but i looked for a long time to find these illustrations

Taking textbook notes is a chore. It’s tedious and boring and sometimes challenging, but hopefully these tips will help you improve your skill and shorten the time it takes you to do textbook notes!

Give yourself time: Realistically, you can’t knock out 30 pages of notes in 20 minutes. Take your time with textbook notes so they’re a good studying tool in the future. The general rule is to take how many pages you have to do and multiply it by 5: that’s how many minutes it’ll take you to do the notes.

  • Also, divide you notes up into manageable chunks to increase your productivity. I am personally a huge fan of using pomodoro timers, and I adjust the intervals for however long I need to.

Skim before you start taking notes: If time is an issue, don’t read your 40 page in depth before even picking up a pen, but make sure you know what you’re reading about by skimming a bit ahead of your notes. Read over section titles, and look at charts, maps, or graphs. Writing and highlighting as you read the chapter for the first time isn’t effective because you don’t know if a sentence will be important or not, so make sure you’re reading a paragraph or section in advance before writing.

Use the format they give you in the book to help take your notes: In a lot of textbooks, there will be a mini outline before the chapter itself that shows all the headings and subheadings. Those will be your guidelines! I find this super helpful because long chapters can be daunting to go into without any structure. If you don’t have one of those, use the headings and subheadings provided for you. If you haven’t already been doing this, it will help you so much.

Read actively: It’s so easy to “read” a textbook without digesting any information, but that is the last thing you want to do. Not only does it make taking notes a million times harder, but you’ll be lost in class discussions because you didn’t understand the reading. To keep from passively reading, highlight, underline, star any important information in the book itself.

  • Have a color coding system for highlighting or underlining and write down a key somewhere (here’s a few that you can adjust for your needs: x,x)
  • Use sticky notes or tabs to mark any questions or important points to come back to

Summarize important information and paraphrase: When taking the actual notes, don’t copy down full sentences word for word. Not only does writing full sentences waste a lot of time, it’s not an effective way to learn. If you can paraphrase the information, then you understand it. It’s also easier to study notes which are in your own words instead of textbook academia writing.

Be selective: You shouldn’t be writing down every fact that comes up in your textbook. If a fact ties into the bigger topic and provides evidence, then it’s probably something to keep, but you don’t need every piece of supplemental information (but do make sure you always write down the vocab). Learn your teacher’s testing style to help you decide what to write down. Could this be on the quiz/test? If the answer is yes, make sure you write it down.

Learn to abbreviate: Just like writing full sentences, writing out full words will waste time. Implement some shortenings (make sure to use ones that you’ll understand later!) into your notes. Some common ones are: b/c=because, gov=government, w/o=without, and here’s a great list of a ton of examples of abbreviations and shortenings.

Answer margin and review questions: A lot of textbooks have margin questions on every page or so that sum up what’s really important about that information. Make sure not to skip them because they’re really helpful for understanding. Write them down and answer them clearly in your notes. Most textbooks also have review questions after the chapter that check for reading comprehension, so make sure to answer those because they’ll show you if you really understood the chapter.

Don’t skip over visual sources: Maps, diagrams, illustrations, charts, and any other visuals in textbooks are so helpful. If you’re a visual learner, these things will be so essential to you and how you understand what you’re reading. Charts, tables, and diagrams sometimes also summarize information, so if you’re a visual learner it might benefit you to copy those down instead of writing it out.

  • Add visuals if it’ll help you: As said above, copying down charts, tables, illustrations, or diagrams can be super helpful for visual learners. They’re clear and concise, so pay attention to them.

Write your notes in a way that’s effective and makes sense to you: Mindmaps, Cornell notes, or plain outline notes are all really good forms of notetaking. Find which one works best for you to understand them and which one is most effective for your class, and use it (stuff on mindmaps and cornell notes).

Combine your class and textbook notes: If you rewrite your class notes, add in information you think is relevant from your textbook notes. Mark anything both your book and teacher said were important–you don’t want to forget any of that. If you don’t rewrite class notes, then put stars next to anything repeated.

Tips for Illustrators (and other artists too!)

I’m an illustration major at MICA (please check out my blog here as a way to support me for making this post!), so this is catered towards what I learned in my illustration critiques and from professional illustrators. I think these tips can go for other artists too, though!

None of these are things that work all the time, but they’re general “rules” I’ve been taught. You can break them, just know why you’re doing so! These are just things I copied from my critique notes, so most are general tips I’ve heard and copied down.

General

  • Enjoy what you’re working on, but be okay with changing it.
  • Anatomy, and accurately trying to portray it, is really important.
  • Time and space can be portrayed through focus and distance.
  • When working digitally, make some of your own textures (traditionally) and scan them in. Adding them into a picture adds an element of your own hand and makes your work stand apart from other digital work.
  • Contrast is a great thing.
  • Saturation is a great thing, especially in watercolor (soak that brush with pigment!).
  • Your style should never draw an obscene amount of attention to itself; it should just work fluidly.
  • Consider what medium(s) work best for your idea.
  • Cover your paint palettes (particularly reusable ones) to make sure dust doesn’t get in the paints.
  • Spin the page when you’re working. The time is takes to do that will show some major improvement in your art!
  • Use dark watercolor and then a light colored pencil on top, never the other way around (it will look muddy and ruin clarity).
  • Make sure to sometime pin or place you piece far away and step away so you can see the whole composition (or zoom out a lot digitally).
  • Consider the genre and audience of what you’re working for (and if it’s yourself, then you’re your own audience!).
  • Illustration is a branch of fine art, don’t forget that.
  • Fantasy art usually needs a lot of high detail.

Coloring

  • Pick an overall color palette to work in, then add in other colors as needed.
  • Complementary colors (ones opposite on the color wheel), when placed next to each other, can pop an object forward or draw attention to it. (Think of a red ornament on a green Christmas tree).
  • Designate the shadows to be either warm or cool, and the highlights to be the opposite. Stay with this throughout the entire picture.
  • All colors have a warm and a cool hue (cool and warm blues, cool and warm oranges).
  • The more saturated a color is, the more it will pop forward in the picture plane.
  • Don’t use colors right out of the paint tube.
  • When making a shadow, tint the color with the complementary tone (it makes it a little more grey).
  • Colorizing backgrounds lines makes them recede in a colored image with line art.
  • Blue and pink tones are great for use in skin tones.
  • Flats need to be fairly differentiated colors.

Drawing

  • The reference should never be an excuse for a misleading or awkward pose. You have the artistic license to alter an awkward pose and not just draw from a photo.
  • With scratchy or textured line art, find some places of solid black too, to allow the eye to rest (or where you want something to pop out).
  • How you render all the elements of the picture is what makes your own individual style.
  • When something is illuminated, it should be the brightest part of the composition.
  • Anything with a straight angle (like the corner of a room) has one wall/side being lighter in value than the other. There is a crisp distinction.
  • Sometimes adding more lessens the strength of the image.
  • Fabric folds are crisp, if they’re too soft they’ll look like clay.
  • Line heaviness and weight can determine depth.

Anatomy/Characters

  • Anatomical consistency is very important.
  • Inside of the mouth is usually dark.
  • Show character motivations with actions and poses.
  • You can crop a face or figure to set a mood.
  • In any and every picture, pay special and close attention to the hands, feet, and face.
  • Learning musculature, even if you use reference, will help you create the body you want for your character. Understand the human form…it’s easier to alter if you understand it in the first place.
  • To pop a figure forward, add a little bit of rim lighting (great with backlighting).

Composition

  • Avoid spots where a line or shape comes really close, but doesn’t cross, the edge of the paper. This is called a tangent and tangents are bad (they suck the eye into just that one spot and stop the composition).
  • Nothing in the picture is accidentally there, it is all drawn by you, so make sure everything has a conscious placement.
  • Don’t crop anything that shows essential character expression (including essential parts of the pose).
  • Never crop a figure at a joint (it makes the limb look amputated unintentionally).
  • Consider how you show detail with smaller characters…what are the essential characteristics?
  • Shapes of color or tone can make great framing devices.
  • For the most part, render the foreground with more clarity than the background…you want atmospheric perspective to be used to make it look like it’s receding.
  • Line heaviness/weight can combat (in a good way) any very dark areas.
  • When the character breaks a border (shape, line, panel etc), it shows dominance.
  • Make the shape of your negative space visually interesting.
  • “Cornerstops” are great. They are a compositional element that visually blocks your eye from running off the corner of a page.
  • Shadows can be a great compositional element.

Narrative Illustration (Portraying the narrative)

  • It is a successful illustration if the story is told.
  • Use every element of the image to tell the story.
  • Sometimes you have to take out elements you love for the sake of storytelling.
  • Think of images as being fast/slow, quiet/loud. What techniques portray these senses for you, and why are you using such techniques? What areas of the picture are slower and faster, why those areas?
  • Indicate how lavish or simple a place is by the details you choose to include in the background.
  • Don’t make it obvious that you “curated” the picture; it should look natural.
  • Cover illustrations don’t always need big and bold text, as long as there’s a strong narrative being portrayed.
  • Something mid action carries the narrative better than pre or post action.
  • You should be able to tell a story without relying on text.

Sequential Art (Comics, etc)

  • Color between panels can draw the eye around the page.
  • Big jumps in narrative can add humor and excitement, just make sure to think of why you are having the jump there.
  • When starting a sequence, make it obvious where you start (establishing shot; biggest to smallest, etc).
  • Make sure panels can read as separate images even if you took the gutter away.
  • Smaller panels are frequently used for faster/quicker actions.
  • Removing the background in certain panels allows the scene to be read faster; you only need one background per page (unless the scene in the background is changing).
  • Style, readability, and timing are key things to keep in mind.
  • Does the punch line/climax happen at the right time on the page?
  • Before planning a page, ask yourself: “How much time is elapsing between the first and last panel?”
  • Consider panel shape and size.
  • The composition, and where the eye flows inside every panel, informs where the eye travels to next…compositionally lead the eye from panel to panel.
  • The more panels you have, generally the more time goes on.
  • Don’t rely on speed/action lines to make things dramatic.
  • Give word bubbles a little breathing room.
  • When doing a graphic novel, you’ll usually have to redraw the first few pages since the characters will come more naturally to you by the end pages.
  • There is a design element to sound effects.

Digital Art (Mostly Photoshop based, but some are general tips)

  • Before printing, you usually want to switch your file to CMYK (though save a file in RGB too). Print at 300 dpi.
  • Before printing, you can up the brightness, saturation and contrast until it just starts to look awkward. You’ll learn the best settings for the printer you print at.
  • Don’t place digital textures anywhere. Consciously arrange them.
  • Don’t overrender. Digital art tends to be the most successful when it feels less digital than someone would expect.
  • If your color scheme doesn’t look cohesive, you can use a fill layer of one specific color to unify everything (Layer->fill layer). Lower the opacity to around 15-30%.
The 2 Elements of an ORIGINAL STORY IDEA

If you’ve been doing this writing thing for more than one day, you’ve likely experienced the following worry: 

“What if my story idea ISN’T ORIGINAL?”

