be your own bird

Tips On How to Write Characters with Wings (For both fanfic writers and original content writers)

So I’ve been reading a lot of fics lately where people are either

A) Putting wings onto canon characters

B) Making OCs with wings

So I decided that, with the influx of people who are writing winged characters (and therefore the influx of errors that come with writing winged characters), I’d make a little thing to help you slap a pair of wings onto anyone!

This is also a bit personal, too, because the MC in my upcoming novel has wings!

1. Know that there are a lot of types of wings to choose from

Part of being a writer is the desire to take something (whether it be a pre-existing work or an idea in your head) and make it into your own. So, instead of just going with the classic bird wings, why not spice it up a bit? If your character is an angel, you certainly don’t have to stick to the classic depictions of angel wings. Why not give them butterfly wings or dragonfly wings?

Here’s a small list of different types of wings to choose from:

  • Bat wings
  • Beetle wings
  • Bird wings
  • Butterfly/Moth wings
  • Dragonfly wings

Note that these wings are for animals who can fly. There are also animals who can “fly” that actually glide, such as sugar gliders and flying squirrels.

Yeah, so the options are pretty limited, but feel free to make up your own kinds of wings that aren’t necessarily based on a pre-existing creature’s wings!

2. Be familiar with the anatomy of your character’s wings and their limits

If your wings are completely unique, draw them out. A diagram or picture is key when it comes to things like description. I’m not gonna tell you what everything does and give you Animal Wing Anatomy 101, that’s for you to research. Know that there are different types of wings and that they have different uses, strengths, and weaknesses.

3. Never use the full extent of your research! 

Surprise, surprise!

“But wait, Maddy!” you cry, writing utensil in hand and poised to stab me. “I thought we were supposed to were supposed to show our research!”

Well, you are. Technically that’s not wrong. But, readers don’t want to know ALL of it. Over-described wings are sometimes worse than under-described wings; what sucks more than not knowing what a character’s wings look like is having to look up wing anatomy in the middle of the chapter!

Only use the most basic of vocabulary when it comes to describing the parts of the wing. Most of the time, you just have to say “bat wing” or “feathery wing” and the readers get the basic idea. (Like seriously, do you think the readers know what a dactylopatagium brevis is????? It’s a part of skin on a bat’s wing btw)

4. Don’t bring your character’s wings up only when they’re needed!!!!

Unless your character’s wings can fade away when they’re not needed, wings are a 100% real, 24/7 thing! It’s bothersome when writers mention the wings in one chapter and then only bring them up when there’s a daring escape that needs to be performed! Most of the time, I forget that the characters even have wings at all!

There is also the fact that wings aren’t all pros and no cons. If they’re functional, they’re probably big, and if they’re muscular, they’re probably bulky. If your character is clumsy, they’ll probably knock things over constantly, and if they’re not clumsy, they’ll still knock things over constantly.

Your wings are two (or four, or five, or six quintillion) extra appendages; they’re a part of your character! You don’t have to spend every second reminding the readers that they’re there, but don’t go long stretches of time without even mentioning them.

5. Your character’s wings can be a good way to indicate their mood or to provide for that little bit of description that you think you make be lacking

Why wouldn’t you want to describe the wings? I mean, you don’t want to describe every minute detail over and over again, but it’ll boost your word count a lot more than you think. They can also be used to convey your character’s feelings without explicitly telling the reader! It’s like a new set of facial expressions!

See? You can tell he’s wary and ready to fight from the movement of his wings! Also he’s crouching next to a dead body but that’s not relevant right now

Here’s a list of wing language (?) that you can incorporate into your story that will not only increase your word count, but will also add to the sustenance of your story!

