Don’t imagine Beca skipping class and decorating the Bella house for Easter when no one was home and when everyone gets back, they think Chloe was the culprit and she takes all of the credit; no one can quite understand why Beca gets all bitter, ignores Chloe, and takes credit for something that is far to cheery and pastel for her.
I have a new idea for this blog I’d like to run by everybody - the Character Writing Gauntlet.
I am aware that others have done similar things but I have constructed this test with brand new questions and concepts that take on brand new levels of depth.
The concept is to rigorously test your new or even long-standing fictional characters, whether they are for RP, story writing or any other purpose! What matters is, you’ll be using the individual tests to explore different aspects of their being. These include but are not limited to appearance, occupation, weaknesses, backstory and goals.
By using the extensive question lists, you will be able to explore deeper concepts of your characters that span beyond the basics. This is because one of the hardest things to do with a fictional character is to ground them with realism to their setting. The courses that I put together aim to help with that.
The Gauntlet will have a base/master post where you can access each individual course with simple links.
Drop a like on this post, or even reblog if you want. Either way the notes will decide the fate of this idea!
Carry On Countdown Day 10: Music (this was the one I passed in for creative writing btw)
Why is everything I do a high school AU
Baz is incredibly nervous.
He’s often some form of nervous, but this is a different situation altogether. A different kind of nerves. Baz is never nervous around Simon.
Baz and Simon fit together like two pieces of a puzzle- no, that’s too cliche, Baz thinks. They’re two patches from the same cloth, a pair of too-small shoes, the end pieces on a loaf of bread. They’re the discards, but they belong together. It’s always been like that.
Baz doesn’t even remember the first time he and Simon met, it was so long ago. Somewhere in the recesses of his mind he can conjure up a red sweater and a bandaid when he tries to think of that day, but that’s all that appears. Simon has told him before that Baz was wearing the red sweater on that fateful day in third grade, that he’d torn it falling off his bike. Simon had been outside playing on the swings by his house and ranin to get him a bandaid. Baz has no reason to disbelieve him. It sounds plausible, because it’s still the way it works- Simon takes care of Baz, even when Baz doesn’t ask for it. (Even when Baz asks him not to).
What Baz does remember, however, is that prom is coming up in two weeks, and Simon is fixing to ask some girl in his Geometry class with hair so blonde it makes Baz squint and legs so thin Baz is surprised they don’t break when she walks. Simon seems to think she’s amazing. Baz doesn’t share this opinion. He may be slightly biased.
He’s going to ask Simon to the prom.
It’s not like it’s a big deal, actually. They kissed once in a utility closet, skipping class and hiding from the janitors, and it was lovely. Simon tasted like chocolate and mint from the peppermint patty he’d just eaten, and his lips were soft, and Baz thought he was melting away like a candle left to burn for too long. And then the janitor passed, and it was over. Simon laughed. Baz blushed. Simon knocked playfully against Baz’s side. Baz blushed harder. They never talked about it again. They still don’t talk about it.
“Baz and Simon” isn’t something unheard of- Penny even told Baz once that Simon mentioned having a crush on him. That, however, was three months ago, and now Simon has eyes for the Blinding Blonde, and Baz is so nervous that his stomach feels like it’s going to come out of his ear.
The lights in the music room are off, but Baz doesn’t need the light to know where to put his fingers on the strings of the guitar. He coaxes out pretty sounds, the sounds he needs to bend just right to convince Simon that maybe, just maybe, he loves Baz as much as Baz loves him (or could love him eventually, at least). It isn’t the guitar he’s worried about. Simon has never heard him sing. Baz’s own parents have never heard him sing. Baz knows he isn’t bad, but he isn’t sure he’s good enough.
Footsteps echo down the hall towards the music room, and Penny giggles by her hiding spot next to the light switch, conveniently a dimmer. “Shhh,” Baz scolds, taking a quick swig of his water bottle. He begins the opening chords. If it’s Simon, then he only has a few moments before he comes in, and he wants to be at least halfway through the introduction by the time he walks in. It’s Simon’s favorite song, some ballad by Ed Sheeran that Baz had never heard before it came on the radio while they were getting fro-yo and Simon squealed like a little girl and turned it up so loud the car shook.
He sees Simon’s shoes before he sees the rest of him. Dirty red converses with the laces undone. A size too small, because Simon refuses to get a new pair. Baz teases him about them all the time, but now, his mind as as far from teasing. “You asked me to meet here?” Simon’s voice rings out, and he peers in the doorway, golden curls bouncing, cheeks rosy and freckled.
Penny is surprisingly good. She stands dutifully by the light switch, hidden from Simon’s view, and starts videotaping with her phone (partially so they can have the memory if it goes well, but mostly so she can tease them both mercilessly. It’s going to go well- she’s sure she knows them better than they know themselves).
“Yeah,” Baz mutters, fingers still flitting lazily over the strings. Simon wrinkles his eyebrows together and steps in. The full picture of him almost makes Baz lose his nerve. Simon looks like the reincarnation of Apollo, if Apollo was a high school boy with bad fashion sense. Baggy jeans, too short and ripped at the knees, and a tight red shirt that stretches almost to its limit across Simon’s broad shoulders. Everything he gets is hand-me-downs, and none of it fits, but Baz still thinks he looks glorious. At the moment, he looks gloriously confused.
