still not happy with the lighting in some

Happiness Is . . .

1. Creating art with your husband

2. Being blessed by a photography ghost

Lemme explain …

As you all know I’ve been home sick on medical leave from work. There are days I can barely leave my bed so most activities that aren’t extremely sedentary are pretty much off the table for me until I get better. Now, I’m able to use a computer for a good long while each day, so I’ve been creating stuff and doing stuff online. And part of that (since I do photography myself and I’m a fan girl of Cole Sprouse) has been to look at Cole’s photography and the work of others I’ve gotten to know through ogling his pictures online. Like Damon Baker who is AMAZEBALLS. OMG. I’m turning into a huge fan girl of his as well … but mainly by just lurking for now.

But then what does all that do to me? Most days I’m stuck in the house with my camera bag and my tripod mocking me - visible from the the end of my bed - and a house full of OBJECTS (we just moved and are still unpacking) surrounding me, mocking me, new ones being uncovered as my mom comes by to help with stuff and unpack. I want to create shit - photograph all the stuff that my mind is coming up with - because still life is my passion and there’s SOOO much opportunity, so many muses just sitting here waiting to be shot, lying in wait around my house.

I’ve been lamenting this for at least a week now because I know I am not able to set up a shoot myself - I don’t have the strength. And I was even more saddened yesterday when it looked like we lost my old slides (we haven’t, we couldn’t have!), yet found my husband’s (old publicity shots from his movie), which frankly he’s really not going to do much with. Oh, the irony. Recently, I also have been missing the ‘peanut butter ghost’ from our old place (it’s the only thing I miss from there). ‘Random acts of peanut butter’ used to just suddenly appear in our home. LOL. Peanut butter based candy we’d never even heard of, two Costco size jars of peanut butter that would take us years to eat, etc.

What happened tonight then?

Well, my husband loves me, let me tell you. He wanted to help me set up for shooting some still life tonight because he knows how sad I’ve been and as he did we discovered two things:

1) A really nice kickass Manfrotto tripod

2) A 256G SD card 

HOLY SHIT!

Okay, so we’re thinking … maybe this tripod just “appeared” cause we’re moving and we’ve had it all along … we did get gifted a lot of nice equipment from a TV station Henry used to work at (like a DOLLY - that’s a pretty fucking nice gift let me tell you - we just haven’t had any projects to use it on yet). But I remember going through it all, cause there were many tripods. I only kept the best one for video work. Had I seen the one that appeared tonight I would have kept it too. So it couldn’t be that. And the SD card was sitting right on top of my camera inside my camera bag. Uh, dude. I don’t keep those there. 

Only explanation? A photography ghost! LOL Much better than a peanut butter ghost! I’m hoping to get gifted this macro lens I’ve had my eye on next. *wink*

Anyway, so Henry starts helping me set up … following my directions, but not for long - he’s a creative guy too and with his film background has a great eye, understands lighting, etc. Soon it’s a collaboration. But at one point he completely took over - to take his ‘dream shot.’ LOL He’d been thinking of taking that picture for 6 months + but didn’t think he’d get to use my camera (or any decent lighting for it).

We had a good time, and I amazed the old geezer (he’s twelve years older than me) with some technology. We were setting up for a new shot and I asked him “You wanna light this with some color?”

He said, “Sure, but we don’t have any gels handy.”

I picked up my Smartphone and changed the color of two of the three lights we were using (they are Philips Hue lights - I am completely obsessed with them).

I TOTALLY blew him away … And then we waxed poetic on the hazards of using gels while filming. Ah, nostalgia … Sounds like he burned up a lot of them back in the day. LOL (I would just take forever deciding on a color)

It’s cool too, that even though he’s ‘just’ a film guy, he knows his way around a camera, etc. enough that we speak the same language - rim light, key light, etc. He knows what I mean by f stops and depth of field, even if I’m usually the one adjusting those settings on the camera - I have a more intimate knowledge of how to make certain shots work with my own equipment. And he knows how to frame shit (really well) and how to work with light creatively. So different than my ex-husband who would sometimes help me set up shots when I would get sick, too. It would take a while because of communication issues - and there was no creative collaboration. Not the same experience at all.

Anyway … is that post long enough for you yet? (this is why I’m posting it in the middle of the night, so hopefully it will annoy less people - not everyone cares about my creative process or endeavors, I know) But anyway … take a look at what Henry & I shot tonight!


So I had an idea of my own brewing, started to set the scene, but then Henry wanted to have the tiny Maleficent photobomb. LOL. I couldn’t deny him. It was so cute.

Here’s where I turned on the Hue Lights (for the first time) and shocked and amazed my man:

Here’s Henry’s MASTERPIECE from tonight:

The pinkish cast is from a red table cloth underneath that we were reflecting light off of. Here’s Henry taking test shots in preparation to shoot these (he’s so cute):

I can’t believe my hands were even steady enough to take this picture tonight with my phone (but I had a good day). I usually have to use a tripod and my real camera these days if I want to capture anything decent.

And here’s one we collaborated on pretty much 50/50. Good for the marriage, no?

We like to call these the wee, not so wee, and freakin’ HUGE Malificents. :-)


I’m so lucky. I love this man!

Unproblematic Kpop Things

Note: This isn’t giving them a pat on the back, but basically just acknowledging the good things some idols have said/done. Because, in kpop there are a lot of problematic idols and their apologist that come along with them. Things often get swept under the rug and downgraded. There’s just so much negativity in these fandoms, so here’s some positive!)

NCT-

Ten

Said this a couple of years ago on his twitter when he was still active.

Doyoung, Mark, Taeyong, and Yuta talking about their youngest member:

Look how happy he is! Also, the fact that they acknowledged his darker skin tone in a positive light is just amazing.

Seventeen-

Mingyu is considered to be the “darkest” member in Seventeen and sometimes he gets self-conscious about it because, pale skin is “ideal” in S.Korea. Honestly god bless The8 for this, he’s such a good friend.

