Friday, July 29, 2011


     Oh. My. Gosh. I just read the post on Writer Beware about that hoax where a writer got scammed into thinking they were not only going to be repped by a Writer's House agent but that their book sold immediately in a six-figure deal. Sheesh. If you want to read about the post, go here.
     Can I just say- how awful. I'm shaking my head at the awfulness of the whole thing. Can you imagine, thinking your dream is actually coming true, only to find out it was just a cruel joke?
     The lesson here is learn all you can. I have a fear of things like this in the back of my mind, but mostly, I think everything will just work out for me. I won't get scammed by a fake agent or someone who wants to take all my money. But you never know do you? And when you're in the throes of finally realizing your dream, I can see how you would lose your level-headedness.
      I think everyone should be aware of this, so if you haven't heard about it, read the post. And then don't let it freak you out so much that it ruins your weekend!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Too Much Editing?

     How much editing is too much editing? That's my question for today (and for, well, all-time).
     I've lost count of how many times I've edited Daze and Knights. I'm not regretting the edits. I know my MS has just gotten stronger and stronger each time. But I worry about getting to that point where I've completely edited myself out of it. Or edited the voice out. Or edited those sentences that are my way of saying things.
     Agents want your MS to be squeaky clean. I get that. They don't want you to tell them it still might need edits. I totally get that- why anyone would point that out in their query is beyond me. But how do you know when it is squeaky clean? Do writers actually reach that point, that moment? Do they have that thought of, "I've done all I could, it's the best I can make it, now it needs to prove itself out in the world"?
     I don't think I've ever had that thought. No correction. I've had that thought after each and every edit. And then I go back and there's always more to fix. I can't help but think there will always be more to fix. So how do you stop editing? What makes you stop editing that MS for the last time?
     What do you other writers out there think of this? Because I'm thinking this time (like every other time before) that this edit will be the last one. That I will query again for a bit and if I get nowhere than the book will be shelved for good. Or at least ten years or so. But I know, deep-down, that I could edit it again in the hopes that one more edit might do the trick.
     So how much editing is too much? When do you stop? When do you say, I've done enough?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Give Us Some Love... Or Hate, Whatever

     My parents offered to take my two oldest kids and keep them for a couple of weeks, cuz they're awesome like that. So I'm in Cardston for a couple of days which is why I haven't blogged. I go home later today but I wanted to do a quick post mentioning the Agent's Inbox contest underway over at Mother.Write. (you can find it here). I'm one of the lucky entrants- #9, I'm not shy I'll tell ya- and I'd love any and all comments.
     So come on, hit me with your best shots. I can take it. And everyone else who's taking part in the contest would love your comments too. So check it out!
     And on to Road Trip Wednesday...

What was the best book you read in July?
     Wait, is July over? Did I miss some days? I swear I've still got a few days left and you never know what I might read.
     No, kidding. Nothing will beat Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Yes. For sure. Nothing compares. Half-Blood Prince would come second. I have to say, I'm really enjoying Something Borrowed right now. It's a lot like the movie (except without as much of John Krasinski's character- sigh) and it's been a fun summer read. But nothing beats Harry Potter.
     How about you? What was the best book you read this month?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Passion and 13 Reasons Why

     I've read two books since Divergent. The first was Passion by Lauren Kate. It's the third book in her Fallen series (if I can call it that).

     I really like these books. Reviews are mixed (as they usually are) but I'm a fan. It's hard for me not to be since the books are basically a love story through time. Daze and Knights, and all the future books I have planned, can be summed up the same way. Although hers has Angels and Demons in it, mine doesn't. I liked how in Passion, Luce explored those past lives. You know I'm a sucker for history. What I didn't like was Luce constantly repeating herself. I got that note from a beta reader recently about how Jessica repeats herself, and I thought, nah- she doesn't. But now I'm going to really look for that as I'm editing. I feel like everything Jessica has to say and everything she thinks is important, especially in the moments they happen. But I really need to look for those things she's said before so readers don't roll their eyes as I did a few times during Passion.

