Jan. 30th, 2017

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So y’all keep blowing up my notes with the various Family Lore stories I’ve been telling, so I guess I should tell one on my parents now.

My Mother’s Father was part of the United Auto Worker’s Union, and during the 50′s and 60′s, was on strike a lot. My point is, grandpa got himself an entirely deserved reputation for being a sucker who loved animals, so people would dump thier pets on him. Hence, my mother grew up in a house with pets such as Picket the one-eyed tomcat, Tweety the Bald canary, Dummy the cat, Stupid Son of Dummy, Spooky Garbage Dog and Chiquita the Tarantula.  Eventually Grandma put her foot down when Grandpa brought home Gerta the Saint Bernard.

I say all this because it provides some context for how the following occured.

Mom and Dad had just moved in together (my parents dated for six years and were engaged for 13 days, driving everyone on both sides insane), and unfortunately, My mother’s German Shepherd, Cops, has just passed away due to bone cancer.  After mourning for a bit, Mom and Dad decided to get a dog together, as a couple.  

For context, my father had never owned a dog in his life.  His mother had ‘Pretty Bird” the budgie as a child but parrots are alien life forms, not pets.

So they go to the Palo Alto Animal shelter to adopt.  The year was 1987, and at the time, Palo Alto was… not a great place.  Lots of drugs, gangs and poor civic managment.  Mom told me that she learned to identify different types of gunfire while living there. They get there, and mom explains that she’s always had a preference for Big Dogs, and the guy’s face lights up.  Oh Yes, he says, We have a Big Dog.  For expirienced owners, yep, adoptable today, here we’ll give you a discount even-

Somehow my parents were not suspicious about this.

They were shown to the Animal in question, a Gorgeous blue-sable beastie with pretty golden eyes who immediately pressed herself against the fence and gave them the best PUH-LEEEEEEASE TAKE ME HOME puppy eyes 100lbs of canine can do.  Mom and Dad fall in love instantly.  They sign all the paperwork and take her home for $10, and name her “Mazel” as in “Mazel Tov.”

Within the hour, it becomes clear that something is amiss.

Cops had lived with his kibble stored in a plastic garbage can in the garage for six years without incident.  Mazel figured out how to open doors and got the locking lid off the can in six minutes, horking down about four pounds of the stuff before my mother notices that it’s been weirdly quiet.  Most dogs bark at or chase squirrels.  Mazel stalked and caught one the second day, presenting it to my mother like an offering.  Mazel knew all her commands but would clearly stop to consider before obeying, and trained my dad to give her good treats within a week.  The locks on the side-yard gate were undone, and she took a stroll around the neighborhood, but always retuned home for dinner.

After a week of gradually realizing that Mazel was smarter than most of the professors my mom worked with, they took her to the Vet for a routine checkup.

Dr. Hamada walked into the exam room, dropped the clip-board and said “Where the HELL did you get a Wolf?”

After a bit of prodding and a very-angry-dr.hamada-calling-the-pound, they determined Mazel was a high-content hybrid, probably with a husky, but was going to be a lil shit her entire life.  OK, said Hamada, I don’t like destroying animals and you’ve got a lot of expirience with dogs, so I’m okay with letting you keep her, but you should keep her away from small children because her Prey Drive could kick in.

Two years later, mom got pregnant with me.

Mazel noticed instantly, and reacted by digging a large hole in the yard and catching even more squirrels for mom, because she needed the protein or something.  That what you do when the Alpha Bitch is preggers, right?  Dig a den and ply her with food?  On the advice of my grandmother, my mom stayed overnight at the hospital once I was delivered, and dad went home with a shirt that had moms and my scent on it.  Mazel spent the whole night puzzling over it.

The next morning, when mom came home with me, there was the sudden and instantaneous recognition of PUPPY!!!!!! :D:D:D!!!!! PUUUUUUUPPY!!!!!!  and Mazel turned into the most aggressively maternal being I’ve ever met.  Playing with me on the blanket, sitting under my chair at meals (I was a messy eater), sleeping under my crib, teaching me to walk by letting me hang onto her fur and shuffle around.