"What’s going on? Who’s playing music?” Simon asks, looking around for Baz. His gaze falls on Baz sitting on a stool in the corner, and Baz grins. He nears the end of the introduction, and Penny lifts the dimmer just a bit. It’s not bright, but it’s enough. Simon falls silent when he sees Baz with his guitar, just like Baz knew he would. When Baz plays, Simon always listens, sits down criss-cross applesauce and leans forward with his chin in his hands and his elbows on his knees. He does it now, in the middle of the cold, tiled floor, with a perplexed look on his face.
”Settle down with me
Cover me up
Cuddle me in
Lie down with me
And hold me in your arms.”
The first verse is weak and sheepish, and Baz’s voice cracks on the third line, but he toughs it out. It’s worth it, to see the way Simon’s eyes widen imperceptibly once he recognizes the song.
“And your heart’s against my chest, your lips pressed in my neck
I’m falling for your eyes, but they don’t know me yet
And with a feeling I’ll forget,” Baz pauses before settling into the next line.
”I’m in love, now.”
It starts gentle, then grows, the way Simon sways to the music. First he taps his fingers in time against his knees, then moves his shoulders a little. By the chorus, he’s fully immersed, eyes closed and a foolish grin plastered on his face.
“Kiss me like you wanna be loved
You wanna be loved
You wanna be loved
This feels like falling in love
Falling in love.”
Baz just strums now, not sure if he should continue. It takes a minute before he notices the tears glistening on Simon’s cheeks, the slight shudder behind his sway.
That’s all it takes for Baz to abandon the plan. (Penny will be so mad that she spent all that time making that poster for nothing.)
"Simon,” he whispers, afraid to break the silence- afraid of what else might break if he does. “Simon, love, it’s alright.”
Simon laughs, wiping his palms against his wet cheeks. “Love?”
"Love,” Baz confirms, setting the guitar down so it rests on the stand. He walks over to Simon, still sitting on the floor, still swaying to the music that has ceased. “Si, I’ve been meaning to ask you this for a while,” Baz starts, but the words are sounding wrong, so formal, and he doesn’t know how to fix it. “But I was scared I’d ruin everything.”
Simon nods, eyes closed. Other than that, no response. Baz gulps.
"Will you go to prom with me?” Baz spits unceremoniously, saying it so fast it all blends together into one word, packed with nervous energy.
"Is that what all this fuss is about?” Simon replies, finally opening his eyes, finally standing up, finally responding, for God’s sake. Baz was beginning to worry he’d lost him. Simon turns to Baz and takes his hands, facing him. “Of course I’ll go to prom with you, you dolt,” he laughs, and Baz smiles, and Penny knows what’s going to happen, so she clicks the camera off and slips out unseen.
When they kiss it feels like magic, and when Simon pulls away, Baz follows him blindly. “I like this so much better out of the closet,” he remarks, and Simon giggles.
"I didn’t know you could sing,” Simon says, leaning in and pressing their foreheads together, wrapping his arms around Baz’s shoulders.
"I didn’t know I could, either,” Baz chuckles, and pulls Simon in by the waist.
They laugh and they kiss and they stay in the dim room alone, with none but each other and their own happiness to keep them company. Misfits, dancing to the unheard music.
Venom Movie Coming 2018... and why I want to shoot myself in the head:
Okay, so just to get everyone on the same page, the two Amazing Spiderman movies were within a seperate/standalone cinematic universe, as opposed to the giant MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) we all know and love. That’s because Sony and Marvel Studios are two seperate entities. Almost 2 years ago, Sony had ALL the rights to the Spiderman character, which was why the Amazing Spiderman wasn’t, and couldn’t have possibly been connected to the MCU. Unfortunately for Sony, their Spidey films didn’t do as well as they’d hoped, and soon enough, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige obtained the rights back from Sony so that they could reboot the character, allowing Spidey to exist within the MCU, which was why Tom Holland’s rendition premiered in Captain America Civil War and is getting his first debut movie in July (Spiderman Homecoming). When Sony relieved the rights to the character, with it came all the characters connected to it, allowing the MCU to use villains such as Dr Octopus or Rhino if they wanted to in the future, and it’s also the reason why Vulture is able to be the villain in the upcoming Homecoming film. It all sounds great, however, the shift of character rights wasn’t a perfect transition from Sony to Marvel Studios. Sony still somewhat possesses control over Spidey in terms of direction and creativity. Kevin Feige pitches ideas regarding Spidey, but Sony always have to approve it. It’s an awkward relationship, but if it means that Spidey can exist within the MCU and fight alongside the Avengers then it’s worth it.
