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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/22/2018 in all areas

  1. 18 points
    Everyone, it's Pride Month! This month, the prefects wanted to celebrate as many stories (written by both published authors and writers from our very own archives!) featuring queer characters as possible. These stories should really be featured all year, but we figured Pride Month was a good time to list our favorites. We also wanted to try something slightly different this month, where we asked queer members of HPFT to write their own personal stories, and we want to thank you guys so, so much for submitting them. If you still want to write a piece for our blog post, just PM @just.a.willow.tree and we can always edit it into the post! Also, quick shoutout to HPFT, because today's HPFT's birthday! This community has been amazing, and a huge thank you to all the staffers who make it happen. <3 Without further ado, here are our recs (featuring commentary from the prefect that rec'd them)! All stories are listed alphabetically by title. There are so many amazing, amazing books out there about queer characters, and since we're a writing community, we thought we'd share these first. This barely scratches the surface of LGBTQA+ stories, but it's definitely a good starting point. And these books are all amazing and meaningful, we can't recommend them enough! (All book links are to Goodreads, so the M rating isn't necessarily for the book but for the comments within the Goodreads sections.) A Boy Worth Knowing (M) by Jennifer Cosgrove (rec'd by Claire) This is the absolute cutest progression of a relationship I have ever read. I love that Nate’s attraction to James is never played as the reason he’s isolated himself and their relationship is built on a genuine friendship that would make anyone happy. The Abyss Surrounds Us (M) by Emily Skrutskie (rec'd by Claire) Sea monsters and lesbian pirates. Do I need to say much more?? (Though if I’m being honest, the queer storyline is extremely secondary to the sea monster and pirates storyline but both are still amazing). Autoboyography (M) by Christina Lauren (rec'd by Claire) Have you ever changed the name of a character halfway through a book and just thought “I’ll just do a find and replace later, it’ll be fine”? Reading this book might make you think twice about that And not only that, but Lauren weaves together so many different issues seamless and will have you rooting for ___ from the very beginning. History is All You Left Me (M) by Adam Silvera (rec'd by Claire) Not only is this book an emotional rollercoaster, it is also a masterclass in narrative structure. The story is told non-linearly through two different time periods and will have you begging for more from the first page. If I Was Your Girl (M) by Meredith Russo (rec'd by Claire) Listen, this book grabs you right in the heart and refuses to let go. I read this almost six months ago and it still hits me just as hard as it did then. All of the characters are so raw and real and I promise that you will fall in love with all of them...well, almost all (Just a heads up that this book does deal with some very serious topics and themes so be aware if you do choose to read it.) Leah on the Offbeat (M) by Becky Albertalli (rec'd by Claire) I say this with the utmost love and respect--this is the fanfiction sequel of your dreams. Leah is just as amazingly perfect as she is in Simon and where else can you get a mainstream book with a fat bi protagonist??? Also, no spoilers but...road trip AU of my dreams. Let's Talk About Love (M) by Claire Kann (rec'd by Claire) I can honestly say that I have never read a book with an ace protagonist, much less a black bi ace protagonist. While I’m not necessarily recommending this for the writing, as someone on the ace spectrum it is a breath of fresh air to read a book and be able to say “yes, I know what that feels like.” More Happy Than Not (M) by Adam Silvera (rec'd by Claire) Do you like sci-fi? Do you like plot twists? Do you like crying non-stop for days because Adam Silvera ripped your heart out yet again? Then this is the book for you! I can’t recommend this highly enough. Adam is a genius when it comes to building up tension and foreshadowing and you will be gasping out loud when you come to the big reveal! Openly Straight (M) by Bill Konigsberg (rec'd by Claire) I’ll be honest, I was hesitant about this book when I first picked it up, but I ended up loving it dearly! It’s a super interesting take on the coming out story and though I wanted to smack Rafe upside the head a few times, his story and Ben’s are ones that carry a lot of weight. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (M) by Becky Albertalli (rec'd by Claire) I don’t know what I can say about this book that hasn’t already been said a million times before. Please please please go read it. They Both Die at the End (M) by Adam Silvera (rec'd by Claire) Like all of Adam’s books, this will have you ugly crying in bed at 3am because you just can’t put it down. He weaves together so many narratives that will have you gasping in awe as you realize how they all fit in. Our very own authors are so talented, so how could we not rec as many as we could? Since a lot of you have read the more well-known fics with queer characters already, we aimed to show you our favorites that you may not have yet read. Abby Freaking Suso by clairevergreen/@clevernotbrilliant [Simon] (rec'd by Rumpels) A story about slowly progressing desire and self-realization, Abby Freaking Suso is wonderfully sarcastic and all-around charming. Leah’s characterization is handled in such a brilliant way and I love how slowly the relationship changed over time to become absolutely everything. Dreams of Glass (M) by @nott theodore [HP] (rec'd by Rumpels) Like all of Sian’s work, this is beautifully written (and I mean stunning, I have no idea how to write imagery quite like this). I’ve always been a sucker for Gellert/Albus but this one had me shook. The amount of feelings evoked from this piece is incredible and I highly, highly, highly recommend this. Eyes Like Skies by @FireOpal [HP] (rec'd by Eva) Dominique, in this story, speaks to her love Imogen, and everything about this just reads as a beautiful, poetic love letter. It feels so personal, and really, that’s such an amazing thing to accomplish in writing fic. Half Dead by @facingthenorthwind [HP] (rec'd by Rumpels) This is the sequel to two certainties, which if you haven’t read that emotional rollercoaster, you definitely should, (see also: My poor, poor heart, the Sequel.) It’s a wonderful continuation of two certainties and I can’t imagine a