Filling large gaps in farmhouse table

Inherited Roth IRA (and possibly life insurance policy) question

2023.03.23 21:05 MadHatter921 Inherited Roth IRA (and possibly life insurance policy) question

Starting by saying the paralegal working on this has been extremely uncommunicative and doesn't answer my questions. I don't have a lot of information because of this so I'll try to include what could be relevant while also trying to be brief.
Both my grandparents passed at the end of 2021. My grandmother was the beneficiary of my grandfather's IRA. She survived him by three weeks but their wills didn't get entered into probate until a few months after she passed.
Here's the most recent email from the paralegal:
"Grandmother's Trust is a bit more complicate than Grandfather's Trust was and the reason being that Grandmother's Trust was not funded at the time of her death. Grandmother was the beneficiary of Grandfather's IRA. An Inherited IRA was transferred to Grandmother's probate estate. The beneficiary of Grandmother's Estate is her trust. Grandmother was also the beneficiary of Grandfather's [Insurance Company] Annuity. We had been in contact with [Insurance Company], including obtaining copies of their policies and options in order to make an informed decision as to receiving the proceeds. It was determined that the five-year option was the most favorable because a lump sum payment would incur a tax of 44% on the proceeds received into the estate and it would not be the responsible decision for the trust to take the lump sum payment at such a large hit. Payments will be made from the annuity currently in the name of Grandmother's Estate to her trust and then from her Trust we can make distributions to the beneficiaries. We cannot transfer the annuity from Grandmother's Estate to her Trust either as that also will trigger the 44% tax."
I've asked her for clarification but it's been pulling teeth with her so far so I don't expect her response to answer any questions and I'm hoping the good people of reddit can fill in the blanks.
I'm also wondering if there's a IRA withdrawal tax rate chart somewhere I can look at to maybe get an idea of how much is in the IRA. 44% is higher than the highest rate I'm seeing (37%), and that's just for income tax I'm pretty sure. I did see something about a 40% rate for a "generation-skipping transfer tax" but that's still lower than the 44%.
submitted by MadHatter921 to tax [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 21:04 SocialTel Tales of the Terran Mercenary Group (1/?)

The engines of the dropship kicked on afterburners, roaring into overdrive as they neared their final descent. The inertial dampeners whined in protest, and Nikos felt his stomach flip flop as gravity spasmed around him in a desperate attempt to correct back to Terra normal. Niko gasped in exertion, his vision blurring and darkening around the corners. On his heads-up display, he could see his heart rate spike as his vitals went haywire. In response, his suit upped the oxygen percentage in his air supply and he felt something prick him in the nape of his neck. His heart rate slowed, his vision snapped into razor focus and he heaved with relief. Above them, the red combat light began to flash. Niko reached to his side, brushing his gloved hand against his rifle, and ran one final suit diagnostic. Then the dropship slammed into the ground, the combat light turned green.
“GO! GO! GO!”
The backdoor exploded open and Niko was on his feet, racing out of the dropship. Men peeled off the moment they exited, running to either side of the dropship to create a perimeter. Niko was one of the last out and he blinked in surprise at just how crowded the city was. Hundreds of bugs were scuttling away from them in all directions, trampling each other in their haste. Niko’s foot hit something wet and viscous as he stepped off the metal ramp and dashed toward his position in the perimeter. A couple of xenos were trying to drag something from under the dropship, screaming in their disgusting language all the while.
“Get the fuck back!” he roared, raising his rifle toward the bugs. His suit translated his words into the unintelligible bug speak and they froze. The one closest to the ship was still clutching onto the upper half of another xeno that Niko’s suit informed him had already flatlined. They froze just long enough that his HUD blinked red and an angry tone played in his helmet. A grin spread across Niko’s face and he opened fire. His rifle automatically cycled to anti-personnel rounds. The xeno closest to him disintegrated in a spray of razor-sharp flechettes. The second was just beginning to look over at its companion when Nikos cut it down as well. The remaining bugs began to run from him and the drop ship. Right over a huge red square that flashed on the ground less than ten feet in front of him, warning him not to step underneath it. The xenos couldn’t see it however and they didn’t even have time to react before another dropship crushed them into a paste.
Gore splashed onto Niko’s faceplate and he raised a hand to wipe it off his faceplate. When his hands came down, he saw the smooth side of a dropship. It was smeared with slime, so much of it that it nearly obscured the Terra Military Group emblem emblazoned on its side, a combat helmet with the faceplate up, revealing a grinning terran skull with two crossed rifles underneath. Written around its edge were the words, “We endanger species
More troops poured out of the new dropship, taking positions around their own dropship. As they did so, Niko shifted his position to fill the new perimeter. On his map, he saw the blue markers of a dozen other dropships on the ground around them and the hundreds of smaller blue dots of other soldiers, “all units are on the ground and accounted for.”
The dropship engines roared again, scorching the pavement underneath them and causing a fog of evaporated biological matter to waft into the air. Then the massive dropships shot off and into back towards high orbit, leaving the terran troops in the heart of an alien city.
“Move to secure primary objective.”
That was all that the humans needed. As one they turned towards one of the massive pristine skyscrapers and made their way to it. Each squad leapfrogged closer as the others covered them from behind. They moved like a well-oiled machine. Xenos civilians sprinted to get out of their way. Niko grinned as one stumbled, falling to the ground before him. His grin widened as he felt bones crunch underfoot. Everything was going exactly as planned.
Then the windows of the lobby of the skyscraper shattered. Niko dived to the ground without a second thought, the only thing that saved him from being gunned down. A veritable wall of tracers reached out from the building and he saw one man take two rounds before he hit the ground. Niko’s eyes flitted to the casualty report to find that the man was fine. His armor had taken the brunt of the damage.
The response from the humans was swift, a hollow thunk sounded behind him, and the bottom floor of the skyscraper erupted into flames. A shockwave of rapidly expanding water vapor followed right behind. There was a noticeable decrease in return fire after that.
Niko was back on his feet again, charging headlong into the flames. A careful approach would do them little good anymore. He raised his rifle and started firing into the smoke and flames as he slipped into the building amidst the gunfire and alarms. The lobby was a mess. Fires roared in every direction, smoke clogged the entire chamber, and the dead and dying lay in crumpled heaps of scattered limbs half fused to the ground, walls, and floor. One bug soldier was wandering around aimlessly, the lower half of one of its arms hung on by threads. Niko drilled it in the head and it dropped.
“Keep moving! It is imperative that you capture the target before enemy reinforcements arrive!”
Other TMG operatives had made it into the building and they were forming up by one of the stairwells. Their point man, a breacher in a huge suit of powered armor tossed something into the stairwell. Niko barely picked up alarmed screeches before the doors to the stairwell erupted outwards, bits of glass and shrapnel sprayed in all directions. The TMG breacher rushed inside a moment later and was immediately blasted with a hail of tracers. For a moment, Niko was sure the man was dead. But the breacher’s thunderous return fire blew away his doubts. Twin antiarmor cannons roared to life, creating two continuous fireballs that glowed like miniature suns, and illuminated the entire stairwell in a fashion that could only have been described as apocalyptic. The rest of the operators slipped in as the breacher continued his suppressing fire and began to bulldoze their way up the stairwell. Niko bolted up right behind their new pointman, a slim woman in specialist gear, careful to maintain team cohesion. As he ran, he saw the specialist pull a drone from her belt and toss it underhand into the air.
The baseball-sized package hovered in the air for a moment before it blinked to life. The drone shot up the staircase and Niko’s data display lit up with information. The drone sent out high-powered radar pulses that could have cooked an unarmored biological in seconds if they were close enough. In seconds, it had mapped out the first ten floors and was moving up. His HUD showed chaos. Civilians marked in fluorescent green ran in all directions, interfering with their security’s attempt at defense. Friendly fire incidents began to mount as the TMG operators made their rapid accent toward their target.
A door burst open and a flood of green vomited out, clogging the stairway in their desperate attempt to claw their way out of the burning building.
“Contact front!”
Niko paused just long enough for their specialist to clear a path through the horde before they continued up. The harsh bark of rifle fire and the wet thud of bodies hitting the ground echoed from behind him as a fireteam split off to cover the open door. They went up a dozen more floors, taking out green and red with equal efficiency before a bell rang in his helmet and a new marker appeared, highlighting a blotch in purple.
“Objective located.”
His suit told him that the purple blotch was nearly fifty floors up from their current location. At their current rate, it would take them another ten minutes to fight their way up. Just as that calculation set in, his suit chimed up again, “Native reinforcements on route. ETA 7 minutes, 35 seconds.”
At the same time, the specialist before him crumpled backward, tumbling down the stairs. A crack like a heavy whip snapped out a second later. Niko dove for cover, crashing through a thin plastic door that led into one corridor of the skyscraper. More than a dozen green bugs froze in front of him, barely an arm's distance away. Close enough to swarm him if they wanted to. Luckily for him, they didn’t. They were too preoccupied writhing around on the floor holding their heads as rolling booms echoed up and down the stairwell loud enough that even his helmet’s noise suppression couldn’t keep the sound below painful. He glanced at his HUD. Someone had dragged the specialist behind cover, still alive but heavily wounded and combat ineffective.
Then the specialist’s drone gave one final ping before something took it offline. It was like a light switch had been flicked off in his HUD. The amount of battlefield intel he had access to narrowed to what the sensors of the operators around him could see. But Niko didn’t need to see it to know what had taken out their drone. From a vantage point somewhere above, the defenders had set up a heavy machine gun. Its slow methodical firing hammered down on them, blowing basketball-sized holes through several feet of concrete wherever they hit. They hadn’t managed a direct hit since the start of their ambush but the suppressing fire had pinned the humans in place and showed no signs of stopping.
Worse still, their drone’s final ping revealed a wave of red approaching their locations. It appeared that the xenos had finally regrouped and were about to bring down the brunt of their force on them.
“Keep moving, retain the initiative!”
“Where the hell is that cannon?”
Niko peaked his rifle out into the stairwell, looking through its camera. Methodical muzzle flashes lit up the west side of the building some twenty floors above. He’d just started pulling his arms back when the concrete pillar he’d been using for cover disintegrated before his eyes. One round went straight through the demolished cover and smacked him right in the chest, knocking his ass flat in an instant. The air was punched out of his lungs with gut-wrenching force and he felt several ribs crack simultaneously. A hand reached out and yanked him back behind cover by the carrying handle on the back of his armor. At the same time, Niko felt another prick in his back, and the pain that had just begun to flair up in his chest was put out. The panic that had gripped him when he’d watched their specialist go down dissolved like snow under a plasma cutter and left him with only an adrenaline high the likes he’d never experienced before and a razor-sharp focus he hadn’t thought possible.
“Good shit finding that gun Niko!” someone said over the squad comms, “we’re taking that fucker out. On my mark, peak, Val’s going to fire another thermo at those xenos.”
Green acknowledgment lights flashed.
Niko leaned out again, this time at a different location, and started spraying up at the machine gun. A flash from the floor below forced his visor to darken momentarily as a rocket zipped by. A second flash on a distant floor came a few seconds later. Then silence.
“Mission success is in jeopardy. Valkyrie suits authorized.”
That was all Niko needed to hear. He pulled himself from the ground and rushed the stairwell again. Somewhere above, a guard sent a wild spray of automatic fire at where he had been less than a heartbeat ago, the impacts sent dust erupting behind him. Niko didn’t even notice it as he leaped over the railing, plummeting toward the ground, now more than twenty floors below. Air whistled around him, tearing at his limbs. He felt a click, then his entire suit shuttered and for the second time in less than half an hour, his stomach lurched and he felt the G-force claw at his body. Floors passed by him in a blur, his heart rate spiked and he screamed, screamed with pure adrenaline. Twin turbojets roared to life like a pair of mythical dragons on his back. Geysers of blue flames burst from his Valkyrie suit. His entire body vibrated from the force of thrust.
He shot up like an arrow, followed seconds behind by a dozen other operators. At the same time, the remaining operators laid down suppressing fire, filling the stairwell with tungsten darts. They flashed past a blackened blasted floor, one side completely was completely missing, exposing offices and cowering civilians within. The mangled wreck of an autocannon jutted out from the roof. In seconds they had flown twice the distance they had managed to fight through and Niko’s suit began edging him toward the west side of the stairwell.
Then, as abruptly as they had started, the jets cut off, leaving him at the mercy of gravity for a brief moment. He whistled on, carried through the air by inertia alone for several floors, still moving towards the wall, close enough that he could almost touch. When he finally hit the apex of his flight, floating in apparent freefall, his suit gave him one final gentle push and he landed in front of a door highlighted in purple.
A pair of surprised guards blinked at him from either side of the door for just a heartbeat before he dropped them with a spray of automatic fire. Beside him, the rest of the Valkyries landed in near silence. The air around them shimmered from the heat. Their breacher stepped up to the door, feeling at the edges. The specialized sensors in his gloves mapped out what was within to micrometer precision and he began moving with perfect efficiency. He pulled a line of plasma cord from his belt and applied it to the door like an artist drawing his masterpiece.
The cord burned a brilliant blue as he laid down the final piece. The light was so intense that Niko’s visor went dark for a moment, leaving him almost blind. He looked away, flicking the setting on his rifle to stun and setting his grenades to non-lethal. As the final bit of cord went out, their breacher gave the door a light press with one hand and it collapsed inwards. Before it had even hit the ground, a swarm of bullets flew out like a broken wasps nest.
Niko pulled the pin on one of his grenades and tossed it into the room followed right behind by another grenade from the breacher. A quick countdown began in the corner of his HUD. As the countdown hit zero, the grenade exploded with an eardrum-shattering boom and a flash of light even brighter than the plasma cord had been. At the same time, he and the breacher turned the corner and slipped into the room beyond.
If he hadn’t been in his suit he would never have been able to make sense of the chaos around him and he would never have had time to switch his rifle back from stun. But he was in his armor and that was all that mattered. His rifle clicked automatically back to lethal and he held down the trigger and didn’t let go. His rifle spat death at several thousand rounds per minute. The xenos didn’t stand a chance. When the bullets stopped flying they had a new problem, none of the smoking, bullet-riddled corpses were highlighted in purple. Instead, a second much more imposing armored door blinked purple highlights at them like some video game.
Their breacher shook his head and got back to work, somehow moving with even more efficiency than before. Which was just as well since the sensors of one of the operators outside picked up the sound of xenos coming toward their position. In seconds, the second door was blazing and Niko flicked his rifle back to stun as he moved behind concealment.
This time when the door opened, there was no fire. The breacher peaked the barrel of his rifle into the room and it relayed data to the rest of the operators. The room inside was lavish. Or it must have been to a pre-FTL native. It was dominated by a large table and sitting behind it was their primary objective, glowing a happy purple and smoking something that would have obscured Niko’s view if not for his suit's sensors. Other than that, the room was empty.
Niko entered, raising his rifle at the xeno, “Hands in the fucking air! ”
Their objective ignored them, continuing to smoke. The breacher followed him into the room a second later, “Hands in the fucking air!” he echoed, blasting the translated speech at full volume.
The objective put down its smoking thing and raised three sets of hands into the air, then it spoke, making farting and hissing sounds at Niko, who could not understand a word of it. He ignored the xeno’s words, “stand up and turn around and this will all be over in a minute.”
As he said this, he flicked through the menu in his HUD and turned on his audio input translator.
“I was told that you would come for me.” the alien said, the translator giving the thing a deep, resonant voice, “your hairless monkies warned there would be consequences if we refused.”
Niko cursed, pulling out a pair of cuffs, specially tailored to fit the objective's specific freakish proportions, “shut it.”
It did not, “they showed us what happened to those who refused, you thought it would scare us into following. It has not.” The objective clamped down its mandibles and Niko heard a faint crack, “But I will not be paraded around my cities like some sort of sick attraction. You will have to watch me turn a martyr.”
One of its several hands reached out and slapped a large, blue button on the desk. At the same time, the breacher put half a dozen shotgun shells flying at the objective, turning it to mush.
“No don’t-”
Niko bucked, pulled off the VR jack, and gasped. He twisted his hands from their place in the suit and made to stand. A pair of hands pushed him back, “that would not be wise.”
“That was incredible. I’ve never experienced anything like it,” he gushed, blinking his eyes in a vain attempt to focus them on the person before him. He couldn’t remember where he was, or what he was doing. The fog that clouded his mind was thicker than any he had ever experienced.
“And that is just a taste of the adventure you can experience if you join up with Terra Military Group.”
Niko gasped, wiping a sheen of sweat from his forehead, “was that real?”
The woman hummed, “the operation that you just took part in was real and the experience that you had was entirely through the unaltered point of view of one Captain Alexander Sinew. But some parts had to be removed for the sake of operational security.”
He squinted up at where the woman was, imagining fighting across the stars. His eyes may not have been working perfectly but his consciousness had never been clearer, “Give me a few minutes and I’ll sign.”
The woman gave him a curt smile and nodded her head, “I’ll have the paperwork for you waiting,” she stuck her hand out, “welcome to the TMG, bringing the light of humanity across the stars.”
submitted by SocialTel to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 21:04 ThorsPadre does anyone do RC drift car "tuning" as a side hobby for cash?

