velveteenrabbit:

illustratosphere:

Extraordinary miniature paintings by Lorraine Loots | Tumblr | Instagram

omg.


 

overwhelmington:

WHEN THE DAM BREAKS

The night the flood started, you drove me home
with the windows down, pointed to where the lightning
struck and I kissed your hand as the rain came in.

I’ve always thought you were fire
thought you were something that would destroy me.
It takes a long time to learn how to
touch something without burning and
I’ve loved you, I’ve made mistakes
I’ve laid across train tracks just to see
how it would feel.

That night you drove me home,
the flood kissed this city clean, washed
away everything but the graffiti, the love poems
we left under the bridge saying
we’re young, we’re alive, we’re hurting and
we’ve never been this scared before.

See, I was afraid you’d destroy me,
I always thought you were fire, but in reality
you’re the only part of me without water damage and
I’ve loved you, I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let you hold me while the lightning slow danced
with the sky.

When the dam breaks, you’ll drive me home again
you’ll kiss me clean and wash my cheeks with salt,
wash away everything but your love poems, the gentle mist
of your skin against my skin saying
we’ve never been this young, this alive, this hurt
and we’ve never been this scared
of what’s to come.


That book! I did the same and went straight for the 'God or Khora?' chapter. A "barren, radically non-human and atheological place", a "dark bottomless abyss" where "those who end up in its desert always end up lost" - and all I could think about was House of Leaves, House of Leaves, House of Leaves

elucipher:

"The Greek stories of Oedipus without eyes, Sisyphus in Hades, Prometheus in chains, Iphighenia in waiting? The biblical stories of tohu bohu before creation, Job in the pit, Jonah in the whale, Joseph at the bottom of the well, Naomi all tears, Jesus abandoned on the cross (crying out to the Father) or descended into hell? Or the fictional and dramatic accounts of Conrad’s heart of darkness, Hamlet’s stale and unprofitable world, Monte Cristo’s prison cell, Primo Levi’s death camp? Or more basically still, is khora not that pre-original abyss each of us encounters in fear and trembling when faced with the bottomless void of our existence? […]  [T]he most unspeakably traumatic ‘limit experiences’ of things that exceed our understanding. The most sublime of horrors.”

humans will never stop narrating this awe and horror before the absolute other because there’s a metaphysical & narrative frisson in contemplating the abyss, and house of leaves is a fascinating performance / framing of unspeakable alterity. 

but what makes kearney’s book so good and compelling to me is that it refuses to make “a virtue of the void”. nihilistic visions of monstrosity / otherness are terrifying and sublime, but nihilism is a transitional state, not a place you can occupy—we traverse these spaces “in fear and trembling… on the way to grace” (kearney). this book taps into why narratives about monstrosity are deeply meaningful and important to me—survival and liminality and compassion and justice and pleasure and self-interrogation and embrace of otherness without erasure of otherness.

(for anyone else—the book is richard kearney’s strangers, gods, and monsters: interpreting otherness and there’s a, um, copy here.)


Hello! Currently, I'm writing a story about werewolves. While I think I've put quite an original spin on it, I want to know if you have any tips for not being cliché/writing tropes/etc. Thanks for your time!
Anonymous

slitheringink:

Tropes are not necessarily a bad thing. A trope is a device or element of a story that a writer can reasonably expect most readers to recognize. A trope may become a cliché when it’s overused, though I am a firm believer in the philosophy: “it’s not the concept that matters but the execution”.

Here’s the TV Tropes page on Werebeast Tropes.

And here’s the one on Wolves.

Most of the werewolf clichés I can think of have to do specifically with werewolves and romance. I tried to come up with some other ones though:

  • Female lead falls in love with werewolf. Werewolf is the alpha, always the alpha. His fur is also black, because black is mysterious *wiggles fingers*. He’s also the only black wolf.
  • Male lead werewolf is always astonishingly beautiful, not rugged, or scarred or anything, because clearly werewolves don’t fight each other, nope, nope. Personally I like my werewolves a bit more gritty, Underworld style.
  • Surprise! The female lead is also a werewolf. She has white fur and has some sort of amazing power. Perhaps she sparkles in the sun… wait…
  • There’s a dog in the story. The dog is the only thing that recognizes the werewolf character is, in fact, a werewolf.
  • Remember that being a werewolf is an affliction. It’s become a thing recently in media to only portray them as people who can shapeshift. The part about the pain tends to get left out, and I think that’s what makes werewolves interesting and complex.
  • I’m pulling this one out of Twilight, but imprinting is creepy. I don’t think it’s a cliché yet, and I hope it doesn’t end up being used enough to become one.
  • Constant references to the moon, whether in speech or in another form, that try to elude to the fact that your character is a werewolf, but ends up smacking the reader in the face instead.
  • When a character watches a werewolf transform and ends up standing there instead of running, shooting, or doing anything other than staring, even if that character already knew beforehand who the werewolf was, and shouldn’t be surprised.
  • Werewolves, and what constitutes the symptoms of being a werewolf as far as popular culture is concerned, are known well enough by the general public to be recognizable. I dislike when a character notices there are symptoms and then goes to look them up as if they have never heard of a werewolf before.
  • Werewolves not actually using their wolf instincts — otherwise known as “werewolves who should know better doing stupid things and not thinking like the predators they are”. This includes getting caught in traps, not using their keen senses to avoid danger, running straight at someone with a weapon, etc.
  • Magical Native American werewolves. Both cliché and offensive.
  • When a character becomes a werewolf and suddenly loses his memory of the transformation once he’s human again. Or ends up in the forest naked.

