this is my first successful coloring


DIY Sea Shell Candles🕯🌊 made from recycled birthday candles

I’m sure there are plenty of posts like this one, but I’m just proud that I made some myself! So here’s my process!

What I used:

~ Old birthday candles
~ Shells (Mine were mussel shells)
~ Essential Oils of your choice(I used chamomile & peppermint)
~ A peeler, knife or scissors
~ Something to melt the wax in(I was lucky enough to have metal measuring cups)
~ A clothes pin to keep the wick up

Here’s how to do it!

Originally I was just trying to get the white design off the candles, so I could have homemade looking colored candles for spells. I ended up breaking a few of them while trying to peel the design off so I just used the left over candle and reused the wick for my sea shell candles!

🕯First I scraped the design off(carefully), and kept them in piles of the color. You’ll have to break one of the candles for the wick. One wick will work for two sea shells unless your shells are larger.

🕯Second I put the scraps of wax into the metal measuring cup and placed that on a pan on the stove to heat it and melt. Once melted, I tossed a few drops of my essential oils into the wax to make it smell good. I used chamomile(for calming, success, & easing anxiety) & peppermint(for healing, love, cleansing, and that extra little boost I need sometimes!) But feel free to add whatever you like!

🕯Third I poured the wax into the shells carefully. You may want to make sure the shells are evenly placed, maybe put something on one side to balance it so the wax doesn’t spill out. Then, while the wax is still hot I used a clothes pin to put the wick in and left it to dry. Once dry, your shell doesn’t have to be level(unless you filled it to the top - then your wax will shift when lighted!)

That’s it! It was super simple and easy and quick. Now I also have some great, mini and homemade looking spell candles as well as some aromatherapeutic sea shell candles for my desk while I work & read. Enjoy your sea shell candles my fellow witches! 🌙

Blessed be🥀


Being mixed—I’m half Iranian and half black—even has its strange amalgamation of problems. The first instance that really rubbed me the wrong way was when somebody called me whitewashed. I couldn’t process what that meant. In theory, I’d heard all the stereotypes. But it was my first time seeing, “oh, wow, people still believe in a black stereotype.” What was conflicting was that I was surrounded by successful women and people of color who were—by society’s view—the anomaly. All around me, there were examples of excellence and excelling. But because I carried myself a certain way, I wasn’t a “believable” black person to them. That was the strangest moment. 

anonymous asked:

Do you arrange your spotify playlists in any particular order or is it just kinda, "Here, have music"? I hope you're having a great day/night/whatever it is when/if you see this!

I do have somewhat of an order to them haha. The first four, I will say, are just so that the cover art color scheme matches haha. And then I just try to have the songs ordered so that hopefully slow songs will be followed by upbeat songs, there’s not too many electronic songs in a row, different gender singers are represented throughout, and the ending song seems adequate. Haha this is what I try for (which may be why it takes me til the middle or later of the month to accomplish), sometimes I succeed, sometimes I’m not as successful, but this is where my mind is at haha

Tiredness while Writing

Anonymous asked: “I was wondering if you have sometimes something like tiredness from writing? For example, if you’ve been typing and at some point feel that the words are forced and it’s tiring? Is it because the style is wrong for me or just the story, or it’s something with that I’m not suitable for writing longer stories?”

Writing a novel definitely does take some level of endurance. It’s something that has to be built up over time. For that reason, I recommend usually starting with short stories or even collaborating with others on novel-length fiction at first. I think part of it really is confidence. If you don’t know whether or not you can finish something you are so much more likely to give up. Sometimes tiredness can come from a certain scene or even just how much you intend to write. 

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This Strawberry Leopard was photographed in 2012 at the Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa and is the first Strawberry Leopard to be photographed. The president of  Panthera - a U.S. based wild cat conservation organization - assumes that this leopard has erythrism. Erythrism is a genetic condition like albinism but affects the red pigments in an animal’s fur. This condition is common in raccoons and coyotes but this is the first time it has been proven to appear in a leopard. Because its fur color still offers it some camouflage, it is still quite successful in the wild. 



In a few moments, the Living Space Kickstarter will end and it is so surreal for me. When I first put up this Kickstarter, I was full of anxiety and doubt (I always am but especially over the success of this project). Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would be this successful and have the support of so many wonderful and amazing people. I can’t say enough how truly grateful I am for all of you helping me get here. So from the very bottom of my heart, thank you so much.

I am wrapping up the production of Living Space with just a few pages left to color. As soon as these are done, I will send off LS for printing. Surveys will be sent out by the end of today so I can send you your rewards. PDFs will be sent out by next Wednesday and shipping will begin as soon as the books arrive. I will post updates as this happens. If you have questions, please be sure to email me at Thank you all so much for this. Love ya!


