Imbolc is approaching, and I wanted to wish everyone who celebrates it a beautiful and fruitful holiday. To my Thelemite brethren, this is known as Feast of the Stars, and I’ve experienced some interesting and potent rituals held in its honor in the past when I was able to visit my then-local Thelemic temple.
To Wiccans and many others, though, it’s known as Imbolc and celebrates the cross-quarter, marking the time between solstice and equinox and reminding us that winter can’t last forever. While I don’t typically celebrate, I’m using this month and the next as a time of reflection on my own path and beliefs about the universe.
I made the above image, inspired by memories from long ago. The text in the background is a poem by Rumi that I once overheard being sung by a choir after wandering into a Unitarian church, and the overall style and mood of the image recalls an experience I had attending, briefly, an Imbolc celebration held in a Quaker church in Pittsburgh by a Wiccan coven. Both were beautiful to behold, though I don’t consider myself an adherent of either path.
I’m not one of those people who believes there’s beauty in every drop of life, but I think the key to being a happy person is to recognize beauty when you do see it. I feel like I’ve seen a lot of beautiful things in my life. Maybe that’s why, despite the smog choking Krakow right now, the freezing temperatures and long hours of darkness, I’m still optimistic and happy to be where I am.
Just imagine leader and boyfriend Jaebum hugging Youngjae the first time he saw him after winning the first round. Think about the huge smiles they’d both have, and the excited laughs between them. Jaebum’s hand cupping the back Youngjae’s head and pulling him in and holding him like he’s the most precious thing this world has. Then the rest of the members storm the room cheering for him, giving him hugs and high fives. Yugbam coming up with a chant for him and asking if he kept the quarter machine, Jinyoung and Mark lowkey trying not to cry because their baby is growing up, Jackson being extra af and Youngjae throwing his head back laughing and then hitting Jackson for being so embarassing. Imagine how proud they all were, and imagine how loved he felt, how accomplished. I can’t wait until he can discuss it and we can see everyone hype him up. I’m so ready.
Ah, finally, she thought with a smirk. Corrin had spent the afternoon in town with Charlotte, Niles, and Laslow gathering supplies and socializing. While she detested the blonde woman and the degenerate outlaw for their previous attempts to steal her precious Corrin’s love away from her before they wed, she would allow him to run free with them, occasionally, without her. As much as she hated being separated from him for even the smallest amount of time, and the intense burning jealousy she would feel when he was away, she wouldn’t deny him the freedom he had been denied his whole life. Next time, and every time after that, however, she would be there with him.
“I’m glad you’re back darling.” She said with a smile, looking up from the novel she was currently reading on their bed as he entered their quarters. As she marked the page and set the book aside she looked up at him as he finished quickly changing into his usual black night clothes. “How was your little trip?”
I wake up with a jolt, not really sure why. Disoriented, I frantically glance around the room. Mark is not by my side. In fact, he never came to bed. I woke up in the muddle of the night, and he wasn’t there. Where is he? I check the time: it’s half past nine. I get up, tidy the bed and brush my teeth, and when I walk in the living room, it’s quarter to ten. Mark is in the kitchen in his pajamas, and I can smell pancakes. He’s using the dough that Dorice keeps in the fridge. He looks at me.
“Hi.” He says without smiling.
“Good morning.” I murmur, perching myself on a stool at the breakfast bar.
“Pancakes.” Mark says, dropping a plate with two pancakes in front of me.
“Thank you.” I whisper. So, he doesn’t sleep with me, but he makes breakfast? I don’t understand him. Mark pours me a glass of apple juice. Just when I’m about to ask him where he slept, Dylan emerges, in his pajamas as well.
“Hi, Dylan.” I murmur before noticing the small bruise on his cheekbone.
“Morning, Abigail.” He smiles to me.
“What’s wrong with your face?” I ask him, and Mark looks, curious. He notices, stretches across the bar and grabs Dylan’s chin.
“Is it dad?” He asks. Dylan jerks away from his touch, giving the answer away. Raymond hit him? Because he’s gay? Mark said he wasn’t homophobic. Mark huffs, and gets back to his pancakes. Dylan ruffles inside the fridge. I start eating silently, making myself as small as possible.