Now here comes the somewhat bad news. Because Sony is still attached to Spiderman and all the characters tied to him, they still have the power to make their own films, OUTSIDE of the MCU. Yes, rather pointless I know. The first occurrence of this is when Sony announced an animated Miles Morales Spiderman movie a few months back. Okay, that’s bareable I guess, it’s animated and it clearly doesn’t exist as part of the MCU, just a fun little cartoon. Sony haven’t stopped there though… Oh no. They’ve just announced (seemingly out of nowhere) that they’re planning on releasing a Venom standalone movie, NEXT YEAR! If you understood what I was blabbing on about earlier, then it means it won’t be within the MCU, because Sony are making it without Marvel Studios, and it’s also not a spin off of the two Amazing Spiderman movies seeing as though they’ve been demolished. So it is 100% standalone. A movie about venom with no access to any Spidey characters that the MCU will want to use, let alone the Web-crawler himself. I suppose you could argue that you don’t need a Spiderman to have a Venom movie, but there’s so many characters and so much lore that can only be accessed by using Spidey characters. I honestly don’t see any need in this film. It’s so obvious that it’s just Sony still trying to prove that they still have some control of the Spidey rights, but they’re backed into a corner with limited creativity, just trying to make standalone Spidey-related content whilst tied with their awkward relationship with Marvel Studios. It’s ridiculous and hilarious at the same time. What is the point of going out of your way to make a Venom movie on its own? They hit the green light and it’ll mean we won’t have Venom in the MCU in the future because Sony will be too busy forcing a standalone franchise with him instead. Way to confuse movie goers even more. So you got the big MCU over at Disney/Marvel Studios, you got Fox’s Xmen universe, and now you have Sony’s solo Venom franchise now. Get the convoluted graphs and charts ready when trying to explain this to casual moviegoers. At least a random one-off animated Miles Morales movie was easier to understand.
I’m honestly so confused and frustrated at the same time. What. Is. The. Point? If it flops then it’ll only fracture Sony’s already unstability more. Then the MCU/Marvel Studios will be like, “Okay Sony, nice try. Let us do Venom now from scratch, making your run of the character obsolete and meaningless like we did to your Amazing Spiderman movies, so Tom Holland’s Spidey and Venom and coexist in the MCU like they should”. That in turn will just confuse people even more if the day came and Venom was rebooted for the MCU. It’d receive the same confusion and backlash that Spiderman Homecoming did. Casual moviegoers didn’t grasp the need and importance of the Spidey reboot, unaware of the seperate cinematic universes. How stupid will it look when Sony makes a completley seperate Venom movie next year at the side of the MCU giant, and in a few years time, Marvel Studios strips them of the character and implements a new version within the MCU? It’s literally pointless to make a Venom movie OUTSIDE of the MCU without Spiderman. Sony, what are you doing? End my suffering…
So to clarify, Sony is making a standalone Venom movie, outside and unconnected to the MCU because they’re stupid, all whilst still working with the MCU for Spiderman Homecoming, rather than leaving Venom alone and allowing the MCU to use the character themselves in a few years time, like in Phase 4 or something.
So I saw this post earlier to brownstatuesquesugarbaby and it really stuck with me enough that it’s still bothering me now. Without roasting the anonymous asker over the coals which is never my intention, the anon did say something that really bothered me which is that she or he is afraid of becoming addicted to sugaring because you receive the money for “little to no work”…
Now that strikes me as being a little shady, but I digress. I wanted to first address that point by saying sugaring is hard work. It’s exhausting emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally. There is a massive amount of time you spend prepping and bettering yourself that you don’t get paid for, you have to deduct it out of whatever allowance your SD deems you worthy enough. The job doesn’t come with benefits. There is zero job security. You get jerked around a lot. You have to constantly worry that if anyone discovers what you do that it will literally ruin your life. You have to basically be an actress most of the time. Like any other person who works in a sales industry (because this is a sales industry, you are the product, the salesperson etc.) you have to develop a thick skin and be creative in your sales pitches. I could really go on and on and on.
Which brings me to this point: not everyone can be a sugar baby. I’m not even talking about, “oh you aren’t pretty enough” or whatever non SBs think I’m talking about. First, no matter what you look like, somebody finds you attractive. Second, whatever stereotype you have of a Sugar Baby, throw it out of your head. I’ve been in this long enough to know that SBs come from all nationalities, all walks of life, all shapes and sizes, all educational backgrounds, etc. There is no stereotypical SB so throw that out of your pretty little head right now.
People don’t talk about this enough, but most girls aren’t successful. In my experience, and this is all I have to go on because there’s no numerical data out there on this, but in my experience most girls are not successful at being SBs. And we, the girls on the internet who glamorize this lifestyle, need to be more honest and say that for every one of us, there’s another girl who failed.
Not everyone can be a successful SB because it’s hard. It takes an emotional toll so hard that it takes someone with a lot of steel in them to stand up to it. You’re going to be rejected. You’re going to be hurt and taken advantage of. You’re going to eventually develop feelings and have to realize that what you have with that person isn’t real. It’s difficult to lie to your friends and family. It’s difficult feeling isolated and alone. It’s difficult feeling the judgment of the general public. It’s difficult to keep trying and keep looking and keep putting yourself out there when things fall apart.
To be a SB, you have to be able to bury your emotions. You have to be able to put aside your real feelings, slap on a fake smile and play the part of the fantasy. You have to be able to manipulate without feeling guilty. You have to be intuitive enough and intelligent enough to know what your SD or POT’s next move is so you can stay ahead of him. To be a really successful SB, I think you have to be a little bit cold-hearted, you have to have some steel in you, you have to be charismatic, you have to be manipulative, and you have to be a good actress.
This isn’t romance, this is a job. It’s a job with its own challenges, and it’s a job that not everyone can do.
So when you say something like, “I want to get into sugaring because it looks so easy and fun!” you’re being insulting and also, you’re in for a rude awakening.
Simon and Baz being cute boyfriends in the woods. Short AU where they were in a relationship while at Watford.
“It’s hot,” Simon sighed, falling back into the grass and resting his head against on Baz’s lap. “I’m pretty sure someone casted a ‘I’m too hot, hot damn’ because there’s no way in hell England is supposed to be this hot.” Simon wiped the sweat from his brow with the back of his hand, he swore the sun was going to catch the Wavering Woods on fire or melt the sky.
Baz shrugged his shoulders. “Maybe you should take your shirt off, to cool down.” His fingers casually ran through Simon’s curls.
“You just want to see my pecs.”
“Simon, you eat at least twelve scones at every meal, no way in bloody hell you have pecs.” He brushed back Simon’s hair from his forehead. Baz bent his head down to press a quick peck on a mole near his hairline. “Take your shirt off before you burst into flames.”
“Only if you take it off for me, I’m too tired.” His lips pulled into a smug grin.
“Chosen One my ass, you’re too lazy to save the World of Mages,” Baz muttered. “Sit up.”
Simon pushed himself into a sitting position and Baz grabbed the hem of his shirt. He slowly lifted it over Simon’s head until it was completely off and tossed it aside.
Baz only let himself stare for a few seconds before returning his focus to Simon’s face. (His chest was a canvas crowded with a dusting of freckles and spattered with moles. Baz was totally transfixed).
“There, isn’t that much better?”
“Yeah,” Simon said. He brought a hand to Baz’s face and let his thumb brush the length of his jaw. “Have I ever told you how nice of a face structure you have?”
“Yeah.” Baz mimicked Simon and rested his hand against his cheek, fingers splayed across spray of freckles. “Have I ever told you how much I love your freckles?”
“They’re just spots.”
“Lovely spots,” Baz amended. His hand fell from Simon’s face. Simon’s hand fell from Baz’s face.
They sat like that for a thousand years, taking each other in, wondering how they got to be so lucky.
[REVIEW TÀO LAO] Ý tưởng này là của chúng mình - Huỳnh Vĩnh Sơn
Đố bạn, điểm khác biệt cơ bản giữa marketing client và creative agency là gì? (có thể rê đến cuối bài để xem ngay câu trả lời)
Tối qua thức khuya đọc cho xong quyển này vừa mới được bạn Hạ Chi gửi qua tặng. Bạn Sơn viết dễ thương quá chừng chừng, hèn chi mà bản mình đọc đã là tái bản lần thứ 4 rồi.
Đứng từ góc nhìn của người làm sáng tạo, bạn Sơn mô tả mối quan hệ giữa marketing client và creative agency giống như hai anh em vừa đánh lộn với nhau, chưa hết hậm hực đã bị mẹ bắt ra bắt tay làm hòa nhau, nếu không cả 2 sẽ bị cấm chơi điện tử trong 1 tháng vậy đó.
Tức là, ghét nhau lắm, vừa nhìn mặt là đã muốn nhai đứt đầu thằng kia rồi, nhưng vẫn phải nuốt cục tức để làm hòa với nhau vì lợi ích chung của cả hai.
Trong cuộc chiến huyết thống tương tàn đó, creative agency là thằng anh, biết thằng em mình (marketing client) đòi hỏi rành rành vô lý mà vẫn cứ phải nhường nhịn nó vì má cưng nó hơn và lợi ích của mình phụ thuộc trực tiếp vô nó, với cả thằng anh thì phải làm gương cho thằng em, nói chung là thống khổ đủ đường.
Nhưng nếu nói vậy là bạn chưa hiểu được nỗi khổ của người làm marketing, những người luôn bị lưỡi gươm báo cáo doanh thu treo lơ lửng trên đầu.
Trong con mắt của marketer, họ là người đưa ra tất cả các quyết định hệ trọng như thông điệp của sản phẩm này là gì, đối tượng khách hàng tiềm năng là ai, sản phẩm đang nằm ở vị trí nào trên vòng đời sản phẩm (product life cycle) để từ đó quyết định sử dụng những kênh phân phối nào, bao bì mẫu mã chính sách khuyến mãi ra sao…
Không những vậy, họ còn phải cân đo đong đếm tính toán thu chi để đưa ra con số budget nào là hợp lý để chiến dịch quảng cáo đạt hiệu quả tối ưu, khi mà đưa con số quá cao thì sếp không duyệt, mà đưa con số quá thấp chiến dịch không đạt chỉ tiêu thì bị sếp tiêu diệt.
