when they were still putting out quality

Building a Revolution

Overthrowing a powerful government in the name of the people is a popular plot.  It certainly has a great appeal.

However, before you get all excited about writing a story where the angered people scramble together an army and launch themselves against the government, you might want to take a step back and figure out how they got there in the first place.  A revolution isn’t built around one big event: there are things that lead up to it, and there are smaller frustrations that may go unnoticed, but because it’s a part of everyday life, it’s a constant reminder.  They might not be the things people point to when identifying what started the revolution, but they certainly kept the wood for the fire warm.

At what point did the government begin to ruffle feathers?
It’s going to start out small.  It will be annoying, but dismissed as bearable.  It may cause a bit of an obstacle, but nothing that people can’t work around.  Perhaps the government won’t let working class or its colonies to use the official currency.  Perhaps items of higher quality were held for only certain people the government deemed worthy. 

When did the government start adding to the little things?
For one reason or another, the government starts putting restrictions or laws on more things. They’re still able to work around them, but people will talk to each other about their frustration over it.  It’s also important to remember that the government will have a reason for it.  Maybe the new law/restriction is more cost effective,  Maybe it’s intended for protection.  Some examples might be that the colonies/citizens are limited to government approved materials.  Or they’re banned from traveling to a certain place, and that place happens to be on the fastest path to another colony/town.

What started sparking outrage?
Perhaps the government overspent on something, or they went to war and are now low on funds, so they introduce a tax on an item that’s considered an everyday luxury.  Or perhaps a ban is introduced and it affects something that everyone normally gets, but not necessarily a need.  There’s still not enough to pick up arms and fight, and the people might at this point lobby with the government to reconsider some of its strategies. 

When did it start picking up speed?
Perhaps the first tax isn’t bringing in enough funds.  Or the government feels the people aren’t paying as much as they should.  So another tax is introduced.  Or perhaps the ban isn’t that effective and so another ban is introduced to keep people from finding loopholes.  Maybe the government has to ban certain imports.  Anger with the government is increasing at this point.  The citizens/colonists may understand why the government is doing it, but they know they’re getting the raw deal.  Attempts to get the government’s attention become more aggressive, but there isn’t harming of other people.

How does the government respond?
So the government responds to the people’s cries of outrage, but not in the way they expected.  Another tax and/or ban is introduced, or even a new law.  Perhaps citizens/colonists are forced to use a material they are opposed to.  Perhaps the government realizes that if it doesn’t do something, it’s going to lose control over its citizens/colonies.  The militia/police force is increased to keep an eye for rebellious acts.  Arrests are made daily, and the people might be released if nothing is found.  Perhaps the government starts forbidding certain things to be said in the media, so people are forced to rely on word of mouth, and must do so carefully because of the increase in arrests.  Perhaps at this time, the idea of revolting is mentioned while others insist on trying to be diplomatic.

When does the physical conflict happen?
Perhaps there was a scuffle with the police force.  Either the citizens/colonists attacked first, or the police/militia acted aggressively.  Perhaps there was a massacre of some kind.  Maybe there were incidents that didn’t result in injury or death, but it came close to it.  Perhaps the government or citizens/colonists made a precautionary move that made the other party highly uncomfortable.  As the incidents, whether of violent or nonviolent nature, increase in number, the intensity also increases.  Influential people of the citizens/colonists begin to suggest a revolution, or to declare independence.  The government begins to realize they’re losing control unless they take more drastic measures.

When does the idea of a revolution actually become a threat?
Revolting or declaring independence becomes something that many people agree with.  The government perhaps realizes this and so starts making laws or regulations to keep it from happening.  Weaponry might become illegal for citizens/colonists so they won’t have anything to fight with if/when a revolution actually happens.  Curfews might be enforced.  Those outspoken about the government might be tailed.  The influential people work hard on a new government or system to replace the oppressive government.  Perhaps they just plan to outright revolt instead of declaring independence.  But either way, the citizens/colonists are only one word from the government away from declaring war.

It may seem like a lot to work on, but there are events leading up to the revolution that will resound with some people more than others.  Or there are events that will become a bitter memory that will help give some depth to each individual character.

Some things to consider when building the revolution:
It is not as black and white as it may seem.  Both sides are going to be guilty of doing something wrong; it’s just going to be more obvious in the government.  There are going to be people among the citizens/colonists who side with government and they’re not necessarily going to be bad guys.  When creating the conflict, keep in mind why people would choose one side over the other.
Stages will overlap.  A revolution isn’t going to be cleanly cut as posted above.  There are several times when a “stage” will mix with another “stage”, while others may blend right into the next one.  Timelining the process and placing each event can be extremely helpful as you try to keep events straight.
The revolters are most likely going to be the underdog.  They may have experienced people on their side, but if the revolution is going to made up of average citizens/colonists, they’re going to be at a disadvantage.  The government is going to be in control of an army and other resources.  The revolters are going to have to work to achieve their goals.

