Your Forces and How to Use Them

anonymous asked:

The due date for your baby girl was fast approaching, you were more than stressed at that point. No matter how hard you tried you couldn't stop the waterworks as you anxiously wondered when your water would break. The moment Bucky found you, you were in his arms in an instant. Bucky was a nurse, and he was used to calming nervous patients at the hospital. He knew exactly what calms his gorgeous wife down, cradling her and not forcing her to stop crying, letting them die down on their own. (1)

(2/2) He’d cushion you in your favorite blanket, fixing up a smoothie for you to sip on and coaxed you to take deep breathes. “Babydoll you’ll be just fine, m'gonna be right by your side,” he coos, holding you securely. You look up at him with puffy eyes, slurping the fruity concoction. “You’re the best husband I’ve ever had.” “I think I’m the only husband you’ve ever had, Doll.” “Yeah but you’re the best one in the world.” “Well you’re the best wife there will ever be.”

oh yes my heart - Gen

Spinoff Saturday™ 

you wanna know something that’s just, a shameful capitalist hellscape??

fucking EYEGLASSES.

my eyeglass prescription has not changed in over 10 years so a.) i do not need an eye exam every year and b.) the way eye clinics treat you when you try to get a copy of your prescription (to which you are legally entitled if you live in the US) is anywhere on the scale from downright horrible to actually criminal

it seems to be universal that America’s Best is particularly awful about this. I buy from there once in a while because I haven’t found anywhere with a better price (yes, you really can get 2 complete pairs of single-vision eyeglasses + eye exam for $70 if you pick from their narrow selection of frames at that price point and don’t let them convince you that you have to upgrade your lenses or coating). when i asked for a copy of my prescription the associate checking me out told me they weren’t allowed to give it to me. when i told her that was an FTC violation she rolled her eyes and scrawled it sloppily on a scrap piece of receipt paper, to where it was completely illegible, and then wrote VOID all over it so it was unreadable. from reading online reviews, this seems to be how they handle it when people insist on a copy of their prescription. one review said they eventually allowed her to see the printout of her prescription, but wouldn’t hand it to her and would cover the relevant information with their hands. they refuse to give your PD, which you need to order properly fitting glasses online.

and every clinic will guilt-trip you for buying your glasses online, and imply that this is somehow detrimental to your health. like, glasses are an absolute necessity for so many people, how can you justify forcing someone to pay hundreds of dollars a pair when you can get them for ten bucks from a site like zennioptical

anyway, y’all, it’s against the law for an eye clinic to withhold your prescription, according to the FTC they’re actually required to GIVE you a copy whether you ask for it or not, but they will fuck you on your PD. I’ve heard of people getting their PD measured by saying they need it for a Google Cardboard or something, and the clinics are a lot more chill about it if they don’t think you’re using it to buy glasses elsewhere. but it still shouldn’t be such a goddamn ordeal to get your PERSONAL MEDICAL INFORMATION from A DOCTOR.

Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.

—  Christian D. Larson, Your Forces and How to Use Them

my pals on the lancecord asked me for some tips on cuban spanish so i thought i’d share them here too for all you lance writers. i’m a cuban voltron fan who doesnt want to live in fear of bad spanish in nearly every damn fic and im trying to be the change i want to see in the world. so feel free to message me if you have any questions about lance’s culture bc this is nowhere near being comprehensive at all.

lets get into the stuff google translate can’t teach u!

i don’t know anyone under the age of 60 who says “dios mio.” lance definitely would not, unless he is doing an impression of his abuela.

things that sound more natural than dios mio: ave maria, ay dios, por dios, AY POR DIOS

more commonly we exclaim “coño!” for anything. shock/anger/awe/etc. if the reaction is negative, it’s just coño. if the reaction is positive, we drop the first syllable and draw it out like “‘ñoooooo”

we exclaim “pinga!” or “cojone!” or “pinga cojone!” as a negative reaction more commonly than any translations of omg too

“de madre” is something we usually exclaim as a negative reaction. it can be yelled or sighed or grumbled. usually has a frustrated or incredulous connotation

“wepa!” is a sound we make as a positive exclamation.

we say “‘ueno” like the verbal embodiment of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (it’s bueno with the b dropped)


other things that sound really stiff for cubans to say is like, “hola, como estas?” i mean, you say it to people you’re not on a casual level with. to friends/family these sound more natural:

“que bola asere” is how we greet our close friends

“que bola” or “que vuelta” is how we say hey

“oye” is hey! but not as a greeting, as an exclamation. something you would say before a greeting or on its own when surprised/offended/trying to get someone’s attention/etc

common insults: cabron/cabrona, mojon, comepinga, comemierda

common pet names for anyone: flaco, nena, mojon, mi socio, corazon

“asere” is our word for “bro” that no other country uses (1000% what lance calls hunk)

we also have a tendency to call our family members by their relation+their name, such as “my Tio Jimmy called” or “Abuela Carmen is making food.” i think this is when we have big ol families and just saying tio or abuela isnt specific enough


also this isnt spanish but i s2g so many bilingual cubans i know use the word “fire” almost constantly to describe something awesome. so i think thats a small cultural thing that communicates lance is cuban without having him speak spanish. (ex. “omg that’s fire” “hunk makes fire tacos” “pidge is fire at fixing stuff” “can you play that fire song?”)


now here’s a bunch of stuff that’s just my opinion

  • I think it’s most in character for Lance to drop Spanish words only one or two at a time into English phrases, since that’s how he uses it in canon (“Hasta la later, Keith!”). A couple of quick examples off the top of my head -
    • tremendo/tremenda - an adjective for huge. “You’re being tremendo sore loser, but okay.”
    • todito/todo - means everything. you can use them one after the other for extra drama. “I forgot todito, todo, about calculus immediately after passing it.”
    • These sound like really natural ways to drop Spanish into conversation without being forced if you keep it to a minimum. I aint here to tell u how to write your lance but i beg you - Please show restraint and don’t try to use all of these tips at the same time!!
  • I recommend following latin internet personalities (like jaxxgarcia or mr. red) to pick up their Spanglish phrasing if you’re really into that. please don’t try to make up your own. it’s never as cute as you thought.
  • if you’re writing full on spanish for more than a word or two, please do not ever make Lance speak it “accidentally” (or even worse, on purpose) to someone he knows doesn’t understand the language. that’s really rude and alienating and it’s so against lance’s character to isolate himself from others like that when he speaks fluent english. 
  • other times Lance can toss a spanish word in without sounding forced is if he’s namedropping cuban things! Try looking up some of our 
    • food (ropa vieja, pan con lechon, arroz con leche)
    • drinks (materva, iron beer, malta), 
    • films (juan of the dead, azucar amarga)
    • or music (celia cruz, marc anthony, juanes*) and have lance mention them by their spanish name if the topic comes up. 
      • *not all of these musicians are cuban, but they’re some of the most popular amongst us. i’m simply naming artists i think lance is most likely to enjoy considering his age and personality.
  • speaking of music, we have very specific dance styles that are pretty cool and almost mandatory to learn at a young age. cubans in general love to party, and to host large family gatherings which easily morph into parties, and basically any social event seems awkward if there’s no one dancing at any point. 
  • what I’m trying to say is Lance definitely knows salsa or merengue moves.
  • I don’t love to party and I’m not a good dancer and I don’t like dancing, but I know salsa anyway because I had to be in the environment my whole life. always exceptions, but the majority of cubans grow up knowing how to dance and it looks more or less like this:

and one last opinion for the road:

Voltron takes place in the future, so I like to dream of Lance being born in a world where Cuba’s free from communism. If you’re doing a Voltron AU that takes place nowadays, please don’t write about Lance’s experience in Cuba if you aren’t familiar with what it’s like to live under a regime like that. It’s very bleak and textbooks don’t cover half of the fucked up things that those who live there actually have to go through.

