clever phrasing

Great Minds Think Alike (Riverdale - Jughead x OC) Part 2

Pairing : Jughead x OC

Synopsis : A new girl arrives in town around the time of Jason Blossom’s accident. That alone makes her suspicious and unlikeable to most people. Jughead has every reason to investigate on her, the timing is too perfect, right? And it has nothing to do with the young girl’s odd yet charming way of always seeming to find her way back to him, no matter the situation.  

Word Count : 2.3k

MASTERLIST

Part 1 <<< >>> Part 3

When Jughead saw her walking through the door at Pop’s the next day he was torn between two opposite feelings: utter annoyance at being once again disturbed in his writing, and eagerness to share another conversation with this girl whose ability to use sarcasm as a means of communication matched his. It was a surprise to have her walked straight to his booth and sit down like they were old friends and not merely acquaintances who met the day before.

The truth was, he kind of hoped this would happen – it was a lonely life that of writer and High School outcast. Jughead wasn’t going to deny himself a little company a few hours a day if he could, especially since his best friend bailed on him the day they planned their road trip and hasn’t really spoken to him much since then. Can you feel the bitterness?

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ShadowClan: Common Behavior

VALUES

ShadowClan highly praises devotion of any kind - devotion to a task, one’s family, their faith, or even to just one particular cat. Dedication is a welcome trait in the territories, but in the marshes, a cat’s worth is judged on their focus and drive. It is said that ShadowClan is more tightly bonded than the rest of the Clans due to valuing loyalty to the degree that they do. 

Alongside that, this Clan is notorious for their devout religiousness. A barren territory and history of hardships have turned them to constantly speak of the gods above, and pray to StarClan and the Three in search of even a sliver of hope. ShadowClan is used to its suffering, but that doesn’t mean it will let its members fall to despair just because they haven’t eaten in three days.  


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these are the four soft katyas. i don’t have a clever “reblog to spread” phrase to say, i just want to share these blessed images. i love her so much

(the only image that is ‘mine’ is top left. bottom right is from anotherdragphotographer. tell me if you want yours taken down)

Day 1: Austistic Humor

@walkinredinstead

Humor is important to me, the same way it is to most people. But the thing I hear most, concerning humor and myself, is that I don’t have a sense of humor.

I’m told, quite often, “that was a joke” and “geeze, you have no sense of humor.” Usually the latter follows the former, cause and effect. Someone will say something, I’ll take it literally, and then I’ll be cut off from my response with a, “god, it was a joke.”

I get jokes. I do. But I don’t get tone or social queues. I can understand facial expressions, but only if they’re genuine and generally exaggerated. Subtleties are difficult.

But clever turns of phrase? Returning themes and subversions? Puns? I love those. I love visual humor and physical humor and animals being silly.

Do you see the difference? There’s structure to what I find funny, specific rules for what makes it funny. It can be nuanced but it’s a sort of outlined nuance. A pun is funny for a reason. A remark tossed out abstractly? It’s only funny if you read it that way. If you don’t, then it’s awkward for everyone.

If you don’t think a pun is funny, that’s kind of humorous in itself. You know when to laugh at jokes with punchlines.

I love humor. I love laughing and find a lot of things funny. I just don’t get NT humor.

Starting from the very beginning: a lot of profs like to give you some space to decide on your own topic. That’s great! But what if all you’re drawing is a massive fucking blank? Try these:

  • Try putting together two subjects and find the intersection of them. Basically play matching games with different subjects until you find an interesting thing that has to do with both. Mix and match war history, political history, intellectual history, history of technology, gender history, history of religion, and any others you think of until you find some gold.
  • Always keep in mind what the sources allow. Given literacy rates, destruction of sources over time, and what people bothered to write down or didn’t, what can you squeeze from the primary sources of your era? On the flip side, maybe there’s a really cool primary source – book, letter, law, piece of art, whatever – that you’d love to base an essay off of.

Before you even sit your ass in the chair to start writing anything, you’ll already have spent five hours (approximately) working on the project. This is research time, and it (more than any clever turn of phrase or use of the thesaurus or midnight write-a-thon) is what’s gonna make your essay work.

