i have a feeling that this is a reference that i'm not understanding

anonymous asked:

hello! i've been trying to research magic, but unfortunately most books i find are specific wicca, which i'm not interested in. do you have any book reccomendations that arent wicca centric? thank you! i love your blog :^)

Oh heckin yes I do My amazon wishlist is literally like six pages long… ALL BOOKS

WARNING: This Is Going To Be Extremely Long!

First though I want to note that while I 100% understand your feelings about the Wicca stuff (being a very NOT Wiccan Witch), not all books that are Wicca leaning are bad! I’ve gotten loads of useful information from books that tended to be a little new agey. That’s where being objective comes in! With ANY book, you should take it with a grain of salt, and some with a whole shaker. But it’s up to you to pay attention to misinformation and conflation, and to know how to do research to prove or disprove that something in a book you read is true or not. Does that make sense?? 

Anywho, a couple of books that are still kind of “Wicca-y” but great:

Those are all books from my personal collection that I would recommend! Now as for the Non-Wicca Books, Let’s dive in! Not all of these have I read or owned, and they are in no particular order. You’ll notice most of them relate to “Traditional Witchcraft” or West Country, because that is where my practice is focused. 

PHEW!

That was a lot! Okay anon I hope this gives you a good starting place! 

constantly-disheveled.tumblr.com/ask

anonymous asked:

If you kill Leliana in Origins, does she still appear in inquisition? My friend just introduced me to Dragon Age and I was reading a walkthrough for the Urn of Sacred Ashes and I found out you could kill her. I don't want to but I'm just curious if you kill her what happens in inquisition

Spoilers inbound, for obvious reasons.

While I’ve never played a world state in which I’ve killed Leliana, I have to say that it’s turned into one of the more intriguing mysteries of the DA canon… because killing her does not stop her from appearing in DA2 and Inquisition.

In this scenario, Leliana’s next appearance is in Kirkwall. When Hawke meets her, they comment on the fact that they’d heard she was dead. Her response: “The Maker knew it was not my time. There is more for me to do in this world.” They don’t really elaborate further. Most people brushed it off as a simple retcon.

In Inquisition, when she’s in Haven praying for understanding and bitterly angry with the Maker for allowing the Conclave to happen, she explains a little more:

Leliana: Once, I was sure I died. I did die. Who else but the Maker could’ve resurrected me? But if he didn’t save me to help the Divine, then why? Why am I still alive?
Herald: Wait, you died?
Leliana: It was right there at the temple by the Urn of Sacred Ashes. We found the Urn, proved the legends were true. But the Hero of Ferelden corrupted them, and all I wanted at that moment was vengeance. It was a fight I couldn’t win, but I didn’t care. And the “hero” struck me down. I awoke later in agony. The ashes were gone. I can’t explain how I survived. 
Herald: You can’t have been raised from the dead. That’s… absolutely… just… no.
Leliana: Believe what you want. I’m still here.

Then, at the final epilogue at the very end of Trespasser, we learn what has to be the strangest piece in the Dead Leliana puzzle:

Eventually, Leliana became distant and contemplative, often secluding herself in the rookery with none but her ravens for company. One morning, the residents of Skyhold awoke to a great beating of wings and a vast cloud of ravens blotting out the sky above the fortress. Those who investigated found both the rookery and Leliana’s chambers vacant, with only a single message as explanation: “The lyrium sang thought into being. Now time is stale, and the melody is called elsewhere. Until I am needed. I am free.”

We don’t have a lot of information to really illustrate what this means - so far, this is the first concrete example we’ve seen of magical resurrection of this sort in the series. The lyrium “song” she references is present elsewhere in the canon - both Justice and Cole say that lyrium sings to them, the former saying that it does not do so in the Fade but only in the waking world. Dwarves find veins of lyrium to mine by listening to the Stone “singing”. In Asunder, Rhys says the song that he hears when entering the Fade is so strong that he feels as though he is “about to vibrate out of existence.” In The Descent, it is referred to as the “Titan’s hymn” and a titan communicates to Valta through song.

But seeing that song bring someone back from the dead? That’s new. 

It’s unclear if the Leliana we see in Inquisition is even the “real” Leliana in that worldstate or if she is something else altogether. It’s possible that she is something more akin to Cole who, before the events of Inquisition, truly believed he was the mage who died in the Spire. He had Cole’s memories, his traumas, his same grief and fear. Cole can bleed, he has a physical form that can fall in battle, so the fact that Leliana can be tortured and killed in the Dark Redcliffe Future doesn’t eliminate the possibility that this theory could be true. She could be a spirit that only thinks it’s a human woman… or she could be a magical construct that was newly created specifically to fulfill her role in this story. Of all the characters in Dragon Age, Leliana has made the most appearances throughout the narrative and arguably has had a repeated impact on the fate of the world. She helps the Warden stop the Blight, she assists the Divine in conspiring against the Templars and find a cure for Tranquility, she raids the White Spire to free the mages trapped there at the start of the Mage/Templar war, she pressures Celene into stopping the elven uprising in Halamshiral (which, in turn, places the Empress within a trap set by Gaspard that officially starts the Orlesian Civil War). She aids the Inquisitor in stopping Corypheus and can eventually become Divine - arguably the most influential person in Thedas. 

She’s had a hand in many of the major conflicts of the past decade in Thedas, having only started on this path because she dreamed the Maker had called her to it. And even if she’s killed, it still doesn’t stop her from fulfilling her role in history.

It makes me very curious who or what is exactly pulling the strings in that regard… because it certainly seems like someone or something in-world had a very specific plan in mind for Leliana. 

anonymous asked:

What do you think of Harry saying SOTT is about a mom dying in childbirth. I'm just ??????? What do you think SOTT is about?

For reference:

‘Sign of the Times’ came from ‘This isn’t the first time we’ve been in a hard time, and it’s not going to be the last time.’ The song is written from a point of view as if a mother was giving birth to a child and there’s a complication. The mother is told, ‘The child is fine, but you’re not going to make it.’ The mother has five minutes to tell the child, 'Go forth and conquer.’

Harry Styles, Rolling Stone

When I read this I immediately thought he’s trying to tell us without telling us that Jay was the inspiration for SOTT and making it his lead single is a tribute to her. I mean, that’s my take on it. Makes sense to me.

She prepared her kids (which for all intents and purposes includes Harry) for her death.

Just stop your crying
It’s a sign of the times
Welcome to the final show
Hope you’re wearing your best clothes

Referencing a funeral here.

You can’t bribe the door on your way to the sky
You look pretty good down here
But you ain’t really good

Understand when it’s your time to go, it’s your time to go. Riches can’t save you. Your life may look great from the outside. But it’s not always as good as it looks. And those last two lines may be a reference to how shocked everyone was that young, beautiful, vivacious Jay had passed. It’s not all good in Harry’s hood, even if that’s what the tabloids and paps and gossips make it seem like.

We never learn, we’ve been here before
Why are we always stuck and running from
The bullets, the bullets?
We never learn, we’ve been here before
Why are we always stuck and running from
The bullets, the bullets?

