Laughter and books make life a little easier

Posts tagged “Harry Potter

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Thoughts are powerful and, therefore, dangerous

Thoughts

Anybody who has ever struggled with mental issues will immediately recognise the truth in this insignificant little sentence in the fifth Harry Potter book. It’s hidden between much more important plot points, but it has the weight of wisdom.

When your own mind becomes the enemy and your thoughts more dangerous than anything else you will see its significance. Your own thoughts damage you and you cannot see how you could control it.


A long note and a short essay

Hi. I have been absent from the blog again. I had so been hoping to post regularly again, but the mundane had other plans. Simply put, my internet died. This time it was not me hitting the data cap, or some inexplicable internet silence that lasts some hours. It died, well and properly. It did not go down like a hero, fighting until the last, but I can only hope that it will have some characteristics of the archetypal, ever-renewed hero who will rise again when need is greatest. Now I can only wonder how long still before my need is greatest… It’s been a whole week. I am growing more and more bored and frustrated. Yes, I know I am addicted to the internet to a certain degree. I also know that I can live without it, but that I don’t want to. I am alone most of the time and though I am happy to be that way, the internet has taught me what community is and to have that torn away from you… (more…)


Day 23 – A book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven’t

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This post is part of a month-long series of pre-dated posts running while I am on holiday. Feel free to comment, I’ll get back to you when I return!
Please note that any “reviews” I write here are simply my own opinion and that I am not doing any objective, informative reviews for this challenge. If there are any spoilers in a post, I will indicate it at the top.
I draw the book covers straight from Goodreads and you can click on the images to go to the book’s page on there.

* This post may have some hints of spoilers, but nothing that isn’t floating about in the Potterverse every day. *

Well, it’s time to confess. Imagine me, squaring up to finally proclaim this publicly.

I still haven’t read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

I know there are people who will hate me for this. There are those who think you can’t love Harry Potter if you haven’t read all the books. There are those who think you can’t be a “true” fan if you haven’t read all the books. I hate all these arguments. These are the reasons why, most of the time, I dislike the Harry Potter-fandom. However, I find myself drawn to it, time and again. It is fascinating and repelling at the same time.

I love Harry Potter. But I have reasons why I haven’t read it. Unlike many other people whom I’ve interacted with on the internet, I hold no fear that HP will “end” if I read the last book. Books don’t just “end”. My reasons are much simpler than that.You see, at the time it came out, I had been dealing with a lot of loss and death. I couldn’t stand, on top of all this, the death (or even just the possible death) of some of my favourite characters. My mother bought me the book when it came out, but it just sat on my shelf, gathering dust. It’s still there. I saw both the Deathly Hallows movies. People have told me about the plot so many times that I even know the differences between the book and the movies. But I haven’t actually read it.

I also have a second reason for this. After reading the sixth book when it came out – much too fast, because I didn’t actually have time for this and I was simply racing to be done – I kind of turned against Harry Potter. As I closed Half Blood Prince for the last time (I’ve only read it once) I ended up crying and being furious at Snape. From the first book, I thought he was Dumbledore’s man. Not necessarily a good man, but only in the Death Eater circle as a spy. As the sixth book ended, for the first time I was unsure. I didn’t like it, and I was starting to think this series was a mess. It was getting dragged on too long now. You see (here comes another revelation), I didn’t like the fifth book much either. Because *gasp* I never liked Sirius much. He grated across my nerves from the beginning, and between him and Harry, the fifth book was driving me against the walls. I wasn’t even sad when it happened. I was a bit sorry for Harry of course, but mostly I was just relieved.

I didn’t really want to read the seventh book anymore.

Then the Deathly Hallows Part 1 movie came out and I knew it was finally time to face this story. When I watched it, I found I could face it. I found that I have now grown stronger than the death that last time threatened to overwhelm me and keep me down. Then Part 2 came out and brought me right back home to being a Harry Potter fan. For the book, the timing was just wrong for me. For the movie, it was exactly right. I want to read the book now. But…

I don’t think I could get maximum enjoyment out of it now. I have read the first five books so many times I can recite them. I read the sixth book so fast I can only remember about four scenes from it and that’s all. I don’t think I’d understand everything and have it draw to a close if I read Deathly Hallows now. Which is what makes me want to reread the entire series. I want to start at the beginning again and read everything. Until I reach the seventh book, whereupon I will finally open it, read it, and finish it. But do you think I have time to do any of this? No, I don’t.

One day I will read this magnificent series and finally finish it. I will make one day happen. Until then, Harry, Ron, Hermione, Luna, Neville and Ginny will have to remain unfinished characters.

Someday…

Tomorrow’s post is about a book I wish more people would’ve read.

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Day 22 – Favourite book you own

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This post is part of a month-long series of pre-dated posts running while I am on holiday. Feel free to comment, I’ll get back to you when I return!
Please note that any “reviews” I write here are simply my own opinion and that I am not doing any objective, informative reviews for this challenge. If there are any spoilers in a post, I will indicate it at the top.
I draw the book covers straight from Goodreads and you can click on the images to go to the book’s page on there.

