the story of where the road goes

On Fury Road and the value of non-threatening male heroes

So I’ve been re-watching Fury Road and something struck me;

Tom Hardy’s Max is just really non-threatening. Now, that’s weird on a surface level because in story he’s presented as very dangerous. But here’s the thing about the kind of men we’re used to seeing in action movie; They are threatening in their masculinity.

The capitol A Action hero is a fixture in our cultural awareness. Almost without fail this hero is a man (if you have a woman in the role of action hero, it’s almost always proceeded by her gender. She can’t just be the action hero, she is very clearly cast as a FEMALE action hero.) So our male Action hero  is a badass. He’s dangerous, he’s brooding, he’s tough as nails. Sometimes he’s sarcastic and witty, sometimes he’s a moody stud. Point is, despite cultural changes that we see with our Action heroes as different pop culture trends change the flavoring, these men are all pretty much cut from the same mold. And here’s the thing about your typical Action hero; They have this underlying current of threatening masculinity. To put it bluntly, your typical Action hero is really all about cock. They’re intimidating to both their male peers and the women who are cast opposite them. They are toxic masculinity distilled onto our screens.

Now, in recent years we’ve been seeing more varity in our Action heroes. More emotion. Of course, there have always been exceptions (Luke Skywalker is one of the most note worthy male heroes to break this mold, and I think it’s worth noting that he’s often called whiny. Hell, when I was a little kid I loved him, but as a young teenager I thought he was lame. Now I realize that this might well have been because he wasn’t acting like your typical male hero. Maybe that scared me on some level) Anyway, let’s get back to Hardy’s Max. In story he  starts out as frightening, but he is never threatening in the way of your usual Action hero. He’s feral, dangerous, and unpredictable at the start of our story, but he doesn’t have any of that toxic masculinity.  So, we have a mad Max who is dangerous, and seems mad, as it were.  But there’s none of that hyper male Action hero posturing.

Hardy’s Max is a flawed man whose past has almost driven him past the point of no return. To the other characters in the movies he initially seems to be  feral (they don’t have the benefit of hearing his inner thoughts) Max is a frightening, but he’s not a masculine he-man. In fact, the characters in the movie who fall close to what we’re used to seeing in Action heroes are the warboys and their leader. The culture espoused by Immortan Joe is hyper masculine and toxic. The young men who idolize him seem like extreme versions of what we’re used to with our heroes. They’re brainwashed into a society built on toxic masculinity and objectification, and the heroes of the story are the ones fighting against this idea. Interestingly, Furiosa has a lot of traits of your traditional Action hero, but it’s coupled with compassion and self reflection, not because she’s a woman, but because  she’s  a person. Like Max, she is fighting to regain her humanity through helping a group of young women fight for their freedom from a world of toxic masculinity.

So, again back to Max himself. As the movie goes on he regains his sense of self. A big theme int he movie is the objectification and commodification of human life. We see this with Immortan Joe’s ‘wives” as well as with the brainwashed warboys and the use living humans as ‘bloodbags’ and ‘milkers’ Max starts the movie literally strapped to the hood of a car as a hood ornament/living blood bag.  Max is reluctant to help Furiosa and the ‘wives’ at first, but we see him change in a brief period of time. He  regains his humanity through helping others and coming to terms with his own demons. Hardy’s Max is dangerous, but he’s also vulnerable, undeniably so. We see his fear, we see what haunts him, and we see him struggle to survive, and then struggle to come to terms with his past in order to help others have a future. This sets him apart from Mel Gibson’s Max, and in my opinion makes him the better of the two. By the time Max starts really showing his human side, we see a man who is compassionate and half broken, a man who relearns himself by helping others.

Another notable aspect of Max is his relationship with Furiosa. Usually when your typical Action hero is paired with a STRONG INDEPENDENT WOMAN in a movie, there’s this ongoing dynamic of ‘but you’re a girlllllll’ There isn’t respect, because the heroes of the story are acting out the deeply felt internalized misogyny of our own society. They can’t interact as equals because in our cultural minds they are inherently unequal. They are defined by their rigid gender rules, and they act this out like they’re children on a playground crying about cooties. And of course, there’s usually the sexual element, with the heroes constantly griping at/disrespecting one another while it’s played off as repressed attraction all along.Fury Road never once does this. Max and Furiosa are two flawed and broken people trying to survive. There isn’t a split second where Max stops to wonder how a GIRL can be so tough. Once they’re established as allies, they immediately move into a working relationship built on mutual respect and trust. Two scenes come to mind. Firstly, the initial canon chase when Max first shows himself as an ally. There’s one notable moment where Furiosa is standing up out of the roof and Max hands her a gun. That doesn’t seem important, but there’s something about that gesture that’s very c cinematically important. It shows us that they’re a team now, and it shows us that they trust each other. The second notable scene is the “Don’t breathe” moment in the night bog. Max has previously seen that Furiosa is a good shot. He knows that she is the one to trust with this task, so he hands her the gun and lets her use him as a rifle stand. It’s a moment with no dialogue that speaks volumes.

All of this goes to Max as a nonthreatening hero. He never objectifies, disrespects, or distrusts his counterpart. He’s never an alpha male. He’s part of a story that he doesn’t need to dominate with his manly male maleness. Hardy’s Max is a dangerous, vulnerable, and quietly compassionate man who gives respect and trust where it’s due. He has no need to parade and prove his masculinity. In fact, the people doing that are the villains, and isn’t that telling?

anonymous asked:

hey!! do you have any multi-chapter zutara fic recs?

DO I?! 

Originally posted by positivegrunge

Okay before I start, here’s a link to my original masterpost of fanfic recs. A lot of the masterpost is made up of one shots, but I do have some great multi-chapter fics on there as well. 



Once Around the Sun by eleventy7 (RATED K+)

Oh MAN. If you’ve been following me for a little while, you would know that this is my ALL TIME FAVORITE Zutara fanfiction. HOLY. CRAP. It’s so good. Taking place shortly after the end of the show, this post war fic is the slow burn we all deserve. Starts K//at/ang and M/a-i/ko, and it beautifully highlights the flaws of both endgame ships without demonizing either Aang or Mai. AND we get an amazing Ursa and an AMAZING Azula. Sometimes if I need a pick me up I just read the last two chapters and sob at the beauty.  

Fall of the White Lotus by Boo-82 (RATED T)

Do you love soap operas? Do you love sweeping romances? Do you love the idea that the entire Avatar-universe would be DESTROYED if Katara and Zuko didn’t fall in love??? If yes to any or all of those, than this fic is for you. An epic of a post war fic, this story could take the alternate title of ‘Road Trip of LOVE: A Zutara Story’. Has some Taang on the side, so if that’s your thing you’ve got that added bonus. 

Such Selfish Prayers by andromeda3116 (RATED T)

Didn’t you hate how in the comics Katara became a shell of herself who did nothing but wait on Aang hand and foot? Yeah, so did the rest of us. So here’s a story where Katara’s just chilling, watching the acolytes, and is like “Uhm wtf am I doing this isn’t me”, leaves Aang, and goes on to change the world because she’s that awesome. And yeah, Zuko just happens to be a part of her epic world changing. So beautiful. 

Our Fortunes Together by NomDeGuerre (RATED M)

Like arranged marriage tropes? Love slow burn? Well here have both of them in the SAME FIC. Yep, that’s right, a slow burn arranged marriage fic. Really awesome AU where rather than be banished, Zuko has to suffer with Azula and Ozai after the Agni Kai, and the slaughter of the group he tried to save is blamed on him. His final shame is being married off to a member of the Southern Water Tribe, our babe Katara. Excellent story. 

i didn’t know i was lonely (’til i saw your face) by raisindeatre (RATED T)

brb just sobbing over the beauty of this modern AU. I don’t like modern AUs. But I LOVE this one. It’s just… the best thing ever. Honestly. It’s so fluffy and cute and I’m blushing right now writing this summary for it. It’s the "I hit you with my car and was the only one to visit you in hospital" AU none of us knew we needed from Zutara. Also anyone else think of The Raven Cycle when they hear this song? Just me? Alright sorry this is a zutara fic rec I’ll stay in my lane

What Fortunes Lent by lewilder (RATED T)

Even So is one of my all time favorite one shots, but What Fortunes Lent by the same author is also an amazing worthwhile read. In this AU, the Southern Raiders mission comes when Katara is older and they take her prisoner rather than kill Kya. There are so many moments where you’ll clutch your heart and just want to cry but the ending is just beautiful if not horribly ambiguous… absolutely all around lovely fic. 


Southern Lights by colourwhirled (RATED M)

Now, I don’t really like drastic AU’s. They just aren’t what I’m typically interested in reading. But this one, oh man. I’m so in love and invested. It takes place in a universe where there is no Avatar (but there is Aang) and Sozin successfully conquers the world. The worldbuilding is FANTASTIC, characterization is amazing, and at this moment the plot is really picking up and getting interesting. Slow burn is absolutely fantastic in this story, and I’m so excited to see what happens. What I love the most is hints of events that happened in canon are sprinkled throughout, giving this feeling that some events are always meant to be, even in drastically different scenarios. 

Brightest Nights or Darkest Days by Kittenshift17 (RATED M)

I want to give a warning with this one. This Zutara fanfiction will not be for everyone. This author is mainly a Dramione writer, and you can absolutely see that in how she writes the dynamic between Katara and Zuko. If you love Zutara but hate Dramione, you probably will not like this. However, as someone who likes both, I can say that this is a really well written season 2 AU and in the last update we just got an interesting addition to the plot that appears to be here to stay. 

HOPEFULLY these will keep you busy for a while. Happy reading!!! 

Deep Roads Overlay Map

So, back in one of the earlier books of Dances in Darkness, I mentioned I had taken awhile writing because I was trying to work out all the locations of the Thaigs and Deep Roads relative to the surface. We know that the dwarven empire once spanned almost all of Thedas. Most of it has been lost. Only Orzammar survives. 

During the Paragon of Her Kind quest in Dragon Age: Origins, we are given a “map” by whichever person you choose to support, which is ultimately a rough work-up of what their team has discovered so far. We know it’s maybe a little inaccurate. It’s absolutely not even remotely complete, and yet it has a lot of information there for us. The Warden uses it to reach the Anvil of the Void and yay, all is happy.

This is the longest portion of the bloody game, and tedious in parts. You visit a lot of locations, and have to fight your way through some fairly large areas. I have no idea if my timescale is correct for Dances in Darkness, but I use Dagna’s two weeks from Orzammar to the Circle Tower as a guide, so all my times in story come from that generalized figure (I count this as two weeks walking or slow riding). I guess it takes about as long to Redcliffe, and contrary to people saying you can sail to Kinloch Hold from Redcliffe in 2 days (one there, one back) in game, I’m not sure how that’s really possible unless you account for boats being amazing, and Templars not being angry at people sailing directly from Redcliffe to their Tower. I feel like there’s maybe something weird with that. 

Ultimately the endeavour to work out the Deep Roads then actually came from a need to get my timescale right. In Dances, they’re on a very limited time schedule to work in, and I needed to know just how limited and if the time constraints set were even possible. So I needed to know how that Deep Roads map relates to the actual Thedas map of Ferelden to compare Dagna’s two weeks measurement (let’s trust her on that; she’s obsessed with the place and would probably know specifics like measurements given she’s a smith’s daughter who loves learning).

Looking at the basic Deep Roads map, we get this:

Now, at first glance, you look at this thinking right, compass rose there in the lower corner, so the Anvil of the Void and Bownammar are west, probably into Orlais, and Cadash Thaig is down south, and Orzammar is there in the north-east corner. Except this is not actually correct. We have several pieces of evidence that point to the fact that this map is not currently correctly angled.