Nervous

  • Twitch
  • Flutter
  • Ripple
  • Fold tightly
  • Fidget
  • Flap

Angry

  • Flare
  • Bristle
  • Fluff up
  • Ripple
  • Beat
  • Raise up
  • Snap open

Happy

  • Flutter
  • Curl up
  • Ripple
  • Wave
  • Flap
During Battle
  • Bludgeon
  • Smack
  • Bat
  • Clout
  • Whack
  • Kick someone’s legs out from under them
  • Snap someones neck (only for muscular wings like bat and bird wings)
Problems that may come with having wings
  • Poke out from under blankets and let all of the cold air in
  • Stepped on
  • Get pins and needles from being folded for too long
  • Squashed on chairs/ in beds/ in crowded hallways
  • Vulnerable in battle
  • Molting (for bird wings)

Hope this helped!!!

Things People Don’t Tell You about Pet Birds

Here’s a list of things nobody told me before I got my bird.  You’re welcome to fact check and add your own experiences!  I hope this helps someone!

Possibly disturbing images of animal neglect below.

NEVER get a pet bird who lives alone a mirror for their cage.  They can choose their own reflection as a mate, which needless to say isn’t healthy and can be extremely sexually frustrating.  It’s much healthier to get even small birds foraging toys to entertain them.

BAD!

GOOD!

ALL birds need lots of social interaction if they’re going to remain mentally healthy!  This is especially important for birds that live in large groups in the wild like cockatoos, finches, and parakeets, but also true for “loner” birds like Senegals and African Greys.  Without the proper social interactions (hours a day with people or other birds) birds can get bored and pick up destructive habits like feather pulling, biting, and screaming, and even develop mental illnesses like depression or anxiety.  Yes, even parakeets.

Feather pulling removes a bird’s main way of staying warm, which can lead to life threatening things like hypothermia.

Parrot’s body temperatures are around 103 degrees Fahrenheit, much higher than humans, and largely thermoregulate through their feet.  Because of that and their small body size, they can get hyper or hypothermia fairly easily when compared to humans.  In hot months it’s important to provide them with a shallow dish of water they can cool off in, and in cold months, a heating pad or perch they can sit on to keep warm.  Parrots do best in a stable, relatively warm environment; while they can take slight changes, drastic changes in temperature can be very detrimental. Non-tropical/arid birds are a bit different from what I hear, so can’t really talk about them.

Parrot beaks constantly grow, so it’s important to provide lots of chewing fodder (I like to call them sacrifices) for your parrot to chew on or get their beaks trimmed by a professional.  

These can be hard calcium treats, wood, and other natural materials.  Some can be plastic but I wouldn’t recommend those as they can be swallowed and impede digestion or become a choking hazard.

Birds are prey animals!  They’re typically very nervous because they’ve been hardwired for centuries to be on the lookout for things that want to eat them.  They’ll get nervous around new things, strange noises, and new people.  They can learn to overcome some fears by careful desensitization, lots of social interaction, and a calm, careful owner.  It’s VERY important to keep them away from predatory animals (dogs, cats, etc.), as it can cause unnecessary stress on the animals.  If they absolutely have to interact, do so in a controlled environment and with one or both in separate carriers, cages, or pens.  Know your animals, pay careful attention to their body language, and be prepared to step in if either looks stressed or aggressive.

My parrot Apollo meeting my friend’s cat, the right way.

Just like humans, birds have dietary needs that must be met if they’re to remain healthy.  A few of the most important are Vitamin D (sunlight!), calcium (especially important in hens), and protein (required to grow healthy beaks, claws, and feathers).  The easiest ways to take care of the first two is to provide your bird with lots of sunlight (direct or indirect depends on the bird) and a constant supply of cuttlebones or calcium treats.  There are several different diet plans out there for all kinds of birds, but all agree that birds CANNOT live off nothing but seeds.  This can cause fatty liver disease and early death, even in otherwise healthy birds.  All parrots are usually fed a diet of pellets, fruits, and vegetables, but the ratios really depend on who you ask.

Here’s a few food pyramids for parrots:

Birds absolutely CANNOT be fed:

  • Avocados
  • Caffeine
  • Chocolate
  • Any greasy, salty chips/popcorn or any processed “human food” 
  • Dairy
  • Alcohol (I shouldn’t have to say this)
  • Apple seeds
  • Feel free to add on

Before you feed your bird ANYTHING, please look it up and make sure it’s safe!

