the word of the prophet

Never blame your fans

I know many of you artists - whether you draw, write, or compose - are frustrated that your original work, especially your dream projects, aren’t getting the responses you were hoping for.

I feel the same way.

But some of you express your frustrations completely destructively and blame the world for not giving you the spotlight.

When you do that, you’re blaming your problems for existing rather than adjusting and compromising to solve them. You’re making excuses for your mistakes. You’re demanding the world to change but you are not willing to change with it.

This is the perfect mindset to NEVER succeed in anything, ever.

You need to accept some basic truths of art before you can go any further:

  • Your art should teach you as much as or more than it teaches others: If you claim your art opens horizons and widens minds, yours should be the first priority. You cannot speak without listening. You are not a righteous prophet enlightening the heathens with the true word. You are one humble person and your art is one humble person’s story.
  • There are no new stories, but there are always new storytellers. That amazing idea you have that nobody’s ever thought of before? Someone has. But nobody has told the story your way, or drawn the character your way, or sung the song your way. Art is not about being new. It is about being you.
  • Popular art is all about the beholder. All these shows and games with so much fan art? They got to that level because they command a personal investment from and serve the viewer - they have worlds their fans want to be part of, and your canon will be swept aside along the way. You the artist are not a god or a wise sage. You are a guide and a footman. To be an artist is to be humanity’s servant, not its lord - and there’s no shame in that.
  • Most of your fans are not artists or art critics. While there will be a good number of them in your fanbase, the vast majority are not going to be super-open-minded creative thinkers who value every single opinion, outlook, and story just because it’s done technically well. They will be ordinary people with ordinary, selfish interests, and they will care about your content more than your talent. You have to balance what you want to draw with what everyone wants to see.

But the most important part of being an artist or really a person at all is to understand this:

Nobody owes you success.

Nobody is under any obligation to pay anything you produce a second glance or support or promote it in any way.

Nobody is spiting or robbing you by not giving you a like or a reblog or a follow.

Every single gesture of appreciation you receive from someone is a courtesy - a gift that you earn, not a right you’re entitled to.

It is not the job of your audience to love your work. It is your job to make it lovable. And just because you are working really hard does not mean you are working in the right direction.

I know that thousands upon thousands of artists put hours or months or years into a project and feel like they get nothing in return. Sometimes it is not how hard you’re working but what you’re working for that is the problem. 

Sometimes you need to slow down and think, “Do I have to have this just so? What would the kind of person interested in my work be looking for, and where can I address it? Am I maybe taking myself and my work a little too seriously?” 

And a lot of artists don’t realize that as an amateur, you are the sole proprietor - you are your art. Whether people like you determines whether they like your art.

And that’s why when you blame everybody else and post ungrateful, catty garbage like this:

… you don’t subsequently become the next Toby Fox.

The simple fact is that people will pay you attention if they think your offering + your hassle are worth their attention.

You need to create a world that someone other than you will have fun in and you need to be a good host to everyone who visits

You need a world that will welcome your fans with open arms.

You need to build a world people can live & play in.

And you and your world need to appreciate your fans just for showing up.

Because this is exactly what the big fish do.


because they spread your work around to more people without shanking you on credit and who gets the likes


because they make your work show up sooner & more often on searches and are simply a nice gesture


because they take time out and pay good money to listen to your story and make you from a pauper into a prince


because if you appreciate no one, no one will appreciate you, nor should they

Masterpost: Islamic Concepts, Words & Phrases!

So, as promised, here’s the masterpost of the different, most common, types of concepts, words and phrases that we, as Muslims, use in our day to day speak, and perform on the daily. The reason for this masterpost is so that, if and when Season 4 airs, and if it is about Sana, then most likely, these words and phrases, or concepts, may be commonly used/addressed, so it’s always nice to just, have a reference, I guess, of their meaning, so that you can understand the context and definition a little better! 

CONCEPTS.

Islam: The word “Islam” in itself means to submit, to surrender - to give yourself over to Allah, to feel the peace that giving yourself over to Allah brings to you.

