because i feel i will use it often in some future arts maybe

We talk a lot about Yuuri having to reconcile his idea of Viktor with the real Viktor–that is, Yuuri has this flawless, wonderful ideal of Viktor in his head which has to sort of be cut down to fit the person that Viktor really is. Which is a healthy part of their relationship, and which I completely agree is something Yuuri has to face at some point during that first summer.

But I think there’s also something to be said about Yuuri realizing that some of the horrible things he’s heard about Viktor through the skating community grapevine are not so true.

Yuuri, despite what he says, is much closer to is idol than most people ever get. If Viktor is a movie star, Yuuri is the secondary character–he’s there, and a lot of people definitely know he’s there, and he knows enough people who also know Viktor for the gossip mill to really get churnin sometimes.

I also think that at the back of every person who has ever had a celebrity crush’s mind is a little voice saying, “Never meet your heroes,” and Yuuri Katsuki is terrified of that little voice, and it contributes to the distance he keeps from Viktor–because at some point, that much distance from someone you’re facing off against in international competitions has got to be just a little bit purposeful.

So cue Viktor coming into his life all of a sudden one day, and all Yuuri can think about are the terrible awful no good very bad things people have told him about Viktor and the kind of person Viktor is.

“Fuck Viktor Nikiforov,” an older skater had told him after Skate America, six glasses into a box of wine and bitter as hell about missing the podium. “No, really, fuck him. The Russians are paying off the ISU to keep him at the top. He isn’t even that talented. I hear–I hear he doesn’t even train. I hear he just shows up and fucking does whatever and they give him gold because he’s Viktor Nikiforov.”

“I…don’t think…” Yuuri frowned at his own glass of wine. “I mean…that couldn’t be true.” He glances at Phichit next to him. “Could it?”

“Sour grapes,” Phichit advises, and Yuuri isn’t as familiar with English idioms at that point, so he thinks Phichit is talking about the wine.

Yuuri mostly forgets about it, but somewhere in the back of his mind–he can’t stop thinking about it. He watches and rewatches Viktor’s old programs and wonders to himself if the reason he thinks they’re so good is because he’s watching them through rose-tinted glasses.

Yuuri and Phichit are suffering through finals and trying to survive through twenty-hour days of nothing but studying and skating. They lay themselves on the bleachers one afternoon while they’re supposed to be doing warm ups.

“What if I just quit school and became and underwater basket weaver,” Yuuri mumbles directly into the metal seat of the bleacher. “That would be fine, right?”

“WWVND,” Phichit replies. “What Would Viktor Nikiforov Do.”

“You’re right,” Yuuri sighs.

“Viktor Nikiforov is dumber than a box of rocks,” says of the other members of the club as she skates by. “You know he never even finished high school? I mean, what counts as high school in a country like Russia. The guy probably thinks two plus two equals borscht.”

“That’s not…” Yuuri smushes his nose against the bleacher. “Hey, that’s not…”

“FUCK OFF OLIVIA,” Phichit shrieks across the rink, and Celestino definitely hears. They have to do twenty minutes of line drills. 

“What Would Viktor Nikiforov Do, right boys?” asks Olivia as she watches Yuuri try not to heave after Celestino finally releases them from their Sisyphean torture.

“I’m gonna fucking kill her,” Phichit says, and he sounds so deeply serious that Yuuri is sincerely worried.

Several weeks later, someone mentions Viktor within earshot of Phichit and he jokingly says, “Watch what you say, that’s Yuuri’s future husband you’re talking about,” and it sort of makes Yuuri want to hit him but mostly makes Yuuri blush.

“Really?” replies that someone. “I don’t know about that, Yuuri. I wouldn’t touch that guy with a thirty foot pole. He sleeps around. Probably has all kinds of nasty stuff going on down there.”

“Oh, whatever,” Phichit says, rolling his eyes. “Like you would know.”

Yuuri ducks his head back into his book and tries not to think about it.

These are the things that Yuuri holds in the back of his mind about Viktor, the worries that travel with him anywhere he has even the chance of encountering Viktor Nikiforov. 

‘Never meet your heroes’ becomes something of the unspoken mantra of Yuuri’s life. 

Then Viktor Nikiforov catapults himself straight into Yuuri’s lap, and Yuuri learns a few things.

Viktor trains. Viktor trains hard. Viktor has neglected everything but training and skating and satisfying his own frantic need to be the best for twenty years. Viktor Nikiforov is a lonely, sad bookworm with one friend and a gaping, yearning need to be touched–and he did not get to be where he is without making sacrifices. 

Yuuri has never met anyone who made more sacrifices for this sport and this art than Viktor Nikiforov. It opens something up inside of him, throbbing and raw. It makes Yuuri want to take Viktor’s heart and shove it inside his own chest so that it never feels cold or lonely again. It makes him want to stand on the top of a tall building somewhere and scream fuck you to every person he’s encountered whose jealousy tried to convince him that this man was less than what he is.

And yes, Yuuri knows now that Viktor is forgetful and brutally honest and often doesn’t say the right thing at the right time.

He knows that Viktor is only ambidextrous in that he can use a fork with both hands and that it takes him twenty minutes in the morning to decide on a shirt to wear. He knows that Viktor Nikiforov is a blanket hog and that if Yuuri wants to wake up still covered in the morning, they have to have no less than three blankets on the bed at all times.

He knows that Viktor sometimes descends into these loops of manic energy where he wants to do everything and can’t sit still and in those moments, Yuuri wants to lock him in a room and leave him there until he starts making sense again.

He also knows that Viktor Nikiforov has the most genuinely beautiful soul that Yuuri has ever had the opportunity to touch. He knows that very few people in his life will ever love him like Viktor, and that he himself has never felt for anyone quite what he feels for this man. His man. 

He knows these things and he thinks that maybe Viktor is perfect after all, perfect in his imperfection. Every jagged edge of his fits into one of Yuuri’s, and every curve of Yuuri’s lovingly presses flush with Viktor’s until they fit together seamlessly, like a pair of puzzle pieces.

Yuuri is also still a very petty person on the inside, though–which is why he makes posts on Instagram that read things like Viktor received his sixth well-deserved Russian National gold today! Congratulations to my amazing fiance.

And also:

So proud of my husband for all of his hard work commentating at the #Olympics. Some people go to school for half their lives and aren’t half as articulate as my Vitya. #Proudhubby

After that last one, Phichit leaves a voicemail on Yuuri’s phone that is literally just two whole minutes of him laughing hysterically and then wheezing, “THE SALT!” before hanging up.

“Yuuri, why did Phichit just sent me…sixteen crying laughing emojis and a text that says ‘your husband I can’t,’ in all caps?”

“Because a lot of people tried telling me you weren’t perfect and I’m proving them wrong,” Yuuri replies, not even looking up from his phone.

“Oh,” Viktor says, and literally crawls on top of him.

Yuuri supposes that the moral of the story is that the heart wants what the heart wants, and you have to find perfection in the imperfections–Viktor is loud and ditzy and forgets the English word for tomato on an almost daily basis, but he’s Yuuri’s husband. And because he’s Yuuri’s husband, he’s perfect.

1. About this Journal Page: I usually add this on the first page, it’s sort of like the alpha because it explains the things that i plan to do w/ my journal. I add “Dear reader,… Love, Me” and script my name + heaps of doodles.

2. Birthday Special and Etc. Bonanza: This page is a list of people’s birthday and other special occasions where either list it down or make huge tables similar to a legit calendar. Doodles make this 10x better.

3. Favorites of the Month: I love doing this because it feels like I can actually reminisce the things that i love about the month. I do this in sketches and paint it with watercolors because watercolor makes everything 100x better.

4. Things I love about the season: Frankly speaking, we only have 2 “seasons” in my country so that’s practically just rainy and dry. And since I am desperately in love with summer, I dedicated a list of things I love about it.

5. The Huge Movie list: This movie list is meant to be a sort-of “reacts” and “ratings” kind of thing because i always love rating the movies that I’ve binge watched.

6. The Moody Playlist: I shuffle my tunes and seek for beautiful tracks and turn them into themed playlist. I think this is perfect if you have a spotify account because you can later on make a legit playlist.

7. Tick it off: This is quite typical tbh: the to-do-list page. The page which makes your journal a bona fide journal. I often times write down my to-do-list with boxes so that i can just tick off when i’m done.

8. Bucket list Version 2.0: Also a classic, you can add a little twist to your bucket list by turning them into sketches instead of the old, lame bullet-ed list sort of thing. Bonus: you can add how old, how you want to look, etc.

9. Thoughts in a Bullet: I do this to write down with ease the bothersome thoughts. I just write it down either in phrases or sentences. Thoughts in a bullet is perfect for calming down and easing the anxiety.

10. The Sunday’s best: Sunday’s best is actually the page i dedicate for when I’m chilling. I practically just let my thoughts wander and write it down in a page. I either make a playlist for sunday, how i want my sunday to be, quick sketches of my bedroom, and tv series i binge-watched that day. Sunday’s best is practically just a chill page and you’re free to do whatever you want to do with it.

11. This Week’s Bake, Blend, Stir and Fry: I honestly just call it that way because it sounds cooler but the gist is that page is meant to be your Recipe of the week sort of thing. If you’re a person with a heart for cooking, then this page is for you.

12. The Featured Pet: I love making this  page because I can actually add my pets in my journal!! I’ll sketch them and describe them and just list down the reasons why I love them. Some of the stuff i write are: name, age of description, color, animal, breed, favorite food, behavior, personality, when it barks, etc!!!

13. Quick Urban Sketches: This journal page idea is something to do when you’re feeling the sun and you want to go outside and bathe yourself with it. You practically just sketch heaps of beautiful buildings, strangers, shrines, etc and paint it using a watercolor (i do it this way, you can do it in your own way too). And then describe it in a short phrase, sentence, or maybe even a paragraph. This is perfect if you’re an outdoor person who loves the sun ~

14. This Week’s Highlights: This is quite similar to favorites of the month however it’s for the week plus it’s not only your favorites. I actually like doing the highlight page because i want to remember all the things that happened to me for the whole time i was having this journal.

15. Dear Elle,: Elle does not exist. I don’t even know anybody with the name Elle. I just dedicate a page for her because I feel like I’m talking to a friend. No, she’s not an imaginary friend. I think the things I write in my dear elle page is mostly directed to me. In dear elle, i write down with all my heart the things that I'am afraid of, my flaws, insecurities, anxiety and I usually just sum it up with a nice positive reminder.

16. The Botanical Garden Dream: Actually this is just a page dedicated for my favorite flowers that I’d love to have and plant in my garden one day. I usually just make this in a garden-looking way so there’s not much words but sketches and doodles. And then i color it using my colored pencils because it’s easier to work with pencils for botanical tbh.