Parrot Nutrition;

Why is an all dried seed/dried millet sprays bad for my bird?
- Commercially bought seed mixes are high in fat and made of little nutritional value.
- Millet sprays offer less fat than other seeds like sunflower but the nutritional value is decreased.

In the wild, parrots like budgies eat seeds in the form of sprouts - still green with a high nutritional value - along with other types of food.

Feeding your parrots seeds is okay as an occasional dietary enrichment option, not as a whole food diet.

What’s the better alternative to dried millet sprays?

As, in the picture above, you can grow white millet in your backyard. (Not all these plants are millet.) Here there are some barley, oatrye, canary grass seed, all from a commercial birdseed mix.

Lentil sprouts are the highest form of nutrients (quality protein, approximately 24 % protein. Folic acid, C, E, iron, phosphorus, potassium.) but require soaking (4-12 hours) and 3-5 days to sprout which can be then given to your bird.

Alternatively they will grow just as well in an indoor pot provided there is access to sun and daily water.
They all generally take around 60 - 75 days to mature and are hardy growers so any pot mix will do but soil high in nitrate is slightly better.
Once they are mature and green you can offer a variety of these seeds to your birds while they are still green or just off colour dried wheaty-green. Their nutritional value is higher then that of dried seeds and your pet parrot will find them irresistible.

I’ve had bird on all seed diets favour them over the dried seeds, so this is also a good alternative to converting your parrots onto leafy green veg diet. You can then apply this technique to transfer your birds onto a varied veg diet.

kogumasden  asked:

First, lemme say that I love your art <3 I'm not talking shit, I do like it, seriously. Mind if I ask you for any tips for learning how to draw dragons, specially heads? I've been trying to learn those bastards, and I thought that looking at real lizards would be helpful, but a dragon skull and a lizard skull don't quite match if you know what I mean. Thank you in advance!

Yeah definitely! The good thing about dragons is they’re complete fantasy, so you can push the anatomy pretty far and draw your inspiration from practically anywhere. Reptiles, birds, bats, mammals. 

BUT it’s easier to create your own believable anatomy when you’re comfortable and familiar with drawing anatomy for other animals. A strong understanding of anatomy will carry you a long way. Being able to mentally conceptualize your design in 3D helps too.

I really enjoy looking at dinosaurs for dragon facial inspiration. Bats and birds are great for wings and musculature but I don’t have time to get into that.

Dragons are fun because you can design such unusual and striking silhouettes for them.

The best thing about dragons is you can draw them as alien or as terran as you want. Take your inspiration from anywhere, go wild! There’s absolutely no set form to stick to.

  • Spring aroace: clear umbrellas and a soft drizzle of rain. Puddles to jump and softly splash in. A quite walk on your own listening to the first birds of spring. The smell of fresh earth being dug up for planting. Blue birds and Robins and the bright green of newly sprouted plants waking up for a long winter.
  • Summer aroace: camping in the mountains with a handful of close friends. going fishing in a small shaded stream and releasing everything you catch. Early morning dew and sightings of deer and fawn. Catching fireflies and laughing when they slip through your fingers. Laying out on a rough blanket with your friends and drawing new constellations until the campfire burns low.
  • Fall aroace: crunching leaves under your feet as you rush to catch your transportation home. A warm hug home by those you love. The small of delicious food and the warm touch of a kitchen heating up the chill autumn air. The sound of crows outside the window and the warm glow of an orange moon as it slowly rises into the night sky.
  • Winter aroace: frost creeping up the window and the fading heat of your bed a blanket over your shoulders, toes peeking out to test the cold air. Lazy morning and bedhead as you finally crawl out of bed, dragging your blanket with you. Boiling up a warm drink to warm your hands as you curl up on your couch to watch the first flakes of snow of the day start to softly fall.
Sparrows and Penguins

(or, An Anonymous Guest Blogger Stops By)

Imagine that you’re a sparrow, living in a family of sparrows in a town of sparrows in a world of sparrows.

But you’re kind of a shitty sparrow. Kind of the worst sparrow, actually.

