having trouble focusing

What is autism?

Autism is a natural variation of human neurology which is categorized as a developmental disability. About 1% of the worlds population is autistic. Autism is a lifelong condition meaning that autistic people are born autistic and that they will die autistic. You cannot “catch autism” or “become autistic” like you can risk becoming mentally or physically ill - neither vaccines or heavy metals or gluten will make you autistic if you aren’t born with it. You also can’t cure autism or recover from it - but all autistic people can live fulfilling, happy lives with the right accommodations so an autism diagnosis isn’t the death sentence that many people make it out to be. Autism isn’t a diagnosis which can be clearly separated from who you are and how you see the world - it affects every aspect about of how you think about, experience and interact with the world around you. There are many different aspects of being autistic which makes it hard to summarize the condition, but I’ll do my best to introduce you to some of the common autistic traits and experiences in this post.

  • Sensory processing. Autistic people’s sensory processing is different from most people’s sensory processing. This means that autistic people may be over- or undersensitive to different sensory input. This means that we may have trouble with sounds, touches, smells, tastes, etc that most people can easily tolerate or block out or that we may seek out loud music, blinking lights, bright colors, spicy food, strong smells and activities which provide physical activity and deep pressure. Many autistic people lack the filter that most people have which makes them able to block out background sounds, meaning that the ticking of a clock, the buzzing from a lamp or two people having a conversation nearby might make us unable to focus on what we’re supposed to be focusing on. This means that many autistic people will have trouble focusing in situations with lots of sensory input, for example situations where many people are gathered together, and that we are more easily overwhelmed and stressed out by different sensory input than allistic (non-autistc) people. 
  • Stimming. Stimming is short for self-stimulatory behavior, meaning a behavior which is meant to stimulate one of your senses. Some common stims are rocking back and forth, bouncing your legs or feet, hand flapping, hand wringing and repeating words and sentences, but a stim can be any kind of repeated movement or action which stimulates one of your senses. Stimming can thus be many different things - you can stim by smelling, touching, watching, moving, tasting and listening. The reason why autistic people stim is tied up in the fact that autistic people’s sensory processing tend to be atypical - when there’s a lot of overwhelming, stressing sensory input, providing your own repeated sensory input by listening to a song on repeat or rocking back or forth or smelling something you like the smell of may help you focus and calm down. Autistic people also stim to express emotions - it’s a natural part of our body language just like smiling or frowning is a natural part of most people’s body language. We may jump up and down and flap our hands when excited where most people would simply smile, or we may rock back and forth and press our hands against our faces where other people would cry. That being said, an autistic person doesn’t need a certain, deep reason for stimming - we often do it simply because it’s fun and because it feels good. 
  • Shutdowns and meltdowns. Shutdowns and meltdowns are both responses to extreme distress - they’re often caused by unpleasant, overwhelming sensory input that the autistic person in question is unable to escape, but they can also be caused by strong negative emotions. A meltdown is an outward reaction to said distress where a shutdown is an inwards reaction. An autistic person having a meltdown is a person who has reached a point where they are no longer in control of their own body - they’re experiencing an flight or fight response, so to say. An autistic person may scream, lash out, cry, smash things and run away during a meltdown. Shutdowns are another possible response to a similar situation - during those, the autistic person may become unresponsive, locked in place, unable to talk, etc. You should never get mad at autistic people or hold them responsible for having meltdowns and shutdowns - they’ve reached a place where they’re so distressed that they’re losing control of themselves and instead of distressing them further, you should help them escape or resolve what’s causing the distress - after you have given them plenty of time to calm down and recover, that is.
  • Trouble with non-verbal communication such as body language, facial expressions and tone of voice. Autism is a disability which affects communication and the ability to socialize, meaning that autistic people may have trouble reading, using and comprehending body language, facial expressions and tone of voice just like they may have trouble learning, conforming to and applying social rules. We may not be able to take a hint that someone’s not interested in talking to us just like we may not notice when someone’s interested in us romantically or sexually. We have trouble noticing when other people are bored or tired or sad or angry and we might thus often come across as uncaring or annoying in social situations. Our trouble with reading other people and seeing the nuance in their body language, facial expressions and tone of voice also means that many autistic people have trouble grasping sarcasm, irony and metaphors. 
  • Trouble with words and speech. Most autistic people have some degree of trouble with expressing their thoughts and opinions through spoken words.This is because most of us don’t naturally think in words - we may experience, think about and process the world around us in pictures or sensory experiences and we may thus have trouble transforming those input and experiences into words. We may also have trouble with the process of speaking, not because there’s something physically wrong with us but because we can have trouble with making our throats and mouths pronounce the words or because we may have trouble with going from thinking a word to succeeding with the process of actually saying it out loud. It’s common for autistic people to have periods where they aren’t able to speak - we call it going nonverbal - and some autistic people can’t speak at all. That doesn’t mean that they can’t think or communicate, though - they may instead communicate via written words, text to speech apps, facilitated typing, sign language, picture boards, etc.
  • Executive dysfunction. Executive functioning is what allows us to go from thinking about or wanting to do something to actually doing it, it’s what makes us able to keep the different steps required to complete a task straight in our heads and it’s what makes us able to plan and focus on different tasks. Autistic people often have trouble with executive functioning which makes many everyday tasks that most people can just do without thinking twice about it really hard. Imagine that you want to do laundry but your brain doesn’t automatically come up with the steps required to complete the task - take the laundry basket to the washing machine, open the washing machine, put clothes into the washing machine, add soap, etc - instead you’re just standing there, knowing that you somehow have to go from dirty laundry to clean clothes without knowing how to go about it. This is a problem for many autistic people which makes many everyday tasks hard or impossible to do without help. We may need someone to prompt us to do what we need to do or we may need someone to talk us through the steps or we may need visual or written instructions which illustrate the steps required to complete a certain task. Executive dysfunction is the main reason why many autistic people have trouble with basic, everyday tasks that most people their age can easily do without help.
  • Special interests. Many autistic people have a topic or a thing that they’re deeply, passionately interested in. Some autistic people compare having a special interest to being in love - it’s what your mind drifts to when there’s nothing else to occupy it, it’s the only thing you want to talk about, it’s the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning and it’s the last thing you think of before you fall asleep. This intense level of interest and passion often allows autistic people to excel in their areas of interest even when they may have trouble with basic everyday tasks. Some autistic people have special interests that lasts a life time, other people experience that their special interests change every couple years or maybe every couple months - or in some cases, every couple weeks. Some autistic people have one special interest at a time, other autistic people have many special interests. 
  • Routines. Since the world is often very chaotic and confusing for autistic people due to our atypical sensory processing and our struggles with executive dysfunction and social interaction, many autistic people rely on routines to create a sense of order in a confusing and chaotic world. We usually like to do the same things in the exact same way every day and if something breaks our routine or if something unexpected happens - or if somebody suggests an impulsive trip to the beach on a day where we hadn’t expected to do anything but the usual - it may result in shutdowns or meltdowns. If you want an autistic person to break or change their routine it’s recommended that you warn them in good time and that you give them plenty of time to prepare and adjust.
  • Unique points of view and different ways of thinking. Due to the fact that autistic people experience the world so differently from how most people experience it, we see the world from a different angle - often allowing us to come up with ideas or thoughts or input or solutions that you wouldn’t get anywhere else. Autistic people often have unique points of view and unusual ways or thinking and learning and this is often a strength - as we say in the autistic community, we are different, not less. 

