and feel very free to add your own thoughts and recommendations

🔔 BELLS IN WITCHCRAFT 🔔

Originally posted by marklsmovingcastle

Bells might just be the earliest form of superstitious practise that I remember. My baba attached three sakura-patterned suzu bells on my schoolbag as a kid, purportedly for good luck and protection from evil spirits – and Japan is far from the only place to have associated bells and bellringing with mystic practise. They’ve been used worldwide to ward off evil and carry messages – and in a more metaphysical sense, sound is the movement of energy through substance. Sounds have the potential to work powerful magic.

Here are some of the ways I’ve found utilising bells to be helpful to my craft. While I’m more likely to use traditional suzu type bells, your own background, path and culture will likely have its own types of bells – and as ever, bells can be ornate antiques or they can be a bottle cap in a tin can, as long as they’re used with intent.

GETTING STARTED

🔔 As with so much of the craft, if you’re new to the witching bell, it’s a matter of exploration and experimentation. Get a “feel” for what works for you and the specific bell you’re using.

🔔 It’s good practise to ensure that the bell itself is cleansed, warded and protected – you don’t want anything nasty tapping into that power. All witching tools can do as much harm as good, intentional or accidental.

🔔 A good way to begin incorporating bells into your craft is infuse them into any typical ritual that you’re comfortable with, or even just a prayer or moment of contemplation at your altar if you have one.

🔔 Give the bell a soft ring while focusing on the energy it’ll ripple and move, try to track the movements it creates and what it touches. The tone it’s sending out.  The most primal and versatile use of the bell – and what many of the below come down to – is simply another manner of physically channelling energy, giving it shape and direction.

PROTECTION

🔔 “Passive” bells such as windchimes or small bells attached to belongings you don’t want disturbed are a starting point. They will scare off some forms of spirit all by themselves, especially if appropriately blessed, charmed or enchanted. Or cursed.

🔔 Gently tolling can draw energy into a ward or circle you are forming and enforce its protective properties, or for a simple cleanse, letting the sound travel to every corner of the area you are protecting. It’s a little more “cutting” than a smoke or incense cleansing, which I view as more “gentle” forms of cleansing. Both have their uses.

🔔 Harder tolling is, in my opinion, one of the most powerful ways in which to enforce a banishing – however, it’s best to you know what you’re doing with the bell before you go bashing it about.

DISCERNMENT

🔔 Bells can have quite the effect on your perception and awareness. Ringing and then stopping, listening to the silence left in its wake, can bring you new perceptions or make things you’d previously missed obvious. Let it attune your mind and senses to something new, whether that’s in your thoughts or something with a little more presence. Visualise travelling with the sound, taking heed of the energies it touches and disturbs. Take note of the echoes – you’ll learn what they mean with experience.

🔔 A set of windchimes can let you know if something is passing through or if there’s some unusual energy afoot – and, yes, it may also just be letting you know that it’s a particularly breezy day, but that’s witchcraft for you.

CONJURING

🔔 This can be as simple as calling good energies to witching tools, spell jars, tarot decks, crystals, altars and shrines, your favourite teddy bar, anything at all.

🔔 With spirit work, it can truly help to magnify your “calling”. This can range from gently bringing your latest offering to the attention of your friendly neighbourhood house spirit – all the way to trying to catch the attention of something more. Be mindful, however. As I said, I consider bells pretty powerful tools and a call that’s too loud is not good spirit work practise for the spirit worker’s own sake. It can really help coax something out of hiding if you’re gentle with it, though.

COMMUNING

🔔 Some use bells to mark the beginning and end of a ritual, and I’ve read that in Wiccan practise an altar bell can be used to invoke the Goddess, although as a non-Wiccan, I’ll welcome corrections on that if I’m wrong.

🔔 In my experience, very simple forms of communication via bell work a lot better than anything too complex – “come here” and “stay away” have already been covered, and other than that they can serve as greetings or signals of a start or end of some practise or ritual, the opening or closing of a door, etc.

🔔 They can also serve as a warning or a litmus test regarding spirits, a signalling of your presence and awareness, lack of fear, or willingness to defend – but be prepared to deal with whatever responses these garner.

BINDING

🔔 Bindings are where you most often see that famous (clockwise) circular motion of the bell, embodying the meaning of the spell. This can be a simple binding to seal a spell or charm or enchantment, or a spirit-binding.

🔔 Personally, spirit-binding is something I do as little as possible simply due to my beliefs holding the autonomy of spirits in very high regard. However, sometimes situations arise that call for it, and I’m aware that not all bindings are unwilling. Far from it – and some spirits are dangerous when unbound.

🔔 As an animist (believing that all things, including inanimate objects, contain a spirit of their own), I consider gently nudging a spirit back into its physical form a sort of semi-binding, and that can be useful.

I’ll leave you all with a note that I am an urban apartment-dwelling witch through and through, so I understand that we can’t all be jangling away at all hours. I myself have a glass windchime in my front window that makes a distinct but muted sound when disturbed by passers-through, and highly recommend wooden ones also. I also only use my small and relatively quiet suzu bell for my crafting – one given to me by my baba herself.

Feel free to add any of your own findings, and happy tolling.

Laurel’s Guide to Grimoires

A while back I made a post about how I organize my Grimoire/Book of Shadows and for a long time since then I’ve wanted to a sort of 101 for creating a Grimoire/Book of Shadows. Be warned, this will be a long post! As always, this is merely my opinion, my word is not law.

(UPDATED 4/24/17; All updates are marked)

Originally posted by ephemeralsyzygy

-The Grimoire Basics-

What is a Grimoire?

As my own personal definition, a Grimoire is simply any book used by a witch in his/her/their own personal practice. There is no limit as to what a Grimoire can or cannot be, as each one is as unique as the witch who wrote it.

How do I use a Grimoire?

A grimoire is used to document, or keep track of, any magickal information that is relevant to the practitioner.It serves to log everything you need to know in your own personal craft. 

-Types of Grimoires-

These are my own personal “styles” of grimoires that I have made over the years. These are not the only “kinds” of grimoires, merely suggestions.

- “Textbook” Grimoire: This is a grimoire that is set up to serve as a reference book, a book strictly for spiritual or magickal information. 

- “Practical” Grimoire: This is a grimoire that can serve a practical purpose, such as a recipe or spell book. Often more portable than a standard grimoire.

- “Inspirational” Grimoire: These are often called inspiration journals. They are filled with spiritual images, quotes and writings to serve as a sort of “bible.”

- “Memory Keeping” or “Journal” Grimoire: This is a grimoire that serves to be a personal record of thoughts and feelings pertaining to spiritual activity in your life. 

-Grimoire Keeping Methods-

- Blank bound or spiral bound Notebooks
    - I’ve actually seen someone tape composition notebooks together to get             a “thick” book.
- Recycled or used hard/soft cover books
- Binders
- OneNote/Tumblr/Internet
- Computer Folder/Flash Drive/Memory Card

-How to make a Grimoire-

I recommend that if you are starting a grimoire or are a relatively new witch, don’t even bother buying a nice, expensive, fancy journal. Most of the time (unless you’ve already done one or two grimoires before and you know exactly what you’ll be putting in this grimoire), that book will sit on a shelf and collect dust. Many new witches get excited to have a “fancy” grimoire and then become terrified of “messing up” in it which results in that book never being used. We’ve all been there, done that.

That being said, here are the basic steps I followed when making my “permanent” grimoire.

- Decide on your Grimoire Keeping Method
 - Gather the information that you would like to put into your grimoire (this can sometimes take a very long time, it took me years), although if the “write as you go” method is more comfortable for you, then go ahead.
- Organize your information. If you’re a perfectionist like me, this might take a bit. It’s also completely natural to change up your organization style later on.
- Protect/Consecrate your Grimoire. This is completely optional, but it can also be a fun “witchy” way to bond with your grimoire.
- Put all your information in your book in anyway that you desire. I found it useful to “plan” out the book before I started writing in all the information. This way I knew exactly what pages were going where.
- Decorate your Grimoire. Also, completely optional. Some people like decorating with flowers and ribbons and pictures and stickers. Other people prefer straight to the point text. Either way works perfectly fine.

A quick note for those who suffer from the perfectionist complex: don’t sweat it. We all want our books to be “perfect” but after writing about six grimoires I’ve learned that grimoires really don’t ever become “permanent” because our preferences change as we grow. If you’re worried about it being perfect, starting “planning” pages in a cheap journal. Take note of any mistakes or things you want to change. You can always create another grimoire later. Don’t let that pesky perfectionism hold you back. And if you make mistakes, try to work with them and turn them into something else instead of scrapping your book to start over.

I used to dream of having a huge, Charmed-like Grimoire, and now I prefer the small, sloppy, scrap book, messy-writing kind of grimoire. Don’t sweat it.

Things to put in your Grimoire

- Correspondences
- Sabbats, Esbats and any Holidays you celebrate
- How to cast spells
- Spells and Rituals
- Divination
- Astrology
- Herbs and Recipes
- Crystals
- Topics you’d like to learn about later.

@cosmic-witch has a HUGE list of topics here

How to organize your Grimoire

This post details my own personal Grimoire Index. However the best way to organize your grimoire would be whatever works best for you. I personally like having everything divided into matching sections. However, if you write spells a lot, you may want spell writing notes in the front, while correspondences would be better in the back. It’s all up to personal preference. 

 Witchy-Woman’s Grimoire Organization

TripleVirgo’s Grimoire Index

 My Tips on Grimoire Organization

(UPDATED 4/24/17)

Other Grimoire Tips

- Intention Cheat Sheets. When you want to write a spell, nothing sucks more than having to flip back and forth all over your grimoire to find the information you need. My advice is to make “cheat sheets” for each of your intentions. Pick an intention, such as Money, and write down anything that corresponds to that (colors, herbs, moon phases or zodiac signs, crystals, incense, etc) this way the next time you want to do a spell for Money, you can just flip to your cheat sheet and be done. (UPDATED 4/24/17)

- Incognito Grimoire: Find a generic book that you like at a Goodwill or second hand shop. Write your witchcraft notes/correspondences in the margins and spacing. Use markers or crayons to draw pictures and symbols. You can also glue blank pages into the book so you have more space to write anything you want. This way your Grimoire can sit in plain sight on your bookshelf when you have company over and no one will be the wiser.