17. 100 Resons to be Happy About: I made this on my first journal (that’s when I was 11) and every time i read it, i still can’t help but smile. This page is a major help for struggling people out there. Honestly, it’s just a page filled with heaps of things i love and i write them down in different sizes, orientation and fonts so that it looks sort of like a mess but not really.

18. *insert TV Series*’s Lessons: I did this on Modern Family and I swear to god this is like the most favorite thing I do about the lesson sort-of thing because I just !! I often times divide it in characters like: Here’s for Haley, Alex, Luke, Phil, etc. And I’ll apply them to myself and it helps out trust me!!

19. 17 Things I’ve Learned Before Turning 17: This is perfect because I can actually look back and see how much I’ve grown. You can do it too but you can use your age instead like if you’re 12 it can be 12 things I’ve learned before turning 12. Something like that.

20. The Dreamy Backpack Adventures: The Dreamy Backpack Adventures is actually just the list of places that I want to visit before I die!! I often times get my inspo from tumblr and do a mini research and write it down on that page too.
21. 10 Things That Make Me Happy: This is quite similar to 100 reasons to be happy about but this time it’s more of a me. I just write this down when I’m totally feeling myself and stuff like that. I got the inspo from the anonymous chain message going on in tumblr so yep.

22. The Ultimate Road Trip Guide: I make this page because I’m one heck of a huge fan of road trips! I often times just make a playlist, write a to-bring-list, make my outfit ideas, and food list kind of thing that i shall do for the whole trip. I also sketch my pillows hehe!

23. Other Versions of Sunshine: I actually made something like this and posted it here, can you remember? It’s just a bunch of lovely little things that remind you of sunshine. I write this down when it’s a sunny saturday and it’s the golden hour (4-5pm).

24. Little Things to be Happy About: I also made this and posted it in here. It’s quite similar to Other Versions of Sunshine but this time, it’s more like a little bit of less descriptive. I suggest making this before doing the Other Versions of Sunshine. This will honestly pump you up a bit.

25. Reminders to Myself: These are cute little positive things that i write down so that i can sort of just read it when I’m having a sad day. I add cute little doodles around too. To make this 10x cuter, i add little animal or cupcake or plant doddle with this bubble reminders and stuff. You can also scan this and post them in tumblr.

26. Sketches: I don’t really think I need to explain this. These are just cute sketches of everything: your house, neighbor’s house, your friends, strangers, etc.

27. The Pressed Flowers & Leaves Page: I’m pretty sure your journal will be a thousand times better if you press some flowers on another book and tape it using washi on your journal. You can dedicate a whole page with captions (what’s the plant, where is it from, when it was picked and pressed, initial color, etc) for your pressed flowers. Perfect for future gift ideas.

28. The Ultimate Picnic Guide: The Ultimate Picnic Guide is also quite similar to The Ultimate Road Trip Guide. I sketch my little cute picnic idea and add colors (using watercolor, still) and then i label it and point it out. Like, the sort of food I will eat, the colors of the blanket, the books I will read, the outfit that i plan to wear, the basket i will bring and stuff. It’s honestly better to sketch it than just write it down. But you can always just do it your way.

29. Paint and Palette Test: I think most artists use a separate sheet of paper for this but honestly the palette test is one of my most favorite thing about painting and making art. I keep it in my journal and test the colors that might match. This is really perfect for future art references and also nice if you’re having an art block + don’t know the heck what you should do. This palette test page could help.

30. A Love Letter: A love letter is sort-of a self-project i made because i love to write letters to people. I will make letters for my friend, my crush, my mom, my dad, and other relatives when i feel the urge to do so. I usually never give them out because well, that’s the sole purpose of writing it- never giving it out. So yeah, a love letter is perfect for when you just want to pour out your feelings over someone and you don’t want them to figure it out. EVER.

31. What I Want To Be: This one is just a goals of the day sort of thing. You can also do it in a goals of the week or month. :-)

32. Things I Love About *your favorite artist*: This can either be a singer, painter, dancer, etc. I honestly just do this to express my love for my faves.

33. The Skin Care Guide: Every time I purchase new things to spice up the softness of my face, I’ll sketch the cute little bottles and facial stuff that i purchase and describe it and write my reviews.

34. The All-time Page (fave books, music, etc): This is a little classic. I basically just write down my all-time favorite books, art, painters, movies, and more.

35. The Book Trip: You can google up some nice book recommendations or from good reads and then you write it down. You could also try to write your expectations and stuff.

36. The Movie Binge: This is quite similar to the Book Trip but this time I write down cute movie recommendations for future binge-watching. Yay!

37. Dear Future/Past Me: I’m not sure if this is classic but I actually like doing this. I wrote a letter for myself 5 years ago and I opened it today and just wow, I was so surprised with how much I’ve grown. So if you practically like those things, you can add this to spice up your journal.

38. Dreamy Date: Practically just a list of things/quality that i want my future significant other to be. Or how my dream date will go. Or just practically the “date a person who..” kind of thing. 

39. To Be Or Not To Be: It’s just a cute list of all the inspirational quotes i gather from everywhere. At times, I’ll sketch the figure/portrait of the person who said it and add a little thought bubble with the quote.

40. The Grocery List: Honestly, I just make a grocery list kind of thing because i love drawing goodies and food!! It’s more of a favorite page kind of thing but this time it’s filled with canned foods. You can also do this in bullet form.

41. The Fashionette 101: In other words: outfit page. This is where I sketch my #ootd or just the outfit inspos i get from tumblr. As you all know, i have a tag #ootd_insp. I sometimes sketch nice outfit ideas from there. 

42. Cut It Out: The Cut it out is page is practically dedicated for magazine cut-outs. I have a lot of old magazines and art books that I’ve finished reading so instead of throwing them, I’ll just cut ‘em and paste on my journal.

43. Little Flaws I love About Me: This is also inspired by the chain anonymous message about loving yourself. You just practically just list down the cute little things you like about yourself.

44. List of Pets and Plants + Name Ideas: This is sort of like a keeping track page for all my pets and plants. I will also sketch and draw them when I feel like it. This is perfect with watercolor, jsyk. :-)

45. The Space Page: The Space Page is one of my most recent page where i just draw a lot of space stuff and all the planets and add cute little facts about it. I sometimes add glitters instead of painting them because planets are fab as heck.

46. Mini-Comic and The Everyday Adventures: Literally just a little comic strip about your everyday encounters. I made a similar one entitled “The Homey Adventures” and you can find it somewhere in my blog. You can divide it in four squares or depends on your own liking.

47. The Brunette and Grainy Pictures: If you have a lot of vintage, european-ish sort of stickers and cute little goodies, you can make a vintage page for that. You can fill it out with nice doodles of buses and pins and stamps, too.

48. Doodle page: This is entirely different from the sketch page because doodle page is a lot more chill and adorable. You can fill up a whole page or just half of it or maybe a quarter and add other sections if you want.

49. Poems: Yep, quite obvious, guys.

50. The “Why I love” Section: Some Why I love suggestions: tea, coffee, ice cream, your dog, color, food, etc. You can add a lot of details and images because the more detailed the better honestly.

The Honest Guide on Preparing for College

I thought it’d be cool and useful to give you guys an “Honest Guide on Preparing for College.” It has all the things you may already know, and then also some things you perhaps don’t. And a bunch of tips that are helpful for preparing for college, but also during college. I’ve been working on this post for months, adding few new tips every now and then so hopefully you guys like it and find it useful! :) I may add more tips from time to time, I’m not sure.