I wouldn’t consider most of the actual werewolf lore to be necessarily cliché though.

  • Full Moon Transformations - This became part of the werewolf lore when The Wolfman was introduced in the 1940s. A lot of writers use the full moon as the point of transformation for a werewolf character because it’s convenient. I’ve seen some instances where the werewolf character feels the pull of the moon whenever it’s out, not just when it’s full. There’s also been a ton of garbage pseudoscience used to attempt to explain how the relationship between werewolf and moon works, and most of the time it just ends up being confusing. There are stories that have full moon transformations and werewolves who can shift whenever they please, so it makes the full moon seem unnecessary. I’d like to see some more original concepts and/or executions of werewolf transformations. You may want to consider using the entire lunar cycle.
  • Weaknesses - Some commonly accepted/used lore weaknesses are: silver, wolfsbane, lunar eclipses (losing their power), losing themselves to their curse, and decapitation/dismemberment.
  • Different Forms - Werewolves have taken many different forms, including: Half man/half wolf, giant wolves, normal wolves, anthro (garou, the form we’re used to seeing), and everywhere in between. Feel free to be creative with the level of transformation your werewolves can attain. These forms may provide the werewolf with different abilities like increased speed, strength, enhanced senses, etc.
  • It’s a Curse, Damn it - Becoming a werewolf is often caused by the infected bite or scratch from someone who is already a werewolf. The transformation is painful, personal, and the fear of losing oneself to the beast is present. 
  • Pack Mentality - Werewolves, like actual wolves, have some sort of pack connection, and a pack hierarchy. As such, they may also form a bond with a dog or actual wolf that becomes a companion. With this part of the lore, sometimes the concept of having a mate comes into play, and sometimes it steps in to the territory of being cliché as a lot of writers handle it as “my mate is my destined true love”.

That’s all I have for now. I hope that’s useful to you.

-Morgan


 
myth   reference   

supersizetosuperhero:

I just signed up for an intro into aerials class. Silks, Lyra, trapeze, and Spanish web. In two weeks, I’ll be mustering all my grace and upper body strength and attempting to fly through the air in spectacular circus fashion.

I make awesome decisions at 2am.


 
argonauticae:

elektra - sophocles (trans. anne carson)

argonauticae:

elektra - sophocles (trans. anne carson)


 
carson   

shewolfofengland:

Today In History | September 7, 1533: Birth of Elizabeth I

Less than two weeks after taking to her chamber, at 3 o’clock on the afternoon of the 7th September in 1533, Anne Boleyn gave birth to a baby girl: Elizabeth Tudor, named after her paternal grandmother Elizabeth of York, and possibly also her maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Howard. The little girl had her father’s red hair and long nose, and her mother’s coal black eyes.

The birth was straightforward, the baby was healthy and so was Anne, but something was very wrong – the baby was a girl and not the promised son and heir promised by Anne, astrologers and doctors. A celebratory tournament had been organized and a letter announcing the birth of a prince had been written, with the intentions of naming the prince either Henry of Edward. The joust was cancelled and the word “prince” had an “s” added in the birth announcement letter. The celebratory jousts were cancelled in 1516 too, when Mary was born, and it was traditional for the celebrations of the birth of a princess to be low-key. Although the joust was cancelled, “a herald immediately proclaimed this first of Henry’s ‘legitimate’ children, while the choristers of the Chapel Royal sang the Te Deum”and preparations were already underway for a lavish christening. 

Henry and Anne both grieved that Elizabeth was not a boy, but little did they know that she would go on to be one of the greatest monarchs in British history - the Virgin Queen, Gloriana; that she would give her name to an age. Long live Good Queen Bess. {1}{2}


 
history   

shewolfofengland:

Today In History | September 7, 1533: Birth of Elizabeth I

Less than two weeks after taking to her chamber, at 3 o’clock on the afternoon of the 7th September in 1533, Anne Boleyn gave birth to a baby girl: Elizabeth Tudor, named after her paternal grandmother Elizabeth of York, and possibly also her maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Howard. The little girl had her father’s red hair and long nose, and her mother’s coal black eyes.

