It was so difficult to decide which moments to use for this

Putting Lipstick On A Pig

by reddit user Pippinacious

Except for the whole murder thing, Courtney James seemed like a lovely young woman. She was bright, articulate, a dedicated college student and well liked waitress at a popular restaurant.

I met her when she was sitting in an interrogation room at the precinct. She was a bit on the larger side, dressed conservatively in pastel colors and minimal makeup, and when I came in, she introduced herself with a polite smile, as if we were meeting for a job interview as opposed to a police investigation. She had declined to have an attorney present, so I got right to business.

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EXCLUSIVE: BTS Celebrate Their Biggest Album Ever and Reveal What They Love About Themselves

Welcome to BTS’ next chapter.

The K-pop boyband shocked the biggest names in music when they beat out artists like Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez for the Top Social Artist award at the Billboard Music Awards in May – but their success is no surprise.

With 8.4 million Twitter followers and a fan base so dedicated it’s referred to as ARMY, BTS is one of the hottest acts in Asia, and soon, the United States.

“There is much more recognition of BTS music than before the BBMAs,” V, one of the band’s seven members, told ET. “Which means fans have higher expectations than before. We’re trying to live up to it and I hope the new album can be the answer to that expectation.”

The new album, Love Yourself: Her, dropped on Monday and was even shattering records weeks before its release with over one million pre-orders, according to BTS’ label, BigHit Entertainment. By Tuesday, Love Yourself had already topped the iTunes Album charts at No. 1 in a record-breaking 73 countries, the largest debut release for any South Korean artists. And “DNA,” the album’s lead single, is also blowing up on YouTube with nearly 30 million views since its early Monday release.

ET caught up with V, Rap Monster, Jimin, Jin, Jungkook, Suga and J-Hope on Tuesday, where they opened up about their incredible success, their fifth EP, and what’s next.

Q. Love Yourself: Her is already a huge hit around the world. Were you surprised?

Rap Monster: We’re surprised at the huge response when each album is released but it is beyond our expectation and overwhelming this time. Our new songs topped iTunes chart in 73 countries and made its debut at No. 4 on the US iTunes Song chart. “DNA” music video views surpassed 10 million in just 8 hours, which was the fastest for Korean artists ever. We are very grateful to our fans worldwide for appreciating our music and video.

Q. The music video for “DNA” is a little different from your past music videos, and includes some intense choreography – what does this mean for other music videos off this album? How long did it take to shoot the video?

J-Hope: BTS’ music videos always have intense choreography, but it was even more difficult to learn all the dance moves before the shoot. It may look different compared to previous videos due to complex use of computer graphics and edit styles for “DNA” video, but it took three full days to shoot. Everyone was great in learning the choreography, although there were many different moves we had to perform for the video. Personally, I think Jungkook and Jimin really pulled it off nicely.

Q. You collaborated with The Chainsmoker’s Andrew Taggart on the song “Best of Me” after meeting at the BBMAs. What was the collaboration process like? What did you learn from him?

Rap Monster: We first met at the BBMAs last May. [We] were invited to The Chainsmokers’ rehearsal backstage for the award show and we had fun talking about music and many things. The duo sent us several tracks after we returned home from BBMAs and we selected a couple of tracks to work together. “Best of Me” was the best for our new album in many ways so we decided to write lyrics and finish it together. The song came out great and we were all satisfied with the collaborative process. Andrew is awesome; he’s passionate about music and I think there should be more opportunities for us to work again in near future.

Q. Who’s your next big dream collaborator?

Jungkook: My biggest dream collaborator would be Justin Bieber because I just love his voice and the way he collaborates with other artists. However, I’d like to give it a try with whoever has the right chemistry with BTS musically.

Suga: I’m pretty much open to anyone who’s unique and has mutual appreciation in the music as BTS. I have some tracks and songs written for future collaboration and I’m happy to work with artists who have the right voice and taste.

Q. The song “Skit: Billboard Music Awards,” features Rap Monster’s speech from the awards show – what made you choose to incorporate that into your new album?

Rap Monster: It was one of many ideas we had for this album and we all thought that it would mean a lot to BTS and our fans if we have it permanently in the album and cherish that special moment for everyone. We’re facing the second chapter with Love Yourself: Her in terms of music and life and the BBMAs is like a new turning point for BTS in many ways.

Q. Rap Monster already revealed that Barack Obama was an inspiration for “MIC Drop” – Why? Who else were you inspired by on this album?

Suga: There are so many things that inspire us. For me, it’s people around me. And for RM, it can be books he reads. In general, what fans talk about and think about become a very important source of inspiration to us, because we want to write something that’s real to people, especially those who listen to BTS’ music.

Q. During your live stream on Monday, Rap Monster said that his favorite song is “Ocean,” but that song wasn’t released with the album. What can you tease about when the song will drop, and what it sounds like?

Rap Monster: It’s one of two hidden tracks you can listen to only on the physical album. “Ocean” has a lot of things I thought about since my debut in BTS four years ago. I have lived through many different dreams, worries and emotions in past years and I wanted to share those moments in the song. Sound-wise, there’s guitar and synth and the song is over five minutes, which is quite long. I hope people like it as one of the surprises I’ve prepared.

Q. You changed up your hair color since we last saw you – who decides when it’s time to change your look?

Jimin and J-Hope: The hair color decision is based on the concept of the new album and the timing is discussed with the whole production timeline. Each member’s opinion counts, so our stylists and creative team propose optional colors for us to choose from. But at the end of the day, they’re professionals and they know what they’re doing and in most cases, the proposed colors turn out to be the best for each member.

Q. This new album marks a new chapter in your careers after School, The Most Beautiful Moment in Life and Wings. What do you want fans to know about this new era of BTS?

Rap Monster: We tried many new things for this album and I’d like to label it as “innovative,” if I may. There will be new styled songs, new video, and many new things from now on. We want to evolve as artists and develop what we have within ourselves. If we ever slow down or even fail for our trials, it’s OK and we’ll be and stay as BTS. In addition, I’d like people to love themselves and think about what true love is while listening to the new album, because real love calls for courage to appreciate myself as is.  

Q. What do each of you love about yourselves?

Jin: I love my face and how it looks, which I appreciate very much.

Jimin: I love my attitude towards work and tendency for perfection.

V: My newly discovered talent to shoot great photos.  

Q. You’re wrapping up your tour this December. When will you be back performing in the U.S.?

Rap Monster: We do have plans for a world tour in 2018 so we will definitely go back to the U.S. soon and meet our fans as much as we can. If there’s any special opportunity for us any time soon, we’ll make sure to share it with you first.

Source.

anonymous asked:

Could you list all of the tropes that you consider "feel good violence"?

Okay, “Feel Good Violence” is very simple as a concept. It’s violence that feels good, when you’re reading it, when you’re watching it on screen, because for the perpetrator violence can feel really damn good. However, that is violence when taken outside of context. It is violence without consequences. It is violence for the sake of violence. Violence that serves no purpose but to prove the character or person is tough.

Protagonist Sanctioned Bullying - Bullying in general is a fairly popular method to achieve “Feel Good Violence” because bullying does feel good. The audience sympathizes with the protagonist, so when the protagonist acts they cheer for it. Its not presented as bullying by the narrative, but it is still bullying. Usually it’s a rival or a character set up to “deserve it”, but sometimes not.

Making people afraid makes you feel tough. Many authors will fall prey to the sweet lure of bullying and not even know it because bullying is violence without fear of consequence. Most often, they’ve been the recipients rather than the perpetrators, and acting as the bully is a very different ballgame. It is an emotional and psychological high. You feel big, strong, safe, and untouchable. Powerful. In their worst incarnations, most superheroes become bullies.

Bullying is all about control, protected status, and freedom from consequences. An entirely fictional world creates the opportunity for all these things, with the narrative itself siding with the bully. Bullying is Feel Good Violence writ large in real life. It’ll follow you into the fictional world just as easily. Power is a high you never forget.

This is very common trope for characters who also act as a means of self-insertion by the author. For them, it isn’t bullying. It’s an example of how awesome their character is and how tough they are.

Everything But Dead - When the only morals applied are if someone died, the rest is sanctioned without comment. There are no narrative consequences for the character’s behavior, and everyone cheers them on. Anyone who calls them out is an acceptable target, usually evil, or the protagonist wins them over in the end because their actions are “justified”.

By Any Means Stupid - This is the “by any means necessary“ trope, where the violence really isn’t necessary and the author just wanted an excuse to paint the room red.

Unprovoked Violence Is Always the Solution - This is the one where the protagonist skips all the other steps and goes straight to preemptive violence against a total stranger, for no reason other than it makes them appear tough. Usually not framed by the narrative as bad, but it is. Oh, yes, it is. Worse there usually aren’t any consequences for the hero physically assaulting someone in a room full of witnesses because everyone knows they’re the hero, right?

Random Violence Before Strangers is A-Okay -  The protagonist disembowels a bully in front of their victim in order to protect them and receives effusive thank yous. Nothing comes from this. The bad guy is dead. We all feel good. All is right in the world. Except… violence freaks people out.

Acceptable Targets - These are people designated by the writer as non-entities and targets for violence regardless of narrative context. A very slippery slope that is ever descending. But, you know, it feels good? Sure, so long as you’re not on the receiving end. This kind of dehumanization happens in real life too, just in case you were wondering.

Beating Up My Source - You have a character who collects information from an old standby, they threaten and beat up that standby regularly to show they’re tough. At what point does this seem like a terrible idea? Never! Hey, they’re a bad person so you feel good, right?

