book-&-stage

I just got a job as a writing tutor, and it inspired me to start a series of writing masterposts! From teaching college composition for two years at grad school and from working as a consultant at my university’s Writing Center, I’ve come to learn a few things about writing I’d like to share. Some of these tips may sound basic, and some may be fresh to you. Some may meet you exactly where you are. Regardless, these are some of the foundational aspects of good college writing.

I. Content & Style: Avoid Fluffy Language

Perhaps this is a symptom of trying to meet page minimums, but some students tend to inflate sentences with unnecessary adjectives. Similarly, they may puff up an essay with a useless statement, like, “Depression affects people in various ways.” What follows a sentence like this is usually a cataloging of the various/numerous/diverse ways in which depression affects people. Kill the middleman: that useless sentence. Be assured that most readers are astute enough to infer that depression affects people in many ways when you list said ways.

Language that sounds like that of a motivational speaker is maddening to most college instructors. “If you are true to yourself, you will be happy in life.” “Friends and family are the most important way to get the emotional support you need.” These are platitudes and overly generalize. Broad claims make for unoriginal writing; be specific and back up your claims with a logical argument, providing evidence for your opinion. Broad generalizations like, “Since the dawn of time, people have loved art” are just padding and detract from more interesting ideas you may have. 

II. Description: Be Concrete and Concise

An easy way to avoid vague fluff is to use concrete images and concise language. First, if you can say something in five words instead of ten, that’s great! Go with the five. Second, concrete details provide a more refined image in the reader’s mind (car vs. Ford Taurus, for example) without the use of adjectives and adverbs. And try to avoid adverbs when you can. Show how a person is running “quickly” instead of telling the reader the person is running quickly. Is there sweat? Is this person bumping into others? Are the legs pumping like pistons? Specificity makes for much more interesting writing.

III. Organization: Make a Backwards Outline!

The best thing about outlines is that you ultimately do not have to follow them. Many people use the drafting process to think and come up with their best idea in the middle of the paper. But often the papers that are turned in are first drafts, so that great idea—around which you ought to have centered your paper—remains in the middle, not standing front and center and lacking enough space to develop further. If you’ve allowed yourself enough time to make a second/final draft, post-organize your paper. Map out the flow of your ideas and ask yourself if this is the best order and arrangement possible. Yes, revision is more work, but it is worth it. It is so, so, obvious to professors when a paper has not been properly organized.

IV. Grammar: Comma Splices

The most common grammatical error students make is the comma splice. A comma splice is the attachment of two sentences with only a comma. For example: “Harvey and Tim built a raft, they took it out on the river later.” ARGH. “Harvey and Tim built a raft” is a complete sentence, as is “they took it out on the river later.” How do you fix a comma splice? Well, there are three ways:

  • Use two separate sentences: “Harvey and Tim built a raft. They took it out on the river later.”
  • Add a conjunction after the comma: “Harvey and Tim built a raft, and they took it out on the river later.”
  • Use a semicolon: “Harvey and Tim built a raft; they took it out on the river later.

Standard/Edited (American) English grammar is the grammar of (American) academia and will be for a while. Also, simply, spelling and grammar mistakes only work to undermine your writing. If you have brilliant ideas, you shouldn’t obfuscate them with lousy grammar.

V. Language: Build Your Vocabulary

What does “obfuscate” mean? Well, when you encounter unfamiliar words, look them up and commit their meaning to memory. Practice using them, when appropriate. Of course don’t bloat your language so that your prose reads like a thesaurus. Your writing should sound intelligent/formal (with the help of new words), yet not awkward and stiff with the clumsy handling of “big” words.

VI. Scoring: Read What You Wrote Out Loud

This is pretty basic. Listening to your own writing will help you determine if it sounds stiff and/or unnatural or just awkward as hell. You can read your writing aloud to yourself, but it is best to hear another person read it. I refer to this section as “scoring” because writing has a musical aspect, too. Your use of language should be pleasing, made so by choosing the right word for the right moment, by opting for combinations of words that sound harmonious, and so that your delivery of ideas is arranged to have the most powerful impact. Choose a tone suited to your subject, and know thy audience. What will sound good to you may not sound so good for your intended audience. Adjust the score accordingly.

VII. Research: Do More of It Than You Think You Need To

Often you will be assigned a minimum number of sources for a research paper. Let’s say five, for example. Go for eight or nine. Of course you should avoid using redundant sources (a book on Samuel Beckett’s stage directions and journal article about Samuel Beckett’s stage directions). Find as many perspectives as possible; it’ll only make your arguments stronger. Plus the more academic writing you read, the more naturally it’ll come when you have to do your own.

VIII. Go Weird or Go Home

Another reason more using sources than required can help: finding unique perspectives/approaches to a subject. You may encounter some ideas that counter popular assumptions (peer pressure has some positive impacts; depression can sometimes benefit cognitive function; anti-drug education actually increases drug use). Another interesting tack to take is to go with a subject that often makes people uncomfortable, such as child sexuality, masochism, and alternatives to capitalism.

