fictional realms

Hello, survivor here who grew up with illness and disability and who loves to explore life through fictional characters because it’s a good way to think outside of your own experiences and learn and grow and also to have fun.

Can we stop pretending that unsavory fan content made by survivors is more powerful than big bucks goreporn movies coming out every year? There’s so much discourse about how someone’s geeky indulgent fanfic can cause a whole generation of sickos to feel validated by it and go commit horrible crimes but if an obscure fic is that powerful and influential because to you fiction = reality, why isn’t a musical where we root for the characters making people pies treated the same?

If fans shouldn’t be allowed to write weird or dark or gross things for coping, speculation, learning, healing, empathy, creative exercise, or just for fun just because there might be people who cannot separate fiction from reality, then why isn’t media seen by literal millions your target as well? Because individuals are easy targets and this is all performative and you don’t actually care about us, you hurt us because that’s how weak and powerless you are, you have to harass some 20 year old survivor just trying to explore things safely in the realm of fiction and act like their weird crackship fic with 800 hits is responsible for every new trauma victim created that month.

I’ve got a secret for you: telling survivors they should be ashamed of what they create and they should kill themselves because you personally are grossed out or uncomfortable with their OTP doesn’t protect them or anyone else from harm. The one doing harm is you. Stop harming real people in the name of hypotheticals. I have seen this go on for far too long. You hurt people who are already hurting. Who does that save?

Fellow survivors and even people who just like writing dark things and know that what they write isn’t reality: asking “what if?” and exploring that creatively is not a sin.

Branches of Spirit work

Spirit work is a broaaad term and there’s been many disputes about it so I decided to organize a list. If there’s a specific branch of spirit work that isn’t on the list, please do message me and some info on it! or correct me if I got some parts wrong!

RELIGIOUS: Working with an entity or figure associated with a specific religion. This can include the worship of a deity depending on the person. 
Some examples include the Abrahamic God, Joan of Arc, Greek Gods, etc. 

SPIRIT COMPANIONSHIP: Working with spirits bought from a companion store, usually binded to a vessel. Great for beginners because the vessels make it easier for the human companion to connect to their energy. 
This is NOT slavery nor is the spirit forced into it. It’s all consent. 

ANIMAL: Works with animals, living or dead. This could be for reconnecting to a once living being, deep appreciation for all animals and/or animal deities. Some examples are dogs, cats, birds, wolves, etc. 

POP CULTURE: Works with living entities from a fictional realm coming from a book, movie, anime, etc. They are conversed as energy being put into the idea of them, creating their own realm and able to access. 

ARS GOETIA DEMONS: Where the whole, demon summoning archetype came from. Works one or more of the 72 demons from the grimoire, Lesser Key of Solomon. Some may or may not consider this “Hell”. 

ANGELS: Works or worships angelic spirits. They are often described with large feathery wings or halos. Often works underneath God(or similarly) but does not have to be Abrahamic or religiously tied. Examples are Shinigami(death angels), Fallen. 

VAMPIRES: Works with vampires, usually Psy or Sanguine. Psy vampires feed off the energy of humans to sustain life while Sanguine vampires are the ‘dracula’ archetype. They do not need blood but some offer raw meat as an offering but does feed off the human when eating meat. 

FAE: Works or communicates with faes (also fay, fae; from faery, faerie, “realm of the fays”). Fae is a type of mythical being or legendary creature in European folklore, a form of spirit, often described as metaphysical, supernatural or preternatural. Usually known as an umbrella term that covers many species. 

DRAGONS: Works with dragons. Period. Usually known as a legendary creature,  typically scaled or fire-spewing; with serpentine, reptilian and avian traits, that features in the myths of many cultures. European and Chinese dragons are the most commonly known. 

ELF: Works with an elf or a community of elves. Elves are mythical creature of various origins that is usually regarded as a good being that helps to make trees and nature good. Described to a taller human with long, pointy ears. Also considered very beautiful creatures. 

