~I'd love one where Bucky comes back and Steve is helping him through his "recovery". Bucky starts remembering that him and Steve were a thing and that he loves him. He then finds out Tony and Steve are together and he wonders how he fits in :)
Bucky wants to swear, and pulls his head out of the refrigerator to glance behind him.
He knew he should have double-checked to see who was still awake before leaving his room.
Please tell me your reasons for loving Bertolt. I haven't thought about his character much, so I'd like to hear your opinions. Spoilers up to chapter 68 welcome. :)
Oh boy where do I begin, this is going to be a long one. Obvious spoilers ahead.
On my first read of the
manga I didn’t pay much (if any) attention to Bertolt until he saved
Reiner from a titan in castle Utgard. After that I just marked him as “Reiner’s
friend” until it was revealed he was the colossal
was completely unexpected to me because I marathoned the manga without
spending much time to think about who might be the colossal titan.
asked me back then I’d think he would be someone in a high position or
someone from outside the walls.
Instead what we got was a relatively
normal, introverted kid that cries a lot and clings to his best (and
only) friend all the time. I like that contrast a lot because the colossal titan is considered humanity’s biggest enemy (from humanity’s viewpoint at least) and Bertolt as a person doesn’t seem like a threat at all.
Which also makes you
realize that the titan trio are just normal kids with a huge role on
their shoulders and their mission isn’t something any human could
I don’t care who you think you are, you don’t get to randomly pick the most hurtful, triggering words you can think of and throw them at a character that did NOTHING to deserve them.
Do you have any idea how important this is, what they have done with Magnus? Do you even understand what an inspiration he is for queer teens and young adults everywhere?
Because lemme tell you, just as Magnus, I’m bi (and also demi, which means I experience no sexual attraction towards anyone unless we share a deep emotional bond). And I literally CAN’T THINK of a single show with bi portrayal that I could find relatable until now. And it’s not like there are many shows with bi representation to begin with. And even less shows directed at a YA audience.
I’ve watched shows where:
‘the bi character’ (because there’s usually just one) is always the one to ruin someone’s relationship;
the bi character eventually always cheats on their partner with someone of a different gender;
the bi character ends up involved in a threesome simply because they’re bi, or in an orgy;
the bi character is always torn between two people of different genders because apparently bi people can’t settle for one thing;
the bi character likes someone that isn’t available at the moment and therefore feels like they have to go to bed with any character of any gender they run into (which for me, since I’m also demi, makes it very hard to empathize with them);
the bi character has been coded to be the villain from the beginning or is later made into one;
the bi character’s only function is to be embodiment of unfaithfulness, lust and promiscuity.
Do you even know how much harm this causes to the image of bi people out there, to how the world views us, how we are even afraid to say we’re bi because we know people have the wrong idea about us? Hell, at first I wasn’t sure I wanted to be bi (as if that were something you can choose!), because even Ihad this wrong and ignorant concept about bi people.
Do you want a fun anecdote? The other day my friend was talking with his mom on his phone and he mentions me, to which she asks if “I’m weird” like another friend of ours (weird is the term she uses to refer to lesbians —don’t get me started on that either). So he tells her that no, that first of all, I’m not weird, and second, I don’t only like boys. Her answer is “So, does she pounce on everyone she sees on the streets? What does she do, does she go to bed with everyone? She must be wild”. I’m not making this up. I wish I was, but I’m not. This right here is one of the million reasons why we need, why we deserve proper bi representation.
Magnus Bane, in contrast, is a character that defies stereotypes, someone who is confident, who is honest, generous, who tries his best to help and protect people, who is comfortable in his own skin, who is proud of his sexual orientation, who is determined, who knows what he wants and does what he can to get it, but still cares about not hurting other people along the way, who is on the side of the good guys FOR ONCE (and I CAN’T EMPHASIZE THIS ENOUGH, BECAUSE I’VE HAD IT WITH MOST OF THE VILLAINS OUT THERE BEING QUEER-CODED).
Magnus is literally the best, most positive, most healthy, most relatable portrayal of a bi character I’ve ever encountered. *And he’s also fashionable as fuck.
His plot line is not just about I’m so bi, look how not straight I am, what am I gonna do with all my bi-ness and the situations that come up because of it. No. He has his own purpose. He has a job, he helps people for a living, he sometimes assists the Clave, he protects his kind (by giving shelter to other warlocks). He’s his own person. He’s just an awesome character that happens to be incidentally bi.
And he’s not perfect. He has his own personal interests, he sometimes lets his heart rule over his head, he falls in love quickly and messily, he’s not very patient, but he never does anything out of pure spite. He’s kind, he’s flawed, he’s human where his psyche is concerned.
He likes Alec, so he focuses on getting to know him, on helping him come to terms with who he is, and you don’t see him sleeping around to pass the time simply because Alec is not receptive yet (And I’m not slut shaming. People who slut shame are pathetic and narrow-minded. It’s simply that I never found a bi character who would just wait and see how things turn out with the one they actually love, and to me this is SO important because, being demi, this is what it’s always been like for me and I never found someone I could relate to in this respect).
He doesn’t push Alec into anything, he lets him make his own decisions. He just wants the people he cares about to be happy. What happens here is that it looks like Alec could be very happy if he gave Magnus a chance. And yes, both interests (seeing Alec happy and wanting to date Alec) overlap, but that doesn’t make Magnus a terrible person for pursuing both, especially since they aren’t exclusive. Still, his priority is for Alec to be liberated from his multiple burdens and live a happier life.
