Princess Alix of Hesse (and her elder sister Iréne), future Empress of Russia
The death of her mother … had a shattering effect on six-year-old Alix. She sat quiet and withdrawn in her playroom while her nurse stood in the corner, weeping. Even the toys she handled were new; the old, familiar toys had been burned as a precaution against the disease. Alix had been a merry, generous, warm little girl, obstinate but sensitive, with a hot temper. After this tragedy she began to seal herself off from other people. A hard shell of aloofness formed over her emotions, and her radiant smile appeared infrequently. Craving intimacy and affection, she held herself back. She grew to dislike unfamiliar places and to avoid unfamiliar people. Only in cozy family gatherings where she could count on warmth and understanding did Alix unwind. There, the shy, serious, cool Princess Alix became once again the merry, dimpled, loving “Sunny” of her early childhood.
Two years ago I made a comic about how two friends met, and now it’s gone on to have a comic about two pairs of friends meeting. The entirety of this story - including Humans, Shattered, Reunion, Cause And Effect, Mistakes and now Searching for Something - is called Lizardbrain.
Hey guys! This is just my reaction/summary post of the BTS Concert in Newark (Thursday, 3/23)! I’ll be going into a lot of detail, but bare with me. I’ve linked all the fancams I took throughout the post, so you can check that out :)
Alright so first things first…I’ve been following BTS since ~May/June 2014, and this was the first time I was actually able to go to a live concert. I WAS LITERALLY BEYOND THE MOON when I got tickets, and I was so excited that I was badgering everyone I knew with my fangirling. BTS means so much to me, they got me through some of the hardest times in my life, and they gave me happiness and hope. So getting to go to one of their concerts, see them and support them in person, was such a blessing.
I’ve seen a few “Pink Diamond allowed herself to get shattered to help the rebellion” ideas around and, honestly, they make Pink Diamond seem really, really clueless.
One of the ideas basically has Pink Diamond getting tired of Homeworld’s caste system and falling in love with the Earth and so she has her loyal Rose Quartz start a rebellion and shatter her to protect the Earth and show gems that they didn’t have to follow the life plan that Homeworld set out for them.
But those ideas don’t make much sense. For one, if it truly was Earth that she loved and wanted to protect, then it would be far easier to do so as a whole Diamond than as a shattered one. This idea assumes that Pink Diamond has no clue how much her sisters loved her, how her being shattered would effectively turn Homeworld against Earth. And, since Blue Diamond said that she and Pink were very close, I can’t see that Pink Diamond wouldn’t be at least slightly aware of how her sisters (or Blue, at least) would feel.
And, if Pink Diamond wanted to make sure that the rebellion showed that gems could make their own decisions, then why limit the rebellion to Earth? Why were all the Crystal Gems gems that were originally sent to Earth by Homeworld? Why not have the possibility of gems not on Earth gaining their freedom? Because Rose Quartz has made it abundantly clear that the rebellion was to protect Earth first and foremost. Freedom for gems was secondary, best. So if Pink Diamond did want that freedom, then why limit it to such a small subset of gems?
I think that Pink Diamond is a complicated character, and she probably didn’t spend her time on Earth petting her cat while laughing about how she would destroy the Earth. But not being a stereotypical villain doesn’t mean that she was secretly a Crystal Gem.
I really want to take this blog and shove it down the throats of every Wattpad writer ever. Also can you do the cover for The Belles?
[insert evil laughter bc i have all the dirt on this cover]
So, the Belles is a cautionary tale. One of art direction gone wrong. One of our limitations as mortals and as artists with technology of this era.
On the EW page where the book cover was first revealed, there’s a cute video showing the photoshoot that was done for this cover. I wish I could embed it here, but alas, the function does not seem to be working. Here’s a screencap, to give you an idea:
The author also posted a couple different half-finished photomanips from a version of the cover that never was:
(are we all in agreement that adding the black and white zig zag was a terrible choice? Yeah? Yeah.)
As far as I can tell from the video, the entire shoot took place at that full-body distance. Which says to me that all the concepting/ comps done beforehand looked like the images above, and that the decision to make the cover a closeup of her face was, all likelihood, a last minute decision to scrap their original idea and just get a cover that worked, because the photomanips above weren’t for whatever reason, and deadlines exist.
