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Why You Should Keep Writing

Journal Entry: Sat Dec 22, 2012, 2:11 PM
The Text by merrak

Q: What do you guys think of my story so far? Should I keep going?

This seems to be a very popular question. I'll argue it's a useless question, and explain why.

This reply is directed at new writers, and despite the tone that may follow, I really do intend to be sincere and helpful. I was once a newbie, too. And although I'm certainly not going to claim to be great, I've fallen flat on my face enough times to learn how to pick myself up and produce something I'm proud of.

Here's why you need to not ask this question. You're either going to succeed, or you're going to fail. But, either way, you'll be better off for having:

1. Tried
2. Figured out how to motivate yourself to continue
3. Completed the entire first run of the story yourself

1 ~ I can speculate that there are plenty of people out there who are afraid of failure. I know first-hand. I'm not a professional writer. I teach mathematics. And it is my job every Fall to convince a hundred freshmen that to get anywhere, you have to work hard, even if success is not immediately guaranteed. I have high standards. If 2/3 of a class fails the first midterm, so be it. But I'm proud to say that, with very few exceptions, everyone who makes a sincere effort to pass does so by the end of the term - because if they haven't learned one of life's most valuable lessons, they have by then:

You have to learn it's acceptable to fall flat on your face. It's inevitable, and nobody is above it. The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is that those who are successful learn to pick themselves back up, and try again.

This means: you do not need mine or anyone else's "go ahead" to write that manuscript. If you're afraid of continuing and wasting your time on a failure, then you have the wrong attitude. Completing the work will make you a better writer, even if that manuscript never sees the light of day.

Of course, it's unrealistic to expect the first draft of any larger work to be good. That's why editing is such an important part of the process.

In short, take the plunge. If it never works out, take the lesson and apply it to your next story.

2 ~ You do not need a cheerleader to cheer you on. It's unreliable. The best motivator is yourself, because you know your dreams and aspirations better than anyone else.

If you can't motivate yourself, ask why. Be honest with yourself. This is a good opportunity for some personal growth. Are you afraid of failure? (see #1). Is writing just not a priority? (That's okay... just be honest). Do you not know what to do? (Research the answer, then).

3 ~ All other considerations aside, it's just hard to give an incomplete story a proper evaluation. Is the first half good? Well, that really depends, at least in part, in the direction you plan to take it.

Even worse, the first part may seem good at a first glance, then turn out to be fluff by the end. This actually happened to me. The first 50 pages of my manuscript? "Sounds great!" Once I finished: "What was the point of the first six chapters?"

Lesson learned.

It's easier to get advice from others when you've done as much as you can yourself. Specific questions are easier to answer well than vague ones.


In short, should you keep writing? Yes.

