i had to add 2 more in to make them even

In honor of my 5th semester in a row of all A’s (hell yeah boiiiii) I’m going to make this post. I don’t know how I did it because I am honestly so lazy.

  1. Grades are reflective of your work ethic and your ability to strategize, not your intelligence.
  2. Be real with yourself. Are you sure you are ready to commit to perfect grades? Are you ready to work, day in and day out, when it sucks and classes are boring and hard? Are you ready to feel satisfied for all of the hard work you put in? If the answer is yes, congratulations. You are on your way to becoming a straight-A student.
  3. Prioritize classes. Not every class requires the same amount of work, and you should find out the hardest classes early on in the semester. These will take the most time, and you will have to spend extra time and effort to get a good grade. When choosing classes, make sure you will be able to handle them. Make sure you will be able to ace all of them, at the same time. That being said, don’t shy away from hard classes. You have to challenge yourself. Take a few AP’s. They are worth it.
  4. Make friends with teachers/professors, especially the ones that teach hard subjects. I am very close with my chemistry professor, and this has proved invaluable because I am able to get free tutoring, as well as a great recommendation letter for college apps.
  5. Have other goals. You need to do something that is not studying to keep you productive. I would highly recommend joining a sports team or club. I exercise (usually running and weightlifting) at least 2 hours a day, usually more. Playing 2 sports made me more healthy, social, and productive. Running calms me down, and weightlifting makes me feel strong. Do whatever makes you feel good, as long as it’s healthy.
  6. Learn to manage time well. How do I play 2 sports, get straight A’s, have a studyblr, and have time to spare? The answer is that I take care of myself well. I go to bed at 10:30 or 11 each night so I can get 7 ish hours of sleep. I do homework during lunch or in class so I don’t do it at home.
  7. Slack off. Yep. I said it. I complete assignments strategically, spending the most time on things worth the most points. Things that will only take a few minutes can occasionally be done in class right before the teacher is collecting homework. I have done this all too often. That being said, small assignments really do add up so make sure you do an acceptable job and turn them in on time.
  8. Turn something in. It is ok to sometimes slack off in quality, but if something is due, you better turn something in. Something is better than nothing. Getting extensions on assignments for no reason will make the teacher think you are lazy, or don’t care about their class. Every single essay and worksheet does not have to be your best work, but make sure you fill the basic assignment requirements, and it should be enough. 
  9. Extra. Credit. Some classes don’t offer this, but if they do, just freaking do it man. Knowing you can miss an assignment because you did extra credit earlier is the best feeling, especially when doing that assignment would have meant losing sleep. 
  10. Plan (sort of). I have a bullet journal where I write important assignments down. As I said, there are some assignments not worth your time that you can half-ass. The ones I write down are the ones I need to do well. If you write down every. last. assignment. you will burn out and stop planning altogether. 
  11. Sometimes, go above and beyond. You know that subject you really like? With an awesome teacher? Spend time on it. Make your project extra beautiful, and read ahead in the textbook. Watch video lectures online, and maybe even make a studyblr post about it. Your extra work might not be turned in for credit, but it will make you feel a whole lot more knowledgeable on the subject. Do this for classes you hate, too. Maybe it’s not as bad as you think it is. The extra effort might allow you to see the beauty in a subject you used to despise. 
  12. Be real with yourself (again). This past semester, I had a B+ for a few months in a subject I really love. I wasn’t mad, and I didn’t stress about it, because, honestly? It doesn’t really matter. Eventually I brought the grade up again, but it would be fine to me either way. 

anonymous asked:

If you have the time and if you don't mind, what are some books you really recommend? Doesn't have to be all time faves, but anything that pops into mind that you want more ppl to read and love, Extra points if lgbt+ , i got the whole summer with little to do and i wanna spend it reading some good quality writing and honestly so far your recs have introduced me to so many faves its unbelievable

[blushes profusely] oh wow, thank you!!!  i’m so glad you’ve trusted me enough to check out some of the stuff i reblog; that is like the ultimate compliment, i can’t even???  i don’t mind at all(!), fair warning though: i only started recording what i read partway through last year and my mind is like a sieve so i’ll do my absolute best to remember what’s sang to me in the recent past.  warning number two: i’m in an open relationship with absolutely every genre out there so i’ll try to note which belongs where so you can avoid those that hold no interest for you.

LGBT+

  • i’ll give you the sun.  i loved this book, the writing is fucking transformative and all the characters are so damn likable, while still being realistically flawed human beings.
  • the raven cycle (tetralogy).  definitely my favorite series since harry potter.  the writing, the world-building, the characters, it’s all on top-form.  i wrote a little, mini non-spoilery review of it: here, back when i was better (worse?) wordly-wise and my feels were brand new.
  • more happy than not.  i’m still not sure how i feel about this book.  it was hard, but it felt very true to the characters and the lingo and style matched the ages of the players and i have a lot of respect for that.
  • the watchmaker of filigree street.  woooow i loved this book.  i admit ‘historical fiction’ kind of makes me cringe.  it never precludes me from reading a book but it does knock it down the list by a book or five because they’re often very dense and very clunky and end up taking me ages to get through.  but this one was gorgeous.  i loved the plot, the attention lovingly placed on every character and the historical elements.  the surprise gay in an already brilliant book felt like winning the lottery honestly.
  • captive prince (trilogy).  okay, truthfully, i’m only putting this on here because the second book is such a high point for me.  it was never bad at any point but it had unfortunately been hyped far too much for it to live up to my, admittedly, very high expectations.  hopefully it’ll fare better with you?
  • everything i never told you.  i go back and forth on this one.  i like the writing a lot, i like the LGBT aspect a lot, and i like the mystery aspect a lot but there are definitely characters i would cut out entirely for sheer predictability if i could and that killed a lot of my enjoyment at the time (but i think much more highly of it in retrospect?).  so, take that as you like.
  • aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the universe.  if there’s a book that handles its characters with more care or respect or consideration then i haven’t run into it.  i love the way this is written and the people it’s populated with.
  • flying lessons & other stories.  a bunch of uber talented authors writing a bunch of uber diverse and LGBT-focused stories and, yes, that is exactly as awesome as it sounds.
  • the song of achilles.  it is utterly heart-breaking but so rich, honestly.

FANTASY

  • the diviners.  (also has a minor LGBT character, who may play a bigger role in the sequel?)  fair warning, i have not read the sequel, lair of dreams, because it is somehow still not out in paperback (yes, i read physical books, yes, i pretty exclusively read paperbacks so i can lug them everywhere with me, YES, I PRE-ORDERED THIS ALMOST TWO YEARS AGO AND IT’S STILL NOT OUT, NOT THAT I’M BITTER ABOUT THAT OR ANYTHING) so i can’t speak to that one finishing on a high note as i don’t know.  but this was the first historical novel i managed to like in a long while.  it does such a good job of fusing in 1920s lingo and dress and aspects that i couldn’t help but love it.  add in the fantasy elements and i can admit i’m the perfect sucker for it.
  • the scorpio races.  i’m not sure why but it took me a long-ass time to get into this book, i wasn’t flipping pages with gusto until well towards the end but - especially as i was reading so much YA at the time - i really appreciated coming across a romance that lets both people come into it as themselves and stay themselves, neither puck nor sean were ever smashed or crumpled or shaved away to fit into their relationship, which was so refreshing.  plus the water horses were fucking cool.
  • the night circus.  the writing, the atmosphere, the circus.  just… it is all very whoa.
  • all the birds in the sky.  i loved this writing style and these characters and the magical elements.

CONTEMPORARY

  • i’ll meet you there.  there was something about this and i just… ended up liking it way more than i expected to.  i might’ve just read it at exactly the right time, i’m not sure, but i really enjoyed it.
  • the invoice.  this is honestly just hella cute and so freaking surreal.  swedes, man.

NON-FICTION

  • why not me?  i like mindy kaling a lot.  i make no apologies for that.  plus you can read both her books in about five seconds, haha.

SCIENCE FICTION

  • station eleven.  i loved this book.  the way the narrative is woven is so refreshing and i wish the comic book miranda was writing in this book was a real thing more than anything else in the woooorld.
  • illuminae.  hot DAMN this book was cool.  the plot was rock solid, the characters were hilarious and badass and the graphics made out of text and spiraling words and just the way this thing is put together?  shit, it’s worth your money and then some.
  • a robot in the garden.  okay this is just cute as hell.  i can’t even with tang, he’s the most adorable robot to ever adorable.
  • annihilation (southern reach trilogy).  (LGBT minor characters.)  okay, honestly?  i don’t know.  this was freaking zany but i was invested as fuck in all the kookiness for reasons i can’t articulately elaborate on.
  • the martian.  hilarious, engaging, SPACE.  what more do you want?

HORROR

  • things we lost in the fire.  this is more atmospheric than anything but, damn, could this get me wishing i wasn’t reading this in the dark or looking over my shoulder to make absolutely sure no one was standing behind me.  it’s a book of short stories (by the way, i love books of short stories and i definitely realize that is not true for everyone) and each one is so well-delivered and stylized.  i really enjoyed reading this.
  • let the right one in.  okay, this is legit horror so definitely stay away if you’re easily squicked out but it is harrrrrd to find good horror (at least in my opinion) and this definitely, definitely qualifies.
  • horrorstör.  i honestly had such low expectations for this, a horror story set in a wannabe-ikea, but it ended up being so ridiculous and strange and funny that i was won over by the finish.
  • the girl with all the gifts.  holy unique and well-executed zombie idea, batman!

SHORT STORIES

  • the bigness of the world.  there were definitely ones here that hit better than others but the ones i liked, i really liked!

GRAPHIC NOVELS (i read a lot of these so, um, prepare yourself)

  • saga.  (LGBT minor characters as well.)  this is world-building to a degree that i’m convinced did not exist before.  just, i can’t say enough amazing things about this series and the staggering amount of imagination that regularly goes into it.
  • ms. marvel.  heart-warming as fuck.  it’s definitely really easy to lose faith in the world these days, luckily kamala is there to remind you that people are primarily and genuinely good.
  • black science.  this is another one that took just an insane amount of imagination to cook up.  i got off to kind of a rocky start with this one but the gray-ness of all the characters really speaks to me, and that doesn’t really blossom until later in the series.
  • spider-man/deadpool.  this was very satisfying for my super duper spideypool-shipping mind.  joe and ed did us so good, and joe basically said in his sign-off: i made it absolutely as gay as they would let me, haha.
  • the wicked + the divine.  (LGBT minor characters that you’re going to get way too attached to, and retroactively.  it’s awful [sobs].)  the concept for this, gods reincarnating into teenagers before they burn up their hosts after a predetermined set of time, is so fucking cool.  the humor and the characters and the plot is all just aces.
  • iceman (LGBT MAIN CHARACTER).  okay, so this just started.  like issue #2 was only released days ago but 1) i am liking it so far and 2) marvel did it so dirty and barely advertised bobby - an openly homosexual superhero - was getting his own series, like, i found out about it the day before it went on sale and i keep my ear fairly close to the ground (not as close as some BY A LOT, but closer than the lay person i’d say) so if you can support it, please do!  pre-orders mean a lot in terms of numbers. :))))
  • descender.  admittedly, this starts out rooough.  because the main character, TIM-21 (and his little dog too), are annoying as hell.  he’s an android so there’s no dimension to him so he’s booooring as all get out but i am so glad i stuck with it through to the next trade because, probably picking up on the unsustainability of him as a main character, he gets shuffled off and the side characters get the stage and they rock so hard.
  • paper girls. (LGBT main characters.)  i’m kind of just convinced that brian k. vaughan can do no wrong at this point.  his plots are so tight and mind-blowing and badass.
  • monstress.  here’s a little tid-bit about me: female comic book writers are 100% more likely to get my money and my time because they are so damn rare and this series is unique, badass, and eye-opening.
  • black monday murders.  i’m a little premature with this since there’s only one volume and i usually try to wait until there are at least two but i check up on a volume two a lot so that definitely means something intrigued me!
  • nailbiter.  okay, i haven’t read the final volume yet ‘cause i’m reluctant to let it go but, so far, a series about multiple serial killers all being from the same town has me VERY HOOKED.

i wish i could remember more but this is honestly way better than i expected to do, haha.  they’re definitely not all my all-time faves but they’re ones that have stuck with me for one reason or another and that i didn’t feel i wasted my time on, so that’s something, right?  i hope this helps get you started and that you don’t think too awfully of me when you inevitably run across ones that aren’t your cup of tea!

