a story i felt worth sharing

Why Commenting On FanFiction Is Important

Alright kids, Boo here with a hopefully non-arrogant PSA.

I’m a writer of FanFiction because I like it and it’s my preferred genre (also a great way to receive feedback on writing that I can use on originals, bref). But like with most artistic work posted online, I have very little feedback.

When I was in a slightly writing rut, I cranked one shots left and right, nothing out of the ordinary. But instead of people commenting with their thoughts and good feedback, they just gave me requests.

I don’t think I could ever put into words what that felt like, but I’ll try (the irony of being a writer). It suddenly felt tiring, being a writer, and very quickly I stopped writing altogether. I only ever showed my friend what I wrote and left it at that. I haven’t published anything for a while after. It felt like people were treating me like a mule wanting me to do work for them, and I just wasn’t up for that. I lost my will to write, and then I began to think, “If I post something else other than what was requested, will people even read it?”

Then you get the infamous comments, “You haven’t forgotten about my request right??? Here’s another.”

That just adds anxiety and guilt. I’m purposely ignoring the comments to save my own uncreative ass, at least that’s what it feels like.

After weeks of convincing myself that my stories are worth sharing no matter how many people read them, I started writing and publishing again while working on some longer pieces. Slowly it got better.

Now this week, I remembered I joined another fanfiction platform, and realized I had never published anything on it. I had an idea, and so I started writing. It didn’t come out as I imagined it would, but I was so proud? Like, I started feeling happy about what I created again. Like genuine happiness that I haven’t felt in months since my last published work.

A few hours later, I get this comment:

I cranked out three 3k stories after reading this.

In four days.

It never happened before, and I don’t know how many times it will happen again. It was one comment, but it gave me so much fighting spirit that I think I’m on my way to regaining my initial writer mindset.

Fanfiction writers depend on feedback as a validation that their stories matter to people. If you’re wondering why your favourite author hasn’t updated/posted in a while, ask yourself, “Did I do everything that would convince them to continue writing this?”

Get Some Rest

A/N: Fluffy!Shawn below hehehe. This is my first time to ever post any writing to Tumblr, so I am EXTREMELY nervous. I apologize for the name (I suck at those). Thank you to everyone who has helped me edit and reedit this imagine 20 times. You are all so appreciated. I hope you like it. Feedback is appreciated.


 I stretch my arms out and turn over.

Empty?

I lay in the bed, and I could see the light was still on in the office down the hall.

How long had I been asleep?

I look at the clock. 3 a.m.

Shawn had been working since about midnight on a melody he discovered earlier that day while playing around on his guitar. He wants the song to be perfect and that’s understandable, but this late?? I slide out of the bed and let out a troubled breath as my feet hit the cold floor. Walking down the hall quietly, there sits Shawn with his back turned to me. He’s still hard at work, strumming chords and scribbling incoherent thoughts on paper like he’s been doing for the past 2-3 hours. Standing behind him, I wrap my arms around his neck, kiss the top of his head before resting my chin on it. He places his warm hand on my arm and lowers his head to kiss my skin.

“Hello darling, what are you doing awake so late?”

He is concerned about my sleep which is sweet, but the boy has to get some rest of his own. He has spent many long nights in this office for the past week, and I was beginning to worry that he was overworking himself. He is obsessed with perfection, but he is in desperate need of a break.

“I was sleeping until a bright ass light woke me up. I wonder who’s fault that may be,” I giggle in his ear, “it’s late and you really should get some sleep”.

He laughed softly, “I’m so close though. Really babe, it’s all coming together so perfectly. Just listen”. His voice now sounding like an eager child. I comply and sink down beside him in the chair, and he smiles as he begins to play. He starts to play an euphonious tune. Of course everything he plays is beautiful but this was different. So raw and pure. I could see Shawn was proud of it because he couldn’t stop smiling as he strummed the chords slowly.

“You’re right baby, it’s incredible. But why don’t you come to bed, and you can finish the rest tomorrow?” I suggest leaving a small kiss on his check.

He actually looks at me for the first time since I had walked into the room and cracks a smile when notices I have on his big t-shirt. God, when he looks at me with that smile. That beautiful, bright smile that makes my heart flutter. That smile could break me at any moment. That smile, is mine.

“Why are you looking at me like that, Mendes?”

“Oh nothing,” he stops his gaze, “you have the most gorgeous bedhead is all. Very sexy”

Letting out an embarrassing chuckle, I hit his chest as he winks, grabbing my wrist to pull me into his lap. He looks at the shirt I’m wearing again and raises his eyebrow.

“Oh, so THAT’S where my favorite shirt went. I was beginning to think it grew legs and disappeared,” he puts his guitar down and pulls me into a tight embrace.

He puts his head on my shoulder and lets out a soft sigh. He is tired, but he is too afraid to admit it. He wants to finish this song tonight, but he needs sleep. I reach up and start to run my fingers through his hair.

“Come on love, let’s get some sleep. You can continue this in the morning”

I get up and begin to pick of his papers that contained failed attempts at lyrics he had discarded throughout the room. He looks at me and opens his mouth as if to protest, but he finally gives in and starts to help me clean up the office. He put his important papers inside his laptop and closes it. Once we picked everything up, he put his guitar on the stand and we headed for our bedroom. I got into the bed and buried myself into the covers while Shawn got ready for bed. I giggled to myself as I could hear him humming his newly discovered tune as he brushed his teeth. He is such a goober, and I adore his cute little quirks. I am pulled out of my thoughts as I hear the water shut off and the door open. He’s just in his boxers. God, does he look sexy as ever. His defined abs and toned arms. I have to control myself. NONot tonight. He needs sleep. I try and remind myself. He gets into bed and cuddles up to my side.

“Do did you really like what I have so far lyrically, darling?”

Shawn loves getting feedback. It has always been something he has craved from the people close to him. He truly values my advice and it makes my heart flutter to know that he takes it into the utmost consideration.

“Yes it was beautiful. It has a more edgy sound. Different from your other songs, but I honestly think it’s a good different. To me, it shows you’re really growing as an artist, and I am so proud of you. You work so hard, and it is really paying off for you, love. I just wish you wouldn’t work yourself so hard all of the time. It’s okay to take a rest sometimes. Some people would even consider it healthy,” I tease as I poke his nose. He scrunches his face at my touch and smirks.

“I know baby, but I just want everything to be perfect, ya know? Even when I think I’m giving my all, I feel like I could still give more. So many people are relying on me and I don’t get a break just because I’m younger than the average artist. If anything, it makes me have to prove myself more to prove that I am meant to be ranked in the same category as bigger artist. But I do understand where you’re coming from, darling. I love you so much. I promise I will try and cut myself more slack”

I smile and lean up to kiss him softly murmuring a soft “I love you” between us. I adore his ambition and passion so much. He is such a genuine person, and I am so thankful that he is mine, all mine. He wraps his arms around me and hugs me tight. Leaving a tender kiss on my forehead. He fingers then trail down my back and go underneath my shirt as he caresses the small of my back. His touch sending shivers down my spine. He was drawing shapes into my back as my eyes grew tired.

“Are you ready to go to sleep yet, love? You really need some rest,” I yawn against his chest. He giggles at my words which were barely audible, but he got the gist. He leaves a lingering kiss my forehead one last time.

