more like when it's in stock

(A table of contents is available. This series will remain open for additional posts and the table of contents up-to-date as new posts are added.)

Part Three: Ability Checklist

Once you’ve figured out what creature is appropriate for the area and you’ve settled on what it will be, your next step is determining what it can do, specifically those directly linked with the biology of your creature.

Real-world Animals: If your companion is any kind of real-world animal, you have a wealth of information at your fingertips via the internet. Your initial research took you into environment, but now it’s time to look at the creature specifically. You need to know what this animal does:

  • Is it predator or prey? What is its dominant sense?
  • How does it defend itself and in what kinds of circumstances will it choose to either attack or defend? Does it have any camouflage? Special colorization to scare or warn others away? Armor plating? Tough hide? Scales? Shell? Spines? Tusks? Horns?
  • Talons? Claws? Hooks? Pincers?
  • Wings? Are they functioning wings or vestigial leftovers?
  • Two legs, three, more? What’s its speed like?
  • Tail? Trunk? Feelers? Whiskers?
  • What kind of teeth does it sport? Depending on what it eats, it may be very good at fighting with its mouth, or it may have the wrong kind of teeth to do tearing damage, but instead it can apply a boatload of pressure.
  • Does it have any secretions that allow it to do things? Does it produce webbing, or have secretions to help it climb easier? Acid? Stink glands? Poison?
  • How about its eyes? How much light does it need to see? Does it have other ways of seeing or understanding its environment? 

Mythical Creatures: Unfortunately, research materials that all agree on the details associated with many creatures of lore are lacking. Do the best you can with what you can find to make the clearest, most succinct definition of what your creature looks like and what its physical features afford it. The above checklist can carry over for these creatures too, but you’ll also want to add in what kinds of magic they may have access to, and any special abilities or hindrances caused by their body.

Make sure you also consider what kinds of rules govern these abilities. When do gorgons turn others to stone? Is it eye contact with the human or the snakes? Is eye contact even required, or can the gorgon simply look their direction? The rules of your world must be defined, even for the abilities of your mythical creatures, and to some extent, even more so than the rest of your world. Just like with magic, internal consistency and making sure your creatures can’t do anything they want are key to maintaining believably, tension, and good storytelling.

So What? These details seem intuitive, particularly once you’ve decided on what form your companion should take. After all, when you say, “I’m going to write a wolf into my story,” you immediately think of its fighting ability–teeth, claws, general intimidation–so why do you need to take stock of all these things, too? Simple: If you don’t know what tools you have at your disposal, you don’t know what you can (and can’t) do with them!

Plot and conflict and complication are partially driven by the characters you’re writing, their decisions, and their tactics when faced with problems. By giving yourself a quick run-down of the creature’s features, you give yourself a toolbox of things to work with, both in order to solve problems that are presented in the story, but also to create problems and build your plot with. After all, these creatures are characters, too, just in a different shape. (We’ll talk later about how you can use your companions in your narrative and how they can shape the other characters.)

Doing this quick outline of what your creature has at its disposal will also help as you’re trying to characterize them. Your research and the time you devote to thinking about how this character is put together will help to dispel any preconceived notions you had or outdated knowledge about the creature that’s no longer true (think of your research like a refresher course!), and will give you insight into aspects of the creature you may not have been familiar with previously. They say you don’t know what you don’t know, so don’t let the most basic of research like this go by the wayside. You might be in for a surprise the could play a part in your story!

Next up: Travel considerations!

Mark Me

What was it Sir Marcus cut from your breast?” I asked. “A brand?” I said softly, as he gave me no reply. The bright head moved slightly in affirmation.

“A signet, with his initials.” Jamie laughed shortly. “It’s enough I’ll carry his marks for the rest of my life, without letting him sign me, like a bloody painting.”

(Outlander, Chapter 36, Diana Gabaldon)

“Jamie,” I said. My voice was hoarse with sleep and swallowed tears. “Jamie. I want you to mark me.”

“What?” he said, startled.

The tiny sgian dhu he carried in his stocking was lying within reach, its handle of carved staghorn dark against the piled clothing.

“Cut me,” I said urgently. “Deep enough to leave a scar. I want to take away your touch with me, to have something of you that will stay with me always. I don’t care if it hurts; nothing could hurt more than leaving you. At least when I touch it, wherever I am, I can feel your touch on me.”

His hand was over mine where it rested on the knife’s hilt. After a moment, he squeezed it and nodded. He hesitated for a moment, the razor-sharp blade in his hand, and I offered him my right hand. It was warm beneath our coverings, but his breath came in wisps, visible in the cold air of the room.

He turned my palm upward, examining it carefully, than raised it to his lips. A soft kiss in the well of the palm, then he seized the base of my thumb in a hard, sucking bite. Letting go, he swiftly cut into the numbed flesh. I felt nothing more than a mild burning sensation, but the blood welled at once. He brought the hand quickly to his mouth again, holding it there until the flow of blood slowed. He bound the wound, now stinging, carefully in a handkerchief, but not before I saw that the cut was in the shape of a small, slightly crooked letter “J”.

I looked up to see that he was holding out the tiny knife to me. I took it, and somewhat hesitantly, took the hand he offered me.

He closed his eyes briefly, and set his lips, but a small grunt of pain escaped him as I pressed the tip of the knife into the fleshy pad at the base of his thumb. The Mount of Venus, a palm-reader had told me; indicator of passion and love.

It was only as I completed the small semicircular cut that I realized he had given me his left hand.

“I should have taken the other,” I said. “Your sword hilt will press on it.”

He smiled faintly.

“I could ask no more than to feel your touch on me in my last fight— wherever it comes.”

(Dragonfly in Amber, Diana Gabaldon)

anonymous asked:

you would not freaking believe the amount of people who come into the store (wal-fart) the two days leading up to easter sunday and complain to me about how poor our stock of easter things are. well golly, susan, it's almost like people with foresight actually came in to buy chocolate eggs more than 24 hours before when they had to hide them for their kids. we've had easter stuff out since february.

And Jesus fucking Christ it gets crowded with last minute shoppers. We finished our Easter shopping a month ago. But we went to get my 3 year old a toy for behaving so well at the dentist. We seriously could not fucking move. If you love your kids then stop doing shit last fucking minute and stop fucking blocking the aisle by parking your dumb ass in the center. Not to mention these fucks don’t watch where they’re going and nearly ran over my kid so many times I lost count. And it’s not like he ran off ahead of us. He was literally by the cart! I hate other customers even while I’m not working. I wanted to choke ‘em all with brightly colored eggs down their throat today. -Abby

When BTS falls in love with a new employee. You.

This is the first request we received for this blog! Woot Woot!! Thank you so much for this request it was so much fun to write! So much that I even got a drabble idea out of it so you have that to look forward to as well!


When you started working at the 5 star restaurant, the last thing you expected was to catch the eye of the head chef. This was just a simple table waiting gig that was supposed to make enough money to amuse yourself during the summer. But hey who would say to no to a gorgeous man who cooks like a god? You that’s who. If anyone is going to date you they are going to work for it. So work for it he did. He brought you flowers, he brought you chocolates, he would give you cooking lessons. He once showed up during your lunch break with some freshly made food that he “claims” was an order for someone who walked out before eating it. It was an awfully freshly made dish to be made an hour ago… but it was also to delicious to not eat. He worked hard for two months before you finally caved an accepted his invitation to dinner.