The 2 Elements of an ORIGINAL STORY IDEA

If you’ve been doing this writing thing for more than one day, you’ve likely experienced the following worry: 

“What if my story idea ISN’T ORIGINAL?”

And if my experience is any indication, things spiraled downwards from there: “What if it’s cliche? What if there’s nothing new here?! It IS cliche. It ISN’T original. I’m a failure! ALL MY WRITING NEEDS TO BURN!”

Calm yourself. There’s a way to make sure that your story concept is unique.  

First, what IS a story concept? It’s the initial idea that made you want to write the thing. It’s the “What If” question that starts everything off. Later, it will be the promise that hooks the reader or audience, and makes them want to experience the story. 

So for example: What if Cinderella was a cyborg? What if a rat wanted to be a french chef? What if a fish had to venture across the ocean to find his son who’s captive in a dentist’s office aquarium?   

All great concepts. All of which seem to be comprised of two elements: something that we already know about, a set up that establishes expectations, and then something contrasting and surprising, which creates irony or surprise.  
So the first element of a successful story concept is FAMILIARITY. 

Establishing expectations? Something we already know about? Familiarity?! That sounds like the definition of UNorginal. 

Hear me out. 

What do readers do when foraging for a new novel at the bookstore? Certain readers gravitate to certain shelves. Some go to mysteries, some to crime, a whole lot to romance, and the rest to the other genres that are too numerous to list.

 Why is this? Because genres give them a pretty good idea about what they’re going to get. Readers already know the conventions of the genre. They’ve already put in the work of learning, accepting, and enjoying these conventions. 

Genres give both reader and writer something to go on right away. For the reader, genres are expectations for story events, setting, character, and more, which are automatically enjoyable to them. For a writer, it’s a set of expectations which can be flipped to create something remarkable and unique.  

It’s like telling a joke. Without a setup, there can’t be a punchline. 

The genres are the setup, the individual twist the author puts on that genre is the punchline. Or in other words, readers truly do want the same thing –only different.  

To illustrate this, let’s take a look at one of the most successful stories of all time.

With space ships, interplanetary travel, sentient robots, and aliens running amok, Star Wars LOOKS to be the kind of story that requires the audience to expend lots of mental energy to comprehend and believe. At first glance, it seems that imaginations are going to have to stretch a great deal, and there won’t be anything familiar to ground us – this SEEMS like an uncomfortably new, unwelcoming world. But I doubt if anyone has ever felt uncomfortable or unwelcome while watching Star Wars. And the reason for this can be summed up with one ellipsis-ended sentence:

Suddenly, all is clear. This isn’t the hard-to-imagine future, this is the PAST. We’re not being asked to imagine and believe a totally new world; we’re being taken to the realm of “far, far away”, a place we’ve known since childhood. Isn’t “a long time ago” just another way of saying “once upon a time”? Yes, it is, so we know where we are now. We are in a fairy tale, a myth.  

The familiarity of fairy tales sets us at ease and sets our expectations in place. Expectations which Star Wars meets with flying colors: A farmboy who must become a knight. A princess imploring for aide. A mystical wise-old-man mentor. Sword fights between good and evil. A magic that operates like religion. A dark lord and a dark side. Star Wars was built upon something we already know, something timeless, something we’ve always enjoyed. 

And once those well-known expectations were set, Star Wars was free to add the unexpected and create one of those most memorable story worlds ever.
Think of a story you love, and you’ll probably be able to identify the something-already-known aspect of it.  

How about Harry Potter? 

When we hear “boarding school”, mental images and probabilities are instantly conjured in our minds. We picture classrooms, dormitories, a campus with very old buildings, kids in uniforms, a giant place for meals, living through a schoolyear with a bunch of kids your age, etc. Even if we don’t know much about boarding school, we all know what regular school is like (even us homeschoolers over here *waves*) and our expectations for that are nearly identical from person to person.  

So what does this prove?

It proves that one half of your story’s concept must be grounded in something we already know, and know well. These are the expectations you are going to establish for your reader, before the second element of your concept upends everything and creates something wholly unique. 

You need FAMILIARITY. You need to ground your concept in something WELL-KNOWN. Only then will you be able to create something ORIGINAL. 

Where can familiarity be found?  

1. Genre Conventions 

2. Occupations 

3. Well-known stories  

The possibilities are not limited to these categories, of course. Familiar subjects can be found within many other areas. However, Familiar elements seem to share certain qualities … 

Provides a rough timeline

⦁ Conjures imagery

⦁ Sets expectations for events, characters, opposition, etc

⦁ Has natural potential for conflict 

⦁ Serves as a goal-oriented backdrop for the plot

To see how this works, let’s look at Harry Potter again: 

Familiarity: Going to boarding school. (An occupation)

Timeline: A school year (which Voldy always lets Harry complete before trying to kill him again, bless him.)

Story Expectations: When we hear “school”, we know what we’re going to get.

Imagery: Boarding school conjures tons of possibilities. 

Conflict Potential: It’s a thousand kids living in one castle with a handful of adults – there’s going to be conflict. 

Goal-Oriented: School is inherently goal directed. You want to graduate. And in the case of boarding school, you want to win the house cup. 

But of course, this familiar environment is only HALF of the concept for Harry Potter. The other half, of course, is WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY. Which brings us to the 2nd element of a successful story concept, which will be the subject of the next post.

Red & Blue Connection Theory

Be warned there’s gonna be Voltron s3 spoilers in here!! So if you don’t want to see that, look elsewhere. (Also this is super fucking long, I’m sorry.) 

Anyway so I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and what with (at least temporary) Red Paladin!Lance being confirmed, now is probably the time to post this.

Coincidentally, I’ve been spending the past couple weeks looking for foreshadow of the Red and Blue Lions have some kind of Special Connection and there is quite a bit, so I thought I’d share some of what I’ve found.

The gist of it is that I think Red and Blue have some kind of connection that the other lions don’t seem to have with each other. Of course all the lions have a special bond, but there seem to be a lot of hints that the connection between Red and Blue *coughs* and their pilots is something a little different––basically, that Lance and Keith have shown a lot more interest in/connection to each other’s lions than any of the other paladins have.

(And before everyone jumps down my throat, I’m NOT proposing a permanent lion switch so jot that down lol. But I do think temporary lion switches are Good so uhhhh fight me.)

I’m not sure how to go about explaining this, but I’m just gonna break it down to:

- Keith’s connection with Blue

- Lance’s connection with Red

- What Does It Mean

Here we go!!!

Keith & Blue

- I’m still caught up on this whole “Keith sensed the Blue Lion” thing. Granted, it could have something to do with his alien abilities™ (I’m still rooting for Keith with Altean ancestry, y’all) but I still question the choice of having Keith sense Blue, of all the lions. He only detects the location of two lions in canon, and they’re––you guessed it––Blue and Red. 

First we have some kinda vague “energy” that attracts Keith to Blue:

Then we have this part where Keith just … closes his eyes and senses Red somehow??

(These both happen in the first episode, I might add.)

Like I said, this could be some kinda sixth alien sense. But, I do also wonder if it was Blue trusting & calling out to Keith specifically, which is interesting considering he’s not even her paladin.

- Also in the first episode, when they find Blue, Keith & Lance are the first ones to approach her. Keith even reaches Blue before Lance does!

And then they’re both standing right in front of Blue, side-by-side, when she wakes up.

There is still a close-up on Lance when Blue awakens––but even so, everyone else has much more of a one-on-one first interaction with their lion, so this scene in particular stands out to me.

- Other than in the first episode we don’t get much of Keith interacting with Blue in s1 (except for him saving Blue for Lance in s1e06, which is cute!)

But then there’s also this moment in s2 where he starts asking Coran about whether there might have been Galra on earth before, and whether that could have something to do with Blue being on Earth:

Which is especially interesting now that we know that Keith is part Galra. So …. is it possible the previous Blue Paladin might’ve been Galra?? or even could have been an ancestor of Keith’s?

Then of course we have Lance emerging from his room at the mention of Blue, and accusing Keith of “having his eye on the Blue Lion since day one”:

This is … kinda odd considering Keith hasn’t outwardly shown any desire to pilot Blue as far as I can remember. So, obviously this is a throwback to the very first episode in which Keith first sensed Blue––and the fact that it was brought up again out of nowhere makes me suspicious that there’s Something there that hasn’t quite been addressed yet.

Lance & Red

- *rubs hands together* Now this is Extra Fun because now I know for a fact Lance is gonna fly the Red Lion at some point in s3 because it was in the trailer and all …

:’’))

Unfortunately I don’t get to say “I told you so” because I didn’t publish this post before then, but anyway! I’ve been looking for foreshadow of this and honestly?? If you ask me, there are hints of Red Paladin!Lance since the very first episode. (Again, I’m not suggesting Lance becomes Red Paladin forever, so please don’t kill me. But I do think Lance having some kind of connection with Red has been foreshadowed.)

- So!! In the first episode I noticed that when Allura assigns each of them a lion, she doesn’t technically assign Blue to Lance (because he interrupts her, lol). It’s just kind of assumed that he’s Blue Paladin since, well, he’s flown Blue. Now, I’m not saying he’s not the Blue Paladin––he is! Buuut I also find a couple things about this scene Intriguing:

1) Lance looks like he almost expects to be assigned the lion as Allura describes it (even though he already has a lion), and then seems a bit shocked/upset when it gets assigned to Keith instead.

2) Not only that, but you may notice the Red Lion hovers between BOTH of them, which is noteworthy because this doesn’t happen to anyone else when they get their lion assigned to them. Hmmmmmm…

- This may be an unpopular opinion but I actually … also think Lance shows some Red Paladin traits. Once again, that’s not to say that Lance doesn’t also fit into the role of Blue Paladin because of course he does, but I do think he shows traces of being capable of being Red Paladin as well.

Like listen, when Allura is assigning Red, these are her exact words: “The Red Lion is temperamental and the most difficult to master. … Its pilot needs to be someone who relies more on instincts than skill alone.”

So really the only qualifications here are: 1) Be skilled. 2) Have good instincts.

And Lance?? Fits those qualifications pretty damn well. He’s a skilled pilot, sharpshooter, and strategist. And he has very strong awareness/instincts as well (i.e. being able to identify the Rover clone super fast, being able to come up with a plan on the Balmera on the fly, etc.). There’s no reason why he can’t fly Red if you ask me.

- Also, when the Red Lion gets fire power for the first time Lance is like, “I want that!!” which is interesting … especially because (at least as far as I can remember) no one else expresses jealousy for another paladin’s lion that way.

And generally I just find it kinda funny that Lance accuses Keith of having his eye on the Blue Lion when Lance has like…canonically had his eye on the Red Lion from pretty early on. 

- In addition to all of the above, there does seem to be some foreshadow about Keith getting separated from Red (at least temporarily). i.e. he has that dream about Red rejecting him.

And there’s also that vision he has in BoM where Red is far away from him.

(Tag yourself I’m the people screaming.)

Could be coincidental …. or could be intentional to foreshadow something about a certain someone else temporarily taking over as Red Paladin.

- And lastly: it may not mean anything, but in GoLion (the original anime) Isamu/Lance was Red Paladin … So, could be a nod to the original!

And yes, he wore a blue outfit but piloted the Red Lion, don’t question it. Color coordination hadn’t been invented yet. 

What Does It Mean?!

- In general, there seems to be a lot of subtle foreshadow that there is Some kind of connection between the Red and Blue lions––or at least, to an extent, Keith and Lance have connections to each other’s lions as well as their own.

- It could mean they are both capable of piloting each other’s lions. I’ll say it again––I’m not suggesting a permanent lion swap or anything along those lines, because both paladins also have very strong connections to their own lions. (Also, I’m not sure about Blue Paladin!Keith at this point, although it’s hard to say since we don’t really know what the quintessence of the Blue Lion is yet.)

However, I think in certain situations their lions could be accepting of the other’s paladin (which of course we know is possible since Keith has piloted Black before, and in the s3 trailer it appears he does so again, as well as Lance piloting Red). So, I feel like that could be important.

- As for the reason behind this connection: It could be because their elements balance each other out (you know, the whole fire-and-ice thing), but what I’m really hoping is that there is some significance in the relationship between the previous Red & Blue Paladins (interpret that however you want––but yeah like, maybe they were good friends??? or …. more than that????) and their lions built up a strong connection because of that (or vice versa).

