I'm really curious: do you guys actually believe in demons, magic, rituals etc. Or is it more some type of psychodrama; you perform certain rituals and make contact with more irrational parts of yourselves in order to generate changes within yourself, and thus later on in the "real world?" Is magic more a matter of psyche or something that actually exists? I don't mean to sound offensive by the way, I'm really just interested in how you think about magic and its workings!
I think that when it comes down to it, magic is a bit of both! I do honestly believe magic is a tangible actual force in some way or another, but at the same time I also believe that when you light candles and incense in the middle of the night and perform a ritual for self help, you’re subconsciously ingraining that desire into yourself and making a wordless promise that you’ll do it. For example, I did a ritual a little while ago to help me on my job search. Do I think it literally made the circumstances easier? Maybe a little bit, maybe a lot! However, what’s important is that it renewed my vigor in the search and motivated me to try harder because the ritual should have made things easier. I think that magic is something that is real and actual, but I think the act of ritual in a lot of circumstances is more about theatrics to convince yourself, because I think that it’s a simple appeal to whatever higher power you think is out there (God, demons, the universe itself, etc.) for help. So when it comes down to it, it’s just hardcore prayer to me.
In short: I think that magic is part psychodrama, part actual force.
Demons, gods, deities, and spirits are absolutely 100% real, actual, sentient beings. There’s not all that much to say on that matter besides that!
This is probably poorly worded, but I’m still a little tired ‘cos I just woke up!
“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.”—
humans are so cute, when we say goodbye we put our arms around each other and to show we love someone we bring them flowers. we say hello by holding each other’s hand, and sometimes tiny little dewdrops form in our eyes. for pleasure we listen to arrangements of sounds, press our lips together, smoke dried leaves, get drunk off of old fruit. we’re all just little animals, falling in love and having breakfast beneath billions of stars
how can i write realistic romantic-relationship growth??
I’ll be focusing more on a healthy romantic relationship, for if I try to cover the aspects that make up an unhealthy romantic relationship, this response will triple in length. And… just a warning that romance is the one topic I avoid writing about simply because I don’t understand it on a personal level. But here it goes.
My first advice is to build your characters separately. People in relationships grow independently and collectively. Show that. Your character can grow and change without their partner’s influence just as much as your character can grow and change due to their partner’s influence. Agreements, disagreements, similarities, differences. They’re never going to be static, for they too will change. After that, write their relationship like any relationship between people. What do you think makes a relationship realistic and believable? There should be a voluntary consensus between the people involved, even if it’s not explicitly said. This doesn’t mean that a relationship should be perfect—really, from bantering about who’s cooking tonight to full-blown ignoring each other for a week, moments of disagreements and tension can be used to improve any relationship if used correctly (meaning they’re not solely for the sake of drama). And as much as many shows and books would like to say otherwise, most people in a close relationship share more similarities than differences. Generally, we are attracted to people who are, to a certain degree, similar to us; we prefer times when our partner would support us than oppose us. Thus, while differences are great and stimulating, don’t forget that your characters should have similarities that can help strengthen (or even start) their relationship. So what interests or hobbies do they share? In what ways do their views clash? What makes the characters attracted (mentally, physically, etc) to each other? What repulse the characters about each other? How do they settle their differences or make peace after an argument? Are they stubborn or are they flexible when it comes to their beliefs? Continue on. Build on their character separately and then connect them together.
Once you have the core aspects of their relationship, add the romantic traits into it. What is romantic to you? Most importantly, what is romantic according to the characters involved? Romance in general is interpreted differently in many cultures and upbringings, so it’s important to focus on what your characters deem as romantic. As long as romance delivers, as long as romance is believable, for the characters involved, then your readers will pick up on that. Settle that and add them sparingly throughout the characters’ romantic relationship. Maybe one is a daydreamer with high standards when it comes to romance. You can write that as them going through a lot of relationships, all of which are ended by them. How about if one is not the touchy type unless they’re comfortable with their company? You can have them slowly closing the distance between them and their potential partner(s) after each successful date. The romantic scenes really depend on the characters and how they cope with such feelings. Don’t bother with what your readers would think as romantic—focus on the story and the characters.
