screw up to learn

Rick Riordan won a Stonewall award today

for his second Magnus Chase book, due to the inclusion of the character Alex Fierro who is gender fluid. This was the speech he gave, and it really distills why I love this author and his works so much, and why I will always recommend his works to anyone and everyone.

“Thank you for inviting me here today. As I told the Stonewall Award Committee, this is an honor both humbling and unexpected.

So, what is an old cis straight white male doing up here? Where did I get the nerve to write Alex Fierro, a transgender, gender fluid child of Loki in The Hammer of Thor, and why should I get cookies for that?

These are all fair and valid questions, which I have been asking myself a lot.

I think, to support young LGBTQ readers, the most important thing publishing can do is to publish and promote more stories by LGBTQ authors, authentic experiences by authentic voices. We have to keep pushing for this. The Stonewall committee’s work is a critical part of that effort. I can only accept the Stonewall Award in the sense that I accept a call to action – firstly, to do more myself to read and promote books by LGBTQ authors.

But also, it’s a call to do better in my own writing. As one of my genderqueer readers told me recently, “Hey, thanks for Alex. You didn’t do a terrible job!” I thought: Yes! Not doing a terrible job was my goal!

As important as it is to offer authentic voices and empower authors and role models from within LGBTQ community, it’s is also important that LGBTQ kids see themselves reflected and valued in the larger world of mass media, including my books. I know this because my non-heteronormative readers tell me so. They actively lobby to see characters like themselves in my books. They like the universe I’ve created. They want to be part of it. They deserve that opportunity. It’s important that I, as a mainstream author, say, “I see you. You matter. Your life experience may not be like mine, but it is no less valid and no less real. I will do whatever I can to understand and accurately include you in my stories, in my world. I will not erase you.”

People all over the political spectrum often ask me, “Why can’t you just stay silent on these issues? Just don’t include LGBTQ material and everybody will be happy.” This assumes that silence is the natural neutral position. But silence is not neutral. It’s an active choice. Silence is great when you are listening. Silence is not so great when you are using it to ignore or exclude.

But that’s all macro, ‘big picture’ stuff. Yes, I think the principles are important. Yes, in the abstract, I feel an obligation to write the world as I see it: beautiful because of its variations. Where I can’t draw on personal experience, I listen, I read a lot – in particular I want to credit Beyond Magenta and Gender Outlaws for helping me understand more about the perspective of my character Alex Fierro – and I trust that much of the human experience is universal. You can’t go too far wrong if you use empathy as your lens. But the reason I wrote Alex Fierro, or Nico di Angelo, or any of my characters, is much more personal.

I was a teacher for many years, in public and private school, California and Texas. During those years, I taught all kinds of kids. I want them all to know that I see them. They matter. I write characters to honor my students, and to make up for what I wished I could have done for them in the classroom.

I think about my former student Adrian (a pseudonym), back in the 90s in San Francisco. Adrian used the pronouns he and him, so I will call him that, but I suspect Adrian might have had more freedom and more options as to how he self-identified in school were he growing up today. His peers, his teachers, his family all understood that Adrian was female, despite his birth designation. Since kindergarten, he had self-selected to be among the girls – socially, athletically, academically. He was one of our girls. And although he got support and acceptance at the school, I don’t know that I helped him as much as I could, or that I tried to understand his needs and his journey. At that time in my life, I didn’t have the experience, the vocabulary, or frankly the emotional capacity to have that conversation. When we broke into social skills groups, for instance, boys apart from girls, he came into my group with the boys, I think because he felt it was required, but I feel like I missed the opportunity to sit with him and ask him what he wanted. And to assure him it was okay, whichever choice he made. I learned more from Adrian than I taught him. Twenty years later, Alex Fierro is for Adrian.

I think about Jane (pseudonym), another one of my students who was a straight cis-female with two fantastic moms. Again, for LGBTQ families, San Francisco was a pretty good place to live in the 90s, but as we know, prejudice has no geographical border. You cannot build a wall high enough to keep it out. I know Jane got flack about her family. I did what I could to support her, but I don’t think I did enough. I remember the day Jane’s drama class was happening in my classroom. The teacher was new – our first African American male teacher, which we were all really excited about – and this was only his third week. I was sitting at my desk, grading papers, while the teacher did a free association exercise. One of his examples was ‘fruit – gay.’ I think he did it because he thought it would be funny to middle schoolers. After the class, I asked to see the teacher one on one. I asked him to be aware of what he was saying and how that might be hurtful. I know. Me, a white guy, lecturing this Black teacher about hurtful words. He got defensive and quit, because he said he could not promise to not use that language again. At the time, I felt like I needed to do something, to stand up especially for Jane and her family. But did I make things better handling it as I did? I think I missed an opportunity to open a dialogue about how different people experience hurtful labels. Emmie and Josephine and their daughter Georgina, the family I introduce in The Dark Prophecy, are for Jane.

I think about Amy, and Mark, and Nicholas … All former students who have come out as gay since I taught them in middle school. All have gone on to have successful careers and happy families. When I taught them, I knew they were different. Their struggles were greater, their perspectives more divergent than some of my other students. I tried to provide a safe space for them, to model respect, but in retrospect I don’t think I supported them as well as I could have, or reached out as much as they might have needed. I was too busy preparing lessons on Shakespeare or adjectives, and not focusing enough on my students’ emotional health. Adjectives were a lot easier for me to reconcile than feelings. Would they have felt comfortable coming out earlier than college or high school if they had found more support in middle school? Would they have wanted to? I don’t know. But I don’t think they felt it was a safe option, which leaves me thinking that I did not do enough for them at that critical middle school time. I do not want any kid to feel alone, invisible, misunderstood. Nico di Angelo is for Amy, and Mark and Nicholas.