  • Go to the library. Yes, the physical library with bits of pressed-up tree. In disciplines like history especially, you can’t rely solely on e-book and e-journal evidence. You gotta get in there and smell the lovely old paper. Libraries also have lots of resources to help you, including subject librarians who know their stuff and can help you figure out where to go for research.
  • Research should go from the general to the specific. If you have a wide topic, read some basic grounding stuff then delve into the specificity of what’s gonna be in your essay.
  • Be fucking critical about it. Everyone’s afraid of fake news now, but there’s also fake old news. Did the writer lack certain information? What are they trying to persuade you of? Who are they? When was the book written and what was the historiography of the topic like at that time? Are the writer’s sources good? His credentials? Was this source written as propaganda?
  • Primary. Sources. Get stuff from the actual time period and remember to read and analyse carefully. What can you squeeze from it? What meanings did it have in the context of its time, and not ours?

First Paragraph: an introduction. This must include a general summary of what you’re talking about. Think of the 5 Ws (especially, what topic? When/what period?). But mostly, this paragraph must abso-fucking-lutely include a thesis statement: a single sentence which sums up the argument which the essay supports. Think of it as the TL;DR of the essay.

Middle Paragraphs: sources, arguments and analysis. Remember that the whole of the essay must come back to that TL;DR (thesis). Each of these paragraphs must be relatively self-contained; it may build off of others but it is its own paragraph because it is a separate idea.

  • Get creative as to the order of these paragraphs. Proceed logically by chronology, subjects that flow into each other, by geographical grouping… whatever makes sense for your topic and keeps your arguments well-organized.
  • How long is a paragraph? Well, how long is a rope? As long as it needs to be. Take as much time as you need but don’t repeat yourself.

Conclusion: the conclusion is also a TL;DR, in a way. It’ll restate the thesis and add any last thoughts that you really fucking want your reader to remember.

The most common complaints that profs will give include the following. You’ll thank me for this later.

  • I’ve seen so many students from other disciplines get fucked over in history courses because they forget to talk about change over time or to mention what’s particular to the time period instead of talking in a broad way. For example, if you’re writing about the status of women in Upper Canada, don’t mix examples from 1850 and 1950; choose a manageable time spread and go with it. Change over time is the essence of history.
  • Lack of a thesis. Remember how I said that the thesis is what the essay is all supposed to support? Just to restate, the thesis is literally the whole fucking point. Make sure that yours isn’t trivial (aka already really obvious) or vague. Also make sure to know the difference between a topic and a thesis: a topic is the general subject the essay is about, and the thesis is a very specific argument the essay makes.
    • For example, a topic statement could be: “the essay will discuss the Puritan view on sexuality”. A thesis statement could be: “Although Puritan has been used as a byword for prudishness and repression, the positive Puritan view of sexuality within marriage and the erotic language used to discuss the Church’s relationship with God demonstrate a nuanced social role for sexuality within the Puritan community, in which proper sexual behaviour was defined by a theology of marriage.” One of these things lets you know that Puritans sometimes fucked and had thoughts about it; the other makes a novel(-ish) argument about the Puritan view on sexuality. See the difference?
  • Avoid present-ism. We have a lot of assumptions about how the world is and should be based on when we live, just as much as where we live or who we are. History is not some sort of march towards the glorious present or future and shouldn’t be treated that way.
  • Using long words or repeating yourself in order to impress/pad the length/whatever the fuck you think you’re doing is very transparent. Don’t bother.
We never came out with the words “I love you.” We danced around it with clever phrases like “I really love being with you” and “I love the way we don’t have to say ‘I love you’ and we still know how we feel about each other,” but once we realized we liked each other a whole bunch and that we didn’t have to be in an old-fashioned relationship where we saw each other every Saturday night, we fell into a very comfortable old-fashioned relationship where we saw each other every Saturday night and generally took care of each other.
—  j.n, no ties
When Does Copywriting Happen in the Design Process?