Originally posted by rapdaegu

“I know you’re not going to say yes but don’t worry I will not give up! I am to head over he- Wait. Did you just say yes?  Lets go before you change your mind.”


This music store clerk job is a god send to someone like you. Not only because it involved your favorite past time, listening to music, but it was also ran by a hippie like woman didn’t care that even though you were only hired on two days ago you are late or how yesterday your cat literally ate your calculus homework so you had to call in while you were at the vet getting your cat looked at while you are frantically trying to redo your homework that is due that day. Belladonna is not only the best boss but you also have the best coworker. Yoongi tends to scowl a lot but that is mostly to scare away idiots who don’t know how to put back something where they got it from. When there were no customers, however Yoongi is pretty laid back and tries to sneak naps when no one is looking. The best thing about him is that after just a week and half of working together he not only nailed your music tastes down he also gives you new CD’s filled with songs he thinks you would like. It was your almost one month anniversary with the store when you get a text from Yoongi asking to come help him stock a last minute shipment. He promised you food and beer when you get there so you agree. Only when you arrive it is not to boxes upon boxes of merchandise that Yoongi had been complaining about. Instead you walked into the backroom that was clear except for a small table set up with your favorite food and a candles all around the room. Your favorite song is playing softly on the radio. Yoongi is standing off to the side looking nervous.

Originally posted by jeonsshi

“I fell for you the moment I heard you voice and I realized that your voice has been haunting my dreams before I even met you. It has to be fate.”


If anyone asks, you certainly did not apply at cafe because you spotted the handsome waiter through the window. Totally. It was because you had the sudden desire to pick up a second… despite the fact you already had a first job that provided enough for you get by. *sigh* Okay so you might have applied and was subsequently hired for a job all because there was cute waiter. Luckily the job was only part time, all you had to do was smile and work the cash register. Problem was that the register was the devil in disguise and absolutely hated you. Luckily Hoseok knew all of the tricks to make it work and was more than willing to teach you. He was patient and you didn’t particularly mind when would stand close behind you pointing what to do. You don’t know why the damn thing kept messing up, you have never dealt with such a difficult piece of machinery in your life. It wasn’t until you got a call from your boss begging you to come in because someone called out sick that you caught Hoseok red handed. You walked in only to see Hoseok pressing a combination of buttons and then pulling a wire causing that stupid error screen that always caused you so many problems to show. He then loosely set the wire back on place but did tighten it and then gave a smirk when he saw the error disappear. You gasp in shock! He was rigging that devil machine to give you problems! Hearing your gasp he whirls around in shock. He instantly turns red in embarrassment and suddenly all of it made sense. Hoseok fell for you. It was your turn to smirk and cross your arms over your chest. He looks down at the floor still blushing and mutters out an apology he looks up back up at you.

Originally posted by ttaegiis

“I know I didn’t exactly make things easy for you… but at least my dedication in coming early just to break this thing should show you how serious I am about you?”


The library was not your first choice in a job. But it was the a job and you were grateful for it. What you were even more grateful for was the other library clerk who showed you the ropes. Namjoon was endearingly kind and waaay to smart to be working as a simple clerk. Although you did understand why he works in a library and not somewhere else. Damn could he read. You found out that Namjoon would read at least two books a day. Speed reading he called it. Insanity is what you called it. While yes you do enjoy reading and every single moment you can spare goes towards it but there is now way you could read two books a day. Namjoon loved reading philosophy and each time he finishes a book he never fails to tell you about it and you two would spend hours discussing it. You don’t consider yourself particularly philosophical but Namjoon seems to disagree because always brings up a topic that is talked about in the book. Yet for some reason he hasn’t brought up any topics in the last couple of days. Granted you had only worked there for a couple of weeks but you knew that he couldn’t have ran out of things to talk about… Another thing that is odd is that he won’t let you see what he is reading. You push the thought aside and continue working. At the end of your shift you see him walking to his car and you call out good bye to him. In true Namjoon fashion when he turns he somehow manages to rip his ever present book bag in half spilling its contents to the ground. You give a laugh and rush forward to help him pick up his, surprise surprise, books you notice they are not the normal books he has. Instead they are brightly colored… romance books? You pick a random one up and quirk an eyebrow at the cover. Namjoon has NEVER mentioned liking romance before otherwise you would of been able to contribute a lot more to the conversation because you have quite the stock of romance books yourself. Hell you have even read the book you are holding. You hand it to him with a smile. It’s a good read and the plot twist at the end was amazing. You say cheerfully. Namjoon blushes and takes the book. He looks at you cocking his head to the side. 

Originally posted by syubto

“I was reading them because I wanted to find a way to confess to you… but then I started enjoying them and I realized I still didn’t know how to confess. Until now that is.”


You have no idea how you managed to get through the first week of your new job at the coffee shop but you are 100% sure that it was because of Jimin. This innocent smol piece of fluff was always happy to help you. When you were struggling with the coffee grinder? It only took one whine from you and suddenly he was right there coaxing it into working, looking at you with a smile. When the espresso machine bit you he was right there holding a towel over the cut on your hand and leading you to the first aid kit carefully tending to it. When you slipped on a wet spot on the floor he caught you with a devilish smile on his face. He was your knight in shining armor. You adored him and he evidently adored you. You found out by accident that he requested the same shift as you so he could help train you. You had been speaking with your manager who was praising you and your work. You wave a hand dismissing the praise and give all the credit to Jimin. Your manager gives you a curious look. Evidently they were baffled as to way Jimin who had the same shift for the past two years suddenly upped and decided to change it to yours. Nor did Jimin EVER volunteer to train someone. But he did… for you. You think about it all day and aren’t able to get the thought out of your head. Why would Jimin do that for you? You didn’t even meet him until your first official day. At closing time he was sweeping and you were loading the dishwasher. You gather your courage as you shut the door on the dishwasher and ask Jimin why he changed shifts just to train you. Jimin doesn’t answer you at first instead opting to walk to the back room and grabbing his bag. He walks back to you and pulls out… a cookie?! You look between him and the cookie the back at him in confusion. He gives a small laugh that makes your heart flutter. It would be lie to deny that you found him attractive… okay so you found him more than attractive. Beautiful, strong, handsome, caring, sweet, and bit of the sexy demon that comes out when no one else is looking. He hands you the cookie and you look at it closer. Carefully iced in orange icing was “Date Me”. You laugh, of course he would know that Alice in Wonderland was your favorite cartoon and he would use it to ask you out.

Originally posted by bwipsul

“I have been wanting to ask you since the fist time I saw outside of the managers office when you accepted the job. But I was to shy so I figured I would make the cookie do it for me.”