Now hear me out before you flame me for not taking the time to learn and tune on my own because, "its part of the hobby".
Simply put, for someone like me who's an adult in his late 40's, full-time job, tons of other hobbies, a family and a house to maintain, I just DO-NOT have the time or patience to tune and tinker the way I'd like to. I just want to go down to my garage in my free time, drink a couple beers and rip a well- tuned car around for an hour or two.
Add to that, I'm pretty sure I'm the only person in my community that RC drifts, so my community is nil.
That being said, I DO believe I have some room on the table for a better handling car.
To the point that if someone had a side hustle of tuning cars I'd ship it, and pay to have it "professionally" tuned, eg by someone more experienced that I am.
Which leads me to my original question. Anyone?
Obviously they'd have to be a trusted member of the community, reputable, etc.. etc...
Might even make good content for those creator-folks who like to make videos. :)
IDK, just seems like a niche that could use filling. This hobby is getting pretty popular it seems.
submitted by ThorsPadre to rcdrift [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 21:04 ClerkGlittering9381 College classmate wants to be my best friend... but the feeling isn't mutual

I'm a 33F community college student. How I got to this point is a long story that's largely irrelevant to the matter at hand, but suffice it to say that I have a previous college degree and am generally pretty competent in an academic environment. In one of my classes this semester is a woman, "Joan", who is in her late 30s. Joan is, bluntly, not at all competent in an academic environment. She blames this on a laundry list of issues ranging from ADHD to learning disabilities to technological illiteracy to "being old", but whatever the reason, she doesn't do almost anything that is normally required to pass a college course. She regularly shows up late to class with no excuse other than "I had trouble getting started this morning" (note that this class is at 11 AM), she sometimes skips class just because she feels like it, she makes no attempt to keep track of her work and rarely has any idea what she needs to be doing or studying, she puts off most things that she does remember until the very last second and is then too panicked to finish in time, she doesn't pay attention in class and often asks questions that were literally just answered, and she didn't even bother to activate her learning management system account until we were a month into the course. She doesn't see anything wrong with this because she feels her circumstances are "unique," and she should therefore be held to different standards than the other 20 students in the class or else it's "not fair." To top it off, she brags constantly about all the weed and mushrooms she does in her spare time (getting high is apparently much more important than studying or doing her work), and sometimes actually seems to still be high or tripping during class time. She'll blurt out the most random shit in response to the professor's questions, slur "duuuuude" and "whoooooa" repeatedly like a stereotypical stoner, or comment on things she thinks she's seeing that are blatantly not there in reality (at one point she insisted that my blue eyes were in fact pink).
Ever since the very first time Joan met me, she has been obviously and obnoxiously desperate to make me her best friend. At times it seems like she's already decided I'm going to be her best friend, and now she's determined to make this a reality regardless of how I feel about it. It started with her obsessively following me around whenever we were on campus together, trying to engage me in conversation, mostly about herself with a brief interlude of the "enough about me, let's talk about you: what do you think of me?" variety. After a few weeks of this, she started referring to me with a common shortening of my given name that I hate and never told her she could use, along with infantile nicknames like "smarty-pants." Then she started "affectionately" touching me in ways that were inappropriate for the relationship we had, like sticking her hands in my hair or intimately stroking my arm. Then she began texting me daily, sometimes multiple times a day, with "hiiii!" or "good morning!" or "thinking of you!"-type messages accompanied by a slew of cutesy emojis. Then she started bugging me to let her sleep over at my house so we could "study" late into the night, she wouldn't have to drive home afterwards, and I could wake her up and make sure she got to class on time. Every fucking week she adds a new level of creepiness to her behavior toward me, and she can't seem to understand that I'm allowed to have boundaries even if she doesn't like them. Any attempt on my part to tell her to stop doing something is met by an effusive description of how bad she feels for having upset me, followed by a condescending explanation that she didn't mean any harm and that it never even crossed her mind that anyone might take offense, with the obvious undertone that I'm being unreasonable and should drop the subject. If pressed, she'll give a grudging non-apology along the lines of "I'm sorry that you were offended," but will never actually apologize for what she did. She will sometimes agree to "try" to stop doing whatever it was, but insists that she can't promise she won't ever do it again because she has such severe ADHD, and I need to be tolerant of the fact that sometimes she just can't help herself. I feel like her right to tolerance should end where my personal boundaries begin, especially since some of the things she "can't help" doing involve touching my body in ways I find creepy and unpleasant, but I'm trying to be nice here.
Recently, Joan has begun demanding academic help from me. She wants me to "fill her in" on whatever she missed when she's late, seemingly not understanding that this is the equivalent of watching the middle and end of a movie before the beginning and expecting to understand the whole thing. In lab, she follows me around asking me what to do, because her problems allegedly prevent her from ever reading the lab procedure beforehand. Every single homework assignment, she wants me to sit down and complete with her. For every single exam, she avoids studying until the last possible moment and then expects me to "cram" with her, despite my repeatedly explaining that this is not an effective study strategy for me or really for anyone. She sometimes phrases it in the form of a question, but it's always obvious that she feels absolutely entitled to this because we are best friends now. Other times she doesn't even bother to ask: she just tells me what she wants me to do and expects compliance. Adding to the unpleasantness of this is that Joan incessantly whines about how boring and difficult this all is and how unfair it is that we're responsible for allll this material, and wants to "take a break" approximately every five minutes, expecting me to stick around for as long as it takes for her to finally get through everything. She sometimes even takes out her frustration on me by complaining that I'm not doing enough to help her, even though this is "so easy" for me (it isn't, she just doesn't believe that I spend hours studying every day because she doesn't believe in anything she didn't personally observe) and I "owe" it to her to help. She notices me getting pissed off during these "study" sessions, but never seems to understand that it's her behavior that's causing it, so she starts touching me in an attempt to "comfort" me and I have to explain to her again that I don't like being touched by anyone except close friends or family. She's also been bugging me to work together on the final project for the class, which we are allowed to choose to do either alone or with a partner. I would prefer to work alone, and I definitely don't want to work with Joan for obvious reasons, but she keeps dropping unsubtle "hints" that she's old and doesn't get computers and couldn't possibly make a Powerpoint on her own.
I'll be blunt: I don't want to be friends with Joan. Our personalities don't mesh at all, we have nothing in common besides being 30-something college students who are in this class, she doesn't understand the concept of other people having boundaries and refuses to accept that they apply to her, and being around her is like babysitting a 200-pound toddler who demands constant attention and entertainment or else they throw a tantrum. I frankly don't even think she's interested in getting to know me as a person. since any time I try to talk about my own experiences or interests, she either changes the subject back to herself or completely disengages and only responds with conversation fillers like "mm-hm" or the aforementioned "duuuuuude" and "whooooooa." The only time she pretends to take an interest in what I'm saying is if I'm helping her with her schoolwork, or if she's trying to butter me up so I'll help her with her schoolwork. The thing is, the one thing Joan is an expert at is playing the victim. She constantly talks about how she's discriminated against and mistreated by almost everybody all the time, for a variety of reasons that are all not her fault and beyond her control. She blames all of her mistakes and failures on anyone and anything besides her own poor decisions. On occasion she has claimed to be the victim of traumatic events that happened to her child due to her negligence as a parent, because she couldn't help being a shitty parent due to her "unique circumstances" and other people should have helped her more so that these things wouldn't have happened. If I reject her as a friend, it'll feed right into that victim complex, and she'll probably run around telling everyone who will listen how I'm a two-faced bitch who should never be trusted and who should be expelled from this community college for betraying an innocent angel like her. Not that I think anyone would actually care about what she says, since she comes off as obviously unhinged and having a bone to pick with anyone who tells her "no," but it would be even more irritating than what she's doing now.
The worst part is that I honestly feel bad for Joan on some level. She's constructed an alternate universe inside her head in which she's a faultless hero fighting against impossible odds to claim the success that should have been hers from birth, but is being unfairly kept from her by evil people who don't recognize how special she is. She has no power to affect anything on her own because she's so uniquely challenged and unfairly persecuted by almost everyone, so there's nothing she can do to get what she deserves other than wail like a child being denied candy in the grocery store checkout line until someone gives it to her just to shut her up. In order to avoid confronting the unpleasant reality that the world doesn't owe you shit for being born and you have to work for what you want, she has made it literally impossible for herself to get what she wants, because she believes there's nothing more she could be doing to earn it other than what she's already doing. It's like she thinks Elon Musk is successful because of the way he acts on social media, rather than being able to act that way because he's already so successful that nobody's going to call him on it, and she's constantly bewildered that she isn't as rich and famous as he is even though she tries so hard to emulate his behavior.
Thanks for reading if you got this far. I might make a second post if anything else notable happens with Joan.
submitted by ClerkGlittering9381 to TrueOffMyChest [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 21:04 DeathByDevastator Rotor and Von Nebula from the first wave of hero factory really make me appreciate what you Bionicle fans grew up.

