tear-streaked with laughter [notes]

Unhitched chapter notes …

Read chapter on AO3

For my long-time, die-hard readers, this is probably the first time you’ve seen my writer’s notes on my personal website. My old Tumblr is dead like many post-purge, and will likely be deactivated in the new year. If you’d like to follow my NEW Tumblr, which will be relatively inactive save my update notices and a few inspirational prompts and lists, follow @joanielspeak (this is a new blog, so if you already follow, you may need to follow me again).

Anyway, my notes about writing will be placed here from now on. Feel free to comment on my notes if you like (PLEASE comment on the fic though; I love it, and it helps draw attention to Unhitched). If you have nothing to say, perhaps share with me a Fannibal artist you think my writing style would mesh with (or not!). Definitely let me know if you are a visual artist yourself. I love finding new arts (since I don’t have time to search now that Tumblr is unusable). I often use fanart as prompt inspiration for my writing, so you’d be doing me a huge creative favor.

For other stuff, check out the rest of my blog to see any of my other writing-related bits including fics not uploaded to AO3 (the shame is too great), prompt-fills, AU concepts, and AO3 resources. For those in the know, Boot Tread will be removed from AO3 and migrated solely to my blog very shortly. I will not be removing any ficlets from the collection. Also, the previously deleted fics featuring my slutty OC, Blue, are getting overhauled and will also live on this site, but not AO3. Again: the shame. It’s the shame.

That said, I only have a brief discussion about the chapter. Mainly just a few tidbits and a little about Dr. Bloom and feminism.

Here’s a fun thing to know about the internet: it lies. All the time.

Suprised you didn’t know that.

In other words, trust nothing you read online. I was researching quotes from Dante’s Inferno for Hopper’s little book toss and came up with some great ones! So perfect! So insightful! So philisophical!

Turns out, they were all crappy misquotes from even poorer translations, or poorly summarized ideas from entire cantos.

They all felt a little too perfectly worded to be from a translated poem, so I ended up literally abandoning all hope and went back to the basics: one of the original English translations via DigitalDante. I chose the Mandelbaum translation because I, personally, prefer it to Longfellow.

In conclusion, if you are not using DigitalDante for all your Hannibal/Dante needs, you should be.


The abbreviated tale of the witch at the end of this chapter is a retelling of Robin Morgan’s story written in 1974 and later published in her book The Word of a Woman: Feminist Dispatches. Alana Bloom’s line about mutual blackmail was taken directly from Morgan’s story. You can read the original text on Google Books.

The story shines a light on Hannibal and Will’s relationship in the show, and I found it fitting for Butcher and Hopper as well. It feels like every chapter of Unhitched is a turning point for the pair, and this is no different.

Many months ago, on my now-defunct Tumblr, I mentioned this story about the witch in a thread about Alana’s very odd quote, but no one seemed to know what I was referring to. I figured I’d explore it in my fic just for shits since I have yet to see anyone talk about this minute detail in Alana’s dialogue. Plus, it’s a feminist lesbian witch story. That’s right up my alley.

Before she tells the story of the witch, Robin Morgan describes how feminists have been accused of having lost their sense of humor because we stopped accepting “dumb blonde” and “farmer’s daughter” jokes as forms of entertainment. Feminist humor was dry, acute, and with a twist of disheartening truth. Oppression is often where such sharp, acrid, and self-deprecating humor originates. She says, “much great humor is born of pain” and that humor is used to fight one’s way to freedom. In doing so, she suggests, humor aids in our self-defensive ability to cry until we laugh, much like Hopper, the witch, the beggar, and anyone currently residing in the United States.

With that, I implore you, dear reader: take a moment in this trying time to tip your hat and your glass to all the women who fought or are still fighting the good fight for equality through their own tears of pain and poignant laughter.

On that note, I will admit that I currently have a love-hate relationship with Unhitched. I often find myself wishing I had never started posting it due to the extreme amount of research it requires and the amount of editing involved.

Pro tip: don’t set a fic in a decade of which you did not live

Pro-tip: don’t base a fic on the piece-mealed philosophies of nihilists or Hannibal Lecter

Pro-tip: don’t try to keep your fic within the confines of the psychological terminology and discoveries known in the decade it is set

Pro-tip: do not make Ham and Banana Hollandaise. You will not be pleasantly surprised despite what that tasteless blogger has to say.

This fic is a work in progress with a lot of foreshadowing and recalling of events but that takes an unprecedented long time to formulate, especially the closer we get to the end.

We are nowhere near the end, by the way, but for my main theme to come to fruition and then resolve itself, I will require a lot of time and patience from you guys.

So far, many of you have given me a ton of support (late night chats, letting me complain, offering ideas and encouragement) and I thank you so much for it.

So what have I been doing for the last three months?

Short answer: not writing Unhitched.

Long answer: I’ve been writing a new Hannigram epic. It’s a little sci-fi, a little tropey, a little gross and bizarre, but I think the fandom will enjoy it. I will post it upon its completion (none of this WIP shit again), but it will probably post weekly. As it stands, it’s well over 110k words and will probably end up around 25-30 chapters.

I needed a break from Unhitched, and this has given me a massive break, and hopefully, I will have created a world that should offer many opportunities for side fics, spin-offs, and timestamps when I need future breaks. I am literally creating a new dystopian future world to drop all of our favorite Hannibal characters into, as well as a lot from the extended universe. I think it’s about 300 years in the future and currently has twenty-two speaking characters. That’s a fairly decent amount for me, considering most of my fics max out at maybe five.

It’s probably more ambitious than Unhitched in a lot of ways, but way more fun and twisted. Everything I have ever wanted to do to Will I am finding a way to do it to him.

To my intimates reading this I say: Tyler Durdan’s lye soap made of rich, white-lady ass is not nearly strong enough to clean up what I’m about to do to Willaby Graham III. *snaps rubber glove* Get the bleach ready, boys.

That’s all for now. Subscribe to my AO3 to get my author updates. Subscribe to Unhitched to get notified of chapter updates.

Thank you all so much for your support and I hope to get the boys back on the open road as soon as possible.

If you enjoy my writing, please consider dropping me a comment here or, if applicable, on AO3 or by supporting my hot beverage habit on Ko-fi. Thank you!

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2 thoughts on “tear-streaked with laughter [notes]

  1. What did you do to that poor boy? I’ll have to make him an extra hot batch of soap. Who needs skin, right?

    The new blog setup is nice. All of your writing in one spot, organized, and formatted how you need it to be. Plus plus plus.

    Congrats on the new AU! Can’t wait!!! And it’ll be so good to see my baby Blue again.😍

    1. Thanks for the comment! I like the blog too. I’m still working out navigation issues, but it’s a start. I’m freer to post at will, which is nice. AO3 feels a little like a million eyes are judging you at all times, so its very nerve wracking to post.

      The pile of AUs I have and the fic concepts (like the Fortitude one) could never be put on AO3 and Tumblr is, in general, a terrible platform for organizing anything. This is my space for inspiration gathering and personal notes, so hopefully it helps me work through my creative kinks.

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