the truth is uncovered

Chapter Eight - The Holidays 

Summary: When Oliver Queen returns for his final year at Hogwarts with the mysterious death of his father hanging over his head, he doesn’t expect much to change. But when he meets Felicity Smoak, a brilliant force of nature with her own mysteries, everything does. As they fall in love and delve deep into the secrets of Hogwarts, they uncover many truths about themselves and the darkness within the magical world. Nothing will ever be the same.

Preview:

The holidays sneak up on Felicity with little warning.

As usual, she plans to stay at the castle, since it’s too hard to get back home to Las Vegas for just a few weeks. Despite the fact that she’s been doing this for years, it’s hard not to feel lonely as she lights a small menorah by herself in her room each night.

Wizards aren’t exactly religious. The traditions around Christmas are more out of for the fun of it. But Donna Smoak didn’t drill Jewish customs into her for eleven years only to have her forget it all at Hogwarts (she’d never forget the way her mother wailed at her bat mitzvah)

Read on AO3 Here

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lgbt podcasts that deserve more attention in my gay opinion

please let me know if you want details about the lgbt+ representation in these, and feel free to add on :D

death at a low price- my very very fave as probably most of my followers are aware of at this point. scifi/comedy about a group of dangerous queer ppl and aliens who run an interdimensional convenience store. search herbarium podcasts to find it

spines podcast- horror/mystery about a woman who has scary dangerous powers and only remembers a fucked up ritual and information about her “friends” and who tries to figure out what she is and what happened to her and whats going on with certain sketchy orginizations

inkwyrm- scifi/romcom that is basically gays in space fashion magazine version. also includes a lot of cliche gay relationship drama that i live for

freed- soft apocolypse is the best way i can describe it. its a really sweet podcast about a badass lady who makes broadcasts about her progress fixing a mountain town. later on she makes friends that help her out and theres conspiracys and a lot gets revealed about the world. also my fave

junction series-  drama/romance about 4 high school girls who try and start a podcast to find a girl who went missing but get really off track because they are all really gay for each other and have a lot of relationship drama

adventures of mechabetty- scifi/mecha/action about a scientist who turns herself into a mech w the help of her team in order to fight off an alien invasion. really lighthearted and fun

to whom it may concern- fantasy/supernatural about a mentally ill woman who gets haunted by a dangerous ghost and the group of ghosts that are trying to help protect her. Look on the official blog @to-whom-it-may-concern-podcast for this one

oakpodcast- scifi/interactive podcast about an autistic jewish spy who gets stranded and becomes homeless and is forced to uncover the truth behind the bioweapon that she was exposed to

the girl who set out to seek a living wage- fairy tale about autistic fantasy lesbians destroying capitalism and living happily ever after

the blood crow stories- horror podcast about a college student who goes through old psych records of the passengers ofa ship that sank in the 1940s (i think??) and then realizes there is a monster feeding off everyones pain and fear. heads up that this will emotionally destroy you

The 10 Elements of a MAIN CHARACTER

To all the writers who have ever been told “Your characters have to be three dimensional!” or “They should be well-rounded!” and just felt like saying: “What does that even MEAN?! What goes into a 3-dimensional character? Specifically? And how do you go about creating one?!”

Good news. There’s a way. 

Great main characters – heroes, protagonists, deuteragonist, whatever you want to call them – have ten things in common. Ten things that are easily developed, once you know what to create within your character. So no one will ever be able to tell you “needs to be more three dimensional!” ever again. Ha. 

1) Weaknesses: Main characters should be flawed, but I’m not saying this because it will make them more realistic (though it will) – I’m saying they need to be flawed because if they’re not, they shouldn’t be a main character. Story is another word for change, or more accurately, character growth. Not character as in “fictional person”, character meaning “heart and soul”. Story is someone’s character changing, for better or worse. Main characters at the beginning of the story are lacking something vital, some knowledge of themselves, some knowledge of how to live a better life, and this void is ruining their lives. They must overcome these weaknesses, if they’re going to become complete, and reach a happy ending. There are two types of weaknesses: Psychological and Moral. Psychological ones only hurt the main character. Moral ones cause the main character to hurt other people. Easy.  

2) Goal: Characters exist because they want something. Desiring something, and the fight against opposition for that desire, is the lifeblood of story; and because character is story, it’s also desire that can breathe life into words on a page, and begin the process of creating a real person in a reader’s mind. It’s this ‘desire for something’ that sparks that first connection between reader and character. It makes us think “Well, now I have to find out if this person gets what they want.” This is a powerful link. (How many mediocre movies do we suffer through, when we could easily stop watching, because we’re still trapped by that question of “what happens?”) So if this is powerful enough to keep people watching an annoying movie, imagine how powerful it can be in an excellent story. 

Like in Up, the goal is to get the house to Paradise Falls.

3) Want: If the main character wants something, they want it for a darn good reason. Usually, they think that attaining the goal will fill the void they can sense in their lives, the deficiency they can feel, but don’t know how to fix. And they’re almost always wrong. Getting the goal doesn’t help anything; which is why, while pursuing that goal, they discover a deeper need that will heal them. Which brings us to …

4) Need/Elixir: Main characters are missing something, a weakness in their innermost selves is causing them to live a less-than-wonderful life. Through story, these main characters can be healed. Once they discover what’s missing, and accept it, and change the way they live to include this truth they’ve uncovered … they’re healed. Learning this truth, whatever it is, forms the purpose of the story for the main character. The reader, and the character, think the story is about achieving that big tangible goal the premise talks about; really, underneath it all, the story is about someone achieving a big intangible truth, that will ultimately save their life and future. Often, this need is exactly what the character fears or professes to hate. 

Like Finding Nemo, where Dory states exactly what Marlin needs to learn. 

5) Ghosts: 

Not this kind of ghosts.

Ghosts are events in your character’s past which mark the source of their weaknesses and strengths. Because these happened, the character became who they are. All we need to know about backstory are these moments, because who the character became is all we care about. There’s really only one ghost you absolutely need: the source of their moral and psychological weakness. Something happened that knocked the character’s world off kilter, and everything from that moment onward has been tainted by what happened. This moment haunts them (hence the name), and holds them back from uncovering that need that will heal their weaknesses. Pixar are masters of this: the source of Carl being stuck in the past, curmudgeonly, unable of loving anyone new? Ellie dying; his ghost. In Finding Nemo, the source of Marlin being suffocating, protective to the point of being harmful, possessive, and fearful? His wife and 99% of his children being eaten in front of him; his ghost. 

6) True Character: These are the strengths, values, convictions, fears, faults, beliefs, worldview, and outlook on life that make the main character who they truly are. 

7) Characterization: This is everything on the surface of a main character. The way they look, talk, act, etc. All of this originates from those deeper elements of their being, the strengths, values, ghosts, weaknesses, needs, that make them who they truly are. So often, you can think of this as a facade they’re projecting, a way to shield the the truth about themselves, how they wish to be perceived. The story, and the other characters, are slowly going to see deeper than this characterization, revealing more and more of the reasons it is the way it is. 

8) Arc: If the character is going to change from “Incomplete Person” to “Complete Person” there’s going to be a journey they go on to make that possible. The external story, the pursuit of that big tangible goal the premise is about, is causing an inner journey to take place. What they have to do in pursuit of that external goal will apply pressure to those weaknesses, and pressure causes change. This process has seven steps, but if I write it all here this post is going to be obscenely long. So I might wait and give this its own post.

9) Changed Person: Who is the character going to be at the end of this story? They better be different, or else the story didn’t work. How do they show how different they’ve become? What is the moral choice they make, that spins their trajectory from “the future doesn’t look so great” to “happily ever after”? This should be known right away, maybe even before anything else is settled about the character. This gives a distinct end goal, a way to work backwards, a destination in mind that you can navigate towards.  

