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ROSE APPRECIATION BLOG!!!!!
PicSpam by RoxiMalfoy
My Dear Rose…
I've thought a lot about what I wanted to say to you in this. In the beginning, I couldn't even begin to find the right words. But I've also had the pleasure of seeing first-hand over the past few weeks just how BIG of an impact you've had here on SO MANY people in this community!!! Two weeks ago, I only knew you from my own personal experience. But now, I've had the opportunity to share with others just how much you have meant to them, and to this site as a whole. You truly are an inspiration; and a role model for so many of us here!
As soon as I learned of the hardships you were facing last month, I wanted to help in whatever way that I could. I wanted to be there for you, to support you. I wanted to encourage you, to lift your spirits, to make you smile. I wanted to be the support that you have been for me over the years; whether you knew it or not. And come to find out, I was not alone in that desire... It has not been easy, keeping this a secret from you over the past few weeks, lol!! But I have been working behind the scenes with the Staff & Prefects to contact as many HPFTers as we possibly could. And they were ALL unanimous in the fact that every single one of them wanted to show you just how much they too love and support you, Rose!!!
You are our rock; one of the founding members in which this community was built upon. Without you, we would not be able to call HPFT our home. You do so much for so many, and you bring so much positivity and creativity to this forum. And being on staff recently, I have really gotten to see first-hand just how much you've poured into making this place a home for us over the past year, and I cannot even begin to say THANK YOU enough!! I know we didn't really talk a whole lot before I got promoted, but you were always there to help when I needed you, and you were so welcoming and inviting with the site first opened… But recently, you've become more like a mentor to me, and I truly enjoy working with you!! You took a chance on me, and believed in me; even when I did not believe in myself. You have been SO so encouraging, and you have shared so much of your wisdom with me, and I just feel so blessed to be a part of all of this! Rose, I am so very thankful just to know you, and to be able to call you my friend.
The Staff and Members of HPFT would like to tell you just how much you mean to us. And we want you to know that you're not alone. Every single one of us is here for you, whenever you need us. No matter what life throws at you, we will Always be here for you. Any time; day or night. We just wanted you to know how much we appreciate you, and we all wanted to say THANK YOU ROSE!!!! But don't just take MY word for it, take theirs, lol!! I have been collecting messages from the members of HPFT for the past few weeks now, and here is what they all had to say.....Quote
You are such a wonderful, lovely, hilarious member of our community, and our lives are so much richer with you in it. From keeping us on target in conversations, to breaking our hearts in fics; you are absolutely the best. I remember you were the one to give me my first TA status, and it finally made me feel like a REAL writer when I received that message. Since then, I feel like I've grown so much more comfortable in my own skin and that's because of this loving, kind atmosphere that you have helped cultivate. I love seeing pictures of your handsome boy on twitter and all of your funny one liners (seriously, you'd make such good dialogue for my characters, I'm just saying) and I'm so happy to know you!
Branbus PicSpam by MegGonagall
I just want to thank you, for so, so much. Thank you for being the first staffer on The-Site-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named for reaching out and showing me that you were all real people, writers and fans, just like the rest of us. Thank you for being someone I was always comfortable going to with any questions or concerns. Thank you for creating a new, wonderful, fun, inclusive, friendly and amazing space for all of us who were displaced. Thank you for all of the times you've messaged me, checking in when I was going through difficult times. Thank you for sharing your stories with us, even (and especially) when they make us sob. Thank you for the late night chats, talking about everything and nothing, both equally important. Thank you for being such an amazing friend to me, and so many others in our community.
I know things are crappy right now, and that they might be for a little while longer. But I hope you know that you have family here who are always here for you. And I'm sure I speak for many, many others in our little corner of the internet when I say, if you ever need to talk, vent, cry or just bs with someone to take your mind off of things, you can always message me.
You're a great person, Rose. I'm sorry for what you've been going through, and I truly hope that Mr. Curls gets well soon. *hugs*
All my love to you, Mr. Curls and Julian,
P.S. I know it isn't much, but I hope that you like the little gifts that I made. I tried for a little variety. A Branbus picspam, a Ronks gif, and a WolfStar gif for you. 💖
Ronks & Wolfstar GIFs made by MegGonagallQuote
I haven't really gotten the chance to get to know you well—hopefully that will change soon!—but even from my short time as a member of this community, I've seen how much of a positive force you are. You're so welcoming and kind, helping me and other new members feel accepted. And you're so creative and hardworking; I appreciate all the work that you've done in physically making the archive, all the behind-the-scenes work and debugging that you do so that we have a place to share our stories and ideas. To top it all off, you're an amazing writer too, with writing that is full of passion and emotion. Honestly, I admire you very much and strive to be a little more like—channel my inner Rose, I suppose For me, you represent the best parts of HPFT: creativity, acceptance, and friendliness. Thank you for everything that you do!
I know that you're going through some hard times right now, so I wanted to add that I believe you are strong enough to overcome any struggles that you're faced with. If there's anything I've seen in the past few months, it's that you are a strong, resilient, and brilliant woman. If you ever need to talk to someone, though, need a virtual hug, or just a distraction, I'm here to support you.
Rose - I think you know how much I appreciate you, but it's always good to reiterate it. You've become one of my closest friends on HPFT, and I always know that I can count on you to be supportive, blunt, and realistic - and I only hope that I do the same thing for you. 💗 Thank you so, so much, for everything you do.
Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do for HPFT despite your busy offline life. HPFT is of course much bigger than the two of us—but I am so glad you also wanted to start a new forum. You have been there from the start, and there is a great team of staff (both past and present) who have also been there from early on, not to mention the incredible members who are the heart of this community. I really appreciate your leadership and organization skills, your level-headedness, and your sense of fairness. It feels good being on the same team with you.
toomanycurls Sig made by Liz/WindingArrow
I got to know you through an odd series of events that I'm not quite sure I entirely remember. Mostly, I just remember being in utter awe that I was talking to STAFF. It seemed unbelievable how well we got on when we first started talking. (I think it may have been born of a mutual need to shatter each other's hearts through fic? I really don't remember, but whatever it was, it was a good thing!) I don't normally talk to staff. At all. (Or at least, I didn't.) Staff is intimidating and all powerful! INFINITE COSMIC POWER! Itty bitty microchip in a computer connecting us. So, you were my first staff friend! Which in and of itself is pretty damn cool and since then I may be a little invested in your life (and a lot invested in Branbus, so much so that I have not caught up to whatever horrors have recently befallen them) and I've come to appreciate even more than I already did how much you do and what all you do it on top of. You have a beautiful family (I totally look out for Julian videos and shove them in Ryan's face), a great job, and this wonderfully huge heart that you just share with everyone. I sometimes think it's sad to say that some of the best people I know are the people I met online, but it's actually really wonderful to be able to say that I know some of the best people in the WORLD and I count you among them.
