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"Everyone sees, feels, responds to the poetry of the world every day. In a sunrise over rooftops, a dogwood in bloom, a child's bike leaning against a fence, a pair of tennis shoes hanging by their laces from a telephone wire, a moth's wing spread on the screen door, the sound of a train in the distance, the smell of fresh bread. Everyone falls in love with the world daily and we have no words for what spellbinds us. Poems need to be made to recognize that sense of wordless awe.” —Dorianne Laux
Welcome, HPFT-ers, to the first installment of the Prefect Blog’s special posts! On the 7th of every month, we’ll select a relevant theme and create a post about it. As April was National Poetry Month, the prefects wanted to take an opportunity to feature our favorite aspects of poetry and share them with you.
We hope you enjoy this special issue!
One of the most enlightening aspects about reading poetry is the process of analyzing and understanding the piece, and though your interpretation may differ from someone else’s, that’s the beauty of it all! Our very own @Rumpelstiltskin (with help from @forever_dreaming and @just.a.willow.tree) put together a detailed post about this in the Writing Resources section of the forums here+. In addition, we’ve also written a guide to poetic meter here+ (which is essentially an explanation of the thing that makes Dr. Seuss’s poems so much fun to read aloud ). Check it out if you have time, and perhaps you can apply it when you read poetry from the wonderful authors on our archives!
In these next two sections, we wanted to feature poems by authors on our archive, as well as poems from published anthologies! We’ve divided them up into two categories: poems that use form and poems that use sound. We definitely encourage you to look through the poems that we’ve linked to on the archives and leave them thoughtful reviews, because writing poetry is difficult and our authors do it beautifully. (All poems are linked; click on them to read the full piece.)
This first section highlights a few fascinating poetic forms that you may not have known about!
Both @forever_dreaming and @just.a.willow.tree happened to write sestinas for their English class, so we thought it appropriate to talk a little more about what sestinas are. (They are very, very cool. You should check them out afterwards! Here+ is a much more in-depth explanation of the form, if you’re curious. )
Essentially, sestinas are a very repetitive type of poem, except oftentimes poets use creativity and ingenuity to work around the repetition. In each stanza (except for the last) there are six lines, and at the end of each line is a designated word. These six “last words” are then reordered throughout the other stanzas, though they will always be the last words of the line. This might sound confusing, but here is a visual representation, with each letter representing a “last word” in a line:
7. (envoi) ECA or ACE
It’s easier to understand with an example poem. Take a look at W.H. Auden’s “Paysage Moralisé”:
Hearing of harvests rotting in the valleys,
Seeing at end of street the barren mountains,
Round corners coming suddenly on water,
Knowing them shipwrecked who were launched for islands,
We honour founders of these starving cities
Whose honour is the image of our sorrow,
Which cannot see its likeness in their sorrow
That brought them desperate to the brink of valleys;
Dreaming of evening walks through learned cities
They reined their violent horses on the mountains,
Those fields like ships to castaways on islands,
Visions of green to them who craved for water.
They built by rivers and at night the water
Running past windows comforted their sorrow;
Each in his little bed conceived of islands
Where every day was dancing in the valleys
And all the green trees blossomed on the mountains,
Where love was innocent, being far from cities.
But dawn came back and they were still in cities;
No marvellous creature rose up from the water;
There was still gold and silver in the mountains
But hunger was a more immediate sorrow,
Although to moping villagers in valleys
Some waving pilgrims were describing islands…
'The gods,' they promised, 'visit us from islands,
Are stalking, head-up, lovely, through our cities;
Now is the time to leave your wretched valleys
And sail with them across the lime-green water,
Sitting at their white sides, forget your sorrow,
The shadow cast across your lives by mountains.’
So many, doubtful, perished in the mountains,
Climbing up crags to get a view of islands,
So many, fearful, took with them their sorrow
Which stayed them when they reached unhappy cities,
So many, careless, dived and drowned in water,
So many, wretched, would not leave their valleys.
It is our sorrow. Shall it melt? Then water
Would gush, flush, green these mountains and these valleys,
And we rebuild our cities, not dream of islands.
Notice how the last words of every line are reused over and over again in each stanza, except in a different order every time. Sestinas are beautiful poems this way. In this instance, Auden uses the repetition to paint different images with the same words, and it works beautifully.
In “weary”, @just.a.willow.tree uses a similar technique as Auden: embracing the elements of repetition built-into the form of a sestina to emphasize the weariness of the main characters and the tragic perpetuity of the pain and injustice they feel. However, the repetition of the end words can be twisted to enhance the poem in a different way too. For example, in “Passing Time”, @forever_dreaming manipulates the words themselves, altering their spelling or using homophones in order to convey the paradoxical nature of time passing both quickly and at a snail’s speed.
If you’re curious about another fascinating sestina, check out Carole Oles’ “The Magician Suspends Her Children”. It is so creative and clever, you will almost definitely have a lot of fun deciphering the meaning of the poem while also paying attention how amazing it is, the way she wields her words.
Another interesting form is a villanelle! This is a 19-line poem, typically composed of five tercets (a three-line stanza) that follow the rhyming pattern aba, with a final quatrain (a four-line stanza) that follow the rhyming pattern abaa. The first and third lines of the initial tercet are alternately repeated as the third lines of the following tercets (and then are presented as the ending couplet of the quatrain). A visual example of the rhyming scheme of a standard six stanza villanelle might be helpful.
What might be even more helpful is seeing this in an actual poem. Take a look at "Do not go gentle into that good night" by Dylan Thomas, as an example [emphases added]:
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
There are two beautiful examples of villanelles on our archives, both by the lovely @abhorsen.! In “And when the wind whistles through me, I am free” and “And still there’s the wind to batter and moan”, the perfectly-crafted repeated phrases set the tone of the poem. Yet with each new stanza, these phrases gradually shift and grow in meaning as more of the poem is unveiled. We cannot recommend these two poems enough!
A haiku is a form of Japanese poetry that consists of 17 syllables that are arranged in three lines of five, seven, and five. A fun aspect of a haiku is that the short pieces are meant to encapsulate a single impression on something, in a particular season. This creates a sense of simplicity and intense expression.
To assist in the visualization, take a look at a haiku from Basho Matsuo, and notice the syllables in each line:
An old silent pond…
A frog jumps into the pond,
splash! Silence again.
And we have a number of elegant haikus on the archives as well! One example is from M C Crocker (or @scooterbug8515 on the forums), with her collection of season-inspired haikus: “One Love One Year”. Each poem perfectly captures the essence of the season within such a small number of syllables. Definitely go check out this piece if you have time!
One of the main differences between poetry and prose is the manipulation of how words sound. Poets choose words whose sound reflects the meaning they are trying to convey, creating a more immersive experience and enhancing their meaning further; sound makes poetry more vivid and sensory than prose. One of the classic sound devices is onomatopoeia, or, simply, when a word sounds like what it means.
English is a cool language in that lots of words are onomatopoeic to some degree. The obvious examples are words like “crash”, “clang”, “smash”, etc. But other words have a subtler onomatopoeic effect. For example, consider Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach”. We’ve only put an excerpt below, but do check out the entire poem if you have time. (We recommend reading the poem out aloud to yourself, to get the full effect!):
The sea is calm tonight.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand, Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay;
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sun meets the moon-blanched land, Listen! You hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.
In the first stanza, Arnold uses heavy sound-focused imagery. The long “ea” sound in “gleams” mimics the word, just as the long “a” in “vast” stretches out the word to further emphasize the image of the vast ocean. Similarly, the quick “imm” sound in “glimmering” mimics the action. Arnold does this purposely; he practically tells us this, with a command for the audience to “Listen!” and other sound-related diction, like “cadence” and “note”. In this first stanza, Arnold is building a sound-based image of the cliffs of Dover, which he then contrasts with a more sight-based image of the cliffs of Dover, to illustrate the difference between expectation and reality—a central theme in the poem.
Alliteration is the repetition of the first letter or consonant. In “Dover Beach”, Arnold alliterates “gl” in “glimmer” and “gleam”, to emphasize these two words; this alliteration brings focus to the inherently contradictory picture Arnold is trying to present, of something that is both ephemeral (that glimmers for a short amount of time) and enduring (that gleams forever). Alliteration helps poets draw attention to specific words and forces the reader to connect the images these words present.
@Alexis Black’s “The Wind Chimes are Calling to Me” is a great example of a poem that is enhanced by manipulations of sound. The use of words that sound like the term they are describing, such as “whisper”, “sigh”, and “murmur”, truly enhances the poem and brings it to life, and it’s this vibrancy that adds a tinge of nostalgia to the piece.
The main purpose of this post was to celebrate National Poetry month while highlighting a few of our talented authors. So here are a few more poems that we would like to recommend to you from the archives:
“What is life” - @Felpata_Lupin
“When Spring Doesn’t Return” - @Rumpelstiltskin
“Poetry Collection” (M) - @MalfoysAngel
“Truths and Lies” - @TreacleTart
“an absence of sound” - @just.a.willow.tree
“Love Is a Whisper In Your Soul” - @abhorsen.
“Supernova” - @TreacleTart
“The place where planes take off and land” - @Felpata_Lupin
“Dreamwalker” - @Alexis Black
“Pillars of Smoke” (M) - @abhorsen.
"From" - @Stella Blue (not exactly a poem but beautiful nonetheless)
This has been our special blog post for May! We understand that poetry isn’t something that everyone enjoys, but hopefully after reading this, you’ve taken away a few things. (And, who knows, maybe this’ll help you out in the next reviewing event when you stumble across a poem!) Let us know what you think of the post, if you like/dislike poetry, or if there’s anything you’d like to see in the future!
- The Prefects
written by forever_dreaming, just.a.willow.tree, and Rumpelstiltskin
graphics by just.a.willow.tree
I suppose introductions are in order...
Hi, I'm Nix! I was EnigmaticEyes16 on the HPFF archives and forums, for those who don't know me. Had a love/hate relationship with my username so I finally got to change it once HPFT was created. I've been writing Harry Potter fanfiction for longer than I can remember, and began posting it on HPFF back in 2004. Became a member of the HPFF forums in 2005, but it took me a little longer to get the hang of it and become more active. I'd been around on and off ever since, up until the closing of the forums. I became a member of HPFT as soon as it was created but then shortly after ended up taking a two year hiatus. There was just a lot going on in my life at the time, I guess, and the loss of HPFF and all it's drama took it's toll on me.
But I'm back now! And I'm super excited to be here and participate in the upcoming activities!
A little about me: I work in a used bookstore/movie rental store. So, I'm surrounded by books almost 40 hours a week, and I own way too many that I have yet to actually read, and always have more on hold at work . I'm running out of shelve space, y'all. I'll read a pretty fair amount of variety; humor, biography, horror, YA, paranormal, historical fiction, an occasional mystery or romance. I'm also pretty familiar with new movies as they come out, I just never have time to watch them all. I also prefer TV shows. For some reason, I would rather sit through multiple 20-60 minute episodes than watch a movie, lol. I love cats, I have six of them at the moment because we just took in three kittens back in September (although they're not really kittens anymore now that they're eight months old) and they are my heart and joy. Also have a two year old cat, and two much older cats.
