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I’m missing the greatest part of my life, and it’s very difficult.
I’ve always wanted to be a mom. I have eight younger brothers and sisters and I had enough money from babysitting by the time I was twelve to buy a laptop.
I met a boy at 16 and fell head over heals. All his ideals and passions made me ensnared by the idea of starting a life together. We had one beautiful son before things started to go downhill fast. It became apparent that he suffered from mental health issues when the stress piled on. I tried so hard to “make him” get help to no avail. Interventions, ultimates, begging, it made no difference. When I found out I was pregnant again, it was bitter sweet. I wanted my child, but I knew I was incapable of supporting all four of us, and my husband was the only optional one. I made the decision to leave in the hopes that maybe if I wasnt supporting him anymore he would learn to support himself. I didn’t file for divorce. He moved out of state.
Now, ten years after we met, at the conclusion of our eight year marriage, I am beginning to despise him.
I never wanted to keep him from the children’s life. I met him halfway for visits. I always made sure our son went with him at EVERY holiday. When I was big and pregnant and couldnt drive to meet him I made arrangements for others to do so. When I went into labor I made sure to tell him and he was there for the birth of our second son. After that I tried even harder to include him in their lives. I missed my baby’s first Thanksgiving. First Christmas. First Easter... First Birthday. You can’t be a single mom of two kids and take off work to drive out of state like that. I had to keep those times off for fevers and school trips, tummy aches and plays.
It was a hard, hard summer with them gone. But I had a date - Aug 11 - to keep me through.
August 11th came and he didn’t bring them to our spot. I drove all the way there, and he hid them from me. He had filed for divorce, custody, and put a temporary restraining order on me.
I was distraught. I have made the 7 hour drive several times, with two ending in visits. I got them at home once and was there for three hours before being told I wasn’t welcome. Took off work and had lunch at my sons school. Went by the daycare to see my baby and he called the police on me as though I was a criminal. I most recently went to be with my baby as he was admitted to Children’s hospital with 105 degree fever. He had fevers for two weeks and they hadn’t told me. He was admitted at 2pm on Friday, and I didn’t know until Saturday at 10am. My older sons birthday party was the next day.
He dropped his case when his lawyer told him a judge in his state would rule in my favor.
I have two sets of lawyers, my state and his, and the retainers plus travel costs have drained my savings. I’m not wealthy. What single mom is?
Thankfully a friend of mine has set up a fundraiser to help. You can find me on Facebook and PM me for the link if you’re interested in donating.
The baby didn’t have mono like they thought, and was discharged after the weekend. My older son had a great birthday party with family and friends and really enjoyed the Polaroid I got for him.
I finally have a court date. It’s not nearly soon enough, and I’ll be in debt by the time it gets here, and even if the judge here rules in my favor (he should) I still have to wait another two weeks to have the papers recognized in his state before I am legally able to go and take them from his custody.
This community of happy, supportive people has been a real crutch for me since the boys left end of May. I am very thankful that it was set up. I’ve felt like the statue “emptiness” by Albert Gyorgy for awhile now. The end is far off, but in sight.
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for your time.
Welcome to my first blog ever at HPFT!
I am excited to announce the winners of The Cultural Diversity Challenge, in which participants had to write about a cultural experience that was foreign to them. Each of my participants did a phenomenal job honoring various cultures and I certainly learned a lot from their efforts. Thank you and congratulations to the winners!
In third place, with a beautiful depiction of Nordic culture...
Albus Potter's Trip to the Nordic Magical World by @StarFeather
Please PM me for two additional reviews on whatever stories you choose!
In second place, with a thought-provoking look into Deaf culture...
Sound of Silence by @Chelts-rhj
Please PM me for four additional reviews on whatever stories you choose!
In first place, with a moving exploration of Indian culture...
Dum Vivimus Vivamus (M) by @sunshine_locks
Please PM me for six additional reviews on whatever stories you choose!
Thank you again to all participants! I enjoyed reading and reviewing your stories, and I highly recommend all of them!
Feel free to use your awards graphics wherever you choose, just make sure to rehost them and credit me.
This is my first ever blog post and I've a lot to say, so I really hope that you'd find it in yourselves to read to the end of this. If not, still drop me a comment and say Hi, I'd feel really welcome.
So, starting off my blog with a post containing my introduction, giving some information about my life and what do I hope to do here on the site.
Who Am I?
Please call me Maggie. I officially joined this site on June 10, 2016. That's more than two years ago!! Forgive me but I found it in me to come say hello to you amazing people only now.. 😪
Well, if you haven't already guessed by my joining date, I was really active on HPFF (Are we allowed to mention it here? 😋). I do remember many of the names here (I've been snooping around a bit), had forged some great bonds with many of you folks and I'm no stranger to this community. I was active in the forum events, used to participate in challenges and continually gave life to my plunnies and even delved into graphics during my brief stint on HPFF previously.
I hope 😅 some of you would be able to recognize me if I were to mention my old username/pen-name. But, I just feel like I need a fresh start here on HPFT, hence the new name. I hope I'll be able to make friends here again. I'm no troublemaker, I promise!! 😁
If you're wondering where was I during the last two years or even if you're not, please read on. 😋
The short version is, real life took over.
The long version is, I graduated university, got a job, moved out of my parents' home to a new city, built a new life, struggled with bosses and assignments, slogged in many late night hours for work and finally, finally got my due in terms of recognition from my management. Old friends grew distant, people changed, met awesome people, made some great new friends, even had a crush which I eventually outgrew!! 😋😋 WHew!!!! It doesn't seem as long and challenging here, but believe me, I've been through a hell of a roller-coaster ride!
I could never distance myself from the HP fandom though. I continued on reading Jily (my one and only OTP) here and on tumblr and just kept making up stories in my head which I still hope to write one day. I even tried participating in one of the house cup events (it was the reviewing event, snowball event I think 🤔) but just had to leave in the middle because real life took over once again. Apologies to my fellow teammates.. 😢
Why Come Back?
Because.. I just feel like it?
I'm in a very happy place in life right now. I've got my dream job which I would be hopefully starting very soon and things are looking up for a while now. And all this happiness and positivism, which I feel around me nowadays, has inspired me again to come back here.
Blah.. Blah.. Blah..
Some other things about me, if anyone's interested..
I'd soon be moving countries, but that's OK because it's for a job I've wanted for a long time.
I'm into other fandoms as well, so we can talk about these as well:
The Handmaid's Tale -- I'm crazyyyyyy about this one
Did I say that I'm a software engineer?
I love singing. One of my hobbies is to sing and record those songs. I'm not a terrible singer, I promise.. 😉
Also, I'm a Gryffie!! A special shout out to any fellow Gryffindors reading this post 🤗
I love writing character sketches and about magical objects. Actually, I'm planning on writing a magical object series soon!!
Did you read through all of this? Thanks a lot! Please drop me a note below!
Hopefully I'll be able to have a longer journey here this time!! 😁😁
First of all, I do apologize that this update is coming in so late. I really did mean to post my monthly trip update in August, but as I’m sure many of you know, things got a little crazy around here with the wrapping up of our annual House Cup Tournament last month, lol! So here I am now, better late than never, to provide you all with what will likely be my LAST Missions Trip update before the actually trip itself happens…🇭🇳 That being said, here is what's been happening over the past month since my last update:
1. I am so incredibly happy to report that I sold 15 t-shirts during our fundraiser for that. And then, with a few last minute unexpected donations from some people at work, I received the LAST bit of funding that I needed to meet the August goal of $400.00 - meaning that my trip was FULLY FUNDED on time!!! I met all of my deadlines, and now our flights have all been confirmed and we officially have our plane tickets!! Honestly, I am still completely baffled by the fact that I somehow managed to raise $1,700 dollars in 3 months time. But I honestly could NOT have done it without all of the amazing and overwhelming support of all m family and friends!!! 💕
2. As mentioned in my +Last Update, I am going to be teaching VBS to the 12-17 year old teens in Honduras, and we will have 90 minutes to present a lesson, craft, and an activity to the kids. I was put in charge of the craft and the activity, so I’ve been very busy this past month researching team building exercises and learning how to make Paracord bracelets, lol. Thankfully though, it’s all coming together though, and my partner and I are finally starting to feel as though we have our lesson down-pact. We’re getting together on Friday to go shopping for our final supplies for the activity, so this is like really it, y’all!! 💙
3. I also had the opportunity to get together with our trip leader Sam’s dad, who plays the guitar (and is also the only other musician in our group, lol) and practice our songs for the trip as well. Roger has, admittedly, never played his guitar in front of people before. He’s always just done it for fun, so our jam session was super fun!! Both of us are stoked to lead worship for the people at the center in Honduras now, and we have six songs prepared. I even learned how to sing a few lines of some of the songs in Spanish!! (“You Make Me Brave” and “How He Loves Us”) 🎼
4. In an unexpected turn of events, we discovered that the center we’re serving will be having a “Teen Day” - not just for the kids who attend the One Child Matters center, but for all of the teenagers in the community there to come to as well. Our Team Leader and our Pastor are going to be leading the lesson on this, and they’re doing this whole thing on Identity. Sam has some really cool ideas for the activity involved with it that I’m pretty excited about… But, at the end of it, she asked ME if I wouldn’t mind sharing my personal testimony on teen suicide with the kids. I said no at first, because I am NOT a public speaker, and I was/am very afraid to talk about those intimate parts of my life with anybody. But then, the more and more I thought about it, the more I realized that this may very well be the reason that I was sent on this trip. So I called her back, and I agreed to do that too. Putting myself in such a vulnerable position has certainly NOT been an easy thing to do, but I know I’m making the right call. (And if anybody is interested in hearing the story, DM me some time and we’ll talk.) I’m trying to learn how to be more open about it. Who knows. Maybe after the trip, I’ll post the whole thing on one of those anonymous Blog sites for everyone to read. But for now… baby steps, lol. 😅
5. I have my final doctor’s appointment tomorrow to take care of any/all preventative measures that need to be addressed with my Family Doctor prior to leaving the Country. I have also contacted my phone service provider to setup a service and data coverage while I am our of the Country. (Verizon has a really nice Travel Plan option that I would recommend for anyone who has them and may be traveling.) 😉 So at least I know I won't be totally cutoff from the outside world while I'm over there. My cell phone WILL work at all times, should I need to make use of it... And that is it!!! ALL of my prep-work will FINALLY be complete!!! Every bit of paperwork is done, and all of the money has been turned in now. It is a done-deal at this point. We have officially reached the point of no return, lol!! 😱
To say that I have been a nervous wreck over the past few weeks would be an understatement. Tensions have definitely been running high, and my stress levels have been TO THE MAX as I was frantically trying to balance ALL of my responsibilities in life - at work for the doctor, at work for the respite kids, at church for my band, at church for the missions trip, here on the site, and at home too. 😥 So many things/people were vying for my attention, and I know I’ve been a bit all over the place recently as I struggled to stay afloat and get EVERYTHING done that needed to be completed. It has definitely been an exhausting process, and it has taken a lot of patience to not give up. And I'll admit that having to write my life story, and relive some of the things I went through in my youth have put me in a very vulnerable place, emotionally, over the past few weeks as well too... So if I haven’t seemed like myself, or if I haven’t been around as much since the finale ended, know that I am fine. I’m still here, lol! I’ve just been internalizing a LOT of things lately, and as the trip gets closer, I have to start mentally preparing myself for it. I DO feel as though I am refocused now though, and even though I went through that high anxiety period, I am not about to let that stop me from going on this trip now!! 👍
Even as I make this blog post, it is 3:50am on Tuesday the 11th of September. Which means that, in exactly TEN DAYS from NOW, I will be on my way to the airport. Our flight leaves at 6:15am on Thursday, September 20th. So, naturally, we have to be there at the ungodly hour of 4:00am, lol!!! 😆 My suitcase is already packed for the most part. I’ve gotten all of my clothes ready, and I’ve prepared Angie’s bookbag full of gifts. It’s so full now that I officially cannot fit anything else in it, lol!! (TBH, I probly never should have added in those last three Disney Princess dolls, haha!!) I honestly cannot wait to meet her. I am so excited to see this little girl, that it just makes everything I’ve gone through to get to this point so worth it… 💗
So there you have it, folks!!! My Honduras Missions Trip is 10 days away, and even though I am now fully funded, even though we do have a solid itinerary and all of our lessons are all planned out now, even though most of my things are packed and so many other things are all falling into place now, and even though I am VERY excited to meet my Sponsored little girl… I may be slightly panicking a just a little, lol!! 😬 TEN DAYS!?!? Are you kidding me?? It feels like we JUST started talking and planning this whole thing yesterday, lol!!! 😂 And now I will be leaving in less than 2 week's time, OMGGG!!!!!
Needless to say, in my next Blog update, I will be so very excited to share all of my trip experiences with you guys!! Because, nerves or no nerves, I AM going on this trip, lol!! 😋 And yet again, I cannot THANK YOU ALL enough for standing by me, and being so loving/supportive/encouraging throughout this entire process!!! Literally, I don't think I could have gotten this far without the community of HPFT!!! I love all of you guys so much!!!!
🧡 ~ Deana
maggie stiefvater: a discussion
i feel like i need to start this off with a disclaimer that none of this is hate.
hello dear hpfters! it's half 5 in the morning, i've vacated my bedroom because a spider has fallen somewhere onto my bed, and i decided to write a blogpost because why not. this one is brought to you by sinner by maggie stiefvater which i finally finished today after about... two weeks?
i've actually read quite a few of maggie stiefvater's books and yet i still spell her name wrong on the first attempt ever since i was a teenager. i've read scorpio races, i've read lament and its sequel, i've read the raven cycle and i've read the wolves of mercy falls aka the shiver series with varying responses. scorpio races didn't do it for me, but lament did. as for the raven cycle, i enjoyed it thoroughly and am definitely looking forward to the tv show (whenever that arrives), though i do have little things i nitpick here and there. but that's not why we're here today.
we're here because of sinner, a standalone/spin-off to the main trilogy of the wolves of mercy falls. if anyone doesn't know what this series is about, it's actually really interesting. the premise is this: grace brisbane lives in a small town in minnesota where she was once attacked by wolves and since then, she has been obsessed with them. this isn't really a spoiler since it's more or less mentioned in the blurb, but the wolves aren't just ordinary animals - they're werewolves. the reason i called it interesting is because maggie puts a little twist on the concept, as she often does with her books, and the shift into wolf-mode is not triggered by the moon but by the cold. it's involuntary and it lasts months.
bear in mind that i read the series a good few years ago, but i did enjoy the first book [shiver] a lot at the time. if anyone's familiar with her writing, they'll know that maggie (i can't for the life of me continue to accidentally do the typo in her surname so sayonara to that) often focuses more on the characters than a solid plot jam-packed with lots of events. the conflict is more often a conflict of the mind or the self and there's often a lot of introspection. even with the various supernatural settings, the characters are often shown when they're doing something mundane or ordinary, even if they're written as quirky or cut from a different cloth (for lack of a better term). a quick look at goodreads suggests that a lot of people found it too slow, but i honestly don't remember shiver being too much so. it moved along at a pace that worked for the characters and for the general feel maggie was going for imho and it ended at a satisfying place.
the sequels? i could've done without them.
i think they told a story that didn't necessarily need to be told. that being said, however, they did introduce some interesting perspectives and/or characters, namely cole st clair. sinner follows the story of cole and another character, isabel, after the events of the main trilogy. maybe i just left it too late to read, but i just... couldn't get into it. i finished it, of course, out of a faint curiosity but it didn't enrapture me. i wasn't fully engaged. i kept glancing at how many pages were left. which, y'know, isn't a particularly good sign.
i wanted to like it. i think isabel and cole are fascinating characters on paper - imperfect and aware of it, not necessarily nice, and their personalities sharp enough that they can't help but catch on each other's edges so that they're constantly dancing around one another. i think this, coupled with maggie's general style of writing, is what made me lose interest.
here is my take on maggie s.'s writing: she focuses on characters, particularly the parts that aren't so public-friendly and a little rough around the edges. they are a little off the beaten path and well-aware of it, a little lonely and get lost in their heads a lot. there's a real emphasis on the imperfect. these characters often communicate in gestures that might not seem like they mean much, but they do, which maggie often highlights with simple phrasing e.g. "She raised an eyebrow. He took a card." lol that's not a real quote but you get what i mean; maggie loads small actions with many implications, often creating an anticipatory air. sinner includes all of that and more. the characters are imperfect and cynical and they overthink a lot of things while doing very ordinary things.
and for some reason, i could not hack it.
it's not because cole was an arsehole or isabel was mean and the true definition of an ice queen. they're meant to be this way. it's that, when paired with the overall style of maggie's writing, i could not handle that level of narcissism, cynicism or the forwards-backwards dance of their relationship. there was something that was almost egotistical about it all. there's this whole sense of L.A. and california being this unreal state of artificial aesthetics and manufactured glamour that reels everyone in like a plastic spider on its web. cole and isabel are meant to be a stark, gritty contrast to it and i guess they are? but in a way that i couldn't really connect with either of them much better than i could connect to the bright lights of the city. i didn't hate them or anything. i just couldn't bring myself to care about their problems (as serious as they were).
all in all, i think that's the gamble that's taken with maggie's favoured style of writing. it worked in the case of TRC because i absolutely love ronan, who existed by being difficult on purpose, but i think the intended effect of her writing fell short here.
anyways, this was a little ramble i went on while i killed time before a bed clears up upstairs if you've somehow read this far, i'd love to be hollered at in the comments. whether you've read some of maggie's stuff and agree/disagree with my opinions, whether you have had similar experiences with not enjoying a writer or a book that you (or the masses) thought you would - comment away
A huge thank you to everyone who participated in the Narrative OF Challenge! All of your entries were so amazing and I am completely hooked onto each of your original universes - each of them was so unique and well-written that I had a really hard time judging them.
Entry 1: When Daddy gets Home (M) by Margaret
[Warnings: contains derogative language and child abuse]
Margaret has written a powerful and heartbreaking story about a dysfunctional family, building up a strong background for her protagonist through her one-shot. My emotions were a wreck after reading this.
Entry 2: Save the Eggs ! (T) by StarFeather
Kenny spins a wonderfully rhythmic story around little elves and their way of life. He connects his fantasy world with the human world and touches upon environmental issues through a very unique PoV.
Entry 3: The Forest Cottage by MadiMalfoy
This beautiful one-shot revolves around a forest-dwelling witch who loves making tea for unsuspecting travellers. Madi's world combines magic and science, and is a beautiful piece of story-telling that filled me with warmth.
Entry 4: The Bone Troll by victoria_anne
Another fantastic entry which filled me a mixture of emotions that I honestly didn't expect when I started reading it. The piece contains great descriptions and a strong build-up to the main event as Bianca's protagonist ventures into a forest in search of a mysterious creature.
Entry 5: Quarter (M) by LunaStellaCat
Jenn describes bittersweet, nostalgic moments through her protagonist, Jacqueline, and touches upon the themes of growing up, empty nest, family dynamics, and illness in her wonderful fic.
I strongly recommend that everyone reads these, they're all so good!
And now, the winners!
First Place: @Margaret
Congratulations! You get three additional reviews on stories of your choice, a link to your entry on my signature, and this award graphic.
Second Place: @victoria_anne
Great work with your entry! You get two additional reviews on stories of your choice, a link to your entry on my signature, and this award graphic!
Third Place: @MadiMalfoy
Congratulations Madi! You get one additional review, a link to your entry on my signature, and this award graphic.
@StarFeather and @LunaStellaCat I was impressed with both your entries and will be adding a link to both of them in my signature as well!
Congratulations everyone! Please PM me and let me know which fics you'd like reviewed. And if you're using your award graphic, please remember to credit.
We Prefects are proud to present the T.O.A.D.s (otherwise known as the Totally Outstanding Awards, Dudes!), your totally (un)official awards...dudes. In the aftermath of the Finale, while recovering from the intensity and trying to regain our sanity, one lovely Prefect brought up the idea to present awards to those Housemates and Staff Members that stood out to us during those trying times. Please note that these "awards" are NOT affiliated with the Staff or Officially House Cup business, and they are not worth points or anything like that. They are just a way to show appreciation and spread some love!
If you'd like to use your awards, please rehost and credit the appropriate artist.
@Aphoride @dirigibleplums @Downbelow @facingthenorthwind @FawkesyLady @forever_dreaming @greisful @hecate @MadiMalfoy @Margaret @potionspartner @Theia
Your winners of the House Cup Finale 2018, Ravenclaw managed to find TWO wild cards. Their statistics were as follows:
89 reviews 12,466 words 27 graphics 16 writing tasks 12 puzzles solved
To @forever_dreaming for her outstanding reviewing support during Quadpot, we award:
The Hermione Granger Award for a Little Light Reading!
award by emma
To @Theia for her amazing Graphicking, we award:
The Luna Lovegood Award for Finding the Beauty in Everything
award by emma
Gryffindor @Chemical_Pixie @melian @nott theodore @TreacleTart @poppunkpadfoot @ShadowRose @adorably cute @Sleepingbagonthesofa @Crimson Quill @Deeds @StarFeather @Lady Ausra
Gryffindor absolutely smashed their Quodpot matches AND put up top-notch writing, winning several placings in the individual tasks! Their statistics were as follows:
184 reviews 7,994 words 15 graphics 12 writing tasks 12 puzzles solved
To @Chemical_Pixie for her conquering of the dreaded Snape Riddle, we award:
The Severus Snape Award for Impossible Riddle-Solving!
award by taylor
To @TreacleTart for her phenomenal reviewing skills during Quadpot, we award:
The Hermione Granger Award for a Little Light Reading!
award by emma
Slytherin @beyond the rain @Rumpelstiltskin @starbuck @teh tarik @MalfoysAngel @Nix
Slytherin was small but mighty in this House Cup Finale, managing to pull together a spectacular paper that's absolutely gorgeous. Also, I'm pretty sure the riddles made everyone cry.
45 reviews 6,922 words 23 graphics 12 writing tasks 12 puzzles solved
To @starbuck for her excellence in everything and brilliant imagination, we award:
The Basilisk Award for Being Slytherin's Superstar!
award by rumpel
To @teh tarik for her incredible riddle-solving abilites, we award:
The Tom Riddle Award for the Mastering of Riddles!
award by rumpel
@just.a.willow.tree @danicasyer @sunshinedaisieswindmills @Dojh167 @MuggleMaybe @dreamgazer220 @Phoenix Potioneer @Stella Blue @VaguelyCreativeName @ShazaLupin @WriteYourHeartOut
Your 2017-2018 House Cup Champions, Hufflepuff was a terrifying force to be reckoned with. Their frankly unbelievable statistics were as follows:
215 reviews 9,733 words 22 graphics 13 writing tasks 12 puzzles solved
To @Dojh167 for her criminal mastermind and finding skills, we award:
The Hufflepuff Award for Being an Exceptionally Good Finder!
The Voldemort Award for Being an Evil Genius! (This is because we couldn't choose which to give you, Sam.)
award by rumpel
award by rumpel
To @just.a.willow.tree for making the graphics and going absolutely above and beyond for the whole event, we award:
The James Potter Award For Being Awesome Since Birth!
award by taylor
To @Ineke for putting up with the Gryffindors and the Ravenclaws, we award:
The David Tennant Award for Excellent GIF Use!
award by emma
To @Alopex for answering approximately three billion questions and handling all of us, we award:
The Arabella Figg Award for Herding Cats!
The Minerva McGonagall Award for Having the Patience of a Saint!
award by rumpel
award by rumpel
To @TidalDragon for being a Genius Mastermind (and the Kevin), we award:
The Albus Dumbledore Award for Knowing What's Going on Even When Nobody Else Does!
award by taylor
To @RoxiMalfoy for being the best morale booster, we award:
The Colin Creevey Award for Motivation!
award by rumpel
That wraps up the T.O.A.D Awards and our 2017/2018 House Cup!
Congratulations to our winners, to all of the wonderful members who contributed and, of course, to the Staff. Together we've written over 36,000 words, 605 reviews and pulled together four wonderful papers.
Your Prefects are incredibly proud of you!
We hope you've all found some time to relax and recharge but don't get too comfortable...
The House Cup kicks off in just over a week and this time, we're running the show.
And trust us, there will be no riddles.
A Question: Is the power differential between male and female so uneven that there can never be true consent between the two?
Some background first: I was reviewing a number of possible challenges that I was considering over the next several months. Of the three two were purely smexy if you know what I mean. *wink wink* *nudge nudge* I showed the prompts to a close friend to gauge her interest and it sparked a discussion about certain kinks. Now, she identifies as a radfem and goes to rallies and as a woman I would like to think of myself as a feminist although I do not necessarily agree with her on every point. That said, her reaction and opinion of the prompts was so violent that I felt the need to re-examine the subject.
She gave me a link to a reddit discussion on the kink in question and dutifully I read it, and I came to the same conclusion as I started with. The subject is thorny, one that needs to be spoken about chiefly by the people who engage in it. Those of us who have not been educated or initiated are making assumptions and that is close-minded. The heart of the matter is whether or not the people involved consent to the activity. Beyond that, it is none of my business. This topic is back in the spotlight because of a number of highly publicized deaths due to what I assume to be negligence and poor communication (or sheer dumb luck, undiagnosed heart conditions maybe?) These cases are extremes and should not be taken as examples of the whole community.
Let's circle back to the power differential issue. This is the heart of the debate, and to be clear the statement that a woman is not able to give consent because of a power differential between her and a man who wants to do a thing, then I sure as hell don't understand how that is a feminist viewpoint. It asserts that a woman cannot have the ability to consent in a sexual context if there is a man because she's programmed to very likely make a decision that is not in her best interest when it comes to her body and its use.
You can't use this argument in only a 'kink' context. That's sloppy, and suggests that if the feminist community approves of vanilla pudding then of course the programmed woman can do that, but Hecate forbid if you should want Rice Pudding. Or even a slice of lava cake. Nope, can't consent to those.
Now, I'm not a enthusiast of Rice pudding or whatever you want to substitute in for the kink on hand. The point is I trust that if done right, lava cake is a valid dessert that can be enjoyed by both parties so long as there is proper consent.
My personal experience is limited, but what I do know is that the average sexual M/F relationship of my generation didn't have a lot of open conversation about what the couple would be and wouldn't be willing to have on the proverbial dessert menu. I wish we had. I know that I would have been much better off. I myself was hurt more than once in the consumption of vanilla pudding.
Consent, enthusiastic consent is my main kink and it is necessary; without consent dessert becomes assault punishable by law. Good communication between partners needs to happen. Always. There are checklists that you can use to help facilitate these conversations if you are not comfortable with discussing what is and isn't on the menu. It can be an uplifting and eye opening experience, a jumping off point for building trust between partners. If nothing else, if you find yourself uncomfortable discussing these things with your partner, for whatever reason, perhaps something isn't quite right. It should be okay to say no, or that you are not comfortable with dessert and you should be able to do so without fear.
I do not wish to upset people or hurt feelings, and I hope I haven't. I am still not certain of what to say to my friend, and this post is the product of my agonizing over the subject. It is my sincere hope that it makes at least one other person think about the issue in a new way.
Hi everyone! 👋
I just thought I'd make a blog post about some big things that are happening in my life because it's about to get crazy for me in RL!
So first things first: I moved halfway across the United States from Iowa (Midwest) to California (West Coast) for graduate school! I'll be going for my PhD in chemistry -- specifically, looking at atmospheric chemistry in the environment (think smog, forest fire smoke, air pollution, etc) and hopefully will be doing a mixture of laboratory and field research once I'm in a group. This also means I'm far away from the majority of my family and my long-term boyfriend, so I'll be pretty down these next couple weeks as things start happening for school (training and the like), so love and hugs would be greatly appreciated ♥️ (Don't worry too much though, I do have an aunt & uncle and their oldest daughter/husband nearby so I'm not totally alone) As a heads up, I will likely be pretty quiet on here towards the end of this month into the first chunk of October as I get settled into classes and such, but I'll do my best to answer PMs and reviews and the like.
Also, I've started my first venture into Original Fiction at the prodding of @Theia with a character vignette for her Narrative OF Challenge. I'm in the very early stages of planning a novel, the very early ideas of which can be found in my Writer's Journal and I will hopefully be better planning things with Scrivener once I download that (free trial).
I'm also going to be trying to update SOMETHING every couple of weeks so I can get my WIPs done and hit that complete button something other than a one-shot finally! This includes finishing Faith, Trust, and Crystal Balls and also (hopefully) Love Makes Me (M) by the end of the year. Something else on my docket is re-writing an old Jily one-shot from HPFF and various other projects including (but not limited to) further expansions in my The Triwizard Effect Series and also just some Harry/Hermione BFF things that I want to write now that I've completed my rewatch of all eight films this weekend.
I have also greatly enjoyed being welcomed to the Prefect team at the beginning of July and I hope to do Ravenclaw (and by extension, all of you) proud. If anyone ever has questions about the site, archive, or just life questions in general, please don't hesitate to send me a PM, my inbox is always open ❤️ My first ever time participating in the House Cup Finale was also hugely exciting and I am so proud of Ravenclaw for all of the work and wonderful effort we put into our newspaper 💙 🧡
Even though I'm not/didn't do writing/posting at the rate that I would have liked this summer, I'm still very proud of my entry for the Prefect's Celebration Challenge and the progress I've made so far for Love Makes Me and Faith, Trust, and Crystal Balls. Be on the lookout for new chapters and postings from me soon along with updates about how grad school is going over on my Twitter account (M).
That's all for now, folks! I'll check in soon with an update on how grad school is going in October!
Starting in June 2018, you were all given the task to honor the many celebrations taking place that month by competing in writing some stories to commemorate a special occasion.We are here today to announce the results of the challenge!