Strange, uncommon arguments are more interesting than broader overly researched topics, such as nature vs. nurture. A paper on the deliberate use of plot holes, in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and their effect on narrator reliability would be far more interesting than the representation of capitalism in Animal Farm by George Orwell. The more complex and difficult the argument you choose the more critical thinking/writing skills you demonstrate. Weirdness is rewarded in academia, by getting your professor’s attention, by getting published in critical journals, etc. In this case, the axiom of “Be unique, and stand out in the crowd” stands true.

I hope this was helpful! Message me or send me an ask if you have any questions.

How do I know if I have too much exposition?

ex·po·si·tionˌekspəˈziSH(ə)n/ (noun)

a comprehensive description and explanation of an idea or theory

As a basic rule of thumb: if your exposition distracts from the main narrative, then it’s too much.

That sounds a lot simpler than it actually is, though, doesn’t it? Because it’s difficult to tell when we’ve pulled the reader’s attention away and when we haven’t within our own work.

That’s why beta-readers are so helpful because getting a fresh eye can do wonders for helping see things in our work that we’re too close to notice. A good beta-reader (or two or seven) is an invaluable tool for a writer. Find a few friends or family whose opinion you trust and listen to them when they have feedback on your work. Their word isn’t gold–you don’t have to make every change they suggest–but it is still important for your development. 

But that’s not really the issue, right? This post is about what you can do to help your own work improve!

First, if you’re fretting over this and you have not written your novel yet…then stop reading this post and go write your book! In your first draft, you should write all the words. (Maybe not all, but lots.) It’s okay to write four pages of exposition in the middle of scene in your first draft because in this version, you’re just telling yourself this story. You’re organizing notes, thoughts, outlines, etc. into a narrative. It won’t be perfect, and that’s great. You can’t move onto the next stage of book-making until you’ve got a first draft, so through caution to the wind and write!

This post is mostly for those of you who have finished work and are going over it prepared to edit, rewrite, scramble it up, and starting making that mess-of-a-first draft into a finished, wonderful product.

So…it’s time to edit your book

Zoom in on a section of exposition and take every fact you’ve written about and ask: 

Does this advance the plot? Do we come to a deeper understanding of a main character because of this? 

If the answer to both of those is no, then cut it (in this draft. Don’t worry. You still have those words written in previous drafts!) Do this as you read through for any section of exposition you find.

Then, when you’ve shaved off the irrelevant bits, start asking yourself: Is there a more subtle way to weave this into the action or dialogue of the narrative? If no, but it’s still important, then leave it. If yes, then try to do some rewriting where you have these cultural tidbits revealed in the actions and speech of your characters.

For example:

Allendra was from the southern tribes. Their main diet consisted of crop, food produced from the land. Wildlife beyond the occasional crow or squirrel was rare, so the southern tribe had come to view their abundant crops as a gift from the gods. They were vegetarians as a matter of, not only happenstance, but religion. That religion had been instilled in her by her parents, primarily her mother, and even though she’d left her homeland and was wandering new, unfamiliar territories for the sake of her own people, her mother’s hypothetical approval still drove Allendra’s actions. When presented with meat, Allendra did not know what to do. She was out of her league here, in this strange culture. And she didn’t know how to turn away the offer without being rude.

vs.

“Street vendors?” Allendra said, lifting a brow. “But they’re all selling…bloody things.”

Randa laughed. “Oh, Ally, don’t betray yourself as such an alien. That’s meat! Everyone around here eats it. It’s good for you.”

“I haven’t…I don’t eat…It’s just…” Allendra stumbled over her words. She didn’t want to be rude. Her mother would slap the back of her head if she was rude to this new hostess. And yet…what would mother say if Allendra waltzed up to this vendor and took a bite of the meat? Allendra shuddered to think.

The gods wouldn’t be too thrilled, either, but it was the image of mother’s disappointed face that made Allendra turn away from the street vendors and keep walking. Homesickness filled her gut. “Sorry, Randa. I just can’t.”

See you can do to make cultural facts fit into the story or character development. Here are some ways to think about that, as you attempt to change flat exposition into engaging storytelling:

Could this worldbuilding exposition be used to:

  • Invoke an emotion in a character?
  • Create conflict between characters?
  • Create conflict within a character?
  • Add tension to the main plot?
  • Add tension to an important subplot?
  • Create a funny or awkward situation?
  • Motivate a character’s actions?
  • Prevent a character from taking necessary action?

Basically, ask yourself this main question: How can I show the importance of this cultural element, rather than telling the reader how important or relevant it is?

Sometimes, exposition is needed. It’s not evil and it has a lot of power to get bullet points of information to your reader quickly. However, you–the writer–always need to make sure you’re letting exposition have power by using it sparingly. There are always multiple options on how to present information to your reader. It’s your duty to make sure you consider them all and use the one that best fits your narrative.

And now that you’ve finished this draft of editing and rewriting, set your novel aside for a while. A week, a month, a year…whatever you need. Come back to it later with a fresher perspective and see how your edits fit together. If you find that some of the exposition that you cut needs to be put back, then you can always do that. You can see the flow better, and do more editing to help your new rewrites fit effortlessly into the narrative. You are the writer. YOU HAVE THE POWER.

