not really but it was not working out trying to equalize them all

11 writing problems and solutions

Writing is a craft. It takes time for anyone to learn and improve. But there are some shortcuts you can try, maybe adapt to your own needs. Here are 11 writing problems and their solutions, or hacks.

Too many ideas syndrome

Problem: You have too many equally good story ideas and can’t pick just one to write.

Solution: Select your top 3 favorite stories and write the first scene of all three. If you can’t decide, write the first chapter. The right project will be easier to work with, you’ll have fun writing it, you will be daydreaming about the story, you will love the characters. So, give away three chances instead of one.

Originally posted by gypsyastronaut

Outline spoiling the fun

Problem: Whenever you outline a story idea, it completely spoils your will to write it. The mystery is gone.

Solution: Instead of outlining the whole story, just make a clear goal on how your characters should end. Will they succeed? Will they fail? Will they be happy? Will they find redemption? Will they be wronged? Decide how your story should end and explore the plot as you go. Remember, no one will read your first draft, so just write.

Lost midway

Problem: If you are a pantser, you might get lost in the middle of the story, especially after the first plot point.

Solution: Give your story an ending. If you know where your characters will end up, you’ll have a better understanding of which routes to take. Always keep in mind how the story will end. Use it as the beacon of a lighthouse to guide you through stormy waters.

Creative block

Problem: You don’t have story ideas. Or nothing you have so far excites you enough for a novel.

Solution: Read a book or watch a movie completely out of your genre. This works like magic, I promise. I’m not a sci-fi person, but Akira has given me more story ideas than any movie and book from my own genre.

Originally posted by sunio

Writing anxiety

Problem: You are scared of writing, scared of starting a new story, or just scared of not doing a good job.

Solution: Write a fanfic. No one expects a fanfic to be a masterpiece (although many are). Fanfics are done for fun and for passion. So, write your book in fanfic format. You can even use fandom characters and aus in the process. When the story is completed, change back to original characters.

Editing as you write

Problem: You keep going back to previous paragraphs and editing instead of moving forward with your writing.

Solution: Write your novel by hand. This might sound like a lot of work, but it’s quite the opposite. The white screen of the computer urges you to review, to make it perfect, academic like perfect. The paper however, brings you back to the craft, to the urge of filling lines and pages. Handwriting also gives you the opportunity of sketching and doodling. 

Originally posted by kyoka-sui-get-su

Procrastination

Problem: Tumblr. Youtube. Email. Netflix. Bathroom. Fridge. Bed.

Solution: Go offline. Turn off your wi-fi. Use a device without internet connection. Or, if you keep fooling yourself and turning the internet back on, write your novel by hand. Give yourself a daily hour of internet, but live offline. And if you take unnecessary trips to the fridge or the bathroom, try the pomodoro technique.

Lack of plots

Problem: Nothing relevant is happening, your story looks kind of boring. Or the main plot is too weak for a whole novel.

Solution: Take a few days off. Just relax. When you are ready to go back, read what you have written so far. Maybe you were just tired. But, if the story really sucks, go back to basics. Ask yourself two questions. What type of story am I writing? How will this story end? Follow the answer like a map. Change what needs to be changed, even if you have to delete the whole progress. If you lack plots, don’t add fillers, just go back to basics.  

Weak main character

Problem: Your character lacks personality, voice and/or visuals.

Solution: Give your main character three things. An external battle. An internal battle. And an unique feature. The external battle is their goal, what they want to achieve, what they dream about. An internal battle is their fears, traumas, doubts, mental issues, prejudices and triggers to overcome. An unique feature is what sets them apart from other characters, maybe they have piercings, or tattoos, or pink hair, or lilac eyes, maybe they wear neon boots, or a mask, or mittens, maybe they are left-handed, or blind, maybe they have a scar, or a birthmark. Every amazing main character has external battles, internal battles and unique features.  

Originally posted by takeruandcaterpillars

Depression

Problem: You have no will to write. The passion is gone. You feel empty.

Solution: If you don’t have access to medical help, reading is a good way to reevaluate your career and regain your passion for the words. Read lots of books. Don’t worry about writing, just read. Lose yourself in fictional adventures. Read sci-fi, romance, horror, fantasy, crime, family saga, classics, foreigner fictions, fanfics, shorts, poetry. Immerse in literature. Literature can save lives.  

Strange dialogues

Problem: Dialogues seem too formal, or too much like the narration, or characters lack individuality.

Solution: Read your dialogues out loud while acting as your characters. You can find a quiet empty room for that. Be an actor. Go for the emotions. Record your acting sections, after all, you might improvise at some point.    

Originally posted by gmt1999

Creating Conflict

Or, as I call it, causing ~drama~

The key that keeps readers interested in your story is conflict. If nothing is at stake, then there is not much to see. So, here are a few general tips to cause some ripples in the ponds of your characters’ lives.

“Prioritizing”: Your character has two main motives that they have been working towards, but they end up in a situation where they have to sacrifice one to save the other. Depending on how easy or hard the choice is, this range from “disappointing” to “devastating” in the sacrifice. 

Character Flaws: As I talked about in my cornerstones post, every character should have a flaw. Flaws are flaws and not strengths for a reason- they get in the way. Have your character have a moment of weakness, where they lose their values and give in to temptation or get carried away.

 In addition: Even without their key flaws, characters can sometimes just… be wrong. Maybe they miscalculated. Maybe they misunderstood. Maybe they made the wrong guess. They did what everyone does: They Done Messed Up, and now they have to deal with the result.

Liar, Liar: Someone is lying, or even keeping secrets, and now, it’s causing problems. They can’t go forward without the truth, or worse, they are making mistakes due to a warped perception of the situation.

Draw backs: Let the good things come at a cost. One key rule for worlds with magic or superpowers is that all power should come at cost- equal to or greater than the power itself. 

“Because I Said So”: Don’t forget, there are other characters in your story, and even if they are on the protagonist’s own side, they are not always going to just merrily go along with whatever the protagonist said. Maybe they disagree. Maybe they are powerful enough to get in the protagonist’s way, and maybe it’s that important to them that they try. If fighting an enemy is hard, fighting a friend is harder.

Take It Back: Your character makes a decision that seems right at the time. Maybe it was the obvious choice, or maybe it was taking a risk. But uh-oh…now there are unforeseen consequences. 

Or, the opposite…

Decisions, Decisions: Maybe your character has to make a decision where there is not an immediately obvious choice. Make sure that both/all the options have both positive and negative possible or certain outcomes. There is no obvious right or wrong choice. Bonus, it’s funny to watch the fandom debate it later. 

Strip Them Down: Remove your character’s greatest strength. For whatever reason, your character’s most valuable asset is not available, and now, they have to live without it. Bonus mode- it would be really, really helpful if they had it right now!

Or, do the opposite…

Boss Fight: Maybe, instead of your protagonist getting weaker, it’s your antagonist that gets stronger. Strengthen the opposition and see if your characters can adapt to survive, or if they lack what it takes. 

Change of Plan: The rules of the game have changed. This can mean different things depending on your story. They could be literal rules, or more general. Think Hunger Games- did I say two tributes? I meant one, after all. Fight to the death now, please.

Amplify the Emotions: … And the results that come with. People do crazy things in the heat of the moment. You can’t think straight when all you can do is feel. Blinded by anger, sadness, or even joy, your character makes a bad choice. 

*Pile It On: You know what a full plate needs? Even more stuff. Your character is already juggling, trying to balance a variety of responsibilities. So add one more ball. Do they crash and burn immediately? Does it take a while? Do they succeed?  Any which way, the stress is high.

*Note: this one can be difficult on the author, too. Make sure that with all these plot lines, you’re not losing track, yourself.

“Murphy’s Law”: Simply stated, this is a plot tool that says, “whatever can go wrong, will.” I’m just going to say right away… be careful with this one. It’s really frustrating for your audience to watch the characters fail or lose or face misfortune over and over and over again. It makes it feel like nothing will ever come out of rooting for them, so you may as well give up now. Murphy’s Law can be great in the proper proportions, please, let your characters have some victories, or there’s no point to it.

And hey, don’t forget about your inner conflicts. You never know when those are going to have the opportunity to cause trouble. 

Give ‘em hell, kids!*

***disclaimer: you do not have to be a kid to give them hell.

~Penemue

How the Venus signs want to be loved

*use venus but check moon as well*

Aries Venus: love me back but don’t chase me lol it’s my job to chase you duh…I’m going to make it obvious what I want. don’t overcomplicate things, love is simple. let’s make it fast. let’s jump into it. let’s make it exciting!!! it’s like a game and I’m going to win you

Taurus Venus: love me by staying the same. please. be there for me. be someone I can count on. be patient. feed me!!!! I like that. give me things!!!! I like that too. okay, okay, fINE I might want to possess you wHOOPS…just don’t push me or…bye

Gemini Venus: wait wait do I like you or do I like this other person????? or that person??? wait wait I’m just going to not think about it oooooh I’m curious about you now idk we can be together for today if you want but it’s chill!!! talk to me!!!! let’s just have fun!!! let’s not label this that’s so serious and boring!!! you can change, I can change, and I mean it’s cool if we want to also date 3 other people too lol like no biggie, it’s vARIETY haha just don’t pin me down or get too deep otherwise I’ll be out the door in 0.03 seconds

Cancer Venus: love me!!!!!!!! I’m so lonely!!!!! :((((( I just want you to be soft and hold me and tell me you’re committed and that you love me!!!!! I need to hear that because I feel like no one loves me ever :’( I want to stay at home and cuddle with you and you can tell me all of the things you’re feeling <3 and maybe I’ll smother you a little haha but dON’T LEAVE PLEASE

Leo Venus: love me back and I’ll show you how much I love you!!! like, all the time!!!! if I love you, know that it’s a compliment because I only settle for the best. you’re all I’m going to brag uM I MEAN talk about!!! if you make me the center of your world, I’ll make you the center of mine!!! we can have fun, all I need is attention and validation jUST A LIL BIT BE PREPARED and I’m the king/queen here so tell me I’m wonderful and amazing because I don’t hear that enough :/ if I don’t take pride in our relationship, see ya. that means you didn’t dESERVE ME

Virgo Venus: love me by letting me help you!! okay oKAY I’M A LIL INSECURE but I’ll do things for you!!!! I’ll make you feel loved without all of that sentimental lovey stuff - we don’t need that! my one flaw is that I see all of the flaws in our relationship and you - and want to fix them!!! and…nagging…sometimes…but just to make you better!! I just want things to be simple and practical!!! nOTHING BIG NOTHING TOO INTENSE THAT’S SCARY I MIGHT FREAK OUT AND LEAVE

Libra Venus: haha you can love me if you want to ;) but I mean only if you want to…like…I’m not trying to force anything here lol!!!! we can be in love…and have a beautiful pure relationship where we sHARE everything <3 and make everything look like we’re perfect :) I’m into equality :) um like don’t freak out but sometimes I’m just trying to be nice and it turns into flirting bUT IT’S OK…I know it’s weird but I really don’t like people who are too pushy I just want someone who’s going to be polite and nice :)))))) so if you’re not that I mean I’ll still be nice to you but just I might not want to be with you idk we’ll see AHHHH decisions are hard for me in relationships!!!!

Scorpio Venus: I’ll love you if you can handle me. I would say I don’t open up easily in love, but then that would be opening up to you. and I can’t do that. what I can do is be in control. I know how to handle this. oh, I’ll commit, it’s just not everyone knows how to figure me out. and I won’t stop until I find someone who’s willing to go deep with me. and I might stare at you for extended periods of time. you call it obsession, I call it intensity.

Sagittarius Venus: we can be in love if you show me the world!!!!! let’s grow!!!!! and expand our horizons!!!!! and laugh!!!!!! and have FUN!!!!! lot’s of FUN!!!!! oooooooohhhhhhh and if you’re foreign then I’ll REALLY like you!!!!!!!! wooooooooo love is an adventure!!!!!!!!!!!!! the only time I’ll leave is if I feel like you’re dragging down my free spirit!!!!!! I’ll find someone who’s more interesting and cultured than you are on my next expedition!!!

Capricorn Venus: okay. we can be in love but first I have to have a plan. I like plans. and feeling competent in love. I like seeing what I want and going for it. nothing crazy or overly gooey. nope. can’t do that. I just need someone who’s going to help me succeed. I’m cautious, but only because I don’t want you to waste my time that I could be using to be better and work harder. I’m always looking ahead, and I need someone to be there with me. let’s put effort into this and make it long-term. if you’re not willing to, then I will turn stone cold.

Aquarius Venus: I would say we could be in love but let’s not call it love!!! let’s call it whatever!!!! something we can’t label!!!! let’s mix it up because this world is so dull without us!!!! um…what’s attachment??? could you explain that word to me, please??? all I know is that we can be friends, you know??? and I’ll choose the terms, okay?? haha let’s be intellectual that’s pretty cool there’s no attachment there I know that and um sorry but eW FEELINGS lol not in a rELATIONSHIP if you want to bring that stuff up I’m not right for you I guess :/ find someone more boring

Pisces Venus: looooooooooveeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!! uh, sorry, what were you saying? oh, I’m just projecting all of my ideals onto you. no, it’s a compliment!!!!!! I accept all of your flaws!!!!!! aw let’s be romantic that’s so cuuuute <3 and yeah I’ll forgive you, it’s okay!!!! but sorry um I like you and all but it’s hard for me to commit sometimes because I see all of the possibilities!!! um, who am I??? I guess it doesn’t matter!!!! let’s live in a world of rainbows and unicorns together!!!!! but I mean it’s not really nice if you take advantage of me :((((

Sangwoo’s Feelings for Yoonbum

This is an analysis of Sangwoo’s feelings and thoughts throughout the chapters and how he developed feelings for Bum. This is basically Sangwoo’s POV of the story. It might answer some of the questions I’ve been seeing around about ‘Why did Sangwoo do this or that?’ and etc.

