After spending copious time typing your manuscript. Let it rest aside for weeks, months, three months, to even a year. Writing a novel is like watching a movie for the first time. When we watch the film the second time, third time, and fourth, we’re able to pick up meanings, symbols, and details we missed on our initial viewing. Giving writing the same treatment will help you improve on adding detail where needed and removing branches of sections that are bland and empty fillers.
2. Bookmark Words in the Book You’re Reading
Reading any novel from your favorite author is the giant cheat sheet of writing your book. Not in the sense of plagiarism but moreover understanding the author’s writing template and how they transition dialogue and scenes. Notice the active voice of the protagonist and eliminate words such as “Says” or “Looked.” Your favorite novel will prove of great help in this aspect.
3. Strive for Suspense and Action
Start things off with a bang. Not entirely loud and explosive, but give readers an instant window. Entice their senses. “When I first died, I had breakfast next to my dead body.” Admit it, reading that makes you wish you know where this story is heading.
4. Spend Time Exploring Your Emotions
Discover things that break you, scare you, and put you on the edge of your comfort. Inspiration comes from the least of familiar places and usually start with you doing something you never did before. The effects of this method are more significant than trying to imagine the event manually.
5. Sticky Notes (Colorful Ones)
The beauty of colorful sticky notes is it can be a great legend for your novel writing. Use the color index to note dialogue emotion, season, or chronology. After you have a note on it, put them on your bedroom wall and take them off when you’ve fulfilled its part in your book.
6. Lucid Dreaming
Lucid dreaming is a tricky method of writing, but a fun one to try nonetheless. In some rare incidences practicing lucid dreaming can give you a realistic feel to your book. Place yourself in actual mental stimulation by practicing selective and lucid dreaming. There are a lot of websites that explain how you can dream of whatever you wish within one month. It’s all harmless and quite fun.
7. Communication Workshops
Colleges and Universities around the world offer some variance of communication workshops to improve public speaking. Although public speaking notes a job you are looking to pursue, the socializing and verbal practice encourages you to write more like you talk and help develop a style that sets you apart from other written work.
8. Read Music Lyrics
Music lyrics provoke mental images not from the song itself but your own experience. Music lyrics also heavily rely on threading and stitching verses, lines, and courses together to make it sound like a perfect mix. Consider this method of writing an upcoming chapter.
9. Photo Diary
Find a picture, take a picture, relevant or irrelevant to your writing and make a list of things in the photo. Chose your top ten objects and found alternate ways to write them or describing them. Bare tree branches pressed against the overcast sky can look like the veins of tired eyes. Swaying trees can look like people swaying to a slow song at a concert. The list can go on, and on.
10. Trust Your Gut
If it sounds weird to say, it most likely is funny. If you’re trying too hard to speak your words via the protagonist, he or she will suffer the wrath of quirky, bland, and out of pitch dialogue. Unless it is the character’s personality, forcing a conversation is noticeable. Instead, practice your discussion in reality. Does it raise question marks or do you get a response? Strive for an answer.
If you want to see my first two posts about things you can add to your journal, click [here] or [here].
These are things anyone can add to any part of your journal. Enjoy!
1. Follower Counter
I have done this in my past two journals because I love giving myself that little boost of inspiration to keep doing this with all of you. I also enjoy keeping track of when I get another thousand followers. You can use this for any social media; Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. I have done it in two different ways, but I prefer the circular one I had in my other journal.
I noticed that on both my lists of what to add to your journal, I completely forgot to include the index and icons. I figured some people who are new to bullet journaling might not know to put these things in their journals. An index is super important to have in your journal, and remember to number your pages!
Again, I also forgot to talk about icon pages. Also, something important to add to your journal. You can also add a color index if you use certain highlighters, pens, or markers for certain things.
4. Packing List
I have had a packing list in every journal I have used. If you’re anything like me, you wind up forgetting things when you travel. I have separate lists for each group of things I need to pack.
5. Monthly Goals
This is something I recently started doing in my newest journal. It keeps me grounded and focused on things that I need to get done before each month is over.
6. Morning Routines
Not every morning is the same, so when you make this part of your journal try to make seven different spaces for your morning routines. Unless you do have the same exact routine for each day, then just write it out on one page.
7. Nightly Routines
The same advice that I had for morning routines is the same for nightly routines. Please plan before you start writing in pen!
8. Weight Tracker
I don’t have a page for this in my newest journal. I just write my weight down in my daily tracker, but I did have a page in my older journal for it. If you’re trying to lose weight, this is a very good tool to use.
9. Pen Test Page
I didn’t realize people did this already, but I find it to be a good idea. Test your pens for bleeding, ghosting, and for color. It will definitely help you in the long run.
10. Brain Dump
This is such a good idea. I had a page of this in my other journal. If you think of something silly, interesting, or to remember later, write it here.
