reference/misc blog

Last update
2020-09-28 21:28:36

    in honour of lithub making a list of ‘best 50 novels under 200 pages’ with a pathetic showing for women of colour… here’s a list excluding whites and men:

  • adania shibli, touch
  • shahrnush parsipur, women without men
  • fae myenne ng, bone
  • gwendolyn brooks, maud martha
  • theresa hak kyung cha, dictee
  • nawal el saadawi, woman at point zero
  • jamaica kincaid, a small place, lucy, annie john, my brother
  • mariama ba, so long a letter
  • maryse conde, i tituba, black witch of salem
  • kopano matlwa, coconut, evening primrose
  • suzette mayr, dr edith vane and the hares of crawley hall
  • tanya tagaq, split tooth
  • michelle cliff, no telephone to heaven, abeng
  • buchi emechata, second class citizen, the joys of motherhood
  • hiromi goto, chorus of mushrooms
  • tsitsi dangarembga, nervous conditions
  • yvonne vera, nehanda
  • emma perez, gulf dreams
  • etel adnan, sitt marie rose
  • jaqueline woodson, red at the bone
  • akwaeke emezi, freshwater
  • nella larsen, passing
  • laila lalami, hope and other dangerous pursuits
  • naomi fontaine, kuessipan
  • vi khi nao, fish in exile
  • shay youngbloood, soul kiss
  • bessie head, a question of power
  • han suyin, winter love
  • le thi diem thuy, the gangster we are all looking for
  • oyinkan braithwaite, my sister the serial killer
  • zinzi clemmons, what we lose
  • janet campbell hale, the jailing of cecelia capture
  • kim thuy, ru
  • sahar khalifeh, wild thorns
  • suniti namjoshi, the conversations of cow
  • gayl jones, corregidora
  • tamai kobayshi, prairie ostritch
  • gloria naylor, the women of brewster place
  • terri de la pena, margins
  • zen cho, the terracotta bride
  • finnglas

    I’m going to give you the best piece of Adult Life Is Hard advice I’ve ever learned:

    Talk to people when things go to shit.

    I don’t just mean get it off your chest, although that’s good. I mean: Something’s wrong with your paycheck/you lost your job/you had unexpected emergency car repairs and now you’re broke so your credit card payment is late. Like, not just 15 days late. We’re talking, shit got crazy and now you’re 90 days late with compounded interest and late fees and the Minimum Payment Due is, like, $390, and you’ve got about $3.90 in your bank account. Call the credit card company. 

    I know it’s scary. I know you feel like you’re going to get in trouble, like you’re gong to get yelled at or scolded for not having your life together. But the credit card company isn’t your parents; they’re just interested in getting money from you. And you can’t squeeze blood from a stone or money from someone who doesn’t have any. So what you do is you call them. You explain you’re experiencing temporary financial hardships, and you’re currently unable to bring your account up to date, but you don’t want to just let it get worse. Can you maybe talk to someone about a payment plan so you can work something out? Nine times out of ten you’ll be able to negotiate something so that at least it’s not just taking a constant, giant shit on your credit score.

    - Can’t pay your power bill? Call the power company.

    - Can’t pay your full rent? Talk to your landlord.

    - Had to go to the hospital without insurance and have giant medical bills looming in your place? Call the hospital and ask if they have someone who helps people with financial hardships. Many do.

    - Got super sick and missed half a semester of class because flu/pneumonia/auto-immune problems/depressive episode? Talk to your professor. If that doesn’t help, talk to your advisor.

    You may not be able to fix everything, but you’ll likely be able to make improvements. At the very least, it’s possible that they have a list of people you can contact to help you with things. (Also, don’t be afraid to google things like, “I can’t pay my power bill [state you live in]” because you’d be surprised at what turns up on Google!) But the thing is, people in these positions gain nothing if you fail. There’s no emotional satisfaction for them if your attempts at having your life together completely bite the dust. In fact, they stand to benefit if things work out for you! And chances are, they’ll be completely happy to take $20 a month from you over getting $0 a month from you, your account will be considered current because you’ve talked to them and made an agreement, you won’t get reported to a collections agency, and your credit score won’t completely tank.

    Here’s some helpful tips to keep in mind:

    1. Be polite. Don’t demand things; request them. Let me tell you about how customer service people hold your life in their hands and how many extra miles they’ll go for someone who is nice to them.