  1. Suffer from acne? Visit a dermatologist to get it under control ASAP. The earlier you start, the earlier you’ll see results! And trust me, you’ll be going bare-faced a lot in college. At least twice a day- morning & night. And you’ll always want to look and feel your best! It sucks to be self-conscious.
  2. Figure out a rough guideline of your morning/ night routine. Your college routine is usually not going to be the exact same as your home routine. Ie: Make up will probably be done in your room, not in the bathroom. If you use makeup often, consider buying a vanity mirror! Very useful. 
  3. You won’t need binders. I brought 3 (1-inch) in case and I hardly use one. It’s more useful to have individual folders for each class. Or even those notebook with tabs inside to hold papers. The point being, the way you organize your work is different in high school. You’re not going to the same 5 periods everyday in college. You have classes that meet MWF, and TTh, etc.
  4. Don’t forget to bring college essentials! Refer to my two posts here (”College Essential Hacks”) and here (”Things I Forgot/ Nearly Forgot to Bring to College”. 
  5. Invest in make-up. In high school, I never wore make-up but now I often wear mascara and light lipstick! I spent countless trips figuring out what shade was best for me and trying out different products. Would’ve been easier to just do this in the comfort of my own home than in college! I’m still a make-up noob though, haha. I can’t even figure out how to apply eyeliner confidently!
  6. Bring clothes you’ll actually wear. 1/3 of the clothes I’ve brought to college were never worn… They just took up closet space!
  7. Bring formal clothes too. You never know what events you’ll go to (including sorority rush, galas, etc). Don’t forget a good pair (or two) of shoes for the outfit!
  8. Realize that the first month-ish of school is the prime time to make new friends. People are more open to making new friends and are more friendly and receptive. Make the most of this!!! I can not stress this enough! Remember that first impressions can stick, so be especially graceful during this period. I would even go so far as to say that you should try to go out to a party in the first few weeks of school for two reasons…. 1) You can see if you fit with the party scene and if you enjoy it. 2) When you attend events early on, people will assume you’re down to go for the rest of the semester and you’ll get invites. (Which you can turn down, of course.)
  9. Keep in touch with old friends! Seriously. Don’t just make new college friends and forget about your old high school friends. Keep in touch! Message them regularly and keep them in the loop! It might seem like a lot of work to message them all the details about something, especially when they are unfamiliar with the people so you have to describe it a lot (Wait, who’s Jim again? What’s your roommate’s name again? etc), but it’s so rewarding to have an old, familiar friend with you as you both experience college together, but separately.
  10. Know your schedule and be on top of this. Be organized. I recommend a planner and also having a print out of your weekly schedule that has your classes and other time commitments. I actually drew my weekly schedule and hung it by my desk. It not only helps me visualize my week, but also lets my roommates know when to expect me. I also use a calendar app very diligently. Whenever I commit to an event, I immediately put it into my calendars (the app, and also my physical calendar in my room). I also inputted the dates and times of my exams/ important assignments from the get-go so I wouldn’t be surprised about when they were. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND INPUTTING THE DATES OF YOUR EXAMS AND DUE DATES OF PAPERS, ETC INTO YOUR CALENDAR ASAP!!!!!!!!
  11. Keep in touch with family. Similar reasoning with #9. But basically, your parents and siblings have lived with you all of your life. They’ll miss you. Text them, call them, facetime them once in a while. Send them a postcard. Buy them college gear. Do little things like this; they’ll really appreciate it!
  12. Don’t be so uptight and remember to be grateful. I feel like I’ve matured greatly in college. I used to have these crazy-high expectations about friendships and stuff, and now, it’s not that I have absurdly low expectations, but I just don’t take everything for granted. I am grateful for anything and everything my friends do for me. They bought me Chipotle? Aww. They reminded me about the review session? So sweet. Basically, don’t take things for granted.
  13. Don’t be that one annoying friend. You know who you are. College is a time where you can really ‘reinvent’ yourself and you should really try to be a ‘better you’ during college. Here are some traits I find annoying, personally… An annoying friend is one who does any or all of these things:
    1. “Forget” to pay a friend back for spotting you. Seriously, we all hate that person who does this and we all really respect that person who is really diligent about paying back someone. So take note. Everyone is on a tight budget in college.
    2. Rants all the time. If you’re ranting all the time and your friend is just listening, you have yourself a freaking awesome friend. Just remember that friendship means you can rant, and your friend can rant back. It’s a two-way street.
    3. Tries to peer pressure others into doing something they like. Okay, I get that you drink and smoke a lot. But you don’t need to feel the urge to ‘convert’ me to doing the same. No means no.
    4. Always bails or is flaky. Freaking annoying.
    5. Takes things too far. We all have that one friend who takes things too far and doesn’t know when to stop….
    6. Too sensitive… But we also may have an uber-sensitive friend who always holds grudges and is a grumpy cat. 
  14. Don’t skip class. Seriously. It doesn’t matter if the lecture is posted online, or if you’ll just get notes from a friend. Or if you already ‘know’ what’s being taught. Just go. Skipping class = lower grades = lower GPA = unhappy you.
  15. Be willing to try new things. This can vary to an extent from person to person. It can be as crazy as asking someone out or trying new food. College is a time of growth, new experiences, and fun times. HOWEVER, don’t do anything that will harm yourself. None of this “yolo” mantra please.
  16. Bring a lot of undies. Shirts and pants can be reworn more than once (within reason), but undies can’t. So save yourself from doing laundry all the time and bring a lot of undies.
  17. Learn to let things go. I used to be that person who held onto grudges. But since starting college, I’ve really begun to realize that life is so much more fun and enjoyable if you don’t let the little things faze you. Learn to let it go. Don’t let what that rude guy said to you this morning stick with you for the whole day. Who cares if you asked someone out and it failed? You don’t need them anyway! You’re too fabulous for them to handle! 
  18. Learn to be confident in yourself. “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You “- Dr Seuss. Over the years, I’ve found that I’ve grown much more confident and independent. I love it.
  19. Learn how to socialize and be a great conversationalist. Smile and actually pay attention to what they’re saying. Remember what they said and bring it up the next time you see them. Hey, how was your lunch at Gypsy’s with John? It makes people feel special and nice. Use their names in the conversation as often as you can (without it sounding totally awkward and weird). People like hearing their names in conversation. [Btw, I read these facts on a Time article somewhere so its legit.]. People don’t remember what you say, but they remember how you made them feel. So make them feel loved and appreciated. Laugh.
  20. Live and learn through your mistakes. No one’s perfect. So what if you bombed your first midterm? It’s the first of many. Pick yourself up and study harder for the next one. Don’t get all beaten up.
  21. Consider bringing your AP study guide books to college. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve opened my AP Calculus review book from Princeton Review to review and look up things.
  22. Keep track of your meal points. I frequently hear people saying they always have leftover meal points at the end of the year, but maybe it’s because I like to buy a lot of snacks, but I was actually behind on points for half the semester. It’s no big deal–I can easily add more points–, but just don’t be under the illusion that you have unlimited amount of points and can buy whatever you want. Be smart about rationing off your points.
  23. Don’t let one midterm grade affect you. Yeah, you failed that midterm. So what? Just do well on the next ones. There’s nothing you can do about your midterm grade–you can only improve yourself for the future. Have a good cry, rant to friends, watch some Netflix–and then realize the changes you have to make and enforce the changes. 
  24. Pick classes that you’ll enjoy. Don’t pick morning classes (if you can help it) if you’re not a morning person. Don’t take a Drawing/ Painting class if you’re not an artsy person for your Visual Arts requirement–there’s classes like Art History or stuff like that. Be reasonable about the classes you take and how much workload you know you can handle. Not everyone is the same.
  25. Go see your adviser from time to time. Just to make sure you’re on track! Work out a 4-year plan. You don’t want to have any surprises later down the road!
  26. Be careful with labels. Like “best friend” or “favorite person”. Sometimes, these can lead people on unintentionally and you’ll get yourself in awkward and uncomfortable situations where they like you but you don’t like them or something. I learned that it’s just best to call people your “friends” and unless you are really bonded with a person, then call them your best friend. But honestly, if you two are best friends, you kinda just know you are each other’s best friend–it’s a mutual feeling and it doesn’t really need to be said or labeled. I think it’s just best to rid yourself of using labels, honestly. Terms that imply exclusivity can sometimes lead people on. I think you should have a self-check with yourself every month or two and go like, “Okay, where am I at? I really like where I am right now. I could improve on this… etc etc. Let’s see the friends I’m close to… Do I think any of them likes me? I don’t want to unintentionally lead them on.” Just stuff like that.
  27. Understand your finances for college. Including scholarships, how much you’re paying, how much you’re working (if applicable), etc. Just be on top of all your money stuff! 
  28. Don’t go out and eat out a lot. I ate out a lot during freshman year. Too much. I had no regrets during the moment but now looking back, I just imagine all of the money I could’ve saved if I didn’t eat out…. :( You can save so much money by reducing how much you eat out.
  29. Be financially conscious and be mindful of how much you spend. There are plenty of hangouts you and your friends can do that don’t require money or that much money. Examples: movie nights, picnics, checking out the campus botanical garden, going sightseeing in the city, cooking dinner together, etc. Just because it costs money doesn’t mean it will always be fun, memorable or worth it–something to remind yourself of! In addition, shoot for quality over quantity. Buy a $50 pair of Rainbows sandals that will last for years, instead of flimsy, cheaply made sandals that will break after a couple of uses. Splurge on that North Face jacket–you’ll be wearing it a lot and it’s versatile and will last you years. Now that I buy groceries and cook for myself, I’ve definitely come to appreciate the value of the dollar.
  30. Realize how small the world is and how connected everything is. Don’t talk shit about people. Seriously. The person you’re complaining about may have a friend who is taking a class with the person you’re telling to. Or the person you’re telling it to may have a friend who has a friend who knows the person. If it’s one thing that keeps coming up in my time here, it’s that everyone seems to know everybody (or is a friend of a friend). So limit your shit-talking, secret-sharing, gossip talk to only your trusted confidants. Seriously, though. As you go through college, you’ll come to notice that many people will reappear in your classes because of being in the same major, and more. The world is small, y’all. Don’t be reckless.

Hey so April’s coming up so I thought it’d be good to have some activities to do! I’ve seen other people do these (most notably for me @uniqueaspergirl​ had one that I did a few of last year!) and thought I’d set one up!

Under the cut is a list of the days (also listed in the picture) and descriptions of what each one is because a few words aren’t always the easiest to understand even when you wrote them.

I would like to say first though that - despite me keeping the descriptions of each day mostly positive, negative submissions and additions are absolutely accepted. Everything isn’t sunshine and daisies. Most of the things are general enough that they’ll apply to anyone, but if one doesn’t work for you feel free to treat it as a freebie!

Submit by submitting to the blog directly, tagging us ( in the @ kind of a way) or by tagging it #walkinredinstead (which I checked, it’s empty) and I’ll post and reblog as many as I can!

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Hey guys! So, I wanted to make this post for a long time. Sometimes we are our own enemies and it’s so easy to get caught in fighting against yourself, and I want to be a new person and become someone that is content with who they are. A part of me wants to look back on this when I am feeling bad again and read everything I have written here, like a little reminder of my own, you know? With that, I hope you walk away feeling okay and content, like I hope to do, because that is my goal: for all of us to be okay with ourselves and our lives even on days when it feels like it won’t be.

Be proud of your art, because it matters.

Whatever you choose to create, know that is great and you should not look to others to find what is inside of yourself. So often, it is as if you look around and feel you are not good enough, because you may feel you are behind the curve of others you admire. But, in a way, that is perfectly okay to be behind the curve. Every writer, artist, poet, dancer, and singer did not start with an abundance of skill. They worked at what they loved to create to become your inspiration. Take personal notes from them and find who you want to be as a creator, on your own terms. And down the line, when you become who you want to be, you can become someone else’s inspiration. Where that begins is being proud of what you create, and finding the confidence within you to be your own great writer, your own great singer, or your own great poet. First and foremost, be your own inspiration. Be your first inspiration because it matters. Create your art because it matters.

It is okay to be alone.

For the longest time, alone and lonely have been exclusive to each other. And that is not true. Loneliness sucks. It is one of the worst feelings to have nobody to truly reach out to when you have a bad day, or even a great day. Loneliness is the feeling when you walk around and feel as though you are the only one in the world without someone to share your stories with, your words, your passions. But, aside from the pain of being lonely, you have the opportunity to be alone with yourself and love it. Find what makes you great on your own. I am not saying that you should not be understandably upset because you are lonely, but maybe it is a sign that you need to become the best version of yourself first. Find what is making you unhappy alone, and change it. That way, when you meet others, you will be the greatest you possible. Just remember, it is okay to be alone. It is okay to be alone at home on a Friday night, to eat at a restaurant alone, and to go to a movie alone. The best company is yourself, because nobody can or will know you better than you.

Don’t doubt your positivity/optimism.

There were so many moments in 2016 that questioned your faith, your beliefs, your hope, and your optimism. With everything that went wrong, personally or externally, it was hard to feel the space of your comfort being shaken, but that’s okay. You stayed strong through to this year, and that is what is important. Be optimistic for the future. Do not believe hope ends when there are moments of doubt and struggle. See the good in people, in unfortunate events, in life. Sometimes that space of comfort needs to be stirred to rattle that optimism inside you, to light the fire that keeps you optimistic, and to motivate you. So let it be stirred. Keep that fire alive.

It is okay to fail, or not achieve perfection.

Perfection is impossible. Nobody is perfect. You may look at someone from the outside and see perfection, but there is always something someone is fighting, no matter how small or big that thing is. And I understand. Failing sucks. It is horrible to feel inadequate at something or feel less than because you slipped and fell. It’s as though you can’t get up without the shadow of that failure beside you. Don’t believe in that. Your failures and imperfections are there to remind you that you are simply you and there is nobody in the world who does something once and instantly gets it right. That is impossible, just like perfection. Nobody is instantly great at everything they try at. And that is the whole point of failure: the act of trying. If you’re trying, you’re doing something.

