cancer patient

How the signs are Misunderstood

Aries~ A lot of people think Aries is a very traditionally “masculine” sign, in the sense that they take control and are very tough. They don’t feelphased by the cruelties of life? Right? Nope, Aries is the baby of the zodiac and approaches life with an almost niave optimism. They are very sensitive, amd while they are very resilent amd strong, people tend to overestimate them. Others tend to put them in situations that deep down overwhelm them.

Taurus~ Some may view this Archetype as very boring, stuck in their ways and emotionally hollow. However, the Taurus archetype tends to express much like a cat.
Their emotions are very internal, steady and subtle. But just because something is subtle… it does not mean it isn’t there.

Gemini~ Two faced. Gossipers. Backstabbers. Boy oh boy, do people love to hate on Gemini. I wonder if it’s just a trend? However Gemini is like a chameleon.
Boundary disillusionment.
Gemini is so easily taken advantage of and confused in this era of technology and social media.
Gemini is actually very free flowing, and stress free when expressed in a healthy way. Gemini can be your best friend, your mother and your wing man all at once.

Cancer~ Overlysensitive, reactive is a better way to put it. The Cancer archetype is very patient, especially with others emotions. They stay calm in chaotic situations. They are your rock and you didn’t even know it, let alone take the time to thank them.

Leo~ Selfish. Leo can be very tolerant, almost to a fault. Leo is very happy go lucky, and wants everyone to have a good time. They are extremely generous, especially with their presence and warmth. They like to make people feel comfortable.

Virgo~ Control freaks. Virgos are very laidback and let loose a lot more than you might think. As long as things have a precise foundation, where they feel safe, why not dance on top of it? Some of the most fun people you will ever meet will have strong Virgo aspects.

Libra~ Hmm maybe Vain? Or shallow? Libra is an air sign. And they think and feel very deeply, they do have an eye for beauty and perfection. They chase after it because why not? Life is short, why not have beautiful things? Libras are very zen and spiritual deep down. They usually only share this with people they are close to, because while they’re friendly to everyone and love to socialize, they also like to keep things to themselves. Libra is actually very private with things they care about.

Scorpio~ Sexual deviants. My god, I could go on and on about this but I’ll spare you. Scorpio is about purity, truth and intimacy.
Intimacy doesn’t always have to be sexual.
For example, A father and his child playing and laughing together; The moment is intimate because their guards are down. There is no facade, or a need to be something your not in order to be loved.
It’s a moment of truth and purity, when humans can truly bond, and love.

Sagittarius~ Wild and free. Not that those are bad things, Sagittarius actually responds very well to organization amd structure. Earth exalts in Sagittarius, while they always seem so carefree, they are very sensitive and put a lot of high expectations on themselves. They feel down when they feel they aren’t fulfilling their highest potential.

Capricorn~ Cold. Standoffish. Capricorn can be so warm and loving it would just blow your mind. While they tend to keep to themselves, They love to have fun. Just keep it simple and let them know a week in advance. They will laugh with you and cry with you and miss you when you leave.

Aquarius~ Know it all. Weirdo. While Aquarius is usually very modern and is always flying forward into the future, They do value traditional things. These things may seem random and misplaced to you, but it makes perfect sense to them. Some see them as cryptic and hard ti understand, but their words flow out so eloquently. So in touch. So grounded.

Pisces~ Self-destructive. Airheads. Pisces can be very into self-help and obscure health facts and practices. For example, using a copper tongue scraper because its good for your kidneys. They love nature and resonate with it so easily. If anything they’re are the most in touch with reality. The reality of emotion. The reality of the things we can’t explain.

Albert Camus for the Signs
  • Aries: "Deep feelings always mean more than they are capable of saying."
  • Taurus: "There is so much stubborn hope in the human heart."
  • Gemini: "That’s why I like you so much. Your heart isn’t dead."
  • Cancer: "Yes, be patient with me. My heart is heavy."
  • Leo: "Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is."
  • Virgo: "I am on your side. But you have no way of knowing it, because your heart is blind."
  • Libra: "I am strangely tired, not from having talked so much but at the mere thought of what I still have to say."
  • Scorpio: "I didn’t like having to explain to them, so I just shut up, smoked a cigarette, and looked at the sea."
  • Sagittarius: "How can it be that, linked to such suffering, her face is still the face of happiness for me?"
  • Capricorn: "Words that come from the heart are always simple."
  • Aquarius: "Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being."
  • Pisces: "I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world."
Medicine in the (Post-Apocalyptic) Wasteland: 1 / ?

