as if they would live in another world

Left at the altar but never unloved

I know you might hate me for this if you are still around, but I’m going to change your prompt a little and only write for Saeran and make it a ficlet instead. I think the whole prompt just fits him the best with the flowers – since he knows the language – the silent pining for MC and the revenge!

I really hope you still enjoy it, even if it’s just Saeran :3

Fandom: Mystic Messenger
Rating: Teen and Up
Warnings: A tiny bit of smut at the end but not really
Categories: F/M
Relationships: MC x Saeran
Word count: 2225



Falling in love had never been something Saeran had considered for himself. In fact, his entire life had been a row of events proving him over and over that he was entirely undeserving of it. Not just being loved, he’d never known what that even felt like, but the notion of falling in love.

Falling in love was something for good and pure people to experience. He was neither. Tainted by his dark past and filled with rage and hate for the world and himself, Saeran didn’t dare hope that he’d ever get to experience such a feeling.

When the pain of loneliness threatened to crush him, he convinced himself that he loved Rika. The symptoms were there – at least from what he read in books – and when he was with her, he didn’t feel like he was drowning within himself. Of course he loved her. Or so he thought.

The moment you stepped into his life, Saeran realized just how wrong he’d been in that assumption. It had taken him years to so much as warm up to Rika and yet all it took you was your sweet, sincere smile and those heartfelt words he felt burn into his chest.

Loving you made him forget what it felt like to hate himself. It made his steps a little lighter and his laughter a little brighter. The center of his entire world shifted onto you and he would have done anything, anything at all, to be make you happy.

That is how Saeran learned the difference between devotion and love. He would have followed Rika’s last command, going as far as to read it from her lips. He would have died for her without thinking twice about it. For you he wanted to live.

What Saeran hadn’t anticipated, however, was just how all consuming love could turn out to be. All his life he’d mocked V for his blind devotion to Rika, his pathetic attempts to return to her when she’d shunned him in every way humanly imaginable.

It wasn’t until you announced your engagement to another man that he grew to respect V. It felt like his entire world had shattered to pieces, all purpose ripped from him. How V had managed to survive that feeling remained a mystery to Saeran.

It was nothing short of a miracle that he was capable of doing the same. Dreaming about seeing you in a wedding dress, overjoyed to begin a new chapter of your life – even if it was with a man other than him – was his saving grace as much as it was his downfall.

The year leading up to the wedding passed by in a blur. While Saeran was present for most of the important decisions and planning none of them really registered in his mind, not with him around. It felt too much like one of his nightmares he was still waiting to wake from.

The worst part was, he hated no one more than himself. Not even the groom to be. He was charming, handsome and well off. The man could offer you all those things Saeran couldn’t. He’d never been good enough for and it was his own fault for allowing hope to bubble within him.

It wasn’t until he saw you in your wedding dress for the first time, mere hours before the ceremony, that reality sunk in and Saeran felt like he was drowning once more. You were the most beautiful creature he’d even laid his eyes upon and he was giving you away to another man.

Saeran had never wanted to die as much as he’d wished for it in that moment. Until you turned to him, cheeks heated and lip worried between your teeth, shyly asking him whether you looked good or not. Despite how nervous you must have felt you were radiating joy.

The murmured of the guests waiting for the wedding to begin could be heard. You rested your delicate hand on Saeran’s arm, ready to walk down that aisle and marry the man you thought to be the love of your life. For a few short moments, all was good. 

All was good…until Zen came rushing in surprising the both of you. Saeran noticed the strange look in his eyes long before he was the flowers and that disgusting note he would have loved to have burned to ashes right then and there. 

Saeran had always thought he’d experienced all the pain there was to experience in the world. He’d felt it all, had his entire world shattered and every hope destroyed. He was wrong. Seeing your world shattered hurt a million times more.

Your fiancé had decided to leave you and on your wedding day at that. He’d send a bouquet of black roses and short, painful note explaining that he’d run away with another woman. Saeran promised himself that he’d make the dramatic asshole pay.

The events that followed once again turned into a blur, but for entirely different reasons. Saeran made sure that everything happened fast, trying not to draw it out and thereby minimize your pain. Well, minimize it as much as he could in the face of such tragedy.

He told Zen to inform the RFA. Jumin informed the guests and Jaehee escorted them out. Yoosung, Saeyoung and V cleaned everything up and Saeran somehow managed to get you home safely, staying by your side throughout the entire night.

The worst part was how little you cried. It would have killed him to see you cry but he would have gladly comforted you for however long it took you to smile again. You holding back and feeling numb was something he wasn’t equipped for.

You changed after that day. Your steps became heavier and your smiles dimmed. It was like someone had turned out the bright light that had shone within you. Saeran didn’t know how to turn it back on, but he knew how to make that person pay. 

And making him pay Saeran did…in every way non-physical and provable. Technically he could have tortured the asshole, he still had all the means to it, but Saeran knew that deep in your heart you still cared for the man and wouldn’t appreciate it.

Instead he opted for ruining his business by leaking the right information to the right people. Saeran also seduced the little wench the man had taken off with, effectively taking her from him as well and then made sure that his fortune was given to less fortunate people.

He took everything from the man and it still didn’t feel like it was enough. Not when you hadn’t logged into the messenger in a month. Not when you barely ate anymore. Not when your smile didn’t reach your eyes anymore. Not when you were still so broken…

He realized, that revenge wasn’t the answer. Not for you, at least. You weren’t Rika. You were good and pure and deserved all the love in the world to make up for everything that scumbag had taken from you. Saeran understood then, that it was time to return the favour.

He visited you every day from that moment on. He made sure that you ate at least two full meals, three if he managed to convince you. He sat beside you as you stared at the wall for hours, expression blank. He hugged you tight when you started to cry eventually.

He brushed your hair when you couldn’t motivate yourself. He helped you clean when you finally suggested it to him. He tugged you in every night and woke you up when the nightmares came. He became the anchor you’d once been to him.

A couple of weeks passed like that and step by step you started to open up again like a flower after a storm. Your nightmares ebbed away and the tears didn’t last anymore. You started to sing in the shower again and eat three meals you made yourself.

Saeran felt so happy his chest could have burst. Seeing you laugh at a joke he’d made after such a long time of sorrow would be a memory he would cherish for the rest of his mortal life and maybe even beyond. Making you happy was truly his calling.

However with joy often came sadness and while Saeran knew such thoughts were selfish, he was disappointed to note that you no longer needed his help. You were finally strong enough again to stand by yourself and he would only be dragging you down.

What he didn’t expect was to find you standing in front of his door a week later, wet to the bone from the horrible rain. You were shaking, skin almost sickly pale. He instantly rushed you in and wrapped a thick blanket around you before getting a towel to dry your hair himself.

You sat there silently, eyes wide as you looked at him as if you were seeing him for the very first time. It was a strange feeling, being stared at like that. Saeran’s hands slowed before coming to a stop still resting on each side of your head with the towel hanging down your face.

“It’s you”, you whispered, slowly reaching out. You carefully cupped his face, thumbs brushing over the soft skin of Saeran’s cheek. You watched in awe as his eyes fluttered shut and he leaned into your touch like he was starving for it. It broke your heart.

“The entire time you were right before my eyes and yet I didn’t see you at all”, you continued. “I’m so sorry, Saeran. So, so sorry.” His eyes flew open, surprise written all over his face. He shook his head, turning it so he could press a kiss to your head.

“No, it’s my fault”, he replied, instantly continuing when he saw you were about to protest. “I loved you from the moment you smiled at me for the first time but I was too scared and broken to tell you as much. Well now you’ve fixed me and I am no longer scared.”

Your eyes locked for a long moment, searching for a reason to stop. When neither of you found one Saeran finally closed the distance between the two of you. Your lips met in an agonizingly slow kiss, the sweetest torture Saeran had ever experienced.

Both of you were tentative, slowly allowing yourself to explore each others mouths. You could feel Saeran’s tongue trace your lips and you gladly parted them, inviting him to deepen the kiss. He happily obliged, claiming your mouth in the most gentle of manners.

You could tell he was holding back, almost as if he was scared you would push him away. You did quite the opposite, burying your hands in his hand as you climbed into his lap. You’d doubted many things in your life but not this. Never this.

The two of you kissed for a long time, bodies grinding against one another as arousal began to rise within you. You could feel the beginning of an erection poking against your long wet sex, a low moan falling from your lips only to be swallowed by his.

He stopped the kiss then, only for the briefest of moment, before lifting you up and carrying you to his bedroom. There he put you down on the bed, spreading you out like a piece of art. He hovered over you, devouring you with his hungry eyes.

Never had a man aroused you as much simply by looking at you. Luckily, Saeran wasn’t done. Instead he undressed you, taking his time and admiring every bare inch of you that was revealing to him. He did not take as much time shedding his own clothes.