Who you are throughout your life is not completely defined by what is out there.

I am talking about strangers, celebrities, media, and even family and friends. You are not your parents, or your friends, or celebrities. You have tons of opportunities to be your own person, with your own thoughts and feelings about what is going on around you. You have a way to make in the world, and it is only made through where you choose to go. Nothing in a magazine, movie, or someone else’s words can or should change how you feel about yourself, or change who you are as a person. When you wake up, you are yourself, so it is important to know who you are and not let things outside of your own influence take you down. It’s unhealthy and a disservice to yourself. Don’t rely so much on what is outside of yourself, because you live in one set of skin your whole life. Don’t spend it worrying about fitting into a box created by something or someone else.

They are out there.

Yes, they. The people that will understand you and love who you are. They will find you, or you will find them. It may take a bit of waiting, but it will be worth it. Maybe “they” are friends, or significant others, or maybe even family, but the point is to know that you won’t be alone forever. You’re not gonna keep your emotions, your passions, or your thoughts inside of yourself forever. You’ll find the ones that will be glad to listen, who will love to hear from you, and will be glad you are beside them. Like I said, it may take some waiting, but nothing worthwhile is instantly gratified.

You won’t notice it.

You won’t realize things have changed until they have already been changed. While sadness seems to remind you of its presence, happiness can blindside us. Once you’ve achieved what you want to achieve and done the things you’ve set out to do, you won’t understand it has gotten better and you have moved on until you’re already moving. As I said before, be patient; instant gratification is never as good as people say it feels. That moment where you look back and realize you’re in a better place than before is coming, and it’s gonna feel fucking great.

There will be shitty times. But, you are gonna be okay.

It’s easy to fall into believing things won’t be okay. Maybe it’s the day you’ve been having, or the people around you are bringing you down. And yes, things will be shitty for awhile. Whether that “awhile” is a few minutes, a few days, or a few months. But, you should not forget things will be okay, and you are gonna be okay. You have everything you need inside of yourself, even if it feels like you don’t in those shitty moments. Don’t let yourself fall into a space where you believe you won’t be okay, because you will. Things will be okay. For all of my hallmark advice and words that could be put on a self-help card, you will find the friends, moments, and everything in between that will remind you it all will be okay.

PSA: Mass Effect & PTSD

Hey guys!

I’m here today to talk about one of my favorite things….and one of my least favorite things. Both have a pretty big effect (heh) on my life. 

Mass Effect is probably my top video game of all time. FemShep is one of my top characters in any medium. You know why? She suffers from the same mental illness I do and she STILL saves the galaxy. She doesn’t give up. It’s really inspiring. I’m proud of Bioware for showing the human side of her, especially in ME3. We get to see her crumble a little, and we get to see her deal with her symptoms in ways I imagine a lot of soldiers do. (My PTSD isn’t combat related, but I do have several close friends and family members with combat, and non-combat PTSD.)

It’s also super awesome that you guys are writing about PTSD in your fanfics! I love that fans are willing to explore that part of Shepard’s story. With everything Shepard has been through (regardless of their origin story), it makes sense that it would have an effect on them, no?

But I also think we can do better. Here’s some things to keep in mind: 

1) PTSD is more than just nightmares. This trope is understandable, as this is the symptom Mass Effect features throughout the third game. Don’t get me wrong– a lot of people with PTSD suffer from nightmares, but there are more symptoms than just that. Nightmares are actually kind of rare for me. Other symptoms include, but are not limited to: shaking, muscle tension, trouble communicating (unable to form complete words, phrases, or sentences), flashbacks of the event, avoidance behaviors (isolating yourself or avoiding certain people or places connected to the event, or having trouble forming relationships in general), nausea, loss of appetite, dry-heaving, and hyperventilating (feeling like you can’t breathe.) The last one especially would be difficult for Shepard, as you know…they died by suffocating in space. 

2) Post Traumatic nightmares vary person to person. When I do have them, they aren’t always directly connected to the traumatic event. Maybe it’s just the way my brain works. My dreams tend to take on more symbolic forms based on my underlying feelings surrounding my mental illness. (This week they have all had themes around my inability to communicate or feeling trapped in my situation.) The way I tell the difference between a regular nightmare and a post traumatic one is how I feel afterwards. Post traumatic nightmares leave me feeling wide awake and unable to fall back asleep. They’re harder to wake up from (I lucid dream a lot.)

3) Post Traumatic episodes are EXHAUSTING. This is probably the most misunderstood thing in Mass Effect fanfiction. I see it a lot. You know, Shep has a fucked up day, they lose a dear friend and/or nearly dies, and/or something they experience brings up trauma from their past. Their love interest finds them and they bang. Everything is a–okay. WHAT!? During a post traumatic episode, your body is on high alert. You’re experiencing the purest forms of fight or flight. Your heart is racing. Your adrenaline is up. All your muscles are tensed up and ready to run away or fight for your life. You have tunnel vision. Keep in mind this can happen at any point after the event, and often in contexts that are only mildly stressful to the every day person. Your mind/body isn’t concerned with what happens afterward, only that you survive what it thinks is danger. You probably aren’t going to be up for sexy times afterward. You will probably only want to sleep, but that might not happen because your fear of post traumatic nightmares, or your mind is still keyed up even though your body is exhausted. Also, all that emotional energy is going to be used up. You might feel numb or depressed. You might have thoughts of killing yourself, or fearing for your future. Now, I’m not saying Shep won’t try for sexy times after an episode, but it’s going to look different than normal sex. Maybe they’re using it to distract their partner from their pain. Maybe they use it to ground themselves in their current reality. Timing matters. Is it in the middle of an episode? Is it after? Does Shep mind being touched when they’re experiencing symptoms? These are all things to keep in mind. 

4) Coping mechanisms differ person to person. Some people drink. Others have sex. Some push themselves into their work. Others make art. Some get counseling/therapy. Some exercise. Others take prescription medication. How your Shepard copes and to what degree really depends on how well educated they are about their condition and the emotional support system they have. How well they cope probably changes for better or for worse depending on what point they are in their story. 

Hope you find this helpful. Feel free to reply with questions. (I’m not a mental health professional, but I can speak to my own experiences and that of my loved ones.)

There is one thing that occurred to me while writing my big whining post of whine, and I kind of want to mull it over a bit.

It’s about the series intro.  Rip had it for all of season one.  But he’s never given the intro to season two.

I remember being pleasantly surprised when Martin gave the intro in Out of Time.  It was a nice bit of symbolism.  Showing the new camaraderie and new, casual focus of the group.  And it was fun to see the other characters have a turn.

But I remember wondering when Rip’s turn would happen.  I thought maybe Raiders of the Lost Art.  That was his return episode after all, but no, that was Martin.  Mick had Turncoat, the episode where Rip returns as a villain.  Sara had Land of the Lost, the episode where Rip was fixed.  Mick had Moonshot, the first episode where Rip was back to himself.

I thought maybe he’d get the last episode.  It’d be symbolic.  But there wasn’t a monologue at all in the last episode.  

And I realized something interesting.

Rip’s season one intro is very different from the season two version.  Family.  Blah blah.  Vandal Savage.  Et cetera.  But the final line is: “In the future, my friends may not be heroes.  But if we succeed, they’ll be Legends.”

The season two intro varies from person to person.  But it always culminates the same way.  “Don’t call us heroes, we’re Legends.”

Rip Hunter has never said that phrase.

And I think that’s really interesting, when we look at his departure in Aruba.  Because his reasons for leaving in Aruba are the same issues he confided in Sara with in Moonshot: he doesn’t know a purpose.  He doesn’t have a role anymore.  And Sara gives him that sweet little “sounds like you’re a legend” line.

But is Rip a Legend? 

That’s the interesting question.  He’s always had that self-imposed isolation.  His private grief.  The secrets he keeps.  Sure, he’s confided in Sara some.  And Martin and Ray have also gotten some personal moments out of him.  But that’s not really the same as being part of the group.  In the end, Rip always retreats, alone.

I have no doubt that Rip loves his team.  I think both seasons have shown that clearly.  And I have no doubt that the team cares about him.  But they’re not friends.  He’s never opened himself up enough for that.

The crew don’t really know him as a man.  We’ve never seen him share his interests, passions or enthusiasms with the team.  (Except maybe his passion for the Waverider, which he shares with Jax.)  We’ve never seen him banter or bicker about a chore wheel.  We’ve never seen him share a meal with anyone.  Nothing humanizing.  Nothing personal.

In the end, he isn’t a part of the team.

It’s one thing if Rip’s the leader.  Leaders are often separate from their troops.  And given what we know about the Time Masters, if/when they worked with other people, this is probably the dynamic that they’d favor.  Less attachment.  Less sentiment.  (Rip kind of fails at that one anyway.)  But it means that now that Rip isn’t the leader, he’s stuck realizing, he isn’t part of the group EITHER.

He could ignore that in Fellowship because of the focus on the mission.  (Where he’s still separate, as the one with prior experience and knowledge.)  But now that the mission is over…there’s no escaping the sense of loss and disorientation.

For all of my angst and whining, Rip leaving the team now simply doesn’t feel permanent.  It doesn’t help of course that his reason for leaving “you don’t need me anymore” comes a minute before “SHIT DINOSAURS IN 2017!!!”

This feels like a logical storyline progression.  A natural step in the path that leads to Rip learning how to step forward, open up, and be part of his team instead of separate from them.  

This feels like Rip is about to learn how to be a real boy.

This may be denial.  But I don’t feel like Rip’s story is over.  And if this isn’t permanent, then I think maybe, at the end, we’ll see Rip Hunter say: “WE’RE Legends”

Mute - one

Originally posted by hobiga

Paring: hoseokXreader

Word Count: 1.8k

Summary: You’re mute and it’s been that way since you were ten years old and a series of traumatic events happened. Your only real friend is Yoongi, the one person who understands you without you speaking - that is until Hoseok comes along and opens up your sheltered world.

Notes: Future mature themes, talk of abuse, and more.

One |

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Dealing with Artistic Burnout

Artistic burnout is a problem many artists experience at some point in their career. If you’ve never experienced it, then consider yourself lucky. But if you have, I wanted to talk a little bit about it as someone who has been there.

Let’s be honest, art is a pretty awesome career. We’re extremely fortunate to get paid to do something we really love. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to turn a hobby into a career, and something I am truly grateful for. But like any career, sometimes it’s stressful and difficult, and it requires a lot of effort. It can be frustrating when that thing you used to do for fun in your free time becomes the thing that is causing you stress. It’s the one unfortunate side effect of turning your hobby into your job. Sometimes you’re just not going to enjoy it.

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My New The Adventure Zone AU Concept; AU where everything is mostly the same except that the THB have different classes!

