Thinking in Pictures

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Originally posted on Aspie Catholic:

Temple Grandin

“If by some magic, autism had been eradicated from the face of the earth, then men would still be socializing in front of a wood fire at the entrance to a cave.”–Temple Grandin,

Temple Grandin is one of my favorite celebrities.  She is an animal behaviorist who studied at three universities.  She invented adaptive curved corrals, which reduced stress, panic, and injury in animals in slaughterhouses.  She is a spokeswoman for autistic rights, because she happens to be autistic herself.  Her autism helped her to invent the hug machine, a machine designed to calm those with hypersensitivity.

Temple Grandin's "Squeeze Machine"

Temple Grandin’s “Squeeze Machine”

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Cosplay 101: A Beginner’s Guide

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Originally posted on Another Castle:

It’s a new year and new conventions are popping up again. For some, it’s a new year to start cosplaying. However, doing a cosplay can be a little intimidating when you go into it without a plan. Hopefully this guide can help.

What is cosplay?

It’s wearing costumes and acting out those characters at conventions.

  • Sometimes it is interchanged with people just wearing costumes but cosplay means doing the whole experience. You don’t have to act though.

My experience is still at a beginners level :

  • Can’t sew and don’t know how to use a sewing machine
  • Not a craft person
  • And I don’t have partnerships with people to give me parts

Despite all that, I asked and still asks questions from experienced people and do my research. I’ve cosplayed since 2010 and have 5 costumes (3 are hits and 2 are still work in progress).

However, over the years…

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Crossover Quote #007

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“What’s this? Elixir? It’s illegal, missy! I’m afraid you’re in very serious, grave, deep trouble, Miriam. Where did you get them? I want names, I want places, I want dates.”

“Fallowby Jackal, her coat pocket, this morning.”

The Child & The Keeper – Chapter One

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Two Years Later…

“There’s a new name here in Luthadel,” Kliss told her, the woman’s voice fakely hushed, as they ate their luncheon in the dining hall. They weren’t quite alone – a Terrisman was sat to Nya’s left – but Ofeus would never share their secrets. He was too timid for betrayal, she had learned. As were most people, it so happened.

Sadly, Kliss wasn’t one of those people.

“His name’s Teven Renoux,” she continued, all too eager to share her pitfully minute knowledge. “I hear he’s trying to build up his reputation with the noblemen of the Great Houses.”

So not any noblewomen, then, Nya thought distastefully. Sounds about right, for something coming from Kliss. Still, she decided to humour the woman. It wasn’t like correcting her was going to do Nya any favours, besides. “So,” she said, choosing the words carefully. “He’s coming here, then?”

“Well, no,” Kliss explained, her eyes gleaming with the temptation of her own meaningless gossip. “He’s basing himself in Fellise, to try and get a name for himself. But he has a niece.”

“And?”

“And I hear we’ll be meeting her soon,” the other woman said gleefully, nearly jumping from her seat with excitement. Maybe I should’ve chosen someone a little less excitable, Nya decided. She wouldn’t be inviting Kliss here again, but right now she needed to know this news. “Her name’s Valette – very pretty, I hear.”

“Is that so?” Nya asked dryly. “I can’t wait to meet her.”

“Well,” Kliss said happily, as she rose from her seat and stepped back away from the table gingerly, “I’m sure you won’t have to wait very long. Apparently she’ll be at the ball next week, right here in your father’s keep.”

“That’ll be cheery,” she informed her companion with gritted teeth, as she picked at the remains of her breakfast with a fork with bored disinterest. Kliss nodded, and took her time to remove herself from the hall, leaving only herself and Ofeus at the table.

“Mistress?”

As she played with her food, her eyes turned to see the Terrisman looking at her. “Yes?”

Ofeus took in a breath, and placed his hands on the table in front of him, revealing his bracelets that glimmered in the lantern light. “Are you jealous, Mistress?”

“Jealous? Of who?”