Dr. Hamada thought mom was a madwoman, until he saw me holding Mazel’s mouth open and sticking my face in so i could look at her teeth.  He gave up when my mom announced she was pregnant with my sister.

I’m making living with a Wolfdog sound awesome, but it did come with some drawbacks:

Mazel did have to be muzzled at the vets, because she had Opinions about having things stuck up her butt.

HAIR.  One of my chores growing up was to brush her out every week and I’d frequently end up with more hair than animal.

the only way we could reliably get her to stay in the yard was with an overhead tether with a STEEL cable, which she chewed through anyway.

Do you like waking up by being hit in the face with half a dead animal? No? Wolfdogs may not be for you.

More than capable of opening the fridge and eating everything if you’re not watching

Will get into everything if not otherwise occupied.  Including eating your tax forms.

Howls along with sirens at 4 AM.

PROS of growing up with a wolfdog, as a small child in the 90′s

I was afforded a degree of freedom normally associated with a pokemon trianer. It was no big deal for me and my sister to walk three miles through my not-really-good neighborhood to the Froyo if I took Mazel with us. People tended to leave us alone when we had 100lbs of overprotective Apex Predator following us around.

WINNING at Pet Day at school.  There wasn’t actually a compettion but Billy’s hamster sucks in comparison to an animal that is perfectly willing to demonstrate how she can snap an oak branch in half on command.

PTA moms losing their shit because Mazel would walk down the block by herself to come pick ups up from school.

Grew up associating the word “Bitch” with teeth and the willingness to rip an asshole’s face off for being rude.  Never changed the definition.

Learned the I-Own-This Strut and Murder-Stare from the absolute best.

When she was 17, Mom and Dad decided to add another room on to the house.  They rigged up the overhead tether so she could be outside but not underfoot for the contruction guys.  One morning, mom came out to notice them all milling in the side yard entrance, muttering worriedly.  When mom asked what was wrong, one of them explained that Carlos forgot to bring the Hamburger.  What do you need a hamburger for?  Asked mom, and they pointed down the side yard to where Mazel was sitting, doing her best Viscious Alpha Bitch Stare.

Apparently they’d never realized that she was on the VERY end of her tether there and couldn’t actually get to them, and had been scamming them for a big mac a day for a month.  Mom had my six-year-old sister pull her away to show she wasn’t dangerous and tired her best not to laugh but kind of failed.

Mazel ended up living to be 19 and a half, and except for some minor arthritis, remarkably hale until the day she passed away in her hole in the back yard while taking a nap.  I maintain that Death had to wait until she was sleeping to get a crack at her, or she would’ve taken his scythe for a chew toy.

@why-animals-do-the-thing, thought this would make you laugh and grimace in equal measure.

@kyidyl, that’s probably the most accurate tag you could have put on this story. It’s a great story and it’s funny and there’s so much unintentional misinformation in it and yet I kind of hate myself for wanting to ruin it.  

So. This is one of those things that I’m going to comment on with the proviso of: it is entirely okay to love this story and think it is hilarious, because it is, and understanding what’s not right and what was problematic misinformation does not have to devalue that as a story, it’s pretty damn great. That being said, y’know, make sure if you share it or tell other people about it you take the grains of salt I’m going to offer and make sure they go along with it.

The misinformation this vet offered up is cringeworthy, and also unfortunately pretty on par for a lot of what people think about wolfdogs. Telling someone “hey don’t have kids your woofer might think they’re prey” is pretty shitty. Telling someone “hey this animal might have trouble around children because they run quickly and make squeaky noises and that might kick in prey drive instincts, so be sure to manage that if you have kids” is much more appropriate, and also very different from what that vet did. 