I’m not quite sure what I am supposed to write for this post.  I’ve written about this favourite and that favourite and I’m still busy with the build-up to the final post: my favourite book of all time. So what makes this post different from any of those I just mentioned? I own most of the books that I have written about in the past three weeks. That’s simply the way that I worked, not having access to a library for a long time, so I had to beg for, buy or borrow all the books that I read during that time. Now I don’t know what to write about that has not already been written about, or is still to be written about. All that I can think of to talk about is book in my collection that has a special significance for some reason or other. They may not all be favourites, but they do have something that makes them special…

The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer is the only book that I own that is autographed. I have no idea why it is autographed – I have never gone to a book signing before. I bought it that way, actually. It was at school and there was a book sale in the school library (where I worked, of course). A book store came and set up shop in the library. When I picked up this book, I saw that it was autographed on the first page: clearly it said Nancy Farmer. Well, I don’t know if its fellows were also signed. Perhaps they were. Perhaps these were pre-signed books that were then sent to be sold because no other use could be found for them. Or perhaps my copy being in this heap was just a mistake and should never have been sold in an ordinary school library. I just don’t know, but it’s mine now and I like it. I really like it, actually. For many years, I’ve had an interest in mythology and this book deals rather heavily with Norse Mythology and the writing of the Epic of Beowulf. It’s very good.

The Prisoner of Zenda is the oldest book in my collection, to the best of my belief. I had seen the animated movie and liked it, so then I picked up the book second-hand because I thought I would like it as well. Unfortunately I am now also compelled to say that I haven’t read it. I tried. I really tried, but it was so dry, so boring that I simply could not read it. Perhaps I should try again, but when I bought it I couldn’t manage it. I should go check again sometime exactly how old this book is… it’s completely falling apart and smelling very strongly of dust and something else.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone… because this is where it all began. Actually I own three copies of this book (it’s a long story). If people ask me if I’d give any of those away to people who don’t have books, I say “Sure!” and then I can’t pick which one to give away. Should I give away that very first copy? Or should I give away one of the others, each of which also has a special significance? Until I can choose, I think all three books will remain in my possession. One day, maybe I will be able to let some of them go, but for now, I would like to remember my childhood, reading Harry Potter.

And then… The Coral Island by R.M. Ballantyne. I absolutely loved this book when I read it as a kid. When I wrote about Treasure Island, I said that I had a thing for “deserted-on-an-island” kind of stories. I got it from the library and it was one of those copies that the library redressed when the old cover got too worn. So it had a plain green, hardback cover with the title in tiny golden letters on the spine. It was therefore not very noticeable or memorable. Well, I gave the book back to the library after I read it. Not long afterwards, the entire library was demolished to make place for a shopping centre (it was then moved lower down the street). At the same time, the library took the opportunity to redecorate and move all the books about. When I came to the new library again, several years later, everything was moved and I had no idea where to find that book again. I could remember the plot pretty well, but I had no idea who the author was or what the title was. I’m in that situation for several more books from that library actually, but don’t worry, at least this one story has a happy ending. One day last year, when I was walking the 821-shelves in my university library, a book caught my eye. It was this Puffin Classics edition of The Coral Island and as you can see up there, it is quite bright blue. When I went closer, the name sounded familiar. When I picked it up and read on the back, I knew immediately that I had found my lost book of years ago. When I found and bought this book in a second-hand bookstore, I was so happy that I now finally owned a copy of this childhood favourite. Now I can only laugh at the roundabout way that I had to find it again – first the cover, then the title and author, before I could finally search for it again.

Tomorrow I reveal a book that I have wanted to read for a long time but still haven’t.

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Day 16 – Favourite female character: Part 1

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This post is part of a month-long series of pre-dated posts running while I am on holiday. Feel free to comment, I’ll get back to you when I return!
Please note that any “reviews” I write here are simply my own opinion and that I am not doing any objective, informative reviews for this challenge. If there are any spoilers in a post, I will indicate it at the top.
I draw the book covers straight from Goodreads and you can click on the images to go to the book’s page on there.

Would anyone believe me if I said that it’s really hard for me to find words to describe what I am feeling? Usually I don’t have trouble with this, but to describe how (and why) I feel about certain characters is just really difficult. So just to say that I am crazy about Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter… it doesn’t seem enough. Why? Since when? How? I don’t seem able to make sentences about this. Writing about Luna has the added disadvantage that I have to write about how I was bullied at school at the same time to explain, and that is not something that I write easily about. I get emotional and that doesn’t help my coherence.

Luckily, there is harrypotterconfessions.tumblr.com. That something that I cannot find in words, I can find in the graphics they post.

A couple of days ago I wrote about how identifying with a character plays a role in choosing a favourite. While I do identify with Luna’s character, I identify more with the way that people treated her. Everyone pushed her away, ridiculed her and called her loony. I was also badly bullied at school: for reading books; for having uncool, old clothes; for being “different”. Then, enter Luna into my life. And she showed me that it was okay to be all these things. She taught me not to let the bullies have any say over my life. It was my life and I was allowed not to conform to the norms of others. It was one of the most liberating experiences of my life to have the example of Luna. She has to be the single book character that I owe the most to and who worked the most change in me. Remember how she used to wear radish earrings? One day at school, on a non-uniform day, I tried emulating her and wore parrot earrings. People laughed at me and I took them off, but I was ashamed. I felt like I was letting Luna down. Today, I am wearing my parrot earrings and who cares who is laughing at me behind my back?

