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  2. dirigibleplums

    World Spooktacular | October 7th, 2018

    this is such an informative and cool entry! i really liked reading about all the different cultures, it's such an eye-opener. also, thank you for the fic rec and the award graphic! so cute
  3. PaulaTheProkaryote

    World Spooktacular | October 7th, 2018

    This was a very, very cool post!
  4. victoria_anne

    World Spooktacular | October 7th, 2018

    I’ve never heard of the Australia one, oops, haha! Great entry, prefects! Very interesting!
  5. MadiMalfoy

    World Spooktacular | October 7th, 2018

    Welcome to the spookiest Prefect Blog around! This month, we are honoring the scary season by taking a look at the way some parts of the world celebrate in October. We also have prepared some rather frightening legends from multiple cultures, and left you all with a list of recommended stories on our very own archives to set the horror mood! We hope you're all having a fabulous October! As a special note, the Prefect's Fall Quarter Writing Challenge, the "[Insert Challenge Name Here] Challenge", has been posted. You can find it +here for more spook-tastic details! Throughout the world, everyone is bringing in the new season in their own spectacular way! In order to celebrate along with them, we would like to present a few fun October Festivities from around the globe! This is Not Art (Newcastle, Australia) In Australia, October hosts an event dubbed "This is Not Art," which has been an annual gathering of artists (both emerging and experienced) that has been happening since circa 1998! It is a gathering for sharing ideas, experimenting, and meeting like-minded individuals (who might even become a future partner for collaborating on their artistic endeavours). Thousands of people attend this festival each year, which is made up of approximately 150 smaller events. It welcomes all artists, performers, writers, thinkers, theatre-makers, dancers, and tech-heads to come together for a fun-tastic and creative weekend! Lake of Stars (Mangochi, Malawi) Over in East Africa, you will find the country of Malawi and, with it, the Lake of Stars Music Festival! This music festival goes a lot deeper than merely gathering people together for some good times (though it does that, too). In its very core, it also serves to and focuses on influencing the growth of the local economy. Due to the tourist attraction to the small country for the festival, and through ticket sales and volunteer activity to things like flood relief programs, the Lake of Stars Festival helps improve life for the locals and they put on a fantastic show while they're at it! Concurs de Castells (Tarragona, Spain) This Spanish event is all about one thing: human towers. Concurs de Castells is an annual competition in which over 40 teams compete to create the most complex and tallest human towers. This event dates all the way back to the 18th century and is still enjoyed by over 6,000 average spectators each year. In a display of Catalan culture, complete with parades, music, and street performances, the event mainly focuses on this competition that creates towers on an average of nine stories high! The teams have five rounds to build their best towers, and a points distribution system helps determine the winners! Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (Albuquerque, New Mexico) Have you ever been to a Balloon Festival before? If you have, you're familiar with the many crafters gathered to sell balloon-related goods (among other handmade goods), live band performances, and the main event, watching the many colorful and unique hot air balloons take to the sky. In Albuquerque, this festival surpasses any Balloon Festival you've ever seen by leaps and bounds. Crowds gather to watch over 750 beautifully whimsical hot air balloons rise into the blue skies. Besides watching the balloons, the event also offers filmmaking contests, balloon riding services, AfterGlow fireworks, and balloon races. Festival du Nouveau Cinéma (Montreal Canada) Filmmakers and film-lovers alike gather to this 44-year-old festival to experience the spirit of good company, revelry, and fun. This 11-day festival brings people together from around to experience over 300 films, conferences, art installations, cocktail parties, performances, and transmedia projects. It has an emphasis on "the new" and acts as a showcase for all cinema types. They try to keep on top of things as the world (and its technology and media) changes from year-to-year, and encourage the latest trends as well as bringing in fresh ideas and features. The Festival du Nouveau Cinéma remains determined to expand the horizons of Montreal audiences by showing them original ways of presenting and experiencing film. Amsterdam Dance Event (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) This electronic music platform and club festival is the leading and largest, worldwide! By the light of day, this conference is the ultimate business and inspiration platform for the global electronic music industry. It focuses on providing music professionals, aspiring DJs, and musicians the latest in technological, human, and business resources. By the dark of night, this festival provides access to the entire whole spectrum of electronic subgenres, with over 2,500 artists performing in 140 of Amsterdam's music and nightlife spaces. In 2017, the festival brought 395,000 visitors from over 90 countries, which makes it the world's biggest club festival. Frankfurt Book Fair (Frankfurt, Germany) This isn't just your average book fair. Frankfurt's 70-year-old event hosts 7,000 exhibitors from 100 countries and nearly 300,000 annual visitors. For book fans from all over the world and international publishers media, it is all about printed and digital content and the relevant topics for the coming year. The book fair is the most important international marketplace for content, as well as a key trendsetter for society and a major cultural festival. The first three days are for business and industry only, but the public is invited to attend the last two days. These final days are filled with book signings, readings and the perusal thousands of new and exciting titles. Jewish Festivities in October This year, only two Jewish holidays falls in October -- Simchat Torah and Shemini Atzeret. However, they're the last of a whole series of interconnected festivals and approximately every second year, the majority of them do fall in October, so we're going