Pace-of-Time

Too bad people didn’t fall in love at the same pace, at the same time, for the same reasons, and too bad those emotions didn’t move simultaneously. But each act of madness moved at its own pace, one not dependent on the pace of anyone else. It wasn’t like tandem skydiving, where you were connected as you fell, where you were forced to fall at the same rate and use the same parachute. Falling in love was a solo act. I knew that, had learned that the hard way. You just jumped and hoped your parachute opened. Sometimes you looked up and saw you were falling by yourself, the object of your desire still on the plane, not interested in jumping, watching you descend into that scary place alone.
—  Eric Jerome Dickey, The Novel Pleasure

If you guys need even more proof that Lena is whipped, take it from a business major who learns daily about the life of a CEO. 

CEOs of any company, but especially a large one like L-Corp are extremely busy. We (or at least I) assume that L-Corp most likely operates in the tech industry, maybe manufacturing too, but don’t know for sure. But the tech industry is highly competitive and fast paced. The time of a CEO is extremely valuable to a company. 

Lena is the type of person who takes her job seriously. She is dedicated to rebranding and repositioning L-Corp, separating it from the evil of Luthor Corp. Hence most of her time is going to be spent strategizing how to do that. She doesn’t focus on small details like hiring and firing of employees (unless it’s like C-suite levels executives or other high ranking people), budgeting, marketing strategies, financial plans, etc. She will most likely delegate that to the CMO, CFO, COO, etc. She’s going to be making business deals, hence all of her meetings, listening to business pitches from R&D as well as other executives, attending board meetings to learn about the state of the company, etc. I was in my business to business marketing class last night and my professor was basically like “The CEO of a company got where they are because they know how to manage their time effectively, they time slice. If you’re pitching an idea to your CEO, you’ll have 10-15 minutes max. Maybe an hour if you’re good. That’s it.” Lena’s time is extremely valuable. 

The fact that she takes time out of her day to meet with Kara on social visits, takes time out of her day (most likely at least an hour or two) to meet Kara at CatCo to go out to lunch at some new Kombucha place, randomly drops by Kara’s apartment and her place of work to ask for a favor that she could have either called or asked Jess to contact Kara for her, spends her evenings when she could be working on her company, trying to help Kara find a bunch of missing aliens and her own mother is a testament of how much she actually cares for Kara. Even in just a platonic sort of way. In fact, I think it’s much more compelling if it is platonic. 

Also consider that when Kara forgot about their lunch outing, she wasn’t angry or annoyed in the slightest that Kara forgot. She was completely understanding and even offered to help her friend. As a CEO, when your time is that valuable, it would be completely understandable if Lena was even the least bit frustrated that Kara forgot. But she wasn’t. And we all know that they probably just ended up rescheduling and causing Lena to rearrange at least a couple of meetings to spend time with Kara.

So in short, Lena is whipped as fuck. 

Over and Over

Summary: This is pure, multi-orgasmic porn with Dean. Enjoy.

Warning: smut, overstimulation (sort of)

Word Count: 1600ish

A/N: Just felt like writing some Dean porn. No plot here, lol. XOXO


Dean’s moving at just the right pace.

It’s the ‘you aren’t quite at the orgasm yet, but this will get you there soon’ pace. The slow and steady pace that’s more about going deep and hitting all the right spots that being hard or wild. The pace that makes you shake and sweat like your body is totally under Dean’s control now.

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Sweat [M]

Pairing: Hoseok x reader x Yoongi

Summary: It’s a hot summer day and your boyfriends have an unorthodox method of trying to keep you cool.

Genre:  smut, pure smutty threesome, goodness, Poly!yoonseok

Word Count: 

Warnings: graphic depictions of sex, dirty talk, ice play

Originally posted by rapmonsexpensivegirl

The sun was already shining high in the sky when your eyes fluttered open. The overwhelming heat of the day had your shirt soaked to your skin. You groaned, reaching over to chug the glass of water on the table next to you. But the room temperature water wasn’t enough to satisfy your thirst. “It’s so fucking hot.” you mumbled as you slid off your mattress. The sheets were crumpled in a pile on the floor, somehow the 3 of you managed to kick them off the bed in your sleep. 

You padded down the hallway and the familiar sounds of your boyfriends arguing rang through your ears. Yoongi and Hoseok were on opposite sides of the spectrum. Fire and ice. Water and oil. But there was something about you that brought the two of them together.

Hoseok’s eyes immediately fell onto yours as you entered the living room, “Tell Yoongi you want to go to the beach today. He’s being a lazy ass and won’t let us go.”

You chuckled, “The beach does sound nice, Hobi. But it’s probably going to be packed.” you squeezed his shoulder gently as you made your way to the fridge and out of the corner of your eye you could see him pouting. Clearly not happy that you were siding with Yoongi in this democratic household.

“See, I told you she wouldn’t want to go.” Yoongi teased as he laid back down on the floor, a gummy smile spread across his glistening face. He stared at you with mischief in his eyes, but the thought of intertwining limbs in this heat sounded like the worst possible idea, no matter how hard he made you cum.

You opened the door to the freezer, finding sweet relief in the blast of cool air rushing towards your skin. It was days like this when you cursed your boyfriends for letting them talk you into this place. Your apartment was beautiful, and you loved it, but it didn’t have A/C. So every summer the three of you wandered across the apartment in various states of undress, hoping that the lack of clothing encasing your skin will offer relief.