- So You Don’t Think You Can Grimoire: Tips and ideas for witches who struggle with the “My handwriting is terrible and I can’t draw” complex. (UPDATED 4/24/17)

- Scrapbook Altars

- Create a Magickal Memories Folder

This post will probably be a “masterpost” of sorts that I’ll continue to add to as the inspiration strikes. If anyone has any ideas or grimoire-related topics they’d like to see, feel free to share!

~L

Why are black cats traditionally a witch’s familiar?

I did some of my own research so hopefully this is right. Feel free to correct any historical inaccuracies or add your own knowledge.

Originally posted by cheetahswolf

- Cats were once worshiped across ancient civilizations, especially Ancient Egypt. They were a symbol of multiple goddesses.

- Once Rome became Christian, all Pagan practices went out the window.

- At the beginning of the agricultural age people started bringing cats with them wherever they migrated because they were so good at keeping mice at bay. Since people were storing grain this was especially important. 

- Kittens were even given to newlywed couples as a housewarming gift to bring good luck.

- When men went to war and women became widows, they were often left with just their cats for company. Hence the “lonely woman with cats” stereotype.

- These widowed old women who lived alone were also the most likely to be accused of witchcraft and burned at stake.

- A Pope in medieval times declared that cats were satanic and many cats were burned alive. This was a huge mistake on the part of humans as the mice and rat population consequently skyrocketed, leading to the Black Plague. 

- Black cats, with their unusually dark fur and yellow eyes were thought to be the familiars of witches, even being able to transform into humans and do evil deeds.

Overall, black cats and witches share a very similar history. Once revered in the Ancient times only to become ostracized once Christianity took hold of the world. Black cats were once a symbol of multiple Goddesses- something that the patriarchy of the church hated. They shared the same fate of being burned for suspicion of being ungodly and Pagan. But in reality, black cats and women, whether witches or not, were all too often each others only companions.

Today, there is much confusion about black cats. Whether or not they are good or bad luck varies country by country. Because of this old superstition, they are the least likely to be adopted in animal shelters even though they make some of the best companions. As someone with the most affectionate, silly, funny, and playful black cat, I highly recommend adopting one. They need you and we need them.

Advice to Baby Witches

Here’s some things I wish someone told me when I was first starting out

  • You’re gonna find a lot of sources that are Wiccan. So if you don’t want to follow Wicca, it might be harder to find things that talk from a non- Wiccan perspective. This is not the only perspective. I encourage you even if you are wanting to follow Wicca to seek out specifically non-Wiccan sources to get a different view point. (nothing against Wicca here; I just think it’s healthy to get differing opinions)


  • It’s still witchcraft even if it doesn’t look like what books/Internets witchcraft looks like. Remember that:
    1. Everyone has a different way of doing things and your craft will never ever be the same as anyone else’s.
    2. The people posting about what witchcraft they’ve done are most of the time showing a perfected version of it. You are just starting out. You should not hold yourself up to the standards of people who have had more time and practice.
    3. It’s actually good that it doesn’t look like anyone else’s because that means that it’s entirely your own.
  • I know it can feel very daunting first getting involved in witchcraft because there is so much to learn. Trust me, you cannot learn everything, and that is okay.


  • Take things step by step. Find something that really excites you. For example, say you are really interested in deity worship. Focus on just that first. Research different deities and meditate on the ones that interest you. Once you feel like you’ve learned enough (you don’t have to be an expert by any means, just to a point where you feel like you have your foot in the door) then you can move on to something else. You don’t have to do it this way, but I found it helped me narrow things down.


  • The idea that “if you don’t know what your doing with witchcraft it can backfire” is a myth. Don’t be afraid to explore, learn new things. That being said, I wouldn’t recommend doing anything outside your skill level either. Maybe save the big deal curses for when you have a good grasp on them. Listen to your intuition on this one, if you feel like something you’re doing is too much for you, don’t do it right away, but work your way up. Don’t give up on it, either. Like I said, if you feel like you don’t have the ability to do something, get to a point where you do.


  • You will have thoughts like “this won’t work” “you’re being stupid” “it’s just some *conventionally useless item*, that can’t do ANYTHING” this is okay. Any intrusive thoughts that tell you it’s not going to work are fine, especially if you are mentally ill. It does not mean your magic looses it’s power because you had an intrusive thought. Yes, the best way to make your magic work is to believe it will work, but intrusive thoughts will not automatically stop the magic from working. Just try your best to overcome them, whatever technique you have for that will work fine. I always use my inner voice to talk back to my intrusive thoughts and say something like “What? That doesn’t even make sense! You’re being ridiculous, random voice in my head that has no attachment to me.” and try to ignore it. Your mental illness does not make you a less powerful of a witch, remember that.


  • You are much more powerful than you realize. Own this. Be empowered by it.


  • You don’t have to have a whole bunch of extravagant altars and read your tarot cards and meditate every day to be considered a ‘real’ witch. You do magic without even realizing it sometimes. It’s sometimes hard to do anything big because of busy schedules/low spoons/being closeted or whatever. Try and incorporate little things in your daily routine. I did this by Stirring my tea clockwise and focusing on the cup, while repeating “this tea will improve my day” in my head. It works great for practicing putting your intent in things, focusing your energy, and it can even work if you live in an unfriendly witch household! Get creative with the little things you can do everyday. And even if you can’t do those things sometimes, don’t worry about it!


  • Be very careful about cultural appropriation in your practice. It can get very dicey as to what is offensive to include in your practice and what is not. I can tell you straight up right now that anything taken from a Native American culture is not okay to incorporate in your practice. A very popular thing that’s taken from Native American culture is smudging. Don’t smudge. There are many alternatives to this. That being said, some things are ok to take from other cultures because those cultures aren’t practiced by living people/are part of a culture or religion that is open to outsiders taking it. Don’t bat yourself up for doing something then finding out it was offensive, because when you recognize it then take necessary steps to fix it, that’s you growing as a person and is a positive change. If you aren’t sure if what your doing is cultural appropriation, ask yourself:


    1. Is what I’m doing practiced by a group of people today? if yes, you’re in the danger zone, but it does not  necessarily mean it is appropriation
    2. Is the religion that it comes from a closed or open religion? (this means is it ok for outsiders, people who do not follow the religion, to practice it. example-Judaism=closed, wicca=open) If closed, it’s probably appropriation.
    3. Am I apart of a race that has a history of oppressing this group of people? If yes, you might want to be cautious about it.
    4. If it is deity related- Do the deities in question give me permission? if no, then definitely do not do it.
    5. What would a person from that religion/culture think if they saw me doing this? If they would not like it, it might not be okay.
    6. Is this from my heritage/ancestral background? Don’t worry too much if the answer is no but you passed most of the other questions, This one is mostly because if you grew up in a Jewish/Catholic/Muslim/other closed religion household, wanting to incorporate that in your practice is ok.


  • You do not have to be religious to practice witchcraft. Your craft can exclude deity work of any kind.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask what you feel are stupid questions. If your really scared, google is a very handy tool and most blogs have that anon option for a reason. :p

Mmk, spoons are low. Feel free to add any advice you think I’m missing. I really hope this helps someone!

Writing gay romance between Jewish characters with two differing levels of observance

I’m writing (or, right now, more planning/outlining, with occasional writing of small scenes that I can’t get out of my head) a novel about two Jewish men who fall in love in a very Xtian, conservative town. The older of the two (late thirties) is more closeted, reclusive, and is somewhat separated from his Jewish identity as a result of a combination of assimilation and intermarriage further back in his family. The main character (mid-late twenties) on the other hand is very involved with his synagogue, works at a Hebrew summer camp, keeps shabbos, etc.

My issue is that I’m very observant (conservaform) and so is my family; I know a few folks who go to my synagogue who are “high holy day Jews”, or might also come for a wedding or bris or bar/bas mitzvah, but not many who are non-observant to the degree of this character (hasn’t set foot in synagogue since being a child, didn’t have a bar mitzvah, has a pair of somewhat observant grandparents and some cousins/etc who are observant, but most of his immediate family isn’t observant). So I’m not sure how to portray the secondary character without someone going “why not just write a Jewish guy in love with an Xtian guy” or something, because even if his relationship to Judaism and Jewish culture are somewhat distant, they’re still there. I’m also afraid that someone is going to say “why are you bashing Xtianity” about some of the subject matter (as someone who has lived in a small town, I have a decent bit of material from personal experience on Xtian antisemitism), but really the main point is that I want to portray two Jewish men loving each other.

I want to write this but don’t want goyim in particular to try to argue that I should have just made my MC’s romantic interest Xtian in the first place, because one main theme I want to explore, which I haven’t seen explored much in fiction, is being gay and Jewish. Specifically, one concept I had for the second character is how his being closeted comes largely from a place of being raised in a Xtian-secular household in a very Xtian town, and homophobia being very religiously where he lives, and so him sort of being reluctant to explore religion at all; but then seeing how the MC is Very Jewish and somewhat-openly gay, and feeling both nostalgic for the parts of his grandparents he sees in the MC (speaking Yiddish, cooking traditional Ashkenazic food), as well as longing to be as comfortable with both his sexuality and to have a relationship with G-d as the MC does.

I don’t know if this is a weirdly specific character/plot concept, but it just came to me I guess and it’s been at me long enough that I’ve started to try to outline writing it. I just want to see more gay fiction with religious, specifically Jewish, characters. Thanks for any advice you can give.

