"It also made me realize how much people diminish and poo-poo the real power and strength of female friendship, especially between women, which is either supposed to descend into some kind of male lesbian love scene porn fantasy or be dismissed as meaningless or be re-written as a story of competition. Here’s the truth: friendships between women are often the deepest and most profound love stories, but they are often discussed as if they are ancillary, “bonus” relationships to the truly important ones. Women’s friendships outlast jobs, parents, husbands, boyfriends, lovers, and sometimes children….
…This was a snapshot of what my own deep friendships could lead to: transformation. I saw, on that afternoon, that it’s possible to transcend the limits of your skin in a friendship. That a friend can take you out of the boxes you’ve made for yourself and burn them up. This kind of friendship is not a frivolous connection, a supplementary relationship to the ones we’re taught and told are primary – spouses, children, parents. It is love.”
—from Emily Rapp’s essay on the power of female friendship. Read the whole thing. Then (here’s the cheesiest thing I will say all week, but wtf) email/call/hug/thank your best friend. (via robinwasserman)
Totally how I feel. Not to get gushy but every time I go out with the girls I feel a million times better about myself and life in general. I honestly have never found that feeling anywhere else.
October “Toby” Daye was in many ways my first “real” protagonist. She was complicated, she was sad, she was bruised and refusing to break, and she was not afraid to put her duty ahead of her desire to be liked. She bullied her way through the world she was created to inhabit, looking at every complication that stood in her way and saying “No, you move.” After a lifetime spent moving dolls through stories, it was like I finally had a real person to follow and document. I started writing her adventures, and sending them out to people I trusted to read and review. Midway through either the second or the third book—I don’t remember anymore—I got a note from one of my proofers saying “You can’t have Toby do this, she’s always been a little bitchy, but this makes her a total bitch. No one will like her if she does this.”
I panicked. I couldn’t write a series about an unlikeable character! I’d never get published, no one else would ever meet my imaginary friends, and everything I’d worked for my whole life would be over, all because Toby was unlikeable.
Then I took a deep breath, and wrote back to the proofer requesting that they do a find/replace on the .doc, and plug in the name “Harry Dresden” for every instance of “October Daye.” They did, and lo and behold, what had been “bitchy” and “inappropriate” was suddenly “bold” and “assertive.” A male character in the same situation, with the same background, taking the same actions, was completely in the right, justified, and draped with glory. He was a hero. Toby? Toby was an unlikeable bitch.
The proofer withdrew the compliant. I have never forgotten it.
Just can’t get over this! So sad, sadder when you catch yourself doing it.
#it was an arranged marriage right #so what if they met for the first time and fergus was a total blushing stammering human disaster #and elinor was so terrified by the whole thing she just clung to her courtesies and hoped for the best #and that night at dinner elinor’s escort (who was kind of old and sleepy obvs) fell asleep and faceplanted into the soup #and they just looked at each other and burst out laughing #and all was well
Whitaker Wright was a financier and self-made millionaire. He had mining interests around the world and, closer to home, his business empire included the London & Globe Finance Company, principal backers of London’s Bakerloo line.
About 1890 Wright assembled a huge 9,000 acre (3,644ha) estate stretching from Thursley to the Devil’s Punchbowl and engaged leading architects and engineers to construct a vast mansion and lavish pleasure gardens. But whatever the scale of the house and grounds, it’s Wright’s dream-like follies that send your imagination into overdrive.
Like a children’s den, it all starts with a hollow tree and a door. Beyond the door, a ramp spirals down past musty subterranean rooms towards a flooded tunnel, 50ft (15m) below the ground. Your feet would take you no further; but luckily enough, there’s a boat here. Climb aboard, and feel your way through the tunnel until it brings you out onto a lake.
There’s an island over there. Row across and tie up the boat; things are starting to get interesting. A flight of stairs lead down to a light, airy room directly below the island. Time to change into party clothes here, before more steps and another tunnel take you through to the miniature iron and glass ballroom, totally submerged beneath the surface of the lake. If you’d like a dance, only the fish will notice. Another submarine tunnel leads us back into the warm sunshine, to ponder what all this must have cost. It’s said that Wright spent around £1.5m on Witley Park in the 1890’s; perhaps as much as £200m by today’s standards. But that was the least of it.
By the turn of the century, Wright’s business enterprises were collapsing like a set of dominoes; he was arrested on charges of fraud, tried at the Old Bailey, and sentenced to seven years imprisonment. Waiting in an anteroom to the court, Whitaker Wright had other ideas. He asked for a cigar, and a glass of whiskey - then swallowed a cyanide capsule, and died where he fell.
The entire Witley Park estate is private property, and not open to the public at any time.
Underwater smoking room (by odin’s_raven)
This is perfect.