to cover all of them. Strap in. They're kicked off by Rosh Hashana, which never falls in October, but it's the Jewish New Year. None of the following holidays are spooky in any way, unless you count the inherent threat of death on Yom Kippur (check out the +extremely metal list of ways you can die that we recite) and the threat of wasps on Sukkot if you decorate your sukkah with fruit. Wasps are terrifying. Yom Kippur -- lit. "Day of Atonement", this is... well, exactly what it says on the tin. Ten days after Rosh Hashana, you fast (no water or food) for 25 hours, and you're basically asleep or praying, so it's pretty easy to avoid food when you're sitting in a synagogue with hundreds of other people who are also hungry and thirsty. You also wear all white and since you're not meant to wear leather shoes, the shoe choices can be... interesting. You atone communally for all the sins you've committed against God, but the sins you've committed against other people you need to make amends yourself -- God can't do anything about those. There's the idea that God decides whether you're going to die in the coming year on Yom Kippur, but it's just a metaphor, honestly. Sukkot -- Just five days after you're done praying for an entire day without food or water, you have to start eating your meals in a little tent-type thing you rig up in your backyard called a sukkah (sukkot is the plural). It's got to have three walls and a roof made of palm fronds where the fronds cast more shade than there is sunlight BUT you can also see the stars at night. It's a complicated business. Once you've satisfied all eleventy billion rules however, you get to just enjoy it for a whole week! It symbolises the temporary dwellings that the Jewish people lived in when there were in the desert for forty years after they left Egypt. You also wave a bundle of plants and an etrog, which is like a very large and expensive lemon that doesn't taste very nice. I don't know what it's like in the northern hemisphere, but October is perfect weather down here in Australia for chilling outside, it's delightful. Shmini Atzeret -- I had to google this one, I'm not going to lie. I knew it existed, but I didn't really know what it was. Shmini means 'eighth' and 'azteret' shares a root with the word for 'halt, stop'. It's the day after Sukkot ends, and it's a day when we just take an extra day to enjoy God's company, really. It's like when you have a friend stay with you for a few days and you really like their company so you're like "aw, why not just stay an extra day". Also, this is the day you start praying for rain. Simchat Torah -- This one is the most joyful by far. Every year Jews read the whole Torah (the first five books of the Bible) and on Simchat Torah, we get to the end. BUT because we love the Torah so much, we get really excited and then immediately read the beginning again, starting the cycle anew. There is lots of dancing, some drinking, more dancing while holding heavy Torah scrolls, and general merriment. And then, finally, we get to rest all the way until Chanukah! We have survived another holiday season, Halleluyah. Día de Los Muertos by @TreacleTart Across the world, the end of October brings Halloween. Houses are decorated with lights and spooky creatures and kids run around in costumes in search of sweet treats. It’s a great holiday, but not the main reason that I look forward to the close of the month. Instead, I anxiously await the first of November because that’s when Día de los Muertos begins. Día de los Muertos translates literally to The Day of the Dead and is a celebration that honors ancestors with food, drink, music, and family celebrations. It is a tradition that originally comes from Mexico, however, it’s growing popularity has led to celebrations in other Latinx countries and in the Southwestern United States. Like much of Mexican culture, Día de Los Muertos is rooted deeply in Aztec culture. In the 16th century when the Spaniards invaded, they tried to stop the Aztecs from celebrating believing the holiday to be sacrilegious. Their efforts had little effect. Eventually the holiday was shifted from summer when it was originally celebrated to November where it coincided with All Saints Day. One might think that a holiday celebrating the dead would be somber, but Día de Los Muertos is actually very lively and happy. Each family builds an altar in their home which carries photos of all their loved ones who have passed on. Altars are traditionally decorated with bright orange marigolds. Ofrendas (offerings) of favorite foods and drinks are left out for hungry spirits. Shots of tequila or beers are also not uncommon. Families also visit the cemeteries and decorate grave sites leaving similar offerings. Trails of marigold petals can often be found leading to the altars as a sort of pathway for the spirits. Massive displays of candles are also often found at the cemetery entry where people can light them in prayer for an ancestor. In the cities, impromptu parades called calendas spring up. Bands with trumpets, trombones, drums, and tubas lead processions of dancing people through the city, pausing periodically to play a song here or there. These often go on for hours and can get quite rowdy as the crowd size increases. Face painting is another common tradition. Ladies and men alike paint their faces to look like calaveras (sugar skulls). It’s common for women to braid flowers into their hair and dress in bright dresses. Finally, Pan De Muerto (Bread of the dead) is baked and eaten. The exact origins of the bread are unknown, but it is said to be a symbolic stand in for a idol’s sacrifice. The round shape of the bread represents the body, the cross and round decorations on the top represent the skull and bones, and the red sugar is said to represent the blood. The bread itself has a light cinnamon flavor and is usually enjoyed at breakfast with coffee. All in all, Día de Los Muertos is easily my favorite fall holiday. It has the fun elements of Halloween with a deep significance and rich cultural roots. Between the altars, breads, foods, and parties, it’s easy to see why it’s growing so quickly in popularity. Commercialization of Halloween in the US In the United States, the epitome of what "melting pot" culture refers to is the holiday of Halloween. It's a blending of pagan and religious beliefs, rituals, and traditions from all people living in America. Halloween is recognized nationally on October 31st, also known as All Hallow's Eve to precede All Hallows Day or All