sometimes people talk about this city like it's just a concept

Research:Large to Small Scale, Avoiding Homogenizing East Asian Cultures, & Paralleling Regions Appropriately

I’m currently working on a project set in a secondary world, but with nations that roughly correspond to major cultures in our world. 

By that I mean I’m trying to create amalgamations of cultural groups. For example, one country corresponds to Germanic cultures, one to Celtic, one to Mediterranean. There are, so far, also countries that correspond to Eastern Asia - a mixture of Japanese, Chinese and Korean, mainly - South America, “Arab countries” and so on. My first question, in that regard, would be whether or not this concept - creating a “vibe” that reads Eastern Asian, for example, but is not one specific culture - is offensive and if it is, what I can do to solve it. 

The project I’m working on makes use of so called FaceClaims, which means that, for example, actors are used to represent fictional characters. If I based the country on China alone, then I could only use Chinese FCs and would thus greatly limit the representation. A solution I thought of was to have each country be inofficially split up in itself, so the “East Asian” country would have a “Chinese” region, a “Korean” region and so on.
Secondly, I have a desert region that I thought would be nice for an “African” (I am very much aware that there is no such thing as an “African culture”, so bear with me) cultural group. For this “country”, I thought of a loose union between different nations of people. There, I’m stuck - should I choose one region in Africa, let’s say West Africa, and base each nation on one specific peoples there? Or should I create my own “African-inspired” cultures? Or should I choose cultures from all around Africa and base a nation on each?

My third question goes along a similar line: The “cultures” I have chosen for the countries are by far not all there are in the world. There is no country for Native Americans, for example, none for South-Eastern Asians (unless I integrate them with my “India”), no Central Asian, etc. I know it is impossible to include all cultures there are in the world, but how do I choose which ones to represent in a concept like mine? I don’t want to exclude them, but I simply cannot create as many countries as there are cultural groups.

One possible solution I thought of specifically refers to Jewish people, since I feel it is important to represent them more in fantasy writing. My current idea was to have their story go similar to that of our world: Exile, long travels, and a split into groups, one of which would be the Ashkenazim, living somewhere near the Germanic country, and the other would be the Sephardim, which I imagined to live in between the “Arab” and “African” country, in a semi-autonomous city-state. But is it offensive to adapt what happened to the Jewish people in a secondary world or should I make it so that they have a more positive past and life, no exile like there was in our world? As far as I know, the exile is an important part of Jewish identity and cultural understanding, but I thought I’d ask anyway.

I’m going to preface this that some of this wording might sound very harsh, but I recognize you are genuinely asking out of a place of respect but you just aren’t sure what the best way to respect the world’s diversity is. The problem is it’s still not quite respectful enough, and shows sometimes glaring ignorance of nuances in the region.

I would also like to remind people that just because your exact question hasn’t been answered to the full scope you’re looking at, doesn’t mean you can’t get an answer as a whole. For example, we’ve discussed the concept of how and when to mix different cultures in the East Asian tag. Shira will cover your questions regarding Jewish representation below. 

However, I’m going to specifically tackle this from a research and worldbuilding perspective, primarily talking about a history of forced homogenization and how to avoid recreating colonialism/imperialism.

Notes on Language and False Equivalences

For starters, basically all of these groups are too broad. By a long shot. Either they flatten sometimes dozens to thousands of cultures (“Native American country” is in the thousands, “West Africa” is in the hundreds, “China, Japan, Korea” is in the dozens, if not hundreds, same deal with India). This language use makes people pretty uncomfortable, because it implies that the basis is stereotypes. It implies you haven’t done research, or, at least, haven’t done enough. When discussing nuance, it’s best to imply you understand there is nuance— like you did with Africa and Jewish culture, but neglected to do everywhere else.

You also go very broad with all non-European cultures, but narrow down a general homogeneous part for your European analogues, by picking Germanic and Celtic.

This double standard is something that is exactly what we try to draw attention to at WWC: to our ears, it sounds like “I’m taking Germanic peoples for Europe, but I’m going to mix three East Asian countries because those two regions have the equivalent amount of sameness that I can pass it off.”

While that sounds specific to just you, it’s not. We’ve received this type of question dozens of times in the past and it’s a general cultural attitude we’ve faced lots and lots and lots of times. Western society makes you think the equivalence is equal, because they’ve flattened all non-European countries with the single broadest brush, but it’s not.

I would also caution you on relying on media images for face claims, because media images only represent the idealized version of beauty. We’ve written multiple description guides that point out how much variety exists within all ethnic groups and how people seeing us as all the same is a microaggression.

You are right that you can’t tackle all of the world’s diversity into your worldbuilding, because, well, there is so much. The core of your question is basically how to narrow it down, which is what I’m going to tackle.

My suggestion is twofold: 

  1. Research big, top level things, over a few centuries— namely, keep track of empires that have tried to take over places and look at what groups Western society lumps together when it spreads multiple regions.
  2. Build small with a focus on a very specific place and group— namely, pick the smallest possible region you can and see what you have to build from there.

Researching Big

Researching big helps you catch what not to flatten, or at least, where flattening might be reinforcing situations that a government perpetuated. I’m going to focus on East Asia since that’s the bulk of your question, and it’s also where I’ve spent some time worldbuilding. The principles apply to all groups you’re trying to research.

East Asia— namely Japan, Korea, and China, although that is an oversimplification itself— is composed of two empires: China and Japan. This makes homogenization extremely risky because you’re touching two nerves of countries trying to take over in very recent history.

China has taken over a very large swath of land over centuries, and still has independence fights to this day from their recent history. As a result, they have both a roughly overreaching culture because the empire is so old, and a very fractured culture with over 50 recognized ethnic groups. When you think of “Chinese” you usually think of the dominant Han Chinese, but because of its old empire roots you can get a giant variety. In modern day, some provinces have kept their individual culture, while others have been part of China for so long there is a general “sameness” to them that can capture the flare you want.

Japan’s imperialism is similarly recent, only ending in 1947, and it left wounds across the Pacific (including Korea, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Malaysia). Many of their actions are classified as war crimes. They’ve also erased their own Indigenous population by insisting only one ethnicity lived in the country. Both of these factors make mixing Japan into an “East Asian” mix tricky. Japan’s culture, while heavily impacted by China and Korea, is pretty distinct because of its island status.

Big research also lets you see the neighbouring areas at a time borders might not have been the same. For example, in the 1600s, China was much smaller because the Manchu External Expansion hadn’t happened yet. As a result, places we now think of as “Chinese” actually weren’t, and you’ll have to account for these differences in your worldbuilding. You can determine this by looking up historical maps/empires, which might require book research (libraries are wonderful).

This does not mean you can ignore recent history, however. Because the story is set in modern day, people will be viewing it through a modern lens. You need to research both the modern and the historical context in order to understand how to go about crafting a respectful world.

So that’s stuff you would’ve discovered by big research. By tracking empire movements, you can see where old wounds are and what historical contexts exist within whatever region you’re pulling from. If you take North America, you can see how each individual tribe is cast aside in favour of settler stories; in Africa, you can see how multiple empires wanted to plunder the land and didn’t care who it was; in the Middle East, you can see both the recent military involvement, the historical Ottomans, and the historical Persians.

Build Small

You can also see what empires influenced their regions for long enough to create a similar-ish culture throughout multiple regions, which can help you extract the essence you’re looking for. I would add a very large caution to only do this for historical empires where those who suffered under the regime are not fighting in present day/ have living memory of it (such as incorporating too much of England, France, or Spain in the Americas, along with the two examples above).

Now you can build small. If you wanted to give a sense of, say, coastal China with a heavy amount of trade, you can pick a major port city in China and figure out the pluralism in relation to that city. What parts identify it as Chinese (architecture, governance, food, general religious practices— folklore changes by region, but the general gist of practices can remain similar enough to get a vibe), and what parts are borrowed from a distinct enough culture they’re noticeably different?

By going from a city level, you can imply pluralism by throwing in asides of differences “out there” that shows you’ve thought about it, without cramming your world full of cultures you can’t fit in the plot. You can then also narrow down what to include based on map proximity: if there’s an easy sea or land path to an Egyptian analogue, you’re probably going to at least hint at it. This is a known historical trade, btw. Egyptian blue and Han purple are made of similar substances, pointing to an ancient cultural link.

You can research this by simply googling the country and looking under its history in Wikipedia. If you look up “China”, you can see “Imperial Unification” as one of its history points. “Japan” similarly gets you the Meiji period. Turkey shows the Ottoman empire. You can also look up “empires in [region]” that will give you a similar overview. This even works for places you don’t think have historical empires, such as North America (the pre-colonization section notes several).

This also is a starting place for what the borders would’ve been during any given time period, and gives you places to potentially factor in military involvement and recent strife. This is where modern research comes in handy, because you can get an idea of what that strife looked like.

Hope this gives you an idea how to go about worldbuilding a diverse population, and how to avoid paralleling recent wounds. 

~ Mod Lesya

Regarding Your Jewish Characters

I think it’s valid to reflect our real history in fantasy although if you dwell too much on the suffering aspects and not the “richly varied cultural traditions” aspects you’ll probably lose some of us because suffering-porn written from the outside gets old fast (if you’re Jewish yourself you 200% have the right to write this, of course.) Human Jewish characters living in pockets in fake-northern-Europe and fake-Mediterranea and fake-North-Africa (or even Fake China and Fake India; we’re there, too) is actually injecting some well-needed historical accuracy back into a genre that’s been badly whitewashed, gentilewashed, etc by imagining a Europe where nobody but white gentiles existed until they conveniently popped into existence during whatever era the writer thinks is appropriate.

In other words, if your fake Germany has a Jewish neighborhood in its largest city, that’s a way of making pseudo-European fantasy more realistic and less -washy, and is overall a good move, despite the fact that the destruction of the temple is the reason we were in Germany in the first place. (I mean… it’s not like you’re planning on sitting there writing about Tisha b'Av itself, right? You don’t have to say “And the reason there are Jews here is because a bazillion years ago, we wound up getting scattered” just to have Jews.)

By the way, having myself written secondary-world fantasy where entire countries, plural, get to be majority-Jewish, and 100% free of on-screen antisemitism, I think both ways are valid.


anonymous asked:

So like, well obviously, its gotta be Derek Nurse for the meme thing ??


