BK: During Aang and Zuko’s heyday, the ability to bend lightning was an incredibly rare skill usually reserved for the inner circles of Fire Nation royalty and high-ranking military officers. Now, in the thick of the Avatar world’s own Industrial Age, we see that this skill is, while not widespread, common enough that it is practiced by blue-collar workers changing up massive batteries in the city’s power plants. This kind of work is incredibly taxing on a person’s chi reserves; that’s why the plant bosses tend to get desperate, strapping young men like Mako to sign up for the grueling task. Mako designs by Jin-Sun Kim and Ki-Hyun Ryu. Color by Sylvia Filcak-Blackwolf. Background design by Eun-Sang Yang. Painting by Emily Tetri. 


Straight ahead or two steps forward, two steps back?
Linear and non-linear narrative in BBC’s Sherlock

I was probably not the only one to be blown away by the complex narrative in season 3 of Sherlock. It has been nagging me for a long time, so of course I had to visualise it. 

What started as an experiment, turned into a monster that would not let me go. In the end, I just had to finish it, so here you go. (If someone ever tells you that they intend to make 224 frames by hand, please tell them to go learn animation properly. I do know that I ought to!)

This is what you need to know when watching the animation: 

  • The size of the jumps do not match time passed in the show’s universe. 
  • The jumps are placed roughly at the point in time in the episode where they take place. Since legibility takes precedence, complex episodes do not align well. 
  • Jumps forwards in time are only ­noted when they are very large and obvious in the storytelling (weeks or months) or when they are part of a non-­linear narrative. 

Considering the recent discussion about the order of events in A Scandal in Belgravia and The Hounds of Baskerville, I should also point out that each episode has a line of its own. I did consider letting the dots jump to the right line when there are flashbacks to earlier episodes, but that would have turned this regular monster into a flaming balrog that would have burnt me to crisp. So each line refers only to that episode and flashbacks to earlier episodes are simply put to the left of the events that actually take place in the episode. I hope that made sense … :-)

In case I make corrections, updated versions can be found here: 

Tagging a few people who might be interested below the cut.

@isitandwonder @the-7-percent-solution @ilovesubtext @sussexbound-main @miadifferent @imtooticky @thebisonwitheadphones @hudders-and-hiddles @inevitably-johnlocked @multifandom-madnesss @girlofthemirror @jenna221b

apparently reylo “erases finn from his own narrative”?

sorry, didn’t realize finn’s sole narrative purpose was to be a romantic interest to rey and couldn’t exist in the narrative non-romantically

10 secrets to writing a memoir
by Now Novel

Memoir writing is not just a popular commercial genre but a satisfying and sometimes even therapeutic creative endeavour. Some of the keys to memoir writing are unique to the genre while others are similar to the advice you’d hear for any other type of writing with a bit of an added twist.

  1. Know your field. As with any genre, you should be well-read in the best the memoir has to offer before embarking on your own. Look into some of the award-winning and best-selling memoirs such as those by Frank McCourt, Mary Karr and Dorothy Allison, and try to sample a variety from different times and places. You probably won’t like everything that you read even amongst the popular memoirists; when that happens, note what you disliked about the memoir and why.
  2. Remember it’s a story first and foremost. You have all the techniques of fiction at your disposal, and you should use them. This can be anything from recreating dialogue to rearranging the order in which you tell your story. Just because it happened to you in a linear fashion doesn’t mean your memoir has to be linear as well.

Read More →

(image from here)

Dear binary trans and cis people,

You don’t get to decide that Ruby Rose’s experience as a genderfluid person is “suspicious”, a “publicity stunt”, or otherwise not valid.

Same rule applies to every single agender, genderfluid, non binary, genderqueer, polygender, etc. etc., person you know or know of.

Guess what, we don’t need an “I’ve known since forever” narrative, or a “trapped in the wrong body” narrative for our experiences to be valid.

