presentational flat

You don’t care about Rey if you think her potential choices in romance will affect the agency of her character. Rey is Rey, a strong hero who deserves her own story - without you weighing down premature judgment on potential choices the character very well MAY MAKE.

You don’t care about Rey if all you want to see her character do is kill the bad guy. Where is the character growth in that? What is the message? How does it fit into the greater Star Wars themes? Do you care about that?

You don’t care about Rey if you see her as a “perfect cinnamon roll” who can’t handle herself and who needs to be “protected” from the “no good very bad man.” Rey is fierce and brave, but also flawed and human. She, too will face struggles.

When she makes mistakes - will you still be there to love her character then? If all you see in characters is a flat presentation and no potential…. what happens when your “perfect Rey of sunshine” messes up? Do you abandon characters you see as flawed?

If people ship her with a character with the belief the other will be redeemed and a better man, that is not shipping her with a fascist. That is shipping her with a person who changed for the better - that is fitting in with Star Wars themes and messaging.

You don’t care about Star Wars if you think these characters or story are as simple and transparent as what only 1/3 of the story has given us.

You don’t care about Star Wars if you think things aren’t going to change and grow from here.

And you don’t care about fandom or Star Wars if you think you get to tell other people how to enjoy it or interpret it. Bye 👋

Originally posted by gypsyastronaut

Share (OMGCP Drabble)

For prompt #20 from @checkplease100: share. Should be self-explanatory. :)

At the reception, Bitty pulls Alicia aside and presents a small, flat gift box.

“Eric!” She laughs. “You’re supposed to get these today, not give them.”

“I know, I know. But I didn’t want to wait because you’ve been wanting this for so long.”

With a perplexed smile, Alicia pulls out a folded piece of paper. She gasps when she opens it, revealing the words Moo Maw’s Blue Ribbon Chocolate Chip Cookies.

“She said I could share now that we’re all family,” Bitty explains.

“Oh Eric!” Alicia says, pulling him into a teary hug. “I’m so glad Jack met you.”

You’re gonna have to pull the trigger, then

For @nataliecrown and @alienor-woods, those beautiful monsters.  Post 410 spec.

A gunshot cracked near his ear and echoed in the small chamber.  Bellamy stopped and saw the perfect round hole where it was buried in the thick cement wall, his brain not fully comprehending what he saw.  He was still thinking about Octavia, left out in the black rain, a wave of fire bearing down on her.  The present was oddly flat and meaningless compared to that;, unreal and distant.

“Bellamy, please,” Clarke begged.

Slowly, he dragged his eyes from the bullet hole to her face.  Her eyes were dark, cold pits, fear and sadness etched into the creases in her forehead.  “What are you doing?” he asked, his ears still ringing.  His vision tunneled as he stared at the gun.

The gun in Clarke’s hand.

The gun pointed at him.

“What I have to.  Like always,” she replied.  The gun was trembling but her jaw was set.  Determined.

Determined to shoot him.

“Octavia’s out there,” he pleaded.  “She’s— she’s out there.  You can’t expect me to—”

“– if you open that door, we die,” Clarke interrupted.  “All of us.  I can’t let that happen.”

“You don’t know that.”

“I do,” she said, her voice breaking.  Tears filled her eyes but didn’t fall.  “After what I did— they’ll kill us for it.  I have no choice.  This is…this is who I need to be.”

The words landed like a body blow.  He’d said that to her once in a vain attempt at comfort and hearing them now sent ice down his spine.  But her hand was still shaking and a tear fell, so he took a step down and then another.  “Then do it,” he said, thankful his voice was steady.  His heart was cracking in two but he sounded sure; certain.

“Bellamy,” she whispered.

“You know I won’t leave her out there.  So do it,” he urged.  “This is who you need to be, right?  If you believe that, then do it.  Kill me.”

“Bellamy, please,” she repeated.

“You have no choice,” he spat.  He reached the floor but she didn’t lower the gun, just swallowed hard.  “And neither do I.  That’s my sister out there.  So if you’re going to shoot me, shoot me.”  

He walked towards her and Clarke shook her head in despair.  “Don’t do this, please.  You know— you know I can’t.  I need you.”

“Do you?”  His mind was clearing now, disbelief giving way to anger.  You need me?  You left me.  And now you might kill me.

“I do,” she said, and it sounded like a sob.  He drew closer, the gun still between them.  “You know I do.  I— I made sure you were safe.  I couldn’t do this without you.”  She took a shuddering breath.  “I love you,” she said, and it felt like a slap.

In another life those words might have brought him joy, but now they just pissed him off.  “Then choose,” he growled, and stepped right up to her.  The barrel of the gun pressed into his sternum; cold and hard and deadly.  “Do it, or let me save my sister.”  

