they are so wonderful and its been a while since i posted one of these

you know what would have been great? if ron got sorted into slytherin.

imagine– we have this kid on the train, the first friend harry meets, with his corned beef sandwiches and smudged nose. ron is eleven years old and he wants gryffindor, because he’s a weasley and that’s what always happens. but it doesn’t happen.

what a way to redeem slytherin house– or, god, at least complicate it. because ron is petty. he is mean and sharp and ambitious and jealous– and he is loyal to the ends of the earth. he is all those things, and he is and always has been good.

potter becomes before weasley in the alphabet, so harry says not slytherin please and gets told might as well be gryffindor. percy and fred and george are all sitting there in red and gold, ruffling the already-ruffled hair of the boy who lived, smug, and then ron sits down and the hat spits out slytherin!

c'mon it’d be fun. just imagine–

  • the weasleys freaking out– but even that first christmas molly sends him a sweater in beautiful green and silver.

  • snape taking points from gryffindor when ron breaks rules or mouths off. “i’m in your house.” “hm, couldn’t tell which weasley it was…” /drifts away

  • sitting with harry in potions and in flying– whatever classes they happen to share. meeting up to study. scarfing down their breakfasts at separate tables so they can go hang out in the empty classrooms before the day starts. hermione reads while they play exploding snap.
    • the trio signing up for all the same electives third year. this friendship being something they earn and work for; not just the one that looked easiest. (not to bash canon ron&harry, the bros to end all bros, but by putting this very obvious obstacle between them– it makes it that much clearer to the reader that this is a love worth fighting for, because they’re fighting for it).
    • ron being jealous that harry and hermione get to share this house, this home, these hours, while he’s stuck with malfoy and parkinson and goyle– because that would eat him up some days, some months, this insecure kid who’s been the last at everything all his life. this kid who always leaves and always comes back.

  • ron, who constantly compares himself to his brothers– not as smart, not as popular, not as good. one more nail in that coffin, here, yeah? he’s not a prefect, not a quidditch star, not a troublemaker– and even when he becomes those things, someone else has always gotten there first
    • well, i guess he got to this house first at least

  • ron still snaps at snape in potions, after hermione’s been ignored three times, “you know, sir, i think hermione might know the answer.” he still pulls the bars off harry’s window with a stolen, flying car. he still shows harry around the burrow shyly, not knowing what a wonder a warm home is. he still stands up in the shrieking shack as best as he can with a broken leg and tells a mass murderer that if he wants harry he’ll have to go through him first. 
    • ron weasley is a lot of things, but one of them is absolutely a true friend.

  • in their second year:
    • when everyone calls harry the heir, they eye ron at his side and sniff.
    • when hermione lays petrified in the medical ward, ron sits at her side and reads her homework assignments aloud and thinks my house this was my house
    • when ron hugs ginny’s damp, shaking frame after the chamber, ron says sorry and sorry and are you okay and i’m so sorry and ginny calls him an idiot.

  • the trio spends more time in the library with hermione, since ron can’t come to gryffindor tower to study, and homework remains a thing that has to happen. fred and george constantly try to sneak him into the tower anyway. 
    • “c'mon, ronnykins, you belong here, you deserve it, no one’s gonna fuss, it’s your BIRTHRIGHT,” and ron fusses and rolls his eyes at them
    • and then in fourth year in one of those periods where he’s not talking to harry and harry’s not talking to him– he just snaps at the twins
      • because it’s not, alright?
      • not his birthright, not his house, and maybe no one would fuss if he snuck in, maybe no one would care, and that makes it worse not better, because then he’s just that weasley who should’ve been gryffindor
      • and isn’t
    • (and harry overhears this caterwauling, feels his heart fall to his toes, and goes and awkwardly asks ron if he wants to go a few laps on his firebolt). 
    • (because, god, harry-the-chosen-one, harry-in-the-cupboard-under-the-stairs, harry-who’ll-save-us-all– he knows what it’s like to have should have beens on your shoulders, and he knows what it’s like to not be wanted).

  • ron cheers for gryffindor during quidditch matches in those first few years, and sits with hagrid and hermione and neville. harry’s seeker, and fred and george are beaters, and ginny becomes chaser eventually, and honestly screw the slytherin team. they have each and every one of them said disparaging things about ron’s mother.
    • harry and hermione badger ron into trying out for keeper fourth year; he and harry have been practicing on the quidditch pitch because its a non-library-shaped place to hang out where both of them are allowed. ron makes the slytherin roster, and malfoy grudgingly provides ron a team broom after the captain chews him out for a bit.
      • “he may be a weasley, but he’s our keeper, don’t you want to win, draco”
    • but the sort of things they spit in the locker room, the words the players hiss or snigger, the slurs that come easy to their tongues– ron would like to say that he considered just walking out of the cesspit, but instead he snipes and sasses and shouts and sometimes tries to spell slugs at the worst of them. 
      • it doesn’t do much, that one irritated voice of protest– except that it does. and he’s got a new (hand-me-down) wand, after the gilderoy fiasco, so the slugs even come out the right end.
    • fred gives him a black eye with a bludger one time (though ron does manage to block the quaffle) and molly sends a howler to gryffindor table with the morning post. (“RON DID YOU TATTLE”) (“IT WAS CLEARLY PERCY, FRED, SIT DOWN”)
      • (the weasleys often have family conversations across the great hall, with hufflepuffs and ravenclaws covering their ears long-sufferingly between them)

  • in the lake, it’s still ron hanging there in the water, still and bloated. it’s still harry’s heart that stutters in his chest, for all it’s just a game, just a game, just a game, right?

  • ron listens hard and tries to talk himself out of fist fights, all that next year in the slytherin common room as they read aloud rita skeeter articles.

  • when hermione calls dumbledore’s army to its first session in that pub, there are green scarves in that crowd– ron and one of the beaters who ron’s gotten to help glare to rest of the slytherin quidditch team into submission.

  • ron beats draco to being prefect (i think i remember it was dumbledore and not mcgonagall who seemed to award prefect status– snape doesn ’t get a say).
    • percy is SO PROUD, as usual, but so are fred and george. “did you see the little malfoy git? green with shame, my god.”

  • when harry has the dream about sirius, ron isn’t there to wake. but when draco’s pulled out of bed to be a professional bully– er, i mean inquisitorial squad member– ron follows at a careful distance and curses draco from behind. 
    • they ride thestrals over london. harry finds the prophecy and ron thinks about the sorts of things that get decided at your birth.  
    • sirius black was a son of slytherin who had a lion living in his chest that he couldn’t hide away. 
    • ron was meant to be gryffindor, and through a haze of injury and fear he watches sirius die just out of harry’s reach.

  • just imagine: ron with his temper and his sharp words and his fierce loyalty. ron who looks into the mirror of erised and sees house cups and prefect badges and ambitions earned– he could belong in slytherin. there is nothing wrong with wanting things, and he wants them so bad.

  • there are so many reasons to fight a war, and so many ways. harry and his sacrifices, his loving resignation. hermione’s good right hook and bottomless bag of supplies. luna, brilliant and a bit batty. lee jordan’s radio and mcgonagall’s burning patience and brittle, certain bones.

  • just imagine: when the last battle comes, there is a slytherin on the field who is not snape.

  • when draco and his parents walk away, in that last battle, ron–
    • who slept in the same dormitory as the boy for six years
    • who heard draco’s nightmares and saw him paling and desperate all sixth year
    • who is as pureblooded as lucius’s spoiled whelp
    • who remembers grimacing at the thought of squibs
    • who has known magic all his life
    • who spotted draco penning letters home to his mother every sunday and hiding them when the other boys could see–
    • ron sees them going.
      • he sounds no alarms. he says no farewells.
      • he turns back to his friends, and his fight, and lets them be.

  • just imagine: when harry kneels on the train platform and his second son asks him “but what if i get sorted slytherin, dad?” harry can say, “the bravest man i ever knew was in slytherin house. whatever you are, wherever you go, we’re going to be so proud of you." 
    • and they can both gaze over to where ron is squawking beside his daughter’s trolley of luggage because crookshanks (who will live to be forty eight million years old) has latched onto his shins with a violent fondness.

EDIT II: This post has been going around as definite proof that the Cult Ending is fact, and the real way the game works. As such, I’ve been accused of spreading misinformation, to a degree that I’ve been getting extremely toxic and damaging messages.

I want to clarify at this point, this post was made as a vent, back when the data-mine of the Cult End was beginning, and we first got the info that it was a file in the game. The Data-Mine is pretty much finished now, at this point; nothing new to find. And it’s revealed that, while the ending is in a playable state, no coding in the game actually makes it possible to play it. There’s no outcome you can get to trigger this end.

No one is sure if this is a cut ending, future DLC, or if it’s a bug messing up the coding trigger. All we know is we found it, and I made a post too hasty in assumption. I made it when we still thought it was possible to achieve.

So please. Take this with a grain of salt. I don’t want to delete this post, as I feel like it would give the bad impression that I simply wanted to spread fire, with no care for repercussions. But I do want people to know I’ve learned now.

I’m sorry to everyone that I deceived with this. It wasn’t my intention at all, but execution doesn’t always pan out like we hope.


EDIT III: Good god, how often am I going to be updating this post.

Well, we have verification the ending isn’t as scrapped as we thought it was.