Thank you for awesome fics to read, hilarious real life happening snippets, heart-melting Julian laughing videos and all the work you put into this site to help keep it running. Because if you didn't know, we all sort of love you here.
Branbus Sig & Rose Sig both made by Liz/WindingArrowQuote
It's a challenge to make a fitting tribute to such an incredible influence. There is no question that without you, HPFT would not exist. Without you, all of us forced to flee to the Twitter-sphere might have been stuck there or scattered to different parts of the internet that simply can't replicate the culture of our community. But more than that, I have been privileged to see the behind the scenes of everything you do for each of us. From implementing excellent suggestions through careful coding to helping steer us all through difficult decisions for the betterment of the site, you aren't just a founder, but a force. All while you're working and being a mom and buying a home.
I wish I could cover everything you and all you do in a single message. I wish I could more clearly convey everything you and your creation of our community has meant to me. Alas, even for one (1) of us - writers - it's not completely describable. As I give way to the other message - the tributes from other lives you've touched - I want to leave you with two simple words, from the bottom of my heart:
Hey Rose! Thank you for everything you've done for this community!
We wouldn't be here without you. Sending you so much love and so many hugs!
Dear Rose, you are an incredible woman, who's ridiculously talented and who does so much for this community. Thank You so much for everything you do, we'd truly be nowhere without you. I hope you know that you are appreciated, admired, and loved!
FROM: @nott theodore
Rose!! We've known each other a few years now, and I'm so glad that we got paired together for the speed dating writing challenge, because it gave me a chance to realize how awesome you are. We are so lucky to have you as a leader of our community. You're strong, passionate, intelligent, fierce and kind, and quite simply an inspiration. You do so much for us and we don't say thank you enough for everything you do - so thank you. Thank you for fighting for our community, for being a fearless leader, for always being there for people with a listening ear and a good dose of common sense. And most of all, thank you for being a wonderful friend.Quote
FROM: @Crimson Quill
Slytherin PicSpam by CrimsonQuill
Thank you so much for everything you do for us here in the community. You've created a beautiful home for all of us. We will always be here for you.
Lots of Love
- Abbi xoQuote
Rose, You are an amazing person, and from day one of the forums you've been a force to be reckoned with! You bring so much passion to HPFT and all you do to keep it running, that we truly would be lost without you. Thank you for everything you do for HPFT! I am so glad that you embraced your inner-snake and joined the dark side; AKA: The Snake Pit.
I made this up for you at the last minute, so its not the greatest... but I hope you enjoy it!
I really tried to sound poetic,
But all I managed was to sound pathetic.
So I made you this rhyme,
Just in the nick of time.
Sorry if it's lame,
I need to improve my poetry game.
Without further ado,
Below is what I've written for you.
Rose you are the bestest,
You stand high above the restest.
You've embraced your inner snake,
Joined the pit and hid the rakes.
We love you a lot,
And as an admin you rock!
And now I must go and fold my socks.
Thanks again for all you do for the site, and for the Snake Pit, Rose!!!
- Love Tasha💚🌮Quote
I just wanted to say that you inspire me so much. You are so active and do so much even with all the things like moving and Julian and everything going on in your life - it's truly amazing and I cannot stop wondering how you keep doing this. HPFT would definitely not be the same without you and without everything you do, and I truly cannot be more grateful for that. Thank you.Quote
My dear Rose,
I just wanted to say a few words about how much of an inspiration and a role model you are to the members and staffers on this site. It's so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of our lives, and we all have this wonderful, welcoming, kind place to come and relax, vent, or just escape for a few moments. You were integral to the creation of this place, but it's the fact that you lead by example that creates the solidarity we all feel. I'm amazed of how much compassion, intelligence and sense of humor can be all wrapped up all in one person. I know the younger members of this site look up to you and hope to be able to juggle everything life hands them with as much grace and composure as you do. Always remember how much of an impact you've had on all of us, and the most amazing part is that you do it without even thinking about it! It's just ROSE!!!
Ronks FanArt by VelaJune
Sending you love for when times are tough. Here's Nymphadora and Remus, just a little something to show how much you're appreciated. Sometimes, we all feel like Remus, too worried about our werewolf side but it's okay. Everyone's here to be your Nymphadora,
making pig-nose faces... literally if you want.
Hi Rose. I just wanted to say thank you so much for everything you do for HPFT. I’ve always respected you a lot, but being on staff with you this past year and seeing just how much you do behind the scenes has given me an even greater respect for you. You’re so dedicated to this site and to ours members, and it’s so inspiring to see the work you put in to make HPFT a great place. And it’s not just that; you’re also a talented writer and an amazing reviewer! You just put a lot of hard work into everything you do, and I really admire you for that. So once again, Rose, thank you so much!
HPFT is incredibly lucky to have you for so many reasons. You lead this site with such transparency and respect, and I am very grateful for that. I feel particularly lucky for having met you in person and experienced how genuine, interesting, and supportive a friend you are face-to-face, as well as online. I know life has not been treating you and your family as well as you deserve lately. Please know that I'm thinking of you, and wishing you the best in all things. I'm always only a message away if you ever need an ear.
Rose, thanks so much for everything you've done. From setting up this new home for all of us, to maintaining it and ensuring that it's the best it can be! You deserve nothing but happiness, and I hope life picks up for you soon! Thanks for everything! 💛Quote
toomanycurls Business Card designed by: Rumpelstiltskin
My mentor; my friend: I cannot begin to list the ways you've impacted this website and the people on it. You do so much, and it means the world to people. You're an amazing person, don't ever forget that. Thank you for everything from a personal level to a professional one!
And if life gives you any more lemons, squirt them in other people's eyes!
You do so much for us. I just wanted to take the time to take some time to let you know just how appreciated and loved you are. I may not come online or talk to you much, but I know that you work hard for us. I love the fact that you are there if we need anything, and I am happy that I get the chance to say how much I love and appreciate your hard work.
- Meg H. (AKA: DanyFire)Quote
Thank you for always maintaining and always putting your hard work into the forums. I may not of interacted with you as much, but I am very thankful that you're around as the forums wouldn't be the same without you. I know there's a lot to do as a site administrator; from trying to manage the forums, to making sure things on the site or rather the archives are handled properly. I admire that you also have time to write while dealing with that, and also spending time with your family and managing a full time job! I'm honestly not really good at wording this, but I do want to say that I am thankful for what you do, even if I can't convey my words and thoughts properly. I hope we can interact sometime soon! Thank you for being a part of HPFT and for running the forums! I hope to read your works someday soon!
Hey there Rose.
Thanks for all you've done for this community. As one who was quite deeply affected by the loss of our old home, I have not been as active in this new home as I should have been... I do mean to rectify that at some point, but until then you do not understand how important these forums are as an emotional lode stone to me. Knowing they exist, occasionally browsing them when I have enough time is really vital. Thanks so much for all your work in ensuring that there remains a place for us in this world.Quote
Beautiful Rose Graphic by Kenny/StarFeather
You are one of the most generous people in the world. Thank you for caring for all of us.
- From KennyQuote
It's always a pleasure. I've immensely enjoyed getting to know you over the past few years. Meeting you and Julian in person was a treat. Looking forward to many more years of fun and friendship. Thank you for all that you do for our community!
Even though I'm not always very active (honestly it's in very random bits and spurts) on the site, you've always been an open and welcome resource that I feel comfortable coming to when something has changed and I need help locating it! You're super kind and sweet, and I truly appreciate all of the work you do for this community, both visible and behind the scenes. You deserve to have a relaxing, stress-free week (or month) for all that you do for this site along with your real-life responsibilities. Thank you SO MUCH for being who you are and being a part of this wonderful community!
And this is only about 1/4 of the people I was in contact with, lol!!! 😅 The point is, Rose, WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!! We truly would be lost without you. You have done so much for us, and everything that you have given to make this place a home has meant the world to every person who logs into these forums!! And in return, we will ALWAYS be here for you, no matter what you may need... Several other members have been leaving you reviews over the last few weeks as well, and I had also sent out the link to your writer's journal too, haha!! So if you've been curious as to why you may have been receiving so much attention lately, this is why. I would apologize for being so sneaky, but hey..... LOL!!!! (And hey, there may yet be a few more surprises heading your way, you never know, haha!!)
And to ANY member out there who did get mine or the prefects messages, but maybe was not able to make it in time for the deadline; that's okay!! Feel free to add your comments below and let's continue spreading the love!!
You are the greatest Headmistress we could ever ask for, Rose, and we truly are SO blessed to have someone like you looking out for all of us!!
Love ya, momma Snake!!💚🐍
I'm here to post a gift on behalf of a Pass It Along participant.
From: Keeper of the North
- - -
For my last gift in the Pass It Along Challenge, I thought it was appropriate to share an appreciation post for everything my giftee has done for HPFT. She’s known around this corner of the internet as abhorsen., but you might also know her as Beeezie or Branwen.
Here’s just a few of the many things we love about her:
She’s one of our fearless leaders. If you have any questions or concerns about the forums or archives, she’s always available to help those in need.
She’s brilliant. Have you taken a look at her AP? Her stories are amazing and all written so well -- and not to mention she finds time to be an awesome graphic artist on TDA as well!
She’s open-minded. She might have helped create the forums or the archives, but she’s also open to suggestions, feedback, and tag requests!
She’s passionate about subjects she cares about.
She’s dedicated. She’s constantly working with other members of the staff behind the scenes to make sure things continue to run smoothly for us.
Thank you for everything you’ve done for the happiest corner of the internet. HPFT wouldn’t be the same without you.
--Keeper of the North
Have something you love about Branwen? Sound off in the comments below!
So, I know I've been noticeable by my absence lately - if you notice that sort of thing and are familiar with me, that is. It's the usual excuse: real life is really hectic and I'm struggling to find time to spend on these forums and the archive. I have far too many unanswered reviews and it's been far too long since I've updated my author page with anything new ... or, really, with anything at all. And, to my eternal chagrin, Gryffindor are languishing near the bottom of the House Cup, and (very ashamed here) I haven't done anything to help lift them back up where they belong.
But! I have news!!! After consultation with my beta, the lovely Jasmine, and looking at how my Neville story is coming together, I have decided to START POSTING IT ON HPFT!!! Yes! A new novel! After goodness knows how many years since How to tame a Marauder was finished. (I hasten to say that I have written other novels in the meantime. It's just that they're OF and I'm not ruling out trying to get them published, so they're not being posted on the archive here.) I am finding myself extremely excited about this, because it really has been a long time since I"ve posted a story of anything like this length.
I should probably say here that the novel is by no means nearly finished, like HTM was when I started to post that. It's something like 60,000 words and I think there is probably another 40,000 to go before it's done. But, it's taking shape nicely, and I'm not going to be overly taxing with my schedule. So, I'm posting, at this stage, monthly. The first four chapter are pretty much what I posted on the old site, but I have two more ready to go and a bunch of other material that just hasn't been sorted into chapters yet. I like it, though. I like how it's coming together. I like how I'm characterising the main canon cast, and I like how it's flowing. Of course, there is a lot of work to do yet, but I figure that if I have the added pressure of needing to post the next chapter by a certain time, that will actually work for me. Deadlines and I actually get along.
So, here goes. Year of the Snake is now in the queue at HPFT and I"ll do an edit on this blog when it gets up. I'll add a new chapter in the third week of every month from now on.And, should it get to the point that I can progress to, say, fortnightly posts, I'll do that too.
A new novel. I'm feeling so good about this!
Ok, so - I have written 1,948 words. Yes, I am WAY behind
It's OK, I will catch up. But, has anyone noticed that Christmas is coming up?? I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!! Yes, I have been Christmas shopping and not writing. To be fair though, I have 5 babies to shop for. Even though my eldest is 14 and into Anime and Pokemon, I'm still looking at HP stuff to buy. Which also reminds me. A friend's son is turning 11 this year, so he is getting a HP birthday. I'm going to crochet something small up for him and post it from "Mrs Weasley"
The last few days I've spent moving my sites to a new hosting server that is more economical and that reminded me to update here.
Here are a few lines from what I have written thoughSpoiler
“I don’t think of Jon in that way though.”
“You will,” Katie grinned. “We always end up thinking that way.” She looked at the school hall before them, their peers laughing and mucking around outside with the music from inside pulsating out into the night air. “We should go in.”
Naomi shook her head. “I’m not ready yet.” She could feel tears well in her eyes. “But you can go on in.”
“And leave you alone out here? No way.” Katie said. “After what you’ve been through, you need us.”
“Us?” Naomi laughed. “You’re the only one here with me.”
“At the moment, I am. Who’d have thought it, huh?”
“You’re not all that bad, not what like some people make you out to be,” Naomi admitted. “Not as much as you make yourself out to be either.”
Katie shrugged. “We all have our part to play, remember?” She pointed toward their right. “See, you have us.”
Naomi looked and saw Coralee, Nate, and Jon heading their way.
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I have to admit, it's so disheartening when you have readers acting with hostility and derision toward a character you're trying to present as complex and doing his best.
I appreciate that not everybody likes certain characters, but so many reviews I've received recently are jumping right into this mad caricature of Albus Dumbledore as evil and manipulative, and I'm just like... But if you read the story, that's not how he's presented? Like, at all?
A lot of my readers, because of the nature of the story, also read independent!Harry or Lord Potter style fics, but here the hostility toward Dumbledore just isn't justified.
It's surprising how disappointing it can be to read a review and find it very focused on a negative response to the behaviour of "Dumbles" when he genuinely is doing his best, particularly when other characters are being so much worse.
I don't know what to do about it, honestly. I'm certainly not going to write an AN about it or anything similar, but yeah... It's a real shame.
I'm out of practice.
I haven't really written something substantial in years.
And I don't really know how to start up again.
In terms of fanfiction, in 2014, I finished Rule Breaker (soon to be renamed Collateral and posted on HPFT). It was a project five years in the making, and I absolutely loved writing it. After that, though, I wrote very little. In 2015, I posted two one-shots and two chapters of what was meant to be a novel until I lost interest. Since then, I've written nothing. For over two years.
Now I'm getting ready to write the sequel to Collateral, entitled Rendition. I want to tackle it for NaNo this year. I'm really excited about it. But I can't seem to figure out how I'm going to do this. I'm so out of practice writing. Over the last month or so, I've edited some of my HPFF stories and transferred them to HPFT. It's been cathartic. I've really enjoyed improving them. Trouble is, I haven't actually been writing anything, just editing. And now I want to jump in with both feet.
So, how do I do this? I've considered entering some challenges to get my writing brain moving again. I think that might help as a short-term fix. I'm not sure if it will help in the long term though. I don't know if I'm any good at writing anymore. There's just a lot of self-doubt with it right now. I know I should just grit my teeth and plunge forward, but that fear of failure isn't so easy to overcome. True, no one will really know if I "fail" at writing—I'll be the only judge/jury/executioner on that—but it still brings me pause.
I'm a compulsive planner when it comes to writing. I love knowing where I'm going before I start. But I haven't even been able to bring myself to sketch out the greater plot of Rendition past the first few chapters, and NaNo starts in a week. Ohhhh man am I screwed.
So, that's the end of that rant. Any advice? Words of wisdom? Words of comfort? Shrieks of empathetic understanding for feeling exactly the same way?
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It's been a minute, or several, I guess. As always, as soon as the school year hit, my activity on this site plummeted. Curse you, college and club involvements! I've been meaning to get back into my writing, but with graduate school applications due in less than two months, along with running two very different and large clubs on campus, not to mention my regular schoolwork and actual jobs, it's fallen onto the furthest back burner.
So this week is National Chemistry Week for the American Chemical Society (Happy Mole Day!!!) and on Friday is our student chapter's biggest event of the year, our annual Halloween House event. This event brings in close to 1000 people from the surrounding community and we show them cool chemistry demos (of course we have fire and color changing demos, and liquid nitrogen ice cream!) along with some cool activities from the biology, earth science, physics, and pre-med clubs. It's a great event but when you're in charge of it going smoothly it's extremely stressful.
That's one of the many
excusesreasons why I'm not more present on the site as of now, but also because I've completely forgotten where I'm at in my novel as well and what's supposed to be happening. *shrug* I'm definitely going to have time to work on it over Thanksgiving break though, right alongside my personal statements for grad school applications.
This was just my way of saying hey, I'm still around, but more in a lurking sort of way until I actually have some time on my hands.
Look for a BRAND NEW chapter of Love Makes Me within the next month though for sure!
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First blog posts are usually so uplifting, full of energy describing excitement to start something new or talk about all the great journeys that are about to begin. My journey is less uplifting, more being pushed off the edge of a very tall cliff with a promise of sharp rocks and quicksand at the bottom. Today, and possibly every other time I write a blog - it will be a rant shared with the few that dare to read.
My brain is currently in six places at once, and instead of tackling all 99 problems, my mind has shut down, it's offline for maintenance, or more likely - it's left the building altogether. I've seen a lot of friends start their first year at university, and I'm hit with an unfamiliar pang of jealousy. Would I like to go through the process again? Probably not. I've faced too many sleepless nights and 12 hour days filled with thoughts like 'what the heck am I doing why didn't I just find a 9 to 5 job like everyone else' - to want to do all this again. But there's something so exciting about starting something new. They're yet to know how close they'll become to making a deal with the devil and wishing they could sell their soul to get any sort of grade, let alone a good one.
For anyone who's considering uni, I almost always tell them to go for it, or at least apply. Yes there's debt, yes there's deadlines, but you have a degree. Graduate jobs are an option, and it opens you up to a new way of thinking. I can't watch a film, a play or a television show without being somewhat analytical now. If it's a show with context, even better! But. University isn't for everyone. For some it's a way out, avoiding the eventuality of employment and actual life. My gran keeps telling me I need to get a job for life skills. Personally I find the money a lot more appealing, but I suppose she has a point. The end is drawing near, I'm nervous, terrified I won't be a success...but am I sad? The short answer is no. The long answer is, I'm done with education. And if you were done with education at 18, then don't do university. I don't want someone judging me by how I write an essay, or standing up in front of 50 something people with my heart in my mouth as I try explaining something with certainty that we've only had an understanding of for a few weeks. I want to be judged on my talent, how I am as an actual person. I don't want to be seen as a customer, or another number. I want to be of value. I want to feel great about myself!
I have a presentation tomorrow, my car broke down again, I'm writing a script for my final year project and my idea has been branded vague, uninteresting and too complex. I'm close to looking for the next flight to the other end of the world and staying there because if I'm going to be lost, stressed, and confused - I'd rather be battling a deadly trio like that in the sun and be upset with a tan. I'm far too pale to be dealing with all this! But such is life. Another thing I will say is, I know it'll get better. Life goes in cycles, if you'd asked me how life was going at Christmas this blog would be a lot cheerier - and shorter. I think this long winded rant is necessary to accept that crap has happened, I'm going through a lot of bad stuff right now, but I need to accept it. And this is how.
In a year's time I'll be in a totally new place, with new problems and things to be mad about. But by then I can guarantee I'll miss university and wish I was back. Would I do a masters? There's as much chance of that happening as Neville Longbottom joining the death eaters and becoming Voldemort's favourite. Next to none. But this is my introduction - hi, this is me, cynical, grumpy and stressed - there are no other emotions. For anyone else who's stressed with work or education, feel free to join me on this ship - it's a sinking one but eventually we'll rise from the
(ashes, no surely not)watery depths and come back much like Captain Jack Sparrow: with a vengeance.
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All things must have a start and here, you are witnessing one of mine. It's a start that has been long over due. One where I pave my way on this site.
Some of you may know me from HPFF and others may not. For those of you who don't know me, I'm Slytherinchica08 but you can feel free to call me Erica or if you want chica or sly. Whichever you find easiest to remember. I have a love for all things Harry Potter and collect the books, Funko Pops and other HP related items. If there is one thing you should know about me, it's that I'm a dramione lover. I try to keep my dramione realistic but that doesn't stop me from loving a well written cliche.
I hope that this start brings me to many new places and I meet many new amazing people and strengthen the relationships I've already had the pleasure of meeting.
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I forgot how to blog so forgive me as I stretch my legs a bit. My personal life has been
mayhemdramatic and unforgiving lately and I'm trying to catch my breath the only way I know how. By diving into a fictional world of my own making that is somehow even more chaotic than my real world.
Today I bought a book to help me with the Wiccan aspects of Rose and Co. While my book definitely doesn't have anything directly to do with Wiccan beliefs and I'm not representing the religion, I don't want to publish anything that might be disrespectful towards their beliefs so I needed to spend more time researching it to be certain. I don't want to appropriate their practices/traditions. Family grimoires are a thing in my story, along with herbal magic, moon cycles, rituals, etc. I'm really, really excited to read it.
I'm also working on another original fic that I'm not quite ready to really discuss in depth, but I'm still pretty excited about it. There's a lot of Roman aspects in the story that are fun to research and I'm writing in a male perspective. I write best in a male perspective I think. The story is set in what would be DC in a post-usa world and I'm flying to DC in November for a conference so I'm hoping that'll be inspiring.
Fall finally feels like it has arrived and with it came my muse. I've been sitting outside drinking my chai tea (do I really have to say tea after chai or is that redundant) and listening to the local high school band (which you can hear for miles) while I write. Oh, and apple cider. The keurig apple cider plus a hint of honey is 10/10 would sip.
I've made a pact with myself to try one new thing (or thing I don't regularly do) every single week so I might just post with my weekly new things. This week I'm hitting up a new coffee shop and bakery downtown that looks really cute. I never stop and actually sit down in coffee shops because when I'm buying coffee it means I'm in too much of a hurry to make my coffee at home so it'll be a new thing for me. Since my town is dog themed (dog friendly? I'm not sure how to describe it–there was a historical court case here that the entire town is obsessed with and it involved a dog) the coffee shop is also dog themed so maybe I'll meet some nice pups?
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Hey, guys! Welcome to my blog
For those who don't know me, my name is Jill, and I love rare pairs, the next generation, and The 100 (where I actually ship the main pairing???). I'm also addicted to coffee, work with kid's books for a living, and spend way too much time procrastinating and then wondering why my WIPs never get finished.
But enough about me. Let's get onto the point of this entry.
If you've visited my author's page at all, you might be familiar with my story Two Birds, One Stone (M) which was my first attempt at a Next Gen novel(la). I originally wrote it for a summer holiday challenge back at The Old Place, but it's since taken a life of it's own and has mostly been a really fun, light story for me to write -- which is different than the angst and tragedy I normally write. The story, is in short, a fake dating story between James II and my OC, Hannah Thomas-Finnigan. The two decide to date each other to get revenge on Hannah's cheating ex-boyfriend and to prove to the world/media/Hannah's best friend that James is capable of a serious relationship. Hannah's originally less than thrilled about the idea, but eventually warms up and over the course of the story, becomes a bit more comfortable with the idea.
It's going to be hard to talk about this without giving away the ending, but I'm going to try. I originally wrote this (or started to write it) with the idea in mind that I was tired of fake dating turned real love, and I wanted to break away from that cliche. The ending is, well, less than happy, but I have a sequel in mind to make things right again. I also came up with the ending to go for shock value -- it doesn't end in the way you expect it to.
So here's my dilemma and reason for this post: I don't know if I want to keep that storyline. I've written about 5 chapters now, and writing chapter 6, I feel like the story just kind of goes around in circles. People reacting to James and Hannah (affectionately referred to as Jannah in the story)'s relationship, James trying to prove to Hannah that yes, this is a good idea and it benefits both of them, and Hannah getting in way over her head. I've also struggled with the ending a lot -- I'm not sure if it really fits my characters and the story, even though they're human and everyone makes mistakes. Also, for the life of me, why can't I just write a happy fluffy story, dammit!