This isn’t the first/only time they’ve complimented his skin tone

And this, it’s so kind:

Some “fans” were calling Seungkwan “fat” during this time. Luckily, his members have his back.

Teaching their youngest (Dino) not to feed into stereotypes.

Also, this:

AND I DON’T WANNA HEAR NOBODY SAY “oh, he probably doesn’t know what it means” BECAUSE THEY HAVE TWO FLUENT ENGLISH SPEAKING MEMBERS AND VERNON’S MOM SUPPORTS BLM SO SHUSH

BlackPink-

In their comeback mv for, “As If It’s Your Last” (Released in June, which is Pride Month). Fans noticed this:

2

Okay, I’m going to address a serious issue you here; usually I don’t post anything serious and about another band. But the picture above is a member of BTS(Bangtan Boys), Park Jimin, the reason why I’m talking about him is because of how skinny he’s got(photo on the left), it’s one thing to weight and gain muscle to be healthy, but he lost weight obviously not gaining any muscle. Jimin has always had some chub on him, he’s known for his cute chubby cheeks and thick thighs. But recently from the latest pictures posted from the airport and award shows there is a huge difference of his physical appearance in two comebacks. The picture on the right was two years ago and that was healthy, he was skinny but almost all of it was muscle. It’s alarming if you ask me, he’s really small now and he doesn’t even have muscle on him any more. Jimin is known for in the past to starve himself because of “fans” telling him he’s too chubby or he’s fat or that he felt like he was too big when he isn’t. He shouldn’t feel like he is too fat or needs to lose weight, and fans that tell him he does and doesn’t appreciate his body aren’t real fans. It’s his body he can have chub, it’s normal to have chub on your body. And saying that he can lose weight, IN A HEALTHY WAY NOT STARVING HIMSELF!!!! But he should be comfortable in his body!!! And not feel like he has to change for us!!! Or for anyone!!! It bothers me he does stave himself because it’s dangerous and unhealthy and I want him to be healthy and happy, and starving yourself doesn’t do that for you. His arms, neck, and face are smaller than before. It kills me to see idols, not just him to starve themselves to please fans, that shouldn’t be the case no matter what. It’s not about Jimin who has a history of starving to lose weight, many exo members, Seventeen members and Girl Groups have a history to starve themselves as well, in general I think it should all just stop together because there will be at one point an idol that will take starving too far and have a serious accident. It doesn’t matter what we think, we should be glad they are alive and healthy and their bodies are none of our business because they aren’t ours to own or claim. I want Park Jimin to know that he was perfect the way he was and still his but he shouldn’t have to change his body for anything. I, and not just me love his cute personality and himself in general which is why it hurts me to see him starve himself again. You aren’t a real fan if you think that he should lose weight or any idol, let them be happy and healthy and I pray he eats well soon and gain some of bodyweight again because that boy shouldn’t have to feel like he’s fat. As long as he doesn’t lose anymore weight from this he looks healthy but still he is a lot more thinner. I posted this to make everyone aware of the fact that he has lost weight, I really hope it isn’t he’s back to bad habits and to bring light to a serious issue of idols starving themselves, not just him.

*whispers* Divine Victoria reads smutty literature in bed when she’s had a long day pass it on

finally this monster is finished. i spent several days just trying to get the line art finished not because it was hard, but i was just being so painfully sluggish. and it took another couple days and lots of flopping between my old and decrepit version of photoshop, and then sai, to get the lighting tweaks correct.

there’s still some stuff i’m not perfectly satisfied with, but given that i NEVER do environments or mood lighting, i’m happy. so please enjoy this contribution of mine to the ship of our hearts TTwTT9

How to get over a heartbreak

1. Know that your heart is strong.
Breaking happens only after a lot of pressure and endurance. It wouldn’t have been able to take so much if it wasn’t strong.

2. Know that your heart will heal.
Have some faith in it. It had so much faith in you all this time even though you didn’t always make the right choices.

3. Time heals everything words cannot.
You can read this post and hundred others but what you need is time. It passes, it always does. Remember how the good times passed away?

4. You can’t get over it, you have to get through it.
It is a tunnel decorated with pictures of good times that aren’t accessible anymore. Some parts have glass shards and some have wilted flowers. You will hear echoes of laughter and loveable words but they fade away. There isn’t much light but there is light. Once you get through it, you will be able to look back and not bleed. You will be able to carry on and be happy.
5. Take your time with discarding their things. Pictures, letters, texts, gifts. It’s been a year and I still can’t do away with the letters. I don’t read them anymore but I can’t throw them out just yet. And that’s okay.

6. Don’t assume how happy they are or what kind of life it seems like they are living now. Because your Instagram may be filled with happy pictures but is your heart right now? Others are no different. Assuming will only cause you unnecessary pain and comparing will further empty your heart.

7. Your heart doesn’t need any more emptying. It needs to be filled. With your attention and care. Sign up for that yoga class. Go for that open mic. Say yes to sleeping in on Sundays and having full breakfasts.

8. Don’t talk in absolutes. Don’t say you will ‘never’ love again or will ‘never’ meet/trust someone again. Remember when you said your love was ‘forever’? Absolutes are redundant. Stop using them. Stop believing in them. Good and bad comes and goes. It’s a cycle like everything else natural.

9. Don’t bad mouth them or yourself. Don’t obsess over what you said and did and everything they didn’t. Dragging the past into your present is like tying your legs to a rock. How can you walk ahead?

10. Don’t be in a rush to forgive them. It’s okay if you aren’t ready. True forgiveness takes time. And it’s only true forgiveness that lets you genuinely move on and get out of the tunnel. Wanting to and actually being able to are two very different things.

11. Breathe.
Your lungs are functioning even though your heart may make it seem like nothing is. Run if you have to. Your legs are functioning too. Cry as much. Your cheeks and eyes won’t hate you.

—  Nikki Kaur

okay listen,,, “a little bit of light” means so much to me and absolutely should not have been cut because it’s the one song that actually paints connor (the real connor) in a decent light. 