I refer to this footwear as my Luna-outfit, because I imagine this to be similar to what she would wear on off days.
(Please ignore my childish bedspread back there.)

It took years, but I know the entrance of Luna Lovegood into Harry Potter helped to shape me into the person that I am today. I stopped caring what people think. I stopped even trying to fit in, because I never have and never will fit into the niche that people tried to cut for me.

Not all of my family have accepted who I am and how I am, and whenever I feel ashamed for disappointing people for not being the way they would like me to be, I can just remember how wonderful Luna was when she refused to conform. It’s okay when people laugh at me. I may not get bullied anymore, but in a way it is still there when people laugh and point fingers. I can remember that Luna didn’t give a damn what anyone else thought of her and it was that which shaped her character.

At the risk of sounding as sentimental as everyone else posting Harry Potter Confessions, I say that I will always be grateful to Luna for being such a great example to a girl who was trying to be herself and failing. I can only hope to one day be half as strong as Luna was, because I know how much it hurts when people call you crazy, just because you happen to be different from them.

And remember…

You’re just as sane as I am. – Luna

Part 2 of this post will follow tomorrow! 🙂

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Day 15 – Favourite male character: Part 1

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This post is part of a month-long series of pre-dated posts running while I am on holiday. Feel free to comment, I’ll get back to you when I return!
Please note that any “reviews” I write here are simply my own opinion and that I am not doing any objective, informative reviews for this challenge. If there are any spoilers in a post, I will indicate it at the top.
I draw the book covers straight from Goodreads and you can click on the images to go to the book’s page on there.

 

Again I am splitting this post into two. My favourite male character… do you really except me to have only one? 😉

 

My favourite Harry Potter character definitely has to be Neville Longbottom. Followed very, very closely by Luna Lovegood in second place and Hermione in third. I like Harry and Ron and Ginny too, of course, but they have nothing that I can identify with. Personally, I think identifying with a character has a lot to do with liking a character. But my favourite character has to be Neville Longbottom. And yes, I liked the character from the very first book, not just since Matthew Lewis got really attractive. Like with Luna, I could identify my own bullied self in him. But, unlike Luna who taught me that it was okay to be who I wanted to be and not who the world wanted me to be, Neville taught me bravery. Now, however, I must digress first to explain properly how I felt about this.

So, there were the four houses at Hogwarts. Right from the very first, I identified with Ravenclaw house. I never could identify with the values of Gryffindor. Bravery? I’m not brave. I’m scared to death of dogs. Dogs, of all things! I used to jump behind my dad whenever I saw a dog not on a lead or behind a fence. I still do. Then there was Slytherin. I did not identify with them either. Ambition was one thing, but cunning and manipulative? I could not be like that. I could not step on other people to further myself, because I know how much it hurts. I could not be prepared to do anything to achieve what I wanted. Then there was Hufflepuff, but I knew that compassion was not my thing. Loyalty is one thing, but I am not good at compassion. Lastly, Ravenclaw. And I knew I was an academic, just like I know it now. I knew that one was the house that I would have been in.

Then, when I joined Pottermore, I got sorted into Ravenclaw. Yes! 😀

Some time back, I took a house quiz – the one that is considered by the most people that I have spoken to. This is what it gave me: A tie between Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff, but I knew Ravenclaw would be the one for me. However, what surprised me the most was how close behind Gryffindor was, only one mark, and that got me thinking. What kind of traits am I supposed to have to land me there? Eventually, I started to think of Neville again: Neville who thought that he was in the wrong house because he was not brave. He was courage-less, witless, and skill-less. But that did not make him worthless. Neville had to learn that it takes more bravery to stand up to your friends that to your enemies and at that the same time I learned a very important lesson. I was in with the wrong gang at that stage. I did not want to do the things they wanted to, because it was wrong. Soon after, I got out. Well, they kicked me, but at the same time I managed to break the evil cycle and start new with the best friends I could ever have wished for and never dared hope for. I learned from Neville and that first brave-Neville moment remains my very favourite and the reason why he is my favourite character. When I doubt, I think of this again, and hope. I am not brave, but maybe I can be.

Harry Potter is full of lessons, which is what makes it such a powerful story. I think it taught every single reader something about themselves while they were reading it. Maybe J.K. Rowling is not the best at writing elegant prose, but she is a wonderful story-teller and she has a talent of creating realistic characters and drawing a thread of them through several books before it finally culminates.

 

PS. Why on earth does the fandom ship Neville and Luna together? I don’t understand at all: they don’t even suit each other. Also the ship name Lovebottom is absolutely riddikulus, yo. It is asking for an innuendo. Or maybe that was the point.

 

Part 2 of this post will follow tomorrow!

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Well, I’m back. (And on Pottermore).

My titles just keep getting weirder and weirder. I seem to like putting punctuation in them lately. Also, I’m going through another “quoting Lord of the Rings“-phase.