- TL;DR: I think it’s pretty much inevitable that Red & Blue/Keith & Lance have some kind of special connection (space ranger partners™ amiright) and if you ask me there are a lot of signs pointing in that direction. That’s all, bye.

My kid does 13K in damage to studio equip, we handle it like lunatics.

[Part 1]

Some background:

I’m an audio engineer and score arranger full time in my self-owned business. It’s how I provide for myself, my fiancée (also CF), and my mother. I record, mix, and master for bands, voice-overs for local commercials, and write music for people’s weddings, college films, indie games, etc.. It was my passion since I was a child and every day I ask myself why I get paid to do what I do.

You know, until today.

I had a woman schedule to come in because she wanted me to record her monologue for an acting class. I thought it was going to be easy enough. I set up a mic and a music stand in the sound booth and got my workstation prepped for tracking. She was supposed to show up at 3:30, so when 4:00 came around, I called her to ask her if she was still coming. It was my last contract for the day and I was wanting to get home to my fiancée, dogs, and dinner.

“Oh, sorry sweetie, I’m going to be there soon. I just had to get my son from ex-boyfriend.”

Uh oh.

4:12, she showed up with her child.

To preface, I’ve never really wanted kids, and don’t really hate them either. But I’ve been childfree of mind for a decade now in league of several bad child experiences in public.

Anyway, I sat her down at the conference table and tried to talk to her about the contract and billing, etc., and just couldn’t because of the six-years-old pile of ovary droppings next to her.

“Mommy it’s cold in here.” “Mommy, I’m bored.” “Mommy, that guy has girl hair.” “Mommy, I want to play on the phone.”

The incessant whining went on for the entirety of the discussion. She did nothing about it. I had an ache in my stomach that this might be a rough session.

I was right.

I showed her to the sound booth, positioned the mic at face level, told her the basics of mic use, and then she floored me with a question.

“Can my son stay in there with you while I do this?” I insisted that he wait in the conference room (across the hall from the control room) because the control room wasn’t a very kid-friendly place considering the 120K of equipment at arms reach.

“But he’s a little angel.”

I shouldn’t have taken her word for it. I SHOULD NOT have taken her word for it. This kid was ANYTHING but. I let him in, told him to sit in one of the office chairs and don’t touch anything. Needless to say, he touched. I queued the recording arm and signaled her to start. She got three lines into her take before I hear a deafening screech and crash.

That little shit machine had just knocked over a $4,000 Korg into a rack with $9,500 of equipment. Completely shattered the touchscreen on the Korg, busted the dials off of half of the effects, and totaled my distressor that I use for almost all the vocals I track.

All of this, by the way, was the room’s length apart from where I told the crotch goblin to stay.

The kid, because of the loud noise, started full-lung screaming. Not crying. Not yelling. Screaming.

The mother, with no hesitation, ran over to the control room and DEMANDED to know what I did to her child. She cussed at me and accused me of hurting her little snot monster. Threatened to sue and even swung at me. When I told her that her precious angel had just racked up at least twelve grand of damages, she said “good”, spit on me, then stormed out, slamming every door on the way. So I pulled the security camera footage and had filed a police report. Grand total: $13,504.25. I also mailed her the bill for her session for good measure.

Of six years in the studio, this is my only truly terrible experience. Fuck mombies. Fuck having children. Thanks for making my vasectomy decision that much easier on me.

[Part 2]

Keep reading

I’m glad we’re not getting a Season 2 this year

I’ve seen people disappointed about the movie, and wanting a Season 2 in October.

My perspective is… This is the BEST NEWS THAT I HAVE HEARD in this fandom, hallelujah.

The biggest enemy that Yuri on Ice has always had is its own success. When your show is basically printing money in DVD and merchandise sales, you can bet that the higher ups are breathing down your neck. Do more. Do it now. Do it faster. If you find a goose that lays golden eggs, by all means, make that thing lay as fast as it freaking can, and while you’re at it, can you make those eggs any bigger?

I have seen success absoutely ruin amazing shows/series/book series/etc. Over and over and over again.

This is particularly true when the show/series/book series has a strong romantic subplot, as Yuri on Ice does. That’s because often, in order to keep people who are invested in the romance invested, shows tend to do one of two things: 1. Keep people from getting together long after any reasonable person could imagine that they’d be apart, or 2. Add ridiculous drama to keep splitting them apart and then getting them back together.

I trust Kubo and Yamamoto. I don’t for one second trust bean counters. And I absolutely do NOT want to see someone splitting up Yuri and Victor in nonorganic ways just to keep some unnaturally stupid tension. Yuri on Ice was magical because it was made with love–every aspect of it–and every time the show surprised us, it was with how much more love was in the show than we’d ever imagined. But it is hard to manage that fine line between enough internal tension to move the story forward and that love that makes Yuri on Ice utterly magical.

When I heard details about the production, I could sense that love. They traveled to every venue, constructed the story around what was actually possible. The spirit of everywhere they went to pervades each scene. You can line up shots of where they were with anime scenes. The way they constructed characters, their skates, the music for their skates, how it all fits together to tell an overarching story about love in all its forms, something that is utterly compelling and yet lacks villains. Even details like putting the wedding rings on the right hand. This is storytelling at its very damned best, at every level, and I’m on my knees to it.

And you want them to do what they did in years for season 1 in a matter of months? It’s not possible. Not with the site visits. Not with needing to construct characters with respect and love. Not with commissioning music. Kubo was talking on Twitter today about visiting Mexico, and the idea of her taking Leo’s heritage as a Mexican American so seriously, and with such respect, in a time when Mexican-Americans are being absolutely vilified in this country, makes me almost weepy. That is what I want–that love, that respect for what they do.

The very, very worst thing that could happen to Yuri on Ice is for the second season to be made with money in mind rather than love. I would rather have no second season than to see someone push this show to become more “mainstream” (read: toning down the queerness, fuck that), or for them to not have the time to develop a story line that continues season 1 with the mastery and the love that made it so special.

The fact that they’re taking their time is the best thing I could have heard. We can get it fast or we can get it good. There’s plenty of media out there that comes out fast. There’s a reason this one was special. Everyone who wants something fast, well, there’s plenty of crap out there–feel free to be a fan of it.

Have a little patience, and trust the people who brought you this piece of genius, who have every financial incentive to take as much money as possible. If they say you’re not getting a season 2 this year, you better believe that it’s because they can’t do it well.

Two years may sound like an eternity, but a crappy season is the thing that actually lasts forever.

How To: Develop Your Characters

I think we’ve all been in the situation where we want to write about a specific character but have no idea how to approach it. For some reason, despite them being your own character, you have no idea how they would act or what they would say in a certain situation. Sometimes, if you even write about your character(s) at all, when you read it back they seem fake or 2-Dimensional. Unrealistic, if you’d prefer.

In this post, I am going to give you some exercises to get past hollow characters and help develop your writing. 

1) Empty Their Pockets

Pretty simple. Think of what your characters would have in their pockets on a day-to-day basis. It doesn’t have to be anything super extraordinary, of course. Just start writing some everyday items down and think about whether your character would have these items in their pockets. 

Let’s take a look at one I did for my characters earlier. (sorry that just sounded like something from Blue Peter)

For example:

Character A’s Pockets Contained:

pack of gum, empty pack of cigarettes, library card, NOKIA brick phone

So, here a few things you can tell about Character A simply through the items in their pockets. They visit the library often, meaning that they probably have a high interest in reading (this also could be a sign of intelligence). Judging by the fact Character A has both a pack of gum and cigarettes this could indicate a potential smoking habit, chewing gum is a known way for helping people quit smoking. The pack of cigarettes could show that they are not very good at restricting themselves and could in fact be addicted and finding it hard to cope with smoking. Finally, the NOKIA brick phone shows how they may want to feel connected to people or want to allow their friends/family members/whoever to be able to contact them but have no desire to get the latest model of phone or perhaps believe that having such a device would distract them unnecessarily. 

When doing this exercise, think about key objects which portray certain details about your character! Try not to overthink it too much, write whatever comes to mind and put it down on the page! After writing down a couple objects, go back through them and feel free to edit out items you think are unnecessary or add items which you think would suit the character. 

2) Go Through Their Daily Routine

Again, another easily explained exercise. Go through a regular day in your character’s life, try and do this exercise as if it was happening before whatever events occur in your story or novel. This way it makes it easier to understand your character before they met a secondary character in the novel or before whatever events happened in your writing which may affect their routine. You don’t need to include every single detail in your description, just brief notes or key events which occur during their day would be fine. You can make it as short or as long as you wish, maybe don’t just do it for one day in your character’s week perhaps do it for multiple days. 

Does their routine change during the week? What time do they wake up? What time do they go to sleep? Are they punctual with going to work? Do they do any other activities outside their day-job? These are the kind of things you may want to ask yourself when writing it. 

3) Give Them Fears/Phobias

Everyone fears something: whether it be a phobia of spiders or oblivion, everyone has a fear. Giving your character a phobia makes them seem more realistic, it allows your reader to easily relate to your character.

However, just having a phobia for the sake of it doesn’t help develop your character at all. If you give them a terrible phobia of snakes and they come across a snake and suddenly within moments are able to get over their fear just like that, it’s not a phobia. It’s more of a mild inconvenience than anything else. The reader needs to feel convinced by their fears, they would feel more dissatisfied with your writing if they felt the character could dismiss anything and everything than knowing them being confronted by their fears could be a possible problem. Besides, it would give them no reason to motivate or encourage the character if they knew it was impossible for them to be defeated by anything. Still, this does not mean that your character has to be destroyed by their fear. There is a very big difference between simply dismissing your character’s fear and perhaps overcoming it in the future.

An easy way to write your character possibly overcoming their fear in the future is that when they first encounter that fear, add an element of chance or fate into it. For example, if a character were to move to get away from the creature which may be coming towards them; in the process of getting up, they could slip which could cause their legs to lash out towards the creature. The sudden movement may just be enough to scare the creature away, this way it does not appear to the reader as ridiculous or uncharacteristic courage but instead accidental bravery. This sudden revelation that the character’s horrible fear may not be as all powerful as they first thought could be the first step for them to slowly overcome that fear.

Don’t believe me? Let’s think about this for a moment. Imagine your character, let’s call them the Protagonist™, is stuck in a terrible situation. It doesn’t matter what the situation is but let’s say it’s something which involves them being trapped in a room with a snake. I’m going to give you two examples, both involving the same situation.

Example #1:

Protagonist watched with wide eyes as the snake slowly slithered towards them. The snake paused for a moment, it hissed lowly as it waited for Protagonist to move, waiting for the right moment to strike.  Not hesitating for a single moment, they suddenly realised how dire the situation was and jumped to their feet. Their heart pumping wildly as their body was filled with adrenaline, they were terrified yet they had to do something. Protagonist grabbed the nearest thing to them and stepped towards the snake.

“Get away!” They threatened, “Get away!”

Example #2:

Protagonist watched with wide eyes as the snake slowly slithered towards them. The snake paused for a moment, it hissed lowly as it waited for Protagonist to move, waiting for the right moment to strike. The blood in Protagonist’s veins ran cold as the snake grew closer and closer, Protagonist couldn’t move. They begged and screamed on the inside to move away, to get away as far as possible. They had lost all control of their movement, their fear had consumed them. They were frozen to the spot and could only watch as the snake widened it’s jaw, ready to bite down on it’s prey. It widened it’s jaw once, twice - suddenly, Protagonist gained back their instincts. Fleeing seemed like the only realistic option and seconds before the snake could chomp down on their ankle, Protagonist stumbled to their feet. They stumbled backwards into a puddle of water which had pooled behind them and their ankle rolled as they slipped, their legs accidentally lashing out towards the predator. The snake recoiled backwards in shock before deciding that the risk wasn’t worth it: it quickly retreated back to it’s nest, disappearing from Protagonist’s view.

Now, hopefully you see what I mean. I think we can all agree that the second example is a lot better than the first one. 

4) Create Their Flaws/Bad Habits

No one is perfect, this includes your characters. 

If you’re finding it challenging to think of any flaws, try to think of some bad habits. It doesn’t have to be anything so terribly bad that’s it’s illegal. Think simple when it comes to this exercise. It can range from anything between chewing their nails to swearing. 

