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    • abhorsen.

      May Bulletin   05/01/2018

      May's bulletin is up, with all kinds of interesting information (including a tool to mass transfer all reviews you received on HPFF to HPFT's archive). You can check it out +here.
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      Annual Member Survey   05/09/2018

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  1. just.a.willow.tree
    Latest Entry

    By just.a.willow.tree,

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    Hello, HPFTers! Welcome to another edition of In the Spotlight, a monthly post in the Prefect Blog that features interviews with the winners of special awards and a review column for the Story of the Month. ^_^ This month, in addition to the interviews with the Order of Merlin winners, the prefects are happy to present interviews with the two Head Students winners and the author of May's Story of the Month! (Because this month's post is rather long, definitely feel free to minimize each quote box once you're done reading. :P)

    We hope you enjoy! :wub: 

     

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    Today we're featuring @RoxiMalfoy, the winner of the Order of Merlin last month, and @Ineke, who is this month's winner! Both are extremely well-deserving of their awards, and so hopefully you'll get to know them a little better through these interviews.

    RoxiMalfoy

    Quote

    How long have you been a part of the Harry Potter fanfiction community?

    I discovered the anomaly that is Harry Potter fanfiction in March of 2008, via a web search for something that was related to the early planning stages of my first draft of Love, Not War at the time... I was amazed to find that there was an actual name for what I was doing; with writing my own take on Draco Malfoy and his family, and that LOTS of other people were doing this writing thing too!! So, naturally, I was quickly sucked into this amazing little corner of the internet that is HP FanFiction, lol!!:yay: I officially joined the old forums on March 28th, 2008. And after much encouragement and help with some story titles and summaries and such, I posted the 1st chapter of my Novel on December 9th, 2008... And the rest, as they say, is history!! I recently just celebrated my Ten-Year anniversary in this Community, and it has certainly been a wild ride over the last Decade. Just typing that is like... WOW!! I certainly never imagined when I clicked on that search result link that I’d be dedicating a third of my life to all of this, lol! But I am beyond grateful that I found this community of wonderful writers and supportive friends & family members!! And I am certainly looking forwards to seeing what the next ten years will bring as well. :hug:

    What is your favorite part about working behind-the-scenes?

    Oh gosh. This is such a difficult one to narrow down, because I really do love doing all the things, lol!! Planning/helping to run the House Cup events, posting and interacting with people on Social Media, and then there are also SO MANY cool new projects that we’ve got brewing right now with our new ML Team too!! But I suppose that if I had to choose just one thing to call my favorite part... Like, I know you're all going to laugh at me - but don’t judge, lol!! xD I’d probly have to say that I really do enjoy having a legitimate reason for it to be considered socially acceptable to openly talk to strangers on the internet, lol!! :roflol: 

    All jokes aside though, I used to be SOO shy prior to joining the Staff Team. I mean, I was a background lurker for years. And I was quite okay with nobody knowing who I was, and just going about my own business from day to day. :$ So when I became a Staffer, and had to start PM’ing members more often, and welcoming the new people to the site, and interacting with people on Social Media on like a daily basis; that was a HUGE adjustment for me!! It very much took me out of my comfort zone; and I know that I was so very socially awkward in the beginning, haha!! But now, however, I absolutely LOVE starting up conversations with new people!! It really has become one of my favorite things - I really do not know a stranger anymore, lol! (Thank you, HPFT.) :P But I just love telling new members all about the site, and helping out with whatever I can if they ever have questions about anything. And I love being able to just chat with people about random things; be it life, music, art, food, fandoms, your favorite color - I will literally talk to you over just about anything you want to talk about, lol!!! So like, when I say that my inbox is ALWAYS OPEN guys - I seriously do mean that, haha!!  :discuss:

    Favorite type of fanfiction to read/write?

    One of my favorite things to both read AND write is Alternate Universe, because I enjoy seeing the story in an alternate perspective. So many different story-lines could have taken place had just one minor detail been changed, and it’s always been interesting to me to explore those other paths that could have been taken. We already have the MAIN Cannon Story, and it’s a really great one!! But I like to imagine other alternate possibilities that could've happened within the HP universe as well. ;) (Like what if Sirius had not fallen through the veil, or what if Harry had been sorted into Slytherin, or my personal favorite; what if Draco had accepted Dumbledore’s offer for help/protection at the end of HBP - just to name a few.) And that’s kinda the beauty in fanfiction, really, is that you don’t have to follow the books 100% to a T. You are not limited to the story-lines of what happened in those seven novels only. 

    Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a well-written Cannon Compliant fic every now and then, and I’ve seen several really great ones in my day, too. But for me, personally, AU is where it’s at. Most of the stories I’ve read (that were not requested of me) were either AU in some way or another, or they were NextGen fics. I just love the imagination and creativity that goes into an Alternate Universe story. You can write an AU and still have all of the characters be Cannon Compliant, and maintain certain key elements of the main storyline, and just change a few things - or several even - and have it be fantastic! If it is properly executed, then I for one have got no quarrels with people “changing the story” or any other accusation that’s been thrown at AU’s in the past, lol. Bring them to me, and I will give them all the love!! :hearteyes:

    What is your OTP?

    I am not a romance person. Not in the slightest. Not in real life, and certainly not in my choices of what to read and/or watch at the movies (or on TV) for that matter. That being said, if it’s included in a fic, and is not the overall arching theme, and it is done right; or if I'm in the mood for something fluffy (which is really rare. I’ll take my stories nice and dark, and full angst, please!) Then I like to read the occasional James/Lily story. Because, Marauders. And because we all know it ends with a baby Harry, lol. Oh, and there's hella angst at the end of that love story too, so… yeah. Also, I've been getting really into Scorbus a lot lately too! Like real talk, those two should have been together at the end of CC. I confess my disappointment in the ending of that play (sorry Ineke)!! ^_^ 

    What is your favorite non-HP fandom?

    Oh, this is by far the easiest question you've asked - hands down, lol!! :twothumbsup: My first love, even before Harry Potter, has and will always be: The Lord of the Rings... Truth be told, HP was actually kind of my LotR rebound, lol!! I mean, sure, I liked Harry Potter prior to 2003. I'd seen the first two movies in theaters at least, and I had a copy of the first book that was given to me by my friend Sarah (in January of 2001 - Yes, I know. I have a weird thing about remembering dates) that I had read a few chapters of. But I didn't fully immerse myself into the Wizarding World until the fall of 2003, after the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy had ended, and I needed something new to fill that empty void in my heart... :poke:

    Fun Fact: Once the last Harry Potter movie came out, I did have a rather mild case of Post-Potter depression... But then I got superrr into the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series!! I'm a really huge fan of those books too - Just NOT the movies tho. Please don't ask me about those disgraceful films. Those movies were really unacceptable... <_< But yeah, lol. Percy Jackson is like my 3rd favorite fandom!!! 

    Tell us your favorite part of being at HPFT!

    The people, for sure!! I absolutely LOVE the feeling of community that we have here at HPFT. Everyone is just so supportive, and accepting, and loving, and caring, and helpful, and kind. No matter what you need; be it help with a plot idea, feedback on a new chapter, title/summary help, input on your characterizations, someone to squee with over the latest Fantastic Beasts trailer, or moral support after seeing the new Avengers Infinity War movie, or even if something is bothering you IRL and you just need to vent to someone outside of the situation (again, my inbox is always open, and I am here for you, loves) - there is always someone here within the HPFT community to chat with; who can talk you through just about anything!! :) 

    The staff and the members have always been super open and accepting of ALL people, regardless of age/sex/gender/religion/sexual orientation/fandom preference/etc… and I just love the atmosphere that has been built here SO much. I love being a part of something bigger, and being able to give back to this beautiful community that has given me so much over the years... Yes my schedule is crazy, and yes it is true that this occupies a lot of my free-time IRL. But I honestly wouldn’t change a thing about ANY of it!! I have loved every single second of being on Staff here, because HPFT has become my Internet-Home. I love it here so much, and I am so very thankful for all of the friendships that I have made through this beautiful site. :wub:  So I will happily do anything and everything that I can to serve and protect this place (until it is no longer within my ability to do so). I love being on the Staff Team here at HPFT. It truly has been a blessing, and it has changed my life over the last ten months, in ways that I never even thought possible. You guys all truly do mean the world to me, I hope you know that.  :grouphug: 

    Ineke

    Quote

    How long have you been a part of the Harry Potter fanfiction community?

    Oh good god. Eh. I think I started reading - and writing - fanfics since 2005? Like, late 2005, though I always had more interest in role-play than in fic writing for a long time (though that's probably mainly due to insecurity, my muse, and because I felt more at home at the RPG of the site). As for being part of the English community - I don't know. I think it's maybe since... 2008? That's my first published on ff.net anyway. It's a long time regardless!

    What is your favorite part about working behind-the-scenes?

    Oh that is a hard one! I think I've always been more of a behind-the-scenes person, to be honest, because I always loved doing more administrative stuff like make up lists and everything that can be handy for events or recalling things and that sort of thing. Aside from that, I always love that I have a bigger opportunity to help out members of the site and help the site in general, and it makes me happy if me helping out can make others happy too! Working on events and seeing everyone so enthusiastic also always helps - especially when we've been building up anticipation for a long time and then see the reactions. So it's a bit of everything, I reckon?

    Favorite type of fanfiction to read/write?

    Oh god. I love fluff, angst, romance - a good slowburn too, both to read and to write, even if I majorly suck at writing longer stories, because I never seem to be able to finish them. Though I do love reading a good mystery too.

    What is your OTP?

    HP wise: Hinny, but also Romione and Jily. (Also do Scorbus count because it's not canon and do Albus/Nova from dorm 2.6a series also count??? Because if so: those too.)

    Other fandom wise: River/Doctor (Doctor Who), Jake/Amy (Brooklyn 99)

    What is your favorite non-HP fandom?

    Doctor Who & Brooklyn 99. Do not make me pick between the two D:

    Since you are an amazing Auror, we want to know your secrets! How do you validate stories so quickly?

    Oh my god. I'm not that amazing. Really, I'm not. And I couldn't have done it without my fellow two Aurors last month because we all did over 200 chapters =D But thank you anyway! Okay so as to answer your question: I honestly don't know. I think it helps that I am a very fast reader, which makes me go through the chapters really quick. That and a huge part of me pushing myself even if I should quiet down and take it more slowly.

    What are your top two favorite plays you’ve seen in person and why?

    ...Plays or musicals? Because I need to know.

    If we're talking plays: obviously Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. It honestly feels like coming home time after time again. I love the portrayals of the actors (especially Jamie Parker's Harry (it's like he jumped out of the books), either Noma Dumezweni's or Rakie Ayola's Hermione (even though they play it vastly different) and David Annen's Snape (who just is like Alan Rickman, not gonna lie)) and the vibe from the theatre, the sheer loveliness from the entire cast towards us and the friends I made through it all.

    As a second play: Don Juan In Soho with David Tennant, because that's literally the only other play I have seen in my life and second because, you know, David Tennant. (Though it did have singing? But it really was listed as a play). But David Tennant was brilliant and I don't think I'll ever get over the fact that I saw the man perform live.

    And if we can include musicals too - it has to be either Sister Act or Lion King, but please do not make me choose either because I can't. Lion King because it's just... Lion King and it's amazing and I will never not cry during Shadowland (Dutch or English). Sister Act because I will never not leave that show without crying because of laughter.

    But which one would take the second place - eh. I don't know.

    How do you pronounce your name? :P

    Oh god. Eh. Hold on. I posted about it in a status update here. I also pronounced it in this announcement around the 52 second mark and for those who don't want to watch a vid, I also have this site for you where it is pronounced! This because I totally suck at explaining how to pronounce it so I hope this helps :'D It's far clearer than when I try and type how you need to pronounce it.

     

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    These interviews with the Head Students are a new feature! :D We gave the two Head Students, @facingthenorthwind and @Nix, different sets of questions (though there are two questions that are the same in both), and without further ado, here they are!

    facingthenorthwind

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    Why did you pick the House you are in?

    The short answer is because I'm a nerd. The longer answer is that I just super love learning things, and several times a year I have a panic attack because I will die before I read every book. It's impossible to read every book!!!!! Iif I had a dragon hoard, it would be knowledge, is another way to put it.

    If there’s one story of yours you would like to tell us about, what would it be and why?

    I panicked about this question for a bit because the fic I've put my heart and soul into most is still languishing in my gdocs instead of on the archive, but in lieu of that: Hermione Before the Beit Din! The first entry is just a prequel with no important info for the main event, which is where Hermione has to go before a religious court because she broke religious law by obliviating her parents. I had a lot of fun thinking about how obliviation would be thought about in Jewish law, and I just...really like the concept? Also when I asked Maggie what story I should talk about here she said שיבה (shiva) which is the sequel. :P

    If you weren’t in Ravenclaw, what house would you be in and why?

    Hufflepuff!!! I am if nothing else a coward with no ambition. :P Nah, it's because I'm loyal and it's my mission in life to Hug Everyone Who Needs Hugs. (This is my main goal at my synagogue, I hug all the old people who don't get enough hugs.)

    What is your favorite aspect of the forums?

    Gosh, um,now I'm panicking about what an "aspect" is. Can it be friendship? Welcomingness? Both of those are very good. I also love having other people as sources of expertise! No matter what question I have, be it how the football season works or how much gin it would take to get drunk, I have found people willing to help me out. :wub:

    Aside from writing, what other activities do you like to do for fun?

    Does researching Hebrew grammar count? I listen to a LOT of podcasts -- if anyone wants recs, I listen to about 50. My favourites are fictional ones where I get overly invested in the characters, naturally.

    Coffee or tea?

    Tea! I used to drink it really strong but then I....stopped? I don't like adding in sugar or milk, so I usually drink green tea these days so it's not bitter. ^_^

    Nix

    Quote

    Why did you pick the House you are in?

    I've always felt a pull toward Slytherin ever since I was a teenager. Draco, Snape, Bellatrix, Voldemort, these were the characters I loved, that I showed up to the movies to see. Slytherins have always held such a complexity for me, there's so much going on under their facades, and I think there's so much more more going on with them than we get to see. While I may identify as a SlytherPuff, I choose to stay in Slytherin because I love my house, and I love my fellow Slytherins, and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. 

    If there’s one story of yours you would like to tell us about, what would it be and why?

    Not for Always. I think this was my first ever one-shot that I posted originally on HPFF. And it took a lot for me to write, it's about the break up between Pansy and Draco post Hogwarts, from Pansy's perspective. It was very difficult to write because at the time I had also recently had a break up with someone I had realized I wanted to spend my life with and so, writing this hit way too close to home, but it was also an outlet I could pour all of my emotions into, and I think it turned out really well. But this story has also opened up a well of headcanon for me. I love Pansy (I know JK hates her but I think that just makes me love her more) and I have so many ideas about her childhood and life post Hogwarts after breaking up with Draco. I don't know that they will be in the same storyline as Not for Always, I'm still working out the details, but I'm super excited to write it all and hopefully one day share it with everyone.

    Which House do you identify least with and why?

    Probably Gryffindor. I've sort of recently come to terms that I'm not as brave as I pretend to be. I'm not the type of person to make the first move or to go into danger unprepared, and I'm terrible at confrontation. Doing things like that seriously scares me. However, facing my fears is something I've been working on. But while I love everyone's favorite Gryffindors (Harry, Ron, Hermione, and I can't forget the twins, of course) I don't think their house would be a great fit for me. 

    What section on the forums can you most often be found in?

    Probably the Dungeon. I have yet to spend a lot of time outside of my cozy snake basket, but I haven't had a lot of time to explore and interact with the rest of the site. Hopefully, I'll be able to be more active in the future. 

    What’s one of your favorite books (aside from HP)?

    Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. I love this book. I first picked it up for a high school book report and I wasn't expecting much from it, but I was proven severely wrong. I've read it a few times now, and I want to reread it again now that I've finished the first season of the show which is very closely based off the book (the show is amazing btw, I highly recommend it, and I'm very excited to see where they take it in the next two seasons). But for those who don't know, it's about a dystopian world set in what was New England of the US. I think what makes it so great though is that it's from the POV of a woman, who's also in a position with zero power. I think it's a book that women can relate to because there's such a scary possibility these days that something like this could actually happen. 

    Dogs or cats?

    Definitely cats. If you read my first blog then you know I have six of them in my house atm. And I adore every one of them for their individual personalities. I do like dogs, don't get me wrong, I think they're adorable and I like to pet them or hold them, but then I like to give them back to their owners. I just don't think I have the energy to be a full-time dog person. 

     

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    Stand Tall
    by @Chelts-rhj

    R E V I E W   C O L U M N

    Finding a story that features a character with a disability is a rare occurrence for me but I most generally find them to be both insightfully and engagingly rewarding. Stand Tall does not dissatisfy this preconception as we follow the quirky, sassy main character, Alba Williamson, through her journey at Hogwarts as she faces her typical life alongside a daily struggle with Cerebral Palsy.

    To add to the fantastic work creating the loveable, witty Alba whose sense of humor has consistently knocked me out of my chair [and other on-point characterization as well, because let’s not forget the absolute stunning job Chelts did with characters like James Sirius Potter, Chandra and Ben Honeypucker], the interactions between the characters make them shine so much brighter. Some cleverly crafted dialogue and brassy narrative makes the interplay between the already fascinating characters of this piece especially noteworthy.

    That’s not to say that this WIP is all fun and games. Beneath the surface of all the hilarity remains the hardships Alba must face, only agitated further by her struggle with her disability. There are downright disheartening moments where the Cerebral Palsy seems to be getting the better of her and, with bated breath, we wait to see how she’ll fight to pull herself up again. Anxiously, we read on, hoping that Alba will pull through as she always has. 

    To top it off, her disability isn’t the only thing she has to look out for. Being a teenage witch comes with some heavy baggage of its own, especially in the wake of the return of the Triwizard Tournament. 

    Stand Tall was simple to become swept up in and carried away from one chapter to the next. If you’re looking for a story to instantly fall in love with, this is definitely the story for you.

    I N T E R V I E W   W I T H   T H E   A U T H O R

    Quote

    What inspires you to write?

    Little things inspire me to write. Like the view out my window from laying down on the couch where I can’t see my neighborhood but the trees are waving and making colors dance. Sometimes it’s a girls smile when her dad says that she can have ice cream.  I guess the little emotions in real peoples lives. I want my stories to be like painted characters over a canvas made out of snapshots of real people. 

    What is a genre/trope that you've never written before, but want to try?

    I love horror mysteries!  I binge watch things like criminal minds but I’ve never written anything gruesome. I’ve attempted a few times with things like Adventures of Arther Weasley, which ended up humorous, and The Brothers Three, which ended up more narrative than mystery and not all that horror.

    Published authors you look up to?

    Ooo, good question! I admire the world building of Tolkien, the descriptions of Gary Paulson, the prose of Audrey Neffineger, and the frivolity of Lemony Snicket! 

    If you could give one piece of advice to your fellow writers, what would it be?

    Pre-write.  All the pre-write. I have a page on a character in Stand Tall that is probably three times longer than she actually appears in the story.  All the prewriting. That includes not deleting. If you write a scene that is good and you get to the end but it doesn’t quite fit or the pacing gets off, save it, copy paste those paragraphs or perfect sentences onto another sheet (I usually save these as ‘title: worksheet’). When you get stuck or have writers block go back through those scenes and read them. Maybe that’s just what your characters need now. 

    What inspired you to write a character with cerebral palsy? 

    I have two family members with cerebral palsy. Neither of which have read this or know of its existence. My cousin has had several other complications like a large abnormal hemangioma and partial deafness. Throughout her childhood she was ridiculed, underestimated, and often told she wasn’t as smart or going to go as far because of her physical limitations. She was overprotected by her parents a lot and when I started this, she had gone off to college, out of state, lived by herself, picked her own clothes, and proved to herself and everyone else that she was more than capable.  She got a girlfriend, started photography and eventually went into modeling (oh yeah, she’s freaking GORGEOUS) and now is a successful marketing consultant. I used a lot of the things I remember her doing and going through in the beginning of her plethora of treatments for Alba’s therapy course. I substituted particularly “muggle” remedies like cutting the Achilles tendon and using Botox injections and casting to stretch the calves  with magical ones likes strengthening solution and pain drought. 

    My uncle was given up by his birth mother and adopted by my grandmother. His CP is not as severe and really only affects the small motor skills of his hands. When I started this, he had finally come to terms that he would never be in the military, and had his first daughter with her wife. He had felt like his condition, even though “mild” had kept him from the dream life, when really if he had gone off and been deployed he would never have met his wife.  They’ve had another daughter since. 

    What difficulties did you face while writing a main character with a disability, especially in combination with typical teenage problems (like love, friendship, and school)? 

    I didn’t know what areas of conflict to address. I did a lot of research before I ever wrote anything. But not just clinical research. I researched support groups. I researched grants and scholarships for kids with CP. I found the Paralympic success stories and took from their voice the sense of pride and ownership I needed to make Alba the person she is. You almost have to treat the disability as an amtagonist and make it have pros and cons too. For instance, McGonagall let her bully back her bullies and Alba has an excuse to keep herself distant from others. I came to find it was easier to make a  relatable character if you classified and characterized them normally, with usual goals and aspirations,and then use the personified antagonistic disability as the main source of conflict in achieving those goals and aspirations. 

    ---

    This wraps up the new edition of Into the Spotlight! Please comment below and let us know what you think of the new additions, and if there's anything you might like to see from this blog. If you have questions you might like to ask future Order of Merlin, Head Student, or Story of the Month winners, feel free to post them below! :wub: We really hope you enjoyed this issue, and we'll see you in a couple weeks for our special Pride Month post. :yay: 

    - The Prefects

    interviews compiled by dreamgazer220, forever_dreaming, just.a.willow.tree, Rumpelstiltskin, Slytherinchica08
    review column by Rumpelstiltskin
    graphics by just.a.willow.tree

  2. abhorsen.
    Latest Entry

    By abhorsen.,

    Hello, all! It's time for us to announce the winners of this year's FROGS awards! If you didn't catch our livestream from earlier this evening, you can find it +here. ^_^

    First off: thank you to everyone who nominated, reviewed, and voted in this year's FROGS awards, and congratulations to everyone who was nominated, whether or not you won. HPFT is home to some incredibly talented people, and we can't express how glad we are to be part of this community. We hope you enjoyed this as much as we did. :wub:

    All of that said: we'd like to unveil our special, limited edition set of chocolate frog cards. We're including small versions of them in this post, but if you click on them, you'll find the full version hidden behind them. ;)  I'll also be uploading the entire collection +here on my deviantart. ^_^  Please use only the mini-version in your story notes, since the full version is so big; however, you're welcome to include the full size card as a chapter image, on your profile/in your writer's journal here, and anywhere else you hang out online. :P

    Best Reviewer

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    Congratulations, @Felpata_Lupin, @just.a.willow.tree, and @Stella Blue!

     

    Most Versatile Author

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    Congratulations, @abhorsen., @nott theodore, and @BlackPixie!

     

    Best Angst

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    gods without grace (M) | beyond repair | silence.death. (M)

    Congratulations, @dirigibleplums, @MuggleMaybe, and @poppunkpadfoot!

     

    Best Dark/Horror

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    Congratulations, @esmeraude, @AbraxanUnicorn, and @Rumpelstiltskin!

    the skull beneath the skin (M) | erasure (M) | spiral (M)

     

    Best Humor

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    when dahlias bloom (M) | immortal misconceptions (M) | hormones (M)

    Congratulations, @dirigibleplums, @AbraxanUnicorn, @Deeds!

     

    Best Original Fiction

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    from | I am | the wind chimes are calling to me | fall in love with a writer

    Congratulations, @Stella Blue, @Rumpelstiltskin, @Alexis Black, and @manno-malfoy!

     

    Best Romance

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    nights like these (M) | a candle (M) | when I go out with you (M)

    Congratulations, @banshee, @abhorsen., and @Dojh167!

     

    Best Non-Harry Potter Fanfiction

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    silence cuts loudest through the chaos (M) | hero (M) | an age of change (M)

    Congratulations, @1917farmgirl, @banshee, and @scooterbug8515!

     

    Best LGBTQA+

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    when I go out with you (M) | and the world went on | before the sun sets

    Congratulations, @Dojh167, @manno-malfoy, and @toomanycurls!

     

    Best Depiction of a Mental Illness/Disability

    ucd5GOzM_o.gifQVLp8zpM_o.gifGQCT5yto_o.gif

    the department (M) | keyframe | dead eyes and red eyes (M)

    Congratulations, @poppunkpadfoot, @forever_dreaming, and @abhorsen.!

     

    Best Major Harry Potter Character

    Vpb1mz8g_o.gifpLl3bx8Y_o.gifwgH2jBcz_o.gif

    beyond repair | icarus (M) | after life (M)

    Congratulations, @MuggleMaybe, @Stella Blue, and @MegGonagall!

     

    Best Minor Harry Potter Character

    uEXswYtY_o.gif eh1zB3D1_o.gif nYhlcQoS_o.gifDS6HXeBJ_o.gif

    liar (M) | jigsaw (M) | first lit, last burning | lightning love (M)

    Congratulations, @Felpata_Lupin, @nott theodore, @MuggleMaybe, and @toomanycurls!

     

    Best OC

    7sWcoiix_o.gif9Gwlq5Wk_o.gifZkHDp1uW_o.gif Rnup7kv4_o.gif

    when dahlias bloom (M) | hero (M) | love, not war (M) | house of stone (M)

    Congratulations, @dirigibleplums, @victoria_anne, @RoxiMalfoy, and @WindingArrow!

     

    Best Family/Friendship

    qpEJaZm7_o.gif6huDhkrI_o.gifvDRLEjpD_o.gifqlPlHAdv_o.gif

    secret keeper (M) | shenanigans, capers, and hi-jinks (M) | prisoner | red luck

    Congratulations, @poppunkpadfoot, @abhorsen., @Crimson Quill, and @just.a.willow.tree!

     

    Best Rare Pair

    PkQMr5s4_o.gif8K4wqeVG_o.gifWRpdcgsI_o.gif

    parisian scars (M) | logarithmic (M) | war & mint

    Congratulations, @Crimson Quill, @val, and @sihaya!

     

    Finalist

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    Even though you didn't necessarily win your categories, congratulations on being finalists, @abhorsen., @ailhsa23, @BellaLestrange87, @clevernotbrilliant, @dreamgazer220, @esmeraude, @forever_dreaming, @manno-malfoy, @MuggleMaybe, @nott theodore, @PaulaTheProkaryote, @pookha, @Rumpelstiltskin, @Shadowkat678, @sihaya, @Stella Blue, @TreacleTart, @Veritaserum27, @victoria_anne!

     

    Thank you all again, and I hope you enjoyed the livestream and enjoy your cards! Please remember to rehost & credit them to me (abhorsen.) if you want to use them. ;)

  3.  
    So yesterday I was thinking "man maybe if I did a monthly blog post about Hebrew I would stop having the desperate need to talk everyone's ear off about Hebrew when I can get them to stand still long enough", and then @just.a.willow.tree did her blog post on Chinese and here we are.
     
    So Hebrew is a Semitic language and it's written from right to left in the Hebrew alphabet, the uglier cousin of Arabic. I'm not going to teach you the alphabet, because there are heaps of resources for that, but if you are interested in learning I am of course happy to help folks. The important thing to know is that the Hebrew alphabet has two parts: vowels and consonants. Consonants are the things you'd recognise as Hebrew letters, and the ones you'd use when reciting the alphabet (alef bet). Vowels are little dots and lines above and below the consonants, and generally in Modern Hebrew you don't use them. You know how to read them, but you don't write them for two main reasons:
    1. Modern Hebrew speakers are deeply committed to being as lazy as possible. It's admirable, even if some truly heinous grammatical errors become standardised because of it. (This is mostly a joke, because of course I also don't use vowels, and it feels like such an unreasonably large chore to write them in. One of them involves putting FIVE DOTS underneath a letter! FIVE! In a really small space! חֱ)
    2. There are simultaneously too many and not enough. This has to do with the development of Hebrew from Biblical Hebrew to Modern Hebrew -- when the vowel system was invented, they retained several distinctions that Modern Hebrew has since dropped, meaning that several vowel symbols (called niqud) sound the same. מֶ and מֵ sound the same in Modern, but different in Biblical (which is still preserved when we pray, so sometimes in class I say really old fashioned sounding things and sound silly :P). This means you have noooo idea which one to use if you're trying to vowelise a word in Modern Hebrew unless you know the grammar behind it, and who has time for that? At the same time, some vowel markings sound different depending on where they are in the word, which is infuriating. How can you fail in both directions at once, vowel system. 

    All this means that reading is heavily context-dependent. The word שם could be pronounced shem, sham or sam, and it could mean name, there or put. Sometimes you don't know how to sound out a word until you know what word follows it. This makes reading aloud embarrassing.

    But there is good news! Hebrew is phonetic. Mostly. Fully vowelised Hebrew is phonetic. Modern Hebrew is...mostly phonetic in the sense that it won't betray you, but you do still have to guess the vowels. When reading a word, you say the consonant first, then the vowel, then the next consonant, then the next vowel, etc. Every consonant except the last one will have a vowel attached to it -- the only catch is that one of the vowels is silent. Also two of the consonants are silent. Sorry.

    What I mean by phonetic is that every letter in the alef bet always makes the same sound: ט always sounds like a T, ל always sounds like an L. Some letters can take a dagesh, which means there are two pronunciations for the same letter, but which one you use is always indicated in...fully vowelised Hebrew. In Modern Hebrew you have to use a few rules and some guessing. בּ sounds like B, but ב sounds like V. It's always בּ at the beginning of a syllable and ב at the end; same goes for all letters that take a dagesh. There's always a dot (the "hard" sound, e.g. b, p, k) at the beginning of a syllable and no dot (the "soft" sound e.g. v, f, ch) at the end.

    The bad news is that despite having only 22 letters, Hebrew has managed to double up on some, so two letters can make the same sound: א & ע, ט & ת, כ & ח, ש & ס. This is mostly because in Biblical Hebrew they did sound different, but see the earlier thing about laziness. This means that spelling is..........look, there's definitely room for error. I think in my next post I might talk about transliterating English into Hebrew characters, which will make all that clearer. 

    "Emma," you say, "I'm unconvinced that this is phonetic. You've just detailed at least seven ways in which Hebrew can and will betray me at every turn." You're not wrong. What I mean is that there will never be anything written down that you're not meant to say, except for the letter י in very specific circumstances. (You can never make blanket statements in Hebrew because Hebrew will always, ALWAYS find a way to break every single rule. Yes, there are blanket statements I have made in this post and yes, there are exceptions to those statements and yes, I make very disappointed faces at my teacher and then she laughs when she tells me about them.)

    Anyway, I think that is enough to be getting on with for now. Tune in next time for Transliteration: In Which I Only Transliterate The Latin Alphabet Because Yiddish And Arabic Are Cursed Languages I Don't Understand.*

    *by cursed I mean I don't understand the rules for transliterating them** because they keep doubling letters and using silent letters where they don't belong and يلا is written as יָאללָה in Hebrew and I don't know why!!!!! (note: I never realised it would be so difficult to find out how to spell yallah in Arabic, weh, correct me if I got that wrong.)

    **I do understand how to transliterate Yiddish, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. +this is CLEARLY some kind of sin. (approximately: di tragishe geshehenishen ein di. maybe. I don't know what it means, I don't speak German.)

  4. inaudible sigh

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    In my (very biased) opinion, Chinese is one of the coolest languages. Today I'm going to go on a very long ramble of different parts of the Chinese written language that I think are very, very interesting. It might appear to be really strange to English speakers, especially since Chinese is, grammatically, very simple. In some ways, this makes it more difficult for me to grasp it fully, because I always try to force English grammar into Chinese phrases, which turns out sounding strange and wonky, and I always forget how more complex sentences are supposed to be structured.

    A distinction that should be made: "Chinese" can refer to either the people or the written language. If you're trying to talk about the spoken language, then "Mandarin" is the common tongue (and the official language) of China, though there are definitely a large number of dialects as well.

    Before I get started, I just wanted to share a really interesting historical tidbit about the written language. As you all know, Chinese is made up of characters, with each character representing a word. (Each character is one syllable.) Sometimes, two characters can be joined together to form a different word, which is very common. And though the characters might look really complex at first glance, the history of the language is really cool. Here's a picture of the evolution of Chinese script!

    ICxgYur.png

    The two scripts that are used today are the standard (traditional) script, which is used largely in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japan, and the modern simplified script, which is used in mainland China. Modern simplified script has only been around since the beginning of the 20th century, so it's very recent. But what I wanted you guys to see is how the very first column, oracle bone script, is essentially comprised of fairly accurate pictures. (I mean, look at the fish. :P) And as you go from column to column, you can see it shifting and shaping into the more structured characters we see today. (Running script and cursive script are essentially less precise versions of the standard script, to save time when writing quickly.)

    Onto grammar!

    Let's start with the greeting "hello" that everyone knows: 你好 (nǐ hǎo). The characters directly translate to: "you" + "well/good". Though it's the Chinese equivalent of "hello," it doesn't exactly have that meaning, if it makes sense. You're greeting someone, and in a way the Chinese greeting is a little more respectful (though of course it depends on your tone of voice as well haha) because it's more mindful of the other person. If I were greeting my grandmother (on my mother's side), I would say: 姥姥好 (lǎolao hǎo), replacing the "you" in the original greeting with "grandmother". And so the Chinese greeting shifts depending on who you're talking to.

    Most noticeably, though, the Chinese greeting vaguely resembles a sentence, despite consisting of two words and despite missing a verb. Most sentences do have verbs, but some sentences are just constructed without verbs (or, more specifically, without the "to be" verb).

    For instance: 他很棒 (tā hěn bàng). Essentially, this translates to, "He is amazing" (though some of the meaning gets lost in translation), but if I broke it down word by word, it would be: "he" + "very" + "amazing". There's no real verb, but the adverb stands in for one. I don't know why this is, or how it works, but that's just how it is. This type of thing happens especially when describing things or people; saying things like "This is delicious," or "You are beautiful," or "The blanket is warm." Simply put, Chinese just doesn't have the "to be" verb, and the language functions perfectly without it.

    I also want to talk about tenses. English (and other romance languages) conjugates the verbs according to tense. "It shuddered, it shudders." / "She walked, she walks." / "He crept, he creeps." In Chinese, though, it's most similar to the future tense in English: instead of directly altering the verb, an additional word is tacked on. For every single tense, including present.

    Here is the plain, unaltered word for "eat" in Chinese: 吃 (chī).

    I want to quickly take a moment to point out something -- you see that square-shaped bit on the left half of the character? It's the formal Chinese word for "mouth": 口 (kǒu). (There's a much more common word for "mouth" in Chinese, but it's in two syllables. And I'm not quite sure how to explain it, but for a number of body parts, there's a single-syllable, formal way of saying it.) Anyway, a lot of Chinese characters are structured like this, with a thematically-relevant word within a word. Take the word for "path", for example: 路 (lù). The left half of the character is a diminutive version of the formal word for "foot": 足 (zú). Which makes sense, because you use your feet to walk on a path!

    Anyway, after that long-winded and rather unnecessary detour, back to "eat". Here are the words for "I ate, I eat, I will eat," respectively: 我吃了 (wǒ chī le),我在吃 (wǒ zài chī),我将要吃 (wǒ jiāngyào chī). 我 means "I", and everything else in each phrase is a part of the verb. So you can see that the core verb 吃 remains untouched in each phrase, and it's just that more characters are added around it to create a sense of tense. (Though, if you're saying something like "Tomorrow, I will eat" in Chinese, you shouldn't add the extra characters around 吃, because you've already specified that the action is happening sometime in the future.)

    I wanted to quickly mention something else! So all the pronunciations written in the Latin alphabet are called 拼音 (pīnyīn), or "pinyin" in English. (As you can see, English pretty much just took the Chinese word haha.) This is an official part of the Chinese written language, and are used to help children learn to read, or to help illiterate adults as well, because learning to speak Chinese is much, much easier than learning to read it. After all, unlike English, there's no real way to "sound out" the characters; it's all memorization. As you might have noticed, "lǎolao" (grandmother) and "jiāngyào" (future tense "will") are technically comprised of two characters in the Chinese script, but the pinyin smushes the two syllables together. This is because the two characters together form a single word with a single meaning!

    The last thing I wanted to say was to just really hammer in how simple the grammar is while simultaneously being ridiculously complex in every other aspect haha. There's a phrase that essentially means "I haven't seen you in such a long time": 好长没见 (hǎo chǎng méi jiàn), and it directly translates to: "really" + "long" + "no" + "see". The subject and the object are both implied in this sentence, and there's no real verb.

    Chinese is very cool! And I just got to thinking about it the other day, so I sat down and typed this up haha. I hope you might've learned something reading this, and many apologies for my strange enthusiasm throughout this whole thing; despite not being fluent (at all) in Mandarin, I just find Chinese to be really, really cool haha. LANGUAGE IS AWESOME, GUYS.

    So let me know what you think, or if you have any questions! I'd also really love to know if there are any interesting parts of your own language that you'd like to share! :bighug:

  5. Moribito and Makiko Futaki

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     I’d like to introduce Nahoko Uehashi’s Fantasy, Moribito World. I thought of this introduction after I got reviews from my fellow Gryffindor authors.

     

       Moribito series started with the story where Balsa, who is 30 years old, a bodyguard-for-hire, saved Chagum, who is the second prince of the Imperial Family. Chagum bears the egg of the water spirit making him the 'guardian of the spirit'. His own father, the Emperor, hated the spirit as the filthy thing and ordered his assassination.

    5b001ee23186d_BalsaChagum-1.thumb.png.31f21ad9e9d1c18988734988a5a12d48.png

     

      Balsa has also dark past. Her father, Kanbal King's physician had discovered that the new King had poisoned his predecessor and was killed by the King. Before he was killed, he asked his best mate, Jiguro to save Balsa.

     

    Jiguro was originally the leader and strongest member of the king of Kanbal's 'Nine Spears’. In consequence of saving Balsa, he betrayed his country and had to kill the other eight Spears who were ordered to pursue them by the King.

     

    With help from the herbalist Tanda (who would be Balsa’s life partner later) and his teacher, Torogai (who has powerful magic and  capability to communicate the things in the spirit realm), Balsa could protect Chagum.

     

    After that, Chagum has to face the crisis under the circumstances, Talsh Kingdom will attack his country. He overcomes various difficulties and grows up to be a new Yogo’s king with help from Balsa, again. She also saves one girl named Asra, who has the disastrous dark power.

     

    These are brief summaries of Moribito Fandom. In my fanfiction, I try to connect Asra’s episode and Chagum’s episode, which Uehashi didn’t write in her twelve books. After her writings, they made animation and drama on TV in my country.

     

    I’ll come back to explain about Moribito more.    

     

    If you have interest, please stop by my story, After the Storm (T)

  6. Spreadsheets and Scheming

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    84.gif.f4b706cb49c4f7ab9183f19594fd4ba0.gif

    But the results are finally in! :bouncing:

     

    A few months ago, I hosted the "Anything but a Love Triangle" Love Triangle Challenge. Partially fueled by my annoyance with mainstream media's love affair with love triangles, participants were tasked with wiritng a love triangle in a new, fun, and original way! I had four spectacular entries that went above and beyond when creating fantastic love triangles that most certainly did not make me want to roll my eyes.

     

    Entries

    B-Movie Scream Queen [M] - Rumpelstiltskin

    Between a Hurricane and the Sea [M] - manno-malfoy

    Goodbye, Jus - Felpata_Lupin

    Inconsistent Geometry - ImaRavenclaw

     

    Each entry was graded based on four categories: how well it fit the prompt; the characters; description/dialogue; and the plot. A total of 20 points was possible. All entries will receive a review from me if they have not already.

     

    So without further ado, here are your winners...

     

    Honorable Mention:

    Inconsistent Geometry by @ImaRavenclaw!

    HM.png.36423a1333074a4eeabe464e4585e957.png

     

    Third Place:

    Between a Hurricane and the Sea by @manno-malfoy!

    3rd.png.676d1c5f12fe8386787c0081870ad29b.png

    You have won two additional reviews on a story of your choice!

     

    Second Place:

    B-Movie Scream Queen by @Rumpelstiltskin!

    2nd.png.942112671e405eccb111e74be30b00aa.png

    You have won three additional reviews and a favorite story!

     

    First Place:

    Goodbye, Jus by @Felpata_Lupin

    1st.png.c04d149ca592dce62ddee36704ebf1c6.png

    You have won four additional reviews, a favorite story, and a picspam based on your entry!

     

    Congratulations to all of the wonderful entries! Winners, please PM me to claim your prizes and remember to credit @just.a.willow.tree for the phenomenal prize graphics!

    Special thanks goes to @banshee for helping come up with the idea for this challenge!

     

  7. Carrie's Creative Cacophony

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    So there are a lot of people playing Hogwarts a Mystery right now, and I have learned that not everyone has learned the same tips and tricks as others.  Today I want to talk about everyone's favorite/least favorite issue in the game... ENERGY!

     

    I think we have all had that frustrating experience of running out of energy just after getting caught by the Devil's Snare in year 1.  If you haven't played yet - be warned you will run out of energy mid-activity and it is not fun.

     

    From there it has been an ongoing problem, you start a class and have to wait for a refill.  Well, I'm here to share ways that you can help speed things up without spending those precious pink gems that are hard to come by without opening your wallet.

     

    Energy tip #1:

     

    You can leave in the middle of most any activity

     

    That is right you can step out of that classroom or walk away from searching that mysterious corridor go on an energy run (will explain soon) and come back without losing ANY progress. You just tap the icon in the lower right corner, the door with the arrow.

     

    vcWXLD.png

     

     

    WARNING - if you leave once it is possible you cannot leave a second time until you have completed a task such as "Nudge" or "Adjust Grip" "Rummage" "Turn page" etc.  Any time the exit button is not present finish a task, and it should return.

     

    vcWM0M.png

     

    Energy tip#2:

     

    Know where the energy grabs are

     

    I have detailed out all the present locations for energy grabs and will try to update as they change as they have done that in the past  I include pictures of before the energy grab and after the energy grab and tried to notate the replenish times as best as I can.  We'll be starting with the top of the list and working down.

     

    WARNING Do NOT tap your energy grabs while at max energy they will not be added on and will be wasted!  Use with caution and look to tip 3 on how to best use these!

     

    East Tower

     

    There are now 2 grabs in the East Tower.

     

    1)  Giggling Girl - this is a blank canvas by charms but when tapped a little girl giggles and then shows up in the frame.

    Replenish Time: Around 7 hours

     

    BEFORE

    vcWOOO.png

     

    AFTER

    vcWQcq.png

     

    2) Peeves - Peeves used to be in one of the lower floors and just hung around and was worthless Now he hangs out in the East Tower and will cackle do an added animation and then fly off  (This is a Newer grab)

    Replenish Time: Around 5 hours

     

    BEFORE

    vcWzGb.png

     

    AFTER

    vcWDKX.png

     

    West Tower

     

    There is only one grab here but keep your eyes on Sir Nicholas (at the end of the corridor), and he may change like Peeves did!

     

    1) Oranges - this is a painting with a stump and flowers near the Prefect's bathroom a hand reaches down and places three oranges into the picture.

    Replenish Time: Around 3 hours

     

    BEFORE

    vcWU1d.png

     

    AFTER

    vcWSLs.png

     

    Lower Floor West

     

    There are two grabs here that are very close together; Peeves used to be down here too until he became an energy grab.

     

    1) The  Torch - the torch to the right of the great hall is out - maybe someone should light it?

    Replenish Time: Around 8 hours

     

    2) The Statues - These guys look to be a mess with a sword and shield all helter-skelter.  You tap the nights, and they correct things trading sword for shield, so it looks all nice and tidy.

    Replenish Time: A LONG time I have determined less than 13 but more than 10 hours if I had to wager around 12 hours

     

    BEFORE

    vcW4Oe.png

     

    AFTER

    vcWtXP.png

     

    Dungeons

     

    There is only one grab here.

     

    1) The House Elf - this little guy appears to be eavesdropping, and when you tap him he makes a surprised noise before running off to the kitchens

    Replenish Time: Around 8 hours

     

    BEFORE

    vcWu0x.png

     

    AFTER

    vcW6y8.png

     

    Castle Grounds

     

    Again there is only one grab here, but it is by far the cutest EVER!

     

    1)  The Stick - you tap the random stick on the ground, and you will hear barking as puppy Fang comes bounding into few to get the stick before running off to Hagrid's.

    Replenish Time: Around 6 hours

     

    BEFORE

    vcWhKm.png

     

    AFTER

    vcWqXQ.png

     

    Bonus shot of cute:

    vcWEvN.png

     

    Lower Floor East

     

    This location only becomes available once you have reached second year and there is only one grab here.

     

    1) Books - there is a messy pile of books that need to be tidy!  You tap them, and they will fly their way into a nice neat pile.

    Replenish Time: Around 6 hours

     

    BEFORE

    vcW1xF.png

     

    AFTER

    vcWnF5.png

     

    Hogsmeade

     

    This only opens in your 3rd year which I have not reached and thus cannot give information on just yet I will update this section as soon as I learn more.

     

    Energy Tip #3

     

    Note your energy level and time requirements before starting any class/task

     

     Getting ready to start a 1-hour class/task?  Are you at full energy? If the answer is No, I advise you wait.  I also advise that you make sure you have your energy grabs on hand to run out and grab after using up your current energy supply

     

     Getting ready for another task that is 3 hours long? Is your energy full? If the answer is no, I still advise you wait.   3-hour classes is another time when an energy grab is good to have on deck.

     

    Also with 3-hour classes when you run out of energy - do not fret you have time to allow a full fill up.  This happens well before the task expires and give you plenty of time to complete the task.  Usually, a 3-hour task does not take more than 2 full fill-ups, occasionally it asks for a smidgen more - that is where your energy fill up's come in if you have them on deck.

     

    Getting ready to start an 8-hour class/task? Are you full of energy? If the answer is no, you may wish to wait, but it is not vital.  I recommend you don't start unless you are at at least half energy.  Like the 3 hour class, you have time for a full fill up twice maybe 3 times (I've not tested as I'm usually done before then due to not wanting to wait a 3rd time and using my energy grabs).

     

    On the whole, you don't want to grab your free energy the second it is available don't grab it unless you plan to use it immediately. It isn't worth saving 4 minutes on a refill cause you'll usually walk away more than 4 min anyway, which brings me to...

     

    Energy Tip #4

     

    Not all free energy is good

     

    Now I know you are probably ready to ask me what I mean and what I mean is when you earn a star in a class you have a choice of rewards, usually coins, and then one of your 3 features, occasionally gems and occasionally energy.  The free energy here is not always worth grabbing.

     

    If you are heading for your last star and you have the energy to reach it in time, don't choose energy as your reward.  It is kind of worthless when you are going to have to wait for the next task.  It is better to get something else than attribute rather than that single energy.  Now if you are about out of energy and not close to completion, the energy might be worthwhile to snag, but this is a debate for another guide. 

     

    If it is several energy that might be worth the grab.  I know once in the middle of an 8-hour class I had the choice of nabbing 8 or 9 energy as a reward I tapped it faster than you can say 'energy grab'  That was a WORTHY grab!

     

    Hopefully, this guide will help you, and I'll see about tossing out a few other guides regarding less vital yet important functions of the game such as attributes and house points!

     

    PS. If you do happen to use gems to buy a whole day of energy which I advise you save for that instead of getting the small bit of 10 energy you will get 30 energy so you'll be at the 30/energy cap.  (First years start with 26 energy 2nd years start with 28 energy) Max cap I think based on this fact is 30.

  8. Hey, guys! 

    So if you hop on over to my author's page at any time in the near future, you're going to notice one change.  Haunting Shadows, my story about a girl struggling to get over the death of her best friend, has been deleted from the archives.  It's not with a light heart that I made this decision, and that's why you're hearing from me now, in this post. I do know it's the right move, though, and I just wanted to take a minute and talk to you guys about it.

    This story has been through a journey. It started off when I was sixteen and writing fanfiction for the first time. On HPFF, it was under the name Sweetest Goodbye, probably circa 2005-2006, and I really, really hope none of you guys remember because that version of this story was awful.  Somehow, though, I managed to get over 200 reviews, and a lot of people loved it.  But then I went to college, decided I didn't "need to write fanfiction anymore" and deleted everything on my author's page, including Sweetest Goodbye -- which, completed, totaled about 29 chapters. 

    Around 2015, I decided to come back to what I considered my flagship story, and fanfiction in general, and began a re-write of the story, now called Haunting Shadows with much better characters, storylines, and overall mystery. And it got a lot of amazing feedback.  And then we all know what happened with HPFF, and when the HPFT archives were born, I immediately transferred it over, not changing a thing and still overwhelmed by the response I got. All positive. Still overwhelmed by the fact that it won awards, won featured stories, and so many people seemed to love it and root for Cate, and leave me with long, amazing, thoughtful reviews (all of which I've saved, of course).

    Now it's 2018, and I'm in a different place (obviously) than when I first started -- emotionally, mentally, and creatively. My writing has improved leaps and bounds, largely in part because of you guys. But now, every time I open my Scrivener doc, I get so overwhelmed with what to do with the second half of the story and I get stressed with wanting to re-write the beginning of it to show the changes in my writing.  And frankly, it's just not fun. 

    So that's why, after one massive spring cleaning of my author's page, and this other, quieter spring cleaning, I've decided to delete it from the archives -- at least, for now. 

    But I'm writing this post because I wanted to take a moment to say thank you. Thank you to all of you who have stuck by this story for so long, who have rooted for Cate, who have wanted to strangle Rob (but didn't) and Tommy alike. I want to especially thank @victoria_anne and @WindingArrow because without them, this story would've never reached 14 chapters in the first place and I would've given up on it a long time ago.

    And I don't think I'm giving up wholeheartedly yet. I might decide to re-vamp and re-boot it in the future, but just... better.

    Anyway. I'm still going to keep writing, so you don't have to worry about that! I just posted a Bellarke one-shot and I have a James II/OC fic in the works (hopefully). So this definitely isn't the last of me, by a long shot. It's just the end of HS, at least for now.

    But seriously. Thank you. And I love you guys. :wub: :grouphug:

  9. Elena
    Latest Entry

    I'm back at work, the family has been sick for the last month and life is just CRAZY!!! :roflol:

    I've just started to transfer my reviews from HPFF, but realised I haven't transferred over all my stories yet - or chapters. I just started writing fanfiction again for a SAYS reunion exchange fic...I have NO IDEA where that's heading. And there isn't enough coffee or time to get through all that needs to be done. I haven't baby spammed in a while for my Slytherin's so that will be next. 

    If someone could Accio a few more hours into my days,  that would be awesome.

    Oh...I've been binge watching some TV shows on Netflix. Anyone else watched The Rain or Salvation?

  10. Rumpelstiltskin's Blog

    A long, turbulent road to recovery has come with getting back to everyday things I used to do (and possibly even enjoy). So, with Spring finally in the air, I've been trying to get back to those seasonal traditions (and some new ones, too) in an effort to...well, continue being okay and to further promote my personal well-being and the well-being of my family. So, here we go!

    Rumpel's [Early] Spring -- an IRL Blog

    Snowfall and the Battle of the Seedlings

    Until sometime around the mid-April, we had snow-covered lawns and frequent cold snaps in my area. Despite that, seedlings were sown indoors and prepped for the gardens. With four raised beds and four round beds (made from recycled tires), we had PLENTY of room for the seedlings and they were hot on track to be planted. However, Spring took a long time to come this year, with surprise snowfalls to boot. 

    Luckily, we managed to keep the majority of the seedlings alive (thanks to the help of heating pads and growing lamps and a double-transfer into larger containers), they managed to hang on. From what we planted, we managed to keep alive and transplant outdoors [some kind of] tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, bush beans, green beans, zucchini, butternut squash, cucumbers, radishes, blood beets, sugar beets, turnips, potatoes, carrots, watermelon, broccoli, cauliflower, kale [dwarf blue], spinach, swiss chard, chives, basil, and celery [which will be planted in our aquaponics system since it is a marsh plant and requires a LOT of water]. 

    What we lost was: all our lettuce [iceberg, ruby red, and black seeded simpson], red onions, all our peppers [bell, jalapeno, and banana], pumpkins, cabbage, strawberries, melon, and dill.

    So, all-in-all, it wasn't a huge loss but we're sowing a late group of seedlings in hopes of getting some of what we lost back (especially my peppers). Now we've just got to keep them alive and pest-free. 

    On the flower-end of the spectrum, my annuals are coming back (all those tulips and daffodils in all their red and yellow glory). The lilies are making their way back up, we've dug up [most] of the dreaded inch plants, I'm getting some Black-Eyed Susans, and fighting against the silver willow saps that keep trying to dig into the foundation and the gosh-darn fiddleheads in my garden that just won't die. 

     

    Weeds

    Between moving, personal health issues, and moving back, we never planted our crops last year, which was absolutely heart-breaking come this past fall when I had no fresh veggies. The one positive of moving back to a house that I'm not overly fond of is those raised beds we put it and I intended to put them to good use this year. 

    However, due to lack of care, the beds were COMPLETELY overgrown with weeds. And not just any weeds (well, those too) but I was looking at an epic fight with some sort of invasive, deep-rooting vine and, even worse, stinging nettle. So, on top of those silver saps and fiddleheads, I dug up the beds and cleared out the weeds. Let's not talk about the flower beds, though. I still can't seem to kill the fiddleheads that are COMPLETELY taking over the beds. Someone help me. 

    Chickens

    My husband and I always talked about getting chickens [eventually]. My father raised them when I was a child, so I vaguely remember the care and time it took to take care of hens [you know, feeding the hens, sweeping the coop, cleaning the pens, collecting eggs, getting pecked by hens, the god-awful rooster that chased my father and step-brother around the yard for twenty minutes]. 

    Apparently "someday" became this year when my husband and one of his buddies (who's helping) decided that it was time. I wasn't too worried about it, assuming that the pair wouldn't even buy the chicks until the coop was ready but I WAS SO WRONG. Happily, Mr. Rumpel's friend (we'll call him "Buddy" for the sake of this), had everything set up for chicks at his house. However, that doesn't stop the looming reality that now that they have chicks, we will be having some new poultry pets in a few short months. 

    And, instead of buying a chicken coop, Mr. Rumpel and Buddy decided that they wanted to take on the DIY project of transforming an old [decently-sized] shed into the chicken's housing. I don't know if any of you know what it takes to do something like this, so let me break it down for you if you don't know:

    • weatherproofing -- this old wooden shed needs to be a happy and safe home for the chickens, even in the cold of Vermont in the wintertime and during the really rainy summer nights.
    • raising the shed -- you'll see that, most commonly, the 'housed' part of the chicken coop is raised from the ground...this is done for a number of reasons including air-circulation, flood-prevention, and a deterrent for nesting rodents. It involves physically lifting the 'housed unit' onto "stilts" that have been secured in the ground with cement, to ensure that it's structurally sound. 
    • open-air run -- this is the "outside" area of the chicken pen that's encased in chicken wire (to deter predators). This involves building the structural frame (and driving wood into the ground and digging trenches to bury the chicken wire to protect against digging predators). We're extending this right into the middle of the lilac grove so that the chickens can have plenty of shade.
    • outfitting the interior -- we'll need to hook these sweet hens up with a roosting bar, nest boxes, hanging watering and feeding devices, and lighting (to extend their laying season).
    • adding additional access doors -- at least two more besides the door for egg collection and access to water/feed systems as well as cleaning acess
    • replacing the roof -- the old wooden roof will be replaced with a new, coagulated tin roof to help keep out moisture
    • creating a moveable playpen -- while we don't live directly in town, we still live on a main road, and can't allow chickens to be wandering around which means that they won't be 'free range'; having a moveable playpen is the closest we can get to this idea (and, plus, the neighbors probably wouldn't appreciate chickens wandering onto their property)

    And that's pretty much the basics. Of course, this also doesn't include the composting ideas as well as the maggot bucket (don't even get me started on the maggot bucket -_-) to farm fresh grubs for the chickies. So, while all of this has been started, we still have a long way to go (and a lot of work to be done) before the chickens can come to their new home.

    Around the Town

    Of course, getting back into helping out around the town with the local charities and drives has come back into the picture since I really needed something to do that gets me and the little one out of the house. There are a couple churches we help out with their collection events [food pantries, clothing drives, foster children programs, etc.] as well as home-cooking meals for my local Dismas House [sort of like a halfway house; essentially it is meant to help people transition from jail/prison back into society while they get back on their feet], and some of the sporting/after-curricular drives/events for the local High School. Essentially, it all sounds very nice, but it's realistically me doing things I don't want to do, spending time with people I don't want to spend time with, all in an effort to "be a good person" and get out of the house. <_<

    Work?

    Because I'm so compelled to get out of the house and do 'adult-y' things, I've still been looking for a small job outside the house that fits into my husband's crazy schedule so that we don't have to worry about daycare. My husband still isn't on board with this but I would really like to eventually have a life that isn't one-hundred percent circulated around my daughter. I've been blessed to have been able to stay home with her but I feel as if I need something 'for me' and, quite frankly, that thing is a job. Pre-child, I was working diligently towards a career (though I've never been sure that that's what I wanted to do) and a career has been set aside ever since becoming a mother. Again, it's a beautiful thing to have not been able to miss a moment but I don't think that 10-15 hours a week out of the house and at some sort of job will hurt anything.

    Family

    The warm weather, of course, also means LOTS OF PLAYDATES! My daughter loves playing with the other kids and this winter has been a long one, so she's enjoying playing outside with them even more. It also means that I get to spend some more time with different members of my family while the kids play, which is always nice. 

    I've been seeing my nephew as much as possible, who is a loving and cuddly baby. My to-be SIL will be going back to work soon, so I'm hoping that means I'll get some extra babysitting time in with the little sweetie. The wedding [my brother and to-be SIL's wedding] is this October and she has been absolutely HOUNDING us bridesmaids about every little detail. There are at least two messages a day in the group chat asking about this, that, or the other. It's great that she's so excited and we're all hanging so that she can have her big day be just the way she wanted.