Being mixed—I’m half Iranian and half black—even has its strange amalgamation of problems. The first instance that really rubbed me the wrong way was when somebody called me whitewashed. I couldn’t process what that meant. In theory, I’d heard all the stereotypes. But it was my first time seeing, “oh, wow, people still believe in a black stereotype.” What was conflicting was that I was surrounded by successful women and people of color who were—by society’s view—the anomaly. All around me, there were examples of excellence and excelling. But because I carried myself a certain way, I wasn’t a “believable” black person to them. That was the strangest moment.

anonymous asked:

Can you do a quick tutorial of how you sketch and color hair, pretty please hun?

a Well, yes, I do not do sketches. I like to work with the first drawing that I make with some other error, I edit and modify it. I think my jobs have many mistakes because of that.

And on the coloring of the hair, it is the following: (Use Paint tool Sai)

Have a wonderful day and success in its beginnings!

disagreements | marty scurll

Originally posted by kinghelmsley

A/N: I got my wisdom teeth removed on Wednesday, so I haven’t written anything in the past couple of days, but I remembered I wrote this short lil something :]

Marty and I, well, we tended to disagree. On a lot of things. Not the kind of disagreements that lead to arguments and eventual yelling, but the kind over petty things that are forgotten in a week’s time. The kind that aren’t truly disagreements because, once it came to it, I’d always be willing to give in if he didn’t give in first.

Truthfully, it was just a matter of who would cave first. Usually it was him, since his resolve quickly crumbled when I brought out my tactics, but sometimes he’d stand his ground firmly, forcing me to be the loser for once. On those rare occasions, Marty would raise his hands in victory and mention it at least ten times a day. Exactly the reason why I hated letting him be right.

When it was the other way around, myself coming out victorious, I was left questioning whether my success was worth it in the end. It almost always ended with a pouty Marty who sulked over it for a solid couple of hours.

It had happened when we first moved in together, debating over what color to paint our bedroom. He’d insisted on brown, meanwhile I’d envisioned a gray room and arranged the entire thing in my head already.

In the empty room, myself on the ground sitting on folded legs and Marty leaned against the doorframe, we were tasked with deciding the color quickly, as everything else was ready to go. Our failure to reach an agreement was the one thing holding us back.

“C’mon, don’t you think brown would be quite nice? It’ll make things feel nice ‘n cozy,” Marty offered, picking up one of the paint chips that was thrown haphazardly on the floor.

Brown wasn’t a bad idea, but with the look we were going for, gray would have been much more suitable. Or maybe that was just my bias coming through; either way, I was dead-set on gray and, considering I had made most of the executive decisions regarding the interior of our first house, I felt I had a pretty good idea going on.

“But,” I began, pulling up a reference picture on my phone of what I had in mind, “Look at this. I think it suits us.”

He studied the picture for a moment, zooming in randomly and squinting one eye to make his examination seem more realistic. Once he gave me back my phone wordlessly, I’d assumed he still wasn’t convinced. After all, our debates weren’t squashed so easily, both of us being too stubborn for our own good. Just the thought of the two of us under the same roof had my head spinning; it was a miracle we’d made it this far into our house fiasco. “Okay. Okay, maybe you’re right,” he sighed, a clear sign that it was definitely hurting his pride to admit it.

Hearing his acceptance caused a smile to break out on my face to which Marty flicked the paint chip he had been holding in my direction. It fell short a few feet, assuming I was the target, and I poked my tongue out at him, an act he returned in a second. We were two children who probably shouldn’t be given this kind of responsibility.

“So brown it is?” I confirmed, hopeful that he wouldn’t back out on it now. Otherwise, we’d be right back to square one, undecided on a paint color when all else was going smoothly.

“Brown it is.”

It had almost happened when we were both adamant on the type of pet we wanted to get.

We had moved into our house, complete with the brown bedroom walls, and it truly felt like we were finally settling down. There were still many days without Marty, days that felt empty in the place we created together, and since he was so committed to wrestling, there always would be. But knowing he would soon be back to the bed we shared was comfort enough in those silent nights of solitude.

There didn’t seem to be any issues that I could see, though apparently Marty thought otherwise when he suddenly brought it up over breakfast one morning.

“Something’s missing,” he announced, rubbing his chin in deep thought, “We need a dog, y’know, make it feel like a real family.” He didn’t make much of argument, but it was a convincing one nonetheless. A pet would solidify that sense of family and it would be nice to have some companionship when Marty was away. The only objection I had was his choice of pet.

I was a cat person my entire life. From strays I’d fed as a young girl to the kittens I’d taken in, my heart too big to ever turn down the gentle mewls and big eyes. That didn’t mean I had anything against dogs, not in the slightest, but to me, cats just made sense. Especially when they were easier to care for and Marty had a career that required frequent time from home and I had one that required plenty of time as well.

“That’d be great, actually. A pet would be great. A cat sounds like a good option for us, though,” I suggested, but something told me this wasn’t a battle I’d be winning. A paint color was one thing, but a pet was another.

He frowned, already pouting like a child, his plans diverted by my disagreement. “I want a dog,” he said simply, but he had to have known that wouldn’t be enough to convince me. We’d been through this kind of thing one too many times; it was practically a routine.

I want a cat.

And so it went back and forth like that for another ten minutes, each of us bringing up a valid point in hopes the other would finally agree. He had made such a convincing argument that I was just about willing to accept defeat, though was it really defeat? We’d end up with a really cute dog that I could cuddle with whenever I wanted, which didn’t seem like a loss at all.