And if my experience is any indication, things spiraled downwards from there: “What if it’s cliche? What if there’s nothing new here?! It IS cliche. It ISN’T original. I’m a failure! ALL MY WRITING NEEDS TO BURN!”

Calm yourself. There’s a way to make sure that your story concept is unique.  

First, what IS a story concept? It’s the initial idea that made you want to write the thing. It’s the “What If” question that starts everything off. Later, it will be the promise that hooks the reader or audience, and makes them want to experience the story. 

So for example: What if Cinderella was a cyborg? What if a rat wanted to be a french chef? What if a fish had to venture across the ocean to find his son who’s captive in a dentist’s office aquarium?   

All great concepts. All of which seem to be comprised of two elements: something that we already know about, a set up that establishes expectations, and then something contrasting and surprising, which creates irony or surprise.  
So the first element of a successful story concept is FAMILIARITY. 

Establishing expectations? Something we already know about? Familiarity?! That sounds like the definition of UNorginal. 

Hear me out. 

What do readers do when foraging for a new novel at the bookstore? Certain readers gravitate to certain shelves. Some go to mysteries, some to crime, a whole lot to romance, and the rest to the other genres that are too numerous to list.

 Why is this? Because genres give them a pretty good idea about what they’re going to get. Readers already know the conventions of the genre. They’ve already put in the work of learning, accepting, and enjoying these conventions. 

Genres give both reader and writer something to go on right away. For the reader, genres are expectations for story events, setting, character, and more, which are automatically enjoyable to them. For a writer, it’s a set of expectations which can be flipped to create something remarkable and unique.  

It’s like telling a joke. Without a setup, there can’t be a punchline. 

The genres are the setup, the individual twist the author puts on that genre is the punchline. Or in other words, readers truly do want the same thing –only different.  

To illustrate this, let’s take a look at one of the most successful stories of all time.

With space ships, interplanetary travel, sentient robots, and aliens running amok, Star Wars LOOKS to be the kind of story that requires the audience to expend lots of mental energy to comprehend and believe. At first glance, it seems that imaginations are going to have to stretch a great deal, and there won’t be anything familiar to ground us – this SEEMS like an uncomfortably new, unwelcoming world. But I doubt if anyone has ever felt uncomfortable or unwelcome while watching Star Wars. And the reason for this can be summed up with one ellipsis-ended sentence:

Suddenly, all is clear. This isn’t the hard-to-imagine future, this is the PAST. We’re not being asked to imagine and believe a totally new world; we’re being taken to the realm of “far, far away”, a place we’ve known since childhood. Isn’t “a long time ago” just another way of saying “once upon a time”? Yes, it is, so we know where we are now. We are in a fairy tale, a myth.  

The familiarity of fairy tales sets us at ease and sets our expectations in place. Expectations which Star Wars meets with flying colors: A farmboy who must become a knight. A princess imploring for aide. A mystical wise-old-man mentor. Sword fights between good and evil. A magic that operates like religion. A dark lord and a dark side. Star Wars was built upon something we already know, something timeless, something we’ve always enjoyed. 

And once those well-known expectations were set, Star Wars was free to add the unexpected and create one of those most memorable story worlds ever.
Think of a story you love, and you’ll probably be able to identify the something-already-known aspect of it.  

How about Harry Potter? 

When we hear “boarding school”, mental images and probabilities are instantly conjured in our minds. We picture classrooms, dormitories, a campus with very old buildings, kids in uniforms, a giant place for meals, living through a schoolyear with a bunch of kids your age, etc. Even if we don’t know much about boarding school, we all know what regular school is like (even us homeschoolers over here *waves*) and our expectations for that are nearly identical from person to person.  

So what does this prove?

It proves that one half of your story’s concept must be grounded in something we already know, and know well. These are the expectations you are going to establish for your reader, before the second element of your concept upends everything and creates something wholly unique. 

You need FAMILIARITY. You need to ground your concept in something WELL-KNOWN. Only then will you be able to create something ORIGINAL. 

Where can familiarity be found?  

1. Genre Conventions 

2. Occupations 

3. Well-known stories  

The possibilities are not limited to these categories, of course. Familiar subjects can be found within many other areas. However, Familiar elements seem to share certain qualities … 

Provides a rough timeline

⦁ Conjures imagery

⦁ Sets expectations for events, characters, opposition, etc

⦁ Has natural potential for conflict 

⦁ Serves as a goal-oriented backdrop for the plot

To see how this works, let’s look at Harry Potter again: 

Familiarity: Going to boarding school. (An occupation)

Timeline: A school year (which Voldy always lets Harry complete before trying to kill him again, bless him.)

Story Expectations: When we hear “school”, we know what we’re going to get.

Imagery: Boarding school conjures tons of possibilities. 

Conflict Potential: It’s a thousand kids living in one castle with a handful of adults – there’s going to be conflict. 

Goal-Oriented: School is inherently goal directed. You want to graduate. And in the case of boarding school, you want to win the house cup. 

But of course, this familiar environment is only HALF of the concept for Harry Potter. The other half, of course, is WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY. Which brings us to the 2nd element of a successful story concept, which will be the subject of the next post.

The Issue of Being a Freelance Artist (When working with non-designers): A story by Sean Williams (and future reference for other artists)

Hey guys, looks like its story time… I’m going to vent to you guys about something that just happened to me today, and hopefully you guys can reblog it so that we as artists, can try to avoid this from happening in the future.

For the last month or so I’ve been working on a freelance project for a woman who plans on running a blog about going to College. Throughout this process, I’ve worked with her step by step, going through designs, drafts, re-drafts and etc. After turning in the final design yesterday and being in agreement that the design was good, and that payment should be finalized; she sent me an email stating this: 

“I ran the design by a couple of people affiliated with by blog, and I am going to have to ask you to redo it.  It’s just not what we were looking for.  I’m not a design person at all and I wanted it done, so I settled on it. But this has to be done right”

Settled. 

“Okay, fine” I thought. Sometimes things don’t work out, and designs need to be redone. I was fine with this, and I have absolutely no problem working with a client to make sure that they’re happy; but something about her wording stuck a chord…. She settled. And for reference: THIS is what she said yesterday- BEFORE the email today stating: “This has to be done right” 


FUN FACT: I had gone in a completely different direction before coming up with the design I sent yesterday, but after HOURS of working on it and checking in with her (with her telling me she loved the way it looked) –

–I was asked to redo it.


She told me to redo it. A DAY BEFORE IT WAS DUE.  Which I did (The design I turned in yesterday). But I digress..

I continued reading through the email: 

“If you are not able or willing to take this on, then we can just cut our ties here.  If you would like to finish the project in a time sensitive manner and be paid the other 50$ and be featured, then please get me a new design by today.” 

At this point, I’d been working with her for a little over a month, (I’m a full-time student, and I work the maximum number of hours that I’m allowed to work on campus, on top of that I’m the president of an animation organization on campus, so suffice to say, I’m busy) and she had a deadline for the project, so there was a part of me that could understand her urgency. We had decided on $100. Half up front and half after I had finished. But now something else had stuck with me: “Please get me a new design by today”

What? Are you kidding me? a NEW design? We had been working together for over a month, and I had worked based on what she wanted, and now she wanted a COMPLETELY new design by the end of the day. A day, I might add that I don’t have free because I have work and then other school-related obligations that I need to fulfill… That would mean sketches to generate more ideas, having to confer with her on the design, THEN actually implementing the design, and having to clean it all up, with 1.) No direction (because the way I designed it previously was obviously all wrong), and 2.) By the end of the day.


This had to be done right, and after all of that working and reworking, I was STILL looking to try to be as helpful and professional as possible. So of course,  I was considering starting from scratch and coming up with a THIRD finalized design, until I read the rest of the email… HERE’S THE KICKER: I can’t even make this shit up. 

“A few things to keep in mind. 1.  I am a professional.  I’m an adult, this is my business.  I want it clean, simple and streamlined”.

In my head I thought: “You’re joking. You’re going to tell me these things like I’m a child? First of all, I may be a student, but I’m a working adult, I take care of my schoolwork, I pay rent, I pay a car note, I’m ENGAGED, AND take care of a pet Ferret. Beyond that, not only have I worked on this project with you step, by step, but I’ve done COUNTLESS drafts and ON TOP OF THAT, you’ve told me multiple times that the design is perfect for what you’re looking for”

The email continued: 


“https://designschool.canva.com/blog/graphic-design-tips-non-designers/”

Are you fucking kidding me. This woman thought it was okay to send me: A designer; this “HELPFUL” link. About tips. FOR NON DESIGNERS. WHEN SHE HERSELF IS NOT A DESIGNER. After this I was LIVID. But I kept my composure and kept reading:

“Ask me questions, read the blog, treat me as if I’m a real client. Let me know your thoughts on this.” 

I almost couldn’t contain myself. For a month I’ve done sketches, layouts, and etc… I’d worked with you step by step, following her instructions for the design, FOR EACH ITERATION OF THE DESIGN and I had tailored each of my changes exactly to her specifications. Beyond that I’d read and re-read over the blog multiple times in an effort to come up with a design that would best display her intentions. I was so upset after reading her email that I literally just closed my phone and walked around for a few minutes to clear my head. 


After much consideration, I decided to do what she herself had suggested and cut our ties. And I did it in what I feel was the most respectful way that I could while still maintaining my dignity. I sent her a message stating that I’m sorry that things didn’t work out, but that I could tell that she clearly didn’t respect me as an artist, and that I thought it best if we didn’t continue working together. I wished her good luck in finding a designer that could suit her needs, and I went about my day. 

Although this situation didn’t end the way that I had expected it to when we began working together, I’ve learned some things, and I wanted to share my story with you all as a way to help raise awareness for things like this:

-VALUE YOUR ART. 
-VALUE YOUR TIME. 
-VALUE THE CLIENT BUT DO NOT LET THEM STEP ALL OVER YOU

There are non designers who will commission you and be happy that you created something for them, and there are those that will NEVER be satisfied with what you give them. See the warning signs and DO NOT work with people who are going to be difficult for the sake of being difficult.

 I’ve worked with more than a few people who don’t appreciate the amount of passion and hard work that goes into art, and it draining, frustrating and its just not worth it. 

Another thing that I learned is please please please DO NOT SELL YOURSELF SHORT. 

The project that I was working on wasn’t worth $100. And after the second draft it was even worth doing for $200. I understand being a student and needing money, but I’d rather work for free on something that I love than work for pennies on something that I hate. 

Don’t take a project just because it pays. AND PLEASE DO NOT TRY TO UNDERCUT YOURSELF BECAUSE YOU’RE A STUDENT OR BECAUSE YOU DON’T FEEL THAT YOU’RE A “PROFESSIONAL” YET. 

I have friends in the animation industry who STILL don’t feel like they’re necessarily “Professionals”

KNOW YOUR WORTH.  And never ever EVER Let anyone tell you what you’re worth. Especially if they don’t know or respect just how much work and time goes into making the beautiful things that you all make.

I think that’s about it. Thanks for putting up with yet another long rant about me trying to navigate my life as an artist!