Hey everyone. I get so many asks about post-apocalyptic scenarios that it’s I’m going to build you a series of posts, dealing specifically with medicine after the collapse of civilization.

Originally posted by jupiter2

Yes, this borders on sci-fi. Yes, a lot of things will be very different in your story, depending on the hows and the whys and the social structure that exists after the apocalypse. Things will also be incredibly different based on when your story is set, because things will likely collapse in a particular order. So your story is going to change a lot depending precisely when you’re writing about, in relation to The Catastrophe (of whatever type).

The difference between this and sci-fi asks is that there is very much an area of medicine devoted to this type of care. It’s called Austere Medicine, AKA Wilderness Medicine. It’s studied. There are resources. There are people who work in villages that may not have had an apocalypse, but have limited funds, access to power, access to diagnostics, access to drugs, and they do it every day of their lives. This is sci-fi with modern parallels. This is interesting.

For the purposes of this article, we’re assuming two major problems: no / extremely limited electricity, and no / extremely limited gasoline.

That first one throws out most of modern medicines. Hospitals. Surgeries. MRIs, CT scans, even the humble X-ray goes by the wayside. Providers have to go back to doing medicine with their hands and with their ears.

Oh, and a lot of people are going to die.

Enter Dani Disaster.

She’s smart, but moreover she’s resourceful, and she can think outside the box that modern medicine has tried to put her in. Maybe she was a doctor, or a nurse, or a paramedic. Now she’s a healer, a Jane-of-all-trades of medicine. She barters for what will help people in the short term, and shakes her head and sighs when she realizes she can’t help a lot of the people she used to be able to.

One thing I want to mention is that Dani will definitely want to keep someone around, preferably an intimidating, armed someone, to protect her. Because people will want things from Dani; everything from begging her to fix their dying-of-something-she-can’t-fix husband, to demanding she be personal medic to the Warlord King (or whatever brute is rising to power in your world).

The First 6 Months

Originally posted by mysillyfreedomdreams

Most people don’t have more than a month’s worth of their medication on hand. Even most pharmacies would run out of the most popular life-saving medications inside of a month or two, assuming they aren’t simply raided by bandits. And in a world without gasoline, the odds of restock are very, very low.

That means no blood pressure medications, no blood thinners, in an ever-increasingly-stressful world. That means no insulin for diabetics, no immunosuppressants for those with autoimmune diseases, no antiepileptics for those with seizure disorders, no antibiotics for septic patients. No pressors to give and no pumps to hang them on. Even IV fluids, literal salt water, will run short.

I will be straight up with you all, keyboard-mashers: a lot of people will die in the first 6 months of an apocalypse, and I’m not even talking from the fighting. I’m not even talking about starvation. I’m just talking about chronic illness. Heart attacks. Diabetes. Blood clots. Strokes. I’m talking about the elderly, who can barely make it a block to the store. I’m talking about serious respiratory patients who need steroids and who have serious trouble walking distances. Cancer patients won’t get chemo, or radiation, or maybe even food. Patients with HIV will run out of antivirals, and then run out of T cells, and die from the common cold.

There are going to be a lot of deaths in the first 6 months after the apocalypse, friends, and it will be ugly as hell. Remember that for most of human history, the lifespan was about 40 years. In a world without organized medicine and the pharmaceutical processes to make medicine, there’s precious little that can be done to expand the lifespan.

Congratulations: You’re the Surgeon. And the Infectious Disease doc. And the Midwife. And the Wound Care Specialist. And the Anesthesiologist. And the…

Look, healthcare is a wide field, and no one person is going to be good at everything. No one person is actually interested in everything, either. There is no one type of healthcare provider who can do everything, although Emergency Medicine docs probably come the closest; and before The Thing That Happened, Dani may have been an ICU nurse, tweaking ventilators, or a paramedic who’d never thrown a stitch before, much less amputated a badly gangrenous leg.

