the lay of its land

anonymous asked:

I love you and you're wonderful. Your blog always brings a smile to my face, no matter how bad my day has been:) Thank you for that. And you're writing is A+++ I use it as a reward for studying:)

Anon, you are the most actual sweetest, and this comment brought a smile to my face after a rubbish day.

Study hard~


“But I don’t want to,” said Ereinion Gil-Galad, pouting his most appealing pout. 

“You cannot be king of a realm you do not know,” said his father. “Now name the seven rivers that feed the Gelion in Ossiriand.”

“But!” said Ereinion. “But how can I come to know our lands through books and scrolls? To know a country one must walk its roads, drink from its rivers and lay down in its green fields. One must talk with a land’s people on matters great and small.”

“That is an excellent point,” said High King Fingon. “For all that you stole it from your Uncle Maglor’s verse. Well remembered all the same.” He glanced at the bright diamonds of green forest and blue sky shown through the mullioned windows of his study and tried to quiet the longing in his own heart. “A king must also know when to compromise,” he declared at last. “Go pack your saddlebags; it’s time to introduce you to your realms.”


Three weeks later, Fingon and Ereinion stood in that same study, endeavouring to take their scolding with an appropriately kingly mien. Fingon’s husband, who was sat behind Fingon’s desk with his flesh and metal fingers steepled and his eyes shining disconcertingly, cleared his throat. “Well?”

“When you were Ereinion’s age, your father would vanish into the wilds with you at the drop of a hat,” Fingon said defensively. “He wouldn’t even trouble to leave a note.” He gestured to the scrap parchment he had left pinned to his desk with a hunting knife, almost a month before. 

“In Valinor,” said Maedhros. “Do you know what’s interesting about Valinor? There are no dragons there.”

“The dragon was unanticipated,” Fingon said, rather wishing that he were back in Ard-Galen, facing the beast again full grown. His husband’s fangs were as sharp as the dragon’s and his tongue was sharper still.

Unanticipated? So unanticipated you had no choice but to engage in personal combat? He could have died. You could have died!”

“I drew you a picture, Da,” Ereinion said sheepishly, which halted Maedhros’ tirade as abruptly as a volley of arrows halted a dragon’s charge. 

“Thank you, Ereinion,” he managed, the fell light in his eyes dimming as Ereinion held up his gift in nervous, taloned hands. 

“I highlighted the interesting anatomical features and potential weak points,” he said proudly. “Also I drew me with a flamey sword and Papa in a magic dragon helmet and the long one is you.”

“It’s very good. Is that your Papa’s bow? And is the structure of the patagium accurate? That’s excellent. Go call for a bath, Ereinion. You both stink of sulphur.”

“I am sorry,” Fingon said, when Ereinion had left the room. “But no harm was done.”

Maedhros smiled ruefully. “I suppose I of all people can’t criticise you for strolling in and out of danger. Just leave our son at home next time.”

“I will.” Fingon tracked sooty footprints across the carpet as he strolled around the desk to kiss Maedhros’ cheek. He left an ashy smudge there too. “We must place a better watch upon Ard-Galen.”

“Agreed. And distribute copies of this-” Maedhros held up Ereinion’s picture “-to every unit.” Running his fingers over the scrawled, clumsy lines, he added; “We’re pining the original up in the pantry.”

A Hymn to the Horned God

Hallowed lord of fallow field,
with wild ones of the hunt you wield,
the path to feral bliss unsealed.
Arcanum of the beast revealed.

Hail to him whose blood was spilt,
by ripened grape and flowers wilt.
To lay its boon upon the land,
by huntsman’s shot, and ploughman’s hand.

A crimson promise sown to ground,
in funerary shroud wound round.
With death’s dirge sung by blackest hound.
Interred amongst the thorn and bound.

From bone and flesh to seed and stalk.
Upon the tracks the shades do walk.
Migration of ancestral flock,
from dusk to dawning crow of cock.

For when the rising sun comes round,
and blossom blooms from burial mound.
The wisdom of the wild unbound,
Our Lord shall rise, the antler crowned.