You can’t fly. You’ve been to doctors who have prescribed medicine to help with flying. But you still can’t. You try every day, and every day you fail and this thing which all the other sparrows tell you is critical.

For a while, you stop trying. Failing every day just wore you down and you couldn’t do it anymore, so you stopped trying to fly. It was nice in some ways, but you felt guilty because you weren’t raised to give up. It made a rift with your family. Flying is an important activity that sparrow families do together. Isn’t your family important to you? Don’t they deserve for you to at least make the effort?

So since it’s nothing medically wrong with you, you go to a therapist, who diagnoses you with a phobia of flying. You work on overcoming your fear. You’re lucky, your family is very accepting of mental illness (other sparrows are not so lucky, and it hurts your heart to think about that). They appreciate and admire how hard you’re working. They try to include you, so instead of getting together and flying, sometimes they get together and all sit in their nests. That sort of sucks too, but it’s a definite improvement.

You continue to try, and fail, to fly. You try harder. You try as hard as you can. Sometimes you can’t even make yourself flap your wings, it’s just such pointless bullshit and you feel like you’ll never succeed. Sometimes you go up on a chair and jump off and flap real hard and go splat anyway.

Sometimes mean birds make fun of you because you’re a terrible screw-up.

For 26 years, this is what your life is.

One day, almost out of nowhere, as an afterthought, an aside, something barely worth mentioning because it is so obvious, a doctor says, “by the way, you’re a penguin.”

Holy shit. You’re not a failure. You’re a penguin. You’re not lazy or stupid or weak. You don’t have messed up values. You’re a penguin. You have always been a penguin.

There’s nothing wrong with you, you’re a beautiful penguin. The most perfect penguin. But it’s just a fact, penguins can’t fly.

Now when you’re with you’re sparrow friends and they’re all sitting in nests, you sit in a bucket of ice. Mostly you bring your own. Some bird restaurants are really accommodating and will bring you a bucket of ice to sit in. Sometimes mean birds give you shit about your bucket, but it doesn’t hurt as much as it did before, because you know you’re a penguin and you’re just exactly what a penguin is meant to be.

You give yourself permission to stop trying to fly. Not failing all the time improves your mood and overall function. You finally feel confident declining when invited to flying outings. You don’t waste the energy feeling guilty about it.

You love your family of sparrows, but you also find a whole community of penguins to love too. Things you thought were just you, like preferring fish to bird seed, things you thought you were totally alone in and wrong for, are common and accepted. Some are even admired. Your new penguin friends think your flippers and chubby penguin belly are lovely. You bond over how and when you discovered you loved swimming.

Knowing you’re a penguin means knowing where you fit in a world you never felt like you fit into. It means all the things penguins can’t do, it’s not a personal failing when you can’t do them. You’re not supposed to be able to. You can do other things instead. Sparrows are actually quite poor swimmers. You feel good about the things you excel at.

This is why I think labels are important. This is why I think “we’re all birds, let’s focus on our similarities instead of our differences” is harmful. This is how my autism diagnosis was like breathing, after holding my breath for 26 years.

Picture by @unfortunatelytheartblog.

Southern Bird

pairing: Tormund x Reader

fandom: game of thrones

request: Is it alright if I request a tormund giantsbane request where the reader and him aren’t like together but there are mutual feelings and he’s really possessive and calls her his “southern bird" 

@nekodemon73 @kumpmk @un-education @bookswillfindyouaway


All your life you had spend in one little village and when it was time to leave, you didn’t want to. The urge to get around had never been so strong that you would actually act on it. But now with Roose Bolton taking over the North and his son roaming the lands it just wasn’t safe anymore to stay. The wall was close by, so naturally everyone decided to go there and seek protection.

Though the horde of wildlings you were greeted with soon make you doubt your decision. Could the Boltons really be worse than those people the night’s watch had thought to keep out for hundreds of years? The thought of leaving crossed your mind but you were too scared to go on your own and no one else seemed keen to go back, so you stayed.

Castle Black was rather uneventful, not like you had imagined. Everyone was busy with preparing for a war but that only meant that people kept to themselves and stayed quiet while the did their work.

