And whether or not the world adheres to them in their time

27 Dress Code Violations

@jilychallenge 04/2017 | @bantasticbeasts vs @anxiouspotter

Muggle AUs | “i get dress coded so you give me your jacket and we protest unfair regulations for girls together/you sass the teacher about how distracted you are by my shoulders”

Word Count: 2500

special shoutout to @jiilys. solidarity, sister



She walks into English fifteen minutes late, wearing both a deeply unflattering smock and a scowl. Neither are an especially new look on her.

“Vector,” she says under her breath, as an answer to Mary McDonald’s unspoken question. It’s the answer to every question in the room. Ms Vector is notorious among them all for her very strict adherence to the school’s dress code.

“Yes, Miss Evans’ entrance was very exciting, but I’ll have your attention back to the lesson now, please,” says Ms McGonagall. James snaps back to attention. It’s for the best.


“Here,” James says, shrugging off his jacket and thrusting it toward Lily. She gives him this look like, fuck off, and James has to bite his tongue to stop from aggravating her. “They’re doing uniform checks up the hall. Just put it on.”

Evans gives him a very strange look, and it takes him a second to realise that it’s neutral.

She looks good in his jacket.


Every third dress code violation results in a lunch time detention. It’s only October, and Lily’s already had six. She doesn’t look at James as she takes the seat three ahead and one to the left of him.


There’s a thump from somewhere in the back of the classroom, and McGonagall isn’t planning on looking up - it sounds like it came from the general vicinity of Potter and Black, and that’s certainly not a situation she wants to engage with - but the entire class is already turned around to see what the fuss is.

She strides down the aisle between the desks, and is about three years past surprised to find James Potter lying on the floor, gazing at the ceiling, glasses knocked aside.

“Am I boring you so much that you decided to take a nap?” she asks, and James gives this wicked smile, and here we go–

“Sorry, Miss, I can’t get up. It’s Evans’ shoulders - they’re overwhelming me. I simply can’t do anything until she covers them up. Sirius, tell me when it’s safe.”

He’s a funny boy, she’ll give him that. “Potter, get up. This is hardly the time for foolishness.”

Keep reading

What type of Witch are you ?

The most common types of withches :

Traditional Witch

The witches who take the journey of traditional witchcraft, are interested in the old ways, and are followers of history and the arts, building a foundation for their craft. Usually the craft is passed down generation after generation within family units.
These witches are less inclined to participate in the worship of Goddess or Gods, preferring to work predominantly with the Spirit world and will often call on their ancestors or land spirits for strength.
They work with moon cycles, planetary symbols and cycles, rune symbols, herbs and their chemical uses, the land and ancestors are very important to a Traditional witch. Traditional witches are drawn towards both the dark and the light, performing banishing and repelling spells.
They do not to follow the threefold law or the Wiccan Rede, but careful consideration and responsibility is taken when performing any magic whether it’s healing, hex, curse or banishing spells.
They perform Shamanic journeying by inducing trance that involves drumming, rattling, heavy dancing, rocking, entheogens, meditation, flying ointments, and more.
Hedge-riding is a practice that involves travelling to the spirit world through the use of trance work and other various techniques to alter the conscious mind which allows the spirit to leave the body. Animism is a part of Traditional Witchcraft because they believe everything on this earth has a spirit or soul. They believe in an Upper World, Middle World and Under World. Under – those who’ve died, awaiting reincarnation or choosing not to pass on or can’t ascend. Middle – the here and now. Upper – spirits/souls who have ascended and no longer need a body as they can survive without the recharging of the spirit/soul that life is, or were never bond to a physical form/body to begin with.    

Ceremonial Witch

Witches who combines both the practices of witchcraft and ceremonial magic, though they are more spiritually centered than most ceremonial magicians. 
Ceremonial witches are very exacting in the performance of ritual and their rituals are usually followed by the book, to the letter and with much ceremony.
They may use a combination of various mystical disciplines drawn from the Old Ways, but will often incorporate scientific approaches such as sacred mathematics and quantum mysticism as well.  
They will call upon a ecclectic band of spiritual entities, leaning towards archetypal figures representative of the energies they wish to manifest.

Kitchen Witch

This Witch carries practical sides of the Wiccan / Pagan religion, magic, gemstones, the elements and the earth. A Kitchen Witch is usually recognized as practicing Celtic Wicca: Goes by the elements, the Ancient Ones and nature.
They are usually healers, respected highly and once they are past their 40’s tend to take on a “Wise Woman” role as they have an abundance of knowledge and are admired for it.
They work with plants, stones, flowers, trees, the elemental people, the gnomes and the fairies. But above all performs her magic in the Kitchen and has Goddess given talents for food crafting.  
Potions, herbal remedies, and natural instincts for over protection of hearth and home. Most often they make the best mates as they are very crafty in love and relationships – and it is said one who is a friend of a Kitchen Witch has many perks.

Green Witch

Is the practice of nature-based and earth oriented witchcraft, drawing on the folklore, folk religion and folk magic of ancient cultures as they connected to the forest; such as the tree worship of Druids, the kitchen craft of Italian witches or the keeping of sacred groves as presented in Gallic paganism.
Green witches usually practice a traditional form of witchcraft in which the earth, trees, herbs, plants and flowers are consulted for their medicinal and magical value.
They will grow their own herbs or Wildcraft them, and are very good at making herbal remedies. Belief in deities depends on the individual witch, though many Green witches acknowledge and earth mother or series of nature spirits as their deity.
Usually, the spirits of nature, the dead or the Fey have a large part in Green traditions. A form of green witchcraft which is better classified as Green Wicca was popularized by Ann Moura.

Hedge Witch

Hedge craft is a path that is somewhat shamanic in nature, as they are practitioners of an Earth-based spirituality.
These are the ones who engage in spirit flight and journey into the Other world. They can, in this capacity, be very powerful midwives and healers. A bird of one kind or another is usually associated with the Hedge Witch, most commonly the raven and the goose.
The term “hedge” signified the boundary of the village and represents the boundary that exists between this world and the spiritual realm.
Their main function is mediator between the spirits and people. They may also work as a herbal healer or midwife. Some claim it to be the continuation of the practices of the cunning folk and wise-women, while others say that it is a modern tradition.

Eclectic Witch

An individual approach that picks and chooses from many different traditions and creates a personalized form of witchcraft that meets their individual needs and abilities.
They do not follow a particular religion or tradition, but study and learn from many different systems and use what works best for them. Many Eclectic Witches refer to themselves as Solitary Practioners, Sorcerors, Hedge Witches, Green, White, and Grey Witches. Some consider themselves Wicca, as long as the Rede is adhered to, the Earth and the Universe revered.
One main complaint made against the Eclectic Witch is that they are not true Wiccans because they build a taylor-made religion or tradition for themselves from the ground up rather than following an established or correct form of Wicca.
Their minds remain open and are receptive to knowledge, ideas, beliefs and methods that others practice. They adapt well to different situations and create their own paths by what they believe to be true and right at that time in their life.
They like to explore and make their own mistakes and take from experiences in turn creating their own rules and traditions. It’s why you can bring two Eclectic Witches into a room yet they are totally different in the way they practise, live, and believe as they are all different in some way.

Elemental Witch

A witch who practices by honoring the 4 or all 5 elements: Water, Earth, Air, Fire, and Spirit. Commonly an Elementalist will dedicate different areas of their altars to each element, call upon them during spells and rituals, and use symbols to represent each.

Faery Witch

An eclectic witch who seeks to commune with faery folk and nature spirits in their magick workings.
They have no organization or tradition and it has developed of its own accord through common practice.

Hereditary Witchcraft

The term hereditary witchcraft, is given to the witch who has inherited the magic gifts through genealogy. Remember that just because your Grandparents or Parents are witches does not necessarily mean you are.
These witches are born, usually to a magical family and begin their journey very early in their life, using the gifts handed down through the generations.
These traditions are often not recorded, except in Grimoires which are also passed down but very highly protected, but rely primarily on oral and physical tradition. Each family has it’s own unique traditions. Most will stick together as family units rather than covens.

Sea Witch

As the name implies, sea witches are believed to be able to control many aspects of nature relating to water, most commonly an ocean or sea. They specialize in water based magic and worship Sea Gods & Goddesses. However, in more modern times, sea witches can also practice witchcraft on or near any source of water: lakes, rivers, bathtubs, or even simply a bowl of salt water.
Sea witches use witchcraft related to the moon, tides, and the weather, and are believed to have complete control over the seas. In some folklore, sea witches are described as phantoms or ghosts who have the power to control the fates of ships their passengers.
Sea witches often improvise on what they have, rather than making purchases from a store or from another person. Common tools include clam, scallop, or oyster shells in place of bowls or cauldrons.
They are beachcombers and collect items including seaweed, fishing net, shells, sea grass, driftwood, pieces of sea glass, and even sand. Driftwood was used as walking sticks and charged as wands. Sea Witch works with what is termed ‘grey magic’ to maintain a balance of light and dark – most are solitary.

Legit Worldbuilding Tip #3

or - “Crafting Religions for Fictional Worlds”

Whether you’re religious or not, there’s no denying the cultural, political, and social impact that religion has had on the world around us. 

So when crafting a brand new world, whether it’s high fantasy, science fiction, science fantasy, etc., religion can play a big part of the world that you’re building. And because of its relative importance, there are a lot of things to think about re: crafted religions. 

Religions Shape Morals and Virtues

Morals are a strange thing. People aren’t born with an innate knowledge of what to do in life, or how to act. It only makes sense, then, that people would turn to religion as a guide for how they should behave. That’s easy enough to see with the world we live in. 

The Golden Rule. Nearly everybody learns this one growing up. For Christians, it comes in the form of a Biblical quote - “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” But the concept isn’t unique to Christianity. Nearly every religion has this same rule, in some form or another. 

But when you get further into the details of differing religions, you see that each has its own set of morals and what it feels is “right.” This can range from Evangelicals who feel that same-sex love is a sin because of an archaic passage from the old testament to vegetarianism as a way to avoid hurting other living creatures, commonly found among Hindus. 

So What Does This Mean?

Well, this means that when you’re crafting a religion, one of the things to think about is what morals you want in your world. 

Don’t want a world with a bunch of homophobic assholes? I’ve got good news for you! A same-sex couple amongst your pantheon of Gods and you can have a world where people don’t just accept same-sex love, but celebrate it!

But that’s not the only thing to think about. Different taboos are often religion-centric as well. 

These taboos can have minor consequences on your world-building in some ways. For example, maybe you just want to make things more interesting by adding details such as characters who avoid certain kinds of metals or stones because they’re strictly forbidden in their religious texts. 

These taboos can also have major consequences on your story. For example, even in the modern day and age there are a lot of prejudices against albinism in some African countries. You can imagine the consequences for such a character.

