bookings are essential

Lame adaptations and sequels are always like, “how can Mina go back to her stifling Victorian marriage after her experience with the dark, seductive Dracula??”

Meanwhile, Mina marries her best friend, who she’s known since they were children, who she share common interests with, they build a home together, work as partners, make immense sacrifices for each other, support each other through their traumas.

Guys, a marriage isn’t stifling and restrictive just because two people… get along, I guess?

Werewolf!Todd and Vampire!Dirk

So I imagine these two meeting almost exactly the same as the werewolf and vampire main characters in one of my favorite books.

Essentially, when Todd becomes a werewolf he just kind of *assumes* that this means that he has to go around killing and eating human beings once he turns, despite the fact that he’s almost entirely lucid after he turns.

He doesn’t enjoy it, but he’d always operated off of the idea that werewolves are just naturally bloodthirsty monsters and cannibals, and there must be something wrong with him because god damn raw human flesh just does not taste good.

So he’s just finished killing an unsuspecting human, and he’s munching on this guy’s intestines–which taste absolutely horrible. The guy is kinda cute but Todd didn’t manage to notice that until after he killed him.

Todd is just about to walk away when this corpse that he’d previously been eating fuckin gets up and starts gathering his intestines back into his stomach.

turns out Dirk is one of those really ancient vampires (although you can’t really tell it from looking at him; he looks youthful and almost hipster-ish). He helps explain to Todd what it’s really like to be a semi-human monster and to settle into his new life (he mentions that he knows so much about werewolves because he once dated one for a couple centuries, leaving Todd constantly wondering about the circumstances of this relationship).

And so the two of them kind of accidentally become travelling companions and eventually detectives once Todd discovers Dirk’s long-buried ~intuitions~, which he had even before he became a vampire.

Pregnant Jewish Teen kicked out, and Angels of Color = Cultural Erasure?

Hi! I have two questions to ask.

I’m writing a book in which two teenage girls live in a small fictional town in Alabama.  The main character is a white protestant queer girl. Her best friend is a conservative jewish girl (still figuring out her sexuality) named Dalia. Dalia and her parents are the only jewish people in the town, and they commute to their synagogue (its mentioned that they have more family in Birmingham). 

The book establishes that Dalia is essentially the best person in the whole town, meaning she is more patient, kind, less corrupt than anyone else.  She does have flaws of course, she fears being a burden and tends to be a little impulsive. Anyway, Dalia’s dad is Ashkenazi and i was thinking her mom is Sephardi from Turkey, and immigrated to America earlier in her life.  

Dalia does get pregnant at 17, and hides the pregnancy for a little while. She does know exactly who the father is (a teenage boy who isn’t in the story) and when it is revealed that she is pregnant her parents are very angry, and kick her out of the house (i also planned for one of her parents to hit her in the face, but i dont have to write that). Dalia does intend to go live with her relatives in Birmingham, who are aware of her pregnancy and are fine with it, but ends up not going because of plot events. 

There is also an Angel who takes a male form, but really has no concept of gender.  I know i dont want him to be white because of the white=pure=holy connotation of that. The problem is he’d be completely separate from any culture of the race he’d be presenting, because he’s an angel and is simply using a random corporeal form.  

So, is Dalia’s situation with her parents in anyway coming off as anti semitic/painting immigrants as being backwards and inherently sexist/abusive?

And, is someone adopting a form with an ethnicity but being totally disconnected from any connecting culture racist? 

Wait, you’re writing a story where a Jewish mom and dad kick out their teenage daughter for being pregnant? That strikes me as a little… “look over here at this marginalized culture! don’t they treat their young girls badly?” I mean, I’m sure getting kicked out for a teen pregnancy has happened to someone Jewish somewhere but I haven’t seen it, personally. 

Could they maybe be overprotective instead? Stop letting her go out with her friends, refuse to give her any freedom? That would do away with the “where did this author even GET this” in my head, although it would still paint us as More Backward. 