     The second book I read, last night and this morning because I couldn't put it down, was 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I know many of you have probably read this book already. If you haven't- do it now! It's a powerful book. One that you keep thinking of. That you can't get off your mind. Probably because it's disturbing. It deals with hard issues. It reminded me of Laurie Halse Anderson's books- she also writes about tough issues. It was an amazing book in its way- one that doesn't exactly give you the warm fuzzies, but makes you think about yourself, and your interactions with others. Everything you do, everything you say, can have a profound impact on someone else in a good or bad way. And you probably won't even realize it. The lesson I learned from this book was to really think about how you treat others. Because you never know what they're going through. Or what one thing you say or do might cause.
     So, two very different books, but both good in their own way. Honestly, I think I prefer the love story of Passion to the twisted/heartbreaking story of 13 Reasons Why. It's just more my thing. But I applaud anyone who can write about that stuff because those stories need to be told and heard.
     P.S. I just read on Jay Asher's blog that 13 Reasons Why will be made into a movie with Selena Gomez starring as Hannah Baker. I'm excited and also somewhat scared to see that book as a movie. And I think Selena Gomez, as cute as she is, makes a weird choice to play Hannah.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Need A Little Love Inspiration?

     I know I posted a dance routine yesterday. I'm way behind on my SYTYCD- I've got two weeks of shows on my PVR that I haven't watched yet. Last night I watched the top 14 show and saw this number (above).
     Wow. Just, wow. I could go on and on about how amazing it was but if you watch it you'll see.
     Aside from the amazing technique and performance, I just FELT so much watching the number. The dance completely and perfectly and wondrously (love my adverbs) showed that feeling of first being in love. That floating-on-air, passionate, breathless, able-to-do-anything, intense, feeling. If you need some inspiration for love or a relationship in your writing, watch this. I guarantee, you'll get the inspiration you need. I especially love the part where he crawls his fingers up her arm, then down her other arm. Gave me the shivers.
     Again, wow.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I Got You and Road Trip Wednesday

     I'm totally obsessed with "I Got You" by Leona Lewis. It all started when I watched this dance number. One of my favorite routines so far this season. Watch it, it's amazing. I also have the song on my last Harry Potter post- it's the background song on the video tribute to the actors. Such an awesome song.

     On to Road Trip Wednesday. I skipped last week cuz I was too Harry Potter involved. (I saw the movie again last night. It was toonie tuesday, so why not?!) So here's today's question: Who are your favorite literary villains/antagonists, and why?

Um, duh... VOLDEMORT. Such an evil, evil wizard. So evil that he split his soul multiple times by murdering others, just for immortality. Goll, he's bad. And it's so satisfying when *spoiler alert* he gets his in the end.

And also, SNAPE. Although *spoiler alert* he doesn't end up being a villain, he's still so mean throughout all the books. He's probably a favorite of mine because we learn his story- we find out the reason for the meanness. We find out that he's not just evil, he's sad, and lonely, and he made some bad choices. Poor, poor Severus.

A completely different kind of villain, but one I love to hate- George Wickham from Pride and Prejudice. He's smooth, charming, handsome. But a snake. A ruin-er of innocent girl's virtue. And a big inspiration for one of my own characters.

So what about you? What villains do you love? Or love to hate?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What's In A Name?

     What's in a name? A. LOT. Names are important. They mean something. I spend more time considering the names of my characters than I did my kids. Weird, but true. With my kids, it was a matter of finding a name my husband actually liked. With my characters, I want names that flow easily across the tongue, that suit the character who is already formed in my head, and that mean something that relates to the character.
     Almost all of the names I chose for Daze and Knights have meanings that relate to the characters themselves. Example (and I know that different name-books give different meanings, these are the ones I found): Jessica means "He sees". Alric means "Ruler of All". There are others, but if you know the meaning of the names, it kind of gives things away.
     I have a really hard time when authors use names that are unpronounceable. This happens most in fantasy or sci-fi. Sometimes these names are pronounceable, but they just don't come easily. I stumble when I read them. Example: Galbatorix from Eragon. I LOVE the name Eragon. But Galbatorix? Ugh. It's not like I can't pronounce it, but everytime I read it, it slows me down. It takes me out of the story. And that's something that no author wants.
     Another name I had a hard time with: Katniss. I think because it was just so weird. Not pretty. Reminded me of Catnip. I got used to it. But for the first book I couldn't help but cringe inwardly everytime the name passed through my head.
     Divergent also had a name I couldn't stand: Four. Four is not a name, it's a number. There's a reason his name is Four, the author explains it, but I still had a really hard time with it. I still stopped each time and thought, "his name is Four? Really???" It got easier later on as he starts to go by his real name. But still.
     So, is it just me? Am I the only one who has issues with names? Do you take time to really consider what your characters names will be? (If you don't, I suggest you do, just sayin').
     There is another post about this on a blog I follow and you can read it here.
     Completely unrelated... I'm entering Elana Johnson's contest to win "Forever" by Maggie Stiefvater (I love, love, love her). Check out that contest on her blog.