Happy building!

My Top 10 Favorite Comics of All Time

Hi guys,

I’ve been getting asked a lot on and offline what are my favorite comic books? That’s a loaded question. I had to think about it. There are some great runs in comics. Some great story arcs. But I had to dig down and see what I really liked. What books have I read over and over and over. These are what I enjoyed the most, I’m not saying these are the greatest comic books ever, I’m just saying they appealed to me. So here are my top 10 favorite comics.




10. Identity Crisis
The DC Comics crisis events. Mostly just okay stories. Too much going on and not enough time to invest in any one character. But Identity Crisis stands out above the rest. Instead of a multiverse changing, massive story, Identity Crisis focuses on the mystery of who killed Sue Dibny. The wife of the Elongated Man. More and more of the heroes civilian loved ones are attacked and the heroes have a ticking clock to solve the mystery before another loved one is murdered. Written by Brad Meltzer this book focuses on the cost of living a double life. Highly recommended.



9. Young Avengers: volume 2
Not to be confused with Young Avengers volume 1. Volume 2 by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie is nothing short of awesome. A multiverse hoping, teenage super hero daydream. It’s a really great story about teenage love, magic, pop references, LGB, and Loki. Lots and lots of Loki. So if you ship Wiccan and Hulkling, love Kate Bishop, and cannot get enough of America Chavez, you’ll want to read this book.



8. Superman American Alien
A lot of people have mixed opinions on this book, but I really enjoyed this unique take written by Max Landis. Focusing on the early years of Clark Kent, it felt more grounded in what Clark would actually be going through on his journey to becoming Superman. Each issue has a different artist which is fitting because each issue focuses on a different year in Clark’s child to teenager to young adult to man journey. It’s a mini series that should be pretty easy to find and I highly recommend it.



7. DC The New Frontier
A book paying tribute to the Silver Age of DC Comics. Focusing on the Macarthy era, A time where America couldn’t be less trusting, the story focuses on the super heroes once praised for their services, now find themselves ridden off as outlaws. Multiple perspectives from Hal Jordan (Green Lantern), Martian Manhunter, Wonder Woman, Flash, etc, as they fight for truth, justice, and the American way, accumulating to the upcoming battle with “The Center.” Darwyn Cooke tells an amazing story that you all should check out.



6. Scott Pilgrim Vol 1 through 6
I cannot recommend these books from Bryan Lee O’ Malley enough. 6 graphic novels in total, focusing on Scott Pilgrim’s desire to date Ramona Flowers, his journey to defeat her 7 evil ex’s, and the challenge of being a responsible adult. This book is filled with post high school confusion, punk rock, video games, anime style action, and heart. If you liked the movie, I promise you, you’ll love the book.



5. Ultimate Comics Spider-Man volume 2
My favorite super hero is Spider-Man. In 2011 when they announced they would be making a new Spider-Man of color I was ecstatic. As a person of color it’s been great to have a Spider-Man that fills that need for minority characters. Obviously just having a minority character isn’t enough but Brian Michael Bendis’s run on Ultimate Comics Spider-Man makes you really love the character of Miles Morales. The story of what happens after Peter Parker dies and a new clueless Spider-Man must fill the void, is nothing short of great. It puts you in the shoes of a new character trying to figure out who he is, all while trying to keep the memory of Peter Parker alive. 



4. Paper Girls
If you like the show “Stranger Things,” you’ll love Paper Girls. Taking place in the 1980s, 4 middle school girls, on their morning paper route get caught up in the strangest day of their lives. To ninjas, dinosaurs, time travel, clones, to apple products, Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang hit you with a sci-fi nostalgia story that will keep you guessing where the next turn is.




3. Justice League International
The late 80′s had one of the greatest Justice League runs of all time. Keith Giffen and J.M. Dematteis pumped out some of the funniest and most entertaining comics to date. Focusing on the Justice League as a work place comedy, this massive run follows the adventures of a newly formed Justice League made up of mostly second string characters. The satisfaction of Batman punching out Guy Gardner, the comedy duo of Blue Beetle and Booster Gold, GNORT! If you want your super hero books to be fun and hilarious, this is the book for you. Starting in Justice League #1 through 6 and transitioning to Justice League International, then splitting between Justice League Europe and Justice League America.



2. New Avengers
This comic book run written by Brian Michael Bendis is what got me back into comics after an 8 year absence. 6 months after the Avengers disbanded due to the Scarlet Witch killing some of her fellow teammates, a massive prison break, orchestrated by Electro forces Spider-Woman, Luke Cage, Daredevil, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, and the Sentry to come together to put an end to the riot. The book follows the newly formed team on their mission to track down the 42 escaped prisoners, all while trying to solve the mystery who hired Electro and why? New Avengers also brought some of the best characters in Marvel including Wolverine, Ms. Marvel, Hawkeye, Doctor Strange, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, and more, to join the team. The book became the center stage for Marvel Comics from 2005 until 2012 running through events like House of M, Civil War, Secret Invasion, all the way to Avengers vs X-Men. It’s a fun super hero book that really throws you into the world of Marvel Comics.