Anyway… hello! How is everyone? I’m (mostly) back from my exam-imposed exile. I wrote three papers last week. Three! I only have three modules! And the exam period is three weeks long, but what happens?

^^ Pinterest supplies me with wonderful things like this, to help me rant my way through three papers. Now I only have one paper left, two weeks later than the others. I usually hate my exam timetable, but this time it is worse than usual.

Well, that is all over and I survived. And now… on to what happens now.

Once these exams are finally over, I’m going to go away on a little holiday. A bit of road trip and a visit to family. I will be taking mobile internet with me, but I don’t think I’d be able to blog. So, I got an idea! I decided to queue up a lot of posts. (Not a very original idea, I admit.) But what would I write about?
I starting searching for a topic or blog challenge that would last me a long time. Finally I settled on the 30 Day Book Challenge, which means I can talk a lot about books. I love talking about books, but most people don’t want to listen. They tend to walk away in confusion, but the blog can’t walk away on me, or try to remind me that the things I read are not real. (I hate it when people try to do that. I know it’s not real, but that’s not going to stop me talking about it as if it was real. 😛 ) Well, I suppose the readers could walk away in disgust. But you are not going to do that are you. *glare* 😛

I have nearly finished writing all the posts and then I will start queuing then up. Actually, I think that it will be more than 30 posts. Why? Well, if you ask me to talk about my favourite character, do you really expect me to talk about only one person? Some of the entries grew into small essays, so I split them up seeing that I did not want to actually cut them shorter. So then I will post them across several days, because no-one wants to read that much all at once.

I will start posting the entries further apart before I leave, so that there is still space for me to pop in with other posts, but once I leave, I will set them to post everyday. Won’t that be fun? The only time that this blog has ever been active with posts!

 

Now for the most important order of business… (to me, anyway 😉 )

Pottermore!

I’ve wanted to get into Pottermore ever since I heard about it. I signed up for beta, but I never got an email. Then, when it opened to the public in April… I was in the middle of working through my stack of assignments and I was so disappointed. I was seriously tempted to just create an account anyway. Once, I got as far as the log-in screen and I was filling in my details when my sensible side decided to close the browser window to avoid further temptation. So I waited… until really late on Sunday night, I think. Then I signed up. I went much too fast through the first few chapters because I wanted to get to Diagon Alley and the Sorting Hat so badly… A wand and a House… those were the main attractions of Pottermore to me. Especially the House. I always wanted to get Sorted when I read Harry Potter all those years ago. Even though it’s just an online quiz it still felt… more official to get Pottermore to tell you your place at Hogwarts, instead of you deciding for yourself.

So… first I did the wand quiz and got a wand:

I thought it was kind of cute how the quiz asked: “Are you short, average, or tall for your age?” Obviously I’m a bit old for any “for your age”, but I’m still short. 😛

And then… I got to go on to the Sorting Hat quiz. I knew what House I wanted to end up in, but I wasn’t at all sure if I would get it. I know many people complain about not getting what they wanted on Pottermore and how the quiz is rigged, so I was ridiculously nervous. When I started the questions though, I could not see how people think it is rigged, or that you can really cheat on it. Sometimes there are six options to choose from and sometimes only two. And it is hardly ever obvious where any of the questions lead to, so I don’t think you could lie and answer in such a way that you would be guaranteed to end up in your preference. I must say, some of them I could answer immediately and some of them left me stumped. 😉 There is no indication of how many questions are left (actually, I wondered if some people get more questions than others) and I was still happily beavering away, when a screen popped up.

And…

………

YES! 😀 Exactly what I’ve always wanted, ever since I was a tween! 😀

Even when I was a little kid and my mother read me Philosopher’s Stone as a bedtime story, I wished that I would be in Ravenclaw. My preference never changed, even though I haven’t read a Harry Potter-book in years. I went on a happiness-high for the rest of the night. And the next day. I’m still kind of excited right now. 🙂
If there is anyone here who is also on Pottermore and would like to add me as a friend, my username is:

An unexpected bonus if you add me is you’ll be able to see in what country I live. It has always been something that I am sensitive about revealing online, because you wouldn’t be-lieve the stupid comments people leave you if you are not from one of the “mainstream” countries like the USA, the UK or Canada. I want to be judged on who I am, not where I live. So I completely stopped revealing my location. However, on Pottermore you can’t hide it. 😉

 

Right, now I’ll stop gushing about how wonderful Pottermore is. But can I just say that I love exploring the entire site? Right, right…
And I apologise to anyone who is not a fan of Harry Potter and found that entire last piece incomprehensible. I’ll try to limit my talking about it! 😉

 

In other, non-related news (nothing in this entire blog post is related to anything else), here are the results of the poll I put in my last post. Thank you to everyone who voted! I was surprised to see the wide age range of people who have patience with my ramblings! So…

 

I think that is now everything! I’ll get round to starting the book challenge posts sometime soon!

