Have you ever gone back to revisit a childhood series you loved, and been kind of disappointed to realize there’s like one, maybe two (if you’re lucky 3) women who are at all developed characters? The Harry Potter adaptations are by no means flawless, but I love that JK Rowling’s given us a world filled with so many interesting and varied female characters. They are each distinctive and intriguing in their own ways.

We’ve known women like this - loved them, feared them, hated them, admired them. They are wise, cautious, brave, motherly, wicked, selfish, selfless, strong-willed, athletic, curious, lovesick, heartbroken, adventurous, funny, humorless and more.

This fandom also brought with it an early cautionary tale for me - anyone else notice how vilified Lavender Brown and Cho Chang were, compared to Snape and Malfoy? Of course you noticed, this is tumblr. Internalized sexism is an awful thing to have to deal with; we know girls or were the girls making these harsh statements. I always liked Cho but in revisiting the series recently I’ve really come to appreciate Lavender more. Damn you, David Yates, for making me see her dead body at the Battle  of Hogwarts.

(My personal favorites are Harry’s mother and his mother figures, Molly and McGonagall, who treat him so differently but whose intent is the same. I love the diverse approaches. Add on or put your faves in the tags!)

What not to do

Some of you may remember that my poor camera died in October, after four years of excellent service.  That was sad, but I was happy when my new camera (a Canon EOS Rebel SL1) arrived a few days later.  That part’s still happy; the new camera is great!

Yesterday I got home from my first trip with the new camera.  I dumped all the photos, went to format my memory card… and accidentally formatted the drive where all my recent photos live. 

This particular dumbness aside, I do back things up.  Not nearly as often as I should, naturally.  A recovery program was not especially successful.  So, there go a few weeks worth of photos, and I freely admit that there was some significant cursing when I realized what I’d done. 

On the bright side, I never actually formatted the card.  So I still have the photos from the trip, including some family pictures I would have been sorry to lose.

Anyway, I’ll be back in a few more days.  In the meantime, back up allllllll your shit, so you won’t be like a certain sad character of your acquaintance.

The owner of this blog will never recognize Donald Trump as president and will never use that title to refer to him.
Cautionary Poly: Jen

As notebook paper, plastic silverware and booming accusations were being hurled through the air, I was scrambling to find my hoodie and my backpack and flee the kitchen before the Mr. Coffee was launched at my face, sacrificed to the warlike gods of jealousy, poor communication and differing expectations. This poly triad fight began over a pizza topped with black olives…or did it?

I met this married couple online a few months before, and I was impressed by their welcoming dating ad including a smiling portrait of the two of them. I loved dating male-female couples because I am poly and pan, and because it seemed to me that a close, family-like triad structure was the best, most satisfying way for me to live my poly. Husband, wife and me—the newest partner, sharing time, energy, a bed and even a large pizza on occasion—everyone happy, healthy and making a life together one day at a time. That’s the light side of being a third partner in a MFF triad, being the cherished single, pansexual female that this couple had wanted since they’d opened up their relationship a few months before.

I was surely responsible for my part in the almost immediately-apparent dark side of this arrangement. After chatting with this couple online for a few weeks and meeting them in person a few times, I agreed to be their exclusive girlfriend, and further agreed to a slew of pre-determined regulations set forth by them, for me, without my contributions or even my knowledge in some cases. I wasn’t aware that common, everyday dating bits like watching movies, eating at restaurants, sleeping in beds and ordering pizzas were all things that had rules around them, but I discovered these hidden clauses one by one, accidently, until by the time the pizza order was called in on that night, this triad went right back to being a couple and me alone, all of us worse off for the experience.

This night started off like any other weekend date night with husband and I off work, wife on the way home, and we’d planned a Netflix and chill night (heeheehee) and wanted to order a pizza so we could all make out rather than cook things. He called in the order—a large pepperoni with black olives, which was their fave pie, and one of mine. The pizza arrived at the house before wife did, and she came through the door, dropped her purse, jerked open the box top, and unleashed the fires of hades on husband for the unforgiveable sin of ordering “their” pizza for the three of us. “You KNOW BETTER!!” wife shrieked as she shoved the boxed pizza off the counter onto the linoleum.

Wife threw things at husband while I ducked, dodged, and frantically searched for my belongings and headed straight out the front door. Neither of them took notice of my departure, at least until husband sent me a lengthy email the next day which I thought accurately outlined where he, she and me had gone wrong. From the beginning, as it turned out. There were more red flags in this situation than there were positive green lights, and I failed to notice some of them, and ignored the rest in favor of being in a triad relationship.

They were not ready for a poly relationship, triad or otherwise, they had very different expectations of what their poly would look like, and they were not properly communicating their…well…anything. I let the relationship form too quickly, I mostly communicated with him, and let him speak for her more than she actually spoke, I hadn’t clearly defined MY expectations, and I completely missed the part where wife was lukewarm to the whole poly concept at best, and fiercely opposed to emotional attachments at best.