It might help to try and develop these bad habits into possible flaws or weaknesses. If your character keeps biting their nails that might be a sign of nervousness or anxiety. So, creating bad habits might be a good way to show a certain trait your character may possess. 

Flaws are important as well. Let’s be realistic, if no character had any flaws then every single book we read would be filled with a bunch of characters which are exactly the same. Besides, what’s a hero without it’s villain? 

So, to give you a few ideas, let’s go back to superheroes. Maybe a hero is so set on doing the right thing that they lose sight of what they want? Perhaps it gets to a certain point where they can’t handle that hollow feeling inside of them that they grow arrogant, selfish or even stubborn? There’s a story for you right there. 

Not only that, by giving your characters flaws it is possible that you could work that into your story somehow. This way, not only will you get to show off your amazing character development, but it could also be an exciting point in your storyline.

Write down some ideas, think of flawed personality traits and just write them down! Try to write down at least five straight off the bat, for each one you don’t like you should think about why it doesn’t suit your character. You’re bound to find one flaw you’re happy with!

5) Write Some Scenarios

Now that you’ve developed your characters, go ahead and write them in your story! If you think you still need a bit of practice, try writing something about them being in a certain scenario. It could be anything from ordering their favourite coffee to being trapped in a prison: just write it! Try not to think about it too much, just do whatever feels write (I unintentionally made that pun but i’m not deleting it). 

It doesn’t have to be long either, just a couple paragraphs would be fine. Try to focus on body movements and interior thoughts, it would be ideal if your character was on their own in the situation: that way you can get to know the character on their own a lot better. No other characters means no distractions. It’s just you, the wonderful author, and your character - there is an endless amount of possibilities for you! 


Have faith in yourself too! Nobody knows your brilliantly developed characters better than you do, so here’s your chance to show them off! If you’d like a second opinion, write something about them and give it to a friend/parent/random stranger etc. to read! If they don’t want to, make them read it anyway! 

I hope this helps you all in developing your characters! 

Happy writing!

- jess

The Element EVERYTHING in Your Story Needs

To all the writers who have ever felt lost, alone, and completely confused during the labyrinthine journey that is writing anything, and felt like screaming this at your story …

There’s hope.

There’s a light at the end of that darn tunnel. First, let me describe how I used to fight my way out of these periods of confusion and hopelessness. 

Usually, I would try to force myself to get back into the groove of the story. I would reread it, and be yelling at myself in my head, “Remember why you love it! LOVE your book again! Keep reading and FALL IN LOVE, damn it!” I’d go over descriptions, bits of dialogue, banter between the characters. I’d go over settings and imagery, and try to make myself remember how much they’d once excited me. I’d read things that had made me laugh when I typed them, sentences that I was particularly proud of, paragraphs that made me feel particularly clever. But the thing was, it didn’t work. 

I didn’t care.  

What was the problem? The problem was some of those descriptions, settings, images, and witty episodes of bantering had no Story Reason to be there. They were just there because they amused me. Just because I found the imagery beautiful. Just because I found a sentence or joke really clever and wanted to share my wit with the world. But the world didn’t care about my wit. Because the world (the people reading my book) knew subconsciously that there was no story to give that so-called witty sentence substance and meaning. I could create the most breath-taking images, I could make the most well-rounded living and breathing character, I could make a setting that you wanted to run away from home and live inside … and it didn’t matter. If the thing didn’t have a purpose for being there within the narrative, nobody cared. And I didn’t either. 

So what is a Story Reason? 

Everything in a story exists to support one of three things. 

1. The A-story: The surface plot, the quest of the main character to achieve a specific tangible goal. What the story is about on the surface. 

2. The B-Story: The love story, or relationship of the thing. Usually this relationship is instrumental in causing the third element, which is …  

3. The Character Arc. The theme of the story, the purpose, the piece of truth the story seeks to prove to the main character and the audience. 

If something in a story doesn’t contribute to the progress of these three, there’s no reason we should care about it. It has no point. Because in the end, all we care about is the story!

When it comes to scenes, story reason means continuity. It means the way the story unfolds logically. If every scene is there for a darn good reason, the scenes after and before will make total sense, they’ll connect seamlessly, a steady progression of events. Every scene’s turn triggers the next scene. 

And to do this, every scene must be able to be linked with three words: Because of that.

Because of the turn of one scene … 

The next scene happens. 

And because of the turn of that scene the next scene happens.

To illustrate how this works, let’s look at a small movie you might have heard about called Zootopia. (Thanks to @inked-withlove for the movie suggestion!)

So let’s start at this point, the turn of the scene with Clawhauser and Judy searching the file on Emmitt Otterton. 

Turn: “I have a lead." 

Because of that …

Judy has to get Nick to tell her what he knows about Otterton.

Turn: It all goes poorly, and now Nick and Judy are stuck together by an incriminating adorable carrot recorder. (The B Story, the relationship, has intertwined with the A Story.)


Because of that …

Nick takes Judy to the place he saw Otterton go, a place he thinks will cause her to give up. 

Turn: She doesn’t quit, she marches right in. (B Story: Nick sounds surprised, and a little impressed, that she didn’t back down.)

Because of that … 

She has to question a rude yoga-performing elephant. 

Turn: Though the elephant is absolutely no help, the seemingly addled yak is more than helpful – he even remembers the license plate number of the car Emmitt left in. 

Because of that …

Nick thinks his part in this endeavor is complete. But Judy remembers that she’s not in the system yet, and thus can’t run a plate. Nick, however, can. And he’s going to, or else. 

Turn: It just so happens that he has a pal at the DMV. 

Because of that …

Sloths. He takes her to a DMV run by sloths and wastes as much of her precious dwindling time as he can.

Turn: “It’s night?!”

Because of that …

Legitimate Enterprise Car Service (at least that’s what it’s called in the screenplay) is closed. Judy doesn’t have a warrant and Nick is enjoying her suffering tremendously. After a spat, she tosses the carrot over the fence instead of handing it to him.

Turn: Because she has now seen a shifty low-life climbing the fence, she has probable cause, and doesn’t need a warrant. She can go in. (B Story: Nick is looking at her with more respect.)

Because of that …

They find the car and begin investigating. The car is a crime scene; claw marks everywhere, the missing otter’s wallet … and a cocktail glass etched with a "B”.

Turn: And it all adds up for Nick. This car belongs to Mr Big, a notorious crime boss. And his polar bear henchman are right outside. They grab Judy and Nick and yank them off screen. 

Because of that  …

Judy and Nick are wedged between the bear henchman, on their way to face Mr Big. 

Turn: Nick sold him a very expensive rug that happened to be made from the fur of a skunk’s butt. Or in other words, Mr Big really doesn’t like Nick.

Because of that …

They wait fearfully for Mr Big to appear, and even when he’s revealed to be a tiny shrew, Nick still launches into obsequious and panicked mode. He tries talking his way out of it, but Mr Big really REALLY doesn’t like him. And when Judy shouts at him that she’s a cop and she has evidence on him –

Turn: “Ice ‘em.”

Because of that …

“No icing anyone at my wedding!” Fru Fru Shrew is not a happy camper. Father and daughter bicker about his promise of no murder on her wedding day, and the fact that “I have to, baby. Daddy has to.” Until – 

Turn: “She’s the bunny who saved my life yesterday. From that giant doughnut!” Well, Judy is now in Mr Big’s good books. He’s going to pay her kindness forward. Nick is floored. 

I’m gonna stop there.

SO! After going through that analysis of how the scenes are linked together, let’s abandon the “everything needs a story reason to be in there” rule, and see what happens. 

After the scene where Judy and Nick reluctantly join forces, we could add a scene where Nick is trying to remember the name of the place, and where it is. Then we could have them asking around, searching the city, refusing to ask for directions, lots of banter. THEN we can finally get to The Mystic Springs Oasis.

And after they get the plate number, maybe Nick grabs the carrot pen and makes a run for it. Then we can have a chase scene, but he gets away. Then we can have Judy trying to run the plate on her own, before realizing she isn’t in the system, and failing. Then we can have a scene where she has to track down Nick again. Then a scene where she figures out how to blackmail him into it. THEN they finally get to the DMV. 

And you know what would have happened then?

Zootopia would have made everyone bored. 

All of these inserted scenes are unnecessary. Sure, they might add conflict, add complications to Judy’s quest, but they’re ultimately just filler. They’re just there for the sake of bulking out the story. This is why that tip I hear so often in writing circles always perplexes me: “Figure out the worst possible thing that can happen to your character, then do that.” If people went with this rule, they’d just keep throwing terrible things at the characters for no apparent reason, one after another, and the reader or audience would be expected to be entertained by it (but wouldn’t be). It would be like cartoons before Mickey Mouse came along and applied story to animation: before, cartoons were just gag after gag, slapstick situations mashed together like a funny video compilation. Except with books and movies, it would just be conflict-heavy situations strung together, taking an inordinate amount of time to make any actual progress.  

Once you make sure everything has a purpose within the narrative, things get so much better.  And I find, when I reread my work I don’t have to scream at myself to “love your book or else” if everything has a reason for being there. And instead of feeling like yelling at my story like an angry overworked crab, I feel a lot more like this gif.

I hope it works for you too.

How i study languages

A couple of days ago @bonbonlanguage asked if i have a post about what i do in order to learn a new language so i thought i should try to make a post about that.

The beginning

As a beginner i always do the same stuff. I research a couple of apps or i just see if my favourite choices have a version for my target language. Usually i use: 

Memrise
Fun Easy Learn
9000 words
50Languages
HiNative
babbel, busuu (rarely but i still have them on my phone)

+some sites and specific apps only for my target language

I choose a grammar book and i take notes from from it. So far i chose books from 3 collections: Teach Yourself, Colloquial and For Dummies.

How i take notes from a book

I ignore the excercises, in my notebook you will see only grammar notes and sometimes irregular verbs at the end, but you will never see exercises. (i’ll say later what i do with the exercises)
If the book has a pretty good structure, i just copy what’s in there. (when i say good structure i mean that i can’t extract main ideas or just a formula              e.g. stem+ending)
The theory is written in black or blue, the examples are written with a pencil and if there is a keyword, i highlight it. When i have languages with articles based on the gender of the words, like French, i use a pink and a light blue pen so when i study the articles i can see the difference. 
Now, i said that in my notebook you won’t see exercises, true, that’s because i solve them on another notebook or just on a blank sheet of paper. If your book has exercises after the grammar lesson, solve them. If half of them are wrong, you will take a break of 1-2 days (in which you will study the grammar rules) and when you feel prepared, you solve again those exercises. (you are allowed to have mistakes but try to have at least 70% of the exercises correct).
What i do after i finish a book
After i finish that grammar book, i take another one. However, this time i don’t copy-paste like i did the first time. I read what informations are there and if there are new rules/exceptions, i just write them on a sticky note and add it to my notebook. After i finish my 2nd book i usually move on to the next stage but if i feel that i missed out something, i take a 3rd book and do what i did with the 2nd one.
As a beginner i have the habit to read my notes once a week, as an intermediate learner i rarely do that.

Don’t understand that as a beginner you only take notes! Sometimes when i get bored i just study on memrise/vocabulary app and that sometimes can last 1 week, sometimes 2. I even like to use InternetPolyglot with my target language and an old target language. (e.g. I learn new words in Spanish through Danish) 

After i have a proper notebook

Usually when i finish my book and i add all the exceptions/rules that i found in the 2nd book i also have learned 1.500-2.000 words in that period of time so i want to test my skills.

When i feel confident enough, i start using duolingo. I use it as a test tool, not as a learning one! I take the shortcuts and usually in 2 days i finish a tree. (at the last part of the tree you don’t have a shortcut for everything so you just have to take the shortcut of every skill there which gets boring)

Since Duolingo is pretty advanced with his lessons, at the end i can consider myself a B1 learner. (if you have an amazing memory and skills, you can say you are B2, but Duolingo can’t get you further than that)

The intermediate stage

Whoever followed my blog for a while knows that i have 2 nightmares in my language learning journey, the intermediate stage and the irregular verbs.

For how to overcome a plateau in the intermediate stage i made a post here. (sooner or later you will hit a plateau)

Back to what i do. No book anymore, duolingo is done, this is the moment when i start to use my skills. If i didn’t use 50Languages as a beginner, i use it now. It has 100 audios so i use them to get used to the sound of the words in case i don’t know them and i also use it as a resources to learn new words. On Memrise i try to find advanced/intermediate and i use 9000 words and Fun Easy Learn. 