I am trying to do more. Percy Jackson started as a way to empower kids, in particular my son, who had learning differences. As my platform grew, I felt obliged to use it to empower all kids who are struggling through middle school for whatever reason. I don’t always do enough. I don’t always get it right. Good intentions are wonderful things, but at the end of a manuscript, the text has to stand on its own. What I meant ceases to matter. Kids just see what I wrote. But I have to keep trying. My kids are counting on me.

So thank you, above all, to my former students who taught me. Alex Fierro is for you.

To you, I pledge myself to do better – to apologize when I screw up, to learn from my mistakes, to be there for LGBTQ youth and make sure they know that in my books, they are included. They matter. I am going to stop talking now, but I promise you I won’t stop listening.”

Amelia from @emo-rock-tale
I had a hard time with this piece of art, because I wanted to try something new. I wanted to use a little colour (I am reaaaally bad at coloring) and honestly? I don’t know how to feel about it. I cannot tell If this was a success or not, but I hope I didn’t screw the art with this up.
I hope you like it!

Cosplay 101: Failure is always an option and that’s okay

My niece asked for a rainbow sword for her birthday and how could I say no to that request? She’s still pretty young, so EVA foam is a good choice.

Got the two halves cut out, that didn’t take long. Normally I’d glue it together, but there’s a separate polycarbonate piece that needs to be cut out, so for now, I’ll tape it together so I can bevel it.

That’s a pretty good bevel job! Just needs a bit of heat to clean up the edges, maybe a bit of spot filling, but hey! Battle damage!

The other side isn’t bad either! Needs a bit more sanding and heat to smooth things out, but looks good!

Between the three pictures, it only looks like a few minutes of work. The reality? This was an hour of work. Why an hour?

Because I kept messing up the second side. 

Messing up sucks. On the other three, I probably had the bevel perfect before I pushed a bit too hard, or caught the foam in the sander, or kept sanding when I should have stopped. But I didn’t, and I messed up, and I had to cut a new piece and start over.

And that’s frustrating, especially if you’re on a budget, or have limited time or resources.

But every screw up taught me what worked and what didn’t work. I learned how much pressure I needed to keep the bevel even. I learned the curved edge catches easier on the disc sander. I learned which direction is easier to bevel in. These are things I wouldn’t have learned if I didn’t make mistakes. And now I know what to do the next time I bevel EVA foam and now I know my next attempts will be better.

So fail, and fail repeatedly,  accept you’re going to fail, especially if you’re trying a new skill. But learn from your mistakes and keep on going. That’s the only way you’ll become good.

Bungou Stray dogs, as you all know, is one of my favorite series and the promotional/official art is no different. They are some of the most beautiful pieces of art for an anime series I’ve ever seen. One of my favorites is the one with the flowers, which are featured here:

I actually tried to guess the flowers they are holding, even going so far as to look up examples and their meanings.
Why?
Because I am a sad 23 year old who has no life. <|…D;;;;;;

Keep reading

10

//Please take a moment to appreciate Drac’s laboratory/library.
If anyone still doubts why Lisa fell for this man, please, look again.
And again.
It’s just too pretty.
So pretty.
I can imagine teen Alucard running experiments with Lisa and her being a normal mom like “Dammit no, not like that”, and trying to do it but remembering she should let him screw up and learn. And then Drac needs to rebuild a whole wall.

anonymous asked:

heeey! sorry to bother you. do you have any recs for fics where harry has a crush on draco? I'm in your fic recs tag (ur the best btw) and i've run across some pining draco recs, and i thought you might know some cute pining-harry (when is he not pining tho? he's so obsessed, but you know what i mean haha!!)

One pining Harry coming right up!

To Be Where I’m Going (In the Sunshine of Your Love) by @theboywholivcd (19k)
“He imagined Draco’s smile, all gums and slightly crooked teeth, his hair slicked back with Pacific water, and he knew: He’d travel as long as he’d need to if it meant he’d see that face. If it meant that Draco would hear the message he’d been carrying for so long. Maybe he didn’t have to travel the road alone anymore.“
Draco and Harry go on a road trip together. It’s about the journey, not the destination.


Azoth by Zeitgeistic (88k)
Now that Harry is back at Hogwarts with Hermione for eighth year, he realises that something’s missing from his life, and it either has to do with Ron, his boggart, Snape, or Malfoy. Furthermore, what, exactly, does it mean when one’s life is defined by the desire to simultaneously impress and annoy a portrait? Harry has no idea; he’s too busy trying not to be in love with Malfoy to care.

A Piercing Comfort by talithan (44k)
When Harry Potter hits the lowest point of his life so far, it is not his friends who keep him honest. With Draco Malfoy’s patience and guidance, Harry learns to stand on his own. The thing is, after the fact—he’s no longer sure he wants to.

Three Boxes and a Scrapbook by dracogotgame (30k)  
One year after being accidentally bonded to each other, Harry and Draco are free to move on with their lives. But perhaps, what they needed was here all along.