Allah: The Arabic word for God.

Muhammad (sal’lalaahu alayhi wasalam): The final prophet sent down by Allah to mankind, with the religion of Islam. (sal’lalaahu alayhi wasalam), or sometimes seen as Muhammad (SAW) means ‘peace be upon him’, which you’ll sometimes see as Muhammad (PBUH). It is an extension we add on to the name Muhammad, whenever the prophet Muhammad (SAW) is being referred to, out of respect.

“The 5 Pillars of Islam”: These are, in essence, the 5 core aspects of Islam, that every Muslim must believe in, and do to their full potential, unless it is detrimental to their health, or they are unable to do so due to a lack of wealth:

  • Shahaadah - This is the very core belief of a Muslim. They “must testify and bear witness that there is no deity but Allah, and that Muhammad (SAW) is his worshipper and messenger.”
  • Salah - The 5 daily prayers, which must be read. These are Fajr (the prayer we read before sunrise), Zauhar (the midday prayer), Asr (the late afternoon prayer), Maghrib (the prayer we read before sunset) and Isha (the night prayer). Each of these prayers are signalled when the Adhaan (the call to prayer) is heard, and before performing these prayers, Wudhu (ablution) must be made.
  • Zakah - Alms, charity. Every year, we must take a portion of money out from our combined wealth that we own to give to charity to the poor and needy. Of course, to do that, Islam sets certain rules on how much wealth you must have in order to classify if whether you are in a position where you can give charity or not.
  • Sawm -  Fasting in the month of Ramadhan. Ramadhan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, whereby the start and the end of it is marked by the sighting of the crescent moon. During Ramadhan, Muslims all over the world must fast from sunrise to sunset, abstaining from food, water, sex and sin. They must instead increase their worshipping of Allah, by performing Salah and increasing their Tilaawat (reading of the Qur’aan), Tasbeeh (praising of Allah) and indulge themselves as much as they can within Islam. Suhoor (morning meal) is the meal we eat before sunrise happens, kind of like a breakfast, before we begin our fast for the day, and Iftaar (evening meal) is the meal we eat to break our fast, just as sunset is about to occur. Taraweeh is an additional compulsory Salah that Muslims must pray in Ramadhan (since this Salah is only read during Ramadhan, and in no other month beside it) after the Isha Salah. The end of Ramadhan is marked with Eid ul Fitr, the first of our 2 Eids that we have within the year, a celebration! The fasts in Ramadhan are only compulsory on people that are physically and mentally healthy enough to do them. 
  • Hajj - The 5 day sacred pilgrimage that takes place in the final month of the Islamic calendar, once a year. Muslims all over the world travel to Saudi Arabia, more specifically, Makkah and the surrounding cities near it, to perform their Hajj. Only those that are physically and mentally healthy, and that can afford the Hajj, will find it compulsory on them to do so. Our 2nd Eid, Eid ul Adha is celebrated on the 3rd day of Hajj, by remembering the sacrifice that the Prophets Ibrahim (Abraham) and his son, Ismail (Ishmael) were to make. 

Qur’aan: The Holy Book of Islam. It is considered to be Allah’s final word, and the final, unchanged Holy Book that was sent down via Angel Jibra’eel (Angel Gabriel) to the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). 

Hadeeth: The teachings and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) that were reported by his close family and friends.

Sunnah: The beloved actions of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) that were reported by his close family and friends.

Shari’ah Law: The Islamic ruling. Any Muslim country will most likely be governed by the Shari’ah Law. However, its not just people living in a Muslim state that must abide by the Shari’ah Law. Muslims all over the world must try their best to abide by it too. The Shari’ah Law is based upon the teachings of the Qur’aan, which hold the most weight in Islam, with a little understanding from the Hadeeth and Sunnah, in terms of how to apply these Laws.

