better your best

sometimes “doing your best” is being top of your class, straight As, etc. sometimes “doing your best” is just showing up to class without your homework and sleeping through half of it because that’s the best you can do. be proud of yourself either way.


happily dancing with his lightstick and then…

Eliminating a toxic person from your life is very much like going to the eye doctor for an annual checkup. You don’t notice anything wrong with your vision/current prescription until you get a new prescription and everything looks so much better and brighter all of a sudden

You’re important. Fuel your body with the right nutrients. Drink plenty of water. Shower regularly. Get up even when motivation seems like a distant reality. You’ll thank yourself later.

take this passion, turn it into action

pairing: marcus flint x oliver wood
word count: 1691
a/n: dedicating this one to @lilyevians - I just wanted to bring a little cheer into your world right now because I got the sense that you might need it. I sent that anon ask yesterday and rolled with the flintwood+fake dating trope because I can’t stop/won’t stop. <3 (title from Stop Desire by Tegan and Sara)

“I still don’t know why I’m helping you with this,” Oliver mumbled, straightening out his tie and glancing at Marcus in the mirror reflection above his shoulder.

Marcus groaned and shook his head. “Didn’t think you could get more thick. I told you. Adrian and Terry have been making fun of me for fucking ever for not having a date, and what better way than to fuck with them then showing up at Cassius’s wedding reception with you?”

Oliver sighed, but he agreed. It had all been a coincidence anyways, the two of them running into each other. Or at least, a product of themselves, the fact that they had been signed to competing teams. Now that the war was over and the International Federation was holding events again, it was only a matter of time before they would have run into one another. What was so strange about it was that they had spoken that first event, Marcus had reached out his hand for a truce. And things were still shaky, might always be shaky between the two of them, but over the part couple months Oliver had started to consider Marcus a friend, or at least something approaching a friend.

Which is why when Marcus had bumped into him in Diagon, and gotten a very Slytherin twinkle in his eye, Oliver had agreed to his plan. Without thinking through the fact that now he had to follow through with it, and pretend to be Marcus’s date for an entire evening. Just to fuck with his friends.

Oliver did not want to think about the fact that there might have been a chance he would have said yes if Marcus had asked for a real date. But that was a bridge that he figured they would never come to. From the sounds of it, Marcus was more-or-less straight, which is why everyone would have been so shocked (specifically Adrian, who Marcus was hoping would see that he could be free to date men and finally ask out his long time crush Terence.) Which complicated things, because he was pretty sure Marcus thought he was straight too.

“Here,” Marcus mumbled, and spun Oliver around. “You’re just fucking it up.” Oliver noted, as Marcus untied his bowtie and fixed it up, that even though the other man had large hands and thick fingers, he was surprisingly dexterous. 

Oliver swallowed. “Thanks,” he mumbled, and Marcus flashed him a smile - a real smile - and Oliver tried not to melt. 

It would be so much easier to hate him again.

Marcus was right.

The wedding itself had been a private affair, family members only. Marcus and Oliver then, luckily, only needed to attend the reception. They arrived at the party hand in hand, and as soon as they stepped in the room the entire crowd stopped talking. Jaws dropped and Oliver heard more than one muttered “holy shit is that Oliver Wood?” as they made their way through the crowd, Marcus in the lead. Marcus’s hand was sweaty, just a bit, and Oliver decided it was because he probably didn’t want to be holding onto Oliver at all.

Even though when they reached the table with Marcus’s friends, he didn’t let go.

“Adrian, Terry,” Marcus greeted, finally letting go of Oliver’s hand to pull a chair out for him. “I’m sure you remember Oliver Wood?”

Oliver grinned weakly and reached across the table to shake the offered up hands.

“I thought you were joking!” Terry pressed, in a stage whisper that was barely any quieter than normal speech. “You said you were bringing Wood and I thought you were pulling our legs!” 

Marcus flashed another grin, a devious one and his eyes twinkled in the same way Oliver remembered from their run in. “Would I lie to you?” He asked, as he dropped into his seat.