At this level the main problem is the lack of vocabulary so i try to learn as many new words as i can. However, since using apps can get boring after a while, i use the classic method of learning vocabulary, reading.

How i memorize/learn new words

Most of the time i just use apps/sites. However, everyone had moments when we couldn’t remember a word regardless of how many times we tried to memorize it. When i have to deal with this, i usually make a mnemonic. (e.g. afslutte = to finish, to end, to conclude; in order to remember the meaning i think at a key sentence: If you don’t study you’ll END up as a slut. [harsh example, i know, but it stays in my mind])

If my mnemonic method doesn’t work, i write the word a couple of times, sometimes with my left hand too since i focus more then. (i’m right-handed) and if i still can’t remember the meaning, i’ll start making some sentences where i’ll use that word.

How i read in my target language

Just as a side note, if i feel confident with my skills (that has happened only once) i read books, if not, i read comics until i feel confident enough to try books.

I have 2 methods because sometimes the first one doesn’t work. So, for French i just read and try to guess the meaning of a word and if i can’t, then i search it. Why i do this for French? It’s easier somehow and i can guess the meaning very well. Sometimes i even highlight words and search the meaning later just to analyze them more.

However, this method doesn’t work on Danish. For Danish i have to read once the entire paragraph and then see what i understood from it. If there is a certain word that it’s unknown, i’ll search it. Since Danish has a lot of structures, i tend to use HiNative to translate those because normal online translators aren’t good for these. After i have all the unknown words, i will look over the paragraph again.

With all these unknown words, i usually make flashcards on Quizlet and practice them from time to time.

Sometimes when i’m in a hurry or i’m not in the mood for studying new words in big quantities, i use WordBrewery or Clozemaster. When i use these i always write the new words on a piece of paper or i just add them directly to Quizlet.

HiNative

I mentioned it above so i should tell you how i use it in order to improve since many might not be familiar to it. It’s an app where you ask questions and natives will answer.  I use HiNative mostly after i read, watch a movie or learn something from memrise.

For what i use it?

- ask for differences
- ask for examples with new words that i didn’t find a context for
- ask for translation from target language to English since not everything is easy to translate as a beginner/intermediate

Listening skills

Listening is a very interesting skill because you can combine it with speaking and reading or just focus only on it.

Listening+reading

In this category you find movies/cartoon/series with subs. Usually i don’t do anything when i watch series/movies because i guess the meaning of the unknown words but if there is a certain word that i can’t understand, i will write it down and search it’s meaning.

Listening+speaking

This involves 2 things. I either talk to someone or i just talk to myself/a toy/the cat. I tend to use the 2nd method most of the time. (it’s not that i dislike talking, i just don’t feel confident enough to use my skills until i’m not sure that i know most of the things/vocab i need to know). I start the conversation like “hey, how are you?” and then i ask myself “how was your day?”. For this question i have to make 2 answers, the reality with what has happened, and an imaginary version for my other side who’s “talking”.

Listening

Here i just watch videos on youtube, listen to 50languages, a podcast or songs. If i do listen to songs, sometimes i try to find the lyrics and see if i understand everything, if not, i’ll look for the unknown words and after i start to sing too. (disney songs are great because most have lyrics on youtube already)

Writing skills

Here i have 2 choices, i either find someone or i just write in a notebook/diary. The purpose of this is to figure out what vocab/structures/expressions i don’t know. 

Speaking skills

It’s not that i dislike talking, i just focus on this skill at the end usually. I improve my other skills and the speaking one improves in a weird way too. However, at some point i just ask people who i know for a long time and i feel comfortable with to talk to me on skype/on the phone.

Extra

Idioms are everywhere in a language. At some point you have to deal with them. If i find them on memrise, i study them there, if not, i’ll look for them and make flashcards. These flashcards have only the idiom in my target language on them and that’s it. I don’t write the translation. I force myself to remember the meaning.

Also, when i don’t know the pronunciation for something, i use Forvo.

The advanced stage

Here i just learn idioms and some advanced vocabulary at the beginning. After these, i stop caring. I consider my learning journey almost done so i just enjoy my life using the language. I read without worrying that i don’t know words, i watch shows without worrying that i don’t understand what i hear, i can sing without worrying that i just say words with no meaning but similar sounds to what i hear.

Note: This is how I learn languages. I can’t say it will work for everyone but it works for me.

p.s. sometimes Fun Easy Learn and 50Languages are set in another language, not my native one or English.

i’ve been getting a lot of messages lately (and unsurprisingly, considering how unrepentantly i’ve been reblogging stuff from them) from followers asking me for podcast recommendations - and i love getting those so thank you, guys! - and i thought i’d make a masterpost of what i’ve both a) finished and b) enjoyed since i’ve started bingeing them.  and, as an extra added bonus, what has canonical lgbt+ representation (since i know what you guys are into [waggles eyebrows]).

1. the bright sessions

canon lgbt+ is a ✓.  this is definitely the first podcast that i’ve fallen in love with as hard as my original gateway podcast: welcome to night vale.  it’s so well-written, the characters well-drawn, the premise fascinating - atypicals, or people with some sort of special ability, in therapy - and it’s such a positive story and experience that i can’t help but feel better on days i listen to it.  it really believes in humanity and that’s such a wonderful thing in this day and age.  plus, the voice acting is killer.

2. eos 10

canon lgbt+ is a ✓.  i don’t think it’s been officially confirmed that dr. dalias is, at the very least, bisexual (in fact, the official channels seem to be dancing around it, possibly so as not to spoil anything in the upcoming season), though it’s been hinted at plenty in story.  especially as i don’t know how else you can explain a supposedly “straight” male character getting called out on repeatedly thinking about a naked man during a group mind-link experience.  that aside, it is freaking hilarious.  the premise is doctors in space, one formerly drug-addicted doctor helping to stabilize a currently alcoholic one with amazing side characters including nurse jane johns and levi, a hypochondriac alien and deposed prince who seems to have a personal vendetta against wearing pants.  it’s well-acted, cleverly written and a freaking joy to listen too.  so funny and so smart, i can’t recommend it enough!

3. the penumbra podcast

canon lgbt+ is a ✓.  so much queer representation it’s bananas.  this ask the creators got is actually pretty representative of their approach to the show, slyly funny and very gay.  our main character is a genderbending queer private investigator who’s lost his heart head over a sweet-smelling thief with a heart of gold and more aliases than jennifer garner, all set against a noir backdrop.  oh, and on mars.  yeah, you read all of that right.  there are a few awesome side stories as well, including a couple of horror ones (that have no effect on the main juno steel story line, so can be skipped - and the creators are VERY GOOD about warning what’s to come in the episode notes), as well as lesbian outlaws and a disabled knight.  there’s literally nothing not to love.  EXCEPT FOR HOW JUNO STEEL WON’T LET HIMSELF HAVE NICE THINGS.

4. the black tapes

hey, hi, if you’re into horror, suspense, creepery or demons, this is so very much for you.  the premise is that alex reagan, our host, begins a podcast to interview people with interesting professions.  she starts out with dr. richard strand, a paranormal investigator whose mission statement is to debunk all things paranormal.  he even has an institute that offers a one million dollar prize for proof of the paranormal, which he has never even come close to having to part with.  while alex is interviewing him, she comes across a handful of black vhs tapes: the only cases that strand hasn’t been able to definitively solve yet.  the technology to disprove these incidents simply hasn’t come far enough, in his opinion.  needless to say, she never moves on from dr. strand and the mystery of the black tapes.  each episode, alex investigates another of the black tapes and much later on realizes it’s possible that they’re all connected.  oh my god, i almost got chills just writing that, it’s so good, it’s so real, because dr. strand is such a good anchor to reality.  alex will occasionally lose her skeptic’s perspective; dr. strand does not.  and once alex starts experiencing intense insomnia, making you realize your narrator might not be so reliable?  things somehow manage to get even murkier.  i really, really adored this one.  it’s paranormal set in the most normal of normal worlds, only making it that much spookier.

5. wooden overcoats

canon lgbt+ is a ✓.  okay, well, if you’ve ever watched black books?  this is kind of like black books, aka one of my all-time favorite shows.  rudyard funn is just as incapable and universally disliked as bernard black, which was all well and good when the village of piffling vale (which is very nearly a town, you know!) only had one funeral home to choose from.  unfortunately, that’s not the case anymore.  eric chapman has moved his funeral home right across the street and stolen all the business from rudyard, his embalmer (cum part-owner) and twin sister, antigone, and georgie, their assistant.  to add insult to injury, he’s charming and universally adored by everyone except those at funn funerals.  very british, very ridiculous, and very funny!  WE GET THE BODY IN THE COFFIN IN THE GROUND ON TIME.  (well, like that one time they did.  [coughs])

6. ars pardoxica

canon lgbt+ is a ✓.  i listened to this one pretty slowly, for me.  it’s very much plot over character, at least in my opinion.  which is fair since there’s quite a lot of plot and set dressing to establish.  we’re following (dr.) sally grissom, a scientist from the twenty-first century who accidentally creates time travel and ends up stuck back in the 1940s.  think a bombs and eisenhower.  it was always interesting, and the paradoxes created by the time travel experiments they kept doing were fascinating (i love time travel stuff because of the paradoxes it creates) but i didn’t get really ravenous for it until season two, which is when i really felt it picked up speed.  you’ve got anthony stuck in a literal CAGE - a “blackroom” bubble set outside of time, sally trying to garden (oh god), a gang consisting of a veteran, a (former) widow and time doubles trying to bring down ODAR (the company sally used to work for, and that anthony still does) and esther sliding down the ladder of morally unsound one determined rung at a time and it makes for a REALLY grabbing audio drama, eh?

7. the strange case of starship iris

canon lgbt+ is a ✓.  i’m already in love with violet liu, all right?  she’s a science officer on starship iris–well, what was starship iris.  when we first join violet, every single one of her crew mates has just died in an explosion on the pod they were traveling off ship with and the starship iris is in its last throes as well.  luckily(?) a passing ship comes along with a plan to get her to safety.  this has a real illuminae vibe to it (which is an amazing book btw) and all the characters are already so freaking likable.  it’s only on episode two and already shaping up to be a favorite!

8. the orbiting human circus (of the air)

canon lgbt+ is a ✓.  if there’s a more heart-warming podcast out there, then i haven’t run across it yet.  first of all, julian koster’s voice is so vulnerable and soft that i would use myself and everyone i know and also puppies as a shield against everything terrible in the universe for him.  second, the rest of the cast - leticia especially - is just as freaking talented.  the premise is that julian is the janitor at a radio show that broadcasts from the top of the eiffel tower and has strange and impossible acts every night, from tale-telling crickets to singing saws to the orkestral, a bird that can play every orchestral instrument (except that it refuses to play the viola, because reasons).  it’s fun and cute and breaks your heart with happiness regularly and often!

9. alice isn’t dead

canon lgbt+ is a ✓.  this is a horror podcast about a truck driver who is looking for her missing wife.  jasika nicole has to have one of my favorite voices around and having it be so heavily dependent on that makes me ridiculously happy.  throw in the story-telling of joseph fink, the depth and cohesiveness of his writing, and there is nothing not to love here.

10. within the wires

canon lgbt+ is a ✓.  this is really sufficiently creepy considering it’s not often overtly creepy.  this is set up as a series of relaxation tapes, which progressively get more and more interested in helping the listener break out of the facility in which she’s being kept.  super chilling at times, because the voice is so calm and the action so dangerous.

11. welcome to night vale

canon lgbt+ is a ✓.  okay, well, what more can be said about this at this point?  if you’re not listening to it, you’re wrong.  why wouldn’t you want to visit a town that can’t be visited and where every conspiracy theory is real and a part of everyday life?  yeah, everyone knows about the vague yet menacing government agency, steve carlsberg, you’re not hitting on anything new there.  there’s a dog park that doesn’t allow dogs, angels that are never to be identified as angels, mountains that aren’t real, a glow cloud that–ALL HAIL and a love story so complete and perfect that it can and will utterly steal your breath at times.  go, listen, inhale.