We’re all whistling past the graveyard like death isn’t coming for us and our loved ones. When it comes, we’re devastated. We know it’s coming eventually, but we can’t get in the headspace of truly being ready for it. So we live on the run. Running from death. But it will catch us eventually.

Just stop your crying
It’s a sign of the times
We gotta get away from here
We gotta get away from here
Just stop your crying
It’ll be alright
They told me that the end is near
We gotta get away from here

To everything there is a season. The time of death is upon us. But don’t stay in this place of grief. It’s ok to move on. Keep living your life. 

Just stop your crying
Have the time of your life
Breaking through the atmosphere
And things are pretty good from here

Jay wants her kids to enjoy life, even though she’ll be gone. She’s going to a better place. No more suffering.

Remember, everything will be alright
We can meet again somewhere
Somewhere far away from here

It feels terrible now. But eventually, it’ll get better. And she’ll see them again someday. N.E.R.D.–noone ever really dies. Energy just transforms.

We don’t talk enough
We should open up
Before it’s all too much
Will we ever learn?
We’ve been here before
It’s just what we know

Don’t take your loved ones for granted. Share. Bond. Grow together. Do better. A mother’s wisdom.

I feel like this is where it was going with the dying mom comments. Of course, for many fucked up reasons, he obviously couldn’t say this was about Jay. But I think he dropped enough of a hint for us to pick up. It’s not the first hard time or the last? I think in Ever Since New York, Harry made it clear that hiding his relationship with Louis and engaging in fauxmances has been very painful for him and I’m sure for both families as well. The child is fine, but you’re not going to make it? Yep, all her kids are thankfully fine. The mother has 5 minutes to tell the child to go forth and conquer? That must have been what the last months of her life felt like–5 minutes. Not enough time. But she prepared them. God bless.   

the-childrens-era  asked:

From what I understand, correct me if I'm wrong, you mostly taught yourself Korean. Do you have any study tips or just miscellaneous tips for those of use wanting to learn Korean or any other language?

Omg. So you’re self-taught in Korean, Kylie? That’s awesome!! How did u do it? Give us tips please! I’ve already learned to read hangul but how/where can I learn/improve vocab and grammar?

Do you have any tips for someone who’s trying to learn Korean?

hi!! how did you pick up korean, and how long did it take you? thank you :)

Do you have any tips for learning Korean? I really want to start but I am not sure of the best method.

Is there any material you would be able to recommend for an English speaker self teaching themselves Korean? If so, thank you!

Okay, so I’m gonna write a lot write now so be prepared. I’ll break it up into sections.

How I learned Korean (to the level I am at right now):

I started learning Korean naturally during 8th grade (2010) or so. I had a really close friend who would teach me Korean words and by this time I was into a few K-pop groups (mainly SHINee) and watched a few Korean dramas. Out of interest in learning new language, I decided to teach myself how to read and write in Korean. Once I hit the summer before my freshman year, I met another really close friend who introduced me to more and more groups and showed me Korean shows. This is probably when I got really into Korean music, culture, etc. I began finding more shows by myself, became more active in fandoms through Twitter, Tumblr, etc. Before I knew it, watching these variety shows, dramas, videos, and reading lyrics allowed me to pick up the language. I never had a formal education as my school (high school and university) did not/do not provide the language. However because of this, most of the Korean I know is conversational and I am most confident in understanding (instead of writing, speaking). Although I translate, I am by no means fluent in the language, although I soon hope to be!

Tips on learning Korean (or any language):

1. Start off by learning hangul or the Korean writing system (or “alphabet”). You can do this by looking up a table of the characters online. 

2. Begin practicing by reading lyrics, tweets by BTS, whatever you can get your hands on. You don’t have to know what you are saying, but it is important to practice and solidify your knowledge of hangul.

3. Figure out your learning style. If you are an auditory learner, try watching videos in Korean like variety shows and dramas (not historical). Read the subtitles carefully and be aware of the words you are hearing as you are reading. I feel like many people unintentionally tune out the audio of a video when watching videos in Korean. If you stay aware, it will be much easier to pick up the language. This is how I picked up Korean. Other ways to learn are through more traditional methods like textbooks and workbooks. If you don’t want physical textbooks there are many apps and online sites that provide PDFs and even podcasts. I don’t use online sites, but I have heard a lot about Talk To Me In Korean.

4. Stay motivated. I know it is really difficult, especially if English is your only language, but you really have to want to learn the language. If you have no interest or motivation, I’m sad to say this, but you won’t be able to learn the language since there is no teacher to force you to learn as there would be in a classroom setting. 

5. Practice/study regularly. I think all people who have learned a language in high school can say this with confidence. If you don’t practice/study the language regularly, all of what you have learned will just fade from your memory. 

Material for learning Korean:

I always refer to this guide, but Tumblr user hobuing made a post as to how she learned Korean and it has a few links to sites and PDFs [here]. 

What do I do when I don’t know a word in Korean: 

Naturally as I am not fluent, I don’t know all the words that I read. When this happens DO NOT USE GOOGLE TRANSLATE. Google Translate is absolutely horrible when translating (at least for Asian languages). I look up words on endic.naver.com (to find the direct English meaning) or dic.naver.com (to find the Korean definition of a word). As slang isn’t present in a typical dictionary, for slang that I don’t know I often google “____ 뜻" (____ meaning) and read what Korean people say the slang means.

- Kylie

i have thought long and hard about what demons would be to people with mental illness; we who are used to referring to our own brains as filled with darkness. 

the girl who is in the haunted room and loves it. it’s quiet there, where others won’t tread. they leave her alone to paint and to read and they ask her: doesn’t it scare you to be in such a sad place? and she says - is it sad? it doesn’t feel different than usual here. 

the boys who go to kiss each other in hotel surrounded in snow. when the voices start one teaches the other the art of ignoring hallucinations; something he had to force down since his diagnosis at seventeen. and the voices scream but there is loud music and his lips are candy.

a demon in the shadows, but paranoia isn’t unfamiliar to the one it stalks. the teenager just closes their eyes and says that tomorrow will come. and who cares if it doesn’t, really, which sort of takes the sting out of the threat they’re facing.

her ocd means she never leaves the oven accidentally on. when weird things happen she takes control of them. the last time she had pasta for dinner she summoned the antichrist that’s living in her attic. the next day she has scrubbed every corner with holy water except for a little corner that she fills with pasta. if it’s contained, she knows where it is. the salt line around it never slips.

the ghost tells him to die already, but that’s nothing new, so he just turns on parks and rec a lot louder than usual. 

it would be nice, i think. to see ourselves as heroes for once. for the skills we learned while dealing with this to become skills we could use in the real life. these internal strengths that rarely are spoken of; the quiet victories of lives who learn how to fashion normal from nothing. the thing is that the illness isn’t pretty but the people who go through it are incredible humans.

the strength of someone who is used to whiplash, who falls from mania into a sudden depression they can’t shake - their dogged promise to themselves that it’s going to be okay. the strength to eat when one’s body wants to deplete itself. the strength of someone who is constantly talking down suicide beating the demon because, no thank you, i’m not going to go to a bridge and jump, it’s cold outside. 

because we are used to the fight. to the darkness close. to living with demons. and we are used to saying “no”.