The Gentlewizard Club by @sophiefrench77 (28k)
Draco wants what Draco wants. And if he has to snuggle up to Harry to get it, well, surely, Draco can handle that. Problem is, not sure Harry can.

Good to Me (And I’d Be So Good to You) by AWickedMemory (9k)
Everyone returns to Hogwarts after the war, but nothing is quite the same. Harry’s groupies are creepier than ever, Ron and Hermione are snogging all over the place, and the once-proud Draco is shuffling around like a kicked puppy. But that’s okay: Harry’s got a plan. 

All Our Secrets Laid Bare by firethesound (149k) 
Over the six years Draco Malfoy has been an Auror, four of his partners have turned up dead. Harry Potter is assigned as his newest partner to investigate just what is going on.

Potential Gravity by zeitgeistic (32k)
Draco is not good at Cards Against Humanity, but Harry’s not good at being human, so it all works out. Except for the explosions. And Harry’s inability to live when Draco’s not around.

Time to Eternity by calrissian18 (16k)
Malfoy has wings.

A Convenient Impracticality by firethesound (38k)
Somehow Harry ends up agreeing to a fake relationship with his ex-nemesis-turned-friendly-acquaintance-with-benefits, except for some reason it involves an awful lot of actual dating and, sadly, not much sex. Confused? Harry is too, but when has anything with Draco Malfoy ever been as straightforward as it seems?

The Moon Looks Lovely Tonight by Omi_Ohmy (35k)
When Harry moves into the damp and empty Black house, it doesn’t quite feel like home. And then the first owl moves in. After that, it’s a steep slope leading to bed-sharing, more owls, assorted housemates, strange potions experiments, and terrible cooking. And a bit of waltzing, too.

For Love of a Family by icicle33 (30k)
A series of attacks by a group of neo-Death Eaters causes the Ministry to implement a new set of restrictions on former Death Eaters and their children. When Scorpius falls ill, Draco decides that he will do anything to save his son, even if it means marrying Harry Potter.

Here’s The Pencil, Make It Work by ignatiustrout (49k)
Harry thinks “Why is Malfoy working in a coffee shop in muggle London?” is a much simpler question than, “Are you going to accept that auror offer and, if you don’t, what will you do?”

Left My Heart by Emmagrant01 (85k)
Auror Draco Malfoy has disappeared, and Harry Potter has been sent to San Francisco to find him. [Sequel Surrender the Grey]

The Vanishing Department by @dictacontrion (47k)
The things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, even if that involves a lot more form-filling, bickering, covert glancing, miscommunication, and flying furniture than we might expect. [Follow up Leather Bound History]

LipLock Jinx by Cassis Luna (21k)
It’s a jinx that renders the victim mute, unless he/she serves the purpose of the jinx and kisses the person that they desire. It’s just Harry’s luck that he’s in love with Draco. 

let me see you stripped (down to the bone) by traintracks (24k)
“So,” Malfoy said. “Are you in? Or are you out?” He turned and looked at Harry squarely.
Harry remembered the slow way Malfoy had slid his hand down his own stomach, into his pants – the outline of his long fingers gripping and stroking his own cock. The way his head had fallen back, exposing his pale throat.
How he had owned them all.
He took a deep breath. “I’m in,” he said.

No Other Superstar by lettered (21k)
Draco is sort of fucked up. Harry is sort of fucked up and really really famous. Together they fight crime! Not in this fic, though. In this fic they have sex.

Like a Real Family by Queenie_Mab (10k)
Harry thought he had all he wanted in life, raising Teddy and being the parent he’s always wanted to be, until he experiences what life with a partner could be like. Now if only Draco wasn’t straight.

Twelve Months by dysonrules (14k)
Hermione buys Harry a journal and he ends up using it to record his DEEP THOUGHTS. Not surprisingly, those tend to mostly involve Draco Malfoy.

(The Piece) I was Missing All Along by Lauren3210 (32k)
Draco and Harry have been flatmates and best friends for years, and Draco thinks life is just perfect that way. But when something comes along and threatens to take all that away, Draco has to decide what it is he really wants, and just how hard he’s going to work to get it.

The Kaleidoscope Charm, or 50 Shades of Rainbow Magic by Omi_Ohmy (26k)
Getting Draco Malfoy as a boss was not the worst thing that happened to Harry; getting a crush on him was.

Systemic Morality by zeitgeistic (34k) 
One screw-up changes everything. Harry really should learn to lock the door before having sex with Draco when his godson’s around. A tale of hot, steamy, flowing love—for Padma Patil and Theodore Nott. A tale of colossal screw-ups and slow, flangsty (sexy) resolutions for Harry and Draco.

And a Malfoy in a Pear Tree by lauren3210 (7k)
Draco works in a coffee shop. Harry drops by every day to get his fix. Of coffee, Ron.

The Little Marauders Nursery and Day Care by digthewriter (9k)
Harry Potter is the proud owner of The Little Marauders Nursery and Day Care and his favourite student is Scorpius Malfoy. Scorpius’s dad might be okay, too.

Reading Malfoy by Femme (15k) 
After thirteen years of hiding himself away in Muggle London, Draco Malfoy shows up again in the wizarding world–with a wickedly amusing memoir in hand. Harry doesn’t want to read it. Really. He doesn’t.

