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Something Unpredictable

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About this blog

~ forays into the mind of a stressed out, depression-suffering writer, reader, cat lady ~

[It will probably be more lighthearted than I make it sound.]

Entries in this blog

 

October, November, and Damn...the Year is Ending?

I didn't get around to posting my blog for October, so this one gets to cover two months...which may actually be a good thing. To be honest, I don't remember much of October. It was a month of trying to settle into our new home here in New York. It was a month of adjustments and changes and a lot of sleep for me—I deal with stress and anxiety by hibernating. November was both better and worse. It was incredibly stressful: my fiancé and I did a ton of wedding planning; I started applying to dream jobs—and being rejected; and we found out that our apartment...has bed bugs. Now, people of HPFT, if you've ever had bed bugs...I am so sorry. It's been an absolute nightmare. I basically haven't slept well in a month. I've been eaten alive, had the exterminator come twice (meaning we all had to leave the apartment for 6 hours, including our kitty who does not like leaving his dominion), spent over $250 on sprays/products/medical supplies/cat boarding/etc., and Googled way too many things about these godforsaken monsters. Bed bugs...are a nightmare. So, you could say that it's been a difficult month. On the upside, though, I did some editing for NaNo! I didn't get nearly everything I wanted to finished, but I was able to edit and post three chapters of Collateral (M) which makes me feel really happy and excited! It means I'll be moving along nicely when things calm down a bit for me and I have more time to write. Unfortunately, that will be sometime in the distant future after we get rid of the aforementioned bugs and put our home back together. We're going into the final month of 2018. It hasn't been the best year, but it's had its definite positives. 33 days until 2019. Let's do this.

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September, I Love You

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

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Two More Down, Four to Go

Hello again, friends! So, I missed blogging last month because I was on a road trip with little to no reliable internet connection. But I'm back now with all of the news from the last two months, and some hopes for the future. Thank you all for your patience with me this summer! I know I haven't been as consistent as I usually am, but I promise I do love HPFT and you! 😉 So, let's see...let's start with July: It was a long month, but a good one. I saw a lot of family throughout it, and, as I wrote before, I'm spending the summer with my grandpa in Florida. So things were really good. I also got to attend my partner's family reunion and spend time with his relatives, which was fantastic. And then, of course, he proposed on the 31st! We've been together for five and a half years, and now we're engaged! 😍 Honestly, I couldn't be happier! I do appreciate all the congratulations I've gotten here. It means so much to me. 😊 After we got engaged, we spent the first two weeks of August on a road trip around the southwest U.S., which was phenomenal. We wandered into so many wonderful independent bookstores, saw awe-inspiring nature, and enjoyed every minute of it. Then, of course, it was time to get back to work. I've been back in Florida and helping grandpa out for a couple of weeks now, and it's been great. Hard work around the house, but productive.   As for my HPFT and writing life...it's been sorely lacking. I haven't written anything for quite a while. I really need to edit Collateral, and yet...it just hasn't happened. I will admit pride, though, in a new one-shot I wrote in mid-July for the Prefects' Writing Challenge. It's called "The Outset," and it's one of my LGBTQ OTPs—Lee Jordan and Dean Thomas. (Look at all of those acronyms!) I'm really happy with how it turned out. Yet again, I'm going to set a September goal to edit more of Collateral. Can someone, anyone, please hold me to that? 😅 Maybe like...three chapters. Ideally more! I still have so many to go...   So, in September we're finally moving to our new city. It will be so hard to leave my grandpa—we're really close and I've loved being here with him—but it will be good to settle in again. Wish me luck! I'm going to need it.

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So Many Endings, and a Beginning Far on the Horizon