I'm torn between seeing this through to the end (I have commitment problems with writing, so this is already a struggle) and taking it off the archives so that I can re-write the entire thing and making it more of a summer romance/coming of age story still with the basic premise. My writing has also improved a lot since I first wrote it in August of last year, and I want to re-write the first few chapters to reflect that. I'm just worried that if I take it off, I'm not going to finish it -- and I love this story as a whole and the characters, so I want to write it. I also have so many other projects going on in my brain right now, and of course, Haunting Shadows (I started writing chapter 12, I promise!), and my brain doesn't know how to multi-task well.
So I'm asking for your opinions. Even if you've only read the story a little or haven't at all, I'm curious to what you would do in my shoes because this has been an issue for a while now.
Any and all advice would be welcome
I’ve been researching machine creativity and I ran into a few interesting articles that I wanted to share with everyone! If you don’t know, machine creativity is exactly what it sounds like it is: teaching computers how to create art in any form. It’s a very complicated field, because if you think about it, all computers are are mega-powerful calculators with lots of memory. How in the world could they write stories and poems and draw pictures?
The answer is through math!
I know that that may seem a little counterintuitive because math is literally one of the most concrete things out there and I think everyone would agree that art is the exact opposite. But there’s always an underlying logic behind all the art that we create; though our brains work in mysterious ways, every facet of a story/artwork we created is always the result of a decision tree—whether subconsciously or consciously, we always intend to make the decisions that we do when creating art. Decision trees are really good for computers—computers love decision trees since they’re essentially just big conditionals, and conditionals are only true/false, and that’s binary, so that makes computers very very happy
Anyway, I was researching some of the things that computers have created, and found about something called NaNoGenMo (National Novel Generating Month), which is like NaNoWriMo, but instead of you writing the novel, you write code to generate a novel. I think it’s a really cool idea and there were some very amusing examples in this Medium post. My favorite was “Twide and Twejudice”, which is Pride and Prejudice but with Tweets as the dialogue
But let’s be real, those novels really aren’t that comprehensible. I did a little more digging around and found something even cooler, a web app called word.camera, which takes in a picture and then outputs a poem based on what’s happening in the picture. (Just so you know, this is definitely not an easy thing to teach a computer to do!).
Machine creativity isn’t limited only to the written word, though; as I said before, machines have been to taught how to create all sorts of art. The coolest, in my opinion, is the visual art. For instance, Google DeepDream is a research project by Google which looks at any arbitrary image you give it and finds other images inside it. Here’s an example:
It’s kinda beautiful, right? And definitely a little surrealistic. Essentially, DeepDream reverses the process of recognizing objects in order to create objects that aren’t there.
Even cooler, Sony CSL is leading a project to develop AI that can create music—they’ve already generated a song called “Daddy’s Car”, which is...a little odd, but that’s understandable, considering it’s coming from a computer haha!
Anyway, this was very random, but something that I thought would be interesting to share In particular, this was interesting for me because I’m always trying to reconcile the two sides of my creativity, the science side and the writing side. I guess, in the end, the two sides aren’t all that different! In the end, whether I’m writing a fic or writing code, I am just stringing words together to create some sort of meaning.
If you're wondering what hell weeks are let me simply for you: midterms.
Yes, midterms are upon me.
And do you know what is terrible at midterms coming up? THEY LITERALLY NEVER END.
I'm not even joking, it's literally just like week after week of midterms all the way until December when I have my final for the classes. And I know it sounds like it doesn't make much sense because you have the midterm and then you should be free. Theoretically speaking, yes. But when your profs all decide to have like two or three midterms and you have four courses total in the semester, you end up with like 15 midterms all spanned out throughout the semester. This means that I'm in a constant state of anxiety about my impending doom.
Or like, dead inside. Depends on the weather.
And do you know what I end up doing instead of studying? I end up on HPFT, or reading fanfiction, and every once in a while, writing fanfiction of my own instead of reviewing my notes or catching up on my readings or doing practice questions.
My first exam is on Tuesday so have me in your prayers y'all (or send me a sacrifice either works) because if I keep up on this road of distraction I'm gonna need it.
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So I'm really sorry if this turns really ramble-y because I am not sure quite how to order my thoughts properly when it comes to this so this post will mainly be my thoughts as they come to me. I haven't been part of this community for very long but it's already come to mean a great deal to me.
The most important thing that I've gained from the forum community is confidence. Everyone here has made me feel so welcome, I feel so safe posting my writing. I was very nervous about posting my work to start with but I've come to love the thrill of publishing something new now. I write because I enjoy telling stories. I do not have great dreams of being a writer but it's something I do purely for fun and my writing experiences have been so much greatly improved by the community. I've never before have I had people willingly listen to my ideas and take such an interest and helping make those ideas a reality. I've been reading/writing fan fiction for a long time now (over 10 years) and I'm more driven and motivated for having this community behind me. It's been such a fun experience to talk to people who understand and get where I'm coming from. I've challenged myself and written things that I never thought I would, I have this community to thank for that.
I feel so lucky to have met some amazing people here too. This community has some of the most brilliant people on the planet, the community is so supportive. One of my favourite things about hpft is there is always someone around to talk, that no-one is pretending to be something they aren't. If you're struggling for whatever reason then it's ok to admit it, it's a safe place to say 'I'm not ok' and you know there are people in this community that really care about you and will pick you back up again when you need it. When I'm feeling low, it's difficult but I know I'm going to be ok because I've got the best support in the world right here.
Thank you to everyone for letting me be part of something that is this special.
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What HPFT Means to Me
Over the years, the Harry Potter fandom has brought me so much joy and I can't even begin to tell you the countless ways it has positively affected my life. One of the greatest honors I've found by way of the fandom is finding a home here at HPFT. Here is some idea what HPFT means to me:
- A Fresh Start - I won't dwell on the past too much, as HPFT meant being able to start over. It's a place that I was able to happily help and watch grow from a tiny idea into a wonderful home. HPFT is for the members first, always, and the staff here work so hard to make this a lovely place for us all. Between the staff and members, this place has grown into a living, breathing second home.
- A Community; a Family - The HPFT community has brought with it a diverse and inclusive atmosphere, making members feel welcomed and encouraging writers to write. We each have our individual fandoms but it is our love of the Harry Potter Universe that has brought us all together. Because of the community, HPFT is my safe place. I can come here without fear of judgment or speculation.