Waving My Gun Around - Trigger discipline is just the beginning of this problem. A gun is not a toy. but you’ll find a vast array of narratives who use it that way in order to look tough.

Killing Your Way to the Top - You can’t really destroy organizations like this. Killing the people at the top will just lead to someone else taking their place. Whenever you create a power vacuum someone will fill it. You can’t destroy an organization by killing. It doesn’t work. But, it feels good!

Must Obviously Be Boy - Because female fighters are unicorns and the mooks have never laid eyes on a woman before. Usually part of a larger narrative issue with violence, but acts as a “get out of jail free” card.

Clear the Building - That time the character decided to knock everyone out to prove that they are tough. Weirder when it happens on stealth missions.

I Am Not Gaining Levels - When you’re reading a book and the character is fighting like it’s a video game. They fight everyone like they’re in an RPG chasing XP. Why? We don’t know, but it makes them feel good.

Let Me Shoot Him Twenty Times - We could call this spray and pray, but let’s pretend for a moment the magazine could run dry.

Magic Bullets - The bullets that go where you want, stop when you want, and don’t cause accidental casualties. You know, like the protagonist blind firing through a wall and hitting a four year old playing in the yard across the street.

Body Armor Always Prevents A Blow-through - Nope!

New to Training, Perfect Sparring - That time the main character took on their evil rival (school’s top/better trained student) in a sparring match and won, especially when it was their first day.

Sparring Just In General - The vast majority of Western media doesn’t understand the concept or purpose of sparring. Many authors seem to think its a UFC match where you just beat each other up and the first thing you do during training to “assess your capabilities”.

Queuing for Combat - This is an old Hollywood trick where the burden of a group fight is lifted as the stuntmen wait their turn to fight the protagonist. Particularly egregious in written action sequences where the author doesn’t grasp the concept of teamwork. It also warps the understanding of how many people its possible for a human to fight at once.

Terrible At Torture - Torture is a terrible way to gain information in general because it doesn’t lead to a confession so much as confirmation bias. The subject will tell you whatever you want to hear because they want the pain to stop. It’s even worse when done poorly, which it is 90% of the time. Usually, media uses it for shock value or to prove how tough a protagonist is. Torture is not putting a blowtorch to someone’s foot and hoping for the best. It’s far, far more complicated than that. Neither torturer nor subject come out of the experience whole. Besides, the unimaginative protagonists say, “screw you!” The clever ones lie.

What Is: Dress for Success - How we dress our characters is often necessary for crafting a sense of narrative realism. This comes in often as a reason for why its so difficult to take female action heroes seriously, but it happens to the guys too. Not a bad trope on its own, but often symptomatic of a larger narrative approach to violence that ends with “feel” and “good”.

Beautiful and Badass - This one is a very specific female fantasy, which is that you can meet all the cultural standards and definitions for beauty while being in direct defiance of them. These are the female characters who are never touched by the combat they engage in. They are always graceful, always elegant, always beautiful in motion and the narrative will pause to tell us this often. “She fights like she’s dancing.” For these characters, their supermodel-esque beauty is a natural extension of their being. They don’t work at it. Combat is incidental. It’s a set piece to tell you how awesome the character is. It generally amounts to nothing, serves no real narrative purpose, but by god the author is going to walk us through it in excruciating detail. Combat and character are separate, and consequences are for other people.

My Instincts Performed A Wheel Kick - Your instincts just don’t work that way.

There’s probably more, but that hits most of the major sins.

Keep in mind that many of these tropes are not issues by themselves. They often work when context and consequences are taken into account by their narrative/setting. Generally, this results in characters with no accountability for their behavior and exhibit no responsibility for their actions. The issue, of course, is that responsibility and accountability are what make well-written violence work. Violence often drives the narrative. It’s part and parcel to who the character is, and their decision making. It’s the difference between a character who presents themselves as tough or skilled and one who actually is.

-Michi

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All About Writing Fight Scenes

@galaxies-are-my-ink asked,

“Do you have any advice on writing fight scenes? The type of scene I’m writing is mostly hand to hand combat between two experts. I’m definitely not an expert so when I try to write it, the scene ends up sounding repetitive and dull.”

Fore note: This post is coauthored by myself and one of my amazing critique partners, Barik S. Smith, who both writes fantastic fight scenes and teaches mixed martial arts, various artistic martial arts, and weapons classes.

I (Bryn) will tell you a secret: I trained MMA for seven years, and when I write authentic hand to hand fight scenes, they sound dull too. 

The problem with fight scenes in books is that trying to describe each punch and kick and movement (especially if it’s the only thing you’re describing) creates a fight that feels like it’s in slow motion. 

I write…

Lowering her center of gravity, she held her right hand tight to her face and threw a jab towards his chin. He shifted his weight, ducking under her punch. His hair brushed against her fist, and he stepped forward, launching a shovel hook into her exposed side.

But your brain can only read so fast. In real life that series of events would take an instant, but I needed a full eight seconds to read and comprehend it, which gave it an inherent lethargic feel. 

So, we have two primary problems:

  1. How do we describe this fight in a way the reader can understand and keep track of? 
  2. How do we maintain a fast paced, interesting fight once we’ve broken down the fight far enough for readers to understand it? 

(We will get back to these, I promise.) But for now, let’s look at…

Different types of “fight scenes:”

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Todrick Hall speaks out about Taylor Swift video backlash

Yahoo Music: So when some people saw you dancing in “Look What You Made Me Do,” they were not pleased, to put it mildly. What exactly happened?

Todrick Hall: They saw a clip, just a few seconds, that featured Taylor Swift standing in a line of dancers, and they started forming all types of conclusions. I was just very confused by that, because I knew that there was nothing “Formation”-esque or Lemonade-esque about the video. Artistically, I didn’t feel that was the case. I’m a humongous Beyoncé fan. I’ve worked with Beyoncé. I’ve choreographed for Beyoncé. And I would never intentionally be a part of art that I felt was ripping off my favorite artist of all time. But I felt like these were two completely different lanes.

“Sellout” was one of the common names you were called.

Yes, one of the main things that people said was, “He wanted to make his money. Well, good for him, he got paid. And I guess payment is enough for you to sell out your family, your people, your community.” But this had nothing to do with money. I didn’t do this Taylor Swift video for money. I did it because she’s my friend, and she was very excited about it. And she wanted people to be there who she could trust, because it was a very big undertaking. I was proud to be there, but money was not a factor for me. I don’t do things for money.

But there are people online who have a problem with the fact in general that you and Taylor are friends?

Yes, I have gotten comments from people who are upset and have literally said the fact that I am friends with a white person is a problem, because white people don’t possess the ability to love or ever truly care about black people. And I find that very disheartening. I’ve grown up in a neighborhood where I went to church with and lived with and went to school with beautiful black people; when I look at them, I see myself. But then I was also in a peculiar situation, because I danced in a dance group where I was the only black person in the dance studio. In some cases, I was the only black cheerleader in my school. I did theater where I was the only black person, the “token black person.” And working at Disney, oftentimes I was the only black person in the show at Disney World or Disneyland on any given day. And I also did tours where I was the only black singer; I did a cruise ship where I was the only black person in the cast. So I’ve been used to being in situations where I’ve had to find friendships and find love and find similarities. My whole brand, everything that I stand for and everything I’ve always stood for, is equality and love. So it’s just really difficult for me to understand why it is an issue for people, a legitimate issue, that I have white friends, and that Taylor Swift happens to be one of my many white friends.

Apparently there’s a thing called the “cookout,” which is like your invitation to be a part of the black community. Some people have, like, deemed themselves the Woke Police, and they decide to strip you online of your invitation to attend the “cookout.” It boggles my mind that people are deciding whether or not I’m down enough, black enough, or woke enough to be “invited.” If I have to hate people and judge people based on their race, sexual orientation, or religion, then sorry, but I’d rather order pizza.

What is Taylor really like? Describe your bond.

What people are mostly forgetting is that Taylor Swift really is my friend. Sometimes because she is a celebrity of such a huge status, inarguably one of the biggest stars of our generation, people forget that there is a human side to her, that she has real friends that she calls and talks to about her real problems. And I call her, and I have cried on her shoulder about my own relationship issues and family issues and career issues. We are friends, and so when she asked me to do this video, I said absolutely. It wasn’t a question for me. I trust her, and I had no problem doing the video. And I just think that it’s really sad and shocking that me doing four eight-counts of choreography is enough to make people feel the need to question my “blackness” or “wokeness.”

Taylor came to see me in Kinky Boots and she stayed after the show for two hours and met every single person in that cast — took pictures, signed stuff, met every usher, every custodian, every orchestra member, every producer and their kids. And then she went outside and met fans outside the theater afterwards, stayed there for over two and a half hours after the show and wouldn’t leave until every single person had been met. There are just very few celebrities in the world who would do something like that. She didn’t have to do that. She could’ve come to the show, said hi to me, and left. That’s just what type of person she is, and what type of person she’s always been. Her parents raised her so well, and when you’re in the room with them, you can feel that energy.

It just is shocking to me that people will see an image of her and hear stories online about her, or arguments with other celebrities who she did not ask to be involved with, who recorded her against her will without her knowing and then decided to release six-second clips of a conversation that happened to paint her to be this evil person that I don’t believe that she is. Come on, we’ve watched millions of episodes of Law & Order or seen Judge Judy a million times; how are they not able to conclude that there is something missing from this? If you feel the need to record someone on video with people there, the intentions may not have been the most pure.

Some of the criticism Taylor has received recently has to do with the fact that she has not been politically outspoken in past years, like some of her peers Katy Perry or Lady Gaga.