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Friendly reminder that the Athena Cabin are bunch of Percabeth shipper.

a list of quality ratonhnhaké:ton quotes that, in my opinion, deserve way more attention:

  • “will i get something for my troubles, aside from impressing a 12 year old girl?”
  • “fishing is a nice change of pace at times”
  • “stop. poking me”
  • “oh. OH! well, good for you!”
  • [falls out of tree] “what? i meant to do that”
  • “we don’t know what’s on the other side!” “we do now”
  • “i expect an apology when i return”
  • “how do i look?” “ridiculous”
  • [wins a bocce ball match] “victory is sweet”
  • “and instead you ask us to, what, shell all of new york?” “no of course not. only part of it”
  • “this next part you may not like” “as if i have liked the others?”
  • “recovered from your beating then?”
  • “is that so, old man? or perhaps we should step outside? i will gladly demonstrate how easily i could trounce… you”
  • “THAT’S IT” [bashes a guy’s face in with a checkers board]
  • “i will uncover this mystery myself!”
  • [finds norris in an outhouse] “oh… i will find you later then”

feel free to add more

Her Being Quiet in Bed but They go Harder and She’s a Mess: BTS

Jin:

Oh my would SeokJin be proud of himself. He’d use that move on special occasions only, though, since you being such a huge and hot mess was his favourite sight, and he knew to not get greedy.


Suga:

He would tease you mercilessly after wards, even though your messed up state was also bringing his orgasm much, much, much sooner. He would totally call you `Kinky` out in public, just for the fuck of having a good laugh at seeing your crimson face.


J-Hope:

He would make the moment last, not letting you to cum. He would be in total control of you, and as much as you cried for him to let you cum, he would just not allow you to, messing up your state even more. He would be enjoying this so fucking much.


Rap Monster:

It would make him feel weak and dizzy; his favourite sight. It would be at that moment where he would begin to tease you mercilessly, enjoying your begs for him to speed up again.


JiMin:

Similar to SeokJin, JiMin would love to bring you to that state all the time, but he knew that he could use it for special occasions, or make you do things for him that you normally wouldn’t and use his roughness as your final prize.


V:

He would totally lose control of himself, pounding into you faster and faster, with low growls and a lot of biting, staring and smirking.


JungKook:

Proud to get such a reaction out f you he’d continue in that pace throughout the whole time, slowing down only when you had to take in a breath or two, before digging back in, working you until you fell unconscious from the over-stimulation.

Not so hypothetically, but actually, a date

aka, what could have happened if Chase’s minions had been so kind as to hold off on their kidnapping spree an extra 24 hours

for my friends on twitter who told me I should write this and know I can’t say no to them :) 

psa: this is unbeta-ed and it’s past my bedtime, so read at your own risk of grammatical errors lol


Felicity opened her refrigerator in search of the leftover takeout she could’ve sworn was still in there somewhere. To her dismay, all she was greeted with was mostly empty shelves. She was not a big grocery shopping person to begin with, and with everything they had been dealing with over the past couple of weeks, she couldn’t remember the last time she pushed a cart through those fluorescent lit aisles.

“How did Oliver manage to be the Green Arrow and keep our refrigerator stocked,” she muttered to herself as she checked a container of yogurt to discover it had expired months ago.

Her eyes caught the box from Oliver’s party the night before and she slid it out, remembering that there had been a few leftover slices of cake. They were on summer break after all, so cake was an acceptable dinner… right?

She was debating eating it straight from the box versus preserving some of her dignity and getting a plate when she remembered that she didn’t have to spend her evening sitting at her counter eating cake alone.

Setting the box down and reaching for her phone, she hit her first number on speed dial and waited while it rang. Which wasn’t a long wait since he picked up before the first ring had finished.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes… Am I only allowed to call when I’m in danger?” she teased.

There was a pause. “Well, no I just—“

“Do you want to come over tonight?” She needed to get the words out before he gave her enough time to talk herself out of it. She could practically see his eyebrow rise in that way it did when she said something that could have multiple interpretations and she hastily added, “There’s just leftover birthday cake and I was about to eat it but I realized that you should probably get dibs on it since it was for your birthday.” And also, I just really want to see you. “I promise this isn’t a ruse. But if you’re busy I understand and—”

“No,” he interrupted her. “No I’m not busy. I’m just finishing up at City Hall and then I can be right over.”

The corners of her mouth flicked up in a small smile at the eagerness he was trying so hard and yet failing to hide in his voice.

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The Story Of A Girl Who Has A Crush On A Cute Cashier

“It’s okay, you can do this, talk to her. She’s just a girl. Just a gal. Like you. There’s nothing weird about this. She’s human, you’re human. Everything should be fine.” I whispered to myself until I noticed what I was doing and stopped. I approached the front desk and looked at the cute cashier.

I only gave her a glance but it was enough to see what I wanted to see. I saw her beautiful neon blue hair, her adorable freckles and her pink eyes. I saw the little chub to her cheeks and I saw the smirk on her face as she played a game on her phone while waiting for customers. I saw enough to know I was in love.

“Hello.” I said, and my voice cracked. I fucked up. I fucked up so bad. I put down my things on the counter and remained quiet.

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Accidentally Exposed - Josh Dun Smut

A/N: Thank’s for 500, here’s a long ass Josh Dun smut to celebrate.

REQUESTED

Pairing: Josh Dun x Reader

Type: Smutty smut

Word Count: 4.6k

Warnings: Blood, nudes, sex, the fun stuff

REQUESTS ARE OPEN - ALSO SEND ME FEEDBACK

Originally posted by jcsephsdun

“I understand,” you say through gritted teeth. “Thank you for the consideration.” 