When does copywriting happen in your team’s process? Some people say you should design with real content. They’re not wrong. But real copy in your wireframes will lead to unproductive conversations. So… when should you add your real copy to the process?


There are lots of advocates for designing with real content. “Content-first” design, they call it. Those people preach the idea of using real content in your wireframes and prototypes, rather than “lorem ipsum” text.

That’s a smart suggestion (you thought I was going to disagree, didn’t you?). Although sometimes it is easier said than done.

And “content-first” people know it is easier said than done. That’s why they preach it: it’s easier to ignore the content, but it’s dangerous. Sometimes the best way to do things isn’t the easiest way.

However, if you just say “design with real content” we have over-simplified the whole process, we have made copywriting the most important step, and we are going to delay everything else in production so we can create all of our content first, without knowing what design the content will fit into.

That doesn’t seem right either.

So… when is the best time to include copywriting? 

Well, that depends on what type of copy we’re talking about…

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There are two types of copywriting: brand and UX.

It’s an important difference.

As a UX designer, you want to be as direct, as simple, and as clear as possible. No poetry, no clever phrasing, or expressions that a non-native speaker might not understand. Unlike a poet or an author, every word is expensive for a UX designer. 

Our goal is to get the user to click, or understand what they have to do, so they can get to the next page or complete their task, or whatever.

That doesn’t mean that clever, funny, poetic, beautiful, emotional brand copy doesn’t affect the user’s experience — that’s not the point at all — but UX copy (text that a UX designer should write) is not that copy.

The difference between brand copy and UX copy matters to us because those types of copy need to happen at different times in the design process.

****

Design for real life, not ideal life. 

Let’s get back to this idea of “content-first” design. It’s a good idea, and a good habit for you to get into, but it’s not because copywriting is the most important part of your UX process. 

“Content-first” design actually has nothing to do with copywriting!

Brand copy, for example, can actually happen really late in the process, from a UX designer’s perspective. You can make 100% of your wireframes without having any idea what the exact phrasing is going to be, or what the details of the creative concept will be, or which photos will be used.

Side note: this is where UI designers can really shine. A relatively simple wireframe can become a magical experience in the hands of a talented UI designer, without changing anything fundamental, UX-wise.

As UX designers, our job is to create spaces or containers or opportunities  or structure for content. Not necessarily the content itself. If your design breaks when the content changes, it’s probably a bad design.

Ironically, that is EXACTLY why you should start your design process with content!

Hold the phone… what?!

Yes! You should get a few realistic examples of content and use them in your wireframing and ideation process, because if you don’t, things can get complicated. But it doesn’t matter what that content actually says.

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Make your process inconvenient to make your designs better.

Most designers (and I am especially looking at UI designers now…) like to choose short button labels, and short headlines, and short user names, and perfectly symmetrical paragraphs, and articles that fit perfectly into one screen, and profile photos of beautiful faces looking straight at the camera, and they like to position those perfect headlines on perfect photos that have exact layout and color to be perfectly readable.

I have bad news: that doesn’t happen very often in real life. 

I have worse news: if your users get to create the content, it almost never happens in real life.

Even when your employees get to write and choose the copy and content themselves, it’s only a matter of time before you see your design with a button label like…

“Click here now to win your dream vacation to Mallorca!”

…and a three-line, poorly punctuated headline like…

“You’re not going to believe this list of 10 beautiful cafés—that only people from Philadelphia will appreciate—#4 blew our minds!”

…and a user name like Count Remington Von Oppenheimer-McGillicuddy…

…and an article written like the one you’re reading now, with a lot of short lines, and a few longer paragraphs, and some random italics and user-created section dividers (wait, did I just insult myself?)…

Then the profile photo will be a dog’s whole body, aligned in the top left corner, which ruins your circular profile photo design, and it will be overlaid on top of a low-res vacation photo that Count Oppenheimer-McGillicuddy took in the dark, and the one bright part of the photo will be directly under your white headlines, making them unreadable.

And your design will look like absolute shit, because you made your own design process too convenient.

Yes. Count Oppenheimer-McGillicuddy’s terrible sense of design is your fault!