HONORABLE MENTIONS
Black Science
Sex Criminals
New Teen Titans (Marv Wolfman)
Batgirl and the Birds of Prey
Uncanny X-Force (Rick Remender run)
Batgirl: Year One




AND NUMBER ONE….




1. Saga
If you’re not reading Saga, you are missing out. A Romeo and Juliet story set in a sci-fi fantasy space adventure. In the middle of an intergalactic war, Alona and Marko leave their worlds behind to risk everything for the survival and protection of their newborn Hazel. Hunted by both sides of the war, the two travel across the stars and encountering creatures from all over the galaxy who either want to help them or want them dead. Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples take a story about the ups and downs of parenting and throws it into a cosmic and crazy story of awesomeness. Look out for Izabel, Prince Robot the IV, and Ghus. You will smile every time they are on the page.

10

Introduction of the cast from the Naruto Live Stage Programme book as well as official English translations (from the translation booklet).

part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | everything else |

© Masashi Kishimoto, Scott/SHUEISHA/Live Spectacle “NARUTO” Production Committee 2015

Do not repost

please message me if any part of the scans are unclear/ if you would like to see the Mandarin translations/ if you have any questions at all about Live Stage (I will try to answer to the best of my ability)

Likes and Dislikes of the Zodiac Signs!
  • Aries
Likes:
Comfortable clothes, taking the lead, physical challenges, individual sports. Dislikes:
Inactivity, delays, work that doesn’t use one’s talents.
  • Taurus 
Likes:
Gardening, cooking, working with hands, music, romance, high-quality clothing. Dislikes:
Sudden changes, complications, insecurity of any kind, synthetic fabrics.
  • Gemini
Likes:
Music, magazines, books, music, blogs, chats with nearly anyone, short trips around town. Dislikes:
Repetition and routine, being alone, being confined.
  • Cancer
Likes:
Relaxing near or in water, art, home-based hobbies, a good meal with friends, helping loved ones. Dislikes:
Strangers, revealing of personal life, any criticism of Mom.
  • Leo
Likes:
The theater, being admired, taking holidays, fun with friends, expensive things, bright colors. Dislikes:
Being ignored, facing difficult reality, not being king or queen.
  • Virgo
Likes:
Cleanliness, animals, healthy foods, books, nature. Dislikes:
Taking center stage, rudeness, asking for help.
  • Libra
Likes:
Harmony, sharing with others, gentleness, the outdoors. Dislikes:
Injustice, violence, conformity, and loudmouths.
  • Scorpio
Likes:
Truth, facts, being right, teasing, longtime friends, a grand passion, a worthy adversary. Dislikes:
Dishonesty, passive people, revealing secrets.
  • Sagittarius
Likes:
Travel, being outdoors, freedom, philosophy. Dislikes:
Details, being constrained, off-the-wall theories, clingy people.
  • Capricorn
Likes:
Family, tradition, quality craftsmanship, understated status, music. Dislikes:
Almost everything at some point.
  • Aquarius
Likes:
Fun with friends, fighting for causes, helping others, intellectual conversation, a good listener. Dislikes:
Limitations, being lonely, broken promises, dull or boring situations, people who disagree with them.
  • Pisces
Likes:
Spiritual themes, time alone, visual media, time to sleep, romance, music, swimming. Dislikes:
Know-it-alls, the past coming back to haunt, being criticized, cruelty of any kind.

 

ARC contest (+ a new teaser)

It’s been wildly busy, in the best possible way, and I hope to have some really exciting news soon. I don’t yet. But I hope soon. But for now: 

My publisher sent me four ARCs of The Becoming of Noah Shaw. This is exciting and scary—it’s been five years since I’ve had ARCs for a book, and three years between the ending of Mara’s origin story and the beginning of Noah’s…hero journey, let’s call it. If you’ve stuck with my characters for the length of three books, I can’t thank you enough. I wouldn’t be here without you, and I’ve been thinking for months about ways I can thank you for that. I’m still working that out—I owe you all a monumental debt, and figuring out how to repay it isn’t easy. But there is one small thing I can do first, right now, which is to try and make your wait for The Becoming of Noah Shaw a bit shorter. 

Since this is a series that I wrote as much for fans of the Mara Dyer trilogy as I did for myself, I decided against giving ARCs away randomly—I want to make sure they go to readers who are as excited about reading the book early as I am about sharing it. If that’s you, here’s what you’ve got to do:

Make something. Create. I’ve got four ARCs to give away, so it seems right that there should be four ways to win it:

1) Make MADNESS art. Draw something inspired by Mara. By Noah. By Jamie or Daniel or anyone or anything in the series. Paint something, sculpt something, draw a cartoon, a comic, graphic design (edits count!), typography–photography counts too! I love bookstagram and the staging of book-related photos, so it would be splendid to see entries like that. You can also do multiples (like comic panels, or anything considered part of one series), to count as one entry.