10) Fascination and Illumination: The surface characterization, and the brief glimpses of the true character underneath create curiosity in the reader/audience. What the character says, and the implied subtext beneath the dialogue, creates a puzzle the audience wants to solve. Actions they take work the same way; if the writer indicates there’s deeper motivation behind why a character behaves in the way they do, we buy into solving that mystery right away. We can’t help it. “Who are you really? Why are you the way you are? And how is that going to effect the story?” These are all the unspoken, almost not consciously acknowledged, questions that fascinating characters provoke. Searching out meaning, connecting the dots to find the truth – we can’t resist this. We’re not fascinated by tons of backstory and exposition about a character; we’re fascinated by story, by mystery, by the technique of withholding information and having to interpret and hunt out the truth on our own.  So gradually, the story and the characters will force that character to reveal a little more, and a little more, until we have a complete picture of who this person is. Crucial that this information isn’t told up front. Gradually illuminate it. It’s just like getting to know a real person. 

So how does this work in a real character? Let’s take a look at Flynn Rider/Eugene Fitzherbert, because almost everybody has seen that movie. 

Moral Weaknesses: He’s selfish. He’s a little greedy. He’s a little rude. He uses his charisma and bravado to keep people at a distance from the real him. 

Psychological Weaknesses: Insecurity, fear of vulnerability, feels like the real him (Eugene) would be unwanted, unlovable, and have nothing – just like when he was an orphaned kid. Also, he doesn’t know who he wants to be, what he wants to live for. 

Goal: Flynn wants to get that crown. So he has to get Blondie to see the floating lights, so she’ll give it back to him, and then they can part ways as unlikely friends.  

Want: Why does he want the crown? What does it mean for him? He actually states it (reluctantly) in song: “I have dreams like you, no really. Just much less touchy feely. They mainly happen somewhere warm and sunny. On an island that I own, tanned and rested and alone. Surrounded by enormous piles of money.” He senses there’s something off in his life, something is missing. But he mistakenly believes this missing piece is money, which will allow him to buy a lonely island, where he can live out his days as Flynn and no one will ever know Eugene. 

Need: “All those days chasing down a daydream. All those years living in a blur. All that time never truly seeing, things the way they were. Now she’s here, shining in the starlight. Now she’s here, suddenly I know. If she’s here, it’s crystal clear, I’m where I’m meant to go.” He wants a crown … he needs to fall in love with Rapunzel. He needs to love something more than himself, and find out that love isn’t something to fear and push away. He needs to abandon the 'Tales of Flynnagin Rider’ ambition, and get a more worthwhile, new dream. 

Ghost: The source of all of his weaknesses can be linked to his “little bit of a downer” childhood as an orphan. Interestingly, he isn’t aware of another facet of that ghost, and Rapunzel points it out to him. “Was he a thief too?” she asks. He looks taken aback, before answering “Uh, no.” Something’s gone wrong. The choices he’s making are not living up to that original role model.  

Characterization: Flynn’s charming, funny, smart, charismatic, and arrogant (in a somehow charming sort of way). He’s also rude, contemptuous, and sarcastic. All traits that help him keep up that 'swashbuckling rogue’ facade, and push people away from the real him. 

True Character: Underneath all that, he’s a Disney prince. That pretty much sums it up.  

Changed Person: “Started going by Eugene again, stopped thieving, and basically turned it all around.” He started the story as the guarded and evasive Flynn, he ends as the selfless and thoroughly-in-love Eugene. 

Fascination and Illumination: Imagine if everything about Flynn had been told, right up front. We know he’s an orphan, we know he’s upheld a fake reputation, we know he’s a kind and loving guy underneath it all, we even know about his “tales of Flynnagin” childhood dream. You know what happens? We like him … but we’re not interested in him. There’s nothing we need to find out. There’s no curiosity. And if there’s no curiosity, and nothing being illuminated, your story’s not going anywhere. So instead, we find out – alongside Rapunzel – more about Flynn as the story progresses. And that is how it should be. 

So!

Developing characters in this way, I’ve found, really reduces worries about how “well-rounded” and three dimensional I’ve made them. They feel real to me. And besides helping me create characters, this ten element technique has also let me analyze characters I like, which is strangely fun. It’s a great way to figure out why a character works, what causes them to be so effective, and how you can go about creating them yourself. 

Yeah, I’m a bit of a nerd. 

But if you want, try it out. Develop a character. Analyze a character. You might find it as useful/fun as I do.

Masterpost of Crystal Meanings

Source: meanings.crystalsandjewelry.c.om  
Tip: Press CTRL+F to search for traits/stones!

