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Recent Blog Entries

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  1. Today
  2. Noelle Zingarella

    Self-image

    Once in a while, like today, my five-year-old daughter, Battle Maiden, will come up to me and say that she wishes that she had light colored skin. I am white and my husband, Mr. Zingarella, is of mixed race, and so our children all look quite different from each other. Battle Maiden has by far the darkest complexion--in fact, she looks just like Mr. Zingarella would look, were he a beautiful woman. I always tell Battle Maiden that her skin is perfect and beautiful just the way it is. And seriously, folks, we'll probably have to lock her in a tower when she gets to be a teenager--she's stunning. But she'll argue back and say that she wishes she had light skin, that that would be better. We don't have a TV and she don't get to watch many videos on the computer. We're so mean that the only Disney movies she's seen are Sleeping Beauty and The Nightmare Before Christmas (and she thinks that Sally and Jack are sooo romantic). But I guess that many of the princesses in the picture books we own have light skin. And we live in an area of America that is largely white. I have managed to find dolls that look like her. I guess I'm not really sure what else to do besides keep telling her how beautiful she is. But if anybody has any ideas or advice, I'd love to hear them. Thanks for reading my ramble.
  3. Last week
  4. Noelle Zingarella

    The Original Fiction Challenge (with a Twist) | Results

    Rumpels, these graphics are amazing! Thank you so much for hosting this challenge—it was really fun and creative. I don’t know about anyone else, but I thought that making the supplemental material made the story writing easier. Congatulations to all the winners!
  5. The Original Fiction Challenge (with a Twist) | Results So, I asked for Original Fiction AND Supplemental Materials (as if writing OF isn't difficult enough ). You ALL deserve a huge round of applause for attempting this challenge & putting up with my crazy list of rules, regulations, & how-to's in the challenge thread. It was a really tough decision, and I'm super thankful that I had a detailed rubric planned (but even then, scores were close...real close). You guys did an amazing job and I strongly encourage you all to continue writing (original fiction, fanfiction, and everything else in between). I had an amazing time reading the entries, so thank you all for entering! YOUR ENTRY REVIEWS ARE COMING SOON A list of entries in alphabetical order: Angelus by @Noelle Zingarella | Supplemental Materials & Bonuses: The Seven Factors picspam, The Seven Shadows From the Hidden World picspam, Story Outline Deoxycorp Soldier Clone - C193 by @Chelts-rhj | Supplemental Materials & Bonuses: Compound Logs, Picspam for those who believe in most things: out of time [or] resisting winter by @crestwood | Supplemental materials & Bonuses: bryson's travel journal [or] no longer travelers Forest Green: Flying & Forest Green: Shikoku & Blue by @Tanda | Supplemental Materials & Bonuses: Chapter Image (4), Chapter Image (5) Hearth by @LunaStellaCat | Supplemental Materials & Bonuses: Last Will and Testament of Abraham N. Schlesinger I Still Hate Multicolored Days (But Sometimes Rainbows are Pretty) by @potionspartner | Supplemental Materials & Bonuses: Emotion Chart, Achievement Award The Irises Will Take Over the World by @Oregonian | Supplemental Materials & Bonuses: hymnal The scoring rubrics were graded as such, on a scale of 1-5 per category: Challenge Objectives: 35% Original Fiction Submission: 15% Supplemental Material: 20% Submission: 15% Quality/Creativity Factor: 5% Creativity and Originality: 20% Mechanics: 10% World-building: 10% Character Creation/Development: 10% Genre Integration: 5% if you are writing romance, there should be implications of that in your writing; if you're writing a comedy, there should be implications of that in your writing; etc. Style: 5% Theme Integrations: 5% if you are writing a dystopia, there should be dystopian elements; if you're writing about vampirism, there should be vampires; if you're writing about break-ups, someone should be breaking up Bonuses could include, but were not limited to: Add material to public places on the site that are applicable to your story OR this challenge ie: Starting or adding to a thread in the Resource & Information Section, Writing a Blog Post, etc. This must be something separate from your supplemental material submission. Leave a review on an entry for THIS challenge. You can leave multiple reviews for additional bonus points (one review = one bonus, up to three) Experiment with a new genre/theme/etc. Provide more than one piece of supplemental materials. You supply multiple forms of supplemental materials (one additional material than the requirement = one bonus point, up to three) Creating and PM'ing me a story outline for your entry. There was a maximum of three [3] bonus points that could be obtained, each weighing in at .10 scoring pts per bonus to a maximum of .30 scoring pts combined. (Bonuses were not graded, but all consisted of a stagnant weight. If the bonuses were submitted alongside supplemental materials, and were forms of supplemental materials, but there was no discerning indication on which piece was meant to be scored, the highest scoring piece was used in the overall scoring grade and the lower-scoring piece(s) was/were added as bonuses with a stagnant value.) Bonus totals were added to overall scoring points to determine the final scoring grade of each entry. Supplemental Materials, Scoring: In addition to the regular story-writing prizes, this challenge offered a single-placement winner of the best overall supplemental materials. While the supplemental materials were scored to determine the winning order of the overall challenge, the Best Overall Supplemental Material Prize was scored as such, on a scale of one to five without weights: creativity/quality (on a 70/30 scale) how well the material(s) fit with the story submission(s) Winners --> Best Overall Supplemental Material @crestwood - bryson's travel journal [or] we are no longer travelers prizes: two reviews on a story of your choice, eternal glory in the world of supplemental materials, a place in the Challenge Winners section of my profile, and a piece of supplemental material (Rumpel's choice) based off of your submission While this category was meant to have a single winner, there was a Judge Favorite with a high creativity quality that is worth an honorable mention: @Noelle Zingarella - The Seven Factors picspam & The Seven Shadows From the Hidden World picspam prizes: one review on a story of your choice and a place in the Challenge Winners section of my profile --> Challenge Winners Third Place @potionspartner - I Still Hate Multicolored Days (But Sometimes Rainbows are Pretty) prizes: two reviews on a story of your choice, a place in the Challenge Winners section of my profile, and a piece of supplemental material (Rumpel's choice) based off of your submission Second Place At the final point of scoring totals, there was a tie for second place: [ @Noelle Zingarella - Angelus prizes: three reviews on a story of your choice, a place in the Challenge Winners section of my profile, WJ Questions, and a piece of supplemental material (Rumpel's choice) based off of your submission. @Oregonian - The Irises Will Take Over the World prizes: three reviews on a story of your choice, a place in the Challenge Winners section of my profile, WJ Questions, and a piece of supplemental material (Rumpel's choice) based off of your submission First Place @Chelts-rhj - Deoxycorp Soldier Clone - C193 prizes: Eternal glory, four reviews on a story of your choice, a place in the Challenge Winners section of my profile, WJ Questions, a link to your submission in my signature for at least 3 months, and two pieces of supplemental material (Rumpel's choice) based off your submission A huge thank you to everyone who participated! Congrats, winners -- go ahead and contact me about reviews and I'll compile a prize chart. Everyone will be getting their entry reviews shortly - thanks for your patience! (Graphics by Rumpels.)
  6. MadiMalfoy