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July Literature DD Round Up

Fri Aug 1, 2014, 3:47 PM
Features by IrrevocableFate 

American GirlI have half your genetics.
It’s strange to think, isn’t it, that half of my DNA comes from you, and yet we could walk past each other on the street and not even recognize each other.
If we ever did meet, what would we even say to each other? I don’t speak Chinese, and you probably don’t speak English. But here’s a little about myself:
I’m probably taller than you. The nutrition in America is different than in rural China, so I’ve grown like an American girl, not a Chinese one. I’ve cut off my hair three times now, and each time it feels so different and strange, yet each time it’s grown back in. Hair tends to do that. I love to dance. I love to laugh. I’m going to college soon to study and make friends and have fun and hopefully get a job in four years. I like cooking and baking, and I like to think I’m becoming pretty good at it. I’m very good with children. I can read very fast. I know how to knit. Our hands and
  Ghost ShipYou still ghost ship
My Subconscious.
I've been waiting
For you
To drop anchor.
  how you can manage to know so muchshe's barely an inch taller - but still taller -
squinting at the horizon line and heaving tobacco smoke
through resin coated lungs that should belong to a
fourty three year old smoker, not an eighteen year old
she laughs the loudest when others cast glances
and hushed whispers
and never misses the chance to tell you
she couldn't possibly give less
of a shit
she likes convenience store mints;
the round white ones you'd find
at the bottom of grandma's purse that tasted like
dust and chemically sweetened perfume,
and home
she went to a school where "dyke"
was spat like poison at her feet
but knew exactly what to say when three girls
cornered her, knew exactly how to throw her
words like fists
she gets hives from cats and grass and
practically anything outside her door
so she spends most of her time inside,
only leaving to have another
she listens to tool and radiohead
and smokes half a joint before bed to help her sleep
but she still doesn't; not for long
and she twitc
  Seeking Your StarMarch 20, 2014
Some stars burn so brightly, they burst before they see the cosmos unfold. You shared the warmth of your glow with as many as you could before you rose too high for the sky to handle and scattered sacred stardust across it. Your legacy is seen in constellations.
A few days later
Mom called me to the window today to show me a lone star in a cloudless sky. She said she thought of you.
Mother's Day, 2014
Nana told me at lunch today that she heard footsteps in the room where she keeps your urn. She went upstairs to greet Papa several times, thinking the footsteps were his, but found him sleeping. Our waitress gave each woman at our booth a carnation. Outside, sunlight adorned our skin and held us.
I could have sworn I felt you holding us, too.
June 21, 2014
I took a plane out of Chicago to get back home. The sun set mid-flight, tie-dying the sky in orange and red. As we rose over the clouds, my jetlagged eyes rested upon a lone star pinned against
  Neighbors Through the Glass Revised“Do you know why you’re here?”
A menacing spotlight shone on me from the direction of the ominous voice. I shivered, looking around frantically in the darkness. Where was I and how did I get there?
A sigh emanated from the darkness, and I managed to stumble out an answer in response.
“No. I didn’t do anything wrong.”
“We know you didn’t. But you saw something didn’t you?”
I remembered waving to my neighbor from my pod after I’d gotten home from my assigned job as bookkeeper just like I did every day. He was an elderly gentlemen and he lived directly to the right side of me. Our pods were made of glass, like little glass cubicles stacked one on top of the other just like in a skyscraper office building, as the Government described when they first pitched the ideas to the Citizens. They reminded me of a display case for humans. You could see inside each pod on the right and left of your own pod as far as your eye could str
  david and goliath.He passes under
the dying streetlamps'
orange halos,
darkening splashes on his face,
cloud-lungs heaving
against the rooftops.
The tarmac, painted with his footsteps,
whispers, purrs,
white lines of vertebrae
tickle along its back.
Lovely glass, shattered fragments
ruffle the curb of the pavement,
strands of rainwater
whisper along the gutter
in hymnal honesty; and sunlight seems swallowed
by the swollen beast of night.
The stars
prickle at the back of his memory,
a nervous pattern of speech,
syllables of iambic chattering
teeth against the cold:
the hotel window, shining with
the gaze of a thousand tourists' wonderment,
is where his own eyes rest,
as if the world is born anew
and love-songs spike the evening air
his life-tousled hair. He
walks on, passes on,
a stranger in a foreign land;
the moonlight seems
to turn about him, embrace his form,
a lonely touch, not quite animate in its caress,
but his love was the colour
of seawater on gravel,
and he would not take the taste of her brea
  every chance i didn't take IIYou tell him about your cancer on a Sunday,
in the shower of all places, in between brunch plans
and speculations about whether or not the weather
will ever get any colder - hasn't it been the strangest November?
Just the strangest.
You casually mention that somewhere
deep in the secret space between your hips
your own cells are proliferating uncontrollably,
whispering treason and passing down forgeries,
teaching each other the steps of mitosis with alarming intent.
You don't miss a beat as you drop survival percentages
mixed in with tomorrow's rain forecast
and predictions about the game later that afternoon -
easy as breathing, even as counterfeit armies
shred through the soft tissue just below
his favorite place on your spine.
And as you stand there
calmly making conversation
and sharing the last of the soap,
he watches the water
run quiet rivers
through your hair.
  drowning with himthere’s this boy i work with.
he is five.
he wears long sleeves
and shorts with holes in them
that are only kept together with
small clothespins and thin threads.
his hair is always cut close
to his skin, though his bangs are left
just long enough so it covers his eyes
and i know no one can see them.
but i always watch him.
only sometimes i will allow myself
to watch over someone else, even though i know
this boy will only continue to follow me.
he asks me to play,
he asks me to speak,
and sometimes, he even asks me
to hold his hand.
they are always cold and strong,
with calluses and chipped nails
that dig rough into my skin,
and his voice is always hard ice,
roaring like pounding hail through a storm.
but most of the time, he fights.
he hurts the other boys. they are small
and they fight over pieces of chalk,
over shovels and pales and who gets to play
on the swings, but they throw punches
like i’ve seen adults do.
sometimes i look at them
and i see the ripple of muscle,
  to giovanna cenamimother goddess,
your whole deep greens
& your pale yellow slivers of sun
& then the blue sky sleeves
with your open fertile hands blossoming
out of them, small & serene.
your gaze a red innocence, heavy with curiousity
& need.
the white
white veil
won't dare
touch your
cheek bones.
it graces your glowing forehead, forgotten entirely
after the shock of love in your glance.
you know this man's  
profound black browns, his steady eye
the flickering immodest uncaring of calculation
hung over his lids, over the hazy grey
of city sky, this hard bent man stooped
with briefcase in hand, thickly
cloaked, thin lipped, top hatted.
you the warm unnamed bride & he
the sharp nosed Man
you the pleasant & powerful, indulgent
of his every little
lovely evil,
the eternal forgiveness in the curve
of your lips, the unspoken
colour of power. you the patient
the unending source.
  Nine TimesI saw him nine times.
The first time we were both sitting in the room together, getting ready to take the math test that would determine our placement. I was scatterbrained and throwing things around, trying to find the pencils that I had known I would need but had still just tossed in my purse. He was lounging backwards in his chair, looking for all the world as though he didn’t have a single care in the world, including the upcoming test. It annoyed me, that I was frantic and ready to scream, while someone else could be that relaxed.
I tested out of the class.  
I don’t know if he did.
The second time I saw him, it was a few months after I arrived on campus. He was the one rushing and frantic this time, running across the square. He was probably late for class, though I had no way of knowing for sure. I was already lost in my own thoughts and ideas, deciding on my major and convincing people that yes, this is what I really want to do with my life. If they weren
  SolaceShe never slept well in the dark,
not without the children of the sun and moon
to guide her weary lids home.
Guided by the aftermath, she was always two steps behind.
What did the world look like to the girl who had been through it all?
Braved the heaviest of storms,
yet skipping over cracks in the pavement.
They said her eyes were the wisps of clouds before the storm.
To him they were reflections of pages overlooked.
She said it was like she lived the life of someone she had never met.
Laid out to dry, yesterdays news.
He knew her as the girl who was built to never collapse.
He wished he was too.
He loved her more than words could say, and yet her pain was such,
that at times, he feared she wouldn’t make it.
But on nights like these, even when it threatened to consume her,
he became convinced that somehow she would.
  Bo.When Lindsay was born, Bo was there. Standing beside her mother, he was the first thing she ever saw. But he was not her father; her father stood on the other side.
Bo was there until the very moment she died.
The sun shone bright through the windows of her pink-laden room. She loved pink. And black.
“Because Bo is black,” she’d told her parents.
Her imaginary friend, they soon concluded.
“Bo is all black,” she described one night as her father tucked her in, “His skin and his hair and everything. He doesn’t talk a lot.”
Her father frowned.
“He sounds scary.”
“He’s not,” she insisted.
Bo sat on the bed and said nothing.
Her father kissed her good night and turned out the light.
“Why can’t Dad see you?” she asked.
Bo shrugged.
“Are you real?”
“Are you real?” he replied.
“Of course!”
“How do you know?”
“Because...I just
  if you need help making it through the dayremember:
there are
flowers growing
in gutters
and pavement
cracks where
nobody planted