0. Emptiness

I think it’s very obvious that Sangwoo used to be really really lonely before Bum showed up. As a child he was abused and I think he was very attached to his mother so he lost the only person in his life that he truly loved. Imagine how frustrating it is to always pretend to be someone else. Be happy, smile, laugh, joke and hang out with people you don’t even like. You think they’re flawed, shallow, stupid, ungrateful and have ugly personalities (Sangwoo’s words) but this is the only way he can be with people. He has to wear a mask 24/7 that hides his true personality and I don’t care if he’s horrible, he’s still human. He doesn’t whine about it but he’s been subconsciously suffering. He has so many ‘friends’ and yet he’s completely lonely because nobody accepts him for what he really is. He literally does not have anyone.

Now before you blame his behavior and tendencies, I want to point out that I think Sangwoo has Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD), shows signs of BPD and also he’s a victim of abuse so with those in mind, let’s start:


1. ‘A perverted stalker?’

A guy broke into Sangwoo’s house and when he got caught, he confessed to him, telling him that he’s been in love with him. Sangwoo smiles because ‘people are full of shit’ and say anything to save themselves. Let’s trust his words here and say he didn’t kill Bum because he hadn’t kill a man in 3 years but I also think at that moment he feels like he should keep Bum around. Maybe out of curiosity? He’s not sure why yet. He just knows Bum is a different case. To do that, he breaks Bum’s legs to make sure he won’t leave.


2. ‘Can I be attracted to a man?’

He doesn’t know what to do with this guy. Bum is not loud or annoying, he doesn’t disobey him and is powerless. Sangwoo started to rationalize things for himself and figure out if he can be attracted to Bum, a man, in any way, basically he started exploring,

But still, he doesn’t trust this ‘perverted stalker’ so he is thinking, ‘I’ll provoke him and I’ll have a reason to end his life.’ BUT to his surprise, his plan backfires. Bum likes the abuse (or at least pretends to). Despite mocking Yoonbum, Sangwoo is surprised! He loves what he’s seeing. I believe he never got a reaction like that from anyone before when abusing them. And so he takes another step forward and kisses him, still experimenting.

He likes the kiss. He decides to keep Bum for now. He keeps him in the basement for a week. He hurts Bum by cutting him (punishing him) but still Yoonbum doesn’t push him away. Sangwoo realizes Yoonbum really is not a threat and is powerless which is why he took him upstairs and when Yoonbum begged him not to take him to the basement again, despite rejecting him, he considered it.


3. ‘You will hate me!’ First Test

Sangwoo believed Yoonbum will eventually want to leave him. Because I think he is aware of his own wrong actions to some point at least. Why would anyone want to stay with him after everything that happened, right? But the big improvement was that he wasn’t planning to kill him anymore. Why? I believe this is where the feelings started to develop. When he sees his mother (the only person he loved), in Yoonbum. Although he can separate these two people very well in reality.

Yoonbum said ‘I love you!’ AGAIN even after everything and Sangwoo is once again surprised! He slowly starts to trust this person’s feelings. He even gives him a knife but… not because he trusts Bum. That’s a test. I’m not sure if this translation is right but I believe that’s what he means by ‘I have something I want to confirm too’. He’s testing Yoonbum’s loyalty. He wants to know if Bum really means it when he says he loves him.

After that the real abuse starts and I believe he’s copying his father’s behavior while Yoonbum is ‘the mom’. He makes him do house chores, beats him up, etc… Meanwhile he enjoys abusing him and is waiting for an excuse to hurt him badly because he’s not emotionally attached to him yet. He doesn’t care. But Yoonbum is always obedient and finally… Sangwoo lets Yoonbum sit at the table with him because he wonders why Yoonbum is so nice to him, always smiling and listening to him and even made him a really nice dinner. He suspects him and it happens to be the same night Yoonbum uses the rat poison. For whatever reason, the poison doesn’t work on Sangwoo and Yoonbum passes the first test!


4. ‘He really loves me?’

When Yoonbum got sick, is where we can see Sangwoo’s emotions to some point. Sangwoo picked him up and took him to the basement but he looked at Bum and actually felt sorry for him (or maybe he just couldn’t see him as a threat. Either way) He went back up and laid him down on his own mattress. He took care of him and told him to rest. You can see him sitting beside him and staring at him in silence and I love this panel so much because you can see Sangwoo caring. can’t help but feel like he’s worrying for his sick bunny xD His emotions aren’t strong but he doesn’t want to lose Bum.

I think the question Yoonbum asked (whether he really meant it or not) made Sangwoo happy a bit. Chapter 5 is where he finally feels attached to Yoonbum and shows him affection. They started exchanging stories. Sangwoo was actually interested to know about his story, although he was a bit disappointed, saying that it’s ‘boring’ and that he hates weak people like Yoonbum who self pity. “Stop going on about how lonely you are. I hate that shit.” Why? Because Sangwoo is not the type that stay sad and depressed over their misfortunes. He’s the type that wants to get stronger to beat whatever and whoever is in his way. But in a way he thinks Yoonbum is like him. He started comparing himself with Yoonbum which is a big improvement. He told him how Yoonbum made things easier for him. “Why? How? I looked for a reason. And then I saw you.” He told Bum he was glad they were together and Yoonbum’s love made him feel stronger which I believe means Yoonbum’s love and obedience gives him confidence. And by kissing Bum’s wrist he implied that the love can be mutual.
Although he still doesn’t fully trust him (which is probably why he also refused the bj) but he was letting himself believe that Bum’s love for him was real. He’s happy to see someone is still in love with him even after everything that happened and after he saw Sangwoo’s true personality. He has someone now that knows his darkest secrets and still wants him for what he really is.


5. ‘Almost there…’ Second Test

Everything seems to be going well after that. Sangwoo was kind and affectionate towards Yoonbum. He took care of him and joked around. Although I’d like to think he was being too nice on purpose and not really himself and that’s because the second test was coming. He wanted Bum to feel he’d lowered his guards. He reminded Bum not to cross the line then left the house and Bum fails the second test.


6. ‘Don’t be pathetic.’ First Lesson

Even though he was hoping Yoonbum won’t come out, he expected it (considering he had the basement ready for him). He does not trust Bum at all and I think he was trying to kill Bum until he saw him calling his name even in his last moments so that changed his mind. It’s as if you want to let go of someone you like but they keep coming back to you so you can’t make the right decision. He wants Yoonbum. He wants someone to love him and he knows he probably won’t ever find anyone like that again. He was disappointed in Yoonbum SO he decided to make him better! Stronger! Like himself. So after punishing him, first he decided to show him how pathetic he is. He found a guy for Bum to kill (’for practice’), meanwhile insulting both of them to show Bum how 'bad’ it is to be weak.

Sangwoo still cares about him and makes sure Yoonbum knows that. The sick little mind games he played, were only because he enjoys seeing Bum relying on him and trusting him blindly. As I said before, it gives him confidence and makes him feel stronger.

This first murder happened. It was supposedly to make Bum stronger, show him how it feels to kill and… the most important part, help Yoonbum understand Sangwoo and be closer to him (spiritually!?) so they can be together.


7. ‘He left me too! I won’t forgive him!’ The Breakdown

Fear of abandonment. I already wrote a long post and talked about Sangwoo’s fear of abandonment here. The panic that happens after he thinks he’s been abandoned and the roller coaster of emotions. Rage, Fear, Worry, Sadness. He feels betrayed. He goes mad … and I have one thing to add to it all. I think that might’ve been how he felt when his mother ‘left him’ AKA died considering the flashbacks. (I’m not sure if this person is his mother though. She might have been a replacement?) I don’t know if Sangwoo killed her or something else happened but we can be sure that he loves and wants Yoonbum equally.

When he finds Yoonbum… he realizes how valuable he is to him and so he finally decides, “Let’s stay together… forever…”


8. ‘See how disgusting people are’

I’m going to skip a bit to where Sangwoo introduces Yoonbum to his ‘friends’. I think this is all to let Yoonbum get bullied, emotionally hurt, to build up some anger in him and provoke him. To remind him this is how people will treat you if you let them. Sangwoo already knows Yoonbum has been bullied and hurt a lot in his life because in a way he can relate to him. They are the same people. They were both hurt and abused and they have the right to punish these disgusting people. And this is all for Yoonbum and for the both of them. Sangwoo is pulling him up to his level or at least close so that they can be together. Jieun was a gift to Yoonbum and Sangwoo was happy to see Yoonbum accepted that gift.



I tried to keep this as short as possible. I think I understand Sangwoo well and I believe this is also the reason why he kills… but still these are only my thoughts and how I see everything. So they might not be 100% true. Koogi might have more surprises for her readers. But still, I love this character a lot and I can’t wait to see and know more about him and his past. Also I kind of fast forwarded the last chapter because there are so many posts about it already.

okay first things first: i love and support everyone equally in bts but i feel i need to get this off my chest. can we just appreciate Kim Namjoon?
can we appreciate how much he’s done not only for bts, for the boys, for bighit, for kpop, for his family but for his korean and international fans as well?

like without him bangtan wouldn’t exist. well maybe it would but not in this kind of form. and let’s be honest; this bangtan is the best bangtan.

he’s such an amazing leader too. he’s always there for the other members whenever they’re sad, exhausted, in need of positivity, feel like giving up… they always have a shoulder they can lean on and it’s Namjoon’s. he always makes sure that everyone is okay, everyone is happy and everyone does their best and works hard. he’s the one who always wants the boys to be a part of english conversations to so he helps them with their english whenever he can. he translates english stuff to korean so the boys won’t feel like they’re left out of something. he protects his bandmates at all cost but he also scolds them if they’ve done something wrong (lol papa Joon has no chill)

he proved that just because you’re coming from a small company, you can still make a name for yourself in the music industry. after all: not the company but your work will affect people.

because of Namjoon bts didn’t stop until they became the first kpop group to win an award, break a voting record with 300 million (!!!) votes but still staying the same humble guys they really are. they proved that a simple group that has an amazing leader at front is capable to do anything. buf ofc all 7 of the boys needed to be a part of this to make it work. y'know TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK❤️

can we also appreciate that RapMon proved his family that they made the right choice that day when they allowed him to be a musician instead of making sure he cares about university and stuff. he proved that his family made the right choice because now everyone knows who bts are and with this he shut every hater’s mouth.

and now comes the most important thing: THANK YOU NAMJOON. Thank you for always talking to us i-fans in english, for teaching the boys english, for translating english speeches to korean so your k-fans can understand you as well and basically for inspiring us. For never giving up on us. For always being there with us. For saving our lives. For taking care of us. For talking to us through your lyrics. For never taking a step back whenever you experience hate, a bad scandal or something tough. Thank you for supporting us, loving us, for empowering us to be stronger, to be more confident. Thank you for telling us not to give up on our dreams, never be affraid to try out something new.

Thank you so much for everything, Kim Namjoon. You saved our lives and you changed our lives. Thank you for being the best leader and taking care of our boys. ARMY LOVES YOU RAP MONSTER❤️

D&D: Teamup Attacks

A neat way to encourage teamwork and partnership midcombat: get a bonus when you combine your action with another character! You’ve probably seen things like it before in comics and action movies. The “fastball special” when Colossus throws Wolverine at an enemy. Hawkeye firing an arrow with Ant-Man hiding microscopically on the arrowhead. The ol’ one-two.

The mechanic I’m using for this is to let players use a teamup attack whenever two players roll the same intiative result, but you could feasibly let them do it if they ready their actions appropriately and make proper rolls for whatever they are trying to do. But otherwise, you just add some sort of condition or bonus damage to the attack, along with the regular damage from both players’ attacks. It’s that easy! After the first teamup attack, the players resolve initiative normally by figuring out which player has the higher modifier or rerolling.

The fun part of this mechanic is you or your players coming up with a special attack! Check out some examples I came up with below.

Fastball Special

Half-Orc Barbarian + Halfling Rogue: The Barbarian uses their strength to throw the rogue at an unwary enemy! The attack deals the regular sneak attack damage plus the barbarian’s regular attack damage, and then knocks the target prone.

Timber!

Fighter + Druid: The Druid casts Entangle or Thorn Whip or some such spell to wrap up the target’s feet, setting up the Fighter (or any martial class, really) to knock them down with a heavy blow to the torso or head. This deals the Druid’s normal damage from the spell (if applicable) and then the Fighter’s damage, plus knocks the target prone.

Shadow Boxing

Way of Shadow Monk + Assassin Rogue: Alternating attacks from each player jumping out of hiding and back into the shadows between each strike confuses the enemy. The target has disadvantage on all attacks during its next turn and cannot move more than 5 feet. It also takes the Monk’s and Rogue’s regular attack damage.

Nail on the Head

Great Weapon Paladin + Archery Ranger: The Ranger hits the creature with an arrow, and then the Paladin follows through with their two-handed maul, hammering the arrow deeper into the creature’s wound. This deals regular damage from the Paladin and Ranger plus causes the creature to bleed for 1d4 damage each round for three rounds.

Come to Deity

Paladin + Cleric: One of the players sweeps the target’s feet and the other whacks the back of their head, causing the target to fall into a kneeling position before the two holy heroes. The damage from both players coupled with their righteous auras causes the creature to become Frightened for one round.

Who Turned Out the Lights?

Fighter + Rogue: The Rogue pulls some of the target’s clothing or a bag over the target’s head, blinding them for 1 round if they are subject to such a condition. The Fighter and Rogue then wail on the creature with their attacks, each of which is made at advantage.

Soul Shred

Good Cleric + Fiend Warlock: The two players blast the target with spells of both fiendish and celestial energy, like an Eldritch Blast and Sacred Flame. The diametric energies surge through the target and vibrate enough to damage their very soul. The creature gains 1d2 levels of Exhaustion in addition to regular damage.