    Personal Healing, the Madman, & Rambling

    You're such a strong person Rumpels and I thank you for sharing such a personal journey with us (I also second Paula on your writing, holy shiz) This post has served as a reminder to me as well to get back into developing my own mental health and wellness tricks now that I have the time to really do so and so that I get to a good, positive place myself
  7. toomanycurls

    Personal Healing, the Madman, & Rambling

    I appreciate your honesty and am excited about the journey you're on. Thank you for sharing it with us.
  8. Noelle Zingarella

    Personal Healing, the Madman, & Rambling

    Rumpels, thank you for writing this beautiful post and for being so honest.
  9. Earlier
  10. crowsb4bros

    Personal Healing, the Madman, & Rambling

    Thank you for sharing such intimate information with us. I'm also battling dragons right now and I really appreciate just reading this. On another note, I just really enjoy reading literally anything you write. Please share your grocery list. I unclenched my jaw and breathed deeply while reading this line: I hope you can continue to feel the quiet type of good and I'm glad you're finding relief in this new medication.
  11. New meds, who dis? Hey - this is a personal blog that probably comes with a trigger warning (especially for those who have mood disorders, eating disorders, & the like). For those leaving with the trigger warning, I send with you hugs and love and sunshine (and a complimentary goat for stopping by). And anyone who is planning on sticking around, buckle up -- it's quite the ride. I started my new meds about 1.5 months ago. Usually it takes me a good solid two months to adjust to new medication, get through the side-effects and wait for the medication to start fully working the way it should, but I've been feeling better at about the month mark. I know I have more to get through, but good is good. [And for full transparency, as some of you probably already know, I have bipolar disorder, body dysmorphia, a history of eating disorders, past traumas (not PTSD), and a few other nibblets of other demons who also kinda join hands with the bipolar disorder.] And to help organize this ramble, I introduce to you these boldfaced non-chronological sections of ramble. O7 I'll see you on the other end. An Ordinary Type of Good I have a few people I check in with on occasion, to make sure they're okay and to provide a random conversation. Random, pleasant conversations always help me, so I do try to pass around the wellbeing when I have it in me to pass. So I checked in with someone a few days ago (and thank you to this person, if you're reading this -- we don't talk much, but the conversation of random always make me feel better when I'm off). In this particular check-in, I had (for the first time in a very long time) been able to say "I'm good" without it being a mere polite conversation convenience. And it wasn't the OMG I'M GOING TO DISNEY type of extraordinary good. It was a simple, quiet type of good -- the type of good where I can drag a blanket out beneath the lilac grove in my backyard on a sunny morning with a good book, and it's even better when my little is there, because she turns the grove into a jungle and unravels ancient mysteries and slays monsters. I can totally relate to her monster-slaying jungle adventures...I've got my own invisible monsters to knock back. Also, kids' imaginations are so pure and wild -- it's really pretty amazing. Now that's an extraordinary type of good. Anyway, what I realized is that I'm feeling good, but it's not that exhilarated manic happy that comes in waves and is in constant danger of cracking, shattering, and falling into pools of madness. It's a steady, more reliable type of good. And while the good is good, I feel very much like the medication has just patched a hole in a sinking ship, and I'm terrified of if & when the patch will peel away, and I start to sink again. Old and New Coping Mechanisms So, I find myself gathering All The Things that I use to help me deal. Things from years and years ago that worked once and that I've let go, things from the past year that have worked, and tiptoeing into The New to see what works. And with those things, I found myself reading The Tao Te Ching (Mitchell translation) again, getting back to the core of who I am and why I am. I find myself seeking guidance from the stars and the cards and trying to do things that aren't against my purpose. I've reconnected to the earth, to the sky, and water, fire & metal. I quiet my mind in contemplation and reflection at the end of each day and greet the sun in salutation each morning. And life has been good. "Act without doing; work without