babies are complicated

Creating Dynamic Characters That Feel Real

Despite what people may have led you to believe, the plot or structure is not the most important thing about your story–whether it’s a screenplay, short story, novel. That’s not what makes the story real and important. That’s not why your readers care.

Characters are the most important part of your story. Without them, you have nothing. Your story is nothing.

If you want your readers to find your story complex, compelling, and dynamic, then your characters have to be complex, compelling, and dynamic. You’re thinking, “Oh, that’s easy. I’ve already done that.” Your babies are complicated. They’re beautiful but damaged. Intelligent but socially awkward. They want to be an astronaut; they want to save the world.

Sorry, but you’re full of shit.

Characters aren’t just characters, they’re real people, even if they only exist in ink and paper and your mind rather than in flesh and blood. They need to be as real to your readers as their mother, father, best friend, the person sitting next to them. Otherwise, you have failed. Flesh them out, bring them to life on the page.

Your characters are the heart and soul of your story, and you need to treat them as such. That is your job as a writer. And when you don’t do that, you not only fail your readers and your story, you not only do yourself a great disservice, but you also expose yourself. You reveal something to your readers that you don’t want them to know. As Claudia Hunter Johnson says in her book, Crafting Short Screenplays That Connect (which is an excellent book I recommend you all read), character creation is “an artistic and ethical issue.”

Repeat after me: It is an artistic and ethical issue.

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SKETCHY BEHAVIORS | Heather Benjamin (RH)

Through her dense and detailed packed line drawings to her more focused ink brush pieces, Rhode Island based artist Heather Benjamin’s work is visceral, cathartic, and autobiographical. It offers a completely unapologetic and unflinching look into an artists’ own struggles with life, body image, self confidence, and sexuality.  We find her and her art to be inspirational, honest and badass.

We recently ran into Heather at her booth at the LA Art Book Fair and caught up with her a few months later to ask about her art, her experiences at RISD, her influences, and her thoughts about her work and her life. 

Photographs courtesy of the artist.

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I know I’ve been incredibly absent in this community (and with a newborn, will probably continue to be for a while)

We lost my grandma on March 23rd from a fall down the stairs. She broke her neck and back in several places and was paralyzed from the neck down. She could not breathe on her own and was put on a ventilator but she was very much conscious and able to communicate through nods and mouthing words.

She chose to have the ventilator removed.

We all stood around her bed and shared our most cherished memories as she drifted off to sleep with a smile on her face and then passed quietly away.

The same weekend, I started to notice swelling in my feet and hands, normal for pregnancy but yet abnormal for me, as I hadn’t swelled much this entire pregnancy. My blood pressure started to elevate, and due to my chronic hypertension, we had expected a rise during the third trimester anyway. I saw my doctor the morning before the funeral and she said we would keep an eye on my pressures, and if they continued to be elevated I would have to go to the hospital.

To shorten this up, I made two trips to the hospital in one week and had one overnight stay which included two steroid shots to strengthen babies lungs in case of premature delivery. After observation they let me go with an increase in meds and weekly lab work orders.

Fast forward to my first week of lab work to be done, they found protein in my urine and my blood pressure had elevated yet again even with the increase in medication. They admitted me on the spot and pitocin and magnesium were running through an IV in my hand within two hours.

After 37 hours, three epidural boluses due to back labor pains (HOLY SHIT, LET ME TELL YOU), and about 20 minutes of pushing, Piper was born at 34 weeks and 1 day.

She was whisked away to the NICU due to shallow breathing (from the magnesium, mostly) and put on oxygen and an IV. Over the course of the next couple days she cleared her system of the excess magnesium, fought a rising bilirubin levels, and learned to feed from a bottle with my pumped breast milk. She is currently still in the NICU as of April 14th, because she has to learn to pace herself while feeding. She gets overzealous and forgets to breathe during her meals. Hopefully she’ll get the hang of it soon, I can’t wait to bring her home.

I was in the hospital until late on the 13th, as my blood pressure went all sorts of wacky after the birth. I was reading anywhere between 114/76 to 175/104. We finally have it under control after upping doses, adding a med, and messing with dose timing.

It’s been quite the journey but my heart is now outside my body and in that little girl. I’ve never known a love like this.

Welcome to the world, Piper Lois.

In loving memory of Patricia Lois, 1936-2017

Upsides to having a daemon:

  • always have someone to talk to who will get all your references and inside jokes
  • So much snuggling potential. And every time you’re in the mood for snuggling they will also be in the mood for snuggling because they’re you. 
  • ~*~insight into yourself~*~
  • they might be able to help m otivate you to do things because they could be that part of your brain that’s like “no I’ m not going on tumblr I have to do work,” only with like, a voice, and stuff. Although now that I think about it they could also be that part that’s like “fuck this noise let’s tumblr up in here” so maybe that’s a neutral. 
  • If you’re a kid they could turn into a goat to do the goat part of I Knew You Were Trouble
  • You’re never alone

Downsides to having a daemon: 

  • Okay so what if your daemon settles as like a pigeon or something. And then you have a baby at some point, right? And kids’ daemons can change shape so what if the baby’s daemon was like “I’m going to be a motherfucking tiger” and so this tiger daemon is  running around the living room and you can’t touch it because you don’t touch other peoples’ daemons but your daemon can’t stop it because it’s a motherfucking pigeon you see what I’m getting at here
  • what if it settled as an elephant people would make so many elephant in the room jokes

Well hello @mizjoely!😉 I love this, thanks! And I even did a bit of research. (Sherlock would be proud lol) And just FYI this is setup as non-established sherlolly. 

