ambiguator

i see so much of Julia Burnsides fanart revolving around the line “this chair smells like Grandma’s” and it upsets me because when i was listening to the ep i heard it as “this chair smells like grandmas”, which implies not that Magnus built a chair that reminded Julia of her grandmother but that Julia thinks lavender smells like grandmothers, in general, and honestly i think that’s a far more accurate description of a woman who would marry Magnus Burnsides

A love that...

venus in Aries- you have to fight for in a never-ending war

venus in Taurus- makes you feel warm, safe, and adored

venus in Gemini- keeps you talking until the sun comes up

venus in Cancer- feels like coming home

venus in Leo- makes you feel like the most special person in the world

venus in Virgo- appreciates all the little thoughtful things you do

venus in Libra- is richer, smoother, and sweeter than swiss chocolate

venus in Scorpio- destroys and remakes you a thousand times over

venus in Sagittarius- sets you free

venus in Capricorn- you’d be happy to grow old with

venus in Aquarius- extends to everyone in the world

venus in Pisces- is too good to last, which makes it even more beautiful

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It’ll all work out in the end, I won’t leave your side

How to Be a Pirate (You will be remembered, my dear)
  1. If it is the ocean that sings to you, or the thrill of Aztec treasure, or other kingdom’s riches, know that you cannot go back. Once you set sail, the saltwater will haunt you even if you retire to a desert. There will never be enough golden coins or golden islands that will satisfy you. The life of a pirate is a thirsting life, and it is common knowledge that saltwater does not quench.
  2. Kiss your mother and father’s graves goodbye before you set sail. If the ocean will not be your grave, the gallows are too far from the churchyard to comfort your spirit. Keep your farewells frugal. Better yet, disappear without a word. Legends are not borne out of nostalgia.
  3. Turn a blind eye to the third mate whose hair is bunched into their hat and keeps their chest wrapped tightly under their bleached tunic. Her hands may be small, but they will build callouses just like yours once she scrubs the deck long enough. Bad luck is not the fault of a stowaway woman, and the storms are not her doing—after all, the crew had thrown Jonah into the sea to calm it. You’d be better off watching out for the storm that is the woman. She will put you to shame when she sets fire to your enemies to fight tooth and nail for the freedom she earned.
  4. Treat a mermaid gently if one accidentally gets tangled in your fishing net—comb the hooks out of his hair and don’t curse if he bites your fingers. Offer him your hat to shield his eyes from the sun and answer his questions when he asks in panic why his fingers are wrinkling. If you must chuckle, try to do so silently, so that he does not think are laughing at him. Mermaids are born singers—their egos are easily bruised.
  5. When a man goes overboard in the midst of a storm, throw the rope to him. If he cannot cling onto it, lower yourself in a rowboat to help him from the bobbing waves. But remember to never jump in after him, if he turns away and rides the waves into the deep. Do not blame yourself. You could hold your breath forever and still cannot rescue a drowning man who swims away from a lifesaver.
  6. Whistle while you work. The songs that your mother used to sing you to sleep with are not a curse just because it is from the past. And melodic tales about purple mountains and golden cornfields will stun your mermaid guest—he will ask you again and again how fast horses run, and how do flowers smell like. He will test your patience, but even pirates enjoy basking in Scheherazade’s glory. We all like to be heard other times than when we’re shouting orders.
  7. There is little use in envying your legendary predecessors. Madame Ching and Blackbeard’s skin peeled under the sun just like yours. Legends never feel like legends when their shoulders ache.
  8. You will lose your hand along the way. Some lose their eye, others their foot, others aren’t as lucky and lose their hope. It is all part of chasing the impossible. When the time comes—and it will come, when you are least prepared—there is no shame in weeping. There will never be enough saltwater. Let your mermaid guest dress your wound and see your tears. He will miss your tender palms, and you will miss that sense of safety. But let him treat you; his fingers are nimble and cool to the touch.
  9. When he sings to you the songs of his world and people, do not be overwhelmed—there will always be a part of the ocean that you will never see. The greatest pirates will never know what lies beneath their hull. Most hurl a mermaid out of their sight for fear of deception, and never lit a candle for him to see a dancing flame for the first time, cautioning him to keep his hands to themselves.
  10. Keep your plank short and sturdy—no one wants to walk to their death with shaky knees. No captain can avoid a mutiny, but that does not mean that you did not do something wrong. Which is why without a doubt, when your second mate plunges blindfolded into the sea, your heart will sink right down with him. But a captain is expected to root out betrayal and never betray themselves. Careful—if you catch yourself calling him name when you call all hands on deck, your crew might suspect that you regret it.
  11. Buried gold can afford bejeweled, decadent hooks for where your hand had once been. The richest of pirates can afford hooks of pure gold and a diamond cuff whose reflection can almost replace the spark in your dulled eyes. But they will only ever be hooks, and your mermaid will gasp in pain every time you cut his skin, even if you try to be gentle. He knows that you can’t help it, but don’t get cross if he shies away from you when you come too close. Mermaids are not quite used to love which makes them bleed.
  12. Pirates are not heroes. They kill in order to avoid the gallows. They maroon rather than forgive. All who sail past you will assume the worst of you, and point their cannons at your sails without consideration. It may be easier to live up to their expectations and take up your sword. It is far more exhausting fighting for your nobility.
  13. Your mermaid guest cannot stay for long. The sun scorches his skin, shrivels his scales, cracks his voice. The explosions of your ship’s cannons and your musket rounds piercing the Royal Navy shake him to their core. You can beg all you want, but your hook only hurts him when you try to hold on to him. He will wait until it is nighttime to quietly throw himself overboard. Two of your mates will hold you back from diving after him. They know that they could not save you if you did.
  14. Do not be alarmed when you find yourself under the starlight missing home. Any captain of a loyal crew will be desperately lonely when sailing alone in the wide, treacherous expanse that is one’s own head. I’m afraid, however, that it is too late now to turn back. Your lost hand, or cold, nimble fingers would not be there home waiting for you even if it wasn’t.
  15. Understand that you will never be remembered. Even if your name is emblazoned with fear in every queen’s heart, even if the tales of your terror make every captain shudder. They will not remember the songs you hummed under the moonlight. They will not remember your careful fingers loosening hooks from their hair. Legends are not borne out of love.  