“Are you positive that you’re tired though? There are so many other things we could to you know…” he says and I look up in disbelief and let out a chuckle at his words. This kid is actually suggesting this when it is almost 4 in the morning. Got to give him props for trying.

“Shawn it is late and YOU should be asleep anyways. The whole reason I brought you to bed was for you to rest. Not for you to score. Not tonight, no sir. Ask me again in the morning and maybe you’ll get lucky,” I say as he lets out a soft laugh.

“Alright alright, goodnight my love,” he buries his face into the blanket before whispering, “better make the morning worth my while then”

I giggle as I slap his chest with my tiny hand.

He gives me one last kiss before I snuggle into his warm body. I loved being close to him. We didn’t always get to share moments like this, so I cherished the few we had. I always feel at ease when I have him here with me. He felt like home, he was my home.

My Korrasami (TLOK finale) “funny” story

I don’t know how many people are still following my blog but I feel the need to share this with you, because Tumblr is the right place for it. Always.

Years ago I stopped watching Legend of Korra at the end of first season because I. Fucking. Hate. Love. Triangles.
As huge fan of ATLA I decided to wait for it to end and see if it was worth enough of my attention, and after some years… Korrasami happened.
I’m not gonna talk about the amazing feeling of POWER I felt that night when tumblr exploded because of it, and how I screamed and laughed even if I didn’t follow the series.
What I want to tell you, is how I started watching Korra last saturday and how I finished it all in one week (I know, it’s not impressive, but I work 8 hours per day now, so.)
I’m gonna give you a quick idea of what’s going on right now, then:

- I am utterly, out-of-space, crazy in love with Korra.
- Asami is a fucking badass.
- Bolin is my precious baby.
- This show is the most fucking feminist show ever.
- I don’t hate Mako, but he truly needs to improve is fucking relationship skills (meh)
- I have a total unconditional respect for Bryan and Michael.

- HOLY SHIT KORRASAMI

When I watched the finale (even if I have seen billions of gifsets during my last year in tumblr), I imagined my reaction would have been a normal one, I mean… I knew it.

Oh boy was I wrong. 

I cried for 45 minutes, I watched that scene 10 times, until I couldn’t look at it anymore for the heartache. I cried and whipered “no, it can’t happening, this cannot be real.” Like I couldn’t believe it myself even tho I already knew it.

I physically felt my inner child crawling up from my memories, from the places I was hurt the most in the past, and crying with me. I felt all the frustration and the memories of why being gay is so beautiful but at the same time so exhausting, it was like my brain couldn’t believe I was watching something that was about

me,

without queerbating, without shitty compromises or fights, in a animated show nonetheless.

So I cried for 45 minutes and then I got a panic attack because my emotions were too much. It was like opening a gate and let the water flow and crush everything. It wasn’t just happiness, it was also sadness in realizing how much pain I felt and I repressed becuase of the shit we have to put up with every day of our life. It was so overwhelming that I had to take a day off work, and I think I know that it took me so much to watch Korra because I knew it would have such a huge impact on me.

But since that day (two days ago) I feel strange, like something changed within me and I just can’t understand how a scene so simple and short can be so powerful and better than a lot of love stories I’ve read and seen before.

I don’t know how they did it but maybe (I bought all the artbooks already and read some of the notes at the end) it is beause the writers treat us like people, and not just like a rating number.

It’s such a power feeling. I still feel like crying if I think about it.


Sorry for the rant but thanks if you read it all,
patronustrip

The Bowie Counterparts

In the months after Bowie’s death, Kian S. Bergstrom put up a wonderful list on Facebook in which he paired every single Bowie album with a thematically appropriate film (first) and book (second). Having just rediscovered this list in my files (I cut-and-pasted it at the time & feared I’d lost it), I felt like it should be shared more widely. Hope he doesn’t mind.

Some connections are obvious; others, not so much, but often quite inspired. All of these films and novels are worth checking out, in any case. As canons go, this is a superb one. Off to the library and streaming services, Bowie fans.

David Bowie [1967]: THIS SPORTING LIFE [Lindsay Anderson, 1963] & THE BUTTERFLY KID [Chester Anderson, 1967]

David Bowie [1969]: CABARET [Bob Fosse, 1972] & WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE [Shirley Jackson, 1962]

The Man Who Sold the World [1970]: CRUEL STORY OF YOUTH [Nagima Oshima, 1960] & THE COLLECTED WORKS OF BILLY THE KID [Michael Ondaatje, 1970]

Hunky Dory [1971]: CHELSEA GIRLS [Andy Warhol, 1966] & DISPATCHES [Michael Herr, 1977]

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars [1972]: PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE [Brian De Palma, 1974] & AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF RED [Anne Carson, 1998]

Aladdin Sane [1973]: LIQUID SKY [Slava Tsukerman, 1982] & BURNING CHROME [William Gibson, 1986]

Pin Ups [1973]: F FOR FAKE [Orson Welles, 1974]  & THE CHAIN OF CHANCE [Stanislaw Lem, 1976]

Diamond Dogs [1974]: BRAZIL [Terry Gilliam, 1985] & 1984 [George Orwell, 1948] (Obvious choice, but in this case I want it anyway)

David Live [1974]: THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE [Tobe Hooper, 1974] & NELLY’S VERSION [Eva Figes, 1977]

Young Americans [1975]: REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE [Nicholas Ray, 1955] & FRANNY & ZOOEY [J. D. Salinger, 1961]

Station to Station [1976]: THE PASSENGER [Michelangelo Antonioni, 1975] & CHIMERA [John Barth, 1972]

Low [1977]: CRASH [David Cronenberg, 1996] (Obvious choice is THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH, but that’s too on-the-nose) & A SCANNER DARKLY [P. K. Dick, 1977]

“Heroes” [1977]: IN A YEAR OF 13 MOONS [R. W. Fassbinder, 1978] & TRITON [Samuel R. Delany, 1976]

Stage [1978]: USED CARS [Robert Zemeckis, 1980] & THE BOOK OF LAUGHTER AND FORGETTING [Milan Kundera, 1979]

Lodger [1979]: BEYOND THE BLACK RAINBOW [Panos Cosmatos, 2010] & HOW GERMAN IS IT (WIE DEUTSCH IST ES) [Walter Abish, 1980]

Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) [1980]: POSSESSION [Andrzej Żuławski, 1981] & WOLF STORY [William McCleery, 1947]

David Bowie in Bertolt Brecht’s Baal
[1982]: DIE 3 GROSCHENOPER [G. W. Pabst, 1931] & THE HANDMAID’S TALE [Margaret Atwood, 1985]

Let’s Dance [1983]: SID AND NANCY [Alex Cox, 1986] & EDWIN MULLHOUSE: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF AN AMERICAN WRITER, 1943-1954, BY JEFFREY CARTWRIGHT [Steven Millhauser, 1972]

Ziggy Stardust: the Motion Picture [1983]: ONE MAN UP [Paolo Sorrentino, 2001]  & THE DOUBLE [Jose Saramago, 2002]

Tonight [1984]: INTO THE NIGHT [John Landis, 1985] &  CITY OF GLASS [Paul Auster, 1985]