Clarke met his gaze and he saw his death flicker there.  He swallowed, not letting himself break, and wondered if she’d do it.  A tear tracked down her cheek, then another and then another.  And then the moment passed. 

“They’ll kill us,” she protested, but Bellamy just wrapped his hand around hers and slowly tugged the gun away from his chest.  It clattered to the floor and they collapsed into one another, Clarke’s face mashing against his shoulder and his arms coming up to hold her.  The anger that had flared in his gut dimmed— not yet cold ash, but no longer threatening to consume him.  Clarke sobbed and he felt his own tears start to fall fall.  “I did what I had to,” she kept murmuring, and he smoothed her hair down and nodded.

Because this world wasn’t fair and never would be.

so i’m absolutely fucking livid

i was looking through the new books at my library, and I see this piece of shit, the title is “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Jihad” and I feel like you can already tell where the fuck this is going

yeah, it’s an entire several hundred page book of some white-ass piece of shit blowing his mouth off about how how Islam is actually a violent religion and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you.  On the front cover it says shit like “did you know, not all muslims are terrorists, but most terrorists are muslims” as if the FBI numbers don’t fucking prove that the biggest threat in our goddamn country is an entitled white christian man with a gun, as if all of history doesn’t prove that white people are the single biggest threat to human freedom in the entire globe

there are at least five books about christianity on the new books shelves but that was the only new book about islam.  I am not fucking standing for this.  I believe that libraries shouldn’t censor shit, but there’s a difference between not censoring and giving an unequal platform that presents a flat out danger to people who may belong to our community.  not to mention the anger i feel that this book even managed to get fucking published, let alone get onto our shelves.

SO LISTEN: I need some help.  I want suggestions of books, fiction and nonfiction, about Islam by Muslims, including actual facts.  If I have any Muslim followers, or anyone who knows any good books about actual Islam and not what some piece of white shit wants to lie through his teeth about and pretend he understands shit, I want your suggestions.  ESPECIALLY new books.  Anything less than six months old is preferable, because that’s new enough for me to put in a purchase request at my library.  I’m going to do some of my own research now, too, but I would really appreciate suggestions from people who know what they’re talking about.

If this book has to fucking exist in my library, I’m going to fucking drown it out with books about REAL Islam


Elias: hey?

Unknown: I need help. I’m researching Sanas eid party
What is eid?
Is it Muhammad’s birthday?
On the internet they say it’s like Christmas

Elias: maybe
not Muhammads birthday

Unknown: when is his birthday then
Do I meet at Magrib or Iftar o'clock? Do I Bring snacks and presents? Should I wear flats? My Own costume? Jewellery? Will it be dancing? Do you want me to contribute to the Spotify playlist? Are there stores only for eid?

Elias: just go down to Grønland And ask for a standard eid-package
And remember when you pay in the stores you have to type the code in backwards since Arabic countries read from the right

Unknown: eid package here I come

Friday 23.06.17 at 6.16pm

Eskild (?) & Elias




I need some help. I’m doing some research on Eid for Sana
What is Eid?
Is it Mohammad’s birthday?
On Internet, it says that it’s a bit like Christmas Eve

It’s not Mohammad’s birthday

When is his birthday then?
Do I come for Maghrib or Iftar? Do I bring snacks and presents? Should I wear flat shoes? A folk costume? Jewelry? Are we going to dance? Can I contribute to songs from a Spotify playlist? Are there specific Eid shops?

just go down to Grønland and ask for a standard Eid package
And remember that when you pay in stores, you have to enter the pin code backwards since Arab countries read from the right

Eid package here I come


* A common greeting wishing a blessed Eid

Based loosely on the Doctor who xmas special


Eurus calls Molly directly and informs her of the bombs planted in her house. She cannot move or put down the phone until Sherlock arrives

Eurus: now how about we chat while we wait for Sherlock. He does so love to make an entrance.

Molly: This is pointless I won’t help you

Eurus: you have little choice. You are the woman Sherlock loves and so…

Molly laughs, a bitter snort that she can’t help

Molly: who told you that?

Eurus: a little bird told me

Molly: well you may be an era defining genius but you should update your sources

Eurus: you are the woman who loves Sherlock…

Molly: I am, I have never denied it, everyone knows it. It’s not a secret. But who said it was reciprocated? Sherlock isn’t like me, he doesn’t lower himself to sentiment–to—to feelings. Sherlock has never loved me and that’s okay I never once expected him to. But I love Sherlock Holmes.

Eurus: (quietly pondering) he may surprise you

Molly is crying without realising it. One stray tear after another. The slow aching kind.