You push the end button and throw your phone onto the carpet of your apartment frustratedly, wanting to scream but also crawl under the covers and cry your eyes out.

You were a newly graduated student from a photography college and had big dreams to have your own photography company, but that wasn’t going so well to say the least. Right out of college, you moved straight to the heart of California, hoping to land as much as an internship with a company. Your resume was online and on many websites, but you barely got offered jobs, to which you weren’t even interested in. And when you applied to companies, you were rejected. Since you had to pay the bills, you had landed a job as a bartender, earning less than minimum wage to pay for your rent. You were past the state of angry and sad. You were loosing hope and money at rapid pace. 

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Imagine you've found work in the country

You never thought that desperation would lead you to such a situation.

With a new era of peace welcoming the kingdom, there was no longer high demand for a blacksmith in the city. Your father, who had been employed by even the royal family, had lost his job. Your family had lived a comfortable life in one of the richer districts. Now, you had been forced to sell nearly everything in an effort to make ends meet. Your father took whatever odd jobs he could find. Your mother became a servant at the castle. Your siblings, older and more talented, found jobs easily. You couldn’t bring yourself to enjoy the merits of their hard work. You were young, but you were sure that you could be hired somewhere. You couldn’t lift much, given your easy life, but there was bound to be an opportunity lurking just around the corner.

That opportunity, you quickly learned, was in a brothel. After moving to the slums, there was one at the end of your street. You passed by it every day and night as you searched for jobs. The workers, both men and women, were clad in revealing clothes. Through the windows, you could see that those layers were quickly shed. You knew that they made good money, especially since you had seen some of the richest men coming and going, sometimes even bringing gifts. If a wealthy individual liked someone well enough, they could simply buy them for indefinite use. They would be showered in jewels and gold, but they would never be truly free. The consequences were too great. You worried what your family would think.

You eventually came across an advertisement for a position on a farm. The owner was looking for more help. The contract would last one year, give or take circumstances. The pay was better than any other job you could have taken, given your small list of skills. You would finally be able to help your family. The owner would give you a room in the homestead, so your family wouldn’t have to spend money to feed you. You would send them money every moon or so to help them cover rent.

“Hey,” A voice rumbled behind you, “When’s breakfast? I’m starving.”

You pulled yourself from your thoughts, glancing to the window. The sun hadn’t risen yet. Meals were always at dawn, noon, and dusk. The night was dangerous outside of city walls, so field work was only done during the daylight hours. When you first arrived at the homestead five days prior, you had been assigned as the cook. You did your job well enough, save for a few small mishaps. The work wasn’t very challenging. The hard part was dealing with the field workers. They were all more beasts than men. Even the smallest towered above you, strong enough to lift you with one hand. In the mornings, they smelled of booze. At night, of sweat and dirt. But that wasn’t the issue.

You didn’t turn to look at him, instead focusing on the eggs you were making. If you burnt them, you wouldn’t hear the end of it, “It won’t be for another hour, at the very least. You should get some more sleep. There’s still ale left in the-“

The floorboards creaked, the man moving closer. Your grip tightened on the frying pan as you watched his right hand reach around and grab your breast. He squeezed, then slipped his hand between your apron and your dress. His fingertips found your nipple, pinching. Your breath hitched. You swallowed the desire the hit him in the face with the hot pan, instead moving the scrambled eggs away from the stove. His other hand found purchase beneath your skirt, tugging your smallclothes to the side so he could thrust a finger inside of you.

You tried to push him away, but his grip was too tight. He was used to chopping firewood and steering cattle. Manhandling you was easy for him.

Besides, even if you did manage to land a hit on him, you would be the one punished. You had learned that lesson on your first day. After signing your contract, preparing dinner, then heading to bed, one of the men had gone into your room. You fought back, hitting him across the face with a broom. When you went to the owner to report the worker, he berated you for harming one of his workers. He was only in it for the money. If one of the field workers was injured, they wouldn’t be able to work as well. He told you that, also you were primarily the cook, you were also considered a morale booster. Apparently, the homestead made more money when the men had something to sink their cocks into. From what you heard in your few days there, you were beginning to suspect that the owner also partook in a morale boost from time to time.

The man pulled you away from the stove. You wrenched away from him, glaring. For a brief moment, you saw the scar that the broom had left beneath his eye. He had told you afterwards, a hand in your hair as he pushed you into the mattress, that he liked your fire. He kept talking, even as he gripped your waist and fucked you harder. He had been working at the homestead for years, but they had only recently started employing women.

The first, Jenn, quickly became a favourite of the owner and got pregnant. Still, you had seen her with the workers. She had been serving drinks as you cleaned dishes when one of them pulled her into his lap. Her dress was tight over her swollen belly as he tugged her back to meet each of his thrusts. She made no effort in being quiet, though she asked him to be gentler for the baby’s sake. Her contract was technically up a month before her pregnancy was discovered, but the owner kept her on the grounds that she couldn’t work as well in her current condition. The very thought made you shudder. With the way things were going, you wouldn’t be surprised if she ended up pregnant again shortly after giving birth.

The second and third, Trish and Corina, were a bit younger than you and rather mousy. They were intimidated by the men, which made them easy targets. Trish, who was slender, was being to show. Her dress rounded out just a bit when she stood up straight. The men had laughed about it, one of them saying that it was obvious when her dress was off. Corina, who was curvier and had a bit of pudge on her stomach, hadn’t shown any signs. Still, you figured that it was only a matter of time.