- A Writer's Resource - Closely connected with the community, HPFT is my main writer's resource. Due to this diverse community contributing their advice, tips, tricks, feedback, and time that give me all the necessary tools to continue growing as a writer (and I truly believe that we can never stop growing as writers, or as people for that matter).
- A Playground - On top of everything else, HPFT is my fun-time go-to. If I want to play a game, that's here. I want to write? It's here. Want to chat? That's here, too. In addition, if something's not here, it can always be added in.
- A Way to Continue the Story - HPFT is a way to continue the stories of the Harry Potter fandom (as well as many other fandoms and original fiction). There's no better feeling than to be able to manipulate the story to make it suit an idea I have or even fill in the blanks that canon has left behind. In addition, there are some wonderful writers doing exactly that, providing endless amounts of reading in different areas.
There are probably a countless number of more ways I could list on what HPFT means to me. *squishes members and staff alive* Thank you all for being the wonderful people you are.
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The Haunting of Maddy Clare, by Simone St. James
Horror, Historical Fiction, Mystery | M | 4 stars
As is my wont when it comes to scary stories, I started reading this book just before I meant to go to bed. Instead of going to sleep, I was up for two more hours finishing it and had to leave a lamp on all night.
When the book opens, it’s shortly after the end of World War I, and Sarah is trying desperately to make ends meet. When she gets offered a temp job as an assistant to someone claiming to be a ghost hunter, she takes it, though she doesn’t believe they’ll find any real evidence to support his ghost story.
Once they start their investigation, she quickly changes her mind. The women who knew Maddy Clare say that something terrible happened to her when she was a girl, something which ultimately led to her suicide. The ghost of Maddy Clare is very real, unstable, and looking for vengeance.
At its core, this is a classic, well-done ghost story. Sarah is a heroine that’s easy to relate to - she’s quiet and reserved, but she’s not really shy, and she’s certainly not timid. She’s strikes the perfect balance between having a nuanced and distinct personality and being sensible enough that you never want to scream “Don’t go in there!” at her.
St. James also really sinks you into the time period through both her descriptions of the setting and the characters themselves; both Sarah’s new boss and his friend are clearly still struggling with the aftermath of serving in the war, and Sarah herself has significant struggles dating from that time as well. Additionally, there are a lot of small touches here and there regarding gender relations that felt very fitting for that era.
And that’s just the backdrop. Maddy Clare herself is absolutely terrifying to both the characters in the novel and the reader; she terrorizes people in deeply personal and invasive ways, and she’s utterly apathetic about harming bystanders in her quest for vengeance. Every interaction they have with her reinforces the feeling that she’s wholly other - she’s so detached from the world that there’s absolutely no reasoning with her, which is part of what makes her so terrifying even as her backstory begins to come out.
It does have its weak points; while Sarah’s clear attraction to her love interest does sell the romance overall, there are a few points in which it feels a bit rushed, and there’s one early sex scene in particular that’s a little unbelievable. I also wished that the two men had been developed a little more, and I didn’t feel like the malicious attention Sarah faced from people as a result of her involvement in the case always made sense.
Those were fairly easy to overlook, though, and at the end of the day, it’s a very enjoyable and creepy book.
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So as some of you know, I sometimes battle with depression.
And depression can be a lying liar from liarsville that whispers lies in your ears.
I have this thing where I simultaneously have really good self-esteem and absolute shit self-esteem. When people dislike me, my reaction is usually "What the hell is wrong with you?" But when people do like me, my reaction is usually "But you wouldn't if you knew the real me!" I assume that people will be attracted to me because my hair is awesome, but I also get super pessimistic about prospective relationships, and will even tell people that I'm into them without giving them a chance to respond, because it genuinely doesn't occur to me that it could be reciprocal. (Then I realize three years later that it totally was and they literally tried to tell me that it was. Oops.)
I'm being rash and peculiar again. My point is, I'm a vain and sentimental enigma wrapped in a number of pop culture references.
So to combat the sweet nothings that depression metaphorically whispers in my ears and my sporadically low self-esteem, I have a folder on my computer. It's titled, 'Hi, Self. You don't actually suck.' And in it, I put evidence that I don't actually suck, to try to interrupt the spiral of negativity that my jerk-brain sometimes triggers. It doesn't solve it, but it helps.
Anyway. I pretty much just want to thank HPFT, because I was going through it recently (read: today :P) and realized that quite a lot of stuff in the folder is stuff that you guys have given me - little threads on twitter, the OoM/archive opening threads, reviews, recs... etc etc etc. I first joined this community six years ago, and I'm so thankful I stumbled across it - no matter how shitty the world looks, there are so many pockets of fundamentally good-hearted people who care about banding together and supporting the people around them, and that's a really lovely thing. I feel so privileged to be one of you, and I hope I give y'all as much as you give me.
Because there's not actually a cure for jerkbrains... but friends can help a lot.
P.S. If you struggle with the medical condition formally known in the medical community as jerkbrain, I strongly recommend making a folder like that, because it will probably help.
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It doesn't come often in the UK, certainly not in the part where I live, but when it does -- snow is beautiful. It's one of the best parts of winter; as soon as the first snowflake falls, there is talk of closing schools and staying home from work, allowing people to spend precious time at home with each other. There's laughter in the air as snowballs are thrown, the games enjoyed by friend and foe with universal rules that allow anyone to join in, expanding the horizons of friendship with each well-aimed throw. There's the pride that comes from the hard work and team effort involved in building a snowman; imaginations are sparked as new and inventive ideas of how to decorate are debated; there's cheeks burning bright pink as people slip and slide across pavements, kindness shown between strangers as a mitten-covered hand extends to help you up. Few things prompt such a vast array of different responses.
Yet all seasons must change, and as the snow melts away, the sun shines and chocolate is consumed. The best thing about Spring is the freedom that it brings: the temperatures grow mild enough to spend hours wandering outside without becoming stifling hot; wild animals venture out after months of hibernation; flowers bloom and leaves begin to reappear on trees; for those confined to school or work, there are an abundance of Bank Holidays to take advantage of. The world comes alive in Spring, and the taste of freedom in the air infects the hibernation instinct within you, bringing you alive and setting you free.