1. This is a mock-up by Bhelen/Harrowmont men trying to find Branka. It was made by dwarves who have never been to the surface and navigate using stone sense (which is probably linked to lyrium and not to an actual magnetic direction). Therefore, there is no reason why dwarves would use north/south/east/west anyway.

2. It deliberately says on the map in the top right corner “to Frostback Mountains”. Since the Frostbacks are an entire mountain range, let’s assume this means to the mountain range itself, and that arrow up there is pointing to the range. The range therefore runs somewhat along the entire top edge of the map.

3. We enter Orzammar from the surface from a door that is facing South. The door leads into the Commons directly across from the Provings. The door into the Deep Roads is actually then off to the right in the level, meaning that the map should be showing the Deep Roads exit/entrance to Orzammar. And it does. If we angle the map again, we find that the map is angled incorrectly.

4. In one of the books (I think Stolen Throne?) Maric and Loghain and Rowan are fighting in the Battle of West HIlls (located up near Highever and Waking Sea and the Storm Coast). This battle goes spectacularly badly. Maric, Loghain, and Rowan only escape the battle by fleeing into the Deep Roads, where they end up somewhere in or around Ortan Thaig. They then travel through the Deep Roads to Gwaren to emerge, by which time everyone thinks Maric is dead, and this is some spectacular resurrection or something. It’s because of this previous journey that the Grey Wardens later try to get King Maric to help them navigate the Deep Roads after Rowan’s death (The Calling, I believe). This is the whole Fiona/Maric and Duncan and the Architect story here. The Architect is doing something sketchy in a Thaig called Kul’Baras, and he later emerges very close to or under Kinloch Hold itself. This information actually gives us locations of not one but three different Thaigs on the map. Kul’Baras is somewhere under Lake Calenhad. Gwaren is under Gwaren. And Ortan Thaig is under West Hills. Only one of these is specifically listed on the map, but we also know where Orzammar is too, so then it just becomes a matter of lining it up.

The result is something like this:

As you can see, by lining up Orzammar, the arrow pointing to the Frostbacks, and Ortan Thaig, some very interesting things happen. Some of those symbols on the original Deep Roads map start to line up in some very interesting places. Gwaren down there was only a smidge off Gwaren itself. And that dog symbol comes up right by Denerim. Large pockets of spaces, which before I had assumed were simply twists and turns, actually appear to be Thaigs themselves. There’s only one big blob of Deep Roads map under Lake Calenhad, so I assume that is Kul’Baras where the Architect first worked. We have some very interesting symbols and roads skimming off in the northern portion of the map. That little tower symbol from the Deep Roads map falls right near Kirkwall in the Vimmark Mountain Range. I don’t know, but that symbol looks suspiciously like this to me:

This, for those who don’t know or don’t recognize it, is the base of Corypheus’s prison from the Deep Roads level. We know it’s connected to the Deep Roads, because Varric’s ancestor got stuck there and died. If ever they were going to mark something on a map it would be the tower underground that you really don’t want to go anywhere near unless you get stuck.

Also interesting is to note the location of the Anvil of the Void, far south in the Korcari Wilds. The chasm where we first meet the Archdemon in DA:O is there too, and happens to run from Ostagar all the way to Denerim. Which, coincidentally is exactly where we happen to see the Archdemon and the horde: Ostagar, the chasm, and Denerim.

Obviously some of this then becomes guesswork. We can tell by some of our map locations which Thaigs are which, or at least the general locations. We know Kal’Hirol lies under Amaranthine, and Cadash Thaig from our maps appears to be west of that under Soldier’s Peak or thereabouts. Take it further and we see parts of the Deep Roads extend even under oceans, which is fully understandable as Cadash Thaig is a flooded mess, and what would stop them digging under the ocean? They’re dwarves. They must have passages under that way to connect to everywhere else in Thedas.

A few educated guesses and some map locations comparisons from Inquisition give us the locations of a few more places, like Valammar (best guess), and Daerwen’s Mouth on the Storm Coast. Since we know the location of Crestwood from the game map, it’s not hard to work out which of the Deep Roads blobs is the old crossroad. And once we do, we get another point as well. Gundaar. The crossroads under Crestwood was created to commemorate a paragon (see codex information for this) and was located directly halfway between Aeducan Thaig and Gundaar. The best guess I have is that dog symbol near Denerim, and since Gundaar was a fairly large location it makes some sense it would have its own symbol or whatever.

A few other locations are done by a basic search on the Dragon Age wiki for what we know about Thaigs. Two thaigs lie somewhere south of Kal’Hirol: Varen and Kal Barosh. These are best guesses based on where the blobs are in the map and based on that general statement, and are probably the most sketchy of the locations.

That golem symbol…I don’t know what that is. But if I had to venture a guess, my best guess is the location of Amgarrak Thaig where they tried to recreate golem work. Also this is a very sketchy guess. I’ve got nothing further to suggest that’s it.

And the last interesting point of note: there is a path leading under the ocean parallel to the coast alongside Kirkwall. Is this the path towards the Primeval Thaig? Maybe? I don’t know…

Anyway, it took me a bloody long time to do this, and this is the best guess I have. The same map in raw form is actually all of Thedas, but without more Deep Roads maps I cannot expand it as the only other point I know is Kal Repartha located in the Hissing Wastes on the surface. I did take some time to work out the general locations of the Archdemons, and where they struck, but what that tells us is only that with the exception of Urthemiel, and a number of attacks located along the southern edge of Lake Celestine at Montsimmard, it appears that everything south of the Waking Sea has never before experienced Blights, or at least has never experienced the massive attack. In fact, the area that seems to suffer the most is in fact the Silent Plains where Dumat was finally slain.

So I’ll leave it at that for now. Hope you guys enjoy the maps and find the information intriguing. It may all be wrong, but I hope maybe some of it is at least right, cuz I like to think that there’s a bit of the poetic in the way the Blights played out.


|| guilty crown ||

[[request prompt: Please do a Peter x Reader where he failed to save a citizen and goes to the Reader for tending his wounds, comfort and hugs. Kinda angsty and with drama please, hehe.]]

I need to work on requests hhhhhh

I’m literally writing this on my phone while going on a short road trip, so I apologize for any errors.

tags: on mobile sadly; I can’t do tags

**warnings: quite a bit of angst, with some fluff

**please don’t plagiarize/repost this story**


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Fabulous Olicity Fanfic Friday - November 10th, 2017

Happy Friday! So this is my attempt to both thank awesome fanfic writers for their amazing work and offer my recommendations to anyone who is interested. Here are the fantastic fanfic stories I read this week! They are posted in the order I read them.

Flashfics in the Forever is Composed of Nows ‘verse: June 2051 by @dust2dust34 - How Nate Queen and Penny Bookwalter meet

Flashfics in the Forever is Composed of Nows 'verse: A Peek at Their Future by @dust2dust34 - A peek into Nate Queen and Penny Bookwalter’s future.

Shoes by @smoaking-greenarrow - Oliver and Felicity go to William’s baseball game.

6x04 Missing Scene by @spaztronautwriter - William helps Oliver prepare for his date with Felicity

A Lot Like Love multi-chapter by @spaztronautwriter - After a chance meeting, Oliver and Felicity spend the next 8 years trying to put their lives together (mostly successfully), falling in and out of love (mostly with other people) and finding their way back to each other (repeatedly). (Based on the movie A Lot Like Love.)

What Happened in Vegas multi-chapter by @juleswritesallwrongs - It’s all fun and games until you wake up hung-over and married to a stranger. Five years ago Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak made a drunken mistake that could never be corrected. After years on a hellish island he comes back as a man on a mission only to find out that what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. (Season One Rewrite)

Untitled by @dust2dust34 - Prompt: Netflix and Chill

I Wrote Your Name in My Heart multi-chapter by @alanna-the-lionheart - Oliver is kidnapped and returns a different man. Heartbreaking and beautiful!

Hero Status by @yespleasehawkeyee - Prompt: The next time you shoot a guy, please don’t do it on national television.

About Last Night multi-chapter by @wrldtravler - As a favor, Felicity reluctantly hired none other than Oliver Queen to be her executive assistant. What she never agreed to was how distracting it would be having him only a few feet away with only a wall of glass between them. Apparently, Felicity isn’t the only one struggling with the close proximity. Otherwise known as a shameless AU in which Felicity is a CEO, and her assistant Oliver Queen is more than willing to give her a hand.

If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don’t Want To Be Right) multi-chapter by @smkkbert - They live in a society where the Ministry for Procreation decides who you get to marry. Once you get the letter with the contact details of your partner, you are supposed to marry within few months. Sexual relationships with any other partner are forbidden, even before you receive the contact details. Everyone who disobeys that law will be punished brutally.  Oliver and Nyssa have come to terms with that. Although they are married, Nyssa can secretly be with Sara, and Oliver can do whatever he wants to do. When Oliver decides to make changes, he falls madly in love with Felicity. Therefore, his life takes a pleasant turn because although they cannot publicly be together, at least they can be in secret. Things soon get complicated, though, when Felicity receives a letter that shall change her life.

Caught in the Rapture multi-chapter by @bindy417 - AU. Being the daughter of a ruthless and notorious crime lord, Felicity Smoak didn’t think her life could get any worse. When her father unexpectedly sells her in marriage as a peace offering to his enemy, she quickly learns it’ll take more than just her sharp intellect to survive. But what starts out as a sentence worse than death may actually be her only shot at freedom. AWESOME STORY!!

Nerves by @laurabelle2930 - Set after the beauty that was 6x04. After a night of “dessert” Felicity decides that she wants to be the one to pop the question to Oliver… now the time has come and she’s suddenly unsure is she can or should ask.

Mythology by @quiveringbunny - Businesswoman Felicity Smoak faces another charity gala, but this time she has hired a professional escort to accompany her. She gets more than she expected when the man turns out to be Oliver Queen.

Someone Else’s Sky multi-chapter by @punchdrunkdoc - Oliver Queen, the Starling City Vigilante, moves out of his family home into a small apartment. But he has an unexpected roommate. A 'Just Like Heaven’ AU

Five Times Oliver Gave Felicity His Jacket multi-chapter by @redpensandgreenarrows - Five different scenarios where Oliver offers Felicity his jacket, and one scenario in which she snags his jacket for her own reasons.

(Don’t) Let Me Go multi-chapter by @emmilynestill - Felicity told him to let her go, but even when Oliver tried, it didn’t seem to be something he was capable of. In the end, there would be nothing in the world Felicity was more grateful for. Weaving in and out of the final four episodes of Season 5 and beyond, follow Oliver and Felicity’s emotional journey back to one another, one step at a time.

Pacing at Night multi-chapter by @walker-oliciter - The problem didn’t start when she first had a one-night stand with Oliver Queen. It didn’t start when she found out he was a ruthless Bratva Captain, nor did it start when her affair with him continued. It didn’t start when she realized she had a crush on him. No, it started when two tiny pink lines appeared on a pregnancy test.

Talk to me Felicity by ClosingtheValves - Oliver’s worry Felicity is not okay finally overpowers his worry that he is being too intrusive for an ex-fiancee. LOVE THIS!

Date Night Redux by @wherethereissmoak - Prompt: Date night.  Felicity is finishing her Arrow field night and Oliver is waiting at the restaurant.  She gives a cheek kiss hello!

Pieces of Always multi-chapter by @so-caffeinated and @dust2dust34 - Life continues after Forever is Composed of Nows. Ongoing non-linear collection of family moments for the Queens.

Vows multi-chapter by @absentlyabbie - After the Siege of Starling City by Slade Wilson, threats and pressures force Oliver and Felicity to take desperate measures to protect their secrets, their team—and their very lives.