Features by GrimFace242

Mr. FiveI checked my watch as I strolled down the halls of the Midvane Asylum. My supervising officer hadn't told me what I was walking into, unfortunately for me. A male nurse met me at the building office. His scrubs were smeared with what I assume was saliva, and his glasses were uneven on his face. He had no hair on his head, but there was a black soul patch staring at me from his chin.
"Are you here about Mr. Five?" the nurse scrawled across a clipboard as he spoke.
"Mr. Five?"
"Yes, the patient that we called about. You were told what the situation was, weren't you?"
The nurse sighed and nodded towards the door of the office and walked out. I followed him down the hall, struggling to keep his pace. He never looked up from his clipboard on our trip through the Asylum halls, even when he had to step around gurneys and patients. I kept the brim of my hat tipped forward throughout the walk. Something about the way crazy people stare, it unsettles me. The nurse tilted his head back towa
Saku sono ki
Harukaze ni mau
Yurumeta te
Dakishime tometa
Sagashitemo muda
This blooming tree
Dancing in the spring wind
The hand I've loosened
Ceased to embrace me
It's futile even if I search for it
  What I gave youI unfairly gave you,
Many wonders this world doesn't own
Many pipe dreams I painted for you
The rainbow butterfly of my love
Gentle treasures buried in my very soul
The phial of my affection...
...That you drank in one go
Drying me to my last heartbeat.
You gave me ashes back
Sealed in a mocking funeral urn.
Even bullets couldn't wound me 
As much as your sadistic smile.
Despite leaving me all alone, again
I still forgive you. I still believe in you.
On the gloomy road
And I walk, and I cry, and I feel
A chill of loneliness.
  Heart Sold.i stand before you
my heart drugged
pride swallowed
as all i want
is your ever
 :thumb407777094:   Last WordsIn the beginning you never want to let her go,
and so you don't for a long, long time.
You commit to bobby pins underfoot, mismatched
plates stacked like landmines,
long hairs that circle and clog the drain, filling the tub
with stagnant water.
You tell her something that you love about her
each night before you fall asleep,
until one day you look at her and realize that you
don't know what to say anymore.
“I am not happy.”
You whisper this to yourself once and then try to say it louder,
but the words won't cooperate.
Maybe a whisper is as loud as this thought can exist,
or maybe some words weren't meant to be spoken aloud,
but you still think them, and yes,
you whisper them to yourself
when she isn't listening.
Perhaps this is what you should have been telling her
each night as her hands searched for you in the darkness.
This isn't happening, you think,
unless it is.
You wonder if you owe her something,
like your heart, maybe, your red hooded sweatshirt,
  .Red lips.I see you every night with the same lipstick.
Red lips open and close with the music.
They leave a mark on your empty glass..
The ice is melting slowly, as you wait for him..
You are looking at the crowd with restless eyes.
You don't leave hope behind.
Every night at the same table, patience.
You play nervously with your cigarettes.
I want to talk to you..
But I fear an empty smile out of politeness
Your magic would be gone just like that.
We look like now..
Every night I wait for you.
I look forward to when our eyes will finally meet.
  The Heart Necklace A child sits numbly at a table 
the chairs across from him are empty.
Children race about around him 
and he watches as their attention dashes through him. 
He wears a heart necklace the red of a summer sunrise
and plays with it idly between his fingers. It can be split in two but it stays as one. 
Someday, I'll find someone to wear this with me 
He whispers, almost as if to console himself. 
A teenager sits meekly at a table 
the chairs across from him are empty. 
Other teens text and chat with their friends 
and he watches as one girl smiles at him with honey eyes. 
He wears a heart necklace the red of his blushing face 
and he plays with it idly between his fingers. It is split in two but both pieces are around his neck.
Someday, she may wear this with me 
He whispers, almost lost in his shy giggles.
A man sits proudly at a table 
the chair across from him sits a woman with honey eyes. 
Anyone else w
  Cyclical loveI see a beginning and an end
clasped within the lines of your palms, echoing
in the ripples of your irises;
I remember the apricot april morning
stumbling over your outstretched legs
in the park which I had never seen as
anything more than a cut-through, but
my life changed course and the park
became a destination and I still don’t know
when I noticed that I was waking up
twenty minutes earlier just to
talk to you before work, just to hear
your lilting voice flow through my ears and
fill my mouth with ideas;
And I remember the dew drops kissing my feet
when you convinced me that it was practically illegal
to wear shoes in june and I watched as
the grass pressed hatched patterns into your skin
and for a moment I wished that they were my fingers
holding you in eternal summer lawns, swan choruses,
whirring rollerskates, the smell of peach blossoms;
And I remember you blooming and shedding
the remnants of your cocoon as you pointed out
made-up constellations littering a swelling augu
  Paradigm ShiftEmerging flash of starlight pap
between sunset and ocean cap
colliding spang into my eyes
for once to have me realize
not everything becomes a song,
and I shall sleep before too long.
  [transmissions of a dead girl]i am the
moon: i am
the silver pill
your throat
to weigh down
into leaden eyes--
i am the
moon: lover
of the dark.
the stars are
all dead in their
twinkling dance--
you'll be safe, dear,
as i am the moon,
with all of their
you're alright.
(i am good bye and yet,
you think only of romantic
i am the moon.
i am the crescent
looking dead--
and dead altogether,
i still die.
  Southern modernizationBlack comedy market economy, banana peel political humour, cards with the cartels, the solution free room service and credit the union. Bolivar twist, ding dong dollar under control, valley of the coin desert with no value.  Gangsta paradise, the victims are the people. Big mac and cold conflict interference a part of it all. In little Mexico you’d need a high horse to jump the great border wall that boasts its peak.
Viracocha melts  waters unlike those it rose from, making waves of out of metal oceans to overtake the current south, re-steel, re-take, tech-mechs the entire south into neo-Machu Picchu, cyberpunk music moulding, reshaping old society into an new age, iron dynasty,  fresh coat for an old, ancient look. The coattails of Quetzalcoatl if he were a modern man pull together the merge of future and long passed past..techno temples and the like.
  may as well buy another packcollapse, and breathe into the carpet:
sunday mornings are not
for falling apart, but damn
the amphorics, this
is not an atmosphere.
you fell in love like you always
wish you didn't, made all their
smiles replaceable, interchangeable,
fell asleep with shadows and kept
drinking, just letting yourself sleep
with blue pills
and tried not to scream.
(keep this image in your head:
fire and nectarines, a sudden jerk
of realization, inspiration
breaking your neck and leaving you forever
breaking bones is not so different
from breaking hearts - it's all about
the leverage, the angle, the mode
of attack
(and at least it wasn't personal; 
it can color in your own guilt
for starting lines and never ending
  The Coffee GodThe Coffee God behind the counter shuffles foot to foot, a dance of steam and espresso.  Black painted fingernails, inch gauged ears and a gray striped sweatshirt, hood crooked on his back.  There's a cigarette tucked behind one ear; it bobs and twitches with each step.
“Non-fat caramel latte,” he calls, just as he always does, part of a spell, part of a mantra, toneless (just a tuck at the end).  I reach.  He looks up.
The espresso maker hisses.
There's something like a grin, something like a spark, something like a shared secret linked eye to eye.  When he passes over the drink (rough cardboard sleeve hot to the touch), he lingers.  Our fingers brush, a shiver, a jolt, a ten-watt shock.
The Coffee God tilts his chin, shouts, “Hey, mind if I take my break now?”
and ducks around the counter without waiting for a reply.
He slips his cigarette between his lips without taking his eyes from mine.  I follow him out the door.
  Bad ShotEveryday 
I try 
to crumble up
the remnant pieces 
of my love for you
and throw them in the trash
but I'm such a bad shot.