  • Nursey thinks like a writer. Which is to say: his inner monologue is rambling, overcrowded, occasionally very poetic, but mostly just a giant mess. His mind is too full, and he gets lost in it. It’s not his fault. This tends to lead to longer paragraphs of thought, of close attention to the things around him, especially things (and people) he can wax poetic about.
  • Nursey’s an introvert. YOU CAN FIGHT ME ON THIS ONE. Nursey doesn’t actually talk all that much in canon–he has some close friendships, but he tends to be quiet when the whole team is together, with the exception of kegsters (when he’s…well. “Nursey Patrol” is there for a reason). I write him as being more talkative with one or two people, a chatterbox if he’s with Dex and/or Chowder because they’re his People, but more reserved and on the sidelines in a group. Which leads to:
  • Nursey is hyper-conscious of his presentation and behavior. I want to be careful with explaining this one, but it comes down to: Nursey’s a 6′2″ biracial man who grew up in the most diverse city in the world and then went to a boarding school where he had to conform to a Certain Type of Behavior (even though, from what I hear now, Andover’s gotten more diverse, though it’s still a psychologically rough place), he plays in a White as Fuck Sport, and he’s navigating academia. He is aware–at all times–of how he looks to the people around him, about how his behavior might read. I write Nursey’s anxiety as going beyond his awareness of his presentation of race and queerness, but I think that awareness is a critical thing.
  • Nursey gets angry - but is usually responsive, not reactive. Most of the times we’ve seen Nursey angry enough to yell, he’s actually making decent arguments. When he and Dex were initially fighting and Nursey called Dex privileged, he’s not wrong. When they’re fighting over Dibs and Nursey not only points out that he deserves them as well, but that Dex isn’t the only person who needs to afford room and board, he’s not wrong. He’s not making the best arguments or behaving perfectly maturely–we all saw those ear grabs, Derek–but he’s not calling names, he’s not being mean. And I think that’s an important distinction when writing the antagonistic side of Dex and Nursey’s relationship–when we see Nursey instigate, it seems to be things that are annoying (i.e. the classic sibling “stop hitting yourself!”) but not cruel. It really doesn’t seem like Nursey starts those real fights, and I wonder (ahem, fandom) how it came to be a trop that he does.
  • Nursey is funny!! Like, honestly I think he’s one of the funniest characters in the comic? His one-liners–especially in the tweets–shows a mix of deadpan humor, chirping, and what I’d argue is some self-deprecation (I’m sorry, there’s no way he wasn’t self-aware when he said “we can totally handle ourselves!” and then immediately fell down the stairs in that one tweet). I write his humor as generally dorky and sometimes self-directed, but I let him needle at other people–especially Dex and Chowder, where we see him poke most often in canon. LET NURSEY BE FUNNY Y’ALL.

Anyway I could probably write a million of these, but honestly they start veering in to headcanons as opposed to, like, “these are things that I legit believe are essential to his character based on what we’ve seen from canon.” But also, DEREK NURSE IS MY SON AND HE IS ALSO ME AND I LOVE HIM.

Pick a character I’ve written and I will explain the top ~three to five ideas/concepts/etc I keep in mind while writing that character that I believe are essential to accurately depicting them.

Alone - Part 11

Warnings; violence, torture

Words; 1,731

A/N; Hey loves! I hope you all love this chapter as much as I do! Italics are flashback. Also, because this is based after Civil War and Strucker is dead, HYDRA is sectioned off into a shit ton of bases and each base has a leader and they all work together if that makes sense. Feedback is always appreciated & my ask box is always open ♡

Your mind was a mess of pain and Bucky. It was dark in the room you were kept in and you had no concept of time. Every so often, way too often, they would take you from the cold dark cement room and bring you into what looked like a high tech lab. You walked through the Lab, being dragged by large men. The scientists working would stop their work to watch you, you never understood what they found so interesting. They would take you into a room inside the Lab, it had reinforced glass walls. It was like a large glass cage for everyone to gawk at you while they tortured you. But you let them, you let them do whatever they wanted, inject you with whatever they wanted and shock you reputedly until you couldn’t remember your name. You let them do it because when you arrived they gave you an ultimatum. It was you or Bucky, and you would never let them get their hands on him again.

You could tell that they were trying to make the process faster, you could hear hushed voices talking about doubling the serum. They strapped you into a chair and put a large contraption around your head. You wouldn’t admit it but you were terrified. You knew what happened to Bucky and you knew that they were trying to do it with you. You were afraid of forgetting your friends, you were afraid you would forget him.

The doctor spoke to you. “Think about your precious Bucky.” The doctor grinned before sliding a needle into the crook of your arm.

Keep reading

Rito/Revali Rant

I’m gonna rant about Revali and the treatment of him and the Rito in Breath of the Wild because I love this asshole and I hate how little information we got about him from the game because I noticed many things that piss me off-
There will not be any spoilers of the main plot below, just general things I’ve noticed throughout the game. 
Please note: This isn’t supposed to be an official thing, just something I’ve wanted to talk about for a while because it just makes me sad. I’m not trying to start any sort of argument or anything, just releasing some thoughts here. 
Also, I have yet to actually get to the Goron part of the game-! So this isn’t an entirely fair “Critique”, but it’s something I’ve noticed so far and blah blah blah here we go-

Keep reading


[Please read the attacks before reading the origin.]

  • The X - Origin

Saturday morning. November 2, 2013…. Dimitri didn’t understand why his father insisted so much on moving out of town suddenly… Since his mother’s death 2 years ago, his father started to get weird, as if he was paranoid, which wasn’t normal for him. Dimitri worried because before his mother’s death she also started with some paranoid mania and he thought it was some neurological disease or something, he always sought logical conclusions. The point was that he didn’t want to move… not that he has friends, but there were a few classmates who got on well at his school, who got him out of trouble, he was not a troublemaker, but he got into trouble because he was talking when he shouldn’t. He wasn’t at all wrong, when something isn’t right, someone has to talk, and in the case HE always spoke. Apparently in high school this thought was completely disposable. Whatever someone said was against the “rules” imposed by such bullies, they would end up being judged and sometimes end up inside a trash can. Dimitri has always been the notorious “nerd” of the class, not the quiet one who stay isolated doing all their homeworks properly and is almost invisible, but the one who is usually hated, who gives the answers whenever the teacher asks, who warns that their has homework when teacher forgets… He was a tremendous pain in the ass. But he wasn’t always like that, after his mother died, he began to work hard on his studies and the things that interested him, he thought it would make him forget.. In fact it distracted him, but when he was lying in his bed, his heart always hurt… It hurt because of his mother… it hurt that she died without seeing the great man that boy could be… It hurt that he had put himself in big trouble because of hacking what he shouldn’t while she was still alive… He tried to spend all his time in studies, baseball, robotics and technologies, so he wouldn’t think of any of it.. Outside of class he was the king of computing, there was no code he couldn’t access. Hack? He was an expert. Once he found a notebook in a dump and took it home, fixed it completely and when it started working, he went back to the dump and hacked NASA and the FBI just for fun. He didn’t do anything about his true “potential”, just wanted to test. Something hard for just one person, but when you devote all your time to things like that, it gets easier. Then he wiped his fingerprints, broke the notebook again and threw it into the dump, leaving without a clue, after all he didn’t want to get into trouble again.

Now… stopping to think, he thought that maybe that’s why his father decided to move at the end of the year, after all, even though his father loved him too much, he wouldn’t let his 17-year-old son go unpunished by a mess with NASA and FBI. Or maybe he owed something or got into trouble. His dad wasn’t a financially favored man and sometimes cheated on games. Maybe that was one of the reasons that made him even more paranoid.

The whole trip the man didn’t stop, he was always looking worried and looking back, just relaxed and returned to being the normal “father” when he realized that there was nothing following him… It was very hard.

Monday morning. November 4, 2013. There wasn’t much to do at school in a November, classes would continue until the end of the month - until December 20 for those who were recovering - but Dimitri was curious to venture into a new school.. Actually, he was kind of desperate to go back to new studies, it had been two days since he’d put his face in a book.

He dressed himself up as he did every day in his old town and went down to breakfast. In these two days he was in the car traveling, Dimitri built a small robot, from which he pulled out of his bag and placed it on the table. The robot brought him a grape and the boy smiled. It worked well for a robot made in such a short time.

The boy fed and waited for his dad to come down to take him to school… He looked at the clock, his dad was never late like this.. nor him. First day of school at the end of the year for a NEW school and he would be late.

He was getting impatient.

His dad finally came down… But he was in his pajamas.

“Dimitri… You’ll have to miss class today…” - His father said, running his hand across his forehead, he was sweating. But the weather was cold throughout the city, and his dad hadn’t turned on the heaters.

“ What? But I need to go, I need to see what it’s like before I start a new year at a new school, taking away the fact that I need to reinstate my studies.” - Dimitri said a bit nervous, he didn’t used to be nervous like this, but for everything has its first time.

“ It’s November, you don’t have to go, you’ll hardly have a class.” - His father replied, still looking like a sweaty ham.

“ Come on, Nick. You’re the one who keep always nagging me to go to school and now you’re asking me to don’t go?” - Said the boy getting up from the table and approaching the stairs in which his dad was standing. - “I NEED to go to school.”

“Listen, that’s not gonna affect your grades, I didn’t even registered you, because the enrollments will only be open in early January. Now relax and go watch some TV or play video game, I don’t know. I will not take you to school today. - His dad said, going up to his bedroom…

Dimitri was angry, not wanting to believe it. He grabbed his backpack, his cellphone, and left the house. He would go to school on foot.

Arriving at school, there really wasn’t much movement, but the important thing wasn’t other people but himself. He talked to the headmistress who allowed him to attend classes without the registration because it was the end of the year and the classes wouldn’t last as long.

As anticipated, there were several students who didn’t look like scholars, were in recovery, of course. But a trio caught his eye… As he passed the halls, this trio of bullies were nagging a boy who looked like a chicken so small and skinny. And there was Dimitri and his big mouth trying to stop it. After all, Dimitri didn’t like things like that.

” Hey, why don’t you just let him alone? He didn’t do anything to you…“ - Dimitri said approaching the bullies… They were big…

"Oh wow, what’s the matter, firehead? Are you wanting to stay in the place of the toothpick here? If you don’t want to, get out of here.” - said the bigger of them, who also seemed to be the leader, approaching of Dimitri and giving him such a strong push that knocked him down on the floor, causing him to fall on his backpack and break the little robot he had made during his travel…

“… You should review your concepts.. ” - said Dimitri getting up and taking his backpack.

“And you should talk less, little bird.” - The biggest boy was about to approach again when the headmistress came to save the day.

“You two should be in your classrooms.” - That said, all five of them left for their proper classrooms.

As every Monday is a big shit, the biggest bully fell into Dimitri’s classroom. He would try to ignore it as much as possible. Sitting at one of the middle tables near the window, Dimitri took his stuff from his backpack and was ready for his first class at the new school.

Time passed, there was little time for class to end. In that school nothing was different, he always answered correctly what the teacher asked, without giving chances of others to answer - even because the others in the case didn’t know anything - but this time he always get a ball of paper in his head.. of that boy. In his mind were passing things not pleasant and even frightening about what to do with that marginal. For a moment when the teacher was correcting some school tasks and the students had nothing to do, Dimitri leaned his head against the wall and looked out the window. He had a little fright, not exactly a fright, maybe a surprise at what he was seeing… On the other side of the street, next to a light pole, was a tall slender guy in a suit.. His arms were long, very long .. He was thin, very thin… It was practically the height of the light pole. He looked at the face of the man, but there was no face… He was stuck to that figure for a few seconds - or at least seemed seconds in his mind -, a very strange noise of static invaded his ears, until the teacher called him attention. When he finally blinked, looking at the teacher, there was no one else in the classroom.