Monday, July 18, 2011


     Harry Potter week is over and even though I'm sad, it was exhausting posting on my blog every day!
     A book with so much hype around it is Veronica Roth's Divergent. I'd really like to know how that happened. How one book got so much buzz and publicity before it even came out and other books that are equally as awesome- don't. I guess that's the million dollar question for all aspiring authors.
     Anyway, it was a great book. It reminded me of Hunger Games- probably because it's Dystopian also. I liked Divergent better than the Hunger Games though. I think it's because the love story was more prevalent, more intense (I'm a total sucker for a love story). Also, it was interesting to think about what my own choice would have been out of the five factions. The characters, the world, all of it was really well done. My only complaint- and it's not really a complaint, more of a personal choice- is that Dystopian isn't my favorite genre. I don't know why, it just doesn't speak to me like say Fantasy or Historical. So while I loved the book, I wouldn't say I was wowed by it. I don't think any Dystopian would ever wow me. But it's definitely a book to read- especially for all you dystopian lovers out there. And I'm excited to see where she's going to take the next book.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Harry Potter Week, Day 7: Goodbye Harry

     You know when there's so much hype around something, when you hear all these great things about it, and you worry that once you get there- read it or see it- it won't live up to all those expectations? Yeah, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 2 was so not like that. The movie was awesome. AWESOME. Of course I was disappointed at the little things they left out, or the few changes they made, but in general... it was AMAZING. So good. I swear I cried through most of it. I bit my nails off. And I sweat like a pig. (Haha- gross, I know.)
     Before the movie started, the theatre staff asked some trivia questions for prizes. One of the questions was, what is the levitation spell called. My husband got picked, looked to me for the answer, and I said (*cue bowing my head in shame*) Levicorpus. How could I??? And I call myself a Potter fan. It's Wingardium Leviosa- duh. Although to defend myself, Levicorpus is a levitation spell- for people. They didn't specify. So there.


     Anyway, this is the last day of Harry Potter week, in which I say goodbye. SNIFF. In which I put the books away. SNIFF. In which I wrench myself from the wizarding world and place myself back in reality. SNIFF SNIFF.

And together they walked back through the gateway to the Muggle world. (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, page 251)

 There are a lot of awesome videos on youtube paying tribute to Harry Potter. There were two that I loved especially but unfortunately they got booted off youtube for copyright issues. Dang- because they were really beautiful. I chose this one to say my goodbye.


The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well. (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, page 607)

I also put this one on here as a tribute to everyone involved in the movies. And because I LOVE the song (by Leona Lewis).

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Harry Potter Week, Day 6: Randomness

     Just a few more hours and I get to see Harry Potter. Aaahhhhh, the waiting is killing me!    

This is me with my new U-No-Poo t-shirt. (I know, I know, I'm a big dork)

     Today is all about the random. Questions that don't relate to each other in any way but I wanted to ask them anyway. So...

If you were an Animagus, what animal would you be?
What animal would your Patronus be?
If you played Quidditch, what position would you play?
What would your wand be made of?

     If you've read the random facts about me, you'll know that I already answered question one there. I've always been a cat lover (sorry you dog people), and so I would definitely change into a cat. But not a tiny household cat. I'd want to be a ferocious cat. Leopard would be my first choice.

As the werewolf reared, snapping its long jaws, Sirius disappeared from Harry's side. He had transformed. The enormous, bear-like dog bounded forwards. (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, page 279)

     Going along with that, my Patronus would probably be a cat too. But not like Umbridge's (shudder). Again, I'd hope it would be more like Kingsley's lynx. A leopard, tiger, panther... whatever. You can go to Warner Brothers and they'll pick a Patronus for you but- no offence to them- I thought it was a little silly. Basically it's just poof- here's your Patronus. (They chose a hare for me).