Thank you for submitting a question so close to my heart! Looks like I need to break this down into several parts: 

1. How to portray secular Jews as something distinct from Christians, secular or otherwise - this may not be as hard as you think it is because you’re Jewish and your factory settings, your defaults, your unexamined ideas, may already be different from the Christians around you. Like, I was in my 30’s before I found out that gentiles don’t do the chair dance. I thought everyone did that. Give The Upside of Unrequired by Becky Albertalli (review here) a read – her main character tells the audience that “we’re the kind of Jewish family who eats bacon” and religion itself isn’t really a presence in her life, but she still finds it meaningful that the boy she’s working with at her new job turns out to be a fellow Jew.

Other possible markers of secular Jewishness:

  • Finding Jewish representation/acknowledgment of our existence in fiction (or the Jewishness of celebrities) meaningful
  • Casual use of the most common Yiddishisms (maybe not entire curse phrases, but, like, using the word ‘kvetch’ in ordinary conversation)
  • General feeling of alienation or otherness around super overt displays of Christianity
  • Foods like matzo ball soup or latkes (for your Ashkie characters, anyway; this might be different for other subgroups of us.) 

In my new release Knit One, Girl Two, the main character Clara is a secular Jew and one of the details I used to illustrate that is that her first kiss involved sneaking off with another girl during a friend’s bar mitzvah reception. She also refers to her grandparents as Bubby and Zayde and has strong opinions about which Jewish foods she does and doesn’t like. She’s slightly awkward around the love interest’s higher level of observance, which is something secular Jews might feel out of self-consciousness—if the character cared. A secular Jewish person and a gentile person don’t approach an observant Jewish person’s observance in the same way. The gentile may misunderstand or have misconceptions; the Jewish person might feel self-conscious for not participating. Or feel nostalgic for observant people in their past (like “oh, my grandma used to –!”) 

2. How to portray your own marginalization without sounding like you’re bashing the privileged group. Now, you’re not really obligated to watch out for the feelings of a group that has hurt you by having power over you… but at the same time I 100% understand not wanting to step on toes just to save your own peace of mind. Some suggestions for this:

  • Having some of the Christians in the town be nice, but powerless to stop the jackwagon ones.
  • Flat-out having your character say “I’m not mad at Christianity; these people don’t even seem like they’re following Jesus in the first place”
  • Cut down on the more painful elements and focus on your main characters’ reactions to their hurt rather than describing the bigotry itself. That will cut down on how much your bigoted characters hurt your RL readers, so they’ll be mad at them for your main characters’ sake but not for their own sake and it’ll give them a little distance. (Example: “OMG, I can’t believe how much of a jerk Todd was being, saying all that garbage about Jews and gay people.” Instead of “Todd walked into the room and shouted that Jews are X and gay people are Y!”)
  • Try to cut down on having the most bigoted characters belong to groups marginalized along another axis. You’re going to perpetuate fatphobia if your most bigoted character is also your only fat character, and if I were reading this story I’d be uncomfortable if the homophobic/antisemitic characters were Black unless a Black author was writing it because from a white pen this could easily be read as blaming those two -phobias on Black people instead of white supremacy where it belongs. 

3. I don’t think you’re going to get “you might as well have made him Christian” coming from outsiders because you’re a Jewish person writing Jewish characters. Just speaking from personal experience.. In any case, a secular Jewish character is not a Christian character. Sometimes they can come off that way when gentiles write them, because they won’t know what kind of details to add to make their being Jewish not seem arbitrarily pasted on, but I doubt that would happen from a Jewish writer. 

4. “One main theme I want to explore, which I haven’t seen explored much in fiction, is being gay and Jewish.” 

I have several recommendations for you! 

First of all, Jordan S. Brock’s just come out with a m/m novel called Change of Address based on her own experiences with PTSD and a service dog—it’s even dedicated to the service dog. Like her, the love interest is a Jewish adoptee, and the character’s observance mirrors her own – he and his father don’t allow bacon in the house but they’ll eat pepperoni as long as it’s somewhere else, for example. 

Out of print but easy to find in libraries through ILL is The Dyke and the Dybbuk, Ellen Galford’s paranormal f/f comedy about a demon who possesses a Jewish lesbian cab driver and makes her get a crush on an Orthodox woman as a prank. (Review)  

I also collected this list of free queer Jewish SFF short stories, which includes nonbinary representation. As far as my own works go, I really tried to infuse the Tales from Perach collection with all the joy and gratefulness both Judaism, Jewishness, and queerness have brought to my life – there’s a lesbian’s grateful prayer of thanks for her relationship with her wife, an elderly trans woman and her husband attending services, and a royal family with two moms and two dads putting on an exceptionally lavish Purimspiel that includes a scripted swordfight. 

I’m glad you’re writing something to add to this and expand the body of LGBT Jewish literature, especially something where both members of the couple are Jewish.

–Shira

To Become A Hunter [3]

Previous parts

Characters: John Winchester, Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester, Sister!reader

Words: 3800+

Warnings:  John’s A+ parenting, implied verbal/physical abuse, sort of bad mental health (I don’t really know how to describe it)

A/N: I think I’ve said this before, but I just want to emphasize, that this is just a version of John. It’s not necessarily how I see him - this fic resembles that better - but I’ve twisted and molded his character for the sake of the story. There really are many ways to interpret the guy, and this is one of them :) Also, this is the first part of the “finale” (they’re named 3 & 4). It was too long, so I split it into two. I’ll drop the other part tomorrow :)

May I recommend a song? Trainwreck - Banks - This isn’t a song fic, and I haven’t even looked up the lyrics, but I listened to it while writing this and now I associate it with the fic :) 

Originally posted by yaelstiel

Originally posted by yaelstiel

Your name: submit What is this?

”Who is it?” He asks again when he’s only greeted by silence, as he rubs his eyes with his free hand, trying to blink away the tiredness.

And after a couple of seconds, a voice that makes his blood run cold, fiery ice spreading through his body, answers.

”(Y/N).”

At Stanford, Sam sits up in his bed in an instant. So fast that the blonde in bed next to him stirs in her sleep. His breath catches in his throat.

From being barely awake when he answered the call that brought him back from slumber, he’s now as alert as he possibly can be. He’s been scared for this. No, he’s been waiting for this. A call in the middle of the night. The person on the other line telling him someone is dead. Or that they themselves are dying. He’s had this nightmare many times before.

Keep reading

|| Yours To Take || [[smut]]

{summary: what happens when you catch the attention of a dangerous, mafia prince?}

[mafia au]

i’m supposed to be working on requests, but instead i’m working on this trashy au lmao **maniacal laughter, maniacal laughter**

this is very nsfw content, so if you as a reader are not comfortable with the warnings listed below, then i highly recommend that you don’t read this.

warnings: nudity , prositution , smut , riding bucky’s undeniably muscled thighs , and unprotected sex

**please don’t plagiarize/repost this story. reblogs are fine.

——

Keep reading

LGBT+ Fiction Rec

I thought it would be a good idea to put together a list of lgbt+ fiction and stuff I have found. This list is far from complete and there are plenty more out there, these are just a few of some I enjoy. Feel free to add some of your own.

*Most of these are centered around gay guys. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find many lesbian centered works.

  • Welcome to Night Vale (podcast/book)
    • Imagine a town where every conspiracy theory is true. That's Night Vale. Radio host Cecil Palmer reports on the weird happenings in this small desert town and falls in love with a scientist named Carlos (and his perfect hair). There are five-headed dragons running for mayor, dogs that are literally Satan, mystic beings named Erika (who are definitely not angels), civilizations underneath bowling alleys, and so much more. There is a really diverse cast of characters and several lgbt+ characters (besides the main two). It has some horror elements but it’s more science fiction.
  • Yuri!!! On Ice (television show)
    • Japanese figure skater, Katsuki Yuri, comes in last place at the Grand Prix Final and returns home defeated. After a video uploaded of him skating to his idol Viktor Nikiforov’s (a Russian skater with 5 Grand Prix gold medals and considered to be the best out there) routine goes viral, Viktor himself shows up at Yuri’s place and becomes his coach. With Viktor’s help, Yuri attempts to win gold at the next Grand Prix Final and they both sort of fall in love along the way. Features a pretty diverse cast and doesn’t play into stereotypes. It’s considered to be in the sports genre but it has some romance moments in it.
  • Always Raining Here (webcomic)
    • Carter wants to get laid. Adrian is heartbroken. After Carter fails to get Adrian to have sex with him, the two end up becoming friends and have misadventures together. This is one of the cutest and most pure relationships I’ve seen (even though one of the very first things Carter says to Adrian is “We should bang”). There is some slight sexual content but nothing too major.
  • Check Please! (webcomic)
    • Eric Bittle joins the Samwell Men’s Hockey team but quickly realizes that this is way more intense than his Georgia hockey team and the team captain Jack Zimmermann isn’t making things any easier for him. There are lots of pies and you’ll end up learning about hockey. Lots of healthy relationships and does a wonderful job at portraying characters with mental illnesses. They’re also good friends with the Yuri!!! On Ice fandom.
  • Alice Isn’t Dead (podcast)
    • By the makers of Welcome to Night Vale, a woman becomes a truck driver in order to find her wife, Alice, who has been considered dead (she isn’t look at the title). She encounters a not-quite-human serial murder and ends up being chased by him wherever she goes. She learns more and more about her wife and finds out things better left unknown. Another wonderful portrayal of mental illnesses. It’s much darker and scarier than Welcome to Night Vale and I would not recommend listening to it at night.
  • Knight’s Errant (webcomic)
    • Wilfred is on a quest. However, being imprisoned in a city under siege puts a halt on their quest. Fortunately, they have a prison guard on their side. This one is different from the others since the main character so far isn’t in a relationship of any sorts (and doesn’t show to be in one anytime soon). There is a side relationship that will make your heart melt and Wilfrid is just a really likable character (they also don’t have a confirmed gender yet. It’s pretty likely they’re non-binary though). Also despite being set in a medieval European town it does feature some pocs which is nice.
  • Requiem of the Rose King  (manga)
    • The previous ones have featured very healthy and loving relationships but this one is a bit different. It focuses on Richard the third of York who is intersex in this case. This causes some really messed up and really confusing love triangles. There is some incest (not very large at least for now) in it and large age differences so if that bothers you then I would advise against this. Despite all this Richard is in a pretty cute relationship but it’s pretty tragic at the same time. If you want happy gays stay away from this. Also features gore and violence.
  • 19 Days (manga)
    • The adventures of Jian Yi and his best friend Zhan Xixi. This one is another cute one. Their relationship goes at a believable pace (but sometimes it feels like it’s taking forever) and there is a pair of very lovable side characters to go with it. Some sadness but nothing life ruining at this point.

anonymous asked:

Did you read the Ice Jewel interview where Yuzuru talked *bitched* about axels? Like, quad is all cool and stuff, but axel is still the sh*t. He is our lord and savior for axels XD We all know now whatever program and however many quad he has, two 3A should always be there :D

I did read the interview and if someone of you haven’t, I REALLY recommend you to go and read it because it is awesome: here and thanks to gladiolusc for the translation.

