pile ons

Once they returned home from the emergency room Rory made sure Eddie was comfortable in their room with the laptop nearby. Rory went to finish cleaning the kitchen. Various items were strewn on the counter. Frowning he wondered what had been in the drawer that could have left such a nasty cut that required six stitches. Pulling the offending drawer out he dumped the contents on the floor. A knife lay in the jumbled pile. It was the one he knew Eddie had been searching for for the past couple of weeks. How had it wound up being inside this drawer? Neither one of them would have put a knife inside a drawer Hannah could have gotten into. What if it had been her instead of Eddie who had been hurt?

He squeezed his eyes shut attempting to blot out the images of his little girl slicing one of his delicate little fingers off. Eddie was bad enough but he doubted he could have handled seeing Hannah bleeding everywhere. With his mind distracted Rory discarded anything that posed a slicing hazard to curious hands reaching inside. When he was finished he sterilized the knife before returning it to it’s case. 

He stomped into the bedroom. “That woman is never allowed inside our home again” he announced to his startled husband.

More DnD Worldbuilding

A continuation of this

  • Rebel wizards leaking open-source spellbooks for free to spellcasters that can’t afford to join the elite magic schools
  • I don’t know if there’s free press in Faerûn but there are bards that will spread catchy songs about asshole nobles trampling on half-orc rights
  • A gnome-run toy shop that sells kits for kids to learn to build their own cool, animate clockword toys
  • Wood Elves that grew up in a city and have never seen a tree in their lives, but are really good and blending into urban environments
  • Genasi tattoo artists: because not being born with kickass skin markings shouldn’t preclude you from getting some
  • Races with natural darkvision having the same eyeshine as nocturnal animals
  • Dragonborn and Kobolds speaking in gender-neutral Common because they have trouble spotting gender cues of the non-reptillian races
  • A network of druids, clerics, and diviners acting as an early warning system for storms, earthquakes, and floods days or weeks in advance
  • With humans able to intermingle with elves, orcs, dwarves, fiends, djinn, and the occasional kinky dragon, family trees and census paperwork must be a nightmare to sort through.
  • (’Please check any non-human ancestry within 1-5 generations:’ “YES”)
  • A wizard-tailor using mage hand to take measurements, mend to fix tears, and transmutation to change fabric colors and materials
  • Familiars serving as support and guide animals
  • Mage-heavy cities utilzing conjuration and transmutation to make post-scarcity societies
  • A troupe of Kenku performers using their natural sound mimcry to put on high-production plays, musicals, and puppet shows
  • Druid-run animal shelters
  • First day of class, a teacher terrifies some freshman by drawing a sword -but wait he’s…putting it on a pedestal up front? Oh, that’s Professor Eversharp Darkrender, a 1,200 year old sentient blade who has personally impaled three of the historical figures that will be covered in this course.
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I got inspired after I decided Bones was part dragon in the tags of the last thing I posted.  Now everyone’s part dragon.

3 Study Methods You Should Use More Often

This was originally for an article writing assignment, but I thought “why not write something I can also post on my blog?” so here are three study methods that I haven’t seen a lot of in the studyblr community but are definitely worth mentioning.

The Leitner System

          Flash cards have remained one of the most popular ways to study. Some people use them to memorize vocabulary, remember answers to specific questions, or even associate dates with events. Although the use of flash cards is convenient, their effectiveness has been reduced due to most people’s habits of prioritizing each card equally and therefore spending too much time memorizing the information on them.

          The Leitner System, created by a German popularizer of science named Sebastian Leitner, is a more efficient method of studying that implements the concept of spaced repetition. All the cards start off in one pile. You would first scan through these cards, then test yourself. Each card you answer correctly goes to a second pile, while those you answer incorrectly should be revised then placed at the bottom of the pile. When you review the cards in the second pile and get them correct, they will be promoted to a third pile. An incorrect card will always get demoted to the first pile, even if they had previously been promoted to the last pile.