Humbug (A Christmas Tale) by Snegurochka (29k)
Draco has been taking his casual relationship with Harry for granted. Visits from four key ghosts the night before Christmas just might shake up his priorities in life.

So Worth The Yearning For… by digthewriter (7k)
After months (years, really) of pining, Harry accidentally asks Malfoy out on a date.

I Bet That You Look Good on the Dancefloor by birdsofshore (27k)
Harry felt lit up from inside as soon as he entered the bar. There were blokes dancing together, their bodies close to one another, not keeping a wary distance as Harry was always careful to do when he was near another man. God, he wanted this – wanted it so much he could taste it, a metallic tang of heat and desire. He suspected nothing would ever be the same again – especially when he saw who else was in the room.

The Holy Tree is Growing There by lotus_lizzy (18k)
The winsome, winsome elder tree Beneath whose shade I sit reclin’d;- It holds a witch within its bark, A lovely witch who haunts the dark, And fills with love my mind. ~George Burrow

He’s got fire for a heart, and I’m scared of burning by Samcgrath (11k)
Harry returns to England to help solve a particularly tricky case but nobody bothered to mention that he’d be working with Malfoy, who seems just as happy about it as Harry. In his absence, the wizarding world has changed in ways Harry’s having some trouble adjusting to while Malfoy struts around in his elegant robes and effortlessly charms everyone he lays eyes on. Months of grappling with his own feelings, trying to understand Draco’s, pining day in and day out - it can get a little tiring especially when Draco Malfoy is as infuriating as ever.

The Art of Seduction by playout (2k)
Harry and Draco are Auror partners assigned to go undercover at a muggle gay bar frequented by drug-dealing wizards.
Everyone knows Draco’s gay, but that Harry has been nursing a crush on the pompous arse for years is not so well known.
What could possibly go wrong?


The Expert by FantasyFiend09 (11k)
Harry finally gets a good case, but the Aurors are going to need some outside help.

These Little Things (That Guide Me to You) by huldrejenta (4k)
Harry realises his true feelings for Malfoy just as Malfoy decides to go travelling to find himself. Sometimes love means letting someone go. Sometimes going away will show you where your true home is.

The Perils of Peach Picking by sonata_de_morte (2k)
Draco Malfoy was a terrible person. On top of being a terrible person, he was a sodding tease. On top of being a sodding tease, he was fucking gorgeous. Too gorgeous for his own fucking good, Harry Potter thought mutinously.

You Were Crushed (Just Like Me) by firethesound (4k)
Something finally comes of Harry’s embarrassing crush on Malfoy. (Well, two somethings. Someones. Whatever. Also all of Harry’s friends are terrible.)

Voices From The Fog by noeon (13k)
After years of running away, Harry crosses paths with an all-too familiar face and follows him to Amsterdam.

Hidden in the Depths by envy_venis (21k)
Sometimes we know exactly what we’re looking for, even if it isn’t quite clear how to reach it.

Take the Air by dysonrules (50k)
Someone or something is attacking Muggles and leaving them for dead. Auror Harry Potter is assigned to the case, but with his usual partner unavailable, he is stuck with the worst, most anti-social, rude, and annoying Auror ever to walk the halls of the Ministry. Or perhaps he is only that way around Harry…

He’s got fire for a heart, and I’m scared of burning by Samcgrath (110k)
Harry returns to England to help solve a particularly tricky case but nobody bothered to mention that he’d be working with Malfoy, who seems just as happy about it as Harry. In his absence, the wizarding world has changed in ways Harry’s having some trouble adjusting to while Malfoy struts around in his elegant robes and effortlessly charms everyone he lays eyes on. Months of grappling with his own feelings, trying to understand Draco’s, pining day in and day out - it can get a little tiring especially when Draco Malfoy is as infuriating as ever.

Also, if you have a copy Drop Dead Gorgeous by Maya is a very good Pining!Harry fic. :)

classic bickering, based off of this fantastic image

so i’ve been trying to put into words exactly why bughead works for me when so, so, so many other het ships just… don’t. and i think i’ve managed to narrow it down to one word.

reciprocity.

most fictional relationships are really narratively one-sided. there is The Lead and The Love Interest. The Lead gets an arc, The Love Interest is only there to support them through it. The Lead screws up and has to learn and grow as a person, and The Love Interest is just there to forgive them and reward them for their development. The Lead makes the plot happen, and The Love Interest just kind of tags along, and that’s if they are allowed to be present when plot is happening at all.

not here. nobody is subordinate in betty and jughead’s relationship. both have moments of weakness, both have moments of support. both have moments when they are distraught and falling apart, and both have moments where they hold the other together. both are attacked, both step to the other’s defense. both have led, both have followed, and they both play crucial roles in moving the plot forward. hell, this even goes for the negatives; both have screwed up and wronged each other, both apologized, owned their mistakes, confessed their insecurities, talked it out and came back stronger. 

there are no defined ‘roles’ in their relationship. they do their best to be whatever each other needs at the moment; a friend, a sidekick, a partner-in-crime, a lover, a fighter, a champion, a sympathetic ear, a kind voice. they mirror each other constantly, and they have both had amazing arcs where they’ve grown separately as people and together as a couple. there is a constantly shifting flow of give and take between them, and both of them play a part in maintaining that flow.

that kind of narrative balance is hard to write. but when it works, it works beautifully, and people take notice. i think that’s why a lot of people are into these two. it’s so much more than the ‘good girl meets bad boy’ cliche (and not just because betty is the baddest good girl you will ever meet, while jughead is the most adorably toothless bad boy in history).

nothing is one sided. whatever one gives, the other accepts, and gives in turn. reciprocity.