11. Spending Log/Receipt Keeping
I know a few people that like to keep track of everything they spend each month and from what store. I have a small binder that I keep my receipts in. It took me two hours to make the folders, label them, and hole-punch them. If you want to do it in a journal, that’s good too. Add folders in your journals with washi tape or keep a log of what you spend.
12. Monthly Water Tracker
Instead of doing a daily water intake tracker on each weekly page, try doing it on one page for the whole month. You’ll have more space on your weekly pages and it will all be in the same place for you to see.
13. Places to Travel
This was one of my favorite pages to make. If you want to know more about it, click [here] to see my post of it.
14. Favorite Name List
If you have favorite baby names, city names, story character names, or just really cool names you want to remember, write them down!
15. Looking Forward To…
If you struggle with trying to stay positive, this is the page for you. Write down anything that you are looking forward to. Birthdays, parties, movie releases, seeing your pet grow up, growing out your hair, losing weight, pay day, etc. Find something to look forward to even if it seems insignificant to what society says you should hope for.
16. Compliment List
I haven’t done this page yet, but I like the concept. You can either write down original compliments people have given you or ones you thought of on your own. This made me think of all the things Leslie Knope gave Ann.
17. Level 10 Life
If you want to know exactly what Level 10 Life is, click [here] for my original post on it.
18. Pet Care Log
This is such a good idea. Click [here] for my original post about how I take care of my pups.
19. Achievement List
Need some reminding of how you are the bomb? Make a list of EVERY achievement you’ve ever accomplished. Even if it’s something small, write it down. You are amazing and deserve to know it.
20. Dream Journaling
I haven’t done this since I was in middle school, but it’s a good practice to keep. Sometimes dreams mean something and it’s good to write down what you remember from them so you can look back and see why your mind was thinking about such things.
Request: Hi! Can I request a Peter Parker imagine with the prompts “Stay Awake” and “Quit beating me up?” (I know those two imply that it will end sad, but can you make it not sad but instead just fluffy?) Thank you so much!!!!!!!! I love your writing!
Summary: Peter’s jet lag from flying home from Germany is keeping him up, and ultimately you too.
Nothing beats the comfort of your own bed, especially after a long, exhausting day on your feet which you just had. As soon as your head hit the pillow, you couldn’t keep your eyes open any longer, even when you heard your window open and shut.
Peter, having just returned home from Germany, and giddy with excitement and anticipation to tell you about his over seas mission, just couldn’t wait till morning to see you. So here he was standing over your sleeping figure, facing away from him, nearly jumping up and down, trying to figure out a way to wake you up that wouldn’t get him punched in the face.
You could hear what was happening in your bedroom, but only thought of it as a dream in your drowsy daze. You felt a cold hand clutch your shoulder gently, “Y/n, Y/n wake up,” you groaned in response, “Please. C’mon I have so much to tell youuu,”
Hearing Peter’s voice pulled you out of your slumber. Agitated now that you know Peter’s in your room, you swatted the hand away, and pulled the covers over your head, curling into a ball.
My new semester is starting and I decided to do this just in time before V Route (if it actually comes out this August 😅)
-That senior who lead the Freshman orientation that everyone finds really hot
-Star of the theater club
-Actually majors in Education, but was forced by his family
-Does above average with his studies (because he will be booted out of the theater club if he fails)
-The representative of his college for pageants, probably wins them all too
-Smoke break after every subject
-Has more female friends than male
-Goes to school in a motorcycle
-Joins study groups, doesn’t really get any studying done
-That guy who always buy snacks sold in front of the school and never eats in the canteen
-Really popular, everyone knows him!!
-Even people from another school
-His IG and Snapchat stories are always updated with selfies
-Got featured in a magazine article called “University cuties you should know about”
-Captions his photos #DailyGrind
-“LOLOL after class?”
-“LOLOL before class starts? We still have an hour left”
-Goes to the PC Bang rather than getting lunch
-Makes friends with his classmates by inviting them to play LOLOL
-Post Snapchats of his food, manages to make it look unappealing
-Probably stays at the school dormitory and made friends with the school guards
-Always forget to eat his meals on time
-That guy who always complain about being single
-Probably reposts sad quotes about his love life
-His header on social media is 100% definitely his LOLOL wins
-Has the Tinder app but never used it
-Replies after 2 hours (because LOLOL is life)
-Goes to the library for free wifi
-“THERE WAS HOMEWORK?!”