“You deserved it.” Mark mutters.
“I was trying to save your ass, you fucking moron.” Dylan says, closing the fridge once he’s found his bottle of orange juice.
“I don’t need you to save my ass, squirt.” Mark retorts.
“Good because I can do nothing for you, you messed up big time.” Dylan pours himself a glass.
“Oh, because you didn’t.” Mark says ironically, turning to him.
“It’s not what you think.” Dylan says.
“Explain.” Mark says. I feel two pairs of eyes on me, and when I look up they are both looking at me. I flush, grabbing my plate and my glass.
“I’ll be in the guestroom.” I mumble before exiting the room.
When I come down to drop my plate and glass in the dish washer, Mark and Dylan are nowhere to be seen. I clear my plate and almost bump into Raymond when I walk out of the kitchen.
“Raymond.” I breathe. He’s in a T-shirt and sweatpants, his feet bare.
“Good morning, Abigail.” He smiles to me.
“Good morning.” I reply. “Can I do anything for you?”
“Oh, no, darling girl. I’m just fetching a bite to eat.” He says, walking around the breakfast bar.
“I can make you pancakes.” I propose. It could make him talk.
“They’re good?” He raises expecting eyebrows at me.
“There is dough is the fridge.” I surgery. My pancakes are good, but I’m sure Dorice’s are delicious.
“I’d murder a pancake.” He says. Taking this as a cue, I make myself busy in the kitchen, precessing a pan, the dough, and a spatula while Ray sits behind the breakfast counter, watching me. I itch to ask him how he feels, but that would be too indiscreet. While the pan heats up I try to come up with a way to make him talk.
“How’s Mark?” Ray asks me suddenly. I turn to him, surprised. This is going to be easier than I thought.
“Mad. Really mad.” I reply. Ray nods, joining his hands together on the table and looks away. His lips pressed together, he doesn’t look like he wants to say more.
“What about you?” I ask, not wanting him to hold his tongue. He looks at me.
“I love my sons. Both of them.” He says. I put my hand over the pan to check the heat.
“Why can’t they see it?” I ask him, reaching for the dough.
“I wanted them to grow strong. Yes, I would have loved them to be in the army, but I’m not a despot.” He says as I poor the dough in the pan. It makes this katchhhhhprrrr noise I like.
“I just always wanted them to use 200℅ of their capacities, and it’s not with hugs and kisses they would do that. I mean, Mark is a nerd, in every subject imaginable, yet he’s a functionary?” He says. Oh. He just wanted the best of his son. It’s true that Mark could be an engineer or something like this. But getting mad when he doesn’t get that is not a solution, especially with Mark. He’s so sensible.
“It was hard, but I actually accepted the idea he was never going to be a soldier. But, I thought he would…do something.” He mutters.
“And Dylan…that boy.” He sighs, and when I turn to face him he’s shaking his head, his eyes closed as if in pain.
“I wiped his ass and let him throw up on me, and yet he thinks I’d disown him because he’s gay?” He rubs his eyes, frustrated. Then he snorts.
“Why am I bothering you with this?” He gives me a smile that lets the crinkles by his eyes show.
“You’re not bothering me at all. I’m eager for information, and Mark is very. Too taciturn.” I reply.
“At least he finally found good tastes in his relationships. I’m glad.” Ray says as I turn around to flip the pancake. He’s talking about his exes! I cannot miss this opportunity.
“How were his exes?” I ask, trying to sound as detached and uninterested as possible.
“Rich, arrogant bitches. Especially the last one. A nasty piece of work.” He mutters. They were all rich! Oh, Mark, Mark, Mark. “He was a pet. Everything I didn’t want him to be.” He says. I’ve heard enough. Now I know his exes mean something. He. Can’t go from rich, arrogant older women to…me.
“You should talk to him.” I say, changing subjects. Ray doesn’t reply.
“There you go.” I say, dropping his plate of three, golden pancakes in front of him.