This whole post is full of dominance theory nonsense that is honestly so painful to hear, because that is the absolute worst way to attempt to interact with higher content wolfdogs. They’re not nearly as forgiving and tractable when it comes to social dynamics as doggy dogs and if you try to dominate them once when it’s unreasonable they’ll remember it forever - you might get a fear reaction, you might get an aggressive reaction, they might just decide they want nothing to do with you, but it’s damn hard to come back from. 

This doesn’t sound like a high-content wolfdog, simply because it was so comfortable in public after being in a shelter environment. True high-content wolfdogs, even ones that are incredibly well socialized as puppies, are notoriously neophytes and do not do well with lots of stimuli or new people. So stories of walking her around town no problem, or taking her to school for show and tell where she did things on cue are immediate red flags. 

Also, who the fuck lets what they think is a high-content wolfdog wander around off-leash and unsupervised?!?! That’s egregiously irresponsible because of the whole “they can’t be vaccinated against rabies in the eyes of the law” and “they get put down for even looking sideways at people”, and also confirms that this animal couldn’t have been of significant content if it supposedly walked to school every day through the town to pick the kids up. Woofer have a mind of their own and generally do as they please, so I’m highly suspicious that any high content animal would have done that  without getting distracted or killing neighborhood animals (because remember, it was described as having really high prey drive).

That being said, I don’t doubt it had some wolf content from the description - all of the “cons” sound like really typical wolfdog behavior. 

I also have some issues about how freely it sounds like they let the baby bother what they thought was a high content wolfdog - there’s a reason it’s crucial to monitor even the most tolerant of doggy dogs when they interact with babies. The shift in behavior when the OP’s mom got pregnant is pretty typical, but it’s not really a dominance thing; the dog is aware something is changing, both from household routine and the smell of the mother’s hormones shifting.

So, yeah. Great story, but it describes a lot of misrepresentation and incredibly irresponsible behavior regarding the management of any content level of wolfdog (that, had the dog actually been high content, would have ended very differently and much worse). Sounds like she was a great dog - maybe a low content, maybe just a very smart and tenacious wolfy-looking dog of varying ancestry. 
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“Got the morbs” should be a thing.
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my sister is becoming a child psychologist and she asked one of her clients, a 10 year old girl, to draw how she felt before they started therapy on the inside of a bowl, and how she felt now on the outside of the bowl.  On the inside of the bowl she drew a plain tree stump, but on the outside she drew a full tree with flowers blooming through it and a beautiful garden all the way around the bowl and that just makes me so happy
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To protect rescued elephants from a cold front in India, activists are knitting sweaters for the large land mammals.

Keep reading
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My dad isn’t home so guess who joined us by the table & made himself look so sad that my mom made him some food on a separate plate & ate with us
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You can be angry about things but still make the conscious decision not to be cruel. When we remind each other to be kind, we’re not saying don’t be mad. There’s a lot of stuff to be mad about right now. But you can still be a kind and patient person. You don’t have to be mean to other people. You can choose.
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Having friends on tumblr is really great. I often refer to you guys in real life as “my friend from england/australia/california/new york” and it makes people think I’m very well traveled when really I’ve just spent a lot of time on the Internet.
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Well, that is one way to pass the time during a rain delay

This is the quality content I live for


@dragons-bones baseball jousting for you

Every time this crosses my dash, the cockles of my black, black heart are warmed.
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I upgraded my Bulbasaur to spring
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But there is one particular type of anti-Semitic troll that I find particularly pernicious: the racists who use their accounts to impersonate Jews and defame them. The con goes like this: The troll finds a picture of a very Jewish-looking person online—typically a Hasidic Jew in full regalia—and makes it his avatar. He puts a bunch of very Jewish descriptors in his bio (“Orthodox,” “Zionist,” “enemy of the alt-right”). He then proceeds to insert himself into conversations with prominent Twitter users—conversations that will often be read by tens of thousands of followers—and say horrifically racist things. Thus, it appears to unsuspecting readers that Jews are outlandishly bigoted. The same has been done with other minorities, from Latinos to African-Americans to Muslims.