An update patch for Dream Daddy to fix bugs and add Robert’s Whittling minigame also secretly updated the coding of the Cult Ending. This info was found VIA data-mining the Level18 files as they were before and after.

The updated files include more trigger codings, and has added the achievement trigger for what we presume is “Escape the Margarita Zone,” as it is listed as “ACHIEVEMENT_SECRET.”

While it doesn’t necessarily mean the ending is definitely going to be playable in the future, it does make the ending’s chances of becoming a possible canon that much more of a reality.


Man. The reveal of what Joseph actually is both amazes and horrifies me further than what we’ve seen.

Okay, so data-mining revealed that Joseph does have a good ending, but it’s not much different from the bad. He still remains with Mary, but he takes you in as a side-man (AKA, he stays with you to continue an affair on Mary.) It’s not very good either, so I won’t be surprised to see people voice disappointment when they get it.

HOWEVER, data-mining found something even worse in the code. And that is Joseph has a third ending, a secret ending, and potentially, the TRUE ending of not only his route, but the game entirely. This ending has been dubbed “cult ending.”

This ending ended up revealing that Joseph is not at all what he seems. He’s not a man living a broken marriage, forcing himself to stay with an alcoholic and cheating wife to have some semblance of a family life with his kids. No, this family he’s created is simply a facade to hide who he is.

Joseph isn’t human. He some sort of demonic entity that has an ulterior motive. His children aren’t truly his children in the sense that you’d assume, they’re more like broken portions of himself, inhabiting child-like forms. And Mary is a woman who was forced to play a role to paint a picture, an illusion. Something she can’t escape from, because Joseph literally has her wrapped around his finger.

Joseph also is a leader of a cult (Obviously, given the fact that this ending is dubbed “cult end.”) I’m not too knowledgeable about the cult, but apparently it’s a front to rituals and the like. We know Robert was, at one point, a part of the cult, but isn’t any longer.

And finally, we know Joseph is drawing forth energy from other single dads, possibly both sexually and ritualistically, to bring the “Eternal King” back to life. He specifically needs the energy from single dads, and with some sort of dark magic, he lures them to his part of town for ease of access. He also is responsible for causing the events of them all being single. Every single dad, he influenced their destinies to fuel his own ambitions.

And once you find this out, you start noticing shit everywhere! There’s symbols of his cult in practically every part of town. Certain behaviors give an odd feeling. It’s just… it’s shocking to go back in to see this.

The cult end finishes with a man name Saul Graves coming to speak to you, and telling you to try and live your life normally. I’m not sure the entirety of the end, I guess it implies Joseph is on the run now? I don’t know, if anyone can clarify it, let me know.

Now, this was a beyond shocking twist to a lot of people. Especially since the game is so comedic, and the other routes, while they may have poignant moments, it’s nothing completely horrifying. I know I certainly was beyond stunned to discover this, but I honestly had a feeling something would happen like this. Though I wasn’t expecting it to actually be Joseph’s route to cause this; I thought it would’ve been a route where you don’t date any dads!

And I know that there’s some speculation that the “cult end” isn’t truly canon (As in, Joseph isn’t actually in a cult or is a demon, it’s just there for intrigue) and is just a dream end. But the fact you start noticing shit after experiencing the end, imagery and encounters, it just… I really can’t see this as being nothing but the truth. Even if you don’t get the ending where you find out what Joseph truly is, he’s still a demonic entity with dark motives, influencing the town and its people to his goals.

And then there’s something that’s honestly quite saddening to think. It’s because of the fact that, even if you don’t get the cult end, it doesn’t change what Joseph is. He’s using single dads’ energy to summon his King to the world. He SPECIFICALLY needs single dads. He has caused all of the other dads to lose their significant other to further his goals, from divorce to death. He’s the reason they’re single in the first place.

Because of this, you pairing up with a dad doesn’t give me a good feeling. Because he needs the dads to be single to draw their energy. And he doesn’t care about “true love” or “good ends.” He’ll tear you apart to forward his goals.

Joseph doesn’t care if Craig’s ending was the cutest thing anyone’s experienced. Joseph doesn’t care if you truly have a connection to Mat.

He needs you two to be single to feed off of you both. And he knows how to break you two apart without anyone ever expecting a thing.

Basically, the reveal of what Joseph is makes me look in fear at all of the other dads, look in fear of their good ends. Because even if it’s a happy end we experienced in what we saw, it implies it’s not meant to last. Down the road, we’ll either be broken up by Joseph’s influences, or he’ll influence one of our’s deaths.

And we won’t think anything odd about it. We’ll just think it didn’t work out, or that life is a cruel mistress.

This is so sinister, like I both love it for the intrigue, but hate it because I genuinely wanted cute moments, and now knowing what Joseph is, I can’t see them as cute anymore. I can’t see myself being happy with any of the Dad’s routes, because there’s that looming thought that it’ll just end in sadness again.

Fucking christ. I didn’t sign up for Dream Daddy to be this dark.


EDIT: This post really blew up, to the point that people are wondering if I’m making shit up due to lack of sources. I wasn’t intending this to get big, it was a vent/personal post, with at most some theories on implications that I thought would get lost to the various other posts people make. I made a reblog showing links that give more info, but for future people that find the post, here are various links on the info we have on the route.

Here’s some images found that pertain to this ending.

Here’s a transcript of how the route goes, from people descrambling the code. Also contains some more images.

Better quality textures of “Cultist Joseph.”

And finally, here’s how people did the data-mine.

On Oak’s Forced Leave

Hi friends. I know we’re all super pissed about Oak being asked to leave Great Comet to make room for Mandy Patinkin (I am too. Like I was looking forward to seeing him for months, and now I can’t) but I’m seeing a lot of posts on here that include some info that is just wrong, and wanted to clarify them. So here.

1.) Oak being dismissed had nothing to do with race. Let me explain, because I know that it 100% looks like it does, but it really doesn’t. Oak, while having a lot of fans in the Broadway community, is a total unknown outside of it. Mandy Patinkin is famous in film, television, and theatre (I mean, he was Inigo Montoya). While they are replacing a black actor with a white actor, that’s immaterial. What they’re really doing is replacing someone who won’t sell tickets (at least, extra tickets) with a celebrity who will (at premium prices). Is that better? Not really. But it’s an important distinction that a lot of people haven’t been making. 

2.) He did not have “a week and a half” to sell tickets. I keep seeing this point, and it’s confused me greatly. Oak has been announced to take over Pierre since February. That was about five months ago. Any pre-sale that was going to happen would’ve already happened by now, and obviously same day sales weren’t good. They were expecting Oak to be a draw, but he wasn’t. Not Oak’s fault, but it’s just a fact. 

3.) They’re not blaming Oak for not selling tickets. A continuation of the second point, no one is putting the success of the show on Oak’s shoulders (if anything, they’re putting it on Ingrid’s). However, they found someone who could make the show more successful, and he happens to be taking over Oak’s role. This does not mean that Oak was unsatisfactory in any way, shape, or form, and no one is trying to imply that. 

4.) This is not the first time Great Comet has done this. Brittain Ashford was asked to go on vacation to make room for Ingrid Michaelson, for the exact same reason that Oak is ending his run early, and no one batted an eyelash. The only difference is that Brittain is coming back when Ingrid leaves, while most people in the business are pretty sure they have another celebrity lined up for Pierre, hence Mandy only performing for three weeks. 

5.) He’s still getting paid. Just like Brittain, Oak is going to be fully compensated for the time he’s off. That doesn’t make things better, but please don’t think they’re just throwing him out on the street or something.  

6.) What About Denée, Amber, Nick, Blaine, Azudi, Shoba, Paul, Summaya, Lulu, Andrew, Brandt, and Heath? If you’re wondering who those people are, they’re the other PoC in the cast of Great Comet, which has won multiple awards for its commitment to diversity this season. To further break those numbers down: four of them (Denée, Amber, Nick, and Paul) are in lead/supporting roles (out of a total of ten), one of which, Natasha, is the absolute archetype of “white Russian princess.” Not to mention that one of Natasha’s understudies, Shoba Narayan, is literally the only actress of Indian descent (that I know of) on Broadway right now. The Comet team has gone to great lengths to make their show as diverse as possible (they literally have their swings learn both “male” and “female” roles, and you can see same-sex couples at multiple points during the show, and it has a largely female creative team), and frankly it’s a little bit insulting to see people acting like Great Comet only casts PoC “when it’s convenient for them.” 

7.) It was not Dave Malloy, Mandy Patinkin, or Rachel Chavkin’s fault this happened. I’ve seen people attacking Dave and Rachel for allowing Oak to be replaced, and Mandy himself for replacing him. Not okay. If you want to blame anyone, blame the producers. Dave and Rachel have literally no say beyond: “Yeah. We’d love Mandy to be in it. Not sure when, though.” and Mandy just gave them the times he was free between shooting the next season of Homeland, and it happened to be the last three weeks of Oak’s run. 

8.) This is all about making money. Broadway shows aren’t cheap to run in general, but a show like Comet is an absolute beast. 30+ cast members, a huge band, a giant crew, etc. Their weekly running costs are probably somewhere in the range of 700k-800k a week. Since Josh left, they’ve been making ~900k a week, which is fine, if they want to be in debt for the next ten years. Comet had a huge amount of money put into it, and the people running it are definitely feeling pressure from investors to pay it back. This means they have to stick a celeb in every once in a while. 