Eren v.s. Yuu

(Based off the animes.) I can see the comparisons since they’re both dark-haired and green-eyed and angry but honestly the difference between them is that:

-Yuu’s vengeful attitude was a result of trauma. Eren was and always has been really fuckin angry that’s just one of his virtues

-Yuu’s outright hostility severely diminishes once he knows Mika is alive. He’s still an angry little shit but it’s also equally mixed with him being an affectionate goofy dork

-Eren when out-of-his-element still maintains his aggression. He’s passionate about his friends n shit but he always has that undertone of ‘I will seriously fight everyone here no questions asked’ going on with him bc that’s who he is

-Eren is a drama queen?? Like I know Yuu’s had his moments but Eren seems to go through each emotion he experiences like it’s a fuckin soap opera

-Yuu has a way more cocky, carefree attitude. Eren is pretty deadly serious about most things he does, probably because if he fucks up then everyone is screwed. Yuu is still learning that

-Yuu reacts more positively towards Mikaela being a worried overprotective little shit than Eren does with Mikasa but then again that’s probably because Eren actually had a mom and knows what it’s like to be overtly mothered whereas with Yuu and Mika both of them had shitty parents and Yuu lost Mika once so now he’s uber-grateful for Mika’s very existance

-Okay so Mikaela kinda looks and acts like some Mikasa/Armin love child so I guess he kinda constitites the rest of the trio for Yuu

-Yuu is older than him yet has a far more lighthearted, carefree attitude and generally seems to take things a bit less seriously than he should. Eren is way too serious with certain things.

-Yuu made it to the ocean after 24 episodes. Eren did not.

in one episode, karamel went through every stage of a relationship

honeymoon phase  ✓

married af  ✓

big “either we break up or we solve this” fight  ✓

taking relationship advices from others bc they’re scared of screwing it up  ✓

defending the person you want to be with  ✓

(finally) slowly learning to listen to each other  ✓

supporting each other  ✓

walking through a rough path and still managing to be together in the end  ✓

Saying goodbye to my 20s and my birthday wish to all my young hopefuls.

Today I will be saying goodbye to my 20′s. It has never been so clear to me that time is indeed real, and what you do with your time is crucial.

I remember when I turned 20.. actually, I don’t. My memories are blurry when I was young, solely because I choose not to care, because I was 20 and I thought I had all the time in the world. All I knew was that I was young, I was healthy,  I cared only about spending time with my boyfriend (I was determined to get married to him at the age of 21), and that I have to submit my assignment to my legal professor by Monday. Mediocre, and lazy- that was me. At 20, I had no idea that at 9.9 years later I would be in the kitchen of my apartment in the heart of Los Angeles, and writing this, with you in mind. Also at 20, I went to my first indie band rock show, and that changed EVERYTHING. And so, my life lessons began..

At 21, I decided I didn’t want to settle down so soon, I wasn’t ready. I went to an entirely different direction, went into music and discovered that my whole childhood of loving music and singing wasn’t a scam, and I started writing songs of my own.

Me at 20


22 (2008) was when I learned about dignity. I walked into my first record label meeting, sitting across a man, leaning back in his corporate chair telling me I will not go far in the music industry if I
1) kept my headscarves on
2) sang my English songs.
I said no thank you, and proceeded to (with my little knowledge of Company law that I learned in school) start my own company called Yuna Room Records, with my 22 year old cousin, Wawa. We still run this company today. Also this year, I got interviewed for the very first time by my favorite music magazine at the time, Junk, by my all time fav person today, Didi Ramlan.

Young Yuna with bandmates Efry, Paan, Adil.


22 was also when I learned that quality is key. I wrote a song called Dan Sebenarnya, and was willing to let the rough recording of it live forever. Turns out I was wrong, radio wouldn’t play my music because of the crappy quality. I went to get a RM1000(about USD$200) loan from my dad, went to a professional recording studio, to record an EP so the radios will stop saying no to my song.

My bedroom in university. You can see my passion for photography and a photo of me performing my first show with a guitar on the wall, and my law notes sprawled across the table as I stay up studying.


23 (2009) I learned how to manage my financials. I received my first royalty paycheck in the mail, and when I opened it I had to sit down and made sure if it was meant for me, and remember thinking if I deserved all of it. Dan Sebenarnya EP was being downloaded almost 100,000 times a month, my first paycheck was almost RM30k. Too much. I paid off my dad’s loan, split it with my bandmates who helped recording it in the studio with me, and started my savings account and learned how to pay tax. I also graduated from legal studies this year.

With friends from law school. Already you can tell I’m out of place.


24 (2010) I learned that even if I thought I worked really hard for something, second place is a good place to be. I competed in my first national tv music award show performing my song, and lost to a very talented young man who I am now close friends with Aizat Amdan. Sometimes you have to know that some things are just not meant for you. That night, I didn’t get an award, but I got a wonderful friend that I can depend on forever. 2 years later, I got an award that was taken away from me, but because of this incident, I had already learned how to not care so much about awards. Awards do not define you. I also graduated this year, earning my degree in legal studies. Finally!

