Esoterica's avatar


To All Writers of Everything Ever


I need to rant about this:


Also known as the best writing program ever! It’s a full-screen writing program!

So you open it up, and it looks like this:


You’re thinking, “Ok, so what? It’s a screen with a picture. Whoopdie do.” But it get’s better! It’s customizable!

See that “appearance”? Click it.


You can also use custom fonts that you have installed!

See that “music”? Click it.


If you drag your own music into the folder, like so:


You get this!:


But wait! It gets better!

See “typing sounds”? You can change those too!

Perhaps the best is - YOU CAN USE ANY PICTURE FOR THE BACKGROUND. It will automatically fade it for you!

Seriously, guys, this tool is wonderful. You can use it for:

  • Research papers
  • Novel writing
  • Play writing
  • Short stories
  • Homework assignments
  • Ranting about your friends when they piss you off
  • Writing your shopping list

It auto-saves. It exports to .rtf. Hotkeys from Word for italicize, underlining, and bold work. You can print RIGHT FROM THERE.

And the seriously best thing ever?

It fits on a flash drive. The entire thing with added music is maybe 131MBs.

The bestest thing ever.

It’s free.

(via moniquill)

Gee, I don’t know how to research writing Characters of Color tastefully:


1.) It’s not hard to figure out what to do, there are plenty of resources.

People say you have to get it right, do your research, but … what else are you supposed to research? It’s not like people with more pigment in their skin have completely different personalities than those with less, any more than any individual. It’s frustrating when I can’t even figure out what the heck people are talking about.

Bam. Research step one done for you.

2.) Writing characters of color/minorities is a good thing.

I don’t like the notion that fantasy authors are under some kind of obligation to present ethnically diverse worlds. I’m English, and a fair sized part of English history consists of unwashed beardy white people in mead halls. If I’m inspired by my own history and cultural heritage, then that’s what I’m damn well going to write about. I’m not writing about some other culture just to appease the people who think there aren’t enough black characters in fantasy, or whatever. You want it, you write it. Nothing to do with me.

You’re wrong.

3.) Your all White Fantasy Land Didn’t Exist in Real Life:

…the rather medieval one has more diversity than real medieval Germany probably had […] In a world with medieval means of transport, it just doesn’t seem natural to me to mix dark-skinned people with blue-eyed blondes in one setting. I just try to give the people a colour that fits the place where they live.

You mean like the people from Africa and the Middle east who began to take over Southern Spain, as well as the Jews who were pretty well spread out throughout Europe, the Middle Easterners they would have met on the Crusades, and the incoming Mongol Hordes who spread to the very edges of Eastern Europe before the empire finally collapsed? Don’t forget that Turkey is right there, and the silk road would have gone from Song Dynasty China, through India, and ended in Turkey before moving further westwards into places like Germany. Also the attempts at the Franco-Mongol alliance would have been pretty interesting. (That’s about the 13th century - arguably smack dab in Middle Ages Europe and definite contact between France/Christian Europe and the Mongolian Empire.)

I call bullshit on people who have societies that are only all white ever, because it’s just inaccurate. Consider the relative closeness of Northern Africa to Spain, or Turkey to the rest of Europe, the conquests of Alexander the Great, the Crusades, Slavery existing in Europe, including England, the slave trade, imperialism, Pax Mongolica, The Silk Road, Jewish Diaspora, the Islamic Empire vs The Holy Roman Empire, Egypt, Algeria, China’s sailing across the world, The Maruyan/Gupta Empires of India, tea trades, Columbus sailing in hopes of finding China, etc, etc, etc.

4.) I mean I just don’t believe you anymore. It’s unrealistic. Seriously guys.

You’d think I’d just denied the holocaust or something. Get a grip. All I said was that I’m going to write about my own cultural experience and anyone who thinks I should do otherwise for the sake of political correctness can bugger off.

This isn’t even about being PC this is just not being wrong about everything.

good lord.

(via moniquill)


Advice for someone who wants to start writing


Made rebloggable by request!


Okay, that’s possibly not very helpful. But seriously, that’s all there is to it. If you want to write, I’m assuming you’re a reader—keep doing that. Read the sort of things you want to write. Read things you’d never think to write. Get pissed at how much better you could have written what you just read. Get pissed at how you’ll never be as good as what you just read. And then go write.