“Classes are over, dear. You can go.” - Said the gentle teacher with a smile.

“Oh… Yeah… Thank you.”

He was puzzled, could barely make sentences in his mind.

He left the classroom like a rocket. He ran into the street, looking toward the post light where he had seen that man… But there was nothing. He was surprised… He tried to take into account that he hadn’t slept well, maybe he had just dozed off in the classroom… It was bad too, but not as much as it was real.

Returned home. He barely opened the door, his father already opened it quickly and pulled him into the house, hugging and closing the door quickly, locking all the locks. Nicholas hugged him so tightly he could barely breathe. He tried to get rid of his father’s arms as he spoke desperately.

“Oh my God, are you okay? I told you not to go to class, it’s dangerous, oh God.. Thank God you’re okay, ah….” - His father was extremely desperate.

“Calm down! Dad, let me go!” - He finally managed to pull away, looking confused at his father. - “ Did something happen?”

“… It’s nothing… Go to your room, I’ll take your dinner. Just stay there.” - Said the father moving away from his son and going towards the kitchen of low head.

Dimitri didn’t understand anything else. What he didn’t know was that his father had a nightmare that day. That slim man wrapped his son in long tentacles and carried him away into the darkness. If his father knew what he had seen that day, he would never let him leave the house again.

Dimitri went up to his bedroom and closed the door. For a Monday, it was awful as hell. He took the broken robot from his bag. There was a way to fix it, but he was upset that it had been brutally broken like that… That’s it. A new school and he wouldn’t like nothing that boy….

Night falls. His notebook was open in his bed, letting a song play. He was a guy who got carried away by songs, and he was angry all day, so the music he heard was some rock, not so heavy, but with strong emotions. As he listened to the music, he tried to study at his desk, but he had nothing to study, he had no new material, everything he had to learn had already learned, so he tried to draw…. He thought of the man he saw earlier. He sketched him in his exercise book…. But he thought it was silly.

“Tch… You are too old for imaginary friends, Dim.” - He said to himself, tearing the sheet and throwing it in the trash can.

He laid his head on the desk, his pen still in his hand. He began to scribble randomly, he was bored. When he raised his head, he looked at the excercise book… He had scribbled a strange symbol there… A circle with an X inside… He recognized the symbol, one of the times he entered his parents’ room when his mother was still alive, he found a paper with the same symbol in his mother’s drawer.

Dimitri was scared, because he wasn’t thinking about that symbol, he had forgotten that symbol two years ago, only saw it once… He just continued scribbling. His head was aching and he didn’t want to think. All the scribbles he made after that were similar symbols, or trees, and a strange doll.

It was cold… The ginger looked at the open window and got up, it was time to close it, it was getting really cold. When he was in front of the window, about to close it… He saw again the faceless man on the other side of the street. He had to force his sight because of the dim light of the street… It was surely the same man… but this time it was different… It seemed to have some tentacled coming out of his back. But he wasn’t sure because the light wouldn’t allow him to see. Again he began to hear a static noise and this time he began to cough… He didn’t stay staring, just closed the window and walked away from it, his coughing didn’t stop, on the contrary, it got worse. He could hear the desperate steps of his father climbing the stairs and opening the door. His father first went to the window and looked, there was nothing… So he went to the boy.

“ Dim?? Are you alright? What happened?” - He asked desperately, but Dimitri could only cough, felt a horrible taste of iron in his mouth, but it wasn’t blood.

Dimitri didn’t reply, but he nooded. His father helped him up and then looked at the desk and the notebook with the symbol… He shook his head.

“No… no… Listen, Dimmy, you’re sleeping with me tonight, okay?” - Said the man already pulling his son with him out of the room.

Dimitri was confused, but as soon as he left the room, he somehow got better… He slept with his father that night. But he couldn’t sleep properly…

Since then he hasn’t seen the faceless man, but the symbol was chasing him… He always did it without realizing it, or saw it somewhere …

Over time, he tried to forget that, although his health had begun to decline.

Monday morning. Day 06 January 2014. First day of school, now enrolled. He can only go to class after hiding all the symbols he did and prove himself well to his father who looked like a madman taking care of him.

Sometimes when his dad heard him cough, he forced his son to sleep with him again. Dimitri didn’t know who was worse, either himself or his father, which also got worse, but psychologically. He forced Dimitri to take medicine…

That day, he was being positive. He wanted the day to be good, until he got to school and ran into the bully and his cronies. He remembered that not everything could be perfect… The day at school was spent as it always was in his old school, answering the questions and this time getting those paper balls in his head. This time there were more people, so sometimes he wasn’t the only one to answer and get a paper ball… but he didn’t think that was funny.. He just got more and more hate from that guy. So much so that as time passed, he began to lose interest in answering, just kept quietly scribbling his exercise book… those symbols.

He always looked out the window, but nothing …

His life thereafter became an endless bullying, in which the headmistress didn’t do nothing to stop the bully, because he was her son. Dimitri didn’t return the violence because before his mother died he promised that he would never get involved in a fight again, although he knew how to fight, after all, for a baseball player he knew how to hit, he also trained in his house. He only served as a punching bag for the promise he made for his mother. He was fast, he might as well hit those three if he wanted to… But he didn’t… And it was hard to escape from 3 guys. But Dimitri always answered, always had something to say for the bully’s actions. They became rivals, but obviously the only one who was being beaten was Dimitri. He always returned home with a purple eye or something. He always had to hide or say that he fell because his father was at an absurd level of paranoia. Of course a teenager like Dimitri would tell his parents what was going on so that it would stop, but Dimitri worried about his father… he didn’t want him to end up like his mother. Dimitri’s bonds with his father were as strong as his mother’s, there was no favorite. When his mother died, part of Dim also died, but he still had his father, who loved him a lot and he always returned the same love.

The time was passing. 18 years on June 13, 2014. Friday.

With his dad practically stuck at home of his own free will, he would have to buy things for his birthday alone. He would buy some drinks, not for himself - he hated alcohol - but for his father, who admired a good vodka and hadn’t drank for a long time.

He was leaving the store with some bottles of vodka, deserted street…. When he saw the trio of bullies on the street, leaning against the wall on the side of an alley. Oh no. Not on his birthday. He would ignore and pretend that he didn’t exist… But…. A girl passed by, she was about to walk across the street and divert the idiots there.. That’s good, he was relieved in some way… But his relief left when he saw that one of them was approaching… One of the henchmen of his mortal rival grabbed the poor girl from behind, she began to scream. Dimitri looked inside the shop that had just left, thinking of getting help, but that street was a dangerous street and as soon as the screams began, the store put out its lights… Dimitri gets angry… He wouldn’t leave the poor Girl there in the hands of those dirty ones. Then he came up, already screaming madly, with authority - as if he had.

“ HEY! Let her go… ” - He said a little hesitantly… Even more hesitant when he saw that the trio were completely drunk…

“ Look who decided to come and save the day. The firehead woodpecker… HAHA ” - The big guy laughed and motioned for his friend to let go the girl go. So she ran away.

“You can be big idiots at school without punishment for being the headmistress’s son, but you can’t be a rapist here without paying for the consequences.” - Dimitri said putting his hands in his pocket.

“ Oh yes? I can do whatever I want. Consequences, huh??” - The drunken man, full of testosterone, said as he staggered, approaching Dimitri. - “What are you going to do? Hit me?”

“No. But the police will know what to do with you, "mommy’s boy.” - Dimitri replied by pulling his cellphone out of his pocket and walking away from the bullies while calling the police.

His biggest mistake was to turn his back on them… One of the henchmen grabbed him by the arm, pulling him hard, which made the bag with the bottles of vodka fall and break them… The three took him in. From the alley, where the biggest bully - and his biggest enemy- grabbed Dimitri by the throat and lifted him, leaning against the wall.

“Show him who’s the boss, Igor.” - The henchmen were laughing.

Igor took Dimitri’s cellphone and threw it on the floor, stepping on it and crushing it. He turned his gaze to Dimitri and tightened his neck.

“You should talk less, little bird. Silence suits you.”

Having said that, Igor threw Dimitri down. Dimitri hit a trash can that fell, opening its lid. Igor took a hose from there and wrapped it around Dimitri’s neck, holding him from behind as his henchmen hit the redhead who could not defend himself and was suffocating. Igor did not let Dimitri suffocate, he wanted to make him suffer before. He told his cronies to leave so he could finish it himself.

“You think you’re so clever, do not you?” But you can not get out of a situation like that. It looks like a trapped rat.

And so Igor started kicking Dimitri several times. He asked one of his friends to hold Dimitri lying on his back and with his arms up.. Dimitri couldn’t even move, so he couldn’t fight so much… The anger he felt was no match for pain.

Igor stomped and crushed his throat… He could hear the disgusting noise it made, especially when the warm blood rose to his mouth and slowly gushed. Igor destroyed his throat… As he did so, he paused for a moment and looked at the poor ginger choking on the floor.

“Do you know why the police will not do anything if they find out? Because the chief of police, the deputy, is my father. And he loves me like the innocent little boy, so he will not do anything against me.”

Igor was about to break Dimitri’s neck when a deafening static sound started to stun them… They covered their ears but nothing worked… The only one who could stand was Dimitri, lying on the floor, his throat destroyed and almost drowning in his own blood. Everyone there at that moment saw at the bottom of the alley, the faceless man…. They ran, they ran like ants… Dimitri wasn’t afraid, he was angry… he was hurt…

He was looking up because he couldn’t move, coughing and coughing, swallowing and spitting blood, couldn’t breathe… He saw the man approaching and the faceless face facing him from above… Then it disappeared. After disappearing, Dimitri managed to move… It hurt, but he could… somehow that man gave him some strength. He crawled went the hose and intubated himself so he could breathe… The hose wasn’t so long, so there would be no danger of the blood coming out there going back to his lung. He lay there with the hose helping him to breathe…. He was thinking about how many minutes he had to live …

Luckily, the girl who had run away had called the police on the way, so the police quickly arrived. They didn’t have time to call and wait for an ambulance so they took Dimitri directly to the hospital.

They called Nicholas, Dimitri’s father, and told him his situation. Even with problems with leaving home, Nicholas hurried to the hospital, desperate to see his son. In Dimmy’s room, Nicholas saw his son lying on the bed, his throat bandaged. He asked the doctor what had happened and if his son would be all right.

“Well, sir. Your son’s throat was completely broken, except for the spine bones, luckily. Is also a luck that he’s alive, but only survived because no main vein was ruptured. Whoever did this would certainly wanted to see your son suffer.” - The doctor said as he looked at his papers.

“ And… and he’ll be okay?”

“Listen, with the surgery we luckily can reconstruct his throat, it will take time to heal but when it heals, it will be a new good throat… The surgery was very time consuming and complicated to get to that point, then it will cost more. But on the bright side, he will be able to eat and breathe normally when everything is properly healed. Until then, you’ll have to have a breathing tube and a feeding tube. The only problem is that we can’t reconstruct the vocal chords, so your son will not be able to speak anymore.

