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    [–] [Post-Match Thread] Wimbledon 1-0 Bristol Rovers thesoundandthefury 5 points ago in afcwimbledon

    52 points has been enough to stay in League One for the last 20 years. That means with 13 games left, Wimbledon are 15 points from absolute safety. That's 1.15 points per game. (So far this season, we've averaged 1.12 points per game.)

    Without that Pigott goal, we'd be 17 points away, and would've needed 1.3 points per game for the rest of the season to get to 52. So that was a big goal.

    I still think it's going to be close, but 1. we have a good goal difference, and 2. we have a stronger side than we did one or three or five months ago.

    Obviously, if the Narrative Gods are writing the script of this season, it comes down to the last game and either the Dons or the Franchise go down. But hopefully they aren't writing the script, and we win five straight!

    [–] Hi Again, and Answering Some of Your Questions about Turtles All the Way Down thesoundandthefury 7 points ago in tatwdspoilers

    This is a great question. Thanks for it. I did want to resist those "calls to adventure." My idea was that the characters WANTED to be living a proper adventure story, or a proper romance, or a proper buddy comedy, but the facts of their selves keep getting in the way. So over and over again, the beginnings of a plot are snuffed out, with the hope being that the reader comes around to the notion that the self is the plot.

    I didn't think of it as a response to my earlier books, necessarily--I like genre and believe it's valuable and like writing books that use conventions of genres--so much as it felt like the right way to tell this story, the story of a kid who can't get her life started or put her story together because of these thoughts that circle back upon themselves endlessly, turning and turning her in a tightening gyre.

    That said, I was aware of the fact that my books had become much more widely read than I ever expected. And that meant that certain tropes within them had become bigger than I ever expected--suddenly there were movies of these road trips, and tumblr jokes about them, and so on. And I did want to write a book that broke from a lot of that stuff, and instead just turned as deeply inward as I could, which meant structuring a story different from how I ever had.

    As for your equally interesting second question: I did think about leaving it a mystery. But then I felt like A. Part of her getting better is being able to think in straight lines, being able to walk in straight lines, and being able to solve mysteries. So in the way that Sherlock can only solve mysteries because of his madness, I wanted Aza only to be able to solve one as she got better and did something she never would've done before--be able to pay attention to her friends' needs and be present for them. And also B. I wanted Davis and Noah to have a choice to make. Leave him down there so he remains legally alive, or seek closure at the expense of financial loss. I wanted Aza to give them that choice--again, because that's the kind of thing she couldn't have done while so sick. But I see the value in the ending you hoped for, and it was definitely a question I struggled with a lot, and I still don't know if I made the right call in the end.

    Thanks for reading the book with such thoughtfulness and care.

    [–] Our Bitcoin Story - A Treasure Hunt for Charity thesoundandthefury 7 points ago in nerdfighters

    thank you so much. I'll let you know if it works (and if it does, you can pick the charity the money goes to!)

    [–] Our Bitcoin Story - A Treasure Hunt for Charity thesoundandthefury 29 points ago in nerdfighters

    I just kept screaming, "I *&%ing told him! I KNEW IT!" Honestly it was a relief because I couldn't stop thinking about this bitcoin.

    (I actually think there is another one, or part of one, that was given to me on reddit a long time ago, but I've been through my entire message history and found nothing, so if it happened--which it might not've--it must've been in response to a comment or post, in which case I'm never finding it. OH WELL!)

    [–] The Lions Roar thesoundandthefury 18 points ago in nerdfighters

    I just don't buy that humanity has always been on a downwards spiral. Fewer kids are dying, and the progress in child mortality over the last 25 years has been faster than any time in human history. Fewer people die of easily preventable diseases, and fewer people are malnourished. A higher percentage of kids are in school, and a higher percentage of adults can read, than at any time in human history.

    In fact, by a lot of measures, life is getting much better. In the U.S., crime is way down, and median household income is the highest it's ever been. Globally, more people live in a democracy than at any point in history, and deaths by violence are near an all-time low.

    We have huge, real problems--and lots of them--but I don't think it's at all fair to say that things only get worse.

    We have made lots of things better in human history. We've ever made the Internet better. You're right that I'm hopeful, but I don't think it's naive. I know that I come at this and any conversation from a very privileged position, but I really really believe that we have seen many times in human history large communities of people make collective choices that improved human life, and I really think we can choose where to focus our attention, and that those choices matter.

    [–] Hi Again, and Answering Some of Your Questions about Turtles All the Way Down thesoundandthefury 6 points ago in tatwdspoilers

    I think that line came from inside of me, although there are always external forces that shape your understanding of something.