So, all of this said, if you are still hellbent on speaking ill of Magnus and calling him a bunch of words whose meaning and impact I doubt you understand, not caring about how disrespectful you are being to the people who have been victims of actual abusers, predators or rapists in the process, I can only wish you sincerely to fall face first into a fucking cactus and leave this character and his fandom the fuck alone.
If gender is a construct, why make the distinction between bi-male and bi-female? This isn't a hate post at all, I'd actually really love to hear your rationale for this.
just because an idea or category is socially constructed, doesn’t mean it isn’t real or doesn’t have effects. it just means that, if the human race were completely wiped out and society started again from the ground up, we might have come up with different ways to think about something. there are a lot of concepts that we use in our every day life that are socially constructed to some degree or another. our world is amazingly vast and complex, and it’s human nature to come up with ways to categorize or group things to make it easier to talk about them. for example, colors.
now, if you’re like me, you had a six color wheel in elementary school that included the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. that’s typically how we choose to categorize colors. we’ve mostly as a society decided that all colors can be classified into one of these six categories (although we might decide to get into some tertiary colors like yellow-green, orange-yellow, whatever). but there aren’t hard and fast lines in between the colors. if i pointed somewhere in between red and orange and said “that’s orange” and you said “that’s red,” i mean, who’s really to say which one of us is “right”??
we still refer to these fuckers as being “red breasted” when they are very clearly orange!!!!
all of this is to say: colors are socially constructed. but that doesn’t mean we should stop listing colors on clothing websites??? like i’m not just gonna say, “colors are a motherfucking social construct, i don’t give a shit, i’m gonna wear this neon fucking green sweater with these orange leggings and no one is going to stop me.” (some of u might do that, i won’t judge.) but it does mean that if some russian person tells me that clearly this light blue sweater and that dark blue sweater are two totally separate colors, i’m not going to argue with them, because (1) they’re not wrong and (2) it really doesn’t affect me in any goddamn way!
so back to gender: yes, it’s socially constructed (as is race, sexual orientation, etc). in western culture, we decided that this kind of genitalia meant that someone was a “girl” and should gather berries and do housework and be generally soft-voiced and polite and not hold political office. and we decided that this kind of genitalia meant that someone was a “boy” and they should hunt mammoths and watch football and oppress women.
as for people whose genitalia didn’t fit clearly into either category? occasionally they were allowed to live out their lives as whatever gender people decided they looked more like. sometimes we just burned them at the stake, because satan. and as soon as medically and technologically possible, we started performing highly invasive, often coercive, surgery to force them into our preferred boxes. and, of course, when we invaded other places with culturally different ideas about gender, we forced them to comply with our boy/girl dichotomy and murdered everyone who refused.
the point of all this being: just because gender (or anything else) is socially constructed, doesn’t mean it isn’t relevant in our day to day lives. it doesn’t mean we aren’t treated a certain way because of how people perceive us to fit into these categories. it doesn’t mean we haven’t learned to act or think a certain way because of how people have perceived us. and generally speaking, identifying with gender isn’t an inherently bad thing.
the bad thing starts when people get the idea that the way they think about gender is The One True Way, and that people who do not fit into their way of thinking are Defective. it’s bad when people treat other people like shit because they’re convinced that they’re better than other people because they happen to fit into the Socially Determined Best Category. it’s bad when you try to force people into boxes just because it’s what you’re used to, and it makes it easier for you. and it’s bad when we lose sight of the fact that, hey, our weird way of categorizing stuff is imperfect at best (because, again, the world is amazingly vast and complex!) and that no matter what, there are always going to be people that don’t fit into our categories 100% like society expects them too, and that’s okay because categories are arbitrary as fuck, and someone else’s identity is none of my motherfucking business!
anyways, hope this was helpful.
* note: this post was written by a non-intersex cis girl so if anyone has something to add, feel free
I'd love to hear your thoughts on how fiction can best be feminist/your favourite feminist (or just not sexist) fiction (especially bc it's national novel writing month)
When it comes to how fiction can be “feminist”, it’s honestly not as difficult as people make it out to be. The only reason why we seem to have such trouble with it is because people are conditioned to view women as plot devices, not people. Once they’ve served their purpose, they’re cast aside until they’re useful again. So I guess I would say that some of the easiest ways to make sure that your fiction is “feminist” (or at the very least, not problematic) is to
Include diverse characters, which is honestly waaaay easier than people think. Instead of making everyone white/straight, bring in people of different ethnicities/races/genders/sexualities, etc. and just treat them as people. If you’re not sure how to write people with different identities as you, consult people who are of the identities that you plan to write about and allow them to help guide you to a non offensive portrayal (some easy ways to do that are to ask what parts of their identities shape them the most, their speaking mannerisms, how they view the world as opposed to how you view it, etc).
Think about the implications/repercussions of certain storylines. For example, do you REALLY have to kill the protagonist’s mother/girlfriend/daughter/female mentor? Fridging women is a cheap tactic to elicit emotion from your reader and I encourage you to explore other ways to evoke sympathy or sadness. In the end, it’ll make your writing stronger since you’re not relying on shock value to pack an emotional punch.
Be careful who you’re vilifying. Is your villain a marginalized identity, or coded that way? Why is that? Is there a real reason for your villain to be coded as a PoC or as a gay person? Or is it just because in your quest to include more diversity, you accidentally gave all the negative traits to the character with the flamboyant style and effeminate voice? Obviously, this isn’t to say that marginalized people can’t ever be cast as villains, but if you only have one PoC in your story and they happen to be the villain, maybe reconsider.
