Move Me at Samothrace

He was a work of art, staring at the Winged Victory of Samothrace where she stood at the top of the stairs. His dark curls hanging in his face just enough to bring out the youth of it as large, grey eyes looked up, mesmerized by the softness of the stone, the movement in the carved fabric. In this space, Renoir was like an ancient patron of Nike, herself.

Gethin came behind him, hands snaking around Renoir’s sharp hips as they pulled the smaller man against him. Ren’s love of art, his fascination with the motion such stillness could create, made Gethin’s heart flutter. To see someone become so completely enraptured when faced with something they loved… It was a beautiful thing. As beautiful as Ren was in that moment. Gethin nuzzled his nose into lush curls and placed a kiss just behind Ren’s ear with a smile. The both of them each had a Bluetooth earbud in, classical music playing so they could feel like they were in their own little world as they walked through the gallery, steps paced with the violins in their ears.

Ren was leaning back against Gethin’s chest, humming softly along with the music and swaying slightly. It gave Gethin an idea, the perfect idea, and it consumed him instantly. Reaching into Ren’s pock to take out his phone, Gethin thumbed through the various playlists until he found what he was looking for. The gentle beat of the drums filled their ears and, as the lyrics began, Renoir turned in Gethin’s arms, a puzzled look on his fine-featured face.

“Dance with me,” Gethin whispered, taking Ren’s hand in one of his own, the other remaining on Ren’s hip.

Renoir’s lips twitched at the sides, a smile before he started the song over again and set his hand on Gethin’s shoulder. As the lyrics began once again, they moved slowly, side to side at first like high school students at prom, before their steps developed into something more akin to choreography. Gethin guided Ren into careful spins, arms extended to set him back before a controlled tensing of the muscles in his shoulder brought Ren safely back into his chest. Neither of them were dancers, just two people who found a guilty pleasure in talent competitions, but that was hardly relevant to two young men in love at the Louvre. They simply allowed the song, the flow of words and drums and the gentle passion of the music’s makeup, to dictate their steps, their hands, their look-but-don’t-touch grace as their faces came close enough to kiss, but neither leaned in to do so. It wasn’t time. Not yet.

If people were watching, neither noticed nor cared. As far as they were concerned, all that existed between Gethin and Renoir was each other and the Irish singer in their ears encouraging them to move.

A proper smile came to Renoir’s lips as the song built, their dance growing faster. A passion took over, a need that brought heat to every point of contact, each step hitting harder as the music came to a climax before growing quiet once again and coming to a tender end. As Renoir crashed into Gethin’s chest for the final time, breathing a little heavier and cheeks a little bit flushed, Gethin placed a kiss to his forehead just between his eyebrows. A small rough of applause pulled them from themselves and the young men smiled as they offered a polite wave to the tourists before continuing, hand-in-hand, through the gallery.

“I think I’m ready to leave,” Ren said, his usually quiet voice sounding smaller in the vast space.

“Okay,” Gethin replied. “Do you want to go home?”

Renoir squeezed Gethin’s hand slightly, leaning against him as they walked. “Not yet.”

“How does getting some lemonade and making out in the courtyard sound?”

“Perfect,” Ren answered, a smile on his lips as he placed a kiss to Gethin’s jawline. “That sounds perfect.”


This story is dedicated to the future Mr. Welsh who will tolerate my undying love of art galleries, and to Hozier, whose song “Movement” was the main inspiration.

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Fun with Ahsoka Tano

Yesterday was a wonderful day here in Toronto. The weather was cool, I spent the day with my best friend, and – better yet – I got to meet one of my favourite Star Wars characters, Ahsoka Tano!!

her-universe-lego-dress.jpgI have adored the Her Universe clothes line from the moment I first heard of it, and during a fashion show livestream I watched from SDCC, I died when I learned that the one making all the sure cool Ahsoka clothing was Ahsoka herself!! Ashley Eckstein is such a bundle of joy and nerdiness I’ve wanted her to come to Toronto for ages now. Any Clones Wars or even Rebels fans know how important Ahsoka is and how strong she is as a character. Her development through five seasons of one show and then her several appearances in the other mean the world to me. So when Ashley posted on Instagram she was coming to the Eaton Centre, I couldn’t say no.

