a passion in the desert

Write What You Know (Not Necessarily What You’ve Experienced)

Originally posted by gifs-from-the-seaside-ca

I’ve recently written a post about the true meaning behind the quote “good writers borrow; great writers steal.” 

Well, another piece of writing advice has come under scrutiny lately, so I’m here to explain the meaning behind “write what you know.” 

“Write what you know” really means “write what you understand.”

Many people interpret “write what you know” to mean “write about what you have experienced for yourself,” but that’s obviously silly advice. If everyone followed it, libraries would be much, much smaller. Writing is about using your imagination to explore worlds of possibilities. Bits and pieces of your personal history will of course come into play, but they should always be presented in new and interesting ways. Otherwise, writers would be too bored to actually finish their stories.

When people you think you should probably trust tell you to “write what you know,” they aren’t telling you to fictionalise your own memoir. They’re telling you to write about the things that you understand

A novel may be a great series of lies, but there must be truth at the centre of it all and that truth is a direct result of, and in correlation to, the author’s understanding of their subject matter. 

For an author, this means a couple of things:

You should always be able to empathise with your characters. You should be able to tap into your emotions, your passions, your relationships to inform their emotions, their passions, their relationships. 

If you’re writing a scene about two people walking along the Seine at midnight unable to admit their true feelings for each other, you don’t need to have traveled to Paris or walked along the Seine or talked about the moon on the water when really all you wanted to say was that the same moonlight was making the other person look very pretty that night. 

What you need is to know what it is to take a walk in a place that is romantic no matter if romance is taking place there, to have wanted to say something but been too afraid to say it, to be filled with hope and fear and misery and joy all at the same time. 

You should always be able to feel the heart of the scene, instead of simply imagining it. 

If you can’t put yourself directly into your character’s shoes, they’ll wind up saying or doing something that won’t quite ring true.  

You should always be both interested in and knowledgable about the topics and settings that find their way into your stories. 

You don’t have to be an archaeologist to write an Indiana Jones novel, but a healthy fascination with people like T.E. Lawrence, Roy Chapman Andrews, and Gertrude Bell should probably come into play.

You should always not only be knowledgable about the topic you’re writing about, but care for it. You should be able to understand why Indy says it belongs in a museum!!” You should understand why your characters feel passionate about whatever they’re engaging in, because you share some of that passion. (Even if you wouldn’t dream of digging around in a desert yourself.)

It’s okay if you don’t know very much about a topic when you first get an idea for a book, but after doing some research about it, you should connect to the material in some way. 

As long as you’re interested in a topic or place, you’re not breaking the “write what you know” rule by taking the time to understand something you hadn’t when you first imagined your story. 

What’s more: write the kind of story you enjoy reading.

That sounds a little obvious, but people try to write stories they wouldn’t actually enjoy reading themselves all of the time. 

If you love reading YA fantasy novels, but feel compelled to write the next Great Literary American Novel, you’re not writing the sort of story you’re familiar with–that you’re passionate about–and that will show on every single page. Those are two very different sort of books. If you love reading YA, exclusively read YA, but try to write the GLAN, you’re not writing what you know. You’re probably not even writing something you truly care about.

And if you find the story you’re writing dull and uninteresting, any reader will probably feel the same way. 

If someone has read your work and says something along the lines of “you should stick to writing what you know…” 

What they’re really saying is that something isn’t resonating as true. That somehow, it doesn’t feel quite real. That they don’t think the characters’ emotional reactions are what they’d be in real life. Or that Indiana Jones is supposed to be a renowned archaeologist, but he doesn’t seem to know much about archaeology??? 

When they say this, they’re not telling you to go get a degree in archaeology or that in order to write that romantic scene, you must fall in love with someone, walk along the Seine with them, and then write what about what you felt in that moment. 

They’re letting you know that there is a disconnect somewhere between you and the writing. That they can tell you haven’t put enough of yourself in this story. That the circles don’t overlap as much as they should in the venn diagram between the knowledge, emotions, and interests the story requires and the knowledge you possess, the emotions you’ve felt, and the interests you invest in. 

When somebody says “write what you know,” ask yourself:

  • if you’ve really done enough research on this topic–if you actually want to write about this topic enough to do the required research 
  • if there’s another emotional well you can draw from to understand how a character might be feeling, how they might react to a circumstance
  • if this book is one that you yourself would pick up from a library shelf. 

And make sure there’s a core of truth within those all those lies. 

Romanticised

Originally posted by magiccastles


Title : Romanticised

Author : Myself 

Pairing : Im Jaebum x You (reader)

Summary : He had planned everything for both of them, including a newly born romantic side.


“All set?”

“Yeah, I have the wine bottle.”

