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About this blog

I don't blog very often. When I do, it's usually to ramble about one random thing or another, lol. 

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Ten Days and Counting…

First of all, I do apologize that this update is coming in so late. I really did mean to post my monthly trip update in August, but as I’m sure many of you know, things got a little crazy around here with the wrapping up of our annual House Cup Tournament last month, lol!  So here I am now, better late than never, to provide you all with what will likely be my LAST Missions Trip update before the actually trip itself happens…🇭🇳 That being said, here is what's been happening over the past month since my last update:
  1. I am so incredibly happy to report that I sold 15 t-shirts during our fundraiser for that. And then, with a few last minute unexpected donations from some people at work, I received the LAST bit of funding that I needed to meet the August goal of $400.00 - meaning that my trip was FULLY FUNDED on time!!! I met all of my deadlines, and now our flights have all been confirmed and we officially have our plane tickets!! Honestly, I am still completely baffled by the fact that I somehow managed to raise $1,700 dollars in 3 months time. But I honestly could NOT have done it without all of the amazing and overwhelming support of all m family and friends!!! 💕    2. As mentioned in my +Last Update, I am going to be teaching VBS to the 12-17 year old teens in Honduras, and we will have 90 minutes to present a lesson, craft, and an activity to the kids. I was put in charge of the craft and the activity, so I’ve been very busy this past month researching team building exercises and learning how to make Paracord bracelets, lol. Thankfully though, it’s all coming together though, and my partner and I are finally starting to feel as though we have our lesson down-pact. We’re getting together on Friday to go shopping for our final supplies for the activity, so this is like really it, y’all!! 💙    3. I also had the opportunity to get together with our trip leader Sam’s dad, who plays the guitar (and is also the only other musician in our group, lol) and practice our songs for the trip as well. Roger has, admittedly, never played his guitar in front of people before. He’s always just done it for fun, so our jam session was super fun!! Both of us are stoked to lead worship for the people at the center in Honduras now, and we have six songs prepared. I even learned how to sing a few lines of some of the songs in Spanish!! (“You Make Me Brave” and “How He Loves Us”) 🎼
  4. In an unexpected turn of events, we discovered that the center we’re serving will be having a “Teen Day” - not just for the kids who attend the One Child Matters center, but for all of the teenagers in the community there to come to as well. Our Team Leader and our Pastor are going to be leading the lesson on this, and they’re doing this whole thing on Identity. Sam has some really cool ideas for the activity involved with it that I’m pretty excited about… But, at the end of it, she asked ME if I wouldn’t mind sharing my personal testimony on teen suicide with the kids. I said no at first, because I am NOT a public speaker, and I was/am very afraid to talk about those intimate parts of my life with anybody. But then, the more and more I thought about it, the more I realized that this may very well be the reason that I was sent on this trip. So I called her back, and I agreed to do that too. Putting myself in such a vulnerable position has certainly NOT been an easy thing to do, but I know I’m making the right call. (And if anybody is interested in hearing the story, DM me some time and we’ll talk.) I’m trying to learn how to be more open about it. Who knows. Maybe after the trip, I’ll post the whole thing on one of those anonymous Blog sites for everyone to read. But for now… baby steps, lol. 