Religions Shape Cultural Practices and Thoughts

In the West, pretty much everybody celebrates the holidays, even if they aren’t Christian. They may adapt their practices depending on their beliefs, but regardless, if you live in a country like America you’ll experience a lot of religious influence around the holiday season. Christmas, a day that celebrates the birth of a religious figure, has a tremendous cultural impact even on those that aren’t Christian. 

When crafting a religion, it only makes sense to think about the cultural impact said religion will have. Holidays, prayer, rituals, religious pilgrimages, the way that people keep track of time (as in our AD system), taboos (as already mentioned), fasting, celibacy, religious bathing/cleansing… 

These are just a few practices that exist within different religions. Many are so ingrained in our culture that people don’t even think of them as “religious” any more. 

For example, the practice of abstaining from sex before marriage. This single religious belief has created a culture that is very prohibitive regarding sexuality. A lot of people still think that fewer sex partners = a better person, even those who aren’t adherents of any religious philosophy. It’s just something that’s ingrained in our culture. 

All this to say - the best starting point for creating a religion in a fictional world is knowing what kind of world you want to write. 

With all that out of the way, let’s get on to the actual creation process. There are a few things to think about, but I want to start with something I feel is very important. 

There are a lot of religions out there. I suggest you research them and learn about them.

But please don’t just take an existing religion, especially one from another culture, slap a new name on it, give it an air of mysticism, and then be done with it. It’s disrespectful to those who actually practice these religions.

*Ahem* Okay, I’ve said my piece and now I’ll move on. 

Remember - Multiple Religions Can and Usually Do Exist in a Culture

This is the first and most important thing I want to point out. Most of the stories I’ve seen where creators do religion right is when they remember that not everybody practices the same religion. 

George R. R. Martin does this incredibly well with the different religions in ASOIAF. They are all different, they are all unique, they are very much shaped by the part of the world that those characters live in. 

Also remember that the same religion can have many different interpretations, leading to different branches and sects. They can be quite different and they may not get along that well. This is another thing that is often forgotten. 

Different Types of Religions

Throughout history there have been many different types of religions. Some have a single god. Some have an entire pantheon. Some see gods as people. Some see gods as animals. Some gods are both people and animals, depending on the story that’s being told. Some religions see gods as having no form. Some religions teach that god is the universe. Some say that there are no gods, but there is power in everything.

Let’s Talk Prophets and Stuff

Another thing to remember is that religions are often centered on a prophet, or a person’s teachings. While a god or pantheon of gods may be central to that religion, the prophet/guru/etc. is also very important. Jesus, Muhammed, the Buddha… just a few real world examples. 

This is where I take the time to point out something important. Your religion doesn’t have to have a male prophet/teacher. A prophet can be a woman. Or nonbinary. There can be six prophets who worked together, all of different gender identities. In fact, this can be a really good way to get rid of gross stuff like sexism in your world’s culture, or just plain avoid stereotypical high fantasy with Manly Men and Damsels in Distress.

Leave Some Stuff Unexplained

Another thing I want to point out is that religions don’t usually have explanations for everything. I mean, the whole point of religion is faith most of the time. 

I was talking with @more-legit-gr8er-writing-tips earlier about this. Because I still get mad about the midichlorian thing in Star Wars. The Force was an awesome (if a little underdeveloped) religion. It was focused on the power that exists in all things rather than the idea of a god. Certain people could access the Force. All was good. Then they made the Force the result of little critters that live inside people. 

No. No no no. Okay, I’ll stop. Just suffice it to say, whatever genre you’re writing in, don’t feel the need to explain everything. Even if magic exists, even if there’s science, just embrace the mystery and the wonder of the religion you’ve created.

Religious Institutions

I’ll keep this one short. But just remember that where there’s religion, there’s inevitably going to be some sort of religious institution. It may be that in your world every town has its own religious leader and group of scholars. Or you could have a vast system of temples. Or you could have the fantasy equivalent of the Catholic Church. 

(Remember also - the bigger a religious institution is, and the more influence it has on the people, the more likely it is going to be a power in its own right in your world - a.k.a. the Catholic Church basically being a governing power in our own history.)

Religion in Science Fiction

Apart from some science fantasy, I’m hard pressed to find many science fiction stories that include religion. I think there’s a general assumption that people will move away from religion, especially as we learn more about the world we live in.

But… people are people. And I’m 100% sure that there will always be some people who believe in something. Your dystopian government may not like it, but somebody somewhere will discover the last unburned copy of the Torah and a brand new religion with elements of Judaism will spring up around it. 

And that starship flying through space in the year 3277? Probably going to have Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, Muslims, and who knows what else on board. Though they may not practice religion the same way we do now. And who the crap knows what the aliens are going to believe in.

Common Themes in Religion

One of the final things I have to say is that, for as many differences there are in religions, there are a lot of commonalities. Things like prophets, and trickster gods, and miraculous births (such as children being found in rivers or born to virgins). I suggest you do some research on the commonalities in religions and use them if you need a bit of inspiration for crafting your own. 

Anyway, I’ve rambled long enough. I just want you to consider some of these things. This is just one way to build a little more complexity into a world you’ve created, and it can do a lot for everything from plot to making the reader really believe that your world exists. So have at it! Enjoy playing god(s). 

Anders is sometimes accused of being a terrorist, which is interesting, since the game provides multiple examples of actual terrorists as a counterpoint. I don’t think the idea is entirely the fault of the audience, as Bioware is clearly aware of the current cultural association between exploding buildings and terrorism, and I know some of the writers made comments in that direction. But if that’s what they were going for, it’s one of those places where authorial intent failed utterly.

They seem to have forgotten that the defining feature of terrorism isn’t violence (although of course by its very nature it is often violent) but fear. It’s right there in the word, but even so.

When Anders blows up the Chantry in Act 3, it is not meant to inspire fear. It’s not a threat: ‘Let us go, or this is what we will do to you’. If it were, it would be a pretty bloody useless one. Though, of course, magic is used to light the fuse the primary weapon is gaatlok – gunpowder. He is incredibly secretive about the formula – even Hawke, helping him, doesn’t know he also needs charcoal – and has no expectation of surviving the act. Repeating it would be a pain in the arse. Anybody who wanted to would have to start from scratch.

Rather, it is a public demonstration of the helplessness of the mages. He commits a very public crime. And it immediately becomes clear that no authority figure is even slightly interested in dealing out justice. Hawke can kill him, if they are so inclined. But if they don’t, no one is going to force them to. You can be a completely pro-Templar Hawke and waltz into the Gallows with Anders in your party to participate in the Rite of Annulment, and the Templars do not call the whole thing to a halt – because, hang on, here is the actual perpetrator.

It is an excuse to do what they were planning to do anyway. They’d find an reason, one way or another, regardless of Anders’s actions. But this one is handy. Meredith claims that her hand is forced because the city would demand vengeance. Would it? Maybe. We never find out. It does, however, tell us how Meredith plans to spin the attack. The mages were always going to be victims of her fear and her power grab. This just makes it visible.

The people who really do deliberately inspire terror in Kirkwall are the Chantry. Meredith has been ruling the city through threats of violence for decades:

Meredith’s message was clear: remember who holds the power in Kirkwall. Remember what happened to Threnhold when he overreached. To drive home her point, she presented Marlowe with a small carven ivory box at his coronation. The box contained the Threnhold signet ring, misshapen, and crusted with blood. On the inside of the lid were written the words ‘His fate need not be yours’.

World of Thedas II

She’s also practising on the mages in the Gallows – three Starkhaven mages are made Tranquil at random, just to demonstrate to the prisoners in the Circle that it is within her power to do this. By Act 3, of course, she’ll have expanded her reach further, using her Templars to harass and assault Kirkwall’s citizens.

But, until Act 3, Meredith is something of a background figure. The ultimate villain lurking behind the scenes. The clearest foil for Anders is Petrice.

Here, then, is our actual terrorist. Petrice’s end goal is violence: she wants the people of Kirkwall to take on the Qunari. Of course it wouldn’t end there. There would be a war, and an Exalted March and (in her head – almost certainly not in reality) the crushing of the Qunari by the might of the righteous Chantry.

And her method is inspiring fear. Her assaults are relatively small, but calculated to make each side think of the other as violent, dangerous and evil. She’s arranged for the murder and mutilation of Qunari before: the bodies left for Arvaarad to find, so he would think Hawke and the Saarebas were responsible. She’s used poison gas on her own people (it would have been blackpowder, had she been able to get her hands on any) in an attempt to frame the Qunari. Here, she has arranged for the torture and murder of a Qunari delegation, to demonstrate to the Arishok how far the ‘faithful’ will go to be rid of the Qunari. Eventually, she will have a high-status Qunari convert murdered so she can use his death as propaganda.

Everything Petrice does is designed to frighten people. There’s a threat behind every strike: If we don’t fight the Qunari, look what they'll do. Each act of violence is aimed at inducing a panic response – in the full knowledge that, eventually, people will be frightened enough to make war.

The contrasts are numerous: Anders is a commoner, a Fereldan (in addition to the whole mage thing), and at present living in the sewers. Petrice is apparently of noble Orlesian stock (so says The World of Thedas), and belongs to the most powerful institution in Kirkwall. The first quest actually makes a point of this: while the people of Darktown rally around their healer and Anders is quite at home there, Petrice, a Chantry sister supposedly responsible for the wellbeing of Kirkwall, is painfully out of place even in Lowtown. Moreover, whereas the underground falls apart around Anders, Petrice is a rising star – a Sister when Hawke first meets her, a Mother by Act 2. Where Anders’s plan requires that he take the blame for his actions, Petrice does everything she can to shield herself – she always works through agents, and here she sells out her own accomplice.

The common ground is a fervent belief in a cause, and at some stage (right off the bat for Petrice; in the endgame for Anders) a belief that violence is the only way to move forward.

And in the cause lies the important contrast.

Anders’s plan is only of value if he’s right. He’s not trying to inspire fear. It’s knowing that the fear is already there that prompts him to act as he does. If he’s wrong and the Circle and Templars are not oppressive institutions designed to control and brutalise mages – then he gets hauled off to prison (and no doubt subsequent execution), and nothing happens to the other mages. Once the Chantry blows up, he can’t lose. It doesn’t matter whether he lives or dies. It doesn’t matter whether Hawke saves the Circle or helps destroy it. The Templars do hold innocent mages accountable for something they had nothing to do with. The word goes out that the Annulment of the Kirkwall Circle was unjust. The Templars impose harsh restrictions on mages of other nations, who had even less to do with all this than the Kirkwall mages – and Fiona seizes her chance.

Point pretty well made.

Petrice, though, is trying to control people’s actions through fear. She is trying to make the people of Kirkwall think the Qunari are a terrifying threat, while still making them think they can take them in a fight. She is using fear to manipulate people, without any regard for the truth. By the time the Qunari uprising begins, Petrice is either dead or disgraced, making her a personal failure. But the uprising itself demonstrates how painfully wrong she was. A small, depleted Qunari force takes control of the city in a matter of hours. No fight, no war, with the Qunari is ever going to be easy – and one that started in Kirkwall would almost certainly result in the loss of the city. It turns out that the Qunari were easy prey for her before this because they didn't want to fight.

