and it is just less likely to happen this way

The 10 Elements of a MAIN CHARACTER

To all the writers who have ever been told “Your characters have to be three dimensional!” or “They should be well-rounded!” and just felt like saying: “What does that even MEAN?! What goes into a 3-dimensional character? Specifically? And how do you go about creating one?!”

Good news. There’s a way. 

Great main characters – heroes, protagonists, deuteragonist, whatever you want to call them – have ten things in common. Ten things that are easily developed, once you know what to create within your character. So no one will ever be able to tell you “needs to be more three dimensional!” ever again. Ha. 

1) Weaknesses: Main characters should be flawed, but I’m not saying this because it will make them more realistic (though it will) – I’m saying they need to be flawed because if they’re not, they shouldn’t be a main character. Story is another word for change, or more accurately, character growth. Not character as in “fictional person”, character meaning “heart and soul”. Story is someone’s character changing, for better or worse. Main characters at the beginning of the story are lacking something vital, some knowledge of themselves, some knowledge of how to live a better life, and this void is ruining their lives. They must overcome these weaknesses, if they’re going to become complete, and reach a happy ending. There are two types of weaknesses: Psychological and Moral. Psychological ones only hurt the main character. Moral ones cause the main character to hurt other people. Easy.  

2) Goal: Characters exist because they want something. Desiring something, and the fight against opposition for that desire, is the lifeblood of story; and because character is story, it’s also desire that can breathe life into words on a page, and begin the process of creating a real person in a reader’s mind. It’s this ‘desire for something’ that sparks that first connection between reader and character. It makes us think “Well, now I have to find out if this person gets what they want.” This is a powerful link. (How many mediocre movies do we suffer through, when we could easily stop watching, because we’re still trapped by that question of “what happens?”) So if this is powerful enough to keep people watching an annoying movie, imagine how powerful it can be in an excellent story. 

Like in Up, the goal is to get the house to Paradise Falls.

3) Want: If the main character wants something, they want it for a darn good reason. Usually, they think that attaining the goal will fill the void they can sense in their lives, the deficiency they can feel, but don’t know how to fix. And they’re almost always wrong. Getting the goal doesn’t help anything; which is why, while pursuing that goal, they discover a deeper need that will heal them. Which brings us to …

4) Need/Elixir: Main characters are missing something, a weakness in their innermost selves is causing them to live a less-than-wonderful life. Through story, these main characters can be healed. Once they discover what’s missing, and accept it, and change the way they live to include this truth they’ve uncovered … they’re healed. Learning this truth, whatever it is, forms the purpose of the story for the main character. The reader, and the character, think the story is about achieving that big tangible goal the premise talks about; really, underneath it all, the story is about someone achieving a big intangible truth, that will ultimately save their life and future. Often, this need is exactly what the character fears or professes to hate. 

Like Finding Nemo, where Dory states exactly what Marlin needs to learn. 

5) Ghosts: 

Not this kind of ghosts.

Ghosts are events in your character’s past which mark the source of their weaknesses and strengths. Because these happened, the character became who they are. All we need to know about backstory are these moments, because who the character became is all we care about. There’s really only one ghost you absolutely need: the source of their moral and psychological weakness. Something happened that knocked the character’s world off kilter, and everything from that moment onward has been tainted by what happened. This moment haunts them (hence the name), and holds them back from uncovering that need that will heal their weaknesses. Pixar are masters of this: the source of Carl being stuck in the past, curmudgeonly, unable of loving anyone new? Ellie dying; his ghost. In Finding Nemo, the source of Marlin being suffocating, protective to the point of being harmful, possessive, and fearful? His wife and 99% of his children being eaten in front of him; his ghost. 

6) True Character: These are the strengths, values, convictions, fears, faults, beliefs, worldview, and outlook on life that make the main character who they truly are. 

7) Characterization: This is everything on the surface of a main character. The way they look, talk, act, etc. All of this originates from those deeper elements of their being, the strengths, values, ghosts, weaknesses, needs, that make them who they truly are. So often, you can think of this as a facade they’re projecting, a way to shield the the truth about themselves, how they wish to be perceived. The story, and the other characters, are slowly going to see deeper than this characterization, revealing more and more of the reasons it is the way it is. 

8) Arc: If the character is going to change from “Incomplete Person” to “Complete Person” there’s going to be a journey they go on to make that possible. The external story, the pursuit of that big tangible goal the premise is about, is causing an inner journey to take place. What they have to do in pursuit of that external goal will apply pressure to those weaknesses, and pressure causes change. This process has seven steps, but if I write it all here this post is going to be obscenely long. So I might wait and give this its own post.

9) Changed Person: Who is the character going to be at the end of this story? They better be different, or else the story didn’t work. How do they show how different they’ve become? What is the moral choice they make, that spins their trajectory from “the future doesn’t look so great” to “happily ever after”? This should be known right away, maybe even before anything else is settled about the character. This gives a distinct end goal, a way to work backwards, a destination in mind that you can navigate towards.  

10) Fascination and Illumination: The surface characterization, and the brief glimpses of the true character underneath create curiosity in the reader/audience. What the character says, and the implied subtext beneath the dialogue, creates a puzzle the audience wants to solve. Actions they take work the same way; if the writer indicates there’s deeper motivation behind why a character behaves in the way they do, we buy into solving that mystery right away. We can’t help it. “Who are you really? Why are you the way you are? And how is that going to effect the story?” These are all the unspoken, almost not consciously acknowledged, questions that fascinating characters provoke. Searching out meaning, connecting the dots to find the truth – we can’t resist this. We’re not fascinated by tons of backstory and exposition about a character; we’re fascinated by story, by mystery, by the technique of withholding information and having to interpret and hunt out the truth on our own.  So gradually, the story and the characters will force that character to reveal a little more, and a little more, until we have a complete picture of who this person is. Crucial that this information isn’t told up front. Gradually illuminate it. It’s just like getting to know a real person. 

So how does this work in a real character? Let’s take a look at Flynn Rider/Eugene Fitzherbert, because almost everybody has seen that movie. 

Moral Weaknesses: He’s selfish. He’s a little greedy. He’s a little rude. He uses his charisma and bravado to keep people at a distance from the real him. 

Psychological Weaknesses: Insecurity, fear of vulnerability, feels like the real him (Eugene) would be unwanted, unlovable, and have nothing – just like when he was an orphaned kid. Also, he doesn’t know who he wants to be, what he wants to live for. 

Goal: Flynn wants to get that crown. So he has to get Blondie to see the floating lights, so she’ll give it back to him, and then they can part ways as unlikely friends.  

Want: Why does he want the crown? What does it mean for him? He actually states it (reluctantly) in song: “I have dreams like you, no really. Just much less touchy feely. They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny. On an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone. Surrounded by enormous piles of money.” He senses there’s something off in his life, something is missing. But he mistakenly believes this missing piece is money, which will allow him to buy a lonely island, where he can live out his days as Flynn and no one will ever know Eugene. 

Need: “All those days chasing down a daydream. All those years living in a blur. All that time never truly seeing, things the way they were. Now she’s here, shining in the starlight. Now she’s here, suddenly I know. If she’s here, it’s crystal clear, I’m where I’m meant to go.” He wants a crown … he needs to fall in love with Rapunzel. He needs to love something more than himself, and find out that love isn’t something to fear and push away. He needs to abandon the 'Tales of Flynnagin Rider’ ambition, and get a more worthwhile, new dream. 

Ghost: The source of all of his weaknesses can be linked to his “little bit of a downer” childhood as an orphan. Interestingly, he isn’t aware of another facet of that ghost, and Rapunzel points it out to him. “Was he a thief too?” she asks. He looks taken aback, before answering “Uh, no.” Something’s gone wrong. The choices he’s making are not living up to that original role model.  

Characterization: Flynn’s charming, funny, smart, charismatic, and arrogant (in a somehow charming sort of way). He’s also rude, contemptuous, and sarcastic. All traits that help him keep up that 'swashbuckling rogue’ facade, and push people away from the real him. 

True Character: Underneath all that, he’s a Disney prince. That pretty much sums it up.  

Changed Person: “Started going by Eugene again, stopped thieving, and basically turned it all around.” He started the story as the guarded and evasive Flynn, he ends as the selfless and thoroughly-in-love Eugene. 

Fascination and Illumination: Imagine if everything about Flynn had been told, right up front. We know he’s an orphan, we know he’s upheld a fake reputation, we know he’s a kind and loving guy underneath it all, we even know about his “tales of Flynnagin” childhood dream. You know what happens? We like him … but we’re not interested in him. There’s nothing we need to find out. There’s no curiosity. And if there’s no curiosity, and nothing being illuminated, your story’s not going anywhere. So instead, we find out – alongside Rapunzel – more about Flynn as the story progresses. And that is how it should be. 

So!

Developing characters in this way, I’ve found, really reduces worries about how “well-rounded” and three dimensional I’ve made them. They feel real to me. And besides helping me create characters, this ten element technique has also let me analyze characters I like, which is strangely fun. It’s a great way to figure out why a character works, what causes them to be so effective, and how you can go about creating them yourself. 

Yeah, I’m a bit of a nerd. 

But if you want, try it out. Develop a character. Analyze a character. You might find it as useful/fun as I do.

Storm In The Room certainly was an emotional roller coaster, but not in the way most of us were expecting. You have to know whenever you see one of the rooms of the temple appear, we’re going to be in for emotional whiplash.

Doubly so for Rose Quart’s room.

The one thing we have a tendency to forget is that the room seems to have one purpose: to show whoever possesses the Rose Quartz gem (aka Steven at this point) whatever it thinks they want. 

The room can only work with the information Steven already knows. Steven knows this. He says it several times. But given the circumstances, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and forget that. And the room? Just keeps on doing what it was designed to do. Steven wants to meet his mom?

Steven gets to meet his mom. 

Steven wants to play games with his mom? Steven gets to play games with his mom.

Steven needs reassurance? He’s told he’s wonderful the way he is and that his mother has been with him the whole time.

And it’s beautiful.

But it’s empty. 

Rose’s room holds no answers for him. It can’t tell him anything he doesn’t already know. The sudden reminder that his mother isn’t actually there is jarring. 

And the room, struggling to keep up with the sudden shift in Steven’s thoughts makes Rose dark, threatening and distant. She doesn’t answer any of Steven questions about Bismuth, Pink Diamond, the rebellion or her plans because the room simply doesn’t have the information to do so with.

Maybe they didn’t matter to you as much as hiding from the mess you made. And that’s why I’m here, isn’t it? Did you make me just so you wouldn’t have to deal with all your mistakes?

Steven is smart. Steven is perceptive. He was born into a situation that no one, let alone a child, should have to deal with. He’s strong, he’s capable, but in so many ways he has no one who truly understands what he’s going through. He’s human and gem, and while this gives him the strengths of both, it also makes him totally unique and new. He has an amazing support system, people who would do anything in this universe to help him. But in some ways he will always be alone. 

He’s never met Rose Quartz, the one individual that was the catalyst for the rebellion and its aftermath. Steven is going from the bedtime story/ fairy tale Rose Quartz presented to him from Greg and the gems to the reality behind the legend- something decisively less fairy tale like. That’s something that happens to a lot of us growing up, but in Steven’s situation it’s so much worse.

He never knew the Rose Quartz everyone idolized, but grew up knowing that everyone expected him to be just like her.  But as he learns more about her, he finds that there was so much more to her. She wasn’t necessarily the kind, generous, wise, strategic genius warrior she was painted as. She lied. She didn’t think things through. She made mistakes. She ran from those mistakes.

Everyone around him expects him to grow up to be just like Rose, and he’s not even sure he likes her. Turning into her is both his dream and his worst nightmare. 