9.) I still don’t think it’s okay. This all being said, I think it was an absolutely shitty move on the producers’ part (they could’ve handled it a lot better) and am livid. (Though, I do have to admit I love Mandy Patinkin. I just wish he came at a different time.)  But while I’m angry, I think it’s important not to make this into something it’s not. 

Okay. That’s all. 

Bruise [ VI ]

Genre [Rating] : Angst [M]

Length: 9.2k

Pairing: Chanyeol x Reader

Summary: He wasn’t yours, and you weren’t his, but that couldn’t stop your heart from believing otherwise.

Bruise Masterlist

Originally posted by mochidoni

Brown sugar was a smell that had grown to make your heart swell, the familiar scent one that lingered in the air of Chanyeol’s apartment every time you stepped inside. The feeling of the plush carpet of his bedroom floor was now your favorite thing to feel in the morning, second only to his lips on your skin. Hearing his groggy morning voice was your preferred alarm, closely followed by the humming he’d do while he brushed his teeth. Everything about him had grown along you, for a month straight Chanyeol had tightened his grip around your heart more with each word that left his lips. He was unsure and slow, not taking any steps too big to backtrack from should he need to. You knew to anyone else you’d probably seem stupid, staying with someone who couldn’t promise you more than what you were now, a non-relationship relationship with a non-committal boy who got anxious even saying the word boyfriend.

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Kings and Vagabonds: In Defense and Celebration of Jean-Jacques Leroy

I hadn’t expected JJ to become my favorite character, at first. Settling in for an unusually early snowfall in mid-November, I went into his introductory episode with the amount of hype I’d come to anticipate since becoming a fan of Yuri on Ice: Kubo-sensei had tweeted positive things about him beforehand, particularly about his short program song; his character design was attractive; his official description established him as a viable contender. My first impression, scrabbled together from these few snippets, was of someone mature, suave, professional, maybe even a little intimidating. Oh, how wrong I was. And I’ve never been so happy to be wrong.

JJ was ridiculous, JJ was over-the-top, and JJ was, above all else in that first episode, entertaining. Ultimately, I was amused by his introduction, sending off a volley of blissful 3 am tweets before turning in for the night, content. I woke up to snow and everyone else’s laughter. My first forays into JJ fandom came with a healthy dose of irony: I liked him because I was entertained by him, but, don’t worry (I’d assure everyone), I was in on the joke. JJ fandom post-episode 8 was all in good fun. I wondered how “Partizan Hope” could possibly top “Theme of King JJ” for ridiculousness, meanwhile changing all of my alarms to blare “Theme of King JJ” when I awoke. I lovingly dubbed him Leroy Jenkins and prepared myself for comic relief.

I was wrong again. Episode 9 came and gave us a taste of what was motivating JJ. We’d seen love and its many forms emerge as one of the central themes of Yuri on Ice, and at first, JJ would seem to embody the notion of self-love. Initially, it appeared to border on arrogance, though it was tempered by his deep gratitude.

And in episode 9, we got our first hints that there was more to JJ than meets the eye. I think we all missed it, that we were distracted. He was banging out a flawless performance, and his inner monologue would seem to reflect not just confidence, but cockiness. The announcers sing his praises, list his accolades. A desire to beat Victor in competition swiftly turns into JJ speculating that Victor’s withdrawal from the competitive circuit was out of fear of losing to him. “That poor guy, Victor!” he scoffs. And then it cuts to this close-up.

It wasn’t an expression that matched his thoughts at all. He looks nervous, stressed. Did he really believe what he was telling himself? Was it arrogant boasting, or frantic reassurance?

Episode 10 did the collective fandom in by showing us that our first impressions of characters and situations might not have aligned with reality at all. Yuuri’s prior drunken antics snowballed into the current state of affairs, with we the audience learning that Yuuri was an utterly unreliable narrator. Victor’s motivations became clear in ways we couldn’t have predicted, and context even managed to cast Chris in a friendlier light. Yet, while the previous year’s Grand Prix Final was the catalyst for this year’s successes, in episode 10 we were also seeing the pieces being laid to catalyze someone else’s failure.

Episode 10 showed us that JJ, while possessed of a strong support network of those who love him, was lacking in support from his fellow skaters. We meet Isabella Yang, who is just… so great, she is just so, so great. Yet her introduction immediately shows her antagonizing Yurio with a pointed enough edge to indicate she’d done her research. The cutting comments all came from Isabella; I immediately figured JJ didn’t bristle at Yurio’s verbal abuse of his girlfriend because he knew she’d come looking for a fight and that she wasn’t in particular need or want of defending. Rather, it stood to reason that she was the one doing the protecting. Had JJ told Isabella that Yurio had been hostile to him in the past? Was she taking it upon herself to defend him, knowing he was the sort to laugh everything off, instead?  

JJ was the first to deescalate the conflict, lightly suggesting Yurio calm down before inviting Otabek out to lunch. He accepted the declination gracefully, citing a passing familiarity with Otabek’s lone wolf tendencies. And then came another thing we may have missed on our first watching, distracted by (ultimately more important matters such as) missing nuts and engagement rings. When JJ and Isabella reappear, breaking up a tense moment at the dinner table with a bit of bravado and theatrics, Otabek was there with literally all of the other skaters. Otabek, who had declined JJ’s invitation, which JJ had likely chalked up to a preference for meals taken alone. JJ seemed unperturbed at this, though. He joined in on their joke, realizing too late that he was Excluded from being Allowed to do so. The brunt of the tension and awkwardness was transferred to him, and he was left alone, shouting that his engagement and goals were simply a joke in one last attempt at peacemaking.

And so, we are then shown the Jean-Jacques Leroy of episode 11. Someone who, in the eyes of the skating world, was mature, suave, professional, maybe even a little intimidating. A viable contender. Someone slated to take home the gold in an eventual grand-slam, the skater to watch out for, the man to beat. He’d taken Victor’s place. Yet we knew that Victor had friends and admirers. We’d seen Phichit watching videos of his routines. His relationship with Chris was well-established; his relationship with Yuuri, first as idol and then as lover, even more so. He was the living legend, the accepted leader; his competing seasons saw the other skaters in a race to place second rather than defeat him. But, how did the other skaters view JJ? Or, rather, how did JJ, himself perceive their attitude towards him?

As viewers, we had seen all of these characters independent of their interactions with JJ, and could thus objectively state that JJ’s impression of them was skewed. But how could he know that, when all he’d seen was ambivalence at best, rejection at worst, and when he knew that the path to the gold medal hinged not on anyone outperforming him — his technical score was simply too high to allow that — but on him crashing and burning?

How would JJ have fared if he’d had friends in the skating community? If they’d pulled up an extra two seats for Isabella and him? While friendship is not immunity from anxiety — Yuuri illustrates this quite clearly, and is even able to remark on their similarities while watching JJ succumb to the pressure — I imagine he would have felt at least the slightest bit less targeted had he known that his peers saw him as more than an obstacle.

But he was not unloved.

Though his self-love takes a hit, it is JJ’s gratitude that ultimately carries him safely through the gauntlet laid before him. His parents, his fiancée, the people of Canada. His parents, former ice dancers and Olympic champions at that, who agreed to be his coach when no one else could support his goals. His fiancée, strong and fierce as a lioness, who knew exactly how to show him love in his moment of weakness and vulnerability. His fans, who cheered for him even when he wasn’t perfect. His gratitude helped him rediscover his self-love, reaffirm his identity, and be true to himself — not as a replacement for Victor, not as simply the man to beat, but as a man with goals, with passion, who sought to challenge himself on his own terms. More so than any medal, that sense of conviction was the real victory for Jean-Jacques Leroy.

And I was even more assured in my conviction that JJ was my favorite character.

Jean-Jacques Leroy was passionate, enthusiastic, open and honest. Jean-Jacques Leroy was — yes — obnoxious, but ultimately harmless, the nervous kid who tries to use humor as their “in”, perhaps a kid too used to the company of his family and the safety net of an adoring fanbase who mistakenly assumes he is already understood and accepted by all he meets. It surprised me when the other skaters unanimously rejected him; and it surprised me even more when the fans, existing outside the framework of the story and with a more objective base from which to analyze character traits and motivations, largely rejected him as well.

I’ve been trying to figure out why this is. I’ve watched his episodes over countless times, and have found little evidence of actual antagonistic behavior, save the “ladies first” comment which was positively mild compared to, say, most of Yurio’s interactions with the rest of the cast. If anything, he’d been friendly and encouraging of the other skaters, with his good intentions possibly confounded by awkwardness. I couldn’t see where this “asshole” characterization bestowed upon him by the fandom was coming from, and I found it strange, if not downright hypocritical, that a fandom so ready to celebrate the respectful and accurate portrayal of Yuuri’s introverted anxiety was also so quick to dismiss or deny JJ’s anxiety, which presented extrovertedly.  If anything, I was laughing to my friends about how JJ was a complete combo-breaker for me as far as favorite characters were concerned: I’ve gone for icy, ruthless villains since time immemorial.