And that shreds her other argument. She has been depicting them as unthinking savages. Terrifying in their brutality, yes, but so inherently less than Chantry folk (specifically humans), that they cannot help but lose. But the truth is that they have thought about this. The Arishok has been trying to avoid bloodshed. The Qunari troops have resisted provocation to a heroic degree. The Qun is what it is, and certainly no better than the Chantry. But the Qunari – the horned people who make up the majority of its adherents – are not monsters, just people like any other. Big, strong people who could have wreaked havoc a hell of a lot earlier, had they not been trying to keep the peace.

It’s easy to make people afraid, particularly if you’re willing to lie and kill to do it. But if that’s all you’ve got to work with, you’re pretty well screwed. And, well, there you go. Terrorism. Inspiring fear in order to achieve political ends. That’s Act 2′s story.

anonymous asked:

Could you maybe explain the difference between what a special interest and a hyperfixation is to me? I recently figured out that I probably have minor ADHD, and these two terms seem really similar sometimes, but special interest seems like it's used more in the autistic community, and I don't want to intrude by using a term meant for a specific group by generalizing.

Hello! I’ll try to explain as best as I can! I will be covering the terms: Special Interest, Hyperfixation, and Hyperfocus in this! #longpost

Additionally, I will be discussing their mutual use in Autistic and ADHD circles, and talk about whether or not any of the terms are exclusive to one or the other.

Special Interest (SI): 


  • To have a deep, intense, passionate and incredibly focused/narrowed interest in a certain area of study, subject, topic or thing - to the exclusion of other interests. This interest is something that exists for the long-term, most often lasting for multiple months, years, or even you’re entire life! Less commonly they’ll last a couple weeks, but that’s just as valid as others! 

More Info.: 

  • “Special interest” defines the interest, and the degree of our involvement/commitment to it! 
  • SI’s are usually very studious-oriented, and I don’t mean this as in they’re academic, but as in we want to learn everything there is to know about them! We’ll research and gather information for hours upon hours just for the enjoyment doing so brings! 
  • SI’s are also typically sensual experiences as well - positive ones! They overwhelm our senses with joy and happiness, fill us with such enthusiastic and heart-wrenching emotion! We Autistic folk often have SI-related stims!
  • Allistics might look down upon our passion for our SI because it is something inconsequential to them, like ladybugs, but we love it anyway!



  • Debatable*. But to be safe, it would be wise to assume that it/the term is Autistic-exclusive! If you are neither Autistic or ADHD you definitely should not use the term!

*Some people think it should be exclusive due to the historical-presence of the term predominantly in Autistic communities, and others believe it to be experienced by both Autistic and ADHD people - Autism and ADHD are “sister” developmental disabilities/disorders, and there is a lot of overlap. Overall, though, ‘special interest’ is most commonly used in Autistic-circles!



More Info.:

  • With some believing that special interests are Autistic-exclusive, @deathbecoming wanted to prevent the appropriation of the term and instead created one that could be used by allistic neurodivergent people to describe their experiences similar to special interests, etc..


  • N/A


  • Created only for use by those who are developmentally, intellectually, and/or mentally disabled.


  • Though it wasn’t the original intent, the term “hyperfixation” has kind of evolved specifically into a verb for the act/subject of ‘hyperfocus,” which has then led many to believe that it is ADHD-exclusive – this is not the case!

Speaking of!



  • To focus intensely on something for a short-term period of time without break to the exclusion of all other things — This is to the point that you won’t process what’s going on around you, adhere to your bodily functions/needs (sleep, hunger, using the restroom), homework/tasks, your hobbies/interests, etc..

More Info.:

  • One of the reasons why Hyperfocus is often attributed as ADHD-exclusive is due to its unpredictability — You may not always have control or awareness over what you’re hyperfocusing on, or even that you are, it can just happen.



  • Neurodivergent people only! Both ADHD and Autistic people can definitely use this term, and it is most predominantly used in those circles! While Neurotypical people can experience a similar thing to hyperfocus, it is most often called “Being in The Zone” or “Getting Into the Flow” and isn’t the same thing.


Special Interest: 

  • Used most in Autistic circles, in reference to Autistic people 
  • Describes the type of interest (very intense, passionate, and narrow) 
  • Describes our commitment to it (long-term commitment, ranging from months to lifelong, to the exclusion of other interests)



  • Used by anyone who is Neurodivergent, most often seen in Autistic/ADHD circles
  • To focus intensely to the exclusion of all other things (includes bodily functions/needs, processing of the world around you, etc.)
  • A short-term commitment, typically lasting under 10 hours and not always by choice


As you’re ADHD you can definitely use the terms Hyperfixation and Hyperfocus! If, after reading this, you think the term Special Interest applies to you, you can use it as well! Just be aware that some people may disagree with your use of it!

Note: Additionally, I think it is good to tell you that ADHD cannot be “minor” or “severe” — You’re either ADHD or you’re not! It may be more difficult or easier for someone to manage how their ADHD symptoms positively or negatively impact their life,  but that is a different thing!

This “Scale of Functionally” (in comparison to Neurotypicals) doesn’t truly exist, and believing that it does is actually quite problematic and harmful. It is often weaponized — Used to invalidate and discredit the experiences of other ADHD people, make one seem “better” or “lesser” (more/less Neurotypical) then the other, decide who isn’t or is “truly worthy” or resources, etc..

I do not say this to insult or hurt you, though! As you are just now discovering that you’re ADHD it is only logical that you would not be aware of all the little intricacies like this. I do not blame you!

Overall, thank you for being both so self-aware and considerate to send this message! It goes to show how kind you are that you wish to educate yourself to make sure you’re respectful of others and the terminology for their disabilities/etc.. Good job!

anonymous asked:

I just hope that the first episode of Season 13 will have 1) Sam facing the Nephilim - and therefore his own powers and his own destiny and making peace with it and 2) Dean facing Cas' death - and therefore his feelings and making peace with it (or not.. try true love's kiss please, it'll work). It just seemed very deliberate to set them up like that apart from each other, each facing their own challenge.

Yeah. Because that’s yet another way that Sam and Dean broke the pattern…

Every season finale since s2 has alternated whether the brothers were together or apart.:

  • s2 together standing over the Impala’s trunk
  • s3 dean in hell so apart
  • s4 clinging to each other watching Lucifer rise
  • s5 sam in hell so apart (even though we see Sam looking through the window at the end, they are effectively narratively ‘apart’ for the next year)
  • s6 together kneeling before godstiel
  • s7 dean in purgatory so apart
  • s8 clinging to each other as the angels fall so together
  • s9 demon dean on the run so apart
  • s10 together in the impala as the darkness rolls across the land
  • s11 dean went off to blow up amara with the soul bomb so apart
  • s12 Sam left Dean by Cas’s body and ran alone to face the nephilim… breaking the pattern… because they are apart…

So much of this episode (as well as 12.22) was about BREAKING PATTERNS.

Dean FINALLY confronted Mary with the truth in 12.22, about how her deal with Azazel had affected his life. About how he’d been forced to become both mother and father to Sam, because John was too broken to be either of those things to both boys. This is the culmination of Dean’s not wanting to “overwhelm” her early on, of his discomfort at telling her the story about her life with John in 12.01, knowing all along that it was a pretty lie– but it was what Mary believed at the time. This was the final part of Dean angrily telling Mary that he’d never been a child in 12.14. That time his words had been intended to wound her, but this time he spelled the whole thing out in detail– not to wound, but to heal.

Like in 12.12, the lance that inflicted the wound was the only thing that could heal it.

So much of 12.22 was also Dean surrendering that obligation he’s always felt as Sam’s “parent” with Sam directly– trusting him to lead that mission to the BMoL headquarters. He let Sam take the entire lead over the group of hunters they recruited for the raid, and he expressed his trust in Sam in actual words.

(fyi I have 9.23 playing in the background as I type this up, and trust me when I say it’s like night and day, the dynamic between Sam and Dean…)

And that mutual trust continued and grew stronger in 12.23, and opened to include Mary as an equal partner in understanding.

When all three Winchesters showed up at the house, Cas didn’t even make a pretense of greeting the rest of the family. Just Dean.

And Dean’s first words to Cas are about how they’ll work things out between them as soon as they get Cas and Kelly to safety, reassuring him that things between them aren’t broken.

and then we had a visual confirmation of Cas’s motivations, his seemingly unconvinced “belief” in the future the nephilim had shown him. When Kelly asked him to tell her again, to reassure her that her sacrifice was worth it, Cas hesitated, and flashed back to the scene in 12.19 where the nephilim sent its power into him. It was like he had to shake something off and focus in order to remember that vision.

We even had Mary and Kelly talking about how they would die to protect their children. Right after Mary came to accept the fact that she DID die to protect her children.

The entire last ten minutes of the episode was like a dark reversal of the rescue mission to save Sam in 12.02, and the fight scene in that basement, but in an entirely jumbled up fashion.

But in an even LARGER scale, these “cosmic consequences” spiral back through every level of the story– from Mary herself and her understanding of the interconnected fate/choice of her deal with Azazel; through Amara’s influence of the story in s9 as the Winchester/Campbell family’s fate as descendants of Cain and Abel in taking on the original Mark of Cain, through her influence over s10 as the force that both kept Dean alive and was slowly killing him all the the same time, through s11 as she got to experience humanity first-hand and demand recognition from Chuck and her growth from wanting to destroy the universe just because and acceptance of the beauty it actually contained (and that Chuck’s love of the universe didn’t diminish his love for her), and then in s12 the Cosmic Consequences of her freeing Lucifer and resurrecting Mary (because her touch is chaos itself, and bringing back Mary and Lucifer HAD to be influenced by her essential chaos…). That kind of instability introduced into an orderly system that has always adhered to certain cosmic “rules” HAD to bring about this sort of fundamental chaos, you know? And hooboy do we ever have it.

The moment we learned that the entire Winchester Family History had been essentially engineered by Heaven to someday act as the key that opened the lock on the Darkness and force that confrontation and resolution of the Original Rift that created the universe, and the moment Dean orchestrated that resolution, it brought that cosmic-scale rift back down to Winchester Family levels. I know I’m not explaining it well, but it’s something Gabriel said way back in 5.08 when he was pushing Sam and Dean to accept their roles in the apocalypse– As above, so below. But now, post-resolution, that mirror’s been flipped.

Dean completed his task of balancing the universe again, but Amara’s “gifts” in the form of Lucifer removed from Castiel and the resurrection of Mary have both turned very bad. The wishes go very bad.

And they’re ALL interconnected– Castiel, Lucifer, Mary, and Amara.

And now the nephilim, as well.