"Oh.. thank God he’s alive… You said that the surgery will cost more… How much?”

“$ 50,000.”

“What… But that’s a lot!”

“Yes, for perfect surgery.”

“Perfect? My son will not be able to speak ever again!!”

“Sir, we can lower it for only $ 30,000.”

“ …”

That money was much more than they had.. Nicholas managed to negotiate, he would pay $10,000 every month for three months.

After being discharged, Dimitri went home with the hospital’s necessary things so he could breathe and feed until he was fully healed.

His father had to work, so he left his fear of leaving home, after all he had to pay for his son’s surgery.

The weeks passed, his father was already exhausted…. He couldn’t have time for himself, he cried every night… Dimitri couldn’t move much… He could only stay lie in his bed.

Once late at night, he woke up and looked at the corner of his room… That faceless man was there. He had to bow his head a little too much because he was too high for the house. Dimitri wasn’t surprised anymore… Just kept looking… The noise in his head formed low voices, voices that told him horrible things, voices that influenced him… Again the taste of iron… again it wasn’t blood…. and again the cough came back.. He couldn’t cough a lot, he tried to cough as little as possible, it was excruciating…. The slim man disappeared.

Dimitri couldn’t remember exactly what had happened when he woke up, nor did he remember going to sleep… He also couldn’t remember his notebook being in his bed. He could move his arms. He brought the notebook more closer to him and one thing came into his mind…

He started accessing some codes. In a few minutes, he was inside Igor’s computer and his henchmen’s. From the cellphone, too. He activated the cameras so he could observe everything… He would see every step of Igor and his friends from there. He would watch them… When he heard where they were going, he could hack the access of security cameras and watched everywhere the boys went. He watched at their routines… That was the way he had been for all the days he got stuck in that room.

When he could walk, he wouldn’t leave his room, just wander around it, ripping the wallpaper with scissors he had, scribbling papers and sticking to the walls. Everything he did wasn’t fully conscious, he just felt he had to do it, What he should do… he just did it. Every day he made a new symbol… One day, fumbling in his wardrobe, he found a can of red spray. He looked at all the symbols on his walls, wardrobe and curtains… His expression stayed a little desperate, for he didn’t know what else to do… He was going crazy… With the Spray can, he spat several large red X’s over the symbols as if he wanted to cover them.

Monday. January 5, 2015. Dimitri was already healed and had quickly learned sign language. He was ready to go back to school… but he wouldn’t do it. Although there was no more bruising, there was a horrible scar in his throat. He made a point of hiding it with high collars.

Dark circles could be seen from afar, he barely slept. All he had done in his room was to watch and chase. He wanted his revenge. Especially after he discovered that the police did nothing because the police chief really was Igor’s father.

Dimitri didn’t want to go to school anymore. He went every day to the woods, his father didn’t know. In fact, even Dim didn’t know, when he realized it, he was in the woods and so he came home when he realized that it wasn’t where he should be.

He was in his bedroom, thinking, or at least trying, his mind was a sea of confusion and noise, he didn’t know what to do, he didn’t know who he was, after all he would never think of such a cruel revenge if he were “himself”. Dimitri knelt on the floor and took from under the bed a box with two red-capped daggers that belonged to his mother when she was younger, she was a collector. They were beautiful daggers of embellishment, but extremely sharp…

Dimitri was no longer thinking for himself. He stared at those daggers for a long time… Longer than he should have. He didn’t even know why exactly he had catched them, he even didn’t remember them at all.

He was lost.

Voices that seemed to be around him would yell at him, whisper to him, ask him to give up…. and, to someone with such a grudge, giving up everything -even for a revenge- seemed like a good idea. Dimitri didn’t want to live like that, like an idiot nerd who couldn’t even speak… He gave up his own life.

During all this time, his father didn’t enter his son’s room, since he was busy working as a slave. After finally paying all his debt, this Monday morning Nicholas decided to see how he’s son was, after all only saw Dimitri when he left the room really few times. Nicholas went into utter despair as he opened that door… The pixadated walls scrawled with that symbol beneath the large red X’s. Nicholas knew it was too late, but he didn’t want to believe it.

He noticed something… Dimitri wasn’t in his room… And the daggers box was empty, except for a paper with scrawled trees… Nicholas already knew where Dimitri might be.

He drove like crazy into the woods, where he saw a young man with a dark gray hood about to enter the trees. Could be? He shouted for his son.


The boy didn’t turn… But Nicholas was sure it was him…. Nicholas ran to the boy and pulled him back, couldn’t let him enter the woods because he felt that this time Dimitri wouldn’t back home… As soon as he pulled it, the boy turned. It was Dimitri! He wore a black bandana covering part of his face, with a red X where his mouth would be. Before Nicholas could say anything to bring his son back, a sharp pain struck his chest… He looked slowly down… The dagger of his wife, tucked into his chest… He looked at the Dimitri’s eyes… no longer had old brightness. They no longer had the brightness of a normal person… Before falling, Nicholas pulled the bandana so he could see his son’s face once more, he wanted to see if Dimitri had done it by force, wanted to see if he had any kind of resentment. But there was nothing there but a neutral expression, as if he didn’t feel anything, like he didn’t care about anything…

“He… he chased me all my life… he took your mother from me… and now he took you from me… I… I’m sorry…” - Nicholas said as he cried. He wasn’t crying because he was going to die, he wasn’t crying because it hurt… He was crying because what hurt him most was to know that his son who he loved so much had actually gone before him. Because the one in front of him was no longer his son.

After Nicholas died, Dimitri took the dagger from his chest and took his bandana back. For a few seconds he stared at the body of his dead father there. In the middle of that neutral expression, without feeling and lifeless, a tear in left eye slowly descended to fall on his father’s chest… Maybe that tear was the last drop of humanity… or the last drop of Dimitri’s soul… after all, when you kill someone, you are considered a heartless person. But… when you kill someone you love so much, you don’t have a soul anymore…

That night he disappeared in the forest, and since then it hasn’t been heard to speak of him…

Or that’s what everyone thought…

Friday night. November 13, 2015.

Cops gathered around a house. The woman who left there was the headmistress of the main school. She screamed and cried to her husband who was the police chief, and all the police tried to calm her down. Detectives enter a bedroom of the house to examine it. There was a notebook of the corner near the wall with a lot of smoke coming out, the window was open. They looked around, a dead body tied to the bed. It was Igor. His throat was open, not a normal cut, but it was very torn, as if it had been torn by hands and everything in there had been crushed. Also, his mouth had been sewn.

“… How sick, the guy sewed his mouth after killing him, did he was afraid the victim tell someone? Haha. Joking apart. It’s very strange.”

“… No, sir… Apparently the victim not only died from blood loss but from suffocation, as we can see the blood flowing desperately through his nose and eyes. Apparently who did it sewed the mouth first and then destroyed the throat after… ” - Said the detective running his fingers through the badly made seam, parts of the mouth were torn. Probably had to be pierced again, it seems the victim had moved a lot, which leads to think that this was the reason for having been tied.

“Detective …” - The cop at his side called.

“ Hm? ” - The detective stared at him.

The cop pointed at the wall above the bed, where - with blood - it had drawn a huge X… Like the X that had been drawn in the alleys where Igor’s friends were found, dead in the same way.

Smaller Than Himself

Spiritassassin Week 2017, Prompt 1: First Impressions

Baze Malbus is little more than one giant bruise when he is brought to the temple. A giant bruise and a mess of tangled, dirty hair. He has five broken ribs, a black eye, a split lip, and a twisted ankle that he limps on, hissing pain with every step but refusing to lie down, refusing to take it easy. He doesn’t want to be coddled, he insists. He is not an invalid, not a child. He is just hurt. It is evident in the way he says it, quick, slapdash with no modicum of shame at all, that not only has he been hurt before, but that he is used to it, so used to it that he doesn’t understand why the masters make tutting noises, why the healers frown and turn their heads when they find the seemingly never-ending collection of scars across his broad body. He just scowls at them, obviously annoyed by how much they care, unused to the that feeling, and repeats that he is not a child.

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recognize you anywhere

“Whatever other universes there are, whatever versions of me are running around, whatever they’re out there doing, I’m sure they’re going to find you. One way or another.”

She rests her chin on his shoulder, gazing up at him. “How do you know?”

“Because, it’s like I said.” He tilts his head to look at her, biting his lip before breaking into another effortless smile. “I’d recognize you anywhere.”

also known as, the rucas soulmate series, where they find each other in any and every version of reality. ( read on ao3 )

Chapter: prologue & 1

✾ new york, present day ✾

“Do you believe in soulmates?”

The question escapes Riley’s lips before she can really think it over. It hangs in the air, filling the silence of her bedroom.

Lucas makes a face as he contemplates the answer, shrugging. “I don’t know. Why do you ask?”

“You know me,” she says sheepishly, dropping her gaze down to her notebook rather than looking him in the eyes. She doesn’t know why she’s embarrassed, but something about the question seems so silly she wishes she could take it back. His lack of a decisive response doesn’t help matters. “Sometimes I just say things. Ramble, and stuff.”

“Yeah,” he agrees. She glances up long enough to catch his fond smile.

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anonymous asked:

Hey, i saw you give fic recommendations to that one person. I didn't know you did that (Maybe I'm just an idiot??) Do you know any good Non-AU MikaYuu works? As much as I love MikaYuu fanfics, it's like finding a needle in a haystack sometimes tbh (I mean one time I ran into a fanfiction that was Mika x His child self. I was actually concerned for the author's mental state. Mind you it was rated explicit...)

Haha you’re definitely not. Feel free to ask me for fic recs.

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Team Rocket defense #SQUAD

//…Or, Lo thinks too much, drinks too much, and cares about children’s videogame mafias a little too much, so here’s a think piece nobody asked for about why Rocket deserves less schtick than it gets.

I know for fact that other Rocket RPers have experienced the same vaguely annoying thing I have: your character is out there being their intimidating self, only to get flooded with snarky replies from characters blatantly disrespecting your Rocket muse’s threat-level. There’s a reason I feel the need to have a rule about taking Rocket at least semi-seriously. I don’t mind a little IC ribbing, or characters ICly underestimating or doubting the power members of the now washed-up organisation might hold—but sometimes it’s SO prevalent in the community that it feels like people trying to force their own fanon notions about Rocket unto other players…and, by extension, the notion that your muse poses no challenge and is guarenteed not to stand a chance against theirs, regardless of whether they play another Team boss, or generic Pokémon trainer #51,828. cough POWERPLAYING cough…  At very least, it gets boring having your muse run into the exact same smarmy conversations over and over.

Here’s a handy rundown of where I think these conceptions spring from, and how Rocket is (or at least was) no less a force to be reckoned with than any other team.

  1. Jessie & James =/= gameverse Rocket
    If I had to pick the number one cause fans don’t take Rocket as seriously as the other teams, I would place 80% of my blame on THIS terrible twosome. For some of us, the English localisation of the Pokémon anime was our primary introduction to the series at large. Mention “Team Rocket” to anyone who grew up at the height of the 90s-early 2000s Pokémon craze, and they probably know about Jessie, James and Meowth even if they never played the GBC games or watched the anime in much depth.