Molly: All these people around Sherlock and you chose me. I mean how long have you been planning this? How did you get it so wrong?

Eurus doesn’t like being challenged the playful edge disappears and then her eyes focus on the shadows which give way to–/

Eurus: Sherlock! Good of you to come, and at such a good moment too. That was very well done Molly I almost believed you

Molly looks humiliated, baring her soul in front of Eurus was one thing; in front of Sherlock was quite another.

Eurus: now Sherlock have you been keeping secrets? You told Faith all about that lovely pathologist you worked with, don’t you remember? You were quite high at the time but I seem to remember you were quite smitten.

Eurus: now I hate to be a bother but I have left some presents in Miss Hooper’s flat and I’d hate for them to go to waste so if you could pull yourselves together I have a little game we can all play to get to know each other better.


Presenting… The Flat Tarot by Me, Breyden Hoban

This Deck, designed in Adobe illustrator, comes printed on regular poker sized playing cards. Done in simple monochrome, this deck takes inspiration from the Rider-Waite deck, becoming the ultimate portable Tarot! Having printed a deck myself from, this deck has proven to be intuitive, with a rather blunt personality, proving to be a good hand at short readings.

This deck is the the perfect pocket deck, and I’m here to show it off!

If anyone wants a copy, enough people could convince me to sell it.

Merry Merry - Stranger Things Fanfic

Christmas Eve - 1984

El had never celebrated Christmas before, the boys knew this. They didn’t really have to ask - her confused gaze and questioning eyes when they mentioned the name Santa Claus kind of gave it away.

So after explaining the concept of Christmas, and presents and family, maybe even snow if it’s cold enough, El couldn’t wait for Christmas.

After all, it would be her first - and it would be with the people she cared about most.

The whole idea of presents was what encaptured El. And not receiving them - giving them. She liked the sound of people being happy to receive them and remembered the only times she felt happy in the lab were when Papa gave her a present. She wanted people to feel what she felt in those rare moments.

So when Christmas Eve came, and all six kids and their families met at the Wheeler household, El couldn’t contain her excitement, gripping the bag with her friends’ presents even tighter. Hopper looked down at the young girl he was proud to now call his own and smiled adoringly.

“Max and the boys are downstairs, go right ahead.” Karen smiled warmly as El hugged Hopper before rushing towards the basement stairs, almost tumbling down.

“Don’t break anything!” She heard Hopper yell after her. She found it funny when he went into dad mode - it was so rare for him.

Arriving at the bottom of the stairs, El halted in her tracks.

It was breath taking - the bright lights, the colourful streamers, the intricate wreathes. It was beautiful. She’d never seen anything like it!

As soon as she hit the last step, all heads in the room turned in her direction.

“Hey El!” A chorus of voices hit her ears as she made her way over. They were all playing what looked to be a card game.

“Hi,” she blushed, still never warming to the idea of all the attention being on her.

All the boys and Max scrambled to their feet, each coming to give El a big, warm Christmas hug - exactly what she needed during the cold, winter nights.

After receiving the last bear hug from Dustin, El shuffled back so she was standing before all five of her friends.

Slowly and delicately, she raised the bag with all her presents.

“Merry Christmas,” she murmured, her cheeks tinting crimson.

Max was the first to grab the bag, eager to unfold the pink tissue paper concealing the gifts inside.

“Max, don’t snatch.” Will chided, ever the parental figure of the group.

“Sorry…” Max mumbled. El giggled and just shrugged.

Max reached into the large bag, fumbling around until she found a small box enveloped in a large layer of pink tissue with her name scribbled on it.

Max shook it slightly before ripping through the paper, uncovering the box beneath. She turned the box over in her hands before shaking it once more - only a light rattle sounding out.

Eagerly, Max ripped it open to uncover a purple (because it’s not as girly as pink but still stylish) friendship bracelet. In the middle, there was a silver bead with the letter ’M’ printed on it.

El held up her own purple bracelet, only her’s had the letter ‘E.’

“So we match,” She said.

Max smiled adoringly down at the bracelet before giving El yet another hug, murmuring it was the best present she could’ve received.

El smiled before turning to Lucas who was already undoing the tissue paper on his present.

After fumbling with the wrapping for a minute longer, Lucas managed to uncover what was inside - a red camo bandana.

Which conveniently went perfectly with his red Christmas sweater.

“It’s awesome! Thanks so much, El.” Lucas stepped forward to give El a large hug before stepping back and tying it around his head.

“You’re welcome.”

When the kids had turned to the next person, they weren’t at all surprised to find the wrapping paper already on the floor and the present laying delicately in the recipients’ hands.

Low and behold there was a ‘Lando Calrissian’ figurine resting gently on Dustin’s palm. It was a beautiful choice - reminding everyone - well almost everyone - about some of their crazier times together.