That night, Saeran took you apart. With his eyes. With his words. With his mouth and his body. He claimed you as his, whispering all the things into your ear he’d never dared to say before. He took you apart, worshipping every inch of you until both of you found your final release.

Hours later he was lying awake as he watched you sleep peacefully, Saeran was utterly blissful. He didn’t want to sleep, no matter how sated his body and heavy his lids might have been for reality had finally turned out to be better than even his wildest dreams.

It was during those tranquil hours of the night that Saeran realized another thing about love: It is dangerous. It makes you vulnerable. It opens your heart and your chest, allowing someone to march in and mess you up. 

But if the person is right, the reward will be worth all the pain you might have endured beforehand. For every time you felt like you were drowning you will feel like you are soaring. If the person is right, you’ll learn what it truly feels like to love and live.

So there was this Steve/Loki AU photoset that I saw and then I wrote a thing.


This was not how Steve envisioned visiting another planet.

Not that he ever spent a lot of time thinking about what other planets would be like, but still Steve figured if he ever went out in space, he’d be busy with the wonder of exploring something strange and new. Strange and new as in taking a completely alien world, not strange and new as in fighting aliens on an alien world.  

Just another day, Steve thought without humour.

Asgard was awe inspiring, even while being overrun by creatures intent on destroying it. Steve hoped when this was over, he’d have a little time to take in some of the sights.

If he lived that long.

Keep reading

My two cents

I’m so depressed at what this has become. I would be livid and hate Iain but I just don’t have the energy for it. I wish there was a way for me to enjoy Ryan’s acting and have Robert just walk away from the whole fucking village. His step mother is useless his sister has turned into a jerk. His bf said one thing and did another. It’s like the whole village hates you dude. Just move on. Take all your money and just go on a trip around the world. Live all the exotic places, see all the exotic sites and never go back to that hell hole. Life is too short and too sweet to be treated like shit.

I knew when they did this incident that even though we were suppose to feel Roberts loneliness it would turn into the cry me a river over poor broken Aaron. I knew it. And sure enough it did. All you hear is how Robert cheated. Do you hear how Aaron punched Kasim’s face in and got sent to prison leaving Robert all alone. No you don’t. Do you hear about how Aaron turned on Robert after all Robert had done while he was in prison. No you don’t. All you hear about is THAT FUCKING ROBERT CHEATED !


Unfortunately if Robert leaves I don’t get to see Ryan act and I want that more than anything. So I will just shut the fuck up and watch this three ring circus unfold. But only because I love watching Danny and Ryan act.


But I’m telling you now the day the both of them leave. Emmerdale can fuck off preferably over a cliff into the bottom of an ocean.

BECAUSE. I. WILL. BE. DONE.

every animorphs book
  • chapter 1: my name is jake. I can't tell you my real name, because I'm the leader of a special group of kids... we're called the Animorphs. Because we morph into animals and fight aliens.
  • chapter 16: 'god, please don't do this,' i begged on my knees. Visser Three had all of my loved ones hanging from his claws in his multi-armed alien morph and was slowly squeezing the life out of them. 'you must either choose them, jake, or the rest of your planet.' i couldn't take it. i started to morph into a cockroach.
  • chapter 23: as i felt my own brain slither down my throat and into my torso to reform into my digestive system, my bones also began to dissolve into dust inside my skin. my eyes shrunk back into my skull and i could see into eternity- i could see my own mind, taken over by the yeerk. i had already taken my last breath as a free creature, now i saw my last vision as a being of this dimension. suddenly, i was gone. and my parents would never even know i had died. was saving the world worth this? i wondered, if anyone on this planet could be forced to prioritize one life over another, what choice would they make? how can any decision be right, or wrong? i closed my mind off, and fell into eternal sleep, my last echoes of thought being of how humanity continued to live on, but not truly alive.
  • chapter 26: 'hey, bro, wanna go to mc d's and grab some fries?' marco asked, riding by on his skateboard. 'yeah, that'd be totally radical!' i answered, whipping out my own razor scooter. as i pulled a nasty kickflip, i felt eyes watching me. turning around, i saw my own dog, and thought of the horrible truth only i knew. we went to the mall to get big macs. it was a good day to not be dead.
9

So I’ve been overwhelmed by the black panther comicon appearance and I’ve been dwelling on how revolutionary the black panther movie is going to be, what it’s going to mean to countless people when this movie comes out and how long we still have to go, So I decided to put this short photoset together to illustrate exactly how big of a deal it is and how it is bigger than one person.

it’s so bittersweet because when I was younger (especially growing up where I did, a black kid in Finland) I really wished I had more access to imagery and media that reflected who I was because it would have made my life radically different for the better and I wouldn’t be at 26 (STILL) doing damage control but on the flipside, I’m so in awe of all of the beautiful talent in 2016 that younger black kids are able to see and be inspired by.

I think I was like 4 years old when I conciously picked up race and color via watching Disney’s “Aladdin” and I noticed how Jafar, the evil royal guards etc the villains were more ethnic looking or a shade darker than the “good” characters.

it’s insidious because you’re seeing something but at age 4, you don’t have the comprehension skill or knowledge to break it down and see it for what it is (Colorism, Societal bias against black people which is rooted in centuries of white supremacist doctrine, society associates things that are dark/darker colors with evil, danger, ugliness, dirt etc) and reject it.

so you pick it up and see it on a surface level and you think to yourself “well darker must mean ugly, criminal and less human”…then what happens when you look at yourself in the mirror and find out that you are black?


  how is that going to impact how you see yourself?

and guess what? if a 4 year old black kid can pick that up and internalize that about him/her/themselves….then a white kid can sponge up the same language and imagery that dehumanizes black people too (subconciously/conciously)…what happens when when these people grow up? become teachers, doctors, law enforcement etc? what kind of impact is that going to have?

I’m going off on a tangent and that’s just one personal example but society does that on a global grand scale and it is largely unchecked.

but honestly though,look at the photoset and think about how many talented people out there that we love and respect….who would NOT have achieved the things they did if it wasn’t for another person before them inspiring them to reach their goals and acting as trail blazers when it seemed as though it was impossible….then think about the flipside and how many people, with all the potential in the world, never lived to become great because they were met with more images dehumanizing them than ones uplifting them…this is why the fight for HONEST representation is important and it continues.

argh, I didn’t plan on typing anything but I got in my feelings after watching this again

…anyway, here are some pictures to make you smile, the next gen gives me hope

and if none of that gets you going, here is a video of Michael Jackson surprising James Brown on stage and then thanking him for being his biggest influence (BET awards, 2003)

8

Once upon a time, in the hidden heart of France, a handsome young prince lived in a beautiful castle. Although he had everything his heart desired, the prince was selfish and unkind. He taxed the village to fill his castle with the most beautiful objects, and his parties with the most beautiful people. Then one night, an unexpected intruder arrived at the castle, seeking shelter from the bitter storm. As a gift, she offered the prince a single rose. Repulsed by her haggard appearance, the prince turned the woman away. But she warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found within. When he dismissed her again, the old woman’s outward appearance melted away, to reveal a most beautiful enchantress. The prince begged her for forgiveness. But it was too late, for she had seen that there was no love in his heart. As punishment, she transformed him into a hideous beast, and placed a powerful spell on the castle and all who lived there. As days bled into years, the prince and his servants were forgotten by the world, for the enchantress had erased all memory of them from the minds of the people they loved. But the rose she had offered was truly an enchanted rose. If he could learn to love another and earn their love in return by the time the last petal fall, the spell would be broken. If not, he would be doomed to remain a beast for all time. As the years passed, he fell into despair and lost all hope. For who could ever learn to love a beast?

the omgcp fandom really has trouble fathoming the fact that jack spent the entirety of his time at samwell deeply in the closet. he wasn’t out to anyone. he wasnt out to shitty or any of his teammates, or bitty. jack zimmermann went through all 4 years of college surrounded by his favorite people in the world, completely aware of his own sexuality, and told absolutely none of them that he was queer. 

this isn’t a story about a private man who prefers to keep his private business to himself. this is a narrative about a terrified, world-renowned athlete who grew up in a homophobic environment and has been conditioned to tell as few people about his attraction to men as possible. it’s about a young, queer addict who’s burdened with an anxiety disorder, who was planning to go the rest of his life without telling another living soul that he liked men. and i firmly believe that if he hadn’t met and fallen in love with bitty, he would have gone through with that plan.