In terms of writing, you can approach this matter in so many ways. You can focus on your characters, focus on the plot, focus specifically on romance. Write in the way that would be best for your story. Is it best to use first person point of view to form that close, singular bond between character and reader? Is present tense or past tense best in terms of moving your story? What tone should you use to deliver the entirety of the story you want to write? Focusing more on character interaction, use their traits and moods. You don’t have to explicitly say when the characters are becoming romantically attracted to each other. Have your readers work a bit. Lay down clues that they can follow for their own conclusions until you canonically address the relationship. Show instead tell. Instead of telling your reader that the characters sit close to each other, you can show this distance close in a matter of different meetings. Have the characters sit far apart in their first date. Afterwards, have the distance lessen through the use of one character reaching out to the other, having one character observe the other’s breathing or blush, or their feet accidentally kicking one another. Use clichés sparingly (better yet, reconstruct them). Instead, try to be more creative. Instead of writing them holding hands, maybe you can write about how their heads are bowed to be closer to each other. Instead of focusing on their lips when they kiss, mention how their toes curled. The possibilities are endless here.
For references and resources, study books, shows, plays, and music with a romantic plot or subplot. People in your life can also be a big help. Find out what works, what doesn’t work for you, and understand why. Why does one romantic relationship work for you and the other doesn’t? Do not focus on physical appearance, gender, sexuality, and the like. Instead, focus on the dynamics, the tension, the build-up, the setting, the characters themselves. At this point, it’s better to be objective than subjective. At this point, this isn’t about what you think is romantic or not. At this point, what matters is to understand how a romantic scene was executed well. Look at the characters. Did the relationship build up gradually or was it an instant attraction? How are they feeling? What are they thinking? What are their intentions? Inspect their dialogue. Is their tone lighthearted? Serious? What are they talking about? Is it straightforward or is there a hidden message behind it? Examine their postures. How close are they? How and when do they move? Are there any subtle movements in their hands, eyes, and breathing patterns? Next pan out to their surroundings. What time is it? Where are they? How did they get there? Is there anyone else with them? What is the overall atmosphere? Afterwards, look at the medium itself. If it’s something you can watch, like movies, pay attention to where the camera zooms in and out. If it’s something you can read, like novels, look what point of view, tense, and syntax are used. Typically, authors use fragmented sentences or short sentences to grab the reader’s attention—spot them out and figure out why the author wants these particular sentences to stand out. Pick at the diction used. Why was that one word used over other words? A word can really set the tone of the scene. For example, using “flesh” instead of “skin” would be off-putting in a romantic scene due to the former’s usual use in writing. Really, in short, make use of the resources available to you, and combine them with your personal opinions of what romance means. For a realistic romantic-relationship growth, you have to start with believing the relationship yourself, even if said relationship goes against your beliefs. Convince yourself then you can convince others.
'You have to think of a different kind of menu,' says Alice [Waters, owner of Chez Panisse and organic Slow Food guru]. 'You eat dried fruit and nuts. You make pasta sauces out of canned tomatoes … you're eating different kinds of grains—farro with root vegetables … Turnips of every color and shape! Carrots that are white and red and orange and pink! … Cabbages!'
Basically, you can eat like a fucking Russian peasant, is what she’s saying. I don’t know if that’s what they want to hear in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan or Buffalo. And what about the healthy, pure, wholesome, and organic foods that Alice says I should be buying—particularly if I have children? If I’m making an even average wage as, say, a sole-providing police officer or middle manager? Regular milk is about four bucks a gallon. Organic is about twice that. Supermarket grapes are about four bucks a bunch. Organic are six. More to the point, what if I’m one of the vast numbers of working poor, getting by in the service sector? What should I do? How can I afford that?
Asked this question very directly, Alice advises blithely that one should ‘Make a sacrifice on the cell phone or a third pair of Nike shoes.’ It’s an unfortunate choice of words. And a telling one, I think. You know, those poor people—always with their Nikes and their cell phones. If only they’d listen to Alice. She’d lead them to the promised land for sure.