“Why can’t there just be a dog cat hybrid?” Marty sighed, leaning his head against his hand, excitement deflated.

“Now that I can agree with,” I mimicked his actions. “But alright. We’ll get a dog.”

He was so stunned by my acceptance that he almost didn’t believe it, asking me to repeat it a few times as he grinned, cheering and raising his arms all the while. I knew I wouldn’t hear the end of it, especially not after we officially welcomed the new addition to our family.

But, I could deal with the bragging if it meant I would come home to the image of the two of them sprawled out on the couch together.

And it had almost happened yet again when our next task was deciding on a name for the puppy we had chosen together.

In my head, I had already thought of several names and I’d assumed there would be at least one we could agree upon. Marty, however, had other plans; he’d come up with a name himself.

“Marty, we’re not naming our dog Villain.”

While it certainly wasn’t the worst name, it definitely wasn’t the best either. I already had a handful with one villain in the house. Two seemed like an absolute nightmare.

“Why not? It’s kinda cute,” he reasoned, scratching behind the unnamed pup’s ears.

I rolled my eyes, taking a seat next to them on the couch. “You are the only villain I need,” I objected, “I’ve already got my hands full with you.”

He chuckled, pressing a kiss to my temple as he mumbled something along the lines of “maybe you’re right.”

“How about Bullet?” he tried again, hopeful that this would be the one to settle the ongoing debate. Even though I wished I could turn it down, wished I thought one of my names was better, I had to admit Bullet fit perfectly. It had a connection and still seemed to suit him. I guess I had to let Marty get his way twice in a row to make up for all those times I’d gotten mine.

“I like it,” I nodded, picking Bullet up and into my own arms, “Bullet. Suits our little guy.”

Marty’s arm came around my shoulders as I placed Bullet back on his lap; in just a few minutes, Bullet was fast asleep. “Seems like he already likes me more than you,” Marty teased, earning him a punch to the arm, careful enough not to wake the pup, “But don’t worry, you’re still my number one.”


And now it is time for the fourth member of the hyung line, our amazing leader, my lowkey spirit animal who is so humble and amazing like to this day, he isn’t braggy about their success, he always thanks the fans and he always does his best to communicate with us, I love him, Kim Namjoon aka Rap Monster aka joon

  • This AU includes college!joon (here) it’s just to help set the scene a bit more but I’ve actually written something for player!joon before that also featured college!joon, it was a drabble called Rapmon (here) so I’ll be extending off of that
  • Visuals are first bc I need it in my life I already have a plan
  • Blonde!Joon is one of my all time favorite looks on him, whether it’s the more silver color or just pure blonde or the dirty blonde he had for a second I just love anything blonde!joon
  • Player!joon does dye his hair other colors as well, he goes gray for a while, he does pink, purple but he always comes back to blonde bc that is such a loOK
  • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I l o v e Namjoon’s style so much, I love that he’s not afraid to try new things, I love that he expresses himself through his fashion, I love that he shares his outfits with us with his whole Kim Daily thing I love it all
  • Okay so the player!joon outfit is this one look Namjoon did in a Kim Daily (bless those pictures someone make a compilation of them so I can just admire the beauty all at once plz)
  • He had on black jeans and a white t-shirt but then the super cute part is that he had a really long hoodie on (that shit came down to his knees and Namjoon is not a tiny person so just imagine how huge that hoodie is) and then some black sneakers and a simple black snapback
  • But also my favorite Namjoon look on possibly all time is all black!joon where he had shorts, a tank top, a lil headband and it was so simple but so !!! like fuck me up pls Namjoon stans are you okay after that look 
  • Namjoon is a flirt, both irl and as player!Joon
  • We’ve seen him flirting in videos but bc I’m Namjin trash I’m gonna bring up the time Jin just looked at him and joon winked at him and I could hear ever Namjin stan scream
  • He goes on dates here and there but his main thing is just being really flirty, sometimes he doesn’t actually follow through
  • He’s not doing it to lead them on or anything like that, he’s just not ready for a relationship bc his last one ended sourly and he needs time to be ready to dive back in but an innocent date every now and then doesn’t hurt
  • One thing about him though is that he’s very honest about it, he doesn’t let the other person wonder about their status, he’ll just straight up say “we’re flirting and having fun, this is casual, go do your thing if you wanna” he won’t try to get them to think he’s theirs or they’re his or anything like that
  • He doesn’t stop them from flirting/seeing other people either so it’s not like he’s the only one doing it, it’s a mutual understanding that neither person is looking for love or a relationship, at least not with Namjoon
  • There’s no calling him “boyfriend” no “I love you” no “we should be together” everyone is just having fun with it and not taking it too seriously
  • That really helps when it comes to the “breaking up” bc both of them agreed to not being in a relationship, even if they do go out on dates so it’s a lot easier to say hey let’s just be friends 
  • He’s a pretty social person, Namjoon is a nice balance of being able to talk to new people and make new friends while not making friends with every single person he meets like he’s right in the middle
  • So he has no problem approaching the other person first but he also doesn’t mind when they approach him
  • Maybe this is just me but I feel like Namjoon would be really fun to talk to like he’s so smart but he also doesn’t take every lil thing seriously, he’s funny, he’s clever, he can hold a conversation really well, he’s such a gem I love him so much
  • Namjoon is s u c h a gentleman, he would treat everyone really well, when they do go on dates, he always picks them up and drops them off, he always offers to pay, even if they were the one to ask him out, he offers his jacket if it’s cold, he does all the nice things
  • His dates would be so personal and cute, like going to the local cafe and getting a table in the corner and just talking until they close or exploring the city together, something romantic like that
  • Okay so since I’m building off of the drabble, I’m gonna use the plot I had in there, which I’ll explain rn, I don’t wanna be repetitive so I’m just gonna sum it up here but if you want all the itty bitty details and the exact words and all of that good stuff, the drabble is linked up there
  • Basically, you and Namjoon have been flirting for a wh ile, it’s been a couple terms, there have been a few dates and it’s always really fun and comfortable with him  
  • You start to develop a crush on him on the second date bc he’s such an amazing person, it’s kinda hard not to, he’s always so sweet to you and he does treat you differently
  • Once again, he’s open about the fact that he’s flirting with other people and maybe going on dates with them so you know that he’s supposedly very casual about the relationship (spoiler he isn’t) but you can’t help but wonder what it would be like if he was
  • Bc he already puts so much attention and time into the relationship as is, you see him all the time, you two study together, you’ve met his dog, you’ve met his friends and it does kinda feel like a relationship and you’ve also noticed he hasn’t been flirting with other people all that much for the past month ???
  • So you’re starting to question it a bit bc is he starting to develop feelings too, have you just not heard about the other people, there are so many options
  • But he opens up to you a lot more than he does with the others and he’s never let anyone meet his dog before bc that’s his bby and you get a lot of special treatment
  • So one day, you two are hanging out and he’s being flirty as always and then you both mutually make the first move and you both agree to make it exclusive and to stop seeing/flirting with other people
  • “I like this whole relationship thing, I can tell Rapmon likes it too, he loves you”
  • “Rapmon likes me bc I give him treats behind your back”
  • “Excuse me??”
  • “Nothing”

