this was a great trip down memory lane

Okay, so I’ve talked a lot about writing what you know and how important that is, but it’s hard to offer practical examples so here’s one: 

I lived in Hawaii for a while. Now, it just so happened to work out for the book I’m currently writing that four of my characters go on a weird, messed up vacation and Maui was the ideal destination. And let me just tell you, I’ve had a freakin’ blast writing about it because not only is it a great trip down memory lane, but there are things you’d never be able to describe about Maui unless you’d been there–like crawling up the side of a mountain in the dark in the jungle in a car with an engine that barely runs, wondering if you’re about to lose power completely and slide down a hill to your death. Or the way the whole island looks like it’s on fire when they burn the cane and how you have to close all the windows so you don’t wake up covered in ash in the morning. Or the absolutely unholy stench from the sugar factory that hangs over the airport. Or waking up and finding a lizard on the ceiling directly above your face. Or how you learn to just eat ants like a garnish because they’re fucking everywhere and there’s literally nothing you can do about it. Those kinds of details you really can’t manufacture. Now before you say, “But you lived in Hawaii, that’s so exciting, and my life is so boring, I don’t know anything” (because someone always says that), allow me to preempt you: this applies to everything and everywhere. Your high school, your hometown, that restaurant you worked in in West Covina. If you’ve ever worked a job or lived in a place or had a hobby where the details are familiar to you, you can write them with an authenticity that can’t possibly be faked, and that will add tremendous depth to your story, whatsoever it may be. It doesn’t matter if it’s not, on the surface, exciting. Authenticity in fiction is engaging and addictive, because that’s when a reader goes Wow. Yes. I can see that. Or even, I know EXACTLY that feeling. In some ways, the more mundane, the better. Because if you can do justice to a mundane experience, everyone else in the world who has had it will have an absolutely transcendent moment seeing it prose. 

So. Write what you know. You know a lot more than you think.

A changed man: Gajeel Redfox

A long time ago, I got an ask about whether I’m considering writing metas about other characters or BrOTPs. I mentioned that I wanted to do one on Gajeel because Mashima’s made a well-rounded and complex character in the Iron Dragon Slayer. I’m happy that he’s given Gajeel such great moments and development to his character. I think we can all agree that the Gajeel now is no longer the same Gajeel we first saw.

I am so proud of how far you’ve come, Gajeel *sheds tears* and props to you Mashima-sensei.

To the anon, this is about a year overdue since your ask ^^” but it is finally here!

Now on with a trip down memory lane!


Abandoned, Prideful, and mean - Gajeel before and during Phantom Lord

We first meet Gajeel as an antagonist in the beginning of the Phantom Lord arc.

The iron dragon had no mercy for the weak. He believed his power was his strength, and Master Jose gave him opportunities to use it - mostly for the bad. He was feared by his guild mates and he taunted them and let them.

It is understandable when we realise that he was abandoned by his dragon, just like Natsu. However, Gajeel felt hurt and betrayed. Who needs the damn dragon anyway? His magic was his pride and all he had left and survive and go on when Metalicana disappeared.

While Natsu was found by Makarov and Mystogan found Wendy and later on Cait Shelter, Gajeel was alone. While the former two started on the right foot due to the people they met. Gajeel wasn’t so lucky.

In some form or way, Jose found him and took him to Phantom Lord, where Master Jose took a liking to his powers and had him use it for all the wrong reasons.

It probably strengthened his belief that his dragon slaying magic and brute force is all he needed - for he is feared and admired by his guild mates and others by these two things he possesses alone.

Until he encountered Fairy Tail. He thought destroying Fairy Tail’s guild would weaken their morale, but it didn’t. He thought hurting Levy, Jet, and Droy - the “weakest” link in Fairy Tail - to spite them would work, but it didn’t. He thought beating Lucy to a pulp would make her fear him, make her weak, but she didn’t back down from his taunting.