way to possibly make this writing better. On top of being extremely well-written, it’s so much fun to read and I absolutely ADORED it. Careful though, it’ll continue to break your heart in the best way. in the dawn, we shall enter the splendid cities. (M) by @Aphoride [Les Mis] (rec'd by Eva) As we all know, Laura is a complete goddess at descriptions. The beauty with which she paints each individual scene, and the development of the relationship between Grantaire and Enjolras, is just absolutely breathtaking. This is not a romance in the typical sense, but it is well, well, well worth a read. Life Reflected in Death (M) by M C Crocker/@scooterbug8515 [HP] (rec'd by Rumpels) Insta-headcanon material. This does some wonderful character exploration on Regulus Black in the most brutally devastating way. It reveals much more about Regulus than I typically see explored and shows how much things like his sexuality have impacted him in his life. Lingering by @banshee [Simon] (rec'd by Eva) So I’m not including a summary here because if you haven’t yet read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, you’re going to get spoiled. So, go and read Simon, and then come back to this fic, because it’s like Julie pulled these characters straight from the book. They’re adorable and so relatable, and their dialogue is everything. Peppermint (M) by @sapphicsunrise [HP] (rec'd by Eva) This Ginny/Luna one-shot is short and adorable. Every second is filled with something that can warm your heart (including a hilarious appearance from the most canon non-canon duo, Seamus and Dean), and just watching Ginny and Luna drifting closer together will make your day. Something (M) by @Chelts-rhj [HP] (rec'd by Rumpels) Let’s be honest, when am I not impressed by this author’s writing? Something is a beautifully written piece about Dominique Weasley and a woman she positively adores. It tackles the heavy topic of eating disorders and the struggle Dominique faces while watching that woman struggle. Everything about this is handled so well and I cannot get over how deeply this piece moved me. Stolen Away (M) by @MegGonagall [HP] (rec'd by Eva) What I absolutely adore about this fic is how it’s told from fugitive Sirius Black’s perspective. He remembers the joy and emotion from his past with Remus, and it’s that longing that really makes this fic so good. Meg did an amazing job with this! Unstoppable by @sihaya [HP] (rec'd by Eva) Short and sweet, this one-shot shows a short moment in the lives of Albus and Scorpius as they deliberate coming out to their families, and there’s just so much hope and honesty in these 740 words that you can’t help but feel touched. Until the End of the World by @Stella Blue [Legend of Korra] (rec'd by Eva) Fans of Legend of Korra, this is just for you. (However, I read this even though I’ve never watched the series, and I still loved it.) Every moment of this fic is pure fluff and happy, magical goodness, and you will be rewarded with depictions of a gorgeous world and a gorgeous couple. Your Way of Living (M) by @Dojh167 [HP] (rec'd by Eva) If you’ve ever read Sam’s beautiful When I Go Out With You, you will love this short one-shot that details Susan’s moments where she first embraces herself as a poly person. (It features Luna, too!) And even if you haven’t read WIGOWY, you should read this one-shot anyway. It’s such a beautiful, eye-opening look at polyamory. And of course there are other stories that we want to recommend that may not fall under books or fics! Check, Please! (M for language) [comic] (rec'd by Eva) Eric Bittle is guaranteed to brighten up your day, with his abundant usage of Southern colloquialisms and his adorable obsession with baking, as he navigates being on a men’s hockey team (despite being scared to death of…bumping into other people). This story, while not perfect, is heartwarming and honest and true, with bright and beautiful graphics, and you will not regret reading this! (I binged this all at 3 a.m., if that accounts for anything. ) Fallout Series [video games] (rec'd by Rumpels) Many video games have been increasingly adding LGBTQA+ characters and integrating player-led romances. Games in the Fallout series, a series of post-apocalyptic action role-playing games, have always been leading the way with this inclusivity. Fallout (1997) was one of the first major releases to feature same-sex marriage in a video game. As far as player-led romances go, the Fallout series have always left sexuality choices open to the players preference. And while there are a lot of stories to be told as there are many different character outcomes based on player interaction, let me just tell you one of my most recent. In Fallout 4, one of the companions available to your character (to travel with you) is a spunky, stubborn, and fabulous NPC character named Piper. NPCs nerby will either like or dislike your decisions based on the decisions you make throughout the game, and you build a rapport with these characters. Long-story-short, my [female] game character winds up in some sort of relationship with this character. The only problem is that if I choose a different companion at this point, Piper extremely dislikes that which puts me in a predicament when it comes to finishing side-quests that require other companions. We wanted to end this blog post with your personal stories. Thank you so, so much to everyone who sent one in, it means a lot to us! And quick reminder that if you still want to write a piece, you can. <3 @facingthenorthwind @just.a.willow.tree @MalfoysAngel @MuggleMaybe @scooterbug8515 --- That's it for today's post! We hope you enjoyed reading through it, and that perhaps you'll even pick up one of the rec'd stories or two. We just want you guys to know that you are loved, and that you are safe here, and that you're all amazing. Keep being you, guys. We're going to sign off for now! Thank you for reading. <3 - The Prefects recs by clevernotbrilliant, just.a.willow.tree, Rumpelstiltskin personal stories by just.a.willow.tree, MalfoysAngel, MuggleMaybe, scooterbug8515 graphics by just.a.willow.tree
  2. 15 points
    Content warning for mention of suicide Click the spoiler tag to read the post. I don't talk about suicide in any depth, but I do mention it in the broader context of depression and little things individuals can do to help people who are depressed. I also want to mention that we all have shit to grapple with; these are just things I wanted to mention that could be good to do if you can do them. I'm not in any way advocating giving more of yourself than you want and/or are able to give; once it starts to take a toll on you, it's not a little thing for you anymore, either.
