more people need to read this series

q&a: Kieran

princekierz said:

Hi Cassie. This is about Lady Midnight, not Lord of Shadows, so I may be a little late but anyway. People who hate Kieran are constantly bringing up the fact that he tried to convince Mark that he being with his family again wasn’t real in that note he sent him and I really can’t understand why he did it? What was the true purpose of that note? Can you please tell me? I love Kieran, and I don’t like when people are unfair with him. Thank you.

That’s interesting – I have to admit it never really occurred to me people would be confused by what that note meant/was about. The below contains spoilers but not major ones, so skip if you are avoiding even mild spoilers.

First I should say it’s fine to dislike a character. There is no character I have written or read about that someone hasn’t disliked for some reason. If that character is in a love triangle, multiply that by 100,000,0000000. (That may not be a real number but you get the point.) I’ve been thinking a lot about liking and disliking characters and the act of reading with empathy, which I will get to more at the end of this essay. Right now I’m just going to talk about what that note meant, and the way in which Kieran is a complicated sort of character generally.

We read for lots of reasons. To see our own experience reflected (a “mirror” reading experience) and also to see experiences that are not ours. (A “window” experience.) One of the interesting things about seeing the judgements of Kieran is the expectation that he is meant to act like a mundane human being (one who has dutifully read not just many relationship-help tomes but also all the Shadowhunter books – thanks, Kieran! – and is well acquainted with the Blackthorns despite never having met them). At very least, he is expected to act like a Shadowhunter, and not at all like a Faerie – despite the fact that a Faerie is what he is, and as a Faerie, he is not like us. He does not have typical human cultural beliefs about love (in good and bad ways), or commitment — he doesn’t mind at all whether Mark has sex with other people — or what promises mean, or what is personal space (a ridiculous idea to a Faerie.)

Mostly what I’ve seen complaint-wise about Kieran is that he is manipulative, which is true only to the extent that he has grown up in Faerie, where everyone is manipulative. Because they cannot lie, they have created a complex society of misdirection and manipulation and Kieran, growing up as Prince, would have been raised in the heart of that. He would know no other way to behave, and indeed has only been learning, slowly, different human patterns of behavior. He is actually really terrible at being manipulative — not a patch on Julian, for instance — and mostly he is neither good at it nor does it that often. But we can certainly look at what he has done.

So, on to the note and the vague six words it contains. (I don’t really understand what “he tried to convince Mark that he being with his family again wasn’t real” means, because Mark was obviously with his family and not, say, on a balloon tour of Cappadocia. I don’t think even the Seelie Queen would have tried to convince him otherwise, because that is not manipulation, that is waving your arms around yelling “Mark! They’re dosing you with PCP! That’s not really Ty! It’s a huge bunny!“ which is not going to work and nobody would reasonably think it would.) So I’m just going to gather that some sinister goal is being implied here and talk about why Kieran did send the note.

Remember that none of this is real. Why did Kieran say that? Because he was worried about Mark and thought it was the truth. Not for another reason. I gather there is an assumption that the phrase "remember that none of this is real” is somehow about Mark’s family, but it wasn’t. If Kieran had wanted to say “don’t trust your family” or whatever, he would have said that. The note was about the entire world of the Nephilim. Nor was it anything Kieran didn’t entirely think was true.

Nor was he entirely wrong.

Kieran was cast out of the King’s court because he was well-liked and the King saw him as a threat. He spent his years in the Wild Hunt with Mark watching as Mark’s heart broke every single night when he counted out his family’s names on the stars. He felt Mark’s agony when Mark saw Simon, and thought Simon had come to bring him back to the Nephilim, only to find out the Shadowhunters had abandoned him like garbage. Experiencing the agony of someone you love is worse than experiencing your own. After living through the horror of Mark’s despair and crushing loss, is it particularly surprising that Kieran might be wary of Mark getting attached to his family again only to be ripped away from them again – which is in fact what pretty much everyone in Lady Midnight thought was going to happen? Like, nobody thought this majorly fuckerated offer from the Fair Folk was likely to have a good outcome? Julian was terrified what it meant for the kids and thought it might be better if Mark had never come back? Kieran is unlikely to have a more positive view of the kindliness and honestly of the Clave (or the Courts of Fae) than Julian does.

Here is what Kieran knows to be fact:

Shadowhunters hate Faeries.

Mark was abandoned by his people. The Nephilim, certainly, his family, perhaps. Kieran knows they never tried to get in touch with Mark, and he is unaware of the Blackthorns’ complicated circumstances, that they were forbidden to look for Mark, and that they needed to protect Helen. There is no way he would know about those things, unless he had read the books. (Read the books, Kieran!).

He knows the Shadowhunters have enacted the Cold Peace, a series of racist laws punishing Faeries. He knows Mark will be in danger from this.

He has no reason not to think that when Mark is returned to the world of the Nephilim, using his family as bait, they won’t chop his damn head off.

That is what Kieran is urging Mark not to think is real. Nephilim promises. The idea that he will be safe outside Faerie in the Shadowhunter world. And Kieran is not exactly wrong either. We are all glad that Mark is back with his family….and if the Cohort gets into power they might chop his damn head off. Maybe he would have been better off back in the Wild Hunt.

Kieran can’t lie – and he can’t lie in writing either. He said what he said in his note because he was frightened for Mark, and he wanted him to stay safe. In no way did he mean “Your family doesn’t love you,” because if he thought that, he would actually have said it at some point, ever, rather than being incredibly vague in a note that, since he has never said anything remotely like “Your family doesn’t love you” to Mark, Mark would find incomprehensible. Mark understands the note perfectly, because the idea that Nephilim as a group are not trustworthy is not new to him nor is it a huge surprise Kieran would feel that way. (There’s also a lot of numinous stuff to get into about what real and unreal means to faeries, in a magical sense, but there’s no room here, alas.) Kieran has lots of opportunities to say bad things to Mark about his family if he wanted to, but IIRC he never does.