😅   5. I have my final doctor’s appointment tomorrow to take care of any/all preventative measures that need to be addressed with my Family Doctor prior to leaving the Country. I have also contacted my phone service provider to setup a service and data coverage while I am our of the Country. (Verizon has a really nice Travel Plan option that I would recommend for anyone who has them and may be traveling.) 😉  So at least I know I won't be totally cutoff from the outside world while I'm over there. My cell phone WILL work at all times, should I need to make use of it... And that is it!!! ALL of my prep-work will FINALLY be complete!!! Every bit of paperwork is done, and all of the money has been turned in now. It is a done-deal at this point. We have officially reached the point of no return, lol!! 😱
  To say that I have been a nervous wreck over the past few weeks would be an understatement. Tensions have definitely been running high, and my stress levels have been TO THE MAX as I was frantically trying to balance ALL of my responsibilities in life - at work for the doctor, at work for the respite kids, at church for my band, at church for the missions trip, here on the site, and at home too. 😥 So many things/people were vying for my attention, and I know I’ve been a bit all over the place recently as I struggled to stay afloat and get EVERYTHING done that needed to be completed. It has definitely been an exhausting process, and it has taken a lot of patience to not give up. And I'll admit that having to write my life story, and relive some of the things I went through in my youth have put me in a very vulnerable place, emotionally, over the past few weeks as well too... So if I haven’t seemed like myself, or if I haven’t been around as much since the finale ended, know that I am fine. I’m still here, lol! I’ve just been internalizing a LOT of things lately, and as the trip gets closer, I have to start mentally preparing myself for it. I DO feel as though I am refocused now though, and even though I went through that high anxiety period, I am not about to let that stop me from going on this trip now!! 👍
  Even as I make this blog post, it is 3:50am on Tuesday the 11th of September. Which means that, in exactly TEN DAYS from NOW, I will be on my way to the airport. Our flight leaves at 6:15am on Thursday, September 20th. So, naturally, we have to be there at the ungodly hour of 4:00am, lol!!! 😆 My suitcase is already packed for the most part. I’ve gotten all of my clothes ready, and I’ve prepared Angie’s bookbag full of gifts. It’s so full now that I officially cannot fit anything else in it, lol!! (TBH, I probly never should have added in those last three Disney Princess dolls, haha!!) I honestly cannot wait to meet her. I am so excited to see this little girl, that it just makes everything I’ve gone through to get to this point so worth it… 💗   So there you have it, folks!!! My Honduras Missions Trip is 10 days away, and even though I am now fully funded, even though we do have a solid itinerary and all of our lessons are all planned out now, even though most of my things are packed and so many other things are all falling into place now, and even though I am VERY excited to meet my Sponsored little girl… I may be slightly panicking a just a little, lol!! 😬  TEN DAYS!?!? Are you kidding me?? It feels like we JUST started talking and planning this whole thing yesterday, lol!!! 😂 And now I will be leaving in less than 2 week's time, OMGGG!!!!!   Needless to say, in my next Blog update, I will be so very excited to share all of my trip experiences with you guys!! Because, nerves or no nerves, I AM going on this trip, lol!! 😋 And yet again, I cannot THANK YOU ALL enough for standing by me, and being so loving/supportive/encouraging throughout this entire process!!! Literally, I don't think I could have gotten this far without the community of HPFT!!!    I love all of you guys so much!!!!      🧡 ~ Deana   




OMG, This is REALLY Happening Now!!!