    My husband and I are [for the most part] learning to live together again without being complete strangers [even if that means a few concession like him getting a maggot bucket (ick) and me getting out of the house sans child for a few hours a week]. 

     

     

    So, it's been a busy [early] Spring. I have NO idea what's to come in the upcoming months but let's just hope it's good. :shifty:

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    I suppose introductions are in order...

     

    :hi:

     

    Hi, I'm Nix! I was EnigmaticEyes16 on the HPFF archives and forums, for those who don't know me. Had a love/hate relationship with my username so I finally got to change it once HPFT was created. I've been writing Harry Potter fanfiction for longer than I can remember, and began posting it on HPFF back in 2004. Became a member of the HPFF forums in 2005, but it took me a little longer to get the hang of it and become more active. I'd been around on and off ever since, up until the closing of the forums. I became a member of HPFT as soon as it was created but then shortly after ended up taking a two year hiatus. There was just a lot going on in my life at the time, I guess, and the loss of HPFF and all it's drama took it's toll on me.

     

    But I'm back now! And I'm super excited to be here and participate in the upcoming activities!

     

    A little about me: I work in a used bookstore/movie rental store. So, I'm surrounded by books almost 40 hours a week, and I own way too many that I have yet to actually read, and always have more on hold at work :eyeroll:. I'm running out of shelve space, y'all. I'll read a pretty fair amount of variety; humor, biography, horror, YA, paranormal, historical fiction, an occasional mystery or romance. I'm also pretty familiar with new movies as they come out, I just never have time to watch them all. I also prefer TV shows. For some reason, I would rather sit through multiple 20-60 minute episodes than watch a movie, lol. I love cats, I have six of them at the moment because we just took in three kittens back in September (although they're not really kittens anymore now that they're eight months old) :loveshower: and they are my heart and joy. Also have a two year old cat, and two much older cats. 

     

    Anyway...

     

    So, this month I've basically spent reacquainting myself with the forums. I also finally created an account over on the new archives under the same username and have been working to get all my stories up on there. So far I've currently posted seven of my one-shots (and I've got one in the queue) and 25 chapters of the 37 I had originally posted of Sirrah Malfoy on HPFF. Trying to work my way through the chapters as quickly as possible but I'm also making edits to some of the text and timeline. All my other stories will have to wait until I'm done, although I wish I had time to work on them all at once.

     

    This month I've also managed to post 30 reviews in between editing and uploading stories. It was my goal to post two reviews a day for the entire month, but as you can see I only managed to do it for half the month. WIth the HPFF archives shutting down, my attention ending up shifting to making sure everything was saved and backed up. But I'm pretty proud of myself for getting in as many reviews as I did, as I can be a slow reader, especially with the longer chapters and I did read quite a few long ones. Hopefully I'll begin reviewing again soon, I have so many stories I want to read.

     

    With work, animals, friends, the need for sleep, constant ADD, I have a pretty hectic life. Although it doesn't really feel like it. But some days it's really hard to make time to edit/write/post/etc. I'm super excited to be back though! Before I officially returned, I'd been popping in for a couple months now and lurking here and there. I never disabled my email notifications, so I still got those regularly, and I'd been wanting to get back into writing Sirrah and also have been thinking about a super secret Gryffindor/Slytherin friendship story I had started working on right before I went on hiatus, that I hope to continue and flesh out enough to maybe one day share it... :ninja: And then @RoxiMalfoy sought me out on snapchat and was telling me all about how the site was doing and all the exciting things coming up, and a couple days later I finally popped my head in the dungeons to say hi. Not long after, I was back for reals... :P

     

    For May, my goals are to finish editing and posting Sirrah, to actually write something and maybe even post it ;), keep reading and leaving reviews (might lessen my goal to at least one a day),  to make one of those Writer's Journals (I've been putting it off until most of my stuff is posted), and yeah, to keep sticking around here. I'm super happy to see I'm not the only one who has returned recently, so many familiar names are popping up again! 

     

     

  11. Adventures of a Bookdragon

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    victoria_anne
    Latest Entry

    Hello, friends!

    As some of you already know, two months ago I moved from Perth to Melbourne to study Creative Writing at university. Because Melbourne’s literary community is bigger than Perth’s, I pledged to become more involved – to read more, write more, to join a book club, attend workshops and events. I wanted to document these experiences, and I’m dragging you along with me :discuss:

    Read:

    ... yes, the Toothless tail fins are stars :P 

    THE DEATH CURE

    James Dashner (2011)

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    I’m about to break one of the bookdragon commandments but… Ilikedthemoviemorethanthebook.

    There, I said it.

    I know I should separate them, but the movie just influenced my read so much.

    So concludes the Maze Runner trilogy, where there’s a lot of death and not a lot of cure. Thomas has survived the Maze. He survived the Scorch. But the poor kid can’t catch a break as W.I.C.K.E.D. continues to hunt him.

    The first two were good, I enjoyed reading them. But I wasn’t really satisfied after closing this book. I feel like I need to read the two prequels to grasp at a better understanding of W.I.C.K.E.D., and I will, because my thirst for knowledge is just too strong to ignore :P I already knew the deaths, so none of them held much weight when I read them. It had more of an emotional punch seeing it on the big screen, rather than in my own head. Even Thomas’ reactions to the deaths – one in particular – felt repetitive and just didn’t move me. Like, at all. Sorry, guys. You know who you are.

    That being said, the book had me on the edge of my seat. The way everyone’s actions were manipulated was interesting, but confusing, and like Thomas, I doubted everything anyone said, but I guess that was the point.

    Anyway, the movies gave us this Thomas ;) 

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    REIGN OF THE FALLEN

    Sarah Glenn Marsh (2018)

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    Okay, maybe not everybody, but when the protagonist is a necromancer, you have to expect a lot of dead guys.

    Odessa – also known as Sparrow because of her exceptional ability to navigate the Deadlands – has the charming job of raising the members of the royal Wylding family from the dead so they can continue to exist amongst the living. The catch? The dead must remain shrouded, or they turn into Shades: deadly monsters with an insatiable bloodlust. And someone is creating them on purpose.

    *le gasp*

    The story wasn’t as focused on the Shades as I thought, or the high adventure I expected. Really, a lot of it was Odessa’s journey of moving on after the loss of a loved one. It meant a lot of the story was slow moving, but not a drag to read.

    What I really loved was the story world. The kingdom of Karthia is terrified of change – the reason why dead kings continue to be raised so their reign never ends. And the idea of those with magic being determined by the colour of their eyes is really cool. It reflects the five faces of their god, and I would have loved to learn more about it, especially since it hints at powers unheard of. I think there’s a sequel in the works, so it might be more developed in the next book.

    There’s an incredibly diverse cast of characters in this book. Odessa is bisexual, there’s a couple of homosexual characters, and a number have dark skin. It also touches on addiction and substance abuse, and it all made for a fantastic young adult fantasy.

    THE HAZEL WOOD

    Melissa Albert (2018)

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    A novel about dark fairy-tales and mysterious woods?

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    Unfortunately, it didn't quite meet up to my expectations, but this was still a good read. It follows seventeen year old Alice who is constantly a source of bad luck. When her mother goes missing, Alice travels to the Hazel Wood, where her grandmother wrote the famous Tales from the Hinterland, and discovers her own story along the way.

    Alice is not a likeable character. I was pleasantly surprised by her at first, though. In a book about fairy-tales, enchanted woods, and a main character named Alice, I had the expectation of her being a sweet, unsuspecting heroine.

    Yeah,  no.

    She smokes, she swears, she has a tattoo. But as the story went on, this novelty wore off, and I felt very 'eh' about the audiobook, listening to find out what happens, rather than because I cared for Alice. She's angry (but this issue is important later in the story - and gives a whole new meaning to ice queen - but it didn’t make her any less mean) and I found her to be very self-centred and rude. Ah, but Ellery Finch; the boy who is dragged into Alice's rescue mission. He was so sweet and thank goodness he was in that book. I loved him.

    The Hinterland – the world where the fairy-tales are set – is amazing, and what really stood out for me. The fairy-tale characters are SCARY. Blood. Guts. No happy endings here. Don't read it to your children. The narration was a five out of five stars performance. There are two songs in the book, and one is a nursery rhyme, and they were so creepy. The dialogue was fantastic, she made it sound so natural and realistic. She had the perfect bratty teenager voice, and I mean that in a good way.

    The author is publishing the book of Tales from the Hinterland, so I’m excited to add that to my collection!

    WILD BEAUTY

    Anna-Marie McLemore (2017)

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    For generations, the Nomeolvides women have tended to gardens of the La Pradera estate. They are gifted with the ability to grow beautiful flowers from their fingertips. They are also cursed. If they love someone too much, that person disappears.

    I thought I had decided on three stars from very early on. There’s too many female characters and not enough description, so they all kind of blurred into one. I couldn’t remember who was who. 

    Quote

    'Don't you ever get tired of this?' Dalia asked.

    Azalea looked back at her. 'Of what?'

    Dalia closed the space between them so she could keep her voice low. 'All five of us acting like we're one person?'

    I know I did.

    But now that I’ve finished, I’m gushing. This book was so good. It took about two-thirds of the book to get there, though. So, if you’re planning to read it, please stick with it. I can say with confidence that this book is amazing and beautiful. It includes multiculturalism and homosexual relationships, too. And the romance was SO sweet, the story SO sad but also so lovely. It's one of the best magical realism novels I've read (buuut nothing is going to knock the Raven Boys from their pedestal :P) and I can't wait to read another of the author's novels. 

    Side note: The main characters’ names follow the alphabet: Azalea, Bay, Calla, Dalia, Estrella, Fel, Gloria. It’s not relevant to the story in any way, I just thought it was cool xD

    FANGIRL

    Rainbow Rowell (2013)

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    Cath is my spirit animal.

    Cath and her twin sister, Wren, do everything together until they move to college and Wren doesn’t want to share a room. She wants to experience college life, and all Cath wants to do is write Simon Snow fanfiction.

    I can relate to Cath SO MUCH. Her shyness used to be me (hard to believe, I know :P) I also saw a lot of my relationship with my own sister in Cath and Wren. I’m the one staying home to write fanfiction and my sister is the one who goes to parties. So I felt their relationship was well written and realistic. The budding romance between Cath and The Boy was just so cute and even gave me butterflies at times. All the characters are fantastic. They felt real and flawed and unique.

    Simon Snow sounds like a cool idea for a story, but if the excerpts of Cath’s fanfiction went on for too long I grew bored and skipped it. I wondered for a while whether to pick up Carry On and eventually decided against it. I loved this book, but I can’t give it higher than three stars. It was a light, fun read.

    THE ASTONISHING COLOUR OF AFTER

    Emily X.R. Pan (2018)

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    This was the YA Room Melbourne’s April book. It’s something I probably wouldn’t have picked up, and I am so glad I did. The book meet was on the 29th and it was so good to talk about it, even if it did get a little emotional at times.

    When Leigh’s mother commits suicide, she turns into a large red bird. Seeking answers, Leigh follows the bird to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents, and she uncovers a whole lotta family secrets along the way.

    It was a beautiful story told non-linearly, but it works. I loved the glimpses of Taiwanese culture. It was rich with description. Leigh is an artist and thinks in colour (and I learnt a lot of new colour names.) She and her best friend, Axel, communicating their feelings by asking the other, ‘What colour?’ and it was gorgeous. Throughout the flashbacks, Leigh’s dad tries to convince her to study something more ‘worthwhile’ than art, and that’s something I could really relate to.

    I’m going to leave you with two of my favourite quotes so that they might encourage you to pick up this book:

    Quote

    Because the purpose of memory, I would argue, is to remind us how to live.

    Quote

    Once you figure out what matters, you’ll figure out how to brave.’

    RED QUEEN

    Victoria Aveyard (2015)

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    Mare Barrow lives in a world separated by blood. Those with silver blood are the royal and elite, boasting supernatural powers. Those with red are forced to serve them, living in poverty and forced to fight in wars. Mare finds work in the Silver Palace where she discovers her red blood also boasts a power.

    I really enjoyed this audiobook. It was a good fantasy novel, but nothing special. I felt like everything had been done before. There was a lot of focus on Mare’s relationships between the two princes, Cal and Maven, but there was enough action in there to balance it out. The book reminded me of The Hunger Games, especially with the revolution and underground hideouts.

    The narrator had a nice voice but she didn’t change it for each character, or lower her voice for the males, so I was often confused by who was speaking, and whether Mare was speaking aloud or it was her internal monologue.

    I’m definitely going to finish the series, but I’m going to get a few novels out the way before I do.

    Wrote:

    2nd - Won first place in the Greenleaf Blossoms Kids & YA Writing Competition for the first chapter of an unpublished children’s or YA novel (Hartwood Academy)

    7th - Booked an editor for Hartwood Academy - the first novel in my young adult fantasy trilogy. Magic! Sentient swords! Ghosts! Lost kings! Curses! 

    8th - Entered the Australian Writers Centre's Furious Fiction. The criteria was: Must be titled The Elephant in the Room, must feature the words emerged, busted, and key, must end with the clock struck four.

    15th - Entered the Underdog anthology and entered the Monash University Creative Writing Prize.

    26th - Submitted to Beneath Ceaseless Skies

    30th - Entered the Bath Novel Award

    Other:

    - My grandmother’s clock only struck TWO HUNDRED AND NINETEEN times at eleven o’clock early in the month. Last night, it chimed for nearly fifteen minutes before I Googled how to wind a clock.

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    She seriously needs to fix that thing.

    - Ate a family-sized packet of Maltesers by myself in 2 minutes 53 seconds

    - Reached level 9 of Hogwarts Mystery :wandinair:

    That's all for now! May your May (heh) be filled with written worlds! :read:

     

  12. Another month has passed (not that I mind, great things waiting ahead :P) and you know what that means by now... I'm getting very bad at this, btw, but I still hope you'll enjoy! :loveshower:

     

    APRIL 2018

    3 - Jesus is risen, Easter and Easter Monday are gone (maybe a bit too quickly), going back to work is delirious and nothing seems to work, but... Spring has arrived, trips and weddings are getting closer, many projects are in the pipeline and I finally have some time for myself. And tonight I'm writing!

    4 - Half day at work, I'm almost done with the teeth aligner, NaNo word count is still at 0 but I have at least answered the old MTA questions. And I got over with the chair thing...

    5 - Il cielo di Lombardia, così bello quand'è bello... is it possible that Spring has finally come? And my novel has 300 new words, that I will delete because they are completely far-fetched, but at least I've overcome the block, right?

    10 - Pretending to be a tourist, even if only for a few minutes. Walking singing along the street artists. And then crossing someone who's doing the exact same thing (then I'm not totally crazy...) Oh, I almost forgot the best part... Renee is coming to Italy this Summer!!!

    12 - Maybe the day didn't go in the smoothest way possible, but... I've finally found inspiration to write! And now that Ophelia has a new scene all for herself I can go to bed satisfied.

    14 - That joy of seeing two people you love getting emotional at the altar. Getting together with the Matematti and then dancing until you can't feel your feet anymore. And to close it all, an ice cream at the shore of the lake. A splendid day.

    19 - Happy thought of the week, rather than the day, because constance is not my greatest virtue... Spring, meadows white and blue of daises and forget-me-not, the Duomo front lightened by the sun.

    20 - When a bit of (healthy) foolishness in the office is justifiable because the week was long and it's finally Friday. Projects of beautiful surprises and fanfiction to keep company. And the weekend awaits.

    23 - Reading, writing, dancing, enjoying a moment of quietness and solitude swinging on a swing (okay, that was yesterday...)

    28 - Another movie marathon, another wonderful day with the Matematti. To the next time, my friends. Always the greatest pleasure.

    30 - Hours spent in cheeriness with old friends and new, a bike ride, an unexpected review, the group of the Summer meetup growing. And maybe an idea for a new story, who knows...

     

    Credits/translations/explainations:

    The chair thing... I suppose this needs background... I had this chair that was a bit unstable (has been that way for years). One day my aunt was home and my neighbour came to say hello and they decided that said chair needed fixing and asked another neighbour. All this without telling me anything (no, I didn't find it annoying or intrusive, why are you asking?) Anyway, this chair suddenly disappeared and then suddenly reappeared and then my aunts claimed that I should have gone to the neighbour who fixed it to ask him if I owed him any money. And well... first, I hate asking people if I owe them money (or viceversa, reminding people that they owe me money), I just find it extremely awkward. Second, it buggered me that I had to thank for a favour I didn't ever ask for (yes, I know, that's childish...) Anyway, I postponed it as much as I could, and the times I did try my neighbour wasn't home. Eventually I found him and thanked him and he was like, "Ah, don't mention it, let me know if you need anything else..." I didn't ask him if I owed him money, though... :couch: (Long rant, sorry...)

    Il cielo di Lombardia, così bello quand'è bello (literally, The Lombardia sky, so beautiful when it's beautiful) is a quote from I Promessi Sposi by Alessandro Manzoni.

    Matematti: I already explained this in some previous post, this is the nickname of my group of uni friends, coming from the merging of the words matematici and matti, so basically it means crazy Mathematicians.

     

    And that's all, folks! Hope you enjoyed, as usual, and I'll see you again in a month! :loveshower:

  13. Um. 2018 is one third over.

    Whaaaaaat?

    I am completely thrown. To say that April flew by would be an absolute understatement.

    I know I say every month that it feels like the last month went by quickly, but I really do mean it this time! I didn't even make monthly goals in my bullet journal, and now the month has ended! I can't believe that. And, I suppose, it's time to admit that I didn't come remotely close to the one vague goal that I did have of participating in Camp NaNo and editing the remaining 44 chapters of Collateral. I edited...half. of one. Soooo...not a success. I do want to say, though, that I could not appreciate the lovely @ShadowRose more! Taylor, you were such a sweet NaNo pen pal, and I wish I hadn't essentially done nothing this month. Congratulations on all of the words you wrote! You're a champion and it was wonderful getting to know you throughout April!

    So, what did I accomplish in the last thirty days?

    • I cut all my hair off again—and it looks and feels awesome!—which I really needed to do (because why did I think I should try growing it out?? I love having short hair!).
    • My oldest sister came to visit for a week, which was lovely and not even that stressful somehow.
    • I got another tattoo—and it is stunning and gorgeous and reminds me of home every time I look at it.
    • I went to a concert and a play and a kit-tea party for my friend's cat's birthday.
    • I validated 270 chapters on the archives.

    So it wasn’t a completely unsuccessful month. True, I wrote essentially nothing. True, I haven’t actively worked on my apartment search for our move this summer. True, I’m stressed and tired essentially all the time. But look, not every month (or months, or year...) can be perfect. And that’s okay.

    This community is lovely and growing, and I’m so happy to be a part of it! Thanks as always for reading my monotonous life updates! ;)  It’s good for me to try to keep track of my monthly progress.

    Until the end of the coming month! May it be a good one!

  14. Long Time No See!

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    Gabriella Hunter
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    My goodness!

     

    I can't believe that I haven't been on this site in almost two years (maybe three?) and I am so sorry for vanishing the way that I did!

     

    For those of you who don't know or remember me, I'm Gabriella Hunter. Most folks just called me "Gabbie" and remember me from the old HPFF site and what a shock! I just found out that the site closed down but luckily, most of my stories are saved on my hard drive and I'm really excited about making a fresh start! I haven't actually written anything in about as long as my absence, so about two years. I left a lot of stories on awful cliffhangers, cause that's just how I roll and I feel so bad about it. Hahah. I really miss the feeling of just losing myself in my work and I missed my friends so badly. I thought that you guys would be furious with me but here I am and I'm glad that I'm back! 

     

    The past two years for me were pretty....something. I'll just say that. I haven't had many good moments and I've been trying to get my life together but I'm happy to say that I can start posting again and hopefully reconnect with all of my old friends and make some new ones along the way. I have new stories, new chapters and characters in my head. There are a lot of loose ends to tie up and I hope that you guys won't mind me rambling on about it! 

     

    I work night shift right now so if you guys ever need anything, I'll most likely be awake in the wee hours of the morning like some kind of demonic vampire. Be sure to shoot a message if you can and I'll try to answer you guys back whenever I can! 

     

    ;)

     

    Much love,


    Gabbie

  15. So, if you follow me on Twitter you might have seen a status that looked like this a week or so ago.

     

    Quote

    Just found a German version of one of my stories online. Only mildly bothered (this is still a grey area for me) only they claimed it was an authorised translation. So I left a review asking them to change that statement. Reasonable reaction? https://www.fanfiktion.de/s/5a1b35f6000359a8288c21ce/1/Marauders-039-Mayhem 

     

    I and Jo Raskoph left reviews of the offending story letting them know that I'd written it and hadn't authorised any translation. I've historically been a little hesitant to have translations of my work on other sites. However, this I suspect is mostly to do with the fact I've only been asked about How to tame a Marauder, and that's 284000 words long and I am concerned the nuances in the text would be lost. Also, it's kind of my baby and I like to have control over where it's posted, as I'm sure you can appreciate.

    The fic in question here, Marauders' Mayhem, was written in about an hour for a challenge and I'd not really looked at it since. In other words, it's not something that's quite as dear to my heart as HTM is, so I was a bit unsure whether I wanted the translation to be online or not. It's only a one-shot, so how much did it really matter if the translation wasn't quite right? Nuances and the like don't seem so important when you're only talking about 2000 words.

    Anyway, yesterday I received a review on one of my other stories, at AO3. It wasn't a review, though - it was a note from the person who had posted the translation to the German site. It seems that there had been an account on Wattpad under the name melian225, which is the name I always use when melian isn't available (AO3, FF.net, Twitter), where apparently a number of my works were posted. I need hardly say that this person was NOT me - I'm not a fan of Wattpad and have never posted my stories there.The person who had translated my story approached the Wattpad version of myself, asking for permission, which was given. As such, they believed they did have authorisation to post the translation. Only after receiving my and Jo's reviews did they question that, and approached the person at Wattpad. Guess what? Instead of responding, said person deleted their account.

    So, I was asked, what did I want them to do? They would love me to give approval for the translation to remain online, but if I didn't, they were happy to remove it.

    Well, I don't know about you, but I very much appreciate it when people are open and honest with me like that. From the sounds of it, it was very much an honest mistake, in which they believed they were doing the right thing. And, like I said, this story isn't exactly my baby.

    Long story short, I've given my approval for it to stay up there. But I wanted to share my experience. Sometimes, what looks like plagiarism isn't really - and if you reach out to someone, sometimes you can start a dialogue that furthers friendship and cooperation.

    Wattpad, though ... I'm getting a bit sick of Wattpad. As I'm sure a number of us are.

  16. what the hell is a dojh

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    Dojh167
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    Language fun + odd fixations = this blog post

    So I have a tend of picking up and overusing little phrases or words for periods of time. Sometimes I'm conscious of where these come from, sometimes I'm not. I recently became aware of someone I've spent a lot of time speaking with using a word that I had often been aware of myself using but had not observed from others, in this case "eep." I suspected that I had passed the usage of the word along, but I did not know where I had picked it up from, or who else I may have spread it to.

    This interested me, so, as you do, I did some research into the usage of the word on our forums. I was very interested in what I found and welp now here's this

    Most uses were for the spelling "eep" notes have been made where there are extra Es

    • @Stella Blue 6/25/16, Writers Journals
    • @Veritaserum27 7/4/16, Reviewing Talk (*eeeep - only use of 4 Es)
    • @dreamgazer220 8/4/16, Monthly Awards & Actvities
    • @MuggleMaybe 8/7/16, Hufflepuff Basement (*eeep)
    • pointlessproclamations 8/21/16, Monthly Awards & Activities (this usage was actually edited into the post by Stella Blue)
    • dreamgazer220 8/22/16, Site Announcements, Resources, & Help
    • dreamgazer220 8/27/16, Monthly Awards & Activities
    • @esmeraude 1/10/17, Hufflepuff basement (*eeep)
    • Veritaserum27 4/1/17, Monthly Awards & Activities
    • MuggleMaybe 8/11/17, status post on a Hufflepuff's page
    • @forever_dreaming 9/21/17, status post on a Ravenclaw’s page (*eeeeep - only use of 5 Es)
    • @danicasyer 10/25/17, Other Fandoms
    • @Renacerá 10/29/17, Writers Journals
    • dreamgazer220 12/9/17, Story Challenges
    • Stella Blue 1/15/18, Writers Journals
    • Stella Blue 1/15/18, Hufflepuff Basement (*eeep)
    • @victoria_anne 3/3/18, Hufflepuff Basement
    • Dojh167 3/4/18, Hufflepuff Basement
    • dreamgazer220 4/7/18, Novel Nests
    • Dojh167 4/8/18, Hufflepuff Basement
    • MuggleMaybe 4/15/18, Hufflepuff Basement (*eeep)

    Ten users have used some variation of the word a total of 21 times. Of those, 8 of the users and 18 of the times were by Hufflepuffs, with the remaining to users and 3 times being Ravenclaws.

    My data is naturally limited by the fact that I do not have access to other house common rooms or staff/prefect areas of the site, which may reveal that the usage of this word is not as predominantly Hufflepuff as this data implies. I welcome any additional contribution of data.

    The use of four and five Es as unique to Ravenclaw users suggests there may be a distinct house culture associated with accepted spellings

    I was surprised that my own uses of the word were fairly limited and appeared late in the pattern. While I believe I have been using this word for at least two years, it is possible that my use has been limited to deleted house cup event threads or twitter chat messages (both of which would be primarily Hufflepuff exchanges)

    Occurrences of the word seems to have natural peaks and valleys. It would be interesting to research if these periods follow house cup events, during which time these users have higher exposure to each other’s enthusiastic outbursts.

    The word seems to be most often be used to convey flattered gratitude at receiving an honor, an expression of excitement, or embarrassment for a transgression

    While occurrences are often in the same subforum, the spelling "eep" was never used twice in the same thread, though in one case "eeep" was used twice in the same thread (though on different pages), in both cases apologizing for a double post

    A quick search of TDA returned 200 results since 2013, with only one usage appearing during 2017

    The subforum most likely to contain the word is the Hufflepuff Basement, with 7 out of 21 uses found there,

    Dreamgazer220 has used the word the most, with 5 recorded instances

    Stella Blue has the distinction of being the one person to use the word twice in a single day, though she varied the spelling on that day, from "eep" to "eeep" an hour and a half later. The only other user to have fluctuated spellings is Veritaserum27.

    MuggleMaybe seems to be the most consistent in her use of the word, which she has used once for each calendar year, each time with the less common spelling of “eeep”

     

  17. better than firewhiskey

    Hello! 

    So people may have noticed I don't really blog here much (or anywhere, idk why I felt that I needed to be location specific...whatever bex) 
    there's no 'reason' other than, my life is boring and I don't have much to say.
    I saw a post on tumblr recently where this girl essentially listed the highlights of her thoughts throughout the day. I wanna do that. 
    There's no want or need for this, but I feel like people only know me from my work on TDA. I actually hope that you do because my graphics are a lot better than my actual writing (and i'm in a huge graphics rut right now, so that speaks volumes.) This won't be a daily thing, because I assume a lot of my thoughts are the same, and my life isn't that exciting - not enough for my to blog about my brain DAILY. Maybe this will be a monthly thing....maybe we'll never speak of this again. We'll see how it goes! 

    bex's brain 13th April, the highlights: 

    • omg remember that girl who started crying two years ago and you were the only one around to cheer her up? Why were you the only one there???? why???? why were you trusted with someone who CRIES? It's weird because I still see her now, and we're just like awkward acquaintances. Oh lord why was I there....I SHOULD NEVER BE LEFT WITH CRYING PEOPLE. ESPECIALLY WHEN I DON'T KNOW THEM! I JUST MAKE JOKES. TERRIBLE JOKES. My social skills are roughly about Chandler Bing & Rosa Diaz level. Ugh god that girl probably hates me. I don't care, but she should hate me. She should also judge herself for allowing me to see her cry bc people should be able to tell just by looking at me that i'm not equipped for this level of social interaction! 
    • you know now that i think about it, every fic i've written so far in the past 18 months....snape has seen some action???? i dont even plan it, one minute he's being snarky, next minute he's sleeping with someone???? Clara fancied him as a kid, Eleanor's well yknow we all know what Eleanor's doing, Hermione and Snape are like meant to be together obviously - i just???? the weirdest thing is - I don't find him the least bit attractive. Would we chill and be sassy? Absolutely. Would I date him? gooD LORD NO 
    • i'm betraying my otp. I'm a terrible person who's betraying her otp. I'm writing a snape x oc. forgive me snamione FOR I HAVE SINNED
    • OHHHHH I KNOW WHY I KEEP GIVING SNAPE LOVE INTERESTS. To make up for the fact that I keep killing him in all my fics. Literally. every. single. fic. With all the women he's getting I'm pretty sure he wouldn't mind. 
    • wow stood up too fast. you know i haven't felt this in FOREVER - idk why people get het up about this stuff, i didn't actually mind that
    • okay i googled the whole standing up too fast thing....this is why people freak out about it. it was a one off, so it's all good! 
    • i really need to finish my script. or maybe i shouldn't because my writing is horrific 
    • well okay then i need to stop writing ff til my script is done idc how hard it is bex stop arguing with urself and do it 
    • i can't believe i thought i could do proper crosswords that don't have the answers, just impossible hints. I AM NOT A RAVENCLAW I REPEAT, I AM NOT A RAVENCLAW
    • well actually i'm a slytherclaw, but i have the ravenclaw creativity rather than their ability to solve riddles. If i had to solve a riddle to get in my common room i'd be sleeping outside. voluntarily. like i'm not here to make myself look an idiot, i already do it subconsciously 
    • this episode of Brooklyn nine-nine is a masterpiece i'm not ready for the fact that i'm almost caught up [here's a visual++]
    • speaking of the nine-nine this show has really made me aware of my flaws because i'm so jake, and i love him to death but omg there's times when he can be annoying as heck. However as I said, I am jake, so I'm aware of my flaws....but changing them sounds like it involves a lot of effort and i'm not about that 
    • it's been a while since easter and my sister hasn't even touched her easter egg. i'm gonna give her two more days, then it's mine. 
    • i want some flares so bad. like high waisted flares, if this summer's good i'd wear them ALL THE TIME. 
    • i need to save up money for those flares 
    • it's 3am why am i still thinking about my sister's easter egg and those flares?????? 

     

     

    Reading all these seems perfectly normal to me because....well they're from my head. Maybe I've just revealed to the world that I'm slightly less sane than we all thought? Let me know if I should be carted off in a straight jacket? Otherwise I hope you enjoyed getting a teensy little snippet of the life of bex!

     

  18. scribblings on a rock

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    April 7, 2018: Reflections after five years

    (Or twelve, depending on how you look at it)

     

     

    @RoxiMalfoy did one of these last week, and having come up on my own milestone, I’m jumping on the bandwagon :P 

     

    I can’t believe it was this long, but I first joined the Harry Potter fandom twelve years ago. It was a very sudden thing. I had read half of the first book years before and not really gotten into it much (…what was I thinking?!), so I forgot about it until around April 2006 when a friend found out I’d never read the books and told me I had to. So I did – I read all six that were out at the time, and searched the internet for anything more I could devour. I found a forum where people were discussing theories for the next book, and jumped right in.

     

    People were also writing fanfiction there, and I tentatively (and very skeptically, I’ll admit) had a look around – I had never read fanfiction before, but I was already unfairly judgemental about it because I’d heard it was stupid. (A reputation that very much bothers me now, but I’ll save that for another blog.) Anyway, I opened up one Marauders fanfiction and was sucked in. I began writing my own first fanfiction a few months later (which took six and a half years to finish, but that’s another story :P ). The rest, as they say, is history. That forum, and particularly the fanfiction part of it, became a beloved community for a few years.

     

    In 2013, I heard that forum was going to shut down. Most of the activity had died out a few years before, and it was somewhat of a ghost town, but it was still kind of sad to say goodbye to it. I decided to move my two stories to a new place, and I thought of HPFF, because someone had once recommended a story to me there years before (it was Delicate, in case anyone wondered :P ) Aside from reading the one story there, I’d never had much to do with the site – it was just so big and kind of seemed overwhelming, but I created an account there. That was five years ago, to the day.

     

    I never planned on writing more stories, I just intended to finish the one I was working on at the time. But I discovered the HPFF forums and entered challenges and got constructive reviews and read incredible stories by talented authors and made wonderful friendships and improved so much as a writer. Whatever I may feel about HPFF now, I will always treasure what I got out of it and the amazing community atmosphere that flourished there at that time. Especially because during all these years I’ve been moving around a lot for my fieldwork, and HPFF was like my internet home, the one thing that was constant.

     

    Of course, I was devastated when that all fell apart, and I don’t know what I would have done if HPFT hadn’t risen from that wreckage, keeping all of the good things intact and leaving behind all the bad. It’s true I’ve had a lot of trouble writing since the Drama at HPFF two years ago, but what always picked me back up again was the community here at HPFT. Despite my intense writers block for years, it was honestly the encouragement I got here that motivated me to finish my latest WIP. People here are so encouraging and understanding, and you are all what really make this place amazing. The community is the heart of this place. Even though I’m basically not around anymore due to my remote living situation, I always feel so welcome whenever I check back in, and see all these messages that I appreciate so, so much. It’s easy to feel disconnected out here, but you always pull me back in with open arms. Even if I never wrote another word again, I’d still stick around on the periphery just because I love all of you.

     

    I have high hopes for writing this spring, though. For the past few weeks I’ve actually been wanting to write again, which hasn’t happened for two years. I don’t have internet where I live, which is frustrating, but also probably very good for my productivity – I can’t just waste time on Twitter, I actually have to write :P Only time will tell, I guess.

     

    Anyway, just in case it got lost in this very long, rambling description of my journey for the past five years as part of this community (or twelve, if you count the wider HP fanfiction community), it’s been so rewarding to be a part of HPFT. I’m always so thrilled to see the incredible support here and how thoughtful and intelligent everyone is here. Thanks, HPFT, for everything. This place is awesome, and I'm so happy to be part of the HPFT family. :grouphug: for everyone.

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    RoxiMalfoy
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    Ten Years

    :happybirthday: 

     

    Ten years ago, the word “forum” was completely foreign to me. I had no idea what being a part of an online community was like. I had always been taught that it was dangerous to chat with “strangers from the internet.” (You can tell how well I took that particular lesson to heart as a youngster, haha!!) :P Ten years ago I wrote just for fun. I never would have imagined sharing any of my work with other people. My writing was for my-eyes ONLY!! Ten years ago, the idea of sharing my writing with those strangers on the internet scared the hell out of me...

     

    I don’t even recall the exact detail of events that lead me to HPFF. I just remember that I was researching something for a scene that I wanted to write for my own Harry Potter story. So I was Yahoo-searching something (because in those days, yahoo’s search engine was all the rage, lol!!) and a story that another fanfic author had written on HPFF popped up in the search results. Curious, I clicked on it to see what it was, and thus I discovered the world of Harry Potter Fanfiction. I was amazed!! There was an actual term for what I was doing, and thousands of other people were doing it too!! Who knew? xD

     

    But of course, in my own self-critical opinion, MY story was not nearly good enough to be posted online for all the world to see. It was very much a part of me back in those days, and I simply was not ready to let other people to read it. I was far too happy to just continue keeping it all to myself. Little did I know the levels of growth and feelings of accomplishment that awaited me through the experience of writing fanfiction with others... Sure, I had read the announcements on the HPFF homepage about checking out their forums before, and even clicked over there a few times during my anonymous guest reading visits. But it all just looked so confusing, and a little bit intimidating, so I admit that I was hesitant to join. I believe that it was the “Title Help” section that finally drew me in. I remember thinking: "These people are going to help me come up with chapter titles and summaries? They talk about stuff like that there? How cool is that!?"  :thumbsup: 

     

    So, on March 28th, 2008, I signed up for my first ever online forum account; and I haven’t looked back since!! :yay: I have met so many wonderful and supportive people in this community, all of which have helped me to grow and develop my own personal writing style. I eventually came out of my scared little writing shell of shyness; and on December 9th, 2008, I FINALLY posted the first chapter of my Novel to the HPFF archives!! (Back in those days, the story was called “All is NOT Fair in Love & War” and it was going in a totally different direction that what “Love, Not War” is traveling in now though). But I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way!! I can’t even believe how hesitant I was in the beginning. It’s so silly to even think about how irrational my reasoning was back in those days...

     

    But looking back on my early days now, I am simply stunned by HOW MUCH I’ve grown since I first started writing. And when I think about that fact that it has now been TEN YEARS to the day, I am left breathless in awe and wonder. My writing is certainly not what it was ten years ago, that’s for sure, and I own the majority of that to THIS community!! Had I never clicked “join” on this very day ten years ago, I don’t even know if I would have stuck with writing after college. Who knows?? :/ I mean, I barely have time for it as it is right now, but it's still one of my dearest passions. My loves. My favorite methods of escape. When real life gets to be too complicated, when work gets too stressful, when the business becomes too much... I sit down and I write. I immerse myself in the fantastic world of HP; and I write about Draco, and Roxi, and Lucius, and Saleena, all of their complex relationships and problems. Because sometimes, I confess, it is far easier to deal with their issues than it is to focus on whatever else is going on in RL at that moment. :( (But aren't we all a little guilty of that on occasion though?)

     

    Don’t get me wrong, I'm not one of those people who run away from their problems. Not in the slightest. It's just that I am happy to have writing - and writing Harry Potter Fanfiction in particular - as a means of a temporary break/escape from it all from time to time. And had I not met all of you lovelies here, I honestly don’t know if I would still have stuck with it after all of these years... As some of you may know or remember, I did take a two-year hiatus from 2012 to 2014 while I was in college, and I almost didn’t return after that. When I did, I wrote a few new chapters back in 2014, but that was when I realized that the story wasn’t going in the direction that I wanted it to anymore. So, in January of 2015, I decided to scrap everything and start all over with my Novel! ;) I have been in the re-writing process with LNW for three years now. The only reason I did not delete the whole thing and start all over, was because I did not wish to lose all of my old reviews/feedback on the story. I was editing the chapters as I went before the HPFF forums closed in the spring of 2016. After that incident, I sort of just abandoned everything over there and I took a break for a while. (9 months, to be exact.) With the opening of HPFT’s archives, I was excited to have a real fresh start with my Novel. I finally started posting the newly re-written chapters on January 2017, and to-date our archive is THE ONLY place on the internet that hosts all of my stories in their most updated form. :)

    ~*~

     

    ...When I started writing this blog last week, this was originally going to be the part where I write the conclusion, and wrap up my bittersweet feelings of how it’s been an incredible ten years, and how I cannot wait to see where the next ten will take us!! And while that is still true; as most of you all have seen/heard by now, the announcement came on Monday that the HPFF Story Archives will be closing next month, on April 28th. :( The fact that this announcement came in three days before what would have been my ten-year forumversarry has, admittedly, thrown me into several emotional tangents off-and-on all week that I was not quite prepared for. Just when I thought that I had buried all of my feelings about that place and finally moved on with my life... BAM! Here we go again... I guess a part of me has known all along that the site was running on borrowed time anyway. But that still didn’t make the official announcement any less shocking, or any easier to digest. The more naive part of my brain had convinced me that the old version of LNW would always be around on HPFF for me to refer back to and reference when needed throughout my rewriting process. After all, feedback has always been SO important to me; which is why I have been using all of my old reviews from there as I go through the editing process with my Novel. But now, in a month’s time, all of that will be deleted. Permanently. Nearly 20 years of history, just gone. And I’d be lying if I said that I did not have some very mixed feelings about that... :|

     

    So yes, I went through the whole process of backing everything I had left over there up on Monday night - something that I probably should have done two years ago, but I was clearly being lazy, lol! xD But it was SUCH a humbling experience, let me tell you. Seeing some of the old reviews that I had gotten - reviews that are now almost ten years old - it really reminded me of how far I’ve come as a writer, and just exactly how much I have improved and grown over the last decade. I confess that I had not logged into my HPFF account since last year’s CTF event, so it felt a bit strange to be back there again. But I’m glad I spent the time that I did on Monday night (staying up til nearly 5am, lol), saying goodbye to the place that first gave me the confidence to share my stories with the world. It was a very bittersweet process, to say the very least. :sadgoodbye:  Overall though, I’ve dealt with my feelings on HPFF for the most part. That’s why I was not around for the first 10 months of this forum being open. That’s why it took me so long to jump back in and finally get involved here. I was scared. I was hurt. I was sad. I was emotional. And I felt lost. But once I was ready; once I finally put those hurt feeling aside and moved on, I came back here and I immediately jumped into the CTF reviewing event that was going on last spring. And everyone was so welcoming, and so friendly and inviting. It just made me feel as though no time had passed at all!! ^_^ I was able to just pick right back up where I had left off at and start again. Not all the old faces were here, but there were many familiar ones, and several amazing new ones!! And I instantly fell in love with the feeling of community again. :wub: 

     

    I cannot even begin to tell you guys how important, how special, how meaningful, how absolutely AMAZING if feels to know that no matter what happens, no matter how much time passes, no matter what crazy circumstances that RL may throw my way; YOU GUYS - my HPFT Family - will ALWAYS be there for me. This place really is like Hogwarts; always there to welcome you back home, lol! ;) And I really do mean that, genuinely, from the bottom of my heart!!! HPFT is not JUST a website, just a forum, or just an archive. Sure, it is comprised of all of those things, but for me; HPFT is and always will be its MEMBERS. You guys are what keep me going, and y’all are why I do what I do. We are all connected through our love of writing and HP/other fandoms alike. Nothing can tear us apart, and just knowing that simple fact alone fills me with so much joy and hope for the future!! :grouphug:

     

    Ten years it’s been. I’ve made so many friends from so many different part of the world. I’ve pulled so many all-nighters in so many different HC competitions. I posted my first ever Novel and received over 500 reviews for it. This year I won my first site-wide award! I even learned how to make graphics over the years too!! It has been one hell of a ride, that’s for sure! And yes, absolutely, I cannot WAIT to see where the next ten years take me!! Because, for as long as I live, I cannot see myself outgrowing Harry Potter, lol. And, at the rate I’m going, (as @Rumpelstiltskin often likes to joke) I’ll be 80 years old by the time I finish LNW, lmao!!! :roflol:  That is TOTALLY a joke though, haha!! I really am hoping to have it close to being finished here within the next few years. :P ...In all seriousness though; it’s not often I feel compelled to Blog about things. It’s not often I bare my soul, or make myself vulnerable in such a way as this. But today was a big day. And,in light of recent events, I could not allow it to go by and NOT say anything. I’ve told people in private before my feelings about the site and the community before, but I felt that it just needed to be said publically. Because I know a lot of people are hurting right now. A lot of people out there feel lost, sad, and emotional over Monday’s announcement. And that’s okay. I was there too. But then I realized something…  The community is still here. It’s not lost. There is still a place for us. We still have our little corner of the internet to call home. And after ten years, and am beyond grateful for that!! :hug: I will probably carry several of the friendships that I have made here with me for the rest of my life.

     

    If you’re new here and you’ve just read this entire rambling novel of a blog post - welcome!! I probly haven’t ‘met’ you yet, but I love you just for being here!! :hearteyes:  And everyone else, because let’s face it, y’all know I’ve talk to like practically everybody now pretty much at one point or another (like, seriously, what’s a stranger? haha!!) I love you ALL so much!!! :hug:  This community means the absolute world to me. Y’all are my family, and I would do anything for any one of you, be it within my power/capability to do so. This community of wonderful, supportive, encouraging, uplifting, amazing, funny, talented, accepting, inclusive, loving, kind, helpful, and just overall amazing people have done so much for me over the past decade. So it is my honor, my privilege, to be able to give back and do for you all now as a staffer. Being on the staff team for the past 8 months has probably been THE BEST experience in the whole entire Ten Years I’ve been around here, lol! I just love being a part of something so great, and being able to help my online family out here fills my heart with so much joy!! 💗

     

    So happy ten years of writing Harry Potter fanfiction to me.:greenstars:  Even though it hasn’t been ten years here at HPFT, specifically, I know that there are some of you here in the community who I have known for the vast majority of the last decade. ;) I love you; all of you, old and new, :slytherin: or not, lol!! :P Thank you for simply being here, for contributing to the community. Big or small, your contributions and your presence here matters. No matter how small/insignificant/unimportant you may feel, I am here to tell you that YOU ARE IMPORTANT, and you DO matter!!! Just look at me, I was a notorious background lurker for six years. So I know all about hiding out in the shadows, lol!! But even our fabulous lurkers are ever so lovely, and I just adore you ALL to pieces!!! :hug: Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!! Thank you; all of you, for making this place what it is. To anyone who has ever read my story; and especially all of those who have left me Reviews over the years, THANK YOU!! Anyone with whom I have ever held a conversation with; be it here on the forums or on social media, Thank You!! :thankyou: 

     

    Your love and support mean more to me than words can describe!! I truly am beyond excited for the future of this Community, and I cannot wait to see what the next ten years will bring us!!  :wub: 

    :grouphug:

    Love, Deana 💚

  19. Tammi's Blog

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    To say that 2016 was the worst year of my life would be an understatement. For those that don’t know, I lost my father a few days after completing Nano.

    It should have been a happy time for me, not only had I completed Nano in three days (my personal best), but it was my first time delving into Original Fiction.

    Losing my dad completely destroyed me. My father was my everything, from raising me alone, to being my best friend in the whole world. I had never been closer to anyone as I was to him, and it hit me hard.

    My father was the person who got me into Harry Potter (It’s why I have his name as the wand part of my Deathly Hallows tattoo. Because he is the strongest person I know). I remember it well, I was around 13/14, and I had a week off from school because I was extremely ill. My dad needed to go shopping, but didn’t want to leave me alone, so he took me with him. We went down the book aisle of the supermarket, and I saw the box set of the first four books on the shelf. My dad brought them for me because he thought that it might cheer me up, and I became hooked on them from the first book.

    Most of my Harry Potter memories come from my dad. He would listen to the audio books on his computer pretty much every day – he must have listened to them millions of times – he would watch the films all the time. He would make sure that we went as a family to see the films as soon as they came out. He would buy me each new book at the midnight release. He was as much of a fan as I was, to be honest.

    It’s why I told him about my fan fiction as soon as I started writing it. I wouldn’t let him read any of it; because I was too embarrassed at the beginning, but he would be there ready to give me ideas if I was stuck, and offer help if I needed it. He was so proud of my writing, and would encourage it all the time. He was my muse.

    He loved Nano, and would brag to anyone who would listen about my word count. He would tell everyone he knew that I was a writer. He would tell people about how I was going to be an author one day, and that I wrote books online. Every Nano, we had a few traditions that we followed every year. As soon as I was done planning, I would get a Chinese for dinner. He would buy me my Nano stash so that I had energy when I was writing, he would be on hand to make me a hot chocolate as encouragement. Whenever I got writer's block he would take me for a drive along the seafront, and not care if I listened to my iPod as we drove... the shock and admiration from him whenever I told him my word count, and how quickly it increased was what kept me writing so much.

    I have never seen him prouder than he was when I completed it in three days, and I am so glad that he was able to see me achieve that.

    He was such a massive part of my writing, and I believe that’s why I wasn’t able to write for such a long time. When he left, I lost my muse; I lost my reason for writing.

    I had never felt as alone as I had in the last 14 months. Not only did I lose my dad, I realised how little my siblings and mother seemed to care about me (I won’t get into that at all, it’s much too long). I ended my relationship of twelve years, because he kept telling me to basically get over my dad’s death because he didn’t want to deal with it (It had been two weeks when he first said this) and that I was being too dramatic by crying at my dad’s funeral. He also told me that I had to sell all of my dad’s things, and get rid of his cat. Yeah, he was kicked to the kerb, and my cat is my baby, I would choose that cat each time!

    I was left to deal with absolutely everything alone, and it was hard because I always had my dad there to guide me, and I ended up with no one. I know that I should have come on here, you have all been so supportive and loving, and I love you all. But, I was in such a dark place. A horrible, awful, dark place. I had never felt such pain and loneliness and did so many stupid things in my attempt to try to cope with it all. I hid myself away; I took myself away from everything because I didn’t have the energy to be myself. I didn’t want to be alive, and I didn’t want to drag anyone else down with me.

    I’m no longer in that bad place, and that is thankfully because of one of my siblings (I have five), my friends, and my new boyfriend. They have made me want to stay alive; they have made me see that my dad is always with me. My new boyfriend – you’ve probably seen me gushing about him on twitter/instagram/snapchat all the time – has made me want to write again. He wants to talk about my dad all the time, he wants to make sure that he encourages me to write, because he says that it’s what my dad loved, and that I should continue it. He makes me want to be me again, and to stay alive, and I can never thank him enough. He saved me from a downhill spiral.

    Because of his encouragement, I wrote four new chapters.

    There wasn’t much point to this blog, except that I felt like I needed to write it so that you all knew where I had gone. I disappeared, and I’m sorry. I feel like I’m ready to come back though, and I’m going to try and be more involved because being around you all makes me so happy.

    Thank you for letting me ramble, and rant, I really appreciate it (and I hope you can forgive all of the punctuation and grammar mistakes. I'm a little rusty :P) . I hope to talk to you all more! :D 

     

  20. So, the title is pretty self-explanatory but let me tell you about what exactly happened. As a side note, this is perhaps the only time in my life when I have received hate mail on tumblr in my entire time of being on there, which has been quite a few years. It's a little disappointing tbh because I find anonymous hate to be so entertaining.

    "What happened?" I hear you ask.

    Well, I was on tumblr, scrolling through my dash a few years ago, and I follow the Harry Potter tag, and I guess the site brought up some post they thought would be interesting and I guess it just so happened that this time, it was a post defending Severus Snape.

    Or maybe I was just feeling really confrontational (extremely likely) that one day and I saw something that just set me off.

    So I pulled up a text post, and wrote something aggressively negative about Severus Snape, and posted it. To paraphrase Lizzie Bennet, "This is my video blog."

    Did I forget to mention that I tagged it? Because I did, oh boy did I tag it. And then I didn't even think anything of it, I didn't think anybody was going to bother reading it and sending me anon hate for it. But I was very wrong. I don't think I've ever been that wrong before in my life. Because when I woke up the next day and opened up tumblr, there were several ... strongly worded messages left for me. I don't think anyone told me to die, but there was a lot of name calling and questioning of my intelligence and my tastes etc. etc. you get the idea.

    I also don't think there were any death threats.

    I responded to all of them of course because ignoring someone is rude, and I responded in the same tone of voice that I got the message in, and I refrained from swearing for so long, you have absolutely no idea. I emphasize this because in real life I am somebody who swears ... a lot. I just feel like it allows me to express myself and my feelings very clearly.

    But I digress.

    I knew, that the minute I started swearing some bleeper was gonna come along and say that my entire argument was moot just because I dropped some f bombs, which lo and behold is exactly what happened when  I did start dropping swears. Because apparently it was perfectly okay to have someone swearing at me but God forbid that I swear right back. And I know, maybe you're thinking why couldn't you just have been a little more patient but damn it, I had been dealing with that garbage for an entire day.

    AN ENTIRE DAY. I WAS OUT OF PATIENCE LIKE WHO HAS TIME TO SEND LITERAL PARAGRAPHS ON ANON VIA TUMBLR. I HAD NO MORE PATIENCE.

    Anyways.

    There was a lot of back and forth with this one anon and in the end we kind of came to an understanding and stopped internet screaming at each other, I acknowledged that I shouldn't have tagged my negative opinion of Snape under the Snape tag and they apologized for pretty much everything else.

    And what inspired me to suddenly talk about this out of the blue?

    I was on FFnet and I was scrolling through my published stories and my eye landed on my Bad Blood oneshot that I have posted pretty much everywhere except tumblr because we're not doing that again. And I just got to thinking about what happened when I posted Bad Blood on FFnet, the response was very different from AO3 or HPFF or HPFT and much more aggressive. To summarize half of the reviews that I got on it was one giant paragraph of did you even read the books?, you completely misinterpreted his character, you don't understand Snape, you're just trying to push your agenda on the rest of us, you made some of this stuff up (which was half true but that is also the point of fanfiction, but also half not true because some of the stuff I'm pretty sure I pulled from the books but it's been a while so I could be wrong).

    I'm probably missing one theme but I'm not going back again to look at those reviews again. Once was enough.

    The most disappointing thing was that people left them under usernames that were not signed in which was such a shame because I couldn't even respond to them. But also, thank God, because I couldn't respond to them.

    And like to a certain extent I understand the level of aggression that came my way but also, like ... it's not okay to attack someone's entire existence because they think your favourite character was a terrible person (and I'm making a powerpoint to prove this because I have nothing else to do with my time).

    Like don't get me wrong, I recognize and appreciate that Snape is a complex and brilliantly written character ... but from the bottom of my heart, I really mean it when I say that I hate him as a human being.

    So basically what I wanted to finish off with, the Harry Potter fandom is very passionate about the topic of Severus Snape and I don't think that's ever going to change (and I don't think I would want it to, it provides for some excellent discussion and entertainment) , and also if you ever wanna get attention on tumblr, saying something negative about him and tagging it will pretty much do it for ya.

    Related image *mic drop*

    (maybe i will post that one-shot on my fic tumblr and see what happens as a kind of experiment ... we'll see).

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    Okay, so I stayed up all night reorganizing my OF and outlining the remaining chapters and I'M SO HAPPY WITH MYSELF. Like productivity has been dead and gone for months and I had this wonderful burst last night and now I'm writing easily again and my story feels so much more cohesive and meaningful and interesting and it makes me ramble. 

    I also wrote the Bencident of my story, but I think it's just going to be a side story I share once I post the entirety of Rose & Co. Basically, it's the story of when Bia and Cast first meet. They're both dating this college boy named Ben and think he's a dreamy, albeit stupid boyfriend. Cass is at his apartment for a date night in when Bia shows up and lots of yelling and stupidity incurs and then Bia drags Cass out of the apartment with her because she feels bad bc Cass is so young to be dealing with someone so shitty and then they go get food and live happily ever after as girlfriends instead*. 

    *eventually they stop dating because they aren't as compatible as they'd like, but there's definitely residual feelings there or at least I low key ship them because 99% of their scenes alone have that going on so I have to sort out who Cass actually ends up with because this point idk. But here's a story snippet that I'll go post in story snippets in a minute (totally unedited so excuse me that's how i live my life): 

    Quote

    Cass slumped into Bia, tears soaking through her shirt. Bia carded through Cass’s hair, murmuring shushes into the girl’s hairline. Bia couldn’t help but laugh when Cass made a terrible slurping, snorting noise through the tears and her laughter brought Cass’s tear stained, mascara smeared face directly to hers. Her eyebrows knitted together and then she laughed too, a small hollow laugh, and then took a step back from Bia. Bia missed her warmth immediately.

     I also made a list of "hot girl stuff" and "hot guy stuff" so I could keep mannerisms in mind instead of just lovingly gazing into orbs and I made a list of Bia and Cass things. Bia suffers from severe anxiety (bc I love self inserts) and Cass tries to be sensitive of that and do things like order her food for her and bring it to work so she can eat in peace and be mindful of when she needs space so that's nice. It was just a nice productive night.

    Also I realized that y'all are the best support system I've ever had. Like I felt a little insecure about going to the movies by myself on thursday, but with the outpouring of positive responses and understanding words I don't feel nearly as stressed about it. Like I think I'm going to actually have fun. Also the fact that I told y'all how I'm feeling over my IRL friends is a whole thing in and of itself. 

    Today I'm headed into the city to go buy christmas presents for my husband's side of the family (they're the worst to shop for and always buy me crazy expensive presents and never abide by limits so ugh). I'm looking forward to alone time while shopping, but also I just bought six new books (Maggie Stiefvater had a sale on amazon–I think she still does if you want to start the raven boys and fall in love) and a new pair of glasses I didn't need and two coffee mugs so spending in december just makes me guilty. If I could just buy my nieces and nephews their presents and call it a day I'd be happy. 

    Last but not least here's a video of my pup being festive. Or me being festive at him. Whichever. (Idk if this will work I've never tried it but there's no time like the present)

     

  21. Dictionary... Writes?

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    I have to admit, it's so disheartening when you have readers acting with hostility and derision toward a character you're trying to present as complex and doing his best.

    I appreciate that not everybody likes certain characters, but so many reviews I've received recently are jumping right into this mad caricature of Albus Dumbledore as evil and manipulative, and I'm just like... But if you read the story, that's not how he's presented? Like, at all? 

    A lot of my readers, because of the nature of the story, also read independent!Harry or Lord Potter style fics, but here the hostility toward Dumbledore just isn't justified.

    It's surprising how disappointing it can be to read a review and find it very focused on a negative response to the behaviour of "Dumbles" when he genuinely is doing his best, particularly when other characters are being so much worse. 

    Alas! 

    I don't know what to do about it, honestly. I'm certainly not going to write an AN about it or anything similar, but yeah... It's a real shame.

  22. Chemistry-Driven Ramblings

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    Hi all! :waving:

    It's been a minute, or several, I guess. As always, as soon as the school year hit, my activity on this site plummeted. Curse you, college and club involvements! I've been meaning to get back into my writing, but with graduate school applications due in less than two months, along with running two very different and large clubs on campus, not to mention my regular schoolwork and actual jobs, it's fallen onto the furthest back burner. 

    So this week is National Chemistry Week for the American Chemical Society (Happy Mole Day!!!) and on Friday is our student chapter's biggest event of the year, our annual Halloween House event. This event brings in close to 1000 people from the surrounding community and we show them cool chemistry demos (of course we have fire and color changing demos, and liquid nitrogen ice cream!) along with some cool activities from the biology, earth science, physics, and pre-med clubs. It's a great event but when you're in charge of it going smoothly it's extremely stressful. :no:

    That's one of the many excuses reasons why I'm not more present on the site as of now, but also because I've completely forgotten where I'm at in my novel as well and what's supposed to be happening. *shrug* I'm definitely going to have time to work on it over Thanksgiving break though, right alongside my personal statements for grad school applications. 

    This was just my way of saying hey, I'm still around, but more in a lurking sort of way until I actually have some time on my hands. 

    Look for a BRAND NEW chapter of Love Makes Me within the next month though for sure! 

    ~Madi :waving:

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