We don’t know all the reasoning behind why Rose decided to become/create Steven. I have no doubt that it was definitely a strategic move on her part. She knew that Steven would be capable of doing things she never could, that in whatever was coming from Homeworld, she herself would not be able to do what was needed to save both Earth and whatever gems would come their way.

But I also have no doubt that it was a labor of love, that she absolutely would want Steven to exist without having to deal with her problems, IF that was possible. Steven had watched the tape his mom made for him, so the room? It knew what Steven needed to be reminded of.

I get it. I know you didn’t want me to deal with your problems. But you’re a part of me now. I have to deal with what you left behind. 

Whether Steven’s creation was a strategic move on Rose’s part or not is a moot point. He’s here and he has to handle the problems she left in her wake. He’s growing up and he needs answers. And as he’s coming to find, those answers aren’t necessarily easy to deal with. 

But, when it comes down it, Steven isn’t alone. Maybe his support system isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t have to be. They love him, they love each other, and they’ll get through this together.

Sometimes what’s let behind isn’t so bad after all. 

yknow i was talking to someone a week or so ago and he kept using the word “triggered” in reference to LoL/online gaming etc.

now, i’ve had this guy in class before and overall he seems like a pretty good kid so i was equal parts perplexed and irritated by his use of this. i told him he probably shouldn’t be using that word in that context, and he didn’t seem to be getting it and kept arguing back that he was using it correctly. eventually he got to the point where he pulled up the definition of it on urban dictionary and explained why he was using it

“yes,” i said, “that is the way it’s used in the gaming community, but the fact is that it’s a word used for a legitimate thing in psychology and people using it in that way has taken it away from those who need it to describe things that happen wrt, for example, PTSD. now people who are legitimately ‘triggered’ get treated like a joke.”

“oh,” he said. “I had no idea that’s where it came from.” and he more or less backed off after that

and ive been thinking a lot about that recently.

about how if i should just started out with, “hey i’d rather you not use this, and here’s why,” that conversation would have gone a lot smoother than just my flat out insistence and non-explanation of why he shouldn’t

because people grow up using words a certain way, or learn to use them from communities and may not even know how they affect other people around them.

like i definitely could have left the conversation and decided i didn’t want to deal with it, that would have been valid, but i really wanted to figure out why he was using it and see if i could get him to stop rather than immediately deciding he was just a shitty person and a lost cause

it’s usually best to start off a conversation by assuming the person is benevolently ignorant and go from there

Here’s the full transcript of Mark talking Darkiplier in the livestream

(Time approx. 3 hours, 52 minutes to 4 hours, 4 minutes into the stream. And, yes, this took forever). Thought you’d like this, maybe.

I’ve bolded stuff I find especially interesting.

~~~~~~~

Mark: Long ago, a long time ago, I liked to do these scary edits because I just felt like doing scary edits and this is how Darkiplier got born. And then what happened was over time Darkiplier became less and less about the scary figure and more about this romantic figure, and it always rubbed me the wrong way. And I kind of shied away from Darkiplier for a while. And I really really really- if I was going to bring Darkiplier, and when we thought about this, we thought, okay there should be a Darkiplier route. And that was there from the beginning, and so when I wanted to do it I wanted to do it my way, and I wanted to do it right, and I wanted to have this unending level of creepiness. And at the same time, I didn’t want to step on the toes of Antisepticeye because I know there’s a big fan base of that, and I didn’t want to get in the way of that at all and I really don’t care that there’s more than one dark personalities of people. But when I saw the opportunity to have this character here, I spent like 8 hours editing this, like just meticulously every single RBG. This is a layer, we green screened this one, I color corrected it, I separated the RBG layers I added the shakes and glitchiness every frame. I worked on the voice, too. The voice took me the longest to figure out. Like the shakes! And my computer was dying this whole time cause I put my effects on here.

Tyler: The amount of time you had to spend rendering this.

Mark: And so, the audio’s actually three separate layers. It would have been two, but Kathryn helped me out on that one to make it more clear. It’s a normal pitched layer that’s edited, echoed, reverbed, mastered, and convoluted which means it’s just thrown off to the left and right, and then it’s a deep layer of that. But then to make it really come together- it didn’t live without this center channel that wasn’t convoluted but was centered. But getting that voice right was so pinnacle, so paramount to what I wanted to come out of this. And we did like thirty minutes of shooting various versions of me talking to the camera and I wanted to pick the exact dialogue that really kind of gave away my idea of what Dark is in not a terribly obvious way.

Tyler: The other thing, this was supposed to all be one video.

Mark: But YouTube annotations, this new version doesn’t allow you to link the same video multiple times, so these are literally the old videos that I first did when Darkiplier first came about, like, these are the ones, especially this one here, and then this is my cheap knockoff Darkiplier.

Amy: Canon Darkiplier.

Mark: Canon Darkiplier. And I’m going to readily admit something. I joked about Darkiplier because it didn’t seem like something people wanted to take seriously, and I’m okay with that on certain aspects but it had diverged into multiple different facets and multiple different personalities, and everyone had their own version of Darkiplier, and I thought it was hilarious that, “Hey, here’s my version of Darkiplier, and he’s an idiot.” Like, he’s just this weird emo kid. And then I stepped back from that, like, I stepped back. And you can even- in that time, when I was doing those videos, in this era, I was not very happy. I was kind of… I was pessimistic about a lot of things. And I felt like that bled through in a lot of things I did. And that’s why even October of last year I literally made Darkiplier an emo character. And then when we were getting to this, I thought about it like very carefully and I thought back to why I did it originally, and I did it originally because, well, Darkiplier wasn’t even a thing. Darkiplier was not a thing when I was making those videos. I just wanted to make some creepy stuff. And then I thought about that, and I was like if I want to make a statement about who this is, I need to own that and I need to put something out there that is not ambiguous, because I realize that’s where I went wrong. I didn’t have a solid character so obviously, people would come up with their own versions, they would fill in the gaps where they saw fit. So, when I made this I had to embrace it fully and fine-tune it down to exactly where I wanted. When you choose the “fake” choice carrying through to this one, I really wanted that to come through, except at the end to this video, where it gets silly, but that’s because the real me comes in and the real me’s an idiot. And I’ve actually watched this over and over again because I’m listening to the takes I put in here and I’m listening to my inflection and my tone, my demeanor and I’m imagining like how to refine it better next time when I bring him back, like how to do it better.

Tyler: I remember now, I set up the table.

Mark: Yeah, you did. You set up the table we had to change it out for clear glasses because the green screen was reflecting through. But yeah, even this, like the intersplices of anger, and this is me getting real deep in the meta of Darkiplier, like if that’s even a thing that can be- let me just pause it here. I don’t read too much into this but if there’s something that I want to take seriously, I want to actually do right. So, in my mind, Darkiplier is an entirely different person from me. But, much like Warfstache, doesn’t obey the laws of physics. He exists in another world entirely and bleeds through into this one. This is sounding really nerdy of me.

Tyler: I remember the Warfstache talk.

Mark: So Completely unironically, Darkiplier is a completely separate entity from who I am. But, he admires what I’ve accomplished, and he’s very much… people picked up on this, and people thought it was really creepy, because it’s what I wanted. He’s a social manipulator. He is literally, 100% manipulative. He leads you into this false sense of security, and he wants you to trust him because he wants to take advantage of you. That is literally what I wanted for Darkiplier. And how creepy and scary that actually is from the surface. Especially in this first bit, where he says, “If dinner is what you want, then I can provide.” And I wanted this to come across in a seductive way while also masking, like, this burning rage inside that breaks through the suave nature of it. That was my clue to reveal he’s not your friend. He’s not here to help you. He’s here to use you. And that also came across when I was thinking about, like, the effects. Like, his image shatters, he separates because he’s not entirely kept together, you know what I mean? So, I wanted like the drastic impacts of the rage pulling back suddenly to the calm nature and the demeanor and this last one, I was thinking was especially telling. It’s not me trying to break through, it’s his shell cracking.

Kathryn: I love that.

Mark: Yeah? It’s my favorite of all of them.

Kathryn: That’s one’s my favorite. I have legitimately just gone and watched that bit.

Mark: Yeah?

Kathryn: It’s really good.

Mark: Oh, thank you.

Kathryn: I really like that.

Mark: Yeah. And number 1 the visuals work hard on this one, but nailing the audio- that high-pitched ringing that a lot of people were like wow that really hurts my ears, that was by design. That was supposed to hurt because listening to him- a lot if inspiration for him comes from G-man from Half-life 2 and 1, like this weird interdimensional person that seems human but is obviously not and doesn’t obey the laws of physics, and is just like this shell of a person that’s in a suit. Not a suit, literally a human suit, and is trying to figure out how to puppet it right that you believe him, but he’s really good at it. And that’s where the scariness of Darkiplier, I think, really comes from, is because he seems like someone you can trust, and he will manipulate you, and take advantage of you, and literally use you, and to me that’s terrifying. Like that’s the antithesis of what I want to be and so if I’m going to make an opposite version of me, he’s gonna be the fucking worst. Like worse than any romantic story can ever bring about. He’s fucking awful.

Amy: It was convenient, though, I like the way it goes from Relax to this, like the video “Relax,” because then people were not expecting this. But it’s so nice to have it on Valentine’s Day. It works so well.

Mark: And then came the bullshit transition that we had to do. So, this is comical in a way.

Amy: It doesn’t drag it though.

Mark: Yeah it doesn’t drag. You get the scary. Tyler’s here-

Tyler: In Mark’s suit, which I have fit in, but not the pants.

Mark: He didn’t fit, we forgot to get a tie, like, we printed out a mask, and I looked at this and was like I could try to make this creepy, and then I went, I objectively can’t. Let me throw in some punch sound effects.

Tyler: I have to make sure, cause-

Mark: He couldn’t see shoot.

Tyler: No, I couldn’t, and I had to keep moving the mask cause there was one time we did this that the mask ended up completely on the side of my head and I was just like, hey Mark, you can’t touch my face.

Amy: The convenient thing about this, though, with all the glitches is that you can hide stuff with it.

Tyler: Yeah, and there’s a reason I never let go of Mark I have no clue where anything is.

Mark: Yeah, oh man. Oh, this, oh my god. Oh, and secret Easter egg- you know who Dark is because he doesn’t have a shadow. Totally intentional and by design.

Amy: His toes are missing too, but.

Mark: Shh he doesn’t have toes he’s so scary.

~~~~~~

.

