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  1. Alopex



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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/16/2018 in all areas

  1. 15 points
    So I got a job offer today that I'm absolutely psyched about. Like there are not words for my level of thrilled-ness.
  2. 15 points
    Soppy post alert: As little time as it seems, it was only three months ago (Almost exactly, I missed the official date by a few hours) that I joined HPFT as a complete newbie, a stranger who was so scared of the idea of a forum that I had to ask @abhorsen. for help on basic things like activating my account (because I am that person who couldn't see the words New Users Start Here if my life depended on it). In such little time this place has become a community I love with friends and a support group I couldn't have imagined before. I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone who made me feel so welcome, who has helped me with my writing, chatted about Groove and let me rant about the problems with having many, many OCs in the works at once or who simply took the time to say hi. You are all absolute gems
  3. 14 points
    The love of my life proposed yesterday, and I said yes! So happy to call him my fiancé! P.S. - Sorry for not being around lately; we're on vacation at the moment!
  4. 13 points
    We are proud to present the third installment of the Prefect's mini-series on the Common Room Awards. This week we are featuring The Pride of Gryffindor Awards (or POGs). In addition to being featured, each winner has had the opportunity to answer a question or two in a miniature Q&A session! Enjoy! Best Action/Adventure Nominees: 1. Coffee and Curse-Breakers (M) by @Pixileanin 2. Project Azkaban (M) by @Unwritten Curse 3. Year of the Snake (M) by @melian Winner: Coffee and Curse-Breakers (M) by @Pixileanin! Best Angst Nominees: 1. Golden Girl (M) by @Crimson Quill 2. Parisian Scars (M) by @CrimsonQuill 3. Silence Cuts Loudest Through the Chaos (M) by @1917farmgirl 4. silence. death. (M) by @ poppunkpadfoot 5. Thin (M) by @ ShadowRose Winner: TIE: Silence Cuts Loudest Through the Chaos (M) by @1917farmgirl TIE: silence. death. (M) by @poppunkpadfoot Question for 1917farmgirl: What was the most difficult part of portraying the dynamic of Arthur and Merlin’s relationship? Answer: I usually don't have too much trouble with their relationship, as it's my favorite part of the show and writing the characters. I think for this particular story, two things come to mind. Very early in the story, Merlin and Arthur are rather at odds with each other. That was hard to write - these two boys on the outs with each other. I'm glad it didn't last long. And later in the fic, Merlin loses his ability to speak. And it's been a bit of a challenge to find ways for these two to communicate. Question for poppunkpadfoot: What sort of steps did you have to take to write a story relating AIDS in the LGBTQ community to the HP-verse? Answer: I guess my steps were basically: (1) Double-check timeline (2) Write. First I had to quickly sort out how exactly the timeline of the AIDS crisis related to the timeline of HP-verse and the First Wizarding War (which led to me abandoning my plans to write about Sirius and switching over to Remus instead :P) - obviously I knew there was some amount of overlap but I needed to make sure the specifics worked out. Then I quickly double-checked how the timeline and trajectory in the UK compared to in the US, which is more my area of expertise. And after that I just... wrote, I guess. The whole story flowed very naturally. Even the creation of OCs (Tracy and Oliver) just kind of happened as I went. I should mention though that I've researched HIV/AIDS in the past, chose my current college program with the aim of going into HIV/AIDS advocacy as a career, and am starting a placement in September with an HIV/AIDS and Hep C outreach and advocacy organization. So while I'm very, VERY far from an expert, I did have enough background knowledge to just sit down and write without a whole bunch of pre-writing steps. Best First Wizarding War Nominees: 1. Behind the Curtain by @Cassius Alcindor 2. The Possibility of After (M) by @Unwritten Curse Winner: The Possibility of After (M) by @Unwritten Curse Question for Winner: How did you go about handling both Amelia and Fabian’s grief and translating it into the form of a relationship? Answer: I guess I'll answer the latter question first--about how I translated their grief into a relationship. Let me start by saying that I have personally experienced the loss of a loved one, and it's an incredibly isolating experience. It's hard to feel heard when you're surrounded by people who don't know grief. When you are with someone else who is grieving, especially someone who is grieving the same life as you, the connection is inexplicable. It feels like coming home. It's magnetic. And for these two, it translated into romantic chemistry--well, sexual tension, at the very least. But despite them both grieving Edgar, they are grieving in different ways, as we all do. Amelia is very much retreating inward and blocking out the rest of the world while Fabian is both literally and figuratively shouting his way through grief. Best Friendship/Family Nominees: 1. Harry and Lily Luna Potter - Family in My Little Princess by @StarFeather 2. Leanne and Jonathan (OC) - Family and Leanne, Jonathan, and Katie Bell - Friendship in Dear Katie (M) by @nott theodore Winner: TIE: Harry and Lily Luna Potter - Family in My Little Princess by @StarFeather TIE: Leanne and Jonathan (OC) - Family and Leanne, Jonathan, and Katie Bell - Friendship in Dear Katie (M) by nott theodore Question for StarFeather: The father/daughter dynamic between Harry and Lily is adorable -- what inspired you to write about them? Answer: Just an image of Harry and his daughter popped up in my mind after I made up my mind to participate in Abbie's story challenge. And I feel my child growing up every day, so most of the plot was inspired by the fact. Question for nott theodore: How did you handle establishing/showcasing the plot using epistolary format? Was it more difficult than it would have been if you had used a more traditional writing style? Answer: I was quite lucky in this story, in that it's a retelling of my story Opals and Fire, which explores Katie's time in St. Mungo's - or rather, what she's experiencing when she's lying in hospital. I'd already (loosely) crafted the characters of Leanne (who admittedly is a very minor character from the books) and Jonathan for that story, so finding their voices was slightly easier than it might have been otherwise. I didn't find the epistolary format much more difficult than traditional prose, although I had to be careful not to ramble on too much (which I do when I write letters myself) so that I could keep moving the plot along. It's definitely something I'd like to explore writing again. Best LGBTQA+ Nominees: 1. And Again (M) by @nott theodore 2. Pro Libertate by @TidalDragon Winner: And Again (M) by @nott theodore Questions for Winner: What inspired you to structure the story this way, with the number of times Dom tells people about her sexual preferences? Answer: I think this story partly stemmed from reading a couple of books which have LGBTQA+ main characters, and also from conversations with friends. When you identify as anything other than straight or cisgender, you don't just get one coming out moment, and I felt like a lot of coming out stories tend to focus on the first time it happens, so I wanted to explore the reality of having to come out time and again, and all the different reactions that there might be to that. Best Minor Character (HP) Nominees: 1. Amelia Bones in The Possibility of After (M) by @Unwritten Curse 2. Apollyon Pringle in What lies beneath by @melian 3. Fabian Prewett in The Possibility of After (M) by @Unwritten Curse 4. Fenrir Greyback in Coffee and Curse-Breakers (M) by @Pixileanin 5. The Dumbledores in Prisoner (M) by @CrimsonQuill Winner: The Dumbledores in Prisoner (M) by CrimsonQuill Best Non-HP Story Nominees: 1. Leftovers (M) by 1917farmgirl (CSI) 2. Some Things Are Meant to Be (M) by 1917farmgirl (Merlin) 3. Tragedy (M) by LooneyLizzie(OF) Winner: TIE: Some Things Are Meant to Be (M) by 