but this is a thing i made also need to read the last book in the series

How i study languages

A couple of days ago @bonbonlanguage asked if i have a post about what i do in order to learn a new language so i thought i should try to make a post about that.

The beginning

As a beginner i always do the same stuff. I research a couple of apps or i just see if my favourite choices have a version for my target language. Usually i use: 

Memrise
Fun Easy Learn
9000 words
50Languages
HiNative
babbel, busuu (rarely but i still have them on my phone)

+some sites and specific apps only for my target language

I choose a grammar book and i take notes from from it. So far i chose books from 3 collections: Teach Yourself, Colloquial and For Dummies.

How i take notes from a book

I ignore the excercises, in my notebook you will see only grammar notes and sometimes irregular verbs at the end, but you will never see exercises. (i’ll say later what i do with the exercises)
If the book has a pretty good structure, i just copy what’s in there. (when i say good structure i mean that i can’t extract main ideas or just a formula              e.g. stem+ending)
The theory is written in black or blue, the examples are written with a pencil and if there is a keyword, i highlight it. When i have languages with articles based on the gender of the words, like French, i use a pink and a light blue pen so when i study the articles i can see the difference. 
Now, i said that in my notebook you won’t see exercises, true, that’s because i solve them on another notebook or just on a blank sheet of paper. If your book has exercises after the grammar lesson, solve them. If half of them are wrong, you will take a break of 1-2 days (in which you will study the grammar rules) and when you feel prepared, you solve again those exercises. (you are allowed to have mistakes but try to have at least 70% of the exercises correct).
What i do after i finish a book
After i finish that grammar book, i take another one. However, this time i don’t copy-paste like i did the first time. I read what informations are there and if there are new rules/exceptions, i just write them on a sticky note and add it to my notebook. After i finish my 2nd book i usually move on to the next stage but if i feel that i missed out something, i take a 3rd book and do what i did with the 2nd one.
As a beginner i have the habit to read my notes once a week, as an intermediate learner i rarely do that.

Don’t understand that as a beginner you only take notes! Sometimes when i get bored i just study on memrise/vocabulary app and that sometimes can last 1 week, sometimes 2. I even like to use InternetPolyglot with my target language and an old target language. (e.g. I learn new words in Spanish through Danish) 

After i have a proper notebook

Usually when i finish my book and i add all the exceptions/rules that i found in the 2nd book i also have learned 1.500-2.000 words in that period of time so i want to test my skills.

When i feel confident enough, i start using duolingo. I use it as a test tool, not as a learning one! I take the shortcuts and usually in 2 days i finish a tree. (at the last part of the tree you don’t have a shortcut for everything so you just have to take the shortcut of every skill there which gets boring)

Since Duolingo is pretty advanced with his lessons, at the end i can consider myself a B1 learner. (if you have an amazing memory and skills, you can say you are B2, but Duolingo can’t get you further than that)

The intermediate stage

Whoever followed my blog for a while knows that i have 2 nightmares in my language learning journey, the intermediate stage and the irregular verbs.

For how to overcome a plateau in the intermediate stage i made a post here. (sooner or later you will hit a plateau)

Back to what i do. No book anymore, duolingo is done, this is the moment when i start to use my skills. If i didn’t use 50Languages as a beginner, i use it now. It has 100 audios so i use them to get used to the sound of the words in case i don’t know them and i also use it as a resources to learn new words. On Memrise i try to find advanced/intermediate and i use 9000 words and Fun Easy Learn. 

At this level the main problem is the lack of vocabulary so i try to learn as many new words as i can. However, since using apps can get boring after a while, i use the classic method of learning vocabulary, reading.

How i memorize/learn new words

Most of the time i just use apps/sites. However, everyone had moments when we couldn’t remember a word regardless of how many times we tried to memorize it. When i have to deal with this, i usually make a mnemonic. (e.g. afslutte = to finish, to end, to conclude; in order to remember the meaning i think at a key sentence: If you don’t study you’ll END up as a slut. [harsh example, i know, but it stays in my mind])

If my mnemonic method doesn’t work, i write the word a couple of times, sometimes with my left hand too since i focus more then. (i’m right-handed) and if i still can’t remember the meaning, i’ll start making some sentences where i’ll use that word.

How i read in my target language

Just as a side note, if i feel confident with my skills (that has happened only once) i read books, if not, i read comics until i feel confident enough to try books.

I have 2 methods because sometimes the first one doesn’t work. So, for French i just read and try to guess the meaning of a word and if i can’t, then i search it. Why i do this for French? It’s easier somehow and i can guess the meaning very well. Sometimes i even highlight words and search the meaning later just to analyze them more.

However, this method doesn’t work on Danish. For Danish i have to read once the entire paragraph and then see what i understood from it. If there is a certain word that it’s unknown, i’ll search it. Since Danish has a lot of structures, i tend to use HiNative to translate those because normal online translators aren’t good for these. After i have all the unknown words, i will look over the paragraph again.

With all these unknown words, i usually make flashcards on Quizlet and practice them from time to time.

Sometimes when i’m in a hurry or i’m not in the mood for studying new words in big quantities, i use WordBrewery or Clozemaster. When i use these i always write the new words on a piece of paper or i just add them directly to Quizlet.

HiNative

I mentioned it above so i should tell you how i use it in order to improve since many might not be familiar to it. It’s an app where you ask questions and natives will answer.  I use HiNative mostly after i read, watch a movie or learn something from memrise.

For what i use it?

- ask for differences
- ask for examples with new words that i didn’t find a context for
- ask for translation from target language to English since not everything is easy to translate as a beginner/intermediate

Listening skills

Listening is a very interesting skill because you can combine it with speaking and reading or just focus only on it.

Listening+reading

In this category you find movies/cartoon/series with subs. Usually i don’t do anything when i watch series/movies because i guess the meaning of the unknown words but if there is a certain word that i can’t understand, i will write it down and search it’s meaning.

Listening+speaking

This involves 2 things. I either talk to someone or i just talk to myself/a toy/the cat. I tend to use the 2nd method most of the time. (it’s not that i dislike talking, i just don’t feel confident enough to use my skills until i’m not sure that i know most of the things/vocab i need to know). I start the conversation like “hey, how are you?” and then i ask myself “how was your day?”. For this question i have to make 2 answers, the reality with what has happened, and an imaginary version for my other side who’s “talking”.

Listening

Here i just watch videos on youtube, listen to 50languages, a podcast or songs. If i do listen to songs, sometimes i try to find the lyrics and see if i understand everything, if not, i’ll look for the unknown words and after i start to sing too. (disney songs are great because most have lyrics on youtube already)

Writing skills

Here i have 2 choices, i either find someone or i just write in a notebook/diary. The purpose of this is to figure out what vocab/structures/expressions i don’t know. 

Speaking skills

It’s not that i dislike talking, i just focus on this skill at the end usually. I improve my other skills and the speaking one improves in a weird way too. However, at some point i just ask people who i know for a long time and i feel comfortable with to talk to me on skype/on the phone.

Extra

Idioms are everywhere in a language. At some point you have to deal with them. If i find them on memrise, i study them there, if not, i’ll look for them and make flashcards. These flashcards have only the idiom in my target language on them and that’s it. I don’t write the translation. I force myself to remember the meaning.

Also, when i don’t know the pronunciation for something, i use Forvo.

The advanced stage

Here i just learn idioms and some advanced vocabulary at the beginning. After these, i stop caring. I consider my learning journey almost done so i just enjoy my life using the language. I read without worrying that i don’t know words, i watch shows without worrying that i don’t understand what i hear, i can sing without worrying that i just say words with no meaning but similar sounds to what i hear.

Note: This is how I learn languages. I can’t say it will work for everyone but it works for me.

p.s. sometimes Fun Easy Learn and 50Languages are set in another language, not my native one or English.

on the new Iron Fist series

So after binge watching a ton of Marvel’s new Iron Fist series, I went onto tumblr, wondering what the fandom was up to now, what with all these new gifs and stuff to make. ‘Maybe I would find some fan art or something’ I thought innocently to myself,

BUT BOY WAS I WRONG

instead, I was greeted with SO MUCH DISCOURSE on how Iron Fist ‘needs a chinese-american actor’ or ‘has terrible dialogue and is slow’.

the best part is when I found out that some of y’all are trying to get this show boycotted like ‘????’

Now as a Chinese-speaking Asian female, living in Asia, with an Asian background and a good know-how of Chinese history, as well as a decent knowledge of comic books, (although I confess I got into the animated series first) I’m here to end the discussion before y’all get your full rage on and start fighting fans of the show like it’s Lord of the Flies up in here

So keep reading if you want to be educated or if you just want to fight me before you know what you’re even talking about

“THE SHOW INSULTS CHINESE CULTURE”

Uhhhh…no? I’ve seen a few episodes and I mean so far there isn’t really anything that screams ‘insult’ or even offensive in the slightest. Besides maybe the fact that they take the beliefs and twist them a little bit but honestly even that ain’t that bad as to what I’ve seen elsewhere.

I’ve read the boycott post and let me say that yea, they dressed him with an eye for Asian elements, but maybe that’s because it’s supposed to be resembling Asian clothing? I mean how is that offensive? Is it the part that it looks Asian? Or that you simply feel that white people that direct these shows should not be using Asian stuff for entertainment? Because I hate to break it to you but it’s still not offensive. Even the dragon tattoo is totally fine because it’s supposed to resemble Asian elements yea but also have y’all read the comics? Because he punched through a dragon and basically took it’s heart. So I mean a dragon tattoo kinda matches the theme.

I mean in the first episode they speak almost flawless Chinese for Pete’s sake! Hell, I was surprised that they even had it in them to have a non-Google translated line. Sure the accent was a little overdoing it cuz not even I have that thick a Chinese accent but I’ll excuse it since he was apparently learning and speaking 15 years. (I speak it maybe a few times a day for like the last 14 years or so only)

So no, the show doesn’t really insult Chinese culture, sure they might be ignorant, but you must understand that after generations of stereotypes and misconceptions that that can’t just go away with one show

“Danny Rand should be played by an Asian guy/be a Chinese-American”

I can’t even begin to tell you my frustration about this.

Y’all do know this show is based on the comics right?

You know, the one with the white guy.

I know Marvel is infamous for not including enough representation in their shows but seriously? This is like the Harry Potter thing all over again with Hermione being black, it’s not that we don’t want representation or anything, but it’s the fact that this hero that us comic fans have come to already love has been replaced. Or at least it feels like it. Like when a movie is made from a book and people go crazy because character XYZ suddenly has different traits or isn’t quite what was described as compared to the book.

Frankly, it sucks.

So even though yes, Marvel should have more Asians in their shows, don’t expect them to completely give the main character a makeover, even if the makeover was supposed to provide representation. And honestly? I don’t want them to change him because I really freaking love Iron Fist, just as he is.

“This show just villainizes Asians”

So you tell me that my race is being made villains because Marvel decided that most of their Asians on their shows are evil ninjas (aka the Hand) and at most there are like 3 sorta good Asians. Oh and I’m sorry, you want more Asian men that are good guys? You want a balance of Asian heroes?

Well I guess that would be kind of hard to fit into the story since, oh, I don’t know, everything happens in the USA?

If you want more Asian characters well then look no further because you do have them. Daisy Johnson from Agents of Shield? What about her extremely brave mom? Or maybe Colleen in Iron Fist? Everyone seems to be blatantly ignoring her badassery and only seeing the part where she’s a sorta love interest.

