Attention all Epithet Erasedfans!The Kickstarter for our upcoming novel, Epithet Erased - Prison of Plastic is here! Check out the trailer and the incredible new voice cast for the audiobook. Here’s just a few of them!
Thanks to all you wonderful backers, we somehow smashed the initial funding goal in less than an hour along with most of the stretch goals after that!
If you guys can get the Kickstarter to $110,000 by the end of the night, I’ll read another chapter live on stream this evening!
Until then, please enjoy this preview of Chapter 1.
Literally every Epithet Erased fan on Kickstarter today.
TWEEK: [Grumble grumble…]
TWEEK: Ugh, how are thereno bars here.
TWEEK:How is earth shittier than hell right now.
TWEEK: I bet this stupid thing doesn’t even work up on the surface…
TWEEK: Why is my phone talking to me again.
TWEEK:Why do I even usethis dumb thing???
TWEEK:It only ever does this when…
TWEEK: Ugh, when he’saround.
TWEEK:Hey, what are you doing???
TWEEK:You’re messing up my shit!
╤ ╝╤: …
TWEEK:Wait,is that him?
TWEEK:He’s not wearing his hat…
TWEEK:No wait yeah okay yep that’s him.
TWEEK:Why are you walking around with all your stuff out, are you crazy?!
PIP:Rather bold of you to say, shouting from across the street like that!
PIP:Joking I am, of course.
PIP:All in good fun!
TWEEK:Why’s half of your clothes off, too?!
TWEEK:What if somebody sees you!!!
PIP:Let’s stop yelling, why don’t we, if you’re so concerned about a simple gaze or two in my direction!
PIP:Come on over here, why are you sitting all the way in that silly old log?
TWEEK:(What if one of the others is near by…?)
TWEEK:(It doesn’t feel like they’re around…)
TWEEK:Agh–okay okay, fine!
TWEEK:Seriously,why are you walking around like that???
TWEEK: Isn’t it super fucked up for people up here?
TWEEK: Don’t you guys have, like, standards on the overworld?
PIP:Why, of course we do, Tweek.
PIP:However, I don’t think my appearance has anything to do with manners or being polite.
PIP: At least, not the parts of me that I can’t control– the physical parts of me, I mean.
PIP: In fact, the parts I can control are the very reason I’m headed the way I am!
TWEEK: Make sense for once!
TWEEK: Since when are youso okay with how you look?
TWEEK: You can totally just– just,hide all your shit away!
TWEEK:You’re so annoying!!!
PIP: Now now, Tweek, there’s no need to get riled up!
PIP:I’m not even sure what I did this time.
PIP:Always so angry…
PIP:[Ahem]– Anyhow, I’ve been coming to terms with myself lately.
PIP: And I figure now is a better time than any to do so, considering my new status.
TWEEK:Man,please don’t remind me.
PIP:Well, friend, I’ll have a pretty hard time doing that right now.
PIP:Well for starters, I’m on my way to find Damien.
TWEEK: Oh god…
PIP: The problem here is, I haven’t the slightest clue where he might be at this time of night…
PIP:Certainly not in hell, no…
PIP:Hmm, I suppose he may be working.
PIP: I wonder if I can figure out where?
PIP: I mean, he’s told me what he does, but…
PIP:Mm, I’m not quite sure where a place like that would be around here, you know?
PIP:Oh but I’m sure someone around must know him well enough to tell me where he works.
PIP:Why, I’m sure the whole town over may know him, he could be the finest in his skillset around!
TWEEK: And I really, really don’t wanna hear about that guy.
TWEEK: Not any more nowthanbefore.
PIP:Oh! Sorry, sorry.
PIP:I guess I just… can’t help but be excited!
PIP:It may not feel this way for you, Tweek, but I’ve had so many memories here.
PIP: It’s just oh so nostalgic to be back!
TWEEK:Itliterally cannot feel that way for me, man.
TWEEK: I’m not even meant to be uphere.
TWEEK: I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing, or what anything is.
PIP: Well I sure am not the best person to come to for advice on earth, I haven’t been here in about nine years myself, now!
PIP:Come to think of it, why didn’t you stay with the others after you ran off?
PIP:I’m surethey could have taught you a thing or two!
PIP: Much more than I, at least!
TWEEK: I can’t be around those guys right now, and you knowwhy.
PIP: Ah, right.
PIP: Well, then, maybe I can show you a few things about the surface.
PIP: While you’re here with me, that is.
TWEEK: I’m… not sure if I really wanna…–
PIP: Don’t give me that act now!
PIP:You’re curious about all sorts of things, I can tell.
PIP:Why don’t you follow me to the laundromat?
PIP:And afterwards, we can have a quaint sit down at a diner for some tea.
TWEEK:I don’t know what a laundromat is.
TWEEK:Stop making things up.
PIP:Oh, I can assure you that a laundromat is very real, Tweek!
PIP: You’ve never seen one?
TWEEK: I’m from hell!
TWEEK: All there was in hell was fire and rocks,untilyou came around, and now it’s all luau torches and palm trees and– and stupid shit like that!!!
TWEEK: Not a single “””laundromat””” around, unless that’s this week’s newest stupid addition!
PIP:Oh my, no need to get hostile, dear friend!
PIP:A laundromat isn’t a tree or a torch.
PIP: It is simply a place to wash your clothes!
TWEEK:Wash… your clothes…?
PIP: I have to get all the blood off of these clothes somehow!
TWEEK:You can just…
TWEEK: Wait if I go there I can WASH my SHIRT???
TWEEK:And like. Just. Have it be clean????????
TWEEK:JUST like that???
PIP:You’re quite the funny one, Tweek.
PIP:I can never understand you.
PIP:Yes,you can clean your clothes, as simple as that.
PIP:You toss what you want into the washer drier, wait a little bit, and then you’re free to wear your freshly cleaned clothes to your heart’s desire.
TWEEK: What’s the–
PIP:No catch, friend.
PIP:None at all!
PIP:Come with me, and you can wash all the clothing you’d like.
PIP: The smell of a laundromat isquite lovely, too.
PIP:It’s a smell I think you’d be rather fond of.
TWEEK:ghgh hg gu uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu…
TWEEK:You said you were gonna look for Damien, too, right…?
PIP:That I am!
PIP:The whole reason I’m going to wash my clothes in the first place is so I can look spick and span– just for him!
TWEEK:O-okay, I’ll go with you.
TWEEK: But– but not because you taught me about anything.
TWEEK:Because I wanna find Damien, too.
PIP: Oh? Is that so?
PIP:I’ve never known you to want to be around the devil very much.
PIP: Considering you’re one of the very few who have the privilege to do so.
TWEEK: Yeah, well.
TWEEK: I wanna talk to him about something.
TWEEK: I think.
TWEEK: But if I’m following you around, could… like.
TWEEK:If it’s not for you, then could you at least just…
TWEEK:Hide all that shit soI’m not looking like a fucking weirdo or anything?
PIP:Oh I suppose, if it’ll make you more comfortable.
PIP:Let’s get a move on, then!
CRAIG: All my friends arehere.
CRAIG:All of my friends are stuck up inside this stupid barn because some fuckingweirdotold us to.
TOKEN:What are you going on about over there, Craig?
CRAIG: These people keep saying to call someone outside to come and help us, but literally all of us are trapped in here.
CRAIG: And frankly, I don’t think calling anybody like mysister will do much good either, so that’s pretty much all my options right now.
CRAIG: Not that I’m in the mood to talk to anybody anyways–
TOKEN: It’s cool dude, it’s cool. Don’t sweat it.
TOKEN: I mean…
TOKEN: I guess we could try calling someone like Wendy…
TOKEN: She tends to be pretty smart and she’d probably take this seriously if I said I wasn’t joking…
TOKEN:I could call Nichole!
TOKEN: I’m pretty sure she said she was hanging out with Wendy and Bebe and stuff tonight.
CRAIG: Yeah sure dude, a bunch of chicks can help this situation, I’m sure.
TOKEN: I’m gonna ignore that comment because I’m sure you’re just grumpy right now.
CRAIG:You’re damn right I am, I’m stuck up in a fucking cold, duck-shit filled barn with Stan and his friends.
NICHOLE:Oh my gosh, guys, after we’re done do you wanna watch a movie or something?