1917farmgirl (Merlin) TIE: Tragedy (M) by @LooneyLizzie (OF) Question for 1917farmgirl: What inspired you to write a Merlin AU piece? What was your favorite single moment or line in this piece? Answer: Writing AU in the Merlin fandom is pretty much a given. EVERYONE does it. So it wasn't really a huge decision to chose to write this story. It just kinda...happened. It was interesting to write the characters in a modern instead of medieval setting, however. I put a lot of my heart into this story, so there are quite a few places in it that I'm proud of and moments I like. I think my two favorite parts right off the top of my head, are when Merlin admits to Arthur he has nowhere to go. And when Arthur realizes this homeless boy who just lost everything, gave him his ONLY possessions to pay for a night of shelter. Best Novel Nominees: 1. Home (M) by adorably cute 2. Ignite (M) by Slide Winner: Ignite (M) by @Slide Best One-Shot Nominees: 1. Becoming a Longbottom by Deeds 2. Letter to the Lost (M) by CrimsonQuill 3. Live and Be Well (M) by Pen2Paper 4. silence. death. (M) by poppunkpadfoot 5. Thin (M) by ShadowRose 6. Thrill by nott theodore Winner: silence. death. (M) by poppunkpadfoot Question for Winner: What was your favorite part about writing Remus Lupin. What was your least favorite? Answer: Remus comes fairly easily to me at this point, so that was good - I didn't have to think too hard about characterization or anything. I was kind of amazed how well his wartime experiences and his characterization ended up aligning with the story that I wanted to tell. He really was the best choice for the story, and I'm actually really glad that Sirius didn't work out! I wouldn't say this was my "least favourite" part of writing Remus, but I'd say the biggest challenge was drawing connections between Remus's experiences in the war/his feelings about those experiences and his experiences in the LGBTQ+ community/with HIV/AIDS, while simultaneously staying VERY far away from drawing connections between lycanthropy and HIV/AIDS, because I hate that allegory with a passion. It was less that I was like "oh no, I might accidentally use that allegory" and more that I wanted to make sure nothing could be misconstrued as using that allegory. But yeah, that was a bit of a challenge. Best Original Character Nominees: 1. Amie Bell in Amie Bell. Squib, Barista Auror. (M) by @Sleepingbagonthesofa 2. Carson Wood in Home (M) by @adorably cute 3. Cassiel Yaxley in Yaxley (M) by @sleepingbagonthesofa Winner: TIE: Carson Wood in Home (M) by @adorably cute TIE: Cassiel Yaxley in Yaxley (M) by @sleepingbagonthesofa Question for adorably cute: What inspired Carson Wood’s characterization? Answer: Ahh, first I am blown away about this PoG and honored to share the win with Deni (sleepingbagonasofa)! Thanks everyone! A lot of Carson’s characterization comes from personal experiences- like, her sass comes easily to me because I’m a lot like that myself! And then some of the characterization just comes from where she is in life. She’s a 17 year old who’s at a point in her life where she doesn’t know what she wants to do and is trying to make the most of things before she has to become a real person with a real job. So between all that, and the way I built her childhood growing up between her two parents, she just came together into this sassy, stubborn, kind of awkward human who likes Quidditch and numbers! Question for sleepingbagonthesofa: What was the most difficult part about writing your OC, Cassiel Yaxley? Answer: Writing Cassiel, or Cass, was surprisingly easy at first. In a lot of ways she's similar to me- overdramatic, grumpy, stubborn and some good things too (hopefully)- although her personality is exaggerated quite a bit. The most difficult thing about writing her has started to appear as the story has gone on, whenever I want her to do something unpleasant (or just anything she wouldn't want to do) yet plot-driving aaand she wont. The words will not appear. I end up going of in a completely different direction and it makes sticking to the plot almost impossible. Having said that, characters that become that real are one of my favourite things about writing, even when I end up staring at a blank screen for hours. My stubborn little baby has taken on a life of her own! Also, it was such a shock to be nominated for a POG in the first place and incredible to win alongside Sarah! Thank you so much everyone! Best Portrayal of a Gryffindor Nominees: 1. Bill Weasley in The Fox by @StarFeather 2. James Potter (I) in Live and Be Well (M) by @Pen2Paper 3. Neville Longbottom in Year of the snake (M) by @melian Winner: Neville Longbottom in Year of the snake (M) by @melian Question for Winner: What inspired you to write about Neville during this time period? What was your most difficult scene to write? Answer: I write the stories that I want to read. This is particularly the case with novels – How to tame a Marauder was a direct result of me not being able to find a canon-compliant Marauders novel that showed the characters the way that I saw them, for example. For Year of the Snake, well I just really wanted to know what Neville’s experiences from that year were like, and how he got to the point he did where he just shrugged off evidence of torture as an everyday occurrence. Unlike when I was reading stuff for HTM, though, I didn’t actually look at what else was out there for this story. I just decided to write one myself. I will say though that it’s been a much harder process. Part of that is because I naturally write romance, and this is most definitely NOT a romantic story. But I suspect that part of it is also that I’m not drawn to the year of Deathly Hallows as much as I am the Marauder era. I want to write Neville’s story because I think he deserves to be written (I won’t say by me because that sounds really egotistical, but hey, I’m better at writing than I am most other things), but it really is a horrible story. I’m writing about children being tortured and kidnapped and forced to do really terrible things to each other in order to survive, and it’s not pleasant. (Most difficult scenes, right there.) So that might have something to do with my struggles here. In any case, this is taking MUCH longer to write than it should, and than I thought it would. Best Quote Nominees: 1. "Sometimes I think I'd give up the Egyptian silk for some genuine interest in my life." from Complicated (M) by ShadowRose 2. " 'It's not the power inside the bike we have to worry about,' Sirius said, looking straight at Peter. 'It's the people we give it to.' " fromThrillseekers: Marauders with Machines by Pixileanin 3. "...because death seemed to linger around the The Possibility of After (M) by Unwritten CurseBoneses and she couldn't bear the thought of carving another hole in her family tree." from 4. "Dad and Alicia have three other kids in addition to me, their part-time-turned-full-time child." from Home (M) by adorably cute 5. " 'Remus are you gay?' You were expecting a denial, or confusion. What you weren't expecting is for him to blink slowly and say, 'Only at the full moon.' " from perilune by poppunkpadfoot 6. "The full moon that month was almost a relief. The wolf doesn't care about Oliver - the wolf doesn't care about anybody. For one night, he can stop [expletive] thinking, stop feeling anything besides the physical pain as he tears himself apart. The next morning, he waits longer than he should to treat his wounds. He lies there on the floor and stares at the blood oozing out of his body, pooling on the floor, and he wonders idly if, after everything, it will be his own blood that kills him." from silence. death. (M) by poppunkpadfoot Winner:"...because death seemed to linger around the Boneses and she couldn't bear the thought of carving another hole in her family tree." from The Possibility of After (M) by Unwritten Curse Question for Winner: What impact does this quote have on your character and/or plot in this piece? Answer: This quote ("death seemed to linger around the Boneses and she couldn't bear the thought of carving another hole in her family tree") reflects Amelia's perception of her place in her family now that it has been so ravaged by death. Her parents and eldest brother (along with his wife and children) have all died as a result of the war, and