pai long

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       Around them, the temple shook and trembled with the energy of it’s own impending destruction. The obelisk the sith-holocron had been placed in sparked violent currents that charged the air between them with sharp static, and for a moment, she almost forgot all about the sabers in her hands, the frantic sounds of Ezra and Kanan calling for her to hurry. The door was slowly inching shut, and yet she stood rooted to the spot, fixated by the terrible wheezing sounds made by the monster behind her. 

      Vader rose slowly, body straining under the pressure of a damaged breathing apparatus trying frantically to process oxygen to burnt lungs. She’d cracked his mask and exposed a portion of his face — exposed the charred skin and sith-yellow eyes underneath.  Time slowed. 

      “Ahsoka,” the monster rasped.  The sound came out distorted and broken, but the voice was achingly familiar; she’d heard it in her dreams, and in memories so old that they felt as if they were from another life entirely. She could’ve wept at the sound. This was Anakin.

       “I won’t leave you,” she said, heart aching. “Not this time.”

      The lone eye stared back, and for a moment she could’ve sworn that she saw the yellow give way to blue. 

Why Ducktales is important

At least…If you like Disney Television Animation.  

Which I do.  Oh so much.  

If you’re a fan of Gravity Falls, or Star vs. The Forces of Evil, or Wander Over Yonder, or Kim Possible, or Gargoyles, or any Disney Television show, then gather ‘round because I’m about to teach you some history.  

“Never forget, that it all started with a Mouse,”~~Walt Disney.

Great things come from humble origins.  Never forget that Disney TV…All started with a Duck.  

It was the 1980s.  Disney Television Animation was a new department at Walt Disney Studios.  And Disney was suffering.  These days it’s easy to think of Disney as a mega-giant, but back then, Disney was suffering.  Movies were being produced on shoestring budgets, and animators (such as Don Bluth) were jumping ship to find work at studios that were paying better and producing better content.  The Little Mermaid hadn’t yet hit theaters, sparking the Disney Renaissance.  The fledgeling animation department had produced two shows prior, “The Wuzzles” and “The Adventures of Gummy Bears”.  

Disney was in dire straights from Walt’s passing in 1966 left the studio suffering up until the 80s, when they started to take a few risks.  Risks that paid off.  The studio gambled on the idea that investing more money into quality animation would pay off in the long run if the show went into syndication.  It was something that worked well with live action, but had yet to be done with animation to that degree.  Cheap animation with tons of shortcuts could be syndicated, but something high-quality had never been done before.  

Ducktales was the first show that attempted this, and it paid off handsomely.  Not only was the show a hit with audiences (and a merchandising cash-cow) but it changed the game.  It set the stage for the Disney Afternoon a few years down the road, and paved the path for every show I mentioned at the beginning.  Without Ducktales, there would be no Gargoyles, no Star vs. The Forces of Evil, no Gravity Falls.  

Heck, I take it even one step beyond that…Without the inspiration of proof-of-concept, I’d wager that even OTHER studios cartoon creations wouldn’t exist.  No Animaniacs, No Adventure Time, no Steven Universe (and don’t think I missed the shout-out to Ducktales in “Onion Trade”) 

Ducktales was important because it raised the craft of animation to another level, combining storytelling with good, non-repetitive animation to produce quality TV.  For a time, Ducktales was Disney’s Flagship TV series, waving the banner and representing the company in the realm of television animation. 

And even today, the classic Ducktales series holds up rather nicely.  Sure, some things are a little dated, but at the end of the day, I enjoy watching Ducktales without reservations.  That’s why I own the DVD sets.  

 And it’s why I’m so happy about this reboot.  

This isn’t just a revamp of an old show.  This is Disney returning to its roots, reclaiming a bit of it’s history and polishing it off for the next generation.  I’m a little misty eyed.  I had some initial misgivings when this was announced, but the cast announcement melted those fears away, and now, seeing the trailer that dropped less than 24 hours ago…I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited for a TV series ever.  