It was hard to see where you were both going, but the firm grip on your hand was like a guide in a secret forest, full of fantasy.

The summer had granted both of you a cool evening, with a soft breeze and no sweat. You were grateful to be able to go out without melting like snow and your boyfriend was slowly walking toward the secret place he had told you about. This date was a total surprise and you could almost see the happiness paint itself on your significant other’s face, signalling he was enjoying your little adventure.

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i’m sorry but elena’s face in 2x08/2x11 when stefan showed up> elena’s face seeing damon in that promo

she launches herself into his arms, exhaling with relief and they cling to each other like their life depends on it. 

even after a passionate kiss, she is drinking in his face like an oasis in the desert. she is gazing at him like she cannot believe he is real. this is awe, people. 

her entire face and body relax when she sees stefan at the bottom of the stairs. not when she sees damon. 

and again, she launches herself at him. she clings to him, buries her face in his neck. 

we have never seen a de hug with this amount of intimacy. nina is trying to sell it, but it’s not working. sorry but de hasn’t had chemistry since 3x19 (gifs not mine)

HUNK APPRECIATION POST

BECAUSE THERES NOT ENOUGH HUNK LOVE IN THIS FANDOM

  • HE’S SO DAMN SMART LIKE EVERYONE REFERS TO PIDGE AS THE SMART ONE BUT I DONT SEE PIDGE BUILDING A GEIGER COUNTER FOR AN ELEMENT THAT DOESNT EXIST ON EARTH
  • LIKE HE KNEW IMMEDIATELY THAT THOSE FRAUNHOFER LINES WERE AN ELEMENT AND HES LIKE HANG ON LET ME JUST BUILD A GEIGER COUNTER FOR SOMETHING NOT FROM EARTH WITH SOME THINGS FROM OUR BACKPACKS AND THIS RUNDOWN SHACK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DESERT LIKE ITS NO BIG DEAL
  • HE’S SO PASSIONATE ABOUT WHAT HE BELIEVES IN LIKE WHEN THEY WERE GOING TO SAVE THE BALMERIANS AND HE WAS IN SUCH A RUSH TO GET THERE BECAUSE HE WANTED TO HELP SO BAD
  • HS INSTINCTS ARE SO AMAZING LIKE HE KNEW THAT NYMA AND ROLO WERE UP TO NO GOOD. HE JUST KNOWS
  • HES SO STRONG? LIKE ITS CANON THAT HE IS STRONGER THAN SHIRO. HE HAS PROBABLY CLOSE TO OLYMPIC LEVEL STRENGTH
  • HES SO CARING AND ALL AROUND GOOD HUMAN BEING AND SO PATIENT WITH EVERYONE
  • HE HAS HAD MORE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT THAN ANYONE ELSE ON SCREEN. 
  • HE WANTS TO HELP EVERYONE HE IS JUST SO GOOD
  • I LOVE HUNK SO MUCH

FEEL FREE TO ADD MORE BECAUSE  WANT TO SPREAD THE HUNK LOVE

do you think Hux would be conflicted if Kylo’s eyes changed from brown to yellow?

because the change would mean that Kylo has become stronger with the dark side, that he’s achieving his destiny of becoming just as strong as Vader, of being more powerful than any pitiful Jedi has ever been

Kylo would revel in his dark prowess and Hux would be so proud of his knight for being unmatched in power, because he loves Kylo and he knows how strong he’s become

but when Hux thinks of Kylo as his lover and not just his knight, he can’t help but be afraid

because the change also means that Kylo’s soft brown eyes have ceased to exist, which means Hux no longer finds warmth or comfort in Kylo’s eyes after a nightmare or after a difficult day where he feels like he should give up, no more staring deep into Kylo’s eyes to see the little lost boy behind them who’s begging not to be hurt anymore and just to be loved because, now, there’s only a tormented and broken soul who used to be human, now a monster, now unrecognisable to Hux’s eyes

because not only do the yellow eyes take Kylo’s soft brown eyes away, they also destroy everything that once made Kylo Ren the one Hux wanted to cling on to like an oasis in a desert–his softness, the deep-rooted passion he felt for Hux, his deadpan wit, his ability to make Hux feel like the king of everything

gone, replaced with a single feeling

lust for power, like Vader when he turned

An absolutely amazing thing happened last week.

At the beginning of this summer, I was talking to my friend about this certain book I had been dying to read since I learned of its existence, that is, Diane Duanes’s first novel The Door into Fire, in which she does some cool things with gender and sexuality. Why not just buy it online? Zoe asked. Oh, it’s just one of those things, I told her. I don’t want to buy it, I want to find it by chance in some random used bookstore, like fate. Something I was sure would never actually happen.