You, on the other hand, had only been working there for five days. You had bled just before leaving for the homestead, so you had a little while to think of a way to escape. At the very least, you could devise a plan that would keep you from becoming a permanent employee. You had quickly discovered that most of the workers preferred a certain girl, though they would often take advantage of any opportunity if in the mood. The one currently trying to undress you, however, only had eyes for you. After you fought back against him, it seemed that he reveled in the idea of forcing you to submit.

He bent you over the counter, his stiff cock pressing against you. Only his trousers and your skirt were in the way, but he would remedy that easily. A large hand pinned you onto the countertop. Even as you squirmed and tried to kick him, he merely laughed as he pulled your smallclothes to your knees. He lifted your skirt, the cold air causing you to hiss. Fingers stroked and prodded, rubbing your walls. You reached back, trying to claw at him. The sound of rustling clothes made you tense, only for him to brush against your entrance. You didn’t have the chance to retaliate. He buried himself to the hilt. You couldn’t help but cry out, unbearably full. When he shifted, you could feel the tip move over your cervix. It made you shudder, blinking back hot tears. It was painful, but exactly what he wanted.

He withdrew, setting up a lazy pace. There was still time before the others would wake and come downstairs. He could take as long as he wanted. Even if they found you both in the kitchen, no one would do anything about it. If anything, one of the workers would probably insist that he was next in line.

The hand on your back lifted, instead tangling in your hair. A swift pull made your back arch. You straightened, ready to slap him, but his other arm kept your elbows at your sides. You had no way to fight against him. Your jaw tightened. You swore that you could feel your stomach distended by his cock, a small bump moving upwards and outwards each time he filled you.

“Come here,” He grabbed your face, his fingers prying your jaw open. He forced you to look at him, his smirk only widening as you glared. His cock twitched, your breath caught in your chest, “Give me a kiss,” His mouth covered yours, leaving no room for refusal. His grip kept you from biting him, your teeth digging into your own skin as his tongue entered your mouth. He still tasted of booze.

He withdrew slowly, a string of saliva connecting your lips to his. You pulled your head away in disgust, wanting to clean your mouth out with soap as soon as he let you go. His pace had quickened, each thrust deep and rough. You winced, hoping that he was close. The sooner he was done, the sooner you would be able to clean up and forget it ever happened.

His arm left your sides, only to hook around your neck. Your nails dug into his skin, trying to pry him off. He wasn’t choking you, but just a little more pressure would close your airway. His other hand slipped up your dress, toying with your breasts. You choked back every whimper. Hearing you cry out only spurred him on. He would only taunt you, wondering aloud if your body wanted this, wanted to be taken and filled and bearing his child.

His touch wandered lower, settling just below your navel. With every movement of his hips, a small portion of your stomach shifted against his hand. You forced yourself to stay quiet as the end of his thrusts became rough. He was doing it on purpose, trying to get a reaction out of you.

His mouth moved to your ear, “I can’t wait to see you stuffed full with my brat in your belly. You’ll be trying to do your job like a good little cook but they’ll be kicking up a storm. A big, strong troublemaker, just like their daddy. I’ll fuck you through your labor pains and get to see the look on your pretty face when you realize that you can’t fight what’s happening, you can’t stop yourself from having my kid. The boss will be livid. You’ll owe him another year of work for giving him another mouth to feed. I just have to keep you full until my last two years are up. Then I can take you with me and make you my darling little housewife. It sounds like the perfect retirement, doesn’t it?”

“I’d rather die,” You growled. He pulled you in for another sloppy kiss, his grip and pace unforgiving. You’d undoubtedly have bruises within the day and a bit of a stumble in your gait. You pulled away from him, breathing ragged. His fingers slipped between your legs, rubbing in quick, harsh circles. Your knees quivered, then buckled. A yelp of pain escaped you as he hit your cervix, tears forming in the corners of your eyes. You turned just enough to put a hand to his chest, trying to push him away. You couldn’t let him finish inside of you. You weren’t going to have his children.

But a sudden pinch to the sweet spot between your legs sent sparks up your spine. Your entire body tensed, more out of pain than forced pleasure. You tightened around him like a vice. He twitched inside of you, barely able to withdraw an inch before filling you again. He grinded against you, each movement causing you to shudder. It was overstimulation on your part. You were dizzy, even as he returned to tracing small circles.

He stilled, panting and sheathed within you. A familiar warmth pooled. Your grip loosened on his arm, exhausted. You could feel some of his seed dripping down your thighs. You would have to bathe when you had the chance. He let you go. You leaned against the counter, trying not to fall. He removed himself, adjusting his trousers. You refused to look at him, silently hoping that he would leave.

He smacked your rear, “I’m going back to bed. See you at breakfast.”

You looked to the pan of eggs you had been making before he had intervened, seeing that they were cold. You would have to start from scratch.


Author’s Note: Hello! Keira Metz here! It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, so I decided to start a new tale. Depending on the response from all of you lovely readers, I’ll continue this. Otherwise, I can whip up something new. Also, there may or may not have been some foreshadowing in this one, ehehe~

For work reasons, I regularly have to stand up in front of a bunch of people I have never met before, and talk to them. Usually it’s about fifteen people, but at conference time my seminars have upwards of seventy-five people or more in the audience.