"EXPECTO PATRONUM!" he yelled.
And out of the end of his wand burst, not a shapeless cloud of mist, but a blinding, dazzling, silver animal. He screwed up his eyes, trying to see what it was. It looked like a horse. It was galloping silently away from him, across the black surface of the lake. He saw it lower its head and charge at the swarming Dementors... now it was galloping around and around the black shapes on the ground, and the Dementors were falling back, scattering, retreating into the darkness... they were gone.
The Patronus turned. It was cantering back towards Harry across the still surface of the water. It wasn't a horse. It wasn't a unicorn either. It was a stag. It was shining brightly as the moon above... it was coming back to him...
It stopped on the bank. Its hooves made no mark on the soft ground as it stared at Harry with its large, silver eyes. Slowly, it bowed its antlered head. And Harry realised...
"Prongs," he whispered. (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, page 300-301)

     I don't know if I'd play Quidditch. I've never been all that sporty. I played volleyball and basketball in Grades 7 and 8 but then quit because I had too many dance classes. So it's doubtful that I'd be a good Quidditch player. However, if I played, I'd probably be a Chaser. Keeper and Seeker would just freak me out- too much pressure!- and I don't exactly have the beaters build going on.

Harry was speeding towards the ground when the crowd saw him clap his hand to his mouth as though he was about to be sick- he hit the pitch on all fours- coughed- and something gold fell into his hand. (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, page 140-141)

     And my wand. Oh to have a wand. It's like my fondest dream. Actually, not true- I'd rather just be able to do magic without the wand. Anyway, who can tell what would really be in my wand? Oh yeah- Facebook can! They have those quizzes (that I try not to do because then I get addicted), and one of them is what would your wand be made of. My results: 10 1/4" Willow and Unicorn Hair. Nice, eh?! This is what the results said: Willow wood is very flexible, making this wand especially good for charms. Wands with unicorn hair cores such as this one typically choose witches and wizards who are pure of heart. This wand is similar to Lily Potter's wand.

"I remember every wand I've ever sold, Mr. Potter. Every single wand. It so happens that the phoenix whose tail feather is in your wand, gave another feather- just one other. It is very curious indeed that you should be destined for this wand when its brother- why, its brother gave you that scar."
Harry swallowed.
"Yes, thirteen and a half inches. Yew, Curious indeed how these things happen. The wand chooses the wizard, remember... I think we must expect great things from you, Mr. Potter... After all, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did great things- terrible, yes, but great." (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, page 65)

     Head to Facebook and you can find out which wand would choose you. You can also find out what Hogwarts Professor you are (I got McGonagall), what your patronus would be (wolf), what house you would belong to (Gryffindor), what girl you are from HP (Tonks- what???), what character you are (Harry- again, what???), which villain you are (Umbridge- ewwwwww), which magical creature you are (house-elf), which Weasley you are (Ginny), and which member of the Order of the Phoenix would you be (Molly Weasley). Told you I get addicted to those stupid quizzes.
     For today's movie clip, I just picked a general fave- the Felix Felicis scene. I think Harry is hilarious here. I saw an interview once where Dan said he liked doing that scene because that's more like how he is in real life. So enjoy (especially the "pincers" part).

Friday, July 15, 2011

Harry Potter Week, Day 5: All About Luuuuuurve

     I envy anyone who went to a midnight screening last night. Finding a babysitter for that time of night is impossible. Oh, who am I kidding? Last time I stayed up past 1 am, I could hardly function the next day. Ah, I'm getting old.
     Instead of seeing the movie last night, I finished re-reading Deathly Hallows. I stayed up too late doing that but I couldn't help it. Once I got to the part where Harry's back at Hogwarts, I just couldn't stop reading. Man, that book is awesome. Seriously awesome. And now I'm kind of sad because I probably won't re-read those books for another few years. Sigh.
     But let's not get back to reality quite yet. I still have two more days of pretending to be part of the whole Harry Potter world. Today is all about one of my favorite things to write about: Love. Looove. Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuurve. Ok, I'll stop now.
Who at Hogwarts would you want to date?
Who would actually date? (Meaning, who would you get, realistically)
What would Amortentia smell like for you?

     Don't pretend like you haven't thought of this before. I know you have. Even if you think you haven't, I bet the answer comes pretty quick to your lips.

Harry looked around; there was Ginny running towards him; she had a hard, blazing look in her face as she threw her arms around him. And without thinking, without planning it, without worrying about the fact that fifty people were watching, Harry kissed her. (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, page 499)

     So, who would I want to date? Harry. Or Cedric. No Harry. No Cedric. Harry being the same height as me is a point against him. But the fact that Cedric dies... I don't know if I'm into the whole doomed relationship thing. So Harry. Except that I'm in Hufflepuff so I'd have a better chance with fellow Hufflepuff Cedric. (Hmmm, maybe I should want to be Cho Chang since she gets to snog both- HAHA!) 

"Cedric was a person who exemplified many of the qualities which distinguish Hufflepuff house," Dumbledore continued. "He was a good and loyal friend, a hard worker, he valued fair play..." (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, page 626)

     If I'm considering my present age, I'd say Sirius.

...Lupin should stop pretending that Sirius- who was standing feet from them behind that old curtain- was not going to emerge at any moment, shaking back his dark hair and eager to re-enter the battle. (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, page 712)

     There's a reason I ask the question, who would you actually date. Thinking back to when I was in High School, I had those impossible crushes on the Harry's or Cedric's- the most popular guys, the sporty guys, the guys every girl wanted to date. But I was also drawn to the funny guys, the goofy ones, the guys who could always make you laugh, the guys who EVERYONE liked. Usually those guys were my friends and it wasn't until they started dating someone else that I'd realize how great they were. So based on that answer... the Weasley twins. Fred and George are always there for the comic relief. To make tense situations more bearable. To make us all laugh. Almost everything that comes out of their mouths is hilarious. And let's not forget they're brave (always willing to fight), smart (Weasley's Whizard Wheezes), and sporty (Quidditch beaters).

"How do you feel, Georgie?" whispered Mrs. Weasley.
George's fingers groped for the side of his head.
"Saint-like," he murmured.
"What's wrong with him?" croaked Fred, looking terrified. "Is his mind affected?"
"Saint-like," repeated George, opening his eyes and looking up at his brother. "You see... I'm holy. Holey, Fred, geddit?"
Mrs. Weasley sobbed harder than ever. Colour flooded Fred's pale face.
"Pathetic," he told George. "Pathetic! With the whole wide world of ear-related humour before you, you go for holey?" (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, page 67)

     So what would Amortentia smell like to me? Cinnamon and apples, summer, coconut, Marakesh Oil (hair shine serum). Aaaahhhhhhh. (If you don't know what Amortentia is, watch the scene below from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.)

There was a clatter as the Basilisk fangs cascaded out of Hermione's arms. Running at Ron, she flung them around his neck and kissed him full on the mouth. Ron threw away the fangs and broomstick he was holding and responded with such enthusiasm that he lifted Hermione off her feet. (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, page 502)
      So I know this isn't a love love scene, it's more of a friendship love scene. But I love it. I luuuuuuuuurve it. (Sorry, can't help myself.) Even though it's not in the book, it shows just what they're going through when Ron leaves. How dancing helps them to forget, just for a couple of minutes, their terribly crappy situation.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Harry Potter Week, Day 4: Friends and Enemies

     I hate to admit this, because it will show what a Potter-nerd I am, but me and Harry are the same age. He was born July 31, 1980, and I was born a few months earlier in April. How do I know that? Read Deathly Hallows.
     Anyway, I mention this because it ties in to today's questions...

Who would you want to be friends with at Hogwarts?
Who would you actually be friends with?
Who, at Hogwarts, would be your greatest enemy?

     So, since I'm the same age as Harry, and assuming I'm right about myself and that I'd be in Hufflepuff (although I've heard on the new website Pottermore that Rowling has made up an extensive questionnaire to determine what house you're in so we'll see in October)... well, my actual friends would probably be fellow Hufflepuff's, like Susan Bones or Hannah Abbott. Maybe even Justin Finch-Fletchley or Ernie MacMillan, although I think that guy would annoy me a bit.