For this particular challenge, there were three different prompts for you to choose from. You could write about:
vacation: can include a trip or a staycation
a “meet the family” situation which includes any kind of families or relationships
a topic relating to Pride Month: coming out, first kiss, the first time a character realized they were queer, etc.
You could write about one (1) of these prompts or combine two (2) of them or even all three (3)! While you were only required to write about one, we will be offering extra reviews for those that attempted multiple prompts in one story but this did not factor into the judging of the entry. You will still receive the reviews even if you do not place in the challenge.
We had several amazing entries for this challenge:
you make me feel good by @facingthenorthwind Antebellum [Mature] by @Aphoride Slow Love by @TheGoldenKneazle Weasley Family Dinner Shenanigans [Mature] by @adorably cute Good Things Come in Twos by @MadiMalfoy heaven taking the place of something evil [Mature] by @dirigibleplums Somewhere in Between by @ShadowRose Constellations [Mature] by @ssslytherinnn The Outset by @Renacerá passionfruit [Mature] by @poppunkpadfoot To Boil Telephone Porridge [Mature] by @teh tarik Locked in a Broom Closet [Mature] by @Nix
But only three could win!
heaven taking the place of something evil [Mature] by dirigibleplums!
Prizes: two additional reviews on a story of your choice
Antebellum [Mature] by Aphoride!
prizes: three additional reviews on a story/stories of your choice, a picspam of your story
To Boil Telephone Porridge | 煲電話粥 [Mature] by teh tarik!
prizes: five additional reviews on a story/stories of your choice, a picspam of your story, and a feature in the September edition of the Prefect's In the Spotlight blog.
Congratulations to all winners!
Please contact @Rumpelstiltskin for your review portion of your prizes. Thank you!
Special Note: Each entry will still receive its review, plus any bonus reviews awarded soon. Apologies for the delay! Here is the list of bonus reviews awarded to entrants. To claim your bonus reviews, please contact Rumpelstiltskin and let her know which story(ies) you would like your reviews on. If you believe to be missing a bonus (or any bonuses awarded to you are incorrect), please contact Rumpelstiltskin
Bonus Reviews by Member (not including entry reviews or placement prize reviews):
facingthenorthwind: 2 extra reviews
Aphoride: 2 extra reviews
The Golden Kneezle: 1 extra review
MadiMalfoy: 1 extra review
ShadowRose: 2 extra reviews
ssslytherin: 1 extra review
poppunkpadfoot: 2 extra reviews
teh tarik: 2 extra reviews
graphics [header and awards]: @Rumpelstiltskin voting and discussion: @dreamgazer220, @just.a.willow.tree, @forever_dreaming, @Rumpelstiltskin post write-up: @Rumpelstiltskin
We are happy to present the August edition of In the Spotlight! We will be interviewing the Head Students of the month, the winner of the Order of Merlin for August, and providing a review column for the Story of the Month. This month, we are including a special section to commemorate the passing of the 19th Amendment in the United States in 1920 and Women's Equality Day (August 26th).
Our well-deserving Head Student's for the month of August, @adorably cute and @Theia, provided their responses to a few of our interview-type questions. Enjoy!
adorably cute/Sarah's interview:
Why did you pick the House you are in?
So, I've always at least partially identified as a Gryffindor (which is what Pottermore sorted me into), though I would say I have a lot of Ravenclaw traits as well and when I was younger, it was a lot harder for me to choose! The older I get, I definitely identify more with and have maybe started to value those Gryffindor traits more, so it's not really a difficult decision any more!
If there’s one story of yours you would like to tell us about, what would it be and why?
Definitely Home! It's really, uh, spiraled from its original concept but I'm really happy with the way it's turned out. It's about a girl finding herself, family, friends, and love, after transferring to Hogwarts when she has to move in with her Dad. I just really love what this story has become, I love all the characters and their relationships, I even (now) love these darn Quidditch statistics I made up for this thing!
If you could only read one book (or fanfic) again for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Is it cheating to pick Harry Potter? Do I have to pick one? If so, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. If it is cheating to pick one of them, then maybe The Great Gatsby.
What is your favorite HP Era and why?
To write, it's definitely Next Gen. I love how much freedom there is with it so you can pretty much do whatever you want with it! To read, it's a toss up between Next Gen and Marauders. probably for a similar reason. I love seeing the worlds people build (because even with the Marauders era, there's still so much we don't know) and how everyone characterizes different characters!
Do you have a method of story plotting that you’d like to share?
HA! Ok, so my method for story plotting is so basic and terrible, it's like
gang goes to bar
plot point y
plot point z, etc, etc
and then underneath those bullets I will sometimes have pieces of dialogue that I've thought of that I want to add in. But since this outline is SO BASIC, I frequently end up adding more dialogue/information than I thought was going to be in a chapter and accidentally end up with two chapters instead of one.
You get to ask one HP character (alive or dead) three questions. What are those questions?
Ahh this was a tough one! But I think I'd like to ask James Potter (the first):
1) how they actually created the Marauder's Map and all of the details about its creation
2) what their best prank was
3) how he finally got Lily to agree to go out with him
Why did you pick the House you are in?
I was initially sorted into Ravenclaw on Pottermore, and I could relate to the qualities associated with the house, so that's how I made my first decision to be in it. But moving forward, I realised I have a mix of some Slytherin and Hufflepuff qualities as well, and I did shift to Slytherin for a brief period of time a few years ago. However, I chose to be back in Ravenclaw because I've made some of the best friends, amazing memories, and received a LOT of support from people in this house, and it will always feel a lot more like home than any other.
If there’s one story of yours you would like to tell us about, what would it be and why?
Self-promotion is not my thing - the self-doubt is so real and I get unsure about everything I write. Buuut I do have a fic that I'm working on (which isn't on HPFT yet) that I'm super excited about. It's an Albus Potter- centric fic in which he's a thrill-seeking asexual curse breaker in his mid-twenties. It's an exploration of an impulsive personality, familial tension, and the stigma around being ace packed into an action/adventure plotline. It's a lot bigger than any other stories I've planned out and I'm psyched to complete it and put it up!
What is your favorite memory involving one of your eight cats?
Do you know how HARD it is to answer this? I have eight cats, and they all hold a very dear place in my heart. I can't pick out just one favourite memory but I think my life changed when each of them came into my life. They were all rescues/adoptions and were in dire need of some love and care. Looking at them growing up into healthy, well-adjusted cats has got to be the best part of this lifestyle (and it makes all the medical bills and poop-cleaning worth it :P)
Describe your favorite tattoo (either one that you have, have done, or have seen).
Again, a super difficult question to answer! The one I've done also happens to be the one I have - I have a little cat face just above my right ankle which I tattooed on myself. It was the first one I've ever done and I'm super proud of it even if it's not the best technically. In terms of one I have that's tattooed by someone else, I'd go with the Tardis on my upper arm - it has the cleanest lines I've ever seen, has settled so beautifully, and depicts my love for the fandom as well as a deeper meaning - that we're all bigger on the inside and we have the power to move through time and space, affecting the world around us through our actions.
I'm also taking this opportunity to highlight some of my favourite artists across the world:
Dmitriy Samohin - based in Ukraine, does AMAZING colour-realism.
Victor Portugal - artist in Krakow, Poland, who specialises in dark-themed realistic pieces
John Monteiro - artist in Brazil, delicate linework and illustrative custom tattoos
Megan Jean Morris - Nevada based, does brilliant colour-realism (yay for women artists!!)
Eva krbdk - Turkey, and her style is absolutely rad. She takes realistic landscapes/portraits and packs them into tiny geometric shapes.
I can keep going on and on (and if anyone wants more recommendations, feel free to PM) but these are a few who deserve some shout-outs. They're also pretty expensive since they're so accomplished and have many years of experience, but if you get the chance to get tattooed by them you absolutely must do so!
If you have any one piece of writing advice to give to others, what would it be?
I think everyone reaches a point where it seems like they're "not good enough" or "not getting ideas" or just feeling the pressure of delivering something amazing. But I think we all need to remember why we started writing in the first place and stick to it. Let yourself have fun with what you're doing, without giving too much importance to how it's turning out - the first draft is meant to be messy and filled with holes but once it's complete, your story is DONE and it's such an overwhelming feeling. You can always edit it later on and polish it up, but don't stop yourself before you've finished writing it! (this is something I remind myself of every day as well)
If you could pick one, with all of the benefits and none of the downsides, which would it be and why: the Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone, the Cloak of Invisibility?
The Elder Wand, especially if its without the downsides. I'd love to be able to perform powerful magic that can help people all over the world. (and myself of course haha :P)
The Staffer awarded the August order of Merlin -- the lovely @PaulaTheProkaryote -- has provided some responses to a small interview as well.
How long have you been a part of the Harry Potter fanfiction community?
I've been around for as long as I can remember! I used to hang out on Quizilla reading Drarry and day dreaming about being the perfect Mary Sue to really change Draco.
What's your favorite part about working behind-the-scenes?
I love watching the way that each house tackles events so differently. Hufflepuffs are legendary for their spreadsheets and organization. Ravenclaws are so, so creative in everything they do. Gryffindors roll up on pure enthusiasm and dominate. Slytherins are crazy efficient and not afraid to delegate jobs. It's just amazing how each house has their own problem-solving style.
Favorite type of fanfiction to read/write?
Fluffy happily ever afters. I can read angst all the way to the end, but I really need that happily ever after or else I'm mopey for weeks. Oh, and AUs. I have an obsessions with AUs.
What's your OTP?
My tried and true OTP is Jily. I love so many other pairings, but I really love the portrayal of each of the characters and their growth together.
What is your favorite non-HP fandom?
For actual content I love the Raven Boys the most, but as far as non-HP fandom community I'd have to say Star Wars. There's so much love and support there. I've met some of the most wonderful people through it.
Have video games ever inspired any of your writing? If so, explain. Or do you generally keep those two interests separate (and why)?
I try to keep them separate to the best of my abilities, but I do have an Elder Scrolls inspired Founders fic sitting in a google doc that I might publish one day. Each founder is from a different province in Tamriel (the world the game is set in). An orc Helga Hufflepuff is pretty awesome tbh.
Can you tell us more about your interest in insects and your collection?
I signed up last minute for an entomology course a few years ago because a professor I adore needed a few more students to actually host the class. We spent hours wandering parks collecting specimens and we had class dinners where we'd set up light traps. I loved it so much I kept up the hobby! I have several hundred insects that have been mounted and even more in jars to be mounted. My favorite specimen I have is a "trash bug" or lacewing larvae. It collects debris on it's back to sneak into aphid colonies and feast. They're super cool and it was a neat find.
Emma provided a wonderful review column for @esmeraude's featured Story of the Month fic, ministry memorandums (from the mysteries) [Mature].
Ministry Memorandums (From the Mysteries) was one of the first fics I read on HPFT and I fell in love with it instantly. The concept is genius -- Isobel is hardly the first person to write an epistolary fic, of course, but the level of detail she puts into the condition of the letters, the mood of the owls and the provenance of the attached items really elevates the fic to something special. That, and the rapid decline from very professional sounding missives to all-caps swearing is a delight.
The fic is mostly OCs, but even though there's no prior knowledge to rely on, everyone has really excellent characterisation just from things like how they write their memos or what condition they arrive in. It's pitch perfect British bureaucracy-themed absurdity, full of things not being people's department, accidentally forwarded memos and owls vindictively defecating on things. It is also surprisingly heart-warming, considering all that.
If you're looking for a hilarious fic that really effectively utilises the HP universe to tell a story that could only happen in a Harry Potter fic, be sure to check out this one! Also, where can I donate to the communal fund to send Juniper Blye on an extremely peaceful seaside holiday?
Measuring 'feminism' or 'progress' by women's suffrage is inherently a Western-centric and flawed view, as many communities had women in positions of power and leadership and they had full voices in the community until Europeans came and imposed restrictive gender roles on them. We also frequently speak of 'women's suffrage' when we mean 'white women's suffrage', as voting rights were denied to women of colour for far longer.
All that said, the 26th of August was Women's Equality Day in the United States in commemoration of the 1920 ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the constitution that gave white women the right to vote. As such, here are some facts about women's suffrage! (The gaps in some of these facts are due to information not being readily available; please comment if you know something more!)
The Kingdom of Hawai'i gave men and women equal voting rights in its very first constitution in 1840, although the voting rights of both men and women were curtailed by an 1852 amendment.
Aotearoa New Zealand was the first still-existing country to give (some) women the right to vote: in 1893, both Pākehā (white) and Māori women gained that right. However, as voting rights were tied to citizenship, Chinese New Zealanders were unable to become citizens or vote until 1951.
Australia gave white women and Māori women the right to vote in 1902, but Asian, Indian and Pacific Islander women had to wait until 1925, and Indigenous Australian women until 1962.
In the first Finnish election with female suffrage (1907), they elected 19 women to parliament.
Every European country except France allowed women to vote in at least some municipal elections by 1943; France finally followed suit in 1944.
In Switzerland, women did not have the right to vote in federal elections until 1971. The last Swedish canton (state) to give women the vote at a local level was Appenzell Innerrhoden in 1991.
graphics [header and dividers]: emma | interview gathering: madi, emma, deni, and taylor | review column: emma | women's suffrage facts: emma | sotm reviews: nix and rumpel | layout: rumpel
As you may know if you've looked at the bullet journal thread in the Great Hall, I am absolutely obsessed with bullet journaling. 😍 It's an addiction. I have a problem. 😍😍
Since it's almost a new month, I spent some time tonight setting up my bullet journal spread for September. Part of this monthly ritual includes choosing a quote to inspire me for the next thirty days. I decided I wanted a place to record and share all the quotes I've used so far, so here they are!
In case you can't read my hand writing or the image isn't working, here they are written out
"Excellence is not an act, but a habit." -Aristotle
"You've been criticizing yourself for years. Try approving of yourself and see what happens." -Louise Hay
Bloom dangerously. -Rupi Kaur (paraphrase)
"Bloom beautifully / dangerously / loudly / bloom softly / however you need / just bloom." -Rupi Kaur (I really love this poem, hence the repeat)
"They say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself." -Andy Warhol
"With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?" -Oscar Wilde
July "Just like moons and like suns / With the certainty of tides / Just like hopes springing high / Still I'll rise." - Maya Angelou <3333 #queen
"Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure." (source uncertain)
"Remember that failure is an event, not a person." -Zig Ziglar
My favorite designs are April and August, but I really love the quote from February.
If you have any favorite quotes you'd like to share, I am always looking for new ones!
A Poetical Mood Challenge Results
Challenge Details: This isn't just a poetry challenge -- it comes with a twist! I want you to bring a BIG MOOD into your poem. It can be any mood -- frustrated, enraged, excited, elated, somber, madness, mysterious, romantic... anything, anything, anything! You can combine moods if you want. The most important thing is that I don't want you to tell me the mood -- I want you to make me FEEL the mood. Be creative with your mood and give me an experience. For example, make me feel the first pumpkin spice latte of autumn, or waking up on Christmas morning, or the starkness in a funeral, or the fear in a slasher film, or whatever you're doing. This is a go big or go home kind of challenge. Move me! Scare me! Make me cry! Make me laugh! Enrapture me. It's a tall order, I know.
Please use poetic elements in your writing to enhance the poem and the reader's [my] emotional experience. If this sounds difficult, it's really not -- you'll probably use at least that many without meaning to.
You're more than welcome to write in any poetical form you wish! However, I'm going to add yet another spin on this challenge with bonus points (because this Rumpel surely does love bonus points). Try experimenting with a poetical form that you've never tried out before. +Here is a list of some forms if you need some examples -- I've actually recently tried out Ae Freislighe, which was beautiful, challenging, and so much fun. Let me know when you drop off your poem if you've experimented and I'll at +3 bonus points to your final score. [You DO NOT have to stick to a poetical form, strictly -- use one as a guideline, instead, if you'd prefer. ]
I received some phenomenal entries, making it [as always] quite difficult to grade the rubrics.
Year of the Cat by @StarFeather Seasons of Love by @Theia Rage, I Rage by @Pixileanin My Sweet Little Boy by @Chelts-rhj Warfare by @Chelts-rhj
I used a slightly different rubric than the ones I've previously used since poetry is such a personal experience.
25% Objective: how well you met the challenge requirements
15% Poetic Elements: use of poetic elements [3+ to enhance the reader's emotions]
25% Cohesiveness: unity of lines/stanzas that connect to the topic of the poem -- does the whole poem fit together? are the lines/stanzas straying from your topic? did everything make sense?
30% Creativity: uniqueness -- was there distinct creative artistic effort put into your poem? HAVE FUN -- EXPERIMENT -- LOSE YOURSELF IN YOUR POETRY
5% Word Choice: rhythm and flow of language that presented the purpose in an interesting and natural way
I will review ALL entries.
Third Place: prize graphic, one additional review, a place in my Story Challenge Winners in my profile
Second Place: prize graphic, two additional reviews, a place in my Story Challenge Winners in my profile, a PicSpam of your poem
First Place: prize graphic, four additional reviews, a place in my Story Challenge Winners in my profile, a PicSpam of your poem, [at least] three WJ Questions, a link to your story in my signature for a month [or whenever/if I remember to take it down], eternal glory
Please note that for those of you who have not yet received your entry review [which should be all of you], it is coming over the next couple weeks. I apologize for not getting them done prior to the winners' announcement, but I wanted to have the judging results out by the end of August.
Rage, I Rage by @Pixileanin
Pix wrote a really fun and imaginative Cywydd Llosgyrnog poem about a demigod who frees his imprisonment under the sea via creating volcanoes.
Warfare by @Chelts-rhj
Chelts used a stylistic approach by using Contrapuntal Poem, which is told through the eyes of a soldier.
It gave me chills.
Seasons of Love by @Theia
Nim used haiku to express love through four seasons. The effects were moving.
All winners: Please contact me to let me know where you would like your reviews! Congratulations!
awards by Rumpelstiltskin
Hello again, friends!
So, I missed blogging last month because I was on a road trip with little to no reliable internet connection. But I'm back now with all of the news from the last two months, and some hopes for the future. Thank you all for your patience with me this summer! I know I haven't been as consistent as I usually am, but I promise I do love HPFT and you! 😉
So, let's see...let's start with July:
It was a long month, but a good one. I saw a lot of family throughout it, and, as I wrote before, I'm spending the summer with my grandpa in Florida. So things were really good. I also got to attend my partner's family reunion and spend time with his relatives, which was fantastic. And then, of course, he proposed on the 31st! We've been together for five and a half years, and now we're engaged! 😍 Honestly, I couldn't be happier! I do appreciate all the congratulations I've gotten here. It means so much to me. 😊
After we got engaged, we spent the first two weeks of August on a road trip around the southwest U.S., which was phenomenal. We wandered into so many wonderful independent bookstores, saw awe-inspiring nature, and enjoyed every minute of it. Then, of course, it was time to get back to work. I've been back in Florida and helping grandpa out for a couple of weeks now, and it's been great. Hard work around the house, but productive.
As for my HPFT and writing life...it's been sorely lacking. I haven't written anything for quite a while. I really need to edit Collateral, and yet...it just hasn't happened. I will admit pride, though, in a new one-shot I wrote in mid-July for the Prefects' Writing Challenge. It's called "The Outset," and it's one of my LGBTQ OTPs—Lee Jordan and Dean Thomas. (Look at all of those acronyms!) I'm really happy with how it turned out.
Yet again, I'm going to set a September goal to edit more of Collateral. Can someone, anyone, please hold me to that? 😅 Maybe like...three chapters. Ideally more! I still have so many to go...
So, in September we're finally moving to our new city. It will be so hard to leave my grandpa—we're really close and I've loved being here with him—but it will be good to settle in again. Wish me luck! I'm going to need it.
so i'm finally giving into the temptation and starting another story and i know i can hear you all groaning for giving in but hear me out. once i finish my lily story and i start another one, i will be working on the same number of stories before and after so they all cancel out. it'll be fine. i'll put the title and a summary i have written down or just the idea of something and you lovely people can help me pick out which one i want to work on because i want to work on all of them.
this girl essentially has one too many magical accidents and ends up temporarily blind (all thanks to our lovely albus potter) and the two of them have to work together as she adjusts to not being able to see
When you're in Hogwarts for seven years of your life you don't really know what it's like to be out on your own in the real world. It can be a real shock to find out that you have to make your own food and that you have bills to pay.
The adult world was not meant for Lucy and Lorcan.
inside the walls
okay this was supposed to be a super angsty kinda dark james/lily story that follows them through sixth and seventh year as like voldemort comes into power and things get darker at hogwarts as more people go missing and students get into mysterious "accidents" and i just kind of wanna laugh thinking about me because lol me writing something dark
this one is about this girl at hogwarts who is really popular and she's a big old gossip who eavesdrops on peoples conversations and spreads what she hears and starts rumours and is just a general pain in the ass queen bee until someone starts spreading rumours around her and sends her carefully crafted reputation crumbling down around her (i love petty school drama)
this girl has a serious chocolate addiction so roxanne sends her to chocoholics anonymous and tbh i don't know where i was going with this i think the intent was just some good old fashioned fun and humour.
thick as thieves
i literally love the heist society series by ally carter i never get tired of it and this was heavily inspired by that basically this girl gets caught by james trying to steal from him and sucks him into stealing something from gringotts that her family needs for whatever reason idk i have to pull up the notes. basically lots of shenanigans and breaking and entering and scheming i love it. this has like 5 stories that come after it related to this character so if you vote for this please know that i'm going to be stuck in the universe i create with this for the next like decade (which sounds like a lot but really isn't)
opposites do not attract
pretty sure this was a teddy/victoire story
tea and biscuits
this was draco/astoria story where draco drinks too much tea and astoria eats too many biscuits and somehow they just compliment each other it's super cute
it happened accidentally
this was a james/oc story it was actually the first thing that i ever wrote but i'm revamping it but it's just a basic friends to lovers type of thing
this is another jily story it was also supposed to be sad and stuff i think it was set when they were married the year before they died or something i don't remember
and i think that's it, if you made it to the end of this you have leave a vote i don't make the rules sorry that's just how it is.
It's nice to not feel like a complete failure
Don't get ahead of yourself kid, you're still a bit of a letdown - but at least now you're a bit more proactive.
My family are actually more interested and willing to be involved in my life.
I'm excited about volunteering and getting to leave the house
But I need to do more things
Maybe I should throw in some book reviews in this new blog over at wordpress
AHAHAHA maybe you should read more books before you make suggestions like that
But I also wanna keep blogging
I want to be an inspiration but not like a "i want to be like bex" - more like, now I can avoid every mistake bex made
I've made SO MANY mistakes
Im gonna make a lot more too - and I think that's important
I've never got anything right first time....except my drivers theory test - I did good in that
I've done resits and messed up auditions and made friends with people who HATED me when they first met me
I don't blame them and have NO IDEA what changed their minds
But yeah, I'm not a lucky person or someone who gets it right first time - and I want to show that in my blog....maybe
Also I wanna talk about fun things to do at halloween and christmas bc why not???
I wasn't excited for october weather
But now that it's almost here I can dig it
I dont have the money to buy nice candles and bath bombs like I used to
But I prefer reading books when it's cold????
Is that just me??? Probably!
Not excited for christmas - how am i going to pay for presents??!?
I'm a thrifty gal actually I'm not that worried
Not only that but I've never been big on christmas presents, I appreciate them but I don't need them
...actually I'm not really big on birthday presents either
I prefer being able to treat myself and other people. I don't like being spoiled. It feels weird to me.
However i am currently accepting donations to the bank of bex
No just kidding i need an actual job first
I'm thinking of sharing videos now
And my voice
Using my voice in a musical sense
In a theatrical, jazzy kinda style
I'm still not sure
I've set up an instagram account for it just in case because I've been thinking about it for years
Will I do anything with it????
I should make "who knows" my catchphrase bc everything is so uncertain these days
Oh well 😂😂😂😂
I hope you've enjoyed another installment to the Inner Monologue Saga!!
i'm not talking about movies here, i'm talking about books.
and i feel like this is a pretty common sense idea but i said this to one of my friends a few months ago and he responded with, "it's a classic for a reason." And I was just kind of like, "okay, but that doesn't automatically mean it's good." and he responded with, "but if it wasn't good it wouldn't be a classic."
just because something is popular, doesn't mean it's good. sounds good. just because something is a classic doesn't mean that it's good. i hope i'm not saying anything too controversial here.
like they're important because they provide insight into a society and culture that's different from what we live in today etc etc,,,, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they're good by association.
point in case, heart of darkness.
i was forced to read this for my ap english class in the 12th grade (or year 12? i guess?) and it took me an hour to read one page. i hated it. i was ready to rip it apart and light it on fire. the only reason i didn't was because it was school property. i wouldn't even use it as toilet paper. that's how terrible it is. i haven't met anyone who enjoyed it.
and i think the only thing that makes this book a classic (and i don't remember much, just rage reading it), is the fact that some white dude was like, "hey maybe we shouldn't colonize land and be racist," which was hidden under like 50 different layers of racism throughout the book so I didn't really pick up on it until the end. but other than that? there's not much that sets it apart from other books, the writing style irritated me, and it wasn't even interesting.
i know sometimes classics come down to a matter of opinion and whether or not it's your type of book like Little Women or Anne of Green Gables or any Jane Austen novel. but almost everyone hates heart of darkness so i think it's safe to say that it's bad.
another book i didn't like, and i'm not sure if this is just because my english teacher sucked the life out of the class and every book we read or if it's because i just didn't like it, was Crime and Punishment.
like there was a shit ton of symbolism which really contributes to your enjoyment of reading the book because foreshadowing and shit.but the way that it's written.
the entire book fluctuates between 3 pages of straight dialogue where the entire plot for the next 200 pages is told to you, or you have communist ideology shoved down your throat, and then like 12 pages of description of every minute detail, and it won't even be something important, it'll be about someone's coat or hat or the weather. and i don't know about anyone else but that really doesn't enhance my enjoyment of the intricacies of the plot and the characters and the symbolism and how they all tie in together.
i also didn't like Beowulf, which doesn't necessarily mean it's bad, but i slept with my eyes open through all 4 classes that we had to listen to an audio excerpt of it. like the animated movie with Anthony Hopkins was wild and enjoyable but the actual epic poem? no thanks.
i haven't read Moby Dick yet but the fact that i've attempted to start it twice and both times didn't make it past the first page makes me think that it'll probably be terrible. i know everyone lives anna karenina but i could only read 100 pages before i gave up because it was so mindnumbingly boring and the movie while not boring,,,,wasn't really helping my opinion of the book. and i didn't enjoy frankenstein (i feel like i'm committing a sin just saying these things). i don't know if it's because i was expecting something completely different from what i got when i read the book, or because my brain refused to swallow the biological explanation mary shelley gave in the book (i know she was no scientist or surgeon or whatever but i just couldn't do it). or maybe i missed the point/purpose of the book, or maybe i got the point but i just didn't care. long story short i didn't like it.
and hollywood should stop lying to us about frankenstein's inability to communicate, i think that was literally the biggest shock of my life while reading the book.
so if you take anything away from this long blog post it should be this: don't read heart of darkness.
Right, so first things first: characterization is tricky. It’s tricky when you're writing something completely original, and it’s arguably even trickier when writing something based off of someone else’s work, i.e. fanfiction, because then there are standards.
Y’all know what I’m talking about: when you’re trying so hard to write in a certain scenario or ship, that things just spiral out of control until the characters you know and love are unrecognizable like the glorious tirefire that’s My Immortal. Take Draco/Hermione, for example. In canon, these two despise each other: Draco calls Hermione Mudblood, she hexes him, he becomes a Death Eater, she fights the Dark Lord, and so on and so forth. Hermione eventually marries Ron Weasley, and has Hugo and Rose. Draco gets together with Astoria Greengrass, and has little Scorpius. Scorpius marries Rose.
Dang it. Let's try it again—
Albus marries Scorpius.
😬 Must... focus... away.... from.... ships.
Everyone lives happily ever after—more or less. There! Canon's finished, heroes and villains get their ending, the next generation begins, blah, blah, blah. Everything's cut and dry for the most part (Seriously, some of the fan theories I've seen are both awesome and terrifying. Leave my childhood alone!)
But then this is where the fangirls and fanboys come in. Maybe you don't agree with a decision Ms. Rowling made in one of the books. Maybe you want to know what happened if Harry hadn't gone ahead and cursed Malfoy in Half-Blood Prince. Maybe you just think Neville and Harry would look adorable together (Which...yeah. You're not wrong there. Artists, I salute you so much). Maybe you think Lavender Brown got a bad rap. But no matter your ships, or your what-if scenarios, choosing characterization over getting right to the good stuff is what makes them believable. Unfortunately the reverse is something that can plague me some other authors who totally aren't named Ausra. Nope, not at all.
Anyway. That one's a blog post for another day, seeing as it involves flashbacks, Mary Sues, and deciding that accepting dares from eleven-year-old versions of your friends is a good idea (Spoiler alert: It's a terrible idea). Back to the main point:
Let's take Draco Malfoy/Hermione Granger, for a rather famous example.
While I normally neither read nor write Dramione, I have seen a few of the many well-received and excellently written fics featuring the couple. And they are good. But, what makes those particular stories so well-written, and consequently widely enjoyed, isn’t the trope-y fluff and angst put in for readers to enjoy, even for the ones like me who don't normally ship it, is that tricky thing we call characterization.
The thing is, most of the time, you don’t want to see—running with the Dramione example—is the erstwhile Miss Granger and Mister Malfoy immediately making lovey-dovey eyes at each other, and proclaiming eternal love at first sight when they meet, because that would make absolutely no sense (Most of the time). In their canon circumstances, when they first meet, Hermione is a know-it-all Muggle-born too stubborn for her own good, while Draco is busy falling in line with his parents' espoused values as a pure-blood racist loudmouth.