For years, public speaking was not my favorite thing; I dreaded it more than anything else in the world. But I love it now, and I’ve been told I’m good at it, so I’m gonna share some tips. 

  1. Freak out. Go ahead. Give yourself permission to panic about having to stand up in front of a bunch of people and give a speech. Go. Panic, scream, cry, complain to the world. Just get it out of your system - really get it all out in one go. You can have anywhere from ten minutes to three hours, depending on how close this due date is. But however long you take, know that when you’re done freaking out, that’s it - it’s work time now.
  2. Make an outline. Write down the main points you want to cover. Dates, theories, equations, all of the Big Stuff. Write them all down in the beginning, so you won’t forget them later.
  3. Once the Big Stuff is written down, start filling in details: what’s important about this date, explain this theory, what’s the application for this equation. If it seems relevant, give examples (but limit it to one or two easy examples per item; overfilling with examples can lead to your audience forgetting what you were talking about)
  4. If you are making a PowerPoint - start transferring that outline into your slides. Don’t worry about design, format, animations, none of that right now. It shouldn’t be pretty at the beginning, all you need is your information on the slides. Make sure your slides are simple and not stuffed with information. Font size should be at least 28 for every bit of text - if you need to shrink it down to fit your information on, move it to the next slide or user fewer words.
  5. Write your speech in bullet points. Resist the urge to write it out word-for-word. If you write it out word-for-word and practice from that and nothing else, one of two things is probably going to happen: you will recite the speech as you have written and it will come across as a recitation rather than a presentation, or you will forget a word somewhere in the middle and stumble over yourself. Writing your speech in bullet points lets you fill in the transitions as you’re practicing; your flow will be more even and natural when you’re speaking, and you won’t get caught up in what the next word is supposed to be.
  6. Practice. Practice, practice, practice. Do not, under any circumstances, wing it. If you wing it, you will feel unprepared, so you will come across as unprepared, and you will probably forget important details or be surprised when a particular slide shows up. Practice until you are tired of your topic, practice until you want to murder your topic and bury it out in the back.
  7. There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of a sentence and realizing you have no more air left. When you’re practicing, make note of where you should breathe.
  8. Practice with an audience that can interact with you (your dog is a loving and supportive friend, but your dog can’t tell that you’re talking too fast). You need to give your speech to someone who will give you honest feedback - it can be an audience of one. Make it clear to them how you want their help: do you want them to critique your content, your presentation skills, or both.
  9. Preparation is equally as important as practicing. Check your PowerPoint - are all your animations working correctly? Is everything spelled right? Do you have legible notecards written in a way that will help you? Do you have an outfit planned (you want to look nice, but you also want to be comfortable)?
  10. Three days before, stop tweaking it. Stop making major changes. Go ahead and change the wording, but do not add any new content (and do not remove content unless it really is garbage). Up until now you’ve been practicing with a certain set of content, and throwing new content in at the last minute can unsettle your pacing and structure - it’s information you haven’t had nearly as much time as practice.
  11. One day before, leave it alone completely. It’s locked. Done. It’ll be what it’ll be. 24 hours before your speech is not the time to making any kind of adjustments to it. You’ve practiced what you have, you know you can rock what you have, so you’re going to give what you have.
  12. If steps 9 and 10 have both failed for any number of reasons (which is fine! happens to me all the time), then this is the rule you need to pay attention to. For the love of everything you find holy, do not make changes to your speech right before you give it. This has the same effect as winging it, and all the practice you’ve done will be for nothing.
  13. Get a good night’s sleep. Be hydrated. Eat breakfast (but not a super big special breakfast that might upset your stomach; eat your normal breakfast, even if that’s toaster pastries and a can of soda). Dress in layers, so you can remove or add a layer as necessary and not be freezing or sweating up there.
  14. Go first, if you have the option. Seriously. Volunteer to go first. You’ll get it out of the way, and you’ll be done. More importantly, you won’t be watching everyone else’s presentations/speeches while worrying about your own - that’s a super easy way to psych yourself out. So go first, or at least go early.

Other tips!

  1. Watch stand-up comedy. What stand-up comedy teaches you is timing, pacing, and audience interaction. Stand-up comics stand in front of people and talk to them for a living - they just happen to be funny when they do it. Study them for timing and pacing: where do they pause, for how long, how do they transition two wildly different topics together, etc. Stand-up comics are great at handling unpredictable audiences.
  2. PowerPoint animations: never use slide transitions, and the only animation you should ever use is “appear.” The “appear” animation controls what’s on the slide at any given time and is helpful for both you and the audience (though don’t make stuff disappear once it’s already on the slide). You won’t rush over yourself trying to move on to the next topic, because the next topic isn’t visible yet.
  3. Also on PowerPoint: know where your slides end. Create a little circle or square in the bottom corner that’s just a shade or two darker than the background color, and have it be the last thing to appear on the slide. Your audience won’t notice it, but it’ll be an indicator for you that the slide’s over and you’re moving on.
  4. If it’s speech with a time limit, have a buddy keep time by holding up a piece of paper with how much time you have remaining. Since you’ve practiced, you should know about how long your speech is, but you may speed up or slow down in front of people and you need to know about that. Be clear with them up front about what they need to tell you: you don’t want to be suddenly blindsided with 2:00 LEFT, but neither do you want to be warned every five minutes.
  5. Have a buddy give you signals. I talk super fast in front of people, so I always have someone in the back of the room to give me the “slow down” hand signal. You may also get really quiet, and you need someone to tell you to speak up. If at all possible, you want to adjust your speed or volume before someone in the audience points it out to you, which can interrupt your rhythm and train of thought.
  6. If you talk with your hands, talk with your hands. If you want to stand still, stand still. If you like jokes, tell jokes. If you need Star Trek references, make them. Let yourself be yourself. You’re already in an uncomfortable situation, and trying to silence something fundamental about who you are is going to make it so much worse. Be yourself in front of a crowd - you will be a lot more interesting, and a lot more fun (and have a lot more fun), than everyone else who’s trying to be as flat as possible.