Here are some points:

You will suck. I’m sorry, but it’s true. We all do when we start. For some reason, people take that as a reason not to write! Writing is one of those things where we somehow magically expect ourselves to be amazing right out of the gate, instead of allowing ourselves time to learn how to do it. Which leads me to:

Talent is overrated. The more I write, the more I’m convinced that when it comes to writing, ‘talent’ is just an indicator of how fast you move along the learning curve. Some folks have a particular talent for plot, so they get really good at plot, really fast. Other people (*waves hand*) take years to figure out how a plot goes together. The thing about learning to write is that so much of it happens on a subconscious level, that it can seem pretty magical. It’s not. It’s a skill, and you can learn it. It’s just easier for some people to learn than others.

Ideas are a dime a dozen. Hard to believe when you’re staring at a blank screen, but it’s true. This is another subconscious thing at work. Once you get your brain to flip the switch into writer territory, you will start to see ideas EVERYWHERE. You will have more ideas than you could ever possibly write. You’ll have ideas that are terrible, that are amazing, that are frightening. But you will have ideas. The hard part is catching the first one and sitting down to write it.

Finish something. This is possibly the sticking point for a lot of writers, especially new writers. You’ll be writing along on your story, and all will be well, and then… all of a sudden you hate it. It’s hard. The words aren’t coming, the characters are flat, and what the hell made you think this was a good idea to start with?? Congratulations, you’ve reached the Middle. (Or as someone so vividly described it in #innercircle last night, “the Valley of Shame”.)

Here’s a secret: I think EVERY writer does this. You reach a point where the shiny newness wears off of your story, and the initial burst of inspiration is gone and you’re left with the actual work of turning the idea into something readable. And what inevitably happens is this: a shiny new idea comes along, and it’s so much prettier than your nasty old boring idea! So you go off chasing the new idea. And then inevitably, the new wears off the new idea, and writing gets hard again. But see above, ideas are a dime a dozen, so along comes another new one! And off you go after it.

End result? A bunch of unfinished stories. When someone tells me they can never finish a story, it’s almost always because of the Middle, and new-idea-chasing.

The Middle sucks for everybody. EVERYBODY. Your favorite writer? Hates their book in the middle of it. The difference between a writer that finishes things and one that doesn’t is that the former keeps writing anyway. The shiny new ideas that inevitably crop up get written down in a notebook somewhere and saved for later.

Nobody tells you about the Middle when you first start! So when it happens to you, you think “wow, this must have been a bad idea” or “wow, I’m a terrible writer”. And then when it happens again and again, you start to think maybe this writing gig was a bad idea. But honest-to-god, the Middle is all part of the process. Push past it (and that gets a little easier once you’ve been there a few times, believe me), and finish your idea. THEN go chase the new one.

Don’t write alone. I don’t mean always collaborate, I mean, talk to other writers. That’s how you learn about things like the Middle, that everybody goes through it. That’s who you can bounce plot ideas off, and whine about the dialogue you’re writing. It’s how you find your betas or editors, and you end up making some great friends in the process. Tumblr (and the internet in general) can be a good place to start. And finally:

Write. The only way to get better at writing is to write. (And read, but reading’s only the theory.) Even if you hate it, even when it sucks.  Writing does something in your brain. It IS kind of magical at times. Like, I’ll be trying to figure out a plot (ah, plot, my old nemesis), and for me, I tend to freewrite to do that. So I’ll be burbling along, asking myself questions like, “What does John think about this?” or “What is Molly doing during all this?” and then something will CLICK and everything will suddenly make sense.

And THAT’S the moment I write for, that sudden whammy of everything making sense, of a character suddenly speaking in their own voice. Because the thing about writing is that once you’ve started doing it regularly, your brain never stops. Even while you’re sleeping or doing homework or at work, your subconscious is still putting pieces together, solving the puzzle. (Which is why writers talk about waking up in the middle of the night with a “Eureka!” moment.) But your subconscious won’t work for you if you don’t do the conscious work.

The trickiest thing about writing is getting past the voices in your head that tell you it’s pointless, that you suck, that the words won’t come, that you won’t have any ideas, etc., etc. Just know that everybody who writes has those same voices, that you’re not alone in that.

Good luck, anon! Now go write some words!

(via alltruthwaitsinallthings-deacti)


There Need to Be More Nonwhite Protagonists

It is often difficult for me to go into the young adult section of a book store. It should be easy. I have about 2 million books for young people in print.

But I know before I turn up the aisle what I will find — shelves of books about young people who look nothing like the ones I write about. The kids on the covers will have great adventures, solve mysteries, wrestle with bullying or save the world again. But these books do not, and cannot tell the full story of America and what all of her children are capable of accomplishing. For this to happen, we need more books about African-American youth and other kids of color.