The things Cas was saying about the nephilim’s vision of the future sounded appallingly similar to the things Amara had wanted in her perfect vision of the future, you know? The whole notion of remaking the world in their own vision, where there was never any conflict or hatred or pain or suffering. Amara’s ideal sounded very much the same, with her bliss pitted against the nephilim’s paradise.

It took Dean a long damn time to see that offer for what it was, to see how it wasn’t real, what Amara was offering. That it was the annihilation of self and the surrender of his identity that Amara was really offering.

Which is fundamentally identical to what the nephilim seems to be offering Cas…

Dean had to die and be reborn as a demon, then struggle through the trials of bearing the mark and eventually come to an understanding of the truth of all of it. I think that’s exactly the point in the narrative we are with Cas.

I know I am not explaining it well, because it’s taken me three hours to even put this much of it in this disorderly state, and I still don’t feel like I’m getting to the true heart of the matter here…

But once again, just like in 12.22, Sam’s struggle will be an external one, facing the nephilim as a sort of incarnation of his own life-long feelings and beliefs about HIMSELF, that he wasn’t pure, that he was a freak because of the demon blood and his powers, that he wasn’t truly human somehow because of that. And Dean’s struggle will be internal, like it was reclaiming Mary from the walls she’d been forced to construct inside her own mind in the name of self-preservation.

Sam’s walls have finally manifested into something physical for him to confront.

We’ve finally scraped the thousand layers of paint off the walls that Dean’s been putting up for the world his entire life, and he’s not trying to camouflage what’s underneath. He’s finally let something OTHER than Sam literally bring him to his knees. He’s finally shown Sam the thing that actually had the power to do that to him, too. And Sam had his little moment of acknowledgement before running off to face the nephilim alone.

And that’s the tip of the iceberg on how damn meta that finale was.

here’s a thing, though. as far as more neutral criticism/commentary

i think peter’s relationship with tony/the avengers will always be (or at least currently is) muddied by a couple of things: 1) mcu’s general aversion to genuine emotion that doesn’t lead directly to jokes, constantly, but that’s not the main topic of this particular rant, 2) the fact that, considering the wider mcu, it’s very hard to place the portrayal of this relationship in terms of whether or not it does/should adhere to the usual superhero genre conventions

see, peter’s arc follows the very typical pattern of “teen has Big Dreams, gets powers, helps out locally before being invited to be an actual avenger” (see for instance kamala khan). there’s that dose of “the Adults aren’t listening! i have to do this on my own!” (see: young avengers). their age and general inexperience and the highly questionable nature of the mere possibility that they may be allowed to fight in wars when they’re objectively not even old enough to fully understand what they’re consenting to… those are all things that make you go “mmmmmyeah lol we don’t talk about that” when you’re reading a standard teen superhero comic

homecoming (aside from mcu’s everpresent tonal problem when it comes to developing genuine relationships between people) does well in that context. it wasn’t made for the critical adult so much as it was made for the twelve year old in their spider-man costume dreaming that tony stark would find them one day and pull them into this world of superheroes. it takes peter’s side and perspective (as it should). when all the bells and whistles in his suit become inconvenient as he’s trying to catch bad guys, i daresay a casual audience member is more prone to get frustrated at tony stark for having included the bells and whistles than they are to remember that peter’s only having that problem because he hacked into the suit and broke all the ground rules tony laid out for him exactly because he knew peter would be overwhelmed. when peter’s begging tony if he can please keep that suit, it makes you sad that tony takes it away and then peter goes back home to cry about how he lost “the stark internship” because he thought that “if he tried really hard then tony would let him have something more but then he screwed up” (not an exact quote but he does express that sentiment to aunt may). like. it’s really heartbreaking

and yes, i think the movie does mostly a good job balancing out the two perspectives on that conflict, tony and peter’s. you see peter neglecting school and friends and missing decathlon and missing quizzes and ditching detention and lying to aunt may and all of that while he has that suit, but then tony takes it away and gives him The Lecture about how he shouldn’t have that suit if he was going to be nothing without it, and that’s when peter goes back to his life, spends more time with ned, picks up his grades, invites liz to homecoming – and when the moment comes and he has to make the choice between standing by and doing the right, heroic thing, he goes out and fights regardless and it’s tony’s words that he remembers when he’s extremely overwhelmed

then you have a guy like happy hogan, right. and in the context of a typical Teen Hero story, happy is That Guy. he’s That adult who’s simultaneously aggravating and comedic in his total incompetence. there’s always That Guy in those stories that take the super-teen’s perspective! That Guy who doesn’t listen to the kids for whatever petty reason and now the kids can’t reach iron man so I GUESS the city will have to be saved by a fifteen-year-old in his spider-themed pajamas and his best friend who’s sitting in the computer lab at high school during the homecoming dance. happy embodies that straight-forward plot necessity that’s a Typical Superhero Thing. i’m actually entirely convinced there has to be a whole TV tropes entry for that specific role

and like that’s fine! TONAL BULLSHIT ASIDE (honestly you don’t even know how much i hated the whole thing where happy was interrupted while he thanked and apologized to peter), you get the (attempted) moment trying to show that happy is a good guy after all and he cares for peter and he’s nervous about his own job and, assuming that sort of moment to be successful (which it kind of isn’t because again why does the mcu have to turn everything into a joke) then what you’re left with is the idea that both tony and peter (and pepper if you extend this all the way back to im3), for all of their smarts and independence and grievances, simply have too much heart to resent happy for his many and numerous slips. that’s important closure if you don’t want the audience to hate or question the emotional weight of a character that was brought in specifically as an annoying comedic inconvenience

THE THING IS, THOUGH: peter parker wasn’t introduced in this movie. peter was introduced in a movie that, according to the russos and m&m themselves, intended to question the foundation of basic superhero conventions. they poke at all those “lol we don’t talk about that” Superhero things, like collateral damage and loss of civilian life and whether or not superheroes “invite” threats and the international consequences of what definitely looks like military interventionism if you take away the Superhero goggles. peter’s presence in the avengers in this context (which will most likely be part of the context of the next avengers movies) is highly highly highly questionable, ESPECIALLY in light of homecoming, which emphasizes peter’s vulnerabilities as a teenager. i know there are attempted in-universe explanations for tony’s decision to bring peter into cap 3, but none of them make real sense and none of them will ever be realistically acceptable. simply because there’s a brutal – a BRUTAL – clash in genre expectations happening there. you physically can’t watch that peter recruitment scene in cap 3, plus literally everything that has to do with his presence in that airport battle, without saying “you know what? this is a Superhero Movie ™” (unless of course you’re willing to swear off and harshly judge everyone, and i do mean everyone on BOTH sides, who was involved in the airport fight in any capacity)

(and sidebar: i do think there’s a greatness, in a meta level, that tony served as a kind of a gateway and channel to Classic Superhero Nonsense in cap 3 – i’m reminded of the commentary where the russos said that the music playing during tony’s suit up sequence in the helicopter was intentionally composed to sound like the most Superhero ™ track in the whole movie – and that makes me emotional specifically because tony *is* so attached to the general Superhero Ideal – he *is* the only avenger who was shown signing kid’s iron man toys and keeping iron man drawings and artwork, he came up with the “earth’s mightiest heroes” catch phrase (and “friendly neighborhood spider man” too for that matter), he gave the team a building after fighting alongside them once, he literally could not help but reveal he was iron man, etc. the russos said in the cap 3 commentary that in an ensemble movie, it was important for them to bring in a little of the spark of every franchise and make it part of each character, and all technical shit aside, i think it’s cute and heartwarming that tony’s character was able to bring in that strand of uncomplicated, child-friendly superhero stuff – tony stark is, after all, the single avenger who had a legitimate kid sidekick in his own movie and that’s fantastic imo)

ANYWAY what i’m saying is there’s an inevitable clash in genre expectations going on between peter and the avengers because as of cap 3, avengers stuff seems to be tearing at genre conventions while peter’s story sort of needs at least one of those conventions, in a BIG way, in order to stand on its own as something that’s actually enjoyable and not 7392739 levels of disturbing. if you take away the Superhero Goggles while watching homecoming then that’s…. yikes….. especially on the happy hogan front, imo, since tony is shown to be keeping track of peter, while happy, the assigned mediator, does a pretty crappy job at getting back to peter and answering distress calls. but even like in general, the idea of tony wanting to recruit peter to the avengers because he was able to fight a murderer wearing giant wings while wearing his spider pajamas is…. so insane and irresponsible. and if you dissect that it’s probably going to kill a lot of what’s enjoyable in the premise of a casual and lighthearted coming-of-age teen-hero story, which is what homecoming is

(oh and make no mistake – as i mentioned before, the mcu’s aversion to displaying emotional genuineness without making fun of itself DOES take something away from the build up and power of tony and peter’s interactions, imo, every single one of them that’s not the ferry argument – and personally i feel like that in turn hurts the general idea of peter as someone with ties with the avengers)

all of that being said, i did genuinely enjoy the movie (and context plays a big part here – it IS pretty damn enjoyable to see anything at all that has to do with the development of tony and peter’s relationship after a full year of post-cap 3 fandom bullshit) but ha BOY expect The Discourse. it’s going to happen. it’s absolutely going to happen because it’s entirely too easy (if not… almost inevitable?) to question the general premise of “adults providing means and tools for teen heroes” when you’ve got the wider post-cap 3 mcu universe practically begging you to by putting in check the very nature of and outlook on the typical self-governed superhero team

Horoscopes by Gil Hizon - Week of April 23 - 29, 2017

Error Code: Your Face

TAURUS (April 20 – May 20)

This week, it’ll seem like no matter what you do, there just ain’t no pleasing nobitches, amirite? You could be carrying the fountain of gay youth and you still won’t be allowed in the gayborhood, let alone the fucking courtyard. Do yourself a favor, dahling. Start pleasing yourself instead of other hos and when they start noticing that their shadiness ain’t affecting yo ass, they’ll start to come around.

GEMINI (May 21 – June 21)

I know that you’re Miss On-The-Go this week, but not everyone will be hip to your insane schedule. The more you expect that bitches will just adhere to your itinerary, the more disappointed you’ll become. Listen, gurr. I know that there’s lots to be done but calming the fuck down will enable you to see the entire layout of your week, and it’ll enable you to efficiently strategize how to get all your shit done.

CANCER (June 22 – July 22)

I’m just getting the sense that you’re not fully there. That you’re not completely applying yourself to the current tasks you’ve been assigned with. You are exhibiting a certain disenchantment with what’s happened in your life, and gurl, shit happens, okay? I’m fine with the moping but don’t let it go on for too long. At some point, you gotta get on with your fucking life.

LEO (July 23 – August 22)

Gurl, you didn’t think it was gonna happen this fast, amirite? You’ve been getting used to a certain mode of being emotionally alone and all of a sudden, some sickening bitch appears in your life and everything is alright again. I understand that the obvious reaction from you is to resist it for fear of being hurt. But trust that in this case, history might not repeat itself.