I’ve now summarized some of the more common autistic traits and I hope that this post gave you a better understanding of what autism is and what it means to be autistic. Feel free to reblog and share this post far and wide if you found it helpful or educational.

Writer Ask Meme
  • 1. Tell us about your WIP!
  • 2. Where is your favorite place to write?
  • 3. What is your favorite/least favorite part about writing?
  • 4. Do you have any writing habits/rituals?
  • 5. Top five formative books?
  • 6. Favorite character you’ve written?
  • 7. Favorite/most inspirational book?
  • 8. Do you have any writing buddies or critique partners?
  • 9. Favorite/least favorite tropes?
  • 10. Pick an author (or writing friend) to co-write a book with
  • 11. What are you planning to work on next?
  • 12. Which story of yours do you like best? why?
  • 13. Describe your writing process
  • 14. What does it take for you to be ready to write a book? (i.e. do you research? outline? make a playlist or pinterest board? wing it?)
  • 15. How do you deal with self-doubt when writing?
  • 16. Cover love/dream covers?
  • 17. What things (scenes/topics/character types) are you most comfortable writing?
  • 18. Tell us about that one book you’ll never let anyone read
  • 19. How do you cope with writer’s block?
  • 20. Any advice for young writers/advice you wish someone would have given you early on?
  • 21. What aspect of your writing are you most proud of?
  • 22. Tell us about the books on your “to write” list
  • 23. Most anticipated upcoming books?
  • 24. Do you remember the moment you decided to become a writer/author?
  • 25. What’s your worldbuilding process like?
  • 26. What’s the most research you’ve ever put into a book?
  • 27. Every writer's least favorite question - where does your inspiration come from? Do you do certain things to make yourself more inspired? Is it easy for you to come up with story ideas?
  • 28. How do you stay focused on your own work and how do you deal with comparison?
  • 29. Is writing more of a hobby or do you write with the intention of getting published?
  • 30. Do you like to read books similar to your project while you’re drafting or do you stick to non-fiction/un-similar works?
  • 31. Top five favorite books in your genre?
  • 32. On average how much do you write in a day? do you have trouble staying focused/getting the word count in?
  • 33. What’s your revision/rewriting process like?
  • 34. Unpopular writing thoughts/opinions?
  • 35. Post the last sentence you wrote
  • 36. Post a snippet
  • 37. Do you ever write long handed or do you prefer to type everything?
  • 38. How do you nail voice in your books?
  • 39. Do you spend a lot of time analyzing and studying the work of authors you admire?
  • 40. Do you look up to any of your writer buddies?
  • 41. Are there any books you feel have shaped you as a writer?
  • 42. How many drafts do you usually write before you feel satisfied?
  • 43. How do you deal with rejection?
  • 44. Why (and when) did you decide to become a writer?
  • 45. First or third person?
  • 46. Past or present tense?
  • 47. Single or dual/multi POV?
  • 48. Do you prefer to write skimpy drafts and flesh them out later, or write too much and cut it back?
  • 49. Favorite fictional world?
  • 50. Do you share your rough drafts or do you wait until everything is all polished?
  • 51. Are you a secretive writer or do you talk with your friends about your books?
  • 52. Who do you write for?
  • 53. What is the first line of your WIP?
  • 54. Favorite first line/opening you’ve written?
  • 55. How do you manage your time/make time for writing? (do you set aside time to write every day or do you only write when you have a lot of free time?)
Sleep Deprivation Sentence Starters

Requested by Anonymous

  • When was the last time you slept?” 
  • “What? Sorry, I’m having trouble focusing…” 
  • “…What was I doing?” 
  • “What are you doing?” 
  • “Did you see that? No?” 
  • “I haven’t slept in almost __ days.” 
  • “You look absolutely terrible.” 
  • “I’m so exhausted I don’t feel tired anymore.” 
  • “I don’t think I can stand up without things spinning.” 
  • “You need to go to bed.” 
  • “I can’t sleep.” 
  • “You aren’t making any sense.” 
  • “…What?” 
  • 🏨+ Add your own!
Soft

Harry X Reader: Smut

In which Harry loves your boobs and hates when you sleep.

Request? Yes:

Omg please write something about harry and his missus boobs I’m dying for it


Harry has been in a mood since the moment he woke up, hands roaming your body under the sheets, cupping the underneath of your breasts, lips sponging over the back of your neck. He woke you up with his feely touches, much to your annoyance.

“Harry, leave me alone,” you mumbled, rolling away from him. The two of you were out late last night and had a long day ahead of you. You needed all the shut eye you could get.

“Jus’ wan’ some cuddles, love,” he complained with a tired whine, fingers snaking over your hip in an effort to pull you back to him.

“No, you don’t. Let me sleep.” You had to shove his hands away twice more before he finally relented, climbing out of bed to get ready for the day. You were thankful for the peace, but no matter how hard you tried, there was no getting back to sleep.

Now, here you are, yawning through the doorway after a busy schedule of meetings and catch-ups, toeing off your shoes in the entryway. Your feet lead you to the couch where you collapse onto your back, eyes resting closed. A wave of relieved bliss washes over you until it’s broken once more.

Keep reading

Mercury In The Houses

Mercury In The 1st House

  • Positive Traits: agile, instinctive, literary
  • Negative Traits: insensitive, sometimes you only talk about the things that you are interested in and don’t care to hear what others say, brusque
  • Celebrities: Grace Kelly, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Penélope Cruz, Niall Horan

Mercury In The 2nd House

  • Positive Traits: powerful, clever, well-thought-out
  • Negative Traits: hard-headed, whiny when things don’t go your way, you aren’t as flexible as you have the potential to be
  • Celebrities: Pamela Anderson, Lindsay Lohan, Ben Affleck, Gerard Butler

Mercury In The 3rd House

  • Positive Traits: communicative, excellent at multi-tasking, agog
  • Negative Traits: you find it difficult to sit still and relax, scatterbrained, you may form opinions too quickly
  • Celebrities: Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Taylor, Jim Carrey, Alicia Keys

Mercury In The 4th House

  • Positive Traits: homely, conventional, strong memory
  • Negative Traits: manipulative, frequently upset, narrow view of the world
  • Celebrities: Jay-Z, Colin Farrell, Eva Longoria, Brittany Murphy

Mercury In The 5th House

  • Positive Traits: lively, quick-witted, comical
  • Negative Traits: your jokes may offend people often, tendency to exaggerate, prone to fabricating stories
  • Celebrities: Alice Cooper, Bruce Springsteen, Rita Ora, Diana Ross

Mercury In The 6th House

  • Positive Traits: hard-working, reliable, attentive
  • Negative Traits: perfectionist, nervous energy, you may feel confused a lot of the time
  • Celebrities: James Franco, Matthew McConaughey, Serena Williams, Betty White

Mercury In The 7th House

  • Positive Traits: analytical, productive, great debater
  • Negative Traits: competitive, you feel incomplete without romance in your life, hesitant to think about the future
  • Celebrities: Whitney Houston, Clint Eastwood, Snoop Dogg, Christina Ricci

Mercury In The 8th House

  • Positive Traits: strategic, good at problem-solving, psychic
  • Negative Traits: you guard your heart too much, suspicious of people, you hardly open up
  • Celebrities: Demi Moore, Sean Connery, Matt Damon, Pink

Mercury In The 9th House

  • Positive Traits: consistent, versatile, skilled conversationalist
  • Negative Traits: impatient, you make fast judgements without being aware of all of the facts, authoritative
  • Celebrities: Al Pacino, Céline Dion, Mila Kunis, Robert Downey Jr.