Sau bao nhiêu mồ hôi, máu và nước mắt, vừa hí hửng cầm được cục tiền không được bao lâu đã phải ngay lập tức phải xén một mảng lớn quăng qua cho bọn creative agency để bọn nó tô tô vẽ vẽ nên những thứ bề nổi vô cùng phù phiếm như print ad, TVC, digital ad… đập vô mặt khách hàng.
So sánh một cách ví von thì marketing client là bộ não đằng sau điều khiển mọi hoạt động của cơ thể, còn creative agency chỉ là bộ mặt được trang điểm đẹp đẽ để người khác nhìn vào là có cảm tình. Mà nghĩ đi, một cô gái dù thông tuệ đến mấy, hàng họ có tốt đến đâu mà mặt không dễ nhìn là cũng coi như xong, xác suất được trai tán để rước về tự nhiên giảm đi hẳn 1000%.
Khách hàng bây giờ khó tính lắm, đâu phải ai cũng có quan điểm “tốt gỗ hơn tốt nước sơn”, hay tệ lắm thì nhắm mắt “tắt đèn nhà ngói cũng như nhà tranh” mà mua sản phẩm về dùng đại phải không?
Đó là chưa kể, nếu lỡ gặp phải creative agency thuộc kiểu phụ nữ không biết làm đẹp, hay là mẫu phụ nữ thích làm đẹp theo những ý tưởng kinh dị không đụng hàng, là lúc đó ngồi khóc bằng tiếng Mán, không mau mau tìm được creative agency thay thế trong lúc deadline cận kề (lý do marketing client thích cho mấy creative agency pitch với nhau là vì vậy, vừa tạo dựng mối quan hệ vừa sẵn sàng phương án dự phòng) là xác định được sếp lớn sẽ ca bài bye bye beautiful ngay sau đó.
Cho nên nếu creative agency hay có thú vui mỗi lần tụm lại ngồi nói xấu client của mình (hoặc đưa lên sách, nếu viết hay) như thế nào thì các bạn làm ở marketing client cũng có sở thích dán hình bọn creative lên bulleyes để chơi trò ném phi tiêu y hệt vậy. Lòng vả chẳng khác gì lòng sung là vậy đó.
Dù sao thì đến cuối ngày thì cả marketing client và creative agency đều nhận ra “vì ta cần có nhau” nên cả hai phía sẽ phải ngồi lại tĩnh tâm làm việc cùng nhau để hoàn thành dự án đúng tiến độ và bảo đảm chất lượng, rồi sau đó muốn tiếp tục chửi nhau hay cầm gạch chọi bể đầu nhau gì đó thì tính sau, thương nhau lắm thì cắn nhau đau mà.
À, còn câu hỏi điểm khác biệt cơ bản giữa marketing client và creative agency nữa chứ nhỉ.
Đáp án là vầy, trong con mắt của creative agency thì bọn marketing bị mù, có vẽ lung linh lộng lẫy đến mấy gửi qua bọn nó cũng chê ỏng chê eo, bắt sửa lên sửa xuống. Ở chiều ngược lại, đối với marketer thì mấy đứa bên creative chắc chắn bị điếc, khi lần nào cứ hễ mình brief một đàng thì bọn nó sẽ làm một nẻo, nhìn vào chỉ có Picasso hay Nguyễn Du mới đủ tầm đánh giá, trong khi sản phẩm mình làm ra để phục vụ 30 triệu khách hàng, mà bắt tụi nó làm lại thì tụi nó sẽ lơ lớ xào bài một vòng rồi quay lại cái mới nhất y chang phương án đầu tiên!
Nói chung là mỗi nhà mỗi cảnh, ai cũng có nỗi khổ riêng hết, tốt nhất là nên thương nhau cho dễ sống người ơi!
Simon’s tongue is incontrovertibly warm. All of Simon is warm, really, and always has been. But his mouth is still so new to me and all I can think about when I’m kissing him is the hole that’s no doubt burning through my stomach. He keeps doing things like pulling back slightly before crashing his lips into mine again, over and over, or acting like he’s going to kiss me but just letting his lips hover over mine instead. It’s torture (in a good way, if you can believe that), because I have to lift my head up if I want to kiss him.
I can feel him playing with the hem of my shirt, and it’s just kindling the fire inside me. He pushes my shirt up, finally, and I gasp a little. He bites my lip when I do, making me gasp again. I feel his fingers splayed out over my belly button. His hand is cold, but not unpleasantly so.
“Woah, Baz, you’re warm,” Simon smirks, clearly proud of himself, as his fingertips dance over my stomach lightly.
“Of course I am,” I scoff, then bring a hand up to one of his flushed cheeks. He leans into my palm, and closes his eyes slowly, like a damn kitten. “You are too.”
“Yeah, but you’re a vampire,” he whispers, opening his eyes just so he can smirk again.
I shake my head slightly, “doesn’t matter. Your kisses could make ice melt, Snow,” I cringe at myself, and wait for the teasing, but Simon decides to ignore both the irony and cheesiness of my statement.