          The reason why this method is so effective is that you end up reviewing the first pile of cards more frequently—the cards you don’t know very well. Some people choose to review their Stack 1 cards every day, Stack 2 cards every other day, Stack 3 cards once every three days, and so on.

          Once all your cards have been promoted to the highest box, study them thoroughly and then start over. The continuous revision trains your speed so that you may reach fluency, which allows you to recall the information faster.

Timed Memorization

          The name tells it all: you memorize a certain text within a time limit, normally around five to ten minutes depending on your fluency and memorization abilities. When the timer starts, you begin memorizing. When time is up, you flip to the next page, even if you haven’t finished the previous page yet. Continue until you’ve gone through all your material.

          Timed memorization helps you to discipline yourself because your brain thinks that there’s no time for messing around; you have to do this here and now. Make sure to repeat the things you missed and revise everything frequently. This method is actually one of the most effective for cramming as it gives a better coverage than if you spend a whole half hour memorizing one subtopic.

The Memory Palace or Mind Palace

           Sound familiar? In BBC’s Sherlock, the ‘highly functioning sociopath’ uses this method to remember vital information and facts. A mind palace is a systematic arrangement of information, each detail corresponding to a specific object in a familiar place. To ensure that you really remember everything, the objects have to appear shocking and conspicuous.

           Here’s an example: if I wanted to memorize “crimson, 11, delight, petrichor (the smell after rain)”, aside from imagining Amy Pond or the Doctor saying it, I would first choose a place, let’s say my school. I’d imagine myself walking up to the front gate and seeing that the entire building has been painted the color of blood—crimson. The building would then rise as though it were lifted from the earth and crumble into rubble, controlled by Eleven, the character from Stranger Things. Now, since I can’t really picture delight specifically, I’d probably end up visualizing a colossal sign that simply reads “delight” posted in front of my school. As for petrichor, I’d imagine curves rising out of the puddles on the asphalt after a rainy night, a visual representation of the smell of the rain. Of course, these visualizations have been created to suit my memory. (I wouldn’t know if you watched Stranger Things.)

           I used this method when memorizing case studies for geography, although I chose to visualize fictional places from television series and cartoons. Some people do opt to create artificial places, but these often become blurry and are easily forgotten.

           As with any study method, repetition is vital to storing the information in your long-term memory. Visit your “palace” as often as you can. Soon enough, you’ll remember the data as well as you remember the place associated with the data.

So there you have it, three lesser known methods of studying that have proven to be immensely efficient. Now, there is no “correct” way to study, but there are methods that can ease your learning process.

The river worked against her: thousands of weeping voices whispering in her ears, getting inside her brain.

Life is despair, they saidEverything is pointless, and then you die.

“Pointless,” Percy murmured. His teeth chattered from the cold. He stopped swimming and began to sink.

-The House of Hades

  • portal: probably like 15-20 minutes long in its entirety
  • portal 2: get ready to devote your entire weekend to learning GLaDOS' tragic back story

Some people with fandoms: fixates on one then moved onto another, while maybe keeping one prized fandom
Me with fandoms: piles one obsession on top of another until what little social life I once had is completely destroyed

anonymous asked:

I want to listen to some podcasts but my english is not that good so can you rec me podcasts with transcripts

i’m actually just the right person to go to for this because i have a really hard time paying attention to podcasts.  my mind tends to wander without a firm focus point and i miss entire chunks of episodes so it really helps to have a page up so i can follow along with my eyes.  of the ones i listen to, these are the ones that i know have at least some transcripts:

  • the bright sessions - a lot of season two’s are missing, but one and three are fully available
  • the penumbra podcast - they are currently attempting to set up a fan-run transcription tumblr but, in the meantime and if you can afford it, they do have season two’s transcripts available if you’re a patreon supporter
  • welcome to night vale - the night vale presents shows are your best friends because they have very dedicated fanbases that get the transcripts up crazy fast (and joseph and jeffrey are super cool about them existing), so there’s also…
  • alice isn’t dead
  • within the wires
  • the orbiting human circus (of the air)
  • tanis - this one is not current, cuts out partway through season two, but they do have transcripts available if you’re a patreon supporter (though they are super slow to get them out, just fyi)
  • the black tapes
  • ars paradoxica
  • limetown - unfortunately only the first four (of six) episodes are transcribed

hope this helps!  ❤

The 15 PLOT POINTS of Story Structure

To all the writers who have ever been told they need to outline their story, and privately thought “Great. But how do you DO that? What exactly does that mean?! Is there a map? WHAT IS THE SPECIFIC DEFINITION OF THE VAGUE WORD ‘OUTLINE’?”

Good news. Stories have structure. Structure that can be learned. And a fantastic place to start learning structure? 

Save the Cat: The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need by Blake Snyder. This book gives a simple outline that most stories follow. And as an introduction to story structure, it can’t be beat. 

In Save the Cat, 15 plot points are spelled out in something called a beat sheet. During the outlining process, these “beats” or plot points can be used as an armature or skeleton that your story is built upon. 

So what are those 15 plot points?

Opening Image: A snapshot of the hero’s problematic ordinary world, right before the story starts and changes everything. 

Set-Up: Further establishing that ordinary world and what the hero does every day, impressing upon the audience or reader what’s wrong, and the idea that something needs to change.

Theme Stated:  The truth that the hero will learn by experiencing the story, the statement that will be proven to the audience. But upon first encountering this truth, in this story beat right in the beginning, the hero doesn’t understand or outright refuses to believe it. The theme stated is asking a question, a question which the story will answer.

Catalyst: The ordinary world is shattered. Something unexpected happens, and this event triggers all the conflict and change of the whole story. Life will never be the same after this moment. This is the Call to Adventure. 

Debate: But for a moment, the hero won’t be quite sure about answering that call. Leaving behind the ordinary world is difficult – even if the catalyst has come along and disrupted everything – because the ordinary means safety, it means not being challenged, it means avoiding conflict and heartache. Yes, that existence they’re stuck in might be stagnant and unpleasant, but it protects them from facing the intimidating task of growth, of becoming something better.

Break Into 2: And this is when the hero decides to answer the call and cross the threshold of act two, determined to pursue their goal. 

B Story: This is when the relationship – which usually carries and proves the theme – starts in earnest.

Fun & Games: This is just what it says: the premise promised a certain type of pure entertainment, and this beat is where we get to experience it fully. 

Midpoint: This is either a false victory or a false defeat. Something really really good happens. Or something the exact opposite.

Bad Guys Close In: Forces of opposition and conflict begin to converge on the hero and his goal. Everything begins to fall apart for the hero, the defeats piling up one after another, the main character punching back.  

All Is Lost: This is the sequence where absolutely everything falls apart for the hero. The plans fail, the goal is lost, the mentor dies, the villain wins. All is, quite literally, lost. 

Dark Night of the Soul: The hero’s bleakest moment is right here. In addition to all of the tangible things that have been lost, hope and the gumption to continue with the story have also vanished. There is usually a hint of death here, of some kind. An actual death, or an emotional or spiritual death. 

Break into 3: Ah, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Inspiration occurs, hope is rekindled, courage to pursue the story returns. Usually, this is the moment where the main character learns what they NEED, the truth which will heal them, and allow them to fix their own lives. With this, they are able to snatch victory from defeat.

Finale: And in here, the story goal is pursued once more, but this time from the stronger version of the hero – the version that has learned the theme, and committed to act accordingly. 

Closing Image: The opposite of the opening image. This is a snapshot of life after the story, the problems of the ordinary world solved or banished, a new world opening up for the hero. If the opening is the equivalent of “once upon a time” this is saying “And every day after … “ 

So let’s see how that works! And to see it, let’s look at my favorite short film of all time – Paperman  (because this gave me an excuse to watch it several times and listen to the music while writing it.)