[Trust me guys, I’ve been a lot of thought into the idea of ‘what if the Tres Horny Boys were different classes,’ and I have to say, I really needed to share the idea with you guys!]

[I’ve nicknamed the AU Concept Swap Boys.]

[Now, I say AU Concept because it’s technically not one AU, but at least three AUs! Each AU Concept is separated by different themes, and they are under the read more because I’m not sure that anyone would want a big post like this on their blog. There’s also a small chart in there. It does nothing but show and compare the class options.]

[Disclaimer: I will be honest, I based my answers on how the character are now in this universe, but with alterations. I can fully understand that it’s completely possible that, in the universe where these class choices were canon, then Taako, Merle and Magnus would have been completely different characters, but since we don’t live in that universe, my choices are closer to canon then the universe where it would be canon, so HA!]

[Added Disclaimer: No bracket speak past the read more. Normal typing only. No brackets means serious business.]

[One More Disclaimer: My thought process goes everywhere. Be wary of that.]

[PS: If you make anything for this, please tag me so I can see it and also please tag it as #Swap Boys. Thank you and enjoy.]

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eorlsdotter  asked:

Question! I noticed - maybe I'm wrong - that in all the adaptations, the casting for the main characters is similar: Darcy is dark haired, and so is Lizzie; Jane is blonde and (for some fascinating reason) Bingley is ginger-y. Is there a reason? something in the books that I missed? Some extra source? It seemed too much a coincidence (although I do love Ginger Bingley) thanks!!!

First off, I’m going to refer back to Mullan’s What Matters in Jane Austen? again, because he’s done a whole chapter on what her characters look like (and starts off with a basic examination of casting choices in adaptations and the admiration or outrage which always follows.) “How people look is often suggested rather than specified in Austen’s novels.” He then goes on to quote Sterne’s Tristram Shandy, “…paint her to your own mind–as like your mistress as you can–as unlike your wife as your conscience will let you.”

All we know of Jane is that she is considered very beautiful–as much is said by Bingley, her mother (who has no difficulty criticizing her children when they displease her,) and even Darcy must admit it as a fact. Looks are important in novels where often penniless girls must rely on other attractions in their manners and person–”…words used so frequently about characters when we first meet them: handsome, pretty, gentlemanlike, elegant…”. And yet she avoids specifics–perhaps as a reaction to other novels of her era, where a heroine’s precise points of beauty are totted up among her other virtues to make her a peerless wonder. Austen’s heroines are often described by other characters, rather than the narration, as it’s important to consider who is looking, and how, when looking at their judgements. Some people use a mention in Jane Austen’s letters about Jane wearing the colour green and Elizabeth preferring yellow to be some kind of marker of what their haircolours must have been in Austen’s mind’s eye, but that’s a tenuous argument at best, and if Austen had wanted the world in general to know imagined particulars about Jane and Elizabeth, she would have set them down in the text.

We know Elizabeth’s eyes are fine, and dark, but beyond that, we are given no details. On a genetic level, dark eyes are far more likely to occur in people with darker hair, but Austen wasn’t working with genetics–and dark eyes paired with lighter hair can sometimes be a rare sign of remarkable beauty, as in the descriptions of Irene in Galsworthy’s Forsyte Saga books. (A description which was entirely ignored in the casting of my future wife Gina McKee, but then Irene’s beauty and her allure is such a pivotal force in the novels that to pin it down as necessarily belonging to certain shades of colouring is to make it more trite than it truly is. Irene’s beauty is something beyond what one sees at first glance–it is transcendent charm.)

Dark could mean brown, or also a very dark blue or grey–it’s impossible to tell, exactly. Anne Elliott’s eyes are mild and dark, Fanny Price’s are soft and light, Harriet Smith’s are blue, Jane Fairfax’s a deep grey, (and her lashes and eyebrows called dark, giving us some notion of the likely shade of her hair,) Mary Crawford’s are sparkling and dark…eyes are often the only thing near to a solid description we are given of physical attributes, and even then half of the description is more to do with the expression of the personality or feeling of the character through their glances and gazes, rather than specifically the colour of their irises. (Only Emma Woodhouse’s exact eye-colour is known–they are “hazle” and no adaptation so far has given enough of a shit to make certain of casting.) Marianne Dashwood has very dark eyes, and there is a general comparative description of the figures of the two sisters–but casting directors rarely, if ever, I think, take specifics of figures into account beyond an ‘acceptable’ level of Hollywood slimness.

Now, for the casting trends (exceptions to the pattern you laid out being the 1940 P&P’s Greer Garson being a dirty-blonde/light brown Elizabeth, while Maureen O’Sullivan’s Jane had very dark hair; and the 1980 miniseries with Elizabeth Garvie’s Eliza also having light brown hair while Sabina Franklyn’s Jane was several shades darker–but indeed, the two more recent and well-known adaptations of 1995 and 2005 have the colourings you mentioned,) it’s probably just down to Hollywood mechanics where you’re going to have to combine the tropes of a comparative Ugly Duckling sister as well as a Best Friend/Beta Couple plotline. Coding a blonde woman (or man) as ‘good’ and a darker-haired person as ‘less good’ has been a Thing since long before cinema showed up on the scene. There’s a reason Laura Ingalls spends so much time inwardly (and outwardly) bitching about her sister Mary’s luck in being blonde (and also better-behaved, though this is never explicitly tied to the fact that Mary is blonde, but just ties INTO the overall notion that Mary is The Better Daughter.) Dark-haired heroines throughout older literature have bemoaned their lack of golden locks (notably also in LM Montgomery’s works, with Anne Shirley’s famous sensitivity about her hair being red, but also briefly in Emily Starr’s contemplation of her own black hair and atypical looks, which gets a bit of verse thrown at it which I can’t find sourced anywhere else so must have been made up by Montgomery herself: “If the bards of old the truth have told the sirens had raven hair. But over the earth since art had birth, they paint the angels fair.“

So culturally, in the west, there’s a pervasive notion (especially when it comes to women,) that dark-haired women are the ‘darker’ side of their humanity…the temptresses, the more-likely-to-be-bad. (Though any reasonable reader would be like “…well, they’re human, you see, not out-and-out evil.”) But of course anyone compared to the fair-haired saintly paragon of womanhood would look bad–and so equally is the angelic blonde woman a trope in literature, often but not always used in comparisons against her brunette foil.

In cinema, quite often it’s just to better differentiate between characters, and to use these assumptions which are deeply entrenched in our cultures to play upon our immediate and almost instinctive reactions to visual cues. Jane is super-good, so she’s blonde. Bingley is likewise a bright and easy-going character, with more elements of comedy about him, so he’s got lighter hair, too, either as a strawberry blonde or redhead–but he is definitely the sidekick. I, personally, would be all for a ginger Darcy. Or a ginger-everybody P&P. (But that’s not going to happen, because redheaded men are culturally de-sexed/made less masculine or attractive, whereas redheaded women are more inclined to be overly-sexualized. Humanity is weird.) Darcy is a brooding brunette, because darker hair in the case of a male character gives them gravitas and mystery. It’s that damn Byronic thing coming into play. Dark hair, dark secrets. It’s a visual construct we’ve trapped ourselves into, at this point. Also, when you’ve got two love-stories running more or less concurrently, an audience needs visual markers to help them quickly identify and individualize (and therefore emotionally-invest in) the characters. More morally-dubious and fascinating hero and heroine Elizabeth and Darcy are brunettes because we see them making mistakes and drawing our attention by being fuck-ups. Lizzie can’t be the Prettier Sister, so she’s more automatically made the Brunette Underdog. Darcy is brooding and mysterious–so it’s very easy to make him dark-haired. Their contrasts are in their secondary characters–Jane and Bingley. Jane is prettier, and good-hearted (moreso than Eliza, anyway,) so she ascends to Blonde. Bingley is the Good Friend, and seemingly with fewer social defects compared to Darcy, so as the Nice Man, he gets lighter hair to also differentiate him from Darcy and make him more matchy-matchy with Jane. Our brains are making these connections based on visuals even before we’ve gotten half a dozen words of dialogue from any of these people.

This happens often in films and TV shows–in Coppola’s Dracula, Sadie Frost (a natural brunette) was made a vibrant redhead as Lucy to contrast to Winona Ryder’s more sedate and mysterious Mina. (Though this also had the fun effect of tying in a possible reference to the historical link between redhaired people and vampires, and the whole mythos of redhaired women in particular and sexual allure/witchcraft/spiritual evil–particularly as THIS version of Lucy is much more heavily sexualized compared to her book counterpart. I don’t know how much of the hair-colour-change was on purpose from Coppola’s perspective, and largely it’s just handwaved as being so people could really tell apart the ONLY TWO MAJOR FEMALE CHARACTERS IN THE FILM, but personally I think it’s an interesting choice–particularly compared to Katie McGrath’s blonde Lucy.) Again, we see the contrasting of virtue coded in hair-colouring, as Lucy is a character known for her sweetness and purity…as well as being a secondary female character to the heroine, and hence her more-virtuous foil…with lighter hair. Mina’s place as an educated, working, and married woman, with a more active part in the narrative, particularly as her brushes with dark forces mark her as ‘unholy’, makes it easier to code her as ‘complicated’, i.e. a brunette. Interestingly, this is set on its head in Penny Dreadful, where Mina becomes the blonde, doomed damsel, and her friend/lover Vanessa is the raven-haired woman at the center of a maelstrom of fucked up shit full of vampires, witches, and devils. Essentially if you want your heroine to go ‘bad’ a little (or a lot), give her a better-by-comparison blonde friend and have at it.

Of course, since these tropes are so pervasive, we do see stories where this is purposefully mirrored or mocked, where the icy blonde is the femme fatale or turncoat who uses her appeal to deceive others–but this relies just as heavily on the initial assumption that a fair-haired character is intrinsically ‘better’ on a moral level.

To conclude, this is why I think we see that general trend with colouring when it comes to casting/styling these characters in cinematic adaptations, as we have really very little in the text to go on, but from the characters themselves there are long traditions to draw from for visual cues to quickly and adeptly condition audiences to draw certain assumptions about these characters which enable us to rapidly bond with and understand them to some degree. I want to specify “Western” audiences because the blonde/brunette thing is at its roots kind of a colourism thing which is grossly pervasive in a white supremacist society going back for centuries, and Caucasian beauty standards do not and should not apply globally; but as the media most of us are familiar with is dominated by this white heteronormative patriarchal history, these tropes and codings exist for ultimately gross reasons. Frankly we could all do without them from this day forward, but change can be slow and so these stereotypes continue to exist and blonde people on-screen for now often continue to be the tacit code for ‘these people are the purest bestest people’ while the darker-haired people are almost always more morally-grey, complicated–even troubling–and made more ‘fascinating’ by their more flawed natures. It’s a shitty way of doing things, but we’ve been culturally conditioned to respond to things like that, and so it works.

