i have never expected to be followed by so many people

2

100 FOLLOWERS

Wow! Well, for starters, that was an awful way to begin this post. I really don’t know what to say or where to begin. I created Sylvester originally for my own comic that I’m working on right now, but somehow he became integrated into the Batman universe, and for a good year now I’ve just been developing and molding him as a character in Gotham. When I created this blog it was at the encouragement of a few of my friends, and I admit, I was nervous to interact with anyone but them. But over the past few months I’ve been honored to see so many fantastic roleplay blogs and diverse character interpretation, and to be able to interact with a few of them is pretty awesome. I never really expected to receive such good reception of Sylvester as a character -  and to know people out there want to interact with him and want to form conversations with him blows my mind. Thank you so much to all of you who have welcomed me here, and have made me feel apart of this community. Below are people, some who I’ve interacted with and some I just admire a great deal, and again thank you all so so much.

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still less than 2 months and i’m now at 600 followers

i honestly don’t even know what to say anymore, i never expected i’d get any followers at all, much less this many. thank you to all of you who have given me endless support and who enjoy my blog and its content, you make me so happy and i love you guys so damn much it’s unbelievable <3

An open letter to my husband

by reddit user VenomousHeroine

A friend of mine recently bought a second hand laptop from a busy garage sale, the seller said that the thing won’t turn on. Being the nerd that he is, my friend got it working and found a strange letter saved on it. He mailed it to me after I asked him if I could share it here. So here goes:

“Dear Matthew,

I’m writing to you to tell you that I know everything that you do not want me to know. I know you must dread hearing this- especially coming from me, but I really need you to listen to what I have to say.

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It’s time for another Hiveswap development team interview!

Hey there, Hiveswap and Homestuck fans! Ash here once again, and as promised, it’s time for another interview with the talented folks on Hiveswap’s development team! And don’t worry – if you missed the first interview, with our environment art director Rah, you can find it right here!

Who’s in the hot seat today? Why, it’s Adrienne, our lead animator! She can tell you far more about her work on the project than I ever could, so without further ado, I’m going to hand things off to her – after reminding you all to take good, long looks at the wonderful examples of her work peppered throughout this interview. Take it away, Adrienne!

Introduce yourself to the fans! What is your specific role on the Hiveswap team?

Hiya! My name’s Adrienne and I’m the lead animator for Hiveswap. I work together with Angela, the animation director, on roughs, cleanup, background and cutscene animation – anything that moves!

When and how did you get your start on the Hiveswap project?

I was hired full-time in January 2016, but I started doing some sprite conceptualization in late 2015 in tandem with [S]:Collide work (I animated sprites for the main big bads and did thumbnails for some of the sequences).

Tell us a little bit about your career background! How did you get your start in animation? Do you have any advice for others looking to enter this field?

Homestuck is basically my career background, ahaha.

I drew a lot of fan art for Homestuck after I finished catching up in late 2012. I got some attention from my work and I was asked to do comic pages for Paradox Space. Then I did work for the Homestuck calendar. Then I just became more involved in the comic after that by doing thumbnails, sprite animation, comic pages, snapchats… and now I’m working on the game… it’s been a wild ride from fan to full-time fan.

But as for how I got started in animation, a lot of it was influenced by anime and then DeviantArt while I was growing up. I grew up with Naruto and loved Norio Matsumoto’s work in it (he did the key animation for the best episodes!). And on DeviantArt, I liked following OCTs (Original Character Tournaments) and was particularly inspired by Unknown-Person’s work.

My general advice would be to value learning and exploration, and have less expectations of what life should hand you – it makes a lot of circumstances feel like a pleasant surprise and a good opportunity to learn something new. That’s how I felt when I stumbled into this field anyway, haha.

We’re making a video game, so of course the question must be asked: what’s your favorite game of all time, and what games are you playing currently (if any)?

Agh, what a difficult question. My most-played genre is colorful multiplayer shooters like Team Fortress 2, Overwatch, and Splatoon.

I finished Nier: Automata recently and now I’m working through Persona 5. But when I’m not working through that game, I play Breath of the Wild (most of my time is spent riding my horse around Hyrule – it’s very calming).

Are there any games that you currently use or have used as inspiration for your own animation work here on Hiveswap, or just in general?

I generally use Homestuck flash animations as an inspiration for Hiveswap sprite animations.

When I’m working on cutscenes, I look to Professor Layton stuff. I love how they integrated cutscenes with gameplay in that series.

As an animator, you must have some favorite cartoons and/or anime – tell us about them!

My recent favorite is Mob Psycho 100. The raw and rough quality of the animation for that one is my jam and the main cast is really inspiring. Avatar: The Last Airbender is still my top favorite for its epic storytelling and world-building. Naruto always has a special place in my heart since it’s one of the earliest things that inspired me to study animation.

Other big influential works for me were Princess Mononoke and How to Train Your Dragon.

What’s your workstation like? Do you like to listen to any particular kinds of music while you work? If so, tell us about it!

Here’s a picture of my workstation! If you squint at the bottom screen closely, you can see me taking the picture. But anyway… yeah. I am a little embarrassed for people to know how saturated my workstation is with inspirational quotes (there are papers of handwritten motivation on the walls behind me), but that’s just how I deal when the anxiety gets a little rough.

When I want to focus (usually for rough animation and concept art), I pull up an electronic or classical playlist on YouTube (and recently Spotify) or have no music playing at all. But for everything else (cleanup, in-betweens, etc.), I dig into different genres once in awhile but Imagine Dragons and Americana/folk stuff are my go-to. Acoustics sound really nice in these speakers.

Favorite Homestuck character?

Egh, this is impossible… I’m gonna say it’s between Rose, Jade, Roxy, Kanaya, Terezi, and Vriska… um…

Favorite Homestuck ship?

Rose/Kanaya has never once failed me! c: (I think John/Terezi is really funny too.)

Favorite Homestuck flash?

Urgh… I don’t know, there’s so many that I love. In terms of like… cool and creative setup, [S] Cascade probably? [S] GAME OVER is cool too, because everyone died and the stakes just got so much higher. Oh! I just remembered [S] Make her pay as well!

This question is impossible.

(In the above animation timeline, the first frame is held for 4/24 of a second, the second frame for 2/24 of a second, the third for 2/24, and so on.)

Do you have a personal message you’d like to relay to all the Homestuck and Hiveswap fans out there?

Thank you for all your support, and for your patience in making it through the Giga/Mega/Omegapauses intact!

Where can people find more of your work? Link us to your own little corner(s) of the Internet!

If you want to see more of my stuff, my Tumblr is the place to be!

Thank you, Adrienne! Well, folks, I hope you’ve enjoyed this second Hiveswap development team interview – and don’t worry, there are still plenty more to come!

Now that we’ve gotten things rolling, from here on out we’ll be bringing you a new interview every Wednesday, so be sure to check back every week for a new behind-the-scenes look at the development of Hiveswap and the talented people behind it!

See you next time!

rollingstone.com
Harry Styles: Singer Opens Up About Famous Flings, Honest New LP
One Direction's Harry Styles goes deep on love, family and his heartfelt new solo debut in our revealing feature.

January 2016. There’s a bench at the top of Primrose Hill, in London, that looks out over the skyline of the city. If you’d passed by it one winter night, you might have seen him sitting there. A lanky guy in a wool hat, overcoat and jogging pants, hands thrust deep into his pockets. Harry Styles had a lot on his mind. He had spent five years as the buoyant fan favorite in One Direction; now, an uncertain future stretched out in front of him. The band had announced an indefinite hiatus. The white noise of adulation was gone, replaced by the hushed sound of the city below.

The fame visited upon Harry Styles in his years with One D was a special kind of mania. With a self-effacing smile, a hint of darkness and the hair invariably described as “tousled,” he became a canvas onto which millions of fans pitched their hopes and dreams. Hell, when he pulled over to the side of the 101 freeway in L.A. and discreetly threw up, the spot became a fan shrine. It’s said the puke was even sold on eBay like pieces of the Berlin Wall. Paul McCartney has interviewed him. Then there was the unauthorized fan-fiction series featuring a punky, sexed-up version of “Harry Styles.” A billion readers followed his virtual exploits. (“Didn’t read it,” comments the nonfiction Styles, “but I hope he gets more than me.”)

But at the height of One D–mania, Styles took a step back. For many, 2016 was a year of lost musical heroes and a toxic new world order. For Styles, it was a search for a new identity that began on that bench overlooking London. What would a solo Harry Styles sound like? A plan came into focus. A song cycle about women and relationships. Ten songs. More of a rock sound. A bold single-color cover to match the working title: Pink. (He quotes the Clash’s Paul Simonon: “Pink is the only true rock & roll colour.”) Many of the details would change over the coming year – including the title, which would end up as Harry Styles – but one word stuck in his head.

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huffingtonpost.com
Why the Rolling Stone's Fansplaining of Harry Styles Misses the Point
Saskia Postema, Contributor

It is safe to say that almost the entire world has recently been exposed to the solo debut of Harry Styles, member of the band One Direction. While he was not the first one to start up a solo project – Zayn Malik left the band in 2015 to pursue a solo career, whereas both Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson released solo material in 2016 – he was, perhaps after Zayn’s dramatic departure, the most hyped and anticipated artist out of the original bandmembers.

It’s been two weeks since Harry released his incredibly successful #1 debut single, Sign of the Times, which leads his self-titled LP that will hit stores on the 12th of May. Subsequently, critics have been quick to write their reviews, labeling the rock anthem as an epic song that establishes Harry as a credible artist. Part of the promotional roll-out of Harry’s debut seems to be centered around the cultivation of that notion: Harry Styles is to be seen as an authentic, honest, yet mysterious, credible musician. Given the fact that Rolling Stone profiles itself as the market-leading music magazine when it comes to crediting such artistry, it was to be expected that a profile and cover issue of Harry Styles would follow suit.

In a companion piece, Rolling Stone published a so-called ‘fansplaining’ column on their website – delving into the fanbase that has supported Harry Styles throughout the years, probably aimed at gauging their reaction to his debut. An interesting take, given the fact that the journalistic lens of Rolling Stone seems to focus mostly around discrediting the opinion of young women, particularly those who have been avid fans of the music that One Direction has put out in previous years, and who have supported Harry and his peers throughout that time. Aside from the fact that such an understanding of music is abhorrently misogynist, as it values the middle-aged white male’s opinion as somehow more legitimate than those of women (even when those women were able to recognize the artist’s talent years prior to those men who were blinded by their fragile masculinity), the article also failed to do what it intended: Explain what makes these fans so loyal to their idol.

There seems to be a deep-rooted misunderstanding of the relationship between fans and the artist they support, starting with the idea that all fans are the same. They are not. As such, many internal disagreement can exist within a fandom, while all maintaining the same admiration for the artist. It should be clear that fans are perhaps, aside from the artist themselves, the most critical of the output provided. People might find that contradictory, but I have found this to be true amongst many different groups of fans. It is similar to having a best friend that loves you unconditionally, but that will set you straight and call you out on your mistakes when you stumble. Fans are there to help the artist along, but that doesn’t mean they will not hesitate to analyze, criticize and educate their idol as well as their peers if they feel this is necessary. Such criticism stems from the expectations they have formed about said output products. Most fans will distinguish between music on the one hand, and image on the other hand. This is separate from the expectations and perception fans have from their idol’s personality. However, they will expect both music and image to reflect the personality of the artist – this is where the honesty comes into play.

For those who have been following One Direction’s career and musical development, the style of music chosen by Harry did not come as a surprise. In fact, while many reviewers seem to shy away from making the comparison, it seems that Harry’s music seems to progress most naturally out of the latest albums of One Direction. Songs like Walking in the Wind, If I Could Fly, or the slightly older Ready to Run and Where do Broken Hearts Go all reflect similar soft-rock vibes. It also fits the fans’ perception of what Harry’s personal taste in music is like, as he’s always hinted at big artists from the 70s and 80s as his big musical influences. His continuous rejection of explaining his lyricism is also consistent with the Harry fans have come to know and love over the years – he’s expressed many a times how much he values music as art. And art is interpreted by the person observing the artpiece, he likes that a song might give different people different perspectives, as long as it resonates, it’s enough.