Originally posted by thatretaillife


(also… completely unrelated: If you’re an artist reading this, let me know! I’d love to follow you and I hope you do the same!)

-Sean 

🌸 March fics 🌸

» All The Love (I Cannot Give You) by julietlovestory

A story in which Lance loves Keith. Keith loves Lance. But their lives are not easy and their destinies hold way too much responsibility to just give into fleeting things like—like feelings. 

» and i’ll keep you a daydream away by maradyer

“He’s killing me,” Lance groans, head in his hands.

» Blue Halo by MyDearOuroboros

Keith goes to a company-funded party in a strip club, gets gratuitously drunk, and kinda sorta falls in love.

» Blue Is The Loneliest Color by jokeywrites

soul mate
ˈsōl ˌmāt/
noun
noun: soulmate
a person ideally suited to another as a close friend or romantic partner.

» Brave New World by Juiliet

The ultimate Klangst post wormhole story in which both boys pine together

» Change Hurts by PotatoBender

Any change that happened fast, without warning, was always the worst, most unbearable thing for Keith.

» curing space blues by tusslee

The weightlessness of zero gravity doesn’t apply to feelings, Lance learns.

» E O Mai by A. E. Stover

He’s homeless and poor and gay and illegally sells fish to get by, and that’s how he comes upon a dead man in his net. Only, it’s not a dead man, because this ‘man’ has the legs of a fish.

» Every Reality by celestia

In every possible reality the two paladins are destined to find each other and take comfort in one another.

» Flirting With Death by drippingpen

Keith commits the ultimate taboo as a grim reaper: he saves a life.

More specifically, he saves Lance’s life.

» free throw by breadpoetsociety

“He introduced me to the greatest love of my life. And, actually, that’s not basketball. But his brother, Keith Kogane.”

» Fuck Me Up by Azure_Wavelet

Okay but consider: Keith pretending to be lance’s boyfriend to ruin lance’s attempts to flirt with aliens

» honey, i’m no superman by redburn

Lance is a reporter. Keith is the masked vigilante who saves him.

» I Found Love by SeaBreezy and thesearchingastronaut

Keith is just trying to live his life as a freelance illustrator with his cat, keeping up with bills by having two part-time jobs.

» It Grows Stronger by tylerproposey

5 times Keith helped Lance out of a situation and the 1 time Lance tried to pay back the saves.

» i’m right here by memesofbees

That was it.

This thunderstorm, this natural disaster consuming his stomach, up his spine. Multiplying into his bones.

» I’m With You by spacegaykogane

Lance pinned the whole mission down to four huge missteps:
The first was in sending Keith with him.

» Lilac Sky by rinthegreat

Shiro’s missing, Keith has anxiety, and Lance’s soulmate doesn’t talk to him. What else is new?

» Meet Me on the Battlefield by TheSpace_Dragon

On the battlefield, anything can happen. Never turn a blind eye to the possibilities.

» Predestination by elfenphoenix

Ten thousand years ago the Blue Paladin was Altean, and the Red Paladin was Galra.
Ten thousand years ago, in peacetime, the Red and Blue Paladins fell in love.
Ten thousand years ago, war broke out, and love that was once encouraged became heresy.
Ten thousand years ago, the Red and Blue paladins made a promise they couldn’t keep.

» red down a dead end by anihanki

Keith and Lance holding hands underneath library tables, kissing in corridors, with the south and a cross hanging over them.

» Talk It Out by KaSaPe

Lance doesn’t want to talk about it. At all. Not with Keith, not with anyone else. But somehow, one way or another, Keith gets him to open up. And Lance’s reward? A new boyfriend.

» tell me that you love me too by ciuucalata

Five times Lance tells Keith he’s in love with him and the one time he doesn’t.

» tethering by fairyuphoria

Okay, so, maybe pressing weird Altean buttons on the side of your head gear wasn’t the best idea, but Lance sure as hell didn’t expect this to happen.

» the courage of stars by judlane

“Congratulations. Consider yourself a life-long prisoner of the Galra Empire. You should be honored,” Commander Keith hissed as he leaned close, breath hot on Lance’s skin.

» the kind of hope that keeps people going; by abendtrot

Recipe for Lance: two cups of smiles, three tablespoons of flirtation, two cups of insecurity and a teaspoon of cockiness to cover up that insecurity’s sting.

Recipe for Keith: three cups of anger, two cups of “it’s not a phase!”, a dash of occasional smiles, and a giant helping of the hots for Lance.

Recipe for an explosion: put the two together.

» time out of mind by aknightley

Keith and Lance wake up married. In the future.

» Torrent by spookyknight

Paladins red and blue find calm in the storm on a treacherous uninhabited planet.

» What Are You Waiting For? by Basingtei

Spending the day dancing and sharing a wall at night is a recipe for a lovely disaster. 

» with quiet words i’ll lead you in by strikinglight

“Take it slow.” Keith’s voice is steady, but as Lance’s eyes struggle to focus his face is a blur. The image goes shaky and then comes clear, shaky then clear, like looking into water. “Pretend it’s low tide. Tell me about the ocean again.”

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anonymous asked:

so, um. if you have any particular feelings about labyrinth--specifically Sarah--uh, go wild.

WILD PEACHES  [AO3]

.

The morning after Sarah Williams defeats the Goblin King, she gets up and makes toast. She has to brush some glitter off the toaster—it withers and vanishes at the brush of her fingertips, and she stares at her hand for a long time. 

It mostly just looks like her hand. Even when she turns it over, and sees where she scraped her knuckles against the oubliette, where the shattered mirror cut the back of her wrist. It looks like she fell, or was playing in the street. That’s all.

The toast comes out burned, and Sarah stares at that too. Eventually, she slumps down against the cabinets and cries, wracking sobs that send her dad and Karen rushing into kitchen. They check her forehead for a fever, put their hands on her, and keep asking, “Are you okay? Sarah, please, tell us what’s wrong…”

Eventually, her dad drags her into his lap and cradles her against his chest, like he did when she was little. Her legs are too long to really fit anymore, but Sarah hugs him around the neck anyway. “It’ll be okay,” he says, keeps saying. “You’ll be okay.” And Sarah—doesn’t laugh, because she can’t, and doesn’t have the words to express what—how—

(None of her stories ever talked about this. What did Sir George do, the morning after he slayed the last dragon in England? Did Tam Lin eat breakfast, or did he sit there, shivering, wondering if his hands were different, having been claws and wings and scales?)

Afterwards, she leaves the burnt toast outside on the back porch. Not an offering. Maybe a reminder.

.

It’s Didymus she sees the most often, mostly because he’s the one who invites himself rather than waiting for an invitation. He comes for tea, but even if there’s no tea—which there isn’t, usually—he comes to tell Sarah stories. She learns to love poetry because there’s no escaping it with him. (She won’t read Idylls of the King until Brit Lit in college, but she ends up scrawling a lot in the margins; Didymus’ telling of events had been much more interesting.)

Once, she falls asleep like that, her hands tucked behind her head with Didymus curled up and sleepily reciting from the crook of her elbow. “So tender was her voice, so fair her face—though I don’t think he was looking at her face, my lady, pardon me for saying so—”

Sarah buries her nose in his fur. Didymus always smells of rosewater, and a crispness she thinks is just…the Labyrinth. She falls asleep trying to place it.

She wakes up with a wild fox in her bed, animal-black eyes frightened and flat, teeth bared. The fox is whining, and she’s tempted to throw herself across the room, to get away from this wild thing and its teeth. It takes a monumental will to keep herself still and her breathing slow, even; like she’s still asleep and unafraid. 

It takes her longer to swallow, and start humming one of the songs he taught her—a knight’s round, he’d said. She’s shaky at first, but the fox’s ears flick forward. It cocks its head, and slowly, the teeth disappear behind its lips. 

She almost laughs when noses at her throat curiously, butting its head against her jaw like a cat might.

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My 12 Lives

Aries - A whole new world

In Pisces she wept and fell to sleep, a mermaid tail drifting in a sea by her side. All was calm, and then began the storm. A fireball in the sky,
a new season, a new beginning, a hurricane to drop a child inside. From the storm the Aries was born, learning to walk and talk, forgetting the mermaid tail she took 12 lifetimes to sew. She looks for magic behind every corner, always expecting something astonishing and new. Through fierce suppression or taught shame, her spirit becomes poisonous, because she is a wild heart, free and untameable, as young as the spring, as pure as the wind. And she may hold violent secrets, or act of some destructive urge that sings a song of impulse. Instant self gratification is important, consuming the world is important. Everything seems so foreign as if nothing ever existed before she was born. Now she is in a world that seems to have forgotten her, a princess of the night through her last lifetime. Her scarlet aura conducting fires in the horizon, a child chasing shapes in the clouds. Twinkle twinkle little star
now I know who you are

Taurus - Rest and Rectitude

It had all been so loud, so busy, so exhausting. Pushed from one frantic lifetime to the next, the Taurus woke up tired, her body seeming to be entwined with vines, her ears buzzing with the sound of wildlife. She walks through the forest to find hideaways opening just for her
a priestess of the flowers, a mother to the earth, a reflection of pure beauty, an earthy Aphrodite. Her eyes glaze with the glassiness of still waves, her hair matted with herbs, it’s time to rest now, to flourish in a world that suddenly became soft to touch and delicious to taste. She could never truly cherish her surroundings before, life past through her in such a frenzied flash
sometimes there are old anxieties that creep in, reminding her of chaos and carnage, hitting the walls of a palace she has built
founded on integrity, diplomacy, and the laws of nature. She approaches the day with sleep still in her eyes, often relying on caffeine to adjust to human life. If she could flitter through life on natural time, she would sleep for days, and cherish the stillness of night



Gemini ~ Wings of a Butterfly

She cocooned herself into a flower bed last time around, like a chrysalis. The tired Taurus and a breath of fresh air was blown from heaven, the Gemini awoke, a butterfly with a golden helmet on her mind. Energy released in erratic form, the only way was to spiral upwards with the other winged creatures
sending messages through ether, delighted at making sounds, twists and turns with words. Suddenly the mind leaves the body behind, she is a floating balloon
Full of wonderful tales and facts and insights, illuminating the light behind her eyes when her mind is alive. And she can stay awake thinking for days, stimulated by internal conversation. Her responsibilities and plans can vanish,
as if she has completely forgotten. She can find herself in a mess of paperwork and clothes, unable to escape the hold of her mind, deciding with one personality but in conflict with another, split memories of life revealing themselves untimely. And she can be chastised for her scattered mind, often forgetting the most basic of things yet she can keep you captivated for hours under the spell of conversation, whisking words in her mind like a magic maze, every age and time in a myriad of marvellous mental somersaults



