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Found 7 results

  1. So, I'm posting this here because I want this place, specifically to understand; because out of this entire forum, I feel like this place is the closest I've been to who I am, apart from some interactions with specific members of the 17th Shard community. I want to explain myself in a genuine capacity, so everyone here can understand what to expect from me going forward. If this makes anyone uncomfortable, or moderation feels that this post isn't appropriate for this forum, then please feel free to delete it. Please be forewarned that this post contains a lot of very personal experience, and so if that makes you uncomfortable, then it's probably best to stop reading; that said, I have always thought of this place (Reading Excuses) as more understanding and accepting of diversity, which is why I am making it here. History A long while back, I submitted a series of chapters before kind of falling off the face of the planet. There were....a lot of things going on. For most of my life, I was raised Mormon, and conformed to a certain set of beliefs. Three + years ago, I'd begun questioning that faith and belief system. Some things happened, my depression was at one of its lowest points, my marriage was pretty rocky, and seemed to be flipping back and forth between love and support, and antagonism and hostility. I felt out of place almost every place I went, and among every group of people I interacted with. Fast forward to when I joined this group back in late 2018. I honestly loved my time here. I loved participating in the discussion, and I loved reading everyone's stories. However, there were a lot of things going on in my life, and this was an escape for me. I didn't realize it at the time, but I now know that's what I was doing. In 2019, I started trying to submit a story that I was working on. At the time, it was a very cerebral (I thought) endeavor, and I thought I was approaching it from a specific standpoint, that of creating a story for my daughters. However, there were things in the narrative that weren't satisfying me, and things that people brought up that really bothered me--not in a way that anyone said anything wrong, but in a self-reflective manner that I didn't understand, and the constant running from my own problems, combined with the exhaustion of what I was experiencing, quickly caused me to burn out and stop posting altogether. For those that were burned by this that expected my feedback, I am deeply, truly, and terribly sorry. The past year and a half have been a very rough journey of self-understanding and discovery for me, and all of this came to a head late 2019. In the course of less than three months, the following life changes happened, and I'm honestly not sure if I've mentioned any of this here or not: I was diagnosed with severe ADHD-inattentive type, for which I am now on medication to treat. I discovered I was demisexual. My wife and I decided to leave the church I was raised in, which is Mormonism. As a result, I suffer from many similar symptoms cult survivors exhibit when they escape their oppressive environments. My wife informed me that she wasn't heterosexual. I discovered I was transgender. This, combined with the above, put tremendous strain on our marriage, and resulted in the following: I was ostracized from my family and forbidden to speak to my younger siblings. My marriage almost ended in divorce--we sought couple's counseling, and are still together, though the dynamic of our relationship is completely different than before. Since all of this happened, I've been forced to reevaluate pretty much my entire life and world view. Where I am currently I now identify as a Gaiaist--which is my own brand of belief system, not really based on any existing thing except through cursory connections. Feel free to ask me about it, but the cliffnote is basically that I am now an adeistic theist. I no longer believe in the Mormon church nor do I view it as a good thing. It has caused me a lot of harm that I am still learning to work through, and because of this, a lot of my former guards and walls are now nonexistent, though I am still learning how to walk, so to speak. I am demisexual--this is a real sexuality on the asexual spectrum, and essentially constitutes asexuality except in specific circumstances where emotional connections are formed, after which sexual attraction is possible. As such, I truly don't understand sexual attraction the same way most allosexual (non-asexual) people inherently do, and this will more than likely come out in anything related to sex that I comment on or post. ADHD means that I can get exhausted by things I consider work or difficult--more so than the average person. Things that involve a lot of effort on my part usually take a lot longer as a result, and I really struggle with not internalizing criticism. I am transgender. I identify as female, she/her pronouns. There are a lot of markers throughout my life that were evidence of this, but due to my conservative and oppressed upbringing, a lot of those things were either severely repressed, or actively danced around in my mind, usually manifesting throughout my life as severe depression. I suffer from some pretty severe dysphoria, and that combined with my undiagnosed ADHD appear to be the major sources of my twenty-year depression. I am taking steps to change that and to be more genuine with myself and those around me, and I do take hormones. Things are still strained with my family, though my brother (who is also transgender) and