  • <p> <b>what she says:</b> I'm fine<p/><b>what she means:</b> Honestly, the exploration of the shifting western gender dichotomy in the 1980s and how it’s displayed through the lens of same-sex relationships is one of the most profoundly striking (yet subtle) themes in both acts of the musical Falsettos (March of the Falsettos as well as Falsettoland) and I am severely disappointed that fans don’t discuss it enough. For instance, we initially have a character like Marvin who sees men and women, as well as their respective “roles” in relation to him through a very linear, black and white lens. This worldview of his isn’t challenged in the least until he falls in love with another man, Whizzer Brown, who he can’t manage to force into a box of preconceived stereotypes. Whizzer is a proud, openly gay and promiscuous man living in suburban New York, and while many of his observable traits could make him look like a caricature of his identity (sexual selectiveness, materialist attitudes, overt pride in his physical appearance and that of others), he also possesses many attributes that contradict that stereotype and make him seem like more of a Manly Man than Marvin would want him to be (his love for baseball, the Manliest Man sport™ and general passion for athleticism, and his loyalty, kindness, and family man sensibilities). Whizzer doesn’t feel constrained to a box where his sexuality needs to match up with stereotypes about how he behaves or expresses himself; he just is who he is. Marvin, being the linear thinker (and we can assume older of the two) is unnerved by the fact that Whizzer can’t fit into his two boxes of what’s acceptable (gay or straight, masc or femme, pink or blue), and thus resorts to forcing him into the homemaker, a role he’s learned to play opposite of and DOMINATE. Whizzer understandably hates this, culminating in their breakup at the end of act 1.<p/><b></b> Marvin doesn’t see “both sides” of Whizzer until the baseball game in act 2, observing how Whizzer comes to support his child and shows expertise with how to play the game (How Masculine1!1!), prompting him to want to make things work again. He is able to fully accept the qualities of his own sexual longing and intimacy in What More Can I Say, qualities that he once DETESTED in Whizzer (“Whizzer screws too much to see, what a joy is chastity”) and begins to see a nuanced, full fleshed version of himself in what Whizzer was from the beginning. He continues to unconditionally love Whizzer even when he’s sick with AIDs (having figuratively and literally lost all of his physical strength and stamina to the disease, qualities that he was once able to capitalize on) and Marvin is shocked at how much he loves this man who can’t even stand up, let alone fully hold him or be intimate with him. He loves Whizzer beyond the boxes he used to desire to put him in, he’s no longer an object for sex nor the pinnacle of athleticism, and THAT is what Marvin learns to love (“Do you know, all I want is YOU, anything you do is alright”). Finally, this culminates in What Would I Do, when Marvin is asking a departed Whizzer “what would I do if I had not loved you?” // “You’re the only one my child would allow” // “who would I BE if I had not loved you” // “how would I know what love is?” All are indicative of how Whizzer’s companionship opened his mind and his heart, showing him that true love doesn’t come in a box or a stereotype or label, it can come in any way with any kind of person.
  • AND THEN we have the lesbians, who are mainly responsible for giving insights on how the world of 1980s is shifting in terms of “what’s normal and what isn’t” (the opening number Falsettoland basically explains this in a way that borderline mirrors modern identity politics, but THAT’S ANOTHER RAMBLE FOR ANOTHER DAY). Even in a relationship as “new” and progressive as Charlotte and Cordelia’s, societal influences of male and female roles permeate their relationship and even the way they interact with one another. Speaking from an old-fashioned lens, you could say that Charlotte “wears the pants” in the relationship (to reference a pretty outdated and inaccurate term), as she’s the real breadwinner of the couple, making money like a boss ass bitch and doing “respectable” life saving work, whereas Cordelia services her as a homemaker and is struggling with her own catering business. While Cordelia is presented as a very optimistic and happy person who loves her career and admires her partner, you can tell she’s somewhat upset with this accepted power struggle, even from the “funny” line “You save lives and I save chicken fat, I can’t fucking deal with that?!?” She literally can’t deal with the fact that even in a world where she should be considered an equal to her partner in every way, she still can’t be because of the world they live in and the norms she feels like she needs to conform to. When Charlotte is gloating “do you know how great my life is?!?” Cordelia responds almost bitterly “yes I KNOW how great your life is” implying that she’s heard it a million times before,and no matter what she’ll never have what her partner has. She struggles with getting Charlotte to open up at certain points, which makes connecting hard for her “Something bad is happening // Which she’d never say // it must be SOMETHING IN HER WAY”. Overall the commentary on how gender norms changed the face of LGBT life in this show is so interesting and WHY DO WE SLEEP ON THIS?!? I CANNOT GET ENOUGH. I MYSELF HAVE NOT SLEPT IN FOUR DAYS.<p/></p>
SNK Chapter 90 In A Nutshell
  • Soldier: So obviously we shouldn't tell the public about, you know. *Gestures at the basement*
  • Pixis: If we keep secret from the public doesn't that make us as bad as the guys we just overthrew?
  • Historia: Baldy's right. We're going public.
  • -----------------------
  • Newspaper guy: So basically we're the descendants of a minority race who can turn into titans and outside of the walls is a giant military that wants us all dead.
  • Levi: Hit the nail on the head. So how are people taking it?
  • Newspaper guy: Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
  • Citizen 1: Well hey this is pretty interesting. It explains a lot.
  • Citizen 2: HA! You expect me to believe this?
  • Citizen 3: The government is spreading lies about an upcoming war so they can put us all in labor camps and fuck our wives while we're away.
  • Newspaper guy: Mixed reception.
  • ------------------
  • Hitch: Sup bitches, heard Marlow died a hero's death.
  • Flock: Yeah he ruled. When Erwin went down, he led the charge that let us take down the beast titan.
  • Flock: But in his dying moments, I'm pretty sure all he felt was regret.
  • Jean: Dude what the fuck.
  • Flock: Hey man I'm just spitting facts.
  • Flock: OH AND ANOTHER THING.
  • Flock: I still think the commander should've survived, not Armin. You know who else thinks that?
  • Flock: Literally everyone but Eren, Mikasa, and Levi. You know, the fucking assholes who put their emotions above common sense?
  • Eren: I will fight yo-
  • Flock: Oh shut the fuck up, Eren. I get that you're the main character and shit, but more matters than just what YOU feel. You should've given up and sopped pestering Levi, like Mikasa did.
  • Mikasa: *Shame*
  • Jean: We get it Flock, you have a small penis. Just let it go, alright?
  • Flock: OH, AND ANOTHER THING.
  • Flock: Jean, Connie, Sasha, none of you stopped Levi or Eren and Mikasa from fucking us all up the ass. You just stood there like a bunch of people with smaller penises than me.
  • Flock: Come on, I signed up to save humanity. If that's not what you're about, let people know before they join this organization.
  • Armin: ...Yeah, Flock's right. Commander Erwin should've lived.
  • Eren: You don't know that, Armin! Come on, we still know nothing about the world out there! You still haven't seen the ocean, right? There's so much to learn about the world, you can't give up! If we just go beyond the walls-
  • Eren: *Flashback to what happened to Faye when she went beyond the walls*
  • Eren: Fu-
  • ----------------------------
  • *Ceremony where Historia gives out rewards commences*
  • Eren, in his thoughts: I know that our situation is bleak, and if I can change I'd be willing to sacrifice my life. And yet, I can't bring myself to sacrifice Historia.
  • Note: This is a reference to how Eren know that, when he activated the coordinate, he was touching a titanized royal (Dina), so they might be able to activate it by titanizing Historia. But he didn't tell anyone.
  • Eren: *Kisses Historia's hand*
  • --------Memory is awakened in Eren----------
  • *Back when Grisha was confronting Freida, before he ended up killing them all*
  • Grisha: Come on guys just use your powers to kill everyone trying to kill the people I love so the people I love don't have to die.
  • Freida: *Glares at Grisha*
  • ---------------------
  • Narration: Anyways so the guillotines pretty much got rid of all the titans and they retook wall Maria. And there's almost no titans left on the island.
  • Narration: So I guess all the titans are killed. One thing off Eren's bucket list.
  • Narration: SO a lot of months passed and they set off to find the ocean.
  • Survey Corps: *Reaches Ocean*
  • Narrator: Another one off the bucket list. Productive day.
  • Everyone: *FLIPS THE FUCK OUT*
  • Eren: *Somewhat sullen, contemplative*
  • Eren: So... on the other side of that ocean, there's people who are going to try to kill us.
  • Eren: We aren't free yet. Is killing the people who oppose us what it takes to finally be free?
  • Fandom: Dude chill.
  • Fandom: Also who does your hair it's fabulous
  • ------------------
  • Sorry this wasn't as funny. hopefully it's easy to understand, at least.