Breaking down this trailer, we finally hear David Tennant as Scrooge McDuck.  I’ve actually been aware of Tennant’s presence in the voiceover scene for a few years now (Most notably, he plays bit parts in the How To Train Your Dragon franchise from Dreamworks) But hearing him as Scrooge…I really feel it works.  He’s got a certain quality the echos the late, great Alan Young, and I feel like he couldn’t have been better cast without some of that good old fashioned Disney Necromancy (And as we know, they used up their allotment of Necromancy on Peter Cushing for Rogue One) 

I love that the Nephews are getting unique characterization and personality. I loved Russi Taylor’s performance way back when, but one Nephew was really interchangeable with another.  Dani Pudi, Ben Schwartz, and Chris Moynihan really bring an awesome chemistry to their roles, just from the trailer.

And then there’s Webbigail.  Oh my God, I love how they’ve rebooted Webby.  She was always the annoying load back in the classic series.   Making her a Donald Duck fangirl is freaking GENIUS (and Kate Micucci is perfect for this role too) Bonus points given for Webby’s infamous “Quacky-Patch Doll”  being used for dart practice in the background of her room.  Webby has gone from outright “The Load” territory, to one of the most fun-seeming characters present in the reboot.  

And all of this from one minute and a half trailer.  I can’t wait for this series, even though I know I must.  I know it’s gonna be something special, I can feel it.  Maybe even Disney’s Flagship show, once again.  Stay tuned to my Tumblr, for much, much more.

One thing I know for certain that I’m going to do when the pilot for this airs…A side by side comparison of the Classic Pilot and the new one.  

Peace out, 

Disney Wizard

F. Scott Fitzgerald for the Signs
  • Aries: "The fire blazing in her dark and injured heart seemed to glow around her like a flame."
  • Taurus: "We’ll survive, you and I."
  • Gemini: "There were girls who would tear you apart with their lips."
  • Cancer: "Two souls are sometimes created together and in love before they’re born."
  • Leo: "I love her and that’s the beginning and end of everything."
  • Virgo: "Whatever I am, you did it."
  • Libra: "Beauty means the scent of roses and then the death of roses."
  • Scorpio: "The sadness of the past is with me always."
  • Sagittarius: "I want excitement; and I don’t care what form it takes or what I pay for it, so long as it makes my heart beat."
  • Capricorn: "All life is just a progression toward and then a recession from one phrase— I love you."
  • Aquarius: "I shall go on shining as a brilliantly meaningless figure in a meaningless world."
  • Pisces: "She looks at him once more, with infinite longing, infinite sadness."
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PARABATRI™

Adrinette Month Day 27: The Wedding

In which Nino confesses he can’t tie a tie (Adrien took care of it at his own wedding), and Alya loses her hearing.

Adrinette month was February, but I do what I want if no one else is paying me, darnit! So long as I complete the prompts, that’s all that matters!!

The extrovert's guide in dealing with introverted personalities

SUBMITTED by Steve

INxJs

-They can come off as … weird. Very subjective term because really, who’s to say what’s weird and what isn’t. But given that INxJs are arguably the rarest types and usually out of touch with the physical and concrete, it can definitely make the more down-to-earth extroverts out there feel as though they are alien in some way. But don’t be fooled, because behind those ambiguous stares there is a storm-load of activity going on in their minds. 

- Their hunches can be incredibly valid. Unlike what the stereotype will have you believe, Dom-Ni is NOT a future-predicting function. For one thing, it’s very personal and subjective to each Dom-Ni user and some of them would probably disagree with each other on their hunches. However, they do have an ability to see things that a lot of us will miss. Not through any kind of mystical gift, but rather well thought out speculation. Even if they’re off, chances are they were still very wise in their assessment of things.

- There are usually your typical law-abiding citizen. (Good advice for everyone, not just extroverts) In complete contrast to the first point, INxJs may be way harder to spot than the stereotypes say. INTJs are not scientists working on a cure for cancer or world domination (depending where their Fi is at) and INFJs are not the next coming of Jesus Christ. A lot of them probably work in everyday jobs and there’s a good chance you’ve mistaken them for their S counterparts. Get to know them personally and you’ll see the difference.

ISxJs

- They are hard to get excited. Inferior Ne can be a bitch sometimes. Throwing fun suggestions at an ISxJ may often result in “Meh…” or “I don’t know…” Of all types, they are usually the hardest to pull out of their comfort zone. If you suggest something to them and they start bombarding you with questions such as ’‘What time? Who will be there? How does it work?”  etc. don’t get irritated because that actually means you’ve tickled their interest and now they’re just trying to cover all their bases. 