What I’m saying here is, there’s a learning curve for the actual technical things she’ll need to do, in addition to re-learning how to do everything with nothing. And some of it might be way, way outside her wheelhouse, especially at first.


Six Months to Five Years: The Rise of Dani Disaster

Originally posted by asmothdeus

If Dani is lucky, and she gets to the raiding of pharmacies early on, she’ll stock up. On anything she can get, of course, but especially on three things: antibiotics, analgesics and sedatives. Why? Because they’re what will save lives and be useful as hell for trading. Here’s why:

Antibiotics: infection will probably be the single group of preventable deaths that are worth looking at, from a supply-vs-life-years-saved perspective. A single course of antibiotics will save someone’s life, but a diabetic will need insulin, every day, for decades. Also remember that with system breakdown comes water supply breakdown, which means a return of diseases like typhoid and cholera and diptheria and polio.

Antibiotics are an art all of their own, but frankly, they’re boring. Broad-spectrum antibiotics will be most useful; including amoxicillin/Augmentin, Cefaclor, Keflex, Levaquin, erythromycin or clarithromycin or azithromycin, Cipro, or doxycycline. 

Oral antibiotics are going to have benefits over IV antibiotics, for a number of reasons, mostly portability and ease of administration; IV-only drugs haven’t been listed here. Some meds may come in a form that can be given IM; this may be helpful for conditions that severely upset the GI tract (and thus prevent people from absorbing them, because the pill will either go up or down, depending.)

The thing you have to realize is that in austere medicine, common things happen commonly. No one cares if your patient has a pulmonary embolism, or a cool dysrhythmia, because with complex conditions, one of two things are going to happen: They are going to get better, or they are going to die. Heart attacks, a major focus of modern medicine, are essentially untreatable without the risk of dying.

Instead, the most important things Dani will be treating are things that, in the developed world, should be handled in urgent care clinics: gastroenteritis (the shits) and broken bones and infected wounds and yeast infections. A friend of mine went to Haiti after the quake, and within 24 hours she could diagnose a yeast infection by the way a woman was walking.

Originally posted by mattsgifs

Diflucan. She will need LOTS OF DIFLUCAN.

(It’s worth noting that Haiti was very hot and very humid, which is where fungi like to grow; other areas may see other climates, and thus less yeast infections.)

Analgesics: If she’s smart, Dani will take anything she can beg, borrow, or steal. Common, over-the-counter meds like Advil/ibuprofen and Tylenol/acetaminophen/paracetamol, and pill opiates like Vicodin and Percocet and Morphine and Dilaudid. All of these have their place, but mostly this is a “whatever I can get” sort of a thing.

If Dani is really smart, she will go out of her way to find every bottle of ketamine in whatever hospital she raids. We’ve talked about ketamine before, but it’s worth mentioning again, in that it can be used to sedate the crazy, ease pain, or put someone under for short surgical procedures like an appendectomy or amputation. (It’s also a single agent; it controls pain and causes sedation. It doesn’t act as a paralytic, but hopefully she won’t need one).

Lidocaine in a Big Fucking Bottle is optional but beneficial for topical procedures, wound care, suturing, etc.

However, all of these things will eventually run out, no matter how judicious she is about using them. And that’s when we get to….

Five Years Plus: Back to Herbalism It Is

Originally posted by indefenseofplants

There are a lot of allopaths–those who practice Western medicine–that believe herbalism is complete and utter horseshit. I am not one of those people. A lot of medications have their origins in natural remedies and plants, and herbalism is how we treated, well, everything, for quite some time.

The poppy plant begat opium, which begat laudanum, heroin, morphine, and fentanyl. The foxglove plant (digitalis) begat, Digoxin, whose actual name is digitalis. Curare is one of the original paralytics used for surgery. The list goes on and on.

Now, an allopathic education doesn’t typically lead to an in-depth knowledge of medicinal herbs. But fortunately, there are these lovely things called books, and there are, in fact, some really good ones on this topic.

Originally posted by amnhnyc

My personal medical-herbalism reference is James A Duke’s The Green Pharmacy (Amazon link, but available everywhere; not an affiliate link). The author ran the medicinal herb research at the US Dept of Agriculture for a good long while, and the best part about his book is that it is organized by disease (so you don’t have to read about 5,000 plants to find one that treats allergies), and he grades his evidence base for each recommendation. However, there are also field guides to medicinal plants.