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I love how some people seems to think Ephemera is secretly evil-succumb to darkness-related to Xehanort -type of character just because he have a silver hair lol. Can’t blame you, I thought the same when the first time seeing Ephemer, silver hair character are always look suspicious in every kingdom hearts xD

thank god he’s still a nice character (at least for now)

Creating Diversity from Generic White Script

So, I’m taking a screenwriting class, where we’re writing a short film script. I’m writing basically a story about an RA who’s struggling through the stress of like, cyclical catching students misbehaving, writing them up, school etc. My issue is, it’s a script, and something our prof has talked about is how it’s important to actively build diversity into the story to avoid the hollywood ‘Best (white person) For The Role’ which makes a lot of sense, but on the other hand, my story idea is currently… entirely generic, i.e. 

I’m at that point where I have to make a decision about whether it would be fruitful to specify the race/ethnicities of certain characters. But my problem is, some of the characters speak very little, and most of them say things basically any student would say in the same situation. Even my main character speaks mostly in a professional context using basic RA lines like ‘hand over your IDs.’ 

Because it’s a script, it seems really weird to me to say, okay this character is asian, but then there’s no real reason for them to be or not to be, say, black, or latina, or mixed, etc.? At this point, I have to decide moving forward whether to build my characters to incorporate some indicators of specific racial/ethnic background (linguistic quirks, etc.), but I don’t know a) whether I should or not because it seems necessary only because of trying to subvert an all white cast, and b) how I might even go about this, again, seemingly arbitrary process. 

So how can I build diversity into a script that’s relatively generic without it feeling arbitrary or canned? Or without specifically indicating race/ethnicity in a context in which it wouldn’t really be addressed outwardly?