2) Write something series-inspired. A poem, a short little story (500 words, max), an excerpt of your fanfic; something set in the Dyerverse. (Keep it rated PG-13 to a soft R, though, because my baby brother is probably going to end up judging some of the entries and…awkward).

3) Film something. A fanvid, a trailer, a short film, movie, or even just a video of yourself talking about the books, Booktube-styles. Making videos is hard, but that probably means there will be a less crowded field! 

4) Rando! Make a dress out of the pages of one of the books (someone did that once and it was super rad). Make a fannish thingie (creating headers, Tumblr themes, fan mixes, fan sites and communities) get your cosplay on, make some jewellery, show off your fresh MADNESS-related tattoo—really, anything goes (except nudity. Not that).

Here’s how you enter:

You post your entry or a link to your entry via the ‘submit post’ option on Tumblr, or the Ask option, or, if it’s an image or a video, you can post the link to such in the Ask box or, if you feel so inspired, on Twitter. My goal is to honour your hard work by retweeting/reblogging what you send, and then that way, everyone will be able to appreciate your stuff. Just be sure to let me know which category you’re entering in, and don’t post your email address or address-address—I won’t need it unless you win, and since there is SUCH TALENT in this fandom, there will be first/second/third place winners. First place is the signed ARC; second is a signed chapter sampler with the first three chapters (and a handpicked teaser from me); third place is secret snippet of a secret thing that I won’t be sending to anyone but you.

The contest will end on 8/21 and the judging will take place that week, so about two and a half months before the book comes out. If you enter, consider that an agreement not to post spoilers if you win. “KJJGBLJSBGTR^&%E$RDT” and “WTAF????!!!!” posts are cool, though.

Also: this contest IS international. Anyone can enter. And since entries will be posted publicly, and I very much want this to be a fan-led endeavour, likes, shares, RTs, comments and such will be one factor (not the only factor) in judging. I love pretty much every MD thing I see, so it feels fairer to let fans have a say in the winners to make sure I’m not paralysed by indecision.

One super last thing, for real: the ARCs are uncorrected proofs. So uncorrected that there is in fact a chapter missing, which had to be supplemented at the very last minute. I also changed a lot—like, a LOT—between the time the draft was submitted and when it went to magical ARC printing place. This is all to say: if you don’t win one, don’t worry—the final version is the version I meant for everyone to read.

Also, here’s a new snippet/teaser under the jump. 

Keep reading

Magnus Scheving stumbled upon a human settlement and was drunkenly dared to become the european aerobic gymnastics champion. To a human this is an impossible feat, but to an elf, naturally gifted with magick and strange powers, this is child’s play, so he became the european aerobic gymnastics champion twice in a row. Elves are traditionally so good at dancing (Which is a part of aerobic gymnastics, as it is gymnastics set to a music routine), that there was opposition to dancing and dance parties in iceland as early as the 12th century, and elves were commonly believed to join together with mortal folk to take revenge on those who opposed dance parties.

It seems natural that an elf would take up a challenge in this way.

After this, Magnus, being hugely successful, opened a carpentry business, toured schools, and did a whole bunch of sport stuff, using human money and what I assume would be called Elf Gold which I could only guess vanishes after a certain amount of time, to travel the world and influence others, and eventually pour all his attention into the first iteration of Lazytown.

Lazytown being the show he wrote, directed, produced and starred in, based off the play he wrote, directed and starred in, based off the book he wrote, and bound together with sigils and i assume, materials stolen from the homes of people who did not leave milk and bread out for him or other Hidden People on Christmas.

Magnus, part time carpenter, part time gymnast, part time motivational speaker, part time chat show host, part time guy weirdly obsessed with food and raising children, and full time member of the Hidden Folk, creates this the first version of Lazytown, a book, and then the stage play. In the play, he reveals his true elf nature, and drags people around by their ankles and appears in their room at night and hurls them to the floor to do push-ups, only something an elf, shunned by man and disrespected, would ever do.

Common belief states that if you sit at a cross roads at night, an elf will appear and try to seduce you with food and gifts, and if you give in, the consequences are dire. This is an elf trying to seduce an entire country with food and gifts, and when they accept them or listen to him, he throws them into an actual bin as punishment. In this iteration, he wears bright, gaudy colours and old clothes, and most notably, green pants.  Hidden people often appear in the dreams of Icelanders. They are usually described as wearing 19th-century Icelandic clothing, and are often described as wearing green.

The play however, reveals too much of his non-human self, so he changes it. The Athletics Elf, as he called himself, couldn’t be so cruel and shitty to people, otherwise they won’t listen, and they won’t leave out gifts in the barn at night. So his next incarnation is his first attempt at being Human.

At this time I assume he watched the show The Mentalist, and decided that the main guy in that was the perfect default human. Everyone liked the guy in The Mentalist.

Gone is the tendency to hurl people through windows or deliberately appear in the shadows of a room looming over them, now he tries to be direct, and human like.Terry Gunnell notes that huldufólk legends recorded in the 18th and 19th centuries showed them to be “near mirror-images of those humans who told stories about them–except they were beautiful, powerful, alluring, and free from care, while the Icelanders were often starving and struggling for existence. The huldufólk seem in many ways to represent the Icelander’s dreams of a more perfect and happy existence.