Yuzu’s intelligence and character and love for the sport shines in the whole article. His analysis and his approach are as always mindblowing. I’ve read tons of interviews in many years following figure skating, but to find something as deep and throughout as he is, it’s really not easy.

A very needed breath of fresh air after all the idiocy FS world (hi, Rafael & Co) managed to spit out lately.

Some quotes (even if you really should read the full interview, only quoting it all would make it justice).

YH When I had Jeff choreograph for me [”Let’s Go Crazy” SP], what I was most concerned about was the fact that I was doing all edge jumps in the SP. If we build the entire program upon the tracks of edge jumps, it’ll all come across as the same, identical curves no matter what. To counter that, I added the salchow entered horizontally and the axel from a counter. I think these accents add flavor to the program.


YH This program is condensed and packed with a lot of elements. If I can’t do the 4S3T with good timing, I am out of sync with the notes. If I can’t do the 4L, I won’t be able to fit with the music.

YH I was able to feel this way because of my exhibition number. Skating to Notte Stellata made me rethink the importance of skating and the extent of jumps’ effect on performance.

— Specifically, what has changed?

YH I think I really came to grasp the music—the intervals between each beat. Instead of simply pushing at the ice each time, there’s also how the free leg retreats after each push, the flow and progression of the skating leg… I became very conscious of these different aspects.

There is a strong emphasis on skating in the exhibition program, so I received a lot of training in that regard. If this had been during the off season, I might have been able to perfect it sooner and more quickly. Regardless, I practiced well each time, from which I gained confidence.

— The reason for that choreography?

YH Not getting positive GOE on the sit spin is a humiliation to me. As is written in the rule book, movements that clearly match the music is a plus. The higher the quality, the better the evaluation. Because the spin is really fast, I had to work bit by bit to fit all the moves to the music. In my mind, that’s when Prince is yelling, so I didn’t accent the beat. It felt weird initially, but once the moves all came together, it fit surprisingly well.

— It was quite refreshing.

YH It’s just that the hands always end up blending in with the legs, (to the judges and to the audience) so the moves may be hard to differentiate.

— How does it feel to hear this music [for his FP] in big spaces, such as arenas?

YH In “Asian Dream Song” by Mr Joe Hisaishi, the music doesn’t carry the melody, rather, the singing does. If you go and listen, you’ll realize the music is an accompaniment and not an assertive piece on its own. I told Brian and Shae-lynn about my thoughts, but I’m not the main character in this program. For example, I was clearly the main character in “SEIMEI” and therefore I stood out a lot. The program was made with a clear image of the music. But my intent with this program—because Mr Hisaishi’s music envelops the entire arena rather than overly emphasizes itself—in my mind, I only exist as a part of that space and I want to perform the program as such. The wind over the rink, the coolness in the air, the moisture, the splashing crystals of ice… to bring all these things into one with myself and the music. If I can put together such a performance in the end, I think that would be the best.

— Younger skaters are jumping quad after quad these days. Now that the quad loop has been secured, have you ever considered adding another quad?

YH Of course it’s important to jump quads, but isn’t the quality of quads just as important? That’s what I most strongly feel.

But, if you really think about it, the jump you absolutely have to put in is the axel.

— That has always been the case.

YH Even under the old system, your score won’t go up if you don’t do the axel. As for why, it’s because the axel is forwardly launched and its posture doesn’t announce “I’m about to jump!”, unlike all the other types.

— That’s the reason why you do two axels in the second half of the program?

YH You end up leaving a deep impression! That’s the case in “Notte Stellata” as well. I’ve always said things to the effect of “jumps are transitions,“ and I think the axel demonstrates this very well. Precisely because it’s forwardly launched, the axel conveys a special “sense of turn.” Toe jumps tend to put a stopper on the flow each and every single time, although I’ve always made it not look that way. Since the axel is forwardly launched, the sense of speed is similar to that of steps and turns.

— The charm of the axel persists through the ages.

YH The axel just gives off a special vibe. Returning to the previous topic, no matter the number of quads, no matter the number of types of quads, in the end, my biggest weapon remains in how consistently and beautifully I can manage to do my axels. I believe that is something I’d like to hold onto firmly, even towards my biggest goals. For example, even if I were to do the 4A, two 3A’s would still be an absolute must.


(Once again, go and read this interview fully here: http://www.goldenskate.com/forum/showthread.php?35500-Yuzuru-Hanyu&p=1661038&viewfull=1#post1661038)

Fandom Fic Rec Days

To celebrate the Fandom Fic Rec Days on 10th,11th and 12th(see this), I’ve decided to create my own Adlock Fic Rec.Well I’m not exactly new to Sherlock fandom and adlock yatch in general.But I’m not a veteran either,since I’ve only been in this fandom for a year (since february 2015).Tbh,I’ve been a professional shipper for 4 years in other fandoms,I’m also a fanfic enthusiast.I have to admit,Adlock is one of the ship that has some of the greatest fics that I’ve ever had a chance to read in my fangirl life and some of the best fanfic authors I’ve ever seen.Without further ado,I would like to introduce to my fellow adlockers my Adlock Ficrec

***Warning:this list is based on my personal preference,so there will be a few that are left out.I call this list my adlock fic recommendation.Feel free to add your own favorite ones!


1.There are authors who frequently write about adlock,whether they write ficlets,drabbles or a whole series with the length of a real-life book series.To start,here is authors of adlock ficlets and short fics that I like: @ebdaydreamer, @randombiochemist @sorrowsflower(queen of short fics imo) @i-am-adlocked lyrangalia @throughtheparadox @captnandycalavera (if you want fluff and romantic,sweet adlock) and Del(goddessdel) (if you want to read smut)

2.Must read: The first thing I do when I enter a new ship is search for fanfics about them on ao3 and fanfiction.net.And this list contains fics which I highly recommend you to check out if you’re new to the yacht:

  • Neither A Soldier Nor A Gentleman by  Francesca_Wayland:The very first adlock fic that I read.A closer look at what happened after Sherlock’s rescue in Karachi and what followed.(you can check out the sequel Sui Generis and other fics written by her)
  • Come Attrition,Come Hell by @tales-of-inkinc:Sad,angsty,melancholy,might leave you heartbroken but just read this!It’s worth all the pain if you want to explore this side of their relationship
  • The Price Of Retrouvailles by @akajustmerry:If you want an in -character expression of love and and tenderness between our favorite geniuses and a good mystery then this fic is what you need.
  • What He Likes and sequel The Way the Heavens Go by solojones:Sherlock’s struggle with drug habit through the eyes of Irene.Very detailed and well written but unfortunately,the author haven’t update the sequel for a long time :(
  • The W Hypothesis by @elinorx :I admit,for a historical romance trash like me,this fic is like a dream comes true.I mean,adlock+victorian era+badass female characters+a thrilling case that contains layers of dark secrets?Count me in!And the narrative is so addictive,intriguing,seductive with the secretive and tragic air will leave you wanting for more!
  • Death Takes A Holiday series by @lyrangalia:What happened if Sherlock and Irene met during the two-year-hiatus? A holiday with blood,sex,violence,BDSM mixes with heavy sentiments,lies and constant deny of feelings.A memorable holiday that change both of it participants forever.Super long but extremely satisfying
  • A Very Different Level by SorrowsFlower:A seriesby @sorrowsflower-queen of short fics :) Update when the inspiration hit.For more adlock content,check out her tumblr.

And finally,I give you my no.1 adlock series:Sherlock & The Woman with its sequel The Good,The Bad and The Woman by Ibaraz:When I first came to Adlock yacht,I only looked for their fics on ao3,but due to the limited number of adlock fics on the site,I move to ff.net for more,That’s how I discovered these gems.The first time I read the fics,I was impressed because of how Sherlock-y the narrative was,but back then I kind of didn’t like the way the author wrote Irene.I’m sure some of you would have the same thought like me when you read the 2 fics the first time.But wait!Let me tell you this:we barely know anything about her,are you sure this Irene is OOC? Well to me after at least 10 times re read these two,I can say Irene Adler of this fic is absolutely my favorite.I mean,the reason this series is a true masterpiece to me is not just in the way each chapters is like a Sherlock episode itself (the clever and thrilling plot,smart dialogues,the way the characters act stay so true to their canon versions) but how the author has created,portrayed and explored the love-hate relationship between Sherlock and Irene in a way that will leave you stunned.Ibaraz has describe Sherlock and Irene’s relationship especially with all the odds and heartbroken aspects.With the minimum amount of romantic scenes but maximum the feelings and heartfelt meaning in each line of dialogues,not to mention a tons of well set up details that when everything is uncover is will make you surprise.And last but not least:This series is so so angsty and painful and so so sad that It’s so good.Each time I read It’s each time I discover some new layers behind all the beautifully written words.The emotions hit me everytime.I have like TOO many thing to say about this series but It’s best if you go and read it yourself (maybe I’ll have a post only for this one hell of a fanfic series).Seriously,this series deserves more attention and mentioning from the yacht! (and I’m shamelessly promoting it right now) 

Side notes:she is writing the third part of the series:  A Tale of Three Brothers and The Woman


3.Other mentions:

*ASiB/post ASiB/Hiatus fics


*S3/post S3/canon divergence 

The Empty Hearse and sequel The Sign of Three

For you and for myself and sequel Il M'a Dit, Elle M'a Dit

This is Not a Safe House, Part III

Ships in Glass Bottles

The Conundrum between Fire and Ice (WIP)

A Very Affirming Relationship

 In the Morning Sun

Nero Wolfe Series

*AU fics

A Scandal in Hogwarts (Harry Potter crossover) (WIP)

The caretaker (WIP)

The Broken Tango

Philophobia

Here Be Dragons (in-hiatus)

PSG Roundtable #8: Altars & Shrines for Non-theistic Purposes

Want to make an altar or shrine to a principle, concept, or impersonal subject that isn’t a ‘conventional’ deity, complete with names and symbols and pre-defined rituals?