Elemental Convergence

Sorcerer + Wizard: The two spellcasters cast spells with different energy types simultaneously. The target(s) are Stunned for one round from their bodies trying to recover from the shock to their system. The creature or creatures take regular damage from the spells.

Harmonic Spell

Bard + Sorcerer: The Bard guides the energy of the Sorcerer’s spell with their musical magic, fascinating everyone who can see the spell (but not the initial targets of the spell). These creatures gain disadvantage on Perception checks and have their attention drawn to the spell’s effect, even if they were in the middle of combat, giving their enemies a chance to make Stealth checks. The Bard adds a die equal to their Bardic Inspiration die to the Sorcerer’s spell damage, without expending a use of Bardic Inspiration.

Arcane Epiphany

Wizard + Wizard of different school: The two Wizards combine the culmination of their studies to reach a magical revelation of sorts. They can each combine a spell from their chosen schools of magic to create a new spell, limited only by the imagination of the two players. For example, a Shocking Grasp and Phantom Steed launches an electrified steed at the target, becoming a regular Phantom Steed after the damage is dealt. The spell combines the damage of both base spells plus 2d6 damage, if either of the spells deal damage.

Rain of Arrows/Torrent of Blows

Ranger + Ranger: The two Rangers barrage the target with either their dual weapons or multiple arrows. The creature hesitates offering each ranger time for an additional attack in addition to their regular attacks, each at -1.

Look Behind You

Archery Ranger + Rogue: The Ranger and Rogue attack from hiding and use each other’s attacks to distract the creature from one another. The attacks deal a bonus 1d4 damage and do not reveal either player’s hiding place.

Beastcall

Bard + Druid: The Bard’s music combines with the Druid’s natural affinity to call a woodland creature to aid in the battle. This round, the Bard and Druid both deal damage from their respective spells or attacks. Next round, between the Druid and Bard’s initiative, a beast of CR 2 or less arrives to make an attack against a target the Bard and Druid agree upon, using the higher of the two characters’ proficiency modifiers to the attack and damage rolls. The beast then retreats back into the wilderness.

Eldritch Infusion

Warlock + Barbarian: The Warlock infuses the Barbarian’s open mind with the force of their patron to fuel their rage. The Warlock can use its action each round to maintain this bond. While infused, the Barbarian’s last attack each round deals damage equal to the Warlock’s Eldritch Blast damage plus 1d10 additional damage.

Dragoncall

Cleric + Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer: Through the Cleric’s exaltation to the draconic deities and the Sorcerer’s draconic origin, the two of you call a dragon to your aid. The Cleric and Sorcerer deal no damage this round. Next round, however, a Young dragon of the Cleric’s or Sorcerer’s choice arrives to use its breath weapon on a 15′ radius area they agree upon, using the dragon’s regular damage and saving throw. The dragon then leaves once its air raid is complete. (this one is a bit of a stretch, but I think that it’s fair if they forego their damage for a round to gain about 16d6 (possibly halved) damage on a small area.)


edit: It was also brought to my attention that Pathfinder’s Teamwork feats are a great example for these! Two I liked were Cover Fire and Harder They Fall. The former lets you use your ranged attacks to also use the Aid action, which i think still works in 5e. The latter lets you help an ally make a bull rush (Shove in 5e) attempt against a creature two sizes bigger than normal, which sounds like something that can be adapted! Even if you don’t use an explicit mechanic, always remember to think outside the box during he game and use teamwork to your advantage!

Harry's interview on Quotidien
  • I: Can you hear me?
  • H: Yes
  • I: Welcome to Paris!
  • H: Thank you
  • I: How are you? Can you answer in French?
  • H: Good! A little bit. A tiny bit. Très bien et toi ?(very good and you?)
  • I: Very good, thank you. We start our interviews with “can you give us your five favourites words in English or French. Or a French sentence”. Someone told me you knew a French sentence.
  • H: Comment vous faites un café si délicieux? (How do you make such a delicious coffee?)
  • I: OK, that’s good.
  • H: That’s all I have.
  • I: Do you say it very often?
  • H: No... Yes
  • I: What does France mean to you? Is it something, someone etc...?
  • H: Best people I’ve known... I think her, *shows a fan* I guess. Fabien Barthez.
  • I: Yes, Fabien Barthez. Harry, you’re 23 years old and you’re one of the best known pop-star in the world. Everybody has expectations with your new album and single Sign Of The Times. Why did you choose that song? This is not what people were expecting.
  • H: I think I wanted to.. I've always liked music that made me feel something. You know I think writing it I could feet something I wanted to bring it out. I think it's a good indicator for me of what the album is to me. That's why I wanted to go with that first.
  • I: Billboard wrote that the single was "one of the more ambitious opening statements in pop this decade". Not bad, isn't it?
  • H: Thanks!
  • I: Do you have friends working at Billboard?
  • H: I don't know anyone at Billboard.
  • I: When we listen to the song we think of David Bowie, Queen, who else did you think of?
  • H: I mean, I think everyone, anything, any song you've ever listened to growing up or throughout your life or you've enjoyed, inspired you. There are a lot of different things. I wanted to just write and see what came out. I didn't know what I sounded like to make an album. So this process was as interesting for me as I think it will be for people listening to the album for the first time.
  • I: Do you know French singers other than Serge Gainsbourg? That's a tricky question.
  • H: I know Woodkid. He directed my music video.
  • I: Why him?
  • H: I think his videos are amazing, he's a really talented guy and I love French people so I worked with him.
  • I: When you're in Spain, do you say that you love Spanish people?
  • H: No!
  • I: It seems like everything has been easy...
  • H: Great tie.
  • I: You think so? It's French.
  • H: It's not a Spanish tie, isn't it?
  • I: Can I see your loafer? Oh yes! What is the brand? That's not French, isn't it? It's Italian.
  • H: No.
  • I: That's from the European Union!
  • H: Probably yeah.
  • I: It seems like everything has been easy for you, is it true?
  • H: Was what simple?
  • I: Your life, everybody wants a life like yours, with One Direction...
  • H: I mean, I feel very lucky to be able to make music, I feel very lucky to be able to make this, I feel very lucky today being in France and performing my song. I love this song. I can't complain.
  • I: What were the unpleasant things?
  • H: *thinking*
  • I: I don't know, say only one thing.
  • H: I think when you care so much about something, it's hard to get to the point where you feel like it's finished and it feels like you're adding and it never ends and it adds up. So I think the hardest part was getting into that point and be like "ok that's finished."
  • I: You said to the Rolling Stone magazine that most of the album was inspired by a woman. Really?
  • H: No I think, honestly, the album is much more about me than it is about anyone else. I think if I said the album is about a woman it kind of feels like, I don't know, I put a lot of work into this. I don't feel like it revolves around woman. It's a lot about me and things I've never said before. It's more about me.
  • I: How did you start with a boy band and end with a solo career? Is it complicated?
  • H: It's been a lot of fun. You know we were very lucky to get to do some amazing things and at the moment in our lives, we're in a time where everyone is trying their own thing and have a good time. It's been amazing to see everyone doing their own thing as well. If I can do as well as the others, it'd be amazing.
  • I: Do you call them everyday or text them? Do you use What's app?
  • H: I don't have that.
  • I: Why?
  • H: Yes we talk, absolutely. And everyone is bringing stuff out. It's been a lot going on. It's been a good time.
  • I: This is the album cover! Can you describe it? Why did you choose this picture?
  • H: Yeah. So, I don't know. I worked with photographer Harley Weir, I'm a massive fan of her work. And that's amazing and I was lucky enough to work with her. I felt like this was what I wanted.
  • I: Why is it pink? Why the water? Why your back? Why? It's beautiful but why is it pink?
  • H: I don't know, man!
  • I: Really? You don't know?
  • H: I don't know. I don't think I want...
  • I: Apparently pink is Rock'n'roll's colour.
  • H: Apparently so. I don't know. I think it means something to me and if it means anything to anyone else, I wouldn't want to take away from that by explaining it. I think the cool thing about stuff like photos and art is you can just leave it. You don't have to explain it.
  • I: Everybody sees what they want to see.
  • H: Yes exactly.
  • I: Have you seen this?
  • *video of people reacting to Harry's single*
  • I: Your fans record themselves while listening to the song for the first time. You can hear relevant analysis and apparently they all really liked it. Do you read what people say about you on social media? On Youtube, Twitter, Instagram? Do you use Instagram?
  • H: Yes I use it a little bit.
  • *The public disagrees with Harry*
  • H: Yes I use it a little bit. I mean I wish everyone was having as good time as the girl who was like that with her hands. That's what I do when I listen to the song.
  • I: Are you the one using your Instagram? Do you use your own fingers or someone else does it for you?
  • H: Yes, I do mine.
  • I: Do you still vote in Redditch?
  • H: In?
  • I: Redditch!
  • H: That's where I was born?
  • I: Yes.
  • H: I don't live in Redditch.
  • I: So you don't vote there. Where did you vote?
  • H: London, yeah.
  • I: What do you think of the Brexit? Welcome to Europe!
  • H: Thank you very much, thanks. I mean, I don't really comment on politics. To me, anything that brings people together is better than things that pull people apart. That's ... yeah.
  • I: Yet, you are in favour of equality of rights, men, women, gay people, straight people... That's politics.
  • H: I don't know. It doesn't feel like politics. I think stuff like equality feels much more fundamental. I feel like everyone is equal. That doesn't feel like politics to me.
  • I: Your fans are fetishists. They know all of your tattoos, piece of jewellery, they have heart attacks when you cut your hair. Right now you're playing with their feelings. Do you know that?
  • H: Oh ok.
  • I: Yes! What is your favourite tattoo?
  • H: I think... I have a.. probably. I don't know, actually.
  • I: Which one is the latest?
  • H: The latest is this one there. *shows Arlo* And this one. *shows Jackson*
  • I: Jackson? All of them?
  • H: Yes.
  • I: What's the story behind your haircut? How much did you spend on hair products with One Direction?
  • H: Yeah, like a lot. I used a lot, yeah.
  • I: You're in Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan's new movie.
  • H: Yes.
  • I: How did you do?
  • H: I auditioned.
  • I: Look at you there.
  • H: I am, that's me.
  • I: Yes.
  • H: I auditioned and it was great. It's going to be a really cool movie.
  • I: Harry, it feels like we know you since you're a baby. The whole world discovered you in 2010 on X Factor.
  • *video of Harry's X Factor audition*
  • I: You auditioned alone but Simon Cowell had an idea... he put you in a band with Zayn, Louis, Liam and Niall. You became One Direction. You found the name One Direction and you sold millions of albums. One Direction are soon considered as the new Beattles and you filled the biggest stadiums. The whole world was talking about you. When you go out we prayed for your eardrums. You became UK's pride. David Cameron is in one of your music videos, your sang for the Queen. But in 2015... bang! Zayn left the band, fans couldn't get over it. But don't worry, their favourite is now on the cover of the Rolling Stone magazine, he's in Christopher Nolan's new movie, he's Mick Jagger on SNL... What you don't know is that we've met in 2012. You were in France to promote an album and now I have questions. First one! When you're in a car and fans are all around you, do you see that?
  • *video of fans around a car*
  • H: I think I've actually lost my shoe there. When I got in the car... I got in the car and I was like "how many shoes do I have?" Yes I lost my shoe.
  • I: I have another question! Do you still do that before going on stage?
  • *video of Harry and Lou*
  • I: Can we do it?
  • H: No.
  • *does it anyway*
  • I: What is the weirdest question someone asked you?
  • H: I think it was actually a French interview. I got asked if I would pee in a sink... Yeah.
  • I: Ok, that's weird!
  • H: It was the first question, the first question.
  • I: It puts you in the mood.
  • H: Yeah.
  • I: What is the question you never want to be asked ever again? Did I asked you that question?
  • *Harry asks the public*
  • H: Which one? Oh crush.
  • I: What?
  • H: Crush.
  • I: Oh ok. I didn't ask it! Did you know that a French author wrote a novel about you. It's called "Styles", it's about his obsession with you. It's in French. You can translate it.
  • H: Oh! Is that true?
  • I: Yes it's true. He dedicated to you. It's called "Styles" and it's a really good book. Read it!
  • H: Thank you.
  • I: Thank you very much Harry Styles for coming tonight. His first eponymous album comes out on the 12th May. Thank you Harry Styles.
  • H: Thank you.
  • I: Have a safe journey home.