Adrian laughed. “Literally every day.”

The meal went over smoothly, for the most part. Oliver didn’t say much, but when the table finally switched into conversation about Quidditch he was happy to participate. Adrian was a Ballycastle fan, which Marcus took well, his chest puffing up in pride. Terry, on the other hand, mentioned that he thought Puddlemere actually had a shot this year, and Oliver found himself lost in conversation with the Slytherin.

He was pulled out of it when Marcus took his hand again. “Let’s dance.” Marcus pressed. Oliver frowned - they hadn’t discussed dancing, but he couldn’t very well say no now, could he? 

Nodding once to Terry in a ‘thank you for saving me from everyone here’ gesture, he followed Marcus onto the floor.

As they arrived, the song switched, tempo slowing down, couples moving closer together. Oliver glanced at Marcus but the man looked fine, unfazed by this change of events. Taking a breath to steel himself, Oliver stepped closer to Marcus and placed his free hand on the other mans hip, letting Marcus do the same.

They fell into the rhythm easily, bodies only inches apart. Oliver could feel the heat radiating off of Marcus, could smell tobacco and leather polish and broom oil. Could tell, from this close, that Marcus had freckles on his nose and a scar under his left eyebrow. The proximity was heady and when the song ended Oliver tried to step back, catch some fresh air.

Marcus tightened his grip. “Don’t leave me now, Wood.” He mumbled, and Oliver’s stomach clenched and turned but he nodded. He had agreed to this. He just needed to make it through another few hours and then he could go home and actually start to consider this new information about Marcus, could close his eyes and pretend things were different.

Three songs later, finally, Oliver managed to twist out of Marcus’s grip. “Need the bathroom,” he breathed out, and turned on a heel to leave the hall. It was only once he pushed open the doors, inhaled fresh cool air and leant back into a small alcove that he realized he was in big trouble.

Oliver closed his eyes and rested his head on the brick behind him, but when he inhaled again he realized the air was no longer fresh and clean. Marcus’s unique smell was back nearly full force, and he swallowed hard before opening his eyes. Marcus was standing less than a foot away from him, eyes looking almost worried as he scanned Oliver’s face. He was blocking the only way out of the small space, but Oliver realized he didn’t feel too claustrophobic - in fact, he wanted there to be even less space.

“Alright, Wood?” He asked, his voice gruff in a way Oliver wasn’t used to.

Oliver managed to nod as their eyes connected. “Yeah. Just. Needed fresh air.”

Marcus nodded and stepped closer, pressing a hand into the stone wall that Oliver was leaning against. He was just about to say something, lips three inches away from Oliver’s, his exhale ghosting across Oliver’s face. And then the door opened again and Adrian and Terry stumbled out, and Marcus’s eyes went wide and they both froze in place.

“Look, you didn’t see the look on Wood’s face,” Adrian was saying to Terry. Oliver frowned at Marcus and he pulled a face. “I don’t know what he did but he’s managed to con Wood into coming, they’re not dating. He’s just doing it to fuck with us, which is exactly what I said was going to happen. Merlin he’s such an asshole-”

Terence was much quieter, and Marcus glanced back and then turned back to Oliver. “Sorry,” he said, though he didn’t sound sorry at all, and then he crashed their lips together. Oliver’s small noise of protest was muffled by Marcus’s lips, and when it was clear the other wasn’t pulling back he lifted his hands up, sliding one around to hold the back of Marcus’s neck and lifting the other up to fist in his shirt.

“Terry,” Adrian stage-whispered, and then made a small strangled sound. “Fuck,” he added, and Oliver listened as the footsteps padded away. “Fuck there are totally snogging, I don’t know how he-“ Adrian’s voice faded off and the kiss lingered another minute before Marcus finally pulled back.

“What was that for?” Oliver tried to sound angry, he really did, but he knew there was no malice in his voice anymore. Knew he couldn’t be angry because even when Marcus laughed and said it was a joke and disappeared, he’d be thinking about that kiss.