So, this month I've basically spent reacquainting myself with the forums. I also finally created an account over on the new archives under the same username and have been working to get all my stories up on there. So far I've currently posted seven of my one-shots (and I've got one in the queue) and 25 chapters of the 37 I had originally posted of Sirrah Malfoy on HPFF. Trying to work my way through the chapters as quickly as possible but I'm also making edits to some of the text and timeline. All my other stories will have to wait until I'm done, although I wish I had time to work on them all at once.
This month I've also managed to post 30 reviews in between editing and uploading stories. It was my goal to post two reviews a day for the entire month, but as you can see I only managed to do it for half the month. WIth the HPFF archives shutting down, my attention ended up shifting to making sure everything was saved and backed up. But I'm pretty proud of myself for getting in as many reviews as I did, as I can be a slow reader, especially with the longer chapters and I did read quite a few long ones. Hopefully I'll begin reviewing again soon, I have so many stories I want to read.
With work, animals, friends, the need for sleep, constant ADD, I have a pretty hectic life. Although it doesn't really feel like it. But some days it's really hard to make time to edit/write/post/etc. I'm super excited to be back though! Before I officially returned, I'd been popping in for a couple months now and lurking here and there. I never disabled my email notifications, so I still got those regularly, and I'd been wanting to get back into writing Sirrah and also have been thinking about a super secret Gryffindor/Slytherin friendship story I had started working on right before I went on hiatus, that I hope to continue and flesh out enough to maybe one day share it... And then @RoxiMalfoy sought me out on snapchat and was telling me all about how the site was doing and all the exciting things coming up, and a couple days later I finally popped my head in the dungeons to say hi. Not long after, I was back for reals...
For May, my goals are to finish editing and posting Sirrah, to actually write something and maybe even post it , keep reading and leaving reviews (might lessen my goal to at least one a day), to make one of those Writer's Journals (I've been putting it off until most of my stuff is posted), and yeah, to keep sticking around here. I'm super happy to see I'm not the only one who has returned recently, so many familiar names are popping up again!
As some of you already know, two months ago I moved from Perth to Melbourne to study Creative Writing at university. Because Melbourne’s literary community is bigger than Perth’s, I pledged to become more involved – to read more, write more, to join a book club, attend workshops and events. I wanted to document these experiences, and I’m dragging you along with me
... yes, the Toothless tail fins are stars
THE DEATH CURE
James Dashner (2011)
I’m about to break one of the bookdragon commandments but… Ilikedthemoviemorethanthebook.
There, I said it.
I know I should separate them, but the movie just influenced my read so much.
So concludes the Maze Runner trilogy, where there’s a lot of death and not a lot of cure. Thomas has survived the Maze. He survived the Scorch. But the poor kid can’t catch a break as W.I.C.K.E.D. continues to hunt him.
The first two were good, I enjoyed reading them. But I wasn’t really satisfied after closing this book. I feel like I need to read the two prequels to grasp at a better understanding of W.I.C.K.E.D., and I will, because my thirst for knowledge is just too strong to ignore I already knew the deaths, so none of them held much weight when I read them. It had more of an emotional punch seeing it on the big screen, rather than in my own head. Even Thomas’ reactions to the deaths – one in particular – felt repetitive and just didn’t move me. Like, at all. Sorry, guys. You know who you are.
That being said, the book had me on the edge of my seat. The way everyone’s actions were manipulated was interesting, but confusing, and like Thomas, I doubted everything anyone said, but I guess that was the point.
Anyway, the movies gave us this Thomas
REIGN OF THE FALLEN
Sarah Glenn Marsh (2018)
Okay, maybe not everybody, but when the protagonist is a necromancer, you have to expect a lot of dead guys.
Odessa – also known as Sparrow because of her exceptional ability to navigate the Deadlands – has the charming job of raising the members of the royal Wylding family from the dead so they can continue to exist amongst the living. The catch? The dead must remain shrouded, or they turn into Shades: deadly monsters with an insatiable bloodlust. And someone is creating them on purpose.
The story wasn’t as focused on the Shades as I thought, or the high adventure I expected. Really, a lot of it was Odessa’s journey of moving on after the loss of a loved one. It meant a lot of the story was slow moving, but not a drag to read.
What I really loved was the story world. The kingdom of Karthia is terrified of change – the reason why dead kings continue to be raised so their reign never ends. And the idea of those with magic being determined by the colour of their eyes is really cool. It reflects the five faces of their god, and I would have loved to learn more about it, especially since it hints at powers unheard of. I think there’s a sequel in the works, so it might be more developed in the next book.
There’s an incredibly diverse cast of characters in this book. Odessa is bisexual, there’s a couple of homosexual characters, and a number have dark skin. It also touches on addiction and substance abuse, and it all made for a fantastic young adult fantasy.
THE HAZEL WOOD
Melissa Albert (2018)
A novel about dark fairy-tales and mysterious woods?
Unfortunately, it didn't quite meet up to my expectations, but this was still a good read. It follows seventeen year old Alice who is constantly a source of bad luck. When her mother goes missing, Alice travels to the Hazel Wood, where her grandmother wrote the famous Tales from the Hinterland, and discovers her own story along the way.
Alice is not a likeable character. I was pleasantly surprised by her at first, though. In a book about fairy-tales, enchanted woods, and a main character named Alice, I had the expectation of her being a sweet, unsuspecting heroine.
She smokes, she swears, she has a tattoo. But as the story went on, this novelty wore off, and I felt very 'eh' about the audiobook, listening to find out what happens, rather than because I cared for Alice. She's angry (but this issue is important later in the story - and gives a whole new meaning to ice queen - but it didn’t make her any less mean) and I found her to be very self-centred and rude. Ah, but Ellery Finch; the boy who is dragged into Alice's rescue mission. He was so sweet and thank goodness he was in that book. I loved him.
The Hinterland – the world where the fairy-tales are set – is amazing, and what really stood out for me. The fairy-tale characters are SCARY. Blood. Guts. No happy endings here. Don't read it to your children. The narration was a five out of five stars performance. There are two songs in the book, and one is a nursery rhyme, and they were so creepy. The dialogue was fantastic, she made it sound so natural and realistic. She had the perfect bratty teenager voice, and I mean that in a good way.
The author is publishing the book of Tales from the Hinterland, so I’m excited to add that to my collection!
Anna-Marie McLemore (2017)
For generations, the Nomeolvides women have tended to gardens of the La Pradera estate. They are gifted with the ability to grow beautiful flowers from their fingertips. They are also cursed. If they love someone too much, that person disappears.
I thought I had decided on three stars from very early on. There’s too many female characters and not enough description, so they all kind of blurred into one. I couldn’t remember who was who.
I know I did.
But now that I’ve finished, I’m gushing. This book was so good. It took about two-thirds of the book to get there, though. So, if you’re planning to read it, please stick with it. I can say with confidence that this book is amazing and beautiful. It includes multiculturalism and homosexual relationships, too. And the romance was SO sweet, the story SO sad but also so lovely. It's one of the best magical realism novels I've read (buuut nothing is going to knock the Raven Boys from their pedestal ) and I can't wait to read another of the author's novels.
Side note: The main characters’ names follow the alphabet: Azalea, Bay, Calla, Dalia, Estrella, Fel, Gloria. It’s not relevant to the story in any way, I just thought it was cool
Rainbow Rowell (2013)
Cath is my spirit animal.
Cath and her twin sister, Wren, do everything together until they move to college and Wren doesn’t want to share a room. She wants to experience college life, and all Cath wants to do is write Simon Snow fanfiction.
I can relate to Cath SO MUCH. Her shyness used to be me (hard to believe, I know ) I also saw a lot of my relationship with my own sister in Cath and Wren. I’m the one staying home to write fanfiction and my sister is the one who goes to parties. So I felt their relationship was well written and realistic. The budding romance between Cath and The Boy was just so cute and even gave me butterflies at times. All the characters are fantastic. They felt real and flawed and unique.
Simon Snow sounds like a cool idea for a story, but if the excerpts of Cath’s fanfiction went on for too long I grew bored and skipped it. I wondered for a while whether to pick up Carry On and eventually decided against it. I loved this book, but I can’t give it higher than three stars. It was a light, fun read.
THE ASTONISHING COLOUR OF AFTER
Emily X.R. Pan (2018)
This was the YA Room Melbourne’s April book. It’s something I probably wouldn’t have picked up, and I am so glad I did. The book meet was on the 29th and it was so good to talk about it, even if it did get a little emotional at times.
When Leigh’s mother commits suicide, she turns into a large red bird. Seeking answers, Leigh follows the bird to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents, and she uncovers a whole lotta family secrets along the way.
It was a beautiful story told non-linearly, but it works. I loved the glimpses of Taiwanese culture. It was rich with description. Leigh is an artist and thinks in colour (and I learnt a lot of new colour names.) She and her best friend, Axel, communicating their feelings by asking the other, ‘What colour?’ and it was gorgeous. Throughout the flashbacks, Leigh’s dad tries to convince her to study something more ‘worthwhile’ than art, and that’s something I could really relate to.
I’m going to leave you with two of my favourite quotes so that they might encourage you to pick up this book:
Victoria Aveyard (2015)
Mare Barrow lives in a world separated by blood. Those with silver blood are the royal and elite, boasting supernatural powers. Those with red are forced to serve them, living in poverty and forced to fight in wars. Mare finds work in the Silver Palace where she discovers her red blood also boasts a power.
I really enjoyed this audiobook. It was a good fantasy novel, but nothing special. I felt like everything had been done before. There was a lot of focus on Mare’s relationships between the two princes, Cal and Maven, but there was enough action in there to balance it out. The book reminded me of The Hunger Games, especially with the revolution and underground hideouts.
The narrator had a nice voice but she didn’t change it for each character, or lower her voice for the males, so I was often confused by who was speaking, and whether Mare was speaking aloud or it was her internal monologue.
I’m definitely going to finish the series, but I’m going to get a few novels out the way before I do.
2nd - Won first place in the Greenleaf Blossoms Kids & YA Writing Competition for the first chapter of an unpublished children’s or YA novel (Hartwood Academy)
7th - Booked an editor for Hartwood Academy - the first novel in my young adult fantasy trilogy. Magic! Sentient swords! Ghosts! Lost kings! Curses!
8th - Entered the Australian Writers Centre's Furious Fiction. The criteria was: Must be titled The Elephant in the Room, must feature the words emerged, busted, and key, must end with the clock struck four.
15th - Entered the Underdog anthology and entered the Monash University Creative Writing Prize.
26th - Submitted to Beneath Ceaseless Skies
30th - Entered the Bath Novel Award
- My grandmother’s clock only struck TWO HUNDRED AND NINETEEN times at eleven o’clock early in the month. Last night, it chimed for nearly fifteen minutes before I Googled how to wind a clock.
She seriously needs to fix that thing.
- Ate a family-sized packet of Maltesers by myself in 2 minutes 53 seconds
- Reached level 9 of Hogwarts Mystery
That's all for now! May your May (heh) be filled with written worlds!