Magnus, unable to comprehend human suffering or struggle, maintains his carefree and sickly lust for life and cartwheels.  He has the vacant emotionless smile of someone who learnt the expression of smiling, but not the reason for smiling, or the feeling behind it. He learns the mannerisms and veneer of human existence. He is beautiful and backflips, but in a fake and unsettling way. This is why all of his work reads like someone who fundamentally has no understanding of children and has never met a child, or even another human, because he cannot connect with them on an emotional level, he only understands people as a concept.

Thanks

maingummibois  asked:

Y oo what is your fav headcanoons for voltron/pairings?

rubs my grubby fly hands together

  • There are times when Voltron has formed and they’re flying and Lance out of nowhere will scream “EVERYBODY WAS KUNG FU FIGHTING!” and PIdge will shriek “HA! HYUAH!” and judo chop the air as Hunk makes Voltron swing its leg like a madman and it scares the shit out of Shiro and Keith
  • Every night when Keith is asleep, Lance sneaks into his room and cuts off like a millimeter of hair on one side of Keith’s head and its such a small amount that Keith doesn’t notice until a month of this nonsense and suddenly he realizes that he has a lopsided mullet and proceeds to very nearly strangle Lance to death
  • Pidge finds joy in being electrocuted
  • Literally she was the kid who stuck things in outlets to be zapped and one day Shiro walks in on Pidge about to zap two wires together without wearing safety gloves and she stops and stares at Shiro and Shiro stares at her and they both just stare until Pidge slowly lowers the wires to the floor and gets up and walks away
  • Before going into the Garrison, Lance wanted to be an interior designer and had a sketchbook back on Earth where he drew room designs and he had a pile of staging books that his family would buy him on his birthday on his desk and it makes him sad that he can’t move any furniture around in the Castle because it’s all superglued to the damn floor smh
  • Keith understands like zero (0) movie references because he never was big into movies or tv shows so basically everything Lance ever says goes way over his head but this one time, they’re on a planet and a villager says they have to go into this giant dark cave to meet their leader and Keith goes “I’ve got a baaad feeling about this” and Lance literally stops walking and is like “….Did you just make a Star Wars reference, you crazy hermit?” and Keith is like “?? Duh, Star Wars is the greatest franchise in cinematic history” and Lance just throws his hands up in the air and walks away
  • Pidge teaches all of the paladins how to braid hair by using Allura’s as practice bc its so long and pretty and she likes feeling pampered and having her hair played with so they all sit in a circle and chat and take turns while Pidge explains what nail polish is to Coran and its all very cute
  • Keith is the little spoon. Nuff said
Dream Daddy Zodiac Signs

I’ve seen a couple of these, but I thought I would try my own hand at imagining zodiac signs for each character since I enjoy that kind of thing!

Craig: Virgo

- Virgos are traditionally health-conscious, in need of their personal idea of perfection, and are extremely hard on themselves. They put the needs of others above their own, which ties in with Craig’s theme of ignoring his own needs in order to be the perfect father for his perfect daughters. In college, Craig likely tried to be his perfect “broself”, which meant the wild antics with Dad. Regardless of where he is in life, he puts the needs and expectations of others on high priority.

Mat: Pisces

- Pisces are traditionally a fluid, submissive sign. They absorb everything from everyone around them and as such their identities can be strongly tied to the scene around them - in Mat’s case, the music scene. Like a Pisces, Mat is sensitive and shy yet well-loved by those in his scene despite any awkwardness, age differences, or lack of being a performer anymore (before Dad gets through to him, at least). Pisces gain strength by being uplifted and supported by those closest to them despite any insecurities they may hold, and that is exactly what we see Mat experience with Dad in his route.

Brian: Taurus

- Taurus is all about the earthly, sensual pleasures of a good lawn, great house, fantastic cooking, and enjoying the outdoors.  They enjoy a good competition, but aren’t necessarily a bad loser about it if they don’t have fun.  As long as they are with good company, good food, and fun, it’s all good. They are proud of their possessions and family, which are regarded as their finest achievements.  Unlike, their brother sign Scorpio, they typically aren’t trying to piss you off by boasting with an ulterior motive; if they do come across as a braggart, it really is out of love and pride for their joy.  …They are Brian Harding, basically.

Robert: Scorpio Aquarius

- On all the lists I have seen, Robert’s placement is the most consistent: Scorpio. I don’t disagree! He has so many Scorpionic themes surrounding him, but I want to try something different and place him as Aquarius

.- Aquarius is known for being a contrarian (which is exactly what Robert would have wanted lmao), a little out there, a little distant, yet also a friend. They are difficult to truly know and have strong opinions that sometimes only make sense to them. They are the type to disappear on you for a while without apology, which is definitely behavior we see in Robert (Scorpio will also do the same thing lol). Aquariuses are also attracted to occult things like ghosts and cryptids and whatnot, and we know about Robert and the Dover Ghost. However, infiltrating a ghost tour group and fabricating an entire story just because Dad wanted a t-shirt? Making up random lies just to get a reaction from Dad (and others)? Doing fun and random shit on a first date? Being a little weird about casual sex and emotion? Actually just being weird about emotion in general? Aquarius, Aquarius, Aquarius, Aquarius, aaaand Aquarius.  In closing, Robert is honestly just delightfully weird and doesn’t give a fuck about it, which definitely could be Scorpio as mostly agreed upon but is also positively an Aquarius feature.