Being bored after a few days of doing nothing, you had volunteered to help. That’s how you ended up keeping the weapons in shape, storing them and even started to craft some arrows.

It was there that you met Tormund for the first time. You probably had been scared of him even if he hadn’t been a wilding, that fact made him only look more dangerous. The man was so tall, you hardly reached his chest and he could probably pick you up with one hand.
He had meant well but when he smiled at you that day, it looked more like he was about to eat you than a friendly gesture.

"Do you want my onions?”
You stared, wide eyed when Tormund sat down opposite of you at dinner. You had been rather late and the whole room was practically empty so there was enough space for him to sit anywhere else.
“No…thanks?” Confusion was written all over your face and if you hadn’t been so intimidated by his whole presence you probably would have laughed at the poor excuse to start a conversation.
He just nodded, went back to eating and so did you. Two strangers sitting together in silence.

Maybe it would have stayed that way but when two men, who you recognized from the stables, attacked you one night, it was Tormund who saved you.
He seemed more bothered by the whole accident than you were and when you asked him about it he just shrugged and scratched his head, eventually admitting that he liked you.
“My little southern bird, don’t wander around here at night on your own.”
You couldn’t help but blush at his words. Replying didn’t seem like an option, your beating heart and fuzzy head made that nearly impossible. So you muttered your thanks and quickly retreated back to your chambers.

After that night he practically never left your side anymore, staring down everyone who dared to even look in your direction. To say he was a little possessive was an understatement, his arms where always wrapped around your waist, his head on your shoulder while he whispered into your ear or he was at least close by.
You didn’t mind so much, it was rather sweet and the attention wasn’t unwanted. And the best thing about having a scary looking wildling following you around? It kept others away.

“What has my little bird been doing?”
Tormund asked as his hands touch your hips from behind and slowly move around your stomach, pulling you against his chest.
“I assume you know, since you’ve been watching me for a while.” Your sentence started in a giggle but almost ended with you moaning out loud as he places a kiss against your neck.
His dark, gruff voice sounded heavenly in your ears and his breath fanning your skin send shivers down your spine when he spoke, “Will you spend the night with me?”

Fair Play

Marvel Writing Challenge: redgillan vs. girl-next-door-writes

Prompt: Corn Maze

Pairings: Bucky Barnes x Reader

Word Count: 1,861

Tags: Language, Violence, Fluff

Originally posted by mcuvillainsdaily

It was Hell on Earth.

People were screaming everywhere, but it was nothing compared to the loud squeaking noise of the machines and the reeking, hot scent of butter and sugar. The fair…, you shivered.

Families and groups of friends were happily running around, making you feel dizzy as you tried to find your target. You wanted to push everyone out of your way, but instead you dodged between them. You stopped to have a good look around at your surroundings, turning on yourself in the crowd.

Soon people started to raise eyebrows as they walked past you, their eyes scanned you from head to toe. You rolled your eyes, choosing to focus on your mission rather than their sly smirks.

Yes, you were wearing a tight spandex black suit, so what? It was your battle outfit and it made you feel confident and strong. The kind of feelings that make saving the world a bit less stressful.

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Cullen Rutherford and Halise Lavellan - “Trial by Fire”

Just so beautiful
Inside out more colourful
Fair hair tied back casual
A go-getter, go-getter
You’re the best of all
You’ve seen it four, five hundred times on repeat
You’re like a leftover better than a ribbon-tied treat
Narrow roads, never limit, never temper your speed
And when the river froze solid you’re still swimming upstream
You’d hold your own in the presence of pauper and a king
Leave a singing bird silent, make a hummingbird sing
You are a rope-a-doper coming back queen
They all want you so bad, of course they do
 (x)

Okay, so my lower lip is still quivering from how awesome and perfect this is! I commissioned the wonderful and inimitable @xla-hainex for Cullen and Halise in my modern lawyer AU, “Trial by Fire,” and she gave me the most amazing, beautiful result!!! Just look at how they’re looking at each other! My heart is full to bursting!