“I’d rather be snogging you than a block of ice,” he giggles softly, before shifting his weight on my lap and placing both hands behind my back, pulling me up so we’re both sitting. I allow him, and place my hands on either side of his hips, which are on either side of mine.
“Wow, thanks,” I mumble, and he brings his hands up from my back to my neck.
“You know what I mean,” he rolls his eyes, then smiles and blinks languidly before locking eyes with me. I don’t say anything for a few moments, and he must get impatient, because he presses his forehead against mine. He closes his eyes. I’m about to ask if he wants to stop and go to sleep, when he speaks again, “I meant that I like making you melt.”
And he does. His kisses and his touch always make my skin burn, but his words never fail to make my heart melt. I decide to tell him now. “My heart’s a puddle, Snow.”
He jerks his head back from its resting position on my forehead, and tilts it sideways, “because of me?”
I sigh, feeling both content and exasperated, as I always do when I’m with Simon, “yes, because of you, you git, who else?” I bury my nose in the crook of his neck and kiss his mole softly.
He strokes my hair, and it makes me sleepy. I close my eyes. We sit like that for a while, and he’s so quiet that I almost miss him mumble my name, “Baz?”
“I like this.”
I lift my head from his shoulder and look up at him, “what is this, exactly?”
He shrugs. “I dunno. This,” he cups both of my cheeks and slowly brings his lips to mine for the zillionth time that night. “This,” he says again, before kissing me. It’s slow and soft, and short, but still amazing (It’s amazing every time; I don’t think it’ll ever stop being amazing). It’s obviously supposed to be different than the other kisses, though. “And this,” he gesticulates lazily to both of us, and I nod.
“…do you like this better than fighting?” I ask tentatively, because I still feel like there’s a chance he’s going to push himself off me and realize what the hell he’s doing.
I can’t hide my ridiculous smile, and I know it’s ridiculous because the corners of my mouth are hurting from it. Crowley, when did I start allowing myself to be so vulnerable around Snow?
He yawns, reminding me of a kitten again.
“Tired?” I ask, and he nods.
“For being tired?”
“You’re ridiculous,” I shake my head, then swat at his side. “Get up.”
He obeys, standing and stretching, then looking around dumbly.
“Well? Couch is yours.” He blushes and looks down, hesitates, then walks over to the couch. I start going to my bed, but stop when he springs up, grabs my hand, and drags me back to the couch. He lays down and pulls me into him, and I am, of course, in no position to object. We fall asleep like that, pressed together on the couch.
Snow kissed me last night until my mouth was sore. He kissed me so much, I was worried I’d Turn him with all my saliva. He held himself up on all fours above me and made me reach up for his mouth—and I did. I would again. I’d cross every line for him.
I’m in love with him.
And he likes this better than fighting.
– a/n I really like writing dialogue and snowbaz’s banter is a lot of fun
These five lines are called a staff, and a staff operates on two axes: up and down and left to right. The up-and-down axis tells the performer the pitch of the note or what note to play, and the left-to-right axis tells the performer the rhythm of the note or when to play it.
————————————–Ibn Taymiyyah (GK) ————–Imam Nawawi———Imam Hanbal———Ibn Qayyim —————————————-Imam Abu Hanifa ——————–Imam Malik—————————–Imam Ja'far –Imam Al-Ghazali——————Imam Shafi'i————–Sheikh El Shaarawy ——————————————-Imam Suyuti
Ibn Taymiyyah - Goal keeper; doesn’t allow goals (Bidah) of any kind, the last line of defense against any attack against Islam, a rock of Fiqh.
Imam Nawawi - Centerback; part of a three man defensive line, Imam Nawawi is an authority on the Shafi'i school and considered like the bedrock of the school, so it makes sense he should be a strong center back, providing security and consistency with self-sacrifice for the team.
Imam Hanbal - Centerback; upholder of order and I placed him in the center of a three man defense to coordinate with Ibn Taymiyyah in goal to keep the defense sturdy and ensuring that no attacks on Islam can penetrate the Hanbali connection.
Ibn Qayyim - Centerback; like Ibn Taymiyyah and Imam Hanbal, he is a Hanbali, which means he’s great in defending orthodoxy, but Ibn Qayyim is particularly poetic, which means he adds some finesse to the backline, giving a proper balance.
Imam Abu Hanifa - Center midfielder; think Pirlo here. Imam Abu Hanifa’s great contribution to Fiqh was creating systematic methods to approach Fiqh, and who better to be the team’s quarterback than Imam Abu Hanifa?
Imam Malik - Center midfielder; part of a three man center midfield, Imam Malik is the engine room of the team, as the father of Hadith Science, he provided Fiqh with the Muwatta, which forms the backbone of Fiqh and therefore, it makes sense that Imam Malik would be an all-action midfielder, but capable of going forward offering an element different to others in the team. Provides that link between defense, midfield, and attack.
Imam Ja'far - Center midfielder; the last part of the midfield, not dedicated to systems as much as the other two, Imam Ja'far instead brings brilliance with his game that is characterized by an amazing Fiqh “IQ” that ensures that he can provide support in both attack and defense.