Yeah, many people have been tweeting me, “She supports Trump! She probably voted for Trump!” They’re making this huge assumption, when Taylor has never to my knowledge come out and said anything about her being pro-Trump. But people would still rather believe that she is the one who is pushing Trump’s agenda. That was one of the major things that was tweeted at me, and I’m like, “So you are mad that you think she might support Donald Trump? But you’re not mad that Kanye has been very openly pro-Trump?” I don’t understand that.

Look, I’m not Taylor Swift, so I can’t speak for her and why she does or does not choose to speak or not speak about any specific subject matter. All I know is that she has been nothing but a great person to me. Her family has welcomed me into their home and treated me like I was a member of the family. They’ve welcomed every single person I’ve ever brought around them. I’ve never felt like there was ever a moment that I couldn’t be myself, and talk about the fact that I’m gay or whatever. At Thanksgiving, we all sat around and talked about it, and there was another one of her friends there who was African-American, and we all sat down and talked about racism and watched 13th on Netflix and talked about how important it was. It was one of the most beautiful conversations I’ve ever had, because sometimes as an African-American person I feel like I can’t voice my opinion about how difficult it is to be not just an African-American person in the entertainment industry, but how scary it is to be black in America, in even 2017.

When it comes to Taylor, all I know is that she has been a sweet, amazing human being to me. When she calls me, it’s hardly ever to talk about her accomplishments or things that she’s going through. She calls me and says, “How’s your heart? Are you OK?” I’ve been around her an awful lot, and if it were some type of crazy, fake façade, I think I would have figured it out by now. I feel like it’s a genuine part of who she is, and she’s a human being. Has she made mistakes? Yes. Will she make mistakes again? Yes. But let the person in America who has not made mistakes raise their hand.

I think that I’m on my own journey; every artist is on their own journey. Maybe one day, Taylor will start being super-political, and using her voice to do thing that people think that she should be doing. But even then, she will probably be ridiculed for not being vocal enough, or not being on the right side. I don’t think that there is a way to win in this industry, so every person has to take their own journey at their own pace, at their own time, and do what they feel like is right. All I know is that Taylor has been nothing but sweet to me since day one, and if she asks me to do a video, I’m absolutely going be there.

I’m not apologizing for being a part of the video and doing four eight-counts of choreography in it. I thought it was a great piece of art. I thought it was awesome. It’s broken so many records and I’m proud to be a part of it. I don’t think I’ve sold out my race or my community — the gay community, the black community. I think that I was just in a piece of art that my friend made. I’m not issuing a statement to people about it to explain myself, because there’s nothing to explain. I’m not sorry that I did it, and I don’t think that it was a mistake. If I had a do-over, I would absolutely be there for another eight hours, in heels, dancing with her.

Is Taylor aware of the heat you’ve gotten for being in her video?

I have talked to her about it, and she has been very uplifting and given me a lot of information about how when you’re doing big things, there will always be people who have something to say about it. But I think that Beyoncé gave me the best advice when I met her. She said, “Don’t scroll down. Don’t go down and look at comments, and when you do something as an artist, make a decision and stick to it. You don’t need to apologize for things that you’ve done.” I use that all the time.

You have gotten this sort of criticism before.

Yeah. In the beginning, it was because I did videos based on stereotypes of a particular group that put people in a negative light. And so I took those notes, because I consider myself to be a humble person, and I tried to apply them, and tried to do less work on my YouTube channel that stereotyped people, less work that stereotyped my race as being “ghetto” or “ratchet,” because I did understand the argument. I think it’s a really difficult thing when you toe the line with comedy, because there are certain things that some people are going to think is funny, but then some people are always going to be offended. The political climate has changed so much over the past months since Donald Trump became president, and it has just been a very scary place to create content online. So I tried to do whatever I can to create content that everyone can love and that is inclusive of everybody.

It’s just something that I deal with every day. I wrote an album about my life [Straight Outta Oz], about how I fell in love at 19 years old with a boy who was British and who just happened to be white. I wrote a song called “Color,” and in the song I say the line, “You’re my favorite hue.” What I meant by that when I wrote the song was it’s supposed to be a direct relation to the 1939 Wizard of Oz film, and then everything turns to color when Dorothy gets to Oz. I felt like my whole world was black and white before I met this person. But people took that as that white was my favorite color, and that was what I preferred. People have assumed that am the type of person that refuses to date people of my own race or associate with people of my own race. Which, I don’t feel the need to prove to them that I have in fact dated multiple black men and Puerto Rican, Latino men. I’m an equal opportunist when it comes to love. I think everyone is beautiful. You fall in love with a person, not the outer layer of skin.

It’s really frustrating because I don’t think that people realize that when I got to L.A., I lived in not a great neighborhood. A policeman drove up onto a sidewalk, got out of the car, pushed my face on the ground, put my hands on my back, pulled a gun out on me. I have never felt so scared in my entire life. I have witnessed so many things like that. It’s very difficult for me to go and spend time in a predominantly Caucasian neighborhood without the cops being called on me, because people don’t know why I’m there and they think I look suspicious. I have had a lot of issues and dealt with racism in the same capacity as a lot of other people. I have written so many songs, even on Straight Outta Oz, about the Black Lives Matter movement, because it’s something that I’m very passionate about. It’s something that I definitely use my voice and my platform to speak out against. So it’s frustrating that people who have never met me in person like to make huge, incorrect assumptions about me and go and scream them and yell them from the rooftops online.

I just strongly feel that if we can’t get along within our own race, and have to point fingers and yell at people who we think don’t have our back when we don’t know anything about them — we haven’t listened to the facts, we haven’t seen the footage, there are no receipts to show that this person is not a proud African-American person who isn’t down to fight for equality for everyone’s sake — if we fight with each other so much that we’re tearing down our own race and our own community, how does that make us any better than the people in Charlottesville, carrying the tiki torches? How are we any better than those people, and how are we ever going to meet in the middle and finally be able to say, “Let’s be one unified group of people”? I just don’t understand how it’s possible, and that what makes me so upset.

Online outrage is at an all-time high right now, for sure. Everyone is on edge.

I think that we’ve got to figure out a way within our own community to stop tearing people down and stop making assumptions and looking for reasons to be mad. I don’t know what is happening in the world right now, but now is a scary time. People are looking for someone to blame and someone to point fingers at. I don’t think that Taylor Swift is the problem with America right now. People can try to make that be the issue, but there is a much bigger issue here in our country that we need to look at and recognize, and figure out what we can do to be a part of making the world a better place, to be nice and sweet and kind to each other, and to realize that racism is a huge horrible thing that has kept a lot of people down.

But I think it’s going to take every race, every minority, every gay person, every trans person, every straight person, waking up and realizing that we can’t do this alone. We can’t divide into our own little sections and decide that we’re going to secretly hate each other and be mad if one person goes over and shakes the hand of somebody on the other team. We all need to be one team. We all have to go out and extend an olive branch to each other and try to help each other out and try to build one another up. That’s the only way that we can be successful. That’s the only way that we can make this world the beautiful place that God created it to be. Spread love, and love each other. That’s what I try to do.

Did you engage with any of your online critics about this video?

I gave no negative tweets, didn’t argue with people on social media, had nothing to say to them. But I even went so far as to give somebody my phone number online so they could call me and said, “If you feel I’ve done something that’s offended you, or if you could shed some light on as to how me being involved with this video or being friends with Taylor Swift — other than the fact that she is white and you feel that she is the epitome of white privilege, the poster child for white privilege … If there’s anything you can do to shed some light to me as to how I can be a better example for young African-American kids growing up, then I would love to talk to you on the phone.” And I meant it. And I talked to them, and I felt like we came to a good place. I’m a humble person; I’m not opposed to taking constructive criticism.

There was a time two years ago where I would’ve damn near gotten carpal tunnel because I would’ve stayed up all night trying to argue back and forth [on Twitter], thinking, “What would Regina George do?” Now I’m adopting the policy, “What would Beyoncé do?” So I’m going to kill all these people with kindness. I’m going to be nice to them, and I’m just going to prove to them, one by one when they meet me, what type of person I am. Support my friends, be nice to people, and do what I have to do to be a good human being and play my part in society and in this crazy political climate.

Obviously I’m not diminishing the horrible things that have happened to get us to this point, but at this point we have a choice to either band together and fight and talk about the real issues and the real problems, and Taylor Swift is not the problem. If we can all accept the fact that there is a bigger problem and start having dialogue and talking to each other — not just with the people that it’s comfortable for us to talk to, our own people and people who look like us, but to people who might not understand where we’re coming from or what we’ve been through — then we might get closer to making this world a unified place, the way that Michael Jackson sang about in his songs and in his music. While I know that is not the theme of “Look What You Made Me Do,” I do believe that is the theme of Taylor Swift’s heart and the person that she truly is on a personal level.

(x)

my dudes

my buddies

my pals

Let’s be real for a second in terms of like where this show is headed with regards to my favorite character (surprise it’s Lance jk no one is surprised)

Recently this tweet happened:

And some people are taking this really well and other people… not so much. Which makes sense since all of us have been like #thirstin for something more for Lance and have been met with a lotta nothing, but I think this tweet is actually a good thing.

So in this recent interview with Kimberly, Josh, and Jeremy, Jeremy basically says what he’s been saying since day 1 that’s been echoed by a lot of the other cast members and crew.

Basically: Lance will step up to the plate and he’ll become more of a leader and take on more responsibility but at the end of the day…

Lance.

Is.

Lance.

And when people ask for more about Lance in terms of his character, you don’t really hear much beyond this, which is exTRemEly frustrating but just hear me out.