“All those demons that wouldn’t let up, that kept dragging him through the dark.
but there were moments
he had moments
with a little bit of light
in those moments, he was happy 
he was trying still to fight
and maybe the battle he fought wasn’t won
but at least there were days when he let the light in
in those moments, a little bit of light
….

he used to love jokes! when he was a little boy? ‘why did the chicken cross the road?’ he had a million answers to that one! 

i remember picnics and little league and sundays at the zoo,
i remember how he smiled
the years of trick or treating, my spiderman, he stood at 4 foot 2
such a happy child
but it seemed like i woke up one morning and my sweet little boy he was gone
something had switched off the light 
and it seemed like it never really came back on” 

I can barely listen to this song without bursting into tears because its just so accurate in its portrayal of what its like to develop a mental illness at a young age. connor was a good kid, he was happy, and then his mental illness developed and he wasn’t the same kid anymore. this song shows that he trying, that he was able to rally through some days and still have moments where he was genuinely happy. it fleshes connor murphy out into a better character than the entire rest of the show does, and lets you in to see the type of person he was before his mental illness took over his life. he loved telling jokes!! do you know how much it means to me to know one of things his mom remembers about him the most is that he used to love telling jokes??

obviously connor had his flaws (like every single other character in the musical) but ultimately he was just a good kid struggling with mental illness who couldnt make it through, and this song screams that point 

Please Watch “Orange”

Ok everyone. I’m sure some of you have probably heard of this anime, and those people who have heard of it have probably strayed away from it for the same reasons I did. 

I am a huge fan of romance anime. I’m basically addicted to anything involving love, but I was weary of this show, called “Orange,” because (1) you learn from within the first few minutes of the first episode that the love interest is going to die, (2) it looks really cliché, (3) it is not very popular, and (4) it looks sad. 

I was wrong. So very wrong. 

(1) Yes, the anime has its bleak, raw moments, but those moments were the ones that I never had anticipated that I would appreciate the most. Something that definitely became an admirable point of the anime was its very real, non-sugar-coated portrayal of depression, mental illness, suicide, and grief. This series does what most shojou romance series shy away from and actually shows the audience what depression is like through Kakeru, the fated-to-die protagonist, and the seriousness of suicide. 

As someone who has personally battled with clinical depression for years and has been to therapy and counselling, this anime hit home for me. The faking smiles, pretending everything is okay, the self-loathing, thinking you are at fault, thinking you are a burden to others, denying yourself happiness, not allowing yourself forgiveness, and the thoughts of death; they are all things that I could relate to. They even included how you can still experience moments of true happiness even if you are depressed, but how it never really goes away. Sure, this anime might not be as light-hearted as others, but it’s the heart-rending instances in this show that give it so much impact and substance. 

(2) This anime does have some clichés (i.e. cultural festival, giving chocolates on Valentines Day, new kid at school sits next to the main character), but the plot completely colors these events in ways that make them so much more meaningful and different than you have ever seen them. One of my main concerns going into this show was that I would be bored, but I ended up watching it all in one sitting simply because of how much I needed to know what would happen. Additionally, the secondary characters are wonderfully fleshed out and are actually important to the plot, instead of feeling like accessories. 

(3) I know this anime was based off of a manga (which I had once picked up on a whim, but put down once I saw how sad it was probably going to be), but I have never heard people talk about it, like ever. Even when the show came out (which it did recently), there was no buzz about it. Although the lack of chatter surrounding Orange only made me more pessimistic regarding the quality of the show, if there is anything I have learned from watching hundreds of anime, it is that sometimes good shows can fly beneath the radar. I am glad I decided to pick it up after it’s completion and give it a chance, because I just found a series that has easily earned a spot on my top 10 list. 

(4) Is this anime sad? Yes. Is it too sad to watch? No. The biggest obstacle that stood in my way for this show was the fact that it pretty much promised from the get-go to be sad. “But love is supposed to be happy and have a happy ending,” you might say, “so how can that be possible when one of the protagonists is destined to commit suicide.” I don’t want to spoil it, so all I can tell you is that I was very pleased with the conclusion and it ends much differently than you are lead to believe it will. Trust me guys. My heart is made of glass. I would not recommend this show to anyone if I didn’t think the denouement was really good

So, in conclusion, set aside a few hours one day and let this series show you its magic! 

How to get over a heartbreak

1. Know that your heart is strong.

Breaking happens only after a lot of pressure and endurance. It wouldn’t have been able to take so much if it wasn’t strong.

2. Know that your heart will heal.
Have some faith in it. It had so much faith in you all this time even though you didn’t always make the right choices.

3. Time heals everything words cannot.
You can read this post and hundred others but what you need is time. It passes, it always does. Remember how the good times passed away?

4. You can’t get over it, you have to get through it.
It is a tunnel decorated with pictures of good times that aren’t accessible anymore. Some parts have glass shards and some have wilted flowers. You will hear echoes of laughter and loveable words but they fade away. There isn’t much light but there is light. Once you get through it, you will be able to look back and not bleed. You will be able to carry on and be happy.

5. Take your time with discarding their things. Pictures, letters, texts, gifts. It’s been a year and I still can’t do away with the letters. I don’t read them anymore but I can’t throw them out just yet. And that’s okay.

6. Don’t assume how happy they are or what kind of life it seems like they are living now. Because your Instagram may be filled with happy pictures but is your heart right now? Others are no different. Assuming will only cause you unnecessary pain and comparing will further empty your heart.

7. Your heart doesn’t need any more emptying. It needs to be filled. With your attention and care. Sign up for that yoga class. Go for that open mic. Say yes to sleeping in on Sundays and having full breakfasts.

8. Don’t talk in absolutes. Don’t say you will ‘never’ love again or will ‘never’ meet/trust someone again. Remember when you said your love was ‘forever’? Absolutes are redundant. Stop using them. Stop believing in them. Good and bad comes and goes. It’s a cycle like everything else natural.

9. Don’t bad mouth them or yourself. Don’t obsess over what you said and did and everything they didn’t. Dragging the past into your present is like tying your legs to a rock. How can you walk ahead?

