also that whole tale of aragorn and arwen thing where he saw her in the woods at twenty and fell instantly in love and it’s very beren and luthien? lies.

aragorn decided he was going to marry arwen when he was like, six.

and everyone thought it was just the cutest thing, baby estel with his little crush on the great immortal evenstar, and everyone would tease him about it relentlessly and he would get so mad, and pout, because how dare they doubt his word.

(arwen spent a lot of time biting back smiles and nodding very seriously when aragorn brings this up with her. no, estel, I do not know why they are laughing perhaps they have remembered a particularly funny joke.)

and then aragorn grows into this gangly teen and oh my god can you imagine being a pimply greasy teenager around fucking elves it’s a wonder he has any self-image left. His voice breaks every other word and the laundresses are beginning to wonder if something is wrong with the sheets because estel keeps washing them himself and aragorn wants to die, god, arwen is never going to marry him if he stays all elbows and skinny knees and he can’t even look her in the eye anymore without blushing, eye contact is probably something to look for in a husband—

(arwen, who never had to go through puberty because elves don’t do anything so undignified, tries to comfort him by saying she likes his blemishes. aragorn gives her a look of such utter, miserable despair that she starts laughing.)

(this is a mistake. he spends the next three weeks nursing his wounded ego and refusing to see her.)

estel is twenty when he asks for her hand. he is lean, slender and fair as a new tree, and so arwen does not feel guilt in kissing his cheek and gently refusing. he is still green, he will weather greater storms than this—and he takes it as he should, clasping her hand and swearing to ever be her loyal friend.

they write to each other—when she is in lorien, when he wanders with the rangers of the north, fights alongside gondor, travels to distant lands. it is an inconstant tie—he is rarely afforded time enough to put pen to paper; she is reserved so as not to encourage what may not be. (she signs her letters always, your friend. She likes him too well to be cruel in this.)

the years pass. his weariness and strife creeps onto the page, and she sends him tokens to fend off the darkness—leaves from lothlorien, the ribbon from her hair, snippets of poems. it is not enough it is never enough I am sorry, she writes.

his reply is gentle: you are enough. do not stop writing.

(she carries that letter tucked inside her sleeve for a long while, like a talisman—though against what evil, she does not know.)

she is in the house of her grandmother when a familiar voice calls out to her: my lady luthien!

this is when arwen looks up, sees aragorn—broad of chest and rugged, still wearing his battered mail, with one hand balanced lazily on the pommel of his sword. All the trees of caras galadhon are gold but he is shadow and silver, kingliness resting lightly on his shoulders—

and arwen thinks, oh fuck


To go along with my Tea Spirits 2015 Calendar Kickstarter I’ll be giving away some free tea!

The winner will receive their choice of one tea (2oz) from the eight listed above. Teas are from the lovely Song Tea.


  • Reblog this post to enter. 
  • Up to two reblogs per person.
  • Shipping is on me. (anywhere in the world)
  • The winner will be chosen by random Oct 17 midnight PST!

And if you’re interested in the calendar or teas check out the project here



Hey guys!  I will very soon be in a place!  At a thing!
Come find me in the artist alley this weekend at Anime Weekend Atlanta!  As you can see, my table is ~~C5~~ which is straight up the middle aisle from the entrance, at the corner of the second right-hand island.  So easy to find, wow.  I have lots of new stuff since last year - heck, even new stuff since last con!
Come by for cheesy jokes, random stories, and fancypants art.*
*cannot guarantee quality of jokes or stories


Hey guys!  I will very soon be in a place!  At a thing!

Come find me in the artist alley this weekend at Anime Weekend Atlanta!  As you can see, my table is ~~C5~~ which is straight up the middle aisle from the entrance, at the corner of the second right-hand island.  So easy to find, wow.  I have lots of new stuff since last year - heck, even new stuff since last con!

Come by for cheesy jokes, random stories, and fancypants art.*

*cannot guarantee quality of jokes or stories






i’m so upset

I just realized that the reason ghosts say Boo! is because it’s a latin verb

they’re literally saying ‘I alarm/I am alarming/I do alarm!!

I can’t

present active boōpresent infinitive boāreperfect active boāvīsupine boātum



if it comes from the latin word, they’re actually saying “I’M YELLING!” which is even cuter

do they speak latin because it’s a dead language

(Source: pidgeling)



I just don’t understand where this concept of ‘fake geek girls’ came from. Like, AT ALL.

Cus when I look for fandom related stuff like 90% of the fan art and the fanfiction and the meta, zines, comics, etc. Like 90% of the shit that I’ve seen is created by women & girls.

And all that stuff take’s a lot of work and research and critical analysis and staring at reference photos for hours.

We are literally the most well versed and invested group in the fandom. So, like, What the fuck boys? You mad you can’t keep up?