1) Opening Image

We see George, a twenty-something in a sixty-something’s suit and tie, obviously on his way to work, and not looking at all enthused about it. He stares straight ahead, expression bored, lifeless, right on the edge of depressed. Wind from a passing train pushes him slightly, and he lets it, demeanor unchanging. 

2) Set-Up

But then a sheet of paper, caught on the wind, hits his shoulder. The paper flies off again, and a young woman appears onscreen, chasing after the paper, as the surprised George watches.

 After catching it offscreen, the girl returns, tucking the paper into the stack she carries, smiling slightly. They both face forward, waiting for the train side-by-side, in silence. She’s glancing sideways at him, he’s smiling and fidgeting nervously, but still resolutely facing forward; they’re both aware of each other, seemingly hoping the other will be braver, but neither able to overcome their shyness and the unspoken rules of everyday life. 

3) Theme Stated 

As a train charges into the station, a paper from George’s stack is snatched by the wind and lands flat on the woman’s face. When he pulls the paper away, she laughs: her lipstick left a perfect kiss mark on the sheet. When George spots it, he laughs too … 

but when he opens his eyes, she’s gone. She’s boarded a different train. The kiss-mark paper flaps in the wind as the train begins to move, taking her away. He watches, crestfallen. She glances back. Looks of regret and disappointment are exchanged, both a little wistful. The paper, the symbol of their fleeting memorable meeting, waves goodbye. 

Through this little sequence of images, the question of the whole story is asked: Was there a connection between them? Will they find each other again? And on a wider level: What does it take to find love? 

Further Set-Up:

And cut to George behind a desk, in a gray office, dark file cabinets towering behind him, clocks on the wall ticking away his life. Miserable again, he stares at the lipsticked paper. A stack of documents slams onto the desk from on high. The grim-faced boss of the office scowls down at him. George frowns at the stack, then at his boss, who stomps away.   

4) Catalyst 

Breeze pulls the kissed paper off his desk and out the open window. He catches it just in time, breathing a sigh of relief. And then he sees something. The girl! She’s there! She’s right across the street! 

5) Debate 

He needs to get her attention! He dithers for a moment, then throws the window wide and enthusiastically waves his arms.

 An ominous "ahem” from the boss brings him back inside, and back to his desk. But his attention is still on the girl, and the need to get her attention. He folds a paper airplane, stands before the window, poises the airplane to fly … but he glances at his boss’s office before he throws it. Should he? 

6) Break Into Act 2

Yes. Yes, he should. He sends the little airplane messenger to bridge the distance between himself and the girl. 

7) B Story

What he should have done while waiting for the train, he’s committed to do now. Talk to her. The relationship of the story has started officially. 

8) Fun & Games

In this moment, he becomes the “paper man” of the title. He folds and throws paper airplane after paper airplane. The boss shows up, shoves him back and slams his window. George pauses until he’s gone, then just keeps sending airplanes. They sail over the street, but are intercepted or miss their mark every time. 

9) Midpoint

He reaches for more paper … and knocks an empty tray off the desk. He’s run out. Except for one paper, the kissed one, the only one he’s held onto. With a determined look, he folds it precisely into an airplane, stands before the window, breathes to steady himself … 

And the wind steals the airplane from his hand, sending it spiraling to the street below, George reaching out pointlessly. On top of this defeat, the girl leaves the office.  

10) Bad Guys Close In 

Immediately, the boss emerges from his lair. The other office workers hurriedly return to their scribbling, hunched to avoid drawing attention. The girl is leaving the building across the street! George turns from the window … and finds the boss looming above him, glowering, delivering another tall pile of meaningless work. 