“Thank you, Abigail.” Ray smiles to me. I smile back, and exit the kitchen. I find Mark in the guestroom, in nothing but his towel. He’s packing his bag.
“I talked with your father.” I say, closing the door. “He wants to talk to you.”
“We’re going home.” Mark mutters. He looks tense, as if what Dylan said to him had upset him.
“What did Dylan say to you?” I ask, suddenly worried.
“What are you talking about?” He asks, frowning.
“He said it wasn’t what you were thinking. What did he mean?”
“It’s complicated. I just want to leave.” He sighs. He’s running away? He always told me running away wasn’t the best thing to do. He still hasn’t talked to Dorice.
“You should talk to your mom.” I murmur.
“I will. But I need to get away from here. Please.” He says. Mmmh…the poor woman is going to be sad. I must find her, say goodbye to her. Nodding, I get out of the room and find Dorice in the backyard, sitting at the table on the verandah. She gets up when she sees me.
“Good morning." I say to her.
"Hello, Abigail.” She murmurs, taking me in her arms. She her face looks ashen, and I can tell she’s cried.
“Mark wants to leave.” I say apologetically. She closes her eyes as if in pain.
“Of course he wants to.” She mutters. “I’m sorry you saw all of this.”
I give her a warm smile and hug her tightly.
“I’ll try to get him to talk.” I murmur when she pulls away. She kisses my cheek and sends me off. I shower, pack my things and say goodbye to everyone while Mark waits for me in the car.
The ride is silent. Too silent. Nothing is okay between us anymore, and I don’t know what to do. I can’t talk to him as long as his relationship with his family doesn’t get better, but how long will I have to wait?
Mark follows me inside my empty house. My parents have already left for San Diego.
“Where are your parents?” Mark asks me.
“Out for the day.” I lie, not wanting to tell him I’m free for ten days. “Do you want to drink something?”
“No, thanks you. I’ll just go home, I’ll go rest?” He says, walking to me. He strokes my arms up and down, doing his best not to upset me. But I find myself relieved he doesn’t want to say; it means I won’t have to pretend. This is not good, Abigail.
“Okay.” I murmur, sighing. I walk him to the door and hold it open for him.
“I’ll call you tonight.” He says, bends and kisses me quickly.
“Sure.” I mumble, closing the door behind him. I sigh, leaning against the door. The house is silent, empty, and I feel numb. I don’t know what to do, what to think. Suddenly, tears spring to my eyes. I want to cry so bad, but I don’t want to let the pain out, it would feel too real. Sitting on the floor, I call Bea, hoping she’ll help.
“Wassssup?” She says once she’s picked up. My lips curl upward.
“You’re home?” I ask.
“Yep. You’re still with Mark’s folks?”
“No, I’m home.”
“Why?” She asks me. I sigh, my throat tightening. Because I think Mark and I are going to break up.
“Okay, I’m coming.” She says, understanding immediately. At least with her I don’t have to talk.
“And it feels like unfinished business, but I can’t talk about it with him because he’s having a hard time, but at the same time it hurts.” I explain to Bea as we both sit on my bed. “I don’t want to make the situation even worse.”
“But it’s your trauma we’re talking about. It comes first.” She says in a scolding way. I know my trauma should come first, but I was lost and I listened to my heart instead, and now Mark expects me to be loving; which I know I shouldn’t be.
“Do you think he’s dangerous?” I ask her. Maybe he’s not hiding something bad.
“I think he’s hiding something, something that could upset you.” She says. So, that’s a fact now, I’m going to be upset. If he ever talks. A phone buzzes, and I assume Max is calling Bea.
“He’s calling.” Bea says to me, holding my phone in her hand. What? He said he’d call tonight. He left an hour ago. I don’t know what to say to him, I don’t know if I can keep in pretending like this.
“Tell him you want to talk about this.” Bea says, handing me my phone.
“Not now. He feels bad because of his parents.” I argue, and she insists with her eyes. My phone keeps ringing. What will I tell him? How about not taking his call? No. He’ll probably come after me. I have no idea what I am going to say, but I take his call.