ANCESTRAL: Works with spirits/those who have passed within their bloodline. Some may even work outside their bloodline with respect and permission from the ghost/human spirit. 

CULTURAL: Works with spirits within their own culture or tied to their religion. Example of cultural spirits are yokai, Japanese demons. 

HELL: Works with demons or spirits with relations to Hell. May or may not have relations to Goetia demons, depending on the individual spirit. Spirits may include hellhounds, lowborn demons, hellcats, etc.

DEATH: Works with the dead aka ghosts, those who have passed recently or awhile ago, helps the dead move on/guide them to dead. Also called a psychopomp. 

MEDIUMSHIP: While they do work with ghosts, they have more purposes than helping the dead move on. Some functions include relying a message to the living, helping reconnect loose ends, etc.
Thank you to @pathlesspagan

GUIDES/GUARDIANS: Works with their guardians/guides in this life. This may be a guardian angel, a spirit that has been with them for a long period of time or someone they trust to protect them or to guide them through a path.

ELEMENTAL: Works with spirits of the 4 elements: Water, Earth, Air, and Fire. It does not limit to those four but can also extend to celestial, storm, void, corruption, poison, etc elements. 

SUN: Works with spirits that works, worships, receives and/or contains energy from the sun. 

MOON:  Works with spirits that works, worships, receives and/or contains energy from the moon.

SHIFTERS/WERE: Works with spirits who have more than one form such as their ‘human’ form and ‘animal’ form but does not limit to those two and can have more than two forms. Examples include werewolf, werecat, werebird, kitsune.

Updated: 06/09/2016

Newsfeed #84 May 20, 2017 (20 Lótessë)

Book II: The Saga of Thranduil: It is done, but not over.

On May 19, 2017, The Kingdom of the Woodland Realm Trilogy’s first book, The Saga of Thranduil was completed. The first draft was sent to two trusted individuals first (one in Canada and one in California).

The full volume (currently and subject to change) is 497 pages and 30 chapters long. The 31st Chapter will be in the Epilogue of Book III: The Last Tale of Legolas Lasgalen. What comes next is Book I: The Epic of Eryn Galen and doing work on the extend version of Book II: The Saga of Thranduil.

Now, for the icing on the cake, I suppose: Can you read the book?

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5aEKM0HC5bcTUkzZzdWT0UtcFk/view?usp=sharing

From May 20-May 27, the first draft will be available to the public. Remember, it is the first draft and is subject to change (Tolkien did the same thing with The Hobbit, ironically). It is by no stretch of the imagination the final product (mostly because of the extended versions of Book II and Book III). I will say it is cleaner than online (somewhat). It is a work in progress. In its final version, it will be between Book I and Book III as part of the “Trilogy”. Translation: it’s 1/3 of an entire book and depending on what happens in Book I/Book III, some changes might be made and slightly change events in the book.

This is the first completed book about the life and times of Thranduil, one of Tolkien’s most elusive characters and his story is based on Middle-Earth History as given by J.R.R. Tolkien. The story is 100% original (no, Tolkien didn’t write it and neither did Peter Jackson). There are events inside that take place in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but they are told from the perspective of Thranduil. In Book I, the story will be from the perspective of his ancestors and Book III will be told from the perspective of Legolas.

I completed this book for my father (who is sick and I miss him terribly) and was done in 17 months. I’m just proud of that because I was playing beat the clock not knowing if I could finish such a feat before my father passed away. He’s still here and I completed the draft (for the second time). This will be the final chronicle of the life and times of Thranduil in book form, meaning any changes will come from the extended versions at the moment unless otherwise stated.

Where it goes from here has begun today. The future belongs to Thranduil.–J.

Images: ©2012, 2013, 2014. Warner Brothers Pictures. The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies. All Rights Reserved.

We’re all stories in the end...

What will follow is a very long explanation of why I think BBC Sherlock has become fan fiction in every sense of the word, applying a technique called estrangement effect to achieve as well as envision this. It has been happening since S3 - but came into full force in S4 and especially TFP.