Mercury In The 10th House

  • Positive Traits: reasonable, thoughtful, efficient
  • Negative Traits: materialistic, power hungry, afraid to ask others for a helping hand (in fear of appearing weak)
  • Celebrities: Jennifer Lawrence, Tom Hanks, Edward Norton, Heidi Klum

Mercury In The 11th House

  • Positive Traits: humanitarian, unique, individualistic
  • Negative Traits: disorganized thought process, may find yourself saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, overly talkative every now and then
  • Celebrities: Salvador Dalí, Anne Hathaway, River Phoenix, Lorde

Mercury In The 12th House

  • Positive Traits: selfless, accepting of different people and ideas, tender
  • Negative Traits: vulnerable, secretive, you have trouble focusing on important details
  • Celebrities: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Frida Kahlo, Janis Joplin, Johnny Cash
Possible Traits of Aspergers in Females

This by no means a comprehensive list, it is simply a reference point, not a diagnostic tool. If you identify with a majority of this list and wish to receive a diagnosis, consult a medical professional, preferably a specialist in autism spectrum disorders who has had experience diagnosing women.

  • Tends to analyze everything constantly
  • Often straightforward and practical in nature.
  • Often gets lost in own thoughts and zones out (may display a blank stare)
  • May appear naive or innocent (despite not being so)
  • Prone to honesty, has difficulty lying
  • May struggle to understand manipulation, disloyalty, vindictive behavior and retaliation.
  • May be gullible and easily taken advantage of, misled, or conned.
  • May have feelings of confusion and isolation in relation to others
  • Escapism frequently used to relax or avoid overwhelming situations.
  • Often holds fixations, obsessions, and extreme interest in specific topics.
  • Finds comfort in escaping through imagination, fantasy, and daydreaming.
  • Often has slower reaction times due to need for mental processing.
  • May have had imaginary friends as a child.
  • Frequently imitates (takes social cues from) people on television or in movies.
  • May obsessively collect, organize, count, categorize, or rearrange objects.
  • Often highly adapted to social imitation.
  • May find math and numbers easier to deal with due to logic and lack of objective answers.
  • May struggle to relax or rest due to many racing thoughts.
  • Often has comorbid conditions, such as OCD, anxiety, ADD or ADHD, depression, bipolar disorder, etc.
  • Often has sensory processing disorder (sight, sound, texture, smells, taste)
  • May have dyspraxia (Poor muscle tone, lack of coordination and depth perception)
  • May have dyslexia
  • May have an eating disorder or food obsessions
  • May have been misdiagnosed or diagnosed with other mental illness or possibly labeled a hypochondriac.
  • Tends to drop small objects
  • May frequently engage in “stimming” (self-stimulation) i.e., flicks fingernails, flaps hands, drums fingers, rubs hands/fingers, tucks hands under or between legs, clenches fists, twirls hair, taps foot/shakes leg, sways side to side, spins in circles, bouncing up and down, rocking, etc.
  • May use various noises to express herself rather than using words.
  • May have a tendency to over-share with friends and sometimes strangers
  • May have little impulse control when speaking
  • May accidently dominate conversation at times.
  • Often relates discussion back to self (sharing as a means of reaching out)
  • May be incorrectly seen as narcissistic
  • Often sounds eager or over-zealous at times.
  • May feels as if she is attempting to communicate “correctly.”
  • Often struggles with and is confused by the unwritten social rules of accurate eye contact, tone of voice, proximity of body, stance, and posture in conversation.
  • Eye contact often takes extreme focus, which may lead an individual’s eye contact to be darting and insufficient, or over-the-top staring/glaring.
  • May have difficulty regulating voice volume to different situations. Is frequently observed as being either too loud or too quiet.
  • Conversation, specifically small talk, can be exhausting.
  • May have trouble focusing on/engaging in conversation that is not centered on one’s primary interests.
  • May observe and question the actions and behaviors of self and others continually.
  • May have difficulty with back-and-forth conversation
  • Trained self in social interactions through readings and studying of other people.
  • Visualizes and practices how she will act around others and before entering various social situations.
  • Difficulty filtering out background noise when talking to others.
  • Has a continuous dialogue in mind that tells her what to say and how to act when in a social situations.
  • Sense of humor sometimes seems quirky, odd, or different from others.
  • As a child, it may have been hard to know when it was her turn to talk, may still be true as an adult.
  • Often finds the norms of conversation confusing.
  • Tend to say what they mean. Are often brutally honest, coming off as rude when they do not mean to be.
  • May feel misunderstood and tend to over-explain/ramble in an attempt to compensate for possible miscommunication.
  • Feels extreme relief when she doesn’t have to go anywhere, talk to anyone, answer calls, or leave the house.
  • Feelings of dread about upcoming events and appointments on the calendar.
  • Knowing she has to leave the house causes anxiety from the moment she wakes up.
  • The steps involved in leaving the house are overwhelming and exhausting to think about.
  • Must prepare herself mentally for outings, excursions, meetings, and appointments.
  • Question next steps and movements continually.
  • Often needs a large amount of down time or alone time.
  • May feel extremely self-conscious and uncomfortable in public locker rooms, bathrooms, or dressing rooms.
  • Tends to dislike being in crowded areas.
  • Difficulty sleeping due to sensitivity to environment
  • May be highly intuitive to others’ feelings, although may not appear to react to them ‘correctly’ in social situations
  • May take criticism and judgement very personally
  • May frequently adapt her viewpoints or actions based on others’ opinions
  • Dislikes words and events that hurt animals and people.
  • May have had a desire to collect or rescue animals, usually in childhood.
  • Often holds great compassion for suffering.
  • May try to help, offer unsolicited advice, or formalize plans of action.
  • Imitates others without realizing.
  • May exhibit codependent behaviors.
  • May frequently reject or question social norms.
  • Chameleon-like in social situations. Often switches preferences and behaviours based on environment and other people.
  • May outwardly appear to have little investment in hygiene, clothes, or appearance, often prefers fast and easy methods of style.
  • Clothing style is likely more focused on comfort and practicality, especially in the case of sensory issues.
  • May possess a youthful appearance and/or voice.
  • May have trouble recognizing what she looks like and/or has slight prosopagnosia (difficulty recognizing or remembering faces).
  • The emotions of oneself and others may seem confusing, illogical, and unpredictable.
  • Expects that by acting a certain way certain results can be achieved, but realizes in dealing with emotions, those results don’t always manifest.
  • Often speaks frankly and literally.
  • Certain kinds of humor, such as sarcasm and metaphors, may be difficult to understand.
  • Can be confused when others ostracize, shun, belittle, trick, and betray.
  • Often has trouble identifying feelings in others unless they are extreme.
  • Trouble with the emotions of hate and dislike.
  • May have feelings of pity for someone who has persecuted/hurt her.
  • Situations and conversations sometimes perceived as black or white.
  • The middle spectrum of outcomes, events, and emotions is sometimes overlooked or misunderstood. (All or nothing mentality).
  • May notices patterns frequently.
  • May be fascinated by words or song lyrics.
  • Tends to best remember/learn things in visual pictures (visual thinkers).
  • May have a remarkable memory for certain details, i.e., may find it surprisingly easy to remembers exact details about someone’s life.
  • Executive function is often a challenge
  • Learning to ride a bike or drive a car may be rather difficult.
  • Anything that requires a reasonable amount of steps, dexterity, or know-how can rouse a sense of panic.
  • The thought of repairing, fixing, or locating something can cause anxiety.
  • May have a hard time finding certain objects in the house, but remembers with exact clarity where other objects are.
  • May frequently second-guess oneself and ask a lot of questions before engaging a task or situation