now it's just her brother, Michael; his wife; and herself that remain. She senses acutely, now, her duty to her brother and her duty to survive. In the chapter wherein this quote appears, Amelia has just had a fainting spell out of nowhere, and she won't let herself dwell on it because the possibilities are too scary. So she shrugs it off as a minor annoyance versus letting her thoughts spiral. It's kind of ironic, as well, because her fainting spell is connected with the theme of the story and is quite literally the opposite of what she fears (i.e. adding to the family rather than subtracting from it). Best Post-War Nominees: 1. After Destiny (M) by cambangst 2. Amie Bell. Squid, Barista, Auror. (M) by sleepingonthesofa 3. Fix You by TidalDragon Winner: After Destiny (M) by @CambAngst Question for Winner: What was the moment you struggled the most with this story? What was your favorite moment? Answer: It's hard to pick a single moment. The biggest struggle throughout the story has been to hit the right balance in portraying characters who have been forced to be mature beyond their years in some respects while not losing sight of the fact that they're only 17 years old, or 16 in Ginny's case. Harry is the prime example. He's had to make choices that led -- unavoidably -- to people being hurt and killed. At the same time, he's baffled when it comes to managing his day-to-day life and especially his relationship with Ginny. There's a temptation to treat these characters as super-human because of what they've survived and accomplished. But the reality is that they're only human and they're only beginning to come to terms with their experiences. Best Worldbuilding Nominees: 1. Jigsaw (M) by nott theodore 2. Lucky Strike by TidalDragon 3. Not Fade Away (M) by Slide 4. Project Azkaban (M) by Unwritten Curse Winner: Project Azkaban (M) by Unwritten Curse Question for Winner: What inspired you to write Project Azkaban? Did you intend for it to be so dark when you first began writing it or did that happen naturally due to the content? Answer: The inspiration was twofold. I had a nagging question regarding Azkaban prison post-Voldemort, seeing as the guards of Azkaban (the dementors) had joined the Dark Side. They presumably could not be trusted to guard the evildoers of the wizarding world any longer, so I wondered... what's next? Project Azkaban or Azkaban 2.0 was my solution to that problem. Then, in the midst of my dreaming up what this new prison would look like, I had a dream that I was inside the prison and broke free. The prison break entailed a lot of deadly obstacles that felt kind of like a puzzle and I was at the mercy of my comrades to help me survive *cough cough*. As far as the piece being so dark... well, that was intentional. It has a lot to do with the construction of the prison and that's all I will say. Most Addictive Story Nominees: 1. Breathe (M) by @poppunkpadfoot 2. Complicated (M) by @ShadowRose 3. Home (M) by @adorably cute Winner: Complicated (M) by ShadowRose Question for Winner: What was your motive for purposefully making the characters ‘unlikeable’ at first? Answer: Ok, so when I started writing Complicated, I knew it was going to be a James/OC romance but I wanted it to be more than that too, you know? So in addition to being a romance, it’s designed to show how this one girl - the main character Abby - is shaped by the experiences of her seventh year and how they serve to turn her into a more mature and generally kinder person. So she starts off as this stuck-up Queen Bee character because there’s just so much room for character growth there. I think I’d also just finished binge-watching Gossip Girl when I started writing this story, so that may have also been a contributing factor. And as for James, he himself isn’t exactly unlikable; he’s only made unlikable through the narrator’s voice. The story is told from Abby’s first-person POV, and she doesnt like him, so the reader only hears about his worst traits at the start of the story because they’re the only things Abby notices. Most Original Story Nominees: 1. Coffee and Curse-Breakers (M) by Pixileanin 2. Golden Girl (M) by Crimson Quill 3. Sentience by TreacleTart 4. That Post is a Keeper by Pixileanin 5. The Northern Tales (M) by nott theodore Winner: TIE: Coffee and Curse-Breakers (M) by Pixileanin TIE: The Northern Tales (M) by nott theodore Question for nott theodore: What did your draw inspiration from to weave these awesome, imaginative tales? Answer: For the two tales I've written so far, I wanted to create a magical backstory/legend to places that are pretty well-known and already have associations with magic. I've written stories like that before, picking out an historical event and shaping it into the Harry Potter world, but this was fun because I used the magical world - creatures and legends - included in the books to write the stories, more than anything. There are a couple more I'd like to write based on local legends from the North of England, but I think the places themselves were probably the biggest inspiration. Most Versatile Author Winner: @melian Question for Winner: Is writing different types of pieces a challenge for you or does it come naturally? What’s the most difficult story you’ve written? Answer: Oh, it’s a challenge. But a one-shot doesn’t have to be very long and really, it doesn’t even really have to have a story. Drabbles even less so. So long as you convey a mood and show a scene, then that’s all that really matters. You’re showing a snapshot of something that people can extrapolate further themselves if they want to, but that’s their job, not mine. The thing is, I like to challenge myself. I’ve managed to make Ron/Pansy and Draco/Luna both fit canon (both written for challenges) and I even managed a Dramione, which for someone who pretty much ONLY writes canon was definitely a stretch. Again, not sure it’s any good, but I wrote it. Hardest story I’ve written? I’ve already touched on Year of the Snake being a struggle for me, but I will also say that I fought with a number of others. People in Gryffindor will tell you I can write very quickly when I need to (if it’s a one-shot, of course!!! Like I said before, I often don’t really need to tell a proper story then) but that doesn’t mean what comes out is any good. Breathe was difficult, probably because it was from the point of view of a Mandrake and I have no idea what their thought processes might be, or if they even have them. Twelve Years I struggled with, because while I had the idea in my head it just wasn’t coming out on the page for me. Though, the fact I was writing it on a plane probably didn’t help. The Arthur Weasley story in The Battle of Hogwarts (Paladin) was also one that I wrestled with for quite a while before it started to come together. Best Artist Winner: @Poppunkpadfoot Question for Winner: Do you have any advice for aspiring graphic artists? Answer: Yes! Definitely do seek out and accept critique - it will be really helpful for improving your art! However, I have sometimes noticed there's a tendency to actually be over-critical of new artists, and that it can become really discouraging really fast. So I would say to be careful not to define yourself or your art by the critique you receive. Practice looking at each piece you make, even when it has flaws that you can see, and saying "here is what I like about this piece, here's what I'm proud of about this piece, and here's what I learned or applied from recent learning while making this piece". Also, make friends with other newbie artists and be supportive of each other! IMO, that's about as important as seeking out critique. Best Moment Winner: The Record-Setting CTF Win vs. Ravenclaw Question: Do you have anything to say about Gryffindor beating Ravenclaw in a record-setting CTF round? Answers: poppunkpadfoot: It was such a great moment! We were all extremely nervous to face Ravenclaw because they'd basically been sweeping everyone they went up against; if I recall correctly, we were basically unanimous in being most worried about that match. I think we were kind of expecting to get our butts kicked, ahaha. When we were told we'd found the flag, we really could not believe it. We were all so excited and completely freaking out. It was such an awesome team spirit moment! It was definitely