 

Ravenclaw-ish love,

 

PS. On the 3rd of June I finally achieved a 500-day writing streak on 750words.com. Phew! That was a lot of hard work, but I’m still continuing on! 🙂


Too many things to fit in this title

Well yes, it’s true. There’s so much I want to post about! Sorry that it’s a bit discombobulated.

Earlier today, I posted this on Twitter, but I may as well ask here too:

So, what did you other Tolkien fans (I know you’re out there!) do for this special day? For those of you who don’t know Lord of the Rings / haven’t figured it out yet, the 25th of March is the day on which the happenings in Lord of the Rings culminate, making it a special day for the fandom. Apart from the Hobbits’ birthday (22 September) and Christmas Day (the day the Quest set out), of course.

Beth from Hear a Snippet Here wants me to say my ABCs. So, in the words of Monsieur Hercule Poirot, my ABCs, they shall be said.* Bethie is probably also the first person to ever call me cool. 😉

(*M. Poirot didn’t say exactly that. I improvised a bit. However, can’t you just here David’s Suchet’s voice in your head if you read that? 😛 )

First for passing it on:

Because I’m fed up of thinking of people to pass these things on to, I’m opening up the rules and saying: Go on, take it. This is a free for all. If you want this, grab the picture, post me a link and make your own list. All of my followers are awesome and I’d love to read your lists! Have fun! 😀

I decided to make my list on book characters, to fit in with Beth’s list of books. So here follows an alphabetical list of characters that I love. I just went on the first names and I included the books where you can find these ink-and-paper people. Sorry if there are any spoilers!

Artemis Fowl – This one was a tough choice between Allanon of the Shannara-series, and the main character of the Artemis Fowl-series by Eoin Colfer. But there are many wise-wizard characters in fantasy (even though Allanon is pretty awesome among them), while there is only one Artemis Fowl.

Bilbo Baggins – How could I not mention Bilbo here? He’s wonderful. Be prepared to meet many more Lord of the Rings characters in this list. Just look, how could you not love him?

Christopher Chant (Chrestomanci) – He’s arrogant, intimidating, cares way too much about his clothes, generally annoying and brave. I love him. Find him in the Chrestomanci-series by Diana Wynne Jones.

Damson Rhee – If there is one thing that I really admire about Terry Brooks’s writing, it is his strong female characters. Damson is strong, independent and resourceful. Find her in the Heritage of Shannara-quartet.

Eowyn – According to me, Eowyn of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is one of the earliest, most feministic characters ever written. I love her strength.

I agree with you, my lady.

Frodo Baggins – How could I leave out Lord of the Rings’ main character!? I love hobbits, incase you haven’t noticed yet. Actually, I’d love to include Sam here with Frodo, because they go together in my mind. Frodo wouldn’t have got far without Sam…

Gandalf – This is so obvious. I’m not saying anything more.

Harry Potter – And this as well. I’m just glad that J.K. Rowling made him not only a hero, but also a very human character. He has his flaws and faults, just like everyone else.

Igor – Actually I didn’t know who to add here, because I couldn’t actually think of anything favourite characters with an I-name. So I’m just adding the Igor-characters from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld-series. Yes, there’s a whole family of them and they all have the same name, because it saves confusion. If they say so… They are pretty entertaining however!

Jane Marple – I love Miss Marple. I love her way more than Agatha Christie’s other sleuth, Hercule Poirot. She is just such a sweet old lady, but she has a mind of steel. It is impossible to put one over her. I love her for her sweetness and for her hidden fire…

Kelsier – This one was another tough choice. I wanted to put Katniss Everdeen of The Hunger Games here as well as Kelsier, but in the end, Kelsier won. He has wonderful charisma that makes him a great leader, but he is also a flawed, broken human being. He’s arrogant, but a great friend. He tends to walk over everyone else, but he cares intensely about people. He’s one of my all-time favourite characters and you can find him in The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson.

Luna Lovegood – Ah Luna. What can I say about her that has not already been said? I guess all I can say is that she is my second-favourite Harry Potter-character, and probably the single character that has had the greatest influence on me.

Moist von Lipwig – Ah, Moist! Conman who has to turn civil servant, or else he gets hanged – again. He’s hilarious, always moving fast unless what is chasing him catches up and the most insane ideas seem to sprout from him. He is also a very close contender for the honoured position of my favourite Discworld-character. Moist makes his first appearance in Going Postal by Terry Pratchett.

Neville Longbottom – Neville! Here it comes: Neville Longbottom is my favourite Harry Potter-character. Yes, I loved him from the very start in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I can write a whole post just about Neville – and actually I already have. I’ll publish it sometime!

Oliver Twist – I read Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens some time ago. At times it was torturous going and at other times I loved it. Oliver is just such an endearing character that I had to include him in this list.

Pe Ell – I think Pe Ell is one of the most interesting characters in Terry Brooks’s Shannara, probably because his path is not set from the beginning, unlike many of the other characters. I love his conflict and his character development – always a surprise. Find him in The Heritage of Shannara-quartet.

Quentin Leah – Ah! Another one from Shannara. I can’t even promise it’s the last. Well, it is such a mammoth series after all… Mostly Quentin is just here because of the letter his name starts on. Let’s just say he is here as representative of the rest of his Leah-family. And make that the Ohmsford-family as well. I couldn’t think of any other character that has a Q-name, except for Quirrel from Harry Potter and he always annoyed me, so Quentin it is! I like him well enough, he’s just not that special.