Watching a show as it’s coming out it’s a much different experience than binge-watching. In the weeks between episodes, to keep ourselves engaged, we fall back on our own creations: art, fiction, fan theories. This is normally a great thing, homage and celebration and all that. It’s fun (if not a little nerve-wracking) to speculate and to see how accurate your predictions were. But I feel like, in this particular case, JJ was absolutely a victim of fan-created bias. In the space between episodes, an especially vocal opposition was allowed to fill the gaps, and even though his character was rounded out only three episodes after his introduction, that one month appears to have done enough damage. Even though the general opinion towards him did seem to soften after episode 11, a lot of it seemed to come more from a place of schadenfreude than genuine compassion. I’ve found that those who watched the series later, consuming the episodes in large chunks instead of weekly bites, seem to have an overall more positive/neutral opinion of JJ than the initial viewership.

It’s a shame to see a character you like become, of all things, a problematic fave, but I’m still hoping that after this first wave of opposition dies down, fans will see JJ for the silly, earnest, vulnerable and motivated character he was intended to be.

Thanks to @happy-riceball for urging me to write this, to @aquaticircus and @cicadaemon for listening and joining in on hours of headcanons and rants, to @traditionalthegrace for also encouraging me to put my imagination and adoration to good use, and a shout-out to @samansucks for giving me all her spare JJ’s from blind items.

splinter (m)

» pairing: jungkook x reader

» genre: angst, non-explicit smut / college au

» word count: 6,518

» description: Perhaps in their last moments together, the pieces won’t seem so broken. That maybe even with their jaded hearts they can salvage some replica of what it all once was. 

» note: there are mentions of cheating in this story

People love to talk about the ‘what ifs.’

What if they had just kept going, what if they had chosen a different path, what if things had just gone the way they had so desperately wanted them to? Humans torture themselves with these thoughts, all while urgently grappling at the threads of their memories that led to the fork in the road where things went awry. They ponder them tirelessly, wondering if they could’ve done something different, only to realize in the end that it didn’t matter because what was done was done. It was that simple, yet again, people still loved to talk, ponder, and torture themselves with the possibility of what if — However, in your personal experience, there was something much worse.

There was a sub-group of sorts to the what-ifs, called the ‘almosts.’ Almosts are burning flames of misery because they tease you by getting so heartbreakingly close to what you wanted. They were in your reach, resting on the tip of your tongue, only to dissipate before you could swallow it down and make it yours.

So yeah, you weren’t a fan of the-almosts. But what you were even less keen on was being in the same room as your almost, the thread of memories making the air thick as it wrapped its way around your throat.

Keep reading

Nicknames (Bucky Barnes x Reader) One Shot

A/N: Hey guys! So I wrote this lil short thingy that I’ve been thinking about for a while and I couldn’t stop laughing the entire time lmao! I hope y'all like it! ENJOY! -Delilah ❤❤

Nicknames: Reader tells the team of her cute lil nickname for a certain super soldier. 

Warnings: Sex (M/F). That’s pretty much it. 

Keep reading

Waking up the Avengers

pairing: avengers x reader

summary: you get to wake up the team in your own way, every morning

(this was a rewrite of an old oneshot, sorry for not including anyone new)

warnings: none

The metallic hallway floor was cold under your feet as you made your way to the shared kitchen of the Avengers, and you silently cursed Tony for not putting in heated floors for the cold New York winters. The sweatshirt you were wearing came down to your hips, just where the thick sweatpants started. Being comfortable was key for your mornings, since you were in charge of waking everyone up and making sure they got ready for the new day at hand. Training sessions never started before 8am, so it gave you time to eat a snack and wake up before going about the routine. There was one time when Thor had just gotten an iPhone and smashed it with Mjolnir the next morning when the buzzer started to go off. Then, the following morning, Natasha threw hers out the window, and on its way out Clint shot it with an arrow. The Avengers were really just a group of people who didn’t know what the hell to do with their phones.

Your first stop on the route was to Steve’s room, he was still not caught up at a decent enough pace to use an iPhone just yet. He lived on the same floor as you though, so he was the breakfast maker for everyone while you were off getting them to wake up. The door always had this creak whenever you opened it, and Steve learned to sleep through it. You walked to the side of the bed he was facing, and after a gentle nudge to his shoulder you whispered, “Hey Cap, good morning.” His eyes always opened slow as he got his bearings, and you took a moment to appreciate his ruffled hair and sleep eyes. Steve’s room was the cleanest out of all the Avengers, it even smelled decent. Steve rolled over on his back, and stretched for a moment before standing and finding a shirt to go into the kitchen with.

Next was Bucky, and you made sure that you took an extra deep breath before stepping into his room. In the past, you’ve walked into a completely nude Bucky who was also spread eagle on the bed. There’s been times where he’s not even in the bed, and he’s with his weapons by the closet. This time however, he was peacefully sleeping and stirred slightly at the sound of your feet padding across the carpet. You made a point to make yourself known as you came in with a little knock on the door. So he happily smiled and greeted you a good morning, in that wonderful husky voice. Bucky’s laugh made you smile as you made your way out of his room and towards the stairwell.

Clint’s room on the floor below was your next stop, and technically speaking it was Natasha’s room as well. They were easily woken up, considering all you had to do was open the door and yell, “Wake up time!” Those two shot up like there was a murderer at their door. A lot of the mornings you had to duck in case Clint was ‘sleep grabbing’ his bow the night before, and sometimes Tasha would sleep with a gun under her pillow after an unsettling mission. They had the blinds drawn in their room so there was no sunlight coming through. So it was difficult to see what you were walking into some times, let alone what time of day it was.

Down the hall from them was Thor’s room, and it was big enough to fit a king. He was also your favorite to wake up, other than Steve. Thor was the happiest to see you in the morning, and in general he was just the happiest one around the tower. Once you opened Thor’s door, you ran and leapt to the King size bed. “Good morning Thor!” You tickled his sides as he started to warm up and adjust to the light streaming in through the large windows.

“Oh lady y/n, you never fail to make me laugh in the morning!” Thor groggily spoke, and his voice was so deep it practically made the walls rumble. His laugh thundered on even as you walked out of his room, and you continued on with the routine.

Tony was next on occasion, but all he really needed was Pepper. However, she was out of town at that particular moment. So you hopped on the elevator, and rode to the top floor. The billionaire was already awake and moving by the time you’d reached his floor, so he took the opportunity to ride with you down to breakfast.

Everyone was sitting around the giant oak table, joking around and laughing about some of the older mission stories. The super soldiers were just now sitting down with everyone, and they still had their “dance around the kitchen” playlist going full blast. People were singing along, and being nice for once while sharing the pancakes that Steve had just made. You took a moment to appreciate the people sitting in front of you, when Thor interrupted your thoughts by putting his left arm over your shoulder, and announced, “We love you the most, lady y/n.”

“I love you guys too.”

This Friday (31st March) is Trans Day of Visibility

[This post refers to TDoV 2017; other years will have TDoV on a different day of the week]

It’s that time of year again! That awesome day where trans people share their selfies and stories. It’s one of the two largest trans advocacy days, the other being Trans Day of Remembrance (20th November). That day is dedicated to mourning and solemnity, while this day is a day to celebrate being alive! Like last year, I’m not sure of the absolute official hashtag, so I’m guessing there’ll be a variety in use, such as: #tdov #transdayofvisibility #trans day of visibility #trans visibility #trans pride #transresistance #trans resistance

This day has been recognised since 2009 and is increasing in popularity and support each year, but there’s still a long way to go in spreading the word. Visibility is something that the trans community often has to struggle for, so this is our time to step out of the shadows, take pride in who we are, and show the world that we exist and we’re here to stay.

If you are trans

This is your day. No matter your gender - whether you’re male, female, or any nonbinary gender - anyone who isn’t cis (ie. whose gender is different from the gender they were assigned at birth) can participate. This is a great opportunity to get involved in the community and be visible. If you’re comfortable, post a selfie. Share your story. This is your time to be proud of who you are! It can get hard and lonely sometimes, but there’s a whole community here who have your back.

If you are not trans

Please also get involved - don’t leave this day just up to us. Today is a day for you to support and listen to the trans community. Show us some love by reblogging some selfies and reading some stories, whether you browse through the tags listed above or stick to your mutuals. Now is a perfect opportunity to learn about our wonderful community and to look at some beautiful people. It’s a win-win, really.

Above all, I hope everyone has a fantastic TDoV! Have fun and keep it positive.

Because some asked why I needed Truthwitch to break out...

Some people have asked me what I meant by a statement in my postmortem – about WHY I needed Truthwitch to break out (because if it didn’t, my career was over). I’m not sure how in-depth I’ve been in my newsletter, so here’s an answer for you:

Basically, my first series tanked. I mean…tanked. We’re talking, Truthwitch sold more copies in its first two weeks than the entire SS&D series COMBINED.

Bad sales hurt an author – you’re way better off as an untested debut than an author with shitty sales. So I was at a crossroads in my career, where the plan was to change my name. That way, I could be a “debut” again. (Sadly, this happens a LOT in the industry. Which is why please do not pirate our books!)

But then Tor decided to take a chance on me. Because they’re a small (and amazing) house, they have more room to take on projects that they’re passionate about (instead of just commercially successful). HOWEVER, if Truthwitch didn’t sell well…. Then yeah. That was it. “Susan Dennard” would be dead, and I’d have to reinvent/start over my career.