Don't look at me like that. You know it's true.
For a good story that doesn’t leave us wondering if we even just read about Draco Lucius “Foul Evil Little Cockroach” Malfoy and Hermione Jean “Filthy Mudblood” Granger, and not just some OCs with their names, these two have to work past the issues they have both with each other and themselves. For example, Malfoy would probably have to accept his father's ideals were utter poisonous drivel if he ever wanted to stand a chance asking Hermione out on a date, and probably throw in some serious groveling and a pardon signed by the Minister of Magic as well, depending where he is in the canon timeline. Additionally, if you run with canon, he would probably have to fight his family at some point (Which would make excellent angst) and is something that would be cause for significant conflict. Does he care for Hermione enough to stand against from his parents, his family, to fight against what he's been taught to revere for most of his life? Does he even want to try, or just convert her to his side?
As for Hermione, it would be a case of overcoming old biases and bad blood. She would have to accept the possibility that one of her oldest enemies and school rivals has fundamentally changed. Most likely, she would also struggle to accept that the world isn't all black and white in this instance—he may still not be aligned with her morals. Does she care enough to possibly stand against Harry and Ron—her oldest friends, and who have proven on multiple occasions to loathe Draco Malfoy—as well as be essentially responsible for separating him from the people he's loved all his life? Or, is she being seduced by the idea of the Dark Arts as well as the idea of the blond Slytherin in question?
All of these are great character questions you see authors asking when writing them together. And this isn't even without diverging from canon even further. What if Hermione was born to magical parents, and was simply raised by dentists, or if Malfoy was born a Squib? How would this affect their dynamic?
Characters are so much fun to mess with. 😇
Anyway, the point is, characterization is hard in fanfiction, because there are certain standards you have to adhere to. For example, Hermione Granger is a studious bookworm, James T. Kirk is a charming flirt, Anakin Skywalker is a reckless tactician, et cetera. There are certain things you simply cannot deviate from without having your story labeled immediately as out of character, not without excellent in-story reasons. Hermione can’t suddenly become obsessed with her looks and hate studying for no reason, Jim can’t suddenly find human interaction repulsive and become an introvert just because he woke up on the wrong side of the bed, and Anakin can’t suddenly become this great cautious thinker out of the blue. That’s what Obi-Wan is for.
Unless, of course, you change something vital about their backstory. They could be raised by someone else, never be introduced to a vital event in their past, change an aspect of their integral abilities, change their species, even, or you could gender-flip.
The last can be both easy and difficult for many reasons in the Harry Potter 'verse. For the latter it can be because of many—let’s call them precedents—precedents to found on the Internet are either essentially Harry with the necessary girl parts and some horrific variant on Harriet for a name (Boring), or it’s poorly written smut with no care for personality (Don’t get me started). Rarely, there is Transgender Harry, but that’s a whole other can of worms, much rarer, and very interesting, with different things to keep in mind. All of them very easy lazy trends to fall behind.
But, there is another option, that fewer writers take: They re-work the character from the ground up—or at least, partially from the ground up. It’s a large task to do it completely, and to be honest, whoever is capable of doing it has my complete and utter respect. I am not one of them, believe me. More of it was retroactive where I'm concerned.
But back to the point: gender-flipping our beloved main protagonist, or any Harry Potter character, can also be one of the easiest things in the world, when you take into account two things: one, you have seven books, eight movies, an entire website, and assorted material to work off of for personality, and two—and this is unique to Harry—he is something of a blank slate, in some respects.
Think about it. What do you know about Harry the person? Not his parents, or life events, or why Tom Marvolo Riddle wanted him dead. Think about his favorite color, hobbies, worst memories of Dudley, what he did with Ron and Hermione on a day-to-day basis when they just hung out, not attempting to solve the latest mystery plaguing the school. Was he a dog person or a cat person? Did he have a favorite professional Quidditch team? Any personal pet peeves? Was he a caffeine addict? Any embarrassing incidents or inside jokes with his classmates not directly related to the DADA teacher trying to kill him? What made Harry James Potter unique from every other student in the school as a person?
I would bet a lot of Galleons that no one outside Miss Rowling herself could definitively answer all of the questions posited above. Sure, we know plenty of personality traits, his extracurriculars, values, plenty about who his loved ones are, but the everyday stuff—things you would know about your best friend, more or less—is in somewhat limited supply in canon, for a lot of good reasons. This, however, does leave many, many, doors open for fanfic writers.
Because the lack of those idiosyncrasies, the stuff sometimes not given to Harry in favor of something else needed to advance the overall plot? That’s our bread and butter, where those drabbles and one-shots and plot bunnies that go bump in the night come from. (And the memes. We can never forget the memes.)
So, what do we do, with this empty space of detail about our favorite characters? What writers have done since time immemorial.
Make stuff up. Sort of.
Reverse-engineering would probably be a better term for it. You take what you know what you know about the character, and the people around them, create a working theory (My science teachers would be so proud of me), and then you start making stuff up. This can cut both ways, of course, and send a character on a one-way ride into OOC territory, but it's by and large what many authors due successfully, and often with fantastic results. To take a slightly boring, linguistically nerdy example: determining the name of a Female!Harry Potter, going all the way back to the genderbending idea. For starters, you can take the normal mainstays—Harriet, Hariah, Hari, Hariel—out, as it’s unlikely that people named Lily and James, and who named their son Harry, not Hadrian or Henry or Harrison, would name their daughter something like that. Also, most of them are really overused.
Instead, there are several routes you can take. The most popular outside the H-names tend to be a flower name similar to Lily and Petunia (Rose, Dahlia, Marigold, Poppy, etc), a royal name in the same vein of James or Harry, a nickname for Henry (Wilhelmina, Josephine, Victoria, etc), or a name appropriate for a babe born during a war (Hope, Nadia, Faith, Constance, etc). You’re more likely to have a free reign on middle names, be it Lily, James, Euphemia (Harry’s canon grandmother), Dorea (She was considered Harry’s grandmother until revealed otherwise), or anything else.
Besides the name, there are many more examples of characterization in creating a Female!Harry, but the main thing is to make a unique character that will keep the reader interested in a new character arc while still recognizable when compared to the original, the reactions of the people around the protagonist is an excellent place to start. As far as personality traits go, we know, or can infer, a lot about the supporting cast and how they might react. To begin with, it is most likely that if Petunia had found a niece who more resembled her sister than her hated brother-in-law that she would have either treated her more nicely, or far more strictly than Harry ever was. Vernon could potentially go either way, while Dudley will follow the lead of one of his parents, most likely. Professor McGonagall could show up instead of Hagrid to meet the child of her departed friends, with Sirius Black in Azkaban and Remus Lupin MIA.
But I’ll stop from jumping down that particularly rabbit hole, since this is where different interpretations of canon and different choices of the author, all with their own validity, come into play. Perhaps our Female Harry has flipped looks, with her mother’s hair but her father’s eyes, or she still retains the looks of Canon Harry. Maybe she's the spitting image of one of her parents. Or, you choose to interpret the Dursleys’ treatment of Harry as far worse than any specific incident mentioned in canon, and she is consequently treated horribly, either of which would have lasting repercussions on her personality when she boards the Hogwarts Express for the first time. What repercussions, you ask? That's up to whoever's writing the story.
Thirdly (But most assuredly not lastly), there is the matter of the prophecy. Once again, there are several options here: you could have Neville become the Chosen One and the Boy-Who-Lived; or, not necessarily the Boy-Who-Lived, depending on how you want the story to go. Lily and James were both actively fighting against Voldemort, defying him three times. They would be considerable targets for the Death Eaters, even worthy of attention from the Dark Lord himself. Lily’s protection of Harry could possibly prove unique. Or she could be trading how-to-protect-your-child-and-defeat-Dark-Lords tips with Alice Longbottom. Maybe it's someone else entirely! (C'mon, I need a Padma and Parvati are the Twins-Who-Lived story. It'd be epic.)
Or you could just change the pronouns of the prophecy, and keep things the same. I might over-complicate things sometimes. Possibly. Probably. I beg the Fifth?
Writing is hard sometimes, Internet friends. Though, I’m reliably informed it gets easier, and it does have so many awesome moments (Seriously, has anyone else ever had that moment where you're writing something, and you come up with this great twist or plot point, and you start cackling at your own brilliance? It's one of the best feelings ever).
Apparently, it’s also a good thing when the voices in your head talk to you and sound like your characters, and much saner than just having your muse shriek at you all day.
I have my doubts. 🤔
However, I will admit it is far more organized—everyone tends to take turns. I imagine it's the only time in Voldemort's life he's ever willingly waited in line.
"I like the notion of making stuff up or letting your imagination go away with you."
Note: This blog post was spawned via reading some posts on the Character Name Help and OC Name Inspiration threads on HPFT, as well as several posts in the Ship Talk part of HPFT, as well as Professor Tolkien, may his royal linguistic geniusness rest in peace.
I was looking at a meme that was asserting that the presence of a mundane Giant Squid in the Great Lake at Hogwarts was an underappreciated phenomena, specifically that magical people ALSO find cephalopods incredibly fascinating.
Here's the thing: Unless the lake in the midst of the Scottish Highlands is a saltwater lake, that's no mundane Squid. In spite of the species being pervasive throughout the world, even to the point of being able to hunt out of the water or unscrew the lid of a jar, there are no species of cephalopod that inhabit fresh water.
So I postulate that there is indeed something magical about the Giant Squid at Hogwarts. JK Rowling suggested that the Lake may be a portal to other waters in the world, but never followed that idea. Is the Great Squid a guardian? Or is merely it something that Hagrid collected in his travels and brought back for a giggle and got rather out of hand, like all of his other abnormally large pets? I rather doubt that, as I suspect it takes a long time for a Squid to grow to that size (barring magic!)