Marcus shrugged, and suddenly looked uncomfortable in his own skin, shuffling from one foot to the other and ducking his head down. “Dunno.” He admitted, glancing back over his shoulder to make sure the hallway was clear. “Wanted to do that. Figured I wouldn’t get another chance.”

“Are they still out there?” Oliver whispered, low as he could. Why else would Marcus be saying that he wanted to kiss him? (What was he missing?) 

Marcus looked back up, met Oliver’s eyes with his own. “No.” He said, clearly. Sure of himself despite the flush creeping up his neck. “I know we’re not really… that you just agreed to this as a favour, or - actually I have no idea why you agreed to this. But I didn’t think I’d get another chance, so.” 

Oliver swallowed, hard, and then lifted his hands up to cup Marcus’s face. He decided to take a leap, and hope he didn’t fall. “As far as first dates go, I’d give this a four out of ten, I think. You better aim for a seven on the next one.”

Marcus gaped at him, blinked, shook his head. “What?” He tried to clarify, voice still gruff and low and now laced with confusion.

“You wanted to kiss me. I want you to continue kissing me. Sounds to me like that’s grounds for a second date?”

A large grin broke out over Marcus’s face, and suddenly Oliver found himself being crowded back into the wall again, Marcus’s hands on his hips and his body warm against Oliver’s chest. “Who says I need to wait for a second date?”

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Stanford Pines trudged back towards home in the pouring rain, thinking about anomalies. 

He had been out cataloging migrating cryptids in the grassy fields above town when inclement weather had rolled in from the West, turning the sunny evening dark and dreary.

Head tucked down into his collar, he clutched his journal close to his chest to protect it from the wind and rain. A chill ran through him as the temperature dropped and the evening grew darker. He raised a six-fingered hand to the top of his head to shield himself from the rain. Of course this would be the day I forget a hat, he thought with a chuckle. Ah well, c’est la vie.

Thunder rumbled in the distance, but no lightning illuminated his path. The windswept grass was soft underfoot. The wind howled and the rain fell in sheets.

At one particularly loud crash of thunder, Stanford looked up and over the town laid out before him. The grassy hill rolled down to the treeline below. Small soft lights that marked homes and business shone through the downpour. Thick fir trees and tall pines and spruce swayed in the wind. In the distance, the crash of waves from the lake could just be heard over the noise of the storm.

Stanford was hit by a wave of nostalgia and memory. 

A thousand rainy landscapes flashed across his memory. Purple skies over white forests, dark grey clouds pouring rain so blue it burned your eyes, dark green forests drenched in rain made of light, serene grey skies over a town so similar to this one (but it wasn’t, he knew that at the time, but it was perfect; it was so hard to leave that dimension, and he missed it sometimes), skies that defied explanation and belief and filled a person with wonder and awe and fear. 

Skies that were not home.

He stood in the cold and the rain, lost in memory, for a long time. Long enough to get soaked to the bone and start shivering. Long enough for the evening to grow into night. Long enough to remember the family probably waiting anxiously for his return.

Stanford Pines trudged back towards home in the pouring rain, thinking about family.

Everything was so different now from when he had first arrived. When he and Stan had been at each other’s throats and too stubborn and bitter to try and fix things. When Dipper had worshiped him like a hero and he had drunk up the praise and adoration, monopolizing the boy’s attention in a bid to make up for so many years spent alone and unloved. When Mabel had been unsure of herself around him and had been desperate to please him and win his approval. 

When he had been closed, and guarded, and alone because of it.

As he neared the Shack, he caught sight of a small brown-haired face in the window. It disappeared, and a moment later the back door burst open with a cry of “Grunkle Ford!” Stanford smiled. Dipper came running towards him, obnoxiously large umbrella open and threatening to lift the boy off the ground in the wind. Huffing and puffing, Dipper finally met him and stood on his tiptoes to hold the umbrella over Ford’s head.

“You forgot to bring an umbrella! I didn’t know if I should have come and gotten you when it started raining, Mabel said you usually bring a hat so it was probably fine, Stan said you were too smart to catch a cold, and—“ The boy continued to ramble as they made their way back to the house.