WENDY: Sure, I’d be down!
WENDY: We only have a couple of keypoints left on the syllabus to go through before we’re done–
WENDY: Who’s calling you so late in the night, Nichole?
NICHOLE:Oh! It’s Token.
NICHOLE: Can I answer, or are we too busy?
BEBE:Ohhhhh my god, Nichole, we’re never too busy for Token.
BEBE:Everything he says is super cute, put him on speaker!
RED:Tell him I said hey.
RED: But like in a cool way.
WENDY:Just try to make it quick, we have school in the morning and we need to get this done before the test!
NICHOLE: Token? You’re up kind of late, is everything okay?
TOKEN:Oh my god, Nichole, you have no idea how relieving it is to hear your voice–
TOKEN: …Hi, Bebe… Hi Red…
WENDY: Is everything okay?
TOKEN:I’m fine, I’m fine–
TOKEN:I’malive, I guess.
NICHOLE: What do you mean by that?
TOKEN: Well, I mean…
TOKEN: Some pretty messed up stuff has been happening kind of all night.
TOKEN: I’m sort of surprised none of you guys heard anything that was going on outside, you guys were only a few blocks away from it…
TOKEN: And god, the sounds that were happening, and how he was following us,I–
TOKEN:Th-that doesn’t matter.
NICHOLE: Token, sweetie, you’re rambling.
BEBE:[snort] Yeah just get to the point! (He’s so adorable.)
NICHOLE:(Shut up stop calling my fiance adorable, Bebe!)
BEBE:(I can’t help it!)
TOKEN: I can hear you all whispering.
BEBE:Ooooops, the secret’s out, hahaha!
TOKEN:I’m sorry I don’t have time for jokes right now–
TOKEN: I’m just trying to think about how to word this all… jeez…
NICHOLE:Take your time, it’s okay.
TOKEN:Okay, so basically… we sorta. Ran into like.
TOKEN: We… hmm…
TOKEN:Okay first, at school when the power went out today, we went out to go and check what was going on with the speakers, right?
TOKEN:So we did that, and we ran into that one guy… who disappeared or died like, almost ten years ago. That one British kid, Pip?
TOKEN:But he wasn’t like, azombieor anything, I mean he was like. Alive and right there in front of us.
TOKEN:And he had horns and wings and a tail– like,for real, not fake ones or anything.
TOKEN:So we ran, with this one new kid who sat next to us at lunch–
TOKEN:Then it turns out that guy was a demon too, and then we ran into anotherdemon, and then another, and then another, and they all tried to dangle us off a bridge and made us sing and dance and they hypnotized Clyde with some weird demon power and we’re all stuck in Stan’s barn to try and hide away from all the crazy shit that’s been happening–
TOKEN: There, hopefully that didn’t sound toodumb.
RED:…That sounds kindadumb.
BEBE:Haha, yeah, are you playing a trick on us or something?
NICHOLE: Tokennnn, you just said you didn’t have time for jokes, silly!
TOKEN:I’m not lying!
TOKEN: I’m super,superserious.
TOKEN:Youknowme, Nichole. I don’t make these kinds of jokes.
TOKEN:Jimmydied, because of these guys.
TOKEN:He’sactually dead, and I’m sort of freaking out but trying to keep a level head for the group, but I– I…
NICHOLE:Token, seriously, don’t joke about your friends being dead…
TOKEN:Trust me, I’m telling the truth.
TOKEN:We don’t know what to do.
TOKEN:They totaled my car in the middle of the street, go look if you don’t believe me!
TOKEN:It’s flipped upside down in flames!
BEBE:Oh my god?????
WENDY:Wait, he’s being serious?
NICHOLE:You sure sound serious, babe…
TOKEN: I’m super fucking serious!
TOKEN:Jimmy is dead, there’s people who died ages ago walking around South Park right now, and they’re after us.
TOKEN:All of us.
TOKEN: Craig, Clyde, Stan, Kenny, Kyle, Eric and I.
TOKEN:None of us know what to do.
TOKEN:I just thought maybe you guys like.
TOKEN: I don’t know.
TOKEN:You guys are capable, I’m not really sure what to do in this situation, I mean I’ve never had to deal with a friend dying before, especially not l-like this–
NICHOLE: Oh– oh no, you sound like you’re choking up–
NICHOLE:It’s okay, it’s okay–
BEBE:Oh my god, Jimmy’s seriously dead?
WENDY:This all can’t be real, can it?
RED: Wendy, this is…
WENDY:Red. You and I need to get over there.
BEBE: Wait, I wanna go too!
WENDY: You can’t go, this is way too dangerous!
BEBE:What do you mean?!
BEBE:What makes this more dangerous for any of the rest of us?!
RED:Just let them come along, Wendy!
RED: It’s their boyfriends!
WENDY: You know–
RED:We don’t know shit!
RED:None of us know shit, that’s why we’reallgoing.
BEBE: I can drive us there, we can hop in my bug!
BEBE:I’ll get there way faster than your grandma drivingwill!!!
WENDY:Just hurry up and get some shoes and a jacket on.
NICHOLE:Token, honey, we’re coming right over.
NICHOLE:Stan’s farm, right?
NICHOLE:That’s about an hour out– we’ll be there as fast as we can.
TOKEN: Be safe.
NICHOLE:I should be saying that to you.
HEY THIS IS IMPORTANT whats your favorite place to find drawing references?
so far we’ve got
- senshi stock
- croquis cafe
- clip studio paint models
- eggazyoutatsu atarichan drawer
if you have any more please reply!
- Unsplash: All photos published on Unsplash can be used for free. You can use them for commercial and noncommercial purposes. You do not need to ask permission from or provide credit to the photographer or Unsplash, although it is appreciated when possible. More precisely, Unsplash grants you an irrevocable, nonexclusive copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos from Unsplash for free, including for commercial purposes, without permission from or attributing the photographer or Unsplash. This license does not include the right to compile photos from Unsplash to replicate a similar or competing service.
- Freeimages: You can use the images in digital format on websites, blog posts, social media, advertisements, film and television productions, web and mobile applications. In printed materials such as magazines, newspapers, books, brochures, flyers, product packaging for decorative use in your home, office or any public place or personal use. The rights granted to you by FreeImages.com are: Perpetual, meaning there is no expiration or end date on your rights to use the content. Non-exclusive, meaning that you do not have exclusive rights to use the content. FreeImages.com can license the same content to other customers. Unlimited, meaning you can use the content in an unlimited number of projects and in any media. For purposes of this agreement, “use” means to copy, reproduce, modify, edit, synchronize, perform, display, broadcast, publish, or otherwise make use of.
- Stocksnap: Every single image on StockSnap are governed exclusively by the generous terms of the Creative Commons CC0 license. Specifically, that license means you can do any and all of the following: Download the image file.Publish, revise, copy, alter, and share that image. Use the image (as-is or as you’ve altered it), in both personal and commercial contexts. Moreover, you can put StockSnap CC0 images to any of these usages without buying the right to do it, acquiring written permission from the image’s creator, or attributing the work to the image creator. In other words, there’s no fee to download or use these StockSnap images in accordance with the CC0 license. They’re free to download, free to edit, and free to use - even in a commercial project! You don’t even need to attribute the image to the creator, the way you do with other CC or traditional copyright licensing schemes. (However, even though it’s not required, we here at StockSnap do encourage you to include an appropriate attribution. It’s a nice thing to do.)
- Burst.Shopify: Burst is a free stock photo platform that is powered by Shopify. Their image library includes thousands of high-resolution, royalty-free images that were shot by their global community of photographers. You can use their pictures for just about anything — your website, blog or online store, school projects, Instagram ads, facebook posts, desktop backgrounds, client work and more. All of their photos are free for commercial use with no attribution required.
- Pixabay: Images and Videos on Pixabay are released under Creative Commons CC0. To the extent possible under law, uploaders of Pixabay have waived their copyright and related or neighboring rights to these Images and Videos. You are free to adapt and use them for commercial purposes without attributing the original author or source. Although not required, a link back to Pixabay is appreciated.