[Redacted for readability]

Your professor is correct. It’s time to normalize People of Color in scripts, stories, in all forms of media. White is still very much the default for Hollywood and clearly your script as you struggle to place us just existing without it feeling unnatural or obtrusive.  You question whether it is fruitful to specify race where race won’t be addressed. I say it is. This is exactly what many of us want, just a story where we’re included and treated as human beings doing things, with agency, and not table settings and decorations for white characters to interact with.

It seems unnatural or unnecessary to specify race to you because you’re used to the default being white people who don’t need an introduction of race. It’s time to just stop feeling the need to have to explain our existence and just let us be there. Let us exist.

At this point, I have to decide moving forward whether to build my characters to incorporate some indicators of specific racial/ethnic background (linguistic quirks, etc.), but I don’t know a) whether I should or not because it seems necessary only because of trying to subvert an all white cast, and b) how I might even go about this, again, seemingly arbitrary process.

Why not add cultural and personal details, though? Even in the small ways? Honestly, if people are only speaking in professional terms and doing generic actions void of much emotion and personality, your story may come off as bland and the characters undeveloped and unmemorable. Perhaps I don’t have a full understanding of what you’re doing with this script, though.

The way people speak and the words they say, the way they react to things, it’s all informed by where we come from and who we are. You could show culture with a name, from the lunch they eat, the words they mumble in their native tongue in frustration…and those things come off as much more engaging to me than just White/Generic/Everyman does generic/ professional things.

~Mod Colette

I agree. We’d love stories where we’re the protags, but there isn’t a lot of hullaballoo about our identity. But that doesn’t mean wiping the slate completely.

(I’m thinking of a recent video featuring Martellus Bennett of the NE Patriots and how he actually has a book series with a Black protag going on adventures, and how he talked about the importance of having Black characters having their own stories that weren’t just about their identities.)

-Mod Jess

How to solve your problem: backstory.

Any generic script can be modified to PoC, depending on your definition of “generic.” If by “generic” you mean “ethnically uncoded"— well, you’re wrong. Generic is very ethnically coded. It’s white coded. You just don’t notice it because it’s the same markers in your life. If you watch something like Black-ish or Fresh Off the Boat, you’ll see the differences in ethnic coding in a family suburban sitcom.

If by “generic” you mean “uses archetypes familiar to the genre”, then you’re dealing with a situation where there really genuinely isn’t any race marker. As I mentioned— Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat are family suburban sitcoms. These are generic plots, made different by asking: what would this ethnic group experience in this context?

You don’t seem to know enough about diverse ethnic groups in order to insert them into the narrative. Black people, for example, tend to dress more professionally than is required. This is because the markers of “casual and cool” for a white person (jeans, t-shirt, sneakers) are seen as “slob and inexperienced” for a black person. There are hundreds of examples like this, if you start looking.

As Colette said: you’re used to the default being white people. All of us are! This is something you have to actively unlearn. But the way to unlearn it is to ask the same questions you do in general character building. 

Things like:

- How does this character’s background impact their behaviour?

- How do others see them? (Note- cultural markers like the above dressing professionally example heavily influence this)

- How did their parents push them?

- How do they want to be seen?

In order to build race into your characters, you have to get out of your all-white box and start to understand our perspectives. Just like you learn to write a whole bunch of different white people in writing, learn to write a whole bunch of Black, or Latinx, or East Asian, or South Asian people. We’re all still people, but our experiences have shaped us for who we are— just like white people.
When building characters, you have to ask yourself all of the questions about who they are and how they’re seen in order to write anything good. These are the steps for any character building, so if you’re thinking there’s too much work involved… well, sorry, no, there really isn’t. Not in this industry. 

You live and die by your ability to create relatable characters, and in order to do that, you have to build backstory. And in order to build diversity in, you have to learn how to craft a PoC backstories that have just as much nuance and variety as white backstories.

~Mod Lesya

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“Better luck next time.”


Bank Robber AU for @ambiguous-eyepatch for the Valentines @aftgexchange!

I had a lot of fun drawing these and I hope you like it! 😃

I realized too late that this wasn’t exactly what you meant by your prompt, sorry about that, but I hope it’s still okay!

The rest of my mini-fic/headcanons/ramblings about this AU are below the cut:

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