It might not be this deep but I think it’d be cool if there’s a reason for the Voltron team being so adamant in the fact that “Lance is Lance.” And he will always be no matter what. This can go one of two ways.

1. Lance is Lance because he will always only be comic relief. 6 seasons of comic relief. That’s him. He’s Lance. A flirt. Cocky. Goofy. Sure he might have some moments like we’ve seen in S1 and S2 but for the most part he’s there to be the team goofball to make everyone laugh (or groan with frustration and annoyance)

Which is shitty and terrible and I will be so angry if this is what goes down but for now let’s move onto the MUCH BETTER option 2.

2. Lance does become a leader (maybe a co-leader? Right hand man? stays the Blue Paladin and just kinda steps up more? whatever) but no matter how tough things get, no matter how worn down the team is, no matter how hopeless the situation seems, Lance can still be Lance. And I don’t just mean he’s able to crack a joke at a tense time to lighten the mood, though that also is a part of it. I mean that he is able to keep a level head and calmly think things through even in chaotic or near impossible situations

That he is always concerned about the well-being of other and is willing to lay down his life for his friends (AKA PEOPLE HE JUST MET)

That he’s also not afraid to call out these friends when he thinks they are making a mistake (there seems to be a running theme with this one…..)

That he’s also appreciative of his friends and pays attention to their needs/wants and their strengths

And that he will always go down swinging

But maybe most importantly, and this is what I hope the Voltron team is trying to get at, Lance will never lose his joy and excitement and happy go-lucky demeanor. This is what makes him the Blue Paladin (and also why I think he would make a great Black Paladin but anyways….). He’s the glue of the team and this means more than just being the comic relief and making ill-timed jokes.

I really love the Lance that is able to start a weird space spore fight or wants to knit sweaters for Arusians. I love the Lance that enjoys doing a crazy dance while explaining their extremely dangerous plan to defeat Zarkon. I love the Lance that has fun coming up with wild ideas about what else could be locked up in Beta Traz. It’s not that he’s not taking his job as a Paladin seriously but rather that he is trying to take this crazy situation in stride as much as possible. We know that he can be worried, insecure, and lonely, but this never stops him from being who he is. He stumbles, loses confidence, regains it, and stands back up again ready to start swinging at the next asshole who decides to come for him and his friends.

Lance is adaptable just like water. He might come in different forms (serious, competitive, caring, homesick, flirtatious, etc) but at the end of the day it’s all of it is a part of who he is. He might need to get better at figuring out the appropriate timing of being leader Lance or flirty Lance, but it’s not like he has to lose the more immature part of him to become a more well-developed character.

So when people say “Lance will always be Lance,” I’m actually pretty fucking thankful. I’ve read some Langst where Lance becomes more “Keith-like” to cope with his insecurities which……. I’m conflicted about. I don’t think he needs to go as far as NOT be him in order for the team to learn to appreciate him more. So I think this affirmation from the staff that Lance will always be himself no matter what makes me believe that he will be what keeps the team together through the difficult and tumultuous times to come. That even despite his clear self-doubt he will be able to put the team and others first and maintain his role as the glue. That he will still manage to grow and change as a Paladin AND maintain the things that make him Lance.

There will be growing pains, of course, (I’m guessing a lot to do with Keith) but just because he’s insecure doesn’t make him weak. Lance doesn’t have to become more serious or stoic in order to be taken more seriously or be more “mature.” Then he wouldn’t be the Lance we know and love. He can withstand the challenges to come and develop as a character without sacrificing these integral parts of himself. He is capable of SO MUCH and I can’t wait for him to unlock the potential that was always there within him and makes him who he is.

The 15 PLOT POINTS of Story Structure

To all the writers who have ever been told they need to outline their story, and privately thought “Great. But how do you DO that? What exactly does that mean?! Is there a map? WHAT IS THE SPECIFIC DEFINITION OF THE VAGUE WORD ‘OUTLINE’?”

Good news. Stories have structure. Structure that can be learned. And a fantastic place to start learning structure? 

Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need by Blake Snyder. This book gives a simple outline that most stories follow. And as an introduction to story structure, it can’t be beat. 

In Save the Cat, 15 plot points are spelled out in something called a beat sheet. During the outlining process, these “beats” or plot points can be used as an armature or skeleton that your story is built upon. 

So what are those 15 plot points?

Opening Image: A snapshot of the hero’s problematic ordinary world, right before the story starts and changes everything. 

Set-Up: Further establishing that ordinary world and what the hero does every day, impressing upon the audience or reader what’s wrong, and the idea that something needs to change.

Theme Stated:  The truth that the hero will learn by experiencing the story, the statement that will be proven to the audience. But upon first encountering this truth, in this story beat right in the beginning, the hero doesn’t understand or outright refuses to believe it. The theme stated is asking a question, a question which the story will answer.

Catalyst: The ordinary world is shattered. Something unexpected happens, and this event triggers all the conflict and change of the whole story. Life will never be the same after this moment. This is the Call to Adventure. 

Debate: But for a moment, the hero won’t be quite sure about answering that call. Leaving behind the ordinary world is difficult – even if the catalyst has come along and disrupted everything – because the ordinary means safety, it means not being challenged, it means avoiding conflict and heartache. Yes, that existence they’re stuck in might be stagnant and unpleasant, but it protects them from facing the intimidating task of growth, of becoming something better.

Break Into 2: And this is when the hero decides to answer the call and cross the threshold of act two, determined to pursue their goal. 

B Story: This is when the relationship – which usually carries and proves the theme – starts in earnest.

Fun & Games: This is just what it says: the premise promised a certain type of pure entertainment, and this beat is where we get to experience it fully. 

Midpoint: This is either a false victory or a false defeat. Something really really good happens. Or something the exact opposite.

Bad Guys Close In: Forces of opposition and conflict begin to converge on the hero and his goal. Everything begins to fall apart for the hero, the defeats piling up one after another, the main character punching back.  

All Is Lost: This is the sequence where absolutely everything falls apart for the hero. The plans fail, the goal is lost, the mentor dies, the villain wins. All is, quite literally, lost. 

Dark Night of the Soul: The hero’s bleakest moment is right here. In addition to all of the tangible things that have been lost, hope and the gumption to continue with the story have also vanished. There is usually a hint of death here, of some kind. An actual death, or an emotional or spiritual death. 

Break into 3: Ah, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Inspiration occurs, hope is rekindled, courage to pursue the story returns. Usually, this is the moment where the main character learns what they NEED, the truth which will heal them, and allow them to fix their own lives. With this, they are able to snatch victory from defeat.

Finale: And in here, the story goal is pursued once more, but this time from the stronger version of the hero – the version that has learned the theme, and committed to act accordingly. 

Closing Image: The opposite of the opening image. This is a snapshot of life after the story, the problems of the ordinary world solved or banished, a new world opening up for the hero. If the opening is the equivalent of “once upon a time” this is saying “And every day after … “ 

So let’s see how that works! And to see it, let’s look at my favorite short film of all time – Paperman  (because this gave me an excuse to watch it several times and listen to the music while writing it.)

1) Opening Image

We see George, a twenty-something in a sixty-something’s suit and tie, obviously on his way to work, and not looking at all enthused about it. He stares straight ahead, expression bored, lifeless, right on the edge of depressed. Wind from a passing train pushes him slightly, and he lets it, demeanor unchanging. 

2) Set-Up

But then a sheet of paper, caught on the wind, hits his shoulder. The paper flies off again, and a young woman appears onscreen, chasing after the paper, as the surprised George watches.

 After catching it offscreen, the girl returns, tucking the paper into the stack she carries, smiling slightly. They both face forward, waiting for the train side-by-side, in silence. She’s glancing sideways at him, he’s smiling and fidgeting nervously, but still resolutely facing forward; they’re both aware of each other, seemingly hoping the other will be braver, but neither able to overcome their shyness and the unspoken rules of everyday life. 

3) Theme Stated 

As a train charges into the station, a paper from George’s stack is snatched by the wind and lands flat on the woman’s face. When he pulls the paper away, she laughs: her lipstick left a perfect kiss mark on the sheet. When George spots it, he laughs too … 

but when he opens his eyes, she’s gone. She’s boarded a different train. The kiss-mark paper flaps in the wind as the train begins to move, taking her away. He watches, crestfallen. She glances back. Looks of regret and disappointment are exchanged, both a little wistful. The paper, the symbol of their fleeting memorable meeting, waves goodbye. 

Through this little sequence of images, the question of the whole story is asked: Was there a connection between them? Will they find each other again? And on a wider level: What does it take to find love? 

Further Set-Up:

And cut to George behind a desk, in a gray office, dark file cabinets towering behind him, clocks on the wall ticking away his life. Miserable again, he stares at the lipsticked paper. A stack of documents slams onto the desk from on high. The grim-faced boss of the office scowls down at him. George frowns at the stack, then at his boss, who stomps away.   

4) Catalyst 

Breeze pulls the kissed paper off his desk and out the open window. He catches it just in time, breathing a sigh of relief. And then he sees something. The girl! She’s there! She’s right across the street! 

5) Debate 

He needs to get her attention! He dithers for a moment, then throws the window wide and enthusiastically waves his arms.

 An ominous "ahem” from the boss brings him back inside, and back to his desk. But his attention is still on the girl, and the need to get her attention. He folds a paper airplane, stands before the window, poises the airplane to fly … but he glances at his boss’s office before he throws it. Should he? 

6) Break Into Act 2

Yes. Yes, he should. He sends the little airplane messenger to bridge the distance between himself and the girl. 