Facts are, there are Asian characters, you’re really just looking hard enough. I agree wholeheartedly when you say that more Asian men need to be in the Marvel universe that aren’t part of the bad guy team but you gotta say that they are still awesome.

Does anyone even remember the Japanese ninja yakuza guy from Daredevil? Dude got set on fire and STILL came back to kick ass. That’s a plus in my book because even though he’s considered bad, he’s been proven to be cunning, smart, and overall awesome.

“The show has terrible stunts/acting/dialogue/fight scenes”

From here on out it’s mostly just me trying to explain why the directors and writers of the show made decisions in the show to make it what it is, so let’s dive right into it.

  • STUNTS

Actually the stunts weren’t half-bad. If you’ve seen other shows or movies that are heavily reliant on stunts and action, and compare it to this show, they really aren’t that much different. Sure it might seem a little unbelievable sometimes like they’re breaking physics or something, but he already has a glowing fist. I think we’ve crossed the line of believable long ago.

  • ACTING

I have nothing to say about this except that go and take some acting or drama classes before coming and criticizing these awesome men and women who did indeed try their best

  • DIALOGUE

Now I get the dialogue might be a little weird at times and what not, but you must understand that this show was partially written with the Defenders series in mind. So almost everything that was said in the show is meant to lead to something more. Thus, you must take it as a bigger picture. Sorta like how everyone said that Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them wasn’t as good as they thought it would be, that movie was also meant to lead on to a bigger story so you might want to excuse the weird speech and cryptic lines at times.

  • FIGHT SCENES & ACTION

Okay seriously people, please read the comics. Danny Rand is supposed to be an accidental hero, one that doesn’t want to fight unless he really has zero choice in the matter. So yea, the fight scenes won’t be that interesting, but only because the character in question is more interested in ending the fight than anything.

~

So there you have it, my whole slightly angry info-dump on Iron Fist and Marvel’s representation problem in general. If you want to correct me or scold me even then by all means message me or shoot me an ask. But just keep in mind that Marvel can’t make all your problems go away in one show, and please for the love of all that is good read the comics before coming to rant okay?

Masterlist ~ My Babies

Damon x Reader:

I Will Always Protect You  – (fluff) Shy reader being liked by Klaus and dating Damon and Damon being protective over her.

Wars – (fluff, angst) Damon meeting you during the War and your future with him.

Piece of Cake – (smut) Baking with Damon

You Are Home – (smut, angst, fluff) Damon finding his home but there’s never a happy ending

I Can Hear You – (smut) You catch Damon Masturbating in the bathroom

I’ll Get You – (fluff) Damon wins you over by being sweet

A Reason – (fluff) You come back to Mystic Falls to see everyone gone but Damon.

Revenge Served Hot – (fluff, smut) Damon and you had an argument resulting you to wearing lingerie around the house to mess with him

Tortured – (fluff, angst) Julian tortures you and turns you before Damon can save you

Too Long – (smut) Damon finds you moaning his name after he’s been gone

Happy Valentine’s Day – (fluff, implied smut) Spending Valentine’s Day with Damon

Red Riding Hood – (smut) Your are the grown up red riding hood.

Be With Me – (smut) Damon cannot bear the thought of you with Lucien (Lucien x Reader as well)

Extracurricular Activities – Your sexual rendezvous with your boyfriend, Damon, in school premises or what not

Class Work – (smut)

Homework – (smut)

Keep Quiet, Please – (smut)

Cheer Practice – (smut)

Little Damon – (fluff) Damon and your baby together

Little Damon.. Number Two? – (fluff)

Foggy – (smut) steamy shower with Damon 

All Is Forgiven – (smut, angst, fluff) You and Damon fought and you walked out.

Sex You – (smut) strip teasing for Damon

Through the Phone – (smut) phone sex with Damon

The Art of Persuasion – (fluff) you’re playing hard to get when you met him

Prom – (smut) Damon convinces you to go to Prom and you two get a bit flustered

Happy New Year! – (smut) Damon and you have sex on new year’s eve night (this has Steroline)

Distracted – (smut) hunter!reader x Damon where she distracts Damon

Behave (Distracted Part Two) – (smut) Damon meets reader’s family, this is a crossover ;)

Need Any Help – (fluff, smut) plus sized!reader x Damon where reader is caught pleasing herself by Damon himself.

Taste of Immortality – (fluff, light smut) You grew up with the Salvatores and falling for Damon

Our Forever – (fluff) Spending forever with Damon

I’ll Make Love To You – (smut) You have a nightmare and you have your first with him

I’ll Make Love To You (Part Two) – (smut) hide and seek and car sex

I’ll Make Love To You (Part Three) – (smut) first time face sitting

I’ll Make Love To You (Part Four) – (smut) Damon massages you

Frisky – (smut) Human!Damon 1864!Damon I mean what else can I say?

Baby It’s Cold Outside – (smut) sex in front of the fireplace

This Isn’t About Me – (smut) Birthday smut ;)

Caught – (smut) You caught him pleasing himself

Caught (Part Two) – (smut) angry sex

Caught (Part Three) – (smut) drunk sex

Please, Professor – (smut) Au!Damon and you break the sexual tension with professor

Let’s… Party? – (smut) Sexual tension during a party so you do it in an empty room

Stop It – (smut) Damon touching you in public so you gotta home and yeah

Passing Time – (smut) Damon distracting you as you studied

Finders Keepers – (smut) Damon being your first

Intertwined – (smut) Au!-ish Damon being tall and reader being small and might get lost in big crowds

Me, You Dick – (smut) It’s a long as story where reader is a necromancer and the last part’s pretty much the smut lol

Moving On – (smut) when Elena died, things just changed for the ‘mystic gang’ and the reader

It Has Always Been You – (smut) Damon just wanted to take his mind of off the doppelgängers [first smut posted]

Dean x Reader:

Mile High – (smut) Dean’s plane ride!

Little Rascal – (fluff) Daddy!Dean

Sirens – (fluff) When Dean meets with his old mermaid friend

Come Back Home – (angst, fluff) When you two realize home is with each other.

House Fights – (angst, fluff) Couples always fight and but things can get better.

It’s Okay – (fluff) A hunt made you emotionally drained and Dean cheered you up.

Couch Memories – (smut) When you and Dean has the whole place to yourselves.

You Can Do Better – (angst, fluff, smut) Fic based on Drake’s song Marvin’s Room

Saving the Ball – (smut) You’re a volleyball player and Dean gets turned on you wearing short spandex

To The Batmobile – (fluff, implied smut) You’re a huge Batman fan and Dean surprises you on your birthday

Adore you – (fluff, implied smut) You were adopted by John but you grew feelings for Dean

Happy Valentine’s Day – (fluff, implied smut) Spending Valentine’s Day with Dean

New Meetings – (smut) You’re Claire’s friend and you meet the Winchesters

My Sweetheart – (fluff, smut) you’re pregnant with bad hormones and Dean helps you

The Only Omega – (fluff, smut) Alpha!Dean x Omega!Reader

Loud Noises – (fluff, smut) You’re afraid of the thunder and Dean calms you down

Sleep Tight – (fluff, smut) You didn’t want to sleep with Dean because you were afraid that he’d find out you snore

Birthday Treat –(smut) Happy Birthday Dean!

Personal Bodyguard (Part One) – after recent events your father gets you a personal body guard

Part Two – (fluff)

Part Three – (fluff, light smut)

Part Four – (fluff, smut, angst)

Part Five – (angst, fluff)

End – (fluff, smut)

Epilogue – (fluff)

Relax – (smut) Dean fucks you everywhere in the house

I Got You – (smut) phone sex with Dean then the real thing

The Lines – (smut and fluff) Dean see’s reader’s cutting and her scars

I’m Home, Sweetheart – (smut and fluff) Dean gets back from purgatory

Tenerife Sea – (smut and fluff) fic based on Ed Sheeran’s song

The Real Thing – (smut) you get pregnant but you and Dean are only FWB

Touch Me And My Dirty Mind – (smut) based on songs by 3OH!3

Roadhouse Lovers – (smut) reader and Dean are introduced by Jo

Coming Down – (smut, angst) song based on the song by Halsey

Holiday and Mistletoe – (smut, fluff) plus size!reader and Dean celebrating Christmas

I Miss the Misery – (smut, angst) fic based on the song by Halestorm

Highway To Hell – (smut, fluff) second installment, based on the song by ACDC

Love the Way You Lie – (smut, angst) fic based on the song by Eminem

Belts and Ties – (smut) Dean using belts and ties on you

Do You Remember Me? – (fluff) this is also a Sebastian Stan fic (crossover)

Do You Remember Me? (Part Two) – (smut) second installment

Keep Me Warm – (fluff) Chubby Dean! :3

New In Town – (series) AU!Dean where you are new in town and you meet Dean in one of your part time jobs.

Feeling At Home (Part 2) – (fluff) Second installment

That’s Why (Part 3) – (fluff and making out) Third Installment

Something To Celebrate (Part 4) – (fluff and smut) Fourth Installment

I’ve Had Enough – (smut) jealous Dean being dominant

Bookshelf – (smut) You’re a nerd and Dean loves that

The Demon In Me – (smut with demon!Dean) You are a tag along hunter turned demon and you accompany demon Dean

Kitten Turned Tiger – (fluff) Reader is emotionally stable.

Study Habits – (smut) teen!dean and you studying

Beg – (smut) Dean and you were doing a begging ‘game-ish’

Come On – (smut) Reader is studying too much according to Dean

Stay Here – (smut) sick Dean, what more?

Watch With Me – (smut) Au!Dean in college where you two watch TV in the dorm’s TV room together

It’s Not Everyday  – (fluff) Reader is Bobby’s daughter who graduated college and wants to hunt with the brothers now

Starting Today  – (smut) Second Installment to It’s Not Everyday

Her Other Side  – (smut) Reader blushes all the time at the slightest things and Dean was proved she has another side, if you know what I mean

Oh, Really Now?  – (smut) possessive Dean but there’s kind of a plot twist

The Demon Angel  – (fluff) This is the first installment. Idk I loved my idea go read it

His Demon Angel  – (smut) This is the second installment

Your Demon Angel – (smut) Third installment

My Demon Angel – (fluff) Fourth installment. This is also Lucifer!Cas x Reader

And You Knew  – (demon!dean smut) Dean needs to be cured and the reader was the reason why

Wanna Christen the Bed? – (smut) title says it all

Sic'em Boy – (smut) reader being able to control hellhounds… and Dean

Getting Back – (au!smut) reader and Dean after a breakup

Damon x Reader x Dean:

Figment – (fluff) AU! where they’re characters in your book that came to life

Wishes – (smut) AU! You got your birthday wish from your best friends

Dean x Reader x Sam (No Wincest):

Two Sides – (smut) Demon!Dean x Reader x Soulless!Sam need I say more?