Hogwarts Headcannons
  • Give me Dean, muggleborn that he is, imitating Steve Irwin in Care of Magical Creatures class, much to everyone's confusion except for Harry and Hermione who are. On the ground. Unable to breathe. And refusing to explain why.
  • Give me Harry, demisexual that he is, realizing that the reason he can't stop obsessing over Draco is because Draco is the one who saw - and subsequently disliked - 'Harry', and not The Boy Who Lived. Realizing that Draco was the only one to first talk to him for HIM, in that robe shop, and not his parents or fame (because even Ron and Hermione did that at first). And thus, leading to him randomly starting crying in the middle of lunch and claiming he's doomed, much to everyone's fear.
  • Give me Seamus, pyro that he is, super happy one Christmas when Hermione buys him a book on fire caution, flammable materials, and elements such as magnesium. Thus afterward, the mysterious fires that have always happened are far more safe and controlled.
  • Give me Luna, wonderful airhead that she is, being stared at as, calm as anything, she waltzes right into the Slytherin common room and starts talking to the mermaids like its absolutely normal. A first year drops a book he's staring so hard, because HOW DID SHE KNOW THE PASSWORD. Draco just sighs, gets up, goes over to her, and offers her tea.
  • Give me Draco. Who looks on as Neville offers Harry rhubarb pie that he made himself, as Harry stares forlornly at his Treacle Tart, and makes and annoyed sound. "Dammit Longbottom he hates bittersweets." The Slytherins stare and Pansy just mutters "How do you even know these things. Merlin, help him realize."
  • Give me Parvati, who is being constantly mistaken for her sister by Ron, who panics and screams "IM A LESBIAN" when it gets to be too much.
  • Give me Ron, who stares wide-eyes from a distance whenever he sees Padma from that moment on for a full week, until Padma flips out too and hexes him. Parvati awkwardly wonders why Ron starts getting scared whenever she tries to approach from then on, since she knows Ron doesn't have problems due to that sort of thing from how he handles Harry.
  • Give me the thirty or so of the school's Muggle-raised, who made the mistake of showing their folks howlers, and react accordingly whenever one of the families sends one that is just a recording of Rick Astley, or High School Musical, or spoilers for Doctor Who. And the Wizard-raised just... staring... in fear... watching their savior and multiple other students as they run around screaming and crying in an absolute panic for some reason even though it was a different student that got the weird howler.
  • Give me Harry, whose hair surprises people by being dark red like his mother's when in direct sunlight. And usually at the Weasley den they're inside, but one day Harry joins them outside for a picnic, and Molly is so confused about where Harry went to then has do do a mental tally of her children.
  • Give me George, who in the midst of the final battle, hit Lucius with an Anaticula curse, so that every spell he tries makes a duck instead. And the Death Eaters are just so confused. "Lucius... is that a duck?"
  • Give me the Gryffindor common room. The new first years suggest Monopoly for game night. The entire room goes dead silent. One first year tries to ask what they did wrong. "Never mention that game again," is the only response they get. "But why-" "NEVER TALK ABOUT SIXTH YEAR. WE NEVER TALK ABOUT SIXTH YEAR." Their brave upperclassman Neville yells, trembling. Hermione starts crying. Harry goes into a panic attack. Ron whispers, "There are many reasons we don't talk about sixth year. If The Incident had been the only thing that happened, we would only not talk about The Incident. Many things happened that year. Thus, we do not speak of that year, or of that game."
  • Give me McGonagall, who struggles to control the cat population, because while students are told to have their cats fixed you know not all 100 students that brought cats did so. Her curling up around a litter that lost their mother to illness. Training them to stalk the corridors. Albus had his ways of getting information, and hers is the spy network of cats.
  • Give me muggleborns singing everything from Phantom of the Opera to Katy Perry in the corridors. Singing We Will Rock You to a pureblood who disses them for it. The purebloods thinking the weird songs and their tunes are some kind of Rite of Passage and fleeing whenever a muggleborn student starts singing. Altering song lyrics. "I throw my ferret in the air some-times, singin EEEEEEEYO, this is DRAAAAAACO!"
  • Give me muggleborns that are really confused about the whole quill instead of pens things, throwing transfigured pokeballs in Care of Magical Creatures, the band students bringing kazoos and harmonicas and the wizrd-raised students that are just so confused as to how those things even work, because it must be some sort of air magic, right??
  • Give me muggleborns making entire conversations out of pop culture references specifically to confuse some Slytherin who just called one girl a Mudblood. "These are not the droids you were looking for." "I'm right on top of that now Rose, I promise." -jazz hands-
  • Give me muggleborns with Patronus that are things like Pikachu, velociraptors, the quiet Canadian transfer student with a moose patronus the size of a SMALL HOUSE, the one whose is a angeled-out Castiel, the one whose patronus is the democrat donkey and another the republican elephant and the two, previously best friends, become mortal enemies rivaling the fame of Harry and Draco.
  • Give me muggleborns hugging each other before break, promising to 'call' each other, trading weird codes, how they can't wait to go for 'sushi' or planning that trip together to 'disneyland' where they can go flying?? But no one's allowed magic?? Or flying?? And the wizard-raised think that somehow, shockingly,<i> these children totally new to our world have developed a way to cheat the system?? Muggleborns are badasses!!</i>
  • Give me muggleborns who are fully aware that the anti-tech wards were made when, like, radios barely even existed, much less cellphone towers and microprocessors, so while they can't turn them on inside the stone school walls there's this group that Harry joins constantly that just sit there in silence staring at these tiny things and sometimes randomly laughing hysterically, and every now and then standing and just running all the way across to the other side of the lake all at the same time with no signal whatsoever. The purebloods are <i>terrified</i> of this frequent happening.
  • Give me Harry, Hermione, Dean, and Justin from the D.A, muggleborns they are, doing a movie night every week to help the D.A. relax and bond. They re-start this after the battles, during eighth year, with several other people such as the returned Slytherins joining in. The entire year they play things like Tangled, The Breakfast Club, Brave, Lion King. But then the last four weeks, they announce they don't want to mislead everyone that everything is all fun and rainbows. The last four movies are My Sister's Keeper, The Shining, Marley and Me, and for the last week, a marathon of the entire Jurassic Park series.
  • Give me Hufflepuffs, who secretly are very relieved to be the 'normal' House. Jocks over there, know-it-alls over there, goth wannabees over there, now lets go camp out by the kitchens we're gonna need it to survive the next seven years like this.
  • Give me Ravenclaws who are so done with the riddles when they stumble back at midnight after having fallen asleep in the Library. "What's the truth?" "THE TRUTH IS THAT I WILL SET YOU ON FIRE IF YOU DON'T LET ME IN."
  • Give me the Trio, who use the Marauder's Map to find the most absolutely ridiculous routes to class, knowing every single one of the shortcuts. It's not odd for them to simply appear out of the ceiling. One day the new first years try to follow them, to learn the school better, but it doesn't go so well because then they try to go through a disappearing wall the Trio just did they instead run headfirst into it, and the next time they do behind a tapestry, down a waterside, around some sort of tower, causally past an entire doorless room full of bats, and somehow come out on the complete other side of the castle.
  • Give me Draco whose just completely had it with Harry's staring and confronts him, like they always do, and Harry just blurts out that he likes Draco's new haircut and can he touch his hair, and Draco so shocked he lets him. "Potter stop treating me like a cat I'm evil remember? Bloody hell have you gone daft?!" "But... it's soft..." "I hate you." But he just can't find any anger over this, so there's like no venom whatsoever in it and Harry can't stop giggling.
  • Give me Ginny, who can't stop giggling as Luna confuses the fuck out of an entire crowd with her way of speaking, and who during seventh year could 100% get away with insulting the Death Eaters because of the way she said things. Who after Luna used said tactic to get her out of a Crucio punishment just clung to Luna, shaking, and realizing that she loves Luna so much for this very reason. That there will never be another person like Luna in her life, ever.
  • Give me Harry, who was not really well educated while living at the Dursleys, who couldn't read very well but was wonderful at sneaking around, little tricks like hiding things, and loved music. He taught himself magic tricks, and MERLIN ALMIGHTY THIS 11 YEAR OLD KID HAS MASTERED VANISHING SPELLS, WHAT, HOW, and Percy, uptight prefect he is, just looses it.
  • Give me Ron walking in on Harry talking to some random snake in their dorm room, laughing like the snake said a particularly good joke, tipping his head and smiling as he responds, the python slowly curling up his arm to rest over his shoulder. Ron freezes, stares, and then slowly backs away, closes the door and stands there staring at it for a full half hour in absolute horror.
  • Give me the rest of the D.A. walking into the Room of Requirement and hearing screaming, Dean shrieking that he's going to murder someone, Hermione crying, Justin cursing like a sailor yelling for everyone to stop, and the rest panic and run around the corner and there the four Muggle-raised students are. With some sort of odd device in their hands. Playing Mario Kart.

anonymous asked:

Do you have any advice on how to write a grieving character? Thank you!!

Hi!

Grieving isn’t pretty. It isn’t always dramatic, either – while some people certainly do go home and throw their favorite vase against the wall, some people retreat into themselves and become emotionally unresponsive (that’s what I do). Violence or anger is more likely to occur if the death is sudden – so is retreating into an emotional shell, really, because it’s often a result of shock. But both can occur outside of a sudden death – cancer isn’t always sudden, but many people still become angry when their loved one is diagnosed with or dies because of it. Basically, if the death feels unfair in any way – if it’s sudden, or if it feels like it happened too early, such as in the case of cancer or of some sort of cardiac disaster (a heart attack, a stroke, etc) – it’s more likely to provoke anger or shock, depending on your character’s temperament and attachment to the dying/dead character.

That was just a general disclaimer. Now, onto the meat of grieving!

Firstly, grieving can begin before the person is technically dead – you don’t have to wait for the person to go flatline and physically stop breathing for your other characters to feel a sense of loss. If your character suffered a medical disaster or an accident that rendered them comatose, or if your character is obviously fighting a losing battle (again, terminal cancer comes to mind), your other characters could start grieving them even though they’re still breathing and their heart is still beating. However, the likelihood is that your characters won’t be able to really start working through the five stages of grief until your character actually does physically die, because rarely does death really hit home until it has occurred.

Speaking of the five stages of grief, those are important! They’re as follows:

  • Denial/Isolation: your characters can’t believe your dead character is really dead. This is a defense mechanism of sorts for your mind – a way to delay at least some of the pain, and give yourself time to process what’s happened (although that processing happens subconsciously, because on the surface you’re denying that anything’s happened at all). If the dead character fought a long battle with an illness before death, this stage may be expedited by the fact that your characters had time to process the character’s dying as it was happening. If the death was sudden in any way, this stage may be prolonged, because it will be harder to comprehend something that happened so quickly, and shock will be more likely to occur.
  • Anger: the pain your characters were masking in the denial stage starts to come to the surface, and as a response to the pain, your characters get angry (just as many other vulnerable emotions, such as fear, are expressed as anger – anger is a tough emotion, as opposed to fear and grief, so most people subconsciously opt for anger because it makes them feel less vulnerable). They may feel they’ve been robbed of your dead character’s companionship. Their anger may manifest itself in many different ways: isolation, irritability, or self-destructive behavior, to name a few. Their anger may also direct itself at various places: the medical professionals who failed to save your dead character’s life, God for taking your dead character, even the dead character him/herself, if they could in any way be responsible for their own death (if they were driving intoxicated, if they never ate healthily and suffered a heart attack, etc.).
  • Bargaining: before death, this stage may manifest itself as “please God, just let them live and I’ll tithe my ten percent and go to church every Sunday”, or “please, [Dying character’s name], just hold on and get better and we’ll [do that thing the dying character has always wanted to do]”. (Keep in mind that most people have an astounding impulse to be religious during a time of crisis, whether they’ve been religious in the past or not.) After death, this stage may manifest itself in the “could’ve-should’ve-would’ve” philosophy: “if only we’d taken them to the doctor sooner”, “I should’ve made him stay home”, “I knew there was something wrong with him!”, and so on. This stage is generally an attempt to regain control of the situation – your characters feel like they’re taking some kind of action by offering a proposition, or by placing blame.
  • Depression: there are two types of depression associated with grief. In the first (which is almost more similar to anxiety) your characters worry more about others: what if I haven’t been there for people when they needed me, how are we going to pay for the funeral/burial services, and so on. Basically it deals more with the practical aspects of the character’s death. The second type is more introspective – your characters may retreat into themselves and analyze old memories of your dead character, and their feelings on everything that’s happened. This type is private, and your characters probably won’t share much about their thoughts if they experience it.
  • Acceptance: this stage is marked by withdrawal and calm – it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from depression. It’s not a stage of joyous frolicking and exclaiming, “It’s okay! I understand everything about [Dead Character’s] death!”. Your characters may still not understand the purpose of your dead character’s death, but understanding and acceptance are not synonyms, nor are they mutually inclusive. The important thing about this stage is that your characters can make peace with the death, and can move on.