There’s no shame in that. I was totally willing to reinvent! The problem was that I had this great audience for my writing advice – thousands upon thousands of people who were coming back for my blog and newsletter. Yet none of them were buying my books. Which is fine – I don’t give free writing help to sell copies. I do it because I love doing it.

BUT…if I reinvented myself, I would lose what little crossover I had between writing-advice-fans and book-readers – not to mention the handful of amazing fans who did like the SS&D trilogy (I will never ever forget my wonderful Misfits!).

So…I needed + desperately wanted Truthwitch to sell well. I wanted Tor to be happy. I wanted to keep my name. That led to me going “all in” on self-promo.

Full disclosure: I allocated $15,000 of my advance to promote Truthwitch. (Which, in case you’re wondering, was most of the advance.) I ended up going over that amount…by a lot. Costs ranged from travel to important events (this was really where the bulk got eaten up!) to running/maintaining my street team (swag, postage, hiring an assistant to help me keep it going) to learning how to + making my own book trailer.***

And like…I honestly don’t even know what kind of TIME I spent promoting. It was a lot more than I thought it would be. Literally most of 2015.

But…it paid off, right? At least in terms of “success.” I’m a New York Times Bestseller now!!

That said, I haven’t earned back the money I spent yet (“bestseller” doesn’t automatically mean “rich”), and I will never get back the time I spent. Plus, the nightmare that was 2016 as I tried to rush-create Windwitch

It begs the question: were the costs worth the rewards? I don’t know. I think so since, hopefully, the rewards will continue to pay forward for a long time – and my career is definitely growing!

Best of all, though, I CAN KEEP MY NAME. Susan Dennard. C’est moi pour toujours. ❤️

Edit:

I want to add two more things – because this post has opened up a lot of conversations I wasn’t expecting to have (but welcome!!).

First: I cannot emphasize enough just how important LUCK is in this equation. On top of the time, money, publisher-partnership, and salty desperation that I poured into Truthwitch, I ALSO GOT LUCKY. I had the Right Book at the Right Moment with the Right Cover in the Right Genre coming out in the Right Month.

A publisher can pour all the money in the world into a book, but nothing will make readers buy it. There is no predicting trends.

So a lot of the success of Truthwitch (which is still pretty small, relatively speaking. I’m not a Big Author by any means!!) boils down to that intangible, finicky sprite known as Lady Luck.

Second: This is just ROUND ONE of “reinvention.” I have no illusions or expectations that my success will remain. The Witchlands series has already exceeded my wildest hopes, but no author stays “on top” forever. It’s a constant up and down, and frankly, we’re all just really lucky to even be able to share our words in the first place.

Sure, I’d love to be successful forever, but it’s not my primary dream – and definitely not my expectation. Realism is key to longevity in this industry, and more than that: gratitude.

So on that note: thanks for reading, thanks for sharing, and thanks for being the reason I keep writing.


***Note: I need to also mention that, once it was clear my own self-promotion was starting to pick up momentum, Tor really stepped in and helped me. This was not a solo journey, and it NEVER is. I had/have an amazing team, and we’ve forged a real partnership while getting the Witchlands into readers’ hands.

10 Things I Loved About Mass Effect:Andromeda

Warning: Spoilers! And I wrote this on the spur, so there might be grammatical errors.

1.      I enjoyed the story. Yeah, people will say it recycles from the trilogy, but come on, people. Why are you surprised? Bioware recycles their plotlines all the time. It’s pretty much the same in all of their games. A protagonist gains special abilities and leads a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits team to defeat a big threat. And I’m not bothered by that. Sometimes familiarity in your franchise is good, just as long as you do new things to the formula, and I think they do.

What interested me the most was the theme of starting over. A lot of people in the Andromeda Initiative were former criminals or outcasts. The reason they joined was to start a new life, and it’s explored in the main questlines, the loyalty quests, and numerous side quests. I was worried about the game talking about colonization since humans are looking for a new home, but I was pleasantly surprised that the game made it clear that Andromeda is the angara’s home first, and humans and other Milky Way species will have to work with them. Thank god! No Mightey Whitey trope this time!

2.      Ryder as the player character. I honestly never thought I would love Ryder as much as I did when I played the game. Sure, no one will ever replace Commander Shepard, but Ryder isn’t meant to replace the Commander, rather show a different perspective in a new story. Commander Shepard is the hero we want to be while Ryder is more of a relatable character. Ryder has to learn through the entire game how to be a leader while going through the obstacles of their inexperience and youth so people will take them seriously. And it was compelling, uplifting, and at times amusing to see them become a hero in their own right and step out of their father’s shadow.

Also Sara and Scott felt like their own person. In the original trilogy, the player character is pretty much the same no matter what gender. But sometimes the dialogue can be different depending on if you play a male Ryder or a female Ryder. That’s because they are two different people who have had their own experiences and personalities. That really adds to the replay value!

3.      Female aliens everywhere! One of my major issues with the original trilogy was the lack of female Turians, krogans, and salarians. Sure we had asari an all-female race, and female quarians, but it felt weird that we met so many aliens with very few ladies. Not only do we get a female Turian squadmate, we also get plenty of lady alien NPCs gathered everywhere for random quests. We also have Kesh who works at the Nexus. And we get to see female salarians! And they kind of look the same as male salarians except with different voices. Thank god! It would’ve been horrifying to see salarians with boobs. Uh! And I’m pretty sure there were just as many female angara NPCs as there were males.

4.      The romances. Especially the queer ones. One of the things I love about Bioware games are the romance paths. Bonus points if there is a queer option. And as of patch 1.08, this game has the most number of queer romances in any Bioware game. I think my two favorite romance paths are with Sara and Vetra and Jaal and Scott. While representation for the LGBT community is improving in media, there’s no denying we still have a long way to go. And after again the crap year 2016 where we had a huge number of queer women characters die in tv shows, it was so wonderful to have a healthy and happy relationship between two women when I first played the game. And even if it wasn’t added until the patch, the romance between Jaal and Scott is absolutely sweet since we see two men show a lot of love and affection for each other which is rare to see in media.

5.      The Tempest Family. I adore every single character on the Tempest, and they really did feel like a family once you played further into the game. I am a sucker for found families, and to see these people who are trying to find a home ending up finding a home with each other just gives me so many feels!

Since there’s not really a huge crew in the ship like in the original trilogy when Shepard had an army of humans. In Andromeda, we have six squad mates, four additional crew members, and Ryder. And I think it made the family more intimate. It’s like our own little family lives on the Tempest.

Also I liked how there were more quests spread out throughout the game with the squad which I think was lacking in Inquisition. Plus. Movie Night is the best scene ever!

6.      In my opinion, the side quests were fun. I think this was one thing they improved from Inquisition. Inquisition side quests just felt like a bunch of fetch quests that got kind of boring pretty quick, and didn’t really add to the overall story. Some highlights from Andromeda were: Kadara, the angara reincarnation questline, the Turian jailed for murder, the anti-AI group, meeting Zaeed’s son, and those kids sending out a distress signal for a new light for their weed plant. HAHA!

They were compelling in their own right and included cut scenes instead of the Inquisitor going to some location like in Skyrim to do a thing come back to the quest giver saying, “I did the thing.” “Ok, good.”

7.      Unlike in Inquisition, there’s actual payoff for some of the quests you do. I don’t mean to be mean to Inquisition, I still love the game, but remember when we were promised that you had to build your forces up in order to defend against the main threat. Yeah, you built forces to get influence points to gain perks, and that’s it.

In Andromeda, while, yes. It’s not the same level as Mass Effect 2. When you actually complete quests and help out leaders, you can get different results during the final battle. Like, there’s a chance Captain Dunn may not survive.

Also, when you get 100% viability on all the planets, you get a special surprise on Habitat 7- being told that it will one day be habitable because of our efforts. Sure it was a side quest, but it just felt so rewarding!

8.      The climax was actually fulfilling and exciting. Again, something else Inquisition was lacking in. Seriously, when I first played Andromeda, I legit gasped when the archon was taking control of SAM node. The villain was actually living up to his threatening nature!

Just when we think we got everything under control, and are about to find Meridian, the Archon fucks shit up, and our sibling has to step up to save the day. Then we have to gather people we helped out and prepare for a final battle, and Ryder can finally prove themselves as a true Pathfinder and kick the Archon’s ass once and for all. People are saying the ending was as disappointing as ME3’s? Pfft…What are you even talking about?

9.      The angara. Bioware never fails to make me love an entire fictional species. Yeah, it feels a bit off that they pretty much have the same faces and the same 3 voice actors, but I really do love their culture. And I appreciate that they were clearly coded as POC while Andromeda didn’t go through with the whole Mighty Whitey Trope. The game wants you to respect their culture and to respect their home.

I love the angaran people are open about their feelings, I love how their religion believes in reincarnation, I love how we see angaran scientists, soldiers, merchants, mercenaries, and civilians. Also Aya and Hivraal are absolutely gorgeous!

And when Jaal finds out his people were created by the Kett, I was worried it was going to go the Dalish elves route, but Jaal points out that it doesn’t change anything about the angara. They are still their own people. And that was such an uplifting message.