First, you need to know what its purpose is.  There’s no clear delineation and they often get combined in contemporary practice, but generally speaking, a shrine is a space for devotional offerings, meditation, and/or self-reflection whereas an altar tends to be more of a practical workspace.  Both shrines and altars act as a space in which you interact with the immaterial in some way.  They’re liminal.

Please note that everything I say here is opinion, and I invite you to accept or reject what you will according to your own beliefs, needs, and desires.  I’ll be using my devotion to Death as an example, but you should be able to extrapolate for the universe, moon, sun, nature, etc.  I’m going to stick to the word “altar” for simplicity’s sake.

  • What is your altar dedicated to?

Be as specific as possible.  This helps you know exactly what you’re wanting to deal with.

Ex: Death.  What part of death?  The whole cycle of life-death-rebirth?  Death as the ultimate symbol of transformation and impermanence?  For me, death is the greatest power, and I have an obsession with the concept of entropy.  (Asimov’s “The Last Question” and Arthur C. Clarke’s “The Nine Billion Names of God” are two of my favorite short stories.)  It is the concept by which we define our very nature and how we understand our existence, the source of our greatest fears and anxieties as a mortal species, and the one truly unifying experience for all humans.  And a lot more besides, but I could go on all day about death so I’ll stop here.

  • How do you want to engage with this concept/abstract?

Some common ideas:

  1. Reflection, meditation
  2. Devotionals, worship
  3. Spellcrafting and magic

How do you normally do your meditation or magic?  How can the materials, timing, and other components be adapted?

  • What associations and visuals do you have for this concept?

Consider all the senses: scents, tastes, textures, fabrics, sounds, colors, stones, herbs, numbers, symbols, words and phrases, music notes and songs, emotions, aspects of nature, etc.  Make lists.  Hell, make aesthetic posts.  These will help you choose what kinds of objects, tools, and materials to put on your altar to best facilitate the kind of meaningful experience you’re looking for. 

(Make sure you’re not appropriating anything from a closed or initiatory tradition.  There are usually about a hundred thousand alternatives for everything, so don’t go taking sacred things out of their proper context and using them in ways they weren’t intended to be used.)

Ex: my personal associations for death include black, white, and silver; camphor, menthol, the smell of wet dirt; quiet chill, both damp and dry; grief, dissociation, sarcasm and morbid humor, relief, freedom, truth, rebellion, empowerment, justice, existentialism; the numbers two, three, and seven; obsidian, jet; Southern Gothic folk rock (Jen Titus’ cover of the American folk classic “O Death,” anyone?); black mirrors, slim dark-handled knives, scalpels; images of space; “evanescent” (the SAT word, not the band), “fate,” “tradition,” “stories,” “power”; bleached bones, blood both old and fresh, winter, corvids, silhouettes of bare trees, white bedsheets, gauzy curtains, empty hospital beds, abandoned houses, sexuality, dried flowers, candles burning either singly or in the hundreds.  See, as silly as aesthetic posts can be, they really can be useful.

Now look at your own lists and see what underlying trends and themes there are.  For me, I see impermanence and unadorned realism.  (I left out the more graphic and triggering associations I have with death because I don’t want to distract from the purpose of this post.)  Someone making a list for the sun, on the other hand, may find ‘strength’ or ‘optimism’ is a common theme in their associations.  I find that understanding the themes in your associations helps you understand your own relationship with the concept itself and why you might feel drawn to it so strongly.  It may also help you choose in which direction you want to take your engagement with it.

  • Setting up the altar.

Do what you would do for a conventional altar: cleanse the space (or container, if you’re making your altar in a box, cupboard, drawer, or something similar) and everything you’ll be using on it.  If you don’t have a tradition that comes with a prescription for setting up an altar, you can look up how to cleanse and consecrate altar items in any number of ways and choose the method that’s most appropriate for you.  I do recommend using methods that reflect back to your concept.  For example, salt, as an agent for drying, preserving, and purifying, would be appropriate for death, as would frankincense, which in a multitude of cultures is a required component of funerals.  For something dedicated to the universe as a whole, I would probably incorporate sound into the cleansing, as sound is a wavelength and much of what we know about our universe (sound waves, radiation waves, gravitational fields, matter itself, etc) is based on those principles.

Ex: My altar is dedicated to death in the impersonal, entropic sense.  This means that anything personal goes to a different space set aside for my beloved dead and ancestors; this altar is for the vast, inhuman concept of “the end” that can be so oppressively terrifying or incredibly freeing.  The setup is based on a visual that came during a meditation: the altar cloth is black with a ring of alternating smooth and rough obsidian stones (which betrays my bias as an Irish polytheist) around a circular mirror in the center.  A small sphere of obsidian sits in the center of the mirror.  A black pillar candle stands tall behind it all.  The setup is designed to facilitate my journeyings by creating a symbolically liminal space represented by the ring, made of stones that naturally draw in power rather than reflect it.  The drawing in reflects my journeying technique as well as how I connect with the greater, impersonal energy of death and darkness and all those cheerful things, especially when I hold the obsidian sphere, so it works for me.  If I were doing ancestor or spiritwork I would probably use more white, which recalls a different aspect of “death” than black does to me.

The “nature worship” tag has additional commentary on non-theistic practices.

- mountain hound  

So, Hound covered more of the altar stuff. I’ll add my thoughts on shrines. for ease of reading, I’ll mimic the format starting with

  • What is your Shrine dedicated to?

I find a shrine is much more free form than an altar due to its fundamentally different nature. Whereas an altar is used for practice in spellcraft or meditation a shrine, in my opinion, is about devotion connection in a way that is different than an altar is used for. As such, while I see altars as something that needs to be more specific (as Hound mentioned above), I find shrines do not need to be so specific. For example, my shrine is to Nature, in all its forms. I do not emphasize more the harsh wilds or the tame fields but all its forms under the complete object. If you wish to emphasize one or the other, you can, I just do not find it as necessary to do as with an altar. 

My reasoning for such is (and feel free to disagree) an altar is used more in a practical sense for spellcraft and meditation and other uses that are generally to garner a result. As such being as specific as possible is advantageous as it leaves less room for error.  A shrine, however, is used for more abstract things such as offerings, self-reflection, etc. which are generally things that are not (though can be) used to garner some sort of result. For example, I will leave offerings at my shrine more as an act of devotion with no end goal as opposed to an offering I may give a spirit when requesting its services (which is a good example of an offering to garner some sort of result).

The rest of the points are very eloquently put and can be easily applied to both altars and shrines; the primary difference is the function of active vs passive respectively and how narrow and broad the scope respectively.

Sparrow

The PSG Roundtable Index
before asking | faq+tags | resource blog

eritreayunani  asked:

Hey babe, could we get some headcannons on what kind of female s/o sebastian would be attracted to and actually go the trouble of courting? Characteristics: personality-wise and a few aesthetic-wise would be brilliant. Feel free to add on other characteristics you deem suitable! Thanks hun xxx

What kind of female S/O do you think Sebastian fall for? More character-wise but aesthetic related details can be included. Thank you! :)

I can tell you now that this is going to be a big one… Took me just over an hour!

Aesthetics

As a demon, Sebastian is above the shallowness of some humans to base attraction off of something as impermanent as appearances. But I broke appearance down to four categories and answered them separately. I did say this was a big request.

Hair 

He likes shedding his gloves after a long day and running his slender fingers through your hair, slowly and gently untangling any nicks. If he’s got time, he’ll braid and brush it for you.

  • For dark hair, he’ll compare it to starlight or the beauty of blood in the moonlight (reserved for those particularly morbid moods he gets into, usually after murdering someone or may or may not have deserved it).
  • For light hair, he’ll compare it to the sunlight or to having pure gold woven into your locks.
  • For unnatural colours, such as red, he’ll be fascinated by the true colour showing at the roots and will want to know all the reasons behind why you dyed it. 
  • Length doesn’t bother him, but he’s usually pretty content if it’s long enough to braid. If you consent, he’ll find out your favourite styles, learn them within a day or two, and then replicate the chosen style of the day each morning for you, taking it out and brushing it before you go to bed.

Eye colour

  • Any eye colour. Eyes are the windows to the soul, and it’s for precisely this reason that he loves to look into them, his own magenta eyes boring into yours. 
  • For genetic mutations such as heterochromia, he’s completely entranced and just loves commenting on the individuality of the two colours.
  • In any case, some baser part of him toys with the idea of gouging your eyes out surgically, so that they’re fully intact and carrying them around with him because of how much he loves them.
  • He always talks himself down from this, though, because they have that little spark of life that he so adores and if he removes them from your person, he’ll never witness them light up when you see him walk into the room, and he can’t have that now, can he?
  • Besides, he’s pretty sure that you’d like to keep your eyes exactly where they are.

Height doesn’t matter at all because everyone’s the same height when they’re laying down.