Features by neurotype

Senryu Series 121.
adjunct office
even the printer
patio nap
he still wakes up
in Iraq
essay due
his grandmother dies
cult documentary
another gnat
in the lemonade
I choose not to round
her grade
my rent
on the preacher's back,
autumn wind
corporate merger
a new boss, the age
of my son
corporate ladder
the boss graduates
with my son
gossip blog
the same old bats
turning 60
even his shadow
eviction notice
I purchase 10 acres
on Farmville
deep in love
she invades my side
of the bed
meeting her dad
a loose thread
in my sweater
newly wed
until debt
do us part
    VisitorThere is a ghost doing handstands on my front lawn,
wrist-deep in fresh soil. Her hands are birds
in flight.
It's late, but no one comes to take her home.
The pale moon offers a silver smile -
the clouds disapprove.
Too tired to dream, she buries her legs in sky.
Tonight she is invincible, untouchable,
this frail girl beneath the stars
this death in light.
There is a ghost doing handstands on my front lawn,
falling to her white knees. Her stare is a pane
of glass.
The eyes of the living are often murky but
the eyes of the gone
are windows.
   Margieoh Margie, Margie, Margie.
your name sounds like snow.
you remind me of oranges.
you're a Polack
and i call you so.
why don't you call, Margie?
where have you gone?
i tried to keep in touch
but in the end i know
it's me.
i've gone.
you're still home.
all the kids who were our friends,
they are just your friends.
we were all in the marching band
but fuck that, Margie, you know
yes you know how i feel about that.
i miss you,
and i barely even know you!
i wanted to see you
in the summer
in your attic
where we'd wear sweaty clothes
and move boxes by droves
and find books,
real books,
French books,
cook books
that all stank of cloves,
and we'd joke,
and imitate the sweet little voice
of the lady who once lived in your house.
she left her books in your attic
and i wonder if you've gone through them,
or maybe your father burned them.
and you said
you'd be getting a job?
that was the last i'd heard from you.
if you wanted to,
i'd open a parlor for you!
a dance hall with burgers
and you
  daughtersmy 5 year old daughter only wants to run
through the park, loping beside our wolf-puppy,
both lean & fierce, joyful
as she tosses her hair back
& suddenly I see my body
in hers, tireless & certain,
despite my pounding heart
& damaged limbs, I run&run&
then she gives for a moment,
tumbled full-length in the grass,
feeding the puppy from her cupped hands,
& demanding, scratch my back too!
then down her sides & over the ripples
of her ribcage, her leaping heart
& tummy, still baby-soft,
until the shadows reach us & I
must give her back, inch by inch,
a long, twirling hug
my mother will echo with sad arms,
murmuring, you look really good,
here, now, when we stand alone,
which never means,
you lost weight or
that’s a pretty dress
only us, watching her
& suddenly glad
we’re alive
    MaaheWhen the Maaheseum wore off, Onteia knew she was close to death. Her hair had gone white, her eyes were sunken and glassy, her flesh had receded. Those in her pod were the same: decrepit old men and women, none of them older than twenty-five. Outside, the blueshift had pushed every black hole, every brown dwarf, every burst of cosmic radiation from every pulsar in the Galactic Center into visibility. In hyperspace, even someone who never saw the shining beauty brought out by Maaheseum could see what lay beyond the cursory glance that was their lifelong perspective.
The pod was nearing its final destination--the spectacular, unmatched glory of a collapsing star. This was what all Travelers longed to see before their inevitable early death from the drug. Onteia reached into the small container at the center of their pod, where there were enough green-tinted black shards to last a hundred Travelers a decade. She took a piece just over an inch long, and set it on her decaying molars, and b
  Dead ZoneWe met on an art website—you, me, and the Sprout.
Thing is, the Sprout and I didn't really care about art. Only you did. But when I looked online for a school art project and found you two bickering about something pointless in the comments of a picture that had nothing to do with any of us, I signed up for the site solely for the purpose of telling you two to shut up and take it to someone who cares.
So you sent me your Skype contact.
I expected you to start the conversation with arguments or even flirtation, but instead you just asked me how my day had been, as if we'd always been friends and you were just greeting me on a lonely Tuesday night. When the Sprout joined us a few minutes later, haven taken a bit more time to accept contact with the guy who he had been arguing with earlier, his first words consisted of telling you that you typed slower than his three-year-old niece and brought the conversation to the comfortable squabbling that had taken up most of our relationship.
  A Bloody, Stupid Miracle     The day we’d cured the human condition was the day I put a bullet through my head and didn’t die. It was also the day I realized how scared I actually was of death, and after hours of muscle ache from holding that gauze against my open skull, after the wound closed and everything went back to normal, I had myself a good old-fashioned brainstorm. How ironic.
     But when summer came, everything had fallen to shit. The air scorched my skin and parched my tongue every time I took a breath. The sun glared down on a rapidly-collapsing world, full of the undying bastard children of cruelty and misfortune. What was one to do when their cells regenerated faster than they decomposed?
     My feet hit the pavement, now littered with jagged bits of glass to snap at my toes, thoroughly baked by the blazing ball of bitter disdain high overhead. Today was worse than yesterday. Though I’d often wondered the purpose of it anymore, I
   A Turning Point in the Clockwork WarA war of attrition
depends on supply and drawdown,
how much you have and how much you use up.
With personnel, the balance concerns
the influx of recruitment versus
the outflow of casualties, deserters, invalids.
There is only so much loss
that a fighting force can sustain
and still fight.
Pilot Claude Archer was the first
to challenge his invalid discharge.
"I don't need legs to fly," he said,
patting the healed stumps of his thighs.
"My Osprey runs on elbow grease."
The members of the discharge board
paused and looked at each other.
What he said was true.  
The Osprey-class fighter jets
relied on hand controls,
and a sharp eye and iron nerve.
Fingers flicked through the stack
of discharge papers -- so many, many pages.
So many soldiers lost, never to fight again.
They could not afford to let slip even one
who might be retained, somehow,
to face the front line once more.
Far less could the war effort spare
one of its best pilots.
So they put Pilot Archer back on the roster,
and he
   Teenage TaoismGiving birth is the closest I’d ever felt to dying.
Before that, my near death experiences had consisted only of my silent announcement of pregnancy—silent, being that my social media accounts were all deleted almost simultaneously and I never returned to school in the fall, saying without really saying that I had caught the malicious disease of “teenage pregnancy”. I’m sure the whisper spread in the hallways like the Bubonic Plague. That September, sitting at home on what would have been the first day of my senior year, I imagined friends I’d never talk to again saying “she was only seventeen, and so full of life!” at my absence in the cafeteria tables, as if they were attending my funeral instead of talking about me behind my back.
"Full of life," I had snorted then, folding a never ending stream of what had once been my own baby clothes. "Literally."
I walked around like a zombie for the months of my pregnancy, deciding t