If you have any questions or want some extra advice or anything, I’m happy to help!

Reasons I can’t get “Pierre & Anatole” out of my head

I had firmly resolved that “The Confrontation” from Les Miserables would always and forever be my favorite male-to-male confrontation in all of musical theatre. Firmly resolved. But then came Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 (or just The Great Comet) and asdfghjkl guys, I’ve been obsessing over the whole musical. Especially with the Original Broadway cast album just released!!

Originally posted by ezekielfigueros

Anyways, here’s some of the reasons I love “Pierre and Anatole” so much. There are spoilers, so stay away if you’re afraid of those ;)

-the TENSION alone from the opening music…and they haven’t even spoken yet!

-Even though the lyrics are almost directly quoted from the actual book War and Peace, they still seem so musical and rhyme-y

-“Mon cher” (Anatole is literally calling Pierre “my dear” in French)

-How snobbish and aloof Anatole is trying to seem when he’s really about to wet his pants

-The rage of Pierre!!!

-“I don’t know what deprives me of the pleasure of smashing your head in with this” (Pierre holding a paper weight)

-The difference from how Pierre was all “f*ck it” in “Preparations,” and “The Abduction,” when he didn’t know that the girl Anatole was marrying happened to be Natasha, to how he is all “f*ck you” in this song, now that he has the knowledge

-“Pierre paces the room several times in silence. Anatole sits at a table, frowning and biting his lips”

-Anatole being a stupid whiny little b*tch and yet still…

-“Amuse youself with women like my wife!”

Originally posted by emreozcan

^omg. this. line. Need I go in to how Anatole and Helene are *probably* the Jaime and Cersei Lannister of their day? Need I?! And all the other stuff…omg. This is a harsh bite.

-just every way that Pierre puts Anatole in his place to defend honor that isn’t even his own

-“But you have used such words to me—"Scoundrel,“ and so on, Which, as a man of honor, I will not allow anyone to use” ha.ha.ha. “You could at least take back your words, eh? If you want me to do as you wish”

Pierre you better not! No Pierre!!!

- …..

-……

- “Fine I take them back”

Originally posted by yourreactiongifs

and not only does Pierre “take them back,” he also asks that Anatole forgive him, and then gives money to that heartless chihuahua!!! And he offers—offers to do so. Smh. WTF?! Why?!?!?!

And, finally….

-“For Petersbuuuuuuurrrrrrrg!” (you will have to listen to it to understand)

Legit Tip #187

or - “Creating a More Organic Flow in Your Storytelling”

Let’s say you’re writing a paper, and you want to connect point A in history to point B. To explain how those two points are connected, you would need to focus keenly on the flow of that essay, showing how events throughout time led from one thing to another. 

You want - no, need - this kind of organic flow in your storytelling as well. Practically speaking, it keeps readers from wondering - “Wait, how did we end up here?” But even beyond that, it keeps things moving. It keeps the action going. It keeps your reader’s eyes moving across the page. 

And for you, as a writer, knowing how to use flow to your advantage keeps you writing. I’m not saying it’s a magical end-all and be-all for writer’s block, but learning how flow in storytelling works can do a lot to keep you moving when you know what’s coming next and all you need is to get there.

So, an important question - 

What are common storytelling roadblocks?

That is, what are the types of thing that stop the flow of stories? That break up the action and stop readers in their tracks when they come across them? Here are a few to consider.

1. Epiphanies

Yeah, okay. Characters suddenly realize things sometimes. That’s grand. But when characters have epiphanies out of nowhere, with nothing leading up to it, readers are left with a whole lot of “What?” 

Amateur writers use the method of “Suddenly she realized…” a lot when they need something to happen. It gives the character new information without the writer having to go through the trouble of delivering the information through other means. 

2. Time and Place Changes

Okay, bear with me. Changes in time and place are necessary for any story. But it interrupts the flow of a story badly when these transitions aren’t handled well, even from scene to scene or chapter to chapter. As you open in a new time or place, go through the effort to reestablish what put your characters in this position, why they’re here, etc. 

Or, and this is an important “or”, drop hints, foreshadow, etc., in the text beforehand to keep the flow going. Allow for some sense of connection. This is most important when time and place changes within a scene, but can still be useful to remember in other contexts.

3. Mood Shifts

I’m not talking about a specific character’s mood shifting. I’m talking about mood shifts within scenes - i.e., the way a scene changes when something happens and people react to it. The flow can be severely interrupted if a writer doesn’t take the time to flow into the “new” mood. Take a death scene, for example. 

In the middle of a battle, Character A is suddenly stricken down while his friends and family watch. Do things become instantly sad? Probably not, if people are still fighting. The writer needs to proceed with caution. Take time to let the impact settle in. Let the characters finish what must be done (as in, finish the fight.) Then they can gather around the fallen. Then the narrator can let the mood shift to a more somber tone. From fast-paced to frozen-in-time shock to sadness rather than immediately to sadness. That’s how flow works in instances like these. 