Temptation – (smut) brothers x child of Aphrodite!Reader

Hi Shy – (smut) The brothers help virgin!reader through her first

Sandwich – (smut) The brothers show plus sized!reader just how beautiful she is

Laid There – (smut) The boys see you practically naked in bed

Our Little Arrangement – (smut) reader dies, yet again, and the boys made a little arrangements towards their feelings for reader

Sam x Reader:

Let Me Take Care Of You – (fluff, smut) You get hurt and Sam takes care of you

Intentions – (smut) Sam gets jealous and gets dominant

Nightmare Are Dreams Too – (fluff) You are hit with a nightmare spell and Sam breaks it

Baby – (smut) Sammy wants to have a child with reader

Glares – (smut) Sam and reader hate each other and Dean does his best

We Met and We Went – (fluff) Meeting Sam as FBI but then you met again in a hunt

I Wanted – (fluff, smut) reader and Sam smut and reader gets pregnant

More Than That – (fluff, smut) plus sized!reader with Sam

Trying – (fluff) You and Sam are training. No smut, sorry

What was that about? – (smut) no plot lol

Taken Care Of – (smut) Sam and Dean get angry at you and Sam punishes you

Just Like That – (smut) Sam pranked you and you got mad at him

Stefan x Reader:

Only You – (fluff, light smut) Elena is mad that you’re with Stefan

A Thousand Years – (smut) A sappy night with Stefan

Cas x Reader:

My Demon Angel – (fluff) Fourth installment to The Demon Angel series. This is also Lucifer!Cas x Reader

Devil In Disguise – (implied smut) Fic based on Elvis Presley’s song

Fly With Me – (smut and fluff) Cas shows you his wings

Shut It, Angel  – (I wasn’t quite sure I should put this under Cas x Reader because they break up and the brothers cheer you up…) but eh

Towards the End – (smut) endverse!Cas

Gabriel x Reader:

Here For You – (fluff) This is the second part to Shut It, Angel

Chuck x Reader:

A Day In The Life – (fluff, smut) You are living the apple pie life with Chuck

Damon x Reader x Klaus:

In Between Beasts – (smut) You are trapped in a house with these two and fun ensues

Klaus Mikaleson x Reader:

Wanted You – (smut) Dom Klaus, what more?

Elijah Mikaelson x Reader:

Risks – (smut) you have an argument with Elijah when you were reckless

Another Original – (fluff, implied smut) reconnecting with Elijah after centuries of being daggered.

Enzo x Reader:

Rage – (smut) jealous and angry Enzo

Tyler Lockwood x Reader:

Cliché – (smut) You and Tyler admit feelings for each other

Poe Dameron x Reader:

What I See – (fluff, smut) AU!Poe. You’re shy and insecure and he shows what he sees

Safe – (smut) Poe thought that the First Order killed you then you reunite

You’re Mine – (smut) Poe gets all jealous and he becomes possessive of you

Co-Pilot – (smut) You and Poe missed each other after he had to leave for the fight

Negan x Reader:

Hi, I’m Negan – After being alone in the apocalypse you get to meet Negan

Actors:

Ian Somerhalder x Reader:

Living a Normal Life – (fluff) series part one

Part Two – (smut, angst, fluff)

End – (smut, fluff)

You Got It – (fluff, smut) Being with Ian

Jensen Ackles x Reader:

Baby Names – (fluff) Naming yours and Jensen’s first child

Summer Confessions – (fluff, smut) Young!Jensen where he confessions his feelings for you after your sister’s wedding

We Don’t Talk Anymore – (angst, fluff) Fic based on the song of Charlie Puth and Selena Gomez

Die A Happy Man – (fluff, smut) Fic based on the song of Thomas Rhett

Little Whispers – (fluff, smut) You get Jensen all bothered during a Con

The Only One I Want – (fluff) series part one

Gladly – (fluff) part two

Just Stay Here – (fluff, smut) part three

I’m Ready – (fluff) part four

You’re Too Close – (smut) part five

I Missed You – (fluff and smut) You weren’t able to go to con and Jensen missed you

My Angel – (fluff) Jensen professes his feelings for you

Sebastian Stan x Reader:

Do You Remember Me? – (fluff and light smut) Where he is a demon that’s obsessed with you (Supernatural crossover)

Do You Remember Me? (Part Two) – (smut) second installment

No Pairings:

Supernatural:

 Double Trouble – (fluff) Being Dean’s twin and messing with Sam.

Once Upon A Dragon – (fluff) Dad!Dean to the rescue to his daughter.

Scars To Remember – (fluff) The Winchester boys find out that you cut.

Giant Teddy Bear – (fluff) Child!Reader being under the care of the Winchesters

Moose and Squirrel (Part Two) – (fluff) second installment

That Damn Girl – (fluff) Dean, your best friend, unable to handle your sass and comebacks

Imagines:

Date (Dean x Reader) 

Can I Have This Dance (Damon x Reader) & Start Of Something New (Dean x Reader)

The Birds and The Bees (Damon x Reader)

Teddy (Dean x Reader)

Under the Blanket (Dean x Reader)

Where’s Uncle Cas? (Sam x Reader)

Surprise (Jensen x Reader)

Mixing It Up (Damon x Reader)

With Palm Trees And Such (Dean x Reader)

Say My Name (Cas x Reader)

Power’s Out (Damon x Reader)

Sweet Spot (Dean x Reader)

Deepest Darkest Desire (Dean x Reader)

Bundles of Joy (Dean x Reader)

Sure Thing (Bellamy Blake x Reader)

Meet My Boyfriend (Damon x Reader, Supernatural/TVD Crossover)

That’s My Girl (Dean x Reader)

Shorty (Sam x Reader)

Cute Stuff (Kai Parker x Reader)

Confusion (Cas x Reader)

Right Away (Damon x Reader)

A Little Dance (Poe x Reader)

Hades’ Daughter (Supernatural)

Revealed (Damon x Reader)

Anger Management (Damon x Reader)

Award Show (Ian x Reader x Jensen)

Pet Names (Damon x Reader)

Howdy (AU!Dean x Reader)

Your Aid (AU!Damon x Reader)

Eye Trick (Damon x Reader)

Morning and Nights (Damon x Reader) and (Dean x Reader) not related at all.

Why Hello There (Supernatural)

Not Too Bad (Dean x Reader)

Unlikely (Damon x Reader)

It’s On (Damon x Reader)

Pain (Dean x Reader

Others:

Quickie – (smut) Another nonspecific pairing!

Lay With Me – (smut) A Valentine’s Day special that has no specific pairing for your imaginations to run wild!

Emma and Devin – (smut) a personal request

Hey, guys, since I just made the second last exam of the semester, I decided to create a post where I will explain a bit how I get prepare for an exam, specifically for the oral tests. So…let’s start:

★ 1. Planning materials and hours of study.

    The first thing I do when I have to prepare myself for an exam is get hold of       the program of study and then calculate the time that could potentially use to     study everything and repeat. So in this case I recommend that you do not         arrive at the last second, but start as soon as possible to collect the study         material. I personally started studying at least one month before the exam         takes place, if we speak of course of oral exam. For already written it is             different, because I, personally, can pass a test written just reading many         times the topics to bring . But then again, it depends from person to person,     so … take your agenda or your calendar and start to establish which days or     hours where you can devote yourself to the study, and once established it         tries to respect your program , but rest assured, it’s not a problem if                   sometimes jump!

★ 2. Organize your notes.

    Another important thing to do before you really start to study is to place the       notes taken during the lessons.You can fix them or from time to time, or all       at once when you have finished all the lessons. The right thing to do would       be the first, but I do not always succeed, especially because often my               university classes end up about six o'clock in the evening, so I get home not     before seven. 

★ 3. Read your textbook and highlights the most important things,                   helping with the notes, then unite it all.

    Here I don’t think there needs to be an explanation, usually I’m used to             help me with the notes I previously organized, so that I both easier to                 read and understand what are the most important things to learn. Usually         I join the notes taken in class with the textbook doing a summary or by               writing in pencil on the book, it depends on the amount of                                   notes. I also use a lot of highlighters of different colors to highlight, of                 course, each of them has different meanings depending on use and color.

★ 4. Repeat aloud.

    Regarding this point i don’t think there is much to say; usually I  repeat aloud     to better fix things and above all helps me a lot to prepare for the oral.

★ 5. Review.

    Regarding the revision I’m used to repeat aloud, but above all to do mind         maps or summary, however, I recommend these methods especially for           written exams.

                       TIPS TO OVERCOME ANXIETY PRE-EXAM

Another thing I wanted to deal with is the question of anxiety, I suffer and I wanted to tell you a bit ‘my tricks to “overcome”.

★ 1. Estrange the mind.

The first thing I can tell you to do before you do anything else is to alienate the mind. In moments of leisure, stay away from the study, thinks of nothing else, watch a movie or a funny television series, go out with friends, read a book or whatever makes you relax. This will help you above all not to go under stress, and it is important for your mental health.

★ 2. Don’t drink coffe.

Before an exam is important not to drink coffee, or who does not drink too much, at least for me. The coffee, in fact, even if it has the property to raise the level of concentration, can also, if taken in excessive doses bring a widespread state of anxiety as well as insomnia. This could result in a bad performance on the exam day (what we do not).A good substitute is the green or black tea.

★ 3. Chamomile or Calming herbal teas.

This more than advice is my pre-exam ritual. In fact, usually, when I am particularly anxious or scared for an exam, I like to drink a chamomile or calming herbal tea, or a simple red fruit tea. Help to calm down and let me rest.

★ 4. Inhale and Exhale.

Another tip is to breathe. It happened to me sometimes to have some mild panic attacks before an exam, so before you take medication, you should simply exhale and inhale slowly filling and emptying the stomach, this way your mind will become calm.

★ 5. Believe in yourself.

Last but not least, believe in yourself. You are your only limit, and only you can overcome them. Only you know what you did and what you’re worth, so do not make you throw down, life is a great challenge!

I’m in a very “late-’90s nostalgia” place right now, so let me pick up where I left off last night and ramble on about why Animorphs was so fucking great.

So, in the beginning, the series had very distinct good guys and bad guys.

Now, what made them good guys and bad guys?

Well, their goals made them good guys and bad guys.

One side was fighting to enslave humanity and destroy the Earth. The other side was fighting to keep that from happening.

And, in the beginning, that was enough.

But it’s a sixty-book series, and a little ways in, by about book sixteen, the kids are starting to ask themselves (and each other), “Hey. Wait. No. Can we honestly pretend the ends justify the means?”

“Can we honestly tell ourselves that, because we’re defending our planet, literally anything we do is automatically justified?”

“Is it not possible for us to go too far?”

“Are there moves that it’s fundamentally morally indefensible to make?”

And from that point onward, it’s not just about goals. Now it’s also about tactics. They’re the good guys because they have Limits, because they have Rules.

They say, “No, we’re not going to pretend the ends justify the means.”

“We’re not going to sink to the level of our enemies.”

“We’re not going to be cruel. We’re not going to be cutthroat. We’re not going to be inhumane or controlling. We’re gonna be clean. We’re gonna be good. We’re gonna be ethical and compassionate.”

“There’s no point fighting our enemies if we just become them in the process. We have to be the bigger people.”

And, again, for a while, that’s enough.

But if the series is about anything, it’s about how war breaks down everything you think you know about yourself. By the end of the series, all six main characters have committed atrocities on a massive scale.

There’s one book late in the series where they literally threaten to nuke their own hometown, and all the innocent people in it, because it becomes strategically advantageous.

Now, they end up not having to because the enemy folds, but the fact that they almost did it, the fact that they would have done it if they’d been pushed just a little bit farther, fucking haunts them.

But at least they didn’t, right? Like, if nothing else, at least they have the small, quiet comfort of knowing it ultimately didn’t come to that.

Oh, except, four books later, they end up nuking it, anyway.

It’s that kind of series. You’re never out of the woods.