This list was compiled from various personal accounts and symptom lists. It is subjective and does not include every identifiable trait. Nor is it entirely medically accurate. Please do your own research into AS before self-diagnosing. 

When reblogging, feel free to add additional traits you believe to be common in AS females that will be useful for others to know.

Over Planning = Procrastination

I am making this post based on a request by an anonymous user, but as soon as I heard the idea it really resonated with me. When you are a perfectionist, like I am, procrastination comes very easily. As soon as I have a single doubt about what I am doing, I stop and turn to something else, which leads to a lot of unfinished assignments and unnecessary stress. So in this post, I’m going to give you my best advice on how to avoid this very thing and get back to work! 

Methods of Planning

You  need to start by addressing how you are organizing you time and if it needs to change. 

  1. Daily study schedule: This is my least favourite, and in my opinion leads to the worst kind of overplanning. This is when you schedule out your time hour by hour, down to what time you will study, eat, workout, etc. I understand that this works for some people and if you find yourself to be very disorganized, it can work for you. However, I personally find (and I think many would agree) that it ends up giving me anxiety and guilt when I don’t do something exactly at the right time. 
  2. Weekly or monthly schedule: This is ideal for people who like to plan ahead a lot, but don’t want to be too constricted to an hourly schedule. This method involves writing down what you need to study each day, but not declaring a specific time that you need to have it done by. I really like to use this for exam periods or before a big test, so I know that all the topics are covered by a certain point. 
  3. Daily to-do list schedule: This works for a ton of people I know, including myself. It is low-key, but also allows you to know what you have to do and actually get it done. This is what most people use in a bullet journal, which is obviously a very successful technique! It blends together the planning of the daily schedule with the fluidity and low-stress of the monthly schedule. I highly recommend this if you tend to overplan! 

Overall: You might need to re-evaluate the way that you organize your time and find something that is more productive. My personal favourite is the daily to-do list, but if you need more structure in your life, feel free to look at others. 

Dividing Tasks

One big thing that leads to procrastination is not being able to focus on the most important tasks that need to get done. If you put too much stuff on your to-do list or into your hourly schedule, it might actually end up taking away from more important tasks. 

Learn to prioritize. List tasks in order of their importance when you are creating a to-do list or other type of schedule. You can use a numbering system, or colour code them if you need more help:

  1. Red = Extremely important: Things that are due in the next day or two, studying for upcoming tests, steps in a process that needs to get done by the end of the week, bills that need to be paid, chores that have to get done before your home becomes a wreck. 
  2. Yellow = Pretty important: Things that are important to your schedule, but it wouldn’t be tragic if they got pushed off one more day. Re-writing or typing notes, writing out flashcards for a test a week away, working on an application or deadline that is still a while away, chores that aren’t going to affect you if they aren’t finished tonight. 
  3. Green = Filler stuff: Things that would be nice to get done, but aren’t urgent. Cleaning, organizing your desk, finishing a book or movie for pleasure, etc. 

Avoid Procrastination

After you have organized yourself and prioritized tasks, you need to be able to focus on actually getting them done. 

  1. Set firm deadlines. A lot of times, this is easy because teachers or bosses set them for you. But if they don’t, learn to set your own deadlines and stick to them. Write them in your calendar and make note of them in the days leading up to it. 
  2. Make mini to-do lists for an assignment. If you have trouble following deadlines, or value to-do lists as much as me, breaking down assignments and large tasks into small pieces can be super beneficial. For example, if you have an essay due, create a checklist with the intro, body paragraphs, conclusion, editing, typing, and final draft all as separate tasks. 
  3. Find ideal study setting. A lot of people have trouble focusing on tasks when they get distracted easily. I find it really helpful if I’m in an environment that gets me in a studying mood! Going to the library or a quiet coffee shop really motivates me. Finding somewhere with few distractions, limitations on how much noise you can make, and being able to see other people being productive is the ideal way to focus yourself. 
  4. Avoid social media and TV. This goes hand in hand with #3… Being in front of the TV or the computer (when you aren’t actually using it) is super distracting! Go somewhere that doesn’t have these distractions. 
  5. Start with small tasks. Sometimes, tackling your to-do list is easier if you start by completing a few small tasks. When I’m not in the mood to study, I try to do some household chores and update my bullet journal to get the ball rolling.  
  6. Use the Pomodoro technique, or something similar. Use a Pomodoro timer or another type of scheduling to stay focused when studying and take breaks when needed. If you find that breaking it down minute by minute is too stressful, try setting goals like “as soon as I am done studying this chapter, I will get up and make a snack,” and stick to them! 
Concentration and Focus Tips/Masterpost

Having troubles staying focused on your work? Here are some times for you!

Focus Timers

Focuus Timers basically are apps for your mobile phone that help you focus on your work and hinder you from getting distracted too much. Here are my three favorites:

Tide: Tide gives you a motivational quote everyday, that you can also save as a picture. You decide how long one work interval and how long your break shall be, and it notifies you once the time is over. You can also set a daily goal and have a look into your statistics, to see if you are imroving. Furthermore, you can choose between multiple ambience sounds, like rain, forest, distant chatting of people, and a soft and calm piano. If that is too calm for you, you can enable that you are able to listen to music on the phone at the same time, so you hear both, or only the music.

Wind: Wind will allow you to choose a daily goal, but instead of giving you precise time intervals, it has an indefinite timer. You start it once you start working and hit it again when you need to take a break, for which you can either set a timer or choose it to be indefinite as well. It also notifies you if you get distracted and remebers you to stay focused. This is great for everyone with varying concentration spans, you can either work for hours and reach your daily goal with just to intervals, or you can take a break literaly every ten minutes, it is totally up to you.