Damien: Libra

- Libra is the sign of balance and belonging, and we see that as a theme in Damien’s route.  He wants to be a part of the Victorian Goth lifestyle and has styled his personal look, including his entire home, to reflect that romantic aesthetic, which is what Libra is all about.  After all, Libra is heavily associated with Beauty.  Then there is the Damien who is a part of mainstream culture with seemingly no reservations about it.  And he needs Dad to know and understand that both are a part of him.  Libra also has a distaste for the ugly things in life, like arguments and violence and wish everything to be harmonious to them. Of course, we also see in Damien’s route when his need to present a certain way interferes with his fear of horror.  Despite how dark he may dress, Damien, like a Libra, definitely is a fan of the lighter things in life.

Hugo: Cancer

- Sensitive and imaginative by nature, it’s hard to find a Cancer who doesn’t enjoy finding themselves lost in the fantasy of books or the stage (or, in Hugo’s case both since the ring is really just a stage).  Initially they have a shell, but when they start to trust, they gradually open themselves to you until you are privy to things no one else has ever known about them.  Cancers often have a nurturing side that draws them to help others reach their full potential, perhaps as a teacher as Hugo has done. But the most important thing about Cancers are their family.  They will do anything to love and support their family, even if it means suppressing their own desires (not that that won’t make them moodier than they already are…).  In Hugo’s route, we see this with his frustration with having to be the authoritarian teacher dad while his ex gets to be the fun weekend dad; even though he doesn’t enjoy it, he feels Ernest needs it more than anything. (ALTHOUGH WE FIND OUT THAT ERNEST REALLY JUST NEEDED A PLAYMATE :’) )

Joseph: Sagittarius

- Sagittarians are traditionally optimists with a love of freedom, adventure, culture, and higher thought.  No matter what is happening in his life, Joseph never shows that it gets to him, even when he has a strong desire to escape to the Margarita Zone, which is a typical for a Sagittarius that doesn’t just run away outright.  What seems to bind Joseph to his family and community is the Sagittarian’s eternal search for a higher truth, which he has found as a Christian youth minister.  Unfortunately, there is also a side to Sagittarius that can take their strong beliefs in an extreme direction without regard for others if excess energy is not provided with an appropriate outlet.

anonymous asked:

This maybe is a really unpopular opinion, but I don't like what they are trying to do with the legend of korra comics. It was bad enough that they pretended to be inclusive when they make korrasami canon when it was the fandom who did all the work, they didn't care to give them a properly development because they knew the power of the fandom and now they know that the fandom is still on tumblr and they are writting fan fiction in order to sell the comics. I don't like when people use my +

sexuality to appear to be inclusive, they are not the first one to try it and sadly they won’t be the last.

I’m going to start off by saying that I think you’re preaching to the wrong audience here friend. I’ve always been aggressively pro-Korrasami and pro-Bryke and I’m one of those people who will take LGBT representation in whatever form its given to me (except for like…Irredeemable villains and obviously token characters who are there for one ep and then gone *coughRedKansascough*. 

I am apologetically a slut for queer rep, but I like to think I’m still aware and critical of representation that’s obviously been half-assed, and I have never felt that way with Korrasami.

That said, just because I don’t feel that way doesn’t mean I don’t think your feelings are extremely valid. I can see how you and others might feel a little taken advantage of with this whole influx of LGBT inclusive material in the Korra comics when, in your eyes, they didn’t try very hard to do so in the show. From that perspective it seems like an attempt to cash in on their queer fans. 

The way I’ve always looked at it, though, is that they have more freedom in the comics to do what they’ve always wanted to do (”Always” meaning since the developing stages of Book 3 when Korrasami became a real possibility). Nickelodeon is still a children’s network and, much as it hurts to admit, we as people are still largely considered “taboo” for the kiddies. Abuse, adultery, and murder-suicides are cool for them to see tho. Many kids shows today have begun to show more LGBT characters, so we seem to be moving away from that mindset. 