In the beginning, the good guys’ leader, Jake, is specifically a reluctant leader. He didn’t want the job. He didn’t ask for it. If he could, he’d happily give it to someone else. He becomes the leader because he’s the one every other member of the group instinctively turns to when times are tough.

He becomes the leader because they need him to be the leader.

Not because he wants power, not because he likes it, not because he thinks he’s the best guy for the job. But solely because, when the chips are down, he’s the one they turn to. Every time.

They elect him, despite his own protests.

He is humble, and he is brave, and he’s this very idealized archetype.

He’s very much cast in the mold of, like, Pop Culture George Washington, the venerated veteran who naturally, effortlessly just exudes strength and power and wisdom and confidence and charisma but honestly really just wants a moment alone in the shade.

That changes by the end of the series.

By the end of the series, he is just a straight-up dictator. He has seventeen thousand defenseless prisoners executed just because he can.

Just because he wants to watch them die.

It’s actually pointed out in the last book, in canon, that he is, by all rights, a war criminal several times over – and that the only reason he’s not being prosecuted is because he was on the winning side.

A lot of fucked-up shit happens in the last five or ten books. Probably the most downright sickening thing is when the good guys recruit a small army of physically disabled kids, then basically throw them at the enemy as a momentary distraction. And they’re slaughtered. All of them.

But what makes the series memorable isn’t just that a lot of really dark and shocking stuff ends up happening. That’s not special by itself.

It’s that the characters spend so much time talking about it.

You know, it’s a kids’ series – these are, like, fourth-grade reading level – that isn’t remotely afraid to have hard conversations about how there’s no such thing as a good war, how even good people can be swayed to do terrible things, and how no one is ever above reproach.

I’m not going to say it’s necessarily perfect, sensitivity-wise, but it’s kind of amazing how much it doesn’t take for granted.

It’s very willing to have the debate (whatever debate happens to be at hand), show all sides, and let that play out to its natural endpoint.

And all this exists in a series that also has plots like, “I turned into a starfish, and a random little kid chopped me in half (because kids are jerks), and then both halves regenerated into a separate me, except one is good and one is evil, weirdly, for some reason, and we need to recombine ourselves by electrocuting each other.”

- Mod A.

The Last Agni Kai (And Why It Matters) -- An Analysis

(I know I swore that I wouldn’t make anymore Avatar: the Last Airbender posts, but it hurts too much to hold it back. Let my name now be marred with the title “Oathbreaker.” Temptation is too great a power to best.)

Originally posted by applepiemabiebabe

The Last Agni Kai.

This was, in my opinion, one of the greatest scenes in the entire series. No, not one of the greatest fights. One of the greatest scenes. Not only does it fully display the raw power Sozin’s Comet offered to any firebender who deemed to wield it, but it also fully conveyed the reality of war.

Keep reading

What to read after Throne of Glass

If you, like me, are still going through complete Sarah J Maas withdrawal, and can’t really stand to wait for her next books, check out the list below to tide you over! Each book has many of the things I adored about both ToG and ACOMAF: strong and interesting female characters, magic, deeply beautiful writing, love stories to cry about, and an all around sense of adventure. If you have any more recommendations to add, definitely let me know!

Black Jewels: Anne Bishop

I just finished this series, and I am still amazed by how masterfully Anne Bishop weaves her stories. Welcome to the Dark Kingdom, a matriarchal realm ruled by strong queens and the males that support and serve them (Rowan and Aedion anyone?). There is a prophecy fortelling the rise of a Queen with more power than even the High Lord of Hell himself, which gives us a wonderful story full of scheming, war, adventure, and a badass court I would kill to be a part of. Prepare your heart!

Graceling by Kristian Cashore

Graceling is the best series for all you folks who couldn’t get enough of badass assassin Celaena. Katsa is an assassin Celaena would be proud of, due to her rare ability as a Graceling. She is Graced with a killing power, and has spent her life as the king’s tool in doling out his reign of terror. In waltzes Po, Graced with fighting, and here to shake everything Katsa knows about her world. Cashore definitely gives us a twist Sarah would most certainly support!

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

This book aligns more with the romance and court mystique that Sarah presents so wonderfully in ToG and ACOMAF. Kestrel is the daughter of a general who helped the emperor conquer territory after territory. As she is faced with a choice, marry or join the military, Kestrel finds a friend in one of the slaves from the conquered people, and so begins one of the most interesting political schemes I have read in awhile! I haven’t finished the trilogy yet, because I am out of the country and can’t get my hands on the final book, but I would highly recommend it.

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Cue another really cool empire written by an author who isn’t afraid to be inventive or go beyond the normal realms of fantasy. Vin is another Celaena-esque character, as the abandoned street child who turned thief who struggles to stay alive. When a mentor takes her under his wing, she discovers that her luck on the streets might be more than she could ever explain. Magic, mystery, and of course, a few court balls thrown in make for a wonderful mix. Warning: the last book made me cry. Like really cry. But in a good, I’m-still-mad-at-you-but-I-understand-and-respect-your-story-line type of way.

Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima

Raisa is everything that I have ever wanted in a princess. She is intelligent, passionate, feisty, and super compassionate. So when a war arises between the clans and the wizards, you can bet she has goals to achieve and empires to shake up. Throw Han Alister into the mix, a street wise leader, and things get tricky and fireworks explode. One of my favorite love stories in a long time, because it isn’t a story about just romantic love, but also what the love of a princess for her country can do. 

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

Yelena is set for execution for murder, but is given the choice to be the next food taster of the Commander of Ixia. As if the threat of having poison in her system wasn’t enough, she is also given a dose of Butterfly’s Dust, which she needs every day to stay alive, and can of course only get from the chief of security. Fighting for her life soon becomes more than just guessing the right poison, but also a game of magic, love, and all out war. Best kind of combo out there!

Legend by Marie Lu

This is the only book in the list to be set in a dystopian universe as opposed to a kingdom, but with a prodigy like June, no one can make any complaints. After a war tore the country apart, the Western United States is under the martial rule of the Republic, and June is their perfectly groomed soldier golden child. Day, on the other hand, is a slums boy who has become the Republic’s most wanted criminal. What happens when their paths cross is enough to make any country tremble, and to keep me hanging on to every word!

And finally:

Literally anything by Tamora Pierce!

Tamora Pierce has been my favorite author since I was a little girl. Each of her series is set in the same universe, based around the story of an interesting and kickass female character, from the first female warrior to a wild-mage. I first found these stories when my mother decided my sister and I didn’t have enough strong women in our literature and Tamora really rose to the occasion. Start with the first series, Song of the Lioness, and work your way from there! I have reread her books at least once every year since I was a little girl and they get better every time. I cannot recommend these books enough!


If you read or have read any of these books, feel free to shoot me a message; I am always ready to geek out over them. 

lgbt+ (ya/mg) books read in 2016!

so a lot of people still reblog my “60+ queer books” post from 2014. ngl, i was barely 16 at the time and had not read a lot of books on that list (it was def intended to be more a listing than pure recommendation), mostly because adult fiction was and remains far from my favorite literary category. this list isn’t as intensely detailed, but i just thought that since the year is over i might jot down some of the lgbt+ books i loved or at least moderately enjoyed this year, in case anyone was interested! happy reading!

(and in advance, excuse my commentary o<-<)

ya favorites

  • i’ll give you the sun by jandy nelson — m/m. HEART-WRENCHING. GUTTING. EARTH-SHATTERING. 
  • we are the ants by shaun david hutchinson m/m (suicide cw) 
  • my most excellent year by steve kugler m/m. gay asam main character and the best character dynamics ❤️____❤️
  • the flywheel by erin gough f/f
  • gives light (6-part series) by rose christo — m/m. centered around a mute main character on an indian reservation (written by a native author!), features one of the most uplifting romances of recent media (cw for csa mention later in the series)

other ya books 
ordered approximately by rating

  • far from you by tess sharpe — f/f. bisexual protagonist (drug addiction, murder cw) a book on recovery, love, trust, justice, understanding… gut punch!!!!!
  • into the blue by pene henson — m/m
  • not your sidekick by c.b. lee — f/f. DOES THE TITLE NOT MAKE UR HEART SQUEEZE ALREADY? features half-chinese & half-vietnamese bisexual protagonist in futuristic superheroic universe! the second book will be about a trans black side character *___*
  • starting from here by lisa jenn bigelow — f/f. you will cry and be made a better person for it. 
  • almost like being in love by steve kugler — m/m
  • tell me again how a crush should feel by sara farizan— f/f. sometimes this book is like :|||| but sometimes it’s like :DDDD! persian american protagonist. 
  • the darkest part of the forest by holly black — both m/f and m/m (like i’ll give you the sun). for your slightly more indulgent ya needs!
  • you know me well by nina lacour, david levithan — f/f, m/m
  • the great american whatever by tim federle — m/m. if you enjoy mg or find its lgbt+ subsection especially important (or both, like me!), definitely make sure you check out federle’s better nate than ever series!
  • last seen leaving by caleb roehrig — m/m
  • wonders of the invisible world by christopher barzak — m/m. magical realism fix may be found here 👍
  • true letters from a fictional life by kenneth logan — m/m. tbh people call it the “male version of ‘to all the boys i’ve loved before’” but also neglect mentioning that it’s a lot whiter, too. where’s that supportive covey family goodness… that precocious but caring lara jean spirit? it’s just not there…
  • colorblind by siera maley — f/f
  • her name in the sky by kelly quindlen — f/f
  • radio silence by alice oseman — f/f, m/m, not hugely romance-focused

middle grade
there were very few releases this year that i was aware of, unfortunately! my old list’s selection remains a good place to look. here are 3 that i would recommend though:

(i think i might have read george in 2015, but i felt that i might as well put them all together!)

  • george by alex gino — follows the story of a trans girl. its storyline is similar to gracefully grayson, but unlike gg it is written by a trans author!
  • the other boy by m.g. hennessey — follows the story of a trans boy. pretty solid story except… uncalled for random racist comment in the middle of the book… wyd (waiting for the mg genre to grow more inclusive of lgbt+ children of color! not being racially hostile is the FIRST STEP.)
  • gracefully grayson by ami polansky 

+ A GRAPHIC NOVEL MOST OF U HAVE PROBABLY READ ALREADY: LUMBERJANES!! love it breathe it read it

if you want some mg books that have casually gay side/main-ish characters, i can name the wolf wilder and the thing about jellyfish, although… you have to kind of dig for it, so i wouldn’t call these revolutionary moments of representation, but! it’s just a nice addition to separate stories that remind you that the middle grade genre can be inclusive w/o becoming entirely issue-based (which i find sometimes more inaccessible for children? i ramble!). i do believe it’s good for young children to read this kind of fiction, too! 

__

finally, some lgbt+ books i did not enjoy or care for in any capacity, for posterity: highly illogical behavior (gross narrative surrounding mental health, sexuality), symptoms of being human (ya book abt a nonbinary character; written by cis author who bscly uses sexual assault as plot device & doesn’t acknowledge neutral pronouns?), know not why (really unapologetically homophobic tbh), whatever.: or how junior year became totally f$@ked, more happy than not (so… bleak…), see you at harry’s, and lily and dunkin (this is the fourth mg book about a trans character that i’m aware of; i found its message hugely alarming and invalidating). that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy them, though! 

21 Things You Don’t Know About Publishing (And Should)

1.      It’s not about who you know. I mean, it is, but it isn’t. Knowing people helps, but not as much as most people imagine it does. The book is the most important part.