Eyes on Fire multi-chapter by @bindy417 - AU. Felicity Smoak never wanted to be a member of the cyber-terrorist group Brother Eye. For five years she’s been searching for a way out with no success. When Felicity hears rumors of The Arrow, the dark and dangerous Starling City vigilante, she knows she’s finally found her salvation. Determined, Felicity seeks out The Arrow. What she discovers is a world beyond anything she could’ve imagined and a hero who may just need saving of his own.

Thursday multi-chapter by @someonesaidcake - There is something about the girl next door that Oliver Queen is only now noticing… Felicity is moving to college just down the road from where Oliver is a senior.  He suddenly becomes very protective of the girl next door.  Thursday night dinners might not ever be the same again. This story gets better and better!

I’m Ready by @bri206 - Oliver let’s Felicity know he’s ready for a change.

South of the Equator multi-chapter by @charlinert -  A young teacher from Boston will do anything in her power to ensure that her upliftment project goes ahead, when the ground of a small farm school is threatened to be sold to a buyer who has no interest in her project. Oliver Queen, movie director of Queen Studios volunteers to do a documentary on upliftment work in a small farm town to put as much distance as possible between women, love and his broken heart. Oliver and Felicity’s paths cross 9000 miles from home, when their worlds come crashing in the heart of Southern Africa.

Untitled by @dust2dust34 - Prompt: Oliver comes home to find a drunk Felicity trying to cook. Naked.

Dust to Dust multi-chapter by @anthfan - When the unimaginable happens Felicity has to find a way to carry on.

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anonymous asked:

Your platitudes about defying harassment are great and all but none of you comic pros are listening to the real complaint that kicked all this up in the first place. The work is BAD. Characters with long histories are being awkwardly changed to fit a political agenda instead of servicing a good story. Marvel doesn't feel like Marvel so fans are fleeing. Sales are down. What are you going to do about it?

First off, they’re not “platitudes.” Either you believe other people should be treated with respect and be free to exist online without being stalked or fearful for their safety or you don’t. It’s cut and dry. Condoning that, whatever your end goals may be, camps you out with people who are disrespectful at the top end and downright criminal at the bottom. Decide if this is the hill you really want to die on with the “allies” you have on your side.

Okay, on to your other point-

The comic industry is going through upheaval, absolutely. If we have to be honest though, so is all of media. Piracy is slamming into instant access entertainment and that’s splintering our attention more than ever before. New comics (dozens every week) aren’t just competing with each other, they’re competing with streaming movies/TV, video games, craft beers, and newly accessible deep archives of the best (and worst) comics from the start of publishing through to now. That doesn’t even count foreign content like manga, also available for deep dives and also fighting for your dollar. I don’t think it’s fair to just say sales are low because the work is bad and not acknowledge that almost every media is going through similar rocky times. People are reassessing where their entertainment dollars go across the board and things are shaking up - period.

The single issue format does seem to be taking a beating as of late, it’s true. Corporate decisions made in the past in terms of format, distribution, sales outlets, and pricing seem to be coming to a head and I have no idea how that will shake out, especially in a world that’s understandably distracted with natural disasters and a political divide as bad as it’s ever been.

Marvel of the 70′s wasn’t Marvel of the 60′s.

Marvel of the 80′s wasn’t Marvel of the 70′s.

Marvel of the 90′s wasn’t Marvel of the 80′s.

You get the idea. We can’t trap this stuff in amber. The Marvel Universe is a dynamic creative sandbox that reflects the time we live in while also carrying decades of continuity on its back. It’s wonderful and ridiculous, and can’t be fully encompassed in one character, one series, or one time. The stories that inspired me color my work in the same way the stories that inspired you color your perception of what’s happening now. 

There are people reading Marvel Comics right now who are being inspired by these current stories. Whatever you may think of it, this is their Marvel. If that goes down a road where sales can’t sustain it and things need to change, then I expect that’s what you’ll see. It’s happened before. Implosions and new initiatives. Experiments. The best parts get carried forward, the bad bits become footnotes and the creative journey continues.

I don’t run Marvel. If I did it would reflect my creative ideas more intensely, but it would also need to incorporate other people, other ideas, and the twists and turns the world throws at it. Compromise and collaboration is how this stuff gets done. It’s how the world actually functions. Acknowledge that not every title needs to fit your personal sensibilities in order to be “worthy.” Variety is an important part of the search for quality. 

As one writer working with a team of skilled and passionate people, all I can promise is that I’ll write stories that I as a reader would enjoy. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Marvel fan who loves incorporating continuity while also moving stories forward with new ideas. That’s my jam.

I don’t know of a single creator who sets out to tell a bad story or wreck a character they’re tasked with working on. There are comics I read that I do not enjoy and would absolutely have done differently, but my first instinct isn’t to assume the people involved are on a mission to destroy it. I move on and look to other titles for my fix. I check back in every so often to see if things have improved.

Back in the day, I collected Amazing Spider-Man from issue #231 through to #363. I loved reading Spidey stories. He was (and generally is) my favorite Marvel character. I have so many memories of those stories and key moments are indelibly burned into my brain. Even still, by the time the book hit #350+, I wasn’t feeling it any more. The book had changed. I’d changed. I eked out collecting for another year and then realized I’d missed a couple months and wasn’t worried about it at all. It was time to walk away.

Many years later, I was reading about Dan Slott’s Big Time story arc starting with Amazing Spider-Man #648 and thought “What the heck. I’ll give it a try.” Just like that, I was back into reading Spidey. I’ve been enjoying it ever since. This stuff is cyclical. I could spin my life away obsessing over why the books weren’t “good” in that long gap, but I’d rather read comics I enjoy. I don’t want you to leave or stop collecting, but I do think it’s important to allow that to happen if necessary. Find other books that tick your tock.

I don’t know Marvel’s deepest/darkest future plans, but I do know that Marvel Legacy is an attempt to ratify the past and present. To keep what works from the past while moving things into the future. Will it work? I don’t know. Keep reading and we’ll find out together. 

I hope you stick around and boost up titles you feel hit the mark while letting other titles succeed or fail with the readerships they cultivate, even if they’re not the same as you.

anonymous asked:

This isn't an inconsistency, but you might find it interesting nonetheless. During the Houston con in 2016, Jared launches into a story about eating sour lemons with Gen while visiting the Amalfi Coast in Italy between European conventions, in response to a question about the most romantic thing he's ever taken his wife on. I've always been struck by Jensen's facial expressions during this story, almost like he's remembering it happening... It's on youtube, about 25 minutes into the panel.


first i gotta say that yeah jensen’s face is very sweet when jared tells the story, im sure it was a nice moment for them and he also gets that pensive face like he’s remembering, you’re right 

now i hope you’ll excuse me because im about to elaborate a bit more on this moment

so i found this vid and this one 

and basically jensen doesn’t give a fuck as usual and hets are the fucking worst as usual 

like literally, that girl asks her question “i was hoping that each of you can tell us about the most romantic date you’ve ever taken your wives on” and first we got the audience “awing”, just disgusting (where is that gif of jared gagging when you need it??) but the real IMPORTANT thing here is jensen’s reaction!!!!!!!!!!! JUST LOOK

HE’S FUCKING EYEROLLING AS SOON AS THE HET ASKS HER QUESTION!!!!!!! OH MY GOD he’s so fucking DONE honestly just look at the video, you’ll see 

pics from the other angle (i couldn’t make a gif because the person is shaking, too bad) before and after the question is asked:

he’s so fucking done!!!!!

like what the actual fuck is wrong with hets, who the fuck comes at a convention about a show to ask actors about their personnal lives?????

and it’s even worse since you’re asking closeted gay guys to make up fake stories and making them even more uncomfortable because they have to lie!!


im also really annoyed because look at all those gifs, look at them!  all those gifs were taken from this video but it has been deleted!!! im so frustrated!! because it seemed like a better angle and with this vid i think we could have had a better look at jensen’s eyeroll!!! aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahh!!!! if anyone has saved it, make gifs of this moment please!!! 


after the questions is asked jensen rolls his eyes but jared makes a joke so people laugh but jensen isn’t done showing he’s annoyed so it goes: 

jared: i can’t tell you the entire story

jensen: why not we’re already going down that road (while making this face)

he’s not joking there, he’s done with those hets 

and that reminds me of a video where someone asked them for a story about their kids (it was right after they had the first babies) and jensen already didn’t have time for this shit and he says something like “oh that’s it, there’s no more questions about the show, after 9 seasons, now the babies are more interesting” and people were laughing because those dumb hets can’t fucking see that jensen was seriously annoyed, they don’t understand his sarcarm, just like here in houston, they’re laughing without seeing he’s annoyed, just ugh

and then after that they don’t say anything for more than 10 seconds, nothing, just awkward silence because they have to make up some bullshit stories to answer 

so jared obviously uses a moment he had with jensen and says something very genuine which makes it look authentic, and notice how he starts by saying that his story applies to all types of couples and saying that the unscripted moments are the most important and he says that one day “gen” told him “if you buy me flowers on valentine’s day and then nothing till the next valentine’s day then you can shove your flowers up your ass” and excuse the fuck me but that’s jensen talking there (and you can see him nodding a lot while jared was saying it lol)

and then he talks about not wanting his personal life to be scripted like it is during work so what they do is that they go on walks. and excuse the fuck me but how could you go on walks regularly since you’re most of the time in vancouver and gen in the US?? oh i know because those walks are with jensen!! and i can totally see j2 going on walks after work together to relax and bound as a couple rather than just as coworkers just like that moment at the beginning of the show when jensen showed jared a nice spot to eat during wendigo or dead in the water. and then jared tells the story in italy because that’s the only place where gen could have also been, during those bearding trips, and just tell me how am i supposed to believe that gen would eat a lemon raw???? are you fucking kidding me jared???? if she had been there she would have rolled her eyes and dismiss him for stealing them just like she dismisses him when he’s being his goofy self. so yeah that’s a total j2 story and yeah see the gifs at the top for jensen’s sweet smiles

and jensen’s answer is amazing!!! because he doesn’t even bother to make something up, he’s like “yeah yeah the unscripted moments right” and then he just said that it was the honeymoon!!!! he says “we really hit it on the head with the honeymoon” “that was one of the best romantic times” and yeah jensen said the best romantic times he’s had with danneel was the “honeymoon” where FUCKING GINO was invited to and where jensen said at another con HE HAD READ A GOOD BOOK!!! HAHAHAHAHHA!!!! IS HE EVEN TRYING????!!!! you guys remember that?? right?? that con where jensen remembered a book he had read during his honeymoon, that he had picked up because he was FUCKING BORED!!! DURING HIS FUCKING HONEYMOON!!!! where he had “the best romantic times”!!! oh my god jensen is not even trying i can’t believe this omg and meanwhile that dumb audience is howling and squealing like they’re wetting their panties because jensen shared a fake ass story about his fake ass honeymoon just….. it’s so fucking gross uuuuuuuuugh

and notice when he was done with the answer he IMMEDIATELY said a quick “thanks” and moved super fast to the next question!! he HATED that het question omg

it was like that other het question about knowing their “wives” were the ones, and jared was the one to fuck it up and jensen was the one to turn it into a gender neutral answer

so to end what i wanna say sincerely, from the bottom of my heart:


for putting jared and jensen in those uncomfortable situations all that so they can have their little fantasies and be comforted in their fake beliefs that j2 are straight and could be happy with women  

Yoonmin fic idea:
(This may be long idk I’ve had the idea for a very long time)

Alright, so, it start off with a 6 (?) Year old Jimin and his mother. It’s in very old times and magic is a thing and Jimin live in a small village and his family is very poor bc his father left. His mother is telling him a story of a man who was very arrogant and stuff. The man and his friends were walking one day when they come across an old woman who claims she is a witch and will grant them a wish each if they do her a favor. The man doesn’t believe her and makes it know that he doesn’t. He mocks her and calls her crazy. She tells him to ask for something and he, thinking this is all a hoax, wished for youth and immortality. The woman said he would regret it and left. He thought it was hilarious but his friends did not think likewise. As the years passed he realized that the woman was actually a witch because while his friends grew old he stayed the same. He watched the people he loved die before his eyes while he stayed the same. He tried countless times to kill himself but it never worked. Finally he decided he needed to find the witch. He searched everywhere and though he was never able to find her he did find her little cottage. There was a letter on a dust covered table. He went to it and read that it was addressed to “the one that doubted.” He figured it was for him and after he read it he found out it was for him. The letter basically said that she was going to be burned to death bc they found out she was a witch and that she heard he was looking for her. She said the only way to break the curse was for him to find the boy of the same blood as her, fall in love, watch him die, then find him again. He didn’t understand. He never left the cottage. He had no where else to go. His hair turned white and so did his skin. He never went out and the small village that was near his cottage lived in fear of him, thinking he was a witch too. Basically, the story is to tell Jimin to never travel on the road that goes through the woods bc that’s where he lives.