OKAY SUPERCORP/KARAMEL RANT

**Please read** This all really needs to be said. However, before I go further I want you all to understand that this isn’t meant to be a hate paragraph or to purposefully put those who like Mon-El and/or Karamel down. At this point, all the disagreeing and fighting will do nothing. So I’m asking kindly that if you’re going to add something to this post- that it is filled with positive intent. 

 Anyhow, to my point:

I do watch Supergirl by the way, but I truly believe this concerns a wide variety of people. Whether you’re a fan of The 100, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Walking Dead, or just a person living your life… All I hope is that we all try to grasp the reality of what is truly going on. Now I will centralize this long rant towards Supergirl however. For those of you who don’t know what is going on there is a conflict between fans who ship this character, Mon-El, together with Supergirl/Kara and fans who ship Lena Luthor with Supergirl/Kara. Now, in my humble opinion, the big issue isn’t about straight v.s lgbt people and I will go on about that later… but the fact that she is with someone like Mon-El. Now what do I mean by ‘someone like Mon-El’… before certain people get mad I want to emphasize that I’m simply pointing out what happened in the show. 

This is long as hell just fyi.

1) The way Mon-El reacts to most things is through violence. In fact, the moment he wakes up he chokes Kara. And there’s this: 

(his words in white)

And the scene where Mon-El robs Brian; using his powers for selfish reasons.

He even calls her names. And notice how he does this the moment Kara disagrees with him. A reaction that does more harm than good. On the other hand, when Kara and Lena disagree on something (in ep. 2x03) they simply talk it out. They ask questions, explain, clarify, and come to an understanding.

Now, I’m not here to say that I have NEVER agreed with anything Mon-El has said, actually I applaud him for accepting Maggie and Alex’s relationship the way he did, but that’s just the thing. The opinions/beliefs he has don’t come from himself. Most of what he thinks is based off of what he’s seen on Daxam. He really isn’t at all mature. He isn’t by any means and it’s simply the truth. Now hear me out-

This is what I mean by he isn’t mature: How many times has Kara asked him politely and specifically not to do something but without hesitation still does it? And how many times has he had to beg for forgiveness? 

In addition, he doesn’t have knowledge of what respect truly means. What’s interesting though about this scene in particular- is how it’s supposed to be a ‘funny’ scene. Mon-El’s character is written in as ‘funny’ and ‘aloof’… but it sends a poisonous message- that Kara’s feelings aren’t to be taken seriously. And this show is literally supposed to be about her. Not a guy who thinks it’s his duty to ‘defend her honor’ and then complains about it.

Now I know that this was how people on Daxam acted and their way of life was for the most part, sexist, racist, etc. But that still doesn’t give him an excuse to act the way he does. 

2) Lena herself comes from a family with twisted values as well. She is adopted into the Luthor family and has had close to no friends most of her life. And yet she’s still capable of being a perfectly decent person. 

She does save the alien population not once, but twice. So not only is Lena proved time and time again that she’s a good person, but her relationship with Kara (btw I call it a ‘relationship’ just like the writers do)… is not even close to toxic, detrimental, or abusive. It’s the complete opposite.

Protect yourself”

“I can take care of myself”

3) Being in a healthy relationship is about the effort between two willing people… at the same time, knowing your boundaries whilst encouraging one another.

4) Kara deserves someone who fully acknowledges her efforts and is grateful for them



Keep reading

Bangtan Fic Rec

All of these are on ao3, they’re all shipping fics. I’ll add more as I read, these are just the ones I’ve read so far. My opinion is in italics, I only added the pairing, summary and theme of the fics, not the warnings and ratings so check those out when you’re gonna read them because some of them contain either smut, death or violence. You’ve been warned.

Fics in this list: 43.


I dream in the shape of your mouth by jonghyun | Namjin, College!AU.

Summary: Seokjin spends a lot of time in the library. Now, Namjoon does too. Taemin tries to summon Satan, and Jimin is a fuckboy.

*Jackson voice* Cute

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast by Kavbj | Taekook, College!AU, Fantasy!AU

Summary: Taehyung has magic in his veins and Jungkook’s determined not to let it kill him.

Dude. This fic is so creative and well-written… I finished it and felt empty.

beat for me (live for me)  by bakkushan | Namjin, Mafia!AU part of the offer me your deathless death series.

Summary: Namjoon’s looking at himself and then at Seokjin and all he can see is Life and Death lying next to each other under a starless sky.

I cried like a bitch with this one, painful as fuck.

All you need is love (and pink) by vppa | NamJin, Angels and Demons!AU.

Summary: Most people only have one miniature angel or devil riding on their shoulders to serve as the physical manifestation of their conscience. Poor Namjoon has five, and they’re all telling him the same thing: “fucking talk to him god dammit what the fuck is wrong with you”

Funny and sweet. I like it.

Can I Get Your Dewey Decimal Number? by melecs| NamJin, Library!AU.

Summary: Seokjin loved working at the library, but some patrons got on his nerves. Take, for example, the grown man who sat in the corner every day and leeched off of the Wi-Fi. And Seokjin worked in the children’s department.

Ah, this is… something else, for sure. Cute as hell. Funny, too.

The less I know the better by mucha | Taegi, Namjin, Fake Relationship!AU

Summary: “Together with their families, Kim Namjoon and Kim Seokjin… Wow, this is formal… Wait,” Hoseok squints at the paper, before looking back at Yoongi with a quizzical look on his face. “They invited you with a guest? But… You’re single, right?”

“Min Yoongi,” Jimin glares at him over the bar, crossing his arms sternly over his chest. “If you’re seeing someone and you didn’t tell us I will kick your ass, so help me god.”

“I’m not dating anyone,” Yoongi sighs, grabbing the invitation and scanning it quickly. The words “with a guest” are underlined and Yoongi can almost see it: the smugness on his brother’s face as he nods with satisfaction, putting the pencil down.

“So what does it mean?”

Yoongi shifts uncomfortably in his seat, avoiding making eye contact.

“I might’ve… invented a boyfriend,” he finally mumbles to the glass in front of him.

This is so good, amazing, incredible. Brilliant. Entertaining as hell.

Star Light, Star Bright (The Last Star I’ll See Tonight) by DreamsOfAnotherReality | Taekook, Yoonseok, Teen!AU.

Summary: Jung Kook and Taehyung fall in love the summer Hoseok goes missing.  

Hoseok just wanted to see the stars and confess to Yoongi gdi bye I’m gonna fucking kill myself.

Creating a home series by CheekyBrunette | Namjin, Foster Parents!AU

Summary: A BTS Foster Care AU

This AU is so cute and fluffy I love Domestic!Namjin

The Professor’s Family series by EquinoxSolstice | Taekook, NamJin, Family!AU

Summary: Professor Kim Namjoon is married.

He doesn’t have a wife.

They have a sort-of son.

And Jeon Jungkook just crossed paths with them.

Read this. It’s great, I promise.

The Greatest by Little_Dimples | jikook, College!AU, Sports!AU.

Summary: Person A is a hockey player person B a figure skater. Person A is told he needs more grace on the ice so he is forced to get lessons by person B. Problem is they hate each other.

Or Person A is Jungkook and Person B is Jimin.

I had so much fun reading this you don’t get it. As I was reading in class i had to hide my face because I was smiling so much. Really good fic.

400 minutes | yoonmin, School!AU.

Summary: Min Yoongi expected a lot of weird experiences to happen when he went to college, but being the roommate of his high school love who apparently “moved away for good” was not one of them.

Angsty but in a good way.

Beta Tau Sigma by bazooka | Namjin, Yoonmin, College!AU, Frat!AU.

Summary: A collection of events occurring within (and without) the walls of the Beta Tau Sigma fraternity house.
At Beta Tau Sigma, there are only a few rules:

1) have a declared major in the College of Music;
2) keep your GPA above a 3.4;
3) don’t let Taehyung into the liquor cabinet;
4) don’t fuck up with Kim Seokjin. The rest is all fine print.

(Rating changed to M for sexual content in ch17.)

OKAY, THIS FIC IS THE END OF EVERYTHING FOR ME. My Favorite Fic Of All Time. Nothing is ever gonna top this for me, even House of Cards. This fic has it all, humor, angst, fluff, smut. Everything. Incredible fic. Golden fic.

cuz in a sky full of stars (I think I saw you) by wowoashley | Taekook, Namjin, Fake Relationship!AU

Summary: taehyung always has bad ideas. and jeongguk thinks this might be the best.

This is so cute and cliché but in a good way, I really love this fic.

ce monde est une têmpete by astringxnt | Taekook, Yoonmin, Namjin, College!AU

Summary: they say that one should fall in love with their eyes open, but Jungkook keeps his closed, and Taehyung is afraid that they’ll fall in all the wrong places.

the concept of strings in space time theory is that on a one dimensional plane, one only has the option of going backwards or forwards in their direction of travel. Jungkook chooses to be swept along into the unknown, with Taehyung as his only anchor.

AMAZING! I really like the plot of this one.

Safe and Sound by bazooka | Namjin, Royalty!AU.

Summary: From a tumblr prompt: Jin is a prince, and Namjoon is his bodyguard.

“You’re sort of bad at this.”
“Nah. You’re safe, aren’t you?”

Prince!Jin. That’s all I have to say about this fic. Amazing.

(thought you knew) you were in this song by expplipo | Taekook, Yoonseok, Namjin, Soulmate!AU

Summary: Taehyung nearly chokes, but only nearly. Instead he raises an eyebrow and puts on the most suave smile he can manage. Hopes he looks far more collected than his for-some-reason racing heartbeat would let on, more suit-and-wine than elementary-schooler-with-a-new-crush. “You like me?”

Jeongguk blushes, and looks at his feet. He’s smiling. “Of course.”

“Really?” Taehyung says. “Like? Or like like?”

(So much for suit-and-wine.)

Nothing to say apart from it being amazing.

Common Thread by sugafree | Yoonmin, Namjin, Soulmate!AU

Summary: Red String of Fate AU where Yoongi doesn’t believe in soulmates and spends a long time trying to avoid a certain someone on the other end of his red thread.

I’m a sucker for Soulmates, but this fic is good regardless, love the way it’s written.

for you, anything by kadotas | Vmin, Yoonkook, Namjin, Marriage!AU

Summary: “Talk dirty to me,” Taehyung says lowly into Jimin’s ear, breath ghosting Jimin’s earlobe, eliciting a slight shudder from the latter.

“I’m not wearing underwear,” Jimin whispers back, pulling back to look Taehyung in the eye.

Taehyung groans gruffly at this, breaking the eye contact to lean down and nip Jimin’s jawline gently. “God yes baby that’s just-“

“I’m not wearing any underwear because you never fucking put the laundry in the fucking dryer like I’ve asked you to 100 times,” Jimin hisses, voice strained with vehemence, glaring at him and Taehyung sighs defeatedly.

(in which Taehyung and Jimin navigate through married life together, realising belatedly that it’s not always smooth sailing.)

Domestic Vmin is the best Vmin.

Let me know by TheOrgasmicSeke | Yoonmin, Yoonkook, Jikook, Yoonminkook, Namjin, Vhope, I Need U!AU, Poly!AU

Summary: Talking about it, of course, became harder as the days passed by. Yoongi could never find the right time to bring it up. He was still wondering if he was just imaging things. If he was just thinking he was feeling the things he was feeling. But that was quickly disproved every single time Jimin curled up around him and Jungkook kissed him. He was a fucking idiot in love with two bigger idiots and there wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it. Except probably ruin it by talking about it. Hell, maybe it was better to just never mention it and pretend it wasn’t happening.

So good. No other words.

Find the value of an elephant by tired angry egg (Mirabelle) | Namjin, Highschool!AU, Tutor!AU

Summary: When Kim Taehyung’s academic situation takes a turn for the worse, his mother is convinced to hire a highly recommended tutor in the hopes for a miracle that would turn her son into a conscientious student. Her eldest son, Seokjin, has a far more skeptical opinion on this entire thing, expecting it to be-lest he sugarcoat it-a complete failure. And Kim Namjoon is just really bad at making good first impressions (or second ones, or just impressions altogether).

Cute and funny.

A Sociolinguistic Analysis of Epenthesis in Academic Convergence by bazooka | Namjin, College!AU, Professor!AU

Summary: Epenthesis
A phonological phenomenon in which two disparate sounds meet, creating a third sound between them which wasn’t there before.

There were a lot of jobs worse than being partnered with world-renowned Absent-Minded Professor Kim Namjoon, but Professor Kim Seokjin couldn’t think of what any of them were at the moment.