7) B Story

What he should have done while waiting for the train, he’s committed to do now. Talk to her. The relationship of the story has started officially. 

8) Fun & Games

In this moment, he becomes the “paper man” of the title. He folds and throws paper airplane after paper airplane. The boss shows up, shoves him back and slams his window. George pauses until he’s gone, then just keeps sending airplanes. They sail over the street, but are intercepted or miss their mark every time. 

9) Midpoint

He reaches for more paper … and knocks an empty tray off the desk. He’s run out. Except for one paper, the kissed one, the only one he’s held onto. With a determined look, he folds it precisely into an airplane, stands before the window, breathes to steady himself … 

And the wind steals the airplane from his hand, sending it spiraling to the street below, George reaching out pointlessly. On top of this defeat, the girl leaves the office.  

10) Bad Guys Close In 

Immediately, the boss emerges from his lair. The other office workers hurriedly return to their scribbling, hunched to avoid drawing attention. The girl is leaving the building across the street! George turns from the window … and finds the boss looming above him, glowering, delivering another tall pile of meaningless work. 

George sinks into his chair, defeated. But something happens as he watches his boss walk away, as he sees the office workers in neat rows; all of them older versions of George, reflections of what he will become … if he doesn’t do something right now. 

He runs, sending paper from the perfect stacks flying in his wake. 

11) All Is Lost

But when he escapes the building, and attempts to cross the street, cars nearly kill him. And when he finally makes it to the opposite sidewalk, the girl is nowhere in sight. She’s lost again. 

And all he manages to find is the little traitorous paper airplane. The paper he’d believed might mean something, might have signified something important and maybe a little magical. Which it obviously never did. 

12) Dark Night of the Soul

Angry, he grabs the plane and throws it with all his strength.  He’s lost his job, he’s lost the girl, he’s lost all faith in the magic he’d just started to believe might be real. He stomps towards the train station, returning home. 

13) Break Into 3  

But fate has other plans. The airplane glides over the city, almost supernaturally graceful and purposeful. It dives between buildings, and lands in the middle of the alley where all the paper planes have collected. 

It sits immobile. Then it moves. Moves again. And jumps into flight. The airplane flies over the rest, stirring them into motion, into the air. In a place where not even a breath of wind could reach, there is now a whirlwind of George’s airplanes. 

Though the forces of mediocrity tried to keep them apart, something greater has recognized George’s efforts and is going to see things through. 

14) Finale

A parade of airplanes follows George down the street. 

The leader attaches to his leg. He brushes it off, mad. A flurry of them attach to him, then carry him down the street, unfazed by his fighting. 

The leader airplane rockets over the city purposefully, finds the girl, then lures her to follow.

 She chases after. 

Somewhere else in the city, George is being pushed wherever the paper airplanes want him to go. We switch back and forth between George and the girl, as the airplanes push him and beckon her. 

Until they’re both on different trains, which stop simultaneously, on opposite sides of the platform. The girl gets out. She fiddles with the airplane, like she’s trying to get it to work again. And just then, a breeze brings hundreds of paper planes skittering all around the platform.

 She looks up …

15) Closing Image

And there’s George, covered in paper planes. 

He lurches towards Meg, and the airplanes falls away, their work done. 

George and Meg face each other, smiling, the barriers of routine and shyness overcome. Exactly what should have happened, exactly what was meant to happen. Putting effort into connection and love prevailed in the end, defeating the allure of life spent in safety and mediocrity. The closing image is the opposite of the opening: he’s not alone, he’s not facing the train leading to his mundane job, he’s not looking miserable and hopeless. He’s facing the girl, his bright and meaningful new future.

***

So! Those are the 15 plot points. This is a fantastic way to begin learning what story structure is, why it works the way it does, and how to precisely pull it off. 

For a more in-depth explanation, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Save the Cat. (It holds a special place in my heart; it was the first screenwriting book I ever read, and started obsessive study of storytelling.)

The Fourth House - The House of Home

This is the fourth part of a twelve part series briefly explaining how the signs work in each house. Enjoy!

Ah, the House of Home, where the Moon and Cancer are rulers. It is in this house where you begin to learn what it means to say there is no place like home. You have found security, what nurtures you, keeps you in peace, and are ready to plant a home in this safe space. Having undergone the experiences that have shaped you to the person you are today, it is here where you decide: “yes, this is what I will call home because it keeps me protected.” The events that might have occurred in your life to realize what type of place you’re calling home can be of the relationship between your nurturer, such as your mother or father, regardless if these relationships were good or bad. (With further research these relationships can be analyzed with this placement.) Another aspect of home is where you come from, such as finding out your ancestry, heritage, and what you consider to be your culture. Since we are home, this is the private self that comes into play. We are home after a long day at work and are finally at the dinner table with our loved ones where we can be ourselves. It is also in this house where we express how we want to guide our loved ones to help them achieve what we believe is a full life. All in all, the Fourth House represents memories, photo albums, family, and everything you would call home. 

Aries in the Fourth House: So we know Aries always wants to be number one, and to be number one you always have to be achieving something. You are the same way at home. You may always be doing something in the house that involves action, like cleaning, painting, or rearranging furniture. If something needs to get done in the house, you do it. However, this can also be a bad thing because you may limit someone else from learning how to do for themselves and can be overbearing. Just because you can get the job done right and fast, doesn’t mean you should always do it. Be the leader, but do it in a way that others feel right following you. 

Taurus in the Fourth House: Having financial security and stability are what makes you feel like you are home. Not only for yourself but also your loved ones since this is how you feel protected. The drive that you have to achieve these things serves as a guide to the people in your life who might need some assistance in building better lives for themselves. However, you can come off too forceful so try to ease up a bit and let others ask for your help. Overall, your presence is a strong one and will not go unnoticed. You are extremely influential to the people around you so you have the power to lead people down the right paths of life if you learn to not let your temper get the best of you. 

Gemini in the Fourth House: The mind of a Gemini is always restless. Your family may know you as being energetic, talkative, and always up to something. There is never a dull moment with you because you’re full of curiosities and putting your thoughts into action. The perfect home for you involves a safe space where you can comfortably communicate with those around you and have them feel just as comfortable. Knowledge is power and being able to send that message is how you affect people’s lives. You want people to expand their minds to their full potential, as you would want for yourself, and when you achieve this, you are home. 

Cancer in the Fourth House: The familiar is home to you. How you were raised as a child can very well be a reflection of how you may set a home for yourself today or in the future. You have a strong sense to nurture and protect as any Cancer would, however, these qualities are much stronger in this placement since this is where Cancer rules.Your emotions have great power and can set people in the right direction if you learn to use them for good and not just be an emotional mess. In order to be the mother or nurturer to your loved ones you have to guard your feelings and be strong with your emotions. This way those around you can also learn how to be more in tune with their own emotions, and what better way to learn than from you. 

Leo in the Fourth House: You have a light in you that yearns to be shined at all times. Around family and loved ones you wish to be at the center of attention and it can cause you stress when you are not. You must learn that others may feel unimportant around you because you might not let them have a chance at the spotlight. Everyone has a light of their own so it is crucial for you to see that others want to be recognized too. Once you understand and are in tune with your ego and sense of self, this is how you will influence others in making lives for themselves. Since this is the house of home and togetherness you may find it difficult to lead others because all you want is to be the center of them. The Leo placement in the home can be one more of learning than of teaching. 

Virgo in the Fourth House: Very detail-oriented, the way you establish a home for yourself is through creating a routine based life. You can be the stereotypical Virgo of being a neat freak at home when you’re being critical on the house itself or your family. You set high standards for yourself and loved ones often causing stress in everyone because you make them feel like they have to be perfect, but perfection doesn’t exist. You have a strong sense of intuition like a mother’s intuition which helps you be of great service and a counselor: the ultimate goal of Virgo. People may be attracted to asking you for advice but there is a reason and you may have the answers to things you wouldn’t even imagine, all you have to do is dig into your intuition.  

Libra in the Fourth House: Living in harmony and peace is the only thing this Libra could ever ask for. When your family is in a good place and coming home feels relaxing and loving, this is when you are most happy. You are the peacemaker so your family has gotten use to you being the mediator and can constantly expect you to be the one to make everyone get along again. You don’t mind this too much because in the end you need the love of your family to survive. You can be somewhat dependent on others and are not too fond of being alone, but to avoid unhappiness, you must learn to find peace and harmony all on your own. 

Scorpio in the Fourth House: Since we are entering a private space, it is here where Scorpio feels comfortable enough to let their guard down. You may have deep, intimate relationships with your family members since you want to know them to their deepest, darkest level because you believe this is truly knowing a person. To them, however, you will always be a mystery. You have a powerful aura and it can express strong feelings of intimacy and depth. You may come off controlling to get what you want and this can be a turn off. Your highs will be very high and your lows very low so if you find yourself at a very low point try not to bring others down with you. Instead bring them with you when you come back up and aim higher.

Sagittarius in the Fourth House: With how much you love the outdoors, adventure, and exploring, your home will be a reflection of that. Doesn’t a house with big open windows looking out the forest sound beautiful? With walls filled of photographs of all the places you have travelled to. Freedom and independence are everything to you so you can make a home out of just about any space that is comfortable. You can teach people to be more independent and a bit more self centered, but in a good way. You show others that it is okay to be on your own and do things for yourself because in the end we really only have ourselves so why not make a home within ourselves so that wherever your travels take you, you are home. 