So, June was the hardest month I've had this year. Welcome back to my blog, and strap in, friends, because this one is going to get emotional.   The beginning of the month was pretty good. I went to two different weddings, in New Mexico and Puerto Rico, and they were both wonderful. I spent time with friends and relaxed a bit since my job ended at the end of May. Then the second half of the month came, and with it all of the emotions of packing up our home and getting ready to move away from a place we loved and all the friends we made there. After almost three years, 1077 days, my partner and I are done with our time in Boston. If you've never been there, I highly recommend it. It was such a wonderful place to start our life together after college, and we really grew to love it. I could never have expected that, to be honest, because it was so much different from the Rocky Mountain region and the Midwest where I'd spent most of my life before moving to Boston. At first, those differences made me hate it, but that changed and now I don't know what I'll do without it. It was a place that gave me and my partner our first real home together, our kitty baby Gumbo, my Master's degree, and so many friends that I'll never stop missing. The last three years blessed me with so many talented, intelligent, funny, compassionate, caring, accepting, unique, fantastic people. They made Boston home. And I'm absolutely devastated to leave them. So on Thursday night when I saw Boston below me as I flew away, it was the most difficult moment of my year. It was so, so hard to say goodbye. I'm facing so many endings right now, but the next beginning is still months away. I'm spending the summer in Florida with my grandpa, helping him out around the house and tackling some projects for him. Brady is off visiting his own family and studying for the bar exam. Then we have a brief vacation road-trip together at the beginning of August. Then we're looking for a lease in our new home city for September 1st. So for now, I'm in limbo. I'm sorry for being so absent this month. It was hard to juggle HPFT along with all the other things happening in my life. I'm back now, but I'm still emotionally distant, unfortunately. I still haven't fully coped with all these changes. Gumbo and I are safe in Florida, but my heart is still in an empty apartment in a suburb of Boston, surrounded by memories and silence. There's a weight that hasn't quite lifted. I promise I'll be back to full functioning on here as soon as I can. Just know that I love you all and I love the site, even when I'm quieter than usual. Wish me luck this summer. I'll need it with all the changes I'm facing. And as always, thank you for reading.

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May We Make It Through the Summer

Somehow it's the end of May, and I made it through another month. Welcome back to my ramble-blog! May was very long in some aspects, and in others it flew by. I was very busy—what with a conference I attended, then a visit from one my sisters, then a ton of family in town for my partner's graduation from law school...I'm exhausted. I don't feel like I've slept well literally in weeks. The bad news is the aforementioned exhaustion, busyness, stress, and some really bad anxiety mid-month. The good news, though, is that I did a little bit of writing (finally!), got to see family, and my partner and I finally picked out an engagement ring for me! He's planning to propose sometime later this summer, and I'm obviously really excited about that. In terms of writing, I've had such a desire to write and edit and post stories. I actually have that drive again, which is awesome. It feels like it's been missing for a while, and I'm happy it's back. Hopefully June will be more productive for me! Wish me luck! May was also really fun in the 'Puff CR with different reviewing activities and games we played. I love you, 'Pufflings! You're so wonderful, and I really enjoyed hanging out with you all so much this month.   Looking forward, our big move away from our current city is approaching. Our lease ends here on June 30th.  I'm excited for our next step in life, and I'm so happy for my partner's new job, but it will be really hard to leave here. It's been our first real home together, and we have so many friends we'll be leaving. It's going to be a huge change. Hopefully I can find a job I love and thrive in. And hopefully the transition isn't too hard. June is bound to be crazy, so we'll see how it goes. Thank you as always for reading and being patient with my rants. You all rock.

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Aprollll with the Punches

Um. 2018 is one third over. Whaaaaaat? I am completely thrown. To say that April flew by would be an absolute understatement. I know I say every month that it feels like the last month went by quickly, but I really do mean it this time! I didn't even make monthly goals in my bullet journal, and now the month has ended! I can't believe that. And, I suppose, it's time to admit that I didn't come remotely close to the one vague goal that I did have of participating in Camp NaNo and editing the remaining 44 chapters of Collateral. I edited...half. of one. Soooo...not a success. I do want to say, though, that I could not appreciate the lovely @ShadowRose more! Taylor, you were such a sweet NaNo pen pal, and I wish I hadn't essentially done nothing this month. Congratulations on all of the words you wrote! You're a champion and it was wonderful getting to know you throughout April! So, what did I accomplish in the last thirty days? I cut all my hair off again—and it looks and feels awesome!—which I really needed to do (because why did I think I should try growing it out?? I love having short hair!). My oldest sister came to visit for a week, which was lovely and not even that stressful somehow. I got another tattoo—and it is stunning and gorgeous and reminds me of home every time I look at it. I went to a concert and a play and a kit-tea party for my friend's cat's birthday. I validated 270 chapters on the archives. So it wasn’t a completely unsuccessful month. True, I wrote essentially nothing. True, I haven’t actively worked on my apartment search for our move this summer. True, I’m stressed and tired essentially all the time. But look, not every month (or months, or year...) can be perfect. And that’s okay. This community is lovely and growing, and I’m so happy to be a part of it! Thanks as always for reading my monotonous life updates!   It’s good for me to try to keep track of my monthly progress. Until the end of the coming month! May it be a good one!

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How is 2018 a Quarter Over?