Happy Birthday @faecakes!!

This is honestly my first time drawing MikuTsuru (unless the February Servamp x Kabedon art counts as one lol) and I`m glad the first time is for someone xDDDD Although I think I messed up with a lot of the things here but let`s just pretend something happened and whatnot~  ( ゚o⌒)

Anyways, happy happy birthday!! I know we dont talk much, but thanks to the group chat in Discord, I got to know you more! I hope we get more chances to talk again with everyone! I wish for your good health and success, and more Servamp to come!!!  (つ≧▽≦)つ ❤

In anticipation of The Last Jedi, I’m making flower crowns for everyone

Captain Phasma

~G L A D I O L U S~ From the Latin word “gladius”, these flowers can represent strength of character, faithfulness and integrity. A red bloom signifies charm and mysteriousness. A fierce woman warrior within the First Order, it is only fitting she wears a crown reminiscent of the leaders of old.

Kylo Ren 

~P E T U N I A~ Anger. Resentment. Disagreeable . These words describe this Knight of Ren perfectly. The red color invokes passion, which is something Kylo has plenty of. His flashier, vibrant crown mirrors his turbulent nature.

~D A F F O D I L~ In France, the daffodil is a sign of hope. The wilted flower represents the loss of Han Solo, while the remaining bloom represents him mother, General Leia. As far as Kylo has fallen, there still maybe be hope left for him.

General Hux

~D A N D E L I O N~ These simple flowers can represent survival through all challenges and superior intelligence. General Armitage Hux shows all of these qualities in his climb to the top of the First Order. Adorned in a much simpler crown than his counterparts, it showcases his scientific mind and cooler attitude. 

~S T A T I C E~ Another flower of many meanings, in this case, these blooms represent remembrance and success. Starkiller Base is both his greatest triumph and his most dismal failure. The color purple invoke a feeling of charm and grace.

Chariot/Croix - Piggyback Rides

Set while the two were still students, after Chariot got the shiny rod :O Totally inspired by fanart of the two :D

I really want to see more of the young Chariot and Croix dynamic. Particularly after their angst over the Shiny Rod choosing Chariot but before their falling out. Like this fragile relationship tinged with bitterness but the two still love each other, it’s just too good OTL


“Over here!

 Croix followed the familiar voice, eyes barely picking out the small hands that waved in the distance for her attention. It was a moonless night; the shrubbery and bushes only made her after-hours trek into the woods that much harder.

Squinting, she batted a stubborn group of bushes with her wand and stepped into a small clearing, where her friend was resting on a fallen, moss-eaten log.