-Matthew Venus

The Witch as Nature’s Steward


There is an innate desire to seek some distant past as a guide in most forms of magical practice. The witch no less looks to find authenticity in the practice of generations, of lineages, of consecutive people who have passed down some “ancient” secret for centuries. While it is not to dismiss those who have been born into such situations, the fact is that what we truly seek is actually much older than even the written word. We look to the past in some knowing way without realizing that the past we seek isn’t some middle ages romanticism, it is the very dawn of the human, the rise of contemporary civilization. We seek a pre-civilization state, looking for that which is uncivilized, at the very fringes of society and its taboos. We are looking to the ancient past in search of a state of uncivilization. For in that state, we somehow know, is perceptual unity with the natural world. This too is the nature of the Veil.

The idea of the witch in society has grown out of our distance from nature. As mankind has left the perceptual fold of nature our ancestral fear of the darker elements of the wild have become rooted in the concept of the witch. The programming of civilization has created a perception in mankind that we are somehow separate from nature, that our actions are above it, that our mistakes somehow outside of it. The destruction we have wrought is that very force of nature, acting through the human species, make no mistake. Mankind is simply nature’s cancer, destroying so that it may recreate, so that it may evolve.

Rarely in the world do those things that matter most, those lessons we must undergo, come from the words of men. It is primarily in the west that initiation comes from others, a product of a society programmed on the back of Semitic and Greek concepts of divinity. In much of the world initiation is a time of going away, an exile into the wilderness beyond the boundaries of human control. To live, to die, and to be reborn. All alone with only one’s thoughts and instincts.

In the west magic is seen as a tradition handed from some cabal to its members, some occult knowledge to be guarded from the world at large. Yet we see in the culture of the Aranda people of Australia, the Tuvan shaman of Siberia, the Jivaro people of the Amazon, that magic comes from outside of the people - that the spirits live in the natural world. Magic is that which is beyond, that which like the initiation ceremony, is outside of society. True understanding comes only from having gone out by oneself into the vast unknown of nature and returned reborn. The solitary practitioner, navigating the landscape in isolation, with only their wits and the spirits to guide them.

The witch represents a figure that stands at the threshold of our relationship with nature, often viewed in an historic context, but continual unto today. The further mankind has grown away from our innate understanding of the natural world, the greater our fear of the great unknown. The darkened wood, the desolate mountain, the empty desert - these places become imbibed with fear that we anthropomorphize in the role of the witch. In the modern world of western culture we have a pathological relationship with nature, living in a state of oblivious self perceived superiority, no longer afraid of the darken woods. Yet simultaneously transfixed to stories and reports of hikers attacked by mountain lions and bears, of swimmers eaten by sharks and alligators. Of the dangers of poisonous plants and fungi, of avalanche, forest fire, and landslide. Voyeuristic onlookers who fear to step outside of the paved paths and designed environments of the modern world.

The witch functions in society as one who would seek an understanding of the natural world held by our ancient ancestors. They look to the natural world to educate them, bringing forth the life forces that exist in the woods and fields, listening to the wind and the birds, knowing the lay of the land. We go forth into the natural world, seeking its guidance, treating it with respect, asking it to teach us. Above all, listening to its wisdoms.

Like nature itself the witch is neither good nor evil. We are a force, beyond the cultural abstractions of morality, beyond the linguistic acrobatics of societal guilt. Like a fox taking a hare, blood sometimes must be spilt in our work. We seek to heal with one hand and destroy with the other, as we must. Our fury is that of the storm, it may be an act of violence but its power is cleansing, bringing life in the wake of its wrath.

To those who seek that path toward uncivilization, who desire to understand the wood, to know the bird, to hear the wind in its subtlest song, the path will open to you. It will not be a path written in books and made of words. It will be a path of earth, untrodden and away from the footsteps of mankind. You will know its teaching in the silence it brings, it will test you and your courage, in its darkness as well as its light. It will not happen overnight, nor in occasional visits. It is a relationship we build with the landscape we inhabit. We are learning its ways, like a lover, knowing its curves, its hard and soft spots, its undisclosed and forbidden regions. We taste of it, we breath deeply of its scents. Over time we return to that state of oneness that we seek. There our education truly begins.

anonymous asked:

Are Beric Dondarrion and Edric Dayne still the lords of their lands?They both became outlaws&enemies of the current power holding the throne,so couldn't the crown give their lands to the next in line/somebody else? Dondarrion's death is is not official at the moment(the other deaths make it seem like another false report). Who rules Blackhaven?Did anybody outside of the BWB even know where the LordofStarfall was&if he was even alive? Don't his relatives&subjects in Dorne wonder about their lord

Depends very much on the facts on the ground. As events have shown, the writ of King’s Landing doesn’t exactly run to Dorne, let alone the Marches, especially now that Aegon’s army is on the verge of taking Storm’s End.

For example, on paper, Phillip Foote is the Lord of Nightsong, but he rather pointedly is staying in King’s Landing and hasn’t been able to lay his hands on its lands, incomes, or castle. 

The shed of leaves became a cascade of red and gold and after a time the trees stood skeletal against a sky of weathered tin. The land lay bled of its colours. The nights lengthened, went darker, brightened in their clustered stars. The chilled air smelled of woodsmoke, of distances and passing time. Frost glimmered on the morning fields. Crows called across the pewter afternoon
—  James Carlos Blake - Wildwood Boys
*throws mer-selkieformers at you*

BLUH. Self indulgence.


Snow brought an odd luminescence to the twilit beach. It lay thinly towards the threshold where sand met land, almost glowing of its own accord. Fat, lazy flakes fell through the air and the thick clouds above muted the stars. Combined with the haar rising over the sea, the world felt eerily still, its silence only broken by the soft lapping of the waves.

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anonymous asked:

Could you maybe clarify all the terms on your cladogram? I mean I know that they're all defined by evolutionary relationship and stuff but maybe both define them AND provide an example animal? I'm just a little confused by some of the names...

Oh yeah, sure! 

Chordata (Brick Red): Tunicata + Craniata + Cephalochordata; their most recent common ancestor, and all its descendants. Typically characterized by having a notochord, a dorsal neural tube, pharyngeal slits, a post-anal tail, and an endostyle at some stage of their lives. Examples include hagfish, sea squirts, sharks, sea bass, lungfish, frogs, humans, birds, and lizards (all vertebrates are chordates). 

Vertebrata (Red): Myllokunmingia + Gnathostomata (+ MRCA and all descendants); typically all chordates that have a backbone. Includes: sharks, sea bass, lungfish, frogs, humans, birds, lizards, and lampreys. 

Gnathostomata (Brown): Chondrichthyes + Placodermi + Teleostomi (MRCA & des.; jawed vertebrates. Includes: Sharks, sea bass, lungfish, frogs, humans, birds, and lizards. 

Placodermi (Beige): All gnathostomes more closely related to Dunkleosteus than to any living “fish”; these are the “armoured fish” that had huge armor plating on their heads. All non-placoderm Gnathostomes are in Eugnathostomata. Includes Dunkleosteus; all are now extinct. 

Chondricthyes (Orange): All Eugnathostomatans more closely related to Carcharodon than to humans; is all cartilaginous fish. Originally it was thought that bony fish evolved from cartilaginous fish, however, it has since been found that both diverged from a common Placoderm ancestor. Includes sharks and rays. 

Teleostomi (Yellow): All Eugnathostomatans more closely related to humans than to Carcharodon; “bony fish”. Includes sea bass, lungfish, frogs, humans, birds, and lizards. It is subdivided into Acanthodii & Euteleostomi. 

Actinopterygii (Olive Green): All Euteleostomis more closely related to sea bass than to humans. “Ray-finned fish”. Includes sea bass, clownfish, tuna, and goldfish. 

Sarcopterygii (Lime Green): All Euteleostomis more closely related to humans than to sea bass. “Lobe-finned fish”. Includes lungfish, coelacanth, frogs, humans, birds, and lizards. 