Imam Al-Ghazali - Right winger; inventive and not just able to deconstruct philsophers (opposing wingers) but with a wonderful mixture of Fiqh mastery and intellectual strength, Imam Al-Ghazali has tremendous attacking power but tracks back to help the midfield and defense when needed. A paragon of Shafi'i balance.
Imam Shafi'i - Center attacking midfielder; the most creative player on the pitch, and he has to be. Starting his school in Iraq before going to Egypt, Imam Shafi'i is able to read the game and make adjustments, figuring out how to make sure his team is setup properly to deal with whatever the opposing defense puts up. Discretion is the cornerstone of his Fiqh and that would be his role in this team.
Sheikh El Shaarawy - Left winger; the young gun on the team, but he is a showman and on the wing, some tricks and moves are needed. Sheikh El Shaarawy has that Shafi'i balance to his game, but his strengths are in crowd-pleasing and making opposing defenses think twice about doubting him, a real live-wire on the left.
Imam Suyuti - Striker; he may be a Shafi'i, and while he has shown his ability to be balanced like one, Imam Suyuti is all swagger. And that’s a good thing, strikers have to be confident, believe in themselves, because it could be one moment that changes the game. Not just confident in his Fiqh, but in his ability to take on any challenge, Imam Suyuti is the perfect choice to lead the attacking line.
Last week, I arranged for 4 song, video, or album stream premieres with 4 different editorial outlets for my artists. This is obviously not uncommon for any of you, as this is has become a substantial part of our job as music publicists. There are aspects of it that are appealing, both to publicist, label, band, and management. It offers newer artists an in with outlets that might otherwise not give them coverage. It is guaranteed coverage for an artist and asset when otherwise, a press release may have gone out with the possibility that high-profile outlets choose to ignore it. It purports to offer a strategically-timed editorial posting, running coverage just as an artist chooses to make other announcements (tour dates, album release date, etc.). I’m explaining the obvious because I think it’s important to review the reasons we do this. Yes, all the reasons listed above are beneficial. But this system is corrupted. Not in a devious way that takes advantage of anyone without their knowledge, but simply in a broken way that doesn’t hold both parties accountable and doesn’t incentivize the editorial outlet to care about the artist, publicist, or label at all, and truly reduces this content to the “dissemination of an asset.” When we are discussing art, which is what we are discussing here, let’s not forget, it’s pretty much the most antiseptic and dispassionate way to consider it.
Those 4 premieres I mentioned above? They were all botched by the outlet. Three of them were anywhere between 45 and 120 minutes late, mostly with little regard or apology for the inconvenience. With the fourth one, the editor had completely forgotten about the premiere the day before it was scheduled to happen and tried to push it to the next day. After suggesting I find another premiere partner last minute (an extremely difficult proposition), he finally offered an ultimatum of premiering it 3 hours later than previously agreed upon, all with an air of frustration as though he was doing me a favor. One of my colleagues arranged another premiere where the outlet misspelled the name of the song (clearly spelled correctly on the soundcloud, of course), leading to another high-profile music outlet to pick up the item and also spell the song incorrectly.
This happens because outlets are not incentivized to give a shit. They don’t even strive to write their own copy about whatever asset it is they are premiering; they request a quote from the band or video director, plug that in with one sentence mentioning a release date, and go live with it, often an hour or more after the agreed upon premiere time. This is what we spend our days arranging. We stress and work against the clock to secure premieres that account for publicity campaigns spanning multiple continents that rely on specific timing with editors who have literally no reason to care. Their editors above them saddle them with the job of handling premieres, and their job is simply to secure enough of these for people to believe they are doing their jobs. They are not interested in going out on a limb on a new artist, nor are they rewarded for being the first to premiere a new artist that is going to be significant in the future. They don’t play to win, they play not to lose. This is in direct conflict with what I can only assume is the reason why we all got into this, publicists, label staff, and writers alike. We love music. We live for it, we work for it, and we voraciously consume it. We are music fans and get excited about hearing new music that fills us with emotion.
I recently pitched an editor on a video premiere. I even offered that they host it in their Youtube channel, because this was a new artist I believe to be meaningful and I wanted to expose their viewership to a really great artist and adventurous video. I was prepared to essentially concede ownership of this video to this outlet because this was something they have been asking for recently, (despite their complete lack of involvement, financial or otherwise, in the meticulous creation of this video), but I felt this was a case where truly the pay-off stood to be worth that cost. She passed on the video. I asked if she watched it, and she said no. I protested, saying I usually bring her good stuff, and the least she could do is watch it, and she proceeded to tell me what I already knew, but what is still difficult to hear: It doesn’t matter how good it is, this artist is just not at “video premiere level” yet.
I’m no spring chicken, and I’m not naive about outlets’ ultimate motive of driving traffic, but when an outlet that purports to be a champion of new music is not interested in even viewing something before passing on it, something is broken. When we are unable to get outlets to care enough to double-check the name of a song before posting it, something is broken. When outlets unapologetically and brazenly dismiss agreed upon timing, or simply don’t care enough to get it right, something is broken. When editorial content has been relegated to [insert artist quote here] [insert release date here] instead of actually describing the music, then something is broken and the passion that brought us all here is a fond memory turned to dust.