Misguided is not the same as manipulative. To be manipulative means that you’re playing on someone else’s hopes or fears to achieve selfish ends without regard for their well-being. But the idea that Kieran is a cold-hearted bastard who didn’t mean a word of the note (despite not being actually able to lie) and is a consummate actor doesn’t really jibe with anything we actually know or observe about Kieran. Far from having Julian’s ability to play others like guitar strings, mostly Kieran blurts out what he means when he means it and never even tries to pretend otherwise. He can be petulant as hell and annoying, showing up to see Mark when he’s not supposed to and sulking about whether Mark likes someone else. He can be manipulative in the way he sometimes kisses Mark when Mark is trying to be logical because he’s insecure and he trusts Mark’s desire for him even when he can’t convince himself Mark really loves him (but this doesn’t really work, which is what I mean by Kieran not being great at manipulation). He very foolishly interferes with Mark’s dream in Lord of Shadows because he wants to talk and he thinks giving Mark a dream in which they’re having a friendly conversation means he’ll find out what Mark’s hiding. (Which is another example of him not really understanding human issues. All he wants out of the dream is a talk — “Because you are not truthful with me. Your heart is closed and shrouded. I cannot see it,” Kieran said. “I thought, in dreams, perhaps …” — and the dream starts out with them sitting and talking while one bandages the other, and Kieran manages to get in the idea that he knows Mark is lying to him. Things take a sexy turn, but not because of Kieran. He can’t control Mark’s dreams in every detail: if he could, there would be literally zero point in a dream in which he’s hoping Mark will volunteer to tell him the truth. Mark has to have free will in the dream or there’s no point in what Kieran straight-up says the dream is for, and again, Kieran cannot baldfacedly lie. And Kieran is right — Mark is lying to him, in fact the whole family is gaslighting him, which is why it pains Mark when Kieran recalls the phrase “remember that none of this is real.” Because none of it, in this case, IS REAL. Kieran is being lied to by EVERYONE. However, Mark is still right that Kieran shouldn’t be poking at his dreams — and he shouldn’t. Kieran, as a faerie, doesn’t really get that: dreams aren’t private to him, and besides, Mark has allowed Kieran into his dreams before, so Kieran assumes it’ll be okay now, because Mark said it was all right previously. But this is where Kieran needs to learn not to make assumptions, and to value Mark’s privacy even if he doesn’t really get it. Does he? He seems to: he listens to what Mark says, and he never touches his dreams again. In fact, they actually have a pretty useful, healthy conversation about it, though we have to wait until QoAD to see how any breakthroughs they make in LoS play out.)

So yes, Kieran can make spectacularly bad decisions, with the worst of them being when he thought getting Mark hauled back to the Wild Hunt for an infraction was a good idea and wouldn’t result in any collateral damage. And Kieran deserves to be blamed and to feel guilty for that, nor do I mean to excuse him – and I have no interest in doing that; that wrong that he did is a building block of his flawed character. As I saw someone say on twitter the other day, which probably means you’ve all seen it many times, characters are not all either angelic cinnamon rolls or problematic monsters. Like people, because they are intended to reflect people, they exist on a continuum of behavior: some fail and learn, some fail and never learn, some have good intentions and some bad, some grow and change, some are changed by grief or shock or maturity, some cannot grow and are tragic figures. Committing a manipulative act doesn’t damn you forever unless you keep committing manipulative acts forever. If people (and characters) were rendered garbage by past mistakes, there would be no need for therapy or books, since both are about how people learn to change.

As Kieran says: “Everyone is more than one thing. We are more than the single actions we undertake, whether they be good or evil.” That was in Lady Midnight, and it’s possible he was thinking about the fact that he never tells Mark in that book that the reason he wanted Mark brought back to the Wild Hunt so badly – the reason he turned Mark in, hoping he’d be dragged away from the world of Nephilim – was not so that he could date Mark, but because he had been told Mark was going to be murdered. That Mark’s head was going to be chopped off NOW. That doesn’t excuse his behavior, but it makes it a lot less manipulative in two ways: he actually wasn’t acting for a selfish end, but to protect Mark from death, and he never tells Mark that in LM, letting Mark blame him. He lets Mark break up with him and walk away from him with only quiet resignation as a reply. He does nothing to try to make him stay and attempts no manipulation at all, nor is he manipulative when he shows up to help save Tavvy – he offers help, gives it, and expects nothing in return. Only when Kieran is in shock over having been lied to, and his sudden recollection of his own mistakes, does he tell Mark that he was in fear for Mark’s life – which makes a big difference to Mark, who is able to recognize what that means about why Kieran did what he did.

[Kieran said] “Iarlath had hinted you would not be safe in the Shadowhunters’ world. That they were planning to lure you back, only to execute you on some trumped-up charge. I was a fool to believe him. I know it now.”

“Oh,” said Mark. The knowledge unfolded in him, realization edged with relief. “You thought you were saving my life.”

Kieran nodded. “It makes no difference, though. What I did was wrong.”

(Emphasis mine.) Kieran is flawed, he screws up. He is also capable of acts of great nobility – his willingness to testify to protect the Blackthorns at the end of LOS being one of them. Kieran spends LOS being lied to and manipulated by everyone around him while his memory is gone. He is trapped in the Institute, a place so full of anti-Faerie magic that it makes him so sick he can barely eat. He suspects Mark is jerking him around in some way, he turns out to be right, and he’s still willing to testify in the Blackthorns’ defense. He is also able to see when he is/was wrong, and acknowledge it. None of this makes him a perfect person, but it certainly complicates him away from the oversimplified reading that he’s a manipulative horrorshow and that’s the end of the story — especially when a huge chunk of the story has yet to be told.

My suspicion, since there are plenty of other flawed characters in these books stumbling along messing up, is that Kieran’s true crime is being part of a love triangle. Having been through this before I remember well the long essays about how Will was a horrible person and the Wessa relationship was toxic and Jem was a horrible person and that relationship was toxic because dying people should know not to bother other people with their feelings (seriously). That is how people talk about love triangles these days; it seems to be a contest about which relationship is perceived as healthiest, which people are the best and most deserving people of the prize (Tessa, or in this case, Mark). There are a couple problems with that: one that is an unhealthy relationship can become healthy. (It obviously depends on the relationship, some absolutely cannot and should not be fixed, but there would be little need for marriage counselors if relationships could not be made healthier.) The second is that if you want to hate a character, you can convince yourself they are evil even if they spend a whole book saving bunnies, nuns, and salmon who can’t find the salmon cannon, so the arguments do get a bit circular after a while. Certainly I have come across plenty of essays about how Cristina is terrible and should go away because Kieran doesn’t like her (he does like her) and Mark doesn’t want her (not true) and she isn’t so great (I think she is so great and so do they.)

So I will say three things:

1) Kieran is not what is keeping Mark and Cristina apart, any more than Cristina is what is keeping Mark and Kieran apart. Kieran and Mark have a relationship that needs to be worked on to be healthy, and Cristina and Mark have to get to know each other better outside the magic of the binding spell. These things would be true regardless.

2) I know that this essay will garner plenty of people announcing that this means I ship Mark and Kieran or am in love with Kieran, and I know this because this happens whenever I post anything about them, or a piece of fanart of them, even if I post a piece of fanart of Cristina and Mark shortly after. I can only say what I have said for ten years, which is that I don’t ship my own characters or “love” them in the way a fan loves a character — all the characters are pieces of myself in some way or other so that’d feel very odd. I know there may be other authors who feel differently, but I can’t “ship” a couple when I’m primarily interested in their relationships in terms of theme, craft and writing the best story I can — I need the distance of being a reader, not a writer, to “ship” something. (I would also note that male authors rarely ever have people talk about how they’re in love with their characters or they write about them because it’s a “fetish” or “they get off on it”: only women get that narrative, but that’s another post.)