Rincewind – The first Discworld character (close enough anyway), so he deserves a place on this list. Actually, Rincewind can annoy me a lot with his cowardice, but at the end of the day, he is just such an endearing character. I think there is a little Rincewind in all of us, to tell the truth. We all probably know that the “right” thing to do is to be brave and stand and fight, but when the guys with swords approach you, all you want to do is run away so that your flip-flops fly through the air. The eternal coward…

Sherlock Holmes – No, not the BBC’s version, but the original created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. And of course, Dr John Watson deserves an honourable mention too. What is it about these two characters that have made them so popular throughout the ages?

Tiffany Aching – I love young witch Tiffany. She is one of the few characters that I can really identify with, even though I’m double her age. She makes her first appearance in The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett.

Uhl Belk – Okay, he’s basically here because of his name and nothing else, because I seriously could not think of any other character with a U-name. However, I can’t deny that he is interesting and I love it if we get a bit of back-story for an evil Dark Lord so that we are not just forced to accept his evilness for a fact. Find him in The Heritage of Shannara-quartet.

Vimes (a.k.a. His Grace, the Duke of Ankh, Commander of the City Watch, Sir Samuel Vimes. There’s also a Blackboard Monitor in there somewhere, but I’ve forgotten where now.) Okay, I’m cheating by going on the surname, but who cares. Between Vimes and Lord Vetinari a great battle is going on for my fav Pratchett character. And I can only have one here, because  there’s only one V! 😦 However, I’m choosing to put Vimes here, because he is a way more accessible character, other than Vetinari, who is miles away on an icy throne, even though he is awesome. I don’t even know what to fit in about Vimes here, so I think I’ll have to write a whole post about him too! 😉 He makes his first appearance in Guards! Guards!, so go read it yourself and make up your mind!

William de Worde – Here comes another Discworld character! William is the world’s first journalist and I always find myself giggling at him, because he is always correcting everyone else’s spelling and grammar, just like I do. You can mainly find him in The Truth.

Xeno – Okay, last Pratchett character, promise! He’s mostly here just because of his name as well, but he is quite funny in the books. He is a parody on the Greek philosopher Zeno who was famous for thinking of paradoxes, and you can find him in Pyramids.

Yavanna – Another hard one. I didn’t really know who to put here, so I just picked her out of Tolkien’s Silmarillion, even though I have not read the whole of that yet. Another contender for this letter was rebel-leader Yeden from Brandon Sanderson’s The Final Empire, but he was not that kind of exceptional character. I’ll just stay with Tolkien, thanks. 😛

Zoroastro – Last one picked by name. Last one in general as well, obviously. Zoroastro is a character in Theresa Breslin’s The Medici Seal. He provides a nice contrast to the other characters who are most Catholic, whereas Zoroastro still keeps to traditional beliefs and rituals.

And there you have it! Sorry it got so long. I always talk too much when it comes to books and everything related to them. Now I have to read some more of King Lear. I gave up reading from my book, because it’s just too hard to follow and now I’m reading the “dual-language” version on Sparknotes. The bonus is that, with their new background, I get to look at Katniss Everdeen whilst I’m reading. And at Peeta and Gale too, of course.  😉

Have a great week!


Mostly about mosquitoes and stuff I have to say

Hey… I’m sneaking back in… I have been in such a slump. (I actually started this post two days ago.) Embarrassed smile

 

It is much harder to get back into my old blogging after conveniently ignoring it for so long than I thought it would be. I had so many ideas for new cartoons during my blogging sabbatical and I even made myself get up in the middle of the night a few times to write them down lest I forgot by morning, but to actually get back into drawing a series is a lot harder…

 

Status update: Still alive. Still on a NaNoWriMo-high. Very lazy yet again.
Eating: My bottom lip.
Drinking: Eek! What?
Listening: “Murder on the Orient Express”-soundtrack. Very suitable for literary endeavours.
Reading: Cannot wait to start on “Snuff” by Terry Pratchett.

 

Let’s get the boring things out of the way first, shall we?

 

Firstly, the poll I posted (was it two weeks ago?) on whether I should start up my origami site separately from this one here, or whether I should keep it together.

The people have spoken and the votes have been tallied and the majority seems to be in favour of me keeping things together. But… since posting that poll, I have found out a few worrying things. Firstly, that the feature that I had in mind to use to keep things organized and separate on one blog is only available in Blogger. Which is somewhere that I have no intent of moving to. The other thing is space. I prefer teaching origami with photos rather than diagrams, which is something that obviously takes up a lot of space. My cartoons also take up a lot of space, and with free WordPress, I obviously have only so much space. Unless I buy an upgrade. Which I cannot afford.

So, a different media library looks like my only solution there. And to keep organized, a different blog, in that case.