Cancer - Timeless Woman

The incessant chatter of Gemini drifted into the back of her mind, turning into long conversations on the beach, the tide washing words with memories. In cancer time, every minute could be a moment, there is the possibility for growth, enlightenment, and meaning in every experience, the pinnacle events of life felt with a reverent glory, to marry, to love, to held, to be held, to be welcomed home, and be kissed as she leaves for the world.
She is not bound indoors, but rather makes a presence and a home out of everything, constructing hideaways in secret fantasies and re illustrated memory. Before it was all about learning and squeezing facts out of life, now it is about withholding life, or giving birth to beautiful life, whether it be her own, a child, or something or someone she cherishes. People are stain glass windows to her lunar sculpted eyes, their feelings moving like colours, their psychic activity enveloping her like a heatwave. And you wonder why she can’t sleep, when its something her spirit so desperately needs. But your worry is her worry, and you give it to her while you fall asleep


Leo ~ Harlequin and Heroine

Wielding light at her command, this was a woman who formerly ruled the Moon. Illuminated from the heart, a golden child of the cosmos
an heiress of the day, almost sick on sunbeads. The whole charade can be in disarray, born into a kingdom of chaos and neglect. Her howl is enough to spin the earth so the sun burns nearer
feeling temperature creep into your chest, and that’s the feeling of her breath. Sun honey, a crown made of maple syrup whipped by stars. Before she had given life, and wept, and provided for. She taught to love and how to feel. And now she is all these sensations in her own side show riel
A cast selected by the heavens. A script written by a royal soul. A child at heart forced to be an actress on a stage, garnering adornment and command, painting an image with colours drenched in soul tie-dye
Tonight she fades away, but she comes to life on stage, or in your eyes, or lying with your heartbeat by her side. She feels music and cinema, she can see a part of herself in every character. Life fades as quick as fame


Virgo - Butterfly Mind

Sunburn punctures through her, a coursing burn shivers, her mind on fire, alive with anxiety and thoughts dancing in intricate design like butterflies. Charring burn down her tummy, more tension inside, stings on their wings, nervous sickness. The Leo spotlight was so loud and chaotic, the audience applause become deafening screeches in her ear, pride longing for the recognition. But the show has ended, and the Virgo has been left behind
only a shadow for company in genius that has lost its mind. The show has ended and the only audience member remaining is the critic, ready to spit his words of venom, turning up the houselights and shining them right on pretend flaws. And the only way to leave was to get down on her knees, to begin repairing herself, to scrub the world clean. The celebration is over, and now she is stuck in her mind, desperately trying to settle a million anxious butterflies


Libra Lightshow

To be a perfect mannequin, oh that was the dream. As a Virgo she sewed threads until her lungs couldn’t exhale. But now she is the dreamer of dreams, the writer of romance novels, and the personification of art. Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the most loved by all? Libra is ruled by Venus, the Goddess of Beauty, sweet Aphrodite, rising from a watery clam into the airy clouds. This is where Libra dwells, painting the sky with her thoughts, dazzling like diamonds in the sun. With a pen feather in her hands she narrates the law of the land, reigning in on righteous justice and morality. Her body moves in harmonious symmetry, graceful, her expression warm and then glacial, for she is a woman born under the air swords, so intellect rules, beauty is in the eye of the beholder
and the mind is the beholder, so sharpen your wit before you challenge her judgement, she may be vague when she enters the story she reads
But she can be a woman scorned to those who threaten her allegiances or breed toxicity, the illusion and the glamor of a hall of mirrors, each face of a flower petal projecting through entrancing display. Daughter of the equinox, blessed with a cherubin face and allure, sorely misunderstood, she is not a flirter but a lover, a woman who finds parts of herself in everyone, parts of herself she longs to love, so she longs to love you, let her love you, it will be the most exquisite thing you ever do



Scorpio - Sea Siren

She plummeted from a jewel high in the sky, the cotton candy of Libra
free falling into the bottom of the ocean. Surrounded by all sorts of strange creatures, sea entities wearing the faces of demons, fighting to survive, born inhaling poisonous water.  And so life seems like a swim upward, but the pressure so harsh, the voices of ghosts are only under the surface, surrounded by hollow mermaids, sailors who have lost their life, between two worlds, the alive and the passed. She learned to love in Libra, but now she is forced to love the darkness, to cherish the beasts in herself  that claw at the inside of her skin, to be an instrument of light infusing with shadow. The sun shining through the cracks, the burn she can feel on her shoulder blades in quiet moments, it seems like sun from the bottom of the ocean, but that is soul, that is her soul, radiating across a hidden treasure island.


Sagittarius - The End and the Beginning of Everything

Waking from what seemed like eternal death, a lifetime of dying over and over as a Scorpio, becoming a phoenix, and now dancing in the dazzling sky, like jade diamonds. Flying over all the lives she has seen, every experience fills her mind with another location, another tropical island filled with mythological secrets and opportunity. She learned the art of psychic activity as a Scorpio, and now she is in tune with cosmic timing, living in a future arranged by vision, light, and prophecy. And yet it can all feel so incomplete, having kissed death and returned to reunite with a godly lover, through wind, trees, snow, and sea. One part of her body longs for the soil of the ground, the taste of real love, the human experience, grand and simple. And yet the spirit source caresses her to elevate higher, leave the lower mind behind and anybody who dwells there, for she must meet God face to face, with no church or temple or orgasm to hide behind. Ah, this is the essence of life. To believe what she has not seen, but to believe she will, so from the sky angels dwell but concealed by her own will. Sometimes she is too scared of her own greatness, she is after all, a hunter, one whose heart is reserved for the highest priestess.



Capricorn - What Becomes of Unfulfilled Dreams

The celebration of Sagittarius was over, the room was dark, and it’s almost like
performing a whole night of making up for the night before, or the life before. The Capricorn shakes on the ledge of the highest cloud, a mere push of
invalidation or discredit enough to send her tumbling roughly onto earthly concrete, the whisper of success in her ear flying kites in the sky. Between two worlds she seems to live, seemingly forced into responsibility from the
moment she took her first breath. Every experience and achievement forced through some sort of harsh institution, a secret life where she is berated
by her own volatile voices, and a life where is must play every role with
infinite ease, displaying qualities beyond human.
Echoes of children’s laughter play like violins in her ear, a harsh reminder of a life she was never permitted to know. A world alone. The rings of Saturn the karma she is forced to bear, undertaking the duty of confronting all the madness and the  pains of the Gods. And you want her to love you? You criticise her for not showing heart? That’s all she has ever shown.



Aquarius - Bleeding Rainbows

The world was loud and cold when she took her first breath, the lingering
shadow of life as a Capricorn haunting as she shook right to her bones. Tip toeing between clouds she tried to balance the crown on her head
all she had ever known was trying to survive and now she was a mother, a lover, a guardian to every child. When she laughs rainbows from the sky appeared, she is the angel of righteousness, truth, and humanitarianism. But the responsibility is heavy, and the crown becomes straining, alone she dwells, waiting for something to change, for people to change and find their hearts, and soul, and spiritual mind so she can descend and be free, so she can live on her vibrational harmony. As a Capricorn she had already walked the temple with Saturn, and now she had been summoned for another round, and her heart was already tired, and the voices were still so loud. She had achieved so much and yet how could she feel so empty and alone? She felt betrayed by their hatred and love of war and destruction. But there was soul and she could feel it, so
her mind sang with electric impulses of spiritual nectar
a milkshake of elevation for every being. You can sometimes catch her jumping from cloud to cloud, leaving a trail of teal flickering lanterns behind



Pisces - Mermaid Mirror 

After waking from what seemed like eternal sleep, she tumbled quickly,
plunging into deep water, taking a breath, but it wasn’t
water, it was air, it was earth, and she choked. Eleven times this happened, and the 12th time she realised this was life, 11 other spirits dwelling inside. The smell of heaven and everythingness seduced her from the invisible, whispering in her ear to come home, to shut her eyes and leave this world behind. She tried to walk but never really got her balance, the floor always slipping below her, her feet only having the memory of a mermaid tail. Everything can seem directionless and unsafe, like nobody could truly ease the sores in her spirit. She constantly attempts to swim away in oblivion, but a silver cord tugs her back to earth, reminding her of intense spiritual obligation, contracts she wrote with angels and demons. She has divine truths whispered in her ear, she also has lies, the trickster’s bride. As an Aquarius she had lifted humanity, she had raised a global generation of pure heart, she swung her legs off  the clouds, but now she was burned out, longing to fall asleep again, but she needed more energy than anybody to satisfy 11 other spiritual energies. 

-Cherry

how to develop your style

I got a mail with this question and instead of working on some reviews for the client, I wrote quite a long answer for it. I thought that it might be helpful for someone so here it is:

Bear in mind that probably every artist will have a different answer to this and there’s no such thing as one correct recipe for finding a style. This is just my opinion based on my experience.

1st and the most important thing is to know your basics. Developing a style should come second after developing your skills. Eg. if you want to draw characters you should start with learning all about properly drawing human figure, anatomy, movement, expression, and so one. And you should learn it as much as you can from life and from photos, not from other artist’s works. If your base is strong, if you feel comfortable with your skill, then start to deriverate it into creating your own style. If you start playing with the figure without basics, you’ll end up with a developed style full of mistakes and at this point it will be hard to correct them. So if you want to draw something with your own style, first study it. Study as hard as you can. Remember that you’ll probably never be perfectly happy with your skill, I don’t think any artist is, and you’ll be learning to draw for your whole life. But you want to be at the point where you feel you know the subject, when you’re comfortable with it and ready to push it forward. When I decided years ago that I want to draw portraits, I started drawing them all the time. And it wasn’t just drawing, I was measuring, studying, checking all distances between elements until the point where I knew them by heart. And years after that, I made a decision that I don’t just want to draw perfect portraits, I wanted to make illustrations with characters and make them unique, make them my own. So having this base, I could start changing things, playing with features and actually making my own characters from elements I already knew how to draw. Now I have a different goal when it comes to what I want to draw, and even though I’ve been drawing for many years, I have to go back to step one. I have to study the thing I want to be good at, to later put it into my works and make a style out of it once again. And this cycle never ends but it definitely gets easier. It’s easier to simplify something complicated than build something elaborate from something simple. The same comes to drawing. It’s easier to simplify your style based on perfect skill than build a perfect skill from a simple style. That’s why so many artists who have a very simple style that might look like kindergarden drawing also have lots of amazing realistic drawings and studies in their archives if you start digging deeper. Of course, not all of them.Alternatively, your style will just gradually develop itself while you’re working on your skill.

2nd thing is to study what you like. If you have your base and you struggle with finding your own style but you can point out artists that you love, study them. But here is important thing: Don’t just copy their works. Study. Try to understand, do it consciously, write down things that you particularly love in their style, find out what is it that makes you love their style. This way you’ll have an understanding of what you like and you can make a decision what do you want to incorporate into your style. You can just pick some things and try them. If you like how someone uses colour in their works, break down their palette. Check it with colour theory, find out what is it that makes this particular palette speak to you, shift it, change it, pick colours that you love and then try it yourself. If you like someone’s linework, study it, draw like them, see how it works with your own hand, see if you’re comfortable with it, feel it and then try it in your own original work. And slowly, you’ll pick up things that feel good and they will become elements of your style.Honestly, it’s really hard to come up with something original that was never done before, so there’s nothing wrong about building your own thing based on other existing things, that’s how everyone does it, consciously or not.