THIS! IS! SO! GOOD! Honestly, I’m in love with this fic.

The Mark of an Educated Mind by bazooka | Namjin, Metafiction.

Summary: At three o'clock in the morning after he’d been working for ten hours straight and everything he touched came out wrong and all his words were stilted and clumsy and all his music was rough and tangled… for some ungodly reason Kim Namjoon opened up a new browser window, typed bangtan sonyeondan fan fiction into the search bar, and then (god) hit enter.

No comment.

A Wonderful Institution by bazooka | Namjin, Yoonmin, Wedding Planner!AU.

Summary: Kim Seokjin is a wedding caterer. Kim Namjoon is a wedding planner.

Both of them think marriage is a societal construct with no place in modern life. Neither of them would know Real Love if it came up to them at a wedding and made a wager.

I love this fic because it’s so cute and funny to me.

Just Skin by syubology | Taegi, College!AU.

Summary: Yoongi is small and angry and 200% done with having feelings; Taehyung is Taehyung; Hoseok harasses Yoongi with petnames and Jimin ships Yoonseok. That’s basically it.

The fic that made me ship Taegi.

Pour up (Drank) by mindheist | Taekook, College!AU, Frat!AU.

Summary: If you can read this, take another shot.

LISTEN. This fic is so good it’s almost Beta Tau Sigma and that’s saying a lot because I love that fic. Anyways, the story in this one is great and it has its funny moments as well as fluffy and frustrating ones. Great fic.

Sidereal by darling | Vmin, Childhood Friends!AU.

Summary: Here we observe the Earth and the Sun in their natural habitat: each other.

This is all cute and fluffy in some parts but deep in others. Beautiful fic, I like the concept.

half a soul divided by jynxu | Minjoon, Taekook, Yoonseok, Soulmate!AU

Summary: Park Jimin has never been on a date. Nor has he had his first kiss, flirted with anyone, or fallen in love. His classmates would ridicule him and base nicknames over his distaste toward anything romantic. (Look, here comes Saint Jiminie!) Even his younger brother would make fun of him while his parents watched with pitying looks on their faces.

Nobody understood.

or: soulmate au where your soulmate’s date of death is tattooed on your wrist.

This made me cry. At school. No joke my friends were worried. Great fic, read if you want to cry.

Out of My System by xxdevilishxx | Yoonmin, Vhope, Namjin, One Night Stand!AU.

Summary: Yoongi likes one night stands and he understands how they work. What he doesn’t understand, however, is how he ended up in bed with a probably-not-legal kid crying in his arms about his broken heart, because he’s pretty sure (and correct him if he’s wrong) that a babysitting job was not what he was looking for when he went to the opening of his friend’s new club.

I read this instead of studying. Really good and interesting, I like the characters.

refrigerator humming, chewing gum and instant karma by locks | Taekook, Gangster!AU, Mafia!AU.

Summary: Taehyung sets the flowers down on the dining table, plucking the card off the little holder. “Dearest Taehyung, just wanted you to know that I’m thinking about you. I hope you’re thinking about me too. Love–” he pauses and squints before cocking an eyebrow and pursing his lips. “Hyung, why is the boss of your little boy band gang professing his love for me?”

Yoongi drops the noodles on the floor with a loud curse as he burns his hand.

Or, Taehyung’s been trying his hardest to avoid Yoongi’s criminal life for a long ass time, but a cute kid and his infuriating father keep pulling him deeper into the mix.

Cute and a good read, the concept is awesome and I like the way it’s written.

House of Cards by sugamins | Taekook, Vmin, Jikook, Vminkook, Mafia!AU, Gangster!AU.

Summary: Jungkook is the heir to a mob empire, the most notorious in the whole of Seoul. Taehyung is a rookie sent in to infiltrate by his select team and bring the empire crumbling down.

“You knew the game and played it, it kills to know that you have been defeated.”

Trailer. This fic. I have no words. It’s beautifully written and the plot is amazing, really interesting and just plain good. The fic to end all Mafia!AUs. Nothing is ever gonna top this for me. It’s also a long read.

Let Me In Or Let Me Down by noraebangbang | Yoonmin, A/B/O.

Summary: Yoongi hates dealing with heat cycles and suppressants and life in general. Everything is a terrible mess, and then there’s Jimin to make things a tiny bit brighter.

Now, listen, I don’t really like ABO, but this fic is so good that I wanna like it because if there are any other ABO fics like this gem then I’m in for a treat.

Kickstart series by Error401 | Yoonmin, Namjin, Vhope, Gangster!AU, Hitman!AU

Summary: Hitman!Yoongi AU.

The plot of this series is really interesting, I read it all in one sitting because I just needed more. It’s really good.

The Still Point (Of The Turning World) by inkingbrushes | Yoonseok, Reincarnation!AU, Soulmates!AU, Multiple lives!AU.

Summary: Because Yoongi doesn’t know how this started, or how this will end, but he knows this simple fact: he knows that there is a love between them that is much fiercer than the burning sun. There is that love then, and there is that love now, and surely there will be that same love the next time.

(Or: the one where they’re reincarnated over and over again and Yoongi meets a different version of Hoseok every time but Yoongi is the only one that remembers.)

Ok, this fic made me cry really hard and I’m still affected by it. It’s beautiful and sad and you should totally read it.

We Don't Owe you Anything

Hey there witchy community I think it’s time we had a heart to heart. I’ve been seeing a lot of disgusting behavior this past week or so and I think it’s time we all have a little refresher on how to be decent people.

If you are asking someone a question, or for help or for resources or for suggestions keep in mind you’re asking a favor.

Favors are not something you get to demand and expect out of thin air. Favors are requests. As in, you are requesting aid. This does not ensure you will receive it and nor should you expect to.

A favor is an act of kindness.
It is not a requirement.

If someone is offering help or aid as a general statement on their blog it does not mean you are entitled to that help or aid.

1. Taboo Topics
You may ask a question about a topic the blogger doesn’t want to answer. They aren’t obligated to answer you. Say you ask about animal sacrifice or cultural appropriation or sex magic. They don’t have to answer you. They don’t even have to reply to you. They don’t have to do ANYTHING they don’t want to do.

Instead phrase your question so you ask permission first. “Is it alright to ask you about sex magic on this blog?” And then WAIT FOR A REPLY before asking. Yeah, it takes a little longer but if you’re asking another person to invest their time why can’t you invest your own?

Even this question doesn’t have to be answered. They are allowed to ignore you. It is THEIR blog.

2. You Do NOT Get to Dictate Tone
Get an answer you don’t like? Tough.
If you don’t like the answer ask someone else or research on your own. If someone answers in a way you perceive to be negative or hostile either unfollow, block, or ignore it. You don’t get to tell someone how they are supposed to reply to you after you ASK THEN A FAVOR.

3. People Have Lives
Unless a blog has mods they are usually run by a single person. Usually that person has a job, is in school or both. They run their blog and help out because they want to. Their schedules and their lives exist outside this website. If an answer isn’t given as promptly as you like tough shit. Get over yourself. Ask someone else or look it up yourself.

4. Check FAQs, Abouts, Directories & Links
If you ask a question that has already been answered you’ll likely get a link to the places you should have already checked. If you’re asking someone else for their own time INVEST YOURS. CTRL+F and a 10 minute glance over is not a big deal. Do it.

5. We are Not a Search Engine
If you want to know spell compenents for “honey” use Google, use Bing use Tumblr tags… If you want a personal answer phrase the question that way.

“Have you used honey in your witchcraft before? If so what sort of spells did you use it for? Did it work out?”

Have a conversation instead of demanding a reply. If it is interesting we are more likely to enjoy answering it.

6. Ask Appropriate Questions
If someone isn’t Wiccan asking them questions about Wicca doesn’t make sense.
There is an entire tag for Wicca that you have at your disposal. If you want a person’s specific perspective on a topic ask THAT question. “How do you feel about Wicca and do you incorporate any aspects of it in your own craft?”

7. Time Sensitive is Not Absolute
Even if you have an ask that is an “emergency” or time sensitive doesn’t mean it gets priority or that it will be answered within the window. Some people compose long answers to posts and research and add sources. Some people have huge backlogs of asks. Some people only answer asks on certain days. Just because you have time restraints doesn’t mean others have them as well.

Remember that you are asking someone to help you and that they aren’t obligated to.

If you really want help being polite and kind is a lot more likely to yield results than to demand and expect.

HOW TO TEACH YOURSELF LANGUAGES SUPER EFFICIENTLY

I write this bcz I’m a huge language enthusiast and I’m frustrated about the way most methods and language classes/courses approach the process of learning. I’m not a professional but I have a lot of experience in studying foreign languages: I have taught myself Lithuanian and reached the upper intermediate level (B2) in 4-5 years without much help from others, and in Spanish reaching the same level took me only 2 years bcz I simultaneously studied it at school and already knowing French helped me a little. I want to help everyone who wants to start a new language, does not have the possibility to join a language course or just feels frustrated of the stagnation they might experience in the early phase of learning a foreign language.

So, if you want to learn a new language, I suggest following tips:

• Immerse yourself from the beginning! This is really important so that you can get yourself familiar with the intonation and pronunciation of the language. Listen to radio or tv and try to read whatever you can (ingredient lists from the food packages, newspaper articles, whatever!) it doesn’t matter if you can’t understand much yet, it will come! If you start a language with a new alphabet learn the alphabet really well first thing.

• Get an overview of the grammatical structure of the language! This is often not properly done in language courses where you learn some vocabulary and greetings but after 60 pages of the textbook you still have no idea how many verb tenses or noun cases the language has. Take a look even at the “hardest” topics, bcz they might not be that hard after all. (for example the Spanish equivalent of past perfect is much easier than the present tense) 

 • With that being said, learn to recognise past tenses even when you are still learning the present tense! I find it absurd that most courses expect you to master present tense _perfectly_ before even taking a look at other tenses. Most of the time, in everyday communication, past tenses are used more frequently than the present tense + in some languages mastering the past tense can also help you to form the conditional. So, learn the past tense earlier than most ppl would recommend!

 • In general, study the easiest things first! If you find something particularly difficult you gain more confidence and knowledge if you first focus on what you find more interesting (however, you can’t postpone studying boring topics eternally, especially if you are preparing or hoping to prepare for an exam at some point) In Lithuanian, I taught myself a lot of grammar before learning how to tell the time… and it was ok.

• For material: usually the country’s universities have a reading list on their website which proposes what books one could use to study the language. These are often preferable to handbooks aimed for tourists and some language methods for beginners because those mostly focus on useless vocabulary you might only need when you rent a car or book a room in a hotel. The grammar is often also relatively poorly explained in those “tourist language books”, whereas books that are aimed at immigrants or university students usually focus more on the efficient language acquisition and are written by professors and specialists. If you are persistent enough and google all possible search words in both English and the target language,  you can probably find whole textbooks in PDF format, which you can then save on your laptop.

• Don’t get stuck on vocabulary! Remember that grammar is the skeleton of the language and that vocabulary is the muscles hair and eventually the clothes you use to dress up and embellish your apperance. Vocabulary is useful once you know how to use it. For me, learning vocab is the hardest part of a new language, especially bcz I like starting languages that are not really similar to any other languages I know (consider Lithuanian and Greek when I previously knew Finnish, English, French and Spanish) ofc you need to learn some of it to be able to form sentences but most traditional methods focus on that too much. My suggestion is to read a lot: start by children’s books and comics and gradually get more advanced material. When you read them, make notes!! Look up the words you don’t know and don’t be afraid of using unconventional, seemingly challenging ways to learn, such as buying a bilingual poetry collection and trying to decipher what the original poem says and compare it to the translation. 100% recommend, even for the beginner level + it’s a nice way to connect to the culture but still focus on the language itself, not on the way ppl make breakfast in that country. (That’s something that irritates me a lot in most Youtube’s language videos where ppl are just discussing the traditions of the country in English when you had come there to look for the explanation of grammatical structures or just to hear the language being spoken. smh.)

• A really important thing about vocabulary is to learn all the abstract words, such as conjunctions, really soon! For example, if you find yourself in a situation where you have to use the words therefore and otherwise,  it is almost impossible to try to explain those words without first translating them to another language. 

• Make vocabulary learning more interesting and deep by learning about the etymology of the words you learn. It can be mind-blowing and it helps you to remember the words better.

That’s it!