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     




What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

I’m the girl who plays it safe. I dislike change and fear the unknown. I like for things be as much within MY control as possible...    Which is probably why I’m still working at the first place I got hired on at, right out of college, even though my boss is intolerable and I really do hate the work environment sometimes. But getting a new job, starting my career all over at a new place, is too much unknown territory for me to explore right now. I’m tied up in a car payment for the next 2 years, I have other obligations and bills that have to be paid, and I know for a fact that where I’m at now will cover everything… So why make a change that might lead to financial instability?   This also (partially) explains why I haven’t really stepped out my my comfort zone and taken any chances with any of the romantic interests that have come my way over the past 5 years now. Dating is unpredictable, after all. Why would I ever want to put my happiness and emotional vulnerability in the hands of someone else? I am perfectly independent and able to take care of myself. I have embraced my singleness, and I am genuinely happy on my own right now… So why take a risk on love if it could potentially end in ruin?   Don’t ask me why my mind works like this. I have such a bad habit of always jumping to the worst of conclusions, no matter how unrealistic or illogical they may seem.     I currently work 3 jobs (1 full-time, and 2 part-time) in addition to helping out with the site; which is honestly more like a hobby/escape for me, really. Y’all truly do help keep me sane when RL gets to be too crazy, lol!!  But, like, I haven’t had a proper vacation since I went to Georgia back in March of 2008. (Not that this trip is going to be a Vacation, exactly. But it's getting me away from work. Away from home. Away from the Country, even! So I'd say that it counts as a type of Vaycay, in it's own way.)   You see, I’ve always been the one who works for everything that I have. My family wasn’t exactly poor, per-say, but we certainly knew from a young age what it meant to go without. Being the oldest, my parents were harder on me than they were the other kids, and it pushed me to be this driven individual that I am now... I am still the only one of my 6 other siblings who went to College and got any sort of degree. But that’s because I learned from the time that I was old enough to hold a job (which is now the age of 15 here in OH) that if I wanted something, I was going to have to work for it. Nearly everything I own, I’ve worked for. (My car, gaming systems, all of my furniture, my clothes/shoes, etc..)  Nothing in my life has ever been handed to me... And I LIKE my independence. I enjoy being able to help myself, and not having to ask anyone for anything. Because you can’t control other people. You can’t tell them what to do, or how to act. You can try, but that doesn’t mean they’ll listen to you, lol!!
   So why, oh WHY, in the world, did I ever volunteer myself to go on this Missions Trip to Honduras?!?!?   I’ve never traveled out of the country before - I barely ever even leave my own State! So I’ve certainly never gone on a missions trip before. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE to help!! I am just NOT the person who usually signs up for these things. There are better, more qualified people out there; who are probably better suited and more able to handle the work that is involved in Missions than me. Or at least that’s what I’ve always told myself…   So what could possibly make things so different this time around???   I don’t have any kids of my own yet. And honestly, at this point, Idk if I ever will. After all, I am far too busy with my career to settle down and start a family right now… But that doesn’t mean that the desire for these things is not in my heart. So when the representative from One Child Matters came to speak at my church in March of this year, I made another crazy decision - I sponsored a little girl from Honduras!! Her name is Angie, she is now 6 years old (her Birthday is April 1st - the same day as Fred & George Weasley!!), she loves art, and she wants to be a teacher when she grows up!! She calls me her Godmother.   Never in my life have I ever thought that one tiny decision to put someone that I didn’t even know - some family in another country even - ahead of myself even, could impact me in such a HUGE and meaningful way… And when I found out that my church was planning a Missions Trip to the One Child Matters center that Angie attends in September, naturally I signed up to be a part of the team without even thinking, lol!  I was just so excited at the very thought of getting to meet my little Angie face-to-face, and having the opportunity to see her hometown, and experience her culture, and meet all of her other friends at the OCM Center in Tegucigalpa, Honduras!!! Why wouldn't I go? She’s counting on me to be there, after all. And who knows when I’ll get this opportunity again - it could be a few years before they plan another trip like this.   But going on a Missions Trip... It is a LOT of work!!!! And I’ll admit, I was not prepared in the slightest for half of the things that have been asked of me so far.   