This goes hand in hand with the last point, but stop overly punishing your marginalized characters. With this one, I’m no longer referring to villains, but your protagonists or characters on your protagonist’s side. For example, is your one Black character currently dealing with the death of her brother, a severe injury, emotional trauma from an abusive relationship, recent homelessness, and a sudden deadly disease? If she is, definitely dial it back because you’re unintentionally dumping every negative event on your character of color because you either view her as “strong enough” to handle it (which in itself has racist connotations) or because you don’t see a problem with making her life hell despite no one else having to deal with what she deals with.
So this is what I have off the top of my head and, of course, this doesn’t even scratch the surface of the number of ways someone could make their work more feminist, but it’s a good place to start, I think.
As for book recs, any I make are probably gonna be for older books since I don’t do a ton of reading anymore (Shame on me, I know). Fair warning, I used to exclusively read (straight) YA romances because I really only had access to mainstream books so if that’s not your cup of tea, then I’m sorry! Alright, here goes:
Anything by Sarah Dessen is a win for me because I always like seeing teenage girls be portrayed as real people with real flaws. Because they’re meant to be from the perspective of actual teenagers, they do have their problems: they can be slut shamey, they’re all very white, they’re very hetero, but I really enjoy them. Of her books, though, I’d have to say my favorite is “Just Listen”, which was the first of hers that I ever read. It’s told from the perspective of a rape victim as she tries to navigate her life after her rape and I think it’s a really good portrayal (disclaimer: I am not a rape victim, so if any actual victims who have read it have any other input, I’m glad to hear it!)
The D.U.F.F. pretty much carried me through my sophomore year of high school because I had NEVER read a book with a fat protagonist, much less one who we’re made to sympathize with and relate to. Warning, it is SUPER slut shamey (it gets better toward the end, but it spends a lot of time on it) and kinda white feministy but again I will always have a soft spot for it because it was the first time I ever saw a fat girl be portrayed as actually fat but still desirable (by multiple people, too) and that was something that I really needed. Plus it portrays teen sex as a normal, healthy thing but it also touches on using sex as a self harm device.
This has a really different tone from the last two recs but I really liked The Lovely Bones growing up and I think it fits here. It’s about a girl who gets murdered and the story takes place after her death as she watches the people she knew in life try to move on from her murder and deal with it in their own ways. I really appreciate that it’s told from the victim, Susie’s, perspective because any time you have a book covering that subject, you never actually get to know the victim (who is of course usually a woman) and they just become a plot device rather than an actual person. It really turns the fridging women trope on its head because, yes a female character died and we view everyone else’s pain because of it, but we view it from the female character’s eyes so it’s about her pain/struggle more than anything.
There’s also a short story by Toni Morrison that I might have mentioned on this blog a while back called Recitatif that I LOVE. I’ve waxed poetic about my 10/11 grade English teacher here before, but she totally changed my life and the first way she did it was by making me read that story. It’s about two girls growing up in the 20th century. One is black, one is white. But you’re never explicitly told which is which. The whole point is supposed to be that race/race roles are a social construct (which you can imagine blew our 16 year old minds), but yeah definitely check that out. And her other stuff, Toni Morrison is seriously amazing.
Again, this is just off the top of my head, but these are the ones that came to mind when I took a moment to think about the books I used to read. Most of them are far from perfect, but this is where I started, so I figured it might help someone else.
I hope this was a good response to your question, anon!
Hey, uh, I love your art! I draw a bit myself, and i'm trying to improve, except i'm not the best at drawing bodies. I'd love it if you could do just a small tutorial about it, if it's no trouble, because I noticed how well you draw them. I do understand if you wouldn't want to though. Uh, thanks!
Hello, and many thanks!! Body scales & dynamics & whatever can be a bit painful to grasp at first, and I still have a lot to learn myself, but I’ve gathered some general info here about things I’ve personally found helpful along the way! (Apologizing beforehand because I’m not very good at explaining stuff, especially in English, but I’ll do my best!)
There are many things that are good to keep in mind when drawing bodies, but I think maybe the most essential of those things is to always focus on the big picture before the details. This, at least in my case, means focusing on the posture before the actual body parts. Of course, technically the body is just the sum of its parts, but the person using the body makes it a lot more than that!
It’s also good to remember that people’s body types can be very different from another. this is just part of the fun! The absolute best, most efficient and “authentic” way of practicing all this, the anatomy, poses, posture and the whole human body in general is, in my opinion, croquis drawing.
“Croquis drawing is quick and sketchy drawing of a live model. Croquis drawings are usually made in a few minutes, after which the model changes pose and another croquis is drawn. The short duration of the pose benefits [—-] the artists because it helps them concentrate on the essential elements of the pose. An artist does not have time to draw all the details, so they learn to concentrate on the important elements.”
Below are just a few of the poses I doodled in a nude drawing class in high school (except the biking pics, those i did from a screencap). I’ve wasted approximately 1-10 minutes on each one of these:
I honestly learned more in that class than I had from any body drawing tutorial before that. Seriously, just drawing & observing from life, much recommended! If nudity doesn’t suit you, I suppose it’s even easier to find somebody clothed to model for you. Or, you could go somewhere public and doodle people as they’re passing by… the chances are endless. Even if you don’t have anyone to draw, you can of course practice croquis from screencaps/other pictures as well. For example in deviantArt there are many clubs with galleries full of all kinds of pose reference pictures imaginable! This is one of the clubs I follow as well. (watch out, occasional nudity!)