Never Let Me Down [1987]: STREETS OF FIRE [Walter Hill, 1984] & LONG RED HAIR [Meags Fitzgerald, 2015]

Tin Machine [1989]: DONNIE DARKO [Richard Kelly, 2001] & AN AFGHANISTAN PICTURE SHOW: OR HOW I SAVED THE WORLD [William T. Vollmann, 1992/2013]

Tin Machine II
[1991]: HARD-BOILED WONDERLAND AND THE END OF THE WORLD [Haruki Murakami, 1985] & KINDRED [Octavia Butler, 1979] *

Black Tie, White Noise
[1993]: MONSOON WEDDING {Mira Nair, 2001] & THE GROUND BENEATH HER FEET [Salman Rushdie, 1999]

The Buddha of Suburbia [1993]: MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDERETTE [Stephen Frears, 1985] & BREATH, EYES, MEMORY [Edwidge Danticat, 1994]

1. Outside [1995]: LOST HIGHWAY [David Lynch, 1997] & THE CIPHER [Kathe Koja, 1991]

Earthling [1997]: AEON FLUX [Peter Chung, 1991-5] & CELESTIAL MATTERS [Richard Garfinkle, 1996]

Hours… [1999]: CROUPIER [Mike Hodges, 1998] & LOST GIRLS [Alan Moore & Melina Gebbe, 2006]

Toy [2000]: L’ENFER [Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1964/2009] & THE ORIGINAL OF LAURA [Vladimir Nabokov, 1977/2009]

Heathen [2002]: CURE [Kurosawa Kiyoshi, 1997] & THE BLAZING WORLD [Siri Hustvedt, 2014]

Reality [2003]: CACHÉ [Michael Haneke, 2005] & HERE [Richard McGuire, 2014]

The Next Day [2013]: ZERO DARK THIRTY [Kathryn Bigelow, 2012] & GERTRUDE OF STONY ISLAND AVENUE [James Purdy, 1996]

Blackstar
[2016]: THE NEON DEMON [Nicholas Winding Refn, 2016] & PATIENCE [Daniel Clowes, 2016]

* two books for TMII, for whatever reason. If you need a film, maybe Dead Again.

*images/gifs not mine-submitted or found via Google*

Pairing: Jared x Reader 

Warnings: none (just fluff) Also- no disrespect to Gen and the kiddos-this is all fiction and actually can be connected to my series Heart Sutra-parts that have not been published/written yet.

Word Count: 487 (I know it’s supposed to be 500, but honestly I don’t know where to flesh it out at the moment without it being repetitive and bad)

A/N: This is for @impalaimagining Taylor’s 2k Challenge and my word was proud! She also submitted this gif to me and I asked her permission to use it for her challenge. I’m like right up to the deadline on these lately!  Sorry to the challenge runners, but if you’ve been keeping up with me you know things a little wonky right now for me! Luckily, I’ve gotten a little of my groove back and have been able to put out some things that are actually worth your time to read ;)


There was no denying how Jared felt about his wife and kids whenever the subject came up. 

He was always happy to share stories during panels, pictures and videos on social media. 

He was proud

A proud husband to Y/N, who blew him away at all of the things she could accomplish while keeping on top of three children.

A proud father, he loved those kids more than his own life. There were so many things that they were already doing and that he pictured them doing in the future.

Most recently he couldn’t stop showing and telling everyone about the feature that their family had appeared in. As, one of their online class yoga teachers, Yoga Journal had requested a feature of what Y/N’s yoga practice was like at home with three children and traveling with both her and Jared’s work.

“You know it’s funny, I never realized how much her practice just filled our entire lives; it just fits seamlessly!” Jared smiled as he shared the experience at their latest panel. “I mean even the boys are getting into it. They’ll be a little silly about it sometimes, but they just follow right along with her.”

“JJ, does too.” Jensen chimed in. “Isn’t there a video she tried to film with all four of them just crawling all over the place and hanging on her?” He laughed.

“Yeah, I think she posted it somewhere. Probably her YouTube channel.” Jared pulled up his phone and started to look for it.

“Oh the picture though-not the one with you.” Jensen mock gagged, referencing the acroyoga picture Y/N and Jared had posed for in the feature.

“Now that one was fun!” Jared grinned. “She rarely lets me just pick her up and honestly I almost fell a couple of times.”

“No, I’m talking about the one with the kids, Dee loves that one!”

“Oh yeah! The meditation one was cute! I think she asked for a copy to have framed.”

“Ah here’s the video! Okay, I’m gonna share this for y’all to watch. She had a friend put music to it and stuff and it’s really cute. But it’s also what yoga really looks like at our house!” Jared laughed as he shared the link.

They moved on to some other questions, but right towards the end a fan asked about the pictures. 

“Uh yeah, actually I think the article is on Yoga Journal’s website. So yeah go read it, Y/N gave an awesome interview!”

Oh yeah, Jared was proud there was no doubt about it, but Y/N could say the same for her husband. He worked so hard for himself and others through good and bad. Truthfully, he was the motivation that kept her moving forward with what she loved!

Standing off to the side she couldn’t wipe the grin off her face as she watched his face light up as he continued to share the story.

Tags below the cut:

Keep reading

RFA+V+SAERAN: If they’re a doodler or a writer

Spoilers: Maybe slight NSFW-ish mention? Again (and most likely always), name reveal! Also, some after story spoilers!

A/N: Omg I left for the night and came back to people actually following our blog, I dunno where y'all came from but i loVE YOU ALL, THANK ~Admin 404


*YOOSUNG:

           -DOODLER

           -IT’S EVERYWHERE

           -His homework? DOODLES! School book? DOODLES! Letter that MC is making him write to his mother? DOODLES!

           -He’ll doodle his LOLOL character, him and MC, or just some random cute animal faces!

           -You know, every single piece of paper he’s ever come across has a star on it somewhere

           -His signature has a star incorporated into it!

           -Takes this habit with him when he graduates and gets a job as a vet

           -“Yoosung, you can’t keep drawing dogs on the patients charts.” “Why not! I work with animals all day!! It works out!” “This chart’s for a bird, not a dog”


*ZEN:

           -Writer!

           -He works with stories all the time as an actor! It’s only natural to want to make a few of his own!

           -Despite dropping out of school and all, he isn’t half bad

           - Never finished writing an actual story in his life

           -He’s the type to start a story, but lose interest in it fairly quickly

           -You’ll find all the stories and vague ideas written nicely in a notebook or two

           -“ONCE UPON A TIME-” “Zen, please, that line’s so overused.” “But princess :(”

           -Even tries to write his own play a few different times!

           - No, Zen, you can’t play every character


*JAEHEE:

           -As much as she loves Zen’s plays and good literature…

           -DOODLER! (bitch you thoUGHT)

           -She’s always having to rewrite reports for Jumin because she mindlessly doodles all over them when she’s trying to think

           -Another boring presentation done by Jumin, another dozen reports have doodles on them

           -She’ll doodle simple things, like coffee cups, flowers, that water bottle in front of her…

           -She’d rather be dead than doodle little kitties though (Damn Elizabeth)

           -Never keeps the doodles though, so if you see one, you’re very lucky

           -It’s probably when you decide to help her with her ridiculous work load every now and then and organize her papers for her


*JUMIN:

           -Writer!