Lance could have been born in Cuba, but raised somewhere else. Miami would be my recommendation because it’s our second homeland and it means he would have been raised surrounded by Cuban culture without the governmental oppression. But Cubans are absolutely everywhere, so it’s equally believable that Lance’s family could have immigrated to Pawnee, Indiana. Even in Voltron canon, I think it’s likely Lance moved to America at a young age because he clearly has a native fluency in English.

edit: I have a cuban things tag now if you’re interested in finding out more cultural details!

Why they never talk about no magic home ec class in Hogwarts.

Clearly they have spells for it.

Molly Weasley has knitting needles going, and while house elves do the cooking at Hogwarts presumably they use some magic there to keep up with the giant work load, and iirc, Molly uses magic to cook. 

So, where the home ec class at.
Where the muggleborns with dread in their eyes thinking it’ll be a normal like, cooking class, [Harry all excited thinking he’s gonna ace this class or at least do alright, since he cooked for the Dursley’s], and then the first half the first class is a lesson about how you’ve got to earn the respect of your measuring spoons. Otherwise they’ll argue with you on how much has to go into a recipe.
Harry has a kind of tentative conversation with his and they work with him after he realized they were an older set used to students forcing them to work for them. Talks to them gently and asks if they think a little more or little less should go into a recipe, or if they think he should add an ingredient now and then because they’ve made the same thing over, and over.
Harry trying to make Molly a sweater in return for the one he got because he doesn’t know what to do with having gotten gifts, and only really managing a rather lengthy and oddly tensioned scarf made from the best yarn he could find out of a catalog he found on the shelf in the classroom. The professor was just delighted he’d decided to keep at knitting and crocheting [he may have… mixed the two] after they’d finished the unit, to make a gift.  

Where’s Hermione having a long drawn out conversation with the home ec professor about how it’s ridiculous to devote magic to knitting when you can do it by hand, and the professor countering about the time saved by simply using enchanted needles or a charm. The conversation takes up the entire period but a teacher actually takes Hermione seriously for once because effective division of effort/time is a very important skill to learn and it’s what they’re there to teach.
Wheres Ron answering all the questions like a fucking CHAMP because managing in his family has basically made his ass a pro at everything– budgeting a vault? On it. Spelling how many cauldrons to feed how many people with how much food? On lock like it’s fucking Azkaban. Best herbs and plants to grow for general– he has already finished the worksheet/in-class essay that was on the board and is fucking around with his quill. He gets called on, his string bean ass gonna have the answer while kinda being shocked at himself that he actually does, because– like many poor ass people– we manage resources really damn well when we know what we have. And we very rarely let it get away from us.

Where’s the rich-ass purebloods that know finances and shit because they’re taking over family blood-line affairs when their older and their parents drilled that into their heads, but can’t cook/sew/anything else to save their life till they learn.
Where was Oliver Wood trying to make Healthy Food Things for the quidditch team for Extra Energy and just making a mess.
The Twins making a totally harmless banana pudding and selling it in their store and NO ONE KNOWING WHAT IT DOES, everyone panicking because they’re SURE they did something.

We were robbed of so much is all i’m saying.

EDIT: Yes, i know the UK doesn’t have home ec. I made this post literally years ago and kept it around because it was funny. It was an american HP fan making a commentary that it would have been fun to see this class. Please stop telling me there’s no home ec in the UK.

Figure out what you want to do with your life and just do it. Dedicate a separate journal for you to write down all of your goals and detailed steps towards achieving them. Stopping sitting around and half arsing your way through things because you can’t seem to find any direction, because seriously guys, life is what you make it and sometimes you need to get up and force yourself to do the things you know will benefit future you. Things like I’m Still Young or I’m Too Old are out of the question, no matter how old you are, what you study or where you study, use the time you have right now to hustle. I mean really hustle.  Because you don’t want to look back and say you should’ve worked harder, trained harder, tried harder, thought harder, fought harder. Don’t give yourself a reason to have regrets later on in life. 

Why people get trapped by Emotional Abusers & Why it’s not their fault

(these apply to platonic and romantic relationships)

1. Attachment

The Emotional Abuser gives you attention: they make you feel flattered, loved and important. You start to believe that they genuinely care about you. They might even think that they do by themselves since they internally justify all their doings. Normally this kind of attachment would lead to a healthy bonding and a closer relationship. With the Emotional Abuser it leads to some levels of addiction and dependency on the victim’s part which is never their fault. Emotional Abuser’s behaviour exploits normal emotional bonding to another human being.

2. Guilt

In some point in the relationship you notice that it’s all about their needs. The Abuser might do something that hurts your feelings and bringing it up leads them to reason why it’s actually your fault and why you have to take responsibility for it. They make up convincing excuses why it’s not their job to do it, why it’s absolutely unreasonable of you to ask for it and so on. In other words: they Guilt-trip you. The Emotional Abuser believes they have no responsibility for their behaviour or feelings. If they feel uncomfortable by something in the relationship they will manipulate you to take the blame instead of trying to work things out. Guilt-tripping makes the victim submit and erodes their sense of emotional and physical boundaries since they are made to believe it’s their job to cater on Abuser’s needs.

3. Cognitive dissonance

After the idealization pace the Emotional Abuser will move to a devaluing pace. Catering to their needs is not enough anymore and you feel you can’t do anything right no matter what you do. The pace starts when the Abuser feels you are getting emotionally too close and/or you are trying to hold them accountable for something they have done. Emotional Abusers are afraid of responsibility and in some cases intimacy so they will try to push you away. They use manipulation: Gaslighting and Guilt-tripping to force you into silence and to take all the responsibility for the relationship. They give you Silent Treatment which is justified by some clever excuses. Emotional Abusers believe they are entitled to absolute emotional comfort even when it means abusing other people.

Because you remember how well they used to treat you, your mind has a hard time accepting they are not the person you thought they were. In fact you might start to make excuses for them in your head because they have manipulated you to think nothing is their fault. It is extremely difficult to get away from the Abuser’s emotional trap because they take advantage of the victim’s emotional bonding to them and give false hope that the relationship could be “fixed”. You are misled into thinking that if you just learn not to be so “needy” and “selfish”, the Abuser will reward you with the loving behaviour they demonstrated in the beginning.

Aftermath

The Emotional Abuser has no intention to take responsibility for what their abusive behaviour has caused you because they have normalized and justified it in their head. Not all of the Abusers are so sure of themselves but need a lot of internal convincing and validation from others so that they can feel good about themselves which is their goal: not having to deal with responsibility or emotional labour. After all Emotional Abusers are not Disney villains but people who are so selfish that they lack of motivation to learn how to not hurt people.

There are two ways how the trap can break: the victim quits all contact with the Abuser or the Abuser leaves the victim. The latter one occurs if the Emotional Abuser feels they have to deal with too much because of the victim. The Abuser might feel threatened by the victim if the victim is making the Abuser feel bad about themself by calling out their abusive behaviour. The Emotional Abuser thinks that they are actually the victim in the relationship because the real Victim is making them feel bad and scared. The Abuser is genuinely afraid that they would have to deal with negative emotions that taking responsibility would require.