Tetrapoda (Light Green): Frogs + Humans, MRCA & all its descendants. Essentially, all land vertebrates - there are many forms of lobe-finned fish that were able to crawl onto land that form Tetrapoda’s most recent ancestors, but tetropoda proper is just all the descendants of the MRCA for all modern land animals (amphibians, sauropsids, and mammals). Includes frogs, humans, birds, and lizards.

Lissamphibia (Green): Caecilians + Frogs, MRCA & all its descendants. Essentially amphibians, though it excludes many extinct amphibians (when you use the term amphibian to mean all non-amniote tetrapods). This might not actually be a proper cladistic group, but I included it as it definitely does not contain any amniotes. Includes caecilians, frogs, and salamanders. 

Amniota (Dark Green): Humans + Birds, MRCA & all its descendants. All hard-shelled-egg laying land animals (specifically, they produce an egg with an amnios, allowing the animal to lay the egg on land, rather than water). Even though many mammals (and some reptiles!) have secondarily lost this ability, their ancestors did have it, making them a part of this group. Includes humans, birds, and lizards. 

Synapsida (Seafoam): A group of amniotes that includes mammals and all amniotes more closely related to mammals than other living amniotes. Synapsids are not reptiles; though many non-mammalian synapsids resemble them heavily. They are easily characterized by their skulls: many amniotes have temporal fenestra (a hole behind their eye socket); synapsids only have one of these. Most reptiles have two. Includes Dimetrodon, humans, and whales. 

Mammalia (Teal): Platypus + Humans, MRCA & all its descendants. All mammals, essentially. Mammals are typically characterized by the ability to produce milk from mammary glands. Most don’t lay eggs, but either give birth to their young in a pouch (marsupials) or grow the young inside of a placenta (placentals, aka us). Includes echidnas, humans, whales, and kangaroos. 

Sauropsida (Aqua): All amniotes more closely related to birds than to mammals. Essentially reptiles. Since birds and dinosaurs are included in this group, there aren’t a whole heck of a lot of good unifying characteristics. Many sauropsids are endothermic (warm-blooded); many have feathers in addition to scales; and some even give birth to live young. Includes turtles, plesiosaurs, lizards, tuatara, snakes, mosasaurs, icthyosaurs, crocodiles, pterosaurs, dinosaurs, and because it includes dinosaurs, birds. 

Lepidosauria (Dark Purple): Lizards + Tuatara, MRCA & all its descendants. Characterized by having overlapping scales. A part of the larger group Lepidosauromorpha within Sauropsida. Includes lizards, tuatara, snakes, and mosasaurs. 

Squamata (Purple): Lizards + Snakes; MRCA & all its descendants. Characterized by skins with horny scales and shields, and can move the upper jaw as well as the lower jaw (not something most jawed vertebrates can do). Includes lizards, snakes, and mosasaurs. 

Mosasauridae (Lavender): Mosasaurus + Plioplatecarpus, MRCA & all its descendants. The mosasaurs - large marine reptiles, similar to monitor lizards, but elongated and streamlined for swimming. Extinct now. Includes - you guessed it - Mosasaurus, as well as Tylosaurus and many others. 

Serpentes (Fuchsia): Blind snakes + Vipers, MRCA & all its descendants. Essentially all snakes. They’re distinct from lizards due to lack of eyelids and external ears - there are many legless lizards, but snakes are a specific group of “lizards” (given that squamates on the whole can be called lizards). Includes the garter snake, blind snakes, and cobras.  

Ichthyosauria (Hot Pink): All animals more closely related to Icthyosaurus than to Grippia; essentially, a group of sauropsids not a part of Lepidosauromorpha or Archosauromorpha. They were adapted for completely aquatic life and are now completely extinct; they sort of looked like dolphins. Includes Icthyosaurus, Opthalmasaurus, and Mixosaurus. 

