So people have discovered that my ask box is open again and I’m already receiving questions that aren’t really questions.

If you’d like to ask something about a specific part of my process or my life as a filthy animating recluse, then I’ll be happy to respond. If you ask me a degrading or nebulous question like, “how do you draw?”, you will be ignored and/or silently scoffed at.

Yours truly,

Filthy Animating Recluse Spencer Wan

So it was brought to my attention that I’ve written frighteningly little on brainstorming and my brainstorming process, and I suspect that’s probably because my process is fairly nebulous and can vary depending on the book.

That said, I’m going to try to explain the best I can anyway.

So you have some kind of idea. Maybe it’s just a character, or a single scene, or a vague compilation of images. For me, it almost always starts with a character (though Beyond the Red was a notable exception), usually the protagonist. But regardless of where you idea begins, when all you have is a fragment, it can seem kind of impossible to turn it into a whole book.

The very first thing I do when I have an idea fragment I want to explore is make a bulleted list. This list will include anything and everything I think of related to the idea: What If? scenarios, other characters, potential sources of conflict, possible scene ideas, setting notes, genre/category notes, themes I’m interested in exploring, etc. In this stage, I don’t filter at all—the idea is to just get as much down as possible.

Usually, by the time I get to the bottom of the list, I’ve started to get a feel for the potential book. That’s when I go back and start to weed things out by starring bullets I really like. Once I’ve got my main bullets marked out, potential plot ideas start (slowly) forming in my mind.

The very first plot point I tend to nail down is the inciting incident. Occasionally another random plot point will surface before the inciting incident, but once I have the inciting incident down, that’s when I open up Scrivener and start a new project.

Note that at this point, starting a new Scrivener project does not guarantee the book is going to be written. Or even fully plotted for that matter. All it means is I like where this idea is going enough that I want to explore it further. There’s no pressure whatsoever in this stage—I’m just testing the fragments I have to see if I can expand and weave it together into a potential book plot.

I’ve mentioned before that I am a plotter, and this is where the plotting really begins. I go straight to Scrivener’s cork board, write down the inciting incident and any other scene ideas I already have…then stare at it and try to push it further. I like to start from the inciting incident and think, okay, what could happen next?

Some questions I frequently ask myself in this stage include:

  • What happens next?
  • How can I make this worse?
  • What if x happened?

While I do this, I try to keep the main points in mind. Generally the first couple points I want down are the big plot points (Inciting Incident, Point of No Return, Rising Action, Dark Night of the Soul, Climax, Falling Action, Ending) but it doesn’t always work out that way. The ending, especially, I often don’t figure out until I’ve plotted most of the book.

From there, there’s a lot of back and forth. I jump around between flash cards and add new scene ideas wherever I can think of them, writing a sentence to a paragraph on each card to describe the scene/plot point. I delete scenes, rewrite them and move them around until the plot makes sense and fits the way I want it to. Once I’ve hit roughly somewhere between 30-50 flash cards (depending on how long I sense the book will probably be) and I can’t think of anything else to add and it all flows together in a way that makes sense, I know I’m ready to start first drafting.

And maybe when I’m first drafting I’ll fall in love with the characters and the ideas and write the whole book. Or maybe I won’t. But either way, if the idea makes it to the end of the plotting stage (not all ideas do), then I know at the very least it’s worth experimenting with with some words.

How do you turn an idea into a plot?

are people really still doing this “EVERYONE NEEDS TO VOTE” shit after the UK elections where like my understanding is pretty nebulous but the sense I get is that literally every party there are either neoliberal privatizing fucks or actual outright fucking fascists and somehow people are surprised when folks don’t bother voting?? Like???????

I saw a post just now with some tortured analogy about “playing the game” of politics and saying that not voting is like passing each of your turns and then wondering why you lost

but if you’re holding a hand of cards that all say “ACTION: GET FUCKED” no shit you’re gonna pass every turn, jackass

the game is badly designed. Acting like you can change the rules of the game just by playing it is idiotic.