Keep in mind that while I’ve listed these stages in what is regarded as their general order, every person (and character) grieves differently – they may experience these emotions in a different order than that above. They may also go through one or several of the stages more than once, or cycle through the first four of them multiple times before reaching the fifth. Some characters may not even reach the fifth at all – depending on the circumstances of the death and the character’s attachment to your dead character, they may never fully accept your dead character’s death. The stages above are just a general framework for grieving.

Also, keep in mind that if your character’s death was tied in any way to traumatic incidents for your other characters, it may complicate the grieving process for those other characters, because the character’s death will be tied to other painful or triggering memories.

I hope this helps! If you need anything else, please feel free to ask. - @authors-haven

Do you ever randomly remember Shiro and Keith spent essentially 2 days together on the BoM base and just *clenches fist*

Either those were some long-ass trials or there was a whole lot more that happened and we weren’t shown on-screen and if the latter are there fics that fill in those holes asking for a friend

Best of Friends

Originally posted by spdrparker

Series: Tom Holland Imagines

Relationship: Tom Holland x Reader

Warnings: SEX BABYYYYYYYYYYYY, aKA SMUT SO IF U HAVE A PROBLEM DNT READ

Word Count: 3,500

A/N: BROUGHT TO YOU BY RUM AND MANGO JUICE

Request from @thomas-stanleyholland : Tom and the Reader are Best friends. They have a sleepover and have an intense makeup session in his bed, maybe some smut and fluff?

HECK YES TO SMUT AND FLUFF :,)

I’ll revise for any mistakes in the morning, I’m exhausted xx


[Reader’s POV]


   Your flight just landed at the London City Airport. The captain explaining that we’re pulling up to the gate. People around you were getting restless to get off. You of course were still waking up from the nap you took.


   Pulling out your phone you open the camera. Flipping the screen you see your reflection. Sighing in relief that nothing was out of place. Turning your head to the side you check  you winged eyeliner. Thanking the makeup gods the liner or your fake lashes you have on didn’t get fucked up.


  Feeling your phone vibrate you exit the camera app. A message from your best friend pops up. A smile on your face when you read it. Standing up once you see people emptying the seats in front of you. Reaching above you grab your suitcase with your backpack slung over your shoulder. Carrying the suitcase you lift it sideways to head down the narrow aisle.


   Someone pushes past you making you stumble a bit.  You huff out in frustration glaring at the back of the person. Readjusting your purse you make your way down the hall of the gate.  Your suitcase making sounds as it rolled and bumped over the bumps in the gate flooring.


   Walking over towards the bathroom you walk in and head towards a bigger mirror. Fixing your beanie that was on your head. It was your best friend’s beanie he gave you before he had to fly to the states for work.  Reapplying a coat of maroon lipstick  to your faded lips you leave feeling a little better.


   Looking at the  signs you see which way to turn for the baggage claim.  The escalator taking you down to the lower level. Stepping forward when you reach the end, you head towards a hooded figure. The sign said your name and beside the figure was your bag. He looks up from his phone, glasses shielding his eyes. A smile giving him way completely.

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Call me a terrorist and threaten my pay? Enjoy your nuked careers, yuh heathens.

(long story. tl;dr is at the end)

I used to work in hospitality in a metro known for it’s obscenely huge tourist population, you know, the city built around the Mouse. I was a manager for the recreational division of the hotel. So one day, my boss (who we’ll call Mary for the purpose of the story) comes into the shared managers office and starts rummaging around for something, and strikes up a small conversation about work related minutiae with me. It’s important to note she is actually 2 tiers above me, but was acting as head of the department while searching to replace my previous boss who recently quit (great guy by the way, huge loss to the company).

As we’re talking, she abruptly stops and says “By the way, you need to shave your beard, you look like a terrorist and I don’t employ terrorists”. Haha, funny joke between colleagues, right? Nope. I am half Indian and I do look middle-eastern, and have been taking this kind of shit since middle school. Plus, we’re not close, at all. So I reply as calmly as I can muster, “Hey, I get you’re trying to be funny, but on my end it comes off as pretty ignorant, so I’d appreciate it if you chilled out with the terrorist stuff” to which Mary retorts “Oh, I’m ignorant? We’ll see how ignorant I am during your annual review”, and proceeds to walk out of the room in a huff. My jaw dropped so low I could taste the floor.

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When Baby is on her Period

-she might be more little or less little than normal. Listen to your babies cues and hints. If she is feeling little, treat her little. If she is feeling big, treat her big. Don’t try and coax her into feeling big or little, just let her be where she needs to be. 

-She might be in a limbo stage. Not big or little. Give as many choices as possible, cup or sippy for example. But don’t force her to choose. If she cant choose, get her both. That way one minute she can be big, and the next little. This is helpful because just like mood swings are prevalent during this time, switching between big and little also happens, at least to me.  

-be understanding, give punishments less frequently and less harshly. Try to remember that she is probably in pain and is just trying to express it. If you would normally give spankings for doing something, try lines, or corner time, and if you do give punishments during this time, after care is so important! She is probably very emotional and vulnerable right now and need reassurance. 

-Get her some medicine and a cup of water or juice to help her get it down. Your baby is probably in pain and medicine helps so much. Basically the only time I ever take pain killers in during this week.  

-If baby wants cuddles, she should get them. If she wants to be left alone, leave her be for a bit. 

-LOTS of liquids. If your baby wants a special drink, try and get it for her, unless its alcohol. If you normal don’t let her have soda, consider it once or twice during this week. She is losing LOTS of fluid, and it needs to be replenished. Water and juice are the best, but any drink gets some liquid back in her system, except for alcohol. I always like to have like three cups at all times during this week. Three different drinks in three types of cups.  Maybe a cup of coffee, a bottle of juice, and a sippy of water. This way I can have lots of choices.

-Try to remind her to change her pad or tampon. I know this may be awkward for some, but if she is feeling extra little it might be hard for her to remember. Try to give reminders every two hours to be safe. 

-snacks and meals. Similar to drinks, try to be lenient.  She still should be eating healthy, but if she has a craving, try to get it. If she wants mac and cheese, try and make some, but also make her favorite veggie. She might not want it, but it will help if you get it ready. If she is not hungry, I never want to eat during this week, encourage her by making some of her favorite foods and snacks and give her the choices. Don’t force her to eat, but if you keep her favorite foods around and ready, it will help her find the will to eat. 

-Your baby might be more tired than usual, encourage naps and rest time. 

-Set up a bathie or shower for her. Warm baths are the best, but if that isn’t an option, get her a warm shower towel and help her get in. Getting the energy to get up and actually take a bath or shower is hard, but it helps so much! She will feel much better during and after. 

-If you can’t be with her, like if you need to go to work, send as many cute messages as you can. It makes us feel really special and loved. 

-If she needs to go to work, remind her that it’s very important. If she needs to take a sick day, that’s fine, but encourage her to only do it once. Usually for me its the first 24 hours that’s the worst.

-Set up her favorite show or movie and lay her down. If you have a TV in the bedroom, her bed is probably the best place. Lots of pillows and blankets, so she can sit or lay. I always get cold, and then hot, so try to have a fan and blankets so she can switch back and forth. Ask if she want to watch a big show, or a little show, but again don’t force her to pick. If she can’t make a choice try a teen movie or show, something she might like to watch no matter what she is feeling, or if you have a special show you two like to watch together do that. 

-Ask your baby if she needs anything. Try to be helpful in any way you can. 

-Remember that even if your baby is fussy she still loves you and really appreciates all the things you do to help her. Emotions always run high during this week. She might be really sad, really happy, really mad. It might switch every few minutes. Keep a level head. If you get emotional, it won’t help. 

-remind her constantly she is beautiful, cute, sexy, loved. She might be feeling really self conscious, bloated, or just ugly in general. -Never ever blame a littles behavior or emotions on her period, even if you know that’s why. Yes, we are more emotional or likely to act out, but NEVER say “are you acting out/being bratty because of your period?” Our feelings are still valid and very real.
Genocide of Tutsi in Rwanda (1994)

I haven’t seen a post that really depicts the history of Rwanda yet. So here’s my little contribution. By the way, thanks for the posts you reblogged.

Before the colonization, Rwanda was made of three social classes : Tutsi (10-15%), Hutu (over 80%) and Twa (less than 1%). Tutsi (upper social class) were cattle breeders, Hutu were farmers and Twa (lower social class) were hunters. One could become Tutsi or Hutu by marriage for example. They all had the same language, same religion and same culture.

German settlers arrived in Rwanda in the end of 19th century. They thought that Tutsi were more intelligent and more beautiful (according to European beauty standards of course : tall, skinny, light-skinned, thin nose, thin lips etc.). They thought that Hutu were boor, stupid and ugly (again, according to European beauty standards : shorter, huge lips, large nose etc). Twa were very short and seen as a species between humans and monkeys. 
After losing WWI, Germany gave Rwanda (and Burundi, which is like the twin of Rwanda with same language, same social classes etc) to Belgium. Belgians thought the same as Germans and started to gather all Rwandans and measure their height, their nose, etc to see if they were from the superior race (aka Tutsi) or inferior race (aka Hutu (or Twa but Twa were a very small minority)). Because of that, some Hutu became Tutsi just because they “looked” Tutsi and vice versa. Belgians privileged Tutsi over Hutu. They said only Tutsi could rule the country because they were the only intelligent ones. Tutsi were privileged in administration, education etc. Eventually in the 50s, Tutsi Rwandans asked for independence and Belgians didn’t want to lose their colony so they started to talk to Hutu who’d been discriminated against for a few decades. They said : “Look how Tutsi despise you! They think only they can rule the country but this country is yours! They don’t even come from here, they stole your land (there’s a myth saying that Twa were the first inhabitants in Rwanda, Hutu came from West Africa and Tutsi were the last ones to arrive in Rwanda and forced Hutu to subject to them). You have to rebel against Tutsi supremacy!” So that’s what Hutu did in 1959. The Tutsi King fled. Hutu killed thousands of Tutsi with the support of Belgian settlers and Catholic church, and hundreds thousands of Tutsi had to flee to Uganda and Tanzania. Rwanda became a Republic in 1961 and Rwandans elected a Hutu president named Kayibanda. Finally Rwanda became independent in 1962.

The president Kayibanda was an extremist and under his leadership, thousands of Tutsi were killed in 1963 and in 1972, just for being Tutsi. Their homes were burnt, they were stolen and beaten up. They were fired from their jobs, fired from schools. And hundreds thousands of them fled outside the country. In 1973, a Hutu man staged a coup d'état and became president. His name’s Habyiarimana He seemed a little bit more accepting of Tutsi but he still didn’t want the Tutsi exiles to come back. Because of that, the Tutsi exiles with the help of Hutu political opponents who had also fled created an army called PRF (Patriotic Rwandan Front) to come back to Rwanda by force, in 1987. The PRF declared war against the Rwandan government in 1990 and the war went on until 1994. During those 4 years, innocent Tutsi were killed or imprisonned by the government every time PRF tried to attack the government army. There was a huge propaganda against Tutsi (through the Radio for example) and that propaganda made Hutu think that Tutsi wanted to take back the power like under the Belgian colonization. Therefore, every Tutsi was an enemy.

On April 6, 1994, the president’s plane was shot down. Hutu extremists might be responisble for that. The day after, moderate Hutu were killed by extremist Hutu and the genocide of Tutsi started, which made about 1 million victims in 3 months. Rwanda’s population was about 7 millions at that time. The genocide was planned and organised by the Hutu extremist government (as I said, the moderate members were killed) and executed by militia who recruited Hutu civilians and gave them machetes, grenades, and guns.