In the end the Emotional Abuser ends the relationship with some dramatic note in which they project all their feelings into the victim: you are the abuser, you have harmed them, you have threatened them. This is their way of securing their own emotional well-being as they refuse to acknowledge the reality. Just remember that it was NOT your fault and you are not responsible for their horrible behaviour. While mutually harmful and violent relationships can exist abusive relationships are based on a power imbalance and therefore there is no such a thing as “mutually abusive”. You are nothing like your abuser.

signs of emotional abusers:

  • never says sorry,  ever, or only says sorry when they want something or they are forced to by others around them
  • yells at you for small things, like accidently dropping food on the counter, forgetting to put something away, or things that aren’t your fault like running out of cereal, or being attacked by an animal or person; blames you for things they do or just generally anything that goes wrong
  • ignores you/neglects your emotional needs, like spending hours on the computer and never wants to spend time with you/values things or work more than you
  • never compromises, always need you to do things their way or else its “the wrong way” and/or belittles you for it. always needs you to be interested in their life/things but isn’t interested in your life/things
  • belittles you for your opinions or feelings and makes you feel like they’re not valid or that theyre dumb.
  • if they’re religious and they’re your parents, they are always ready to pounce on you when they think you are not doing the right thing or threatens to kick you out of the house if you are not/or dont do the things they say or want/think are godly
  • always has to control how you look/act/dress
  • is mean to you then acts nice immediately after and expects everything to be ok again expects you to forgive them right away or else you’re in the wrong
  • buys you things then acts like its your fault that you dont like them/want them and/or forces you into eat them/wear them/use them by yelling at you or belittling you 
  • acts like your emotions are wrong
  • keeps you from your friends and family in roundabout (or obvious ways) and possibly acts like this is your fault
  • tells you that they have never done what you say they did, even though they did, never admits faults (gaslighting)
  • treats you like a child even if you are an adult
Divination Tips for Beginners

Divination can be hard and draining, it takes up a lot of energy. For those who are still new to it, it can really drain you and result in headaches and frustrations. Here are some tips to help all you beginners out with divination and how draining it can be.

  • Drink plenty of water, being dehydrated is not fun and especially not when you are using so much energy
  • Take a shower or bath before any divination work to help cleanse yourself 
  • Meditate before big divination work to help center and ground yourself
  • Crystals good for divination and psychic work: nuummite, amethyst, amazonite, fluorite, and aqua aura quartz
  • Clear Quartz is a good energy booster and can help you feel less drained after divination
  • Drink some black tea to help ground yourself and give yourself extra energy for divination work
  • If you are starting to feel tired during divination, that is okay, take a break or take a nap. Forcing yourself to keep going will only exhaust you further and make everything more difficult. You deserve breaks
  • It is okay to use notes during divination, don’t worry what others say. Its not ‘unprofessional’, even veterans in divination use notes. Keep a notebook with you full of different meanings of cards or stones or runes, take notes as you go, write down your thoughts and keep it near you every time you practice.
  • Yellow is the color of divination, keep yellow things around you to help. Yellow blanket(s), yellow pillows, yellow candles, yellow pieces of paper; anything you can find. Purple is also another color good to help with psychic abilities and awareness
  • Herbs good for divination and psychic work: cinnamon, lemon, cherry, lettuce, grapes, orange (orange peel), mint, pumpkin, celery, lemon balm, catnip, thyme, rose, seaweed, star anise, mullein, mugwort and rosemary can all help you. Bake with them, eat them, use them in teas or keep them near you in a sachet or jar
  • Stretch and take little walks. Sitting for a long time can be killer and make you sore. Stretch your legs and take little five or ten minute walks during long readings and psychic work. Muscle and joint stiffness is never fun
  • Rather than trying to tackle large readings every day, do small ones. Like a few questions to your pendulum, pull a single card, draw a crystal from a bag, etc. Small daily practices can help you in the long run without exhausting you. 
  • Open a window and let some fresh air in while you work, it will do wonders, especially since air is the element associated with divination work.
  • Keep a small bowl or cup of salt near you, it will absorb the negative energy about you especially if you are feeling frustrated
  • Moon water is great for divination: drink it, make tea with it, spray the room with it, anoint yourself with it, keep it near you, etc
  • Cleanse your space before divination work, again it will keep negativity away from you 
  • Cleanse and charge your divination tools regularly, it really helps in the long run. Put them in the moonlight at night (especially during full moons), keep salt near them, smoke cleanse them if you can, burn white candles, use crystals/gems, etc
  • Its okay if you get confused and don’t know how to interpret something. Take notes on it and with time it may become more clear to you. Don’t force yourself to try to understand
  • Mistakes happen, you won’t always be 100% right on things. No one is, divination is not a certain thing. Things change all the time, its okay. Don’t let it get you down.
  • If you are tired, sick, stressed, or anything else and don’t feel like doing divination work that is fine. Its okay, you don’t have to do it all the time. Especially not if you are feeling unwell and tired. Rest and take care of yourself, you can continue practice another time
  • If you use tools in your work like mirrors, tea cups/mugs, cards, crystals, etc try to bond with them. Creating a bond with your tools can improve your divination quite a bit
  • You don’t have to practice on other people, you can do it for yourself and your own questions. Its an old wive’s tale that you can’t use tarot or divination on yourself, you definitely can
  • Try to get a good nights sleep before and after divination
  • Once you finish, treat yourself. Get something to eat, watch a movie or show you like, curl up with a book, snuggle into a blanket, play with your pets, take a nap; do whatever makes you happy. You did a good job and deserve some time to rest and recharge afterwards
The Element EVERYTHING in Your Story Needs

To all the writers who have ever felt lost, alone, and completely confused during the labyrinthine journey that is writing anything, and felt like screaming this at your story …

There’s hope.

There’s a light at the end of that darn tunnel. First, let me describe how I used to fight my way out of these periods of confusion and hopelessness. 

Usually, I would try to force myself to get back into the groove of the story. I would reread it, and be yelling at myself in my head, “Remember why you love it! LOVE your book again! Keep reading and FALL IN LOVE, damn it!” I’d go over descriptions, bits of dialogue, banter between the characters. I’d go over settings and imagery, and try to make myself remember how much they’d once excited me. I’d read things that had made me laugh when I typed them, sentences that I was particularly proud of, paragraphs that made me feel particularly clever. But the thing was, it didn’t work. 

I didn’t care.  

What was the problem? The problem was some of those descriptions, settings, images, and witty episodes of bantering had no Story Reason to be there. They were just there because they amused me. Just because I found the imagery beautiful. Just because I found a sentence or joke really clever and wanted to share my wit with the world. But the world didn’t care about my wit. Because the world (the people reading my book) knew subconsciously that there was no story to give that so-called witty sentence substance and meaning. I could create the most breath-taking images, I could make the most well-rounded living and breathing character, I could make a setting that you wanted to run away from home and live inside … and it didn’t matter. If the thing didn’t have a purpose for being there within the narrative, nobody cared. And I didn’t either. 

So what is a Story Reason? 

Everything in a story exists to support one of three things. 

1. The A-story: The surface plot, the quest of the main character to achieve a specific tangible goal. What the story is about on the surface. 

2. The B-Story: The love story, or relationship of the thing. Usually this relationship is instrumental in causing the third element, which is …  

3. The Character Arc. The theme of the story, the purpose, the piece of truth the story seeks to prove to the main character and the audience. 

If something in a story doesn’t contribute to the progress of these three, there’s no reason we should care about it. It has no point. Because in the end, all we care about is the story!

When it comes to scenes, story reason means continuity. It means the way the story unfolds logically. If every scene is there for a darn good reason, the scenes after and before will make total sense, they’ll connect seamlessly, a steady progression of events. Every scene’s turn triggers the next scene. 

And to do this, every scene must be able to be linked with three words: Because of that.

Because of the turn of one scene … 

The next scene happens. 

And because of the turn of that scene the next scene happens.

To illustrate how this works, let’s look at a small movie you might have heard about called Zootopia. (Thanks to @inked-withlove for the movie suggestion!)

So let’s start at this point, the turn of the scene with Clawhauser and Judy searching the file on Emmitt Otterton. 

Turn: “I have a lead." 

Because of that …

Judy has to get Nick to tell her what he knows about Otterton.

Turn: It all goes poorly, and now Nick and Judy are stuck together by an incriminating adorable carrot recorder. (The B Story, the relationship, has intertwined with the A Story.)


Because of that …

Nick takes Judy to the place he saw Otterton go, a place he thinks will cause her to give up. 

Turn: She doesn’t quit, she marches right in. (B Story: Nick sounds surprised, and a little impressed, that she didn’t back down.)

Because of that … 

She has to question a rude yoga-performing elephant. 

Turn: Though the elephant is absolutely no help, the seemingly addled yak is more than helpful – he even remembers the license plate number of the car Emmitt left in. 