(Pssst, if you have a hard time not to get stuck on details, trying to get the basic features of a pose down using your non-dominant hand is a good trick; this way drawing details becomes impossible so you don’t have any other choice than to focus on the big picture.)
So, you want to get on with it and start creating your own poses? Great! After getting a grip on the basic nature of the human body, that shouldn’t be impossible! Now, as I said in the beginning, I can often have a really hard time explaining things, but god has truly blessed my unworthy ass because Sycra’s videos have an answer, if not for every question, then at least to some of them. In this case I’d especially like to point out this one, How to Draw Poses with Purpose, because it covers a lot of the things I always keep in mind when drawing poses of my own.
You’d also want to have a look at this one, it’s about the sense of rythm in a drawing, How to Draw Twisting Forms is something to check out as well, and last but definitely not least, How to Practice Drawing in general. Please, check out the other tutorial videos from Sycra as well! Besides being a good artist, I can only marvel his ability to explain all kinds of difficult aspects of drawing. I wish I had found his channel earlier!
Something I’d like to add to the videos: When figuring out a pose, think about the feeling/message you want to convey through it. Do you want the character to look confident, for instance? Well, there are several ways to characterize that kind of feeling, often depending on the environment & situation the person is in. This is a thing that is learned mostly through own experiences and observing others. For example:
The pose on the left is very exaggerated, even so that it comes across as kind of comical. This is a pose I would probably strike if I was bragging to my friends about washing the last month’s dishes all at once last night, whereas the pose on the right seems more like something I’d aim for when giving a presentation in front of the class. The idea behind both of these poses is the same; a generally upright and open posture, which is the basic element of a confident looking pose. This can just be portrayed in many different ways.
…Well, I tried to stick to the basics here, but it seems the length of this rambling has already gone slightly out of hand… Anyway, I wish all of you good luck! Don’t panic. And most importantly, don’t just blindly believe everything we know-it-all artists tell you, believe in yourself! Walk the path that is your own.
In your FAQ you said you sometimes used photoshop. Do you have any brush settings for that program? I'd really love to know because my colors always look so flat.
I use ps very rarely because my laptop hates it, usually just for colour adjustments. But whenever I draw in ps (like actually draw) I just use the regular brushes, I change flow or something but I never think about it. I downloaded some brushes from deviantart but it turned out there is too much of a good thing now and I get lost in all these brushes x) So, I guess I’m not the best person to help you with this. However, I don’t think the brush is the main problem when it’s about colours. Of course it makes a difference but still. If you experiment with colours a little you’ll notice that even pretty soft, round brush can create some depth. Here’s the example. This is the (sai) brush and sketch I used:
And here you have two different ways of colouring:
The first one looks flat because the colours used for shading are just darker shades of the same colour, no diversity, no other colours, plain and boring. The second one has more colours, warm yellows, oranges, reds and browns, not too bright but not too desaturated either, also some blue shades. It looks more alive. So maybe try with references, colour understanding, dunno… Anyway, good luck :)
Just going to drop a prompt for superpower week here-actually it could work for any pair but I'd prefer either Markjin or 2jae. Basically person A (either JB or Jr, depending on pairing) wakes up one day able to read minds, which makes him realize that someone (Youngjae or Mark) thinks about/fantasizes about/is in love with him, which forces him to deal with his own feelings for the other. (I picture lots of awkwardness with 2jae or teasing with Markjin, but I'd love a happy ending!)
Warnings: Mild sexual reference and light swearing.
Hello! New writer Bi here! I really liked this prompt but I think I kind of butchered it but I hope you like it, anon! ; 3 ; ♥ I think I made it more angsty than what was supposed to be awkward so I’m sorry if I have failed. ;; Okay, enough of me rambling jfhsjdhfsjdfh.
Hey Pavla!! I used to be a huge Merthur shipper like two years ago (still am tbh) and I haven't read any fics since back then, but now I'd love to read more! Are there any new and really good ones? Or which fics would you recommend in general? Hope this isn't too much to ask! Have a wonderful day!!! xx
Hi, dear!! Welcome back! :3 I’m glad you’re returning to Merthur fanfics, our fandom’s writers did excellent job in these two years :3 (as always! ♥) I’m not sure how many fics I can recommend (I should start bookmark them) but just so you know, I don’t read fics with bad endings so if that’s your thing, I’m sorry.
M-RYS The year is 2355 and Arthur Pendragon is the darling of Albion’s capitol, Camelot. He’s rich, handsome and the heir to Pendragon Enterprises, the world market leader of technology.
Of course behind the facade, Arthur’s life is far from perfect. His father is a demanding man and the betrayal of his ex-girlfriend has left him with even more issues than before, while through it all he’s doing his best to take care of his mentally ill sister.
But things really start to escalate when Arthur is put in charge of launching a new series of android models, the M-RYS line, and he discovers a malfunctioning model that seems more like a human than a computer.
Things only go downhill from there.
Between struggling with his ever growing feelings for Merlin and discovering one strange thing after the other, Arthur’s world is completely upended as he and Merlin embark on a mission to discover his father’s secrets.
No Business I know
Modern X-Factor AU. A nervous Merlin auditions for the X-Factor with just his guitar and a dream to impress Arthur Pendragon, the bad guy judge who has been known to make grown men cry on national television. Arthur, on the other hand, has to juggle the pressures of his job with his media mogul of a father constantly looking over his shoulder and second-guessing his decisions. He doesn’t want to like Merlin at first, but as time goes on he finds himself more and more drawn to the strange contestant.