Archosauromorpha (Azure): Birds + Crocodiles + Turtles, MRCA & all its descendants. Essentially all modern sauroposids more closely related to birds than to lizards, though of course it includes many extinct groups as well that are descended from their most recent common ancestor. This is a very diverse group with a wide variety of characteristics. Includes turtles, plesiosaurs, crocodiles, pterosaurs, dinosaurs and therefore birds. 

Pantestudines (Dark Violet): All sauropsids more closely related to turtles than any other animal. A group of archosaurimorphs. Genetic analyses have shown strong evidence that they are more closely related to archosaurs than to lepidosaurs; these genetic analyses that include fossils also reveal that animals such as plesiosaurs and placodonts are in this group. Includes turtles, plesiosaurs, Liopleurodon, and Placodus.   

Plesiosauria (Plum): Plesiosaurus + Peloneustes, MRCA & all its descendants. The plesiosaurs - the long-necked (though many lost this) marine reptiles from the Mesozoic. This group also includes the pliosaurs, which on the whole lost the long necks characterizing the group. Includes Plesiosaurus, Elasmosaurus, Kronosaurus, and Liopleurodon. 

Testudines (Violet): Xinjianchelys + Trionyx, MRCA & all its descendants. Essentially, all modern turtles - characterized by having a shell developed from the ribs that acts as a shield. The classification of turtles has been a struggle, given that they are anapsids - meaning, they have no temporal fenestra. The earliest amniotes were anapsids and it was assumed from fossil evidence that turtles, therefore, were descended directly from them, and were not part of any more derived amniote groups (such as synapsids or archosaurs). Most sauropsids are diapsids - meaning, they have two temporal fenestrae. It has since been theorized, however, that turtle ancestors were diapsids; turtles actually lost their temporal fenestrae during their evolution. This is not a completely ridiculous idea, of course; many traits are secondarily lost in groups, making classification by traits a nightmare and unfeasible. Genetic analyses have revealed that the closest living relatives for turtles are crocodiles and birds, making them a part of Archosauromorpha. Includes Green sea turtles, the African spurred tortoise, and terrapins such as the Red-eared turtle. 

Archosauria (Cerulean): Crocodiles + Birds, MRCA & all its descendants. Characterized by having teeth in sockets, though some archosaurs (such as birds) lost their teeth secondarily. Many members of the group have erect or partially erect gaits, unlike other sauropsids, which have sprawling gaits (such as lizards). Archosaurs were the dominant land vertebrates for the entirety of the Mesozoic Era (though dinosaurs were only really during the Jurassic and Cretaceous; a wide variety of archosaurs were common throughout the Triassic). Given that birds are far more diverse than mammals; it can still be argued that archosaurs continue to be the dominant land vertebrates today. Includes crocodiles, pterosaurs, dinosaurs and therefore birds. 

Pseudosuchia (Aqua): Living crocodilians and all archosaurs more closely related to crocodilians than birds. They have massively built skulls, and many still have the typical reptilian sprawl, though some have an erect gait. They typically also had armored plates. Includes crocodiles, alligators, Deinosuchus, phytosaurs, and aetosaurs. 

Ornithodira (Indigo): A subgroup of Avemetatarsalians, which is all archosaurs more closely related to birds than to crocodiles. Ornithodira is, specifically, Dinosaurs + Pterosaurs, MRCA, and all descendants (Ornithodira was easier to fit into the diagram). This group potentially has protofeathers as a characteristic of the entire clade, though many lost them secondarily (such as hadrosaurs). Includes almost all flying vertebrates. Members include Scleromochlus, all pterosaurs, all dinosaurs and therefore all birds.  

Pterosauria (Blue-Violet): Anurognathus + Preondactylus + Quetzalcoatlus, MRCA & Descendants. The pterosaurs. These are all of the “flying reptiles” that one typically knows about from the Mesozoic Era. They had pycnofibres - small filaments similar to hair, potentially the same as protofeathers; and flew using membraneous wings that stretched across an extended finger. Includes Dimorphodon, Pteranodon, Pterodactylus (”pterodactyl”), and Ornithocheirus. 