But Korrasami was a thing in 2013-2014, before gay marriage was even legalized country-wide. Censors were a real problem in showing LGBT content on networks like Nick, Disney, and CN. We already know from Bryke (or one of them, can’t remember which though lol) that Nick censored a kiss in the finale. It stands to reason then, that Nick was probably fairly strict when it came to developing Korrasami. The fact that they got what they got approved (Like the Hug n’ Blush, which was probably the most forward moment outside of the finale) still amazes me tbh. I believe that they’ve begun to include more LGBT material in the comics due to a lack of censors and more creative freedom, not to attract more readers, though I’m sure that’s definitely a bonus. (Young Justice did something similar in their tie-in comics with Marie Logan by the way, only LoK did it better by not killing off the Lesbian 2 seconds after her reveal) 

I do take issue with your insistence that the fandom did all the work, however. Contrary to popular belief we didn’t just pull Korrasami out of our ass based on breadcrumbs (And neither do Bumbleby fans or SQ fans, or most other fans of f/f ships but that’s another discussion for another day). Korrasami was so prominent in the fandom because of what they were doing on the show, not the other way around. Did fandom play a part? Of course, I’m sure we helped to plant the seeds and I’m sure the OG and most diehard Korrasamis would have found something in the show to feed into their ship with or without the writing team backing them up. 

But I was there from the start, and I watched the Korrasami fandom grow exponentially in Books 3 and 4, which is when Bryke have said they started working hints and moments in. It’s not a coincidence that the ship drew more support in after the writing started leading in that direction and, I’ve come to realize, it’s not a coincidence that I myself started shipping Korrasami in book 3 either. Bryke and the crew fought hard for Korrasami to become a reality and I truly believe they did their best with the restrictions they were given.

Really, whether you see Korrasami (and all the other LGBT things they included in the comics) as taking advantage of their queer audience or a genuine attempt to be inclusive is dependent on whether or not you’re willing to give the crew the benefit of the doubt. I am, but if you’re an LGBT fan who feels differently then that’s your right and I can’t question it or judge you for it. 

At the end of the day though, when I think of all those finale reactions that show queer fans jumping for joy or crying actual tears because of Korrasami, or see posts with stills from Turf Wars talking about how much this means to them, I find I really don’t give a damn about their intentions. What matters is the impact, and Legend of Korra’s impact on LGBT fans cannot be denied. 

Spring/Summer HP aesthetics

Hufflepuff: a clear blue sky, crisp white clouds, sunflowers stalks swaying in the breeze, waking up early and fixing a cup of tea/coffee as the sun rises, a soft cushioned couch, burrowing under piles of pillows and fleece blankets, rain splashing and sliding down windows, putting on your favorite pair of socks in the morning, the snap of jean buttons and overall clasps, sticking your bare feet in dewy grass, cloud-gazing, the feeling of your fingers in the rich earth, the smell of freshly made cookies baking in the oven, the creak of the door when you first get home, licking chocolate off your finger tips, stroking your pet meditatively, spinning in circles until you get too dizzy and fall down, watching as seedlings begin to grow, succulents and ivy spilling out of garden beds, moss and lichens growing on rocks, new blossoms appearing on trees, the glare of sunlight out of the corner of your eye, hearing birdsong as evening begins to set in.

Slytherin: Fog rolling over landscapes, rain pouring down from the sky and the sound when it hits your umbrella as you walk around in a rainstorm, the feminine rustle of petticoats and tulle, shining black shoes glistening under candle light, gentle quiet notes being played on the piano, stepping into a warm shower early in the morning, a hand brushing your cheek gently, the slick sound when you adjust a tie, a cigarette held between two fingers gently, freshly applied lipstick, the flourish of a cloak or a heavy coat, the whistle of the wind in your ears and the hollow sound it creates when the wind beats against your house, evening walks, lighting candles in a pitch black room, power outs, train pistons moving, the crackle of thunder, pricking your finger on a needle, tall grass waving in the breeze, settling down in front of a blazing fire, finding a secluded spot to spend time with close friends, the subtle glisten of blood, silvery moonlit walks in the forest at night.

Gryffindor: Pounding heartbeat shaking your chest, the rush of blood in your ears, sticking a hand out the window of a car while driving and feeling the wind pass through your fingers, the apprehension when you reach the top of the roller coaster, chanting in a crowd of people, crowd surfing, the feeling of sweat on your upper brow, running and rolling down steep hills, the sound of skateboard wheels on pavement, drinking your first cup of coffee in the morning, waking up late on your day off and staying in bed as long as you want to, picking at scabs, the clink of chain link fences, oversized sweaters draping over your body and making you feel small and comfy, yelling your throat raw, feeling music on every cell of your body, turning your music up too loud and drowning out the world, feet peddling a bike, the rush of nearly getting caught, laughing loudly with a group of friends.

Ravenclaw: the smell when you walk into a bookstore, tenderly handling leather bound books, hand cramping from extensive writing, paint smudges on your hands, wearing old pairs of jeans, ink blotches covering the margins of notebooks, color coded notes, sitting beneath a tree and reading, opening a newly bought book, reading the last line of a book, stage curtains rustling gently, holding your breath under water, letting ocean waves hit your ankles, star gazing late into the night, walking down quiet country lanes, pulling your hair back so that you can focus, water boiling in a kettle, slipping into a steaming bath surrounded by candles, soft lamplight dimly lighting a room, brushing impatient and frustrated fingers through hair, writing on the first page of a new notebook, opening your window to listen to the sound of rain as you fall asleep at night, collecting leaves and feathers, watering plants, freshly washed and dried hair