VIRGO (August 23 – September 22)

Another great opportunity is once again turning out to be a dud and frankly, you’re sick and tired of learning about how the real world works. You’re done with the lessons on life’s shit and it’s like, you get it, the universe can be fucking cruel, can we move on already? But think about how you would’ve reacted years ago. You would’ve felt crushed. But this new you is shitshow-proof more than ever. And for that, yo ass should be fucking proud.

LIBRA (September 23 – October 22)

When it comes to addiction, the biggest issues here are weakness and consideration for others. The fact that a person is able to control something but won’t do anything about it is not just a head scratcher; it’s just downright disappointing. In addition, if someone knows that their actions are hurting other people, and they’re still doing it? That’s just idiotic and nasty.

SCORPIO (October 23 – November 21)

Your choice of words regarding a matter this week can be downright polarizing; it can make you realize who your fucking allies really are. This could change the game, dearie, like in a big way. Whether or not that’s good or bad, it’s up to you. One thing’s for sure. You cannot NOT say anything. Because that would be the beginning of your demise, queen.

SAGITTARIUS (November 22 – December 21)

You’re just a homebody these days and with good reason. Being around people can only energize you for so long. Spending time with yourself for once can make you realize that there are some things you can still surprise yourself with. Don’t underestimate the power of solitude. Because of your adventurous, social nature, it can make you cray-cray, but introspection can also make you a fucking badass.

CAPRICORN (December 22 – January 19)

When you’re doing your shit out of order, it may throw a lot of bitches off. Letting them know beforehand that that’s what you’ve planned on doing all along can make you seem egotistical, like you expect all other bitches to be paying attention to whatchu been doing (or who you be doing). Gurl, you know what’s up. Only let other hos know if they ask.

AQUARIUS (January 20 – February 18)

There’s just too much orgasmic inspiration happening in your big brain that it’s enough to doubt yourself and your ties to reality. Although it seems like a lot of real world issues are fighting for your attention, this is just your brain safeguarding your fucking sanity. It’s okay to let go and be immersed in daydream, dearie. You can save every other ho another day. Right now, they don’t need you. You just think they do.

PISCES (February 19 – March 20)

Being a badass is not something one can learn. That shit is innate, my dear. So when you’re rushing through your week in your general badassery, don’t even think about stopping to doubt whether what you’re doing is enough. You fucking know that it is and more. Just keep kicking ass and let the rest of us worry about whether we’re good enough to hang with yo ass.

ARIES (March 21 – April 19)

So certain bitches have had it with you and your “friend.” There is some weird dynamic shit going on between the two of you and frankly, queens have enough confusion in their lives without trying to figure out if you two are fucking or not. Don’t flatter yourself either. Their only level of interest in your true dynamic with this ho has to do with how it affects their lives and how they’re supposed to behave around your asses. Stop being so vague because they just don’t have time for that shit.

(DISCLAIMER for all entries: This is all a shitshow!)

For more Horoscopes By Gil Hizon, click here, gurl!

salazarastark  asked:

Hi! This might sound a little silly, but I've been seeing a lot of gifsets about Ned's quote about Sansa and Arya being as different as the son and the moon and in them Sansa's the sun and Arya's the moon. I understand the aesthetic reason for the sorting, but I was wondering if there was a meta reason for it. I think both of their arcs could have the traditional sun and the moon parallels. Your thoughts?

I also got this anon within about 24 hours of your ask (was there a wank I was blissfully unaware of?):

Hey, I really love your thoughts on the stark sisters. This might be a silly ask, but who do you think reflects the moon better and who the sun? I know Ned’s words were more metaphoric than literal, but I always see edits with one sister being the sun and the other the moon, which always vary on which one is which. I can never decide. Do you have a preference?

Before I get into this, I… don’t really have a horse in this race tbh, largely because I think that focusing on the imagery in that line is missing the point of what Ned is saying.  He’s not necessarily saying “one of you is the sun and one of you is the moon,” he’s saying “you are as different as” so I think of it more as a poetic turn of phrase more than anything else.

But since you’re asking here are longer thoughts on the matter, the ones I do have go into symbolism as it appears for Sansa and Arya respectively.

Keep reading

On Sith Heresy

It goes without saying that there is not and never has been any unified LS Force-use movement within the Empire. Ever since the earliest days of the Jen'jidai, the Sith philosophy and identity has been built on DS Force use - on the rejection of Jedi philosophies, of embracing the Dark Side of the Force and the celebrating of one’s passions above all things. Passion, the Sith Code would have it, is the key to freedom - and it is freedom that Sith value most of all. The nature of that freedom, of course, is different to freedom as it is valued in the Republic. To the Sith, freedom is the freedom to act without consequence - to impose ones will on the world, if not the galaxy, and to best and conquer even death itself.

Heretical Sith philosophies are not all Light-aligned or inclined, though compared to the Sith orthodoxy, many are. Strictly speaking, they tend to be LS-leaning, rather than what a non-Sith observer would class as LS. For the Jedi, LS Force use is associated, per the first line of their Code, not with emotion but with peace. The Force, as the Jedi approach it, is an ally to be worked with on its own terms rather than a beast to be tamed, and this is a view that is rarely found even among Sith heretics.

Heretical Sith practices are, ultimately, still Sith practices, and tend to still teach the harnessing of the Force through one’s emotions. Where the traditional Sith orthodoxy focuses on the use of anger and hatred (and, frequently, fear - with the caveat that it is rare that any given Sith will cop to using their own fear), heretical practices will teach the use of other emotions. Love is the most obvious one - whether it is love for one’s family, love for a spouse, love for the Empire, etc. Others include one’s sense of duty towards the Empire, an abstract and rarely documented heresy that is tolerated for obvious reasons, or hyalasha, a Sith word referring to the thrill of mortal combat and the desire to win at all costs, drawn on frequently by Sith marauders and berserkers and, so long as their targets benefit the Empire, thus tolerated. While these responses and their prizing above others falls outside of the orthodoxy, the Inquisition is frequently willing to overlook them - provided that the Sith in question still serve the Emperor’s will, and that they are not attempting to corrupt the orthodoxy as a whole.

(It should be noted that the emotion of hyalasha is not related to anger, but is about the thrill of and enjoyment of the fight - battle for battle’s sake. Sith are nothing if not thrillseekers.)

It is important to note that love and passion are not interchangeable, either in the standard Sith orthodoxy, or in heretical practices. Passion, according to the Sith orthodoxy, empowers and inspires - is a form of motivation and power. Love, by contrast, blinds and chains - stays the hand in mercy, creates weaknesses for others to exploit, and ties one to loyalties that would otherwise have long run their course. On the flip side of that, Sith heresies will argue that passion is impulsive  and unsustainable; love, by contrast, requires a solid foundation, no matter what form that love takes. Of course, this is only an example of such an argument - no formal heretical positions exist, as to adopt one would be to signal the Inquisition that one formally opposes the Sith orthodoxy, and thus opposes the Order as a whole.

It is vanishingly rare that a Sith heretic will draw on the Force as Jedi do - not by channelling their emotions to tap into the power of the Force, but instead by attempting the kind of clarity and mindfulness that the Jedi practice in order to attune to it. Such a practice runs counter to everything taught in both Sith and Imperial culture, and is an utter anathema to any Overseer. It is even more rare that such a Sith will survive long enough to teach another Force-sensitive their practice - to draw on the Force in the manner that Jedi do would not go unnoticed or unpunished in the Empire, as to embrace the path of their mortal enemies is, in Sith eyes, to become the enemy itself. Even Light-inclined heretics and practitioners are still Sith - while heresy is a crime punishable by death, it does not, in the Sith penal system, incur an automatic charge of treason.

It is equally extremely rare, of course, that any given Sith lives up entirely to the teachings of the Sith orthodoxy. All Sith have parents, and most have siblings - and, outside of the noble lines, it is rare that marriage happens purely for political purposes. Even where a marriage is arranged, it is rare that the couple will forge no feelings whatsoever - to say nothing of a parent’s natural affection for their children. Such relationships are frequently strained and complicated by the contradictory demands of the Sith orthodoxy, but the Sith are nothing if not a complicated people.

It should also be noted, of course, that love itself is not a heresy - forbidding love would be an exercise in fruitlessness, not least because it is one of the natural evolutions of certain kinds of passion, and can be used to fuel those passions in turn. Sith art throughout the ages has been dominated by passionate love stories, from the fairytale to the tragically doomed and everything between; many of the greatest Sith to ever live cited a love as one of their driving passions. It is true that the Sith orthodoxy discourages love between adherents, as - as an emotion and motivation - it is said to dull ambition and blind one to both the weaknesses and ambitions of one’s partner, as well as one’s own weaknesses. However, the Sith do not forbid love in the way that the Jedi are said to do, and indeed have used this very fact to tempt many a wavering Jedi.

Of course, these are just examples - there are as many heretical Sith philosophies as there are heretical Sith. In part this is due to the individualistic nature of the Sith, but also because - as mentioned - there has never been any unified heretical philosophical movement in the Empire. While low-level heresies are tolerated by the Inquisition, particularly in the time since the Reclamation, the more organised and more noticeable heretical Sith become, the harder the Inquisition are to crack down on them.

It is difficult to explain, in Republic terms, just how much of an affront to the Sith that challenging the orthodoxy is. It forms a vital cornerstone of Sith cultural identity, and the Inquisition, as the defenders of Sith culture, take their jobs incredibly seriously. It may seem odd to an outsider to the Empire, for a people who value freedom so much to place a value on being so strictly bound by sometimes vague and indeterminate rules. As noted earlier, however, freedom in the manner it is valued by Sith is not the same as it is celebrated in the Republic - a misunderstanding that is at the root of many a diplomatic failure.

(Part 2)

Q&A With A Fae

One of my fae contacts was willing to let me interview him and share some information (under certain conditions that I’m adhering to). I asked around the spirit worker communities I’m in for questions to ask during the interview, and what follows is a summary of what he told me in response to those questions. These are not exact quotes, but my interpretations of his answers and added information for context! A lot of the questions and answers are about fae in general, but it is useful to note that he is a noble member of the Unseelie Court.

How do you get in touch with fae?

If you start doing anything related to magic in your area and it becomes noticeable enough or if you start interacting with the natural environment around you, usually the local fae will have some kind of awareness of you - of a greater or lesser degree depending on how relevant and noticeable you make yourself based on your behavior. So if you are doing extremely big spells, lots of intense spirit work, or landscaping - you’re definitely going to be on local fae radar. They’ll know about you, but may or may not interact.

For whatever reason, if you really want to get their attention, asking for it is enough - although they may or may not be interested in responding. By asking for it, I mean leaving offerings, doing a ritual to contact them, etc. If they do respond, make sure you know what you’re getting involved with!

Why they so rude?