Rotor and Von Nebula from the first wave of hero factory really make me appreciate what you Bionicle fans grew up.
I own a fair amount of hero factory's bigger sets. All I'm missing from the larger ones are the XL Stormer variant, the big Evo mech and the vehicles. But while the titans like Witch doctor, Black Phantom and Rocka XL impress me with their size and simple design, I can't help but be drawn to Rotor and Von Nebula.
There's something about the sheer clash of all the details in the parts that really draws my eye to them. The pistons in their legs move so naturally that it looks so nice, and the leg construction is shockingly simple yet effective in a way not even the Titan frame hero factory reused for 3 different waves using CCBS could replicate. These two builds are so different from one another; I'm noticing the shared parts, such as the glatorian (Is this the right name?) heads and the toa mata feet that both have, but the difference in builds for everything else on these two figures astounds me. Nothing is built identically. Yes, they share some design principles like doubled up leg joints and pistons in the lower legs, but even then the pistons on Von Nebula are visible at the front! I love how they look when the legs move. It feels alive in a way most CCBS figures just... don't. The torso construction is a lot of fun too; Rotor didn't use a single part that i could reliably declare "This is a figure's skeleton!", which left the process rather entertaining and I found myself amazed by how the technic parts snapped together and created this sturdy yet effective frame from a heap of parts I would not have imagined a torso would be built from. Von nebula was a similar experience. He clearly had a torso part (I think it's from a Makuta?) but the way everything attached to it surprised me pleasantly. The use of an entire foot part to cover the chest's massive gap was clever and simple, and in fact the use of 4 different types of feet in the entire build was quite simply amusing to see.
The articulation on these two older sets is something I wouldn't expect from a technic build. They compete just fine with the hyper articulated titans in the later waves of Hero factory, and some of their flaws (Especially Von Nebula's lack of elbows, dear God that is a major oversight that is easily fixed) force me to get creative to achieve the dynamic poses I want. In fact, the articulation on these two titans feels strangely smoother than the CCBS titans; Witch doctor is rather large and thus cumbersome, Fire Lord and Rocka XL have arm joints that make their articulation ridiculously annoying, and Black Phantom is fine but is a bit boring after experiencing the other titans. It's surprising how well the first two titan sets of Hero Factory compare against the later titans; In fact, I actually want to play with them more than I would fire lord, or black phantom.
And it hit me. Rotor and Von Nebula were basically Glorified Bionicle Titans. The pistons in the legs, the complex builds for their size, the obscene amount of details everywhere and the clever techniques applied all seem to apply to the Bionicle titans that were created before them. I decided to look into what I noticed, and surely enough, sets like Nocturn and Brutaka came to my attention and it really hit me.
You Bionicle fans got to experience an amazing era of intricate builds. Even the smaller sets like your Toa's and your Villians had an incredible amount of detail and love put into them. I grew up on hero factory right from the first wave, and had most of the sets. they were great, of course. Very articulated, quick to throw together, and they looked nice enough for my childish brain. But now I can't help but admire what Bionicle did, and I can't help but respect the sheer creativity put on display by Moc makers who have had plenty of experience with the parts Bionicle introduced over the years.
CCBS and it's skeleton, armour and accessories structure was fun for it's simplicity, but there's a certain complexity to Bionicle that I just can't help but respect. You lot were blessed to grow up with Bionicle.
submitted by DeathByDevastator to bioniclelego [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 21:03 BullStatus First chapters of dark fantasy novel. How bad is this and what should be better? (First time writting)

The air was thick with the stench of sweat and fear as the young boy huddled in the corner of his dark room, his bony knees pulled up to his chest. He knew nothing but the brutal hands of his master and the endless torment that consumed nearly his every waking moment. The boy's mind was a battlefield, torn between the desire for freedom and the crushing weight of hopelessness.
The boy's only glimmer of light in his dismal existence was a woman who looked after him. She was kind, with eyes that shone with empathy and a heart that overflowed with compassion. Though she was a fellow slave, she had taken the boy under her wing and treated him as her own. Without her the boy surely would be dead.
Despite the constant fear of punishment and retribution, the woman would often sneak the boy scraps of food and offer him words of encouragement. Her touch was gentle, her voice soothing, and in her presence the boy felt a sense of safety and comfort. The boy thought of her as his mother.
The boy's world was about to shatter into a million pieces. His master had decided that the boy was of no use to him and had sold him off to be a foot soldier as they were for high demand since the kingdom was in constant state of war. Despite his fear and desperation, the boy was forced to leave the only place he had ever known behind and face an uncertain future.
The only reason he had been allowed to stay this long was because of his mother's threats to harm herself if the master got rid of the boy. The master was quite fond of her because of her looks but now the master's patience wore thin and, even she couldn't save him from this fate.
Despite his fears, the boy had hope. He knew that his mother cared for him. Though he was no soldier, he was determined to make something of his existence and gain enough influence to free his mother.
The boy felt a lump form in his throat as he was hauled away in a cage full of other poor souls, his eyes darting around nervously as he tried to make sense of what was happening. Fear pulsed through his veins, the unknown future ahead of him seeming like a gaping mouth ready to swallow him whole.
But even as his heart raced with fear, there was also a small spark of excitement within him. For the first time in his life, he was free from his master's grasp, free to experience the world beyond the small corner he had been confined to for so long.
As the cage rattled and jolted along the bumpy road, the boy's thoughts turned to his former master, and a seething rage bubbled up inside him. He hated the man with every fiber of his being, for the way he had treated him and his mother.
The memories of a never-ending stream of abuse and cruelty that had been heaped upon him flooded his mind. He remembered the beatings, the starvation, the endless days of toil without rest. He remembered the way his master had used his mother.
The boy's hatred burned like a hot flame, fueled by the injustice he had suffered at the hands of his master. He wanted revenge, to see the man who had made his life a living hell suffer as he had suffered.
Lost and Found
The boy slowly opened his eyes, his vision blurry and his head throbbing. He blinked a few times, trying to clear the haze from his mind, and looked around in confusion.
He was no longer in the cramped cage that had carried him for days, but instead in a large tent, surrounded by unfamiliar faces. The smell of smoke and sweat filled the air, and the sound of numerous voices filled his ears.
The boy layed there, still a bit dazed, when an older man with an ear to ear smile walked into the tent. The man was dressed in tattered clothes, and his hair was wild and unkempt but there was a twinkle in his eye.
The boy hesitated for a moment before answering. He didn’t have a name and had just been called boy.
The old man's smile faltered for a moment. He looked at the boy with a mix of sympathy and sadness.
After a long awkward pause the old man’s smile returned to his face and he continued.
The boy nodded timidly and Otis began to lead him outside the tent. There were many other tents and countless men outside. They all seemed either old, young or in poor health.
After a bit of walking they arrived at a wagon that was full of bread and water barrels. Beside it stood two men that were handing out bread and water. They were dressed in armor and had long swords at their belts.
There was a long line to the wagon that they too joined. It felt like they had stood in the line for ions before it was their turn. The soldiers handed him a piece of bread and water but looked almost disgusted that they had to be there.
The boy followed Otis and they sat by one of the many campfires. There was a crowd of other people sitting there eating and bantering.
However, the majority of the men were sitting quietly eating their bread with empty looks in their eyes. Many of them had bandages or were missing body parts.
The bread was low quality but the boy was so hungry it tasted great and he finished it before he even realized it. Otis hadn’t touched his bread yet and noticed how the boy had finished his.
The boy was speechless and just took the bread and it disappeared as fast as the first one. Otis chuckled quietly and smiled faintly with a distant look in his eyes.
The boy looked flustered so Otis decided to continue.
The boy's face turned slightly brighter and he nodded.
The sun was setting already and Ali went to the tent with the help of Otis. Despite being exhausted Ali felt a great amount of sadness. He was missing his mother and how warm and safe he felt beside her. Tears streamed down his face as he was overwhelmed by the emotions.
When Ali woke up he noticed that Otis was already awake and sitting on the ground next to him. They went to get food at the same place as the previous day and got the same piece of bread.
Otis' tone had turned a bit more serious and he started explaining what Ali should do in different situations.
Ali felt overwhelmed and scared.
submitted by BullStatus to writers [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 21:01 GenociderShou What can I do at this point?