Because of that …

Nick thinks his part in this endeavor is complete. But Judy remembers that she’s not in the system yet, and thus can’t run a plate. Nick, however, can. And he’s going to, or else. 

Turn: It just so happens that he has a pal at the DMV. 

Because of that …

Sloths. He takes her to a DMV run by sloths and wastes as much of her precious dwindling time as he can.

Turn: “It’s night?!”

Because of that …

Legitimate Enterprise Car Service (at least that’s what it’s called in the screenplay) is closed. Judy doesn’t have a warrant and Nick is enjoying her suffering tremendously. After a spat, she tosses the carrot over the fence instead of handing it to him.

Turn: Because she has now seen a shifty low-life climbing the fence, she has probable cause, and doesn’t need a warrant. She can go in. (B Story: Nick is looking at her with more respect.)

Because of that …

They find the car and begin investigating. The car is a crime scene; claw marks everywhere, the missing otter’s wallet … and a cocktail glass etched with a "B”.

Turn: And it all adds up for Nick. This car belongs to Mr Big, a notorious crime boss. And his polar bear henchman are right outside. They grab Judy and Nick and yank them off screen. 

Because of that  …

Judy and Nick are wedged between the bear henchman, on their way to face Mr Big. 

Turn: Nick sold him a very expensive rug that happened to be made from the fur of a skunk’s butt. Or in other words, Mr Big really doesn’t like Nick.

Because of that …

They wait fearfully for Mr Big to appear, and even when he’s revealed to be a tiny shrew, Nick still launches into obsequious and panicked mode. He tries talking his way out of it, but Mr Big really REALLY doesn’t like him. And when Judy shouts at him that she’s a cop and she has evidence on him –

Turn: “Ice ‘em.”

Because of that …

“No icing anyone at my wedding!” Fru Fru Shrew is not a happy camper. Father and daughter bicker about his promise of no murder on her wedding day, and the fact that “I have to, baby. Daddy has to.” Until – 

Turn: “She’s the bunny who saved my life yesterday. From that giant doughnut!” Well, Judy is now in Mr Big’s good books. He’s going to pay her kindness forward. Nick is floored. 

I’m gonna stop there.

SO! After going through that analysis of how the scenes are linked together, let’s abandon the “everything needs a story reason to be in there” rule, and see what happens. 

After the scene where Judy and Nick reluctantly join forces, we could add a scene where Nick is trying to remember the name of the place, and where it is. Then we could have them asking around, searching the city, refusing to ask for directions, lots of banter. THEN we can finally get to The Mystic Springs Oasis.

And after they get the plate number, maybe Nick grabs the carrot pen and makes a run for it. Then we can have a chase scene, but he gets away. Then we can have Judy trying to run the plate on her own, before realizing she isn’t in the system, and failing. Then we can have a scene where she has to track down Nick again. Then a scene where she figures out how to blackmail him into it. THEN they finally get to the DMV. 

And you know what would have happened then?

Zootopia would have made everyone bored. 

All of these inserted scenes are unnecessary. Sure, they might add conflict, add complications to Judy’s quest, but they’re ultimately just filler. They’re just there for the sake of bulking out the story. This is why that tip I hear so often in writing circles always perplexes me: “Figure out the worst possible thing that can happen to your character, then do that.” If people went with this rule, they’d just keep throwing terrible things at the characters for no apparent reason, one after another, and the reader or audience would be expected to be entertained by it (but wouldn’t be). It would be like cartoons before Mickey Mouse came along and applied story to animation: before, cartoons were just gag after gag, slapstick situations mashed together like a funny video compilation. Except with books and movies, it would just be conflict-heavy situations strung together, taking an inordinate amount of time to make any actual progress.  

Once you make sure everything has a purpose within the narrative, things get so much better.  And I find, when I reread my work I don’t have to scream at myself to “love your book or else” if everything has a reason for being there. And instead of feeling like yelling at my story like an angry overworked crab, I feel a lot more like this gif.

I hope it works for you too.

Supergirl fans who hate seeing what’s happened to the show, hear me out!

I want all of you to go to Twitter and TELL the writers you’re sick of Mon-El and lack of FEMINISM and women power on this show! That you’re TIRED of Kara NOT being the main character that drives the plot. I’ve spoken to the writers of this show privately and some HATE MON-EL!!! But after hours of talking to my fellow writer friends and artists of this show they always say, it’s all about the demographic!! So if you want more Sanvers or more Lena… and less of the males over powering this show, then GO TO TWITTER AND TELL THE WRITERS OF SUPERGIRL THAT YOU’RE SICK OF IT!! Make an account if you have to. Vote on their website and on their polls! Please… the writers have told me they go by demographics and if we really don’t want it… then they will stop giving it. But we MUST let them know this!! Make your voices heard. Tell them you want the show to focus on Kara!! Tell them how you feel about the relationship they are forcing her into. Kara deserves better. Kara deserves to be the focus in this story. WE DESERVE A WOMAN POWERED SHOW THAT CATERS TO US AND INSPIRES WOMEN TO BE INDEPENDENT, STRONG CAREER DRIVEN HEROES!! Let them know!! 

PLEASE REBLOG THIS!! 
You can share your tweets to the Supergirl Writers below. Let your voices be heard!
https://twitter.com/SupergirlStaff

anonymous asked:

Any advice on how to write a heist story something like oceans Eleven?

Well, you can start by watching Ocean’s Eleven, and Ocean’s Eleven, and then Leverage, and then Burn Notice, and then The A-Team, and then Mission: Impossible, and then all the other heist stories like The Italian Job or Heat. Watch, read, uncover as many stories about criminals as you can from fiction to nonfiction to reading security analyst blogs. Read the spy memoirs, the thief memoirs, the fake ones and the real ones. Check out magicians, hypnotists, card tricks, and sleight of hand. Watch the making ofs and director’s commentaries looking for clues behind the thought process of these stories. The hows and the whys as you look into the research they did. Burn Notice, for example, is famous for using stunt props and technological rigs that work in real life. Like using cell phones to create cheap bugs on the go.

The worlds of criminal fiction and spy fiction rely on being able to present (or convincingly fake) a world which feels real. A heist is all about exploitation. So, you need a world with security structures to exploit. You’ve got to know how things work before you can craft a way to break them. Social engineering, hacking, and every other criminal skill is about breaking the systems in place. So, you’ve got to get a baseline for how law enforcement and security analysts work. What security systems are set up to look like. The ways we go about discouraging thieves. Better yet how people behave. Real, honest to god human behavior.

So, you know, pick somewhere in order to start your research. Get an idea of what you want write about stealing, then learn everything about the object, the museum, the city, the country, and its customs as you can.

If you’re setting a heist in a futuristic or fantasy setting then luck you, you get to make all of it up.

Learning the plot structure and conventions of the heist genre is the first step. This means watching lots and lots of heist movies, shows, and reading books. Over time, as you become better at critical analysis, you’ll begin to see specific story structures and character archetypes emerge.

The Heist Story is a genre. Like every other genre, it comes with its own structure, cliches, archetypes, plots, and genre conventions which necessitate the narrative. The better grasp you have of those, the better you’ll be at writing a heist.

For example, a heist story like Ocean’s Eleven relies on a collection of thieves rather than a single individual. The character types are as follows:

The Pointman - Your planner, strategist, team leader, and the Jack of All Trades. Can also be called the Mastermind. They’re the one who can take the place of anyone on the team should they fall through. They’re not as good as a specialist, but they’re very flexible. Narratively, he plans the cons and subs in where he’s needed.

The Faceman - Your experienced Grifter, here for all your social engineering needs. These guys talk their way in.

The Infiltrator - Your cat burglar or break-in artist. Basically, the conventional genre thief. Your Parker, Catwoman, Sam Fisher, or Solid Snake. The stealth bastards, they’re all about silent in, out, and playing acrobatic games with the lasers.

The Hacker - The electronics and demolitions specialist. Usually this is the guy in the van overseeing stuff remotely. Your Eye in the Sky. Their skill set can be split up and swapped around as necessary.