Your best friend was most likely insane. Why they suggested you apply at the amusement park was beyond you. You hated loud noises. You hated the smell of cotton candy. And you absolutely no doubt about it hated that this is where you met the most amazing man on earth.  You were placed in the baby area with Taehyung. Your actual job entailed making sure the babies don’t escape their parents. It was oddly more difficult than on would expect because damn those babies are FAST. It was normally a toddler per hour that manages to find something shiny across the little walk way the divided the kids area from the baby area. The designer of the amusement park must of been a genius because the kiddie designated part was well away from the adult rides and separated the baby part from the kiddie part. The baby part was intended for ages one to five and was basically just a giant sandbox with a small “pool” which was really just a large puddle size area that shot up water every few minutes. It was great way for tired parents to let the older kids ride the rides they want and the parents can just sit with the babies and let them try and eat sand. The bad part of that idea is that there is always a tired parent who has more than one over active toddler who is distracted by one kid while the other sneaks away. Rugrats come to mind as you once again stop an errant toddler wearing an adorable little pink jumper and squeaky shoes. You catch Taehyung’s eye and he gives you a wide happy grin from where he is sitting in the middle of sandbox making a sand castle with what looks like a 4 year old in yellow overalls. So yea you hated the loud noises and the smell of cotton candy, but the kids weren’t so bad. Taehyung was pretty amazing. You had seen him once calm down a sobbing baby with just two peek-a-boos. He is a genius. He was also a incorrigible flirt. Every opportunity he would compliment your appearance. He would praise your once again foiling of escape plans of a crawling baby. And he would never ever fail to make sure you were okay. He brought you bottles of cold water and when he was eaten something he would always offer you some. He also always knew when you needed a pain reliever for the headache the loud noises invariably caused. He was the sweetest person you ever met. It took a particularly observant father who was playing in the sandpit with his two year old while his husband was in the “pool” with the two year old’s twin. You and the father were chatting while you kept an eye on a three year old that looked two seconds from bolting. You were right because as soon as their mother looked away the toddler was off and running. With a sigh you start to get up from the ground excusing yourself from your the father in the sand pit when a hand settled on your should and Taehyung’s deep voice told you to Sit back down I had this one. The father gives you a smirk and comments on how nice it is to be working with your boyfriend. You look at him startled. I’m not… Taehyung and I are not together. We are coworkers. Just coworkers. The gives you a look and calmly replies that sure he is. He is just a coworker who watches you with heart eyes.The boy is clearly head over heels for you. The father evidently said this pretty loudly because Taehyung squats down beside you and brushes they hair from your eyes with a bright smile. 

Originally posted by mvssmedia

“Well he is not wrong..”


You would not have thought that in this day and age a bowling alley would be a success but you would be wrong.Because not only was this place a success but it was the work place of an angel. You needed a seasonal job because this particular summer you made it goal to save up for that new laptop you were needing before the school year. The opening of the bowling alley seemed like fate and when you met the owner’s son who was also working there it pretty much cinched the idea of it being fate. The only thing was this smol bean was so so shy. He mostly worked in the kitchen making kick ass pizzas and onion wings. But occasionally he helped out by fixing the arcade games or working the shoe rental. He had a bright smile and always willing to help the customers but when it came to interacting with his coworkers and making conversation he clammed up making an awkward excuse before sneaking away. You decided to push aside your enamoring with his looks and try to befriend the shy bean. You start by just sitting with him quietly during breaks and not forcing him to say anything. Your next step is to ask him simple questions but not making him answer. Before to long he would answer your questions but it was an awesome day when he would ask one or two of his own. You became friends with him despite his shyness. He turns into your best friend teaching you how to bowl and they tricks to winning the different arcade games. He eventually confided in you that his father built the bowling alley so Jungkook could take the opportunity to try and make friends. When he admits this he also says that he never thought it would of worked yet here he is with a  best friend that has became something more. You stare at him in hopeful confusion. He gave a shy smile and carefully removed the red rose he had hidden underneath a few papers and handed it to you.

Originally posted by theking-or-thekid

“Would you… maybe go on a date with me sometime?”

O.M.G. Would you look at that?! I actually wrote a post that wasn’t like a million characters long! 


It’s a miracle! But hey I hope you enjoyed this react and if you do please don’t hesitate to ask for another one!



Braun Strowman/OC: Braun is off traveling with the roster and is supposed to be back any day now. You’re tossing and turning in your sleep when he comes home and gets you to be comfortable enough to fall asleep. Fluff and smut.


Tagging the bbies: @lavitabella87 @omgmissmillie @everybodyfinnfreeze @shadow-of-wonder @screamersdontdance @laochbaineann @justtookawaii @sarrahcha @twiistedbliiss @hotspurmadridista @alexispoo @niazha16 @happelu970 @officialbroski10-blog @crowleysqueenofhell @lilmisscrisis @antigonemaia @imnoaingeal @littledeadrottinghood @imagineall-the-fandoms @fuckyeahbulletclub @hiitsmecharlie @macfizzle @oraclegazes @culturalrebel @welshwitch5 @wrasslesmut @actualamyautopsy @blondekel77 @meaganottiz02 @karaboomhower @valeonmars @squirrel666 @livingthestrongstyle @squirrel666 @damnbuvky @dmm-wts @caramara3 @abbie03d 

Keep reading

This last month man...

So…I work in supermarket/convenience strore things where everything COOPerates
Most of the own brand we sell is UK grown or fairtrade or organic or free range or a combination of the lot, so prices are a little higher then other places, so that helps cut down on some of the worst costumer at least…or so I thought…

Been threatened twice because I looked at people…like, I watched someone while working then walked away and bwcause I saw them again while walking away they went off on one and threatened me

Stopped a repeat shoplifter who tried to plead saying he is an alcoholic, like I’m sorry mate but F off you cant steal this alcohol

Had someone get angry and start insulting me because I asked them “hey whatcha looking for mate?” To…ya know…be polite

Had SO many people try and buy fags without ID…then straight away ask their mate for them…like no he isnt buying them either

More shoplifters coming in and of course my company doesnt hire security because why would they…so much alcohol and food stolen

My store doesnt have a warehouse so all delievery cages off stock are kept on the floor…I had someone steal a whole box of Vodka (Roughly £100-150) from the cage but if course once he is outside theres nothing I can do

The UK has new tobacco laws on minimum sizes and uniform packaging coming in soon; and its infuriating when a customer asks for something thats in the new plain packs, I get it, and they go “oh are you sure these are the ones?” Or “oh you got the wrong ones” like no dorice you old cow I have this tobacco cupboard memorized I got you the right ones

I currently work in a student city…a UNI STUDENT CITY…so you can imagine how fun it was for us get an 8 cage delivery…at 8PM when we close at 11PM on a SATURDAY night….one of our busiest days, a BIG delievery, SUPER LATE…

I work tills…about 80% of the two years+ I have worked for this comoany has been manning the Kiosks…so I know what I am doing…a LOT of the other cashiers and hell even my supervisors and team leaders and rarely even managers ask me questions about “whats this code?” “Do we sell this brand cigs/tobacco?” “How do we process this?” So I know my job. So when we have an 8 cage delievery on a sat night and I am on tills and my manager is going on about me talking to the customers too much like…no mate…the only customers you seen me talking to more then necessary where the only customers I have.spoken to more then necessary…and that was because they were standing there for ages not knowing what to buy so I was helping them choose to get them out, leave me to tills I know what the fuck I am doing.

also fuck shoplifters

TL;DR I know what I am doing please f off and dont steal

anonymous asked:

i absolutely understand where youre coming from. but what are youre thoughts on minor shoplifting from major corporations like taking a tube of lipstick from wal mart? personally i see nothing wrong with it, they wont miss it ya know?