2.      Writing is a business like many other business. But it’s also an art. You have to negotiate both sides to be successful.

3.      Talent is a lot less important than most people assume. We’re not making widgets, but also, we don’t sit around naked, drinking alcohol and waiting for the muse to strike.

4.      Being an asshole hurts more than most people think. See #3. Talent isn’t enough to make up for it. Trust me on this.

5.      Writing a successful series (or having a “brand”) is important for success, but no one’s going to invest in other books until you get the first one perfect.

6.      Editing is a negotiation, not a declaration. That is, you shouldn’t assume that the editor has the last word. But you should also not assume that the editor is an idiot and your creative vision trumps all.

7.      Agents may be able to get you more money, but it doesn’t mean they’re useless if they don’t. Agents who are assholes may get things in the short term, but are not necessarily useful in the long term.

8.      Finding the right publisher/editor really matters. Success isn’t just throwing money at marketing, even if it looks like it is.

9.      Editors fall in love with books and this makes a huge difference in the way that those books are treated in-house.

10.  Earning out matters, but not as much as you might think.

11.  No one knows what books are going to be huge successes. No one. Of course, they make their best guesses and that’s why they’re in those jobs. But it’s also about good books. Editors don’t get paid enough to hate their jobs day I and day out.

12.  You’re not going to get rich writing books. Yeah, there are always stories about authors who made it rich, but even those stories are mostly promotion to sell more of those authors’ books.

13.  Being an author isn’t glamorous. Yes, there is some schmoozing at cocktail parties. There’s also plenty of writing in your pajamas.

14.  It’s great to read books about writing, but like in many things, you can’t learn everything you need to know from books.

15.  If you want to write a movie script, write a movie script. Don’t write a book because you want it to be turned into a movie. It’s extremely unlikely your book will ever be made into a movie. Also, don’t get too excited just because someone buys an option. Only one percent (or less) of options turn into a movie.

16.  You’re not a celebrity as an author. I know that the Castle TV show makes it look like you’re one, but you’re not. You won’t be friends with the mayor. You won’t have an open bar at your book launch. Trust me. You won’t. And if your book does get made into a movie, no one will care you are the author. At all.

17.  Wear a pair of comfortable shoes when you are doing conferences/book tour/BEA. This is the most important thing. Yes, you think you want to look good, but you’re not going to look very good when you fall down in exhaustion and agony.

18.  Don’t go to an agent’s office. Even if you’re in New York and you just want to drop by. Unless you are a client, then call ahead. Agents aren’t going to look more carefully at your manuscript because you personally dropped it off. I don’t know what your business is that makes you think so, but it’s not true in publishing. It just makes you seem crazy and more likely your manuscript gets thrown in the trash.

19.  The idea that you’re going to self-publish your book first and then get a big NY publishing deal is so rare it qualifies as a myth. If you want a publishing deal, get an agent first.

20.  Amazon is not your best friend as an author. Indies are your best friend. Always, always treat bookstore employees well if you have a chance to meet them.

21.  When you do book signings, most of the time there will be fewer than 10 people there to speak to you. Do not notice this. Do not even pretend to notice it. Never, ever remark on it to any publicist or bookseller. And most of all, do not act like it is their fault, even if it is.

Seven Steps -8-

tags: eighth year, drarry, swearing

- Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 -

Story inspired by the wonderful @sillysaddass


The next day found Draco in much the same situation, except the class in question was double potions and sitting next to Potter meant they’d have to work together. Draco quickly looked around as he mentally panicked but there were only two open seats left. He could sit next to Potter or Finch-Fletchley, the hufflepuff.

Draco sat down next to Potter with a sigh.

“What?” Potter said defensively.

“Nothing,” Draco said, “Good morning, Potter. I look forward to working with you.”

“You do not,” Potter shot back. He paused an shook his head in disbelief, “You don’t. You hate working with me. Especially in potions.”

Draco hummed absently in response as Slughorn came into the classroom.

“Morning!” Slughorn said jovially, “Since a few questions about the Wolfsbane potion will be on the NEWTS, I thought it would benefit you all to brew it once. Damn tricky potion. You’ll want to take your time and care; we’ve only enough ingredients for one go each. Page two hundred and twelve in your books. Take care not to let the aconite touch your skin! Use gloves and tongs. Feel free to ask me any questions!”

Draco watched the lazy bastard fold his hands over his stomach without any other advice or interest. He wrinkled his nose in disgust, Severus might have been vicious, but at least he was more than competent at his job.

Potter had his book open and was reading the instructions as closely as Draco had ever seen from him. Then again, Potter’s abilities to brew had apparently been a fluke in sixth year.

Draco took out his brewing notebook and flipped to the notes he had taken brewing wolfsbane over the summer, “Shall I get the ingredients or would you rather do it?” he asked.

Potter’s head jerked up from his book, and he blinked at Draco then seemed to shake himself awake, shooting his feet, “I’ll get them,” he said quickly.

Draco retrieved a silver lined pewter cauldron and started a low flame beneath.

“Malfoy,” A Weasley sort of voice hissed behind him.

Draco turned, looking at Weasley and then to Granger beside him. He decided to keep looking at her since he was unlikely to want to hex anyone with Granger’s expression of suspicion and general disappointment in him as a human being boring into him.

The two exchanged a look that could best be summarised as you talk to him.

Draco glowered at them.

Granger huffed faintly and crossed her arms, “Malfoy… we-” she glanced at Weasley who nodded encouragingly, “- we would appreciate it if you left Harry alone.”

Draco raised an eyebrow.

Granger frowned but continued, “He finally has a chance at a normal school year. Even you can understand wanting normalcy can’t you?”

“Yes,” Draco said warily.

Granger nodded, “Good, so, the last thing Harry needs is to be ob- worrying about you.”

“Here,” Potter dropped a tray of ingredients on the work table.

Draco jumped, his heart thundering his chest. He quickly turned back to his cauldron, scowling briefly before wiping the expression off his face.

Draco carefully examined the ingredients, “This won’t do,” he picked up the piece of bone and held it out to Potter, “Also get more aconite.”

Potter’s shoulders drew back, his eyes flashing with anger, “What? It’s perfectly fine, isn’t it? Just bone! And what’s wrong with the aconite?”

Draco bit the inside of his cheek. He said tightly, “Bone is very porous and can easily absorb trace amounts of other elements. Yellowing in this instance might mean contamination. So please find one that is white and smooth to the touch. As for the aconite, the levels of toxicity varies between the leaves, flowers and roots. This,” he pointed at the tray, “is mostly stem and root. It would work provided it was pulverised and soaked in the base overnight. We’re brewing now, so we need leaves.”

Potter took the bone, his anger mixing with embarrassment. “You could’ve said that to begin with,” he said, turning on his heel and heading back to the ingredients closet.

Draco rolled his eyes and took out his brewing gloves and carefully began preparing the ingredients on the tray, placing each onto its own square of parchment. Potter returned, and Draco held out his hand for the small piece of bone, which Potter dropped into his palm with a sour look. It was white, clean and perfect.

“Powder the aconite in the mortar and pestle,” Draco said, picking up a fine rasp and a piece of parchment.

“You can’t just-!”

Draco paused and looked over at Potter who was bristling once again.

“You’re ordering me around; you haven’t even looked at the instructions!” Potter retorted.

Draco’s hands clenched, the metal of the rasp digging into his palm. The desire to snap back at Potter was nearly overpowering. He bit the inside of his cheek and said with forced nonchalance, “My apologies. I’ve simply brewed this potion a great deal and have it memorised. I will, of course, check the instructions before we begin brewing. If you would prefer to take the lead-?”

Potter stared at him, “What?”  He sat down, looking put out and mildly disappointed for some reason. He let out a huge sigh and asked, “You brewed it enough to memorise it?”

Draco turned back to his task, “I brewed a lot of potions over the summer, but I focused on those that were the most needed.”

“You made potions… for people?” Potter seemed sceptical.

“Yes, Potter,” Draco said.

“So you sold them? I didn’t think the reparations were that bad,” Potter said.

Draco finished turning the bone into a fine powder and put it back on the tray, picking up the aconite leaves and mortar. “They weren’t.” He spoke slowly for the hard of thinking, “I gave them away.”

Potter blinked at him, “I haven’t heard about that.”

“Because no one knows,” Draco rolled his eyes, “I did it anonymously.”

“You?” Potter’s brow furrowed, “There’s no way you would do that.”

“Because I’m a horrible person,” Draco said flatly.

“No! It’s just you always- whenever there’s a chance of getting attention you always- did.” Potter said.

Draco allowed himself a small bitter smile, “True. In this instance though, I had to be anonymous.”

“Why?”

“Imagine if you will, what would happen to any potion with my name attached to it?” Draco said.

Potter frowned, “It would be thrown away.”

“Seemed a waste to me,” Draco said.

Potter was silent.

(to be continued)


- Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8 (You are here!) - Part 9-

♡ Tags below ♡ 

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Mission Bad Boy | 15

Plot: What if you could win 100,000 Won by giving someone a makeover? But here’s the catch – you have 6 months to turn a nerdy, anti-social male into the school’s biggest heartthrob.

Pairing: Kim Namjoon x Reader

Genre: Angst, Highschool au!

Notes: First of all, I’d like to say no there won’t be an epilogue, this is the final chapter. Mission Bad Boy ends here. FINISH. I hope you enjoyed this series! Gif credit goes to bangtoori. 5k Words

P.S. Here is a song for you guys, listen to it while you read this and keep it on repeat.

previous | masterlist 

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anonymous asked:

hihihi i love ur neighbor au SO MUCH the shownu had me dyiNG it's so accurate, and the spicy changkyun one BOI i died anyways can i possibly ask for the last of the series, a cute hyungwon one?? Thank u and bless u :')

the other members can be found here:
wonho / shownu / kihyun / minhyuk /changkyun / jooheon 

