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A few literary suggestions for Black History Month

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Originally posted by imnot12

Maybe you know Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie from when Beyoncé sampled her TEDx talk, “We should all be feminists,” or maybe you’ve been following her emergence as one of the most prominent voices of African literature over the last two decades. Her latest novel, Americanah, was selected by The New York Times as one of the 10 Best Books of 2013.

Edna Lewis

Originally posted by robtrujilloart

Edna Lewis had a hell of a career. She worked her way up as a seamstress, eventually fashioning a dress for Marilyn Monroe. Then she became the first African-American celebrity chef. Then she broke her leg, so she wrote a cookbook. The Taste of Country Cooking was interspersed with personal stories of growing up in a freed-slave settled town in Virginia, and redefined what many thought of Southern food.  

Roxane Gay

Originally posted by lastnightsreading

Roxane Gay (@roxanegay), famed author of Bad Feminist, is a Tumblr favorite, and not just because you can follow her. She writes about what it means to be a woman of color. She’s the first Black woman to write for Marvel, and she’s writing queer WOC into their storylines. She pulled her unreleased book from publishers Simon & Schuster after their deal with Milo Yiannopoulos was announced. It’s easy to admire her actions as much as her writing. 

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Don’t miss our upcoming BHM Answer Times. This week and next week, we have:

RFA Wrong Text

I am alive! Hmu in my ask and talk to me if y’all want. This is a little filler before i go into all the request i haven’t done yet 


The person is in bold and MC is in italics

YOOSUNG:

  • Zen hyung! she looked so pretty today I feel like other people would snatch her if I don’t make a move now
  • Who looked pretty today???
  • MC obviously, hyung we’ve been talking about her for the past days already you even gave me advice on how to ask her out
  • Oh
  • Oh? what do you mean oh?
  • Well… she’ll say yes, I don’t think you have to go through lengths to ask her
  • How do you know???!?
  • Well one, I’m not Zen
  • ……
  • ……..
  • …………
  • OH MY GOD MC YOU WEREN’T SUPPOSE TO SEE THAT
  • You little cutie, pick me up on 7 this saturday? <3
  • Um uh okay! sure! 

ZEN:

  • Seven you might be a little weird for my taste but help me out
  • ???
  • I don’t know what to do with MC man I like her so much my chest tightens everytime I see her
  • Oh….. wow
  • Yeah I mean did you see her with that other dude! I was ready to just grab her and leave
  • Well, you should’ve. That would have been fine
  • I can’t just do that I mean I want her to be mine but she’ll need time to accept me and all that 
  • I do accept you ^^
  • Um Seven that was kind of weird
  • wait
  • hold on
  • MC WAIT OH MY GOD IM SO SORRY
  • Oh my god I think I creeped you out I’m sorry you had to find out this way
  • Don’t worry I like you too
  • Oh uh! um then lets date
  • I mean let’s go on a date first yeah
  • Sure, I mean I’m yours right? <3

JUMIN:

  • Assistant Kang I need some…. assistance
  • Yes Mr. Han?
  • I need you to order the most expensive bouquet from a famous flower shop
  • What is it for, Mr. Han? Is it a congratulatory bouquet?
  • No it’s for MC
  • MC?
  • I… need to give her a token of my appreciation
  • Like, as a friend?
  • Preferably as my companion
  • Your girlfriend?
  • Yes.
  • Is the order done?
  • Jumin! it was fun messing around as Jaehee for once but you don’t need to give me something as expensive as that! 
  • MC? 
  • Yes it’s me
  • No I want to give it to you, expect it this week and expect me to ask you to be my beloved
  • mc blushes really You don’t need to ask such a question, I’m already saying yes

JAEHEE:

  • Yoosung, I know you’re quite young but what do young people want these days?
  • What young people want?
  • Yes… in regards to love and couples
  • ???
  • It’s absurd of me to be asking but I want to do something about my crush towards MC but I don’t know what she wants
  • She only wants you
  • Oh that’s quite forward, I’m not so sure about that
  • Check the name, Jaehee :)
  • MC!!? Oh no forget I said that
  • Forget? No way! I like you too <3

SEVEN:

  • Seven the defender of justice can do everything and can work my way through anything! But……………. Help me Jumin I promise you I won’t touch a single fur Elly if you do
  • I’m not sure I can do that 
  • Please just hear me out!! 
  • It’s just… I’m a secret agent, Jumin I can’t like anybody
  • Seven…
  • But MC! She just, worked her way into my heart. I can’t be closer to her and put her in danger Jumin. I can’t lose her.
  • You won’t lose her
  • It’s not that easy! All her actions, her kindness, her words it just makes my heart speed up more. I don’t think I can bear more of it without doing something but it’s too dangerous
  • Do you like her?
  • I…. love her
  • Then just be with her
  • I don’t think I can and if I will, what’ll I do?
  • Kiss me 
  • Kiss? huh 
  • SHIT MC WAIT
  • WAIT WAIT WAIT 
  • FLOOD
  • FLOD
  • DLDO
  • DLOFFF
  • You can’t undone what’s done, Seven
  • AAAAAAH NO LET ME DIE IN A HOLE
  • Calm down… I love you too
  • MY HEART CANT TAKE MORE OF THIS MC
  • Then come to me, I’ll be waiting <3

SAERAN:

  • Saeyoung you’re an idiot right? Then what should I do about my idiot emotions
  • You should probably just let your idiot emotions out why what’re you feeling?
  • Like… I wanna just lay down and have MC in my arms because her touch is more calming than I thought it would be or just pin MC to a wall and make out with her, taste her. She’s so addicting Saeyoung and shit I feel like throwing up saying all these things forget it I’ll delete this message later
  • SAERAN
  • What
  • THATS UNFAIR COME HERE RIGHT NOW AND MAKE OUT WITH ME
  • What the hell has gotten into you
  • WHAT THE HELL HAS GOTTEN INTO YOU CHECK WHO YOU’RE TEXTING DUMBASS 
  • ….
  • I’m done, don’t talk to me
  • NO COME HERE 
  • Stop shouting
  • IM NOT SHOUTING IM IN CAPS LOCK BECAUSE IM HAPPY, NOW COME HERE YOU IDIOT AND CUDDLE WITH ME
  • No screw you
  • I bet you’d like to ;)
  • unknown has left the chatroom
Tutorial: How to remove watermarks / logos from GIFs

Hello everyone! This is my first Photoshop tutorial. I am showing you how to remove watermarks in a few different types of captured GIF scenes. These are the methods that I have used in my gifsets.

Important: DO NOT use this to remove watermarks on other people’s works

1) Simple background; minimal camera motion

2) Moderate camera motion; relatively isolated foreground

3) Busy / Cluttered captured scenes

You’ll need:

Difficulty: Easy (Examples 1 & 3) / Medium (Example 2)

Tutorial under the cut. Please Like / Reblog if you find it useful.

Keep reading

Dear Sister,
Don’t fall for his sweet words but fall for his actions. It’s easy to say but difficult to act. May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala grant you a righteous spouse who will be the coolness of your eyes.
Allahumma Ameen
3

PATISSERIE HAIR PALETTE - 9 SWATCHES

thank you for waiting for the few people who wanted it omg!! i finally cleaned up the actions and put it all together for easy use - please enjoy :-) 

what do you get in the zip file?