Once the allopathic meds run out, Dani Disaster is going to become, basically, a witch doctor, without the witchy aspects. (Or with, depending on her faith and whether or not she practices the craft; no one is judging here.)

She’s going to have a garden of medicinal herbs, and she’s going to learn to prepare poultices and teas and tinctures and creams. Basically, she’s going to bring an allopathic ideology back to herbalism, preferably with some form of evidence base. Willow bark tea is going to be a Big Deal™, because willow bark tea contains an active ingredient very similar to aspirin.

Originally posted by nutnuhmellaarts

But she’s also going to have to be, in part, a home chemist. If she does enough research she can learn how to make her own ethyl alcohol, aka ethanol, aka boozeahol, but this can be used as a disinfectant and antiseptic. (Hell, in a pinch regular ol’ wine can be used to clean out wounds, apparently.) 

She can also learn to make her own bleach, her own IV fluids (0.9% Normal Saline, anyways), her own oral rehydration solution (aka Pedialyte / Gatorade), and perhaps even her own ether, which is a crap anesthetic but better than nothing.

Originally posted by gif87a-com

That’s It…. For Now

This is just a small snippet into the world of austere medicine. (Be careful with Google searches on this topic; Doomsday Preppers are very, very scary and their websites can be… uhhh….. ill-informed.) There’s still plenty more to talk about, so stay tuned for more posts! (I’m especially drooling over the idea of writing a post on the ethics of medicine in the austere environment–stay tuned!!)

I hope this was useful, but remember also this poem by the greats of old:

When the world ends, now
is the time to be sure I
read the disclaimer.

Originally posted by the-reactiongifs

See you in the wasteland. xoxo, Aunt Scripty

Science in Space!

What science is headed to the International Space Station with Orbital ATK’s cargo resupply launch? From investigations that study magnetic cell culturing to crystal growth, let’s take a look…

Orbital ATK is targeted to launch its Cygnus spacecraft into orbit on April 18, delivering tons of cargo, supplies and experiments to the crew onboard.

Efficacy and Metabolism of Azonafide Antibody-Drug Conjugates in Microgravity Investigation

In microgravity, cancer cells grow in 3-D. Structures that closely resemble their form in the human body, which allows us to better test the efficacy of a drug. This experiment tests new antibody drug conjugates.

These conjugates combine an immune-activating drug with antibodies and target only cancer cells, which could potentially increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy and potentially reduce the associated side-effects. Results from this investigation could help inform drug design for cancer patients, as well as more insight into how microgravity effects a drug’s performance.

Genes in Space

The Genes in Space-2 experiment aims to understand how the regulation of telomeres (protective caps on the tips of chromosomes) can change during spaceflight. Julian Rubinfien, 16-year-old DNA scientist and now space researcher, is sending his experiment to space as part of this investigation. 

3-D Cell Culturing in Space

Cells cultured in space spontaneously grow in 3-D, as opposed to cells cultured on Earth which grow in 2-D, resulting in characteristics more representative of how cells grow and function in living organisms. The Magnetic 3-D Cell Culture for Biological Research in Microgravity investigation will test magnetized cells and tools that may make it easier to handle cells and cell cultures.

This could help investigators improve the ability to reproduce similar investigations on Earth.

SUBSA

The Solidification Using a Baffle in Sealed Ampoules (SUBSA) investigation was originally operated successfully aboard the space station in 2002. 

Although it has been updated with modernized software, data acquisition, high definition video and communications interfaces, its objective remains the same: advance our understanding of the processes involved in semiconductor crystal growth. 

Space Debris

Out-of-function satellites, spent rocket stages and other debris frequently reenter Earth’s atmosphere, where most of it breaks up and disintegrates before hitting the ground. However, some larger objects can survive. The Thermal Protection Material Flight Test and Reentry Data Collection (RED-Data2) investigation will study a new type of recording device that rides alongside of a spacecraft reentering the Earth’s atmosphere. Along the way, it will record data about the extreme conditions it encounters, something scientists have been unable to test on a large scale thus afar.