Forest: Forest lets you decide on a certain time intervall everytime you start working. You can choose the same amount of time everytime, or you vary it depending it on your tasks and expected concentration. If you reach this chosen goal without closing the app, a tree will be planted in your virtual forest, and you will get some coins. With these coins you can buy beautiful different kinds of trees. If you close the app however, your tree will die! So if you are easily distracted by your mobile phone, this is perfect for you. It is made cute and motivates you. You can also upgrade to a premium account to help plant trees in real life!

Music

You will have to find out for yourself what music works best for you while studying, but here are some suggestions:

-) some people can only study well when in total silence; in this case, it would be best for you to study in a library, or if it is quite at home, study at home. Not in a coffe shop, not with friends or such. If you have to study at somewhere were it´s noisy, buy noice-supressing headphones to keep out most of the noice. When it is warm enough and you live somewhere near nature, you can also go out and study in the forest or in a (quiet) park, if there are not many people, children, dogs etc.

-) ambience: ambience is basically backgroundes noices like rain, wind, distant chatter or forest sounds; there are many apps for your mobile phone that can provide ambience sounds, and there is also a lot on youtube and spotify

Apps:

Ambience - Geräusche der Natur (sounds of nature)

Naturgeräusche (sounds of nature)

Regengeräusche (rain)

Weißes Rauschen (white noice)

Spotify:

Spotify Nature Sounds

Spotify Rain and Calming Melodies

Spotify Playlist Nature Sounds

White Noice

Nature Sounds

Youtube:

Mix ambience

Youtube Mix ambience

-) classical/instrumental music: piano, violin

Some of you might need/prefer classical music, like paino, violin, orchestral or simply put calming instrumental music, so here are some resources!

Spotify

My own instrumental Playlist

Deep Focus

Peaceful Piano

maximal concentration

backgroundmusic

instrumental study

Brain Food

calm electronic music

classical piano and violin

classical pieces

Calm before the storm

Youtube

Breathtaking Piano

Relaxing Music Mix

Orchestral Music

Dark Piano

Fantasy Music

Instrumental concentration music

-) Binaural Beats und Waves

Binaural Beats and different Waves like Alpha Waves nowadays exist for literally every possible use. While they might not help everyone, there are people who find them really useful, so make sure you check them out to know if they are for you!

Spotify:

Mixed Binaural Beats Playlist

Binaural Beats for Focus Playlist

Mixed Playlist with Binaural Beats, Ambience and Instrumental Music

Binaural Beats and Waves Album

Alpha Waves Artist

Alpha Waves Playlist

Study Alpha Waves Artist

Alpha Waves Excellent Memory Playlist

Alpha Waves Study Music Mini-Playlist

Youtube

Alpha Waves For Studying

Happiness Frequency

Memory Improving Binaural Beats

Concentration Improving Binaural Beats

Concentration And Memory Improving Binaural Beats And Beta Waves

Happiness Beats and Waves

Binaural Beats For Concentration and Memory

-) Figure out what´s right for YOU!

Now what I linked above are only the most common types of music someone might listen to while studying, but in the end you and only you can know what you need and is best for you! This can be something of the above, or something totally different like metal or electro or whatever! (For everyone needing hard electro with vocals, I suggest trying the band Solar Fake ,they make hard electronic music with vocals that are changed to sound harder and more electronic! Just don´t listen to the lyrics (tw depression, self-harm, suicide, emotional abuse), only to the sound. Works great for me!)

-) Changing the music depending on the activity

You may find music that works universally, but most people need totally different kinds of music depending on what they are doing. You may listen to something different when you are taking notes than when you are revising!

-) Volume

Also how high you will set the volume may vary depending on what you want to focus on. I personally prefer very calm and quiet music while taking notes, and hard loud electro while revising too stay awake and motivated. Just don´t harm your ears please!

-) If you listen to “normal music” -> some tipps to find the right

If you find that binaural beats, alpha waves, instrumental or classical music and ambience are not for you, you will probably listen to a band or an artist you like. Here are some tipps, how to figure out the right one for maximal focus!

1. Music: The music they make should fit what you need, so if you are very tired, it should be music that wakes you up! Probably fast beats, Pop, Electro, Rock or something like that. If you are restless or stressed, better choose calmer music that is not too fast and relaxes you.

2. Voice: If you are like me, you may find that certain voices have a certain effect on you. If so, choose a singer with a voice, that calms you emotionally, that reduces the stress and makes you feel save and comfortable. It will help you deal with negative emotions that will probably occur once in a while due to stress, pressure, insecurities, and lack of sleep, or may even help to prevent or reduce these feelings!

3. Lyrics

For many people it is easier to listen to lyrics that are not in the language they are studying in or reading texts in, since this might confuse you and your brain mixes the sentences together, which you don´t want! So if you like songs or bands singing in a different language, try them first. My mother tongue is German and I only listen to English songs while studying.

When it comes to the lyrics itself, don´t choose something that awakes a lot of memories. So don´t want your mind to wander around at the beautiful beach you visited last summer, or to get sad over your last realtionship and it´s end. So choose lyrics that do not awake vivid memories! Apart from that, you have to know for yourself what topics don´t destract you. Many people might want shallow lyrics while studying, but I don´t mind deep lyrics as well, even if they are negative, because since they are in a different language, I don´t even notice them conciously.

Also, it mostly is best if you choose songs you already know well. Otherwise your mind might concentrate more on getting to know the song, the melody, voice, meaning and lyrics, than on the actual task!

Stay Hydrated

-) This should be pretty obvius, but you have to drink a lot to stay concentrated - and by that I don´t mean tons of coffee, juice, soda or soft drinks! You should drink around 2 litres of water or unsweetened tea when you want to stay focused.

-) Also, if you need to stay awake long, drink green tea instead of coffee! It is better for your stomach, your heart (too much coffee can actually harm your heart and it needs a lot more of green tea to come to this point) and it is way less addictive. A nice bonus: It can help against depression and stress (and we all know that both occur reguarly near finals). Don´t like the taste of green tea? Mix it with fruit tee and make sure that you do it at least half/half. It is still very effective and you won´t taste much of the green tea now!

-) If you really need to drink coffee, pour a shot of hazelnut syrup in it (but not too much)! It tastes better and my experience is (as someone who normally drinks coffee without any sugar but the one that is in the milk) that the sugar helps the coffeein to operate faster and stronger, so you don´t have to make the coffee as strong as you normally would. It´s also milder in your stomach and in my opinion tastes better!

Fresh Air

This too should be obvious but many of us tend to forget about it. Remeber to let in fresh air every once in a while, or leave your window open if it´s quiet and warm enough outside. The brain needs oxygen to work and focusing, thinking, learning, studying are all brain work, so - no fresh air, no oxygen, no concentration.

Eat Healthy

No, you don´t have to live of fruits, salats and nuts. But there are some things regarding your diet choices you should consider:

-) Carbs

So many diets cut out carbs or cut them to a minimum and honestly it´s one of the worst things you can do. Your brain needs carbs to work, and your whole body needs it as well. So if you cut them down, not only do you feel cold and a lack of energy, but you literally HARM YOUR BRAIN! If you eat less than 70-80 gramms of carbs a day for several days or even weeks, your brain will be damaged. And for everyone who does it because it helps to loose weight: Yes, you loose weight faster this way, because instead of burning the carbs you should, your body burns its fat. But this is not healthy and not how it shoud be! So, don´t cut the carbs out, your body and your brain need them and by leaving them out, you not only won´t be able to concentrate well but you also harm your brain and whole body!