So if I’ve seemed distant, or even more crazy than usual; it’s just because I’m juggling a ton of uncomfortable uncertainties at the moment. I am being pulled out of my comfort zone, and there are so many variables that are beyond my control at the moment, and I am just such a mess!! (And I shall continue to reserve the right to be a hot mess for the remainder of the summer, until all of these fundraising shenanigans are over with, lol!!) I will definitely be sure to keep you guys updated/in the loop as the summer goes on though, and the trip gets closer. And I’ll even be sure to post updates during/after the trip as well!! (Although the during part may actually depend on how much internet access we have available to us while in Honduras.)     - And now, for my 1st official Update: I have completed ALL of my official paperwork, background check is completed, and I am currently in the process of getting my first ever US Passport! Our biggest funding deadline is also coming up here within the next three days, and I am still $300 dollars away from the total needed goal… Our trip leader wants to book all of our plane tickets and hotel rooms this coming weekend, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that everyone on the team reaches their $700 goals by this Wednesday. If anyone here wishes to partner with me on this journey, do feel free to find me on Social Media, where I have a few fundraising pages setup at!! (There are also pictures of my adorable sponsored child, Angie, posted on Twitter & Facebook as well!!)    I am super excited to share this adventure with all of my friends and family, as it’s probably the biggest thing I’ve ever done in my life!! Thank you all so much for your amazing love and support. You guys have helped me see that the World isn’t such a scary place, and it deserves to be explored more. This community has really helped me grow and step outside of my comfort zone more and more over the past year, and I am so thankful to all of you for that. I shall carry you all with me on my travels.   ~Deana  




Ten Years

Ten Years     Ten years ago, the word “forum” was completely foreign to me. I had no idea what being a part of an online community was like. I had always been taught that it was dangerous to chat with “strangers from the internet.” (You can tell how well I took that particular lesson to heart as a youngster, haha!!) Ten years ago I wrote just for fun. I never would have imagined sharing any of my work with other people. My writing was for my-eyes ONLY!! Ten years ago, the idea of sharing my writing with those strangers on the internet scared the hell out of me...   I don’t even recall the exact detail of events that lead me to HPFF. I just remember that I was researching something for a scene that I wanted to write for my own Harry Potter story. So I was Yahoo-searching something (because in those days, yahoo’s search engine was all the rage, lol!!) and a story that another fanfic author had written on HPFF popped up in the search results. Curious, I clicked on it to see what it was, and thus I discovered the world of Harry Potter Fanfiction. I was amazed!! There was an actual term for what I was doing, and thousands of other people were doing it too!! Who knew?   But of course, in my own self-critical opinion, MY story was not nearly good enough to be posted online for all the world to see. It was very much a part of me back in those days, and I simply was not ready to let other people to read it. I was far too happy to just continue keeping it all to myself. Little did I know the levels of growth and feelings of accomplishment that awaited me through the experience of writing fanfiction with others... Sure, I had read the announcements on the HPFF homepage about checking out their forums before, and even clicked over there a few times during my anonymous guest reading visits. But it all just looked so confusing, and a little bit intimidating, so I admit that I was hesitant to join. I believe that it was the “Title Help” section that finally drew me in. I remember thinking: "These people are going to help me come up with chapter titles and summaries? They talk about stuff like that there? How cool is that!?"      So, on March 28th, 2008, I signed up for my first ever online forum account; and I haven’t looked back since!! I have met so many wonderful and supportive people in this community, all of which have helped me to grow and develop my own personal writing style. I eventually came out of my scared little writing shell of shyness; and on December 9th, 2008, I FINALLY posted the first chapter of my Novel to the HPFF archives!! (Back in those days, the story was called “All is NOT Fair in Love & War” and it was going in a totally different direction that what “Love, Not War” is traveling in now though). But I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way!! I can’t even believe how hesitant I was in the beginning. It’s so silly to even think about how irrational my reasoning was back in those days...   