Category Archives: Books/Classes

To the Boy Who Lived…

Today is Harry Potter and Neville Longbottom’s birthday.

If you’re new to my blog posts, Harry Potter and Wizarding World is very much a part of my life and that of a lot of my friends.  My mom was still alive when the first three books were out and after she died, it gave me something to crawl into and remember her by.  Add that to my step-mom became a Harry Potter fan after the movies came out.  We would talk about the Wizarding World; she would call with random questions and I would answer them if I remembered the answer.  She also bought me the 7th book for my birthday present the year it came out.  We both cried at the ending.

On top of my memories of my moms, my sister also has a few Harry Potter based tattoos.  They’re really neat.  I need to go get my Potter inspired tattoo at some point but I’m torn between getting my house crest (I’m a Slytherin) or a version of “Always,” the word Snape utters to Dumbledore in regards to Lily.  Talk about a great love story that explained so much.

I also wanted to do quotes today, so in honor of Harry and Neville, here are my favorite quotes from the Harry Potter series.

“After all this time?”
“Always,” said Snape.” 
–Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” –Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

“I make mistakes like the next man. In fact, being–forgive me–rather cleverer than most men, my mistakes tend to be correspondingly huger.” ––Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

“Age is foolish and forgetful when it underestimates youth.” –Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

“Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.” –Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

“Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.” –Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.” –Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

“Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory.” –Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” –Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

“Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. Love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves it’s own mark. To have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.” –Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.” –Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

“You think the dead we loved truly ever leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly in times of great trouble?” –Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” –Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” –Harry Potter and the Chambers of Secrets

“When in doubt, go to the library.” –Harry Potter and the Chambers of Secrets

And of course…

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Thank you, J.K. Rowling for giving the world Harry Potter and everything that has come from what you have created.  Happy birthday!

 

Listening to:  J vs Ben:  The Hardest Dumbledore Trivia Quiz Ever

Reading:  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Quote of the Day:  Pick an other ones above.

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Writings Part 2

Back in January, I wrote a post about the stories I had written but needed to work on.  Since then, The Universal Remote has been self-published (March) and I’ve started a BookTube channel (June).  What I haven’t done is much writing.

Yesterday, to sort of help break out of the downward spiral of not writing, I had a friend pick a number between one and ten.  I really thought I only had ten stories I had started and needed to work on.  Turns out there are actually eleven storylines written down and one more floating around in my head.

She picked number eight, which is Drifter.  This story hasn’t seen the light of a computer screen in a while.  I wrote it because I was stuck between two guys when I was younger and there was the really bad snow storm in D.C.  Needless to say, it was also the story that had someone telling me that I wrote at a sophomoric level and that my story essentially sucked.  I listened to him and stopped writing for a while.

Drifter was never meant to be more than a short story about a woman who couldn’t face rejection and realizes too late that no one saves anyone but themselves.  I was really in a dark place in my life then.  I’m not in that place anymore but the story is still around.

Since the story is supposed to be short, I needed to check the word count rules.  According to The Daring Novelist, these are the word count lengths used by The Science Fiction Writers of America:

  • Short fiction: under 7,500 words
  • Novelette: 7,500-17,500 words
  • Novella: 17,500-40,000 words
  • Novel: 40,000 words and up

The comments on her blog post has some really good information as well.

So now that I have a word count goal, I guess it’s time to get to writing, right?  Can’t procrastinate forever.

Have a great day.

Listening to:  Amazon’s Long Weekend: Rock playlist

Reading: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Quote of the Day:  “Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.” ― Khalil Gibran

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Books, books, …

And more books.

So I was watching YouTube videos the other day because I was looking for something.  I follow the Super Carlin Brothers; they do a lot of Disney and Harry Potter videos.  One of the videos Jay did was in defense of Slytherin, which if I haven’t said it before, is my Hogwarts House.

YouTube recommended a video by A Clockwork Reader with five book recommendations with Slytherin characters.  She kept talking about BookTube.  I watched a few of her videos and wanted to find out more about BookTube and maybe even becoming one.

Yesterday, I started doing research on how to do a BookTube Channel and have been looking at other people’s BookTube channels.  So far, it’s been Emmmabooks, Little Book Owl, Peter Likes Books, PeruseProject, and ProblemsofaBookNerd.  I don’t know where to start but there were SO MANY books!

Speaking of books…

I’m still on the fence about which story I really need to focus on.  There’s no real reason for being on the fence and there’s really no reason for me not writing, outside of I have little to no motivation.  I started writing a travel story and I may switch up to making it a short story and moving past writing it.  There’s a beginning, a direction, and an ending.  Like other stories of mine, there is research involved and I keep making excuses to not write the story.  Procrastination is the name of my game right now.  I know I’m terrible.