Flashes of the Future (Part 5)

Summary: James has a tendency to be mischievous… inside and outside of the bedroom.   

Pairing: James Buchanan Barnes x Reader

Words: 2116

Warnings: some good ole’ fashioned 18+ smut. Make sure you’re 18+!

A/N: See both the Masterlist and Series Masterlist for more information.

Originally posted by ididntchoosethislife

Chapter 5: A Flash of Domesticity

Having a daughter was something [YN] had always dreamed of, but once it finally happened she was definitely not prepared. It had only been a year into their marriage, and she had grown accustomed to the domestic role she had taken on. She admitted that at times she felt a bit bored, but she had made a lot of new friends in her new Brooklyn neighborhood. There were plenty of other women who were in a much too familiar situation, so she quickly bonded with them when they had time on their hands and their husbands were away at work. After Alex that changed a little bit. Life became a bit more unexpected, with all the sleepless nights from a crying baby and a lustful husband, but even then she eventually fell back into routine. Her daughter might have required around the clock attention, but she slept a lot. During those quiet periods [Y/N] finally found time to continue her household chores, and if she was lucky she found a moment in which she could quiet her mind. But when Alex was in her arms and looked back at her with her big and inquisitive eyes, [Y/N] knew that her daughter made all the hard and tedious work in the world worth her while.

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A Familiar Detail

Also on AO3
This is a direct sequel to Something Familiar, and probably does not stand on its own very well. It is also @miraculousfluffmonth‘s Aug 17 prompt, AU.

School was on spring break and Marinette was finally recovering from a rough bout of influenza.  Now that she was well enough to do some sewing, her first project was an outfit for Chat, who’d just had another growth spurt.  His new life and diet were agreeing with him pretty spectacularly, and he’d started picking up more mature modeling jobs at Gabriel’s request.

He’d paged through her designs and picked a shirt and pants.  It took a little time to map out the pattern, size it for him, and take him to pick out a fabric.  She had the cut pieces spread out over her floor, her pincushion strapped to her left hand.  She knelt over the organized mayhem and chatted with her familiar.  He watched, in cat form, from the high platform of his tower.

“I may not be able to finish it today, but you should be able to wear it tomorrow,” she explained as she lay one piece over another and ran a line of pins down the edge.  He was well accustomed to the process by now, having spent the last six months with her, but she had made a commitment to appreciate him, and letting him know what she was doing was part of that.  It had become routine at this point, and comfortable for both of them.

It’s so nice of you to do this.  His voice in her head was soothing, though she could feel his excitement.   I love wearing things you made just for me .

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You know, let’s observe the whole ‘it’s his manga and he can do what he wants to with it bleating’. And while we’re at it, let’s put to one side the well-reasoned argument that writing Fairy Tail is Mashima’s job, not a favor to anyone, and that people paying for his work have every right to complain about the product they’re getting.

For two reasons–first, because this implies that people no longer have a right to complain once they get fed up and stop paying for the manga, and second, because one little sheep who said this also said something that’s pretty accurate: most people don’t pay for Fairy Tail these days.

There are still some gaping holes in this of course. For instance, plenty of people went to see Dragon Cry, even people who hated Fairy Tail by this point, so Mashima is still clearly getting money out of people. But on the whole, this is an accurate assessment: today, most people who read Fairy Tail are doing it online for free and not giving Mashima a single cent.

Except that there’s extra logic you have to factor in. Because guess what? Back in the days of Fairy Tail being good, people actually did pay for it. They bought the manga volumes, bought merchandise, and were quite happy to give Mashima money, because he was putting out a decent product. As that stopped happening, the flow of money also stopped, and people moved to online websites to read it for free. That’s because low quality content loses customers–basic logic.

If Mashima hadn’t engineered his own destruction by never bothering to plan things out, showing off extremely pedophilic and rape-tastic things with glee, and blaming everyone else when people don’t like his chapters because “that’s just the way story writing happens”, then perhaps people would still be paying for his shit. 

And if when telling people not to complain, you have to half-heartedly admit in the same breath that yeah, you don’t like the recent chapters either, you’ve already lost your write to complain. You sound like someone desperate to defend something they don’t even like anymore.

Mashima doesn’t just ask for money for his work, he continues to put his work out for public consumption despite all the hate he gets and instead of listening to the criticisms, he blames the people who don’t like it, when he could be improving if he paid two seconds of attention to the people that still think Fairy Tail could improve. Interaction with one’s fans is key to maintaining your work’s good standing these days, and the worst thing you can do is piss off your fanbase both with shitty content and with shitty treatment of them. They say the people who are insane are the ones who keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. So we have two options: either Mashima is insane for thinking people will still stick with his series despite the fact that he doesn’t appear to want to change anything about how he writes, or the people that still put time and money into Fairy Tail while expecting better content are the insane ones.

