hard grad

Motivation is broken into two parts: wanting something and believing you can achieve it; you need both to be successful in whatever it is you’re aiming for. Always believe in yourself. Call me crazy, but I think that is more powerful than anything.
—  one of my doctoral supervisors when discussing the importance of helping our clients find their strengths 

When I finally get over this stupid hiatus (read: when I pass candidacy) I can promise a good amount of academic writing related advice posts. This will include topics such as how to find literature, how to write a literature review, how to write proposals/research reports and how to actually sit down and write stuff/not panic when deadlines quickly approach… 

Returning to Yourself

There’s nothing like coming back to nature in order to “reset” yourself (isn’t it interesting that I said “coming back” to nature? Like it’s the default.) I love just drinking in the atmosphere: listening to the lapping of the water against the shore, the roaring wind rushing past my ears, the hushing of tree branches swaying… it’s wonderful.

Buttermere, Lake District, Cumbria, England.

ISO100, ƒ/22.0, 1sec at 14mm (21mm full-frame equiv.) using a slim circular polariser and a hard 2-stop ND grad stacked on my Sigma dp0 Quattro. A single 1-second exposure shot 14 times for image averaging, resulting in an equivalent 14-second exposure. Processed in Sigma’s Photo Pro with the Vivid colour mode, edited in Photoshop.



Re: the Bone Castle is kind of like a small business

Expanding on that post I made bc it’s midnight and my brain is going at 100m an hour right now.

Probably due to focusing on G1s or lore kids, I don’t have a lot of dragons in my lair and my attempts to create a clan with an expansive empire generally fail due to disinterest. Although I think Decay could well govern an empire, I’m just not interested in making that kind of clan. So the BC has always been this medium-sized group with more power and influence than normal for their population size.

And most of this is because of how old Decay fucking is. She’s had plenty of time to just slowly grow the BC without trying too hard. She collects dragons from interesting lineages because it entertains her, often when they are young. They grow up seeing Decay as both their ruler and guardian. They pledge themselves to her because she can take care of them and because they’re taught that, outside of her care, their chances of survival are slim. The Plague kingdoms are restless, clans die every day. The BC is one of the very rare ones that stand the test of time, largely from keeping out of other people’s business.

That’s not to say individual dragons can’t play active roles, but they can’t call upon the entire Castle to fight on their behalf. The Castle might be a neutral presence, but its inhabitants are not. They are, however, conditioned to act not as individuals but as a unit during official matters. Now, if a dragon wishes to, say, hire an assassin using their own money, well, that’s not Bone Castle business. ☕ The exceptions are emperors and Shade.

The castle survives partly off their exaltees. They buy hatchlings from markets (illegal or not, who cares) and they are trained by the castle’s permanent members. These dragons learn basic warfare, survival, some basic magic and practical knowledge, and then are free to specialize and apprentice under a permanent member. At a certain point, they are exalted to the Plaguebringer, but they may also be bought by other clans or, by paying the Castle/Decay, buy their freedom and leave or act as permanent members.

Other clans might send their children to the castle to apprentice, usually involving a trade of some kind: resources, children, or money are accepted payments for such training. This, money from exaltees (thanks Plaguemother), and ‘donations’ (more like taxes/rent) from permanent members is how the castle gets its money.

When I Can't Bring Myself to Do Anything Even Mildly Constructive

“Writer’s block” is contagious. It has infected every aspect of my life. I now have full-blown life block.


I have to work on my thesis. don’t wanna. but I gotta. if i want to graduate this semester at last. also going to start compiling these 5 short eldritch stories into a larger anthology while i’m at it and work on getting that published as long as i’m in “work mode.” Might as well use it. Anthologies are useful to preview what an author can do in longer works and might be a good ice breaker. if i have the proro of the anthology published as a thesis at my univeristy for my master’s degree i’ll be halfway there. giving myself goals. dragging myself out of depression page by page.

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