 

Thus… I have decided. It seems as though the majority of readers would like to see the origami tutorials on here. Well, with a compromise I can make sure that the summary of each tutorial appears on here. Something like… today’s tutorial is to make This model. This is what the finished model looks like, this is the difficulty rating and this is what you will need to make it. Now, click this link to be taken to the tutorial [and you will be whisked off to the other address]. So, it will appear as regular, albeit short, posts here. Call it a teaser, or an advertisement, if you like. I will also make a separate gallery page on here, that will contain all the links to the different address, for easy access.

We’ll try this compromise, right?

 

The other thing was… oh yes! I am trying to work on a Christmas prezzie for all of you, the readers of my blog. That means a free, downloadable and printable item, and it’s quite a big project. I’m really excited about it and by announcing it now, I am probably forcing myself to have it done by Christmas, else I will look really lame.

As to what it is… well, you well just have to wait and see. Nosy. Smile with tongue out

Oh, and remember to check back roundabout Christmas-time!

 

Star The boring stuff is over! On to the drawings! Star

 

I drew the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter. Mostly just because I can:

The Sorting Hat

 

And… It’s mosquito season here at the moment. I really hate, hate mosquitoes. HATE them. Mostly, this is why:

Mozzie1Mozzie2

 

And that is not the only reason…

Mozzie4Mozzie3

I swear, a mosquito will fly right through a company of people, ignoring everyone else and then aim straight for me. *sigh*. Itch, itch.

 

 

Right, now I think that is everything. I will be off, but this time I will not say when I will be back. That might save embarrassment for all of us. But it will be in a few days’ time.

 

Happy holidays! (To those of you that have them!)

 

Sig2


NaNoWriMo: halfway

You can see my progress over there in the sidebar! ——>
Yep, I finally got a word count widget! Smile

 

Ah… it’s halfway. Now it is only downhill from here. Je dois être folle…

Anyway, I wrote myself back into the game. I fell behind after my English exam, on which evening I was too drained to reach my word count. Which left me about 400 words behind, when I had been 600 ahead from the first day. It didn’t look too bad at that stage. I could easily catch up the next day, right? Many other people are thousands of words behind. Last time, that was me… It didn’t happen. Lots of unexpected stuff happened instead the next morning, which meant I lost ground with about 200 more words. After that, I was able to keep up, but I couldn’t catch up. The backlog remained ahead of me. But now it’s gone! Buried under the onslaught of religion!

 

I feel I should clarify that last sentence. My novel is not a religious novel. What genre it really is, is a question that has been puzzling me for some time now. It is definitely very far removed from my usual satirical fantasy, but not 100% exempt, I should say. At the NaNoWriMo site, I classified it as Historical Fiction, but it does not really fit there either. It is not about a certain period in history, nor many periods either. It is more a collection of glances at historical happenings, but it is not so much about the history, but the feelings of my main character as she experiences it. Then there is the element of portals and time-travel, which places it in the field of Science Fiction. And there is quite a lot of time-travelling. Every time I get bored of a particular scene, in fact. Then, lastly, the religious element. I prefer not to pertinently call it Christianity. Don’t get me wrong, I am and remain a Christian. But I want my novel to be more universal than that, therefore I do not want to name and pin it down. I would prefer to think of it as a Spiritual element in the novel.

So, there it is! What do you think? Which genre fits this thing the best?

 

~*~

 

Stuff I learned this time round:

  • The internest is your enemy.
  • As is Angry Birds and other people’s blogs.
  • I really shouldn’t read Harrypotterconfessions: it never stops at just one page. That probably means I should avoid Pinterest as well…
  • Oh, and just make that social networks in general.

  • writeordie.com is your friend. Especially if you’re like me and you need some incentive to start writing and stop procrastinating. Correction: make that hit over the head with a hammer before you start writing. Not a real hammer of course – an internet writing hammer. I don’t think I’d be able to write anything much after anyone had really wacked me one.
    It’s amazing how I can suddenly write with Dr Wicked blowing down my neck.

  • It is not easy to write exams and NaNo at the same time. Yes, yes, it is physically possible for me to type 1667 words in an hour. That is what I said at the beginning of the month. So that is all I’d need to take off from studying, right? Yeah.
    Sure, it is physically possible. But mentally? No, not usually. And how about procrastination-I-have-a-heap-of-blog-comments-and-emails-also-to-answer-in-that-hour wise? Nuh-uh. Not at all possible. Which means I waste hours in front of the computer, make everyone in the house mad, by just staring at the screen or by looking at fashion blogs and downloading new stuff, when I could have been studying.
    Just an hour? Yeah, sure.

  • Practise beforehand really helps. As you should know by now if you’re a stalker follower, I write daily on 750words.com. Which means, obviously, that I write 750 words every day of my life. I’ve written 250,000 words on there. Okay, since this month, a lot of that’s my novel… (I’m hitting 300 days in a row tomorrow!!! Open-mouthed smile Remember when I posted on how excited I was to get 200 days in row? No, probably not. But it feels so long ago!) Best habit I ever started. Yes, sure, most of it is private journaling and rambling, and story-writing takes up only 1% of my words over there. But the point is that you practise writing and typing. 750words has taught me that I can write 750 words in 15 minutes if I really type and ignore typos and punctuation. And most caps.
    Because writing is like running a marathon, you need to get fit beforehand. So, I am so used to writing 750 words by now, that writing that much of my novel is easy and fast every day. After that, it goes downhill at bit. I start getting like a runner who is out of breath and with a stitch in the side. However, at least I can write half my word count for the day easily, because I’m fit for that portion. And a good beginning is halfway to a win, right?