More Than Just a Game
When Merlin started his job as game designer at DragonVision, he was excited to join the team creating an RPG about the legends of King Arthur. Soon he was even dreaming about scenes from the legend, even if those were not part of the game. Or at least they weren’t planned to be, but on each day after Merlin had a dream, scenes he programmed at work changed, resembling his dreams now. Instead of biting Merlin’s head off, though, his creative director, Arthur, supported and encouraged him, even when Merlin’s game scenes began to create a love story between the Once and Future King and his warlock.
Standing Right in Front of You
The first time Arthur meets Merlin, the circumstances are far from ideal: Arthur is desperately trying to fix his marriage to Gwen, while Merlin is still coming to grips with the loss of his husband, Will. They get off to a more than rocky start, but soon Arthur finds out that there is more to romance than sending flowers and pretty verses - and that Merlin knows what these things are. As their friendship grows, Arthur learns not only the ways of courtship, but also that between the two of them, it might be Merlin who needs help more than Arthur does in order to overcome his grief and move on with his life. In the midst of all of this, Arthur realises that he doesn’t want Gwen back after all. He just wants Merlin.
Truth, Trust and Partnership
DI Arthur Pendragon is assigned to work with the most openly-mocked detective on the Camelot CID. He quickly learns Merlin’s “spooky” reputation is well-earned. Merlin believes in magic and mythical creatures, and he seems to spend most of his time with his head in the clouds. But he is also the smartest, most compassionate detective Arthur has ever known. And he is haunted by a mystery from his past that drives him to help victims who might otherwise be ignored. Arthur cannot help but follow him.
Step By Step
The Knights: A Boy Band. (Or, rather, the ten year span of how Arthur Pendragon discovers who he truly is by going from teen idol to solo sensation, maintaining friendships with his Knights and close staff, inheriting a musical empire, and happening to find his #1 fan, best friend, and eventual love along the way.)
When Merlin finds himself rooming with Arthur on a high school field trip and the cold forces them to share a bed for warmth, the last thing he’s expecting is to end up hooking up with his prattish classmate. (Underage warning refers to outside the UK).
In the year 2019, Eleazar Inc. is a pharmaceutical company on the verge of creating a serum to cure all illness, including the ultimate disease: death. Arthur has been resurrected; Merlin cannot die. Is the key to Eleazar’s success locked in their DNA?
American Apparel Underwear Arthur is just fine with the way his relationship with Merlin is, thank you very much. He’s fine being flatmates, fine being friends—occasionally. So why does Merlin have to ruin it by looking so very attractive in nothing but a pair of Arthur’s boxers? Why does he have to ruin the way Arthur looks at him, the way he thinks about him? Why does Merlin have to ruin things? “You… have a fetish.” Morgana said slowly. “Yes, I am aware of that.” Arthur said briskly. And then, “—You’re not going to tell anyone, are you?”
Okay, so I don’t even really ship Rumbelle, but I need to defend Belle and the relationship for a minute here. I get that she’s looking a bit naive and blind these days, but two things: first of all, she’s a character on the show, not a viewer. She doesn’t and can’t know everything we know.
And secondly, the Rumbelle relationship and Belle’s reactions are 100% realistic, as far as I can see. Robert Carlyle has referred to Rumple as an addict, and that’s the thing, that’s what he is. It fits. His relationship with power ticks every box in terms of being an addiction. There’s always an element of escape to addiction; people flee into alcohol or gambling or whatever it is to escape who they are because they can’t face it. There’s a genetic component to it. And it becomes the most important thing in your life, so important that you’ll sacrifice everything else for it. It messes with your priorities.
That’s what makes it so heart-breaking. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t love Belle. But when you’re addicted, you no longer put the people you love first. You can’t. Your addiction has to come first. That’s the nature of the beast, if you’ll excuse the pun.
And oftentimes, an addict’s spouse or partner will either not see the truth, or refuse to accept it. It doesn’t matter how smart you are, either. I know some very intelligent people who took years before they saw and accepted that their partner had a problem. People see what they want to see, and when you love someone, you want to see the best in them. It’s even quite common for an addict’s partner to enable and help them, actually, without fully realising what they’re doing. You might know addiction is bad in general, but if it happens to you personally, you find excuses and ways in which your case is different and it’s only because…
So as it stands, Rumbelle is actually quite realistic in terms of portraying a relationship between an addict and the woman he loves and who loves him. It’s really, really difficult to break out of an addiction, and it’s really, really difficult to see and accept your partner’s addiction. That’s why addiction is so heart-breaking. It’s not a simple matter of walking away, either, because addiction is an illness, essentially. Most people can’t just walk away from someone they love when they know that person needs help. And I think that’s very much the case for Belle.
If you’re asking “how can he does this?” - that’s what addiction does. It messes with your mind. If you’re not and have never been an addict, you can’t understand it, not really, because it’s not normal. The scene where Killian tells Rumple that Belle really loves him? That’s 100% realistic too. Killian is not an addict, and as such, of course he can’t understand how someone can put power (or alcohol, or gambling, or video games, etc) above the person they love.
And the other thing about addiction is, as any therapist will tell you: you can’t help or cure someone unless they want help. And as it stands, Rumple is not at a point where he wants help. (Regina has come a lot further in that regard.) He doesn’t think he needs it. I don’t want to paint him as a victim, either; he’s still making his own choices. But we can’t expect him to act like a rational, healthy human being, because if he’s an addict, he’s not healthy, and he can’t be completely rational, he can’t see things the way we do.