Features by ShadowedAcolyte

Heat AdvisoryWe are an air-mass thunderstorm at the height
of an Indian summer -- a cloudburst colliding
into a cyclone, raising the temperature of any
who wander through our sweaty inversion.
I soar above the earth buoyed on your thermals,
straight into a clap of thunder conceived by
lightning fever. A roiling heatwave travels
across our connection, evaporating the atmosphere
surrounding the eye of our storm. Your humid
breath wisps over the thermodynamics of my skin,
pushing cumulonimbus up the drought in my spine.
Muggy kisses trail down my body like volcanic ash,
a haze blurring the lines between our hurricanes.
And as the barometer spikes, my heartbeat quickens;
I am sucked into the vortex of your tropical storm.
  Stories about our fatherOur father is fourteen in this story
so we must imagine him young and slim
and short-shorted,
bobbing on his toes, the quiver
of his racquet like the quiver
of a cat’s tail.
We’ve seen our father play before,
sitting courtside with our action figures
and paper dolls,
deadened to the minor explosions
of balls striking asphalt.
But we are surprised now by the
animal sharpness
in his face, his eyes moving the tight loop
from court to net to opponent
and back again.
And it occurs to us
that we haven’t occurred to him.
Our father is pre-marital,
pre-paternal –
his world blazes between these
white-painted lines.  
But soon we look where our father won’t:
To the stands where
our boy-faced uncles jeer
beside our grandmother, thin and erect
where we know her
soft and stooped.
She raises a hand to the metallic crest of
her hair and calls out,
David! What’s the score!
And it is understandable to us
that he pretends not hear.
That his shoulders twitc
   a timeless ringshe wears me upon
her withered hand:
an angel's halo
with no beginning or
end —
she didn't like
or goodbyes
but he brushed away the
drops of jupiter
twinkling on her
promising to
return but it was
just a fool's
and now i am
a memoir of
because he is
dead but he is
not, he is
gone but he is
here, he is
a ghost
alive with
a memory preserved;
she wears me upon
her withered hand:
the crown of a
king lost in battle
and she
grazes me with her
lips and
because soon i
will be a
metaphor and
she will be the
  Graffiti Dreams in Black and White            The strokes are dreamt permanent,
the only lasting demarcations of claiming existence,
and the collective artists who painted them majored in Biology,
or Accounting, or English and Professional Writing, or dropped out
            as so many do when they wake up.
The poet paints them into existence with his words:
                        “ideas are illusions, and all words are untrue.
            And we nod our heads and sip our coffees, indeed,
put a price to labors and words and even to thoughts
because we no longer want freedom if it costs us the freedom
of saving face and keeping pace with the ebb and flow
  Red DirtRed Dirt
I eat only because my body demands it.
In the South pregnant mothers eat red dirt
because it gives them what they crave. Their bellies are full moons,
their eyes constellations of what their baby will be.
Forget tossed stones or chicken entrails,
the lines of a palm already scarred
by machinery bits, a barbed wire chicken fence.
I already know what my future will be.
I was given paradise but it did not want me.
They told me if you are not strong enough this paradise will scar you
and it has. I was meant to be pregnant at the age of 16
and believe this child will be different from me.
But I escaped, relentless, demanding. "Do not give into it."
But paradise rejected me.
I am now too slovenly, scared and desperate.
I want to bite myself, taste red blood,
red clay until it consumes me. I belong to it.
I want the red clay until it exhausts me and whatever I may give birth to.
My scars like constellations have told me we are not worthy.
  All Here For A ReasonI turned onto a shady, well-manicured driveway that, for all intents and purposes, looked harmless enough. Maple trees lined both sides of the street, and a parade of Canadian geese marched across the road to a wide duck pond with a flamboyant fountain. There were blooming crepe myrtles and rose-of-sharons, and as I grew closer to my destination, neatly trimmed gardens with neatly trimmed bushes.
I stopped to let the geese pass. They looked at me; one hissed. I honked my horn and moved around them.
At the end of the road sat a collection of grayish buildings and a number of signs directing me to the appropriate parking lot. "Welcome to Ten Creeks Hospital," said one of them. "Please enjoy your stay." I parked in the visitor's lot. Surely I wouldn't be staying.
I was shaking when I got out of my car. I had spent the morning getting high. One foot in front of the other, flip-flop noises, hot sidewalk. Mulberry and magnolia trees, freshly shaved grass. A bench and pan for smokers. A set o
   Volpi.You will find that the story you tell
is very rarely your own. In Lucca,
even the smallest pebbles
breathe in the warm sunlight.
Knotted stones and cobbled roads
beat out a paper-dry heartbeat heat –
my city breathes in and out,
inhales sparrow air.
It's writing a story.
You are the pen.
You will find that in Lucca
the daisy chains forge fire
in side streets and back alleys.
Teenagers intertwine. Tell me,
odd flower, are you still closed?
Here we are colored wax;
the heat of the city melts us.
We run into each other, rhapsody
of pigments. Operas are our specialties.
Open up; feel the reds.
If not, try and see them. There is a place
of deep knife marks, a street
long as midnight –
you may learn something there.
Valentina's voice glimmers like red wine.
You may enjoy intoxications. Still,
know alcohol has no story
and will swallow your own.
Find the sign with the wolf on it.
You'll know the place. Epiphanies ring true as church-bells.
Lucca still guides the wanderers
to well sp
  ViolinI remember the day
you told me violins
were strung with cat gut
and that is why
you hated music
(who says that to a child?)
I followed you
all that summer.
I watched you
grow away from mother -
your whiskey held better conversations
and all she did was cry.
We'd sit cross-legged on the porch
and count the horseflies
settling on our lunch.
You would drown tadpoles
in a bucket
surprised they could not swim
and I would dream
of cherry popsicles.
And when night would gather
on the sidewalk
I'd hold my breath
until a star appeared.
Don't bother making wishes
you'd tell me -
stars are dead weight in heaven
and God has cloth ears.

Keep suggesting :eager: And don't forget to favorite this!
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Lauren and I have donated a couple of pieces in a recent animation art auction to benefit fellow animation artist Joey Adams and his family at this time of need. To read about their story click here.

Lauren has donated four Pony pics, and I have donated an original Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends Comic Strip, two of my original pencil drawings from The Powerpuff Girls Golden Book, and an original page from my Wander Over Yonder Sketchbook.

To view the eBay auction pieces please click here!

In addition to our stuff many of our friends have donated some amazing pieces from almost every studio in town!

Please check out the auction and if you can try and support the Adam's family.


  • Mood: Love
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Wed Nov 21, 2012, 2:26 PM

November 21, 2012

I believe in deviantART. Which is to more accurately say I believe in the concept and the reality of the deviantART community.

When in contemplation of the eternal wellspring that is the deviantART project and how it has become the engine keeping my heart and mind on a full burn as I strive to be an upstanding member of the community as well as a helpful architect and eager participant in the conversation -- my thoughts inevitably settle upon my attempts to define my concept of Gratitude.

Marma Lisa by *HenrySchreiber

No matter your medium of choice as an artist, your artistic intentions or the mystic guiding force that has led you to this community, there is one thing all constituent members have in common:

A first step into this world consisted of a simple return to the practice of saying...

Thank you for the fav, thank you for the watch, thank you for your comment, thank you for the points, thank you for the membership, thank you for the critique, and yes, thank you for the llama. The inverse of that exchange, your first act of faving another’s artwork was also a thank you. A thank you to that particular artist or writer for inspiring you, moving you emotionally, educating you, brightening your day, week or month, in some way large or small.

At its core, Gratitude is the life blood of what drives the support system that we all rely on as deviantARTists.

I have read so many deeply moving journals over the years with story after story of support and friendship both on the site between artists of every stage of development and off the site between friends, colleagues, lovers, co-workers, activists and everything in between. The connections made on other social networks seem so superficial when compared with what community members of dA share with each other, rooted in their passion for art, as a matter of due course.

But is the recognition of the gratitude that I and others have found in deviantART means, that one is also in a state of indebtedness?

Some refrain from gratitude as daily practice, not wanting to set mental shackles on their total independence.

They are wrong to do that – because it is only when aid of any kind is extended with an attached price tag that the line is crossed from gratitude to indebtedness. And the deviantART community has proven to me again and again that at core it operates on a currency of love – love for art and love for other community members -- with no price attached.

But mostly I feel genuine sadness for the independent-minded doubters who fear indebtedness so much that they are unaware of an essential human connection they are banishing from their life.

As humans and as artists we are living creatures who live off self-expression and feedback to that self-expression. When we make ourselves vulnerable in our outreach and offer art as representations of ourselves up for advice and criticism, we are at our most human, individuals in need of community, our art our bridge to the world beyond our own mortal coil. When genuine loving criticism of expression is received, and our souls are awash in a feeling of gratitude for the thoughtful acknowledgement of our being – it is in those moments that mere “gratitude” is transcended and transformed into human celebration of self and community. And that’s the sort of ongoing worldwide non-stop party that I’m so grateful to have found in deviantART.