The only way you win a rigged game is by flipping the fucking table.


i mean, it’s easy to caught up in the importance placed on holding hands simply because it’s presented as the solution to this arc. but i honestly think that’s a sort of trick played by the writer, to sort of divert attention away from that nebulous “other stuff.” Rinko’s dialogue isn’t that of someone who’s simply thinking about holding hands

part of the appeal of Ore Monogatari is how it plays with typical shoujo conventions, and i think it really succeeds in doing that in a big way with Yamato, in that, yes, she’s a sweet, gentle girl, but she’s also very active in pursuing Takeo (”forgetting” her phone, flatout asking him to meet her alone)– and she also is very *into* Takeo

see, it’s actually fairly rare for shoujo stories (and even some Western romances and romcoms) to show girls really being *physically* attracted to their love interests and thinking about physical stuff. besides staring at Takeo as he takes off his jacket, (and fair warning, the rest of this post contains ore monogatari spoilers) later stories in the manga show Yamato thinking (and fretting) about the possibility of physical stuff, and yes, sex. a scene in the Beach Chapter shows her deliberately trying to find a sexy swimsuit because she wants “to be the one who makes Takeo’s heart race” the way he does for her

it may sound weird to say that a decent chunk of Ore Monogatari is exploring Yamato coming to terms with the fact that she has a libido, but… well, that’s kind of what it is

it’s an unwritten (untrue) rule that girls simply don’t experience physical desire and attraction the same way boys do (if at all), and if they do, they aren’t “proper” girls. Rinko knows this rule, and hearing Takeo praise her for being so “pure” (not hearing his inner monologue about it’s just one of many things he loves about her) just makes her feel worse about her desires. but of course, Takeo’s love story is not the typical love story, Takeo (and the narrative) want Rinko (and other girls) to know that there’s nothing wrong with actively desiring physical contact and affection, as opposed to it simply being a thing that a boy does to you because HE wants it. it doesn’t make you unpure or less of a good person!

perhaps it’s a easy moral, and perhaps i’m getting too excited about it, but the truth is i really like this part of Ore Monogatari. showing girls really think about things beyond “oh, that boy is cute!” is just really refreshing. to think of the resolution of this arc as simply “she wants to hold hands” is… not incorrect, but i feel it just doesn’t get into what the story is trying to say. “Ore Monogatari” literally means “My Story,” in reference to Takeo’s story, but it’s very much Yamato’s story as well, and i’m glad it’s sympathetic to her, and by proxy, girls like her

Like Sagan said, Star stuff is what we all are made of;
Those cosmic lights that shine bright in the sky above.
The nebulous universe is the place of our birth.
Our electrons’ coalescence,
Which emanated from the cosmos’ efflorescence,
Also give fireflies and jellyfish their bio-luminescence.

The elements in our corporeal form,
Pumping in our veins,
Racing through our bloodstream,
They too make the stars gleam.

But while we may be stardust,
Gold and glittering, it’s
Okay to remember:
Our light may sometimes be flickering.
Because dirt is vital to the earth;
For even the most elegant flower
Sprouted from soil to birth.

Pennsylvania Senate approves medical marijuana bill

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania state senators have approved legislation to legalize medical marijuana.

Senate Bill 3 was sent to the state House on Tuesday by a vote of 40-7.

The bill would allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana for 15 medical conditions including cancer, epilepsy and seizures, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, HIV/AIDS, and glaucoma.

Amendments approved before the final Senate vote added three qualifying medical conditions: chronic or intractable pain, diabetes, and Crohn’s disease.

Patients with a prescription could obtain medical marijuana in oils, pills and gels and mix prescribed medical cannabis into their foods, but edible cannabis products could not be sold.

An amendment Tuesday also allows for vaporization, where marijuana is heated to form a vapor, to be prescribed for cancer, post-traumatic stress, and seizures.

The bill also allows for cannabis ointments, tinctures and nebulizers; where mist inhaled into the lungs.

Smoking marijuana wouldn’t be allowed.

you ask me
do you need space?

a ridiculous question—
i have all the space i need
when you’re around.

i have the galaxies of your mind
and all its nebulous thoughts
resting on my shoulder;

you give me supernovas
floating between our lips
with each kind word you say

and i have the midnight void
that collects, contains, expands
all that you are. 

—  as i stargaze at you, nc

Neptune  ♆

Illusion, dreams, spirituality, deception, victims, saviors, unconsciousness,imagination, psychic sensitivity, symbols, nebulousness, spirit world, confusion, passivity, addiction, dependency, escapism, isolation, the all - loss of boundaries

OMGCP Lizzie Bennet Diaries AU

Bitty goes to Samwell for a year before transferring to a culinary school near Samwell. Lardo, Ransom, and Holster and the rest of the team are sad to see him go, but they promise to buy pies from him when he becomes a famous baker and visit him in the meantime. Bitty starts treating his vlogs a little more seriously to create a name for himself as a baker, though he does post the occasionally personal video

Shitty is Bingley is already at law school when Bitty is a freshman at Samwell, but he had still been on the hockey team. He buys the Haus for the hockey team on the condition he can come back and visit. 