“I love it!” Dustin shouted before diving towards El and picking her up like a rag doll.

“Y-you’re welcome, D-Dustin.” El managed to stammer out with limited breath.

“Oh- sorry.” He giggled, placing her down gently before taking his place back between Lucas and Will.

He leant down and picked up the now lighter gift bag, handing it to Will.

Will glanced up at El and gave her a big grin, to which El returned just as sincerely.

Leaning into the bag, Will grabbed the largest of all the presents which had his name scrawled across it in El’s familiar, loopy handwriting.

Delicately removing the tape, he unwrapped the bright pink tissue paper, revealing a large sketchbook and some coloured pencils. Everyone knew of Will’s love for art so they knew how much a present like this would mean to him.

“It’s amazing. Thank you, El.”
Will gushed, looking up at her.

El blushed again and looked down.

“No problem, Will.” She smiled, going forward to give him a quick hug before stepping back.

That left one present in the discarded and slightly crumpled Christmas bag.

“Saved the best for last.” Max teased, picking up the bag and passing it to Mike.

Mike gently took the bag before turning to El.

El refused to meet his gaze and looked down. Out of all the presents in that bag, Mike’s was the only one she was unsure about.

Leaning into the bag, Mike grabbed the flat, rectangular present, coiled tightly in pink tissue paper.

Flipping it over, he removed the tape before slowly undoing the wrapping. After about a minute of nothing but the sound of rumpling and crunching, Mike uncovered the gift.

He almost stopped breathing.

Laying in Mike’s hands was a beautiful silver photo frame, engraved with the word 'promise’ across the top.

And inside the photo slot, was a beautiful candid picture of Mike and El, sitting next to each other, eating eggos and laughing until their guts hurt as they had a picnic in the Wheeler’s backyard. His mum must’ve taken it when they weren’t looking.

It was - perfect. No other word could describe it. She was perfect.

Glancing up, Mike smiled before walking towards El and enclosing her in a loving hug. El wrapped her arms around Mike’s torso, leaning into his warm embrace.

“Thank you, El,” he breathed into her ear, tickling her skin.

“It’s perfect…just like you.” He murmured, pulling back to look her in the eye.

El released a breath, allowing the blood to flow delicately onto her cheeks. She was so relieved and grateful that he liked his gift.

“I-I’m glad you like it.” She mumbled, her cheeks turning even more pink.

“You ready to see your present?” He asked, pulling away from her but keeping a firm grasp on her hand.

“Yes,” she breathed, not able to contain her smile. All the others turned and lead the way out of the basement towards the back door.

Where were they going?

Following after them, Mike and El made their way outside where El stopped in her tracks.

All five of her closest friends were standing there, grinning at her.

A huge smile spread across El’s face.

“Told ya she’d love it.” Dustin giggled, nudging Mike in the arm.

Standing before them was a pink bicycle. El’s very own pink bicycle.

She’d dreamed of owning her own for so long! Not that she didn’t love riding on Mike’s with him of course.

“For me?” She squeaked, still not believing what was really in front of her.

“Yup, all yours!” Lucas piped up.

Will stepped forward, bringing out something from behind his back.

“Just while you get the hang of things,” Will playfully remarked, before presenting a beautiful white helmet decorated with purple, pink and blue flowers.

Taking the helmet in her hand, El looked it over before glancing at the faces of all her friends.

“I-I don’t know wha-what to say.” She stammered, eyes beginning to water.

“You say, Merry Christmas!” Max replied, all the boys following in her words.

El couldn’t believe what amazing friends she had.

“There’s still an hour before dinner, why don’t we go for a ride?” Lucas suggested.

“Yeah, teach El how to ride her own bike for once, hey Wheeler?” Dustin smirked, knowing fully well Mike didn’t want to buy El her own bike.

He’d never admit it to the guys, but he loved it when El wrapped her arms tightly around his waist as they flew through the streets of Hawkins. It’s one of the many things he loved doing with El.

But he knew she’d always wanted her own.

“Uh- yeah.” Mike mumbled, scratching the back of his neck, inadvertently allowing a scarlet red to flood his freckled cheeks.

“Let’s go!” Max yelled, already making her way over to her skateboard.

“Right behind you!” The boys all called, leaving El and Mike standing there.

Turning to El, Mike kept his firm grip on her hand.

“Merry Christmas, El,” Mike smiled, his gaze never once wavering from her own.

“Merry Christmas, Mike,” El smiled, thinking over how grateful she was.

She was so lucky.