    We all know Jessie & James are a pair of comic relief fuckups, but they’re so culturally prevalent that I’m certain their ineptitude has coloured people’s opinion of Rocket as a whole…even though even anime Rocket can be a real and genuine threat when the plot calls upon it. Mewtwo Returns? Domino? Come on!!

  2. I mean seriously, gameverse Rocket is actually a prime bunch of assholes
    They murder Pokémon, terrorize entire towns, control entry to entire cities, and kick what might be Kanto’s most affluent corporation out of their head offices just because Giovanni decided he wanted to put his greedy hands all over the Masterball tech Silph was developing. Think about that for the moment: if the city-based headquarters of a real life tech giant were forcibly taken over irl, it would be considered a major terrorist incident. Considering Silph likely has mad security and the headquarters is such a landmark in Saffron, to pull off something like that would require considerable manpower and disregard for whatever opposing forces stand in your way. Same can be said for the Goldenrod Radio Tower takeover.

    Pokémon Origins was also golden for showcasing Rocket’s cruelty and making them feel like a heavyweight threat, even in the face of maintaining the team’s trademark comic relief in the silliness of its grunts.

  3. The child protagonists are actual prodigies
    Yes, Rocket was defeated by a child. On two separate occasions, no less (three if you count Sevii). Egg on their face, amirite? But then, so were Magma and Aqua. And Galactic, Plasma, Neo Plasma, Flare, Skull, and Aether… Sure, on the surface it’s laughable (not to mention downright humiliating) for entire mafias and extremist groups to be toppled by minors, but consider this: Red and Gold/Kris/Ethan/Lyra…none of these kids were your average Youngster toting around a Rattata.

    If any of these teams were so flimsy that any old novice trainer could waltz in and take them down, why were they not vanquished by the police long before they reached the point they could commandeer a radio tower, fuck up the environment, or provoke Poké-satan into saying “enough of this shit” and dragging them to Poké-hell? And if not the police, what about the Elite Four or the rest of the League? Is everyone just lazy? Why does it take a child to topple giants? Because the protags are blank-player-self-inserts fan-fucking-tastic at what they do and have a proficiency as Pokémon trainers that allows them to face literal gods. Youngster Joey, eat your heart out.

  4. Rocket “did it first”
    Yup. No getting around it: Rocket set the bar for every antagonist team that followed it. By now we’re used to the slightly hairbrained schemes (yeah Maxie, you go and detonate that land-locked volcano. What could go wrong?), and the irreverent and klutzy mooks who drop keys, let the player character slip by while they argue over whose shirt is whose, and go down in a couple hits when you fight them. But by now these are all part of the formula. You almost don’t notice it anymore, but since Rocket’s quirks were new, it sticks out in the minds of the fans that this supposedly fearful mafia-like group employed bumbling fools who blurted out about the secret entrance to their base because the MC looked at them funny.
Knock, Knock Ch.24/27: The Aftermath

We’re getting closer to the end, friends! This chapter had more angst than I’ve planned, but I still love it. And I hope you do, too! Question: does everyone know the game Hangman? As I was taking the photo above I realized that might be a regional thing (and also realized how gross the concept is; like seriously why the fuck was I playing this as a child?!). But when I was in the hospital my mom and I played it a lot, hence it making its way into this story. 

If you read, let me know what you think? And thanks to @emmaswanchoosesyou for unintentionally(?) providing a line of dialogue. :)

Read on AO3.

Start from the beginning on Tumblr.

It’s funny how sometimes you just want to reach through your rib cage and rip out your own lungs.

OK, so funny probably wasn’t the word. But Emma was trying to see some form of lightness in her current situation. And, yes, she was failing horribly.

She couldn’t talk, not really. It came out all scratchy and wasn’t really worth the pain, so she’d taken to writing notes. Except her hands had suffered minor burns from coming in contact with hot objects, so that hurt, too.

Just wonderful.

Miraculously she hadn’t broken her legs – Killian did well to remind her exactly how lucky she was to have escaped that particular injury (“why are you calling me the lucky one? I’d say it’s you, considering if my legs were broken you’d have been the person in charge of helping me use the restroom,” she’d scratched out, her voice somehow Julia Child and Morgan Freeman at the same time).

He’d been distant. He was taking care of her, of course – in addition to David, Mary Margaret, and Regina, the three of whom were also tending to poor Belle (alongside a massively apologetic Will).

Belle was doing about the same as Emma, though with fewer bruises, cuts, and sprains (Emma was ever the Princess of Stupid Ideas with Painful Consequences, it seemed).

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Pairing: Newt/Y/n

Request: Could you write a newt x reader where the reader is a Metamorphmagus please, I love your writing xx             

Originally posted by moon-magick-sisters



Normally, for witches and wizards to change form they would have to make a polyjuice potion. The polyjuice potion would take a month to create, and they’d need to gather leeches, knotgrass, Fluxweed, Shredded boomslang skin and a bit of the thing they wanted to turn into.

You were special however, and didn’t need to remember the polyjuice potion from your year 4 potions class.

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Cushing Library Event

I gave a lecture on worldbuilding in SF/F and did a question and answer session on the TAMU campus last night, as part of Cushing Library And Archives Hal Hall Lecture Series. It was a great audience of students and faculty, and I had a lot of fun.

Here’s the talk I gave about worldbuilding:

What is worldbuilding? Briefly, it’s the setting you create for a fictional work, including the type of landscape, the environment, the climate, as well as the people who live there and their cultures. It’s the physical and mental space that your story occupies.

Worldbuilding is all about choices. Even if the setting is a real world place, (like the way The Avengers was set in New York) you will be making choices. Where do the characters live, what things do they need there, what is their income level, what is the weather, what is their community. That’s all worldbuilding.

There are also settings that are fictional but are meant to be understood by the reader as real. One older example is in the book Raintree County by Ross Lockridge, Jr. It’s a fictional setting inserted into a real world place, so seamlessly that readers can’t tell if it’s based on a real town or not. You can find the spot on the map where it’s supposed to be, it’s just not there.

But the kind of worldbuilding that most people think of when they hear the word, is in secondary world fantasy. That’s fantasy that does not take place on earth, but in its own invented world. Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, are secondary world fantasy. It’s sometimes called created world fantasy. Or just fantasy.

Worldbuilding is an element of a fantasy novel, but like all the other elements, plot, story, characterization, it can’t exist in a vacuum. Who your characters are and what their goals and problems and agendas are is going to be wrapped up and inseparable with the world they live in. Worldbuilding can and should help drive your plot and be essential to your story. The best fantasy stories can only take place in the world that was created for them, they can’t be removed from that context without changing things that are essential to the story and the characters.

For example: My current fantasy series is the Books of the Raksura. The main character is an orphaned shapeshifter who can transform into a flying creature who looks like what we would think of as a demon. He has no idea what species he is, but has to hide his ability to shapeshift because the species he most resembles are the predators that everyone is terrified of. He finds his own people by accident, and then has to try to fit in to a complex matriarchal culture that he has a very important biological role in.

The themes of that story are about identity, about finding your place in the world, finding a place where you belong when it’s maybe a little too late for you to adapt your behavior to fit in. There are themes about gender roles, about sexual roles, and there’s a lot of fighting and chasing and adventure. Those individual themes can be removed from that setting and put into a real world context, but the specific way this story uses them really can’t.

Worldbuilding for fantasy can be realistic, which is where you think about things like how your magical floating city in the clouds gets its food, water, and the other necessities of its infrastructure, and how it deals with its sewers and garbage. The solutions to those problems can of course be magical. And you don’t have to tell them all to the reader, unless they’re important to the story. But knowing how the nuts and bolts of your magical city work can inform your worldbuilding with a sense of verisimilitude.

Some people believe that fantasy by definition has to take place in a kind of world that’s basically a caricature of medieval England. It has certain inalienable characteristics. Everyone wears hooded cloaks, because it’s always cold and rainy or snowy. Everyone’s white. Women have limited employment choices. In fact they have two employment choices: princess or whore. Or sometimes nuns, if they’re lucky. The government is a monarchy. Everyone eats stew and there are a lot of taverns to sit around in and meet the rest of your party.

It used to be called “derivative” because the assumption was that the author didn’t do research on the real Europe, the real England of the medieval, or any other, time period. They read other people’s fantasy books and copied them. Derivative fantasy tends to be about as much like the real middle ages in Europe as New Orleans square in Disneyland is like New Orleans. Except everyone knows Disney New Orleans isn’t real, isn’t supposed to be real, and a lot of people think the faux medieval world of these novels is “historically accurate.” (air quotes) That’s an excuse, and it’s the kind of excuse that’s a lie.

That standard faux medieval setting is not real, it is not even close to the historic reality. It’s a choice. It’s a secondary world, a created world, made up of the author’s choices. Making all the characters white, erasing the rest of humanity, and taking any kind of agency away from women characters are choices the author made. It doesn’t have to be that way. But people who don’t read fantasy assume, and will tell you, that those derivative worlds are all fantasy is, and they are wrong.

The not so secret key to fantasy is that your secondary world can be anything you want, and there are an inspiring and astonishing variety of worlds out there.

I’m going to talk briefly about three of them.

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson

The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard

All three are secondary world fantasy novels with magic, all three were published last year, all are critically acclaimed and have been on various genre award lists. All three are examples of stories that would not be the same if they were removed from the context of their created worlds.

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin takes place in a world where catastrophic seismic disturbances are commonplace. These disturbances literally destroy and remake the large portions of the landscape periodically, and it’s a struggle for the various peoples who live on this planet to survive, and retain some grasp of the history of their world. There are people who are born with a kind of magic who can control these seismic disturbances. You’d think that would solve everything, but people being people, that is not what happens. As the book goes on we see more and more evidence that parts of their history have been deliberately concealed to manipulate their society.

The worldbuilding is told in what I would call a very spare style. We don’t learn a lot about what people are wearing or what they eat. There isn’t the abundance of lush material culture detail we see in other fantasy novels. The pace is fast, and we learn what this society is like by the way various characters are treated, what happens to them when they conform, and what happens to them when they resist. We’re getting a glimpse of the history of this world, and it’s that history and the radical changes that the world has undergone that help drive the plot. Through the worldbuilding we begin realize that there is a mystery at the heart of this world and the characters are just beginning to uncover it.

It’s an example of the fact that fantasy secondary worlds don’t have to be static, don’t have to be pre-technological. All worldbuilding should drive the plot and the story, and this is a great example of that idea in action.

Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson is a short novel that was published as a novella, but which packs a huge amount of worldbuilding into a high concept, intense story. It’s set in a place somewhat based on medieval Africa, with huge trading cities like Axum in Ethiopia or Benin City, but it’s entirely original. As the story goes on, we realize the main character’s magic is based on real science, in that he’s magically manipulating his environment based on scientific principles. It’s a short book, but the descriptions, the language, is intense and vivid. The author uses the main character’s memories of his past to fill in detail as the characters travel to their destination. You have this world in your head in full color, and it’s fascinating.