Another month has passed (not that I mind, great things waiting ahead ) and you know what that means by now... I'm getting very bad at this, btw, but I still hope you'll enjoy!
3 - Jesus is risen, Easter and Easter Monday are gone (maybe a bit too quickly), going back to work is delirious and nothing seems to work, but... Spring has arrived, trips and weddings are getting closer, many projects are in the pipeline and I finally have some time for myself. And tonight I'm writing!
4 - Half day at work, I'm almost done with the teeth aligner, NaNo word count is still at 0 but I have at least answered the old MTA questions. And I got over with the chair thing...
5 - Il cielo di Lombardia, così bello quand'è bello... is it possible that Spring has finally come? And my novel has 300 new words, that I will delete because they are completely far-fetched, but at least I've overcome the block, right?
10 - Pretending to be a tourist, even if only for a few minutes. Walking singing along the street artists. And then crossing someone who's doing the exact same thing (then I'm not totally crazy...) Oh, I almost forgot the best part... Renee is coming to Italy this Summer!!!
12 - Maybe the day didn't go in the smoothest way possible, but... I've finally found inspiration to write! And now that Ophelia has a new scene all for herself I can go to bed satisfied.
14 - That joy of seeing two people you love getting emotional at the altar. Getting together with the Matematti and then dancing until you can't feel your feet anymore. And to close it all, an ice cream at the shore of the lake. A splendid day.
19 - Happy thought of the week, rather than the day, because constance is not my greatest virtue... Spring, meadows white and blue of daises and forget-me-not, the Duomo front lightened by the sun.
20 - When a bit of (healthy) foolishness in the office is justifiable because the week was long and it's finally Friday. Projects of beautiful surprises and fanfiction to keep company. And the weekend awaits.
23 - Reading, writing, dancing, enjoying a moment of quietness and solitude swinging on a swing (okay, that was yesterday...)
28 - Another movie marathon, another wonderful day with the Matematti. To the next time, my friends. Always the greatest pleasure.
30 - Hours spent in cheeriness with old friends and new, a bike ride, an unexpected review, the group of the Summer meetup growing. And maybe an idea for a new story, who knows...
The chair thing... I suppose this needs background... I had this chair that was a bit unstable (has been that way for years). One day my aunt was home and my neighbour came to say hello and they decided that said chair needed fixing and asked another neighbour. All this without telling me anything (no, I didn't find it annoying or intrusive, why are you asking?) Anyway, this chair suddenly disappeared and then suddenly reappeared and then my aunts claimed that I should have gone to the neighbour who fixed it to ask him if I owed him any money. And well... first, I hate asking people if I owe them money (or viceversa, reminding people that they owe me money), I just find it extremely awkward. Second, it buggered me that I had to thank for a favour I didn't ever ask for (yes, I know, that's childish...) Anyway, I postponed it as much as I could, and the times I did try my neighbour wasn't home. Eventually I found him and thanked him and he was like, "Ah, don't mention it, let me know if you need anything else..." I didn't ask him if I owed him money, though... (Long rant, sorry...)
Il cielo di Lombardia, così bello quand'è bello (literally, The Lombardia sky, so beautiful when it's beautiful) is a quote from I Promessi Sposi by Alessandro Manzoni.
Matematti: I already explained this in some previous post, this is the nickname of my group of uni friends, coming from the merging of the words matematici and matti, so basically it means crazy Mathematicians.
And that's all, folks! Hope you enjoyed, as usual, and I'll see you again in a month!
Um. 2018 is one third over.
I am completely thrown. To say that April flew by would be an absolute understatement.
I know I say every month that it feels like the last month went by quickly, but I really do mean it this time! I didn't even make monthly goals in my bullet journal, and now the month has ended! I can't believe that. And, I suppose, it's time to admit that I didn't come remotely close to the one vague goal that I did have of participating in Camp NaNo and editing the remaining 44 chapters of Collateral. I edited...half. of one. Soooo...not a success. I do want to say, though, that I could not appreciate the lovely @ShadowRose more! Taylor, you were such a sweet NaNo pen pal, and I wish I hadn't essentially done nothing this month. Congratulations on all of the words you wrote! You're a champion and it was wonderful getting to know you throughout April!
So, what did I accomplish in the last thirty days?
I cut all my hair off again—and it looks and feels awesome!—which I really needed to do (because why did I think I should try growing it out?? I love having short hair!).
My oldest sister came to visit for a week, which was lovely and not even that stressful somehow.
I got another tattoo—and it is stunning and gorgeous and reminds me of home every time I look at it.
I went to a concert and a play and a kit-tea party for my friend's cat's birthday.
I validated 270 chapters on the archives.
So it wasn’t a completely unsuccessful month. True, I wrote essentially nothing. True, I haven’t actively worked on my apartment search for our move this summer. True, I’m stressed and tired essentially all the time. But look, not every month (or months, or year...) can be perfect. And that’s okay.
This community is lovely and growing, and I’m so happy to be a part of it! Thanks as always for reading my monotonous life updates! It’s good for me to try to keep track of my monthly progress.
Until the end of the coming month! May it be a good one!
I can't believe that I haven't been on this site in almost two years (maybe three?) and I am so sorry for vanishing the way that I did!
For those of you who don't know or remember me, I'm Gabriella Hunter. Most folks just called me "Gabbie" and remember me from the old HPFF site and what a shock! I just found out that the site closed down but luckily, most of my stories are saved on my hard drive and I'm really excited about making a fresh start! I haven't actually written anything in about as long as my absence, so about two years. I left a lot of stories on awful cliffhangers, cause that's just how I roll and I feel so bad about it. Hahah. I really miss the feeling of just losing myself in my work and I missed my friends so badly. I thought that you guys would be furious with me but here I am and I'm glad that I'm back!
The past two years for me were pretty....something. I'll just say that. I haven't had many good moments and I've been trying to get my life together but I'm happy to say that I can start posting again and hopefully reconnect with all of my old friends and make some new ones along the way. I have new stories, new chapters and characters in my head. There are a lot of loose ends to tie up and I hope that you guys won't mind me rambling on about it!
I work night shift right now so if you guys ever need anything, I'll most likely be awake in the wee hours of the morning like some kind of demonic vampire. Be sure to shoot a message if you can and I'll try to answer you guys back whenever I can!
So, if you follow me on Twitter you might have seen a status that looked like this a week or so ago.
I and Jo Raskoph left reviews of the offending story letting them know that I'd written it and hadn't authorised any translation. I've historically been a little hesitant to have translations of my work on other sites. However, this I suspect is mostly to do with the fact I've only been asked about How to tame a Marauder, and that's 284000 words long and I am concerned the nuances in the text would be lost. Also, it's kind of my baby and I like to have control over where it's posted, as I'm sure you can appreciate.
The fic in question here, Marauders' Mayhem, was written in about an hour for a challenge and I'd not really looked at it since. In other words, it's not something that's quite as dear to my heart as HTM is, so I was a bit unsure whether I wanted the translation to be online or not. It's only a one-shot, so how much did it really matter if the translation wasn't quite right? Nuances and the like don't seem so important when you're only talking about 2000 words.
Anyway, yesterday I received a review on one of my other stories, at AO3. It wasn't a review, though - it was a note from the person who had posted the translation to the German site. It seems that there had been an account on Wattpad under the name melian225, which is the name I always use when melian isn't available (AO3, FF.net, Twitter), where apparently a number of my works were posted. I need hardly say that this person was NOT me - I'm not a fan of Wattpad and have never posted my stories there.The person who had translated my story approached the Wattpad version of myself, asking for permission, which was given. As such, they believed they did have authorisation to post the translation. Only after receiving my and Jo's reviews did they question that, and approached the person at Wattpad. Guess what? Instead of responding, said person deleted their account.
So, I was asked, what did I want them to do? They would love me to give approval for the translation to remain online, but if I didn't, they were happy to remove it.
Well, I don't know about you, but I very much appreciate it when people are open and honest with me like that. From the sounds of it, it was very much an honest mistake, in which they believed they were doing the right thing. And, like I said, this story isn't exactly my baby.
Long story short, I've given my approval for it to stay up there. But I wanted to share my experience. Sometimes, what looks like plagiarism isn't really - and if you reach out to someone, sometimes you can start a dialogue that furthers friendship and cooperation.
Wattpad, though ... I'm getting a bit sick of Wattpad. As I'm sure a number of us are.
April 23, 2018
Welcome to the debut of the revamped, bimonthly Prefect Blog!
Aspiring to further add some creative material to our already amazing and ever-growing site, your Prefects are proud to present this collaboration of fun, facts, and frivolity. In addition to expanding upon the preexisting monthly site awards (the Order of Merlin and the Story of the Month), we have planned some exciting content to present. We're hoping to provide not only entertainment, but some meaningful, relevant, and informative material as well.
Without further ado, here are some interviews with previous Order of Merlin winners as well as a review of April's Story of the Month!
Our wonderful staffers bring an indescribable light and life to the HPFT community, from the detailed and fun events that they plan to their presence on the site in general! The Order of Merlin is awarded each month to a staffer who has gone above and beyond in their duties, and the Prefects wanted to feature interviews with each staffer who wins this award.
To make up for lost time, we’re going to compile a set of interviews from all of the previous winners from 2018, and from this month forward, we will continue to feature interviews with future Order of Merlin staffers! This month, we will be featuring the Order of Merlin winners from February and March: @Alopex and @abhorsen.. Next month, we will feature April's winner, @RoxiMalfoy as well as the May Order of Merlin winner (to be announced, so keep an eye out). And now, here are the interviews:
Letter to the Lost by @Crimson Quill
Everyone, if you have not yet read Abbi’s beautiful story yet, head over there immediately (and leave her a review while you’re at it)! This story has that distinctive writing style that we have all come to love and expect from Abbi, and with the added bonus of being from the wonderful "Sirius Black is Gay Challenge." The pairing is perhaps one of the rarest pairs I have seen yet (Sirius Black/Caradoc Dearborn), yet Abbi manages to highlight how these two bring out the best in each other in a single short section.
This is a story about love and loss in the midst of a cruel war, and you will read it and love it. I can’t say more without giving away the crux of Sirius’s amazing development, but just know that this story is more than worth your time, and definitely deserves to be April’s Story of the Month.
This wraps up the debut of our revamped Prefect Blog! We hope you enjoyed this issue, and if you did, make sure to keep an eye out for the next one on May 7. If you have any questions you would like to ask future Order of Merlin winners, feel free to post below, or just leave a comment! Any and all feedback would be appreciated. Thank you for reading!
- The Prefects
graphics by just.a.willow.tree
And the results are in!
So if you’ve been hanging out on the forums at all for the last few months, you may have noticed that I hosted my very first challenge here at HPFT, called the “Say Goodbye Challenge”, and I’m here today to present the results!
In case you’re not familiar with the challenge, here’s a quick recap of the details:
The challenge: In less than 5,000 words, I want you to write me a one-shot where your main character has to say goodbye. It doesn't necessarily have to be to a person; it can be a special place or a significant object from their lives as well. It can be a permanent goodbye or a temporary goodbye; the choice is yours. The point of this challenge is to express the character's emotions, and show the significance of the thing or person they're saying goodbye to; I want you to really make me feel for the character. Show me rather than tell me; be creative!
I didn’t think I would get many entries at all, so it’s an understatement to say that I was blown away by the 14 entries I received. And then I started to read all of the entries, and I knew that grading was going to be really, really difficult; it wasn’t just the quantity of the entries that shocked me, but also the quality of them -- although I suppose that shouldn’t have been as much of a surprise, given how talented everyone here is.
For grading, I had a total of 5 categories: interpretation of the challenge, plot, characterization, description/dialogue, and emotional impact. The entries with the highest scores had the highest emotional impact and the best take on the prompt.
Complete List of Entries:
May We Meet Again by clairevergreen (clevernotbrilliant) Burdens (M) by BlackPixie Shattering, Dying, Healing (M) by Felpata_Lupin Don't Know How to Say Good-bye by StarFeather Good-bye, Ron by StarFeather Farewell Thoughts by DanyFire Pandora's Secret by Phoenix Potioneer Percy by Pixileanin Then Time Stood Still (M) by Levana Pedestal by sapphicsunrise a caged soul (M) by justawillowtree Clippings (M) by pookha Goodbye, Jus by Felpata_Lupin Live and Be Well (M) by Pen2Paper
So without further ado, please join me in congratulating the following authors!
In 3rd Place:
a caged soul (M) by @just.a.willow.tree
What You Win: an additional prize review of your choice and a favorite story
In 2nd Place: Percy by @Pixileanin
What You Win: 3 additional prize reviews on stories of your choice, and favorite story
And the winner of The Say Goodbye Challenge is...
In 1st Place: Then Time Stood Still (M) by @Levana
What You Win: 5 additional prize reviews on stories of your choice, a favorite story, and a picspam representing your story
And because I had so many amazing entries, it was so difficult to narrow it down to just three places. These were the other two pieces that stood out to me the most:
Shattering, Dying, Healing (M) by @Felpata_Lupin
Clippings (M) by @pookha
If you’d like to keep your prize graphics, don’t forget to re-host and credit @just.a.willow.tree!
And that’s a wrap! Congratulations to all the winners!
Please PM me with the stories you would like your prize reviews on, and @Levana, message me if you have any specific images you’d like to include in your picspam.
Thank you to everyone for making my first challenge such a roaring success -- and if you’re looking for a good angsty fic to read, please read any of these stories mentioned in this entry. I can’t recommend them strongly enough.
Language fun + odd fixations = this blog post
So I have a tend of picking up and overusing little phrases or words for periods of time. Sometimes I'm conscious of where these come from, sometimes I'm not. I recently became aware of someone I've spent a lot of time speaking with using a word that I had often been aware of myself using but had not observed from others, in this case "eep." I suspected that I had passed the usage of the word along, but I did not know where I had picked it up from, or who else I may have spread it to.
This interested me, so, as you do, I did some research into the usage of the word on our forums. I was very interested in what I found and welp now here's this
Most uses were for the spelling "eep" notes have been made where there are extra Es
@Stella Blue 6/25/16, Writers Journals
@Veritaserum27 7/4/16, Reviewing Talk (*eeeep - only use of 4 Es)
@dreamgazer220 8/4/16, Monthly Awards & Actvities
@MuggleMaybe 8/7/16, Hufflepuff Basement (*eeep)
pointlessproclamations 8/21/16, Monthly Awards & Activities (this usage was actually edited into the post by Stella Blue)
dreamgazer220 8/22/16, Site Announcements, Resources, & Help
dreamgazer220 8/27/16, Monthly Awards & Activities
@esmeraude 1/10/17, Hufflepuff basement (*eeep)
Veritaserum27 4/1/17, Monthly Awards & Activities
MuggleMaybe 8/11/17, status post on a Hufflepuff's page
@forever_dreaming 9/21/17, status post on a Ravenclaw’s page (*eeeeep - only use of 5 Es)
@danicasyer 10/25/17, Other Fandoms
@Renacerá 10/29/17, Writers Journals
dreamgazer220 12/9/17, Story Challenges
Stella Blue 1/15/18, Writers Journals
Stella Blue 1/15/18, Hufflepuff Basement (*eeep)
@victoria_anne 3/3/18, Hufflepuff Basement
Dojh167 3/4/18, Hufflepuff Basement
dreamgazer220 4/7/18, Novel Nests
Dojh167 4/8/18, Hufflepuff Basement
MuggleMaybe 4/15/18, Hufflepuff Basement (*eeep)
Ten users have used some variation of the word a total of 21 times. Of those, 8 of the users and 18 of the times were by Hufflepuffs, with the remaining to users and 3 times being Ravenclaws.
My data is naturally limited by the fact that I do not have access to other house common rooms or staff/prefect areas of the site, which may reveal that the usage of this word is not as predominantly Hufflepuff as this data implies. I welcome any additional contribution of data.
The use of four and five Es as unique to Ravenclaw users suggests there may be a distinct house culture associated with accepted spellings
I was surprised that my own uses of the word were fairly limited and appeared late in the pattern. While I believe I have been using this word for at least two years, it is possible that my use has been limited to deleted house cup event threads or twitter chat messages (both of which would be primarily Hufflepuff exchanges)
Occurrences of the word seems to have natural peaks and valleys. It would be interesting to research if these periods follow house cup events, during which time these users have higher exposure to each other’s enthusiastic outbursts.
The word seems to be most often be used to convey flattered gratitude at receiving an honor, an expression of excitement, or embarrassment for a transgression
While occurrences are often in the same subforum, the spelling "eep" was never used twice in the same thread, though in one case "eeep" was used twice in the same thread (though on different pages), in both cases apologizing for a double post
A quick search of TDA returned 200 results since 2013, with only one usage appearing during 2017
The subforum most likely to contain the word is the Hufflepuff Basement, with 7 out of 21 uses found there,
Dreamgazer220 has used the word the most, with 5 recorded instances
Stella Blue has the distinction of being the one person to use the word twice in a single day, though she varied the spelling on that day, from "eep" to "eeep" an hour and a half later. The only other user to have fluctuated spellings is Veritaserum27.
MuggleMaybe seems to be the most consistent in her use of the word, which she has used once for each calendar year, each time with the less common spelling of “eeep”
So people may have noticed I don't really blog here much (or anywhere, idk why I felt that I needed to be location specific...whatever bex)
there's no 'reason' other than, my life is boring and I don't have much to say.
I saw a post on tumblr recently where this girl essentially listed the highlights of her thoughts throughout the day. I wanna do that.
There's no want or need for this, but I feel like people only know me from my work on TDA. I actually hope that you do because my graphics are a lot better than my actual writing (and i'm in a huge graphics rut right now, so that speaks volumes.) This won't be a daily thing, because I assume a lot of my thoughts are the same, and my life isn't that exciting - not enough for my to blog about my brain DAILY. Maybe this will be a monthly thing....maybe we'll never speak of this again. We'll see how it goes!
bex's brain 13th April, the highlights:
omg remember that girl who started crying two years ago and you were the only one around to cheer her up? Why were you the only one there???? why???? why were you trusted with someone who CRIES? It's weird because I still see her now, and we're just like awkward acquaintances. Oh lord why was I there....I SHOULD NEVER BE LEFT WITH CRYING PEOPLE. ESPECIALLY WHEN I DON'T KNOW THEM! I JUST MAKE JOKES. TERRIBLE JOKES. My social skills are roughly about Chandler Bing & Rosa Diaz level. Ugh god that girl probably hates me. I don't care, but she should hate me. She should also judge herself for allowing me to see her cry bc people should be able to tell just by looking at me that i'm not equipped for this level of social interaction!
you know now that i think about it, every fic i've written so far in the past 18 months....snape has seen some action???? i dont even plan it, one minute he's being snarky, next minute he's sleeping with someone???? Clara fancied him as a kid, Eleanor's well yknow we all know what Eleanor's doing, Hermione and Snape are like meant to be together obviously - i just???? the weirdest thing is - I don't find him the least bit attractive. Would we chill and be sassy? Absolutely. Would I date him? gooD LORD NO
i'm betraying my otp. I'm a terrible person who's betraying her otp. I'm writing a snape x oc. forgive me snamione FOR I HAVE SINNED
OHHHHH I KNOW WHY I KEEP GIVING SNAPE LOVE INTERESTS. To make up for the fact that I keep killing him in all my fics. Literally. every. single. fic. With all the women he's getting I'm pretty sure he wouldn't mind.
wow stood up too fast. you know i haven't felt this in FOREVER - idk why people get het up about this stuff, i didn't actually mind that
okay i googled the whole standing up too fast thing....this is why people freak out about it. it was a one off, so it's all good!
i really need to finish my script. or maybe i shouldn't because my writing is horrific
well okay then i need to stop writing ff til my script is done idc how hard it is bex stop arguing with urself and do it
i can't believe i thought i could do proper crosswords that don't have the answers, just impossible hints. I AM NOT A RAVENCLAW I REPEAT, I AM NOT A RAVENCLAW
well actually i'm a slytherclaw, but i have the ravenclaw creativity rather than their ability to solve riddles. If i had to solve a riddle to get in my common room i'd be sleeping outside. voluntarily. like i'm not here to make myself look an idiot, i already do it subconsciously
this episode of Brooklyn nine-nine is a masterpiece i'm not ready for the fact that i'm almost caught up [here's a visual++]
speaking of the nine-nine this show has really made me aware of my flaws because i'm so jake, and i love him to death but omg there's times when he can be annoying as heck. However as I said, I am jake, so I'm aware of my flaws....but changing them sounds like it involves a lot of effort and i'm not about that
it's been a while since easter and my sister hasn't even touched her easter egg. i'm gonna give her two more days, then it's mine.
i want some flares so bad. like high waisted flares, if this summer's good i'd wear them ALL THE TIME.
i need to save up money for those flares
it's 3am why am i still thinking about my sister's easter egg and those flares??????
Reading all these seems perfectly normal to me because....well they're from my head. Maybe I've just revealed to the world that I'm slightly less sane than we all thought? Let me know if I should be carted off in a straight jacket? Otherwise I hope you enjoyed getting a teensy little snippet of the life of bex!
April 7, 2018: Reflections after five years
(Or twelve, depending on how you look at it)
@RoxiMalfoy did one of these last week, and having come up on my own milestone, I’m jumping on the bandwagon
I can’t believe it was this long, but I first joined the Harry Potter fandom twelve years ago. It was a very sudden thing. I had read half of the first book years before and not really gotten into it much (…what was I thinking?!), so I forgot about it until around April 2006 when a friend found out I’d never read the books and told me I had to. So I did – I read all six that were out at the time, and searched the internet for anything more I could devour. I found a forum where people were discussing theories for the next book, and jumped right in.
People were also writing fanfiction there, and I tentatively (and very skeptically, I’ll admit) had a look around – I had never read fanfiction before, but I was already unfairly judgemental about it because I’d heard it was stupid. (A reputation that very much bothers me now, but I’ll save that for another blog.) Anyway, I opened up one Marauders fanfiction and was sucked in. I began writing my own first fanfiction a few months later (which took six and a half years to finish, but that’s another story ). The rest, as they say, is history. That forum, and particularly the fanfiction part of it, became a beloved community for a few years.
In 2013, I heard that forum was going to shut down. Most of the activity had died out a few years before, and it was somewhat of a ghost town, but it was still kind of sad to say goodbye to it. I decided to move my two stories to a new place, and I thought of HPFF, because someone had once recommended a story to me there years before (it was Delicate, in case anyone wondered ) Aside from reading the one story there, I’d never had much to do with the site – it was just so big and kind of seemed overwhelming, but I created an account there. That was five years ago, to the day.
I never planned on writing more stories, I just intended to finish the one I was working on at the time. But I discovered the HPFF forums and entered challenges and got constructive reviews and read incredible stories by talented authors and made wonderful friendships and improved so much as a writer. Whatever I may feel about HPFF now, I will always treasure what I got out of it and the amazing community atmosphere that flourished there at that time. Especially because during all these years I’ve been moving around a lot for my fieldwork, and HPFF was like my internet home, the one thing that was constant.
Of course, I was devastated when that all fell apart, and I don’t know what I would have done if HPFT hadn’t risen from that wreckage, keeping all of the good things intact and leaving behind all the bad. It’s true I’ve had a lot of trouble writing since the Drama at HPFF two years ago, but what always picked me back up again was the community here at HPFT. Despite my intense writers block for years, it was honestly the encouragement I got here that motivated me to finish my latest WIP. People here are so encouraging and understanding, and you are all what really make this place amazing. The community is the heart of this place. Even though I’m basically not around anymore due to my remote living situation, I always feel so welcome whenever I check back in, and see all these messages that I appreciate so, so much. It’s easy to feel disconnected out here, but you always pull me back in with open arms. Even if I never wrote another word again, I’d still stick around on the periphery just because I love all of you.
I have high hopes for writing this spring, though. For the past few weeks I’ve actually been wanting to write again, which hasn’t happened for two years. I don’t have internet where I live, which is frustrating, but also probably very good for my productivity – I can’t just waste time on Twitter, I actually have to write Only time will tell, I guess.
Anyway, just in case it got lost in this very long, rambling description of my journey for the past five years as part of this community (or twelve, if you count the wider HP fanfiction community), it’s been so rewarding to be a part of HPFT. I’m always so thrilled to see the incredible support here and how thoughtful and intelligent everyone is here. Thanks, HPFT, for everything. This place is awesome, and I'm so happy to be part of the HPFT family. for everyone.
By now you know how this works, right?
Welcome to my March, fam! Yeah, I know, I'm a bit late... but Easter and aunt time... you know how it goes... It was definitely better than February, but I think we can still work on making things better... But let's just get started!
1 - Peaceful day, the snow falling, tea in the morning, the great announcement of Secret Cupids.
2 - And waking up in the morning to find out that I'm Head Student. And then a carbonara and a nice movie with friends. And the best part is that it's Friday!
4 - Weekend maybe a little lazy, but some little step has been taken. And it's always lovely to find new ways to emotion yourself.
6 - Progresses with my reading, Harry Potter on TV, fairly good day at work. Sleepy but happy.
7 - The day at work goes slowly, but it's nice to be in a team that makes you feel at home. There's a lot to do, but there are always the small daily progresses. And the weekend is already approaching...
8 - Waking up and discovering that it's sunny, realizing that after all I didn't lose my phone, laughing about feasts and namedays and M&M's and technical support, celebrating women's day with chinese food and latin music. Andiamo a comandare!
10 - When Mathematics (actually more like the Settimana Enigmistica) helps you getting out of the pyramid and finally there is the time to judge challenge entries.
12 - Learning a new dance, receiving a new (wonderful) review, sitting at the piano (after ages), waiting with trepidation the Roman weekend.
14 - The translation proceeds, soon I'll be able to share my OF novel (well, those bits of awful first draft) with my beta reader of trust. And meanwhile the Roman weekend grows near...
16 - Friday night, tomorrow I'm leaving, ready and super pumped! Goodnight, world!
17 - The magic of Rome, always unmatched. The new experience of the Stadium and of Rugby and finding out that JK Rowling is in the stands too. Tiring day, but every moment has been wonderful.
22 - Spaghetti with clams, friends who get passionate about my stories, laughing in the office (because seriousness is overevaluated), the weekend approaching...
25 - A weekend of rest, feeling loved, a pizza and a game of cards with friends.
26 - HPFF closes. Strange, the news saddened me at first, but at the same time I'm feeling a happiness shrouded in melancholy remembering the stories, the friendships, the growth (both as a person and as a writer) that site has given me. And I'm so grateful that the community still exists in HPFT. Sad, yes, but a good kind of sadness.
28 - And here I am again, reflecting on the magic of books, on how you can get passionate to a story and feeling the characters near, real, friends. And wondering why on earth did the hen cross the road...
31 - A strange day, a bit melancholy, but a few steps forward have been taken and I'm happy at least of having shared some love through reviews. And tomorrow is Easter.
Carbonara is a "sauce" (not the right term, but I wouldn't know how else to say it) for pasta, made with eggs and guanciale (pork cheek), but you can use bacon (just don't let anyone from Rome hear you... )
Andiamo a comandare! (literally Let's go command) is a wacky song (and lyrics from that song) by Fabio Rovazzi, which was a Summer Hit a couple of years ago.
Settimana Enigmistica (literally puzzle week) is an Italian weekly magazine of crossword puzzles, rebus, riddles, logic games etc.
Day 10 refers to an Escape Room I did with a group of friends, and I solved the last riddle, so I was quite proud of myself...
In case you were wondering, my beta reader of trust is my little B @victoria_anne
The second half of day 28 is something that goes back to Uni days... I sent my friends a pdf that was going around, about a hen crossing a road and various historical figures (scientists, politicians, philosophers, etc.) giving their interpretation about the why. It was quite hilarious and after that my friends replied giving the reason our Professors and friends would give, which was ten times more hilarious. Now we are bringing it back while we are planning a gift for one of us who's getting married (we have this tradition of making a silly gift to accompany to actual gifts for graduations, weddings and various occasion)
And I think that's all! Hope you had fun reading! I noticed that my main happy thought was Weekend is coming and I'm not sure if that's a good sign...
See you at the end of April, my loves!
It's been another month and I've still barely written anything in 2018. But hey, this month was a crazy one, so I'll pretend it's okay.
On the first of March, the bookstore where I worked had a small fire...and then the sprinklers went off and flooded the store. For a couple of weeks, I worked alongside the rest of the staff to clean and begin repairs, but then most of us were laid off. I miss it a lot, despite understanding why they couldn't keep us on, and finances are now tighter than they were before.
So that kept me busy and stressed throughout the beginning and middle of the month. The last week or so has been a bit better, though, and I'm starting to get back on track. I'm even going to be a Camp NaNo rebel next month and hopefully (finally) get all of Collateral (M) onto HPFT! So, let's cross our fingers!
This month's anxiety update is mixed. It was definitely better than last month, though I did have a few hard days here and there. I experienced more stress this month, but not as many near-panic attacks.
So, we have actual writing goals for next month! Keep me accountable for these if you can, because I'll definitely need the encouragement:
edit all 50 chapters of Collateral
participate actively in Camp NaNo (see my NaNo Novel Nest!)
not lose my mind
The weather in the northern hemisphere is finally warming up slightly. So hopefully that will also encourage me to kick myself to be productive. Let me know if I can help any of you!
Ten years ago, the word “forum” was completely foreign to me. I had no idea what being a part of an online community was like. I had always been taught that it was dangerous to chat with “strangers from the internet.” (You can tell how well I took that particular lesson to heart as a youngster, haha!!) Ten years ago I wrote just for fun. I never would have imagined sharing any of my work with other people. My writing was for my-eyes ONLY!! Ten years ago, the idea of sharing my writing with those strangers on the internet scared the hell out of me...
I don’t even recall the exact detail of events that lead me to HPFF. I just remember that I was researching something for a scene that I wanted to write for my own Harry Potter story. So I was Yahoo-searching something (because in those days, yahoo’s search engine was all the rage, lol!!) and a story that another fanfic author had written on HPFF popped up in the search results. Curious, I clicked on it to see what it was, and thus I discovered the world of Harry Potter Fanfiction. I was amazed!! There was an actual term for what I was doing, and thousands of other people were doing it too!! Who knew?
But of course, in my own self-critical opinion, MY story was not nearly good enough to be posted online for all the world to see. It was very much a part of me back in those days, and I simply was not ready to let other people to read it. I was far too happy to just continue keeping it all to myself. Little did I know the levels of growth and feelings of accomplishment that awaited me through the experience of writing fanfiction with others... Sure, I had read the announcements on the HPFF homepage about checking out their forums before, and even clicked over there a few times during my anonymous guest reading visits. But it all just looked so confusing, and a little bit intimidating, so I admit that I was hesitant to join. I believe that it was the “Title Help” section that finally drew me in. I remember thinking: "These people are going to help me come up with chapter titles and summaries? They talk about stuff like that there? How cool is that!?"
So, on March 28th, 2008, I signed up for my first ever online forum account; and I haven’t looked back since!! I have met so many wonderful and supportive people in this community, all of which have helped me to grow and develop my own personal writing style. I eventually came out of my scared little writing shell of shyness; and on December 9th, 2008, I FINALLY posted the first chapter of my Novel to the HPFF archives!! (Back in those days, the story was called “All is NOT Fair in Love & War” and it was going in a totally different direction that what “Love, Not War” is traveling in now though). But I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way!! I can’t even believe how hesitant I was in the beginning. It’s so silly to even think about how irrational my reasoning was back in those days...
But looking back on my early days now, I am simply stunned by HOW MUCH I’ve grown since I first started writing. And when I think about that fact that it has now been TEN YEARS to the day, I am left breathless in awe and wonder. My writing is certainly not what it was ten years ago, that’s for sure, and I own the majority of that to THIS community!! Had I never clicked “join” on this very day ten years ago, I don’t even know if I would have stuck with writing after college. Who knows?? I mean, I barely have time for it as it is right now, but it's still one of my dearest passions. My loves. My favorite methods of escape. When real life gets to be too complicated, when work gets too stressful, when the business becomes too much... I sit down and I write. I immerse myself in the fantastic world of HP; and I write about Draco, and Roxi, and Lucius, and Saleena, all of their complex relationships and problems. Because sometimes, I confess, it is far easier to deal with their issues than it is to focus on whatever else is going on in RL at that moment. (But aren't we all a little guilty of that on occasion though?)