Music has been pulling me in different directions too.  “Mad World” has me going in the direction of office worker looking for a way out.  “Monochromatic” by Mary Lambert had be thinking about an old story I had started about what at the time, was going to be a guy that was subdued in growing up.  He grows up in a house void of color, but there’s a girl who is bright but is sent away before his world go gray.  Listening to that song made me realize a few things about that story that makes me want to go back, change a few things, and finish it, even if it’s just a novella.

Anyways, hope you all have a great weekend.  We’re headed to Pride this weekend.

Listening to:  ProblemsofaBookNerd’s Another Big Unhaul

Reading: I’m in-between books right now but starting the Saga Series as soon as I get home tonight.

Quote of the day:  “There comes a day when you realize turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because you realize there is so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on.” ― Zayn Malik 

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June’s Goals

Happy June!

Wow.  Just wow.  Can someone tell me where May went?  Sheesh.

This year is going so fast!

I completed two 1001 day goals:

I also complete one non-1001 days goal I thought was pretty neat.

Just because May went fast didn’t mean a lot of things didn’t happen.

  • Miles reached: 439.89 (18.11 miles to Rivendell!)
  • Weight lost: 11.4 lbs (Down to 281.6 from 293 on 5/1).
  • Books read: 26.  Several of these were graphic novels but yeah…
  • Blog Posts: 5
  • Went to Cross-Fit: 6
  • Started passport process
  • Saw Weezer and Fitz and the Tantrums in concert.
  • The three aforementioned goals.

June’s goals are fairly straight forward.

  • Reach 550+ miles.
  • Lose at least 16 more lbs.
  • 12 blog posts.
  • Finish reading five more books.
  • Finish and frame my cross-stitch project.
  • Do Cross-fit at least eight times this month.
  • Write 10,000 words on any story.
  • Build emergency fund back up.
  • Complete my second race in the King Crab Challenge
  • Go camping.
  • Start Half Marathon training again for October.

It’s going to be another exciting month with plenty to look forward to!

Listening to:  Three Doors Down

Reading:  The Killing Dance by Laurell K. Hamilton

Quote of the Day: “ People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals – that is, goals that do not inspire them. ” ― Tony Robbins

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Research

Most times, I would use that word for writing papers, not necessarily for writing stories.  Right now, though, I’m working on a few stories that I can’t really use personal experience with.  I can’t take a year off from my life and travel around the country, and I haven’t had any luck winning the lottery.  So research becomes a writer’s best trick to writing a believable story.

The Plot Thickens…

The book I’m working on now is about a woman who quits her job, gives away her things, visits her parents and stays there for a week before realizing the lottery ticket she’d picked up on her way out of town was a winning ticket.  Beyond that, she had quit to write and travel.  She just didn’t know what part of traveling she wanted to.  Along the way, she realizes a few truths she had ignored before.  The man she really liked was getting married, the man she hadn’t seen waiting for her in the background was falling in love with her story, and the people she had met along the way in various forms and capacities made her realize how much she had missed that was right in front of her.

Then Research Ensues…

This is where the research comes in because this is where I’m stuck.  There are so many cities to pick from that would be awesome to write about, so many things to do in those cities, and so many ways to write about her journey.  I had thought about doing a foodie trip before, using the mock road-trip schedule I had made a few years ago as places to start with for things like “Diners, Drives, and Dives” and “Man vs. Food”.  While I was trying to come up with that list, I remembered looking through “1000 Places to See before You Die in the U.S.”  Fast-forward and these are the things I’m starting with to help move the story along.

And Things Move Along.

Along with the travel, the main character has goals she wants to do along the way.  One of the guys will find a way to join her in some of her adventures, and the other is only briefly at the parameter of the story.  Research also helps me figure out which goals she can accomplish where.

Whether you are working on a story that you’re stuck on or are trying to figure out that goal you’ve wanted to do for a while, research can be your best friend or your worst enemy, as there is such a thing as too much research.

Sometimes, getting out from behind the computer screen and just doing something is the only research you need.

Good luck out there!

Listening to:  The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton

Reading:  Wolfsbane by Patricia Briggs

Quote of the Day:

“If you’re reading this…
Congratulations, you’re alive.
If that’s not something to smile about,
then I don’t know what is.”
― Chad SuggMonsters Under Your Head

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April’s Goals

Happy April!

Facebook Memories is one of the best things they did and sometimes the worst.  Most of my memories of today are of sadness or frustration.  One has a comment from my mom, who passed away last February.  I wasn’t crying until I read that comment.  Now, I’m having issues focusing on other things.

So let’s focus on accomplishments and what I’m doing in April.  Maybe that will help.

These are the 1001 day goals I completed in March:

  • Complete Dave Ramsay’s Financial Classes.  If you haven’t taken them, I highly recommend it.  Weekly budget meetings are saving my sanity (and hers too).
  • Publish a novel!
  • Donate clothes you no longer use to Goodwill.   This was round one of what I can see will be a few more this year.  My outfit today, while cute, makes me feel like I’m playing dress-up.