10. Don’t be in a rush to forgive them. It’s okay if you aren’t ready. True forgiveness takes time. And it’s only true forgiveness that lets you genuinely move on and get out of the tunnel. Wanting to and actually being able to are two very different things.

11. Breathe.
Your lungs are functioning even though your heart may make it seem like nothing is. Run if you have to. Your legs are functioning too. Cry as much. Your cheeks and eyes won’t hate you.

The cult ending isn’t canon. It was something that had to be datamined, which means it was either content that was decided against being put in the game (thus, not canon, because they changed their minds), or it’s something for future DLC (Halloween, anyone?), which could also very well mean it isn’t canon if it is just a spooky story type DLC.

The good ending for Joseph is glitched because of one of Mary’s final interactions. You’re supposed to walk her home and talk with her. Their marriage is failing, and she’s already been cheating on him. Even if she didn’t sleep with the men she flirted with, it’s still cheating. It’s not okay. Things are all going wrong. Their marriage can’t work because neither of them are happy. They need a good ending.

On that note…Please, can we have some wholesome Joseph stuff? I wanted to play a lighthearted gay dating sim (as a gay man, it’s really fucking upsetting that I can’t even have that) and all I’m getting is hate towards this character, hate against the people who romance this character, and creepy cult shit. I just want to look at my cute boy in the way the game intended. Something light hearted, sweet, sometimes sexy. I want wholesome Joseph stuff. Can we please pull away from this toxicity?

It’s not canon, the game is glitched, we need more information before we can officially shit on this character and the people trying to date him. Can you just give a gay boi his gay boi?

Why We Need Stories about Dark Things

One of the things I get tired of from time to time is the perspective that if something shows evil behavior then that means the story, song, game, whatever, is inherently bad. But there is a difference between illustrating evil behavior and promoting it.

Not all appearances of bad behavior invite bad behavior.

While one purpose of storytelling is to entertain, another purpose is to teach or educate–a purpose that in today’s world, most people seem to have forgotten.

A long time ago, there used to be all sorts of horrific stories told. Open Grimms’ fairy tales, and you’ll see that Cinderella really isn’t that Disney-friendly. But often some of those older stories were meant to teach a lesson or scare children into behaving (that latter point is one I personally don’t condone). Horrific things happen in the Bible (and the Book of Mormon). We can often learn from these accounts, but some of them are simply a record of what happened (if you believe in that), whether you like the content or not. It is what it is. Conspiring incest, rape, slaughter, and even cannibalism can be found in scripture stories. In today’s world, most people have been conditioned to believe that stories are only meant to entertain. Or entertain and uplift.

Those two things are valid. But what I get tired of, though, is the perspective that all stories should be full of puppies and rainbows (yeah, that’s an exaggeration, but you know what I mean), and that’s what we should be writing, and if a story is dark, it’s “bad” or lesser or … something.

The World Needs Stories about Dark Things

It’s important we write about what I call “the big and heavies”–rape, addiction, suicide, massacre, societal brainwashing, etc. And when I say “we,” I don’t mean specifically that you or I HAVE to; I mean “we” as in us, writers and creatives everywhere. The world needs creatives who delve into the big and heavies, and here’s why:

1. Stories provide a safe means to explore and discuss dark things

The big and heavies are vital to discuss for a healthy society. We shouldn’t be turning a blind eye to dark deeds. We should be turning the right eye to them. Literature offers a safe way to explore and discuss these issues. It offers some distance (because it’s usually a work of fiction) while simultaneously having the ability to offer closeness–empathy.

Also, fiction provides a type of lens to view these behaviors through. Speculative fiction might have a more exaggerated or symbolic lens, such as the fashion industry of Panem in The Hunger Games, or the discussion of pure bloods in Harry Potter. A lens lets us view the issues in a way that may emphasize certain points or give us a new perspective on them, and again, the distance can provide a bit of a “safe” buffer for readers. We aren’t talking about racism; we’re talking about magical blood–and we can have a whole discussion on it that correlates with issues seen in racism, and no one needs to feel uncomfortable because this is about wizarding blood. Even realistic fiction provides a perspective, though less exaggerated, to see these issues through.

2. Powerful, emotional ramification drives home a point or idea or lesson.

Unlike reading text books or the news, fiction writing often works off making the audience feel something. It appeals to emotional experience, even more than intellectual experience. It is one of the only mediums where we can put on the skin and thoughts of another person.

In parts of society, we try hard to divorce intellect and emotion, but powerful emotional experiences are often what cement ideas and lessons into our minds. Back in the day, fathers used to take their children out to their property line and beat them so that the child would never forget where the property line was. We’ve seen similar conditioning with training wild animals. Both are crude examples, of course, but the emotional experience drove home the lesson. While negative emotions are powerful, this same thing can happen with strong positive emotions. We remember powerful feelings of happiness and of love, and if there are any lessons or insights associated with those, we recall those too.

In fiction, emotional experiences can drive home powerful lessons. And they stick with the audience.

Strong emotional experiences in fiction amplify the conceptual ramifications of dark deeds, and cements into the reader the weight of such behavior, in a way that pure intellect cannot. Once we “experience” an issue, we care more about it. Fiction is a vehicle that allows us to develop and fine-tune our empathetic skills, so we can better understand and relate to those who’ve dealt with such issues.

3. Explore, cognitively, the causes, consequences, and facets of the big and heavies

In the real world, we live our own lives in our own perspectives, and that’s it. In literature, you can include several perspectives of those involved with an issue. You can often see the issue’s causes, consequences, and facets to a degree you may not in your own life. You can see far-reaching effects in a matter of hundreds of pages, rather than decades or hundreds of years. This opens up new ideas, new perspectives on the topic, which leads to more discussion.