This links back to image. In my view, many fans see Harry as fiercely protective of his private life. And with good reason, given how he had to grow up in the limelight – starting off on the X Factor, a reality show that is as much a storytelling drama series as it is a singing competition. However, this is also where there is a deep dissatisfaction amongst fans. Part of celebrity culture is providing the public with certain glimpses into your private life, and fans are quite ambivalent in their appreciation of this. On the one hand, fans want to see their idols be happy and have the opportunity to talk to them, or get to know them. On the other hand, fans recognize the flagrant violation of privacy in terms of stalkers, paparazzi and ‘inside sources’ speaking to the press.


In Harry’s case, this is where the dichotomy is most apparent. While he himself never speaks out about his private life or relationships, not even his friendships with other celebs such as Ed Sheeran, Alexa Chung or Nick Grimshaw; his private life has quite possibly been most speculated about and most prominent in tabloids out of all the One Direction members. Rolling Stone does an abysmal job at respecting the same mysteriousness they hail Harry for trying to uphold by filling in the blanks and pushing him to talk about relationships he’s chosen not to address in the past. Their leading title for their profile does not focus on the music, or him as a new solo artist, but rather on him ‘opening up about famous flings’. It is a common misconception that fans want to hear him say that he’s single, or want to know the ins and outs of who he beds. Rather, fans want to hear what makes Harry happy. They don’t want to marry him, they want to know if he’s hydrated and well loved by his family and friends – if he’s taken enough holidays and if there’s anything in particular he still wants to achieve or cross of his bucket list; that is if he has one. They want to hear him honour the fundamental friendships that underpin the appreciation and adoration fans carry for all One Direction members. They want to know what inspires him – not who. Does he order a cheeseburger at McDonald’s, or does he enjoy a Big Mac on cheat days? 


Similarly, many fans will find the sudden recognition by Rolling Stone and other acclaimed music reviewers to be bittersweet. While they will feel proud of Harry at seeing him succeed and get this approval, they also call it for what it is: a thinly-veiled rejection of One Direction and the Harry Styles prior to his solo debut. It is an honour to be hailed as the next David Bowie or Mick Jagger, but the line between inspiration and imitation is thin, which makes fans wary. What is more – the celebration of Harry’s apparent ‘new honesty and authenticity’ (again a rejection of his previous work) is rather awkward, when the reviews do not seem to provide Harry Styles with the room to be iconic as himself. They make sure to draw comparisons with a multitude of icons from the past, as if every choice he’s made has been infused with the mentality to emulate his predecessors. Fans want Harry to succeed by being true to who he is, and while his music gets recognition, it’s still not perceived as being something that is only fully Harry’s.Finally, it is important to not just address what fans expect from their idol, but also what they take away from them. In Rolling Stone, Harry Styles shared that what hurts him are fundamental issues that are lacking in today’s society – things like ‘equal rights, for everyone – all races, sexes, everything’. He’s a feminist, has been involved in the HeforShe campaign, and has expressed his support for LGBTQ+ as part of One Direction. He was frequently seen waving a rainbow flag in concerts, stated that ‘here at One Direction, we love love. Love is love,’ and has worn rainbow bracelets – most recently even a rainbow pin proudly fastened on his shirt. Moreover, he’s taken great care in answering questions about partners, favouring the word ‘spouse’ and always using gender-neutral pronouns. Harry is proud of the fact that he wears 26inch women’s skinny jeans, and continues to present himself as vulnerable in photoshoots, and to break gender norms by not shying away from the colour pink, silk and sheer, glitter boots, or wearing nailpolish. While some might not see the significance in this, these moves are incredibly powerful and can help people of all ages feel more accepted and comfortable with being who they are – it makes them feel normal and safe in a heteronormative world that is dominated by gender stereotypes. What is more, it reinforces their love and support for the artist, as they agree with their worldview – it’s a connection on a more fundamental level, that is not fueled by romantic love interest, or aesthetically pleasing faces and outfits.


Moreover, it inspires fans to change their views on society, and to extend the same charity and empathy as their idol does. In this respect, One Direction and its individual members have - unfortunately - been grossly underrated. Only recently did Steve Aoki note the incredibly power held by this fanbase in particular, calling the fans ‘an institution, like an army of bees’, recognizing how Louis Tomlinson’s fans were mainly responsible for his debut single’s smash success – creating and coordinating their own promotional campaigns, creating merchandise and posters, and requesting the song on radios. But this dedication does not limit itself to seeing their favourite artist succeed. Inspired by the great amount of charity work that One Direction has done itself, ranging from participating in Comic Relief and being patrons of numerous charities to Louis Tomlinson spending over 3 million pounds to organize a fundraiser in the form of a Princess Ball for ill children, the fans have bolstered this attitude to give to those in need and started charity drives in honour of the multiple members. The popular account 1DFansGive encourages fans to donate money to the charities that Harry and his peers are patrons of or have expressed their support for – with unparalleled, consistent success.


These positive aspects of the unique relationship between Harry Styles/1D and the fanbase are entirely lacking or even erased in media representation, which further fuels the dichotomy and love-hate relationship that fans have with media outlets. They stigmatize his fans as being teenage girls who fantasize about a relationship with him, and therefore are obsessed with his sex life – when this is frankly an insulting and gross overgeneralization. It is off-putting that fans are shamed for behavior they do not demonstrate, all the while the press engages in exactly that same behavior. It is not fans who force the idea of Harry Styles dating Taylor Swift or Kendall Jenner down anyone’s throats – it’s the press. It is not fans that prioritize his romantic relationships over his musical abilities and interests – it’s the press. On the other hand – it’s not the press that makes an artist successful, it’s the fans. And most importantly, it’s not the press that annually raises thousands of dollars inspired by an artist’s activism - it’s the fans. And the press doesn’t even report it; not even when they attempt fansplaining.

My advice? Don’t try something if the verb is derived from a harmful, toxic, divisive, humiliating and belittling behaviour that takes away someone’s voice and agency. Fansplaining is just as appreciated by fans as mansplaining is by women - not at all.

anonymous asked:

i know you meant well when you said 30 isnt ancient, but im nb so my life expectancy is actually 30 :(

Hey anon, I’m so sorry that that’s a fear you’ve had to live with. I know that trans people are at greater risk of violence and suicide, and I’ve heard people say many times that the life expectancy of trans people (or trans women, or trans women of color, depending on who you ask) is anywhere from 23 to 35. Your ask troubled me, so I’ve dug deep looking for solid evidence of any of these, and I don’t believe that these statistics are true.

A trans woman, Helen, looked into the “23 years” claim and traced it back to someone’s notes on two workshops at a 2007 conference, which stated that trans people’s life expectancy is “believed to be around 23” (emphasis mine) but cites no actual source. This claim has been presented as fact in many news articles since then, but as far as I can tell, no one seems to know where this figure came from.

Another claim is often sourced to an Argentine psychologist quoted in this NPR article

Psychologist Graciela Balestra, who works closely with the transgender community, says it’s an especially vulnerable population.

“Transgender people have an average life expectancy of about 30 to 32 years,” Balestra says. “They don’t live any longer; I think that statistic alone says so much.”

But again, the article gives no source for this figure

I found an article claiming that a 2014 report by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) “concludes the average life expectancy of trans people in the Western Hemisphere is between 30-35 years.” However, when I tracked down the report, An Overview of Violence Against LGBTI Persons (pdf), its only reference to this is (emphasis mine): “[T]he IACHR has received information that the life expectancy of trans women in the Americas is between 30 and 35 years of age.” Again, this is no source.

Someone said on my post that these statistics may have come from the NCTE/NGLTF report Injustice at Every Turn (pdf), but I can’t find any reference to any such claim in the report.

Thinking about these claims, they seem unlikely for some basic reasons. Consider that we simply don’t have a long enough span of data on trans people, and that what data we do have is extremely limited because we can’t always know who is trans and who isn’t. Consider also that, although obviously the murder rates for trans people are extremely high, the number of deaths of 20-something trans people would have to be ENORMOUS to offset the existence of older trans people and bring the average down to 30. Especially since, unlike with racial groups for example, the data on trans people would likely include almost no childhood deaths, simply because it would be much more difficult (and in many cases impossible) to identify these children as trans. And since we know that trans women of color are extremely disproportionately affected by violence, statistics that include white people and/or trans men would be especially unlikely to be so low.

And as to your specific situation anon, again given that trans women of color are most at risk, I don’t think we have reason to believe that being non-binary specifically puts a person at anywhere near this level of increased risk of dying young.

I don’t say any of this to question anyone’s experiences or to deny the state of emergency that trans women face with regard to violence. That is very real. But I think it can be harmful, even dangerous to trans people to spread claims like this around, especially without evidence. Expecting to die by 30 would take an extreme emotional toll on anyone, and trans people deserve better.

But don’t take my word for it: FORGE, a national transgender anti-violence organization that works with trans survivors of sexual assault, wrote the following in its 2016 publication “First Do No Harm: 8 Tips for Addressing Violence Against Transgender and Gender Non-Binary People” (pdf) (I have moved two footnotes into the main text and provided links to some endnote sources; italicized emphasis is theirs while bold is mine.): 

Promote Hope for the Future

It certainly is not the same as a murder, but publicizing a low “life expectancy” rate for transwomen of color is another way to steal away their future, a “crime” that has been committed repeatedly by trans, LGBQ, and mainstream press. Think about the people you know or have heard of who have been diagnosed with a fatal illness and given a short time to live: how many of them have enrolled in college, undertaken lengthy training for a new occupation, had a new child, or tried to establish a new non-profit? A few do, certainly, but many more focus on their bucket list, arrange for their good-byes, or simply give up entirely, essentially relinquishing whatever time they have left to depression and regrets. When we tell transwomen of color they cannot expect to live very long, we rob them of hope. We rob them of any motivation to invest in themselves, their relationships, and their communities. We rob them, in short, of their lives even while they are still living. (This statement in no way negates the need to systemically work to improve and increase the life expectancy of trans people through working to end transphobia, racism, poverty, pervasive violence, and health and healthcare inequities, and more.)

One trans woman of color was trying to come to grips with an estimated lifespan figure more than ten years shorter than the one that has been published most often. (We are not repeating any of the (incorrect) estimated lifetime figures that are circulating, to avoid even inadvertent reinforcement.) Faced with the report of yet another attack on another trans woman, she wrote:

These days, I look at the latest reports of stabbed, shot, beaten trans women, search myself for tears, and I cannot find a thing. I want to mourn and rage. I want to honor all of our sisters — the hundreds each year who are ripped, namelessly and without fanfare, from this life — who are taken so young before their time. But the grief and anger — even empathy — do not come. I don’t feel anything but numbness and fatigue, and somewhere far below that, fear.

The terrible irony of the life expectancy “fact” is that it is based on an impossibility. The only ways to determine a given population’s life expectancy are to: examine decades or more of death certificates or census data containing the information being studied, or follow a specific set of individuals for around 100 years and record every single death. There is not and never has been a census of transgender people. Our death certificates do not mark us as transgender. There has been no 100-year-long study of a representative group of trans people. So where are the estimated lifespan figures coming from?

FORGE tracked the most commonly-cited figure back to what was most likely the 2014 Philadelphia Transgender Health Conference, where a workshop presenter gave the figure and explained she had calculated it by averaging the age of death for all of those listed on the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) website. This means the figure is actually the average age of those trans people who were both murdered and came to the attention of someone who added them to the TDOR list. Interestingly, this average is very close to the average age of everyone who is murdered in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Justice statistics. [I’m not seeing an average age given in the cited source but you can see on page 5 of this Bureau of Justice Statistics report (pdf) that the average age of homicide victims in the U.S. was between 30 and 35 from 1980 to 2008.]

But not everyone is murdered.

Despite how many there may appear to be, only a tiny, tiny fraction of transpeople are killed by other people. Most of us, transwomen of color included, live average lifespans and die of the most common U.S. killers — heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, and unintentional injuries (accidents).

Please don’t add to fear and hopelessness by spreading inaccurate and profoundly disempowering data.