-Shares study tips and news on her Facebook
-With the occasional photo of her favourite celebrity
-Definitely a double major
-Spends so much time in the library the librarians know her
-Only uses Snapchat and Instagram to stalk Zen
-Convenience store aficionado
-Minimalist school supplies
-Her reviewers are on index cards, in coded colors, and probably has a soft and hard copy
-Hates study groups
-Always has coffee on her desk during lectures
-Hates school events but she is always asked to help organize them
-Doesn’t really want to be in the student council but was forced to be the secretary
-Has an ebook and hardbound copy of the school material
-Likes highlighting notes
-That guy who is dropped off to school by his driver
-Brought his pet cat to school once
-A business major and dresses better than his professors
-Member of the student council
-President of the economics club
-Doesn’t care for school spirit; will rarely attend games and events unless attendance is mandatory
-Doesn’t eat lunch at school; goes all the way to a restaurant to eat
-Give his professors donuts not because he is sucking up to them but because he believes in goodwill (lolololol)
-Hates group projects; will do everything by himself without being asked
-That guy who takes his exams in advance because he’s traveling with family
-Probably has no Facebook DP
-He posts pictures of his cat all the time and no one likes it because its always blurry
-Drives to school in different fancy cars everyday
-Road trip everyday with his classmates
-Spams his timeline with memes
-Tweets about everything that happens to him (“Ran out of HB chips >.< Otw to the store to get some more!)
-A lot of girls actually has a crush on him because of his outgoing personality
-Probably went to school once in pajamas
-Actually in the dean’s list
-Can graduate early but doesn’t care enough
-Has no clubs
-SCHOOL SPIRIT!!! Probably dressed as the mascot at a game once
-Sells weed, doesn’t smoke weed
-Always has the latest gadgets
-Eats in class
-Lives off ramen, chips, and soda but actually has money to spend
-Always sits at the back with his earphones on
-Commutes to school (would die of embarrassment if he hitched a ride with his brother)
-Denies Seven is his brother
-Impossible to find on social media
-Smokes weed with his classmates, not aware they bought it from his brother
-Has a lot of extra curricular clubs for the extra credit
-Has a tattoo that everyone wants to see
-Tries out every new food place that pops up near campus
-Probably has a girlfriend from another school that no one knows of
-Always wears a face mask because he is 1.) sickly, and 2.) so no one realises he looks like Seven
-Pretends to be listening to music so no one talks to him
-First to arrive in class, also the first one to leave
-No one can get a hold of him when they need him (i.e: group projects)
-But he actually helps in group projects
-Hates study groups but wouldn’t deny the help
-Always has candy in his pocket
-Is never updated with what’s happening in school
-Probably went to school once when there was no class because he didn’t know it was a holiday
-Take photos for the school publication
-Always excused in class when there’s an event because he has to take photos
-That guy who always has a girlfriend but isn’t a player
-That guy who has a polaroid of him and his girlfriend on his ID
-Once deleted his Instagram and made a new one because his girlfriend and him broke up, and it had a lot of pictures of them
-Probably secretly smokes
-Has a lot of social media followers because of his aesthetic posts
-“Did you see what Jihyun posted? I wanna go there too!” Is a common phrase among other students
-Always share posts about aesthetically pleasing movies, photos, etc.
-Attends school events because he actually wants to
I’m just going to assume this is Tom bc there was no specification and writing for Tom is what I do best so please enjoy!
Stressful, that’s the word you would use to describe your life as of lately. Work had been a pain in the ass, exams were coming up at school, and the media wouldn’t leave you alone, dating an actor was a lot more difficult that you had initially thought.
You stopped going out, spending all of your time either working or studying, barely having the time to sleep. You stopped calling your mother back after the first week of this newfound stress, but you didn’t mean to, you just didn’t have the time to.
Your mother was the first person to be worried about you, and she in turned called your boyfriend Tom, making him just as worried, if not more. After a few days of trying to call, you texted Tom that you were fine, just stressed and to give you a few days to get over this and that you’d call him the next week. He gave you your space, reluctantly, he always wanted to respect your wishes, but he wanted to see you more than anything.
A week later, you didn’t call and Tom spent most of his days attached to his cell phone, waiting for a call. He paced around the room with a hand on his hip and his phone clutched tightly in his hand.
“Why don’t you just go over there and see ‘em?” Harrison groaned from the couch as Tom paced anxiously around the living room. His best friend was getting tired of seeing Tom walk around aimlessly waiting for a call that wasn’t coming.
“You know what? You’re right!” Tom said, actually going to see if you was okay never actually crossed Tom’s mind. He walked over to the coatrack and slipped his arm though the sleeve of his jacket, but then stopped once his hand was out of the sleeve. “What if I see something I’m not supposed to? I-I don’t know what’s going on, what if-”
‘What’re you afraid of Tom? You’re dating literally the most stubborn person on the planet, Y/N probably needs to talk to someone but doesn’t want to admit it.” Harrison rolled his eyes as Tom slipped his other arm through the jacket sleeve and left the house without another word.
Your desk in the living room was covered in notes and multi-colored index cards with different terms and definitions written on them. It was almost one in the morning and you weren’t even close to finishing your coursework. The coffeepot was now empty for the third time tonight and your living room was a mess. Textbooks all over the floor, there were crumpled pieces of paper everywhere other than the trash bin, and the Chinese take-out spilt on the carpet had started to harden over the half hour it was lying there.