Understanding what happens to a spacecraft as it reenters the atmosphere could lead to increased accuracy of spacecraft breakup predictions, an improved design of future spacecraft and the development of materials that can resist the extreme heat and pressure of returning to Earth. 

IceCube CubeSat

IceCube, a small satellite known as a CubeSat, will measure cloud ice using an 883-Gigahertz radiometer. Used to predict weather and climate models, IceCube will collect the first global map of cloud-induced radiances. 

The key objective for this investigation is to raise the technology readiness level, a NASA assessment that measures a technology’s maturity level.

Advanced Plant Habitat

Joining the space station’s growing list of facilities is the Advanced Plant Habitat, a fully enclosed, environmentally controlled plant habitat used to conduct plant bioscience research. This habitat integrates proven microgravity plant growth processes with newly-developed technologies to increase overall efficiency and reliability. 

The ability to cultivate plants for food and oxygen generation aboard the space station is a key step in the planning of longer-duration, deep space missions where frequent resupply missions may not be a possibility.

Watch Launch!

Orbital ATK and United Launch Alliance (ULA) are targeting Tuesday, April 18 for launch of the Cygnus cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station. Liftoff is currently slated for 11 a.m. EST.

Watch live HERE.

You can also watch the launch live in 360! This will be the world’s first live 360-degree stream of a rocket launch. Watch the 360 stream HERE.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

A groundbreaking gene therapy treatment which boosts a patient’s own immune cells has been shown to clear disease from one third of terminal patients.

US pharmaceutical company Kite Pharma released results from the first six months of its trial of the new treatment, called CAR-T cell therapy.


Some 36 per cent of the 101 patients on the trial were still in complete remission at six months, and eight in 10 saw their cancer shrink by at least half during the study.

“The numbers are fantastic,” said Dr Fred Locke, a blood cancer expert at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa who co-led the study.

“These are heavily treated patients who have no other options.”

The treatment, which has been dubbed ‘a living drug’ by doctors, works by filtering a patient’s blood to remove key immune system cells called T-cells, which are then genetically engineered in the lab to recognise cancer cells.

Cancer cells are very good a evading the immune system, but the new therapy essentially cuts the brakes, allowing immune cells to do their job properly.

Martin Ledwick, Cancer Research UK’s head cancer information nurse, said: “These results are promising and suggest that one day CAR-T cells could become a treatment option for some patients with certain types of lymphoma.

“But, we need to know more about the side effects of the treatment and long term benefits.”

Patients in the study had one of three types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a blood cancer which affects 13,600 patients in Britain, and had failed all other treatments. Most patients with such an advanced condition only live for six months but half of the trial group are still alive nine months since the trial began, and a third may be cured.

Dimas Padilla, 43, of Orlando, who was warned his case was worsening after chemotherapy stopped working, is now in complete remission after undergoing the therapy last August.

After learning his cancer was probably terminal he said: "I was thinking how am I going to tell this to my mother, my wife, my children,” he said.

After CAR-T therapy he saw his tumours “shrink like ice cubes” and is now in complete remission.

“They were able to save my life,” Mr Padilla added.

However there are still concerns that the treatment has significant side effects, and can even kill some patients, as it puts the immune system into a state of over-drive. During the trial two people died from the therapy, rather than their cancer.

Of the study participants, 13 per cent developed a dangerous condition where the immune system overreacts in fighting the cancer, and roughly a third of patients developed anaemia or other blood-count-related problems.

Nearly one third also reported neurological problems such as sleepiness, confusion, tremor or difficulty speaking, but these typically lasted just a few days.

The scans show how cancer has disappeared after just three months, and the remission has continued
The scans show how cancer has disappeared after just three months, and the remission has continued
Full results will be presented at the American Association for Cancer Research conference in April and the company plans to seek approval from European regulators later this year.

“It’s a safe treatment, certainly a lot safer than having progressive lymphoma,"said the cancer institute’s Dr Steven Rosenberg,

Other companies, such as Juno Therapeutics, have had to halt trials into CAR-T treatments following patient deaths.

How the signs are Misunderstood

Aries~ A lot of people think Aries is a very traditionally “masculine” sign, in the sense that they take control and are very tough. They don’t feelphased by the cruelties of life? Right? Nope, Aries is the baby of the zodiac and approaches life with an almost niave optimism. They are very sensitive, amd while they are very resilent amd strong, people tend to overestimate them. Others tend to put them in situations that deep down overwhelm them.