  3. 13 points
    A year ago today, I came out of the closet – or rather, my mother shattered the closet I didn't even realise had been there. I've been debating all day whether I actually wanted to write about and share my journey since then, but introspection is generally a good idea, so. Here we go. (Thank you Anja and Sian for holding my hand.) In December 2016, I told my parents I wanted to dye my hair blue. This elicited no reaction, so I upped the stakes by telling them I also wanted a tattoo, and when that did nothing, I blurted "oh, and I like girls too!" Much like the previous two statements, all that got me was "that's nice, dear, good for you". My family's not conservative politically, but I suppose we could be described as rather traditional – we were all raised Catholic (faith'll be a blog post for another time, because hoo boy is there a lot to unpack there too), and there are Standards To Be Upheld Because You Belong To A Lineage that have been drilled into me for over two decades. I'm the eldest of my siblings, and as any older sibling will know, that tends to add a load of pressure because you're expected to be the youth's reference point. So, when I first mentioned that I liked girls that year, I thought I was joking. There was no way I was actually bisexual, was I? It wasn't right, wasn't proper, not for me at least – I have zero issues with anyone else's sexuality, I just personally happened to be straight. Ha, ha. For some reason I kept making allusions to bisexuality (that I kept mentioning the possibility really should've been my first clue that I probably wasn't quite as straight as I thought), most likely as a way to test the waters. Flash forward to June 3rd 2017, where mum is reading a magazine and talking about the actor on the cover to dad and I. Mum: I always thought he was like you, Val, at wind and at sails (this is a direct translation from French, but the original version still doesn't make any form of sense) Me: what does that mean? Mum: it means he's bi. And on went the conversation about the actor in question, while I quietly proceeded to have an existential crisis on the couch. My mum had, for all intents and purposes, taken a rocket launcher to the closet I hadn't even realised was there, let alone that I was standing in: hearing her say "he's like you, bisexual" made me realise that oh, yes, yes I am bisexual, that's what's been going on in my head for the past months. The fact that there's no term to accurately capture what happened during this conversation bothers me: I didn't come out to her nor did she out me, technically, because you don't out people to themselves, do you? My dad, however, required a proper coming out, and that didn't go quite so well. He made a joke about me bringing a woman home in front of a (conservative) friend, so I confronted him about it and asked him to watch his mouth because I wasn't yelling about it to the general public yet. Dad, who thought he was being funny, hadn't been privy to my existential crisis a few days before, didn't realise I was serious, and wasn't too happy that I'd fight him on this. He then went through every item on the 'What Not To Ask A Bisexual Person 101' list, most notably "well at some point you'll have to choose" (no) and "if you marry a man, does that make you straight?" ("no, dad, I'm not gay if in a relationship with a woman and straight if with a man, I'm just bi all the time"), and was generally super uncomfortable with the entire thing. Pro tip: have these conversations in the car: whoever you're talking to can't run away. (Admittedly, neither can you.) My sister, much younger than I, was the next person I told, and for a kid who goes to private Catholic school and is surrounded by bigots, her reaction was amazing. She told me she was proud of me for telling her, but I still think I have more reasons to be proud of her because she apparently argues with anyone who expresses a homophobic opinion. My brother was surprised, because that boy is blind as a bat and hadn't seen a thing coming, and disappointed that I hadn't told him first. Honestly, that boy. Now (phew, that was long, I'd apologise for the word vomit but I simply can't not talk in circles), where do I stand a year later? I still struggle, sometimes, with the bisexual label. But as a friend once told me, bisexuality is still valid even if it's not 50/50 attraction to two genders. Including myself under the LGBTQ+ umbrella doesn't come naturally; that's probably those two decades of Catholic education I mentioned earlier. Moving countries for my postgrad degree has definitely helped in that regard, though – I found myself in a super friendly, non-judgemental environment and was out to most of my friend group really, really quickly. The friend group from my undergrad is another story – only a select few know, because the others are far less inclusive and I don't feel comfortable with them knowing. My dad still has trouble with the concept, in a "non-straight people are fine but I'd rather it weren't my children" way. I reference bisexuality a lot to normalise it, and am proud to announce that we've finally reached a point where my dad does too, but it's also obvious that he's not 100% convinced I mean it and is kind of hoping it's just talk. The bigger problem is that he sometimes makes comments in front of people and accidentally outs me, and doesn't understand why it's an issue, but I'm working on that. I'm lucky enough to live an environment where being accidentally outed doesn't put me in any kind of danger, so annoying as it is in some respects he's almost doing me a favour: it spares me having to do the announcement myself, which I still find difficult. This blog post is probably the most I've directly called myself bi, ever, which shows that a fair bit of road remains ahead. Overall, though, I'm looking forward to the trip.