Since I can’t respond to everyone directly, I’m @ing some people who’ve brought this up on my post and may be interested: (urls removed after posting for their privacy). I appreciate your thoughtfulness in bringing this to my attention. If you or anyone else has a source on any of these figures that can provide specific methodology, I’d be very grateful to see that.

In closing, here are some resources that provide a more hopeful view of trans aging. They are well known but I hope they will be helpful to someone.

anonymous asked:

Hey, you're awesome, thanks for existing, basically ^_^ Anyway, I wanted to know if you have any tips on how to write different personalities? My characters (all of them) always end up with the same default personality that I fall back on. Thanks!

Thanks for your question, darling!  I think most of us have struggled with this – after all, we’re conditioned to one way of thinking, feeling, and acting for as long as we live.  That doesn’t necessarily mean we write characters like ourselves, though.  In fact, many of us have a “default character” that’s sassier than we are, sweeter than we are, or in some way different enough from us that we still feel like we’re writing a character.

The problem, then, isn’t that we can’t visualize a different personality than ours.  On the whole, we can.  What we’re missing are the small details that make it feel whole – otherwise, it’s like painting the same room six different colors and trying to pass it off as six different rooms.  Different dominant traits can’t hide the fact that you’re working with one template!

So the question we’re left with: what are the traits we’re missing?  And how can we change them to create a unique and whole personality?


Three Types of Character Traits

There are, as the title suggests, three major categories of personality traits as I see it: fundamental traits, acquired traits, and detrimental traits.  A well-rounded character needs some of each to be three-dimensional and realistic.

Fundamental Traits

The fundamental traits of a person’s character are not as simple as interests and preferences; they are the very base of all decisions and desires.  They are either learned in early life or developed over a long period of time, rooting deeply into the personality.  A few examples of fundamental personality traits include:

  • Upbringing – The word choice here is conscious, as upbringing encompasses many different aspects of a person’s development.  Consider who raised them, and with what morals and practices they were raised to adulthood.  Consider their influences, both familial, social, and in media; consider the relationships that were normalized during their development, as well as the living conditions (financially, emotionally, environmentally, etc.).  The people, places, emotions, and conflicts made common during a person’s developmental period are essential to their personality in adulthood.  This is why psychologists often draw present-day problems back to a person’s childhood memories – because those formative years can subconsciously dictate so much of a person’s future!
  • Values – These may not coincide with the values a person is raised to hold, but upbringing certainly has an influence on this. A person’s values will direct the course of their life through every decision, large and small.  You don’t need to outline everything your character believes is important – every moral and every law they agree/disagree with. But those values which stand above others will give your character purpose.  A few of my favorite examples are: Jane from Jane the Virgin (whose initial storyline is heavily based on her religion and desire for a beautiful love story, as well as her childhood influences who inspired these values) and Han Solo from Star Wars (whose character development rested upon his values shifting from money and gratification to more honorable things).
  • Beliefs – Different from values, beliefs are a more general set of guidelines for how a person believes things are supposed to be.  Beliefs can also be a source of great conflict, as a character tries to stay aligned with their beliefs despite other values or desires.  These beliefs can be established systems, like religion or politics; they can also include more personal belief systems, like nihilism or veganism.  A characters beliefs, like their values, can change over the course of the story – but even if a character is questioning one system of belief, like religion or pacifism, they should have other belief systems in place to govern some of their activity.
  • Reputation – A lot of human activity, whether consciously or not, is dictated by how others perceive them (or how they believe others perceive them).  There are two types of reputation: personal and passing.  For instance, a woman named Sally who gains a personal reputation of sleeping around will behave in reaction to this reputation – either sleeping around because everyone already expects it of her, or specifically not hooking up because she wants to shake this reputation, or developing a thicker skin to deal with the rumors until it passes.  A man named Billy who, because of his tattoos, bears a passing reputation as an intimidating man will either try to soften his demeanor with strangers, own up to the image, or at least learn to expect judgment from strangers as a consequence.
  • Self-Image – Also relevant to a person’s behavior is the way they perceive themselves, which can often have little to do with their reputation.  A lot of self-image is based on definitive moments or phases in the past.  For instance: for several years after I started wearing contacts and cutting my hair, I still saw myself, in dreams at night, with long hair and glasses.  One of my friends, similarly, could not seem to notice when boys would flirt with her during sophomore year – because she still saw herself as an awkward middle schooler with braces, and not as the charming cheerleader with the great smile.
    Inversely, self-image can be inflated, causing character to behave as though they are funnier, smarter, or more prepared than they truly are (see: the rest of my sophomore acquaintances).  This can be an overlooked character flaw opportunity – or flawportunity…

Originally posted by alliefallie


Acquired Traits

Now we move on to the acquired traits of personality, which are the ones you’re more likely to find on a character sheet or a list of “10 Questions for Character Development”, alongside a million other things like their zodiac sign and their spirit animal.  But the traits I’m about to outline are a little more relevant to a character’s behavior, and more importantly, how to make this behavior unique from other characters’ behavior.  The following traits will be learned by your characters throughout their life (and their story), and are more likely to shift and grow with time:

  • Interests – I know, I had to reach deep down into my soul to think of this one.  But it’s true!  Interests, both in childhood/adolescence and in adulthood, are an important part of a character’s personality and lifestyle.  Childhood interests both reveal something about the character (for instance: my nephew loves trains, Legos, and building, suggesting a future interest in construction or engineering) and create values that can last for a lifetime.  Current interests affect career choice, social circles, and daily activity for everyone.  Forgotten or rejected interests can be the source of pet peeves, fears, or bad memories. There’s a reason I’ll never play with Polly Pockets again, and it 100% has to do with bloody fingertips and a purse that wouldn’t open.
  • Sense of Humor – This can be a little hard to define, understandably.  If you were to ask me what my sense of humor is, I’d probably start with a few stupid memes, pass by Drake & Josh on the way, and somehow wind up telling you bad puns or quoting Chelsea Peretti’s standup comedy. A person’s sense of humor can be complex and contradictory!  Sometimes we just laugh at stuff because someone said it in a funny way.  But anyway, to help you boil this down to something useful: take a look at a few kinds of comedy and relate it to your character’s maturity level.  Do they laugh when someone lets out a toot?  Are they the kind of person to mutter, “That’s what she said,” or simply try not to laugh when something sounds dirty?  Can puns make them crack a smile?  Do they like political humor?  Do cat videos kill them?  Is their humor particularly dark?  Can the mere sound of someone else laughing make them laugh?  Figure out where your character’s sense of humor is, and you’ll feel closer to them already.
  • Pet Peeves – For every interest a person may have, and everything that makes them laugh, there’s something else that can piss them off, large- or small-scale.  Are they finnicky about their living space and neatness? Do they require a lot of privacy? Do certain sounds or behaviors drive them crazy?  What qualities are intolerable in a romantic interest for them? What kind of comments or beliefs make them roll their eyes?  If you need help, just try imagining their worst enemy – someone whose every word or action elicits the best eye-rolls and sarcastic remarks and even a middle finger or two – and ask yourself, what about this person makes them that mortal enemy?  What behaviors or standards make them despicable to your character?  That’s all it takes.
  • Skills – Everybody has them, and they’re not just something we’re born with.  Skills can be natural talent, sure, but they’re also cultivated from time, values, and interests.  What is your character okay at?  What are they good at?  What are they fantastic at?  Maybe they can cook.  Maybe they have a beautiful eye for colors.  Maybe they have an inherent sense of right and wrong that others admire. Maybe they’re super-athletic or incredibly patient or sharp as a tack or sweet as a cupcake.  Maybe they know how to juggle, or maybe they’re secretly the most likely of all their friends to survive a zombie apocalypse.  Where do they shine?  What would make someone look at them and think, “Wow, I wish I were them right now”?
  • Desires – A good way to “separate” one character from the next is to define what it is they want, and then use every other detail to dictate how they pursue that goal.  Every real person has a desire, whether they’ve defined it or not – whether it’s something huge, like fame or a family of five with triplet girls and a beach house on an island, or something small, like good grades for the semester.  These desires can cause a person to revise their values or forsake their morals; and these desires can conflict with other people’s desires, influencing how people interact with each other.  Remember that every character is living their own story, even if it’s not the story you’re telling.
  • Communication Style – A majorly overlooked character trait in pop fiction is unique communication styles.  Having every character feel comfortable arguing, or bursting out with the words, “I love you,” is unrealistic.  Having every character feel paralyzed at the idea of confronting a bully or being honest to their spouse is also unrealistic.  There should be a healthy mix of communicators in a group of characters. Some people are too softspoken to mouth off at their racist lab partner.  Some people wouldn’t see their girlfriend kissing another guy and just walk away without saying something.  Some people just don’t react to conflict by raising their voice; some people enjoy sharing their opinions or giving the correct answer in class.  Boldness, social skills, and emotional health all have a part to play in how people communicate their thoughts – so keep this in mind to create a more realistic, consistent character.
  • Emotional Expression – Along the same lines but not the same, emotional expression is more focal on feelings than thoughts.  If you’ve ever heard of the fight-or-flight response, the different types of anger, the stages of grief, or the five love languages, then you’re aware of different “classifications” of emotional expression and management.  Read up on some of those things, and think about how your character handles emotions like happiness, sadness, fear, anger, loneliness, paranoia, and so forth.

Detrimental Traits

While acquired traits are certainly more enjoyable to brainstorm during the creation process, detrimental traits are as important – or even more important – to the character’s wholeness as well as their role in the story.  Not only do these negative or limiting traits make your character realistic, relatable, and conflicted – they create a need for other characters and their strengths to move the plot forward.  A few examples of detrimental traits include:

  • Flaws – Character flaws are probably the first thing that came to your mind while reading this, but they’re the essence of the category.  Flaws in a character’s personality, morality, or behavior can be a source of character development; they set an individual on their own path and provide a unique motivation for them.  Having Character A struggle with sobriety while Character B learns to be a more patient mother can do a lot to separate their stories and personalities from each other.  Even if certain flaws don’t reach a point of growth, they create a third aspect to personality and force us, as writers, to be more creative with how our characters get from Point A to Point B, and what they screw up along the way.
  • Fears – Everyone has fears, whether we’re conscious of them or not – and I’m not talking about phobias or “things that give you shivers”.  Just like everyone has a primary motivation throughout life (romance, family, success, meaning, peace of mind, etc.), everyone has a fear behind that motivation (loneliness, failure, emptiness, anxiety).  We all have something we don’t want to happen places we never want to be and things we never want to do.  We’ve all been in situations that mildly bothered others but wildly affected us at the same time.  For me, it’s a lack of autonomy, or in any way being forced to do something or be somewhere against my will.
    What does this mean for me?  It means that when other people have nightmares about being chased by an axe murderer, I have nightmares about being kidnapped and locked up.  It means that I’m continually aware of my “escape plan” if something goes wrong in my living situation, and I’m hypersensitive to someone telling me, “You have to do this.”  It means I struggle to follow rules and usually don’t get along with authority figures because I have to assert my independence to them.  It’s irrational and continual and doesn’t just affect me in one situation; it subconsciously directs my steps if I let it.  That’s how real, guttural fears work. Phobias are only skin deep, and they don’t make you feel any closer to the character.

Originally posted by giantmonster

  • Secrets – Even goody two-shoes Amber from the swim team, with her blonde blonde hair and her good good grades, has a secret.  Everybody does, even if it’s not a purposeful, “I have a deep, dark secret,” sort of secret. We have things we don’t tell people, just because they’re embarrassing, or painful, or too deep to get into, or they don’t paint us in a good light.  While the secrets themselves tell a lot about a person, so do the reasons a person keeps a secret.  Hiding something out of shame suggests a person is prideful, or critical of themselves, or holds themselves to a higher standard than they hold others.  Hiding something painful suggests that the person struggles to handle sadness or regret, or that they feel uncomfortable showing raw emotion in front of loved ones. And so on and so forth.
  • Conflict – Whether internal, interpersonal, legal, moral, societal, or what have you, conflict will limit your character’s actions at every turn.  A story is nothing without conflict driving the plot in different directions and causing your character to rethink both their plans and their lifestyle.  Without Katniss’s moral conflict over killing other tributes, The Hunger Games would be the story of a girl who entered an arena, killed a lot of people, and lived the rest of her life rich and comfortable.  If Luke Skywalker didn’t have interpersonal conflict with Darth Vader, Star Wars would be the war-story of a guy who joined a rebellion and then… yeah.
  • Health – Physical, mental, and emotional health is a huge limiting factor for characters that often goes untouched, but it’s valuable nonetheless.  Not everyone has a clean bill of health and can jump off trains without pulling a muscle, go through a traumatic life experience without any hint of depression or anxiety, or watch a loved one die in gunfire and shove right on without emotional repercussions. Consider creating a character who’s not perfect – who isn’t perfectly in-shape or abled, or neurotypical or stable day-to-day, or completely clean and clear of residual heartache, unhealthy relationships, or bad emotional habits.  Don’t define them by these traits, of course – but don’t feel that you can’t write a character with health issues without writing a “sick character.”