Sherlolly Appreciation Week Day 2: First Date

Okay, day two… this one’s rated G. Gonna gift it to @battledress because she asked me for a fic a couple of days ago. Here you go, honey-bunny. Hope you like it. Thanks to @mizjoely for betaing, as usual… she’s amazing! Enjoy ~Lil~

-So, First Date, Was It?-

He was nervous about dinner, he could admit that much (at least to himself). But this wasn’t just any dinner, it was his first real date with Molly Hooper. Date, his mind scoffed. Yes, date. Now shut up! He had, of course, done his research about what woman expected from a suitor on a first date, then promptly tossed most of it out the window. Molly wasn’t like other woman. Besides, they’d known each other for nearly eight years, for God’s sake!

The table was set near the windows, and yes, there was a candle. He’d forgone the flowers, however. Giving a woman flowers was a blatant manipulation and he absolutely finished with manipulating Molly Hooper. It had taken almost two days to make the flat presentable (with a great deal of help from Mrs. Hudson). How it had gotten in such bad shape after the repairs, he had no idea. The meal, linguine with clam sauce, was nearly ready. The wine was chilling and the music was softly playing in the background.

He sighed. Nervous indeed. His only comfort was that Molly would definitely be more nervous than him. That thought relaxed him for a moment as he checked on the sauce once again.

Hearing voices, he realised that time had gotten away from him and that his Molly had arrived and was speaking with Mrs. Hudson. He grabbed his suit jacket from the back of a kitchen chair, putting it on as he walked to the sitting room. Counting her soft footfalls on the stairs, he opened the door just at she arrived on the landing.

“That’s good timing,” she said, smiling, those adorable dimples beckoning him to kiss them.

It wasn’t the right time, though, or placement for that matter. No, no cheek kisses tonight. He had plans for both of their lips…later. He also had upwards of twenty-two ideas of how this date could end (each one more pleasing than the next).

“Evening, Molly. You look…” His eyes took her in: work shoes, khaki trousers, striped button up shirt, chunky sweater, her hair in a haphazard bun atop her head. She looked magnificent. “…lovely.”

“Don’t be glib, Sherlock. I got stuck doing a last minute autopsy and didn’t get a chance to change,” she said as she walked past him, tossing her handbag onto the sofa. “Mmm, something smells good.”

“Linguine with clam sauce,” he explained as he shut the door.

“From Angelo’s?” she asked excitedly.

“Ah, no actually…”

“It doesn’t matter,” she interrupted. “It’s my favourite. I’m sure I’ll love it no matter where you got it from.”

Deciding to wait until she tasted it to take credit (just in case she hated it), he directed her to the table and pulled out a chair. “Please, have a seat.”

“You’re quite the gentleman this evening.”

“I’ll just, ah, go get the wine.” He walked away with a confused look on his face. She wasn’t at all nervous. Which made him feel very conflicted. On the one hand, he was glad that she was so relaxed in his presence, but… it’s our first date, damnit! She should at least be a little nervous!

It wasn’t any better when he returned. She thanked him for the wine then made a horrible joke about cirrhosis of the liver.

Once they started eating, things got even stranger, or rather not strange at all. It was just like every other meal they’d ever shared.

“So I told him the same thing I told you about three years ago, once I grew a pair and stopped letting you run roughshod over me,” she explained before taking another bite.

“You said, ‘Sherlock Holmes, you might be a good looking bastard, but you’re still a bastard and I’m not your house elf’? I never did figure out what a house elf was, by the way.”

“No, you dolt! The other part. I told him to clean up his own mess or I’d leave it sit there until the Second Coming.”

“Ah, religious humour. Funny.” He smiled. It wasn’t funny. But this was a date. One laughed at their date’s bad jokes whilst on a date, it was required (one of the small bits of advice he had kept as he filtered through all the nonsense).

Molly shook her head and laughed. “Sort of. Where did you get this, it’s excellent,” she said, pointing to her plate with her fork.

“I made it, Molly.”

“No, really.”

“Of course I made it. Is that so unbelievable? I am a graduate chemist. Cooking isn’t difficult, just monotonous.”

“I believe that you’re capable, Sherlock. I seriously doubt that there’s anything you couldn’t do if you set your mind to it. My problem is that you never do anything yourself if you can get someone else to do it for you.”

Where had she learned to compliment him and insult him in the same breath? You! She learned it by watching you, moron! “Well, tonight is… “ He froze, looking into her big brown eyes, all thought evaporated and he was left gaping. After several agonising seconds he managed, “You like it though?”

Molly nodded slowly then went back to eating. Thank God!

The meal ended and Sherlock took the dishes to the kitchen, something which seemed to surprise Molly even more than his cooking. He had told her to have a seat on the sofa and that he’d return with dessert.