Let me state at first: Sherlock Holmes is dead. He died after jumping off Bart’s. That’s the one thing Mofftisson did that no other adaption has dared to do. Not even ACD did describe Holmes dying. But Mofftisson showed us: Sherlock jumped and hit the pavement. We saw it, and it was never explained how he survived. Because he didn’t. What we watch in TEH is altered footage, like in the beginning of TST. Alienated ficitional reality.

But still Sherlock came back. How is this possible? Because Sherlock Holmes never lived, and so could never die; because Sherlock Holmes as a fictional character has long ago crossed the line between ficiton and reality. He exists in both worlds, the ficitonal and ours. Schödinger’s Sherlock, so to speak.

Mofftiss (and Steve Thompson) have adapted Holmes for the 21st century - with all its consequences. They are the first who allow Holmes to die - as it should have been, in Watson’s arms. This is truly new - like it or not.

But why could he survive? Because of the fans. Fans brought Holmes back in 1903 - and they brought him back in S3 (or even MHR). Whereas S1 and S2 might still be somehow canon compliant if modernised, with S3/MHR the show left the realm of ACD and became something else. It became our story. We are the narrators. Therefore, we appear, for example, as Anderson or the Empty Hearse Club, before we, in TAB, leave this concrete narrator position behind to ascend onto yet another narrative level.

Many commented (and lamented) the change from S2 to S3. The show became a romcom! The cases didn’t matter anymore! All those new characters! All true - because the BBC adaption had detached itself from ACD and started to become its own work of art, it’s very own pastiche. That might be self-referential; and perhaps wasn’t even always well made (TFP!) - but I think we should stop applying real life structures and standards to this work of art - because it simply doesn’t work. (And, as every writer, Mofftiss have the right to fuck their own story up).

The audience and fandom struggle with a lot of twists after S2 because making the distinction between canon compliant fictional verisimilitude and the realm of associative fan fic is especially hard to mark with a figure like Holmes - who seems real and yet never was. On the other hand, he is the perfect character to undergo such a narrative transformation.

If this interests you, please continue under the cut.

Keep reading

Nobody’s going to deny that, as it’s conventionally depicted, Middle-Earth - the setting of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings - is awfully monochrome. In art, basically everybody is drawn as white, and all major depictions in film have used white actors.

When this state of affairs is questioned, the defences typically revolve around “accuracy”, which can mean one of two things: fidelity to the source material, and the internal consistency of the setting. Being concerned primarily with languages and mythology, Tolkien left few clear descriptions of what the peoples of Middle-Earth actually look like, so in this case, arguments in favour of the status quo more often rest on setting consistency.

Of course, we need hold ourselves neither to fidelity nor to consistency - the author’s dead, and we can do what we want. However, what if I told you that there’s a reasonable argument to be made from that very standpoint of setting consistency that Aragorn - the one character you’d most expect to be depicted as a white dude - really ought to be portrayed as Middle Eastern and/or North African?

First, consider the framing device of Tolkien’s work. The central conceit of The Lord of the Rings - one retroactively extended to The Hobbit, and thereafter to later works - is that Tolkien himself is not the story’s author, but a mere translator of writings left behind by Bilbo, Frodo and other major characters. Similarly, Middle-Earth itself is positioned not as a fictional realm, but as the actual prehistory of our own world. As such, the languages and mythologies that Tolkien created were intended not merely to resemble their modern counterparts, but to stand as plausible ancestors for them.

Now, Aragorn is the king of a tribe or nation of people called the Dúnedain. Let’s take a closer look at them in the context of that prehistoric connection.

If the Dúnedain were meant to be the forebears of Western Europeans, we’d expect their language, Adûnaic, to exhibit signs of Germanic (or possibly Italic) derivation - but that’s not what we actually see. Instead, both the phonology and the general word-structure of Adûnaic seem to be of primarily Semitic derivation, i.e., the predominant language family throughout the Middle East and much of North Africa. Indeed, while relatively little Adûnaic vocabulary is present in Tolkien’s extant writings, some of the words we do know seem to be borrowed directly from classical Hebrew - a curious choice if the “men of the West” were intended to represent the ancestors of the Germanic peoples.