Curse the 100 karma rule, wanted to use a throwaway but I'll just wallow in shame here.
I graduated with bachelor's in CS in 2021. After over a year of not being able to find a job, I gave in and joined one of those training jobs that train you for a few weeks, then put you on the minimum wage bench until you successfully apply to one of their partners. Admittedly I was more picky of some of these partners early on assuming there were more coming, but the past few months there was basically no offers and I hadn't gotten any interviews.
Now, as one of the last few people from my initial group, I've been told I've been on the bench too long and have to start looking elsewhere for a job again. While I can technically put this company on, it's still a large time gap between graduating and getting a "real job". I'm stressed beyond belief and trying to figure out what my options even are.
Of course I'm going to have to start applying everywhere again and resume working on practice problems, but I'm going to run into the same issue of there not being enough entry level jobs that will accept me over the thousands of others applying. And now I don't think I could even try new grad roles either.
I'm losing my mind over this, what can I do to land a job, any job, at this point?
submitted by GenociderShou to cscareerquestions [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 21:00 IDOSOL-Launchpad New Members Intro

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The IDOSOL is deemed to be one of the most upfront and transparent IDO platforms of the Binance Smart Chain. The tier system is set up to allow everyday investors the chance to participate in IDO’s. IDOSOL supports projects with the ability to distribute tokens and raise liquidity, while providing free marketing and guaranteed investors.
The IDOSOL has figured out a means to reward and incentivize all token holders in a way that is both inclusive and low-barrier to entry.
IDOSOL Launchpad has benefits and opportunities for both startups and investors. As a startup, you can create your token to organize your project funding. An opportunity to receive part of the funding of seed investors in our community.
As an investor, you have early opportunities for interaction and investment and early visibility into venture teams and tech trends. Given the size of your investment, we have designed our platform model to offer both small and large capitalization investors the opportunity to invest.
All the crypto projects on the IDOSOL Launchpad are hand-picked, and they go through a very rigorous vetting process to increase investors' confidence and protect their interests.
They work on a first-come, first-served basis, with automated bots able to fill whitelist slots in a matter of seconds. IDOSOL creates decentralized launches that are fair.
The IDOSOL is distinguished by a two-round method that ensures an allocation for every tier level. There are no luck, lotteries, or bots in this game; only evenly dispersed rewards for all players.
submitted by IDOSOL-Launchpad to idosol [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 21:00 The_Fallen_1 [THJVerse] Arcane Starfarers - ep 2 - Accomodations

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As Daniel rubbed his head, he had the sense to at least thank whoever put padding above the top of his bed, even if it still hurt after his shower. He did his best to ignore the pain, and instead began to slip into his uniform, making sure it was sitting perfectly. He quickly brushed his hair, unable to rely on his headdress to hide any issues with his presentation, and checked out of his room with his bags, making his way to docking arm 09.
As he walked, he checked his messages once again, disappointed to still see one empty. He was beginning to get actually worried now, and was almost expecting a message from his friends to inform him of the worst. It wasn’t like her to leave him hanging, and she almost always responded within a few minutes of reading. He just hoped it was a service issue and it would fix itself when he got to another access point.
He pushed his concerns out of his mind once again, and turned round the corner, looking down the long machine-filled corridor that was the docking arm. He proceeded down the arm, walking on the treadmill that brought him to the docking port in a matter of seconds. He held his ID up to the two armed and armoured guards positioned either side of the entrance who quickly waved him through, allowing him to board the ship.
“Please state your name and rank.”
“Daniel Hardbrooks, Lieutenant Commander,” Daniel stated, looking for the source of the voice and finding what he assumed was the Quartermaster.
“Lieutenant Commander, please make your way to room 17 on deck 3, stow your personal effects, change into your active duty uniform, and then proceed to the officer’s lounge on deck 2,” the Quartermaster instructed him.
“Yes, Sir,” Daniel replied, heading over to the map on the far wall, and identifying his route.
He began to make his way through the ship, choosing to pass up the nearby stairs in favour of using one of the lifts as he was carrying his bags. He rode it up two floors, and began to head down yet another corridor, noticing the somewhat padded walls with directions at both the top and bottom. He continued down it, passing by the standard male bunk rooms until he reached the senior officer bunks he was assigned to.
Entering the room, he found it to be cosy and warm, with an extra large bunk bed, moderately sized desk, and its own private lavatory. The highlight though was that there was only one equipment pack on the bunks, and absolutely no sign of anyone else living there. He avoided letting out a cheer in case it jinxed him, so he immediately stowed his bags and changed out of his standard uniform and into his new active duty one, which had a strange plasticy feel to it, as well as somewhat heavy boots. He didn’t mind either though, as he performed a quick check of his uniform, activating the magnets in his boots, sticking him to the ground, and deploying the emergency vacuum suit in his clothes, finding it sealed off everything but his mechanical arm as expected. Happy with their successful deployment, he deactivated both and transferred his rank slides and brassard over to his new uniform, and quickly checked out the lavatory to find a cramped trademark shoilet; a shower, folding toilet, sink, and mirror combo. It was hardly the most pleasant experience, but it was a luxury that meant he could avoid the communal facilities that would be swarmed by the junior officers and lower ranks.
As he left his room, he decided to use the stairs to move between floors this time, finding them surprisingly shallow for a ship, but he knew this was because they had to accommodate all members of the crew. He continued on his thankfully short walk to the officer’s lounge, to find a number of officers already sitting in a bunch of chairs, laid out in a formation that indicated a presentation was coming. He passed by the junior officers that were sitting towards the back, and made his way to the row that others of his rank were sitting on, which happened to be the one at the front.
“Is this seat taken?” Daniel asked a middle-aged man that looked like he possessed some field experience.
“No, it’s not,” the man replied, holding out his hand. “Lieutenant Commander Williams, drone command.”
“Lieutenant Commander Hardbrooks, electronic warfare,” Daniel told him, taking his hand and shaking it.
“First time serving on a ship?” Williams asked.
“It is. You?”
“Second. You might have seen my old ship docked, the CNS Langbridge. A very old drone carrier that’s about to be decommissioned,” Williams explained, making Daniel remember the old destroyer he saw docked. “It’ll be nice to work with tech made within the last 50 years, even if I’m responsible for less drones.”
“If you were in charge of the core part of a ship that’s been operating well enough to stick around despite its age, that just tells me our drones are going to be damn good.”
“Thank you,” Williams told him, looking over his shoulder. “... Holy shit, if you’re into girls, you might want to take a look. Fucking stunning….”
“I’ll pass. I’m set on someone, and I’m not going to be unfaithful.”
“Oh? Good for you. Is she good looking?” Williams asked.
“Well, you just said I was,” came a female voice as Daniel was hugged from behind, with his badge being lifted off of him and a pair of lips appearing next to his ear. “Miss me, Cásivima Slomï Sïlïn?
“I did, and I’m glad to see you and I look forward to catching up in private later, but we are on duty, Lieutenant Commander Hannah’rah,” Daniel told his girlfriend as she set his badge back in place.
“Of course, Lieutenant Commander Hardbrooks,” she replied, sitting down next to him.
“... Well, that’s my cue to shut up,” Williams quietly sighed as he shook his head. “Course it’s got to be the hottest Elf on the ship….”
“Lieutenant Commander Hannah’rah, I now understand why you stayed silent, but you could have at least said something to stop me from getting worried,” Daniel told her.
“Sorry, I just thought it would be more fun this way,” she apologised.
"No harm done in the end," he replied, looking over his shoulder to see if anyone was looking at them, only to see the room filling up fast.
"Honestly, it kinda did harm me. I got stuck in a security booth for four hours because my attempts to avoid you seeing me made me look too suspicious."
"Lesson learned?"
"Lesson learned."
“ROOM!” a loud voice shouted, causing everyone to snap to attention.
“At ease,” a different voice instructed a moment later, the owner of which quickly made their way to the front of the room: a short blond-haired Human woman, who was flanked by a dark skinned Elven man that was evidently her first officer, and a four horned green Dragon in their humanoid form and civilian dress. “Thank you all for assembling here, and allow me to welcome you aboard the CNS Trailmaker, your new home. I am Captain Harris, and you are all serving under me from this point onwards. Our primary mission will be to push the boundaries of UPC space, identifying new systems worthy of expansion and colonisation, as well as to continue our search for extra-terrestrial life. I hand picked each one of you for this mission, so don’t disappoint me.
“I would like to formally introduce Commander Santlen’coln, my first officer. His word is like my own, and I trust him to make decisions on my behalf when I am not present, so please treat him like you would myself,” Captain Harris explained, gesturing to the man, before gesturing to the Dragon. “I would also like to introduce Mrs Ceralla Whiltstone. She is not a member of the crew and therefore won’t be joining us, but she was the one that designed the ship along with many of the technologies on it. If there are any specific questions as to the design of the ship, please speak to her before we depart tomorrow. And one final thing before I hand over to her, those of you that are celebrating having rooms alone, I hate to disappoint you, but we’re going to be picking up more crew at Shinga Orbital before we depart UPC space.”
Despite his feelings, Daniel remained silent at the disappointing news, unlike some of the officers behind him that audibly sighed, causing the Captain to look at them, but she didn’t say anything.
“Mrs Whiltstone, I will hand over to you,” Captain Harris told the Dragon.
“Thank you, Captain,” Mrs Whiltstone began, turning on the holo projector on the table next to her, displaying an image of the long triangular vessel. “The CNS Trailmaker is a Trailmaker class expedition cruiser, the first of its kind. Its stand out features are its warp drive, which is the first non-experimental drive to break the light speed barrier without external assistance, and a class 7 virtual intelligence, designed to enable the smooth operation of the ship’s systems. Please note that just because it is a high class, it doesn’t mean that it is fully fledged artificial intelligence, as we still don’t have those. Sapient ones anyway. Don’t expect to be able to hold a full coherent conversation with it for an extended period of time.
“Some of you may have noticed that this ship’s level of armament is closer to that of a destroyer, but that isn’t quite the case. The energy based weapons operate at a higher power, and you also have a sizable drone bay, missile stockpile, and standard munitions stockpile. The shielding is also the best on any ship in the Navy, and the armour is difficult to penetrate with even our best weaponry. Rest assured, you are not being sent out into the unknown without adequate protection.
“As for some of the other general details of the ship, it is exactly 952 metres long with 7 decks, and is capable of 90% automation. It can fully accommodate up to 238 personnel, 208 standard size and 30 large size. This ship also utilises a deck configuration parallel to the main forward vector, instead of perpendicular as is common on smaller ships. It may require more power to be used by the gravity generators when the ship is under acceleration, but it much better accommodates quadrupedal crew members. It also allows for the primary corridors on deck 7 to be used as a full track circuit, for the purposes of exercise and training. I have also made sure that the ship had everything available during the requisitioning phase, so yes, you even have a few walkers and tracked vehicles in your vehicle bay, and ample shuttlecraft and a couple of fighters in its two hangars for planetary missions. It’s safe to say that you won’t be running out of anything any time soon, no matter what the galaxy throws at you. That concludes my quick rundown. You should find more detailed reports and manifests available in the ship’s computer. Does anyone have any immediate questions?”
“I do,” a lower ranking officer announced as they raised their hand. “You mentioned we have an FTL capable warp drive, but just how fast is it?”
“Our models calculate it to be capable of speeds of up to 750 times the speed of light, but the exact standard operating speed won’t be known until it has seen proper field deployment. It may sound very fast, but it will take you at least days to travel between stars unfortunately, if not weeks, but alternatively it means that you aren’t reliant on a gate or a Gater, the former being unavailable outside of UPC space, and the latter not being suitable for frequent travel,” Mrs Whiltstone explained.
“I would just like to interject and assure you all that we will be getting a Gater before we leave UPC space. Their role will be one of emergency transport, instead of regular transport,” Captain Harris assured everyone. “I made sure we would not be able to enter a situation where we’d be outside of the UPC with only sub light available to us…. If that’s the only question for Mrs Whilstone right now… then please take time today and tomorrow to familiarise yourself with the ship and make sure you know everything important before she departs. Your immediate orders though are to review your stations and to get to know your subordinates if applicable. Dismissed.”
As everyone rose to their feet, Daniel felt a small tug on his sleeve from Hannah’rah, and so he followed her as she left the room. She guided him down some smaller and quieter corridors, checking over her shoulder to make sure they were alone.
“Hey,” she told him, hugging him from the front this time.
“Hey. Damn, I missed you so much,” he told her, hugging her back.
“How have you been? Good, I hope?”
“Yeah. Worst part of basic was not being able to see you.”
“Same, though the second worst part was getting hit on by every guy that didn’t understand what ‘I’m taken’ meant until I accidentally popped a shoulder or two of theirs out during sparring. Complete accidents, of course. Certainly nothing to do with being overheard about being overheard saying very inappropriate things.”
“Careful now, you are going to be responsible for making sure my training doesn’t slip.”
“Don’t worry, you don't say things like that. I’ll go for head locks instead of arm locks,” she winked.
"In all seriousness-"
"I'm fine. It's been reported and taken care of, and I wasn't the only one complaining, so let's just say I made a lot of friends in my barracks," she assured him. “We can’t talk much now, but once we’re both off duty, I’ll make sure to find us a nice quiet place to talk.”
“I’m the only one in my room if that helps,” he told her.
“But dozens of people are around to see it at all times. If it wasn’t your bedroom, it might have worked, but two senior officers heading into one bedroom one of them isn’t assigned to….”
“Yeah, I get what you’re saying. I’ll look forward to later, then,” he told her, giving her a quick kiss.
The two of them both went in opposite directions down the corridor, and Daniel looped around until he found the stairs going down a deck, descending to deck 4, and following the signs to the bridge.
Previous / Next
submitted by The_Fallen_1 to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 20:58 Jachinthebox I'm currently writing a fantasy series and was influenced by JoJo's to name the abilities based on music references