France had been an ally of Rwanda since its independence. France helped Rwanda fight back against the PRF during the war until end of 1993. France also trained Rwandan soliders (the army was made of 5,000 men in 1990 and 35,000 men in 1994 because of France). France gave arms and ammunition to Rwanda even after the genocide started. France never asked President Habyirimana to stop discrimination and killings of Tutsi. Actually the French President and Habyirimana were good friends. In June 1994, France decided to take action in Rwanda, officially to save Tutsi but its intention is very contested today and we think their main goal was to not let the PRF win the war, because if they did, Rwanda would become English-speaking (PRF was made of people who grew up in Uganda and Tanzania so they spoke English) instead of French-speaking and France still wanted Rwanda to be French-speaking so that they could have an influence on it. The thing is the PRF was actually liberating Tutsi by chasing the Hutu extremist killers so fighting against them meant letting more Tutsi being killed. France or French politicians have never been sentenced for that.

Belgium also was an ally of Rwanda until 1991 when they stopped supporting Rwanda because of the murders of Tutsi.

While the genocide was happening, even though everyone knew it was a genocide, the UN didn’t want to admit it was, because otherwise they would have had to take action and almost no country wanted to send their soldiers to Rwanda.

I really, really, wanted to emphasize some things:
1. Colonization played a big role in Rwanda self-destruction
2. Tutsi were discriminated against and killed for years before the genocide of 1994 happened
3. The genocide didn’t happen because the president’s plane was shot down. Extermination plans were already known by France and UN for months/years. It is important to remember that, because in the West, people like to think that Hutu turned crazy just because their president was killed and it doesn’t really surprise anyone because “Africans are savage and violent and uncivilised anyways”. 
4. The genocide could have been avoided or at least there could have been way less victims if the UN and the rest of the world had cared about the 1 million innocent people who were being slaughtered (mostly Tutsi but also Hutu who tried to protect Tutsi)

If anyone wants to ask questions I’ll be glad to answer.

Btw, I am Belgian and Rwandan.

a tale of trees and espionage

okay story time:

my professor (lovely man, married to our TA, 5'2", about as intimidating as a muffin) is a dendrologist by trade, so he studies trees. it was about three hours into our social sciences course, last lecture before exams, everyone was frazzled and exhausted, so he told us about his most exciting/in-depth research to date to cheer us up.

(the few of us who actually showed up were like “ok sir im sure its fascinating” but in our minds we were totally like its trees what. is. exciting. about trees. You might be wondering the same thing - the acorns? the leaves? the roots? BUT NO. IMMA FUCKIN TELL YA.)

ANYWAY we settle in, he had a few pictures loaded up from his field work (we were chuckling at this point…. ‘hehehe field work’ i giggled to my frend. its trees.) and began to tell his tale. it’s long, imma warn you, but……. god. just read it.

theres an species of tree called the cucumber tree (Magnolia acuminata, if ya wanna get all Latin-y). its super endangered, in our region there’s only ~280 that are registered by the government, yadda yadda yadda. my prof thought that was tragic (i know) but also strange, because when he was writing his thesis about local trees years ago, he kept coming across cucumber trees in really random places. we’re talking like backyards, independently-owned nurseries, etc. WHICH IS IMPOSSIBLE because, according to tree law (i know) it is very strictly protected by the government, and thus super “illegal to possess, transport, collect, buy or sell any part of a living or dead member of a listed species if it originates from wild sources.” essentially, the govt takes control over growing the trees and anyone who independently raises them is breaking the law (i know)

so he’d ask people “do you have a permit for these trees?” and they were like “uh no, it’s just a tree someone sold me, i think it looks nice, are you gonna arrest me?” so he’d be like “nah nah nah just tell me who sold it to you”

eventually, months/years later, someone did, and turns out it was like this underground sort-of illegal tree dealing club (i know). so my prof went, got a bit of funding from the government, who were getting pissed at independent cucumber tree numbers, and THIS IS WHERE IT GETS INTO THE GOOD SHIT I STG.

he infiltrates the tree trafficking organization. he buys a cucumber tree from an independent nursery, raises it for months, ensures he gets noticed by the traffickers, and then INFILTRATES it and convinces its leader to LET HIM JOIN. he has to pay like a steep entrance fee, which he does (and it blows my mind that the government of my country paid money to illegal tree dealers), but then he is given full access to records and maps because they think he’s one of them, not a SECRET AGENT.

now this part blows my mind because the tree lords don’t even have to try very hard to find cucumber trees because government agents MARK THE TREES AND DISTINCTLY TAG THEM SAYING THIS IS ENDANGERED DO NOT TOUCH. so, ya know…………. it’s a bit obvious. my prof hangs out with the members so much that he figures out their “hit spots”. these are where the trees are relatively secluded and unguarded. (he writes all this shit and numbers down for his research.)

BUT THATS NOT ENOUGH BECAUSE THE GOVT SAYS HES WASTING THEIR FUNDING IF HE DOESNT HAVE PROOF and they are willing to take LEGAL ACTION for misuse of funding (my prof doesn’t have the money nore time nor power to take them to court, which would also blow his cover). so my prof literally STAKES OUT a copse of cucumber trees at a recognized wildlife reserve for. DAYS. he camps there, and watches the trees, is about to give up, he’s going off an unreliable rumor from the traffickers that a harvester would be going there within the next week. finally, this guy comes and takes the cucumber tree seeds from the CLEARLY MARKED trees by the government, and my prof takes pictures (we are shown these pictures, most of us are speechless at this point). dozens of candid shots of a man my grandpa’s age with a grocery store bag, garden shears, and a ladder, clipping away the illegal seeds and then going on his merry fucking way.

so my prof has the proof, he’s been undercover for months now at this point, he writes up his report, gives it to the government who is like…….. “oh shit”, helps them draft up a new LESS COMPLETELY FUCKING OBVIOUS way of marking endangered trees (so that way non-tree-lovers wouldn’t damage them further, etc.), and then never returns to the tree traffickers. he’d given them a fake name, address, everything….. he disappears.

…there was a full minute of stunned silence from us students at this point, during which he grew more and more nervous (again, he’s a muffin) and all of us students are just like……. “whoa.” we asked him what happened to the remaining illegal cucumber trees & if he turned the tree dealers in to the government, and that is when he smiles a little bit and shows us the last few pictures. because here’s the kicker… he never turned the smugglers in. he burned all the data he collected, defied the government pressuring him to turn them in, and the only reason he’s not incarcerated is because his work is so prominent in certain circles now & universities love him, that there would be an uproar if he got arrested. he’s like a fucking anti-hero and then he tells us (i’ll never forget, it’s the most inspirational green-thumb thing in the world) “it may be 'illegal’, but those who risk their liberty to ~save the world~ should never be reprimanded, no matter what those in power say.”

we are all stunned. some of us are considering dendrology as a field we’d now be interested in pursuing. he clicks his slide one final time, before we leave our last lecture and, since he had an asthma attack (lil muffin) he didn’t attend our exam, so i never see him again…………

and there, on the slides, the last picture? THERE HE IS. in his own backyard. with his equally lovely TA wife. both grinning innocently, standing underneath a……. FUCKING. FULL GROWN. ILLEGAL. CUCUMBER TREE.

Headcanon, Danny has ADHD

Okay, maybe it’s because I have ADHD and I like seeing fictional characters that are like me, but hear me out here.

-He has mild inattentive type, more commonly known as just ADD, (no hyperactivity)
-It’s mild, so he doesn’t NEED medication, but maybe he should. He’s not going to though. I’ll bet he hasn’t even been diagnosed.
-Absent-mindedly touching the inside of a high voltage broken machine while walking in? That’s something I would do.
-Hyper focus would definitely help him while fighting.
-He’s really smart but gets bad grades, even when he studies. He finds studying subjects he doesn’t like to be really hard. See: Teacher of the year
-He seems to overreact to some things and has pretty strong emotions. This doesn’t happen with everyone that has ADHD, but it can be an effect. He screams a lot even when he should be used to what is happening. Call me crazy, but it feels like Tucker and Sam are a lot less vocal in battle than he is.
-I don’t think he means to let Sam and Tucker take a lot of blows and let them take the blame. I think he just has slightly less impulse control than the average person and isn’t good at thinking consequences through.
-ADHD can be hereditary and if you think there is absolutely no possible way that Jack has ADHD or a similar illness then I don’t understand your logic.
-Also there’s that theory floating around that ectoplasm is mildly radioactive and/or Maddie being around it while pregnant could have some kind of effects on her kids. This could have led to Danny having a slightly underdeveloped prefrontal cortex, which is what causes ADHD.
-He’s bad at dodging. I too have spaced out during situations where I should have been dodging and either saw the thing coming at me and for some reason didn’t move or just didn’t think about it and got hit. However, when I’m having a good day I’m really good at it. That’s how Danny can honestly say he’s “a whiz at dodgeball” and still get hit as much as he does.
-He’s really smart but misses obvious things. He also thinks out loud a lot. This is something my brother and a few other people I know who also have ADHD do as well.
-A lot of people with inattentive type (including myself) have a hard time making and keeping friends. Will often have either no friends and a few acquaintances or one or two really close ones.
-If you believe the trans Danny headcanons, that can explain why he hasn’t gotten help yet. It’s a lot harder to recognize and diagnose ADHD in girls and people that were socialized as girls.
-He comes up with puns and insults on the spot. Neurotypicals can do that too, but when you have ADHD, your brain often makes seemingly random connections a lot faster than the average person. This helps with making spur of the moment puns and solving mysteries. Remember how he figured out Spectra was a ghost?

So, yeah. That’s my reasoning. I just honestly think that him having ADHD clears up a lot of things about his character. But, I’m not a psychiatrist. I’m just one guy that has ADD. This is just me speculating.
10 Easy Changes You Can Make To Your Lifestyle To Be Happier And Healthier Almost Instantly

I’ve been having some issues lately with staying positive and pushing myself to build healthy habits. At times I get too wrapped up in work and friends and my education that I forget that I’m a human being and that I need to put myself higher on my list of priorities. I have a major problems with articles that claim they have “easy” tips for being happy and healthy overnight. It’s really not that simple, and I’m not going to lie, the ones below aren’t a cakewalk for everyone, but I thought they were useful in my own experience and wanted to share them with you. 


  1. Every time you reach for a soda or an extra coffee, switch it out for water. It provides a healthier and more long term boost of energy by clearing out those mentally depressing toxins from your body. 
  2. Meditate once a day. Even if it’s only 30 seconds in the morning after you’ve finished getting ready, take a step back and devote some time to becoming calm and clearing your head to increase focus and encourage a peaceful mindset. 
  3. Exercise. Don’t create a hardcore 2 hour daily workout routine right off the bat after months of little to no activity. Start small, maybe 10 abdominal exercises, 10 leg exercises, and 10 weighted tricep curls on each arm paired with a 15 minute walk around the block. There. That’s only roughly 30 minutes of your day and you’re not even sweaty enough to have to shower afterwards. 
  4. Use natural ingredients as skin care. Moisturize with coconut oil, make your own essential oils and charcoal face wash, soap, and bath bombs, and maybe devote 1-2 days of the week to wearing no make up (if you wear it every day) in order to let your skin breathe. 
  5. Keep your space organised. When you’ve just changed and that sweater you wore today is on the floor, take the two extra seconds to hang it up or fold it and put it away. When you’re done with your meal, rinse it and put it in the dish washer. It’s not that difficult to prevent your home from becoming a pig sty. 
  6. Make your bed every morning. It’s a good habit to have, it makes your room look nice and clean, even if there are some things on the floor, and it makes it look even more appealing when you look over at 11 PM and decide whether to watch another episode of your Netflix obsession or get some beauty rest. 
  7. Speaking of sleep, do it! Regularly! It is essential to your health and happiness to get a good amount of sleep every night. 7-10 hours is the recommended amount of nightly rest you should fit in, so set a bedtime and your alarm and get that shut eye. 
  8. Spend the time to treat yourself. If you think a 20 minute sheet mask or some extra time to have a cup of tea and read your latest pick from the library shelves, set that time aside to enjoy yourself and wind down. You need the time to recharge, so keep that high on your priority list.  
  9. Keep a planner. It may be something you’re already doing, but if you’re not, this is a life changing habit to have. Every morning, write down your to-do list, your schedule, and any reminders. Save some room on your calendar for any plans that may pop up and your life will instantly be more organised and you’ll be way less likely to forget that really important due date.
  10. Don’t push positivity if it isn’t there. Nobody is happy and bubbly and super motivated all the time, so don’t spend all of your time reblogging positivity quotes on Tumblr or trying to ignore every emotion that is “negative”. You’re human. Life happens and sometimes you’ll be just plain blue. It’s healthy to acknowledge the feelings that make you feel hopeless and unmotivated and seem all too frequent. The sun will shine tomorrow and you will find more and more reasons to fill every moment with meaning every single day. 