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Treat Yo’ Self ☕ Spell

Valentine’s Magick For One

A pampering spell to help bring out that self-love and confidence for my lovely single witches this holiday

By Rainy-Day-Witchcraft


  • Pink, red, and/or white candles
  • Sea and/or epsom salt
  • Lavender, Lotus, or Rose scented essential oil
  • Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Food coloring (optional) 
  • Rose Quartz
  • Paper pad & writing utensil


Step 1. First things first, mixing and preparing materials! I recommend beginning this step the night before you plan to perform the spell.

In a small bowl, mix together your carrier salts with the oil of your choice, a bit of cinnamon [love and success], some ginger [love, prosperity, success, and inner strength], and - if you’d like to add a bit of color - a few drops of food coloring. Once you’ve thoroughly mixed the ingredients to create a magickal body scrub, hollow out a small hole and place a rose quartz stone in the middle ~ Leave the mixture to soak up energy from the rose quartz overnight or for 8-12 hours.

(Note: If you already have a body scrub that you prefer, feel free to use that instead! Or, if you’d rather buy one than make your own, that is perfectly alright too)

Step 2. Once your mixture has sat for awhile, gather up all you need. Because you will be scrubbing your body with the salts, prepare a nice warm bath or shower for yourself ~ Decorate your bathroom with the candles, dim the lights, and light them. Begin the spell by stepping into the bath or shower (Tip: make sure your salts are within reach, so you don’t have to get out to grab them!)

Step 3. Perform your normal bathing routine, imagining a shining light that flows with the water as you do, cleansing your body of any negativity or ‘dirt’; physical, mental, spiritual and magickal. Towards the end, scoop out a bit of your scrub and begin scrubbing it on your body ~ Visualize the salts buffing off the remaining metaphysical dirt; revealing a shining aura and leaving you feeling less heavy. Remind yourself of how lovely and wonderful you are as you do, or take the time to say a chant for beauty, confidence, and love! 

Once you’ve finished, wash the salts off and end your shower or bath.

Step 4. Pamper yourself! Wear a fuzzy robe, soft pajamas, a blanket, or any clothes that make you feel especially comfortable. Then, blow out all but one candle from your bathroom and carry it over to wherever you’d like to sit along with the rose quartz you used for the scrub earlier. Placing the candle beside you, pick up your paper pad and write down at least 20 things you love about yourself… and more, if you can! Write what you admire, write down some accomplishments you recently made that you are proud of, write what you enjoy about your appearance or personality ~ anything and everything. If you’d like to go a little further, write down some activities or hobbies that you especially enjoy.

When you feel you’ve written all you can, fold up the paper and store in a safe place for later. Whenever you’re feeling upset, anxious, or doubting yourself, take it back out and reflect on just how glorious you are ♡

Reserve the rest of the day for doing things that make you feel good ~ And remember, it’s Valentine’s, so - 

Originally posted by rachgrub

I found all my old sketchbooks...

…and now I can honestly say that at the very least, I’ve improved over the past 7 years. 

So these cover from 2010, when I was in fifth grade, all the way up until this year. I’m about to go on a little trip down memory lane, so everything’s going underneath the cut if you want to skip past… but you’re going to miss out on some real gems like THIS:

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anonymous asked:

Can you do the main four + Grillby with a soulmate who makes them a flower crown?

Sans heckin’ loves it, and takes great care not to lose it- and he’s genuinely upset when it wilts. Makes flower puns fo’ days. 

Papyrus is so excited!! He’s always dreamed of getting flowers- but a CROWN of flowers? Oh. My. God. It’s all he’s wanted and more! He deliberately goes about town to show it off, and asks that you teach him how to make one too. (His first success is plopped right onto your head. It’s too big and a little heavy and it’s beautiful.) 

Undyne loves it- now she TOO is a flowery swo- er, spear woman. Not in the same way Utena is, of course, but this way is much, much better. She takes great interest in the color of the flowers and how it looks on her- shes a very fashionable fish lady after all- and she’s pleased with it. Very pleased. Cue those big, toothy grins of hers. 

Alphys thinks it’s super cute- maybe too cute for her, but she’s quick to banish such thoughts. She takes loooots of selfies to show off how cute it is on her and how cute your work is. Mettaton asks you to make matching crowns for him and Alphys, for even more selfies. It’s the selfiepocalypse, yo. 

Grillby thinks it’s lovely- but he’s also very afraid to put it on. Sure, he knows how to touch most things without burning it… but flowers are much more delicate, and you worked so hard on it. He asks that you wear it instead- it’ll look much better on you and also won’t be at risk of burning into ashes. But he appreciates the gesture.

Trans in Theatre: Adversarial and Jubilant Ultimatums

          After one of our late night dress rehearsals for Footloose, I felt a friend to my right grip my arm during our notes. She said, “Denny, are you okay?” and I realized tears were falling down my cheeks without my notice at all. At that point, everybody fixated their eyes on me and for the first time (of soon-to-be many), I felt seen but so unseen. This was my junior year in high school, and I was cast as the male lead, Ren McCormack. Despite the crisp dance moves and singing, the director kept telling me that something was still not right about my performance. She then sat with me until midnight, where we were the only ones left on stage. Through the shakiness in my voice and my hands burying my face, I said, “It’s just hard playing something you know you’re not.”