- Viintage: All images hosted by Viintage.com are considered to be public domain images, each image is presumed to be in the public domain. It may be distributed or copied as permitted by applicable law. Viintage.com assumes no ownership of the images and they may be downloaded and can be used free of charge for any purpose. They may be downloaded and used for commercial and personal use. Understand “public domain” as the permission to freely use an image without asking permission from the photographer or the illustrator. Thus, the creator of the work will not sue you for violating his/her copyrights. It is your responsibility to make sure, displaying the image does not violate any other law. Viintage.com assumes no responsibility for how or where you use the images found on the site.
- Gratisography: You may use Gratisography pictures as you please for both personal and commercial projects. You can adapt and modify the images and get paid for work that incorporates the pictures. This includes advertising campaigns, adding your logo or text to an image, printed in any size print runs (e.g., book covers, magazines, posters, etc.), on your website, blog, or other digital mediums, and on merchandise as long as the picture itself is not the merchandise.
As someone who draws a lot of faeries, Faestockis godlike.
A wonderful addition to the list!
- Unsplash. Another whopping huge free images site like pixabay: free for commercial and noncommercial use and remixing; just don’t sell the photos unmodified or add them to other photo-sharing sites.
- Morguefile.Big old free photo archive from the dawn of the web. “We are a community-based free photo site, and all photos found in the Morguefile archive are free for you to download and re-use in your work, be it commercial or not. The photos have been contributed by a wide range of creatives from around the world, ranging from amateur photo hobbyists to professionals.”
- Open Access at the Met. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York: “Whether you’re an artist or a designer, an educator or a student, a professional or a hobbyist, you now have more than 406,000 images of artworks from The Met collection to use, share, and remix—without restriction.”
- Smithsonian Open Access. Download, share, and reuse millions of the Smithsonian’s images […] from across the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo.
- Limited use, if you’re doing a Science and need control panels/rockets/futuristic an image search with qualifier site: nasa.gov You have to double-check a photo’s caption it’s really a NASA photo, but photos which were taken by NASA spacecraft and astronauts are public domain, since they’re funded by taxpayer dollars. (This also goes for images of animals archived at the USFWS Digital Library, i.e the US Fish and Wildlife Service, or rocks and landscapes on USGSwebsites.
Okay updating and consolidating lots of info here; as well as adding links for ease of access. Adding a brief description for some too; as is the case that not all of them have descriptions above.
(Warning that some of these links contain nude refs, I will try to mark where possible which ones have more prominent ones.)
Posing Sites and Apps:
- Adorkastock. Stock photos for pose refs. DeviantArt gallery started in 2007.
- FreePhotoMuscle.com. (translated page link click here) Japanese stock photo pose site that includes buff people, but in funny poses and costumes.
- CroquoisCafe. (NSFW, nude model poses warning) A stock photo pose site. You should be aware this org has been linked as pro-Trump. I leave it to y’all to decide if you want to use the resources or not. I highly encourage not financially supporting them and trying to support the individual models if you can.
- Line of Action. Fantastic site that includes posing refs, community discussions from other artists, figure study, anatomy, etc. So much stuff in here.
- PoseSpace. Extensive library of poses. Some free resources others are paid. I’ve not fully evaluated both, but you should be able to use this all mostly free and get great use out of it.
- SketchDaily. This one is one of the better ones out there. You can time yourself, search by pose, clothing options, body type, perspective, etc. All real models.
- JustSketch.me. A pose app for any device. Has apps for most devices and a webapp. Customize and pose models/props/scenes.
- Quickposes. Pose site that gives you timed challenges to become more proficient at poses.
- POSEMANIACS. Ref site with anatomical poses. All the ref pics are of 3D models with only the bones and muscles. Can be helpful for seeing how muscles behave in certain poses. limited to two body types tho.
- MagicPoser. A wonderful app that’s great on mobile. Lets you choose size of models, number of them, style, etc. Significant features are use of snap point with the physics engine, adjustable lighting, multiple perspective, 360 angle, articulated hand posing.
- Clip Studio Paint Modeler. Free 3d tool that works with Clip Studio Paint. You can import your own data or other models you find online. Not quite an alternative to Blender, but the integration with CSP is very nice.
- Egg a Zyoutatsu Atarichan Drawer. (requires enabling flash player or downloading and using standalone flashplayer) Drawing tool for pose practice. The developer is working on an html5 version.
- DesignDoll. One of the best pose tool apps out there. You can customize so many things. They also have an extensive collection of ready made poses here. You can use the free or pay once for life and have the poses integrated into the client as well as the ability to export your obj to other programs like blender or smt.
Stock Photo Sites:
- Unsplash. Giant free stock image site.
freeimages.com. Another stock photo site, less features than some others.
StockSnap.io. Stock photos with a creative commons CC0 license, which essentially means you can use the photos however you want and don’t have to attribute to them. (though its nice if you do attribute)
Burst.Shopify. Tons of royalty free high quality images. Similar licensing to StockSnap.
pixabay. I feel like most people know about this one, but it features entirely free CC0 licensed Photos, Videos, and Music. No attribution required, but still nice to support a giant site with all this content.
Viintage. Big collection of public domain vintage photos.
Gratisography. For commercial or personal use. They specialize in odd, quirky, wild stock photos.
MorgueFile. Old stock photo archive that’s been around a long time.
Museum and Institution Open Access sites:
- USA National Gallery of Art. Over 50k works available for download.
New York Metropolitan Museum open access. 490k works to browse. Even codes for Animal Crossing New Horizons patterns.
The Smithsonian Institution open access. Probably one of the largest open access collections available online. Around 3.9 million items available to view.
Many More. This article from Apollo magazine has an extensive list of open access museums and institutions from around the world. A brief list of places includes: Art Institute of Chicago, Belvedere, Vienna, Birmingham Museums Trust,Cleveland Art Museum,Harvard Art Museums,J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles,Kunstmuseum Basel ,Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles County Museum of Art,Mauritshuis, The Hague,Minneapolis Institute of Art,Munch Museet, Norway,Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington,Národní galerie Praha,Nationalmuseet Danmark,Nationalmuseum, Stockholm , New York Public Library ,Paris Musées, Pinakotheken, Munich, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Wellcome Collection, London, Yale University.
wow its been a while since ive seen this post, im so glad more useful info has been added!
I’ve said this to my non-techie friends countless times. It’s no secret that being able to code makes you a better job applicant, and a better entrepreneur. Hell, one techie taught a homeless man to code and now that man is making his first mobile application.
Learning to code elevates your professional life, and makes you more knowledgeable about the massive changestaking place in the technology sector that are poised to have an immense influenceonhuman life.
(note: yes I realize that 3/5 of those links were Google projects)
But most folks are intimidated by coding. And it does seem intimidating at first. But peel away the obscurity and the difficulty, and you start to learn that coding, at least at its basic level, is a very manageable, learnable skill.
There are a lot of resources out there to teach you. I’ve found a couple to be particularly successful. Here’s my list of resources for learning to code, sorted by difficulty:
Never written a line of code before? No worries. Just visit one of these fine resources and follow their high-level tutorials. You won’t get into the nitty-gritty, but don’t worry about it for now:
w3 Tutorials (start at HTML on the left sidebar and work your way down)
Now that you’ve gone through a handful of basic tutorials, it’s time to learn the fundamentals of actual, real-life coding problems. I’ve found these resources to be solid:
If you’re here, you’re capable of building things. You know the primitives. You know the logic control statements. You’re ready to start making real stuff take shape. Here are some different types of resources to turn you from someone who knows how to code, into a full-fledged programmer.
Sometimes, the challenges in programming aren’t how to make a language do a task, but just how to do the task in general. Like how to find an item in a very large, sorted list, without checking each element. Here are some resources for those types of problems
If you learned Python, Django is an amazing platform for creating quick-and-easy web applications. I’d highly suggest the tutorial - it’s one of the best I’ve ever used, and you have a web app up and running in less than an hour.
I’ve never used Rails, but it’s a very popular and powerful framework for creating web applications using Ruby. I’d suggest going through their guide to start getting down-and-dirty with Rails development.
If you know PHP, there’s an ocean of good stuff out there for you to learn how to make a full-fledged web application. Frameworks do a lot of work for you, and provide quick and easy guides to get up and running. I’d suggest the following:
If there’s one point I wanted to get across, it’s that it is easier than ever to learn to code. There are resources on every corner of the internet for potential programmers, and the benefits of learning even just the basics are monumental.
If you know of any additional, great resources that aren’t listed here, please feel free to tweet them to me @boomeyer.