Jihad: The word itself means to struggle, to battle. There are 2 types:

  • Jihad Kabeera: The Greater Struggle/Battle - this is the one we as Muslims face on a daily basis, within ourselves, to better ourselves as believers of Allah, to always do the right thing by Islam, which is something that affects us on a daily basis, especially if we live in the West, since we face the battle of living in the Western society, as well as being Muslims, and choosing to do the right thing. 
  • Jihad Sagheera: The Lesser Struggle/Battle - this is the one where we proactively, as Muslims, must fight against anyone who wrongfully says ill about Islam. In it, we must take care that we are not hurting those, who have not hurt us, but rather, that we fight against the common prejudices, stigmas and stereotypes that are placed on Islam and Muslims. 

Hijaab: The headpiece the women of Islam are recognised by. However, hijaab is not just that. Hijaab is also in the way we dress modestly, the way we must act modestly, the way we must speak modestly, because the woman’s modesty in Islam is very, very highly valued and respected. Men are told lower their gazes in front of women. 

Niqaab: The face veil that some, not all, but some Muslim women choose to wear, if they want to.

Burqa: The long material that covers the head and reaches thigh length, that some women, again, choose to wear, if they don’t want to wear the Hijaab, but something a bit more looser and covering.

Abayah: The long “dress” the women wear, on top of their usual clothes. Most of the times, these are black, with several printed or embroidered designs on them for more fancier wear, or sometimes they are simple, for more everyday wear. Not all women wear an abayah, and not every abayah is black in colour.

Thobe/Jubbah: Kind of like an abayah, but for men? I guess? It’s a long stitched garment, that comes in many different colours, mostly neautrals, like white, gray, beige, black, blues, greens etc, that men wear. Muslim men in the East wear this more frequently than Muslim men in the West, but Muslim men in the West would most likely wear this on Friday, Ramadhan, and Eid - on sacred occasions.

Dua: Prayers. So, when you raise your hands and pray to Allah, and ask anything of him and remember the people who you want to remember in your prayers to Allah.

Jummah: It means Friday, which is the holy day for Muslims. Kind of like Sabbath, I guess. On Fridays, instead of the Zauhar prayer, men normally go to the Masjid (the mosque) to offer Jummah Salah (The Friday Prayer), where the Imam (the person leading the prayer) will give a Kutbah (a short sermon) regarding a specific topic to do with Islam.

Masjid: The Mosque. This is where Muslims gather to pray Salah 5 times a day.

Madressah: Islamic schooling - so, Islamic classes that, most often, take place inside the Masjid, i.e, the mosque, when it is not being used by the general Muslim public to offer Salah.

WORDS & PHRASES.

As-salaamu’alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakaatuhu: This is a greeting, both used as a hello and a goodbye between Muslims. As-salaamu’alaikum - May peace be upon you, Warahmatullahi - And Allah’s mercy, Wabarakaatuhu - And his blessings. Usually though, most people will only say/use As-salaamu’alaikum.

Allah Hafiz: May Allah protect you. This is another greeting we have that Muslims use as a goodbye.

Bismillah hirahmaa niraheem: In the name of Allah, the most Merciful, the Most Kind. It’s a phrase we use/say when we’re about to start something, we start whatever we do in the name of Allah, by remembering him so that whatever we’re doing will have a successful outcome. Somtimes, we just say Bismillah, in short, which just means, In the Name of Allah.

Subhanallah: Glory be to Allah. This is a Tasbeeh (a praise of Allah) that is said when something overwhelms you, so much so, that you literally have to take a moment and glorify Allah for having that thing overwhelm you, whether it be someone’s beauty, something’s beauty, or something that’s happened that’s overwhelmed you in a really positive way.

Alhamdulillah: All praises be to Allah. This is a Tasbeeh that’s said when you’re thankful for something. Thankful for anything or anyone, for food, for good health, after we sneeze we say Alhamdulillah, or if someone is asking you how you are, you can simply reply back by saying Alhamdulillah, and they’ll understand that you are in good health, or if someone is offering you something extra, like food, for example, then you can simply say Alhamdulillah, and they’ll understand that you’re content with the amount you have.