Saints Day on November 1st. Jack-O-Lanterns derive from the carved vegetable lanterns that Celts would make during Samhain to light the way for good spirits while a bonfire was meant to keep away evil ones. For many children in the US, carving their own Jack-O-Lantern is a rite of childhood and there are national pumpkin carving contests where artists create beautiful works of art in pumpkins ranging from the size of your hand to one thousand (1,000) pound behemoth pumpkins. In the 1800's is when the large influx of immigrants from Europe changed the way Halloween was celebrated into the more modern version that happens today. They brought over many games synonymous with this time of the year such as bobbing for apples, telling ghost stories, and general mischief and pranks that sometimes turned into vandalism and crime. Something else that began to become a widespread activity around Halloween was children dressing up in costumes and going door-to-door for more lighthearted fun. This was the early version of "Trick-or-Treat" that kids still do today. It has been called both "Beggar's Night" and "Trick-or-Treat Night," and it often does not fall on the actual day of Halloween, as cities and towns typically schedule it sometime during the week of Halloween instead. Children dress up in costumes (and sometimes so do the parents!) and go door-to-door telling jokes and getting candy and snacks in return for a few hours the night of the event. This commercialization and handing of candy out to kids means that US candy companies jumped on the potential profits to be made during this holiday. Many companies release specially shaped or designed packaging such as adding pumpkins, bats, and skeletons and the colors to purples, blacks, and oranges. Decorating companies also leapt at the chance for profit as well, creating all sorts of Halloween-themed decorations from glittery foam pumpkins to giant inflatable ghosts to put in the front yard. There are often contests in neighborhoods for best decorated home and (unofficial) best house to give out candy -- this often is the house that handed out king-size candy bars every year. With this decorating intensity, another thing that happens during Halloween-time in the US is the idea of Haunted Houses. These are often run by local municipalities, companies, or even on the grounds of theme parks like Universal Studios and Disneyland. The main objective of these places are to scare the living daylights out of everyone who passes through, including small children and parents. Some places even require waivers due to a possibility of being hurt and to allow the actors inside to be able to touch you as part of their act to scare you more. Often times there is a small charge to get in, as it helps pay for the decorating of the place and cost to run electricity and other things while the Haunted House is in operation. Sometimes though, places will simply ask for a donation of any amount to get in, or if the Haunted House is being put on to support a local food bank or similar community center, they will ask for canned food or other types of donations. No matter the cost of entry though, the main object of Haunted Houses is simply to scare those who pass through and to give them a good show while they are there. While the holiday of Halloween stems from a wonderful mixing of religious and cultural traditions that used to center around the end of harvest season and a way to celebrate before the start of November, today it has become a much more gaudy, silly, and also scary holiday for those who live in the US. Trick-or-Treating is still fun as adults for many people, and Haunted Houses may be an annual family and friends event for others. No matter how we celebrate Halloween in the US, it's a fun holiday filled with delicious candy and fun decorations for all to enjoy. The Best Month of the Year For me, October brings with it a number of wonderful things. First, it's the cooler weather -- a nice relief from the hot summer. With the cooler weather, of course, comes the annual changing of the leaves! The trees trade their once lush green to a vibrant display of reds, oranges, yellows, and browns. Even after they shed their colorful cloaks, it only means more fun (by way of raking them up into a pile and jumping into them, of course). It feels almost as if those fast and carefree days of summer slow into a tranquil and more reliable tempo. Plus, pumpkin and apple-flavored everything hits the shelves in mass quantities, which are always exceptionally fun to explore. And the decorations go up! Much like with the winter holidays, colorful lights line the streets. Except these lights are brightly golden, green, red, and cheerful. These lights come in ghoulish arrangements, and where a snowman might be in a few months, a life-sized mechanical werewolf can be seen. People string cobwebs, hang skeletons, place pumpkins, and create replicas of cemeteries, where you might find a hand of a zombie plunging through the earth to snatch an unexpecting passerby. It's the time of year where people actively seek to frighten themselves (and others). Scary movies are featured (like the new Halloween movie releasing this month). The lines for Haunted Houses are incredibly long but so worth the wait, as you enter your own personal horror flick, waiting to be chased by a masked man in a chainsaw or jump-scared by a witch hiding behind a door. Some people even create miniature Haunted Hallways for the kiddos to traverse while out trick-or-treating -- for only the bravest will be able to pass through and earn themselves a full-sized candy bar! But it's not only the frights that can attract people to this month. Around here, it's also Harvest Season. Fruits and vegetables are reaching full size and ample ripeness. The reddest of apples, the most golden gourds, and the juiciest tomatoes are all ready to be picked. This is truly when the Farmer's Markets thrive, offering a vast rainbow of colors and shapes to the population. Hayrides and corn mazes are in season, too. If you've never been to a corn maze, it's a fun little adventure that I highly recommend. It's even more fun when you go at dusk, knowing that you'll be stuck in there well after-dark and things feel slightly more spooky than they do during the daytime. People throw parties and dress in costumes! You haven't lived until you've eaten meatloaf and sausage links meant to replicate human organs . So go ahead and embrace your weirdo, spooky self this month (I know I will be), as it's the only month