Best of luck!
I’d also like to add some more specialized resources!
Easy game engines (virtually no coding):
- Game Maker Studio (2D; free and paid versions)
- GameSalad (2D)
- RPG Maker (2D; numerous versions ranging from free to $69.99)
- Stencyl (2D; free and paid subscription versions)
- Scratch (good for kids and is more general; 2D; free)
More difficult game engines:
- Unreal (specializes in graphics; C++ and visual script; 2D, 3D, VR; free with a royalty on successful products)
- CryEngine (Lua script; 3D; paid subscription and full license versions)
Mobile game development:
- Corona (free and paid subscription versions)
- SpriteKit (2D) and SceneKit (3D) which are built into the official compiler to create iOS apps (see iOS apps for more resources)
- also all of the above game engines (cross-platform)
Game console development:
- Game Maker Studio (with a paid subscription)
Note that games can also be created on more general platforms like iOS and Android apps, but the resources listed above are specialized for game development.
In order to develop iOS apps, you’ll need to purchase an iOS developer program membership for $99 a year, which requires an Apple account. Here are some general resources:
- Xcode (the official IDE for iOS apps; can be installed on OS X)
- Start Developing iOS Apps Today (Objective-C)
- Ray Wenderlich iOS tutorials (Objective-C and Swift)
- Code School: Try iOS (Objective-C)
- Developing iOS 8 Apps (2,3,4,5,6,7; Swift)
- TutorialsPoint: iOS Tutorial(Objective-C)
- How to Make iPhone Apps With No Programming Experience(Swift)
- Swift Tutorial: Building an iOS Application (2,3)
iOS apps are developed in the 2 official languages of Apple: Objective-C and Swift, the latter of which is newer and generally much easier to learn.
- the official documentation
- The Swift Programming Language (free official e-book)
- Swift: A Quick Reference Guide
Xcode also has SpriteKit, SceneKit, and Metal built in, all of which are incredibly useful for creating apps that require elaborate graphics, particularly games.
- How to Make a Game Like Candy Crush With Swift(2)
- Sprite Kit Swift Tutorial
- Create Space Invaders with Swift and Sprite Kit
- iOS SpriteKit Physics Tutorial in Swift
- Build the Game of Life(Swift)
- the official documentation + other resources (Obj-C)
- iOS 8 Metal Tutorial with Swift (2,3)
- Getting Started With Metal(Obj-C)
- An introduction to 3D graphics with Metal in Swift
Also, in order to publish iOS apps, you’ll have to juggle certificates, app ids, and provisioning profiles. This process can be convoluted at times so here are some resources:
- How to Submit Your App to Apple: From No Account to App Store (2)
- Beginner Tutorial: iOS Certificates & Provisioning Profiles
In order to develop Android apps, you’ll need to register as a developer for a one-time fee of $25. Here are some general resources:
- Android Studio (the official IDE for Android app development; free; can be installed on Windows, OS X, and Linux)
- the official documentation
- Getting Started
- Android Tutorial For Beginners(2,3)
- Learn Android SDK From Scratch
- Introduction to Android Development With Android Studio
Android apps are developed in Java and the layout is coded with XML.
For publishing (which is somewhat easier than publishing iOS apps):
- Blender (can also be used to create games; Python script; free and open-source; can be installed on Windows, OS X, and Linux)
- Maya (specialized script; free trial, free 3-year student subscription, and paid subscription versions; can be installed on Windows, OS X, and Linux to an extent)
- 3ds Max (Python script; free trial, free 3-year student subscription, and paid subscription versions; can be installed on Windows and OS X)
- RenderMan (specialized script; free for non-commercial/educational use and pay-per-license for commercial use; can be installed on Windows, OS X, and Linux)
Stack Overflow is an ask-and-answer community for programmers. It’s amazing and will save your life. Sign up and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Github offers a student pack (here) if you create an account and prove you’re a student. This gives you free access to a bunch of great programming resources for free for a certain period of time, such as Unreal Engine. Also, Github in general is a site that you can host your code on. Other users can see it, and “fork” it to make a copy of your code and modify it.
And some general advice:
- Your program will not work right away, 99% of the time. That’s okay. Do your best to figure out where the error is. Here is some advice on debugging (written for PHP but the methods can be generalized).
- If you’re stuck, Google. Google like there’s no tomorrow.
- Ask questions on a community like Stack Overflow.
- For that matter, browse relevant Stack Overflow questions. You can probably find some solutions there.
- Don’t be afraid to copy and paste.
- Take breaks sometimes if you’re getting burned out. But don’t stay away from your projects for too long or you’ll lose track of its status.
- Backup your code. On the cloud, on a USB drive, wherever. If your IDE has a backing up feature like snapshots, use it whenever you hit a milestone.
- If your project is big, split it up into milestones and set goals. Don’t tackle everything at once.
Like the OP said, coding isn’t just for professionals and “geeks” anymore. Anyone can learn it if you really try, and with the rapidly expanding tech industry, learning coding can really broaden your opportunities.
If any of the links are broken, or you have a question or some information/resources to add, you can contact me through the askbox or the OP through his Twitter (as mentioned in his post).
If you’re interested, try some of these out and best of luck!
Great work expanding on my humble list to include a much fuller collection of resources for learning how to code! Cheers!
This is why she’s my favorite author.
Check out “Barry Lyndon”, a film whose period interiors were famously shot by period lamp-and-candle lighting (director Stanley Kubrick had to source special lenses with which to do it).
More recently, some scenes in “Wolf Hall” were also shot with period live-flame lighting and IIRC until they got used to it, actors had to be careful how they moved across the sets. However, it’s very atmospheric: there’s one scene where Cromwell is sitting by the fire, brooding about his association with Henry VIII while the candles in the room are put out around him. The effect is more than just visual.
As someone (I think it was Terry Pratchett) once said: “You always need enough light to see how dark it is.”
A demonstration of getting that out of balance happened in later seasons of “Game of Thrones”, most infamously in the complaint-heavy “Battle of Winterfell” episode, whose cinematographer claimed the poor visibility was because “a lot of people don’t know how to tune their TVs properly”.
So it was nothing to do with him at all, oh dear me no. Wottapillock. Needing to retune a TV to watch one programme but not others shows where the fault lies, and it’s not in the TV.
We live in rural West Wicklow, Ireland, and it’s 80% certain that when we have a storm, a branch or even an entire tree will fall onto a power line and our lights will go out.
Usually the engineers have things fixed in an hour or two, but that can be a long dark time in the evenings or nights of October through February, so we always know where the candles and matches are and the oil lamp is always full.
We also know from experience how much reading can be done by candle-light, and it’s more than you’d think, once there’s a candle right behind you with its light falling on the pages.
You get more light than you’d expect from both candles and lamps, because for one thing, eyes adapt to dim light. @dduane says she can sometimes hear my irises dilating. Yeah, sure…
For another thing lamps can have accessories. Here’s an example: reflectors to direct light out from the wall into the room. I’ve tried this with a shiny foil pie-dish behind our own Very Modern Swedish Design oil lamp, and it works.
Smooth or parabolic reflectors concentrate their light (for a given value of concentrate, which is a pretty low value at that) while flatter fluted ones like these scatter the light over a wider area, though it’s less bright as a result:
This candle-holder has both a reflector and a magnifying lens, almost certainly to illuminate close or even medical work of some sort rather than light a room.
And then there’s this, which a lot of people saw and didn’t recognise, because it’s often described in tones of librarian horror as a beverage in the rare documents collection.
There IS a beverage, that’s in the beaker, but the spherical bottle is a light magnifier, and Gandalf would arrange a candle behind it for close study.
Here’s one being used - with a lightbulb - by a woodblock carver.
And here’s the effect it produces.
Here’s a four-sphere version used with a candle (all the fittings can be screwed up and down to get the candle and magnifiers properly lined up) and another one in use by a lacemaker.
Finally, here’s something I tried last night in our own kitchen, using a water-filled decanter. It’s not perfectly spherical so didn’t create the full effect, but it certainly impressed me, especially since I’d locked the camera so its automatic settings didn’t change to match light levels.
This is the effect with candles placed “normally”.
But when one candle is behind the sphere, this happens.
It also threw a long teardrop of concentrated light across the worktop; the photos of the woodcarver show that much better.