If you’re not Jewish yourself this becomes even more awkward.

Shira

>> is someone adopting a form with an ethnicity but being totally disconnected from any connecting culture racist? 

Well, these are non-human beings that just look like humans, right? I’d assume angels have their own culture of sorts and it’s not necessarily erasure when it’s a being that isn’t even from earth. We’ve talked extensively on disconnecting PoC from their cultures and the erasure that is, but having a non-human being that simply appears as a Person of Color so doesn’t have the associated culture(s) is alright with me personally and is not the same. 

Now, if they switched between races at leisure that would feel like dress-up and is a whole different story. Also, please assure they’re not being a certain race because they just think it’s cool or interesting (see: Androids, Black Culture & Appropriation).

But if pale and white angels don’t need a reason for existing, why do Black and brown angels need one? It helps to also have human PoC of the same coded race in Angels who do have (human) cultures, though.

Here’s a discussion Shira and I also happened to write on how to differentiate species from similar-looking human ones. See: Differentiating Black-skinned Species from Black people.

–Mod Colette

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I finally got my phone fixed!!

A little update: It is now my march holidays and I’ll be able to go out to study and post more original content (finally). My first term is now finally over, I received almost all my test results (in which I didn’t do very well in, unfortunately) therefore i’d have to pull up my socks higher and higher and higher and higher

I went to the library to study after giving a presentation together with my voice ensemble, and I went to the very famous orchard library where the interior is to die for (yall should really check this place out when you guys are at Singapore !!) Was super productive today, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can remain this way throughout the holidays !!

but yes, I’d be studying more, and being on tumblr checking you guys out… I’m alive, guys !! That’s all for now, continue pressing on, focusing, studying, getting stuff done and see the fruits of your labour after ;)

Blooming Joy

Happiness, ever elusive and much sought for. It so often seems out of reach, but is it? The happiness that we feel is the happiness that we create for ourselves. What stands in our way? What stray and intrusive thoughts keep us from experiencing our full measure of joy? This is a spell to help rid yourself of the thoughts that block you from your full joy.

You will need
1. An orange or yellow candle (in a safe candleholder)
2. Lilac essential oil or a fresh lilac flower (purple)
3. A pencil and paper
4. A heat resistant bowl

Set-up

Begin by lighting the candle and placing it on your righthand side. Place the bowl on your lefthand side. Both should be within easy reach of you. In front of you, place the paper, pencil, and oil/flower. If inclined, cast a circle.

Next, gaze into the flame of the candle. Repeat five times with intention:


Flame of wonder, flame of light
Guide my mind and guide my sight


Allow your mind to clear, focusing on the flame and this question: what thoughts stand between me and my joy? If your mind wanders, which is natural and expected, acknowledge the thoughts and allow them to pass through you, present but not harming. When you have an insight into a thought that disrupts your happiness write it on the paper.

When you have three thoughts written down or when you feel there are no more thoughts to record, turn your attention to the paper. With the lilac oil or flower bloom, draw a half-circle on the paper with the top open and the bottom closed. Starting from the lowest point of the half circle draw a line going straight up and out of the half-circle. The half-circle represents you and your openness to joy. The line represents the banishment of your negative and intrusive thoughts, those things that block you from your joy. Next, touch the oil/blossom to your head and then to the spot your half-circle and line connect. You are binding your negative thoughts to the page in preparation for banishment.

Lift the page, holding it before you, and repeat with conviction:


Ill thought, ill thought
You’ve no power o’er me
Ill thought, ill thought
Banished from what I see



Holding the page in your left hand, touch the bottom right corner to the flame and carefully place the paper in the bowl. Allow it to burn to ash. If it goes out before fully burning, relight it. You are banishing the negativity and intrusive thoughts. Once you have burned the paper and you feel calm, extinguish the candle. Take the bowl of ash outside and toss it to the winds that the thoughts may be carried away.

You have freed yourself from this negativity. Though the thoughts may return, you now possess the power to dispel them. You are mistress and they cannot control you or block your joy.