I saw an argument, and I can’t find it now, but it totally made sense, that there’s a gender split in fandom. Male fandom tends to be a curator fandom; male fandom collects, organizes, and memorizes facts and figures. Male fandom tends to be KEEPERS of the canon; the fandom places great weight on those who have the biggest collection, the deepest knowledge of obscure subjects, the first appearances, creators, character interactions.

Female fandom is creative. Females create fanart, cosplay, fanwritings. Female fandom ALTERS canon, for the simple reason that canon does not serve female fandom. In order for it to fit the ‘outsider’ (female, queer, POC), the canon must be attacked and rebuilt, and that takes creation.

"Male" fandom devalues this contribution to fandom, because it is not the ‘right’ kind of fandom. "Girls only cosplay for attention, they’re not REAL fans!" "Fanfiction is full of stupid Mary Sues, girls only do it so they can make out with the main character!" "I, a male artist, have done this pin-up work and can put it in my portfolio! You, a female artist, have drawn stupid fanart, and it’s not appropriate to use as a professional reference!"

In the mind of people who decry the ‘fake geek girl,’ this fandom is not as worthy. It damages, or in their mind, destroys the canon. What is the point of memorizing every possible romantic entanglement of heterosexual white Danny Rand if someone turns around and creates a fanwork depicting him as a bisexual female of Asian descent (thus subverting Rand’s creepy ‘white savior’ origins)? When Danny Rand becomes Dani Rand, their power is lessened. What is important to them ceases to be the focus of the discussion. Creation and curatorship can work in tandom, but typically, in fandom, they are on opposite poles.

This is not to say that there aren’t brilliant male cosplayers or smashing female trivia experts, this is to say that the need of the individual fan is met with opposing concepts: In order for me to find myself in comics, I need to make that space for myself, and that is a creative force. Het white cis males are more likely to do anything possible to defend and preserve the canon because the canon is built to cater to them.

This is a pretty astute observation, and one that holds up pretty well with my own experiences. There are definite exceptions, and I meet a lot of them at cons.

But to give a concrete example from my own local group of geek friends: back when The Avengers came out, myself and my best friend and our other closest female friend immediately wondered about the larger lives of the characters outside the films (What do they do for fun?  Who cooks on Tuesdays?  Is Thor good at karaoke?), wondered about them as people, wanted to read and create fiction, wanted to read and create meta.  We had fallen hard and fast for a world and the people in it, and wanted more, even (especially) if that meant making more ourselves.  We were inspired to create.

Our male friends?  Sat around and quoted lines from the movie at each other.  Somewhat refreshingly, they didn’t just pedantically point out differences between comics and MCU (I have witnessed and been in such conversations).  But it’s fascinating to me that their response was literally to orally catalog and preserve the media they’d just consumed.


Racism and Middle Earth: Part 1/6: People of Color in Middle Earth

If you haven’t already seen this post, I’d highly recommend you take a look - it outlines this series of racism posts and also includes my blanket disclaimer as to my own ethnicity/point of view.

Regarding feedback: I love it. But keep in mind that this is part 1 of 6, so there’s a pretty good chance I’m already planning on talking about whatever you’re thinking off. Send me a message anyway, be my guest, just keep that in mind. And, if your feedback is more of the “sharing my ideas on the subject” variety, it’s probably more valuable to the fandom as a reblog - put your words out there so everyone can benefit from them, not just me (I promise I’ll be reading all the reblogs on this post anyway, so I’ll still see it.)

(Also, please let me know if you notice any typos/factual errors. I’ll likely polish this up for a downloadable final version, so any mistakes you catch now would really help me out later.)

So, without further ado—many of my readers doubt know these already, having teased them out for themselves, but for anybody starting out, Things I Have Learned About Art, mostly composition and color.

- Don’t have a line going off the exact corner of the page. This activates the corner visually—it hauls the eye down and right off the page, and they may never come back. Doesn’t have to be a straight line, either. Likewise, if you’ve got a large shape going off the corner, handle it carefully—if it’s perfectly balanced in the corner, the center axis will sometimes act like a line, even if it’s not drawn in.

- If something is nearly touching something else, but not quite, it activates the space between them. If you have a tree branch that’s almost—but not quite—touching the line of the mountains, people are going to be staring at that little gap. Since there is probably nothing to see in that little gap, you probably don’t want that.

Corollary 1: The eye goes to stuff that’s crossing. If you have stuff crossing other stuff, the eye will get dragged to where they cross. This can be used to your advantage.

Corollary 2: X marks the spot. If you have stuff—tree branches, arms, mountains, whatever, form an exact right angle cross, the eye goes there and STOPS. For whatever reason, a right-angle X is like a brake. People will stare at it. Can be great if it’s on your main figure! Not so great if it’s a couple of blades of grass in the foreground. X’s, for whatever reason, will haul in the eye.

- Don’t block movement. I think it was John Seery-Lester who wrote this one, and I’ve found him to often be correct. If you have a figure moving, don’t put stuff in their way. ANY stuff. A wolf running across the painting is halted just as easily by a bright blade of grass from the foreground extending into his path as by a brick wall. Obviously you have to make some judgement calls on this one, but if you’re going for a sense of motion, don’t put in a visual obstacle course.