Dinosauria (Blue): Megalosaurus + Iguanodon, MRCA & descendants. All dinosaurs. Note that this does not include many of the animals listed above! Dinosaurs are a very specific group of animals that all, typically, were able to walk with the limbs directly beneath the body. Protofeathers were also an ancestral trait for this group, though many dinosaurs secondarily lost them - the same proteins that make protofeathers were turned into scales. Includes Brontosaurus (yes, it’s a thing again, there was a study this year), Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus, Allosaurus, Velociraptor, Brachiosaurus, Troodon, Parasaurolophus, Ankylosaurus, Pachycephalosaurus, Archaeopteryx, the Dodo, Bald Eagles, Emus, Cassowaries, Chickens, Ducks, Finches, Parrots, Robins, Crows, Geese, Blue Jays, Penguins, Auks, Seagulls… 

Avialae (Light Blue): All dinosaurs more closely related to modern birds than to Troodon. This is typically the group I mean when I say “birds,” though the clade that includes only modern birds is called Neornithes - all non-Neornithes Avialaens are extinct. Many basal Avialae, furthermore, are almost indistinguishable from their closest dinosaurian relatives, the troodontids. It is uncertain whether the earliest Avialaens (such as Archaeopteryx) could properly fly. Includes Archaeopteryx, Confuciusornis, Hesperornis, the Dodo, Bald eagles Emus, Cassowaries, Chickens, Ducks, Finches, Parrots, Robins, Crows, Geese, Blue Jays, Penguins, Auks, Seagulls… essentially, all birds. 

I hope that was helpful!

evolution-incarnate  asked:

Is there a possibility that a fully aquatic spinosaur exists (I know the answer is maybe but I'd like your opinion)

I’m going to assume that by “fully aquatic”, you mean “totally incapable of going on land, to the point of having flippers instead of feet or something”.  Correct me if I assumed incorrectly.

If that’s the case, then my opinion is “yes”!  I do think that there was at least one fully aquatic species of spinosaur.  Its name was Spinosaurus.

Spinosaurus had incredibly strange proportions for a theropod dinosaur; it had an extremely low-slung body and very small hind legs.  This would have made bipedal locomition extremely awkward, if not impossible.  Therefore, recent reconstructions of Spinosaurus often show it walking quadrupedally, but its forelimbs weren’t built for that; it definitely still had “hands”, rather than front feet.

This raises the possibility that Spinosaurus was fully aquatic, and emerged onto land only to lay its eggs - not unlike a modern-day loon.

The above reconstruction by Alphynix gives Spinosaurus webbed feet and a tail fluke - speculative adaptations for a fully aquatic lifestyle.  There’s no fossil evidence of any of these soft-tissue features, but the lack of physical evidence doesn’t mean that they definitely weren’t present.

These features were not present in other known spinosaurs, who had more typical theropod body plans.  Spinosaurus seems to have been a more specialized animal, possibly adapted to live permanently in the water.

Chapter I: Ruby


The scruffy, orange filly made her way down the perilous stone face, a barren outcropping common to the mountainous Northern region of the world; far from all the tumult of the central valley. The filly’s deep red mane was streaked by white though it had been roughly cut short with little apparent care; far from glamorous, this was a practical style. ‘Ruby Streak’, is what they’d called her. A name born out of her stupid mane. This added to her already scruffy look, though, she was never the pony to pretty up; her past days in the wild only underlined her image.

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Christina’s World, Andrew Wyeth

1948

The woman in the painting is Anna Christina Olson (3 May 1893 – 27 January 1968). She is known to have suffered from polio, a muscular deterioration that paralyzed her lower body. Although polio has been her standard diagnosis, more likely she was afflicted with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a genetic disorder characterized by a progressive wasting away of the muscles, paralysis, and loss of sensation beginning in late childhood or early adulthood. 

Christina’s disorder had all of these features. (Polio produces a sudden, non-progressive paralysis unaccompanied by a loss of sensation.) Wyeth was inspired to create the painting when he saw her crawling across a field while watching from a window in the house. Wyeth had a summer home in the area and was on friendly terms with Olson, using her and her younger brother as the subjects of paintings from 1940 to 1968.Although Olson was the inspiration and subject of the painting, she was not the primary model — Wyeth’s wife Betsy posed as the torso of the painting. 