  1. Abalone – Handling Emotional Situations, Psychic Development
  2. Abundance Crystal – Bring state of abundance, prosperity
  3. Aegerine – Energizing, Protection Against Psychic Attacks,
  4. African Crystals – Bring energies that are primal and forceful to crystals
  5. Agate – Protection, Calming, Courage
  6. Agate Eyes – Evil eye
  7. Blue Lace Agate – Gentleness, Tranquility, Communication
  8. Botswana Agate – Transitions, Creativity, Solutions, Nervous System, Broken Bones
  9. Crab Fire Agate – Individuality, Courage
  10. Crazy Lace Agate – Protection from Evil Eye, Decision-making, Focus
  11. Barnacle Crystal – Helpful for group issues, harmony,
  12. Beryl– Varies by color of beryl,
  13. Binghamite – Good Fortune, Elves and Fairies Energy,
  14. Biotite – Clear Picture of Issues,
  15. Bixbite – Harmony, Compatibility,
  16. Black Color Energies  – Survival, Grounding, Protection, Lower Blood Pressure, Root Chakra,
  17. Blackstone (see Black Jasper) – Highly Protecting, Healing,
  18. Bloodstone (Heliotrope) – Centering, Adaptability, Reduce Anxiety,
  19. Blue Color Energies  – Truth, Loyalty, Communication, Peaceful Dreams, General Healing, Relieve Pain,
  20. Boji Stones – Release Blockages, Align Chakras,
  21. Bone – Vitality, Strength,
  22. Dinosaur Bone – Increases Energy, Memory, Said to Heal Broken Bones,
  23. Botswana Agate – Transitions, Creativity, Solutions, Nervous System, Broken Bones,
  24. Bowenite – Protection, Dream-solving,
  25. Brazil Crystals – Said by some to be the most powerful crystal energy, healing,
  26. Bridge Crystal aka Inner Child, Penetrator –  Public Speaking, Heal Old Childhood Issue,
  27. Bronzite – Focused Action, Courtesy, Inner Certainty, Muscular Tension,
  28. Brown Color Energies — Stability, Grounding, Protection, ADD, Instability, Immune System
  29. Bustamite – Clear Energy Blockages, Emotional Safety, Stress Disorders
  30. Calcite – Amplifies Energy, Reduce Fear, Reduce Stress,
  31. Blue Calcite – Soothing Amplifies Energy,
  32. Green Calcite – Prosperity, Increase,
  33. Honey Calcite – Gentle Amplification,
  34. Orange Calcite – Emotional Healing,
  35. Other Calcites – Black Calcite and Others
  36. Pink Calcite, Mangano Calcite – “Reiki Stone”, Self-Love, Universal Love,
  37. Red Calcite – Detoxify, Release Fear,
  38. Yellow Calcite – Energy, Personal Power,
  39. Candle Quartz – Lightbringer, Ancient Knowledge, Abundance,
  40. Carnelian – Creativity, Individuality, Courage,
  41. Castellated Crystal (Castle, Cathedral Crystal) – Balancing, Akashic Wisdom,
  42. Catlinite (Pipestone) – Spirit Communication, Prayer, Ritual,
  43. Cavansite – Stimulate Psychic Awareness, Rid Negative Thoughts,
  44. Celestite (Celestine) – Angelic Guidance, End Worry & Anxiety,
  45. Abalone – Handling Emotional Situations, Psychic Development
  46. Abundance Crystal – Bring state of abundance, prosperity
  47. Aegerine – Energizing, Protection Against Psychic Attacks,
  48. African Crystals – Bring energies that are primal and forceful to crystals
  49. Agate – Protection, Calming, Courage
  50. Agate Eyes – Evil eye
  51. Blue Lace Agate – Gentleness, Tranquility, Communication
  52. Botswana Agate – Transitions, Creativity, Solutions, Nervous System, Broken Bones
  53. Crab Fire Agate – Individuality, Courage
  54. Crazy Lace Agate – Protection from Evil Eye, Decision-making, Focus
  55. Barnacle Crystal – Helpful for group issues, harmony,
  56. Beryl– Varies by color of beryl,
  57. Binghamite – Good Fortune, Elves and Fairies Energy,
  58. Biotite – Clear Picture of Issues,
  59. Bixbite – Harmony, Compatibility,
  60. Black Color Energies  – Survival, Grounding, Protection, Lower Blood Pressure, Root Chakra,
  61. Blackstone (see Black Jasper) – Highly Protecting, Healing,
  62. Bloodstone (Heliotrope) – Centering, Adaptability, Reduce Anxiety,
  63. Blue Color Energies  – Truth, Loyalty, Communication, Peaceful Dreams, General Healing, Relieve Pain,
  64. Boji Stones – Release Blockages, Align Chakras,
  65. Bone – Vitality, Strength,
  66. Dinosaur Bone – Increases Energy, Memory, Said to Heal Broken Bones,
  67. Botswana Agate – Transitions, Creativity, Solutions, Nervous System, Broken Bones,
  68. Bowenite – Protection, Dream-solving,
  69. Brazil Crystals – Said by some to be the most powerful crystal energy, healing,
  70. Bridge Crystal aka Inner Child, Penetrator –  Public Speaking, Heal Old Childhood Issue,
  71. Bronzite – Focused Action, Courtesy, Inner Certainty, Muscular Tension,
  72. Brown Color Energies — Stability, Grounding, Protection, ADD, Instability, Immune System
  73. Bustamite – Clear Energy Blockages, Emotional Safety, Stress Disorders
  74. Calcite – Amplifies Energy, Reduce Fear, Reduce Stress,
  75. Blue Calcite – Soothing Amplifies Energy,
  76. Green Calcite – Prosperity, Increase,
  77. Honey Calcite – Gentle Amplification,
  78. Orange Calcite – Emotional Healing,
  79. Other Calcites – Black Calcite and Others
  80. Pink Calcite, Mangano Calcite – “Reiki Stone”, Self-Love, Universal Love,
  81. Red Calcite – Detoxify, Release Fear,
  82. Yellow Calcite – Energy, Personal Power,
  83. Candle Quartz – Lightbringer, Ancient Knowledge, Abundance,
  84. Carnelian – Creativity, Individuality, Courage,
  85. Castellated Crystal (Castle, Cathedral Crystal) – Balancing, Akashic Wisdom,
  86. Catlinite (Pipestone) – Spirit Communication, Prayer, Ritual,
  87. Cavansite – Stimulate Psychic Awareness, Rid Negative Thoughts,
  88. Celestite (Celestine) – Angelic Guidance, End Worry & Anxiety, Abalone – Handling Emotional Situations, Psychic Development
  89. Abundance Crystal – Bring state of abundance, prosperity
  90. Aegerine – Energizing, Protection Against Psychic Attacks,
  91. African Crystals – Bring energies that are primal and forceful to crystals
  92. Agate – Protection, Calming, Courage
  93. Agate Eyes – Evil eye
  94. Blue Lace Agate – Gentleness, Tranquility, Communication
  95. Botswana Agate – Transitions, Creativity, Solutions, Nervous System, Broken Bones
  96. Crab Fire Agate – Individuality, Courage
  97. Crazy Lace Agate – Protection from Evil Eye, Decision-making, Focus
  98. Barnacle Crystal – Helpful for group issues, harmony,
  99. Beryl– Varies by color of beryl,
  100. Binghamite – Good Fortune, Elves and Fairies Energy,
  101. Biotite – Clear Picture of Issues,
  102. Bixbite – Harmony, Compatibility,
  103. Black Color Energies  – Survival, Grounding, Protection, Lower Blood Pressure, Root Chakra,
  104. Blackstone (see Black Jasper) – Highly Protecting, Healing,
  105. Bloodstone (Heliotrope) – Centering, Adaptability, Reduce Anxiety,
  106. Blue Color Energies  – Truth, Loyalty, Communication, Peaceful Dreams, General Healing, Relieve Pain,
  107. Boji Stones – Release Blockages, Align Chakras,
  108. Bone – Vitality, Strength,
  109. Dinosaur Bone – Increases Energy, Memory, Said to Heal Broken Bones,
  110. Botswana Agate – Transitions, Creativity, Solutions, Nervous System, Broken Bones,
  111. Bowenite – Protection, Dream-solving,
  112. Brazil Crystals – Said by some to be the most powerful crystal energy, healing,
  113. Bridge Crystal aka Inner Child, Penetrator –  Public Speaking, Heal Old Childhood Issue,
  114. Bronzite – Focused Action, Courtesy, Inner Certainty, Muscular Tension,
  115. Brown Color Energies — Stability, Grounding, Protection, ADD, Instability, Immune System
  116. Bustamite – Clear Energy Blockages, Emotional Safety, Stress Disorders
  117. Calcite – Amplifies Energy, Reduce Fear, Reduce Stress,
  118. Blue Calcite – Soothing Amplifies Energy,
  119. Green Calcite – Prosperity, Increase,
  120. Honey Calcite – Gentle Amplification,
  121. Orange Calcite – Emotional Healing,
  122. Other Calcites – Black Calcite and Others
  123. Pink Calcite, Mangano Calcite – “Reiki Stone”, Self-Love, Universal Love,
  124. Red Calcite – Detoxify, Release Fear,
  125. Yellow Calcite – Energy, Personal Power,
  126. Candle Quartz – Lightbringer, Ancient Knowledge, Abundance,
  127. Carnelian – Creativity, Individuality, Courage,
  128. Castellated Crystal (Castle, Cathedral Crystal) – Balancing, Akashic Wisdom,
  129. Catlinite (Pipestone) – Spirit Communication, Prayer, Ritual,
  130. Cavansite – Stimulate Psychic Awareness, Rid Negative Thoughts,
  131. Celestite (Celestine) – Angelic Guidance, End Worry & Anxiety,
  132. Eliat Stone – Remove Hurt, Fear, Stress,
  133. Elestial Crystal  aka Skeletal Crystal – Uncover Secrets, Calming,
  134. Emerald – Love, Communication, Truthfulness,
  135. Empathic Warrior Crystal  – Empathy, Overcome Problems,
  136. Enhydro Crystal – Relationships, Stress Reduction,