           She looked at me, and for the first time, I think she really saw me.

          My senior year I was cast as The Leading Player in Pippin, a gender neutral character with a presence so demanding you can’t take your eyes off the charm, wit, and agility. Around this time I was sneaking out late at night, dressing up with my friends and going out. Liberating myself from gender roles and rebelling against their normalizations kept me stable emotionally and mentally. I was in a place where I had to dissect gender to its core in order to sort myself, and experimenting with winged eyeliner paired with a staple dark red lips and too many striped dresses allowed me to come to terms with myself at my own pace. I took advantage of the ambiguity of gender within my role in the show through androgyny.

           Femininity turned from secretive repression into a hobby.

          My first theatrical experience in college was an identity play reading for The Laramie Project, a collection of reactions to the homophobic murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998. I auditioned for two women in the room, one who was an upperclassman directing the play, the other an older white woman who accompanied the student director. She had a sweet and nurturing voice, and a full head of gray and white hair that complimented her soft smile. I felt an odd sense of comfort for a strange white lady I barely knew. She still recognizes me now and wishes me well whenever we bump into each other. I read a monologue they provided and was contacted the next day to play Romaine Patterson, the lesbian best friend of Matthew. It was my first time reading a part that was inherently for a woman. I don’t recall my exact emotion that given moment, but I know I was happy. Telling my friends about it felt radical and transformative. To be seen as a genderqueer person of color beyond that identity and only for talent was a big deal for me. Previous auditions for The Voice and X-Factor never went well because like my high school director, the producers could tell something was off.

           I started to, too.

          The following semester, I took an acting class. The second I walked into the first day of class and saw twelve fraternity boys was the second my own ideas of theatre spaces being safe from potentially harmful masculinities were proven wrong. My professor was a mother with a smile as big as her frames, face framed by the middle part of her dark curls as beautiful as her name—Carmela. Her fingers were crowded with unique rings, her outfits casual yet bold with statement pieces—I could tell this person was comfortable with who she was, while remaining to be somewhat reserved. I envied her. I wanted her womanhood, although confusion overshadowed my lack of vocabulary to express this specific desire. All I knew to do was to wake up two hours prior to classes for the sole reason of feminizing myself. But the hesitation on femininity started the moment she referred to me with “she, her” pronouns, which led the entire class, including the fraternity boys, to do as well. At the time I reserved to gender neutral pronouns because I knew I wanted to detach myself from anything innately considered ‘male’, and unlike the most heard trans narratives, growing up without exposure to trans folks (a conscious one, that is) left me thinking my gender was concrete, and Carmela was another person to see me beyond what I knew was possible, and that is woman. Her de-solidifying my possibilities as a person gave me space to let my gender identity move and rebuild, even with words as scary as “her” and “girl”.

           Not once did I ever correct anybody in that class.

           Transitioning started the summer after that. I officially came out as a woman, and coming back to school was surprisingly easy. I never thought much about what it must have been like for everyone else, which led me to sleep comfortably every night thinking everyone around me must be on board as well—the theatre department included. I wish people spoke to me about concerns, or vocalized their questions, in which I would have been much slower and more patient moving forward. Instead I felt immortal and unbeatable, and receiving my first female lead in a show the same day I started my medical transition were only further signs that I was going in the right direction. I was misgendered throughout the show but I disregarded that. I recognized the ways in which I could have been critical in the moment but I disregarded that. I refused to admit that people were not seeing me as a woman because I accepted and made effort to uphold how progressive everyone involved in the production must have been to include me in the first place. Although I wore an exquisite wedding gown, I also wore three noses but I disregarded that. I felt beautiful in the midst of knowing the audience saw me otherwise—I played the freak but I disregarded that. I kept quiet because a part of me felt that staying silent as the team player would access me to more opportunities. I was right. A few months after, I was cast for the following semester’s show, where not only did I play a woman, but a woman of my race. I thought the recognition as a woman of color meant that I was perceived twice—for my gender, and for my racial background. But I was still misgendered throughout, therefore disregard became a way to navigate spaces where successes and failures were happening simultaneously.

          Earning my first female role as an openly trans woman should have been the starting point to education beyond inclusion, because what is the point of inclusion if we are unaware of its purposes? What is the point of adding flowers to the living room if there are no given benefits to the overall goal of aesthetic aside from sole decoration? My personal purpose was to prove people’s inherent assumptions about trans talent wrong—not to be tokenized. It still is. But being in my position and getting two leads in a row, I had a responsibility to fulfill. The fulfillment of my responsibilities became highly prioritized because I know opportunities like these do not always work in the favor of girls like me. Taking it for granted was never an option. So when I found out I was the only woman of Asian descent to even audition I kept pretending that I played these roles because I could, not because I was needed; because I have talent, not because of profitable aspects about myself that could satisfy their agendas.