Allahu Akbar: Allah is the Greatest. This is another Tasbeeh, but it’s used in quite versatile ways. It’s the first and last phrases of the Adhaan, it’s said in Salah, but it’s also used in daily speak too, most often when we want to reaffirm our belief in Allah, to remind ourselves that, Allah is our sole keeper of destiny, and that, sometimes, things we don’t anticipate can happen too. It’s a resounding statement of faith, that can invoke feelings of strength when it is needed, telling you to reevaluate where your faith is at. Or if something that you can’t believe is happening, you’ll say Allahu Akbar, to express your disbelief in it.

Insha’allah: If Allah wills. This is something we say when we’re thinking about the future, and we hope that the way we think about the future is something Allah is willing to offer us. Kind of like a “I don’t wanna jinx it”.

Mash’allah: Allah has willed. This is something we say out of respect for a situation, if it’s gone in favour of someone else we’re speaking to, or if we’re appreciating someone, whether it be their beauty or their character. It’s a way of showing someone that you’re extremely happy that Allah has willed for something to go their way. 

Wallah: I swear by Allah. It’s something you say when you’re absolutely serious about something, because you are swearing to Allah about it, you are keeping Allah as your witness about it.

Astagfirullah: I seek forgiveness from Allah. This is said when you’re repenting to Allah, or someone else may say this to you if they’re reminding you of something wrong that you did/are doing, not as a way to patronise, but to remind you that you have a choice in not doing that wrong thing either.

Jazakallah Khair: May Allah reward you with the best (of rewards). This is said in place of thank you, when you’re thanking someone for something, Most people sometimes just say Jazakallah, or either Baarakallah (May Allah’s blessings be upon you.)

Ameen: Amen. Something you say when you’re agreeing with something, or accepting something from someone.

Mubarak: Glad tidings/Congratulations. Usually you’ll hear people say this in Ramadhan or Eid, to each other, or if someone tells someone else they’re going for Hajj/have come back from Hajj, you’ll hear the phrases:  Ramadhan Mubarak, Eid Mubarak, Hajj Mubarak etc, but generally, it’s just used as way of saying congrats.

Nikah: Wedding.The actual wedding ceremony.

Ammi: Mum.

Abba: Dad.

Habibi/Habibti: The Most Beloved. Where Habibi is the masculine term, and Habibti is the feminine term. It’s not just said to the person you love romantically, it can be said platonically too, and quite often, is.

Using prophecies in fantasy without making eyes roll

Good ol’ stand-bys, ubiquitous fantasy tropes, are difficult to avoid. And sometimes we don’t want to avoid them. Goddammit, sometimes you just need a good, solid prophecy to write the story your want to write. 

“It’s not my fault all these other people before me have written prophecies, too!” you say. 

And you’d be right. Unfortunately, they did. So us modern-day writers have to live with the it. So what do you do when you want or need to use a well-worn trope? 

Know the trope. Make it your own. 

Know that, no matter what you do, some readers will still hate it.

But you can’t make everyone happy, right? So let’s get started.

How-to guidelines from our predecessors

Prophecies in fiction have been used countless times. But there are reasons why we continue to use them. And while you don’t want to completely copy how it has been done before, we can all learn something from the basic form of real and fictional prophecies. 

1. Prophecies are often vague and general

The language and phrasing used in prophecies, because of its important and symbolic nature, tends to go for sounding mystic and grand over sensible and utilitarian. This language achieves its poetic goal, but as a price, the meaning can be allusive, vague, or even seem contradictory. 

A man named Jerry will kill a man in a fight on the corner of 3rd and Main on the fifth of January, 3820. 

On the dawn of winter in a forest of gray, when one life dims, another remains.

One of these actually gives you some useful information. The other could mean a vast array of different things at any point in time, but technically applies to the same situation. One of them (though poorly) reads more like something you’d find in a piece of fiction. 