anonymous asked:

Heyho Maddox! So I need advice. I'm a 12 year old artist. Everyone in school refer me as a "young artist" and I love drawing. It's my passion. But, my parents aren't supporting me and tend to get mad at me everytime I want to draw. They want me to stop and be a doctor but I don't want to. I want to be a successful artist like you. Help please?

My parents didn’t really supported me being an artist till I was 18 (when I decided to do art for good). But I understand why they push us to do something else besides art. They worry and they know its an unstable/unpredictable job. 

You are also really young at the moment. When I was your age, I wanted to be a Fashion Designer or a Veterinarian but ended up doing Animation because believe me when I say ART is just a general term of so many other specialisations that you have to consider.

Its just like if you wanna be a doctor, what kind of doctor you wanna be. Same applied with art, what kind of art based job you wanna pursue? I am currently studying animation but I like illustration very much. And there are a lot more like graphic design, interior design, fashion design, comic artist, and etc. So you do need to do more research and put more thought on what you really want focus on for art.

I will also be very real with you since you are considering this as your future and job. Art is something you really need to love and have 100% passion in doing because there are a lot of factors like rejections, criticisms and conflicts that may make you feel like shit.

If you are very sure if you are gonna give art your all, then go for it. Convince your parents in every way possible because thats ONE of the few conflicts that you need to over come. Its like an endless battle when it comes to the creative industry. Do what you strongly believe in. 

Convince yourself before you convince others.

The things I do for you people.

I wrote a Darkiplier x Reader fic for the @darkiplier-support-group charity event, and since we smashed our goals, I would be wrong not to post it.

First of all, this is based off of the idea of @ask-sadisticdark, and I thought it would be interesting to write a lot of angst and a liiiiiittle bit of fluff based on someone who can’t feel love. The quick disclaimer is that I am obviously not supporting abuse in relationships by writing this.

Second, I write, but I haven’t publicly written a “fic” since I was a preteen. 

Third, Don’t make fun of me too much for this. It’s for charity, okay?!

And no, there’s no smut, you sinners.

Keep reading

Sleepless Nights, touken headcanon/mini-fic

Summary: It’s their first time sleeping together on the same bed and Kaneki can’t take his hands off Touka.

I totally hate this, it looked so much better inside my head, my inspiration sucks—i’m super tired right now& i can’t speak proper english today, but i really wanted to take this idea off my head AAAAND give this to @yorozuya-ken-chan as her birthday gift 😭 ♡ I LOVE YOU ANITA, this is so crappy, i’m so sorry -sobs- i promise i’ll write you something 2369726 better next time, WAIT FOR ME🙏 (the only good thing about this is the ending, huehue, jon&ygritte hints)

i wanted to make this a smut but i really feel like the words aren’t coming to my head today, so this is just… a bit lime? not even a lime 😂  shame on me.. anyway, take this more like a lazy headcanon instead of a well-written fic *sobs* i’ll bring good smut soon.. I promise, ANITA DESERVES BETTER ✨

Preview

“Kaneki.”

“Y-Yes?” he stammers.

“If you want me to sleep with you in your room, just say it.”

He’s shaking.

“Oh, w-well…”

“Do you?”

He swallows.

“I-I mean, if you ever feel col—“

Touka sighs.

“Fine. I’ll sleep with you tonight then.”

Keep reading

Bellarke - WHAT WAS HE GONNA SAY?

*throwback to Spacewalker, honestly* @mego42 will understand!


You know, that final scene on the beach is a slow burner. Obviously, I loved it in the moment. But it was so short, and so soft, that it didn’t hit me hard like some of their other scenes. The more I think about it though, the more essential it becomes.

Do I think Bellamy was about to confess his love for Clarke, in a LET’S MAKE OUT way? No. I don’t.

Bellamy was very calm, very mellow. IMO, if he was about to go all out on the romantic front he wouldn’t have been so. He would have been more agitated, more jumpy. (EDIT: THAT BEING SAID, I HAVE JUST FLASHBACKED TO MY LOST DAYS…and IDK why but I always feel like Imma lose friends when I remind the world that I was #Jate for lyf. So suddenly I’m remembering the S3 finale where Jack just turned to her all chill from out of nowhere and shrugged and said ‘Because I love you’ and honestly, maybe we are at a point where a mellow and chill Bellamy just puts it out there like that?? MAYBE WE ARE?)

I think that Bellamy is feeling very fatalistic right now. When Clarke asked him ‘you still have hope’ he gave her what she needed. But 4x04 onwards have really emphasised how tired Bellamy is, and how aware of time running out he is. He’ll keep fighting to keep people alive, but I also think that he believes he - and maybe all of them - will be dead very soon. He expresses this pretty succintly in reference to Octavia. I think he knows, on a level, that Clarke is right. Given time, his relationship with O will heal. But there is no time. He thinks that he is going to die and Octavia is going to hate him.