  4. 9 points
    Hellooo, everyone! Pride Month is still going on (and we've dressed the header up for the occassion, as you can probably tell, to make up for the lack of rainbows last post ), which was why we decided to feature the iconic Simon Spier from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and/or Love, Simon! Anyway, without further ado, we'd like to get straight into the interviews with your fellow featured HPFTers; hopefully their interviews will make you smile a little today. This month, the all-amazing @toomanycurls was awarded the Order of Merlin. She's just such an amazing admin and does so much for this site. We hope you enjoy reading her interview! toomanycurls And now here are the interviews with this month's two Head Students, @ShadowRose and @starbuck! Both of them have been amazing the past month, and so the recognition is so well-deserved. ShadowRose starbuck an absence of sound by @just.a.willow.tree R E V I E W C O L U M N Reading an absence of sound is, honestly, an honor. The mechanics of the poem itself make it an honor to read; it showcases Eva's creativity and ingenuinity, especially with the idea to manipulate the words, slowly removing letters to depict the gradual loss of the ability to speak (in Eva's case) Mandarin. But the greater reason why I'm so honored to read an absence of sound is because of how deeply emotional and vulnerable it is. At the surface, it seems to discuss a rather specific sort of feeling: the feeling of loss associated with the gradual loss of ability to speak one's native language. This feeling may not be accessible to everyone in the HPFT community, but if you look deeper, you'll find that the poem, in truth, discusses a sort of loss that everyone can relate to. It is a raw depiction of the loss of one's connection to their ancestry, their homeland, their family, etc.—presented through the lens of the loss of the ability to speak the native language. Considering this deeper layer, now the dropping of the letters isn't simply a reflection of the inability to speak the language, but also a disconnect from one's personal history and the gradual fading away of our memories of our homeland; Eva masterfully depicts the resulting frustration with a connection that is simultaneously "there right-there" and just "translucent wisps". Part of what amazes me about this poem is that this feeling in itself is so hard to describe; I personally have always struggled to put into words the unique grief I associate with the loss of my connection to India and have thus been silent about it. Eva describes perfectly this feeling that I've been trying to describe for years now. Also, it takes a really special sort of bravery to share such a raw and true piece, and that in itself deserves a commendation. Also a final note: this poem is a reflection of Eva's versatility. She is able to write poems and short stories (and now multi-chaps) with such effortless grace. Honestly, I'm just amazed. If you haven't read it yet, go read it now!! It is so deserving to be SoTM. I N T E R V I E W W I T H T H E A U T H OR --- That wraps up this edition of In the Spotlight, guys! We hope you enjoyed reading these interviews and little extra pieces; they're always so much fun to compile! As always, thank you for reading, and we hope you enjoyed this! - The Prefects review column by forever_dreaming interviews compiled by just.a.willow.tree, Rumpelstiltskin questions by forever_dreaming, just.a.willow.tree, and Rumpelstiltskin graphics by just.a.willow.tree
  5. 7 points
    Hello, HPFTers! Welcome to another edition of In the Spotlight, a monthly post in the Prefect Blog that features interviews with the winners of special awards and a review column for the Story of the Month. This month, in addition to the interviews with the Order of Merlin winners, the prefects are happy to present interviews with the two Head Students winners and the author of May's Story of the Month! (Because this month's post is rather long, definitely feel free to minimize each quote box once you're done reading. ) We hope you enjoy! Today we're featuring @RoxiMalfoy, the winner of the Order of Merlin last month, and @Ineke, who is this month's winner! Both are extremely well-deserving of their awards, and so hopefully you'll get to know them a little better through these interviews. RoxiMalfoy Ineke These interviews with the Head Students are a new feature! We gave the two Head Students, @facingthenorthwind and @Nix, different sets of questions (though there are two questions that are the same in both), and without further ado, here they are! facingthenorthwind Nix Stand Tall by @Chelts-rhj R E V I E W C O L U M N Finding a story that features a character with a disability is a rare occurrence for me but I most generally find them to be both insightfully and engagingly rewarding. Stand Tall does not dissatisfy this preconception as we follow the quirky, sassy main character, Alba Williamson, through her journey at Hogwarts as she faces her typical life alongside a daily struggle with Cerebral Palsy. To add to the fantastic work creating the loveable, witty Alba whose sense of humor has consistently knocked me out of my chair [and other on-point characterization as well, because let’s not forget the absolute stunning job Chelts did with characters like James Sirius Potter, Chandra and Ben Honeypucker], the interactions between the characters make them shine so much brighter. Some cleverly crafted dialogue and brassy narrative makes the interplay between the already fascinating characters of this piece especially noteworthy. That’s not to say that this WIP is all fun and games. Beneath the surface of all the hilarity remains the hardships Alba must face, only agitated further by her struggle with her disability. There are downright disheartening moments where the Cerebral Palsy seems to be getting the better of her and, with bated breath, we wait to see how she’ll fight to pull herself up again. Anxiously, we read on, hoping that Alba will pull through as she always has. To top it off, her disability isn’t the only thing she has to look out for. Being a teenage witch comes with some heavy baggage of its own, especially in the wake of the return of the Triwizard Tournament. Stand Tall was simple to become swept up in and carried away from one chapter to the next. If you’re looking for a story to instantly fall in love with, this is definitely the story for you. I N T E R V I E W W I T H T H E A U T H O R --- This wraps up the new edition of In the Spotlight! Please comment below and let us know what you think of the new additions, and if there's anything you might like to see from this blog. If you have questions you might like to ask future Order of Merlin, Head Student, or Story of the Month winners, feel free to post them below! We really hope you enjoyed this issue, and we'll see you in a couple weeks for our special Pride Month post. - The Prefects interviews compiled by dreamgazer220, forever_dreaming, just.a.willow.tree, Rumpelstiltskin, Slytherinchica08 review column by Rumpelstiltskin graphics by just.a.willow.tree
