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Tips for Writing Romance from A Passionate Defender of the Genre

Here’s the thing: romance is not inherently interesting.

It’s not automatically compelling.

Romance is one of the hardest things to write, but if you’re clever and careful and pay attention, romance can also be one of the most powerful tools a writer can wield. Not only because love is a powerful and complex emotion worthy of exploration—although it is that—but because romance can function as plot, conflict, character motivation, development, world-building, etc. It can do so much heavy lifting for you, and in a way that is engaging, evocative, and tone-setting.

But you can’t simply cry “Love!” and wait for the applause. You gotta earn it. 

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vulcanscienceofficer  asked:

I finished watching DS9 today and I didn't think I'd feel this empty feeling in my chest but I do. There's no more DS9 to watch.

Star Trek does tend to invent entirely new emotions and the post-DS9 soul crater is indeed one of them, however the entire series stays with you. It definitely does. And you can fill in the empty space with headcanons, theories, and stories of your own regarding what happens after. 

Here’s a link to a music video with a shot from every single episode set to Ellie Goulding’s “Home.” It may help, it may hurt, but it’ll definitely provide something to fill that emotional void and remind you of all the progress everyone’s gone through over the seasons.


(and here’s something to lift your spirits after that if you still feel down https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTGdGKEEiYE)

creating a religion: schisms

religions tend to schism. sometimes schism is built into the structure of the religion (e.g. the plenipotentiaries of eastern orthodoxy) or happen without acrimony (e.g. the cults around different deities in hinduism); sometimes they occur slowly (e.g. the split between sepharidc, ashkenazic, and mitzraic(?) judaisms).

these schisms are less interesting, from a plot point of view, than the more violent or sudden ones; so a story centered around a schism in a religion would do better to look at buddhism, islam, or christianity than hinduism, judaism, or taoism (it’s noteworthy that the former are all examples of missionary religions while the latter are not–at least not in the modern era).

but if your story occurs in the context of a long-established schism, the slower and more friendly splits are also interesting and worthy of exploration.

Fresh Air producer Ann Marie Baldonado spoke to Paul Rust and Gillian Jacobs about their Netflix series LOVE. Ann Marie asks, what pop culture did you watch as kids that influenced your ideas about love and relationships?

Gillian Jacobs: I watched a lot of Katharine Hepburn [and] Cary Grant movies, so maybe I was anticipating more witty banter than I’ve actually experienced in real life. 

Paul Rust: Yeah, there’s no way anybody could top Cary Grant. Reality does not match Cary Grant in any way. For me early on I guess I watched a lot of bad TV. I’m sure I would love to say Cary Grant, but it was probably more like Tony Danza.

Hear more:

‘Love’, Maybe: Netflix Explores The Cringe-Worthy Beginnings Of A Relationship

Or the podcast episode.

A Love For The Ages: Chapter 1 - Chance

Submitted by: you-make-me-wander

Description: Lydia Martin is the princess and heir to the throne of the kingdom of Beacon Hills and Stiles Stilinski is the son of the Queen’s most trusted royal advisor. Because they grow up together, Stiles and Lydia become best friends, inseparable at all times until the little girl is kidnapped when she’s barely even seven years old.

The kingdom looks for her for years but with no luck, and eventually life moves on and Stiles grows up to become a knight, following in his father’s footsteps and working close at the Queen’s side even at his young age. Several years pass before Stiles is sent out on a mission to the edge of the kingdom and is shocked to find a familiar strawberry blonde haired girl working out in the fields as a peasant. Determined to save her, Stiles risks both their lives to escape her abductor and take the princess back home.

As they embark in a journey neither of them could have foreseen and as they start to learn about the other what they missed in the years that went by, Lydia struggles to find her place in a Court she doesn’t really fit in while Stiles tries his best to help her without overstepping his bounds. And even in all their misfortune and rough life, as they begin to grow up together again as fated, they can’t help but to fall hopelessly in love with each other.

Rating: M

Genre: Action, Romance, Medieval!AU, Princess!Lydia, Knight!Stiles

All Chapters

Author’s note: If you missed the prologue, go check it out first before jumping right to this. You can read it here.

Also, beware of a character’s death on this chapter (background character, you won’t even know who it is until later, though I’m sure some of you will guess!).

Please remember that this is a Medieval setting and that it was a bloodbath back then. It’s necessary for the story and I won’t refrain from it. I want it to be somewhat true to facts, though I won’t make it too graphic.

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Hip-Hop and Frosting: Celebrating #nationalcookieday with @vickiee_yo

It’s #nationalcookieday! For more bite-worthy posts, explore the hashtag and follow @vickiee_yo on Instagram.

Fun fact: Vickie Liu’s (@vickiee_yo) motivation music of choice when frosting hundreds of tiny cat cookies? “Tupac, to be honest,” says the 25-year-old. “I listen to a lot of old-school hip-hop while I frost — I find it really therapeutic.” Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, the self-taught baker began creating cookie art as a stress reliever while studying interior design. But while her creations are all pastel puns and whimsical cuteness, she enjoys maintaining a separation between her on- and offline persona. “I try to make my work really colorful, and I like working on a small scale,” says Vickie. “But people meet me and I’m the complete opposite of what they thought. They’re like, ‘Oh, you’re so much cooler than I thought you would be.’ And I’m like, ‘What? Is that a compliment?!’”

Technology For the Blind and Deaf is Getting Pretty Cool

That picture above is a Blitap – an iPad for the blind. It uses a liquid-based technology to create raised Braille images to be read by the visually impaired. Pretty cool stuff. 

It’s just one of many emerging technologies that can be used by people with sensory disabilities. For the deaf, researchers at the National Science Foundation Science of Learning Center, Visual Language and Visual Learning at Gallaudet University, are using 3D motion sensors on a person’s body to help translate American Sign Language motions into nursery rhymes. 

Here’s how NPR explains it: 

Most kids learn their ABC’s through the classic song, but English nursery rhymes don’t translate well to ASL. The sign language grammar structure is much different from that of English…

To translate rhymes to a non-sound based language, she adds, the team keeps repetitive rhythms available through the use of common handshapes.

Motion capture tracks these “temporal rhythms” of hand gestures and reflects the data on a dual monitor like a polygraph, which acts as a blueprint for the 3-D signing avatar. (In ASL, signage and facial expressions work to translate what might be compared to vocal intonations in English.)

Technology has long been cited as a key resource for students with disabilities who are getting special education services. Some technology can be really simple – placing a three-paneled barrier along the edge of a desk can help kids with ADD stay focused. 

Other technology is a little more complicated, like the Blitap or this 3D motion capture. Obviously there’s a cost here. Special education is already costly and difficult to manage, especially for poor school districts. 

But these kinds of technology are worthy of exploring in an educational setting.