So this post got ridiculously long, but I hope it works as a reference for you when creating unique characters.  Remember that you don’t need to outline all of this information to create an individual, realistic character.  These are just some relevant ideas to get you started!  It’s up to you, as the writer, to decide what’s necessary and what’s excessive for your creative process.

Still, I hope a majority of this is helpful to you!  If you have any more questions, be sure to send them in and we’ll get back to you :)  Good luck!

- Mod Joanna ♥️


If you need advice on general writing or fanfiction, you should maybe ask us!

Angel in the Darkness (M)

Originally posted by jungkook-gifs

Summary: After a patient urgently pleads you to go and help a friend of his, you naively agree to it. Little did you know, that you would get more than what you agreed to, when he leads you to a brothel, to help a dangerous prostitute named Jeon Jungkook.

Pairing: Jungkook x Reader (ft. Jin, but not romantically)

Genre: Smut (M), angst, mafia!au, prostitution!au 

Word Count: 5,468

A/N: This is a dark and filthy story! Graphic descriptions of sex (masturbating, etc), heavy dom/sub undertones, drug use, vulgar language use……(alot of smut comes in later) This is a mature read! You have been warned!

 part 2



Your mother told you that there was a purpose for what everyone does. That there is always a reason for someone’s actions; whether it was bad or good. If it was a good action, the individual has learned the most rewarding path to handle situations; regardless if it was easy or not. If it was a bad action, the person could reflect on it, and with guidance, they will learn the right way toward dealing with obstacles. And to this day, that is how you viewed life. If you handled something well, you would be rewarded in the future, if you handled it poorly, you would need to reflect on why you did such a thing, till you find the right path. With these beliefs, you always wanted to find the ‘purpose’ of an individual’s actions, and help them find the right way. So that’s how you ended up working at a rehab centre; helping mentally to find the root cause of someone’s poor actions, and leading them to a better future.

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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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We Got Married (M)

Originally posted by kthmyg

8.8k words. Arranged Marriage AU. Min Yoongi.

Warning: Fingering. Phone sex. ft Kim Namjoon.


It’s hilarious, laughable, pathetic even, how love could either build you or ruin you and yet knowing this, people still chase after it like the rise of golden light beyond the horizon, or the last drop of dew in twilight, or the flutter of that one coral blue butterflies in buttercup paved meadow.

It’s frightening, daunting, startling even, how love makes your hands clammy like you’re being interviewed by the very man who founded the big shot company you’ve applied to.

And it’s utterly, impossibly, unbelievable how love comes in many ways like a bump and a spill of coffee on crisp white shirt, or a brush of hands upon a dusty leather brown book spine or an envelope obtained from a mailbox on one’s way back from grocery shopping.

Well, that’s exactly what’s happening to Min Yoongi, second son to one of the well-known elite families in Seoul. Most of the time, he couldn’t care less about family matters; business deals, dinner with alien faces and empty conversations─ those things he’s entitled to attend with mildly bored eyes and champagne he’ll never finish in one hand. But this particular matter, he can’t just not care. One, because it directly concerns him (as if the cursive letter of his name engraved in bold black against crisp white isn’t enough indication). Two, because it’s from a certain someone in his family who he’s fond of.

Dear Yoongi,

Is written on the top of the not so neat written paper.

Son,

I know you might hate me for this.

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hugealienpie  asked:

I see prompts are open yay! Please tell me all about Ford finding out about Bitty and Jack.

Ooh, this is interesting, because I don’t feel like it’d be an announcement, but just something Ford finds out when Jack visits or the like. I mean, it could go the other way, like Lardo could be, “heads up, Bitty’s dating our ex-captain” and Ford would be like, “okay? why are you telling me?” (She’s a theatre background, what is a Bad Bob to her?) I think she’d be pretty chill with it, and coming from theatre, like being gay is not an issue, esp in college (and even at the professional level) and esp if we go with the oft reblogged “Ford is gay” headcanon.

But here is a small fic that is only half based on the above…

Ford double checks the dozens of pages Lardo has given her for the upcoming roadie. She thought dealing with dressing room allocation was hard (and it is, one hundred percent) but figuring out room allocations is somehow worse, particularly when she’s new, and hockey players are more superstitious than the girl who played Johanna in Sweeney.

“So, who was it I’m meant to pair Oliver with?” Ford asks, grabbing for the red pen she’d stuck into her bun earlier. She comes out with a green one. It’ll do.

“Wicks. But really, he’d be fine with any of the guys in his year.”

Ford makes a note on one of the pages. “Okay, then I think I’m–Oh, shit.”

“What is it?” Lardo looks up from her sketchbook.

Ford double checks through all her sheets before she says anything. She’s not worrying, because there’s no time for that, she’s just already hating the amount of extra work she’ll need to do to fix things.

“I’ve left Eric, um, Bitty,” Ford corrects herself, still getting used to hockey nicknames, “off the rooming list.”

“Oh, that. Nah, you’re good.” Lardo goes back to her drawing. “He stays with his boyfriend when we’re playing up there.”

“Boyfriend?” Ford double-checks.

“Yeah. He’s in Providence. And he’ll drive Bitty to the games and practices and stuff. Should’ve emailed you that. My bad.”

“That’s fine.” Ford grabs another pen from her hair, forgetting she already has one in front of her. It’s red this time. “Just thought I was going to have to redo an entire afternoon’s worth of work.”

“Right,” Lardo says. “I can see why the minor freak out.”

“Excuse you, I did not freak out.” It’s half a lie. Ford has so many notes on these sheets, but she’s not freaking out, she’s managing. It’s all part of it.

Lardo looks up and smiles at her. “Knew you’d be fine at this.”

Ford takes the compliment with a gracious nod, and goes back to ticking off the rooming list against the team names. All accept Eric.

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why indeed, John?

Why, when TFP leaked, did they make sure to call attention to it and ensure everyone and their dog knew it had leaked (which therefore had people watching it early)?

Why did they show TFP three days early when they showed TLD an hour before it aired to stop spoilers?

Why did Steven Moffat allude to a secret, lost episode when literally no one else was asking about it?

Why did radio times publish that article ten times?

Why did the mainstream media write about the Sherlock fandom vs Apple Tree Yard? Literally no one gives a shit seriously

Why is MSM talking about us at all? we’ve always been the crazy side of the fandom, no one gave us the time of day and suddenly our opinion is valued and even revered throughout certain articles?

Why has everyone gone into radio silence?

Why are there so many coincidences both within the writing of this season and the events happening around us?

Why do tv channels keep hinting at more Sherlock and then the listings magically disappear when people become aware of their existence?

Why did a Sherlock episode called ‘The New Friend’ appear in the listings? Where did that come from?

Why do they keep disappearing whenever we get close enough to the dates (almost like they’re saying watch this space)? Why was PBS showing three unknown episodes airing in February back to back?

Why were they going to call The Final Problem 'Backlash’ if they didn’t expect to get backlash?

Why would they have instances of Chekhov’s gun dotted all over the series with no intention to finish what they started?

Why, in TLD, is there a poster saying 'March 8th’ and 'the secret will be revealed’?

Why did they not have anyone sign NDAs for TFP unlike tld and previous episodes before it?
Why did the BBC scour the internet for the chess piece promo and have their lawyers crack down on tumblr blogs and place copyright infringements on everyone that reblogged them?

Why, then TFP was released early, didn’t the BBC lawyers follow up the way we know they can when the finale of their biggest show had gifs, spoilers and meta running rampant on Tumblr? Why ignore all of it and go after the chess piece promo?

Why release the s1 scripts if not to tide us over and keep us playing the game?

Why teach us how to play the game without following through on their own damned story? They placed this subtext into their narrative. They knew what they were doing. no one stumbles onto subtext this beautiful: No one will ever convince me that you told me a lie.

Why is TLD a masterpiece in cinematography and story (but not necessarily characterisation: still not happy about John vs Sherlock) when, one episode later, TFP is a giant shitshow of awful transitions, characterisation and fucky scenarios?

WHY DOES THE FUCKIN SKULL CHANGE COLOURS KILL ME

Why does Derren Brown keep cropping up and why does all of this stuff about subliminal messaging make so much damned sense, when certain phrases, words and catchphrases always stick out amongst the entirety of fandom? Things like, ‘there must be something comforting about the number three, people always give up after three’. ‘it’s never twins’. ‘no one could be that clever. you could.’ ‘this is a lie. yes.’ and there are so many more, that’s just off the top of my head

Why would they say ‘insane wish fulfillment’ if this isn’t an ARG? why did BBC say ‘be part of making history’ if there’s nothing to interact with?

Why advertise this whole series around love, and more importantly, why advertise ‘Sherlock’s in love, but who with?’

Why plant the seed and disappear right when it’s about to get good? 

Why say ‘to hell with deferred gratification’ if that’s all we’re getting?

Something fucky, that’s why. Add more if you got ‘em

Seeking Paintings | Draco Malfoy x Reader

Summary: You, a muggle-born artist, have been hiding your feelings for Draco Malfoy for years now. Though, after an unplanned meeting in the astronomy tower things between the two of you start to change. Even more so after finding each other in the Room or Requirement.

Word Count: 3,573

Warnings: None

Disclaimer: not my gif credit to owner


You stare out into the vast horizon from the astronomy tower. This was your favorite hideout during your free period. You much rather enjoyed the view when it was light outside. Sure you love astronomy class and looking up at the stars but this was just different. Better.

You pulled out your old, hard-cover, weather-beaten sketch book and began to draw the landscape before you. You made sure to grasp and add every detail to your drawing. You began shading in the sunset when you heard a voice behind you.

“What are you doing here?” He asked in a rotten tone and you already knew who it was.

“You don’t own the astronomy tower, Draco,” you say blandly while continuing your work.

“You know this is were I go in my spare time,” you hear him huff.

“I know,” you blush, hoping he doesn’t know that besides the view one of your favorite part of this spot is that it’s that it’s his spot too. Then again, how would he even know that, it’s not like you two are exactly close.

You hear him start to walk away and your heart sinks. Just once you’d like him to stay up here when you’re here. Maybe then, you too could become close. You’d had this battle with having a crush on Draco since first year. Now here you are, sixth year and the most interaction between you two is fighting over the astronomy tower.

“You know you can stay right?” You boldly say. You swallow hard when you hear him stop in his tracks.

You hear his footsteps begin again but this time coming back towards you.

He sits a few feet from you, “Just don’t expect me to talk to you.”

You just smile and shake your head continuing to look down at your sketch book. For a few minutes you two stay like this, you drawing, him (probably) thinking. You wonder what could be going on in his head, he seemed to be thinking pretty deeply.

You feel him inching towards you at a snail’s pace, from the corner of your eye you can see him watching you draw everything from here to the horizon. You hate yourself for the blush creeping up on your face, by the time he’s within a foot of you your face is bright red.

“Why are you blushing?” You look up at him and see he’s smiling, a genuine smile.

Because I’ve been hiding my massive crush on you for nearly six years.

“I just get embarrassed at people watching me work,” you shrug.

“Why?” He asks seeming genuinely interested. “You’re really good.”

“Thanks,” you’re blush gets even deeper.