Public speaking is very few people’s favorite thing. It can be so terrifying to get up in front of a whole class and present your project, so here are a few tips on nailing your next speech and feeling a little less nervous while you’re at it.

i. preparing your speech

  • Start with a topic that you care about, and be sure that:
    • It’s not too general that you don’t have enough time to cover it (like ‘the history of the US’ for a five minute speech) or too specific that you will run out of material.
  • Some people talk faster when they are nervous, some people slow down. Find out which you are and plan accordingly.
  • Make several drafts, and send them to your teacher if you can.
  • Create your visual aids (PowerPoint, handouts, etc) before your final draft, so you can make changes as necessary.
  • Don’t put too much text on your slides, other wise your audience (and maybe you) will get distracted by trying to read them.
    • Stick to using slides for quick facts, statistics, and pictures.
  • Don’t use the sound effects options they have for changing slides, it will just be a distraction.
  • For a speech you’re just giving once, you probably won’t have the timing down enough to use automatic changes.
  • Don’t put too much information on one slide. Just the point you’re on, and maybe the next, will be enough to fill it if your font is as large as it should be. 
  • Make sure you have your slides saved in at least two places (typically a flash drive and your email) so that if you can’t access one you have a back up.
  • Think about what questions people might have about your topic, and be prepared to answer them. Also brush up on any opposing views if the exist so that you can address those, both in the speech and in questions.

ii. making your flashcards 

  • Write bigger and clearer than you think you need.
    • I find it a bit difficult to read when I get nervous, especially when I’m just glancing down quickly. Write in print, and stick to just one or two points per card so that you can write largely.
  • Don’t write whole sentences, just key words.
    • If you have too much information you’ll be tempted to read it all off. Instead, just write down a word or two that will remind you of your point if you get off track.
  • Number your flashcards, and consider putting them on a ring. 
    • That way, if you drop your cards on the way up you won’t start out flustered.
  • Remember to put when to change the slide so you don’t forget and end up behind, or leaving it on the same slide the whole time. 
  • Color code your cards so that you can see what’s happening at a glance.
    • I typically use blue for stats/things I need to quote directly, grey for slide changes, and pink for points to emphasize. 
  • All speeches should end with you asking for questions, so be sure to add that into your last card. 

iii. practicing

  • Always practice out loud, even if you feel silly. 
    • It’s important to hear and feel yourself saying the speech to get comfortable performing it.
  • Time yourself practicing your rough draft a few times, so you know if you need to make it longer or shorter. 
  • Practice with your visual aids a few times
  • Practice it all the way through if you can; if you mess up, brush it off and keep going.
  • Film yourself practicing, so you can see if there’s anything you’re not noticing that you need to adjust.
  • Practice everyday, even if it’s just for a few minutes some days.
  • The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll feel.

iv. getting ready to speak

  • On the day of your speech, be sure to eat a good breakfast/lunch so you don’t get light headed.
  • Dress in an outfit that makes you feel confident and isn’t distracting: no busy patterns, large logos, or short hemlines that you would be tugging at the whole time. 
  • Double check that you have everything you need before you leave – cards, slides, and any handouts you may need.
  • This TED Talk has some great tips on faking confidence. I highly recommend watching it, but if you don’t have the time one of the take aways is that certain poses can trick your brain into feeling confident. She actually suggests going into a bathroom stall and standing in a “Superman” sorta pose for a minute or so. You’ll feel really silly, but strangely it helps. 
  • While you’re in there, adjust your hair/check your teeth so you’re not worried about that when you get up there. 
  • If you get to choose when you speak, think strategically: will going first and getting it out of the way make you feel better? Or would you rather wait and see a few people speak first?
    • I really don’t suggest waiting until the very last slot, but I like to go second or third to have the best of both worlds.
  • When you get to class, lay out everything you need and glance over your notes one more time. Then take a deep breath. You’ve got this.

v. the speech

  • When you get up to speak, take your time laying out everything you need and setting up your slides. 
  • After you’ve gotten the slides on, test the remote to see how sensitive it is. Just flipping to the first slide and back to the intro will help you feel less flustered if it’s more sensitive than you think and jumps around.
  • Take a deep breath and get started. If you mess up, no will know but you. Just keep going and act confident.
  • Glance back for just a second when changing slides to make sure you’re on the right one.
  • Make eye contact! The biggest mistake I see people make is to look down or above everyone’s head. Make eye contact with everyone more or less equally so it doesn’t look like you’re staring people down (but, if there’s someone that’s extra smiley/encouraging don’t be afraid to come back to them when you get nervous).
  • If you feel yourself starting to get nervous or starting to talk too fast/slow, it’s okay to take a second to take a deep breath and center yourself. Don’t be afraid of a couple seconds of silence if you need them.
  • If the podium helps you feel less nervous, use it. If moving around helps you loosen up, that works too! 
  • If you get off track, you are likely only one that even noticed that you messed up, so just take a deep breath, take a look at your notes, and get back on track the best you can (”going back to the second point,” or “but before we get to that,”).
  • If you’ve noticed that something’s wrong that needs to be addressed (like you’re on the wrong slide, or you misspoke and gave an incorrect fact) you can say something simple like “Sorry, I misspoke, it’s actually 1 in 3 Americans, not 1 in 4″ or try to make a joke if the subject lends to it and move onto your next point.
  • No matter what happens, it’s all good. Try to to panic and say things like “sorry, guys, I’m just so nervous” because that’s basically the only thing that will tip them off that you are. 

Above all, just try to relax and remember that you’re doing a good job. No one but you can tell how nervous you are or will know if you mess up. 

it’s crucial to realise that abuse cannot be reduced to a list of contextless behaviours. abusive actions are abusive, not because of their inherent nature, but because of the place that they take in a larger pattern of control or intimidation. if you try to paint a picture of what an abuser acts like without reference to these larger patterns, you’re inevitably going to describe a lot of the ways in which people who are being abused act–and many abusers know how to take advantage of that.

for example, an abuser may accuse their victim of witholding sex, saying that their victim is strategically denying them sexual access in order to control them. this falls into a larger pattern of the abuser feeling a sense of ownership towards their partner, feeling entitled to sexual access, and resenting their partner for exercising agency over their own body (& overwhelmingly, cases such as this involve a male abuser and a female victim). they may become angry when their partner understandably doesn’t want to have sex with them after they’ve been abusive towards them in other ways.

however, it’s also true that many abusers do strategically use sex as a control tactic, using their victim’s need for intimacy against them and refusing sex specifically as a form of punishment for other perceived slights. and the mere fact that one person is refusing sex with another person cannot tell you which of these, if either, is occurring.

similarly, abusers often use physical intimidation tactics such as stomping about, slamming doors, and breaking objects in order to create fear in their victims (and the expectation that perhaps they’re going to be hurt, whether or not the abuser has been physically violent before), or to punish them for stepping out of line. they’ll later claim that they just “lost it.”

but it’s wholly possible for victims of abuse to slam doors or to break objects out of understandable frustration with the terror to which they’re being subjected. without a reference to the overall dynamics of power in the relationship–whether or not the door was slammed in order to create fear, whether or not the person who broke an object also uses other tactics of manipulation and intimidation, and often whose objects were broken (abusers may claim that they “lose control” of themselves, but they conveniently seem to destroy only things that belong to their partners)–you can’t say that breaking an object = abuse.

& you have to keep in mind the fact that many abusers keep their victims on the defensive by accusing them of using their own manipulative tactics. someone (likely a man) who controls their partner through checking out other people & engaging in affairs may call their partner crazy or jealous or controlling for trying to put a stop to the behaviour–all the while being highly jealous and controlling of their victim, strategically fabricating suspicions about their infidelity in order to take the focus off of their (the abuser’s) behaviour.

or perhaps someone really is jealous–but feelings of jealousy do not automatically equal abuse in the absence of abusive behaviour relating to that jealousy. & you can apply the same concept to things such as crying or showing other signs of emotional upset when confronted with criticism, asking your partner to contribute more around the house, or a great deal of other things that I could name: these could all be manipulation tactics used by an abuser, responses to abuse manifested by victims (which the abusers may then spin around as evidence that they’re the ones being abused), or examples of simple conflicts that arise in nonabusive relationships that can be worked through in a constructive way.

abusers know how to manipulate shallow or inaccurate understandings of how abuse operates to the detriment of their victims, and they benefit from descriptions of abuse that abstract it away from dynamics of power and control. let’s avoid making their jobs easier for them.

Energy Based Witchcraft and Quick Practices

All right, so this is essentially the beginning of energy related witchcraft that I’ll be posting about as I try it and learn new things. Feel free to try out some of the stuff I talk about here but please remember that this is your journey and you can and should edit and tweak everything to best fit you.

Types of Energy

Reserved Energy

Reserved Energy floats either just above or below your skin. It should feel like it’s attached to you and resist most attempts to use it. It is minimally pliant, minimally workable, and mostly just exists as a backup or protection.

Latent Energy

Latent Energy is typically a ball of energy that is extremely malleable and easily visualized. This type of energy is more ‘for your use’. It can be visualized anywhere in the body; however, where ever it best seems to fit (i.e. a ball of energy in your stomach, chest, head, etc) is normally where it stays. Latent energy is great to work with to give yourself a better mastery over molding both Reserved and Latent energy.

Neighboring/Immediate Energy

Neighboring (or Immediate) Energy is an amalgamation of your energies and outside forces. It’s best visualized and felt by meditating. If you’ve meditated and felt like you were basically out of your own body and hazy, you’ve felt Neighboring Energy. It’s less you and, as a by product, significantly harder to work with. It’s not as difficult as Reserved Energy since that’s an active rejection to change, and this is simply difficult because you’re reaching beyond yourself.

Visualizing Your Energy

Visualizing energy can be a bit tricky, but seeing your energy, in my opinion, is equally important as feeling it. Being able to see and acknowledge your energy makes feeling and moving it so much simpler. There are a couple of ways to visualize your energy, so we’ll hop into those first:

First Plane Visualization (FPV)

If you close your eyes to visualize your energy and the first thing you see is your body, this is where you’re at. First Plane Visualization essentially means your energy best manifests itself to you as a physical part of you. Personally, I feel this makes it easier to work with Latent and Reserved Energy, but harder to work with Neighboring.

Second Plane Visualization (SPV)

If attempting to visualize your energy brings up empty space with your energy in some form or shape in it, congrats, this is you. This type of visualization makes it significantly easier to work with energy that isn’t yours but more difficult to work with your own as well. Your energy seems to best manifest itself as a construct in your mind, essentially on a different plane than your physical body. To use it, you have to get around your own barrier between it and physicality whereas outside energies that are already on your plane don’t need any extra work for you to work with them.

When you visualize your energy, you’re essentially introducing yourself and greeting it. In the same way you most likely wouldn’t hand a stranger a thousand dollars, your energy isn’t likely to do much for you if you don’t at least know it.

Moving Your Energy

Think of your energy as a muscle, if you never use it, it becomes that much more difficult to begin using and to strengthen it.  Please don’t expect to hop in, visualize your energy once, and suddenly have it do everything you want it to.

First try visualizing your energy with your eyes closed. Spend some time with it, don’t demand anything of it. Is your energy naturally calm? Does it spin lazily as you sit with it? Is your energy a spitfire, constantly flinging out strands of itself and wrapping around everything it can without leaving it’s basic shape? Who is your energy? What kind of personality do you get from it?

Try to learn and love your energy every time you visualize it. When you’ve got the image of your energy firmly in your head, preferably to the point where you can almost feel  it wherever it’s best visualized, try moving it. Try to get a strand of it to detach from the bulk of your energy and pull it towards you. If that’s difficult, simply work on moving the bulk of your energy towards and away from you (SPV) or around your body (FPV). This should honestly take awhile. Remember that you’re not simply trying to visualize it, but feel it. As it moves, you should feel it. Once you’ve got a mastery of that, try opening your eyes and doing it over again.

When you can move your energy in bulk or pieces with a bit more ease, I recommend pushing it to the surface. The easiest place to feel Latent Energy is between your palms. If trying to move your energy with in yourself simply won’t work for you, try this instead, then move back to that later. To push your energy to your hands for FPV, imagine it wherever it tends to manifest itself. Push it, either in whole or (preferably) in part, down or up your body and into your palms. If you need your eyes closed to direct it, by all means, close them; however, once you’ve got it comfortably in your palms, open your eyes and try to get used to keeping a hold on your energy with your eyes open. Allow it to do as it pleases within the space between your palms. Start out with maybe half a foot between your hands and slowly increase the distance as you grow more confident.

For SPV, visualize your energy and bring it towards you. Bring out either two bits of it, still connected to the whole, or the bulk of it towards yourself until it feels like you’ve stepped inside of it or as though it’s encompassed you. Carefully, without losing that feeling, visualize it (either with your eyes opened or closed depending on what works better for you) sparking its way down your arms and into your hands. If that’s too far to visualize, simply imagine it condensing between or in your palms for the get-go. Because your own image is less involved in your own energy, expect to have a harder time keeping it where you want it to be.

Energy, like most objects, rejects movement without force. When you move it at first, it may feel like it snaps back to where it started no matter what you do. Keep practicing and remember that it hasn’t really moved in years, so it’ll take some work to get it to move now.

Energy Exercises

We’re finally at the end of what I can share for the time being. I only have a couple of practices that I’ve been using lately, only one of which I’ll add here, specifically for Reserved Energy because that’s what I’m practicing working with currently. I will update this as time goes on but I do want to be sure before I give put any exercises. For example, one of them uses hunger as a basis and I don’t know how I feel about giving a purpose to staying hungry, so I’ll wait to add that if at all.

Exercise 1

Find a cold room or area, cold enough to give you goosebumps but not enough to shiver. Furthermore, if it’s outdoors, make sure there’s little to no wind. Wear short or no sleeves. Allow the cold to seep into your skin. Visualize your reserved energy; this may be a thin layer above or below your skin.

If it appears above your skin, give it intent, push it to separate you from the cold. In practice, this literally felt like a wash of lukewarm warmth sliding down from my head. The cold felt like someone holding an ice cube near my skin, but didn’t actually make me cold.

If it appears below your skin, incite it to heat itself. The cold should sink into your skin and meet that barrier of energy and fizzle out. I can’t tell you how it feels in practice because my Reserved Energy appears above the skin. If you try this out and are okay to share, I’d love to know how it differs.

Updates

I’ll either update or make new posts on this as I learn. I love energy based craft and I’ve got a lot more things I’m practicing that I’m not confident enough in quite yet to share…but soon. Here’s a mini-list of what you can expect in the future:

Moving Energy Into Objects

Visualizing Neighboring Energy

Using Neighboring Energy

Taking Energy from an Object

NOTE: All of the names I’ve given energy, energy types, etc were made by me simply to make it easier to refer to and talk about. If you call any of the feelings or activities something else, by all means, continue doing so. This is just what makes it easiest to understand for me.

If your animal hurts you, take a step back and ask yourself why

This morning I am typing this with my ring finger, as my middle and thumb are pressing gauze to my index. Please excuse the typos.

I have been blessed with either docile animals and animals that love me dearly. I know I have. And when people at work ask me about hamsters in particular, I tell them I’ve been extremely lucky to never have been bitten.

This morning Bernie decided to tell me that he thinks his cage is more of an apartment and he would like a spacious house more. I knew that day would come - he is a Syrian after all, and very few cages really exist for them - but I was hoping it would take more than two days. I bought the biggest cage that could house him but he is not a fan. He has experienced life outside out of the box he was in at work and goddamn he is gonna enjoy it.