effort. Think of the small as large and the few as many. Confront the difficult while it is still easy; accomplish a great task by a series of small acts." -- The Tao Te Ching, Mitchell translation, page 63 This passage has spoken to me in a way that it might not speak for the next person, and that's perfectly okay -- we are each different beings, unique and lovely in our purpose. It reminds me, quite often, to stop spending so much time lurking in the past, focusing on desire and wants instead of thinking about the now and the things I need to do to get to where I want to be. And getting to where I want to be is a frightening process. It means letting go of the control I have, to stop fighting the change that has been creeping up on me over and again. Only I haven't been fearful, but excited this time around, so this is a whole new playing field. I've been balancing, finding purpose in the food I eat for nourishment instead of fighting with the demons that tell me that eating and food are things that are bad. I've started connecting to nature around me, listening to it behind the chaos of the world. Perspective. Grow. Acceptance. They're a far cry from my usual mantra: Avoid, Settle, Stew. And it's good. It's all...good. The Madman And then there's the waiting, in the back of my mind, knowing that I can't always be good, and wondering what the lows on the new medication will be like -- if the side-effects will worsen the situation...if the good is good but unsure of just how bad the bad will be. And that is why I have the coping mechanisms, to prepare for when the bad comes. There are so many things I've prepared for different situations. Mechanisms that I have acquired and built that are true and tested. If I'm angry with someone, I have a 24-hour minimum policy before addressing the situation -- I breathe, and I focus. If I'm anxious, yoga and meditative contemplation can help. If I am sad, I read & consult the universe. If I'm mixed up, I write it out, to me, for later reflection, and for the cathartic feeling of expression. I try to find the path of The Way again when I'm completely lost and helpless. And I could be here all day listing the different scenarios I'd prepared for and how I'd prepared for them. But it surprised me, as I probably should have known it would. I woke up at five this morning, after not sleeping more than a beat at a time because of something on my mind (worry and sadness, a certain sort of toxicity seeping into me in a way I couldn't shake). And there was a madman inside of me as if I haven't been taking my meds at all. It rolled my stomach, shook my nerves, and sent a cacophonous racket to my mind. My hands shook and the white noise made it hard to concentrate -- too hard to consult the cards, too hard to meditate, too hard to focus. It was very similar to what I've experienced of panic attacks. And so I dug far, far back into the recesses of madness for a mechanism I hadn't used since my early college years -- run. It's not as if I can't outrun it -- it's me & my mind and my emotions running wild, a madness scratching through my whole body that I can't flee from. But I went for a run, anyway. I thought the morning rain and chilled air might cool my nerves; I thought the rhythmic thud, thud, thud against the ground might help focus my mind, to quite the madman over the white noise; I thought that maybe if I exhausted my body, my mind would quiet. But it didn't, and I ran much farther than I have in a very long while, until I couldn't run. And I laid down on the ground of the walking trail I'd been running, with the earth, and the rain, and the grass, and the stone, and the mud, and the roots of the trees and searched for the hum of the earth, and breathed. I'm not sure how long I was there, feeling (and probably looking) very close to the madman I felt inside until things started to subside. I gave myself time to focus on what had caused me so much stress once my mind started to quiet, and knowing that I had been trying to avoid it while try to sleep last night, confronted it. And I was better again. But it was frightening. Every Single Step (a TL;DR) I've been good. I still am good. I'm okay and everything will be okay. Setbacks and weak moments will only let me learn about better ways to deal with the things that happen -- ideally in ways that don't result in me looking like the swamp thing before the day's even really begun . And it's okay when things aren't good and perfect right away. The important part is to keep moving forward, keep pushing through the turmoil, learning new ways to cope and battle inner dragons. I thought I'd learned to quiet my mind against the chaos, but sometimes the chaos is just so loud.
  12. something wicked