George sinks into his chair, defeated. But something happens as he watches his boss walk away, as he sees the office workers in neat rows; all of them older versions of George, reflections of what he will become … if he doesn’t do something right now. 

He runs, sending paper from the perfect stacks flying in his wake. 

11) All Is Lost

But when he escapes the building, and attempts to cross the street, cars nearly kill him. And when he finally makes it to the opposite sidewalk, the girl is nowhere in sight. She’s lost again. 

And all he manages to find is the little traitorous paper airplane. The paper he’d believed might mean something, might have signified something important and maybe a little magical. Which it obviously never did. 

12) Dark Night of the Soul

Angry, he grabs the plane and throws it with all his strength.  He’s lost his job, he’s lost the girl, he’s lost all faith in the magic he’d just started to believe might be real. He stomps towards the train station, returning home. 

13) Break Into 3  

But fate has other plans. The airplane glides over the city, almost supernaturally graceful and purposeful. It dives between buildings, and lands in the middle of the alley where all the paper planes have collected. 

It sits immobile. Then it moves. Moves again. And jumps into flight. The airplane flies over the rest, stirring them into motion, into the air. In a place where not even a breath of wind could reach, there is now a whirlwind of George’s airplanes. 

Though the forces of mediocrity tried to keep them apart, something greater has recognized George’s efforts and is going to see things through. 

14) Finale

A parade of airplanes follows George down the street. 

The leader attaches to his leg. He brushes it off, mad. A flurry of them attach to him, then carry him down the street, unfazed by his fighting. 

The leader airplane rockets over the city purposefully, finds the girl, then lures her to follow.

 She chases after. 

Somewhere else in the city, George is being pushed wherever the paper airplanes want him to go. We switch back and forth between George and the girl, as the airplanes push him and beckon her. 

Until they’re both on different trains, which stop simultaneously, on opposite sides of the platform. The girl gets out. She fiddles with the airplane, like she’s trying to get it to work again. And just then, a breeze brings hundreds of paper planes skittering all around the platform.

 She looks up …

15) Closing Image

And there’s George, covered in paper planes. 

He lurches towards Meg, and the airplanes falls away, their work done. 

George and Meg face each other, smiling, the barriers of routine and shyness overcome. Exactly what should have happened, exactly what was meant to happen. Putting effort into connection and love prevailed in the end, defeating the allure of life spent in safety and mediocrity. The closing image is the opposite of the opening: he’s not alone, he’s not facing the train leading to his mundane job, he’s not looking miserable and hopeless. He’s facing the girl, his bright and meaningful new future.

***

So! Those are the 15 plot points. This is a fantastic way to begin learning what story structure is, why it works the way it does, and how to precisely pull it off. 

For a more in-depth explanation, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Save the Cat. (It holds a special place in my heart; it was the first screenwriting book I ever read, and started obsessive study of storytelling.)

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My BookOutlet haul finally arrived today! What better way to end this semester than with new books?? 😁💙

Witch Tips - Learning the Tarot

🌱🌱🌱The very first step🌱🌱🌱


Choose your cards carefully!

When looking for the deck you want to start with, unless you want to be limited to only using the major cards, it’s important you do your research to make sure the minor cards (I.e. The cups, swords, wands and pentacles) all have detailed illustrations.

Some decks only have detailed major arcana and their minor arcana are illustrated as normal playing cards. This is all very well if you’re a highly experienced tarot reader and can remember meanings by numbers alone, but as a rookie just starting off, or even an experienced tarot reader who can’t remember by numbers alone, you’re going to struggle to use them.

Imagery as we’ll discuss later is a key tool to learning and remembering your cards.

🌱🌱Finding your meanings 🌱🌱


When you buy your first deck it will no doubt come with a little booklet explaining each card’s meaning. It’s easy to take this as a 100% accurate guide with no room for debate or subjective interpretations of the cards.

If and when you get round to buying a second deck you’ll make an interesting discovery- the booklet you get with that deck with give you some slightly (and in some case very) different interpretations of the cards.