3) I remember reading online that writers should write with “savage empathy.” I’ve always thought that was great advice, as it reminds us to always stay in sympathy with characters and write from a place of their humanity, in all the vastness of humanity’s capability for complexity: for the same person to be capable of immense selfishness and immense nobility, or deep gentleness and great cruelty. It reminds us that we strive to reflect what is human rather than what is either entirely perfect or entirely evil. I feel like it’s also been good advice for me as a reader. It reminds me to look at things from the characters’ point of view, to not expect them to know what I know,* to remember the circumstances of their lives and the ways in which they may behave differently than I would because of the way they were raised/what their culture prioritizes. It has helped me be less judgmental of characters and while I don’t think it’s made me unaware of the problematic, I think it’s made me a happier reader. Even when I don’t forgive, I can understand, and that reminder of the eternal complexity of the human soul, and its capability for change and redemption, has enriched my reading life. It’s wonderful to realize that you can enjoy reading even more than you did before, and I can only hope for the same for all my readers.

*This is why it is pointless to be angry at the Superhero’s girlfriend when he is off saving the city, and you know he is off saving the city but she doesn’t, so she’s just angry he didn’t make it to little Marcia’s bat mitzvah.

Rent-a-Boyfriend™

Words: 12k
Genre: Extreme fluff for all you bitter people out there (me being included)
Read the sequel drabble: here
Read more at Service Series 

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10 Things to learn to improve your tumblr experience.

1. Learn to post for yourself, and only for yourself. It doesn’t help anyone when you only post and reblog things because they are popular at the time. You may think people won’t notice, but your followers do. Never lie to yourself. Your blog is your own. Use it.

2. Learn that not every fight must be fought. Sometimes it’s easier to just step away from a problem that triggers you too much - and that’s absolutely okay. You don’t have to fight things that you don’t feel comfortable to fight. You are allowed to step away.

3. Learn that you cannot please everyone. As soon as you start to put yourself out there people will come at you. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to be the nicest, informed, and open-minded towards everyone. You will always offend someone. When someone searches for something to attack you, let me tell you they will find something. You have to accept that not everyone can be pleased. It’s hard, but it’s reality.

4. Learn to ignore anon hate or hate in general. People who want to hate you will hate you. You cannot do anything against it. Breath. Delete. Go on. Those people are not worth your time.

5. Learn that it is okay to click away. Tumblr is loud about voicing opinions, shipping and social justice. Sometimes from people who are not as educated as they try to give the impression and search for any little nag to push limits. Don’t start a fight. It won’t do anything good here on tumblr. If you feel the need to do something against social injustice go out and do it yourself. Don’t do it behind a screen. It leads to nothing except hate and venom and people trying to gut each other out. If you read something that just riles you really up - be it about a series or a pairing or something social or whatever - just click away. It brings nothing. You will only feel more angered when the person answers and it will go back and forth and back and forth and - time you could use to do something else more productively. And with less stress.

6. Learn that your opinion =/= the opinion of someone else. You might like x pairing, while someone else thinks it is disgusting. Or the other way around. Learn to accept these things and leave it be. What good does it bring to try and force your opinion onto someone else? You’re not a dictator. Everyone is free to have their own opinion. Just like yourself.

7. Learn to respect people. Learn to respect artists and writers and - yes - edit makers too. Some people sit hours before their screens to produce something. They don’t write/draw/do edits for you - they share their stuff with you. If it is something you don’t like, just ignore it. Never tell them what they did wrong in your opinion - remember point 6. Your opinion is not theirs.  

8. Learn that attacking someone =/= educating someone. If someone doesn’t know something or said something harmful in a post, don’t attack them immediately. Often these people are just not educated about the subject. Going into their askbox and leaving hateful, sometimes vile messages and calling them names or even threatening them will lead to nothing. If you really want to reach out to them try to send a polite message. Check their age. Most people who react like this are surprisingly young. If they block off and don’t want to be educated, no matter their age, there’s nothing you can do. Swallow your anger and click away. It’s not worth it. The real world still waits for you after you log off and hating on a stranger brings you nothing.

9. Learn that no one is perfect. Definitely not you. People make mistakes. Learn to forgive and move on. Holding a grudge brings only sorrow and misery.

10. Learn that tumblr is not the world. The real world is so much worse. Try to enjoy your time here instead of letting it ruin you.

Easy Tarot for Beginners: Wands

Welcome back to the “Easy Tarot for Beginners” series! For all the current posts in this series, click here. More are on the way, so stay tuned!

Learning to read the tarot can seem like a daunting task, but beginners should know that while it takes time to develop nuanced skill, there are some pretty easy ways to jump in and learn what you need to know to get started. 

In this series of posts, I’ll be exploring the minor arcana. Many people tackle this subject by attempting to learn the elemental properties of the four suits and the numerological associations of the numbered cards. These methods are a great foundation and vital to a more complex understanding of the cards, but what if there was a simpler, faster way to learn the minor arcana without rote memorization? Well, there is: 

Learn the story.

Each minor arcana suit tells a story, and the meaning of every card within that suit depends on the cards that came before it. When you understand how the story of the cards unfolds, it’s easier to understand what they mean. The story the tarot tells in its imagery is often called the “Fool’s Journey,” so we’ll follow the adventures of the Fool through the minor arcana.

Now, let’s explore the story of the Wands

  1. A new opportunity for success and spiritual fulfillment presents itself to the Fool, if they are willing to work for it.

  2. The Fool decides that they are willing, and since they are at the beginning of their journey and have the world in their hands, they must decide what direction to take their newfound inspiration.

  3. Having chosen a direction and begun their enterprise successfully, The Fool begins to reap their first successes.

  4. Success is now assured, and the Fool rejoices at their accomplishment—not only in their enterprise, but in their quest for independence.

  5. Now that The Fool is successful, others rise to challenge them.

  6. Yet, The Fool emerges triumphant! They retain their crown and others look to them for leadership; The Fool has been tested and proven themselves worthy.

  7. However, the Fool soon learns that being on top isn’t easy: The Fool can’t satisfy everyone, and they must learn to hold their ground when they make the decisions they feel are best.

  8. The Fool is almost established now and their hustling days are coming to an end, but there are still things they need to get done themselves while they still have the energy.

  9. The Fool is growing weary, but they cannot rest: They must be prepared to both defend their empire and make the final push toward greatness.

  10. The Fool has now achieved everything they ever dreamed of, but with success comes the incredible burden of maintenance that they must now bear.

Keep in mind that there are many ways to interpret the cards; as tarot readers, in a way we are also storytellers, and the story will inevitably change in small ways as each new storyteller tackles the tale. How do you relate to this story? Does it seem accurate to you? Have you had any of these experiences, or have you had other experiences that seem to fit the cards (and story) better?

Wishing you well on your tarot learning journey!

The Orb of Kadath: an impossibly ancient artifact imbued with dark and powerful magic. To one amateur adventurer, it was also an irresistibly appealing shade of red, and in a moment of impulse, a poor decision was made.

He’ll be fine— he just needs some medical and magical attention. And if these two need to read the runes on the Orb in the meantime, all they need is a light.

rule number one about axolotls seems to be “if it fits, it’s going in their mouth”. These axolotl people are smarter than their real-world counterparts, but… not a whole lot smarter, sometimes. They probably shouldn’t go adventuring without a chaperone.

(see more pictures in this series here!)