If these stewards weren’t as they were, Nya was sure the man would be smirking. “Of the Renoux girl, Mistress.”

Well, that was rather forward of him. “I’m not jealous.”

“You seem it.”

That earned him an unrequested scowl, and Nya didn’t bother trying to hide her annoyance as she put her cutlery together on the plate with a scrape of metal on china, and stood up, the legs of her chair squeaking horridly on the tiled floor as it moved backwards. “I think I need to go and tell my brother of what I have learned,” she said, and left.

 

Elend was, as always, reading when she found him. The way he sat on the bed, book in hand, made her think of the assumptions everyone made of the Terrismen – or Keepers, like Elend preferred to call them. Of how everyone thought that they had no feelings, no morals, that they were sworn to protect knowledge and, worst of all, books. The thought of someone bothering to protect such an aggravating pile of papers and ink made Nya squirm. Ugh.

As she closed the door, gently but not quite silent, her brother’s eyes drifted upward, and he slowly closed the book on his lap. The cover was recognisable.

“That’s the book you had with you last night,” she noted as she walked further into the centre of the room, watching him with a strangely curious fixation. He nodded. “I though you said you had to hide things like that.”

“I do,” he said without action, moving the book from his lap as he stood up and walked over to her, immediately mussing at her hair. “I also said that large tomes such as this are rather hard to hide. Especially when Father sends servants into my room to search it each day.”

Helpless astonishment plastered Nya’s face. “He searches your room?”

Lifting an eyebrow with subtle annoyance, he nodded again. “It would be easier if he sent skaa, though. Poor souls don’t know what letters mean.”

She laughed. “They’re certainly not missing much.”

He laughed then, in turn, as he stepped a bit closer toward where she stood. “Still hung up about the whole reading thing, I see.”

“It’s stupid.”

“It’s necessary,” he corrected, picking up the thin pile of papers from his desk and holding it up for her to see. “See this?” She nodded. “This is a letter to Shan Elariel, my fiance. If I couldn’t read, it would be worthless.”

“If you couldn’t read then you wouldn’t have written it,” Nya pointed out.

“Exactly.”

“Plus,” she added, with a glint of a smile, “It would mean that maybe she’d leave you alone, if she knew you weren’t interested?”

“If I…” his voice trailed off, but his eyes stayed razor sharp, trained on her. “Nya, that’s rude.”

“But true.”

For a few seconds, he mumbled away to himself, searching for a suitable reply. But he failed, and simply shook his head, disapproving. “You’re being childish,” he said with an awkwardly raised eyebrow.

“I thought that was my job,” she said, sulking a little as she fell backwards onto the bed, arms spread out wide. “To pout and be a silly litle girl so that Father has an excuse to ignore me and just concentrate on you and on the mines.”

“I was joking when I said that,” he reminded her, his voice light as she sat up, and he mussed her hair.

What about Zane? It doesn’t even matter that he’s a boy, he’s still an outcast. Am I supposed to be the same, an exile? “What if…”

Elend frowned as she instantly took back the comment. “What if what?”

“What if he treats me the same?”

“The same as who?”

You can’t tell him – Mother would kill you for the smallest word. Zane, too. “Nothing,” she said finally, shaking her head a little too vigorously to try and convince him that she meant it. “Anyway, what do you see in Shan? She’s the dullest dullard I know.”

“You obviously don’t know a lot of people then, do you?” She snorted. “You can’t hate her forever, Ny.”

“I can still try.”

Sighing, he mussed her hair again. “She does like you – you know that, right?”

“Yeah, of course. Elend, she likes me as much as the Lord Ruler does.”

Numbly, he nodded.

Crossover Quote #006

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“Just one more thing before we start the banquet, Baiwu tells me he’s sensed a non-human life form in the castle.”

“Your Grace, it’s the princess!”