Additionally, the Dúnedain are descended from the survivors of the lost island of Númenor, which Tolkien had intended as an explicit analogue of Atlantis. Alone, this doesn’t give us much to go on - unless one happens to know that, in the legendarium from which Tolkien drew his inspirations, the Kingdoms of Egypt were alleged to be remnant colonies of Atlantis. This connection is explicitly reflected in the strong Egyptian influence upon Tolkien’s descriptions of Númenorean funereal customs. We thus have both linguistic and cultural/mythological ties linking the survivors of Númenor to North Africa.

Now, I’m not going to claim that Tolkien actually envisioned the Dúnedain as North African; he was almost certainly picturing white folks. However, when modern fans argue that Aragorn and his kin must be depicted as white as a matter of setting consistency, rather than one of mere authorial preference, strong arguments can be made that this need not be the case; i.e., that depicting the Dúnedain in a manner that would be racialised as Middle Eastern and/or North African by modern standards is, in fact, entirely consistent with the source material, ethnolinguistically speaking. Furthermore, whether they agreed with these arguments or not, any serious Tolkien scholar would at least be aware of them.

In other words, if some dude claims that obviously everyone in Tolkien is white and acts like the very notion of depicting them otherwise is some outlandish novelty, you’ve got yourself a fake geek boy.

(As an aside, if we turn our consideration to the Easterlings, the human allies of Sauron who have traditionally been depicted in art as Middle Eastern on no stronger evidence than the fact that they’re baddies from the East, a similar process of analysis suggests that they’d more reasonably be racialised as Slavic in modern terms. Taken together with the preceding discussion, an argument can be made that not only is the conventional racialisation of Tolkien’s human nations in contemporary art unsupported by the source material, we may well have it precisely backwards!)

7

As a kid who was constantly sketching and creating original characters, I never drew a single black person until the age of 15 when I made the conscious decision to do so. My default for so long was being plugged into this system where I wasn’t represented, that it just never occurred to me. For preexisting characters I was limited to Storm (who conveniently had straight long light hair, a thin nose, and blue eyes), my favorite singers, or…a self portrait.

So in the realms of fiction and fantasy, representation was abysmal.
My default when it came to having a vision, was fantasy worlds devoid of people who looked like me…almost like I was emulating the majority of fantasy worlds gasp emoticon !!

I’d find whatever scraps I could and jokingly roll with it.
“This character has a tan…..so…she might be part black”
“Fran, from Final Fantasy 12? Obviously a black woman….(or a rabbit human with brown fur)”
“Panthero, yep. He’s black too”
*queue to an 8 year old Odera who legtimately thought Lara Croft was simply a light skinned black woman kicking ass and adventuring*

So with that in mind, today I want to celebrate the works of the illustration legends Leo & Diane Dillon.
I actually hadn’t heard of them until I started to study illustration at RISD! So when I look at the Dillons’ vast and glorious body of work I think: These are the types of images I would have absolutely loved to see as a child. Works that show that black lives matter and can thrive in the real world and fictional worlds.
We can be singers and athletes, but we can also be knights, magicians, and limitless.