4. To provide hope and uplift, in spite of darkness. To overcome.

I sometimes see this weird idea that an uplifting story needs to not cross some invisible line too far into the dark. In some ways, that couldn’t be further from the truth. As a Harry Potter fan, I’ve had friends come up to me and talk about how they’re disappointed that the stories got darker and darker. Maybe I’m weird (okay, there’s no “maybe” about it), but I like that. I like stories getting dark. I like when they get darker and darker. I like my evil, evil. I want the Voldemort who tries to possess Harry to get Dumbledore to kill him. I want the Voldemort who tortured animals as a small child and who murdered others to split his soul into seven pieces. The world is often an evil place. And how much more powerful is it to overcome the bowels of the most wicked, than it is to overcome a guy who shoplifted? I like my evil, evil. Not because I want to be part of the dark, but because I like seeing people overcome it.

A story that includes dark materials can be just as uplifting, if not more uplifting (because of the contrast) than a story that doesn’t. The idea that a story can’t be dark and inspiring is just unfounded.

Every Christmas season, I become a fan of The Trans-Siberian Orchestra all over again. If you’ve never heard of them, you may still recognize some of their most iconic Christmas songs, some of which have gone viral on synchronized Christmas light videos.

What many people might not realize is that each of their Christmas albums actual tells, and comes with, a written story. If you see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra live, they will read the story to you bits at a time, interspersed with music. But not all their stories are about happy sleigh rides, warm fires, Christmas hams, and decorated trees. There are parents who abandoned their disabled children, babies born addicted to crack, love that has been lost. But the stories and albums are uplifting, not because the creators avoided dark subject matter, but because they illustrated the power of overcoming–overcoming difficult times and personal mistakes. It’s hard to make it through one of their performances with a dry eye through the whole thing.

5. To render reality–others’ reality or your own

But some stories aren’t necessarily meant to be about overcoming the dark or inspiring an audience. Some stories are just about reality. Human nature. The natural man. Experiences that people actually go through. Some stories are simply meant to render, often for reasons 1-3. It’s a statement. It’s meant to create social awareness, empathy. Maybe it’s meant to start a discussion. Those stories need to exist too.

Closing Thoughts

Keep in mind that many audiences only see stories strictly as mediums for entertainment and, on a subconscious level, a reinforcement of a positive, maybe even sugary, feelings and ideas. Those audiences may (on a subconscious level) refuse anything that is otherwise, and consider any mention of the dark and heavies as something that shouldn’t be there. That is their right.

And in some cases, they are correct. Some stories do not need and should not have dark content. It doesn’t serve the purpose of the story, it messes up the tone of the story, and it can ruin what was already working. You wouldn’t, for example, put in a serious plot line in The Office about Pam being legitimately raped. It doesn’t fit.

And with all that said, you shouldn’t feel forced to write content you feel very uncomfortable writing. Your work should reflect the writerly you.

Next week, I’ll talk about how to write about dark things without promoting them.

Real Estate Revenge

(TL;DR at bottom)

I’ve been a real estate broker in Chicago for nearly 20 years. I started at a very small independent brokerage. It was my first week there when the broker/owner gave me a lead. He was older and wasn’t in very good health, so he passed a lot of his leads to his agents.

One of the broker’s friends passed away and the friend’s son wanted to sell the house. I call the son who tells me he’s known the broker for 30-plus years and how close their families were. He seems like a really nice guy. I go over and check out the house. I work up a gorgeous comparative market analysis. I have other brokers check my numbers (I was new and wanted to do a perfect job for my new client). I rehearse my presentation, have my stuff professionally printed, prepare for any possible questions, have responses ready for objections, and I head out.

I dazzle this guy with my presentation. He likes the $135,000 list price I recommended. He’s fine with the commission. He has no objections, but he asks me to give him 2 months to clean out the house, give his siblings a chance to go through everything and then repaint.

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ways to make ur day a lil happier:

1: notice the small details; the feeling of the wind on your skin, the way the light dances around the room, the smell of the air
2: go outside for a few hours; leave your phone behind and experience the nature!
3: cook some healthy food; eat it outside with a glass of cold water,, you will feel fresh!
4: compliment people; their happiness will make you feel lighter
5: tell your friends you love them/appreciate them!!!!!! please it’s important!!!!!!
6: take some time out to make some art; draw, paint, make a collage…. even if it’s not good it’s still extremely therapeutic
7: remind yourself that you are human and you will have bad days and you will have good days. love yourself regardless because YOU ARE IMPORTANT

Whipped…boyfriend!!! (PT4)




Y/N likes to think everything had gone back to normal after that dreadful morning. Harry hasn’t touched the subject, and he seems to be doing fine. She likes to think everything is okay, maybe he was just having an unpleasant day and there’s no point at even asking about it and upsetting him all over again. But she can’t erase the image of his body racking with sobs, eyes pleading and repentant. 

She wants to be able to get past it, but her mind keeps going back to how she’d cried silently while he was in the shower. How every minute that passed, sat alone on his couch, all she could think about was that there was a possibility that when Harry came out, he would tell her that he couldn’t anymore. He’d break her heart with words of ‘still wanna be your friend. We can still be best friends, like we were b'fo’.’ But it wouldn’t be like before.

She wants her mind to forget his gasps of ’m'sorry, love. M'so so sorry.’ But it’s like they’re forever etched into her brain. And every time she looks at his sleeping body next to her in the morning, it’s all she hears, those words.

So no, everything is back to normal in terms of appearances, but she’s been having an inner battle with herself that hasn’t let her sleep at night.

It’s been about two months or so since Harry’s breakdown. They’ve kept to their daily routine; breakfast, work, the occasional surprise lunches, and dinner among other things; but they don’t talk about it. And it’s like when she tries, Harry diverts the conversation to how thrilled he is to start Dunkirk promo, and of course Y/N can’t press the subject when Harry’s got a wide smile on his face, happy to recount and retell moments on set.

And though she still couldn’t forget about it, she’d enjoyed breaking routine, especially for the beautiful scenery that was a wedding in Hawaii. Harry had been a ray of sunshine. He had introduced Y/N to the few amounts of people that hadn’t met her yet. Some of them were interested enough to ask how Harry, a lad who didn’t often engage in proper relationships, had managed to pull such a beautiful lass. Y/N admits she’d gone a light shade of red at the comment, never one to confidently accept compliments, and Harry just wouldn’t shut up about her after that. Not until Y/N playfully slapped his arm after he’d brought up how she’d made him think she was going out with some other bloke, blatantly lying to him to his face.