Here’s to future health and happiness for you all. Cheers! x

Request a prompt list/ writing advice post here

circling the atmosphere

Part 2 of @vldangstweek: March 19th-Failure/Insecurity


Lance isn’t stupid.

He knows, alright. He knows he talks a lot. He knows he’s loud. He knows his voice grates, he knows he’s too exuberant, too desperate to be friends. He knows he wears his heart on his sleeve and shows it all too fast, too freely. He knows he’s just too much for people.

(That doesn’t stop him from wishing, though.)

He tries, sometimes. To be quieter, to be calmer, to be…less. He tries so goddamn hard, but it doesn’t matter because he always, always ends up reverting back to his regular self anyway. It doesn’t seem to matter what his intentions are, he always says the wrong thing, always takes a joke too far. It’s clear he just don’t know when to shut up.

(He can’t actually remember anyone telling him that in so many words, but it’s pretty clear that people think it, from the way they stop talking when he walks in a room, to how in group projects his suggestions are ignored, to his just total and complete inability to make lasting, meaningful relationships with people that last longer than a month before he’s inevitably replaced. He doesn’t blame anyone for it, though. It’s fine. He doesn’t really like himself, either, so it’s not a surprise when others don’t.)

Of course, that doesn’t make it hurt any less when he sees it happen. He’s still not really surprised, though, as he watches Hunk drift further away and get closer to Pidge and Keith. Sure, he’d…well, he’d hoped, for a while, and after the Garrison, where Hunk stuck pretty close to him, back when Pidge didn’t really want anything to do with them, he’d thought that maybe…but it didn’t matter.

He’s glad that Hunk’s finding people he cares about, who care about him in return, who don’t always say the wrong thing and make matters worse. If Hunk is happy, then Lance can’t begrudge him that. Pidge has been happier, too—more prone to smiling or making jokes, and less afraid to squeal over new tech she finds. How selfish would someone have to be to be bitter about that?

(About as selfish as Lance is, he’s discovered.)

Still, no matter how much it hurts, it’s still a relief, of a sort, to know that he was right. He hates not knowing what’s going to happen, and even though this whole situation really sucks and he might feel a bit like his chest is being crushed and his hands won’t stop shaking and his stomach feels sick and it’s late at night and he’s crying and he just can’t stop and it’s hard to breathe, at least he knows that he was right.

He’s a placeholder, you see. One of those characters in a show that exists only to serve as an old childhood friend that’s mentioned maybe once in a flashback and never again. Sometimes, when he looks at his life, as he sees everyone drawing away, he feels like he’s watching a movie—one he can interact with in some capacity, but not such that he has a lasting effect on the plot.

(It’s literally never occurred to him that when these people on his team and even his family tell him they care about him they mean it, because he while he can see how deeply they care for each other, it seems like a physical example of that old ‘sounds fake but okay’ meme from when his grandparents were young whenever they try to pretend to direct any affection towards him. It’s pretty clear they’re making it up as soon as they feel they’ve satisfied their daily quota, anyway.)

Lance is, and always has been, an afterthought. An “oh wow it might be awkward for just the two of us to hang out since I haven’t seen you in six months—maybe we should invite Lance, too, because he hung out with us back when we were all still living near each other and is pretty good at just spewing out enough words to keep it from being awkward” kind of thought. He doesn’t expect people to think of him, to try to reach out. He’s used to being the one to reach out, to try to get together, to reminding people that he exists.

Most days, that’s okay.

(Well. It’s not, but if it’s all he’ll get, then Lance will take it.)

Most days, when he watches people he hoped would care about him slip away, he can ignore it and move on.

(He can’t, he never could, but he lies to himself all the same.)

Right now, though? Right now, watching Hunk—Lance’s favorite person in the entire universe—draw away from him and grow closer to Pidge, who’s only rarely showed any sort of affection towards Lance, hurts more than he’d ever expected it could.

He can take Shiro not liking him. He can take Keith not caring about him. He can take Pidge’s annoyance, Allura’s dismissal, Coran’s lack of attention—Lance can take a lot.

He thought he’d be able to take when Hunk inevitably left, too.

(Clearly, he was wrong. Again.)

Maybe he’s not as smart as he’d thought, after all.

(If he was, then maybe he’d know what he needed to fix to get people to stay.)

(That’s the worst part, he thinks. He could at least try, and see if that helped any, if only he knew what it was about him that chased people off—it could be one of a thousand things, or it could be all of the thousand things, and Lance just does not know.)

But in the meantime, he’ll get up and smile and pretend it’s fine and he’ll watch as Hunk and Pidge spend more time together, and he’ll draw back and maybe this time the mice won’t scurry out of the room, and maybe he’ll at least have them for company.

(He just wants someone to stay, but he doesn’t blame anyone for leaving.)

anonymous asked:

This is a five-hour-long plane ride, we’re sitting together and you’re deathly afraid of flying.

The man sitting on Bucky’s side is very attractive. Now, this is Bucky’s very first time sitting in first class (he got bumped from a previous flight and got an upgrade because of it), so he doesn’t necessarily know the rules, but it probably should’ve occurred to him that the seat would also come with a view. It never occurred to him that the beautiful people would be in first, but he also never stopped to look around, given that he always had to hustle back to coach carrying a roll-aboard carry-on that is always a little too overstuffed to fit in the overhead compartment, but which he tries to shove in anyway.

In first class there are beautiful men and the flight attendant shoved his bag in for him.

What a life.

Bucky wonders whether he should make conversation, but decides against it when he really looks at the guy. Sure, he’s practically from the pages of <i>Sports Illustrated</i>, but he also looks nervous — chewing on his lip, balling his hands into fists then releasing them. It’s probably best that Bucky just focuses on which of the many movie options available to him he should watch during the flight. It’s a long one, about five hours, so he’ll probably be able to fit in two movies if he doesn’t fall asleep. (Bucky doesn’t plan on falling asleep, since this is probably the one time in his life that he will enjoy the luxuries of first class and he doesn’t want to miss a moment.)

But Bucky is surprised when the guy turns to him. “Hi,” he says.

“Hi,” Bucky responds. The man’s teeth are so straight and white that he looks like he could’ve stepped right out of a Crest commercial.

“How are you?” the man asks, sounding a little forced. Bucky glances down; the man is holding onto the armrest so hard that his knuckles are turning white.

“I’m great,” Bucky responds, a little squeakier than intended. “You?”

“I’ve been better,” he says, frowning. He turns forward again. “Do you think I could get some water?” he asks, not like he’s asking Bucky to get it for him, but like he’s genuinely confused as to whether he can get some water.

“I’m sure you can,” Bucky says. Seeing that this guy is probably not really used to flying like this (not that Bucky is, either), Bucky undoes his seatbelt and stands up. A flight attendant notices him immediately, and Bucky gives her a little wave.

“What’re you…” the man says, then folds into himself a little when the flight attendant arrives. “Hi,” he says.

“Hi there,” she says, giving the man a bright smile, then one to Bucky. “Can I help you with something?”

“My seat mate and I would like some water, if you don’t mind,” Bucky says with the biggest smile he can muster. He thinks it’d probably be less awkward for the guy if he asks for some, too.

“Of course, it’ll be just a second,” she says, heading back to that secretive area where flight attendants make magic happen.

“Thank you,” the man says.

“No sweat,” Bucky responds. “I’m Bucky, by the way.”

“Steve.”

“You nervous about flying?” Bucky asks.

Steve nods. “It’s been a while, and the last plane I was in crashed.”

“What?” Bucky asks, though it sounds a lot more like, “Whuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuht?”

The man gives a kind of sheepish, sad smile. “I’m a little nervous about flying again after that.”

Bucky wants Steve to be lying.

He desperately wants Steve to be lying.

He can totally tell that Steve is <i>not lying</i>.

“Fuck,” Bucky says, flopping back into his seat. “You gonna be okay?”

“Do I have a choice?” Steve asks just as the flight attendant reappears.

“Here are your waters,” she says, gingerly handing one to Steve, which he then passes to Bucky. She gives Steve the second plastic glass and he takes an immediate, grateful sip. “Can I do anything else for you two?” she asks.

“Steve?” Bucky asks. Steve shakes his head. “No, I think we’re fine. Thank you.”

She nods, then looks down at Steve. She takes a quick glance from side to side, then leans in and says, very quietly, “And thank you for your service, sir.”

“Thank you,” Steve says quietly, mustering up a smile before taking another small sip.

She grins, then heads back to the flight attendant area.

“You a vet?” Bucky asks, feeling like kind of an ass for not noticing. He takes a sip of water and looks up at Steve.

Steve nods. “Yeah,” he says. Then before Bucky can think of something to say in response he adds, “I’m Captain America.”

Bucky spits the water out all over his pants.

“Excuse me,” Steve says, raising an arm to get the flight attendant’s attention. “I think we’re going to need a napkin.”

As Bucky wipes down his pants he thinks to himself that he should’ve asked for a seat in coach. He’s never had an American legend sit next to him in coach.

“Thanks for taking my mind off of things,” Steve says with a smile, a real, dazzling smile, as he takes the wet, crumpled napkin from Bucky’s hand.

And Bucky knows now that he wouldn’t move to coach for the world.

Growing Pains

Originally posted by harrysimpact

Hello, everyone! I’ve decided to start writing again. This will be a three-part series as of right now so I hope you enjoy the first installment. 

A special shout out to @hcrrystvles for editing this, I love you bb.

dad!harry + teacher!harry

warnings: mentions death, nostalgia, fluff. loads of fluff.

word count: 3,648

summary: the one where Harry’s a school teacher who finds himself teaching the daughter of his first love


Every day that students walked into room 202, they were instantly greeted by the sweet smell of cinnamon buns and vanilla (an air freshener Harry always kept plugged into the wall when he first started working there because it smelt too much like wood). Fairy lights hung above the perimeter of the room, pictures students have drawn covered the wall behind the metallic desk which was covered in magnets. The whole classroom just felt warm. Stepping into Mr. Styles’ year 3 classroom felt like a hug from a friend you haven’t seen in years. It was a safe space for both little ones and teachers alike, no one ever left the room without a bright smile on their face. That was Harry’s specialty.

Harry had taken his job as a teacher very seriously as he took it upon himself to teach the younger generations the most valuable lessons. Not multiplication and cursive writing like the other teachers would say, but things like positivity, acceptance, and kindness. Harry took pride in knowing that when each and every one of his students left his classroom at the end of the year, they carried his teachings with them for the rest of their lives.