“Hello?” I say. I put him on speaker so Bea can tell me what to say.
“Hi.” He murmurs.
“You’re going to find this stupid,” His voice trails off.“but I left without saying I love you.” He mumbles. Where is he going with this? I don’t want him to tell me he loves me i makes me feel guilty because I’m not sure about what I feel anymore. He wants us to be okay like before, but I can’t. I can’t move on. Tears spring to my eyes as a mix of guilt and sadness sweeps through me.
“I just wanted you to know.” He adds, his voice barely audible. I look up at Bea for help, but she’s clueless. I cover my mouth, not wanting him to hear me cry, but when Bea moves and strokes my back, a strangled sob escapes me.
“Abby?” Mark calls, alerted. I hang up, knowing I messed up. I fucked up. I should have left I should have confronted him about this. Now he wants to move in, but I can’t, because it’s too big to ignore. I hate myself, I hate this situation, I hate Mark. Bea takes me in her arms as I start to shake, crying uncontrollably for what seems like hours while Mark calls and calls. After half an hour or so, I’m a little but calmer, sniffling softly. There are three loud knocks on the front door, and I gasp. He’s here. I look up at Bea, panicked, and she eyes me back. What do I do? Do I open the door? I don’t want to see him; but I don’t want to hurt him. Without waiting for a word from me, Bea rises from my bed and goes downstairs.
“No-Bea!” I call, but she ignores me. I think she wants to force us to talk, but it’s not the right moment. Goddammit, Bea!
I hear their muffled voices, and Mark is stomping up the stairs. A minute later, the door of my bedroom flies open. Mark is standing in the doorway, wide, worried eyes staring at me, and I cannot stop crying.
“Jesus, Abby!” He says, walking to me.
“No!” I shout, sitting up straight. I wipe my nose on the back of my hand . Bea arrives and stands in the doorway, her arms anxiously crossed over her chest, looking at me with maternal worry.
“Abby, what is it? What did I do?” He asks, sitting on the edge of my bed. You’re hiding a dark secret. You’re lying to me. You’re dangerous. You’re going to hurt me. I want to yell everything I’ve been holding back since yesterday, but the words are caught up in my throat and smothered by my hysterical sobs. I can’t articulate anything understandable. I put my head in my hands.
“Mark, I don’t think she can talk to you right now.” Bea murmurs, pained by her own words.
“I got her, Beatrice. Please.” He says, and she says nothing. I hear the door being closed though I can’t see anything.
“Abigail, talk to me.” Mark murmurs, his hands on my ankles. Talk? He wants me to talk? A wave of anger sweeps through me.
“No!” I scream, yanking my feet away from his hands and glaring at him. I wipe my nose again, trying to sound as firm as possible. Mark flinches a little bit, shocked.
“You don’t want to talk to me, so I don’t see why I should talk to you.” I spit, letting all the bitterness and the anger lace my voice. Mark opens his mouth to speak, and then closes it. He frowns.
“Abigail, I don’t talk. That’s how I am. Yet you know me better than anyone else.” He says. Bullshit!
“I don’t know you. I know nothing about you.” I reply, tears taking over once more, and I start to sob again, trembling like a leaf. Mark just gapes at me, at complete loss. He’s not going to tell me, I know it. I shouldn’t have told him… I shouldn’t have laid my eyes on him. It’s all his fault.
“Go.” I hiss through my tears. Mark just stares at me, bewildered.
“Leave!” I shout at him.
“Abby, please-” He says. I don’t want my nickname in his mouth.
“You don’t get to call me like this!” I yell, and he flinches. Really flinches. His eyes widen, and he looks at me in horror, his mouth open.
“You’re breaking up with me?” He breathes.
I’m struck, struggling to collect my thoughts. Am I breaking up with him? Can we ever get over this?