The Muscle - The one who is good at fighting. They’re combat focused characters, usually with mercenary and special forces backgrounds. Though, that’s optional.

The Wheelman - The one who handles the getaway. They’re your often overlooked transport specialists. It’s not just that they can drive, they’re skilled at getting lots of people around, figuring out how to move your valuables, and exiting hostile cities or countries undetected. They get the team in and they get them out.

For an example of these archetypes, I’m going to use Leverage. Nathan Ford, The Pointman (technically, he’s written like a Faceman). Sophie Devereaux , The Faceman. Parker, the Infiltrator. Hardison, the Hacker. Eliot, the Muscle. They all take turns being the Wheelman.

Other examples like Burn Notice: Michael Westen, the Pointman. Sam Axe, the Faceman. Fiona, the Muscle. They all take turns with explosives, Michael will invariably take all the roles during the course of the show.

Ocean’s Eleven has multiple variants of these archetypes, all broken down and mixed up.

You can mix and match these qualities into different individuals or break them apart like in Ocean’s Eleven, and more than one character can fill more than one role, but that’s the basic breakdown. For example, your hacker doesn’t need to be a guy in a van overlooking the whole security grid. One guy or girl with a cell phone can sit in the lobby of a building with an unsecured wireless network and crack the security. Welcome to the 21st century. The skills don’t necessarily need to take the specific expected shape.

What you do need is the basic breakdown:  You need someone to plan the con, you need someone to be your face or grifter, you need someone to break in, you need someone to watch the security/electronics, you need muscle to back you up, and someone’s got to cover the getaway.

These shift depending on your plan, but this is the expected lineup for a heist narrative. The first step of a heist narrative is not the plan because we don’t have one yet. We’ve got an idea. Pick your target. Maybe it’s a famous painting. Maybe it’s a casino. Maybe it’s a rare artifact from a private investor’s collection loaned to a museum for a short period of time. Maybe it’s art stolen by the Nazis during WWII. Whatever it is, figure it out.

The next step is simple. If you want the thing, you’ve got to find a way to get it. This is a big job, your standard thief won’t be able to pull it off alone. So, you gotta go recruiting. Get your team together. Make sure to establish the goals of the different members for joining. Who they are. Their pedigree. One might be an old flame or an old enemy. This is where we lay out some character driven subplots.

When everyone’s together, we’ve got to lay out the plan. Before we have a plan though, we need to establish where the object is and the issues in getting it. Why this has never been done before. So, what are the challenges? Invariably, an object worth a great deal of money will have a lot of security protecting it. Figure out what that security is, who the item belongs to, what sort of retribution do the thieves face beyond what they might expect. Lasers, pressure plates, cameras, security, other career criminals, mob bosses, the rich and powerful, whatever.

After that: How do you get it? Then you’ve got to plan the con, while taking everything into account.

Then, We prep the Con. There will be steps to take before the con can be put into place, your characters taking their positions in plain sight. Stealing whatever pieces you need to make it work. Casing the joint. Etc.

Then: Run the Con. This is the part with the actual stealing. Better known as the first attempt. Things go well, there may be a few mistakes, but things are going well and then we…

Encounter Resistance. While running the con, something goes wrong, pieces fall apart, the thieves come close to success but the object gets moved and they suddenly need a new plan. New information may pop up, it may be one of your artists was running a con of their own separate from the rest. If there’s a double cross in the works then this may be when and where it lands.

We’re ready now, so it’s time hit up: Steal the Thing, Round Two. Your characters put their new plan into play and get about thieving the object of their desire.

Lastly: The Get Away. This is the part where your thieves make for the hills with their stolen treasure. This can be short or long depending on the kind of story you’re telling and other double crosses may occur here. It could be the end of the story or the beginning of a new heist.

Heist stories are like mystery novels. They’re all about sleight of hand and misdirection. You’ve got to keep just enough information on the table to keep your audience on the hook, and just enough information off the table to surprise them later on the twist. Yet, when they go back to re-read the novel again, they’ll find the answer was there all along. They just didn’t see it coming.

If anything, learning how to write a well-done heist or a mystery or any kind of novel in this genre will teach you a lot about how to manage your foreshadowing and create superb plot twists. Like any good con, you need to lay out all the conflicting pieces where people can see them, let them draw their own conclusions, withhold the critical context, and then hit them with the whammy.

Like lots of audiences, new writers (and even some old ones) can get distracted by the shock and awe. They see they’re impressed by the conclusion, not the lay-up. If you want to write any kind of fiction, you need to learn to see past the curtain and pay attention to the critical pieces leading into an important moment rather than the moment itself.

Good writing isn’t modular, you can’t just strip out pieces and run with them because you’ll end up missing the crucial, sometimes innocuous pieces that ensured the scene worked. Like the Victorian Hand Touch, every moment between the two leads and most of their scenes with secondary players are working for that singular instance of eventual, gleeful catharsis.

If you’ve got a plot twist coming in your novel, every sentence from the second you start writing is working towards it. You start laying out your pieces, funneling in your tricks, and playing with misdirection. You may have multiple twists, to cover yourself, divert your audience, congratulate them for successfully guessing your ploy, and reassure their initial suspicions before catching them again on the upswing.

The clever writer is as much a con artist as their characters. The only difference is the target of their con is their audience. The tricks in their bag are narrative ones, and they work with the understanding that it doesn’t matter if someone guesses the end so long as they’re entertained by the journey. A great story stays entertaining long after the audience has figured out all the twists.

So, don’t get caught up in Red Herrings and frightened about not being able to outsmart other people. Tell a good story with conviction and heart about a bunch of crooks out to steal their heart’s desire.

That’s all there is to it.

-Michi

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nadineyoussef4321-deactivated20  asked:

Hey just thought I'd let you know you have some of the best artwork I've ever seen! Congrats! Especially Chirrut, he's amazing in your style! I was also wondering if you had any advice on how to draw heads and eyes? They're one of my two biggest struggles and I'd love it if I could get your advice. Anything helps. Thank you and I hope you have a fantastic day!

*_* Thanks a bunch askdh and thanks for taking the time to write me! I had a lot of fun working on Chirrut ;;; 

Hmmm I usually think it’s not useful to explain how I make eyes or noses, since the way to draw them changes depending on the pose…  My advice would be practicing with ¾ heads. That view always force you to work volumetric shapes and also give a lot more of information. Also, I think it’s much more easy since you have more landmarks to help you.

I would also say consulting anatomy to identify the landmarks on the face  (zygomatic and nasal bone , superciliary arch, mandible…) and practice on photos. Using references for drawing is not bad and drawing over photos when you need information of a face is a lot of fun. Is not necessary to draw all the bones, but knowing where the volumes and principal shapes are can help you learn. I.E:

I love that photo because it’s SO SO easy to see the volumetry of the face; just the line of the jaw gives you a lot of informacion about it. And it makes it easy to identify the elements and principal shapes of the head:

(I broke his nose, I’m sorry, but I made this quickly (??)) the point is, take your time to study the lines and understand the anatomy.
Also:

that triangle is very helpful too and could help you placing the principal elements. The lines that make him look like he’s crying (?) are the relation between the eyes and the mouth and are very helpful when placing it.

Again, this is only a way to learn and understand how to build a face. That is always the key, even if you use a cartoon style. Rules can be broken, but I think it’s important to understand them first. It could help you make your style more solid. 

And well, once you’ve studied it from photos, trying it on your own (even if you have references, that’s ok) and practice, practice u3u

Hope this helps and hope it’s not too technical ;;;

Local Witchcraft

Every witch has a deep well of local energy to draw from in their craft. So much can be learned from what’s around you; you just need to tap into it.

