arc tour

What she says: I’m fine

What she means: Towards the end of episode 59, Taako and Merle find the door to Lucretia’s office and on it is a seven digit code. Taako uses the Hole Thrower and rolls a really good number. Griffin says that they got through, and Justin asks if he just ruined Griffin’s puzzle, to which Griffin says that he can’t just not let him use the Hole Thrower and so it was okay. What was the seven digit code? It had to in some way relate to the seven members of the IPRE? Maybe the seven relics? What would Lucretia have put for a code that was important enough to be a puzzle that they could solve? I need to know this is keeping me awake at night.

There’s a certain nonsensicality to these proceedings. Follow along here:

  • Archnemon makes Meowth to do her bidding.
  • Meowth refuses, stating that he won’t take orders from some one weaker than him.
  • Archnemon wants to destroy the Holy Stones because as she puts it, she exists solely to cause destruction.
  • Meowth decides to destroy the Holy Stones because one time he did it and felt a rush so that’s just his Thing now.
  • So Archnemon and Meowth’s goals are completely aligned (and it only took one episode!) and are helping each other achieve those goals
  • Meanwhile Takeru’s like “this is bad” and Iori’s like “BUH WHAAAA WHAT’S GOING ON WITH TAKERU I LITERALLY DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT HE’S THINKING HOW CAN WE BE JOGRESS PARTNERS IF WE’RE SO DIFFERENT”
  • We the audience already know that they’re gonna Jogress because we’ve watched the closing credits and besides they’re the only pair left
  • So I guess that means they’re Such Great Friends even though, in spite of there being a whole episode devoted to Iori’s moral struggle with telling a single lie that will literally save everyone else’s lives he’ll just lie to Takeru like it ain’t a thing

Bluuuuhhhhhhh I wanna go back to Meowth getting mad at a flower for not being able to feel pain.

Promotion Tips

husebona asked: 

what are some tips when it comes to promoting?


1) Author Web Site & Social Media

One of the best things you can do to promote your book is to make sure you have an attractive author web site, an integrated blog, and social media. Create branding by choosing a style and colors that will be uniform throughout all sites. Some authors like to create a sort of logo that they can use for profile pictures across all social media platforms. Many writers are fond of the online version of Word Press because you can create a free blog that looks like a web site with an integrated blog. You can also get a customized URL if you want a more professional look.

The primary function of these sites will be to keep your audience updated on news related to your books, upcoming releases, etc. However, you can also create other content to keep them engaged during gaps between updates. For example, if you are a sci-fi writer, you may choose to do a weekly sci-fi book or movie review, or write a blog post about science and technology elements or news. Many writers also enjoy sharing favorite quotes, writing tips, poetry, short stories, and music playlists. The key is not to post excessively. Personally, I feel that one post per week on each platform is more than enough to keep audiences engaged. It’s a good idea to alternate so that you’re not posting on all your sites on the same day. In fact, you can Google “best social media posting times” and put together an ideal posting schedule.


2) Contests and Giveaways

Readers love contests and prizes. There’s lots of great information online about how to host contests and giveaways on social media, including what tools to use, etc. Prizes can range from free books and autographed copies, to things like a free writing critique or writing help session.

3) ARCs, Blog Tours, and Other Writers


Take advantage of the fact that like you, lots of other writers want to promote their books, too. Since readers tend to enjoy multiple authors in any particular genre, writers are willing to share their audiences with other writers. Look for writers and authors online who write similar books to you. Follow and friend them on social media and engage with them by commenting on their posts. Don’t promote yourself on their posts, obviously–just talk to them like you would any other peer. When you make connections, you can often set up things like ARC swaps for reviews and giveaways, guest blog posts, blog tour participation, and other numerous other benefits.

4) Create a Book Trailer

Book trailers are a fantastic way to create interest in your book. Often they can be created for free with various online editing sites, or with affordable video editing programs. You can also pay to have one made for you, if you so choose. Trailers are something you can share on social media that–especially on sites like facebook, twitter, and tumblr–can be easily “re-blogged” by readers so that they reach a wider audience.

5) Avoid Over Promoting

Whatever methods of promotion you choose, just make sure not to go overboard. Your readers and social media followers do not want to be nagged. Apart from the initial book launch, you will want to limit promotion of a particular book to occasional sale alerts, format additions, and occasional goodies like sharing fan-art or a new playlist addition.

Best of luck with promoting your book!

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Have a writing question? I’d love to hear from you! Prohibited questions: how to portray/describe things (characters, emotions, situations), specialist knowledge questions (medical, military, mental health, etc.), asking for tropes/cliches or resources, triggering/controversial topics; broad, vague, or complicated questions. See master list & main site for more info!