Her eyes followed him as he walked in holding two bowls of ice cream. When he handed one to her she let out an exaggerated sigh. “Oh thank goodness. I was afraid you’d made a tart or something. You’re starting to freak me out, Sherlock.” She dug into the double chocolate chip with a smile.

Though her behaviour was not what he had expected, he was relieved that she was enjoying herself.

When they finished their ice cream Molly leaned back and rubbed her belly. “Wonderful meal, Sherlock. I’m stuffed.”

“I’m glad you enjoyed it.”

Sitting up, she reached for her bag. “I did. But I’ve had a shit day and I need a long bath.” She stood and started walking towards the door.

What? Sherlock followed. “Ah, well, thank you for… coming to dinner,” he said, unable to keep the disappointment out of his voice. Maybe I waited too long, he thought. Maybe there’s no actual spark left after all these years. Or maybe I’m just rubbish at dating when it’s an actual date, not pretending.

She stopped at the door and turned around. “What’s wrong?” she asked, putting a comforting hand on his forearm.

Oh, there’s the spark. “Nothing, Molly. I just had high expectations for this evening.”

Her lips quirked up. “High expectations? For what, dinner? We eat dinner all the time, Sherlock.” She suddenly look apologetic. “Did you want to do an experiment?”

And that’s when the penny dropped.

Well, this is unfortunate. Shoving his hands into his pockets, he said,  “Molly, this wasn’t just dinner. Think back to when I asked you to come over.”

She got a far off look in her eyes for a moment, then started looking around the room. He watched her look at the table, with the still lit candle. She looked toward the kitchen, then at his laptop, still quietly playing instrumental music.

Oh my God!” she whispered.

“Finally got it, did you?”

“This was a date! This was our first date!”

Sherlock just nodded.

Dropping her bag, she reached for him, grabbing his shoulders. “I’m so sorry. I really didn’t…”

“Yes, I see that now.”

“You cooked for me! The ice cream and music and the candle. Oh, Sherlock, the candle was a dead giveaway!” She moved closer. “I feel like an idiot.”

Reaching up, he cupped her face, tracing her dimples with his thumbs. “You’re not an idiot, Molly.”

“I’m sorry, Sherlock. What can I do to make this up to you?”

He smirked. “Well, my expectations did include a kiss.”

“Oh, of course,” she said with a sexy little smile. “All this trouble… it’s the least you deserve.” Pulling him closer, she stretched up on her tiptoes and pressed her lips against his. “Does that meet your expectations?”

Grabbing her by the hips, he pulled her close. “It does. But it doesn’t make up for not realising that we were on an actual date.”

“Hmm,” Molly hummed, looking thoughtful as she threaded her fingers through his hair. “I assume you have some ideas about how we could salvage this evening?”

“Twenty-two to be exact,” he said before kissing her senseless.

Thanks for reading! ~Lil~

A Little Lesson in Easter Eggs

Authors’ Note: Happy Easter and Happy Sunday!!! @vintagemichelle91 and I hope that you had a wonderful day! We are backtracking in our timeline just a tad to bring you a brief glimpse of the Barba Family getting into the holiday spirit! Enjoy!!!

Mami? What we doing?”

Natalia smiled as she set down the carton of hard-boiled eggs, her watercolor pencils, and several sorts of glitter. Kissing Violetta’s plump, pink cheek, she dropped the food coloring into cups of warm water mixed with vinegar and handed her daughter a small spoon.

“We’re dyeing Easter eggs, sweet pea,” Natalia explained. “You can make them any color you like, and then we get to decorate them!”

Having always enjoyed the activity as a child and even more so with her students, Natalia rose early and began boiling the eggs before her baby’s breakfast was even underway. Now, after they had sat in the refrigerator and were more than safe to touch, she placed four eggs on Violetta’s dish, took four for her herself, and set the rest aside for her slumbering husband.

Why we doing this?” Violetta asked.

Keep reading

The Snow: Chapter 8

Sansa covered her mouth just in time to muffle the startled shriek that burst out of it.  She whirled around to check on Jon, who only moaned and shuffled his body a quarter of a turn toward the wall.  But it was the most movement she’d seen from him since he had stomped out of the kitchen after their shouting match two nights before, and Sansa smiled wanly.  Then she remembered that someone might just have broken into the flat.  She frantically pawed through Jon’s chest of drawers to look for a hammer or a pocketknife or anything she could use to defend herself.  When she came up empty, she opened the door and peered out cautiously before scampering into the laundry room, where, after all, she had found the tarp, bucket, and other purely utilitarian items.