A quick google will show you that different websites will have slightly different takes on each card’s meanings too.

How do you know which source of information is accurate? Well here’s the good news. Your own personal deck will become attuned to you.

When you first get your deck it’s merely a mass produced deck of cards, pretty imagery printed in a big factory onto a giant sheet of card that gets fed through a nifty slice and dice machine that creates the little deck you’ve just took out the box.

When you start using it you start putting your own energy into it. Cards pick up meanings, readings make more sense the more you practice with them.

When searching for your meanings what I suggest is looking for the meanings from a variety of sources- books, google, apps, tumblr - and jotting down the ones that you personally feel fit the imagery on your card. You might find that one of the suggested meanings really makes more sense because you can link it with symbolism on your card.

This takes me to the next important step:


🌱🌱🌱🌱Symbolism🌱🌱🌱🌱


The easiest way to learn the meanings is to use imagery.

Put your cards in numerical order and in 5 piles- the major arcana, the swords, the wands, the cups and the pentacles.

Go through each pile one card at a time and write down the card name, the meaning and look for imagery within the card that you can link with the meaning to help you remember it. The easiest example I can give you is the strength card- pretty self explanatory meaning, but if you look at the card you can see the lion itself is a symbol of strength, courage and loyalty, and the fact that the man (in traditional rider decks) is being able to overpower a lion shows just what sort of strength we’re looking at.

Other examples that can be seen in other decks are the moon, which usually symbolises femininity, tree blossoms that typically symbolise nurturing and caring, butterflies which symbolise transformation, roses which symbolise love and passion…


🌱🌱Practice makes perfect!🌱🌱

Obviously the easiest way to learn is to practice often, perhaps try daily or weekly tarot spreads or maybe make a point of reading the cards every new or full moon.

Don’t be ashamed to have your meanings to hand while you read your cards. There’s no shame in that and it will take time to learn them all- there’s a lot of cards!! Even if you’ve been using your cards for a long time there’s still nothing wrong with using your notes- don’t let anyone tell you it makes you less of a Tarot Reader for needing them.


🌱🌱🌱🌱More tips🌱🌱🌱🌱

🐝 it IS perfectly possible to use only the major cards- it’s easier to learn the Major Arcana and you can still get a good reading with just them. The Minor Arcana goes into more specific details whereas the Major Cards are more generalised.

🐝 Each suit of the Tarot is based on an element

- swords are air (air is associated with intellect)
- wands are fire (fire is associated with passions and ambitions)
- cups are water (water is associated with emotions)
- pentacles are Earth (earth is associated with material things)

Bearing this in mind will help you learn the meanings of the Minor Arcana

🐝 Sometimes your intuition will want to read a card in a slightly different way to what your research has told you the meaning is. Always trust your intuition when it comes to the craft 😌✌️


🐝 Spend time near your deck to help you become accustomed to each other. The better you know each other, the better your readings will become.

🐝 When your deck is new, try not to let others touch it until you feel you’ve become accustomed to your deck and have made it truly your own.

🐝 Cleanse your deck after allowing other people to use or touch it, and regular cleansing never hurts either- perhaps every new moon 😌✨

🐝 The myth that you can only use a Tarot deck gifted to you is just that- a myth. You’ll find you can work better with a deck you’ve picked out yourself because you’ll pick one out that feels right to you and that makes all the difference when it comes to bonding with it, enjoying using it, and learning the meanings.


🌱🌱Ways to cleanse your deck🌱🌱

🦋 place a Quartz crystal on top of the deck

🦋 hold the deck in your hands and feel your energy flowing through and removing any negativity

🦋 leave deck out under the light of a full moon

🦋 draw a ring of salt around the deck

🦋 hold your deck over you heart and feel your heart beat through them, cleaning them and re-aligning them to you

🦋 hold a pendulum above the deck and when it stops spinning it will have cleansed them