Skip a few years to where Jimin is like 21. His mother tells him to take something to his grandmother who live in the village over. He decides to take the road through the woods bc it would cut his trip down by a day. So he does and he ends up seeing a shadow and then tripping and hurting his knee really bad or something like that and a person wearing a very dark purple (or whatever color you want) cloak comes out from behind the trees and goes to help him. Jimin is scared out of his mind but the person helps him. He asks if he can take him back to his cottage so he can properly wrap his knee up and Jimin is vaguely reminded of the old fable his mother would tell him before bed and the thought that this might be the man crossed his mind but he quickly dismisses it and tells himself that its just a stupid story parents tell their children to keep them away from the woods and decides to go with the man. When they get to his cottage Jimin sits down and the man takes his cloak off. Jimin sees the palest man and the whitest hair he’s ever seen. He quickly realizes that the stories were real. He panicks and the man turns around and smiles he says something along the lines of, “I never get any visitors. It’s actually kinda nice to see you. Sometimes i feel like I’m going crazy. It’s probably not healthy to live 200 years I’m solitude.” Jimin has internal conflict on whether or not he should stay or run as fast as He can. It ends with him staying out of curiosity. He stays the night and heads to his grandmothers when the morning comes. When he leaves the man, Yoongi, asks if Jimin could possibly visit again sometime and Jimin agrees that he will try to visit about once a week.

A few months later and Jimin is visiting Yoongi once a day, sometimes staying the night. They fall in love. Jimin knows it’s wrong. His village had a law against being with your own gender, a law that is punishable by death. But as he slips into their love one night he can’t seem to care because something wrong wouldn’t feel like this. It wouldn’t feel like his skin was on fire every time Yoongi touched his lips to it. It wouldn’t feel like his heart was beating too fast for him to keep up every time his and Yoongi’s skin met. The next morning he wakes up in Yoongi’s arms and looks up at the older man. He was ok with dying for this man.

One day Yoongi decides to go to the village. He needed to see Jimin but he had no way to get to him. So he grabbed his cloak and went. He found Jimin in the market place. He was holding a few of Yoongi’s favorite fruits. He smiled to himself and walked up to the boy and placed a hand in the small of his back. Jimin turned and saw Yoongi. He smiled and something happens to where Yoongi’s hood ends up calling off. People around them see the man and they automatically know who he is. There’s no one else he could be. They see his hand placed on Jimin back and the look on his eyes. They knew what was happening just by that, but they knew Jimin mother. They knew that their family had it ruff so let letting alone and went to talk to his mother.

His mother was furious. She knew he hadn’t been home many days out of the week but he always told her he was going to grandmothers or he was with his friends. When he came back home the next day she confronted him. She asked where he had been and she knew he was lying. She asked again and again until he finally told her. She forbade him from going out to the cottage again. Told him that no son of her’s was going to lie with another man especially one like him. Jimin cried and pleaded for just one more night. Just to say goodbye and then he would never see him again. She did not let him.

The next night Jimin snuck out. He had his friend, Taehyung, send word to Yoongi to meet him close to the entrance of the woods and the older man did so. Jimin ran as fast as He could to the woods but what he didn’t know was that there were a few men of the village the decided that if they saw Jimin leave his house to go to the woods they would kill him bc of the law. Jimin was so close to the woods that he could see Yoongi standing there. He saw Yoongi’s beautiful smile and stopped running. He was walking to him when Jimin felt a sharp pain in his lower back. He saw Yoongi’s smile leave and the older man started running to him. Jimin was still trying to get to him but as another arrow was shot his legs failed him. Yoongi was there just in time to catch him. Jimin raised a hand up to his face and his last words words were, “please Yoongi, don’t stay in that old cottage and lock yourself away for hundreds of years again. You have an extraordinary curse. Please. See the world I wasn’t able too. I love you Yoongi.”

He held Jimin in his arms and as the sun rose Jimin died.

He was seated just outside of the woods. Holding his dead lover in his arms. Unable to control his emotions Yoongi screamed out in agony. The pain hurt him so much he couldn’t bare it. For the first time since he had met Jimin he wished that he could just die. The villagers gathered around the two boys and watched as Yoongi prayed to whatever God there was that this was some sick twisted dream.

After what felt like an eternity to yoongi the man got up. He held Jimin in his arms and walked to the villagers. He asked, “Do you know where his mother lives?” They nodded and pointed to one of the smaller houses. He walked Jimin to the house and knocked on the door. An old middle aged woman opened the door. Upon seeing the boy in Yoongi’s arms and crumpled to the ground and Yoongi quickly later Jimin on a bed before his knees gave out too. He apologized. He told her that her son had caused him the most happiness in his life in just a little under a year. He asked her if he could please have something of Jimin’s. She nodded her head and went to Jimin. She took off a necklace the boy was wearing and have it to Yoongi. She said that it had been his father’s and he wore it everyday. He thanked her and left.

He went back to his cottage and looked at the necklace. It has a charm that looked very familiar. He was digging through a wardrobe of old things that belonged to the witch that lived here before him. He found the same charm. Suddenly it all made sense. The boy of the same blood. Fall in love. Watch him die. Find him again.

Jimin was the boy that had to break the curse.

Remembering Jimin last words, Yoongi started packing his things. He would be off the next day. He wasn’t going to stay here and disappoint Jimin. He had to see the world his lover never got to see.

Skip forward hundreds of years to modern times. Yoongi is in New York or something like that and he hasn’t given up hope. He still has dreams of his love. He never goes a day without thinking of him. Then one day, Yoongi goes to a cafe, one that one of his friends, Hoseok, recommended. He walks in and heads a small gasp come from the man at the cash register. He looks up and he’s met with the eyes of Jimin. He looks the same, well, except he now has pink hair, but besides that he looks exactly the same, maybe even more beautiful. They lock eyes and Yoongi knew that Jimin knew who he was. Yoongi makes his way up to the counter and smiles at Jimin. The younger boy asks quietly, “a-are you real? I-I’m not dreaming right? We-we’re not in a village. We are in my work right? You’re name is Yoongi and-and I’m not insane. Right?” Yoongi could see tears in the boys eyes and he just nodded his head and said, “Jimin, I’ve waited so, so long to see you again.” Jimin watched as Yoongi suddenly changed before him. The pale man regained color again and his white hair changed to black. “Wh-what just happened?” Yoongi smiled at his confusion, “You broke the curse jiminnie.” Jimin ran around the counter and wrapped his arms around the man’s neck and brought him down into a beautiful kiss.

Jimin and Yoongi loved out the reast of their lives. Yoongi finally aged past 23 and was ecstatic. They were happy and everything was ok.

OH WOW. This is very very long and I apologize but I’ve literally had this idea for months and I can’t make it sound right when I try to write it as a book. I hope you like this. I almost cried while writing it but, you know, I love this. If you want to use the idea you can just please like tell me so I can read it.

Fabulous Olicity Fanfic Friday - September 29th, 2017

Happy Friday! So this is my attempt to both thank awesome fanfic writers for their amazing work and offer my recommendations to anyone who is interested. Here are the fantastic fanfic stories I read this week! They are posted in the order I read them.

Queen of Hearts multi-chapter by @anthfan - Felicity finds herself pregnant, but she and Oliver don’t remember how it happened.

Sportsmanlike Conduct multi-chapter by @mogirl97 - Felicity Smoak has a plan. Two years at Starling University (snag a great internship while she’s there), transfer to MIT to finish getting her Masters in Cyber Security and Computer Sciences, graduate, start her career. She doesn’t have time for distractions. But what happens when her roommate Iris drags her to a hockey game one night? Probably nothing…

Hunger (5x20, Mature 1/9) multi-chapter by @dust2dust34 - Oliver’s point of view of the flashback

Time for a Story multi-chapter by @smkkbert - This fic shows Olicity and their life as a (married) couple with family. Although Olicity (and their kids) are the protagonists, other characters of Arrow and Flash make appearances. YOU NEED THIS STORY IN YOUR LIFE.

If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don’t Want To Be Right) multi-chapter by @smkkbert - They live in a society where the Ministry for Procreation decides who you get to marry. Once you get the letter with the contact details of your partner, you are supposed to marry within few months. Sexual relationships with any other partner are forbidden, even before you receive the contact details. Everyone who disobeys that law will be punished brutally.  Oliver and Nyssa have come to terms with that. Although they are married, Nyssa can secretly be with Sara, and Oliver can do whatever he wants to do. When Oliver decides to make changes, he falls madly in love with Felicity. Therefore, his life takes a pleasant turn because although they cannot publicly be together, at least they can be in secret. Things soon get complicated, though, when Felicity receives a letter that shall change her life.

Trust Me multi-chapter by @felicityollies - When a prostitute meets the perfect client, she has to remind herself that there’s no room for getting close to someone in her line of work.

Lost in the Memory multi-chapter by @some1foundme - Oliver Queen returns to his home in Star City after a five year tour overseas, much to the delight of his friends and family.  There’s just one small problem.  The injury that effectively ended his military career also erased a part of his memory.  As he struggles to put together the missing pieces of his past, his connection to his best friend’s little sister becomes something he can’t avoid.  Who is Felicity Merlyn and why can’t he seem to stay away from her?  Olicity AU, no Arrow, no island.

You Had Me at Hello multi-chapter by @tdgal1 - Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak met at a Gala and had an instant attraction but Smoak Technologies and Queen Consolidated have to work together. Can they make that sexual chemistry work and still work together.

A Message in a Bottle multi-chapter by @vaelisamaza - Felicity Smoak has come home to run the family farm and tasting room when an unexpected visit from a member of the Queen Family gives her the opportunity to re-examine her career and choices in life. With a brand new THIRD epilogue!!!

Best Birthday Ever multi-chapter by @emmilynestill - What if Felicity hadn’t decided to go with a team surprise party for Oliver’s Birthday? What if she decided she was sick of baby steps and wanted to take some big girl steps? What if Felicity decided the very best way to celebrate was to make Oliver’s birthday cake and present…well, her? A sort of “Choose Your Own Adventure” off-shoot/AU of Don’t Let Me Go, branching off after Chapter 3 into a whole other universe.