I have mostly been able to patch up our differences and disputes as a result and are closer than we have been in at least twelve years--five of which were spent basically not speaking to each other at all. What to expect from me There are a large combination of factors that have resulted in the person I am today. I did not have a traumatic childhood by most markers; my parents were loving and kind, and are some of the kindest people I know. However, this combination of factors, taken individually, would have been difficult for any person to grow up with on their own, and in me they are all combined. This means that while I may not have had a traumatic childhood, I have a lot of internal trauma related to my sense of self and my own identity, and I will more than likely bring one or more of these points up when I feel it necessary--this is not an attempt to gain sympathy or pity, it is an attempt to explain myself and where I come from. It is also not an excuse--I am now aware of most of my issues and am working to correct them. Going forward, my main goal is consistency; due to my ADHD, this is extremely difficult. I am trying to put systems in place to manage this, but a side-effect of the way ADHD (which is a neurological disorder) affects my brain, I never learned proper executive functioning. Things like forming habits and routines--that may seem perfectly simple and manageable to another--can be monumental tasks for me. Please understand this about me and be patient, I am trying my best. Being on the asexual spectrum means that both in my writing or in my comments, there may be unintended assertions or insinuations. A good marker comes from a while back, when I submitted a post and was informed that a character I hadn't intended to come across as lesbian was, and was taught about male gaze/lesbian gaze, and female gaze. This was a great lesson for me, and one I've been able to extend to others since who weren't aware of these things as I wasn't. If I am taking the time to ask about something related to sex or sexuality, please do me the courtesy of explaining and not assuming I will understand what you're talking about or referencing. For example, if I comment on a character's physical appearance, chances are likely that I'm literally just describing the character's appearance, and there is nothing sexual behind it in the slightest. I don't even understand the concept of random people being "hot" or "stormable". And no, demisexuality is not just "normal" relationship behavior, even if it sounds like it to you. I discovered that when I was writing before, what I was really doing was trying to explore myself, without admitting to myself that that's what I was doing. There was a large part of me that was repressed, and seeped out through "seemingly innocuous" manifestations that I now recognize for what they were: gender dysphoria. As a result, that story is being completely rewritten from the ground up with different focus. Eventually, I may submit it again, but I really want to get out of the mindset I was in before in writing it, so I will be approaching it differently from now on. I don't have much good will toward religion in any form. My own "theology" is a very "hands-off", adeistic belief in simply doing good and having that good go out into the world. In this respect, I've pretty much pivoted to the opposite position of where I was before--religion and theology have always been a particular fascination of mine, but I now approach it from a very cerebral standpoint as opposed to a spiritual one, as an extension of culture and human history, rather than as an existence of a higher order. I have taken great strides in trying to understand things like privilege, intersection, and targeted groups. As a transgender woman, I have gone from a prime position of privilege (white & male), to a targeted demographic (transgender). That being said, I fully acknowledge that there are situations and demographics that I will never understand what they feel, though there are some that I now do, and others that I understand only a little. I am not fully out in public yet. I still present as male at work and more fluid in public, and this is due to my work situation requiring regular interaction with people I am unsure of, including my father. Thus, I have become more aware of problems and am more likely to participate in reasoning and discussion involving these topics then before, when I tried to be simply open-minded. In closing Again, my point of this isn't to make anyone think they need to walk on eggshells around me or worry about "triggering" me or anything of the sort. I really just want to explain who I am now, because it's a stark contrast to who I was before, and I feel like you all are owed the service of knowing up front what you're getting with me. In many ways, I'm still the same. I still love the medieval period, still study it fanatically. I still approach literature discussion from a character-based perspective. And I still plan to give my all to whatever critique I am working on. But I also don't want to lead anyone on or let someone think they're getting something different with me than what I have said. I figured it was better to lay everything out and let you all judge, instead. But know that I really did love this community. I feel like I failed you all before, and that was a failure that I really took to heart. I don't want to do it again, and I hoping that by being honest with myself, and with all of you, I can be a better participant this time around.
  2. From the album Natural History of Roshar