Or both.

It’s almost eleven when the door crashes open, John vibrating with energy as he hurls his jacket onto his chair.

J: I hope you are bloody pleased with yourself.

Sherlock trots in behind him, hands in his coat pockets and face downcast at his flatmate’s barely concealed rage. And honestly? He looks like shit. There is simply no other way of putting it. His face is ashen and there is a glassy quality to his reddened eyes.

J:  Two days ago you were lying in bed with 106 degrees fever and you still think you are James Bond. 

S: Who?

John just ignores him, the words pouring out of him, now that he has started.

J: What did I say to you on the phone? What did I say, last time you ran off half-cocked, without telling me, and almost got yourself killed?

Originally posted by halloawhatisthis

S: To wait for you.

J: Does anything I say even penetrate that gigantic brain of yours or do you just hear static when I open my mouth?

S: I have been doing this long before I met you, John. On my own. And I have always been fine.

J: Yeah, you keep saying that, but every time I turn my back, someone is pointing a gun at you.

John takes a couple more steps into the room, lips pressed into a thin line, fists clenched so tight I think I just heard one of his knuckles pop. His entire body is so tense, it seems as if just a tiny bit of pressure would make him snap into a million pieces.

J: That’s the second time. The second time in less than a month, that I had to shoot someone to save your reckless arse. Do you even realise how crazy that is? We live in central London, not bloody Kabul!

Sherlock has to avert his gaze at that. He really screwed up this time.

Originally posted by halloawhatisthis

S: I’m sorry you had to do that. Again.

There is an answering huff of breath as John tilts his head back in exasperation.

J: That’s not the point.

Going by the furrow in his brow, Sherlock just lost the plot.

S: Then what are you so upset over?

J: You!

It comes out as more of a shout. Sherlock visibly recoils, but I don’t think it has anything to do with the sound level.

J: You are the problem! Running off on your own, even though a couple of days ago you could hardly get up without my help. I told you I would be back soon, but no, Sherlock Holmes doesn’t need any help. You couldn’t even be bothered to text me!

S: You were at work.

J: Oh, don’t even start. We both know that has nothing to do with it. The case has been on ice for two weeks, now. A couple more hours wouldn’t have made a bloody difference.

Originally posted by twocandles

S: You are not my chaperone, John. I don’t need your permission to do my job.

J: That’s the whole problem isn’t it. Your job. Not mine, not ours. Yours. I mean, what even am I to you? The blustering idiot, that keeps stumbling after you, cleans up your mess and makes you look good?

Sherlock’s entire throat seizes up with the effort it takes him to swallow.

S: I don’t think you’re an idiot.

His voice is barely more than a whisper.

J: Well, then stop treating me like one!

John throws up his hands and stalks back over to Sherlock, stopping just a few steps in front of him.

J: The way I see it, there is only one way THIS…

He gesticulates in between the two them.

J: …whatever this is, is going to work. And that is as a partnership. I can’t keep guessing what your next move is going to be. I can’t keep chasing after you whenever you get some crazy idea in your head. You need to level with me. Because one day I might not see your half-empty cup of tea on the side table or a newspaper clipping lying around to tell me, that you need my help.

Now that the words have been said, both of their anger fizzles out just as quickly as it came. They are staring at each other, John looking more hurt, than accusatory, while Sherlock seems to be overwhelmed by the entire situation.

Originally posted by twocandles

Originally posted by twocandles

When almost a minute has passed and Sherlock still hasn’t said anything, John shakes his head in defeat.

J: I’m going to go to bed.

He doesn’t even look up at Sherlock as he passes him on the way to his room.

S: John.

But John just keeps walking.

Love Me

Originally posted by foryourwish

Love Me 
[Jay gets jealous of your new puppy]

Jay watched you playing on the couch with your new puppy. You cuddled it close as it happily licked your face, causing you to giggle. He originally bought you the puppy because he hated leaving you alone when he was on tour. You always put on a brave face and toughed it out but he knew that you were lonely. He recently had to go away for a month for a world tour and decided to surprise you with a puppy. He loved how happy it made you. You spent his entire tour sending him pictures of the puppy, your instagram filled with little videos of the two you.

However he’d now been home for an entire week and still hadn’t managed to spend any quality time with you. That puppy hadn’t left your side. If you weren’t cuddling him, you were walking him, playing with him, or sleeping with him. You even watched your dramas with him on your lap. Which used to be Jay’s spot.


