Ten things I practice as a woman artist:

  1. Thank people who compliment my art.
  2. Agree with people who compliment my art.
  3. Avoid deprecating my own art (for example with self-hating language in hashtags like #mystupidart or #Imsuchtrash).
  4. Avoid apologizing for my art.
  5. Avoid defending my art to people who aren’t interested in helping me grow for my sake.
  6. Do not accept or internalize criticism that comes without my consent.
  7. Share my older art from time to time as a reminder of my growth.
  8. Celebrate accomplishments and milestones.
  9. Write and talk about my art so I’m more aware of my choices.
  10. Take my art seriously, even if I’m being silly. Always respect myself.


Spent the afternoon reading and translating some french documents from the 1800s ✍




“One of the simplest ways to make the audience like a character is to show him liking other people. One of the easiest ways to make the audience care about a character is to show him caring about other people. We care about Harry Potter in no small part because he cares so much about his friends. It’s impossible to imagine Harry seeing Hermione get hurt and feeling anything but horror and guilt, no matter how terrible a fight they might have had beforehand. Katniss is by design a more prickly and “difficult” protagonist than Harry is, or than Moss seems intended to be, but we care about her from the start because we see how deeply she loves her sister and her willingness to sacrifice herself to protect her. Bad writers, though, often make the mistake of thinking that you make a character likable by showing that other characters like him, and make the audience care about him by showing that other characters care about him. This tends to have exactly the opposite effect. At a certain point the reader starts to wonder what’s so great about this guy that everyone is showering him with praise, and starts actively wanting to see him fail or be told off.”

(via pitviperofdoom)

Someone send this to Anne Rice

Maybe someone told her and that’s why Lestat is in love with every character in the VC who doesn’t actively try to kill him.

Literally Anyone: Hello

Earlier-canon Lestat: *judges them* What a pleasure it must be for you to be in my presence. 


Literally Anyone: Hello

Later-canon Lestat: *attack hugs them* You haven’t tried to kill me yet I love you so much you must love me im sure you do love me say you love me back yea gods I’m so overwhelmed I’ve never felt this way before I love you I love you I love you…




Relationships get so bananas when you start deciphering the other person’s love language.

Like I thought I was just acquaintances with this person because they never told me details about themselves and we just talked movies and writing . But then they made time to have coffee with me and they showed up out of breath because they ran. Like. RAN to be on time for coffee with me?

And I was like “i don’t mind waiting” cause I never want to run

But they said they wanted every minute they could get because I’m so busy usually

Which is when it clicked that I didn’t get how much they considered me a friend because I just straight away didn’t see MY signs of affection in them and went “cool! Casual buds it is.” But now that I’m seeing their signs of affection, I feel a little silly for dismissing them like that even though I felt like we could be best bros.

Anyway, some people show affection through time or intensity or commitment and not vocally. I really have to remember that!

Fyi- just in case you didn’t know.

TOUCH got a bro that likes to give high fives? Back slaps? Are they a hugger? Do they not blink an eye at cuddles?

QUALITY TIME this bro will (as op stated) sprint to spend every minute possible with you. Every second that you guys are together is a declaration of affection.

WORDS does your bro tell you how amazing and great and fantastic and wonderful you are all the time? Guess what…?

GIFTS do they buy you coffee? Snacks, energy drinks, spot you at the restaurant? Did that one key chain removed you of them? Ding ding!

ACTS are they always doing things for you? Ie: Nah bro, I got this, I can do that, need me to get anything for you, I can help with…?

PRO TIP – The way people show love is often how they receive love as well.

I reblogged this recently but it got better and ive been thinking and learning a lot abt love languages so




I think the best piece of character design advice I ever received was actually from a band leadership camp I attended in june of 2017. 

the speaker there gave lots of advice for leaders—obviously, it was a leadership camp—but his saying about personality flaws struck me as useful for writers too. 

he said to us all “your curses are your blessings and your blessings are your curses” and went on to explain how because he was such a great speaker, it made him a terrible listener. he could give speeches for hours on end and inspire thousands of people, but as soon as someone wanted to talk to him one on one or vent to him, he struggled with it. 

he had us write down our greatest weakness and relate it to our biggest strength (mine being that I am far too emotional, but I’m gentle with others because I can understand their emotions), and the whole time people are sharing theirs, my mind was running wild with all my characters and their flaws.