I used to work for Asda who is owned by Walmart and work in the same way. I actually used to work in stock control. If the numbers on the computer did not add up with the numbers of the product we actually owned then I would have to go searching for it. If i could not find it I would have to knock it off which would reflect badly on my work. 

Also when things are stolen and the numbers have to be knocked off then its called shrink, the more shrink you have on your individual store then lower your bonus will be and the budget for things like the Christmas party or something nice in the staff cafe. Things like the Christmas Party does not sound important but for some people it can be the highlight of their year. 

If everyone thought it was okay to steal a £4 tube of lipstick or something small then the more stock that store has to knock off. In my store the shrink got so bad that all the staff had to line up and be frisked before leaving the store.   

Also another thing is it is normal practice for a store to let you think you keep on getting away with stealing from them so they can collect evidence to prosecute you for a bigger sentence so its really not worth it. 

I actually buy my liptick from Superdrug, their £1 selection is fantastic, I wore a purple lipstick and it stayed on all through a night out! 


Imagine falling asleep on Cisco.

The two of you had gotten into this knowing the risks. Knowing the toll it would take. You had stocked up everything you thought you might need and you had held out for as long as you could before giving in. Cisco barely noticed when it happened. He would never be sure of the exact moment you drifted away.

“Want more popcorn, [f/n]?” Cisco suggested, glancing down at your head resting on his lap between movies. You were out like a light. He blinked, amusement filling his gaze. To be fair, it was almost five in the morning. The Harry Potter marathon was reaching its final movie and you had nodded off. Cisco chuckled softly, draping a blanket over you. You hummed in your sleep and shifted closer, your cheek pressed against his thigh.

“Guess I’m doing the final part alone, huh?” Cisco mused, pushing your hair back from your face. “You better not fall asleep the next time we do a Star Wars marathon.”

Gif Credit: Cisco

anonymous asked:

👉👀👉 Where them Christmas headcanons at

- Dally takes personal enjoyment in destroying children`s snowmen

- Soda loves making Christmas cookies

- Pony really likes reading all bundled up in a sweater it reminds him of when he was little

- Steve thinks its perfectly acceptable to walk outside without a jacket

- Spoiler Alert: He almost freezes to death, and gets sick

- Mrs Curtis 100% knitted them all stockings before she died

- Darry keeps them in a safe place to hang up during Christmas time

- Two-Bit thought it would be hilarious to put coal in each one

- Johnny wishes he could give more during Christmas tbh

Reasons to love Publix (if you don’t already)

1. Publix employees (called associates) are trained from the start to provide “premier customer service”. If asked where something is, associates happily lead customers to the product rather than pointing them to it. In addition to this, baggers offer carryout service on any order that requires a buggy (and even some that don’t).

2. Children under 12 can visit the bakery for a free cookie, produce for a free balloon, and are offered stickers at the register that read “Publix Loves Kids”.

3. Associates are known to use their break time or their time off (after clocking out) to follow customers home to help them unload orders, travel to another Publix to pick up an item that’s out of stock at the customer’s home store, and even give customers a ride home to pick up a spare key when they lock their keys in their car.

4. Publix encourages associates to donate part of their paycheck to United Way charities, and associates can even designate which specific agencies they’d like to donate to. This includes domestic violence programs, etc.

5. Publix also runs annual campaigns for organizations like Children’s Miracle Network and March of Dimes.

6. If an item rings up for more than it’s listed for on the shelf, the customer gets it for free as part of the “Publix Promise”.

7. Publix is the nation’s largest employee-owned company, meaning that its stock is not publicly traded. Instead, employees get an extra 8.5% of their paycheck put into stock, courtesy of the company, which they can withdraw when they are vested– after 3 years of employment.

8. After an associate’s 5th year of employment, and every fifth year afterwards, Publix lets them pick a gift from a special catalog. This includes watches, etc.

9. Publix pairs with travel companies, amusement parks, etc to offer employees discounts on hotels, theme park visits, etc.

10. Publix offers its associates unparalleled 401k and retirement plans, as well as health, life, dental, and vision insurance.

11. Publix extended marriage benefits (life insurance, etc.) to its same-sex-married associates in states where same-sex marriage is legal.

12. If an associate receives a customer compliment or otherwise does something notable, they are given a voucher for a free Publix sub (or 4-count muffins, chicken tenders, etc.)

13. Publix promotes management from within the company, never hiring from outside. This means that department managers, store managers, team leaders, etc. have all been Publix employees. This also means that there is plenty of opportunity for advancement within Publix.

14. Publix’s founder, George Jenkins, was good friends with Walt Disney– hence why Disney brand reusable bags, balloons, etc can be purchased in-store.

15. Publix offers dozens of weekly buy-one-get-one-free deals, as well as two separate coupon booklets wherein customers can find additional deals. Publix also accepts competitor coupons. In addition to this, if something is on sale but out of stock, customers can get rain checks so that the sale price still applies to the item whenever it is back in stock even after the sale period is over.

16. Publix has an Aprons program wherein a trained associate prepares samples of full meals all made on a budget and with ingredients that can be found in the store. As a part of this, Publix offers hundreds of free recipe cards that customers can use to recreate the dishes if they like the sample.

17. There is free wifi in every Publix store!


anonymous asked:

victor and yuuri speaking english to each other is still just speculation though? like it'd make sense that he wouldn't know about the competitions yuuri has to go through to reach the grand prix since they're domestic (native to japan) and victor is russian so he wouldnt be up to date about them--but idk are there other examples you can think of to support your idea? (genuinely curious lol, hope i dont sound rude)

Hmm, I never thought of it like that, so maybe it’s not impossible. Still, here are my reasons why i don’t think it’s so:

-It’s strange that Victor doesn’t ask “block competitions?” nor does Yuri answer “oh there are these national competitions” instead they had Viktor asking a generic ‘what’, and Yuri just replying as if he doesnt have to explain to Victor what they are, but that its what they’ve been speaking about (the trio explaining doesnt really mean much since they were doing it for the parents and the audience) 

-Victor doesnt make any of his usual jokes like “oh so you failed more?” “oh so we need to double training for this” nor makes any comments at all during the whole exchange, and instead throughout it continues with a stock “:>” face only reacting when Yuri or others do something, which to me supports that he isnt understanding most of it. 

-In fact, in the same episode he chides Yuri for not mentioning the song that he had once scrapped, so if Yuri had failed to mention that he’d have to go through national competitions, I’d expect Viktor to chide him for not telling him something so important to the training

-Finally, there’s the fact that Victor -who is a comical airhead at times- is still very into his role and so is Yuri into winning, so I doubt Yuri wouldn’t have forewarned him about expected national competitions.