10.  The overall light-hearted tone. I wrote a small post that got a good number of notes. (Probably the biggest number I’ve ever gotten), so to quote: “There was always this sense of hope and optimism about finding a new home. ‘Yeah, things may have gone totally wrong, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make them better’ was the overall message I got.

And really, with so many bad things happening in the world right now and too much of our entertainment supposedly being our escapism being dark for the sake of dark, this was something I think a lot of us needed.”

Mass Effect 3 had its light-hearted moments, and I love it, but man, that game was emotional draining.

It’s a bit discouraging to love something so much and get recommended videos on youtube pointing out the same flaws of that certain game, and why they thought it was a huge disappointment. Do I agree with some of their criticisms? Sure. Does the history behind the production explain the flaws? Oh absolutely.

           But people seem to forget that the original Mass Effect trilogy wasn’t without its flaws. I mean, sure everyone can agree on the Mass Effect 3 ending, but I could make a list of all the issues I have with the other Bioware games including Dragon Age: Inquisition (which despite winning Game of the Year, kind of suffers the same problems Andromeda had).

           So yeah, after the crap year of 2016, I was so excited to get a newly-released game that made me happy. And still makes me happy, and makes me in the mood to play another Ryder.

The Backflip Bandit

So I had mentioned to a friend of mine that I was reopening a Pathfinder campaign and he showed interest in joining, so I gave him a trial run. If he liked it then he could stay. He made a Rogue Elf and wanted to be a generic thief. Since all the other players are level 5 already I gave all the new characters a good bit of downtime to catch up, so that means mostly 1 on 1 sessions of 90% improv with maybe some other players watching. A little note about this kid is he is a bit unpredictable when he is upset, and one of our other PCs just messed with him and threw him in a garbage can.

Me(DM): So you are in a Garbage can, what do you do?

Rogue: I sleep here for 12 hours…

Me: Ok… 12 hours pass, what do you do next..?

Rogue: I get up and look for some food.

Me: You smell freshly baked bread and follow the smell to a bakery.

Rogue: I sit down and smell for a half hour.

Me: Right… people look at you weirdly as you sniff the air for 30 minutes.

Rogue: I ask the lady behind the counter for a cake.

Me: She offers you one fresh cake for 10 gold.

Rogue: I buy it to go and take the cake.

Me: Ok.

Rogue: I roll acrobatics to do a backflip out of the store…*fails*

Me: … you try to backflip with a cake in your hands, but you instead land face first into the cake, hurting yourself.

Rogue: I sit there and shovel cake into my mouth in self pity.

Me: … everyone who sees you wonders if you are alright.

Rogue: I get up and smash my face through the display case…*fails strength check*

Me: You bounce your head off the glass.

Rogue: I do it again…*fails*

Me: Everyone is wondering if you are mentally insane.

Rogue: One more time…*succeeds*

Me: Everyone looks in shock as you smash your face through solid glass, taking 4 damage.

Rogue: I steal a cake from the display case and attempt to backflip out of the store…*succeeds*

Me: Everyone is too scared and confused to notice that you just stole a cake.

Rogue: I sprint down the road holding the cake high above my head until I reach the river. I roll acrobatics to cross the river with a backflip. *Crits*

Me(clearly confused and shocked): You make it across the river without getting wet, cake completely intact.

Rogue: I run to the farmland and look for animals… *succeeds*

Me: You find some cows..?

Rogue: Perfect…I place the cake on the ground and roll to tip the cow by backflipping over it…*SUCCEEDS*

Me: The cow has been tipped, it thrashes about on the ground for a while…

Rogue: I go back to pick up the cake and sit down next to the cow. I shovel some cake in my hand and ask the cow if it wants any…*Fails Handle Animal*

Me: The cow hoofs you in the butt from its downed position.

Rogue: Oh well, more for me.

This was an extremely random and exhausting encounter, I had no idea what to say or do after this. However, after he got this out of his system he became a little more serious and actually did some roguish things.

To this day he is referred to as “The Backflip Bandit” and rolls acrobatics for backflips CONSTANTLY to retain his title.

anonymous asked:

Hello there; I've been looking through your blog and, as many others say, I just ADORE your art! I was also wondering if you could give me some advice. For quite a few months now I've utterly lost all motivation to draw. I want to go into something with art, so this devastates me, and whenever I try to draw I just get so easily frustrated. I've been an avid artist since I can remember, so for me to suddenly not want to draw for months on end really concerns me. Any suggestions to fix this?

(hi!! apologies for the late reply. i hope this can still be of some help to you despite that!)

i think that’s a feeling every artist struggles with at some point. you love art, you love making art, and it’s immensely frustrating when that suddenly doesn’t work out despite all the effort you’ve been putting in. and then you start to lose motivation, question yourself and everything you’re doing, and it’s a vicious cycle that’s really hard to break out of. so what can we do?

well, here’s a thing. let’s call it the productivity branch.

i feel like my own creative cycles are very seasonal. not in the sense that my creativity depends on the season, but rather that my creativity itself goes through different seasons.

  • spring: new ideas, motivation, productivity still low 
  • summer: lots of ideas and very productive
  • autumn: still productive drawing leftover ideas, but new ideas are harder to come by. and then 
  • winter: nothing. art-block. lack of ideas, everything-sucks-syndrome, no motivation, the creative part of my brain is basically hibernating

that’s you up there. you’re in a creative winter right now. and without any inspiration or motivation it’ll be hard to find a way to cross that gap over to a new spring (pls bear with the cheesy analogies). and if your cut yourself off from inspirational influence you might start to think that, hey, this isn’t so bad. i mean, who needs spring right? just means you have to do things. be active. yikes. winter’s pretty chill. haha. 

but don’t do that. it’ll come around and bite you at some point, because that lack of motivation and activity might start to seep into other parts of your life, not just the creative one, and you don’t want that.

so! when you don’t have ideas and motivation to create, then don’t create. but instead make an effort to inspire yourself. inspiration entails motivation (and vice versa).

  • read books, short stories, poems, science articles, anything
  • go on walks, explore your surroundings, if affordable maybe even go somewhere farther away
  • let people tell you stories
  • listen to new music
  • try things you haven’t done before (deliberately break old habits)
  • go through other people’s inspiration blogs
  • collaborate with a friend
  • get really invested in something, talk to others about it
  • watch movies, animated shorts, documentaries 
  • or speedpaintings and art tutorials
  • try different techniques, or new brushes
  • look at art that’s so inspiring that you can’t believe you’re still just sitting there not drawing anything yourself
  • and most importantly, be receptive. take in the world around you, rearrange it in your head, and draw whatever you end up with. that’s the core of what creativity is

think about what you want to achieve. make your friends smile? draw something really cool you can print out and hang up in your room? touch people’s hearts? deliver a message? whatever it is, and however small or inconsequential it might seem, keep it in mind. it’s your light at the end of the tunnel.

if want to keep drawing for the sake of muscle memory while you’re still looking for your inspiration: 

  • illustrate your daily activities
  • draw a random shape or find one in a photo (clouds are ideal for this) and turn it into a character or object
  • pick different pictures and combine elements from each of them into one drawing
  • do plain ol’ studies 
  • basically don’t try to come up with things completely from scratch. find something to work with and go from there. that will save you the mentally draining task of coming up with a subject, so you can start actively drawing right away

if you still can’t make yourself pick up a pen, make a schedule. train your brain to turn its creative gears at a specific time of the day, make that a habit. do it for pavlov

approach drawing with the awareness that what you create might suck, especially when you’re out of practice, but this doesn’t mean that it will always suck, and it doesn’t mean you suck. if you learn to dissociate your current creative achievements from your worth as a person and your future potential you will get back to work a lot easier, improve faster, and be more resistant to setbacks. 

find something that makes it worth the effort of working through the frustration. 

you might need to try a lot of different things because everyone copes with this differently, and even when a method worked once that doesn’t mean it always will. so start trying! you can only find inspiration if you start looking for it. 👍

2

Harry Styles’ solo album might be the most anticipated debut this side of the millennium. Following years as the bullseye in the global behemoth that was One Direction, the singer is taking center stage with a self-titled effort that’s a classic cocktail of psychedelia, Britpop, and balladry. If it was a color, it would be the baby blue of Jimi Hendrix’s Fender Stratocaster or the soft pink of Mick Jagger’s suit when he performed on “Top Of The Pops” in 1971. It’s rock and it’s roll, but it’s also soft and sensitive. Produced by Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Fun.) it’s a record that could force the position of mainstream radio by ushering in a reprise of proper music — ensembles, verse-chorus-verse, rich instrumentation, or, basically, Adele’s bag of tricks.

Despite the red herring of lead single ‘Sign Of The Times’ (it clocks in at just under six minutes in length), the album is a short shrift 40 minutes and contains ten songs that are largely about women. Unlike Robbie Williams and Justin Timberlake before him, there’s a deepened millennial sensibility to being a leading man. Harry is a sensitive soul; A post-Drake phenomenon; A serious pop performer with enviable vocal chops and a gifted ability to convey a song’s emotional heft. He oozes class, ease and a sense of import without thrusting forth from the hips, or wreaking of a self-satisfied sense of boyband emancipation. Both respectful of his past and nervous for his future, “Harry Styles,” the album, looks both ways. - Variety

Read on for a track-by-track:

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03. Baby Talk

Harry wants to have a baby. 