Bitty’s only heard about Shitty from Ransom and Holster, and when Shitty comes back to Samwell, they call up and tell him he absolutely must come to Samwell to meet him. Bitty does make the trip to the Haus and once there is introduced to the new frogs, Shitty, and Jack Zimmermann.

Instead of going to Samwell, Jack managed to get into the NHL undrafted and by the time he meets Bitty he’s starting to become a name again. Bitty hates Jack immediately even if he likes the frogs and Shitty. 

By the end of it, Lardo has gotten Nursey interested in helping Bitty script his more professional videos and Dex is now talking about starting up his own vlog as a project for his major. Lardo has also made fast friends with Shitty. 

As time goes on, Lardo is still dancing around with Shitty, Ransom and Holster are trying to work on setting them up, and Lardo has turned to talking to Bitty about her relationship problems concerning Shitty even if that means Bitty has to deal with Jack and see him more often so Lardo doesn’t have to deal with both of them alone. Bitty and Dex also guest star on each other’s vlogs semi frequently

Just as Bitty starts having more positive feelings towards Jack, it gets out that Jack has been spending time at Samwell and Jack is trying to minimize the time he spends there and how much he likes the area. Then Kent Parson shows up, the NHL superstar and former teammate of Jack Zimmermann. 

Parse says he’s looking for Jack, but never leaves his conversation with Bitty. Dex shows up to ask Bitty for help on his vlog, and Parse starts asking him about his vlog. When Parse is leaving, Jack shows up, and Bitty notices the glare Jack sends Parse. Jack doesn’t answer when Bitty asks. 

Parse shows up and talks to Bitty for a while, eventually dropping any pretense of it having anything to do with Jack. As Jack and Bitty start getting closer and enjoying each other’s company, Parse spends less time with Bitty and starts spending more time with Dex. 

Dex enjoys the attention Parse gives him, unintentionally giving away plenty of things Parse can use to his own advantage. Dex doesn’t even recognize that what Parse is actually angling for until Parse kisses him, and Dex is only grateful it didn’t end up on camera because Parse has started being featured in his vlog. It’s more than enough for Parse to get the leverage he needs to get Dex exactly where he wants him. None of Dex friends are even watching his videos to see Parse expertly manipulate him on screen because they think it’s just his project and that he’s telling them everything important

Nursey is the one to eventually decide to watch the videos and see what happened and why Dex has been having problems. He takes the news to Bitty, and Bitty takes it to Jack, and Jack deals with Parse. Dex is initially unhappy about the situation, but his teammates and friends provide him with the support he needs. 

With the drama over, Shitty and Lardo finally commit to a relationship and Jack and Bitty are soon to follow.  

I understand that everyone does fandom a little differently, but I wish more people in fandom did the OTP thing more like I do. 

Basically, I have OTPs, in the sense that I have these pairings that get me right there, and they’re what I think about the most, and what I want to write the most, and who I want to see art and vids and meta and fic about the most, and who I absolutely, definitely think should be together the most, always, forever.

But I don’t hate the idea of the characters in that pairing with other characters. Frequently I even ship them, but in a more low-key, vague, nebulous, oh-they’re-cute way. Even if I don’t ship the characters in my OTP with anyone else, I don’t automatically hate those other characters they’re shipped with. I don’t spend my days waging war against people who ship differently from me, or write hate-filled screeds about character [x] who dared get in the way of my ship, or act like my OTP should be everyone’s OTP - WHY ARE YOU ALL SUCH FOOLS???? 

Why waste time doing that, isn’t that exhausting? Why not spend that time on imagining your OTP in new, compromising, fun-filled positions? Or hurt/comfort scenarios? Or in alternate universes?

And I know I’m not the only one. Whenever I find other OTPers or shippers like me I cry little tears of joy. But, ugh, over the years I’ve seen so much pettiness - toward REAL people - over fictional characters, all in the name of One True Pairing, and I am over it.

Start with this: the story didn’t go big until ESPN reported about 24 hours after the game that the NFL had discovered that 11 of the 12 footballs were measured to be more than 2 pounds per square inch below the league minimum of 12.5.

That gave a subject that almost no one knew much about context, significance and potentially sinister intent. ESPN cited a nebulous “league source” at a time when it’s believed no one outside the NFL office knew the actual measurements.

Of course, that story wasn’t true. It wasn’t even close to true. Wells’ report showed that none of the footballs, each measured twice, were that underinflated.

At that very moment, the NFL had to know the story wasn’t true. Yet it did nothing.

So the league either created a fake story that was extremely prejudicial to the Patriots by leaking inaccurate information or someone else did it and the league office let it run wild rather than correct it with the actual air pressure measurements. It’s tough to figure out which scenario is worse for Goodell.