25. (2011) I learned to take a leap of faith. I went to America with a small bag and a big dream. I was a shy foreigner, I was alone and I was a little bit scared. But, I knew that if I don’t start talking, I will not go anywhere. Being awkward and shy is a waste of time, I learned. The more you want to talk to people, the more respectful you are, the more you will learn.

I learned that you are the only person who can sabotage yourself. When people say you can’t, the only person who can prove them wrong is yourself.

Pharell and I, 2011.

My very first apartment in Los Angeles. I remember every dollar i made from work was to pay for this rent.. I ate a lot of instant noodles and shopped at dollar stores. My furnitures (and one piano that I still have) were all hand-me-downs from my friend, Niles (now a big time DJ, KSHMR!)


26. (2012) I learned how to travel and perform at the same time. I was in different cities everyday, performing every night. Something I didn’t know I could do. I saw people from all races showing up at my show, a diversity and I learned to loved them all, something I didn’t know existed. All my ignorance and stereotypes melted away just from traveling across America. I also learned about loyalty, and the meaning of friendship. Didi, Faiz, Lincoln formed this experience together with me and I will never forget it.

Faiz, Didi and Lincoln, us on the road, across the country for a month in 2012.


Lollapalooza 2013.


27.(2013) I learned about the REAL treasures in life. That your parents are the true treasure that you will never find anywhere else, at any point of your life.  That breaking their hearts is never an option for as long as you live. 

My last moments with my late grandfather. I miss him so much.


28.(2014)  I learned that money is not everything. You can make millions, but you can’t buy happiness. Money will not save lives. I tried my best to save my uncle or my grandfather from their sickness with whatever money I had, and I lost this battle. God saves lives, and he takes them at His will. You can plan, but He is the best planner.

I learned that fame is not everything. You can have millions of followers, a few friends who thinks you’re awesome, but you can still feel very alone. Being liked, or dislike, does not give you infinite happiness. I also learned the horrible truth that for some, fame and money is everything.Time is the best gift you can give to your loved ones.

I learned that physical beauty of a person means nothing. We are all flawed. I am flawed. I learned how to see people’s hearts and hoping that my heart is worth seeing. I learned that being in love is not everything. I learned how to piece myself back together slowly after someone has broken every fragile part of me. I learned that the person you spend your time with can either bring the best out of you, or unleash a monster inside of you. People come into your life to teach you valuable lessons, and you have to learn from it. I learned that if you lose someone, it doesn’t mean its because you’re not worth it. It just means you’re growing. How you rise above this, will be your life’s best victory.

29,(2015-today) this is my favorite year. I learned to let go, and learned to realize that if you don’t love yourself, you can’t love someone else. I learned that I was not entirely healthy, and decided to take care of myself better before it’s too late.

I learned that you can find love in the calmness of being in someone’s presence. Never disrupt that calmness. ‘Don’t be an idiot’, I tell myself, ‘Don’t screw this up!’

I learned to stop caring what people have to say about me, because of the simple reason being- they have no clue what’s going on. They don’t deserve a space in my thought process. I learned about having the courage to be me. I learned the hard way, that there are givers, and takers. There are people who are here to take advantage of me and use me, and I have to walk away from them. I learned to shut doors to people who sees life in a negative way without any second guesses. I learned how to say no when people try to take away the best qualities that I’ve taken all these years to shape. I learned how to sever ties with people who drain my energy. I learned how to fight for my identity. I learned how to fight for my life and the lives of people that I care about. Most importantly, after all these years of thinking I should be this and that, I want this, I want that, .. blablabla. I learned one important thing - its not about me. It’s about how can I contribute to make the world a better place.

Al-fatihah for Aina.

On my 30th birthday, I don’t need gifts. I just wish for my young fans to not waste their time. Know that your time is yours, but it’s not yours. If you are in your 20′s, spend your time wisely. Go have fun, you’re young, but don’t forget to contribute your energy, you’re young. Time flies, but take your time learning. Make mistakes, but learn from them. Don’t try to grow up too fast, stay in your zone and be present as much as you can. Remember, you are so much more than what people say about you. People rush you into doing things.. but ask yourself what do YOU want? Go and live life fully, learn as much as you can. Achieve greatness and bring out greatness in others as well. Be aware of whats happening in the world, not just yours. Learn to see whats on the other side, and try not to settle in what your setup has been set up for you. 

Be woke. Be intelligent. Be there for the people who need you. Keep your head up and be confident, but know when to keep your head down and be humble. Never underestimate what your heart tells you. It’s okay to be wrong, its okay to fail and know that you are flawed, and life will prove this to you again and again. Know that you will rise, again and again. Being flawless comes after you learned that you can accept your flaws and not giving up doing something beautiful for the world.

Happy birthday to me and to you, here’s to us, who will see today as Day 1.

Thank you for inviting me here today. As I told the Stonewall Award Committee, this is an honor both humbling and unexpected.

So, what is an old cis straight white male doing up here? Where did I get the nerve to write Alex Fierro, a transgender, gender fluid child of Loki in The Hammer of Thor, and why should I get cookies for that?

These are all fair and valid questions, which I have been asking myself a lot.

I think, to support young LGBTQ readers, the most important thing publishing can do is to publish and promote more stories by LGBTQ authors, authentic experiences by authentic voices. We have to keep pushing for this. The Stonewall committee’s work is a critical part of that effort. I can only accept the Stonewall Award in the sense that I accept a call to action – firstly, to do more myself to read and promote books by LGBTQ authors.