It’s an example of how you can have all the swords and fighting and adventure and magic you want, without having to set it in the same boring rain-soaked taverns of white male faux-England.

The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard is set in an alternate world version of late twentieth century Paris, except the world has been all but destroyed by a magical war. Parts of the city are controlled by Great Houses, using magic to protect their dependents and maneuver for power. The magical war has been just as devastating for the environment as it has been for the people, and we see a world where the Seine is black with debris and dangerous to even approach the bank. Dying angels occasionally fall to earth from heaven, and their bodies are broken up and sold as part of the magical economy.

It’s an example of a fantasy setting that uses a real world place. You can follow the actions of the characters on a map of our Paris, but it’s a Paris with magic and a different history. One of the main characters is Vietnamese, brought to Paris to fight in the war, and through his perspective and memories we get some idea of how different the rest of the world is.

This is an example of how to make a real world setting fantastical, and how adding magic and changing history can transform a real world setting.

So in conclusion, your worldbuilding will say as much about you as a person and as an author as any other part of your story. There’s very little in the fantasy genre that hasn’t already been done, but what makes it unique is you. There are no rules, no guidelines, just choices, made by you.

anonymous asked:

ahhh I just need to comment on that "mannen i mitt liv" comment Isak gave tonight. Initially I was like why you lying bro. But then I thought about it and maybe he realized that Even was trying so hard to be Isak's dream guy and that's harmful because it's not realistic. It certainly wasn't when Isak first said it since he didn't truly know all of Even. Now though, they're being chill and taking it a day at a time. Beautiful.


I’ve seen a lot of people say they were upset and unsure with how the series ended. They’re entitled to feel what they feel, /only you can feel what you feel/, but if it counts for anything, here’s my opinion, if you’d like to hear:

“The man of my life/dreams.” and “Parallel universes.” and “Infinite.” Focus on these 3 things.

Now. Isak was shown before as someone who didn’t ever really live in the “now”. He has these huge and vast concepts of time and the future and the present that even extend beyond /this/ universe that he lives in. And what that then does, is that it erases that feeling of you enjoying life, as it is, now. It erases you from wanting to improve your “now”, because you’re thinking 10 steps ahead and a universe ahead and an infinity ahead. It makes you cope with your present in a way where you say to yourself: “I’ll just push through this “now” phase, because the future seems so much better with all these endless oppurtunities and possibilities anyway. Things’ll be better then, even if they aren’t now.“ With Even, and saying that Even was the man of his life/dreams, again, Isak was thinking very long term. He would. Because him and Even were in their “honeymoon phase” then. Because then, Isak didn’t know Even like he does now. So of course, it makes sense Isak would confess to something like that, and say to Even that “I idealise you as being /the/ man of my life and dreams. I see you in /that light/, where you’re the perfect man for me for my entire life.”

Then, Even’s episode happens. And that changes Isak’s point of view on EVERYTHING he believed in before. Because all of a sudden, when Even started talking about his and Isak’s future, about their wedding, about how their wedding would have them be dressed as God and Ceaser and “no, scratch that, we’ll be naked. From now, we’ll do everything naked.” and we’ll have mini burgers and “I save you and you save me right back.” - look how uncomfortable Isak becomes. All of a sudden, with Even now talking about the future in the way he was, Isak … immediately senses something’s not right. That “even if Even is talking about the future, something that I’m comfortable with, Even doesn’t seem okay right /now/.”

And that is the turning point. That’s where, at once, when Isak’s pressing the button to every lift available to take him down, and running across the reception of the hotel and out into the streets of the city with Even’s clothes in his hands, that’s the moment where the future counts for NOTHING if he doesn’t have Even /now/, and understand Even /now/.

Again, on O Helga Natt, when Isak runs over 3 miles from the Church to School to see Even and see that he isn’t sat on the bench - the future counts for nothing because Even says in his text: “we’re together in a different place/time in the same universe, remember that”, because that’s when Isak realises that THAT is what Even wanted all along, why Even hates the idea of infinity and thinking so broadly in such huge concepts of time and place. That … Even wants THEM in THIS universe. In the NOW. But Even thought they couldn’t be, because of his bipolar disorder.

And Isak realises that /this is what life with Even means/. And he wants that too. /Because he loves Even, he wants that too./ And in the week that follows when Isak takes care of Even, everything just SLOWS down. Time SLOWS down. Because now, Isak thanks every minute that he has Even, now. Because he realises that the future and thinking about it and idealising Even as his man for life is futile, when it not only places a kind of heavy weight on Even’s chest, but it also takes away from Isak enjoying the “now.” So he slows down his way of thinking. Day by day. Hour by hour. Minute by minute.

And it’s OKAY to still think about the future, of course it is. Skam isn’t, and Isak’s not saying, that you shouldn’t. You should have goals. And dreams. And hopes. And aspirations. But don’t let that take away from you’re present moment. From your “now”. That if you are struggling right now, no matter in what terms, don’t run away and hide from that struggle. Don’t ignore that struggle. Don’t let it fester and grow. Face it. Face it head on. Take it slow. Reduce your pace down. And tackle your “now”. So that you can better your “now”, and enjoy it. And learn from it and grow from it.

And if your “now” is good, then enjoy it fully. Stop thinking about the future or how this moment compares with another sad or good one. Just, LIVE in it. Live in that moment and make THE MOST out of that moment.

And that’s what Isak was saying. And Isak, after these 10 episodes and everything he’s learnt from it, was saying that … things DO get bad with Even. That things aren’t always happy and good and positive. That sometimes they have days when it gets tough and the day feels 10 times longer and the mood is so tense and somber for everyone. But it happens. And it’s a reality. It was Isak and Even’s reality last week. And it’s nothing to be ashamed or desolate or hopeless about.

Because yesterday, their reality was that they were happy! And kissing in the kitchen and having fun and laughing with their friends and loved ones and making plans to see Even’s Mum.

And Even is just Even. And Even means everything to Isak. And yes, Isak finds him handsome and so fucking hot. And yes, he doesn’t know if Even is the man of his life - because that would put Isak into making him think like before again - in huge concepts and time that goes beyond the scope of this universe, simply because that is how HUGE life is. And Isak doesn’t want to do that. Doesn’t want to get himself, and him and Even, lost in that. That everything he has with Even NOW is all that he needs and wants. And that includes the bad days and good days, and making the most out of their NOW.

And I think that’s a beautiful, realistic and extremely healthy way to look at life. Not just for me, as a mentally ill person, saying that and applying it for myself, but for everyone. That focus on your NOW, and give your NOW everything that you have. Isak’s not saying he doesn’t love Even - boy, have you seen him with Even? Of course he loves Even. - but what Isak’s saying is that, based on what he’s learnt over the past 10 episodes , and with the fact that he is with Even right now, this is what he’s learnt:

That life is, now.

Will Kylo Ren save Rey from a Knight of Ren?

This scene extracted from Rey’s force vision is probably one of the most mysterious and difficult to understand. And whether or not Kylo did/will save Rey from one of his Knights of Ren is probably one of the main questions that arises from the Force Awakens.
We will then try to answer it in the following analysis. Note that what will follow is still a mere speculation that resulted based on the few elements we saw in/know about The Force Awakens and its new characters.

First of all, why do I say that Kylo Ren will save Rey? 

1/ Time in the Force Vision

The Force Vision is a scene in which Rey travels in time. She is :
- witnessing past events linked to Luke (fight in Cloud City, burning of the Temple) and her past (seeing herself as a child)
living events that will happen to her (meeting with Kylo Ren in the Forest).

I give a lot of importance to the terms witnessing and living because I think those are important elements to understand Time in the force vision.

Indeed, on one hand note how Rey is an invisible witness of all the past events even the one related to her. She sees herself as a child with Unkar Plutt and she sees Luke and Vader fighting but none of them see her.

On the other hand, see how active she is in the events that haven’t occurred yet at the time of the vision. Rey is living the future events. She is not seeing them as a witness. She is not invisible. She is a character in interaction with others especially Kylo Ren.
Indeed when she meets Kylo Ren in the snowy forest in the Force vision she lives the event and he sees her. Moreover, we have the confirmation later in the film that in fact this moment in her vision belonged to her future since this scene appears to be a mix of both Kylo Ren and Rey’s meeting on Takodana ( the way kylo suddenly appear with his mask on and his lightsaber already ignited) and their fight on Starkiller base (background and lightsaber) as you can see below.

Rey being also a visible person and in interaction with both her attacker and Kylo Ren in the rainy scene can then let us believe that this scene hasn’t happened yet but somehow will in one of the future films. Whether it will be in Episode VIII or IX is still a mystery.

2/ Kylo Ren saves Rey

As some people already pointed out in the scene we are actually analyzing in this theory, Kylo Ren grabs the staff Rey’s attacker is holding while the man is trying to smash her with it as she lies defenseless on the ground.

Indeed, on the gif in slow motion below, you can notice Kylo Ren first grabbing the staff with one hand, hold it and stabbing the man with his lightsaber with the other. If you pay enough attention you can slightly see his gloved hand on the staff as he impales the man. 

Now moving on to the identity of the attacker and why can we suppose he is indeed a Knight of Ren

I’ve personally learned to not believe in everything Pablo Hidalgo says on his twitter account. Even if some persons see the guy as the “Cerberus of the Canon World” I honestly think that he is sometimes playing with the fans and often has the tendency to make his own interpretation the right one. 
So when he called Rey’s attacker “a clan’s leader” or something like that I tended  not to believe that mainly because there is no “clan’s leader” or anyone with a similar name in the script …

… or in the end credits of the film and on the imdb website but here is what we have in both.

(I’ll talk about “Young Rey” later)

No leader or whatsoever but a warrior mentioned in the script and a certain Mark Stanley playing a Knight of Ren. 

First of all, focusing on the script, the term “Warrior” is given. Writing the word “warrior” was certainly a choice made by the production in order to hide some key elements that will be revealed in later movies. “Warrior” is quite a general term that can refer to any type of fighter but that could also refer to a Knight of Ren since they are known for their fighting skills and for taking part in battles. Kylo Ren’s mask is described as “marked by battle” in the script which allows us to guess that Knights of Ren have experienced war. 

But before directly jumping to the conclusion that the attacker was indeed a Knight of Ren I studied the film once more looking for the Knight of Ren mentioned in the credits somewhere in the film. I even put Maz Kanata’s bar scene in slow motion just in case he was here but no. No Knight of Ren hidden in The Force Awakens. The Knights of Ren are all in the Force Vision scene. 
But then if they are all in the same scene why giving credit to only one if there are SIX of them around Kylo Ren.

This doesn’t make any sense right? They all have  the same screen time so they should be all credited. 
But hey ! Another weird thing … How many Knights of Ren are depicted in the Visual Book ? SEVEN!

But there are only SIX around Kylo Ren! So where is the Seventh one?
Is the Seventh Knight of Ren Rey’s attacker?
I say YES!