           For the next few months I shared my story, making sure I expressed that it was never just a role I earned, but that I was transitioning under a microscope for the majority of campus to watch. Therefore, people knew who I was and could comprehend how big of an accomplishment this must have been for me. I bounced from one interview to the next ranging from friends’ articles to local newspaper journalism, giving them the heroic story I knew they wanted. Here I was, a nineteen year old Southeast Asian trans woman spilling my story of the adversity of transitioning at school, whilst spilling my story of triumph and attainment of playing main female characters in the theater department, knowing that there were gaps in between one story of challenge and the other of execution. I did not tell them that many people were struggling to see me beyond a man, that these roles were not the only thing I was “acting” in. I did not tell them that I felt the pressure to act woman on the daily—for the sake of being understood— and add on my character on top of that to act for. I did not tell them that I felt exhausted, stripped of my own personhood. But most of all, I did not tell them these feelings because I was warped in my own thought that the things I accomplished were courageous, and nothing else.

           I was happy, though.

           At least happy enough to come back my junior year believing I was going to be seen no different from the rest of the girls during auditions. Especially because none of the roles required the women to be a specific kind of woman, and therefore I sought after them as my perfect chance to really prove people that I was capable and deserving of a female role with no strings attached. For the first audition, I studied the script months prior to the audition day and created two monologues on my own from pieces in it. Oddly enough, the night of auditions, there were two female monologues provided, in which they were almost identical to the one I put together. Instantly I felt at an advantage because it was clear that the visions I had for these women were very close to the director’s. For the first time, I did not have to use vulnerable parts of me as a source of reliability, only creativity and deep understanding of the script. The second audition was for the only female role in the show. Her character development was built off of the desire and dream to be a forefront leader despite—or maybe even because—of her gender, a desire and dream I hold closely.

           The following day I searched hard for my name on the callback list before realizing that I was not called back for either shows. I felt the people behind me looking over my shoulders to see the cast list, and in their exhales I heard “Sorry, maybe next time,” “Yikes,” “I feel bad for you,” “What happened?

           What happened?

           I felt myself in shock, but worked painfully hard to prevent any showings of defeat or weakness. I came into my junior year with content and pride in the conquering of my endeavors, and within those five seconds of glance I started to question everything I might have done wrong. Straight away I put the responsibility on me, because the professors I have worked with know what they are doing, right? They are the ones whose judgments should be trusted, no? During a callback, the people who auditioned are asked to come back because the directors or anybody else involved were interested in what they had to offer during their auditions. This can either solidify the decision to cast these people, or make them change their minds. To be stopped before the second process confused me in all angles. I saw myself back in sophomore, junior, and senior year of high school where producers never passed me through the first rounds of The Voice and X-Factor auditions because they knew something felt misaligned. But this time, I was whole, with the strongest sense of identity out of all twenty years of my life, so therefore, my identity could not have been the reason, no? I don’t want to believe my transness is the reason I was not granted the opportunity to prove myself past auditions, and it took me strength to slowly admit to myself that my experiences in previous shows were never perfect. Some days they were barely validating or comfortable. It was a difficult process having to prove my own gender before the characters I played.

           I learned to prove myself—(cis) womanhood before talent, whiteness before talent, Americanness before talent (unless my race is needed)—twice as hard for half the consideration before somebody else’s name blankets mine. When I do earn a part, I memorize my lines twice as hard for half the recognition compared to someone who might embody surpassing privileges that give them access to opportunities where recognition is a routine experience in their involvements in theater. Over the past couple of months my peers in the department have comforted me with words like “it’s not fair to you,” “your gender is valid regardless,” “this is not a representation of your talents.”

           For those who have been my backbone throughout this emotional calculation, I profoundly thank you. However, the problem is that there is more to this. I am not seeking out validation—I know I’m valid. I am not having these conversations to re-stabilize myself as if I’ve lost a sense of identity, but to redirect the conversation and have everybody else acknowledge why they don’t have it as exhaustive, and what integrating privileges they possess that allows them to think this issue is one sided, and therefore lacks a need to hold themselves accountable at any extent. Many of the minoritized students participate in the identity play series, where their theatrical experience lasts for only one to two weeks for rehearsals—the performance production is not as tumultuous as the faculty or student directed shows. The series allows for many unheard narratives to be on the front lines of exposure and the following discussion sessions open up the conversation into further depth. However, many of the participants are only exclusive to identity play readings, and the space to welcome them (with effort) to larger scale shows in the department is limited, thus there is an imbalance between the demographics of the regular members who participate in major production shows versus the ones who are part of the identity series. This leads to the impression that those whose identities are minoritized are utilizable when their otherness is needed—a deep pain I know all too well.

           My experience in the department lies at the crux of having enough marginalized identities to truly transcend in identity play series with personal authenticity and having enough past experience to be given roles for the main stage. I aspire the space to roam freely where I can openly talk about what it means to be an Asian transgender woman in the theatre department, but also where I can express myself artistically without my sense of self being the source of muse for whatever it is I do on stage. It is impossible to completely disregard my transness, but to make my work revolved around it is no better.