But also, it’s a call to do better in my own writing. As one of my genderqueer readers told me recently, “Hey, thanks for Alex. You didn’t do a terrible job!” I thought: Yes! Not doing a terrible job was my goal!

As important as it is to offer authentic voices and empower authors and role models from within LGBTQ community, it’s is also important that LGBTQ kids see themselves reflected and valued in the larger world of mass media, including my books. I know this because my non-heteronormative readers tell me so. They actively lobby to see characters like themselves in my books. They like the universe I’ve created. They want to be part of it. They deserve that opportunity. It’s important that I, as a mainstream author, say, “I see you. You matter. Your life experience may not be like mine, but it is no less valid and no less real. I will do whatever I can to understand and accurately include you in my stories, in my world. I will not erase you.”

People all over the political spectrum often ask me, “Why can’t you just stay silent on these issues? Just don’t include LGBTQ material and everybody will be happy.” This assumes that silence is the natural neutral position. But silence is not neutral. It’s an active choice. Silence is great when you are listening. Silence is not so great when you are using it to ignore or exclude.

But that’s all macro, ‘big picture’ stuff. Yes, I think the principles are important. Yes, in the abstract, I feel an obligation to write the world as I see it: beautiful because of its variations. Where I can’t draw on personal experience, I listen, I read a lot – in particular I want to credit Beyond Magenta and Gender Outlaws for helping me understand more about the perspective of my character Alex Fierro – and I trust that much of the human experience is universal. You can’t go too far wrong if you use empathy as your lens. But the reason I wrote Alex Fierro, or Nico di Angelo, or any of my characters, is much more personal.

I was a teacher for many years, in public and private school, California and Texas. During those years, I taught all kinds of kids. I want them all to know that I see them. They matter. I write characters to honor my students, and to make up for what I wished I could have done for them in the classroom.

I think about my former student Adrian (a pseudonym), back in the 90s in San Francisco. Adrian used the pronouns he and him, so I will call him that, but I suspect Adrian might have had more freedom and more options as to how he self-identified in school were he growing up today. His peers, his teachers, his family all understood that Adrian was female, despite his birth designation. Since kindergarten, he had self-selected to be among the girls – socially, athletically, academically. He was one of our girls. And although he got support and acceptance at the school, I don’t know that I helped him as much as I could, or that I tried to understand his needs and his journey. At that time in my life, I didn’t have the experience, the vocabulary, or frankly the emotional capacity to have that conversation. When we broke into social skills groups, for instance, boys apart from girls, he came into my group with the boys, I think because he felt it was required, but I feel like I missed the opportunity to sit with him and ask him what he wanted. And to assure him it was okay, whichever choice he made. I learned more from Adrian than I taught him. Twenty years later, Alex Fierro is for Adrian.

I think about Jane (pseudonym), another one of my students who was a straight cis-female with two fantastic moms. Again, for LGBTQ families, San Francisco was a pretty good place to live in the 90s, but as we know, prejudice has no geographical border. You cannot build a wall high enough to keep it out. I know Jane got flack about her family. I did what I could to support her, but I don’t think I did enough. I remember the day Jane’s drama class was happening in my classroom. The teacher was new – our first African American male teacher, which we were all really excited about – and this was only his third week. I was sitting at my desk, grading papers, while the teacher did a free association exercise. One of his examples was ‘fruit – gay.’ I think he did it because he thought it would be funny to middle schoolers. After the class, I asked to see the teacher one on one. I asked him to be aware of what he was saying and how that might be hurtful. I know. Me, a white guy, lecturing this Black teacher about hurtful words. He got defensive and quit, because he said he could not promise to not use that language again. At the time, I felt like I needed to do something, to stand up especially for Jane and her family. But did I make things better handling it as I did? I think I missed an opportunity to open a dialogue about how different people experience hurtful labels. Emmie and Josephine and their daughter Georgina, the family I introduce in The Dark Prophecy, are for Jane.

I think about Amy, and Mark, and Nicholas … All former students who have come out as gay since I taught them in middle school. All have gone on to have successful careers and happy families. When I taught them, I knew they were different. Their struggles were greater, their perspectives more divergent than some of my other students. I tried to provide a safe space for them, to model respect, but in retrospect I don’t think I supported them as well as I could have, or reached out as much as they might have needed. I was too busy preparing lessons on Shakespeare or adjectives, and not focusing enough on my students’ emotional health. Adjectives were a lot easier for me to reconcile than feelings. Would they have felt comfortable coming out earlier than college or high school if they had found more support in middle school? Would they have wanted to? I don’t know. But I don’t think they felt it was a safe option, which leaves me thinking that I did not do enough for them at that critical middle school time. I do not want any kid to feel alone, invisible, misunderstood. Nico di Angelo is for Amy, and Mark and Nicholas.

I am trying to do more. Percy Jackson started as a way to empower kids, in particular my son, who had learning differences. As my platform grew, I felt obliged to use it to empower all kids who are struggling through middle school for whatever reason. I don’t always do enough. I don’t always get it right. Good intentions are wonderful things, but at the end of a manuscript, the text has to stand on its own. What I meant ceases to matter. Kids just see what I wrote. But I have to keep trying. My kids are counting on me.

So thank you, above all, to my former students who taught me. Alex Fierro is for you.