The umbrella was discarded and the door shut as Dipper pulled Ford into the kitchen. “—reassured her that the power shouldn’t go out, it’s not that big of a storm, but Mabel still insisted on getting all of the candles out and going through and making sure all the flashlights have batteries in them. Anyways, I think she’s making hot—“ Dipper’s rambling was cut short as a squealing Mabel barreled into them.

“Oof – Mabel! Careful!” Dipper said. She ignored him in favor of grabbing Ford’s other hand and beginning to chatter herself.

“You’re just in time, Grunkle Ford! I’ve completed a batch of Mabel’s uber-fantastic marshmallow madness hot chocolate! It’s sure to warm you right up! Waddles even tested it for me, didn’t you?” she grinned at the pig sitting in one of the kitchen tabled. Waddles snuffled happily back at her. “Good pig,” she said.

Stanford was directed to sit in a chair close to the stove. He laid the journal on the table, out of the way of any table traffic. The warm smell of hot milk and melted chocolate drifted over from a pot bubbling merrily on the stovetop. Stanford shivered. His coat left puddles on the floor and the chair.

“Has the nerd finally returned from his quest?” a gruff voiced called out. A moment later, Stan walked into the kitchen. 

“Whoa, Poindexter, what did you do – jump in the lake?” He let out a loud laugh and slapped his knee. He wiped a tear from his eye before moving over to Ford. “No but seriously, get outta that wet coat. You’re dripping water all over my floor. Do you WANT to catch a cold?”

Stanford rolled his eyes at Stan but shrugged out of the coat nonetheless. “That is not what causes colds, Stanley. I have told you that a million times.”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever,” Stan blew him off as he took the soaked jacket and disappeared into the other room. Ford rolled his eyes.

A steaming mug of hot chocolate was pushed in front of him. At least six marshmallows floated in the drink. He smiled up at his great-niece as he wrapped cold fingers around the warm mug. “Thank you, Mabel. This is wonderful.” He took a sip. Ah. That hits the spot. Warmth spread through his center.

Mabel laughed. “No problem! And there’s LOTS more where that came from, so drink up!”

“Please do,” Dipper piped up. “She’s already had three cups and she does NOT need any more sugar tonight.” This earned a playful shove from his sister. Dipper just grinned at her.

Shuffling footsteps marked Stan’s return. Before Stanford could turn to greet his brother a large, warm quilt was thrown around his shoulders. A small noise of surprise left Ford.

“Science or no, I’m not having you freeze to death on me,” Stan said. He shuffled over to the counter where Mabel’s hot chocolate supplies sat. “I smell hot chocolate, and where there’s hot chocolate there’s gotta be – AHA! Marshmallows!” Stan scooped up one of the bags and popped three marshmallows in his mouth.

“Hey! Grunkle Stan, save some for the rest of us!” Mabel jumped up from her seat.

A wicked gleam lit Stan’s eyes. “Oh yeah, and what are you gonna do about it, pumpkin?”

“Oh,” Mabel said, cracking her knuckles. “It’s on.”

Stanford looked around the kitchen at the warm, bright, laughing family. Stan and Mabel were using spoons to shoot marshmallows at each other from across the room while Dipper kept score. The small projectiles bounced everywhere, giving the already messy room a fluffy white sprinkling. He pulled the blanket Stan had placed around his shoulders a little bit snugger and took a long sip of hot chocolate. The warmth sitting comfortably in his chest grew, as did the smile on his face.

“What are you grinning at, nerd?” Stan shot in his direction. Mabel used the distraction to bombard him with marshmallows. Stan shouted something about ‘marshmallow war misconduct’ before renewing his siege. Dipper shook his head, grinning, and muttered something along the lines of ‘all is fair in love and marshmallow wars’ as raucous laughter from his brother mingled with his great-niece’s cackles of delight. Ford’s smile grew wider still. The warmth he suspected had nothing to do with the hot chocolate (and everything to do with the people around him) spread to the tips of his fingers and toes.