Anyway, thanks for asking this one–my answer went to places I wasn’t fully expecting me to go, but I enjoyed blowing the dust off my film studies qualifications and I always love yelling about culture.

Barnes’ Books - chapter 6

Not gonna lie, this chapter is disappointing. I’m sorry. No matter what, I couldn’t get it to flow, it’s all disjointed and I hate it :/ 

I have a plan for the next chapter (when Bucky’s fiancee should appear) but I don’t blame you if you give up after this one. I’m sorry I suck.

Barnes’ Books masterlist

I definitely felt different as I walked out of the hospital. I always tried to be a positive person, although the last few months had really got me down, but I liked to see the good in people.  Knowing that Bucky had seen my picture, and cared enough to think James would like it, that made me feel warm inside. Sure, Bucky was a bit of an ass, but he made his granddad smile, and that did endear me to him.

Yeah, I’ll admit there was a bit of vanity in there too. Hearing ‘you have talent’ was nice. And yes, OK, you win. Bucky was pretty good looking, fine, yes. So knowing he’d mentioned me was a bit of a boost. I’d been dumped! It was nice to be on someone’s radar, even if a little voice in my head was whispering ‘he probably said ‘that crazy cat hair woman who hangs around drew this’…’ Whatever it was, I felt more positive than I had done for a while. I’d wallowed for a while, and while knew the positivity wouldn’t last, I had to make hay while the sun shines and all that. Not that it was, shining that is. Rain again. But that was OK. I splashed back from the hospital to my flat, and decided to take stock.  

Keep reading

Interview: Fran

Today we’re joined by Fran. Fran is a phenomenal musician who plays a variety of instruments and also participates in her school’s marching band. When she’s not playing music, Fran enjoys doodling and is currently writing a novel, which sounds like a fun adventure (a superhero rom-com, how can you not love that). She has also written some poetry and short stories. It’s very clear that Fran is a dedicated and versatile artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.


Please, tell us about your art.

I just graduated high school and plan to attend university as a double major in music education and music performance. My primary instrument is flute, but I also play saxophone and a little bit of piano, ukulele, and clarinet. I really enjoy playing classical music, but a lot of my passion lies in jazz, and I am a member of my high school marching band and a future member of my college marching band. I also doodle a little bit, and I am writing a rom com superhero novel about a meteorite that wishes that she can become human and the stars grant her wish. It is a wlw romance, but mostly it consists of humor and superhero action. I also write poetry and short stories.

What inspires you?

My hero is Michael Giacchino and other movie soundtrack writers like him. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved getting inspiration for my music from soundtracks. Because of this wonderful music guiding my life, I plan on inspiring others to pursue music by teaching, and maybe even continue my talents into the professional field. For my visual art, I mostly get inspiration from my friends. We all draw together as a hobby so we get inspired by each other often. For my writing I am inspired by my favorite authors, J.K. Rowling, Brandon Sanderson, David Leviathan, and Rick Riordan. I love writing books with positive outlooks and messages about love and peace.

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

I have loved music and art ever since I was a child. I started playing flute in 4th grade and I have been obsessed with band ever since. I loved watching movies and playing games almost solely for the excellent musical track. It was only a matter of time until I decided it would be my career. I’ve drawn and written for just as long. I wrote many short stories when I was young, and drew in that stereotypical 6th grade anime style that all artists cringe at later in life. My writing and drawing styles are a little bit better now, though I look back at my childhood doodles and stories with fondness.

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

Not really. My signature is just my name in cursive.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

If you want to be a musician, do it! Don’t let anyone tell you it’s a “phony career” and that you won’t be able to make a living with it. With hard work and a little thinking outside of the box, you can make a good career out of any art form. Follow your dream and don’t let the downers destroy your passion!


Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as an Asexual Lesbian. I experience no sexual attraction, but I am romantically attracted to girls exclusively.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

I’ve had people tell me that you can’t have a romantic relationship without sex and that I’ll “change my mind”. It used to bother me, but now I just let the words wash over me. I know that I’ll find someone who will understand and love that part about me. I can’t help it that their concept of relationships is so small-minded. I don’t experience that often, though. Most people in my field are very accepting.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

That I can’t experience a romantic relationship. Many people lump asexual and aromantic together without realizing that they are both different. You can be both, or just one or the other. There are also people who think I’m just innocent. It’s true that I’m a bit innocent in some areas, I don’t like to cuss, I don’t have a dirty mind, I would rather watch Disney movies than anything with too much sex or violence, but that has nothing to do with my orientation. I know how sex works. I just don’t want to have it.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

Don’t feel like you have to rush into a label. And your label can be fluid and change over time. I know that I may change my label in the future. Just like your favorite color changes over time, so can your label. Also, I know it’s hard living in a world where sex can be prioritized over a healthy and understanding relationship. Be who you are. Because “those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter won’t mind”. Your identity is a beautiful thing!

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

I don’t really have a website or anything. Most of my work is just in my ensembles or in my community.

Thank you, Fran, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

2017, Season 4, and Series Ends

Hey Friends,

Does everyone have a minute? I wanted to share a couple of things about the future of Wolf 359 and what we’re going to be doing this year. And, as is so often the case with these sorts of things, it comes in the form of Good News and Bad News.

First, the Farnsworth bit: good news, everyone! Wolf 359 will be back this year, and we will be doing a full season. Hooray! Season Four will begin on June 12th, and it’ll be fifteen…ish full episodes. I know that’s a longer gap between seasons than we’ve had before, but we want to spend a bit longer on the writing and the production of these upcoming episodes. And - more good news! - that also means we won’t be taking a mid-season hiatus this year. Once new episodes begin, we’ll run, uninterrupted, every two weeks until the final episode on December 25th.

Which leads us to the bad news, and that is that… well, there’s no easy way to say it, so let’s just get it out: Wolf 359 is coming to its end. This upcoming season’s final episode will also be our series finale.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

I utterly ADORE your gemling art and headcanons. Will you ever maybe draw when the gemlings are "born"? Cute crystal family au's ftw!

(I did a few drawings and I wanted to write some text to give the drawings a context, but the text ended up too long… uh, fanfic time, I guess?… under a read more for length dammit Tumblr mobile. Sorry for the long post)

It seems to be happening more and more often these days.

Here is how it usually goes: Out of nowhere, one of the geodes will wiggle or glow faintly. Someone will notice it and yell for the others to come quickly. Everyone in the house will stop what they’re doing on the spot and come running, expectant, holding their breaths with excitement and then… the geode will stop moving abruptly as soon as they arrive, going back to be a simple, motionless, boring rock.

“I swear they do it on purpose” Amethyst says with an exasperated sigh, throwing herself on the couch. She was getting tired of the emotional ups and downs that came with these false alarms, especially because this time she was the one who called out for everyone to come. She was so sure it was for real this time…

“Don’t be ridiculous, Amethyst” Pearl says, sitting by her side “They can’t be aware of our presence… They don’t even have bodies yet”

“Oh, just wait till they do have bodies then. They’re gonna be the biggest of pranksters. I know it”

“Ooh, please no. I have more than enough with the original prankster…” Pearl says with mocking annoyance, and reaching out to fix Amethyst’s bangs out of her face.

“You just wait, P” Amethyst grins “They’re gonna put me to shame, those two”

The geodes are now innocently sitting in their basket, on the middle of the living room table, happily ignorant of the agitation they just caused.

Steven had made an improvised “nest” for the geodes using a basket and one of his old blankets, a blue one with yellow stars. Pearl explained to him that geodes are not really like bird eggs at all and that they don’t need cushioning or warmth, but Steven insisted. In the end she let him because she knows that’s just Steven being Steven, he has a caring heart and always wants to help, even in his own childish way. And if she’s honest, the basket has been a pretty handy way to move the geodes around every time they need to.

The kid himself is sitting besides Garnet on the other couch. Pearl notices his attention is on the geodes, and he looks uncharacteristically serious.

“Everything’s okay, Steven?”

“Yeah… I was just thinking…” He says looking at her with some worry “It’s been days and days and they keep doing that… what if the gemlings actually have difficulty going out, what if they need some help?”

“No, no…” Pearl says dismissing the idea “It’s very normal for geodes to do that quite a few times before being born” she explains “If they still stayed inert at this stage that would be more worrisome, actually”

“They’ll take a few false attempts before they can take physical form” Garnet adds reassuringly “Don’t worry too much about it”  

Steven looks up at Garnet, wondering how much of what she says is actually a prediction.

“Garnet, can’t you know exactly when are they going to be born? You know, with your future vision?” he asks.

She looks at him without any expression readable on her face for a moment and fixes her glasses before answering.

“No. The start of a new life comes shrouded in a cloud of uncertainties. Too much potential, too many possibilities, too many things that can go wrong…” Steven’s expression darkens at the last part, Garnet offers him a smile “…but also as many possibilities of everything going right. It’s just impossible to see one clear future right now. At this point, the best thing to do is to be patient and be ready”

Steven smiles back “I guess you’re right”

Garnet reaches out and ruffles his hair, making him chuckle.

It’s kind of like babysitting, when you think about it.

The gems had to go on a mission today. Garnet’s future vision had caught a glimpse of something that was urgent, so there was no way around it, they had to go. But someone had to stay behind to keep an eye on the geodes, and it was decided Steven will do this time. The geodes were reacting more and more often lately, and Pearl had said this meant they would hatch any day now.

Steven understands this, he understands why it was necessary, and he understands it’s also a sign of the trust they have in him… but still it sucks having to stay behind.

It feels like such a long time since the days he wasn’t allowed to go on missions, he had forgotten how long the wait could feel.

After grabbing some snacks, he decides to take the geode basket with him to his bedroom, that way he can keep an eye on it while playing some videogames.

He doesn’t have to just sit and wait when he has the new Golf Quest game to finish, right? It has the biggest golf course to explore yet and there is so much to do in it—way too much actually, he hasn’t been able to progress that much since he got it. He is supposed to be on a mission to awake the four mystical caddies but he keeps getting distracted with sidequests.

“All right, now where were those caddies…?”

It’s later when he realizes the room is getting darker. He pauses the game and sees the sky outside the window is starting to fade from its clean blue to radiant oranges and pinks. He checks the time on his cellphone, and sighs.

Without the sound and music from the videogame, the house seems eerily silent in the twilight. Looking around, he sees the two geodes, still patiently resting in their basket, keeping him company.