Olson was 55 at the time Wyeth created the work.

The house depicted in the painting is known as the Olson House, and is located in Cushing, Maine. It is open to the public, operated by the Farnsworth Art Museum; it is a National Historic Landmark, and has been restored to match its appearance in the painting. In the painting, Wyeth separated the house from its barn and changed the lay of the land.

A Reflection on Season 4 before the Finale, Largely Made Up of My Worries.

So, after all the interviews and such landed in the wake of ‘Terra Incognita’ (which I still genuinely like), I want to address the one big issue I did have with the episode, and how it paints John’s thoughts and emotions. See, in a recent interview, Nolan said that Carter and Iris are the only two characters who John has ever been willing to confide in.

And with a single statement, I could finally accept why, despite some truly awesome moments and a solid first half of the season, season 4 has been my least favorite season. Because, for reasons I cannot comprehend, the writers appear to now have no interest in Harold and John’s relationship, and seem to retroactively want to minimize its importance in both their lives.

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This is probably too long for tumblr, but I wrote it to be posted here and I think that’s where it ought to go first.

I’ve really been struggling with stress nightmares lately, and when a particularly violent and horrifying one woke me up last night about two in the morning, I realized there was no way I’d be able to get back to sleep anytime soon. Instead I opened a blank document, intending to sketch out a few notes for a wonderful ask I got the other day, and ended up with four thousand words spilling out over the next three hours until I finally felt I could get back to sleep. I finished it this evening after clinic, and though I don’t quite know what it is and it hasn’t been edited, I hope you enjoy it anyway. It’s not what I usually write, but…I’m very fond of it, somehow.

Anonymous said: I don’t know if this sort of question has been asked before, but if you had to pick a fairy / folk tale to represent your OCs, what would they be? It doesn’t have to be a direct parallel, just a story that has some sort of emotional mirroring/resonance with your character.

Soundtrack, and last section (linked at the section break there as well).

Once upon a time, in a great castle hidden deep in a green wood, there lived a princess with her six brothers and sisters. 

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anonymous asked:

Advice for incoming PhD students?

Yes, don’t do it!

I’m totally kidding, but my first piece of advice is don’t feel bad if you feel like screaming that to other people that talk to you about grad school after you’ve been at it for a few years. There will be some days you hate your life and completely regret your decision. From what I’ve experienced that’s a completely normal reaction.

Now on to some actual advice

1) Make sure you’re comfortable with your PI/mentor. Your first year is really for figuring things out and getting the lay of the land. If you don’t think its a good fit remember you can change paths. It gets harder the further on you get, but remember you need to be happy with your decision because it’s going to be your life for the next few years, and will be with you for the rest of your life. So don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself as scary as it might seem.

2) Find out what the student resources are for grad students. Whether that be free student lunches or a hidden Keurig machine, know whats available for you.

3) Make friends that are also in grad school. Other people who are your friends outside the program can be loving and supporting, but trust me when I say there is nothing like commiserating with other grad students. That’s half the reason I started this blog to begin with was to make sure I wasn’t crazy and connect with other grad students. They will be your lifeline.

4) Make time for yourself. Take this advice from someone who doesn’t take her own advice, the work/life balance is so important. You will burn out and be miserable if you don’t remember to take care of yourself. I’ll usually try and give myself 1 hour of my favorite show a day around lunch time to give myself a mental break and recharge. Or read a chapter of a for-fun book before bed. Have a night out or in every once and awhile. Treat yo self.

5) Don’t give up. Things will be hard. Things won’t work the first time. You’ll want to scream at your mentor. You’ll probably cry. It’s ok. Take a shower, eat some chocolate, give yourself a night off, and brush yourself off the next morning and keep on going.

I hope these helps! And remember, you can always ask myself, or anyone else for tips, tricks, and advice along the way. No one gets through grad school alone!