It's been another month and I've still barely written anything in 2018. But hey, this month was a crazy one, so I'll pretend it's okay. On the first of March, the bookstore where I worked had a small fire...and then the sprinklers went off and flooded the store. For a couple of weeks, I worked alongside the rest of the staff to clean and begin repairs, but then most of us were laid off. I miss it a lot, despite understanding why they couldn't keep us on, and finances are now tighter than they were before. So that kept me busy and stressed throughout the beginning and middle of the month. The last week or so has been a bit better, though, and I'm starting to get back on track. I'm even going to be a Camp NaNo rebel next month and hopefully (finally) get all of Collateral (M) onto HPFT! So, let's cross our fingers! This month's anxiety update is mixed. It was definitely better than last month, though I did have a few hard days here and there. I experienced more stress this month, but not as many near-panic attacks.   So, we have actual writing goals for next month! Keep me accountable for these if you can, because I'll definitely need the encouragement: edit all 50 chapters of Collateral participate actively in Camp NaNo (see my NaNo Novel Nest!) not lose my mind The weather in the northern hemisphere is finally warming up slightly. So hopefully that will also encourage me to kick myself to be productive. Let me know if I can help any of you!

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A Difficult Month

February was a really hard month, to be honest. My anxiety was higher during the second half of this month than it has been since last fall, which is really frustrating. I worked around 50 hours and between six and seven days a week. I didn't get enough sleep. Without boring you with details, there were a lot of factors contributing to this being a not-great 28 days. At the same time, February went by really quickly. I can't believe it's almost March. The older I get, the less I seem to live in the moment, which I suppose is probably a bad thing...   So, I have some real goals I want to achieve for March. Most importantly, I want to write. I haven't written anything this year. Nada. Not one word. And writing is something that I really enjoy, obviously, so I want to make time to do it. I'm hoping to have more chapters of Collateral (M) edited and posted by the end of March. Then maybe I can actually get around to posting its sequel, which I wrote 30,000 words of during NaNo. In sum, I'm hoping that March will be better than February was. Already, the last few days of this month have given me hope that next will be better. I've read some great stories in the queue, had some great conversations with members here, and know that there are exciting things coming for the site next month. If I can get my own life in some semblance of order and get to writing things in March, I think that will help a lot. Thanks as always for reading the ramblings! Maybe next month's blog will actually be about writing.  

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New Year, High Hopes

So it seems that I'll be blogging at the end of each month (except December, which I inadvertently missed). Welcome back! It's a new year, and I'm really hoping that it will be a good one. January was rough. Things were busy and stressful: work, family illnesses, exhaustion, and general chaos kept me running. I didn't sleep enough. I didn't complete some of my start-of-the-year goals. But I'm still here and still plugging away. I have a lot of resolutions for 2018. I want to learn to cook. I want to get back into yoga. I want to write and read and bullet journal. And more. I think I'll be able to accomplish at least some of those, but this year is definitely going to be a busy one. I'm making a big move at the end of June to NYC (or, more likely, New Jersey since it's more affordable and I can still commute to the city for work). My boyfriend and I have lived where we are in New England for two and a half years, and we'll be leaving a lot behind to pursue our careers. We're excited to start there, and we're planning to get engaged, so we know that this will be a great move for us. But it's still hard to leave this place behind. It was our first real home together, and we have a lot of friends who we won't get to see as often after we go. It's going to be hard. I'm really hoping that 2018 is going to be the year that I get into my career-job in publishing. I've been interning and working part time for the last two and a half years, and I want to really dive in when I get to New York. It's the center of publishing, so it's the perfect place to start my career. I'm also hoping that this move won't set back all the positive work I've done for my mental health. I suffer from really severe anxiety and depression, and 2017 was one of my hardest years. I've finally found an SSRI medication that works for me, though, and I hope it can keep working despite all the life changes I'll be going through. In sum, 2018 is going to be busy. I really want it to be good, and I'm happy with the goals I've laid out for myself. I'm excited and ready to jump in. I'm just not sure where that leap will lead. I'm sure there's more to say, but I won't keep chatting for now. I'll likely come back to this topic in a future blog. I just have a lot to look forward to this year. I'm so glad that I'll have this community behind me while I go through it all. Thank you as always for reading!

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So I'm Going to Lose NaNo...