- They are experts in their fields. Si-Doms tend to have very few interests in life, but what does interest them, they probably know the insides and outs of it, like no other. They love to study at length what peaks their interest and in this case, their factual knowledge about things is usually second to none. They are the definition of “vested interest”. Also note that they are geeks in disguise, so just like NP types, do not criticize old stuff they have an attachment to. They still like something from the 80’s? Then so shall it be. Telling them it’s stupid for them not to move on is actually much more hurtful than it looks.

- Their loyalty and commitment cannot be doubted. If an ISxJ say they’ll do something, they’ll do it, ‘nuff said. Hell, even if it turns out that it’s actually an inconvenience to them. They just cannot back out of commitment. Of course, stuff can always come up at the last second, in this case, you’ll receive a rain check or heart-felt apology. If an ISxJ actually does flake out, that’s … not okay, but they were probably hesitant about it from the start. 

IxTPs

They are blunt. You want an honest and direct opinion? IxTPs will give you that faster than any other type. In many cases, it can actually feel brutally honest, so more sensitive types may wanna steer clear. Of course, if their opinion is splattered with insults and an impatient tone, then you’re dealing with an unhealthy type and that’s not okay. 

- They are “dispassionate.” Sounds like a really negative trait but what it really means is they are the embodiment of “objective.” IXTPs very rarely take things too seriously with a burning passion flowing through their veins. As of such, cynicism and sarcasm is very likely. Don’t take it the wrong way though, because underneath that, they can offer the most practical advice or at least see things as they are, with no bias and emotional tones tainting their view. And while that can definitely be off-putting, and it can also be extremely useful. 

Don’t try to turn a frog into a prince. I’m sure there is a better way to say this? What I mean is that Inferior Fe, even if healthy and mature, will always find it draining to keep up social appearances. You either appreciate this trait of theirs or keep looking elsewhere. But don’t expect to turn your IXTP love interest into a social butterfly overnight. 

IxFPs

- They march to the beat of their own drum. If Dom-Ni can be hard to decode, prepare yourself for Dom-Fi. Like a fire, it is burning, passionate and unpredictable. Sometimes, even IxFPs themselves can’t pin-point the reason they feel so passionate about a given subject. Don’t try to constantly size up a Fi-Dom, you’ll get exhausted. Even their closest friends and family often have a hard time reading what’s going on in their mind. Respect their privacy and their inner world and don’t force them to lay out how they feel on the table. 

- Support their causes. If an IxFP feels strongly about something, then this is unwavering to them. They will fight for what they believe in to the bone. You either support it or stay clear but telling them they’re wrong or it’s a waste of time may turn you into an “enemy” in their eyes. 

- Do NOT attempt to control them. Offering sound advice? Sure. But any shade of “You should do this…” not only falls on deaf ears but may actually cause them to do the exact opposite out of spite. Dom-Fi is the ultimate free spirit who wants to experience life on its own terms and Inferior Te does NOT want to be told what to do. This can be pretty hard at times though. You see an IXFP loved one acting recklessly (ISFP) or acting on a crazy idea (INFP) it’s only normal for you to want to steer them on a straight path, but in actuality it will be counter-productive. Just stay clear and let them learn from their mistakes, IF it’s actually a mistake to begin with. You’d be surprised how many times acting on one’s own accord can pay off in the long run. There’s many world-renowned musicians and artists who could probably vouch for that. 

Because some asked why I needed Truthwitch to break out...

Some people have asked me what I meant by a statement in my postmortem – about WHY I needed Truthwitch to break out (because if it didn’t, my career was over). I’m not sure how in-depth I’ve been in my newsletter, so here’s an answer for you:

Basically, my first series tanked. I mean…tanked. We’re talking, Truthwitch sold more copies in its first two weeks than the entire SS&D series COMBINED.

Bad sales hurt an author – you’re way better off as an untested debut than an author with shitty sales. So I was at a crossroads in my career, where the plan was to change my name. That way, I could be a “debut” again. (Sadly, this happens a LOT in the industry. Which is why please do not pirate our books!)

But then Tor decided to take a chance on me. Because they’re a small (and amazing) house, they have more room to take on projects that they’re passionate about (instead of just commercially successful). HOWEVER, if Truthwitch didn’t sell well…. Then yeah. That was it. “Susan Dennard” would be dead, and I’d have to reinvent/start over my career.