100516 – things continue to be pretty non-stop in my corner of the universe! this is my spread from two weeks ago: originally it was going to be cat themed but then i finished ancillary mercy and so then it morphed into cats + space… and oh my gosh guys please read am and the other two books in the imperial radch series! artificial intelligence! a culture without gender constructs! 

Rapunzel is just so smart. There are many kinds of intelligence (and Rapunzel possesses more than one) but this time I’m talking about academic intelligence, “good at school” kind of smarts. This girl has charted starts, all by herself! This means she has a mathematical mind and intelligence in the scientific field. 

And if you look closely at some of her wall paintings, you can see she has written all kinds of observations, guesses and analysis about the things she can see outside her tower. She has noticed how nature around her works and tried her best to piece together theories about the causes and effects in it. This shows she has a naturally logical and analytical mind as well as curiosity.

Rapunzel yearns for new things to learn. Her curiosity seems unsatisfied. First thing she and Eugene visit in the kingdom? A book shop, and she wants to read an atlas. In the series she fills her room with maps and books, as if her mind needed to learn more all the time. And intelligent mind like Rapunzel’s is always in a need of stimulation.

Rapunzel is also a quick thinker who can find solutions to her problems in a short time. She has also shown she can also create puzzles and riddles which use both math and show of her talent with words, as seen in “Cassandra vs. Eugene”. And all of this on top of Rapunzel’s incredible artistic talent and her amazing way with people (both to charm or manipulate, but only if absolutely necessary).

I just love seeing a cute, sweet female character who is also intelligent and analytical. And actively pursues new things to learn.

SO THIS IS VINCENT. He accidentally? Became a magician… He doesn’t know anything about magic though, not even the simplest magic trick .justlikeme. and he’s a slow learner. He is introvert… he enjoys his time alone and really doesn’t care about entertaining people with his abilities. He is a little bit insecure of himself, however these insecurities have never stopped him from taking risks and protect the ones he love. (My son…)

Sonny, oh Sonny… he is Vincent’s loyal assistant. After all, every magician needs an assistant! Compared to Vincent, HE KNOWS EVERYTHING ABOUT MAGIC. He has read every magic book, he studied the history, tricks and techniques. Yes, he is a nerd. He is going to teach everything he knows to Vincent…but he usually gets frustrated because remember that Vincent is a slow learner lol. He loves entertaining people with his magic tricks, mostly kids. He is narcissistic, yes, he loves himself very much. He is the only one that calls Vincent, “Vinnie”. OH AND one more thing: He’s allergic to the sun, that’s why he loves nights.

I am planning on making this web comic/series named Tricks and Illusions, with more characters and of course plot! These are my two characters.They hated each other… well, Sonny did not like Vincent at the beginning but eventually Vincent gains his respect by being cute and awesome uvu/

What do you guys think?

anonymous asked:

Okay so when your building and your story relies on a religion, how do you go about building the basis for that belief system? How to build a belief system?

Hi there!

Building an interesting religion from the ground up can be difficult. It can really help to look at the whole thing from…exactly that. The ground up.

Consider the religion’s cosmology. How did things start? How important is that story to your world and your characters?

Pick out a top three-five stories that really resonate within the world. Which ones is it just a given that someone on the street would know? Outline them or write them out. So, if you’re doing this exercise for Christianity, you might say, “Noah’s Ark, David and Goliath, Daniel and the Lion’s Den, Jonah and the Big Fish.” Having a few popular stories will add depth, but it doesn’t have to explicitly explain everything about the world, or even the religion.

Think about symbols or objects that hold value to the people. What do they represent? How ubiquitous are they?

Give your world variety when it comes to philosophy, application, and opinion. Not all adherents will agree on everything, and sometimes they will so vastly disagree that their religion will look like two, even if it’s rooted in the same place (Catholicism vs. Protestantism). Having everyone believe the same thing is not only boring, it’s unrealistic. 

The basic rules of this religion should appeal to your characters (and likely your reader’s) sense of rightness and goodness. Even if the modern version of this religion has altered, its roots should be founded in good. That can be twisted through unwritten laws, control, misinterpretation, and all that, but letting us see at least a hint of what was meant to be will give the system more nuance and believably than anything strictly evil or weak.

Consider the god(s), their mortality, how they appeal to the people, how their ruling system works, how involved they are, and how revered they are by the people. 

Sometimes, if you have a religion of your own, it can be difficult to think outside of that box. You alter something you see as normal to make something new, when you’re actually just making it more like something else that already exists. So if you need a little extra inspiration, read up on old religions, modern religions, and think about how you can deviate in a way that feels fresh. 

(I might maybe do a brainstorming series posts on religions and beliefs..? Any interest??)

Happy writing!

****Edited to add that the Brainstorming Series post is now live. Check it out HERE.
Easy Tarot for Beginners: Swords

Welcome back to the “Easy Tarot for Beginners” series! For all the current posts in this series, click here. More are on the way, so stay tuned!

Learning to read the tarot can seem like a daunting task, but beginners should know that while it takes time to develop nuanced skill, there are some pretty easy ways to jump in and learn what you need to know to get started.

In this series of posts, I’ll be exploring the minor arcana. Many people tackle this subject by attempting to learn the elemental properties of the four suits and the numerological associations of the numbered cards. These methods are a great foundation and vital to a more complex understanding of the cards, but what if there was a simpler, faster way to learn the minor arcana without rote memorization? Well, there is:

Learn the story.

Each minor arcana suit tells a story, and the meaning of every card within that suit depends on the cards that came before it. When you understand how the story of the cards unfolds, it’s easier to understand what they mean. The story the tarot tells in its imagery is often called the “Fool’s Journey,” so we’ll follow the adventures of the Fool through the minor arcana.

Now, let’s explore the story of the Swords:

  1. The Fool has a fresh idea, sudden epiphany, or creative inspiration, or receives new information that prompts these.

  2. A contrary idea or information appears to challenge the first; denial and/or an uneasy stalemate result.

  3. A new, third idea or piece of information breaks the denial/stalemate and causes much mental distress and anguish for the Fool.

  4. A time of intellectual rest occurs in order to provide mental solace after the anguish the Fool has experienced in the 3 of Swords.

  5. The disillusioned Fool then decides to look out for themselves—often at the expense of everyone else. (”They hurt me, why should I care about them?”)

  6. The Fool begins to grow weary and wistful and decides to let go of their painful past, to mourn for what could have been but move forward nevertheless.

  7. Though they have now reached their destination and moved on, the Fool can’t quite shake old, out-for-myself-only habits: They just know better than to get caught!

  8. Inevitably, this kind of living catches up with the Fool and they begin to feel trapped within their own web of loneliness, deceit, and self-sabotage.

  9. The Fool begins to spiral into fear, guilt, and despair; nightmares and catastrophizing thoughts begin to manifest.

  10. The Fool reaps what they have sown, having been stabbed in the back; they have now hit rock bottom.

Keep in mind that there are many ways to interpret the cards; as tarot readers, in a way we are also storytellers, and the story will inevitably change in small ways as each new storyteller tackles the tale. How do you relate to this story? Does it seem accurate to you? Have you had any of these experiences, or have you had other experiences that seem to fit the cards (and story) better? 