a highlight of the House Cup and it really bolstered our team's confidence for the rest of CTF. I also think it's pretty much hilarious that this won Best Moment, because it was up against Gryffindor literally winning the whole House Cup. Like, you'd think that would've been a shoe-in, but no, the CTF win won by a landslide. Which I think is SO Gryffindor (Also... we love you, Claws! ) StarFeather: Lions are the earnest participants at House Cup, especially :Gryffindor: for CTF, the event was invented by our king lion, Kevin. Who could ignore it? We had to win for Kevin and our house, Gryffindor. So I tried doing what I could at that moment. nott theodore: Only that I still don't think I've recovered properly from that month of CTF! Every house seemed to really have it together when we were playing them, with their formidable spreadsheets and well-planned attack, and we... were very Gryffindor, and didn't. It was only in the final round against Ravenclaw (which we'd all been dreading) that we managed any semblance of a plan, and to actually get a win that quickly, after they'd won our first game with some incredible magic and skill (I think they got our flag in a 100+ chapter story after 3 chapters, maybe?), was a pretty amazing feeling. melian: That was amazing, wasn’t it? I admit we did have a plan of attack, and the stars aligned in our favour in that we found the Flag author almost immediately, thanks in no small part to Ysh and her magnificent spreadsheet. But I won’t say too much in case it gives our strategy away. I felt kind of bad for Ravenclaw because they were doing SUCH a good job with their other Flag battles, but it was also incredibly satisfying when things worked out like they did. Huge congratulations to all Lions who were nominated and who won! Next week we will be taking a look at the Hufflepuff House awards. Header by Eva
  5. 11 points
    Welcome to the fourth and final installment of the Common Room Awards! This post will feature the annual Hufflepuff house awards, also known as the Golden Chalices. For this series, each winner not only has the opportunity to be featured in this blog, but they also got to participate in a short Q&A about their story. Enjoy! *** The 2018 Golden Chalice Awards *** Best Light Fic Nominees: Footsteps in the Forest by @Dojh167 ministry memorandums (from the mysteries) (M) by @esmeraude Afternoon Tea by @Renacerá Runner-Up: Footsteps in the Forest by @Dojh167 WINNER: ministry memorandums (from the mysteries) (M) by @esmeraude Question: The epistolary format in “ministry memorandums” is absolutely brilliant! How did you plan and keep track of all the different humorous plot threads running through this one-shot, especially with this unconventional format? Answer: Er... I didn’t? I wrote ministry memorandums (from the mysteries) during NaNo 2016(?) because I was working on the first in a series of fics featuring Susan Bones as an Unspeakable, and I was struggling with the prose in the first fic because I was still figuring out who my characters were, so I decided to write a “short” piece featuring Blye’s very different perspective on Susan’s first day of work. The beginning — Blye’s issues with Edalbert Goffrey and Susan’s lack of ID or uniform — were planned because they’re mentioned in Only Human (which remains unposted) and I ended up having so much fun writing it that I just included random events as I wrote. I think I managed to write it all in one or two sittings? I know one thing that helped me with keeping everything on track was making notes at the bottom of my doc for what events needed to happen next (since poor Blye was dealing with several things at once) and kind of focusing on one thing at a time, for example so that makes it easier for the reader imo. I actually had ministry memorandums lurking in my gdocs for maybe a year? ish? because I was nervous about posting it, so the response that I’ve received is phenomenal and I really appreciate all the love I’ve received on this one-shot. Best Dark Fic Nominees: Hope by @Jo Raskoph five lives (M) by @just.a.willow.tree Then Time Stood Still (M) by @Levana Ninety-Two Seconds in Catatonia (M) by @MuggleMaybe Runner-Up (TIE): Hope by @Jo Raskoph Ninety-Two Seconds in Catatonia (M) by @MuggleMaybe WINNER: five lives (M) by @just.a.willow.tree Question: What was the inspiration behind the four lives Astoria was going to save? If you can tell us without spoiling anything, how did you decide on the fifth? Answer: First I picked which five characters I wanted Astoria to save. And I can’t really explain how I chose the characters besides the fact that I found them to be really interesting (except for Michael Corner in the first life, who was mostly someone we were all aware of but unfamiliar with). Like there’s a special place in my heart for each of the four characters that came after Michael Corner, so I just tried to fit them all in. And then the way that Astoria saved them followed; a lot of the methods are kind of tied to the personalities of the characters that she saved. The fifth one…I just went for a story I’ve heard countless times over in testimonies from war survivors. And it’s also present in, unfortunately, the everyday lives of some people. So sorry for the vagueness haha, I’m trying my best not to be spoiler-y. Most Addicting Story Nominees: Chicks Before Broomsticks (M) by @banshee Nights Like These (M) by @banshee The Seer (M) by @Phoenix_Flames The Harder They Fall (M) by @victoria_anne Runner-Up: Nights Like These (M) by @banshee WINNER: The Harder They Fall (M) by @victoria_anne Question: There’s so much happening in “The Harder They Fall”, and it definitely makes for an action-packed read. What’s the one thing you would tell writers who want to keep their readers intrigued enough to hit the ‘next chapter’ button? Answer: The chapter should always end with a question, with a cliffhanger! As long as readers want to know what happens next, they'll keep clicking to the next chapter. I think it's important to keep raising the stakes and introducing conflict in each chapter, too. Most Inclusive Story Nominees: Chicks Before Broomsticks (M) by @banshee When I Go Out With You (M) by @Dojh167 lazy days (M) by @just.a.willow.tree Icarus (M) by @Stella Blue Runner-Up: When I Go Out With You (M) by @Dojh167 WINNER: Icarus (M) by @Stella Blue Question: Diversity in fics is always, always a good thing. What’s one thing you would recommend to people who are including representation in their fics, especially for cultures/sexualities/genders/etc. other than their own? Answer: Well, the one thing I'd most recommend is YES, INCLUDE IT. The world needs those stories. As for how to write someone different from yourself, just get into your character's shoes for a little while and try to see the world through their eyes - diversity of course isn't just a box to check off, people's backgrounds and experiences shape them into who they are. So my main suggestion is simply to listen to/read things by people who've lived the experiences you're trying to write about; do research, as you would for writing anything. Best Dialogue Nominees: The Prince and the Pirate by @banshee All the truth about Jimmy Portman (M) by @Felpata_Lupin lazy days (M) by @just.a.willow.tree The Maidens and the Tower (M) by @MuggleMaybe Unapologetic by @victoria_anne Waltz by @WriteYourHeartOut Runner-Up: The Prince and the Pirate by @banshee WINNER: All the truth about Jimmy Portman (M) by @Felpata_Lupin Question: You have so many characters in “All the truth about Jimmy Portman”! How do you manage to keep all their characters and voices so distinct from one another, especially regarding dialogue? Answer: Oh, wow... do I manage it? Sometimes I really feel like all my characters are all basically the same and their voices just mix up and blend together... so it's a relief if they feel distinct and recognizable, thank you! I don't really think I have a method...? I think my writing in general consists of putting my characters in a certain situation and see how they behave, like it is a biology experiment, if that makes sense. Having that approach, dialogue generally comes quite easy to me, it's the first thing that forms in my head before I try to put it into writing. This is also why I'm not equally good at description and plotting, I guess... For