I hope these tips inspire you in pursuing your interest in foreign languages and facilitate your learning process. I might add more to this if I remember I have forgotten something of great importance. 

House Rules (M)

Originally posted by nnochu

Summary: Frustration over recent political changes sets you off, and your loving husband helps you see the error of your ways.

Pairing: Yoongi x Reader

Genre: Smut

Word Count: 7,492

Warning: Dom!Yoongi, husband/wife relationship, teasing, punishment, edging, ass play, dirty talk, political themes

A/N: I could probably add more warnings. Rest assured, this is not vanilla. Enjoy!

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So I finally went through omgeverythingplease and here are things that I didn’t know
  • Bitty is OBSESSED with food. OBSESSED.
  • Boy has a *problem*
  • Like I know we like to headcanon that Bitty goes into some sort of media, but he’s more likely to become a food critic. Basically he’s more into the “baking” part of “baking vlog” than the “vlog” part.
  • Holster is a grumpy messy bitch.
  • For real, the team seriously debated who was grumpier: Jack or Holster
  • (for like, a hot second, before the answer became obvious)
  • (It’s Jack. Jack is the grumpiest)
  • Ransom and Bitty are very close friends. Close enough that Bitty chirps Holster that he’s being replaced via tweet.
  • Ransom and Bitty get PSLs from “ ‘Bucks”.
  • That is a quote. Eric Richard Bittle has called Starbucks, ‘Bucks.
  • (I bet he calls Target, Tar-zhay too)
  • This one was a bit more analytical: we found out about Jack coaching peewee via Bitty’s twitter
  • Bitty is the one who tells us that the Jack says the kids call him “Coach Z”
  • Because Bitty is the one who typed out the tweet, if the kids called Jack “Coach Zed”, he would have spelled out “Zed.”
  • Therefore we can assume that the kids called Jack “Coach Zee” and not “Coach Zed”
  • However this revelation by Jack was immediately followed by a debate over Zee vs. Zed. So who really knows?
  • I still don’t know how either of them pronounces “pecan”
  • More after the cut because this is getting long

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The Best Films of 2017 - Mid-Year List

There have already been many great films so far this year, so I felt it worth doing a run down of my favourite films of the year so far. These all reflect the cinema releases we’ve had so far in the UK in 2017 - for that reason this list includes some films that were released in the US in 2016. Enjoy, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the best films of the year so far!

Honourable mentions: Their Finest, Colossal, Gifted

1. Get Out, dir. Jordan Peele

This film really knocked me for six, to such an extent that I simply had to see it twice in the cinema. It got even better upon a re-watch, when I was able to watch it with full knowledge of the characters’ underlying motives and the things to come. It’s a terrifying concept (the racism of an all-white suburb is taken to a horrifying extreme) executed with incredible panache, and you feel every emotion that Chris goes through thanks to Daniel Kaluuya’s excellent performance. Get Out also represents one of the most brilliantly communal experiences I’ve ever had at the cinema - I won’t spoil it, but let’s just say that the audience erupted into spontaneous applause at a key moment in the climax. Simply fantastic. 

2. The Handmaiden, dir. Park Chan-wook

This film is exquisite - it’s first and foremost a beautiful boundary-smashing love story, and an absolutely marvellous tale of female defiance. It transplants Sarah Waters’ novel Fingersmith to 1930s Korea, and the story is effortlessly adapted to become intrinsically interwoven with its new setting. Sookee is a talented pickpocket plucked from a thieves den and sent as a handmaiden to trick a rich heiress into falling for a conman. To say any more would spoil the twists, but this film is just a masterwork of suspense, keeping you guessing throughout a series of interlocking pieces that take their time to reveal their secrets. I’ve seen the theatrical cut and the extended version, and they’re both great - you’re in for a treat with either.

3. Jackie, dir. Pablo Larrain

This is a film that soars on the strength of Natalie Portman’s incredible performance, which is complemented by Mica Levi’s haunting score. Portman’s performance is painfully vivid, with her agony and wretchedness coming through so intensely that it’s often uncomfortable to watch. Jackie is probably the best portrait of grief I’ve ever seen, and it sucks you into a famous historic event by providing an incredibly intimate perspective on it. This is great cinema, but be prepared for suffering.

4. A Cure for Wellness, dir. Gore Verbinski

This is a delightfully strange Gothic fairy tale of a film, and I’m amazed and impressed that a Hollywood studio gave Gore Verbinski a budget sufficient to pull it off with such beauty and style. I’ve seen this film attract love and hate in equal measure, but I adore it - the trailers set you up for a rehash of Shutter Island, but nothing could be further from the truth beyond the isolated setting. If I had to compare this to anything, I would compare it to Roger Corman’s Poe cycle of films from the 1960s - it has a similarly lurid sensibility and a deep-seated sense of fantastic romanticism at its core. Great if you’re after something uncompromisingly bonkers.

5. Wonder Woman, dir. Patty Jenkins

This film represented pure joy for me - I couldn’t have anticipated how emotional I was going to get at witnessing a (wonder!)woman crossing No Man’s Land and deflecting bullets with her bracelets. This simultaneously rejects the wry self-awareness of the Marvel films and the grim self-importance of the previous DC movies, instead unabashedly depicting a superhero who triumphs thanks to her overriding belief in love and compassion. Patty Jenkins adds endless little touches - from funny moments to quiet scenes where characters talk simply to learn about each other - that enrich the film and make it feel vivid and intimate in a very rare and special way.

6. Silence, dir. Martin Scorsese

This is truly the work of a master filmmaker, and it represents a stunning artistic achievement and a moving and intelligent investigation of the threshold of faith. Scorsese tried to get this made for decades before finally succeeding, and his passion for and belief in the project shine through in every painstakingly crafted frame. Silence is equal parts beauty and brutality, and it uses this contrast to illuminate the painful questions that the faithful must ask themselves when faced with the harsh reality of the present world. It’s heavy stuff, but well worth your time if you’re up for a film that raises more questions than it answers.

7. In This Corner of the World, dir. Sunao Katabuchi

I had no idea this film existed until a few days before I saw it, but I was really struck by its poetic treatment of the joys and tragedies of life. This film follows a young bride who moves to live with her husband’s family in WWII-era Japan, and while it deals unflinchingly with the trauma and horror of war - particularly the bombing of Hiroshima - it’s also surprisingly funny and ultimately hopeful. The power of this film comes through in the little moments of human connection and the way that the full potential of animation is exploited to maximum effect.

8. La La Land, dir. Damien Chazelle

A lovely ode to the classic Hollywood musical, La La Land is a technical marvel that sticks with me because of its heart and humanity (those words are recurring a lot, right?). It tells a very small story of a love affair between two dreamers in Hollywood, but it feels much bigger than them because of the way in which their story is told. La La Land draws from influences across the spectrum of cinema, and its homages to the classics are joyful and loving. The final ‘what might have been’ sequence represents the perfect marriage of raw emotion and filmmaking virtuosity. 

9. Okja, dir. Bong Joon-ho

Not many films can balance flatulence jokes with uncompromising critique of capitalist greed, but Okja pulls it off with aplomb. The core story hinges on the innocent and endearing friendship between a young girl named Mija and a bio-engineered super pig called Okja, and the film succeeds because you totally buy their connection and desperately want the two of them to have their wish and live together in the mountains. I’m delighted that Netflix gave Bong Joon-ho a platform to make such a weird beast.

10. Logan, dir. James Mangold

Logan may be bleak, but that isn’t what makes it great - Logan is fantastic cinema because it remembers that superheroes are still people who struggle with their own souls as much as super-villains. This film features the best character work managed in any of the X-Men films, and Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart and - in particular - Dafne Keen give heart-rending performances that really ground the film and give it an emotional core. I hope we get more superhero films like this, and that the takeaway from it for the industry is the importance of stressing character rather than frantic spectacle.

Most anticipated films still to come: War for the Planet of the Apes, Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets, Dunkirk, The Beguiled, Mother!, Logan Lucky, Blade Runner 2049, Murder on the Orient Express, The Shape of Water, Annihilation, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

rochu-c  asked:

Hi💕💕💕💕 I just started with my Bullet journal,any ideas of what spreads i can do? Other than the normal monthly and weekly logs

Ok I’m really sorry this was supposed to just be a simple list of some pages for a bullet journal and it turned into this


Bujo basics (see more bujo masterposts at the bottom):

Here’s some basic bujo advice that I can’t back up because I’ve never had one:

  1. use pencil first if you’re trying our a new format (and just in general because you never know when you’ll make mistakes).
  2. stick to a limited color palette (preferably lighter colors) if your worried about how it will look.
  3. be realistic about how much you can do; if you’re not a good artist, don’t make the focus point of your spread a huge elaborate drawing.
  4. don’t beat yourself up over mistakes you make. only you have to see your bujo so it’s really not the end of the world if you mess up a bit.

Notebooks:

Just a tip: there are 4 main kinds of notebooks - lined, dotted, gridded, and blank. I only linked dotted notebooks above, but those brands also made other notebooks so they shouldn’t be too hard to find.

  1. lined notebooks are good for when your bujo is writing-heavy (so if it’s also functioning as a journal).
  2. dotted notebooks are probably what you see most often because they’re so versatile. they’re great for both writing and more doodle heavy bujos (but if you have trouble writing in a straight line they probably aren’t for you).
  3. gridded notebooks are great if your a perfectionist because they make it super easy to draw straight lines.
  4. blank notebooks are what you want to use if your bujo will be very art focused.

Pens:

these are just some pens that are popular in the studyblr community, but you can literally use any pen (or pencil) that you want. any pens that you already have in you house are fine, so please don’t go out and buy any of these just for your bujo!

EXTRA: you can check my supplies tag and there should be some swatches like this

More supplies:

here are some stationary websites & brands!

Brands:

if you don’t want to go through all those  links, here are the most popular places to get stationary!

Spreads:

you’ll generally have four types of spreads: daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. people have a combination of the for (daily and monthly; weekly and monthly; weekly, monthly, and yearly).

  • EXTRA: some resolutions that you can track in your daily log

Page ideas (what the ask was really about):

the above is where bullet journals get even more customizable. you can add whatever pages you want to your bujo, usually in front or behind your weekly spreads.

An extra section:

some specifics about what you can add to your bujo if you want it to look great

fonts:

doodles:

Some more bullet journaling masterposts:

People with AMAZING bujos:

*people with really cool layouts great for inspiration

The possibility of Otayuri becoming canon

So in this post-Welcome to the Madness daze and with the information that has been released today, I would like to do some speculation about the character dynamic between Yurio and Otabek and the possible implications for this ship to become canon. I have already written a bit about this in a comment to another post here, but I would like to elaborate.

Again, this is just me throwing around ideas, with a good dose of wishful thinking.

-          Otabek enters the story quite late as a character. He is there from the beginning but we only get to see him interact with the others from episode 10 onwards. The focal point becomes what his relation is to Yuri. He whisks him away on his motorcycle, takes him to one of the most beautiful vistas in the city and then casually drops how he has admired him for the past five years. Then he offers Yuri his friendship, which has apparently never occurred in Yuri’s life before, they go for a coffee and Mari is stunned to see Yuri normally interact with another human being for a change. It’s up to you to ignore any fond gazes during this scene. What’s worth mentioning is that Yuri seems kind of perplexed by this whole thing. The “eyes of a soldier” line gets to him, because it is probably the first time someone sees him for who he wants to be.

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Yuri on Ice interview translation - PASH! 2017/05 (p24-25)

I am pleased to bring you the very first interview with director Sayo Yamamoto!!! You don’t know how much I’ve been waiting for this… This one is pretty general because of course she has never been interviewed before so they are asking her the basics, but it’s very interesting to finally hear things from her perspective too, since she’s the one who started it all. More interviews with her will be appearing in other magazines in the near future, I’m looking forward to those ones too.

Also, I believe a bright future is to be expected for Yuri on Ice, since she seems to have lots of plans…!! (I was shivering typing out the translation, lol)

Translation is under the cut.

***If you wish to share this translation please do it by reblogging or posting a link to it***

***Re-translating into other languages is ok but please mention that this post is the source***


Interview (first appearance in media!)
The world of “Yuri on Ice” that director Yamamoto wanted to create
With 8 notebooks full of notes in one hand, director Sayo Yamamoto has answered our interview for the first time. We have asked her how this new animation that no one had ever seen before was born.

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