  6. 7 points
    Yeah, so this is a little late. Shut up. Nobody's perfect. (Except you, Toothless, dear.) You might notice things look a little different from last month, and that's because I've been hard at work creating a book blog where I can live and squee all day about the stories I read. Hopefully it'll be ready to go next month, but for now, here are the books I read in May! Some are quite brief because full, detailed reviews will be on the blog. Tom's Inheritance | T.J. Green When his grandfather disappears, Tom travels into a magical world to find him. He meets the Lady of the Lake who tells him of his responsibility to wake King Arthur before darkness falls over the land. I had high expectations for this book that weren't met, but it is in no way a bad story. Although it reads more like middle grade and not young adult as advertised, and King Arthur only makes a short appearance late in the book, it's a fun, magical journey. Fairies and fantastical creatures add a unique twist on a familiar legend. The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding | Alexandra Bracken Young Prosper Redding has a demon living inside him, a demon who wants to destroy Prosper's family. Prosper only has a few days to break the curse, and in the meantime he has to put up with the demon's taunts and tricks. An insanely funny read with memorable characters. The writing is so witty and clever and engaging. It was fun and delightfully creepy. Full review to come. A Court of Wings and Ruin | Sarah J. Maas As Hybern brings war to Prythian, Feyre must decide who among the courts she can trust, and search for allies in unexpected places. I enjoy this series even though there are a lot of elements that annoy me. This is a lengthy book and some parts felt unnecessary, or at least unnecessarily long. It's probably petty of me, but a lot of words are repeated throughout not only this book but the series in general. There's only so many times someone can purr, snarl, refer to their significant other as their mate, or curl their toes in their boots before I'm rolling my eyes. I never feel connected to Feyre, I feel she has zero personality. But there is still something magical that I love about this series. The world is vast, and I like the animalistic behaviour of the fairies, I think it's unique and realistic. The war was an epic conclusion and I'm eager to find out how the story continues! This Savage Song | V.E. Schwab Kate Harker is a monster hunter. August Flynn is a monster. Heirs to a divided city, they are forced together under dire circumstances and try to use their positions to save their city. I love monsters (and I mean that in the most un-creepy way possible). This book is beautifully dark with expertly-crafted characters. Full review to come. Divergent | Veronica Roth Tris Prior's world is divided by factions based on valued attributes. Never feeling like she belonged with the selfless Abnegation, Tris chooses Dauntless during initiation, the faction that values bravery. This story is set in a unique, interesting world with a main character who isn't even likeable at times, which I love. It feels more like a set-up for the other two books, but was still action-packed and intense. Full review to come. Son of the Dawn |Cassandra Clare Say what you will about making money, but I will devour anything Cassandra Clare writes about the Shadowhunters. Being a short story, there isn't too much happening, but I read it while having a coffee, so it was a super enjoyable way of spending my time. I like how we saw Jace being accepted into the Lightwood family, and I loved seeing him as a child, how arrogant he was even then. Daughter of the Siren Queen | Tricia Levenseller Now that Alosa has all three pieces of the map to the sirens' treasure, she begins a deadly race to the mysterious and dangerous Isla de Canta. This is a fun, fast conclusion to a fantastic duology that deserves so much more recognition. It's a perfect pirate adventure with a little bit of magic in the sirens. Full review to come. 5 stars. Our Dark Duet | V.E. Schwab Set six months after This Savage Song, Kate discovers a new kind of monster with devastating effects. Not only must Kate defeat this monster, but she also needs to come face to face with her own demon. Much more fast-paced - and heartbreaking - than its predecessor, this book had me glued to its pages then ripped me to shreds. BUT SO GOOD. IT'S GOOD. I'M GOOD. Full review to come. 5 stars. A Court of Frost and Starlight | Sarah J. Maas Feyre and the gang work to rebuild after the war as well as prepare for the Winter Solstice. A light, quick read where not a lot happens, but it's a welcome relief after the intensity of A Court of Wings and Ruin. Full review to come. I Was Born For This | Alice Oseman Angel is boy band The Ark's biggest fan. Jimmy is their frontman. Reality is not something either are familiar with, and when they are unexpectedly thrust together, they discover just how real life can be. This was the YA Room's book of the month, and I found it addicting and so relatable, but with a few minor issues. Full review to come. June brings holidays and winter my way, so talons crossed it's filled with snuggly blankets and good books and the mulled wine I got a taste for last week and have been craving ever since. May the book fairies bless your June with many page-turning exercises.