Mashima never delved into the horrible things Gajeel did, however he did clue us in that our Iron Dragon Dork isn’t a bad person. Gajeel did want to reject Makarov’s hand in joining Fairy Tail. He felt that he didn’t deserve a place in a guild he sought to destroy.

Mashima instilled through Makarov that Gajeel could change. Thus begins the journey where us as readers start to see where Mashima is laying the groundworks for Gajeel’s development and redemption story..

Despite sticking to himself in Phantom Lord, he had a friend in Juvia during their time in Jose’s guild. Given Gajeel’s lone-wolf tendencies in Phantom Lord, the fact that he was happy to have Juvia around says a lot.

Before Juvia, Gajeel also had a motherly member on the Magic Council that looked out for him, Berno (or Belno).

Both of them believed that Gajeel had it in his heart to be a good person, even if Gajeel didn’t quite believe (or acknowledge) it himself. As did Makarov, who said he can be turned to the right path despite the wrong detour he took.

Building trust and the road to redemption (i) - Battle of Fairy Tail

Unlike Juvia, Gajeel literally had to gain the trust of Fairy Tail because of his actions, as stated by Makarov when he went to see Gajeel personally.

And Gajeel took it to heart. He wanted to be trusted and wanted to do good. As noted in the Fairy Tail Wiki, Gajeel was loyal to PL and Jose because he wanted to BELONG somewhere. He believed that Phantom Lord was a strong guild. Even though he’s now in Fairy Tail, it ain’t any different and doesn’t change the fact that Gajeel wants to prove himself an ally.

In the Battle of Fairy Tail, he let Jet and Droy let off some steam by letting them beat him up.

He also let Laxus let off his pent-up steam as well. When Laxus’s anger got a little out of control though….

Gajeel saved Levy from Laxu’s thunder too.

At this point for both of them, there was a lack of trust. Levy was still wary of being around Gajeel. You see her watching and observing Gajeel from a distance. She is nervous around him, and doesn’t seem comfortable and that’s totally OK. She has every right to be scared of him, in fact. For Gajeel, he wanted to make up to not just her or Jet and Droy, but other members of Fairy Tail too. That said, this arc and this moment was the start of something that wasn’t “fear” or “apprehension” between Gajeel and Levy, but “trust”. 

At the beginning of this arc, we saw Gajeel showing Levy that he can be trusted. Well, in the latter half, we see Levy show the same.

When Levy took it upon herself to figure out Freed’s runes on the guild so that Gajeel and Natsu could hold off Laxus. Gajeel wanted to get out there and fight, and was frustrated because the barrier was something he couldn’t break by brute force.

Yet there was Levy. With her books, notes and a pen, using her intellect to find them a way out. And she did. Levy accomplished something he couldn’t do and he was amazed, which he told her.

She was also firm in her belief that he and Natsu together will be able to stop Laxus. But he beat her up. She had all the rights to walk away and not help him and Natsu out. But she did anyway, out of faith that he has changed (or is changing) his ways.

Gajeel didn’t disappoint when he was finally released out of the guild. One, he saved Natsu when Laxus wasn’t himself anymore.

Then two, taking one of Laxus’s lightening strikes himself, using his steel as a lightening rod so that he was struck down instead. Showing to Levy, if not the other guild members also present, that he can be trusted. 

This arc was probably the most beaten up Gajeel has been though, poor thing.

The Battle of Fairy Tail was only the start of Gajeel’s redemption though. Here, Mashima also slotted in a subplot - that Gajeel was working as a double agent for Makarov on his son’s guild, Raven Tail, which I’ll touch on later.

A different side to Gajeel: Finding a Friend in Lily - Edolas

The Tower of Heaven and Oracion Seis/Nirvana arc were pretty Jerza and Team Natsu-centric that we didn’t see Gajeel until they all got back from that mission. With a new member (and fellow dragon slayer)!

We see Gajeel’s road to redemption touched on again after Wendy Marvell, a young Sky Dragon Slayer, also joined the guild, her Exceed Charle in tow.