history of the entire world, i guess; a transcript

hi. you’re on a rock, floating in space. pretty cool, huh? some of it’s water. fuck it, actually most of it’s water. i can’t even get from here to there without buying a boat. it’s sad. i’m sad. i miss you. how did this happen? a long time ago, actually never, and also now, nothing is nowhere. when? never. makes sense, right? like i said, it didn’t happen. nothing was never anywhere. that’s why its been everywhere. it’s been so everywhere, you don’t need a “where”. you don’t even need a “when”. that’s how “every” it gets. (pause). forget this. i wanna be something, go somewhere, do something. i want things to change. i want to invent time and space. and i know it’s possible because everything is here and it probably already happened. i just don’t know when to start. and that’s exactly where it started. (background noise) woah. i… paused it. i think there’s a universe now. what’s it made of? quarks and stuff. ah, that’s a thing, in a place. don’t like it? try a new place, at a different Time™. try to stick together because the world is gonna get bigger and emptier. but it’s not empty yet. it’s still very full, and about a kjghpillion degrees. (about no seconds later). great news! the quarks are now happily married in groups of three called a “proton” or a “neutron”. and there’s something else flying around too that wants to join in but can’t cause it’s still to (HOT). (about ten minutes later). great news! the protons and the neutrons are now happily married to each other (some of them even doubled up). (about 380,000 years later). great news, the electrons have now joined in. congratulations, the world is now a bunch of gas in space. but it’s getting closer together and it’s getting closer together and it’s getting closer together. it’s a staaaar. new shit just got made. some stars burn out and die. bigger stars burn out and die with passion! and make some brand new way crazier shit. space dust! which allows newer, more interesting stars to be made, and then die, and explode into even crazier space dust. so now stars have cool stuff around them, like rocks, ice, and funny clouds, which can make some very interesting things. like this ball of flaming rocks, for example. holy shit, we just got hit with another ball of flaming rocks, and it kinda made a mess. which is now the moon. weather update: it’s raining rocks from outer space. weather update: those rocks might’ve had water inside them and now there’s Hot Steam in the sky. weather update: cooler temperatures today, and the floor is no longer lava. weather update: its raining. severe flooding alert: the entire world is now an ocean. volcano alert: that’s land. there’slifeintheocean. what? something’s alive in the ocean. oh cool, like a plant or an animal? no. a microscopic speck! it lives at the bottom of the ocean and eats chemical soup which is being served hot and fresh made from gnarly space ingredients leftover from when it was raining rocks or whatever. oh yeah, and it can do that. it has secret instructions written inside itself telling it how to build another one of itself. so that’s pretty nifty, i would say. tired of living at the bottom of the ocean? now you can eat sunlight. using a revolutionary technique you can convert sunlight into food. taste the sun. side effect: now there’s oxygen everywhere and the sky’s blue. then the earth might’ve been a snowball for a while, maybe even a coupla times. it’s a sponge, it’s a plant, it’s a worm and some other types of weird strange water bugs and strange fish. it’s the Cambrian explosion. “wow, that’s animals and stuff.” but we’re still in the ocean. hey, can we go on land? NoO. why? the sun is a deadly lazer. oh okay. not anymore there’s a blanket. now the animals can go on land. come on, animals, let’s go on land! “nope, can’t walk yet. and there’s no food yet so i don’t care.” (100 million years later) ok, will you learn to walk if there’s plants up here? “maybe,” said some bugs, and fish. “uh. uh. uh.” (five million years later) “ok so i can go on land but i have to go back in the water to have babies.” (idea) learn to use an egg. “i was already doing that.” use a stronger egg, and put water in it, have a baby, on land, in an egg. water is in the egg, baby, in the water, in the egg. works for me. bye bye ocean. aaand now everything is huge. including bugs. wanna see a map of the land? sure. ah fuck, now everything’s dead. just kidding here are the survivors. keep your eye on this one because its about to become the dinosaurs. here’s another map of the land. yeah, it broke apart, don’t worry about it, it does that all the time. here comes a meteor. and the dinosaurs are gone. its mammal time! here come the mammals. look at those breasts. now they’re gonna dominate the world, and one of them just learned how to grab stuff. and walk. no, like, walk like ‘that’. and grab stuff at the same time. and bang rocks together to make… pointed rocks. “ouch.” and set things on fire. “yeouch.” and make crazy sounds with their voice (“gneurshk.”) which can mean different things. that’s a human person. and now they’re everywhere, almost. ice age. what? you can walk over here? cool. not anymore. i guess we’re stuck here now.

let’s review. there’s people on the planet. and they’re chasing their food. fuck it, time to plant some grass. look at this, i control the food now. now everyone will want to be my friend and live near me. let’s all build houses except mine is bigger because i own the food. this is great, i wonder if anyone else is doing this. tired of using rocks for everything? use metal. it’s underground. better farming was just invented in a sweet dank valley right in between these two rivers, and the animals are helping. guess what happens next. more food, and more people who came to buy the food. now you need people to help make the food and keep track of the sales. and now you need houses for people to live in, and people to make the houses. and now there’s more people and they invent things, which makes things better and more people come. and there’s more farming and more people to make more things for more people. and now there’s business, money, writing, laws, power. sociiiety. coming soon to a dank river valley near you. meanwhile, out in the middle of nowhere, the horse is probably being tamed. why is all my metal so lame and lumpy? tired of using lame, sad metal? introducing bronze, made with special ingredient tin from the far lands of tin land. i don’t know, my dealer won’t tell me where he gets it. also, guess what - egypt. meanwhile, out in the middle of nowhere, they figured out how to put wheels on a horse. now we’re getting somewhere. also, china. and did i mention indusrivervalleycivilization. norte chico. the middle east is getting more complicated, maybe because it’s in the middle of the east. knock knock- er, clop clop, it’s the people with the horses? and they made an empire! and then everyone else copied their horses. greeks! ah look, it must be the greeks, or a beta version of the greeks. let’s check in with the indus river valley civilization. they’re gone. guess who’s not gone? china. new arrivals in india. maybe it’s thosehorsepeopleiwastalkingabout or theircousinsorsomething. and they wrote some hymns and mantras and stuff. you could make a religion out of this. there’s the bronze age collapse. now the phoenicians can get down to business. also, can we switch to a metal that’s a little easier to find? thanks. look who came back to israel, it’s the twelve tribes of israel. and they believe in god. just one though, he’s got like a ten step program. here’s some huge heads, must be the olmec. the phoenicians make some colonies. the greeks copy their idea and make some colonies. the phoenicians made a colony so big it makes colonies. here comes the assyrian empire. nevermind it’s the babylonian- median- it’s the persian empire. “wow, that’s big.” ah, the buddha was just enlightened! who’s the buddha? this guy, who sat under a tree for so long that he figured out how to ignore the fact that we’re all dying. you could make a religion out of this. oops, china just broke, but while it was breaking confucius was figuring out how to have good morals. ah, the greeks just had the idea of thinking about stuff. and right over here, alexander just had the idea of conquering the entire persian empire. it’s a great idea, he was…great. and now he’s dead. hopefully, the rest of the gang will be able to share the empire evenly between them. knock knock, it’s chandragupta, he says, “get the hell out of here, will you get the hell out of here if i give you 500 elephants? ok thanks bye; time to conquer all of india- or most of india”. but what about this part? that’s the tamil kings, no one conquers the tamil kings. who are the tamil kings? merchants, probably. and they’ve got spices. who would like to buy the spices? “me,” said the arabians, swiftly buying them and selling them to the rest of the world. hey, china put itself back together again with good morals as their main philosophy. actually they have three main philosophies. out here, the horse nomads run wild and free, and they would like to ransack your city. let’s check the greekification levels of the greekified kingdoms: greekification overload! “bye,” said the parthians, “bye,” said the jews. “hi,” said the parthians, taking over the entire place. “heyyyyyyyy,” said the romans, eating the entire mediterranean for breakfast. “thanks for invading our homeland,” said the jews, who were starting to get tired of people invading their homeland. “hi, everything’s great,” said some guy who seems to be getting very popular, and then gets arrested and killed for being too popular, which only makes him more popular. you could make a religion out of this. want silk? now you can buy it from china! they just made a brand new road to the world…or you can get there on water. “sick, new trade routes,” said india, accidentally spreading their religion to the entire southeast. hmm, that’s a good place for an epic trading kingdom. there goes buddhism, travelling up the silk road. i wonder if it’ll reach china before it collapses again. “remember the persian empire? yup,” said the persians, making a new one. axum is getting so powerful they would like to build a long stick. has anyone populated madagascar yet? let’s do it together. china is whole again…then it broke again. still can’t cross the sahara desert? try camels. “hell yeah, now we’ve got business,” said the ghana empire, selling lots of gold, and slaves. “hi i live in the roman empire and i was wondering, is loving jesus legal yet?” “no” “actually ok sure,” said constantine, moving the capitol way over here to be closer to his main rival. don’t worry about rome, it won’t fall. it’s the golden age of india. there’s the gupta empire. not chandragupta, just gupta, first name chandra, the first. guess who’s in rome? barbarians. what’s a barbarian? “non-romans,” said the romans, being invaded by non-romans. r.i.p. roman empire. or actually, just half is just fine. but it’s not in rome anymore so let’s give it a new name. the mayans have figured out the staaars. oh, and here’s a huge city, population everyone. the göktürks have taken over the entire eurasian steppe. great job, göktürks. how’s india? broken. how’s china? back together. how’s those trading kingdoms? bigger, and there’s more of them. korea has three kingdoms. japan has a kingdom, it’s the sunrise kingdom.