Tonight was back to school night and Harry felt himself getting a little nervous as he looked at the time. Parents could be brutal and all he wanted was to be on their good side. He had a feeling this year was about to be little easier though. This year the parents of his students were most likely his age and it brought a strange sense of comfort to him. He could tell because the kids were a lot more open minded and though he wouldn’t admit it, he had a few favorites. Like Harper. The little girl made him feel nostalgic in the strangest way. Maybe it was because she was quite witty for a 7-year-old or that she had an interest in joining his after school choir, but it was something else about her that he couldn’t quite put a finger on.

Keep reading

Things I loved about The Dark Prophecy: 

Once again, it starts with Apollo hating his humanity, something that I believe won’t change in some time, he was born a god, after all. Though I fervently believe that he is learning from his time as a mortal. 

Through the whole book, we are able to read some of his most selfish comments, which is to be expected, since he had always been portrayed as a selfish, self-centered god. However, we’re able to see his selfless and kind side, too. 

Example: 

From: 

“…It went against the very nature of being Apollo. I should always be the most obvious, brilliant source of light in the world. If you had to search for me, something was wrong.” 

And: “I tried to contain my bitterness. Soldiers and sailors were all very well, but if your city’s biggest monument is not Apollo, I’m sorry, you’re doing something wrong.” 

To: 

“You rescued me.” Then I added two words that never came easily to a god: “Thank you.” 

And

“When I was a god, I would’ve been delighted to leave the mortal heroes to fend for themselves. I would’ve made popcorn and watched the bloodbath from a distance on Mount Olympus, or simply caught the highlight reel later. But as Lester, I felt obligated to defend these people….I wanted to be here for them.” 

And: 

“Their eyes were so full of concern- concern for me- that I had to swallow back a lump in my throat. Six weeks we had been traveling together. Most of that time, I had fervently wished I could be anywhere else, with anyone else. But with the exception of my sister, had I ever shared so many experiences with anyone? I realized, gods help me, that I was going to miss these two.” 


These are some of the parts I loved the most about the book:

  • The Waystation. It’s nice to know of more demigod safe-spaces, more so when they’re under the loving care of Emmie and Josephine: 

We’ve saved a lot of demigods and other outcasts- raised them at the Waystation, let them go to school and have a more or less normal childhood, then sent them out into the world as adults with the skills they needed to survive.” 

It’s different from both Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter, where, no matter how much they protect you and care for you, it could never be as normal and comforting as being raised in a “normal” loving environment. 

  • The relationship between Apollo and Calypso: They hate each other, that much is perfectly clear…

“Lo!” I said. “I arrived at Camp Half-Blood as Lester Papadopoulos!” 

“A pathetic mortal!” Calypso chorused. “Most worthless of teens!” 

“-…her evil stepfather had poisoned her mind!”

“Poison!” Calypso cried. “Like the breath of Lester Papadopoulos, most worthless of teens!” 

“Lo!” I shouted. “From the Oracle of Dodona we received a prophecy- a limerick most terrible!”  

“Terrible!” Calypso chorused. “Like the skills of Lester, most worthless of teens!” 

Though as the chapters progress, it appears that it’s more of a mutual disagreement than actual hatred.  Apollo realizes how unfair their punishment on her was, and starts to feel like his own treatment towards her is unfair: 

“Just yesterday, I had toyed with the idea of leaving Calypso behind to the blemmyae when she was wounded. I’d like to say that it wasn’t a serious thought, but it had been, however briefly. Now Calypso refused to leave Meg, whom she barely knew. It was almost enough to make me question whether I was a good person…” 

And, in the end, they become friends. They still have much path to cover and much to discuss, but I believe they’re on good terms now. 

  • Calypso and Leo: 

One of the many topics vastly discussed after Blood of Olympus was how short and forced their relationship seemed. However, in The Dark Prophecy, we caught a glimpse of the reality they’re living on: 

They’re trying to discover who they are together, as a couple and as friends. We see their multiple fights and their disagreements, and I believe it’s a very good thing! They’re exploring the possibilities of their relationship! 

We see Calypso missing her island, we see her missing her powers, but most than anything else, we can see that Calypso and Leo truly love one another, and that they’re trying. It feels real, their problems, which only makes it better. It was to be expected that they’d be fighting and having problems, since they hadn’t talked much back on her island before he was forced to leave. They’re testing the waters, as Calypso explained. 

They’re trying to build a good future for each other, they’re even going to enter school together. I like how their relationship improved, I like that Rick portrayed and fixed the mess that was their relationship by the end of BoO. 

I also loved that Leo keeps calling her mamacita, and that Leo’s full name is actually Leonidas

  • In general, everything about Emmie and Josephine was pure perfection. 

They were hunters of Artemis, hunters who fell in love with one another and decided to choose each other over immortality. Their love was beautifully portrayed, and the fact that they adopted a daughter was even more precious for me and for everyone in the LGBT community.

I like that, on a similar topic, we had more explanation about the Hunters of Artemis and their rules: 

“All romance is off-limits. My sister is quite unreasonable in that regard. The mission of the Hunters is to live without romantic distractions of any kind.”

It makes more sense that the Hunters only being prohibited the company of men, as was stated by the Titan’s Curse. I like that Rick fixed that, too. 

AND ARTEMIS BEING COMPASSIONATE AND LETTING THEM LEAVE HER GROUP WITHOUT PUNISHING THEM, GODS BLESS HER SOUL. 

Also, Zeus forbidding Artemis from interfering with Apollo makes me so angry, but I didn’t expect anything less than that coming from him. It was good, though, that Artemis sent her Hunters to help Apollo discretely, just like when Apollo helped Percy and co. with rescuing Artemis and Annabeth. 

  • Apollo being thirsty as fuck: 

Apollo having the hots for Tall, Dark & Handsome Jamie. 

Apollo being a fluttering mess when talking to him, then feeling away as soon as he heard Jamie had a girlfriend. 

Apollo canonically having fantasies involving Thalia: “Thalia Grace climbed up behind me on the elephant- which fulfilled a daydream I’d once had about the pretty Hunter, though I hadn’t imagined it happening quite this way.” 

Apollo canonically doing all sort of stuff to get Britomartis’ attention. To get a “kiss” and a “cute date” from her. (We all know that he wanted more than just a date and a kiss, but alas, this is a “children’s book”

  • Apollo and Commodus: 

I’m aware that Commodus is evil, and I don’t like him as a character, but honestly, his relationship with Apollo killed me unlike any other relationship ever had. More specially, this: 

“Overhead, a white silk canopy billowed in the gentle breeze. Inn one corner, a musician sat discretely serenading us with his lyre. Under our feet spread the finest rugs from the eastern provinces. Between our two couches, a table was spread with an afternoon snack of roast boar, pheasant, salmon, and fruit spilling from gold solid cornucopia. 

I was amusing myself by throwing grapes at Commodus’ mouth. Of course, I never missed unless I wanted to, but it was fun to watch the fruit bounce off Commodus’ nose.

“You are terrible,” He teased me. 

And you are perfect, I thought, but merely smiled.”

And: 

“I didn’t mean to laugh at the expense of his distant wife, but part of me was pleased when he talked badly about her. I wanted all his attention for myself.” 

And, of course: 

“Commodus looked at me, panic in his eyes.

“Go,” I said, as calmly as I could, forcing down my misgivings. “You will always have my blessings. You will do fine.” 

But I already suspected what would happen: the young man I knew and loved was about to be consumed by the emperor he would become. 

He rose and kissed me one last time. Then he left the tent- walking, as Romans would say, into the mouth of the wolf. 

“Apollo,” Calypso nudged my arm.

“Don’t go!” I pleaded. Then my past life burned away. “ 

Never forget this hear-wrenching part: 

“As I often did for him after our workout sessions, I filled his great marble bath with streaming rose-scented water. I helped him out of his soiled tunic and eased him into the tub. For a moment, he relaxed and closed his eyes. 

I recalled how he looked sleeping besides me when we were teens. I remembered his easy laugh as we raced through the woods, and the way his face scrunched up adorably when I bounced grapes off his nose. 

I sponged away the spittle and blood from his beard. I gently washed his face. Then I closed my hands around his neck. “I’m sorry.”

I pushed his head underwater and began to squeeze. Commodus was strong. Even in his weakened state, he thrashed and fought. In had to channel my godly might to keep him submerged, and, in doing so, I must’ve revealed my true nature to him. 

He went still, his blue eyes wide with surprise and betrayal. He could not speak, but he mouthed the words: You. Blessed. Me. 

The accusation forced a sob from my throat. The day his father died, I had promised Commodus: You will always have my blessings, Now I was ending his reign. I was interfering in mortal affairs- not just to save lives, or to save Rome, but because I could not stand to see my beautiful Commodus die by anyone else’s hands. 

I hunched over him, crying, my hands around his throat, until the bathwater cooled. 

Britomartis was wrong. I didn’t fear water. I simply couldn’t look at the surface of any pool without imagining Commodus’ face, stung with betrayal, staring up at me.” 

Rick Riordan has a talent of portraying gods and their actions unlike anyone else. 

Apollo loved Commodus, he loved him deeply and wholeheartedly, but he couldn’t see anyone else killing his beloved Commodus. He killed him, for he could not stand the way the young man he loved had destroyed himself, turning into a murderous, evil emperor. 

For me, Apollo has always been a complex god. 

He said so himself in the first book, when he called his arrogance a pretense, when he mentioned he was a guilt-ridden, miserable god. He has never been good at love, for some reason, all of his lovers end tragically in one way or another, some by his own hand (Cassandra, Commodus, etc). It weighs him down more than he admitted when he was a god. As a mortal, he is more connected to his emotions, and is unable to put his usual facade of coolness and of arrogance. 

Everything he has done, every sin he has committed, weighs him down: 

“I imagined Trophonius’ head transposed on his body- my son’s agonized voice crying to the heavens, Take me instead! Save him, Father, please!

This blended with the face of Commodus, staring at me, wounded and betrayed as his carotid pulse hammered against my hands. You. Blessed. Me.

I sobbed and hugged the commode- the only thing that wasn’t spinning. Was there anyone I hadn’t betrayed and disappointed? Any relationship I hadn’t destroyed? 

  • And, since we’re talking about Apollo and his change, I’d like to mention his relationship with Meg. 

In the beginning, he could not stand her. Then by the end of the first book, he cared for her. Now, on this second book, the feeling grows and morphs into something so profound and so beautiful that I do not have words for it. 

“No! She was- she was trying to protect me.” I choked on the words. “She is my friend. Take me instead!”

And also:

“She is precious to you,” Said the Oracle. “Would you give your life in exchange for hers?”

I had trouble processing that question. Give up my life? At any point in my four thousand years of existence, my answer would’ve been an emphatic No! Are you crazy? One should never give up on one’s life. One’s life is important! The whole point of my quests in the mortal world, finding and securing all these ancient Oracles, was to regain immorality so I wouldn’t have to ponder such awful questions! 

And yet… I thought of Emmie and Josephine renouncing immortality for each other. I thought of Calypso giving up her home, her powers, and eternal life for a chance to roam the world, experience love, and possibly enjoy the wonders of high school in Indiana. 

“Yes,” I found myself saying. “Yes, I would die for Meg McCaffrey.”  

And lastly but not least important:

When Apollo shared Meg’s curse, slipping into her mind and trying to save her: “I would share this burden with her, even if it kills me.” 

What saved us what a simultaneous thought: Meg/Apollo needs me. 

There we had Apollo, someone that, supposedly, only cared about himself, risking his life, his human life, to save his little but beloved friend from madness and darkness. 

It’s a beautiful moment, more so for those of us that adore Apollo since before the PJO books. It’s a beautiful character development from the fuckboy we saw in Titan’s Curse; it’s a beautiful character development from the god that we met in the first TOA book, the god that could only feel annoyance towards Meg.

“Let the girl go,” I whimpered through the pain. “Kill me and let her go.” 