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Stressed Out

Word Count: 1,520

Characters: Wendy Corduroy, Stanford Pines, Stanley Pines (mentioned)

A/N: I kind of wrote this quickly to get my mind off of things. Also, I haven’t really seen anything over Wendy and Ford bonding or anything, so - I kind of whipped this up? Dunno if it’s considered ooc, but - we all know Wendy’s pretty stressed all the time, so I thought some comforting from Ford would be a good thing to write over? Oh well, hope you guys enjoy reading! ;v;

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So this was for @destieldrabblesdaily‘s 30k fic contest and now that it’s over enjoy!

It’s the first night Castiel has had free in what feels like forever. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Thursday, but with the rocket launch getting closer management has had all engineers on staff 24/7 for the last two months working on the Elysium-1 set to launch within the year. Zachariah’s riding Castiel’s ass for everything since Cas is the head of the engineering for the astronaut suit and training program, so for Cas to have one day off is a miracle that he will gladly spend in Harvelle’s just down the street of the center. Ellen offers free beers for all the engineers since Ash is a part of the program.

Today Castiel was in the back end of the booths in a secluded area, affectionately termed “Castiel’s Corner” since Cas enjoyed the privacy of a quiet beer and a good book, but that doesn’t mean the corner isn’t also the home to the perfect eavesdropping location in the entire place. Cas could hear everything, for better or for worse, and this is how Castiel found himself listening in on the end of Dean Winchester’s current affair with Lisa Breaden.

Castiel didn’t know Dean personally, but Jo, Ellen’s daughter, sure did. She spoke often enough about how things were going south between Lisa and Dean, but for the most part Castiel barely paid attention to the gossip. It wasn’t his place and Dean was straight, but that didn’t stop him from angling his ear to hear that Lisa was asking Dean to find someone else.

“You and I both know we work better as friends,” Lisa had been saying, “I just think maybe it’s time we took off the label and you found someone else.”

“What label? We never really had one to begin with,” a somewhat annoyed Dean responded. “I get that you wanna see Matt, and I’m not gonna stop you, but I don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy you know.”

At this point Lisa was pouting. Castiel gathered she was a sensible woman that only wanted the best for what apparently was becoming her ex-boyfriend. “I’m not saying you need to be in one right away or anything, I just don’t want to you wallow in your wounds. I know you. What I’m saying is let me find someone for you.” Castiel didn’t hear any response after that, causing him to peer over the booth veranda to look at the couple.

They were towards the center of the place, Dean in a red striped plaid shirt and Lisa in a sensible yet elegant shirt and jeans. It had all the makings of a romantic dinner if you didn’t overhear their conversation. Dean was looking down when Castiel peered over, but before Castiel could retract his obviously staring eyes (damn, Dean was a looker), green eyes locked with blue. Castiel had been caught.

Dean looked confused, be it because a rather mysterious man was staring at him or he’d just lost the longest relationship he’d ever had, he doesn’t really know. The minute-long stare didn’t get past Lisa though, who promptly turned in Castiel’s direction as well.

Cas cursed under his breath. Way to go rocket scientist, you just got busted. He quickly withdrew into his seat and continued sipping his Blue Moon beer. I’m an idiot.

“Who was that? You looked like you knew him.” Castiel cringed as Lisa brings him up.

“That’s… that’s my ex.”

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Thirst Post: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS AJ Styles (G1 25 14 Aug 14)

This match was so full of grunting and ‘ARGGGGHHHH’ and ‘OH GOD!’ and ‘GET ‘IM OFFA ME’ and ‘GRRRRR’ that it legit sounds like AJ is getting railed by Tanahashi, aka this is one of the most disgusting matches in the history of NJPW = 10/10 from my pants


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Nothing takes the place of you (Harry x Reader x Neville)

         (Y/N) waited for Neville in the greenhouse. He was going to help her save the dying plant she had been growing for the past month. It was thirty minutes past the time they had agreed to meet. It was unlike him to not show up when he said he would. He always came when she needed him. Since the first day they met on the Hogwarts train, during their first year, he was there for her. He had offered her a seat when no one else did. Back then they were both shy and awkward but (Y/N) quickly grew out of those characteristics, while Neville still had a little of those qualities. Even though she became popular he remained her best friend. She never put anyone before him, which usually caused the down fall of some of her relationships. But she didn’t care. If they didn’t understand, then they weren’t worth having around. Recently she had begun to tell her potential boyfriends from the start that Neville was important to her. She didn’t want to waist her time with guys who didn’t understand. Her current boyfriend, Harry Potter, was aware of her feelings for Neville and didn’t seem to mind. He had friends of his own that he deeply cared for so he knew how she felt.

           (Y/N) decided to go look for Neville. She walked along the Black Lake where he liked to search for plants to identify. He kept a journal where he logged all his information on the different varieties. She figured he might have gotten caught up in this activity and forgot about their meeting. She caught sight of him as he sat near the lake, picking at the grass.