  • photoshop actions for easy recolouring (.atn)
  • photoshop swatches (.aco)
  • hex codes in a note (.txt)

how do i use it? 

  • just run the action on a dds file :-) 
  • use ea’s white (light grey) as a base
  • it should really just do all the work for you!

tou 

  • please credit me if you put a hair recolour up for download
  • and please don’t claim as your own!

✨  DOWNLOAD

bones | 01 (m)

• pairing: jung hoseok x reader (his point of view), college! hoseok
• genre/warnings: angst, smut, friends with benefits
• words: 8,702        
→ summary: you were broken from a past relationship, and Hoseok wanted to fix you, but what price was he willing to pay? Would he end up worse off, or would you realise in time, that your best friend was the one…? 
• note. inspired by this song here

» 01 :: 02 :: 03 :: 04 :: 05

Keep reading

8 things I need to remember

1. You can’t make people like you or trust you or be close to you. If you want to be close to someone there’s nothing you can do except be there when they want you to be there and back off when they don’t want you to. Just take it as it comes and listen and be chill. Everything will work out in the end.

2. Don’t assume you know what someone else thinks of you. It’s very easy to misinterpret actions and you know nothing for sure unless they tell you. Don’t fill in the blanks with darkness.

3. Always take time to compare your thoughts to empirical reality. What you think versus what is are not always the same thing. Don’t convince yourself that your thoughts are more real than people’s actions.

4. You overthink a lot of things. Take a step back and focus on something else if you find yourself in a loop because you’ll find that your thoughts are wrong a lot of the time.

5. Take time to think about what you want and act on it. Do you want to be alone? What do you really think of this situation? Remember what you actually think and don’t try to change yourself to fit other people

6. Don’t try to relate to things you can’t relate to. It won’t be genuine and people will know you’re not being genuine. If people are having a conversation and you don’t connect then just don’t say anything. You don’t have to connect to everything all the time and even though you’re empathetic you still haven’t physically experienced what they have.

7. How people perceive you is none of your business. You can’t control what other people think and they’re going to think things whether you want them to or not. All you can do is be you and if people don’t like that then that’s their choice and not yours.

8. You like and need time alone. If you need to withdraw to figure out who you are and remember what you like, that’s okay. Just be you.

Q&A: Why your thoughts aren’t becoming things

Q: Everyone says “thoughts become things” and I’ve been thinking about only what I want. Focusing on what I want instead of what I don’t want. But nothing is changing or happening? Why? I’m really frustrated, I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Also, every time I see people having what I want or are living the life I wish I could have, I get jealous and wonder why I don’t have that and therefore feel bad. And it happens so often too. How can I change that?

A: This is one of the most honest questions I have ever been asked. So thank YOU for the opportunity to discuss this. The truth is your thoughts are becoming things, but the missing link is to understand your feelings become things much faster. Here’s how to master both:

1. The first thing is to make a list of your desires, and rank them from the smallest to the biggest goal. And now, make it a point to go after the biggest one. The smaller goals will be fulfilled with very little effort. This is because in focusing on a “big” goal, you are raising your energy past number 5, 4, 3, and 2 to get to 1! 

2. When you think of what you want, you are no closer to achieving it. This is not the law of attraction. (I was as shocked as you are right now!) When you think of a goal, the Universe thinks “he/she wants to keep wanting it”  and so you stay in that state. The day you begin to imagine you have already fulfilled the goal, then the creative magic begins. Think of it as a 100m sprint: instead of standing at the Start Line imagining the end, put yourself 1st place on the podium accepting the gold medal around your neck! When you shift time in your imagination like this, let yourself start to feel that it could be true, it could be you. 

3. What you resist, you attract too. We all have things we don’t want so we try not to think of them. But be honest about your inner mental conversations. Is there something you still feel resentment towards? A situation or a person? What are you scared of, illness or poverty? These are all types of resistance. And resistance is a powerful energy that will keep you stuck in an unhappy cycle unless and until you decide you’ve had enough. Begin today to write the following affirmation out 10 times a day, morning and night: “I release every one to their highest good and me to mine.” If it feels uncomfortable or you make excuses for delaying it, you know that is your resistance speaking!

4. Understand how your life is right now is only a product of how you used to think. You did the best with what you had. The best news is that this is a new moment of creation. You’ve asked the question because you’re ready to take responsibility for your life. Whatever you’re not happy with right now, just let it be for a while. Create one hour a day (minimum) where you write out affirmations, see your “biggest” goal in your imagination, see who you want to be in your imagination, meditate a little, and have positive/calming music playing the entire hour. The music will create a new Neuro-Linguistic Programming in your brain to get you to feel as good about your desires as you do about the songs! 

5. Frustration: This one word deserves a paragraph in itself. Decide now that you will no longer let yourself feel frustration. That F word is burning your dreams and birthing jealousy towards people you otherwise love, and is making you judge yourself. Your heart and soul have waited until today for you to be kinder to yourself. Enough is enough. Frustration is a fire. When you feel it creeping back into your mind, pause and try to see who is feeling the frustration? Is it a voice in your mind? Who is listening to it? Realize you are the one that listens to your inner dialogue, you are NOT your thoughts themselves. 

6. When you see others have what you want there are a few ways to go about it. You could realize that there is no end to how much you can have, and how much they can have! You can see that the Universe is showing you desires that match yours to show you its listening to you. You can realize how amazing it is that we are all here to be, do and have anything we want. When you feel any envy, just be aware of it and talk to it as you would a child. It is only your ego feeling left out and scared. The ancient ego within us all operates with a fight or flight mentality, and believes if it doesn’t get what it needs to survive then it will die. It’s as simple as that. However, this is a lie and deep down you know it. Somewhere within your feelings, your gut, you know that life is about to get very good for you, and every single person you have the honour of knowing. 

Conclusion:
There’s work to be done to live the life you want, as you can see. Read over this a few times, and begin to take the action listed. And each day, imagine you’re at Day One and try again. The action is easy once you start. Also, try to cut out every negative book, song, TV show, film and piece of news in your life for 30 days. This negativity detox is essential as you begin to change your thinking. Also try to read The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale, he will be a good friend to you right now. 

Note: If anyone at all has any questions then please feel free to inbox me. I shall answer in this anonymous format so we may all benefit. 

Please share this post, you never know who might need to see it. 

He only belongs to her (Request)

Prompt: Would you consider doing a Loki x reader where reader is an Asguardian and is Loki’s girlfriend. Thor brings her along during the events of The Avengers and she wants him released into her custody so he can go back to being her Loki. Really fluffy? -zoemonster200

Pairing: Loki x Reader

Note: Fluff, mentions of slaughter

Words: 1160

Requested by: @zoemonster200

She had never expected it to go this far. She had only been gone for a few months only to come back and find that her husband to be had become restless with a need for power. She knew that this burden had been bubbling deep within the mind of the God, but she never thought he’d act upon it. She can’t say she is surprised though, and she knows about Odin favoring Thor over Loki despite how much of a good son Loki had been. Still (Y/N) loved Loki so much, and would do anything for her King. She had been sitting in her room on Asgard when Thor had came the moment he knew that she was back.