    Proud and Loud | 7th June 2019

    Love all the fic recs and the blog!! Thank you guys for putting this together! Also as a general note to anyone in the community this may apply to - I’ve had the chance over the last few years to see the whole process of someone transitioning and have been part of a family accepting what, for some, was a really challenging adjustment. If anyone ever needs anyone to speak to or has any questions then don’t hesitate to shoot me a message!
  13. crowsb4bros

    Proud and Loud | 7th June 2019

    No surprise but this is another wonderful edition! The news section was very uplifting! Deni, congrats to both you and your dad! I'm very glad your grandmother was accepting and your dad can live her best life! The jeans struggle is so real. These are some excellent fic recs (and I'm surprised there are a few I haven't read yet)!
  14. grumpy cat

    Proud and Loud | 7th June 2019

    it's so awesome to see how the HPFT community is accepting of everyone and so many LGBTQA+ stories wow!! deni - i'm also very happy for you and your dad!! (the stealing of jeans is tbh hilarious but so cute )
  15. facingthenorthwind

    Proud and Loud | 7th June 2019

    Welcome to another of our biweekly blog series! In this edition, we're celebrating Pride month all across the globe! We've rounded up some of our favorite queer and LGTBQA+ fics from the archives, some recent LGBTQA+ news, and also some personal stories and information about being a part of the LGBTQA+ community! Always be your authentic self if it's safe to do so -- and remember that there's nothing to be ashamed of. Since our blog post last year celebrating Pride month, there has been a great influx of LGBTQA+ stories to the archives! This is only a small selection of those that everyone should definitely check out! Everybody Lives Series by @facingthenorthwind Song For The Julian Calendar by @facingthenorthwind The Fortunate Ones by @MegGonagall The Best Day Of My Life by @MegGonagall Replenished by @MegGonagall Marigolds by @Unwritten Curse Icarus by @Stella Blue Hidden Desire by @Lacey Black Tasty (M) by @Lacey Black to dwell on dreams by @Stella Blue I don't smoke (M) by @poppunkpadfoot Of Bookshelves and Baby Carriers (M) by @poppunkpadfoot Breathe (M) by @poppunkpadfoot Skewed Toward Truth by @MuggleMaybe Goodbye, Love, Goodbye by @MuggleMaybe When I Got Out With You by @Dojh167 To Boil Telephone Porridge by @teh tarik red luck by @just.a.willow.tree lazy days by @just.a.willow.tree how long? by @crestwood Scars From Tomorrow by @Nix Cut From The Same Cloth by @Nix Chill for an Hour by @VaguelyCreativeName 9.9 Out of 10, Highly Recommend by @down-in-flames In the past year there has been a lot in the global news regarding LGBTQA+ folks, and quite a bit of it is good! Here's a snapshot of some of the biggest news stories we found. If you have more news, please share it in the comments! India legalised gay sex India's Supreme Court ruled in September 2018 to decriminalize gay sex, ruling that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation violates fundamental human rights. It was also a unanimous decision by the panel of 5 judges! Previously, it was categorized with other sexual acts as an "unnatural offense" that could be punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and was often used to harass same-sex couples. The good news now is that the LGBTQA community has a lot to celebrate with this ruling and can be their true selves without fear of jail time for doing so. Same sex marriage in Taiwan Just last month Taiwan's Parliament legalized same-sex marriage, the first place in Asia to do so! In 2017 their Constitutional Court ruled that laws prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying violated their personal freedom and equal protection and gave the government two years to come up with the legal framework to comply with the ruling. Needless to say, it's been a huge celebration for the last month as hundreds of couples have gotten married under the new law! Gay Indian prince opens his doors to queer people in need Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, India's only openly gay prince, has opened his palace to vulnerable people of the LGBT community in his home state