A few years ago, standing on a high school stage in New Orleans, I was proposed to by a student. It gave us all a good chuckle. But I understood what was happening. The same thing that happens when I, and many other African-American young adult authors visit schools. African-American students, some who may not always feel comfortable discussing literature, find their voices, share their insights and questions, hug and follow us.

In a world where youth of color are often told how much they are lacking, young adult novels about them and their communities tell the rest of the story. The characters aren’t all perfect, but they aren’t all monsters either. And here’s the good news. When African-American characters speak, it gives not just black youth permission to speak and see the value of who they are, but others as well. I will never forget the Caucasian girl who wrote to me saying that a father in one of my novels was her hero. Her parents were divorced and her father absent. She believed that my character gave her the fatherly advice about boys that she was seeking.

When books about African-American youth are not on book shelves, than we all miss out. Not just African-American youth, but this girl and others like her who have come to rely on us to share a unique, universal perspective of teen life that must not be silenced.

(via ethiopienne)


First-time YA and middle grade writers of colour: attention!


The Tu imprint of Lee and Low introduces the New Visions Award.

The New Visions Award will be given for a middle grade or young adult fantasy, science fiction, or mystery novel by a writer of color. Authors who have not previously had a middle grade or young adult novel published are eligible.

The Award winner will receive a cash grant of $1000 and our standard publication contract, including our basic advance and royalties for a first time author. An Honor Award winner will receive a cash grant of $500.

Manuscripts will be accepted through October 30, 2012. See the full submissions guidelines here. 


I think I finally figured something out. Privileged, ignorant white people come on Tumblr and think we only exist here because


they can turn off the computer and walk away and nothing we say or do helps THEM or changes THEIR lives.

So they think that there is of course no way that we affect each others’ lives with our help, financial and emotional support, and funding for projects and whatnot.

Because we don’t do it for THEM.

So basically their cries of “all this stuff you do doesn’t change anything or actually help anybody” really means “none of this is helping meeee, so it doesn’t matter”.

I actually feel less irked about it now.

Because I know my five bucks here and there, my info or personal stories or my “here’s a link to a clinic in your area” is doing what it needs to do.

This explains eveything.


I would like to write a how-to guide for fanfic writers trying to publish the next Fifty Shades of Grey


And by “next Fifty Shades of Grey” I mean “acutally good story by a fanfiction writer”. Because good fanfiction writers writing excellent erotica are out there, and at least some of them sound like they’re going to try getting published after realizing what sort of non-quality work is out there.

Except: I’ll be talking about my own experiences getting a publisher, not self-publishing. So far as I can tell, the success ofFifty Shades of Greyis one of the vagaries of word-of-mouth marketing, and if I knew the secret to harnessing that power, I would be laughing down at all of you from atop my throne of cash.

I do not have a throne of cash, and I am not laughing down at you from atop it.

However, I would love to help more quality fanfic writers get their (non-copyright infringing, of course) work published, if they want to. Because there’s no wayFifty Shadesdeserves the success it’s getting and you all don’t.

Does this sound like something anyone would be interested in? Any suggestions, comments, topics I should be sure to cover?

How about finding an agent & writing a good pitch letter?

(via moniquill)


Dear (allegedly non-racist) Skinheads,



Ya’ll fucked up.

Instead of owning the fuck up to the rampant and often violent and militant racism and white supremacy in your scene, the rampant and often violent and militant racism that you, an allegedly anti-racist skinhead, allow, you decide to shout down the black girl, one that grew up in the punk scene for her lived experiences with skins.

You’re beyond ignorant.

I know of SHARPs. One of my favorite people up on here is a SHARP. I know of the black roots of the skin subculture. I know about the black skinheads and the black roots of English punk. I dig the roots of the subculture, music, and the style a lot actually, and am interested in it.

But, more importantly, I know of the racist appropriation of that culture, both by raving supremacist racists AND by allegedly non-racist white folks who felt it was totally within their right to steal from black culture and even at times dare to claim it was some sort of homage to blackness when we never saw the profits or the visibility for ourselves. That’s right, you’re all inherently racist because you’re fucking jockin’ shit that doesn’t belong to you. I know about my experienced with low-class angry white power thugs and brats whose shaved head and ample usage of the confederate flag didn’t make me think “how dare they wrongly appropriate the skinhead culture” but “oh shit, I need to take care of myself before I possibly get bashed”. I go to shows, I don’t ponder and consider whether the guy in the doc martens and thin black suspenders might be a SHARP or might wanna stomp my face in, I just assume the latter and move the fuck on. Yeah, I care about myself and my safety first! Wow! That’s a funny thing about this whole anti-racism, pro-POC position that you don’t understand-you listen, advocate and care for us, our decisions, our lived experiences, our narratives over anything else, especially over silly, condescending, nitpicking, whitesplaining subcultural misnomers or misunderstandings. But as always, whiteness is first and foremost concerned with whiteness. I shouldn’t be surprised.