           "Neville!“ she called out to him. He didn’t respond. "Neville!”

           He kept his head down not even acknowledging her. She approached him and plopped herself next to him.

           "Hey,“ she said, shaking his shoulder.

           When he looked up at her, his eyes were red as if he had been crying. She wrapped her arm around him seeing the sad state he was in.

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Have you ever fallen from a route or boulder problem and noticed that you were holding your breath the entire time you were climbing?

We’ve all been there, but I don’t think we realize how detrimental this can be to our climbing performance. Imagine holding your breath while running. Wouldn’t work out so well, would it? Climbing is the same—when we hold our breath, we are doing our bodies a great disservice and dramatically inhibiting our performance.

Why breathe?

Besides the whole keeping us alive thing, why is proper breathing so important when we climb? Many climbers overlook the fact that the quality of our breath greatly impacts our physical and mental state.

Here are just a few things that breathing well can offer us:

- Calms the mind: instead of losing your shit the moment you climb above your gear, you can assess the situation and, most likely, realize that you’re fine.

- Improves your concentration: you won’t be as distracted by the crying baby at the bottom of the cliff.

- Increases endurance: yep, breathing well will actually decrease the dreaded forearm pump.

How to breathe:

Given that we’ve been breathing since the moment we were born, it seems like we already know how to do this pretty well. But it turns out that a lot of us aren’t breathing properly, and the issues that this can cause are far more detrimental than not sending our project. Poor quality of breath can lead to increased pain and disease, anxiety, depression, and mental sluggishness.

Here is a simple test to know if you’re breathing properly:

1. Sit up tall on the floor or a chair and relax your shoulders. Place one hand on your belly, and the other on your chest.

2. Take a deep breath in through your nose.

Did your hand on your chest move before or more than the hand on your belly? If so, you’re breathing into your chest, and not completely using your diaphragm while breathing. You’re also not using your lungs to their full capacity.

How to breathe correctly:

Take a deep inhale again, and this time, take the breath all the way down into the depths of your lungs. Your belly will puff out, your diaphragm will be doing its job, and you’ll be breathing correctly. Notice that it is impossible to breathe in this manner if you have bad posture—just another reason to get rid of that climber slouch!

This is a great way to breathe while doing our day to day activities; however, when we’re rock climbing, we need our core to be tight and engaged. This makes it almost impossible to take deep “belly breaths” as described above. But, with practice, we can still utilize our diaphragm and take good quality breaths while climbing.

Try this:

1. Put your hands on the lowest part of your rib cage.

2. Engage your core as if you were climbing an overhang, and take a deep inhale through your nose.

3. Your belly may not puff out quite as much as it did in the first exercise, but your lungs should expand equally in all directions (front, back, and both sides). You should also feel the very bottom of your lungs moving as you breathe.

All of this may feel foreign at first, so take your time and practice as often as possible.

Various breathing techniques for climbing:

Here are a few breathing techniques to practice at the gym or the crag

Breathing before climbing/while resting

Breathing before you get on a route and while you’re resting is very important yet often overlooked. Try taking deep “belly breaths” as described above. Relax your core and take at least five breaths in this manner before you start climbing. You’ll also be surprised at how beneficial this kind of breathing can be when utilized in between tries on boulder problems/routes. Don’t forget to sit/stand up tall!

Breathing during climbing

To get the full benefits of your breath during climbing, your breathing should be smooth, easy, and calm. That can be easy to find while climbing on easy terrain, but we all know that’s just not how it goes when you’re trying hard moves.

Here are a few different techniques that can help you breathe well while cruxing:

Equal parts breath

This technique can also be used before and after climbing, but it’s one of the best ways to stay in control of your breath while on a route. The goal is to equalize the length of your inhales and exhales—so if you’re inhaling for a count of five, you’re also exhaling for a count of five. Find a number that feels good for your lungs. This is also great technique to use while warming up or climbing on easy terrain.

Horse lips

Adam Ondra does it, and so should you! Inhale deeply through your nose, exhale through your mouth, and as you do so, flutter your lips and relax your cheeks. This is especially helpful right before or after executing a hard sequence. If you feel your breath start to quicken or get choppy, horse lips is a great way to bring it back to normal.


Don’t be shy now. Just take an inhale through your nose and exhale out through your mouth. As you do so, push the breath out and make some kind of noise. This is a great breathing technique if you’re feeling scatter brained and need to recollect yourself.