  • I’m not giving up yet. I’m far too stubborn for that. And I like my story. Even though I have run out of plot a few times now. The one time that happened, I just threw a rotting corpse in there. Well, it worked. It gave my story new life (no pun, or other silly innuendo intended). But I did give myself nightmares later that night. Correction: make it that morning. Well done, me. [Yes, I did just steal The Bloggess’s line.]

 

Anyhow, I write two exams tomorrow, so I should skedaddle now.

 

nanowrimo_1_normal1

↑↑ Even though I don’t even halfway agree with the people who made this thing, they still deserve credit for making it, so go look at them if you’re a NaNoWriMo-hater too. Maybe you’ll find a friend. Smile with tongue out I could write a whole blog post on why I disagree with them, but instead I’ll just give a link. And another comic that reminded me of it (and made me read Pinterest again…).

12 reasons to ignore the naysayers: Do NaNoWriMo

I agree with every word in that article. NaNoWriMo gives me the freedom and the excuse to escape from the agonizing of my inner editor and just write. Editing comes later. Because if I don’t stop agonizing, then I will never finish anything. I won’t have time, if all my thoughts are occupied by the difference between “who” and “whom”.

 

Have you noticed? I’m so lame today, I’m posting other people’s pictures instead of my own. I think it is the first time ever!

 

Now I really am off!

Sig2


Lord Voldemort, the shower and yours truly

Status update: Elana is back on duty!
Eating: What is this stuff? *pokes it, peering into the bowl*
Drinking: Hot Chocolate. Mmm!
Listening: “Someday” ~ John Legend
Reading: This interesting blog post on a blog named Cartoons and Creative Writing. You should read it too! Winking smile

 

First off, Readers: Y’all should appreciate this post muchly.

Why? Well, because this week I, being my usual foolish self, managed to tear the tip of my left thumbnail completely off, and then into the nail bed. It hurts like— like— something that you can imagine that hurts in incredible amounts. If only there was an interesting story behind my little accident it might have been better in some way (more ideas for blog posts for one thing), but unfortunately it must be the lamest story you have every heard about a wound like this. I was sitting in the library, being academic, tried to take my diary out of my bag, it got stuck, I yanked at it, my fingers slipped, and when I looked again the front part of my nail was hanging like a flap. Ouch!

But I still haven’t explained why you should appreciate the appearance of this post. Well, that would be because, with a finger like this, it hurts to do basically everything that I need to do. It hurts to write with a pen (I write with my left hand), it hurts to type, it hurts to pick up my bag (yes, the guilty party in my wound), it hurts to take a bath and it hurts to put on my clothes. Therefore you should have appreciation right now, because I still bath (not that you care), I still wear clothes, I still write and, most important of all, I am still typing this blog post at the time that I had said I would do it.

Now. Without further ado, let us proceed to the long-awaited (not!), new, long cartoon!

 

The following anecdote happened when I was about 12 or 13 years old. I think… Well? Are you going to check?

 

Cue… the incident of Lord Voldemort, the shower, and… yours truly!

 

Voldemort 1Voldemort 2Voldemort 3Voldemort 4Voldemort 5Voldemort 6Voldemort 7Voldemort 8

 

Yep. I was a stupid kid. I still am actually, sometimes. (Think torn-off thumbnail! Winking smile) And this was just sooooooo embarrassing!

But in all seriousness, for quite some time, I was truly scared of reading Harry Potter because I so scared of Lord Voldemort. But, when reading the later books, this fear was replaced by an irrational fear of that pet snake of old Voldy. Nagini, I think? Seriously, for years, when I was blow-drying my hair in front of the mirror, I would be continually checking behind me, and under the bed because I was scared there would be a huge snake there. The reasoning behind that being, if the hairdryer was making such a noise, I would not hear the snake sneak up behind me! Embarrassed smile I know, I know… Therefore, thinking of my childhood fear, I was very gratified to watch that snake getting killed in the final Harry Potter-movie. As I watched it, I thought that if my childhood had to die along with this movie, then my phobia might as well go as well. Hah! I truly hated that snake!

And this post just made me look like the hugest Harry Potter fan! I’m not actually. I liked it whilst it lasted; the final movie made me extremely melancholy and nostalgic; sometimes it annoyed me greatly… but I can’t say that I was ever a Harry Potter fan-girl! *ahem* Rambling off-topic again… (And now I have an addiction to ellipses!)

 


 

Lastly a special announcement: to my very special Impish friend, the professional geek, the Serverus Snape of our world, and sayer of really strange things Such as…

Shalane1

Here’s a big internet hug for you!  *hug* Hope you enjoyed your

birthday! Birthday cake

 

 

Up next (that means next week some time, hopefully!): A new short story! A fairy-tale — Elana-style.

 

Rainbow ~ Elana