of Gujarat, India. He's doing this by building a center for LGBT people on the grounds of his palace where they can live, receive healthcare, education and job training skills. He's from a small town in India, so he really wanted to help people in a similar situation to how he was before he came out get on their feet and have a place to call home. Marsha P Johnson & Sylvia Rivera Monuments New York City announced plans for statues honoring transgender activists Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera to be unveiled in 2021 to memorialize their key roles in the gay rights liberation movement of the 1960s and 1970s, along with their participation in the Stonewall Uprising of 1969. Johnson and Rivera duo co-founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, an organization which had a shelter for members of the trans community who were shunned by their families. For many people, these two served as idols and role models to look up to when fighting for LGBTQA+ rights, and 50 years on from Stonewall their fight continues. NYPD Commissioner Apologies for 1696 Raid on Stonewall Inn The current NYPD commissioner James O'Neill released a statement apologizing for the department's raid that night on the Stonewall Inn that kickstarted the public gay rights movement. Previously the department has merely expressed regret about actions taken during that night, but this full-out apology is a step forward for the NYPD in coming to terms with their actions during that night. It also shows to those LGBTQA+ people that might want to join the NYPD that the department is working to dissipate lingering discontent in the LGBTQA+ community. Some of our wonderful members were willing to share their own personal stories regarding their experiences within the LGBTQA+ community. Please feel free to share your own personal journeys in the comments as well if you're comfortable with doing so. Let's please appreciate these lovely folks for their openness and proudness as part of the LGBTQA+ community! | S O M E T H I N G W I C K E D | | G R U M P Y C A T | | F A C I N G T H E N O R T H W I N D | ______________________________ credits: graphics: rumpels | layout: madi fic recs: lexi news: emma, madi stories: emma, deni, kris huge s/o to @something wicked, and @grumpy cat for sharing their stories!
  16. Noelle Zingarella

    Mélodie

    If I were forced to sing only one genre of music professionally for the rest of my life, it wouldn't be church music, it wouldn't even be opera--it would be mélodie (French art song). The composers working in the 19th and early 20th centuries were writing for my voice and my heart specifically or, at least, it feels that way to me. It's a beautiful day here, and finally not raining, so I thought I would start my series about mélodie with a song that is unapologetically beautiful, shamelessly lovely. It was written by Reynaldo Hahn (1875-1947) who was actually Venezuelan, but he spent most of his life in France. All of his songs are simply gorgeous, skirting the line of being précieux, but managing to stay within the bounds of good taste. Á Chloris is my favorite of these, a setting of a poem by the libertin Théophile de Viau (1590-1626). It's a song I always go back to when I'm feeling down about singing, and the mere act of singing it in my living room to nobody else but myself reminds me why I wanted to take up this profession. The piano part in this mélodie is in a deliberately archaic style--a chaccone, or court dance, and it grounds the impassioned poem and vocal line in reality and gives it a gravitas it would otherwise lack. I feel that the whole piece is an exquisite depiction of that delicious anticipation one feels just before declaring affection for another person when one is quite sure that the other person feels the same way. Á Chloris (M just in case because--youtube) If it is true, Chloris, that you love me, And I have heard that you love me well, I do not believe that kings themselves Can match such happiness as mine. Even death would be powerless To come and change my fortune For all the joys of heaven! All that is said of ambrosia Does not touch my imagination Like the grace of your eyes.
  17. Oregonian

    My first fic, and a blog called Potter Sue.