Bumble bee breath

Ethan Pringle used this technique at the no-hands rest on Jumbo Love. This is best used before a hard sequence, but if you’re really into it and don’t embarrass easily, you can use it throughout the entire climb. Here’s how to do it: Inhale normally through your nose, and then as you exhale, keeping your mouth closed, make a humming noise. The vibrations that you’re creating with your vocal chords are soothing to your brain and entire nervous system, and helps improve focus. This is a great breath to use if you’re feeling nervous, anxious, or scared.


This is best used during a hard move on a climb. Make sure the move is actually hard and not just scary, because screaming and grunting revs up the nervous system. If the move is hard, you’ll benefit from the little boost of adrenaline, but if you’re just scared, it’s only going to make things worse. Inhale through your nose deeply, and then as you exhale, let out whatever noise feels right to you.

Triptych ; Chapter Forty Eight

I completely forgot that I had this chapter done I could have posted it weeks ago omg… I’m a bad noodle please forgive me!!!

The post I based this off of is here! All other chapters are linked below!



Wrapping his arm around your shoulder, Taehyung gave you a quick kiss on the cheek before turning you to face him, squishing your cheeks and apologizing for not getting there sooner. He explained how Jungkook texted and said he felt like something was up, but they were dealing with another little issue back at base, and they didn’t want to send just one person in fear of losing them.

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nutmeg-snyder  asked:

Hey guys, big admirer. I'm sure you get a ton of asks, but I figured I'd throw mine in. Can you share your strategy or plan for applying to a major studio like DreamWorks? (I've been at a small studio for about a year and I've been thinking of leaving my home state to get into the wider animation industry.)


We’re going to be honest, as we don’t really have the best answers for applying to something like Dreamworks, or any other studio for that matter. Our entry into the industry has been a bit unusual, since we didn’t really end up going to art school for long, and even though we had a portfolio, we didn’t have the typical things you would see in one like life drawing, etc… (no access to any art related things when you lived out in the country didn’t help, so we just tried to learn from other sources such as books and Internet to help us out. And life, to an extent.)

The safest thing to do, besides putting your art as much as you can out there, is to do everything we didn’t do. Observe and draw from life, put your artwork out there like crazy even if you don’t like it. Put art in your portfolio that is related to the job you are trying to apply to, like visual development, or character design etc. Connect with other people, and don’t be afraid of constructive criticism. It also helps to be productive in your work as well. One of the things people saw when hiring us, is that we were posting consistently, and thankfully saw any quality within the works itself. So that definitely helps.

Hope this helps in some way! It’s safe to say that we still have a long way to go in our art, and we’re still learning the whole aspect of this industry! :)


That’s what we’ve been doing this past week, right? If you follow me, you’ve probably seen me reblogging a ton of beautiful South Asian women with bindis on their forehead, appreciating our shared culture throughout the diaspora. But (for once) you didn’t see me posting selfies and promoting this myself. 

The truth is, I was incredibly uncomfortable with posting a picture of myself wearing a bindi and mehndi because it felt like I was making a costume out of my own culture, somehow. I know how ridiculous this sounds, but the truth is, I’m not just Indian. I was born and brought up in America, and no matter how brown I feel most of the time, there is a part of me that will always feel like a white girl playing dress-up. 

This is coming from a girl who has done the following:

  • Taken Jainism classes for over 10 years of her life. I’m a devout Jain and have taken multiple pilgrimages. I believe in Jainism and what it stands for and I explain and defend it whenever someone questions me about my faith.
  • Memorized every line of the following movies: Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Dil To Pagal Hai, Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gham, Jodhaa Akbar, and others.
  • Learned to play the keyboard. Not in the European classical tradition or a modern tradition, but the Indian classical tradition with Aavroh-Aroh-Pakad and Taal and Sthayis and Antros.
  • Learned to sing in the same tradition. I learned to sing Raags like Malkaunse and Bhopali when my peers were learning Ave Maria. 
  • Danced. For about 16 years, I performed to Bollywood songs at an annual Diwali party and when I wanted to do more, I chose to study Kathak instead of jazz. I could have auditioned for the school plays but I stuck with learning how to hit my chakars on beat. Come college, I realized I needed dance in my life and auditioned for Raas and Bollywood teams when I could have chosen an alternative. (And yes, I made a Bollywood team and I absolutely love being a part of it!)
  • Written. For pretty much every research paper I’ve been assigned that has had somewhat of an open topic, I’ve fit the assignment to the research I’ve been interested in. Which has been India and Indian identity. Last year, I researched the causes of the partition between India and Pakistan. Another year, I compared the Jain Ramayan to the Hindu version. This year, I’m trying to put Marxism into a Jain perspective. Every chance I’ve had, I’ve taken to fit my western education into an Indian perspective.

So pretty much every chance I’ve had in my life, I’ve chosen to take the more Desi path. But for some reason, I never questioned these decisions in my life. I never looked back and realized that everything on that list was a choice I made because it was just obvious that I should take that path. Those events never added up to me being completely and wholly Indian, and I felt uncomfortable participating because of it. 