“I want you to go.” I murmur. He inhales sharply, registering my words. His eyes search into mine, for a sign internal conflict, but I look away, afraid he finds it. Slowly, he rises from my bed, and I hear his slow, cautious footsteps as he walks out. He pauses at the doorway, probably looking at me, and then leaves. I lay down on my side, silent tears rushing down my face. He left. He left with all I have to give, everything I gave him, my virginity, my love, my story. He left with my words. I don’t have any words left. I have no words, I’m empty. Suddenly, my heart sinks, twists, is torn apart and stabbed deeply, and now I’m full of awful pain. I have no words, I have pain. I gasp, surprised by this surge of emotion, and then I start to yell.
“Excellent. I assume you have quarters somewhere?”
Mark was still in a bit of shock – this was actually happening. But he nodded, looking to the other wise an amused grin. “’course I do. C’mon” he waved for the other to follow, sticking close to Khan’s side regardless. The botanist was half tempted to grab the other’s hand, but he was feeling a bit… shy, which was new for Mark. Thankfully his quarters were close by – before either of them had a chance to comment, the doors closed behind them.
The past-you would have
run away by now, would have brushed away the “jokes” and pretended that
everything was okay. But that’s not you now. The now-you answers his “joking”
request seriously. You want to do it. You want to try. So when he
asks if you wanna go on a date, you reply unhesitatingly with a yes. He’s
surprised. You can totally tell by the lack of response. He didn’t expect this,
but neither did you. It just flew out before you could even take it back. You
wonder if he wanted a serious answer; he used to say all the time that he
wished you took him more seriously. Seconds pass by, and being the impatient
person you were, you’re starting to panic. You wonder if this was a mistake.
Was it too late to take it back? But you don’t
want to take it back. You want him to know that you liked him. You hope for some kind (or any kind) of response from
him. You expect the worse, but never the best, because that’s always let you
down in the past. You brace yourself, but you don’t see this coming. The him that replies; the smile on his face;
the happiness he exerts…and you let out the breath you hadn’t known you were
It’s been a long day, and
you’re all worn out. You hear your phone vibrate, and being one of those people
who is just naturally curious about what’s going on, you go over to pick it up.
He texted you. It’s a small smiley face with the words “Hey ya” next to it. Despite your body saying no, you text him back. You lay back down,
anticipating his text, but also hoping he won’t just because you really
needed to get some sleep in before tomorrow came around. But he does, he texts
back and your face is all smiley because you knew he would and he was just
always so sweet and fun to talk to. You spend the next hour chatting, and
before long he says, “It’s late over there, yeah? You should sleep.” You text
back, confirming that you were indeed tired but…maybe staying up a little more
would be okay. He reluctantly accepts it, and calls you
instead of texting back.
Surprised, you answer, “H-hello?”
He breathes, “Hey. Maybe
it’d be easier if we just talked instead of texting?”
“I might fall asleep, you
know?” You warn.
He laughs, “That’s fine.
I just want to hear your voice.”
You smile and shove your
blushing face into your pillow, screaming into it.
Tonight feels different,
like there’s this excitement in the air and everything around you just knows something you don’t. You’re
nervous and giddy and you want to jump off the edge of the cliff you’re sitting
on, but you don’t want to fall to your death so you don’t. He’s humming a song
as he looks beyond to the mass amount of trees ahead. You think you see an
animal darting past a couple of them and you hear the rustling of a bush as it
moves out of sight. It’s a bright night out here. He turns to you and you
notice how his smile just shines in
the moonlight. You wonder enviously if this guy has ever not looked good. You give him a shy, no-teeth-showing smile in
return. Laying your head on his shoulder, you look up to witness his eyes roaming
through the forest, as if there was an adventure out there just waiting for him.
He clears his throat and…talks. You sit there, hanging on to every word. And,
for this one night, it feels as if it’s just the two of you against the world,
like no one else exists but the both of you.
“Will you marry me?” were
the words most girls wanted to hear sometime during their life. You were no
different. You feign shock as everyone around you turn and watch in
anticipation of your answer. He holds in his breath; hoping for you to feel the
same, crossing his fingers for you to not
reject him. Your mouth opens and closes twice before you manage to say, “Yes!