  7. 7 points
    I love your entire comment, @FoxPatronus, but this especially spoke to me. I feel like the needle has continued to move in terms of broader generational goals - not necessarily for individuals, but in terms of societal standards, if that makes sense? Among middle aged people, tolerance has kind of been the standard. That's so, so much better than previous generations... but it still causes a lot of pain. I remember an aunt I love talking proudly to my mom about how her church tolerates gay people even though they won't marry them about five years ago, and I got so, so upset. (That was before I'd come out - she had no idea. I just posted a coming out thing on facebook, though, and I'm assuming she'll see it. If she remembers that, I think she'll regret saying it.) Anyway. But for millennials and especially for Gen Zers, the generational goal is acceptance, and that makes such a big difference and reminds me that there is hope for our future. (Assuming we get through the current tide of hate. YOUNG PEOPLE, GO VOTE, I PROMISE IT MATTERS, PLEASE GET RID OF PEOPLE WHO HATE US.)
  8. 7 points
    Wait what are these badge things? How do I become someone who gets one? (AKA... a badger? )
  9. 7 points
    I just wrote my 100th review on HPFT. Woot!
  10. 6 points
    I’m the girl who plays it safe. I dislike change and fear the unknown. I like for things be as much within MY control as possible... Which is probably why I’m still working at the first place I got hired on at, right out of college, even though my boss is intolerable and I really do hate the work environment sometimes. But getting a new job, starting my career all over at a new place, is too much unknown territory for me to explore right now. I’m tied up in a car payment for the next 2 years, I have other obligations and bills that have to be paid, and I know for a fact that where I’m at now will cover everything… So why make a change that might lead to financial instability? This also (partially) explains why I haven’t really stepped out my my comfort zone and taken any chances with any of the romantic interests that have come my way over the past 5 years now. Dating is unpredictable, after all. Why would I ever want to put my happiness and emotional vulnerability in the hands of someone else? I am perfectly independent and able to take care of myself. I have embraced my singleness, and I am genuinely happy on my own right now… So why take a risk on love if it could potentially end in ruin? Don’t ask me why my mind works like this. I have such a bad habit of always jumping to the worst of conclusions, no matter how unrealistic or illogical they may seem. I currently work 3 jobs (1 full-time, and 2 part-time) in addition to helping out with the site; which is honestly more like a hobby/escape for me, really. Y’all truly do help keep me sane when RL gets to be too crazy, lol!! But, like, I haven’t had a proper vacation since I went to Georgia back in March of 2008. (Not that this trip is going to be a Vacation, exactly. But it's getting me away from work. Away from home. Away from the Country, even! So I'd say that it counts as a type of Vaycay, in it's own way.) You see, I’ve always been the one who works for everything that I have. My family wasn’t exactly poor, per-say, but we certainly knew from a young age what it meant to go without. Being the oldest, my parents were harder on me than they were the other kids, and it pushed me to be this driven individual that I am now... I am still the only one of my 6 other siblings who went to College and got any sort of degree. But that’s because I learned from the time that I was old enough to hold a job (which is now the age of 15 here in OH) that if I wanted something, I was going to have to work for it. Nearly everything I own, I’ve worked for. (My car, gaming systems, all of my furniture, my clothes/shoes, etc..) Nothing in my life has ever been handed to me... And I LIKE my independence. I enjoy being able to help myself, and not having to ask anyone for anything. Because you can’t control other people. You can’t tell them what to do, or how to act. You can try, but that doesn’t mean they’ll listen to you, lol!! So why, oh WHY, in the world, did I ever volunteer myself to go on this Missions Trip to Honduras?!?!? I’ve never traveled out of the country before - I barely ever even leave my own State! So I’ve certainly never gone on a missions trip before. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to help!! I am just NOT the person who usually signs up for these things. There are better, more qualified people out there; who are probably better suited and more able to handle the work that is involved in Missions than me. Or at least that’s what I’ve always told myself… So what could possibly make things so different this time around??? I don’t have any kids of my own yet. And honestly, at this point, Idk if I ever will. After all, I am far too busy with my career to settle down and start a family right now… But that doesn’t mean that the desire for these things is not in my heart. So when the representative from One Child Matters came to speak at my church in March of this year, I made another crazy decision - I sponsored a little girl from Honduras!! Her name is Angie, she is now 6 years old (her Birthday is April 1st - the same day as Fred & George Weasley!!), she loves art, and she wants to be a teacher when she grows up!! She calls me her Godmother. Never in my life have I ever thought that one tiny decision to put someone that I didn’t even know - some family in another country even - ahead of myself even, could impact me in such a HUGE and meaningful way… And when I found out that my church was planning a Missions Trip to the One Child Matters center that Angie attends in September, naturally I signed up to be a part of the team without even thinking, lol! I was just so excited at the very thought of getting to meet my little Angie face-to-face, and having the opportunity to see her hometown, and experience her culture, and meet all of her other friends at the OCM Center in Tegucigalpa, Honduras!!! Why wouldn't I go? She’s counting on me to be there, after all. And who knows when I’ll get this opportunity again - it could be a few years before they plan another trip like this. But going on a Missions Trip... It is a LOT of work!!!! And I’ll admit, I was not prepared in the slightest for half of the things that have been asked of me so far. So if I’ve seemed distant, or even more crazy than usual; it’s just because I’m juggling a ton of uncomfortable uncertainties