    I'm sorry you have to live with such intense fear, and as you point out, it's not a choice--obviously if you could choose, you wouldn't choose to be strangled by dread and anxiety. I think there are a lot of complicate reasons we often frame mental illness as a choice or a character flaw or a personal failing, but it isn't any of those things. I hope you will believe that there is hope, and that your problems can get better, and that you pursue treatment even when it is frustrating--but I'd feel the same way if you were living with any other chronic illness, be it diabetes or colitis.

    For me, the terror comes from not having a sense of autonomy over the self that is called mine. If you don't have the choice, that means you are more a passenger in your self than the driver of it, and that destabilizes the whole notion of me as a proper singular noun. And that is REALLY scary.

    [–] Hi Again, and Answering Some of Your Questions about Turtles All the Way Down thesoundandthefury 9 points ago in tatwdspoilers

    It's pretty different, but partly BECAUSE of tfios, if that makes sense.

    1. The release was different because almost no one read TAtWD before it came out. (Even a week before it came out, only 30 or 40 people had read TAtWD. TFiOS was also embargoed, but not nearly to the same degree.) That made the release pretty terrifying, because I didn't really have any reviews or anything.

    2. The reception of TAtWD has been really, really positive--much better than I could've hoped for. It's actually made more best-of-the-year lists than TFiOS did, and the reviews have been mostly very positive. On the other hand, the average goodreads rating is lower than TFiOS's was in its first year (although not THAT much lower). But some of that is definitely about expectations, since TAtWD had several thousand goodreads ratings before anyone had read it.

    3. TAtWD is selling much better than TFiOS did in its first year. But I think the reason it is selling better is partly because of TFiOS, so it's hard to separate out those experiences.

    The biggest change, though, is that it does not feel so life-changing. The success of The Fault in Our Stars was an amazing gift and in many ways very fun, but it was also at times overwhelming. Suddenly, strangers were knocking on my door asking for my autograph. People were taking pictures of me playing with my kid in my front yard. Stuff I wrote on reddit was being quoted in Entertainment Weekly.

    It was very disorienting to have all of that happen all at once. Now I feel much better equipped to handle that stuff, and also I've taken a lot of steps to regain at least some control over the parts of my life that I want to remain private. So this time around has been easier in that sense--at least so far!

    [–] Hi Again, and Answering Some of Your Questions about Turtles All the Way Down thesoundandthefury 2 points ago in tatwdspoilers

    I did not think of ending the book where you suggest it might've ended, but I quite like that as ending!

    I think there were a couple things I wanted to explore after that section--the biggest was finding a way to show that Aza goes on, and that she gets sick and well and sick and well but goes on and has a good and fulfilling life. I wanted to show this because so often in stories like this one you only see the character get sick and then get better.

    [–] Hi Again, and Answering Some of Your Questions about Turtles All the Way Down thesoundandthefury 8 points ago in tatwdspoilers

    I like your reading of this a lot, but if I'm being honest about authorial intent, I picked Tender Is the Night because that's the book you pull to open the secret bookshelf in my house.

    [–] Hi Again, and Answering Some of Your Questions about Turtles All the Way Down thesoundandthefury 10 points ago in tatwdspoilers

    I don't just mean romantic love. I fretted about that a lot because in context, it can read like Aza is talking only about romantic love, and I tried to separate it out enough that it wouldn't read like that, but I'm not sure I succeeded.

    But I do really believe that love is how you become a person--the love adults show you when you are young, and the love you share with peers and siblings, helps you understand yourself (and others) as creatures with souls. (I wish I had a better term than soul, but I don't.)

    I think there is a deep interplay between love as a socially learned human emotion and understanding other people as beings worthy of love, and that's what I was trying to get at.

    [–] Hi Again, and Answering Some of Your Questions about Turtles All the Way Down thesoundandthefury 2 points ago in tatwdspoilers

    I suppose there is a connection, although I hadn't thought about it in those terms before. In both cases, the hope is baked in to the fact that the narrator is still there, and that they are taking control of their story by telling it.

    [–] Hi Again, and Answering Some of Your Questions about Turtles All the Way Down thesoundandthefury 2 points ago in tatwdspoilers

    It seemed like an unusual but defendable ship to me--the kind a smart but intentionally provocative fanfic writer would use. But I also wanted it to be a ship where Daisy was acknowledging the personhood of a character whose personhood would be debated by at least parts of the Internet, because Daisy herself is a person who has experienced what it's like not to be treated like a person by the social order because of who you are.

    I hope that Daisy being super-opinionated about Star Wars doesn't come across as offputting or as me making fun of her. I think Daisy is right about the ways that Star Wars is used in contemporary U.S. culture as a shared mythical language to talk about everything from personhood to war.