You break eye contact and look back down at your sketchbook. The rest of the period is made up with you finishing your sketch and Draco watching intently. He’s completely mesmerized at how you can just see an image and recreate it perfectly on your page.


It’s Saturday and you aren’t needed nor expected anywhere, which is why Saturdays are your favorite days. You usually spent these days roaming around looking for inspiration for a new art piece. Which is exactly how you plan to start today.

You roam the school grounds aimlessly, constantly moving your head around to grasp every aspect of the school. You step into the one of the many courtyards and feel inspired to sketch it, until you realize you’ve already done that… Ten times…

You sigh and realize that after six years of constantly working in the same space it’s going to be hard to find a completely new area for your art. Just this year and the following before you can finally start travelling and finding more inspiration worldwide.

In your attempts to find a new spot you’re again not looking forward. causing you to slam right into someone.

“Hey, watch where- oh, hey Y/N,” you hear Draco’s voice quickly turn from intimidation to delight.

“Oh, I’m so sorry. I wasn’t paying attention,” you ramble.

“Don’t worry about it,” he laughs at how cute he thinks you are when you ramble.

A blush creeps onto your face, “Well, I best be going.” As you turn to walk away he grabs your wrist and turns you back to face him.

“Hey, are you going to the Quidditch match today?” He inquires.

“Um I wasn’t really planning on it,” you scratch the back of your neck.

“Oh,” his face slightly falls. “Well, I’d like it if you went,” he says his cheeks turning slightly pink. “Even though you’d be rooting for Y/H and not Slytherin,” he looks at the ground.

“I mean I probably should go, it's sixth year and I haven’t gone to a single match,” you shrug and he looks at you dumbfounded.

“Not a single match? Well, you definitely have to go now,” he laughs and so do you.

“Well, I guess you can count on me being there,” you say before turning and walking away. You look over your shoulder, “And I guess I can root for Slytherin just this once,” you wink and quickly face forward as your face turns crimson red. A crazy amount of adrenaline must’ve been rushing through you for having the courage to wink at Draco Malfoy.


You take a seat in Y/H’s section for the Quidditch match, all your housemates do a double take when they see you arrive. Which were followed by ‘finally’, 'it’s about time’, 'I didn’t even know you knew how to get here’ and more sayings around those lines.

You don’t know to much about Quidditch, especially since you’re a muggle-born. Not that you know much about muggle sports either. Your friends have explained the game to you many times, you got the logistics but you just didn’t know why it was such a big deal. Maybe you’ll actually figure it out through watching a match.


Draco rose up into the air on his broomstick to prepare for the start of the game. On his way up he scanned the crowd for you and a smile creeps onto his face when he sees you sitting in Y/H’s section. He can tell you look slightly out of place in the stands and is glad to see you actually showed up. He keeps up the hope that you’re actually here for him.

He has been trying to convince himself since second year that he doesn’t have feelings for you. That he could never have feelings for a muggle-born. Except as he’s grown older through his school years he’s realized that muggle-borns aren’t that bad. He’s realized he was just told to think that way, not that he actually believed it.

He’s pulled out of his thoughts by the blow of the whistle signaling the beginning of the game. Slytherin immediately takes hold of the Quaffle and manages to score within the first minute. A chorus of boos and angered shouts comes from Y/H’s section. Draco looks over to see you remaining silent among your peers. He smiles, hoping you may be rooting for Slytherin…for him…silently. Even if you’re not, at least you aren’t booing.

Draco circles around the field, scanning for the snitch. He’d be lying to say that he wasn’t losing his interest in Quidditch, squinting into the distance searching for a flying ball of gold gets boring after awhile. Of course, he didn’t know if the sport itself was actually starting to bore him or the stress recently rested upon him was making him lose interest in the things he loves. Apparently stress can do that. 

He sees a flicker of gold in the distance, shocked at how early on he’s spotted it he doesn’t fully believe he saw it. That is until he sees the seeker for Y/H dive in the direction of the flash of gold. He quickly follows and the two chase after the golden blur, neck and neck. Draco shoves the other seeker, causing him to spin off course and leaving Draco to be the only one in pursuit of the snitch.

He’s extremely close, he takes a hand off his broom and reaches towards the snitch. He feels cold metal on the pads of his fingers, he just needs to get a grip around it. Almost…

Wham!

He’s nearly knocked off his broom as pain seers through his ribcage. He got hit with a bludger milliseconds before he could grab the snitch. He holds a hand over his ribcage and groans in pain. He rises back into the air to find he’s near Y/H’s section. He looks over at you and you mouth to him, 'Are you okay?’. He nods and manages to give you a faint smile as reassurance.

When he starts to move upward he hears many whispers, “Did Draco Malfoy the Draco Malfoy just smile?”, “Did he smile at you, Y/N?”, “Is there something going on between you two?”, and things of that nature.

He looks back in your direction to see your cheeks turning pink while multiple people start to question you. Though more importantly he sees a smile on your face at the thought of people thinking something is going on between the two of you.

Suddenly, his interest for Quidditch returns. Except rather than loving the sport, wanting to be the best, and move towards winning the House Championships, his goal and motivation to win comes from you. He wants to impress you, and suddenly he finds himself squinting at the field and scanning it as if his life depended on it.

Ten minutes pass with no sign of the snitch. Y/H is currently in the lead, sixty-twenty. Draco continues to scan the field, keeping an eye on the other seeker to see if they look to be in pursuit. He finds himself glancing over at you often as well, trying to make sure you aren’t growing bored. Good thing he’s doing this because it is when he shifts his eyes to you that he spots the snitch once again.

This time determined to get he speeds off in the directions of the flicker of gold. He soon gets close enough that the snitch is hardly a blur anymore. He stretches out his arm when he feels someone bump his side, not strong enough to knock him off his path though. It’s Y/H’s seeker, Draco gives them a menacing stare before turning his eyes back to the snitch. The two race around the field with their arms reaching towards the snitch, they’re neck and neck. Draco, determined to win, jerks his hand out so roughly he fears he might’ve dislocated his shoulder. It would be worth it though, he feels his hand close around the snitch.

He slows down and waves the snitch above his head, wearing a proud smile. The rest of the Slytherin team flies over to congratulate him. He hardly notices their presence as he starts to look for you, to see your reaction. His smile fell, you weren’t in the spot you had previously been in. You weren’t anywhere to be seen.

A look of disappointment washes over Draco’s face as he moves back to the ground. Where did you go? Why did you leave? Did you just not care enough to stay? Did you leave because Slytherin won? Was it foolish of him to think you were here for him? He was disappointed that he ever let that thought into his head.


The rest of the Slytherins were celebrating in their common room, but Draco was in no mood for a party. Though every time he tried to move towards the dorms one of his friends would pull him back to the center of the crowd.

“Dude, what up with you,” Blaise leans onto Draco. “You know you can’t vanish from a party after a win.”

Vanish.

He hadn’t been to the room of requirement in ages. If he was already disappointed with himself he might as well make it even worse by working on that cabinet.

“I actually have to go do something,” Draco mutters before peeling away from the crowd, this time being successful.

He begins the journey from the dungeons all the way to the seventh floor, left corridor. Constantly, he finds himself dodging behind corners at the sight or sound of a teacher. When he makes it to the entrance of the Room of Requirement unscathed he begins to pace and think deeply about what he needs.

I really need to work on this cabinet. If I don’t fix it in time I’ll probably get myself and my family killed. To work on this cabinet though I’m really going to need some privacy. No one else should be able to go in or out. I really just need to be alone, even though I’d rather be talking to Y/N, figuring out why she left the natch early… But I really need to go work on this cabinet in private.

He thinks to himself, allowing him access to the room. He steps inside and begins to make his way to the vanishing cabinet. He examines a feather from the last time when he used that cabinet on a small bird. He begins to realize it’s spending days on end staring at this cabinet that he truly begins to hate what he’s become. He knows he had no choice, it makes him hate all those who did. All who didn’t have people pressuring him to be evil. To kill or be killed. It makes him hate all those who had good people in his life.

He just wanted one good person in his life, he needed one good person in his life.

Where am I going to find a good person who wants to be in my life?

He’s pulled out of his thoughts when he hears a crash from somewhere in the room, faint whispering follows. Someone else is in here.

He draws his wand from his pocket, becoming extremely alert. He swallows hard, the last thing he needs is to be caught in here. He slowly moves towards the sound of the crash, pashing piles and piles of randomized objects. The faint whisper becomes a distinct mutter, a girl’s mutter.

He jumps out from behind the last pile of things before him and the unknown girl and raises his wand. However, he immediately lowers it at the sight before him.

“Y/N?” He questions putting his wand back in his pocket.

You look up at him and gulp. You are kneeling on the ground in front of a puddle of spilt paint to the side of a canvas. Your face turning a bright red to match the paint covering the floor.

“Draco,” you say wide-eyed. “What are you doing here?”

“I could ask you the same thing,” he tuts.

“Well, I needed a canvas and some oils,” you shrug. “So, I went to the room that would supply me with my needs.

"Well, I needed privacy as in no one else being in here,” he says coming off more hostile than he wants to be towards you.

“Maybe you don’t know what you’re actually needs are,” you look down at the ground, saddened at his hostility towards you. Just when you were beginning to think he could actually like you, how silly.

He remembers what he was just thinking about. Where am I going to find a good person who wants to be in my life? “Maybe you’re right,” he admits.

You look up at him and try to suppress any thoughts of him needing you from your head. You look back down at your paint puddle and go back to cleaning.

“You know there’s this thing called magic,” he chuckles before pulling out his wand. After giving it a little flick all the paint moves back into the container.

You tut before letting out a muffled thanks and standing back up. A slight frown forms on your face as you dip your paintbrush into your now unspilt paint and get back to working on your canvas.

“I thought you’d be a little more thankful,” Draco raises an eyebrow.

“I don’t like to mix magic and art,” you huff.

“How come?” he presses on, sounding as though he genuinely cares.

You sigh, not sure if you’re completely comfortable about divulging your childhood to Draco, your muggle childhood. If you even wanted to dream about having a chance with him you figured it wouldn’t be best to remind him you’re muggle-born. However, he’s expecting an answer and you only have the truth.

“It just when I was younger I was told I had a gift when it came to art,” you sigh. “They said my art made my talent seem like magic,” you smile at the memories. “I guess I wanted to keep it all down to talent not literal magic,” you shrug,

“Oh,” is all he has to say. “Well, can I see what you’re painting?”

At that you freeze, brush in midair dripping paint onto the ground. You swallow hard and your face becomes a deeper red than Draco, or anyone has ever seen you as. You slowly turn your near paralyzed head to look at him wide-eyed, You do not even want to imagine Draco’s reaction to your current work, yet alone see or hear it in reality.

He chuckles, “I’ll take that as a no.” You slightly nod and turn back to your work. “If I can’t look at it can you at least tell me what it is?” Your face is burning at this point, it feels so hot you fear you may need to go down to the hospital wing.

He appears next to you and you nearly choke on the lump forming in your throat. You set your brush down and timidly turn your head to look at him. You get a side view of his head, slightly tilted with a flattered expression resting on his face.

“Is that me?” He smiles brightly and you swallow hard.

“Is that weird?” You timidly ask.

He turns his head to look down at you, a smile still plastered on his face. “Not at all.”

He looks back to examine the painting even deeper as you rock on your heels as an anxious tick. The painting is a site you captured in your head at the match. Draco with his hand outstretched towards a golden blur, you seeker right at his heels. You painted the world around them as a fuzzy haze to show they were moving at top speeds. In the background one could distinguish the field, goalposts, stadium full of students, as well as the other players flying about.

“Is this why you left the match early?”

“Yeah, I just got the idea and rushed here to go and paint it,” you shrug. Then, you fully process what he just said. “You noticed I left?” Your eyebrows knit together and you move your gaze to him.

“Of course,” he says looking at you. “I did it for you,” he states. “I woke up this morning and the last thing I wanted to do was go looking for a golden blur. Then, I remembered you said I could count on you being there and I knew I had to play.” You open your mouth to speak but no words come out, so Draco continues. “I was planning on inviting you to the after party as my date but you weren’t there,” he shrugs. He’s trying to play it cool but truly he heart is beating a mile a minute. He was not intended to profess his love for you but before he could stop himself the words were slipping from his mouth.