The Gratitude Loopby Heidi


s the end of the year approaches, it's common for people to look back and reflect on things that we're grateful for -- good health, steady income, and cherished loved ones rank highly on "gratitude lists."  Life can deal you anything at any moment, and those are big-ticket items not to take for granted.  But what about the small things -- the person who holds the elevator, a fleece blanket on a cold winter night, the freeway that's magically lacking traffic -- that help you make it through the day?

I've been participating in online communities since the early 1990s and have come to sincerely appreciate the amount of time, effort, and consideration that content creators put into their work.  Like many people, I work long, busy days and if I don't stop along the way to take a few moments for myself, life can become a blur.

When I see a breathtaking piece from an artist I eagerly follow or the next chapter from an author whose storylines I crave, my heart is filled with gratitude that is hard to describe to people who don't "live" online.  The obvious gratitude is easy to describe: the happiness that goes hand in hand with awe over the creativity of the piece, the richness that resonates inside you.

Then there's a deeper gratitude.  This person has spent countless hours pruning, erasing, editing, and perfecting to get to the finished vision delivered right to your Message Center.  You're thankful they stayed with it and saw it through to the end, having no way of knowing if they second-guessed themselves or even restarted a few times.  Perhaps they doubted anyone would care but submitted their work just for the heck of it, and it's here in front of you, the most beautiful deviation you've ever seen.

As anyone on deviantART can relate, it's a scary thing to publish anything online -- comments, artwork, prose -- and put yourself out there, but because creators like you were brave enough to let your imagination run wild, complete your vision, and share it with the world, people like us can be in awe of things we never even knew were the most inspiring, thoughtful things we'd ever experienced.  Bravery, talent, dedication, creativity.  Not only does seeing these artistic displays get me through my day, but it encourages others to continue to create and achieve, until it's one big loop of inspiration over and over again, infinitely.  That’s what I'm grateful for.

What I'm Thankful Forby Ayame-Kenoshi


n reading this article, I was reminded how I got started in the deviantART community. I was initially amazed by the stunning art, on which I left comments to show my appreciation for the work the artist put into creating it and their willingness to share their piece with the world. To my surprise, I received comments right back. From the simple act of sharing gratitude, I formed long-lasting friendships that were incredibly impactful. An eco-system of gratefulness thrives on deviantART and leads to powerful human connection. Being a part of the deviantART community requires giving some effort, but you're certainly rewarded with more love and friendship than you could ever imagine. Or, as Heidi has taught me, you give a little, and you get a little back. This holiday season -- and always -- I'm thankful for the community's consistent and selfless giving back.

  1. Being thankful can be a private, almost hidden emotion.  Having your heart filled with gratitude means wanting to celebrate, to express one’s thankfulness. How often does the community feedback and support of deviantART charge up your artistic batteries with the power of gratitude?
  2. How much does the acceptance and embrace of gratitude as an engine of creativity clear the way for a real creative freedom in pursuing artistic goals; i.e., the removal of the fear of asking for ideas or assistance?
  3. When was the first time you received a response from a deviant somewhere on the planet that really gave you your first inspiring blast of dA gratitude?
  4. What are the five things, art-related, that you are most grateful for on an ongoing daily basis?
  5. What are the most special formative moments of your life that you are now, upon reflection, so very grateful for having happened?
  6. What is it about giving and receiving favs, critiques, points and llamas etc that elevates the power and significance of that minor act so far beyond its simple intent?

I believe in deviantART. Which is to more accurately say I believe in the concept and the reality of the deviantART community.
When in contemplation of the eternal wellspring that is the deviantART project and how it has become the engine keeping my heart and mind on a full burn as I strive to be an upstanding member of the community as well as a helpful architect and eager participant in the conversation -- my thoughts inevitably settle upon my attempts to define my concept of Gratitude.

Writers: $techgnotic
Designers: $marioluevanos
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Long story short- I was looking up who the actor from Panic at the Disco's I Write Sins Not Tragedies video (You know, the baby-faced groom with the green eyes that pierce into your soul? His name is Daniel Issac, by the way, but that's not the important...) and Google, (oh sweet, sweet Google,) brought me to the page for the video on Wikipedia and I happened to come across the reason Ryan Ross titled the song:

"The title of the song refers to Douglas Coupland's novel Shampoo Planet, wherein the main character, Tyler Johnson, says: "I am writing a list of tragic character flaws on my dollar bills with a felt pen. I am thinking of the people in my universe and distilling for each of these people the one flaw in their character that will be their downfall — the flaw that will be their undoing. What I write are not sins; I write tragedies.""

(Personally, I have never read the novel Shampoo Planet, but I am totally adding it to my summer reading list)

That is an interesting thought- isn't it?

It's brings about an curious notion; are a person's sins truly their fault, or a misfortune flaw in the very makings of their soul?

To me, I think everyone on the planet has some type of tragic flaw- a flaw that very well may stay with them for their entire life. This flaw, if they act on it, could be their very undoing and demise.

"If"- is the key word here.

The author of the quote sees these flaws as tragedies, because they believe that people will never change them; that people will never face their demons. A bit morbid, don't you think? Isn't the beauty of breathing in the fact that while our hearts are still beating we can change for the better? I don't think anyone should have to let one thing in their character be the end of them.

He's right in the fact that if they act on that one nagging flaw, I would not necessarily feel angry at that person, like one would towards a deliberate and random wrong-doing, but I would feel sad; I mean, you're watching them destroy themselves.

There is tragedy in that.

(Again, I would like to read this quote in context, because I feel like it would make more sense that way, but I'm just spewing out the first things that come to my mind here.)

What do you think about this quote? I mean- do you think people can change, or do you believe that everyone has a flaw that will ultimately ruin them?

Just some random thoughts that came to me, hope I didn't waste your time! :)

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Username Change Contest-OVER

Wed May 16, 2012, 5:53 PM
EDIT: Contest is over, you can see the winners here:… Thanks to everyone who participated!

Edit: There are now 11 one month subscriptions up for grabs!

So today it was announced that subscribed members of the site can change their username! If you'd like to know more, the full article can be found here:

This change has resulted in a lot of frustration for non-premium members who wish to change their names, however. So I have decided to hold a little contest. I will be giving away two one month premium memberships to deviants who wish to change their username but can't!

Contest info:
:bulletred:How to enter:
1. Fave this article/journal so that other people can see this and learn about the contest!
2. Comment on the article saying why you wish to change your username.

:bulletred: Rules
1. You must be an unsubscribed member to enter.
2. You must fave this article and comment with why you want to change your name to be eligible.
3. You must want to change more than the capitalization of your username!

:bulletred: Prizes
Four one month subscriptions from Katara-AlchemistOne was provided by FieldsOfFire, and another by Troppa-D
Two one month subscriptions from sTiViA
Three one month subscriptions from Iviernu
Two one month subscriptions from divine--apathia

***If you'd like to donate more one month subscriptions as well, please comment with how many you'd like to donate and I'll add them!***

:bulletred: Deadline
The winners will be randomly selected (using a random number generator and the numbers from the faves list!) from the eligible entries one week from now on May 24th and I will post a journal entry with their names. They will receive their prize on the 24th as well.