Another thing… Have a look at the actor playing the Knight of Ren - Mark Stanley - mentioned in the credits and Rey’s attacker.

There is a incredible resemblance : beard, nose, face shape. Those two persons are very similar and could likely be the same person. So is Mark Stanley (credited as “Knight of Ren”) Rey’s attacker? Well, certainly.
Moreover, if you pay attention to the way the character is dressed and the type of staff he holds it strangely looks like the Knight of Ren we see on in the middle of the first concept art picture. Why he wears no mask in the force vision is still unknown. But I truly think we could see some of the knights unmask themselves as it happened with Kylo. 

Moreover, in the credits, Mark Stanley’s name follows the name of the young actress playing Young Rey, Cailey Fleming, a character that appears in the force vision as well and that shares more or less the same amount of screen time. I don’t believe this to be a coincidence.

So, I don’t know about you, but in my mind Rey’s attacker is indeed a Knight of Ren , the Seventh of the team which is not present around Kylo Ren and the one credited at the end of the film.
This attack has not happened … not yet… but it appears that Kylo will indeed save Rey from one of his men. 
I guess that we will have to wait to see if this theory was right. Let me know what you think about it. :-) 

As Long As It’s You *Wanda Maximoff x Reader*

(Requested by herokenz) I was wondering if you would be willing to do a Wanda request where the reader wants to propose to Wanda and is trying to hide it from her. I was really hoping it would include Sokovian proposal customs, like maybe the Reader meets with survivors of Sokovia to learn about their marriage/proposal customs. I’d like to see a happy ending please. :)
Warnings: Ultimate fluff overload, probably swearing 
Admins Note: I did a lot of research into this one, considering I wanted to get proposal/ marriage customs right. I went down the route of Russian Marriage customs, since people use Russian language for their language, my cousin married a Russian women so… I kinda know the customs he had to go through. Also I apologise I don’t know Russian words or sentences so if Wanda and Pietro are just talking in English then I apologise. I also changed the whole asking Sokovia survivors to Pietro… I hope this is okay?

When becoming an Avenger you ultimately threw away the concept of ever having a “normal” life. You didn’t want to bring an innocent person into the drama, or ever be heart-broken over your death or you over their’s, so you just threw away the thought and it was difficult to do so. You wanted to get married, to feel love and love back, and watching the other Avengers with their partners made it difficult for you. That all changed when you met her! 

Even when you first saw her you thought she was beautiful, despite the fact she was trying to kill you back then but that just made the affection you felt stronger, she could kick some serious butt and look good at the same time. So when she joined the Avengers you did everything in your own power to make yourself noticed, to be her best friend and possibly…girlfriend. 

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

!!!! Can you talk about Fire by Kristen Cashore? You've called it perfection before and i really want to know all the things you loved about it~

oh my god i sat up straight when i read this i’m so happy. anyway this is a lot of incoherent gushing but you asked for it

  • fire herself: so fire’s the main character of the book, and probably my favourite female character in the world. fire’s a human-monster, she’s incredibly beautiful, and her beauty is this huge burden to her. and she spends most her time trying to make herself less and has a really hard time coming to terms with her power and the good she can do with it. also, fire has been dealt a difficult hand of cards in her life and yet, she’s so kind and good and she wants to be better than she is, always. she’s just so loving and caring and when the people around her hurt, she hurts. she just has so much love to give and in a world that hates her or wants to use her, she could have turned out so differently and yet she still prioritises love. 
  • the other characters: i love pretty much every single character in this story! there’s such a great cast of secondary characters, all fleshed out w/ their own motives and beliefs and ideals. i love the character development, like nash’s character arc is so good, oh my god. he stays away from fire until he learns how to control himself because he wants to be better than this, because his brother asks him too, because he himself eventually comes to love fire in a healthy way. it just makes my heart swell. fire and brigan are also one of the few straight couples i ship to the death, they just compliment each other so well. clara! garan! hanna! mila! everyone is wonderful!
  • the worldbuilding: i really really love the dells, i love the geography described within it, and how the colourful the land was. i love king’s city, and how it’s situated on the waterfall’s edge. i love the concept of monsters, esp the human monsters, whenever cansrel was described i was always !!! also, don’t forget that the dells is primarily made up of people of colour, and that the most beautiful person in existence is a dark skinned women of colour.
  • the writing and the pace: my friend sophie @beyoncepatronus pointed out to me after she read it that the pace was really slow and odd, there wasn’t enough drive to the story and it felt like a series of events or a biography rather than a story. after she said this, i realised that this was something i really loved about it. i get quite daunted by fantasy novels and this one felt like it took its time. and no, the plot wasn’t flawless, but it didn’t have to be. also, the writing itself i find so wonderful, there are some beautiful turns of phrase, most of which come from how fire sees the world in relation to how fire sees herself.
  • to follow up on that, there is a quote from fire which had a lot of impact on me from the moment i read it. and i think about it when i think about how hard it is to be alive, and how much i love my friends, and how they make that easier sometimes. and it’s “She had thought she’d already reached her capacity for pain and had no room inside her for more. But she remembered having told Archer once that you could not measure love on a scale of degrees, and now she understood it was the same with pain. Pain might escalate upward and, just when you thought you’d reached your limit, begin to spread sideways, and spill out, and touch other people, and mix with their pain. And grow larger, but somehow less oppressive. She had thought herself trapped in a place outside the ordinary feeling lives of people; she had not noticed how many other people were trapped in that place with her.”
Her Vida

Welcome dreamers, architects, and builders. We’re all here today to support Mi Vida and to empower ourselves in the process.

My name is Alice Bag. Some of you may know me, but for those of you who don’t, I was born and raised in East L.A., I’m an old punk rocker and I recently became an author.

Before we start talking about our present and future, I want to talk a little about the past.

I talk a lot about punk rock because I grew up with it and it shaped me. Let me tell you something you may not know about punk in this city. 

Top: Dianne Chai, the Alleycats. bottom: Karla Maddog and the Controllers.

The early L.A. Punk scene was co-created by women, they were joined by gays, lesbians, bisexuals and people of color, people from all walks of life. People who in mainstream society might have identified as Other. It was a diverse scene and there were as many women driving it as men. 

Top: Kira Roessler, Black Flag, bottom: Bags by Louis Jacinto

We were fearless, unafraid to fail, unafraid to takes risks because we knew we had a community that would catch us if we slipped. Because of that, I never worried whether there would be people at our shows, I knew they would be there. I never worried whether they would come back if I had a bad performance, they always did. I knew they would be there for me because we had a strong sense of community. We wanted the same things. We were dreaming the same dream.

Artist unknown

We are dreamers here today. You dream of a city where the long time residents are not displaced so that someone can make a killing and raise the rents. You dream of a community where the art and culture of Chicanas is represented. You dream of Chicana owned businesses like this one, that thrive and expand and so do I, but that dream is just a beginning.

Top: Highland Park, photographer unknown, bottom: Mayra Ramirez by Art Meza

Does anyone here know what architects do?

They usually plan buildings and they design them with a purpose in mind. Sometimes they supervise the builders, making adjustments and refining the plans as needed. We are architects: planning, designing and refining who we are.

Many years ago when I was at Garfield High School, I remember walking up to a group of  MeCHa students who let me know with their whispers and smirks that I was too much of a weirdo to be seriously interested in the struggle. 

Me in 1974

They had a very narrow definition of what a Chicana could be or what she could look like. It took me years of punk rock to figure out that I could not only claim the term Chicana, I could design it and refine it. I would no longer allow anyone the power to exclude me from anything that was important to me. I believe that each woman must have the freedom to define the modern Chicana experience in her own uniquely personal terms. In fact, in doing so we expand the concept, strengthen our connection to it and extend its reach.

Top: Crystal Galindo, bottom: Butchlalis de Panochtitlan

We are architects, planning, designing and refining who are. When I think of refining something, I think of sandpaper that allows you to make small adjustments but I also think of larger changes that allow you to tweak your design to compensate for unexpected detours, whether they be advances or setbacks or just newly discovered information. We’re modern Chicanas in this room. And unlike the people I met at Garfield, we’re not here to burn bridges but to build them. We’re here to plan and build relationships. We’re here to plan and build communities and not just any community, I’m talking about this one right here, Highland Park. We want to make sure that women of color are front and center, key players, decision makers in this community. If we want to remain a vital part of this rapidly-changing community, it’s going to happen by design.

I want you to close your eyes and imagine the Highland Park you want to see. Please do this with me. Close your eyes and picture what the buildings look like. What do the people look like? What do they sound like? Is there a dominant culture or are multiple cultures represented? Is it safe to walk or ride your bike? Open your eyes. Can somebody call out something you saw while your eyes were closed.

Thanks for sharing with us. Now we have to design our future with that outcome in mind. The plan comes from the dream. You may think that it’s one thing to dream and plan but maybe you can’t actually see yourself building the community you imagined. The task may seem too big but It’s easier than you think.

Let me tell you one last story:

A few years ago I wrote a book. It was my first book and I was new to the whole book tour circuit. I have a small publisher who set up my book release party at The Soap Plant, and after that it was pretty much up to me. My punk rock allies came forward and helped me set up more readings. I had expected that support because as I said, punk is more than music, we have a strong sense of connection. But then something else happened that I didn’t expect, A woman contacted me from IMIX and invited me to come out and do a reading. I had never met her or any of the women at Mi Vida or IMIX but they were here for me. They invited me, they invited all their friends and family, they even invited the Ovarian Psycos…which is my favorite kind of psycho!

Ovarian Psycos

These women behaved like builders. They are builders. These Chicana businesswomen reached out to me and constructed an alliance. They shared my dream and they chose to support my efforts and in doing so, they formed a bond with me and with the other people who might have read my book and shared my values.  I, in turn connected with people who knew them, who knew their store and shared their values. We extended and solidified our network of allies, we strengthened our community, we started building relationships. We started building a future.

I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that I was invited to read here because the owners wanted to support Chicana artists. Their actions were aligned with their dreams and plans. That’s integrity.

We design our lives everyday. Whether we know it or not. We make choices and we act and a lot of the time we do it without a blueprint. Your market list, to-do list, and calendar are not the kind of blueprint I’m talking about. That’s more of a road map. Remember when you were little and people asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Well, this is that sort of question but instead I’ll ask WHO do you want to be? What are the attributes that you value? Do you have them? If not, how do you develop them? Knowing what you want and taking the steps to get there is a type of blueprint. Following that blueprint is what’s known as having integrity. It’s when your actions match your goals, plans, and ethical standards. It’s behavior that makes you smile at yourself in the mirror. If you’re not smiling at yourself in the mirror you probably need to check that the life you’re building is aligned to the life you dreamed for yourself. And if you’re not dreaming, you need to start dreaming.

I want to ask you to support Mi Vida, not with a charitable donation but with an investment in our mutual dream. The commitment you make to act in accordance with your goals and dreams is a commitment to yourselves and to the future.

We each shape who we become, through negligence or by design and we shape our world in the same way. It’s up to us to dream bigger dreams, build stronger bonds and act with integrity.