There are plenty more roadblocks. Think about anything that can disrupt a story’s pacing. Look for these words - 

  • Suddenly
  • Immediately
  • At once
  • He/she “realized”
  • Etc.

I’m not saying these immediately indicate bad flow. But look around them and you might notice places where you can build on the story to create better flow. 

Let’s get back to the idea of the character epiphany, for example. 

“She realized he had been lying to her.”

Right. So… how did she realize this? What did she remember? What did she sense about the way he’s speaking to her now? How does she feel having this realization? 

There is so much you can do to connect the thing that causes the realization to her having the epiphany that there’s no need to simply drop that bomb. 

So there you have it. I hope that this helps give you some ideas on what you can do to improve the flow in your own storytelling!

Go Go ‘Power Rangers’ (2017 Review)

Is this good? Is this bad? Will my inner-child allow me to judge this appropriately?

“Power Rangers” is a reboot of the classic 1990s action-packed children’s show “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” which in turn is based on the Japanese tokusatsu “Super Sentai Series.” It’s directed by Dean Israelite and stars a cast of young actors, as well as Bryan Cranston, Bill Hader and Elizabeth Banks. The film is set in the small, fictional town of Angel Grove, where local high school students Jason Scott, Kimberly Hart and Billy Cranston (Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott and RJ Cyler, respectively) are all caught up in detention. Through a series of shenanigans, they come across Trini and Zack (Becky G and Ludi Lin, respectively) as they all discover an ancient, otherworldly construct. It’s there where they meet Zordon (Cranston) and his robot assistant Alpha 5 (voiced by Hader), and attain the responsibility of becoming a powerful team known as the Power Rangers, and to stop the destruction of an ancient, powerful witch known as Rita Repulsa (Banks). 

This is the absolute perfect “what if” movie. The answer to “what if they remade ‘Power Rangers’ for adults” question. This is the film we asked for, albeit cautiously. We really owe it to franchises such as the “Transformers” series, because without them, this film would be seen as an impossible reach.

Being a millennial, I was very much a child when “Power Rangers” had its long television run, and I stayed true through each incarnation, from “Mighty Morphin” to “Lightspeed Rescue,” and considered myself a retired fan after “Dino Thunder” (I was already in middle school at the time). So yes, shameful as it is, I know my shit. As you can see, I want this to be good. But was it?

Yes. Surprisingly, it was pretty good. It’s not shockingly “I thought this was going to be shit but it ended up being amazingly amazing” good. It’s just good.

Here’s one thing that the film does better than the TV show: the acting. In a great departure from the “Saved by the Bell” mood that the 90s actors gave us, we now have grounded, realistic, rebellious teenagers. These new actors fit the “teenagers with attitude” description way better than the 90s actors ever did. You have Montgomery as Jason, playing the rebel who ends up having to deal with the most responsibility. Scott plays Kimberly, the girl who does a good job of not just being the obligatory female casting, or the fighting damsel-in-distress, unlike the original. The dialogue between these two is usually filled with charm, whether its casual banter or a proclamation of their contempt for Angel Grove. 

But they do something different with the rest of the cast, which helps to modernize them. Cyler as Billy provides the humor and keeps the grittiness from ever getting lower and lower. Of the five teenagers, he is the one with the most charisma But he also serves to represent autistic teens everywhere. Yes, unlike the television counterpart, they made the Blue Ranger autistic, which is a pretty bold and commendable step for something based off a children’s property.

To keep the ball rolling, they then make Becky G’s Trini represent lesbians and confused, oppressed teenagers everywhere. Okay, this film had me at shedding light on autism, but encouraging more LGBT representation? Hats off to you, Lionsgate and Saban. Despite this, I found Becky G’s performance to be slightly annoying until about halfway through the movie, when they developed her much more, and gave her a more integral role in the plot. 

While I praised the rest of the cast, I’d have to drop the axe on Ludi Lin as Zack, the Black Ranger.  Compared to all these convincing performances, Lin’s is absolutely haphazard. The way he is introduced is to set up how much of a cocky outsider he is, so naturally he’s by himself. He then starts speaking to himself, which is one of my absolute biggest pet peeves in a movie. I despise movie moments where normal-functioning people start speaking or quipping to themselves, the only sensible reason being that the writers assume the audience is too dumb to know what the character is thinking. I get it if a character has schizophrenia or another mental illness, or if the words are limited to comedic inner-banter, but not in this case. He’s someone with decent social-competence and no reason to quarrel with himself, other than provide exposition to the audience.

But like Trini, I did find him to be much less annoying when he opened up. They gave him a pretty touching backstory with his own troubles, and they make his motivations really apparent. And just to keep the ball rolling, he’s also the most foreign one of the group, being bilingual, unlike the original black ranger. Now that I think about it, many of the Power Ranger series’ casts don’t feature any overtly foreign characters, apart from maybe of an alien race. 

That is precisely why this casting works. Whether or not you find these characters annoying, you can’t doubt that they’re there for a good reason, and you might even warm up to them as the movie progresses. They also help to introduce bouts of political correctness, but they aren’t preachy or condescending about it (which is really the only good way to go about political correctness). They represent people of various colors, mental states and social capabilities, showing (but not telling) that everyone is capable of extraordinary things as long as they have camaraderie.