A knock on the door pulled you out of your thoughts as you stood up and ran your hands over your face. You opened the door to meet a shivering Tom outside, a small smile on his face.
“Hey, darling.” He smiled wider and walked through the space between you and the doorjamb, kissing your cheek quickly.
“Tom, I’m really busy, what do you want?” You asked as you shut the door, crossing your arms over your chest.
“I just wanted to see how my favorite person in the world was doing. You didn’t call me yesterday, are you okay?”
“Oh my God, seriously Tom, stop acting like this.” You throw your head back at his bewildered expression.
“Like what? Like I care? I just want to see if you’re okay and if I can do anything to help you.” He threw his arms up in exasperation.
“Just give me some fucking space, will you?” You yelled.
“I gave you the space you asked for! I just want some answers from you!”
“I’m just stressed okay? I don’t need your fucking fake-caring attitude, just leave me alone for a change!”
“Fake-caring attitude? Seriously? You really think this is fake?”
“Why else would you be coming here at one in the morning other than to clear your own conscience?”
“Because, Y/N, I’m so in love with you. It’s actually almost scary and if you don’t see that, I’m sorry, but I would do anything to make sure you’re okay.” Tears fell from your eyes, Tom had never said that he loved you before this moment. You walked to him and pulled him in for a hug, breaking down when his arms wrapped around your body.
“I’m sorry.” You whispered and Tom kissed the top of your head.
He spent the night at your place, helping you study and making sure the coffeepot was constantly full.
A lockable box is an alternative to a grimoire that you may find appealing.
There is a degree of privacy to it. It can store items such as notecards, envelopes, and other supplies away from prying eyes. It will not be large enough to store tools such as a wand or a dagger (that I get annoyed when people play with; I may have to find another solution for that).
I opted for rainbow color index cards. The colors could correspond to different elemental magic. I chose blue for water, red for fire, green for earth, purple for spirit, with yellow being for air by default. Notecards may be better for you than a traditional notebook because you can always reorganize them and get rid of the content that doesn't please you anymore (messy handwriting, or otherwise).
Here is the link for the lock box. For the all black version that I have, it will be $14, but you can get it in other colors or see-through for less. They also have bigger sizes for more than that, but this suited my needs. You are on your own for finding the right index cards ;)
So you wanna learn how to make simple icons, and make them fast? This is the post FOR YOU. I constantly brag about my 1,500 icons for each of my muses, all simply edited and edited fast with minimal effort on my end. (Note, this tutorial ISN’T how I edit my icons, but how I make editing them easier on myself.)
For this tutorial, you will need: Photoshop! I use CS6 and while these features might be in earlier versions, I suggest getting CS6 to make things easier on yourself! Icons to edit! Make sure you’re allowed to edit your icons if you download them from someone else’s icon set.
If you are cropping your icons yourself, try to save the image with the artist’s URL- that way, you can credit the artist if someone asks for it, and you can delete the icon if the artist comes and asks you not to use their art. If you didn’t crop your icons yourself, don’t worry about it, but please remember to be respectful if an artist approaches you and asks you to stop using a certain icon that uses their art! If they say to stop, stop using the icon and delete it like they asked you to.
That said, let’s get right into this! If a part has confused you, please don’t be afraid to head to my inbox and ask me for clarification! Also note that this is MY METHOD of making icons- there is no Right or Wrong way to make icons. This is simply how I do them, and how I edit 1,500+ icons in a matter of 10 minutes.
physics notes & index cards, as requested by a very patient anon
first two photos are examples of the summary sheets i made when i was studying for SAT II physics, and more pictures from the same graph-paper-composition notebook can be found under the read more + details about how i structured my notes.
last two photos are pics of my index cards that i used to study concepts for SAT II physics, and you can see them in my old posts (here or here) + more explanation will also be under the cut!
“The thing with Taehyung is that he use his hands a lot while drawing and get his fingers stained with charcoal, a lot. But when I come back home later, I love to see the same black prints all over my body.”
+Pairing: Taehyung x femlale MC ft Seokjin +Genre: College!AU, Artist!kth +Warnings: sexual assault victim +Note: GUYS! This is an adaptation of the book “Easy” by Tammara Webber. I decided to start like this because im not sure of my writing skill yet, so enjoy!
Y/N Son: ”I’ve attached an outline of my research paper. If you have a chance, could you make sure it’s not too broad, or too focused? I’m not sure how many economies outside the US to include. Also, the J-curve is a little confusing. I get that we can see it after the fact, but isn’t economics based on prediction, like the weather? I mean, who cares if we can only see what happened after the fact - if the weather guy can’t predict what’s going to happen tomorrow, he’s probably going to get fired, right?
I did the worksheets, too. Sorry I’m sending you so much at once, and on a Monday. I should have sent it earlier, but I went out with some friends Saturday and didn’t get it done.”