We are dreamers, architects and builders and we can change the world.

tehsharkster  asked:

Just wondering, how does profanity usually carry over in the localizations you've seen? I know that Persona 3 and 4 have some pretty harsh language in English, and Catherine goes straight for the f bomb. What are your thoughts/insight on that, and how do you think it'll go for P5's localization, since people have noticed the Catherine similarities, edgier tones, and larger amount of blood and violence so far?

This is an interesting question, and one that was one of the first I found myself confronted with when I actually started studying Japanese. You see, the thing is, the Japanese language has a completely different concept of what a “swear” is than English or German do.

Of course, there’s some words you wouldn’t wanna use in public - sexual organ colloquialisms like “chinpoko” and “omanko” come to mind - but “cursing” in general is a lot more of a matter of context in Japanese than it is in the other two language that I speak, and usually it’s not the language used that makes something offensive - it’s how it is used.

For example, a decade or two ago or so, the Pokemon Fandom was complaining in great rages about the Anime being “censored”, but not because of the usual 4Kids stuff, but because a Fansub where Ash kept yelling “Damn!” and “Shit!” whenever something bad happened came out. The truth behind the matter is that this particular translation choice of 4Kids didn’t actually involve any censorship whatsoever: While the Japanese exclamation “Kuso!” is a quite literal equivalent of our swear “Shit!”, it’s not a word the Japanese feel the need to protect their children from - it’s not considered offensive to use it on a children’s show, as long as the character isn’t directly addressing someone with it; that’s when it becomes offensive. When a character calls another “Kusogaki” (shitty brat), for example, then it’s far more cutting to the Japanese ear than them just exclaiming “Kuso!” into the air with no direct goal it is addressed to. That’s why Ash using “Kuso!” in Pokemon is not exactly offensive, but Adachi calling the IT and the world “Kuso” over and over sounds extremely harsh. 

This doesn’t only apply to this one word. There’s a lot of other expressions in Japanese that would be considered offensive in one context, but perfectly harmless in another. Another thing is that in Japanese, more often than not, it’s grammar and sentence structure that make dialogue sound harsh and rude, much more than the actual contents of said dialogue. The dialogue of Kanji from Persona 4 contains actually almost no outright “swearwords” in the Japanese version; what makes him sound so aggressive and rude is the way he uses his grammar and constructs his sentences, how harshly he tends to roll his “R”s, how he shortens down words like he didn’t care for them to sound correct, how he slurs words and even whole sentences almost constantly. There’s no outright offensive vocabulary needed to make him sound rude; it’s all in the way he uses his words. 

Something else that can make dialogue sound offensive are word choices: Using any male pronouns harsher than “Ore” (sometimes even “Ore” will do the trick); having characters refer to others as “Anta”, “Omae” or even “Kisama” for “You”, using just a little less respectful terms to refer to your family members than what is common… None of these things is considered “Too offensive” to be shown on children’s TV in Japan, yet they’re impactful enough to make a character seem positively rude if used right and it high enough measures. That’s what this dialogue is: Not censorship worthy, but harsh enough to make the audience flinch a little when the characters talk. Something that can’t always be accomplished in that way in our more clear-cut western languages.

And then come us translators and try to somehow put this stuff into German or English. Hoo Boy.

At this point, we usually have two options: Make the dialogue sound less rude than it actually sounds in Japanese, resulting in a loss of emotion, or make it sound just as rude, making it so offensive in the process that it requires a T or M rating to pass by anything. 

Ace Attorney usually goes for the first option. It’s characters, no matter how rude they are in the Japanese version, are usually translated in a way that doesn’t exactly raise the game’s rating in any way, at the cost of sounding a bit… unrealistic or even “Narm”-y at times. (”You scoundrel!”)

(Btw; This method is also what gave birth to the famous “You spoony bard!” line, in an attempt to retain the rudeness of the term “Kisama” along with the game’s low age rating.)

Persona, on the other hand, usually goes for the later option, seeing how the game, given its contents, doesn’t have any hopes to get anything other than a T or M rating to begin with anyway! So the translators go nuts; any instant of Kanji being rude gets peppered up with a lot of “Damns” and “Assholes”, every occasion that Yosuke is frustrated has his feelings conveyed through a realistic use of “Hell”s, “Crap”s and “Damn”s. None of these terms they use so frequently have any direct equivalents in their Japanese dialogue; Kanji merely has the pronunciation and grammar of a Yakuza-goon, while Yosuke speaks with a very heavy “Young, Male, Tokyo City”-dialect. The swears are merely used to convey the emotions their dialogue expressed in the original, which, without them, just isn’t really possible in the English language.

That’s why it’s sometimes so hard to judge if a Japanese medium has had its script “censored” or not in translation; It’s just not as simple as that. Several valid translation choices exist, and which you pick is simply determined by the priorities of the project you’re working on. That’s the truth of the matter. 

Therefore, what P5′s english script will be like, too, is going to depend all on what Atlus of America make their priorities during translation. If they deem the non-dialogue contents of the game so heavy that they can’t escape the M-rating anyway… Well, chances are we’re gonna get a nice dosis of F-bombs whenever they feel it fits the emotions of a scene. 

Feel Good Friday: The Trilogy

@questingqueer’s Submission:

That (positive) ADHD feel when you always have a lot of ideas and stories and what-if scenarios in your head

Anonymous Submission:

Something positive I learned is that ADHD in the past helped our prehistoric ancestors get more food and do tasks more efficiently because of their abilities to hyperfocus! Its the same with me and studying for an exam in a subject I love!!

@witchyroses’s Submission:

Well my adhd always gives me just a little bit of different insight. I make connections in a weird way but sometimes this comes in handy in a situation where straight forward doesn’t cut it

@weeddrug’s Submission:

What I think I love about my ADHD the most is how much more intense and exciting it makes doing something that I love. Whether it be a book, video games, or even just a subject you love to study (in my case, physics), there is nothing like that feeling you get from allowing hyperfocus to immerse you in what you’re doing, while leaving everything else behind.

Anonymous Submission:

Thanks to hyperfocus, I can do intricate and beautiful art projects that I otherwise wouldn’t have the patience for

@bipolarlatinx’s Submission:

Since I’m president of a club at my college and have to do a lot of formal planning and networking, I’ve found that a lot of my success in projects and events is BECAUSE of my ADHD!

I wouldn’t have a lot of the ideas if it weren’t for my daydreaming and wild imagination, nor would I have the drive or energy to plan and finetune details.

A lot of things I get complimented on from professors / admins at my college are essentially “symptoms” of my ADHD. The high energy, creativity, determination, etc.

I refuse to let anyone (including myself) convince me that ADHD is a disorder that is a burden. It is my brain and I love it, even the tough symptoms!!

@thedisneydamsel98’s Submission:

when you’re with the right kind of people, the conversations never get boring!

Anonymous Submission:

my friends are always impressed with the sheer amount of ideas I have about any given topic.

@poivrant’s Submission:

If it wasn’t for ADHD, I would not have my intense ability to compute math and would not have found a passion in mathematics.

Anonymous Submission:

ADHD is what makes me an animated and engaging person! I’m high energy and generally a battery to lift the spirits of those close to me. my rapid fire way of thinking has allowed me to become extremely creative, I’m always able to supply new and creative au’s, or ad lib something great in an instant. ADHD certainly has it’s downsides but it’s made me who I am and I appreciate it’s positives

@notmyrealblogdonotfollow’s Submission:

I just aced my computer science course, and it’s all because of hyperfocus! I really enjoyed working on programming projects, they were just the right kind of puzzle that meshed well with my ADHD brain: logic-based, easily broken down into small sequential steps, with tangible results for each step. I could sit down and work on a project for hours, often finishing it in one sitting, and as long as I didn’t forget to eat, I’d finish in a better mood than I started! It’s been really exciting for me because even though I’ve always done well in school, it’s always felt like it was in spite of my ADHD, not because of it. But this is a subject I excel in BECAUSE it facilitates really productive hyperfocus.

@pickanotherflower’s Submission:

creativity and amazing imagination are some of the good things about ad(H)d

@nonbinarynegasonicteenagewarhead’s Submission:

I’m a cosplayer with ADHD but I tend to hyperfocus on cosplay, especially recently, so I’ve gotten to see some of my best work to date coming together very quickly recently!

@transboykobrakid​’s Submission:

people compliment me a lot for my creativity and stuff but im just this creative because my mind goes so fast sometimes i just can think of a lot of different and cool things that i might not have thought of if my mind wasnt like this! 

Anonymous Submission:

having adhd i nice when you want to help someone doing their homeworks or studying with your coping methods bc it works really well with people w/out adhd and seeing them succeed feels really good

@atotalnerdgirl’s Submission:

i notice Soooooo much more then people who dont have ADHD people. it makes me seem twitchy and jumpy some times, but i spot pretty things that are my secret things, because nobody else will notice them. like the way greenish grassy stone looks barely popping from the ground in the spring, or the tiniest plant growing in an alley. the smallest flicker of movement and i see its a golden retriever puppy 50 feet away. and other people dont see those things.

Anonymous Submission:

Whenever im in a crowded place and there’s music on speakers I can still tell right away when they play a song I like, even if it’s loud :3    

Anonymous Submission:

My ADHD allows me to understand what people are trying to say when they can’t express it with words, because I often have difficulty expressing myself, so I can follow their thought patterns pretty accurately. Concepts come naturally to me, because I see everything at 100 different angles at once. I have moments when suddenly everything seems brighter and louder and I feel everything at once like the world is in HD, which, when it happens at the right moment, is pretty neat.

@dancingassassin’s Submission:

how quickly my brain moves gives me endless ideas for writing. ADHD is actively helping my writing in that sense.

Anonymous Submission:

I love when I can hyperfocus on shows and spend the whole day watching TV

Anonymous Submission:

if I didn’t have ADHD, I wouldn’t be as creative and I probably wouldn’t be as into my hyper fixation, which means I’d have a lot less friends and a way more boring life

Anonymous Submission:

honestly i think I’ve benefited a lot from my impulsivity. at 17 i decided ‘fuck it’ and moved to an entirely different city within a week of deciding. ended up in a college program that changed my life, and now i’m moving towards a career i love–a career i never would have considered before i came here. there’s been a lot of hard times w/o money or food, but in the end im so glad that irresponsibility has pushed me to go places my friends wouldn’t have dared to!!!

Anonymous Submission:

I’m actually working with somebody to help me in a professional job search, and I’ve found that a lot of my marketable skills have developed at least partly because of my ADHD - from being able to switch tasks and consider multiple perspectives at once, to habitually creating spreadsheets and being able to write out clear instructions. It’s tough to live with, but I’m glad it’s helped me develop skills that might help me land a decent job!

Anonymous Submission:

I’m more creative 

@flamefriendsshipped’s Submission:

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned an internship that I found out about because of my ADHD. I got the internship.

We’ll do it again next Friday. Please feel free to reblog and discuss how you experience the things people are talking about in this post. Do you also find them helpful or at least “not horrible”? If you think of something between now and Friday, please send it in and mark it for FGF!