the Jimmy cast specifically... well... for canon characters I just try to imit what JK did (this applies to Ron, Hermione, the twins, Draco, the teachers...). The Marauders come relatively easy, too, since I've written them so much that they feel like real people to me by now. I think the biggest struggle are Jimmy and Neville (technically, they are canon characters too, but so different from their canon equivalent that they are basically OCs...) They have very similar temperaments and they just snap most of the time so sometimes I'm not sure I'm doing very well with their characterization... but I do love those two troublemakers... (Dunno if I actually replied to your question or just rambled uselessly... my apologies... ) Best Description Nominees: The Firework-Maker’s Daughter by @esmeraude spring barges in by @Jo Raskoph The Maidens and the Tower (M) by @MuggleMaybe Runner-Up: spring barges in by @Jo Raskoph WINNER: The Firework-Maker’s Daughter by @esmeraude Question: The writing style in “The Firework-Maker’s Daughter” seems effortlessly beautiful. Is it difficult to switch between styles such as the epistolary “ministry memorandums” and the beautiful prose in this one? How do you manage to write such breathtaking descriptions? Answer: Aww, thank you!! I wouldn’t say it’s difficult for me personally, because since quite early on as an author I’ve tried to be as versatile as I can possibly be. Also, every time I write, I hear my English high school teacher’s voice in my head shrieking, “Expand! Expand! Expand!”, because high school Isobel wrote in short, succinct sentences and skipped a lot of descriptions, so I guess I have to credit her? She was my favourite teacher in high school, and she encouraged us to include adjectives, consider what an impartial reader would think (because we as authors have a little TV in our heads playing out scenes and our readers don’t) and remember to describe the character’s surroundings. With TFMD, I wanted Roxanne to be the main role in the story, but because there was a word limit in the challenge I originally wrote it for, I decided to write from the other characters’ perspectives in order to show more of Roxanne and her actions. With ministry memorandums, I was limited in description because of the epistolary style, so I included attachments and “arrived in [condition]” and went overboard with those. (The one with the cursed book is my favourite, ngl. ) One of my top tips, however, is to read more! I know this sounds slightly hypocritical coming from someone who is woefully behind on her “Fanfic To Read List” but it honestly helps. I have novels that were inspired by Aphoride and dirigibleplums, and I remember a couple of years ago, before I “met” nott theodore, I read her fic The Nightingale’s Lament and her descriptions for Vicky’s grief just blew me away, and considering how Sian used Vicky’s physical surroundings to connect to her grief about Colin’s death taught me a lot about describing angsty emotions. (To be completely honest, with the quality of writing in the HPFT community, I could just... list everyone on HPFT and it would be true?) I’ve found that reading inspiring writing can in turn inspire you, which helps with writing something out of your comfort zone, iyswim? Thank you so much for such interesting questions, they were so much fun to answer (and surprisingly hard? I take my hat off to whoever came up with those questions!) and particular thanks go to the Hufflepuffs who nominated and voted for my fics. I love and appreciate you all. Best Original Fiction Nominees: What is life by @Felpata_Lupin across the great expanse by @just.a.willow.tree The Maidens and the Tower (M) by @MuggleMaybe From by @Stella Blue Runner-Up: What is life by @Felpata_Lupin WINNER: The Maidens and the Tower (M) by @MuggleMaybe Question: Based on the summary, this story is based off of ‘Maid Maleen’ from the Brothers’ Grimm. What drew you to choose that fairytale? Are you going to be putting any twists on the original tale? Answer: I was inspired to write The Maidens and the Tower because of the Fairytale Challenge. I knew I wanted something different, something that hadn’t been famously Disneyfied. When I looked through my Grimms collection, Maid Maleen caught my eye because it’s pretty complex, and also because the main character refuses an arranged marriage. Pretty feminist compared to most fairytales! There are many twists! The setting is arguably the most dramatic change. The Maidens and the Tower is set on the American prairie during pioneer times, and I’ve altered the scenarios to fit that. Also, the romance is f/f, which causes some significant plot changes Thank you so much to everyone who supports this story!!! Best One-Shot Nominees: five lives (M) by @just.a.willow.tree you again by @just.a.willow.tree First Lit, Last Burning (M) by @MuggleMaybe Goodbye, Love, Goodbye (M) by @MuggleMaybe Ninety-Two Seconds in Catatonia (M) by @MuggleMaybe All or Nothing by @Stella Blue Waltz by @WriteYourHeartOut Runner-Up: Goodbye, Love, Goodbye (M) by @MuggleMaybe WINNER: Waltz by @WriteYourHeartOut Question: Your take on Scorose is so unique and refreshing, and it’s no wonder that this one-shot has received so much love since it was written! What was the inspiration behind “Waltz” that made you write it in the first place? Answer: Thank you so much! ^.^ The inspiration for Waltz came from a Staff prompt around Christmas time a few years ago. There was around 25 days to get submissions in, and I actually spent the first 20 working on a completely different story, but I kept getting stuck and finally had to admit to myself that I wasn't going to finish that one on time, so I had to hop plots right at the end, and this story is just what popped out instead. The biggest inspiration behind it was wanting to take the "stuck under the mistletoe" trope and put a new twist on it. I have to admit, I've seen a lot of stories use mistletoe in a way that keeps you forever trapped until you kiss, no exceptions, and it always just made me feel a little uncomfortable, that forced version of things, so I thought I'd make the option to not kiss a seemingly harmless consequence: a glitter bomb. From there, I just wanted to play with someone who would not see a glitter bomb as harmless at all, and that's how Rose developed. I felt that her struggles reminded me of Hermione, so her daughter made sense as the choice. Scorpius' character came from someone I thought would be very sweetly matched with my version of Rose. Best Multi-Chap Nominees: When I Go Out With You (M) by @Dojh167 The Skull Beneath the Skin (M) by @esmeraude All the truth about Jimmy Portman (M) by @Felpata_Lupin Beyond Repair by @MuggleMaybe The Harder They Fall (M) by @victoria_anne Runner-Up: Beyond Repair by @MuggleMaybe WINNER: The Harder They Fall (M) by @victoria_anne Question: “The Harder They Fall” is such a well-planned story! Do you have any advice for planning novels with multiple threads and plotlines? Answer: Thank you so much! I think if you have a complex plot with multiple threads, it's important to plan ahead, and to be aware that new ideas will appear as you write. Everything must tie into the main story, too! Best Original Character Nominees: Hollie Finnegan in Chicks Before Broomsticks (M) by @banshee Summer Phillips in When Summer Fades (M) by @Stella Blue Finn Blishwick in The Harder They Fall (M) by @victoria_anne Josephine Adaire in Lying Josephine (M) by @WriteYourHeartOut Runner-Up: Summer Phillips in When Summer Fades (M) by @Stella Blue WINNER: Josephine Adaire in Lying Josephine (M) by @WriteYourHeartOut Question: Josephine is such beautiful OC. Tell us about her creation, and how her personality and characterization came to be! Answer: Ah, thank you! Josephine first came to be when I was pretty new to the fanfic world and was really only reading these very popular stories, all of which seemed to star the same female OC (aka Mary Sue's). I decided I wanted to try writing a novel-length fanfic with a female OC of my own, and my inspiration was really just to make her as unlike the ones I'd kept running into as possible. Because of the structure of Lying Josephine, information about her background is very slowly released, but she does have a lot of reasons for how she became who she is. When I decided to make her