Taurus~ Some may view this Archetype as very boring, stuck in their ways and emotionally hollow. However, the Taurus archetype tends to express much like a cat.
Their emotions are very internal, steady and subtle. But just because something is subtle… it does not mean it isn’t there.

Keep reading

The Signs as Reminders/Important Things
  • Aries: Don’t take yourself seriously, you are a piece of dust floating in the vast empty expanse of space.
  • Taurus: Don’t take other people too seriously; no matter who they are; be they a celebrity, the most accomplished person you know, a sibling you’ve had a long-standing rivalry with - It doesn’t matter; they too are a piece of space dust.
  • Gemini: You know what? It’s nice to be nice. You never really regret being nice to someone. Plus we evolved from another species of space dust called monkeys, who really like to copy each other, and guess what? So do we. When we see a person being nice to another person (or animal, or plant, or any form of perceivable space dust really), we will likely do the same.
  • Cancer: Be patient. Not all pieces of space dust have had positive examples set for them by other pieces of space dust. We all express and communicate emotions differently and all need to be dealt with in different ways. We don’t always know how deal with everyone else, but one thing that tends to work best is to be patient.
  • Leo: We are terrible at communicating. We have created technology and languages to try to help us with the communication of ideas and emotions, but neither technology nor language is very good at helping us. Again, it comes down to patience. We have no logically perfect language, no way of properly expressing ourselves, which can be maddening to many. When it comes right down to it, we are all trying our best given the circumstances.
  • Virgo: One great thing about human art is that it takes so many forms: painting, poetry, sculpture, writing, dance, the arrangement of flowers in a bouquet, photography, cooking, music, and the list goes on. If your usual form of communication isn’t working for you, whether it be language or technology that is failing you (whether it be language or electronic communication), try reaching people through art. Write someone a haiku, draw something on a napkin, make someone a meal, play a song, pick people some wildflowers.
  • Libra: Attention is something we all crave internally; again we are descendants of monkeys, making us pretty social bits of space dust. Remembering that everyone wants attention is crucial when trying to understand some people’s behavior. There are different types of attention, broken down simply into: bad attention and good attention. Certain people have not had positive role models in their lives, or people who would only pay attention to them when they did something outlandish, leading people to form a positive connotation between the outlandish behaviors and being on the receiving end of attention. Try to be patient with everyone.
  • Sagittarius: Don’t forget that the world is, if you think about it, a pretty horrible place. Humanity is extremely flawed in its overall design. People do horrible things to each other, to animals, to plants and to the planet they live on. Thinking about this for long periods of time can cause people to become overwhelmed and depressed. Instead, why not try being glad? If you think that world is an inherently horrible place then everything nice that goes on is merely a bonus, a diamond in the rough if you will. This will make you enjoy the small nice things in your existence a great deal more. You were lucky enough to see a small child smile at you in the department store today, you saw a deer wandering your local cemetery, you got your tax returns today and got to buy the box of tea you’ve wanted for a month. The moth sitting in your closet, though it may be eating your clothes, is still very beautiful is you look at it closely – intricate patterns detailed on its delicate wings.
  • Scorpio: Try making the conscious effort to be happy. This is not easy for everyone, some people are predisposed to being sad based on a neurochemical imbalance, which is completely unfair, but by making very deliberate actions in your life to make yourself happy, you will notice a big difference. Try reading children’s picture books, listening to music you love, eating small tasty treats, spending alone time in nature, imagining best-case scenarios, picking flowers, doing something nice for someone else, creating something, spending time to re-read a book you love.
  • Capricorn: Beauty is another thing humans love and avidly search out in their lives. Unfortunately certain people believe this is a very shallow pursuit – which it is most definitely not! Look for beauty in the things you would normally consider mundane! Study a single flower, gaze at a spider’s dew covered web, relish the sight of a sunset, stare into someone’s eyes, look up into the night sky! Breathe in the familiar scent of your mother’s laundry detergent, the smell of a freshly cut lawn in summer, of thanksgiving pumpkin pie, of hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day, of an old book slowly decomposing! Beauty is all around you, look closely!
  • Aquarius: Something we should do more often is contemplate our existence and remember how tiny and insignificant everything and everyone is in compared to the vastness of our universe. Start sticking your tongue out at things that are important or respected. Have a carpe diem moment. Listen to music loudly, dress in bizarre clothes – a generation or two from now no one will remember! As long as you don’t disturb other people’s way of life, try to improve your own! Listen to other people’s opinions even if you don’t agree, try listening to music you don’t like to figure out why, spend time with people you wouldn’t normally spend time with, teach yourself something new! Learn about outer space or philosophy or literature or art!
  • Pisces: Be mature (the definition of maturity is doing whatever you want, whenever you want, even if your parents think it’s a good idea) but also be childish! Scribble on pieces of paper, imagine things, cry, scream, have big big emotions!
  • Basically; do what makes you happy, but doesn’t make those around you unhappy. Search out beauty. Be patient with people. Create art. Listen to what people have to say. Try communicating ideas. Spend time doing things that make you happy. Imagine things. Contemplate your existence. Learn things! Give yourself attention and give it to others (in a positive way). Don’t forget we are all pieces of dust in a massive universe that isn’t slowing down for us.