deep in the arabian desert, on the top of a mountain, the real god whispers in muhammad’s ear, so he goes down to the cube where everyone worships gods, and he tells them their gods are all fake. and everyone got so mad at him that he had to leave town and go to a different town. you could make a religion out of this. and maybe conquer the world as well. the roman empire is long gone, but somehow the pope is still the pope. plus there’s new kingdoms all over europe. i wonder if there’s room for moors. here’s all the wisdom, in a house. it’s the baghdad house of wisdom, just in time for the islamic golden age. “let’s bring stuff to the coast and sell it, and become the swahili on the swahili coast,” said the swahili on the swahili coast. remember this tiny space you have to go through to get from here to there? someone owns that now. wanna get enlightened in the middle of nowhere? the franks have the biggest kingdom in europe, and the pope is so proud that he invites the king over for christmas. “surprise, you’re the new roman emperor,” said the pope, pretending to still be part of the roman empire. then the franks broke their kingdom into what will later be called france and not france. the northerners, or just norse if you don’t have that much time, are exploring. they go north, from the north to the northern north, and they find some land. two types of land, and they name them accordingly. they also invade some other places and get called many names, such as vikings. there’s the rus, the kievan rus. are they vikings? “i don’t think so,” said the kievan rus. ok, fair enough. the pope is ready to make some more emperors of the roman empire, the holy roman empire. it’s actually germany but don’t worry about it. new kingdoms! christianizeallthekingdoms. which brand would you like? “mine’s better,” “mine’s better,” “mine’s better”. “time to conquer england,” said william. it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s the seljuk turks. “ahh!” said the byzantine empire, who’s getting so small it almost doesn’t exist anymore, “we need help!” they need help, so they call the pope. “hey pope, can you help us get rid of the seljuks? maybe take back the holy land on the way? come on, i know you wanna take back the holy land.” “yes, i do actually want to do that. let’s do a crusade.” crusade. they did many crusades, some of which almost didn’t fail, but at least the italians got some sweet trade deals. goodbye mayans. hello toltecs, goodbye toltecs, hello mississippi. look at those mounds. there’s the pueblo. i always wondered how to build a town in a cliff. guess who’s here? khmer. where? here, and pagan is there, and vietnam unconquered itself, korea just became itself, and japan is so addicted to art that the military might have to take over the government. china just invented bombs, and typing. and the mongols just invaded most of the universe. nice going, genghis. i bet that will last a long time! some of the islamic turks were unaffected by the mongol invasions because they were busy invading india. is it tonga time? i think it’s tonga time. i just found out where the swahili gets all their gold. look at this chad (means lake), there’s an empire there, right in the middle of africa. the king of mali is so rich he’s going on tour to let everyone know. “wow, that guy’s rich,” everyone said. the christians are doing a great job of conquering iberia which will soon be called spain and not spain. please remain christian. we will check in later to see if you are still christian when you least expect. whoops, half of europe just died. ming. china’s back, yay. hey khmer, time to share, new kingdoms here and there. oh look who controls all the islands, its the mahajapit. majahapit, mapajahit, mahapajit, mapajahit, majapahit? oh, italy’s really rich, time for them to care a lot about art and the ancient classics. it’s kinda like a rebirth. here’s a printer, lets make books. so you think you can conquer the byzantine empire? “yep,” said the ottoman turks. nice job, ottoman turks. whoops, you missed a spot; don’t forget to ban europe from the indian spice trade. “what? that’s bullshit,” said portugal, spiceless. well i guess we’ll have to find another way to india. “wait,” said christopher colombus, probably smoking crack, “if the world is round, lets go this way to india!” “nah, don’t worry we already got this,” said portugal. so chris goes to spain. “hey spain, wanna hire me to go find india by going around back of the world?”  “no.”  “please?”  “no.”  “please?”  “no.” “please?” “ok.” so he sails into the ocean, and discovers more ocean, and then discovers ‘the indies’ and ‘japan’. let’s draw a line to decide who gets which half of the world. the aztec and inca empires are off to a great start. i wonder if they know that europe just discovered their continent. the habsburgs are marrying into so many royal families they might have to start marrying each other. move over lithuania, here comes moscow. ivan wants to make russia great again. move over timurids, maybe go invade india or something. persia just made persia persian again. let’s make it the other kind of islam, the one where we thought the first guy should’ve been the other guy. hey christians, do you sin? now you can buy your way out of hell. “that’s bullshit, this whole thing is bullshit, that’s a scam, fuck the church, here’s 95 reasons why,” said martin luther, in his book which might have accidentally started the protestant reformation. “you know what would be magnificent?” said suleiman, wearing an onion hat, “what if the ottoman empire was really big, which it is now.”  “what if russia was big,” said ivan, trying not to be terrible. portugal had a dream that they controlled the entire indian ocean, including the spice trade, and then that dream was real. and spain realised that this is not india, but they pillaged it anyway. “damn,” said england and france, “we gotta start pillaging some stuff.” then the dutch revolt and all the hipsters move to amsterdam. “damn,” said amsterdam, “we gotta start pillaging some stuff.” question one: can you get to india through north america? no, but at least there’s beaver. question two: steal the spice trade. that’s not a question but the dutch did it anyway. sugar. guess where all the sugar’s made? in brazil. stolen! in the carribean, and it’s so goddamn profitable you might forget to not do slavery. the next thing on russia’s to-do list is to get bigger. britain and france are having a friendly discussion about who should control the entire world, more specifically, ohio. then it escalates into a seven year discussion, giving prussia a chance to show austria who’s boss. but what about britain and france, did they figure out who’s boss? yes they did, it’s britain. guess who’s broke? also britain. so they start taxing the hell out of america.

“fuck you,” says america, declaring their independence, and fighting for it. france helps them win, now france is broke. and britain will have to send their prisoners to a different continent. wait if france is broke, why do the king and queen still wear such fancy dresses? “let’s overthrow the palace and cut all their heads off!” said robespierre, cutting everybody’s head off until someone eventually got mad and cut his head off. you could make a reli- no don’t. haiti is starting to like the idea of a revolution, especially the slaves, who free themselves by killing their masters. “why didn’t we think of this before?” wait, who’s in charge of france now? “me,” said napoleon, trying to take over europe. luckily, they banished him to an island. but he came back. luckily, they banished him to another island. there goes latin america, becoming independent in the latin america wars of independence. britain just figured out how to turn steam into power, so now they can make many different types of machines and factories with machines in them so they can make a lot of products real fast. then they invent some trains, and conquer india and maybe put some trains there. “hey china,” said britain, “buy stuff from us.” “nah, dude we already got everything,” says china. so britain tried to get them addicted to opium, which worked actually, but then china made it illegal and dumped it all into the sea. so britain threw a hissy-fit and made them open up five cities and give them an island. britain and russia are playing a game where they try to stop each other from conquering afganistan. also the sultan of oman lives in zanzibar now, that’s just where he lives. india had a revolution, and they would like to govern themselves now. “nope,” said britain, governing them even harder than before. technology is about to go crazy. the united states finally figured out whether slavery is good or bad. “it’s bad,” they decided. and then they continued manifesting their destiny, which is to kill the rest of the natives and take their land, and maybe kick out the mexicans too. “i know, let’s rape africa,” said europe, scrambling to see who could rape it the fastest. they never got ethiopia.  britain and france are still hungry. they never got thailand. the united states ran out of destiny to manifest, so they’re looking for more. hawaii. cuba. wait spain controls cuba. “well, blame something on them and go to war! what should we blame on them? let’s blame the maine on spain!” so they blame the maine on spain. now we’re in business. to celebrate, they kick panama out of panama and make a canal, connecting the two oceans. britain just found oil in the middle east. it makes cars go. china is so tired of being bossed around that they delete their old government and make a new stronger government, which is accidentally weaker and controlled by a guy from the previous government. europe hasn’t had a war since the last war, so they start world war one. look at those guns. it’s gonna be a great war, so great we won’t need a second one. after it’s over, they blame germany. russia went on strike and the workers overthrew the government. now everyone’s paycheck is the same. communism, in the soviet union. the arabs revolt, and britain helps. now the ottoman empire is gone, so we can give the jewish people a place to live. hopefully the arabs won’t mind. “let’s cut the cake,” said sykes and picot, carving up the remains of the not-so-ottoman-anymore empire. except turkey, turkey makes a brand new turkey. and then the saudis conquer arabia. it just seemed like the right thing to do. hello? yes, it’s the 1920s calling. let’s get in a car and drive to a party and listen to the jazz on the radio and go to the movies. the economy’s great and it’ll probably be great forever. just kidding. germany’s back, featuring hitler, the angry mustache model. he’s mad at the jews for existing. japan is finally conquering the east, and they’re so excited they rape nanking way too hard. they should probably just deny it. hitler’s out of control, so the international community tackles him and tries to explain to him why killing all the jews is a bad idea, but he kills himself before they could explain it to him. that’s world war two. bonus round: pacific showdown, united states versus japan. fight! finish him. let’s unite all the nations and have some world peace. seems legit. “hi i’m gandhi and if britain doesn’t get the hell out of india i’m going to starve myself in public. wow, that worked?” bonus: now there’s pakistan. actually two pakistans. one of them can be bangladesh later. the jews and the arabs finally figured out which one of them should live in the holy land. “me”, they both said at the same time. “let’s divide up the land so everyone’s happy.” sike! they both get angrier. look out china, there’s a new china in china. what’s on the menu? communism! “no thanks,” said the other china, escaping to an island. i wonder which one is the real china. there’s the korean war, korea versus korea, nobody wins, then it’s on pause forever. let’s meet the sponsors. oh, it’s the two global superpowers. they’re having a friendly debate over which economic system is good and which is an evil virus of satan. and they both have atom bombs. fight! wait no that would be the end of the world. let’s just keep it cool and spy on each other instead. and make sure we have enough atom bombs. “i’ll race you to space. now let’s make some more countries fight themselves.” europe is tired of pillaging other continents, so the continents they were pillaging are tired of being pillaged. so here’s a new map, with new countries. now you can’t tell who they’re being pillaged by. the united states finally decided whether racism is good or bad. they decided it’s bad, and the world agrees. south africa might need another minute to think about it. let’s check the world population. woah. okay. technology’s better too, that might keep happening. the soviet union decides to relax a little and accidentally falls apart. europe makes a union, so now they can all use the same money; except britain because they don’t feel like it. let’s check the mail. surprise! it’s on the computer! whoops, someone just attacked america, i bet they’ll remember that. phone call, surprise, it’s in your pocket! wanna learn everything? surprise, it’s on the computer! now your phone’s a computer, which is in your pocket. whoops, the economy just crashed. don’t worry, the big banks won’t fail, because they’re not supposed to. surprise, flying robots! with bombs. wanna print a brain? some people have no friends. some people have no food. the globe is warming, and the ocean is full of plastic. “let’s save the planet,” said everybody, not knowing how. “let’s invent a thing inventor,” said the thing inventor inventor, after being invented by a thing inventor. that’s pretty cool. by the way, where the hell are we?