“Lady (Y/N)!” Thor exclaimed as he ran into her room much to her surprise, he looked bruised and beaten almost to death it seemed. “I require your assistance.” He said panting harshly when (Y/N) stood up slowly. “Take me to him.” She whispered knowing already who it was about and for what reason it had been for. “Lady (Y/N)–” Thor was cut off as she stepped over to him. “Take me to him. Now Thor.” She said as he let out a small sigh before taking her hand in his own. He led her to the portal as it took her to Midgard, eyes widened as she looked around to the destruction of the City. “He did this?” She asked softly feeling an ache grow heavy in her heart.

“Yes, he brought an army from another world and brought them here to take over this place. He wanted to enslave the mortal race.” He said as she winced at the ‘enslave’ part. “Where is he?” She asked when Thor walked over to the tower where Shield agents surrounded the man in question. He had a muzzle over his mouth and his wrists were bound together as (Y/N)’s heart clenched at the sight. She looked to Thor who held an expression of grim when she immediately ran over to Loki as the Shield agents commanded her to stop what she was doing. She didn’t listen as she ran over to Loki cupping his face immediately feeling tears flood her eyes.

“Do not harm her.” Thor thundered as they all looked to him. “Lady (Y/N) is Loki’s fiance.” He said as everyone’s eyes widened before they looked back to the two. “What were you thinking Loki?” She demanded angrily. “You promised you’d not do this. You promised me.” She whispered with venom dripping in her voice as Loki’s eyes flashed pain. “I want him to be released to me.” (Y/N) said looking back when Nick stepped in front of her. “Excuse me? No, He destroyed over half a city Madam and killed dozens of people he’s not going with you.” He hissed when Loki glared to Nick as (Y/N)’s eyes darkened herself.

“I said he’s coming with me. If he’s released into my custody this will not happen again. I can assure you.” She said calmly as Nick rolled his eye. “My method makes sure that he doesn’t do it again.” He said as she gritted her teeth. “Fine, I’m not asking. I’m telling. He is mine and I’m taking him with me.” She said snapping off the muzzle as Thor bit his lip. “Lady–” He started. “Please trust in me Thor. If you take him to Odin, he’ll just throw Loki into a cell where he won’t learn from his mistakes.” She said. “Isolation isn’t how you open him.” She whispered as Loki looked at her, but spoke not a word to her.

“She shall be released into her custody.” Thor spoke as everyone looked to him in shock before he held it up a hand. “Do not question my judgement. No one knows what is best for him, but her.” He said as (Y/N) smiles softly to him. “Thank you Thor.” She said as they stood together before they portaled back to Asgard. Thor nods as she walks him back to Loki’s room before shutting the door, standing in heavy silence. It was hard to breathe as emotions bubbled in her throat causing it to tighten up so much to a point she could barely swallow. “What happened to you while I was away?” She asked softly.

“Remove my cuffs, please.” He said offering out his hands when she slowly removed the cuffs from his wrists. They clattered to the floor as she looked at him waiting for an answered when he sat down onto the bed. “I was being controlled, but no one shall believe that. I’ve wanted the Throne for so long that my emotions were easy to control my actions.” He whispered when she laid a hand onto his face before he leaned into the touch as he let out a trembling breath.  A smile spread across her face when she pulled him down into a kiss as his fingers entangled into her hair. “I’m sorry I was gone for so long my King.” She whispered as he smiled genuinely before he lays his head onto her shoulder. “I’m sorry.” He whispered when her fingers carded through his hair, carding through the pain that had numbed him for so long.

(Y/N) knew that he needed to be cared for, but she knew that if she did too much at once he’d back away thinking he didn’t need it. “There is nothing to be sorry for, but Loki you slaughtered people. A king doesn’t slaughter the innocent, doesn’t demand their control and will to be forced onto him. A king listens, a king understands. The mortal may not be as wise as the Asgardians, but that gives you no right to control them.” She whispered as he nods softly. “This is why I love you… You always keep me sane, the voices are gone whenever you are around.” He said softly. “It’s okay my love, I’m back and I’m not going anyway.” She whispered into his ear gently.

(Y/N) sat down beside him when suddenly he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into his chest. She laughed softly at the gesture before looking into his eyes when he kissed her forehead. “There’s the Loki I know and love.” She whispered as he chuckles softly. “Sorry, I’ve been having a bit of a breakdown.” He whispered when she kissed him gently. “Ssh, let’s not talk about this anymore until later. Right now I just want to hold you in my arms and remember why I love you. No more talk of anything but each other alright?” She asked placing her finger onto his lips as he nods before pulling her flushed against him again so he could forget everything that happened. His eyes fluttered closed as he buried his face into her chest before sighing in relief at the gentle thumping of her heart.

Baby Makes Four

(A/N) Accidental baby acquisition is one of my absolute favorite tropes EVER so I had to write it for today’s prompt! XD
There are no warnings here, just pure teeth-rotting fluff.
Also, this takes place in the same universe as Of BMWs and Cadillacs, in case you were wondering c:
I hope you guys enjoy!!

P.S. I will be writing something for day 8, but I probably won’t be able to get it up tomorrow so it’ll be there for you guys on Sunday :’)
Until then, happy pynch week! It’s been so much writing for it this year~

Admittedly, Ronan has been thinking about this for a while now.

The idea had wriggled into his head a few years ago, when he’d been coming to terms with the fact that Opal would be going off to college soon. It was like the situation with Adam all over again, except Ronan felt especially ill-equipped to handle it a second time. Four years of undergrad and two years for a master’s degree away from an integral member of Ronan’s family was enough to last a lifetime – Ronan had no idea what to do about the fact that he’d have to do it again.

It was almost harder with Opal, really. She’d been around as long as Ronan could remember, assisting him in his dreamscape and protecting him from his nightmares. While he was guiltily a little excited about having the entire Barns alone with Adam, he found the idea of Opal being gone for so long unbearable.

But he didn’t want to be in the way of her dreams either, so he knew he would have to let her go.

So then he started wondering what could possibly fill the void of Opal’s absence.

And then he started wondering what it would be like to raise a child for real.

Opal is his daughter, they’d signed the papers to make it official a while back, but she had come out of his head mostly functional and already fiercely independent. Once they’d taught her to stop gnawing on sticks and how to walk in boots to hide her hoofs, she pretty much didn’t need them anymore. She was more like another adult living in their house than anything. (Ronan had even taken an amusing snapshot (amusing to him) of Opal and Adam both hunched over their respective homework at the dining room table, sticking their tongues out in concentration in comically similar fashions.) She just needed to be calmed down from horrific nightmares as often as Ronan did and sometimes a harsh reminder not to eat the wrapper on her granola bars. It had been easy, once Opal had adjusted to the waking world.

And all of it just made Ronan wonder what it would be like to start from scratch.

For a long time, Ronan hadn’t thought he wanted kids. But hell, he’d thought he’d be alone for the rest of his life, and look where he is now. He’d just been worried that he’d never be able to control his dreams, that eventually people would come after him and attack him and destroy his family, just like his had been destroyed so many years ago.