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A magic of effective art can be a drawing that appears to be a movie still, clipped from a film narrative, evoking a powerful sense of storytelling— and the viewer wants to know the rest of the story. This phenomenon has recently manifested itself on deviantART— and in a big way— once again.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will produce a movie based on a drawing (“sweet Halloween dreams”) by deviantART digital artist begemott. The drawing depicts a tiny teddy bear with a tiny wooden sword and shield defending a sleeping child from the advances of a hideous beast sprung from the child’s nightmare.

The drawing was spotted on deviantART and brought to the attention of The Rock, film company, New Line, and the production company that produced The Rock’s successful movie “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.

Begemott’s gallery is full of wildly imaginative art works... We want to become a part of that world and find out what happens next.

Begemott’s gallery is full of wildly imaginative art works that succeed in capturing the moment in an idea’s “story” that represents a portal into a separate world. We want to become a part of that world and find out what happens next. Almost any of the images from this artist’s gallery could serve as a more interesting story platform than the mostly stale stories released every Friday in our movie theaters. So what at first blush might seem a bit crazy— constructing an entire film narrative from a single artist’s image— becomes much more understandable.

Even within short viewings, the striking and evocative story possibilities of begemott’s artworks spark the imagination. But so many of these paintings deserve longer viewing sessions offering even greater reward by allowing the constructed tableau to percolate and truly come to life. Sensing the dilemma these characters are facing becomes the core focus when viewing these works. Empathy for the subject and situations and the just occurred events comes easily as the scenes unfold and the characters’ relationships with themselves and others become clear. These newly familiar characters exude more identity and personality than the scripted clichés populating too many a screenplay.

The creativity, imagination and resonance with seekers of art that is always next-level, delightfully wicked and yet thoroughly human, always the portal moment of a story we want to enter, is what makes begemott’s art so special. And as a moment of captured “living narrative” his work is drawing in those in the entertainment businesses charged with finding life buried in the stacks of deadheaded old-thought pitches and submissions.

DeviantART's great proletarian aesthetic is infusing media. Presented for your consideration: the likeness of a central character in Bioshock Infinite was sourced from a prominent cosplayer on deviantART, ormeli; and the recent suggestion by a snarky critic that the key art poster for The Great and Powerful Oz must have been made by a “14 year old on deviantART”— it certainly reflects deviantART because that’s what the world wants to see.

This community is the dominant aesthetic.

DeviantART is becoming known as the place to come to, where the imagination for the new millennium and the new narrative spaces of the Internet are to be found. And begemott is the newest example of the narratives being discovered here.

Deviants should be made aware that this phenomenon of Hollywood finding movie ideas in the galleries of deviantARTists is not novel. This community’s impact on the aesthetic and narratives of all media is substantial and constant though frequently invisible. This event is distinguished by the high profile acknowledgement of the artist and of deviantART as the source of his work.

Interviewwith begemott

How integral was your network of friends and watchers on dA in the “discovery” of this artwork?

I think it was crucial. It is only a guess, since I cannot know the people who posted the image on reddit and facebook, but I would expect that it started from people watching me on dA. Same for the people who posted links to my page in comments when the image appeared without attribution. I'm very thankful to them.

With so many screenplays competing for the attention of movie producers, how surprised were you that your drawing was chosen as the basis for a feature film?

It was very unexpected. I guess it shows how social media are changing the landscape. I think that recently another movie project was based on comments on a thread in reddit. It is certainly exciting to have such opportunities offered to outsiders. I would guess that one attractive property of picking up an idea from the internet, is that it has already received feedback from people.

What do you think it was about your drawing that so intrigued a producer looking for a unique story to tell?

I think that the drawing implies a larger story, and it's probably easy to relate to. The night is scary when you are a kid, and I'm sure many children have comforted themselves by imagining that something in the room protected them from all the imaginary dangers in the dark.

There are so many elements balanced in your simple piece – childhood fear and wonder, heroism and loyalty, the safety and the terror of one’s own bed. Do you spend a lot of time thinking about achieving desired balances or effects, or do you just construct “story narrative platforms” instinctively? What can you tell us about your process?

I try hard not to think! When I do try to think about such things explicitly, it all goes wrong. I don't have a process as such. What usually happens is that at some point, usually late at night, often after listening to music for a long time, I have an idea, and I make a quick sketch on a piece of paper to remember. These quick sketches are very rough and probably totally incomprehensible to others. At some other time, when I have time to spare, I go through these sketches, find one that seems like it's worth the effort, and finish it.

Have you been approached by Hollywood about obtaining film rights to your other artworks?


Can you share with us your preferred tools when creating your artworks?

I usually draw with a mechanical pencil on plain paper. When I want more detail, I may use larger Bristol paper. I then scan it and do the coloring on the computer using a Wacom pen.

There is an ongoing rash of movies “updating” classic fairy tales that all seem to fail by losing all sense of childhood as adult themes are added to the mix. Do you think the “Rock” might succeed in creating a gem like “Time Bandits” amidst the current mishmash affairs like “Snow White and the Huntsman?”

I don't really know much about the movie. I will not be part of the creative process, but I certainly hope the end result will be enjoyable. I don't think that adult themes are necessarily a bad thing in a child story. I think that the problem is that in many recent movies revisiting fairy tales, the adult themes are simplistic and inserted in a forceful and explicit way. On the other hand, many good child stories have real underlying adult themes, without losing their magic.

Questionsfor the reader


Is there a particular artwork, or an artist’s work in general, in which you notice this “moment from an unwritten story” phenomenon?


Have you ever been intrigued enough by a “narrative moment” artwork on dA to ask the artist in a comment to tell the rest of the story? Would you like to do that?


Do you think the Hollywood studio trend in seeking more imaginative narratives in dA’s “unwritten stories” will increase?


Is this because audiences in the Internet age in general are demanding more full spectrum or multifaceted platforms for their narrative entertainment?

A magic of effective art can be a drawing that appears to be a movie still, clipped from a film narrative, evoking a powerful sense of storytelling— and the viewer wants to know the rest of the story. This phenomenon has recently manifested itself on deviantART— and in a big way— once again.

Writers: $techgnotic
Designers: $marioluevanos
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I hate being in hospitals. I've spent enough time in them over the years with Ryan. It was always either him or his dad in that bed. I hate the smell of disinfectants that irritate my nose. I hate the squeaky tile floors. I hate that one wheel on the gurney that squeals all the way down the hall. I can't stand the annoying beeping of the heart monitor. I hate the nurses telling you your friend is lucky to be alive. That he needs to see a therapist because he's clearly depressed. Yeah, no shit. I'd say attempting suicide on multiple occasions is pretty fucking depressed. I hate the pristine white sheets that cover the bruises and make everything look better than they are. I hate the pain. And pain is what I saw when I entered Hayley's room. As she lay in those sheets I saw her features contorted with pain. Rushing to her side, I grabbed her hand.
  • Mood: Gloomy
  • Listening to: All I Wanted- Paramore
  • Reading: The Hunger Games
  • Watching: Star Trek
  • Drinking: water
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His lips made everything disappear. It's scary how one person can make you feel so disconnected from the world. You can really lose the sense of who you really are when you do the simplest things with them; even just gazing into their eyes makes you lose yourself. I suppose it's a good thing. Being so completely in love with someone and knowing they feel the same. At the same time, it sort of sets you up for inevitable heartbreak. I guess when you fall in love, not like you have a choice, but you automatically accept your vulnerability. You'd give up anything and everything to be with that person. They mean the world to you and you can't imagine your life without them. You submit your power to them with or without the knowledge that they can make or break you.