Hi, so just as the title says, the abilities are music references. I’m currently writing volume four and have introduced a few for this arc.
What do you think of the abilities and do their names fit? Any name suggestions for the ones I haven’t come up with?
Ability Name: Phantom Lord
A cursed sword that allows the user to choose what their blade cuts or phase through at the same time.
Ability Name: ???
Once the user has touched someone, the user and said person are transported into an empty square room. They will only be in that room for ten minutes, but the room starts filling up with water and will be full in five. After ten minutes, everyone in the room will be transported out. After the rules are explained, anyone who touches the user before the time limit will transported out.
Ability Name: Clash
A cursed sword that lets the user block/deflect anything that attacks them in their periphery. The user is able to block anything as long as they’re physically able to, but can only do so based on stamina and strength (can’t deflect a tree or something that’s in light speed).
Ability Name: Guns And Roses
Allows the user to imbue their mana into bullets. Once that bullet is fired and has stopped, the mana grows into a rose carrying the bullet in its center that can refire said bullet. The speed of the bullet is dependent on how high the sun is in the sky. The user can imbue their mana into any bullet any time before it stops moving and the bullet can be shot in any gun by anyone.
Ability Name: Zenyatta (the user’s name is Mondatta)
The user has three orbs they can shoot out just a bit slower than a bullet. They can also turn these orbs into bubbles that can swallow someone or something and anything in the bubble is invulnerable to any attacks. The user can only bubble three things at a time but can’t bubble themselves.
Ability Name: Death Magnetic
The user creates a large incantation circle on the ground with them in the center. Their body then creates its own gravity, pulling everything inside the circle towards them. They can choose which objects can be affected.
Ability Name: Re-Flex
The user creates a much smaller incantation circle on the ground with them in the center. They get into position and anything that enters the circle after the user has summoned it causes them to have a fast reflex and attack it with their sword
Ability Name: Good Vibrations
Allows the user to control people’s body temperature. However, they can only control it to something that is humanely possible.
Ability Name: Intermission
A cursed sword that allows the user to speed up their body. For every thirty seconds that passes, they lose a year of their life. For every year that passes, their speed increases according to how many years they’ve lost (If two minutes passes, they lose four years of their life but their speed increases to four times as fast). This also gives the user fast regeneration.
Ability Name: Epitaph
Can stop time for five seconds, but the user is frozen along with everyone else. However, the user can observe during stopped time. If the user so wishes, they may move for one second within those five seconds, but they must sacrifice a year of their lifespan. Cooldown between time stops is five seconds.
submitted by Jachinthebox to wholesomejojo [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 20:58 Jachinthebox I'm currently writing a fantasy series and was influenced by JoJo's to name the abilities based on music references

Hi, so just as the title says, the abilities are music references. I’m currently writing volume four and have introduced a few for this arc.
What do you think of the abilities and do their names fit? Any name suggestions for the ones I haven’t come up with?
Ability Name: Phantom Lord
A cursed sword that allows the user to choose what their blade cuts or phase through at the same time.
Ability Name: ???
Once the user has touched someone, the user and said person are transported into an empty square room. They will only be in that room for ten minutes, but the room starts filling up with water and will be full in five. After ten minutes, everyone in the room will be transported out. After the rules are explained, anyone who touches the user before the time limit will transported out.
Ability Name: Clash
A cursed sword that lets the user block/deflect anything that attacks them in their periphery. The user is able to block anything as long as they’re physically able to, but can only do so based on stamina and strength (can’t deflect a tree or something that’s in light speed).
Ability Name: Guns And Roses
Allows the user to imbue their mana into bullets. Once that bullet is fired and has stopped, the mana grows into a rose carrying the bullet in its center that can refire said bullet. The speed of the bullet is dependent on how high the sun is in the sky. The user can imbue their mana into any bullet any time before it stops moving and the bullet can be shot in any gun by anyone.
Ability Name: Zenyatta (the user’s name is Mondatta)
The user has three orbs they can shoot out just a bit slower than a bullet. They can also turn these orbs into bubbles that can swallow someone or something and anything in the bubble is invulnerable to any attacks. The user can only bubble three things at a time but can’t bubble themselves.
Ability Name: Death Magnetic
The user creates a large incantation circle on the ground with them in the center. Their body then creates its own gravity, pulling everything inside the circle towards them. They can choose which objects can be affected.
Ability Name: Re-Flex
The user creates a much smaller incantation circle on the ground with them in the center. They get into position and anything that enters the circle after the user has summoned it causes them to have a fast reflex and attack it with their sword
Ability Name: Good Vibrations
Allows the user to control people’s body temperature. However, they can only control it to something that is humanely possible.
Ability Name: Intermission
A cursed sword that allows the user to speed up their body. For every thirty seconds that passes, they lose a year of their life. For every year that passes, their speed increases according to how many years they’ve lost (If two minutes passes, they lose four years of their life but their speed increases to four times as fast). This also gives the user fast regeneration.
Ability Name: Epitaph
Can stop time for five seconds, but the user is frozen along with everyone else. However, the user can observe during stopped time. If the user so wishes, they may move for one second within those five seconds, but they must sacrifice a year of their lifespan. Cooldown between time stops is five seconds.
submitted by Jachinthebox to fanStands [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 20:58 DjangoWexler Wexlair March Patreon: Worldbuilding Deep Dive with Cass Morris