Starting with Edolas, I think Mashima also began to delve into the comedic side of our Iron Dragon Slayer.

One, we find out that he likes to sing and play the guitar - regardless of the audience reception.

And two, that white suits and shoobi-do-wa is a thing XDDDD

We also find out that he is secretly effed that he doesn’t have a(n) cat Exceed of his own, dawwww another tsun!

Comedic Gajeel aside, the Iron Dork played quite a big part in the beginning of Edolas, as he was the one that freed Erza and Gray from the lacrima. Working with his Edolas counterpart to move the plot forward. [1]

Remember how Mashima touched on the fact that Gajeel is working as a double agent? I think the fact that he was able to work with Edolas!Gajeel (AND the fact that Edolas!Gajeel is a journalist) shows and implies that Gajeel is dependable and resourceful. Edolas!Gajeel is not crass nor is he a brute but it fortells what Gajeel Redfox CAN BE in the future, gihi~ ;) [2]

I also find him helping little Wendy in being a “convincing” scary villain very sweet.

I’ll also forever enjoy the fact that he was so overjoyed at having Lily as his partner/Exceed! Lily is also the first person/cat/Exceed he calls “aibou” and given Gajeel only has had Juvia with him as his friend thus far in the story, him finding a friend in Lily is pretty important! Because from their fight, Gajeel saw a bit of himself in (Panther) Lily.

[1], [2] From digging back to earlier chapters, the banters, plans, and stints between Earthland and Edolas Gajeel were anime-only.

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And on Earth 22...Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) during his Warbler “cheesey villain” days

I thought everyone might like a trip down memory lane to the good ‘ole Glee days…

Smooth Criminal is one of my favorites that Grant sang during his time on Glee as Sebastian Smythe.

And he did a great job in “Glad You Came”

And in “I want you back”

holllywoo  asked:

U MET ALFIE !!??,7),($46/64

yeah!! it was at a convention in paris, the first and only harry potter convention ever in France i think, and there was tom felton, jessie cave, natalia tena and matthew lewis too! and they were all adorable. it was like, five-six years ago so i don’t remember much, other than it had snowed like hell and it had been a great week-end (at a great price, of course). but yeah. i was already an awkward lil’ been already back then so i didn’t talk too much to them. but i got to take pics with them, and there was a “ball” with a meet and greet session on saturday night, during which i mostly remained silent, too shy to talk to them (again). even though natalia and jessie were being supernice to me. i felt so awkward and it was all so… dreamlike? but anyways, yeah. i did meet this wonderful man and these beautiful people. looking back, it was a bit costly but great experience overall. everyone was so calm and shit, the atmosphere was really warm. oh. did i mention it took place in a castle? and that tom felton apologized, to me,  although i was in the way, in the sweetest manner ever? fuck, that brings me back…

Caryl cuteness (Throwback Thursday style)

Ok so as promised here’s a different kind of Thowback Thursday post.. here is a happy Caryl feels post so enjoy :)

I had a feeling the tag needed a little lighthearted positiviy cause we aren’t getting much  from the spoilers. I however reamin annoyingly positive self and  my feels are back in session and,  decided to give you all this post  Just a little trip down memory lane to some happy times in our shipper lives. So here goes

5 Cute Caryl moments

(not including the scene above which just makes a great header haha) 

putting under a cut to save dash clutter

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The retelling of Wanda’s history in Vision #7 might be the most comprehensive look at her life pre-Disassembled we’ve seen in a WHILE, which was great. I just wish it had included editorial boxes to denote each of the issues they were revisiting throughout this little trip down memory lane, because there were some really key issues that they recreated here.