Don’t get me wrong, I'm not one of those people who run away from their problems. Not in the slightest. It's just that I am happy to have writing - and writing Harry Potter Fanfiction in particular - as a means of a temporary break/escape from it all from time to time. And had I not met all of you lovelies here, I honestly don’t know if I would still have stuck with it after all of these years... As some of you may know or remember, I did take a two-year hiatus from 2012 to 2014 while I was in college, and I almost didn’t return after that. When I did, I wrote a few new chapters back in 2014, but that was when I realized that the story wasn’t going in the direction that I wanted it to anymore. So, in January of 2015, I decided to scrap everything and start all over with my Novel! I have been in the re-writing process with LNW for three years now. The only reason I did not delete the whole thing and start all over, was because I did not wish to lose all of my old reviews/feedback on the story. I was editing the chapters as I went before the HPFF forums closed in the spring of 2016. After that incident, I sort of just abandoned everything over there and I took a break for a while. (9 months, to be exact.) With the opening of HPFT’s archives, I was excited to have a real fresh start with my Novel. I finally started posting the newly re-written chapters on January 2017, and to-date our archive is THE ONLY place on the internet that hosts all of my stories in their most updated form.
...When I started writing this blog last week, this was originally going to be the part where I write the conclusion, and wrap up my bittersweet feelings of how it’s been an incredible ten years, and how I cannot wait to see where the next ten will take us!! And while that is still true; as most of you all have seen/heard by now, the announcement came on Monday that the HPFF Story Archives will be closing next month, on April 28th. The fact that this announcement came in three days before what would have been my ten-year forumversarry has, admittedly, thrown me into several emotional tangents off-and-on all week that I was not quite prepared for. Just when I thought that I had buried all of my feelings about that place and finally moved on with my life... BAM! Here we go again... I guess a part of me has known all along that the site was running on borrowed time anyway. But that still didn’t make the official announcement any less shocking, or any easier to digest. The more naive part of my brain had convinced me that the old version of LNW would always be around on HPFF for me to refer back to and reference when needed throughout my rewriting process. After all, feedback has always been SO important to me; which is why I have been using all of my old reviews from there as I go through the editing process with my Novel. But now, in a month’s time, all of that will be deleted. Permanently. Nearly 20 years of history, just gone. And I’d be lying if I said that I did not have some very mixed feelings about that...
So yes, I went through the whole process of backing everything I had left over there up on Monday night - something that I probably should have done two years ago, but I was clearly being lazy, lol! But it was SUCH a humbling experience, let me tell you. Seeing some of the old reviews that I had gotten - reviews that are now almost ten years old - it really reminded me of how far I’ve come as a writer, and just exactly how much I have improved and grown over the last decade. I confess that I had not logged into my HPFF account since last year’s CTF event, so it felt a bit strange to be back there again. But I’m glad I spent the time that I did on Monday night (staying up til nearly 5am, lol), saying goodbye to the place that first gave me the confidence to share my stories with the world. It was a very bittersweet process, to say the very least. Overall though, I’ve dealt with my feelings on HPFF for the most part. That’s why I was not around for the first 10 months of this forum being open. That’s why it took me so long to jump back in and finally get involved here. I was scared. I was hurt. I was sad. I was emotional. And I felt lost. But once I was ready; once I finally put those hurt feeling aside and moved on, I came back here and I immediately jumped into the CTF reviewing event that was going on last spring. And everyone was so welcoming, and so friendly and inviting. It just made me feel as though no time had passed at all!! I was able to just pick right back up where I had left off at and start again. Not all the old faces were here, but there were many familiar ones, and several amazing new ones!! And I instantly fell in love with the feeling of community again.
I cannot even begin to tell you guys how important, how special, how meaningful, how absolutely AMAZING if feels to know that no matter what happens, no matter how much time passes, no matter what crazy circumstances that RL may throw my way; YOU GUYS - my HPFT Family - will ALWAYS be there for me. This place really is like Hogwarts; always there to welcome you back home, lol! And I really do mean that, genuinely, from the bottom of my heart!!! HPFT is not JUST a website, just a forum, or just an archive. Sure, it is comprised of all of those things, but for me; HPFT is and always will be its MEMBERS. You guys are what keep me going, and y’all are why I do what I do. We are all connected through our love of writing and HP/other fandoms alike. Nothing can tear us apart, and just knowing that simple fact alone fills me with so much joy and hope for the future!!
Ten years it’s been. I’ve made so many friends from so many different part of the world. I’ve pulled so many all-nighters in so many different HC competitions. I posted my first ever Novel and received over 500 reviews for it. This year I won my first site-wide award! I even learned how to make graphics over the years too!! It has been one hell of a ride, that’s for sure! And yes, absolutely, I cannot WAIT to see where the next ten years take me!! Because, for as long as I live, I cannot see myself outgrowing Harry Potter, lol. And, at the rate I’m going, (as @Rumpelstiltskin often likes to joke) I’ll be 80 years old by the time I finish LNW, lmao!!! That is TOTALLY a joke though, haha!! I really am hoping to have it close to being finished here within the next few years. ...In all seriousness though; it’s not often I feel compelled to Blog about things. It’s not often I bare my soul, or make myself vulnerable in such a way as this. But today was a big day. And,in light of recent events, I could not allow it to go by and NOT say anything. I’ve told people in private before my feelings about the site and the community before, but I felt that it just needed to be said publically. Because I know a lot of people are hurting right now. A lot of people out there feel lost, sad, and emotional over Monday’s announcement. And that’s okay. I was there too. But then I realized something… The community is still here. It’s not lost. There is still a place for us. We still have our little corner of the internet to call home. And after ten years, and am beyond grateful for that!! I will probably carry several of the friendships that I have made here with me for the rest of my life.
If you’re new here and you’ve just read this entire rambling novel of a blog post - welcome!! I probly haven’t ‘met’ you yet, but I love you just for being here!! And everyone else, because let’s face it, y’all know I’ve talk to like practically everybody now pretty much at one point or another (like, seriously, what’s a stranger? haha!!) I love you ALL so much!!! This community means the absolute world to me. Y’all are my family, and I would do anything for any one of you, be it within my power/capability to do so. This community of wonderful, supportive, encouraging, uplifting, amazing, funny, talented, accepting, inclusive, loving, kind, helpful, and just overall amazing people have done so much for me over the past decade. So it is my honor, my privilege, to be able to give back and do for you all now as a staffer. Being on the staff team for the past 8 months has probably been THE BEST experience in the whole entire Ten Years I’ve been around here, lol! I just love being a part of something so great, and being able to help my online family out here fills my heart with so much joy!! 💗
So happy ten years of writing Harry Potter fanfiction to me. Even though it hasn’t been ten years here at HPFT, specifically, I know that there are some of you here in the community who I have known for the vast majority of the last decade. I love you; all of you, old and new, or not, lol!! Thank you for simply being here, for contributing to the community. Big or small, your contributions and your presence here matters. No matter how small/insignificant/unimportant you may feel, I am here to tell you that YOU ARE IMPORTANT, and you DO matter!!! Just look at me, I was a notorious background lurker for six years. So I know all about hiding out in the shadows, lol!! But even our fabulous lurkers are ever so lovely, and I just adore you ALL to pieces!!! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!! Thank you; all of you, for making this place what it is. To anyone who has ever read my story; and especially all of those who have left me Reviews over the years, THANK YOU!! Anyone with whom I have ever held a conversation with; be it here on the forums or on social media, Thank You!!
Your love and support mean more to me than words can describe!! I truly am beyond excited for the future of this Community, and I cannot wait to see what the next ten years will bring us!!
Love, Deana 💚
The 22k WIP where Remus and Sirius raise baby Harry (pacing!!! how do)
The 11k WIP starring Anthony Goldstein, Ministry Prosecutor
Slug Club Redemption Arc (there were Slytherins in the Battle of Hogwarts)
Hufflepuffs in the Time of Death Eaters (a blatant excuse for a deep dive into the traditions and culture of Hufflepuff house and how they adapt to 1997)
Harry faces a war crimes tribunal for all those Unforgiveables he did in DH, starring: that Goblin he Imperiused. #justiceforbogrod
The Jewish wizarding community helping Muggleborns during the War
Academic Recluse Harry??? (Harry becomes a big name in the DADA research community under a pseudonym, never tells anyone)
Dudley's daughter is magical: I am fond of redemption arcs I guess
Remus Lupin's lavender marriage to Tonks (bad things will stop happening to the people he loves if he just Marries A Girl And Isn't Gay, right? right? wrong) [16/03/18]
Lily and Petunia growing up with their dad as a coal miner; closures starting in 1960s; Petunia increasingly resentful towards Lily partly bc while she was away at fancy boarding school, they sometimes didn't have money to keep the lights on bc of strikes etc. [17/03/18]
Remus/Sirius tattoo of last words they say (challenge entry) [1/04/18] COMPLETED 7/05/18
Animal eats snitch and disrupts Quidditch game; Newt has to work with Rolanda Hooch to find it (?) [1/04/18]
Broom tampering corruption, Hooch clears wrongly blacklisted player. [1/04/18]
The Norbert Incident -- What kind of people are willing to smuggle a dragon at short notice? [5/04/18]
Five times the two way mirror was used and one time it wasn't [5/04/18] ("This is a two-way mirror. I’ve got the other. If you need to speak to me, just say my name into it; you’ll appear in my mirror and I’ll be able to talk in yours. James and I used to use them when we were in separate detentions.")
Unrequited Elphias Doge/Dumbledore [12/04/18] -- what does this refer to??? I have no idea? If I discussed this with anyone please let me know.
Cadmus Peverell - No Second Prize [12/04/18]
Percy Weasley working at the Dept of Magical Transportation uncovers a lot of affairs because it's like when the bank contacts you about unusual activity on your credit card, except it's your floo network, and Percy accidentally ends a lot of marriages by letting one party know that there's been unusual activity on the floo. [5/05/18]
James/Lily last words soulmate AU [6/05/18]
Remus Angst Alone Challenge entry [6/05/18] COMPLETED 16/05/18
Lily/Narcissa faking dating uni AU/Love, ___ Challenge Entry [12/05/18]
The AU where Remus never forgave Sirius for the Snape Incident [21/05/18]
The longform journalism article about the DADA in the Battle of Hogwarts for Wizarding Britain (tie in with Imperio Fic) [21/05/18]
Fake responsa on wixen and Jewish law (tie in with Imperio Fic) [25/05/18]
If anyone wants to hear more about/bounces ideas about any of these, PM me any time. (why are all my stories about the War, oh my god)
Hi again, my loves!
If you saw my previous entry, you know what this is about, so I'll skip tedious introductions this time
I haven't been as good at following through with this in February as I'd been in January... then, again, this has been a bit of a difficult month, what with stress at work, car misadventures and just general low mood (and you'll probably notice that some of these happy thoughts are actually a bit on the melancholy side...) I'm hoping in a great March, though!
Anyway, here it goes!
1. Since it's quite late, I'll just go with this: it's great to feel part of something.
2. Sometimes we feel inspired by someone and sometimes we are of inspiration for someone. And maybe sometimes a bit of both. And maybe the message of this day, come in many phases and many different ways, is that it's always worth fighting for what is right, also when surrender seems the most logical and simplest thing.
