such-natural-movement

Ok I don’t have anyone to talk to right now, I just had to be socially trans in person for an hour while signing legal forms, and I’m strung out and tired. SO I’M GOING TO RANT ABOUT CONSTRUCTED LANGUAGES AND MAGICAL SCRIPTS.

Look, I get it. You want your conlang/magic script to look mystical, cryptic, special. You want it to look different than any other language while still looking like a language people write in. If you’re a spiritual person or magic-user this may even be a language you’re channeling and that you believe to be ancient in nature or otherwise pre-existing. But 95% of conlangs and magical scripts look totally fake and made-up, and this is not a judgment I’m casting on their actual grammatical structure or language theory or the languages they were based on. The thing that makes a language look like one people ever actually wrote in for hundreds of years, that makes it look like the letters/characters are all from the same language, is that it looks like a language that’s been written in whatever tools you are claiming or feel like it was traditionally written in.

Let’s take cuneiform:

Looks super-neat, right? Man, who’d ever think of having those wedges in an alphabet! It’s totally different than most modern languages out there and very distinctive, and the wedges are consistent across the letters, so it makes them all look like they’re from the same alphabet. This wasn’t just arbitrarily designed as a font style. There is a reason for this!

Cuneiform writing was pressed into wet clay with these shaped bits and that’s why it looks like that. It got stamped with wedges. That’s how (this type of) writing was done at the time. It’s a technological solution and that’s what makes the lettering get that peculiar stylization. You’ll get variants based on craftsmanship and tools, but basically the method is the same across various implementations. Once someone tried to write that in pencil, you could imagine it’d look different, and you’d see evidence of people’s hand-motion between strokes, becoming more of a tilt between letters.

For instance, English looks like it does, even in tumblr’s sans-serif fonts, because it can be constructed with a pen. When it gets fancy with a variable-width pressure-sensitive pen nib, you can get more complex and flowy, but notice the flow and arc still go with the movements natural for a hand to make:

Originally posted by heaven-knows-im-miserable-n0w

Those little trails between letters exist today because nib pens were drippy and left ink trails. The written language adapted to the tools to incorporate the trails and still make it look legible, and that’s why we have cursive writing at all. This is a simplified history but it’s basically there to make you think about the letter shapes in various traditional ways of writing in English and why it looks like it does instead of like cuneiform.

Which brings me to conlangs. If you want your brand new ancient-looking language to truly look like people have used it for eons, write it out with the tools you think those people would have used, and keep adapting the letters if you find that, say, a brush or nib pen can’t construct the weird arcs and whirls you’ve designed the language to have. Languages by and large are made to be convenient to write. If you don’t know how to write kanji, Chinese words probably look complex and arbitrary to you. But their shapes are logical when you see them written with a brush:

So if you have some arcane-looking swooshy script but it still looks kind of fake, think about where the weight should really be. It should be where the brush presses down heavier and the trailing marks are where the brush lifts up (and usually leaves the paper and ends the stroke). Where the stroke is wide on one end is where the brush initially met the paper. Above, you can see how one swish immediately flows into another, the strokes are like arrows leading across the page when you understand how they’re created. Pick up a brush and figure out an actual stroke order for your symbol. If logically the stroke seems like it’d leave someone’s hand smearing it trying to follow its arc, then logically that symbol would eventually get redesigned if it were in an actual language. Someone would figure out a better way to write it and everyone would adopt that way over time.

So practice writing your language with different tools. Consider a calligraphy course or even just a kit with a guidebook (or youtube training videos!). Written language is a tool that people use, magical as it can be. And if you’re using it for magical purposes such as woodburning it into tools or painting it onto things or writing it onto paper, consider that your symbols will change a bit according to the tools, just like with mundane languages. A wedge-shaped wood burner will get you something a bit closer to cuneiform. A brush will get you something flowy and not super-precise. Pencil will not leave ink trails and will get you something more technical and practical. Your written language logically should shift for that and adapt like a proper tool. And if you do that right, if you really use it, then it will look much more genuine because it will have experienced an actual evolution of form adapting to the physical tools it’s been worked with via.

And if you’re not using it for magic but are just using it for a fantasy setting where people use it for magic in the story, all the above would still apply to them.

Even with just one symbol not meant to be in a greater language, think about the tool you’re creating it with. It’s hard to make a realistic brush-style symbol in pencil. Use the tool that fits the symbol and you’ll produce something much more genuine-looking.

That’s it! I’m not a language expert, this is not meant to be A Real Factual History Of All Language, it’s just a rough primer in How To Make It Look Like A Language Is Actually Written With. It’s not meant to be a critique in whether your magical language is “real” enough or “magical” enough either. It’s simply some pointers in how to make a magical/constructed language that’s actually reasonable to write with and suits the tools you’re writing it with and the purposes you mean it for. Hundreds of years of written language evolution is hard to replace, but I believe in you.

So, @witches-ofcolor and I were talking about how we feel (and others) that the natural hair community has pretty much forgotten that type 4 (especially 4c) hair exists. Type 4 people aren’t being as praised and recognized in the natural hair community as we should despite the fact that the natural hair movement was kind of made for us.

Type four girls/boys are the ones who were supposed to be uplifted by the movement and encouraged and people tend to forget we exist.

Even worse, people (even in the natural hair community) act like having type 4 hair especially 4c hair is a bad thing. So many people don’t go natural because they fear they’re gonna have type 4 hair.

So…that said, we think there needs to be a day to appreciate people with type 4 hair. The natural hair community has done such a bad job at it as it is, even natural hair product companies ignore type 4 people, so we need a day to ourselves.