    2. Stick to the facts, and keep them minimal unless asked for them. Chances are they’re not really interested in the details. “We had several family emergencies in a row, and now I’m having trouble making the payments” is better than “Well, two months ago my husband wrecked his bike, and then he had a reaction to the muscle relaxer they gave him, and then our dog swallowed a shoestring and we had to take him to the emergency clinic, and just last week MY car broke down, and now my account’s in the negatives and I don’t know how I’m gonna get it back out.” The person you’re talking to is aware shit happens to everyone; they don’t need the details to prove you’re somehow “worthy” of being helped. They may ask you for details at a certain point if they have to fill out any kind of request form, but let them do that.

    3. Ask questions. “Is there anything we can do about X?” “Would it be possible to move my payment date to Y day instead so it’s not coming out of the same paycheck as my rent?” The answer may be “no.” That’s not a failure on your part. But a good customer service person may have an alternate solution. 

    Anyway! I hope that helps! Don’t just assume the answer is “no” before you’ve even begun. There is more help out there than you ever imagined.


    Hey guys, this is an old post, but it’s still relevant, and I thought I’d re-up it for living in COVID times when a lot of people are losing income. Don’t be afraid to toss that in when you call to ask for help! “I’ve experienced a loss of income due to COVID-19″ is gonna be all you need to say for most places, because wow let me tell you how much this is the case. A lot of places are setting up COVID-19 specific relief policies, so this may be even easier than normal. 

    Good luck, stay safe, stay inside if you can, and wash your hands. <3 

    Base code has been updated!

    Learn more about the theme + get the code here!

    Fixed a responsive issue with the sidebar on smaller desktop sizes. 

    The theme has been simplified to be more of a blank slate. I kept all of the things that I felt was important to cover. This includes global appearance options, responsiveness, CSS grid and flexbox introductions, and theme garden submission requirements. 

    It can still function as its own (simple) theme if you don’t want to use it as a base code. If you do want to make your own theme with this, please tag me in your post so I can see what you made!

    If you want more explanations in the code, please let me know. 


    (Arfid and abuse Anon again sorry) I guess it’s a question of whether if 1. severe anxiety every second day over going without substantial food or 2. just eating the same thing every day - like which would be best for me in the long term because both aren’t ideal but I don’t want to hurt my body

    So this is Ellyn Satters “Hierarchy of Food Needs”. The most basic needs that must always be met first are at the bottom, and the luxuries of food and eating are at the top.

    I want you to notice that the bottom category is “Enough Food.” Meaning that if you have trouble eating enough each day due to being poor, having mental health issues that you cannot address right now, or living with abusive people, or any reason at all, your top eating priority should always be eating enough, no matter what that food is. 

    My personal rule of thumb in life is that eating something -- anything, even pizza every meal every day -- is better than eating nothing. And eating enough food is more important than eating whatever combination of micro- and macro-nutrients are being touted this week in diet culture. 

    Hope this helps!


    also WHY does every american lit or american history or w/ever course contain the entire history and writings of england & greater europe up until the colonies but NO documentation of the oral histories and stories from actual native american tribes and look at how that influenced and was influenced by european traditions to create the “american” story. like i KNOW why but christ


    the first ever anthology of native american poetry was published this week and barnes and noble has a 1998 anthology of native american plays and those are literally the only two anthologies of native american literature i could find and i am PHYSICALLY INSISTING that u buy them and support the native activists and authors who pushed for them to published because holy shit y’all

    Indigenous Literature

    below are comprehensive lists of indigenous writing by indigenous authors, chosen by indigenous peoples. enjoy and reblog to spread the word.

    indigenous writing by indigenous authors (written by a cherokee woman) <– list includes brief summaries and reviews

  • From the Hilltop by Toni Jensen
  • Cheyenne Madonna by Eddie Chuculate
  • Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson
  • The Road Back to Sweetgrass by Linda LeGarde Grover
  • Murder on the Red River by Marcie Rendon
  • Owls Don’t Have To Mean Death by Chip Livingston
  • Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse
  • Sacred Smokes by Theodore C. Val Alst Jr.
  • Cherokee America by Margaret Verble
  • There There by Tommy Orange
  • The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
  • Crooked Hallelujah by Kelli Jo Ford
  • Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden
  • indigenous books chosen by a cherokee man <– the list includes brief summaries/reviews of each title

  • Where The Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson
  • House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday
  • Pushing the Bear by Diane Glancy
  • Shell Shaker by LeAnne Howe
  • Tracks by Louise Erdrich
  • Sundown by John Joseph Matthews
  • Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
  • Power by Linda Hogan
  • The Fast Red Road: A Plainsong by Stephen Graham Jones
  • Winter in the Blood by James Welch
  • The Sharpest Sight by Louis Owens
  • a list of books by indigenous authors (by a cree woman) <– the list includes brief summaries of each title.

  • Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson
  • If I Ever Get Out Of Here by Eric Gansworth
  • The Marrow Thieves, by Cherie Dimaline
  • Love: Beyond Body, Space, and Time, edited by Hope Nicholson
  • A Girl Called Echo (graphic novel series) by Katherena Vermette
  • if you have other books or authors you would like to recommend, you can come submit them to our blog or our ask box. feel free to add onto this post with more recommendations and ideas as well


    All About Image Descriptions

    TL;DR- A post all about writing image descriptions on Tumblr.

    Introduction Text

  • So, I’ve been looking around for a master post on how to make image descriptions, and have had no luck. So, I’ve decided to put everything I -have- learned in one place.
  • Why are image descriptions important?

  • To start off, image descriptions are important because they make Tumblr more accessible. People who use screen readers need them because they can’t see, or it’s hard to see, images, gifs, videos, etc. Image descriptions are also important for people with slow internet speeds, or people who are on mobile Tumblr. They are needed on Tumblr because the way this site is coded doesn’t allow for the normal way that screen readers read descriptions. (I won’t go into that because it’s confusing and technical.)
  • What are image descriptions and how do you make them?

    Image descriptions are plain text (Generally, text you can copy and paste) descriptions of images, gifs, videos, and other media. On Tumblr, there are several kinds of image descriptions. 

  • The first describes a picture without words. This kind of description goes in brackets [ ] and tells about what is in a picture or gif. Image descriptions should start with the words “Image Description,” to indicate what it is, especially for those using screen readers. Image descriptions need to be the first comment to a picture. If you are adding a description to a picture that already has comments, just use the return key to add a few more spaces. Image descriptions must be first, or else people using screen readers will have to be read meaningless dialogue first without knowing what the comments refer to.
  • For example:


    This is a picture of me. An image description for this picture might go something like:

    [Image Description: A picture of a person sitting on a brown couch. The image is cut off at their chest. They are looking straight at the camera, and are smiling slightly. Their hair is brown and asymmetrical and falls to the right side of their face. They are wearing glasses and a white tank top with a ruffled edge. Behind them is the back of the couch. On top of the couch is a long, light brown pillow with dark brown jagged patterns on it. Behind the couch is a white wall and the edge of a windowsill.]

    How descriptive you are will depend on how much time (And spoons) you have. 

  • Notice that I could have included more detail, such as my eye color, my freckles, or the color of my skin. (A note about skin color and image descriptions, you either need to use it all the time, or in posts where race is the main subject.)
  • In general, I like to bold text in brackets. This is because it helps it stand out to people who aren’t using screen readers. Organizing your image description so that people who -can- see it, can read it, is another part of accessibility.

  • The second kind of image description involves both text, and pictures. This can occur in several different ways. The main ones are simple pictures or gifs with a few words on them (This includes pictures with subtitles, and ones that have words in the background), comics, and infographics. The way you caption each of these is slightly different.
  • For pictures and gifs with words, you would start out with a normal image description that would also include a “with text that reads…” somewhere in it.

    For example:



    [Image Description: A black and white gif of Emily Osment in the film Cyberbully. She is standing on the right side of the screen. She, and the person on the left side of the screen, are facing each other. Her hair is either short, or pulled back into a ponytail, and appears blonde.She is wearing a short sleeve shirt with flowers down the front. Her left bra strap is showing and she has a bag over her right shoulder. Her words are subtitled at the bottom of the image, saying, “You should know that your words actually hurt.”]

    I also have the tendency to italicize quotes to make them stand out from the rest of the image description.