All of that makes me think it wasnt a case of Victor not being told there were those competitions, but that he wasn’t understanding most of what was being said. Plus its more logical that the russian figureskater would know english but not fluent japanese

EDIT: another proof: Yuri’s friend talks to Yurio right? Well, although she speaks in japanese just like all the cast, when we see her messaging Yurio…its in english. So another point towards “they were speaking english”

The Terminal XVI

Here, beneath my lungs
I feel your thumbs
Press into my skin again.

The apartment had never been so clean, and yet the doctor still scrubbed and fret over every inch. Laundry was folded in a timely manner, dishes were stacked and put away as soon as they were used, blankets were folded, bed was made, floors impeccable, and not an inch was left with a speck of dust.

From her spot on the couch, Lexa turned the page and watched a flash of blonde disappear into the bedroom and return to the kitchen. Never before had she witnessed such behavior from her girlfriend, and never before had she had so much cause to be worried herself.

It wasn’t as if the apartment ever reached a state of disastrously dirty anyway, Lexa thought as she adjusted her leg and Clarke fiddled with something else. The tiny tree blinked its multicolored lights in the corner while the stockings hung with care from the counter. The apartment smelled like Christmas was disinfected.

Keep reading

choiminoh  asked:

tell: 1, 2, 16? 😬😬😬

sorry this is so late bro I had to work this morning rip

1. Tell me about your day!

WELL I had to work this morning which wasn’t too bad but at one point I had to go down into storage to get more items to stock and there was this dude like, on a ladder I guess changing a light bulb. But he was right in my way so I kinda stood there with my cart and he eventually moved but when he did his light bulb thing like…. fell over… and shattered all over the ground. And he was like “u made me do this” and i was like ?????? it was great but yeah the shift wasn’t bad and now I have the next 2 days off of school because easter break so I’m just chilling

2. Tell me an unpopular opinion

uhm … I don’t hate the furry slippers? Like okay they’re ugly and I would never wear them personally, but I think it’s cute that taemin liked them so much he just immediately purchased them and how he frequently wears them he obviously likes them a lot and I think that’s really cute ;; so even if I don’t like the style personally I just like the fact that he’s happy with them so I don’t actually have anything against them :/

16. Tell me something cute & unique about your room

uuuuuuuuuuuuuuh cute? unique? Cute is.. uhm my room at home has a little kitty bed in the corner because Socks likes to sleep in my room the most so we moved her kitty bed in there and she’ll sleep in the little bed while I sleep in my mine and it’s set up right next to the window so in the middle of the day she’ll go lay in it and bask in the sunlight it’s Cute

The Herbs that Herbalists Take

By Matthew Hamm

In the ever-growing market of herbal medicine, it’s getting more difficult to decide what herbs to buy. When companies come out with new products that seem better than other brands, how does the consumer decide which product is best? For the average herbal consumer, the world of herbal medicine is made even more confusing by the constant release of contradicting studies, along with the addling advice of know-it-all friends. We asked some leading herbal professionals what herbs they take, how they take them, and their tips on choosing what’s best for you.

Herbs in Teas, Cooking and Tinctures

Randy Kidd, D.V.M., believes in the power of herbs. Kidd, author of the “Pet corner” column in Herbs for Health, holds doctorates in veterinary medicine and veterinary and clinical pathology, and practices holistic veterinary medicine. He takes an experimental approach when using different herbs.

“I take one week a month to really learn one herb—I try to use it in everything,” he says. “I take it at various times of the day in varying amounts. The idea is to see how this one herb affects me individually.”

Kidd does not take his herbs in capsule or tablet form because he doesn’t feel that pill forms take full advantage of an herb’s potential. Most of the herbs Kidd uses are in teas and in his cooking. The most common herbs in his teas include licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra), hawthorn (Crataegus spp.), burdock root (Arctium lappa), nettle (Urtica dioica), and echinacea (Echinacea spp.). Kidd enjoys cooking with garlic (Allium sativum), turmeric (Curcuma longa), sage (Salvia officinalis), and oregano (Origanum vulgare).

Kidd buys most of his herbs in bulk from Frontier Herbs, a company located in Norway, Iowa, because nearly all of their products are organically certified and he feels that Frontier has the best quality control in the country. He is currently test- growing several culinary and medicinal herbs to see what grows best in his soil and climate. Kidd is attempting to organically certify his thirty-acre farm and in the future wants to develop his own line of herbal products.

Some people need herbs to help their bodies keep up with their busy schedules. Mindy Green, an herbalist, aromatherapist, writer, and esthetician consults for companies in the natural products industry as well as directing education programs at the Herb Research Foundation in Boulder, Colorado. She takes herbs to promote her own good health.

“I like to use herbs preventively, supporting the body before it creates a specific condition,” she says. Green home-grows her own nettles and eats them as a steamed green or dries them for soup in the winter. Green also has a daily habit of drinking 1 quart of her special bone-building and osteoporosis-preventing tea blend. Her recipe consists of equal parts of nettle, oatstraw (Avena sativa), horsetail (Equisetum arvense), alfalfa (Medicago sativa), and red clover (Trifolium pratense). She uses ¼ cup of the dry herbal mixture to 1 quart of water, steeps the tea for one hour, and drinks the mixture throughout the day. For premade products, Green uses Herb Pharm’s Super Echinacea tincture or tablets and Sambucol elderberry (Sambucus nigra) extract from Nature’s Way for colds and the flu.

Keep reading

No More New Frontiers Creates Index Problem for Hottest Stocks

Alexander the Great is said to have wept when he saw there were no more lands to conquer. For investors in a shrinking pool of frontier markets – places like Morocco and Vietnam – the feeling might be familiar.

As many of these nations graduate to “emerging-market” status, a closely-watched index of frontier equities is in danger of losing some of its largest and most liquid members including Pakistan, Argentina and Nigeria. With few obvious candidates to replace them, analysts at Citigroup Inc. have been sounding the alarm on what they’ve dubbed the “index problem” besetting a genre whose returns beat more-developed peers over the past five years.

More from Apple Readies iPhone Overhaul for Smartphone’s 10th Anniversary

“You have to ask what is left in the Frontier Index,” said Hertta Alava, who manages a frontier fund for FIM Asset Management Ltd. in Helsinki. “If Pakistan and Argentina leave the index, it won’t be a very attractive composition any more. I think more and more funds will choose not to track the index.”

Index provider MSCI Inc. is slated to re-categorize Pakistan next month, taking one of the larger and more liquid frontier markets out of the benchmark and pushing it into its emerging market equivalent. Argentina and Nigeria are also being considered for reclassification. Pakistan made up 10 percent of the overall index, while Argentina claimed 15 percent and Nigeria 7 percent at the end of last year.

More from Trump Moves to Realign Visa Allotments Key to Tech Outsourcing

A spokesperson for MSCI declined to comment.

The disappearance of markets that have become bread and butter to investors who follow frontier-designated mandates is a recurring problem. A decade ago, United Arab Emirates and Qatar accounted for 28 percent of the frontier basket. Then they were shifted into the emerging-market bucket in 2013, delivering a hit to the Frontier Market Index’s size from which it has never recovered.