The problem is, most casual social media users aren’t even aware that this sort of racist deception is being perpetrated, let alone trained to be vigilant for it. And Twitter isn’t really capable of the detective work to identify these accounts and take them down as they spring up.So the question becomes: How can users fight back? Can this insidious tool of anti-Semitic harassment be defanged like the (((echoes))) that were previously used by internet bigots? The answer is yes, and it takes the form of a Twitter bot.Working with developer Neal Chandra, we created an automated Twitter account that exposes these imposters in real-time. Meet Imposter Buster, social media’s new sheriff. He is programmed with an updated database of impersonator accounts, and every time one of them tweets, he automatically replies and exposes them with pre-programmed evidence:

The bot is kind of amazing. And Rosenberg wants more jobs for it.

So, have you encountered a racist troll impersonating a Jew, African-American, Latino, Muslim, or other minority on Twitter? Send it my way at yrosenberg@tabletmag.com and we’ll put the bot on the case. And do be sure to follow Imposter Buster and his exploits on Twitter!


thius…this is a golem

YES!!! what i love so much about this is everything, but one thing i specifically love is that it fits so precisely into its tradition. the golem of prague was invented to fight a lie – to protect a vulnerable population from the spread of the blood libel. 

…in many accounts the creature is brought to life for a specific purpose: to defend the Jews against the pogroms associated with the notorious blood libel. That libel asserted that before every Passover the Jews used the blood of Christian children to bake matzoh.

At least in legend the Golem is a counter-myth in which artificial life undermines threats of death: dumb clay leavened with life’s breath denies a slander about life’s blood in unleavened flour.

this bot is 100% a golem.
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so Back In The Day, In The Old Country, somewhere in scotland,

a scottish man is passed out drunk sleeping off his drunkenness in a ditch, and along come three virginal, pretty girls. since the scottish man is, scottish, and wearing a kilt, and nothing under the kilt, they shyly keep their distance. one of them says “you know, we’re not supposed to know this, but…”

“i’m curious too,” “yeah, me three,” and they all agree, and peer over the edge.

and see, of course, all laid bare because his kilt’s flipped up.

“oh my god,” says one. “oh my lord,” says the other. “what in god’s name,” says the third.

“it’s so ugly! it’s so sad looking!” the first one laments, near tears. “i know! we should help the poor guy out.” “here, here,” says the last one. “I have a spare blue hair ribbon, we can help fix this…”

a couple hours later, the guy stumbles back to his bar for some hair of the dog, and the barman shakes his head. “you’ve been gone awhile. what’ve you been up to?”

“i’ll be honest, i can’t remember much,” the guy says before gushing: “BUT YOU’LL NEVER BELIEVE WHAT PART OF ME WON FIRST PLACE!”

please enjoy this same joke, NOW IN SONG FORMAT:

I recommend getting wasted and singing at high volume at 2 AM in the front yard for maximum authenticity.
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The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France will go dark tonight in solidarity with the victims of the terrorist attack in Quebec City.
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“if you hate the new president so much nothing is stopping you from leaving”

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The lawyers at JFK are saying their biggest need right now is translators. Please share this with your contacts: If you are an Arabic or Farsi speaker in NYC and are able to provide real-time translations please get in contact with the NY ACLU or the international refugee assistance project. Folks are still needed at terminal 4 at JFK. Share with your networks!
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the sound that I just made
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or maybe just..„,

you know„,..

check if you have a child.,????
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This is a Mills & Boon from 1967 and honestly I don’t know what I’d do if I met someone and they said ‘with those hands she simply must play the piano’ but it would probably end in tears