Before she had gotten halfway across the hall, it occurred to Sansa that, for one thing, even if there were in fact any burglars idiotic enough to risk going out and plying their trade with the sheer amount of snow on the ground outside, they would be doubly and triply idiotic to try it in such a well secured community.  For another, she could not be entirely sure that the noise had not come from the neighboring flat.  None of that stopped her from rifling through the drawers of Jon’s utility shelving, though, or from grabbing the first hammer she could find.  She realized belatedly that the sound, if it had originated from Jon’s flat at all, had come from the utility area behind the laundry room, which meant that any intruders present in the flat had had more than enough time to attack her already.  That, however, did not stop her from brandishing the hammer, inching open the door leading out of the laundry room until she could reach the light switch, and hitting the switch as hard as she could while kicking the door back into the wall.

To Sansa’s utter relief and embarrassment, the light revealed a few boxes arranged in neat stacks against the opposite wall and nothing else.  She leaned her head back against the wall behind her and let out a long sigh.  

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She Rises!

by Saṃsāran

Eve and the apple. The curious female who brings destruction upon mankind. We see her in Greek mythology with the story of Pandora. The rise of the Abrahamic religions coincided with the rise of the patriarchy. In times past it was the Earth and her bounty which were paramount. Farming people worshiped fertility Goddesses who were seen as the mother. Earth and water are the elements of the female power. Life. Birth. Spring and summer. The moon and the night stars. Black and silver. These were her emblems.

However, the herders and the hunting people from the great steppe worshiped the sky not the Earth. The sun, the dome of the sky. Lightning and storms. Autumn and winter. The male power of fire and air the power of the ever present winds of the flat plain. The power of the father. These peoples were fierce and used to the killing. Their implements were implements of death the bow, the sword,and the lance. Horse people. Blue and gold. Sky and sun. There were their emblems.

The horse people raided, conquered the settled people. They set themselves up as lords and took by force all that the people of the mother had acquired. They threw down Asherah and Isis and enthroned their sky God, their mountain dwelling god of storms. El and Yahweh. Zeus and Odin.

Now things are changing. The beginning of the end were the wars of colonization. The empires grew fat on the blood of the conquered. Then in jealous rage they turned upon one another in the wars we call WWI and WWII. These wars broke the back of the old regime. Kings fell. Democracy rose. Empires fell and the former subject peoples grew in power and became independent once again.

The process is still going on in the Middle East. Fundamentalist Islam is cracking at the foundation. Women like Malala stand against the evil tide. In India women march against rape and their men march with them. In America women now compete on equal footing with men. In South and Central America women stand in front of soldiers and demand to know where their husbands and sons have gone. The soldiers do not fire. They too have mothers and wives. They tremble.

The old days are dying. In one hundred years the old patriarchy will be dead and buried and a new age will take hold. The new age of the mother. The age of birth, of healing and of peace. People will look back on the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries as ages of barbarism. Children will look at pictures of the bombed cities and the dead of war and ask why and parents will have no answer.

She rises!!!

Savvy Saturday - Stunt Combat

Today I got to watch people pretend to punch and kick each other for three hours. It was delightful. I took lots of notes.

I hadn’t planned on doing research for my writing today when I went to campus; I had planned on cleaning my office, working on a paper, and categorizing citations on my computer. But when I saw that a Hollywood stuntwoman and alumna of the university (Jessie Graff, credits include Live Free or Die Hard and X-Men: First Class) was going to be giving a “master class” this afternoon in the theater department – “Free and open to the public!” – I figured that the citations could wait. Even though I’m not writing anything right now either involving martial arts or the stunt profession, learning about both of them in the context of a workshop class was a fantastic opportunity.

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Jessie Graff

In my experience with martial arts and rapier, the instruction is aimed at giving individuals a deep knowledge of the sport. History, proper mindset, technique, solid footwork and grounding, all is important before you start getting to the parts that “look good” to an audience. A three-hour theater workshop in stunt fighting, however, is completely different. There, it’s all about what your actions look like. In other words, perfect for a novelist. The class also moved quickly: the instructor took the class through basic punches, rolls, and kicks, as well as how to “properly” respond to them.

“To learn how to properly react to being hit in the side of the face,” Graff said, “place your hand on your chin, push your head to one side, and let it go limp.” Note how your head swivels, but it doesn’t lean to one side. Further, it doesn’t just turn and stay there as if you’re purposefully looking over your shoulder. Instead, it “bounces” slightly, rebounding/jiggling in reaction to the sharp movement. (Try it and you’ll see what I mean.) Graff said that she likes to think of the reaction in a “1-2-3” pattern – side, forward, side, all happening very quickly. If you’ve been “hit” especially hard, blow air into your mouth, inflating your cheeks and exhaling quickly.