anonymous asked:

I often have ideas for a scene or a character but there is no plot. How can I expand these ideas into stories? I just don't know what to do with my ideas to get a story out of them. Most plotting tips require that I know at least the beginning and the end of my story. But I don't even have that.

Hi Anonymous,

I’ve heard of other writers having this same problem, so you are not alone! Here are some ideas that come to mind when I think about this.

Coming up with a Plot (from scratch)

First off, you have ideas for characters or scenes, and that’s a starting point, and you probably (I’m assuming, because it wasn’t that long ago) saw my post, What to Outline When Starting a Story, which can give some guidance on what to consider. However, if you have no idea where to even come up with a concept for your plot that post can only be so much help.

Conflict out of Story Elements

Since you have some ideas about character and scene, I’d try building off that. In some cases, you might need to flesh those out a bit more to continue (I don’t know, since I don’t know how much you have those figured out).New York Times best-selling author David Farland points out in his book Million Dollar Outlines that characters grow out of their setting. We are all influenced by our setting–where we live, where we spend our time, what century we’re part of, etc.

Setting –> Character

Farland goes on to say that out of character (and setting) comes conflict:

Setting + Character –> Conflict

Plot obviously comes from some sort of conflict, the character reacting to and trying to solve that conflict or conflicts. But let’s finish out the diagram/equation.

Setting –> Character –> Conflict –> Theme

How conflicts are dealt with in the story create the theme.

It should be noted though that this diagram may not be helpful to everyone, and it’s also possible to work backwards from it. For example, I personally don’t like the idea of starting with the setting–although, realistically, pretty much all stories start there, if only to the most basic degrees (time period, real world vs. fantasy world, Earth vs. space, etc.). I often like to start with character. But as you work on your character, at some point, you are going to be looking back at what kind of life he grew out of and where he came from, and where he is now. Other people may like to start with conflict, and work back into character and setting. So, it doesn’t have to be linear.

But let’s look at the conflict part. You need some form of conflict to have plot. As I mentioned a few weeks ago in my post Are Your Conflicts Significant? the conflict should either be broad (far-reaching) or personal to the character. If it’s not either, it’s probably not that significant. However, it should be noted that you can make almost any conflict broad, or personal.

But how do you even get to that point? If you like Farland’s diagram, what I would suggest would be looking at those characters and setting. Brainstorm conflicts by asking yourself questions.

  • What conflict can come out of this setting?

For example, in some stories, major conflicts come straight out of the setting. Most if not all dystopians, like The Hunger Games fall into this category. You can even look at movies like Interstellar, which deals largely with space travel. The major conflict came out of a setting (Earth will soon be inhabitable). In a fantasy story, conflicts can come out of the world and worldbuilding (setting), whether it’s the magic system or the world itself. In Lord of the Rings, the major conflicts often come from the setting (Frodo has to make it to Mount Doom) and magic (the One Ring is a magical object that must be destroyed). In historical fiction, it can come out of setting–what are some of the conflicts the world was dealing with during WWII?