So on July 1st 2017, we are going to be hosting a little event in appreciation for Type 4 hair. It’s simple, if you have type 4 hair, then just post a picture of yourself (or submit to this blog), and we’ll reblog it. The day will be tagged #naturalhair day, so make sure you tag that.

This way, there will be some well needed recognition for type 4 people.

So please, reblog this post, and spread the word. Because Type 4 hair is so underappreciated and I think a day like this will show people just how amazing their hair is.

If you have any questions please ask!

I’ll probably make more promos later on! So follow this blog for updates or just track #naturalhair day, to keep up with updates! Thanks!

Intertwine (Blurb)

I’ve always thought there aren’t enough fluffy, hand-holding blurbs out there, so I wrote one!

ALSO, IT’S FLUFF MONDAY!

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He was nervous.

You could tell even though the room around you was dark and you could only really make out the outline of Harry seated next to you. His eyes were completely focused on the movie playing on the screen in front of you, but his mind was a million miles away. He kept fidgeting in his seat beside you and you snuck a glance in his direction every time you heard him shuffle beside you.

You stuck another handful of popcorn in your mouth and leaned in toward him.

“Hey, you okay? You’re moving around like you need a wee.”

“Sorry,” he mumbled, “Seats are uncomfortable.”

You turned your attention back to the movie. Truthfully, you were a bit preoccupied as well. This was only your third date and you could tell that Harry had been hesitant to make any sort of move, other than asking you out. You hadn’t slept together, hadn’t kissed or cuddled, or even held hands. Harry had been the perfect gentleman over the first two dates, but you were starting to wonder if he was ever going to make a move. 

You glanced back over at him a few moments later and saw that he was still staring straight ahead. His hands were tightly clasped together in his lap and his knee was bouncing slightly.

You sighed and readjusted a bit in your seat, placing your arms haphazardly on the arm rests on either side of your seat, just out of comfort. While you settled in to continue watching the movie, you didn’t see Harry glancing over at you, and then down at your hand that was now resting only a few inches away from him. 

He wanted to hold your hand, he just wasn’t sure if you would be okay with it. The first two dates had gone well, in his mind, but he knew you were a bit shy and he didn’t want to scare you off. He couldn’t stop thinking about what your hand would feel like intertwined with his own, however. It didn’t matter much to him if he had to wait a few more dates to kiss you, but he was starting to crave the feel of your skin on his own. He was undoubtedly attracted to you and wanted you to know that he was starting to really enjoy your company and wanted to advance your growing relationship.

He couldn’t have told you what had happened in the last half hour of the movie, but he couldn’t help it. His mind was only focused on one thing and he knew he wouldn’t be able to get through the rest of the film without holding your hand. He needed it; he had to.

He unclasped his hands and slowly started to inch the left one closer to the arm rest, trying to seem inconspicuous by shuffling his body a bit to make the movement appear natural. You were still looking at the screen and not really noticing what was going on, so he moved a little more. His hand was now only inches from yours and he could feel his fingers twitching with anticipation. 

It was now or never; he couldn’t hold his hand in the awkward position it was currently in without seeming bizarre. He inhaled and slowly edged his hand until it was hovering on top of yours. The first time his fingers brushed against yours, he felt your hand twitch, but you didn’t move. He took another breath and lowered his hand until it covered your own. When he knew that you weren’t going to reject his advances, he gently intertwined his fingers through yours and found himself finally able to relax when you tightened your grip around his fingers. He brushed his thumb against the top of your hand and smiled, settling back into his seat, not seeing the smile that had formed on your own cheeks.

A few minutes later, you leaned close to him again.

“Next time, don’t wait until the movie is half done, okay?”

Harry smirked, giving your hand a squeeze. 

He wouldn’t wait that long next time; in fact, he had no intentions of ever letting go of your hand again. He hoped you were okay with that. 

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Slow motion landslide presumably triggered by the construction at the foot. This is what happens when you don’t do a good geologic assessment of slope stability before building.

An Easy Guide To Understanding Why white Girls With Braids =/= Black Girls With Straight Hair or Weaves

1. Weaves aren’t exclusively a Black girl thing (white girls wear weaves, too- SHOCKER).

2. white girls do not have societal expectations to braid their hair. Black girls DO have societal expectations to straighten their hair.

3. white girls are not punished when they wear braids or other ‘ethnic’ hairstyles. Black girls ARE often punished (kicked out of school, fired and/or not even hired for certain jobs AT ALL, etc) when they wear braids or other ‘ethnic’ and/or natural hairstyles.

4. white girls are taught from an early age that they are inherently beautiful, that ‘it’s just hair,’ and that they can do whatever they want with it. Black girls are taught from an early age that their skin and natural hair texture makes them inherently ugly, that long, straight hair will improve their lot in life (from jobs to relationships- it’s certainly not ‘just hair’), and that they must adhere to Eurocentric beauty standards like long, straight hair to be seen as beautiful. When we attempt to ‘do whatever we want’ with it we are often met with insults and derision like, ‘When are you going to do something with that hair?’ (See: BLUE IVY CARTER) The closest white girls come to this are curly-haired girls being told to straighten their hair or control their ‘frizz;’ but even then, their white skin still grants them the privilege of meeting the standard of beauty.

SO STOP COMPARING BLACK GIRLS STRAIGHTENING THEIR HAIR TO WHITE GIRLS WEARING BRAIDS YOU GODDAMNED KINDERGARTNERS.

THIS HAS BEEN A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT.