Category Archives: Writing

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Boarders (PHSH Effect #9)

*IMPORTANT*

Aside from my final Product Review (Dec. 13th), this is the last post of 2019!

I will be taking the final 3 weeks of the year and half of January off from posting. I should be back at it Jan. 17th with the first Throw Away Fic of the year. (The next PHSH tutorial will come either come Jan. 20th, or sometime in Feb. Keep an eye out on my Twitter account, as that’s where I announce new posts)

Whether you wanted to up your book cover game, or start your own merch shop, or just wanted to have some fun, I hope you’ve found these tutorials useful.


This is the very last PHSH Effect of 2019!

In honour of this time of the year, I thought I’d show you something that could help you spruce up the annual x-mas card. I’m talking about boarders, of course! You can make a boarder look like pretty much anything you want to, but in keeping with the holiday spirit, I’ll be showing you how to make a ‘snow-y’ boarder like the one below.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Boarder Done - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation

It’s a lot simpler than it may look, I promise! And, once you get the hang of it, you’ll probably want to do them all the time for whatever you’re creating.

Step 1. Create a Solid Colour layer from the bottom of the Layers panel. It can be any colour you want. For simplicity, I’m making mine blue.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Solid Colour Layer - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Solid Colour Selected - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation

 

Step 2. Click on the Layer Mask (the square of colour that’s closest to the Layer name) This is the part we’re working with, not the actual layer.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Layers Mask Selected - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation

Double click the Layer Mask square to bring up the Properties panel, then click on Invert. This will make the square go white (or black) – don’t worry! This is just to show it’s inverted. The Layer Mask square may be black now instead of white, too.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Properties Panel w/ Red Square - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation

 

Step 4. Next, go to your Brush tool (left-side tool bar) and select one of the Creative Brushes from the bottom of the list. Because I want this boarder to look snow-y, I’m selecting a brush that looks somewhat like snow-flakes. (They’re just little dots, but still)

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Brush Tool Selector Top - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation




Step 5. Once you find a brush you like, you can draw a square/boarder around the edges of the document. This is how you make the ‘boarder’ for the document. The colour you picked in Step 1 may appear through the lines you drew, that’s supposed to happen.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Blue Boarder - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation

Aaand it’s at this stage I realize I did the steps backward. (I’m human, okay? Sorry to shatter the illusion) So I changed the background colour to blue, and made my boarder off-white, so it looked more like snow. I also changed the size of my brush so you could see the ‘dots’ more clearly, instead of having it look like a solid line, so it more closely resembles snow.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Fixed Boarder - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation

Now, if you’re not doing snow, this is pretty much it, you can add whatever picture or text you want, or even go back and change the colour of the boarder or background.

If you want to stick with me and make this look like snow, it’s gonna take a while. This boarder looks fine, but doesn’t really look too snow-like. Since I’m using a dotted brush, now I’m going to add a bunch of dots (or ‘snow’) over more of the background, to make it look more like it’s snowing.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Beginning to Make Snow - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation

After this is done, as I said above, then you can add any other pictures or text you like, and then that’s it! (Don’t forget to save your work.)

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Tutorial - PHSH Effect 9 - Boarders - Finished Boarder - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, photo manipulation


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New Years

*IMPORTANT*

This is this years’ New Years fic.

I will be taking the final 3 weeks of the year and half of January off from posting. I should be back at it Jan. 17th with the first Throw Away Fic of the year. (The product review will still go up on Dec. 13th)


Started: 19.11.19

Finished: 19.11.25

Words: 1,854

Sassy!Cas, Destiel, Sabriel


“Remind me why we settled in Canada again?” Gabriel shook the snow off himself like a dog, fighting against the wind to close the door.

Sam chuckled, peeling his own wet jacket off, “Because of your love for poutine.”

Gabriel pulled a face as he toed off his soaked shoes, “And why did you listen to me?”

The giant shrugged, walking up the few steps to the first floor, “Free health care.”

Gabriel rolled his eyes “Ooohhh, fee health care. Why do we need that?” He went to follow the giant, tripping over the lip of the last step, nearly face-planting.

“You were saying?”

He put up his hands in mock surrender, “Okay, fine. Maybe that is a good reason.” He got up, dusting himself off, “But you’re done hunting, so doesn’t that mean less trips to the hospital?”

“Please,” the ex-hunter led the way into the kitchen, “between you and Dean? If anything it means more.” He opened the fridge and turned, smiling at the quizzical look he got, “You think he’s gonna do quiet retirement?”

Gabriel returned the smile, pulling open the pantry, flicking the kettle on, “I’m thinking hot chocolate.”

“Of course.”

“What?” The ex-angel pouted, “I need to warm up.”

“Yeah,” the giant closed the fridge with a smirk, “Cause you need an excuse to make hot chocolate.”

The ex-angel shrugged, “Fine. No sharing then.”

Sam chuckled and shook his head again, “Fine. I’ll go get ready.”

“Ready?”

He stopped in the doorway, raising an eyebrow, “Don’t tell me you forgot.”

Gabriel shifted his weight and turned his attention back to the hot chocolate in front of him, “Of course I didn’t forget.”

Sam leaned himself against the doorway, folding his arms over chest, “Humour me.”

Gabriel kept his back to the ex-hunter, “We have to go… y’know…”

“Deans’ place.”

“Right! Deans’ place, I totally knew that! We have to go to Deans’ for, uhm…”

“For the party.”

“For the party, of course!” Gabriel spun around, holding his drink, “You didn’t let me finish.”

“Suuure,” Sam rolled his eyes, taking off from the doorway, “I’m gonna go shower now.”

“Whoa, hey!” the ex-angel was across the room in the blink of an eye, “Alone?”

Sam gave him a pointed look, “You have to finish your drink.”

The brunette looked between his love and the drink, before shrugging, “Alright.” He downed the steaming liquid in one go.

Sam smirked at him, “A lot easier to do that when it doesn’t burn your throat, huh?”

The shorter man nodded meekly, raising watery eyes to the ex-hunter, “C-can we shower together now?”

Sam gave him a soft smile and nodded, “Yeah.”

The ex-angel raced passed him, and was up the stairs in a flash, leaving a momentarily stunned giant in his wake.

Somebody’s eager.

 

 

“You really don’t have to wear that,” Sam was sitting on the bed, watching his lover fight with the tie that was draped around his neck.

“What are you talking about? Tonight’s a big deal! I’ve gotta look good.” He adjusted his pants, turning slightly to check out his own behind, “Well, better than I usually do.”

“It’s still just our brothers. You really think Dean’ll be in a suit?” The giant checked the clock on the wall, “Will you please forget the tie? We’re gonna be late.”

Gabriel sighed in defeat before tugging the offending object off, “Fine. But I’m staying in the suit.” He smirked at the ex-hunter in the mirror, “It’s called ‘arm candy’ for a reason.”

Sam chuckled and stood, holding out his arm, “Shall we, Mr. Candy?”

“Ooohhh,” the ex-angel winked, “I could get used to that.”

 

 

“Beer?” Dean looked panicked, hair sticking up in a million different directions.

“Uh, here,” Sam handed him the case before following him in. “Is everything okay?”

“Oh, yeah. Everything’s great.” Dean winced slightly as a wail from the kitchen hit him in the back. “Uh, make yourselves comfortable. I gotta, uhm…”

Sam clapped him on the shoulder, “Go, man. We’re fine.”

The blonde gave his brother a look of relief and hightailed it into the kitchen.

The giant elbowed his date, “Told you he’d be wearing jeans.”

“He’s clearly not dressed yet.” Gabriel sat on the edge of the couch and patted the seat beside him, “So while we’re alone…”

Sam swatted him, “We’re not having sex in my brother’s house!” At the pointed look he rolled his eyes, “With them in the next room.”

Gabriel huffed, “Well, you didn’t seem to have a problem with it in July.”

The giant rolled his eyes again, “That was different.”

“Oh?”

“Well, for one, we were house-sitting and they weren’t in the other room. And two,” he sat down, pecking the ex-angel, “you made a much better proposition.”

Gabriel wiggled his eyebrows at him, but another wail from the kitchen cut him off before he could say anything else.

“It’s ruined! Ruined! Why do bad things happen to good people? I’m a good person. Aren’t I a good person? Why? Why must I be punished?”

Dean came out of the kitchen, black smoke billowing out around him as he hurried in the direction of the smoke detector.

“Uh, is every–” the smoke alarm blared, cutting off the younger Winchesters’ question.

Dean took in a heavy sigh and waved a towel in front of it vigorously with both hands. Sam shot a look over to Gabriel before they sprung up, opening all the windows in the living room. Grabbing decorative pillows off the couch, they hustled over to help Dean wave away the smoke. Between the three of them, it wasn’t long before the thick haze began to clear and it looked like they might be able to salvage their evening.

And then the sprinklers went off.

Defeated, Dean scrubbed a hand through his now-wet hair, “Awesome.” Dropping the towel, he snagged a beer from the case on the coffee table in front of the couch. Twisting the cap off, he took a long pull from the bottle before making his way to the front door, disappearing outside.

“For the love of Liza Minnelli!” Cas stomped out of the kitchen, hair matting under the shower from the ceiling. He flicked some sopping hair out of his face as he spotted the two guests. He spread both arms wide, “Are you seeing this? Well, I hope everyone’s thirsty, because apparently? All we’re serving this evening is water. No, no champagne for us. We’re much too good for that.” He scrunched up his face in distaste, “Champagne, so boujee.” He flicked his sopping hair out of his eyes again, “So we’re trying something new. Isn’t that simply fabulous?” He laughed hysterically for a moment and then sobbed. His face crumbling into a pout, he put a hand over his heart, “I can’t. I can’t even. I mean, how am I meant to salvage this catastrophe? This would take more fabulous than the entire cast of Queer as Folk and The L Word combined. I could die. I could just die!”

Shoulders slumping, he ticked the items off on his fingers one-by-one, “Hors d’oeuvres? Burnt to a crisp! Wine? Out of stock. Out of stock. How could it be ‘out of stock’? It’s a ‘wine store’!” He rolled his eyes and then looked down at the floor, “And this. Just look at this. It’s like the last 2 minutes of the sinking of the Titanic in here. That’s it.” He threw his hands up into the air in defeat. “I’m done. I’m cancelling New Years!”

The sprinklers stopped just then and a moment later, Dean came back in the front door, a triumphant look on his face. With a grin, he looked expectantly between the men, “Hunh, huuunh?”

Cas scowled at him, “Oh, what are you so happy about? Everything is still soaked. The night is ruined!”

Deans’ jaw dropped slightly, before he sighed. Waving a dismissive hand, he flopped down on the couch with a wet squelch, picking his beer back up.

Sam took a few steps toward the raven-haired man, keeping his tone light, “C’mon, Cas, it’s not that bad.”

“Not that bad?” Cas gave him an exasperated look. He stomped his foot, splashing water up his pant leg, “I don’t know why I thought I could pull this off.” He sank down onto the wet ground, “You might as well just leave. Go on. Leave me to die here amongst the ashes of my utter failure.”

“Cas, it’s okay.” Gabriel crouched beside him, “We didn’t need anything fancy.”

Cas shot him a dirty look, “Oh? You’re in a three-piece!”

“So I’m over-dressed,” he waved a dismissive hand. “I was never good at reading situations.” At the unbelieving look his brother gave, he rolled his eyes before ‘falling’ over, soaking his suit completely. When he sat up, he shook his wet hair like a dog, a shit-eating grin on his face, “See? No need to get all bent out of shape.”

Fine,” the raven-haired man crossed his arms over his chest. “And the food? There still isn’t any of that.”

“Who needs food?”

Cas’s cheek twitched at that, but he quickly recovered into a scowl, “I’m serious.”

Dean shrugged, “Pretty sure the pizza place is open.”

“Pizza.” It was a statement.

“Well, yeah.” Dean slid off the couch to sit beside his lover, “I’m good with pizza.”

Cas slapped a hand over his heart, “Pizza? Pizza? Are you trying to kill me?”

“Lots of people eat pizza on New Years.” Sam offered, sinking down to the ground to join the rest of them, “I’m pretty sure it’s actually their second busiest day of the year.”

Cas looked between the three men before sighing, “Fiiine.” He got up from the ground, dusting himself off, “I’ll go order, since I’m the only one capable of doing anything around here.” He stomped to the kitchen door, pausing a moment to look back at the three men, still sitting on the floor, “Go change.”

The three men shared a look before turning back to the ex-angel, confused, “Why?”

“Honest to Britney,” Cas pinched the bridge of his nose, before giving them a pointed look, “You think I’m going to let you set foot in our pristine dining room sopping wet?” He let out a slightly hysterical chuckle before disappearing behind the swinging door.

“He’s right,” Dean got up, heading for the stairs, “Fifteen work for you?”

“Yeah,” Sam and his love stood next, before heading for the front door, “Think he’ll be calmed down by then?”

Dean let out a heavy breath, scrubbing his hand down his face, “Probably not. But at least you guys won’t have to hear about it anymore.”

“Lucky us,” Sam waved to his brother as they exited the house. Starting down the driveway, he elbowed his partner, “At least you got your wish.”

“What wish?”

“Tonight was a big deal.”

Gabriel snorted, “That’s not exactly what I meant.” He slowed his pace so he was a few steps behind the giant, using him as a windbreaker, “I did learn a valuable lesson though.”

“Oh?”

“No more suits.”


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(Goddamn) Fairytales

*IMPORTANT*

This is this years’ Christmas fic.

I’m posting the New Years’ fic on Dec. 6th, and then I will be taking the final 3 weeks of the year and half of January off from posting. I should be back at it Jan. 17th with the first Throw Away Fic of the year. (The product review will still go up on Dec. 13th)


Written: 19.11.18

Words: 2,586

Wee!Chester, John x Mary, Christmas


“John,” Mary gently shook her husbands’ shoulder with one hand, while she collected the empty beer bottles scattered around with the other.

He stirred, but didn’t open his eyes.

“John, c’mon,” she began shaking him harder, “the boys are gonna be here soon.”

He mumbled something incoherently before stretching, cracking an eye open at her.

She pointed to the stairs, “I left the suit on the bed.”

He groaned before standing, rubbing the sleep from his eyes, “Why do I have to dress up?”

“Because they deserve it.” She looked around the rundown house and sighed, “It’s not like we have an abundance of holiday cheer in here.”

“I don’t-”

“For Gods’ sake, you told Dean about monsters this year!” She spun around, slamming the bottles down, “I want him to know that doesn’t mean there isn’t still good out there.”

John blinked at her in surprise, taking a few steps toward her before letting out a heavy sigh, scrubbing a hand through his hair, changing directions, “O-okay. I’ll go.”

“Thank-you,” she picked the bottles back up before disappearing into the kitchen. “Be ready to leave in fifteen.”

“…Why?”

“You have to get Deans’ pie.”

He stopped halfway up the stairs, “You didn’t make one?”

She poked her head out of the kitchen doors, giving him a bewildered look, “I’m sorry, have we met?”

He chuckled before starting back up them, “Right. Sorry.”

 

 

“Well? Whaddya say?” Mary held out the box of decorations, smile plastered on her face.

“Hell yeah!” Dean snatched the box, before running over to the undecorated tree, thousand-watt smile lighting his features.

Sam shook his head before joining his brother, digging out a box of big, blue glass bulbs.

Dean dug out the garlands, wrapping it around his hand before using it as a whip, chuckling, “Hey look! I’m Indiana Jones!”

Mary chuckled and shook her head, “Be careful with those, Dean.”

Sam smiled as he placed a bulb on the tree, “This is awesome, Mom! Just like I always imag-” he cut himself off and blinked, as if just noticing what was happening.

Mary made her way over to him, slightly crouching, “What’s wrong, Sammy?”

His brows creased in confusion and he looked around, “I… I don’t…” He chewed his lip as he turned his gaze out the window, catching a glimpse of something he couldn’t make out, “This doesn’t seem…. right.”

Mary laughed and patted his arm, “I know it’s a little strange doing Christmas this big, but, well,” she cupped his one cheek in her hand, “I think we deserve it, don’t you?”

“Yea, c’mon Sammy!” Dean flicked his make-shift whip at him, thousand-watt smile still plastered on his face, “Get in the spirit!”

Maybe I’m dreaming? He sunk down on the couch, rock settling into his stomach, “I guess it just doesn’t really…”

“Say no more,” Mary disappeared into the kitchen, before returning a moment later with cookies, “These oughta get you in the spirit.”

Dean dropped his fake whip and rushed to her, peering into the box, “Is there a Santa?”

“Uhm…” She shook the box, cookies tumbling over each other, “I’m not sure.”

“…Didn’t you make them?”

“Of course!” She placed the box on the table, grabbing one for herself, “I was just tired and don’t remember which cookie cutters I used.” She retreated back to the kitchen door, “Now, I’ll leave you two to decorate, I’ve got to get started on the pie.”

Deans’ head whipped up from the cookies, ears perking like a dog, “Can I help?”

Mary chuckled and shook her head, “Maybe next year.”

Sam watched the exchange with a mounting feeling of dread, what kind of dream is this? He got up from the couch, shaking his head, I need some air.

“Where are you going?”

“Just for a walk.” He grabbed his jacket, hand poised on the front door handle.

“Think again, Mister.” Mary made her way over, stealing his jacket back, “No way are you going out in this weather.”

Sam blinked in surprise, giving her an odd look, “I think I’ll be fine.”

“Ooohhh,” she half-turned to the eldest, “Get a load of Mr. Grow-Up over here.”

Dean fell onto the couch into a fit of giggles.

The brunette shook his head again, “I’ll only be a few minutes.”

Mary crossed her arms over her chest, giving him The Mom Look, “You are way too young to go out on your own.”

“What?”

She closed her eyes, drawing in a breath, “I didn’t want to do this today, but you’ve left me no choice.” She pointed toward the stairs, “Go to your room.”

What?

“You heard me.”

“Mom, I-” he shook his head, throwing his hands up, “You know what? Fine.” He stormed up the stairs, slamming the bedroom door.

He held his breath for a moment, standing in the hall, listening for footsteps behind him. At the lack of, he crossed the hall to the attic door, pulling the drawstring down, ladder narrowly missing his head. He began to climb the creaking steps quickly, ducking as he reached the top.

He coughed, waving some cobwebs out of his way as he looked around the small space, spotting a window off to one side, perfect. He made his way over to it, huffing as it took more effort than he thought to pry it open. He did his best to ignore the blast of cold that hit him, and poked his head out, looking to the ground, that should work.

Bracing himself with his hands by the wall, he stepped up onto the base of the window, before drawing in a deep breath, starring at the snow covered ground, time to wake up.

 

 

“Sam?” Dean tore threw the building, knocking open every door he could find – original plan of going in quiet forgotten.

He told him to wait at the front door as he replaced his flashlight batteries. Sam had apparently thought ten minutes of waiting was too absurd and went in alone, like an idiot. And of course, what does Dean hear the second he reaches the front door? His brother crying in pain. And then? Nothing. No response to his calls, no more grunts or screams – zip.

Dean scrubbed a hand down his face as he raced up the stairs. It was a rarity when he prayed that the thing they were hunting was more interested in torturing than killing, but, when the thing your hunting is a Djinn, well, you’re not really left with a choice.

Sam!” He began kicking open the doors at the top of the stairs, adjusting his grip on the silver knife. “Sam?”

C’mon, you’ve gotta be- ha! He ran into the fourth room, sliding to his knees beside his brothers’ body, practically slamming his head into his chest to check for a heartbeat. Don’t you dare be dead… He adjusted his position, leaning his head harder against his chest, free hand going up to his neck to check for a pulse, c’mon, c’mon… I don’t think we can ask Death for any more favours.

He breathed out a sigh of relief and sat up as he finally felt his pulse. It was faint, but thankfully still there. “Okay, little brother,” he picked up one of the brunettes’ limp arms, throwing it over his shoulder, bracing his chest with his own, “Time to go.” He looked around the room for something he’d be able to lean his body on, not finding anything.

Okay, the hard way it is, he placed the knife in his jacket pocket before grabbing for Sams’ other arm, flinging it over his other shoulder. He smiled triumphantly as he’d  somehow managed to get up onto his feet without dropping his brother.

“Dance hall’s the building across the street.”

The voice from behind him made him jump, brother slipping slightly. He turned and spotted a man standing in the doorway, “I’m uh,” he readjusted his grip, so he had his brother by one arm and the waist, “gonna assume you’re not the building inspector?”

The man shook his head before sending the hunter flying backward, colliding with the back wall with a deafening crack.

The blonde groaned, taking a moment to get some air back into his lungs before rolling over, “Y’know,” he got himself up on his knees, “it’s been a while since I was flung into a wall.” His back cracked as he stood, “I was kinda hoping we could do this without-” He cut himself off as he plunged his hand into his pocket and finding it empty. He spotted the knife laying a few feet away, of course.

“Sorry about that,” the man replied, evil smile splitting his face, revealing fangs.

Fangs? Dean took a few steps closer, “You’re not a Djinn?”

The vampire blinked in surprise, “What? No.” He gave the hunters’ a once over, “… You are the Winchesters, aren’t you?”

Dean shook his head, “No, we’re the Smiths.” He pulled one of his fake ID’s out of his pocket, handing it over.

The mans’ eyes got wide and he handed it back, “I heard you calling the name ‘Sam’, and I just assumed-” he cut himself off, shaking his head, “You know what? Nevermind. Sorry.”

“Huh…” Dean starred as the vamp turned and left the room, hearing his footsteps on the stairs. “Must be our lucky day.” He pulled out his phone and chuckled when he saw the date, “Of course…” he flashed the screen to his brothers’ unconscious body, “Whaddya know? Christmas miracles do exist.”

He punched speed dial before going back to his brothers’ side, doing his best to haul him back off the ground one-handed, “Bobby, you have anti-Djinn, right?” He wiped the sweat from his forehead as he carefully balanced his brother against his chest, “Okay, be there in twenty.”

 

 

Sam groaned, blinking his eyes open slowly, squinting against the light, am I back? He sat up and looked around the room, noting the lack of …anyone. At least I’m at Bobbys’, that should be good news. He went to sit up, noting the cast on his leg, what the hell? His heart sped up at the thought of still being trapped in his dream.

He turned his leg slightly, noting a drawing on the cast. He chuckled and relaxed, seeing a crudely drawn Christmas tree, wrinkling his nose at the poorly drawn inappropriate Santa drawing beside it, noting his brothers’ signature.

“I don’t care what you say,” Dean walked in, followed closely by Bobby, handing the youngest a beer before flopping down beside him, “That’s funny.”

Sam accepted the beer but otherwise didn’t acknowledge his brother, “It’ll come off, right?”

Bobby shrugged, “It was Sharpie-ed so…”

“Great.”

“Hey!” Dean whacked him with a cushion, “That’s some of my best work.”

“I know,” Sam smirked, firing the cushion back, “That’s why I don’t want it.”

“Yeah, keep talking there, Pretty Boy. Make fun of the guy who saved your life.”

Dean took a sip from his own, sharing a look with Bobby before clearing his throat, “So, uh, w-what did you see?”

“Dean,” Bobby shook his head.

“What do you mean?”

“In your hallucina-Djinn. What was it? White picket fence? Jess?”

“Oh,” he began picking at the label on his beer bottle, eyes going to the ground, “uh, y’know… just stuff.”

“C’mon,” the blonde bumped his arm, “you know mine.”

Sam let out a breathy chuckle, “You showed me yours so now I have to show you mine?”

“Yes.”

He rolled his eyes, “It was…” he took a breath, “We were all together and just… decorating.”

Bobbys’ brows furrowed, “Decorating?”

“Yeah,” Sam felt his cheeks flare, “it-it was Christmas.”

Dean nodded, easing back against the couch, “Huh, well, Sammy, that’s, uh…” he took a swig from his beer before smirking, “That is the lamest shit I’ve ever heard.”

“Yeah, well, I didn’t really have the chance to look at the call-sheet before I went in.”

Dean chuckled, taking another swig from his beer before turning to Bobby, “Can we do it now?”

Bobby rolled his eyes and waved a dismissive hand at them, “Fine.” He dropped the small shopping bag he was holding on the table, “Go nuts.”

“Yes!” Dean tore into the first package he saw, newspaper flying all around him like a human shredder, revealing a pie. He laughed and pet the box, “Awesome, thanks, Bobby.” He turned expectant eyes to his brother, “Well?”

Sams’ brows creased in confusion, “Well… what?”

“My present.” He pointed to the clock that read 1am, “It’s Christmas.”

“I didn’t get you anything.” At the offended look, he held up his hands in mock surrender, “I didn’t know we were doing gifts.”

Dean gave him a bewildered look, “When do we not do gifts?” At Sams’ pointed look he held up his hand, “Fine, when have we not done gifts when we were both alive?”

Sam shrugged, “I didn’t think we were doing anything.”

“Oh, well,” Dean ripped the lid from his pie and plunged his hand into the middle, taking out a fistful, shoving it in his mouth, “Then I’m not sharing.”

Sam shook his head, “It’s not like you got me something.”

Dean scoffed, sending pie crumbs flying all over the couch, “Was saving your life not enough for you?”

Sam squinted his eyes but smiled, “Oh, that counts?”

“Duh!”

“Okay, then I did get you something.”

“What?”

Sam got up off the couch, using one crutch to hobble across the room, reaching under the lip of the fireplace, before pulling out a small, unwrapped box, tossing it to his brother.

Dean raised an eyebrow, “Pretty half-assed, present, Sammy. Not gonna lie.”

He rolled his eyes, making his way back, stopping close to the front door, “Just open it.”

The elder did as instructed, brows’ creasing as he picked up what was inside, “A paintbrush?”

“Yep.”

Dean shared a confused look with Bobby, “I don’t get it.”

“Well,” he began pulling on his jacket, “You know how you always complain we’re not festive enough?”

Dean swallowed thickly, “… Yeah.”

Sam smirked before wrenching the door open, revealing a candy-cane coloured Impala, with reindeer antlers attached to the headlights, covered hood to bumper in about three tons of glitter, all wrapped up under a giant, red bow.

Dean was out in the yard in an instant, sputtering as he walked in circles around the car, “Wh-what… how did you… I…” his face had gone three shades whiter.

Sam stayed next to Bobby in the doorway, ear-splitting grin on his face as he recorded the reaction with his phone, “You haven’t even seen the best part yet.”

“T-there’s more?”

Sam could barely hold back his laughter, “Say her name.”

Deans’ confused eyes met his brothers’, “Say her…?” He turned back to the car, “Baby?”

Dean jumped back as the car roared to life, Christmas carols blasting through the speakers and Christmas lights began to light up in time with the music. The eldest Winchesters’ jaw dropped impossibly further at the display.

“He-he,” Bobby was nearly doubled over with laughter, wiping tears from his eyes, face red, “He’s gonna kill you, y’know.”

Sam stopped recording, shoving his phone back in his pocket and shrugged, “I think he’ll be a little distracted.”

He made his way over to where his brother was, jaw still agape, taking in every single inch of the decorated car. Ear-splitting grin on his face, Sam clapped his brother on the shoulder, “Merry Christmas, Dean.”


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Something About Thanksgiving




Started: Oct. 3rd

Finished: Nov. 8th

Words: 912

Sam x Jess


“Okay, so I know you don’t like Halloween,” Jess turned to look over her shoulder, smiling at the blindfolded giant being dragged behind her, “So I thought we could focus on a different holiday.”

Sams’ brows were creased with confusion, but a smile tugged at his lips as he was led into their dining room, “Oh? And what other holiday is there in October?”

Jess’ smile widened as she stopped, positioning the brunette at the end of the dining table, before gently removing the blindfold, “Ta-da!”

“W-what…” Sams’ eyes were wide as he starred at the table – it was a whole Thanksgiving feast: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and about half a million sides. He was surprised she got it all to fit on the table, and that the old foldable table hadn’t collapsed under the weight. “Jess,” he turned to his girl, confusion clouding his face, “This is Thanksgiving.”

“I know.” Jess gently pushed him down into a chair, “In Canada they celebrate Thanksgiving in October,” she shrugged, taking the seat beside him, “so I thought maybe we could make that our tradition.”

Sam tore his eyes away from the food to look up at the blonde, confusion still evident on his face, “But… what are we gonna celebrate in November?”

Jess’ smile slightly faded at the question, “Y-you don’t know?”

She sighed in disappointment as his face stayed the same, holding her head in her hands, “You’re right,” she stood, grabbing one of the dishes from the table, “This was a stupid idea.”

“Whoa, hey,” he stood, taking the dish, searching her eyes, “What’d I do?”

She studied his face, impatience growing, “You really can’t think of anything important in November? No important dates come to mind?”

Sam blinked in surprise before thinking, chewing his lip slightly as he did so, before shaking his head, “No, not really. Why?”

Jess rolled her eyes, stealing the dish back, “Oh, great. Good to know I mean nothing,” she stomped away into the kitchen.

“Whoa, what?” He followed her through the door, and she could feel his eyes on her back as she faced the counter, “What are you talking about?”

She took a deep breath before turning back to face him, “Our anniversary is in November, dumb-ass.”

Sam chuckled, “Oh.”

“Oh?” She crossed her arms across her chest, “That’s all you’ve got to say?”

He chuckled again, coming closer, wrapping his arms around her waist, “Our anniversary isn’t in November.”

“Yes it is. We met the first week of classes.”

Sams’ grin grew and he pulled her closer, shaking his head, “Nooo…”

“Uh, yes.” She took a few steps back, just out of his grasp, “How can you not remember? First day of class was November 2nd.”

He chuckled again, bringing her hand to his lips, peppering it with kisses, “I mean, that was the first week of class, but we met before that.”

“What?” She gave him an incredulous look, stealing her hand back, “No we didn’t.”

He nodded, taking another few steps closer, “Yes we did. We met at Johnny’s Halloween party.”

“What? No,” she shook her head, taking a step back, back hitting the counter, “The only guy I talked to at that party was blonde, and a complete mess. He claimed he was dressed as Ferris Bueller, but looked more like a trying-too-hard-jock to me. He ended up puking in the punch bowl before passing out on Sabrinas’ bed.”

“Uh-huh…”

She gave him a pointed look, “There is no way you’re going to convince me that that was you.”

He laughed, “Don’t you remember who came to collect said hot-mess after the party?”

She snorted, “Yeah. One of the gangliest guys’ I’ve ever seen.” she blinked in surprise, starring up at the giant, “No… no way that was you! You’re so…” she ran her eyes down his body, “muscular.”

He surged forward, wrapping her back up, “C’mon… you’ve never heard of working out?”

“I just didn’t think-” she let out a low whistle, “Damn. How could I not of known that was you?”

He placed a kiss to her forehead, “Like you said I was pretty gangly. You were way out of my league…” he smirked before pulling her by the hand back toward the dining room, “Or, so you thought.”

“Hey,” she swatted his arm, “You know that’s not why I’m with you.”

“I know,” he wrapped his arms around her again, leaning his head down to rest on her shoulder, “But I bet it helps.”

She let out a huff, starring at all the food, “What are we supposed to do now?”

“Well…” the giant eyed the bowl of mashed potatoes and smiled, before collecting her hair from her shoulders.

Jess raised an eyebrow at him, but took the hint and tied her hair up. Mischievous smile on his face, he made his way toward the table, sticking his hand into them, pulling out a fistful of potato with a wet smack. He raised an eyebrow at her, crooked smile on his face.

She shook her head, taking a few steps toward the table, “I went to all this work to cook all this food,” She gestured to the table, “I cooked literally everything.”

The smile slid from his face, and he replaced the potatoes, “…Sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry,” She picked up the dish of peas, scooping some into the spoon, smirking at him, “That just means it’s your job to clean up.”


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Changing Eye Colour (PHSH Effect #8)





Found the perfect royalty free image that fits your character, but they have the wrong coloured eyes? Tired of wading through endless ‘guy with beard’ pics trying to find the perfect one?

This tutorials’ for you!

This month, I’ll show you how to change any picture of a person, (or animal, or anything else with an iris) eye colour.

As I’m hoping you’ve picked up at this point in this series, these effects aren’t nearly as hard as one might think. There is more than one way to achieve this, but I’ll show you the easier way that I’ve found.

 

Alright, so to go from this:

to this:

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Changing Eye Colour - Purple Eye - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, phsh help, writing help

Follow below:

 

Step 1. Open your image in Photoshop. Make a duplicate layer of it. (Just in case you mess up) For this tutorial, I’ll just be using the dog photo from above.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Changing Eye Colour - Duplicate Dog - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, phsh help, writing help

Step 2. Using the Eliptical Marque Tool, draw a circle around the iris (the part of the eye with colour).

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Changing Eye Colour - Iris Selected - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, phsh help, writing help

Step 3. Go to the top Menu bar and go to Select – Modify – Feather and set it to 10px. The circle you drew should get a tad smaller – don’t worry, it’s supposed to.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Changing Eye Colour - Select Modify Feather - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, phsh help, writing help

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Changing Eye Colour - Feather 10px - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, phsh help, writing help

Step 4. Go back up to the top Menu and go to Layer – Create Clipping Mask

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Changing Eye Colour - Layers Create Clipping Mask - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, phsh help, writing help

Step 5. Once you did that, then go back up to Image, and this time go to Adjustments – Black and White, and make all the values 0.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Changing Eye Colour - Image Adjustments Black and White - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, phsh help, writing help

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Changing Eye Colour - Black and White 0 - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, phsh help, writing help

Step 6. Now to actually change the eye colour. Go to the Layers panel, down at the bottom, and go to Solid Colour, and pick a colour. Literally any colour you want.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Layers, Solid Colour - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, phsh help, writing help, changing eye colour

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Solid Colour - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, phsh help, writing help

Step 7. If the colour goes outside the iris, that’s okay. If that happens, you can just use the Eraser tool and erase around the part that’s outside the eye. Also, if the colour is very clearly over the pupil, you can erase that part too, to make it look more realistic. Or, (sometimes) you can get away with changing the Opacity of the colour, so it’s not so obviously over the pupil.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Opacity - phsh effect, phsh tutorial, phsh help, writing help

Aaaand, that’s it! Yep, told you it was easy. Now you can delete the duplicated layer and don’t forget the most important step of all: Save!


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Removing a Background from an Image (PHSH Effect #7)





Like Removing a Foreground Object, removing the background from an image isn’t as hard as it may first appear.

We kind of already did this in the making a background transparent tutorial, too. But this one is different in that we’re not making the background transparent, we’re removing it completely so you could put another picture in the background. Admittedly, turning the background transparent and then just transplanting the new background may be easier, but it’s important to know both.

So, here we go!

I’m just going to use the same beach picture I used for the Removing a Foreground Object tutorial, because it’s a pretty clear-cut foreground/background object.

Step 1. Start with your image (in this case, the beach image).

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Removing a Background Object - Beach Coconut - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorials, photoshop effects

Working on the beach image layer, use the Quick Select Tool (in the left tool bar) and select the area you want to keep. In this case, it’d be the coconut.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Removing a Background Object - Quick Select Foreground Object - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorials

Step 2. In the Select menu (at the top of the screen), select Refine Edge. In the dialogue box that pops up, change Shift Edge to 10% and Contrast to 15%. In the Output Settings, (at the bottom of the dialogue box), change the output to a Layer Mask.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Removing a Background Object - Refine Edge Dialogue Box

Hit Okay, and boom! Background is gone!

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Removing a Background Object - Removed Background

Now that the background is removed, you can add whatever background to the image you want.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Removing a Background Object - New Background

Obviously this one doesn’t quite look like it belongs, because I left the shadow in the selection (which is the wrong colour of the sand), but you should get the gist. You can always change the lighting, add more effects, to touch it up to make it look like it belongs more than just copy/pasting it into another photo. (In fact, I recommend you do so it doesn’t look like it’s actually photoshop-ed)

But that’s it! Not too hard, right?

Next month, due to it being Halloween, I’ll be showing you how to add blood drops to borders, words, etc.


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Removing a Foreground Object (PHSH Effect #6)





Last month, I showed you how to make a transparent background, this month, I’ll show you how to remove a foreground object.

You’ll learn how to turn this:

To that.

Don’t worry, like most of the effects I’ve shown you so far, it’s very simple to do, and is an amazing time saver.




Step 1. To keep things simple, I’ll just use the same beach picture.

Step 2. Choose the Lasso tool, and draw a circle around the object you want to remove. Be sure to get a bit of the background into the selection.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Removing a Foreground Object - Lasso Tool

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Removing a Foreground Object - Lasso Selection

Step 3. Go up to Edit – Fill, and choose Content Aware from the drop-down.

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Removing a Foreground Object - Edit - Fill

AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Removing a Foreground Object - Content Aware Box

Click ‘Okay’ and the object should have disappeared, and now should be replaced with the background. Click back to the Lasso tool and Deselect, and you can now save your new foreground object removed picture.

And that’s it! Told you it was easy.

It does get a little trickier if there’s different parts to the background. For example, if you’re trying to remove multiple objects from a more complicated image, it may get ‘confused’ and remove an object in the sky by replacing it with ground, and an object on the ground with sky. This is slightly annoying, but you can always undo and redo this effect as many times as needed until you get the object out. I actually had this problem while I was working on my newest book (The Haunted Corpse) cover.

This was the original image:

The Haunted Corpse Original Picture

And this is my cover:

The Haunted Corpse Cover

I got the moon and birds out without much issue, but the lady standing to the very right of the castle was a different story. Because I’d replaced objects in the sky, every time I tried to replace her, it kept replacing her with clouds, instead of with trees. It took a while, but I finally got it. If that happens to you, I recommend removing the objects one at a time. So, remove an object from the image, save, re-open, remove the second object, save, etc. It takes longer, but it will keep photoshop from getting confused. (Hopefully)

Next month, I’ll show you the opposite, how to remove backgrounds from the image.


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Vac-Ache-tion

Started: 19.08.21

Finished: 19.08.22

Words: 496

Samifer (implied), Gen., Fluff


“Why are you being such a baby about this?” Sam raised a questioning eyebrow, “Just come with us.”

“Why won’t you take no for answer?” Lucifer grit his teeth, hands balling into fists before he disappeared into thin air.

Whoa, The hunter sat on the edge of the couch, running a hand through his hair, what the hell was that about?

 

 

Hey.

Sam sat up in bed, looking around the dark room, hey.

Relax, I’m not there.

Oh, he settled back against the pillows, going back to his laptop, are you ready to tell me what the hell that was all about?

He heard a sigh, and could picture the fallen angel scrubbing a hand down his face, I shouldn’t of got that worked up.

No shit.

But you should’ve stopped pushing it, too.

I wasn’t trying to push you. Sams’ stopped on the line he was reading, not actually taking in the information anyway, I just thought you’d have fun. And I’d really like it if you came with us.

I know… I just… I can’t…

Can’t what?

 I can’t swim! There are you happy now?

Sam blinked, you can’t swim?

No.

Sam closed the laptop, doing his best to keep his laughter at bay, that’s it?

… What do you mean ‘that’s it’?

That doesn’t mean you can’t come with us! The giant took some deep breaths, unable to keep from chuckling, we don’t have to go swimming you know.

No?

No! We could go fishing, on a boat ride, sun tan… there’s tons of other things we could do.

“They won’t make fun of me?”

The brunette turned, soft smile on his face as the angel appeared in the doorway, “No. They won’t even have to know.”

The angel bit his lip, nervous look on his face, “It does sound like fun.”

“Yeah…” Sam slipped off the bed, padding over to his boyfriend, “So you’ll come?”

“I guess.” Lucifer gave a small smile, “As long as you’re sure.”

“I’m one hundred percent certain.”

“Okay…”

Sam couldn’t help but smile, “Is that a yes?”

Lucifer nodded, smile widening, “It’s a yes. Who knows? I might be great at cottage life.”

“Well I wouldn’t go that far,” Sam wrapped him up in a hug, “but I do think you’d enjoy it a lot.” He pecked his cheek, stifling a yawn, “Does that mean we can go to bed now?”

Soft smile on his face, the fallen angel nodded. He backed out of the hug, pulling the hunter by the hand back to the bed, turning just in front of it, brows furrowed in confusion, “What makes you so sure they won’t make fun of me?”

“Trust me,” Sam flopped down on the bed, stretching slightly as he yawned again, “they won’t be able to say shit.”

Lucifer raised an eyebrow at the hunters’ confidence, “Why?”

The hunter flashed him a thousand-watt smile, before pulling him down onto of him, “Dean can’t swim either.”


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I’ll Wreck This If I Have To




Started: 16.11.11

Finished: 19.07.18

Words: 4,273

Gen., Wee!Chester, Destiel (implied)


“Rachel smells bad.”

“Dean,” Cas craned his neck to see the page, “that’s not what it says.”

“No, it is, I swear!” Dean held the book up out of view with a chuckle.

“But who’s Rachel?”

Dean blinked and jumped back off the bed, after realizing he was snuggled against the angel. What the hell?

Cas’ brow furrowed in concern, “Is everything alright?”

“Yeah, baby, everything’s fine,” the blonde took a step back toward the bed, expression softening.

Whoa, he stopped mid-stride and shook his head, baby? Since when do I call him baby?

Cas wrapped the blanket tighter around himself, trying to swallow down his fear, “Dean?”

“Yeah?” He turned his gaze back to the man on the bed, wait… “Cas, why are we in bed?”

“… Because we always sleep like that?” Cas got off the bed, coming around to stand in front of his boyfriend.

The blonde rubbed at his temples, and looked around the room, this place is pretty nice,  “… Why aren’t we in a motel?”

“Motel?”

Dean moved toward the bedroom door, “Where the hell’s Sam?”

“Sam’s across the street, with Gabriel, where they always are…,” Cas stared at him, tilting his head to one side, “Are you sure you’re feeling alright?”

Damn he’s cute when he does that. “Hey!” Dean spun around, eyes darting around the room, “I didn’t think that!”

Cas took a nervous step back, “Didn’t think what?”

“I do not think you’re cute.”

The hurt expression on the angel’s face made him feel a stab of guilt, “Damn, Cas, no, that’s not what I meant. Come here,” the blonde outstretched his arms and took a step toward the raven-haired man.

“Dean…,” Cas took another step backward and avoided his eyes, “are you… have you started drinking again?”

Dean blinked at the accusation and shook his head, “Cas-”

“Don’t lie to me,” the shorter man sniffed and turned away from his boyfriend, hiding his tears.

Dean closed his eyes and took a deep breath, it’s not right to keep this from him… He opened his eyes and looked around widely, what the fuck?

“Cas, what’s going on?”

“I knew it,” Cas wiped at his eyes before he slid the comforter off the bed and threw it at the stunned man.

“Cas? What’re you doing?”

“Maybe a night on the couch will jog your memory,” he strode over and opened the bedroom door, pointing out into the hall, face hard.

“Cas-”

“Go.”

“Cas, please, help me out. I don’t know what’s going on.”

“De-an!” A sing-song voice called from behind the pair.

Dean turned around to see Cas standing a few feet away from him, wearing an unbuttoned shirt and shorts, standing just in front of an ocean. What the fuck? Dean turned back to where the first Cas was, and was surprised to see it was no longer a bedroom, but instead a beach. How the hell…? He walked forward a few steps, eyes scanning the surrounding area, half hoping he’d see the bedroom somewhere.

“Dean?”

He turned back to the smaller man, fighting over which question he should ask first, “Cas, where are we?”

“We’re on vacation silly,” Cas wrapped his arms around his neck and pecked him on the lips.

The blonde wrapped his arms around the shorter man’s waist and pulled his body closer.

Whoa! Dean jumped backward, eyes wide with shock, how is this happening?

“Who’s doing that?”

Cas tilted his head to one side, confused, “Are you alright?”

“What happened to the bedroom?”

“Bedroom?” The raven-haired man gave him a once over, “you could at least buy me dinner first.”

“No,” Dean shook his head, what is happening to me? “I mean, how’d we get here?”

“Ah,” he chuckled before looping his arm around the blonde’s, pulling him closer to the water, “well… I just needed a pie shell, but I ended up taking you home instead.”

“Took me…what?”

“Oh c’mon,” he laughed and rested his head against the taller man’s arm, “I know you don’t remember the details, but you have to remember that part.”

“Of course I remember, I just like the way you tell it,” the blonde smiled and pressed a kiss to the top of his head.

What the hell am I doing? Dean straightened and scanned the beach again, unsure of what he was looking for, what is going on?

“Dean, are you alright?”

“Don’t you remember the conversation we were just having?”

Cas’ brows furrowed in confusion, “we were talking about signing up for a surf class.”

“No, we were…” his protest died on his lips, not sure what he’d accomplish by arguing. How does he not remember? He took a few steps away, maybe this isn’t Cas… “You needed a pie shell?”

“Yeah… for Home Ec., one of the assignments was to make a pie.”

“Home Ec?” Dean backed up further, instinctively reaching to his hip for his gun, “Since when do angels go to high school?”

“Angel?”

“Yeah,” he silently cursed as he felt he was wearing swim shorts, “I mean, I knew you guys had to go through training, but I didn’t think cooking would be a priority.”

Cas took a small step toward him, “Training? What are you talking about?”

Definitely not Cas, shit, “What? Did they scrub your brain again? Or have you been here so long you actually forgot about headquarters?”

“I think you’ve got too much sun,” Cas was beside him, guiding him back toward the resort in a matter of seconds, “how about we go lie down for a while?”

“No,” he wretched himself out of the shorter man’s grip and backed up a few feet, “so you’re not an angel?”

Cas ran a hand through his hair and looked around the beach, “Of course not, angels aren’t real.”

“What the hell do you mean angels aren’t real?”

“Will you keep your voice down?” he felt a hand slap over his mouth, “Do you want to give the whole nest our location?”

He blinked and saw Cas – or someone who looked a hell of a lot like the Cas he knew – inches away from his face, furious.

“C’s?”

He took his hand off the Winchesters’ mouth but continued to glare at him, “The Alpha should be upstairs in one of the back bedrooms. That is, if you didn’t just give away our ambush plan.”

What the…? Feeling his hunter instincts kick in – although he was still confused – he followed the man up the stairs, “Cas,” he kept his voice low as they approached one of the doors, “What are we doing?”

The raven-haired man rolled his eyes at the hunter, “Going after the Alpha Vamp.” At the blank stare, he blinked at the hunter, moving closer, “Maybe you did hit your head harder then I thought.” He touched two fingers to the blondes’ forehead before shaking his head, “You should be fine,” he stared into the hunters’ eyes, face serious, “You do remember how to hunt, right?”

“Of course I know how to hunt.” Dean huffed, how can I explain without sounding crazy? “Something… weird is going on, Cas. I- shit, I don’t even know how to explain it.”

Cas nodded before slowly reaching for the doorknob, “I’ll examine you in more depth after we kill the Alpha.”

Maybe it’s some sort of curse… he pulled the machete out of his jacket, hand white-knuckling around the handle, or African Dream Root. That would explain all the… scene changes.

“De?”

The blonde sighed and turned to his left, surprised to see a five-year-old, who looked oddly like Sam did when he was younger. He looked around, not that surprised to see the scene had changed yet again, and he was now in a dingy motel room, at least this is familiar.

He strode over to the bed the child was on, “Where’re your parents, Bud?”

The brunette tilted his head to one side, bangs falling into his eyes, “… Dad’s working.”

Shoulda seen that coming, he sat on the edge of the bed, doing his best to keep calm, “Okay… what’s your name?”

This caused the 5-year-old to squeal with laughter, flopping backwards against the pillows, “It’s me, De! Told you you wouldn’t rec’nize me!”

Definitely gotta be Dream Root, “… Sammy?”

The kid nodded, smiling a big, toothy grin at the blonde, and he noted the missing front tooth. Sammy reached under his pillow and pulled the tooth out, holding it out for the blonde to inspect.

This is too weird. I don’t think I’ve dreamt about Sam this young since… ever. Dean took the tooth and blew out a whistle, “This came out of you? No way.”

Sammy giggled again, snatching the tooth back from his brother, satisfied smile on his face, “Told you it was loose!”

“Okay, smarty-pants,” Dean chuckled, rubbing his hand at the back of his neck, how am I gonna wake up? “Whaddya say we get you to sleep now?”

Sam poked out his bottom lip, shaking his head, “But I’m not tired!”

Oh!  I know. Don’t really want him to see it though. “If you don’t go to sleep, the Tooth Fairy can’t get your tooth,” The blonde got up off the bed, making his way over to the bathroom.

Sammys’ eyes went wide before he dove under the covers, “I didn’t know you had to be asleep!”

“Yep, just like Santa.” Dean stopped in the doorway, turning back to the bed, “So you’ll sleep?”

The five-year-old nodded his head so violently his bangs shook wildly around, before he all but head-butted the pillow, squeezing his eyes shut. Dean smiled at him before closing the bathroom door, locking it.

He plucked his fathers’ razor off the side of the sink, digging out one of the blades, stopping as he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror. Whoa, I didn’t think I’d be younger, he shook his head at his younger reflection, turning his attention back to the razor blade, bringing it to his left wrist, time to wake up.




 

Dean groaned, stretching his arms out over his head, bed sheets. That’s either good or… He sat up slowly, looking around before shaking his head, damn it. He was back in the fancy bedroom. If I wasn’t dreaming, then what the hell-

Wait a minute, Dean slid out of bed and crouched on the floor, peering down at the trim on the bottom of the wall, what is this? He jumped back as he saw the thing move, is it a bug? Whoa! Definitely not a bug, he crept a bit closer as he watched the thing jump in front of him. Carefully, he stretched one hand toward it, picking the end of it up off the floor, it looks like… words? His brows’ furrowed as he turned it around in his hand, silently lip-reading. “Rachel smells bad.”

“Dean,” Cas craned his neck to see the page, “that’s not what it says.”

“No, it is, I swear!” Dean held the book up out-

What the hell? This is… me? Whoa! He nearly dropped it as it as it leapt forward in his hand again, it gets bigger every time I think something? Where the hell did this come from? He looked around the rest of the room, and saw that the string went all the way around the base of the wall, and snaked its way under the door, guess I’m going on an adventure.

Dean began wrapping the string around his hand, doing his best to tie it up so he could move, this has got to be some kind of curse or something. He sighed as the string expanded again and fell from his hand. How am I supposed to carry this if it gets bigger every time I- He stood, eyes catching on the pillows on the bed, worth a shot. He strode over, shaking the closest pillow out of it’s case before scooping up as much of the string as he could, before slinging the sack over his shoulder and heading for the door, this ends now.

 

 

She rubbed at her tired eyes before reaching for her coffee cup, glancing at the time on the laptop, alright, just finish this paragraph and then you can go to bed. She sighed before cracking her knuckles, stifling a yawn, alright, come on, girl. Crunch time. She poised her hands over the keyboard starring at the word document that was sitting open in front of her, cursor blinking unapologetically. Like it’s mocking me.

She sighed again before deflating, shoulders slumping forward, what is wrong with me? It’s just a fic. It shouldn’t be this hard. She lowered her head to the table in front of her, groaning, why can’t I figure out how to end this stupid thing?

A rustling noise from outside made her bring her head back up, she paused the music she was listening to, holding her breath as she listened. There was what sounded like a bang, as if someone hit the side of her house. What the hell? Who would be here at, she glanced at the clock on her laptop, two in the morning? Damn. She got up slowly from her desk and made her way out into the hall, leaning over the railing as the banging noise continued, maybe it’s a burglar. She crept down the stairs, careful to avoid the creaky spots as to not alert whoever was outside, or a murderer.

Okay, no, stop it. Why do you always go there? She shook her head before making her way over to the front door, peering out the peephole, cursing to herself as she saw a man standing on the porch. I can’t believe I was right. She watched him for a minute, brows furrowing in confusion, what is he…? The man checked behind him before kneeling down, inserting what looked like a pin into her deadbolt.

Oh my God! She took a few steps back, heart beginning to pound in her chest, shit, what do I do? What do I do? She watched in mild fascination as the deadbolt turned, unlocking. Shit, shit, shit, she raced back up the stairs, closing the door to her office, before all but jumping back into her desk chair, I can’t believe this is actually happening. Nothing exciting ever happens to me. Okay, not the time for that, she shook her head, c’mon, you’ve written a B&E a million times, what are you supposed to do? Frantic eyes searched the top of her desk, before she spotted her phone. She snatched it just as she heard the front door open, shit. She slid under her desk, thanking her past self that she ended up going with the bigger desk.

She took a deep breath, failing to calm her racing heart as she unlocked her phone, starring at the keypad, oh my God, how do you forget the emergency number? She raked her brain, tensing her body as she thought, c’mon! Now’s not the time to be scared! Her eyes burned as she starred at the phone screen, before it faded out, and locked. She listened as the man walked around below her, maybe he’ll just steal something and leave.

She heard the bottom step creak, and she held her breath, shit, shit, shit. She unlocked the phone again, and felt a bolt of lightening hit her brain, 9-1-1, she punched in the numbers and shook her head, I’m such an idiot. She held the phone up to her ear and held her breath, wait… what do I even say?

I’m sorry. All our operators are currently busy. Please stay on the line and we’ll get to your call as soon as we can.

What the hell? Since when does 9-1-1 have a hold feature? Her knuckles began to turn white around the edge of the phone as she heard footsteps approach the door, please don’t come in, please don’t come in…

Of course, she heard the door swing open, and what sounded like clicks on the hardwood floor, hey, that sounds like- She cut herself off as her dog came around the back of the desk, licking her face. She pet the dogs head and did her best to get it off of her, I thought you were supposed to be a guard dog?

“Hello?”

She closed her eyes and stopped petting the dog, maybe if I don’t move he’ll leave.

“I know you’re under there.”

Guess the jig’s up, she took a deep breath, and crawled out from under the desk, peaking over the top to see the blonde standing on the other side of the desk, he looks angry. She got up, leaning her one arm on her desk and hoped her face didn’t show how scared shitless she was, “H-hi.”

“So it’s you,” the man dropped the pillow case he’d been holding on the floor and took a step forward.

“Please, don’t kill me!” She involuntarily took a step back, holding her hands up in front of her, real smooth, girl.

The blonde blinked in surprise, “Kill you? I don’t want to kill you.”

“Oh,” she cautiously took a step forward, easing herself down into her desk chair, “Then… what do you want? You can steal anything, just please, don’t take my laptop.”

“I don’t want to steal-” He cut himself off as his eyes shot to the laptop that was sitting open on the desk. He came around the front of the desk, squinting at the word document that was sitting open. His eyes widened in realization before turning back to the girl, “What is this?”

“Uhm,” she swallowed thickly, rolling her chair backward as he came closer, “A-a story.”

“Why’re you writing about me?”

She blinked in surprise, “What? No, I’m writing about-” She rolled closer, looking between the screen and the man standing in front of her, eyes going wide as she saw his features light up in the faint glow of the screen, “Oh my God. You’re Dean?”

“Duh.” He pointed to the screen, eyes narrowing, “What the hell are you doing? Who gave you the right to write what I say and do, huh?”

“I, uhm, well…” her mind was racing, “Y-you’re not supposed to be real.”

“Yeah, cause I have a choice.” He gave her a pointed look, “Seriously, what the hell? How long have you been doing this?”

She lowered her eyes to the ground, “W-well, uhm… it’s been a few years.”

Years?”

She nodded meekly, “Y-yeah. People really like it, too. But, wait,” she turned her eyes back to him, “How did you get out of the story?”

“…What?”

“The story,” she pointed toward the computer screen, rolling herself closer, “Look, I left you in your and Cas’ bedroom,” she glanced at him and sighed at the confused look on his face, “You were in a fictional place. The bedroom? It doesn’t exist – I made it up. So how did you get from Imaginary Land to the real world?”

He let out a breath as he straightened up, running a hand through his hair, “Shit if I know.”

“This is weird,” she opened her internet browser, starring at the empty search bar, “I don’t even know where to begin to figure this out.”

“Can’t you just…” He sat on the edge of the desk, letting out a heavy sigh, “I don’t know, stop writing about me?”

“Pfft, no,” she chuckled, “The fandom would riot.”

“Well,” he chewed his lip, eyes on the pillow case, “Wait, you aren’t writing this part?”

“Am I– what? Oh, no,” She turned to him, “Do you see me typing?”

“Where did you leave off?” He got back up, walking over to the laptop, “Maybe that’s the clue.”

“Uuuhm,” she minimized the browser, before re-reading the story, “I left you… in the bedroom, you were just getting kicked out by Cas.”

“Damn, guess that’s not it,” he sulked back over to the corner of the desk.

“Wait, why not?”

“I was… scene jumping? After that. I was on a beach, and then I was with Sam, but he was little, then I was hun-” he cut himself off as he noticed the look on her face, “What?”

“Well,” she swallowed thickly, “I… I was having trouble thinking of what kind of fic to make, so I started and scraped a few ideas. One was you hunting, one was a Wee!Chesters fic – that would’ve been you with Sam when he was little – and one of you on vacation with Cas.”

He got up, brows furrowed in confusion as he made his way to the pillow case. He brought it over, handing it to me, “Explain this, then.”

Intrigued and no longer scared, she opened the bag, peering inside, “It’s empty.”

“Exactly. Wait, what?” He snatched it back, turning it upside down, shaking it out, “How is it empty?”

“Uhm…” She rolled over to it, picking it up off the floor, “What was in it?”

He hung his head, pointing to the computer screen, “That.”

“… My story was in this bag?”

“Yes!” He took it out of her hands, turning it over, shaking his head, “I followed a string of words, from the bedroom all the way here.” At my disbelieving look, he shrugged, gesturing to my laptop, “Maybe it’s leaking words?”

“Leaking words?”

“I don’t know!” He ran a hand through his hair again, blowing out a breath in frustration, “Weirder things have happened to me.”

“True, but you’re fictional. Or, were fictional.” She tapped her nails on her desk as she thought, starring at the computer, “Maybe… maybe it’s some sort of curse?”

“That’s what I said!” He threw his hands up in exasperation, “Is that even a thing here?”

“What? Magic?” At his nod she shrugged, “Some people be-”

“No, no, no.” He held up one hand, “Don’t give me that crap. This is a yes or no question. Does magic exist here?”

“Yes. But, before you get too excited, it doesn’t exist in the same ways as you’re used to.” At his confused expression she sighed, “Okay, to be honest, there’s no real concrete proof one way or the other. Like, we could throw a bunch of shit in a bowl and say a chant, but it’s not likely to-”

“Great,” he clapped his hands, making her jump, “Let’s do it.”

“I’m sorry, do what?”

“Un-curse me! Or send me back or whatever.” He gestured to the laptop again, “C’mon, get me the ingredients.”

Her jaw dropped, he can’t be serious, she rolled back toward the laptop, typing into the search bar. “Okay, I’ll try,” She shook her head, “but don’t be too disappointed if we-” she cut herself off as the search results came up, “Huh.”

Dean came around to look at the screen, before lightly hitting her arm, “Told you.”

“I honestly didn’t think that would work.” She clicked open one article and began skimming it, guess the internet really does have everything.

“See?” He shook his head at her, “Most people have no idea what’s really out there.”

“I should have all this stuff. Seems straight-forward enough.” She rolled back, getting up out of the chair, walking out of the room, before returning a moment later with an arm full of candles, pack of chalk, a bowl and a lighter, “Kinda reminds me of a reverse Tulpa.”

He glanced up at her from the laptop, “How do you know-”

“Dude,” She held up a hand as she deposited the contents of her arms onto her desk, before she began placing the candles down in a circle on the floor, “I’ve watched every season of your TV show, I know pretty much as much about the supernatural as you do.”

“TV show?” He shook his head, walking over to stand inside the forming circle, “I’m going to kill Chuck.”

“Actually, here,” she grabbed his arm, dragging him a bit so he was centered, “A guy named Eric Kripke invented you.”

“Great.” He sighed, eyes on the girl as she moved around, lighting all the candles, “You sure this is gonna work?”

“Well,” she took the chalk out of the pack and began drawing, “The spell on the website says it’s to summon a fictional character here.”

“So?”

“So,” she grunted as she almost tripped over one of the candles, “If you’re already here, and we do this summoning, it might send you back, or it might do nothing.”

“Oh.”

She looked up as she completed the circle, wiping her hands on her pants, “Don’t worry,” she gave him a cheeky grin, “If this doesn’t work, there were 1.8 billion other results.”

He chuckled before scratching the back of his neck, lowering his eyes to the floor, biting his lip.

“Hey,” her voice got him to look back at her, “Don’t be nervous. You’ve got the easy part.”

His brows creased, “How do you-” He shook his head, “Never mind.”

She turned the laptop so she could see it from the other side of the desk, before pulling out one of his hairs.

“Ow!”

“Oh, please,” she dropped the hair into the bowl on the floor, “I’ve seen you get tossed around by pretty much every supernatural creature out there.” She gave him a pointed look, “You expect me to believe that hurt?”

“Yeah!” He rubbed the spot for a moment.

She rolled her eyes before grabbing the pack of matches, lighting one, “Ready?”

He took in a deep breath before nodding.

“Alright,” she turned to look at the computer screen before letting it fall from her hand, “Let’s get you home.”


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Making a Transparent Background (PHSH Effect #5)





Alright, now that we’ve tackled some practical effects for pictures, it’s time to switch gears and show you how to edit the picture as a whole.

For this months’ tutorial, I’m going to show you how to change the background of a picture from the default white (or any other colour) to transparent. This is handy for, say, if you want to change the colour of the background, or if you’re making merch, and want the design to be available on an array of different coloured backgrounds.

This also comes in handy if you ever need to add a picture that has a background to your existing design. Instead of erasing around the foreground object, you can make the background transparent and then just place it. This can save you a lot of time. (Trust me)

Let’s get started.

First things first, you’re gonna need an image with a background you want to make transparent. For the purposes of this tutorial, I’ll just be using this:

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Making a Transparent Background - Tutorial Pic

Simple, yes, but the steps are the same no matter how complicated an image is.

Step 1. Make a new Colour Layer. It can be whatever colour you want.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Making a Transparent Background - Colour Layer

Step 2. Switch back to the image, and select the Magic Eraser. Click on the white spaces of the image, and the white should disappear.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Making a Transparent Background - Magic Eraser Selection

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Making a Transparent Background - Clicked White Space

Step 3. Continue using the magic eraser on the image until all the white is gone.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Making a Transparent Background - Done White Space

Step 4. Now that the white is gone, all we have to do is delete the Colour Layer. Do this by clicking and dragging it down to the trash can on the bottom right side in the Layers Panel.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Making a Transparent Background - Dragged Arrow Deletion




Once you delete the Colour Layer, you’ll see the background of the image change to grey and white checkers, this now means the background is transparent. You can now save this layer as is and use it for whatever backgrounds you want. Whether it be solid colours, or actual pictures, your transparent pic is now ready to use.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Making a Transparent Background - Grey and White Checkers

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Making a Transparent Background - Trans Lavender

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Making a Transparent Background - Trans Yellow

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Tutorial - Making a Transparent Background - Trans Beach

That wasn’t so hard, was it? Check out next months’ tutorial, where I’ll show you how to do this magic:


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