3. A wonderful day, made of little conquers and a lot of imagination, plus a pinch of cheeriness. Ed è subito sera.
5. Monday's fatigue can be overcome, letting go to the pleasure of dancing and being carried into the fantastic words of reading and writing. And then, finally, the deserved rest.
6. At times I get cross and I strike fear (so they say... I disagree, I'm cute and cuddlesome) and at the restaurant they give me a discount. And maybe for Sanremo's fault there's no Harry on TV, but also this has its bright side... more time for reviewing, for instance.
7. Lovely night with Claretta and Fabietto, remembering the old working (mis)adventures and telling each other all our news. Maybe we'll soon have a pastry chef among us. And maybe next meet-up will be earlier than two years...
8. Too tired and sleepy to actually remember the good things of today... but I'm smiling, so I imagine it was a good day. Maybe I'm just happy of existing.
9. Morning reflection on yesterday's happy thought in the twilight sleep: existence and unicity, the mathematical translation of the beauty of being human and being alive. And then there is the Forecast in the queue, waiting for the green light to go down the slide of the water park...
10. If the good day is seen at morning, today couldn't be but a proficuous day, since it started putting up the chandelier.
12. Happiness is: watching a fun movie in the morning, bachata notes on the bus, "But are you on the bus?", "Thank goodness there are buses!" Happiness is also: a message or a phone call from a friend asking how you are, a hot cup of tea in your hands, meeting someone you haven't seen in ages, "No, he doesn't send mails anymore, he only sends phone calls!"
15. The sun, the streets of the city center, the chatting of a child, the reviews that make you smile, feeling loved and appreciated... dinner ready once you get home (I think I said this somewhere already, anyway... even if we don't always agree, aunts are a great invention...)
16. The calm of Friday night after the storm of a week to forget... and the promise of a weekend without any worry (mostly) before me. Goodnight world, tomorrow is another day.
18. Sometimes a day in pajamas and sweet doing nothing is what is needed.
22. Laughing and joking and feeling a bit like children, despite the frenzy of these days and all the responsibilities of being adults.
24. My little pet (meaning my car) has finally come back home, all lucid and sparkling. My Justin story is almost finished (and it'll be an entry for three challenges at once... yes, I like easy win) and I managed to leave a few reviews I wanted to leave. In conclusion, a good Saturday, and tomorrow, I hope, will be a good Sunday.
26. The warmth of home when outside it's freezing, the tango notes, the time and inspiration to write.
Ed è subito sera (literally, And it's suddenly evening) is a poem (and a line from the poem) by Salvatore Quasimodo
Sanremo is a city in Italy, more precisely in Liguria region, that every year hosts the Italian Song Festival, also known as Sanremo Festival, or just Sanremo. It is a bit of a big deal here, which is why the TV programming tends to be influenced by it...
The second part of day 9 is obviously a reference to our silliness at work... the Forecast is an application that we developed, it's been scheduled in a way that makes it run a bit too often, so we put a control to avoid that it runs twice at the same time. And we've compared it to the light signals in water parks. We've compared it to a ton of other things, actually. Yes, we are crazy.
Day 12 contains bits of conversations that were hilarious for various reasons. I would go into details, but it's too late for it...
The calm after the storm (original title La quiete dopo la tempesta) is also a poem, by Giacomo Leopardi
Tomorrow is another day, instead, is a quote from the movie Gone with the wind by Vivien Leigh
February was a really hard month, to be honest. My anxiety was higher during the second half of this month than it has been since last fall, which is really frustrating. I worked around 50 hours and between six and seven days a week. I didn't get enough sleep. Without boring you with details, there were a lot of factors contributing to this being a not-great 28 days.
At the same time, February went by really quickly. I can't believe it's almost March. The older I get, the less I seem to live in the moment, which I suppose is probably a bad thing...
So, I have some real goals I want to achieve for March. Most importantly, I want to write. I haven't written anything this year. Nada. Not one word. And writing is something that I really enjoy, obviously, so I want to make time to do it. I'm hoping to have more chapters of Collateral (M) edited and posted by the end of March. Then maybe I can actually get around to posting its sequel, which I wrote 30,000 words of during NaNo.
In sum, I'm hoping that March will be better than February was. Already, the last few days of this month have given me hope that next will be better. I've read some great stories in the queue, had some great conversations with members here, and know that there are exciting things coming for the site next month. If I can get my own life in some semblance of order and get to writing things in March, I think that will help a lot.
Thanks as always for reading the ramblings! Maybe next month's blog will actually be about writing.
Hello, all! It's time for us to announce the winners of this year's FROGS awards! If you didn't catch our livestream from earlier this evening, you can find it +here.
First off: thank you to everyone who nominated, reviewed, and voted in this year's FROGS awards, and congratulations to everyone who was nominated, whether or not you won. HPFT is home to some incredibly talented people, and we can't express how glad we are to be part of this community. We hope you enjoyed this as much as we did.
All of that said: we'd like to unveil our special, limited edition set of chocolate frog cards. We're including small versions of them in this post, but if you click on them, you'll find the full version hidden behind them. I'll also be uploading the entire collection +here on my deviantart. Please use only the mini-version in your story notes, since the full version is so big; however, you're welcome to include the full size card as a chapter image, on your profile/in your writer's journal here, and anywhere else you hang out online.
Congratulations, @Felpata_Lupin, @just.a.willow.tree, and @Stella Blue!
Most Versatile Author
Congratulations, @abhorsen., @nott theodore, and @BlackPixie!
gods without grace (M) | beyond repair | silence.death. (M)
Congratulations, @dirigibleplums, @MuggleMaybe, and @poppunkpadfoot!
Congratulations, @esmeraude, @AbraxanUnicorn, and @Rumpelstiltskin!
the skull beneath the skin (M) | erasure (M) | spiral (M)
when dahlias bloom (M) | immortal misconceptions (M) | hormones (M)
Congratulations, @dirigibleplums, @AbraxanUnicorn, @Deeds!
Best Original Fiction
from | I am | the wind chimes are calling to me | fall in love with a writer
Congratulations, @Stella Blue, @Rumpelstiltskin, @Alexis Black, and @manno-malfoy!
nights like these (M) | a candle (M) | when I go out with you (M)
Congratulations, @banshee, @abhorsen., and @Dojh167!
Best Non-Harry Potter Fanfiction
silence cuts loudest through the chaos (M) | hero (M) | an age of change (M)
Congratulations, @1917farmgirl, @banshee, and @scooterbug8515!
when I go out with you (M) | and the world went on | before the sun sets
Congratulations, @Dojh167, @manno-malfoy, and @toomanycurls!
Best Depiction of a Mental Illness/Disability
the department (M) | keyframe | dead eyes and red eyes (M)
Congratulations, @poppunkpadfoot, @forever_dreaming, and @abhorsen.!
Best Major Harry Potter Character
beyond repair | icarus (M) | after life (M)
Congratulations, @MuggleMaybe, @Stella Blue, and @MegGonagall!
Best Minor Harry Potter Character
liar (M) | jigsaw (M) | first lit, last burning | lightning love (M)
Congratulations, @Felpata_Lupin, @nott theodore, @MuggleMaybe, and @toomanycurls!
when dahlias bloom (M) | hero (M) | love, not war (M) | house of stone (M)
Congratulations, @dirigibleplums, @victoria_anne, @RoxiMalfoy, and @WindingArrow!
secret keeper (M) | shenanigans, capers, and hi-jinks (M) | prisoner | red luck
Congratulations, @poppunkpadfoot, @abhorsen., @Crimson Quill, and @just.a.willow.tree!
Best Rare Pair
parisian scars (M) | logarithmic (M) | war & mint
Congratulations, @Crimson Quill, @val, and @sihaya!
Even though you didn't necessarily win your categories, congratulations on being finalists, @abhorsen., @ailhsa23, @BellaLestrange87, @clevernotbrilliant, @dreamgazer220, @esmeraude, @forever_dreaming, @manno-malfoy, @MuggleMaybe, @nott theodore, @PaulaTheProkaryote, @pookha, @Rumpelstiltskin, @Shadowkat678, @sihaya, @Stella Blue, @TreacleTart, @Veritaserum27, @victoria_anne!
Thank you all again, and I hope you enjoyed the livestream and enjoy your cards! Please remember to rehost & credit them to me (abhorsen.) if you want to use them.
Recently my family have interest in Nahoko Uehashi's fantasy novel series Moribito. The covers for the series were illustrated by Makiko Futaki who created some important spots for studio Giburi's works such as Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, My Neighborhood Totoro, Laputa, Kiki's Delivery Service and Princess Mononoke. Her talent in drawing nature, animals and spiritual creatures is said to be indispensable such as Oumu with Nausicaa, doves gathering around Sheeta and kodama spirits that inhabit trees at Princess Mononoke.
Uehashi's Moribito World illustrated by Makiko Futaki.
I have a dream to illustrate for my stories (If I could, for my original fantasy) by myself near future like Makiko Futaki.
These are Futaki's works for Uehashi's Moribito Series.
← This is Balsa, a wandering spear-wielder from the kingdom of Kanbal.
← In Uehashi's world, many wonder creatures appear and strange things happen.
This is Hugo. He takes a very important role through the series.
Sadly, Futaki had passed away in May, 2016. I noticed that after I started reading Moribito Series. I heard she had written her own book, too. I'd like to read it as well.
Hello, my beautiful HPFT family!
January is over and I'm here with a blog post...
A little explaination: one of my new year's resolutions for 2018 was to keep a diary in which I would note a happy thought each day. Since I had the idea here (we had a thread for new year's resolutions in the Hufflepuff CR) and since I love you guys and since I've incredibly followed through with it and I'm proud (I've only skipped one day), I thought I'd share it with you.
I don't know if it'll be particularly interesting, and some things won't probably make much sense (a lot of my happy thoughts are HPFT-related, actually, so I guess you are lucky ) and I will be translating from Italian, which is always a bit hard...
Anyway, I will be making an entry each month and maybe you will enjoy reading it... (?)
So, here it goes!
1. The start of a new year and a new adventure. Sit down around a table and spend hours of cheeriness with dear friends. Maybe a small damage can happen, like a paper bag that succumbs to rain, but the beauty of it is that for every small damage a solution can be found.
2. A bit of frenzy, but there's always space to exchange a laugh with the colleagues. And then old memories of a few years ago come to mind and you find yourself wondering: "Who knows if Nanterre is still in A league?"
3. Starting the day with 2 new reviews and a nomination for FROGS has no price.
4. When work isn't either too much nor too little and you can face it with a smile. Pamper myself with some good food and enjoy a night that is only for me: read, write, do what I love most.
5. Man shall not live by bread alone, where bread is a synecdoche for food and food is a metonymy for material good. But anyway food is important and it's always the right occasion for a dinner out with friends.
6. The best part of a Skywalker night with the Matematti? Going to bed at 2am and then staying awake another hour chatting about books and old memories.
7. And after such an intense intergalactic weekend, the fifth movie is a must, right? Hunger Games, here I come! And in the wait, one or two review I didn't have time to leave earlier.
