“If someone loves you, they should not be envious of you pouring your heart and soul and time and energy into the things that you are passionate about, but instead….they should love you MORE because you are so involved in those things.”
— Sharon Swan (via observando)
“You control your own happiness”
— the best thing I ever realized (via togepathetic)

(via parkingstrange)

fishingboatproceeds:

sarazarr:

weneeddiversebooks:

Read This: Gene Luen Yang’s rousing comics speech at the 2014 National Book Festival gala

From the Washington Post, article here.

GENE LUEN YANG, Library of Congress, Jefferson Building:

Good evening. Thank you, Library of Congress and National Book Festival, for inviting me to share the stage with such esteemed authors, and to speak with all of you. I am deeply grateful for this honor.

I’m a comic-book guy, so tonight I’d like to talk about another comic book guy. Dwayne McDuffie was one of my favorite writers. When I was growing up, he was one of the few African-Americans working in American comics. Dwayne worked primarily within the superhero genre. He got his start at Marvel Comics but eventually worked for almost every comic book publisher out there. He even branched out into television and wrote for popular cartoon series like “Justice League” and “Ben 10.”

Dwayne McDuffie is no longer with us, unfortunately. He passed away in 2011, at the age of 49. But within comics, his influence is still deeply felt.

I was lucky enough to have met him once. About a year before his death, we were on a panel together at Comic-Con. I had the opportunity to shake his hand and tell him how much his work meant to me.

In a column Dwayne wrote in 1999, he talked about his love of the Black Panther, a Marvel Comics character. The Black Panther’s secret alias is T’Challa, the king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda. He has super senses, super strength, and super agility. He’s an Avenger, though he hasn’t yet made it into the movies.

The Black Panther wasn’t created by African American cartoonists. He was created in July of 1966 by two Jewish Americans, Stan Lee (who was born Stanley Lieber) and Jack Kirby (who was born Jacob Kurtzberg).

By modern standards, the Black Panther is not a flawless example of a black superhero. In their first draft of the character, Lee and Kirby called him “the Coal Tiger” and gave him a goofy yellow and black costume. Even in his final form, his superhero alias includes the word “Black.” This is true of many early African and African American superheroes, as if what makes them remarkable is neither their superpowers nor their heroism, but their ethnicity. Most problematic, though, was that Marvel made their most prominent black superhero the star of a series called Jungle Action.

All of these flaws were lost on Dwayne McDuffie when he first encountered the Black Panther in 1973, at the age of 11. What struck him was the character’s commanding sense of dignity. The Black Panther wasn’t anyone’s sidekick. He wasn’t an angry thug. He wasn’t a victim. He was his own hero, his own man. As Dwayne describes it, “In the space of 15 pages, black people moved from invisible to inevitable.”

Dwayne’s love of the Black Panther eventually blossomed into a love of comics in general. Dwayne was a smart guy with a lot of options in life. He’d earned a master’s degree in physics. But he chose to write comics as his career. I would argue that without the Black Panther, this flawed black character created by a writer and an artist who were not black, there would be no Dwayne McDuffie the comic book writer.

Dwayne wasn’t just a writer — he was also a businessman. In the early ’90s, he teamed with a group of writers and artists to found Milestone Media, the most prominent minority-owned comic book company that has ever existed. The Milestone universe have since been folded into DC Comics, so these days characters like Static Shock and Icon – characters Dwayne co-created – fight crime alongside Superman and Batman.

In the early ’90s, I was finishing up my adolescence. I visited my local comic-book store on a weekly basis, and one week I found a book on the stands called Xombi, published by Milestone Media. Xombi is a scientist who became a superhero after he was injected with nanotechnology. He allied himself with a secret order of superpowered nuns. One sister was known as Nun of the Above, another Nun the Less. Together, they protected the world from all kinds of supernatural threats.

Xombi was inventive and fun, but he stood out to me because he was an Asian American male carrying in his own monthly title. And even more notable – he didn’t know Kung Fu. Xombi wasn’t created by Asian Americans – his writer was white and his artist black – but he did make Asian Americans a little less invisible.

We in the book community are in the middle of a sustained conversation about diversity. We talk about our need for diverse books with diverse characters written by diverse writers. I wholeheartedly agree.

But I have noticed an undercurrent of fear in many of our discussions. We’re afraid of writing characters different from ourselves because we’re afraid of getting it wrong. We’re afraid of what the Internet might say.