Which Realm Are You From?
  • Aries: Furor Deserts; very dry and scorching desert(s). Your palace is underground to avoid the heat. You punish your enemies by leaving them directly under the sun w/no water. Furorians are excellent merchants and your soldiers favor the spear. Alliance with no one, your people need no help.
  • Taurus: Litianius Cliff; an east rocky mountain of solitude. Your castle is made from rare metals and stones, on a cliff by the sea. Litianians are blacksmiths, others travel cross realms to pay hoards of money for you to forge their weapons. Very cold but the heat of forging weapons keeps your people warm. Alliance with Virgo.
  • Gemini: Mountains of Mist; in the north mountains hidden by mist, Mistans reside in homes in the forest. Free, easygoing people. Many people visit for your celebrations. Very windy. Your soldiers favor the bow and arrow, to shoot enemies down the mountain. Alliance with Libra.
  • Cancer: Mirror of Stars; A land floating above the sea. Serene people. Always nighttime. Smallest realm/population. Not "just anyone" can enter your realm, only the Aether people. Your Luneriathan soldiers favor any long weapon, for keeping the enemy at a distance. Alliance with Leo.
  • Leo: Aethers; A land floating above the skies. Always daytime. Aether People have wings; people born without wings have a giant eagle for riding. Everyone wishes to be born in your realm. Only Luneriathan people may enter without permission. Alliance with Cancer.
  • Virgo: Ethereal Forest; Small and private, Faunathians have animal features such as animal tails, fur, ears, etc. Your people are prone to being kidnapped by humans for slavery. Other realms visit for your delicious festival food. Alliance with Taurus.
  • Libra: Hall of Secrets; Home for the gifted in the west mountains. Celatiams are very intelligent, and wise - even the children. Peaceful/calm people, do not fight in vain. Book of secrets is kept in this realm, only the elders may look upon it. Council meeting of the realms are held here. Birds, wolves, and mountain cats are common pets. Alliance with Gemini.
  • Scorpio: Lost Lands; Isolated, and cold everlasting wintry + autumn lands. Your animals only have black or white fur. People kill for your wine, claiming it gives immortality. (But they will never know.) Home of assassins. Alliance with no one.
  • Sagittarius: Forgotten Montem; Hidden village residing on a dormant volcano. Always warm. Farmers, excellent hunters/huntresses and resource skills. Very carefree, Duthstians are always lazing around and sleeping. Most ripe and cleanest fruit because of their fertile soil. Non violent. No alliance, they are a neutral realm.
  • Capricorn: Crystal Caves; In the south mountains resides legendary soldiers. Mostly female dominated. Crysilianths are kindhearted yet fierce. Their home and weapons are made of indestructible crystal. The cleanest air, and purest spring water, that runs through their caves. No alliance; not needed.
  • Aquarius: Ventosa Falls; Endless grasslands near the largest waterfall of all the realms. Natural born healers using natural ingredients/herbs. Also known for casting spells. Can photosynthesis, but prefer eating. Their hair is known to change color depending on the foods they eat. No alliance, are a neutral and peaceful realm.
  • Pisces: Luminance Fell; Hidden island. Always twilight, never too hot. A place filled with art, music, and creative literature. Sleeping is non-existent to Lumina people. Are always found eating, and engaging in frisky sensual activity. They have a sacred tree that only grows seven Lumina fruits every ten years. Those who eat it live longer. No alliance, neutral realm.
  • *Completely fictional, from my stories. Do NOT use MY writing as reference for YOUR own writing/art without permission.

anonymous asked:

any advice for writing poems when you feel like nothing worth writing about has happened to you?

Oh, I have a few thoughts! One thing is to just keep an eye out—the world’s abundant with little details. It might sound boring, but developing a keen eye for writing material really helped me improve; it might work for you, too. How are the leaves, the strangers on the street, the birds today, etc. It’s good practice, anyhow. Also, realize you don’t have to be writing about “big” things. Your heart doesn’t have to break. You don’t have to embark on a road trip. You are constantly in a state worth writing about, I believe. Are you at peace? Have you seen beauty today? Are you sick of the suburbs? Related to the previous two points, go on an exploration if you can. You don’t have to wait for things to happen to you, you can make them happen! Take walks, drive around, try something new with friends—there’s always stuff to see. Finally, read. Outside the realm of fiction and poetry, preferably. Get access to some encyclopedias or science journals or history books. You’re bound to encounter something you’d like to explore in a poem. Whenever I feel like I want to write something new, for example, I whip out a volume from my set of 1977 World Books (formerly my grandfather’s) and flip around and always find something.