When you put your whole heart into something, it's always a risk. No matter what it is, whether it's love or a passion. Be it dropping out of college to pursue an unconventional career or traveling halfway across the globe for love. You never know if it's going to work, but maybe, just maybe, if you believe in it enough, it will.

What Brendon and I have… I've given my entire being into it. I am no longer the owner of my own heart anymore. It's at the mercy of Brendon, but I trust him completely. Those crazy teenagers in so-called love, they'll never make it.

Bitch, watch us.


I'm actually not sure if any of this makes sense. It does to me, but who am I to talk? I've never been in love nor do I have anyone that I could potentially fall in love with. I suppose this is what I hope it's like if/when it happens.
  • Mood: Gloomy
  • Listening to: Always Attract- YMAS
  • Reading: The Great Gatsby
  • Drinking: water
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2011 As Seen Through Art

Mon Jan 9, 2012, 8:13 PM

When a major world event occurs, human beings naturally gravitate together, express feelings, and share memories. And while news websites have a responsibility to present stories as a matter of fact, deviantART has the unique ability to showcase emotions and humanity through art.


2011 was full of emotional events the world around, and our community responded at unprecedented levels. From natural disasters to historical celebrations, entertainment milestones to tearful goodbyes, our community spoke out like no other community can — artistically, creatively, and emotionally. In many ways, last year marked the final chapter of a few eras, opening the door to new beginnings for 2012. Let's take a look...


The Arab Spring movement continues with Zine El Abidine Ben Ali ousted from Tunisia.



Egypt's revolution begins.


AOL Inc. announces
its acquisition of
The Huffington Post.


Nintendo's successful game franchise "The Legend of Zelda" celebrates the 25th anniversary of its first game's release.



Libya's "Day of Rage" protest is held, kicking off what will eventually become a successful full-scale rebellion against Muammar Gaddafi.

Libya, 2011

i. cartography

fly east, a
21st century
trade, where
the desert
blows. the sahara
kicks sandstorms,
brief, wavering
oases, gashes
into the skin
of your people.

brega falls.
the westerners
arrive in time
for benghazi,
and your land
bends subject
to sanded annals
of hindsight
battle jargon.
routed. ras anuf, lost.
two killed, five wounded,
one missing.

ii. ajdabiya

a boy
viva la libye
under the overpass.
you crunch
over bottles
and brown grass,
wait. he turns,
the rebel flag
tied around
his head:
red, black,
true green.
grab a gun,
you say.
a fighter plane
roars overhead.
his eyes
are dark
and young.
grab a gun,
or go home.

he fancies himself
a revolutionary;
you fancy him
stupid. and thank
, you think,
as he hesitates
before flipping
over the fence,
he is afraid.

iii. the government channel

everything is okay.
flash green.
fine, okay,
in its place. the
newscaster's eyes
run black. flash
green. flash green.

iv. great socialist people's libyan arab jamahiriya

he would
have you
as terrorists
in your own
country. his
spokesman, mid-speech,
pauses. he sweats.

they say
these bullets
touch humans
for the first
time. five inches
in your brother's
leg. flash green.

v. the news

"even his mother
could not spell
his name,"
she mutters,
rolling her eyes.
you mess
your daughter's
hair. short moment
of laughter.

vi. the parisian summit

his son, they say,
and raise
their eyebrows,
sip water,
pass copies
of his letter
to a foreign
president. the
lady american
mutters something
about the republicans
loving this. the
africans peacekeep
on their own
continent; they
roll tanks
and order lunch.

vii. the road

in egypt,
they vote
on their next
coup. your
brother, back
from medical
school, teaches
the younger boys
how to roll
in the bed
of the truck.
you snort
and stop
at the gas station,
come out
with a pack
hitting your palm.
I buy quality,
you say, grinning;
your brother
scowls. you
tell the boys
to watch
his leg
and themselves.
you rumble
into tripoli, and
a few of you
return. the desert
blows around
your feet.

viii. ghibli

and you
will know us
by the wind
that dries
our blood
and carries
our names.

Libya, 2011 by ~soporous


A magnitude-6.3 earthquake rattles Christchurch, New Zealand, toppling buildings and claiming 181 lives.


A magnitude-9.0 earthquake rocks Japan, setting off a series of catastrophic events that claim the lives of more than 15,000 people.



Academy Award winning actress Elizabeth Taylor passes away at age 79.



The viral sensation "Nyan Cat"
is posted on YouTube,
eventually garnering more than 50 million views.

Powerful tornadoes devastate the Southern US, claiming over 300 lives and causing nearly $11 billion in damages.



The first episode of "Game of Thrones" airs, HBO's hit series based on "A Song of Ice and Fire" by George R. R. Martin.


Prince William marries Kate Middleton in a televised spectacle broadcast around
the world.


Osama bin Laden is killed
by a team of highly skilled United States Navy SEALs during a raid on his compound.


An EF5 tornado nearly 1 mile wide stampedes through Joplin, Missouri, claiming 161 lives.



The season finale of the animated smash hit "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" airs on The Hub.


After 25 years on the air, the last episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" airs.


Actor Peter Falk, most well-known for his portrayal of "Columbo," passes away at 83.



New York becomes the largest state in the US to legalize same-sex marriage.


"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," the final film in the acclaimed Harry Potter series, debuts in London.


The Space Shuttle Atlantis lands, ending NASA's 30-year space shuttle program.


Long-troubled singer Amy Winehouse passes away from alcohol poisoning at 27.



South Sudan declares its independence from Sudan.


A man in Oslo, Norway, detonates a car bomb then goes on a shooting spree at a nearby summer camp, claiming 77 lives.


Riots and looting break out in North London, lasting 4 days and eventually spreading to several London boroughs and other English cities.



The "Occupy Wall Street" protest begins, eventually sparking demonstrations around the world.



Nearly 20 years after becoming law, "Don't ask, don't tell" is repealed, allowing homosexual and bisexual citizens to openly serve in the US military.


Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple and Pixar Animation Studios, passes away from cancer at the age of 56.



After over 34 years in power, Muammar Gaddafi is shot
and killed by members
of the Libyan National Liberation Army.


Police pepper-spray student protestors on the University of California, Davis campus sparking international dialogue about freedom of speech.



North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong-il passes away at the age of 69.



Nearly 9 years after it began, the Iraq War ends and remaining US troops
are withdrawn.

2011 was full of emotional events the world around, and our community responded at unprecedented levels. From natural disasters to historical celebrations, entertainment milestones to tearful goodbyes, our community spoke out like no other community can — artistically, creatively, and emotionally. In many ways, last year marked the final chapter of a few eras, opening the door to new beginnings for 2012. Let's take a look...

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