     Who would I want to be friends with though? Well, duh. Harry, Ron, and Hermione. I mean, who wouldn't? And it's not because I'd just want to hang out with the famous kid. Harry would be a great friend because he's brave and loyal. He can kick Voldemort's butt. Hermione would be a great friend because she'd be dead useful for school things- like foot-long essays on the correct composition of Strengthening Solution, or notes for History of Magic. And Ron- well frankly I'd like to be friends with the entire Weasley family. Maybe then I could get my own hand-knitted jumper with an "M" on it from Mrs. Weasley.

"But from that moment on, Hermione Granger became their friend. There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them." (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, page 132)

     Okay I know those are really shallow reasons for being friends with someone. The truth is, I think we'd all like to be friends with those three because we know them the best of all the characters. We know them so well. They feel like friends already.

"Harry- you're a great wizard, you know."
I'm not as good as you," said Harry, very embarrassed, as she let go of him.
"Me!" said Hermione. "Books! And Cleverness! There are more important things- friendship and bravery..." (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, page 208)

     So who would be my greatest enemy? If I was a Hufflepuff, I don't know... since we don't know much about them, it's hard to say. They don't seem to have many enemies. Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle are pretty much mean to everyone so they'd probably be the ones.

     Speaking of friends, I love the end of movie 5 (Order of the Phoenix) when Voldemort is possessing Harry but can't stand it because of Harry's love for his friends. Dan did it awesomely and so did the director with the flashes first of what Voldemort is making Harry see, and then the images of Harry's friends. The scene shows how important it is to have friends and loved ones in your life.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Harry Potter Week, Day 3: All About Characters

     Ah, Harry Potter. Ah, Dumbledore. Ah, Snape. (I just read a post about Snape here, on the blog Unedited, which is also doing a Harry Potter week. Check it out.)

     J.K. Rowling created such unforgettable characters. Characters we love (Fred and George), characters we love to hate (Snape), and characters we just LOATHE (Umbridge). So jumping right in to today's questions,

Which character is your favorite?
If you could be any character, who would you be?
Which character is the most like you for real?

     I don't think I can pick a favorite. I've already said how much I love Harry and Dumbledore. I love Hermione and Ron too. And Fred and George and Ginny. The most obscure character that I love is Lee Jordan. His Quidditch commentary is just HILARIOUS. I also have a soft spot in my heart for Sirius Black. But to pick a favorite? No, I can't. It's just impossible.

"Ha, haaa!" yelled Lee Jordan, as the Slytherin Beaters lurched away from each other, clutching their heads. "Too bad, boys! You'll need to get up earlier than that to beat a Firebolt! And it's Gryffindor in possession again, as Johnson takes the Quaffle- Flint alongside her- poke him in the eye, Angelina! - it was a joke, Professor, it was a joke..." (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, page 227)

     If I could be a character? Hermione- hands down. She's smart, incredibly talented, and friends with Harry and Ron so she's always right in the thick of things. She does get some crap dealt to her throughout the books, but she always rises above. She kicks butt. I love a female character who kicks butt. And she's got the brains besides and that's something I envy.

"One more word about Harry's love life and the deal's off and that's a promise," said Hermione irritably.
"What deal?" said Rita, wiping her mouth on the back of her hand. "You haven't mentioned a deal yet, Miss Prissy, you just told me to turn up. Oh, one of these days..." She took a deep shuddering breath.
"Yes, one of these days you'll write more horrible stories about Harry and me," said Hermione indifferently. "Find someone who cares, why don't you?" (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, page 499)

     I'm definitely not like Hermione though. The character who I'm most like is Ginny. Mainly because she's the youngest of seven kids like me. Even though I don't have only brothers, I know what it's like to start out shy and timid, but gradually find your own groove, become your own person. I don't think I'm as strong as Ginny, and I still definitely have some of that shyness. But I really identify with her the most out of any other character.

"He chanced a glance at her. She was not tearful; that was one of the many wonderful things about Ginny, she was rarely weepy. He had sometimes thought that having six brothers must have toughened her up." (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, page 99)

     My clip for today is the Seven Harry's scene from Deathly Hallows. It's a scene full of excellent characters and it's hilarious. I wish I could have found the whole scene (with all the changing clothes and stuff and the "Bill, don't look at me, I'm hideous" bit) but no luck. Enjoy anyway!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Harry Potter Week, Day 2: Classes and Teachers

     So you've gotten your letter to Hogwarts. You've boarded the Hogwarts Express at Platform 9 3/4. You've gotten some treats off the trolley- perhaps some Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans, Cauldron Cakes, or Pumpkin Pasties (whatever the heck those are). You've been sorted into your new house (Hufflepuff for me), and you've gone to bed in your nice new dormitory.
     Then school begins... You get to learn charms and transfiguration, potions and history of magic. So on to today's questions...