Originally posted by plantrkool

  • Learn about endangered species. Take steps to protect them.
  • Learn about invasive species. Learn their properties, pull them up, and use them in witchcraft.
  • Study the plants around you.
    • Learn their medicinal properties.
    • Learn their magical properties.
    • Learn their scientific names.
    • Learn which ones are edible and which ones are poisonous.
  • Learn about local animals– which ones are endangered, myths surrounding them, etc.
  • Research the meanings behind names of towns, streets, parks, buildings, etc. There may be interesting bits of history or folklore.
  • Identify major natural forces in your area (eg: storms, the ocean, wildfires)
    • How do they affect you?
    • How can you get in touch with them?
    • How can you harness their power in your magic?
  • Research local folklore.
  • Get involved with conservation programs or environmentalist groups in your area.
  • Observe how the land around you changes with the seasons. What can you see at certain times that you can’t at others? What flowers bloom, what bugs are active?
  • Go out in nature! Familiarize yourself with the wonderful energies that surround you.

See also: 

https://rootandrock.tumblr.com/post/58725340251/books-dont-cover-everything

http://grimnirs-child.tumblr.com/post/164025583442/traditional-witchcraft-in-the-city

http://spiral-path.tumblr.com/post/159040832260/to-be-a-local-witch

lilith-eves-last-stand  asked:

Sorry if this comes off ignorant, I don't mean it... My son is 4 1/2 and was diagnosed two years ago. I try to do the best I can and let him be him 💕 but while he's in speech therapy (he's still moving into the idea of talking), schools in the area (private) push ABA for students with autism. But I see young adults like yourself saying ABA is NOT good. I'm more inclined to listen to someone on the spectrum than those not, but what is the issue with ABA?

First, I want to say that I am so glad that you are turning to the autistic community for help. This isn’t an ignorant question at all. There is so much conflicting information out there about ABA that it can be hard to even know where to begin. It sounds like you really want to help your son as best you can which is admirable. 

To start off, not all therapy labeled as ABA is actually ABA. I’m going to explain what the issues are with true ABA and then explain how to figure out if the therapy they are trying to push on your son is ABA or not. 

ABA stands for Applied Behavioral Analysis. It is a scientific method that involves observing the individual in order to identify “target behaviors,” i.e. behaviors that are undesirable to the parents/therapist. Next, aversives, rewards, and operant conditioning is used to eliminate these behaviors and encourage wanted behaviors. Overall, this may not sound like a bad thing, so let’s get into why this therapy is harmful. 

The groundwork of ABA therapy is the idea that autistic people are broken and in need of fixing. Our natural, non-harmful behaviors, such as stimming or lack of eye contact, are targeted as behaviors in need of fixing. The main focus of ABA is making a child “indistinguishable from peers,” i.e. to make the child seem “normal.” 

This often includes things like getting rid of stimming (often with the phrase “quiet hands”) and forcing eye contact in order to make the child less noticeably autistic. The problem with this is that stimming is a coping mechanism for autistic people. We stim to regulate our emotions/senses, cope with stress, and express ourselves. Eye contact can be uncomfortable or even painful for us and being forced to perform it can be just awful. 

Further, changing these behaviors does nothing that is truly beneficial for the child. Instead of being trained out of behaviors that are non-harmful, an autistic child should be taught ways to manage their autistic traits in a way that is useful and productive for the child. For instance, if a child is uncomfortable making eye contact, learning to look at a person’s forehead or nose is a great alternative as most people can’t tell the difference. 

Further, due to the focus on making a child indistinguishable from peers, there is often a push towards verbal speech even when atypical methods of communication like sign language or AAC would work better for the child. 

ABA therapy operates by using rewards/reinforces and punishments/aversives to train a child to perform wanted behaviors and to stop unwanted behaviors. Rewards are withheld until the wanted behavior is performed and aversives are used when an unwanted behavior is performed. Often, foods, such as gummy bears, candy, or other tasty treats, are used as rewards as well as praise or affection, access to a comfort object, break time, stickers or stamps that can be traded for privileges/rewards, or access to a special interest. Additionally, some therapists make use of a clicker, a device that makes a loud click sound originally used for training animals, to indicate that a wanted behavior has been performed and that a reward is coming. 

For aversives, the removal of a comfort object, withholding of snacks, removal of reward items, or prevention of engagement in a special interest are often used. Some therapists also use “taste aversives” like pickle juice, vinegar, hot sauce, or other bad tasting edibles, as well as “tactile aversives” which would be making the child touch something that sets off tactile defensiveness or distress. Withholding praise or affection is also used as an aversive. 

In DTT (Discrete Trial Training), a form of ABA that is considered to be kinder than other versions of ABA, the therapist will not look at, engage with, or respond to the autistic child until the desired behavior is performed. Similar methods are employed when unwanted behaviors are displayed. 

As a treatment, ABA is centered around compliance training, in other words, making a child compliant to the desires of the adults in their lives. Rather than focusing on how to help a child live the best autistic life they can, the focus is put on making the child seem “normal” no matter what the cost to the child. This serves only to make parents more comfortable and does little to help the autistic child as they progress through life. 

Using aversives on a child ranges from bad to cruel depending on the aversive used. Withholding rewards from the child, particularly when those rewards are food or other necessities, creates insecurity in the child. Further, by training a child in this way, the child becomes more vulnerable to victimization. When you are told by all the adults in your life that you must ignore your own pain and discomfort for the sake of adults, how is a child to know when they are being abused? How is a child to know that the adult touching them in that way is wrong when they are forced into hugs which are painful for them? 

You may have noticed that what was described here sounds an awful lot like dog training, and that’s because it is. ABA trains a child in the same way you would train an animal which is dehumanizing. Autistic children are not animals whose behavior should be crafted to suit those around them. Autistic children are unique individuals who need support and care. 

Finally, ABA therapy is often a full time job for the autistic child. Often, 40 hours a week or more of therapy is recommended for optimal results. It is ridiculous to put a child through such a strenuous routine. 

So what are you to do instead? Obviously you want to help your child live the best life possible which is wonderful. There are plenty of therapies that can be very helpful to autistic children. Speech therapy, which you’re already doing, can be great for children who are struggling with verbal speech, though methods of AAC should be provided until the child is able to communicate verbally (and even then, AAC should still be available for times when the child goes nonverbal/semiverbal). 

Occupational therapy to help with sensory integration or motor difficulties or other areas in which the child is struggling. There are also play-based therapies like floor time which can be very beneficial to autistic children. No matter which therapies you utilize to help your child there are a few things to keep in mind. 

First, therapy should be supplemental according to the child’s need rather than the central aspect of their life. If the therapy schedule would be exhausting for an adult, it’s not appropriate for the child. Next, does this therapy help the child live the best autistic life they can or does it focus on making the child appear to be “normal”? Normalization is for the benefit of parents while good therapy focuses on helping the child with things that the child finds problematic such as learning to cope with sensory issues or learning better communication (whether that’s verbal communication or AAC). 

So how do you figure out is what is being presented to you is true ABA or something else masquerading as ABA? There are some questions you can ask to help sort this out. First, though, we need to go over why there are therapies that aren’t ABA calling themselves ABA. In the US, most insurance plans will ONLY cover ABA for autistic children. As such, many therapists who perform other therapies have resorted to labeling themselves ABA in order to be covered by insurance. This allows them to work with children that otherwise wouldn’t be able to access these therapies. As such, what is being pushed for your child may not be true ABA. 