Hello everyone! Happy end-of-November! I'm about to lose NaNoWriMo! . . . . And that is absolutely, 100%, this-isn't-sarcastic, okay!   Really! I'm about to lose NaNo, and I'm completely fine with it! I have accomplished so much this month! I've written for this first time in years. I've begun a new novel, the sequel to Collateral, that I've been wanting to write for a long, long time. I've planned out the majority of that novel. I love the writing I've done. And I've written nearly 30,000 words! That's on top of all the things in my personal life: starting a second job, hosting a currently-apartment-less friend all month, having a different friend visit for four days, being on a doubled dosage of a pill that makes me super tired, Christmas shopping, family stress, and everything else. In other words, this month went wonderfully. I feel a tiny bit disappointed for not reaching 50,000—as I'm sure all of us who didn't do—but overall, I feel good. I had an amazing NaNo buddy in @bittersweetflames (hi, Carla!) who encouraged me through her own busy month. I had great advice along the way from @abhorsen. and so many others, rat-raced with some great people, and I feel great about what I've accomplished. So I guess this is a blog about the journey, not the destination. How did NaNo go for you? Did you meet your goals? (Congratulations!) Did you fall short, but still feel good? Did you fall short and feel disappointed? Any feelings, post them below and we can reflect! Thank you for reading!

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Learning to Write Again

I'm out of practice. I haven't really written something substantial in years. And I don't really know how to start up again.   In terms of fanfiction, in 2014, I finished Rule Breaker (soon to be renamed Collateral and posted on HPFT). It was a project five years in the making, and I absolutely loved writing it. After that, though, I wrote very little. In 2015, I posted two one-shots and two chapters of what was meant to be a novel until I lost interest. Since then, I've written nothing. For over two years. Now I'm getting ready to write the sequel to Collateral, entitled Rendition. I want to tackle it for NaNo this year. I'm really excited about it. But I can't seem to figure out how I'm going to do this. I'm so out of practice writing. Over the last month or so, I've edited some of my HPFF stories and transferred them to HPFT. It's been cathartic. I've really enjoyed improving them. Trouble is, I haven't actually been writing anything, just editing. And now I want to jump in with both feet. So, how do I do this? I've considered entering some challenges to get my writing brain moving again. I think that might help as a short-term fix. I'm not sure if it will help in the long term though. I don't know if I'm any good at writing anymore. There's just a lot of self-doubt with it right now. I know I should just grit my teeth and plunge forward, but that fear of failure isn't so easy to overcome. True, no one will really know if I "fail" at writing—I'll be the only judge/jury/executioner on that—but it still brings me pause. I'm a compulsive planner when it comes to writing. I love knowing where I'm going before I start. But I haven't even been able to bring myself to sketch out the greater plot of Rendition past the first few chapters, and NaNo starts in a week. Ohhhh man am I screwed.   So, that's the end of that rant. Any advice? Words of wisdom? Words of comfort? Shrieks of empathetic understanding for feeling exactly the same way?

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Beginning the Transition

Hello HPFT friends! I can't believe I'm really here! I've been active again for a couple of weeks now, and so far, it's been great. I've been a part of the HP-fandom community since 2006, and I definitely missed the HPFF forums when they shut down. Now that I'm active again on HPFT, I'm excited to begin really transitioning to this site! Part of that has been changing my username and creating an HPFT archive account. The next step is transferring my HPFF stories over to HPFT and getting back into writing. So...I'm here for advice! You don't have to have read my stories to help out here, but if you have, I'd love to know that too as it might inform your advice also!
  Of the 28 stories I have posted on HPFF, only 16 of them may come over to HPFT. The ones not being posted on HPFT are staying on HPFF as they are and will remain unedited potentially forever (as their quality isn't such that I feel they're salvageable—some are over ten years old!). Of the ones that may move, 9 almost certainly will, after being spruced up: 1 novel: all 50 chapters of Rule Breaker will absolutely move, but will be retitled Collateral 1 short-story: 3 chapters of Permanence 7 one-shots: Requiem and Resurrection; Happy New Year, Hermione Granger; Sirius Black: Matchmaker Extraordinaire; Afternoon Tea; For Her; The Final Journey; uh-lone And 7 may move with significant changes: Complete rewrites of As the Rain Falls; From Ashes We Rise; In and Out of Love; Savior On the fence about sprucing My Brother in light of actually experiencing this type of loss May edit Eighteen Pleats to return it to OF, which I've written it as before On the fence about The Parish, if I'm still interested in pursuing it Finally, I have 6 much shorter one-shots that had previously been entries for HPFF House Cup events that I'm fond enough of that I may post them as well.   So, here's the part where I need advice! I understand that the HPFT queue allows two chapters at a time (and five at the beginning of the month). Should I post my shorter pieces (one-shots and the short story) first, or just bang out Rule Breaker and do the others later? I'm on the fence about what will be more logical. I'm working on the sequel to Rule Breaker—hey, let's start calling it by its new name!—Collateral now, but don't have anything ready to post, but I'll want to edit the chapters of Collateral before it goes up, and...it's fifty chapters long. Any advice? What would you do? What did you do if you've already transferred your stories from another site to this archive? Thanks, friends! Best,
Emily

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