“Your moms and Garnet are taking their time to come back, huh?” He says casually. The geodes, of course stay silent. It may be silly, but he feels a little bit less lonely with them around. He smiles amused, and continues as if he was really having a conversation “Hey, maybe when you two are a little older we can play videogames together. I can teach you how, it will be fun”

But it’s then he notices something weird on one of the geodes. The slightly bigger one, the one which Peridot had said it was definitely an amethyst. He moves closer to look at it…

There’s a crack on its surface. A single one that extends almost through half the height of the geode. He takes the geode to examine it closely.

“Oh no…” his mind is going over the possibilities: what if he was too brusk when carrying them around, what if it fell to the floor or something while he was distracted playing videogames…

He’s about to touch the crack with his finger when it starts to extent on its own.

Realizing what’s going on, he starts to panic.

“Aaaahhh!” he jumps off his feet “It’s hatching! For real this time! What do I do?!”

Right in that moment, he hears the sound of the portal. Thanking all the stars he runs down to the living room with the cracking geode in his hands.


He sees the three gems standing on the portal, all calm and casual, as if they would have just come back from the grocery store or a walk to the park, and not from fighting gem monsters and saving the world.

“Dude, what’s wrong? Where’s the fire?” says Amethyst when she sees him coming towards them in big leaps.

“It’s breaking! It’s breaking!” Steven shows them the geode in his hands.

“What?!” Pearl exclaims at the same time Garnet and Amethyst gasp.

“What do we do now?!”  Steven is jumping from feet to feet.

“All right, calm down, Steven” Pearl says slowly to the kid “First, let’s just—”

But it happens too fast. Pearl isn’t able to finish what she was about to say because the geode’s surface starts to crumble down rapidly, light escaping through its cracks. Suddenly, it explodes with white light, blinding Steven momentarily…

When he opens his eyes again, the geode is no longer in his hands, what’s left of it is spread all over the floor, bits and pieces of rock, dust and broken crystals, but Steven doesn’t notice any of that, his attention is on the sphere of light floating in the air above him.

The sphere flares and flickers with uncertainty for a moment, until it finally resolves into the shape of a tiny, humanoid form. Big head, small body, the proportions of an infant. It starts as a featureless silhouette but grows in complexity in an instant. Light solidifies and turns into matter, into flesh.

Then, there she is, a tiny figure crowned with unruly hair. She floats down, softly. Breaking out of their astonishment, more than one of the gems holds out their hands to take her midair, before she descends all the way down to the floor, but Steven is the closest and she lands softly on his hands.

The room feels even more dark now that the white light has faded. The sky outside the window is now pink turning into violet. Garnet who, as always, is the most composed one in any situation, turns on the living room lamp so they can see.

In Steven’s hand, the gemling makes sounds like little squeals of discomfort at the light, clenching her tiny hands in front of her face. The gemling is so small. Even smaller than a newborn human. She is not naked like a human could’ve expected from a newborn, she’s clothed, just like all gems are when they reform, but what she’s wearing has no particular features, it’s just one piece of clothing that fits her exactly, only her head and her hands are uncovered.

“Awwwww!” Steven exclaims, his eyes couldn’t get any starrier. He shakes his head to break out of his enthrallment and deposits the gemling on Amethyst’s hands “Here’s your mom…” he says with a big smile. Amethyst holds her carefully but Steven notices her hands are uncharacteristically unsteady. She’s tearing up, but she is no competition for Pearl who is openly crying over Amethyst’s shoulder.

The gemling uncovers her face sluggishly, apparently still not quite happy with how bright the world seems to be, but getting used to it. Once she is able to open her eyes she first focuses on Amethyst’s face. Amethyst smiles so hard it looks goofy “Hey there” is the only thing she can think of saying.

There’s no doubt the gemling’s gemtype. Her skin is not quite the exact color her mother is, but it’s purple no doubt. Hers is more like the color of the clouds at dawn, purple but tinged with something like pink. Her full head of pale hair may not be as impressive in length yet but it already has all the character of a quartz mane. And her face is all Amethyst: Her tiny round nose; her wide, expressive, dark eyes; her mischievous little smile.

‘Definitely a prankster’ is what crosses Pearl’s mind when she looks at her expression, she laughs at the thought between her tears. It’s a hysterical joyful laugh. No one else gets the joke but it doesn’t matter, everyone is so happy they join in.

“Hey baby, here’s your other mom too” Amethyst says to the gemling ”You wanna meet her?” she holds her up for Pearl.

“I-I…” Pearl doesn’t take her right away. She seems nervous about holding her.

“Pearl, It’s all right, you got this” encourages Amethyst, but without being pushy and Pearl feels grateful for her patience.

After a moment, Pearl accepts the gemling, it takes her a moment to get how to hold her in a comfortable way, but she gets it. She craddles the tiny gemling in her hands and holds her to her chest. When she looks at her, the gemling is already looking up at her with her dark eyes.

“H-Hello, baby” Pearl says, but she can barely get it out. She can’t help it, tears starts falling down all over again.

She feels the weight of Garnet’s hand on her shoulder “Congratulations”

The sky outside the window is now all stars against deep dark blue. They’re all sitting on the floor of the living room together. The soft light of the moonlight and the warm light of the living room lamp create a very calming mood, which is very welcome after all the emotions of the day. 

They brought the basket with the remaining geode back to the living room to keep an eye on it, Amethyst is lying down next to it, like she’s guarding it. She’s pretending to be asleep, but she knows she won’t be able to sleep today. Instead, she’s listening to Steven talking with Pearl.

“What are you guys going to name her?” she hears Steven asking.

Pearl is still holding the gemling, after her initial reluctance, now she seems to not want to put her down. Steven is kneeling beside her, leaning over to look at the gemling.

“Steven, naming each individual member of a species is really more of a human thing…”

“But what are we going to call her?” he insists “We can’t call her Amethyst, that would get confusing after a while, wouldn’t it?”

“Hmmm…” Pearl murmurs not sounding convinced.

Amethyst turns her head around and looks at the other geode still quietly sitting on the basket beside her, looking lonely.

“What’s taking you so long?” She whispers worried. It’s been a few hours now since the other geode broke, but this one shows no movement, no cracks, no nothing…

Before her mind can take her to the worst possibilities, she hears Garnet’s voice, startling her.

“She’s fine” Garnet is sitting cross-legged a couple of meters away from her.

Amethyst sits up, feeling embarrassed at the idea that Garnet may have been observing her the whole time. With her visor, you can never know what she’s looking at… she had been so quiet, Amethyst thought maybe Garnet had decided to sleep for once.

“You can’t know that, Garnet” Amethyst says “You said you can’t look into the geode’s future, and that there’re still possibilities of things going wrong”

“It’s true” Garnet admits “But just because they didn’t hatch at the same time it doesn’t mean something’s wrong. Different gemtypes have different hatching times. It may be days or weeks until the other one hatches” 

Amethyst feels embarrassed again. Of course, she was supposed to know that. There are many things she doesn’t know because she never lived in Homeworld. She has been trying hard to keep up, but there always seem to be some essential fact she’s missing “Right, of course… I didn’t even know about that… what a great mother I’m going to be” She says with harshness, crossing her arms, clearly upset with herself and not with Garnet.  

“You’re doing well, Amethyst” Garnet says “No one expects you to know everything, and you can always ask”

Amethyst sighs, uncrossing her arms. She takes the geode from the basket and holds it close to her, finding comfort in its solidity and its weight.

“I just… I just want them to be well and happy”

Garnet smiles “That’s more than enough”


I asked a wise woman I know to gift me with some life advice as a graduation present. These are her words:

You are no new traveler. You have not asked for, nor do you need, the basics for whatever journeys are painted on the map ahead. Your rucksack is worn, your shoes wise with the miles behind, and your compass, though still newer, is steady. What follows are not directions that you need. These are more like signposts that have served me well, places where I have found water to refill my heart and canteen, knowledge of which plants have made me sick, and which berries will sustain. As endless as the mysteries of the wild are, so too we are never done exploring life’s trails. Here’s to the next leg. You are never ready. Yet, you already are.

• My partner always says: “What’s the intention? And what’s the expectation?” When faced with whether to have a difficult conversation with someone or make some choice, ask yourself those two questions. If you answer honestly, the truth that you already know usually guides the way. We cannot lie about our intentions to ourselves; even if we do, we have nothing to gain by doing so. And typically the expectation is not hiding, it is merely an unasked question begging to be answered.

• You attract more bees with honey than vinegar. Always. Without exception. No one has ever changed their mind by reading an angry social media post or text, or being yelled at. I forget this every time I let my fury and passion get the best of me. Then I must remember it in the ensuing silence when I have to confront why no one wanted to engage in the conversation. Crowds don’t follow individuals because they are right, they follow because they are captivated. Being “right” does not inherently earn you anything. People don’t want to be told what to do. They want to find their way, and they always remember who helped them do that and who made them feel guilty for trying.

• Silence is sometimes a wise choice and not necessarily a weakness. I consider myself a very principled person in that when a rule is “technically” broken it is broken; and it infuriates me. I guess this is a “pick your battles” sort of cliché. But it’s true. Having principles does not mean always beating other people over the head with them. Trust earned now means a platform later. I am confident that you, like me, will not rarely struggle to speak up (maybe sometimes, but not often). Our more frequent battle is the challenge to listen and hear beyond our gut reaction. It’s endlessly difficult, but fantastically rewarding. People do surprise me, when I let them. And they teach me many unexpected lessons, if only I am ready to learn.

• I recently carried numerous suitcases of heavy bitterness up to my mountain and left them all there. People always say holding onto bitterness is like eating the poison waiting for it to kill the rat. I’ve heard isms like that my whole life and obstinately—I couched it as, successfully—held onto all my grudges. Don’t do that any longer than you have to. It has made me faster to anger, and slower to listen and learn. So take your suitcases of anger, bitterness, and hurt, and leave them somewhere. You can go back there to feel them, but only there. When I am on the mountain I can reflect on those past wounds, but when I leave, they stay. They don’t live on my shoulders anymore.

• Nest, make spaces what they need to be to feel like yourself and at home—but don’t accumulate stuff. As a practical matter (for moving—which, for nearly 26 years, I’ve done an average of once every 1-2 years), but also as a spiritual matter. Select the objects and energy you keep in your space wisely. I am constantly learning, forgetting, and then re-learning that new clothes, new belonging, or food and TV binges are like drinking sand. But hiking, plants, gathered rocks and totems, dried flowers, sage, art, reading, and images that reflect my journey and the life I’m building with my partner help ground me in the anxious moments.

• Rescue a fur-child, and fall in love with it and let it teach you all the beautiful things you have to learn from it. Walk it, daily if you can. Take good care of it. It will cost you money and time and heartbreak and it will keep you from being social and it will make you worry and it will be one of the best things you have ever done.