There would be nothing wrong with this. except.
her face is noticeably out of focus. The full-body picture was zoomed in on more than its pixel information was equipped to handle, and as a result, got blurry! Compare the crispness of the text and the bokeh texture– hell, even of those flowers that were obviously and badly photoshopped on top of the real ones that were on her head– to her face or body and shit is #yikes. (I’ve checked around, in case it was some error with the specific file, but it looks like that everywhere.)
This is not a design “problem” so much as an embarrassing technical error that I…. cannot believe more people didn’t notice, tbh. And it really is a shame, because there’s so few fantasy covers featuring WOC on them! I wish the ones that existed were better!
So then the second issue with this cover is….. that title. And i’ll be honest, this cover was super disappointing bc I saw this:
Before it was released, and the title typography looks REALLY GOOD there! As gold on black, w a shiny-but-flat feel, with nothing else to compete with it, the effect is really lovely. But what ended up on the cover (with a much toned-down shattering effect) feels like a massive cop-out:
Not to mention tonally dissonant. It just feels weird. But the gold wouldn’t have been readable, they had to tame the effect to keep it legible on a more complicated background, and they had to reduce the shrapnel area so it wouldn’t obscure the imagery or other type. (They did not have to add that ugly bevelling effect on, but worse, around it. Bad bad bad.)
I strongly suspect that they commissioned that original type treatment from someone who specializes in 3D typography, and then handed if off to a designer who was asked to do the impossible in making it fit with what marketing had mandated of the rest of the cover. The type on a cover should either be created in constant communication with the rest of the cover, so they always work together, or you can create a huge fancy Type Thing and then build the rest of your cover around the needs of it. You can’t do both.
So, lessons we can learn from The Belles:
1) TAKE A WIDER VARIETY OF SHOTS THAN YOU THINK YOU NEED IN UR PHOTOSHOOT, IN CASE YOU HAVE TO RETHINK YOUR CREATIVE STRATEGY DOWN THE LINE.
2) Don’t make a totally awesome badass type treatment without concern for how it will fit into the rest of the cover, because you’ll end up having to castrate it to fit, and that doesn’t make anyone happy.
Steampunk Doll By CS : “My daughter designed her own Steampunk Cyborg Doll costume for Halloween this year and she and her mom hand made it. The eye piece on the mask is the lens from a point and shoot camera from Goodwill.
She’s posed in front of matte slate gray paper with two soft lights, one right in front of her and one next to the camera. The shatter effect and "old-timey” grading were done in Photoshop. Happy Halloween.“
I wonder what complications Hide in the fracturing of your Words, so exampled, so sharp, With edges. Fragments of ice Find the eye. I feel some kind Of kindness that is painful and Enlightening. I wonder until I become almost interesting. You have an effect, like shattering.
isak trying to come to out his bros but running into the stumbling block that is the fact that evidently meeting even did not have the same world-shattering, universe-shifting effect on them as it did on him and they barely actually know who he’s talking about is somehow far funnier to me than it really has any right to be
Wow, what a week! There has
been so much loveliness coming out of the fandom creatively in the last seven
days. And since I’ve become sick of adulting, I decided to this a bit earlier instead :) (Of course, this rec
list is – as it always is – based on my shipping preferences, and lately, as will soon become obvious, I’ve been on
a bit of a Nyssa kick. Not to mention I have needed smut like I need
air, which is also reflected in my choices for this week.)
Do you Take This Man? (NSFW)
by yespleasehawkeye (Olicity) – AHHHH. So much smutty goodness in this fic,
seriously. One thing I can never get enough of is the physicality between
Oliver and Felicity when they’re established – I just think that their
interactions have a different kind of sensuality to them when they’re kind of
familiar with each other physically. (Like when Oliver is just casually touching
Felicity under the table while they’re eating, lol.) And, of course, the fact
that it’s set during Thea and Roy’s wedding (two of my OTPs for the price of
one! :D) just makes this even more enjoyable. I love the lazy feel to this fic,
and the way they keep going back to the dance floor again and again. Definitely
one I will be rereading. :)
Diem by agentsofmariahill (Nyssara and hints of Black Assassin) – whoa. I will
preface this by saying that there really isn’t nearly enough femmeslash fic out
there, and there is nowhere near enough Nyssa fic either. So the fact that this
is both is a bonus, for me. I love the way the author explored the different
facets of Nyssa’s character – the way her father trained her, the way she
slowly started questioning her sexuality, her beautiful relationship with Sara
and her budding friendship with Laurel. Even if you’ve never read a
Nyssa-centric fic before, I urge you to check this one out. It’s amazing.