  137. Epidote – Enhances Emotional and Spiritual Growth, Perception, Patience,  
  138. ET Crystal – Extra-terrestrial – ET communication, Celestial Beings, Intuition,
  139. Etched Crystal  (Natural) – Ancient Knowledge, Personal Meditation, Lost Healing Techniques,
  140. Eudialyte – Personal Power Stone, Manifestation,
  141. Fairy Frost (Devic) Crystal – Nature Spirits, Elements,
  142. Fairy Quartz – Peace, Heightened Calming Energy, Meditation,
  143. Fairy Stone – Healing Trauma, Health, Prosperity,
  144. Family Cluster  – Family Harmony, Harmony,
  145. Fire Agate –  – See Crystals A page for Agates
  146. Fire Opal – Vitality, Handle Change Comfortably, Clairaudience,
  147. Flame Agate –  – See Crystals A page for Agates
  148. Fluorite – Spiritual Wholeness, Peace, Organization,
  149. Fluorite, Blue John – Beneficial for Sensitives,
  150. Fluorite, Opalized – See Tiffany Stone
  151. Yttrian Fluorite – Manifestation, Wealth,
  152. Fossils – Business Accomplishments, Excellence,
  153. Fulgurites – Direct & Channel Energy, Leadership, Cloud-busting,  
  154. Fuchsite – Lore: Balance, Continuity, Stress Relief,
  155. Galaxite – Protect & Cleanse Aura, Astral Travel,
  156. Galena – “Stone of Harmony”, Insight,
  157. Lord Ganesha (diety, symbol) – Remove Obstacles, Abundance,
  158. Garnet – Romance, Love, Self-Confidence,  
  159. Green Garnet (Grossular Garnet, Grossularite) – Manifestation, Abundance, Confidence,
  160. Hessonite Garnet (Hessionite) – Passion, Creativity, Personal Expression,
  161. Garnet, Tsavorite (Tsavorite, Tsavolith) – See Tsavorite
  162. Generator (Merlin) Crystals – Generate and Magnify Energy, Remove Negative Energy,
  163. Girasol – Visualization, Dreamwork,
  164. Glass – Fire, Air, Earth, Water Elements Combined, Transformation, Rebirth, Focus,
  165. Dichroic Glass – Meditation, Seeing Past Illusions,
  166. Glendonite – Discovery, Learning, Life Purpose,
  167. Gold – Wealth, Happiness, Positive Feelings,
  168. Gold Filled – Balance Energy Fields,
  169. Goldstone – Ambition, Drive,
  170. Goshenite – Truthfulness, Creativity,
  171. Gray Color Energies – Neutrality, Self-Control, May Indicate Illness,
  172. Green Calcite – See the Crystals C page for all calcite.
  173. Green Color Energies – Nature, Harmony, Heart Chakra, Growth, Love, Prosperity, Heart, Blood Pressure,
  174. Green Apophyllite – See Crystals A page for all Apophyllite
  175. Green Moss Agate – See Crystals A page for Moss Agates
  176. Green Millennium – Balance, Harmony, Reduce Anxiety,
  177. Grounding Crystals – Practical Use of Crystal Energy,
  178. Growth Interference Crystal – Remove Energy Blockages,
  179. Gyrolite – Activates Minerals, Ancient Wisdom, Self-Confidence,
  180. Hawk’s Eye – See Blue Tigers Eye
  181. Heart Chakra – Anahata – love, emotions, colors are primarily green and/or pink,
  182. Heliodor – Will Power, Personal Power,
  183. Heliotrope (Bloodstone) – See Crystals B for Bloodstone.
  184. Hematite – Mental Organization, Stability, Grounding, Calming,
  185. Hemimorphite – Self-esteem, Personal Growth, Joy,  
  186. Herkimer “Diamond” (Herkimder “Diamond” Quartz) – Attunement, Mind/Body/Spirit Balance,
  187. Heulandite – Mystical Ancient Knowledge from Atlantis & Lemuria,
  188. Hiddenite – Insight, Intellect, Youthful Vigor,
  189. Himalayan and Tibetan Crystals – Meditative, Ethereal,
  190. Holey Stone (aka Odin Stone) – Prevent Nightmares, Protection, Visions,
  191. Honey Calcite – See the C Crystals page for all calcite.
  192. Howlite – Decrease Stress, Lower Pain,
  193. Included Crystals – Enhances inner qualities,
  194. Indicolite – Spiritual Quest, Psychic Awareness,
  195. Indigo Gabbro – High Energy, Expand Consciousness, Protection,
  196. Infinite (Infinite Stone) – Strong Healing, Draw Out Pain,
  197. Iolite – Psychic Healing, Curiosity, Sobriety,
  198. Isis Crystals – Cope with Loss, Wisdom,
  199. Jade – Love, Fidelity, Generosity, Abundance, PTSD,
  200. Japan Law Twin Crystal – Clear Aura,
  201. Jasper – Nurturing, Protection, Relaxation,  – New Updated Article
  202. Black Jasper – Highly Protecting, Healing, Determine Value,
  203. Brecciated Jasper – Work Success, Wholeness, Protection,
  204. Dalmatian Jasper aka Dalmatine – Remove Disillusionment, Loyalty,
  205. Exotica Jasper aka Sci Fi Jasper – Protection, Soul Nurturing,
  206. Fancy Jasper – Healing, Tranquility,
  207. Kambaba Jasper – Plant Growth, Soothe Nerves,
  208. King Cobra Jasper – Nurturing, Alleviate Anger, Organization,
  209. Leopard Skin Jasper aka Leopard Stone – Service, Power Animals, Visualization,
  210. Mookaite aka Mookaite Jasper – Internal and External Balance,
  211. Morrisonite Jasper – Relaxation, Nurturing,
  212. Ocean Jasper – Love Self & Others, Heal Emotions,
  213. Picture Jasper – Harmony, Visualization,
  214. Poppy Jasper – Protection, Astral Travel, Relaxation,
  215. Rainforest Jasper (Rhyolite) – Perseverance, Communication,
  216. Red Jasper – Justice, Protection, Fairness,
  217. Succor Creek Jasper – See Picture Jasper
  218. Yellow Jasper – Solar Plexus (Belly) Chakra, Social Welfare,
  219. Zebra Jasper – See Zebra Stone
  220. Jet aka Black Amber– Heal Grief, Protect Finances
  221. Kansas Pop Rocks – Release Blockages, Align Chakras, more
  222. Katanganite (Katangite) – Clairvoyance, Raise Energy Vibrations, Meditation, more
  223. Key Crystals – Uncover Hidden Information, more
  224. Kinoite – Communication, Truth, Psychic, more
  225. Kundalini Quartz (Natural Congo Citrine) – Raise Kundalini, Willpower, more
  226. Kunzite – Stress, Broken Hearts, more
  227. Kyanite – Loyalty, Chakra Balance, Reduce Anger, more
  228. Green Kyanite – Heart Chakra, Balance, Love, Lessen Anger
  229. Orange Kyanite – Creativity, Sacral Chakra, more
  230. Labradorite ( Spectrolite) – Magic, Psychic Protection, Stress Reduction, more
  231. Lake County “Diamonds” ( Moon Tears, Konocti “Diamonds”) – Goddess Energy, Moon Energy, Relieve Depression, more
  232. Lapis Lazuli – Truthfulness, Inner Power, Organization, more
  233. Larimar – Freedom, Peace, Energy, more
  234. Larvikite (Norwegian Moonstone) – Psychic Work, Read Between the Lines, more
  235. Laser Wand (Lazer Wand) Crystals – Direct and Focus Energy, more
  236. Lavulite – See Sugilite
  237. Lazulite – Psychic, Reduce Worries, Meditation, more
  238. Left Activation (Time Link to Past) Crystals – Link to Past, Left Brain, Analysis, more
  239. Lemurian Seed Crystal – Love, meditation, healing, more
  240. Lepidocrocite (Lepidochrosite) – Reduce Distraction, Lessen Negative Thinking, more
  241. Lepidolite – Emotional Balance, Acceptance, Calm, more
  242. Libyan Desert Glass – Good Luck, Money Drawing, Immune System, more
  243. Lineated Crystals – Divination, Business Skill, Dexterity, more
  244. Lithio-Laser Crystals – Extremely Powerful, Integrate Body/Mind/Emotions/Spirit, Break Down Internal Barriers, more
  245. Lithium Quartz – Heal Repressed Emotions, Stress Reducer, Balancing, more
  246. Lodestone (Magnetite) – Attracts Good Fortune and Love, Protection from Evil, more
  247. Lodolite (aka Landscape Quartz, Scenic Quartz, Garden Quartz) – Meditation, Manifesting Desire, Heightened Spiritual Energies, more
  248. Madagascar Crystals –Bring primal energies that are fluid and flowing
  249. Malachite – Transformation, Energy, Balance, more
  250. Manifestation Crystal – Blessings, Wishes, Childhood Trauma, more
  251. Marble, Picasso – Calming, Weight Loss, Self-Discipline, more
  252. Mariposite – Reduce Stress, Adapt to Change, Balance, more
  253. Melody’s Stone (Super Seven, Sacred 7) – Psychic, Healing, more
  254. Mica – Eliminate Negative Personality Traits, Release Blockages, more
  255. Moqui Marbles (Moki Balls, Shaman Stones) – Shamanism, Stimulate Chi, more
  256. Moldavite – Inner Journeys, Cosmic & Crystal Consciousness, more
  257. Molybdenum – Reliability, Stress Relief, Heal Holes in the Aura, more
  258. Mookaite – see Mookaite Jasper
  259. Moonstone – Sensitivity, Intuition, Protection, Obesity, more
  260. Rainbow Moonstone – Calming, Creativity, Compassion, Goddess energies, more
  261. Morganite – Angel Stone, Heart Stone, Ease Pain of Separation, more
  262. Morrisonite (Morrisonite Jasper) – Heart, Bridge Heart and Root Chakras, more
  263. Moss Agate – See Crystals A page for all agates.
  264. Mother of Pearl – Prosperity, Intuition, Transmute Negativity, more
  265. Multicolor Energies – Hope, Brings Multiple Positive Color Energies
  266. Muscovite – Angelic Contact, Lessen Insecurities, Problem Solving, Pancreas, Blood Sugar, more
  267. Nebula Stone – Removes Fear, Boosts memory, more
  268. Needle Crystal – Close Energy Holes, more