    [–] Hi Again, and Answering Some of Your Questions about Turtles All the Way Down thesoundandthefury 1 points ago in tatwdspoilers

    I was just playing in my head with names that were close to Aza.

    The other thing about Ayala, though, is that it switches a z for a y, which is very similar to the switch between Daisy and Davis's names (they are anagrams of each other except v is swapped with y). That was appealing to about some kind of Aya name, but Aya sounded wrong, whereas Ayala sounds to me like a name that could be in Star Wars.

    [–] Hi Again, and Answering Some of Your Questions about Turtles All the Way Down thesoundandthefury 14 points ago in tatwdspoilers

    There's always a chance, but I like to leave characters in a place where I am okay with saying goodbye to them. For Hazel, this meant saying "I do" to Gus. For Margo and Q, it meant imagining each other more complexly. For Aza, it meant that you know she goes on. So I feel okay about saying goodbye to Aza.

    But then again no one ever says goodbye unless they want to see you again.

    [–] Hi Again, and Answering Some of Your Questions about Turtles All the Way Down thesoundandthefury 6 points ago in tatwdspoilers

    Thanks for your question, and for the kind words about the book. I'm glad it resonated with you, but sorry you have to live with intrusive thoughts.

    As for the detailed descriptions of Aza's thoughts: I wanted to try to find some way to give direct expression to how it feels to experience these spiraling thoughts--how terrifying and upsetting it can be, and how profoundly destabilizing it is for one's sense of self. Thoughts are abstract and they are internal and they resist direct description, but I wanted to see if I could find some kind of language for them that wasn't just metaphor. I wanted to see if I could make them real in the way that a table or a chair is real. And so that's why I focused on making them as detailed as possible. It's really nice to hear that you feel like it gave you a way to describe your experience to others, because one of the things I find so difficult about pain is that it's difficult to explain it with language, which can make it isolating, because it's hard to share.

    [–] Hi Again, and Answering Some of Your Questions about Turtles All the Way Down thesoundandthefury 2 points ago in tatwdspoilers

    Yeah, the second printing is rolling out now, and it will have quotes about TAtWD from critics. But for the first printing, we didn't have any such quotes, because almost no one had read the book. (Even a few days before publication, only around 30 or 40 people had read the book.)

    Why? Mostly because Penguin was very (very very) worried about leaks. I was also worried about leaks, because I wanted everyone to be able to read the book together and for readers to avoid spoilers. So I was in favor of keeping it locked down.

    [–] Hi Again, and Answering Some of Your Questions about Turtles All the Way Down thesoundandthefury 6 points ago in tatwdspoilers

    I never felt that guilty, because I knew she was a fictional character. And I never wanted her to have a break from it because I didn't feel like that would be true to her experience, if that makes sense. It was more trying to write about her as if she was real, rather than wanting something for her as if she were real.

    That said, I did feel a lot of compassion for Aza. I felt sorry for her in a way I hadn't been able to feel sorry for myself.

    [–] Hi Again, and Answering Some of Your Questions about Turtles All the Way Down thesoundandthefury 6 points ago in tatwdspoilers

    I think that is a totally justified reading. I don't think there's anything in the text to discourage that reading.

    [–] Hi Again, and Answering Some of Your Questions about Turtles All the Way Down thesoundandthefury 11 points ago in tatwdspoilers

    As mrscreepyhead suggests, I think the way to read Ulysses is with a copy of Ulysses Annotated alongside. It's not like reading a normal novel; for me, it's much more like reading a sacred text or something. The allusions are so dense that you just can't take that much away from it unless you pause every page or so to get a sense from the book of annotations of what's going on non-literally. (Also, it helps you understand the plot, which I find difficult to follow in many spots.)

    Thanks for the kind words about Tatwd. My greatest hope was that it would help people feel unalone. Your comment means so much to me.

    [–] Hi Again, and Answering Some of Your Questions about Turtles All the Way Down thesoundandthefury 6 points ago in tatwdspoilers

    Harold is intended to be a metaphor for Aza's dad. And I think losing the car (and the phone) is a way of losing her father again.

    As for sanity/sanitizer: The connection here was also intentional, but I didn't think of it as drinking sanitizer making her sane. I thought of it as, like, she is using this thing (a sane-i-tizer) to make her feel okay, to manage the dread and terror and pain of her illness, but it is not actually working. Really, it's only making things worse (both literally, in the sense that it is not good for the health of your microbiome or the rest of you to drink hand sanitizer, and figuratively, in the sense that it is indicative of how serious her illness has become).