Wishing you well on your tarot learning journey! 

WHY AREN’T MORE PEOPLE IN THE SEPTIMUS HEAP FANDOM

I JUST

GUYS

LISTEN


-DRAGONS
-magic????!!!!
-it might have taken place in the FUTURE and it’s not DYSTOPIAN
-literally everything is a character
-including the coffee pot
-Marcia freaking Overstrand
-pointy purple python shoes
-time traveling
-Jenna ‘I don’t give a fuck’ Heap
-Sleuth??? Literally world’s most helpful tennis ball
-also Dark! Simon
-also Light! Simon
-DRAGONS
- “Don’t go to the circus”
-It’s seven books and the second series is amazing incredible 10/10 recommend
-the epilogue is the best part
-no I swear Angie Sage is the best thing to happen to anything ever
-Jenna literally eats her way to freedom
-Nicko Heap omfg ♡♡♡
-Ullr?? A shape-shifting cat? Who wouldn’t want him as a pet?
m̶a̶y̶b̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶p̶e̶o̶p̶l̶e̶ ̶h̶e̶ ̶a̶t̶e̶ ̶
-literally there’s a dragon boat. You’ve seen them in real life? Great. This one’s better
-pink paddle boat to the rescue!
-LUCY GRINGE
-basically all the female characters are sassy and strong and the males just better run
-like even Septimus Heap, most powerful boy wizard ever, seventh son of a seventh son, ExtraOrdinary Apprentice, master of the Dragon boat, this mother fucker literally saved the castle from a dragon that was too bad ass to even exist in this dimension, yeah, he’s terrified of Jenna Heap w̶h̶o̶ ̶d̶o̶e̶s̶n̶'̶t̶ ̶e̶v̶e̶n̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶m̶a̶g̶i̶c̶a̶l̶ ̶p̶o̶w̶e̶r̶s̶ so if you’re missing Donna Temple, guess what
-SPIT FYRE
-Aunt Zelda
-Aunt Zelda giving no fucks about gender roles
-also basically a giant walking tent?
-SYRAH SYARA
-they literally flushed Septimus down a river toilet so he could go to the ghost land???
-also Alther being petty af
-no he legit follows the Bad Guy around all day just enlarging his hat to piss him off.
-CHICKEN BOAT
-guys I just really love this book please read it
-also ice tunnels
-anthropomorphic ice sleds
-you need this book
-also the covers are aesthetic like they’ll make your home 93% prettier just by being there
-also elevators are literally the Wizarding kryptonite I don’t know why
-OH I FORGOT WE EVEN HAVE A DARK! NICO AU HE’S AMAZING HIS FAVORITE FOOD IS BANANA BEARS

-fin-

anonymous asked:

Whats wrong with that show

- 13 REASONS WHY -
Albert Camus once wrote, “Good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.”

Numerous credible evidence-based organizations with a firm grasp of the suicide prevention world discourage graphic depictions or discussions of suicide, because, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and others, risk of additional suicides increases when a story explicitly describes the suicide method, uses dramatic or graphic headlines or images, and when repeated coverage of that story sensationalizes or glamorizes a death.According to a variety of expert sources, harmful portrayals of suicide may include some of the following features, many of which “13 Reasons Why” uses in its portrayals of Hannah and her community:

  • They may simplify suicide by suggesting that bullying alone is the cause.
  • They may make suicide seem romantic by putting it in the context of a Hollywood plot line. A simple, logical, and well-connected plotline may satisfy the story arc needs of a viewing audience, but it is rarely, if ever, the way that suicides really happen.
  • They may portray suicide as a viable option, one that can be an understandable outcome given a particular set of circumstances. In nearly all cases, people who die by suicide have a diagnosable (and therefore treatable) mental health problem at the time of their death.
  • They may display graphic representations of suicide which may be harmful to viewers, especially young ones and those who are highly sensitized to suicide imagery, as most attempt survivors and loss survivors are.
  • They may advance the false notion that suicides are a way to teach others a lesson, and that the deceased person will finally be understood and vindicated. They won’t. They’ll still be dead.

    SOURCE
    Make sure to read this other great article:

Keep reading

The Best He Can

Characters: Baby, John Winchester, Mary Winchester, Dean Winchester, Sam Winchester, Castiel, Y/N Y/L/N (Reader), Bobby Singer, Charlie Bradbury, Donna Hanscum, Jody Mills

Pairing: Dean x Reader, John x Mary, Sam x Amelia (briefly mentioned - only as in canon)

Warnings: Implied smut, pregnancies, cheating, nothing other than that really aside from canon deaths and angst.      

Word Count: 5800ish (woops!)

A/N: This is written for Baby’s Big 50 writing challenge hosted by @butiaintgonnaloveem and it is told from Baby’s PoV. She is still a car, but she is the one to tell the story, much like the episode Baby but done with words. I hope this worked out as well as I hoped it would.

My prompt was Allman Brothers Band - Rambling Man - I am sure I could have used it better but these were the lines that really inspired me when I wrote this fic: Lord, I was born a ramblin’ man, Tryin’ to make a livin’ and doin’ the best I can.

This is sorta a rewrite of the entire series. Very boiled down and written through Baby’s eyes.. Headlights? Whatever :P Just read it :D

Thanks to the sweet amazing @blacktithe7 for betaing this for me

I have been lucky in my time on Earth, even if I have been through more than most. Sal, as flawed as he was, was a good man. He tried to do the best he knew how to with the short time he was given. He wanted to save people even if he couldn’t save himself. So he drove me around, giving Bibles away to people he felt needed some guidance, right up until the day he drank himself to death.

Standing on that lot at Rainbow Motors, I missed him. He had treated me right, and I had no way of knowing if the next guy would. I feared the uncertainty then like I never have since. When he walked up, I knew where I belonged. Even if he wasn’t the guy that took me home, I felt a connection to that man I was not going to understand for years, but I knew I belonged with him.

It wasn’t just the way he talked about me. The way he admired me. He spoke as if he knew me. Like I was important. I was sad to see him go, but John Winchester gave me some good years. He took care of me, and he loved me. So did Mary. They were amazing people, but in all my 10 years with them, the nights I felt the most important were nights I only came to understand later on.

One night after being to a drive in movie, Mary and John didn’t quite make it home. They spend the night in my backseat, and I felt their love as they loved each other. They had done this before of course, but there was something special about that night. I could feel it then, and nine months later, when John was forcing me to go as fast as I could to get to the hospital in time, I knew what it had been.

Keep reading

Could we all be surprised and Lotor winds up being enamoured with Pidge?

A lot of people are assuming that Lotor is going to either beeline romantically for either Allura (no surprise due to the history of the series), Keith (Rival turned Romance and Keith helped him) or Lance (due to issues and people want angst). But what if that’s way off the mark? What if the one that Lotor winds up wanting to capture and becomes obsessed with, is none other then Pidge. 