The only cages big enough are only available online where I live and take one to two months to ship. I told Bernie this, but of course being a hamster, he didn’t care. So I gave him a tissue box with a few pulled out, stuck some noms inbetween the sheets, and made a digging cave for him.

Not good enough, man. I booped his snoot, and he bit me.

So first off, hamster teeth hurt like a motherfucker.

Secondly, I wasn’t mad. I did yell out a foul word, but more out of pain than any anger at him. It’s not his fault. He just wants s bit more room AND his cool toys, not one or the other. I left to grab some gauze but I came right back, and took Bernie out, and we had ourselves an explore on my bed, which IS much larger than his cage, obviously. Bernie had a blast. He tunneled under sheets. He tunneled under pillows. He climbed Pillow Mountain. He wanted to rappel down the sides of the Bed Cliffs (Mama said no).

Bernie is now back in his cage thinking he is Hot Shit. And while out of cage time is important, it’s equally important that his actual cage be big enough so that I can work an eight or ten or twelve hour shift and come home and go right to bed, and know that he’s okay and not bored. In the meantime, I’m thinking of going to Walmart and buying one of those long bins used to store sheets and making him a maze out of cardboard. A big maze, with empty passages and passages stuffed with bedding and chambers big and stuffed with bedding to tunnel through. He’d like that. I’ll keep it once the big cage comes in, but hopefully this will tide him over while he lives in the apartment cage.

Bernie bit me to show he was frustrated. He wants to run NOW, not in two hours, not in two months. NOW.

Luna, Apollo, and Aisha, my cats, don’t bite and never have, but they do occasionally scratch. Not on purpose. They’re trying to get down or get up, they slip, or something exciting or scary happens and they need to book it. And it hurts every time.

You’re going to get hurt if you own a pet. You’re going to get bitten or scratched - by them, their equipment, etc. If they’re a bigger animal, you’re going to get body slammed from time to time. It’s okay.

I’m not saying you can’t yell FUCK when the pain hits. It’s actually scientifically proven that that helps lessen the pain. But don’t blame your pets. Look around and try to see it from their perspective. Maybe they’re tired, or something scared them. Maybe they have to pee. Maybe you’re bugging the crap out of them, or they want to play in an animal way, not in a people way. Maybe it was genuinely an accident and your body invaded the space they’d intended to put their body.

It’s okay. Talk to them calmly. Grab a bandaid or some Tylenol. Don’t yell at them. Don’t hit them. Don’t be mad at them. They’re just trying to talk to you and it’s not their fault you don’t speak hamster or bird or lizard, etc etc.

Not Your Average Zutara Fic Rec

So I’ve gone through a LOT of Zutara fanfiction, probably too much if I’m being honest, and finding good fics can be really hard. When looking up fic rec lists I’ve noticed that a lot of the lists are just the same select fanfictions recommended over and over (We get it, everyone and their mother loves ‘His Majesty Prefers Blue’ and ‘Stormbenders’ [I never finished HMPB, sue me]). 

So this list is for all of you who are in my shoes and can’t seem to find anything besides the same ten or fifteen stories recommended and are desperate for something new. Everything listed is complete! (If I listed the incompletes/abandoned stories I’d have a lot more chaptered stories listed… RIP ‘The Confrontational Approach’…) 

I have a lot of bookmarked stories that I have yet to read and am in the middle of (Almost caught up on @firelordandlady ‘s ‘Say Anything’!), so I’ll try to update this when I finish something I think deserves a recommendation. 

Chaptered

In the Same Candlelight by Like a Dove

In a world where there is no war, Zuko and Katara spend their summers together. Growing up is messy, embarrassing, and at times sad, but they think it might be okay because they have each other. Edited summary.

I know. I KNOW. I LITERALLY JUST SAID I WASN’T GOING TO RECOMMEND FANFICS THAT ARE ON EVERYONE’S LIST. But I NEED to mention this one. I spent so long not interested in this fic. I don’t like drastic AU’s, or modern AU’s. My taste is strictly canon divergence, so I didn’t think I would like this. I WAS SO WRONG. Trust me, if you are like me and don’t like big AU’s, read this anyway. I promise, you won’t be disappointed. Characterization is still so spot on, even with such a different take. Aang is precious. There is nothing but fluff, fluff, and fluff. It will melt you. You will probably die and your spirit will rise up smiling and beaming out rainbows and sunshine. That’s what happened to me. 

Lilacs and Lily Pads by sadladybug

A tale of clumsy courtship and calamitous court weddings, featuring awkward family encounters, floral mishaps, cultural complications, and good old fashioned fluff and conflict. Takes place in the five years following war’s end. For Zutara Week 2016. A prequel to Bones.

Clothe Me in Seasons, Dress Me in Snow is a very commonly recommended Zutara fic (And for good reason, I shed many tears reading it). But this two-shot (A companion to Bones, a smut one shot) by the same author is really underrated and beautifully written. It follows Zuko and Katara as they try to plan their wedding, as well as shows two scenes from before they got engaged that solidified the relationship to be one they knew would last. Just really well done overall and very very sweet. 

EDIT: I talked with the author and apparently it isn’t finished?? But they are apparently working on the next chapters so yay!! And each chapter is independent so it doesn’t feel unfinished.  

The Slow Path by Tazainian Devil

Eight years after the fall of Ozai, Aang returns to the friends he left behind - Taang, Zutara, Sukka

This is technically a Taang fic, and if I’m being honest I kind of just skimmed through the non-zutara chapters, but the Zutara storyline was good enough that I think it’s definitely worth the read. And the overall plot has a great premise. Be warned, it has a sequel that was never finished. 

Another Word For Alchemy by FanPanda13

Five years have passed since the Avatar defeated Fire Lord Ozai, and the members of the Gaang have all gone in their own direction. But when Aang invites them all to a Peace Summit at the North Pole and tells them of his new project, for which he will need their support, the group comes together again for adventure, fun and romance. AU. Zutara. COMPLETE.

So this fic is crazy for me. At first, it started as just really good natured fluff. The writing wasn’t anything fantastic (Although I loved how it broke the 4th wall and didn’t take itself seriously), and there were some definite OOC moments. But I had so much FUN with it. The plot (while definitely not the focus as everyone is more concerned about when Zuko and Katara will get together) was interesting, and there were some really sweet moments. It was also HILARIOUS and I had multiple moments where I genuinely laughed out loud. But then about five chapters before the end, the quality SKY ROCKETED. As the plot and mystery come together, the characters all come together in a moment that truly feels like it came from the show. Even the writing quality increases by a lot and I was genuinely shocked and impressed. Definitely recommend. 

Kyoshi Hold ‘Em by cupid-painted-blind

When a blizzard shuts down the fourth annual Peace Summit, the group has to find some way to pass the time. /Zutara, Taang, Jet/Mai, Jet/Everyone, Sukka

If you’re looking for a good crack fic, look no further. It’s post war and utter nonsense. Jet is alive for some reason??? No one questions it and he’s shipped with pretty much everyone. It’s funny, it’s decently written, there are drinking and sexy time shenanigans, and overall just lighthearted. Also, it does a great job of being a crack fic without crossing the line and becoming unfunny and just a trash fic. A lot struggle to find the balance and resort to going over the top and ridiculous, but this one does a really good job. 

Come With Me by Steamboat Ghost

Coauthored by fuzzytomato. Troubled over his newly restored honor, Zuko finds solace in the familiar guise of the Blue Spirit. In a chance meeting with the Painted Lady, a friendship is forged as the two heroes seek to help the Fire Nation’s neglected.

I’ll admit it: I’ve never gotten into Blutara fanfictions. I only read the first couple chapters of HMPB and dropped it after the tree scene. I don’t know, it felt really OOC for me and I may go back and read it again just because EVERYONE raves about it, but IDK. I’ve never been a huge Blutara fan because while I love the concept, I’d much rather see the Painted Lady and the Blue Spirit come together as equals. Most fics present Zuko behind his mask to Katara, and it feels imbalanced. There aren’t a lot of stories where we see their alter persona’s come together even though that’s the entire point of the parallel between the two. Insert this fic. I only wish there was a sequel dealing with Zuko in the Gaang after these events. Hey, a girl can dream. 

A Zutara Story Anastasia by LastSunset

Katara, the only suviving waterbender of the Southern Water Tribe, joins two con men, Zuko and Iroh, while a fearful admiral chases for her death. A Zutara Story. Based on the movie Anastasia.

So this isn’t so much a retelling of Anastasia but with Katara and Zuko as it is a fanfic version of the movie but with the characters names and world changed. It takes a lot of lines from the movie. But WHO CARES? It’s Anastasia and Zutara!!! What more do you need??? 

Oneshot

this burden you bear by cowlicklesschick

Word travels, and war stories will be told round campfires and on freighter ships until every person in the world knows what Master Katara did for the new Fire Lord. She fights the burning in her throat at the thought of people knowing why she had to heal him in the first place. Post-war Zutara.

This is an angst-with-a-happy-ending, which I say is the absolute BEST type of angst. Katara deals with the guilt of what Zuko did for her as the Fire Nation celebrates what she did to save his life during the Agni Kai. The two come together beautifully while struggling to see the feelings they both share. Really well written and like I said, it has a happy ending, which we all need. 

The Best of Me by Laririn-Shadow

The night before his eighteenth birthday Zuko wraps a bandage around his left wrist. He has a country to run and no time for frivolous things. It will make everything easier if he waits. Zutara Soulmates AU

Soulmate AU’s usually aren’t my thing (With the glaring exception of one Until Dawn Soulmate AU, but that’s besides the point), but I really enjoyed this oneshot. It isn’t sweeping or insanely romantic and the reveal isn’t “OMG I’VE LOVED YOU THIS WHOLE TIME” But it’s a subtle love that grows, which I really like. 

snuggling dysfunctional cats by emletish

Toph thinks Katara and Zuko were a ridiculously, incredibly, stupidly adorable couple. There is only one problem, they were not actually going out. This confuses Toph. could stand alone or be read as a companion peice to my stalking series

Fun fact: Before this oneshot, I had only ever read one fanfiction over 200k words, and had no desire to read another one again. And then I read this. This one shot was so fantastic that it was the reason I ended up reading the ‘Not Stalking Zuko’ trilogy (Also by emletish), which totals almost 900k words because this companion piece had me so sold. Yeah, it’s THAT good. 

my salvation, he’s not anything by sarsaparillia

Let’s run away and start another war. — Zuko/Katara.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ What can I say? I love the ‘Let’s run away together, consequences be damned’ trope. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The Time is Ripe by Casa Circe

ZUTARA WEEK 2012 Day Seven: Seasons. There are many stages that a heart goes through before it can finally be ready for the love it was meant to have. The road is often a rocky one but eventually, it leads you home.

A oneshot for the Zutara Week 2012 prompt ‘Seasons’. Not too much to say about it. Short, sweet, and well written. What more do you need? 

Serendipity by Boriqua-chan

Iroh goes hunting for tea leaves and finds something…interesting. /Zutara week, day 1/

Secret relationships! Fluff! Happiness! And all from Uncle Iroh’s perspective!! Everything I love in one great oneshot! 

Too Close for Comfort also by Casa Circe

ZUTARA WEEK 2010 Day Three: Pain. After watching “The Ember Island Players”, no one is in the mood for teasing. But a little slip of the tongue leads to the painful realization that the play was more accurate than they were willing to admit.

There are two Zutara plots/tropes that I am a complete and utter SLUT for. The first is the ‘Let’s talk about that EIP show’ trope. This is one of my favorites. 

The Color of Truth is Red by Mrs. Pettyfer

Written for Zutara Week prompt “awkward.” Zuko and Katara discuss the Ember Island Players.

Another post EIP oneshot

Enlightenment by Blade Quill

Choices are made on the day of Zuko’s coronation, and sometimes, enlightenment is just the simple truth at hand. Zutara. AU of the final moments of the Book 3 Finale

The OTHER plot/trope I’m a slut for is finale rewrites. LET ME SEE THEM COME TOGETHER AFTER HE TAKES LIGHTNING FOR HER. Ugh, I love it. 

Framework by profoundlycan

What if in “Sozin’s Comet” Katara had come into the room instead of Mai? Zuko/Katara. Prequel to Schema.

 Another finale rewrite! Let’s just get Mai out of the picture here… 

Lightning Shocks the Heart by drunkzutarafeels

Why do our hearts remain dormant until a climactic moment makes time stand still?

And here’s yet another finale rewrite. There is a really popular Zutara gifset that someone animated of the Agni Kai ‘Thank you’ scene, but Katara kisses Zuko after she hugs him. This is the fanfiction equivalent of that gif set. 

Sunrise by lewilder

The days go on and on, and even if she feels more comfort from the moon, Katara learns to cherish the promise of each new sunrise. Zutara AU, largely finale-centric. Oneshot.

LAST FINALE AU I PROMISE. Really sweet, starts right after The Southern Raiders and goes past canon. 

all the ghosts we cannot kill (we learn to love) by raisindeatre

Zuko and Katara; the moments we didn’t see. Or: Maybe we are all somebody’s ghost. And maybe sometimes we can be more than that.

“…My quarrel has only ever been with you, Zuko,” she says, his name sharp on her tongue. “This has only ever been about me and you.”

“You’re wrong,” he rasps, his voice rough in the late afternoon sunlight that falls around them, tangles them in golden nets. “This has only ever been about me and the Avatar. Not you and me. What we hold between us has nothing to do with it.”

This is a really beautiful one-shot that follows a battered, war torn and hardened Zuko and Katara through the scenes we DIDN’T see throughout the entire show. A Zutara must-read.

Drabble Collection/Series

And Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Advocaat

A collection of humorous and crack-tastic oneshots corresponding to the days of Zutara Month

Really great Zutara Month themed drabbles, and it contains the only body swapping plot that I’ve read and really enjoyed. Also the chapters ‘Potential’ and ‘Festival’ are some of my all time favorites. 