But nobody came. Ronan and Adam have lived off the grid as far as the magic business goes for years, and no one has bothered them since the Gray Man had contacted them a couple of years back to say that he was successfully diverting attention away from Henrietta.  

So now Ronan feels safe to ponder the idea of children. He’d loved growing up in a big family, with his two brothers to tumble around with, and he likes the idea of having a big family again. He also kind of wants to prove that he can be a good dad, or at least a better dad than Niall had ever been. He’s finally old enough to acknowledge that his dad had been a shit dad, though he still holds his intense love for him, and he wants to make it up to the next generation. He doesn’t want anyone feeling neglected and insufficient just because they weren’t a dreamer, like Declan must have felt. He doesn’t want anyone to sit around and wonder if their dad will ever come back home, and then have to find out one day that he won’t ever be coming home again.

And, for a more screwed up reason, Ronan kind of finds the idea of Adam as a dad stupidly attractive.

But it’s Adam himself that makes Ronan hesitate about bringing it up. It’s no secret that Adam’s worst fear is that one day he’ll wake up and find that he’s turned into his father. It’s why he still hasn’t touched a drop of alcohol besides the occasional glass of wine Ronan forces on him when he’s especially tired and stressed. It’s why Adam still flinches sometimes when he touches Opal, like he’s afraid he’ll somehow accidentally hurt her.

Ronan doesn’t want to make him feel pressured to overcome that fear just because he so badly wants another child. He and Adam decide things together, with no one’s opinion meaning more than the other’s. He figures that the safest option for now is to just leave things be. Their life is good right now – there’s no need to add a sudden change.

Which is great, until it suddenly escalates out of his control.

The way it starts is rather ironic, as they do have sex right before. Adam had gotten home late and angry because someone on his team had made critical mistakes in their math and he’d had to stay late at the office to correct them. He has deep bags under his eyes, his usually perfect tie is crooked, and he’s in a horrible mood.

Ronan has learned that the best approach to dealing with an angry Adam is to say nothing at all. Probing at him only makes him explode in his face. So he just wordlessly slides a cup of black coffee over to him when he sits down at the kitchen table with an irritated sigh. Adam downs the whole thing, wordlessly demands another, and then launches into an hour long rant about how shitty everyone at his work is.

“And don’t even get me started on that fucktard Scott; he always does everything wrong and yet somehow still gets away with—why are you looking at me like that?” Adam’s eyes are suddenly piercing into Ronan, who realizes he’d been unsuccessful at hiding his amused smirk behind his cup.

He quickly wipes the smirk away, leaning back against the counter. “No reason.” And then, against better judgement, “You’re just hot when you’re mad.”

“Of all the—!” Adam looks about ready to detonate, but after a second his shoulders loosen and he rolls his eyes. Ronan would be richer than he already is if he had a dollar for every time Adam has rolled his eyes at him. “You’re impossible.”

Ronan grins wolfishly. “At least I’m better than fucking Scott.”

It’s the right thing to say. Adam grins before standing up, abandoning his half-finished coffee and walking over to Ronan. He stops when their chests touch, wrapping his arms around Ronan’s neck and leaning in for a sweet kiss. Ronan hums, settling his hands on Adam’s hips as he kisses him back.

He’s survived this round.

“How was your day?” Adam asks between kisses.

Ronan shrugs, moving down to kiss Adam’s jaw. “Fine. Just farm stuff. Set up at the farmer’s market. Sold some shit. Nothing eventful.” He raises his eyebrows suggestively at Adam. “Yet.”

Adam snorts, but he also tends to be in the mood for sex when he’s had a bad day at work so he leads Ronan up to the bedroom anyway.

Once they’re done, spent and happy once more, Adam gets up to let the dogs into the room before trotting back to the bed and opening his book. He always reads before bed, so Ronan, as always, tucks his arm around his waist and rolls onto his stomach, getting comfortable for an attempt at easy sleep. He goes to bed earlier now than he did as a teen since he has to get up early for farming work.

Just as he’s sinking into his pillow and Adam’s warmth, however, their three hounds climb onto the bed and immediately flop onto his back.

“Fucking…! Your dog-children are suffocating me!” Ronan groans under the weight. Misty, their Australian Shepherd, licks at the back of his neck, making him shiver violently. He tries half-heartedly to roll her off of him, but Ray the golden retriever and Chip the husky have dutifully pinned down Ronan’s legs.

Adam snorts and doesn’t even look up from his book as he reaches out to scratch Misty’s ears. “They’re your dog-children, too.”

“So when a gay man and a bi man love each other very much…”

Adam chokes out a laugh and shoves a pillow into Ronan’s face. “Apparently they make three dog-children. But the real question is: who gives birth to them?”

Ronan laughs so hard his sides hurt. God Adam is the most amazing human being he has ever met in his entire life. Pushing the dogs off of him, the action easy now with his sudden surge of motivation, Ronan scrambles over to tackle Adam down onto the mattress. Adam lets out a surprised yelp, his book tumbling onto the floor as Ronan nuzzles into his neck. “Hey! You made me lose my page!”

“Oh please, you have the whole damn thing memorized anyway.” Ronan rolls his eyes and leans back to press a soft kiss to Adam’s lips. He lets himself smile a little, lost in the shining amusement in Adam’s blue eyes. “I love you.”

Adam reaches up to stroke his cheek. “I love you too. Even if you did give birth to three dog-children.”

“Hey, who’s to say it wasn’t you?” Ronan growls, but he’s laughing again as he rolls over to lie next to Adam. He watches his husband, mesmerized by the way his dimples show when he laughs.

Adam smirks and shoves his cold feet in between Ronan’s legs. “Because I think I would remember something like that.”

“They say some women don’t remember the pain of childbirth,” Ronan says as he wraps his arm around Adam’s waist and pulls him in tighter.

Adam raises a playful eyebrow. “Yes, but they don’t say that some men don’t remember the pain of dog-childbirth.”

“God I fucking hate you!” Ronan laughs, but he’s happy and warm and still hopelessly in love. He falls asleep staring at Adam’s smile and rubbing lazy circles into his hip.

As usual, he falls into a dream. With all of the thoughts and discussions of children and birthing lately, Ronan is only mildly surprised when he walks around a tree in Cabeswater and stumbles across a crib. His breath still leaves him though, and for a long time he just stands there, staring at it. He knows he shouldn’t go over to it, that if he does he won’t be able to stop himself from doing something irreversible.

And yet he finds himself walking over anyway, like something is drawing him forward. There’s a soft crying now, and Ronan can see the gentle flailing of tiny limbs over the lip of the crib. He catches a glimpse of one of the baby’s limbs before it falls back down again.

A pale, freckled arm.

Ronan curses his overactive brain for doing this to himself, but by now he’s already standing next to the crib. He tries not to look in, he really does, but the freckled arm had attracted his attention and now he can’t not look in at it.

Just one peek. That’s all.

It’s a mistake.

Ronan doesn’t even remember grabbing the baby, but when he wakes from the dream there is loud, shrilling crying in his ear and a hand violently shaking his shoulder. “Ronan, Ronan! Ronan, wake up!”