The Signs & Shrek Quotes

Shrek (2001) Edition

Aries: “Some of you may die, but that is a sacrifice I am willing to make.”
Taurus: “We can stay up late, swapping manly stories, and in the morning, I’m making waffles!”
Gemini: “That must be Lord Farquaad’s castle… Do you think he’s maybe compensating for something?”
Cancer:  “[hiding in the toilet] Go away!”
Leo: “All right, I hope you heard that? She called me a ‘noble steed.’ She thinks I’m a steed.”
Virgo: “I just know, before this is over, I’m gonna need a whole lot of serious therapy. Look at my eye twitchin’.”
Libra: “By night one way, by day another / Thus shall be the norm / Till you receive true love’s kiss / Then, take love’s true form.”
Scorpio: “Now really, it’s rude enough being alive when no one wants you, but showing up uninvited to a wedding?”
Sagittarius: “Wow! Only a TRUE friend would be that cruelly honest!”
Capricorn: “I’m not the monster here, YOU are! You and the rest of that fairytale trash, poisoning my perfect world…”
Aquarius: “I live in a swamp! I put up signs! I’m a terrifying ogre! What do I have to do to get a little privacy?”
Pisces: “You can’t do this to me, Shrek, I’m too young for you to die! Keep your feet elevated! Turn your head and cough! Does anybody know the Heimlich…?”

When a human dies, another parallax world is created where this human continues to live as they didn’t die, in this world, they can remember their death from the previous world but no one would believe them.

The Signs

Fiery and fiercely passionate, she wears a steel armor and her horns always aim ready for battle. Forever taking charge and continuously looking for dynamic and competition. Driven by avidity and born a fearless leader, she bares a pure and almost childlike soul; untainted & unafraid.


Uncompromisingly stubborn with a strong willed character, great perseverance and determination. She has a hot and fiery temper, and will unleash it when pushed to her limits. Even so, she loves anything that excites her senses. Controlled by inner serenity and a powerful sense of stability, she is & always will be a force to be reckoned with.


Recognized by her contradictory nature, her mind is always alternating between logic and absurdity. She’s a combination of high intelligence, wit, and eloquence. Forever battling mystical forces of left and right; she’ll mirror your best and worst parts and show you things you never knew you needed to see.


She is the tide, the gentle glow of the moon, the waves crashing on the shore. She feels everything deeply, even though she doesn’t like to show it. Her shell may be hard and at times unbreakable but it is forever guarding her tender soul. Surely it is harder to break something soft rather than rigid. You touch her and she is far more real than anything you have ever felt before. Cosmic particles of moon dust line her veins. For she is like the moon, you’ll see her with a new face every day.


You can usually pick her out from a crowd – she’s the one with the loudest laugh, the brightest smile, and the most confident strut of them all. Her hair is a mane made of gold, and her skin glows like a sunset. She is an alpha, a lioness, a leader and a warrior. She may appear soft like a daydream, but she has a never ending inferno burning inside her.


She personifies innocence, purity and justice. Her earthly nature makes her exceedingly clever and analytical. All that is beautiful to her erupts in subtle, though magnificent spectacle. She’s a maiden & belongs to the pristine; always striving to bring order out of chaos.


Her charming personality is praiseworthy, her voice melodious, her heart just. To truly understand her, you must understand the riddle of the scales; forever balancing thoughts and emotions. She is a flower with hidden thorns & without her, life simply wouldn’t be as fair.


It’s all in her penetrating stare. Dark and calculating, her eyes are foreboding yet hypnotic. Powerful, passionate and intuitive. She wears strength and darkness equally well; half goddess, half hell. Nevertheless, she is divine, and in her eyes is where your soul is revealed.


She’s a restless wanderer; always hunting for new ideas and experiences. Her arrow symbolizes her desire for direction and a higher purpose. She’s the maven of adventure, the learned healer whose higher intelligence forms a bridge between heaven and earth.


Her determination is admirable, her self-containment powerful. She’s concrete, ambitious and in charge. Always leading loyally and achieving relentlessly. No mountain is high enough for her to climb, and her love is as stable as the earth.


She’s a mad scientist in her lab, inventing and creating night and day. Her rapid influx of thoughts and subsequent surprising actions make her unpredictable and rebellious. Anarchy is her specialty. Forever fighting valiantly for the soul of the world, she pours forth her wisdom and equilibrates your mind. She is dazzling and terrifying; those words are not as removed from one another as you may think. Always seeing a thin line between genius and insanity. She lives in the future and who she is comes in waves.


Ethereal, and deeply mysterious.
Her mind swims at a depth most would drown in. She’s always floating in opposite directions, this represents her soul’s duality. She is the ultimate enchantress & her heart is an ocean of emotion; always dreaming of realms that only she may enter.


!CREDITS! to the incredibly gorgeous Aquarius model:  Setareh Hosseini

A photo shoot like this is absolutely on my bucket list now!

Some fun questions for the Supergirl Comic-Con panel (mainly for the producers / writers)
  1. Why did you replace James, a kind and respectful black man, with Mon-El, a white slave-owner, as a love interest, especially after spending the entire first season building up the relationship between Kara and James?
  2. The relationship between Kara and Mon-El has shown obvious signs of abuse with Mon-El exhibiting extreme jealousy, yelling at and humiliating Kara at the DEO, undermining her constantly and attempting to guilt-trip her when she broke up with him. Why do you continue to promote this relationship as healthy and romantic?
  3. Supergirl is supposedly a feminist show centered around female empowerment, so why was Kara’s entire arc in Season 2 centered entirely around her male love interest instead, with her career, her development as a superhero and her previously highly important relationships (with Alex, James, J’onn) sidelined completely?
  4. Why did you promote episode 2x13 as Sanvers-centric when in reality the relationship between Alex and Maggie barely got 5 or 6 minutes of screentime? Why was Maggie’s traumatic coming out experience never addressed properly, let alone respected by the other characters?
  5. What was the point of turning Maggie into a cheater? Why did she receive more backlash for it in-universe than Mon-El had for being a slave-owner and lying about his past to Kara and admitting to never actually intending to come clean about his past?
  6. Season 2 has prided itself on its great work for LGBT representation, but why was Sanvers only given the bare minimum of screentime and never allowed the same amount of both casual and overt intimacy on screen as the straight couples (even the rather irrelevant Winn/Lyra pair)? 
  7. Why do you keep portraying Kara’s work as a superhero as brawn over brains, when she was shown a great number of times in Season 1 to be highly empathetic, trying to talk down her adversaries before engaging in combat?
  8. The bond between Kara and Alex has been established to be the strongest relationship on the show in Season 1, so why did you keep undermining it in Season 2, having their romantic interests replace them in each other’s lives? In what world would Alex be content to sit in yoga class while there was a bounty on her sister’s head, or let Kara’s ex-boyfriend accompany her comatose sister to an another dimension instead of her?
  9. Why are J’onn’s extensive abilities never used in investigations or in combat, having him dumbed down and sidelined instead?
  10. Lena Luthor has been very clearly shown to be a survivor of emotional abuse, going so far as to have her acknowledge it and confront Lillian about it in the Season 2 finale. She has also been shown to consistently strive to do good and distance herself from her family, and yet the producers have kept teasing that she might turn evil. Don’t you think it’s a disservice to abuse survivors to suggest that no matter how hard they try, they will never be able to overcome their past trauma? 
  11. Season 1 has shown CatCo to be massively influential in shaping the public’s opinion, and yet we have seen little to nothing of it in Season 2 and it’s supposed focus on pro and anti alien sentiments. Will CatCo and Kara’s dayjob regain its significance for the plot in Season 3?
  12. When will we start seeing more of James Olsen again? Why did he have less than a minute of screentime in the finale, never even getting to talk to his old friend Clark? Will we ever see Clark and James discussing James’s decision to take up the Guardian’s mantle?
10