And 3rd, don’t beat yourself up if you feel like you don’t have a style. You’ll always be the last person to notice that you actually have a style. I don’t know how it works, really, but just keep that in mind. I still feel that I don’t have a style, even though lots of people say that they can clearly see it. But there’s nothing wrong about it because it keeps you going forward, searching and pushing your limits. The moment you settle on something because you feel like this is it, you stop growing. And that’s the worst thing you can do. Stay curious, keep going forward, one foot in front of the other. Even if you’re going slow, if it’s forward, everything is fine.

⇁ through the flames (and into the lava)

Originally posted by kookielife

pairing⇁Jungkook x Reader

genre⇁smut, fluff, slight humor, crack || dragon!jk, fantasy!au i guess

warnings⇁public indecency, dry humping, fingering, non-penetrative sex, cumplay, i’m sorry

word count⇁7.8k

Your boyfriend is a dragon.

Or so he claims.

or; the perks (and unexpected complications) of dating a fucking dragon

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The Promised No-study SAT Tips

I saw that a lot of you wanted these~ Disclaimer: You still have to know English and the basics of math for these. This goes especially if you’re not a native speaker - your English needs to be at a pretty good level.

General:

  1. Read. A lot. Whenever you see a text that’s at least a paragraph or two long, take time to practice skimming. If you’re bored and have a little time, take something, for example a food wrapper, and try to find occurrences of a word (for example “Acid” for food) as quickly as possible. Hard mode: look for synonyms.
  2. Practice filling out the answer sheet. This is a massive time-sink for a lot of people, so you should practice to eliminate it. Print out an example answer sheet and try filling out the circles quickly and accurately without distracting yourself a lot. Hard mode:Try doing it while not focusing only on the circles - look away or start thinking about the next question.
  3. Check. A lot. The main goal of this strategy is to leave yourself enough time when you’ve filled out an answer for each question when you’re calm, know the questions and can focus on checking. Try and go through the questions, thinking, “This question tests this and that.” If you have the time, look at each answer and identify the error in it (harder for the math questions, but loads of fun if you can do it).
  4. Think in patterns: Whenever you’re stuck on an example question, don’t just check the answer. Try and understand how the person found it, if this question is similar to others you have seen. The SAT only uses a few different types of questions, there will rarely be something to surprise you if you know the common patterns.
  5. Rest: The SAT is a very demanding exam. Give your brain time to relax - my advice would be not to do anything mentally strenuous the day before the test. Also, something I found out from competitions - bring chocolate. The sugar in it helps your brain work better and shrug off tiredness and eating it will draw blood away from your brain, effectively hibernating it for the break to conserve energy. Also, it’s just a really tasty snack!

Writing:

  1. Use the right format for the essay. There are a lot of easy points for using the four/five paragraph system. Introduction, Reason 1, Reason 2, Conclusion. Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence and follow up with a story from your life or a book/movie to illustrate it. This way, even without using fancy vocab or grammar, you can get the points for structure and critical thought. Now just try not to make any obvious spelling mistakes and call it a day!
  2. Try to quickly find an argument for the essay. They don’t actually rate how intelligent your argument is. So, take a minute or two, breathe deeply, and no matter how stupid your idea is, write it out. (You might still want to take caution with sensitive topics, especially if you’re an international. A dumb mistake I made in my first sitting was bashing on American charity - that definitely did not endear me to the proctors.)
  3. Paragraphs: You have to have experience reading - look at how the topic never changes abruptly. Insert sentences that link what’s written before and after the gap. Final sentences of paragraphs shouldn’t raise more questions.
  4. Sentence questions: Skim through the questions. Try to answer most of them, the first thing that comes to mind, and fill out the answer sheet immediately. Chances are, if it sounds good to you, it’s the correct choice. Do this quickly, then try and do the paragraphs. After you’ve done this, go back to the questions and start checking.
  5. They usually test for a few broad topics. Identify if each sentence fits one of the patterns and answer accordingly. For the others, try and think what error they might want you to make. If you know you have the time, look at each answer in turn and identify the mistake in it. The most common ways for you to change a sentence would be:
  • Fragments: Try and see if each clause has a subject and a verb. Example: “In the dim light, making his way through the cave.” -> “In the dim light, he makes his way through the cave.”
  • Subject-verb agreement: Make sure that the subject is the one actually doing the action and singular/plural match. Example: “Gathering stones, the river was blocked by the men.” Did the river gather stones? No.
  • Consistency: Make sure that something introduced one way is always referred to like that (don’t switch out ‘one’ for ‘you’ or ‘they’). Make sure there are no extra linkers (”Since I was there, but he went too.”). Check if any verbs change tense when they shouldn’t. Don’t compare apples to oranges (”His homework was as good as John.” -> “As good as John’s”).
  • Adverb or adjective? If it describes a verb, it has a ‘ly’. Example: “She winked playful.” -> “She winked playfully.”
  • Singular or plural? Make sure not to refer to a plural object in singular. “Pandas, numbering in the hundreds now, is an endangered species.”
  • Prepositions, linkers, all the small words Sadly, you’ll have to know how they’re used.

Reading

  1. Word fill: Note the answers that obviously don’t make sense. Mark the one of the others that sounds best to you (in the answer sheet, too!). If you don’t know one or more of the words, aim for simplicity. After you’ve quickly answered all of the reading questions, come back to these. Look at the relationships between the gap and the sentence - are you looking for a positive or negative word? Antonyms or synonyms to something before? Try and guess what unknown words mean. This way, you will probably be able to eliminate all the wrong answers.
  2. Reading comprehension: You are not tested for understanding the text. Keep this in mind. What you are actually trying to do here is quickly find synonyms. If the question asks for “Was Anna’s family a) warm b) cold c) the spawn of Cthulhu?”, chances are that the text contains “Anna’s relatives acted chilly.” or something like that. Read the first question. Skim the text until it comes to that topic, then look for synonyms of the answers. Don’t make deductions! If you come across a ‘general message’ or ‘tone of the author’ question, skip it and answer it at the end of the text. The other questions will be in the same order as the answers are mentioned in the text. Checking: If you have time, look at each answer and try to see what in the text could mislead somebody to make that mistake.

Mathematics

  1. Calculator use: My advice would be to not bring a complex graphing calculator. They just slow you down. Try and do most operations by hand, then use the calculator only for, well, calculations.
  2. Basic topics to know: You are expected to be familiar with how to rearrange equations (ab=1 is the same as a=1/b) and solve linear and quadratics; cosine and Pythagorean theorems; number representations of lines and their intersections; median, mean and mode.
  3. Solve like a crab! One of the best things I learnt in “Fun Math” classes was that problems are solved more easily if you work from the answer back. Try and see what you would need (in terms of information) to find the answer. Then look back to the text of the problem - is what you need there? In most SAT problems, it is, or you can easily find it.
  4. Visualise: Especially for distance or geometry problems, make a small chart of what’s happening. Make lines for the distances the cars traveled or draw that pesky cylinder. Try and see in your mind how different elements move and which stay the same.

I guess this is all that I can say for now. Of course, this is my strategy so it might not work for everyone or it might not work without practice, so don’t think it’s a miracle solve-all. I’m always open for questions about ideas or specific problems, just write an ask~ And good luck to all future test-takers!

Season 3 Master Plan

Step 1: Lance and Keith work together and finally put aside their differences in order to rescue/save Hunk. They realize that they’re actually pretty good teammates and friends when they both pull their heads out of their asses. Their rivalry becomes more playful and less antagonistic.

Step 2: The writers finally take the time to illustrate how deep and strong the bond between Lance and Hunk is. There is even a little flashback to how they met, to establish how close and essential they are to one another. “Sorry Hunk if this looks gay to the viewers,” Lance murmurs, right before they both lean in.

Step 3: Hunk and Keith continue with their bonding moments from season 2. Keith confides in Hunk about his anxieties, especially those caused by Shiro’s disappearance. Hunk quietly listens and comforts him when he’s done. After Keith leaves, Hunk goes to find Lance. Without going into detail about what Keith told him, Hunk outlines a plan for them to be there for Keith, because the guy really needs someone in his corner. Lance immediately agrees, showing just how much his character has grown since the first season, and also highlighting how his relationship with Keith has changed. The audience realizes that Hunk and Lance are truly essential to the team; as the legs of Voltron, they act as pillars of support, both literally and emotionally.

Step 4: Keith steadily learns to relax and soften around Hunk and Lance. There’s lots of feelings jam sessions, with either the whole team present or just the three of them. Hunk and Lance’s unwavering acceptance allows Keith to finally feel like a part of Voltron. Of course, their friendship doesn’t immediately solve all of Keith’s issues, but the realization that people care about him (and who he cares about back) is enough to help Keith with some of his worse anxieties.

Step 5: Lance, Hunk, and Keith are all shown to work incredibly well together during training and fights. Sometimes they work in pairs; other times, all three of them fluently tag team against a boss. There’s also lots of banter over the comms; Hunk is tickled pink the day Keith responds to his groan-worthy pun with an even cheesier joke. Lance threatens to dump both of them.

Lance: “Uhhh,,,, dump your friendships, I mean.”

Keith: “Friendships?? I thought we were all dating.”

Hunk: “Huh… Keith might be right? Guys, are we all dating each other?”

Lance: “Guys, I think I would know if I had two boyfriends. ‘Cause there would be flirting, and like dates, and feeling seshes. Y'know, real bondy stuff like that!”

(beat)

Lance: “Guys, holy shit, I think we’re all dating.”

Step 6: Klunk confirmed.

Step 7: Voltron is saved.

anonymous asked:

hey. i hope this isn't too weird but i don't know who else to ask. do you know the name of this artist who drew pinup-style posters depicting the perfect gentleman (like, very masculine-themed art in general) but he'd actually been using his boyfriend as his model all along? i remember seeing a post about him on tumblr a long, long time ago, but i can't find it anymore.

Hi ! 

First of all I’m sorry for the while I was busy like never before BUT I think I know the illustrator you are looking for :)

It’s probably J.C. Leyendecker and you’re right he used his lover Charles Beach as reference for his paintings. 

Here is some of them:

I hope it helps ! 

Have a beautiful day and thank you very much for your question ! 