KIM T: “No problem. I’m either working, studying or in class practically every waking hour. I hardly notice what day it is. I hope you enjoyed your night out. I know I initially said I didn’t need details of your breakup (if that was rude, I didn’t mean it that way); it must have been bad to make you ditch class for two weeks. I can tell skipping is atypical for you.
I’ve attached a WSJ article that explains the J-curve better than the text. You’re exactly right, without the ability to predict, economics isn’t economics, it’s history. And while history has its place in the predictable probabilities of both economics and meteorology (clever analogy, btw), it’s hardly useful if you need to know whether or not to invest in foreign currency or bring your umbrella to school.”
I stared at the email, trying and failing to compare my tuto, Kim to Taehyung. They seemed as opposite as night and day, but I only knew half of each of them. I didn’t know much about Taehyung beyond his striking looks and his ability to beat the shit out of someone. During art history, I’d found myself wondering what would have happened in that interaction with Junmin, if Taehyung had been with me. I wondered if Junmin would have dared to look at me like that. To say what he’d said: Lookin’ good. The thought of Junmin’s cold eyes examining me made my stomach turn.
Feeling shallow for caring, I speculated again what Kim T might look like, and how much impact that might have on what I thought of him. His compliments made me stare at my laptop and smile. He’d said my ex was a moron, and now he seemed to be interested in our breakup. In me. That, or I was reading too much into it.
Y/N Son: “Hey KimT (It seems like Im cxchanging emails with some secret agent) We were together almost three years. I never saw it coming. I followed him here to school, instead of trying for a performing arts school. My orchestra teacher nearly had a stroke when I told him.
He pleaded with me to audition at Oberlin or Julliard, but I didn’t. I can’t blame anyone but myself. I trusted my future to my boyfriend, like an idiot. Now I’m stuck somewhere I’m not supposed to be. I don’t know if I just believed that much in him, or that little in myself. Either way, pretty fucking stupid, huh? So there’s my weepy little story.Thank you for the article.”
Kim T: “Not stupid. Overly trusting, maybe, but that reflects on his lack of trustworthiness, not on your intelligence. As for being somewhere you’re not supposed to be – maybe you’re here for a reason, or there is no reason. As a scientist, I lean toward the latter. Either way, you’re off the hook. You made a decision; now you make the best of it. That’s all you can do, right? On that note, I’m off to study for a statistical mechanics quiz. Who knows, maybe I’ll be able to prove scientifically that your ex isn’t worthy of you, and you’re exactly where you should be.”
When Elee came through the door, I was half-asleep and surrounded by conjugated Spanish verbs printed on colored index cards. I scooped most of them up just before she bounced onto the edge of my bed.
“So? Did you call him or text him? Did you use the stuff we went over? What did he say?”
I sighed. “Neither.”
She lay back on the bed, flinging her arms wide dramatically as I snatched up cards before she creased them. “You chickened out.”
I stared at the cards in my hand. Yo habré, tú habrás, él habrá, nosotros habremos… “Yeah, maybe.”
“Hmm. You know, this is better. Don’t call. Make him chase you.” She laughed at my creased brow.
I thought about Seokjin. About what kind of guy he was. He’d chased me in the beginning, but he didn’t have to try very hard to catch me. I was swept off my feet by him, swept along in his dreams and plans, because he’d made me part of them. Until a few weeks ago.
“Aw, shit, y/n. I know what you’re doing. Don’t think about him. I’m gonna make some cocoa. Get back to—” she sat up, picking up a card I’d not grabbed hastily enough, “—ugh, Spanish verbs.”
Wednesday, I got to the classroom before the 8:00 class let out. As soon as most of the students had filed out the door, I slipped in and took my seat, determined not to pay attention to Taehyung when he came in. To that end, I flipped through my index cards, though I was more than ready to ace the quiz in Spanish.
When Jungkook slid into his seat on my left, I didn’t pause in my review. I refused to be distracted from not paying attention to Taehyung’s seat, and whether or not he was in it.
“Hey, Y/N.” That wasn’t Jungkook’s voice.
The seats were bolted to the floor, with right-handed desktops. Taehyung leaned slightly over the side of Jungkook’s, pushing into the very margin of my space. My breath caught, and I focused on letting it out, appearing unaffected. “Oh, hi.”
He bit his lower lip once, briefly. “I guess you didn’t notice the note on your coffee cup.”
I glanced at my phone, sitting on the edge of my textbook. “I noticed.” I watched his reaction.
He smiled, his light eyes crinkling slightly at the corners, and I tried not to swoon visibly. “Mmm I see, so how ’bout you give me yours?”
I arched a brow at him. “Why? Do you need help in economics?”
He bit his lip in earnest that time, stifling a laugh. “Hardly. What makes you think that?”