To be a good UX designer, you need to constantly ask yourself: “What is the worst thing that someone could do with this?”

And that is why you should design with some realistic content. So it looks realistic! A shitty photo should not have a major impact on your design, aside from the fact that you don’t like it. A long article should be business-as-usual. A dog’s ass in a profile photo should be just as nice as a human face. Ish.

If you don’t have any realistic content to work with, you can even write some terrible, but real, content yourself. As long as you can give it to someone and say “is this easy to read?” you’re fine. It doesn’t have to be the final copy, or the final creative photography, and you don’t really have to know much about the final content… you just have to know the requirements of real life.

And remember: as the UX designer you can create some of those boundaries, by telling the developers how many characters are allowed in the headline, or what the maximum width of a text column should be in your responsive design, or whatever.

Make your life inconvenient so the users’ lives will be convenient.

****

So… when does copy happen?

UX copywriting: should start early, but the purpose of starting early is to make sure that your wireframes and prototypes are designed for real life. Your main concern should be realistic copy and realistic content… not the final, exact wording.

Brand copy: final brand copy isn’t needed until very late in the process. Basically the end. Design your interfaces so they will gracefully accept any text, and then give your copywriters the freedom to do what they do best. That being said, it is often helpful to get a rough idea about what the UI designers, copywriters, photographers, and art directors have in mind. If your project is more of a one-time site, like an ad campaign, or a start-up one-pager, or a beautiful-yet-epic, fully-animated, parallax-heavy memorial site for your recently deceased hamster, “Sir Nicholas Cage” —the requirements might be more flexible (because the content won’t change).

And A/B test your copy! Nothing is easier to change, update, and test than text. Headlines can make a big difference in conversion, and you can start experimenting with that copy today. Especially if you have already launched your site!

One exception: you might not think that developers need to know about copywriting, but you might be wrong! Developers can be a wild card in the copy process. If there is any text that needs to be generated by the code (or the coders) like error messages or text that includes calculated numbers like “You have {number} new followers!” — the developers need the exact copy as early as possible.

Copy that is used programmatically (i.e. - it’s in the code) is not as easy to change as most other copy, and it’s annoying for developers to go through their code to make tiny little tweaks… so do them a favor: write down all of the text you need, for all of the situations that might happen, and provide the right text the first time, in a format they can use easily. They will appreciate it. :)

Now get out there and communicate!

youtube

I think of this song every time I see someone wearing Louboutins with their shiny red soles. The meaning of the song is fairly obvious from its opening line, of course- “she’s a rich girl, she don’t try to hide it/diamonds on the soles of her shoes”. While the larger theme of the song is about love across class boundaries, I think the line says a lot about conspicuous wealth and the lengths the middle and upper class go to disavow their privilege: wearing their wealth against the dirty ground. Perhaps the rich girl in the song is deliberately doing this to show her poor boyfriend how little she cares about the social divide between them.

As a poor girl, I can never really relate to the rich girl/poor boy trope! However, I can appreciate great songwriting and a clever turn of phrase which is exactly what Paul Simon has done here.

Ryan's Stableboy
Anna Culpepper

Cohen’s not a musician. He’s Ryan’s stable boy. Ryan’s corrupt policies crap all over the place, and Cohen flutters around clearing it up. But instead of using a shovel, like you would with a proper mule, Cohen tidies with a catchy melody and a clever turn of phrase. But no matter how nicely it sounds, he can’t really do anything about the smell…

She was forcing it with her scorn, the kiss she gave me, the hard curl of her lips, the mockery of her eyes, until I was like a man made of wood and there was no feeling within me except terror and a fear of her, a sense that her beauty was too much, that she was so much more beautiful than I, deeper rooted than I. She made me a stranger unto myself, she was all of those calm nights and tall eucalyptus trees, the desert stars, that land and sky, that fog outside, and I had come there with no purpose save to be a mere writer, to get money, to make a name for myself and all that piffle. She was so much finer than I, so much more honest, that I was sick of myself and I could not look at her warm eyes, I suppressed the shiver brought on by her brown arms around my neck and the long fingers in my hair. I did not kiss her. She kissed me, author of The Little Dog Laughed. Then she took my wrist with her two hands. She pressed her lips into the palm of my hand. She placed my hand upon her bosom between her breasts. She turned her lips towards my face and waited. And Arturo Bandini, the great author dipped deep into his colourful imagination, romantic Arturo Bandini, just chock-full of clever phrases, and he said, weakly, kittenishly, ‘Hello.
—  John Fante, Ask the Dust    
Smiling Gods, or, why Kevin's so cheerful

Headcanon of Kevin being perfectly functional & human in all regards, rather than monstrous and impossibly sadistic.