But what about something more small-scale than Panem, outer space, and Middle-earth? Setting can play a role there too. What kind of conflicts can come out of attending high school in 2017? What conflicts might be present there? What conflicts might come out of trying to start a career as a woman centuries ago? The story doesn’t have to be epic for this sort of brainstorming to work.

Les Miserableis a good example of how setting can play into conflicts, whether it’s being a struggling young mother, a convict, or participating in politics.

  • What conflict can come out of this character?

Once you have your character, you can try brainstorming conflicts for her. Now, there are sort of two ways to approach this.

One, you look at your character–her personality, strengths, weaknesses–and ask yourself, what would this character want? Figuring out what your character wants is often vital to a good story. In some stories, it can be more simple, basic, or straightforward. Maybe your character just wants money. In other cases, it might be bigger. Maybe your character wants to defeat an evil ruler. It can be somewhat philosophical. Maybe your character dreams of ridding the universe of a false god, like in His Dark Materials.

When you know what your character wants, you can start brainstorming conflicts by considering what could stop her from getting what she wants. In Lord of the Rings, Frodo volunteers to destroy the Ring, but there are literal obstacles in his way. Space, for one thing. He has to travel for miles and miles and miles. Then there are other people and creatures: orcs, Shelob, Sauron, even his own companions–these people are in conflict with him. He has to deal with getting hurt, wounded, and fatigued. All these things are keeping Frodo from his goal. And of course, his ultimate want is to return to the Shire, but he has to destroy the Ring first.

If your character wants to be in a relationship with someone, there are obstacles too. Maybe the love interest doesn’t know he exists. Maybe there is a family feud, like in Romeo and Juliet. Maybe there is a love triangle. Whatever your character wants, you start brainstorming what could keep him from getting it.

A second approach to brainstorming conflicts with character is to look at your character and consider what kind of situations would be difficult for them, what would make them grow. In some cases, they might be the reluctant hero. Love him or hate him, as I mentioned a few weeks ago, Edward Cullen is a good example of this sort of thing. He’s a “vegetarian” vampire living his life, and then out of nowhere, a girl shows up that is basically his personal brand of cocaine. How is he supposed to deal with this? Worse. He has feelings for her. Immediately, Edward is in conflict.

Now, you can combine both methods. And in reality, both those examples have both. Sure, Frodo volunteered to take the Ring, but he was basically the only person who could. But look at him. He’s just a humble hobbit. He doesn’t do magic, he doesn’t know warfare, and he knows very little about the world. But he’s thrown into a situation where those characteristics will be tested. Similarly, Edward is thrown into a situation, but he ends up having wants too. He wants to be in a relationship with Bella. But the fact he is a vampire and she has potent blood is a conflict that impedes that.

So you can brainstorm conflicts from setting and character.

Plot out of Conflict Types

Let’s look at this another way.

There are five types of conflict.

Keep reading

Leo, Newfoundland (10 m/o), La Verne & 2nd St., Long Beach, CA • “He’s being trained to be a therapy dog, so we’re sitting here socializing. He’s been the top dog in every class so far. The hope is for him to work with pediatric cancer patients. I’ve had four and they’ve all worked with pediatric cancer patients. It’s amazing the smile he’ll put on a sick patient’s face, even if just temporarily.”

hospital stays serve more purposes than those that are strictly “medically necessary”, a criterion that’s getting narrower and narrower. 

with my type of cancer, for example, staying in the hospital during radiation means that you don’t have to send your family somewhere else to avoid exposure and keep up with the many contamination precautions on your own. for a single mom who never gets a break (and now has cancer and is recovering from a thyroidectomy as well as undergoing radiation), a stay in the hospital for radiation/isolation means food is made for her, all the protocols and meds are overseen by nurses, she can stay in bed, her kids can stay at home w a grandparent or babysitter and not have their lives disrupted. but a few years ago insurance companies decided it was humanly possible to do the process outpatient so now if you stay in the hospital it’s about $30,000 out of pocket… very few cancer patients have that money.

hospitals are a place where the sick are not only given meds and procedures, they’re given human care. sick people deal with so much on their own, and many people are totally alone. the caregiving from nurses may be all they get, and that nurturing human contact, that brief rest, is medically necessary. the more we isolate and force the sick to carry the burdens of their illness alone, the sicker they will be in the long term