Blue Eyed Angel: Escape by @tdgal1 - After a stressful week at work Oliver takes Felicity away on the perfect escape

In Another Life (I Could be Your Man) multi-chapter by @angelicmisskitty - Their lives couldn’t be more different - and yet Oliver can’t take his eyes off the beautiful blonde woman that leaves the subway every morning at 7.43am. There is something about her that makes him look up every morning - something that also makes him aware he’ll never be good enough for her, or that she’d even notice him. He had no idea how much his life would change the day he rushed over to help her…Olicity AU - no Lian Yu, no saving the city (at least not in the way we know from Arrow :D ) LOVE LOVE, LOVE!

Family Outing multi-chapter by @geneshaven -  Things go wrong when the team goes on a family camping trip. Parts 11& 12

My Last Chance multi-chapter by aflores5235 - What would have happened in 3x07 if Oliver would have gotten to Palmer Tech before Ray and Felicity kissed? What goes through their heads when all the feelings are out on the line? How would this change things?

Thursday multi-chapter by @someonesaidcake - There is something about the girl next door that Oliver Queen is only now noticing… Felicity is moving to college just down the road from where Oliver is a senior.  He suddenly becomes very protective of the girl next door.  Thursday night dinners might not ever be the same again. This story gets better and better!

Dobbleganger multi-chapter by @felicityollies - How does one react when their evil lookalike from another earth pops up and with their significant other? Not well.

Summer House multi-chapter by @laurabelle2930 - Oliver Queen has been missing for two years. On the eve of his 2nd anniversary the local paper with the families consent has decided to run a memorial article since one was never done when he first went missing. Sara Lance was assigned the story at first but know the paper’s hotshot reporter Felicity Smoak has been assigned the story. Felicity must now put her personal feelings aside as she searches for the truth to Oliver Queen’s disappearance.

Keep reading


There’s a grave in the middle of the road in Franklin, Indiana. As the story goes, there was once a cemetery where the road now is and when they were turning it into a road some of her family had a problem with moving her grave, so she remained and they added a plaque for her. In 2016, Barnett’s remains were temporarily moved so they could repair the street. At this time they decided to exhume her corpse and ended up finding remains of not just Barnett, but six others.

This is what it looks like as of 2016, after its remodel. It’s literally in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by cornfields and some random houses around, but cars were lining up to see it the whole time I was there today.

Komahina Fanfiction Masterpost

I thought I’d make this masterpost for AO3 Komahina fics because I love all of these fanfictions, and they need more recognition! I’ve also included summaries and overviews so you’ll know what to expect. If there’s a fanfiction that isn’t included on here, it’s probably left out because this masterpost is really for fics that center on komahina - so there were a couple really really good fics in the komahina tag on AO3, but I left them out because komahina wasn’t the main or secondary idea of the story. Also, I’m including fics that have multiple chapters, so there won’t be any one-shots or super short fics. I really hope you’ll reblog this and check these fics out. If you read them, be sure to leave kudos and a comment letting the author know what you think! Also, if there is an author whose tumblr is not listed below, and you know what their tumblr is, please message me! I’ll edit this and put them in.

Takes place in canon/close to canon

  • Transversal It was always Hinata and Komaeda, Komaeda and Hinata, and it was pretty much strange to see one without the other. Among their circle of friends, there was no one who could have threatened the chance that Hinata had. This takes place during Hinata and Komaeda’s time at Hope’s Peak. It’s a very ingenious story, and creative (not to mention obviously well-written); it keeps you on your toes, desperate to find out what happens next! The characterization is very accurate (except for the characters that are SUPPOSED to be ooc, of course), and it’s very desriptive, attentive writing! Plus, there are certainly many surprising moments in the story. You won’t regret reading this! (It’s one of my all-time favorites and the author is a gem.)
  • Many Hinakoma Opportunities - “And, no offense, but I keep waiting for you to come to your senses and slam the door in my face!“ Komaeda kept smiling as he tapped his fingers on the mattress, watching the faint light from the window catch on his nails. "You’ve put up with my presence for so many nights, I’m starting to wonder about your state of mind, Hinata-kun.” Hinata stared at the ceiling, unsure how to respond. He’d had similar thoughts, truthfully, but it didn’t seem appropriate to agree. Komaeda didn’t let the silence sit for long.“Even for me, I’m probably pushing my luck,” He laughed a little at his own personal joke, “But may I ask for a special favor tonight, Hinata-kun?” (The summary from the third part.) This is a collection that includes a lot of smut - and some really good plot, too! It’s cool if you don’t enjoy reading smut, but if you do - this is some HIGH QUALITY shit right here. And it’s not repetitive at all! Anyway, the characterization is on. point. Plus, there’s fluff - so, overall, this is some really enjoyable writing. The author has made some fanart to go with it as well, be sure to check that out! It’s super cool! (I may be a huge fan… what can I say?)
  • Finally In LoveHe hates the way Chiaki always nods off when he talks to her. He hates Komaeda’s infatuation with hope even more.So, when he begins to find himself slowly falling in love with both of them, he figures he must be crazy. This is so, so, so adorable. Yes, it’s technically komahinami, but it’s just so adorable I had to add it to this list. The dialogue is really interesting… plus the characterization is pretty nice! Overall, it’s believable, which is really important to me personally - if you’re reading something that takes place in canon/close to canon, you want it to be believable, right? Because of that, it’s really easy to appreciate the work!


  • Equivalence Hinata watches him sometimes when he visits, the monitors beeping softly. Still, alive, and breathing. It gives him hope.Everyone wakes from the game, older, guilt-ridden, and determined to save the friends that died in the game. Wow, wow, wow. This is seriously some incredible writing! (This is actually the fanfiction that inspired me to start writing my own, so I can’t stress enough how much I love this!) First of all, it’s believable. Reading it makes you think ‘oh, this could DEFINITELY be what happens after the sdr2 kids wake up.’ Second of all, it’s beautiful - the writing is descriptive and there aren’t any glaring mistakes. Lastly, the characterization. Oh, man, you’d think the author was these kids’ psychiatrist or something. ….I’ll stop now before I get too rambly and make this already long post even longer.
  • Elevation Just thinking his name awakens so many memories and feelings within you that you can barely begin to make sense of them all. Bits and pieces begin to fall into place; but the more you remember, the less sense you can make of it all. This is actually my fic so I can’t really give you an objective perspective. I will say, however, that I have big plans for it, and I absolutely will not update it unless I am completely satisfied with the quality; so, I work hard on it. There’s going to be a slow build because I want to be true to how I really think things would go down after sdr2, but I can promise that komahina will be happening. And there will most likely be a ton of it (because it is my life and at this point I honestly cannot imagine a future after sdr2 where Hinata and Komaeda DON’T end up together).
  • The Mortal CityWaking up is never the hardest part. This is one of those “HOLY CRAP” stories. Basically, I can’t find a single thing that’s wrong with this entire work. Characterization, story, descriptiveness, mystery - all of it is on point. It can get a little gruesome, so check out the warnings in the tags. Also, it’s a darker interpretation of what happens after SDR2, but that doesn’t mean it’s without fluff or happy moments. Definitely, definitely, definitely worth checking out!


  • Impossibly (Un)LuckyIt shouldn’t be possible. And yet, here he is.But then, Komaeda had always been impossibly lucky. Or was it I who was impossibly unlucky? This was the first komahina fanfic I got really into - I ended up printing out the whole thing just so I could read it on the go! You’ll end up wanting to read it over and over again; It’s really, really nice writing, and it’s easy to get into the story. There are moments where it’s a little OOC, but it’s never bad as far as that aspect goes. Plus, it’s an interesting concept and AU. All in all, you’ll definitely enjoy yourself while reading! There are so many cute moments!
  • Long Road To NorthThere’s nothing as hopeless as a life being a regular salesman at a regular office. And after waiting for years for his life to change, he can’t contain his excitement as he finds himself threatened by a knife, held by a brown-haired stranger on the run. Where Hope’s Peak Doesn’t exist. Komaeda’s past and luck is the same as in the game, but Hinata’s past has been altered with canon. It’s pretty well-written and you can tell it’s been thoroughly planned out. Great characterization! …Also… I love works where you get to experience Komaeda slowly realizing how in love with Hinata he is…. 
    • Author: @urponators-gayo
  • The Bridge Of StarsIt’s funny how much things have changed over the years but I hope those feelings of yours are still the same Hinata-kun. I wish I could cheer you on from here but the way things are now, the only thing I can say is: best of luck. This takes place in the 1920′s, and there will be 33 chapters in all once it’s completed. There’s a lot of angst (but it’s not without fluff, don’t worry!) and reading it makes you reeeeeeally want to give Komaeda and Hinata giant hugs. It’s super super well-written! I haven’t noticed a single grammar or spelling issue throughout the whole thing. In all, the characterization is superb, it’s easy to become invested in the story, and utmost respect goes out to the author for writing a believable story that goes with the time period! 
  • The Weeping WisteriaEleven year old Hinata Hajime starts working at the castle not knowing what his true purpose is. He befriends the Crown Prince, Komaeda Nagito and vows to stay by his side. But as time goes on and Hinata realizes the painful truth about his ‘job’ and his friend’s true nature, things start to change. Amidst growing chaos and despair, the Kingdom is falling to ruin and Hinata struggles with being unable to do anything to make things better and not knowing what to do about the loyalty he had sworn to a boy he no longer knows. Mai is a goddess, I swear. This fanfiction should go down in history. It’s a very intricate story, and, as with The Bridge Of Stars, there doesn’t seem to be a single mistake in the whole 34-chapter fic. It’s heartwarming, saddening… It keeps you on your toes… The characterization is beautiful… Just please read this. I promise you’ll love it.
  • Love’s ScriptHajime Hinata and his classmate, Ibuki Mioda, are big fans of the Danganronpa series. When the audition for the live action adaptation of the second game is announced, Ibuki is determined to play her favorite character… and she expects the same from Hinata. At first reluctant, he agrees to go with her… But did he make the right choice? Is he even going to survive?! A non-despair AU where nobody dies and the nerds have fun playing in a TV show. I LOVE this AU. It’s just so much fun and so perfect for the cast. Plus this is very well written and has amazing characterization, I just can’t get enough of this! You’ll have a hard time putting this fic down, that’s for sure!
  • Words Will Be All That I KeepHe’s talking about me. Up there, clearly, to all of these people. He’s talking about me. Would he be as blunt if he knew that I was here? Probably. It’s Komaeda. If he knew where I was standing, he’d probably wink at me, and then blush profusely when he saw me later on. *** AU where Komaeda is a writer and Hinata is a trainee therapist. They dated in college and now Komaeda’s written a book. This is so good?? I feel like the plot really suits the both of them. The characterizations are great, the plot draws you in, and there aren’t any glaring errors! What more could you ask for from a fanfic, really?
  • Hajime’s Adventures A collection of stories of Hajime’s adventures throughout college centered on Komahina. All of the stories are in the same cohesive timeline and are in order (unless specified otherwise). Just fun exciting stories that the group goes through in college. No mental illnesses. This is SUCH a fun fic to read. Not only does the whole sdr2 gang get into some insane (and hilarious) adventures, but there is so much komahina content it’s crazy! And it’s certainly unique; I mean, in one chapter Komaeda comes home early from a school dance to slow dance with Hinata, and in another the two of them end up checking out a sex shop, where Komaeda persuades Hinata to try on some cuffs. Also the relationships Hinata has with everyone is so precious!! He’s close with everyone in some way and you can feel the whole gang looking out for him… And, of course, he and Komaeda are close. Anyway, it has cute moments, sad moments, infuriating moments, sensual moments… Personally, I couldn’t get enough; when I first started reading this I ended up pulling an all-nighter, it’s THAT kind of fic. A must-read! 
  • Fragile Hope - "Hinata-kun,“ Komaeda glanced up, struggling to keep his eyes open. "I’m happy you’re here with me,” he mumbled before falling into a much needed sleep. Hinata smiled and wrapped a blanket around Komaeda. “You’re welcome,” he whispered. Uh oh. This fic includes sick Komaeda! I know, I know; you want to forget about Komaeda’s dementia/cancer as much as I do. Even so, this fic is really, really good, and you shouldn’t let Komaeda’s sickness stop you from reading it! It’s adorable, really. Hinata and Komaeda are so close in this… And you can feel how worried Hinata is for him… Plus there’s some really adorable, heart-warming fluff…. Reading it kind of makes me want to cry… but in the best way. 
  • Lattes and Fluffy CloudsHinata Hajime isn’t really quite sure what draws him into Hope’s Coffee Shop every day. He tells himself it’s just the amazing drinks, but the other half of him insists it’s the barista with the fluffy, white hair that takes his order. This is SO CUTE you guys. Finally a coffee shop AU to add to this list lol. The plot, characterization, and style is all on point! Overall its just too goshdarn cute.
  • Detectives/Detectives: Rip Your Heart OutCrouching down behind large boxes of… well Hinata doesn’t know what’s inside them and, frankly, doesn’t want to find out, is himself and his new partner, Komaeda.“This is by far your worst idea yet!” Hinata whispers aggressively, clenching his teeth and glaring daggers towards the slightly taller albino, “'Let’s go in unarmed, we’ll be in and out, they won’t even know we were there’” Hinata murmurs, trying to do an impression of Komaeda’s voice, making large hand gestures as he does. This fic gives you the feeeeeeels. Seriously, the two of them are so cute, and you can really feel how much they care about each other! There are some sad/angsty moments, especially in the sequel; but that just makes the story better!
  • Love Is DangerousIt happens so quick my brain can’t even register it. But a car comes in the opposite direction, bibbing at the other driver. The guy in the large car panics and swerves to his left, hurtling at an unbelievable speed towards me.“HAJIME!” I hear Makoto yell on the top of his voice, almost screeching.I push myself off of Makoto’s car, but before I can even move, I’m pushed to the floor. I land on my back, hitting my head on the pavement. I slowly raise myself up on my elbows and look up to see Komaeda looming over me, his hand against the large car; a giant dent is encased on the metal. Yes, it is a Twilight Au, but listen - the author stated they were changing it to fit their idea, and it’s SO MUCH BETTER THAN TWILIGHT ANYWAY. (I mean, if you like twilight that’s fine, but in my oh-so-humble opinion, this is MUCH BETTER.) I especially like the different relationships included in this story; Hinata and Naegi’s close sibling bond, HInata and Kuwata’s friendship, and, OF COURSE, everything between Hinata and Komaeda. They’re just so cuuuuute. Can’t wait to see how this fic goes! 
  • For Your Entertainment It’s theatre season once again, and Hope’s Peak Academy has just announced their spring musical; The Drowsy Chaperone. And when the new kid, Hajime Hinata, wins a main role in the cast, he’s thrown together with a strange cast of characters, including Nidai, the overenthusiastic boy whom you might not expect to be as good as he is at directing, Kirigiri, the silent but skillful stage manager, Sayaka, the flirty girl who’s perfectly suited to the spotlight, Sonia, the student who arrived from Europe last summer and captured everyone’s hearts with her charm, Tanaka, the animal trainer and lover of the occult who displays an unexpected talent for the stage, Chiaki, the quiet and sleepy but dedicated gamer who runs the sound and lighting booth, Junko, the bubbly choreographer who scares the living hell out of everyone, and Ishimaru, the loud, uptight prefect who seems out of place onstage but has a neverending supply of enthusiasm to make up for it. Will the drama club of Hope’s Peak be able to pull together a completely student-run musical in just two months? (Probably.) Will everyone retain their sanity? (Probably not.) That was a long summary so I’ll keep this brief! This story is cute, funny, and it’s a unique AU. The characterization is nice, the writing is strong, and pretty much the whole gang is involved. It’s super fun!
  • You’re Live on Monomi Radio! - Hosting a late night radio show was the least of Hinata’s problems. In which two punks become local celebrities, Nanami plays the cupid and Hinata’s favorite caller hits on him. It’s awesome. This was so. Funny. OOC, but they’re supposed to be. The banter between Nanami and Hinata is hilarious! You’ll actually laugh out loud. Plus, the whole thing about how Hinata and Komaeda start talking to each other, and listeners start shipping them? Perfect. I can’t get enough of this!