(NSFW) by lostolicityscenes (Olicity) – HOT DAMN. I am a sucker for road trip smut,
and this was gorgeous. I love the poetic style and the way Oliver and Felicity
kind of find each other, physically and mentally. I love that kind of discovery
between them and how the physicality between them, while losing its novelty,
never loses its thrill. And what gets me is that this fic doesn’t have a word
of dialogue in it, but it doesn’t need to. In fact, the silence is kind of what
makes this story so sexy. <3
not in the Stars (NSFW) by kaleidoscopes-and-carousels (Nyssara) – GIVE ME ALL
THE NYSSARA SEXYTIMES PLEASE. Wow. What an amazing homage to one of my OTPs,
set during the end of season 2 when Sara returns to Nyssa and asks for the
League’s help. I think this fic sums up perfectly, for me, Sara’s mindset when
she decided to break things off with Oliver – that this was never about not
wanting to be with Nyssa and was far more about unwilling to face the darkness
Birds by darhkfelicity (Olicity with Laulicity friendship) – I will never,
ever, ever get enough of the Laulicity friendship, and this fic is such a
lovely homage to what has become one of my favourite ever
girl-power!friendships on Arrow. I love how their early interactions in canon
are addressed here, the way Sim dips into both my darlings’ minds and shows how
they slowly become friends. And I adore the way this extends beyond the Olicity
road trip while also working in details of some of the new spoilers we’ve been
getting for season 4.
Sensations of Survival (NSFW) by arrow-through-my-writers-block
(Olicity) – ahhh, I am such a sucker for smangst, and this is a wonderful one. Set
the night that Oliver defeated Ra’s (I think?), it has some of my favourite
things in it, including SHOWER SEX and apologies and pain and did I mention
shower sex? :D There is something almost cathartic about reading this that I adore,
and there is such a gorgeous introspective and quiet feel to it that is also
ridiculously hot and something that I just can’t get enough of. Definitely my
favourite by this author.
found this waterfall by thevegantargaryen (Nyssara) – I love Nyssara fics that
are set during the flashback years, and this is an excellent one. There is so much
emotion and hotness packed into what is actually quite a short piece, but it doesn’t
seem to be from how beautifully it is written. Both Nyssa and Sara talk about
their dreams, about leaving, exploring the world, and the way that is
inexplicably linked with their exploration of each other sinceriously tugs at
my heartstrings and makes me ache for these two. <3
by susannahmccormick (Olicity) – yayyyy, more road trip fic! :) Sus does such
a great job with this series, and I am loving in particular the section about
Oliver and Felicity’s mountain hike. AND THE PUPPIES. Oh God. I really like the
domesticity about them – not only does it perfectly fit into what Stephen and
Emily have been saying lately about how Oliver and Felicity have changed while
on their road trip, but there is something so ridiculously endearing about
Oliver thinking about holding a barbecue and wanting to do up the house and all
then I found this delightful tag fic (picture is NSFW) by effie214 which kind
of speculates on what Oliver and Felicity would be like their first night back
in Starling. And as always, Effie’s way with words leaves me speechless,
because I can totally feel Felicity’s conflicting emotions about being back,
and about wanting to hold onto the comfortable oblivion of their road trip. And
THE PANCAKES. I love it when Oliver cooks breakfast for Felicity. For obvious
also came across this gorgeous Olicity graphic by waschal – I LOVE the angel
wings on Oliver (I can’t help but interpret that to be a reference to the fact
that the Arrow is Starling’s guardian angel <3) and the pretty colouring and
the infinity sign around the arrow. I could probably write an essay about how
much I love the symbolism of this, but I’ll stop there, lol.