- People look at faces. In most paintings, all else being equal, the eye is drawn immediately to faces. This is good! You want people to look at your figure! Also, according to Michael Whelan anyway, again, all else being equal, a book cover with a large face does better on the newsstand. Couldn’t speak to that one myself.

Corollary: They look at boobs, too.

- The eye goes to contrast. The point where the darkest darks cross the lightest lights is seriously intense, and the eye will go there. This can be used to your advantage, but if you have three or four evenly spaced areas of high contrast, the eye will wander around, get confused, miss your main figure, and the viewer will get bored and get a headache. (This one’s hard to spot in practice, so don’t sweat too much. If you’ve got a piece that isn’t working, though, consider whether this may be the problem, and punch up the contrast on your main point of interest.)

- Figure out what color your light source is, and dump the complimentary color in the shadows. This depends on your color scheme, but seriously, a little purple in the shadows cast by the yellow sun of the the earth can really jazz up a piece.

Corollary: Gray looks purple if you stick it next to yellow, etc. This isn’t either good or bad, just something to be aware of.

- The eye follows lines. If you have a strong line running most of the length of the painting, have it go somewhere interesting. If it winds up nowhere in particular—if you’ve got a dais or platform with a strong line at the top, say, and there’s nothing interesting to either side—then break it up—a leg, a fold of cloth, a torch, whatever—so that the eye can get off that hard line. It’s like a monorail. You gotta give ‘em a station to get off, or they’ll just go back and forth and eventually jump, and god knows where they’ll wind up.

Corollary 1: The eye will follow lines TO stuff, too. Have your hard line lead to somebody’s face, and wham, you know the viewer’s gonna see that face. Have the line of a mountain lead to your mountain lion, or whatever.

Corollary 2: Hard lines that divide your painting in half (or a third, or whatever) are tricky. See, they split the painting HARD, and there’s a good chance the viewer will not actually register half the painting. It isolates each half of the painting. Great if you’re doing a light-and-dark shot of the same area or something—the visual similiarities will tie them together. Not so great if you just wanted to put a table there. The hard line acts as a wall. You gotta give ‘em some kind of break to get through the wall. A mountain or a tree breaking up the horizon line might be all you need.

- Bright colors come forward, dark colors recede. But you can fake ‘em out with contrast and saturation.

- Certain color combos have associations that trump your painting every time. Okay, this is totally subjective, but bear in mind that if you use dark green and saturated red together, it’s Christmas, and red, white, and navy blue are more trouble than they’re worth. You may be able to make ‘em work, people certainly do, but you’re working against an entire culture’s programming on this one.

Corollary 1: Red, blue, and yellow in equal amounts gets really cluttered. Again, it can be made to work—my icon, for example, is from a painting where I used all three—but all those primaries can be awfully busy if you’re not careful. The platypus painting was seriously minimalist and stylized, which I think is why it worked, assuming it did and I’m not delusional.

Corollary 2: Fear the rainbow. Don’t ask me why, but if you have a complete rainbow spectrum, it just takes over the image. Not neccessarily bad, but approach with caution.

Corollary 3: Warning colors draw the eye. Since we evolved to associate bright colored animals with danger, like bees and poison frogs and whatnot, the specific combinations of black and red and especially black and yellow haul the eye in like no other. Black and yellow is much more powerful than black and white.

- Symmetry is powerful, or powerfully boring. Strict, formal symmetry can make for a very imposing, dramatic painting, or it can send you to sleep. There’s a trick to it. If I ever figure out what it is, you’ll be the first to know.

Corollary: Odd numbers are good. I am told this works in landscaping, too—two of anything cancel each other out. One is an interesting specimen, three is a good dynamic grouping. It works with higher numbers too. Odd numbers add drama, even numbers balance one another. Once you get to the point where you can’t count the things, don’t worry about it.

- Any collection of three dark roundish bits is a face. Learn to live with it. If you have a face take over a painting, however, you can usually fix it by taking out one of the “eyes.”

- Same value, different hue, vibrates like hell. Okay, this is hard to explain, but if you have two colors that are the same brightness, even if it’s a red and a green or something, and you stick them together, the fact that they’re the same light/dark value gives them this freaky visual wiggle, as they both fight for dominance. You can use this to your advantage, but more likely, it’ll give your viewer a migraine. Decide which color you want to win and punch it up a few notches.

- Anything can be any color, as long as you get the shape right. Especially true of skin tones, as long as it’s internally consistent, people will assume that it’s due to weird lighting, or they won’t even notice. Jerry Rudquist, my painting teacher, art rest his soul, told me this, and I have been proving him right for the rest of my life.

Corollary: Bright yellow is brighter than white. Heh, go figure. White is usually the brightest part of a painting, but occasionally you find a painting where yellow trumps it. I don’t know what causes that to happen, but it’s interesting.