Before I get started on April goals, I want to go over what I did in March.

  • Miles reached: 243.35 (214.65 miles to Rivendell!)
  • Weight lost: 14 lbs (Down to 303.4 from 317.4 on 4/1)
  • Books read: 7
  • Blog Posts: 8
  • Signed up for a cooking class
  • Signed up for a Paint Nite event

So what’s April’s goals?

  • Reach 300+ miles.
  • Lose at least 15 more lbs.
  • 12 blog posts.
  • Finish reading five more books.
  • Finish and frame my cross-stitch project.
  • Start on the next story to finish.
  • Buy a lottery ticket.
  • Do Cross-fit at least eight times this month.
  • Start work Weight Loss Challenge (4/2)
  • Go to Paint Nite event with Ray (4/1)
  • Write 10,000 words on any story.
  • Buy more stamps.  I’m going through these like crazy thanks to mailing postcards and birthday cards to my fellow HRC’ers.
  • Reach 200 postcards both sent and collected.  I’m at 199 and 196 respectively.

It’s going to be an exciting month with plenty to look forward to!

Since today is the 3rd, Paint Nite happened already as did the start of the weight loss challenge.  For the challenge, we have three months to lose a certain percentage of weight.  Because I had surgery, losing about 14 lbs a month hasn’t been so bad, so I set my goal at 13 percent of my starting weight.  In three months, I have to lose about 40 lbs.  I can do that!

Oh and here’s a picture of our paintings:

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Looking forward to making today a better day than it has been.

Listening to:  My writing playlist on Amazon

Reading:  Masques by Patricia Briggs.  I wanted something familiar right now.

Quote of the Day: “Joy is something that we have to choose and then work for.” ― Francis ChanCrazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

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Time Sucks

Today is a question day.

Question #18: Which activities make you lose track of time?

  • Writing.  I can easily lose track of time when I’m typing away at a scene I really like.  I just keep going until I think of something else for another part of the story, questions I want to answer within that chapter, or the scene plays out to the end.
  • Cross-stitching. Going through the thread and the patterns help me get lost when I need something patient to do.  I will admit that it takes a while to complete because I find myself stopping every so often and putting to the side, especially when I’m in school.
  • Reading.  Books are my best friend when I’m on the train or stuck in traffic.  Some books pull me in and I want to keep going until I done with them.  Other books take a while to get through, not because the story is bad, but that I find other things to do with my time other than read them.  American Gods or Eat Pray Love are a few of those books for me.  American Gods because it makes you think about what immigrants brought to the new world as far as their beliefs and superstitions.  Eat Pray Love was because I didn’t want to have to sort through my feelings like Liz did.  Now, I don’t have to sort through them as much because I’m in a different “place” in my life.
  • Binge Watching. Since Netflix started doing streaming and I found some shows that I used to watch and loved, binge watching while cross-stitching is a thing now.  I haven’t watched Netflix in while because of work, school, and training.  I do remember I’m almost done with Ghost Whisperer and Once Upon a Time.  I finally finished watching Haven.  Out of all of series I’ve seen, there have only been two series I’ve watched with really satisfying endings:  Haven and Lost Girl.  Neither left me wanting more so if you need recommendations for binge-worthy shows, check them out.  I’m waiting to see what happens with Grimm  Good thing I’m almost ready to start a new cross-stitch pattern now that I’ve sorted through the books to donate, sell, and read.
  • Ubering.  I’m adding this to the list because I can easily spend ten plus hours driving people around over the weekend.  I’ll tell Ray I’ll stop work at a certain time and then I look up after a few trips and it’s closer to that time than I would have liked.  Nights where I’m up almost 22 hours straight mean I’m stopping somewhere on the way home to nap.  I don’t often do it over the week because when I do lose track of time, I suffer the next day.  Getting up at 4:30 a.m. after you get home at 11 p.m./12 a.m. isn’t as easy as it used to be.
  • Social Media. This is another one that’s easy to lose time with.  Pick a reason for any of the time sucks like Facebook, YouTube, or Pinterest, and you’ll hit the nail on the head.  I use YouTube for music and following a few different vloggers, among the “how-to” videos and the Super Carlin Brothers.

I should probably mention I used to be a gamer and that helped me lose track of time.  I haven’t played a game in a while.  After about an hour of playing, I would quit.  Might need to do a game run though just to get rid of some frustration waiting for softball to start.

What are some things you do that make you lose track of time?  Let me know because I could always use new ideas and things to check out.

Listening to: Beauty and the Beast Broadway Soundtrack.

Reading:  Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop

Quote of the Day: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” ― Maya Angelou

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Filed under Books/Classes, Cross-Stitch, Questions, TV Shows, Uber, Writing