Warnings: Fluff, smut


When you arrived home after a long day of work and smelled the roast, you knew Harry was up to something.

 Either he wanted to talk over a very important decision with you, or the tabloids were about to—if they hadn’t already—print a false or prying story about you and he wanted to take your mind off it. However, you still smiled as you slipped off your shoes and jacket.

It was the little things. That’s what no one told you about marriage. Marriage wasn’t all about the Instagram posts praising each other, or the mind-blowing sex, or the grand statements of affection. It was the foot rubs after a long day, a roast in the oven as soon as you came home from work, and the quick forehead kiss in the early morning when he woke before you. Those little things kept the love alive.

 And oh, how you loved them.

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FFXV x KH Headcanons That I Have But Probably Won’t Doodle Part 4

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

  • You know how sometimes in FFXV when you’re out in the woods next to animals that won’t attack you, you end up hitting one by accident while you’re fending off MTs?
    • SORA DOES THIS AND IT RUINS HIS LIFE
    • HE HITS AN ANAK. 
      • NOT JUST AN ANAK
        • AN ANAK CALF
    • He uses a Megalixir on it… Gladio is ready to End Him for wasting that on a stupid-looking giraffe cow!!!!
    • (Ignis: “Prompto, Noctis, go distract Sora while I take some of the mother’s meat to cook for dinner. I’ve come up with a new recipe, and the secret ingredient is ATTEMPTED INFANTICIDE.”)
  • While we’re talking about Sora and killing things– he doesn’t like to kill bugs. That puts him at odds with Noct and Prom on multiple occasions. Those two are the embodiment of those Internet memes depicting people burning their houses down to kill a single crazy-looking insect. Meanwhile Sora is over there feeling guilty about accidentally stepping on a snail
    • A talking cricket capable of reading and writing lived in Sora’s hoodie for like two years okay HE HAS A SOFT SPOT
    • Yes Sora is that guy to catch a spider and let it outside
    • Yes Gladio has killed bugs that Sora wanted to save while he scrambled around trying to find a paper towel… because yeah. He doesn’t want to touch that creepy crawly with his bare hands, even if his motives are Pure
      • “BORIS THE SPIDER! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!”
  • Sora is able to see Gentiana and Carbuncle without the use of a camera
    • Cue the bros using Sora’s Actual Sixth Sense to their advantage by having him guide them to make silly poses with the invisible deities
      • Noctis can’t believe Gentiana plays along. What a good sport.
    • Sora checking his phone during one of Carbuncle’s visits and beginning to giggle uncontrollably
      • THIS LITTLE FLUFF BALL HAS THE DIRT ON EMBARRASSING CHILD NOCT STORIES
      • Noct: “How tf did he get your number”
  • Since Sora is a couple of years younger than everyone else (I headcanon him as 17/18 when he first comes to Eos), Ignis and Gladio are Very Protective of him
    • Honestly it’s like Sora has four big brothers
      • Gladio is floored by the fact that Sora is more or less a self-taught swordsman
        • He still helps train Sora because technique is important
          • He swells up with So Much Pride when he catches Sora using a move he’d taught him during training on an MT
        • Gladio is so excited to take Sora to try his first meal of Cup Noodles
          • Sora ends up being a bit of a purist; he doesn’t like meat or veggies– just ramen and broth.
      • Ignis is baffled by nearly everything Sora does and how nonchalantly he does it
        • This kid can jump nine feet in the air and even executes a fussy little flip when he does it wtf
          • Oh, well. At least Sora can pick those fruit over there by jumping and reaching so no one has to climb the tree and risk a broken neck
            • (Noctis: “I didn’t break my neck, Specs– I sprained my wrist!!”
            • Ignis: “Which wouldn’t have happened if you’d been more careful.”)
        • Sora is dared (hmm by whom?? I wonder…….) to prank Ignis by putting a rogue ingredient into the stew one night.
          • He and his cohorts (you know who they are) watch Ignis do a taste-test nonchalantly 
            • Who am I kidding they are totally obvious as they try to stop themselves from laughing
              • Dunno why you’re laughing, though, boys– that’s your dinner you’re sabotaging
          • Ignis is obviously disgusted by what he tastes. He stands there for a moment… and then he fumbles around in his pack for new ingredients
          • You bet your ass Ignis salvages the stew. In fact, it actually tastes better than before?? “I’ve come up with a new recipe, and the secret ingredient is ATTEMPTED SABOTAGE.”
            • Don’t ask Sora what the rogue ingredient was, Ignis. He’s not from around here and wouldn’t really know a Lieden pepper from a Duscaean potato
              • Prompto caves and tells him
        • The next day… how strange… it seems that Ignis only made enough dinner for himself and Gladio to enjoy… looks like it’s time for Toast for the Culinary Saboteurs
          • Ignis drags it out for a bit before giving the boys their share.
      • Noctis reminds Sora of Riku a lot.
        • Yes, by that I mean he tries to have a cool exterior but is actually a Giant Goober
        • Noct fishing while sitting at the end of the pier with Sora, long after the other bros have lost interest and wandered elsewhere
          • Long talks about friends and hopes for the future
          • Noctis feeling a little guilty because Sora seems so… comfortable with the burden of protecting not just one world, but a whole bunch.
            • Meanwhile, Noctis is reluctant to accept a king’s responsibility. He never asked for this. He just wants to be… normal.
              • Sora eventually admitting to having doubts about why the Keyblade stayed with him, and quietly wishing for the day to come that the worlds won’t need a single Keyblade master.
                • Turns out the two of them have more in common than Noct first thought.
          • Noctis trying to reel in the DEMON FISH from the VR game and Sora is in such a panic and so desperate to help that he PUNCHES THE MONSTER FISH IN THE FACE and BREAKS EVERY KNUCKLE IN HIS RIGHT HAND
      • Prompto and Sora are BEST FRIENDS and honestly IT HAPPENS SO FAST
        • Prom gives Sora some photography lessons and lets him loose in Galdin Quay
          • He ends up with a memory card full of cat photos of various angles and degrees of blurriness
        • Somehow a local reporter overhears Sora talking with Prompto about his intention to take a photo with every single Kenny Crow statue in Lucis and ends up having a little article published about him. Just seems like one of those slice-of-life stories that the media would eat up
          • They use one of Prompto’s photos of Sora and Kenny for the newspaper!!! It’s on like the 85th page nestled into a corner, but he’s!!! Officially!! A published photographer!!!
          • In the long night, there are several instances that find Prom and Sora on a hunt near a Crow’s Nest they never had a chance to visit during their road trip. Taking a photo is a matter of obligation at this point
            • Prompto scrolling through the Caw, Kids! It’s Sora Crow! folder and tearing up as he starts from the first photo and scrolls forward. By year seven of the long night, Sora’s smile as he stands under Kenny’s wing doesn’t reach his eyes
  • Starscourge!Sora headcanons that aren’t completely miserable??? Look at them, hanging out above the angst cut????
    • It eventually gets to the point that Sora’s left eye glows in the dark like a nightlight
      • Prompto finds himself using the glow of Sora’s fuckin’ daemon eye to try and read the map after his flashlight’s battery dies
        • omfg
        • It’s just so absurd that the two of them burst out laughing
        • It’s the first time either of them had laughed in a while. It felt… nice…
        • Gladio pressing a hand over Sora’s eye when they’re trying to sneak up on a daemon because it will give them away
        • Prompto’s response is to give Sora an eyepatch he swiped from the clinic for their next hunt
          • Sora: “I always wanted to be a pirate as a kid. Who says dreams don’t come true, even in this horrific post-apocalyptic hellscape”
          • Also Sora: “Srsly Gladio I can see better in the dark with this eye maybe don’t”

Head into the misery dojo if you dare under the cut

Uh-oh. It is.

  • Pls don’t think about Sora desperately trying to break into the Crystal after he discovers that it’s dragged Noctis inside of it.
    • The Keyblade’s strength depends on the heart of its wielder. He should be able to cut through this! He can cut through anything!!!!
    • It takes a very long time before Sora or any of the Chocobros leave that chamber. 
      • Yes they stay there for days hoping beyond hope that Noct will come out
  • During the long night, Sora becomes a daemon hunter and a team leader for a group of search and rescue teams
    • His first retrieval mission ends… badly. The people who’d sent the distress signal were long gone by the time Sora and his team got there
      • One of the kids was in mid-transformation after being afflicted with the Starscourge…
      • Sora can’t land the fatal blow. He goes outside and throws up while Dave finishes the job
      • Search and rescue missions are a source of extreme anxiety for Sora after that… but he has to try and save as many people as he can
  • Sora tries not to think about Riku, Kairi, or any of his friends beyond Eos. It hurts too much. He tries to put his Wayfinder in a shoebox in his apartment to avoid its constant reminder of what he’s lost… but he just can’t bring himself to part with it
    • He wishes he did when he takes a nasty spill into a ravine during a solo mission two years into the long night. Smashes his Wayfinder into pieces.
      • He’s too injured to climb out of the ravine, too. He gives up after a couple of attempts and just gathers up the pieces of the good luck charm that he can. He just lay there in a heap and watches the stars
      • Prompto, Ignis, and Gladio hear about Sora’s disappearance and team up for the first time in almost a year to find him
        • They make it in time. Lots of potions and a piggyback ride to safety courtesy of Gladio see our dorkupine boy right
        • Prompto notices Sora throw something in the trash before leaving the clinic and finds the Wayfinder pieces. He knows what the charm represents and how devastated Sora must be that it’s been irreparably destroyed.
          • He gathers up the pieces, puts them in a pouch, and leaves it on the table in the kitchen of Sora’s tiny apartment. He leaves a note, too: I know they haven’t given up on you. So don’t give up on them.
            • A few days later, Sora gives Prompto, Ignis, and Gladio each a piece of the charm. So that all of us will find each other, in the end
              • Noctis takes a piece of the charm with him to the throne
— off limits | 05 (m)

pairing— kim seokjin x reader
genre/warnings— smut, angst
words— 9,221

:: summary— you’ve been lusting after your brother’s best friend for a while now, ever since you met him at a house party, flirting it up a storm as you failed to realise who the other was. That was months ago now and things are still awkward, but you can’t ignore the sexual tension that’s simmers between the two of you…and it keeps getting worse…

 » 01 :: 02 :: 03 :: 04 :: 05 :: 06 :: 07 ::

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haikyuu!! fic rec

i’ve been consuming unreasonable amounts of hq!! fic these past few months… here’s a rec list of ~70 fics for 16 ships. 