that it's really publicly acceptable to do so . Most of all, this month brings will it all kinds of nostalgic activities with my family. From trick-or-treating (which I now get to do with my daughter), to Cupcake Wars (coming soon!), to group-decorating, parties, apple-picking, pumpkin-picking, potato-picking, and canning/jaring/baking all the things I've grown in my garden, October truly is my favorite month. Spooky Myths and Legends From Around the Globe Halloween has always been notorious for its myths and legends, but frightening tales are not always season-exclusive! Here are some favorite tales from around the world! As a fair warning, make sure to read these with all the lights on and your favorite plushies to keep you safe -- it's about to get spooky in here! The Blood Countess [Hungary] This tale is interwoven with early myths of vampirism, about a Hungarian Noblewoman named Countess Erzsébet Báthory de Ecsed (also known as the Blood Countess). To cut a long and twisted story short, the Countess was known (and convicted) for murdering females to bath in their blood, believing that this was the answer to eternal youth. The Countess was convicted of around 80 murders, but testimonies and eyewitness accounts have boosted numbers into the 600s, and apparently, attendants of her estate estimated that between 100 and 200 bodies were removed from the premises at the time of her conviction. La Llorona (The Weeping Woman] [Mexico] Legend has it that La Llorona is the spiritual remains of a mother who was accused of drowning her children in the local river. Her ghost haunts rivers and creeks alike [specifically the Sante Fe and offshoots of the River], searching for children to drag into the watery depths. Recipient of the title, The Weeping Woman, she is always reported to be in a grievous state of crying when spotted. Children are warned not to venture out after dark, in fear that La Lorona will catch them. While some tales say that she will only take children, others claim that she will take pretty much anyone. It's probably best, however, to steer clear of a weeping woman in white if you're ever out near the Santa Fe after dark. Gjenganger [Scandinavia] The gjenganger is a particular type of spirit that has an actual physical entity about it -- it is completely corporeal. As is said for most unhappy ghosts, it is said to be the spiritual remains of someone who has some unfinished business in their life and often were met with a violent end. Gjenganger seem to target the family and friends of the deceased person and can inflict actual damage (even kill) as they have a physical 'body' and can interact on the physical plane. However, a gjenganger will not brutally attack anyone. Instead, they spread pestilence and plague by "pinching" their victims, which causes a necrosis that will slowly kill the person infected. This pinch is known as dødningeknip or the dead man's pinch. Like other mythological entities, holy symbols seem to ward them off, and there are also precautions in place that can be done to prevent a loved one from rising as a gjenganger. To mean, they seem to be some cross of spirit, zombie, and vampire, which is pretty cool (and absolutely terrifying). The Man-Eating Tree [Madagascar] A German explorer and botanist by the name of Karl Leche wrote a letter in 1874 (which soon went on to be published in journals and newspapers), detailing his discovery of a man-eating tree. Of course, to a botanist, this was an astounding discovery. The tree was described as having a thick, bulging trunk (shaped similarly to a pineapple), and had huge three-foot-wide leaves covered in tiny hooks. With a sweet and tempting nectar in the plant's center and protruding tendrils that stood taller than a full-grown man, the plant was a spectacle of curiosity. Tale has it that Leche bore witness as one of the locals drank from the nectar, who was then captured by the tendrils and the giant leaves closed around them. Leche wrote that after 10 days, the tree unfurled its leaves once more, and where was once a person then lay a skeleton -- just bone. While the tree's existence or the validity of Leche's letter have neither been proven or disproven, if you're ever out wandering the jungles of Madagascar and happen upon a giant, frightening plant, it's probably best not to drink from it. Which would you prefer to tango with -- the Man-Eating Tree or the Whomping Willow? The Girl in the Bathroom [Japan] Nope, she's not named Myrtle, though she does like to haunt the girl's bathroom of one particular Japanese school. Legend has it that if you go to the third stall of the third floor's girl's bathroom and knock three times while reciting the girl's name (Hanako) when you open the door, she'll be there. I've found two versions of what happens at this point. The first is that you'll be grabbed by one of her bloodied hands, and the second is that she appears in the form of a giant lizard, which will eat you. Either way, it's probably best not to do it (especially if there's a chance you're going to be devoured by a lizard). And, apparently, she's not the only ghost known to haunt public bathrooms in Japan! What are some of your favorite myths and urban legends? We'd love to know! In the spirit of the season, we would like to present some of our favorite Dark/Horror Fic Recs (with some tasty treats for the authors)! Rinse and Repeat [Mature] by @VaguelyCreativeName Project Azkaban [Mature] by @Unwritten Curse Sisyphus [Mature] by @ShadowRose China Doll [Mature] by @forever_dreaming Antebellum [Mature] by @Aphoride Beyond the Veil and into the River of Death [Mature] by @pookha The Brother's Three [Mature] by @Chelts-rhj Crouching Parasite, Deathly Agenda [Mature] by @AbraxanUnicorn Out of the Shadows [Mature] by @dirigibleplums Hate [M] by @abhorsen. Non-Omnis Moriar - Not All of Me Shall Die [Mature] by @Celtic_Dreamer7 Joy [Mature] by @scooterbug8515 Misconstrued [Mature] by @Diogenissa All Hallow's Eve by @MadiMalfoy OooooOOOooOOOoooo! That's a wrap, folks! We would like to give a huge shoutout to @TreacleTart for providing us with the Dias de Los Muertos piece as well as those lovely pictures! We hope you have a wonderful and safe month, full of excitement, love, and spooks! >3 _________________________ credits: articles: Jewish Festivities in October - Emma Dias de Los Muertos with Photos - Kaitlin Commercialization of Halloween in the US - Madi Spooky Myths | Worldwide Festivities | Fic Recs - Rumpels Header/Divider | Layout Fic Rec Graphics - Rumpels
  6. Felpata_Lupin