Florian.

a long post about the message of the blurryface era

all the blurryface music videos (and heathens) seem to be pretty different from the rest but all of them have the same theme, which is that connection with friends is the best way to cope, and no one is really alone.

heathens/heavydirtysoul - these two music videos parallel each other closely as i talked about in my last post. both start with tyler in a dark and unfamiliar place. he is sad and withdrawn. then, he sees josh. josh is drumming furiously and doesn’t notice tyler. 

in both music videos tyler is represented by dark motifs (rooms, clothes, etc.) while josh’s motifs are glowing and bright. heathens - he’s drumming on a glowing box, which eventually becomes the stage on which he and tyler play. heavydirtysoul - his drums spark flames with every hit; they grow larger and eventually consume tyler as well. 

both videos reach a climax in which tyler and josh interact with each other for the first time. the light (heathens) and flame (hds) grows to a blinding maximum and the two are rocking out together. josh is no longer ignoring tyler. tyler is no longer withdrawn; he is interacting with josh and for the moment his anxiety is gone. it’s a release but it’s not a painful one. he is coping. 

and then in the end everything is back to normal - no yellow suit, no light, no flames. tyler is still there alone. blurryface is as present as ever. and the implication is that he has imagined josh. this is why josh didn’t notice tyler both times. he was merely an attempt for tyler to find someone to relate to. a cathartic figment of imagination. an imagination of light that tyler hasn’t found yet. 

and what these songs mean in relation to the videos is clear. “all my friends are heathens” - there are so many people here going through the same thing as me, and while the general public considers us freaks, we are all here together and ready to stay that way. “can you save my heavydirtysoul” - implies desperately trying to find a way out of the situation. imagining salvation so fervently that it manifests as almost reality. salvation, here, is josh and the flames. 

lane boy - this one is kind of similar to heathens and heavydirtysoul in that it starts with tyler, alone and contemplating, in the dark. but this time he’s worried about what he has done to become successful, and whether it’s good enough, and whether fame will change him and limit him. all these worries are new to the band, because they’re at the beginning of their rise to fame at this point. and in the video the dark road in the woods symbolizes that they’re in the dark and they’re being careful. stay low they say. 

and then they’re playing on a stage, and everything is forgotten, and they REFUSE to stay low. if you notice in the video the moment tyler sees josh on stage, that is the moment he breaks his silence and starts to dance. to me this video represents that even though not everyone in the crowd might like what the band is doing, and even though there are critics behind that stage and out in that world, being able to play in front of thousands, together, tyler and josh, is worth it. at the end of this video is the realization that having each other means much more than success. 

stressed out - i think this video illustrates the point the most obviously, but it does a great job handling the dichotomy between wanting to grow up and not wanting to grow up. obviously tyler and josh would rather hang out with each other, with no responsibilities, and make music without having to worry about how it is going to be received. and part of the music video is the deliberate denial of reality, and the fantasy of regressing into teenagerhood. but the last part? that’s the acknowledgement that they’re not always going to be kids and life will not be easy. tyler is walking down the street, alone, and without the backpack and the tricycle. this is a sign he’s maturing. and blurryface, he’s there too. i think that entire scene is representative of coming of age.

ride/fairly local - like heathens and heavydirtysoul, i think there’s strong evidence these videos parallel each other. both take place in an isolated location and make use of very polarized (no pun intended) environments. ride - the daytime and the nighttime. fairly local - the icy house and the red hallway. 

so in ride, i think it’s really important that the verses and the bridge take place at night. this is where tyler is doing all his worrying. he doesn’t know what his place in life is and what his relationship to others is. who would you live for, who would you die for, would you ever kill? he’s overanalyzing. he’s in the dark, both literally and metaphorically, about everything. and he doesn’t know where he stands with anyone. he can’t see. he’s wearing dark glasses at night. josh is nowhere to be seen. and then the chorus is where he lets up. he acknowledges that there is a lot to worry about and a lot to analyze over, but he can still enjoy his life. even though he’s hurling through the unfamiliar course of life he can still take the time to look at the things that he loves. and the light comes on, and he can look at the beauty that’s around him, and he can see that there are people and things that mean a lot to him even though he’s questioning it all. 

and then we have fairly local, where the majority of the video takes place in an icy house. the whole video seems very disconnected from the rest of the world. it’s freezing and desolate, both tyler and josh seem to ignore each other, and their demeanor is cold and apathetic. they’re trying very hard to remain unemotional, closed off, unable to see the damage they do to themselves and others. but that denial of their own feelings - that’s where blurryface manifests. he’s what’s causing their isolation, he’s there in the red hallway, changing into something darker and darker as tyler and josh continue to distance themselves.

and a thing i like about fairly local is that the quiet and desolate atmosphere of the video completely contradicts the lyrics of the song. “im fairly local, ive been around, ive seen the streets, youre walking down.” “the few, the proud, and the emotional.” he’s talking about the fanbase, and josh, and jenna, and everyone he’s been able to connect with. and the sense of group mentality and empathy are completely antithetical to the cold, quiet video that they represent breaking out of that atmosphere. 

tear in my heart - this one is an oddball. all the music videos from this era have the common thread of using human connection as a symbol of coping with blurryface. most videos choose to represent that with the relationship between tyler and josh, but this video uses tyler and jenna instead. i think the content of the video is pretty straightforward, and a lot of people have dived into this theory, but the scene in which jenna beats up tyler is important. a common interpretation is that this scene actually represents jenna beating up blurryface. blurryface doesn’t give up without a fight, of course. wrestling with such a character, such a deeply rooted part of your thoughts, is going to cause some distress. there is pain involved in battling your own mind, but the pain is a sign that you are able to fight, that you’re doing it. sometimes you gotta bleed to know that you’re alive and have a soul. but it takes someone to come around and show you how. jenna and tyler’s love for each other is what gives tyler the power to challenge blurryface, but he won’t be able to do that without some pain involved. 

and now i think i understand why blurryface is the name of this strange part of everyone’s brain. the literal opposite of the word blurryface is of course clear face. as in being able to see people’s faces clearly. blurryface is the opposite of seeing people for who they truly are. blurryface is the opposite of joining people who are fighting the same battles as you and really connecting with them. the opposite of blurryface is friendship and truth, and we must always find comfort in the fact that we are not alone. there are always people out there for you. and that’s how you defeat a demon. 

Post-Blackout

The blackout is coming to an end today…and I have a few things to share. What it showed me- and realizing how bad the reposting issue has become.

During these two weeks I’ve witnessed a few cases:

-I’ve seen my art been being reposted without permission, mostly with ‘credit to the artist™’ or nothing at all on insta/vk/etc.

-I’ve seen my newer drawings with my new watermark being cropped from the picture with the same careless credit

-Someone even attempted to blur the whole thing and leaving a weird stain where the watermark should be (saved it before reporting just in case)

-Also youtubers have been monetizing my work without my knowledge. In some cases, they assumed that when I gave them permission to dub one of my comics, that it extended to having permission to upload other works of mine. An assumption that was completely wrong. So not only was I not informed that they were using more of my work, but they monetized it and gained money from my work. I no longer allow dubbing on my comic anymore because of it.

-Recently, I asked another youtuber to remove a dub they did long ago on one of my comics, and while they eventually removed it from their channel, it didn’t stop them from giving permission to other youtubers to repost MY ART. And while it was their dub, the foundation of that work was my art. No one can give others permission to use my art other than me. However just 4 days after that video was removed, it was reposted onto another channel and monetized. All this I had to find out from people telling me.

-And even worse—yes, it can get worse—yesterday I found out that one of the drawings I made for Adrienette month was being sold on phone cases on Aliexpress.

I never thought *this* will happen to me. Why would someone…do that? Why would someone make money out of our hard work while we create for fun to a fandom we love on our free time?

To be honest, after seeing this—I wanted to quit drawing for the fandom.

But I won’t.

As much as it hurts, the fact that there are people who don’t give a damn about the artist’s wishes and care more about their fat pocket—it won’t mean anything to them. For them I’m *just* another artist–it won’t hurt them losing another one.

I draw ml because I love the characters and the fandom. It makes me happy to see that I can make someone’s day a little better because of my drawings. I made friends through this fandom that became part of my everyday life and to be honest, they boosted my confidence. ML revived my dream again to study animation, it made me want to draw more and brought back the will to learn and improve. I have so many good things to say about the show, the people I encounter- you really changed my life, and I love you all!

And I don’t want this to end because of some nasty people who care more about their following count or the money they can make from a stolen illustration or a silly comic.

I’m just going to continue arting but not share everything…and make the watermark bigger.

So for other artists out there, I just want to share this information. This is just a drop of the ocean of what I have experienced in my short time of posting fanart online. As exciting as it is to have people dubbing your work or asking for permission to share your art on other platforms.

HAVE CAUTION!

Ask questions, ask for links to their pages, look at how they conduct themselves online, check to see if they monetize videos (you can use apps like the heartbeat app to do this as some youtubers like to not share this information), give proper credit/link to your original posts, etc. Some people are looking to use you and use your art for fame, for money, for whatever, and its abuse. It abuses your copyright and hard work. This is something I do because I love art, I love the show, and I want to share that love with others. It is NOT something I create for others to take advantage of or steal…or sell, or to stick an advert on in order to make money.

—-

Thank you @powerdragonmoon and the squad group for helping out with writing <3

“Lost and found” - 13 thoughts on symbolism

So, I rewatched the first episode of season 13 and found fascinating symbolism. Some of this has already been talked about, but I think I found a couple of new symbols/imagery, too. Let’s start!

(Screenshots are all mine, please like or reblog if you want to save or use.)

1. Title card:

Many of you have already pointed out the reversed cross, which imo stands for Lucifer. The eye of the nephilim is the central piece here and it severely reminds me of the sun. The outline looks as if there are little sunflares. So the call sign sort of unites Lucifer, Jack and the sun=hope (and of course other meanings concerning the whole sun symbolism going on since forever on the show).

2. Dawn:

When Sam and Dean walk out of the house the sun has just come up over the mountain tops, illuminating the whole scenery and thereby providing hope. They could have shot this scene on a rainy day, to emphasise the desperate situation the brothers are in right now, but no: the sun is shining, not everything is lost. I also like the single ray of sunlight in the first picture. There’s hope, but the boys don’t see it yet.

Fun note: You can see a crew member’s reflection in one of the windows :-)

3. Jack and the rift:

I noticed an orange line on Jack’s chest, which seems to have the exact shape as the rift that led into apocalypse world. Maybe the key to thiat world (and the key to find Mary) can still be found within Jack. At least there appears to be some kind of connection.

4. Reflections during the car ride:

Not only are our boys reflecting about what just happened, you can notice reflections of the sun on Baby or in the camera during this scene. The reflection in the picture above struck me as special, because it’s when Sam asks Dean: “What about Cass?” and at that exact moment the sun’s reflection appears across and in front of Dean in rainbow colours (or mostly purple and blue as can be seen in the screenshot). Well, if that ain’t symbolic… or the luckiest coincidence ever ;-)

5. Sam the anchor:

During the whole scene in the fast food restaurant you can see the anchors from the label in the window (either directly or reflected) above Sam’s shoulders. Imo this means that Sam is everyone’s anchor this season. He’s Dean’s anchor during his grief, someone Dean can rely on and he’s also Jack’s anchor to this world, teaching him and having faith in him. I hope this kind of symbolism will come up in some future episodes, too!

6. Jack is light:

In this scene Jack is highlighted several times by the light coming from the two lamps and the barred window in the cell. I think this illustrates that Jack isn’t per se evil and can bring light into the darkness. Actually just like Lucifer “light bringer” (translation from Latin) was supposed to do at the beginning of time. In contrast to his father, I think Jack could actually achieve bringing the light to our world and humanity.