But looking back on my early days now, I am simply stunned by HOW MUCH I’ve grown since I first started writing. And when I think about that fact that it has now been TEN YEARS to the day, I am left breathless in awe and wonder. My writing is certainly not what it was ten years ago, that’s for sure, and I own the majority of that to THIS community!! Had I never clicked “join” on this very day ten years ago, I don’t even know if I would have stuck with writing after college. Who knows?? I mean, I barely have time for it as it is right now, but it's still one of my dearest passions. My loves. My favorite methods of escape. When real life gets to be too complicated, when work gets too stressful, when the business becomes too much... I sit down and I write. I immerse myself in the fantastic world of HP; and I write about Draco, and Roxi, and Lucius, and Saleena, all of their complex relationships and problems. Because sometimes, I confess, it is far easier to deal with their issues than it is to focus on whatever else is going on in RL at that moment.  (But aren't we all a little guilty of that on occasion though?)   Don’t get me wrong, I'm not one of those people who run away from their problems. Not in the slightest. It's just that I am happy to have writing - and writing Harry Potter Fanfiction in particular - as a means of a temporary break/escape from it all from time to time. And had I not met all of you lovelies here, I honestly don’t know if I would still have stuck with it after all of these years... As some of you may know or remember, I did take a two-year hiatus from 2012 to 2014 while I was in college, and I almost didn’t return after that. When I did, I wrote a few new chapters back in 2014, but that was when I realized that the story wasn’t going in the direction that I wanted it to anymore. So, in January of 2015, I decided to scrap everything and start all over with my Novel!  I have been in the re-writing process with LNW for three years now. The only reason I did not delete the whole thing and start all over, was because I did not wish to lose all of my old reviews/feedback on the story. I was editing the chapters as I went before the HPFF forums closed in the spring of 2016. After that incident, I sort of just abandoned everything over there and I took a break for a while. (9 months, to be exact.) With the opening of HPFT’s archives, I was excited to have a real fresh start with my Novel. I finally started posting the newly re-written chapters on January 2017, and to-date our archive is THE ONLY place on the internet that hosts all of my stories in their most updated form. ~*~   ...When I started writing this blog last week, this was originally going to be the part where I write the conclusion, and wrap up my bittersweet feelings of how it’s been an incredible ten years, and how I cannot wait to see where the next ten will take us!! And while that is still true; as most of you all have seen/heard by now, the announcement came on Monday that the HPFF Story Archives will be closing next month, on April 28th. The fact that this announcement came in three days before what would have been my ten-year forumversarry has, admittedly, thrown me into several emotional tangents off-and-on all week that I was not quite prepared for. Just when I thought that I had buried all of my feelings about that place and finally moved on with my life... BAM! Here we go again... I guess a part of me has known all along that the site was running on borrowed time anyway. But that still didn’t make the official announcement any less shocking, or any easier to digest. The more naive part of my brain had convinced me that the old version of LNW would always be around on HPFF for me to refer back to and reference when needed throughout my rewriting process. After all, feedback has always been SO important to me; which is why I have been using all of my old reviews from there as I go through the editing process with my Novel. But now, in a month’s time, all of that will be deleted. Permanently. Nearly 20 years of history, just gone. And I’d be lying if I said that I did not have some very mixed feelings about that...    So yes, I went through the whole process of backing everything I had left over there up on Monday night - something that I probably should have done two years ago, but I was clearly being lazy, lol! But it was SUCH a humbling experience, let me tell you. Seeing some of the old reviews that I had gotten - reviews that are now almost ten years old - it really reminded me of how far I’ve come as a writer, and just exactly how much I have improved and grown over the last decade. I confess that I had not logged into my HPFF account since last year’s CTF event, so it felt a bit strange to be back there again. But I’m glad I spent the time that I did on Monday night (staying up til nearly 5am, lol), saying goodbye to the place that first gave me the confidence to share my stories with the world. It was a very bittersweet process, to say the very least.   Overall though, I’ve dealt with my feelings on HPFF for the most part. That’s why I was not around for the first 10 months of this forum being open. That’s why it took me so long to jump back in and finally get involved here. I was scared. I was hurt. I was sad. I was emotional. And I felt lost. But once I was ready; once I finally put those hurt feeling aside and moved on, I came back here and I immediately jumped into the CTF reviewing event that was going on last spring. And everyone was so welcoming, and so friendly and inviting. It just made me feel as though no time had passed at all!! I was able to just pick right back up where I had left off at and start again. Not all the old faces were here, but there were many familiar ones, and several amazing new ones!! And I instantly fell in love with the feeling of community again.     