He’d played about with a sweet little girl who’d taken a liking to him, boop'ing her nose and faking having tripped over something when she was chasing him, letting her tag him only for her to end up trapped in his arms. And she loved seeing him so content.

She loved the short stories everyone had to tell about a too drunk Harry who cuddled anyone from a friend, to a plant he thought was a friend. 

She can’t deny that she’d loved that he was showing her off too. Especially when his friends would make a comment about how whipped he was, which only made him smile wider as he kissed her hand (and she’d squirmed and giggled because his stubble did tickle some). 

It’s safe to say that by the end of that trip, everyone and anyone who’d watched Harry mindlessly kiss Y/N’s temple, arm slung around her shoulder whilst talking with his friends, were convinced they were it for each other. 

She had never really attended a wedding with him before either. And she realised that there was something about getting to see him in that setting that had her wanting exactly that for them one day.

So one can only imagine Y/N’s excitement when Pixie’s invitation arrived. She’d jumped at the idea of going to Spain, and being Y/N, Harry couldn’t deny her that. 

And now here they are. Watching the sun set over beautiful waters; rays of orange and yellow and blue adorning the sky. 

It doesn’t take much to convince Harry for a picture. All she really had to is smile at him and he was putty in her hands.

“Say cheese.”

“Wanna look sexy." 

"Harry! Just, show me those pearly whites." 

"Jus’ take the picture, love.” He’s adamant. 

“Harry.” Her tone monotonous, a hand at her hip like it as she glared at him, a smile playing at her lips.

“Wanna look cool, babe.” He chuckles.

She rolls her eyes, huffing jokingly and holding the phone up horizontally.

And though he’s not exactly smiling, Y/N can’t think of a better way it could’ve come out. 

***

Today is nothing short of a fairy tale for Y/N. Her arms around Harry’s necks. And Harry’s hands on her waist, swaying to none other than “Song Bird.” He takes to whispering the lyrics to her ear, and he can feel Y/N’s smile widen when she buries her head in his neck. 

Harry likes to think he’s a good dancer, even though he tries to abstain from any. But with Y/N, it’s different. He’d only halfheartedly tugged his hand back from hers when she’d tried to pull him up and off his seat, smile much too sweet to actually deny her of a slow dance. And although usually he has to have some amount of alcohol in his system to confidently show any of his moves off on the dance floor, Y/N has him spinning her around gracefully.

When the song nears the end, Harry gives her waist a squeeze before pulling away and taking her face in his hands, firmly pressing his lips to hers in hopes he could convey and express every ounce of love he was for her in that small gesture.

“Ye’ look beautiful, pet,” he whispers, lips grazing hers, pouting just the slightest for them to meet in a chaste kiss, “always look beautiful.”

“You’re too much,” she giggles, fingers wrapped around his wrists.

Harry can only press another kiss to her mouth, too drunk on love to care about anyone watching. 

***

Harry and Y/N are sat back at their table now. He’d groped at her hip and plopped her on his lap after the ninth song when Y/N began to complain about her feet hurting from walking around all day in heels. He’d moved her hair to fall over her shoulder and kissed across her back and at the exposed flesh of her neck. They stay like that for a while until he pats the side of her thigh, at which point she moves to her own seat. Silently, he gestures for her to lift her legs, and then grabs her ankles and brings her feet to lay on top of his lap. One by one he unstraps and slips off her heals and proceeds to dig his thumbs into the dip of her foot, alternating between the two. And Y/N can’t help but look at how her boyfriend’s brows furrow in concentration, the tip of his tongue peeking out from the corner of his lips as he works to ease the tension in the muscles. She hums at the touch, Harry smiling in accomplishment, and squeals when he starts tickling. 

“Went from a whipped friend to a whipped boyfriend! S'a step up Harold!” Grimmy pats his friend’s back, a lopsided smirk with a clear intent to insult plastered in his face.

And it’s certainly not helping that he’s helping her strap her heels back on. But again, he doesn’t mind being whipped.

It wasn’t the first time tonite that he’d made the remark either. He’d made it a game actually. The first was while they were conversing with Lou. Grimmy had cheekily strolled past them with a smirk and whisper of ‘whipped’. The second, Y/N was at the fruit bar helping herself to a plate, and Harry kept feeding bits into her mouth as she went about picking what she wanted. He’d offered to take her plate back to the table while she reached for the cutlery, and though Grimmy might have not meant for her to hear it, she still caught the faint ‘whipped’ directed at Harry. The third had been the most embarrassing, at least for her. They had been chatting to an elderly couple, the husband retelling of a vacation he’d surprised his wife with only to find out that cruises weren’t her cup of tea when she wouldn’t come out of their suite bathroom because even though it was smooth sailing, her tummy just couldn’t handle it. At one point Harry had perfunctorily brought up their intertwined hands and pecked at Y/N’s knuckles. Grimmy had, yet again, silently walked up behind them and sing-songed ‘whi-hipped’, at which point Y/N swung her arm around, overestimating her aim, and socked him where she thought would have been his shoulder but was really his neck. Harry had doubled over in laughter at that. Even the wife whose eyes had gone wide couldn’t hold back. After that, Grimmy didn’t bother him any, only playfully shot her a glare when their eyes met.

“Nice t’ see ye’ too, ass.”

Despite his comment, Grimmy leans down to press a kiss to Y/N’s cheek. “I’ll take tha’ as an invitation t'sit down with m'favourite couple." 

"Grimmy’s just jealous he’s got no one to rub their feet." Was it childish that Y/N stuck her tongue out at him? Maybe so, but that’s how their friendship works.

"Oh no sweets. Even if I did m'not touching anyone’s stinky feet.” Dry humour’s always been Grimmy’s specialty.