I can’t say much about Cranston as Zordon. It’s a great homage, seeing as how Cranston has actually been a part of “Power Rangers” since the original television show, where he voiced many of the villains they face. I do love his voice-work here, and while it took some getting used to, I ended up really liking how they presented him. Rather than a chubby, floating head in a tube, they made him manifest into a wall, kind of like one of those pinpression toys. Not to mention they could have easily made him a one-dimensional character. But they went above and beyond to give him his own arc, his own set of feelings and doubts, and a world of lore behind him.

If you thought Alpha 5 was annoying in the television show, then you can rest your worries because Bill Hader fixed him up good. The original’s voice was so high-pitched and screechy; basically in typical 90s fashion (or how the 90s thought Aliens would sound like). This time, he just kind of does the same thing he did as Fear from “Inside Out,” except less screaming. His design had me slightly worried but I got used to it.

Now, Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa has me split down the middle. On the one hand, I do like that at least ONE person in this entire film is trying to recall the absurdity and campiness of the original series. At the same time, I found her to be over-the-top, and incredibly outlandish compared to the rest of the grounded cast. She is guilty of overacting here, which is both a blessing and a curse. The prosthetics on her are amazing though, from both start to finish. She starts out as an outright horror character, which is something I didn’t expect to see even in the gritty version of a children’s property. 

If you kept up with me for this long, you know that a recurring theme here is that this film takes several risks that are rather uncharacteristic of a children’s property. Sure, there are hints of silliness to try and match the youthful appeal of the original, but they also throw in more mature bits of humor, about things such as drug tests and jacking off a cow (no joke). Me personally, I welcome these jokes. If anything, this is much more of a film for the adults who grew up watching “Power Rangers,” rather than children. The maturity really shines through in the form of character development and chemistry.

I must say that if you are bringing a child to watch this, keep in mind there will be mild swearing, and several mature jokes.

A common criticism (ad nauseam, pretty much) is that this film is a forced collision between two different movies. Two thirds of the movie is essentially the origin story, which focuses mainly on character development. At the same time, this is the section that appeals to the audience the most, whether you’re fans of the original or not. No one comes into anything titled “Power Rangers” and expects to feel for the characters. But through one particular scene where all the characters develop a kinship, we develop a peculiar attachment to each of them. It was at this moment that I’m glad these people are the ones I’m spending five more movies with (Yup, that’s right).

But when it sticks to the original, it definitely sticks, and that’s where the last third of the movie comes in. If you’re looking for cool looking suits fighting monsters with martial arts and gymnastics, you will get it. If you’re looking for giant robot dinosaurs battling another giant monster, you will get it. And MOST OF ALL, if you want to, at least once, hear the iconic theme song, you will get it. In all it’s pure, epic goodness.

But this is where I have to defend my appreciation for this movie, because many people will come in accusing me of being “blinded by nostalgia.” Despite having these borrowed features from the original show, there is really nothing nostalgic about it. The action here is far better than most of the show’s episodes. There is no silliness to be had apart from what would be silly by realistic standards (as opposed to having two obligatory bully characters).

Even some elements taken from the show are vastly different. Case in point: Rita, who in this film is actually getting shit done by herself rather than sitting up in some moon tower yelling at everyone.

Even the formula of the show is broken up here. Back then, everything was so fast-paced to where every time a new series was brought in, the new team of Power Rangers would unrealistically form intimate familial connection and extraordinary abilities within 20 minutes. This film actually shows you that the Power Rangers had to train for this, both physically and mentally. They didn’t just have these abilities bestowed upon them as a result of the plot rushing it together. You see them work for it, which is something I really appreciated about it.

I had to bring that up because many of the people who didn’t like this film will be quick to see reactions like mine and guilt me for “nostalgia.” But that “tone difference” that they’re faulting this for is the reason why you can’t pin nostalgia on this. All that means is that everything I liked about this film has been on its own merits, maybe (at most) perpetuated by quick little homages to the original. 

I suppose before I wrap this up I should mention one more thing. Not really a problem, but more like something I wish happened: I wish they played the theme song more. It was wonderful hearing the iconic theme song, perfectly borrowed from the 1995 film, and at the height of its “Power Ranger-ness.” But I felt that if they really were gonna throw it in there, they should have totally owned it and at least left it playing for a bit longer. If not that, then at least make an instrumental cover to play in the background during the climax, rather than GODDAMN KANYE.

This is a film that has fans and critics alike split down the middle, but it’s pretty clear that everyone who hates it is hating it for the same two reasons: (1) It has a massive tone-clash towards the end, and (2) It caters way too much toward product promotion for Krispy Kreme donuts. I do agree with the latter, make no mistake. But when I hear people complain about this tone-clash, it reminds me of people who complained about the “slow parts” of every other superhero film, whether it’s “Captain America: Civil War,” or “Batman v Superman.” Apart from being a “Power Rangers” movie, this is also an origin story film. And for something as ridiculous as “Power Rangers,” it definitely requires a slow initiation process. To get us going on a six-movie deal, the creators will have to help casual viewers acclimate to the premise, because chances are the naysayers are the ones who skipped out on this franchise as children, and therefore missed their window of opportunity. Ironic how a movie based on a children’s property requires a mature level of patience from the audience.

As I said before, if you came into this wanting to see colored suits, martial arts, explosions and giant robots, you will get it. If you’re dragged into this film but appreciate elements like character development and chemistry, you will get that too. As someone who enjoys both, I actually would go so far as to say I loved this movie. I don’t care if I’m alone on this, but I can comfortably say that I loved the “Power Rangers” movie.