Over from the Patreon. If you haven't read Cass' Aven Cycle, it's really good stuff!
Today we're chatting with Cass Morris, author of the Aven Cycle, a historical fantasy set in an alternate Rome, and co-host of the podcast Worldbuilding for Masochists, an award-nominated podcast discussing the intricacies of worldbuilding in SFF. This means Cass is something of an expert on worldbuilding complexity in fantasy books, which is what I want to talk about today. SFF readers have a particular love of immersing ourselves in richly detailed worlds we can imagine ourselves in viscerally, but let's talk about how writers can actually bring that complexity of detail into focus without totally overwhelming readers.
So to start, I want to talk about political systems, because I love how you managed to make the deep sense of complexity on that front accessible. Ancient Rome: Not an uncomplicated governmental system! And that's before you introduce fantastical elements. People already have trouble understanding how our own governments work, so how do you teach the reader enough that you can play with that complexity for plot intrigue? How do you convey the sense of complexity so the reader understands it without totally bogging down the pacing with exposition?
CASS: Well, one big thing that helps is absolutely the editing process! I'm prone to going into far too much detail on the first try. Multiple pages of too much detail. An entire swamp's worth of getting bogged down. Laying out all the complexities helps me explain them to myself, but it's far more than a reader needs. After the first draft, I could carve out what was totally unnecessary, then simplify the rest enough to be comprehensible, just as, say, The West Wing simplifies the machinations of the White House and Congress without losing what's dramatically interesting about them.
Then, as with so many worldbuilding elements, I think you have to connect political worldbuilding to what a character needs and what's obstructing them. For example: Sempronius Tarren needs to win a certain election to get himself the right provincial posting to set up his longer-term goals. In seeing him make that plan, the reader learns a little about the hierarchy of offices and the powers endowed to each—not a full constitution's worth of details, but enough to understand why the office is desirable and valuable to this character in this moment. Then, the obstruction: His philosophical opponents don't want him gaining what they consider dangerous levels of power, so they throw legal challenges in his way, the same way the US Congress uses things like filibusters. Showing Sempronius' frustration at the block, followed by his own countermove to get around it, feeds the reader more information about how the system works, but through the more engaging lens of his thoughts and emotions.
CASEY: Ha, the existence of editing is a great point. I've done this the opposite way as well—drafted the bones of the story and then filled in later once I knew what kind of detail was called for. But I think the key that you bring up here is that you're focusing on what is relevant to the point-of-view character. They—and we, as the authors—might know and be familiar with all kinds of political nuances the reader isn't, but that doesn't mean you have to teach them all to the reader!
This can get tricky, because deep in the character POV they might notice all those signals, but the ones the reader needs are the ones that are directly relevant to the POV character's goal and its attending conflict. And moreover, it needs to be a specific goal, not something nebulous like, "I want to attain more power." You have a character who wants to accomplish something specific (e.g. win an election), and give them a limited number of people/obstructions who are the actual roadblocks—possibly not the person you'd expect to have the power to stop them, to indicate more nuance in a system, or you can mention in summary other contributing factors that are already in hand, things like that. But limiting the scope helps focus on a few areas to then flesh out in depth, which in turn creates the impression of more depth in general.
It's sort of counterintuitive, but in a way you have room to give more detail with fewer details. And I love how your approach bakes the exposition into the character's agency as they navigate their response to obstructions, because that is so helpful with pacing, too.
DJANGO: A good edit does indeed always help a lot!
For me the biggest barrier to depicting a complex government realistically is the sheer number of people involved. In any government of reasonable size there are hundreds, if not thousands, of potential decision-makers who might have impact on a plot. In a Roman context, beyond the actual elected officials (and there are plenty of those) you have all the other members of important families who didn'tget elected, or are planning to get elected next year, or who lend money to the candidates, or what have you. Thinking about the current US government, the number of characters I personally would recognize (as a more-or-less informed news reader) is both far less than the number who really matter and far morethen we can expect an average novel reader to keep track of.
There are a few techniques that have helped me in the past. The first is just an acceptable break from reality—power in novels tends to be way more centralized than it would "realistically" be. This is true even in very autocratic societies! To go back to my favorite example, in A Game of Thrones the number of major characters involved in the government is probably less than 20—the king, his family, the small council, and the seven Lords Paramount (Stark, Tully, Tyrell, and so on). This is enough that the book has a reputation for complexity and having a lot of characters, but compared to a real government of the type it depicts is probably an order of magnitude too low. GRRM wisely concentrates a lot of functions into personal rule because it works better dramatically for Mace Tyrell or Tywin Lannister to attend to stuff personally than having a hundred ministers and vassals all the time. (It's not a government, but in The Shadow Campaigns the army that the main characters are part of is under-officered in comparison to its historical counterparts—extremely so by British standards!—exactly because this means fewer named characters for everyone to keep track of.)
The other useful trick is to assign representatives—people who can stand in for a large bunch of similar people that we keep coming back to. If you need to write "someone convinces the members of Parliament to vote yes on something," and it doesn't work for there to be some single person who gets to make that choice, you can show the characters meeting with a small number of MPs, say three, and coming back to them several times. With the proper framing as a kind of montage, the reader understands that these are examples and extrapolates. This helps you depict the kind of thing that goes on in the government, which can be just as important as its formal structure. (For example, are you getting the MPs on-side by threats from the party whip, promises of future political favors, or payoffs and patronage?) Joe Abercrombie is particularly good at this, for example in his depiction of the Open Council in Before They Are Hanged.
CASS: Yeah, trimming down the number of people involved is definitely a big help. That's another place where I usually have far too many functionaries and side characters on the first go, then end up consolidating them in following drafts. You can also do a lot just depicting the literal halls of power—how full the building is, how many people are moving around, even the architecture itself can tell the reader a lot about the scale of the governing apparatus, in just a few words of description.
Trimming down the steps of a process also helps. If you look at something like how a bill becomes a law in the United States, it's a lot more complex than Schoolhouse Rock led us to believe! It's not just: 1. Propose Law; 2. Committee Debate; 3: Full Chamber Debate; 4: Vote; 5: Repeat in Other Chamber; 6: President Signs. There are many layers of hearings and markups and financial appropriations, and it's all recursive, because you might have to go through that several times! A little of that may prove interesting, if you can hang an exciting character moment on it or show a really neat procedural trick, but going through the full process will be torture for anyone but the wonkiest of policy wonks.
The Aven Cycle is a fantasy with a strong historical analogue, and I know you have a lot of experience with historical research, between your current dramaturgical work for Camp Halfblood and your formal academic training. So talk to me about how you use history to inform your worldbuilding without restricting your fictional playground with so much research the story becomes didactic. How do you choose what to focus on, and what to leave out? Since women are front and center in these books, I'd love to hear in particular how you focused their stories with a sense of historicity, and how much you could take or chose to invent based on your research.
CASS: I have always been hugely interested in social history: how people live their lives in a given place and time. Sometimes it's strikingly similar to how we experience life today, and sometimes it's so alien—and the same piece of history can be an example of both! I'm fascinated by all the pressure points a society faces and how we create both problems and solutions out of our dominant paradigms. Social history can be hard to uncover, though, because so many of our literary primary sources were composed by wealthy free men, which leaves out most of society. We generally see everyone else through the biased lens of those guys at the top of the heap—at least in what we think of as traditional source material. So, I like exploring less traditional sources.
In the early modern world of my academic training, we do have more surviving written work in the form of letters and journals, but we can also look to things like ecclesiastical records. I promise that's more fascinating than it sounds! Reading up on 17th century slander trials is wild, for example, because those record the exact words that people were using to insult each other—which in turn tells us a lot about what they considered virtuous and what was shameful. Or there's Henslowe's Diary, which gets into granular detail about the income and expenses of a theatre in the 1590s and 1600s.
In the ancient world, archaeology provides more information than words do. The layout of their houses, their furniture, their tools, their kitchen utensils, all of it shows us how people lived. Some of my favorite sources are funerary monuments. Thousands and thousands of these survive, and they document the lives of regular people. The majority, in fact, belong to soldiers or freedmen and their families. They used them to boast of what they'd made of themselves, proud that their children had been born free, proud of the businesses they built. The soldiers spoke about where they'd fought and what awards they won. Some of the most heartbreaking were set up by parents mourning for young children (putting paid to the myth that people didn't get attached to their kids because of high rates of child mortality). Each one is a declaration of the self in defiance of the oblivion of eternity, and I just find that so beautiful.
That's all a long way of saying: I look for the history that shows me people. Those are the details that I want to carry into the text: what they care about, what they value, and the material culture that attends those more abstract concepts. That's the history that ties to character, rather than just being an info-dump.
Even with all that archaeological information, though, we're still stuck with a dearth of information, particularly when it comes to the lives of women and other marginalized groups. So I've had to train myself to look at the absences, the gaps in the record, and try to fill them in, and to look at the sources written by men, then subtract out the biases those men held in order to get to something closer to truth.
It's like looking at the shadow of a tiger. It might give you an idea of the tiger's shape, but only from a particular angle. It may or may not tell you how big a tiger is. It won't tell you that a tiger has stripes, what a tiger sounds like, or what it eats. Examining the lives of marginalized groups in history is often trying to know them by their shadows.
What's clear, though, is that women exerted a lot of power "off-screen" in the ancient world. We have some gorgeous examples: Cornelia, mother of the Gracchi, held up as a paragon of virtue; much-married Fulvia, who ran street gangs, had a feud with Cicero, and waged war against Octavius Caesar; Agrippina Major, popular heroine who gave an emperor so much grief that he had her assassinated; her daughter Agrippina Minor, mother of Nero, whose autobiography is the lost text I'd most like to see miraculously rediscovered. I could go on and on—but I borrowed a lot from all of them when crafting the women of Aven. They were smart and resourceful despite the confines of their society, and whether they played within the boundaries or dared to transgress, they made an impact.
DJANGO: For me this is all about using history to inform my worldbuilding, rather than define it.
I like to think of using history as a case study, an example, rather than a blueprint to be literally followed. If you have a fantasy situation—a type of warfare, an environment, a resource distribution—history provides you with examples of how real people adapted to it, made use of it, and generally applied their ingenuity. People, by and large, don't do obviously stupid things (at least not for very long) and so generally the fact that a society was set up in such-and-such a way and lasted for hundreds of years means that it worked pretty well! (In our modern times of plenty, this can be hard to comprehend; for most of human history, "everyone not dying of starvation" was a great accomplishment requiring constant, unrelenting work.)
This is not to say, of course, that it had to be that way, or that any other way is "unrealistic." The key is to use the historical analogy to understand the kinds of thingsthat were challenges for those people. If they live in, say, a desert, they will have adapted to it in every way: dress, food, shelter, etc. When you read about how they lived, the important thing isn't to copy it exactly, but to make sure that your fantasy people have answers to the same challenges—this is what gives the book verisimilitude!
What I generally find is that no amount of me sitting down and reasoning out the problems people face, a priori, goes even a fraction of the way toward actually understanding those problems; history inevitably throws up fixes that people invented for problems I would never have even considered. (In late medieval France, knife-sharpeners carried circular whetstones—we're talking big, 50 pound stones—on their backs as they went from village to village. The rest of their setup could be constructed from local wood, but big stones of sufficient hardness were very hard to find, and drilling a hole through the middle for the axle was a capital investment!) Lifting these little vignettes for my fantasy society gives it that feel of realism I crave, while still leaving sufficient room to change the aspects of the past that I'm not eager to replicate.
CASS: What gets really fun there is, if you are using a specific historical inspiration but want to make really significant changes, figuring out what happens when you flick the domino. I'm working on a new project now that's a secondworld fantasy instead of an alternate version of our world, but it's inspired by early modern London and the vibe of Shakespeare's theatres. I'm working from that base because I want that aesthetic—but I also want this society to have gender equity, I want them to be accepting of queer identities, I want them to be polytheistic, and the government is more like Venice than England. Those are some really big changes from London in 1600, even before adding magic to the equation!
So then I get to figure out what else in society those things touch: clothing, industry, family structure, bureaucratic structure, and so forth. How would these people, with their worldview, find similar or different answers to problems than the historical examples I'm inspired by? This is why I love worldbuilding, because I find that such a fun game. There are so many possible answers, and I tinker until I find the ones that best fit the story I want to tell.
CASEY: Oh, funerary monuments is a great tip. There's a newsletter called Ælfgif-who? on biographies of early medieval English women, and it's fascinating to see what the author can construct from a combination of records and artifacts and the biases involved, what's said and what's conspicuously not said, what she can guess versus what there's hard evidence for. As a fantasist, I love the possibility space those gaps create that I can fill in.
As Django points out, people have been problem-solving throughout history, and that's not limited to wealthy men. If the records don't talk about what women were doing, it doesn't mean they were sitting on their laurels all day or just accepting whatever men figured out, and you can often get a sense for the space they occupied in the gaps—and if you can't, those gaps can give you ideas for what space they couldoccupy—in history, or in a story.
I think it's also worth noting that historical research can give you a sense of what kinds of social systems go together. I remember reading a fantasy book with a setting inspired by Japan that had all these features that have existed in Japanese history but not at the same time. So it was this mess of things that didn't make any sense together, because the author hadn't paid attention to the historical context.
I don't write historical analogue settings, but even for secondary world fantasy I find it useful to pay attention to what features can work together, and that's especially important once you start changing aspects to suit your story. A society with cell phones is not going to work the same way as one with post. A society where most people can't read won't work the same either! And this matters because it determines what kind of plots you can write, but it's also not super efficient to consider every aspect of the worldbuilding. Like, in a given story I may not need to know how laundry works, or the sewers, or what toys children are playing with. (Sometimes, sure! But not every time.)
But I probably need to know what people are wearing so I can describe them, so it matters what kind of clothing their technology could make and what it costs. I need to know how they communicate with each other, because they're going to do that in pretty much any story.
So I start with a character and plot concept and work backward to build the world around what the story requires them to do, and I do it in this order because otherwise I am exactly the person who will get lost in a worldbuilding rabbit hole at the expense of actually writing the story. But once I start figuring out some of the tentpoles like, This person's unique education makes them critical to the plot (why do they have that education? what education is available to other people?), or more generally, Our heroes will not be able to call for help because the message won't arrive in time (how far does the message need to travel, and how long will it take, and how long to get a response?), that starts to tell you the kinds of things that will be important to put together to make a world that feels internally consistent and enablesyou to tell your story.
If your heroine is rebelling against an arranged marriage, it's worth asking how common arranged marriages are and why and for whom. Like, the whole culture of debutantes in regency England emerged out of economic changes! Social institutions are intertwined, you can't just treat them as piecemeal. But if you do it right, the research gives you more things to play with that inform your characters' histories and choices rather than restricting you based on what "really" happened. Then it's just a matter of focusing on the pieces that actually matter to the story you're actually telling or enhance it in some way.
Lastly, I would be remiss in talking to you specifically about focusing an audience without asking how you use rhetoric to do that very thing (you can find Cass' deep dive on rhetoric in Hamilton, backed by Lin Manuel Miranda himself, on her Patreon). A common piece of writing advice is to never actually write the impossibly dramatic speech in fiction, because it will never be as impressive to readers, and instead focus on the characters' reaction or experience. Do you agree? And are there particular rhetorical devices you like to use to help focus readers' attention on what you want them to notice, whether it's a part of an argument in dialogue or in conveying information in the narrative?
CASS: Oh, you've done a dangerous thing, opening the door of rhetoric for me!
I love rhetoric so much. It's gotten a bad reputation in modern parlance, since most people only ever hear the word in a negative context—political rhetoric, violent rhetoric, and so forth. But rhetoric is nothing more and nothing less than structuring your words to achieve a desired effect. It's deeply woven into everything writers do, whether or not you're the kind of ultra-nerd who memorizes the Greek names for a few hundred devices. I think some of the best writers (like Shakespeare and LMM) do it in part instinctively, because they have such a good ear for how people speak and for the cadence of language, but it's also a skill that you can hone and train.
Rhetoric serves many purposes, and a lot of it is about crafting a character's voice, both in dialogue and in their POV narration. It lends a lot of texture to the story, and it's something I find particularly useful in crafting multi-POV books. Subtle shifts in how characters use language can help center a reader within each individual POV.
In dialogue, I think about vocal quirks that are marks of character and tell you something about the speaker, then I use rhetoric to craft the effect. Who's prone to using more words than necessary, either because they like hearing themselves talk or because they're babbling (devices like pleonasm and accumulatio)? Who likes intricate descriptions (enargia), and who's a champion of deadpan understatement (litotes)? Who, in a state of excitement or eagerness, asks too many questions without waiting for an answer (pysma)? Who's so pompous or instructive that they answer their own questions (anythypophora)? Not that rhetoric is the only tool for playing with these things, of course, but it's the frame I personally like best.
It gets particularly fun when I get to write political arguments, because those speakers are conscious of their own devices to the point of weaponizing them. They'll ask lots of what we call rhetorical questions (erotema), where there's an obvious answer that they're looking for; they'll repeat their ideas in sets of three (tricolon), because that helps the audience to remember them; they'll seize on an important word their opponent used and twist it around some other way (asteismus). They're deliberately showing off, and following the minutiae of the argument often isn't as important for the reader as understanding that they're tweaking each other and trying to one-up each other. The rhetoric lets me communicate those character dynamics in fun ways—similar to the "Cabinet Battle" scenes in Hamilton!
Writers have rhetorical tics, too, which can sometimes become a vice, if you're not aware of them, but which are also part of each author's unique voice. I'm particularly prone to a certain combo of devices: zeugma plus anaphora/isocolon. Zeugma is when two or more words, phrases, or clauses are dependent upon the same other word (usually the main verb of a sentence), as in "I love you truly, madly, deeply." All three adverbs hang on the same main verb. Anaphora is repetition of the same word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses, and isocolon is parallel structure. "I came, I saw, I conquered" is an example of both: the repeated "I" at the beginning and the structure of "I + [past tense verb]".
I then sometimes layer that combo with auxesis, a series of clauses or phrases that gradually ascend in importance. You make a list, and the most important thing is last. That's the traditional definition, at least, but I had a professor who argued that auxesis can also work in the opposite direction, where your series diminishes rather than growing, and I do think that can be equally impressive, especially when you want to narrow a reader's or listener's focus. So, the zeugma-anaphora/isocolon-auxesis combo move gives me the opportunity to show a character becoming more intense or more pointed as they're working their way through a thought. If that ends up being shaped like self-correction, then it's also epanorthosis. I recognize that I'm nerding hard at this point! But this is what I find so fun about rhetoric: the devices don't operate in isolation, but layer and intertwine to craft specific moments and that desired effect on the reader.
As to writing the Impossibly Dramatic Speech—I don't think it is impossible, but I do think it's something to use cautiously. You have to pick your moment, for one thing, and it's not always the moment you might think. Not all magnificent speeches are Henry V bucking up his followers on the eve of Agincourt. Sometimes, the magnificent speech is a lover pleading to be heard, a con artist deceiving a mark, a sister quietly giving advice. (See? I told you I'm prone to the zeugma-anaphora/isocolon-auxesis combo!)
It's easier to get away with the big speech on stage or film, because there, the actor is an essential component of the equation. On the page of a novel, the writing itself has a heavier load to carry. So I think you can get away with presenting a well-crafted Impossibly Dramatic Speech in a well-chosen moment, but not all in one block. Interposing the speaker's words with other elements helps to break it up and remind the reader why the speech matters. Maybe you cut away to show the audience's reactions; maybe you cut inside the speaker's head to show them nerving themselves up for it, or debating what to say next, or consciously choosing where they pause.
And here I'll throw another device at you: within a speech, choosing to pause is called aposiopesis. Mark Antony does it at the end of the first bit of his "Friends, Romans, countrymen" speech, when he says he's been overcome with emotion, "My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar, and I must pause till it come back to me." Practically speaking, that gives the actor a break so they don't have to do 140 lines all at once, but it also gives the plebeians a chance to speak and the audience a chance to witness how Antony's words are having an effect. In a novel, a writer can effectively use aposiopesis in another way, breaking the speech up with descriptive elements, which helps to ground the lofty rhetoric back in the reality of the world and the immediacy of the moment.
CASEY: Rhetoric gives us so many tools to play with! Thank you for all those examples. I think it's worth highlighting your point that writers don't have to know what specific rhetorical devices are called to be able to employ them effectively. Adjusting sentence structure and word choice to match character or moment or the rhythm of the plot is doing exactly this work, paying close attention to howyour words are working.
Strategic repetition is a favorite of mine. I love repeating a structure multiple times in a row, particularly with paragraph breaks, because then the white space and alignment helps emphasize what I'm doing. That's something you can't do the same way in other mediums! I also love repeating a line a different character said and twisting its meaning in later dialogue—you have to in some way make sure the reader recognizes the reference, but there are lots of ways to do that.
With novels, we can't rely on visible reactions from the audience or an actor's delivery, but we can manage pacing with punctuation, with narration interspersed or removed. I also love doing the equivalent of an anime peanut gallery ("Did she do it?" "Yes, the attack landed!" "But look at her—now she's almost out of power; she only has one more shot. Will she last another round?") as a way to make sure the reader notices the undercurrents and how they're changing the stakes. And that works just as well in fraught conversations as fight scenes.
This can be especially important in scenes like political debates that are doing heavy interplay of character dynamics, but depending on the scene's goals, sometimes you can do this with telling, too, rather than showing—in The Hands of the Emperor,there's an anecdote about a character capping a joke perfectly; we never learn the joke or the reply, but the content of the words isn't what matters in this case as much as the context, that these characters having just met are able to match each other with no regard to the impropriety. That said, if we're instead in a romance where a plot beat hinges on one main character changing the other's mind, in almost all cases we're going to need that whole conversation to track the minute character shifts that drive romances at their core—and you can give those conversations extra impact by grounding them in the specific words they've said to and thought about each other before.
DJANGO: Rhetoric is an area where I don't have much training, I have to say, so I'll be the one who goes for "don't actually write the speech out." =) I do a fair bit of this in The Shadow Campaigns, in particular for Danton's magically-effective speeches in The Shadow Throne, which obviously aren't going to be replicated in text. In addition to the problems of being able to actually write a good speech—as Cass demonstrates, there's a lot more going on there then you might think!—it can also be hard to replicate the effect on an in-universe audience.
First of all, while the people in the book are hearing something delivered live, the readers are getting it written down, stripped of the power that a really good speaker can give it. Second, the diegetic audience are different people than the reader, with a different set of cultural assumptions and values. This can be as simple as feeling a stir of pride when language or music evokes national symbols, and goes all the way to complicated cultural markers and tropes. (What we'd today call memes!) The best rhetoric is often the most targeted at its specific audience, specifically because that can be so effective, but the result can leave modern readers cold. It's definitely one of those areas that depends on the author's strengths and the style of the narrative.
Cass, what have you been working on, and what's coming up for you next?
CASS: The Bloodstained Shade, Book 3 of the Aven Cycle, just released at the end of January. It's out in paperback and ebook now, and there's an audiobook coming in May. There will be a Book 4, someday, but at the moment I'm working on something entirely different—the secondworld fantasy inspired by early modern London that I mentioned earlier. That's still in drafting stage, and I'm so enjoying the ongoing application of everything I've learned about worldbuilding and writing craft in the past few years.
Event-wise, I'm doing a virtual workshop on developing magical systems for the Orange County Public Library on March 21st—open to anyone, whether you're an OCPL member or not! Then I'll be at RavenCon April 21-23 in Richmond, VA and at ConCarolinas June 2-4 in Charlotte, NC.
For more worldbuilding goodness, you can find me along with co-hosts Rowenna Miller and Marshall Ryan Maresca on Worldbuilding for Masochists, our two-time Hugo Finalist podcast! Available on all your favorite podcast platforms, with new episodes dropping every other Wednesday. We start our fifth year in June, and we'll be kicking off the season with a pretty exciting announcement!
I usually direct people to Twitter @CassRMorris as the best place to find me for general chatting, and while that's still the best place for now, with the increasing instability of the old bird, I'll also direct folks toward my LinkTree, which will always have the most up-to-date social media haunts, and my Substack, for major announcements and random acts of blogging.
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2023.03.23 20:56 Vaporized_Dreams Sound for 75-100 person dance event