“Ye’ really are a catch mate,” Harry jabs, taking a swig from his water bottle. 

Grimmy narrows his eyes, “s'tha’ the same outfit ye’ were wearing not even two weeks ago, 'arry?”

“Heyyyy!” Y/N chimes, scolding Grimmy with the sternest face she could pull, “s'my favourite suit of his.”

“Yeh, s'her favourite suit of mine,” Harry mocks. And they all laugh.

After that, any intention Y/N had of staying sober went out the window the second Grimmy came up with the brilliant idea of a game where they’d have to take a shot every time George kissed Pixie. 

You’d think she’d turn it down after the last time she’d gotten sloshed and the fact she’d vowed to take it easy when she did decide to drink. But Grimmy had called her a ninny because ‘s’okay if ye’ can’t handle ye’ liquor, babe.’ And even if she couldn’t, which she thinks they both know he’ll probably end up the winner, she’s certainly not gonna give him the satisfaction of not even trying.

But now, looking back at it, 6 shots in and already feeling it, Y/N really should’ve known better, should’ve thought before hastily agreeing. Of course the bride and the groom are expected to share kisses various times throughout the night at their wedding party. And it was so like Grimmy to demand they kiss every ten minutes, Harry laughing and nodding his head in amusement, or disapproval, Y/N’s not entirely sure at this point.

But she does have to admit she’s having a grand time dancing to “The Time of My Life.” Harry dancing circles around her with his arms up, mouthing along and shoulder shrugging to the beat, an immense smile on his perfect face. She throws her head back in amusement, laughing lively. 

She secretly thanks the heavens that Harry isn’t partaking in any drinking, choosing to stick to water, allowing her to use him as leverage whenever she begins to stumble. 

“Okay, think she’s had enough, Grim,” the comment comes when Grimmy tries to hand Y/N another drink, only for Harry to take it himself and set it at the edge of the round table, away from Y/N who’s got her head on his shoulder and is beginning to fully lean into him from exhaustion. 

“Oh, poo, you’re no fun.” He sticks his tongue out at his sober friend before excusing himself when it’s announced that it’s time for cake.

“Feeling a'right, pet?” His thumb rubs circles on her palm where their hands clasp atop his thigh. 

“Hmm.” Her hooded eyes open a tad slighter when she feels his lips press a kiss to her head before pressing his cheek against her hair. "Yeah. Need to use the bathroom though." 

"C'mon, then.” He takes her hand into his, careful in helping her up, his free hand at the small of her back to steady her.

“M'fine, babe.” She smoothes out the wrinkles on the skirt of her dress and grabs her purse from the table. 

“Ye’ sure? Don’ mind going with ye’." 

"I’ll be fine.” And the giggle emitting from her mouth when she pecks at his exposed chest can’t be any more endearing. He watches her walk past tables of guests, a breath of relief to see she’s good on her feet despite the amount of alcohol she’s consumed.

He sits back down, singlehandedly undoing another button on his shirt as he brings his arm to rest on the back of the chair Y/N was just sitting on. 

And then…

Harry never thought he’d be seeing her face again. It took him a while to control his paranoia, his hyperactive mind conjuring up what he thought to be every possible scenario in which Y/N finds out about what he did. But not this one. 

It catches him completely off guard, his body stiffening at the sight. What throws him off even more is when she spots him and begins making her way to him.

The closer she gets, the farther he wants to get away. 

“Didn’t think I’d be seeing you again.” Her voice sends shivers down his spine. She’s looking at him with…desire? It’s all unappealing if he’s being honest. It feels like she’s trying to lure him in, the way her eyebrow is raised, eyes a bit squinty as she struts closer. He’s making it clear he’s uncomfortable, and if she realizes this, she doesn’t show it, and it doesn’t halt her either.

How was he to know she was a childhood friend of the groom? He’d never seen her at gatherings before that unfaithful night, but in retrospect, he too is guilty of going an endless amount of time without talking to his childhood friends. Harry thinks this is the universe’s way of punishing him for not coming clean. 

His brows furrow in concern. Y/N will be back any second and he’s sure she’ll ask who this woman standing before him is. And it could go one of two ways. 

Harry can introduce her as a friend, but that’d be betraying Y/N on a whole other level. Introducing the woman he slept with to his girlfriend. But he can’t do that. He won’t.

Or. Or what if this woman has the audacity to bring it up. What if Y/N finds out in the worst way possible. 

His hands are sweating in his pockets, body tense. 

“Left so early that morning. Didn’t even stay for breakfast.” The smug look on her face has Harry’s tummy twisting, and he really wants to slap her hand away the second her fingers make contact with the fabric of his suit, fingers running over at the lapel.

And he should stop her right there, but his throat is dry and he’s afraid the second he opens it to add how much of a mistake it was and that he has a girlfriend, is the moment Y/N over hears the conversation.

“You’re a good fuck, you know. Best I’ve ever had." 

He knows she’s trying to get a response out of him, anything that might assure her that he’d had a good time too. 

But he’s not able to get anything out when he notices her stare trail behind him.

"Harry.” Her voice just above a whisper, the sound of heels clicking against the ground growing closer.

No. No no no no. 

