March Bulletin 03/01/2018March's bulletin is up! You can find our monthly awards, some special announcements, a little more information about our upcoming events, and more +here!
Our community blogs
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.
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.
Most Versatile Author
Best Original Fiction
Best Non-Harry Potter Fanfiction
Best Depiction of a Mental Illness/Disability
Best Major Harry Potter Character
Best Minor Harry Potter Character
Best Rare Pair
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.
Hey everyone! Voting threads for the FROGS categories will be open soon, in the meantime here is a full reading list for your perusal!
Best Humor (Fan)fiction Nominations
Best Romance (Fan)fiction Nominations
Best Minor HP Character Nominations
Best Angst (Fan)fiction Nominations
Best Family/Friendship Nominations
Best LGBTQIA+ Character Nominations
Best Major HP Character Nominations
Best Dark/Horror (Fan)fiction Nominations
Best Original Fiction Nominations
Best Original Character Nominations
Best Depiction of Mental Illness/Disability Nominations
Best HP Rare Pair Nominations
Best Non-HP Fandom Nominations
Most Versatile Author Nominations
Best Reviewer Nominations
- The 22k WIP where Remus and Sirius raise baby Harry (pacing!!! how do)
- The 11k WIP starring Anthony Goldstein, Ministry Prosecutor
- Slug Club Redemption Arc (there were Slytherins in the Battle of Hogwarts)
- Hufflepuffs in the Time of Death Eaters (a blatant excuse for a deep dive into the traditions and culture of Hufflepuff house and how they adapt to 1997)
- Harry faces a war crimes tribunal for all those Unforgiveables he did in DH, starring: that Goblin he Imperiused.
- The Jewish wizarding community helping Muggleborns during the War
- Academic Recluse Harry??? (Harry becomes a big name in the DADA research community under a pseudonym, never tells anyone)
- Dudley's daughter is magical: I am fond of redemption arcs I guess
- Remus Lupin's lavender marriage to Tonks (bad things will stop happening to the people he loves if he just Marries A Girl And Isn't Gay, right? right? wrong) [16/03/18]
- Lily and Petunia growing up with their dad as a coal miner; closures starting in 1960s; Petunia increasingly resentful towards Lily partly bc while she was away at fancy boarding school, they sometimes didn't have money to keep the lights on bc of strikes etc. [17/03/18]
If anyone wants to hear more about/bounces ideas about any of these, PM me any time. (why are all my stories about the War, oh my god)
Hi again, my loves!
If you saw my previous entry, you know what this is about, so I'll skip tedious introductions this time
I haven't been as good at following through with this in February as I'd been in January... then, again, this has been a bit of a difficult month, what with stress at work, car misadventures and just general low mood (and you'll probably notice that some of these happy thoughts are actually a bit on the melancholy side...) I'm hoping in a great March, though!
Anyway, here it goes!
1. Since it's quite late, I'll just go with this: it's great to feel part of something.
2. Sometimes we feel inspired by someone and sometimes we are of inspiration for someone. And maybe sometimes a bit of both. And maybe the message of this day, come in many phases and many different ways, is that it's always worth fighting for what is right, also when surrender seems the most logical and simplest thing.
3. A wonderful day, made of little conquers and a lot of imagination, plus a pinch of cheeriness. Ed è subito sera.
5. Monday's fatigue can be overcome, letting go to the pleasure of dancing and being carried into the fantastic words of reading and writing. And then, finally, the deserved rest.
6. At times I get cross and I strike fear (so they say... I disagree, I'm cute and cuddlesome) and at the restaurant they give me a discount. And maybe for Sanremo's fault there's no Harry on TV, but also this has its bright side... more time for reviewing, for instance.
7. Lovely night with Claretta and Fabietto, remembering the old working (mis)adventures and telling each other all our news. Maybe we'll soon have a pastry chef among us. And maybe next meet-up will be earlier than two years...
8. Too tired and sleepy to actually remember the good things of today... but I'm smiling, so I imagine it was a good day. Maybe I'm just happy of existing.
9. Morning reflection on yesterday's happy thought in the twilight sleep: existence and unicity, the mathematical translation of the beauty of being human and being alive. And then there is the Forecast in the queue, waiting for the green light to go down the slide of the water park...
10. If the good day is seen at morning, today couldn't be but a proficuous day, since it started putting up the chandelier.
12. Happiness is: watching a fun movie in the morning, bachata notes on the bus, "But are you on the bus?", "Thank goodness there are buses!" Happiness is also: a message or a phone call from a friend asking how you are, a hot cup of tea in your hands, meeting someone you haven't seen in ages, "No, he doesn't send mails anymore, he only sends phone calls!"
15. The sun, the streets of the city center, the chatting of a child, the reviews that make you smile, feeling loved and appreciated... dinner ready once you get home (I think I said this somewhere already, anyway... even if we don't always agree, aunts are a great invention...)
16. The calm of Friday night after the storm of a week to forget... and the promise of a weekend without any worry (mostly) before me. Goodnight world, tomorrow is another day.
18. Sometimes a day in pajamas and sweet doing nothing is what is needed.
22. Laughing and joking and feeling a bit like children, despite the frenzy of these days and all the responsibilities of being adults.
24. My little pet (meaning my car) has finally come back home, all lucid and sparkling. My Justin story is almost finished (and it'll be an entry for three challenges at once... yes, I like easy win) and I managed to leave a few reviews I wanted to leave. In conclusion, a good Saturday, and tomorrow, I hope, will be a good Sunday.
26. The warmth of home when outside it's freezing, the tango notes, the time and inspiration to write.
Ed è subito sera (literally, And it's suddenly evening) is a poem (and a line from the poem) by Salvatore Quasimodo
Sanremo is a city in Italy, more precisely in Liguria region, that every year hosts the Italian Song Festival, also known as Sanremo Festival, or just Sanremo. It is a bit of a big deal here, which is why the TV programming tends to be influenced by it...
The second part of day 9 is obviously a reference to our silliness at work... the Forecast is an application that we developed, it's been scheduled in a way that makes it run a bit too often, so we put a control to avoid that it runs twice at the same time. And we've compared it to the light signals in water parks. We've compared it to a ton of other things, actually. Yes, we are crazy.
Day 12 contains bits of conversations that were hilarious for various reasons. I would go into details, but it's too late for it...
The calm after the storm (original title La quiete dopo la tempesta) is also a poem, by Giacomo Leopardi
Tomorrow is another day, instead, is a quote from the movie Gone with the wind by Vivien Leigh
February was a really hard month, to be honest. My anxiety was higher during the second half of this month than it has been since last fall, which is really frustrating. I worked around 50 hours and between six and seven days a week. I didn't get enough sleep. Without boring you with details, there were a lot of factors contributing to this being a not-great 28 days.
At the same time, February went by really quickly. I can't believe it's almost March. The older I get, the less I seem to live in the moment, which I suppose is probably a bad thing...
So, I have some real goals I want to achieve for March. Most importantly, I want to write. I haven't written anything this year. Nada. Not one word. And writing is something that I really enjoy, obviously, so I want to make time to do it. I'm hoping to have more chapters of Collateral (M) edited and posted by the end of March. Then maybe I can actually get around to posting its sequel, which I wrote 30,000 words of during NaNo.
In sum, I'm hoping that March will be better than February was. Already, the last few days of this month have given me hope that next will be better. I've read some great stories in the queue, had some great conversations with members here, and know that there are exciting things coming for the site next month. If I can get my own life in some semblance of order and get to writing things in March, I think that will help a lot.
Thanks as always for reading the ramblings! Maybe next month's blog will actually be about writing.
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Recently my family have interest in Nahoko Uehashi's fantasy novel series Moribito. The covers for the series were illustrated by Makiko Futaki who created some important spots for studio Giburi's works such as Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, My Neighborhood Totoro, Laputa, Kiki's Delivery Service and Princess Mononoke. Her talent in drawing nature, animals and spiritual creatures is said to be indispensable such as Oumu with Nausicaa, doves gathering around Sheeta and kodama spirits that inhabit trees at Princess Mononoke.
Uehashi's Moribito World illustrated by Makiko Futaki.
I have a dream to illustrate for my stories (If I could, for my original fantasy) by myself near future like Makiko Futaki.
These are Futaki's works for Uehashi's Moribito Series.
← This is Balsa, a wandering spear-wielder from the kingdom of Kanbal.
← In Uehashi's world, many wonder creatures appear and strange things happen.
This is Hugo. He takes a very important role through the series.
Sadly, Futaki had passed away in May, 2016. I noticed that after I started reading Moribito Series. I heard she had written her own book, too. I'd like to read it as well.
- Read more...
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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 ) . I hope to talk to you all more!
Last post for 2017. I hope this last year has been good to everyone.
Ahhh...I'm guessing I was supposed to update last year?? It was left here too, ready for me to continue - well played, Blog, well played!
I'm re-reading the books and there is so much that I miss about the books that the movies left out. Like in the Mirror of Erised, Harry sees his whole family, not just his Mum and Dad. And when Snape refs the second Quidditch game against Hufflepuff and Ron fights Draco in the stands and Neville joins in and takes on Crabb and Goyle. It was Seamus that says: "Nearly Headless? How can you be nearly headless?" during the feast, Neville was with Harry, Ron, and Hermione when they discovered Fluffy, it was Harry that said: "I wasn't looking at its feet, I was too busy with its heads.", that Ron actually has more lines in the book - and Peeves!!! It just makes me wish they did a re-make of the movies but make them stick to the books.
Ok, so, I'm also booked for an HP event night on June 2 with ladies from my work. I'm getting costume ideas, but want to break away from the usual. I saw this AWESOME Narcissa Malfoy coat on Etzy, but it was over $400aud to buy Any ideas??
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
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.
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.
(maybe i will post that one-shot on my fic tumblr and see what happens as a kind of experiment ... we'll see).
(Just sneaking in with a Video Game Review)
Dead by Daylight
What is it?
It's a video game. It's an action horror video game!
So, what? Details?
Just the basics, though.
Okay, so content of this game I'd have to rate a solid Mature on the HPFT maturity-rating scale, specifically for the violence. If the sacrificial hooks cinematics didn't push the Teen rating, then some of the Killer's Moris (a special offering that sends the killer into an animation to kill a Survivor) definitely does as some of them are kind of gory. It's probably not great for the squeamish.
Moving right along. The basic concept of the game is to either kill all of the Survivors in the match (if you're playing the Killer) or fix five generators with three additional players, open the doors, and escape. Pretty simple, right? Right. [And let's not overlook the fact that you can play either the Killer or one of the Survivors.]
Killers using their default 'Weapon' against Survivors will need to hit a Survivor twice before they are knocked down, at which time the Killer must pick up the Survivor and carry them to a Sacrificial Hook to hang around on before the Survivor can wriggle free. Of course, different Perks and so on can affect some of these actions [for both the Killers and the Survivors] and some of the Killers' 'Powers' can knock a Survivor down in a single hit (you'll see more about this when we're talking about the killers).
There are three stages of the Hook a survivor will go through, all based on a certain amount of time. The first is just hanging time where you can try to escape (but there's a 4% chance of doing so, so it might be best to wait unless you have something that affects your escape-chance). After a certain amount of time (which is greatly increased by trying to escape and failing), the struggle phase commences where the Survivor must hit space repeatedly to delay the Sacrifice [the Entity is summoned at this phase], and then, finally, the Survivor is Sacrificed to the Entity. Of course, another player may come and rescue the Survivor at any point before the Sacrifice happens. On the Survivor's first hook, if they are rescued before entering the struggle phase, they will be immediately put into struggle phase on the next hook, giving them time to be rescued again before the Sacrifice. If a Survivor has entered the struggle phase before they are rescued, they will be Sacrificed on the next hook.
That means a Killer may have to knock down, carry, and hook one Survivor a total of three times in order to kill them (not taking into account if the Survivor uses certain perks, like Decisive Strike, to get away, or if they wiggle free, or if another Survivor drops a pallet on the Killers head or blinds them with a flashlight, causing them to drop the Survivor). With a total of four Survivors working against one Killer, this seems like a difficult task to accomplish--
Except, Killers are faster than Survivors and cannot be stopped. Sure, they can be blinded by a Flashlight or stunned by a Pallet, slowing the Killer down and giving the Survivor a chance to sneak away, but they cannot be stopped.
It takes approximately 80 seconds to fix a single generator without any boosts (nailing skill-checks or having a toolbox with add-ons will make it go faster). Of course, if you can find a generator that another player is working on, the two (or three or even four, if you can find a generator that has all sides exposed) of you can fix it even faster. Once again, there are a whole slew of special things that can be added to increase repair speed (for the Survivors) or slow it down (for the Killers).
If the Killer begins to chase a Survivor, there are several ways a Survivor may get away from them (for the time being). Pallets scattered across the map can be thrown down in front of the Killer--blocking them so that they have to break it or go around it--or on top of the Killer's head, momentarily stunning them. Using a Flashlight may momentarily blind them as well--just don't get too close. While a Survivor is running, remember that they leave "scratch marks" only visible to the Killer that leads the Killer in the direct path of the Survivor. So, when and if a Survivor can, its best to walk/crouch and hide to evade the Killer [once again, if and when possible]. Or you can hide in a locker, but that's up to your discretion. Killers have the option of searching lockers and grabbing the Survivors from them if they're in there (whether or not they search a locker is completely up to chance, unless you happen to make a loud noise and run into the locker...then they might have a clue where you're at.
Typically, one hit from a Killer will 'injure' the Survivor (who can be healed by another Survivor, or with a Medical Kit, or with a special perk) and a second will knock them down. Once down, if the Killer doesn't pick a Survivor up, the Survivor can choose to "recover" and/or hide so that another Survivor may come to heal them before the Killer comes back.
Once all five generators are fixed, the two exit gates will activate. All remaining Survivors must then evade the killer, find an exit gate, open the door [by holding down a switch at the gate front for 20 seconds]. If a Survivor lets go of the switch (probably to run from the Killer), the progress will be saved, so that they or another Survivor can continue opening the gate. Once at least one of the Exit Gates is opened, Survivors can then leave.
If there is only one Survivor left in the map, they have the option of escaping through the trapdoor (a door that will spawn somewhere randomly in a map). Note: 2 out of 5 gens must be fixed in order for a trapdoor to spawn. If the gates aren't already open, it might be a good idea as the Survivor to find this trapdoor. Beware: the Killer may also be looking for the trapdoor to find the Survivor and has the ability to grab the Survivor during their escape animation.
Special Note: Items called "Totems" are scattered around each map. Totems are either Dull (meaning they serve no current effect on the Killer's Perks) or Hex (meaning that they are effecting something of the Killers to the Killer's advantage). Both of these may be 'cleansed' by the Survivors to negate the Killer's effects. Survivors may also 'Sabotage' Hooks (break them) using a Toolbox on the Killers (except for basement hooks).
Beware basement hooks.
Games give you a certain amount of "Bloodpoints"[based on what you did during the match] that you can spend in the "Bloodweb" where you level up and buy some of those Perks, Items, Add-ons, and Offerings. There is also a ranking system that starts at 20 and travels to 1 that you can work your way up. This restarts at the beginning of each 'season', which happens around the 13th of every month.
Who are these Killers and Survivors?
I'm so glad you asked!
[free killers, after game purchase] Yay, free guys!
The Trapper, "Evan Harper" [also known as "Chuckles" in Alpha]: This is the original Killer of the game -- the very first one released when DbD was just an ittle bitty game. His "Power" is his bear traps (which, good guess, can trap survivors by the ankle--they're usually escapable, but you'd best be quick about it). His "Weapon" is a Cleaver (he'll hit you with it--not fun). Note, the bear traps will typically injure a Survivor the same manner as if they'd been hit by a weapon). Bear traps are scattered around the map, and the Trapper can only carry a base of one at a time. Survivors can disarm the traps if they see them.
The Wraith, Philip Ojomo [also known as "the Banshee" in Alpha]: His "Power" is the Wailing Bell, which he can use to Cloak himself (not quite invisible, but nearly)(note that he cannot hit players while cloaked, but is faster and, thanks to the recent Wraith buffs, can see blood trails left from injured survivors vividly). His "Weapon" is "Azarov's Skull", which he will hit you with.
The Hillbilly, Max Thompson Jr. [also known as "the Crooked" in Alpha]: My personal favorite killer in the game. His "Power" is his chainsaw (which can knock a Survivor down in one hit, though takes a bit to rev up and isn't so great around obstacles or, you know, corners). His "Weapon" is the Hammer (once again, good for hitting). His chainsaw ability in combination with him being a free killer makes him my favorite. Nothing pleases me more than to zoom around maps.
The Nurse, Sally Smithson: Scary, scary, scary. The Nurse's shriek is one of the most terrifying noises I've ever heard. She's a very slow Killer, except that she has this Power called "Blink". The Nurse can 'Blink' and fly across spaces, hitting survivors as she goes. If a player knows how to wield her correctly, the Nurse can be an extremely powerful Killer. After she blinks, the player can swing at a Survivor or Blink again (Blink starts at a base of two Blinks in a row) and then swing at a Survivor (if possible), she experiences a brief exhaustion.
The Huntress, Anna: Her 'Power' are her 'Hunting Hatchets', which she can throw and hit Survivors at a distance. She can only hold a base of Five at a time but can refill in 'lockers' (it may not be wise for Survivors to hide in lockers against the Huntress, as she'll be opening lockers at random to refill her hatchets). These throwing axes most generally take one hit to injure and two to down like a regular weapon. Her weapon his her 'Broad Axe', which she'll use close range.
[paid killers, after game purchase] One of the biggest downfalls of the game, imo.
The Shape, Michael Myers: Yes, that Michael Myers. Mikey boi starts off as an extremely slow character but uses his 'Stalking' ability to charge his Evil Within 'Power'. Evil Within has three tiers. Evil Within I is what Mikey starts out in -- he's slow. Very slow. Survivors should be able to outrun and lose him quickly. Evil Within II makes Mikey much faster. Evil Within III makes him even faster and gives him the ability to knock Survivors down with one hit. His 'Weapon' is the classic kitchen knife. He's also super-stealthy, so keep your eyes out when playing against him to make sure he's not stalking you from a distance or sneaking up on you to grab you off a generator.
The Hag, Lisa Sherwood: She's slow and short but has a pretty neat Power. The Hag is able to leave 'traps' she draws into the ground with her Power Blackened Catalyst. If a Survivor sets off one of these traps, the Hag may teleport from where they are to the trap! Pretty neat. Survivors may use flashlights to destroy these marks, however. Her Weapon is her Claw (her own crazy hands). She'll give Survivors a good jump scare.
The Doctor, Herman Carter: In my opinion, the Doctor is one of the most frustrating Killers to play against as a Survivor (but only if the player using him knows what he's doing). His Power is 'Carter's Spark' and his Weapon is known as the Stick, and they work in tandem with each other. Essentially, the doctor has the option of switching between two modes, 'Treatment' and 'Punishment'. When in 'Treatment' mode he can 'shock' survivors in this mode. Shocking them sends them into three tiers of 'Madness'. Madness I: Causes them to scream, exposing their location. Madness II: All the fun of Madness I and the Survivor affected begins seeing hallucinations of the Killer. Madness III: All the fun of Madness II and the hallucinations locations are revealed to the Doctor, exposing the Survivor's location, Survivors scream regularly, exposing their location, and Survivors can't really do anything until they 'Snap Out of It' -- an action with Skill Checks that must be performed for a certain amount of time (preferably without the killer nearby) [Survivors can't heal, repair, etc.].
The Cannibal, Bubba "Junior" Sawyer (Leatherface): Yes, that Leatherface! Like the Hillbilly, Bubba's Power is his chainsaw and his weapon is the sledgehammer. Unlike the Hillbilly, Bubba's chainsaw doesn't just travel in a straight line. Oh, no. Bubba sweeps his chainsaw all over the gosh darn place and, get this, he can knock down multiple Survivors in a single chainsaw action. Terrifying. What's more is that if Bubba runs into an object while using the chainsaw action, he will throw a 'tantrum' and damage everything and everyone around him.
The Nightmare, Frederick "Freddy Krueger: Yep--One, two, Freddy's comin' for you, Freddy. True to his nature, Freddy exists in the Dream World, so his power is known as the Dream Demon, where he can pull people into the Dream state. Survivors not in the dream state cannot see Freddy--he is completely invisible save for, perhaps, moving grass if he happens to walk through some and the faintest hint of that classic Freddy song. Freddy also cannot harm a survivor until they are put into the Dream state, which takes a bit of time, allowing the Survivor to start running to escape. Once in the Dream World, Freddy can attack players using his Weapon, the notorious Clawed Glove. Once in the Dream World, it's hard to escape Freddy. Survivors aura's (a red outline of the survivors) are outlined to Freddy if they're in the Dream state (so long as they are outside of his terror radius). Survivors can be 'woken up' from the Dream World by other Survivors or by failing some skill checks (like on a generator or while healing) or, least favorably, getting hooked.
[free to play survivors, after purchasing game]
Dwight Fairfield: Role: Nervous Leader. [Think, helping get things done and sticking together; comradery] Dwight's first job was with a pizza delivery service--now he escapes killers and hides in lockers . He is one of the four original Survivors. He specializes in finding others and group-work.
Meg Thomas: Role: Energetic Athlete . [Think, fast and 'think fast'.] She was also one of the four original Survivors but wasn't introduced in the trailer. Escaping is her main priority, no matter what the situation (because she's pretty awesome about getting out of some tricky situations).
Claudette Morel: Role: Studios Botanist. [Think, healing.] One of the original four and her Self-Heal perk is ahhmazing! Somebody's been playing around with plants to find out how to heal the wounds and stop the bleeding. Medic!
Jake Park: Role: Solitary Survivalist. [Think, calm, cool, and collected--sorta.] The last of the four original characters, he knows what he's doing.
Nea Karlson: Role: Urban Artist. [Think, swift and stealthy.] She's all about movement--being faster, quieter, and more balanced.
William 'Bill' Overbeck: My current, personal favorite survivor to play. Role: Old Soldier. [Think, tough and altruistic.] Bill specializes in surviving and ensuring that others do as well. Bill's a cool dude.
David King: Role: "Rugged Scrapper". [Think, sometimes fast, sometimes a team player, sometimes slow, sometimes a lone wolf.] To be honest, I haven't played too much of David, his large physic and slowness often put me off (he's slow--when adrenaline hasn't kicked in--and hard to hide). I'm sure he has his plusses but I haven't found them quite yet.
[paid Survivors, after purchasing game]
Laurie Strode: Yes, yes, that Laurie Strode! She was brought in at the same time as the Shape to be his opposite. Role: Determined Survivor. [Think, doesn't necissarily matter if you make it out, I'll make it, anyway.] Surival is priority--she will not give up.
Ace Visconti: Role: Lucky Gambler. [Think, "luck be a lady, tonight".] Ace is lucky and he knows it. Luck is extremely valuable in some cases. Was brought in to opposite the Hag, I believe (or, at least, around the same time as the Hag) -- I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure.
Feng Min: Role: Focused Competitor. [Think: silent and swift and on top of her game]. She works on generators silently, which is pretty cool. Was brought into the game at the same time as the Doctor.
Quentin Smith: Yes, the very same. Role: Resolute Dreamwalker [Think: support system for other Survivors]. He was brought in to opposite Freddy. Among the fandom, he's also known as Sleepy Boi.
Of course, each of their specializations are based on specific Perks--some perks are teachable, and you're more than welcome to run whichever Perk Builds you'd like as both the Killer or Survivor.
And, what do you think about it?
I love this game. I love this game SO MUCH. I find very fun and I think they've done an excellent job so far. Half of the community is full of wonderful people. There are a ton of maps to play on that are procedurally generated so things are always different. They are still actively working on releasing 'chapters' that include new Maps, Killers, Survivors and other DLC. There are some wonderful streamers on Twitch and YouTube that make amazing videos (they're especially fun to watch when learning about different Killers and Survivors and Perk builds). Gameplay is absolutely fantastic and it provides endless amounts of entertainment.
There are some things that I don't love so much, though. First is that it isn't available on Linux (which is fine for most people but terrible for me). Happily, the basic Windows 7 isn't that expensive and it allowed me to partition my drive so that I could run Dead by Daylight (otherwise, I wouldn't be able to play). The second is that there are still some minor bugs that need to be worked out (but the devs are working really hard on fixing it). The other half of the community that isn't wonderful is simply toxic (but I'm sure you'll find that everywhere).
Some people say that the game is unbalanced (some claiming that Survivors are overpowered and others claiming that the Killers are the ones that are OP)--I've played both fairly regularly (I like to switch it up), and I can't say that I agree with either side. The devs did an amazing job at balancing and are always working on improving the characters.
Another downfall, in my personal opinion, is having to buy additional characters after purchasing the game (if you want to play them). Having to buy random DLC (like clothes, etc.) to earn some extra cash flow is fine and all, but the playable characters seem a bit odd. However, it's their game, so that's totally up to their discretion. Clearly, enough people are buying some of the characters to not have it be an issue for them ( guilty).
They did add opportunities to try the pay-to-play characters in the bloodwebs, though (which is the only reason I've bought any of them; gotta try them first)!
Overall, I'd like to give this game a 4.2 out of 5, and hopefully they developers keep up the great work in making this game amazing!
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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)
It’s happened again.
Back in the day, when How to tame a Marauder was ridiculously popular, I had a bit of a problem with plagiarism. That is, I would find the story posted on sites I had not posted it to, usually attributed to a different author. The first time it happened I was flabbergasted, but then it became, well, not normal, but common enough to not raise too much of an eyebrow. Needless to say I became very cognisant with the copyright rules of different sites, and I never had much trouble getting an offending version taken down.
But, of course, that was years ago. I haven’t written anything of substance (that’s been published) for years, and HTM is old news now. Or so I thought.
On the weekend I discovered it had been posted to Wattpad. Wattpad is one it’s been on before, so the rules and I are old friends. The person who posted it had even made a funky cover for it (or sourced one somehow) and listed me as the author, which is nice because at least they’re not pretending they wrote it themselves. (And yes, that has happened before.) But, you see, they didn’t ask first. And I don’t take too kindly to that.
I’m cool with people making their own copies of my story so they can read it at their leisure. That’s fine. I understand it lives on more than one USB stick around the globe. And I’m cool with them sharing it with their friends, which of course is a huge compliment. But posting it online without permission? No, sorry, that’s not okay. While I agree it’s not the classic definition of plagiarism, it’s still not exactly ethical. It’s my story and I reserve the right to say which websites it’s published on. It’s as simple as that.
To Wattpad’s credit , the story has now been taken down, an event which happened almost immediately. But that doesn’t stop me wondering why people think this sort of thing is okay? Is it wrong to want to have some sort of control over where your intellectual property is posted online? Or am I being unreasonable? And, if this has happened to you (or if it did), what did, or would, you do?
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Hey guys, it's negative nancy, here with some good news (seriously, where is this positivity coming from?)
For my final year i was meant to be writing a script. I'd heard lots of things from past students on what to do and what not to do, and in the end I had vague aspirations that lead to giving up on my degree and marrying into money. But I trudged on, creating an extremely political scary world with some fairly eccentric characters thrown in. There was just one problem: I hated it. I hated my plot, I hated my characters, and I hated that it felt like there was no one on my team - because no one understood it. So I scrapped it! Now instead I'm writing a piece about age, sexuality, and family secrets...and it's not so daunting.
I always saw original fiction as some strange next level writing - because with FF for me it was just playing. I touched on serious topics like dementia, anxiety, and adultery - but the characters were ready made. I had my own spin on a few, but the challenge was to present them in character. In original fiction, the rules are yours...which should be liberating - but to me it wasn't. I felt like I had to create an exciting new world because so many had already been created, wizarding worlds, Narnia, Gallifrey - and I thought by making it 'normal' I'd be boring. I thought that if my play wasn't challenging then I was writing it wrong. I don't think I'm that creative, most ideas never make it out of my brain and onto paper because I don't have the determination to complete it - and I was trying to defend a world and a setting more than an actual plot. It was like if JKR had created the wizarding world, and just gone: here you go, have fun. Rather than giving us the chosen one, or Voldemort and his death eaters - and all these families that we love, imagine if Rowling had just given us the world. It's still magical and exciting, but it isn't enough. My piece seemed half baked. I was trying so hard to remould it, and make it what other people wanted, until I realised I wasn't enjoying myself anymore. Which naturally meant it wouldn't be my best work. The best thing I ever wrote was a piece called In the Mourning, a short story about Harry and Professor McGonagall, and if Harry had visited his parents grave before the scene in deathly hallows. Or Storge, my one shot about Ariana Dumbledore and her death. The reason I think that they're probably my best, is because I loved them. I planned them out from start to finish, and put so much love and care into them...which is why I like them anyway. With my initial script it was just like, I need to get this done! It was about pleasing others, and not myself.
I think that original fiction is very similar to FF really, and I'm not sure why I had it placed on this metaphoric pedestal for so many years. I don't think I could write a book myself, but from what I've written so far - I had to enjoy what I was writing. I had to be comfortable with my idea. I want it to be entertaining, and insightful. I want to make people laugh, and cry, I want them to be shocked, maybe even uncomfortable - but I want them to feel. Which I think is what every writer wants, original or not.
Maybe my initial experience is completely different to other people's, but this is my first time writing original fiction, and my first time writing a play! Once I liked what I had the words kept flowing...though maybe that was because it was 2am, and now I'm up to 600 words! I know I keep going on about it and you're probably getting sick of it, but this really is a huge milestone for me. Obviously I'm far from done...in fact, I've come up with a list! This is the most basic list, that I'll have to edit as I go along, but I thought you might like to see in case I'm missing something obvious, or if you'd just like to take a gander!
- fully flesh out characters: 1/6
- understand plot
- have a timeline (halfway there)
know the beginning
- know the middle
- know the end
- come up with a title
- create a summary/blurb
- pitch it to other people
- have set/costume/props in mind
anyway, I think I've bored you all to death by now - and I have a scene to finish!
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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.
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.
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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.
That's one of the many
excusesreasons 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!
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All things must have a start and here, you are witnessing one of mine. It's a start that has been long over due. One where I pave my way on this site.
Some of you may know me from HPFF and others may not. For those of you who don't know me, I'm Slytherinchica08 but you can feel free to call me Erica or if you want chica or sly. Whichever you find easiest to remember. I have a love for all things Harry Potter and collect the books, Funko Pops and other HP related items. If there is one thing you should know about me, it's that I'm a dramione lover. I try to keep my dramione realistic but that doesn't stop me from loving a well written cliche.
I hope that this start brings me to many new places and I meet many new amazing people and strengthen the relationships I've already had the pleasure of meeting.
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Hey, guys! Welcome to my blog
For those who don't know me, my name is Jill, and I love rare pairs, the next generation, and The 100 (where I actually ship the main pairing???). I'm also addicted to coffee, work with kid's books for a living, and spend way too much time procrastinating and then wondering why my WIPs never get finished.
But enough about me. Let's get onto the point of this entry.
If you've visited my author's page at all, you might be familiar with my story Two Birds, One Stone (M) which was my first attempt at a Next Gen novel(la). I originally wrote it for a summer holiday challenge back at The Old Place, but it's since taken a life of it's own and has mostly been a really fun, light story for me to write -- which is different than the angst and tragedy I normally write. The story, is in short, a fake dating story between James II and my OC, Hannah Thomas-Finnigan. The two decide to date each other to get revenge on Hannah's cheating ex-boyfriend and to prove to the world/media/Hannah's best friend that James is capable of a serious relationship. Hannah's originally less than thrilled about the idea, but eventually warms up and over the course of the story, becomes a bit more comfortable with the idea.
It's going to be hard to talk about this without giving away the ending, but I'm going to try. I originally wrote this (or started to write it) with the idea in mind that I was tired of fake dating turned real love, and I wanted to break away from that cliche. The ending is, well, less than happy, but I have a sequel in mind to make things right again. I also came up with the ending to go for shock value -- it doesn't end in the way you expect it to.
So here's my dilemma and reason for this post: I don't know if I want to keep that storyline. I've written about 5 chapters now, and writing chapter 6, I feel like the story just kind of goes around in circles. People reacting to James and Hannah (affectionately referred to as Jannah in the story)'s relationship, James trying to prove to Hannah that yes, this is a good idea and it benefits both of them, and Hannah getting in way over her head. I've also struggled with the ending a lot -- I'm not sure if it really fits my characters and the story, even though they're human and everyone makes mistakes. Also, for the life of me, why can't I just write a happy fluffy story, dammit!
I'm torn between seeing this through to the end (I have commitment problems with writing, so this is already a struggle) and taking it off the archives so that I can re-write the entire thing and making it more of a summer romance/coming of age story still with the basic premise. My writing has also improved a lot since I first wrote it in August of last year, and I want to re-write the first few chapters to reflect that. I'm just worried that if I take it off, I'm not going to finish it -- and I love this story as a whole and the characters, so I want to write it. I also have so many other projects going on in my brain right now, and of course, Haunting Shadows (I started writing chapter 12, I promise!), and my brain doesn't know how to multi-task well.
So I'm asking for your opinions. Even if you've only read the story a little or haven't at all, I'm curious to what you would do in my shoes because this has been an issue for a while now.
Any and all advice would be welcome
I’ve been researching machine creativity and I ran into a few interesting articles that I wanted to share with everyone! If you don’t know, machine creativity is exactly what it sounds like it is: teaching computers how to create art in any form. It’s a very complicated field, because if you think about it, all computers are are mega-powerful calculators with lots of memory. How in the world could they write stories and poems and draw pictures?
The answer is through math!
I know that that may seem a little counterintuitive because math is literally one of the most concrete things out there and I think everyone would agree that art is the exact opposite. But there’s always an underlying logic behind all the art that we create; though our brains work in mysterious ways, every facet of a story/artwork we created is always the result of a decision tree—whether subconsciously or consciously, we always intend to make the decisions that we do when creating art. Decision trees are really good for computers—computers love decision trees since they’re essentially just big conditionals, and conditionals are only true/false, and that’s binary, so that makes computers very very happy
Anyway, I was researching some of the things that computers have created, and found about something called NaNoGenMo (National Novel Generating Month), which is like NaNoWriMo, but instead of you writing the novel, you write code to generate a novel. I think it’s a really cool idea and there were some very amusing examples in this Medium post. My favorite was “Twide and Twejudice”, which is Pride and Prejudice but with Tweets as the dialogue
But let’s be real, those novels really aren’t that comprehensible. I did a little more digging around and found something even cooler, a web app called word.camera, which takes in a picture and then outputs a poem based on what’s happening in the picture. (Just so you know, this is definitely not an easy thing to teach a computer to do!).
Machine creativity isn’t limited only to the written word, though; as I said before, machines have been to taught how to create all sorts of art. The coolest, in my opinion, is the visual art. For instance, Google DeepDream is a research project by Google which looks at any arbitrary image you give it and finds other images inside it. Here’s an example:
It’s kinda beautiful, right? And definitely a little surrealistic. Essentially, DeepDream reverses the process of recognizing objects in order to create objects that aren’t there.
Even cooler, Sony CSL is leading a project to develop AI that can create music—they’ve already generated a song called “Daddy’s Car”, which is...a little odd, but that’s understandable, considering it’s coming from a computer haha!
Anyway, this was very random, but something that I thought would be interesting to share In particular, this was interesting for me because I’m always trying to reconcile the two sides of my creativity, the science side and the writing side. I guess, in the end, the two sides aren’t all that different! In the end, whether I’m writing a fic or writing code, I am just stringing words together to create some sort of meaning.
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So I'm really sorry if this turns really ramble-y because I am not sure quite how to order my thoughts properly when it comes to this so this post will mainly be my thoughts as they come to me. I haven't been part of this community for very long but it's already come to mean a great deal to me.
The most important thing that I've gained from the forum community is confidence. Everyone here has made me feel so welcome, I feel so safe posting my writing. I was very nervous about posting my work to start with but I've come to love the thrill of publishing something new now. I write because I enjoy telling stories. I do not have great dreams of being a writer but it's something I do purely for fun and my writing experiences have been so much greatly improved by the community. I've never before have I had people willingly listen to my ideas and take such an interest and helping make those ideas a reality. I've been reading/writing fan fiction for a long time now (over 10 years) and I'm more driven and motivated for having this community behind me. It's been such a fun experience to talk to people who understand and get where I'm coming from. I've challenged myself and written things that I never thought I would, I have this community to thank for that.
I feel so lucky to have met some amazing people here too. This community has some of the most brilliant people on the planet, the community is so supportive. One of my favourite things about hpft is there is always someone around to talk, that no-one is pretending to be something they aren't. If you're struggling for whatever reason then it's ok to admit it, it's a safe place to say 'I'm not ok' and you know there are people in this community that really care about you and will pick you back up again when you need it. When I'm feeling low, it's difficult but I know I'm going to be ok because I've got the best support in the world right here.
Thank you to everyone for letting me be part of something that is this special.
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The Haunting of Maddy Clare, by Simone St. James
Horror, Historical Fiction, Mystery | M | 4 stars
As is my wont when it comes to scary stories, I started reading this book just before I meant to go to bed. Instead of going to sleep, I was up for two more hours finishing it and had to leave a lamp on all night.
When the book opens, it’s shortly after the end of World War I, and Sarah is trying desperately to make ends meet. When she gets offered a temp job as an assistant to someone claiming to be a ghost hunter, she takes it, though she doesn’t believe they’ll find any real evidence to support his ghost story.
Once they start their investigation, she quickly changes her mind. The women who knew Maddy Clare say that something terrible happened to her when she was a girl, something which ultimately led to her suicide. The ghost of Maddy Clare is very real, unstable, and looking for vengeance.
At its core, this is a classic, well-done ghost story. Sarah is a heroine that’s easy to relate to - she’s quiet and reserved, but she’s not really shy, and she’s certainly not timid. She’s strikes the perfect balance between having a nuanced and distinct personality and being sensible enough that you never want to scream “Don’t go in there!” at her.
St. James also really sinks you into the time period through both her descriptions of the setting and the characters themselves; both Sarah’s new boss and his friend are clearly still struggling with the aftermath of serving in the war, and Sarah herself has significant struggles dating from that time as well. Additionally, there are a lot of small touches here and there regarding gender relations that felt very fitting for that era.
And that’s just the backdrop. Maddy Clare herself is absolutely terrifying to both the characters in the novel and the reader; she terrorizes people in deeply personal and invasive ways, and she’s utterly apathetic about harming bystanders in her quest for vengeance. Every interaction they have with her reinforces the feeling that she’s wholly other - she’s so detached from the world that there’s absolutely no reasoning with her, which is part of what makes her so terrifying even as her backstory begins to come out.
It does have its weak points; while Sarah’s clear attraction to her love interest does sell the romance overall, there are a few points in which it feels a bit rushed, and there’s one early sex scene in particular that’s a little unbelievable. I also wished that the two men had been developed a little more, and I didn’t feel like the malicious attention Sarah faced from people as a result of her involvement in the case always made sense.
Those were fairly easy to overlook, though, and at the end of the day, it’s a very enjoyable and creepy book.
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So as some of you know, I sometimes battle with depression.
And depression can be a lying liar from liarsville that whispers lies in your ears.
I have this thing where I simultaneously have really good self-esteem and absolute shit self-esteem. When people dislike me, my reaction is usually "What the hell is wrong with you?" But when people do like me, my reaction is usually "But you wouldn't if you knew the real me!" I assume that people will be attracted to me because my hair is awesome, but I also get super pessimistic about prospective relationships, and will even tell people that I'm into them without giving them a chance to respond, because it genuinely doesn't occur to me that it could be reciprocal. (Then I realize three years later that it totally was and they literally tried to tell me that it was. Oops.)
I'm being rash and peculiar again. My point is, I'm a vain and sentimental enigma wrapped in a number of pop culture references.
So to combat the sweet nothings that depression metaphorically whispers in my ears and my sporadically low self-esteem, I have a folder on my computer. It's titled, 'Hi, Self. You don't actually suck.' And in it, I put evidence that I don't actually suck, to try to interrupt the spiral of negativity that my jerk-brain sometimes triggers. It doesn't solve it, but it helps.
Anyway. I pretty much just want to thank HPFT, because I was going through it recently (read: today :P) and realized that quite a lot of stuff in the folder is stuff that you guys have given me - little threads on twitter, the OoM/archive opening threads, reviews, recs... etc etc etc. I first joined this community six years ago, and I'm so thankful I stumbled across it - no matter how shitty the world looks, there are so many pockets of fundamentally good-hearted people who care about banding together and supporting the people around them, and that's a really lovely thing. I feel so privileged to be one of you, and I hope I give y'all as much as you give me.
Because there's not actually a cure for jerkbrains... but friends can help a lot.
P.S. If you struggle with the medical condition formally known in the medical community as jerkbrain, I strongly recommend making a folder like that, because it will probably help.
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It doesn't come often in the UK, certainly not in the part where I live, but when it does -- snow is beautiful. It's one of the best parts of winter; as soon as the first snowflake falls, there is talk of closing schools and staying home from work, allowing people to spend precious time at home with each other. There's laughter in the air as snowballs are thrown, the games enjoyed by friend and foe with universal rules that allow anyone to join in, expanding the horizons of friendship with each well-aimed throw. There's the pride that comes from the hard work and team effort involved in building a snowman; imaginations are sparked as new and inventive ideas of how to decorate are debated; there's cheeks burning bright pink as people slip and slide across pavements, kindness shown between strangers as a mitten-covered hand extends to help you up. Few things prompt such a vast array of different responses.
Yet all seasons must change, and as the snow melts away, the sun shines and chocolate is consumed. The best thing about Spring is the freedom that it brings: the temperatures grow mild enough to spend hours wandering outside without becoming stifling hot; wild animals venture out after months of hibernation; flowers bloom and leaves begin to reappear on trees; for those confined to school or work, there are an abundance of Bank Holidays to take advantage of. The world comes alive in Spring, and the taste of freedom in the air infects the hibernation instinct within you, bringing you alive and setting you free.