  • KomaHina Drabbles - You make me fall deeper into your spell. And then I’ll end up making a mistake. I’ll end up telling you how I really feel. That would only drive you away. That would make me predictable wouldn’t it? You would have calculated that our physical relationship is something that would nurture the fondness that I have for you. Then would you leave me? I would probably fall deeper into despair if you were to leave me. I would fall into a puddle of tears and grief. (Unfortunately, there wasn’t really a summary of this fic, so I picked out a bit of writing from the 1st chapter. I hope that’s okay.) A lot could be said about this fic, but I’ll keep it simple; it’s well-written, it’s entertaining; it can be serious AND extremely cute and fluffy. A lot of the chapters can be considered part of the same verse. Also, the chapters include very interesting interpretations of the character’s lives and relationships! It’s really enjoyable. It can also be considered kamukoma; both pairings are included. Oh, and it also contains a lot of smut.
  • All Manner Of Sins[30 Day OTP Challenge (NSFW version), chapters have individual summaries and content warnings.] This is HIGH. QUALITY. NSFW. There’s a bunch of different scenarios and ALL of it is super well-written and intricate! Honestly, it’s a must-read! 
  • unabashed debauchery - The scent of Komaeda’s soap clinging to his skin and the green jacket hanging off his shoulders might as well be an advertisement to the world: “I’m banging Nagito Komaeda”. What can I say? It’s super high-quality komahina smut. And you’ll love every word.

EDIT: Fics that have been crossed out are no longer on AO3. A few more fics have been added as well.

Fooled Around and Fell In Love - GotG Meredu AU

Free on my own, that’s the way I used to be
But since I met you baby, love’s got a hold on me 


Twenty-year old Meredith Quill is driving home from her late shift at her new secretary job, when she’s almost knocked off the road by something crashing from the sky and almost taking her out! So, being the curious and concerned kind, she goes investigating.. .And finds a bleeding and unconscious blue man.

When Yondu Udonta wakes up to find what appears to be a strange looking angel, he’s ready to accept he’s dead. Except he’s pretty sure he wouldn’t end up with no angels and he’s hurting like a motherfucker. Plus, he can’t understand a goddamn word this strange - though pretty - creature is saying and he certainly isn’t about to trust what he doesn’t get.


The story where it’s Yondu that Meredith meets first and it’s Yondu who becomes Meredith Quill’s space man and the father of her child.

There’s a few other fanfictions out there of Yondu being Peter’s biological daddy and I can say I very much like this idea because one, cuuutttee, and two it would just be so goddamn sweet and tragic because no way in Hell could Yondu stay on Earth (I guess he could pass for a Mutant, though barely) and plus he belongs to the stars like a sea man belongs to the sea… So yeah! Cute but tragic push and pull idea.

PS I know people are gonna point out that Yondu’s species is basically like fucking sea horses and they self reproduce but DON’T CARE and I just like to think MCU Youndu has the goods to put a bun in the oven okay XD

Anne - S1 - Episode 2

“I Am No Bird, and No Net Ensnares Me”

Episode 2 of Anne the Series (aka Anne with an E) is a pivot point for viewers. Its where the story first goes ‘off book’. But a difference in plot is not necessarily a bad thing. In this analysis, I’ll delve into why this episode is important in terms of character and theme. Click the Read More link to head into spoiler territory…

Keep reading

matheush5n1  asked:

Hello, I Really love your tumblr, help me a lot with MBTI, there is not enough thanks for you. There is my question: I am Te-dom, but i am in doubt about te "N". I am the futuristic mind and "look for pattern" of the Ni users, but some times i am daydreaming and procrastinator of the Ne user. Please, explain the diferences of the N in the ExTJ. Thank You very Much

(Gif: Stephen Dillane as Thomas Jefferson in John Adams.)

Both Ne and Ni look to the future and seek patterns. And any type can daydream or procrastinate – that has zero to do with Ne itself.

The difference lies in their adaptability.

Picture a car amid many other cards on a highway, driving toward their destination – and all of the sudden, it sees a massive tanker ahead of it slide on the ice, skid sideways, and fall across four lanes of traffic, effectively blocking the only exit that the car can use to get to where it’s going.

The Ni slams on its breaks and skids to a stop. It has to wait.

The Ne slams on its breaks, shifts gears, goes across the ditch, and manages to wind up back on the road on the other side of the oil tanker, but it isn’t going to reach its original destination – it’s fine winding up in the next town instead.

Or, put it into the context of writing a short story.

The Ni does not start writing until the story is fixed in their mind, and all the pieces are in place. Then, they write it all out and the major components of the story do not change through the editing process. Major themes, scenes, conversations, and characters stay largely the same, because all the figuring out was done in the Ni’s mind. They visualized it, and brought it into being.

The Ne starts writing a story with a vague idea of where it’s headed in mind, but revises and innovates as it goes along, sometimes dropping entire characters or plot lines in favor of better ones through the writing process. It may then go back and edit a dozen times, changing scenes around, bringing in new or leaving out old characters, even re-framing dialogue to carry a totally different meaning from what was originally intended.


Ni seeks clarity of focus and a single destination, and Ne seeks wideness of focus and adaptability. Ne gets bored with what is unchanging. IE, “Dang, I wrote this scene eight months ago and have read it 15 times since and it’s boring me, so I’m going to change it up to keep it interesting.” (Think George Lucas, angering Star Wars fans by “tinkering” with the original films. BUT THE OLD WAY BORED ME, AREN’T YOU BORED??? All fans: … no, you idiot!!! … well, except probably some of the less-sentimental Ne-doms who laughed and said, “That’s awesome.”)

ENTJ: constant and present focus on the far flung future, but struggles to adapt facing challenges where their vision may not come to pass as they imagined it, since their Se is poor. (Se would give them adaptability, but they may struggle to LET GO OF THEIR ORIGINAL VISION - Ni - to chase it.)

ESTJ: prefers what is tried and true and enjoys speculation and futuristic focus, but only as pertains to the situation at hand; may struggle to let go of “how it has been done before” (Si) in order to branch out into “let’s embrace this new reality or way of thinking before everyone else does” (Ne).

- ENFP Mod

Character Study Part 2: Vanitas

And here we are with part two! Vanitas is definitely a complex enigma at the moment and a lot of what we learn about him is through Noé’s own interpretation but let’s see what we can do! There are a couple of things that strike me about this character as is.

When we first meet Vanitas it goes without saying that he is a flashy guy: he makes an entrance with a bang, dresses eccentrically, and likes to take charge of the situation. Pretty much any situation, really. 

For example, in chapter 15 Noé realizes that “He wants to use me as a shield but he doesn’t want me to shield him of my own accord…?” I think this insight of Noé’s reveals something very telling about Vanitas: he wants to have complete control over his surroundings, including the people in his life. It’s one of the most recurring themes of this character so far. I’ll get back to that in a moment though, since his desire to have control is tied up with several other factors. 

Keep reading

lil-sea-salt  asked:

hey i need an idea for a short story for a 30 days of writing challenge. any ideas? recommendations for prompts. right now i'm on day two.

One time I came across something where you pick a book, then grab the tenth sentence from every tenth page and use that as a prompt. That can produce some interesting stuff. Fanfiction communities also tend to have pretty good prompts lists. Random tweets without context can be good prompts, too.