Camera angles are also a much larger part of stunt fighting than I had ever thought about before. Good stunt doubles and actors will see where the camera is pointed, draw a line from the camera to the actor’s face, and know from that both what height to hit at and when the actor should respond to the hit. For instance, the instructor said that she once had to throw her punches at triceps height for an actor she was supposed to be hitting in the face, because the camera was shooting up from the level of their feet. A bit strange, she said, to be aiming punches at his arm and having his head respond to her “blows.”

Being ten feet away from a skilled stuntwoman, watching her demonstrate attacks and blocks over and over again, was a fantastic experience for me as a writer. While I don’t need to be able to do the things that fighters can, I do need to be able to write them in a way that others can picture them. In a way, then, writing is like being a stunt person. You don’t need to be able to actually throw a punch, you just need to be able to fake it well enough that the people who are enjoying the entertainment you produce think it’s real.

With that in mind, here are some mechanics I learned today about how various types of attacks and blocks work. These aren’t going to give you enough detail to become the next superhero, but they should help you write about one.

How to stand like a fighter:

-          Always shift, and stay on the balls of your feet. Don’t let your heels touch the ground.

-          Your feet should be shoulder width apart, with your off-foot (left, if you’re right handed) forward and your primary foot at between a ninety degree and forty-five degree angle.

-          Keep your elbows in and your hands up in closed fists, with your thumbs on the outside of your fists.

-          Keep a straight line going from your arms up the back of your hands: if you want to practice, you can rubber-band a chopstick to the back of your hand and your wrist. If you let this get sloppy, you can break your hand if you hit wrong.

-          Stay low: imagine that you have a bar placed over the top of your head, and if you stand up, you’ll smack into it.

How to block a punch

-          The block comes from your hip, shoulder, and arm. If someone punches toward you, twist your hip and shoulder so that you’re almost showing your back to the attacker. This should result in your back heel lifting off the floor.

-          At the same time, lift your elbow up against your ear, so that your hand is behind your shoulder. This is almost a “combing your hair” type of motion.

-          Keep your arm tight against your head; this presents a flat surface (that isn’t your head) to the attacker.

-          During all of this, keep looking at the person you’re fighting so you don’t miss anything that happens.

How to throw a punch

-          The motion of your hip initiates the movement, whether you’re throwing a jab, cross, or hook.

-          Keep your muscles taut all the time.

-          If you’re jabbing, turn your body to the right as you punch with your left. It’s opposite for a cross.

-          Keep your arms straight, but slightly bent: don’t hyper-extend your arms or you’ll hurt yourself.

-          For a hook punch: turn your hips, extend your arm, then come in from the side. All of this should be on one horizontal plane: no punching upward or downward.

How to duck a hook punch:

-          Keep your eyes on your opponent

-          Bend your entire upper body forward in a u-shaped motion toward the direction of the punch, by twisting your hips. (So if the person is swinging with his right, you duck from your right to your left and come up again.)

-          This presents the small of your back as the target, rather than your head.

-          Keep your fists by your face to block.

How to roll into a fighting stance:

-          Imagine a line that goes from your right pinky down your arm, then across your back in a diagonal line to your left hip and down your left ankle. This is how you land in a roll to be able to come up fighting.

-          Once your back is on the ground, tuck your left foot behind your right knee, in the shape of a four. This allows you to push up on your right leg and be in fighting position.

-          Once you know what you’re doing, you can do things like grab a sword on the ground as you go into a roll, then come up out of it holding the sword and ready to fight.

Two other ways of using rolls:

  1. Dive roll. In this roll, Person 1 flips Person 2 over Person 1’s shoulder. Person 2 goes into a roll and comes up fighting. To do this: Person 1 is standing in front of Person 2, facing the same direction. Person 1 holds the wrist of Person 2 with his left hand across his body, and reaches behind him to grab Person 2’s shoulder with his right hand. Using his hips, Person 1 throws Person 2 forward and into a roll.
  2. Back roll. In this roll, Person 1 is facing Person 2. Person 1 grabs Person 2’s shirt and falls backward on purpose, with his left leg straight and his right leg bent to his chest. As Person 1 falls, he places his right foot on Person 2’s lower abdomen and pushes, sending Person 2 flying over Person 1’s head and onto the ground. Person 2 lands in a roll.

In addition to learning this information, I had a blast watching the theater students get into the acting portion of the workshop. From the right angle, you could almost believe that these students were actually knocking each other silly. And then one or the other of them would laugh and the spell would be broken. All in all, it was a remarkable afternoon: both enjoyable for its own sake, and hopefully profitable for later writing. A perfect way to celebrate being done with the semester.



present wrapping by Rona Keller
Via Flickr:
This is the third Christmas in a row that I’m spending apart from my family, but I am still in love with the preparations. 😊🌲