And as for Belle, really, I think we should cut her some slack. She trusts and believes the man she loves. She’s had no real indication that he might be lying, and of course she wants to believe him. We all want to believe the best of the people we love. I don’t think she’ll ignore actual evidence once she sees it.
I think there’s hope for Rumbelle just like there’s hope for any couple tested by addiction. Maybe Rumple will manage to break out of it. Maybe he won’t, but they’ll stay together anyway; that happens, too. People make sacrifices in the name of love all the time.
But it’s definitely realistic. Not perfect, not exactly healthy, but realistic? Absolutely. I actually wish people would talk about this aspect of it more. Because in terms of understanding the dynamics of addiction and its effects, they’re doing a pretty good job, whether that’s intentional or not.
You were so good at writing an answer to 'where to start with TMG' that I thought I'd ask: where should I start with Sufjan Stevens? I've never listened to him...
Wow yes, you guys are spoiling me.
Sufjan’s music is probably best divided up by album, since each one has its own distinct sound. I’ll go thru my favorite sufjan albums (aka “most of his albums”), give you a quick description of each one, and then a couple of songs from each to start with. I’m skipping his first album, A Sun Came, bc I just don’t like it as much as his later work; all of his purely instrumental work, which is good but not what I’d start out with; and his discs upon discs of Christmas songs, because, while I like an ambiguously gay Jesus reference as much as the next Jew, I just don’t have it in me to willingly listen to Christmas music, and I probably never will.
All that being said: are you ready to feel sad, gay, and a deep & abiding love for the midwest?
The album that “made Sufjan popular”, and also an installment in his alleged project to do an album about each of the 50 states, which I likemostly bc there are still people who think he was being serious about doing that (he was not being serious). Energetic orchestration, wistfulness, obscure Illinois references, a song about being gay for your best friend while swimming in the Mississippi River: this is some Prime Sufjan. A good choice if the lyrics of songs are important to you.
“Chicago” (aka that one Sufjan Stevens song that got a ton of radio play; if you’ve heard anything by him you’ve heard this)
“Casimir Pulaski Day”
“The Predatory Wasp of The Palisades Is Out To Get Us” (this song is so gay and we are blessed)
“Decatur, or, Round of Applause for Your Step-Mother!”
An entire album of outtakes from Illinois; less tight and artistically coherent than Illinois, but it has several of my all-time favorite songs on it.
“The Henney Buggy Band” (I obsessively love this song and I am totally incapable of explaining why)
“The Mistress Witch of McClure (or, The Mind That Knows Itself)”
“Dear Mr. Supercomputer”
All Delighted People (EP)
Lush and expansive and pretty religious. This one, with only 8 songs, is short enough that you can probably just listen through it without a best-of list, though if pressed you can skip “All Delighted People (Classic Rock Version)” and “Djoharia”, which I admit I still have trouble getting through all 17 minutes of. Nonetheless, if necessary, start with:
“All Delighted People” (another favorite of mine. 11 minutes long, yes, but a transcendent 11 minutes scattered with Simon & Garfunkel references)
Age of Adz
The one that everyone got mad about when it came out, because it was weird and techno-y and full of fake machine noises. I, however, totally love it. Angst, but angst as delivered to you by a robot angel that lives in an abandoned factory. My actual favorite song on this album is “Impossible Soul”, but it’s 25 minutes long, so maybe work up to it, or just skip to 13:30 for the exciting half.
“Get Real Get Right”
Xtreme wistfulness, folk-y, very acoustic, gay about Jesus.
“To Be Alone With You”
“We Won’t Need Legs To Stand”
Stylistically, about halfway between Seven Swans and Illinois. The other half of the aforementioned 50 states project. Very Midwest feelings. Especially excellent for listening to while on the Wolverine Amtrak train from Chicago to Detroit.
“Say Yes! To M!ch!gan!”
“For the Widows in Paradise, for the Fatherless in Ypsilanti”
Carrie & Lowell
Sufjan’s most recent album. Focuses on his mother, written after her death; as a result, more obviously autobiographical than most of his work. Largely a return to the pared-down, guitar-driven sound on Seven Swans. The only music I listened to for a solid three months in 2015. A good word to describe this album would be “haunting.”
“Fourth of July”
“No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross”
“The Only Thing” (suicide tw on this one, which is not not why i like it)
“All of Me Wants All of You” (another very gay song)
Dear Friend, Welcome to Listening to Sufjan Stevens!
Hullo, sorry to disturb you. First let me say I love your art. I'd been wondering about one of your posts a few times back when someone asked you how to learn to match colour, you suggest to do study of paintings with good colour. How to do this study actually? I've always want to learn to paint & draw, but never got the chance to go to art classes/school (can't afford it) so I just try to learn by myself & reading books. Can you please elaborate a bit more as pointers? Thanks in advance :)
Thanks so much! As always this comes with the warning that I’m not the best teacher and I’m still learning this.
First, hopefully you’ve already collected a reference folder full of art you want to study; if not, get that started (you can use a lot of things - concept art, traditional painting, screenshots of movies and animation, etc). Here’s the one I picked to study last night because you can never go wrong with John Singer Sargent.
If you’re just starting, it might seem a bit intimidating. I was already thinking oh man, why did I choose something with so many figures in it? But what you’re doing with these studies is capturing the very basics of the image, not creating a detailed copy. What is this image essentially? Dark figures on a light background.