So I gathered up the ones I could. If anyone wants to add any of the earlier scenes I missed (the battle w Nefaria? The luncheon w Bova et al?), PLEASE add them! As for the ones I do know:

  • The Vision dies, losing his emotional abilities. West Coast Avengers Vol 2 Issue #45
  • Wanda is confronted about her children not being real (though by Agatha, not Vision). West Coast Avengers Vol 2 Issue #51
  • Wanda’s children are taken from her and Agatha wipes her memories of them. West Coast Avengers Vol 2 Issue #52
  • Wanda and Simon start dating, after the Vision has regained his emotional memories. Avengers Vol 3 Issue #23

(NB: the scene where Vision confronts Wanda about the children not being real totally never happened–it was Agatha who told Wanda this, in WCA Vol 2 Issue #51. Vision was there but mostly confused and just as surprised as Wanda was–in his emotionless-way, at the time–as Agatha tried to make Wanda realize the impossibility of her children. So I didn’t include that, bc it was a rewriting, a bit)

Okay it was bugging me not to include that. Fixed.

(it’s funny, if you look at historical comic fact side-by-side with Vision’s retelling, he obviously inserts himself/makes himself much more central to these pivotal moments in Wanda’s life than he actually was. I suspect that’s the point.)

Their New Beginning

well today is the day….one year ago on this day April 17, 2014 Magcon broke up….

I’m seeing a lot of remember when posts and stuff like that and yes all of that is great but while I love a trip down memory lane every so often we have to remember that this was for the better. Look at them now! They are so happy and I am really happy that they achieved this. Sadly it did take the break up of Magcon but now we follow them as their careers continue to grow.

We get to say that we were here from the beginning. I love what they did with Magcon but it constantly reminds me of sadness because it is no longer a thing. So I have to look to the present and I see all that they have accomplished and I am so proud of each and every one of them (including the omaha squad).

So while yes today is a very special day remember that it was a life changing day for them that sent them off into the world to do the things they are doing now!

They have all come so far and I’m really proud of them

Churi’s graduation letter to Airi

I was already a mess reading the whole letter, so… *grabs a box of tissues* OK, here we go.

——————————-

Airi, in the 6 years since I met you when we passed the SKE audition, we came to spend a lot of time together didn’t we. Since we’re together so much I have no idea what to write here. Thinking back, trying to recall how we came to be like we are today, I can’t remember how we came to be so close so I’ll try to take a trip down memory lane.

With a great love for 2D, loads of anime straps hanging off your phone, and clear files of girls in swimsuits. Airi showed her uniqueness even among the 2nd generation members. Even though I liked 2D too, my friends and the people around me didn’t really understand it so I hid it from the people around me. Seeing you not care about the gazes of the people around you and were confidently say “I love it” about the things that you like, I thought that Airi was cool.

From there, I, too, became able to publicly say that I like 2D, and the original nijigendoukoukaikaichou (2D interest club president, Matsushita Yui) kindly noticed and came to invite us to join, isn’t it?

We were happy, and saying “Isn’t it like joining a school club? Then we must write an application to join the club right?” we made club applications, and went together to put it in the club president’s locker. That was a good memory.

It was decided that we would perform the “Aitakatta” stage, and when lessons started with the 2nd generation and KII, everyone formed a circle to do vocal exercises. The one whose singing voice was different was Airi. I immediately thought that Airi really loves to sing. 

When the unit songs were decided, you ended up in “Namida no Shounan”, and whenever I heard Airi and Miepi’s singing, I was always touched. I thought, “I would want to be able to sing as well as that”.

At that time, it was really amusing watching the young kids in the 2nd generation imitating you with the phrases, “I scooped it with a spoon” and “It immediately melts”. Thinking back, it felt like from the very start, Airi was a presence like a songstress oneesan?

From there, we started going to karaoke together. Airi earnestly chose unknown anisongs (lol), and thinking, “Ah, so this person is a complete weirdo”, your presence was framed in me as belonging to a genre of new type of human being.

Before we all did a stage performance, I also clearly remember when we unveiled our catchphrases to each other. Even though it’s taken for granted now, when you started speaking in a moe voice, everyone was very concerned. By the way, for me the 3 biggest worries were, “Mokomoko”, and Mikoto who out of the blue announced her shoe size, and Airi’s moe voice (lol). Those are my old memories of when we had just met.