Poor-people lighting involved things like rushlights or tallow dips. They were awkward things, because they didn’t last long, needed constant adjustment, didn’t give much light and were smelly. But they were cheap, and that’s what mattered most.
They’re often mentioned in historical and fantasy fiction but seldom explained: a rushlight is a length of spongy pith from inside a rush plant, dried then dipped in tallow (or lard, or mutton-fat), hence both its names.
Here’s Jason Kingsley making one.
Veth’s Journey as a Metaphor for Body Dysmorphia.
I was just thinking about how one would showcase different mental illnesses in dnd when I realized the perfectmetaphor for body dysmorphia has already been done without even intending it.
Veth Brenatto aka Nott the Brave was transformed by a hag (we’ll call the hag mental illness for the purposes of this metaphor) into “everything that [she] thought [she] was” before she was cursed the hag was told “make her suffer”. She covers herself in bandages to avoid herself or anyone else seeing her. She avoids reflective surfaces. Even being called “Nott the Brave” in her goblin form…some days it takes real bravery to exist in your own body. And that name reflects that.
But the real thing that gets me is her first scene with Yeza. When she’s seeing Yeza for the first time she’s under an illusion that makes her look like her true self. But underneath that illusion she knows she is truly a goblin.Yeza sees her but she is existing in her goblin form, her body still feels like a goblin. She’s afraid for Yeza to see her the way she is and afraid of what he might think of her. Yeza sees Veth, but she knows how she truly looks underneath this illusion. And when she talks to him he keeps saying “but it’s still you, right?” and she can’t understand how he loves her, grotesque appearance and all. She voices this and he asks “you think that matters?” and she says yesbecause how could anyone love her when she looks the way she looks? Even the scene where Yeza is touching her face to see bits and pieces of the goblin beneath, this could be beautifully equated to describing bits and pieces of how you see yourself with body dysmorphia and letting someone you love see how you see yourself bit by bit.
Going back to the hag being mental illness, this actually works perfectly with how the Mighty Nein v Hag went. They didn’t fight her. Nott made her known to them, and they did all they could, they were ready to defend Nott and do whatever they could to break her curse. But they didn’t fight her. The only person who can fight and defeat your mental illness is you. Jester offered this hag a cupcake. This cupcake is what allowed the curse to be lifted because what your friends can do is distract, be there for you, comfort you, and take care of you. Even after the curse was lifted, Nott didn’t transform back immediately because she needed time. She needed time to work on herself and make sure she was ready. Just because you know the problem doesn’t mean you can implement the solution. I know my body dysmorphia in and out but it still haunts me because I need to do some more work on myself. It takes time to unlearn things.
Eventually she transforms back into herself, into how she is truly. This is accomplished using friends sticking by her, loving her, being there for her, helping her find a way to become herself again. Still though, this experience as a goblin will always be with her. She won’t be able to forget it, not truly. I know that this metaphor isn’t flawless, that you can’t be cured of body dysmorphia. But I’m not looking at her transformation back to her body as a cure, more just her transition out of her darkest days. The days when it was the worst, when it was the hardest.
There’s more little tiny things that I can add in the comments because they’re not as moving as these points, but I just wanted to share. Feel free to add on.
Okay no one on Tumblr that I’ve seen has been talking about the wine and cheese thing, but that means no one is reflecting on the absolute weapons-grade hilarity of Boris Johnson trying to inchworm his way out of trouble by claiming that he didn’t know about it
Like… that wine and cheese party was the Downing Street works Christmas do. Not just any old social, the Christmas social. There were invitations. There was music. Every single worker in Downing Street was invited, even Debbie from accounts. People who didn’t work there but were important to the government got invited.
And Boris is therefore claiming that all his mates got together and had a party and DIDN’T INVITE HIM.
Not only that, but they deliberately kept it a secret from him, because no one wanted him there to ruin the party because no one likes him, and I just…
The key difference between Johnson and Trump always came down to this: Johnson wants to be liked. He genuinely does. Trump wanted to be respected and feared and obeyed, he wanted to be seen as powerful and suave and cool. But he didn’t care about how liked he was. Johnson, though, really fucking does. He’s a deeply pathetic little twat, and he wants people to like him.
So, his choices currently are
- Tell everyone in the country that his own friends and coworkers actually cannot stand him, to the point that they arranged an entire Christmas party without him
- Admit that he was there and immediately be hated by literally every single human being in the country, including his own voters (hello North Shropshire), because while the rest of us spent Christmas 2020 in a lockdown and unable to see each other and in many cases literally alone, him and his mates held an illegal Christmas party that the police are refusing to investigate
His popularity is now nosediving in the polls, and it really cannot be stated how much that will be burning him.
Also, pro-Brexit Tories are even pissed off with him now. Which is a bit like someone buying a cake called a pus cake with pictures of pus all over the box and a warning sign that says This Cake Contains Pus and Other Bodily Fluids, and then crying because when they tried to eat the pus cake they found it was filled with pus. But also really funny.
Anyway, I’m placing the bet now: we will see a vote of no confidence, OR he’ll jump before he has to experience that (because it would kill him), and our next PM will be Rishi Sunak
And don’t forget
THEY HAD THIS PARTY IN THE HOUSE HE LIVES IN!
He’s trying to claim that all his friends and colleagues hosted a party IN THE HOUSE HE LIVES IN while he was upstairs apparently totally oblivious!
He really thinks we’re that stupid to believe that a party could be happening literally TWO FLOORS BELOW him and he not know?
Omg omg I forgot that part and you are so right
They had a secret Christmas party that was so big that they were sending out invites to non government members which they didn’t want him at, so they… what, had his mistress drug him with hefty amounts of antihistamines? He went out for the evening (also illegal at the time) and they partied hard on cheese and wine for precisely two hours and 46 minutes, then everyone went silent and snuck out when he came back?
A whole team of cleaners had to tiptoe about for four hours so they wouldn’t wake up the clown upstairs.
What a cover story.
Okay well this story has… Wow.
So, let’s update for those who don’t know. Bear with me, I may get a couple of dates slightly wrong. First, shout out to the incredible investigative journalism and absolutely chessmaster-level shrewdness of Pippa Crerar for both digging up this story and for picking precisely the right moments to release it, morsel by morsel, to bring down Boris Johnson and possibly the whole damn government.
So after Johnson claimed he didn’t know about it, then the Mirror published photos showing he was there and hosted a quiz. So, undeniable, Boris was at the Christmas party.
The Metropolitan Police declare that, even though they are investigating and fining people up to £12,000 a pop for lockdown parties, and doing so is literally their job, they will not investigate the government because “there isn’t enough evidence”. ACAB etc
Then, the Guardian reveals photos of Boris Johnson, his mistress, and Dominic Cummings eating cheese and drinking wine in the sun (with others around them) in the Downing Street garden, not allowed at the time (we were literally not allowed to leave home at the time). That day, Matt Hancock urges people not to have cheese and wine parties in their own gardens in spite of the nice May weather.
Then the Mirror reveals that there was actually another whole ass party - in May 2020, where 30 gathered in the garden of Downing Street (at the time we were not allowed more than 2 households meeting outside). Boris denies that it was a party, and claims it was merely a weirdly well catered work event that included his gin-drinking mistress and baby for some reason.
Then, the invites to the party were leaked by ITV. Turns out, 100 people were invited “to make the most of the lovely weather.” It also told attendees to “bring their own booze.”
Then an inquiry begins, carried out by Sue Gray. She is in fact a member of Number 10 staff, but no idea how independent she’ll actually be one way or the other. Either way, the police are still literally refusing to investigate so lmao that’s what we’ve got. She did get Damien Green fired for that porn thing, though, so that’s encouraging.
Then this week, Johnson goes on Prime Minister’s Questions. He sort of apologises, and claims that he was only there for 25 minutes but implies he then left because it felt more like an illegal social than the work event he was expecting, which is interesting, since his mistress was necking gin next to him the whole time. He should have just asked her, like. She could have clarified.
Then the Times reveals a source at the party who says that no, Boris stayed WAAAYYYY longer and spent his time wandering around and ‘gladhanding’ people (side note, posh people have weird words).
Then yesterday, even though we now have evidence and a confession of criminality, the Met Police announce that they will not investigate unless/until the Gray Inquiry finds evidence of criminality, which is just…an astonishingly open display of corruption, really. A real quiet-part-loud moment.