  • owns a one room apartment because it’s cheap and he doesn’t really need a kitchen,,,,when kihyun was helping him look at apartments hyungwon was just like “i need there to be room for a king sized bed.” and kihyun was like “oh but this place even has an extra closet it just costs a bit mo-” “kihyun,,,,,,,all i need is a place to sleep.”
  • has a full length mirror in the hallway and openly admits that he checks himself out in it. doesn’t openly admit that he’ll sometimes dance in front of it when he’s getting ready too 
  • his brother begged him to not put up the photo of him when he first enlisted in the army but hyungwon,,,,being the person he is,,,,hung that photo right up next to his nightstand 
  • but it’s cute,,,he hung up photos of his family alongside it because no matter what he misses them a lot
  • has a copy of every magazine he was a model in and keeps them in a stack on his bookshelf alongside a bunch of books on fashion and traveling,,,,,
  • every time his friends come over they pull out a magazine and tease hyungwon over his modeling but hyungwon’s like yall just mad because you’re not this beautiful 
  • his coffeemaker is the most expensive thing in his apartment 
  • has a mug that says ‘until this mug is empty, im not technically awake’,,,,it was a gift from minhyuk 
  • fashionable hyungwon only exists in the streets. when he’s at home it’s big old t-shirt, froggy pajama pants, and froggy slippers,,,,,,,,i like to think he also owns a froggy pillow just because hyungwon + frogs is a meme or whatever but it’s also super cute,,,,,,,
  • wears glasses around the building and people don’t recognize who he is until he takes them off and they’re like OH it’s the model from floor eleven!!! and hyungwon is like slinking his way back to the elevator with very un-model like posture LOL
  • you’ve known ever since he moved in because when he was trying to get all his boxes up to his apartment 
  • he was going at the most painstakingly slow speed,,,like literally one box at a time,,,,,and you felt bad watching this dude with his noodle arms try to move all by himself
  • so you offered to help and hyungwon had tried to say it was ok but then you’d lifted like three boxes and he was like you know what please do help me lol
  • and after you two were done you pointed at your door across the hall and you were like “im your neighbor, neighbors should help each other!! since i helped you today,,,,”
  • and you had looked him and down and hyugwon had tilted his head in confusion and you were like 
  • “since i helped you today, promise me if i ever need your help idk,,,,since you’re so tall,,,,,fixing a lightbulb or something,,,you’ll help me? deal?”
  • and you’d stuck your hand out and hyungwon,,,,although usually unwilling to sign himself up to doing something aside from taking a nap,,,,had shook your hand back 
  • and since then you’ve just you know,,,, been good neighbors to each other 
  • you always see each other in the evening when you’re coming back from work and hyungwon will already have his glasses on and his hair a mess and you always giggle because he seems like the opposite of a model and he’ll just shrug because doesn’t he actually look better this way?
  • and it’s just very casual and friendly and you say goodbye to each other as you go into your apartments
  • but one night hyungwon notices that you’re not there when he’s waiting for the elevator but he shrugs it off because??? maybe you have overtime or you’re out with friends
  • but when he’s home, already laying down reading his favorite webtoon e looks at the time and it’s like,,,,close to midnight
  • and just to make sure you’re ok,,,he gets up and goes to knock on your door
  • deciding that he’d rather just make up some excuse how he ran out of toilet paper and isn’t just you know,,,,worried
  • but then??? you don’t answer
  • and hyungwon tells himself that he’s not worried and he’s not panicking over you,,,his neighbor,,,,,,who he obviOUSLY hasn’t been fond of since you helped him out,,,,,like haha what no,,,,
  • and that’s totally not the reason he goes outside of the building in his slippers at like 1am just to see if you’re coming home really late,,,,like noooo he’s going to the corner store to get himself a really super late night snack
  • and as he’s coming out of the store, untouched ice-cream in hand he sees you
  • and you’re just walking really slowly, yawning against your palm because your boss made you stay to finish up documents that aren’t even a part of your job and you just,,,, really want some sleep
  • and when you look over you see hyungwon,,,,in his froggy slippers with ice-cream and you’re like “hey,,,,why are you up this late?” and hyungwon just snorts because he’s like i could ask you the same thing
  • and you stick your tongue out but you’re like my devil of a boss made me do work that’s not even mine can you bELIEVE IT
  • and hyungwon is still holding that ice-cream,,,,his heartbeat finally settling down at the sight of your face 
  • and you notice how he’s quietly just staring at you and you look down at his hand and you’re like “the ice-creams gonna melt???” and he’s like i don’t really care 
  • and you’re like cool can i have it???? and you grab it and unwrap it and hyungwon can’t help but smile to himself and you’re like eating, the glum look on your face gone
  • and you and hyungwon get into the elevator and you’re like “so seriously, why are you up right now? you told me once you could sleep for like 29 hours!!!” and hyungwon is like i wanted a late night snack and you’re like dude,,,,,im eating your late night snack c’mon tell me the real reason
  • and hyungwon adjusts his glasses with his hand and looks away and you’re like ???????? and he’s like “sorry,,,i was worried,,,i guess,,,”
  • and you almost choke on your icecream because wait,,,,
  • worried??????
  • about?????????? you????
  • hyungwon who could sleep through a thunderstorm, who forgot your first name for the first three months you knew each other, who as never told you he’s been worried about /anything/,,,,,,,,
  • hyungwon was worried about you?
  • and you get to your floor and you’re both silent but you’re like,,,,,well!!!don’t worry because im fine,,,,,,im gonna go sleep though~~ ok bye!!
  • and hyungwon sees you disappear inside without another word and he doesn’t really know what to think of it so he goes inside too
  • but you’re,,,,,,,standing in your hallway,,,,cheeks pink and you’re like wait,,,,does he,,,,,does he like me,,,,,,,,did he just not want to admit it,,,??
  • and in the morning you and hyungwon bump into each other and hyungwon is obviously acting awkward and you’re like “give me your phone” and he’s like huh
  • and you’re like “you said you were worried about me right, well here’s my number. just text me the next time you’re worried. plus,,,,,,,,i can text you if i ever get worried.”
  • and hyungwon’s looking at you in shock and you’re like ,,,,, getting a bit red and you’re like,,,,,,,heY we made a promise before about helping each other we can make the same promise about worrying too,,,,,that or you know,,,,,
  • and the door opens to the lobby but hyungwon doesn’t get out and neither do you and he’s like “,,,you know,,,what?” and you’re like,,,,,,you know,,,,,,how couples just worry about each other without a promise because you like the person so you worry oh god im rambling
  • and before you know it hyungwon leans in and presses his lips to yours and you’re like !!!!!!!! i guess,,,he agrees on the couple thing!!!!!!!!
  • but the doors close before either of you can get out and the elevator is going back up and you pull back and you’re like hYUNGWON im goinG TO be LATE for the bUS now,,,
  • and he shrugs and pulls you around the waist closer to him and he’s like more time for us to kiss-
  • and you’re like no no no you don’t get to kiss me since you made me late ):< 
  • hyungwon: :’( ok ill kiss you after we both comeback from work 
Lovesick Blues Part 1

Originally posted by sebastiansource

Sugar Daddy Sebastian fic inspired by this post. New series and probably a slow burn. Enjoy. Tag List open.


When Sebastian woke up in his king sized bed and his red silky sheets, he knew he was a changed man. He got up from the bed and made his way to the large balcony with the spectacular view of New York. His divorce with the witch of a wife he had was finally over and he was free to do whatever he wanted. Him and his wife have not been getting along for a long time yet she loved what Sebastian’s money could offer to her. Sebastian didn’t mind. He didn’t care. He mad the money she spent on a daily basis every 10 minutes. What he didn’t want was another cause of stress in his already stressful CEO life. Sebastian was the owner of several European countries in the U.S and he was one of the most powerful men in the world.

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I feel like we need to discuss someone that might have been forgotten

PLEASE NOTE: MAJOR SPOILER WARNING FOR SARAH J MAAS’S “A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN” (ACOWAR). (I’ll be putting most of this below in the Read More section)

I feel like we got a lot of information and foreshadowing in this book and so far I’ve seen two posts that have been on my same path of thinking. I’ve made predictions for this series with my friends before and ended up being either dead on or pretty damn close to what actually happened so I wanted to share what I came up with with all of you. 

I wanna talk about Briar. 

I think she’s gonna be Tamlin’s Mate.

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snufflypuffly  asked:

your wife is a writer!! do you think she'd have any writing tips for a young aspiring author who's only recently started planning for an original book?

This is the Gay Wife answering herself!

 

Some disclaimers:

1.This turned into a monster, I am so sorry. I apparently had a lot to say on the matter.

2. I assume you read the blog and don’t have a huge problem with cuss words. I normally wouldn’t do this to a stranger online, so…

3. I am so fucking pretentious. Lord. I added a bunch of links to things that have caused me to pause and think about writing, and some of them are just??? I am so sorry, please don’t judge me too harshly.

Thank you so much for this ask! I was surprised, admittingly, that you’d ask for my writing tips despite the fact that I haven’t published anything online for you to read. But I am glad you did! My wife (the blog owner) is so very kind and supportive of me. Maybe a bit too much? She talked me up quite a lot in her answer to that ask. Because I don’t think I am all that special. Nor do I think myself and the spaceman living and my head are a wellspring of great ideas, BUT HERE GOES. [Note from the blog owner: I never exaggerate baby’s talents 😉]

I have had thoughts on writing advice blogs/posts in the past, as in, they aren’t always useful.  K J Charles, an author I really like, recently made a post about writing advice that is really worth a read if you would like to seek out advice in the future.

That’s not to say I am not totally willing and excited to answer you! This might just be a weird tip list, that’s all, because all ‘tip lists’ are biased to one writer’s processes. My ideas on writing might not work for you, may be disastrous, or may be where you set your flagstones. I’ll try my best to communicate what I think will help. But with that, take it with a grain of salt.

Writing a story, by its nature alone, is a product of desperate translation of something that is intangible; emotions, moments, places one has never been, experiences one’s never had. A story becomes good when the translation of ideas switches from the surreal to the profoundly relatable. That might be something to keep in mind as you write; that you aren’t telling a story, you’re translating this idea in your mind and heart into words – into language, into a story, into a pathway to follow, into this brand new experience that will sit with a reader for long time after they finish the story.

The writing process is labyrinthine and elaborate and intricate. I’m going to list a couple of things that have helped me, specifically what I did when I was feeling uninspired or frustrated with what I was writing. Again, these worked for me, so if they don’t for you, don’t use them. Try something else! Explore! Innovate! Grow! And allow yourself mistakes!

I constantly think about classic writers and how they differ. I’m kind of a nerd for quotes and delight in spending hours pouring myself over them. And writers so vastly differ from each other when it comes to how they approached their craft (I think about that last one a lot because it directly contradicts every ‘writing advice’ blog post I’ve ever seen). You’ll have to do that, too, or risk being drowned out by the static of how you think you should be writing. You should never let your unique way of writing be chained down by all that bullshit out there.

 

Plotting/Outlining/and the dirty work

I try to do NanoWriMo every year and fucking hate it to shards and jagged pieces. If there was one overwhelming thing I have learned, it is that I need an outline to function. This came as quite the surprise to me personally because I am such a messy bitch. But dear merciful Lord in heaven, if I don’t have an outline I can’t move forward. So I embraced that and outlined my scenes like a motherfucker on a lone motorcycle, reaching for that burning red sunset, running from my sordid past, man! Here is just three notebooks from the last year’s NaNo:

Now that is three notebooks, not including the forth one I also filled up. One of them is initial notes; themes I had in mind, character outlines, a summary of the plot – basic stuff. I also wrote out some rules. This was a supernatural/horror/comedy, all three of those genres I have no practice in. So I wrote out tropes that I wanted to avoid, points that I wanted to greatly impress, character traits I had etched in stone (for instance, “Edwidge will stay a kind person.”)

Then I dive into outlining by chapter with a rough first go, then another notebook where I re-wrote that outline, then a forth with fleshed-out dialogue exchanges, character movements (both in detail, such as the hands, the eyes) and within the constructed space (sits on a desk, leans against a wall, observes the pictures on the wall), and with random details I decided while outlining. In that same vain, the nightmarish scribbles off to the side of the notebook pages are products of an idea striking me and the muses directing my hand. Muses have horrible handwriting.

Now I know there are people out there in the great green world who can write with vague outlines, or no outlines at all (I’m looking at you, @onedamnminuteadmiral, you wicked ho). And those people are witches and heathens that must meet with the pyre. I’ll bring the gasoline if you bring the matches. [Note from the blog owner: Heeeyyyyyyyy!]

I probably shouldn’t admit to it, but I would often get really frustrated with outlining and resort to stick figure storyboards. Yes, like I’m a writer for derivative cartoon about a wacky suburban family. My stick figure storyboard was surprisingly effective (???I guess???). I got a sense of space, of movement, I made notes about the way the eyes moved. This, coupled with the far more wordy outline, added a lot of hot sauce to that beef.