Clothes

  • With clothes, it can go two ways: pastels or dark. Sebastian generally doesn’t pay too much attention to what you wear because it’s your body and you can wear what you like, but he may offer to choose your clothes for you each morning or to design/make/order clothes for you to wear, completely tailored to you and your tastes. You wouldn’t know about this beforehand because he won’t physically measure you. Just one look at you head to toe, and he already knows exactly what you should wear. He has an eye for these things.
  • I think, with pastel colours, he’d appreciate the difference between his stark black and white outfits with very little variation, to your different shades of pinks, purples, greens, blues, etc. He’d likely compare it to the fragility and delicacy of the human body, almost going off on a tangent about how easily humans are disposed of, before remembering that you’re a member of said species and that you may not be able to stomach what he’s talking about. He’d apologise and change the subject.
  • With dark colours, he’d appreciate the similarities with his own clothes and make the occasional comment about how what you’re wearing matches his thoughts, his nature; he’s the epitome of darkness and he never misses an opportunity to tell you this.
  • He lives in Victorian London, don’t forget, so he wouldn’t approve of too much revealing of your skin. He’d tell you that “it’s unseemly and might he recommend something else that may be to your taste, My Lady?”. This would be coupled with comments muttered into your ear that is designed to leave you blushing.
  • Makeup doesn’t bother him, though it intrigues him. Why do you cover your natural face? He’d make it clear that he prefers you fresh-faced, though. Makeup carries a certain connotation in this time period.

Personality traits

  • The most important thing is that you’re not afraid of him. He’s a demon and capable of the biggest monstrosities you can think of and is mostly unfeeling, but he cannot court someone (yes, court, not date, “a frankly ridiculous modern adaptation”) who fears him. So, his s/o’s love for him needs to override the fear of what he is in all situations.
  • Full acceptance and understanding that Sebastian cannot love to the same extent that humans can and do, but rather, he’s possessive. You’re his and as such, he will protect you and fight for you, with you, with his life, if need be. Don’t expect declarations of romance and romantic proposals, it’s not in his nature. He will not change for you and the very suggestion would be most insulting.
  • Someone who knows that Sebastian can and will play games with them. Tell him your fears, he will exploit them for his own amusement. Tell him your dreams, and he will crush them if you let him. Tell him your insecurities and he will shut them down with logic in just a few sentences. But, devilish though he may be, he is still your partner, and so he will refrain from doing these things. He may still play tricks on you, though, not nothing life threatening. It’s no good courting a dead person.
  • Independence. He’s very busy with his contract, running the Phantomhive estate and doing all the other things that he does, so he won’t always have time for you. His s/o would need to be able to fend for themselves. His ward is a child and he doesn’t need or want another one. 
  • Confidence. He understands that this grows in humans, and he’d be willing to help you with that. He does care for you in his own way and will show you in every way he knows how that you’re a wonderful woman and that he loves you, again in his own way.
  • Someone who is okay with Sebastian being himself around them. So he moves a little faster, he speaks with a lower, more gravelly voice. If he realises that you enjoy that, or you tell him this yourself, then he’d be pleased and would make it a point to be a little less human around you. This links into not being scared of him.
  • Someone who is themselves. No false modesty, no façades, no masks or acts… just you. He won’t appreciate falsehoods, even if they’re meant with good intentions.
  • Someone who is strong-stomached. I don’t mean this in terms of gore, though that would help, I also mean someone who can hold their own. He will tease you on occasion about your weaknesses. For example, if you’re afraid fo the dark, he might grab your foot from under the bed. But that’s a different set of headcanons, which can be found on my masterlist.
  • Intellect. Enjoy books or writing, drawing. Plays an instrument or wants to learn one. Bi-lingual or wants to learn another language. An inherent appreciation of culture and class. Someone who appreciates the finer lifestyle. These things aren’t necessary but it would help your relationship, in that you have mutual interests.
  • This is such an important point that I left it for last, and it’s pretty self-explanatory: Maturity. Someone who loves Sebastian for exactly what he is, in all the right ways. No games, no competitions, no playing, just love. Love him for what he is, and he’ll return the affections in kind, though in a slightly different way. Respect him and he’ll respect you. That’s all there is to it.

Greetings, everyone. I hope you’re having a wonderful day. I’m here tonight to present you with a short guide to Tumblr for witches who may be interested in starting a blog here. 

This post is obviously geared towards witches wandering the internet, but maybe some who are already here on Tumblr will enjoy it, too. I’ll be talking about the benefits to joining the Tumblr witch community, as well as some tips for getting started! Here we go!

What’s a “Tumblr witch?”

There’ve been culture-related magazines that have done huge articles on “Tumblr witches” and the witchcraft community on Tumblr, painting the whole thing as some kind of fashion trend or weird millennial hangout. 

I’ve been involved with the Tumblr witch community for three years, and I can say that most of these articles don’t quite reflect what the witchcraft community on Tumblr is like. 

A lot of them tend to paint it as an ideologically, culturally, and aesthetically monolithic trend, when in reality, it’s not. While it’s true that many Tumblr-going witches enjoy similar things or share fashion trends, witchcraft itself is not a trend, nor a fashion statement, nor is it the sole focus of the community.

In reality, a “Tumblr witch” is just what the name implies. A “Tumblr witch” is a witch who uses Tumblr as a blogging platform/CMS. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s true that there’s a large community of us, but we’re quite diverse

While many of us are young (millennials), not all of us as (I’m not), nor are we all of the same religion or mindset. You might even say that “Tumblr Witch” isn’t even a useful term, at all! Still, Tumblr is a great content management system for witches.

I think what makes Tumblr strong as a blogging platform for witches is that there’s an extremely diverse community here already in existence. So, in short, don’t buy into too much nonsense about what a “Tumblr witch” does or believes, because everyone’s unique. 

Again, the only real way I can see to define a “Tumblr witch” is just “a witch who uses Tumblr.” It’s as simple as that! It’s definitely not some kind of tradition or mindset for witches - it’s just a matter of what blogging platform the witch uses.

Continue reading for information about why you should consider Tumblr as a blogging platform, tips for using the interface, and more! Tagging @witchypixie by request. :-D

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Hey there! I was wondering (since you seem well-versed in h/c sam fics) if you could recommend some good fics? Pretty much anything Sam-centric, lol. I trust your judgment.

This is the part where I wish I kept better records. I live and breathe hurt!Sam, but I don’t always save the fics I read. 

I absolutely stand behind all my fic recs, though, which you can find on my blog here! They’re pretty much always hurt!Sam (with some Sam appreciation mixed in there).

There are tons of places to find great hurt/comfort stuff, though, and it would be silly of me not to direct you to these places first, though you may already be following them.

Places to go:

Some author recs:

Choosing fics is hard, because a lot of authors have tons of great stuff and I can’t choose just one to rec. I can point you in the direction of talented authors, though! I can guarantee that their writing is going to be Sam appreciative and Sam centric. 

Note: Most of these authors post plenty of fics, ficlets, and episode tags to their Tumblrs that don’t get posted to AO3. Most of them post a mix of gen stuff and pairing stuff. I’m also definitely forgetting some great authors!

  • @themegalosaurus | (ao3) - Absolutely beautiful Sam-centric writing with a generous dose of brothers feels! (Make sure to check out her fantastic episode tags on Tumblr, too!) Be aware that some fic is Wincest or J2 RPF, with other pairings showing up occasionally.
  • @ameliacareful | (ao3) - Lovely hurt!Sam stuff and great portrayals of the characters.
  • @agelade | (ao3) - Stunning Sam-centric stuff. Generous hurt, beautiful writing, amazing focus on Sam.
  • @waterbird13 | (ao3) - Posts mostly on Tumblr and contributes so much lovely fic that is basically centered around Sam getting love and being happy.
  • @quickreaver | (ao3) - Lots of beautiful hurt!Sam fics, and quickreaver is also an insanely talented artist (if you’re looking for some visual hurt!Sam)! Can be slightly darker stuff. Some Winces and other pairings.
  • stillwaters01 on AO3 - Just in case you want very brothers-focused sweet agony and heartbreak with your H/C.
  • Let’s be real. Basically all the writers over at ohSam, too.

So much H/C you will die (in the best way).

No, really. I always indulge in thoughts of unrestrained H/C but I never seem to be able to write it. If relentless hurt (and delicious comfort) are your thing, these writers may make your day.

  • Marianna Morgan on FF.Net - Suuuuuper lovely and indulgent hurt!Sam and just really idealized happy brothers fic. If caring and protective!Dean is your thing, these are lovely!
  • skag trendy on FF.Net - I was trying to remember names from when I was prowling Fanfiction.Net, and I remember that this writer has just tons of hurt!Sam. You know those fics where the hurt doesn’t let up and it’s just this amazingly shameless pain-fest? Yes.
  • Alex L. Kerr on FF.Net - of the famed Trialculosis Sam fic, but there’s a lot to enjoy.

Mostly pairing stuff (I’ll list which ones!)

These writers are Sam fans who write some great stuff. Some of it is gen, some of it is explicit. If you prefer gen-fic, be aware. If you sometimes love your hurt with more intimate comfort, check these awesome people out!

  • @posingasme | (ao3)- Mostly Sastiel, mostly non-explicit. Beautiful and breathtaking and heartbreaking AUs that often have generous helpings of hurt!Sam and badass!Sam.
  • @rosworms | (ao3)- Sam/Benny and Sastiel and also Wincest + others. Sometimes explicit. Often heavy on the comfort. <3 Always lovely. Mostly posted on Tumblr but some can be found on the Archive, too!
  • @kansaskissedlips (no ao3) - Wincest and Sastiel and basically everything you could ever imagine + more. I’ll bet you didn’t know you needed hurt!Soulless!Sam. But you do. Often quite explicit fics and ficlets with some gen thrown in! 

And now onto the specific fics! My fic recs are below, as well as a list (with links) of fics people have recced to me! Cut for length, and also because I plan to add more as I think of them.

Feel free to submit me your recs (or self recs!), and I’ll credit you and add them to the list below!

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

hii~~, i was wondering if you have some new hannigram fic recs bc i made my way through the ones on ur fic rec corner (it took me a hot sec lol) and u have very good taste and i was wondering if there are anymore youve read recently that arent on the fic rec corner yet? (i hope its not too much of a bother you dont have to answer or anything if u dont wanna obvs <3 just thought id ask!!)