The birth was straightforward, the baby was healthy and so was Anne, but something was very wrong – the baby was a girl and not the promised son and heir promised by Anne, astrologers and doctors. A celebratory tournament had been organized and a letter announcing the birth of a prince had been written, with the intentions of naming the prince either Henry of Edward. The joust was cancelled and the word “prince” had an “s” added in the birth announcement letter. The celebratory jousts were cancelled in 1516 too, when Mary was born, and it was traditional for the celebrations of the birth of a princess to be low-key. Although the joust was cancelled, “a herald immediately proclaimed this first of Henry’s ‘legitimate’ children, while the choristers of the Chapel Royal sang the Te Deum”and preparations were already underway for a lavish christening. 

Henry and Anne both grieved that Elizabeth was not a boy, but little did they know that she would go on to be one of the greatest monarchs in British history - the Virgin Queen, Gloriana; that she would give her name to an age. Long live Good Queen Bess. {1}{2}


 
history   

Hello! First, I'd like to say I really love your fics. And to that end, I would like to ask for a bit of guidance/advice. I'm working on a chapter of my own fic and I'm trying to write out a kissing scene, and a rather emotional one at that. I'm still really new to this and was wondering if you had or know of any sources I could go to for a little help pulling it together. Thank you.

allegoricalrose:

Oh yay- there can never be enough kissing scenes in this universe!

Ramblings about Writing Kisses

image

Now, this is just my personal opinion (and I’m not, by far, an expert!), but when I write kisses, the lip-locking itself is usually the least important part. I’m much more concerned about:

  • The lead up and the tension in the room. I often augment that tension (because it’s my favourite part!) by interrupting the usually angsty introspection to comment on a feature of their environment, e.g. “The water was dripping into the sink and there was a tiny sliver of light peeking in from between the closed curtains.” I like this because it not only draws out the suspense but if you do it right, you can infuse the tension into even these mundane details and show rather than tell an actor’s state of mind: the way we interpret our world is very much influenced by our emotions!.
  • What the kiss means. Kissing is really just another form of expressing an emotion: which one do you want to show?
  • Who initiates the kiss (and what this says about their character, development, state of mind)
  • Whether the recipient goes to meet their lips or stays passive (and what this says about their character, development, state of mind)
  • If they stay passive, long long until they respond? Remember, every second of shock/non-response will feel like an eternity for the kisser!
  • Is it practiced/skilled/smooth or is it sloppy and imperfect? (I like sloppy, personally: it adds an element of urgency or first-time nerves.)
  • How do they break away? (Is it abrupt, a gentle tapering, moving to the neck?)
  • What do they do after the kiss? (are they panting, do their foreheads meet, do they make eye contact?)
  • How do the characters feel after the kiss? (aroused; brainless; regretful; worried; awkward? Also, bodily reactions: swollen lips; shaky hands racing hearts?)

I find the actual kiss often tricky to write because, let’s be honest, it’s difficult to make tongue thrusts and salvia mingling sexy or sweet (or whatever tone you’re going for). As such, I usually focus on what the characters are sensing during it: taste, smell, touch, hearing, visual (eyes open or closed?) and their emotional reactions to being kissed.

When I bother describing the dance of the tongues (ugh, I hate that phrase! but I use it…) I sometimes like to imagine the tongues are tiny personifications of the actors themselves, and that they’re interacting and conversing same as their full sized counterparts. One makes a move, the other responds, they’re tentative and then joyful: they react to the others’ actions. 

I often feel like I’m recycling ad nauseam the same old words (explore, dance, thrust, biting, lips lips lips lips) but I am also very careful about the type of words I use and their tone. ‘Thrust’ for example is very urgent and a little aggressive so I wouldn’t use it if I want the kiss to be sweet or hesitant. ‘Sucking’ and ‘slurping’ I would only use in certain contexts too. Kissing and sex is often all about dominance, conquering, and giving in, so I will sometimes pilfer words/phrases/images from that vocabulary category and adapt it for the kissing: e.g. ‘victory march’. 

Here’s some great references I’ve used at some point or the other: I especially like the first one because sometimes I just need help finding the right word…

One more thing: don’t feel like you have to write an extremely detailed account of every muscle movement in a three minute long kiss. If you want to, you should, but some of the most effective kisses I’ve read are short and leave things up to the reader’s imagination in terms of technique: kisses are usually a gateway and not the be-all-and-end-all, whether to further emotional intimacy, for revealing feelings, to assert power, etc. You can also slow down your plot waaay too much if you ramble on for pages about one kiss…

Hope that helps, good luck!


 

Better Identification of Viking Corpses Reveals: Half of the Warriors Were Female | Tor.com 

bisexualpiratequeen:

"Researchers at the University of Western Australia decided to revamp the way they studied Viking remains. Previously, researchers had misidentified skeletons as male simply because they were buried with their swords and shields. (Female remains were identified by their oval brooches, and not much else.) By studying osteological signs of gender within the bones themselves, researchers discovered that approximately half of the remains were actually female warriors, given a proper burial with their weapons.”

Women have always fought. We have always been there, ‘contributing to history’. Our own, modern sexism contributes to the erasure of it.

(Bolding mine)


 
history