Of course!!” Everyone lets out the breath they had been holding on to. The
customers around you clap and say their obligatory congratulations. The waiter
comes up with some complementary, highly-rated wine and promises to bring you
guys a slice of tonight’s special dessert. He murmurs a thanks and does the
whole, “Oh no, you don’t have to!” but the waiter insists, saying that it was a
happy day and that it was their way of celebrating this occasion. He gives in
when he sees you smile dotingly at him. The night is perfect. It was everything
you wanted in an engagement. But, and there was always some kind of ‘but,’ it
“Oh my god, I can’t
believe that worked,” you whisper as you are led to your car.
He smiles, “I told you
…It wasn’t real.
You were watching a sappy
movie because sometimes, the night just called for something romantic and sweet
that tugged on your heartstrings. He was reluctant at first, mostly because,
according to him, he had a ‘rep’ to maintain. You rolled your eyes and patted
the seat next to you forcefully. Seeing as you were probably never, ever
going to give in, he resigned himself for what he thought would be ‘the
worst night ever.’ ..And it kind of was at
first. He thought he’d never be invested in these strangers’ lives who just
“coincidentally” bumped into one another, and then were coerced by coworkers
into dating one another for their jobs. But as the movie went on, he started to
become more vocal in his commentary like, “Why? WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?…” and “Oh
my god. This is going to end so badly. I wish I could save her…” and let’s not
forget “…GO AFTER HER YOU DUMMY. GO. DO IT. YOU JUST HAVE TO.” By the end of the
movie, he was shaking you whilst screaming about how the guy was an idiot and
the girl should’ve been smarter and the ending should’ve been longer. You find
yourself wondering just what did kind of monster you helped create.
Sometimes you had
insomniac moments and those times frustrated you to no end. You wanted to
sleep, but then thoughts would pop up in your mind and you’d make up some
excuse to browse the web again. The next thing you know, it’s late, really
late, and you have class the next day or you have plans early in the morning
and the maximum amount of sleep you get is 3 hours. You wake up at 6am and it’s
early, too early and you don’t want to be awake but can’t go back to sleep because once you’re
up, that was it. So you roll around in bed, and accidentally hit him in the
process. Sadly, he was a light sleeper. You hear him groan as his arms
automatically move to rub his eyes.
He asks, “What time is
You whisper, “6…”
He makes a dissatisfied
noise, but positions himself upright on his arms, “Can’t sleep?”
You nod, a sad look on
He brings you closer to him,
cuddling, “Do you want me to keep you company?”
You shake your head, “No…try
to go back to sleep. I don’t think I can.”
He chuckles softly, “Stay
like this for a while, okay?”
You snuggle closer to
His heavy breathing
sounds a couple minutes later and, combined with the steady beat of his heart, you feel yourself drift off into darkness.
He catches you laughing, crying,
and saying little phrases like “Aww~” and he wonders if you’re crazy. He leans
on the doorframe of your bedroom as you spin back and forth on your chair,
staring at your phone and scrolling through a wall of text. He stays there for
a couple of minutes in silence, wondering when you would notice that he was there.
The habits you have when no one is around is put on display; he snickers
quietly as witness. Before you could stop yourself, you take an extra strong
turn, and your chair spins to face him. You see him in the peripheral and your
eyes automatically look up and lock with his. He smiles charmingly and you feel
your face turn hot, too hot. You inquire
how long he’s been there and he gives a vague answer in response.
But before you have time
to process his answer, he asks, “Whatcha up to? You were making a lot of noise just now..”
Your eyes widen, but you
try to reply nonchalantly with a “Just readin’ this story I found a while ago.
It’s really cute.”
He nods his head. Curiously, he ponders, “What is it about?”
“Uh, just this guy and
girl. They’re best friends and like, everyone wants them to get together but they’re
not because—first off, they want to mess around with their friends and second,
they don’t wanna label what they have. But then, at the end, he does really
CUTE thing…he spills his guts to her and–”
He laughs at your
enthusiasm, “Can I read it?”
You stare at him, unsure
of whether he was serious or not. The innocent smile on his face convinces you
that, maybe, just maybe he really was
interested. So you say, shyly, “Do you wanna read it together?”
Happy 26th birthday to NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope!