Capricorn in the Fourth House: At home you feel best being the provider and ensuring that everyone feels safe, protected, and emotionally satisfied. Troubles of unity may rise for the Capricorn in this house because this house is ruled by its opposite, Cancer. Where Cancer may be telling everyone how they feel, Capricorn keeps to themselves. You must learn to help others find purpose in life and not keep quiet of your intelligence because it might be that extra help they need. You may feel as though your words do not matter to people so you stay out of their lives, but in this house we are not meant to be alone so it is essential that you learn to find a home with your loved ones. You may have strong doubts within yourself because of the way you grew up but you must find confidence within yourself and mend any broken ties in your family. 

Aquarius in the Fourth House: As eccentric as the Aquarius is, your home is nothing of the ordinary. You will be interested in the innovative and your home will show for that with the newest technologies or even by the amount of times you move around. With family, you enjoy bringing everyone together but will not be tied down by them. If anything, you enjoy being in a group setting only to show off how different you are from everyone else. However, it is in this setting where you must learn that what you say has a strong influence on people so you should use that to direct them in their lives. You tend to want to help humanity as a whole forgetting that each individual has emotions that need to be understood. You will for the most part be independent in your domestic affairs but this is the house of home so don’t forget that we must come together here.

Pisces in the Fourth House: In the home, you will probably give yourself to your family more than you should. Everyone will continue to take as long as you keep giving. Your unhappiness should not equal their happiness, this is where your strong sense of empathy can get you into trouble. Your safe space is anywhere where you can be as imaginative as you want to be. Your mind explores places one cannot even dream so we may never really know you. You, however, are very intuitive and psychic about the feelings of others so you will know most of what is going on in the household. This can bring you to smother the ones you love because all you want to do is protect them but guilt tripping them to make them feel empathetic towards you is only going to push them away.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this short analysis!

- Astrologia xo

🔮Tarotscopes🔮 June 2017

Aries

Aries have been participating in some self-deprecating thoughts lately, but being at war with yourself will only make your journey more difficult. Instead of allowing yourself to adopt this ‘woe is me’ attitude, choose to see the small gifts in your life as a wonderful stroke of good luck. Sometimes things don’t happen for a reason, but that does not mean it’s necessary to bully yourself in the process.

 Taurus

You need to trust in the process and trust in yourself. Your own self-doubt is what is currently holding you back. Let go of the feeling of being ‘stuck’ or not knowing where you are going to go from here and trust that you are exactly where you are supposed to be at this very moment. You are where you are for a reason.

Gemini

You are currently experiencing a change of perspective when it comes to where you want to direct your life and how you are going to live it from this day forward. This birthday in particular marks the time that you have chosen to do something different with your life, because what you have going at the moment is no longer cutting it for you. In order to change that, have the courage to follow your dreams and passions at this time, as they will direct you towards a more fulfilling future.

Cancer

Cancerians can expect a win this month! The Universe is currently conspiring and working in your favour. Stay humble, keep your head down, and continue to do what it is that you are meant to do at the moment. As long as you stick to your responsibilities, the Universe will come in and clear out any outside obstacles. The giving nature of Cancerian has been noticed and you will soon be rewarded.

Leo

Last month, you’ve probably experienced some conflict with those around you. This month you will be getting a handle on those emotions that have resulted from that aggravation and will realise that you are better off holding those people at arms length. Their energy no longer serves you and in order to save yourself it is best to keep them at a safe distance.

Virgo

Virgos have been contemplating new work and monetary possibilities. If you’ve been asking yourself if you should start that new venture, it is time to start it! If you’ve been applying for a new job, you will get it!

Libra 

Phew! Talk about an emotional time for Libra! Currently, you are your own worst enemy and you’re killing yourself with all of your negative talk and thoughts concerning yourself. Nothing productive is going to get done this month if you decide to continue down this road. Trust in your intuition and allow that to lead you out of this emotionally dark time. You are choosing to see the glass as half empty instead of half full.

Scorpio

You are having a hard time trying to decide where you are going at the moment. You don’t know which way is up and which way is down or if you should go left or if you should right. The problem with being in this headspace is that we don’t allow ourselves to see any opportunities that may be presented to us. Adapt a more positive approach and watch the Universe sprinkle some magic into your life.

Sagittarius

You’re going to be challenged this month, whether it is a co-worker trying to make you look bad in front of your boss, or someone that is feeling particularly brave and demonstrates this by being slick with their mouth leaving you feeling like, “Oh! They tried it!” Maintain your integrity by standing firm in your truth. You are better than that negativity.

Capricorn 

Burdening yourself with too many commitments and responsibilities is not the right way to chase after your goals. In fact, it is the least effective way to get where it is you want to be. Take the time this month to reprioritise and decide what is really necessary to get you to the end.

Aquarius

Aquarians can expect a harmonious time this month. You’ve got all of the right energies working in your favour at the moment, so if there is anything you desperately want to do or accomplish, now is the time to get on it! You’ve got all of the tools you need to kick some ass, so trust your gut instinct and have the courage to succeed.


Pisces

You are now turning the page on the last chapter of your life and moving forward. You’ve had times that were good and this makes you question if you are actually ready for new experiences; however, the cycle has completed and it is now time to move on. How are you going to write this next chapter of your life?

D&D: How to Use Character Arcs as a Dungeon Master

In my previous post on character arcs, I talked about how a player should determine how they want their character’s arc to begin and end. It was from a player’s perspective. But how does a DM write an adventure that will make that player’s arc happen?

First, get the information you need. Ask your players to each determine how their characters will begin the campaign and how they want them to change by the end of it. Then ask for copies of their character’s traits, flaws, ideals, and bonds. Note whether a player’s character is going to die tragically and if they are okay with that. With this information, you can give the players what I call a moral quandary, personalized for their own character’s arc. A moral quandary is giving the player two difficult options that the player must decide how their character would choose. The character should lean to one side of a moral quandary at the beginning of an adventure, but gradually start to lean the other way as their arc comes to completion. 

For instance, a cleric might be presented with a choice to kill an evildoer or merely capture them. If the cleric is heading down an arc where their ideal changes from “all life is precious” to “evil must be stopped at all costs” in their character arc is going to make very different choices in that situation depending on where they are on their arc.

Let’s figure out how we can use this info as a DM and where to put moral quandaries using a 9-point story structure. These are not an entire campaign, but you can use each point as a fixed point in the narrative; a story outline based on the characters’ arcs. Plenty of different stuff can happen between each point, but the points must happen to create a robust story.

Call to Action

The player is given an initial call to action. Essentially, a moral quandary disguised as a quest hook. Try to have a separate but related call to action for each player. Ideally, the players should refuse the call to action, as they haven’t been “changed” yet. If they play to their characters’ initial backgrounds and traits, they will refuse the call. You can even enforce this by loading your call with descriptions of how the character is feeling. “You are offended that someone would even offer something so morally reprehensible to you, despite the fact that you could use the money.”

A good-hearted rogue is starting a tragic fall arc and is offered a chance to make millions from some morally questionable actions involving an evil regime, but decides it is wrong. An innocent paladin starting a coming of age arc could be offered a chance to rise against an evil regime, but values their own safety. A studious apprentice wizard starting a corruption arc is offered power in exchange for service to an evil regime, but decides they can get power on their own.

Inciting Incident

Something happens to force the player to action, whether they are ready or not. Try to come up with an inciting incident that involves all of the players, not just one. The inciting incident can act as where the adventuring party finally meets.

The evil regime in the Call to Action ends up invading the players’ quiet suburb to enforce martial law. The players escape or fight back or else they and their loved ones die or are enslaved. The rogue decides to run from their debts by joining the party. The paladin has seen firsthand what the regime can do, and will now join the party to find someone else who can help them stop it. The wizard seeks out more power to stop the regime.

1st Plot Point

The players learn the first shreds of information about the overarching narrative of the campaign. After the inciting incident, some characters might not be convinced and want to turn back. This gives them a reason to continue onward together, as a team. There should be no turning back from the 1st plot point.

Players learn how this evil regime has been spreading across the kingdom. It still holds many mysteries, but its power is great and threatening. Its power is centered in a capital city, which the players now opt to travel to in order to find the things they currently desire.

1st Pinch Point

A pinch point is the first real display of power from the antagonist or opposing force. In D&D this should be actual combat, though it doesn’t have to be. As long as the players see firsthand what the antagonist can do to their characters, this part will add the tension/drama that it should. If you want to have a 1st Pinch Point for each character, then this display of force should directly target the player’s character arc and spark the desire to change through a moral quandary. It’s an awakening. Create tension by ending a session with this pinch point.

The players come across a thieves’ guild run by the evil regime. The rogue takes note of how rich, glamorous, and lawless the life of a criminal is to spark their tragic fall arc. The paladin realizes how deep the corruption of the world runs and sparks their coming of age arc as their innocence starts to fade. The wizard realizes how much resources the evil regime has, and wonders what sorts of power they had in mind for him sparking their corruption arc.

Midpoint

More info is revealed about the antagonist and the perception of the characters change. They have an epiphany and decide to continue onward through their arc. This can, and most likely will, happen at different times for each character and their varying arcs.

The players learn about the leader of the regime. They have been pushed to the breaking point by the regime’s forces. The rogue decides join the regime and start doing crime for the regime and acting as a double agent against the party. The paladin no longer cares about finding someone else to help them stop the regime, vowing to end it themselves. The wizard gets an unholy tome and decides to learn how to make a pact with the demon the regime mentioned to overpower the regime. They are all still heading to the capital, though now with severely divergent goals.

2nd Pinch Point

The antagonist reveals their full power and threatens the completion of the characters’ arcs. The entire party should, in general, be at their lowest moment and completely without hope. This should happen at the same time for everyone. Ideally, end a session with this pinch point to create a cliffhanger and highlight the hopelessness.