A few things happened that led to me finally posting this and writing about this. One was that I actually found myself wearing a bindi. I’d never really worn bindis before, aside from performances. But this past weekend, I was getting ready for my cousin’s wedding when my mom handed me the packet of bindis and all of a sudden, the choice was once again mine to make. Indian or American? 

Earlier that day, I was complaining about how my skin color changed after four days of the sun being out. I had just found the perfect foundation and my makeup was going to be ruined by my darker complexion. Why couldn’t I have skin that stayed the same throughout the year and an accent with my parents that my friends wouldn’t make fun of and a freaking safety pin that will go through all the pleats of this sari?

I didn’t end up wearing the sari because it was really far too difficult to wear. I went with the easier choice of a churidaar and continued getting ready.

But that’s the thing, isn’t it? It’s the easy choice to opt out of Reclaim the Bindi week because you’re suddenly not brown enough to do so. It’s easy to encourage others to do what you’re afraid of doing yourself. I knew that the only person who felt fraudulent about me posting this selfie was myself. 

The bindis stayed in my purse for half the night.

Aside from that, I was really enjoying myself. The baraat was too much fun and the vidhi was beautiful. The reception had just started and I was having fun dancing the night away with my family. 

In that moment, I really did feel Desi. I guess going to a wedding will do that to you, but I felt Desi and I felt confident. So I said to myself, ‘Why not?’ It would only make me feel more beautiful and in touch with a side of myself I already loved.

So I went to the restroom and, with my henna-coated hands, put on the bindi.

And nothing else had changed. The party was still in full swing, the newlyweds were being lifted off the floor in celebration, and I just wanted to keep dancing. In fact, when I was in the bathroom, one of my favorite songs was playing and I was more upset about missing out on some quality jamming than I was nervous about wearing my heritage on my skin.

It was a good moment. It was a good night, really, and when I got home I felt beautiful and had to take this selfie. And tonight I have to post this because I know there’s some other girl out there with a name her teachers can’t pronounce and a passion her non-Indian friends don’t understand. Because there’s some other NRI or member of the diaspora who feels like they haven’t gotten the right to wear the clothes their heritage entitles them to. I have to post it because when I saw that picture of Kylie Jenner wearing makeup that looked like that of an Indian bride at Coachella, I felt just a little bit of rage. She had not gone through what I went through just to wear a single little bindi on her forehead. She has never felt like she was lesser because she wasn’t Indian enough and wasn’t American enough at the same time. She never had a girl ask her if she was diseased when she came from India with henna on her hands in first grade. Girls didn’t run away from her as if she was a monster after that because they didn’t understand what mehndi is and what it means to our culture. I have to post it because somewhere in the world, there are girls following the footsteps of their white sisters, copying cultures that aren’t their own after making fun of it all their lives. And then there are girls just like me, wondering if their identity will ever be enough, will ever give them a right to the things that were theirs to begin with.

5SOS. ‘Til the Nighttime

The two GIFs of Luke below inspired this. Just sat down and let it come out. Hope it’s alright. A Little Luke and Penny drabble.

Content, but squirming as she was unevenly balanced over his knee, Penelope babbled her muddled attempt at English incessantly while scribbling over a mermaid activity book with a bright yellow crayon from the new pack one of the band’s assistant picked up that morning. She hadn’t the slightest clue what her Dad’s day entailed. Penelope wasn’t at all aware that he had woken up at four in the morning to climb into a van and go to television studio. She was just waking up herself when Good Morning America aired. It was unbeknownst to her that he had recorded an episode of The Late Late Show before coming back to the hotel to try and spend some time with her before bed, but only after he had been in two different meetings concerning the business side of his life, the non-creative part that involved other people’s opinions and had absolutely nothing to do with the actual music he made. As far as Penelope knew, her Dad had just been running errands all day. It didn’t stop her from running to him, nearly tripping in her bright Flounder the Fish slippers on her way to greet him at the door. He had been ready to pass out in the elevator on the way up, but she still reached her arms up over her space buns and chanted ‘Daddy!’ over and over again excitedly.

“Dad, here!” Flustered, Penelope finally grabbed her father’s attention while shaking two blue crayons right in front of his nose. His eyes were opening and closing behind her at the hotel desk, his head hanging to the side as he stared at the lamp without really looking at it. He was in robot mode, one hand on Penelope’s pajama clad leg to keep her from sliding right off of him, but he also wasn’t really holding on. Like white noise, he could hear her trying to chat in her two year old mumbles, but he wasn’t at all engaged.