Ronan is awake, but he can’t do anything to prove it. He can’t move a finger, his body paralyzed from bringing the little bundle in his arms out of his dream. He wishes he could move, though, because he can roll his eyes around and see that Adam is panicking and that the bundle in his arms is actually what he thinks it is and that he has royally fucked everything up.

When he can finally move again, he rolls over with a groan, clutching the bundle tighter in his arms. Adam can most definitely see what he’s brought out now, and his eyes are as wide as saucers as he stares at Ronan like he has three heads. “Ronan, that’s—!”

Ronan closes his eyes and heaves a big sigh. “A fucking baby. Yeah.”

– 

Adam is mad.

“I can’t believe you didn’t consult me about this!” he fumes, though the effect is immediately canceled out by the little baby boy cocked on his hip. Ronan is melting.

“It’s not like I brought him back on purpose!” he whispers back, not wanting to alarm the baby as he steps forward to ease a bottle of milk to his lips. The baby drinks eagerly, to Ronan’s relief. “I was going to talk to you about it! I’ve just been thinking about it a lot lately, and when I stumbled across him in my dream…”

He trails off, still uncomfortable with stating his feelings outright. About how he’d fallen in love with the baby on first sight. About how he’d seen Adam’s blue eyes and his own curly hair on that little baby and couldn’t just not pick him up.

Adam scoffs and rolls his eyes, but his expression is softer now, more understanding. “I know you didn’t bring him back on purpose, but I would’ve still liked to be part of the process. You should’ve told me when you first started thinking about it.”

Ronan looks away. He should’ve, but he’d thought Adam wouldn’t want to. Adam has trouble seeing how good he is with Opal, no matter how much Ronan tries to show him, no matter how well Opal has turned out because of him. Adam obviously loves Opal, and Opal obviously loves him, but it’s apparently not enough to fully dissipate Adam’s fears. Ronan hadn’t brought it up with him because he hadn’t wanted to get into a fight over it.

The idea seems stupid now.

“I…I didn’t think you’d want to…” he admits, rubbing a hand over his head. It’s still a habit, even though he actually has hair now to get caught in his fingers.

“You’re an idiot,” Adam says bluntly, and Ronan flinches. For a moment, he feels angry. Why does he always get in trouble for trying to do the right thing? It’s like he’s just one big fuck-up no matter what his intentions are.

But then Adam walks closer to him, shifting the baby into Ronan’s arms. Ronan hugs him tightly, so he won’t fall. He’s staring so intensely at the little boy, awestruck, that Adam has to place his hands on Ronan’s cheeks to force him to look at him. It’s the first time in over twelve years that Ronan has to be made to look at Adam, and the idea amuses him slightly.

“The truth is, I’ve…been looking into adoption,” Adam says quietly, running his thumb down Ronan’s jaw.

Ronan just stares at him. “Adam, I love you, but we have three dogs already – you seriously want to get another one…?”

No you idiot,” Adam snaps, but a smile is twitching at the corners of his lips. Ronan grins back. “Human adoption. I’ve been thinking about getting a baby too, Ronan.”

For a moment, the words don’t even process. Ronan just blinks at Adam in shock, convinced he hasn’t heard right. “Wh-what? But I thought—?”

Adam suddenly seems embarrassed as he stares down at the baby, a small smile gracing his lips as the boy reaches for him. Adam hands him a finger in return, and when the baby grasps at it with a cry of delight Ronan nearly explodes from the cuteness overload. “Look, I know I’ve been…hesitant for a long time about this, and God I’m still terrified, but…You’ve always wanted kids. You love Opal, but she was never going to be enough for you. So I thought…I thought we could give it a try… And before you say anything, I want this too. I want…I want to try having a family with you, Ronan.”

Ronan is gaping for a completely different reason now. He never realized how…known he is. He always seems to forget that Adam can see right through him, that he doesn’t even have to learn to be comfortable with stating his feelings out loud because often Adam just knows. Ronan can do the same for Adam, but now he’s starting to realize why Adam was always so freaked out about it.

It’s scary being so transparent, even to the man he’s been together with for ten years.

Adam is looking at him again, and he looks so terrified that Ronan wants to wrap his arms tightly around him and never let go. “You’ll stop me if I ever try to hurt them, won’t you?”

“God, Adam,” Ronan murmurs, shifting the baby to one arm so he can cup Adam’s cheek with his palm. “Listen to me – you will never be like that piece of shit, alright? I’ve seen you Adam, we’ve lived together for ten years; I’ve seen how good you are with Opal. Who was the one who sat up with her and helped her with her homework? Who was the one who made her a makeshift sling and called the ambulance while I did nothing but freak the fuck out when she broke her elbow? Who was the one who toured colleges with her, made sure she had all of her shots, made her wear her safety gear when we went spelunking, combed and braided her hair all this time?”

“Me,” Adam says quietly, but it comes out cracked. He leans into Ronan’s palm and reaches up to cover it with his own; Ronan can feel his hand shaking. “But just in case—”

“You would never hurt them,” Ronan says firmly, leaving no room for misunderstandings.

But Adam is still shaking his head, looking very much like he’s trying not to cry. “You don’t know that—”

“I do know that,” Ronan interrupts. “And you wanna know why? Because I’ve been staring at your dumb ass for twelve years and you have never hurt anyone. Because you love Opal so damn much that you flew all the way to Seattle just to help her move into her dorm. And you hate flying.”

Adam laughs a little before that beautiful small smile comes back onto his lips. A stray tear runs down his cheek, and Ronan swipes it away with his thumb. “I can’t believe you’ve been staring at my ass for twelve years.”

Ronan scowls before playfully swatting at Adam’s head. “Be flattered you shit.”

“Thank you, Ronan,” he murmurs quietly, suddenly serious.

Ronan hugs him tightly with his free arm, and doesn’t even comment on the tears he can feel soaking into his tank. “You’re going to be the best damn dad anyone has ever seen.”

– 

“Daddy, I wanna lick the bowl!” Ken Niall Lynch-Parrish, barely 5, says, holding up his chubby arms towards Adam. Adam is more the baker of the family, Ronan prefers cooking dinner-type foods, and he stands at the counter mixing a cake. It’s Ken’s birthday, and all of their friends and family are coming over that night to celebrate. Even Opal is flying home from Seattle, though her quickly approaching finals means she can’t stay for more than two days.

But it’ll be alright. Ronan is just happy to have all his kids in the same place again.

“It’s bad for you, Ken,” Adam chides, but when the toddler’s face falls he rolls his eyes fondly and stoops down to pick Ken up in his arms, holding him so that he can reach the bowl on the counter. “Only because it’s your birthday.”

Ken squeals with delight as he reaches for the bowl, grasping the spoon and licking from it eagerly. Ronan, seated at the table, can’t stop grinning. It’s been five years of raising their boys, and he will never get tired of watching Adam be a dad. It’s his absolute favorite thing.

“Papa?” A small hand suddenly tugs at Ronan’s pant leg, and he looks down to find their dream boy, Jerome Noah Lynch-Parrish, also 5, staring up at him. His fist is clenched tightly, as if holding something in his hand.