Yes, I actually asked this question… and basically, most of the behaviors humans interpret as being “rude,” the fae doing them doesn’t consider them rude. It’s a classic case of cultural differences. Fae have their own ideas of what is rude or not, and this may or may not overlap with the human ideas about it. If you do choose to interact with fae or must deal with them for whatever reason, try to think from their cultural logic. Seelie and Unseelie aligned fae each have their own sets of rules about what is normal and appropriate. 

I haven’t worked with Seelie fae enough to know, but Unseelie fae tend to regard humans and other mortals as extremely inferior to them. Fae are immortal unless killed, so they live much longer than humans and have more time to learn and develop their knowledge-base, skills, and intellect. Fae are also inherently much more magically talented than most humans. So to an Unseelie fae (and to all fae to an extent), treating a human as inferior and as rather worthless is natural and expected. Basically, they are “rude” because its their nature and culture to be that way toward humans. Think of it how humans treat animals - we tend to see ourselves as intellectually superior and able to do much more and live longer, so as a species we don’t usually treat animals in the same way as other humans even if we grow fond of one as a pet. Humans are viewed in a similar kind of way to fae.

What is the basic etiquette humans should have with humans and common faux pas humans make with fae?

Almost every text you’ll ever see about interacting with the fae will advise you to be polite to them. This is paramount for your own safety. Whether you are dealing with Seelie, Unseelie, solitary, or some other kind of fae it’s in your best interest to be as courteous, kind, and polite as possible. The average fae is inherently more magically powerful than the average human, and they do not value human life in the same sort of way that humans don’t value the lives of animals the same way they do another human (see previous question). If your wording and attitude when approaching them has undertones of subservience to them and a huge amount of respect, they’re much more likely to be willing to work with you. 

However, if they get impatient with you, you get disrespectful, or even worse you don’t hold up your end of a bargain or return a gift or favor then you’ll quickly get into hot water. Unless you’re willing to stake a lot that you have the magical and spiritual power to face off with a fae, it’s not really a good idea to try to banish them if things get sticky. Always apologize even if you don’t want to or don’t feel like you should have to and offer to rectify the situation. That’s really the best you can do if things go south! It’s very difficult to outsmart them, as many fae have lived for a ridiculous amount of time longer than you and are masters at trickery and deception.

What are good offerings and gifts to give fae?

If you are in contact with the fae who you want to give offerings to, you can always ask them as it may depend on their particular species and personality. Generally speaking, however, fae tend to like sweet things, pretty things, and valuable magical items. So the usual suggestions of cream, milk, honey, and shiny or glittery things are all safe bets (so long as you aren’t leaving anything outside that’s littering or leaving trash in nature). If you leave an offering out, make sure it’s biodegradable! Also, you could gift an enchanted or magical item of value if you’re willing to give it up. 

Just because you don’t hear from local fae if you give an offering doesn’t mean they didn’t receive it or like it, it just means that for whatever reason they decided not to respond by communicating with you. However, it is very difficult for fae not to reciprocate so you will likely receive something in turn from them without even realizing it.

Why do some fae get annoyed or seem jealous when you take on a protective approach to nature? Why do some fae seem to challenge me when I get involved with nature?

Think about it this way. There are nature spirits - i.e. tree spirits, animal spirits, wind spirits, etc. - of natural phenomena in the world, and the fae are a completely different set of spirits that often live amongst those nature spirits and protect them since they are a part of the same habit environment and interconnected with each other. So if you start interacting with nature spirits or spending time in nature, then you’re also under the fae domain whether you like it or not. 

So looking after and protecting nature is generally appreciated by fae, but it all depends on how you go about it. The fae see themselves as in charge, so if you come in and start acting like you’re in charge, they won’t all take too kindly to that. Like if an animal comes into your backyard and starts pulling out the weeds or chewing on your flowers, you’re going to want to make that animal get out of your backyard. That’s why many gardeners leave offerings for the fae asking them to look after their garden - from the fae’s perspective they really should be asking for their blessing to be gardening at all.

Whenever you’re in nature or working with nature, remember to acknowledge that the local fae consider themselves in charge and look for signs of whether they are happy or not with what you are doing in their territory. If you see it as your territory and overstep your bounds in their eyes, you may receive an unwanted challenge or not so pleasant messages that you are unwelcome. Unfortunately, I think this is fairly unavoidable.

How accurate are the myths regarding changelings?

The changeling phenomenon is real, but it’s not something that happens at random. First of all, the change is not that the human baby’s body is replaced, instead when this happens the human soul is taken away to the fae realm and a fae soul is left in its place. Sometimes human incarnate fae are changelings.

In general, fae will do this souls swap for one of two reasons. The first reason is that humans have asked a lot of fae without returning the proper favors or offerings or have done something really awful that offends the fae, in which case the changeling happens because it is about fufilling what the fae sees as an owed debt. I’m not sure what Seelie fae do with these human souls, but Unseelie fae sometimes eat them or make them slaves in the fae realms. 

The other reason a changeling situation may happen is that a human is born with extraodrinary magical or intellectual gifts that the fae want. In this case, the human soul made be made a court servant. Some Unseelie fae (particularly nobility) will eat these human souls as a delicacy to obtain their magical gifts and knowledge.

Have any outsiders been stealing resources from the Unseelie Court territory? 

Not in any significant ways to the knowledge of the fae I spoke with, but he said that perhaps local common fae would know better of small issues regarding this or not. I didn’t find out any specific information for this question.

If you have more questions you’d like me to ask, my contact may not be willing to share but I’m more than happy to try and ask him! Just let me know in the comments or in your reblog. I hope this information is helpful! Remember that all this is UPG based on my interview with this one particular fae in addition to my own experiences/knowledge of the fae.

~ Mod Fire

—> Have questions? Send them to us at SpiritFAQ!

Women are frequently punished for failing to conform to societal standards of femininity. Some feminist communities have focused on combating this phenomenon and ended up hostile to women who do conform in certain ways, treating them as brainwashed by the patriarchy into e.g. judging their self-worth by their ability to please men.

Behaviors considered to be feminine are frequently seen as frivolous and vain and unimportant. Some feminist communities have focused on combating this phenomenon and ended up hostile to women who act in ways that get categorized as unfeminine, treating them as brainwashed by the patriarchy into hating femininity or rejecting female solidarity.

Both of the problems people are trying to address are real problems and definitely worth dealing with, and both of these outcomes are less than ideal. Most of the behaviors classified as feminine are harmful to, at worst, only the person doing them, and in a better world everyone would be free to do or not do them without coercion or fear of punishment.

So how can we address the problems without slipping into either of these failure modes? To some degree, I think, this is an issue of competing access needs: There are limits to how well a community can simultaneously celebrate femininity and unfemininity, and part of the solution is to have different communities with different focuses.

But I think it’s overly pessimistic to think that that’s all we can do. It is possible to address both problems, it is possible to have communities that support multiple ways of being a woman, and it is possible to do better at this than many currently existing communities.

One important element of this is an emphasis on individual choice. This doesn’t mean pretending that choices occur outside of social influences, or that people are never persuaded by their culture to make terrible decisions against their own self-interest. You can still talk about those influences and try to make it easier for people to escape them. It does mean recognizing and supporting others’ rights to make decisions about their lives even if those decisions are based in reasons you don’t agree with. It also means giving people the benefit of the doubt: You should not assume that someone is, for example, dressing in a certain way because they’re evil or ignorant, and it should not be their responsibility to prove that they’re not.

Another element, I think, is that one should avoid arguments about whether the coercion to be feminine or the negative attitudes against femininity is a bigger problem, either in general or in any specific case. This doesn’t mean saying that the two issues are equally significant! I don’t think they usually are. But the arguments comparing one to the other usually seem to be playing a zero-sum game: Who has more of a need for our support, and therefore who should have greater status in our communities. If you’re just trying to grapple with the issues directly rather than to establish an internal pecking order, there doesn’t seem to be much to be gained by comparing the magnitude of the problems.

Finally, if we recognize that both problems should be addressed and that arguments comparing them are counterproductive, it becomes really important to distinguish between arguments that are merely discussing one of the problems and arguments which are intended to emphasize one by downplaying the other. This means minding the distinction in one’s own words, and also being careful not to mistake one for the other in others’ arguments. If someone talks about coercive norms to femininity, you should not treat that as saying that adherence to those norms is an illegitimate choice. If someone talks about how feminine activities are trivialized, you should not assume that they are saying you need to take part in them. This can be difficult, because arguments simply talking about a problem can and do provide fodder for the arguments trying to establish a hierarchy. But I think it’s necessary.

(As I wrote this post, I got lazy and started talking about femininity as a property of behaviors and of people, rather than emphasizing the fact that what is considered feminine is socially constructed and pretty arbitrary. I think this can be a dangerous slippage, because it’s important to remember that the category can be significantly changed and possibly even eliminated, and attempts to change the culture should not take it as a given. But that’s kind of orthogonal to the points I’m trying to make here, and writing things like “behaviors considered as feminine” every time was getting annoying.)

Shuri’s Greatest Adversaries, #1: Namor

In this series of posts, I profile four of Shuri’s greatest adversaries in comics. Said adversaries come in various forms: physical, political, psychological, and so on.

Be sure to read my previous posts on Ohyaku, the Desturi, and Proxima Midnight.

First Encounter with Shuri

Black Panther Vol. 5 #11


Ruler of Atlantis, mutant, and the very first Marvel character ever created.


-Amphibious physiological adaptation

-Superhuman strength

-Superhuman speed

-Superhuman endurance

-Superhuman reflexes

-Extended longevity

-Aquatic telepathy



When it comes to Shuri’s greatest adversaries, Namor couldn’t be topped; not even by someone as dangerous as Proxima Midnight. What sets Namor apart from most characters is his political position as ruler of Atlantis. This position, combined with Shuri’s position as ruler of Wakanda at the time, resulted in a political clash that we don’t often see in mainstream comics.

Namor’s relationship with Shuri went from starting off on the wrong foot, to entering a phase of détente, to deteriorating very quickly, to becoming irreparable. Considering the personalities involved, it was perhaps inevitable that they would clash in a major way.If it wasn’t for the common relationship they both shared with T’Challa, they would’ve been at each other’s throats much sooner.

Their relationship ended up being costly not just to themselves but also their respective nations, causing a major amount of destruction and loss of life via the Wakandan-Atlantian War.

The war also showed that Namor was as big of a threat politically as he was physically. Shuri and Namor had both their nations enter a cold war phase prior to the escalation of hostilities, with both sides sporadically clashing in various parts of the world.

The issue of Namor even managed to severely strain Shuri’s relationship with T’Challa. At one point, the siblings’ relationship, which has always been very strong, nearly reached the “irreparable” stage as well.

Overall, the Shuri-Namor relationship ended being one of distrust, hostility, disrespect, and outright hatred. Once the war went into full gear, whatever chances of these two rulers easing tensions between each other disappeared.


It all started with a misunderstanding.