He’s just a bit… /adapted/ to his living conditions. So while he can intellectually realise that things are wrong and being covered in blood is wrong, he can’t actually bring himself to say anything that might be perceived as negative because negativity is the sort of thing that results in retraining.

So he has, carefully and thoroughly, eliminated almost every possible use of the word ‘no’ from his vocabulary, and almost all other negative terms.

He survives Desert Bluffs being marched on by the Advanced Readers from neighbouring Night Vale, but that doesn’t mean he can just drop back into being the Kevin he was a decade ago, before Strex and so much retraining and Employee Motivation.

When you ask him what the weather’s like, he’ll say “Gosh, we’re blessed with lots of sunshine today!” when he means he’s getting burned in it. Or “Nothing like a brisk breeze to wake you up!” when he’s so cold he can’t feel his extremities. If you ask him a question to which the answer is obviously 'no’, he’ll work his way around it until he can find a positive, upbeat spin. He’s not *able* to be negative any more, as a survival tactic.

He might be able to get clever about the phrasing, but not too clever. Never clever enough to arouse suspicion. Never treading the lines to where he thinks anyone, anyone at all, might pick up even a faint trace of sarcasm. Ask him about blood, and he’ll list every nice thing he can think of just to be on the safe side.

“It’s such a nice colour. And aren’t you glad not to be all dried out? Blood’s so good for the plants, too. All that iron and those other lovely nutrients! Why, it’s all just dandy!”

Seventeen Scenario: Confession Circle (OT13)

A/N: For the anon who wanted jealous Seventeen! Not gonna lie, anon….I have no idea if you meant you wanted a single pairing to be jealous or if you wanted all thirteen to be jealous of each other hahaha but here it is! Thank you for requesting, I hope you like it! It’s kind of cheesy though….

- Admin Mochi ✨


Originally posted by wonnhao

In school, stress and competition are inevitable. At least that’s how it was at the private institution thirteen best friends attended. Their academic peers were all like that: fighting to get to the top even if they were all just teenagers still. They’d stab their own friend in the back if it meant being number one.

Usually, these thirteen boys were very good at avoiding the drama. The closest thing they’ve had to an argument was when Seungkwan ate Jihoon’s quesadilla but even that didn’t last for fifteen minutes. But lately, the tension in school was starting to leak into their inner circle and the result wasn’t pretty.

Jeonghan glared at Seungcheol as the elder lifted weights in their hangout room. What a show-off, he’s been lifting those for the past hour, Jeonghan thought bitterly to himself. The long-haired teen looked at his own lanky arms then scoffed in his head. Whatever.

Across the room, Jihoon was staring at Joshua play the guitar, feeling resentful. Everyone was always complimenting Joshua on the guitar but what about Jihoon? He was just as good as Joshua. This semester, Joshua had gone into the music production class. If Joshua learned how to produce, what would Jihoon be? And what if Joshua was better at it? He certainly had a ear for good American music.

No. That wouldn’t do. When Joshua asked if Jihoon wanted to do a collab, Jihoon had curtly replied, “Sorry, I’m busy.” But even Joshua felt the anger and only shrugged.

Sitting at the desk were Vernon and Wonwoo, surrounded by paper. Both of them were writing rap lyrics for their music period. What most people didn’t know was that even if Vernon’s lyrics were iconic, Wonwoo’s were more poetic. Usually, people liked the iconic factor, the thing that can make a crowd go “OOOOH!” from the cleverness of the phrase. But that must’ve not been what the teacher thought because Wonwoo had gotten an A for his lyrics while Vernon got a C.