Zuko Was No Coward by hootowl

Zuko was many things, but a coward he was not. A collection of Zutara100 prompts. Title may change.

Definitely some heartbreakers and angsty drabbles in here, but all well written and thoroughly enjoyable. If you read ANYTHING from this list, read chapter two of this drabble collection. I MELTED when I read it. It’s perfection. Aunt Wu’s prediction has always been a plotline I’ve loved in Zutara fanfiction, and this one just does it PERFECTLY. 

Zutara Week 2012 by ichilover3

A collection of oneshots inspired by the prompts for Zutara Week

Not much more to say. The first, third, and fourth prompts are my favorite from this series. 

Zutara Week 2015 by bianca_anna

It started at a tea shop and ended with forever. My entries for Zutara Week 2015. I hope you enjoy them.

Oh my GOODNESS. So they’re Zutara Week prompts, but all set in the same universe. The Zutara!Family depicted in these drabbles has become my headcanon. I’ve seen many a Zutara family, but this one is by far my FAVORITE. This is now my official family for them. I want the very last chapter fully animated because it’s so good and epic and I want more of this families adventures. 

unpopular opinion: there’s no way we can get a great garnet episode at this point

aka why i can understand why garnet stopped having episodes dedicated to her.

this isnt to justify the lack of episodes dedicated to her, but rather my anger and frustrations with the crewniverse for repeatedly stunting any development for her and turning her into a really bland and overly forgiving mom character

garnet transformed from this mysterious mother figure that would do quirky things and have spouts of anger to a faux progressive happy go lucky character (odlaws’ put my issue into words perfectly if you wanna understand it more)

like back in season 1? what were garnet’s flaws:

she was awkward, she would turn violent if you pushed her hard enough, she over estimates steven, she can lose focus easily, her stoic persona made her come off as uncaring and intimidating

after jailbreak, keeping it together and cry for help you would think garnet would face new conflicts such as trust issues, dealing with PTSD, coping with horrific imagery, letting things go, etc

but no. we never get any of that. we’re not ALLOWED to get any of that. instead all that emotion and turmoil is given to ruby and sapphire. really godbless these characters, i still love them to death and despite some of my issues with keystone motel, its still a really solid and enjoyable ep. But this arc was supposed to be about garnet being hurt. pearl was jealous of garnet and pearl hurt garnet. when pearl was insulting sugilite no one went “how rude of pearl to insult amethyst and garnet”. We all understood that sugilite was a separate identity who made her own decisions and garnet and amethyst weren’t influencing it. 

even when ruby and sapphire were angry about how they were hurt, RUBY was in the wrong because she didnt want to forgive pearl right away and sapphire told her that forgiving pearl was the right thing. ignoring the fact that that was a terrible message to send, that you need to just forgive people who hurt you right away just because they’re close friends, we never get a chance to see garnet vent and show her anger. even in Friend Ship, it ended with garnet playing the life coach for pearl DESPITE pearl not giving a proper apology and instead making bad excuses and using guilt tripping tactics (”im not strong enough” “im just useless”). its like the tumblr equivalent of someone going “i know i did something bad i get it im trash i deserve to die”. But garnet can’t shut that down can she? garnet cant receive a good apology can she? no she has to sit down and stroke Pearl’s ego for a goddamn minute.

garnet cant express her feelings because that’s wrong and bad! pearl can scream at a child and smack a wall simply because he tried to be supportive but garnet cant be mad. garnet’s not allowed to express her feelings. Friend Ship and Cry For Help made me realize something awful.

when garnet’s mad its not sympathetic, it’s scary

back in season 1 I forgave it since garnet was an imposing figure. she’s weird and mysterious. when she was mad it was over things like accidentally getting her glasses knocked off and ronaldo kidnapping steven. you could laugh at the situation with her and not really take her anger seriously enough

so you would think given the circumstances, the writers would understand that we should sympathize with garnet since she was violated. which isnt at all funny and nearly made her defuse.

But you’re not supposed to empathize with garnet. you’re not supposed to relate to her. You’re not supposed to go “poor garnet thats so messed up”. you’re instead supposed to react like “Yeah that was messed up but WHY is she mad at pearl :(”

amethyst complains about the house being awkward and taking neither sides despite it clearly being something that she should be supporting garnet in. steven doesnt support garnet either. when pearl snapped at steven in Rose’s Scabbard, steven chases after her and spends some time with her to lift her mood. But steven didn’t care to do anything for garnet. Steven didn’t invite her to come to the motel. Steven didn’t take the time to talk to her. and Steven didn’t make any attempt to relate to her.

and yet guess who did get the good ol’ “get coddled like a baby” treatment.

pearl. someone who was the cause of all this drama. who not only violated a friend several times, but delayed their mission and risked endangering everyone for the sake of feeling good about herself. but ofc the writer’s woobie fave could never do anything wrong :(

an entire arc that should’ve been meant to flesh out both garnet and pearl ended up shelving garnet and treating pearl like the victim in all of this. that SHE’S the one who needs help.

how insulting

a black woman who sang a song about the importance of love and fusion, who nearly fell apart when she saw forced fusions, is not the victim in this. the Cry For Help was about pearl. garnet needed to drop all her feelings for pearl.

And afterwards it just went downhill from there. its like the show completely gave up on garnet.

more focus and screen time was given to ruby and sapphire, who again i love, but get more development than garnet.

and finally we reach “Log Date 7 15 2″ or as i like to call it “the rise of magical negro garnet”

Peridot’s comments don’t piss off Garnet. You don’t see her get visibly angry. She barely musters a response except for mildly bored look. I wasn’t asking for “garnet beats up peridot for being a homophobe”, but I know very well that garnet would not be the type to just allow Peridot to spend several days making off color comments. Garnet looks bored to mildly pleased. 

You could call this character development except… not really? Garnet smiling more does not equal Garnet being way more tolerant of disrespectful behavior. But since this was an arc for peridot i forgave it a bit. 

But then came episodes like Gem Harvest where Garnet would seriously be the last person to just shut up and tolerate Andy’s disrespectful behavior. And in Mindful Education we see garnet using ruby and sapphire to express how they handle trauma rather than Garnet using her own emotions.

Garnet isn’t flawed anymore. Garnet doesn’t make awkward comments or act in ways that are oddly violent. She’s not brash or passionate. She’s just there to offer advice.

Finally there’s Room For Ruby, an episode that made me sit and go “there is no way in hell this is the same garnet before”

  • garnet was already cautious with Steven trying to train a corrupted gem, why would she not even moniter him teaching Navy about earth (i know they think she’s dumb but she’s not an animal and there’s a reason why the diamonds sent out those rubies)
  • garnet saw a future where navy did not care about being a crystal gem and did nothing. excuse me? Garnet says herself her future vision works like a river with various streams connecting to it, and relies on the future thats most common (she when she jumped in front of a spilled coffee pot to protect steven). garnet even understood at the end of the episode that bad futures are possible and risky, and if they’re most common she needs needs to act on it. why on earth would garnet see a future where navy takes the ship and leave and not do anything about it
  • she was waaaaay too laxed about steven failing to stop navy. remember when she said she was terrified of Blue Diamond? Or when she smashed a warp pad just for seeing peridot show up? 

garnet’s cool with everything now. she doesnt care. she became the most assertive member of the team to the most passive. she’s easy to convince and push. she lacks any depth outside of “quiet mom who smiles sometimes”.

i cant believe im saying this but i honestly thing the crew fucked with her personality harder than lapis. because at least in lapis’s case, there was no concrete identity for her.

but there was one for garnet, one we all loved. 

awkward, funny, quirky, sensitive and assertive garnet.

the writers could have developed it more and jailbreak made me believe we were going to see more of her. but instead the writers decided decided “Garnet with layered personalities is a bit too much for us. so we gotta simplify her. make her the walking shoulder to cry on. the friend that enables everything you do, she just loves steven and thats all that matters.”

and that’s all garnet is now. she’s almost like peridot. happy go lucky, overly forgiving and a shell of her former self.

and that makes me mad

Being Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Daughter...
  • Lin would cry the day you were born but he would also brag a lot.
  • He’d shower you with gifts but he was also careful not to overdo it
  • Chances are, (depending on your age and whatever year you’d picture this for) you’d be friends with a lot of the Hamilton cast/ and or their kids
  • There’s no doubt about it you’d be a freestyling genius much like him and musically talented.
  • And Lin would be so proud of this
  • Lin’s heart would melt every time you called him ‘dad’
  • He is probably one of the most caring, sweetest, and involved father out there.
  • And if your mother wasn’t in the picture, Lin would be sure to work to fill in her shoes.
  • He would attend all your school events and extra curriculars too.
  • On mother’s day he would plan a brunch inviting his sister and mother over making sure you knew you weren’t alone when it came to the amount of females in your life.
  • Whenever he goes to Richard Rodgers Theatre or goes to work for whatever project he’s working on he is constantly pulling his phone out to show his fellow coworkers pictures of you
  • He can’t help it
  • But one thing is for sure, Lin would make sure you knew how strong of a woman you were. Being a strong activist for equal rights Lin knew how easy it was for girls in today’s society to feel weak and defeated by the powerful and he never wanted you to experience that. So he would make post-it notes and stick them in your lunchbox, on your mirror, and anywhere he could find with sayings such as…
  • “I am woman hear me roar!”
    “Though she be but little, she is fierce!”
    “A strong woman looks fear in the eye and gives it but a wink.”
    “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”
  • And because your father is one of the most encouraging and inspiring figures in the world, not only in tweets but reality as well, he excels at giving the best, most needed pep talks when you’re down in the dumps.
  • Lin had you speaking Spanish as soon as you said your first word
  • Lin would practically document your entire life. He liked taping you and taking pictures while you were doing casual activities such as coloring, singing, dancing, playing with your dolls, running around the house, etc.
  • Tobillo basically being your best friend
  • That dog follows you wherever you go
  • Lin has thousands of videos from when you were learning to walk, practically waddling around and Tobillo was right on your heel the entire time following you.
  • The whole Hamilton cast would be obsessed with you
  • Especially Phillipa
  • That girl loved you as if you were her own
  • And if you were old enough, you would join the Schuyler Sisters in their inbetween shows closet talk.
  • Sleep overs at Jasmine and Anthony’s while your dad is out of town
  • And they would absolutely LOVE having you over
  • You made them want to have kids that much more and Anthony loved taking you to the movies and Jasmine loved taking you out shopping
  • Speaking of shopping, Renee, Jasmine, and Phillipa are always spoiling you with the newest trends and what nots.
  • The Hamilton cast would be like another family to you
  • Always running around backstage with Groffsauce, who usually was assign babysitting duty.
  • The Schuyler sisters- as well as Leslie teaching you how to harmonize
  • Daveed loved helping you with your freestyling
  • You and him always got in heated battles- in good spirits of course
  • Playing childish games during intermission and between shows with Oak, Daveed, and Anthony.
  • Trying to braid your dad’s hair during his Hamilton days
  • Let’s be real, Lin would dedicate Dear Theodosia to you
  • And during Stay Alive (reprise) and It’s Quiet Uptown he had genuine tears pinching at his eyes as he fathomed the thought of losing you
  • But Lin would always run to you and spin you around every night after shows
  • The two of you would walk hand and hand together home and Lin would sing you to sleep every night
  • He’d love making you breakfast and basking in that domestic life
  • I could see him making some of the best pancakes in the world
  • And one morning when you were little, you convinced him to let you have a sip of his coffee
  • “Daddy, what’s that black stuff in there.”
    “It’s called coffee, bebé.”
    “Can I try some?”
    “Uh, I don’t think so, Y/n. You wouldn’t like it.”
    “Please, papi.”
    “Oh alright.”
  • Like he predicted, you hated it. The liquid burned your throat and young little you cried at the bitterness for at least a minute which broke Lin’s heart.
  • Lin would be the type of parent that would love to show you off to family and friends but when it came to posting pictures of you on social media, he usually made sure your face was covered, just to keep an element of privacy in his life.
  • But he does love tweeting stories about you or cute things that you do
  • Your childhood years would be a little hectic. Lin probably wouldn’t be around as much as he wants with filming, acting, composing and all but he would make an effort of a lifetime to be as involved as possible.
  • By your late teens you had already seen much of the world but that didn’t mean you were bored by any mean. Adventure was in your soul.
  • Lin would spend a lot of time with you during his time working with the film Moana. He liked to come to you to find inspiration.
  • Family trips to Disney World and Land
  • Lin is constantly trying to help you with his homework
  • “You know I was a teacher.”
  • Coming to him when you start learning about the American Revolution
  • “Well I mean you came to right person. I did write an entire musical about this stuff. Just use the album for a reference, it’s mostly accurate.”
  • Walking into your house one day after school infuriated as you set your pop quiz on the Schuyler Sisters in front of him, a large 9/10 circled with red pen.
  • “And I quote, I’m the oldest and the wittiest… My father has no sons… dad you cost me a perfect score! Why did you lie in the lyrics, I thought you said I could trust them!”
    “I’m sorry I forgot they had other siblings!”
  • Similar to your father, you swore like a sailor
  • Which also meant you were constantly getting scolded and death glares from your father who claims “He didn’t raise you to speak like that.” Even though you both know he did.
  • But honestly I could see Lin being into girl drama. Like when he picks you up from school and sees an annoyed look on your face he’d just shake his head and say,
  • “Spill the tea, honey. I’m ready!”
  • And on your bad days after dropping you off at home after school, Lin would drive to the nearest DQ and Chick-Fil-A and movie store returning home with gifts in toll.
  • He was one of the only people in the world you trusted enough to tell everything too
  • Dad jokes, so many dad jokes.
  • “Dad I’m thirsty. Do we have any-“
    “Hi thirsty nice to meet you I’m Lin-Manuel.”
  • Being very close with your grandparents
  • Your grandpa teaching you how to cook
  • Your grandma would spoil you tbh
  • Girl talk with your Aunt Luz
  • Your dad would be really big on making sure you knew and understood the importance of equality and treating others with respect. 
  • Weekly meals at their place where your grandpa is also telling tales
  • “You know pequeño, when your father was your age I couldn’t get him to shut up!”
    “Papi-“
    “He was always doing his rapping, talking fast and never making sense but he had passion just like yourself so don’t you ever give up on yourself carino. If your father did he would not be where he is today- and neither would you.”
    “Thank you abuelo.”
  • And when you finally do make it, doing whatever or being wherever that may be, you’ll have Lin’s as well as the rest of your families support because Lin knows exactly what it feels like to have millions of people doubt you and laugh at you for doing the unexpected so his support will never run out.
  • When Lin finds out you have a passion for writing and composing, he immediately takes you with him for a daddy daughter date to the studio.
  • He pretends to be out of ideas for a song and you play along knowing it would be a lot less painful to take the easy path.
  • “Well there are a few different projects I’ve been working on lately. They aren’t too good… pretty shitty-“
    “Y/n.”
    “Sorry… but uh, you can have a look I suppose.”
  • Becoming a co writer beside your dad on his next project
  • Going on walks and hikes together with Tobillo
  • But for real though Lin would be insanely protective over you
  • Like when it comes to you Lin always needs to know where you are and constantly has eyes on you
  • When you got your first boyfriend/girlfriend Lin would FLIP
  • You’d suddenly become a player in the game ’21 questions’ or more like 101 questions when it came to your dad
  • He demanded meeting your significant other and no matter the gender, he held his strong demeanor and hardly cracked a smile- well until he saw how happy you looked in their presence.
  • But eventually he’d come to term with it. Although he would always see you as his little girl, he knew you had to spread your wings and he was not about to hold you back from doing so.
  • And when you finally land a lead role on an upcoming Broadway show, Lin is ecstatic.
  • Every day he calls you to ask how rehearsals are going partly because he’s interested and excited for you but also because he remembers his restless days and nights where he’d come home so stressed he’d forget to eat for days. He didn’t want to see you go through the hardships he did.
  • Ironically enough the new production is held, opening night, in the same old theater you grew up in, Richard Rodgers. Home sweet home. 
  • And on opening night you can guarantee your father is sitting front row with four bouquets of various flowers surrounded by all your family and friends as well as a handful of the original and new Hamilton cast.
  • And he would cry. A lot.
  • But he would also be that dad that right before the show starts, as the lights are dimming, he stands up and shouts,
  • “Go Y/n!”
  • His proud dad tweets would be never ending that night
  • After the production he was sure to be the first backstage and the first to hug you.
  • “You did it, you did it! I’m so proud of you, mi ángel. Congratulations!”
  • You’d be lying to yourself if you said your dad didn’t have a surprise party planned for after the play because he did.
  • Not to be a downer but there would be days where Lin would cry himself to sleep thinking he hasn’t done enough, or given you the life you deserve. He worked himself far too hard to make sure you had everything you could ever need and knew you were loved, but sometimes he couldn’t help but fear the worst.
  • Although at times he can be overbearing, you wouldn’t want it anyway else.