Shuri was investigating who was responsible for nearly T’Challa during the events of “Deadliest of the Species.” Thanks to false evidence planted by the Desturi, Shuri concluded that Namor may have been responsible for the attack. Shuri confronted Namor about it and Namor—in a rather dismissive manner—denies being responsible. Shuri wasn’t convinced and after several insults towards each other, they fought.

Thanks to an intervention by the Fantastic Four, Namor and Shuri stopped fighting. Once things calm down, Namor insisted that he had nothing to do T’Challa being harmed. Reed Richards not only agrees, but provides evidence that shows that Namor indeed wasn’t responsible. Shuri, Namor, and the Fantastic Four decide to work together to go after a lead to someone who may actually be responsible, or at the least know who was.

Shuri and Namor worked effectively together and they eventually find Walter Declun in a secret facility. Declun, in turns out, was directly to the Desturi and Dr. Doom.

During the events of Avengers vs X-Men, Namor was possessed by the Phoenix Force, which greatly enhances ones abilities and possible reveals one’s true personality. Angered by Wakanda harboring the Avengers and seemingly holding the mutant Transonic captive (we have no idea if Transonic was captive or not, as it wasn’t shown in later issues), Namor decides to attack Wakanda with Atlantian forces. Namor drew first blood via a deadly, biblical flood.

Whatever phase of détente between Namor and Shuri went away that instant. Thousands of Wakandans were killed and a great amount of the Wakandan capital was destroyed. Namor became public enemy number one and the Wakandan people demanded retribution.

In the midst of these high tensions, T’Challa discovers an end-of-the-world phenomenon called “incursions.” Unsure on how to solve the problem, he decides to invite the Illuminati to the Necropolis. Namor was a part of the Illuminati and his (secret) presence in Wakandan soil caused tension between T’Challa and the Dora Milaje.

Tensions between Wakanda and Atlantis continued to grow, with Wakandan and Atlantian forces clashing despite not being officially at war. Namor decided to approach T’Challa with an offer for Shuri: a cessation of hostilities between both nations and a promise by Namor that he would offer favorable terms. T’Challa warns Namor that Shuri will refuse the offer, but Namor feels T’Challa can convince her to accept it.

It’s also during that conversation that Namor reveals that there are elements within the government that want Shuri out of power, and have been colluding with Namor and the Atlantians during the cold war between both nations.

Namor’s offer for an end of hostilities, in reality, was him trying to get his cake and eat it too. If Shuri were to accept his offer, he no longer would have to worry about Wakanda while working on solving the incursion crisis. However, Namor likely sensed that the majority of Wakandans wanted war with Atlantis. Shuri accepting the terms could’ve resulted in public opinion and the Wakandan government turning against her and supporting a new ruler to take over. Clearly no love was lost between the two.

Shuri gathered a meeting to decide whether Wakanda should go to war. She was in favor of war; so were the majority of the Wakandan government and the Wakandan people. T’Challa pushed for accepting Namor’s offer. After a back and forth between T’Challa and a Wakandan general, Shuri makes her decision: Wakanda will go to war.

Namor learned via Wakandan diplomatic channels that Shuri had apparently considered his offer and was thinking about it. That was a lie: Shuri actually deployed Wakandan forces to Atlantis while Namor was still in the Necropolis (Namor’s actual location wasn’t known to Shuri). By the time Namor arrived at Atlantis, most of it was destroyed.

Soon after, Proxima Midnight and a portion of Thanos’ army arrived at what’s left of Atlantis, seeking the infinity gems. Finding a destroyed Atlantis, Proxima offered to spare Namor in exchange for his loyalty to Thanos and information on the location of the gems. Namor decides to answer with a lie of his own: that the gems was in Wakanda.

Proxima lead the charge against Wakanda, with the full might of Thanos’ army. Caught off-guard by the scale of the attack, Shuri orders Wakandan forces to retreat.

Noting that T’Challa was missing from the battle with Proxima, Shuri decided to look for him and eventually found him in the Necropolis.After confronting him about his whereabouts—and T’Challa not revealing the truth about where he was—the Dora Milaje arrived at the scene, revealing to Shuri that Namor has not only been at the Necropolis, but has been there many times while Wakandan and Atlantian forces were clashing. Shuri presses T’Challa more for an answer, but T’Challa decided to adhere to his pact with the illuminati: do not reveal anything about the incursions to anyone. Thus, he refused to answer her questions, at a great cost.

Despite T’Challa making major sacrifices for what he felt was the greater good (not killing Namor, not revealing the incursions, getting exiled by Shuri and disowned by T’Chaka, and so on), it all seemingly backfired when Namor revealed to T’Challa that he was the reason why Proxima Midnight attacked Wakanda. To make matters worse, Namor showed absolutely no remorse for his attack during AvX or for sending Proxima to Wakanda under false pretenses.

Namor left the Illuminati soon after and gathered Thanos, the Black Order, Black Swan and Maximus the Mad to tackle the incursion crisis via destroying worlds. They formed a cabal and procured the anti-matter bombs the Illuminati once held in the Necropolis.

The Cabal eventually blackmailed the world’s governments: either they gave up Wakanda or the Cabal would not save their world from the incursions. The world government’s obliged and Wakanda was attacked by Thanos’ Black order and his army. Still recovering from the two previous attacks by Thanos’ army while having no government intervene in their behalf, Wakanda couldn’t resist this time and the nation was destroyed, with all but less than 2,000 of its people dead. T’Challa and Shuri tried a last ditch effort to steal the anti-matter bomb, but the intel given to them was faulty, resulting in a set up by Proxima Midnight and Maximus.

With no hope left for Wakanda, Shuri decided to stay back and hold off Proxima while T’Challa escaped. In her final act as queen, she tells T’Challa to “finish” the job and transferred the rulership back to him. That “job”, it turns out, was Namor and one T’Challa intended on following through.

anonymous asked:

Sorry if it's a bother, but I'm kinda in the questioning phase (cis girl who used to think herself very straight, but is now having feelings for girls too) and I'm wondering if you have any advice or know of any resources? I'm still pretty freaked out and scared that I'll get it wrong and will never get this figured out...

I do have some advice! Sorry this response is delayed but I wanted to say it right.

There is no way to get it wrong. Having feelings for people and loving who you love isnt wrong. It is easy to internalize this idea of mistakes and abnormalities, because the whole world tells you that you can get it wrong and that anything outside of a very particular set of circumstances is abnormal or incorrect. However the closer you look at any lines the blurrier it gets, and the more you realize that such clear cut distinctions rarely work. And to call queer feelings and relationships the ‘exception’ also isnt fair, because if there are that many exceptions then there isnt really a rule is there? 

So here is some things

- It’s scary, it is. Depending on your environment and support system it can be hard to admit to yourself let alone anyone else that you might not fit into the pre-made box you were given. But heres the thing about it. It only feels wrong because it feels like you can be punished. People are rebuked or punished for incorrect things, thats how our society functions and interacts with itself. So if you fear punishment (meaning negative reactions, lack of acceptance, isolation) and punishment could indeed fall on you, then it must be wrong. It is difficult to challenge such a large idea, but thats what you have to do. Because you have to rewrite the script you’ve been given, and tell yourself that it isn’t wrong. It’s not. Having feelings for both genders or neither or the same gender or all genders or the opposite gender isnt wrong, its all the same. 

- You don’t have to define anything if you don’t want to. Sometimes labels and clear definitions bring comfort to people. It’s a very common mindset to be comforted by as much information and clarity as possible, which is why people fight so hard to define labels. And that’s great and fine, and if that’s something you want then keep looking to find what fits you, but know too that you don’t have to. People always focus on the most complicated aspects of love and affection, and it is indeed complicated sometimes, but sometimes its not. Not every matter of the heart is hard to understand. And if you find that you like someone of the same gender and grow fond of them romantically and find yourself attracted to them, this is not a complicated thing. This is affection in its most basic form, and it is only the uncertainties and anxieties that come after that make it so jarring. Inherently it’s not complex in the slightest.

You like her.

And that’s okay. 

Thinking then of how you felt in the past, how you feel now, what you might feel in the future, how your family would react, how the girl would react, how this plays into your understanding of yourself, whether or not that was wrong- these things come second. What comes first is natural, unedited affection, and if it happens with someone of the same gender, any gender, genderfluid, no gender- that’s what it is. Affection, attraction, feelings. And that is okay. You are okay. This is not complicated, this is not wrong. 

-You are coming to understand things that confuse you, because you had an understanding of yourself that has been called into question. Remember too that humans are one of the grandest and most fascinating things in the world because of their ability to change.

You change every day of your life as you learn new things, experience new events and define for yourself what is right and what is wrong. 

I feel that there were times in my life where i ‘knew’ who i was, but as time goes on I change and I have to rewrite the lines. If I led my life to the same script I wrote when I was a teenager I wouldn’t be who I am now, and should I always adamantly adhere to the script I have today then I would never be anyone else. 

- The only way you are going to know anything is if you are honest with yourself and keep an open conversation with how you feel. If you edit things or refuse to let some thoughts or emotions play out then you can’t hear what they are trying to say. Let yourself feel things, if you don’t you won’t learn anything new. 

- No matter what you learn about yourself or what fears you conquer I am proud of you for having the conversation with yourself, and no matter what that’s a hell of a thing. 

You don’t have to define anything you aren’t ready to. Be honest with yourself and understand that getting to know yourself again and again is essential to being alive. Whether you are straight or gay or bi or anything else, you are okay. It isn’t wrong to love someone. 

I love you, I hope I managed to say something that could provide some comfort. 

Light Side!Jaesa Willsaam Character Thoughts

[Note: I posted this meta for the first time on my first blog, which has been deactivated. I am reposting and revising this meta because Light Side!Jaesa could never get enough love, and in my honest opinion, LS!Jaesa is a criminally underrated character]

I want to talk about Jaesa - specifically, Light Side!Jaesa - a lot. I want to talk about the things that make LS!Jaesa such a wonderful character, thus I’m deeply grateful of her existence.

(Warning: Spoilers for the Sith Warrior storyline and LS!Jaesa’s conversation arc)

Keep reading

Best Laid Plans of Men and Monsters...

In a lot of ways, Season 5 is about plans. The making of them, the execution of them, the deviation from them. But it’s not just about plans in Season 5. It’s about plans from long ago, some short-term and some long-term.

And about how those plans – good and bad, successes and failures – become legacies.

Before I delve super deep into this, I’m going to warn you. I have a lot of thoughts. Like SO MANY. And they’ve been percolating since before 5x17. So, while I’m going to try to keep this as organized as possible, I’m not making any promises…

Keep reading

Day Thirty-Four

-A fourteen-year old boy went through the lanes dressed as Jared Leto’s Joker. It is far too far from Halloween for this to be acceptable. He had acid-green hair, off-putting makeup, a t-shirt designed to look like the Joker’s bare body, and a very disappointed father.