I really admired this Airi, who unlike other people had an unshakeable sense of self, I think.

From there, when I realised it, I was beside you, and we were sharing a hotel room, and we came to spend lots of time outside of work together, too. In that, the biggest feeling was one of not having to put on an act around each other, and that being together is fun. Even though we share lots of common interests and things that we like, there are also lots of areas where we are complete opposites. And where I’m passionate, Airi is always calm. That’s why we were able to strike a balance, I think.

When we came to be loved as a unit, called “Furuyanagi, Furuyanagi”, and got a program together, I was so happy that I could jump for joy. We were able to share many feelings of happiness and sadness together isn’t it?

On a certain day, after a completely unremarkable day had ended, I ended up sharing a room as usual with Airi. And then there was a development that was not expected by either of us. When I abruptly asked the question, “Has Airi decided about graduation?”, the answer that I received was “Actually I’ll be graduating at the end of March, you know”. “Eh? In another 3 months?” with such an unexpected, huge announcement, I completely had no idea how to react, and conversely, since it didn’t feel real, I was unable to feel sad or lonely. It was just like, at a point that I didn’t know, Airi had made the decision alone, and I felt it was amazing. I also sulked a bit that you didn’t even come and talk to me about it.

The first time that I felt the reality of graduation was at last year’s NHK Kouhaku Utagassen. Since Miepi and Nakanishi-san had already announced their graduations before, everyone knew about it, and were lonely and sad about it, and the first generation gathered and cried together, but everyone didn’t know about Airi’s graduation yet. But I was thinking, “This is Airi’s last time too”, and went to look for Airi to tell her that “No matter what, let’s try our best”. Just saying “Let’s do our best” to each other, for the first time, there, I realised that next year Airi would no longer be around and felt the reality of your graduation.

And then, the graduation announcement at the stage performance. Finally, the countdown began. Thinking that, even though it was like I was crying that much and couldn’t stop at the stage performance, I cried some more after I got home. Even though I don’t think you knew that.

And so, today arrived. In the morning, while writing this letter and sobbing alone. You know, I already heard from Imamura-san. He said that you kindly told him “I want Churi to have fun so I don’t want to increase the burden on her.” (T/N: According to the ENTAME interview, that was why she didn’t tell Churi about graduation before her seitansai.)

When Airi was made leader, to be honest, I thought many times “would it be ok?” but 1 year passed, and you became a proper leader, and now I think that it was great that Airi was leader. It’s because Airi kindly became leader that I was able to grow. It was because I was able to entrust KII to Airi and Mina that I was able to focus all of my efforts on having fun doing the kennin and trying new challenges. Thanks.

I admired and envied Airi whose foundation is positivity, and is equally kind to everyone, and is loved. I am really happy that such an Airi was always kindly with me, you know.

Thank you so much for the last 6 years. Thank you very much also to all of Airi’s fans. Airi’s fans are exactly like Airi, incredibly kind. After Airi’s graduation was announced, even though their first reaction must’ve been to feel sad and lonely, all of them kindly worried about me too, and I felt very warmed by that. Furuyanagi will never disappear.

Instead saying that I’ll try my best in SKE on behalf of Airi and everyone who has graduated, as Airi usually says, I’ll enjoy myself, okay?

Airi, congratulations on your graduation.

Takayanagi Akane

———————————

Looks like it’s not only true of myself and other fans, Airi has also changed Churi’s perspective on life and work. That such a wonderful, kind and inspiring person was born blows the mind. Furukawa Airi is a gift. Thank you.

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Calling all shipmates! The Hiatus is finally upon us, which means it’s time for another Captain Swan Hiatus Meme! This Hiatus Meme will be

>> 19 Weeks of Captain Swan <<

Assuming Once will return September 27th, that’s 19 weeks. If it returns earlier the list will be updated accordingly.  It will be posted this Sunday, and will also begin this Sunday! So stay tuned for all the info! It’s going to be a great trip down memory lane, and is sure to make this hiatus much more manageable!