-) Treats are allowed, but not too much

Although you should eat healthy, you still can treat yourself every once in a while. A piece of chocolate, the pizza slize you crave or the ice cream you´ve been wanting for days won´t harm your body or your concentration. Just don´t eat it too much, especially the fatty things. Fat holds back the carbs from getting in your bloodstream and as we already established, these carbs are damn important for you! So, to much fat will hinder you from being concentrated over a longer time span.

-) Grape sugar

If you are feeling low on energy and can´t concentrate well, try eating a piece of grape sugar. It´s literally glucose and thereby the fastet type of carbs, which means that they will reach your brain within a few minutes!


I really hope that this helps some of you! Also, if there´s anything I forgot, feel free to add!

Also I´ve been working on this post for days so I am grateful for every reblog!

yorulun  asked:

Prompt 8 for Jason and Bruce where Bruce actually arrived on time to save him.

Jason’s on the floor, covered in his own blood, and Bruce is having the hardest time finding it in himself to keep on breathing. There’s a timer—a bomb. There’s a bomb, and Jason’s hardly stirring. There’s not much time. Bruce needs to Jason out of here. There’s no time.

And yet, he hesitates. Drops to his knees beside his boy—his son. Jason barely cracks his eyes open, but Bruce can see the pure relief in them, and coupled with the grateful grin—well. It’s enough to get Bruce moving.

“I knew you’d come,” Jason coughs out, blood at his lips. “I knew it.”

“Stay with me,” Bruce demands, scooping Jason up into his arms. But Jason’s eyes fall closed, and there’s nothing Bruce can do except yell, “Damn it. Robin, stay with me!”

Jason doesn’t respond. Still, there’s no time to make him. The timer is counting down the seconds and Bruce still has to get the both of them far enough away from the blast radius in order to make sure that they both survive. That Jason survives.

So, Bruce runs.

It’s awkward with Jason in his arms, his body slick with blood and his lungs heaving for each breath, and Bruce is reminded so much of another Robin he’d held much like this after the beating of a lifetime. Bruce hadn’t lost Dick back then, though, and he won’t lose Jason now. He thinks he’d rather die.

Bruce manages to escape, the timer counting down in his head—except, maybe, for once in his life, he counts it wrong. Because he’s ten steps from the building with a full four seconds to go and then—boom.

The earth feels like it’s ripping itself apart with the force, and Bruce is pushed forward. Jason grunts from the landing, but Bruce doesn’t think about that just yet. Instead, he makes sure Jason’s tucked underneath him as the heat and pressure burn against his protective cape.

It takes a few moments for the explosion to die down to flame and smoke, but once it does, Bruce is sitting up again, checking over Jason.

Jason groans again, his eyelids fluttering.

“Hang in there,” Bruce says—orders. It’s easier this way. “I’m going to get you to Leslie’s, and you’re going to be fine. You got that?”

There’s no answer, but Bruce refuses to dwell on it. He just lifts his son back into his arms and runs. He runs and he runs and he runs, and he’s afraid that if he doesn’t, he’ll be too late. And he can’t imagine what being too late will do to him.

How To Beat Procrastination When Procrastination Is A Part of You (By A World Class Procrastinator)

We’ve all seen those posts that give you advice to help you stop procrastinating, and they’re pretty good advice, unless procrastinating is inherent to who you are, like it is to me (for real, I’ve studied for my finals the day before the actual finals, so I know what I’m talking about).

So here are a few tips to beat procrastination’s ass and be a productive person, even if it’s not like you see on Tumblr.

First of, if you’re reading this post because you’re procrastinating, read the post and then close Tumblr, and acknowledge your effort. Just be proud of you for closing the app and making a first step towards productivity. You got this!

Next advice is not gonna help you stop procrastinating, but help you be more productive. Try to set your alarm clock earlier than you usually do, especially in the weekend, and wake up at 7 instead of 9 for instance. It’s a little bit hard at first, but once you’re out of bed, chances are you’ll feel energetic and ready to kick some ass. But that isn’t the best part. Because imagine you wake up at 9, and want to start studying at 10, but end up procrastinating for 2 hours. At noon, you won’t have gotten anything done, and you’ll probably go have lunch, and then take a nap, so you’ll end up starting working at like 3, 4, or 5. But if you wake up at 7 and want to start studying at 8, but end up procrastinating 2 hours, it’ll only be 10! So you procrastinated the same way you would have while waking up at 9, but you gain like 5, 6, or 7 hours of potential study time and productivity!

Another advice that I find useful in my quest to beat procrastination is really setting myself to understand what I’m studying, and imagining studying and learning as some sort of power, which it is, really! I try to think of inspiring people, tell myself “they did it, and so can I”, and try to make myself proud.

Break tasks into really small tasks! I know it’s a common advice, but we’re gonna take it to the extreme. If for instance you have to do a math exercise, break it down into small tasks such as “answer question 1”, “answer question 2”, etc., instead of setting the task “do math exercise”. It will be so much more rewarding for you and will help you stay in the loop of productivity!

Take breaks quite often, especially if you have trouble focusing on a single thing for too long. I personally use the Podomoro (Pomodoro? I’m not sure and I’m too lazy to check it out lol but you know what I mean) technique, and it works wonders with me! I use the app Flat Tomato, which allows you to set your own times, and tells you how good you did compared to other people the day before (rewarding process!), and I definitely recommend it. On your breaks, drink a little bit of water, and do what you like to do, whether it’s surfing the net or doodling or whatever, so you keep the reward system going!

What I find to be quite efficient as well is to have a visual representation of your long-term goal is, your motivation to study this shit you’re probably not interested in. Like if you have a dream job, write it down and keep it in sight, so you’re always reminded that you’re not working for nothing, that the effort you put in the work and the effort you make to not procrastinate are worth it.

Be realistic when writing down your to-do list. We usually tend to write a lot of stuff done, thinking we can do it because we’re really motivated this time and we will get shit done, but we usually don’t, and when we see how much stuff we didn’t do, we most likely feel crappy and end up guilt watching Netflix (I think we can all relate to that, at least I know I do), which definitely isn’t productive.

Don’t work too much. I know this advice sounds bad, but us procrastinators aren’t used to working over a long period of time, we’re rather used to working an awful lot over a very short period of time. So at first, you’ll want to work a lot over a long period of time, and your brain and body will just be like “what the fuck dude” and will potentially shut down, and everything you’ll try to learn won’t stick in your memory, and your attention will drastically decrease, giving you a lot of stress and making you feel terrible about yourself. Therefore, as you start kicking procrastination’s ass, be kind to yourself, and learn to know when you’ve reached your limit for the day. Then maybe take a 20-minute nap, and if you feel better and need to study, go back to studying. But if you feel too tired or overwhelmed to keep on studying, don’t beat yourself up, acknowledge everything you got done so far, and take a moment to say “go me! I did great today!”, even if you didn’t do everything that was in your to-do list, which was probably too long anyways.