at the moment. I am being pulled out of my comfort zone, and there are so many variables that are beyond my control at the moment, and I am just such a mess!! (And I shall continue to reserve the right to be a hot mess for the remainder of the summer, until all of these fundraising shenanigans are over with, lol!!) I will definitely be sure to keep you guys updated/in the loop as the summer goes on though, and the trip gets closer. And I’ll even be sure to post updates during/after the trip as well!! (Although the during part may actually depend on how much internet access we have available to us while in Honduras.) - And now, for my 1st official Update: I have completed ALL of my official paperwork, background check is completed, and I am currently in the process of getting my first ever US Passport! Our biggest funding deadline is also coming up here within the next three days, and I am still $300 dollars away from the total needed goal… Our trip leader wants to book all of our plane tickets and hotel rooms this coming weekend, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that everyone on the team reaches their $700 goals by this Wednesday. If anyone here wishes to partner with me on this journey, do feel free to find me on Social Media, where I have a few fundraising pages setup at!! (There are also pictures of my adorable sponsored child, Angie, posted on Twitter & Facebook as well!!) I am super excited to share this adventure with all of my friends and family, as it’s probably the biggest thing I’ve ever done in my life!! Thank you all so much for your amazing love and support. You guys have helped me see that the World isn’t such a scary place, and it deserves to be explored more. This community has really helped me grow and step outside of my comfort zone more and more over the past year, and I am so thankful to all of you for that. I shall carry you all with me on my travels. ~Deana
  11. 6 points
    Faceclaim browsing became awkward when the hubby walked in to an open gallery of absurdly gorgeous Polynesian men. Er--it's definitely not what it looks like.
  12. 6 points
    #teaser #clickthis https://twitter.com/HPfanfictalk/status/1002361444262989825?s=09
  13. 6 points
    what a delightful blog post!! eva, your graphics are GORGEOUS. I loved reading all the interviews! @RoxiMalfoy I was nodding along to myself for a lot of yours, it was A Choice to jump into hpft feet first and just....be Extremely Friendly and outgoing when I keep being like "oh no, am I...TOO friendly....what if I just....made no noise and pretended I don't exist, oh god, i'm annoying!!! oh no!!!!" which I mean, obviously is my brain running away with itself. (Though if people have complaints I am happy to receive constructive criticism, haha.) And then we gave much the same answer about our fave bit of HPFT. Twinsies. Also, @Ineke I'm filing away that OTP information for Future Reference. (I know I owe you a fic and I haven't written it yet!!! I"m sorry. <3 ) @Nix I LOVE HANDMAID'S TALE SO MUCH. God, the epilogue that's the conference minutes??????? PERFECT. And I love the show as well!! Although I sure do have Opinions about their decision to give her a name in the show, when she's so deliberately nameless in the book. Anyway, feel free to talk Handmaid in my inbox any time. @Chelts-rhj I looooved your interview, especially the stuff about how much research you put into your fic. It really shows your care and dedication to doing the right thing by the folks whose experiences you're trying to represent and I'm so glad <3 I also have the habit of saving every scrap I cut from stories. Sometimes the scrapheap ends up....longer than the fic itself. ah well. Thank you so much prefects for putting in so much hard work in compiling this and being legends in general. <3
  14. 5 points
    This is something I've thought about quite a lot (tehe) I remember that when I was a kid my mind was always going a mile a minute, probably in a similar speech-like way that you said. I'm not sure if or to what extent I visualized. I distinctly remember wondering how anyone could ever not be thinking anything. This is notable to me, because the way that my brain works now is very different. Adolescent trauma and months of dissociating does things to your brain for reals. For about the last decade my thought process has been much more fragmented, and I spend a lot of time doing what childhood me would consider not thinking about anything. Often my mind feels pretty vacant if I'm not focused on processing something (and tbf, most sensory processing is an intense task for me) I can sometimes have some speech-esque thinking, but normally just very small phrases at a time that I can't connect into more complicated ideas. If I try going on to a new "sentence" I'll most often forget what I had a moment before. The most frequent speech like thinking I do is anxiety driven repeated phrases like "no, no, no no..." or "I need to get out"x100. Weirdly, I have a long term recurring phrase that seems to come out of nowhere when I'm doing routine tasks that I think may be a self criticism of me overusing this sentence in writing: "She sighed and _" Right now I can't remember if there is something that always goes in the blank or if that changes. Because I think this way, I often don't know what I'm going to say until I say it (or I had an Important Though and I'm doing my best to say it even though I only remember part of it). I tend to interrupt people to get my thought spoken before I lose it, which I almost certainly will if I'm listening to someone talk (sometimes I raise my hand to feel slightly less rude and say the thing over and over in my mind, so I'm really being rude and not listening anyway). Writing things down or talking through them out loud is super important to me to work through thoughts and feelings. I have lots of very long conversations with mirrors, and I prefer to convey important things in writing, even though in person emotional connection is very significant for me. As I mentioned, I'm not sure if I visualized as a kid, but I very rarely do now, which makes sense to me as a response to trauma if it wasn't always the case. Not visualizing makes reading certain stories very difficult for me, and is also reflected in my writing. Writing dialogue comes much more naturally to me than description, and the description that I do write is generally very motivated by emotion, and I often forget to include basic descriptive things that readers want to know, like what people look like. This has been an introduction to my brain!