• Save. And never underestimate how fast that money can be spent. I once had about $10,000 saved during college and it was gone within a year. Before law school, I was once stranded in a parking lot, no gas, credit cards maxed out, in the red on my debit card, aaaandddd on my period without any tampons. Money is not everything. And in abundance it will spend you dry and dissatisfied. But being a she-hustler and having a responsible-ass savings account will never feel like a bad choice either.

• Get smart credit cards deals, use credit cards, and pay them off each month. There can be a lot of anti-credit sentiment among younger generations, but I have better credit than people twice my age. It costs you nothing, and it will give you the option of great deals on your terms with cars and homes in the future. If you spend more than you can pay, learn that lesson fast and never need to learn it again.

• Make real art. Know you will spend your whole life re-defining all three of those words. Challenge yourself to search and create even when it is not easy. But do not guilt yourself when the muse is hibernating. Striving to grow and learn, even in seasons of drought, is not fake if you are doing it for you. But never feel guilt or shame about taking refuge in a hiatus and waiting for the next season to come. I know that I will write stories and poems and novels one day to feed myself. It may be many years from now. I rest in nurturing this particular part of my intellectual curiosity without fearing a loss of identity and self by not currently exploring my artistic curiosities. You will change and shape-shift throughout this next summer and the rest of your life, it does not mean you are losing anything. Release expectations of yourself that do not make you better. Reject the same when imposed by anyone else.

• Forgive the friends who leave, viciously love the ones who stay, and part with the ones who do not uplift you or make you better. There are people who are in our lives, as we know deep in our hearts, only for us to love them and learn from that experience. In my opinion, that should be the minority of individuals. The vast majority should share in the belief that relationships are two-way streets. Friends are seasons, too. I have spent a lot of wasted grief and bitterness figuring out how to accept that. But acceptance of that truth makes you a better friend for that given period of time.

• Listen to the voice in your gut, your chest, or the back of your mind—wherever you’ve placed it and made it cozy. Even when what it is saying is contrary to the advice of others. Hear their wisdom, consider it, let it inform the conversation you are having with your own Voice. And then listen to your own. You may be wrong, but I’m willing to bet you usually will not be. Hone the voice and take care of it so you can hear it better. Spend time in quietness with yourself. Practice mindfulness. Meditate. Pray. The minute I started listening to that Voice within I finally started living fully and honestly, and it hasn’t led me (too far) astray.

• Fight ego. We will spend our lives discovering and confronting the insecurities and ego that lurk in the shadows of our hearts and rob us of joy and valuable lessons. It’s a tiring battle sometimes. But keep at it. Humility is plant that needs constant sunlight and watering. Ego is an often-forgotten weed in the backyard that needs constant hacking.
I’ll end with this. You may be facing this summer and the nebulous “future” of post-college graduation and thinking, “what the fuck now?” If someone asked you what you wanted to do, you would (maybe) respond with an “I don’t know” only because it is not clean-cut or “acceptable” to list out thirty different things as an answer. I doubt that you really do not know—you likely know dozens of things you want to do but don’t know what the “right” next step is.

I once had a conversation with someone in response to this question, and it has stuck with me ever since. He asked me the question, I actually responded with a list of ten things I wanted to do and said I didn’t know where to begin. And he said, “just pick one, and do it until it’s not right anymore.”

We long for a sense of identity—the ability to say “I AM doing this,” and “I AM this person,” or “THIS career.” The idea of test-driving a pursuit and it not being final is paralyzing to most of the population. That fear—the fear of not making the “right” next step—keeps people from taking out loans to go to school, quitting jobs they hate, moving out of cities they are stagnant in, and challenging themselves at something they dream of doing. Just pick one. And do it until it’s not right anymore.

I changed my major in undergrad seven times. Literally seven different times I was convinced I knew my future. I nearly dropped out of college to devote all of my time to the restaurant company I was working for, convinced, again, that I would manage restaurants and then open my own someday. I graduated with an essentially worthless degree, and would weave in and out of a handful of jobs again for the next two years before I ended up on the path to law school. And you know how it happened? One day, my dear boss looked at me and said, “You’d be a great lawyer.” One sentence fell into my chest like a seed. We can’t anticipate those moments. We can only work hard to be listening and brave for when they come knocking. Just pick one, and do it until it doesn’t feel right anymore.

You are a remarkable human. I am endlessly amazed at, inspired by, and proud of you. Take care of yourself however you need to in the months ahead. Go on a trip, write a lot, paint a lot, be quiet. Rest. But don’t get stuck. The world is waiting for you, and she’s excited about whatever you’re wearing when you show up. Leave not a minute too soon, but don’t keep her waiting too long.

Interview: Emily

Today we’re joined by Emily. Emily is a phenomenal visual artist who does a lot of 2D art and fashion design. She’s a fashion designer and illustrator who is currently studying both, Aside from fashion design, Emily draws and paints. The gowns she designs are gorgeous (the green one is one of the prettiest dresses I’ve ever seen). She obviously has an incredibly bright future ahead of her. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.


Please, tell us about your art.

I enjoy making both 2D art- mainly drawing and painting- and fashion design. When I do a 2D piece, the subject matter can range anywhere from facial portraits to abstract works. I enjoy the challenge of attempting to render something as realistically as possible, as well as the expressiveness of working freely with color and shape to portray certain ideas or emotions without specific subject matter. As far as fashion design goes, my taste is quite out there and fun, I think. I like to design clothes for someone who wants to look unique, as well as feel confident and elegant. Gowns are my main base of inspiration.

What inspires you?

Anything really- it can be as typical as elements of nature, or as random as the shape of some books on a shelf. Often I find myself inspired by something I had overlooked in the past, but suddenly catches my eye in a different way. I also take a lot of inspiration from elements of fantasy story telling- dragons and other mythical creatures, battle armor, historical garments worn by past royalty.

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

I’m not entirely sure, really. I’ve been drawing since I could hold a crayon, and I remember drawing clothing based on my own ideas as early as five years old. I think I’ve always liked that you could take a blank page and put anything you want on it. I also really enjoyed looking at the different ways characters on TV and in movies were dressed- I liked that you could further emphasize who a character was through their clothing.

I do remember in fifth grade realizing that fashion design was a huge field that someone could go into as a career, and since then the idea has pretty much stuck.

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

I don’t - but I should, that sounds awesome!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I became more and more enthusiastic about making art when I could see improvements from my past work. Keep a sketchbook, even if it takes you two years to fill it, you can look back to the older stuff and see how you’ve grown. Try not to be ashamed to make mistakes- anyone who points them out with bad intentions is likely insecure about their work as well. Anything that gives you joy is worth doing- try not to let it be something that gives you stress. The more positive it is to hone your craft, the more you will want to practice, and the more rewarding it will be.


Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Demisexual, possibly demiromantic.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

In the particular fields of art and fashion design, no. But in life, sure. I try to remember that asexuality isn’t commonly heard of. Unfortunately, it’s often human nature to fear and reject things we don’t yet understand- often, others’ problems are not with me personally, and I try to bear in mind that my sexuality is just one part of me as a whole. Just because someone is unwilling to rearrange their understanding of something doesn’t mean that thing doesn’t exist.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

That asexuals are just scared or repressed. Particularly for me, that demisexuals simply don’t want to have a physical relationship until they’re connected, rather than literally not feeling attracted until then. I’ve also been told, by a non-ace, that asexual representation doesn’t matter. I cannot communicate enough how much less stressful and anxious I would have felt about life and relationships in the future had I known early on, or even found out in Sex Education, that asexuality was a thing.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

Honestly, I’m not sure- I felt relieved when I heard about asexuality. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to accept it about myself extremely quickly and easily. I was relieved to find out that I wasn’t an outlier. Maybe that’s some advice right there; you are part of a community that, though it seems small, is much larger than you know. You are not now, nor will you ever be alone in this. There’s no shame in taking time to learn about yourself. Research often helps me feel less anxious about something- stories from other aces, reading about common experiences. Making friends who are asexual online is very comforting to lots of people as well.

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

My Instagram is a good place to start: at Emvilyse. Soon, I’ll have a portfolio website, which I will link in the bio of that account when it’s ready.

Thank you, Emily, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

you were unexpected

a little short piece about indie start out simon lewis and famous rock star jace wayland, inspired by this from @littleartbot

There are people screaming his name outside. After the last few years, he should probably be used to that, but somehow it’s never quite gotten to be normal. Alec teases him all the time about it, about how Jace is too famous for them now, and although Jace might joke along with them, that could never be true. Alec and Izzy are his anchors, the things stopping him losing focus on what’s important. Without them, he has no doubt that his grip on reality would be long gone. It’s oh so easy, in a world of fans and photoshoots and concerts and interviews and tours. Too easy.

He might have scoffed years ago, at the rock stars and A-list stars that ended up drowning in a multitude of sins when they had the world at their feet. But it gets it now - god, he gets it.

The concert hall is bigger than he’d expected - the main venue down the hall and through the doors, but some smaller venues are in the same building. He’s playing here next week, and only came to check out what the setup was. He didn’t know how any of his ‘fans’ had worked out he was going to be here, but they had. Security was handling it, though. Thank the lord for security.

His mind is spinning as he walks, exploring the venue, just seeing what’s going on. He’s always loved music, and getting to walk like this is a luxury he doesn’t often have. But before he can get very far, it’s music that lures him off his path, and to the stage door of one of the concert halls, and the stage. There’s a boy there, strumming his guitar, singing like an angel.

He’s good. Really good.

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One Piece: the Straw Hats' eye colours

As you should know, Eiichiro Oda draws his characters with small, black dot eyes, except for most of the women (whose irises are clearly visible, particularly since the post-timeskip art evolution). Although, in certain scenes – especially when the characters are serious, determined, or emotional, and sometimes just because it’s a close up – the men’s irises can be seen and are thus coloured in Eiichiro Oda’s artwork. After some intense study I’ve been able to figure out the eye colours of most (but not all) of the Straw Hats, listed below. This may be of help to fan artists, colourists and fanfic writers who wish to stay as true to canon as possible. I’ll mostly stay out of using the anime or movies for reference, since the manga is a higher source of canon (in my book anyway). I may update this post in the future if I get new information on the subject, and feel free to tell me if you know something I don’t! I’ll be able to provide sources for each picture so that you can see better for yourself if there is demand for it. (Just message me if you’re interested!)

Also: If you think this is totally boring and stupid, just ignore it!


As the main character, Luffy is the one most often depicted in artwork, and frequently at the center. For these reasons, finding out his eye colour should be easy, but it was frustratingly difficult.

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Prompt: “Imagine your otp proposing repeatedly at different restaurants to get free food; and when the real proposal comes and they get free ice cream or something, person a is like ‘omg that was a really good one the whole speech was a nice touch where did you get this ring it looks so realistic omg’ and person b is just like ‘r u fucking kidding me’.”

As requested by the amazingly patient @ishipallthings <3 <3 <3

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