Hi, friend!  Questions are never a bother. <3

Let’s see.  I poked at the private bookmarks on AO3, where I keep the things I am intending to rec on pinboard one day but haven’t yet, and came back with a few things for you.  I’m not doing very well at keeping up with new Hannific right now so some of these are older, other folks should feel free to chime in with other newer suggestions!  Also, you might poke at @freshmeatfriday - I saw that their April round-up just went up, but I haven’t had a chance to read all the offerings yet myself.

1) Prettier in Pink by @shiphitsthefan: Okay, so on this one I am cheating, because it’s not actually Hannigram, so much as one of those things where the fandom randomly decided to ship other Hugh and Mads characters together, and I’ve never even SEEN either Ella Enchanted or Valhalla Rising, but look, I just love ship’s fics in general and this one in particular is just DELIGHTFUL to me so far, one of my very favorite ongoing fics right now.  So I’m giving it to you anyway since you said nice things about my taste. Maybe check it out even though it’s technically not at all what you asked for, sorry, I am The Worst.

2) @pragnificent is writing excellent things for us. I’m particularly fond of the Identically Different AU, but if you would like something finished (and fluffier), how about Leashing Machiavelli?

3) I realized the other day that I had been amiss in leaving @northernveil‘s post-canon singing all your songs of praise off my fic rec list, so that’s definitely going on the list next time I update. 

4) @the-bees-patella hasn’t been around Tumblr in quite a while. I hope she’s doing well - NYC Fannibals, if you see her, send her my love?  I live in the hopes she’ll come back to us both because I like her a lot, and because I’m hoping she’ll finish Letters from Capgras, which is wonderful even in its unfinished state.

5) I recently re-read whiskeyandspite’s 1930s mobster AU Nice Work If You Can Get It, which is GREAT.  (It also has its own AU, All Or Nothing At All, which might appeal. I’d take the original if I had to choose, but luckily, I don’t.  Also, AUs of AUs delight me.)

6) I was also recently reminded that @halotolerant‘s Literally Speaking, an AU that shouldn’t work and yet absolutely does, and while I will be overwhelmed with joy if/when the final chapter arrives, it stands pretty beautifully as it is right now, you could read it and be perfectly satisfied with where it ends as it stands.

7) I really want to reread the post-canon The First Condition of Immortality is Death by @radioxsilence again before I rec it properly, but I’ve been waiting to find myself with a big chunk of time for it.  But even if some of the details are fuzzy at this point, I know I loved it, and I rec it happily.

8) Everyone’s reading everything by @weconqueratdawn, right?  Take your pick of Cathexis or Quicksilver, start there, and read the other one when you finish the first.  Plus: timestamps!

9) @redfivewritingby is writing a Jaws AU, and I’m not gonna lie, I suspect there’s a bunch of stuff I’m missing by never having watched Jaws (I KNOW, I KNOW, I’M SORRY, I’LL WATCH IT SOMEDAY) but I’m still enjoying it.

10) It’s a bit of a crime that I only have one of @moku-youbi‘s fics on Pinboard, I need to add more as soon as I decide which one to rec next, they’re ALL SO GOOD, ARGH.  But just to give you a starting point, I’m going to send you to The God of Appetite if you like AUs, or Wear Me On Your Skin if you want canon.  (Among the many reasons I like Thursday is I think she likes pretty boys covered in blood almost as much as I do.)

You can also assume that everyone on this list is someone whose fic I recommend in general, so you would probably have yourself a grand time going through all of their back catalogues.

Hope that’s enough to keep you busy until I get some more reading done and can bring back more offerings of recs for the fandom, my friend..

Sweet

Originally posted by infinitblaq

“Working in a bakery is bad for my self-control,” you groan as you tap your fingers on the glass pastry case, “that cheesecake is calling my name but the waistband of my jeans is yelling ‘stop’ even louder.”

You co-worker nods her head and sighs as she glances at the fresh display of cupcakes. “I hate the whole ‘you can have leftovers’ thing. Like, it’s great because I don’t spend all of my money here but, at the same time, it’s devastating because I get the same food without spending money so there’s less guilt involved. We need to invest in some will-power.”

“I’m pretty sure that’s something you have to be born with. We’re just weak-willed and, honestly, as long as I can fit through the door, it doesn’t really matter.”

Keep reading

fartimagines  asked:

How would the RFA members + V + Saeran react when someone was flirty/hitting on MC and the person went a little too far and MC beats the shit out of them before they can save her?? Please and thank you!!! 🙇🙇🙇

I did something sort of similar to this over here! So I’ll just do the ones that I didn’t do in that last reaction. 


Zen

  • you were going to be late for Zen’s recent play
    • but it was okay because you already went to the opening night
    • he just likes having you there for support and sometimes they add small things in
  • the compromise was that you could miss his performance as long as you show up for the wrap party
  • again you were kind of late because of traffic
  • he texts you and calls you every ten minutes asking where you are
  • he feels instant relief when you responded that you were finally in the theater
  • you walk into the party, trying to find you beautiful marshmallow
  • but some guy walks up to you
    • you recognize him as one of the extras
    • introduces himself and starts flirting with you
  • doesn’t reek of booze but you can tell he’s had a few drinks
  • you try to excuse yourself but he’s pretty insistent that Zen would just find you
  • Zen is on the other side of the room looking through the crowd until he sees you being cornered by one of the extras
  • BEAST MODE ACTIVATE
  • he pushes through the crowd, eyes focused on you
  • suddenly he freezes when you jab his jaw, hook your elbow to man’s cheek, kicks him until he lands on his backside
  • Zen is just (╬⁽⁽ ⁰ ⁾⁾ Д ⁽⁽ ⁰ ⁾⁾)
  • when you see him you brush yourself off and head over to Zen
    • walking on the asshole who tried to grope you of course
  • he’s just at a loss for words
  • “I–I didn’t think you to be the…th–the fighting type”
  • “ha HA ( ᓄ★ З★ )ᓄ finger guns!”

707

  • got to plan another RFA party in 2 weeks  (╥﹏╥)
  • things are a little chaotic at the moment
  • in comes God 707 to the rescue!
  • offers to help you with some stuff like handling the guest list and catering
  • you got to reward him somehow so you bring him with you to pick out desserts (✧ω✧)
    • Seven is very pleased
  • wow a high-end bakery no less!
    • Jaehee must have recommended it
  • while Seven is gawking at the cakes, you’re talking to the head baker
  • he’s a really good people person! wow!
    • great eye-contact, never really leaves your face!
      • hmm…
    • tight handshake…long one though
    • …huh he’s really close to you like you can feel his breath on your neck
  • did he just SMELL you!?
  • ok scratch that this guy is kind of a creep :/
  • while Seven is taking pictures on his phone, he accidently switches his camera
    • sees the baker REALLY close to you
    • rage level: 25%
    • he’s leaning into you to whisper something 
    • rage level: 68%
    • his hand slides around your waste
    • RAGE LEVEL: 200%
  • Seven whips around about to give this baker a piece of his mind 
  • but he’s already on the ground—limbs twisted and you pinning him down in a half-nelson
  • (⊙ □ ⊙) !!! how did you do that so fast!?
    • your rage level is OVER 9000
    • you weren’t going to take NO shit
  • you manage to negotiate and get a few free desserts!
  • after seeing this Seven is extra lovey to you
    • “Ooo did you know I love you, my dearest star? Hehe…you love me too right???”
    • (⌐■_■) b ~★

V

  • it’s been two weeks since V’s surgery!!!
    • and it’s amazing to finally see you with his own two eyes!
  • it was great timing because V’s next gallery was in Paris  
  • (((o(*゚▽゚*)o)))
    • hot dog!
  • you stayed by his side to guide him around and to direct him to potential buyers
  • this one rich guy was into one his photos and was discussing with V on the ones he wants to buy ^o^
  • while he was distracted, you decide to sneak off to grab yourself a glass of wine
  • then this guy approaches you to show you some photos 
    • some tall fancy french dude with a beard -_-
  • you brushed up on your French in anticipation of this trip, but you didn’t really want to be around the guy so you just spoke English
    • of course he knew English so you had no choice but to hear what he had so say
  • haha he thinks he can convince you that he’s V
    • he’s in for a pleasant surprise then ^^;;;
  • as V was finishing up with the deal, he goes to look for you to tell you about the great sell
  • while he scanned the crowd, he spots you with this other man
    • some tall, french man with a trimmed beard   ( ¬ ヘ ¬ )
  • V wasn’t really the jealous type 
  • but when he saw this guy start playing with your hair, he feels a tight knot in his stomach
    • he HAD to stop this
  • as he’s walking through the crowd his eyes are locked on you
  • he skips a step when your grab onto the man’s wrist and twisted it
  • (;;;*_*) never thought you would be so bold
  • he approaches the two of you and you release your grip
  • he introduces himself and the douche bag leaves with his tail between his legs

Unknown

  • sweet precious gumdrop takes you to get your first tattoo ^^
  • you’ve been flirting with the idea for about two years and now you’re sure what you want to get
  • you won’t forget that moment when you told him and his pupils dilated
  • goes with you to get another tattoo for shits and giggles
    • plans on getting a tattoo of your eye on his opposite bicep
  • it wasn’t that bad actually!
    • only a bit painful but having your boo by your side made the pain go away
  • decides to celebrate by going out for some tea
  • while you two were waiting for your tea, he excuses himself to head to the restroom
  • when he comes back, some guy is sitting really close to you
    • the fact that he’s sitting close to you is a real problem
    • but–OH HELL NO HE JUST PUT HIS ARM AROUND YOU!!!!!
    •  ٩(╬ʘ益ʘ╬)۶
  • Unknown is about to give this guy the deathliest stare known to mankind
  • but you kind of beat him to the punch
    • the guy’s arm is twisted to his back and you have his face pressed against the table
  • this is why Unknown likes you
    • plus you’re the sweetest thing next to apple pie
  • when you let the guy go and send him on his merry way, Unknown takes his seat and holds your hand
  • “I worked myself up too much, my tattoo hurts!”  (╥﹏╥)
  • the tea in your belly makes it feel so much better

anonymous asked:

I really wanted a Scentsy Buddy (a plush with a zipper for scent packs)... but they have a plush supporting Autism speaks. :( My favorite sensory thing is plush things and smells... any ideas?