More Soft laurent x damen headcanons,,, THEY’RE IN LOVE: (warning: sappy)

  • Some nights damen will sit up in bed, and laurent will rest his head on his thigh while damen strokes his hair and they’ll talk for hours in that position.
  • Laurent usually tilts his head down when he’s laughing (giggling ty) but damen will tip his head up bc he likes to see how his eyes light up when he’s happy and how he flushes slightly.
  • Laurent has a sweet tooth OK!!, sometimes damen catches him eating some kind of snack and he offers damen a bite but damen smiles and shakes his head. Damen: I’d rather have a kiss. 
  • Imagine laurent sitting on damen’s lap, nuzzling into his neck and letting out the softest, most content sigh bc that’s his happy place.
  • Damen softly rubbing laurent’s lips with his finger pad and watching his eyes darken and how he gets all still and turned on.   
  • You can’t tell me that when they get married and exchange rings (or whatever they’re supposed to do i won’t judge) damen won’t grasp laurent’s hand randomly at times and look down at the ring on his finger with the most self-satisfied little grin (HE DID THAT) and kiss his palm.
  • Laurent hugging damen from behind with his cheek against his back.
  • My man damen can’t carry a single tune but sometimes laurent and him are swinging slowly as he sings some love song off-key quietly in his ear and laurent LIVES for it.
  • CUDDLES, they’re both soo into cuddling. Every morning damen unwraps his arms from around laurent and smiles when laurent lets out a drowsy protest.
  • Their banter consists of laurent commenting on damen’s size and damen replying that his cow lashes are bigger.
  • Laurent sleeps in damen’s shirt when they’re apart from each other and it hangs down to his thighs but it smells of damen and its comforting at night.
  • Also when they’re apart, they talk for hours on the phone at night. Damen: you’re about to fall asleep. We’ll talk tomorrow. Laurent: No, wait. I don’t want to hang up yet…
  • Laurent being affectionate towards damen and never ever being denied a kiss or a hug,,,, fuck me up!!!
  • Lazy kisses in bed and whispered ‘I love yous’.
  • They’re in love??? safe and happy??? forever???…. yeah

can you imagine how hyped bucky would be about those 7 new planets tho??? I mean here he is, 70 years in the future, still alive and kicking and by some miracle steve’s there right with him after all this time? and yeah, sure there are superheroes that can fly now, all sorts of crazy shit he can’t wrap his head around but tell him NASA has just found 7 new planets orbiting a nearby star, possibly with water and signs of life and he completely loses his shit, eyes lighting up all excited like a kid on Christmas morning and he cannot stop talking about it for a good few weeks because hello, habitable planets? and he’s so damn happy because I told you I’d take you to the future stevie, didn’t I? 

Dreams

Summary: When Meg possesses Sam, she lets a couple of his secrets out.

Warnings: Wincest, dirty talk (I guess?)

Word Count: 1800

A/N: I love me some desperate first time Wincest. Enjoy! XOXO

Sam’s still in the bathroom.

It’s become Sam’s habit to stay in the bathroom until he thinks Dean’s fallen asleep. Or to stay out, needing to grab some food or something. Or to just not say anything at all, just disappear from the room and come sneaking in once the lights are off.

Anything to keep from talking about it.

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Lance's dad

Yes, of course, Lance has a GREAT family, but what if he doesn’t?

From a young age, his dad was never around. He’d complain, wanting his mom to beg him to stay around. Eventually, he got fired (for extreme language in work place and for hitting a woman, but Lance didn’t know). Lance runs up to him, and he shoves him away by the head.

He takes out all his anger on Lance. Punches, hits, and so on. Lance is terrified of his dad, and wants away. He’s scared to ask for anything, and is a total kiss ass. He gets him everything and is always trying to be kind so he doesn’t get angry. He gets smacked for being a ‘pussy’ but Lance thinks it’s better than being beaten.
Eventually he learns to try and be charismatic and self loving to avoid being punished for being a wimp. He’s still scared to be himself. He’s still scared to show is loving side too often, because he doesn’t know who else will beat him.

One day though, Lance didn’t sleep. He made the mistake of coming out as bisexual to his mom, and didn’t know his dad was behind him. He got hit in the head so hard he started to bleed. The phrases ‘pansy’ and 'faggot’ were repeated very often as he beat the living shit outta Lance.

He never came out to ANYONE after that, and alWays acts like he’s strait as hell in order to not be beaten again.


The next day, His mom showed Lance the papers, a restraining order and divorce files. They hugged for hours. His mom had a black eye, and Lance knew why. But he also knew never again..


She gets remarried, and Lance is overjoyed with half and step siblings. He keeps distance from his step father though. He’s loving and caring to Lance, but he’s too afraid.

Years later, Lance finds himself in a fake fight with an Alien, saying how they would fight if his knees weren’t sore. . He’s automatically Corans favorite. Lance keeps distance though, focused on Voltron.

And when Lance saved Coran from the bomb, Coran knew Lance was special. He had something the others just didn’t.


Coran shoes him things his son would love. Lance loves it. The two go outside the castle often. They talk. Coran makes dad jokes, Lance laughed at every one. They talk about life outside Voltron, and how they’ll keep in touch. They make Pidge uncomfortable with all the love. They make Shiro walk away. Allura just smiles Coran has someone else he can connect to. After she saw him loose his charismatic and loyal son, he was never as happy as he was now.

And one day, he says it. “Lance, you’re like a son to me”

Lance gets mortified, way to scared of a dad. Not after the years of abuse.

The two loose touch, Lance avoids him. He’s still all happy near the others, but alone with Coran, he’ll run.

And after Matt came back, Lance was a little forgotten. He decided to let his guard down a little, and devote himself to Voltron. Keith tried to talk him outta it. Keith put up a fight saying how Lance shouldn’t just shut himself out.

“I’m shutting down what doesn’t exist, Keith.”

And this new Lance finds himself staring at Coran in a life and death situation. In his ship, a Galra with a deadly gun shoots strait for him with some HUGE light laser beam, that’s insanely deadly, strait for the old man. And -with apologizing to blue - flies right before him, ejects from blue, and flies out just in time to stop the light from Coran.

It hits him instead.


Weeks have gone by, and he’s not coming out. He’s passed out. Everyone but Keith stopped waiting by, and eventually, Keith left too.

Except for Coran. He’d read Lance stories from altean books, and told him stories of his son. He’d go strait to Lance in the morning, and right before bed. He’d talk to Lance, in ways like “right?” Or “now tell me about that!” And always sighed when he didn’t respond. After a month, Coran got quieter, but always came.

And when Lance was back to health, Coran was the first to greet him; they hugged. Hey hugged so tight, tighter than far before their old relationship.

Lance confesses his dad, a story he’s told no one.
And Coran tears up, telling him about his son Peter. “You look just like him, minus the ears.”

And just like that, Lance forgot his fear of Dad’s.