When Clarke says ‘she’ll see how special you are’ it’s not because she’s pulling him back from a break down. And she’s calm too! Mellow too! She says it because it is how it is. It’s so natural and easy for her to tell Bellamy that he is special.

Bellamy’s long look at her is everything to me. We’ve had moments like this before…I’m specifically thinking of 3x15 and ‘but I trust you.’ So it’s not a shock to Bellamy, really (I think it will always be a little bit of a shock to him just because he is who he is) but coupled with how he’s feeling about O, about their chances…

WHAT’S IN HIS HEAD. Definitely I love this girl. I know, I know…I said I didn’t think he was about to make a big declaration…but LOVE is all over everything Bellarke, and has been for a while. She’s everything to me? She’s special too, and I need her to know that? I couldn’t have survived without her? If I die, I need her to keep fighting and living and to find happiness one day?

THIS IS A GREAT BIG RAMBLING MESS, BUT…THAT SCENE DUDES.

And then Clarke just…IMMEDIATELY SHUTS HIM DOWN. And I think there is so much to say here about Bellarke v Clarke’s scene with Niylah. For Clarke, sleeping with and finding comfort in Niylah is a situation without risk. There are no strings attached, it makes her feel better, and also…Niylah is just super nice. So Clarke can touch her, Clarke can show her that affection…

Obviously, Clarke’s relationship with Bellamy is on another level (even if you were to deny romance) and it strikes me how much Bellarke DON’T touch each other. She comes to stand beside him on the beach, and there’s space between them. They even struggle to FACE each other, and dude…that threw me back to 2x16. Clarke looks at him, but HAS to look away. Bellamy looks at her when she isn’t looking. And only when he is about to declare, does he turn his full body to face her.

AND SHE SHUTS IT DOWN.

Because she knows! She knows that he’s trying to say goodbye, and she will not accept that. She nopes out of that like whoa. She won’t even consider it. With Niylah it was a conversation and a request, but with Bellamy it’s just NOPE NOT TALKING ABOUT THAT. WE WILL SEE EACH OTHER AGAIN.

THEY ARE SKATING AROUND IT YOU GUYS. They both know SOMETHING, and they’re both approaching it in different ways.

Clarke can’t face it, can’t think about it, because they WILL survive. But Bellamy is starting to turn the other way…

WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS POST? IDK. BASICALLY I AM FEELINGS ALL OF THE THINGS.

anonymous asked:

can i ask what's so bad about believing that "real" transgender people need to experience dysphoria in some way, shape, or form? -not trying to start anything bad here, genuine question- dysphoria can be anything from not identifying with your birth sex/gender and socially/mentally transitioning to physically feeling as if you are in the wrong body and need to medically transition, so i don't understand the whole "truscum" argument from both points, if you can get what i'm trying to say.

Because it erases and invalidates the trans people don’t feel dysphoric.

There are trans people who don’t feel uncomfortable with their assigned gender, but feel that another gender - the gender they ID with, the gender that they are - is a better fit.

There are trans people who don’t feel uncomfortable with their body the way that it is, and thus choose not to change it. And there are also those who are okay with their body the way that is it, but want to change it because they feel that they would be more comfortable with it if it was different.

There are trans people who are okay with being seen as and refered to as their assigned gender, but who feel that they’d be more comfortable being seen as or refered to as another gender - the gender that they ID with, the gender that they are.

Some would say that is dysphoria, but it’s not okay to force that onto someone. If those people don’t define themselves as dysphoric, if they don’t think of themselves as experiencing dysphoria, it is not okay to try to force them to call themselves dysphoric.

It is not okay to say “oh, but you’re really dysphoric, even if you don’t want to call it that”.

It’s not okay to push labels onto other people against their will.

Not to mention that there are trans people who have neurodivergences that literally prevent them from feeling dysphoria. Consider how common alexithymia is among Autistic people, for example. Then recognise that at the same time, Autistic people are statistically far more likely to be trans than allistic (non-autistic) people. And then, finally, most importantly, recognise the ableism in telling neurodivergent people that their genders and their transness is not real just because they don’t experience their feelings and emotions the same way you do.

Then there’s also the trans people who used to be dysphoric, but who have transitioned to the point where they no longer feel dysphoric. It’s not okay to tell those people that their transness is no longer valid. (And don’t start with the “oh, but I meant you have to be dysphoric or you have to have been dysphoric in the past!” because that is not what you said. That is never what you people say. You say “have to be dysphoric”. Always.)

And there are probably many, many more examples that could be given for why the “you have to be dysphoric to be trans” argument is bad. Because trans people are so, so, so vastly varied, there is going to be things and points of view that I have not been able to think of or remember to put in this post.

But ultimately, it’s defining transness by suffering. It’s saying “you must be this miserable to be trans”. And I hope you can understand the inherent transphobia in that.

anonymous asked:

Could i ask why "do it with dan" was an iconic moment? I guess I'm not understanding what that implies

‘doing it’ with someone is a euphemism for having sex–phil was making a joke that referenced the fact that plenty of people in their youtube comments and on the internet more broadly are interested in his sexual relationship with dan which is iconic for many reasons, foremost of which are: 

1. phil has almost never bluntly referenced being ‘shipped’ with dan, or even the general public interest in his relationship with dan. whether in a humorous way or a straightforward way or an angry way, i really can’t recall many times where he has ever made reference to it (like actually in this moment i can’t think of a single one although i’m sure it’s happened?? i’ll need to do some research on that after i post this. but i mean the fact that i can’t even remember one example should tell you something!) 

2. phil making a sex-based joke like that without trying to play it off as though he doesn’t understand the implications  is in some ways a big deal (though less so bc in the recent months he has been more and more comfortable making sexually charged remarks mostly on the gaming channel). so what makes it especially noteworthy, at least to me, is that this was on amazingphil which is a channel that he ostensibly still endeavors to keep very PG (dan himself even pokes fun at this when he peels the banana later in the video and says that he thinks it’s the most inappropriate thing that’s ever been on the AP channel) 

3. phil referencing having sex with dan in such a humorous way w not even a spot of discomfort feels so incredibly refreshing and just,,, good. he was giggling!!!! nothing in his reaction appeared squeamish!!! he didn’t make any allusion to the audience being ‘pervs’ or ‘stalkers’ which is the language that dan has often used whenever referencing fan fantasies about him and phil. instead he just laughed and it was v gentle. and dan, for his part, jst looked surprised phil went there and then defaulted to a standard ‘what is phil saying what a weirdo’ face which was probs what felt safest to him in that moment but there was still a hint of a smile the whole time and he too did not react in disgust or w any attempt to shame the audience for even believing in the possibility of him and phil being in a sexual relationship (let alone wanting to see it) 

all in all, it just seemed like this joke was another sign that they’re in such a comfortable place right now, and more at peace than we’ve ever seen them with respect to how they and their relationship are perceived by the public. a very iconic moment. 

anonymous asked:

Hi, regarding that last anon you got: it actually comes from a popular radfem post, how we women are at the mercy of men and can't do anything to protect ourselves but cry and scream *snorts* I'm assuming anon c&p it from the original blog. This is what radfems usually pass as "self defense advice" on this site.