such a quiet character, I just wanted to find deeper roots behind it. And I really did just want her to be... honestly quite average in about every way. Like, that she did poorly in school, she's not exactly quick-witted or funny, she's easily overlooked and forgotten, she isn't brave, she has very few talents, and she is deeply flawed. She will know the right thing to do and still choose the selfish thing. She's honestly a Hufflepuff in the way that other Houses sometimes snobbishly label all Hufflepuff's to be: a leftover, who didn't fit elsewhere. But somehow - I hope, at least - her kind of overall lack of interesting and intriguing traits made her a character you want to follow and root for. She surprises herself along the way, and in turn, surprises us. She finds herself in a situation where she keeps telling herself she's doing it for the good of other people, but it's really for her, no matter what she tries to convince herself of, and regardless of the fact that it may help them too, the driving force is herself. And the situation she's in causes her to discover and face who she truly is. Best Depiction of a Major Canon Character Nominees: Lily Evans in untrue, untrue (M) by @just.a.willow.tree George Weasley in Then Time Stood Still (M) by @Levana Lily Evans in Beyond Repair by @MuggleMaybe Hermione Granger in Life As We Know It (M) by @Slytherinchica08 Luna Lovegood in How to Catch a Snorkack by @victoria_anne Runner-Up: Lily Evans in untrue, untrue (M) by @just.a.willow.tree WINNER: George Weasley in Then Time Stood Still (M) by @Levana Question: As we all know, you adore the Weasley twins. Was it difficult to write George in his state of grieving? Was his characterization a struggle, or was it second nature for you? Answer: Yes and no? If that makes sense. On a basic level, I didn't find it particularly difficult to write George in a state of grieving - I've always found angst a lot easier to write than happy fluff. And of course I love to make my favorite characters sad. The thing that I struggled with the most was trying to accurately portray the feelings that George would have. I've killed of characters before, but in the past I've always stopped the fic at their death. This was the first time I was actually writing the emotional trauma that would occur. The whole time I was writing this I was flipping back and forth between, "am I going over the top?" and "am I not intense enough?" I also struggled with deciding how fast George would come to terms with Fred's death. Originally I had thought I would have George come to terms with Fred's death by the end of the fic, but that didn't seem natural to me (and also since the Wiki says that George never truly got over his twin's death ). Considering it was Fred that died, I realized that 5000 words probably wasn't long enough for George to get over it. So I threw together a last minute ending that was a "nope, i'm not fine but I might be in the future." Best Depiction of a Minor Canon Character Nominees: Dean Thomas in Nights Like These (M) by @banshee Justin Finch-Fletchley in Goodbye, Jus by @Felpata_Lupin Hannah Abbott in Hope by @Jo Raskoph Astoria Greengrass in five lives (M) by @just.a.willow.tree Astoria Greengrass in lazy days (M) by @just.a.willow.tree Stan Shunpike in I Believe You by @Leo Anthony Goldstein in First Lit, Last Burning (M) by @MuggleMaybe Runner-Up: Astoria Greengrass in five lives (M) by @just.a.willow.tree WINNER: Justin Finch-Fletchley in Goodbye, Jus by @Felpata_Lupin Question: Justin Finch-Fletchley was written so beautifully! Could you tell us some of your headcanons about him, and why you wrote him as loving mathematics? Answer: I will be honest, I've never thought about Justin's character much... the only reason I wrote him is because he came up as a prompt for @dreamgazer220's "The Say Goodbye Challenge". But I do love him now! I honestly projected a lot in defining his personality and put a lot of myself into him. He is quiet and shy, values friendship a lot and wants what's best for everyone, even if that means stepping aside and sacrificing his own happiness (basically, a true Hufflepuff). He's also the kind of person who overthinks too much and acts too little (which again is something we have in common and, coincidentally, a friend and ex colleague of mine sustains it's a very Mathematician trait... ) His love for Mathematics mirrors my love for Mathematics (let's be honest, Maths are fascinating!) but I think for Justin Maths is mainly his way to keep contact with reality and make it make sense. Maths have precise rules that are fixed and can't be changed and Justin needs that sort of certainty, because life and emotions are just so unpredictable. Best Character Arc/Development Nominees: Seamus Finnegan in Nights Like These (M) by @banshee Hannah Abbott in When I Go Out With You (M) by @Dojh167 Regulus Black in When Summer Fades (M) by @Stella Blue Finn Blishwick in The Harder They Fall (M) by @victoria_anne Runner-Up: Hannah Abbott in When I Go Out With You (M) by @Dojh167 WINNER: Finn Blishwick in The Harder They Fall (M) by @victoria_anne Question: One of the most satisfying things to read is a good character growth, and your OC, Finn Blishwick, certainly has that! How did you plot his development from “Hero” to the end of “The Harder They Fall”? Were there any struggles in the process? Answer: I really enjoy writing characters who go through a major change throughout the novel, so these kinds of characters come quite naturally to me. I took his most prominent flaw (arrogance) and came up with ways to turn someone like him into a more humble, kind person, and wrote them into the story. The biggest struggle I had was that the change didn't happen quickly or easily, or completely changed him into someone else. Particularly after the midpoint, I was really poking my beta for approval! Best Friendship Nominees: Hollie Finnegan and Alec Williams in Chicks Before Broomsticks (M) by @banshee Emmeline, Edgar, Lily, and Severus in Seven years later by @Felpata_Lupin George and Ron Weasley in Then Time Stood Still (M) by @Levana Regulus Black and Summer Phillips in When Summer Fades (M) by @Stella Blue Runner-Up: Regulus Black and Summer Phillips in When Summer Fades (M) by @Stella Blue WINNER: George and Ron Weasley in Then Time Stood Still (M) by @Levana Question: A good sibling relationship is always a fun and fulfilling read. Why did you choose to focus on the friendship/siblinghood between Ron and George for “Then Time Stood Still”? Answer: As we all know, I'm the resident Weasley Twin Queen but my Over The Top Love extends to the entire Weasley family in general. Before joining HPFT I was getting a little annoyed with (what felt like) constantly seeing Weasley Bashing and specifically Ron Bashing fics on AO3. So, when I was writing this fic I wanted to draw attention to a character that I felt was underappreciated by parts of the fandom. The line, "people didn't usually give him enough credit, but Ron cared deeply for his older brothers." was actually a low-key jab at Ron Bashing fics. I actually originally entertained the idea of using Percy - someone else who the fandom loves to hate - but after thinking about it I really liked the possible dynamic between the Twins and Ron. The Twins are often characterized as goofy and not always the most caring of older brothers, so I wanted to play with the idea that Ron would skip going to Percy with his problems and go to the Twins. On top of that, I liked the idea of the tables then being turned - with the older brother leaning on the younger brother for support. With that I wanted to show the maturity that Ron has. And of course I just love Ron. Best Reviewer Nominees: @Felpata_Lupin @just.a.willow.tree @Stella Blue @victoria_anne Runner-Up: @Stella Blue WINNER: @just.a.willow.tree Question: Your reviews are always such a joy to receive - they’re so thoughtful with a lot of encouragement and details from the story/chapter. Can you tell us a little about your review process, and if you have any advice for those wanting to leave more helpful reviews? Answer: Eep, thank you! I’m so happy that my reviews give joy, but I honestly have little to no process while writing them haha. I usually just read the chapter through and then spend a page in my review doc gushing, rambling, and/or offering many thoughts (most of which are probably neither helpful nor relevant). My general tip is (and sometimes I forget to do this because I’m too busy reacting to all the characters and the storylines *sobs*): always leave at least one compliment. It’s always well-deserved and it’ll definitely make the author happy! Mostly, while I review, I try to touch on all the major events of the chapter, and then if I ever stumble across a particularly brilliant or beautiful line, I quote it. However, I forget events/lines so easily, and I always find that I’ve neglected to mention certain things, so sometimes for multi-chaps I’ll just continue saying things I forgot previously, in a review for the next chapter haha. But just show your love for the story, and I’m sure your review will be appreciated. *** And that's a wrap on our House Awards segment! Congratulations to all of our nominees, runner ups, and winners across all houses! It's definitely an accomplishment to be proud of We hope you enjoyed this series on our blog, and keep an eye out right here for future posts! *** Credits: interviews composed by @dreamgazer220 and @just.a.willow.tree header done by @just.a.willow.tree