          There is a way for transness to flourish in plays and productions that have the potential to be progressive. Angel from Rent encapsulates the reclamation of femininity (for a person who is inherently not meant to be feminine under the socialization they were enforced into) as her narrative parallels amongst many trans women who internally struggle to claim their own girlhoods. In this I see a theatrical opportunity to have the production not only progress the show, but allow opportunities for trans women of color to showcase talent, even if Angel is traditionally a drag queen of color. A modernized adaptation allows a political play to move along with progressing politics.

           There is also a way for transness to not completely diverge from any other plays, because trans narratives are not completely alienated from non-trans narratives—there will always be a bridge in between. In 9th grade, my English class read Romeo and Juliet, and nobody volunteered to read for Juliet. I felt her character on a deep level but hesitated to raise my hand—not only did I lack the language to describe my situation, but so did everybody else. All I knew is that there was more to Juliet than a girl who falls in love with a family foe; there was a young woman who craved to liberate herself from her family’s containment in order to pursue a more novel life. Due to societal pressure to please others before herself, her option was to take her own life—an emboldening statement of redemption and salvation. This is not uncommon in many lives of trans women and trans femmes. In 2014, Cincinnati, Ohio, a 17 year old transgender girl named Leelah Alcorn stepped in front of a tractor trailer on Interstate-71 after posting a suicide note online saying “My death needs to mean something.” In her note, she mentions “When I was 16 I realized that my parents would never come around, and that I would have to wait until I was 18 to start any sort of transitioning treatment, which absolutely broke my heart.” In Leelah’s heartbreak I see the story of Juliet—a suicide not driven from love, but driven from social abuse that prevents the embrace of and ability to love. Adaptability of transgender stories into mainstream stories is possible.

           I dream of transness in theatrical spaces to be acknowledged, not as a cause for muse or a reason of dismissal. I dream of this phenomenon of theatre as a safe space for LGBTQ+ people beyond cis, white, gay, flamboyant men. I dream of trans girls and trans femmes of color like me celebrated on stage as much as we do advocacy off stage. I dream of people who hold power in theatre to mobilize their privileges, and hold themselves accountable to take it further to tell stories that matter, stories that marinate in truth, stories that can impact the audience yet provide benefits for those involved, because it is the right thing and it is doable if you care enough.

           Make them happen. If the show must go on, do not leave some of us behind.

Torque’s Self-Love Motivation Jar

Another Spoonie-Friendly spell for those who wish to have a little bit more confidence, energy and passion in their daily lives.

Step 1 - Ingredients

  • Pink Himalayan Salt (use food coloring with reg. salt if you want)
  • “Passion” Tazo Tea (rose hips or petals, lemongrass, hibiscus)
  • Pink Glitter (or that of your choice)
  • Piece of Rose Quartz

Step 2 - Piece of Paper for Your Intentions/Goals

The phrases I personally used are as follows -

“I am confident in my abilities.”

“I am passionate about my endeavors.”

“I am motivated to be successful in my goals.”

Step 3 - Knot Work/Sealing Your Intentions

Grab some thread. It doesn’t have to be pink, but I chose to do that to fit the color theme. Cut it to be about three feet long. Wrap the cord around the top a few times and leave some room to work with.

Now, knot the thread where you have just stopped. This knot represents your first statement. Say it out loud or in your head while tying the knot. Leave some space and do the same with the rest of your statements on the paper. Then tie a bow. By this bow, you have sealed your intentions. I made knots on the end of each remaining thread to further seal the intention and statements into the thread.

Leave the jar somewhere where you will see it - a workplace, altar, desk, etc. Make sure the paper inside is visible so that it reminds you of what you want to accomplish. Decorate as you see fit! I did not personally seal the jar with wax in case I want to use it again, but you are free to do what feels right. Charge it under moonlight if you feel it needs a little boost!

- Torque -

I have forgotten what happiness feels like.


I have asked many people throughout my life time,
What exactly happiness meant to them.

Many said it was being in love or being loved,
Waking up wrapped in their lovers arms, or
getting a first glimpse of their new born.
“food makes me happy” said one but most said
“I don’t know”
Some said it was achieving success would make them happy
but would anyone ever be satisfied with what they own?

See, happiness is what I’d say children feels.
Their pure minds appreciate the art of how their
ketchup is sprawled across their plate.
How their tiny minds fathom about how beautiful and
vibrant the colors are of butterfly’s wings.
Their unbroken hearts religiously believes in everything.
Like how they’d fly like superman when they grow up, or
how one would be a princess and live in a castle

I think once we realize that those were lies
Happiness starts to leave our minds and souls.
The calmness in our heart we use to have as kids
starts to disappear.
I don’t remember the last time I sat in a quiet room
without my mind listing the tasks i had yet to complete
or how I’d be a failure with my best efforts.
The voices in my head becomes so loud
that it physically makes me numb.

And in all of the amid of confusion and sadness
I try to find beauty in everything
I try to find beauty in people’s confidence
I try to find beauty in people who are so passionate
about their characters.
That they resurrect them from fiction in every sentence
I try find the beauty in stars and how fascinating
the moon looks in the morning skies.

I try to find something, maybe not happiness.
But something to keep me alive in this world.

—  It’s not a poem about Happiness.