THEN, within hours, it’s revealed that there were ANOTHER TWO PARTIES, except… Okay you’re going to want to sit down, because shit hit the fan yesterday.
These two parties happened on the day of Prince Philip’s funeral last year, aka Put Philip In The Floor Day. At the time, restrictions meant just 30 people could attend that funeral.
Which means, the Telegraph ran this headline and image:
I know we all hate the royals on Tumblr, but you have to understand just how hard that headline, and that image, and that message, hits British society. The Queen, beloved monarch, “forced to grieve alone” while the government danced and drank the night away. You cannot imagine how much power that image holds. You cannot begin to imagine the social power of it.
Boris Johnson can. He was polling only one point above Theresa May’s all time low within the hour. That is a devastating popularity drop for the man who needs to be loved, who came to power on a cult of personality.
So, he went on PMQs again, to apologise to Lizzie Two. It’s a really funny apology because he kind of can’t apologise without admitting it and there’s an enquiry going on so it’s real vague, but he does cop to the parties on Put Philip In The Floor Day. Keir Starmer, in a rare display of actually providing some opposition, put the boot in quite nicely:
Well, there we have it. After months of deceit and deception, the pathetic spectacle of a man who’s run out of road.
His defence, that he didn’t realise he was at a party, is so ridiculous that it’s actually offensive to the British public.
He’s finally been forced to admit what everyone knew that when the whole country was locked down, he was hosting boozy parties in Downing Street.
Is he now going to do but decent thing and resign?
Which brings us to today! How is the Prime Minister coping with the situation?
Well, according to a leak from the Independent, he literally spent today working out which senior officials he can force to resign and take the blame in order to save himself in a move that he, a grown man who has fathered six or possibly seven children who is Prime Minister of the country, is without irony calling, and I am not making this up…
Operation Save Big Dog.
Big Dog is him. He is Big Dog. He has called himself Big Dog. He chose to call himself Big Dog.
Except, the Independent leaked it, as I say, so now he looks EVEN WORSE.
The Mirror’s front page for tomorrow is revealed.
They have a photo of a wine fridge (capable of holding up to 34 bottles of wine) being delivered to Number 10.
Because, they reveal, these parties were not special events only.
Downing Street has been holding what they called Wine Time Fridays every week during the pandemic. They used to hold them before as well; but apparently, they’ve been particularly popular during lockdown.
Current polling as of 14th January 2022:
Those figures would translate to the Tories losing over 126 seats. Labour’s largest lead since Tony Blair.
Side note to finish off for now:
Interesting how we now know a good 100 people who was at those parties, complete with photos, and yet Rishi Sunak is not in any of them. One might almost call it suspicious. And wonder at who the main source is.
HOO BOY THE CIRCUS IS IN TOWN THIS WEEK LADS
I will try to keep this concise, and I will put in a Read More because fuck this is like… metres of political intrigue. Although first, quick housekeeping because I’m fed up of seeing some stuff turning up in the notes:
- Americans stop being smug in the notes challenge. Just enjoy the clowns quietly.
- It is not misogynistic to refer to Carrie Johnson as Big Dog’s mistress, you tedious voles, that’s literally what she was when he cheated on his cancer-suffering wife with her. He also dumped his wife, mid-chemotherapy, to shack up with Carrie Antoinette over there. I do not give the tiniest iota of shit that they are now married, and given that the UK press has spent two years trying to make their relationship into a fairytale princess situation, I will continue to brand her his mistress until the inevitable day he cheats on her with yet another younger model and fathers his eighth or ninth child (not an inaccurate number, this man has Disputed Children with other mistresses he refuses to take a paternity test for)
- EXERCISE A MODICUM OF CRITICAL THINKING AND STOP ACCUSING ME OF THINKING RISHI SUNAK IS A GOOD ALTERNATIVE. I HAVE NOT SAID ANYWHERE THAT HE IS. ONLY THAT HE’S GUNNING FOR IT.
With that out of the way, it’s the 20th January 2022, let’s watch the elephant stand on a ball!
Earlier This Week
Let’s check the polls, after the fun of last week!
70% think he’s lying about the May 20th party, 63% think he should resign, 80% think he has not been honest, and 81% think the ‘work event’ that Big Dog described was unacceptable anyway.
But, how does that translate to politics? Well! The Police and Crime Bill is a monstrous piece of fascist legislation that the Tories are currently trying to get passed. This week it passed to the House of Lords. This would normally have been a very straightforward run through to the Queen to sign off, but LOL SOME PEOPLE ARE VERY BITTER ABOUT THE CHEESE AND WINE because instead the Lords have literally thrown out three of the worst elements.
Yes, you read that right. That Bill we’ve all been terrified about?
The Lords have rejected:
- Allowing stop and search at protests without suspicion
- Banning people with a “history of serious disruption” from attending protests
- Making it an offence to disrupt the operation of key national infrastructure, like an airport or a newspaper printer
And then, just to rub salt in the wound, they approved two non-Tory amendments, including making misogyny a hate crime. In practice, those two amendments will now go back to the Commons to be debated more, but those three central pillars up there are just gone now. The Lords described the proposals as “draconian”, “a wider assault on our democracy”, and “reminiscent of Cold War Eastern Bloc police states”.
Never thought I’d see the day…
So, Boris the Big Dog realises he’s in serious trouble now, because that means that even MPs who supported him now hate him because his actions are costing them the fascist laws they wanted to put in place. So he has a meeting with the one Tory you can absolutely count on to blindly and incompetently support Boris Johnson regardless of literally anything he ever does - enter, Nadine Dorres.
She suggests a zippy new ploy. he needs to shore up support from the backbenchers if he’s to survive it, so she suggests he give them everything they’ve been asking for like a gift wrapped Christmas gift of shit, and they call it Operation Red Meat, because neither of them is bright enough to consider notnaming their illicit backroom plans to let them go undetected, and also, they learned nothing at all from Operation Save Big Dog. Here’s the problem: Tory backbenchers are fucking lunatics. Like, this is your mad Tory uncle who thought the highlight of 2021 was that we put a picture of a crown on beer glasses again TAKE THAT EUROPE. So what bones did Big Dog throw these people?
- Threatening to cut the BBC license fee, costing them billions
- Also ending all covid restrictions
- Asking the military to protect against asylum seekers crossing the channel so they have to go to Rwanda and Ghana for processing instead
Except cutting the BBC alienates a chunk of the core Tory votership, which is old people.
(Remember Ghana, it’s going to be relevant in a sec)
And, it turns out, while the BBC has been very effectively muzzled by the Tories, if you then try to take away their funding anyway… they just might remember they have teeth after all.
THE CIRCUS CONTINUES, let’s see some acrobats!
This is the clearest, most concise, informative and definitely FUCKING FUNNIEST description of what UK’s been up to in the last weeks. Mainstream press could never.
@becausegoodheroesdeservekidneys, is it ok to share this post outside of tumblr? Because I feel like anyone who’s been to exhausted to so much as look at news lately will very much appreciate your reporting.
Yeah, sure. I’m aware that anything I’m going to post on this blog is basically public domain, so go mad!
A modern-day, post-uni domestic AU (albeit with shinier, techier prosthetics) where Jamison and Satya have known each other for about five or six years since meeting at university.
Jamison is a mechanic at the shop across the city, and Satya works for a prestigious company. They are good friends and mesh surprisingly well. A year or two into their friendship proper, Satya had encouraged him to seek a diagnosis for ADHD after learning about his struggles in class, which had resulted in him realizing a whole lot about himself. He’d thanked her by offering her samples of his cooking, and that led to the monthly evening where they’d both show off meals from home.
(They both love spicy food. Satya tries to make him sob with hot curry. It never works.)
After being friends for so long, they become so comfortable enough with each other that when something bad happens, they simply… confide. Wholly. No questions asked. After so many late nights composed of last minute essays and projects during university where emotions ran embarrassingly high, it’s almost second nature. Jamison makes all the affronted faces he should coupled with riled up commentary, and Satya employs all of the harsh frowns and disapproving quips at the appropriate moments. They’re proper professionals.
So when Satya returns from a date that goes sour and when a complicated ex of Jamison’s reappears to stir up unnecessary drama, it isn’t even a question of what needs to be done—it’s a question of when.