“D-date?”

“Yeah, is it so weird for me to take the girl I’ve liked since second year to be my date?” There’s no going back now. It’s out, the secret is out. Draco Malfoy has feelings for Y/N Y/L/N.

He waits for you to say something, anything. He heart is racing and his cheeks are turning pink. He hopes you’ll say you feel the same but you just stay silent.

Your mouth hangs agape, you can’t believe what you’re hearing. “You’ve liked me since second year?”

“Is that weird?” He timidly asks as you did previously.

“N-not at all,” you smile wider than ever, your face only turning slightly pink. “I mean I’ve liked you since first year.” You see his eyes light up at that, he looks as if this is exactly what he needs to hear.

You two stay silent for a moment, gazing into each others eyes. Both of you wondering what to do next. His eyes slowly move down to your lips, linger for a second, then dart back to your eyes.

“Can I kiss you?” He breathes out so quietly you barely hear.

You nod and try to suppress the butterflies in your stomach. He takes a step closer to you and lightly grips your elbows. He pulls you close and stares deep into your eyes. He starts to lean in as do you, both closing your eyes. His lips gently connect to yours. He softly moves his lips against yours, his hands moving down to your waist as yours get tangled in his hair. Neither of you pull away until you both are gasping for air.

“So did you win?” You giggle once you’ve caught your breath.

“I have now.”

In light of recent events...

I’m disgusted with events that took place over the last 12 hours or so on Twitter, and I’m even more disgusted that this is a thing that happens repetitiously. So, here is a list of basic etiquette for meeting DnP in public. Honestly all of this is common sense, but apparently some people need to be reminded of it:

(Once you have read this, you have absolutely no excuses for your actions should you ever meet them (not that you had any excuses to begin with) and shall have 100% responsibility for your actions.)

(Also, these rules apply to any stars/celebrities/humans in general that you may encounter and apply in any location or scenario.)

  • DON’T take videos or photos of them without their consent, full stop. It’s a breach of their privacy, which goes against their fundamental human rights and is therefore illegal in almost all countries around the world, countries like Australia and the UK included…
  • …and if you do, DO delete it/them, especially if they ask you to. Again, it’s illegal and just morally wrong to take/keep/post non-consensual footage of them.
  • DON’T follow them or stalk them. It’s common sense and is for the same reasons as I listed above (it’s illegal), so if I get anyone questioning why, I will be really disgusted and disappointed.
  • DO go to meetups if you want selfies and if you want to meet them. The very reason meetups exist is so that you can meet your favourite stars in a consensual and relaxed environment, so take advantage of that rather than springing a trap on them outside of said consensual environments.
  • DO remember that DnP are no more or less human than us. I’ve seen people using the argument that they’re celebrities and that they should expect to be followed and whatnot, but they have the right to privacy as much as any of us and can feel frustration as much as any of us, so treat them like you’d treat any normal member of the public.
  • DO remember to distinguish between running into them coincidentally and deliberately tracking or following them. Running into them coincidentally is something you didn’t expect or intend to happen, therefore not your fault. Following or tracking them is 100% a conscious action so you are expect to take full responsibility for whatever may happen.
  • DON’T use “Oh but it’s a public area” as an excuse for following them. I’ve seen and argued with so many people who have used that excuse, but it doesn’t make following them any less morally or legally corrupt. Just because it may be deemed a public area doesn’t mean they’re always willing to interact with any people in it in a public manner. They are in public for the sake of sorting out shit for their own personal lives, it’s not an automatic invitation for anyone and everyone to follow them. Besides, Dan specifically said in a liveshow not to follow them in airports, so listen to them when they say that and assume the same request applies for any other public area.
  • DON’T think that they’re okay with being followed just because they offer to take selfies or whatever or because they don’t call you out on following them. I do wish DnP had more backbone regarding this, but the only reason they may agree to interacting with you is because they’re very selfless men who put their viewers wants (wants, not needs, because meeting them is not a necessity in life) before their own, however that doesn’t mean they’re comfortable doing it. Don’t take advantage of that selflessness.
  • DON’T remain under the impression that they live to serve us. They are under no obligation to do anything for us, not even on the internet, and it’s only because they’re good and admittedly-over-generous people that they do so in the first place. Just because they’re entertainers online sometimes doesn’t mean they’re idols to be objectified and dehumanised all the time, everywhere. They have their own lives and personal needs, exactly the same as we do.
  • DON’T be surprised if you receive backlash for doing things like what those people did today, you deserve every nasty tweet, post and DM you receive (unless you receive death threats or anything like that, which is never okay).
  • DON’T feel you have the right to defend yourself if you receive backlash, because you honestly don’t.

One final thought: you ever think about why celebrities imply or say that they want to live a ‘normal’ life? It’s because of stalkers and followers like the ones today, people who completely dehumanise them and put them on a pedestal where they’re expected to stay and be leered at 24/7. It’s not fair to enforce this on fellow human beings, especially with human beings as gracious and patient with us as DnP are. You don’t deserve to be called a ‘fan’ if you can’t love and value and respect them properly.

I just… really like the idea of Zuko’s broadswords.

Better people than I have written essays on how Zuko’s use of dual swords reflects on his own duality of good and evil. But like on a character and canon level, the fact that Zuko uses swords is very important to me.

It’s implied throughout the series that benders are prioritized over non-benders (though I’ll admit the gap is much smaller than in other nations). I think it may have been a fanfic that stated that it was almost shameful for a firebender to use weapons, that it was a sign of weakness in the fact that their bending isn’t strong enough that they needed to rely on something else.

Zuko is a firebender and not just any firebender but a royal firebender from a long line of scary talented benders. From the start, he had a great many expectations put on him which he consistently failed to meet. Azula was the prodigy he was average at best and constantly made aware of his shortcomings. We see in Zuko Alone that he had a fascination with blades as a boy (Iroh’s knife). Wherever that interest came from, it was his. Something apart from his Father’s unrealistic expectations and something he could do on his own.

Because Zuko can see that he’s far behind Azula in terms of firebending and it must be so frustrating to be constantly trying and failing. And so maybe at that point he begins to develop his love of swords. Comics stated he trained with Piandao but I can see Zuko taking it beyond any mandatory royal training and just falling in love with the motion and balance of sword fighting. Because it’s something he finds he’s good at, something Azula can’t do. Shameful or not, he knows he’ll never be as good a bender as she is, but he can wield those swords. It makes me smile to think of pre-teen Zuko, in the years following his mother’s disappearance, practicing his swordplay in secret. Using that time to forget all the ways he’s messed up and focusing on something he’s good at. And considering how good Zuko is by the main series, he put a LOT of time and effort into training.

It gets deeper as we think of Zuko using those skills to free Aang as the Blue Spirit. He used sneaky tactics and skills he shouldn’t have to commit treason against the Fire Nation. A Firebender doesn’t fight with swords, but a Firebender also shouldn’t be freeing the Avatar. I feel like Zuko was disassociating heavily during that break-out in order to get the job done, trying to justify that the person doing these treasonous things wasn’t him… when in fact, the Blue Spirit was probably more in line with Zuko’s true personality: rough but with good, noble intentions, quiet not brash, non-confrontational; would rather sneak around than openly harm.

And when Zuko is turned into a fugitive in Book 2 and was forced to hide within the Earth Kingdom those swords, for the first time in his life, became more than a secret hobby, it became his chance for survival. He couldn’t out himself as a bender so he had to rely on his swords to get through the Earth Kingdom. I think it’s also telling he lost his fancy FN blade at the North Pole and had to resort to stolen Earth Kingdom blade. And imagine how he felt to be respected for his blade skills? Teaching Lee how to fight with swords in the middle of the night was so important for Zuko’s development. Patiently talking the eager boy through the stances and philosophy of dual swords, encouraging him. When Zuko offers Iroh’s blade to him, what may have initially started Zuko’s interest, he’s telling Lee it’s okay to pursue this, this is a good thing. Which… obviously didn’t work out but man that’s something big for Zuko.  

Then Zuko openly wearing his swords in Ba Sing Se and using them to defend himself against Jet could be seen as Zuko reconnecting with who he is, instead of hiding it. This metaphor of Zuko’s swords representing his true self continues if you think of how, when he returns to the Fire Nation, we never see his swords. At all. I can’t think of one episode where they appear when he’s living at the palace except, oh, that one time where Zuko faced his father and took back his loyal, his destiny and himself. The final half of season three, Zuko is hardly seen without his swords. They’re always at his back, ready to be used to supplement his firebending or whatever. Zuko has opened up to himself, accepted who he is, and wears his swords and his swordsmanship proudly

TL;DR- The fact that Zuko, a Firebender, trained himself is swords tells us about a childhood of being second best and his blades was something for him to enjoy on his own, one skill he could succeed at. It also becomes a symbol of his true self, of when he hides it and when he allows it to shine.

Altean!Lance with a twist

So we all see the posts about how Altean!Lance is Allura’s brother, the prince, or even just a common Altean that holds no title, and we all love us some Altean!Lance.

But what about…………..Lance being Haggar’s kid? Like seriously how has no one thought of this!

Lance being born and raised to be a Druid, always following the empire’s orders, always doing what his mother wants to try and get the love and attention he needs; he even went through experimentation at the hands of his mother to get any sort of praise from her, which after everything, she only called him a disappointment of a subject. He trains constantly, both physically and magically for years, hoping that that would get him some sort of affection. He becomes one of the top druids, besides his mother, in the empire and if anyone were to try and take him on in physical combat, they would severely regret it. But After all those years of allowing experiments and following every terrible order from Haggar and Zarkon to try and please his mother, to try and get any sort of acknowledgement from her, he pretty much gives up. He knows what’s expected of him, and he knows that he’ll never get what he truly wants. He accepts that, and just considers it normal behavior by now. He knows the best way to please his mother is by following orders, so that’s what he does.
He’s 13 years old.

Now fast forward 4 years. He gets a new assignment. He has to go to some planet called Earth and infiltrate their government to see if they will be easy to conquer, and if any of the lions are there. Lance agrees without question.

So he goes down to Earth and easily takes the form of human to blend in, and he gets pretty much adopted by the McClain’s, who thought he was a runaway or a street kid. When they ask about his family, he plays it safe and says he doesn’t have any. So of course they take him in and begin raising him like one of their own. Lance is just shocked to see how this family treats each other with such love and kindness and understanding. And when that love and kindness get shown to him, he nearly loses his cool and release his form. While he was able to keep his form the same, his freak it was not so easily hidden, at least not in the the eyes of actual loving parents. They teach him about how family REALLY works. About how much loyalty and support and positivity comes with it. They slowly get him used to physical comfort and along the way Lance realizes that he doesn’t want to leave. He likes it here on Earth, where he’s actually treated as a person, as family. Not some soldier. But Lance is too scared to refuse his mother’s and Zarkon’s orders. He’s seen what they do to traitors and he knows that he won’t be given any mercy just because he’s Haggar’s son. But he also wants to protect these people that have taught him the truth about family and loyalty, he doesn’t want the empire to destroy this world like he’s seen with so many others. Lance doesn’t know what to do.

He goes outside to try and clear his head; which is where his mama (she refused for him to call her anything else besides her first name or mama) and asks him what’s wrong. He wants to tell her everything but he’s not sure if he can tell her; if she’ll believe him or call him crazy or what so he just stays quiet. Mama decides to talk instead, about how much they all love him, about how they’re all so happy they met him and took him in. About how no matter what life may throw at him, no matter how bad, Lance could always come to them. That’s how Lance made up his mind. He’s going to ignore his orders; even if that makes him a traitor to his real mother. He didn’t care. He was going to protect this family. HIS family.

He joins the Garrison to do just that. He plans on making it to fighter pilot and get through the school as fast as he can so he can protect his family faster. Unfortunately, Earth ships are primitive compared to Galran, so Lance doesn’t do so well and ends up in the cargo pilot class. Thus where he meets Hunk and befriends him (most of the effort was from Hunk) and gains abut of a rivalry with Keith since he had beaten Lance’s score by a few points, taking the last spot in the fighter class.