What do you think? Is the squid Magical or Mundane?
alright so in case you guys don't know, i have this short story collection type of thing on the archives of Lily Luna as a muggle enthusiast and uh i've only got like one chapter left of it after much thinking and i'm a little sad and disappointed. the thing is, i really wanted to make her adventures at hogwarts its very own novel wip but at the time when i started it i had a lot of stories going on and i did a lot of eliminating of what i wanted to focus on but i couldn't bear to put it away for a long time so i told myself i would just make it a collection of short stories. and i'm having fun writing it, but i still kind of regret making it a short story collection. i decided to have only one more chapter to the story and then be done with it because i felt like it was over, i didn't want to force myself to keep it going for the sake of keeping it going.
and i'm not going to lie to you but i don't even remember what age i assigned to lily in the story so i don't know if i should end it off as the end of a school year or make it a graduation thing which i'll have to go back and look up and see what i'm going to be forced to do.
on the other hand i have come up to a solution for my problem
BECAUSE I'M GOING TO MAKE A SEQUEL OF SORTS THAT LITERALLY NO ONE ASKED ABOUT OF LILY WORKING IN THE DEPARTMENT OF MAGICAL ARTIFACTS.
it won't be written for like several years but, the idea is there, so eventually, i will get there. in the meantime it'll be nice to be able to cross something off of the list of things that i'm working on.
So, pursuant to my interest in using textiles and braids as spells, I was doing some reading on wheat weaving, known as 'corn dollies' in the UK. It is pretty fascinating as a tradition and some variant of it exists where-ever wheat was cultivated throughout the world. The last bit of wheat harvested for the year is taken and woven into a blessing for the farmer's home. The lore suggests that in some areas the spirit of the crop was thought to be forced down into the last bit, so it was being taken and preserved, to be planted first when the time came so that the next crop would be bountiful again.
The area of Britain that self-identify strongest with Merlin would be Wales (correct me if I am wrong!), and there are several designs that survive to this day. I was looking about on the internet and found The Wheat Goddesses, a little shop that sells these intricate works. In addition to the Welsh fans that abound, there is a twelve-spoked wheel, called "Merlin's Wheel" and they state that the idea behind it was that there was one spoke for every month of the year and its purpose was to maintain the balance, the natural progression of seasons. This is a re-phrase of my understanding anyway.
That got me to thinking about some of the Lore presented in the World of the Five Gods, a Lois McMaster Bujold series that I adore. In their belief system there was a period of time where demons escaped into the world, beings of chaos that disrupted order and could not engender it, who enticed men to become sorcerer's (by sharing a soul, which was eventually consumed by the demon) to allow the demon to take on some order - such as speech and memories and in turn lending power to the man. The age of sorcerers was terrible because the seasons were completely disrupted and chaos threatened to consume all. Anyway, it ended well, but what of the age of the Titans as described in Greek mythology or the age where the Jotun had the run of the world before the Norse Gods shut them away are all different viewpoints of the same thing?
A twelve spoked wheel, woven of wheat as a ward against such chaos sounds like it may have been a little prayer, or a small charm against chaos. Was it the basis of some greater spell Merlin was thought to have used? Maybe.
In addition to braiding and weaving the wheat, Challah bread is a woven blessing that has its own significance and different shapes for the occasion and throughout the world. Fascinating!
Does anyone out there weave wheat or make corn dollies? Any stories to share?
I hate English.
Not the language—I could write sonnets in the style of Shakespeare on how I love linguistics—but the class. Writing, ELA, whatever you call it, wherever you go to school; I loathe it. Abhor it, with the passion of a thousand suns. The in-class essays (40 minutes, class), the insistence upon peer editing (No, that comma goes here), the pedestal on which being able to tell an independent clause from a dependent one is placed (...Huh?), the belief pressed upon us that knowing the definition of "superfluous" will get you everywhere in life (See what I did there? See it?😁).
But I always reserve a special place in my blackened, hating little heart for the creative writing assignments.
With those, there's just enough room left for me to get my hopes up, to fantasize about writing something real (Read: lightsabers), only to hear the dreaded word count limits, the prompts, the insistence upon conforming to the standard set by whatever dusty book of the week it is.
"Klara, you can't set this aboard the starship Enterprise."
"Sorry, Alex, you're not allowed to write a crossover sequel involving Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn running away together."
"No spontaneous time-traveling Nazis, Jim."
Dull, boring, positively dreadful.
Quite frankly, Internet friends, I loathe writing, much of the time. But, did I forget to mention I'm also an avid fanfiction author, reader, and reviewer?
I've published nearly 100K in the last six months, am a professional 'shipper, and I've begun the painstaking process of outlining an original novel of my own to attempt for NaNoWriMo. Just a bit of a paradox, no? 🤔
How does a high school senior who hates her English classes that much, belong in the magnificent lunatic world we call fandom? I mean, writing is kinda the name of the game here, isn't it? Well, it began...hmm... almost three years ago now, and, as it did with the lovely Mary Sue herself, with Gene Roddenberry's brain child. I'd come off watching "The Tholian Web" (AKA the one where... well, K/S people will remember. 😳), and, innocent creature I was, entered into Google: "Tholian Web Kirk Spock ending fiction", thinking, there had to be some sort of a novelization, possibly.
Three guesses what the first results were.
The first two don't count, nerds.
Fanfiction.net and AO3 were bewildering, frightening, and utterly wonderful. I hadn't a clue what fanfiction was, nor particularly cared for any of the implications of its existence. I had just found my people, who loved Star Trek and the characters—and a short while later, Harry Potter—just as much I did. I wasn't as alone in my geekiness, and love of shipping Harry and Hermione together (These days it's Luna/Harry, for the record). It was fun, and I was unbelievably happy. I got to read these what-if worlds that blew my mind, where Harry married Hermione, and his parents embarrassed him at his wedding; where Ginny traveled back in time to kick ass, take names, and still get the guy, where Ron was Dumbledore and Dumbledore was Ron. Canon? Who needed it? I had the imaginations of thousand of people around the world at my fingertips. It was great.
Then, one lazy summer day, I read this article about some schmuck who couldn't even admit he wrote fanfiction.
I only recommend reading it if you want your brain to explode. At least E.L. James admitted it. (And thank you, Stephanie Meyer, for never taking legal action, and allowing fanfiction to continue across the world. I mean this in all sincerity, and I will always be grateful for it. Just not for the books you wrote. Sorry.)
I just couldn't understand it. I was a few months removed from trying my hand at fanfiction myself, but here was some guy insisting he hadn't written fanfiction, instead having some sort of "writing experience" that involved "lifting large amounts of text" from The Shining, acting like being a fanfiction writer was something to be ashamed of. I was so utterly confused by the phenonemon; so, I decided to look up more opinions from outside fandoms.
What found blew my mind. Arguments over the legality of it, over the worth of it, over the worth of the writers? (Which, by the way, do not look up. Most of it's extremely nasty, misogynistic, LGBT+phobic nonsense. Y'all are fantastic, brave people for putting your writing out here, and I love you all.)
So, Internet friends, I get it. I truly do.
Fanfiction isn't everyone's cup of tea. Not everyone reads it or writes it, or particularly likes it. But that never gives anyone the right to pass judgement on what we do as a whole. Ever.
Yes, a good bit of fanfiction is certifiably awful. Admittedly, most of it is still pretty entertaining. *Cough, Cough* My Immortal *Cough, Cough* Yes, teenagers and women make up a large part of the people who write it.
But that is the end of what those articles get right.
Many of us are aspiring authors, hoping to write something of our own some day.
Many of us go through life different in some way that causes struggles, whether we belong to the LGBT+ community, belong to a minority, have a disability, face sexism in our real lives, or anything else.
Many of us, use it as a way to escape from the occasional dreariness of daily life.
Many of us do it because it's fun.
Or, y'know, you're convinced Harry Potter and Luna Lovegood were meant to be. That could just be me, though. But I digress, before I start another 'shipping war.
Fanfiction has been my companion as I've come of age, and changed in an infinite number of ways as a person. Occasionally, it's been responsible for those changes. With it, I have been able to accept my sexual and romantic orientations, to learn that I am not alone, and that like so many others out there—my fellow aces, this is for you, above all—I am not broken. I've learned that love comes in infinite shades and shapes, that kindness and honor are not weakness, and that there are so many wacky, weird, wonderful, people with better alliteration skills than me out there. Actually, come to think of it, I rather like the person I've become as a fanfic writer. Also, I've been gaining mad writing skillz.
So, read fanfiction. Write it, review it, when you find one in need of precious feedback. Live, love, dream—as you will.
Or, don't. You do you. Read your favorite novel, go outside, play a game. Live, love, dream—as you will.
Everything's your choice, after all.
(Just avoid English class essays. They suck.)
"And it's gonna be...fantastic."
-The Tenth Doctor, Doctor Who
i don't know why but for some reason i have always been under the impression that i'm a terrible writer. and to be fair, when i first started writing out, i truly was atrocious, like at that point in time it was fair to say to myself, wow this is really just,,,,,not good. but like most people i have found that over time, after you've written a lot of stuff, and read a lot of stuff, you get better, and eventually you find your voice and style of writing. but up until recently i was still convinced that my stories were trash to mediocre, which is why i have literally no expectations of them because i'm like this is not good so it makes sense that no one would read it or leave a review/comment.
but one day i went back and i read some of my newer one-shots that i have posted and i was, dare i say it, quite impressed. they weren't as bad as i thought they would be, in fact, they were pretty good, mistakes that i had missed when editing aside. i genuinely was sitting and reading my own work and my mouth was hanging open because i had never expected something like that to come from me. it's by no means perfect and there's always room for improvement, but i wasn't as bad as i thought i was. and to be honest, i was pretty proud, and i still am.
and it's something that every writer and artist etc. falls into, constantly thinking our stuff isn't good enough or a lot worse than it actually is and we end up being super hard on ourselves when we shouldn't be. and while it's a bad thing, that sense of never being satisfied with your work is also what pushes you to get better and better at what you do and i'll admit, it's why i no longer write the way that i did when i was younger.
so i don't know where i was going with this but i guess don't beat yourself up too much and realize that your work isn't as terrible as you think it is, but also don't get too comfortable because otherwise you might stop pushing yourself and miss your full potential.