The only thing I’ve ever wanted to do was to help people, because there are a lot of sick people in the world, a lot of people who are struggling and suffering and they’re just not happy. And I used to be one of those people, and I used to wish that my life would end, you know. If I was 20 I’d say ‘Oh I can’t stand to…I don’t know if I’m going to live to be another 20 years, I can’t take another 20 years of what I’ve been through’. And my mom would look at me and say 'Oh I’m so sad to hear you say that, and if you don’t know what it feels like to be happy, you don’t know what you don’t know’. It’s like there’s no hope. But it doesn’t really have to be that way. I just want to make music and I want to do a lot of things that are really going to inspire people, and improve the quality of their lives.

RIP Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes (May 27, 1971 – April 25, 2002)

The 1 Thing Your Scenes MUST HAVE

Sully is a good representation of how I want people to react when enthralled by a story I’ve written:

But more often than not, I get a reaction more like this:

Or at least, I did. I couldn’t understand why my writing produced these less-than-stellar responses. I had meticulously worded every sentence. I’d made sure there were exciting parts. I had parceled out backstory, setting, and exposition so the reader could understand what the heck was going on. So why did eyes glaze over while reading my book? Why did MY eyes glaze over while reading my own work? 

The problem, I finally found out, was that my scenes didn’t turn. 

I was cramming all that exposition in right out of the gate, so the reader knew absolutely everything … which meant there wasn’t anything to find out. The scenes were just tiny chronicles where the main character set out to do something and accomplished it with flying colors. Nothing ever happened that surprised him. And consequently, nothing ever happened to surprise the reader.  

I wasn’t withholding information, and revealing it methodically. 

I wasn’t letting the story spin in new directions. It was always chugging along the straightforward track where I’d dropped my reader.

I wasn’t letting my scenes TURN.

To illustrate what I mean, here’s an example of a great scene with a great turn from a wonderful movie: Beauty and the Beast

*Opening music that makes me want to cry from how beautiful it is*

Beat 1:

“Once upon a time, in a faraway land a young prince lived in a shining castle…” (Action: Apparently the world takes action to make sure this prince lives a cushy existence.)

“Although he had everything his heart desired, the prince was spoiled, selfish, and unkind.” (Reaction: And he acts like a brat anyway.)

Beat 2:

“But then, one winter’s night, and old beggar woman came to the castle and offered a single rose in return for shelter from the bitter cold.” (Action)

“Repulsed by her haggard appearance, the prince sneered at the gift, and turned the old woman away.” (Reaction)

Beat 3:

“But she warned him, not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found within.” (Action)

“And when he dismissed her again …” (Reaction)

Beat 4:

“The old woman’s ugliness melted away to reveal a beautiful enchantress.” (Action)

“The prince tried to apologize …” (Reaction) 


Beat 5:

“But it was too late, for she had seen that there was no love in his heart. And as punishment, she transformed him into a hideous beast and placed a powerful spell on the castle, and all who lived there.” (Action)

“Ashamed of his monstrous form, the beast concealed himself inside his castle, with a magic mirror as his only window to the outside world.” (Reaction)

Beat 6:

“The rose she had offered was truly an enchanted rose, that would bloom until his 21st year. If he could learn to love another, and earn their love in return, by the time the last petal fell, then the spell would be broken. If not, he would be doomed to remain a beast for all time.” (Action)

“As the years passed, he fell into despair, and lost all hope.”  (Reaction)

“For who could ever learn to love a beast?”

Turn: The 6th beat is the turn. The story has spun in a new direction, the direction the WHOLE STORY will motor towards. 

Revelation: There’s the big one of the scene turn, but I love how every action and reaction in this prologue feels like a revelation. Each one feels like it could be a scene on it’s own, but it’s told in a just few words, with beautiful imagery. There’s no fluff in this, nothing unnecessary, everything is perfectly needed. (Sorry, I just really love this opening. I can remember sitting in my little wicker rocking chair when I was four watching this in awe. This movie is one of the reasons I’m story obsessed.)

NOW let’s remove all curiosity and surprise from this scene. 

We’ll take away the atmosphere of “all is not as it seems”, the “seeking and learning significant information” feeling, the sense that we’re climbing to something significant. Instead of withholding and revealing snippets of information, after gradual beat-by-beat escalation of curiosity, we’ll dump all information right away. We’ll take this beautiful scene, and make it distinctly not a scene by removing all traces of a turn.

So! The purpose of this “section” of story is to communicate necessary information. What info? The guy used to be a terrible prince. Someone cursed him to be a beast. His castle and the people who live there are also cursed. He’s got a rose that will bloom until he’s 21. He’s supposed to fall in love with someone and get that person to love him back.  Or he’s going to be a beast forevermore. So, let’s give it a whirl.

Let’s say it opens up on Lumiere and the Beast. They’re just hanging out in the West Wing, the Beast watching the rose sparkle, Lumiere extinguishing and reigniting his left candle/hand for something to do.

LUMIERE: “So Master, it’s been years since you were turned into a beast and the castle staff was turned into objects.”

BEAST: “Yup.”

L: “I wish you hadn’t have upset that enchantress, and been a bit kinder.”

B: “Me too. Don’t know how.”

L: “Now our only hope to return to our human forms, is if you fall in love and get that person to fall in love with you.”

B: *Noncommittal grunt*

L: “Better happen soon, before that last petal on the magical rose falls. When you turn 21, it’s going to fall. And if you haven’t learned to love by then, well, we’re stuck.”

B: “I’m aware." 

L: "Yup.”

B: “Yup.”

Well, that was extraordinarily awful. 

So what about these scenes is different? (Besides one being a work of art and the other being agony in text form.) 

– One withholds information and reveals it slowly, turning the story at the end. 

– One is just an info dump. 

So how can a turn be accomplished?  There are four types of turns: 

– Surprise

– Amplified Curiosity 

– New Insight

– Spin in New Direction

A SURPRISE turn is the difference between what the character expects and what actually happens, surprising them, surprising the reader/audience that is enthralled by your story. A CURIOSITY turn is when a new mystery is presented to the reader, increasing their drive to find out what happens next. An INSIGHT one is when a scene ends by solving a mystery, answering a question that the audience has been wondering about. And a SPIN is just that, a turn that jolts the story into a new unexpected direction.

And how do they work in a scene? 

The turn happens at the end. It’s the point of the scene. Everything’s leading to it. Think of it as the period punctuation mark on the end of the sentence that is your scene. But really your reader is anticipating that turn throughout the scene.
It’s this anticipation and “gradual illumination” that’s crucial to a story turn. This is the wonderful curious feeling that keeps us turning pages. That sense that “all is not as it seems, and if I keep reading I’ll find out the truth.” which is so intoxicating. And this is accomplished with beats, the exchanges of action and reaction, each acting like a escalation on a roller coaster, each increasing anticipation for the drop. 

Turns and revelation anticipation are rather magical when you think about it. They really are (as Robert McKee says) the substance of story. (Or they’re magical to me. I said I was obsessed. Blame this movie!) 

Now I’m going to go watch Beauty and the Beast again.

In the Wake of Scandal

(manga spoilers)

At 3:05 am, Izuku did something he hadn’t done in the last four years.

He logged out of his HeroForum account.

It was a forum he’d stumbled upon back in middle school, on the recommendation of a friend-of-a-friend, and he’d lost four straight nights of sleep that first week digging in deeper and farther to what it offered. He dug until he was commenting on All Might Quirk Theory threads that were three-years-dead, until he made a name for himself almost overnight as an overwhelming bastion of hero trivia.

The forum had only grown in the meantime. It blew up at every skirmish. It tracked hero movements moment by moment, pinning locations and encouraging other members in the area to flock if they could. One time, it was shut down for an entire week when a thirteen year old boy stumbled into villain cross-fire while trying to follow the forum’s pin on the hero Momentum.