“What’s up, squirt?” Ronan asks, pulling the boy into his lap.

Jerome looks down shyly before opening his fist and offering the object to Ronan. “Papa, I think it turned out right this time…”

Inside the toddler’s palm is a toy car, one that suspiciously looks like Adam’s Cadillac. When Ronan spins the front wheel, a familiar song begins to play: “Squash one, squash two—

Ronan quickly stops the wheel, muting the tune. He glances sharply up at Adam, but his husband is too busy helping Ken clean off the rest of the bowl that it looks like he hadn’t heard anything. For once, Ronan thanks the fact that Adam is half-deaf.

Grinning, Ronan places a messy kiss on Jerome’s temple. “It’s perfect. Why don’t you go give it to your Daddy?”

“Okay!” The toddler grins before carefully climbing down from Ronan’s lap and running to Adam.

Jerome is unique in the fact that he is both a dreamer and a dream. Ronan hasn’t noticed anything other than that that differentiates him from non-dream babies, like his brother Ken who they had adopted from Japan, which had been a relief for both him and Adam. While they would’ve loved him either way, it’s just easier on Ronan not having to dream up all of his pairs of shoes and such like he has to do for Opal. He also hopes that someday he’ll be able to work with Jerome to improve Cabeswater and find a more permanent solution for dreams that no longer have their dreamer.

It’s of even more importance now that they find the answer.

But that’s a long ways away. For now, Ronan is content to sport a shit-eating grin as he watches Jerome tug on Adam’s pant leg. “Daddy, I dreamt this for you!”

“Oh?” Adam has to set Ken down to accept the car from Jerome, and Ken crowds next to his brother to also get a look at what he’d presented Adam.

“No fair Jerome, where’s my dream present? It’s my birthday!” Ken whines.

Jerome, a surprisingly gentle-natured child considering he’d come out of Ronan’s head, smiles and says, “I already dreamed your present! Papa just won’t let me give it to you until Aunty Blue, Uncle Dick, Uncle Henry, Uncle Declan, and Uncle Matthew are here.”

Ken sulks, but the answer seems to satisfy him. Ronan counts it a mental win that his son had called Gansey ‘Dick’ instead of ‘Gansey’, but he doesn’t bask in the glory of it for long. Right now he has more important things to witness.

Adam smiles as he inspects the tiny model of his own car, obviously touched. It makes Ronan feel a bit bad for what he’s about to do to him. “Thank you, Jerome! It looks just like our Cadillac.”

“Spin the wheel!” Jerome chirps, a huge grin on his face. Ronan has to bite his lip to prevent himself from barking out a loud laugh.

“Alright…” Adam, obviously having no suspicions whatsoever, spins the wheel.

Squash one, squash two—

Adam stalls the wheel on his palm immediately before whirling to face Ronan, comically furious. “Of all of the beautiful and innovative things you could be teaching our son how to make, why did you decide to teach him how to make this?! This song died ten years ago!!”

“That song is a fucking classic!” Ronan barks, leaning back in his chair and roaring with laughter. Adam looks ready to strike back with a scathing retort to that, but their son interrupts him.

“You don’t like it, Daddy?” Jerome asks, the poor boy sounding absolutely crushed.

Adam falters. “No, Jerome, it’s great! Thank you. You’re getting so much better at controlling your dreaming.” Ronan snickers at the fact that he got Adam to admit the Murder Squash Song was great, and Adam points at him in a scarily accurate imitation of Gansey. “This isn’t over, Lynch.”

“That’s Lynch-Parrish to you!” Ronan says cheekily, and just laughs as Adam throws a dish towel at him.

Later, when the rest of their crazy family is all together and watching Ken open his presents, Ronan is suddenly struck with how amazing this all is. That he, Ronan Lynch-Parrish, is lucky enough to have stumbled upon such an incredibly strange and incredibly amazing group of people who make him feel loved and accepted every day. It’s a long cry away from where he was as a teenager, and honestly it’s a goddamn miracle.

He even has a soft smile on his face as he watches Ken unwrap the little stuffed animal that Jerome had dreamed for him, one that lights up like a night light in all sorts of fantastical colors. Ken absolutely loves it, and he’s grinning from ear to ear as he tackles his brother in a hug.

As if reading Ronan’s thoughts, Adam squeezes his knee and leans over to whisper in his ear, his breath warm on his skin, “Can you believe this is our family? Our family??”

Ronan breaks his gaze from their sons for a moment to grin fondly at Adam. He cups his cheek gently before leaning in to leave a quick peck on his lips. “Not at all, no. It’s like a goddamn dream.”

Adam grins at him, happy and awake and finally filled out in his form, and kisses Ronan back. “Well, if it is, then I never want to wake up.”

It’s pretty safe to say that every December since forever you’ve sat down and made a list of things you wanted to accomplish in the new year. It’s also safe to say that every February you’ve abandoned those without much of a second thought. So what’s the secret to keeping up with your good intentions?

set realistic goals

It sounds pretty great to say that you’ll have perfectly toned abs, be fluent in French, and wake up at 6am every single morning by May, but how likely is that to actually happen? Set goals that you know you can accomplish, like resolving to work out for ten minutes a day and keep your Duolingo streak up.

be selective

I’m usually tempted to write a list a mile long of things I want to start doing, but it’s much better to just chose a couple so you can stay focused. Pick the one or two that are most important to you, and then once you have those down you can add more throughout the year.

be specific

So you wanna be healthy, but what does that mean? Instead, say you want to eat the recommended serving of vegetables each day, or drink more water. Be as specific as you can, and make sure to put it into terms of daily action. It’s easy for the year to get away with you, but you can keep tabs on your day.

stay accountable

Tell your best friend, your mom, your grandma, your mailman what you’re trying to do. Put it on your wall. Tattoo it backwards on your forehead please don’t. Do what you have to do to remind yourself everyday what you’ve committed to.

make it interesting

It’s a lot easier to keep up with something you’re excited about. Whether it’s taking yoga classes with your bff to help you get out of bed early, treating yourself to a new planner to stay organized, or promising yourself a delicious dinner from the country of your target language when you can have a conversation, do what you can to make your resolution fun and not a chore.  

start now

Starting a habit takes time, so there’s no reason to wait until the 1st! The sooner you can start the better, so that way by the time the new year rolls around you’ve already got a head start.

Happy new year, all! What are your resolutions?

Tom’s a real mystery of a character, there’s so much to talk about with him because there’s jut so much you have to leave up to interpretation because the show has yet to explore him yet.

But like any other theorist, i have some of my own ideas and predictions based on his character presented so far.

One of my current big ones is that I have a theory that Tom has abusive/neglectful parents.

Now this is a theory, not a fact, so it could be proven wrong depending on what happens in future episodes. It’s just me giving my own thoughts onto why Tom might be the way he is, and why he does the things he does.

Tom’s dad sounds like way too important of a character to ignore for long, he’s going to be in an episode someday, and when he does i’ll see how accurate this theory is.


So I don’t think it’s any surprise Tom has issues, he has emotional issues and social issues. He deals with anger that ties into his powers and therefore can make him dangerous and rather a bit scary…even if he is a pretty adorable character.