Notes
Lilac: feminine, associated with Venus and the air, often used for banishment and protection.
Orange: the power of change, strength
Yellow: the power of intellect, mind over matter

I don’t always post artwork of my original characters…

…but when I do, they’re drawn on the pages of my Oliver score.  

The Five Elements of a Good Novel Pitch

If you guys haven’t heard about the Book Doctors, then what have you been doing with your writing life allow me to educate you.
David Henry Sterry and Arielle Ekstut are a husband and wife couple who work closely with NaNoWriMo and are the authors of a fantastic book titled “The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published.” (get it and read it, it’s fabulous) These two wonderful people just did a YouTube livestream (it’s two hours long, watch it here) and at the tail end of it, David Sterry mentions the five elements of a really solid pitch…

  1. Research: Make sure that any facts you use in your pitch (as a hook or that are relevant to your novel) are accurate. It sounds like common sense, but you might be surprised how so many details can get overlooked. Unfortunately, pitches are all about detail. Suffice it to say, if you’re writing a medical thriller, then you’ll want to have intimate knowledge of medical procedures.
  2. Connection / Networking: One of the things that surprised me about pitching a novel is the “resume” part of a pitch. I thought that pitching was all about selling your book, but you have to sell yourself, too. If a well-known author has praised your book, mention that! If you’re writing a book for middle schoolers titled “How to Be A Loser 101″ then throw in a mention of how you were a loser for years and years (humor and connection. Double whammy). If you’re like me and you don’t have any credentials relevant to your story, then this humorous route may be the way to go.
  3. Writing: A pitch should be under 250 words. Every word needs to count, needs to be chosen, needs to be the best word to sell your book and yourself. You need to take time, slow down, and really think. 250 is a lot less than it sounds, so try not to get discouraged and keep at it until you feel that you’ve really summarized the essence of your book.
    *Note: pitches for sci-fi and fantasy novels can be a little bit longer because they tend to need more buildup and explanation, but don’t go over 300. Just don’t.
  4. Perseverance: Writing the right pitch can take a long time. Heck, it took the Book Doctors months to come up with theirs, but now they can recite it in sync, with hand motions (skip to 2:01:38 to see it!). Condensing an entire novel down to 250 words is hard, even without considering that those 250 are supposed to convey why your book needs to be published. But take it one step at a time, and most importantly…
  5. Have fun with it! We all know that joy and passion should permeate our work, and that should be no different when it comes to your pitch. Let your pitch have style and humor and voice and cliffhangers, just like your book does.

Keeping all these elements in mind when you’re writing your novel pitch can be really helpful. And if you hit a wall? Step back, take a breath. Use your resources (like the Book Doctor’s video here or their book “The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published”). 
And if you want to, send me your pitches! I’m not professional, but I’d love to hear about your guys’s books. Tag me in a post or send them to me in a message and I’ll help if I can! 

The most overwhelming reality of school is CONTROL. School controls the way you spend your time (what is life made of if not time?), how you behave, what you read, and to a large extent, what you think. In school you can’t control your own life. […] What the educators apparently haven’t realized yet is that experiential education is a double-edged sword. If you do something to learn it, then what you do, you learn. All the time you are in school, you learn through experience how to live in a dictatorship. In school you shut your notebook when the bell rings. You do not speak unless granted permission. You are guilty until proven innocent, and who will prove you innocent? You are told what to do, think, and say for six hours each day. If your teacher says sit up and pay attention, you had better stiffen your spine and try to get Bobby or Sally or the idea of Spring or the play you’re writing off your mind. The most constant and thorough thing students in school experience — and learn — is the antithesis of democracy.
—  Grace Llewellyn, The Teenage Liberation Handbook
Witches Bath Brew

Try cleansing your aura in a bath once a week. Through out our busy lives we can’t help but pick up bits of negative energy, and unless you take the time to sever those ties you can become weighed down by it. Baths are a great way to cleanse you aura since you don’t need a lot of extra supplies, water is a natural spiritual cleanser.