Hello, I'm planning a celebration of life event for a dear friend of mine, which will have DJs throughout the night. We're working with a production company for all of our needs, and was hoping I could get some guidance on which subs / speakers to go with. They don't have a large selection, but I'd still like to make sure the sound is as good as possible. I'll attach photos of them as well
For subs, they have the JBL SRX818SP, but also Custom High Output LAB (not sure where to find specs on this one). Here is a photo of the LAB subs I'll try to get the specs for the custom one, but it seems like it may be overkill. If I go with the JBL SRX818SP's, would 2 be enough, or should I go with 4?
As for the speakers, they have JBL 4733 (as shown in the photo above), as well as QSC K10's. I hear a lot of great things about the QSC K10, but they look rather small in the photos / videos I've seen. I'm wondering if size matters in this case, and if it'd be enough to fill a room of 75-100 people for electronic dance music. While the JBL 4733s are bigger, I believe they're quite old, so maybe the newer QSC's would make up for the size difference?
Also, I'm guessing the QSC's would be a no brainer for the dj booth monitors, since we wouldn't need much of an output in that case.
Any help would be greatly appreciated! :) <3
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2023.03.23 20:56 Advanced_Falcon_2816 GTA 5 Surpasses 150 Million Units Sold As GTA 6 Hype And Rumors Heat Up

Grand Theft Auto V is still going strong nearly eight years after it first debuted on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (remember those?), followed by a slightly newer re-release on Windows PCs and the the PS4 and Xbox One. To date, publisher Take-Two Interactive has sold over 150 million copies of GTA V on various platforms.
The publisher revealed the impressive sales stat as part of its earnings report for its fiscal first quarter of 2022. Looking at the data from the previous quarter, it means T2 sold an additional 5 million copies in the past three months. Not too shabby, given that GTA V is far from a new game at this point. That is not the end of it, either.
T2 plans to launch an "expanded and enhanced version" for the latest generation game consoles, those being the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, on November 11, 2021. Developer Rockstar Games had previously said the updated version will bring "new features and more" to the table, but the details are still largely a mystery.
"The new generation versions of GTAV will feature a range of technical improvements, visual upgrades and performance enhancements to take full advantage of the latest hardware, making the game more beautiful and more responsive than ever," Rockstar Games said last year.
We presume the retooled version of GTA V will tap into the fast storage capabilities of modern consoles, to drastically reduce game load times. It will also leverage the newer hardware in the latest gen consoles, namely the custom SoC based on AMD's Zen 2 CPU cores and RDNA 2 graphics.
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2023.03.23 20:55 Composer124 Meetup this Fri (3/24) for Autistic Adults at Time Out Market, 12:00pm