7. Jack’s t-shirt:

The shirt was the sheriff’s choice and she accidentally picked the right one (yeah, accidents don’t happen accidentally ;-) ). I was able to decipher the writing: “Don’t mess with the bull or you get the horns”. Meaning: Don’t mess with Jack, he can’t control his powers yet and you will regret being at the recieving end of those powers…

8. Light and shadow:

Jack is sitting on a bench completely illuminated by light. He represents the sun, light, hope and positivity. The boys in contrast are sitting in shadow. They don’t see the light yet, they are still in a dark place because of all the recent losses they had to suffer. There is also a distance between them and Jack that has yet to be crossed in order for light to come to the brothers.

9. The prayer:

In the prayer scene Dean walks behind the restaurant seeking privacy. The sun is clearly up in the sky, higlighting almost everything, but not Dean. The world has light and hope again (Lucifer is currently gone), but there’s no such thing for Dean after losing Cass, his mother and even Crowley.

And another interesting reflection of light appears: when Dean prays to get everyone back (especially Cass) we see a rainbow coloured reflection appearing next to him… ;-)

10. The picture in Kelly’s bedrom:

In this picture we can see a ship (standing for Destiel or the brothers or Team Free Will is open to interpretation) on a stormy sea. But there’s also light: some sunrays are breaking through the dark clouds, promising better weather after the storm. Apparently another hint that there’s still hope, even though it doesn’t really look like that for the Winchesters right now.

11. Cass’s deathbed:

Again the sun is shining brightly outside, but the inside of the house, especially the room with Cass’s corpse is dark in comparison. Imo this stands for Dean giving up any hope of seeing Cass again, there’s no silver lining for him to see.

12. The funeral:

This is literally the darkest hour for the Winchesters. They have to burn the bodies, one of them is Cass’s. It’s also sad for Jack, who has to watch his mother and chosen father burn on the funeral pyre. The day comes to a close, the sun goes down and darkness surrounds them all. Is there no hope now that they burn the bodies? No hope that Cass could return? Well, there’s always a new dawn the next day.

I also really liked the shot of Dean’s lighter, the flame has a halo which also reminded me of the sun.

13. Apocalypse world:

Isn’t that the curch from 8x23 “Sacrifice”?!!! Nice parallel. I also noticed that in this world, where Sam and Dean were never born, there is no sunshine. The sky is clouded and you can hear lightning strike all the time. There never was any hope for that world. But maybe Mary can bring some light into it, or even Sam and Dean, who knows?

Okay, that was a long post! Lots and lots of light/sun symbolism! Please share your own thoughts and ideas! :-)

Tips For Writing Time Travel:  An Illustrated Guide.

@jjpivotz asked:

“What is a good way that I could write time travelling without it being cliche?”

Ooh, I love questions like this!  They’re so much fun, and on a somewhat self-indulgent level, they really get me thinking on the tropes themselves.

So without further ado, here are my personal thoughts on writing about time travel:

1.  Embrace the fact that it’s not gonna make total sense.

This goes for a lot of creative fiction.  When I was writing my urban fantasy novel, for example, I used a lot of traditional mythological figures whose duties and depictions (i.e. one humanoid being reaping the dead despite the fact that over a hundred thousand people die a day, billion-year-old entities who still look and behave like teenagers, figures from religions whose world views wildly conflict interacting with each other, etc.) weren’t compatible with what we currently know about the laws of physics.  

And the sooner I resolved not to even attempt to explain it, the sooner my novel improved.  

The wonderful thing about fiction is that it doesn’t have to imitate reality as we know it;  the laws of the physical universe need not apply.  And as long as the characters in your universe accept that, so will the reader.  

I’ve had around twenty beta readers look at my book, and not one of them has poked holes in my casual disregard for the conventionally accepted rules of physical reality.  The suspension of disbelief is an amazing thing.

As for how to best apply this to time travel, take Back to the Future, for example. This is one of the best time travel series ever made, but if you really look at what’s going on, you’ll come to find that none of it really makes any sense at all.

First of all, Marty McFly is a popular high school student whose best friend is an eccentric nuclear physicist.  Conventional wisdom (and just about every fiction writing book or advice blog I’ve ever read) would dictate that this is a pretty heavy plot-point and warrants some explanation.  But the narrative never questions it, and as such neither does the vast majority of its audience.  

It is in this exact manner that Back to the Future handles its heaviest of all plotpoints, the act of time travel, which is the main driving force behind its entire plot.  

How does it explain Doc Brown’s ability to time travel?  Well, he invented the Flux Capacitor, of course.  What is a Flux Capacitor, you ask?  How does it work, exactly?  Well, fucked if I know.  All I know is that the narrative treats it like it’s a real thing, and by default, so do I.    

The same could be said for the magically changing family portrait, the fact that the characters can’t interact with their past or future selves without universal destruction, flying cars, and the fact that the McFlys’ future children inexplicably look exactly like them.  None of it makes any sense.  And it’s fucking magical.

Another of my favorite examples of this is pre-Moffat Doctor Who.  The science is campy, occasionally straight-up ridiculous, and unabashedly nonsensical, yet paves the way for some truly great and thought provoking storylines and commentary.  

Bottom line is, I don’t know how to time travel.  I’m guessing you don’t either, otherwise you probably wouldn’t be asking me for advice on how to write it.  Accept it.  Embrace it.  Don’t be bashful about it – trust me, time travelers are probably a minority in your readership, so they won’t judge you.

So as to what would be a good means of writing time travel, the short answer is:  any way you want.  For obvious reasons, I’d stay away from old cars, police boxes, and phone booths, but with the power of the suspension of disbelief, virtually nothing is off the table:  a pair of magic sneakers, a refrigerator, a closet, a treehouse -oh, crap, that one’s been done before.  But you get the picture.  You can be as creative as you want to be about it.  Don’t be afraid to step outside the police box, so to speak.  

Trust in the magic of the suspension of disbelief, and don’t overthink things.  Your story and readers will thank you.

As for how to avoid other cliches, that brings me to my next point: 

2.  Look at the tried and true tropes of time traveling.  Now subvert them.

This might just be me and my adoration of irony talking, but since you specifically asked how to avoid cliche I’m going to indulge myself here.

Do the exact opposite of what people expect from narratives about time travel.  You know the old trope:  the protagonist steps on a bug, and comes back to the present to find the world being ruled by gorillas.  

I’m not telling you not to include drastic consequences for time travel, because there would probably be quite a few (at least if you believe in the chaos theory, which states every action has a universal reaction.)  

But you could toy around with the idea that fate isn’t something that can ultimately be altered at all, and that all the protagonist accomplishes is solidifying (or even triggering) a pre-existing outcome.   

My knee-jerk suggestion, as someone who takes fiendish glee in incorporating humor into my writing, would be to make the protagonist have some Forrest Gump-type encounters that unwittingly trigger huge, history-defining event, but it can also be significantly more tragic than that:  maybe the protagonist goes back in time to save his father from a hit-and-run car accident, for example, and then accidentally kills him.  Or perhaps he realizes that his father was a bad man (beat his mother, planned on killing someone, etc.) and makes a moral decision to kill him (which is also a great way to ask philosophical questions.  More on that later.)  

I don’t know what kind of time travel your writing or what your style of writing is, but these are things I’d personally just love to play around with.    

Or maybe time travel does change things, but it’s not even close to what the protagonist expected:  maybe his words of wisdom to his newly married mother about true love and the meaning of life and whatnot unexpectedly lead her to realize that she’s deeply unhappy in her current marriage, and he returns to the present to find her divorced (lesbian stepmom optional.)  

Maybe absolutely nothing at all changes, but he realizes that he’s responsible for some famous Mandela Effect, like the Bearenstein/Bearenstain discrepancy.  

Bottom line is, don’t be afraid to do the unexpected.  But conversely, don’t be afraid to use tried and true tropes, either:  regardless of how overdone they may seem to be, they can almost always be rejuvenated when interjected with a thought-provoking plot.

Which brings me to my final point:

3.  Make sure it has something to say.

Science fiction, especially the speculative variety, tends to be best when it begins by asking a question, for which it will later provide an answer.  Take, for example, Planet of the Apes.  The pervasive question of the movie is whether or not humanity is inherently self-destructive, which it ultimately answers with its famed final plot twist that humanity has long since destroyed itself.  

Rod Serling (who was incidentally responsible for the original Planet of the Apes, by the way) did this remarkably well:  almost every episode of the Twilight Zone packed a massive philosophical punch due to the fact that they followed this simplistic formula.  The episode would begin with the presentation of a question, big or small (frequently by the charismatic Serling himself) and by the end of the episode, that question would be answered. 

I’m not going to go in to detail here, as it would spoil the magic of uncovering the plot twists for the first time, but Serling used his speculation to tackle the narrow-mindedness of beauty standards in Eye of the Beholder, the dangers of fascism in Obsolete Man, the communist paranoia of the time period with the Monsters are Due on Maple Street, and countless more.  

I would recommend watching the original Twilight Zone for almost anyone looking to write speculative fiction such as time travel. 

Even if your work isn’t compatible with this specific formula of Question => Debate => Answer (which some work isn’t) it will still need to have some kind of underlying statement to it, or no matter how clever the science fiction is or how original the time travel is, it will fall flat.  

This is why Twilight Zone, Planet of the Apes, Back to the Future, and (pre-Moffat, as I always feel inclined to stress – he does literally the opposite of almost everything I recommend here) Doctor Who still remain widely enjoyed today, despite the fact that many of their tropes have been used many, many times since they original aired.

So for time travel, remember that it is a means, not an end.  You could write the most cliched type of time travel story imaginable, and your audience will still feel fulfilled by it if your message is heartfelt, thought-provoking, and/or poignant.

Maybe you want to use time travel to make a statement about your belief in the existence of fate, or lack thereof.  In this case, using the Sterling Approach, you would have your story begin with the question of whether or not humans can alter or change destiny, allow the narrative/characters to argue the question back and forth for a while, and then ultimately disclose what you believe the answer to be.

Or maybe you want to use time travel to explore or subvert the treachery of history and how it is taught, and show how the true narrative can be explored, purposefully or otherwise, by the victors.  

Maybe you want to show that there’s no clear answer, or maybe no answer at all, a la the cheerful nihilism of Douglas Adams novels.

Either way, figure out what you want your message to be long before you put pen to paper, and then use time travel, like any other creative trope, as a means to an end to answer it.  Your story will thank you for it.

(I hope this helps!)

Broke My Dream

Characters: Sam x Reader

Word count: 4442 - sorry not sorry blame @a-sea-of-fandoms

Warnings: fluffy fluff, smutty smut, a bit of angst if you squint

A/N: Anon Requested: “Can you write one about Sam x reader. Reader is shy quiet bookworm who is in love with Sam. She knows he would never feel the same way. So she fantasizes about him seducing her. Then it really happens. Thank you” Hope this is OK!

You couldn’t focus on the book in front of you. The bunker was quiet enough, the light warm enough, your legs comfortably resting over the arm of the armchair you were laid in, but you just couldn’t stop thinking about him. It was an uncharacteristically quiet day, and it was supposed to be the day you finished this book you’d been trying to finish for weeks. But every time the main character was mentioned, your mind wandered and you thought back to the tall, long haired, broad shouldered man you knew in real life. You weren’t even halfway through this thing, but you wouldn’t give up on it. You’d never given up halfway through a book and you didn’t plan on starting now.