I frowned. Could I be attracted to a guy who cared so little about doing well in class? “I guess it’s not my business.”
He leaned his chin into the palm of his hand. The tips of his fingers were tinged with gray, probably from drawing with that pencil sitting over his ear. “I appreciate your concern, but I want your number for reasons completely unrelated to economics.”
I picked up my phone and found his number, and sent him a text that said: Hi.
“Dude, you’re in my seat.” Jungkook’s tone was matter-of-fact, but unperturbed.
Taehyung’s phone vibrated in his hand, and he smiled as my text popped up, giving him my number. “Thanks.” He unfolded himself from the chair and addressed Jungkook. “Sorry, man.”
“No prob.” Jungkook was one of the most easygoing people I’d ever met. His attitude said slacker, but I’d gotten a look at the midterm crammed into his notebook—he’d made a high B, and for all his talk about skipping class and sleeping in, he’d yet to miss one. After Taehyung sauntered back to his seat, Jungkook leaned over the edge of his desktop, closer than Taehyung had. “So what was that about?” His eyebrows rocked up and down and I tried not to grin.
“I’m sure I don’t know what you mean,” I replied, fluttering my lashes in my best Southern belle impersonation.
“Careful, little lady,” he drawled. “That fella seems a bit dangerous.” He shook a too-long curl out of his eyes, smiling. “Not that there’s anything wrong with a bit of danger.”
I congratulated myself for taking a singular peek over my shoulder, halfway through the fifty-minute class. Taehyung wasn’t looking at me, so I couldn’t help staring. Pencil in hand, he was sketching intently, first shading and then carefully smearing with his thumb. His hair fell around his face as he concentrated on his work, the lecture and the classroom disregarded as though he was alone in his room. I imagined him sitting on his bed, knees up, pad balanced on his thighs. I wondered what he was sketching. Or who.
He glanced up and caught my gaze. Held it.
His mouth pulled into that ghost of a smile and he stretched his neck and rolled his shoulders, returning my stare. Glancing at the pad, he tapped the end of his pencil against it and sprawled back in his seat, lashes fanning down as he examined his work.
Dr. Park finished the chart he was free-handing onto the whiteboard, and the lecture resumed. Taehyung tucked the pencil over his ear and picked up a pen. Before shifting his attention to our professor, he smiled at me again, and a jolt of excitement shot through me.
At the end of class, a different girl than last week intercepted him on his way out the door, and I bolted without a backward look. My adrenaline kicked in, my body sensing my need to escape and giving wings to it.
I texted Elee that I’d be getting crap coffee in the cafeteria before my afternoon class instead of going by the Coffe. She texted back: GENIUS. I’ll meet you there. Sisters in solidarity and all that shit.
From the end of my bed, my laptop dinged an email alert, and an answering flutter came from my stomach. It was probably nothing—a notice about flu shots from the health center, or another note from one of my old high school friends, who were all “so devastated” that Seokjin and I were over (which they all figured out when he changed his Facebook relationship status—twenty minutes after he’d broken up with me).
I’d disabled my account immediately, and had yet to reinstate it. The thought of seeing his glib status updates and having photos of him pop up in my feed was demoralizing. Even if I hid him, we knew too many of the same people. There’d be no hiding his activities completely. I began getting sympathetic and condescending emails and texts the next day, so I was justifiably apprehensive whenever I checked my inbox.
Cringing, I pulled it up… and smiled.
Kim T: “Are you going to make it to the session tomorrow (Thursday)? In case you won’t, I’ve attached the worksheet I’m planning to go over. It’s new, separate stuff, and you needn’t be completely caught up to get it. (Speaking of, you should be all caught up within a week or so.)
PS – I’ve been thinking about that proof I spoke of last time – that you’re where you’re supposed to be. And it occurred to me, can you prove you’d be better off somewhere else? If you’d have left the state, your relationship would have ended still. Maybe you’d have even blamed yourself, not knowing that it was doomed because of him, either way. Instead, you’re here. You got dumped, skipped class, and met the best econ tutor at the university! Who knows, maybe I’ll make you fall in love with economics. (What’s your major, btw?)”
Y/N Son: “I’m a music education major. I hate that saying: “Those who can, do, those who can’t, teach.” As a tutor, I know that’s BS. Still. I wanted to do. I imagined joining a symphony orchestra, or a progressive jazz band… And instead, I’m going to teach.
I won’t be at your session – I have lessons with my middle school boys tomorrow. (I think I’d be more impressive to them if I could fart the scales instead of plucking them on the bass.)
Sorry to inform you, but I plan to make it through this class and be done with econ. No reflection on your genius tutoring skills, I swear. Thank you for the worksheet. You’re too kind.”
Kim T: “If you want to do, then do. What’s stopping you?