-I once again utilized my power to stop a shrieking child and make her laugh instead. Her mother did not know why the screaming ceased, but she was visibly relieved as it did. As she walked away and blocked me from the child’s sight, the little one began to wail again. I feel obligated to accompany them and become a live-in nanny, whether they ask for it or not.

-An old man, supposedly by accident, referred to me as “honey.” He looked at me, mortified, then grabbed his bag and ran out of the store. I can understand this man and his actions all too well.

-A grown man had to say the word “panties,” and the amount that the word made him squirm makes me question what business he has purchasing any.

-A pair of elderly women came through together on a shopping date. They were thrilled to find a magazine about the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them movie, and twice as thrilled to find my free stickers. I hope my priorities are as in order as theirs at that point in my life.

-I found out that I have inspired at least one other cashier to become more liberal with their stickers. If nothing else, I am glad to leave this legacy behind.

-A young girl walked through the store in a Pikachu costume. The joy in her face makes me hope she never has to take it off for as long as she lives.

-I looked to the end of my lane to find a man administering a sobriety test for his eleven year-old son. 

-A young girl in her cart spent her time proudly proclaiming to anyone who walked by that she could spell the word “sad.” I am glad to hear this, as depending on the success of a certain xenophobic jackolantern on November 8th, this skill may come in more and more handy.

-A young woman commented on how busy the store was and how stressed I seemed as a result of our dearth of cashiers at the time. She then told me she appreciated what I did. I get direct deposits every other Friday, yet this is still the most gratifying compensation this job has given me.

-I handed a boy a strip of stickers. He began to look down at them and giggle maniacally. He has plans. I do not know what they are, but I am both terrified and excited to find out.

-A man in his twenties took a sticker, then forced his friend to take one as well, as he could not choose which sticker he wanted but wished to adhere to the “Take One” rule.

-As her parents prompted her to thank me for her stickers, a small girl looked me in the eye, raised the stickers to my face, declared, “I’m taking these now,” and walked away with neither her parents nor a single care in the world.

-A mother told her son that if he touched anything, he would go to jail. I am not sure how she was able to back this threat up in the past, but clearly there was precedent enough that he stopped in his tracks.

-My final guest and I discussed strange things my guests have mentioned. She then asked me if I had seen a viral post about a Target employee’s first week on the job. As she described it, I reluctantly told her that I did in fact see it, as I had also written it. I am not fully sure if she left my register believing me or not, but either way, her reaction was phenomenal and I clocked out high on the buzz of pseudocelebrity status.

-My shift was bookended by visits from my lovely girlfriend. My night opened up with her bringing me Starbucks and closed out with her driving me home. She is the one to thank for Target Retales. She keeps me sane and keeps me going, and I don’t even have to give her that many stickers.

An attempt at establishing a good habit

We all may have heard of the following hadith, 

“ Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:  Whoever prays Fajr in congregation then sits remembering Allaah until the sun rises, then prays two rak’ahs, will have a reward like that of Hajj and ‘Umrah, complete, complete, complete. - Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (586).”

Even though there is a difference of opinion in regards to the soundness of the hadith, a number of scholars have classes is as hasan li ghayrihi. 

  Another hadith that is more vividly known and acted upon by the majority of us is the following,  

“ It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Whoever reads Soorat al-Kahf on the day of Jumu’ah, a light will shine for him from beneath his feet to the clouds of the sky, which will shine for him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will be forgiven (his sins) between the two Fridays.”

Pondering upon these two, i realized that a great habit could be formed in order to follow these two religiously. I will start to the following from now on In Sha Allah. 

  • Wake up early and pray Tahajjud (the night prayer), every Friday (And other days too In Sha Allah).

  • Wait for Fajr and make dua during that time (Allah descends to the lowest heaven during the last third of the night, why miss the opportunity for dua?)

  • Pray the sunnah of Fajr at home and then head out to the masjed. [Note: Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The two rak'ahs of Fajr are better than this world and everything in it.” (Narrated by Muslim, 725. ) AND the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also said: “Perform some of your prayers in your houses and do not make them graves.”(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 422; Muslim, 777)]

  • After having prayed Fajr, sit in my place and finish the morning adhkar and then recite Surah Kahf  (And read translation in order to understand) - Quran or phone app. ( Note: There is a difference of opinion in regards to whether the hadith implies to stay in the same place or be able to move about in  the masjed. I personally would like to stay on the safe side and try to be near a pillar or a wall so i can lean against it and not be tired. And keep a Quran close by before hand or have my phone “on silent” with me.)

 Surah Kahf doesn’t take too long, i take roughly 45 minutes to recite and read translation, that is approximately enough time until you can pray the shurooq (sunrise) prayer. So by the you finish reciting Al Kahf and praying 2 rakahs (units) of sunrise prayer, you would have acted upon two hadiths and that too on a Friday. I fully intend to comply by this In Sha Allah, a great way to attain a reward. (Note: Allah loves the acts that we are consistent in and  that is why making a habit out of our acts of worship is very important). 

May Allah make us of those who earn HIS pleasure and mercy through adhering to good deeds and refraining from the bad deeds and may HE enable us to perform more and more good deeds in accordance with the Quran and Sunnah, Ameen.

The other thing that came up at the talk was whether or not Marvel was reaching market saturation point, which I think betrayed a fundamental lack of understanding about what more diverse lines are meant to do.

Like, if you look at the comics-reading audience as “15- to 29-year-old straight white guys,” then it makes sense to talk about market saturation because there’s only so many comics you can reasonably sell to a limited audience with finite disposable income.  If you look at the comics-reading audience as “anyone who can read,” then the conversation becomes about how to pitch to people who aren’t currently giving you money and produce for them in a viable way, and the limiting factor is how effectively you can market and deliver to a new niche.

This is especially true if you give new properties the Deadpool/Squirrelgirl treatment.  Don’t ask the creative team to take the property super-seriously all the time.  Let it be fun.  Let the stakes be low sometimes, let the climax of an issue be a character having a personal epiphany instead of winning a fight, let the protagonist have a life outside punching people.  Imply a division between the property and canon-canon that lets you reduce editorial adherence to whatever cross-title bullshit you’re currently promoting, which both reduces support-staff timesuck and keeps the property accessible to ride-or-die fans of that particular property and casual/baby fans in general.  Hire writers and artists who are excited to work on the property on its own merits.

The question genuinely isn’t “how do we get 15- to 29-year-old straight white guys to read comics about non-15- to -29-year-old straight white guys,” though that is, yes, a question.  The much more profitable question is “how do we get people who aren’t currently reading comics to read our comics,” and a big part of the answer is to just stop turning them off.  

Give them a hero they don’t have to do mental backflips to really identify with, don’t make them read with three comicsvine tabs open to figure out why the world is mysteriously ending in this issue, hire writers and artists who don’t add to the hostile background static of existing while ________.  And it’s not a zero-sum game.  There’s not like a set number of titles that Marvel or Image or DC can put out, especially with digital distribution.  Adding Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur to the line-up didn’t mean Actual Responsible Human Being Spider-Man! had to be cancelled to make room for it.  If you brand appropriately to let new fans know which titles are easier to get into without knowing the universe and resist the urge to get stupid the second new properties seem to be showing bankability, it’s picking money back up off the table that’s been left there for a generation.

(A table of contents is available. This series will remain open for additional posts and the table of contents up-to-date as new posts are added.)

Part Nine: Realistic Dialogue

Writing well is judged on how realistic it is–not whether the world could really exist, but how well it adheres to its own rules and creates an atmosphere that feels convincingly real. The same standard is applied to characters and whether their reactions make sense in light of the circumstances. You would think that dialogue would follow the same concept: The more realistic it is, the better writing it will be. Unfortunately, it’s a trap. Dialogue that follows all the same idiosyncrasies of real life speech loses its punch, drags the flow of the story into the ground, and captures the inanity of everyday life.

Inanity is never our goal, but conversations become inane very quickly, very easily, without the participants ever realizing. How many times have you heard jokes about talking about the weather and then spent five minutes shooting the breeze with someone about the weather? In my office, it happens all the time. We talk to each other in fragments and phrases, with huge pauses, and we forget our words along with our train of thought. We don’t speak well. Written dialogue in prose shouldn’t reflect our inability to improvise because, in fact, we are not improvising. We are writing.

A mentor once advised me to eliminate the first word of any dialogue. What he meant by this was that our first impulse when writing dialogue is to be as true to life as possible, that our own thought process when beginning a character’s sentence would be similar to if we were speaking. That means we include things like, so, well, anyway, hm, uh, and other similar place holders. When we’re talking with someone else, they act as a way to jump-start our brain, fill silence, and lead into the next topic. In written contexts, they’re dead weight. They don’t actually say anything.

The idea goes for other phrases too, things we say when opening conversations because it’s considered the most socially acceptable way to keep from being blunt. The weather is a common one, as is asking how the other is doing. It’s always bothered me that we say that when opening most conversations, but hardly ever do we actually listen to what the other says, and if they say something other than the expected response (fine, thanks, how are you?) we are caught off-guard and wind up stuttering. It’s because these phrases and platitudes at the beginning of conversations have become ritual more than actually vehicles for information. After all, isn’t that what our dialogue in our stories should be doing? Providing information?

The best practice for training yourself to recognize the meat of a conversation is to go listen to conversations, real life people talking about real life things. Go sit in a public place–cafes are excellent for this exercise–and listen to those around you. Transcribe their conversation, every piece as you’re able, all the pauses and the nervous laughter, the well’s and the so’s and all the things in between. Take that conversation and use it in a story. Craft a short drabble around this, gleaning from it all the bits and bobs that mean something, that say something, that get to the heart of what they’re talking about. As you work in lines, cross them off your transcription and see what’s left over. You see all those weird idiosyncrasies left over on your page, staring at you.

Evaluate your dialogue in much the same way. When you’ve written a conversation, think about what that conversation is doing. Sometimes, take it even as far as looking word by word at what you have. Eliminate all the extra words that aren’t load-bearing. That doesn’t mean you can’t have small talk–small talk has a purpose showing what’s important to the characters and helping with character relationship development–but your small talk should be streamlined to remove all the excess.

I want to come back to the idea of speaking in prose not being improvisation like it is in real life. Improvisation is making things up in the moment, right? Our characters, though, aren’t standing around planning what they’re going to say most of the time (unless they’re going to make a big speech or something else). So for them, it is improv, but for us–the people writing their words–it’s not. We have all the time we need to be able to sit with, write, and rework our dialogue. It’s not improv, it’s planned. So while yes, your characters may indeed begin a sentence with a placeholder well… you’re wasting your reader’s time with it. They want to read a story and you’re bogging it down with unnecessary, empty words when you don’t do them the favor of cutting these things out. The 90,000 words in your book should all be pertinent. They should all carry the weight of the story. Give your readers a direct line into your story and your characters the dignity to speak their minds by being as aware as you can be about filler words.

Prose isn’t real life. It’s an accomplishment you shaped and took the time to craft. Craft it well.

Next up: Off-target dialogue!