  • As you can see here, the image description comes first with what is being said at the end. This is almost always true for captioned pictures. Regarding gifs, especially longer ones, what is being said would be put between the description of the actions shown in the gif.
  • For example:



    [Image Description: A slightly blurry gif of comedian Bo Burnham making a visual pun. He is wearing a short sleeve gray shirt with a light gray object on it. He is sitting on a green couch. Behind him is a white wallpaper with green birds on it. Captioned under him in yellow says“My puns aren’t just bad…” He pulls up a white piece of paper that says ‘My puns’ on it. He rips the paper, smiling through the tear as he says “They’re tear-able”]

    So that’s how captioning works when a gif is longer. But how do you write a description when two people are talking?

    Like so:



    [Image Description: Two people as simple light gray silhouettes on a light blue and tan wavy background. One person is reaching out toward the other and is captioned saying“Let me help you!” and the other replies “Thank you.”]

    The more complicated the picture, the more you have to combine these elements. But, usually, pictures and gifs don’t contain more than a few lines, which helps to keep image descriptions small.

    So that’s how you do single images and gifs. But what about comics, which have lots of words with their pictures, or infographs which are word heavy pictures with lots of smaller charts, diagrams and other images?

  • For comics, especially longer ones with lots of background and dialogue will probably be structured exactly like image descriptions for other pictures with dialogue, but with one thing added in. New paragraphs. This will help space out who is saying what, and what is in each panel so that people reading the description can understand it better.
  • For example:



    [Image Description: A black and white three panel comic. There is a robot with one, black eyes stands to the right of a man wearing a tee shirt, pants, and a hat. Behind them is a white background with part of it shaded gray using pixels. The robot introduces the man,

    Robot, pointing to Chad: “This is my roommate Chad”

    Chad, waving:“Hi there.”

    Robot, making a thumbs up:“He’s a cartoonist and the best buddy a robot lie me could ask for.”

    Chad smiles and holds his hands on his hips.

    Chad, frowning and looking down at the Robot:“By the way, your part of the rent is due.”

    Robot, looking annoyed:“He’s also slightly annoying.”]

    For more complicated comics, or at least ones that change their view, perspective, etc, the new setting also should be described.

    For example:



    [Image Description:  A person sitting in front of a desk for an interview. They have short brown hair and are wearing a tie. The person behind the desk is wearing glasses and is holding a paper. The person behind the desk, presumably a manager, asks the other person, an applicant for a job position a question.

    Manager, holding onto the edge of their glasses in one hand, and a paper with the other: “Mr.Idangam, please describe yourself at the present moment.”

    The next panel zooms in on the applicant’s face.

    Applicant, smiling with eyes closed: “I am a man who is describing himself at the present moment.”

    The panel under that focuses on the manager’s face.

    Manager, taking their glasses off:“Welcome aboard!”

    The door of the office is show open. Above the door is a sign that reads ‘Grelling & Nelson Incorporated.’ The applicant and the manager are shaking hands across the desk.]

    The easiest way to put in a change of setting is to describe it immediately before the dialogue in that scene.

  • When it comes to infographs, which are mostly text but in an image, you can briefly describe what the infographic is about, and any images near the top or it. Do not use the image description to put down the text in the infographic. Infographs are text heavy, and they need more spaces and specialization then just the image description. You can use bullet points, bolding, and italics to make the text more organized. Then, if there are any other images in the text, they can be described in small image descriptions.
  • For example:



    [Image Description: An infograph about what happens in an internet minute. There is a clock in the upper left corner with boxes coming out of it. Each box has the name of a website, and each is tagged with a fact about the website.]

    In a minute on the internet here’s what happens:

  • 639,800 Gigabites of global IP data are transferred
  • 135 botnet infections occur
  • 6 new Wikipedia articles are published
  • 20 new victims of identity theft occur
  • 204 million emails are sent
  • 1,300 new mobile users come online
  • 47,000 apps are downloaded
  • $83,000 in sales are collected
  • 61,141 hours of music are played
  • 100+ new Linkedin accounts are created
  • 20 million photos are viewed on Flickr
  • 3,000 photos are uploaded to Flickr
  • 320+ new Twitter accounts are created
  • 100,000 new tweets are sent
  • 277,000 people log into Facebook
  • 6 million Facebook profiles are viewed
  • 2 + million searches are made on Google
  • 30 hours of video are uploaded to Youtube
  • 1.3 million videos are viewed on Youtube
  • And future growth is staggering:

    Today the number of networked devices are equal to the population [A picture of a black stick figure standing on the planet with the symbol for wireless coming out of their head. The symbol is five curved, yellow lines.]