What subject would you be most keen to take?
What subject do you think would be your favorite?
Which teacher would you hate the most?
Which teacher would be your favorite?

      Right now, if I could choose any subject from Hogwarts to learn, I'd definitely pick Defense Against The Dark Arts. How cool would it be to use Stupefy, Impedimenta, or Petrificus Totalus. Not to mention learning how to cast a patronus.

     Knowing me, I think Charms would probably be my favorite subject. Since I'm not a great cook, I don't think I'd be able to master the art of Potions. I bet Transfiguration is really hard. History of Magic might be exciting if it weren't for Professor Binns, the Ghost teacher, who drones on and on. I've never been an animal person so that takes out Care of Magical Creatures. Arithmancy and Ancient Runes are probably way beyond me. And I think I'd take the Harry and Ron route and just make stuff up in Divination. So that leaves Charms. It sounds like fun, not too difficult, and Flitwick seems like an easy-going teacher.

     I think for sure Snape would be my least favorite teacher. Unless I was a Slytherin, he would probably hate me because I think I'd be rubbish in his class. And, like Neville, I would be majorly intimidated by him which would just make me worse.

     I'd want Dumbledore as a teacher, he'd be my favorite for sure if he actually taught anything. Since he isn't a teacher, I would have to go for Flitwick or Lupin for DADA.

     Speaking of Dumbledore, I want to give a shout out to Richard Harris, who I think embodied Dumbledore to the max. Yes, Michael Gambon is a great actor, but Richard Harris is exactly how I picture Dumbledore in the books. So here's my movie clip for today showing the late, great Richard Harris.

     And also speaking of Dumbledore, because he's awesome, I'm going to take a couple of different quotes from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, all spoken by Dumbledore (page 49,50, 529).

"- yet, sadly, accidental rudeness occurs alarmingly often," Dumbledore finished the sentence gravely. "Best to say nothing at all, my dear man."

"I would assume that you were going to offer me refreshment," Dumbledore said to Uncle Vernon, "but the evidence so far suggests that that would be optimistic to the point of foolishness."

"There is nothing to be feared from a body, Harry, any more than there is anything to be feared from the darkness. Lord Voldemort, who of course secretly fears both, disagrees. But once again he reveals his own lack of wisdom. It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more." 

    So... what class would you want to take? What teacher would you love?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Harry Potter Week, Day 1: Welcome to Hogwarts

     I was planning to do a Harry Potter blogfest. I thought it would be fun to ask a bunch of questions about the movie and see what everyone's answers would be. Then time passed and I realized it was waaaay too late to do a blogfest. Oops. Instead I'm going to dedicate this week to Harry Potter, asking questions, posting favorite clips of movies, and sharing favorite quotes. I'm even going to change my blog music to the HP soundtrack. Why? Well if you're asking why then you're clearly not a Harry Potter fan and you don't realize that the very last movie comes out this weekend which I am SUPER excited about (I'll be seeing it on Saturday night). So away we go into Harry Potter land. 
     I read a poll once that asked, if you could go to any fictional school, which would it be? Obviously the number one answer was Hogwarts. That would be my number one as well. The summer when I was eleven, I moved to Orleans, Ontario, a suburb of Ottawa. So instead of enrolling in Henry Larsen Middle School, I'm going to pretend I got my letter to Hogwarts: (I couldn't find the right font)
       Miss M. Stanford
The Bedroom Facing the Driveway
(can't remember the #) Fieldstone Crescent
Orleans, Ontario
     Hogwarts, with all its corridors and moving staircases would totally intimidate me. As would the sorting ceremony. Like Harry, I would worry that it was some kind of test, or that it they would realize their mistake and chuck me out then and there. But there'd be no mistake, and I'd be sorted along with the other first years. Which brings me to today's questions:

Out of the four Hogwarts houses- Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin, which house would you want to be in?


Which house would you actually be sorted into?     