previously, I had added flaws as an after thought, as in “this character seems too perfect. how can I make them not-like-that?” but that’s not how people or personalities work. for every human alive, their flaws and their strengths are directly related to each other. you can’t have one without the other.

is your character strong-willed? that can easily turn into stubbornness. is your character compassionate? maybe they give too many chances. are they loyal? then they’ll destroy the world for the people they love.

it works the other way around too: maybe your villain only hates the protagonist’s people because they love their own and just have a twisted sense of how to protect them. maybe your antagonist is arrogant, but they’ll be confident in everything they do.

tl;dr “your curses are your blessings, and your blessings are your curses” there is no such thing as a character flaw, just a strength that has been stretched too far.

This is such a fabulous flip side of what I’ve always known about villians. That their biggest weakness is that they always assume their own motivations are the motives of others.

This is brilliant!!




“Brown eyes are so plain and ugly you can’t even compare them to gems like emerald and saph-”








Smoky Quartz


Zircon (brown)












That’s not even all of GORGEOUS BROWN GEMS THAT EXIST IN THIS WORLD. Just like there are a lot of beautiful brown gems they’re a lot of BEAUTIFUL BROWN EYES. BROWN IS A GORGEOUS COLOR. Start treating it like one. 

I am so glad someone did this.

if you don’t want someone to have brown eyes because you can’t compare them to a gem then you’re a bad writer

The Importance of Mary Sue




When I was in Ninth Grade, I won a thing.  

That thing, in particular, was a thirty dollar Barnes & Noble gift certificate.  I was still too young for a part-time job, so I didn’t have this kind of spending cash on me, ever.  I felt like a god.

Drunk with power, I fancy-stepped my way to my local B&N.  I was ready to choose new books based solely on the most important of qualities…BADASS COVER ART.  I walked away with a handful of paperbacks, most of which were horrible (I’m looking at you, Man-Kzin Wars III) or simply forgettable.  

One book did not disappoint.  I fell down the rabbit hole into a series that proved to be as badass as the cover art promised (Again, Man-Kzin Wars III, way to drop the ball on that one).  With more than a dozen books in the series, I devoured them.  I bought cassette tapes of ballads sung by bards in the stories.  And the characters.  Oh, the characters.  I loved them.  Gryphons, mages, but most importantly, lots of women.  Different kinds of women.  So many amazing women.  I looked up to them, wrote bad fiction that lifted entire portions of dialogue and character descriptions, dreamed of writing something that the author would include in an anthology.

This year I decided in a fit of nostalgia to revisit the books I loved so damn much.  I wanted to reconnect with my old friends…

…and I found myself facing Mary Sues.  Lots of them.  Perfect, perfect, perfect.  A fantasy world full of Anakin Skywalkers and Nancy Drews and Wesley Crushers.  I felt crushed.  I had remembered such complex, deep characters and didn’t see those women in front of me at all anymore.  Where were those strong women who kept me safe through the worst four years of my life?

Which led me to an important realization as I soldiered on through book after book.  That’s why I needed them.  Because they were Mary Sues.  These books were not written to draw my attention to all the ugly bumps and whiskers of the real world.  They were somewhere to hide.  I was painfully aware that I was being judged by my peers and adults and found lacking.  I was a fuckup.  And sometimes a fuckup needs to feel like a Mary Sue.  As an adult, these characters felt a little thin because they lacked the real world knowledge I, as an adult, had learned and earned.  But that’s the thing…these books weren’t FOR this current version of myself.   Who I am now doesn’t need a flawless hero because I’m comfortable with the idea that valuable people are also flawed.

There is a reason that most fanfiction authors, specifically girls, start with a Mary Sue.  It’s because girls are taught that they are never enough.  You can’t be too loud, too quiet, too smart, too stupid.  You can’t ask too many questions or know too many answers.  No one is flocking to you for advice.  Then something wonderful happens.  The girl who was told she’s stupid finds out that she can be a better wizard than Albus Dumbledore.  And that is something very important.  Terrible at sports?  You’re a warrior who does backflips and Legolas thinks you’re THE BEST.   No friends?  You get a standing ovation from Han Solo and the entire Rebel Alliance when you crash-land safely on Hoth after blowing up the Super Double Death Star.  It’s all about you.  Everyone in your favorite universe is TOTALLY ALL ABOUT YOU.