Here are some questions to ask:

  • What is the goal of the therapy? As we’ve discussed, ABA focuses on making the child “indistinguishable from peers” or normalization. If you hear that phrase, turn away and don’t look back. Even if the therapy isn’t ABA, the goal of making a child appear “normal” is not a useful goal for the child and can be detrimental. 
  • Does the therapy make use of rewards and aversives? We’ve discussed why aversives and rewards can be damaging to a child. A good therapy for your child will use other means to discourage harmful behavior. 
  • Does the therapy emphasize compliance? Compliance makes for a “well-behaved” child but does not lead to a healthy, independent adult (which I’m sure is what you’re hoping for in your child’s future). Therapies should focus on helping a child manage any harmful traits they have without forcing them to be compliant to an adults wishes. Just like all children, autistic children will not always be obedient or follow adults’ wishes. This is how it is supposed to be. Children need the space to make their own mistakes and learn and grow. Compliance teaches a child to shutdown their own needs and desires to fit the desires of another. 
  • Does this therapy discourage non-harmful behaviors? Autistic children will sometimes engage in behaviors that are harmful to themselves or others. These behaviors definitely need to be addressed and worked on. For instance, a child’s stims may physically hurt another person such as grabbing onto other people to stim. This behavior is not ok and a parent/therapist should work with the child to redirect the behavior. However, ABA often focuses on stopping behaviors that are not harmful. For instance, most stimming does not hurt anyone. It may be atypical behavior, but it generally does not hurt the child or anyone else. If a child is being bullied for their stims, that should be addressed with the school to change the harmful behavior of the other students rather than stopping the child from engaging in behaviors that are useful for self-regulation and expression. A good therapy will focus only on discouraging harmful behaviors. 
  • Are you allowed to observe the therapy as you please? In non-harmful therapies, you will generally be allowed to observe the therapy whenever you wish as they have nothing to hide. If a therapy will not allow you to observe what is being done, then it may be harmful to your child. However, even some therapies that are harmful may allow observation, so, when you do observe, make sure to really pay attention to how they treat your child. 

If the therapy being presented to you passes all of these questions, then it is not true ABA and could potentially be helpful for your child. As we’ve discussed, there are many therapies that can be beneficial to autistic children. Some useful goals of therapy could include:

  • Changing harmful behaviors- if a child is causing harm to themselves or others, the behavior needs to be addressed and the child should be provided with alternatives to help redirect the behavior. For instance, if a child is playing with their own poop, the child needs to be taught that this is unsanitary and provided with playdoh or other sensory tools to use to redirect the need for sensory input. Similarly, if the child hits others while melting down, one alternative may be providing the child with a pillow or stuffed animal to hit instead. 
  • Communication- While many therapies focus on speech, the true goal should be improved communication. This may include speech as a goal if that is within the child’s abilities, but it should also include forms of AAC to be used for communication either until the child is able to learn verbal speech or instead of verbal speech if speech is too difficult for the child. AAC can include letter boards, picture boards, text to speech apps, among others. Sign language can also be useful in facilitating communication. 
  • Managing Sensory Input- Many autistic children are hyposensitive and/or hypersensitive to sensory input. As such, it is important to teach the child ways to manage their sensory sensitivities. This may include managing their sensory diet by setting aside time for sensory play, use of sensory defenders like headphones/ear defenders/ear plugs, sunglasses, or other methods of regulating sensory input, and stimming as a method of regulating sensory input. 
  • Anything that causes the child distress- If a child is struggling in an area and it causes them distress, that is a good thing to work on in therapy. For instance, if the child is having frequent meltdowns, one of the goals of therapy should be to figure out why the child is having so many meltdowns and find ways to accommodate the child to prevent meltdowns. Similarly, if the child struggles with socializing with other children and is upset by this, social skills classes may be beneficial. If something is upsetting for the child, then it is likely a good goal for therapy. However, if the child is not bothered by something, therapy likely isn’t necessary (unless it is causing harm to the child or others).

So this got super long. I hope I’ve addressed everything you needed covered. If you have anymore questions, you are welcome to send me more asks or check out @autism-asks to get more info about autism. 

Finally, I’m going to leave you with some links that cover ABA from other perspectives:

I hope this helps you and your son! 

-Sabrina

What is Emotional Abuse?

An emotionally abusive person may “dismiss your feelings and needs, expect you to perform humiliating or unpleasant tasks, manipulate you into feeling guilty for trivial things, belittle your outside support system or blame you for unfortunate circumstances in his or her life. Jealousy, possessiveness and mistrust characterize an emotionally abusive person”[1]. In summary, emotional abuse includes the following:

1. Acting as if a person has no value and worth; acting in ways that communicate that the person’s thoughts feelings and beliefs are stupid, don’t matter or should be ignored.

2. Calling the person names; putting them down; mocking, ridiculing, insulting or humiliating them, especially in public.

3. Controlling through fear and intimidation; coercing and terrorizing them; forcing them to witness violence or callousness; threatening to physically harm them, others they love, their animals or possessions; stalking them; threatening abandonment.

4. Isolating them from others, especially their friends and family; physically confining them; telling them how they should think, act, dress, what decisions they can make, who they can see and what they can do (limiting their freedom); controlling their financial affairs.

5. Using that person for your own advantage or gain; exploiting their rights; enticing or forcing another to behave in illegal ways (for example, selling drugs).

6. Stonewalling and ignoring another’s attempt to relate to and interact with them; deliberately emotionally detaching from a person in order to hurt them or “teach them a lesson”; refusing to communicate affection and warmth, or to meet their emotional and psychological needs.

Writing Strong Emotions

@chemistreat asked: “How can one control and write the pure emotion of learning you aren’t who you think you are- in ethnicity, religion, race or otherwise? Something that makes a character rethink all of their traditions?”

When it comes to writing these moments of epiphany or emotional overload, it might feel like your writing in these scenes just can’t get to that level of emotion you hope to achieve. With some of these moments, the emotion might start to feel cheesy or just not enough, or it might be such a mess of different emotions, like anger, shock, disappointment, and betrayal that you don’t really know how to show it all. 

In either case, the big emotions are not easy, however there are a few techniques you can use to become better at putting them into words. 

1. Describe the setting after… This is one exercise that helps you write with emotion in a way that goes beyond what the protagonist may be able to directly express. Examples of this might include, describe a living room after an argument. Or describe a bride’s bedroom the morning before her wedding. These exercises force you to think of how emotion can shape the world of your novel beyond just the protagonist’s experiences. 

Keep reading

Potential By Polarity

In the context of astrology, the term “Masculine” refers to a sign whose energy is naturally projected outwards. “Feminine” means a sign’s energy is naturally tuned to receiving and turned inwards.

“Masculine” (+) signs express their energy positively when projecting it outwards, onto the world and other people. “Feminine” (-) signs express their energy positively when turning their focus inward.

Aries (+) : you are at your best when leading/initiating projects with others instead of just going off and doing things on your own

Taurus (-) : you are at your best when you work on being self-possessed, instead of trying to possess things and people outside of yourself

Gemini (+) : you are at your best when you communicate clearly and directly with others, instead of hoarding/manipulating information for yourself to meet your own ends

Cancer (-) : you are at your best when you nurture your own insecurities and take care of your own emotional needs, instead of expecting others to nurture you or taking care of others’ needs in hopes of creating dependency

Leo (+) : you are at your best when you shine the spotlight on other talented people and make everyone around you feel special, instead of trying to get attention and recognition for yourself (note- if you make someone feel special, you automatically become special/beautiful in their eyes; you get love by being generous with your own love, so this is a good way to go about it, and leos are all about getting love; just be genuine)

Virgo (-) : you are at your best when you are self-critical and strive to improve your own perceived flaws, instead of pointing out others’ shortcomings

Libra (+) : you are at your best when you bring/match other people together, instead of trying to attract them to yourself to meet your need for attention, admiration, and partnership

Scorpio (-) : you are at your best when you practice self-control and deal with conflict quietly, instead of trying to control others and bringing hidden issues out into the open (it’s best to let people figure out and resolve their problems on their own, as hard as that might be to watch)

Sagittarius (+) : you are at your best when you escape and find freedom in the external world, with other people, instead of by withdrawing into yourself or using drugs/alcohol/addiction as a means of escape

Capricorn (-) : you are at your best when you isolate yourself to get work done and depend on yourself, instead of trying to isolate others and getting them to depend on you to assuage your fear of abandonment (each sign carries traits of the preceding sign; sags actually have the mother of all abandonment issues, and it is passed on to capricorns; the difference is in how these two signs deal with it- sags avoid dependence of any kind, while caps try to force it from others)

Aquarius (+) : you are at your best when you use your image/status to help others and improve the world at large, instead of using external things/people to improve your own reputation

Pisces (-) : you are at your best when you keep your internal fantasies separate from external reality, instead of projecting them onto other people/the world at large, creating delusions

You know what? I'm just gonna say it.