10

Paris: Part 1

Paris…I don’t even know where to begin.

Let me start off by saying that the flight there from Italy over the Alpes is so freaking beautiful I could have cried. If you’re ever flying between France and Italy, please get a window seat. It’s incredible…I probably took a million photos of the amazing view.

I had no idea I was going to love Paris as much as I do now. I mean I was excited to go, but it wasn’t like this huge bucket list thing for me to do (besides see Versailles). But holy moly…Paris is beautiful. And there is SO much to do and see. Even though it rained pretty much the whole time I was there and my feet hurt like they never have in my entire life (on the verge of tears at one point), I fell in love.

We fit basically everything you can do that’s touristy in Paris in two days…besides see the catacombs. We saw the Arc de Triomphe and climbed to the top, went to the top of the Eiffel Tower (even in the rain haha), spent an afternoon in the Louvre, went to Laduree (HEAVEN), went to Versailles, walked on the Love Lock Bridge, saw the Van Gogh and Monet paintings in Musee d'Orsay, went to Notre Dame, and saw The Thinker. If we had more time there we could have done more, but honestly? That’s really impressive for two days. PLUS I pretty much mastered the metro and I’m seriously proud of myself for that haha.

Since Paris was so amazing, I’m going to break it down into two more posts specifically about my two favorite places: the Louvre and Versailles.

BUT before then, let me talk about my overall experience a little more.

We stayed in an adorable Air BnB apartment, which I seriously recommend. Having an apartment for the 3.5 days we spent there was perfect because it really lets you experience the city like you would if you actually lived there. We were right down the street from the Gambetta Metro station (East side of Paris) which was great because we had easy access to the rest of the city.

Right across the street from us was an awesome bakery that we stopped in almost every morning to get pastries and quiches for our ride on the metro. Above you can see my tattered (and deeply loved) metro map. Shoutout to this piece of paper for helping us explore this amazing city. You were a live saver…and being in possession of this map basically made me the human form of Google Maps for the trip haha. Pretty sure I’m gonna frame it for my apartment in the states…no joke.

MOST IMPORTANT TIPS FOR PARIS:

  1. Get a metro pass for however long you’re staying there because it will save you so much money on taxis/buying a new pass every day
  2. Get a museum pass because it gets you everywhere important in Paris (including Versailles) and lets you skip the line! Except at Versailles…but if you go in the morning there isn’t even a line so no worries.
  3. BRING COMFY SHOES. Because you will spend the whole day walking (we walked around 15 miles each day) and you will regret wearing boots trying to be cute. I was in so much pain at one point I couldn’t even enjoy the fact that I was in Paris. I ended up buying Nikes…which I needed anyway but don’t be dumb like me. Lol.

Food: Macarons at Laduree, Lobster Risotto at Le Coq, and gyros/greek beer at Le Gyros.

Must see: Versailles (try to pick a weekday because weekends are super busy), the Louvre (plan to spend a whole afternoon there…it’s huge), the top of the Arc de Triomphe during the day and the top of Eiffel Tower at night.

Stay tuned for details about Versailles and the Louvre….

Reflecting on Season 2

Season 1 was an introspective look at what drove our main characters. It established the setting, told us what is what. Season 2 up-heaved everything; it was a maelstrom of horror and intrigue, plunging both the main characters and the viewers alike into a realm of emotional highs and lows. There’s a thousand thousand things to say about the legendary quality of this season, and it pains me that I won’t be able to express every thought I have. So in writing this, I’ll take it one step at a time, as before.

I will begin by getting the negatives out of the way: I am a bit disappointed that long-standing plot points weren’t addressed in any way this season. Corrupted Gems, Triangles™, The Crystal Heart/Temple, Lion (and the contents of its mane), Lars & Sadie, and even Malachite got pushed to the side. However, I am giving the show the benefit of the doubt here. Season 2’s pacing was lightning fast, and gave us absolutely fascinating and bold plot developments. Fusion Experiments, Sardonyx, and Peridot were all sublime. If Season 3 starts handing out answers for the oldest questions, I’ll be content. And… I suppose that’s it, really. That’s my one small, petty complaint. Hot dang.

Now. Let’s talk characters.