I can also just throw some prompt-words at you. :) Modern ghost story, missed connections, empty amusement park, anonymous messages, road trip, winter weather advisory, the library, ancient history, college campus, hospital hallways at midnight, garage sale, windows, the subway, a night out, fire alarm, wishing well, lemons, where the river goes, trains, under the bed, protest, heartbeat.

(You guys can throw some replies on this, too, if you want!)

Good luck, friend. :3 Have fun writing!
Fans, Fiction, And Fan Fiction
Chris Colfer recounts auditioning for the hit show Glee, and how his distaste for reality led to his best-selling Young Adult series, The Land of Stories. Then we quiz him on unlikely fan fiction.

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In 2008, when Chris Colfer was offered a part written specifically for him—that of openly-gay teen Kurt Hummel on the FOX series Glee — there were very few characters like his on network television. It was a risky role to take. “I was terrified, I was very, very scared,” Colfer told host Ophira Eisenberg. He continued sarcastically, “But then I thought, ‘oh, but what about the award potential?’”

These days, an openly gay character isn’t as shocking. “It’s crazy how different the world was back then,” Colfer said. Indeed, a lot has changed since Glee, including Colfer, who’s acting less and writing more. In fact, he’s now a bestselling young adult fiction author. After the fast-paced and exhausting schedule of the show, becoming a writer seemed like a great idea. “A career where you can do most of it in your pajamas is very, very appealing,” he conceded.

“I was so uninterested in reality,” he said, recounting the early days of his writing when he’d act out elaborate stories with his action figures. “I used to try to play with my friends and they would always go off-book.” Perhaps this is why Colfer chose to adapt beloved fairy tales in his young adult novel series, The Land of Stories.

Now in its sixth and final installment, the series was a long time coming. Colfer started writing The Land of Stories, or something like it, when he was just seven years old. However, he didn’t “know enough words to make it happen.” Luckily, he had his grandmother to give him constructive feedback. “Every time I’d finish a chapter I’d take it, I’d ride my bike over to my grandma’s house and I’d give it to her. She’d grammar-check it, she’d spell-check it, and if she liked it, she’d put it on a pile on her table. But if she didn’t like it, she’d [crumple] it up in front of me, toss it in the trash can, and say 'Christopher, you can do better.’”

The popularity of The Land of Stories series has only grown Colfer’s devoted fan following. These interactions partially became another YA novel entitled Stranger Than Fanfiction, about a young celebrity who goes on a cross-country road trip with a group of his superfans. Inspired by this, Ophira Eisenberg led a game where she read our very own fan fiction. Colfer guessed with amazing accuracy what it was written about.

YA Novels in a Nutshell*

Harry Potter: scar kid fights red eyed guy, bad things, lots of curses, happy ending and a lot of ships

The Secret History: murderous gay kids who like to kiss greek and roman statues are taught latin by a madman

All For The Game: gay kids play invented sport and act all tough and mighty when you know they just need hugs

The Grisha trilogy: ships?? blood??? stuff like demons????

AADDTSOTU (you know what I mean): yet another gay couple acting philosophical and learning how to be drunk and how to swim. a dog is involved

Song of Achilles: gay version of achilles story. lots of sex

TFIOS: girl dying of cancer meets boy dying of cancer fall in love go to amsterdam have sex and die

The Hunger Games Trilogy: 24 kids gotta kill themselves because big guy said so, girl says fuck you to big guy, lots of deaths, the end

Divergent Trilogy: discount hunger games

Paper Town: guy tries to find his lost childhood best friend which he is in love with and then goes on a road trip????????????????

Lord of the Flies: where the Hunger Games idea came from, the book you will read in class 



*i havent read all of the books and im basing myself off tumblr

This Very Mind, Empty and Luminous

by 7th Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche

We can see awakening in the world around us, but we can also turn the telescope inward and look directly at our mind. In the Vajrayana school of Buddhism, we discover that this very mind is the mind of the Buddha, and what we’ve been searching for so long has been right in front of us all the time.

Only when we have a genuine, abiding desire to free ourselves from suffering and all its causes does our spiritual journey begin. That original desire is very potent and very real. It is the basis upon which we enter the path that will lead us to our goal. Yet from the point of view of the Vajrayana, or tantric, school of Buddhism, there is no place to go on that path, no end of the road where we will one day satisfy our thirst for liberty. Why? Because the very thing that we are looking for — freedom, wakefulness, enlightenment — is right here with us all the time.

There is a story in the tantric meditative tradition of Mahamudra about a farmer who owns a buffalo. Not realising that the buffalo is in its stable, the farmer goes off in search of it, thinking the animal has strayed from home. Starting on his search, he sees many different buffalo footprints outside his yard. Buffalo footprints are everywhere! The farmer then thinks, “Which way did my buffalo go?” He decides to follow one set of tracks and they lead him up into the high Himalayas, but he doesn’t find his buffalo there. Then he follows another set of footprints that lead way down to the ocean. However, when he reaches the ocean, he still doesn’t find his buffalo. It is not in the mountains or at the beach. Why? Because the buffalo is back home in the stable in his yard.

In the same way, we search for enlightenment outside ourselves. We search for freedom high up in the mountains of the Himalayas, at peaceful beaches, and in wonderful monasteries, where there are footprints everywhere. In the end, we may find traces of the great Tibetan yogi Milarepa’s enlightenment in the caves where he meditated, or hints of the Indian pandit Naropa’s enlightenment at the bank of the River Ganges. We may find signs of the enlightenment of many individual masters in different towns, cities, or monasteries. What we will not find, however, is the one thing we are looking for: our own enlightened nature. We may find someone else’s enlightenment, but it is not the same as finding our own.

No matter how much you may admire the realisations of the buddhas, bodhisattvas, and yogis of previous times, finding your own freedom inside yourself, your own enlightenment, your own wakefulness, is much different. When you have your own realisation, it is like finding your own buffalo. Your buffalo recognises you and you recognise your buffalo. The moment we meet our own buffalo is a very emotional and joyful moment.

In order to find our own enlightenment, we have to start right here where we are. We have to search inwardly rather than outwardly. From the Vajrayana point of view, the state of freedom, or enlightenment, is within our mind and has been from beginningless time. Like our buffalo comfortably resting in its stable, it has never left us, although we have developed the idea that it has left home. We think it is now somewhere outside, and we have to find it. With so many footprints leading in different directions, so many possibilities for where it could be, we may start to hallucinate. We might think it was stolen by a neighbour and is gone forever. We start to have all kinds of misconceptions and mistaken beliefs.

To summarise this, we can say: There is nothing called “buddha” or “buddhahood” that exists outside of one’s mind. We can say the same for samsara: It does not exist apart from one’s mind. That is why Milarepa sang:

Nirvana is nothing imported from somewhere else
Samsara is nothing deported to somewhere else
I’ve discovered for sure the mind is the buddha…

From the point of view of the Mahamudra and Dzogchen traditions of Vajrayana Buddhism, there is nothing within samsara — our state of dualistic confusion — to be relinquished, discarded, or left behind. And nirvana — the state of enlightenment — is not a place we go to from here. It is not a place found outside of where we are right now. If we wanted to renounce samsara, leave it behind physically, where would we go? To the International Space Station, the moon, or Mars? We would still be within samsara. So how can we leave samsara behind?

What we are trying to leave behind is duality, the mind of confusion, our perpetual state of suffering. Physically, yes, you can leave your hometown and go to some secluded place such as a mountain cave or a monastery. Your body will be somewhere else, but will your mind be in a different state? How your mind functions when you are in a mountain cave, a monastery, or at home is what determines whether you are in the state of samsara or nirvana.

According to the Vajrayana teachings, enlightenment is right here within our mind’s nature. That nature is what we are trying to discover and connect with. It is what we are trying to recognise, realise, and perfect. The entire journey on this path is trying to discover the nature of our mind as it is.

How can we recognise this nature of mind? The experience of awakening, of complete enlightenment, can be arrived at through many different methods. The methods of the three vehicles of Buddhism — the Hinayana, the Mahayana, and the Vajrayana — all lead to the same goal. The difference is not in the result achieved but in the time it takes to reach that result and in the methods used. Only the Vajrayana is said to possess the methods that can lead to the realisation of the true nature of mind in one lifetime. In the Vajrayana liturgy, this way of achieving the state of wakefulness is called attaining “complete enlightenment in one instant.” When we take the instructions to heart, when we employ the methods properly, stage by stage, and when we focus on the path and do not drift on to any sidetracks, this awakening can take place in any minute. One moment we can be a totally confused, ordinary sentient being, and the next we can be a completely enlightened being. This outrageous but very realistic notion is known as sudden enlightenment, or “wild awakening.”


The tantric path is sometimes known as the path of devotion. With the eye of devotion — toward our guru, our lineage, and our instructions — we can see the true nature of mind. What role does the guru play in our journey to find enlightenment? On the one hand, it is said that enlightenment is right there within you, and on the other hand, it is said that there is no enlightenment without devotion to the guru or lineage of enlightened masters. It sounds a little contradictory.

Why is devotion so important? How does it work? Devotion is a path, a skillful means through which you develop basic trust — trust in your own enlightened heart, trust that your mind is totally, utterly pure and has been right from the beginning. Trusting in that truth is what devotion is. You come to see the truth of your own enlightened heart through the guru and the lineage. Your relationship with your guru is personal, yet it is also beyond the personal. It is so close that you feel like you can control it, yet at the same time you realise it is beyond your control. It is similar to your ordinary relationships — with your spouse, friends, and family — yet it goes beyond them. If you can work with the relationship with the guru, it opens a door to working with every relationship in the world. It becomes a great vehicle for transforming your negative emotions and suffering.

The point here is that the guru simply plays the role of a mirror. When you look in a mirror, your own face is reflected back to you. The mirror does not reflect itself. It shows you whether your face is clean or dirty or if you need a haircut. The mirror is unbiased; it reflects positive and negative qualities equally clearly.

In the same way, when you look at the guru with devotion, you see both your positive and negative qualities. You see your failures, your struggles, your disturbing emotions arising, just as you see dirt on your face in an ordinary mirror. At the same time, you see beyond the surface impurities — which can simply be washed away. You see your true face, your actual reality, which is the perfectly pure nature of your mind.

What happens, though, if you are sitting in front of the mirror in a room that is dark? The mirror still possesses the potential to reflect, and you still possess all those qualities to be reflected. But if there is no light, you could sit there in the dark for ages and nothing would happen. You would never see anything. Therefore, it is not enough just to sit in front of the mirror. You need to turn on the light. In this case, the light is the light of devotion. When this light is on, and when the mirror of the guru is in front of you, you can see the reflection of your own nature of mind very clearly and precisely — yet in a nonconceptual way. That is the role of the guru and the lineage in our enlightenment. The guru is not the creator of your enlightenment. He or she is simply a condition for attaining your own enlightenment.

The mirror does not turn on the light for you. It does not bring you into the room and tell you to sit in front of it. It doesn’t say, “Look here!” The mirror is just a mirror occupying a certain space. You have to enter the room, turn on the light, walk toward the mirror, and look into it. So who is doing the job here? It’s us. We are activating this relationship.

Some traditions say that you have to be passive to receive divine grace or to have mystical experiences, but here it is the opposite. To invoke the blessing of the lineage, you have to be active. Everything is done by you; the guru is simply a condition, a mirror, that you have chosen to keep in your room. That mirror did not mysteriously land there, you know. You selected it and placed it there through your own efforts.

The lineage instructions are also not the creator of your enlightenment. They are simply another condition. They are powerful and profound tools, which you must employ. Instructions are like directions for getting where you want to go. The instructions, the directions, play an important role, but not more important than your own role in initiating and taking the journey. You play the more active role on the path. You act on the directions. They give you all the information you need — which way is the safest, which is a little bit risky, and which is the fastest but most hazardous. However, if you take no action, then eons from now you will still be wandering around without reaching your destination.