           -He reads enough romance novels, might as well write his own, too

           -“He trapped her against the wall, carefully tying the silk tie around her wrists as his tongue paid careful attention to her-” “JUMIN PLEASE CAN YOU NOT READ WHAT YOU WRITE OUT LOUD?!”

           -He puts work before his writing though, so he makes sure everything is done before switching gears to write

           -Sometimes he’s in his home office for hours, and you assume he’s just working very hard for an upcoming project

           -You make him some tea, and come in to find he’s typing away on his laptop like no tomorrow

           -“Oh wow, you’re working really hard! What is the project on this ti- Jumin, that’s not work” “Ah, yes, MC, I’m very aware. Would you like to proofread it? Or perhaps reenact the scene?”

           -YOU’RE LEFT AS A BLUSHING MESS, GOOD LUCK GETTING OUT OF REENACTING THE SCENE NOW


*SAEYOUNG:

           -He’s writing code all day long, why would he want to write MORE?

           -Therefore, DOODLER!

           -You can find pages and post-it notes all around the house with doodles on them

           -Doodles stars, space ships, and kitties!

           -You found a dickbutt on the milk carton once and threatened to throw it at him and all he did was snicker in response

           -“Saeyoung, care to explain why I walked around today with a sticky note with a diCK DRAWN ON IT STUCK TO MY JACKET?” “I was letting people know that your jacket was riDICKulous!” “Get away from me”

           -One time, you gathered all of his doodles of stars and spaceships, and spent the day sticking them all over the ceiling of your shared bedroom

           -He didn’t notice until he came in way after you had fallen asleep waiting for him

           -You know this lil tomato shed a few happy tears once he saw that you had spelt “I love you” in the stars


*V:

           -Writer!!!

           -Hello, “a picture is worth a thousand words”????

           -He likes to write little stories for each one of his photographs

           -Usually, he makes a story out of the events that happened on that day

           -Rreeaallllyy good at description words, and can paint a picture in your mind of how everything looked, felt, sounded, he had it ALL

           -If you request it, he’ll take a favourite photograph of yours and make up a story for it on the spot

           -“V, can you add dinosaurs into the story?” “If that’s what you want, sure sweetheart” (help me this is my sunshine)

           -If you’re having a bad day, he’ll pull out some of the stories and help you relive a happy moment with him

           -Sometimes he makes it into a game- He’ll read the description and you have to guess what the picture is of!


*SAERAN:

           -Okay, this little baby has to be a doodler

           -He’s not very good at expressing his emotions with words, so he finds that doodling helps him to get it out

           -Like Saeyoung, you’ll find doodles in random places, but you’ll realize that from time to time, it’s a game of hide and seek

           -He’ll leave these doodles as clues to where he is, or what he wants

           -Sometimes he’ll just stick a post-it note on your forehead with a face on it to show how he’s feeling

           -Most of the time he just likes to stick the post-it notes on your face to watch you pout at him afterwards

           -A lot of doodles of ice cream cones

           -*Dumps a purse-full of post-it’s with ice creams drawn on them onto the floor* “Saeran?” “Hm?” “Do you….do you want to go get ice cream?” “Well since you’re offering, yes, yes I do.”

anonymous asked:

Do you have any advice for writers with little to no audience? I'm finding it hard to get motivated to write since no one seems to like or even read my stuff.

Oof. Don’t throw me a soft ball or anything, anon. I’m sorry that you are struggling with this. When I first read this yesterday morning my knee jerk reaction was that no, I have no advice. I often feel like I “lucked into” having a following. However, the longer I reflected on it, the more I realized that wasn’t true. While I didn’t *calculate* the steps I took, choices I made as a writer DID have an impact on my gaining popularity. So here’s what I can think of:

1. Pick a niche fandom or ship. While you may get fewer readers by numbers, people who follow niche fandoms and niche ships tend to be much more interactive, and if you can gain fans from doing this, they might read your stuff that is for more common fandoms and ships. (for myself, I gained a huge boost when I started writing Dean/Cas/Jimmy).

2. Think about what fic you’d loooooove to read but haven’t seen anything similar - a specific kink, or a specific trope, or a type of story. For me, that was “An Assembly Such As This,” I wrote that specifically because I hadn’t been able to find a single Destiel Regency AU (I know of a few others now) and I wanted one like fricken *air* and as it turned out I wasn’t the only person who did. If you can spot a lack like that, fill it. Like, there’s an author I’m fond of who isn’t necessarily the best writer but if I want to read stories about dog or wolf Castiel fucking underage Dean, this writer is my go to, just because there is hardly anyone who writes that. And again, once you’ve got people hooked on your writing, they’re way more likely to read other stuff you write that is more mainstream and more likely to disappear in the noise of 47,000 Coffeeshop AUs.

3. To be brutally honest…if you are in a big fandom like Destiel, the single biggest advice I can give is be a damn good writer. There is so much quality writing in the bigger fandoms that, unfortunately, readers tend to move on if they aren’t grabbed pretty quickly. I can’t speak to the quality of your writing, anon, but if you think that’s at all the issue, don’t despair. It’s entirely a fixable problem. Find a writing group - where you live, or find one online. Accept constructive criticism unflinchingly (tell people who just tell you “I don’t like it” to go fuck themselves, that’s not helpful). Learn to read your own writing as if you didn’t write it (the only way I know of to do this is practice) and edit it to be the best you can. When you read stuff you like, re-read it with the eye of a writer: what did the original writer do with that turn of phrase that made it work? And the opposite: when you read stuff that you think doesn’t work, suss out WHY you think it doesn’t work. It takes a ton of a practice and a commitment to have your worked critiqued and an acceptance that it takes time, but just like any skill, it can be learned.

I’m guessing you wouldn’t have sent this to me if you didn’t think I was at least a decent writer…I used to say that I wouldn’t try to be a writer, would never succeed as a writer, because I didn’t have enough imagination. The other writer types around me always had so many *ideas* and I just had…nothing. No inspiration. No clever new twist on an old story. It felt totally pointless to keep writing, so I didn’t for long stretches of time. And when I finally started again, what I realized was, having ideas, writing well, all of it is skills that improve with practice. The same friend who rolled her eyes and told me I was wrong about the imagination thing said that all writers should expect to write a million words of crap before they write something really worth reading. In the past 15 years, I’ve written about 3 million words. And what you see on my AO3 account? My first shared fanfic are words I generated right around the 1 million word point. A Glimmer of Hope, my original novel, was words 600,000 to 700,000, and the sequel was words 700,000 to 850,000. I wrote four entire novels before I ever found the courage to share a word of it. You’re doing a brave thing by sharing your work, and if you have that bravery, the rest is just details. Don’t give up!

eta: Anon, if you were willing to contact me off anon, I could beta something short for you. I’m a bit of a brutal beta/editor but from what the two people I’ve done it for have told me (dragonpressgraphics and jhoomwrites) …it seems to help? I try to explain WHY I’m changing things, and point out major trends of “stuff that are recurring issues.”

So, I posted my success story yesterday, which got me thinking back to my time spent on the innumerable online dating platforms I used over a five-year period and the women I met as a result. I’m feeling introspective so I’m going to share a few wildly self-indulgent reflections.
Although obviously many traits interact to determine a person’s attractiveness and his or her ability to sustain a lasting relationship, through my experiences I’ve come to believe that foundational to these is a sense of deeply felt internal worth combined with an understanding, acknowledgment, and empathy for the flaws in oneself and others. I feel like my healthiest relationship has come only after grasping that we all are valuable no matter how we are seen or treated, and that we are all deserving of honesty, compassion, respect and love.
(You know that cliché about having to love yourself before you can love other people? I used to think it was total bullshit and now it seems so obvious to me.)
Virtually universally, online dating can feel like you are experiencing a singularly bleak parade of rejection. Over the years, hundreds of thoughtful messages, sent by and to me, just disappeared into the ether. It wasn’t long before I lost count of how many times, after enjoyable dates, I was told I didn’t generate a romantic spark – but it was dozens and dozens. In my greatest discouragement, it was tempting to internalize that rejection – to feel like I was lacking or worthless when my interest went unreciprocated. At the sad times where I felt like I needed to end things, I all-too-often dragged my feet out of a mixture of fear and selfishness, and as a result I made things more painful for others.
It wasn’t all bad: I’m an extrovert; I enjoyed going on dates; I liked meeting people; I relished the conversations we had and the things we did together. I even made some friends. But still I saw dating as a quest with a single destination in which my feeling of deep incompleteness would be permanently resolved.
During the process of dating that felt endlessly uncertain and prone to disappointment, I eventually learned that the only things that were possible for me to control were my own actions and choices. Out of a childish neediness that convinced itself that possessive hunger was actual love bloomed the first buds of patience. As a deeply affectionate (and affection-seeking) person, for the first time I began to understand the value of giving those I cared for various kinds of space.
I’m proud I finally learned to give space as freely and willingly as I gave affection, but it was a lesson it took me a long time to learn. It took prizing, not just merely respecting, the individual agency of others to introduce me to my true capacity for love for the first time. Before, emotional boundaries had seemed like something I needed to transcend to achieve the merging I had so desperately desired; now I can appreciate them for providing a framework that allows the possibility of authentic communication and mutual vulnerability.
Now that I am in a long-term relationship that I intend to make lifelong, I’ve concluded that meeting the right person isn’t a culminating moment but an initiating transition. Our independent journeys of personal growth continue, and the relationship we share is yet a third simultaneous journey. Energy moves freely between all three paths – separately, we grow together and together we grow separately. The feeling of love I experience is not an overwhelming excitement but a deep and happy comfort. It is a consistently warm fireplace that throws off occasional sparks rather than an explosive firework. In earlier relationships, I drove myself to distraction wondering if there were better partners for me out there – today, this idea no longer causes me any anxiety.
TLDR: I’m grateful for all my experiences, and though I have some regrets I can honestly say that I learned a lot about how to be a better person and a better partner.
Partial Relief

Published on AO3 here.

(A bit of sharing a story i actually had forgotten about, I read this with fresh eyes and thought it was pretty good….worth sharing.Post TSOT..set in HLV.)

The sound of the waves merged with the cries of the sea gulls, slowly drowning away in her giggles. Brown hair whipped across her face, the wind being gentle and yet stern. But she ran on ahead, turning and laughing, beckoning him to follow. And he wanted to, oh how he wanted to.

He felt stuck in the sand; part disbelief, part fear.

He then turned around to the sound of barking, the source invisible, constantly moving. He thought a red blur moved by his left and then by his right; the paw prints in the wet sand a proof of his existence. But he was nowhere to be seen.

It went all quiet. The waves quietened, followed by the wind dropping.

And then suddenly out of nowhere, she asked him, “I want to run…I want to walk…”

“With me?” he asked. Sarcasm. Or was it in his head?

“I want to leave footprints behind…”

“With me?” he asked her again, his voice laced with disbelief.

“I believe in you…you make it all worthwhile…I want to just be with you…”

“With me???” he whispered, desperate to believe her. What she offered. “With me…with me…” The sound echoes, suddenly becoming stronger and stronger…when suddenly it’s a name…Whitney???

“Whitney? Isaac Whitney?……Isaac??”

Ah, yes. Things are falling in place finally. He takes one more moment to see her smile as she disappears in the wind, the sound of his bark following her.

He then props himself on an elbow, removes his hood before turning around and asking with the right amount of snark. “Hello John, come for me too?”

the struggles of a fanfic author.

so, this was today’s project. and yes, it stemmed from a rant i had the other night about how little feedback a lot of us fanfic authors get. and it’s disgusting, honestly. 

anyway, it inspired this little fic. and… i think i said everything i needed to in it. is it harsh? probably. but this is how i feel right now. 


summary: Lucy’s fed up with how disheartening writing her stories has become, and Gajeel gives her the harsh advice that she really needed to hear. 

pairing: gajeel/lucy
rating: t (swearing)
words: 2103

also posted on ffnet. 

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abcnews.go.com
DWTS' Normani Kordei on cyberbullying: 'I can't carry hate in my heart'
Normani Kordei of Fifth Harmony made a profound statement last week on “Dancing With the Stars” when she danced to the song “Freedom” and opened up about being bullied.
By ABC News

Fifth Harmony’s Normani Kordei made a profound statement on “Dancing With the Stars” last week when she danced to the song “Freedom” by Anthony Hamilton and Elayna Boynton – receiving a perfect score – and opened up about being cyber-bullied.

The 20-year-old pop singer revealed on “DWTS” that she was “bullied terribly on social media” after she did a 2016 Facebook Live interview with the website Galore, in which she paused before saying her fellow bandmate Camila Cabello is “very quirky.” Some took that to be an insult, and Kordei received a wave of online backlash.

“I did an interview, it was taken out of context,” Kordei told ABC News’ “Nightline.” “There were images, people were calling me, like the ‘n’ word… I was getting racial slander. Images of me being whipped, hung, beaten and it really affected me.”

Watch the full story on “Nightline” tonight at 12:35 a.m. ET

Kordei said she was accused of being disrespectful, and when she apologized for the inadvertent offense, the online hatred only worsened.

“That’s the thing about social media, there’s no repercussions,” she said. “I feel like then I became more reserved and closed off person, and afraid of letting people in.”

The abuse became so bad that Kordei said she took a hiatus from all social media for two months, which was difficult for her.

“It’s part of my job,” she said. “It’s just part of who we are and how we communicate, so I just felt with me stepping away from social media for two whole months, my core fans, I felt I was neglecting them in a way.”

Kordei first rose to fame as a participant on the “The X Factor” in 2012. She then became one of the teen girls molded by famed music producer Simon Cowell to be a part of the all-female group Fifth Harmony. “Worth It” was their first big hit.

Most recently, Kordei has been a participant on “DWTS.“ It was her dance partner Val Chmerkovskiy who encouraged her to share her story, she said.

“The beauty is it [social media] gave a voice to everybody,” Chmerkovskiy said. “But the downside is it also gave a voice to everybody. And a lot of people don’t have the best intentions, for whatever reason.

Kordei was raised in New Orleans and says she has dealt with bullies since she was young.