The HeroForum was Izuku’s everything for keeping tabs on the world he loved. Even after meeting All Might, even after his acceptance to UA, “MightyBoy64”s presence didn’t falter. In fact, Izuku fantasized about the day that he, as a pro hero, revealed himself to be in charge of the MightBoy64 alias. He fantasized about how loyal fans and avid readers would burst to learn one of the forum’s biggest names had gone pro through UA.

Izuku now tucked those fantasies away in the back of his mind. Embarrassed, or ashamed, or maybe just disgusted.

At 3:05 am, MightyBoy64 logged out. And he would not come back.

Instead Izuku put his phone in his pocket. And he rose from the couch in the Class 1-A dorm living room. He navigated to Shouto Todoroki’s room, and he knocked.  At 3:07 am, Shouto answered.

“Can I come in?” Izuku asked. All the room’s lights were on, a soft glow against the tatami mat flooring.

“Yeah,” Shouto answered. He didn’t ask why.

Izuku walked in, aimless at first, before choosing the wall across from Shouto’s desk and sitting cross-legged on the floor, back leaning against it for support. His phone burned in his pocket.

“I was studying for the English test Monday, but I can’t practice dialogue out loud on my own,” Izuku said. He uncrossed his legs and recrossed them more comfortably. “Are you busy? Want to practice with me?”

Shouto sat down again at his desk. He considered it. “Okay.”

Izuku’s fingers twitched, itched, possessed with the subconscious desire to take his phone back out and consume the HeroForum posts like a starved dog digging into fresh meat. He couldn’t help it. It was in his nature.

Especially as the hero scandal of the decade was unfolding.

Whole forums had crashed under the weight of debate. And HeroForum had swelled to near bursting in the last 12 hours as more and more fans flocked to gossip and argue and pry and wring forth every last drop of information they could about the chaos unfolding in the hero world.

Affairs struck the hero world on occasion. Fights between heroes and reporters, displays of public drunkenness, petit theft, public indecency. Silly yarns of gossip that got hero fans through the day were the norm.

This was the first time a hero had been arrested under the accusation of rampant, violent child-abuse.

This was the first time a scandal had struck a hero whose name was known to every breathing person in Japan.

And this was the second time a #1 ranked hero had fallen. All Might only months prior in a battle that obliterated the last of his power.

And Endeavor now, shackled and jailed under allegations of child abuse, felled by an accusation which had been filed by his own up-and-coming hero son, who stated in his only public address that he just hadn’t ever felt heroic enough before to do what needed to be done.

And the name Shouto Todoroki exploded across every forum site imaginable. Izuku had seen it all. Izuku felt sick to his stomach.

Clips of the televised UA Sports Festival were passed around with fervor, every frame inspected for the sake of passing judgement on Endeavor’s son. Every quirk of Shouto’s eyebrow, every shift of his eyes, every tilt of the head—was it the body language of an abused child? Of a liar? Of an attention-seeker?  Of someone looking to destroy his father and take his place in the public eye?

Fiery callous rants tore away at the character of Shouto Todoroki; others dissected Enji Todoroki, and explained how from the very start the man should have been pegged a monster. Threads hit their post limit. Servers crashed. Fan sites of Endeavor came under storm.

“Midnight’s-Man-X” called it petty for Shouto to accuse the father that he no longer lived with. “AllSuperFan100” lauded it as brave. “HeroMight12” wrote a rant, 13,500 words in length, about how the state of the world could not afford to lose another #1 hero so quickly, given how unstable the environment had only just become, how many more lives may be at risk now, and that it was ultimately selfish for Shouto to rob Japan of its #1 hero so soon after All Might’s fall.

MightyBoy64 tried once, just once, to explain why Shouto had done the right thing. Why letting his father cement his role as the #1 hero would be wrong. Why Enji Todoroki deserved to face justice for what he did, in the face of the overwhelming of evidence against him in the form of Enji’s own meticulously-documented “training plan” which he had put Shouto through.

And Izuku had been too horrified by the replies to try to argue any further. Because all of them, whether agreeing or not, did something vicious to Shouto Todoroki. They reduced him to a character, a prop, a toy to be tossed about and chewed over and twisted in favor their own political view. Shouto Todoroki wasn’t real to these people.

And maybe, if Izuku had never come to UA, Shouto Todoroki wouldn’t have been real to him either.

So he’d logged out, and forced the forums from his mind, and sat now on the smooth ridged tatami matting, his fingers trailing along its bumps. Izuku watched Shouto’s face, his scar thin and stretched at the edges, his cheeks round and soft under the lamplight. His bangs were loose and messy, as though Shouto had been running his fingers through his hair too often lately, and his eyes were lined in a bruising purple, as though he were a real person wrung through the stress of being reduced to a prop at the hands of millions of people.

“…Present Mic said we just need to hold a conversation with him using 20 vocab words from this unit. I’ll start,” Izuku said. He pushed himself higher against the wall, and he breathed in deep, thinking about the English sounds he struggled most to pronounce. “Are you alright, Todoroki-kun?”

Shouto looked at him, silent a moment. Then answered in Japanese, “Isn’t this unit on vacation activities?”

“I’m getting there.” Izuku leaned forward, more heart in his words. “How are you feeling, Todoroki-kun? Aren’t you tired?”

Shouto still hesitated, though not as long this time.

“No. I’m not tired. Are you?”

“No, I’m not. I will stay here with you, and practice English, so we will do well on the test. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?”

Shouto looked down at his desk briefly. Izuku caught a glimpse of papers that looked far too official for UA class notes. His eyes flickered to the laptop open next to them, displaying a blank new tab, though the row of tabs along the top suggested an endless cascade of news articles open on Shouto’s laptop.

Shouto eased the laptop shut, pushed his chair away from his desk, and he stood. He moved to Izuku and lowered himself to the floor, leaning against the wall, until the pent up tension in his shoulders eased, and the back of his head touched the wall, and he breathed deep. His whole body became something smaller, and more child-like, and more relaxed. The exhaustion in his eyes became something just a bit less tense.

“I like chocolate ice cream best, Midoriya-kun. How about you?”

God “gets” you. He “gets” every other person on this earth. He even understands the people who don’t understand you. He even knows why they don’t understand you and He’s working in their lives in ways that you can’t even understand. That’s how deep God’s love goes

And the very hairs on your head are all numbered… - Luke 12:7

The reason this is so important is because we often get discouraged when others don’t “get” us.

Maybe you’ve felt misunderstood by family members and loved ones.

Perhaps you interviewed with a company, but no matter how much enthusiasm and skill you exhibited, they seemed to look right through you.

Maybe you thought you had something special with someone, but they randomly stopped texting or wanting to hang out.

Perhaps you were in a relationship with someone who only cared about what you could offer physically or emotionally, but wasn’t interested in respecting what God was doing in your life.

No matter how many of these kind of experiences you’ve had, remember that if God is truly going to be first in your life, you must consider His thoughts about you first. You must look to Him for affirmation and assurance before you look anywhere else. This is what will help you remain secure when you’ve been misunderstood, looked over, or ignored. Of course, in a perfect world, people would be understanding of one another and you would never have to deal with this, but we don’t live in a perfect world. However, God’s’ perfect love is still powerful enough to cover every ounce of imperfection on this earth.

So you can talk to Him about everything. Talk to Him about every single thing that other people don’t seem to understand about you because He does. If you’re struggling with trusting Him in this, the best way to deal with it is still, to talk to Him! So don’t get so worried about who’s not getting you or what you’re going through. Other people can be very valuable in our lives, but God still knows all and is still in full control!