This was so fun to write oh my lord, hope you enjoyed!

-Daizy xx

milkydolenz  asked:

okay but if someone doesn't experience homophobia or transphobia then they're not lgbt it's as simple as that.... the lgbt community doesn't exist for the purpose of being "inclusive" it literally is by nature exclusive to people who experience homophobia and/or transphobia

No, I’m sorry, that’s simply not true. I’ve written an awful lot about this, which you can find under my ‘ace exclusion’ tag. But since there’s a lot under there, let’s hit all the highlights. Frankly, it’ll be nice to have an omnibus post I can just pass to people from now on. 

This post is not an argument of your point, it is a reference post, because you are simply wrong.

This post is going to be very, very long, and very, very US-centric. It is important to state right up front that this discussion is extremely Western-centric. I do not have the right personally to speak on gender and sexual orientations from indigenous communities of which I am not a member, but it is absolutely important to acknowledge that the colonization of gender and sexual identity of non-Western peoples is a) wrong as fuck and b) we need to knock it off and c) none of the stuff I’m writing necessarily applies to non-Western peoples/indigenous peoples. 

1) This ‘formed to fight homophobia and transphobia’ definition of LGBT is literally and completely an invention of Tumblr. It started on Tumblr, it really only exists on Tumblr, and it only exists for the sole purpose of excluding minority sexualities and orientations (not limited to but currently focused on asexuality). It’s a very recent invention and this specific definition is less than eighteen months old. Probably less than a year old, but I’ll be honest: I don’t have the time or patience to go through the history on Tumblr and read all the hateful stuff that I’d have to in order to find the first use of that particular little piece of nonsense.

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Of Headbands and Hurt Feelings

based on this post by @fistatfirstklance + yours truly. also @wittyy-name asked me to tag her in this (haha im still screaming) so here we go

It starts as a one time thing.

Pidge had looked down one day, Lance’s older brother instinct had kicked in, and he’d ended up spending twenty minutes trying to string a pretty green stone he’d picked up on a piece of string. Any normal person would’ve just given it to Pidge directly, but Lance thought it’d be more fun to hide it somewhere and wait for Pidge to find it. She’d walked out of Green’s hangar the next morning with the stone around her neck and a smile on her face, and well. It spiraled from there.

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The Ultimate Guide to POT Dates

POT
noun, (pronounced: pē-oh-tē)
A potential Sugar Daddy. This is a man you have not met yet, but are considering starting an arrangement with, or have been on a date with, but haven’t established anything solid yet. In short, a man who you think could potentially be your sugar daddy, but aren’t quite sure yet.

So you’ve checked out his profile, messaged with him a little, decided he could be the one for you; the main question asked now is - what do I do next?

The answer is simple, but for the Sugar Babies who are new, it’s often terrifying. Using the experience I’ve gotten after being a Sugar Baby for a while, I’ve put together a complete guide on how to handle that very first date, so that maybe it goes a little smoother than mine did! xo

Before You Meet

  • Get a feel for him over messaging/text - There’s nothing worse than being stuck for an hour or two with a man who has an attitude, is full of himself, or is just salty, that’s why it’s important to work out what type of person he is. 
                    ‣ Identifying Factors:
                            - He has a sleezy username on SA: if his username is ‘CunnilingusMaster69′ or something along those lines, it’s blatantly obvious what’s he looking for.
                            - His responses don’t mirror yours: think about conversational mirroring and use it to help you gauge the success of your conversation. It’s a form of social psychology that is pretty important to how anyone is perceived. If you’re typing out paragraph after paragraph and he is replying with short responses (or vice versa), it’s obvious one party is more interested than the other.
                            - He asks for sexual photos: if he’s asking for sexual photos without even met with you for the first time, then he’s got one thing on his mind and it’s probably pay per play. However, most Sugar Daddy’s will ask for extra photo’s, to make sure you’re not catfishing them, so be ready for that request and have extra photo’s you can send that aren’t on your profile (I usually send one cute selfie and a second full body pic in a nice outfit.) Please note: Snapchat ‘puppy’ filter selfies are not appropriate to send as an additional selfie, maybe once you’ve met him a few times, but not prior to a first meet. You’re already younger than him, there is no need to make yourself seem even younger.
                            - He asks you questions of a sexual nature (ie: your favorite position, sexual history, what you’re into, kinkiest desires, etc): there is absolutely no need for tacky sexual questions, especially if you two haven’t met before. It is important to understand that yes, sugaring is based on sex, sugaring is sex work, but it’s not only sex. Sugaring is about companionship, chemistry, new experiences, and then sex. If he requires a detailed list of what you will or will not do sexually just to meet you for the first time, then he is obviously not looking for a sugar arrangement, he’s just looking for pay per play (which is fine if pay per play is what you’re looking for, each sugar baby is entitled to her own wants and desires out of an arrangement).
                   ‣ Tip:
                           - Whenever an SD asks me “what i am willing to do”, i always reply with this. It’s elegant, polite, and successfully moves the conversation to other topics.
  • Get as many details about him as you can - Meeting someone off the internet is always a little unnerving, especially when it’s a man twice or three times your age. To feel safer, ask for as many details from him as you can, then reverse search the information you have (ie: his phone number, email, name, etc.) to find out his address, income, family members, and other information of the sort. The same goes with photo’s, reverse search them to find out company info, criminal history, and if he’s on any other sites (this helps cross-check age, location, and other facts he has listed on his profile).
  • Choose an identity and stick to it - Think about the type of person you want to convey (ie: the struggling but motivated university student, the driven twenty-something, the educated single mother, the urban socialite, etc) and build yourself up around that image. If you don’t feel comfortable using your real name with POT’s, use a fake name. Invent fake facts and stories or recall certain facts and stories from your life that correspond to the type of person you want to be. Remember, the more you have, the better. Most POT’s will ask you to some extent, some more than others, about you (ie: your job, your likes/dislikes, your upbringing, your dreams/aspirations, your background, your parents/their occupation, etc) and you will need to be prepared to answer. On the other hand, be prepped with questions to ask him, this date is about getting to know each other, it’s a waste of time if you leave knowing nothing about him.
                  ‣ Tip:
                           - If you’re struggling with coming up with questions, check out this and this, there’s a large variety of questions that you could use.
  • Make sure he understands that absolutely nothing sexual will happen on this date - There should be no sex on a first date, absolutely nothing sexual. If your POT believes that coffee/lunch/dinner/drinks and a hundred dollars should equal sex in the hotel down the block, then you leave him right there and then. We are ladies looking for gentlemen with the means to provide for us and support us. If he’s only interested in sex in exchange for money, then he’s looking for an escort, not a sugar baby. (Note: if sex in exchange for money is what you’re looking for, then go right ahead and make that cash, every girl is allowed to make her own choices!)
  • Agree to meet in a PUBLIC place - Always meet for the first time in a public place (A restaurant, coffee shop, bar, hotel lounge/lobby, etc) because your safety and comfort comes first! If he invites you up to his hotel room for a drink, decline by saying that is something you would love to do sometime, but would feel better meeting in a public space first. If you starts arguing or does not agree to this, drop him. You don’t need to waste your time on an asshole like him. 
                 ‣ Additionally: 
                          - Have your own transportation to and from your meet! Do not get into his car thinking you’ll save a little cash, even if he was kind and definitely legitimate! Personally: I don’t let POT’s get me an Uber home either, I don’t feel comfortable with them knowing my exact address.
  • Ask for a gift - While this isn’t something that is necessary to do, it’s something that I do. If you’re aiming for a gift, make sure to ask after you have made plans to meet or at least a day before you meet, this gives the POT time to either go shopping for you or go to an ATM for some cash. If you’re aiming for travel compensation, then feel free to ask a few hours before or even during the date, travel compensation is something usually all POT’s will agree to. This or this are the ways I use to ask, either one usually work flawlessly.
                 ‣  Keep in mind
                         - It is not a red flag if he declines to bring you a gift! At this point in your relationship, he owes you just as much as you owe him, which is nothing. If he declines, just say that’s it’s okay and then (if you still want a little cash) try the travel compensation method.
  • Text to confirm - One of the worst things is dolling yourself up and then coming out to meet, only to find that your POT actually couldn’t make it. That’s why it’s important to confirm your meeting a few hours before in a quick little text.
  • Stay SAFE - Safety has always and will always be the number one thing in the sugar bowl which is why you need to make sure you have at least one person who know’s who you’re meeting, where, and when. If you don’t feel comfortable telling anyone you know in real life, message me and I will gladly be your safety contact. In addition to having a safety contact, it is always a good idea to carry around a bottle of mace with you, for creepy POT’s and creepy men in general.

During Your Meet

  • Make an entrance - Often,the first part of the conversation happens before you open your mouth, sometimes it happens before you’ve even laid eyes on them. When you enter any room, have your head up and your shoulders down. Don’t strut, but walk gracefully, swaying your hips gently, you can even look up videos of models on catwalks and learn how to walk like they do. Be dramatic, walk like you’re the center of attention - you’re a sugar baby: you’re young, stunning, and seductive. Pause in the entrance and survey the room slowly, let your eyes to travel from one side of the room to the other, until you locate your POT. It may sound a little silly, but a proper entrance will captivate anyone, especially your POT. Knowing how to walk properly and make an entrance is useful in practically every aspect of your life, not just in sugaring. 
  • Keep the focus on them - I’ve noticed that POT’s (and SD’s in general really) love to talk about themselves, some SB’s will even go as far as to say that these men don’t care about the things you say unless it directly relates to them (in my experience this isn’t always true, it depends on the man). Try to find a way to refocus the conversation about him, you will easily become his favorite person to speak to.
                ‣ Additionally:
                         - If he shows pride, you give praise. If he says something, then pauses, and looks at you significantly, he’s waiting for the applause. Be there to give it to him. You don’t even have to think what he did was impressive. You just have to be there ready to dispense a pat on the back  Do not be over dramatic, smile, look impressed, and stroke his ego.
  • Pay attention when he speaks - Be engaged in the conversation: ask questions to further your understanding of the topic, make comments to indicate that you are paying attention, laugh a little to signal that you are having fun, smile to show that you enjoy being in his company, and make eye contact! If you look a person in the eye, it signals that you not only hear what they’re saying but are interested in it. If you have to look away do it slowly, this reinforces your interest and enjoyment of what you’re hearing.
  • Don’t fidget - It ruins your credibility. Often, stillness is compared with integrity. Those that can look someone in the eye and sit still are usually believed over those that try to say something while squirming in their seat. It’s important to have good posture as well, don’t slump in your seat and if you do, catch yourself and correct your posture. 
               ‣  Don’t worry:
                        - Your hair looks fine, your clothing fits you well, and your phone will not explode if you don’t check it for an hour. Your main focus should be your POT, not the little things about your appearance.
  • Relax - You might be a little nervous over the first date, but chances are, he probably is too! Some SD’s are nervous the first time meeting, this might be due to the fact that you’re much younger than he is or he might be downright intimidated because of your looks. Your job is to make him feel at ease and the easiest way to help him feel at ease is to be at ease yourself. People play off each other’s energies and your body language speaks volumes, so try your best to just relax.
  • End on a good note - End the date with a hug or a handshake (or a kiss on the cheek, if you like him), something physical so that you touch and it leaves him wanting a little more. If you went out for lunch/dinner, tell him how thankful you are for taking you out, how much you loved the food, and how he has great taste in restaurants

After Your Meet

  • Assessing him - A person’s appearance and demeanor speaks volumes about them. Observe not his wallet, his cufflinks, or his shoes, but his mannerisms, his eloquence, and his overall conduct. Many good sugar daddies may not look the part, but they will act it. There’s no forcing chemistry, so it’s best to figure that out right away before delving deeper.
                  ‣ Questions to think about:
                         
    - Does he ask you first what you want to eat?
                         - Is he interested in what you’re saying?
                         - How does he talk about his family, his employees?
                         - Is he nice to the waitstaff?
                         - How much is he tipping?
                         - Were your personalities compatible?
                         - Did you have a lot in common?
                         - Was it easy to hold a conversation with him, or were there awkward silences?
                         - Is this someone you’d be comfortable being seen in public with, going on vacations with, and generally spending time with?
  • Send a follow up text - If the date went well, shortly after you meet (a few hours or a day, at most), send the POT/SD a text saying that it was a pleasure meeting him and you’d love to see him again. When (or if) he responds, you might be able to schedule your next date!
  • Think about your loses - If the date didn’t go so well, you got a free coffee/lunch/dinner/gift. If your POT contacts you and asks you out again, decline politely and wish him luck finding what he’s looking for.