For those asking, this is from ‘When Love is Blind’ by Mary Burchell, aka Ida Cook. My New Year’s Resolution is to try and read books by really interesting authors, and Ida Cook comes under that umbrella category because:

she was singularly and bizarrely obsessed with opera, along with her sister, Louise Cook

she wrote about 112 romance novels in her life 

during WW2, these two facts became incredibly useful because she and her sister were badass ladies who used the money that Ida earnt from selling romance books to smuggle Jewish people’s possessions across the border from Germany, helping Jewish refugees to satisfy Britain’s financial criteria for immigration

this is because Britain’s immigration requirements included a clause that meant you had to prove that you were financially stable enough to live in Britain, which was hard for Jewish people as they were banned from taking goods or money abroad with them. They were able to leave Germany, but would not be accepted to live anywhere else. So, to get around that, people would smuggle their goods into Britain for them

they literally used to go to Germany dozens of times a year to ‘see operas’, dressed in plain clothes, and would come back to Britain dressed in about eight layers of gold and finery

they did also actually see operas

when officials got suspicious about how many goddamn clothes and items of jewellery they were wearing at one time, they pretended that they were spinsters who didn’t trust their families at home not to sell their belongings, and so they wore all their best clothes and jewellery whenever they went abroad

they had to super carefully plan all their crossings so that the same people who saw them travelling to Germany with no luggage at all didn’t see them travelling back to Britain in completely different outfits, laden with baggage and suitcases

they did this so often that officials did begin to get suspicious about how many times in a year two women could actually go to Germany just to see operas, so the director of the Munich Opera House started to arrange specific performances on dates of their choosing so that they could prove their reason for travelling. He also let them choose which performance they wanted him to put on. They must have been bloody delighted

many of her romance novels are about operas

like this one 

she had a bit of an opera problem, really

she wrote an autobiography and only about a third of it is about her heroic work helping Jewish refugees. The rest of it is about her childhood

just kidding, it’s about operas
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On the Pottermore website,
J.K. Rowling explains how wizards poop.
There’s an excerpt about the Chamber
of Secrets that says wizards didn’t need
toilets because they ‘simply relieved
themselves where they stood,
and vanished the evidence.’ Source Source 2

i fucking hate jk rowling so much because years and years after this franchise has ended she is still continuing trying to make it bad to the point where she said that every character in harry potter canonically shits themselves and then casts a shit vanishing spell 

fuck this is b a d

This reminds me of the hufflepuff group masturbation tweets

The what?
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hey can we please stop citing the aclu as a like, a good organization 

Alright y’all, actual lawblr here to jump in and tell you that the ACLU is, like, a good organization.

The right to free speech is enshrined in our Constitution.  That means that everyone, everyone, has that right.  It is a cornerstone of Constitutional Law that you cannot, cannot, CANNOT pass a law banning someone from speaking based on their viewpoint.  This means that the right to free speech protects that which we find disagreeable, or even reprehensible.

If you would actually, idk, read those links, it would say that the ACLU used the exact same legal arguments defending neo-nazis that it did defending pro-civil rights protestors during the civil rights era.  These are also the same legal arguments that protect all protestors currently around the country.

You cannot, cannot, cannot support your right to free speech and protest but not someone else’s.  

Protest against them, call them assholes, do whatever you want, but everyone has that right.

The American Civil Liberties Union is committed to defending that right to free speech, that civil liberty, no matter who is speaking.

In order to uphold the right to free speech for everybody, somebody somewhere had to take a bullet to their reputation and defend neo-nazis.  If the law prohibiting neo-nazis from speaking were allowed to stand, that would set a legal precedent that would allow laws prohibiting any other protestors based on their viewpoint.  The ACLU stepped up because they saw the BIG PICTURE.

Here’s a list of arguably gross things the Supreme Court has said you can do because of the right to free speech:

Wear a shirt that says “fuck the draft” in a government building, Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 (1971).

Burn the American flag, Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989).

Actually Imma stop there because you can just google “free speech cases” yourfuckingselves.

The same laws that say you can burn flags and tell the government to fuck itself protect neo-nazis, and in order to protect the line of cases that say you can burn flags and tell the government to fuck itself, somebody had to defend the neo-nazis.  The ACLU took that bullet.