  6. 10 points
    Hey, all! It's that time of the month again where we feature winners from monthly events like sitewide Story of the Month, the Order of Merlin, and Head Students! Stay tuned for a few interviews with these winners as well as a couple review columns! This is an opportunity to get to know the authors, stories, and staff of HPFT a little bit better than before. The one-and-only @TidalDragon was awarded the Order of Merlin for July, which was very well-deserved. You may know Kevin best as being the site's Gamekeeper, who is extremely helpful and friendly. We hope you enjoy this interview! TidalDragon Next, we have prepared an interview with our two Head Students for July, @danicasyer and @Sleepingbagonthesofa. These two have been positively rocking the site lately, so we're all very excited to have them featured. danicasyer Sleepingbagonthesofa Dolor Lake [M] by @Rumpelstiltskin R E V I E W C O L U M N I read Dolor Lake a little while ago for a review swap, and even though it's been almost a month since I reviewed it, the images have remained vivid and at the forefront of my mind. I kept thinking about this piece and the messages that Rumpels is trying to convey through it. The beauty of this piece is that she uses a metaphor so powerful and strong that it can convey manic depression flawlessly, even to people who may not have experienced it before. This depiction of the endless cycle between the happiness and the depression is so personal and written so beautifully. The monster in the lake may not mean something to us the way it means to Rumpels (or perhaps it does, which is why these pieces about mental illnesses are so important) but the importance of this piece, to me, is that it's something that's understandable to everyone. The imagery, tone, diction, figurative language, and second person POV in this piece all come together to form a masterpiece of original fiction. And in that way, Rumpels manages to show the nuances of manic depression far more effectively than if someone had just tried to describe it outright. A story that can do that -- teach something new while conveying a deeply personal experience -- is one worthy of the highest appreciation. I can't recommend this enough. Please read it. I N T E R V I E W W I T H T H E A U T H O R Lying Josephine [M] by @WriteYourHeartOut R E V I E W C O L U M N Lying Josephine is such a phenomenally plotted story, filled with fully-developed characters with their own very distinct personalities and ways of speaking, time jumps that slowly start piecing the story together bit by bit, and emotions ranging from elation to grief. Tanya conducts the story masterfully, and the fact that there aren't more chapters makes me feel incredibly unfulfilled. Her Fred and George are some of the best I've ever seen, and my favorite thing is how easily she gives them both extroverted, jokester personalities while still keeping them separate from each other. The way she ties her story into the war while keeping the setting centered largely around Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes and the Burrow is also so, so good. But we can't leave without talking about Tanya's OC, Josephine. Now, Josephine is quiet, shy, and reserved, yet she's best friends with Fred Weasley as she works in his shop. We'll find ourselves rooting for her as she tries to help George, her crush, especially in the aftermath of the war. She's fascinating because she's not morally perfect, but we'll love her anyway. Read this story and fall in love with all the characters, because there is no way you'll come out of it any other way. I N T E R V I E W W I T H T H E A U T H O R --- And that's it for today's edition of In the Spotlight! As always, leave a comment let us know what you think. We sincerely hope you enjoyed reading! - The Prefects review column by just.a.willow.tree interviews compiled by dreamgazer220, facingthenorthwind, Rumpelstiltskin graphics by just.a.willow.tree
  7. 7 points
    Guys. My daughter turns 1 on Sunday. I adore watching her grow and become a real human with interests and pursuits, but it also hurts my heart to say goodbye to her baby days.
  8. 6 points
    I found a crate full of facts. Willing to sell to the highest bidder.
  9. 6 points
    Due to popular demand, I have now made an "About Me"-page. I hope you find it helpful
  10. 6 points
    Hello again, my HPFT family!! As promised, I am here with another monthly update on my Honduras Missions Trip, and boy has it ever been CRAZY since the last time I posted here!!!! 1. Okay, so for starters, I am extremely happy to report that I have now met BOTH of the fundraising goals for June (which was $700.00) and July (which was another $500.00) and I am now on my way to meeting the very LAST goal of $400.00 for the month of August!!!! I currently only need another $325.00 and my Missions Trip will be fully funded!!!!! We've had several fundraisers over the last 6 weeks; including a Yard Sale, a dine-in partnership with a local restaurant, and I am currently selling T-Shirts that I designed!!! The shirt design was inspired by the Honduras Flag, and sales were originally supposed to end on July 31st. However, the Team recently extended that out another week, to August 8th. The shirts were $22.00 total, and we get $15 out of ever sale. I sold a LOT of shirts, and have been able to get most of my funding for the this way!! It has been pretty awesome!!! If anyone is interested in seeing the design, here is what they looked like: 2. Last weekend, our sister church at the One Child Matters center took a team to Honduras, and they kindly offered to take letters & small gifts down to our sponsored kids since they would be seeing them all while they were there. I absolutely cannot thank @MuggleMaybe ENOUGH for offering to help my team translate our letters to the kids from English into Spanish, so that they could read them once they arrived without having to wait forever to go through translators first!!! Renee, you are AWESOME, and you made so many of those children happy!!!! They lady who was in charge of the Simple Church group, Aimee, even sent me this adorable video of my little Angie opening up the coloring books and box of crayons that I had sent to her!!!! (As well as a letter with some pics of me, my cat, and my dog too!!) But GAH!! Just look at her!!! She is too precious for words, and I CANNOT WAIT to meet her in person you guys, OMG!!!!! I've already got her a bookbag to take with me in September that I am filling with markers, earrings, hair scrunchies, pencils, erasers, and a couple of cute new outfits for her!!! This is the only time we're allowed to give them gifts, and I plan to spoil her while i can, lol. 3. Since my last Blog post, I both applied for and received my U.S. Passport in the mail!! Funny story about that though, actually... So I put my Passport in my mom's safe, where it would be "safe" and I would not lose it over the next few months until I need it again in September. Now, mind you, we've had this Safe for like a good 12-14 years now, and it has always worked PERFECTLY!!! Zero problems.... So please explain to me WHY, three days after me putting my U.S. Passport in there, the stupid thing decided to crap out and JAM?!? Like, the whole locking mechanism just errored out, causing the Safe to not open anymore at all!!! I'm telling y'all - the Devil is alive, and he clearly does NOT want me going to Honduras, LOL!!! But anyway, after another three days of panicking, dropping the safe from several different heights, calling up locksmith companies, AAA, our renters insurance place (all of which were NOT helpful), attempting to take various tools to the thing (hammer, axe, drill, crowbar, you name it!!), and then kicking it around the basement a bit for good measure (because, why not??)