Steven Quartz Universe took the back seat this season. Upon thinking it over, I’ve realized that Steven didn’t really change in any obvious way. This season, Steven seemed to exist as a catalyst for the development of other characters, or only served as the viewer’s window into the world. But that’s not to say he didn’t change at all. It was subtle– extremely subtle. Steven has developed insecurities of his own that, in stark contrast to Amethyst, he keeps well hidden. We learned he wonders if the Gems blame him in some way for Rose being gone. We learned he’s self-conscious about not fully belonging with either Humans or Gems. And even more so than in Season 1b, Steven has become far more mellow and low-key. He’s still got that child-like sense of fun and that delightful earnest hope that all people and things can be redeemed. But there is a weight pressing down on him, burdening his journey into discovering who he is. This season, Steven has witnessed and discovered terrible things, from within the Crystal Gems and beyond. In the near future, with resolutions for the Cluster and Malachite on the horizon, it’s likely that trend will continue. How long before he breaks? Which straw will be the last? I would also like to acknowledge that he has become far more competent. The off-screen training sessions with Pearl have allowed him true mastery over his Shield, and he’s pulling off a few magic powers with ease. I’m excited to see this aspect of Steven’s growth continue.

Pearl has been cracked wide open, her past raw and bare for all to see. Created to be a slave, she was freed in the process of the Rebellion and became the embodiment of everything the Crystal Gems fought for. Pearl is now an able fighter, intelligent and strong in ways she never could have been before. But despite the epic feat of her rebirth, Pearl allows herself to be haunted by the ghost of her past. She fooled herself into thinking she couldn’t stand on her own. Without Rose Quartz, Pearl fell into a disoriented state. She’s afraid to be alone. And in trying to deal with the loss of Rose, she exploited Garnet’s security to leech that feeling of strength. It’s tragic, but sympathetic. I understand why Pearl does what she does. But new information casts a disturbing shadow over many things. How much of Pearl’s devotion to Rose was honest, and not a remnant of the way Pearls are designed to serve? How could Pearl not stop herself and realize she was trying to impose Homeworld’s view on the worthlessness of Pearls on Connie? It all leads me to believe that Pearl is not done freeing herself from Homeworld’s grip on her mind. There’s still progress to made in this regard. Pearl lives in the past, and needs to learn to keep her gaze forward.

Amethyst has taken huge strides forward. Much like Steven, she’s mellower and more serious. She shape-shifts much less, and is no longer playing at lone wolf. She has embraced being part of the team, and eagerly helps out where she can. Starting with Reformed, Amethyst has begun respecting herself, too. Indeed, when Amethyst learned that she’s a runt, she took it surprisingly well. Season 1 Amethyst would have flown into a rage, and attacked Peridot. Season 2 Amethyst took the news hard, yes, but she displayed restraint and apparently let it go. I also appreciate Amethyst’s quick interjection when the Sardonyx folly was revealed; She earnestly tried to take some blame herself to help out Pearl. Pearl, the person Amethyst butted heads so much with in the earlier season. Much like Steven, Amethyst’s development here was subdued. I look forward to what lies in store for her. *cough Amedot cough cough*

Garnet, as I expected, was overshadowed by exploration into who her components are. Ruby and Sapphire make for convincing halves of Garnet’s whole. At every turn, we can detect the undiluted traits that compose her. Ruby is emotional, and genuine. She’s fierce, and proud, and willing to do what it takes to do what she thinks is right. Sapphire is restrained, and concise. She’s calm, and smart, and wise. They truly complete each other, and this season made Garnet’s existence very convincing. It also humanized her; She has moments of weakness and self-doubts, just like all the other Gems. Sometimes, Ruby and Sapphire don’t see eyes to eye, and sometimes Garnet is at a loss for what to do, Future Vision be damned. And on top of all these things, Garnet has continued learning to express her emotions and open herself up to those she loves. And perhaps it is this very trust and openness that made the Sardonyx incident all the more bitter. Indeed, there were two separate moments this season where the very concept Garnet holds most dear was defiled in revolting ways. Fusion Experiments and Pearl’s betrayal were both stunning moments that shook Garnet to her cores… literally. But these challenges to her existence served to reinforce her, not deter her. Garnet won’t back down from being what she is, and is going to fight with everything she has to justify herself. All said, I am unsure what comes next for the three of them. I sure know I’m excited to find out.

Connie has taken big steps forward in both halves of her life. She’s become a proficient swordswoman under the tutelage of Pearl, and an asset to the Crystal Gems. She has also bonded closer with her mother, including her in the magical life she’s kept hidden, and eased the strict rules of the household. But… There’s something that’s really bothering me about Connie. The whole deal with her mother is, like, the one bit of agency Connie has. Everything else Connie does, says, or has happen to her is a plot device for Steven’s sake. Greg at least has his own history predating Steven. Connie… is Steven’s best friend and now combat ally. Can’t she be something else? Maybe this is a petty complaint, but all I know is that I hope Connie becomes a bit more unique and self-sufficient eventually. That said, Connie is an engaging character, and I love it every time she appears on screen, and quite enjoy everything she does. Connie is fun, and I love watching her. I just want better for her, ya know?