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Gavin is often viewed as “that fool boy Ramsey keeps around,” a kid that has to be more of a liability than an asset, and yet he’s somehow a well protected member of Ramsey’s inner circle.

Just looking at him, people don’t know how this man got wrapped up with one of the most notorious crews, unless it was some poorly thought out act of rebellion. Gavin looks like he just stepped from one of the mansions in the city, with his styled hair and expensive, well kept clothing. And he doesn’t seem to have the right temperament to be in such a crew.

He’s the kid scared of his own shadow, the one that’s so incapable of protecting himself that the Vagabond tails him like a guard dog every time he leaves. He talks pretty, but other gangs he deals with hear the quiver in his voice, see the way his legs shake beneath him. When a fight breaks out, he’s never in the thick of things, and when he does shoot his gun, you’d have to be extremely unlucky for him to hit you.

Gavin seems to just be in it for the money. For the nice clothes and home and the expensive cars that Ramsey is more than willing to replace when they’re destroyed two days later. But that’s all Gavin ever wants people to see.

The crew are the only ones to see Gavins mask crack and crumble and disappear, or at least the only ones to live past the experience. Behind the bumbling, nervous mask is a young man who’s figured out how to get his way.

Who isn’t gonna want to deal with someone apparently so scared of conflict they’d agree to anything? Or how many people really keep their mouths shut around a fool who probably won’t remember the conversation soon anyway? A kid that’s more likely to kill himself with his own gun or a stunt gone wrong than retaliate against someone who wronged him?

They don’t expect the clever phrasing and suggestions and stories Gavin weaves to get the outcome he wants. They don’t know he files every new piece of information away for future use, or that he knows exactly how to change his act to appeal to a new victim. Gavin strings people along, baits them, makes them dance to his tune, all while making them think they’re in control.

And when that mask is fully removed, it’s not a carefree child out of his element, but a hardened man, a member of the Fake AH Crew. When that mask falls, and Gavin stands still and cold and stoney faced with his eyes flat and uncaring behind his golden sunglasses, you’re fucked. The boy who couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn will put a bullet between your eyes in a swift motion you never see coming.

Gavin is one of the most dangerous of the gang. Cunning and quick, he has everyone wrapped around his little finger. The rest of the crew are just the only ones that know it.

anonymous asked:

I saw a post the other day that said people seem to forget this: and then quoted "Zayn": "There’s no secret relationships going on with any of the band members" and I was thinking: People really seem to forget (or didn't really ever recognize) the ‘I won't mind’ lyrics. I know it's kind of an old topic but I think about this song so much! It's so beautiful and so telling and so obvious! But so many people don't see it. And I don't know it just baffles me so much... (1)

I mean he says he loves this person (“Don’t look around cause love is blind, and darling right now I can’t see you”) and that they are committed to each other (“we found the one thing we said we could never ever live without“) but it’s something hidden/secret (“we are who we are when no one’s watching“) and he’s “not allowed to talk about it”!!!… What or who else could this be about!? (2)

And the song had to be “leaked” with the words “Let the music do the talking” so Zayn definitely wanted to get the message out there… I think songs/lyrics are more truthful than interviews… and I think Zayns lyrics tell so much! I really really liked your analysis of the Mind of Mine lyrics! But I couldn’t find anything about I won’t mind… And I want to know what you think about that song and the lyrics? Or If you have made any posts about it could you please link me? Thank you:)) (3)


Hello!  The funny thing is that when I was done listening to Mind of Mine, my first thought was, “My favorite of Zayn’s solo music is still I Won’t Mind”.  The remix that Eminik made is really good, so I listen to that a lot on my mp3.

I’m not sure that it was leaked by Zayn exactly.  I think the Twitter fight between Naughty Boy and Louis was set up in order to draw attention to the drop and since that fed into the Zayn vs OT4 narrative and eventually the Zayn vs Naughty Boy fight, it was part of the official narrative.  