... My mom finally decides to look up "How to break into an [insert name of safe]" videos on YouTube. And I'll be damned if there wasn't an actual video tutorial on how to stick a screwdriver into the latch of that thing and hit some sort of hidden reset button inside and open it tf up!!! I mean, It's no freaking wonder the world is full of so many common criminals these days!!! Apparently you can learn how to break into a freaking safe just by watching video tutorials on YouTube!!!! I am so done right now, lmfao!!!! We jacked that safe up so hardcore tho, lol!! The whole front panel and the latch/lever part fell of of it and everything... It's like not even usable anymore, and we most definitely need to get a new one ASAP now. But hey, at least she got it open!!! #RIPsafe 4. And finally, for my last update: our flights and Hotel rooms are BOOKED, and we have received our itinerary for the whole week already now too!!! I am signed up to teach the 12 - 17 year old VBS classes on Friday while we are there. The classes are 90 minutes long, and must contain a lesson, craft, and a game of some sort. Then on Saturday we will be taking ALL the kids from every age group to the park nearby for a "Sports Camp" day, and we'll get to hang out and play games with them for the entire 3 hour VBS day!!!! I am also signed up to help with Worship, and will be helping pick the songs to play while we're there. AND I also got put on the Photography Team as well, which I am super excited about!!!! Over the next month we will be planning our lessons/games/activities for the kids, gathering supplies, and raising the last of the needed funds for the trip!! Everything is falling into place now, and I could not be more excited/nervous for this trip now!!!!! It is all VERY REAL at the moment, and I can't WAIT!!! Thank you all so much for all of your love and support throughout this journey, you guys. It really does mean THE WORLD to me!!!! ~Deana
  11. 6 points
    Things I have done today: Plan story, plan more unnecessary backstory for story, read other people's stories, make picspam for story, think about writing story. What haven't I done today: Write any story
  12. 5 points
    omg this time I wrote "Pitches and Potchforks"
  13. 5 points
    I have learned so much about staff this week
  14. 5 points
    Minor life update but I took my road test today and FINALLY got my driver's license!
  15. 5 points
    Hey, my loves! I'm here again with another one of these posts! I hope you are still enjoying reading them, even if I've become so bad at these... July is my favourite month of the year (totally unrelated with the fact that it's when my birthday falls... ) but I will admit that this year all I wanted was for it to be over because... AUGUST! HOLIDAYS! HPFT MEETUP!!! But this is for the next blog post, I guess... So, without further ado (whatever that means... ) JULY 2018 3 - Holidays are not so far away and maybe a few things are righting themselves. A jump into the past with old songs and watching the storm out of the window enjoying the cooling and the smell of rain. (Talking about the old songs, was I really five when we sang "Spunta la luna dal monte"?) 4 - Women only aperitif on the poolside, beautiful evening. And now the deserved rest. 9 - Real or virtual, the biggest treasure in life are our friends, and I'm so lucky to have so many special ones. 11 - The fact that, even if at times you don't feel worthy, there is always someone who appreciate you and believe in you. And even if we don't always realize it, we have so much strenght and richness to give, it's only about making the effort and the act of belief of pulling them out. And anyway... how lovely is it to get back home when the sky is still light and the sun is shining? 19 - Completing those dayly tasks, even when they make us nervous. Organizing the celebrations for the birthday coming up. Enjoying the evening with a nice movie. 24 - Breathing holidays air, many celebrations and it's nice for one day to feel special. Happy birthday to me! 25 - Another night of party and I have to confess, it's been more pleasant that I expected at first. A long day, but I'm happy. 26 - That wonderful feeling of relief when your doctor tells you that everything is alright. A check on my list of things that make me nervous but that I need to do. And one day less to the holidays. 27 - Unscheduled, but I had nostalgia of a good latin night. Dancing under the eclipse... And the penultimate week of work before the holidays is ended! 31 - And finally July is over, which means only one week to the holidays and only two to the Milanese meet-up! There's still a lot to plan but I'm super excited! I can't wait! Credits/translations/explainations: Spunta la luna dal monte (literally The moon springs up from the mountain) is a song by Tazenda and Pierangelo Bertoli which was presented at the Sanremo festival in 1991. The summer of that year (and also for a few years that followed) when I was in the mountains, I used to sing it on the balcony every evening when the moon... springed up from the mountain... Side note: most of the song is actually in Sardinian dialect, which means I have no idea what it says, except for the refrain... I don't think anything else really deserves an explaination (but if you are curious about something you can always jump in and ask ) Hope you enjoyed reading, as always!
  16. 5 points
    OMGosh, y'all!! I've just realized that I missed my 1 year Staff-Anniversary by two whole days!!! This whole entire month I've been thinking that I got promoted on the 28th of July last year, but it was actually the 26th, lol!! GAH!! Still, I cannot believe that it has been an ENTIRE Year already!!! I love you guys so freaking much, and it is such an honor serving you all here at HPFT!!! You guys are like family, and I could not imagine my life without you!!!
  17. 5 points
    I wanna read a story about the Quidditch game in the 1400s where the committed all 700 fouls I feel like that would be wild
  18. 4 points
    I can't believe the archive has 16 MILLION words on it, omg.
  19. 4 points
    "There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, where the sea is asleep and the rivers dream, people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, and somewhere there's injustice, and somewhere else the tea is getting cold. Come on, Ace, we've got work to do!" -The Seventh Doctor, Doctor Who
  20. 4 points
    I've just finished reading the last chapter of a WIP, became super hooked in the plot, the cliffhanger, the questions, looked straight away for the next chapter aaaand have now had to bin myself. The next chapter hasn't been written because I haven't been bothered to write it yet. My own stupidity amazes me sometimes.
  21. 4 points
    @Veritaserum27 Beth, my love, would you like to play 20 questions? it'll be fun...
  22. 4 points
    YAY HUFFLEPUFF This was such a joy to read - thank you @dreamgazer220 and @just.a.willow.tree for putting it together. I think the questions are such a great idea - a little glimpse into the author's writing process. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees! We seriously have such amazing talent in this house!
  23. 4 points
    Thank you, Eva for making this blog and thank you to everyone who contributed to this. We have fresh lions who volunteered as prefects. Our future at hpft forums will be brighter from now on.
  24. 4 points
    Eva. I am floored by the sig set you made for our lovely 'Puffs. It's literally one of the prettiest things I've ever seen. You are insanely talented.
  25. 4 points
    My Prefect's Celebration Challenge entry is up! +passionfruit (M)