    Hi, Kat. I clicked on that link you supplied, and oh my Lord, I can't believe what those self-righteous harpies were saying (especially the one who kept mistakenly using "you're" when the word she needed was "your"). Yeah. The way they were ganging up on a beginning writer reminded me of Death Eaters ganging up on a Muggle. What kind of people try to aggrandize themselves by beating other people down? And I'm appalled that that site actually had an official thread in which multiple authors were subjected to this kind of bullying. Just as there are certain countries in the world where I would not travel because their populations include persons who would try to harm me, it seems that there are sites on the internet where one should hesitate to venture for fear of running into harm. I had heard of Live Journal in the past but had never visited it; now I never will. I urge you to abandon the belief that "I made a fool of myself." Everybody, in beginning to learn a new craft, does badly at first (as did the students in Chapter of Eighteen of Half-Blood Prince when they were learning to Apparate). That's not being a fool -- it's just being normal. True friends praise your courage in trying, applaud your efforts, tell you what parts of your attempts are looking successful, offer kindly and useful suggestions, and don't expect perfection from anybody, especially not from a novice and certainly not from themselves. The people who came off badly in that online exchange -- the real fools -- were the jerks who participated in it. (You're/your. Yeah.) When I was a validator at MNFF, we rejected some stories for matter of quality as well as for incorrect Ratings and Warnings, but we always worked with the authors to help them bring their stories up to standard, and the novice authors who were willing to revise were always happy when their stories were deemed ready to be posted. I'd like to think that this site operates the same way, with kind-hearted authors who are willing to help others in the way that they themselves were once helped, in a spirit of open sharing. What you wrote in this blog may prove to be a large step in helping to put that awful experience in perspective, to put an iron fence around it, so to speak, so that it can no longer reach out to infect you. I hope so. We are here for you. Vicki
  18. grumpy cat

    pretty girls. (and boys)

    my response to the ML/prefect team on twitter about LGBTQ+ themed good news seemed to be quite popular and/or relatable so i thought, with pride month coming up, i'd write a little bit about it. this is the first pride month that i won't just be an ally. and i love it. the tweet in question: maybe some people thought i was joking but i really wasn't even though i live in croatia, where being a part of the LGBTQ+ community can be quite difficult, i still consider this to be really good news, disregarding the facts of life - nowhere is perfect, though, admittedly, some countries/parts of the world are a lot better to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community than others. when i was in oslo last october, i couldn't help but spontaneously smile at girls kissing girls, holding hands, boys kissing boys, and everything else... in plain sight, with no shame and no danger. it was similar when i was in hamburg and berlin. it was wonderful. and i wish it could be like that everywhere, all the time. (i know neither oslo/norway nor hamburg/berlin/germany are perfect.) i do not associate the concept of 'coming out' with my newfound (realised/discovered during the last year (and i'm fairly sure that being a part of HPFT helped in some way with that realisation - the community is wonderfully accepting and inclusive and i'll be forever grateful to have joined!) attraction towards both girls and boys. i'm not coming out - this part of myself has always been there and it's normal and it's amazing. and it doesn't need any special attention. at least that's how it is in my head. and it would be cool if it were like that outside of my head, as well. (if 'coming out' means you accept yourself or that the world accepts you, that's great. i just think it's sad that it's needed and i'm hoping for a future where it won't be.) i'm just being me and i can date or have consensual sex with whoever i like and it's no one's business. no declarations of who i am, except the person who i have always been. why good news? it means i'm completely myself. it means i have plenty more opportunity to...look ( ) at people. it means i can stare at or date pretty girls. and handsome boys. and that's awesome. (this post (as opposed to my last one) wasn't any trouble at all to write or post because love and attraction are amazing and wonderful and lovely and should be celebrated.)
  19. TreacleTart

    Of Bicycles and Freedom

    I felt similarly about my own bicycle when I was a kid. Sadly, now-a-days I don't get that blessed free feeling unless I'm on a plane somewhere. Traveling a lot has been wonderful in that it's taught me a lot, but on the downside, it makes being back in my home country feel terribly claustrophobic.
  20. Noelle Zingarella