I cannot even begin to tell you guys how important, how special, how meaningful, how absolutely AMAZING if feels to know that no matter what happens, no matter how much time passes, no matter what crazy circumstances that RL may throw my way; YOU GUYS - my HPFT Family - will ALWAYS be there for me. This place really is like Hogwarts; always there to welcome you back home, lol!  And I really do mean that, genuinely, from the bottom of my heart!!! HPFT is not JUST a website, just a forum, or just an archive. Sure, it is comprised of all of those things, but for me; HPFT is and always will be its MEMBERS. You guys are what keep me going, and y’all are why I do what I do. We are all connected through our love of writing and HP/other fandoms alike. Nothing can tear us apart, and just knowing that simple fact alone fills me with so much joy and hope for the future!!    Ten years it’s been. I’ve made so many friends from so many different part of the world. I’ve pulled so many all-nighters in so many different HC competitions. I posted my first ever Novel and received over 500 reviews for it. This year I won my first site-wide award! I even learned how to make graphics over the years too!! It has been one hell of a ride, that’s for sure! And yes, absolutely, I cannot WAIT to see where the next ten years take me!! Because, for as long as I live, I cannot see myself outgrowing Harry Potter, lol. And, at the rate I’m going, (as @Rumpelstiltskin often likes to joke) I’ll be 80 years old by the time I finish LNW, lmao!!!  That is TOTALLY a joke though, haha!! I really am hoping to have it close to being finished here within the next few years.  ...In all seriousness though; it’s not often I feel compelled to Blog about things. It’s not often I bare my soul, or make myself vulnerable in such a way as this. But today was a big day. And,in light of recent events, I could not allow it to go by and NOT say anything. I’ve told people in private before my feelings about the site and the community before, but I felt that it just needed to be said publically. Because I know a lot of people are hurting right now. A lot of people out there feel lost, sad, and emotional over Monday’s announcement. And that’s okay. I was there too. But then I realized something…  The community is still here. It’s not lost. There is still a place for us. We still have our little corner of the internet to call home. And after ten years, and am beyond grateful for that!! I will probably carry several of the friendships that I have made here with me for the rest of my life.   If you’re new here and you’ve just read this entire rambling novel of a blog post - welcome!! I probly haven’t ‘met’ you yet, but I love you just for being here!!   And everyone else, because let’s face it, y’all know I’ve talk to like practically everybody now pretty much at one point or another (like, seriously, what’s a stranger? haha!!) I love you ALL so much!!!   This community means the absolute world to me. Y’all are my family, and I would do anything for any one of you, be it within my power/capability to do so. This community of wonderful, supportive, encouraging, uplifting, amazing, funny, talented, accepting, inclusive, loving, kind, helpful, and just overall amazing people have done so much for me over the past decade. So it is my honor, my privilege, to be able to give back and do for you all now as a staffer. Being on the staff team for the past 8 months has probably been THE BEST experience in the whole entire Ten Years I’ve been around here, lol! I just love being a part of something so great, and being able to help my online family out here fills my heart with so much joy!! 💗   So happy ten years of writing Harry Potter fanfiction to me.  Even though it hasn’t been ten years here at HPFT, specifically, I know that there are some of you here in the community who I have known for the vast majority of the last decade. I love you; all of you, old and new, or not, lol!!  Thank you for simply being here, for contributing to the community. Big or small, your contributions and your presence here matters. No matter how small/insignificant/unimportant you may feel, I am here to tell you that YOU ARE IMPORTANT, and you DO matter!!! Just look at me, I was a notorious background lurker for six years. So I know all about hiding out in the shadows, lol!! But even our fabulous lurkers are ever so lovely, and I just adore you ALL to pieces!!!  Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!! Thank you; all of you, for making this place what it is. To anyone who has ever read my story; and especially all of those who have left me Reviews over the years, THANK YOU!! Anyone with whom I have ever held a conversation with; be it here on the forums or on social media, Thank You!!     Your love and support mean more to me than words can describe!! I truly am beyond excited for the future of this Community, and I cannot wait to see what the next ten years will bring us!!    Love, Deana 💚