Of course then we lead into episode one, and the team finds the Blue lion, and meeting Allura and Coran, and if that isn’t a surprise to Lance, then I don’t know what is. Of course he still keeps his actual identity a secret, fearing what Allura and Coran would do if they found out who he really was. This is also where Lance is trying to figure out why Blue chose him. He was the son of a traitor to his race. He has helped the Galra in unspeakable ways. He can’t figure out why the Blue Lion chose him.

So Lance is now fighting against the empire he was once apart of, trying to undo the wrongs that have been done to hundreds of others.
All the while trying to hide himself from Haggar and Zarkon, at least for as long as he can. He knows one day, the beans are gonna spill, and it will not end well. But he’ll do his best to give himself some time to figure out how to tell the team the truth about himself and his past.

Yuri on Ice interview translation - CREA 2017/03 (p32-33)

This is the full interview with Mitsurou Kubo published on CREA. I actually wanted to translate all the YOI interviews together but some translations going around urged me to post this one before the others, as I wouldn’t be able to finish everything tonight.

It’s not really an interview, it’s more like a partial interview and a short commentary of each episode.

The other 4 short interviews are with Kenji Miyamoto (choreographer), Eiji Abiko & Junpei Tatenaka (figure skating animators), Yuuko Sagiri (original costume designer), Keisuke Tominaga (music producer). I will try to post them tomorrow night if I can finish them.

***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***


The reality as expressed by 5 people who created “Yuri on Ice”

Reality #1: Story x Mitsurou Kubo

“The reality of emotions” is what Kubo-san gave most importance to when she created the manga storyboard for this series. “Simply listing up the contents of the skaters’ programs and their score and connecting them together is not going to create something emotional. In my storyboard I tried to convey the feelings of all athletes, not just Yuuri, with their performances, to express them carefully, so that other skaters who watch them will in turn be influenced by them like in a chain reaction.”
An important tool to express those feelings are the monologues that can be heard during the programs, blended in harmony with the performance.
“Watching the footage of the choreographies by Kenji Miyamoto-sensei I realized that, even though he simply created them based on the songs, in many cases they perfectly match the athlete’s feelings too. I was so moved and thought that Kenji-sensei is an amazing person.”
As the series is pursuing reality, it does not contain any unrealistic techniques.
“If we had included something over-the-top people would have just said ‘that’s unreal’, so I thought that it was better to just go a little ahead of reality, and consulted with many people to decide the difficulty of the techniques to use. However, shortly thereafter real life skaters actually surpassed that level, which really surprised me. We did decide the level knowing that it would be surpassed one day, but we didn’t think it would happen so soon!”
The writer Mitsurou Kubo also needed a lot of courage to portray Yuuri determined to win for love.
“On the ice rink you can express anything, and that’s why, even if I had never thought about what true love is or represented it before, I decided to try my hand at openly depicting love as fiction. As a result, I myself was encouraged by the story I wrote and felt that I could make a fresh start after that.”

“I ended up being encouraged by the story about love that I openly portrayed as fiction.”

Highlights of every episode by Mitsurou Kubo

#1 Nan no Piroshiki!! Namida no Grand Prix Final
“I want you to watch the best figure skating animation”
Before the series was broadcasted I was worried, because normally original anime not based on a previous work and airing late at night take a long time to catch the viewers’ attention. However, my fear was swept away by the extraordinary skating scenes of the first episode, and the show gained a good reputation right away. Stunning images can provide the best promotion.

#2 Futari no Yuri!? Yutopia no Ran
“Figure skaters feeling more familiar”
This part is set during the off-season in Yuuri’s hometown. If we had showed special people battling each other in a faraway place from the very start the viewers would never have felt close to them, therefore I decided to start the story with the Russians, Victor and Yurio, spending time in the onsen of the castle town Hasetsu, eating katsudon and spreading news via the SNS, so that they would feel more familiar to the audience.

#3 Boku ga Eros de Eros ga Boku de!? Taiketsu! Onsen on ICE
“You can feel the growth of Yuuri and Yurio”
Once the Grand Prix series starts no one can afford to lose anymore, so I created this provisional match between Yuuri and Yurio to emphasize their relationship as rivals but also as comrades. I also wanted to show that a competitive program is progressively brushed up during the season based on each athlete’s pace. Originally I also thought of showing Yurio’s mother rushing to the scene.

#4 Jibun wo Suki ni Natte… Kansei!! Free Program
“Yuuri and Victor gradually become closer”
In the process of completing the free skating program Yuuri and Victor become closer to each other, both as coach and student and as equals. Yuuri’s gesture of poking the top of Victor’s head has no logical meaning. I think it symbolizes how Yuuri, acting on an impulse, breaks his own shell and steps into the territory of the person that previously was only considered a living legend.

#5 Kao Makka!! Shosen Da yo! Chuu-shikoku-kyuushuu Senshuken Taikai
“Check out the relationship between seniors and juniors”
Minami-kun, a skater that looks up to Yuuri, appears in this episode. I really like the scene where Yuuri, finally becoming aware that he is going to lead the current generation of Japanese skaters, silently hits Minami-kun’s back. As in the scene where he pokes Victor’s head, once again Yuuri uses a physical action, instead of logic or words, to try to communicate something. When it’s animated it looks really awesome.

#6 Kaimaku Grand Prix Series Yacchaina!! Chuugoku Taikai SP
“Check out Chris’ sexiness”
The tournament starts and many fascinating athletes make their appearances, but this episode is also an occasion to fully enjoy the charm of Chris’ ass. After watching Kenji-sensei’s choreography I decided to draw a beautiful ass in my storyboard, then its charm was further emphasized in the animation, and finally thanks to the voice actor’s absolutely sexy voice we could obtain the best ass animation ever.

#7 Kaimaku Grand Prix Series Yacchaina!! Chuugoku Taikai FS
“An FSP where Yuuri and Victor overcome their fears”
Yuuri and Victor were both anxious before the FS, and I feel that the strongly emotional scenes following that were represented in a very effective way. Regarding the last scene, I started receiving lots of questions from overseas, asking “Did Yuuri and Victor hug? Or was it a kiss?” and that’s when I realized how much the anime’s popularity had spread worldwide.

#8 Yuuri VS Yuri Osoroshia!! Russia Taikai SP
“JJ’s striking appearance is a must see”
This episode is where Jean-Jacques Leroy, aka JJ, one of the most likely candidates to win the gold medal, appears. What is scary about JJ is that he has the ability to paint any story in JJ color, overshadowing even the protagonist. Mamoru Miyano-san, the one who played his role, managed to take JJ to the next level with his natural personality and made him all the more convincing.

#9 Yuuri VS Yuri Osoroshia!! Russia Taikai FS
“When the absence of an important person makes you grow”
This episode is where Yuuri grows after fighting without Victor next to him. When we went location hunting at the Fukuoka airport there was a glassed-in corridor close to the arrival lobby, and as the director saw it she excitedly said “Yuuri and Victor are going to run side by side separated by the glass!”. I was like “they definitely are!”, and we started taking heaps of pictures. The airport is currently being remodeled and it’s not possible to recreate the scene.

#10 Chou Ganbaranba! Grand Prix Final Chokuzen Special
“Ordinary life episode the night before the last fight”
As the last part depicting ordinary life before the Grand Prix Final, I wanted to create a relaxing episode without skating scenes while at the same time introducing the athletes, but in the end so many things happened in it that no one could relax and I was told that even animating it was a pain. The ring Yuuri gave Victor also carries the meaning of a symbol that the two of them are like soul mates.

#11 Chou Chou Ganbaranba!! Grand Prix Final SP
“The speed leading to the last episode is impressive to watch”
The OP footage, that was gradually changed from episode 1 by adding colors, is finally complete. I was happy that we could welcome as voice actors Ken Gamada-san, who actually works as an MC in tournaments and ice shows, and Nobunari Oda-san as himself doing the commentary. With the pace of the story speeding up toward the finale, this episode was just chaos.

#12 Chou Chou Chou Ganbaranba!!! Grand Prix Final FS
“A final episode where you can catch a glimpse of everyone’s future”
Including Stéphane Lambiel-san’s debut as an anime seiyuu, which is something no one could have expected, the chaotic mixup of anime and reality reaches a climax in this episode. Beside the sense of fulfillment for the victory, I think that the contents also let you catch a glimpse of each character’s future. I was about to faint looking at the beauty of Victor’s tears.


Final note (this is just my opinion, it’s not part of the translation): There is a translation going around where the line about soul mates is translated as “proof”, but actually the word 証 (akashi) can have many different meanings, among which symbol/mark/token/proof/sign etc. In this case, I personally do not think it means “proof” (also to be honest when it’s “proof” usually they write it as 証拠 shouko). It’s more like symbol/token, as in “it’s meant to symbolize Yuuri and Victor’s deep bond that goes beyond a normal relationship”. Although the difference is only subtle, I still think it’s not the same. Also please understand that the Japanese word “soul mate” does not have the meaning that is used in fanfiction… I believe it’s actually the same in English too, but in normal conversation it means “two people that have a strong spiritual/emotional bond (that makes them suited for each other, be it either as friends or lovers)”, not “two people who were destined to be together from their previous life”. That is something you are free to imagine or fantasize about, however please do not twist the creators’ words just to fit people’s headcanons…

P.S.: And please do not misunderstand me. I love Victuuri, but I prefer to draw a line between canon and fanon, and I don’t really like it when words by the creators are “adapted” to accomodate people’s shipping ideas. I think what she says is deep enough even without mistranslating it anyway…

Spiritworker's Guide to Crafting an Enchanted Amulet

[SEE A REAL EXAMPLE OF THIS SPELL HERE]

There is one way of creating a protective amulet. This method involves taking powers and energies and adding them on to a “blank” object. This method works well and I have used it many times before.

However, many of us in spirit work are not really interested in witchcraft-based spellwork. I would like to present a new method of creating a protective amulet, by awaking the spirit within the amulet itself, and getting it to agree to protect whoever wears or holds the amulet.

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Beginner

First, though, a few words on protection.

I generally expect certain nature spirits to be nice guys. Never met a vicious crystal (a few grumpy and mean ones, but never an evil rock). A few plant spirits have attacked me but I stray far from home. I do not think anyone carrying out these exercises of talking to basic, friendly spirits is going to be at risk. There are however a few notes I do have:

  • DO NOT work with any materials that make you feel uncomfortable, nervous, or worried. Such feelings are not indicative that the material has a lot of power; it means the material is WRONG for this project.
  • Stick with my recommended materials list coming up if you really want to focus on spirits that are known to be friendly towards humans.
  • It is up to you to adjust the contents of this post as you see fit, experiment, and try new magic. Once you leave the beaten trail, you need to start working within your own system of protections.


PROCESS

You will be using a rock or crystal, a natural object like a pine cone, or a collection of herbs bound in a sachet. It is vital you choose an object which you believe contains a protective spirit. If you associate bluebirds with flowers and clouds, don’t use a bluebird feather for this project.

Certain materials are more traditional because people have had success with them over and over again. I will list my recommended amulet materials next.

You will “awaken” this spirit, talk to it, get to know it, and secure its service as a protector. You can then empower the spirit and learn how to take care of it, feed it, and cleanse it.

In the end, you should have an awoken and empowered spirit vessel working as a powerful protector on your behalf.

MATERIALS

Spirit worker 101: “Protection” doesn’t work the same way with every spirit. An onyx spirit may produce an astral warrior to fight your enemies, while a cinnamon spirit may produce a wall to protect you. Which would better serve you? Choose your allies wisely; talk to many potential allies before you choose the one you really want to work with. Even better, secure several allies who can all work together to help you in powerful ways.

Here are my recommended materials:

Any black crystal or rock, or any crystal or rock known for its powers of protection. Examples are onyx, tourmaline, and hematite. Also, hag stones make excellent natural protective amulets.

A piece of wood from any holy tree (perhaps from a pagan tradition you follow), or a tree with traditional protective properties in your culture. Examples where I live are oak and pine. Dried and preserved leaves/needles, bark, acorns, or pine cones, will also work well.