Fast forward to Monday, time: around 6, place: the Rock ‘N Roll Emporium (and used book store). My friends and I are reading each other hilarious excerpts from romance novels, laughing at titles that run along the lines of “Captive Desert Passion”. Zoe picks up a book off the shelf, calls out, “This one’s called The Door Into Fire.” 

I scream. She screams. I tear the book from her hands and clutch it to my chest. I am laughing hysterically. Our other friend is baffled. 

I just finished the book and was enraptured the whole way through, half pleased that it had surpassed my expectations and half delighted at everything to do with the story and characters. It also has one of the funniest introductions–sorry, overtures–to a book I have ever read. I was happy to see many of my favorite elements from Young Wizards contained in their predecessor (magic, entropy, mythology, plucky fire elemental companions…).

Now I just have to happen upon The Door Into Shadow somewhere…

Colour correspondences

This is my personal list of colour correspondences, drawn from things I have read and my own feelings about the colours:

Aqua—the sea;

Black—beginnings, endings; death; night; warding; absorption; patience; sleep; protection;

Blue—water; tranquility; summer; ice;

Brown—wild animals; forests; earth; warmth; comfort; autumn; barrenness;

Cream—comfort; domestic animals;

Gold—royalty; wealth; the sun and associated deities;

Green—peace; healing; earth; gardens, plants; the fae; spring, summer; welcome;

Grey—mist, the Otherworld; limbo, liminality; sadness; quietness; rain; winter; being hidden, passing unseen;

Lavender—the fae; peacefulness;

Orange—autumn; harvest; warmth; joy;

Pink—friendship; love; sweetness; emotional healing; welcome;

Purple—royalty; depth; richness; meditative states;

Red—passion, power; fierceness; strength; autumn; heat; the desert

Silver—the moon and associated deities; money, riches; mirrors, reflections; stars; ice;

White—beginnings; clarity; ice; snow; brightness; extreme heat, purging; integrity; protection;

Yellow—joy; the sun and associated deities; brightness, sunny moods; summer; warmth;

The Sinners

His lips

whispered words

between kisses

that echoed a dream

she once had

of surrendering herself

to the wicked

forbidden skin tingling

blood racing

carnal desires she denied

ever knowing

because she was a good girl,

.

(he pierced the veil

slipping within

and now both know

the pleasure of sin)

.

His hands

followed the curves

each finger

like sweet flames

upon skin

parched desert dry

from too long

without passions touch

this drought

of all that was sensuous

breaking at last

the wetness beginning now

to remind her

what had been lacking,

.

(he pierced the veil

slipping within

and now both know

the pleasure of sin)

.

no promise

but the pleasure waiting

no pressure

except that of rising desire

taking her hand

he told her without a word

of his need

she caressed the only proof

needed tonight

that she was wanted desired

alive every instant

as his lips danced upon her

slid across

her skin seeking more than

his satisfaction

.

(he pierced the veil

slipping within

and now both know

the pleasure of sin)

.

she could see

with every single heartbeat

those colors

they told her she must deny

for a morality

based in denial and shame

this delusion

that her physical form must never

do the things

it was so clearly meant to do

she lay back

spreading herself open in every way

saying to him

‘Yes whatever all of this yes now’

and he smiled

because he was at that moment

exactly like her,

.

(he pierced her veil

slipping within

together they find

the ecstasy of sin)

a life spent trying to do well

After Shikadai’s birth, Temari looks down at her tiny baby and remembers another small child, unloved and uncared for, and wonders if she can ever forgive herself for her brother’s childhood.

my first naruto fic in literally 7 years this is wild. Naturally it’s shikatema + sand sibs because FEELINGS

title from lullaby by sia


           It was spring in Konoha, and the rains were just coming to their end, heralding the arrival of bright blooms of flowers. It would be a relief for the small garden of the Nara residence where Shikamaru and Temari now lived; as a gift upon her marriage, her brother Gaara had given her several of his most beautiful specimens of cacti, which they had planted together behind the home. Cacti drown easily, and the spring showers had not been kind to them. Now that the skies had cleared, Shikamaru routinely found himself glancing out the back of the house, wondering if the delicate blossoms would ever return to the spiny plants.

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Preparing a blog post on the passions as understood by Desert Fathers, I came across this list: interesting albeit a little overwhelming. I’m going to have to break out the dictionary to know how a few of them are defined.