I started writing fanfiction the way most girls did, by re-inventing themselves.  

Mary Sues exist because children who are told they’re nothing want to be everything.  

As a girl, being “selfish” was the worst thing you could be.  Now you live in Narnia and Prince Caspian just proposed marriage to you.  Why?  Your SELF is what saved everyone from that sea serpent.  Plus your hair looks totally great braided like that.

In time, hopefully, these hardworking fanfiction authors realize that it’s okay to be somewhere in the middle and their characters adjust to respond to that.  As people grow and learn, characters grow and learn.  Turns out your Elven Mage is more interesting if he isn’t also the best swordsman in the kingdom.  Not everyone needs to be hopelessly in love with your Queen for her to be a great ruler.  There are all kinds of ways for people to start owning who they are, and embracing the things that make them so beautifully weird and complicated.

Personally, though, I think it’s a lot more fun learning how to trust yourself and others if you all happen to be riding dragons.

Mary Sues exist because children who are told they’re nothing want to be everything.

A girl making herself the hero of her own story is a radical act. Stop shaming girls for doing it. Stop shaming yourself for it. 

That moment when people are so condescending towards young girls about everything they do they even make fun of their escapism methods 

It’s fine if we don’t like it, they aren’t doing this for us anyways 

Just let them have a safe space


the thing is,

if i wanted to fictionalize the story of my abuse. if i wanted to tell it properly, the way a good story should be told; tell it so that it would be believed, so it would be felt

i would have to make the reader fall in love with her, the way that i was in love with her.

i’d have to tell them about her eyes. the way that they were gold-brown, a color i didn’t know before her. the way her black hair erupted in the sun into shades of deep reds and golds.

i’d have to tell them about how she dropped things when she looked at me. how when her voice broke on the phone as she confessed to being scared, i felt my life realign to care for her. how she touched me with trembling hands and called me “beautiful”, and told me she didn’t deserve me. that she dreamt of me. how she told me she knew i could be better, knew i could be amazing.

tell them about the tingles that raced all over my skin when she cornered me in the dark tech booth and leaned into me all night, making excuses until she didn’t. how she almost kissed me in the abandoned hallways after school, and in the office she’d sneak into while I TA’d, and in the classroom after everyone had left, and how every time it happened my heart beat so hard I felt bruised.

i’d have to tell them how she finally kissed me and how she’d meant to leave after one kiss but she didn’t, bent down and kissed me again and whispered “you have no idea how long I’ve wanted to do that”, i’d have to tell them that I said, “i think i might” and pulled her back in and felt the world fade away.

and then i’d have to tell them about the second time she kissed me, when I tried to pull her in again and she pressed both hands to my throat until lights flashed in front of my eyes, until i considered that she might really kill me as she told me not to touch her.

how she changed her mind about that two days later and threatened to leave me because i wasn’t assertive enough.

and how she laid in bed with me, petting my hair and reading the sherlock holmes novels with me the day after. how we read at the exact same rate, turned pages in unison and she told me her mind fit mine like a puzzle piece.

the problem with edward cullen, with christian grey, is not that we as readers are meant to love them. that is arguably the only thing that the books get right, is how wildly charismatic, how intense, how perfect an abusive relationship can look at first.

if i wanted to really tell the story of my abuse, i’d have to make them love her like i did and hate her like i did and fear her like i did and long to protect her like i did. i’d have to make them sick with confusion, literally sick, so twisted that even bleeding on the side of the road they’re not sure what went wrong or whose fault it was.

i want them to sympathize with her, because i did, extensively, running antiseptic over the places she cut me watching my phone on the counter so i’d know if she texted me. i want them to know how someone gets to the point of worrying about the person who is hurting them even as they’re still doing it.

if i told the story of my abuse and it was not romantic, if the reader was not in love, if some part of them does not try to make excuses for her, if they don’t try to turn the pieces around in their head to find a way to have the joy without the agony – if they don’t ache with longing for the good parts, i have told the story wrong.

how can we talk about abuse if we cannot talk about why people stay? how can we deny fiction’s ability to explore every fractal: maybe in some universe i fix her. maybe in some universe she kills me. maybe in some universe i kill her. maybe i write a hundred endings to the story. see if any of them bring us peace.