The reason she was coming was to promote her new book, It’s Your Universe: You Have The Power To Make It Happen. Flipping through it in line, the book is part autobiography and part inspirational guide to making your dreams come true. It’s about showing how someone who has been told nothing but “No” or “You can’t do that” can still be a success and achieve dreams others felt impossible. It can be for children or for adults because at the end of the day, we could all use being told to never give up no matter how impossible our dreams my seem.

The signing itself was held in the Eaton Centre’s Hot Topic (a dark place I haven’t set foot in in ages) and felt to take forever, but for once I didn’t mind waiting in line in a store that was a thousand degrees. No, I’m serious. Ashley – and surprise guest E.K. Johnston – were taking their time and talking to every single fan that was there. She was asking people who their favourite character was, why they came to see her, if they liked Rebels or Clone Wars better, and then thanking every single fan for taking time out of their day to come down. Not only that, but E.K. and Ashley were also taking pictures with everyone.

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It was probably one of the best book signing experiences of my life and I am still so happy I got to meet Ashley Eckstein while decked out in Star Wars everything. (She even complimented my Mud Trooper hat from the Smuggler’s Bounty Solo box)

PS. – I had already had the honour of meeting E.K. Johnston when I was at March Toronto Comic Con, but it was so nice to see her again. She’s a lovely person and I always love hearing authors and celebrities geek the hell out over things. I love her.

Don’t Discredit Fanfiction

The film adaptation of a third part of a series not to be named has come out, and with that people are once again blasting fanfiction, as it is a series based upon such.

I, personally, despise said nameless series, but am here to defend fanfiction with my honour. So sit back and let’s have a little lesson in writing, shall we?

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Everyone knows fanfiction can be the worst; My Immortal being the best of examples when it comes to how fanfiction can be the worst. It’s several different host sites giving a platform to some of the worst smut you’ve ever seen in your life. Grammar errors, typos, and mis-characterization galore, fanfiction is the home of many people learning how to right.

At one point in my life I had dozens of notebooks full of bad fanfic. I used to write nasty self-inserts for Yu-Gi-Oh, Naruto, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, and – best of all – Harry Potter. I had binders of bad smut I wrote or other people wrote that I just wanted to read over and over again (yes, children, this was a time before I could just read fanfic on my iPod Touch or my phone). Before I moved to Toronto, I found several of these cringe worthy notebooks and I laughed as I read over the pages of smudged pencil. They were all so bad!

But you know what?

Everyone starts somewhere.

Artists always talk about the need for practice and how practice is the only true key to improvement. Well, the same goes for writing. Whether you write fanfiction or not, I can just about guarantee that at some point in your life, you’ve written some garbage stories.

I found my voice through fanfiction and a ton of my friends who help edit my work and let me edit theirs are from Archive Of Our Own (aka. AO3). I still get the random email or two from FanFiction.Net about people liking the shitty anime fanfiction I wrote back in 7th grade. I’ve been writing for years and I am not ashamed to say that the majority of it is fanfiction.

But honestly, so much of the media is fanfiction anyway. A TV show adaptation you like has gone off book? Fanfiction. A movie differs from the source material? Fanfiction. Literally any Sherlock Holmes or James Bond stories published or filmed after the authors’ retirement/deaths? Fanfiction.

With so many young writers starting their writing in fanfic, we need to stop saying that it’s terrible. It’s a practice ground. It’s a challenge of learning out to think how characters act and get it right. It’s a fight to write something new that people want to read. And it helps us become better writers the more we do it.

So don’t rip on people who have fun writing what they want. It’s not all as bad as My Immortal (which is basically the War & Peace of fanfiction in terms of how classic it is).

 

 

 

What would you like?

So we’re a little over half-way through the month, and I’m pleased to see all this new engagement with my blog.

I have some ideas of new things to post and I’ve got some reviews coming up shortly, but what kind of things are you guys interested in seeing? More opinion pieces? More reviews? More book photos (I post most of my on my instagram but would be happy to share them here)? Maybe some interviews with authors or other bloggers?

Let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can do! You can also let me know on Twitter: @WelshLucien!

– LJW