Hi everyone. If you’re autistic and looking for other autistic folks to talk to, join us at our meetup Fri at noon at Time Out Market.
Time Out Market is a huge food court in Brooklyn with TONS of great food and lots of options. It's also right on the river, so there's some amazing views. Depending on the weather, we can walk around and possibly sit outside. If it's raining out, there are lots of large tables and tons of seating indoors. It should be fairly quiet since we're going in the middle of the day!
submitted by Composer124 to nycmeetups [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 20:54 Vaporized_Dreams Sound for 75-100 person dance event

Hello, I'm planning a celebration of life event for a dear friend of mine, which will have DJs throughout the night. We're working with a production company for all of our needs, and was hoping I could get some guidance on which subs / speakers to go with. They don't have a large selection, but I'd still like to make sure the sound is as good as possible. I'll attach photos of them as well
For subs, they have the JBL SRX818SP, but also Custom High Output LAB (not sure where to find specs on this one). Here is a photo of the LAB subs I'll try to get the specs for the custom one, but it seems like it may be overkill. If I go with the JBL SRX818SP's, would 2 be enough, or should I go with 4?
As for the speakers, they have JBL 4733 (as shown in the photo above), as well as QSC K10's. I hear a lot of great things about the QSC K10, but they look rather small in the photos / videos I've seen. I'm wondering if size matters in this case, and if it'd be enough to fill a room of 75-100 people for electronic dance music. While the JBL 4733s are bigger, I believe they're quite old, so maybe the newer QSC's would make up for the size difference?
Also, I'm guessing the QSC's would be a no brainer for the dj booth monitors, since we wouldn't need much of an output in that case.
Any help would be greatly appreciated! :) <3
submitted by Vaporized_Dreams to SoundEngineering [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 20:39 Successful_Cut5317 Plush-Plush Fruit

Plush-Plush Fruit
The Plush-Plush Fruit is a paramecia-type devil fruit that grants the user the ability to create and control plushies. The user can bring plushies to life, imbuing them with special properties that make them useful in combat or other situations. These plushies can vary in size, shape, and design, and the user can create them out of thin air.


  1. Plushie Creation: The user can create plushies of any shape and size, including replicas of people and animals, as well as original designs. The plushies are soft and huggable, but also possess a level of durability and strength that belies their cute appearance.
  2. Plushie Control: The user can control their plushies, making them move and act as they wish. The plushies can be controlled individually or in groups, and the user can use them for a variety of purposes, including combat, reconnaissance, and transportation.
  3. Plushie Animation: The user can imbue their plushies with life, giving them the ability to move, speak, and perform various actions. The plushies can be controlled by the user or given independent thought and action.
  4. Plushie Absorption: The user can absorb objects or people into their plushies, essentially trapping them inside. The absorbed objects or people can be released at the user's discretion, making this ability useful for both defense and capture.
  5. Plushie Transformation: The user can transform their own body into a plushie form, gaining all the benefits of a plushie, such as softness and cuteness, while still retaining their human intelligence and abilities. This transformation also makes the user resistant to physical attacks and able to absorb and manipulate other plushies.


  1. Water Weakness: Like all Devil Fruit users, the Plush-Plush Fruit user is vulnerable to the effects of water and will lose their powers if they are submerged in it.
  2. Limited Range: The user's ability to create and control plushies is limited to their line of sight, making it difficult to control plushies in distant locations or behind walls.
  3. Vulnerable to Fire: Plushies are easily flammable, and the user is vulnerable to fire attacks, which can easily destroy their plushies and render them powerless.
  4. Limited Duration: The user's control over their plushies is limited in duration and requires a constant source of energy. After a certain amount of time, the plushies will revert to their original form.


  1. Plushie Army: The user creates a large number of plushies and commands them to attack their enemies.
  2. Plushie Shield: The user creates a plushie barrier to protect themselves from incoming attacks.
  3. Plushie Mimicry: The user transforms their body into a plushie form to avoid attacks and gain additional mobility.
  4. Plushie Ambush: The user hides small plushies in a location and then commands them to attack their enemies when they approach.
  5. Plushie Storm: The user summons a large number of small plushies that rain down on their enemies, overwhelming them with cuteness and causing them to lose focus.
  6. Plushie Barrier: The user creates a large plushie that serves as a shield, protecting them from attacks.
  7. Plushie Golem: The user fuses multiple large plushies together to create a towering golem that can wreak havoc on the battlefield.
  8. Plushie Puppet: The user transforms a person or creature into a plushie and controls them like a puppet, forcing them to do their bidding.


Plushie World: The user can transform an area into a whimsical, plushie-filled wonderland. In this world, the user's control over their plushies is greatly enhanced, and they can create even more powerful and complex plushie constructs. The world also has a soporific effect on anyone who enters it, causing them to become relaxed and sleepy. However, the user must remain within the plushie world to maintain its existence, and leaving it for too long will cause it to dissipate.
submitted by Successful_Cut5317 to DevilFruitIdeas [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 20:37 Hap2go Family Stuff

Everyone keeps saying that their family member wouldnt want them to keep stuff they dont want/need. What if that family member is still alive and absolutely would meltdown if they thought you had gotten rid of anything? What if they look around your house when they visit to make sure "their" stuff is still there? What if you feel so much guilt (SO MUCH GUILT) getting rid of anything you know they feel you should keep?
example - my paternal grandmother mahogony tilt top table with dragon claw legs. This thing is heavy, huge and not my style at all. Yet its been in my basement since my grandmother passed because I cant sell it. No one wants to buy this monstrosity. My father would have a cow if I simply donated it. so... now what?
example - my parents spent their lifetimes entertaining. I literally have trunks of gorgeous French embroidered table linens (that dont fit any table I currently have) These are items that were $xxx to $xxxx new. I can try to sell them but that means opening each one, measuring it, making note of any stains/spots and so on...
example - two storage units filled with furniture from when they downsized from a 7000 sq ft house to assisted living facility. We had maybe 30+ pickup truck loads that went to goodwill but also filled up 3 storage units. (now down to 1.25) Whats left is some larger furniture (sofas), occasional tables, and chairs plus boxes of china and kitchen goods.
Due to their declining mental health, I'm pretty sure I COULD get rid of A LOT of this stuff and they wouldnt know it BUT I WOULD!! I probably need therapy!! lol...
submitted by Hap2go to declutter [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 20:37 ogturd78 Has anyone gotten so down about lack of romantic prospects or lost hope that they’ll ever find partnership, that they think life isn’t worth it or no longer will have meaning?

This isn't meant to inspire ‘call a suicide hotline’ responses, I'm just genuinely curious how everyone (mostly fellow women) else handles the rock bottom thoughts that run through our head when we have to plan for never meeting someone and never really getting that family ending. Whether marriage, kids, or just true long term partnership. When you try to think of the kind of life you'll have or need to plan for if you literally never meet someone decent or never have love in your life again, what do you do to want to keep going? For me its the classic comparison to money cant buy happiness. I find that now making so much money is pointless. There is no one there to share success with or come home to tell good news to or celebrate with, etc. If that is going to be the next 50 years, is it worth living? Especially when you factor in how insanely difficult it is to make friends as a grown up, so some of us have no partner AND no friends. Telling me to just get hobbies and go to the gym to fill a void that large is starting to get annoying :)
submitted by ogturd78 to AskWomenOver30 [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 20:36 plz_callme_swarley Success Negotiating with Anderson?

Would love if anyone could share success stories and/or tips for negotiating with Anderson.
I've been admitted to McCombs and Tepper both with $ but nothing from Anderson. Anderson is my #1 of those and would probably go even without any scholarship but there is a large gap, especially if you factor in greater CoL of LA.
I will try to see what they say regardless but just wanted to see if anyone has any experience doing so successfully. Thanks!
submitted by plz_callme_swarley to MBA [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 20:36 Frafabowa [Suggestion] Add a vendor or similar option that can visually fill every slot on a player's Collection Log.

Don't actually make hitting it give you the items, of course. It just seems a lot of players are making something out of this functionality they shouldn't be. Adding a button (or a vendor, or whatever) every player can easily access to fill up their clog will help users to realize that the clog really doesn't mean anything, and concerns about proper game design are incomparably more valuable than concerns about """"devaluing"""" the collection log (See: people complaining about not being able to fill up the clue logs and separating mega-rare stuff into a pointless new table, stale baguette, and now Larran's Key complaining). It can also help users psychologically by giving them an "escape lever" they can pull if they feel they're getting too attached to the game although this might not be good for Jagex's bottom line.
I can think of two games off the top of my head that do similar things - Nier Automata has an in-game vendor you can buy achievement completion off of instead of doing the achievements yourself, and Super Mario Odyssey lets you buy up to the 999 Power Moon maximum from its vendors without manually collecting all 880 unique Power Moons yourself. Of course, both of those games are single-player games largely without DLC as opposed to an MMO live service game, but that's all the more reason to make the move when it can actually influence the game's community, IMO.
Jagex has added plenty of options to psychologically help out players, from putting enabling showing playtime behind a warning to Ironman modes. What would make this different?
submitted by Frafabowa to 2007scape [link] [comments]

2023.03.23 20:32 Throwrathejournal I (52F) Read My Partner's (49F) Journal

We have been together for 5 years. I read it because I felt desperate. I never thought she was cheating or anything, but it is so hard to get her to communicate. She is on the spectrum.
I have been struggling with my health, especially since moving to be closer to her 6 years ago. I came from a large city and worked mostly behind a desk in management. I have a history as an athlete and laboror and am strong but plagued with old injuries. Since moving to be with her, (rural setting) I have had to take a lot of labor jobs that don't pay so well. It also keeps me in a state of chronic pain for the most part to the extent that I have a hard time even walking when I get home or first thing in the morning. She has had to help me a lot. Sometimes just to put on or take off my boots.
I did land a great desk job a couple of years ago but got laid off due to Covid. I have just found a part time job in my field and won a grant for one of my hobbies. The problem is, I had Covid (I am vaccinated)this winter which gave me blood clots and vertigo. I have also been suffering from panic attacks since then which is uncharacteristic of me. It's been really hard. I made very little money this winter though I worked as much as I possibly could on a farm near me. Even at my best it is very hard on me physically.
We have both been stressed and bickering. She has seemed so angry but won't talk to me openly. I felt like something was really wrong and read her journal. I have never done this before. It is almost cover to cover filled with denigrating complaints about the physical ailments and struggles I have had since moving here. I understand why she is frustrated. I am too, but the words she used to talk about me were hateful. I am just gutted.
I tried to talk to her about what I could do different if she is *hint feeling angry or frustrated. (I didn't tell her I read her journal). She just keeps telling me that everything is fine and we'll work through it etc. More of the same things that lead me to read her journal in the first place. I feel very confused. Is she gaslighting me? Why would she do this? I honestly feel like I don't want to live anymore. I don't want to be a burden on anyone and I can't pull it together.
submitted by Throwrathejournal to relationship_advice [link] [comments]