  269. Nephrite Jade – Emotional Balance, Protection, Love, more
  270. Novaculite – cut psychic or etheric cords, getting past problems, depression, more
  271. Nuumite (Nuumit) – Protection from Negative Energy, Activate All Chakras, more
  272. Obsidian – Protection, Grounding, Remove Negativity, Infections, more – includes Green Obsidian
  273. Mahogany Obsidian – Inner Strength, Psychic Protection, more
  274. Rainbow Obsidian (also called Sheen Obsidian) – “Stone of Pleasure”, Love, Light, Scrying, more
  275. Snowflake Obsidian – Balance, Serenity, Protection, more
  276. Okenite – Sense of Belonging, Purifying, Angels, more
  277. Onyx – Root Chakra, Protection, Assists with Challenges, Stabilizing, more
  278. Opal – Inspiration, Imagination, Creativity, more
  279. Opal Aura (aka Angel Aura) – See “A” Crystals page.
  280. Blue Peruvian Opal – Ingenuity, Self-Esteem, Stress Reduction, more
  281. Fire Opal – Vitality, Handle Change Comfortably, Clairaudience, more
  282. Pink Peruvian Opal – Love, Gentleness, Romantic, more
  283. Orange Calcite – See the C Crystals page for all calcite.
  284. Orange Color Energies  – Passion, Creativity, Abundance, Freedom, Sexuality, Bladder, Lower Intestine, Sacral Chakra, more
  285. Orange Millennium – Emotional Blockage, Fear, Cohesive Energy, more
  286. Papagoite – Optimism, Euphoric Oneness, more
  287. Parent Crystals (Parent / Child Crystals) – Building Relationships, more
  288. Peach Aventurine – See Crystals A page for all Aventurine
  289. Peacock Ore (Peacock Stone) – See C Crystals page for Chalcopyrite.
  290. Pearls – Calming, Purity, Charity, Truth, more
  291. Pectolite – Wisdom, Truthfulness, more
  292. Peridot – Heart Chakra, Balance, Compassion, more
  293. Petalite – Spiritual Healing, Spirit Guides, Remove Black Magic Spells, more
  294. Petoskey Stone – Third Eye, Emotional Awareness, Clear Negativity, more
  295. Petrified Wood – Practicality, Business Success, more
  296. Phantom Crystals – Awareness, Meditation, Mysticism, More
  297. Phenacite (Phenakite) – Extremely High Energy, Third Eye, Clear Energy Centers, more
  298. Pipestone (Catlinite) – See C Crystals page.
  299. Phlogopite (Phlogopit) – Remove Spiritual Blocks, Mental Anguish, more
  300. Phosphosiderite – Healing, Past Life, more
  301. Pietersite (Tempeststone) – Beauty in Life, Angels, Relaxation, more
  302. Picasso Marble (Picasso Stone) – Calming, Weight Loss, Self-Discipline, more
  303. Pink Color Energies  – Nurturing, Kindness, Love, Life Path, Overeating, Childbirth, Heart Chakra, more
  304. Pink Mangano Calcite – See the C Crystals page for all calcite.
  305. Plancheite – Raise Vibrations, Protection, Psychic, more
  306. Prasiolite – Self-Reliance, Prosperity, Prophesy, more
  307. Prehnite – Strengthen Life Force, Increase Energy, Spirit Communication, more
  308. Psilomelane (Crown of Silver) – Gazing/Scrying, Meditation, more
  309. Purple (& Violet) Color Energies  – Inner Sight, Psychic, Mystery, Spiritual, Relieve Stress, Addictions, Third Eye Chakra, more
  310. Purpurite (purperite) – Break from Self-destructive Habits, Spirituality, more
  311. Pyrite – Healer’s Gold, Protection, more
  312. Quantum Quattro Silica – Healing, DNA, Immune System, more
  313. Amphibole Quartz – See Angel Quartz (Angel Phantom Quartz)
  314. Aqua Aura Quartz – See Crystals A page for Aqua Aura
  315. Azeztulite Quartz – See Crystals A page for Azeztulite
  316. Candle Quartz Crystal (Pineapple Quartz, Atlantean LoveStar- see Crystals Cpage.
  317. Cherry “Quartz” – Also see Glass
  318. Quartz – Power, Protection, Harmony, Balance and Energy, more
  319. Eisenkiesel Quartz – Enhance Energy, Concentration, Protection, more
  320. Fairy Quartz (White Fairy Quartz) – Peace, Calm, Meditation, more
  321. Hematoid Quartz – Pain Relief, Emotional Balance, more
  322. Himalayan “Ice” Quartz, aka Nirvana Quartz – Perseverance, Spirit, Meditation, more
  323. Litio-laser Quartz – Extremely Powerful, Integrate Body/Mind/Emotions/Spirit, Break Down Internal Barriers, more
  324. Lithium Quartz – Heal Repressed Emotions, Stress Reducer, Balancing, more
  325. Red Orange River Quartz – Energize, Accept Life Path, Decisions, more
  326. Rose Quartz – Unconditional Love, Opens The Heart, Romantic, Self-Love, more
  327. Rutilated Quartz (Quartz with Rutile) – Self-Reliance, Diminish Fears, Mystical Crystal Diagnostics, more
  328. Smoky Quartz – Centering, Good Luck, Protection, more
  329. Snow Quartz aka Milky Quartz or White Quartz – Good Fortune, Purification, Calming, Meditation, more
  330. Solar Quartz – Emotional Uplifting, Spirit, Harmony, more
  331. Spirit Quartz – Transform Negative Energy to Positive, Dreamwork, Shamanic Journeys, more
  332. Tangerine Quartz – Inner Self, Balance Emotions, more
  333. Tibetan “Black” Quartz – Purification, Aura Cleansing, Protection, Energy Blockages, Powerful Healing, more
  334. Tibetan Scepter Quartz – Connection to True Self, more
  335. Tourmalated Quartz Ttourmaline in Quartz) – Protection, Reduce Anxiety, more.
  336. Rainbow Aura (light, aka Angel Aura) – See Crystals A page for Angel Aura
  337. Rainbow Crystals – Hope, Uplifting, more
  338. Realgar – Energy, Unlocking, more
  339. Recordkeeper Crystals – Information through Meditation, more
  340. Red Aventurine – See Crystals A page for all aventurine
  341. Red Calcite – See C Crystals page for all calcite.
  342. Red Color Energies  – Survival, Physical Needs, Physical Energy, Sexual Energy, Action, Blood, Spine, Feet, Base Chakra, more
  343. Rhodizite – Master Crystal, Super High Energy, more
  344. Rhodochrosite (Rhodocrosite) – Stone of Love and Balance, more
  345. Rhodonite – Grace, Elegance, Decrease Anxiety, more
  346. Richterite – Stress, Calm, more
  347. Right activation (Time Link to the Future) – Increase Right Brain Functions, Time Link to the Future, more
  348. Root Chakra – Muladhara (Base) – survival, power, growth, stability, love of life, colors are primarily black or red, more
  349. Rose Quartz – Unconditional Love, Opens The Heart, Romantic, Self-Love, more
  350. Rubellite – Passion, Detach from Pain, Abundance, more
  351. Ruby – Happiness, Prosperity, Integrity, Devotion, more
  352. Ruby Aura Quartz – Passion, Vitality, Survival, more
  353. Ruby in Fuchsite – Balancing, Solutions to Problems, more
  354. Ruby in Zoisite – Energy Amplification, Psychic, Heart, more
  355. Rudraksha – Sacred, more
  356. Sacral Chakra (Svadhistana, Spleen Chakra) –  creativity, personal expression, abundance, color is primarily orange, more
  357. Saginite – Protection, Self-Confidence, more
  358. Tabby (Tabular) Crystals – Activate other stones, more
  359. Tangerine Aura – Self-Confidence, Release Sexual Blocks, more
  360. Tanzan Aura – Intuition/Pyshic, Spirit Guides, Reclaim Passion, more
  361. Tasmanite – See Atlantisite
  362. Tanzanite – Magic, Success, Stress Relief – more
  363. Tektite – Wisdom, Knowledge, Strengthen One’s Energy Field, more
  364. Third Eye Chakra – Ajna (Brow) – mental clarity, psychic abilities, colors are primarily indigo, violet or purple, more
  365. Throat Chakra – Vishuddha – communication, truthfulness, colors are primarily blue or turquoise, more
  366. Ulexite – Far Sight, Clairvoyance, Balance, more
  367. Unakite – Find Animal Guide, Heal Abandonment, Weight Loss, Gardening, more
  368. Variscite – “True Worry Stone”, Tension, Kidneys, Nervous System, more
  369. Verdite  – Opens Chakras, Ancient Knowledge, more
  370. Vermeil – Happiness, Intuition, more
  371. Wavellite – Decision-making, Energy Flows, more
  372. White Color Energies  – Light, Balance, Divinity, Cosmic Consciousness, Color Healing Substitute for Any Other Color, more
  373. Window Crystals – Clairvoyance, Scrying, more
  374. Witches Finger – Lightwork, Healer Stones, more
  375. Wonderstone –Eliminate Worries, Depression, Anxiety, more
  376. Wulfenite – Move Energy, White Magic, Emotional Blocks, more
  377. Yang Crystals – Self-Confidence, Assertiveness, more
  378. Yellow Calcite – See the C Crystals page for all calcite.
  379. Yellow Color Energies  – Joy, Success, Mental Clarity, Business, Personal Power, Relaxation, Nerves, Digestion, Solar Plexus Chakra, More
  380. Yellow Jasper – Social, Protection, Balance, more
  381. Yin Crystals – Intuition, Harmony, more
  382. Yin/Yang Crystals – Balance Masculine and Feminine Energies, more
  383. Zebra Stone – Connect to Mother Earth, Stimulates Energy, more
  384. Zeolites – Remove Toxins, Remove Negative Energy, more
  385. Zincite – Synthesis, Personal Power, Group Efforts, more
  386. Zoisite  – Trust in Universe, Release Fears, more
The Most Special Thing A Sign Can Do Is...