Thanks you @xla-hainex! If you ever get a chance to commission this wonderful artist, do it!!! DOOOO EEEET!!!

In Which Attention is Avoided

Batfam Week Day 3 is Wayne Gala! I feel like the kids are never going to outgrow the whole “I’m done with being fawned over so I’m going to hide now” thing, even if their sizes now make that more difficult. As usual, can be found here on my ao3.
Rating: PG (Jason briefly in boxer shorts and a t-shirt)
Words: 1,446
Gen (Canon style Dick and Babs banter that may be viewed as flirting but that’s also just how they tease each other.)


Dick tugged at his collar as he sipped cold apple cider from a champagne flute. Alfred smirked at him from across the ballroom, the older man full well knowing that the model chatting Dick up was most certainly drinking something significantly stronger and had a few too many by this point in the night. Unfortunately for Dick it didn’t look as though Alfred was going to come rescue him. His gaze searched the crowd for a savior.

His eyes fell on Tim who looked as though he was drowning in a sea of elderly socialites. He hummed at the model before quickly directing her attention to a passing waiter and going to extract him. As Dick made his way over and wedged himself between the cooing women Tim shot him a helpless smile.

“I’m so sorry ladies but I really must steal Tim away from you,” he told them, draping an arm around his brother’s tuxedo clad shoulders and steering him away.

Tim turned to whisper in Dick’s ear as the women pouted after them. “What’s Damian doing that you’re using me as an excuse.”

“That is what we’re going to find out,” Dick whispered back with a sly grin.

Tim shrugged Dick’s arm off his shoulder’s suddenly and made a face. He continued to walk with Dick to the small alcove where they could see the crowd but not necessarily be seen. Dick stopped suddenly, causing Tim to run into him with a soft “oof”. The alcove was already occupied by Cass and Jason, both looking less than comfortable in their formal wear.

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your silent portrait {preview}
↳ fantasy au, inspired by the movie koe no katachi | angst, jimin x reader.


Before anyone hears your story, you want to make something very, very clear—

You are not a good person.

You stumbled upon the same rock more than once, and you did not learn how to get up gracefully. You walked down a path that had warning signs all over and pretended to be blind to them. You ignored the despondent looks sent your way, and did not care when the coldness of your actions started crawling up your back, searing itself into your skin and curling around your bones.

You did not care about growing up with a stained past. You wore it like a cloak — not proudly, but as something that bared the truth inside your heart. If you are not a good person, if you will never be one, why should you ever hide it?

You are not proud, but you are not scared either.

You just… are.

You are alone.

And sometimes you wonder if Park Jimin — that boy, the one who started it all, with his doe eyes and gentle smiles and clumsy voice that he could not hear himself, because he could not hear at all — is alone, too.

Life is irony in itself, though. The gifts of the universe that each person receives at some point in their life gave you the destiny you deserved, because reading minds is not only beyond isolating, but made you see the utmost darkness of the world — one no one wants to see. Because the words that stay in the mind stay there for a reason, and if your gift has taught you anything, is that the human consciousness should never be exposed to the world.

Life is irony in itself, because now your strongest wish is to never hear again.

And sometimes you wonder if Park Jimin, that deaf boy whose life you ruined with your own hands, finally got to hear the chirping of birds at dawn.

coming soon.

Nerves

“Sweet?“ You heard as you walked down the hallway with a laundry basket resting on your hip.

“Yeah?” You answered, opening the door to find Harry sitting at his desk with his laptop open and papers scattered out in front of him.

“Can yeh c'mere, please?” His hair had been touseled and tugged on, eyes tired and sore from the continuous strain being put on them for the past 12 hours.

You dropped the basket by the door and walked towards him. He took ahold of your hand, pulling you towards his lap and helping you settle across his thighs.

Your left arm draped across his shoulders as you sat down and he nuzzled into the dip your neck, letting out a tired sigh. You pushed his hair back from his forehead so you could place a kiss on his hairline.

“Okay?” You asked, resting your cheek on his head.

His arms, which were wrapped around your middle, tightened as he gave you a squeeze. “Yeah.“

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