The players reach the capital of the evil regime. The rogue is faced with a moral test, where they will be offered riches and allowed to live if they rat out their adventuring party. They choose to take the offer and are betrayed by the regime’s leader and sentenced to death anyway. The paladin comes face to face with the regime’s leader after being ratted out by the rogue. They fail the encounter and barely manage to escape with their life. The wizard is also defeated and their unholy tome is destroyed in the battle. The rogue is imprisoned and the paladin and rogue escape the leader and are being hunted in the capital.

2nd Plot Point

The last piece of the puzzle has come together in the second plot point. The characters finish their arc and learn how to overcome the antagonist. This can happen at different points and doesn’t have to happen quickly. For a tragic character, this is the part where they finally meet their end. Tragic characters fail to change or their change is self-destructive and they fail to overcome the antagonist of the story (tragic, isn’t it?). Think of this part as a moral quandary that characters’ finally “know the answer” to, as far as their character arc is concerned.

The rogue tries to escape, succeeds, but heads back to the thieves’ guild instead of his adventuring allies, and they ultimately betray and kill him. The paladin’s innocence is shattered and they gather rebel forces over time to take on the regime’s leader, becoming a leader themselves. They also find an unlikely ally in the wizard, who has finally succumbed to evil. The wizard still doesn’t know how to summon the demon, but they have already gotten a taste of evil’s power by performing vile rituals on captured regime members and will now use their power for vengeance against the regime’s leader.

Climax

The characters finally face off with the antagonist. The promise set out at the beginning of the campaign is fulfilled. The characters, having completed their arcs, are now changed enough to be able to defeat the antagonist. This should be the players at their most powerful and should be the most epic battle to take place in the campaign.

The paladin’s rebel army and the wizard’s evil magic face off against the evil regime’s leader. The battle is long and epic, but the characters succeed, freeing the kingdom of the evil regime.

Resolution

The game shouldn’t abruptly end after the antagonist is defeated! There needs to be closure. The players’ characters find out the results and the aftermath of defeating the antagonist, for better or for worse. In the case of an ongoing game, you should now set up the next campaign here.

The paladin and wizard regard each other as unsteady allies who no longer have a common enemy. The wizard seeks more power, even seeking to possibly usurp the void of power left from the regime’s defeat. The paladin and their rebel army gather in defiance of the wizard. The paladin tells the wizard to leave the kingdom and not threaten anyone with their evil, else the paladin will smite them down. The wizard, not having many spells left after the battle and not being ready to face an entire army, teleports away to parts unknown with a puff of green smoke. The paladin is placed in power, and the wizard now acts as a looming threat. Perhaps an NPC and villain for the next campaign?


This character arc outline is not cut-and-dry. You should use it as a guide, not a rule. Some characters might abruptly choose to change. Some will reach different parts of the outline at different times or out of order. Some characters might waffle between two sides of their arc before deciding which side they want to be on. But the more you talk to your players about it, the easier it is to come up with a generalized plan for your campaign’s story. Heck, your story might even change from what you initially intended by the end of it (a character with a bad roll can still end up dying before even finishing their arc!) But hopefully this will aid you in making the players love their characters even more and have fun as they grow and change in your campaign’s world. That’s what it’s all about, after all.

5

Scott x Reader

Requested by Anon

Warnings: smutty themes


“What’s wrong with Scott.” You asked as you cornered Stiles, who was about to rush after the Alpha, who was storming through the school as if someone had angered him beyond reason.

“Urm, it’s complicated.” He muttered and Lydia glanced over Stiles’ shoulder.

“You can tell us Stiles, we might be able to help, he isn’t acting like himself.” She pointed out and Stiles nodded, taking a deep breath as he gave Scott one last glance.

“I think he might be in… heat?” Stiles muttered and your mouth dropped open until Lydia put her finger under your chin to close it.

“So, that’s why he threw Liam away from Malia this morning?” She asked and Stiles nodded. “And also, why he’s been avoiding (Y/N) … makes sense he’d be most drawn to the member of the pack who needs the most protection.”

“Hey!” You huffed and they both gave you a matching look.

“You are the weakest, you’re human.” Stiles pointed out.

“You’re also close with Scott but you’re close with other male werewolves, Liam, Brett, Derek and Isaac.” Lydia pointed out and Stiles took another turn.

“So basically, he’s probably finding it really difficult to be around you because he’s um… like I said possibly in heat.” Stiles muttered.

“That’s stupid, he’s a guy why would he be in heat.” You huffed.

“Reproducing would expand the pack faster, allows the Alpha to mark a mate without actually turning said mate into a werewolf and it’d give the alpha a chance to have some time with the betas and… strengthen their pack bond?” Lydia offered and you made a grossed-out noise.

“Rhetorical question Lydia, anyway I’ll just ask Scott what’s wrong and prove you both wrong.” You hummed.

“I don’t think you should.” Stiles muttered but you’d already ducked out of the corridor to where Scott had vanished.

“Scott?” You called and followed the low continues growl to a bathroom tucked away at the end of the corridor. “Scott, why’re you naked!” You squeaked and grabbed at his jeans, hoping if you handed them to him he’d get dressed as you tried not to look.

“I was too hot.” He mumbled roughly and moaned when you put a hand on his forehead.

“Maybe I should ask if I can give you a lift to the hospital… you can’t exactly ride your bike.” You mumbled, your eyes widening as he slowly slid your hand down his neck and across his stomach, letting you pull away before he could go any lower.

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ew.com
Brooklyn Nine-Nine to take on racial profiling with stop-and-frisk episode

Brooklyn Nine-Nine tends to take a light-hearted approach when it comes to the long arm of the law: After all, it’s a comedy in which Andy Samberg effuses lines like “Don’t worry, we can outsmart some small-town sheriff. We’re NYPD detectives. We caught the Son of Sam! Ice-T plays us on TV! We keep the Tonys safe!” But an upcoming episode is aiming to mine humor in a serious topic involving the police: Racial profiling via the controversial stop-and-frisk program, in which officers temporarily detain and search citizens for concealed weapons and illegal goods.

In an episode airing May 2 on Fox, Terry (Terry Crews) — a sergeant in the Nine-Nine — is subjected to a stop-and-frisk (which, coincidentally, is also known as a “Terry stop“) by an officer when he’s on the street looking for his daughter’s blankie. “He tries to work it out with the cop by going out to dinner with him, but that doesn’t work out, and he has to decide whether or not to file a formal complaint,” series co-creator Dan Goor tells EW. “To a certain extent, it’s the question of: Am I blue or am I black?”

It’s a subject matter that the show’s writers have been wanting to tackle for a long time, but “because our heroes are the police, it’s difficult to talk about the police in an abstract way,” says Goor. “We’ve talked about a million different stories and I think this one really works. It felt very natural and real, but at the same time, we’ve managed to make it as funny as any other Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode.”

The idea for the story stemmed from a conversation with Crews, who revealed a similar incident in which he had been racially profiled. The writers began working on an episode but were having trouble around the halfway mark. It was a conversation about the episode with a different cast member — Andre Braugher, a.k.a. Captain Holt — that led to a breakthrough moment. “Andre told me what he thought Captain Holt would do at that moment,” says Goor. “And it was like the clouds parted and I could see for the first time. It was so unexpected, but true to the character and honest, and made for an entire act’s worth of scenes.”

In the episode, after Terry hashes it out with other members of the Nine-Nine, “ultimately it comes down to a great set of scenes between Holt and [Terry],” says Goor. “It’s Andre at the height of Andre and Terry really keeps up with him. And it’s the first time we’ve done an A story for anyone other than Jake.”

Speaking of Jake (Samberg), he and Amy (Melissa Fumero) will spend most of the episode taking care of Terry’s twins with Sharon (Merrin Dungey) out of town. “They want to know why their dad was arrested, so Jake and Amy have to talk about these issues with these kids,” says Goor. “It’s one of the funniest stories we’ve done.”

In Regards to Hate: On Victuuri

I don’t know what suddenly happened again but there’s a shitton of hate for Victuuri/Viktuuri(/etc) in the tags lately. People are welcome to feel however they want for a particular ship, but I just wanted to give my two cents by tackling the common complaints I’ve seen. I’ll start from the beginning so I’ll be addressing basically all the arguments against this ship I’ve seen so far. I’ve tried to maintain some sort of order for these, but honestly I just winged it at some point.  A lot of these arguments are also heavily character-based, so keep in mind that I’ll be deconstructing several scenes as well as character motivations as I go.  (As a note, this assumes you’ve seen the whole show. Also, I’m only using canon evidence from the show itself.)

This is like an informal follow-up to my super old post but also not really.

No I’m not avoiding work why would you say that.

WARNING: This is a massive post/wall of text. Grab popcorn.