  15. 5 points
    Thank you for this post, and for being such a welcoming community for LGBTQIA+ folks. Reading everyone’s stories was so inspiring. You are all brave and wonderful humans, regardless of who you’re out to. It took me 31 years to come out as bi. (I think technically I fit the definition of pansexual better, but usually I just say I’m bi i because most people know what that means and explaining over and over again that your sexuality doesn’t have anything to do with cookware gets REAL old, REAL quick.) My partner knew I was queer, and so did a very small handful of my friends, but nobody in my family knew until about a week before my wedding. It caused an uproar with my parents. (My mom actually told me I shouldn’t even be getting married, because of course bisexuals are all completely incapable of monogamous relationships, EVERYONE knows that.) But I knew that marrying a man and staying in the closet would mean a lifetime of erasure, and I didn’t want my marriage to define my sexuality. I wanted to define it for myself, and to demand that it be recognized by the world. It was also only a couple of weeks after Pulse, and I didn’t feel like I could properly mourn with my community when so many people saw me as hetero. So out of the closet I came, and I haven’t looked back. I won’t lie: it’s been hard. I was raised in a very conservative Christian household, so I still deal with some flack from my parents. But I have noticed that their views have softened, and they seem to throw around a lot less casual homophobia than they used to, so I feel like coming out to them has been beneficial for the wider world in some small way. (I also suspect my younger sister is either queer and afraid to act on her feelings or she’s an ace, so maybe this has paved the way for some more understanding from my folks if she comes out, and having a vocal and very visibly queer older sister might give her the courage to be whoever she is without a lot of the internalized shame I dealt with.) Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that coming out is so so brave, and being visibly queer normalizes who we are and makes other queer folks see that it’s okay and things get better, which is changing society little by little all the time. I think we’re backsliding a little at the moment, but god, I look at the students in high school and college these days and I have SO MUCH HOPE for their generation and my kids’ generation, because they get it. They understand that love can come in any configuration of genders, that gender doesn’t have anything to do with what parts you’re born with, that it’s okay to have attractions to anyone or not have attractions to anyone at all. Whoever you are is okay, as long as you’re focused on spreading more love in the world. I love my queer and trans family and I’m so glad you’re all here. <3
  16. 5 points
    I just want to say that it was an honor to be able to read some of your personal stories -- thank you all so much for sharing!
  17. 5 points
    This was a great blog guys. Thank you for taking the time to collect individual personal stories and allowing people to share. I really enjoyed reading the experiences of others. All of it was great but that last part really interested me. I am glad we all have a place where we can talk and communicate freely and celebrate who we are in our wonderfully unique differences.
  18. 5 points
    I love late night writing! I hate re-reading it in the morning (2am bex makes many mistakes, in life and in grammar. 10am bex doesn't appreciate it one bit. )
  19. 5 points
    That heartwarming feeling when more of your old friends come back to FF and find their way here!
  20. 5 points
    One week before the HTTYD 3 trailer is released! *hyperventilates*
  21. 5 points
    So I accidentally misspelled Luna's name as 'Luna Lovefood'.
  22. 5 points
    I open so many tabs and then I just....never.....read any of the fics I have open. Why this, ugh, I want to read them -- or I want to already have read them, I guess.
  23. 5 points
    Nothing like spending 15 minutes scrolling through old chapters to find a character's first name only to realize... you never gave him one.
  24. 5 points
    Amazing post! I have definitely been saying Ineke wrong (In -ee-kee) but now I know. Deana! I had no idea you like LotR!!!!!!!!!! It was my co-discovered love when I started reading HP. @facingthenorthwind -- I love how you describe your ravenclaw-ness re: dragon horde. Nix!! *high fives other cat person* Chelts -- I have always wondered your inspiration for writing a character with CP. I love that you were inspired by your family members and also did a lot of research for your story.
  25. 5 points
    The full list of POGs nominees is coming tomorrow! Time to get your reading on