One big casualty of premiere culture is the truly inventive and creative pitch. Finding premieres takes up such a large part of my week, and I can only imagine it does for most other publicists, as well. This gives us less time to spend on thinking of honestly transformative pieces of press, the kind that both artists and editorial outlets both get excited for. These are the pieces that live on, the ones that people talk about later. They are loving and lived in, approached by all parties with an understanding that this can change the way people think about music. They are a relationship. The premiere is a bad one night stand.
I don’t know what the solution to this problem is. Right now, unless you’re in the position to and the type of publicist to withhold access to your larger clients unless your smaller clients get play (which I personally find problematic and disrespectful to all involved), we are in a position of weakness. I have an imaginary dream scenario where all labels, management, and artists join with publicists in some massive meeting room somewhere and decided en masse that we will not premiere another thing with another outlet. Everything is disseminated via press release, and if an outlet wants to be first on something, they need to be quick on their toes. Think about how much time, energy, and frustration that would save.
Obviously, some, myself included, have artists that are smaller and may be routinely ignored by larger outlets unless they are premiering an asset. This is a problem. But I think this puts the impetus back on the outlet to be a true musical frontiersperson. They have the opportunity to be an early champion of a potentially relevant new artist. It’s fun, it’s why we do this, right? There are so many better ways to make money than doing what we do.
The main thing I see is a model that is unsustainable. We can laugh it off as “one of those pains in the ass we just have to deal with,” or we can identify this as a cancerous aspect of our jobs, something that keeps us from doing truly good work, and find a way to cut it out. I’m open to any sort of dialogue, and want to hear how other people feel about it. And I certainly would not cease pitching premieres for my artists until a better system was in place. I’ve just hit a wall with it, and hope to get back to really promoting my artists through thoughtful editorial rather than mad libs written by unincentivized writers who want to be writing these premieres about as much as I want to be pitching them.
Welcome to the Convince Me Initiative's 8th contest of CREATIVE CRACKSHIPS!:
Please enter, people! And reblog! We love you, and want to give you things.
What does it mean: This is a contest for crackshippers at any level, vid makers, artists, and just about anyone else who wants to play. We selected the top 5 suggestions from our friends and followers, and we’re using them for you to create crackships in any way you want!
Rules: Make art/crackships, or submit art/crackships you’ve already done, so long as it’s -your- art, and not taken from someone else. How many times can you play? As many as you want. Enter once, or many times. All the same pairing, or of all the pairings. It’s all up to you!
Crackships-The top five, as submitted by you, the voters, are:
1) Any Sort: Matthew Gray-Gubler and Brittany Snow
2) Any Sort: Sebastian Stan and Brian Austin Green
3) Any Sort: David Tenant and Aishwarya Rai (Bachchan)
4) Any Sort: Anna Torv and Padget Brewster
5) Any Sort: Kiera Knightley and Oliver Phelps
Submissions: Pick any of the 5 suggestions (or several, if you’re feeling ambitious), and show us your manip(s), gif(s), drawing/painting, digital, or even make a video! You can Submit As Many Entries As You Like, in as many forms as you like. (Extra points, if they’re not on a branded backdrop, like you see at movie premiers.) There’s no rating, so you can let your imagination run wild. It could have the pair listed above, and a third person, too, if you had a piece of art like that. PG, naughty, whatever floats your boat. It doesn’t even have to be new for the contest. You could have made it ages ago, as long as it fits, and as long as the work is yours. That’s all we ask.
Deadline: You have until September 24th to finish submissions! Ask questions, if you’ve got them. Enter early. Enter often. Have fun!
Prizes: All laid out in the CMI (feel free to read the Convince Me Initiative for more details), prizes will be awarded to the winner, and more entrants means more winners, and more prizes! One person might win multiple prizes for multiple winning entries.
P.S. Please Repost This!: Please, Please, Please!!!! We’re trying to get the word out, and get some involvement with our contests. It really brings us joy to see entries and ideas, and it will help us get out to the people who need pngs, and the other services we do and will provide. It would mean a lot to us.
I attended the panel today at Gallery Nucleus, so quick summary:
Mike and Bryan talked about their journey in animation and some of the struggle they faced. The majority was about the process of making a show and getting ideas.
On korrasami: they repeated previous sentiments of liking the idea but assuming Nick wouldn’t allow it. In Book three production they decided to go through with the idea and start developing it as an open ended romance. Then in Book four they decided it would be cowardly to not go through with the idea and a disservice to the fans and their creative vision so they pitched a full romantic ending. Nick execs they worked with loved the idea, but when it came to the upper levels it came as a shock to them. This was because they hadn’t been involved in the story at all and had only watched book one up until that point. They told them to “proceed with caution” and ultimately agreed upon the ending that was shown.
Bryke don’t like how people put Bryke and Nick against each other since the majority of Nick and Nick execs loved and supported the show in ways they themselves don’t even know of.