Aries - Push you to do what you’ve been so afraid of

Taurus - Make you feel at home with them

Gemini - Intellectually stimulate you until you have an epiphany

Cancer - Make you feel like your feelings matter

Leo - Protect you

Virgo - Help you realize what the solution to your problem is

Libra - Make you feel worthy of love

Scorpio - Uncover deep truths about you that you needed to hear

Sagittarius - Add color to your life when before it was black and white

Capricorn - Give you strength when you have none

Aquarius - Broaden your horizons so you can see the big picture too

Pisces - Stay with you through the bad, because they never lose sight of the good

The 8 Steps of a CHARACTER ARC

You know that moment as a writer, when you’ve been charging through the story, high on how fantastic it is, and then suddenly…it all STOPS.  The next scene doesn’t form in your head. You’ve got nothing. 

Behind your characters, a string of bright and captivating scenes mark the trail of that rocket of inspiration; ahead of your characters, a foggy expanse, stretching to who-knows-where, a few shapeless blobs that should be scenes floating in the nothingness. The rocket is dead, and not refueling any time soon.

Well, to everybody who’s suffered this, or is currently suffering it, there’s a way to navigate through that fog. A map. Directions and a destination.

Or, more specifically, events that form the underlying structure of the story. 

This post is going to focus on one facet of story structure: character arc. Structure is something people subconsciously recognize and expect, and if the story doesn’t match those expectations, they feel cheated (though usually can’t explain why). Every good story follows a structure. So if you know structure, you’ll always know where to go next, and won’t get lost in the fog. 

So here are the 8 steps of a character arc:

1) Hero: Strength, Weakness, and Need

This happens in the setup of the story, when the main character’s ordinary world is being introduced. First, the main character’s strengths must be displayed; we must be given a reason to like them, or if not exactly “like” them, empathize with them, and be fascinated by them. The reader needs to bond with the character, feel concerned about how it all turns out for them. Or in other words, feel that the main character is worth experiencing the story. There are easy traits that do this: courage, love, humor, being in danger, being unfairly treated, being highly skilled at something, having a powerful noble goal. (Courage is the one they all need. If the character doesn’t have the gumption to actively pursue what they want, they are automatically a background character.) 

After this, still in the beginning of your story, let the character exhibit what needs to change. Show their weaknesses of character and self awareness.
And lastly, hint at what they NEED to learn. Sometimes this is even stated to the character, and they don’t understand it, refuse to believe it, or condemn it. Like “A Christmas Carol”, when Scrooge’s nephew says his speech about Christmas and how wonderful it is, and Scrooge replies “Bah Humbug!" 

2) Desire: This is the moment when the character knows what they need to pursue, in order to obtain what they inwardly want. It is not the inciting incident or catalyst, the event in a story that disrupts the ordinary world and calls the hero on an adventure. This is a separate step entirely, occurring after that catalyst has shattered life as the main character knows it. They believe obtaining this goal will calm whatever inner turmoil or conflict they’re battling. And always, they’re not quite right.
Think of Mr Fredricksen: His goal is to get the house – a  symbolic representation of Ellie and the life he shared with her – to Paradise Falls, which he believes will heal his grief and guilt. It won’t. Once he obtains it, the achievement feels hollow. But I’m getting ahead of myself. So on we go! 

3) Plan: Once in Act Two, the character is going to scramble for a plan of action. The inner want has solidified into a tangible goal, but they need a strategy to achieve it. This also spells out for the reader what to expect in that second act.  

4) Conflict: What’s going to try stopping them? A hero with a goal is one thing, but to make it a story we need something that stands in the way. An obstacle. A force of opposition. If we didn’t have obstacles, books would be as interesting as "Harry Potter and the Trip to the Grocery Store.” (Although honestly, I’d probably read that.) After the catalyst has changed everything, after the character crosses the threshold into Act Two, everything from here on out will be laden with conflict. This is usually when enemies, or more accurately forces of opposition, begin to appear. Everything is accumulating to complicate the main character’s pathway to achieving what they want. The forces of opposition come from not only the villains, but from the actions that have to be taken to achieve the desire. Whatever this action is, it’s exactly what the main character is not suited to do, an action that pressures their flaws, exposes them to exactly what they need to become but can’t right now. 

Like Stitch being forced to be the family dog. He’s not suited to this task.

5) Battle: The forces of opposition are amping up, growing stronger, fighting with greater intensity. The main character is taking the punches and working around them, relentlessly plowing forward. Hero and allies are usually punching back too.