We knew the anon was submitting bait before I answered the question, but thanks for letting me know where it came from. Sadly, that’s a sexist opinion I’ve seen expressed elsewhere, even in the bowls of the martial arts community. For every made up experience, there’s a chance of a real one happening somewhere else. All they did was give me a chance to once again talk about self-defense and debunk sexist attitudes often taken as fact.

Since the post has garnered over 700 notes at this point, I’d say it was worth it and I’m glad my answer resonated with so many people.

It saddens me (though doesn’t surprise me) that this attitude is pushed by women, especially ones who claim to be feminists and straight up weird for someone claiming to be part of the radical feminist strand. They sound like the same group they’re railing against, reinforcing damaging gender stereotypes and societal roles, and telling women they’re helpless.

One of the main reasons I started this blog, oh so many eons ago, was to help debunk the sexism that surrounds the combat arts (more so in fiction than in real life) and use my experiences growing up in martial arts help other young women stretch outside the narrow framework provided for female action heroes. Though the internet has made information on martial arts more readily available than ever before, I know finding easily accessible information on combat is difficult and the best of it is often not designed for neophytes much less someone with no experience in the community. Writers need to understand concepts more than they need a grasp of the technical knowledge, and understanding concepts can be a launch pad into the real thing.

Whether its the written word or visual mediums, entertainment media has the ability to change cultural attitudes. Storytelling are part of the way we communicate and understand the world, both ourselves as individual cultures, express our beliefs, and what we hope to be. Its why representation is important. The more diverse our options, then the more options we have to find ourselves in a world where we don’t always feel like we fit.

There are plenty of qualities defined as “masculine” which aren’t limited to men at all, and reasons why male action heroes resonate deeply with the audience when female heroes don’t which has everything to with story structure but mistaken for gender. Instead of it being treated as a problem with the way stories are told about action girls, it’s mistaken for “well, girls can’t do it.”

That feeds back into real life and into the cycle of abuse. A cycle that is taught, conditioned by society, but treated as “natural”. So when the unthinkable happens, when we create a situation where its inevitable, we blame nature.

Culturally devised “not for you” is a powerful disincentive. It’s more a mental block that exists in our own minds, rather than one which exists in the real world. Learning to climb over the hurdle and lay claim to those parts of ourselves, the ones we feel we’re not supposed to have or out of reach, is by itself groundbreaking. For ourselves, if for anyone else.

We all have the power inside us to lift our chins, look disaster in the eye, and say, “Not me! Not today!”

It might take going out to learn, it might take some encouragement, and time, but there are so many options available if we look for them. It saddens me some radfems on this site are actively promoting the victim narrative and actively discouraging young women from seeking out alternative options, ones which will ultimately empower them.

It’s true that none of us can control the choices others make, even if it’s to harm us. However, we do have power over ourselves. We’re not cast adrift nor left at the mercy of the waves, waiting for someone else to save us. We can’t control if disaster will happen, but we can choose to ready ourselves for it should it come.

Cheesy as it sounds, chasing what we believe is possible will work its way into fact. That’s how humans work. People break through the impossible all the time.

Finding that representation in fiction, imagining it for ourselves as we write it, all of that can make its way back around to seeking those same confident feelings out in the life beyond our imaginations. Dreams often have a way of becoming reality, which really is awesome when you think about it.

The answer should never be, “not me”. It should be, “well, why not me?”

-Michi

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anonymous asked:

Do you have any headcannons on hidden talents the tog characters have ?? Like idk singing or dancing or juggling or drawing or making up hilarious limericks on the spot or baking fucking amazing bread or just being really good at frenchbraids ?? I don't really know where I'm going with this I just thought it would be interesting to ask !

I’m including ACOTAR characters too.

Each and every member of the Thirteen is a FANTASTIC singer. On the level of sirens, only everyone is mesmerized by their voices.

Chaol can juggle. He started doing it one say for shits in his office, and found out that he is actually good at it.

Dorian can do the splits. He is actually quite limber.

Cassian quilts. Rhys’s mom taught the boys how to mend their own clothing, but she used to stay up quilting, and Cassian used to help. His brother’s don’t know this. But he can sew a mean quilt. And when Rhys’s mom died, he asked Rhys is he could keep some of her quilts and Rhys let him. He keeps them in a locked trunk in his house. But his favorite one hands on the wall. It’s both a work of art and a memoriam to the only mother he ever knew.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Jocasta Nu survives that bit with the murder (somehow) and winds up with Rebel Intelligence (where else). Post ANH she ends up teaching Luke and possibly also Leia. Certain truths may get told a sight earlier (cough*Vader*cough). On a completely unrelated note it's not exactly easy for sundry rebels to take Vader seriously anymore due to someone spreading Temple gossip courtesy of the de facto Jedi Grandmother.

Okay but why not go full AU here and drop Jocasta into the Double Agent Vader storyline.

She’s an intelligence agent, of course, and by the time we reach the OT period she’s probably working closely with Mon Mothma herself. And if we assume that Anakin shared a bit of Tatooine culture with her (though far from everything), then she might very well recognize the name Ekkreth. Especially since she already knows that Anakin is Vader.

If Jocasta survived, I think it would be because Anakin failed to kill her in the Temple. Which, realistically, would probably mean he knowingly let her escape. So she knows better than anyone, even Obi-Wan or Yoda, exactly what he did. She was there.

So it’s going to be difficult for her, to say the least. She cared a lot about this kid, and she did what she could to help him without fully understanding the situation and without having regular access to him, and obviously something went horribly wrong. She was there in the Temple. She knows what happened. She knows what he did. It’s not something she can ever forget. Sometimes the thought of it makes her physically ill.

But she also sees what he’s doing now, and she’s perhaps better equipped to work with him than most other members of Alliance Intelligence. When the Inquisitors’ lists of Force sensitive children start coming in, she knows what that means. And when his coded phrases reference Tatooine stories, sometimes she knows what that means, too.

Eventually she sends him a coded message directly. That wouldn’t be completely out of the ordinary - Anakin’s primary Rebel contact is Leia, but sometimes he communicates with Mon Mothma as well. But when he gets this message, he knows it’s not from Mon Mothma. She doesn’t usually send physical deliveries, and she certainly wouldn’t send something like this: a carefully wrapped package of biscuits, with a note included that says “Don’t forget again.” It’s signed “Grandma.”

It’s a pretty big risk, even if there is no directly incriminating information. But Jocasta’s felt alone for a long time now. She has a place in the Rebellion, but most of her life was spent surrounded by other Jedi, and now it’s just her. Just her, and on the rare occasions when they’re stationed on the same base there’s Ahsoka Tano, grown now and insisting she’s not a Jedi. And now Ekkreth, someone she once knew as a boy called Anakin. He’s grown now, too, and it’s no less strange than Ahsoka. She’s used to thinking of both of them as children.