Allowance Talk - Yes Or No?

There’s a lot of disagreement on whether or not you should speak about allowance with your POT on a first date. I’ve had POT’s bring up numbers over text/on the phone/email (prior to meeting and after meeting) and during coffee/lunch/dinner/drinks. In my opinion, let him bring up the allowance talk.

  • If he does, express your desires concerning allowances, gifts, and how the arrangement will work. Most arrangements end due to schedule conflicts and misunderstanding expectations, be clear about what you want. 
  • If he doesn’t, that’s completely fine too. You’ll most likely speak about it on your second date or over some electronic format.
  • If you touch on the subject but you notice he’s not too keen on delving into it at the moment, leave it alone. This sends your POT the message that you’re more interested in a suitable arrangement than the money, as well as that you are nowhere near desperate and while you are interested in him, not overly so. This lack of overt interest gives you more control of the relationship from the get-go. It also shows that he cannot control you or gain your interest with his money alone. This makes it easier for you to discuss the terms of the relationship, set boundaries, and negotiate your allowance later on.

What to Wear

Men are visual creatures, they love eye-catching arm candy, but most prefer elegance or casual classy to outright flashy. However, showing all your goods on the first meeting is not a good idea. Choose one thing to show off, this leaves his imagining and wanting more. Keep in mind where you’re meeting, as well. There’s no need to go all out if you’re just meeting for coffee.

  • If you’re meeting for coffee - Jeans and a pretty blouse will be just fine, top it off with flats or boots and you’ll be good to go. If it’s warmer out, a sundress is perfectly acceptable too.
                ‣  Keep in mind
                        - Meeting a POT for the first time in shorts is not appropriate, there is no need to play up the age difference between the two of you, even if it is hot outside.
  • If you’re meeting for lunch/dinner/drinks - A formfitting dress will do you good, especially if it’s dinner or drinks. Complete the look with a nice pair of heels and some jewelry, if you’re having trouble figuring out which jewelry to wear with what, check out this!
  • Makeup - Keep the makeup light and natural, opt for neutral colors rather than darker ones. Get your nails done, fill in your brows, foundation, mascara, light colored eye shadow, and lipstick/lip-gloss is all you’ll need. I prefer to top up my look with a slightly red nude lip (since my lips are full and the color makes them pop more), even though most SB’s suggest to stay away from all red’s.

So there you have it dolls, an ultimate guide to POT dates. Feel free to add on your own tips! Keep sugaring, dolly xoxo

Yuri on Ice interview translation - CREA 2017/03 (p32-33)

This is the full interview with Mitsurou Kubo published on CREA. I actually wanted to translate all the YOI interviews together but some translations going around urged me to post this one before the others, as I wouldn’t be able to finish everything tonight.

It’s not really an interview, it’s more like a partial interview and a short commentary of each episode.

The other 4 short interviews are with Kenji Miyamoto (choreographer), Eiji Abiko & Junpei Tatenaka (figure skating animators), Yuuko Sagiri (original costume designer), Keisuke Tominaga (music producer). I will try to post them tomorrow night if I can finish them.

***If you wish to share this translation please do it by reblogging or posting a link to it***

***Re-translating into other languages is ok but please mention that this post is the source***


The reality as expressed by 5 people who created “Yuri on Ice”

Reality #1: Story x Mitsurou Kubo

“The reality of emotions” is what Kubo-san gave most importance to when she created the manga storyboard for this series. “Simply listing up the contents of the skaters’ programs and their score and connecting them together is not going to create something emotional. In my storyboard I tried to convey the feelings of all athletes, not just Yuuri, with their performances, to express them carefully, so that other skaters who watch them will in turn be influenced by them like in a chain reaction.”
An important tool to express those feelings are the monologues that can be heard during the programs, blended in harmony with the performance.
“Watching the footage of the choreographies by Kenji Miyamoto-sensei I realized that, even though he simply created them based on the songs, in many cases they perfectly match the athlete’s feelings too. I was so moved and thought that Kenji-sensei is an amazing person.”
As the series is pursuing reality, it does not contain any unrealistic techniques.
“If we had included something over-the-top people would have just said ‘that’s unreal’, so I thought that it was better to just go a little ahead of reality, and consulted with many people to decide the difficulty of the techniques to use. However, shortly thereafter real life skaters actually surpassed that level, which really surprised me. We did decide the level knowing that it would be surpassed one day, but we didn’t think it would happen so soon!”
The writer Mitsurou Kubo also needed a lot of courage to portray Yuuri determined to win for love.
“On the ice rink you can express anything, and that’s why, even if I had never thought about what true love is or represented it before, I decided to try my hand at openly depicting love as fiction. As a result, I myself was encouraged by the story I wrote and felt that I could make a fresh start after that.”

“I ended up being encouraged by the story about love that I openly portrayed as fiction.”

Highlights of every episode by Mitsurou Kubo

#1 Nan no Piroshiki!! Namida no Grand Prix Final
“I want you to watch the best figure skating animation”
Before the series was broadcasted I was worried, because normally original anime not based on a previous work and airing late at night take a long time to catch the viewers’ attention. However, my fear was swept away by the extraordinary skating scenes of the first episode, and the show gained a good reputation right away. Stunning images can provide the best promotion.

#2 Futari no Yuri!? Yutopia no Ran
“Figure skaters feeling more familiar”
This part is set during the off-season in Yuuri’s hometown. If we had showed special people battling each other in a faraway place from the very start the viewers would never have felt close to them, therefore I decided to start the story with the Russians, Victor and Yurio, spending time in the onsen of the castle town Hasetsu, eating katsudon and spreading news via the SNS, so that they would feel more familiar to the audience.

#3 Boku ga Eros de Eros ga Boku de!? Taiketsu! Onsen on ICE
“You can feel the growth of Yuuri and Yurio”
Once the Grand Prix series starts no one can afford to lose anymore, so I created this provisional match between Yuuri and Yurio to emphasize their relationship as rivals but also as comrades. I also wanted to show that a competitive program is progressively brushed up during the season based on each athlete’s pace. Originally I also thought of showing Yurio’s mother rushing to the scene.

#4 Jibun wo Suki ni Natte… Kansei!! Free Program
“Yuuri and Victor gradually become closer”
In the process of completing the free skating program Yuuri and Victor become closer to each other, both as coach and student and as equals. Yuuri’s gesture of poking the top of Victor’s head has no logical meaning. I think it symbolizes how Yuuri, acting on an impulse, breaks his own shell and steps into the territory of the person that previously was only considered a living legend.

#5 Kao Makka!! Shosen Da yo! Chuu-shikoku-kyuushuu Senshuken Taikai
“Check out the relationship between seniors and juniors”
Minami-kun, a skater that looks up to Yuuri, appears in this episode. I really like the scene where Yuuri, finally becoming aware that he is going to lead the current generation of Japanese skaters, silently hits Minami-kun’s back. As in the scene where he pokes Victor’s head, once again Yuuri uses a physical action, instead of logic or words, to try to communicate something. When it’s animated it looks really awesome.

#6 Kaimaku Grand Prix Series Yacchaina!! Chuugoku Taikai SP
“Check out Chris’ sexiness”
The tournament starts and many fascinating athletes make their appearances, but this episode is also an occasion to fully enjoy the charm of Chris’ ass. After watching Kenji-sensei’s choreography I decided to draw a beautiful ass in my storyboard, then its charm was further emphasized in the animation, and finally thanks to the voice actor’s absolutely sexy voice we could obtain the best ass animation ever.

#7 Kaimaku Grand Prix Series Yacchaina!! Chuugoku Taikai FS
“An FSP where Yuuri and Victor overcome their fears”
Yuuri and Victor were both anxious before the FS, and I feel that the strongly emotional scenes following that were represented in a very effective way. Regarding the last scene, I started receiving lots of questions from overseas, asking “Did Yuuri and Victor hug? Or was it a kiss?” and that’s when I realized how much the anime’s popularity had spread worldwide.

#8 Yuuri VS Yuri Osoroshia!! Russia Taikai SP
“JJ’s striking appearance is a must see”
This episode is where Jean-Jacques Leroy, aka JJ, one of the most likely candidates to win the gold medal, appears. What is scary about JJ is that he has the ability to paint any story in JJ color, overshadowing even the protagonist. Mamoru Miyano-san, the one who played his role, managed to take JJ to the next level with his natural personality and made him all the more convincing.

#9 Yuuri VS Yuri Osoroshia!! Russia Taikai FS
“When the absence of an important person makes you grow”
This episode is where Yuuri grows after fighting without Victor next to him. When we went location hunting at the Fukuoka airport there was a glassed-in corridor close to the arrival lobby, and as the director saw it she excitedly said “Yuuri and Victor are going to run side by side separated by the glass!”. I was like “they definitely are!”, and we started taking heaps of pictures. The airport is currently being remodeled and it’s not possible to recreate the scene.

#10 Chou Ganbaranba! Grand Prix Final Chokuzen Special
“Ordinary life episode the night before the last fight”
As the last part depicting ordinary life before the Grand Prix Final, I wanted to create a relaxing episode without skating scenes while at the same time introducing the athletes, but in the end so many things happened in it that no one could relax and I was told that even animating it was a pain. The ring Yuuri gave Victor also carries the meaning of a symbol that the two of them are like soul mates.

#11 Chou Chou Ganbaranba!! Grand Prix Final SP
“The speed leading to the last episode is impressive to watch”
The OP footage, that was gradually changed from episode 1 by adding colors, is finally complete. I was happy that we could welcome as voice actors Ken Gamada-san, who actually works as an MC in tournaments and ice shows, and Nobunari Oda-san as himself doing the commentary. With the pace of the story speeding up toward the finale, this episode was just chaos.

#12 Chou Chou Chou Ganbaranba!!! Grand Prix Final FS
“A final episode where you can catch a glimpse of everyone’s future”
Including Stéphane Lambiel-san’s debut as an anime seiyuu, which is something no one could have expected, the chaotic mixup of anime and reality reaches a climax in this episode. Beside the sense of fulfillment for the victory, I think that the contents also let you catch a glimpse of each character’s future. I was about to faint looking at the beauty of Victor’s tears.


Final note (this is just my opinion, it’s not part of the translation): There is a translation going around where the line about soul mates is translated as “proof”, but actually the word 証 (akashi) can have many different meanings, among which symbol/mark/token/proof/sign etc. In this case, I personally do not think it means “proof” (also to be honest when it’s “proof” usually they write it as 証拠 shouko). It’s more like symbol/token, as in “it’s meant to symbolize Yuuri and Victor’s deep bond that goes beyond a normal relationship”. Although the difference is only subtle, I still think it’s not the same. Also please understand that the Japanese word “soul mate” does not have the meaning that is used in fanfiction… I believe it’s actually the same in English too, but in normal conversation it means “two people that have a strong spiritual/emotional bond (that makes them suited for each other, be it either as friends or lovers)”, not “two people who were destined to be together from their previous life”. That is something you are free to imagine or fantasize about, however please do not twist the creators’ words just to fit people’s headcanons…

P.S.: And please do not misunderstand me. I love Victuuri, but I prefer to draw a line between canon and fanon, and I don’t really like it when words by the creators are “adapted” to accomodate people’s shipping ideas. I think what she says is deep enough even without mistranslating it anyway…

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Sketchy Behavior | Hellen Jo 

Never afraid to speak and/or draw her mind, Los Angeles based artist and illustrator, Hellen Jo and her characters can be described as rough, vulgar, tough, jaded, powerful, bratty and bad-ass - AKA her own brand of femininity. Known for her comic Jin & Jam, and her work as an illustrator and storyboard artist for shows such as Steven Universe and Regular Show, Hellen’s rebellious, and sometimes grotesque artwork and illustrations are redefining Asian American women and women of color in comics. In fact, that’s why Hellen Jo was a must-interviewee for our latest Sketchy Behavior where we talk to her about her love of comics and zines, her antiheroines, and redefining what Asian American women identity is or can be; and what her ultimate dream project realized would be.  

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