    12 months of positivity - August and September

    I'm getting so bad at these... Anyway, I'm back!!! August has been as great as I expected it to be (even if I wasn't really good to record it here... too busy enjoying it in RL... ) and September has seen a lot of Jimmy progress, as well as a very special visit... But I'll just go with the actual post, now. AUGUST 2018 1 - The month of the holidays!!! The day has been intense but that's a good thing because at least I didn't have time to get bored. And it's always nice to work in time with music. 4 - Lovely night with friends, Gio's anecdotes which (almost) never tire... Meeting up with the usual suspects and feeling like at home. 6 - Just got home after a happy hour with the colleagues. Third evening out in a row, something that hasn't happened in... practically ever? Busy day at work, but not too much (much better than get bored, anyway). And tomorrow it's the last day!!! 7 - Officially on holiday!!! Waking up with an unexpected review, chatting with Renee (knowing that we'll meet in person in a week), getting done small things that had been on my to-do list for ages. 19 - The most beautiful holiday ever! Extremely happy and grateful for the lovely days spent with Renee (and Anja, Sian and Val, obviously). I already can't wait for the next HPFT meet-up. 26 - An unexpected postcard in the mail (okay, maybe that was 3 days ago...), planning Richard's arrival and that wonderful feeling of updating Jimmy after ages! Impatient to start the new chapter... 27 - Nothing is more satisfactory than win a strenuous (and apparently hopeless) fight with technology! And now finally I can sleep in peace... 31 - The quiet of Friday night (after an intense working week), a review swap, a chat with friends, a laugh at the office and cutlets for dinner. And also August is gone... and what a great month it's been! SEPTEMBER 2018 1 - A lovely night with friends, the satisfaction of writing a new chapter (even if a very future one...), an unexpected meeting with someone I hadn't seen in a while, finishing the small missions of the day. 2 - Productive day, I've finally caught up with my review requests... and I've discovered some very interesting story in the meantime... proud of myself. 3 - The joy of getting inspired... and who knows, maybe chapter 26 is not so much of a mirage anymore... 5 - Emma reprimanding Jimmy. Pizza at Chiara's and then watching together To all the boys I've loved before. Cough and a bit of boredom at work aside, a good day. 9 - When internet suprise you and you find again that girl you had a correspondance with 20 years before... not to say... unanswered review count is finally back to 0??? 12 - Beautiful evening with the Armundine (including gelato, obviously). Tired but happy. And in two days Richard is arriving! 14 - Cooking for a friend. A walk and a good icecream in company. The weekend finally arrived. Just happy that Richard is here. 16 - The best part of weddings? Dancing until your legs can't hold you anymore. And I've adored each minute of this weekend with Richard. 21 - Friday night is always the best moment of the week... especially when you can find some time to relax and read. 22 - Productive day (at least HPFT-wise) and evening spent dancing with the music of the concert under my house... I'm walking on sunshine! 26 - Sharing the draft of a new chapter with my preferred betas and finding myself discussing the misteries of languages with Emma. And meanwhile planning the trip to Iceland with Richard... 29 - Super productive Saturday: I did the laudry and the ironing, cleaned the floors and the kitchen, left reviews, went grocery shopping, went for a bike ride and bought a brand new pair of flamenco shoes! Extremely satisfied of myself! Credits/translations/explainations: Gio is Giordano, one of my Uni friends, who always has some hilarious fact to recount. Renee, Anja, Sian and Val I don't think need any introduction. Neither does Emma, I'm quite sure Richard is a friend from England who's spent a few days at my place for a common friend's wedding. It is possible that I might like him as more than a friend, but... time will tell, I guess? Chiara is my best friend (yes, we have the same name... ) To All the Boys I've Loved Before is a film directed by Susan Johnson, released by Netflix on August 17, 2018 and based on Jenny Han’s 2014 novel of the same name. The Armundine are my colleagues. Actually, not my colleagues but some girls from another consultant society (the word Armundine, which is my invention, comes from the name of their society) who work in the same openspace as my team. I wouldn't say that we are friends, but we do get along nicely and we have gone out a couple of times. I'm walking on sunshine is a lyric from Walking on Sunshine, 1983 song written by Kimberley Rew for Katrina and the Waves And that's all, folks! Love and snowball hugs and see you at the end of October!
  7. Renacerá