Okay here me out here. We know that Katie is desperately looking for her brother and father, and now with Shiro missing that one small glimmer of hope connecting them to her has vanished with him. Shiro was one of the few that really knew just how much Matt means to Katie and the connection that they shared. It’s why he keeps encouraging her through out the story. Katie hides a lot of her own issues under the guise of logic and helping out the others, and while Keith and Lance and even Hunk struggle with their own issues (betting anything we’ll get more on Hunk’s in season three and four), they don’t always notice Katie’s problems. 

Enter Lotor, who has family issues as well. His father may or may not love him, he may or may not have been trapped inside the belly of a beast (probably trying to get the same things that Keith and Hunk were after) and there’s also the fact that his coloring is very much like the original Lotor’s indicating that he’s probably half Altean. 

So here we have Katie who has not only just got some info on her brother she may have to pause the search for him in order to find Shiro. Now given that we know her brother was rescued by the rebels this means that she’s going to want to go after the rebels to get to her brother. 

Now here’s the cool thing to note about Lotor, he is the sort of person that would be willing to work with Katie to find Matt. If Lotor keeps parts of his old personality from both Go Lion, original Voltron and Voltron Force, then he’ll probably see the easy target in Pidge over say Lance or Keith. Again keep in mind that Pidge is willing to do just about anything to find her brother and she nearly caused Lance and Shiro to get caught because of her looking up info while she should have been paying attention. Now Lance is easy to manipulate, but Pidge, oh Pidge would be far easier to work with. For Lotor it’s not about who’s easy to play with, it’s who is going to benefit him the most, and while Lance certainly could become a useful pawn in all of this…it’s Pidge that has the most knowledge to gain from. 

Katie is a genius, this much has been shown. Not only did she manage to help Coran fix the ship, but she’s also invented things that actually benefit the Lion’s as a whole. She’s able to figure out the tech of the Galra and probably could reverse engineer some of the items that they built and vice versa as she’s built things to protect and help the Lions. It’s an easy thing to see Lotor seeing her as one of the link pins to the whole team. 

Let’s take a quick look at something short here. When the Stranger takes the bag of  scaultrite he knows what he’s taking there. This to me at least indicates that Lotor is probably going to be more science minded then his past incarnations. Someone who will be more tech savvy then just a fighter and a flirt. This would put Pidge right up his alley, someone who can help him build things. Lotor is also good at playing up being a decent person. It’s not too hard to picture him seeing Katie’s weak spot and going for it. 

So where would that leave us in that case. Let’s for a moment hypothesise a possibility for season 3. Katie now has info on her  brother and wants to go looking for him but the team is more determined to find Shiro. Something she wants to too, but Keith, still getting used to the leader role, makes the mistake of acting like finding Matt is less of a priority to him (not totally true as Keith has shown to care a lot for Pidge) and upsets her. Right now they have Lotor captured for some reason (either he’s playing a trap or they caught him or something of the like) and she goes to check on the cell holding him. During this time he puts into her head the idea that he can help her find her brother if she lets him out. 

Of course Pidge refuses to, at first, leading up to a situation where she decides, against better judgement, to take Lotor with her to find Matt. He claims to really be with the rebels and offers a hand to her. The two have a bit of an adventure as they try to track down the rebels to get to matt. During this time it’s pretty easy to see a more tech savvy Lotor getting interested in Pidge as a whole and seeing Katie as someone that could be a good person to have on his side. Eventually they make it to the “rebel” location and Lotor turns on her saying that he respects her and wants her to join his group. Thankfully the teams followed them and they fight him off, Lotor getting away but now interested in Pidge as a possible future partner in all this. 

it’s a reasonable option seeing that he may find her attractive as well, and I wouldn’t put it past this team for subverting things by having him go for the one character that probably wouldn’t seem as attractive to someone as “Pretty” as Lotor. Losing her to the team, someone who he thinks he bonded with, would be something that would make him obsessed with her, more so then the others. That’s why I’m thinking that we may see that in this series over say Lance or Keith. 

Edit: Noticed I’m getting one or two comments about the age factor on this so a few things of note that is important about this post. 

1. Yes, Katie is a teenager between early teens (14/15) to Mid teens (16/17), and the likely hood is that she’s the same age as Allura in the original Voltron (16 years old) due to the fact that the Garrison would not allow anyone under the age of 15 to run the simulation, since they would not have learned enough by the age of 14 to fly. So I’m assuming that she’s about 16 years old as of this time. 

2. We do not know the age of Prince Lotor at all. Given the situation right now regarding his father (who I want to actually write a post about how the Galra Emperor has lived so long) and Haggar’s reaction to things I would think that Lotor is a newer development. Allura doesn’t mention him at all when the series started, and that at least indicates that he was born at a later point in time. Now given the history of Lotor (or at least the original Sincline -more on him in another post) we can assume that if his history stays roughly the same this would mean that he would be about the same age as Keith (16 to 17, 18 at the oldest) which would then put the whole issue of age as moot since he’s a teenager along with Pidge. 

3. And most important, this post wasn’t to be taken seriously. With all the shipping wars going on and the sudden infusion of fans jumping on a bandwagon that doesn’t yet exist (Lotor x anyone) I just figured it would be amusing to put out the most outrageous ship I could think of as a humorous thing within the context of the series, since Pidge only seems to be interested in tech and geeking out over science. 

So there you have it. Hope this clears some things up for people reading this post. 

Edit two: The more I think about it, Lotor was at the destroyed home of the Galra (if my theory is right on that) and he needed the same stuff as Keith and Hunk to make lenses for something, meaning that he probably is scientific minded like Haggar. Meaning that, yeah they could easily get along if they end up allies. :)

Easy Tarot for Beginners: Cups

Welcome back to the “Easy Tarot for Beginners” series! For all the current posts in this series, click here. More are on the way, so stay tuned!

Learning to read the tarot can seem like a daunting task, but beginners should know that while it takes time to develop nuanced skill, there are some pretty easy ways to jump in and learn what you need to know to get started.

In this series of posts, I’ll be exploring the minor arcana. Many people tackle this subject by attempting to learn the elemental properties of the four suits and the numerological associations of the numbered cards. These methods are a great foundation and vital to a more complex understanding of the cards, but what if there was a simpler, faster way to learn the minor arcana without rote memorization? Well, there is:

Learn the story.

Each minor arcana suit tells a story, and the meaning of every card within that suit depends on the cards that came before it. When you understand how the story of the cards unfolds, it’s easier to understand what they mean. The story the tarot tells in its imagery is often called the “Fool’s Journey,” so we’ll follow the adventures of the Fool through the minor arcana.

Now, let’s explore the story of the Cups:

  1. A new stirring of emotion arises for the Fool, one that feels positive and full of potential.

  2. The Fool meets another person and recognizes that they, too, share this wonderful feeling! Deciding that they must be kindred spirits, the Fool forges a connection.

  3. Over time, the Fool’s family of kindred souls begins to grow even larger, and they celebrate their union with friendship, revelry, and good times.