I wasn’t able to turn this trio of people into a healthy, happy, long-term triad, but I was able to accumulate a basketful of valuable takeaways in the form of “Dos” and what NOT to dos.

Dos: Slooooowwwww dooooooown! NRE feels really, really fucking awesome, but getting into a poorly-run dynamic feels really, really fucking awful.

Speeeeeak uuuuuup! Assert your wants, needs, personal boundaries and plans for your future with potential dating partners, from jump, and revisit as often as needed.

Screen/vet/get to know potential partners BEFORE agreeing to anything that looks like a relationship. I admit that I spent more time vetting a phone carrier than I did checking out some of the people I wanted to date. Not anymore. ☺

What NOT to dos: Don’t just meet potential partners, and be compelled or inclined to go with the flow and let things happen around you without your ideas and wants being a factor.

Don’t get blinded by the thrill of newness, or err….let your junk make big, important decisions for you. Junk is junk. It’s good for sexy stuff, but very bad at making sustainable life choices.

Don’t be afraid to get yourself out of something you see as being harmful to you and/or others. Do not wait until a coffee machine is being thrown in your general direction before you choose to walk out the door and leave a relationship that is clearly not healthy.

From this point forward, I was more experienced and educated about my partner choices, and what I was and wasn’t willing to deal with, and I now know (and am grateful for the lessons of) that when it’s about a pizza, it’s not really about a pizza, and a Mr. Coffee is better used to brew a pot for everyone to share, around a kitchen table, talking out problems, laughing, joking, and making healthy plans for everyone to get their needs met in a poly relationship.

Cautionary Poly: Teachable Moments in Polyamorous Relationships is a special feature of Poly Role Models. The goal of this feature is to highlight the fact that successful polyamory isn’t always free of mistakes…and those mistakes can definitely be gained from.


Birth of an illustration…
I do not have a smooth creative process. I often have a very clear idea of what story I want to tell, but seldom do I know how I want to tell that story. I’m eternally unsatisfied and that’s one of the main reasons I stopped working in photoshop (except for sketches) and moved to ink, to allow a piece to be finished, which I never felt like it was in photoshop and I spent hours upon hours tweeking and making tiny touch-ups that no-one except me would notice even with the two versions side by side.

I did a total of fifteen different compositions for this particular illustration, ranging from three minute sketches to more polished renders. Also ranging from terrible to alright. On some I strayed pretty far from the original idea I had in mind.
I would’ve done sixteen if I hadn’t been left with three days ‘til deadline by the time I got to number fifteen. 
I ended up going with composition number fourteen which is the one you see at the bottom.

It’s important to try out different compositions but don’t lose sight of what you set out to draw in the first place. Try to limit yourself to four, maybe five thumbnails, lest you end up like I did and waste two weeks on stuff that leads nowhere. It’s not that bad if you’re working on a personal piece (or semi-personal, as was the case here) but if you’re working on a deadline, you’re going to drive yourself –and the art director– crazy. 


I was told to kill my demons -
slit their throats as they lay
in bed next to me -
but I kissed them all instead
and called it self defense.

I sleep with one hand open,
darkness dripping between
bruised and crooked fingers
that rest, curling, on the pillow
that belongs to your soft head.

Sometimes I wake with an
especially warm palm and think
a dangerous thought:

Christ, love, do you remember
when we were holy verse,
not a cautionary tale?

Calling Out For Poly Stories!!!

I’ve been running short on stories for Cautionary Poly: Teachable Moments in Polyamorous Relationship. If you’ve got any tales of spectacular failures in polyamory and the lessons you learned in the experience, please share it with me and the readers of @polyrolemodels.

Cautionary Poly stories are written without identifying information and posted anonymously. So, no worries about outing yourself or anyone else. The whole purpose is to point out the mistakes we all make so that we can learn from them and get better for ourselves, our partners, and our polyamorous communities.

If you’d like to share a story, you can add it HERE or you can email me at

Although, I’m not running short on Poly Origin Stories, I am still accepting submissions for them HERE.

Thank you for your contribution and your continued support of Poly Role Models!

Cautionary Poly - Sunshine

I’ve been poly since the early 70’s and I’ve been speaking at colleges about poly since the early 90’s.  I’m a poly educator and activist and I still make mistakes.  I’ve got several stories I could tell but I think this is the one that would resonate with many people.

Back in the early 2000’s my husband and I had a mutual girlfriend who moved in with us.  At first we shared a king-sized bed and all was fine.  Saffron was younger, tinier and very cute.    I didn’t have any jealousy issues, mainly because I had brought her into the relationship as she’d been my lover first and of course because I “did poly so well”.

So one night, around 9:30 I went to my husband and suggested that the two of us go to bed because I was horny and wanted some one-on-one time.  He sweetly told me that he was just too tired that night for sex (he got up at 5AM for work so 9:30 was close to his bedtime) and that he just wanted to go to sleep.  I reluctantly kissed him goodnight and headed to our office adjacent to our bedroom and proceeded to play around on-line.