    September, I Love You

    Aw, Renee. You're so sweet. Thank you so much for your support. I really appreciate it, and I'll definitely let you know if I need to talk in the future.
  8. MuggleMaybe

    September, I Love You

    Oh, Emily. I'm sorry everything feels so unsettled right now. I know it's hard, but try not to have such high demands for yourself. It makes total sense to feel the way you do with everything going on politically and in your life. I mean, getting engaged and moving to NYC are big changes! I'm proud of you for all the big steps you're taking in life! I hope you will be nice to yourself. (hug) Honestly, I've had a similar time over the past month - and i've had much less on my plate than you have, from the sound of things! If you ever need to talk, i'm always here for you
  9. FawkesyLady

    Chuffed

    My major work in progress, Time Immemorial (M) has been nominated for a Marauder's Medal for best work in progress through the Shrieking Shack Society group on Facebook. There are so many good stories alongside it, I'm feeling very thankful. I've honestly already won just by being nominated. Anyone interested in checking it out can see the full list of nominations with links where available, or if so inclined anyone can cast a vote. There are some of my favourite Marauder works up there so it is a nice list if you are looking for something to read that's been published or updated this year. I haven't cross-posted TI here yet because frankly it is a monster 56 chapters and running, but it is on ffn and ao3. The gist of the story is that Hermione experiences what is called a dissociative fugue after the Battle of Hogwarts and happens to have a Time Turner on her. She lands, unconscious and without any knowledge of who she is or from where or when. It just so happens that she lands in 1976, and Severus Snape had a particularly bad night as well. I've rated it M because there's some pretty intense mental stuff going on, and there's some bad words that would fall under hate speech here. There may be sexy times later, but so far not more than smooching. I like my burns reaaaaaal slow. Ta!
  10. Renacerá

    September, I Love You

    Were I to live in an endless September... September has always been my favorite month. It signals the end of summer and the beginning of fall—my favorite season. The weather cools down, leaves start to turn, and there's this transitional feeling in the air that I love more than anything. But this September felt somewhat different. It was a busy one for me, and those "transitions" I mentioned felt more monumental than in years past. I finished my stay in Florida—the best summer I've ever had, spent with my grandpa. My fiancé and I found our new apartment. We moved to NYC. My birthday passed. And suddenly...suddenly the world feels so huge and terrifying, all over again. I don't know how to describe the feeling I've been having the last week or so, but there's this weight on me right now that I haven't felt in a long time. I've considered myself pretty independent and brave and strong...but now I'm in one of the biggest cities in the world, and I'm job searching, and I'm planning a wedding, and...and I really just want to curl up under my blankets and hide until I feel capable again, which for some reason feels like it's never going to happen. The news lately has been bringing my mental health into a bad place. My anxiety is really bad, and my depression has been swinging all over the place. I've been sleeping way too much and balancing on a razor's edge of having a stress-related breakdown, and somehow I'm expected to still be a functioning adult through all of this. I promised myself I would write in September. It's the same promise I made to myself in August. And July. And June. And yet...I've basically written nothing for months. It's really discouraging me, and I know I'd feel better if I wrote even one tiny thing...but the motivation just hasn't been there. It doesn't help that my to-do list gets longer and longer every day, and I can't seem to keep up with it all. My fiancé just left town until Friday, so I'm alone with our kitty-baby in an apartment that doesn't yet feel like home, surrounded by boxes, with the sounds of a unfamiliar city out our window. I just feel like the rug has been torn out from under me, and I'm trying so hard to regain my footing before I come crashing down. Wish me luck in October. Maybe as the weather cools off, so will this burning feeling of dread. #drama #adulting #hashtags
  11. adorably cute

    In the Spotlight | September 2018

    This blog post is lovely; Emma, that header is incredible! Honestly, Abby's interview is awesome and even though I'd never really though about it before, it's totally spot on with everything I know about her. A+, Abby I've been thinking about this dilemma for days and have decided I want the top half of a human and the bottom half of a fish--I've always wanted to be a mermaid and this can fulfill that dream
  12. Unwritten Curse

    Anything But Harry Challenge Results

    First, if you do happen to read Scythe, please PM me so we can talk about it! The third book of the series isn't out yet and I am impatiently dreaming up theories about how the cliffhanger is resolved. Second, THANK YOU. Thanks for hosting this challenge because it forced me to write a story that I'd had in my head for quite some time. Also, thank you for the honor of first place! It's been a rough week for various reasons and seeing this really brightened my day. Genuinely. Congrats to all other winners!
  13. Chemical_Pixie

    In the Spotlight | September 2018

    Thank you, prefects, for putting together this blog post! The graphics are on point, and the interviews are so interesting. And I'm glad people are liking my poetry. It was so fun to write. As for the dilemma, this really is a dilemma! I've spent the past few days wondering what kind of hybrid I'd be... and I think I'd probably choose to look like an Egyptian god/dess with an animal head and a human body. I'd probably be something like goddess Bastet, a woman with a cat's head because I love cats so much. And they're mammals, and I can relate to them better than the other classes of animals.
  14. TidalDragon

    Dune by Frank Herbert

    I really enjoyed Dune, though I stopped after God Emperor. The Bene-Gesserit may be creepy, but I think we can all agree that fear is the mind-killer.
  15. scooterbug8515

    Anything But Harry Challenge Results

    Of course @potionspartner part of the joy of the read is to discover the fandom. The tale itself is a surprise twist and I love surprise twists.
  16. potionspartner

    Anything But Harry Challenge Results

    Thanks @scooterbug8515 for hosting the challenge and congratulations to all. The stories were awesome!. Also, thank you Carrie, for not telling the "fandom" of my story. I'm curious how long through the story it takes people to realize the setting and true story of the characters. BTW to readers, the story is from a strictly American fandom. Although you will understand the story as a whole, you probably won't get the jokes and references unless you've visited America a lot. . . except on Sundays.
  17. StarFeather

    Anything But Harry Challenge Results

    Thank you @scooterbug8515, for encouragement to members at hpft including me.
  18. Rumpelstiltskin

    Anything But Harry Challenge Results

    Yay! Congrats everyone!!!
  19. First off, I want to apologize to all participants of my challenge! I did not expect to take as long getting your stories read and judged. Life just swooped in like a hawk taking me off to do things that were not this challenge. However, I am back I am here and I am super impressed! Ya'll knocked my socks off with these wonderful stories. I revisited worlds I traveled to before with some of you and then others took me to new worlds or worlds of your own creation and it was brilliant. I am so thankful to everyone for participating. There were 10 entries and 9 participants. (Someone got eager and took advantage of multiple entries being allowed). The judging for this challenge was no easy task, and I highly recommend that people read these stories they are legit and even if you don't know the world you get enough to appreciate the story for what it is. So those not familiar with the universe explored in the stories take a chance learn about a new place - you may want to pick up a new book after the fanfic, I know I do! For the judging process I had a set number of points that could be earned with a set number of bonus points such as obscure fandom and OF (a bonus point I think everyone got) I judged on other things such as flow, form, details. and various other things important to the craft of story and the challenge. Of the entrants 6 out of 10 people met or exceeded the base score of 17. It made final counts very difficult. To be honest two people actually tied for 1st place and will both receive 5 review apiece. I thin thought about just then awarding a 3rd place as many professional competitions do but I could not do that as I would be remiss in not award our 3rd place winner for their fabulous work in meeting the challenge requirements. So we'll start with 3rd place and work forward to our dual winners. 3rd Place Revenge (M) by @StarFeather Kenny wrote a wonderful original fiction about a young person who is being bullied and sets things up wonderfully for what is to come which I suspect will be revenge based on the title. Anyone who has read anything by Kenny knows that he has a true artists heart and it was a pleasure to read this beautiful piece and feel right along with his character. I look forward to when you write more! As a reward, you get 1 additional review from me. Please let me know if you want something specific reviewed. 2nd Place We, Lawbreaking Citizens (M) by @Rumpelstiltskin This is another brilliant original fiction by Rumples that had me gripped from the get go. The story takes a look at a dystopic future where people take medication to eliminate the human 'diseases' of negative emotions. The side effect? You forget the previous day. Not only does Rumples present an intriguing world but she also presents compelling characters where a beautiful romantic relationship is being softly woven in. There are already 3 chapters up with more to come. I can't wait to know what happens next. (Please note I only judged the 1st 2 chapters as I did with all entries) As a reward you get 3 reviews, please let me know if you have a specific story/stories you want me to focus on. 1st Place Seven Deaths (M) by @Unwritten Curse & I have a Dream by @potionspartner I can't imagine two more dynamically different stories winning 1st place. Seven Deaths is a a fan fiction for Scythe and it is a book I very much want to look into if the fiction is anything to go by. This is a story set in a future where people are now immortal and to keep balance in the world there are those trained to be Scythe's to glean people from the world. It is an accepted practice and the deaths caused this way are minimal compared to how it was in the time of mortality. Love is forbidden for a Scythe and yet this story explores the forbidden romance between two of them and what that entails. Conversely, I have a Dream is a whole other creature. I would summarize this particular tale but to do so will rob any reader the joy of discovering the unique twist this story provided. This is almost original fiction but at the same time lightly references some fandoms. Honestly upon reading this story you'll know what I'm talking about and how the story cannot be summarized but indeed in comparison to Seven Deaths it is completely light hearted and maybe even a bit comedic. As a reward you both get 5 reviews each. Please let me know if there is a specific story or stories you would like me to focus on. Congrats again to all winners. Also fabulous work to everyone else. Ya'll made this judging process fun and difficult and did an awesome job too.
  20. starbuck