So I’m kind, huh? Never heard that before. People usually think I’m a pretentious a-hole. I must admit, I tend to encourage that estimation. So please promise to keep your opinion to yourself. Reputations can be ruined so easily, you know. ;)
PS – Do the worksheet. Before Friday. I’m giving you a very serious look through this screen. DO THE WORKSHEET. If you have problems with any of the material, let me know.”
Y/N Son: “What’s stopping me? Well, I’ve blown the chance to go to a serious music school. And I’m stuck in a state that doesn’t always foster the arts (something I’ll probably spend my entire teaching career fighting). It seems impossible to go out now and “do.” I guess I should rethink that.
Your secret geniality is safe. My lips are sealed.
PS – I’m DOING the worksheet, but I’m giving you a very petulant look through my screen. Slave driver.”
I was grinning when I clicked send. Maybe I was playing an entirely different game of chase, and Taehyung and his infuriatingly enigmatic smile could take a flying leap. Elee and Mina could keep their make-him-chase-you advice and use it themselves, because I, apparently, sucked at it in real life. Through email, though… My happy expression slid away as I realized the stark truth—I was flirting with someone online. I had no idea what he looked like, or what type of person he was.
That wasn’t exactly true. I knew exactly what type of person he was, even though I’d never laid eyes on him. He was kind. And intelligent. And straightforward.
Of course, he hadn’t beaten a would-be rapist to a bloody pulp for me. Or made my insides melt when he put his hands on my waist. He probably didn’t have tattoos on his arms or deep brown eyes and a liquefying stare.
At 10:00 pm, my phone trilled a text alert.
Taehyung: Hi :)
Me: Hi :)
Taehyung: What’s up?
Me: Nothing. Homework.
Taehyung: I wanted to talk to you after class, but you disappeared.
Me: I have another class right after. One of those profs who stops talking, stares at you and waits until you get to your seat if you’re late.
Taehyung: I would probably just walk to my seat even slower. ;)
Taehyung: You should come by the Coffe Friday. It’s usually dead. Americano, on the house?
Me: Free coffee? I can’t pass that up. I’ll try to stop by. When do you work?
Taehyung: All afternoon. Til 5.
Taehyung: See you Friday, Y/N.
Taehyung was fifteen minutes late to class on Friday, and we had a pop quiz first thing—which he missed. My first thought was how irresponsible it was to miss a quiz… and then I remembered that I missed the midterm. I couldn’t exactly point any fingers.
He slipped through the back door as Dr. Park walked up the center aisle, collecting quizzes. He took the stacks from the left row and then turned to the right, where Taehyung sat. “I need to see you after class,” he said, his voice low.
Inclining his head once, Taehyung pulled his text from his backpack and replied in the same subdued tone. “Yes, sir.”
I didn’t look back at him during the remainder of class, and when it was over, he packed up his backpack and walked down the outside aisle to the front. While waiting for Dr. Park to finish his conversation with another student, Taehyung’s eyes lifted and found me. His smile was as unreadable as always, scarcely there at all. But his gaze was focused, pegging me like a dart to a board.
Turning his attention to our professor, he broke the stare. I released the breath I’d not realized I was holding and escaped the classroom, undecided on whether or not to follow through with stopping by the Coffe that afternoon.
I considered the quiz I’d just aced, thanks to Kim’s insistence that I complete the worksheet he sent two nights ago. Doing that worksheet had been all sorts of help—on a quiz he must have known about. I didn’t think he’d crossed a line and told me something he shouldn’t have, but his toe was definitely on the line. For me. Swept along and invisible among thousands of other students on this enormous campus, I was struck by the fact that for some reason, he’d gone out of his way to help me. For some reason, I mattered to him.
Elee: Jongkyung and I are leaving soon. You gonna be ok this weekend? You’re going to the coffe this afternoon, RIGHT? If he asks you out, GO FOR IT HOE. Clear the palate! Don’t forget you’ll have the room to yourself all weekend.
Me: You kids have fun. I’ll be fine! I’ll keep you posted.
Elee: You’d better! I’ll be back Sunday afternoon. Or evening, depending on the level of hangover Sunday morning. lmao. TEXT ME LATER.
I’d forgotten Elee’s road trip with Jongkyung was this weekend. His brother was in a band, and they were playing at a festival tomorrow near Busan, so they had reservations at a bed and breakfast for the weekend. Elee told Mina and me about it last month while we waited to look at Mercury and Venus through a telescope during an evening astronomy lab.
The coffee smell invaded my senses before the Coffe came into view. Rounding the corner, my eyes went to the counter, where two employees stood talking. When I didn’t see Taehyung, I wondered if he’d switched shifts and forgot to text me.
There were only a handful of customers—one of whom was Dr. Park, reading the paper in the corner. I had nothing against my professor, but I didn’t exactly want him witnessing my attempts to flirt with the guy who skipped the quiz and got called out for it just this morning. I stood just behind a display of coffee mugs and travel cups.