In its more-than quarter century of operation, Hubble has broadened our understanding of the cosmos like no instrument before it. Last year, to mark the quarter century occasion, we spoke with Department of Astrophysics Curator Michael Shara, who worked with the Hubble mission during his time at the Space Telescope Science Institute. Dr. Shara and his collaborators have logged over 1,000 hours using the telescope for their work on star clusters, novae, and supernovae.
What did your work with the Hubble Space Telescope entail? I joined the Space Telescope Science Institute (STSI) in 1982, eight years before the launch of Hubble. I was the project manager for the Guide Star Catalog that is used to target and calibrate the Hubble, and a few years after the telescope was launched, I was responsible for overseeing the peer review committees, which looked over proposals from researchers who wanted to use the telescope.
What was that experience like? It was amazing to be able to see things coming in astronomy years before they were published. Reading hundreds of proposals and sitting in on deliberations about them was spectacular to watch.
I will adapt….(This is going to be my motto, as I watch democracy go down in flames.)
Sorry America, your beautiful, awkward, funny, lumpy, noble, never-perfect by always-striving democracy doesn’t look like it’s going to last. It would have been good to see you make it to the quarter-millennium mark. It’s really been something. It had such promise, and sometimes it lived up to it. Given time, it might have lived up to it for more people. But I guess we’ll never see that now.
I fear that any movement strong and determined enough to oppose Trump successfully will have to resort to increasing levels of violence and duplicity, since it is impossible to see how he could be defeated by reasonable people with civilised values.
Plot: How Soon is Too Soon for the Inciting Incident?
How soon is too soon? I’m barely three or four pages into my first chapter and I already have delved into my inciting event. I don’t know, the way I’ve been taught maybe, but I think that’s too soon for my incident to happen. Do you think the same? It kind of makes sense, as my MC is attacked and turned into a monster, but I feel that is too quick.
There are different schools of thought on when the inciting incident should occur. Some believe they should occur right around the first-quarter of the book. Others feel it can occur any time during that first quarter, and some even believe the earlier it occurs the better, even if it’s on the first page. I tend to fall into the “somewhere in the first-quarter” camp. The first page might be too early for some books, while the one-quarter mark might be too late for others. I believe that all that matters is that you have time to do the proper set-up to make the inciting incident matter to the reader. If you feel you’ve done the proper set-up and that it works where it is, you’re fine. But, if you feel more set-up needs to be done, don’t be afraid to bump it back a little. :)
If they split Voyager in half for Season 3 (which Ron hinted at), any thoughts on what would be the ideal half-way point? When Young Ian is taken? Or further on into the book? I'd place Jamie and Claire's reunion around the three-quarters mark of the season, which of course is a long time but it would make the pay off sae sae verra sweet. Then enough time for some fall out. I don't want it rushed... We had to wait 6 episodes for them to get marrit ;-D Thank you for your consideration.
I think it depends on how much of the 20 years apart they choose to show. Although it would be a bit much to have 4-5 episodes just devoted to back and forth between Jamie and Claire living in their own times - or showing Claire working with Roger and Brianna to find Jamie - I fully expect something like that to happen, just for the dramatic value.
Just like how some material from the “Virgins” novella was incorporated into 01x13 “The Watch,” I think it’s entirely possible that some material from the Lord John novellas - particularly The Scottish Prisoner - would work its way into Season 3.
So - there are 3 points which (to me) make logical sense to split the season - if they choose to do so:
The Beatles, pictured at EMI House Manchester Square, London, with a hoard of silver discs. They were presented with two silver LPs to mark the quarter-million plus sales of their first LP “Please Please Me” and their new one “With the Beatles” as well as for their “Twist & Shout” EP and “She Loves You”- 1963.
I’ve been doing a bit of reflecting over the past few days, as my 25th birthday arrives, marking a quarter of a century that I’ve been alive on this earth and I can honestly say I have not ended up where I thought I would.