Rosemary, mullein, cinnamon, cloves, basil, or bay leaf are my top six herbal allies for defense and protection. Put them in a tiny necklace jar or in a small cloth sachet.

FIRST STEPS - tl;dr: Cleanse the vessel and cast a circle.

There is one basic safety measure everyone can take when approaching a potential new spirit. You can thoroughly cleanse and purify the vessel. A harsh cleansing is not necessary; something gentle and thorough will suffice. Choose a method that will not damage the physical material you have chosen.

Incense Take some purifying incense. If you can manage it, burn or singe some bay leaf. Hold your object in the incense smoke and vividly imagine that the smoke goes not only over the object but inside of it! Imagine the gentle cleansing incense purifies the object and takes away every negative energy and ill-intent, leaving it purified and connected to Nature.

Water Place your object underneath running water (the sink or tub will do; natural is great if you can manage it). Imagine that the water streams inside of and through the object, rinsing away every negative and unwanted energy.

Earth Bury the object in natural soil for 24 hours, or three days for a very serious case. Expose the soil to sunlight and moonlight to improve the process.

Light Using your favorite energy work technique, create a ball of purifying and cleansing energies. Immerse your object inside of this sphere of energy and let it be cleansed. Draw the energy inside of your object so it is thoroughly cleansed.

After you cleanse you will want to follow a basic protective measure. This is possibly the simplest thing you can do to protect yourself at this stage. Cast a circle intended to keep spirits out.

When your object is cleansed and ready to become an amulet, go to where you would like to talk to the spirit (I usually choose my bedroom because all my magical stuff is in there). Face east. Point at the ground and envision a blue flame spring from the ground. Turn around in a clockwise motion, repeating this phrase:

“This ground be purified, protected, and blessed, in the name of my highest Powers; this circle keep all spirits out except the one I invite.”

(Alter this to refer to your higher powers by name, or reference your own power).

Once you finish the circle and return to the east, imagine the blue flame springs up in a glorious sphere that completely surrounds you, keeping out all spirits except the one you invite.

Now you are ready to begin!

TALKING TO THE SPIRIT FOR THE FIRST TIME - tl;dr: Focus on the spirit, talk to it. Ask it if it will help you make an amulet; if it says no, move on. If it says yes, continue talking and making friends.

Spirit communication is the easiest thing in the world. Don’t psyche yourself out about it. Hold your object or place it on a nice, clean surface. It should now be purified and you should be inside a protective circle (why a circle? When you call for a spirit and not in a properly warded space, any spirit may arrive. Always ward before you call spirits!).

Focus on the object. Consider what may be inside of it, what spirit may rest there.

Touch the object if you feel like it. Hold it close, put it on your forehead like me if you really get in to it. Do whatever feels comfortable. When you are ready, call to the spirit:

“Spirit of this [object], known for its protective powers, will you come greet me today? I need to speak with you.”

While you make this call, visualize or believe that your words reach the soul of the object you are talking to, igniting it and ‘waking it up’ from its slumber.

For me an action like this typically garners immediate response. If you do not receive a response, a few things may be going on: Either the spirit is not interested in speaking with you, or you don’t know how to hear it, or it didn’t hear you the first time.

Try asking one more time, and see what happens. If the spirit still does not reply, put the object down, feed it some energy, and try again later.

If you actually get a response, DO NOT expect a living fae to rise out of the physical stone, dancing in front of you like so many LSD hallucinations. You are going to receive a response within your mind 9 times out of 10. You will receive input in one form or another. Some people experience external emotions, feelings, and sensations which are not their own. Other people hear words, sounds, songs, or other verbal communication. Other people have visions of spirits within their mind. Some people simply “know”, and “know” when the spirit hears them and “know” what the spirit’s response is, without ever having any kind of tangible input. Everyone’s experience is different.

In my typical experience, I would “see” a spirit in my mind’s eye, as well as feel the spirit’s energies and intent, and hear words they speak. You may have a totally different way of communication!

For first contact, introduce yourself. “Hi, my name is Cranberry. I called you because I would love to work with you, and I think we can be of benefit to each other.” State who you are and clearly state your intentions. There is no need to beat around the bush, spirits aren’t usually offended when people seek out their aid.

Then, you wait for the spirit to respond. If you get “no way”, “not my thing,” sensations or feelings, thank the spirit and put it away and choose something else to be your amulet.

Spiritworker 101: You’re a fucking idiot if you force spirits to be your servants and slaves. They’re only eventually going to turn against you, and you’ll eventually gain a permanent spiritual reputation as an asshole that good guys won’t work with any more. There are SO MANY good and helpful spirits that will willingly work for fair pay, which we owe them. I’ve heard the most stupid, idiotic excuses that novices make to defend abuse and slavery. Fuck you if you enslave spirits.

If you get “go ahead,” “I’m interested,” or, “go on….” vibes, continue.

MAKING THE DEAL – tl;dr Be nice to the spirit and ask it to help you.

There is a difference between wild spirits that can fend for themselves, and spirits taken out of their natural environment to come live in my house. A spirit that lives in my unnatural house may not have access to the food and ability to cleanse and care for itself as it otherwise would. So right away I usually ask a spirit that lives in my house if it would like a nice, small offering. A glass of fresh water is more than enough, sometimes a bit of incense is appreciated. Occasionally a spirit will ask for a specific enchanted formula in my room that will give them a good boost.

In general, continue casting your protective circle every time you talk to this spirit. ESPECIALLY if the space you are working in is not fully warded!! If you are working in a fully warded space and you know how to connect with the spirit inside the object, then I wouldn’t worry too much about protective circles unless you really just want to be extra safe :)

Up to this point, the object has been cleansed and we are inside a protective circle. We are assuming I have just made first contact with the spirit and it has given me signals to continue. So here I will offer it a small offering such as a glass of water.

If the spirit is quiet or is not saying much, or if it asks for more info, fill the spirit in. Simply tell the spirit you seek a protective ally, one that can guard you against malicious spirits and negative energies, and protect against the ill-intent of other humans. Say why you have chosen this spirit – did it come highly recommended? Have you had a personal experience with its protective abilities? And state what you will do to pay the spirit back. Try offering a cleansing twice a month and energy feedings once a week, or both whenever necessary.

Many protective spirits I know are warriors and are proud and boastful about their abilities. They often leap at the chance to protect someone and will gladly do it. Other spirits are more cautious or coy and will not agree right away, instead wanting to talk more and get to know you more. If a spirit is not agreeing to protect you, no need to beg or convince it; thank it, put it away, and try another spirit instead. You may find it is just necessary to actually get to know spirits in general more before they agree to work with you, so in that case it is fine to spend however much time you need getting to know the spirit.

Ultimately most spirits I know will have some questions so spend some time answering anything the spirit wants to know. They may want to know if you have any enemies they must defeat, what kind of ailments you have, what energies you are facing, what kind of cleansing they will receive, what kind of food they will receive, and so on. Hash out the details and take notes as needed so you do not forget any part of the agreement being made.

In general you are making a business deal (even if you guys become great friends and allies) and you need to work out some details:

Will the spirit help you only when it is specifically called? Do you need to be aware of danger before it will kick in? Or will the spirit stay vigilant and watch? Should you tell him when to be vigilant? Do you want him always aware? The more active the spirit is, the more feedings it will require. Everything is an exchange. Do you want to be aware of when you are being protected of negative energies, or not? Do you want the spirit to alert you if it senses something nearby? Will it protect an area it is in, or only a human who specifically holds it? Work out all these details. In general, asking the spirit to give you a sense of security when it is “working” is a great idea. It lets you know within a few moments if your spirit ally is able to help you that day.

If you are making a general protective amulet, skip this step. If you know you have specific enemies, whether they be human or spirit, ask the amulet spirit what it can specifically do to protect against your enemies. Depending on how easily you can work with spirits and make amulets such as this one, it may be worth your while to spend the time finding an ally who can help you the most against specific beings you face.

Sooner or later the spirit is either going to agree or disagree. I’ve never gotten a “let me think about it” from a nature spirit before. They pretty much seem to know what they’re going to do. If the spirit disagrees, thank it and return it to where it belongs. If it agrees, you now have secured the services of a protective spirit!

TESTING YOUR AMULET -tl;drshow me what you gotttt

Now a spirit has agreed to be a protector. But in my way of working you don’t just “finish up”. For anyone interested in above-beginner energy work, spirit work, spell work, and astral travel, you need to figure out how this magic is actually literally realistically going to work on your behalf.

Once I am in communion with the spirit and they have agreed to help me, I ask to see an example of how their protective powers work against a specific enemy. For example, you can ask, “how would your charms help me against another spirit seeking to harm me?” Then wait and see what input you get.

I will get visions of how thinks “work” according to my understanding of the astral. No matter what you should gain at least a slightly better understanding of how your enchantment is going to work, even if you only get a feeling such as “security” or an image of a wall.

In general I ask these three questions:

“Can you show me how you will protect me against malicious spirits?”
“Can you show me how you will protect me against energies or spells?”
“Can you show me how you will protect me against malicious humans?**”

**These amulets are for protection during spiritual encounters, not physical encounters. Do not rely on magic to keep you physically safe.

If I am satisfied that the spirit knows what it is doing (and if you used any of the recommended materials, it should), I thank it for its time. I give it a feeding, a nice offering as thanks for making this deal, and I either “hang up” or spend enjoyable time with this spirit.

MAINTAINING YOUR AMULET AND THE SPIRIT WITHINtl;dr uphold your end of the deal, feed the spirit, be nice to it.

Once your deal has been made, try talking to this spirit regularly. This is especially nice if you have no other companions or limited spirit experience. Remember to cast your circle every time if you are working outside of a fully warded space. Try wearing or touching the amulet as you work with it :)

DON’T forget to cleanse and feed the spirit as you have agreed. If you have to “take a break”, low spoon month, etc. – see if you can’t at least say hello to the spirit and explain the situation. Otherwise, I often find these types of protective spirits to be good-natured and not prone to anger (especially rocks).

Wear or hold your amulet whenever you need it. Activate it by whatever word or signal you agreed to if it does not always remain aware.

Use this amulet as protection while doing other spirit work, astral traveling, or simply when you need it daily. Talk to the spirit within the amulet regularly; it is not a mindless spell, it is a real being. Ask it about things that happen to you and seek greater insight. A spirit that follows you around regularly may have great insight in to your life.

A spirit may be empowered in certain ways. Keeping the vessel very thoroughly cleansed and energetically fed makes a huge difference.

To energetically feed a vessel, choose one of the following methods:

Incense Take some vivifying incense, something bright and enjoyable. If you are unsure of what to choose, ask the spirit within or choose a scent you think that individual would like. If you get an unclear response, go with basil and chamomile or any stick incense. Hold the vessel over the smoke and imagine the smoke is drawn within and turns in to a feast for the spirit to enjoy. Imagine the spirit of the vessel feasting on the smoke and enjoying it immensely. If you get feelings of “no” or “stop”, the spirit does not like the incense presented and you should of course stop immediately.

Flame Light a candle of any type. Hold the vessel over the candle flame and imagine the heat and light from the candle arise and go inside the vessel, warming it and giving the spirit pure energy from which it can heal and rest.  

Offerings Gather foods, beverages, consumables (such as tobacco), and/or alcohol. Place the offerings next to the vessel and encourage the spirit to come out and enjoy all the physical offerings placed before them.

Light Using your favorite energy work technique, create a ball of energizing and healing energies. Put this energy in to the vessel and encourage the spirit to use it and enjoy it according to their greatest needs and desires.

A spirit may also be empowered by giving it various magical waters, potions, and formulas. A spirit vessel adorned with War Water can give the spirit within special abilities, in my experience UPG alert I guess I’ve never heard anyone else talk about this. I find my spirits greatly enjoy the formula Glory Water, which they request regularly. They also like a custom blend of mine called Snake Water, which is actually just a very simple and highly cleansing formula.

Store your vessel somewhere it is comfortable. I hang mine on the wall usually, you may want to keep yours on your altar or in a nice, special space. If you ever lose the need for this vessel, tell the spirit within that you have lost your need for its services and break the contract.

I HOPE THIS HELPED! MESSAGE ME WITH QUESTIONS :3