“I went to a predominantly white school and I stuck out because I was the black girl, but I would get teased for the color of my skin and wonder why,” she said. “I remember we were playing outside and the first thing this little girl would tell me was, ‘Leave me alone you burnt biscuit.’ … I mean, where do you get that from, especially being so young?”

After coming back on social media, Kordei said she continues to deal with hate from anonymous internet users every day.

“What I learned in how to deal with it is it has absolutely nothing to do about me,” she said. “It’s genuinely an insecurity that other people have in themselves. or something that they lack that you may have that they want… That’s why I can’t carry hate in my heart.”

She hopes her dancing every Monday night on “DWTS” will inspire others not to be afraid to be proud of who they are.

“I think that at the end of the day as humans we just need to be more sympathetic to each other,” she said.

ABC’s Nick Watt contributed to this report

Brownies, Anyone?


I love spending time in the kitchen. I love to try new dinner recipes and discover some easy snacks to get me through the day. I especially love to bake. Does that make me an expert? Nope. I don’t have a lot of time to set aside and actually do elaborate recipes. I like to find easy recipes; the easier, the quicker, the better. Also, I can get lazy. Don’t judge me.

I’ve loved seeing Elizabeth share some yummy recipes with us (That carrot cupcake recipe?! YUM!)  and I’ve been meaning to try some of them out for a while. The problem is: Time. I have none, sadly. Also, sometimes I don’t have the necessary cooking/baking equipment.

But! I came across the perfect one recently and have been meaning to try it for a while. BIRD Bakery has some gluten-free brownies that look to die for and I couldn’t resist the chocolate cravings inside me. Best of all, it didn’t look too elaborate.

Some of you might have seen my live updates on how it was going, via those darn Instagram stories. Here’s the full showdown for you.

The recipe is just a quick Google search away and seems to be very popular. For me, I had come across it via Pinterest (and if you’re judging me, get a Pinterest and see what all the fuss is about, you’re welcome) and it had reminded me of what I’d been wanting to write about for this lovely blog. I got to it the very next day and was happy to see that my Pinterest high hadn’t conned me into thinking it was easier than it actually was. Note: This has happened before.

The gluten-free portion of the recipe isn’t really that important to me; BIRD Bakery uses a specific flour that’s locally sold, after many requests from customers for gluten-free choices, and I personally will eat everything except some seafood at this point. So I did tweak the recipe in order to use regular flour and they still turned out great. I did stick to everything else religiously, however, and felt pretty darn awesome doing so. I am a master whisker and my favorite part about anything cooking/baking related is mixing stuff together, and I was happy to see the results, even though my Instagram story said otherwise. It took a little more time than I had originally thought it would because of certain instructions that I’ll share in a second, but overall nothing too bad. Worth the struggle!

I wasn’t able to take any pictures of my personal achievement because there were children present and those brownies disappeared so quickly that I wondered if I’d dreamt the whole thing. I guess I’m a chocolate champ.

Anyway, here’s the recipe, for all those curious and wanting to try something new!

Servings: 12

INGREDIENTS:

Unsalted butter: 1¼ cups

Granulated white sugar: 1½ cups

Semi-sweet chocolate chips: 1⅔ cups

Almond flour: 2⅓ cups

Eggs: 8, yolk and white separated

Baking powder: 1¼ Tbsp.

Powdered sugar or chocolate ganache: for garnish

Sliced, blanched almond: 1, for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 300° with rack in center position. Generously butter a 9x13 inch baking dish.

Step 2: In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and then remove from heat. In a large bowl, cream together butter and half of the sugar, slowly adding in the egg yolks. Once well incorporated, add flour and baking powder.

Step 3: Place remaining sugar and eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium speed—about 4 minutes—until stiff peaks form.

Step 4: Slowly add the melted chocolate to the large bowl. Fold in the egg-white mixture until all of the ingredients are well incorporated, then pour batter into pan.

Step 5: Bake for 60 minutes at 300°. Rotate halfway through, bringing temperature down to 275°. Bake until center is firm, being careful not to crisp the edges.

Step 6: Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift brownies out of pan and let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.

Step 7: Drizzle with chocolate ganache or dust with powdered sugar and garnish with one blanched, sliced almond.

(PS, I totally forgot to garnish with the almond but you better believe it was Powdered Sugar City up on those brownies)

Happy baking! 10/10 for this recipe, E. Would bake again. 

I’m still an emotional wreck, so obviously I’m reading a book about the Holocaust. But this book is well written and engaging, so it’s actually not making me feel worse. It contains the hardships that one would expect, but there are also brief snippets of kindness and altruism, too. More importantly, this is one of the many stories that are being called fiction or exaggeration. This is story that is worth hearing, just like all of the other stories that are written down and the millions more that weren’t.

After donating to Share Their Stories, the Kickstarter by United States Holocaust Museum to digitize and translate diaries, it felt important to read Millie Werber’s story. It is the best way that I can make sure her story, and the millions of other stories, are remembered.

To view or donate to the Kickstarter, click here.

The Finale of TOZX

I’ve seen a lot of reactions to the last Tales of Zestiria X episode flooding the tags and the two most prominent ones thus far have been Sorey and Mikleo fans being upset while Sorey and Alisha fans are quite happy. Somewhere in between, there are people who are getting angry at shippers for being upset, and for shippers being happy.

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Fury Road and some thoughts on meaningful narrative!

I had a really interesting discussion with justinoaksford earlier today regarding narrative messages and creative intent - and while I usually keep this blog to art stuff, I think we both had enough aha moments that some of it might be worth sharing. Bear with me, as I’m sure most of this will be painfully obvious to anyone who is a writer, even if it felt revelatory to me at the time :B

This conversation came up, of course, because of the incredible and much-discussed feminist storytelling in Mad Max: Fury Road. There are about 8 million articles on that already which are all fantastic, so I won’t go into that specifically. What had piqued Justin’s and my interest was the question of how and why. Movies and stories like Fury Road are super powerful and can be a real force for good in the world. As people who are in the film/games biz, who want to tell stories ourselves, we want to know how to make things like that!

There are people out there with the opinion that entertainment is just entertainment, and social agendas should be left out - it’d be too preachy, it’d constrain something that’s supposed to be fun and escapist. There’s a grain of truth in this, in the sense that if a specific lesson is shoehorned into a story, instead of being an organic part of it, that lesson will feel, well… like a lesson. It’ll be obvious, pasted-on, and can detract from the fun of being entertained. However, that initial assumption - that social justice has no place in entertainment -  also assumes that entertainment without a “social agenda” has no kind of impact on the people consuming it. I would confidently say that media affects people very deeply, regardless of whether or not the creator had any kind of agenda or intention, and regardless of whether or not the person consuming the media realizes it. In fact, it’s when the messages come in a super entertaining form that our barriers are lowest, and we accept as emotional truth some pretty deep, unconscious lessons about ourselves, others, and how the world works - at least according to that story.