At the age of 18, I left high school. Resolved I’d take a gap year and enroll into university. I expected I’d be married to my high school sweetheart and by 25 have finished uni and have a small family. I was very naïve about the world and looking back I was very easily lead and almost childlike in my blind belief in some things and people. I honestly thought I had it all planned out. Well didn’t life just pull the carpet out from under me feet!
By 19, after a brief engagement to my high school boyfriend I realized as adults we just weren’t compatible, so I ended the relationship. It was the right thing to do. I know through mutual friends he is exactly the same as he was then, which is fine. Everyone grows at their own pace and I just needed someone on my level. I realized I have no real attraction to men my own age at 19. I liked older men, men who are matured like a fine wine. Men who are intellectual and intelligent. It’s taken me a long time but I’m not longer embarrassed about it or concerned by the opinions on my personal preferences. They’re mine and no one else’s. I fell in love with a man who with teenage ignorance/love goggles I thought would be the best thing for me. Well I guess he was, in a way. He pushed me through a lot of things I otherwise would never have experienced and after 4 and a bit years with him it’s made me a stronger and more worldly person. But looking back two years on, he was manipulative and basically used me. But lesson learned. I’ve come out a better person and am now in a very happy relationship with a man who is so supportive and caring that I feel my heart swell just thinking about it. It’s been amazing to feel supported and not belittled and to have where I’m at physically/emotionally taken into consideration on things. When it comes to my relationship, I am finally a very happy lady.
7 years on and still no university. I just couldn’t justify going when I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Which is perfectly fine. It’s not the be all and end all and I’m perfectly happy without the added stress. I’ve been through a lot work wise and I’ve come to realize that I don’t think I’m one of these ‘finding fulfillment in a career’ people and at 25 I now believe that’s ok. I work a lot, but I’m trying hard to build my future through business and investment which is a huge turnaround from 18 year old me that thought the only option was to work a job and felt like it had to complete me, even though I had NO idea what that ‘dream job’ was.
25 and still no children!! Ah this one makes me giggle. Currently the only female (aside from my very lesbian cousin) of my generation in my extended family to not have a kid. People constantly ask me when I’ll be having a baby. I’ve told them not to hold their breath and with my grandmother turning 90 this year, I basically had to tell her she probably wouldn’t see her grandchild from me. I used to feel a lot of pressure to have babies because its what so many people in my family/life were doing. They either had a career they excelled in or had babies. After the shit with my ex, I decided I wasn’t going to have a child under I was financially secure enough to support another human being and I often joke when asked that I’ll have a baby via IVF when I’m 35. But to be honest, now days I’m undecided if I’ll ever have kids. I feel like a world of possibility has opened up to me in the past 16 months and I don’t know if kids fit into that yet. Plus, as far as I’m concerned there’s no rush. I’m only 25. I’ve still got plenty of time to make my choice. Having children doesn’t define me anymore. I define me and I am a woman in my own right.
I turned out to be a very strong willed woman. In the last 8 months of my relationship with my ex I started questioning things I didn’t really agree with more and I think that was the start.
Now days I am nowhere near as much of a pushover as I used to be. I no longer follow with blind obedience. I try my best to educate myself and grow myself more often. I’m more in tune with what I want and now actually try and get myself there. I no longer belittle my dreams and tell myself that they are stupid. I’ve outgrown a lot of my insecurities and let go of a lot of secret girl hate I used to harbor, purely around my own hatred of my body. I find great joy in supporting other women and for the first time in my life, something that started within months of my previous relationship ending. I feel like I have a small group of friends who I can trust and who have my back, which is a really new thing for me. I’ve accepted that I’m quirky and weird and most people won’t get me. I’m learning to manage my anxiety which I developed during my past relationship with flair and dedication. I’m more honest and open about my struggles because I’m no longer shamed of them. I’m proud to call myself a feminist. I’m compassionate and loving and rather stubborn, but that’s me and I’ve learnt to embrace who I am. I try and do the right thing and genuinely care. I’ve become proud of who I am and that’s really opened the door to brushing off a lot of hate and criticism that used to bring me down. I’ve learnt I am capable of more than I ever imagined.
In short, at 25 I’m not a girl anymore, I’ve grown into a woman and I think that’s amazing.