    Of Bicycles and Freedom

    It’s been a frustrating week at the Zingarella house. We’re all fine, but our van is in need of major, and expensive repairs, to the point that we’re looking for a new vehicle. We live in an area where having a car to get anywhere is essential, although we make do with one for the whole family. Since there are six of us, that means a van (a total mom-mobile, too). Hopefully we are nearing the end of the process of replacing the broken one, but it has not been fun. I think I find it particularly irksome because, for years, I didn’t own a car at all. When I was single and living in the city, I got around via public transit and my beloved bicycle. A bicycle has been a symbol of freedom for me since I was a teenager—even more so than a car. From the time I was eleven or twelve, I would ride my bicycle around the smallish town I grew up in for hours. And, since this was before everyone had a cell phone (gasp!) my parents would have no idea where I was. I did have a watch and strict orders as to when to be home, which I usually followed, but I could go anywhere I wanted on that bicycle and no one could stop me. My favorite place to visit was a bridge out in the country that went over the highway. I would stop there on that bridge and watch the cars speed by under it, knowing that one day, I was going to leave that little town and never come back. This was one of the things that got me through my childhood alive—that and being able to make music. When I lived in the city with my bicycle, my favorite time to ride it was at two o’clock in the morning on summer nights. I would ride home from my job as a grocery clerk, taking side streets and drinking in the warm air. There would usually be no one else around at all and it was wonderful to be alive, flying along on my bicycle in the dark. It’s the most freedom that I’ve ever felt. I have a lot of responsibilities now and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. I’m a long way from my bicycle at 2:00AM as I drive my mom-mobile to baseball practice and church. My bicycle sits in the garage and I don’t get much chance to ride it these days. Unfortunately we live on one of those streets where everybody drives too quickly and sight-lines aren’t good, and it’s hard to find time to myself even if that weren’t the case. But, my son likes to ride his bicycle around our driveway and in our yard, and I can tell that he feels just as free as I did. It makes me happy to watch him and to know that my bicycle is there in the garage, waiting for me. When I am ready, it will be ready too, and I suspect that this time I’ll have company when I ride.
  21. Shadowkat678

    My first fic, and a blog called Potter Sue.

    Yeah, it was definitely non-canon compliant. To the point where people who died were alive for little to no explained reason. Thanks, and you know if I'd been paid for insults I probably would have taken it better. Makes me think of the iCarly episode where Sam and Freddie had a thing going where every time they wanted to insult each other they had to pay $5. I think something like that should be implemented if someone wants to leave non-constructive complaints.
  22. facingthenorthwind

    My first fic, and a blog called Potter Sue.

    I'm so sorry that happened to you. You absolutely didn't deserve that public mocking, and I hope you can get back the confidence to write something longer than a oneshot! Or perhaps you could just progressively write longer and longer oneshots? It's rough when brains are telling us we're not good enough but hopefully the knowledge that this is fic we write for fun might help? You have no obligation to be good. I mean, obviously I'm not saying you're bad, but just in general -- we're all here writing stories on the internet for free, and if someone wants to take issue with your work, they should pay you first. If there's any way I can help you let me know.
  23. sunshine_locks

    My first fic, and a blog called Potter Sue.