It was an official release framed as a leak.  They needed something to legitimize Zayn as a solo artist and put distance between him and One Direction in the public eye since his actual music wouldn’t be released for almost a year.

There are many ways for songs to be interpreted, but some are more direct and detailed than others.  The more details a song has, the harder it is to make multiple interpretations fit it.  I think “I Won’t Mind” is probably somewhere in the middle range.

I did a full interpretation below the cut XD

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asidesnide  asked:

Felicity Jones (my lesbian crushhhhh)

SEND ME A FC AND I’LL MAKE UP A CHARACTER ON THE SPOT.

Name: Nyx Cain

Age: 30

Occupation: Head of House, Slytherin

Nyx grew up in a pureblood home, the descendent of Slytherins as far back as the line could be traced. Her family maintained the pureblood theme, arranging marriages for their children as soon as they were of age, up until Nyx and her brother Eros were born. They decided, then, that it would be a good idea to allow their children make their own decisions.

Eros was sorted into Ravenclaw, attending Hogwarts two years prior to his younger sister. When Nyx arrived, it wasn’t much of a surprise that she was sorted into Slytherin. She’d always had a certain sense of pride about herself and her lineage, and had always possessed the traits iconic to the House of Slytherin. The phrase clever as the Devil and twice as pretty seemed to have been coined specifically for her. She excelled in all of her courses, taking a special interest in Charms.

Nyx went on to become Prefect, as her brother had done in Ravenclaw, then Head Girl – a title no one in the Cain family had ever held before. Upon finishing her N.E.W.T.s (with O’s across the board), Nyx decided to pursue a career at the place she had called home for so long. She applied for a position as Professor of Charms and was given the profession. A few short years later, she was also given the title of Head of House, leading Slytherin to a House Cup Championship in her first year.

Nyx has gone on to help alleviate the tension toward Slytherins in general, proving that reputations aren’t always worth their weight in knuts. She lives full time on the grounds, having no interest in marrying or being away from the place where she discovered herself.

To the Unpublished Writer: You're Doing Okay.

I see a lot of unpublished work. A lot. In some stories, I can tell that the writer needs to work on mastering a few elements: voice, or arcs, or style, or viewpoint. Others I can tell still have a very long road ahead of them. Once in a while, when I come across a story that shows that the writer still has a lot of growing to do, I think about the kind of harsh, even cruel, criticism they could potentially get from others. Once in a while, I might imagine the kind of damage that might do to that writer. They may feel emotionally wounded, even betrayed. They have poured their heart into their work, only to have it get shredded. They may quit writing altogether, thinking they don’t have what it takes. Maybe it will paralyze them so that they feel mentally blocked every time they sit down and try to write. Maybe it will make them bitter.

If you have not had many successes or still have much to learn, take heart. Contrary to the perennial myth that writers are born, or “elect,” or have some kind of secret element, all published writers have pretty much been where you are with your writing. They’ve just been working at it longer. It doesn’t matter whether you are 25 or 95, beginning writers are beginning writers, not bad writers. In almost every story I see that is not publish-ready, I see myself. I see my “younger” writing days. You might be surprised to know how many struggles of “young” writers seem to be natural phases of the growing process. For example, I’ve talked with other writers, who like me, went through the “poetic” phase, where we tried to make all of our writing sound very poetic by using uncommon, even sophisticated words, or so many adjectives and adverbs that our writing became purple-prosey. I believe this is a natural phase of a learning writer. Another phase I see, which usually happens with a very “young” writer, is thinking that the longer a story or description is, the better. I remember going through this same phase myself, long ago, thinking, “Wow, look how long and detailed I can describe this. (And so ‘poetic’ too, of course!)”

I remember when I was in the “head-hopping” phase. Look at almost any of my stories from a little over ten years ago, and I (in some ways unknowingly) jumped from one character’s viewpoint to another’s and another’s and another’s–all in one scene. I had no “control” over my viewpoint. I even have a chapter where I was switching tenses. But even in those stories, I can find some talent, even if it was unrefined: my young gift for clever phrases, my stalwart ambition to foreshadow and create mystery, and (while quite uncontrolled) my desire to sink into character viewpoints. Your “young” talents may be something different. Maybe you are drawn to crafting a good love story. Maybe you love writing creepy scenes. Maybe you come up with unique concepts.