He texts her: you up for bollywood night??
She replies: Absolutely.
And so the two of them go to her flat and watch cheesy Indian films with plenty of popcorn. Jamison makes pancakes (“Pikelets, actually—oh, you’re gonna love ‘em!”), because why the hell not? They’re venting, right? That’s what tonight is for.
And it feels… natural. He picks at the pancakes on the plate in his lap and mops each bite in syrup, and he offers his fork to her with a waggle of his bushy eyebrows. Amused, Satya indulges. She finds that she adores how they taste (he must add both cinnamon and vanilla, she thinks; they’re delectably sweet) and she steals more than just another bite, much to his pleasure. He cranes an arm across the couch behind her, watching the television screen with an enthused countenance, and she leans against his side, full and content.
And—it dawns on her, belatedly, that he has acted more like a significant other to her than any of her prior relationships had. His silly grins and jokes and puns are a delight, and he drops anything for her without a second thought. He listens to her complaints and he offers advice (no matter how ridiculous) if she asks for it. His company is something of a comfort, and she can’t remember the last time she’d felt this calm in someone else’s presence.
As the couple on screen begins to sing in the midst of an intricate dance, she accepts another bite of pancake and says, “You are good to me.”
He pauses, and it’s clear he’s confused because his jaw does this thing where it slants just slightly while he’s thinking. “Do you not want me to be? I could scream and call you names, if you want. I know quite a few.”
“I’m certain you do, but that won’t be necessary,” she says. Gently, she rests her head against his shoulder. “It is just an observation. That’s all.”
“Observation?” He pops another slice of pancake into his mouth. “Uh, should I be worried? I know tonight’s been rough, but that sounds a little too serious.”
“Perhaps it is.” She finds herself resisting the urge to hold his hand. “I think rough night may be an understatement. It has been more of a rough year.”
“Too right.” He offers a grin. “Might not be much, but this makes it better, yeah?”
She returns it. “A little.”
The night wears on, and it isn’t long before the two of them fall asleep on the couch watching queued films. Satya wakes curled up against him; he has his arm around her and he’s snoring against the cushion, blond hair mussed, peaceful and perfect. Her heart is traitorous and stupid and does a little skip, and all she can think is oh no because she knows exactly what that means.
She also knows she must wake him because it’s past midnight and he has work in the morning, but when she tries to move he just—he makes this soft, murmured noise of protest, and brings her closer into the heat of his body. And perhaps it’s selfish of her (it is, she knows it is), but he feels so good and warm that she doesn’t want to move.
A while longer, she tells herself, nestling against his collarbone. Just a while longer.
Eventually, she gathers both the courage and the willpower to jostle him awake. The way he mumbles her name when he shakes off shackles of sleep should not sound so intimate, and yet it does.
“I was having a good dream, too,” he says, peeling himself away.
“What about?” The drum of her heart is deafening.
He bites his lip, the corner of his mouth in a sheepish smile. “Being happy, I guess.”
Jamison gets jealous once he realizes he’s caught feelings.
He lies awake in his bed at night, staring at the ceiling in a constant state of wracking indecision. His thoughts are a tumult of I need to tell herandI can’t stand her being with anyone elseandwhat if she doesn’t think of me like that?andwhat if she thinks us being mates is only ‘cause of how I feel?
And then, alarmed: oh, fuck me—what if I tell her and she doesn’t feel comfortable anymore? What if she wants space for a while ‘cause she finds it creepy?
It’s constant, endless, and he suffers in his insomnia. This leads to him working out in the dead of night because his brain is on overdrive and he can’t stop thinking about all the what ifs: what if she feels the same, what if she doesn’t, what if, what if, what if. Every bloody possible scenario plays out in his head—the good, the bad, and the impossible—and he both loves and hates it because he gets to kiss her and see her smile but he also gets the cold shoulder and bristling glares. He barely gets any sleep; headaches dominate his mornings and he practically has an IV for coffee.
When she taps him on the shoulder one day, he about jumps out of his skin.
Satya frowns in concern. “Are you all right?”
“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine, why?” he replies, although it sounds much more like a mashed together yeahyeah’mfinewhy with the sheer force in which it leaves his mouth—and while he supposes he should be conscious of volume (because they’re on a street corner outside his favorite tea shop and people are staring), he has precious little control over any of him right now.
“Are you sure? You are shaking considerably more than usual,” she says, and the way she looks at him implies she is not convinced. He doesn’t blame her; he wouldn’t be convinced, either.
“No, really, I’m fine,” he says, and it’s mashed together again: noreally’mfine. “It’s fine. Promise! Everything’s fine.”
Everything is not fine.
Jamison ends up trying to forget about it by throwing himself into his hobbies and his job. Nothing cheers him up like tinkering and working with chemical compounds always draws his attention, but not even that works. He’s bloody hopeless, and no matter how many dates he goes on, he can’t keep his mind away.
One night, his new date is clearly interested in escalating things in the physical department, but he is absolutely not feeling it. His brain is preoccupied with other things, things he really does not want to admit to himself, and so he makes some lame excuse because he just knows if he tries to continue this it’s going to turn out terribly for both him and said date, and surely it’s better to spare them a disappointing time, right?
That’s what he tells himself as he brushes them off and heads home, heart twisting, wondering if she’s happy.
Is it really that horrible of him to hope she won’t give the person she’s seeing a fair chance? She deserves the world and he wants nothing more than to see her happy, but god it hurts so much to see her with someone else, even if it is only holding hands, and it’s unfair because—
Becausehe wants to do that. He wants that privilege. He wants to be able to lace his fingers through hers and walk with her downtown and take her to one of her favorite shops. And it’s bloody stupid because she’s all he can think about now: her cheekbones, her nose, her chin, her mouth, all of her little beauty marks, her wide hips, her dynamite legs, and even her perfectly manicured nails. While it’s true he frequently thought about her before, it’s nowhere near how it is now, and now it’s—
God, it’s fucking constant. Always. She latches onto every thought like she’s lint from the dryer and he’s a static struck mess.
Satya’s jealousy is much more subtle, and she deals with it far better. It burns, of course, as jealousy always does, but she mashes it down and focuses on work and goes to her Bharatanatyam practices and tries to ignore the people he shows up with because if she doesn’t it will hurt.
The yoga class she attends with him twice a week is equal parts excitement and dread because she gets to see him and talk with him (and admire how he’s built) but she also gets to hear about what he’s up to, and that inevitably includes his love life because that’s how they are, that’s their friendship; it’s candidness and comfort and long nights spent idly watching Netflix and chatting about their lives because neither of them can bloody sleep.
But when they’re getting tea after the session, she just grins and bears it, and it might be terrible of her but she secretly takes pleasure in the fact that he isn’t actively pursuing commitments with anyone—not that she relishes the thought of him hooking up with randoms (because she wants him to want her for that).
(Addendum: no, she doesn’t want him to want her for meaningless hookups because that would never be enough and she knows it. She wants him to want her for more, and that somehow—hurts? She isn’t his type. That hurts, too.)
Satya goes on dates with others to keep herself busy, but they never quite feel right. Learning new people is so exhausting and going to new places is a chore, especially when she can’t always look at the menu beforehand, and so more often than not she finds herself feeling sour when she leaves her flat. Not to mention the awkward breaking-the-ice phase always lasts so bloody long; everyone makes boring smalltalk and sometimes the restaurants are too crowded and noisy (so much clamor; so many colors and bodies and things) and she can’t hear what is happening. Unfortunately for her, lipreading does not tend to go well.
She checks her messages on dating apps because trying to communicate via text is sometimes better than it is in person, but it doesn’t stop her from getting frustrated and drained because she would much rather go to a quiet place with him or have a cup of boba on a rooftop overlooking the cityscape. She leaves most invitations and cheesy pickup lines on read; they require so much more of her than she is willing to relinquish.
Oh, but when he texts her? She must stop herself from replying immediately like she hasn’t been waiting for a message from him since this morning. Patience, patience—she has other things to do. She can’t let herself revolve around him. She can’t. It’s unhealthy. He’s a friend.
But when he asks if she wants to have takeaway at his because he’s on his way home and he’s half starved, she sends, “That sounds perfect,” and jumps to get ready.