“But I always try to get the 800 thread count,” Molly argued weakly. “Doesn’t that mean it’s good?”

“Oh, Molly,” Sherlock drawled with a low chuckle. “Come with me.”

He spoke authoritatively as they walked down his hallway. “Thread count alone is hardly an indicator of quality. The fiber content, weave, and even where it’s made are just as important, if not more so. Personally, I only buy 800 thread count, sateen weave, organic pima cotton sheets from Italy. That is quality.” He stopped at his bed and gestured to it. “Go on, try it.”

“What…now?” She frowned, looking back and forth between him and the bed.

“You won’t regret it,” he stated confidently.

Hesitantly at first, Molly climbed under the blankets and lay back against the pillow which, not surprisingly to him, produced a sigh from her lips.

“My God,” she breathed and looked at him wide eyed. “Is this made of pima cotton or melted butter?!”

Sherlock stood by and grinned as she continued to make herself comfortable. Oh yes, he thought to himself, bringing up the subject of how to choose quality bedding was definitely a good idea. 

I was avoiding ships in the new generation because I wanted to focus only on Sarada and how beautiful she is without a boyfriend, but lately Shikadai x Sarada is flooding my head. Please tell me you don’t think they would be very interesting together.

Simple Things

by @lydiamartenism

Sansa slipped into the house, closing the front door as gently as possible before slipping her nursing shoes off next to the bench in the foyer. She hung up her coat and tiptoed carefully from the foyer to the stairs.

 She eased the first door open to peek in on Lyarra, their precious 18-month old daughter. She was sleeping peacefully in her crib and Sansa eased the door shut before easing down the hallway to hers and her husband bedroom. Ghost and Lady, their Alaskan Malamutes, were sleeping on their beds at the foot of the bed and the sound of their tails against the carpet was the only indication they registered her presence. She slipped into the bedroom and stripped out of her scrubs. She traded them and her bra for her favorite t-shirt of her husband’s. She piled her hair into a messy bun on the top of her head and washed the make-up and grime from her face in their bathroom. Sansa climbed gently into the bed and lay down next to her husband. Jon rolled over towards her and pulled her by the waist against his chest. Cuddling with him was the only way she slept well nowadays. She smiled and reached out to turn the monitor volume up a little before closing her eyes to catch a few hours of sleep.

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I needed to draw the threesome huggles.

Continuation of this Android!Baymax AU.  Gave Tadashi a matching coat that Hiro probably made for him, ‘cause he’s a little shit like that and Tadashi plays along.

This Woman’s Work: Tom Holland x Reader

Based on the song (flawlessly) performed by singer Maxwell. Inspired by @cocosierra94 hyping me up to write this under this pic of Tom holding a baby😭

Reader has complications during what’s supposed to be a normal childbirth and has to fight for her life. 

Warnings: Angst, Hella Sadness, Death (???)

Words: 2k and some change. 

You can take a quick listen here (highly recommend that you listen if you want to cry😂)

It’s not supposed to happen like this, Tom thought as tears streamed down his face. He sat in the private waiting room with both of your families. He let out a loud sob and his mother rested his head on her shoulder. “She’s going to make it.” She kept repeating that to her son whose mind explored what he could’ve done better as a husband as you fought for you and your unborn baby girl’s life.


“Are you nervous?” You joked as he drove to the hospital. “Me, I’m not the one giving birth.” He said. “Well by the way your gripping that steering wheel I would say you were.” You laughed and then winced once you felt a contraction. He jerked his head to look at you, “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, just the contractions.” You rubbed your stomach and smiled, “I can’t wait for her.” He nodded, “She’s going to be perfect.” He said loosening his grip from the steering wheel and took your hand. He pulled up to the hospital and ran to alert the staff.

You were wheeled to your room and made comfortable, “everyone’s on the way.” Tom said looking up from his phone. “Calm down baby.” You laughed taking in his anxious demeanor. “I-I’m fine.” He shrugged, taking a seat beside the bed. Six hours had passed and all of your family had been in the room to see you. “You two are going to be great parents.” Mrs. Holland gushed grabbing your hand. After a chatting for a while, you felt a fire shoot through your lower body. You let out an agonizing scream and Tom jumped up, “Are you okay love?”

“The contractions are getting closer.” You breathed. “I’ll go get the doctor.” His parents walked out of the room t o get your OB/GYN. The doctor came in and smiled, “So how are we doing?”

“They’re closer.” Tom answered. She put on her gloves and checked you, “You’re not dilated yet so we’ll give you the epidural and then let the magic happen.”

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