Another phase I see is where the writer is learning how to create character voice. The character’s voice might be slightly “off” or not quite natural or believable, often along with being overdone or overbearing. Unlike my other phases I mentioned, this one is a more recent one. I never did quite figure out how to intentionally create character voice until just a few years ago, and I’m even worried that I’ve still overdone it in places.

My point is that pretty much everything a beginning or even unpublished writer is going through are things that just about every masterful writer has gone through–whether or not that master writer wants to acknowledge or admit it.

In an industry where there is a history of what is, in my opinion, elitism, it can be tempting for more experienced writers to pretend or fool themselves into thinking they were always completely, full-blown masters at writing. That’s not true. Even Michelangelo had to learn his colors. But this sense of superiority can lead to them tearing down, ripping up, or even straight-out laughing at writers who are “still learning their colors.” They may think that “young” writers are bad, foolish, or idiotic writers, instead of what they are, still-learning writers.

I’ve started doing yoga classes at a yoga studio, and this kind of behavior in the writing world is no different than a yoga instructor throwing insults at a new attendee because he hasn’t yet mastered the Warrior II pose. Writing is like any other talent. You have to learn and grow.

Only maybe twice in the thousands of unpublished stories I’ve looked at did I think, “What were they thinking? What the heck is going on with this?”–and for one of those times, I’m pretty sure the person was high or drunk when they wrote the piece. I’m not exaggerating.

So know that you’re doing okay. You’re normal. The magic trick is to keep going. Keep learning and then practice what you learn. Be committed. Get feedback from people you trust. And while a few writers may be elitist, in this day and age, you’ll find that the majority are kind, helpful, and accepting.

Misha is smart, everyone knows that. He can be rambling about god-knows-what, yet somehow always ends up saying the most insanely deep and thoughtful things– and it’s astounding … most of all to Jensen. Often times he will just find little ways to get Misha going; ask him about music, about art– even about math, because Jensen knows it’ll allow him to just sit back and listen. He can take in every word and hold onto all the clever little phrases, putting them in his pocket to save for the days that his brain feels completely bogged down. Misha’s thoughts always lift him up and make everything better

But sometimes, there will be things that go over Jensen’s head. Every so often, Misha will get into that tangent-mode of his and soon, he’s spouting off seven dollar words like they’re free, and philosophies that are so tightly knit, Jensen would need shearers just to cut through to their deeper meanings. During these moments, he can go a little crazy, asking Misha to stop and explain– because he simply can’t infer what is going on in that beautiful, tousled head. But Misha won’t explain … no, he won’t put on his “dad” hat and make it a teachable moment, because, that just wouldn’t be as fun. Instead, he’ll leave Jensen hanging, shrugging his shoulders and walking away– making the poor guy stumble after him, begging for just a little more. Just a hint, a clue, anything to keep their talk going. But Misha won’t give in, dragging out the torture all day, until his handsome co-star looks bedraggled and brain dead– mind working in overdrive trying to figure out the riddle that is Misha Collins.

Yet … just when it looks like Jensen can’t take anymore– like he’ll split apart if one more synapse fires off amidst the gray, Misha will finally take pity … he’ll put an end to his friend’s misery. With soft fingers running through Jensen’s hair and steady arms laying him down on the bed, Misha will whisper slow and delicate the meaning to everything those green eyes are aching to know. And as they move together, perfectly in tune, profound words filling the air– Jensen’s mind turns off, content with the thought that he gets it, he finally understands. And considering where he is and the pure brilliance that’s wrapped in his arms, he realizes that he’s pretty damn smart too.

anonymous asked:

is it okay if i ask you why you like odysseus? i always love reading your opinions about things

odysseus sums up the phrase “clever bastard” to me. like he’s resilient and ambitious and gets what he wants (eventually). i feel like in greek mythology, the mortals are constantly either getting killed or getting bested by the gods, and odysseus does neither, which is something i have to respect.