  4. After a while, the Fool realizes that despite the festivity and kinship, something crucial is missing. As a result, they grow disillusioned with what once made them happy and begin to isolate themselves.

  5. Unfortunately, the Fool remains withdrawn for too long, and their family of kindred spirits begins to disperse. The three cups that were lifted in revelry before are now spilled, and although some connections still remain, the Fool is too bereaved and regretful to enjoy them.

  6. Having learned a profound lesson, the Fool begins to reminisce fondly about earlier times, finding solace in the happy memories. Now unburdened, the Fool is moved to share their newfound sense of simple peace with others.

  7. Having their head so often in the clouds, however, soon leads the Fool to a place where they are perhaps a bit too optimistic, seeing a number of opportunities for emotional fulfillment that may not actually be there (or, if they are, will almost certainly not pan out the way the Fool imagines).

  8. The Fool learns their lesson the hard way, discovering that sometimes, some things really are too good to be true. Having learned the value of happiness and deciding to finally seek what will truly give them emotional fulfillment, the Fool leaves behind what they know in search of a more meaningful life.

  9. And a meaningful life they find, having discovered the secret to long-term happiness: Self-care and self-satisfaction. After all, if you don’t care for and love yourself, how can you care for and love others? Thus, the Fool spends some time fulfilling themselves rather than seeking fulfillment elsewhere.

  10. Finally, the Fool achieves the happiness that eluded them earlier: Now that they know how to care for themselves, they are finally able to devote themselves to a new family, knowing at last that happiness does not come from what others can offer you, but from giving others what you have to offer.

Keep in mind that there are many ways to interpret the cards; as tarot readers, in a way we are also storytellers, and the story will inevitably change in small ways as each new storyteller tackles the tale. How do you relate to this story? Does it seem accurate to you? Have you had any of these experiences, or have you had other experiences that seem to fit the cards (and story) better?

Wishing you well on your tarot learning journey!

anonymous asked:

Can you give us some book recommendations?

Okay book recs. Oh my god I have so many. I have a question after this that say’s POC book recs, so I’m going to keep this post to book recs that arent poc to keep these separated just for the sake of the anon’s that asked. 

Red Rising by Pierce Brown (Trilogy with a new book - a ‘spin off series’ coming out next year) - I will fucking promote this book series until I die. This is hands down, one of the best books I have EVER read. Honestly, for me it sort of beats out Harry Potter (Which if you know me, I’m obsessed with. I mean, I had a Harry Potter Sweet 16. [I’m from Long Island. Everyone there has a Sweet 16]) Not only is Red Rising extremely diverse and beautifully written,  but the storyline is incredible and the characters literally jump off the page. I dont think I’ve ever read a more human character than Darrow. Honestly PICK UP THIS BOOK. IT NEEDS MORE FUCKING ATTENTION. 

^^^^bolded it so people know that this is the best book ever and needs the read. 

Abarat by Clive Barker (Four books so far) - Now, this may not be everyones cup of tea. Maybe because I’m a painter, I appreciate him more. But his books are wonderfully illustrated with his paintings that follow along with the beautiful storyline. I recommend this book to the fucking stars. Its a fantastic story with amazing paintings. (Clive Barker, for those who don’t know, also created Hellraiser [Pin Head] and Midnight Meat Train along with a plethora of other stories. It’s worth the read.)

Song of Achilles (novel) - I mean, If you want to fucking CRY  then this is the book for you. It’s so fucking depressing but so FUCKING GOOD. I mean, if you know the story of Achilles, then you know why its depressing. But that doesnt take away from the beautiful story between Achilles and Patroclus. Definitely recommend this book. 

Along with that last book, a book that I feel goes hand in hand with it:

Captive Prince by C. S. Pacat (trilogy) - Now. A lot of people have a problem with this trilogy. I personally, as a (mixed, black) poc, have no problem with this book. It’s about two kingdoms, one of poc, Greek-like, and the other of boujee af french-like, white kingdom. In short, the Prince from the Greece inspired Kingdom is framed and shipped away to the french kingdom as a slave. Now, he becomes a slave (as a dark skinned man) to a white prince. There are a lot of things that happen like he gets whipped and other horrible shit. People have a problem with the book because of the dynamic between the two. They find it racist and insensitive. Here’s a great post as to why people don’t like the post, and the second comment is why I read it. I honestly find it to be a beautiful story that develops amazingly over time. I definitely recommend it. 

Kids of Appetite by David Arnold (novel) - I’ve just recently read this book and I absolutely fucking loved it. It’s an extremely diverse, beautiful story. Personally, I found the story sad, funny, heart warming, and inclusive. They brush upon the difficulties that black men specifically, have with the judicial system, by having an African man whom is loving and kind, constantly blamed for crimes that he did not commit. Again, it’s a really lovely book and this stuck with me for a very long time. I really recommend it. 

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (novel) - If you don’t want to fucking SOB then don’t read it. If you want a beautiful story, I recommend this book to the stars. Honestly, I went into the book not knowing shit about it, just that people loved it. Then I realized that it was about fucking cancer and I was about to throw my god damned book because I don’t fend well with sad things. THEN I found out that it’s also now a movie with Liam Neeson. Ugh. I havent seen the movie yet, but damn was this book magical and heart breaking and wow… Read it. I personally fucking loved it. 

Fangirl  by Rainbow Rowell (novel) - I mean, I feel like this book actually summed up my early college experience lol! I was writing fanfiction, roleplaying, cooping myself up in my room - the only difference was, I didnt have a quirky, beautiful, sweet man to hold me as I read outloud to him (if you read the book, then you know what I’m talking about). Honestly, this was a fucking amazing book and I loved it so much. it was feel good and extremely nostalgic for people of my generation (’94-’96 specifically) really well. If you loved Harry Potter, grew up with it, went to the midnight book releases and movie screenings, submerged yourself in the fanfiction, then you will love this book. I thought it was fantastic. 

which leads me to this rec. 

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (novel) - Ugh. So in fangirl, there’s a fanfiction that the main character is writing. I know that this book is not the fanfiction, but it is named the same thing - so thats a nice connection. Again, if you love Harry Potter, if you love shipping Drarry (i dont because I find it problematic. But I feel if you like Drarry) then youd love this. I mean honestly, if you just like a cute story, with ridiculous spells, and adorable love, then read it. If you love Harry Potter ESPECIALLY READ THIS BOOK. 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (Trilogy) - Okay. Honestly, I havent seen many people promote this book series, but it is amazing and arguably, one of the most beautifully written trilogies that I have ever read (besides Red Rising. Ahem. Read it). It’s a wonderful story that comes together beautifully and is such a different book from your usual YA. 

The Archived by Victoria Schwab (Series of two) - So, if Victoria Schwab sounds familiar, that’s because she also goes under V.E. Schwab okay. Listen. I know that everyone loves A Darker Shade of Magic. I havent finished that book yet and I bet it’s amazing. However, we cannot forget the other amazing books she has written. The Archived is such a lovely, creative story that deserves more credit. Honestly, I’ve never read a book like it before and it stuck with me for an extremely long time. Apparently there is a third book coming out that I have actually been waiting for forever. I’m not going to say much about it, but these books are wonderful and deserve the read. 