Just as he had Monday, Taehyung pushed through the door to the back as my eyes brushed over it. My fingers and toes tingled at the sight of him. Underneath the green apron, he wore an orange long-sleeved tshirt, not the university-branded sweatshirt he’d worn this morning in class. His shirtsleeves were pushed past his elbows again, leaving the tattoos visible. I moved to the counter, my eyes skimming from his forearms to his face. He hadn’t seen me yet.
One of the girls at the register straightened. “Can I help you?” Her voice held a bite of annoyance, as though she was snapping her fingers to get my attention.
“I’ve got it, Eun ” Taehyung said, and she shrugged and returned to her conversation with her coworker, but they both eyed me with even more hostility than a moment before. “Hey, y/n.”
He glanced toward the corner where Dr. Park sat. “What can I get for you?”
His tone wasn’t the tone of a guy who’d specifically asked me to come by. Maybe he was behaving circumspectly for his coworkers’ benefit.
“Um, a grande Americano, I guess.”
He grabbed the cup from the stack and made the drink. I tried to hand him my card, but he shook his head once. “That’s okay. I’ve got it.”
His coworkers exchanged a look I pretended not to see.
I thanked him and retreated to the opposite side of the shop from Dr. Park, setting up my laptop to work on my econ project.
After an hour, I’d bookmarked a dozen sources on current international economic happenings, my coffee was gone, and Taehyung hadn’t come over once. I was expected at the high school for my weekly Friday afternoon bass lessons in half an hour. Shutting down my laptop, I turned to unplug the power cord from the wall.
“Ms. Son.” At Dr. Park’s unexpected greeting, I jumped, knocking over my thankfully-empty cup. “Oh! So sorry to have startled you!”
“Oh, that’s okay. I’m a little jumpy—from, uh, the coffee.” And from thinking for one split second that you were Taehyung.
“I just wanted to let you know that Mr. Kim tells me you’re almost caught up, and making headway on the project. I’m glad to hear it.” He lowered his voice and glanced around conspiratorially. “My colleagues and I don’t actually want to fail anyone, you know. Our goal is to frighten—I mean encourage—the less, er, serious students to produce. Not that I believe you’re one of those.”
I returned his smile. “I understand.”
He straightened and cleared his throat. “Good, good. Well, on that note—have a productive weekend.” He chuckled at his joke and I managed to avoid rolling my eyes.
“Thank you, Dr. Park.”
He walked to the counter and spoke to Taehyung as I wound the power cord and stowed the laptop in my backpack. The conversation between them was earnest, and I was concerned when Dr. Park seemed to gesture toward me at least once. I wondered if our professor believed that Taehyung was one of those less serious students he could intimidate into becoming more dedicated. If so, I didn’t want to be used as some sort of example.
As I walked out, I looked over my shoulder, but Taehyung didn’t shift his gaze my way at all, and his expression was tense. His coworker, wiping down a counter a few feet away, smirked at me.
When I left the high school two hours later, I switched on my phone, endeavoring to look forward to a weekend alone while it powered up. Clearly, the trip to Coffe was a bust. Taehyung had been, if possible, even more puzzling and cagey than he was before.
While working on the project, I’d emailed Kim to thank him for sending the worksheet Wednesday, and for insisting that I do it. I hadn’t heard from him since Wednesday, but maybe he would email this afternoon or tonight. Maybe he’d be free this weekend, and we could finally meet.
I had one text from Elee that she and Jongkyung had arrived in Busan—along with lots of insinuation about what I could do with a room to myself, and Mom had texted to ask about my
Ch’usok days plans. Seokjin and I had alternated spending the day at his house or mine the past three years. Somehow, this translated into confusion about whether or not I was coming home this year. When I texted her back that yes, breaking up with a guy generally means no more shared holidays, I expected an apology to follow. I should have known better.
Mom: Don’t be snippy. Your dad and I planned and paid for a trip to Jeju that weekend, because we thought you could stay at the Kim’s. I guess we’ll have to cancel.
Me: Go ahead and go. I’ll go home with Elee or something.
Mom: Ok. If you’re sure.
Me: I’m sure.
I tossed my phone in an empty cup-holder and drove back to campus, prepared to watch reality TV and work on economics all weekend.
When I got to my room, I saw that Taehyung had texted while I was driving back.
Taehyung: Sorry I didn’t say goodbye Me: It was awkward with Dr. Park there I guess. Taehyung: Yeah. Taehyung: So, I’d like to sketch you. Me: Oh? Taehyung: Yeah Me: Okay. Not, like, sans clothes or anything right? Taehyung: Haha no. Unless you’re up for that. Taehyung: Jk. Is tonight ok? Or tomorrow night? Me: Tonight is good. Taehyung: Cool. I can be there in a couple of hours. Me: Ok. Taehyung: What’s your room number? Me: 362. I’ll need to let you into the building. Taehyung: I can probably get in. I’ll text you if I can’t.