I would be remiss not to talk at length about the MVP of the season. She’s loud, proud, lean, mean, green, and smol: Peridot’s arc was a tour de force invasion of my heart. Her transformation from thoughtless Homeworld drone, to terrified refugee on the run, to curious and analytical gremlin, to defiant Crystal Gem willing to speak against her Goddess was masterfully written. Organic and believable, the whole way through. Peridot’s personality fills a hole in the Crystal Gems I had no idea was there; I am excited beyond words to see how the show will change with her permanent presence! Her every word and gesture was an insight into the mysterious ways of Homeworld.

To be honest, I struggle to say things about Peridot that I haven’t already said across the season, or on Discord. So… please know that I freakin’ adore this little green treasure, and fully appreciate every bit of nuance in her development. It’s some Grade A+ writing, and I loved every second of it. And in case it wasn’t clear, yes, she really is my favorite character on the show now.

All that said, we can now have some closing thoughts.

Homeworld is monstrous. We’ve learned so many things about its culture now, and I struggle to think of even one redeeming fact. They keep Pearls as slaves, they destroy planets, they callously kill any who dare step out of line, they torture the dead with unimaginable pain in the form of Fusion Experiments. So when the day comes that Steven, pure, innocent Steven, must fully understand that horrid way of life and fight back, well… There’s just no way that Yellow Diamond’s going to be swayed. There’s no way that Steven’s purity and innocence will survive against Homeworld’s crushing presence. It’s going to be horrifying to watch.

I think that about wraps it up. Perhaps a look forward is in order: In the near future, I expect the Cluster and then Malachite to be dealt with. From there, Lapis Lazuli and Jasper can be expanded upon. Old plot threads can be picked back up. And in the far future, I’d imagine the Diamonds await.

Finally. It is done. That is all I have to say about this legendary work of art. I calculate the score of Season 2 to be 86/100! Wait… That’s exactly the same as Season 1b! If it were up to me, I’d rate this one a 100/100!

Oh well. I look forward to more Steven Universe, and I thank you for continuing this wonderful journey with me.

Final word: ‘Ah, I remember you: you’re the guy who lost the Tour by eight seconds,’ a cycling fan once asked Fignon. The Frenchman, responded with the acerbic line: 'No monsieur, I’m the guy who won it twice’

From a look back at one of cycling’s greats, Laurent Fignon.

2

Here are the shots I animated for #Ripaille. On the first picture the cleaning and coloring were done by @mariposa-nocturna (she did the compositing of those two shots too). For the second one @mairithetree took care of the coloring and angels animation.

Watch on dudski.tumblr.com

I feel like nothing has ever summed up the BOTTOMLESS AND EVER-EXPANDING EMOTIONAL TORMENT that comes with loving Liam Payne quite as much as last night did, because LIKE THIS SPEECH DIDN’T ALREADY TEAR EVERYONE APART, he followed it up with this:

SO LIKE, APPARENTLY SURVIVING THAT SPEECH AND THE GROUP HUG THAT FOLLOWED WASN’T ENOUGH? Hearing echoes of things he’s said throughout the year - in speeches, in interviews, in tweets - and feeling how genuinely cumulative this speech was WASN’T ENOUGH? Living with the knowledge that it fell to Liam (that of course it fell to Liam) to put the emotional capstone on this tour and this chapter of their career WASN’T ENOUGH? I ALSO NEED TO GET THROUGH THE REST OF MY LIFE KNOWING HE HAS “NEVER BEEN SO NERVOUS TO SPEAK BEFORE” AND THAT THESE ARE THINGS HE’S WANTED TO SAY FOR A WHILE, THAT HE’S THOUGHT ABOUT THE WHEN AND THE HOW OF IT AND DECIDED THIS WAS THE WAY TO GO? Every time I think about this speech, I seriously ALSO have to think about the fact that it meant so much to him that it was still on his mind when the show was over?

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LIVE A LIAM PAYNE LIFE: THERE IS ALWAYS MORE. HE IS NEVER DONE. HE WILL NEVER, EVER, NOT EVEN FOR A SECOND, LET YOU LIVE. BUT THEN, THAT’S WHY I LOVE HIM.