So yeah, these are my tips to help you become a more productive person. It won’t happen over the night, no matter how many times you promise yourself you’ll be productive tomorrow, but slowly, you’ll start to get more work done and feel super good about yourself, even if there are times where you might feel overwhelmed. In these times, take a deep breath, remind yourself of you got done so far, and remember that it is only humane to procrastinate and that it isn’t a fatality (if it were, a lot of people on this planet wouldn’t have a job, trust me).

Go you, you got this! Go beat procrastination and be a productivity queen/king! I’m rooting for you!

Coffee’s For Cuties

Summary: Coffee shop AU. It’s your first day on the job and your very demanding boss sends you to pick up coffee. With a ridiculously complicated order, you’re sure to annoy the barista, but what if he’s more understanding than you expect? 

Word Count: 1,168

Warnings: none? 

A/N: Please forgive me if this isn’t up to my usual standards. I’ve been really sick for the past few weeks and we’re still trying to figure out exactly what’s wrong with me. I currently can’t keep any food down so I’m having trouble focusing because my energy levels are pretty low, but I really wanted to do something productive, so this happened. Anyway, here’s some cute, fluffy Bucky to (hopefully) brighten your day. 


Originally posted by calif0rnia-lovers


You trudged through the New York streets, yawning as you desperately tried to wake yourself up. Today was your first day at a new job, and you hadn’t been able to sleep the night before. Your mind was buzzing in a mixture of anxiety, excitement, and anticipation, the combination of which had caused sleep to evade you. This was your dream job, and you still weren’t quite sure how you had managed to get it, but you weren’t going to question it. You just hoped that you could make it through your first day without any major problems. 

Keep reading

『07.31.17』-《23/100》
Ahh, time flies when you’re having fun~ August’s theme is café! I am feeling a lot of jazz vibes so here it is~
「Quick tip: If you have trouble focusing in one place, try to transfer to another area with a different environment!~」

essay writing strategy

if you’re like me, maybe you have trouble staying focused on your essays or remembering what you’re writing about when you trail off mid paragraph, 

or hate scrolling up and down the page to see things youve written previously/remember what you were talking about! 

ive developed a strategy for countering this sort of thing in my own work, and figured hey maybe i should type it out because it might help some other people who struggle with similar things! so here goes! 

also, uh .. I dunno if anyone cares about this but im using the Great Gatsby as an example, so if you care about being spoiled about stuff that happens in that book.. dont read the examples?

1. Rewrite/copy down your prompt. 

If you have short term memory problems like I do, this can help you actually remember what it is that you’re supposed to be talking about; and if you have issues skimming and skipping words in a sentence, it forces you to read all of it and not miss a key part of your prompt. 

Example prompt: Explore the thematic significance of symbols of wealth in The Great Gatsby, and what the author uses them to say about society in the text. 

2. Make a messy bullet point list of what you know. 

This doesn’t need to be organized. In fact, it shouldn’t be. At this point you’re just throwing your ideas out onto the word processor. Examples you can use, points you want to make, anything else that comes to mind. 

Example: 

  • Gatsby’s car
  • Daisy as a symbol of money & american dream
    • (quote about her voice being full of money)
  • the valley of ashes 
  • capitalism is bad bcuz it favors people with old money etc 
  • the boat guy 

3. Cut down & reorder your bullet points to make yourself a neat little list. 

Your outline is starting to take shape now! If you can, it’s a good idea to try and think of transitions now; how you’re going to move from subject to subject in your essay. Now is a good time to elaborate on your points, too. 

Example: 

  • Daisy as a symbol of money & american dream
    • (quote about her voice being full of money)
  • the valley of ashes 
    • (tie that in with the deaths of gatsby and wilson, all the people who “lost” in the book started poor, transition to:
  • capitalism is bad bcuz it favors people with old money etc, end with fancy ass profound quote if u think of one by then 

4. Gather all your points and squish em into one introductory sentence.

Your thesis statement, if you rather. Your thesis statement is something of a “preview” of what’s to come later in the essay, so it’s better to write this after you’ve got your outline down! Make sure that your thesis statement answers/addresses the question posed in the prompt. 

Example: 

topics covered (daisy, valley of ashes, capitalism, people dead) 

In his novel the Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald seems to be criticizing how the American system is stacked against the poor, making it difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to truly achieve the elusive “American Dream”. 

5. Stick all that together

Now you’ve got the backbone of your essay! - your thesis statement, and the “topic” of each bit of the rest of your essay. Put this all together, and you’re ready to start padding it out. 

Example: 

  • (theeeeesiiiiiiiiiisssss) In his novel the Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald seems to be criticizing how the American system is stacked against the poor, making it difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to truly achieve the elusive “American Dream”. 
  • Daisy as a symbol of money/the american dream (quote about her voice being full of money) 
  • The valley of ashes (poor people in a bad situation in the wasteland of the city) 
  • capitalism sucks bcuz it favors old money, profound quote, bam done we’re gona rock it 

6. Start padding out your essay! 

See, what I like about writing an essay like this is that you don’t have to scroll around your page in order to know what you’re supposed to be writing about in the section you’re working on. Using your bullet points as a guide, write your paragraph under each one. 

Example: 

  • Daisy as a symbol of money/the american dream (quote about her voice being full of money)
    • A powerful symbol Fitzgerald uses to represent the American Dream is the character Daisy Buchanan. She is explicitly said to have a voice “full of money” and is pursued by many. However, when Gatsby finally achieves his dream of having her in his reach, she seems less magical, less perfect than he remembers; much like the American Dream seems from “close up”. Interestingly, the only one in the end who gets to have “the Dream” is Tom, someone born into money. Gatsby’s attempts to keep her are arguably in vain due to the fact that he used to be poor. 
  • The valley of ashes (poor people in a bad situation in the wasteland of the city)
    • Further commentary on wealth is evident in the area aptly named as the “Valley of Ashes”; the shadow of glamorous, frivolous New York, it is where the poor are left fighting for scraps and cleaning up what the rich left behind. (god, im not gonna finish this, im not getting a grade for this, you get the idea right? write the essay inside your outline. use it like a spine. like a tree trunk, and write the leaves around it.)

7. Write out an intro and conclusion to fit your middle paragraphs. 

Your introduction needs to “fade in” and bring the readers to your “point”; your conclusion needs to “fade out” and show the bigger picture and how your essay applies to other areas. (These aren’t rules that are set in stone per se, just good guidelines to follow when you dont have any other ideas.) 

Your thesis statement is ideally the end of your introduction, leading into the rest of your essay. Generally, the thesis is “restated” in different words in the conclusion, as if in summary. 

8. Delete your outline bullet points and clean it up a little. 

This is like erasing your construction lines after you finish a drawing, and then make sure it flows smoothly together. Reading it outloud to yourself is a good idea, it will help you catch any glaring errors. 

9. Congrats you wrote that dam essay!! 

good job dude!!!!! give yourself a pat on the back and maybe a treat bcuz you deserve it! 

Kiss Me Not -Part 2-

Find Part One Here!

Let’s get this party started, shall we?


Harry threw back the last of his fire whisky and thumped the glass down on the table, yelling above the music from the wireless, “I’m gonna kiss everyone in this room!”