    By 2015, the number of networked devices will be double the population. [The previous picture now has two wireless symbols coming out of their head, and a 2X over them.]

    In 2015, it would take you five years [A red arrow with the word ‘IP’ on it is shown linking up this information to the next] to view all video crossing IP networks each second.

    So that’s what an infographic might look like with an image description.

  • When it comes to videos, you would probably approach it similarly to an infographic or a longer gif. It would be similar to a longer gif in that there would be a brief description first, and the the dialogue would be under that, with the scenes and actions also described. However, the dialogue of the video would not be in the image description. Instead, it would be outside of it, like the information in an infographic. 
  • Like so:

    [Video description: A video of a cat that visits the person who is taping the video. The cat’s name is VeeSee, or Visitor cat. The cat is gray and and brown, with the brown striped slightly on their body. The cat’s tail is long and their eyes appear green. In the video the person taping follows the cat into the kitchen.] 

    Video Taper:“Mreow, mreow”

    [VeeSee meows back and then turns around from the camera and begins to walk into the kitchen. The video taper follows VeeSee as they brush up against a chair in the kitchen and walk to a door leading out of the house.]

    Video Taper: “Mreow.

    [VeeSee meows as they rub against a cabinet.]

    Video Taper: “Mreow. VeeSee, tss tss. Visitor cat, pff pff.”

    [VeeSee looks back at the camera and meows.]

    Video Taper: “Mreow.

    [VeeSee meows in response and walks towards the camera. The video taper meows at VeeSee as they walk to a waterbowl]

    Video Taper: “Mreow…Mreow…Mreow.” 

    [VeeSee meows back and sniffs the water bowl.]

    Video Taper:“Mreow… D’aww, it looks like he’s preoccupied.”

    [VeeSee drinks some water.]

  • When it comes to audio posts, if you can usually find lyrics or transcripts online. If you can’t, but you’ve got the spoons, you can always write your own.
  • A few helpful hints:

  • Sometimes transcripts will be available for popular videos or newscasts
  • Check the source for information that will be helpful in writing an image description.
  • So this is everything I’ve learned about writing image descriptions! I hope you’ve enjoyed.


    Love this post. Showed it to a friend on twitter who uses screenreaders, they said “ if everyone described images like that poster did, the internet would be a richer place, but they don’t.” Please signal boost.


    Alright so. I have fucked my taxes up before. It was the year of no jobs and I cashed out a 401k to make my car payment and then forgot to report that as income.

    Here’s what happened:

    I got a bill from the IRS and had to pay what I owed plus a little extra for interest cause I was paying late.

    That’s it.

    The lessons here:

    1) The IRS will not call you. Anyone calling saying they are from the IRS is a scammer.

    2) The IRS isn’t gonna take you to court if they can solve the problem with one letter.

    3) Accidentaly fucking up on your taxes if you made a good faith effort to file correctly isn’t illegal. To get you for tax fraud they have to be able to prove you did it on purpose. Hence why all I got was a bill. They knew that I could reasonably claim to have fucked up accedntally and as long as I paid up they did not care.

    how to make a zine as a gift for a friend - based on their blog

    1. pick a friend, preferably one who’s on tumblr (or you know, has a birthday coming or something)

    2. scroll their tumblr for a while to get a hold of their aesthetic - colours, shaped, feeling, everything. I stalk medieval-dreams’ blog today: it has dark greens, grey, copper, mountains, lakes, animals, fire and all things medieval.

    3. still on the blog: search for quotes, poems, lyrics and save them for later

    4. use a a4 paper to make the booklet (tutorial). it will look like this:


    5. start with the backgrounds. use the colours you got to know earlier. use magazines, coloured paper, wrapping paper, old newspaper / book pages


    you can open the zine and see all of the backgrounds together (the one with the wrapping paper will be the cover of mine):


    6. use the quotes, poems, lyrics you found on the blog. pick out the best 3 or 4, write them on small pieces of paper and stick them in


    7. draw something (and don’t worry, i can’t draw a lot of things either, it doesn’t have to be perfect)


    8. make a playlist! you can use songs you found on their blog, but it’s also nice if you choose songs you associate with them or think they would like them


    9. give it a title. if you don’t have any ideas, use a line from a poem / lyrics like i have (x)


    10. congratulations, it’s finished! <3 give it a little bow or something, and it’s a lovely present