Which brings me back around to Fury Road. It’s unquestionably full of the fieriest kind of social justice around, wrecking the patriarchy like nobody’s business, giving us amazing examples of men and women hurt by it and trying reclaim themselves from it. It’s been analyzed almost to death already, and it’s hard to imagine that a message so resonant could be in any way accidental. But George Miller himself has said that there wasn’t a feminist agenda in the beginning:

https://youtu.be/mOjhZmA7M0w?t=462

The meaningful nature of the story grew really organically out of a scenario involving these wives escaping. And I think the entire reason it became the furious beautiful feminist thing it became, instead of sliding into a cheap “Max helps a bunch of sexy women” story (as it easily might have in the hands of a lazier creator), is because Miller cared about those characters as people. The exact manifesto in the movie - “WE ARE NOT THINGS” - is why his story doesn’t cheapen or fall flat, and why it resonated and provided so much meaning. He didn’t set out to tell a feminist story, but he had empathy for literally everyone he put on screen, and clearly did his best to imagine and construct how they would feel and respond to a situation like the one in Fury Road. And as he picked his way forward through the decade of development this went through, he cared enough to research, and to get experts like Eve Ensler to add their experience and knowledge. And none of this was to paste anything on, to preach, or to shoehorn anything in - it was to make sure the story and the characters that drove it were simply better, truer, more interesting, more entertaining.

Basically, it’s good writing.

Meaningful stories that deconstruct our world are things that happen naturally when, as a writer/storyteller, you care about your characters as real people affected by the world they live in. And when your characters act like humans, not things, you can achieve films like Fury Road, where the excellence of the fire tornadoes and Doof Warrior-backed car melees is enhanced a hundredfold by the fact that you, as an audience member, care about everyone on screen.

So this: 

And this:

…are not in any way opposed, but are facets of a cohesive whole that would be way less excellent for the loss of either.

This isn’t to say that having a conscious point to your stories should be in any way avoided. Rather, there’s a lot to be said for discovering the meaning and power in a story - by writing with empathy and honesty within a story or world that you as a creator feel kid-at-Christmas gleefully excited about, and staying open to expanding into the territory your characters lead you to when you let them.

More often than not I suspect that effort and openness will lead to other Fury Roads.

3

Z through the years!

 I don’t normally do these because as you can see… my art is constantly changing. Although this is hard to look at, I felt it was worth the share since a lot of you are brand new to my art. Z was uh… something special…and it took me a long time to be ok with totally revamping his design. His story got progressively more serious and the floaty headed design was just no longer working for me.  It was too weird and it was hard to take the hero of the story seriously. I tried saving the design but decided the floating head had to go. 

SO i chose to stick with a version of Z that I call “Plus.” It was a series after the floaty headed era where he got a neck and real body back.
While “Classic” is still a part of the series, I feel like “Plus” represents Z more accurately so I draw him this way more often. I couldn’t find much older work of this version of him so I tossed in the work I’ve only just done recently. It’s amazing to see how much design I go through now just to get what I want. Of course Z is likely to change more, but I’ve got him to the point of how I imagine him in my mind! His look should only improve here on out.  

ANd of course this doesn’t include his older story arc but thats for another time. Right now I’m trying to focus on this arc a bit more.

Anyway, Hope this maybe inspires some of you character designers out there. Don’t be too picky and don’t be afraid to change your character for the better! 

Reverence - 5. First prep

Originally posted by lookprettyliveclassyplaydirty

Summary: Dean x Reader: Dean thinks about how the bunker has changed since the reader joined their little group and Sammy comes with news of a hunt.

Word Count: 3092

Triggers: None

Y/N = Your name  Y/E/C = Your eye colour

Note: This is a slow burn type story, really slow, but I promise it’ll be worth the wait! The full story will be written in third person limited point of view with Dean as the main character.

Chapters: Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4  Part 5  Part 6  Part 7  Part 8  Part 9
Part 10  Part 11  Part 12  Part 13  Part 14  Part 15Part 16

The day of their first shared breakfast had been a truly happy one for Dean. It felt nice having (Y/N) there and the mood seemed lighter than it had been in months, if not years. After he’s thoroughly stepped in it that morning, by making her bring up her nightmares, Dean had feared the mood would be heavy. But they’d been back on lighter topics easy as pie. They’d finished washing the dishes together well before Sammy came back from his run and spent the morning talking over another cup of coffee as (Y/N) checked out their lore collection.

Most of the rest of the day had been spent looking at her sweetheart to prepare what needed doing or showing her around her new home. They’d spent some time chatting over the map table in the war room as she traced lines across the whole of the great US with her fingertips, talking about where her hunts had taken her. Dean’s own fingers tracing lines where there paths might have crossed time and time again. He’d shown her their arsenal too, and she’d thrown some less than PG jokes his way about the bunker having a dungeon.

All in all the day had been calm, quiet and completely normal. Something Dean wasn’t used to anymore, but it was nice. It was just easy, calm and natural to have her around, even after just knowing her for a few days. Somehow she was just that missing piece of the puzzle, and she fit in perfectly in the slightly dysfunctional Winchester household. The picture Dean was seeing of his daily life now that she was around somehow finally matching the image on the box.

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enchanted-captainswan  asked:

Hey, I love your stories so much. You're a great writer :) so i wanted to ask if you can write something, where Sheldon comforts and takes care of Amy, because she has a stomach ache. That would be so cute, I think :3

Thanks for the prompt.  I think that I like Sheldon taking care of Amy because it’s one of the only times that he’s really sweet to her.  I need more sweet Sheldon in the show.  I’m sure he has that side to him.  He needs to share it with our girl.  I hope you enjoy the story.

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I think it’s about time I share my most personal of feelings when it comes to Undertale and how it has effected me from the moment of its release to now.

(Warning: Rambling that builds to a point.)

Once upon a time, back when I was just a small child, my life wasn’t… the best. From always being in and out of the hospital with life-threatening fevers and illnesses to being extensively bullied and told to die by most of my peers to never being able to feel safe in my own home, my life has always been one horrible situation after another.

Frankly–it’s a sob story (and why I never share a lot of the time). The most good I’ve ever had was the rare moments my parents weren’t screaming at each other–at least, until I got my cat Doodle–but even he couldn’t cushion the chaos entirely and could only help so much.

Video games were my only solace growing up–and without them, I would have committed suicide a long time ago.

Life, to me, has never seemed to be… worth it. It always felt like I was nothing but a burden on both my family and the people around me–and it wasn’t exactly easy to feel otherwise with your parents always fighting about you and your sibling and having peers that called you a demon and shoved crosses in your face as a “joke” (among many other things I won’t get into).

Escapism is the thing that kept me going all this time.

I remember as a child getting my first Nintendo 64 when it had first come out–and that was one of the best days of my life. Video games back then were so… immersive. They felt like an actual story that didn’t just revolve around violence. And what I loved the most? Being able to pretend that I was there and not… well, here.

I hated myself. I hated my life. I dreaded coming home every single day. I dreaded going to school every single day. Everything just… made me sick. I felt useless.

But when I was playing a video game (specifically, something like Paper Mario 64)? I felt like I could like the person I was. I loved the life I was living. I was always eager to hop back in and continue forward with my adventure with my friends.

It’s because of this that I have such an intense passion for this industry–because it literally had saved my life. 

I had grown up attuning myself to immersion and learning how to spot fundamental flaws in stories, how to judge the believability in digital partners and relationships, and how to interpret situations and approach them to the best of my abilities (both on and offline)–all because of some “silly time waster” as some people like to call them.