    This situation... honestly sounds like a nightmare. As I was reading, I realize how good I really have it. This community has been the majority of the reason why I keep writing today, and that I was lucky to have gotten at least only constructive comments or confusing ones. I think it's really brave for you to talk about this so openly; I think for me to own up to my mistakes, it would take a lot longer than I am able to admit. I'm happy that you're slowly gaining back your confidence for your writing though, and happy for the fact that you're understanding that you didn't deserve the outright rudeness from the blog. I think we pretty much all have those stories that are meant to help us cope with other aspects of our lives (and for me, this fic happens to be Glass), so I understand why it hurt so much or why you reacted the way you did. I hope you get back to the place you were in before, in terms of motivation and drive. Also, there's just this general consensus on that site that canon should be followed? Now, I have no idea what your intentions were with the story you wrote, but I think it is notable that there can be a lot creative liberties taken. I know a lot of fics that straight up ignore canon that are very good, and a lot my fics don't even follow canon, haha.
  24. I've been thinking of writing this for a while, mostly for me more than anyone else. The title could also be named "I made a fool of myself and it's still impacting me today". This is my way of trying to get past it. Maybe you have and maybe you haven't heard of a certain LiveJournal blog called The Potter Sue. If you haven't, it's basically where every day someone would put up a story that has a mary sue in it and rate it on how bad it is, then people would comment. That's where my first story ended up, and it got the worst rating possible. I was crushed, and may have acted in a very childlike way, including the sin of sockpuppeting, or also known as using an account to appear as someone else to talk about yourself. By the way, here's the link to that, with the entire embarassing conversation in the comments: https://pottersues.livejournal.com/850144.html?view=73092320#t73092320 As soon as I read it I knew I had to prove them wrong. I'd read every writing article I could get my hands on. I'd ask for feedback. I'd edit, and I'd edit, and I'd edit, and I'd edit even more. I'd make my writing spotless, and then no one could tell me I was a bad writer. However, in doing so...I realized it actually was bad. But it was also my very first story I ever posted. Looking back now, I know this was a natural thing, but then it crushed me. I deleted the story from everywhere I'd placed it up (which was in a lot of spots). Worse than making me delete the story, it dealt a blow to some very real issues I was already dealing with. Eva Winters, my main character, was a bit of a self insert, and the story was a coping mechanism of mine. I'd written ten chapters for that. I wrote about a little girl from a broken family, with a sick mother, who just wanted to have a normal life and friends. I wrote about a girl who ended up fighting in a battle that she never would have thought possible to win. That made a new family and got back at the bully who taunted her. That's what I wanted then. That's what I needed. Even years later I haven't been able to write as far into a story as I had then. It was like it completely killed any joy I had in the story. I loved telling the stories, but every time I thought I had it, all I could think about is if I did something wrong. So I'd edit and I'd edit and I'd edit and all I'd be able to finish, all I HAVE been able to finish, were oneshots. Through the years I've gone back to that page numerous times. I wonder what would have happened if they never showed up. If I never searched my story on the internet and saw that page. If I'd ignored that page. If someone had come to me and constructively tried to help me improve instead of putting my story up to be a joke told to a bunch of adults I had never even talked to. What would my confidence be like then? I admit I had a bit of an ego at that time, but sometimes I wish I could go back to that. To just writing and not always doubting. There's a reason I go for so many swaps and review requests. After that incident I almost obsessively need feedback. I have to fix anything I see wrong in my writing, and I personally believe that, along with real life issues, this has heavily contributed to my slump the past four years. I'm hoping that getting this story out there will do two things. One, it will help me move on. I already sent out a shorter comment to that page which probably will never be read, but it's not really for them. It's for the teenager that felt the need to apologize for something that never hurt anyone. Second, I wanted others who may visit sites like this to understand that there can actually be real long term concequences, and I can't help but wonder how many writers never continued after being put through something like that. Who just gave up and decided they weren't good enough. I know this is a long ramble, but I've felt the need to get it off my chest for a while now, and I feel comfortable enough here to do so. I've known some of you off and on for years, and you've helped me so much. I'll always be greatful for that, and I wish I had found you sooner. For anyone else who may be going through this doubt, I want you to know you're not alone, and if you've gone through something like I did you didn't deserve that. Even if it made you a better writer in the long run, no one deserves to have something they care about laughed at like that. It's not right, and you're worth more than what a bunch of strangers on the internet think.
  25. Noelle Zingarella

    In the Spotlight | May 22nd, 2019

    Thanks for this great issue! I would go to the lake and split my time between the water and the massive sand dunes.
  26. belgian quaffle

    In the Spotlight | May 22nd, 2019

    another lovely issue prefects! i would go beach for sure! i love the ocean, beach sand is the best sand, and the beach atmosphere is unlike any other. and i love the smell you get as you're crossing into a shore town
  27. grumpy cat

    In the Spotlight | May 22nd, 2019

    ............i had to google hip thrusts (they're def called something else in croatian) another great issue! and i'd spend the day by the river...i grew up in a city on a river and spent a lot of my summer days swimming in it and making castles from the most perfect river sand *_*
  28. Oregonian

    In the Spotlight | May 22nd, 2019

    I would spend the day at the beach. I love the wide open expanses of the beach, and our Oregon beaches are, by state law, all open the the public. No one can fence them off. I would go to Cannon Beach for the annual sand castle contest on Saturday, June 8. Not peaceful/tranquil with all the spectators, but it's just one weekend a year, and the sand sculptures are fabulous. Praying for sun, not rain.
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