Still, many frontier market investors already venture outside the benchmark – placing money in promising areas such as Saudi Arabia, which wants to open its markets to more foreign capital. Many frontier investors still own Emirati and Qatari stocks some three years after the countries exited the index, suggesting they may hold onto Pakistani shares too.

More from This Man Is Spending Millions to Break Elon Musk’s Trump Ties

“I’ve seen liquidity come and go,” said Andrew Brudenell, a fund manager at Ashmore Group Plc who helps oversees the firm’s $700 million in frontier-market equities, one of his focuses for the past decade. “Things get very liquid and very enthusiastic and then they dry up. You need to understand how to construct your portfolio based on what’s realistic liquidity in the market.”

Portfolio construction is fine for active funds. But at a time when passive investment is all the rage, entry or exit from an index can decide billions of dollars worth of inflows and outflows, said Citi’s Andrew Howell.

“In an increasingly index-dominated investing world, indices do matter,” he said. “Difficulties with the Frontier Market Index could impede significant AUM growth into passive funds linked to this index, putting frontier markets at a continued disadvantage to emerging markets from a liquidity standpoint.”

Howell says he would like to see MSCI add more frontier markets into its benchmark, and broaden its reach of stocks in countries such as Georgia, Ukraine and Cambodia.

While questions are swirling around the composition of the index, few investors are negative on frontier markets themselves as returns on more-developed stocks stagnate.

“There are over 100 countries in the world that don’t have a proper stock market yet,” said Alava at FIM Asset Management. “So there will be new countries, but it will take time.”

More from

Read No More New Frontiers Creates Index Problem for Hottest Stocks on

Grafting Half-Ghouls

I’m not sure how useful this will be considering humans aren’t plants, but I’m a bit of a plant nerd, so when I read Kanou talking about grafting, I couldn’t help getting excited and looking into some stuff.

To preface this, I’m not claiming to be a botanist, nor a passionate hobbyist or horticulturist. I participated years ago in a high-school-level national competition for Floriculture and had to study some of this floriculture/horticulture plant propagation stuff… meaning I’m rusty and not all that qualified. Most of this post is an amalgamation of old notes, brushing up on terms through Wikipedia, and combing through a dozen grafting community pages and university articles. So take this with a grain of salt.

Again, humans are not plants, so there’s bound to be a bunch of differences to how the body actually works with an organ from another species (I’m leaving that talk to people more qualified in biology/genetics/anatomy/medicine), but if you want to take the situation as a metaphor, grafting works quite well.

Saying all that, let’s begin! (Super long post ahead…)

As Kanou briefly explains, grafting is taking a piece of one plant, and splicing it onto another.
I’m using roses as examples, but the general idea is the same across any plant. The differences would be in grafting method – some methods are more tricky to pull off because the cut is different – but I’m going to ignore the technicalities (pros and cons, angles of cuts, binding asphalts vs. tape etc.) and go straight to theory because that’s what really matters here.

Terms to know:

budwood - the parent plant you will take material from to implant elsewhere. It’s called budwood because you’re taking from the stem and not the root. This is the plant you want to cultivate.

scion - the piece of the parent plant which you will implant. It’s most commonly a bud or a cane (short section of the stem)

rootstock (often abbreviated to “stock”)
- the donated base of a matured plant that you will graft onto. This is comprised of the roots and a bit of stem. This is the plant that you don’t want growing. It’s role is to aid the scion grow.

Forced flowering/pruning - slightly different concepts, but pretty similar. Forced flowering is the act of continuously cutting off flowers before they age so that the plant is forced into producing more flowers. The plant wants to be pollinated, but you’re cutting off flowers – it has no choice but to keep making replacements. Pruning is the act of cutting off branches to coax the plant into forming a specific shape. If you cut off twigs with buds/flowers, you can trigger the plant to form even more twigs and flowers for a denser bush. Doing this yields a more beautiful plant with a thicker network of foliage, but too much and the plant won’t flower for a long time.

In TG terms:

Budwood= ghoul
Scion=ghoul’s kakuhou
Rootstock= human body
Forced flower/pruning = extensive intentional injury to trigger a denser network of RC pathways forming. It would be intense, concentrated growth in a much shorter time span; different from a ghoul gaining RC paths through training or the trauma/injuries of fighting.

What Does Grafting Do?

The stock is used kind of like a base or an aid for the actual plant you want growing. Maybe that plant you love would take years to mature, or has weak roots. You can speed up maturation by placing a section of it onto an existing structure. The plant doesn’t have to spend months growing roots and gaining a strong stem – that’s already provided by the rootstock. Thus, it can get straight to growing stems, leaves, and wonderful flowers/fruits.

It’s kind of like Frankenstein’s monster in a way. Put some parts together to make a stronger creature.

The thing is, when grafting roses, you put a section (scion/cane) of the rose you want to cultivate onto a donated body (stock) and rather than the scion taking over, it’s actually the rootstock that has a higher chance of persevering. If you look up “Dr. Huey rose,” you’ll find many articles about this phenomenon. It’s a really strong base for grafting, but infamous for making a comeback. The scion will be growing, and the rootstock will start to have offshoots at the graft union (the location where the scion and stock were joined). Rosarians complain about trimming off the Dr. Huey – and seeing it come back even stronger. The scion has to be pretty strong, and the graft union needs to be well taken care of otherwise the grafting will end in failure. Ideally you want the two to merge well and allow the scion to start growing its own network of foliage before you leave the plant to nature’s elements. Once it forms that network, the scion is more resistant to the problem of graft union calluses or the union drying out (I’ll explain these below).

Connecting this to ghoulification, you want the kakuhou (scion) to be strong so that it doesn’t get overpowered and rejected by the human body (stock). Once the kakuhou settles and better integrates in the body (foliage = RC pathways, enzyme production, etc.), it’s more resistant to dying off within the body (dry union).

You can say that Kaneki’s body becoming stabilized in the hospital =  the scion successfully taking to the stock and now having the ability to grow;
Kaneki’s body showing more ghoulish traits (kakugan, ghoulish hunger pangs, kagune) = the scion making foliage of its own – which means if something happens to a part of the plant, there’s more structural support to prevent dying.

“So wouldn’t it be good if the ghoul part is stronger than the human part? That way there’s less chance for rejection and you grow that awesome ghoul ability!”  

That’s not really the point of grafting. If you wanted to grow the same plant, you could just clone it.
And as we know, Kanou is not trying to clone ghouls – he’s trying to fuse ghoul traits into a human body.
Having a strong scion comes with its own risks, which I’ll explain below.

The importance of the stock is long-term stability.

Having a stock means the scion can grow faster than it would if grown from its own roots, and the stock can balance out weaknesses that the budwood (parent plant) had.

  • Example 1: While it might take 5 years for a tree to be mature enough to bear fruit, grafting a piece of the tree onto a rootstock would result in a new fruit-bearing tree in 2 years.
    (It might take 10 years before a ghoul can manifest a kagune, but put the kakuhou in an adult human and they can use a kagune weeks later.)
  • Example 2: The plant has weak roots, is prone to disease, or limited to a certain environment because it can’t absorb nutrients in that type of soil. The rootstock can help give increased immunity to those diseases, and can extract –% more nutrients from the clay-type/sandy/packed soil.
    (A half-ghoul wouldn’t need as much food as a normal ghoul; perhaps the half ghoul can go longer without food or absorbs nutrients more efficiently; perhaps there’s a higher chance for kakuja formation when cannibalizing because the human body base reacts differently to this stimulus.

