jacin Clay (love) and Cress Darnell (loathe)

Harry Potter
Harry Potter (love) and Remus Lupin (loathe)

Fruits Basket
Kyo Sohma (love) and Shigure Sohma (dislike)

Avatar: The Last Airbender
Prince Zuko (love) and Princess Azula (despise)

Star Wars: New Trilogy
Kylo Ren (LOVE) and Admiral Hux (dislike)

Star Wars: Prequel Trilogy
Queen Amidala (like) and Anakin Skywalker (despise)

The Raven Cycle
Ronan Lynch (LOVE) and Adam Parrish (long story)

Northanger Abbey
Henry Tilney (LOVE) and Catherine Morland (resent)

Jane Austen’s Emma
Emma Woodhouse (like) and Harriet Smith (LOATHE)

You Know Me Well
Kate (like) and Ryan (DESPISE)

BBC’s The Musketeers
Porthos (LOVE) and Athos (LOATHE)

The Princess Diaries
Mia Thermopolis (like) and Lilly Moscovitz (loathe)

Tamora Pierce’s Tortall Universe
Alanna of Trebond (like) and Daine Sarrasri (despise)

Hamilton
Aaron Burr (love) and Alexander Hamilton (hate)

RENT
Mark Cohen (like) and Roger Davis (long story)

Thus occurred 15 rounds of romances so impossible they each deserve their own post.

No, I’m not doing well

I came here

for art, for energy, for community, for people like me, done with

“accidental” pregnancies and tiny weddings and Trump rallies

and surely, maybe

I’d meet more men

in a city of 700,000.

Bursting with creativity

I came here.

 

Now I’m stuck

in this ugly gray

where walking down the sidewalk in a straight line

is an Olympic sport

and nobody

knows how to drive,

beating back screaming homeless

and rude Chinese ladies

and I didn’t ask for this.

I didn’t fucking ask for this.

 

I’m tired

of mixers, classes,

being proactive,

waiting on men

who remain passive

and I’m twenty-two again

waiting around

waiting still

and nothing

has changed.

 

Meanwhile, my church

pays lip service to loving singles,

all around me married people

making plans, making visits,

making time,

and sure-okay-I-guess-

you’re-invited-but

holy-shit-what

will-we-talk-

about.

 

Stuck

in small talk-

“What do you do?

Did you just move?

How long have you

been coming here?”-

endless meeting

and greeting

conversations repeating

and

no

invites

no

meet-ups

until

I

pick up the phone

I

suggest a spot

I

make the first move

always

the first move

and every

one

after

and they say

I’m welcome,

I’m always

welcome,

caught

in the gulf

between

“Can I come over?”

and

“Come on in.”

 

When

the life changes

that would make me

palatable

feel

so far away

they seem

impossible.

 

When I’m a model

member of my life

stage,

when I’ve

attended

every Bible study

baby shower

class meeting,

still

the prodigal

is welcomed, paraded,

appearance lauded,

“We’re so glad you made it!”

when I’ve-

I’ve been here

the whole

time.

 

“But you have God!”

feels more and more

insulting

like I haven’t trusted

like I haven’t tried

like I haven’t been praying,

like I can’t hear the truth

in what they’re saying:

I have God

because

no one else

wants me.