As far as I’m aware, only sales of that plush contribute towards A$. However, if you don’t want to touch a company that has any connection with A$, I absolutely do not blame you - it’s all about our individual comfort level, and we have the right to feel good about the stim toys we buy.

I do have ideas, though, about DIY alternatives, and @pink-rainbow-sparkles and @thesensorybox have posted on very good alternatives available in Australia and New Zealand.

If you don’t want a weighted plush, the simplest solution is to literally drop essential oils on a plushie/soft toy you already own. Some essential oils like lemongrass are yellow-tinted and will stain; other essential oils, like lavender, tea tree or peppermint, are clear and won’t stain. (I’ve been dropping lavender on my pillow at night, to help me sleep, for four or five years. You wouldn’t know it to look at my pillow or pillow case.) If you want to change the scent, wash the toy and add a new oil. (My pillow case does not smell of lavender after machine washing, and I use fragrance-free laundry powder.)

If you want more info on which essential oils don’t stain, I’ll gladly go through my oil collection and swatch test them for you, but I’ve been dropping lavender oils on my weighted soft toys to refresh their scent and there is absolutely no staining. None. Do use pure essential oils and not oils blended with a carrier oil, though, or else you might make your toy tacky or greasy to touch.

(Note: I have no idea about the stainability of perfume/fragrance oils when dripped on fabric, because I don’t use them. Can anyone advise on this?)

The other options involve using weighted heat bags inside a plush animal case, very similar to the Scentsy toys. These toys are a cover designed to contain a rice or wheat bag that you remove, microwave and then replace, so they’re ideal for the switchable scent pack function.

@thesensorybox wrote this post on how to find them in K-Mart stores; @pink-rainbow-sparkles wrote this post on how they use their unicorn, also from K-Mart. There’s several different ones listed on K-Mart’s website, $9 AUD. Big W, another Australian department store, also has several different kinds, also $9 AUD. The bunny looks really cute!

I checked out Amazon, but I was having trouble finding toys with the removable pouch, since that is part of the function we want here. I’d recommend checking out your local department store. If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, it may be harder to find these as you’re moving out of cold weather. My local department stores, albeit with less stock, did have them throughout the summer just gone, so I’d consider it worth a look.

If you want the switchable scent pack function, for different scents, you’ll likely need to make or buy packs of a similar size to swatch them out, and either scent those packs with essential oils or fill them with a scented filler (dried herbs, lavender heads) in addition to stuffing or something weighted (rice, seeds, grains, soup mix, dried beans, poly pellets). You can scent rice very easily by tossing it in a container (an old ice-cream tub works well) and adding a few drops of oil, and I’ve scented plastic poly pellets the same way with no problems. I’ve also mixed poly/soft toy stuffing with dried lavender heads with no problems, just by layering: one layer of stuffing, one layer of lavender, etc.

The wheat packs, if you make several, are no different from a bean bag (two tutorials linked on this post). Cut two pieces of fabric the size of the bag inside the toy (usually a rectangle or a square), sew or glue up three edges, fill with scented rice or wheat or weighted pellets (if you’re not going to heat it, it doesn’t matter what you use) and sew or glue closed the fourth edge, making a sealed-shut pocket. Since it goes inside the toy, it doesn’t even have to be neat - just keep your stitches small enough that the inside filler can’t come out. The seams can be as messy as you like!

You can also refresh this pouch with a few drops of essential oil, and because it goes inside the toy, you can even use those oils that stain, as you won’t see the inner pouch.

If you don’t mind rustling plastic, you could even use several ziplock bags to contain the scented filler. I’d recommend using the thinner, cheaper kind, as the smell of the oil will seep through the plastic more easily. (I never find one ziplock bag to contain scent all that well, but the cheaper ones are much worse at it, which is what we want!)

Either way, it’s a little involved if you want to have the multiple scent options. Just dripping a toy with essential oils is the easiest, but it will still involve the purchase of several oils. (This said, oils last a long time and you can use them for scented necklaces, slimes, burning in oil burners, bean bags, personal care, cleaning…) The heat-up pocket plush toy will require sewing or gluing, and the purchase of fabric (or ziplock bags), bag fillers and oils. I can’t find a way that’s less complicated, because I don’t think perfumes and body sprays will last as long as essential oils, in terms of the filler or plush toy holding the scent.

If anyone has any suggestions, or a supplier for something similar that isn’t Scentsy, by all means, suggest away!

ETA: @ninjacacti says,

a good scent thing that isn’t oils are tea bags! they never stain and last a super long time I have a little pocket I’ve sewn on teddy bear that sits in my bed with a tea bag in it and it works great! if you can’t sew or just don’t like it you can get Velcro or just glue

Oh, very cool thought! It’d be so easy to remove and replace different tea bags from the heat bag soft toys! Thank you!

ETA the second: @2hon5 says,

Also, if you don’t have the spoons or motor function to sew or glue your own bean/rice bags, you can use those little zipper wallets. Just make sure the zipper is entirely plastic (no metal) if you’re going to microwave it. If you can’t find one like that, you can always use a sock and fill it up, tie it off, microwave it, and put it in the plushie.

I bow before your genius. Seriously. Very, very good suggestions. Especially the sock one, because that’s so simple and accessible. Thank you.          

anonymous asked:

hey I'm gonna be DMing soon and I'm really nervous about it, but you seem to have a good handle on it. do you have any advice to impart on a less experienced (read: no experience) DM?

Well this is my first time DMing as well so take this with a grain of salt I suppose, especially given that my biggest mindset going into this campaign was that since I and most of the people playing weren’t Experts or anything, so I wanted to do something much more casual and pretty lax in terms of mechanics/rules. 

I can’t offer you much advice but let me try and like, make a list of what I think might help (or what certainly helped me, anyway):

1) Remember you an do ANYTHING YOU WANT. That’s the biggest thing. I went in making a homebrew and though at the beginning there were times I was like ‘aw man this sucks I should’ve at least started on top of a pre-made module’, I’ve gotten to the point where I’m very glad I have total creative power over the story and settings. 

You really gotta remember that you can do. Like. Anything. It doesn’t even have to be what’s in the books or online, like my dude you can make shit up. Reading the material in the players handbooks/online resources definitely helps a lot for giving you context, though. Do what you prefer! If sticking to something pre-made and finding what you like first makes you feel more comfortable, I can definitely recommend that, especially with it being your first time. Doing a homebrew is hard and you have to be ready to invest a pretty decent amount of time to setting things up, and there’s a lot to know, but it can be super rewarding. 

When creating your world and/or story, aim for an aesthetic YOU like, a story YOU’RE excited about, and your enthusiasm for it will be what makes it fun for the players. You gotta be invested in what you’re creating or it’ll fall flat. When I started listening to The Adventure Zone, I started worrying about my own campaign bc I realized I wanted to be able to go way beyond what I’d already set up. I didn’t want to scrap the progress everyone had already made in order to start off fresh in a new setting/story, so I simply had to be creative and think of a way to do what I wanted in a way which still fit within the pre-established ‘canon’. That’s just an example of how it might work out. I’m just saying, even if you start off but you don’t think you’re really feeling it, don’t forget you can do whatever you can think of! Don’t be afraid to take turns and experiment. Do whatever it takes to make it fun to work on, and fun for the players to experience. 

2) At least get a good grasp on the basics. Mainly abilities, what they’re good for, and how combat works. It can get kinda complicated bc there are a LOT of variables but tbh you can learn a lot as you go along, so don’t stress out about knowing exactly what every spell/effect/environmental hazard does. And if you don’t know something, it’s pretty much always a quick google search away! 

Also some things I still have trouble keeping in mind, but which are important: Challenge Ratings (how though enemies are/how many EXP they’re worth), calculating EXP for encounters, figuring out what sort of loot/special objects you want to give the players and when. 

3) Try your best to be prepared, but don’t worry too much if you don’t know everything. You learn a lot on the way, and a fair amount of that learning only happens after you start playing and having to guide your players. They’ll ask questions you don’t know or hadn’t thought about and it’ll be an opportunity for you to learn! 

4) If you’re doing your campaign online, try character voices/verbally playing instead of just RPing in text. All the campaigns I’ve played in have been done online with my friends via discord, and it’s been a lot more fun imo since we stopped typing in character stuff and just talking it out a la The Adventure Zone. This’ll depend on your party though, and general preferences. Some people have audio processing problems, so you may have to work with them so that they can join in more easily, or simply stick to text if that’s what’s easier for everyone! Take others’ perspectives into account. 

I also don’t bother with making complete maps bc it’s a lot of extra work and it can be hard learning how to make them on sites like Roll20. If you REALLY need a ref for something, do it, but don’t be afraid to keep it super simple haha. Sometimes a little square with some circles in it and some shaded areas is really all you need. 

5) And of course, here is the most important piece of advice: remember to have FUN. And remember that this is meant to be fun for your players, not just you. In fact, I’d say it’s the most important thing that they be the ones having a good time - if you’re DMing and your fun doesn’t come from your party doing sick flips and creating clever ways to get around your puzzles n shit, I’d say you’re not doing it right. Don’t hesitate to look over certain rolls or change up what you have planned in order to give the players a fun edge, let them explore, or even let THEM create some aspect of the story/world. 

In the end these games are about having a good time with your friends. Try your best to be a good guide through a cool adventure, but don’t forget that it’s a collaborative effort and your players (friends) will help you along the way. Be understanding of them and hopefully they’ll be the same way towards you.

And if anything isn’t working out, you have the power to change aspects of your game or change the way y’all play so that it can be fun! 

(gosh this is a lot, I hope at least some of it is useful to you!! good luck, you’ll have to tell me how your first session goes~)

((and tbh… if anyone else has more advice that isn’t as straightforward as mine, feel free to add on))