Start by running your favorite relaxing bathwater. This could mean adding bubble bath, bath bombs, flowers, herbs, or essential oils, whatever makes you feel the most grounded and relaxed.
Helpful Essential Oils:
Lavender- promotes peace and relaxation
Myrrh- protection from evil
Rosemary- promotes healing
Vanilla- promote happiness
Cedar- protection from misery and misfortune

Next light some candles. (Not necessary, but I always find them comforting myself)
Helpful Candle Colors:
Black- neutralize negative energy
Light Blue- promote peace and tranquility
White- protection
Dark Green- counteract feelings of jealousy in yourself and from others

Now this last step is really the most important. You are relaxing in your bath. Starting at your toes and working your way up muscle by muscle consciously relax each and every part of your body. Let your mind drift. Close your eyes. Let a white light fill your mind. Let the white light fill your body. Hold it there. This is your inner fire, purging any traces of negative energy that is piggy backing on your aura. Then slowly let it fade. Settle into yourself. Take a few controlled deep breathes. When you are ready sit up, and drain your water. It is very important to begin draining the water before you step out of the tub in order to release all the gunk you just washed away. Then pat yourself dry, slap on your favorite lotion and head back out into the world feeling light and refreshed.

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5th December'16: 20/47 DAYS OF PRODUCTIVITY

Finally starting revision again, today I continued with The Crusible !! There is only 27 more days till the year end/school starts and I’m not half prepared for the next school year !!

so im done like…. skimming through we for the most part and here are my comments (im not gonna say final bc i know this hell isnt over)

this is long but i’m not putting it in a read more bc i don’t want to like i want you to have to scroll through this.

1. none of the information/techniques/whatever on this book are actually new, there’s 14 pages worth of citations in the back of the book meaning that this book is essentially just like… a copy and paste of many people’s ideas and techniques so take that as you will

2. there’s quotes like everywhere? from like random famous women ranging from like rosa parks to emma watson to emily dickinson to anne frank…… it’s very odd it reminds me of that scene in the office where michael writes “ “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” - wayne gretsky” -michael scott anyway this is literally the most inclusive part of the whole book and also aside from crediting laverne cox as a transgender activist and actress there’s like…. literally no mention of trans women 

3. this has to be one of the most heteronormative pieces of media i’ve consumed in a my life… every mention of a relationship talks about “he”. also never ever post abt how u think gillians gonna date a woman or she’s bi or whatever bc in the book she deadass just refers to all her partners (past and future) as he so there you go

4. there’s an excerpt that says you have to be thankful because you’re much better off than a huge percentage of the world population bc you have a fridge lol

5. in the humility section theres a part where they talk abt how we’re all equal and no one is better than anyone else but last time i checked gillian charges a small fortune for fans to meet her and doesn’t even treat them like equals so just a thought

6. the mandatory “feminism” section or w/e in the manifesto part of the book uses those statistics you’ve read a million times like there’s more CEOs named john than there are female CEOs like this book really has Nothing new to offer anyone 

7. there’s a section where you’re encouraged to follow a diet while following these principles and it has a linked (yes! a typed out link in a book) to the BMI index and you’re told to go on it and check if you’re healthy or not like… don’t do that lmao 

8. the quote “more than seven hundred million women live in hunger, and yet those with plenty battle obesity and depression” Fuck You

9. the quote “every minute, one woman dies needlessly in childbirth, while elsewhere in the world another woman spends thousands on cosmetic surgery because she isn’t able to feel comfortable with how she’s aging” again… Fuck you

10. the notion that we as (cis, straight, white) women cannot be expected to be respected by society if we don’t learn to respect ourselves by doing things like… flirting with other women’s husbands OR letting other women’s husbands flirt with you… Yes Really

this is all i feel like typing out right now bc i have other shit to do but… this book sucks and im 90% sure there was a ghost writer