Strange Fruit, Volume I: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History

External image
 by Joel Christian Gill

Strange Fruit, Volume I is a collection of stories from African American history that exemplifies success in the face of great adversity. This unique graphic anthology offers historical and cultural commentary on nine uncelebrated heroes whose stories are not often found in history books.

Among the stories included are: Henry “Box” Brown, who escaped from slavery by mailing himself to Philadelphia; Alexander Crummel and the Noyes Academy, the first integrated school in America, established in the 1830s; Marshall “Major” Taylor, a.k.a. the Black Cyclone, the first black champion in any sport; and Bass Reeves, the most successful lawman in the Old West.

Written and illustrated by Joel Christian Gill, the diverse art beautifully captures the spirit of each remarkable individual and opens a window into an important part of American history.

[book link

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“The first gay person I ever met was a character in a book.

…the silencing of LGBTQI literature doesn’t affect only gay or questioning kids who are looking for stories to help them untangle their identities. These books are equally important for straight and cis-gendered teens because stories are our greatest tool to create empathy and combat intolerance.

Most insidiously, these challenges can affect all aspects of the literary world, from self-censoring librarians, to agents and editors who have asked authors to "degay” their characters. When authors shy away from controversial subjects, the world loses, which is why We Need Diverse Books is dedicated to expanding the voices of non-majority narratives.

Like many others, I write for children to reach young minds that haven’t yet been closed off by adult prejudices. But I go into my debut year with the full knowledge that my book (None of the Above, Balzer+Bray 4/28/15), pitched as a YA Middlesex, may be banned for a variety of reasons, but first and foremost because it features an intersex main character. Intersex — formerly known as hermaphroditism — is a taboo subject even to many adults, and I’ve had more than one grown-up ask me, “Will teens really be interested in that?”

I think that they will, and that they are far more open-minded than we adults think. Kids today have grown up watching Modern Family and Glee, and have seen the first transgender woman nominated for an Emmy Award on the cover of TIME. They are our best hope for a future beyond the gender binary where people realize that true love doesn’t care what your chromosomes are.

And perhaps in the future, they’ll be able to say: The first intersex person I ever met was a character in a book"

—  Why We Need Diverse LGBT Books from’s #BannedBooksWeek series. Cover reveal for None of the Above 10/9 from The Book Smugglers!

There are times when I can’t believe how long it takes me to have just a super-obvious thought. Like, an entire year.

Like, finally, today, when I was cleaning the bathroom and realized:

That while fandom may carry on its eternal internal violent agon about whether queer readings of texts are exegetic or eisegetic, in academia, doing a queer reading of a text is so accepted as to be in fact kind of basic and simplistic if you’re not adding anything new; thus I don’t have much interest in offering queer readings or feminist readings or critical race readings of primary texts, when those texts are television and movies; but am much more interested in readings of fandom itself via social media and transformative works.

After a year, I’m no longer particularly working to demonstrate whether these sources reveal ways in which either their creators and our culture are sexist/racist/homophobic-and/or-covertly-homoerotic, because that seems just pie-in-the-face obvious. Like we’ve gone over this with Melville and Hawthorne and Cooper and Twain and, I don’t know, Trier and Lynch and Malick and Todd Haynes, just to pick a bunch of names at random; plus in terms of fan favorites we’re talking about corporate-produced, highly populist forms of mass entertainment so why would I expect them to be anything other than revelatory of our general backwatery US stuck-in-the-civil-rights-movement (if not the nineteenth century) political recividism; so I don’t really know what would be added by doing so in laborious citation-heavy academic writing. I no longer gain much traction from throwing Kristeva at John Winchester. He cried uncle right away. So I’ve therefore become over the last year much more intrigued with why and how fandom perceives these texts in these ways—or how it doesn’t; and how it either redresses and retools and rescripts them to be more like what it wanted to see, it claims, in the first place (Matt Hills’s “transformative fans”), or defends them as being politically and emotionally satisfactory when read very literally, even fundamentalistally (“canon fans” as I call them—per Hills, “affirmative fans”). I’m more fascinated by the ways dissatisfied fans describe what they see and don’t see; how they fill in the lacunae of missed opportunities, dropped continuity balls, unexplored story, underdeveloped characters, and being the gay you want to see in the world. And I’m especially paying attention right now to ways in which aspects of fandom describe and define and position and differentiate themselves from one another via social media.