Speaking of V.E. Schwab

Vicious by V.E. Schwab - This book deserves more recognition. Not only is the cover absolutely AMAZING, but the story is fuckign awesome. If you like Brandon Sanderson books, if you like superheros or Marvel and DC, read this fucking book. It’s fantastically written and needs to be read more. Get on it people. 

I mean, these are just some books. I purposely stayed away from some YA  series because I feel like a lot of people know about them. But I mean, some YA series that are well known that I like are:

Obviously Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

The Darkest Minds  by Alexandra Bracken

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy (ONLY THE FIRST FUCKING BOOK. THE REST OF THE SERIES IS SHIT AND IF YOU WANT TO JUST READ THE FIRST BOOK THATS COOL. COME TO ME AND I’LL TELL YOU THE REST BECAUSE THAT SHIT WAS RIDICULOUS. IT HAD SO MUCH POTENTIAL, IF ONLY RICK YANCY DIDN’T SHIT THE BED. ALSO THE MOVIE WAS SHIT)


So anyway.. i think this is all I’ve got right now haha. I’ll put my favourite books written by poc in the anon above this!  

2

i recently caught up with bsd and fell very hard for these two, so naturally i had to draw them

Reasons YOU should read the Abarat series

-kickass female protag who kicks the series off my running away from an abusive household in a shitty little town full of chickens
-and winding up in the most terrifyingly beautiful alternate dimension. Its like Alice in Wonderland on crystal meth
-the series plays with cool concepts largely unexplored by YA fantasy, like dark and light not necessarily equaling evil and good and the idea of a ‘fantasy’ world being slowly intruded upon by a 'scifi’ world
-representation everywhere. You’ve got PoC, LGBT characters, ladies as far as the eye can see (seriously this series fucking obliterates the bechdel test), commentary on racism and bigotry, people who are talking cats, people who wear fish on their heads, people who live in tanks of their own nightmares to cope??? Etc. Etc.
-the best sidekick ever seriously jesus bless Malingo you pure sweet child
- gorgeous paintings beyond your wildest dreams like seriously Clive Barker’s imagination is just full of horrific fucked up magnificence
-main villain is the King of the Fuckboys. Like seriously he’s a fucking mess who writes edgy poetry and wanders in graveyards for the aesthetic but trust me you’ll love him as much as I do I promise
-so many other cool nuanced villains and characters in general tho like I can’t even begin to list them all
-i need more people to cry about these books with

Reasons not to read the Abarat series:
-book 4? Is apparently never coming out?
-????
-can’t think of any others go fucking read these books rn

anonymous asked:

lottie, i need your help. i need more queer ancient greece or rome, or anything ancient literature in my life. i reread the song of achilles lately and now i'm undone again. can you help?

GOOD NEWS, MY FRIEND, THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUERY LIES IN THREE SIMPLE WORDS: 

  • Fire From Heaven (book #1 of the Alexander the Great series) is (a) queer and (b) ancient, and I have actually read all of it, and it was GOOD
  • The Last of the Wine I haven’t read, but am planning on reading, and it’s usually the book people mention first when talking about Good Ol’ Mary and Her Gay Greeks
  • The Praise Singer and
  • The King Must Die - as well as its sequel The Bull from the Sea - have all been shelved as either ‘lgbt’ or ‘gay’ on goodreads, but judging from the synopses they’re probably less Central Queer Romance (a la Fire From Heaven and The Last of the Wine) and more It’s Ancient Greece, Of Course It’s A Lil’ Gay
  • leaving Mary behind, Eromenos by Melanie J. MacDonald is a pretty good read about Antinous and Hadrian 
  • The Red Tent by Anita Diamant isn’t queer, but is a book that thoroughly touched me when I fought my way through it as a bébé (literally at least 10 years ago now) and is about Dinah in the Bible so… ancient?

the next period of history I have anything shelved for is the English Civil War, which is a few hundred years too recent. and… ok, I am about to throw you a curveball. are you ready. 

PERCY JACKSON AND THE GODS OF OLYMPUS, HEROES OF OLYMPUS AND THE TRIALS OF APOLLO BY RICK RIORDAN! ancient? no, technically not, they are set in the 21st century. but Greek things? YES. Roman things? YES. QUEER? YES!!! just some fun, easy reads that are educating kids about Greek and Roman gods, engaging adult readers, ripping some fucking yarns and HIGH KEY GROUND BREAKING CHILDREN’S LITERATURE. contains: the greatest (? only???) coming out narrative in a mainstream kids’ series! multiple (!!!) queer characters (kids AND gods)! bisexual god demoted to teenage boy protagonist who won’t shut the fuck up about his ex boyfriend!!! genderfluid trans [crosses every single finger] love interest*!!! 

*ok tbh this series isn’t Greek or Roman and I don’t know how Up Your Alley vikings and shit are or whether they qualify as ‘ancient’, but MAGNUS CHASE AND THE GODS OF ASGARD is fucking LIT. 

so, yes: 6 books and a bunch of kids’ stuff you didn’t ask for. but if we add up the books + this kids’ stuff you didn’t ask for + all possible sequels, I have TECHNICALLY recced you TWENTY-TWO books! HA! 

When I was in fourth grade, I wanted to read Harry Potter. Someone in my class told me I couldn’t because it wasn’t in my level and I wouldn’t understand it. I read Harry Potter just to spite him. I’ve reread it a million times, it’s one of my favourites. I realised after reread and reread that I didn’t understand it in fourth grade.

When I was in sixth grade, I wanted to read the classics. I read the Bell Jar, Red Badge of Courage, Shakespeare, and as many as I could find. I couldn’t tell you what they said. But I looked like I could read at a higher level than I could. I read the same books and plays in high school. They made sense, I enjoyed them, I read them not to prove something but because I wanted to.

When I was in eighth grade, I only read murder mysteries and criminal books. That’s what more advanced readers read. I wanted to prove that I could read as well as someone twice, three times my age. I enjoyed them, but it was because I was proving something.

When I was in college I reread the series of unfortunate events. I loved every single book, every single line. I’d forgotten what it was like to read a book because I wanted to. I read young adult novels more than anything because I like them. I don’t care that they’re below my level, that they’re ‘too’ young for me. I don’t care that people see me reading them.

I realised something. I was taught to read because I needed to. Intelligent people read, that’s how people become smart. Reading isn’t a waste of time like television. I wasn’t taught to love to read. No one is. I found a love of reading by giving up the idea that people gave a shit if I read or not. I enjoy it more than I should. I realised that instead of instilling the idea of doing something because it’s expected or because someone should do something, instill the idea of doing something because you want to. Instill the idea that happiness comes from what we choose, not what others have chosen for us.

I realised that when I’m happiest, when I have the most joy, it’s when I do something for me. It’s when there are no expectations, no drive to prove someone wrong. I realised that my happiest when all inhibitions and perceptions are gone. Maybe that’s how we should enjoy our hobbies.

—  KJS // Advice for someone hiding themselves