8. Liar is in the voting round, something genial (even if I can't remember what) surely was said in the office and the promenade is hesitated in the Slow Waltz. Mezzanotte per sognar, fanta-sti-car...
9. Giuliana changed her name in Giulia and the Due Diligence is harder to understand than the eleven dimensions in Subatomic Physics. At least our order of tea has arrived and my challenge had its first entry. The balance is always positive.
10. Getting misty over the emails between Simon and Blue and fantasising of future trips. Back to Sicily this summer? The answer is always the same: 42 CPD
11. Falling in love all over again with your own characters, while lying on the couch with a blanket and a cup of tea. What's better than that?
12. An email by [insert name of person who writes very ungrammatical, and hilarious because of that, emails], an unexpected review, new objectives and... the relax of Friday night. Everything else can wait tomorrow morning...
13. House tidied, new chapter of Jimmy posted, long owed review left. Proficuous day, I can feel proud of myself.
14. Another proficuous day, on the site but not only there. Ready to face a new week! (Okay, maybe not, but anyway satisfied with the weekend, even if on the [insert name of the company I work for] values there's still to work...)
15. Sometimes Mondays are hard, but finding myself sharing the wonderful love of my favourite online community is something that always makes me smile. And then there is the dancing, and nothing is better than dancing.
16. SVTHSA is probably the most adorable story I've ever read (and the first completed book of 2018), on Italia1 there is Harry Potter and the tea tradition in the office is by now established. Extremely happy in this moment.
17. In an emotionally exhausting day, the best part is finding yourself surrounded by your friends' affection and knowing that you are not alone.
18. Surely not a day when everything went smoothly, but at least the fanfiction gives great satisfactions. And tomorrow is Friday and that in its own is a great news, right?
19. Tiresome day closing a complicated week. The up side? Having a cheery dinner with my "adoptive family". And knowing that weekend has finally started.
20. Night out with friends like we hadn't had in ages. Laughing at old adventures and remembering the era of the "Can you make a coffee?"
21. And now the weekend is over and I haven't done half the things I wanted to... but at least the day was proficuous review-wise. Objectives for the week to come: start reading a new book, do the Appraisal, reviews like there's no tomorrow. And maybe finding the time to take the car to the tire repairer and change the burned out light bulbs. All absolutely manageable, right?
22. Right turn in Fox Trot and it finally seems to start dancing. And I also found the time for a little step forward in my FROGS reading. Monday gone, -4 to weekend.
24. Having fun at work when the servers are full of schifezze [filth] and you can run the proc onda(energetica); The tiredness is there, it can't be denied, but you feel it less if you can joke about it.
25. New book started - check, reviews - check, Appraisal... I tried but the server wasn't collaborating, migration... we are working on it. All in all, a productive day.
26. The to-do-list is still infinite and now the flu is advancing, too, but there still are upsides: an unexpected review, a message from [insert friend/possible romantic interest name here] and finally the weekend.
27. Health is what it is, yet the day was proficuous. Proud of myself. And now, goodnight.
28. That thrill of positive nervousness when posting a new story...
29. And then another Matematto announces that he's getting married and you find yourself re-reading old email trails and plannings of foolish graduation presents...
30. At home at 7.15 warming next to the radiator. Organizing an aperitif with ex-colleagues that had been thought more than two years ago. First reassuring review on a story I was/am full of doubts about. And tonight there's The Prisoner on TV. To hell "female little problems".
31. A day that starts with a lot of Hufflepuff pride and that ends more or less the same way (it's possible that I talk about Harry Potter in the office a bit too much...) The pleasant numbness of being on the couch in pajamas and with a pen in hand. The beautiful feeling of being home.
And now a few due notes (credits/translations/explainations) that you can feel free to skip:
Nanterre is a commune in the western suburbs of Paris. And a few years ago its basket team was promoted in A league (and I and some friends happened by chance to be there during their celebrations...)
Man shall not live by bread alone is a line from Matthew's Gospel.
Skywalker night = Star Wars marathon.
Matematti is the nickname of my group of Uni friends, coming from the union of matematici [mathematicians] e matti [crazy].
Mezzanotte per sognar, fanta-sti-car... is a line from Un bacio a mezzanotte, a 1952 Italian song composed by Gorni Kramer (music) and Garinei & Giovannini (lyrics) and popularized by the vocal group Quartetto Cetra.
Most of day 9 refers to work stuff and it would be too long to explain...
Simon and Blue are characters in Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda (in brief SVTHSA) by Becky Albertalli.
The answer is always the same: 42 refers to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
CPD stands for chi può dirlo, which means who can tell, a recurrent line of a colleague of mine.
Italia1 is a channel of Italian television.
"Can you make a coffee?" has a story of its own (something regarding a boy I never went on a date with... ) and that, too, would be too long to explain.
proc onda(energetica); Proc stands for procedure and it's a command in the programming language I work with. Onda energetica is the Italian rendition of Kamehameha from Akira Toriyama's manga/anime DragonBall. So basically that's me and my colleagues being silly...
The Prisoner obviously means Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
PS - Now I'm nervous that I'm going to bore you all and I'm super scared of pressing that Submit Entry button... why do I do this to myself?
So it seems that I'll be blogging at the end of each month (except December, which I inadvertently missed). Welcome back!
It's a new year, and I'm really hoping that it will be a good one. January was rough. Things were busy and stressful: work, family illnesses, exhaustion, and general chaos kept me running. I didn't sleep enough. I didn't complete some of my start-of-the-year goals. But I'm still here and still plugging away.
I have a lot of resolutions for 2018. I want to learn to cook. I want to get back into yoga. I want to write and read and bullet journal. And more. I think I'll be able to accomplish at least some of those, but this year is definitely going to be a busy one.
I'm making a big move at the end of June to NYC (or, more likely, New Jersey since it's more affordable and I can still commute to the city for work). My boyfriend and I have lived where we are in New England for two and a half years, and we'll be leaving a lot behind to pursue our careers. We're excited to start there, and we're planning to get engaged, so we know that this will be a great move for us. But it's still hard to leave this place behind. It was our first real home together, and we have a lot of friends who we won't get to see as often after we go. It's going to be hard.
I'm really hoping that 2018 is going to be the year that I get into my career-job in publishing. I've been interning and working part time for the last two and a half years, and I want to really dive in when I get to New York. It's the center of publishing, so it's the perfect place to start my career.
I'm also hoping that this move won't set back all the positive work I've done for my mental health. I suffer from really severe anxiety and depression, and 2017 was one of my hardest years. I've finally found an SSRI medication that works for me, though, and I hope it can keep working despite all the life changes I'll be going through.
In sum, 2018 is going to be busy. I really want it to be good, and I'm happy with the goals I've laid out for myself. I'm excited and ready to jump in. I'm just not sure where that leap will lead.
I'm sure there's more to say, but I won't keep chatting for now. I'll likely come back to this topic in a future blog. I just have a lot to look forward to this year. I'm so glad that I'll have this community behind me while I go through it all. Thank you as always for reading!
To say that 2016 was the worst year of my life would be an understatement. For those that don’t know, I lost my father a few days after completing Nano.
It should have been a happy time for me, not only had I completed Nano in three days (my personal best), but it was my first time delving into Original Fiction.
Losing my dad completely destroyed me. My father was my everything, from raising me alone, to being my best friend in the whole world. I had never been closer to anyone as I was to him, and it hit me hard.
My father was the person who got me into Harry Potter (It’s why I have his name as the wand part of my Deathly Hallows tattoo. Because he is the strongest person I know). I remember it well, I was around 13/14, and I had a week off from school because I was extremely ill. My dad needed to go shopping, but didn’t want to leave me alone, so he took me with him. We went down the book aisle of the supermarket, and I saw the box set of the first four books on the shelf. My dad brought them for me because he thought that it might cheer me up, and I became hooked on them from the first book.
Most of my Harry Potter memories come from my dad. He would listen to the audio books on his computer pretty much every day – he must have listened to them millions of times – he would watch the films all the time. He would make sure that we went as a family to see the films as soon as they came out. He would buy me each new book at the midnight release. He was as much of a fan as I was, to be honest.
It’s why I told him about my fan fiction as soon as I started writing it. I wouldn’t let him read any of it; because I was too embarrassed at the beginning, but he would be there ready to give me ideas if I was stuck, and offer help if I needed it. He was so proud of my writing, and would encourage it all the time. He was my muse.
He loved Nano, and would brag to anyone who would listen about my word count. He would tell everyone he knew that I was a writer. He would tell people about how I was going to be an author one day, and that I wrote books online. Every Nano, we had a few traditions that we followed every year. As soon as I was done planning, I would get a Chinese for dinner. He would buy me my Nano stash so that I had energy when I was writing, he would be on hand to make me a hot chocolate as encouragement. Whenever I got writer's block he would take me for a drive along the seafront, and not care if I listened to my iPod as we drove... the shock and admiration from him whenever I told him my word count, and how quickly it increased was what kept me writing so much.
I have never seen him prouder than he was when I completed it in three days, and I am so glad that he was able to see me achieve that.
He was such a massive part of my writing, and I believe that’s why I wasn’t able to write for such a long time. When he left, I lost my muse; I lost my reason for writing.
I had never felt as alone as I had in the last 14 months. Not only did I lose my dad, I realised how little my siblings and mother seemed to care about me (I won’t get into that at all, it’s much too long). I ended my relationship of twelve years, because he kept telling me to basically get over my dad’s death because he didn’t want to deal with it (It had been two weeks when he first said this) and that I was being too dramatic by crying at my dad’s funeral. He also told me that I had to sell all of my dad’s things, and get rid of his cat. Yeah, he was kicked to the kerb, and my cat is my baby, I would choose that cat each time!
I was left to deal with absolutely everything alone, and it was hard because I always had my dad there to guide me, and I ended up with no one. I know that I should have come on here, you have all been so supportive and loving, and I love you all. But, I was in such a dark place. A horrible, awful, dark place. I had never felt such pain and loneliness and did so many stupid things in my attempt to try to cope with it all. I hid myself away; I took myself away from everything because I didn’t have the energy to be myself. I didn’t want to be alive, and I didn’t want to drag anyone else down with me.
I’m no longer in that bad place, and that is thankfully because of one of my siblings (I have five), my friends, and my new boyfriend. They have made me want to stay alive; they have made me see that my dad is always with me. My new boyfriend – you’ve probably seen me gushing about him on twitter/instagram/snapchat all the time – has made me want to write again. He wants to talk about my dad all the time, he wants to make sure that he encourages me to write, because he says that it’s what my dad loved, and that I should continue it. He makes me want to be me again, and to stay alive, and I can never thank him enough. He saved me from a downhill spiral.
Because of his encouragement, I wrote four new chapters.
There wasn’t much point to this blog, except that I felt like I needed to write it so that you all knew where I had gone. I disappeared, and I’m sorry. I feel like I’m ready to come back though, and I’m going to try and be more involved because being around you all makes me so happy.
Thank you for letting me ramble, and rant, I really appreciate it (and I hope you can forgive all of the punctuation and grammar mistakes. I'm a little rusty ) . I hope to talk to you all more!