We have full power to decide the course of our personal journey. This is the Buddhist view. Even from the perspective of Mahamudra and Dzogchen, you are the center of the path and your enlightenment depends on your own effort. It does not depend on anyone or anything outside of you.


The basic nature of our mind, and the basic nature of all phenomena that we perceive as being external to our mind, is luminous emptiness. In other words, all forms, sounds, and so on, as well as all thoughts and emotions, are appearing yet empty, empty yet appearing. There are various approaches to discovering this nature of mind that is with us all the time.

From the Mahamudra-Dzogchen point of view, we first look directly at the appearances of thoughts and emotions and ascertain their emptiness. Their nature of appearance-emptiness is easy to see, because such mental forms are fleeting and insubstantial. Once this is seen with confidence, then we look at external appearances. Having penetrated the nature of thoughts and emotions, seeing the true nature of the outer world — the external objects that appear to our sense consciousnesses — is much easier. We see that they are equally empty.

In the Hinayana and Mahayana approach, the order is reversed. We first focus our analysis outside and ask: How is form empty? How is sound empty? How is smell empty? and so on. Through reasoning, we discover that the true nature of all these forms is emptiness. Once we find that the nature of all perceived objects is empty, we conclude that the nature of the perceiving subject is naturally empty as well. Subject and object exist only in dependence upon one another.

From the Vajrayana point of view, it is easier and more straightforward to analyse your mind first. Your own mind is very clear to you — you know your thoughts and emotions very well and you experience them directly. They are not hidden from you. They are not something you have to discover through analysis. Your emotions and thoughts are right there in front of you, so when you look at them, your examination is experiential.

When we analyse a form or sound, or turn our mind to the metaphysics of seeds and sprouts, it is conceptual, an academic exercise. We come to “know,” but our knowing is not direct knowledge. Therefore, from the Mahamudra-Dzogchen point of view, that approach is regarded as indirect analysis. It is not a direct experience. For this reason, the Hinayana and Mahayana stages of the path are called the “causal vehicles.” They cause us to have, or lead us to, the direct experience later. The methods of the causal vehicles will bring us to that experience at some point, but not right now.

Mahamudra-Dzogchen uses the approach of direct analysis, which is known as the “analytical meditation of the simple meditator,” or kusulu. This does not mean simple in the sense of being intellectually deficient, but simple in the sense of being intellectually uncomplicated. The Hinayana and Mahayana approach to analysis is known, on the other hand, as the “analytical meditation of the scholar,” or pandita, which is theoretical or scholarly analysis.

While the scholarly approach is necessary, if used alone, it does not bring us direct experience right away. The analysis of the simple meditator, in which we begin by looking at our immediate experiences of mind, is very clear and brings direct experience to everyone. Using this method, when you look closely at a thought or emotion, you can see its nature of inseparable luminosity and emptiness. You do not find any solid or substantially existent thing. The reason you do not find anything solid is that, on the absolute level of reality, nothing exists in that manner. Therefore, when we look for it, we do not find it.

True emptiness, however, is not just “not finding” something. If, for example, you searched your home to see if there was an elephant somewhere in your house, and you did not find any elephant, would it mean that elephants do not exist? No. There are elephants living in zoos and in the wild.

Simply searching for something and not finding it is not the kind of analysis that leads us to the genuine experience of emptiness. To arrive at the true experience of emptiness, we must base our analysis on looking at something we do see, that appears to us to exist, whether that is an external or internal object. When we analyse that object, let’s say an elephant, we look at it in order to discover its true nature, its fundamental reality. We look for that nature by thoroughly analysing the existence of the elephant and each of its parts — ears, trunk, eyes, great body, legs, and tail — until we exhaust our looking. At that point, we come to the conclusion that we cannot find the true existence of this solidly appearing being. Nevertheless, we can see, smell, hear, and touch this empty-yet-appearing elephant. That is the method of analysing that leads to the experience of emptiness.

In the same way, when we look directly at a thought or emotion, it is hard to find anything solid. We may be experiencing strong anger, but when we look at those intense feelings of aggression, we can’t really pinpoint them. We can’t really identify what they are. We may not even be certain why we are angry. After a while, our anger dissolves. One moment, we can barely speak or breathe because we are so enraged. In the next moment, the fury is gone, leaving nothing behind. Even if we wanted to maintain our anger so we can continue tormenting our rival or foe, it is too late. Our empty-appearing anger is gone. In truth, it was never there in the first place.


The actual point of all our efforts on the spiritual path, whether we are studying, meditating, or engaged in socially oriented activities, is to return to the genuine state of our mind, the inherent state of wakefulness, which is very simple and completely ordinary. This is the goal of all three vehicles, or yanas, of the Buddhist path.

The Hinayana school calls this state egolessness, selflessness, or emptiness. The Mahayana school calls it the great emptiness, or shunyata, freedom from all elaborations, all conceptuality. It is also known as the emptiness endowed with the essence of compassion, or as bodhichitta, the union of emptiness with the qualities of compassion and loving-kindness. Further, it is known as buddhanature or tathagatagarbha, the essence of all the buddhas, the “thus gone ones.” In the Vajrayana, it is called the vajra nature, or sometimes the vajra mind or heart, which refers to the indestructible quality of awareness. In Mahamudra, it is called ordinary mind, or thamal gyi shepa, and in Dzogchen, it is called bare awareness, orrigpa. The meanings of all these terms point to the most fundamental reality of our mind and phenomena, which is luminous emptiness. All is empty yet appears, appears yet is empty.

While many different methods are taught to reach this ordinary state of mind, the methods themselves can appear to be anything but ordinary. In some sense they are extraordinary, rather than ordinary; abnormal, rather than normal; and complex, rather than simple. The Hinayana path of personal liberation, for example, is known for its many detailed instructions for practice and postmeditation conduct. For monastics, there are the customs of shaving one’s head and putting on beautiful robes, which are rituals prescribed in order to lead the practitioner to the realisation of selflessness.

In the same way, followers of the Mahayana system for realising the great emptiness undertake the paramita practices, the six transcendent actions of generosity, discipline, patience, diligence (or exertion), concentration (or meditation), and discriminating knowledge (or prajna). In the Vajrayana, there are many complex practices, such as the visualisation of deities and mandalas, which lead to the realisation of the vajra mind.

So with all these practices, are we getting any closer to the natural state? Since it is natural for our hair to grow, the Hinayana practice of continually shaving our heads seems unnatural. It is also not the normal custom of society. In the Mahayana, there are many highly conceptual and occasionally “counterintuitive” methods for purifying negative states of mind, such as breathing in the impurities of the minds of others in tonglen practice. In the Vajrayana, in contrast to the Hinayana practice of shaving off our hair, we visualise not only extra hair, but also we imagine extra heads, extra arms, and extra legs.

Why do we do this, when such methods seem to take us further and further away from an ordinary, normal, and simple state of mind? There must be a reasonable explanation! The answer is simply that in order to reach the level of ordinary mind, to truly arrive at the basic state of simplicity, we have to cut through our habitual, dualistic pattern of labeling some things as normal and others as abnormal. If we have too much fixation on normalcy, on day-to-day convention, we have to cut through that to experience our mind as it truly is.

Therefore, in order to break through and transcend such solid, dualistic notions, we create “abnormal” situations to practice with on the path. In the deity yoga practice of the Vajrayana, you might be visualising yourself in the form of an enlightened being with multiple heads, arms, and legs when you suddenly realise that you have no idea who you are — which is a wonderful experience. We usually have too many preconceived notions about who we are and about the world “out there.” We are so caught up in the process of labeling that we never see beyond the surface of those labels to the nonconceptual reality that is their basis.

When we work with profound and skillful methods like those of the Vajrayana path, they cut through the very root of our dualistic concepts. With these methods we rely on concept to go beyond concept, on thought to go beyond thought. A good example of this is a bird taking off from the ground. When the bird wants to fly, it has to either run a little bit or push down against the ground so that it can leap up. It has to rely on the earth to go beyond the earth — to leap into the space of sky. In the same way, we have to rely in the beginning on dualistic concepts in order to leap into the space of non-conceptuality or non-duality.

This is what all these teachings do for us. Through words and concepts, they point out the nature of phenomena, which is emptiness beyond words and concepts. If, when Buddha realised the true nature of mind and the world, he had never spoken about it, never communicated his wisdom to us through words, we would have no way to enter this profound path.

When it comes to the Mahamudra-Dzogchen tradition, however, the masters of these traditions introduce ordinary mind, or bare awareness, with utmost simplicity. Such a master might say to a student, “Look, a flower. Do you see it?” The student will say, “Yes, I see the flower.” The master will say, “Do you see the beautiful sunshine outside today?” The student will say, “Yes, I see the beautiful sunshine today.” Then the master will say, “That’s it.”

Normally we feel that our perceptions, thoughts, and emotions are too ordinary to mean much. Just seeing a flower or the sunshine on a beautiful day is too simple to be profound. As meditators we want whatever is profound, and so we look past our mundane experiences. We are looking for something that is extraordinary. Something big. We want the maha, or “great,” religious experience that we know is out there somewhere in a mysterious place called “the sacred world.” However, whenever we try to look outside, that is the point at which we depart from our own enlightened nature. We start walking away from the natural state of our mind — the basic state of Mahamudra and Dzogchen. “Looking outside” does not mean that we literally leave our home and go look in our neighbour’s backyard, or that we pack our bags and catch a bus for the next town, or shave our head and enter a monastery. Looking outside means looking outside whatever experience you are having right now.

Think about it from the perspective of your own experience. What do you do when an aggressive thought suddenly arises? You might try to stop that thought, deflect its energy by justifying it, or even correct it — change it from a “negative” thought into a “positive” one. We do all these things because we feel that that thought, just as it is, is not good enough to meditate on. We will meditate on the next pure thought we have; or even better, we will rest in the essence of the gap between our thoughts, the very next one we recognise. In this way, we continually miss the moment that we are awake now. The problem is that we will never catch up to the wakefulness of the next moment, the wakefulness we will have in the future. If aggression is here now, then that aggression is at heart, in its very nature, vividly awake, empty, and luminous. As our simple-minded master of Mahamudra and Dzogchen might say, “Do you see it? That is it.”

You may prefer to meditate on the Buddha rather than on your emotions. The Buddha is always perfectly relaxed and at ease; therefore, you feel very comfortable. When you are meditating on your emotions, you may start to feel slightly anxious and uncomfortable. You may think that your mental health is at risk, or that the environment of your mind is not in a sacred, uplifted, or spiritual state. It is helpful to a certain point, at the beginning of our training, to meditate on pure objects like images of the Buddha, deities, or great masters. If, however, you get addicted to relying on such objects, there can be negative consequences. When you feel you cannot invoke the experience of sacredness or connect with your basic, enlightened mind through your everyday experiences of perceptions, thoughts, and emotions, you are developing a serious problem. Your emotions are as familiar, as commonplace, as sunshine and flowers, and that is great news for realising ordinary mind. You have so many opportunities. Appreciate and take advantage of them.

What we have been looking for — the true nature of our mind — has been with us all the time. It is with us now, in this very moment. The teachings say that if we can penetrate the essence of our present thought — whatever it may be — if we can look at it directly and rest within its nature, we can realise the wisdom of buddha: ordinary mind, naked awareness, luminous emptiness, the ultimate truth. The future will always be out of reach. You will never meet up with the buddha of the future. The present buddha is always within reach. Do you see this buddha? Where are you looking?