And yes, there’s quite a large part of Jocasta that blames Anakin for the loss of the Order and the Republic. But he’s also the only one left, and sometimes she isn’t sure if she blames him or if she blames the Jedi or even herself. It would be easiest, and maybe best, to simply blame Palpatine, but Jocasta’s learned that logic alone can only get you so far. Her emotions are harder to tame. It’s funny, she thinks bleakly sometimes, that it took the loss of everything she’d ever known and believed for her to start questioning those beliefs.

So she doesn’t know how she feels, really. But a few weeks later, when a delivery arrives for her on the Rebel base on Settra, she lets herself smile about it. There’s a seemingly untouched package of biscuits inside. Beneath every biscuit there’s a datastick. She runs each of them through the decryptions. They’re copies - abbreviated, limited, but there - of the Jedi Archives.

Eventually, she hopes, they’ll meet again in person. She still doesn’t know what she’ll do. But this is something. It’s a beginning.

anonymous asked:

Hi, question about Celtic "Mythology" (the Tuatha and the fae mosty). I've recently been trying to learn a lot about it because I have Celtic blood (ik that's not important tho and it's not the main reason why) and I have felt kinda called to it I guess. I've always believed in magic sespite my monotheistic background, and I've always believed in multiple godlike entities, angels/demons/gods. However, I'm kinda called to chaos. I do not like organized religion. I wanted to know if Celtic

Part Two of Celtic Question I wanted to know if Celtic polytheism has like lots of rules or if the Tuatha Dé wouldn’t really care if I basically forged my own path? I just wanted to ask someone with experience before trying to form a relationship with any of them because I don’t want to offend the Tuatha Dé or the Fae Folk. Thanks so much for the help!            

Part Three of Celtic Question Just realized I was super vague, I was referring to mainly Irish Celtic. The entities I feel like I would get along with would be Na Morrígna, Brighid, Manannan Mac Lir, and maybe Airmid             

Irish polytheism has conventions, sure, but in all honesty we don’t have a whole lot of rules, which can be both freeing and frustrating.  We have a few ritual conventions, like not eating food offerings or taking back other offerings once they’re made, and we tend to give certain values (as we interpret the Irish understanding of them to be) priority, like hospitality and honor.  We also usually use a paradigm of the Three Realms of Land, Sea, and Sky instead of the four elements of Earth, Fire, Water, and Air.  (The Four Treasures are another alternative, but they map a little too conveniently to the four elements for my personal taste.)  But unlike traditions like Kemeticism and Hellenismos, we just have so little evidence telling us how the gods were worshiped, historically, and we don’t have an unbroken inheritance of tradition.

I can’t speak for the Tuatha Dé, either as a whole or as individuals, especially without knowing the details of what kind of path you want to forge in the first place, but the comparative lack of historical ‘how-to’ means we do have a lot of space for individual development.  That said, I think it’s valuable to understand what’s Victorian romanticism or modern neopagan invention versus older, native Irish in order to have a clearer understanding of where the gods are likely coming from.  (Irish polytheism is especially vulnerable to Celtic romanticism.)  My recommendation is to take a look at what other Irish polytheists are doing, see what common trends show up in them, and decide if they’re the kind of thing that would work for you.  Personally (and YMMV) I think the things you can’t really avoid in one way or another include:

  • Hospitality.  This depends on your means, of course, because bankrupting yourself for guests’ luxury or emptying your wallet at every street corner doesn’t do anyone any good.  It can be as simple as offering your friend a glass of water when they come to visit or as grand as doing social activist work to make your community more welcoming.
  • Sovereignty.  This one is a little more contentious because of the implications of oppressive power, but it’s more usually defined in this context as an individual’s right to be personally empowered in balance with their spiritual and social communities.  While common across paths, it’s most prevalent in warrior-related ones.
  • Action.  We tend to put more emphasis on ‘walking the talk’ than ritual adherence, in my own experience.  For example, the people I know in person who worship one of na Morrígna are involved in social activism to some degree, according to their own needs and limitations.  This particular manifestation is not universal to Irish polytheism, however, and is a personal choice.
  • Local cultus.  The gods are tied closely into the Irish landscape and nothing happens without its location being named.  This is often translated into the real world as the polytheist building a relationship with their own land, Irish or otherwise, and getting to know the spirits, history, and cycles of their own location.  If you’re interested in getting to know your own fae, your own land spirits, this is important.
  • Right relationships.  This means being in mutually beneficial relationships with your humans, your gods, and your spirits - and your own sovereign self, too.

The degree to which you focus on any of these things may be different, especially if you walk specific paths like the warrior’s or perhaps a poetic one like filidecht, but these are the things I see come up most often with myself, other Irish polytheists, and in the mythology (which, it should be said, aren’t coming to us from polytheistic writers, unfortunately).  I think these values translate well not just into other traditions but also the secular world, too, since they basically boil down to, “Don’t be an asshole to yourself or others unless someone deserves it, and also finding a purpose for yourself is psychologically healthy, even if it’s just making sure your pants get washed every so often.”  That balanced pragmatism is one of the things that has kept me in this faith tradition as long as it has, in all honesty.

The relationship between the Tuatha Dé and the good folk is complicated for Irish polytheists, I think.  I see them as separate, whatever the later medieval sources would have us believe, but I know others who feel differently (a friend, during her ‘I want nothing to do with the gods’ phase, once had one of the gods show up in the guise of a plant spirit), so I encourage you to explore those similarities and differences for yourself if you haven’t already.

Here are the PSG’s tags for the Morrígan (also a catch-all tag for all the Queens), Brighid, Manannán Mac Lir, and Airmid, which should have additional links you may find useful for them.  Here’s the tag for Irish polytheism and our resource backup doc, which has further information for various traditions.  I have my own tags for the Morrígan (plus a page of resources), Brighid, Manannán Mac Lir, and Irish polytheism in general.

- mountain hound

achoicewithsomeregrets  asked:

So, I'm impressed with quite a lot about your writing, but one of the things I'm impressed with the most is how you do characters. The characters are just really /Real/ and alive and vivid. My characters are round and have flaws and motivations and everything that smart people say good characters need to have, but. They're still just not as /Real/ as yours. So if you have time, could you give some tips for developing characters? Thanks!

Dear protecterwinsmith,

Let’s say someone asked you to draw a person. 

If you’d never drawn a person before or thought you didn’t have much time, you might do one of these guys:

Example A: stick dude. A stick dude is recognizable as a person because it follows the baseline, easiest rules of personhood. It’s got a head, a torso, a familiar arrangement of limbs. You don’t need more to get the concept of “person” across. 

Now, if you had a bit of experience drawing people or thought you had more time, you might do something more like

Example B: Cartoon Dude. Cartoon Dude is even easier to recognize as a human. He follows the rules of personhood even more: he’s got facial features, ears, hair, clothing, shoes. You can tell one cartoon dude from another cartoon dude. You can populate an entire series with cartoon dudes and the storytelling would work, because they would effectively follow the baseline rules of human anatomy as well as being unique enough to tell apart. 