Simply put, you don’t want the scion to completely overtake the stock, because what’s the point in going to all this trouble trying to fix what the budwood lacks if the scion just grows like it normally would?

In regards to humans/ghouls, you can see what happens if the kakuhou (scion) is too strong by looking at Kanou’s failed projects under that mansion back in the original TG. The kagune eating its host, the human test subjects losing comprehension… not very useful as fighters are they?

It’s a bit of a balancing act for some plant cultivars. Scion and stock need to be compatible – there are even websites for finding plants with recorded lineage so you can make sure the scion will be vigorous enough to counterbalance the rootstock. So Kanou talking about “maybe the Rize-base was stronger than the Yoshimura-base” and “I used strong investigator bodies this time!” really resonates here.

Graft union calluses/drying out =  Rejection of the kakuhou
Apparently, one of the biggest causes of failure is actually the union drying out or becoming callused over time.

  1. The joint wasn’t bound properly and so the graft dries or rots from air or moisture seeping in. 
  2. The scion or stock weren’t cut cleanly leaving splinters/bumps that cause points of obstructed contact.

If you’re not careful and trim the offshoots around the stock with poor technique or too often, two things generally happen:

  1. The stock grows even more offshoots (“suckers”) as a response to trauma. These offshoots will be the first to receive nutrients from the roots. Meaning the scion receives only a fraction of the nutrients it normally would receive. The insufficient nutrients leaves this section weak and more prone to dying.
  2. The plant forms calluses and bulges around the graft union - like scar tissue. You can imagine scar tissue not being very productive in transferring nutrients to the scion portion.

The first two points would probably equate to a subpar technique in attaching the kakuhou, or an unsteady hand in surgery. Perhaps the latter two points could be compared to a delayed organ rejection? The human body aggressively growing more flesh due to trauma… or the body noticing the foreign entity, ceasing to give it nutrients, and attacking it… 

Pruning = pretty and strong, but shorter life expectancy

The main factor in a grafted plant’s lifespan is actually cultivation. This goes for any plant, really – grafted and non-grafted. As I explained in the term definition above, cut the flowers and branches, and the plant will grow more in response. When you go to prize shows, those beautiful award roses are the ones that have been painstakingly sculpted by being pruned over and over to encourage heavy flowering. If you give the plant sufficient nutrients afterward, and leave it alone, it should be fine. However, it won’t flower for years after, and if you try to rush it, the plant won’t last very long. Some rose gardens with continuously blooming flowers are replanted about every 10 years because the rose bushes start to wither from all the forced flowering. In comparison, I’ve read some rose enthusiasts mention that their family’s grafted rose bushes are still going strong after 50 years despite less-than-ideal environmental conditions.

If you want to see a more ordinary example, go to a nursery or a home goods store that sells plants. The perennial flowers are cultivated in a lab or larger nursery under their preferred conditions and cut so that customers will have a beautifully flowering plant now. That same bush most likely won’t have as many blooms the next year because it was made to produce so many flowers the year before.

You might think of extensive pruning as trauma that the plant needs to heal from.
You might think of intentional trauma for the sake of RC path building as a technique that would be best paired with a large dose of after-care and healing time.

Kanou’s Life-expectancy statement
This horticulture technique of pruning/force flowering plants is probably one of the ideas that Kanou’s life-expectancy statement comes from. Obviously he hasn’t had hundreds of successful half-ghouls to test and see if “pruning” will shorten lifespans. He probably knows about the Sunlit Garden and can draw some conclusions about hybrids from that, but those children were born as hybrids – they aren’t grafted humans like Kanou’s experiments– which means their genes are different. That is to say, he doesn’t have enough empirical evidence to know for sure that “pruning” will affect an artificial half-ghoul’s lifespan in the same way that the mixing of genes affects a natural born hybrid.

Kaneki - the miracle 1-in-a-million graft plant
If we were to compare Kanou’s half-ghouls to graft plants, Kaneki is not just a normal graft with amazing results. He would be a successful graft-chimera. A graft chimera starts out as an ordinary graft attempt, but somehow the resulting plant has traits from both sides, plus it’s own special traits. For example, a normal graft plant could have white flowers from the scion branches and red flowers from the rootstock offshoots, but the plant would never have pink flowers because you’re not actually mixing genes while grafting. In comparison, a graft chimera would have both the red and white flowers, and have branches that produce flowers with a blend of traits.
The main point I want to focus on isn’t about how genes cross in a body, but that graft-chimera are accidental, and replication is exceedingly difficult (near impossible for some types of plants). They’re so special, in fact, that the grafted plant has its genus name changed when its confirmed. 

Half-ghouls like Kurona and Nashiro are successful grafts, but don’t show the unique traits that Kaneki, a graft-chimera has. They’re great grafts – Rize’s kakuhou is working correctly inside their body – but “floppy” when compared to Kanou’s spontaneous graft which resulted in something more. It’s not just that Kaneki has a seamless union between kakuhou (scion) and body (rootstock), or shows both ghoul and human traits, or has impressive vitality compared to other artificial half-ghouls (Kanou’s “graft plants”). It’s that he shows those traits plus something uniquely complex.

This grafting idea Kanou has is kind of like the pursuit to recreate a rare graft-chimera. Takizawa is his newest specimen, and Chapter 90 shows us a glimpse at Kanou’s attempts to coax graft-plant-Takizawa into becoming a graft-chimera-Kaneki. He’s #2 once again – an attempted copy of a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

Biologically speaking, some portion of Kaneki’s growth is likely due to processes covered in the field of epigenetics rather than this graft-chimera phenomenon of fused genes. Humans and plants work differently, so the genetic processes that go on between the meristem cells of plants wouldn’t be directly applicable to humans.
silverbulletsama has wonderful posts about genetics/epigenetics that discuss how gene expression affects the human body. In particular, the information about the genotype of a transplanted organ, how a kakuhou affects the body through inhibitors/enzymes, and environmental factors affecting gene expression, would be more appropriate for this idea of Kaneki being different from his fellow artificial half-ghouls. I highly recommend reading through the posts because they really help with understanding what might be happening in ghoul/half-ghoul biology – after all, our TG characters aren’t plant people that follow the rules of horticulture!   

In conclusion…

Grafting is complex, and just because a plant is grafted doesn’t mean it will be short-lived. Pretty much the main determiner besides the site of the graft becoming callused, is how much the plant is cut back and pruned. If you go all manipulative-creator on it (pruning, shaping, coaxing more branches to form, cutting the flowers to trigger bigger blooms), the plant shows beautifully for a while, and then dies out.

Of course, people and plants don’t work the same, but if you look at grafting plants as a metaphor for Takizawa and Kaneki’s situations, Takizawa is kind of in dangerous territory, but Kaneki should be fine-ish.  Kaneki’s situation more resembles a case of steady growth, trauma, steady growth; whereas Takizawa’s resembles vigorous pruning in the formative stages (intense trauma with forced regeneration over an extended period of time) followed by steady growth.