2. Prophecies are often misinterpreted

There’s likely to be disagreement on the meaning of any yet-to-be-fulfilled prophecy. If it’s well-known, then common folk might take it to mean one thing, while the wealthy another. The well-educated might take it to mean one or two (or three or a thousand) things, while the uneducated take it to mean another. If there are two prominent schools of thought, then people might passionately disagree about the meaning. It’s possible that none of these interpretations are true. 

‘Tis the nature of vague and metaphorical language.

The culture of your world will influence how people treat the prophecy. Conversely, the prophecy and its interpretation might have a huge impact on the culture, government, or religion of your world. 

3. Prophecies are given in context

In the example above about the murder in winter, with no context that “prophecy” means basically nothing. Part of what creates nuances in interpretation of prophecies is variations in the understanding of the prophecy’s context. 

Upon the rebirth of the emperor, the dark messenger will be slain; the eagle will conquer the land.

In this sample, very little is made clear when there’s no context. We have no reason to care, let alone believe, what these words are trying to convey. But say that our myths tell the story of a vanished young emperor who would someday reappear to take his throne, that the messengers of evil are immortal, and that the eagle is symbolic of peace…

It all starts to make a bit of sense, doesn’t it? Any alteration in context, however, could vastly change the meaning. 

Prophecies don’t stand alone. They only work within their context. They aren’t created in a vacuum and they are not understood in a vacuum. Creating the vibrant world that surrounds your prophecy will go a long way to making it interesting and important.

4. Prophecies require a prophet

Why do people believe the prophecy? Why don’t they? When implementing a prophecy into your world, you need to pay attention to how people receive its message and ensure that that belief has a sensible backing. 

A prophecy came from the mouth (or pen) of a prophet. If the people of your world totally buy into the words of this prophecy, then there needs to be a reason. What made this prophet reliable? 

What not to do: There was this old woman and everything she said was totally batty…all except this one thing. This one thing will definitely be absolutely true, so help me, God.

Like any aspect of culture, the “why” factor is important. Why do people believe the prophecy? Why has it survived so many years? Or perhaps people don’t believe the prophecy…so why is that? 

Consider Nostradamus. He’s a pretty infamous prophet, even though only some of what he said every seemed true (and almost entirely in retrospect). For the most part, when you mention him, people will kind of laugh it off. It’s mostly a joke. However…his words might also be true! But it’s best not to put all your money on it. 

How are the words of your prophet generally received? How will this affect how your Important Prophecy™ is viewed and understood by the people?

“This Important Prophecy™ is believed because my story needs it to be believed,” is not a good reason. So make sure it runs deeper than that.

Pitfalls to avoid

1. Using a prophecy as a matter of course

Your prophecy should have a very integral part in your story and world. Using a pointless prophecy or using one just because you think, since you’re writing fantasy, you probably should, are one-way tickets to eye-rolls. 

Like any trope, if you’re sticking it artlessly into your story, then you doing the trope and yourself a disservice. Every element you choose to include in your story should drive it forward, should deepen your conflict or characters. No inclusion should be made flippantly. Be sure that if you’re including a prophecy, you use it to its full potential.

2. Making it too simple or mundane

If you’re doing it right, then your prophecy will be super important to your story. And if it’s super important, you’re going to want it to be super interesting. If a dull, run-of-the-mill Chosen One prophecy is, unironically, what your story hinges on, then you’re likely going to get some eye-rolls and, worse, readers who put down your book.

3. Going for too much

On the other end of the spectrum, prophecies that are convoluted or require the ten-page backstory to put into context are likely going to take too much attention away from your actual story. Prophecies tend to focus on one (general) event. It can cover a few facets of this one event, but if you try to outline too much you risk detracting from the here-and-now or getting too far in over your (or your character’s) head. 