What else should we be doing? Alice says we should immediately spend 27 billion dollars to ensure every schoolchild in America gets a healthy, organic lunch. More recently she added to this number the suggestion that fresh flowers on every lunchroom table might also be a worthwhile idea. This is, after all, ‘more important than crime in the streets. This is not like homeland security—this is actually the ultimate homeland security. This is more important than anything else.’
Which is where Alice really loses me—because, well, for me, as a New Yorker, however quaint the concept, homeland security is still about keeping suicidal mass murderers from flying planes into our fucking buildings. And organic school lunches might be more important to you than crime in the streets in Berkeley—but in the underfunded school systems of West Baltimore, I suspect they feel differently. A healthy lunch is all fine and good—but no use at all to Little Timmy if he gets shot to death on the way to school. In fact, 27 billion for organic food for Timmy seems a back-assward priority right now—as, so far, we’ve failed miserably to even teach him to read. What kind of dreams can a well-fed boy have if he doesn’t even have the tools to articulate them? How can he build a world for himself if he doesn’t know how to ask for—much less how to get—the things he wants and needs? I, for one, would be very satisfied if Timmy gets a relatively balanced slab of fresh but nonorganic meatloaf with a side of competently frozen broccoli—along with reading skills and a chance at a future. Once literate, well read, and equipped with the tools to actually make his way in the world, he’ll be far better prepared to afford Chez Panisse.
As of this writing, not too far from Berkeley, just across the bridge, in San Francisco’s Mission District, they line up every Tuesday for the $1.99 special at Popeye’s Fried Chicken. They don’t stand in the street waiting for forty-five minutes to an hour because it’s particularly healthy chicken, or organic chicken, or conscientiously raised chicken. They do it because it’s three fucking pieces for a dollar ninety-nine. Unless we respect that reality, Alice? We’re lost.
Anthony Bourdain, Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and People Who Cook
Bourdain devotes an entire chapter of his book to decimating Alice Waters, who has been lauded in a 60 Minutes puff piece as “the Mother of Slow Food” (which is a bullshit claim). He admits that he was perhaps overdoing it when he called her “Pol Pot in a muumuu” in an interview — but only barely (he also called saccharine blonde Semi-Homemade host Sandra Lee “the hellspawn of Betty Crocker and Charles Manson” and called her Kwanzaa Cake “a war crime on television”, so Waters is far from alone). Bourdain selects his targets for a reason, and Waters is a highly suitable stand-in for the growing ranks of white, privileged, socially ignorant eco-food ideological stick-wavers whose contempt for communities of color and for the poor ooze out through their self-righteous evangelism.
In a typical move, Waters wrote an open letter to the newly elected president Obama warning that “the purity and wholesomeness of the Obama movement must be accompanied by a parallel effort in food”. She appointed herself onto an advisory committee to help the Obamas select “a person with integrity and devotion” as White House Chef, adding “I cannot forget the vision I have had since 1993 of a beautiful vegetable garden on the White House lawn” — apparently oblivious that they already had a chef of “integrity and devotion” and a vegetable garden. This, from someone who has boasted that she hasn’t voted since 1966. Nevertheless, the Obamas were cool and invited her to the White House to throw a series of dinners and help expand the garden. As an example of her sustainable, locavorian ways, she flew in big-name chefs from all over the country for a five-hundred-dollar-a-plate gala, as though there are no qualified chefs in Washington fucking DC. This is why I appreciate what Tony Bourdain does. His targets usually deserve it. He’s a linguistic assassin, and sometimes that’s just what’s needed. And yeah, it feels good too. Plus, say what you want but I dig Popeye’s.
who was at Nippon Hibachi and Seafood buffet today in West Springfield—you were really adorable! It was nice to see a Homestuck cosplayer out and about. My family was going to sit down as your family was leaving the table so I couldn’t tell you how good I thought it was. Awesome job tho! :D