There’s no shame in that. I was totally willing to reinvent! The problem was that I had this great audience for my writing advice – thousands upon thousands of people who were coming back for my blog and newsletter. Yet none of them were buying my books. Which is fine – I don’t give free writing help to sell copies. I do it because I love doing it.

BUT…if I reinvented myself, I would lose what little crossover I had between writing-advice-fans and book-readers – not to mention the handful of amazing fans who did like the SS&D trilogy (I will never ever forget my wonderful Misfits!).

So…I needed + desperately wanted Truthwitch to sell well. I wanted Tor to be happy. I wanted to keep my name. That led to me going “all in” on self-promo.

Full disclosure: I allocated $15,000 of my advance to promote Truthwitch. (Which, in case you’re wondering, was most of the advance.) I ended up going over that amount…by a lot. Costs ranged from travel to important events (this was really where the bulk got eaten up!) to running/maintaining my street team (swag, postage, hiring an assistant to help me keep it going) to learning how to + making my own book trailer.***

And like…I honestly don’t even know what kind of TIME I spent promoting. It was a lot more than I thought it would be. Literally most of 2015.

But…it paid off, right? At least in terms of “success.” I’m a New York Times Bestseller now!!

That said, I haven’t earned back the money I spent yet (“bestseller” doesn’t automatically mean “rich”), and I will never get back the time I spent. Plus, the nightmare that was 2016 as I tried to rush-create Windwitch

It begs the question: were the costs worth the rewards? I don’t know. I think so since, hopefully, the rewards will continue to pay forward for a long time – and my career is definitely growing!

Best of all, though, I CAN KEEP MY NAME. Susan Dennard. C’est moi pour toujours. ❤️

Edit:

I want to add two more things – because this post has opened up a lot of conversations I wasn’t expecting to have (but welcome!!).

First: I cannot emphasize enough just how important LUCK is in this equation. On top of the time, money, publisher-partnership, and salty desperation that I poured into Truthwitch, I ALSO GOT LUCKY. I had the Right Book at the Right Moment with the Right Cover in the Right Genre coming out in the Right Month.

A publisher can pour all the money in the world into a book, but nothing will make readers buy it. There is no predicting trends.

So a lot of the success of Truthwitch (which is still pretty small, relatively speaking. I’m not a Big Author by any means!!) boils down to that intangible, finicky sprite known as Lady Luck.

Second: This is just ROUND ONE of “reinvention.” I have no illusions or expectations that my success will remain. The Witchlands series has already exceeded my wildest hopes, but no author stays “on top” forever. It’s a constant up and down, and frankly, we’re all just really lucky to even be able to share our words in the first place.

Sure, I’d love to be successful forever, but it’s not my primary dream – and definitely not my expectation. Realism is key to longevity in this industry, and more than that: gratitude.

So on that note: thanks for reading, thanks for sharing, and thanks for being the reason I keep writing.


***Note: I need to also mention that, once it was clear my own self-promotion was starting to pick up momentum, Tor really stepped in and helped me. This was not a solo journey, and it NEVER is. I had/have an amazing team, and we’ve forged a real partnership while getting the Witchlands into readers’ hands.

Self care is whatever keeps you alive. This can mean different things to different people at different stages in their lives, because of different needs and priorities either short or long term.

Paying your bills and budgeting keeps you alive. Buying groceries keeps you alive. Eating healthy food keeps you alive. Exercising keeps you alive. Proper sleep hygiene keeps you alive. All of these are true.

Being kind to yourself keeps you alive. Listening to your favorite music keeps you alive. Staying in bed when you’re exhausted keeps you alive. Watching netflix all day when you’re exhausted instead of doing chores or hygiene keeps you alive. All of these are true, too.

They’re not mutually exclusive. All of these are important, but when you are disabled you often do not have the energy or brainpower to do all of them. Some days you need to triage one task for the sake of another. And that’s your business and your business alone - no one else can see the inside of your head, only you know what is best for yourself and what you most need, in any given moment, to stay alive.

You have a right to make those decisions for yourself without being shamed. You have a right to live your life at your own pace, on your own terms, to the extent of your energy and abilities. All you can do is your best, and some days that will look different from others, and that’s okay, it’s not a static thing. Do what you need to do, one day at a time, to take care of yourself how you best see fit.

You don’t deserve to feel shame for struggling. You are valid. You are doing your best. You deserve to have your right to autonomy and your choices respected.