The Child & The Keeper – Prologue

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{Mistborn fanfiction: what if Elend had a sister as well? Enjoy.}

Nya let her eyes scan the hallway as she stepped out of her bedchamber. Empty, just as she had expected. Hopefully she’d get far enough not to be spotted this time, whether the skaa came out or not. There was just one problem.

Elend.

The pre-empted sound of his footsteps was nothing other than the norm for her – she had gotten over the intiial disappointment of her failed disguises months ago. The Ventures were all rather notorious for their stubborness – her father was proof enough of that – but her brother was…different.

“You’re up late,” he said as he walked out into the hallway, and right up to face her, smiling smugly as he always did when he found her like this. The strange thing was, he always seemed so surprised. As if he wasn’t expecting it.

“I was thirsty,” she said, confident as she rose to her toes in order to try and match her height – and, as always, missing by a good few inches.

“There’s water in your bedchamber.”

“I wanted wine,” she said defiantly.

Elend’s eyes widened curiously. “Oh? Has my little sister accured a taste for blurred sight and stumbled steps all of a sudden?”

The way he said it, so causal, and yet so serious too – the perfect tone used by all Great House heirs when speaking to their younger, more insignificant, unimporant siblings while maintaining a certain grace – was enough to make her blush. All the same, she still managed to meet his watchful stare all too easily. When she couldn’t think of another reason for beign where she was, he added, “Father won’t be pleased if he finds out.”

But you won’t tell him. “He won’t,” she agreed reluctantly.

“You don’t sound so sure.” Smiling, Elend gestured to the book tucked under his arm. Nyah hadn’t even spared it so much as a thought – he always had some kind of writing with him. “Found some light reading.”

Nya rolled her eyes, but her brother simply grinned even more. “Pre-Ascension based, I assume.”

He nodded, just a touch hesitant. “I have a feeling it’ll be hard to hide.”

“I’ll bet.”

Gesturing with his free hand toward the door of her bedchamber – which was sitting ajar, she realised quickly – he raised one eyebrow suggestively. “Back to bed, little sister.”

“But I want to talk,” she pleaded.

“We can talk tomorrow,” he promised, ushering her backward persuasively. “Right now, I need to get back to sleep, and so do you.”

She allowed him to get her back inside the room, but stayed standing at the end of the bed, rather than going straight back to bed as he had expected her to. “What?” she asked innocently, when his eyes narrowed.

“I meant go to bed, Nya.”

She clasped her hands behind her back, hidden so that he couldn’t see the scratches from where she’d hurt herself falling in the alleyway that week. “The skaa aren’t sleeping,” she said, blinking with innocence.

“Everyone sleeps when the mists come out.”

Why do the mists frighten everyone? “The skaa never sleep. Father works them too hard to let them sleep.”

Elend didn’t say anything, but only placed a smaller book, which Nya hadn’t realised he was carrying, on the bed.

“I want you to read that before I do,” he told her, oblivious to the horrified expression on her face. Reading? For pleasure? Maybe Elend liked it, but that was just him. He liked the history, the facts. He wanted to know these things. Nya, on the other hand…

“I don’t like reading,” she retorted, instinctively.

“That doesn’t matter,” he said, emotionless. “I want you to read it, and then I want your honest opinion on what you learn from it.”

“I won’t learn anything,” she assured him fiercely. “Books are stupid.”

Nodding sadly, he stepped backwards towards the door, and waved, almost as if he were saying goodbye for the last time. “The skaa weren’t always our slaves,” he said, and the door closed without a sound behind him.

“What do you mean?” she called out, trying to keep her voice at a low enough volume not to wake anyone else.

But there was no answer.

He was already gone.

Crossover Quote #005

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“Last time I only failed by the narrowest of narrowest margins.”

“You what? You died!”

“That’s a total lie.”

“No it’s not. I saw you myself.”

“‘No it’s not, I saw you myself.’ If you must know, Lyra, I let him escape. I could’ve killed him right there and then, but I didn’t. I restrained myself, and I paid the price.”

“Yeah, yeah. My niece had absolutely nothing to do with it.”

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