Ok, that’s not so bad, right? You don’t always have to start like this but it can be good practice. I also put each grey on a separate layer so I could save time and paint inside the layer when I colored it. Make sure you use a hard edged brush. In your final study, try to keep hard edges where they are in the original painting, it’s better to keep these bold silhouettes than make a fuzzy scribbly mess.
There it is after about 40 min. It’s not pretty, but I think I got the basics. The hardest parts will be choosing your colors and not getting caught up in the details (I still have so much trouble with this one). Don’t worry about painting faces or details in clothing, those blob faces are good enough. Don’t use the eydropper tool! Part of what you’re learning is how to identify the colors you’re seeing, and finding the color yourself is part of practicing. (eta - don’t use the eyedropper on the original painting, I still use it on my own study while I’m working). This will take a bit of trial and error - just lay down the color, then figure out what’s wrong with it, adjust it, try again.
Here’s one test you can do to check your accuracy - convert the images to greyscale and see how the values match up. I did ok, but it could still use some improvement!
If you’re using Photoshop, the color palette sucks and I recommend getting a proper palette extension like Painters Wheel. There are others that aren’t free that might be a bit more stable but I’ve been using that one.
To make the most of your studies, don’t just blindly copy but make note of why you like the original and what makes it work as an image. For example, things I looked at in this painting:
- what’s the focal point of the image? I’m going to say the woman closest to the camera - notice how Sargent uses the highest contrast of values (her top is practically black and white) and colors (that pop of red) to draw your eye here. - the warm sunlight - the cool shadows (don’t just paint these grey, look at those beautiful blue-green colors) - blue light from the sky reflecting off surfaces that face upwards - repetition of colors to create harmony (look how many of them have turquoise somewhere on their clothes)
(The James Gurney Color and Light book I mentioned before is a good start to learning color theory and the reasons behind these things you’re observing)
And finally, the most important thing isn’t anything specific I said but the fact that you do a ton of these. You’ll learn through repetition and eventually absorb some of their artist superpowers (at least that’s what I keep telling myself). Whew, that ended up longer than I expected, I hope it wasn’t too dull!
Can you talk a little bit about what it's like having bpd? You blog about it sometimes, but it's something I hadn't really heard of until I started following you, and i'd like to know a little more about your experience, if that's okay. If this question is prying too much you don't have to answer it.
It’s not too invasive of a question, I do blog about it a fair amount I think, mostly reblogs from BPD blogs I follow but still. For reference for people, i’m talking about borderline personality disorder, not bipolar, a lot of people use the same acronym for them both.
It’s different for everyone, really, which is one of the hard things about it. BPD is diagnosed based on a number of symptoms, but you don’t need to have all of them to fit the diagnosis of BPD and some people experience one or two symptoms MUCH stronger than the others, so there are literally hundreds if not thousands of ways one can experience the disorder. I have a very, very close friend who also has it, and we were actually jamming recently about how we both experience it pretty similarly but we each have a symptom that the other doesn’t and how glad we are that we have the symptoms we do and are missing the ones we don’t because god it’s hard enough with what I have how do you deal with that one. These are the clinical symptoms, and bolded are the ones I experience:
Extreme reactions—including panic, depression, rage, or frantic actions—to abandonment, whether real or perceived
pattern of intense and stormy relationships with family, friends, and
loved ones, often veering from extreme closeness and love (idealization)
to extreme dislike or anger (devaluation)
and unstable self-image or sense of self, which can result in sudden
changes in feelings, opinions, values, or plans and goals for the future
(such as school or career choices)
and often dangerous behaviors, such as spending sprees, unsafe sex,
substance abuse, reckless driving, and binge eating
Recurring suicidal behaviors or threats or self-harming behavior, such as cutting
Intense and highly changeable moods, with each episode lasting from a few hours to a few days
Chronic feelings of emptiness and/or boredom
Inappropriate, intense anger or problems controlling anger
stress-related paranoid thoughts or severe dissociative symptoms, such
as feeling cut off from oneself, observing oneself from outside the
body, or losing touch with reality.
The intense and changeable moods fuck me up a lot but honestly, the identity is the worst part.
The way I try to describe it to people is that I don’t know what it’s like to feel happy, I know what it’s like to feel elated. I don’t know what it’s like to be sad, only depressed. I don’t get mad, I get absolutely fucking enraged. Copy paste that model for every emotion there is. I want you to imagine the most extreme emotion you’ve felt, the angriest you’ve ever been, the happiest, the most sad, well, that’s all I feel. And when i’m not feeling that, it’s emptiness. There is no middle ground, my emotions aren’t on a slider scale, it’s an on or off switch, it’s two ends of a line and nothing in the middle. It’s a song skipping five seconds in straight to the last two seconds it has. I either react to something like it’s the best/worst thing to ever happen, or I don’t react at all. I am either bursting with so much emotion and feeling it’s almost physically painful or i’m a dead shell with nothing to say.
A good example is my recent fandoms. I finished playing Undertale, and yeah I appreciate that it’s a nice game, but overall I had no feelings about it. I could say I mildly like it, because I feel like I probably should, but in reality, I just don’t care about it literally at all. I forgot about it pretty much immediately after I finished playing it. Not because I think it’s bad, but because it wasn’t strong enough to flip my switch. Star Wars on the other hand, well, you’ve seen my blog in the last month or two. It’s all or nothing, and when it’s all, it’s all.