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To all the people I’ve gotten to meet through mutual love for ASTRO, whether you screamed at me once on anon about the boys, reblogged one of my posts with tags, followed me back and now we’re mutuals, literally talked to me ever about astro, or even just looked at my blog: thank you. It’s because of the AROHA I’ve met that loving ASTRO is so easy, so fun, and so rewarding.

warning: there is going to be a lot of words below so idk

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“I can’t understand it.” Blanche remarked.

“You can’t understand what?” Candela asked looking up from her paperwork. 

“Where does he get all that positivity?” Blanche continued, “He seems to be overflowing with an inhumanly amount of faith that everything will always work out. That everything will be okay. I don’t think I have ever seen Spark upset, or sad or frustrated about something.” 

Candela put down her pen and looked at her friend and rival, “You know there was a time Spark wasn’t positive. In fact he was clinging helplessly to despair and negativity.” 

Blanche looked at Spark happily apprising another trainer’s pokemon. He made everything seem so hopeful carefully pointing out where the pokemon could be improved and what were its strong qualities. 

“That is universally impossible.” Blanche replied looking back at Candela. 

Candela chuckled sadly, “I ain’t joking. This really happened. It was when Spark was still a kid and he hadn’t met any of us yet. Not the professor, not me and not you.” 

“What happened to him?” Blanche asked. 

Candela looked a bit uncomfortable for a moment. She hadn’t really intended to tell Blanche the story. It wasn’t hers to tell but at the same time, it was rare for Blanche to go out of her way to want to understand something other than pokemon and her research. 

“The professor knows the story the best…” Candela started, “But basically Spark was bullied. A lot of mean kids labeled him as weird and strange because he chose to see the best in pokemon not just their stats. He wanted to be pokemon friends not just their trainer but kids…they don’t get that. And Spark being the way he was back then, didn’t know how to ignore them. He took their words pretty hard. They broke him for a while. He was just existing but not doing the things he claimed he loved. Eventually, the professor noticed that one of the loudest and happiest kid at school suddenly became very small and quiet so he invited him to the lab. I was there already helping the professor and well let’s just say that Spark I met back then can’t even hold a flame to the great guy he is now.” 

Blanche snapped her pen.

“Whoa.” Candela said jumping, “Don’t take it so hard. Spark got over it. The professor help him to find himself again and he continued to follow the part he believed in as a pokemon trainer.” 

“It’s frustrating.” Blanche admitted, “I still can’t imagine it. That Spark you first met….he doesn’t exist anymore. He climbed out of the dark hole and found his light. He is much stronger than I could ever be. I don’t think I would recover if I went through that as such a young age.” 

Candela nodded leaning back in her chair, “Yeah he is the strongest out of all us right now when you think of what he had to fight against.” She then let a huge grin spread across her face, “And maybe it’s because he trusts his instinct now.” 

Blanche chuckled, “Perhaps, we should learn a thing or two from him now.” 


Here I am again with my gw2 ascended light armor costume haha. Some bad quality mirror pics, but I finally finished the skirt/waist and neck decoration of the ascended armor! :D I tried it on (still had my regular jeans though) and it is not too restricting, I can’t move too funkily, but normal movements are totally possible. I also put a pic of the back of the skirt thingie, the pattern turned out quite well. Also SHINY COINS there are 27 and they were a pain to make but they look much better than I anticipated.

The event is in 23 days so I still have quite some work to do but I’m positive I can make it (although the boots are gonna be a real challenge). And if  not then I will just perfect it for next year or something, haha. When it’s done I will try to make good quality pictures or have them taken if possible. :D

End of the Line

screw the whiny babies on reddit, eotl was freaking amazing

i was expecting something hollywoodian in its action and drama after i watched the trailer, but in the end, it turned out to be a lot more oriented towards lighthearted action, and that exactly captures the spirit of team fortress 2!!

the animation may have not been mindblowingly pixar-level-good but it was still awesome, not to mention consistent in its level of quality. and some shots were way prettier than everything valve put out with SFM.

i personally don’t really care about the game update itself because i haven’t played tf2 in over a year, but:

  1. new weapons were never promised. valve hasn’t actually added weapons in forever anyway. jmcvee only ever said “we’re doing weapons” as in “we want to convince valve as much as we can to add weapons”, but when valve predictably pulls out, he somehow gets all the blame? this is dumb as heck
  2. the cosmetics in the update are super duper good
  3. the “pay 5$ to access the duck event” complaint is dumb because said ticket comes with a cosmetic item that would have probably cost the same price (or higher) in the shop
  4. the “no voice acting ruined it” complaint pisses me off. because it really added to the impact of the movie. and it’s like, saying that people should never try to do something different with movies. 

there we go, that’s about all i wanted to say about it

i don’t think it’s underwhelming in any way besides the “no weapons” part and the eotl team can’t be held responsible because we all know they tried their best to convince valve to do it