From the bottom of my heart I think it’s absolute bullshit how Black Hair Stylists and those who specialize in Black Hair specifically have to go to Beautician School. That you cannot open up a Black Hair Salon w/o the Hair Specialists having degrees from a Beautician School.

“WHY?” You ask. Because beauty schools truly don’t teach you jack shit about Black Culture, Black Hair Salon Etiquette, the different types of/most common types of Black Hair…. oh yeah also! How to do Black Hair. Unless your facilities are going to focus on doing ALL hair types it is useless if not bullshit to force people to learn what they won’t be using heavily.

They struggle to do relaxed hair at Beauty School salons WHAT in the world would make them good at natural hair. YOU KNOW WHAT! Let me calm down before I start talking about how 60% of professional makeup artists don’t know how to do a dark skinned persons makeup.

End of rant.

Astral FAQ

These are Frequently Asked Questions I get about astral. Please check this guide before asking me questions concerning astralling! This will be updated regularly, as I receive more questions.

What is the astral?

Note that this is MY definition: I consider the astral to be absolutely everything; our plane of existence, spirits’ planes of existence, pop culture realms, etc. The astral is everywhere and everything.

How does astral travel work?

When you travel, a small portion of your consciousness leaves your body.

This consciousness manifests as its own body on the astral, or it could “awaken” in an astral body you already have. In travel, you do not see/hear/feel/think as clearly as you do during projection, simply because only a portion of your consciousness has left your body.

What is astral travel versus astral projection versus OBE?

Note, again, these are MY definitions:

In astral travel, a PORTION of your consciousness leaves your body and is able to explore other realms.

In Astral Projection, nearly your entire consciousness leaves your body. Astral projection is much harder to achieve than travel. This is the “gold standard” of astral travel, where you see/hear/feel/think with complete or almost complete clarity.

In an OBE, Out-of-Body-Experience, your consciousness FULLY leave your body. As of right now, I do not believe this is possible without a near-death experience, or actual death.

What are some ways to astral travel?

  • Meditate.
  • Guided meditations
  • Trance
  • Have a spirit you know and trust “pull” you into the astral.
  • (Visualization) Imagine a door. Imagine/focus on what is on the other side of the door. Walk through it.
  • (Visualization) Imagine an X (pool, mirror, etc). Imagine/focus on what is on the other side of X. Walk through it.
  • Lucid Dreaming
  • “Splitting”: Imagine a copy of yourself hovering above you. Notice your consciousness in your own body, then “jump” your consciousness into that copy of yourself floating above you. Proceed to go where you want.  

What are some ways to astral project?

Just….keep practicing astral travel, maybe try new methods. I highly recommend reading Astral Dynamics by Robert Bruce, I have literally NEVER EVER found a more comprehensive, extremely informative, and yet still beginner-friendly and not overly complex guide to astral travel/projection.

Differentiating “true astral” from imagination?

True Astral:

  • will always have external interactions that are not in your own head; entities talking/living their own lives whether your imagination/consciousness directs them to or not. Entities moving independently of your will.
  • Spirits (good or bad) being able to follow you back home, to your physical body and interact with you there
  • Unexpected/Unpredictable occurrences happen
  • You get injured and it may hurt your astral body and maybe feel it a little physically too. Injury damages your magical abilities/astral abilities
  • Your astral body can die and you won’t be able to access “true astral” until you regenerate.
  • You can meet other humans consciously. As in, you can text your friend and meetup on the astral together, and talk about it IRL afterwards. 

Imagination:

  • You are in full control of everything.
  • What you expect to happen, will happen
  • Entities are like puppets or dolls; they don’t move around unless you imagine them doing so, and if/when they interact with you, it’s things you expected them to say
  • You will not tire, or will tire extremely slowly.
  • You die/get extremely hurt and nothing happens. You can regenerate at will/heal whenever and wherever you want.
  • You talk to your friend, then you talk to them later IRL and they have no idea what you talked about. 

Why do people always imagine common fantasy stuff when astralling? Don’t you think astral and what happens there is just your imagination and happens in your head? I mean strangely all the people who talk about astral experiences describe common fantasy stuff. I’d say if astral was real it would contain a lot of stuff people can’t even imagine, and yet everyone describes dragons, elfs, etc, that which their mind already knows, nothing out of ordinary. Isn’t this suspicious?

One reason people generally imagine common fantasy is stuff is because that’s what most people care about, and thus go to. It’s hard to care about a species that humanity has never even encountered before, isn’t it? Also, how can you visit the realm of something you have never even heard of/can’t imagine before? Astral travel needs knowledge of where you will go to, so it’s pretty hard (and probably super dangerous) to just say “take me somewhere beyond my imagination.”

There’s also the problem of perception: during astralling, the mind usually replaces things you don’t know with things you do know of, to use less energy while astralling. While you can force your brain to show “the truth”, the more the thing you are trying to look at is beyond your imagination, the more energy and effort it will take to see “the truth”.

How do you do astral laundry?

Note: Not limited to this list.

  • Have a companion you’re comfortable with seeing you nude do your laundry for you.
  • Astral travel two feet away from your earth self, take your astral clothes off, put them in your washer/dryer (with your astral self or earth self), physically run the washer/dryer (you can wash other clothes with it). Take your clothes out, travel again and put your clothes back on.
  • Destroy your clothes and remake clean ones.

How do past lives affect current astral shenanigans?

You might appear as one of your past life forms/bodies. Spirits from your past lives could also attempt to find you on the astral (whether malicious or friendly, so always be cautious).

How to meet spirits on the astral?

Tl;dr:

1. Be able to astral and able to distinguish between astralling/imagination.

2. Go somewhere with spirits.

How to safely meet spirits on the astral?

There is no 100% guarantee of safety when astralling.

Some suggestions are:

  • Have spirit guides/guardians/protective companions take you somewhere safe
  • Actually know where you are going and who you want to meet

How do you keep possibly malicious spirits/entities/beings from following you back home?

  • This is what wards in your living space/where you are when you astral are for. Wards can fuddle your energy signature from being found by spirits you don’t want to find you.
  • Make sure you “come back” correctly; that you walked back through your imagined door, imagined yourself falling back into your physical body, whatever.
  • Do a centering exercise, which will help you “pull back in” trace amounts of energy you left where you went when astralling. Do make sure your wards are up first, to make sure nothing follows the “pull” back to your physical body. If you don’t know what centering is/how to do it, check the “energy work” section of my FAQ/my energy work FAQ post.

Manners/social etiquette/social skills in the astral?

Obviously those will vary a LOT based on where you go. I literally can’t write a comprehensive guide as the astral is home to a limitless number of cultures.

But some things to keep in mind are:

  • Don’t fight every single thing you see ever. Don’t try and provoke fights with every single thing ever. Retribution is a thing and the majority of spirits have the advantage when fighting in the astral.
  • Just because something looks scary doesn’t mean it’s out to get you.
  • Observe the culture, maybe talk with some of the nicer (and not trickster) locals who can tell you the Do’s and Don’ts of their culture.

Heeeeeeey people keep talking about different places in the astral and are they alternate locations all on the same plane or are there alternate astral planes with alternate inhabitants?

There are alternate astral planes with their own inhabitants, and alternate locations on the same plane.

Example of the former: We are on earth. Heaven exists on its own plane of the universe.

Example of the latter: We are on Earth. An alternate location on our plane of existence would be Venus.

Is it possible for entities/other people to drag you into the astral (forcefully or not)?

Absolutely, both people and entities can bring you to the astral. And they can do it forcefully or consensually (consensually obviously takes a lot less energy). 

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This will be updated every once in a while. Again, please check this FAQ before you ask me any questions concerning this, please ^-^