(edit: if the links aren’t working, right-click to open the fic in a new tab. sorry;;)

❤ = favorite

❤ ❤ ❤ = god-tier 

*

Bokuto/Akaashi (otp: my head, his heart)

the better boyfriend battle by norio (M)  ❤

Summary:  It’s two days after their first date anniversary, so Bokuto ruins Akaashi’s life.

i put my hand out, unfolded, into the sunlight by carafin (G)  ❤

Summary:  In which Bokuto Kotarou is woefully inept at conveying his feelings, and Akaashi Keiji has a sort-of superpower. Sort of.

Karma by dgalerab (T)

Summary: Akaashi pulls a muscle and Bokuto offers to help him with yoga. Akaashi knows a bad idea when he sees it, and he really only agrees because he’s suddenly acquired a deeply rooted desire to see Bokuto do yoga.For multiple reasons.

Maybe We’re Airborne, Baby by sterlinglee (T)

Summary: Realizing he’s got it bad for his setter is the easy part. Getting his feelings across might be the hardest thing Bokuto’s ever done, not counting his literature final or putting out the flames on that birthday cake he tried to bake for Akaashi last year, or—or a lot of things, actually.But the point still stands. Reaching out to Akaashi is a leap in the dark, and he wants it more than he’s ever wanted anything (especially the smoking remains of a cake he baked before he really understood his feelings, but knew that it’s what you attempt with your own two hands that matters).

snowflakes by arsenicjay (T)

Summary: Bokuto is a simple wizard with simple needs; a nice date, a little romance, and he’s all good to go.Or, Akaashi and Bokuto spend a day in Hogsmeade just before Christmas.

stating the obvious by ThinkingCAPSLOCK (G)

Summary:  There’s a lot of things Bokuto isn’t sure about now that he’s in university. His program, his new team, his future. There’s only one thing he’s absolutely sure of. He is not dating Akaashi Keiji. Not even a little bit.

Year-Round Love by masi (G)

Summary:  In his first year of university, Bokuto realizes that he really adores Akaashi.

Rest of the rec list under the cut!

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plummetationzigzags  asked:

I can't remember if you've posted about this already, but your comments on Magical Girl Raising Project remind me of some criticisms I've heard of Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Was just wondering what you thought of PMMM?

I like PMMM despite itself. 

The music is great, the story is heartbreaking, the visuals are fantastic

Plus, while PMMM is in no fucking way the first grimdark magical girl series (and holy shit do I find assertions that it is so fucking uninteresting), and while 90% of what it seeks to deconstruct or subvert makes me want to tear my hair out, it does do an interesting thing with Kyubey. Like the Portal games, which take the trope of the tutorial/guide character (the exposition fairy) who gives you hints and tells you how to progress during the game and asked “What if this character wasn’t really trying to help?”, PMMM took the mascot character in magical girl shows (a la Luna and Kero) and asked the same question. And that is genuinely an interesting exploration of one of the staples of the genre. 

For the most part, though, I like, sometimes, (sometimes I hate) PMMM despite itself. And I hate what it has wrought. 

The biggest problem with PMMM is that magical girl shows are, at their heart, power fantasies for girls. They are Girl Power at their finest. In fact, Sailor Moon was an major and oft-overlooked part in kicking off the Girl Power boom in the 90s. 

And what’s infuriating about PMMM is that it tries to tear that down. It’s not like Watchmen, another series which seeks to deconstruct the possibly unhealthy nature of the power fantasies of its genre. Because Watchmen is about vigilantism and male power fantasies, and 1. white men (who make up the majority of comic book heroes) already have disproportionate power so their power fantasies are inherently more sinister and 2. comic books are often centered around revenge, vigilantism, corrupt systems that “can’t be broken”, and ignoring the law. 

Meanwhile, magical girl series are at their center about hope and love. The heroes usually literally fight with hearts and rainbows and songs. They aren’t gritty “I wish I could kick everyone’s ass” power fantasies. They are “if you believe in yourself and are your friends you can help people and achieve your dreams” fantasies. And they are for girls, who are too often told they can’t be everything they want. Not men, who are too often told they can. 

So PMMM has this message, and if some of the interviews I’ve heard from the creator are true, a completely intentional one, that girls dreams are futile and destructive and that it’s harmful and useless for girls to want things. That girls having power fantasies or seeking to save the world will ultimately destroy them, or (before Madoka’s ending) turn them into something evil and dark. That ambition is bad for girls. That girls should learn their place before they become dark witches that destroy everything, or (after Madoka’s ending) fade from existence. That girls having power fantasies is ultimately harmful, and they need to stop. That girls have been wrong this whole time to want things. That girls’ desires, no matter what they are, are always ultimately selfish and corrupt. 

And I fucking hate that. That’s not subversive. That’s our whole fucking lives. That’s what we get everywhere else. Nothing a girl does can be right. We’re bad to have ambitions and to want things. Even the “nice” things we do are dismissed with ulterior motives as soon as someone decides they’re done with us.

And I fucking hate people calling it “so profound” and whatever, when it’s ultimately torture porn and the message isn’t even deep. 

And more than that, I hate that it’s success has spawned a series of knockoffs, so that now moe torture porn grimdark magical girls has become the most common iteration of the genre. So we had the incredibly ableist (OMFG WORST SHOW EVER MADE) Yuki Yuuna is a Hero, and we’re getting the “Magical Girls have to CULL EACH OTHER in a grim CHILDREN-LED FIGHT TO THE DEATH” of Magical Girl Raising Project and like I’m so fucking done with these grown ass men making shows for other grown ass men shitting all over girls’ power fantasies and thinking that shitting all over girls’ power fantasies is something new and subversive and not a reassertion of the status quo. 

Look, I genuinely enjoyed watching PMMM. It’s a well made show, with good characters (Rebellion and everything that’s come since is AWFUL though). But I hate its message, I hate huge swaths of its fanbase, I hate its creator, and I hate that its become the new standard for magical girls. 

Magical girls were already subversive. They were already something unique and powerful. They didn’t need to be brought down. And there would be good ways to explore and subvert the genre if you wanted to*. But just going for straight “everyone’s miserable and it wouldn’t work” isn’t actually a clever. Even without the inherent sexism, it has all the depth of those creepypastas that say “What if Rugrats WAS A DYSTOPIA” or whatever, like edgy for the sake of edgy isn’t actually deep. 

*(While it’s refreshing to Western audiences that magical girls are deeply feminine, for instance, because we tend to associate being strong with being masculine or a tomboy, in Japan magical girls often serve as a reinforcement that no matter what you do you still have to adhere to gender roles. A great subversion of the genre would be one where some of the girls, and especially the main character, have more traditionally masculine powers/appearances and this is treated as just as valid a way for girls to be. Also interesting would be a magical girl series where older women become the magical girls - women struggling to hold jobs and pay rent, mothers, college kids, grandmas - because magical girls [like Disney princesses and much of media] tend to focus on pre- and newly- pubescent girl characters as the most powerful and tend to ignore older women)

Basically, enjoying magical girls has always involved some level of watching it for what you want and ignoring the less than pleasant intentions of the creator. Sailor Moon was heavily based on a series called Cutie Honey, which was made 100% to be fap material for adult male audiences, and originally the idea of this girl hero was something of a ~sexy~ joke. And then people like Naoko Takeuchi LOVED her and took empowerment from her, despite that clearly not being the intention, and created series like Sailor Moon. And I think that’s still a fine way to appreciate shows. I can watch PMMM and take power and interest from it despite its goals, like I did with the grossly fanservicey depiction of underage Magical Lyrical Nanoha when I was a kid. And I can do the same with what is likely to be the ultimately disappointing Magical Girl Raising Project. 

But I’m not happy that I have to reinterpret and reclaim these shows to get meaning out of them. I’m not happy that a genre that was supposed to be about empowering girls has been largely stolen and dismissed as unrealistic and too idealistic. I’m not happy with an entire genre’s inability to see how positivity and idealism are subversive and groundbreaking. 

And I’m not happy with PMMM for making that the status quo, or with all the fans who think things are better this way.