6) Midpoint: This is the event where they first encounter what they need to learn, what they need to become. Something happens that forces them to behave in this new, life-saving way. But once they’ve seen it, they don’t know what to do with this knowledge. 

7) Dark Night, Revelation, Choice:
This is always the darkest point in the story, where all seems lost, and death – of a literal or spiritual nature – is in the air. And in this moment, something usually happens that makes the main character wake up to what is wrong, and what they need. More often than not, this revelation will arrive from the “love story” or relationship of the plot, and will be the thing that helps them pull themselves out of despair and see the light. And once this is uncovered, once the revelation of the truth about themselves is recognized, they are faced with a choice. Of course, they’ve been faced with choices in every beat of every scene, but this is the big choice that is going to determine if their story has a happy ending or a tragic one. The choice is this: “You are being faced the truth that you need to heal. Are you going to choose what you need, let your old self die, and become someone better?” And always, always, always this is a hard choice. The revelation must be significant to them. And it’s never easy. It can’t be. We don’t write stories about heroes who make easy choices. Villains have it easy. Are you going to adopt this new way of living, adopt this truth, and let your old self die? Or are you going to stay the way you are (which feels safer and is much less challenging) but end up stuck in a sort of living death? Most of the time, of course, they choose the right thing. 

This moment is usually always the saddest scene in the thing. Like this scene with Stitch.

8) New Life: This is their changed life. After experiencing the trials of the story, after realizing what they need and choosing to be reborn, they are going to be different people – and are going to live a different life. This is what follows the statement “And every day after …” What has changed? Show the audience how things are different, how things are better, because they want to see that. This is the resolution, the wrapping up of everything we’ve been through with the main character, and having this in the story is often what gives that feeling of satisfaction after seeing a really well-told story. 

So! To show off how this works, I’ve chosen the character arc of Carl from Up. 

1) Hero: Strengths, Weakness, Need

Strengths: Reasons to like Carl are packed into that heartbreaking opening sequence. By the end of it, we love him, love Ellie, and are crying our eyes out.

Weaknesses: Now Carl is curmudgeonly, grumpy, cold, and won’t pay attention to a living soul. He’s also plagued by grief, regret, guilt, and loneliness. (Which we are all 100% okay with, because we already like him.)

Need: He needs Russel. The statement of what he needs to learn isn’t outright said (as it will be later) but Russel represents it. 

Step Two: The catalyst was when a truck knocked down Ellie’s mailbox, Carl hit a construction worker in the head with his cane, and for this a judge declares him a public menace and orders him to go to Shady Oaks Retirement Village. The DESIRE is this moment. 

Carl escapes in a flying house, thousands of balloons lifting him skyward. He even says the desire of the whole story out loud, “So long boys! I’ll send you a postcard from Paradise Falls!” The tangible goal is “live out the rest of his days in his and Ellie’s house, on the edge of Paradise Falls, South America.” (“It’s like America … but South.”)

Step Three: The plan and the conflict overlap, as they are wont to do. We have a scene where Carl is unfurling sails, setting a compass, and settling back in his chair for a smooth journey. But later on, after some conflict has arrived, we have Russel figuring out how to actually make it there. And after even more conflict has arrived, we have him telling Russel “We’re going to walk to the falls quickly and quietly, with no rap music or flash-dancing.”

Step Four: The moment he settles back into his armchair, high above the city, and here’s a knock on the front door, nothing is going to be easy for Carl. First, we have opposition in the form of Russel. Then we have a storm. Then the house lands miles away from the Falls, so they’ll have to walk it. Then we have Kevin, the giant bird. Then we have Dug. Which means they’re also being chased by a legion of talking dogs. Which brings us to Muntz, the main villain, and Carl’s shadow – the representation of Carl’s flaws, and the consequences of refusing to let go of the past. 

Step Five: This is the trek to the Falls. It’s also the battle with every complication that arises. And it’s also exactly what Carl is not suited to do. He’s a curmudgeonly old guy, bent on living out the rest of his life alone. Well, the story says “Nope, Carl, that’s not how it’s going to be” and promptly gives him a surrogate grandson to take care of, a dog who adores him, and even a giant mythical bird. And he has to lead them all, if he’s going to get to the Falls. 

Step Six: The moment when Russel invades Carl’s heart. Which is what he needs, but he doesn’t understand. (I have the scene beated out in the previous post.)

Step Seven: Finally, he gives in to the worst of himself and chooses his goal of living in his broken house on the edge of Paradise Falls. But somehow this doesn’t feel like victory. He’s still alone, next to Ellie’s empty chair, and she is still beyond his reach. 

He picks up her adventure book, and leafs through the photographs, missing her; he pauses on the page scrawled with the words “Stuff I’m Going To Do”, lets his hand rest on it, grief and regret overwhelming him. He begins to close the book, and the page shifts … revealing the edge of another picture. Surprised, he turns the page. It’s their wedding picture.

Ellie added picture after picture of their happy marriage, the whole wonderful life they shared, all the things she did. And on the bottom of the last page is her last message to him: “Thanks for the adventure! Now go have a new one! Love, Ellie.” Exactly what Carl needs. He doesn’t need to be guilty, he doesn’t need to regret the past. The past was beautiful, and she will never truly leave him. 

Choice: So, Carl can make the choice to throw everything out of the house to go save Russel. 

New Life: Sitting on a curb, eating ice cream with Russel.

In the credits, we see a whole new life – or new adventure – with Carl, Russel, Dug, and even a bunch of new puppies.

So, it’s actually pretty simple. And once again, it’s fun to develop your own stories like this, but it’s surprisingly fun to analyze movies and books with it too. It improves your storytelling ability, I’ve found. Practice makes perfect.

I hope this post helps somebody out. It’ll make the ten times I cried while writing it, while watching scenes from Up, worth it.

Books you should read because I LOVE THEM

Dedication: For @kissmybruisedknuckles who told me to make this because she’s too lazy to make one lol

1. Strange The Dreamer - Laini Taylor

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

2. The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices plastered on lampposts and billboards. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within these nocturnal black-and-white striped tents awaits an utterly unique, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stare in wonderment as the tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and become deliciously tipsy from the scents of caramel and cinnamon that waft through the air.

Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves.

3. Unwind - Neil Shusterman

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child “unwound,” whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state, is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

4. Cinder - Marissa Meyer

Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.

5. This Savage Song - Victoria Schwab

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

6. The Darkest Part of The Forest - Holly Black

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

7. Red Queen - Victoria Aveyard

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

8. Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

9. Illuminae - Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more

10. Legend - Marie Lu

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

11. Angelfall (Penryn and the end of days) - Susan Ee

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

12. Caraval - Stephanie Garber

Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

13. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin

Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed.

There is.

14. An Ember In The Ashes - Sabaa Tahir

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear. It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

15. The Darkest Minds - Alexandra Bracken

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.


16. The Wrath and The Dawn - Renee Ahdieh

One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Pallas is an asteroid that talks about our talents, problem solving skills, focus, and intuition. Today I’ll cover the basic talents. 

Aries Pallas- Associated with talents in athletics, competitions, gambling, coming up with ideas, possible inventor, and general risk taking.  Associated with being talented in edgy fashion or art, acupuncture, and homeopathy.  Wants a solution fast, has a hard time focusing their energy towards their talents and skills.

Taurus Pallas- Talented in art especially aesthetics, massage therapy, cooking, landscaping, building, music, and gardening. Needs a lot of time and space to focus their energy and planning towards goals and talents.

Gemini Pallas- Talented at recognizing patterns, is good with language, communication, storytelling, puzzles, debates, and multitasking. Can be scattered with their focus, easily bored, and can lack in intuition.

Cancer Pallas- Gifted in emotional understanding and intuition. Talented in the arts, teaching, cooking, and hosting. Their focus is on emotions, family, and protection.

Leo Pallas- Talented in arts of all kind, general creativity, drama, entertainment, art therapy, play therapy, dance, solar energy, and heat. Focused on problem solving and grabbing attention via charisma and drama.