     Of course I would want to be in Gryffindor. Who wouldn't really? But lets be honest. We wouldn't all be sorted into Gryffindor. Which is why I asked which house would you actually be put in.

      Honestly, I'm not brave- so that rules out Gryffindor. I'm not cunning, so no Slytherin (thank goodness). While I like to read, I've never been a great student, so that nixes Ravenclaw. Which leaves... Hufflepuff. Yeah. Sure they're loyal and hardworking, which... well, I don't know if I'm those either. The sorting hat says in one of its songs that Hufflepuff takes "the lot", no matter what their strengths. Or lack of. So that would be me. Sigh. Although, Hufflepuff does have Cedric Diggory so... enough said.
    I think we'd all like to be Gryffindor's because we'd like to have their bravery. At least that's the draw for me. So on that note, I'm sharing one of my favorite parts of all the Harry Potter movies. This is the end of Goblet of Fire when Harry decides that he's not going to hide from Voldemort but stand and face him like a man. This is Dan Radcliffe's best moment- just so believable and well done. Every time I watch it I can't help but think, not one of the Death Eaters would be brave enough to do what Harry did and face Voldemort. That's why we all love Harry.

     To go along with that scene, here's my quote for the day from page 575 of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire:

Harry crouched behind the headstone, and knew the end had come. There was no hope... no help to be had. And as he heard Voldemort draw nearer still, he knew one thing only, and it was beyond fear or reason- he was not going to die crouching here like a child playing hide-and-seek; he was not going to die kneeling at Voldemort's feet... he was going to die upright like his father, and he was going to die trying to defend himself, even if no defence was possible...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Books and News

     I'm absolutely itching for the last Harry Potter movie in a week. Itching. Or maybe that's my sunburnt back. Anyway, I figured I needed a short HP break, so I decided to read something else before I get to Deathly Hallows. And I wanted to read the book closer to when I see the movie. Why? Who knows. Probably because I'm mental.

     Anyway, I read Everlasting by Allyson Noel on Tuesday. This is the last book in her Immortals series. It's a good series overall. I love the love story between Ever and Damen that spans the entire series. I also like how she talks a lot about karma and spirituality in a personal sense. It's kind of new age but she gives a great message through the books without being preachy. And I loved loved loved the way she ended the series. My only complaint was this book had a lot less action and a lot more introspection as Ever is trying to figure everything out. Understandable for the last book in a series, but still- it could have had a little more action for me. My favorite part of the book was when she travels back to a past life (these books talk about reincarnation a lot too). Although I had to gasp at her use of the names Alrik and Fiona during that part. Not that I have the only right to those names but still, I couldn't help my loud "HEY!".

     Since that book only took me a day, I decided to read The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan. I'm still in the middle of it but it's as awesome as all his other books. If you've never read him- DO IT NOW! His voice is just INCREDIBLE. So funny, so perfect. His books with their crazy/hilarious chapter titles are what inspired me to come up with my own chapter titles. Chapter 1 of this book is called: Fun with Spontaneous Combustion. I mean the voice is just so there all the time, I love it. He inspires me.

     In other news... or this is ACTUAL news... I read (here) that Stephenie Meyer is producing the movie version of Shannon Hale's Austenland. For someone who loves that book and loves Stephenie Meyer, this was great news to me. Can't wait to see it and I hope they do the book justice!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Road Trip Wednesday- A Chance to Look at Pretty Pictures

     This week's Road trip Wednesday:
Share some images that inspire your WIP
     This should be fun because I've never done this kind of thing before. So I think I'll share some that have inspired Daze and Knights, which isn't exaclty my WIP (book 2 would be I suppose), but it's still not completely done with the whole editing thing yet so...
     Wow, I actually found this to be VERY difficult. Maybe because the book takes place mainly in a medieval castle or village. Here's what I got though...

It was VERY hard finding a picture of a girl holding a sword that wasn't animation or trying to be sexy (which this one is but it's tamer than some of the other ones).

Hampshire Castle
The closest thing I could find of a glowing tree (aside from the Avatar one)

You may wonder why a Barbie picture? Well it was this movie that inspired Jessica's training outfit which looks basically like this except it's brown. You can't see the knee-high boots here.

Melee or battle


The forest where Jessica wakes up


And of course I just cant resist a picture of the actor I want to play Alric- Alex Pettyfer