This fear can be a good thing if it drives us to do our homework, to be meticulous in our cultural research. But this fear crosses the line when we become so intimidated that we quietly make choices against stepping out of our own identities.
After all, our job as writers is to step out of ourselves, and to encourage our readers to do the same.

I told you the story of Dwayne McDuffie to encourage all of us to be generous with ourselves and with one another. The Black Panther, despite his flaws, was able to inspire a young African American reader to become a writer.

We have to allow ourselves the freedom to make mistakes, including cultural mistakes, in our first drafts. I believe it’s okay to get cultural details wrong in your first draft. It’s okay if stereotypes emerge. It just means that your experience is limited, that you’re human.

Just make sure you iron them out before the final draft. Make sure you do your homework. Make sure your early readers include people who are a part of the culture you’re writing about. Make sure your editor has the insider knowledge to help you out. If they don’t, consider hiring a freelance editor who does.

Also, it’s okay if stereotypes emerge in the first drafts of your colleagues. Correct them – definitely correct them – but do so in a spirit of generosity. Remember how soul-wrenching the act of writing is, how much courage it took for that writer to put words down on a page.

And let’s say you do your best. You put in all the effort you can. But then when your book comes out, the Internet gets angry. You slowly realize that, for once, the Internet might be right. You made a cultural misstep. If this happens, take comfort in the fact that even flawed characters can inspire. Apologize if necessary, resolve do better, and move on.

Let your fear drive you to do your homework. But no matter what, don’t ever let your fear stop you.

I have long had a bit of a writer crush on Gene Yang, for he is awesome in so many ways.

Ditto. What a speech.

“If you want to be proud of yourself, then do things in which you can take pride.”
— Karen Horney (via observando)

did-you-kno:

100-year-old Dobri Dobrev travels more than 15 miles each day to beg for money, and gives every penny to orphanages and churches in Bulgaria. So far he has donated over 40,000 euros. Source

sandandglass:

Daily Show correspondent Michael Che tries to find a safe place to report from.

(via egyptianprincess)

Q

Anonymous asked:

Any tips on staying healthy during college? I just finished my freshman orientation and I've already fallen off track when it comes to eating healthy and exercising regularly..

A

funeralformyfat:

School is weighing on you, course work is kicking your A$$, work is beyond stressful, workout…you dont even have enough time to sleep! let alone workout!…..

So how do you deal?  How do you stay on track and when all you want to do is cry?!

  1. Take a step back: You cant win the war if your running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off, or sitting back in the corner in the fetal position . Focus on what you CAN control.  You HAVE to go to classes, you HAVE to study, you HAVE to go to work…and you HAVE to eat.
Now which of those contribute to weight?? WHAT YOU PUT INTO YOUR BODY.
What are you reaching for when those stress moments arise?
Crazy stressed person number1, reaches for:
  • Chips, cookies
  • fast food
  •  ice-cream
  •  Lives on frozen meals because no time for ANYTHING

Crazy Stressed person number2 reaches for:
  • apples slices with peanut butter
  • yogurt with granola
  • cheese stick with fruit
  •  hummus and veggies
  • ham and cheese sandwich (or veggie if your vegan like me)
Now….do you think those students who are BOTH stressed…would have the same weight gain?? I dont think so.
When you feel like your life is falling apart, and you don’t have time for anything…focus on your food.
Food is powerful. It’s how our bodies LIVE. Make the right choices starting at the grocery store and you will have the tools to help control your crazy life. Will it get you straight A’s and get you a  promotion at work….probably not. BUT you will not feel your pants get tighter, you might even find yourself having to squeeze in time to buy a smaller size. I think I can handle that kind of stress 8)
Grocery Shop  with a healthy goal in mind. 

4rianagrande:

i hope u find someone that mindlessly plays with your hands and lightly strokes your legs and massages your back and plays with your hair and i hope that u feel like you’re home when u look at them

(via egyptianprincess)

sexy-fruit:

I don’t understand how all Muslims are called terrorists because of what one group of 19 extremist men did 13 years ago.

But white people aren’t called terrorists when they invaded their countries, killed millions of civilians, when they shoot up schools, shoot up movie theaters, and kill random POC. Isn’t that something.

(via egyptianprincess)

Angelina Jolie’s dress was an expression of her kids’ creativity: Luigi Massi, the master tailor at Atelier Versace, sewed dozens of designs from her children’s drawings into the dress and veil.

(via egyptianprincess)

partytilfajr:

“Every son of Adam sins, and the best of those who sin are those who repent.”

- The Prophet [Tirmidhi]

(via egyptianprincess)