To you, I pledge myself to do better – to apologize when I screw up, to learn from my mistakes, to be there for LGBTQ youth and make sure they know that in my books, they are included. They matter. I am going to stop talking now, but I promise you I won’t stop listening.

—  Rick Riordan’s speech in June 26, 2017 for The Stonewall Award
American Library Association meeting in Chicago for the book Magnus Chase 2: The Hammer of Thor that won the children’s book award for “exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience” because of the character of Alex Fierro.
2

I was auditioning for three older brothers. I didn’t get much of a description or anything about him. It was during the last six-hour audition that [casting director] Frank Moiselle came down to me and told me ‘can you read for Ivar?’. I was feeling like — I won’t say the word — but I was sitting there reading the scene for half an hour, and then I got up in front of [showrunner] Michael Hirst, [executive producer] Morgan O’Sullivan, all of the big guns were there. I did the scene that I just learned, and I screwed up the first couple of times but on the third time I got it right. I really didn’t know anything about Ivar until I got the part out of nowhere. It wasn’t until my agent told me that I got the part that [I knew], and I had to ask ‘which one’ because I really didn’t know. The first three weeks of preparing to shoot, I was calling around in my hotel room, trying to figure out what his mannerisms were and picking up a lot from Travis just by watching the show. I had researched a little bit about the character and read a lot of theories about where his name came from. I’m glad that Michael Hirst went with the Osteogenesis Imperfecta. You gotta go with the solution that brings the most to the table drama-wise. I’m just very fortunate to play this part, and it’s so challenging — but every time it’s challenging, it’s fun.

Snape Appreciation Month - #26

Topic: Favourite AU

Snape Lives AU
(Warning: swearing)

Snape survives the Battle of Hogwarts, saved by in the nick of time by Fawkes, who is also kind enough to burn down the Shrieking Shack, so that Snape can be presumed dead and cremated. It’s best that they think him dead and gone, because he is done.

He travels the world to find himself, because who the hell is he without his purpose? Can he actually manage to make decisions for himself without screwing up his second chance? After chasing atonement for so long, can he learn to forgive himself?

He studies and writes, and takes odd jobs wherever he can find them, living free of any attachments – no masters, no debilitating responsibilities, just an overgrown bonfire-chicken who refuses to leave him alone, which he pretends to mind.  

Eventually, he starts to allow himself to be invited to stay with the people he meets, wizards and Muggles both. It’s cheaper anyway, and he has to reluctantly admit that it’s nice to be around equals who seem to want his company. He starts visiting the same people whenever he returns to an area, slowly learning to let himself grow attached to others again, without lies and secrets and shame and old history getting in the way.

At some point, he gets a cover-up tattoo over the scar of his Dark Mark. It’s a phoenix rising from flames, born anew. Because why not? It is oddly fitting, and it would piss off Voldemort something fiercely. Maybe he accumulates some more tattoos along the way, some Muggle and purely symbolic, others imbued with protective magic.

He doesn’t return to Britain for a decade or two, and when he does, he does so reluctantly. He’s afraid that when he goes back to Britain, it will be like going back in time, going back to the man he used to be, and that thought terrifies him now that he has finally managed to become a man that he’s almost comfortable being.

But something draws him back, and he returns to Britain a tanned man with silver in his hair, Fawkes at his side, still sarcastic and aloof, but less prickly and more self-aware, and with a lot of history to face.  

earth-empress  asked:

You know what's fucked me up man. So you know Bob Ross, the guy from the 90s who had the painting show on PBS? Well he used to be in the Air Force and he yelled at some dude so bad that Bob Ross decided he would never yell at anyone again bc like his yelling voice fucked up some people. The man who taught me about "happy accidents" yelled at someone so severe it freaked HIM out. Can someone loan me a cigarette? Fuck

Yeah, that was like a huge part of why he became what he did.

I think he realized that he’d been building people up through “tough love”, and that that seemed to work for some people. But he wasn’t that.

My brother’s been watching him a lot lately. He’s a nice guy, at the end of the day. He’s still a teacher- imposing structure, instructing on a proper way to do things. But he’s a forgiving, instructional guy, not a hard-ass. He helps people. 

This is super important to remember in teaching (and learning) concepts like that. In things where screwing up isn’t an if, but a when, and it’s very hands on. Art, math and computer science are like this. And you really can’t get beat up about it. Some people tell you, especially in CS, to punish yourself for your mistakes. And I don’t think that’s a good idea. Accepting mistakes isn’t excusing imperfection, it’s learning to fix them. It’s learning to build around what you can’t fix. And in software at least, that’s super important. Sometimes the guy before you hands you thousands of lines of badly organized, uncommented, object oriented C and all the functions have side effects. And guess what? You don’t get to fix it, you have to build something on top. Art is similar. Sometimes you fuck up. You can’t throw the whole thing out, or you’d never finish things. You just have to keep going, and fix it if you can.

flamingokapi  asked:

What's your favorite stone/crystal/mineral?? :)

Tiger’s eye, hands down. It was the first crystal I ever had - my mom bought me one as a random gift.

I also had a quartz point she once gave me as a Christmas gift, but it was given with a letter from Aughra, saying it was a part of the Dark Crystal, and I should guard it very closely until she came back for it. Now that I’m older, I know it was quartz, but as a kid, I really thought it was a crystal shard; now that I know what it is, I love it all the more.