Now let’s say you had a bit more time or you had some more experience drawing people and someone asked you to draw a human realistically. Depending on how much you’d done it, you might get

Example C: 3-D dude without reference. A 3-D dude drawn without reference is even more recognizable as human. He can hold all sorts of nuance in his expression because he follows the baseline rules of personhood even better than the previous two. More nuance means more empathy from the viewer, and more empathy usually means more emotional resonance.

And finally, let’s say someone asks you to draw a human but gives you an actual person to look at. In the same amount of time given, you might end up with

Example D: Portrait with reference. This guy (one of my brothers, in fact) follows the rules of personhood, their effectiveness limited only by my ability to capture them in the time given or by my level of experience. He’s recognizable as both a person and an individual because of the specificity of his facial features, and moreover, he is unlikely to look like any other person I would draw using this method because of my close adherence to his, you know, actual face.

If you think about this in terms of characters, you could build a novel with any one of these sorts of character.

Example A: A novel built with stick man characters would be incredibly stylized. Fairy tales are often stick figure characters. Instead of being fully-fleshed individuals, they’re types. This is the stick figure woodsman (we can tell it’s him, he’s drawn with an ax). This is the princess (we can tell it’s her, she’s got a crown and some long hair added to the stick figure). This is the knight (we can tell it’s him, he’s got a sword and a stick horse). People don’t actually look like stick figures, but as long as the characters are all stick figures, the narrative still works at some level, because it tells you the rules and follows them, even if they aren’t the rules of reality. The moment you draw one character as something more than a stick figure, though, the viewer suddenly realizes how the others are merely made of straight lines. 

Example B: When I first began to write, I used to write novels with accidental cartoon characters. I knew I couldn’t populate a novel with stick figures, so I tried to flesh them out. What makes a human a human? I asked myself desperately. Specifics! I made character worksheets and dutifully filled them out with attributes. Height, hair color, eye color, hobbies, place of residence, parental occupation, etc. etc. I ended up with characters who followed the rules of being human, and they could carry a story, but they still didn’t feel real. 

I’m skipping Example C for now, because it’s a byproduct, for me, of failing to remember the lessons of Example D.

Example D: Example D is how I build characters now. I begin by studying real people instead of by creating lists of traits. I end up with shadows I forgot to draw in my cartoon version, hair that looks like actual hair instead of what I sort of remember what hair looks like, and feet that have all the toes drawn in because with a reference, I can remember how to accurately draw a pinkie toe. Real people are complicated and surprising. If I were building a character with a fear of water without looking at a real person, I might give them the phobia because they’d nearly drowned once: the easiest and most logical answer. It wouldn’t necessarily be wrong — it would follow rules that a reader would understand. But if I looked at a real person with a fear of water, I might discover that their fear developed because of an obsession with quantifying the abstract, and trying to understand the concept of an infinite body of water made them anxious. A much more complicated answer, but more specific and more real because of it. If I populate a book with characters built like this, I’m going to end up with a nuanced story that should have more emotional resonance. Moreover, the more I study real humans and build characters from them, the less I have to lean on real humans to make secondary characters. As I learn the more subtle rules of how people’s personalities are made, I can start to build new humans who don’t exist — who nonetheless appear as if they could. 

Example C: I’m returning to example C because it’s a cautionary tale for me. Even though I feel that I’m worlds better than that old version of me writing cartoony people who could only exist in a two-dimensional place, if I get lazy with my character development, or if I try to create a sort of person I’ve never met in real life from scratch, I can still end up with one of these weird cartoon-realistic hybrids. A character who nearly looks real but lacks the subtle, observed nuances that I can only get from keeping an eye on real life. These characters follow the rules, and they have back stories and hobbies and nuance, but they’re still lacking the surprising, non-linear subtleties of a real person, or they’re lacking the specificity that comes from studying a real-life elbow and carefully transcribing the shape of it.  

There are particular sorts of things I look for in real people when I’m stealing bits and bobs, but that is a topic for another blog post. For now, I’m going to go figure out why I still can’t draw feet.

urs,

Stiefvater

Food for Thought

Just a bit of advice down below, take it or leave it… but there is a tendency in this community to go on the defensive (and even the offensive) when someone writes a post asserting different beliefs. No, I’m not talking about racist ideologies or anything like that. I’m talking about spiritual theory. Hell, I’m even talking about UPG (unverified personal gnosis).

Here’s a few fun activities people seem to enjoy when this happens:

  • blatantly ignoring “disclaimers” and related statements
  • skimming at lightspeed and presuming a full understanding
  • cherry-picking thoughts and phrases to justify an attack
  • absolutely misrepresenting what the author is saying
  • never asking for clarification when sincerely confused
  • shunning the author because how dare they think differently

Having said that, here’s my advice: when you come upon a post that ruffles your feathers (again, we’re not talking about racist ideologies, etc, so please do not twist my words), take a moment to sit with it and think about why it bothers you. Does a spiritual theory make you feel threatened? Why is that? Perhaps it’s that you aren’t as secure in your own beliefs as you thought, and this post just gave you a great opportunity to wrestle with that.

Seriously, that “intellectually threatened” feeling is good. I experienced it a lot, for many years, when I was growing from one belief system into another. In fact, I left my original belief system because my questions had no answers. Because I had no confidence in anything I had always just assumed was the truth. Ultimately, this drove me to seek more solid ground…

But I experienced that threatened feeling with every aspect of my current beliefs, too. For many years, as I said. I did reading and research that left me shaken. I panicked when confronted with oppositional choices gathered under the same general roof of spirituality. I had a lot of self-doubt, confusion, and frustration to work through. It was hard, but I didn’t run from it.

Sometimes I see beginners in this community who, when confronted with self-doubt, immediately run to the nearest experienced individual and plead with them for empty validation. What I mean by that is they pretty much flat out say, “Hey, I suspect you believe X theory, so could you please confirm that X theory is true? I idolize you, so if you believe it, then I know it’s the absolute truth.”

For the love of gods, beginners, please don’t do that. I know it may feel good for a second to have someone say, “Yeah, that’s absolutely true!” But you’re forgetting that those of us with experience under our belt have already wrestled with our truths and, overwhelmingly, feel absolutely confident of them. Truly, there is very little that shakes me these days. Some of you come to me and you want me to help you achieve that same level of confidence on the fly by simply telling you what’s right and what’s wrong. Whatever I say, you accept it because you trust me. That’s really sweet, but please don’t do that.

Allow yourself to be threatened. Allow yourself to be afraid. Allow yourself to be absolutely vulnerable in the face of mystery. I’m not saying don’t seek the experts for advice, but just… don’t make us your infallible prophets or shepherds. One day you’re going to look back and hate us for “misleading” you because your path took a different turn than our own, you know?

Just think about it. Food for thought, like I said. I’m not going to try and stop you if you decide it’s somehow more rewarding to be coddled and live in a safe, soft marshmallow world. I can understand the appeal, even though, for me, that’s not good enough in the long run. But hey, you do you, folks.