Clearing your throat, you tried to refocus.

You felt your eyes growing heavy and before you knew it you were drifting off to sleep, your head resting on the other arm of the chair, the book still open and perched against your thighs. You felt yourself smile as you saw Sam move towards you, his hand coming up to hold your face before he crashed his lips to yours. You were suddenly against a wall, his hands on your waist holding you in place as he deepened the kiss. You gripped the fabric of his shirt as he let his hands wander down, his lips moving to suck a mark under your ear.

A moan rumbled past your lips as you felt his fingers slip under the top of your jeans and you suddenly started awake.

You jumped up, sitting up in the chair, realising you’d fallen asleep and were having one of your not-so-infrequent fantasies about the younger Winchester. It had been a long couple of weeks and sleep had been severely lacking for all of you as you worked the case.

“Dude you were out,” you heard Dean’s voice and laughed. “And making some serious happy noises,” he winked, and you instantly cringed, your cheeks flushing pink.

Keep reading

Why this was the most emotional love scene yet on GOT (imo, at least)

Let’s start with the obvious: The Stare
Wow. They look like they just want to drown in each other’s eyes. It’s absolutely beautiful - especially when you take into account the line from season one about finding love in a person’s eyes. And the best part about it is that line was said to Daenerys… Not to Jon. She initiated that stare with Drogo. And we never had anything like that between her and Daario or Jon and Ygritte. But now, Jon initiates it. He pulls back of his own choice just to stare at her. (I mean if that cave scene with Ygritte didn’t prove the man has great instincts, this one sure as hell does.) And regardless of whether or not Dany remembered the line, she’s completely mesmerized when she sees the love in Jon’s eyes.

Next: The Kissing
They kiss lip on lip only. There’s no sucking or licking on any other part of the body. Now, don’t get me wrong… there’s nothing bad about kissing other parts of the body but in this case, it illustrates the connection they have. I mean, there’s a reason Julia Robert’s character in Pretty Woman didn’t kiss on the mouth - ‘It’s too personal’. There’s something deeply emotional about it that just isn’t as strong when kissing other places.

Now, on to: The Positions
I love that it starts with Dany on top and then switches to Jon. It just goes to show that they are equals once again. Neither is dominant over the other. This is a relationship of respect for each other as much as it is about attraction. And I truly believe that deep emotional love requires mutual respect.

Lastly, and this is the biggest one for me: The (lack of) Nudity
Yes, you heard me right: The lack of nudity. Sure, you can see Jon’s ass (and gorgeous it is, too) and you can see that they’re both bare, but all the important bits stay covered. This is not the norm for HBO or GOT, masters of the 'Let’s add as much shock value as we can by putting them in some impractical position just so we can get a full frontal of the female’ mentality. And, honestly, I’m a little shocked that they didn’t jump at the chance to show Emilia in all her glory again. But they didn’t. Which, to me, says so much about the tone the scene was supposed to imply. They didn’t cheapen it with nudity. They didn’t go for an awkward camera angle just so they could get a shot of Emilia’s chest. In fact, they didn’t even get a shot of Kit’s chest, either. Their bodies stay plastered together the whole time which prevents any important bits from being seen - even when he flips them over. They’re two people who want to be as close to each other as they can. They’re not just having sex. They’re not just fucking. They’re not just testing it out to see if Jon’s swimmers are better than Daario’s. No, this is a deep bond. They’re in love. The lack of nudity implies romance because they don’t want to detract or distract from the longing looks and passionate kisses.

Which leads me to the honorable mention: Hand Placement
Again, this is about keeping it romantic. Their hands never roam below the waist. Dany keeps her hand on his back. Jon keeps his on her face. (My only wish here is that Dany’s hair had been down so he could runs his fingers through it.) But again, grabby hands would have distracted from and cheapened the moment and they didn’t want focus pulled from what was going on in their faces.

Say what you want about how short the scene was or how we didn’t get to see the first kiss (I admit it, I’m disappointed, too) but this was by far the most loving sex scene they’ve had on this show.

RPG Maker Fever Undead and Deranged

Warning:This article may contain spoilers and the content inappropriate for children…or may not contain.But get the children away from the screen just in case.

Good morning! Or is it already evening? Meh, as if it matters…cellar, where I’m chained and writing my articles  is pitch-dark 24 hours per day. So, today we’ll learn how to make friends, control the undead and have a happy dream ( with some experimental drugs involved).Now then, shall we get started?

1. 1bitHeart

Alright, here goes our first title, made by the author of Alice Mare and LiEat series. 1bitHeart is an adventure game, where your goal is to make as many friends as possible . Game plays similar to Ace Attorney series, but with some QTE-scenes, while setting and atmosphere is kinda similar to TWEWY.You can make 49 friends in total, all of them have unique appearance and personality. Plot of the game is pretty good, dialogues are well-written and sometimes hilarious. Besides, every dialogue has it’s own mood supported by stylish well-chosen music track and quality voice acting. Additionaly I want to praise 1bitHeart’s presentation, since  both artwork and sprites are extremely beautiful .

2. The Boogie Man

And here comes the Boogeyman, the Boogeyman comes for me. Here comes the Boogyeman, he’s gonna take me in my sleep…Nah, actually not. Here comes the latest installement in our favourite  the Strange Men Series. This time with the fully voiced in-game cutscenes (and skippable as bonus). The Boogie Man stays true to series and plays like classical horror-adventure with action cut-ins. At some point of the game you can even play as our old friends -David and Sophie, but new protagonist Keith is quite notable too (he’s my personal fav to be honest).Overall the game makes very good impression, the story is interesting and dialogues are bright and entertaining (with many references to previous games).

3.  END ROLL

I’m not the sensitive type, but  even I was kinda hesitant to play this game at first, since it has waaay too many suggestive content, supported by quite a lot of graphic violence.But after beating it I can state that this game is totally drugtastic. END ROLL plays like quality role-playing game and somewhat reminds the wild mix of the Gray Garden and Re:Kinder, but with better story-writing and gameplay I believe. Game has plenty of  unique dungeons (all of them has some plot-related meaning behind it) as well as tons of optional content, which along with well-designed and interesting characters make END ROLL very enjoyable.

4. Guuzen ~ Ningyou no ito

What? Don’t tell me you’ve never heard about the rite named “doll’s prayer” .You’ll forget all of your worries and  path to the Heaven will open before you. But the place, our heroines’ve found themselves in, can be hardly called Heaven. I wasn’t expecting much from this game, but it turned to be quality horror with beautiful character designs, memorable soundtrack, logical puzzles and surprisingly mature story. The game reminds us that we’re often starting to value something only when it’s already lost.Sadly, right now  Ningyou no ito is only available in chinese, japanese and russian.

5. Liar Jeannie in Crucifix Kingdom

Yet another full-fledged role-playing game has made it to my list.And kinda tough, I must say. Imagine what if Dark Souls was the turn-based RPG with cute nun as protagonist and you’ll get Liar Jeannie… more or less.Unlike many RPGs, this one doesn’t  have any levels, and your stats and basic skills fully depend on your current equipment (by the way, every item in this game can be equipped). A special mention is deserved for game’s bosses - there’s a few main bosses and a lot of optional ones -all of them have their own battle tactics and require some thinking before acting ( especially Pleiades Knights-you want to defeat them, trust me).Also, if things during the fight will become real ugly, you can always summon expendable monsters as your allies (or living shields,heh).

6. At the Tale End

Here we have a game, which looks like a regular fantasy-adventure, but only at first. Plot includes our standard party of heroes (fighter,mage,priest and thief), cursed princess and battle with the local dark lord.But each of these elements plays very different from your typical fantasy stories.At the Tale’s End is definetely a unique experience, a role-playing game in it’s original meaning, without countless random battles, but with a certain weight of responsibility for your actions within a narrative.Also this game has detailed and interesting world as well as quality animated cut-scenes.

7. Pocket Mirror

A long-awaited Pocket Mirror has been finally released this year. And I’m amazed with  enormous amount of work made by the  team of developers.When it comes to game’s graphic, Pocket Mirror is stunning. Beautiful artwork and memorable soundtrack help to create this mysterious, unique atmosphere of dark fairy tale. And with that Pocket Mirror has some gameplay issues. You see, while some puzzles are interesting, most of them is quite uninspiring, some of the locations are pitch-dark and hard to navigate.And with that plot of the game is quite complicated,but doesn’t make much sense,if you don’t pay close attention to numerous in-game notes and letters.This game is definetely not bad,but still leaves some feeling of unpolishness.

8. The Maid of Fairewell Heights

Despite the fact that story of the Maid takes place at the haunted apartment complex, this game has no horror elements. Maid feels more like comedy anime straight from ‘90s. Gameplay (along with main character’s outfits) varies depending on the room your’re currently exploring. Starting with regular cleaning you can end up playing detective or running the shop. Game has bright illustrations, good humour and overall is pretty good.

9. Libretta

I’m sure everyone knows that beside translating games vgperson also makes their own, and Libretta is one of them..This game  definetely gives an interesting experience. While playing similar to Ib, Libretta has it’s own unique atmosphere and somewhat complicated plot, where everyone can find something for themselves (or so I think). Libretta has memorable soundtrack and interesting puzzles, requiring some thinking from the player Also playing shirigories between chapters is kinda fun.

10. Imaginary Friends

Imaginary Friends is a classical rpg-horror-game with quality visuals, well-thought puzzles and some minor chasing scenes. While story lacks originality, it’s still interesting to follow, since charactrers are nice and game has several endings. Game is about 3 hours long and leaves mostly positive impression. So, if you like old-school rpg-horrors-be my guest.

11. Red Trees

While having some minor horror elements, Red Trees stays warm and relaxing adventure game with humorous and ironic view on horror genre and quite unexpected ending in a way. Graphic style of the game and whole atmosphere of a local town is somewhat reminiscent of Mother series.Gameplay is quite simple and consist from few “find-and-bring-to-the- right-person” puzzles, which can be easily solved in 30 minutes or so.

12. The Stairway

Like Red Trees this game is also recommended for players, who’ve already tired from jumpscares, explinct content and overthinking bizarre puzzles. This game has simple yet nice story, unique visuals and some easy logical puzzles.So, if you want to neatly spend 30-40 minutes of your time, try and climb The Stairway to see what’s awiting you at the very end.

13. Friendship

The most fitting description for Friendship would be “horror for the beginners”, since it can surprise or startle you only if you haven’t played any other rpg-horrors before. In fact Friendship doesn’t stand out much compared with better quality school horrors ( like Misao or Amayado Bus Stop ).But it doesn’t mean that the game is bad-Friendship is a good way to spend 30 minutes seeing how strong attachment to a friend can turn simple game into yandere-horror.  

14. By Ourselves

 And here comes our closing title about two former classmates, who’ve found themeselves trapped in the room. Game is only 10 minutes long and basically is one big locked door puzzle. You find the first hint and then successively exploring the room for the way out. Game has two endings determined by how much attention you’re paying to your comrade in distress.