It’s not something he can help, it’s just something he needs to control and it’s why him taking control of his emotions is so important, cause without it he could hurt many people without meaning to.

Here’s the thing about Tom’s anger tho.

It’s hereditary.  

Tom inherited it, from his father.

This isn’t an observation either, it’s confirmed and on his personal wiki.

So these issues Tom is trying to rid himself of, he was born with them. He’s stuck dealing with something he hates and it’s not something that can be easily helped.

We know Tom hates getting angry and hurting people, and we know he’s doing his best to cure himself of these problems. But these problems he hates came from his father, his father is why he deals with this side of himself.

If you think Star’s bitterness towards her mom stinks, can you imagine how angry Tom is that he’s stuck with an illness that his father gave him? One that ruined his life and his relationship with Star?


But here’s another thing confirmed by Nefcy, “Tom doesn’t want to be like his father, he doesn’t want his anger to be his identity..”

Tom doesn’t want to be known for being this harsh, ruthless demon, he doesn’t want to be seen as some angry kid who cares for no one but himself. And he’s shown that on multiple occasions now,

So if Tom refuses to be identified by his illness and doesn’t want to be his father…wouldn’t this mean that it’s likely his father is identified by his own anger?

When they refer to Tom’s anger they don’t mean run of the mill average anger, they mean THIS:

So imagine something like this..or worse, coming out of a larger version of Tom.

Now imagine him acting like this front of his young son, or towards his son.

It’s no wonder why Tom’s a bit messed up isn’t it?

If he was ever treated this way by his father, then it’s no surprise as to why he refuses to turn out the same way.  He wouldn’t want to be the big, scary, horrible, demon his father was in his eyes.


and this would explain a lot about why Tom always takes his punishments.

Tom never fights back, he never excuses his actions, it’s easy for him to take the blame and accept the fact he screwed up.

Which might not seem like much, but if his father/parents blamed him and punished him for things, even things he can’t be at fault for…Then Tom easily taking punishment and accepting blame makes a lot of sense.

He’s used to it.

Heck, when Marco lashed out at him, he backed Tom into a corner. Yes, the all powerful angry demon prince was terrified of being yelled at by Marco that he backed into a corner of the room out of fear.

Not confirmed yet but- 

He might’ve been expecting to be hurt.

He lies to also avoid punishment, which is surprisingly very common from kids that come from abusive households. Tom lying might make a lot more sense if you consider how he’s usually punished back home and that he does it on instinct to protect himself.


Here’s another thing that’s interesting….Tom was the one who got himself help. He saw his anger as a problem and in response he went to find a solution. I bring this up because this means his parents didn’t play any part in finding Tom help for his anger.

So either:

A. They didn’t care about his issues and therefore didn’t try to find a solution to something they should’ve known was a problem. 

B. They’re so unaware and neglectful of their child’s problem (Which is harder to believe, because it’s inherited and they should know that) that they didn’t do anything.

Or C. They want Tom to continue this behavior and don’t find any problem with it whatsoever.

If Tom didn’t get any support from his parents to cure his illness and had to handle it all on his own then his parents aren’t doing a good job no matter which one of these they stand in.


But this idea also applies to Tom and his isolation.

Tom has no friends, he’s alone, and the closest relationships he’s presented currently are Marco and two people he hired.

He doesn’t talk about his parents, heck his parents didn’t even show up to THE BLOODMOON BALL for him. (( The Fuc-))

Tom being unsocial might make much more sense if you consider his parents might be the reason he’s uncomfortable trying to talk to people.

Heck, maybe his dad’s bad influence is what caused Tom be be considered unlikable and why people choose to stay away from him.

They assume Tom is just like his father, and they fear who he is and refuse to spend time with someone like that.

Or maybe they enjoy the dad’s tyrannical rule and power, and think Tom is weak and soft in comparison to him, so they avoid him for that reason.

(( Considering how angry the demons at the ball were with Tom’s softer changes…it makes me wonder how his kingdom really views him as their future leader.))

Tom doesn’t seem to have anyone, if he had help from his parents sooner these issues could’ve been solved way before he was 14-15.

Tom could’ve had proper guidance, friends, he wouldn’t be dealing with these issues nearly as much.

There’s so much his parents could’ve done and can still do for him and yet everything Tom has done that has helped him he’s done on his own accord.

I don’t know about Tom’s mother, but if she’s still around she’s not exactly doing much for her son’s cause.

And Tom’s dad…well, i think it’s fair to assume Tom’s dad won’t be winning any awards for parenting based on what we know about him.

If Tom hates him as a role model and is probably utterly terrified of him, I think making any assumptions about Tom being abused by his father/parents isn’t too much of a stretch.

Light Bearing Spell

Our world can seem dark. Political unrest, racism, sexism, xenopphobia, homophobia, trans misogyny, and general bigotry. But we are not meant to live this way. We are made from the dust of stars and are meant to bear light, give witness to love, and speak of peace. When we seem alone, we reach out. When we feel overwhelmed, we seek help. When the darkness threatens, we bear light.


What you’ll need
1. Envelope

2. Notecard

3. Pen and yellow marker

4. A yellow candle in a safe candle holder


Preparation
If it is part of your practice, cast a circle. As you sit with your ingredients before you, centre yourself. Ground yourself in the present moment by focusing on your breath, the sensations of your body, and your connection to the earth.


Casting
To begin, light the yellow candle and place it before you. Consider its flame and the light it brings. You are like that flame and you are a bearer of light in this world. Reflect on what you can do to make the world warmer, brighter, and safer for others. Perhaps it is a kindness that you can perform, time you can donate, calls you can make, or causes years you can support. Consider these actions in the light of your energy and resources then write down three things you are willing to commit to on the notecard. I suggest, two easy to perform, daily actions and oine longer term action, but only you can judge what you can do.


Hold the notecard before you and repoeat the following with conviction three times (once for each action you wrote):


Yellow candle, flame of mind

Strife and and pain is on my mind

Candle burning spreading light

Grant me strength to share my light


Place the notecard in the envelope and use the yellow marker to draw and bright circle on the envelope, sealing your actions with a mark of commitment.
Extinguish the candle.


Carry the envelope with you as a boon when you feel your light weakening.


Notes
Yellow: associated with the element of air, it symbolises mind, intellect, and creativitry

How to Be a Great Art Ally to Your Creator Friends

Slightly tweaked from my 2015 post How To Be A Great ART ALLY

I’ve been having a lot of heart to hearts lately with my friends who are authors and artists and we’re all saying the same thing: It is getting harder and harder for everyone who isn’t in the top 5% of their industry to get the word out about work they are doing.

Because of the way the industries are now, many artists are not getting the marketing and push that they deserve or need. Much of that promotion and publicity now falls on the artist’s shoulder. Your artist friend may have a good career, but unless they are crazy lucky, or have the “it” thing of the moment, your artist friend is probably really struggling.

“What. But they have so many books out! They are on tour all the time! They are always doing some wacky play!”
Sadly, about 90% of artists are struggling and barely making a living wage. Most have full-time day jobs on top of their full-time art careers. Remember, every new project that they do is like starting from scratch.
For example, many of the people who I know who are not artists see all the stuff that I am doing and think that it’s going so great for me that I don’t need their help to get the word out about my books. But I do. All of your artist friends (even the most famous ones) need your support all the time.