That’s all. But it’s kind of like how long it took me to realise that third-person POV in m/m fanfiction is almost always from the perspective of the bottom/sub: stupidly long. I’m slow. Still, my mill will grind, I hope, exceeding fine. [x]

The Breeding of American Slaves: True Stories of American Slave Breeding and Slave Babies by Stephen Ashley 

This book is researched from the slave narratives that were collected in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers’ Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and assembled and microfilmed in 1941 as the seventeen-volume Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with former slaves. What you read is exactly how the researchers heard their stories for the first time, transcribed on the spot from the actual interviews. A must read for every American.  [book link]


This sounds cool: A film about the lives of Black women who worked for NASA during the space race is in the works. 

The upcoming film developed by producer Donna Gigliotti and screenwriter Allison Schroeder is based on the Margot Lee Shetterly’s book Hidden Figures, which is coming out next year from Harper Collins. Director Ted Melfi (of St. Vincent fame) has signed on to direct.

Here’s a description of Hidden Figures from Shatterly. For her, the story is personal: 

Most Americans have no idea that from the 1940s through the 1960s, a cadre of African-American women formed part of the country’s space work force, or that this group—mathematical ground troops in the Cold War—helped provide NASA with the raw computing power it needed to dominate the heavens. My current work in progress, a narrative non-fiction book entitled HIDDEN FIGURES recovers the history of these pioneering women and situates it in the intersection of the defining movements of the American century: the Cold War, the Space Race, the Civil Rights movement and the quest for gender equality.

We all know what a scientist looks like: a wild-eyed person in a white lab coat and utilitarian eyeglasses, wearing a pocket protector and holding a test tube. Mostly male. Usually white.  Even Google, our hive mind, confirms the prevailing view. Just do an image search for the word “scientist”.

For me, growing up in Hampton, Virginia, the face of science was brown like mine. My dad was a NASA lifer, a career Langley Research Center scientist who became an internationally respected climate expert. Five of my father’s seven siblings were engineers or technologists. My father’s best friend was an aeronautical engineer. Our next door neighbor was a physics professor. There were mathematicians at our church, sonic boom experts in my mother’s sorority and electrical engineers in my parents’ college alumni associations. There were also black English professors, like my mother, as well as black doctors and dentists, black mechanics, janitors and contractors, black shoe repair owners, wedding planners, real estate agents and undertakers, the occasional black lawyer and a handful of black Mary Kay salespeople. As a child, however, I knew so many African-Americans working in science, math and engineering that I thought that’s just what black folks did.

Read more about the film at Shadow and Act

Photos: Margot Lee Shatterly and Dr. Christine Darden, both courtesy of NASA.


Visions of Places

Beautiful computer animation short by CATK uses minimal design to convey a non-verbal narrative - video embedded below:

Visions Of Places was sparked by the question of how much information is needed to evoke the imagination of a story. When visiting new places there are always potential stories that happened there or will be happening in the future. It even suggests that almost nothing triggers richer imagination.

More Here


A non-narrative short film of the wild and beautiful nature of Iceland, the land of ice and fire. This dronefilm is shot on a 6 day trip to Iceland by Kristian Kettner and Bjarke Hvorslev. With a DJI Phantom 4 drone and a Sony a7r II. Edited by Bjarke Hvorslev.

matildasignificant-deactivated2  asked:

Good day. What are the advantages and disadvantages of writing a novel in a non-linear sequence? The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger justified the use of this style and accomplished it nicely, hence i didn't give it much thought. It was only after reading J.M. McDermott's Last Dragon (a fantasy novel) that I began to wonder whether there are considerations you have to make before applying it to your own work. Thank you!

I haven’t really explored this style of writing, so I don’t think I could give you a pros and cons list. Maybe these links can help you out?