Written by @morganhnichols for #TheDevoCo

Time is even more important than money. Even as you read this sentence, seconds pass by. There’s one gone… and yet another is about to pass. These moments? They’re now gone forever. You cannot get them back. But if you lost ten dollars, at some point you would. Thus, be careful with how you spend your money, but be even more careful with how you spend your time.
—  Nicole Addison @thepowerwithin
Writer Ask Game
  • 1 : What age-group do you write?
  • 2 : What genre do you write?
  • 3 : Do you outline according to big ideas or small details?
  • 4 : Which do you prefer--line-editing or plot-revisions?
  • 5 : Do you write better with or without deadlines?
  • 6 : What would be the biggest compliment you could hope to receive on your current WIP?
  • 7 : How long is your current WIP?
  • 8 : What author would you be most excited to be compared to?
  • 9 : What do you struggle most with as a writer?
  • 10 : Do you brain-storm story ideas alone or with others?
  • 11 : Do you base your characters off of real people?
  • 12 : Is your writing space clean or cluttered?
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  • 14 : Do you have a favorite writing-related quote?
  • 15 : If you transport your original characters into another author’s world, which world would you choose?
  • 16 : Would your story work better as a movie or tv show? Why?
  • 17 : Do you make soundtracks for each story?
  • 18 : If you could assign your story one song, what would it be?
  • 19 : Would you rather live in your characters’ world, or have your characters come live in our world?
  • 20 : What book would you love to see adapted for the big or small screen?
  • 21 : Do you finish most of the stories you start?
  • 22 : Has your own writing ever made you cry?
  • 23 : Are you proud or anxious to show off your writing?
  • 24 : When did you start considering yourself a writer?
  • 25 : What books are must-reads in your genre?
  • 26 : What would you like to see more of in your genre?
  • 27 : Where do you get inspiration from?
  • 28 : On a scale of 1-10, how much do you stress about choosing character names?
  • 29 : Do you tend to underwrite or overwrite in a first draft?
  • 30 : Does writing calm you down or stress you out?
  • 31 : What trope do you actually like?
  • 32 : Do you give your side-characters extensive backstories?
  • 33 : Do you flesh-out characters before you write, or let their personalities develop over time?
  • 34 : Describe your old writing in one word.
  • 35 : Is it more fun to write villains or heroes?
  • 36 : Do you write with a black and white sense of morality?
  • 37 : What’s one piece of advice you would give to new writers?
  • 38 : What’s one piece of writing advice you try--but fail--to follow?
  • 39 : How important is positive reinforcement to you as a writer?
  • 40 : What would you ask your favorite author if given one question?
  • 41 : Do you find it distracting to read while you’re writing a first draft?
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  • 44 : How do you decide what story idea to work on?
  • 45 : Do you find it harder or easier to write when you’re stressed out?
  • 46 : What Hogwarts house would your protagonist(s) be in?
  • 47 : Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years?
  • 48 : Would you ever co-write?
  • 49 : Are you a fast and rushed writer or a slow and deliberate writer?
  • 50 : Would you rather be remembered for your fantastic world-building or your lifelike characters?

I’ve seen a lot of ideas about humans being on alien ships, and most are like “because of [whatever reason], it would be good if ships had one human on board” and there are a lot of stories that say that there’s only one human on the alien ship. But I don’t think that’s a good idea?? A lot of people have a hard time being a foreign exchange student a country where they don’t speak the language; I don’t think most humans could handle being the only human on an alien ship???? For various reasons, like loneliness/medical issues/etc. Being on an alien ship sounds awesome, but they wouldn’t have any support.

Maybe aliens don’t understand THAT; “Despite being capable enough on their own, humans have to come in groups of 2+ for some reason.”

“Let the humans choose their own groups; their social systems are much more complex, and despite their famous ability to socialize with just about any other species, if two humans ‘don’t get along’, meaning that they cause each other to have unfavorable emotions and occasionally will not cooperate, the result is negative for both the humans and the crew that they reside in.”

Maybe something like this?

The first time humans and the recently-contacted alien species “X”, the first to form an alliance with humans, attempt to team up, everyone realizes that they need to learn more about each other. They decide that should should be a simple exchange of personnel; these crewmen would work simple jobs on each other’s ships and interact with the crew in order to learn more about each other and how to successfully communicate. Both humans and Xs desperately want this to succeed. But, hearing rumors of the humans’ prowess, the X want to minimize any possible casualties, so they suggest that they exchange just one person each at the start; one X heads to the human command ship, and one human heads to the X’s.

Everything begins successfully.

The X on board the human ship is a model worker. It observes, asks questions, and when it doesn’t understand something, many humans surround and brainstorm ideas on how to explain things to it. Throwing out ideas left and right “It’s a bit like seeing color, but it’s invisible, and through the nose-” “No you idiot, it’s like those feel-auras it was talking about, but the nose is the sensory organ for it-” and eventually the X understands. In turn, when contributing ideas not easily understood by humans, it finds that many take this as a challenge, and will not stop bothering the X until they are sure that they understand. But with or without the aid of its new crewmates, the X never seems distressed that it can’t understand or be understood by others.

The human crew quickly notices that the X has not contacted its main ship, or for that matter, anyone else.

“Have you tried talking to your ship?”

“There was no need to try, I already know it won’t work because of conflicting signals.”

“Well, did you need to? Talk to your friends or family or anything? I’m sure I can rig something up if you need to.”

“I have no need to communicate with anyone as of now. Any information that will eventually need to be communicated will be included in my report to the High Command.”

“No, but did you WANT to talk to anyone? Like your family or something, so they know you’re okay? And I mean, I’m sure you must want to talk about how weird we humans are and stuff, right?”

“My family will be notified of my status when I return to the High Command. And all data I gather on humans will be included in my report.”

The X, despite being so far away from home and surrounded by pushy humans, does not seem homesick or lonely at all.

On the X’s ship, the human is enthusiastic and excited to learn new things at first. After all, they’re learning about and interacting with ALIENS; it’s freaking awesome. But it doesn’t take too long for the novelty to wear off and the human to realize that they are truly alone. No one else speaks a human language, or is physically capable of doing so. While translation technology makes communication possible, linguistic differences make both exact or truly accurate translations impossible, so it’s not the same as being able to have a simple chat with friends. And chatting with friends doesn’t come easily; technology between the ships is not compatible, and any communication signals from the human’s own communication device are cancelled out by signals from the Xs’ ship.

The human becomes isolated from all other humans, on board a ship of 200 Xs.

Any difficulty communicating is eventually pushed aside and ignored but the Xs; if the human can’t communicate an idea, and the Xs don’t get it, what can they do? They do not need to understand the human or have the human understand them in order to do their jobs, so there is no point in trying. They understand that this project is important to the alliance, but do not understand how important communication is to humans.

The human has no help from others; several humans asking the same questions might get the idea that communicating certain ideas are important. But there is also no one who could understand them, no one to brainstorm ideas with:

“Now, how do we explain the concept of smell to a species from a planet where no organism has a nose?”

“Oh! My cousin was born without a sense of smell, and we sort of explained things like…”

Any problems communicating human ideas, or understanding X ideas, they face alone.

On that note, the human finds it difficult to to relate with any of the Xs. Xs can socialize fine between each other, but their standards for camaraderie is much different than that of humans. Humans are famous for their ability to empathize with any species, but it is not a two-way street, leaving the human caring about their new ship-mates with little care for themselves in return. They do not put more effort in helping the human understand, nor do they go out of their way to interact with the human outside of work situations. The human knows that it is not the fault of the Xs, that this is just the way Xs are, but they can’t help but begin to feel unappreciated, unwanted, and depressed.

Having long-since passed simple homesickness and culture shock, the human just wants desperately to talk to another human. It wouldn’t have to be anyone from the same country, or someone from the same field of work, or heck, even someone who spoke the same language. Even humans who can’t understand each other’s words can have get an idea from hand gestures, and historically, people who speak different languages that live in proximity to each other develop new dialects or learn to understand each others spoken language to communicate. Even with an age gap, they’ve lived during some of the same world events; they could find something to relate to each other. Another human would understand how strange X biology is compared to human biology, right? Another human could make jokes, laugh at the new, awesome, and weird things that they encounter. Another human could confirm that their feelings were real, right?

Humans are biologically engineered for socialization after all. Their species survived and evolved over hundreds of thousands of years because of their social nature. Xs understand this, and have heard that humans occasionally might have special needs like extraneous physical contact, but do not understand the implications. That this made humans biologically dependent on socialization for survival. That humans’ mental, emotional, and eventually even physical states can deteriorate without affection from friends and family.

And so the human gets ill.

Not quite used to human physicality in general or variation in physicality between individuals, and after hearing the legendary stories of humans surviving seemingly impossible situations, the Xs work their human crewmate hard. The human, already emotionally exhausted from isolation, easily gets physically exhausted. They contract an illness not unlike the common cold, though it couldn’t be given that their current location does not have any traces of the virus. With proper rest, and maybe more chances to chat with some friends back on the command ship, would help the human immensely. But the human, in their emotional and physical distress, can not communicate the idea that yes, humans can recover from illness like this without 5 different medicines. That talking to loved ones, or someone, anyone, would do more than just make them happy but give them the emotional will to make them physically well. There are no other humans around to explain human medical issues, or to provide a cool cloth for their fever, or to talk to while they’re sick in bed and unable to work, or…

The Xs change course and modify their signals in order to send a message to the human command ship and inform them that the human has fallen ill. Afraid of retaliation and wanting to ensure good faith, they request a strategy, asking what needs to be done in this situation. The human ship responds; the X on their ship has recently fallen ill as well. Xs do not have the hardy immune system that humans do, and while precautions were taken, it still caught a cold. The decision to return the crewmates to their home ships is made. The information that they managed to gather during their exchange this time will be used for a more successful future exchange and other interactions in the future.

The X suggests to their commanders more precautions regarding illnesses, and also advises any future volunteers to talk as much as possible to the other humans; they love interaction, learning, and teaching.

The human suggests that a special channel be created for easy communication, and makes only one demand; it doesn’t matter what the other species demands, don’t you dare let anyone go alone, ever again.

Submitted By: @bluemichikosan