To be a great Art Ally for any of your author/artist friends I’ve drummed up a list of things that you can do. I’ve focused on books, since I’m an author, but I’ve added helpful tips within to give you ideas on how to help your music, performer, filmmaker, comic book, visual artist and indie game maker friends.

1) Pre-order their stuff. Seriously. If your friend has a book (or CD or DVD or indie game or comic book) coming out pre-order it. Pre-orders give the publishing company an indication of interest and can help with print runs. Good pre-orders sometimes help a book because the publishing company may give a book a little push with extra marketing money and publicity based on those numbers.

2) Show up. If your friend has a reading or something, go to it. “But I went to it once for another book!” That’s great! You are a supporter! But, every book is a whole new thing! (Go to their rock show! Play! Art gallery opening! If your friend is in a film/made a film go opening weekend, that’s when the box office counts. Or order it on VOD the week it drops. Or buy the game the week it comes out. You get the idea.)

3) When you are there, buy the book. “But I already pre-ordered it!” Yeah, I know. But buying it at the store or the reading helps the bookstore and the numbers and will help your friend do another reading there the next time. This is especially important if your friend is doing a reading not in their hometown. (If your friend is a musician, buy merch because that might be how they are paying for gas. If your friend is an artist, buy a piece of art because that might equal a bag of groceries.) (comics peeps put your pals book on your pull list) (etc)

3a) “But argh! This is not my kind of book. I don’t read that genre. It’s not for me. I’m not a kid/teen.” Sure, that’s fair. The book might not be for you. But I bet you one million dollars that you know somebody that the book (or other thing) would be perfect for. Maybe a strange aunt? Maybe your weird nephew? Maybe your co-worker? And remember the holidays are always just around the corner! Why not get it signed? Think of it as a back up present. You can give it at a white elephant exchange. If all else fails, get a copy and donate it to your local library or if it’s a kids book, to the school library nearest you.

4) Signal boost it. While it may look to you like everybody knows about your friend’s book, they probably don’t. Remember that we are all kind of in a bubble when it comes to social media. Authors (and artists of all kinds) are always looking for new readers/audience and you totally have a bunch of friends that your author/artist friend doesn’t know. And those friends might have never heard of your friend’s book, movie, game, music and it might be right up their alley. And those friends have friends that you don’t know. And so on. And so on. So every once in a while, if you like and in a way that you are comfortable with, an easy Art Ally action is to Tweet, Instagram, Pintrest or Facebook (or repost) something about that person’s art thing on the social medias! This signal boosting helps to get new eyeballs on the book (or art thing) that your friend is doing.

5) Review it / Rate it. Perhaps you are on Goodreads? Or perhaps you frequent Amazon or B&N or Powells? If you really are a fan of the book (or art thing), a simple way to help boost your friend’s work is by giving it a star rating or a review. (For musicians you can do this at those places as well. Also you can add their album to your streaming site and rate it! For films rate it on Netflix if it’s there! For games there are places to do this too!)

5a) For books, on Goodreads it’s also helpful if you add it to your to read shelf. It’s both helpful before the book comes out and when the book comes out. So if you haven’t done it already, go to it! Add all your friends books to your to read shelf. It’s not too late!

6) Make sure that it is in your local library branch! Libraries are the biggest purchasers of books! An author wants their book to be read! Libraries help with that! Maybe you are librarian? Or someone super close to you is a librarian? This is where you can really help to get it on the library radar by making sure that it is on the order list for your branch or for your system. Sidenote: Many libraries are too poor to purchase books this is a great place for you to donate that extra book!

7) Many books have reader guides or teacher guides. Are you a teacher? Or is someone super close to you a teacher? If you love the book, consider using it in your class! Or if not that, you can donate the book to your (or your teacher pal’s) school library or classroom library for students to enjoy.

8) Book Club it. If you have a book club, suggest your group read your friend’s book. Or maybe just have a one-off book club and get a group of your friends together to read your friend’s book. If your friend writes for kids, do a mother/ daughter or father /son book club with a group of people. I’m 100% certain that your author friend would be delighted to come over (or if they live far, Skype) to discuss their book with your book club. (for musicians you could host a living room show at your house)

9) Ask your art pal to come in and speak! Maybe your school or library has a budget to bring in a variety of guest speakers for classrooms or assemblies? Your friend would be perfect for this. If your institution has no budget, you can still ask your friend to come and speak! Lots of authors have sliding scales and can organize a way to sell their own books and that can offset a pro bono visit. Also, it will help them to get new readers. Being an art ally is all about getting new audiences for your arty friends. (Your other artist pals would make great classroom / assembly visitors as well.)

10) Vote and Nominate. It’s possible that there are lists that you can vote on or nominate your friends for that they may be eligible for and deserving. This could be anything from your local publicly voted on thing to a list that is for professionals which you might be. It’s easy for everyone to remember to nominate the big best sellers of the year or the debut books that are getting the big pushes. But there are many midlist books that are wonderful and get lost in that shuffle. Make sure to champion the midlist! They really need help to be seen! (This is the same for all of your artist friends. There is always a thing that is going on where they can use your vote or nomination. You’ve gotten those emails / updates.)

11) Hand sell. Maybe you are a bookseller? Make sure that the book is on the shelf. And then, when and if you love it, hand sell it! You can also help by making sure that the book is still on the shelf once it’s sold. Many stores don’t automatically re-order a book if it doesn’t sell more than a certain amount. If you are not a bookseller, you can still hand sell by just talking up the book to people. (Talk up their music, game, comic, play, and movie.)

11a) If you work in retail anywhere and your pal is a musician and you like their music: Try putting their album on at work! Who knows? Maybe someone will ask you who that swell band is? Your pal may gain a new listener!

12) Support their Indiegogo or Kickstarter or Patreon. For your other artist friends who are making movies, plays, albums, comics, indie video games support their crowdfunding or patreon effort. Really. You can totally afford the $5-10 level (even if you think the project is lame.) for a crowdfunding and $1 for patron. And it will really help them and boost morale.

13) Be a good literary citizen. If you are an author, remember to be a good literary citizen. Promote yourself, but also do stuff for the larger literary community. Participate and include others. There are many things you can do. You can organize events. You can pitch panels. You can show up to things. You can volunteer to be a judge for things or to moderate panels (be a good moderator if you do.) You can write essays about other works. Remember to extend past your own inner circle of friends to include people who you might not know. Being an artist is very hard. There are many ups and downs in a career. At some point everyone goes through a hard time and needs help. Avoid the cool kids table mentality. Be kind. When you are on the top, don’t forget to keep helping your community. Diversify your literary and artistic world. (Other artists, you know what this is in your own field. Art citizens for the win!)

14) Invite your friend over to dinner. Or buy them dinner. Or have a potluck. Everyone could use a good night out with friends and conversation. It’s a spirit booster. No lie.

You have the power to be a great ART ALLY! Champion what you love. From all artists everywhere, I thank you for your support!