    I want to design more than just cool looking creatures. These skyeels are part of a world where people of all species live. They must have a long history of interaction – relationship – with people. So I start to think about how skyeels might be edible, hunted, ‘fished’, with flying baits, of course, since they aren’t fishes that swim under water.

    © Yen Shu Liao 2019

  3. From the album Natural History of Roshar

    This is the skyeel from Roshar, with much artistic licenses added because I was having too much fun visualizing them! It started out as just skyeel, which I decided to expanded into three species to have some more species diversity, and a more natural feeling when populating the world, like a city park would have pigeons, sparrows and starlings. Besides the Common Skyeel, there is the Greater Skyeel, and Lesser Skyeel, because I am great at naming things like that. The Common Skyeel has a difficult balance to strike – it needs to not compete in coolness with the Greater Skyeel, which is set at boss level, but also not as drab and blending-in as the Lesser Skyeel despite it being the most … well, commonly seen around by people! Like a seagull, but cooler, but not too cool. For that reason Common Skyeel remains the only design that has the same color, pattern, and size between female and male. It is also the last of the three I designed, but somehow ended up being the standard to which I adjust the other two Skyeel designs to make the Greater fittingly boss-like, and the Lesser accordingly humble. That seemingly little egg there took me a while to settle on! So I must ramble about it here. Skyeel is a fish, that flies in air, taking up the same niche as birds do on Earth. So does it still lay eggs? What shape and surface if they're exposed to the elements? How does the baby break out? Does skyeel birth live pups like some sharks do? What is the morphology - the baby looks exactly like adult but miniature (sail fish), baby looks partially like adult (birds), or a complete metamorphosis (tadpole/frog)? When everything is possible, it's impossible to just settle on one. But I had to, so I did, otherwise my life cannot go on... There are a total of 6 pages, and I'm posting them here in set of 3 so as to not spam so much. If they're small or blurry, you can see bigger resolution on my Artstation
  4. I just made this video and wanted to get the Forum's take on it. Are there any interesting factoids that I missed? Let me know what you guys think!
  5. Okay, which is more important: Justice or mercy? Justice or life? Go.
  6. This thread is for anyone who sees story after story of people getting engaged, married, what have you on their Facebook news feeds and can't help but wonder….is there anyone else out there who's just sitting here eating pizza? Sung to the tune of "You Belong with Me" by Taylor Swift. The pre-chorus is all I've got worked out, so pick a line and change it to your heart's content! Modified lyrics will be added to this post in purple. You're on the phone with your girlfriend—she's upset, She's going off about something that you said 'Cause she doesn't get your humor like I do. I'm in the room, it's a typical Tuesday night. I'm listening to the kind of music she doesn't like. And she'll never know your story like I do. She's got a boyfriend I'm eating pizza They got engaged I'm still eating pizza Dreaming about the day when you wake up and find That what you're looking for has been here the whole time. If you could see That I'm the one Who understands you. Been here all along. So, why can't you see— You belong with me, You belong with me? Walk in the streets with you in your worn out jeans I can't help thinking this is how it ought to be. Laughing on a park bench thinking to myself, "Hey, isn't this easy?" And you've got a smile That can light up this whole town. I haven't seen it in awhile Since she brought you down. You say you're fine—I know you better than that. Hey, what you doing with a girl like that? He got married I'm eating pizza They've got a baby I'm still eating pizza Dreaming about the day when you wake up and find That what you're looking for has been here the whole time. If you could see That I'm the one Who understands you, Been here all along. So, why can't you see— You belong with me? Standing by and waiting at your backdoor. All this time how could you not know, baby? You belong with me, You belong with me. [instrumental] Oh, I remember you driving to my house In the middle of the night. I'm the one who makes you laugh When you know you're 'bout to cry. I know your favorite songs, And you tell me about your dreams. Think I know where you belong, Think I know it's with me. Can't you see That I'm the one Who understands you? Been here all along. So, why can't you see— You belong with me? Standing by and waiting at your backdoor. All this time how could you not know, baby? You belong with me, You belong with me. You belong with me. Have you ever thought just maybe You belong with me? You belong with me.
  7. I was wondering what kind of spren you might come across in your everyday life, say in your workplace, in your home or your neighbourhood? As a medical student, spending most of my time in the hospital now, I was thinking about what kind of spren I might see while working there. The obvious one would be rotspren - there are some insane presentations of abscesses and advanced infection that show up on the surgical ward, and it would make diagnosing pneumonia a breeze! I think there would be less fearspren coming from patients than you'd expect. More likely exhaustionspren (or frustrationspren) and the same could be said for the doctors. And having painspren around could help us objectively just the level of pain someone is in - no more scale of 1 to 10! Just, "The patient presented with upper right quadrant pain attracting 12 painspren..." (Would that work? Or is the level of spren attracted subjective?) But the medical students would probably have plenty of fearspren around! But we'd also attract a heck of a lot of gloryspren the first times that we get a procedure right. Like when I got my first cannula sited just right, I felt like a god! I've also been skydiving twice, and it would have been even cooler with windspren along for the ride! What kind of spren would you encounter in your life? I feel like this kind of question could help us understand how spren operate. Also, can non-sentient life attract spren? So if your dog attacked and killed a vicious piece of clothing hanging too low on the line, would he attract gloryspren?