What I don’t stand for is you daring to claim the anti-racist tagline for yourself. Don’t you fucking dare. You’re just as racist as your white supremacist breathern, if not more. At least they’re not cowards hiding as alleged allies, undermining POC secretly, prioritizing themselves over us in their acclaimed egalitarian political beliefs.

Also, you’re stupid basic assholes for still summing up all of racism and all racial prejudice and white privilege to Nazism. What the fuck is that? You lack nuance.

Fuck you, tired assholes


PS-Just because you have that Dead Kennedys patch with the swastika crossed out DOESN’T automatically make you anti-racist. It just makes you a basic punk like the rest of them.

I still reserve the right - for the sake of my own safety and the safety of others I love - to assume that if you’re white you are racist in some way(s) unless you prove otherwise. And that goes triple for if you’re a white skinhead. This shit is called survival. And you are a racist if you can’t respect that. Cry your river elsewhere.

(via poemsofthedead-deactivated20120)


Whitney: Victim Of The “Strong Black Woman” Stereotype | Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture


It was not inevitable for everyone that Whitney Houston was going to die. Many of us expected her to make a comeback. For those people, her death came as a shock. Many of the people who were not surprised by Houston’s death used her drug addiction as an excuse. As often as I hear that Houston was talented, I hear that she was a crack-head, or that she was Bobby Brown’s punching bag.

Television shows covering Whitney’s death focused most of their energy on her marriage to Bobby Brown and drug use. There was very little discussion of what her life was like before she was apparently using. Never mind that Whitney, as a Black woman, was a successful pop star while most other Black singers were automatically sifted into the R&B or Soul categories. There was barely any mention of an accident she had as a child that could have very well severely damaged her vocal cords, or any of the political and charitable works she had done, like her Welcome Home Heroes concert for the soldiers who had fought in the Persian War in 1991 or her support of Nelson Mandela.

Houston’s drug addiction and domestic violence issues devalue her as an artist and person to many. To these people, she is not categorized as an artist with a drug addiction, or even a human with a drug problem. She is categorized strictly as a drug addict like many Black female entertainers before her, Dorothy Dandridge and Billie Holiday included.

Why is Whitney given a bad name for being a drug addict, but people still idealize Kurt Cobain, Sid Vicious and John Lennon?


The conversation about the racist incident at SWNYC reminds me-



TW-racial slurs, racism

In relation to the “African American identity vs. non-American African diaspora identity” also-The moment people of African descent enter this country, we become niggers, too. This word doesn’t just hurt African Americans.

My brother experienced the “border-hopping, wetback” jokes, but I hardly ever did, and only after I established or it was known that I’m Latina. I got the “Pretty-smart-for-a-black-girl-ooo-your-hair-you-look-so-exotic-hey-you’re-not-pure-and-pretty-and-delicate-and-worth-saving-or-loving” bullshit.

No racist white person sits there and looks at my black ass and thinks “Well, since your family emigrated from the Dominican Republic, it is technically incorrect for me to address you with racial slurs of African Americans”. I am, for all intents and purposes, black. The slurs hurt me. A black family friend of my mother’s set me straight at 15 about this, and echoed everything I truly knew inside but never dared to validate out of a self-loathing. People look at me, and I’m black. End of story.

And for people of African descent who STILL experienced the slave trade, colonialism, and all the fluffy fun stuff African Americans did but just in different countries-we share that same identity and history, just in a different ways and different countries. So yes, even if the slurs or terms are jointly mixed with a history of slavery, it hurts me, it mocks and belittles and hates on my identity and ancestry.

That said, I know there are a lot of aspects of African American life and experiences that I can’t directly relate to, nor is it my ancestor’s history. Rather, I relate to it in a sense of “experiences of African Diasporas in the countries that they built with their own hands and now spits on them”.

I don’t want to try to appropriate struggles that weren’t directly mine, only call to be included and recognized.

Thank you. As a non-U.S. person of African descent, I really appreciate this. SO MUCH! 

(via leonineantiheroine-deactivated2)