(She can’t be in love with him, but she can love him. She tells herself there’s a distinction, and she tries her best to believe it. She loves him. She is not in love with him. You can love friends.)
(She is in love.)
Satya reassures him when his mechanic job goes south. The shop is closing, he says; some big place on the other side of the city is running them out. She knows he’s upset because he’s worked there for years, for his entire time throughout uni and well afterward. She knows he has friends there and the owners might as well be family. She knows it hurts.
She texts: Why don’t you try applying to positions in your field? You are an intelligent person. I think you would make a brilliant engineer.
He replies: idk, it’s been a while since uni and if you don’t get in right away it’s a bitch to get ur foot in the door
And then: only got 1 foot anyway lol
She texts: Then you clearly have a leg up on the competition don’t you? All of them have two.
He replies: you just made me laugh in mako’s ear!! oh he’s none too pleased
And then: preciate it tho x
Later that week, after a great deal of wheedling, they end up going to a pub with the rest of their mutual friends. It starts out as a really bad night. Jamison doesn’t have any jobs lined up despite his desperate search, and Satya is dealing with intense burnout from work. Emotions are a little raw.
In the midst of her second drink, Satya asks him if he’s doing okay. His gaze darts to the bar countertop and he seems to crumple in on himself. He holds his head in his hands tells her no, he’s not; he’s between a rock and a hard place and he doesn’t even know if he’s going to be able to afford rent this upcoming month.
Jamison scrubs his cheeks with his hands and then downs a shot. He makes a scrunched face at the taste, but he looks back at her and manages a carefree smile. He says he’ll be fine. He will. It’s just not been a very good week is all. Ups and downs, you know. Right, so, what about her? What’s she been up to?
And so she vents about the management in her company and how she dislikes how they’re handling things. She talks about her misgivings concerning their approach to their client base and how she’s starting to think there may be some sort of dodgy dealings under the table, but she cannot prove anything. It frustrates her because she likes to think they’re helping the community, but she has a sneaking suspicion that isn’t the case, and she can’t do anything about it.
But at the end, she turns the conversation back to him, and says, “I can give you money for rent,” because she can. She wants to help. She will. She won’t take no for an answer.
Jamison seems rather flustered and his ears grow charmingly pink. He mumbles something about how she shouldn’t go out of her way to help him because—Christ, he can’t just hit her up for money like that, he’s got class—well, sort of. He’s not perfect.
But she says, “Let me help you. We’re friends, aren’t we?”
(Oh, that little fact shouldn’t hurt.)
He sputters at her: yes, yes, of course they’re friends! He just—he feels terrible about taking cash like that because he can’t pay her back. He can’t even help her in return! He switches topics to maybe finding a cheaper place to live, he doesn’t mind scrimping for a while, not like he hasn’t done it before, but she stops him short.
“Have you thought about a roommate?”
He blinks. “Well, yeah, but it’s a little short notice, innit? Bit weird just barging in on someone you don’t know. Mako’s got his family to worry about, so can’t stay there. Already asked.”
She bites her lip. “I was referring to me.”
(It’s going to hurt with the people he might bring home, she knows, but he’s in a tough spot and she can’t bring herself to ignore it. She doesn’t like it when he hurts.)
Jamison’s brilliant amber eyes grow very wide. His left hand toys with the shot glass. “Are you—are you serious?”
“Very,” she says, and hopes she hasn’t offended him with the offer.
“At yours, yeah?” His face lights up. No worries needed, it seems.
“Of course,” she says. “I have a spare room that has been home to nothing storage boxes for a while now. You would be more than welcome.” (He has always been welcome.)
“D’you mean it?” he asks.
“I do,” she says.
A moment passes where he stares at her, quiet and still, the ambient lights above casting a warm glow through his unruly shocks of blond and across the sharp lineaments of his face and the freckles and birthmarks that scatter him over. He catches her gaze and holds it there, and it’s as if he’s looking at a star.
Without warning, he swivels on the barstool and crushes her in a hug. “Oh, you’re a real lifesaver!”
He’s so warm. Satya nestles into the crook of his neck and shoulder, inhaling the savory spice of his cologne. She lets her hands lace around the broad plane of his back and mesh into the fabric of his shirt.
And then, as if reality had sunken in at last, Jamison wrenches back, panicked. “Oh, I need to pack! Need to ask Mako for his ute, too, ‘cause my car ain’t gonna carry all that, ‘specially not the bloody mattress. Gotta grab boxes and a hell of a lot of tape, and—”
He pauses again—his thoughts must have routed in yet another direction—and he looks to her, brow furrowed, jaw set.
“I’m gonna pay you, all right? I will. Can’t do cash right now, bit stiff at present, but I can work! I’ll tidy up, do little improvement projects, fix stuff, you name it! Let no one say Jamison Fawkes won’t carry his weight.” His grin is contagious.
“I must admit I’m a little wary about improvement projects,” she says, an eyebrow raised.
He huffs a theatrical gasp in mock-hurt. “Oi, I know my way around a spanner. I helped fix up Mako’s place when he moved in! Hard yakka, but worth it in the end. Better than hiring some dipstick who don’t know any better.”
She stifles a laugh. “And you do?”
“Too right I do! Tell you what: first week, I’ll have that leaky faucet in the kitchen fixed. That’ll be my rent ‘til I can get you some dinero.”
“There is a leaky faucet?” This is news to her.
“Uh, yes?” He taps the empty shot glass against his chin in thought. “Or was it the toilet? Can’t remember. Ah, well. I’ll fix something. Promise! Gotta prove me worth somehow, eh?”
“You don’t need to prove your worth,” she says, and her heart aches at the thought. “You are worth plenty already.”
“Sweet of you to say, darl,” he says with a simper. His ears are still pink. “Next week’s looking up already, innit?”
Satya certainly hopes so, because she wholeheartedly agrees.
Moving day is hectic. Satya drives to his flat to help with boxes only to find Jamison and Mako halfway finished loading up the truck. He greets her drenched in sweat while Mako raises a giant hand in salutation.
Jamison somehow has both more things and less things than she had imagined:
A full-size mattress, a rubbish bag’s worth of clothes, a coffee maker (she isn’t surprised), three tool boxes, a handful of dishes (mugs included), a few holiday decorations (from his mum when she was alive, he explains), miscellaneous free weights (tenners, fifteens, and a single twenty), a kettlebell, his half-finished projects, and an extra (very old, he says) prosthetic arm. There are also various art supplies (pens, pencils, faded notebooks, an entire collection of erasers), the strips of gauze and other covers for his amputated limbs, a couple bottles of nail polish (“Takes half the time, y’know! Only got one of each!”), a pair of very expensive headphones, and a shabby laptop with one of his signature smiley stickers on its lid. A signed cricket bat (“Gotta support the lads back home!”) is one of the last items to stow away save for lingering things in his fridge and pantry.
When she asks about the scant furniture, he shakes his head and gives the dilapidated sofa and recliner set a dismissive wave. “Nah. We’ll chuck it. You got better stuff, anyway.”
The first night of Jamison in her flat is… perfect? It’s bizarre.
Mako stays for Chinese takeaway (“I really owe you one, mate”) before leaving, and then it’s just the two of them, exhausted and sore, Jamison flopped on the floor while she lies on the couch.
“Oi.” He rolls onto his back and gives her foot a nudge with his prosthetic leg. “Just wanted to let you know, I really appreciate this. I know it’s sudden and all, but…” He gives his broad shoulders a shrug. “Means a lot.”
She nudges his leg back. “Think nothing of it.”
The night is finished with one of his favorite action films. He uses her shower (“Much better!”) before sprawling out on the couch with her in a set of too-small ratty pajamas, prosthetic leg removed, sleep circling like vultures beneath his eyes. Satya dozes across from him, her legs tucked just over his hip for comfort. The film’s plot and dialogue blur into indiscernible noise; the warmth of him is too good, too addicting, and it seeps into her skin. It’s selfish of her, but she wants nothing more than to bottle this moment and all its palpable contentment so that she might drink it in whenever she pleases.
A shift of movement under her legs captures her attention. Satya opens one eye to see him grinning at her from the other side of the couch, his eyes half shuttered in fatigue. He gives her a dainty wave, and she can almost hear his cheeky salutation: g’day.
This is good for her. It is.
Satya returns the wave, unable to resist a smile.