A LIST OF THE PASSIONS

by Saint Peter of Damaskos

The passions are:

harshness, trickery, malice, perversity, mindlessness, licentiousness, enticement, dullness, lack of understanding, idleness, sluggishness, stupidity, flattery, silliness, idiocy, madness, derangement, coarseness, rashness, cowardice, lethargy, dearth of good actions, moral errors, greed, over-frugality, ignorance, folly, spurious knowledge, forgetfulness, lack of discrimination, obduracy, injustice, evil intention, a conscienceless soul, slothfulness, idle chatter, breaking of faith, wrongdoing, sinfulness, lawlessness, criminality, passion, seduction, assent to evil, mindless coupling, demonic provocation, dallying, bodily comfort beyond what is required, vice, stumbling, sickness of soul, enervation, weakness of intellect, negligence, laziness, a reprehensible despondency, disdain of God, aberration, transgression, unbelief, lack of faith, wrong belief, poverty of faith, heresy, fellowship in heresy, polytheism, idolatry, ignorance of God, impiety, magic, astrology, divination, sorcery, denial of God, the love of idols, dissipation, profligacy, loquacity, indolence, self-love, inattentiveness, lack of progress, deceit, delusion, audacity, witchcraft, defilement, the eating of unclean food, soft living, dissoluteness, voracity, unchastity, avarice, anger, dejection, listlessness, self-esteem, pride, presumption, self-elation, boastfulness, infatuation, foulness, satiety, doltishness, torpor, sensuality, over-eating, gluttony, insatiability, secret eating, hoggishness, solitary eating, indifference, fickleness, self-will, thoughtlessness, self-satisfaction, love of popularity, ignorance of beauty, uncouthness, gaucherie, lightmindedness, boorishness, rudeness, contentiousness, quarrelsomeness, abusiveness, shouting, brawling, fighting, rage, mindless desire, gall, exasperation, giving offence, enmity, meddlesomeness, chicanery, asperity, slander, censure, calumny, condemnation, accusation, hatred, railing, insolence, dishonour, ferocity, frenzy, severity, aggressiveness, forswearing oneself, oathtaking, lack of compassion, hatred of one’s brothers, partiality, patricide, matricide, breaking fasts, laxity, acceptance of bribes, theft, rapine, jealousy, strife, envy, indecency, jesting, vilification, mockery, derision, exploitation, oppression, disdain of one’s neighbour, flogging, making sport of others, hanging, throttling, heartlessness, implacability, covenant-breaking, bewitchment, harshness, shamelessness, impudence, obfuscation of thoughts, obtuseness, mental blindness, attraction to what is fleeting, impassionedness, frivolity, disobedience, dullwittedness, drowsiness of soul, excessive sleep, fantasy, heavy drinking, drunkenness, uselessness, slackness, mindless enjoyment, self-indulgence, venery, using foul language, effeminacy, unbridled desire, burning lust, masturbation, pimping, adultery, sodomy, bestiality, defilement, wantonness, a stained soul, incest, uncleanliness, pollution, sordidness, feigned affection, laughter, jokes, immodest dancing, clapping, improper songs, revelry, fluteplaying, license of tongue, excessive love of order, insubordination, disorderliness, reprehensible collusion, conspiracy, warfare, killing, brigandry, sacrilege, illicit gains, usury, wiliness, grave-robbing, hardness of heart, obloquy, complaining, blasphemy, fault-finding, ingratitude, malevolence, contemptuousness, pettiness, confusion, lying, verbosity, empty words, mindless joy, daydreaming, mindless friendship, bad habits, nonsensicality, silly talk, garrulity, niggardliness, depravity, intolerance, irritability, affluence, rancour, misuse, ill-temper, clinging to life, ostentation, affectation, pusillanimity, satanic love, curiosity, contumely, lack of the fear of God, unteachability, senselessness, haughtiness, self-vaunting, self-inflation, scorn for one’s neighbour, mercilessness, insensitivity, hopelessness, spiritual paralysis, hatred of God, despair, suicide, a falling away from God in all things, utter destruction – altogether 298 passions.

These, then, are the passions which I have found named in the Holy Scriptures. I have set them down in a single list, as I did at the beginning of my discourse with the various books I have used. I have not tried, nor would I have been able, to arrange them all in order; this would have been beyond my powers, for the reason given by St. John Klimakos: ‘If you seek understanding in wicked men, you will not find it.’ For all that the demons produce is disorderly. In common with the godless and the unjust, the demons have but one purpose: to destroy the souls of those who accept their evil counsel. Yet sometimes they actually help men to attain holiness. In such instances they are conquered by the patience and faith of those who put their trust in the Lord, and who through their good actions and resistance to evil thoughts counteract the demons and bring down curses upon them.

A LIST OF THE PASSIONS, Saint Peter of Damaskos The Philokalia; The Complete Text compiled by St. Nikodimos of the Holy Mountain and St. Makarios of Corinth, Volume Three