I surprised myself. These were not the last words I had planned. In the event of my death, I’d been hoping to have time to compose a ballad of my glorious deeds- a very long ballad. Yet here I was, at the end of my life, pleading not for myself, but for Meg McCaffrey.” 


  • The mention of other gods through the book: 

Apparently, gods have a weekly game night in Mount Olympus where Athena loves to gloat about her Scrabble scores. 

AND THIS SAVAGE LINES: (AKA: my cute, dorky ex-god being dorky as fuck)

“Ever since my famous battle with Python, I’ve had a phobia of scaly reptilian creatures. (Especially if you include my stepmother, Hera. BOOM!)

“I’ve always found spiders fascinating creatures, despite what Athena thinks. If you ask me, she’s just jealous of their beautiful faces. BOOM!” 

This important, yet short part: 

Leto knelt at Zeus’ side, her hands clasped in prayer. Her bronze arms glowed against her white sundress. Her long golden hair zigzagged down her back in an elaborate ladder weave. 

“Please, my lord!” She implored. “He is your son. He has learned his lesson!”

“Not yet,” Zeus rumbled. “His real test is yet to come.” 

I laughed and waved. “Hi, mom! Hi, dad!” 

There we have a glimpse of Leto being concerned over Apollo’s fate and we see that she cares. Zeus is, as always, being shady as fuck, and Apollo is super cute while hallucinating and being under the effect of the waters of Mnemosyne and Lethe. 

  • Apollo realizes how hard some demigods have it: 

From: 

“I’m new to these heroic-quest business. Shouldn’t there be a reward at the end? Not just more deadly quests?”

“Nope,” Leo said. “This is pretty standard.” 

My sweet, innocent Lester seems to forget that when he was Apollo, as a god, he never cared much for the quests he made demigods go through. 

“I wondered if demigods ever felt the need to restrain themselves when facing ungrateful gods like this. No. Surely not. I was special and different. And I deserved better treatment.” 

Had Percy Jackson been there, he would’ve written a gigantic thesis statement with a power-point presentation about how wrong Apollo was. 

Also, this part: 

“I knelt next to him- a boy of about sixteen, my mortal age. I felt no pulse. I didn’t know whose side he had fought on, but that didn’t matter. Either way, his death had gone to waste. I had begun to think that perhaps demigod lives were not as disposable as we gods liked to believe.” 

Finally, at the moment of war, Apollo realizes how easy it is for a mortal to die. And most times, demigods die because of the gods. 

  • The part where they find out Georgina might be Apollo’s daughter: 

The whole scene, though the most painful part was when Emmie asked if it was payback for having renounced to his gift of immortality: 

“I hadn’t known I could feel any worse, until I did. I really hate that about the mortal heart. It seems to have an infinite capacity of getting heavier. 

“Dear Emmie,” I said. “I would never. Even on my worse days, when I’m destroying nations with plague arrows or putting together set lists for Kidz Bop compilations, I would never take revenge in such a way…” 

That shows that he was a good god, even if he murdered and punished people, he had some kind of morality. He knew where his boundaries went: like when he mentioned that he flirted with the Hunters, but that he would never dare to go any further than that. 

Had it been Zeus, he would’ve raped them already; and canonically, on mythology, I’ve never read about any case of Apollo raping anyone. 

  • Also, I really liked that Rick added certain parts that showed that our actions, as mortals, are what define us and that, once we take one wrong decision, we cannot pray for better things when it is us that fuck things up. 

I’ve heard so many people complain that their prayers were never answered, that their God never helped them. They don’t seem to realize that God cannot help us if we don’t help ourselves first. 

It’s shown here: 

“Don’t blame me for you robbing the king’s treasury!” I snarled. “You are here because you messed up.” 

“I prayed to you!” 

“Well, perhaps you didn’t pray for the right thing at the right time!” I yelled. “Pray for wisdom before you do something stupid! Don’t pray for me to bail you out after you follow your worst instincts!” 

Apollo’s son, Trophonius, made wrong choices all his life, and when it came back to him, he wanted his father to miraculously save him. It doesn’t work like that, God/gods cannot help if we try to make them fix our whole lives. 

  • The way they temporarily defeated Commodus. (I found extremely pretty the way Apollo’s real form was revealed) (Finally we had an explanation as to why gods’ real forms are deadly to mortals: they’re pure light.)
  • The second chance Apollo gave Lityerses. “Everything alive deserves a chance to grow.
  • Lityerses sobbing when Emmie said he could be part of their family. 
  • All the “lit” jokes. And the commode ones too. 
  • “The two bumped fists as if they hadn’t spent the last few days talking about how much they wanted to kill each other. They would’ve made fine Olympian gods.” 
  • Little Georgina’s words to Apollo. How he told her he was there for her if she wanted to talk. How he was concerned about her, even if he was not sure if she was his daughter. 
  • You’ve built something good here, Hemithea.” I said. “Commodus could not destroy it. You’ll restore what you’ve lost. I envy you.” 

Everywhere he goes, Apollo seems to crave home. Not Olympus. Home, as in: a place where he’d feel loved and safe. In the 1st book, he wanted to stay in Camp with his children, now there, he admits that he craved the lovely home, the safe environment that they created at the Waystation. 

“It all felt so homey and cozy, I wanted to volunteer to wash dishes if it meant getting to stay another day.” 

  • Apollo trying to fix what he did to Agamethus by offering to go to the Underworld once he became a god again, to ask Hades to send him to Elysium. 
  • “Never underestimate the healing power of music.” 
  • Lit staying in the Waystation. 
  • Apollo mentioning that he believed in second chances, and that he could understand Lit since they had things in common- being attractive being one of those things. 
  • Apollo’s talking arrow only speaking bad Shakespearean English. 
  • Being productive. Urgh.Same, Apollo, same. 
  • The whole choo-choo scene, I don’t now why but I really really loved that part. 
  • The fact that WE MIGHT GET TO SEE REYNA, FRANK AND HAZEL ON THE NEXT BOOK.
  • GROVER UNDERWOOD IS FINALLY BACK. MY SON, MY BABY, MY FAVORITE ENCHILADA LOVER SATYR. HE WILL BE BACK. 

I must’ve missed many points, but this was already very long. In general, I really loved The Dark Prophecy, and I recommend everyone to read it as soon as they can! It is honestly so, so good. As good as the first one, I cannot wait for The Burning Maze

Bad Boy
  • *Molly's flat*
  • Molly: *nursing a cut above Sherlock's eye* I can't believe she actually punched you.
  • Sherlock: *winced* People don't like it when their affair is exposed to their entire family, even if the murderer was caught. Lesson learned.
  • Molly: *smirks* You were showing off.
  • Sherlock: A bit.
  • Molly: *smoothes his hair aside* There. Good as new. Try not to entice anymore guilty widows to punch you, yeah?
  • Sherlock: *smiles* It's me, Molly.
  • Molly: *chuckles* Still... *ruffles his hair; thoughtful* looks hot, though. I always did like a bad boy *giggles; leaves*
  • Sherlock: ...
  • Sherlock: *raises an eyebrow*
  • A FEW DAYS LATER
  • *Molly's flat*
  • Molly: *reading on her sofa*
  • -knocking-
  • Molly: *opens the door*
  • Sherlock: *gently prodding his black eye; wincing* Didn't work...
  • Molly: *arms folded* Another widow.
  • Sherlock: An old lady. Someone tried to mug her *shrugs* I stepped in.
  • Molly: *bites her lip* Oh...
  • Sherlock: *gestures* May I...
  • Molly: *shakes her head* Sorry, yes. Right *pulls him inside* err, sit down. I-I'll just... *hurries to the bathroom*
  • Sherlock: *smirks*

anonymous asked:

I imagine that Gaston actually had some really fucked up experiences from the war. And maybe when he finally finds someone he is able to open up about how joining the war actually really messed him up and made him violent and aggressive.

TBQH, this is one of my headcanons too and like. How dare you make me feel this way right now i feel attacked.

Originally posted by luuuuuke-evans

  • Coming back from the War probably left parts of his personality and some segments of his emotions raw and torn down. While serving, he used opportunities of violence and women to help that.
  • But now, certain situations leave him defenseless, emotions seem to far out of hand at times so he created the perfect persona to show others so he doesn’t have to come to terms with what happened while he was fighting.
      • Something leaves him so out of focus, and he acts out in emotional and physical ways to fill a hole that was left behind. Narcissism and women are his usual ways.
        • Of course, he was full of himself before hand but not as badly. It was typical for men to be cocky, but after returning from the War, it seemed to escalate so he could fill in the need for his emotional and physical wants that were left unfulfilled.
          • Because of this, he’s found it hard to connect with someone and so he tends to use women as an outlet. He’s aware of what he does, of course, because there’s always going to be a part of him that wants to settle down with a small family. His own wife and children. A simple life.
             
  • After meeting you, he starts heavily contemplating whether he wants to tell you or if he just wants things to be left as they are.
    • It’s just a matter about opening up and letting you know who he really is. Gaston, for probably the second time in his life, is fearful of what the outcome of a situation holds from him. Because now that he’s developed feelings for you, he’s afraid that if he tells you who he truly is, you’re going to leave.
    • It’s a constant battle inside of his mind. One part wants to leave things as are because it would be the easiest but the other part of him wants to tell you because he finally realized that letting you in has helped him feel normal and grounded again. It makes him feel like he’s at war again, only with himself.
      • It’s sort of interesting because he refuses to admit that he’s truly and severely in love with you and he keeps playing it off and keeps telling himself that it’s just the sex. (Like, wow typical Gaston).
        • But after seeing you for over three months, and in a rather consistent way, it finally dawns upon himself that he does love you or at the very least, he cares for you. After all, the longest he had ever spent with the same woman before had only lasted two weeks, maybe even less if he really focused on it.
  • The dude probably just balls up and tells you straight out what happened, totally expecting the worst response from you as a result. Gaston hangs his head, almost ready to say, “If you want to leave me, now would be the best time. I don’t deserve you. I never have and I never will.”
    • Literally looks like someone kicked him in the face, he’s about to cry?
      • Brushing back some of the stray hairs in his face, he glances up at you and catches your gaze. You allow him no opportunity to speak and you say, “The War left all of us a little different…” Licking his bottom lip, he nods in agreement, “I’m not going to stop loving you because you think you don’t deserve it, Gaston… I saw under the facade, and fell in love with you. I’m not going to leave you…”
  • Gaston in love, okay? Just like, melts my heart.
    •  Binch, him like so devoted to you that he buys you flowers just because(not because he wants you to owe him something).
      • Gaston like, picking you up bridal style because there’s a really big puddle and he doesn’t want your feet to get wet so he carries you across it.
      • Gaston letting you braid his hair in private while the two of you watch the sun set. Bonus points if you tangle flowers into his hair.
      • Lends you his jacket if it’s chilly outside and you didn’t bring one of yourself. 
      • Him taking you on his horse to see the countryside. Just the two of you. You don’t even need to be talking. Silence and being alone with you is enough.
      • Going from the transition of sex to the swing of just enjoying one another’s company. Cuddles, just kissing, talking to one another in privacy. 
      • He probably sings to you. Not the showy off kind of singing, but the beautiful ‘I adore you’ sort of singing. Usually in the morning time. His voice husky, his body still half asleep. Usually a little tune he can remember from childhood. He tucks your hair back, kisses your forehead and the two of you just lay like that until you’re actually ready to get up.
      • Him talking to you about getting married and having children of your own. Tells you like, in a really detailed way as if he had been planning it since childhood. How many kids he wants, how he wants to live somewhere peaceful with you and them. 

i have a lot more headcanons but i needed to stop myself LOL. Thanks for reading! Reblogs and likes are appreciated!