I also saw this method of storyboarding today and I am thinking I might take it up. It looks fantastic!

So, yes, either outline or don’t. I really worked for me, but it might come more natural for you to fly by the seat of your pants. If there is one thing I would do, it would be to make notes on how the characters move within the space. Specifically, placement of hands, how their eyes move, the lighting, anything that gives the characters a solid weight in their world.

SPEAKING OF

A slice of characters

Human nature, by the definitions divined by humankind itself, is fucking absurd. A person left unobserved will always devolve into subtle rule-breaking based purely and the common, everyday swerves their free will dictates (ie. I never wear lipstick, but this morning I was feeling kicky by no outside influences what-so-ever, so, fire engine red?). There is more glorious spark and untold, unfolding of brilliance in a real person sitting quietly in a chair for a half and hour than there will ever be in a fully-realized, well-rounded, fictional character. That might be a harsh statement, but it is something I constantly have buzzing in my bonnet when I write characters. It causes me to strive for something more from my characters.

I bring up that (jfc am I pretentious) philosophy video about fate/free will because in writing characters, you’ll constantly have to think if your characters are acting as you believe they will, or how they would more naturally behave.

People are series of moments with great contradictions. Characters who are well developed, compounded and complex, and interesting to read, should also be weighed at the center in how they contradict themselves. I find this to be a really important standard in writing characters. This is so damn hard to explain, so let me give some silly examples.

Characters tend to have traits/characteristics/personality rules cemented by the author. I see it constantly in books, and it really steams my vegetables. For example:

 Valen was raised in a polite society—he is a polite and considerate man – he will act politely as a matter of keeping the character consistent.

Valen was raised to be strong — he would be calm in this situation— he would not be afraid at the climax of the book.

It’s… not a wrong way of writing character. Constancy is certainly important. Its just flat? ‘Uninteresting’ may be a bit too much. Writing a character as a series of set rules can be this transitive, it just feels manufactured, distant from reality.

For example, consider at how I act:

Gay wife spent her formative years in the South — she was trained to be a polite person, professionally— she calls her customers Mr. Meyers and Ms. Linda and her boss solely as Ms. Jeanne—she works hard to be a polite person – she always uses ‘pardon me’ and ‘excuse me’. That is honestly who I am.

BUT ALSO

Gay Wife had a weird home life growing up—she had a rocky, religious upbringing— this manifests in really vulgar humor at home— she calls her wife whore-tits and expresses religious terror to her cats. This is also honestly who I am.

Am I vulgar person? Am I cautious and polite? Those contradict each other, and they are both true about me! I try to be as polite as possible, but at home where I am comfortable and unobserved (other than by my wife, who is now stuck with me so whatever), I turn into a total asshole.

When I read a love story, for example, I get concerned when a character stays exactly the same as when they started out. I’m not specifically talking about character growth, per say, but in the way the carry themselves, in the way they behave. I read one fantastic book where a character spoke differently with the other servants than he did to the lord of the house, even after they started a relationship together. As you proceed to write your characters, I would recommend thinking about how differently people behave depending on their current situation, and contradict the rules you have set for the character. Everyone act different around their grandma than they do around their high school friends. Both those situations, the person is still themselves, just affected by compulsions lent to them by the situation.

So consider writing a character that is both compassionate and open-minded, but is also bigoted towards someone/something. It tells the reader where that compassion ends, the lines that character draws. Or a character that is brave, but only because he is a coward (that is one of my favorites.) A character that is a brilliant genius, but a fuckin’ idiot. I’ve personally known plenty of real people I would describe as genius fuckin’ idiots.

Please consider how funny, upbeat people are so fucking sad inside. Or rather, they tend to be. Within two weeks of knowing the funniest person I’ve ever met, I was asking him if he was okay. And he was fuckin’ not, and I knew to ask because despite this blog making people laugh (of which I am proud), I’ve had depression since I was a child and have struggled with it to the extreme (aside: if anyone needs to talk, feel free to message me @thewaltzrio). I’ve borrowed that so many times when writing. [Trigger warning on this link, but it is worth reading.]

You play your cards right, you’ll also be subverting tropes left and right.

Compound contradictions, add in swerves of free will, mix in a pinch of chaos caused by fate (that you have set for them), and you’ve got a interesting, more real and weighty character on your hands. People will relate to that. The best compliment I’ve ever received was, “Hadrian [one of my characters] has really stuck with me.” That meant a lot to me, more than anything I’ve heard about the story or the setting or the world building I’ve done for the story.

The second best thing I’ve heard is when I let someone read what I have written, and the first question I ask is “which was your favorite character?”. I’ve done it dozens of times with the same work and I’ve gotten a different answer every single time. If you do the same, you will know you’ve got a good cast of characters on your hands.

It is only my personal opinion that characters are worth more than the story itself. You connect with characters, you believe in them, you root for them, you love them with an unhealthy dependency. Look around every fandom — it is characters that draw people into a show, make them stick with it, make them care about the 2nd season getting greenlighted. The plot is a series of situations done to the characters. It happens to them. The interest in the story is cultivated from the perspective of a character and how they react.

Which brings me to the details. Fuck yeah DETAILS.

Write details when it comes to character creation beyond hair color, zodiac signs, or height and weight. Now, you’re on tumblr and without a doubt a smart and well informed person, so I don’t need to go into the importance of a diverse cast of characters. So here are some of my favorite ways of meshing the character into the world, and making them seem more like people.

I like mentioning the condition of their fingernails. You might find something else that works for you, but I like fingernails. I made mention that my main character has “acres of real-estate under his fingernails.” Now that is a handful of words that tells the reader that: He works hard, he doesn’t have time to clean them, he isn’t vain, he doesn’t consider clean nails something worth his time worrying about. Everyone in his community probably carries the same kind of dirt and grime around with them.

I adore using verbal ticks as markers of a character’s personality. I probably go overboard with this; I go out of my way to add a tick to each character. My character Hadrian ended up saying ‘in any matter’ to switch topics. He is the only one who says that, and it’s a nice verbal tick. My character Raif is trying to be seen as a poor tradesmen, so he uses improper grammar when speaking on the daily, and (in exposing his true background) uses expressly proper grammar when in a stressful situation. If a reader picked up on that tick, then they would feel so damn clever when Raif is exposed as the lost prince! That is satisfying payoff!

My favorite one I’ve written so far is Seymour, a 15-year-old who was raised mostly in isolation, without a real home or community to call his own. So he parrots other people, he borrows from his friends and those he admires. It tells a reader than he lacks a sense of self, of place, of how to interact with people. I never actually say he does this, but he constantly repeats phrases he hears from his friend Raif. And, by the end of the book, he is also saying ‘in any matter’ to switch topics. It is a satisfying way of showing how Seymour interacts with other characters.

Mentioning the condition of a character’s clothing is so baseline it might as well be chapter one, line one, in the guidebook of how to write characters. But you can really have fun with this one. For example, I made of point of introducing my main characters in very particular ways. When Douglas meets Hadrian, they are at a costume party. Douglas is in his Fleet cadet uniform (which tells the reader he is the type of person who didn’t feel the need to change his out of his everyday uniform for the sake of a costume — Is he too proud of it? Is he too shy to dress in something bizarre? Is it already a costume to him?) and he sees Hadrian across the way. Hadrian is wearing the draping robes and ivy and burning candle crown of a pagan god of mischief (which tells the reader damn near everything they are in for with him. That he pays attention to ancient pagan god history in a religious society, that he isn’t concerned with looking ridiculous in public, that he is a huge fuck-head.) [note from the blog owner: I love him.]

That is different! That isn’t going into details about fineries/tatters/tailored clothing vs. hand-me-downs.

Clever segue to the next section!!


A student of curiosity

So you may notice that I am not going to mention a very huge part about writing in this bullshit thing I’m claiming as writing advice, and that is how you construct your plot. Who gives a shit? Sorry that was harsh. But we’ve all seen that chart in school about rising action and climax and falling action and UGH. Because seriously, who gives a shit? You write what you want, there are no rules.

But! I can add a few words about how to help your story get swol. Or at least, what worked best with what I do. Like I said earlier, humans are fucking absurd. And human history is so broad and sweeping and fantastic that you can find endless sources for inspiration to draw upon. It is important to stay curious and make a habit of studying the bizarre. I utilize my love of history to find inspiration. History pulls from and contains so many other topics to learn about and utilize; superstitions, unsolved mysteries, trends, dead religions, all sorts of niches that have wedged their way into the building blocks of history.

If you find history dry, that’s fine! Loads of people do. The point is, if something really grabs you, take the time to think about why it did. Those wiki binges that last until 3am? What is it about those subjects that drew you in that you could borrow for your story? (I once based an entire romance novel on a wiki binge about the quartering of soldiers in the colonial United States.) Podcasts are fantastic for this! I’d recommend Lore if you haven’t already checked it out. Even though Aaron Mahnke drives me fucking crazy with that “well, you see, maybe human beings were the monsters the whole time” bullshit, I still love this podcast.

But remain curious as you write. Think about moments in books and movies that have stuck with you and you don’t know why. Some clever little thing that made you pause. Like, for me, the kitchen scene in Jurassic Park. I’d never seen kids under such threat before, just pure terror, and that is my very first thought upon thinking about that movie. I know that I write notes (usually when I’m at work) on what about a thing made me sit up and pay attention. Then I break it down and mold it into something new. Who knows, maybe it will help add a great twist into the plot that you didn’t think of.

 

The literal scene, a quick note—

I’m also a huge nerd for movies and the way movies are shot. I know this is coming out of the blue, and may seem odd to add in a monster post about writing, but stick with me on this. Movies and writing have some overlap if you’re willing to spend time thinking about constructing a scene in your book the same way a director frames a shot. I swear, it works if you let it.

When I get frustrated with how a scene is playing out while I am writing, I try approaching it based on how it would be framed cinematically. Every reader has (what my wife calls) the theater of the mind, and you can use that to your advantage as you write. Think about how a character would view a room upon entering it for the first time. What draws their eye, what piques their interest, what is central to them. Film directors to the same thing when they frame a shot. They carefully plan how the light falls over a character’s face. They deconstruct and reconstruct the layout of a room. They block the actors. They pan over book titles to show a character’s interest. They  they keep important things out of frame to remind the viewer that it will come back into play in a few moments.  You can do that all, too, when you write!

I recommended once that my wife and I watch a very well shot tv show when we were both frustrated with writing. We got sketchbooks and drew what caught our eyes. I remember I latched on to the way a character’s earrings moved every time she did; it was subtle, but vibrant, kinetic, and a detail I don’t think I would have thought to add if I was writing that same scene. I liked how the bloodshot eyes of a character didn’t come into view until the scene grew tense and they filmed a closeup of the actor. I thought that would translate well in writing; add tension when my character got too close and saw that the other character was influenced by something yet unseen. I detailed the way shadows fell over a staircase, and how the beam of light was on only the most enlightened of the characters in an ensemble cast.

This is something you can do on days when your brain is a fried pancake and yet you still want to work on advancing your story. Take a TV show or a movie that left an impression on you and take notes on the environment, or the actors’ expressions, etc. As strange as this sounds, it works well with animation. Every single thing in a work of animation was purposely chosen to be there. Every single thing was created – like your writing will be. I’d say look at Satoshi Kon’s animation process. Not only is his work a fantastic exploration of writing and storytelling, he is very purposeful in what is seen, shown, understood, and then subverted. Think about how you’d write that, how you’d describe it. How a “quick cut” can translate into writing the impressions and feelings in a character. (ie. The smoke clouds, into a clear sky, how a character looking at one can get the impression of another).