A drunken cheer greeted his declaration. A girl sitting behind him startled to her feet, her drink spilling over her fingers as she stepped closer, “Me first,” she smiled shyly.

She had been flirting rather desperately with Harry all night and though he wasn’t interested in the slightest he leaned down. She twitched forward eagerly and was just as quickly pushed back quite a distance from Harry. Apparently, she was a particularly bad match.

He didn’t laugh in her face but it was a near thing. He was just drunk enough that awfulness of his situation was fucking hilarious.

“Sorry,” Harry grinned and turned to the person sitting beside her and then the next person and the next. One miss after another as the music and chatter grew louder and the night wore on. He teased Dean and Seamus into a kiss, Dean almost managed it, close enough Harry could feel his laughter before he pulled away to give Seamus a proper kiss. He did not kiss Ron or Hermione, it would’ve been like kissing a sibling and he wasn’t interested in having creepy nightmares about it for the rest of his life. Everyone else he approached humoured him and gave Harry a go at a quick kiss.

He was fast running out of people to try- and fail -to kiss when he found himself at the back corner of the room, the large couch pushed against the wall had been taken over by the only three Slytherin’s who came back to finish up their schooling, Blaise, Pansy and, Draco Malfoy. They were relaxed, somewhat sprawled over one another with a bottle of fire whisky to pass between them. They weren’t nearly as relaxed when they noticed Harry staring at them, the lot of them stiffening like a group of alley cats arching their backs and hissing.

What?” Pansy lifted her nose with a sniff, “We’ve a right to be here, same as you.”

“You need something, Potter?” Blaise asked.

Harry blinked, “A kiss,” he said. Once upon a time, the prospect of kissing a trio of Slytherins would have been far too nerve-wracking but not anymore. The thing about trying to kiss about a hundred odd people was that the whole procedure rather lost it’s magic, so to speak.

They all stared at him blankly.

“I did say I was going to kiss everyone in the room,” Harry made a show of looking around, “You’re here.”

“You’ve got to be kidding,” Pansy said, raising an eyebrow in disbelief.

Blaise laughed,  pushing himself to his feet and out of the tangle of his friend’s legs without somehow tripping himself up, “Me first, Boy-wonder,” Blaise said with the smug challenging sort of look that seemed to be calling out Harry’s bluff.

Harry returned the look, “Get on with it then.”

A flicker of hesitation crossed Blaise’s face before he managed to mask it, crossing the distance between them.

Harry tried to stay calm. The whole kissing thing seemed to work out better if he could but it was pointless since Blaise hardly had a go at all. As soon as the nudging pressure began to make itself known he backed off with a smirk.

Blaise dropped back onto the couch with a thud, “Well, that was anticlimactic.”

Pansy looked from Harry to Blaise curiously and then popped up, approaching Harry with a tilt to her head that brought to Harry’s mind the alley cat image again. She went up on tiptoes and Harry leaned down as she tried to kiss the corner of his mouth. Harry was a little surprised how close she got, about a half an inch away.

Her eyes widened as she pulled back. She exchanged a questioning look with Blaise that turned into a knowing one.

She looked back at Harry with an appraising smile, “I see,” she said to herself as she slowly backed away from him.

When the back of her legs hit the couch she stopped and looked over at Draco who was sitting stiffly in the centre. His arms were wrapped nervously around his waist, one hand clutching the neck of the whisky bottle as he scowled up at Harry.

“Your turn, Draco,” Pansy said. When he didn’t move immediately she gave his ankle a halfhearted kick, “Come on.”

Blaise leaned over, grabbing hold of his shoulder and pushing him forward, “Give it a go, my friend. It’s a laugh.”

Draco looked over at Blaise furiously. A flush was rising in his cheeks as he knocked Blaise’s hand away and stood unsteadily, pushing the bottle into Pansy’s chest with a bit too much force. She huffed and turned up her nose, flopping back onto the couch next to Blaise who leaned over to whisper in her ear. 

Draco wavered on his feet, his eyes looking like he was having trouble focusing. He was completely and utterly pissed.

Harry watched with growing apprehension. Draco was flushed, his hair gone a little wild, even his clothes were slightly rumpled and there was a grim determination in his eyes. He took a deep breath, absentmindedly pulling his shirt straight and smoothing his hair back with one hand, though it didn’t stay.

A prickle started on the back of Harry’s neck, the hair on his arms standing up. His heart rate began to pick up as the shivery tension raced through Harry with every step Draco got closer. He had felt this before when they fought, this thundering, shivery pulling feeling. Harry had always thought it was the adrenaline from being angry and from fighting but…

Draco stopped a foot away and then almost swayed forward until they were almost touching. Harry saw close his eyes briefly as if gathering himself, a shiver made his shoulder twitch. When he opened his eyes again Harry felt transfixed by the flat grey colour. Harry’s hand moving without his permission, pressing against the flat planes of Draco’s chest,. Harry felt another shiver go through Draco, stronger than the last, his mouth falling open in a silent gasp, his pupils darkening.

Harry leaned forward, almost haltingly. He kept expecting the pressure to start, to push him back, but instead, it almost felt like he was being tugged closer, and there was almost a static hum in the air, prickling along his skin. He reached up, brushing his fingers lightly on Draco’s chin, too nervous to actually cup his cheek. Draco tilted his head and Harry felt his breath ghost across his lips, felt his lips, soft and careful and shivering just like Harry was and-

“ENOUGH!” Headmistress McGonagall’s voice cut through the party like a blade of ice. “This party is over.

Harry and Draco startled away from each other. The music was shut off and the room slowly took on the deathly calm of those who know they are completely and utterly hosed.

McGonagall’s eyes narrowed as she looked over the room, “There will be no more parties, for the rest of the year,” she said coldly, “Hogsmeade weekends are canceled and everyone here, including eighth years, are to remain on the castle grounds for the next three months-” there was a chorus of groans that was abruptly cut off with a single look, “-All of your curfews are now at eight pm, all of you.” There were no attempts to complain this time, simply an overwhelming and spreading air of despair. “If you are going to act like children, you will be treated like children. If any of you are found with alcohol on school grounds again, you will be suspended,” she pursed her lips in disappointment, “I do hope you will learn from this. Now go to your dorms.”

The students swayed and shuffled out of the room with their heads low to avoid eye contact.

Harry hadn’t moved. He wasn’t entirely aware of what was happening until a hand firmly took him by the upper arm.

“Mr Potter.” McGonagall said, some of the sternness leaving her voice, “Are you well? Do you need to go to the hospital wing?”

“I- What-?” Harry asked blankly, his mind entirely consumed by a single kiss, so brief there was part of his mind that wasn’t entity certain it had happened.

McGonagall frowned, her question changing to an order, “Go to the hospital wing. Have Poppy look you over.”

“The hospital wing,” Harry repeated.

The room was entirely empty. Harry didn’t know when that had happened.

“You’re trembling Harry,” McGonagall said, looking Harry over with concern,  “I’ll walk you there myself.”


Part 1 ~ Part 2 (you are here!) ~ Part 3 ~   Part 4 ~ Part 5 ~ Part 6 ~