Virgo Pallas- Gifted in noticing the tiny details, editing, organizing, communication, possibly writing, note taking and solving logical or mathematical problems.Talented in pottery, gardening, or knitting. Intuitive towards helping others. Is a very focused and strategic Pallas Sign.

Libra Pallas- Talented at seeing patterns, strategies, and the details of social situations. Is a great host, artistically inclined especially aesthetically, and is diplomatic. Focuses their energy towards the social world.

Scorpio Pallas- Talented in investigating, psychology, arts, healing, sex, sex therapy, risk taking, and has crazy intuition. Has focused intuition and problem solving skills. Has a knack for uncovering the truth. Loves mysteries and challenges.

Sagittarius Pallas- Talented at seeing the big picture, visionary thoughts, mental healing, experimentation, teaching, and exploring. Can have a spiritual or fiery intuition, problem solving is scattered, can create meaningful art.

Capricorn Pallas- Talented in organizing, planning, law, history, architecture, sculpture, massage therapy, chiropractic practice, and drafting. Has a focused and practical mind but lacks intuition.

Aquarius Pallas-  Talented with technology, strange or cutting edge ideas/art, and any skills or talents deemed uncommon. Has visionary intuition and unusual ways of problems solving.

Pisces Pallas-  Talented in the arts, healing, compassion, solving problems without getting violent or angry, and possible psychic gifts. Can lack focus sometimes.

Guys I really don’t think you understand how crazy this New Moon is gonna be 😭😭 Like fuck it’s seriously conjunct Jupiter IN SCORPIO!! HELLO MOOD SWINGS AND DRAMA!!! And guess what??? ITS ALL OPPOSING URANUS IN ARIES. URANUS IN ARIES DOESNT GIVE A FUCK!! THE REALIZATIONS WE MAKE RIGHT NOW, THE TRUTH WE ARE UNCOVERING, ITS GONNA FORCE US TO EVOLVE AND INTRODUCE PROGRESSIVE CHANGE INTO OUR LIVES, MAYBE EVEN AS A FUCKIN SOCIETY

SO YALL BETTER BE FUCKING READY THE NEW MOON IS NOT PLAYING GAMES!! OCTOBER 19TH HERE WE COME!

  • Voltage guy: yeah I'm not interested in dating or falling in love with anyone.
  • Me: ( aww why tho? U hot and I know I'm ugly but who the fuck cares man oh well *sigh* )
  • *7 EPISODES LATER*
  • Voltage guy: I am interested in a certain someone..
  • Me: hello....it's me.

Science is not nature. Science is not truth. Science is the process by which humans try to uncover truths about nature. 

Nature is objective and exists outside of humanity. We are products of nature and exist within it. 

But science is socially constructed, because science can’t exist without us. Science is something that must be done. And because it only exists within the context of us messy political humans it reflects our messy political society. It’s biased and political and can be (and often is) wrong. 

Science can be harmful. It can, and is, used to support and justify bigotry and hatred. And support harmful power structures. And justify whatever status quo those in power wish to maintain. 

It also does amazing things and brings to light beauty and elegance and things previously unimaginable. It can also be used to fight against the damaging and harmful. 

But these are two sides of the same coin. And if we really want science to be the best it can be we need to recognize that. 

2

Back To School; Emory’s Witchpack! 

What this pack includes:

  • sigils
  • emoji spells
  • enchantments/charms
  • other advice

Emoji Spells:

  • 🔮🌵♻️🍋⛔🐻🌿🌑🔮 - usually for keeping baddies off your blog, but will work for real life as well! transmutes, banishes, and prevents negativity/negative energy (likes charge, reblogs cast, so does texting/reminders)
  • 🔮🏥✏️🌟🌕🌟🌔🔥🔮 - gives you an energy boost, and the will to work hard at your studies! (likes charge, reblogs cast, so does texting/reminders)
  • 🔮🌱⏰🚫😪🌑🐓🌟🔮 - keeps you awake during school, and helps you wake up on time and easier! (likes charge, reblogs cast, do does texting/reminders)
  • 🔮☕🐝🌻😁👍🐸☕🔮 - helps you find people of like mind, and to make friends without being too awkward (you know the deal)
  • 🔮🐸🚫🏫👗😭🚫🙈🔮 - helps you to avoid being unnecessarily dresscoded

Enchantments/charms:

  • a necklace to help you pay attention and retain what your teachers say and what you read 
  • a pencil to always take good notes
  • a pencil case to never lose your pencils, pens, markers, etc. 
  • a compact mirror/or any mirror to make you and others feel good when you look in them
  • your shoes to always take you to your classes on time
  • a thermos/water bottle to give you a boost when you need it
  • a ring to temporarily hex bullies 
  • earrings to always hear important intercom messages
  • your glasses so you always know where they are and so you can always find lost objects 
  • a tune to hum that calms you down
  • when you’re washing your clothes, enchant them to be comforting, safe, and less likely to get dirty

Random advice:

  • imbue the ever-loving fuck out of your breakfast. your tea/milk/coffee/water/drink to wake you up, your breakfast to keep you awake. if you’re having cinnabuns in the morning like i am, write sigils with the icing and also, cinnamon is good for luck and protection! eggs for rebirth, new beginnings, bacon for uncovering the truth, and pancakes for pure, sweet, delicious joy. 
  • put sigils on your shoes; specifically ones that get you to class on time
  • put reminders on your phone, some as emoji spells and some as actual, genuine reminders. put everything on that damn thing
  • USB wands/altars/spells are good, pure, and you should make one 
  • put sigils and enchanted items/talismans in your locker. maybe a mirror or makeup? is. is that what people do?
  • snatch up salt and pepper packets from the cafeteria, they’re good for spells. 
  • send emoji spells to your friends so they can get buffs too!
  • put sigils somewhere on your homework so you (and your teacher) don’t lose it (preferably very lightly, or in eraser)
  • don’t be afraid to whisper small blessings and curses. “may your bacon always burn” is a favorite curse of mine, and “may you meet a kind animal” is a favorite blessing
  • keep up with astrological/astronomical events, if that’s your thing. on full moons, schools are supercharged with excess energy – make use of that! 
  • remember to eat, drink, shower, change your clothes, take your meds, sleep, and do your homework. don’t stress about doing homework; do it when you can, but if it’s getting late and you’re tired, do as much as you can without getting a migraine. do the questions you’re able to do first, then work on the harder ones 

Abusive parents not only lie to their children a lot, but the entire foundation of their relationship with children is based on lies.

They lie about who they are. They lie about who the children are. They tell lies about what the world is like. They lie about what you’re responsible for, and what you have no control over. They lie to make you feel guilty. They lie about their feelings. They lie about their intentions. They lie about what you deserved. They lie about what happened. They lie about what they said. They lie about what others said. They lie about how they think and act and most of the words coming out of their mouths are manipulative lies. Ones that will make you feel like they’re in the absolute right to do whatever they feel like doing, like they have the right to dictate your identity, the right to punish you, the right to “show you your place”. They lie about how much they’re capable of, they lie about what hurts and doesn’t hurt them, they lie about how much they care, and they lie about loving you.

Being raised in abusive environment means having all of your perceptions based on a tangle of lies, and only painstakingly unwrapping every single one thruout your whole life will help you gain more proper idea of what is true and what isn’t, but abusive parents make even uncovering the truth ultimately terrifying, because they make it seem like if what they’re saying to you is a lie, then the truth must be much, much worse. Well it isn’t. Their lies are made to get you where they want you. To make your behaviour convenient and useful to them. To create an asset out of you. Out of a human being.

Abusive parents wont ever forgive if their child lies to them. While they lie to them their entire life, about everything. They still expect the truth. They still expect you make it easier for them to read you, to manipulate you, to know where to push you and what lie to tell to get you to obey, to bow down and to admit that you’re wrong, you’re guilty, and you’ll do as they say. This isn’t parenting. This is brainwashing.