Summer brings with it the perfect excuse to consume vast quantities of ice cream; there are simple flavours like strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate; there's tubs of Ben and Jerry's to be consumed in one sitting; there's 99s to eat on the beach after your fish and chips, the crumbs of Cadbury Flake scattered in the sand. The best thing, most certainly, is Cornish ice cream -- if you haven't tasted it yet, you really must.
It's hard to say what the best thing about autumn is, because there are so many good parts. Leaves fall from the trees and crunch beneath boots; the nights slowly dim, and radiators are turned up as you sit on the sofa to watch newly-released TV seasons, cup of hot chocolate in hand; the colours outside the window are breathtaking. What remains something perfect each year though, without fail, is the turn of the calendar's pages to September the first, and the resetting of the House Cup points as a new chapter begins. For Harry Potter, autumn brought with it a red steam train waiting at a platform hidden from view, an escape from the Dursleys, and most importantly, the journey home to Hogwarts.
And that has to be the best thing about autumn: that each year, HPFTers and Potterheads everywhere have a sense of coming home.
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This Blog Entry is for MAGICQuote
G34 - Make a Blog post about the best part of each of the four seasons.
It may not be everyone's favorite season, however there are some things that are charming about the coldest time of the year.
There's nothing more peaceful than the first snowfall. When everything is blanketed in a thick layer of puffy white, and everything seems to quiet down. The untouched snow almost sparkles, and brings back memories of snowball fights, snow days home from school, hot chocolate, red noses and sleigh riding.
No matter how old you are, that first snowfall of the year instantly makes you feel younger. It's almost magical.
The season of rebirth and new beginnings.
When the snow starts to melt, and the ground begins to thaw, you know spring is on its way.
It's a beautiful season, with flowers beginning to bloom, trees budding, animals coming out of hibernation, and the days becoming longer. There's something hopeful about spring, which makes you feel like making plans to travel the world. You feel your spirit and soul begin to bloom alongside of the greenery around you.
Almost everyone’s favorite season, and it's easy to see why.
Summer is about long nights, bonfires, cookouts, lounging by the pool, and swimming in the ocean. You feel alive during the summer, like you could conquer the world. Road trips, long conversations with friends, camping and hiking. It's all about fun and adventure.
The most beautiful season, which rivals summer as a favorite.
Personally autumn is my favorite season of all. There's nothing better than cozying up in a oversized sweater, sipping on a pumpkin spiced latte, while driving around the mountains looking at the colorful leaves. Hayrides, apple picking, haunted houses, Halloween, cider and just everything autumn; there's nothing better. It's when I feel the most at peace and the happiest version of myself.
Beware: This article mentions disordered eating and panic attacks.
So today is a big day for me: I have officially started wedding dress shopping. This is a pretty big deal for me, since I am (as some of you might know) recovering from an eating disorder.
Going to a shop to buy clothes is always a big deal for me. I’ve been known to panic in changing rooms – I get the sudden feeling I’m too hot, the space is too small, my limbs are gigantic, my head is tiny, clothes I’ve already put on suddenly feel way too small and I have trouble getting them off fast enough… And that’s even before I have to step out of the changing room and present myself to other people to judge my appearance.
Another serious consideration was this: I can’t go wedding dress shopping close to the date because the added stress of being on a deadline wouldn’t help, but if I bought a dress a long while in advance, I’d be under pressure to keep my weight the same until the wedding – a kind of pressure I’ve forced myself to stay away from otherwise.
So ever since I knew I was going to get married, wedding dress shopping has been the biggest worry I had about the whole thing. I didn’t want to have this supposedly joyful journey dirtied by my self-deprecating thoughts and insecurities. I’ve come a long way in my recovery (It’s been 10 years after all), but I knew that going into any kind of shop with the expectations on my shoulders to find a dress that would not only make me look the best I’ve ever looked, but also make me outshine all other 100 wedding guests and – most importantly make my fiancé see all the reasons he loves me in my appearance – that was a recipe for disaster. So what could I do to de-escalate the situation before it arose?
The first plan that came to mind: I would lose all these expectations and go dress shopping with my most trusted friend, who knows everything about my struggles and doubts. It was good, but still left me dreading this process.
So I adjusted the plan and decided not to go dress shopping at all. I simply didn’t want to do something that made me this worried this long. And it was my wedding – why do it if it made me unhappy already? This decision alone already lifted a huge weight off my shoulders, even though I didn't know yet how to go about it.
I came up with a pretty good alternative – or so I thought. I was going to contact a dress designer my co-worker recommended to me and ask her to make me a dress. I knew custom made dresses were expensive, but I decided if I asked her to make the dress from materials I would be able to dye afterwards, I’d get a fancy summer dress out of it too. Since the dress would be made for me and my figure I wouldn’t have to worry about not fitting into it / about it not suiting me. And since this designer knows her trade the dress would be designed a while ahead of time, but only finalised closer to the wedding day, which would relieve me from the pressure of keeping my weight for a longer amount of time.
A pretty perfect plan, right? I thought so too, until my sister suggested I try on some regular wedding dresses to find out which ones I liked – so I could tell the designer. Which is solid advice, but kind of put me back on square one in that I’d have to face the changing rooms, the bridal stores, the mirrors, the number of dresses that probably don’t fit.
I was a bit defeated and put off looking for dresses a little longer. That is – until today. Today, because I had to stay in and do nothing due to severe dizziness, I re-activated my wedding dresses board on pinterest – filling it only with dresses from online shopping sites that were actually in stock and affordable. First I was just going to collect styles I liked, but then I saw the „Only one piece in stock“ notice on one and I realised I wanted to try it on – so I ordered it.
I ordered 3 potential wedding dresses today. I ordered potential wedding dresses!
This feels like a huge win already, not that I’ll necessarily use the dresses I ordered, not that they’ll fit me most likely, but I started this daunting task and it feels somewhat do-able already. Because I like the style I ordered and if the dresses don’t fit, I can at least take photos to take to the designer. And if one of them does fit somewhat? Then I have a dress I can get altered to fit perfectly for less than € 110!
And here's an overview of the dresses I pinned today – ranging from typically bridal to simple every day dresses (although who wears a dress for 180 euros on an average day, I'll never know…)
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