I leave you with Justice Kennedy’s beautiful and famous concurring opinion from Texas v. Johnson where he joined the court in striking down a ban on flag burning, which was something he personally found gross:

The case before us illustrates better than most that the judicial power is often difficult in its exercise. We cannot here ask another Branch to share responsibility, as when the argument is made that a statute is flawed or incomplete. For we are presented with a clear and simple statute to be judged against a pure command of the Constitution. The outcome can be laid at no door but ours.

The hard fact is that sometimes we must make decisions we do not like. We make them because they are right, right in the sense that the law and the Constitution, as we see them, compel the result. And so great is our commitment to the process that, except in the rare case, we do not pause to express distaste for the result, perhaps for fear of undermining a valued principle that dictates the decision. This is one of those rare cases.


But whether or not he could appreciate the enormity of the offense he gave, the fact remains that his acts were speech, in both the technical and the fundamental meaning of the Constitution. So I agree with the Court that he must go free.

In conclusion, take your black-and-white, you-are-either-good-or-evil, they-did-something-bad-once-and-so-are-bad-forever attitude and GROW THE FUCK UP.



Hey, OP, the lawyer who defended the Nazis at Skokie was Jewish, just so you know.  He also helped strike down a bunch of book banning laws for the ALA, and defended the demonstrators at the DNC in ‘68.

His name was Burton Joseph.

The ACLU is a great organization. - actual attorney

ETA: If the right to speech is denied to people with whom we disagree it’s only a matter of time before our right to free speech is denied.
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Don’t talk to me or my 3 screaming sons ever again
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*takes off the boobs of every humanized lizard or anthro lizard* go… youre free
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I just read this on twitter…
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A pair of cheetah cub sisters being raised by animal care staff at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park are now 56 days old—and very active. 
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date the person who says, “have fun, be safe, and call if you need anything” not the person who gets mad at you for going out w/o them

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1865-1900  Very long Victorian hair 

It was believed that a woman’s personality could be inferred from her hair. Curly-haired women were considered to be sweeter-natured than women with straight hair. Long, thick, loose hair was associated with a woman’s sexuality — the longer and thicker the hair, the more passionate the woman’s nature.Part 2 Of Insanely Long Victorian Hair
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PHILADELPHIA—Repeatedly chastising himself for making such a foolish decision, area man Anthony Vasquez reportedly spent all day Friday dreading the fun activity he had signed up for. “Goddamn it, I’ve only got two hours left before I have to go out and do this stupid thing,” Vasquez said of the enjoyable leisure activity that he had voluntarily paid $70 for, told multiple friends about, and has been looking forward to for the past three weeks. “What the hell was I thinking? I have to take the train all the way downtown, stand in line, and then probably talk to people afterwards. Maybe it’ll get canceled at the last minute or something.” At press time, a reluctant Vasquez had grudgingly left his apartment, taking small comfort in knowing the fun activity would at least soon be over.

On Editing

Jan. 30th, 2017 09:49 pm
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This was forwarded to me by a former colleague who attended a course on how to publish/edit a book. You probably already know most of these tips, but there might be something you’ll find helpful, who knows…


GENERAL STRUCTURE OF THE BOOK (what the story is and how it is being told):

What is the book about? What is the driving force behind the narrative?

Who is the audience for this book?

Is it based on real experience?

Does the story work? Are there any parts that feel unconvincing or where the narrative drags? 

Are there any parts I don’t understand?

What is the trajectory or the shape of the story?

Does the story start in the right place?

How quickly do I become immersed in the book?

Are there any points where my immersion in the story is broken, or I lose interest?

Do I believe in what I’m reading?

How satisfying is the ending? Does it feel inevitable?

Does it feel like anything is missing?

Is there anything extraneous (characters, detail, unnecessary plot points)?

What is the narrative point of view (first person, second person, third person)? Does it change? Is it consistent? Does it work? What might be lost or gained if the story were told another way?

Is the tense consistent? If it changes, is it necessary?

Does coincidence feature as a plot device? If so, is there another way to engineer the same events?

Keep reading
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Еще одно доказательство того, что коты - это жидкость…

He help water the plant


Translation: “more proof that cats are liquids”


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