About a half-hour later, I hear Saffron go to bed and then a few minutes after that I hear the unmistakable sounds of them having sex.  I was so furious.  Now human beings are story making machines and of course I came up with all kinds of stories.  He loved her more than me.  She was prettier and sexier and he wanted her not me.  Etc. Etc. Etc.  So, instead of calmly getting up and going into the bedroom, I KICKED the door in.  They were in mid stroke, looked at me in surprise as I burst into tears.  They immediately rushed to my side, grabbed me and pulled me into the bed with them and held me while I cried.  He was totally confused and couldn’t figure out what the problem was as I sobbed and accused him of not loving me and loving her more.

Once I calmed down he told me what happened, which was pretty simple.  He was just falling asleep when someone crawled in bed and quietly reached over and started stroking him.  He didn’t stop to think who it was or anything other than half asleep one of the women in his life was arousing him and he responded.  It wasn’t about not loving me or wanting me more it was about him reacting completely physically to physical stimuli.

I was very embarrassed that over-reacted and was quickly forgiven and forgave them.

There are several morals to the story.  One is not to make up stories about what we think is so but wait and find out what is really going on.  And to be generous and forgiving when partners don’t live up to our expectations.

Cautionary Poly: Teachable Moments in Polyamorous Relationships is a special feature of Poly Role Models. The goal of this feature is to highlight the fact that successful polyamory isn’t always free of mistakes…and those mistakes can definitely be gained from.

odysseusofithika  asked:

That ask about Arya's mentors got me thinking. Do you think she will have any moral/ideological lessons to take away from the House of Black and White when she leaves, or is her training there purely practical?

I think the Faceless Men are more a cautionary tale for Arya, an abyss from which she will back away, both regarding her identity…

Polliver had stolen the sword from her when the Mountain’s men took her captive, but when she and the Hound walked into the inn at the crossroads, there it was. The gods wanted me to have it. Not the Seven, nor Him of Many Faces, but her father’s gods, the old gods of the north. The Many-Faced God can have the rest, she thought, but he can’t have this.

…and my topic in that post, namely how one stands against systemic injustice:

“All gods have their instruments, men and women who serve them and help to work their will on earth. The slaves were not crying out to a hundred different gods, as it seemed, but to one god with a hundred different faces…and he was that god’s instrument. That very night he chose the most wretched of the slaves, the one who had prayed most earnestly for release, and freed him from his bondage. The first gift had been given.”

Arya drew back from him. “He killed the slave?” That did not sound right. “He should have killed the masters!”

Here’s my theory: Arya’s true teacher in this part of her story, in terms of lasting lessons that fit with her Stark soul, is Braavos itself and all the people she meets there. Not for nothing does GRRM have her repeatedly state what she’s learned from the city.

world-builder  asked:

I think Matt will be revealed first. When he does come back into the picture, I can see a reunion between him and Pidge, but I can also see the other Paladins (specifically Lance and Hunk) joining in on the hug, just like "oh! Okay, we're hugging now! ... Who are you, exactly?"

I totally agree. Keith’s reaction is similar to the Arusian hugging him like ‘Uh. I don’t usually do this but okay.’ Hunk and Lance are thrilled, Shiro’s so happy to see Matt, Coran joins in because he’s happy everybody’s happy, Allura gets dragged in by one of the others (preferably Shiro or Hunk).

And then Matt and Pidge discuss their plan to destroy the Galran Empire and save their dad. Those two could definitely do it. If anyone is going to defeat an empire on their own, it’s Pidge. Matt can only help the situation.


The very sexy,Vampire Dance”, in “The Abyss/ Afgrunden”, ( “Woman Always Pays” ), a 1910 Danish film starring Asta Neilsen as a woman who falls for a carnival dance lothario, shunning the good man who wants to marry her, and running away with the passionate lover who treats her progressively worse, and worse. Which, of course, leads to her ruin and her ultimate tragedy.

Anonymous said:

So I feel like my story needs some kind of purpose like a moral to the story but I have trouble finding/creating one and now it’s only the journey of my hero. I feel like it has to have some hidden meaning but don’t know how I can find one that is fitting or one that I can write into my story. Please help me

You never want to force a moral into your story. Stories with morals to them are crafted with that intention in mind. If you try to force a moral where one doesn’t exist, it’s going to feel inauthentic. And, anyway, not all stories need to be parables or cautionary tales.

Meaning, on the other hand, almost always develops organically. You just have to look at your story and see where it exists naturally, then coax it out a little bit more. In a story about a heroic journey, the meaning could be anything from how heroes don’t always see themselves that way to how love can thrive in the oddest places. Just take a closer look at your story. See what themes are there already and build upon them. Try not to overthink it. :)

Have a writing question? I’d love to hear from you! Please be sure to read my ask rules and master list first or your question will not be answered. :)