I’ve had maybe a total of 2 offline “friends” growing up from the time I was 3 to 16 (with all of my actual good friends being put on the back-burner due to manipulation by one of said “friends”), and let me tell you–they were the most abusive pieces of shit I have EVER met. They took advantage of me–taught me the “correct” way to act and think–and I’m pretty sure now you’re not supposed to grovel at your friend’s feet over having a different opinion than them. That should never be the case.

And I know people must think “but didn’t your video games teach you about that?”–and let me explain to you how my immersion worked before I matured:

There was a clear separation of who I was physically to who I was digitally–I didn’t have any self-worth toward my human visage so… what was the point? “It’s okay to be treated like that because I deserved it.”

Moving on from that though–

There were only 2 games that I had practically worshipped my entire life–and that was Paper Mario 64 and Okami. Whenever I wanted to get closer to someone, I would attempt to show them those and just… experience it with them. Attempt to form a stronger bond that can only be had with the exchange of highly personal feelings.

But–there’s now a third game to that all-time favorite list–

And that is Undertale.

Undertale, as most people can tell you, is one of the most revolutionary games to have hit the community in years… and it’s everything I had ever wanted in a video game. It satisfied something in my head with its amazing story and characters and music that none other have been able to do so thoroughly–and that’s why I’ve dedicated a portion of my new life to Monofell.

And don’t get me wrong–I had been repelled from it originally because of the sheer overwhelming attitude of the community its first week of being released–but a little animation of Muffet motivated me to just… play it and avoid looking anything up to make it as new and real as possible.

I hadn’t cried that hard over a game in years.

Every character… every. single. character. had something I could relate to–from Alphys’s own escapism to sans’ depression–and I felt something just… click.

I don’t do what I do for kicks–I don’t do anything unless it means something to me on a personal level.

Undertale inspired me to finally free myself from my abuser and become my own person after 17 years of believing that I was doomed to die pathetic and alone–living a constant lie that only running away and changing my name would fix.

Undertale inspired me to finally try and do the thing I’ve always wanted to do since I was a small child: make video games and encourage people to be happy.

I owe this game something that can never be repaid–but I’ll sure as hell try to do it justice.

An Open Thank You Letter to Taylor Swift

Dear Taylor Swift,

As I prepare to graduate from high school, I would like to take a moment to say a sincere and infinitely grateful, “Thank you.”

As a feminist activist, I have heard plenty of critiques of your music. You slut-shame other girls in your song “Better Than Revenge.” You promote the virgin-whore dichotomy in your music video for “You Belong With Me.” You write about boys too much for someone who professes to be independent and pure. I will be the first to admit that much of this criticism has a point.

However, my connection with your music goes much, much deeper. You were the soundtrack to my bildungsroman. You empathized with me when no one else did. You inspired me to grow and to share.

I’ll never forget first watching your “Teardrops on My Guitar” music video when I was 11 or 12, in 7th grade, and had my very first crush. I didn’t understand why he didn’t like me just because he was a football player and I was a nerd. I didn’t understand why he ended up dating a popular girl who hung out with the skaters. But Taylor Swift, you understood. You sang it, “He’s the reason for the teardrops on my guitar/the only thing that keeps me wishing on a wishing star.” And so my 12-year-old self wished on stars for that one blonde, blue-eyed football player to return my affections.

As embarrassing as it is to admit now, I felt it. I felt the unrequited crush heavy on my adolescent shoulders. I can’t deny those feelings. I can’t deny the sadness, the pain that my 12-year-old self felt. Taylor Swift sang those feelings, and I sat at my computer mooning over some popular middle school crush and wondering at life’s unfairness. Do you remember those days? Taylor, thank you for being the soundtrack to my adolescence.

But it didn’t end when I was twelve. There’s this tendency in our society to disparage the very real feelings of teenage girls, writing them off as “hysterical” or “hormonal.” Teenage girls are perhaps the most hated of all social groups – the instant we love something, whether it’s “Twilight” or “The Hunger Games,” the value of that franchise decreases in the eyes of the majority of the population. We’re portrayed as this hysterical mob as a collective, and as individuals, desired by hormonal teenage boys. It’s such a paradox that in order to be considered “attractive,” a teenage girl must never seek out the affections of a boy. The very act of desiring someone’s affections – that act of agency – renders us pathetic and undesirable.

So Taylor, thank you for empathizing with my feelings, and more importantly, for showing me that it’s okay to feel at all. There’s nothing wrong with being a teen girl, and there’s nothing wrong with the experience of being crazy and emotional when you’re a teen girl. There’s nothing shallow or insubstantial about the feelings you have when you’re a teenager.

It’s certainly important for girls to develop self-esteem and be able to have self-worth outside of boys, but that’s a gradual process of self-discovery. As fans, we know that you’re going through it as well. Whether the listener is male or female, love is a human need that all teenagers struggle with. I’m glad that you’re sharing it with us.

No matter what critics say about the slut-shaming and male-objectifying of “You Belong with Me,” the song’s story spoke to my real experience. I have felt that I was not attractive enough or popular enough or cool enough to attain the object of my affection. When you’re young, that’s what you do. You don’t imagine people in a complex way. I’m picturing myself at 14 and focused on the boy I have great conversations with who doesn’t seem to be into me because he only goes for popular girls. I’m sitting in the afternoon sunlight streaming in the lobby windows as he talks about AP Bio. I’m thinking, “You belong with me.”

I’m graduating from high school this year, but I don’t foresee your influence on my life ending. As your music matures and grows more nuanced, and as I gain in life experiences to match, I’m starting to know what you mean by “I’ve found time can heal most anything, and you just might find who you’re supposed to be,” in the song “Fifteen.” I’m starting to understand what you mean by, “And we know it’s never simple, never easy/Never a clean break, no one here to save me,” from “Breathe.”

I’m 16 now, and sometimes at twilight, I ride the train, look out into the sunset and think about the boy that I sometimes still remember all too well. I play your song. “And I know it’s long gone, and that magic’s not here no more/it might be okay, but I’m not fine at all.” And I look out the train window, and for a minute or two, it’s okay to rip my heart open and let myself feel.

You’ve comforted me in the lowest of moments, which usually are boy-related, and you’ve celebrated with me in my moments of ecstasy. Critics say that you write too much about love and boyfriends, but let me tell you, so do I. To be honest, although I’ve devoted a large portion of my life to feminism and social justice, and despite never having had a serious/real boyfriend, love causes the most immediate despair and the most exuberant happiness in my life. And Taylor, you’ve been there.

It’s a part of me, and it’s a part of all of us at this age to seek that ideal of romantic love and to be disappointed by that ideal. We also get back up and to chase it again. I think it’s so courageous of you to share your growing process through your songs.

There’s an instrumental after the three minute mark in your new song, “All Too Well,” and a few poignant lines that strike a chord in me every time. “You called me up again just to break me like a promise/so casually cruel in the name of being honest/I’m a crumpled up piece of paper lying here/‘Cause I remember it all too well.” That’s so vivid – it tells your story. But it also tells mine. About teenage despair, about longing, about being alive and feeling so intensely both the ups and downs of love.

Thank you for being there. Thank you for sharing your stories. Thank you for helping me grow to a place where I can share mine.

Yours,
YingYing

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yingying-shang/an-open-thank-you-letter-_b_2576849.html