“Nothing, Stanley. I’m just happy.”

At his words, there was a lull in the festivities before a very warm, very marshmallowy great-niece barreled into him. Dipper set down his notepad in order to hug his other side. Stan chuckled before walking up behind Ford, pulling him into a partial headlock, and giving him a good noogie. Ford protested but could do nothing with his niece and nephew still wrapping him up in identical bear hugs. The headlock soon shifted into a genuine hug from Stan. Ford felt the warmth inside him grow impossibly stronger.

“We’re happy too, Sixer,” Stan whispered.

The cold rain beat down on the roof and windows of the Shack, but inside the family was warm and happy and whole.

This is a little gift-fic for the lovely @miss-azura who made this beautiful piece of art earlier, which inspired this little fic of mine. 

Thank you so much for your wonderful artwork. You are an inspiration and a truly gifted individual. Keep being lovely!


10 Things I learned as a signed musician in 2016:

- You sell yourself, not only your art.

- It takes an hour to get anywhere in LA and if you’re not an hour early, you’re late - then it takes an hour to get started.

- You may have the support of your superiors, but you’re nothing without the support of their staff.

- Social media is a terrible fucking joke.

- When you think you’ve sacrificed everything, prepare to sacrifice things you didn’t realize you had.

- Know your competition - it’s everyone else.

- Your worst day in the van is better than your best day at work.

- Be nice to every asshole.

- Adhere to your role.

- There’s freedom in not caring, try it sometime.

—  artistsigned

This dunya is not a competition. There is no competition in getting a degree, getting married first, going on a honeymoon before your friends, settling down before your sisters. There is no race in finding a better job than your best mate and finally settling down. It is not a competition of bank balances, credit cards and cars. It is not about who looks better and who is the most beautiful. It does not matter who has children first and how many houses you are able to purchase. It does not matter if it is a terraced house, semi detached, a mansion, a castle or a palace. It is not a competition of how many friends you have and how many followers you can get on social media. People spend their lives completely wasting themselves on futile things.

The only thing you need to focus on is you. Are you happy? How you can increase in proximity to your Lord? How do you attain forgiveness? How can you get back up after falling? How will you attain self-contentment? Have you bettered yourself since last year? How do you increase in good? How satisfied are you with yourself? How will you be the closest to the Messenger of Allah in the akhirah?

—  Shaykh Mohammad Aslam

Hey uh just putting this out there

Your brain is still doing a lot of developing, even after you turn 18. 25 is generally the age when things settle down more, neurologically.Please continue to be careful with age gaps

The younger you are, the more age matters, but even if you’re over 18, please be wary of age gaps.

Headcanons with @lydiawontforget
Picture this:
Stiles and Lydia go back to beacon hills for Christmas a break junior year. They stay together at the Martin house for a few nights and then with sheriff.
One night at the Martins while Mama Martin is out to dinner with friends Stiles gets really drunk and starts singing Chandelier. And at first it’s entertaining but then he sees the chandelier above him and he looks at it and Lydia just whispers “oh no”
“I’m gonna swing from the chandelier” all slurred
“Stiles no”
“Stiles yes” so he runs up the stairs and he’s reaching over the railing and Lydia is trying to pull him back and he keeps insisting he has to swing on the chandelier.
So Lydia calls Scott
“Scott Stiles is drunk and he’s going to get himself killed”
“SCOTTY, IIIIIIIIIIIIII’M GONNA SWIIIIIIIIIIIIING FROM THE CHANDELIEEEEEEE-HEEeeeEEERE” singing with his voice cracking and Lydia puts Scott on speaker and Scott is like
“Alright Stiles great idea, but you have to wait until I get there”
“OKAY Scotty”
And Scott shows up and just marches up the stairs and like pulls him back by the neck of his shirt
“nope” and like drags him into Lydia’s room and goes “sleep” and closes the door on him. And he and Lydia just kind of look at each other like “what did we get ourselves into with this idiot”

glory by bastille is such a heronstairs song, fuck