    Dune by Frank Herbert

    but...how could you not mention duncan idaho? he's actually the character that appears in all six of herbert's original dune novels (not counting the ones written by his son and kevin j. anderson). he's one of my favourite characters and dune (the original along with the prelude to dune series (house atreides, house harkonnen and house corrino) are some of my favourite books! while dune is fascinating to read, the bene gesserit are positively creepy and almost all knowing, and all the themes that are tackled are wonderfully touched upon in the original novel, i found it extremely hard to follow herbert's writing in his later novels where he branched out too much into philosophy for my science fiction lover-y self. it probably didn't help that i read them even before i started high school so some of the concepts he writes about were very hard to understand then (though, even now, older and wiser (lol!) i find some stuff hard to read). which is why i loved the prelude to dune series - it retains the science fiction without mixing too much philosophy into it (and lets be honest, i mean, the three books are wrought with political intrigue and feuds and i'm a big fan of those). (leaving this for the HC opener )
  21. Pixileanin

    Dune by Frank Herbert

    Once upon a time, I read most of the Dune books. I recall the difficulty in tracking all the world-terms, even in books 3-4, where I 'should' have known all the terminology by then, but didn't care enough to internalize it. I loved the fantasy aspects of the world. I loved reading the books when I read them. Even though I disliked the overly political tones in the plot, I still loved reading the books. They were interesting, fascinating, and drew me in. I don't remember details as much as I remember the feeling I had when reading them. But now, years and years (almost two decades) after reading these books, I come away with two strong memories: Frank Herbert cared way more about his world terms than I ever did. I can still hear Sting (the musician/actor who played Feyd-Rautha in the marginal movie version in 1984) saying, "I will kill him!" every time Frank Herbert's name is mentioned in any setting. Poor guy. His books were better than that. Okay, there are actually three. The worms. I thought those things were way cool.
  22. nott theodore

    In the Spotlight | September 2018

    This issue of In the Spotlight was awesome! The graphics were so pretty I love reading the interviews, too - especially Abby's poetical responses! I think if I had to be half animal/half human, I'd have the top half of a human and the bottom half of a Hippogriff, maybe? I feel like my temperament probably suits Hippogriffs, and it'd be awesome to be able to fly
  23. MadiMalfoy

    Dune by Frank Herbert

    Dune by Frank Herbert Science Fiction | T | 4.8 stars One of the first books I read this summer was Dune by Frank Herbert. Yes, I know, it was published back in 1965 but it's gotten popular again (I just happened to find it in Half-Price Books and picked it up and thought it sounded cool.) I literally could barely put this book down for longer than the time it took to eat meals and do required activities this summer, it was just that much of a page-turner that kept me up at night. This book has actually stood the test of time extremely well. The novel takes place in a foreign universe with very different planets but still has the echoes of modern-day capitalism throughout mixed with medieval titles like "Lord" and "Lady" because of the feudal setup of this futuristic world. The book opens on Duke Leto Atreides of House Atreides being suspected as a threat to the emperor because he has favor with a majority of the other Great Houses, and is therefore sent to the desert planet Arrakis, which is controlled by their feuding rivals House Harkonnen. Arrakis is also the only planet that naturally produces the mind-enhancing spice, melange, which fuels higher-order thinking in all those that consume it. Arrakis is also home to sandworms and the native folk called Fremen, whom Leto quickly allies himself with. There is a larger plot for Leto's son, Paul Atreides, whose mother, Lady Jessica, subscribes to the Bene Gesserit way. They wished to produce a male Bene Gesserit who could see the future in time and space, called the Kwisatz Haderach, whom Lady Jessica believes Paul can become. As the stakes get ever higher for the Atreides family as the Harkonnens continue attempting to end their feud by ending the Atreides' lives, Paul has to make some significant decisions that could potentially affect the future of the entire planet of Arrakis. Taking away the "new world" aspect, Dune is a pure science fiction novel done extremely well and it has also aged very well in the 53 years since its first publication in 1965. While Frank Herbert clearly wants you to feel for the Atreides family and the Fremen, it's hard not to have empathy and understanding for where the Harkonnen family is coming from, along with some of the plot twists that occur throughout the novel. The only detractor that I found with this story is that it sometimes got hard to follow with the Arrakis-specific terminology because of reading too quickly and not fully understanding the meanings of various words. Also, there could possibly have been a bit more exposition in setting up this entirely new world system because it's something brand new to all of us readers. A big bonus is that Frank wrote 5 more books for this series, so Paul's story doesn't end at the end of Dune, but is continued on in several following books. At the end of the day, this is such a great, fairly quick read and there's so much potential to be had with the rest of the books in the series, so I'd highly recommend this book to any science fiction lover.
  24. facingthenorthwind

    In the Spotlight | September 2018

    Thank you!!!! It was Baby's First Use Of Stock and imo i think it went quite well.
  25. starbuck

    In the Spotlight | September 2018

    lol abby's interview was really....poetic monthly dilemma - i'd be half a thestral? is that a thing? the lower half so i'd have wings (and like...fly at supersonic speeds) and i think it'd be cool to scare people who haven't seen anyone die by walking around and them seeing only the top/human part of me.
  26. beyond the rain

    In the Spotlight | September 2018

    Lovely read guys, also @facingthenorthwind - I love that header!!!! So pretty!!
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