The identity part is what I hate the most though. Basically I have no idea who I am, because I am no one. Ever since I can remember, literally, I remember feeling this way since I remember feeling at all, ive adapted other people’s traits as my own. New friend has a quirk? I have that quirk now. My friend has something they identify with? Oh man suddenly I feel like that too! But it’s not like how some people will just do everything their friend does on purpose to be close to them, or fake what they like to get new friends. I don’t even notice I do it, and it’s not fake. When I adapt something from someone else it’s real, it becomes a part of me. My personality is a mirror, I reflect back the parts of other people that I see. I can not emphasize enough that this is not a conscious decision and most of the time I can’t even tell that i’m doing it, and after it’s done, those feelings and emotions are real and a part of who I am at that time.
Almost nothing about me has ever stayed constant for more than a year at a time. And it’s not just as shallow as my mannerisms, my physical appearance, or my personal tastes in media. I’m talking about my religion, my sexuality, my gender identity, my ideals, my morals, my dreams, my goals. At no point have I ever been able to look at myself a year in the past and go “yes, I am that same person” because i’m not. I’m able to solidly call myself bisexual because at no point have I been exclusively attracted to one gender, however I have gone through periods where I have considered myself demisexual, hypersexual, aromantic, any combo of homo, bi and hetero romantic or sexual (but never fully gay or straight), where I have had no interest in anyone, where I have had every interest in everyone, and each time I felt like I had truly found what I was, only to no longer feel that way in 6 months time. My issues with gender identity mirror this, I have felt like a boy, I have felt like a girl, I have felt like I don’t want to be either. I have, for extended periods of time, wanted to have a top surgery, and for different extended periods of time wanted to have a breast augmentation, and had the exact same passion and need for each at the time I wanted them. Jobs? Fucking forget it. I’ve had passion for a ton of things, but a career is not made in a year, and by the time 12 months is up I no longer have the same wants, so I never make anything of myself. This is only made worse by the fact that I don’t half-ass anything I do, it comes back to those extreme emotions I talked about before. I have to go all fucking in, which means that it’s not just like “oh, well I was a tad fond of this thing, but now i’m a tad fond of this other thing” it’s things that literally bring me to the fits of fucking passion suddenly going dead and being replaces by something else. I am absolutely passionate and obsessed in everything I do, and I can’t even keep hold of that.
And still this all doesn’t sound too bad until you realize that the things I am depend almost exclusively on who’s around me, and that lack of agency is fucking horrible. Right now i’m struggling with gender issues and feeling like I may be genderfluid and want to go by they/them pronouns. If you notice, I no longer list my gender on my sidebar. However, I can’t tell if that’s a revelation and new discovery about myself as a person, or something ive picked up because the people ive gotten closest with recently all identify as something not cis. Yeah, I feel very pretty genuinely that i’m gender fluid now, but I have literally no idea if i’ll feel that way in a month or if my friend group switches to people who are mostly cis. Any part of myself that is new comes from the people around me, weather I like it or not. I am constantly being molded by the company I keep against my will.
It gets more pathetic, too. I used to hate my roommate’s cat, but now I love having it around and don’t mind it’s shit anymore. You want to know something truly sad abouthow little of me there actually is at the core? I have no idea if my feelings turned around because I got used to the cat, or because ive been reading/viewing so much Kylux and General Hux fanwork that ive adapted his fondness for Millicent into my own fucking real life personality.
I just. I want you to imagine that everything you know about yourself, every sentence you can say that starts with “I am” and finish with a fact about who you are as a person, suddenly changed. Not in a way that someone is denying who you are and you’re trying to fight them, no. You wake up one morning, and all your opinions, your passions, your goals, and your markers of self-identity are actually different. You have woken up as a new person, the person you were scrubbed away, and no matter how hard you try you can’t get yourself to think or feel the way you did when you went to bed. You know you used to feel that way, but now you feel this way, and it’s sudden and it’s scary and it’s odd because you don’t feel like the same person because you aren’t.
Repeat that process every few months, but stagger it. One month it’s your ideals, the next it’s your gender, the next it’s your career. I am always changing and I have no control over it and all I can do is keep walking forward, try to hold close to me the rare few things I know to be constant (they fit in the palm of my hand) and trust that somewhere inside me, there is a person. I think.
Anyway, i’m sorry if I ended up going on a tirade about things that have been bothering me, but recently i’ve managed to hit that sweet spot where 75% of me is in transition and I have no idea who I am or what i’m doing or what I care about. Ive been a mess since I got back from Katsucon because of it sadly. There’s other things too, like how I am at any point filled with almost uncontrollable rage because problems controlling anger is the third major symptom I have and that fucks me up, but this post has been…long haha. If you or anyone else wants details or for me to talk about it more it’s something I don’t do often but i’m open to doing that today, I guess.
Don’t even get me started on the fact that I imprint on people like a fucking animal.
Hiiiiiiiiii :) I was wondering, could you do a real long meta about why you think CS are endgame/true love etc. and talk about the whole Neal obstacle thing? :) I'd love all your summed-up thoughts!
What a hefty request! But for you, nonnie, anything. :) <3
The first thing I’m going to tell you is that I have written a couple metas that outline these sorts of things, so if you are interested, I have a few links you can check out: (xx) those are the ones I could immediately find and figure they pertain to this, at any rate.
Buckle up because this is gonna get long. Bluntness and general Anne sass ahead, because I am NOT afraid to share my actual opinion.