there’s this beauty by captainolicitysbedroom, which was made for supersillyanddorky06’s fic, The Firebird (which I’ll admit I haven’t had a chance to read yet, but
Matty is an excellent writer and I know, having read several of her other fics,
that this one is as good as anything she writes). Plus, I love any art that
feature’s Al-Saheem, because of reasons. ;)
have shrieked a little when I saw this lovely Laurel Lance graphic by blackprettybird, too. WOW. What a gorgeous homage to my pretty bird. I love
the monochrome and the way the city is reflected – I think some people forget
that when Oliver was off in Nanda Parbat, Laurel had to look after Starling on
her own, with only Nyssa by her side. This is a wonderful reminder of that.
because I love Black Assassin both platonically and romantically, here are a
couple of lovely videos that are dedicated to the wonderful pairing that is
Laurel and Nyssa. There’s this one by wondertwinc, which goes ever so slightly
AU in that they’re actually together. And wow, do they have great chemistry! I
will forever love the milkshake scene, and the scene in 3x16 where Laurel
agrees to let Nyssa train her, and the part where Nyssa said the last few weeks
with Laurel had brought her happiness. Nothing makes me happier than two badass
ladies supporting the hell out of each other, saving each other and having a
beautiful friendship (and, in this video, something more). This video is
certainly one I will rewatch. Again and again.
second video is by vigilantelawyers, which I also adore and which made me fall
in love with the pairing even more. What an apt song choice, and with a lovely selection
of clips from the show, too. I think we see here how Nyssa has mentored Laurel
in training her, but also how protective Laurel is of Nyssa – to the point that
she says she doesn’t want to lose her after everyone else she’s lost. Also, I don’t
know if there’s a technical name for this, but I love how at one point there is
two of Nyssa and then later there is two of Laurel. It looks super cool and just makes this video even more gorgeous. :D
it from me! I know this week has been Nyssa-heavy, but hey, she’s a cool
character and I love her to pieces. You know the drill – if you liked anything
on this list, be sure to let the creators of these wonderful fanworks know. Reblog
their work. Give kudos. Leave comments. Leave a lovely message in their askbox
telling them how much their fic/edit/video made your day.
In other words, spread positivity so all the hardworking people who give so much to the fandom get something back. Thanks, and see you next week! :)
(And graphic artists, I’ve linked to your works, but if you want me to take down the actual images, I am happy to do so. Just shoot me an ask. :))
Alternatively titled “It Was an Accident Pt. 2″ XD, here it is! This is the first part of my two-shot inspired by the Seduce Me Otome CD, which just so happens to be on sale *cough* bless you Michaela and Fae *cough* Let me know whatcha think, and the second part will be up soon!
As the rapidly dwindling hot water ran down your back, and the familiar, heady smell of a conditioner that definitely was not yours swirled around the shower, you couldn’t help but laugh at the irony to the situation.
It hadn’t been too long ago that Sam had accidentally used your shampoo, resulting in an adorable confrontation in the bathroom. Watching him in a flustered panic was just too good, and you’d had your fun teasing him, even kissing his cheek.
But now, the shoe was on the other foot.
The bottles did look almost identical, and you’d been in a rush - Suzu and Naomi were going to be here to pick you up for school any minute. Stepping out of the shower, you quickly wrapped a towel around your body. Walking to the vanity, you picked out your usual perfume and tried applying it to your wrists and neck, but it did nothing to diminish the smell.
With a sigh, you resigned yourself to dealing with it for one afternoon - you could always wash your hair again when you got back home. Flicking on your hairdryer you started to work, and as your hair slowly dried, the potent smell of Sam’s shampoo surrounded you. A pleasant shiver ran down your spine, and his panicked words echoed in your ears.
“I smell manly as hell! Like a demon… and stuff!”
You giggled, chewing your lip. He was honestly too dorky for his own good. That was probably one of the reasons you’d fallen for him in the first place, not that you could ever admit that. The only people you’d confided in about your crush were Naomi and Suzu. You hadn’t told any of the other boys obviously, but the suggestive comments and teasing smirks were leading you to suspect they’d probably figured it out.
In a strange way though, Sam’s goofy words were right. While the earthy tones and musky scent of his conditioner were familiar, there was something else too. You’d noticed it over the course of time the boys had spent in the mansion - the aura of natural power and energy they gave off. Did demons have different scents based on their abilities or strength?
Shaking your head, you decided to think more on the idea later. With your hair now mostly dry, you pulled it back into a low ponytail in the hopes of drawing less attention to it, and secured the towel a little more tightly before heading to change in your room.