I’d recommend looking at Every Frame a Painting YouTube page. I know I got a swell of inspiration on how to pace out and detail a scene based on the importance of subtle details in this video. Or, if you want to think about how to construct a plot, Lindsey Ellis on YouTube and her video essays are fantastic, too. For example, if you want to think of how your characters address and interact with your narrative, consider what she has to say about RENT. The last minute of this video is gut-wrenchingly powerful and says more about the dissonance between characters and their narrative/the event that narrative was based on in that ONE MINUTE than months of research could tell you. (Note, don’t watch this if you love RENT. If you love RENT, that’s okay, my wife reeaaallly does.) [note from the blog owner: I do love RENT, but this is a really great video and I don’t disagree with anything she had to say. Still love RENT, but boy it’s got its problems, haha]

Aaaaand that’s all I think I have to say about that! Thank you so much for sticking with me this far! I hope something in this mess helps you. Thank you again!

In final—

Your voice moving forward with your manuscript is unique, and your voice is powerful. There will never be one like it again and there has never been one like it before you. There has never been a day of your life that wasn’t a product of chaos and mayhem from unseen struggles of the universe, and yet you made it through some boring Tuesday! Good luck, and I’ll be rooting for you!

 

Sincerely, The Gay Wife

Sherlock Holmes and Victorian Homosexuality

[This is the final post in my series on Strangers: Homosexual Love in the Nineteenth Century by Graham Robb. Previous posts can be found here.]

Dearest friends. Dear sweet ones. Dear softest lambs. Prepare yourselves.

Originally posted by sherlockspeare

Robb’s last chapter is on literature and literary references to homosexuality.

And he chooses to talk – at length – about Sherlock Holmes and John Watson.

He writes:

The following observations are not a sly attempt to ensnare the great detective in the elastic web of gay revisionism. Everyone already knows, instinctively, that Holmes is homosexual.

Well then.

If there is one post you read from this series, it should be this one.

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This is Our Song

Summary: Lucas and Mike argue over whether “Every Breath You Take” is Lucas and Max’s song or Mike and Eleven’s song (spoiler alert: it can be both).
Pairings: Lucas/Max and Mike/Eleven
Word Count: 1516
AO3 Link

Lucas and Max’s apartment. Hawkins, Indiana. December 1993.

Lucas looked up from the spreadsheet he was reading and rubbed his eyes. He looked over at his best man who was on the phone at the moment and asked, “Did you hear back from the florist yet, Dustin?”

“Negative,” Dustin replied, covering the speaker of the phone with his hand. “I’ve left two messages already”—he held up two fingers to emphasize this point—“if they don’t call me back by 10 a.m. tomorrow I’ll drop by on my lunch break.”

Lucas nodded.

“Did you pick out the cake yet, Lucas?” Will asked as he folded invitations.

“Shit, no,” Lucas groaned.

“How can you not have a cake yet?” asked Mike. “What have you been doing?”

“What have I been doing?” Lucas asked, outraged. “Setting a date, booking a venue, making a guest list, choosing a color scheme, picking a caterer, finding a photographer—“

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alaeevolare  asked:

Hello! I was wondering, what are the differences between modern HEMA and how it was used in actual combat? Mainly in how it is/was taught, the way that techniques are/were used, small battles/skirmishes and fully fledged battles. I'm currently drawing from my own experiences with HEMA (longsword) and I know it's different but I'm not sure what all of those differences are, much less how to write them. Thank you!

Honestly, the best advice I have for that is slogging through the treatises from the masters on Wikitenaur or other sites/books that let you get it direct from the horse’s mouth (as it were). If you’re not a trained scholar or used to going through language from a century ago, much less several, I can see how parsing that might be a little difficult.

The second thing to do is study the historical period in which you want to write your fiction or, if writing fantasy, whatever is adjacent. When you want to write any kind of combat scenario, studying the culture is necessary. Whether that’s one you created yourself or history itself.

You’ve got better access to the HEMA community than Starke or I do and that springboard will make it easier to find what you’re looking for. It’s important to remember that what you’re practicing right now is what we conventionally term a “dead martial art”. Like aikido and several other martial arts now enjoying a popular resurgence, the current version did not really exist in the last century. Combat in Europe moved very quickly, rapid advancement lead to many old weapons being discarded that were no longer usable. German fencing was the only form of longsword fencing to survive, and it too is weighed down by rules unnecessary to the time when the longsword was a battlefield choice. Luckily for you, because HEMA itself is so new in its reconstruction, you’re actually far closer to the source material used to revive it than you might suspect.

If you haven’t broached this subject with your instructor, you should. They might know, or know somebody who knows something that can point you in a better direction. They work with the people who work with the people who are theorizing on the past and how to bring this piece of history back to life.

The other thing you need to do is study history. One of the things we do have a lot of surviving records of are historical battles. Lots, and lots, and lots of records.

Pick your medieval historical figure. Pick a period in history. And get to work.

Also, read Sun Tzu. If there is one great historical text for understanding warfare, it’s Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.

Battles are really broken down by three groups:

Culture.

Technology.

Terrain.

I’d throw in strategy and tactics but those are under the culture header. To write battles, you need both an understanding of historical warfare and the ability to contextualize those decisions so you can have your characters make new ones. This means figuring out not just the thought processes of the people of history (theorized by gaining a better grasp of their circumstances), but also how your own characters think in relation to the world’s they live in.

Unless you’re writing historical fiction, you can’t just copy the battles from history wholesale. You have to learn how the decisions were made. This is why I recommend looking at the above groups.

Culture

Who they are as a people, their history, who they are descended from, how they see themselves, their commander’s experience with warfare, what kind of armies do they possess (if any at all), how does that work, how do they form supply lines, how do they pay for it, all that annoying bureaucratic minutia which will kill your brain but must be figured out. War is about troop movements. You’ve got to get them from Point A to Point B somehow, you’ve got ensure their fed, and if they’ve got mounts or armor all that has to come from somewhere. War is an expensive endeavor. Someone is paying for it. Where does the money come from, where does it go, and who is getting paid?

This is why strategy and tactics land under the cultural header, the more you dig into history the more you’ll find different cultures through different eras approached these problems differently. They also had different tools at their disposal which brings us to…

Technology

Technology encompasses your weapons, your armor, and, well, everything else that came to mind. Much as you need to know where your soldiers come from, you also need to know what tools they have at their disposal. If they haven’t mastered metalwork and smithing then they can’t have armor and the type of metal they work with defines what kind of armor they create. If they haven’t developed saddles then they don’t have mounted cavalry, if they haven’t figured out how to use horses to pull things then chances are they don’t have cavalry in the form of chariots either.

The same is true of the bow and every other kind of weapon available. Your tools define crucial parts of your tactics and strategy. They define what is available to use and what is available instructs us on how we fight. As the options narrow and you find your historical period, the tools will be easier to come by. Then, you’ll be able to envisage the battles better.

Warfare is complicated, but at its base is the element of rock, paper, scissors. You develop B, so I come up with X, to counter B, and then you develop Y to counter X. It is all about trying to develop new ways to counter the available options.

You brought foot soldiers to the battle, I guess this is what you’ll choose so I array my soldiers at your front and position cavalry behind to break your lines from the side or rear. You use pikes, position your soldiers in columns in order to break my cavalry’s charge or bring a cavalry of your own (or both). I position archers to bombard your lines with a barrage, and so on.

If you really have trouble with the concept then I recommend trying some good war games like Mount and Blade or the Total War series that help you see the battlefield visually and get some practice in arranging your troops.

However, in order to sell your tactics, you need…

Terrain

What kind of environment are you fighting in? What is your target? What natural impediments are in the way? You can study Hannibal’s battle tactics against the Romans all you like, but if you ignore the fact that most of his elephants died on the march through the mountains then you’ll miss a crucial element to why he lost.

Woodland?

Marshland?

Flatland?

Valley?

Mountains?

Desert?

Jungle?

Summer?

Winter?

Spring?

Fall?

Snowstorm?

Rainstorm?

Heatwave?

The conditions you fight in can make or break. Terrain defines how the troops are arranged. If you’re fighting on foreign soil then it can be the difference as to whether your tools will be of any use to you.

Some of it is flat out just luck.

The best way to learn to write battles is learning to think like a commander, and then follow that up with every other member of the army.

When it comes to historical fiction, I always recommend Sharon Kay Penman’s novels. They’re well regarded and well researched, providing some human context to what will inevitably be the dry reading of historical texts.

-Michi

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My emails to Netflix

I just wrote to the four people listed in this post about the cancellation of Sense8 and I thought I’d post what I said in case anyone wants a bit of an outline for what to write. Don’t write exactly what I said, obviously, or they’ll just be more likely to dismiss us all, but feel free to use this as a loose template for your own complaints.

It’s a bit long so I’m putting it under a read more

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#10 [Kenny Omega]

Requested, #10. “Promise me you’ll stay.” (Prompt from here.)

Author note: THIS GOT AWAY FROM ME!!! It just took on a life of its own. It’s long. Smut. Fluff. Angst-y? (I hit it all, y’all.) Thank you wine/tequila, thank you. Here’s to hoping it’s good!

To the person who requested this and only requested it as fluffy: I’m so sorry. I hope you can still get behind what I’ve created here? I mean, it has fluff in it….??


Special thanks to @running-ropes for encouragment/review/support & @chasingeverybreakingwave for visual inspiration.

@superkixbaybay @hiitsmecharlie @ihtscuddlesbeeetchx3 @valeonmars @pjanina13 @spot-of-bother @bulletbaybay @bolieve-that @m-a-t-91 @chasingeverybreakingwave @not-that-kinda-gurl08 @heelturn-timesten @daintymissdevitt @imaginingwwesuperstars



He doesn’t look a thing like Jesus. But he talks like a gentlemen, like you imagined when you were young….

The first time you’d shared a bed with Kenny Omega was because you’d had too much sake thanks to Tama Tonga.

Kenny had taken it upon himself to make sure you’d made it back to your hotel room, and you’d essentially latched on to him, not allowing him to leave. Your limbs had secured him in a way that would make an octopus or python jealous. When you’d woken up the following morning, he’d been on top of the covers you’d been under, a separate blanket over himself.

You’d been able to laugh off the experience, thanking him for looking out for you, and he seemed unaffected overall by the ordeal.

The second time you shared a bed with Kenny Omega was due to sheer bad circumstance.

You’d both been in California for PWG. The booking was set for the rooms, with you sharing with Chuck Taylor, who was somewhat of a little brother to you. What you didn’t know was he had planned to film his DVD series with Trent in said room. In a desperate attempt for sleep and to get away from the chaos, you’d gone to Kenny’s room. He was one of the few people you trusted and knew wouldn’t be a part of the shenanigans set up by Chuck.

That morning, you’d woken up with your limbs tangled together with his. You certainly hadn’t fallen asleep that way, you were sure of it. You’d managed to slide out of the bed and make a quiet getaway, your jet-lagged companion staying asleep, much to your gratitude. Kenny had said nothing about it to you when you saw him later that day at the venue. And you definitely hadn’t brought it up.

The third time you’d shared a bed with Kenny Omega was because you had asked it of him.

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