Things to consider

  • Is the fulfillment of the prophecy a mystery even to your reader? Or does the story give the answer, leaving the path to the fulfillment to be the mystery?
  • Is your prophecy immutable? Is it Destiny and it will come true no matter what anyone does?
  • Is the prophecy self-fulfilling? How do the characters’ knowledge of the prophecy affect events? How might their ignorance of it? 
  • How does the fulfillment differ or align with the expectations held by the characters?
  • Did the prophet speak of their own freewill, with true foreknowledge, or were they a vessel for a deity, or some supernatural being?
  • How was the prophecy passed down to the present? Was it done so flawlessly, or might there have been translation, oral, or interpretation errors that happened along the way?
  • How widely accepted, or known, is the prophecy among the common people? 
  • How common are prophecies in general? Does this one stand out in some way? If so, how and why?
  • Does the prophecy give away an outcome, or does it simply set up a situation?
  • How detailed is your prophecy and how have those seemingly specific details been misinterpreted?
  • How certain is anyone that they understand the prophecy? 
  • If the prophecy proves to be false, how does that element find resolution within the structure of the narrative? (i.e. if you placed great importance on the prophecy with the intention of pulling the rug out from under your reader, how are you going to resolve the situation to keep them from feeling cheated?)

What do you think about the use of prophecies in fiction? What are some of your favorites or least favorites?

Happy writing!

8

“ Didn’t you hear about that, Ted? ” asked Dirk. “ About the kids who tried to steal Gryffindor’s sword out of Snape’s office at Hogwarts? ” An electric current seemed to course through Harry, jangling his every nerve as he stood rooted to the spot. “ Never heard a word, ” said Ted. “ Not in the Prophet, was it? ”  “ Hardly, ” chortled Dirk. “Griphook here told me, he heard about it from Bill Weasley who works for the bank. One of the kids who tried to take the sword was Bill’s younger sister. ” Harry glanced toward Hermione and Ron, both of whom were clutching the Extendable Ears as tightly as lifelines. “ She and a couple of friends got into Snape’s office and smashed open the glass case where he was apparently keeping the sword. Snape caught them as they were trying to smuggle it down the staircase. ”

ATTENTION DIY-ERS

so i know everyone is still bummed about the death of stencilpunks, but we still have to get our stencils somewhere, so i’ve started a google drive folder full of stencils. there’s a doc with political stencils, a doc with band stencils, and a doc with miscellaneous ones. here is the link to the folder. if you didn’t see a stencil you wanted or you wanted to contribute, feel free to request one or submit me one on here and i’ll add it! please reblog this to get the word out.

2

All of my life I spent searching the words of poets and saints and prophets and kings
Now at the end all I know that I’ve learned is that all that I know is I don’t know a thing

I spent a lifetime seeking signs, reading lines
But I know now that I know, I know now that I know nothing

Business or Pleasure? (Seungcheol x Female Reader)

Order up! for @jicheolftw

Request: Hospital setting. You’re a cardiac surgeon, and Seungcheol is the new nurse on your floor.

Smut; Exhibitionism; Kinda Dirty Talk?

Word Count: 5104

THANK YOU SO MUCH TO THIS READER SHE IS MY FIRST EVER REQUEST ON HERE AND THAT’S REALLY AWESOME. I REALLY HOPE YOU LIKE IT <3



“You’re drooling.”

           You startle and drop your pen. It falls with a clack onto your clipboard before rolling off the counter towards the LPN sitting at his desk in front of you. Jeonghan picks it up and hands it back.

           You take it, suppressing a blush. “No I’m not.”

           “Practically,” he says, tucking his bangs back. “I bet he can feel you staring.”

           You glance over at the object of your gaze again. Choi Seungcheol, the new nurse on your floor, is busy at the medicine cart, picking through bottles for whatever another doctor asked for. When he bends down to look on the second shelf, his black scrubs stretch taut over his broad shoulders and show the faint outlines of well-toned muscles. Though he’s been working here for almost a month now, you’ve barely talked to him save for a quick Patient in room forty-two is due for an IV change, or Watch room twelve on his oxy intake. Work stuff. Medical stuff. Very unsexy stuff. And always followed by a deep Yes, Doctor. You don’t like to admit to yourself what that voice makes you feel under your skin.

           And Jeonghan has been giving you hell about it ever since Seungcheol introduced himself on his first day.

Keep reading