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⇁ paper doll | 01

Originally posted by sugutie

pairing Jungkook x Reader

genre drama, slight angst ||  idol+singer-songwriter!au

warnings sexual themes with smut in the next chapters, mentions of past unhealthy relationship 

word count 2.1k

When the nation’s little sister, IU, gets into a huge scandal, your agency seizes the opportunity to thrust you into that now vacant spotlight. Your self-composed song Paper Doll becomes an overnight sensation, and soon people are itching to find out who was the one who broke your heart. All hell breaks loose once netizens discover that you used to date popular idol, Jeon Jungkook. Little do they know that it wasn’t him who left the relationship unscathed — it was you.

alternatively: a story on the consequences of a hit break-up song

⇁  01 | 02 

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5

July’s Featured Game: SLARPG

DEVELOPER(S): Bobby “ponett” Schroeder
ENGINE: RPGMaker VX Ace 
GENRE: RPG, Fantasy
SUMMARY: SLARPG is a short, turn-based RPG following the story of Melody Amaranth, a kindhearted but meek transgender fox who’s decided to learn healing magic and become a paladin. She’s joined by her adventurous girlfriend Allison, as well as their friends Claire (a sarcastic, rule-bending witch)(she is also trans) and Jodie (a dependable, somewhat motherly knight). Over the course of the story, our inexperienced heroes will meddle with forces beyond their control and find themselves responsible for the fate of their quaint little hometown. They’ll also fight some spherical frogs, travel to a forgotten land in the sky, befriend a robot or two, and anger the local librarian. But that should go without saying. 

Our Interview With The Dev Team Below The Cut!

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Secrets

This is a (decently long, sorry for the lack of writing these past few days) one-shot for the below prompt! It… didn’t turn out exactly like the ask, but I hope you like it anyway! I’ve been wanting to try writing trans!lance for a while because I absolutely love that hc, and I really enjoyed writing this, so let me know if you guys like it, because I could definitely see myself doing another fic with it.

Trans! Lance where an asshole alien keeps miss gendering Lance and being transphobic and he starts to get upset and then the team overhears this happening and are about to kick the aliens ass.

I tried to make it gen… but it ended up being very klance, especially at the end… so uh… I hope you like it anyway! Sorry this always happens when I try to write gen fics.


Only half the team knew.

Contrary to their belief, Lance was actually an expert secret keeper. With a large family like his, he had to know when to keep his mouth shut. So, despite the loud, obnoxious, open persona he displayed for the others, he could also be sneaky.

He’d the had practice of years sneaking out of the Garrison, or even his house when he was little to go see the beach at night with his siblings.

So, keeping a secret on an unbelievably large castle ship with only six other people on it was easy.

Or at least, it should’ve been.

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Yuri on Ice interview translation - CREA 2017/03 (p34-35)

Second part of the YOI interviews featured on CREA. As for the one with Kubo, more than “interviews” they are like “mini articles” that incorporate what the interviewed people said. The interviews are with Kenji Miyamoto (choreographer), Eiji Abiko & Junpei Tatenaka (figure skating animators), Yuuko Sagiri (original costume designer), Keisuke Tominaga (music producer).

Random note: thanks to this magazine I was finally able to know that Sagiri’s name is “Yuuko”. When I translated her interview on Pash I did lots of research but wasn’t able to find out the pronunciation so I used Yuiko because that was what came out searching for the name alone, but now it’s confirmed that it’s Yuuko so as soon as I have time I’ll edit that interview to fix it. I swear all magazines should be obliged to provide the pronunciation of names, because sometimes it’s really hard to find out how the kanji are pronounced when it’s not famous people with Wikipedia pages and such…

By the way, the issue of Pash coming out today (Feb. 10th) has an article I was really looking forward to (the second part of Kubo’s detailed commentary on each episode), so I’ll probably spend the night translating it when I get home from work. Also because I want to post it before the YOI all night event on Saturday (I’m going to the live viewing).

***If you wish to share this translation please do it by reblogging or posting a link to it***

***Re-translating into other languages is ok but please mention that this post is the source***


The reality as expressed by 5 people who created “Yuri on Ice”

Reality #2: Choreography x Kenji Miyamoto
“The footage taken with the camcorder was the key to create realistic and powerful anime scenes”

Profile: From Hyogo prefecture. After retiring from competitive ice dance in 2006 he started working as a choreographer and commentator. With director Sayo Yamamoto’s “ENDLESS NIGHT” for the first time he was involved in creating figure skating choreographies for an anime.

The choreographies for all characters’ programs were created by choreographer Kenji Miyamoto. He created them integrating the music with the information he received from director Yamamoto and Kubo regarding the characters and their programs. What was different than usual is that the songs for the FS were 4 minutes long instead of 4:30 minutes.
“In the anime characters need less strokes to speed up, so it’s possible to use less ‘transitions’, the movements connecting different techniques. I cut down on those and made the programs more compact.”
Miyamoto was filmed with 4 fixed cameras and 2 portable camcorders as he danced all the programs, then the footage was edited into a multiframe video based on which the animated figure skating scenes were created.
“I believe that the footage taken with the portable camcorder, that filmed me up close, is what made it possible to create realistic and powerful tournament scenes.”
After watching the finished anime, Miyamoto commented that the characters’ monologues during their performances are realistic.
“When you are performing lots of things are whirling around inside your head. In my case it wasn’t words but still pictures, like photographs. I was happy that they expressed the athletes’ feelings.”


Reality #3: Animation x Junpei Tatenaka & Eiji Abiko
“The performances look realistic thanks to Miyamoto-sensei’s choreographies”

Profile: Animators working for the anime production company MAPPA. Specialized in sports and action scenes. They both created animation for director Sayo Yamamoto’s “ENDLESS NIGHT”.

Animation of the figure skating scenes was created by action specialists Junpei Tatenaka and Eiji Abiko. “It’s the first time that we digitally create 2D pictures after deciding the camerawork. It was very difficult because we had to figure out how to do everything”.
Tatenaka, who was already a fan of figure skating, says: “For the moments I believed to be the ‘highlights’ of a performance I would add 1-2 extra stills. This way, I was able to draw out a little what in the live footage only lasted an instant.” They actually made jumps much higher than they are in real life.
“While being aware that real skaters wouldn’t jump that high, I still wanted the scenes to be striking, therefore I was always looking for a good balance between realism and what could be allowed in animation.” (Abiko)
They both agree that Miyamoto’s choreography footage was the most important factor that allowed them to create realistic performance scenes.
“When there was a key point in the music, Miyamoto-sensei would pose with all of his body creating a beautiful line, from his fingertips to the tips of his toes. It was very easy to draw.” (Tatenaka)


Reality #4: Costumes x Yuuko Sagiri
“I think the only difference is that there were no budget restrictions (LOL)”

Profile: Ballroom dancing costume designer working for the ballet & dance supplies maker Chacott. She has designed figure skating costumes for athletes such as Nobunari Oda and Akiko Suzuki.

Yuuko Sagiri, designer of the athletes’ costumes, created the designs giving importance to functionality that would improve a skater’s performance and to elements that would make the character’s personality stand out, just like she does for real costumes. She chose materials, cuttings and decorations that would actually be employed in costumes used for real performances.
“Normally I objectively watch an athlete’s past performances to understand their level and what kind of movements they are skilled at, and this is then reflected in the design. This time I based the design on the characters’ setting materials, the information I received from the director and the choreography footage by Miyamoto-sensei. I think the only difference is that there were no budget restrictions (LOL).”
Regarding Yuuri’s costume, she mentions that she wanted to reflect the fact that he is psychologically weak and gains weight easily.
“I added shining decorations on his chest so that his face would look bright even when he is tense. The cuts on the waist are to make him look slim.”
Actually, she also designed a costume for Yurio’s exhibition. Sagiri said that she created the design thinking of what “Yurio would really want to wear”. We’d definitely like to see him skate with that costume!


Reality #5: Music x Keisuke Tominaga
“I added melody to the beautiful lyrics that is ‘Yuri on Ice’”

Profile: From Kanagawa prefecture. Music producer. He founded PIANO INC. in 2012 and is the current representative director. His main works include the Pocari Sweat 2016 commercial “Kimi no Yume wa, Boku no Yume.”, the TV anime “Zankyou no Terror”, etc.

When creating the music for this show, music producer Keisuke Tominaga constantly asked himself whether it was music you could dance to.
“I would move my hands, feet, my whole body, sometimes even checking the rhythm like a conductor or a dancer. Figure skating has many elements that resemble ballet, so to express the elegant movements of the body I used many tunes in triple time like waltz and bolero.”
Most of the classical and orchestra tracks were created by Taku Matsushiba, while the vocal tracks and modern band songs by Tarou Umebayashi. They worked on the music as a team, always communicating with each other.
“The world created by Kubo-san and director Yamamoto was like realistic and beautiful ‘lyrics’, and I feel that our role was to create a ‘melody’ for those lyrics. In fact, when I joined together Yuuri’s FS song “Yuri on ICE” and Victor’s recorded voice for the first time, the lines sounded just like the words of a song, and I can’t describe how moved I was. I believe that this strong, deep expression that you would not be able to obtain with music alone is what realistically affects the viewers.”


Bonus in case you haven’t seen it already: Sagiri’s design for Yurio’s exhibition program.

Absolutely And Completely

So I’ve just been having major Dad!Harry feels lately and came up with this little fluff piece.

Literally nobody asked for this

Warnings: Sickeningly cute Dad!Harry fluff

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Then and Now

hey here’s some @dilfosaur 2demons AU because I love that shit

—–

“Can I ask you kind of a weird favor?”

Hanzo shrugs one shoulder, his gaze kept on the tiny bonfire between himself and McCree. “I suspect that you will ask me regardless of what I say,” he responds. Which is true–something he has learned about McCree in the past six weeks is that McCree is a very forthright person, when the situation allows for it.

McCree does not take offense, though, instead chuckling as he swigs deeply from a steel flask. He offers the flask to Hanzo, and Hanzo takes it gratefully. Alcohol has simply not been the same since his change 10 years ago, but McCree somehow always has a full supply of a whiskey so potent that even demons can enjoy drunkenness. On some nights, that becomes close to a necessity. 

He drinks, and McCree regards him for a moment. Then he asks, “Can you show me what you look like? What you really look like, as a human.”

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