Summer brings with it the perfect excuse to consume vast quantities of ice cream; there are simple flavours like strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate; there's tubs of Ben and Jerry's to be consumed in one sitting; there's 99s to eat on the beach after your fish and chips, the crumbs of Cadbury Flake scattered in the sand. The best thing, most certainly, is Cornish ice cream -- if you haven't tasted it yet, you really must.
It's hard to say what the best thing about autumn is, because there are so many good parts. Leaves fall from the trees and crunch beneath boots; the nights slowly dim, and radiators are turned up as you sit on the sofa to watch newly-released TV seasons, cup of hot chocolate in hand; the colours outside the window are breathtaking. What remains something perfect each year though, without fail, is the turn of the calendar's pages to September the first, and the resetting of the House Cup points as a new chapter begins. For Harry Potter, autumn brought with it a red steam train waiting at a platform hidden from view, an escape from the Dursleys, and most importantly, the journey home to Hogwarts.
And that has to be the best thing about autumn: that each year, HPFTers and Potterheads everywhere have a sense of coming home.
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This Blog Entry is for MAGICQuote
G34 - Make a Blog post about the best part of each of the four seasons.
It may not be everyone's favorite season, however there are some things that are charming about the coldest time of the year.
There's nothing more peaceful than the first snowfall. When everything is blanketed in a thick layer of puffy white, and everything seems to quiet down. The untouched snow almost sparkles, and brings back memories of snowball fights, snow days home from school, hot chocolate, red noses and sleigh riding.
No matter how old you are, that first snowfall of the year instantly makes you feel younger. It's almost magical.
The season of rebirth and new beginnings.
When the snow starts to melt, and the ground begins to thaw, you know spring is on its way.
It's a beautiful season, with flowers beginning to bloom, trees budding, animals coming out of hibernation, and the days becoming longer. There's something hopeful about spring, which makes you feel like making plans to travel the world. You feel your spirit and soul begin to bloom alongside of the greenery around you.
Almost everyone’s favorite season, and it's easy to see why.
Summer is about long nights, bonfires, cookouts, lounging by the pool, and swimming in the ocean. You feel alive during the summer, like you could conquer the world. Road trips, long conversations with friends, camping and hiking. It's all about fun and adventure.
The most beautiful season, which rivals summer as a favorite.
Personally autumn is my favorite season of all. There's nothing better than cozying up in a oversized sweater, sipping on a pumpkin spiced latte, while driving around the mountains looking at the colorful leaves. Hayrides, apple picking, haunted houses, Halloween, cider and just everything autumn; there's nothing better. It's when I feel the most at peace and the happiest version of myself.
Beware: This article mentions disordered eating and panic attacks.
So today is a big day for me: I have officially started wedding dress shopping. This is a pretty big deal for me, since I am (as some of you might know) recovering from an eating disorder.
Going to a shop to buy clothes is always a big deal for me. I’ve been known to panic in changing rooms – I get the sudden feeling I’m too hot, the space is too small, my limbs are gigantic, my head is tiny, clothes I’ve already put on suddenly feel way too small and I have trouble getting them off fast enough… And that’s even before I have to step out of the changing room and present myself to other people to judge my appearance.
Another serious consideration was this: I can’t go wedding dress shopping close to the date because the added stress of being on a deadline wouldn’t help, but if I bought a dress a long while in advance, I’d be under pressure to keep my weight the same until the wedding – a kind of pressure I’ve forced myself to stay away from otherwise.
So ever since I knew I was going to get married, wedding dress shopping has been the biggest worry I had about the whole thing. I didn’t want to have this supposedly joyful journey dirtied by my self-deprecating thoughts and insecurities. I’ve come a long way in my recovery (It’s been 10 years after all), but I knew that going into any kind of shop with the expectations on my shoulders to find a dress that would not only make me look the best I’ve ever looked, but also make me outshine all other 100 wedding guests and – most importantly make my fiancé see all the reasons he loves me in my appearance – that was a recipe for disaster. So what could I do to de-escalate the situation before it arose?
The first plan that came to mind: I would lose all these expectations and go dress shopping with my most trusted friend, who knows everything about my struggles and doubts. It was good, but still left me dreading this process.
So I adjusted the plan and decided not to go dress shopping at all. I simply didn’t want to do something that made me this worried this long. And it was my wedding – why do it if it made me unhappy already? This decision alone already lifted a huge weight off my shoulders, even though I didn't know yet how to go about it.
I came up with a pretty good alternative – or so I thought. I was going to contact a dress designer my co-worker recommended to me and ask her to make me a dress. I knew custom made dresses were expensive, but I decided if I asked her to make the dress from materials I would be able to dye afterwards, I’d get a fancy summer dress out of it too. Since the dress would be made for me and my figure I wouldn’t have to worry about not fitting into it / about it not suiting me. And since this designer knows her trade the dress would be designed a while ahead of time, but only finalised closer to the wedding day, which would relieve me from the pressure of keeping my weight for a longer amount of time.
A pretty perfect plan, right? I thought so too, until my sister suggested I try on some regular wedding dresses to find out which ones I liked – so I could tell the designer. Which is solid advice, but kind of put me back on square one in that I’d have to face the changing rooms, the bridal stores, the mirrors, the number of dresses that probably don’t fit.
I was a bit defeated and put off looking for dresses a little longer. That is – until today. Today, because I had to stay in and do nothing due to severe dizziness, I re-activated my wedding dresses board on pinterest – filling it only with dresses from online shopping sites that were actually in stock and affordable. First I was just going to collect styles I liked, but then I saw the „Only one piece in stock“ notice on one and I realised I wanted to try it on – so I ordered it.
I ordered 3 potential wedding dresses today. I ordered potential wedding dresses!
This feels like a huge win already, not that I’ll necessarily use the dresses I ordered, not that they’ll fit me most likely, but I started this daunting task and it feels somewhat do-able already. Because I like the style I ordered and if the dresses don’t fit, I can at least take photos to take to the designer. And if one of them does fit somewhat? Then I have a dress I can get altered to fit perfectly for less than € 110!
And here's an overview of the dresses I pinned today – ranging from typically bridal to simple every day dresses (although who wears a dress for 180 euros on an average day, I'll never know…)