I wouldn’t be so worried about Kaneki as long as he has access to enough food to heal and doesn’t get his limbs cut off regularly. *knocks on wood*

(In conclusion, Kanou is actually a plant enthusiast striving to recreate that miracle cactus called Kaneki, and Takizawa is his new baby plant.)

Balam Academy: Curse of the Sacred Key (Part 4)

Summary: Lucy Heartfilia (apprentice to none other than the Fairy Godmother) is in for the adventure of her life when she is enrolled in a boarding school for the sons and daughters of Fiore’s greatest (and not so greatest) villains. 

It’s soon discovered that somewhere within the school is a Gate Key that’s been manipulated to produce the darkest magic ever documented. Lucy finds herself in a race to find the Key, since the holder must be pure of heart; meanwhile, the friends that she’s made along the way must decide whether they are going to stand to help their new friend, or risk deliberately going against their parents, as the Villains too desire the power of the mysterious Key. 

Broken promises, changes of heart, potential first love…

And it’s only her first semester.

a/n: I can’t thank you guys enough for all the help that has gone into the planning of this story so far. Big thanks to @rivendell101 for help in figuring out who would be Natsu’s guardian! All the credit for that one goes to her, haha. Hope you guys enjoy this chapter! Hopefully the next one is coming soon<3 

As it turned out, Lucy Heartfilia had a nose for trouble.

The girl pulled her coat tighter around her, gripping the bag in her free hand tighter as she hurried along the sidewalk. She’d lost Levy in the crowd after they’d left the bookstore where they actually seemed to bond over a series that they were both familiar with.

She tried desperately to remember where her roommates had planned to meet back up for lunch, but she had no idea how to navigate the busy streets. Lucy felt like she was running around in circles, in a hurry even though she had no idea where she was supposed to be going.

Her sense of direction had never been the best.

She shivered as she walked along, being sure to keep her head down now that she was lacking the protection of her roommates. While it was true her schoolmates were less than thrilled to have her amongst them, it wasn’t like they were able to do anything about it.

The townspeople, however, had no such rules to abide by.

Keep reading


when the merc with the mouth wants to know more about you, you will get a handful of him and Miles knows that a little too well

literally slapped stock photo of cityscape and painted around its color but it turned out pretty well heheh

@trickyarchangel thanks for encouraging me to draw them! It’s not older Miles but i think i’ll draw Wade/Older!Miles in the near future :D all u gotta do just give me more ~*ideas*~ 

A Campaign for Diversity

Once upon a time there was a princess … No, seriously. This princess lived inside of my head and I wanted capture her on paper. You see, I’m an author of romance and Young Adult stories, and characters like this princess are constantly making their presence known inside my head, just begging to have their stories told. This particular princess inhabited a medieval/fantasy type world, similar to George RR Martin’s Westeros (the realm of Game of Thrones). With excitement I began plotting, researching, and outlining her story, an epic tale of love with a man from a rival family, one her own kin have feuded with for generations. There would be battles, there would be castles and kings, and there would be beautiful medieval fashions to be described in ravishing detail.

There was only one problem with the princess and her story. The princess was black. The world she inhabited was filled with characters fitting every color on the ethnic spectrum—a much needed device in Fantasy fiction. Why was this a problem, you might ask? The Fantasy genre needs heroines of color; it needs people of color, period. A strong, smart woman of color in this genre … where is there a problem?

The problem wasn’t with the black princess, or the person who created her. The problem was with the appalling lack of images that could accurately and beautifully portray this princess on the cover of her book. When searching for her likeness on stock image sites, I could not find her. There wasn’t a single photo of this black princess in her flowing, regal gowns, holding her head high. In fact, there were very few photos of women of color, and when I did find them, their quality was not on par with similar photos of her white counterparts. To make things even more difficult, her love interest, the man from the other clan whose love is forbidden, was white. This left me tasked with finding a beautiful photo of a mixed race couple, both in resplendent historical dress. Actually, I needed three, as this princess’ story has stretched itself out to the length of a trilogy.

When there were none to be found, I struck out to create my own images. With the help of my father, a fashion photographer and editor of Encore HD Hair Magazine, and two models who very generously donated their time and faces to my venture, I was able to conduct my own custom shoot. Overseeing the costuming and posing, we were able to produce quality images for use on my covers and advertising media … photos that I felt proud of.

External image

It would seem that this story had a happy ending. It did, though it was more like ‘happy for now’ instead of ‘happily ever after’. Why? Because there still exists an egregious lack of diversity on book covers, a fact that has always weighed heavily on me.

There is a movement happening in the publishing industry, and all you have to do is search the hashtag #WeNeedDiverseBooks to see it unfolding. People are hungry for stories filled with diverse characters … characters who look like them. There are authors and publishers out there committed to making that happen, book by book.

With that in mind, I began to think of how I could help my fellow authors. While speaking with them at various book conventions, or in online forums, I felt their frustration over the lack of images on stock photo sites portraying women of color, plus sized women, and interracial couples in classy, beautiful ways. As a woman who writes a lot of Fantasy and Historical books, the burden becomes even greater.

No one ever seems to think to put a medieval Victorian era gown on a black woman and take stunning photos of her. No one ever seems to think to portray people of color in futuristic, fantasy, or sci-fi style shoots. Even websites that cater specifically to book cover images are failing in this regard.

Thus, the idea for Mosaic Stock was born. As I mentioned before, my father is a fashion photographer and magazine editor. With his resources and contacts, we have the necessary goods to offer authors and publishers a place to shop for book cover images that color the full spectrum of diversity. Our goal is the change the face of books, one cover at a time. We are in the planning/developing phase, with hopes to launch the site summer of 2015.

External image

Here is where you, the person reading this blog post, come in. In order to fund our first two mass photo shoots and get Mosaic Stock up and running, we are currently running a Kickstarter campaign. We have until March 30, 2015 to reach our goal of $5,500—which would cover the cost of renting studio space large enough to accommodate the shoot, costumes, and hair and make-up artists to ensure that our models look their best. Within our first shoot, we hope to shoot several models in various genre themes, so that when we launch, authors and publishers will have a wide range of choices for their book covers.

If you believe we need diverse books, if you want to see more books with girls that look like you on the cover, and if you want to be a part of making a change in the publishing industry, I hope you will consider donating. There are lower and higher level donation tiers suited to every person and their level of willingness to give and resources. Remember, if we do not reach our goal by March 30, Mosaic Stock will not get its funding. But, I am confident that this will not happen. As a community of readers and writers, we can come together to make positive change.

As well, there are some awesome rewards for both readers and writers alike for your contributions. Everything from ebooks to paperbacks, all donated by fellow authors who want to reward people that join this campaign for diversity. For authors free stock photos and book cover designs are on the menu. Visit Kickstarter by clicking here to donate, and remember to share via Facebook, Twitter, or your favorite form of social media once you have. Together, we can change the face of books!

Check out these samples of our photography, some of which will become available on the Mosaic Site, but mostly serve as proof of the quality we are capable of.