Literary Musings

The Pitfalls of Holiday Themed Fanfiction

As I’ve already stated in a previous December blog post, I absolutely love reading cheesy Christmas themed novels with people falling in love amidst snow and Christmas decorations. And it’s not just published holiday themed novels that I enjoy. I also take the time to read a lot of Christmassy fanfiction with my favorite characters getting stuck under the mistletoe or snowed in together even when it doesn’t make logical sense. (Are you telling me that the witches and wizards of the Harry Potter world can’t somehow magic themselves out of a snowed in house? Well if it makes for a cute story I will totally accept that!)

This year is the first year that I have that bug. The one that has me wanting to write said holiday themed fanfiction. In fact, I already have two that I’ve started. But here is the pitfall.

I think I’ve informed all of my blog readers (if I even have any anymore…HELLO there if you are there!) that I typically like to complete an entire fanfiction before I start posting it online, even if it’s going to end up being fifteen “chapters/posts” long. That means that if I want to be timely in regards to holiday themed fanfiction I either have to write and post fast or I have to keep it short and simple. And let’s just say that keeping my writing short has never been my strong suit.

Pretty much every time I’ve planned a simple one-shot short story it’s always evolved into something epic. So let’s hope I can curb that enthusiasm or else you won’t be seeing any Christmas fanfiction from me until I pull out a dusty notebook in 2018 full of words I mostly finished this year.

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Literary Musings

December 2017 Books and Writings

It’s December again. The weather is getting cooler (my least favorite part of winter) and the Christmas decorations in my house and the lights along the streets of the towns I drive through to and from work are all twinkly and beautiful (my favorite part of winter). That means that, just as in October where I attempt to spend time reading creepy books, I will primarily be reading holiday related books. That means Christmas and winter themed books that are usually cheesy and romantic, just like the Christmas Hallmark movies. Normally I’d hate things like that but in December I just love it.

The winter season is also sparking my mind in regards to my writing. I’m talking dreams of kisses under the mistletoe tucked into my books and fanfiction. Actually I have an entire fanfiction idea dedicated to mistletoe and hope to have that written and posted here soon. (Honestly, I’m surprised I haven’t already written said fanfic before. The idea seems so logical and I’m sure it’s been done a thousand times before but holiday themed stories are okay in regards to that as long as my idea is well written. I mean, I think so, right? Doesn’t everyone love to read a million Hermione/Draco caught kissing under the mistletoe stories in December? Or is that just me?)

So, put on your mittens and your winter hats and get ready for some cheesy holiday romance book reviews and maybe some virtual hot chocolate!

Literary Musings

(Na)No

As November 2017 and National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) 2017 ends I look at my entry for the year and sigh. Once again I started off relatively strong and with a nice outline (even though I literally changed my idea half a dozen times, the last coming to me just days before the start of the month) and then *boom*. The words stopped trickling, at least in regards to the novel I had planned. I did, however, come up with a handful more fanfiction ideas and even started a couple though my notebooks of half finished stories are pretty full right now.

I should have known. Between work and a needy dog who loves to cuddle and doesn’t like it when my laptop is actually on my lap my writing was kind of doomed from the start. Plus, as I’ve lamented again and again, I like to hand write everything first. And boy is it hard to hand write 50,000 words in one month, especially since I’d either have to count through every word myself or do an estimation to make sure I was on track. It makes it very difficult for me.

Also, November in itself is difficult. It’s the start of the major holiday season with shopping, family time, and time spent decorating. Why not March where, if anything, you only have one day spent drinking green beer and then it’s back to normal? Or January where you’re supposed to be on top of your resolutions and I’m sure plenty of writers have good intentions of putting words to paper or screen?

(I know…I know. I’m one of those writers who always has the best intentions at the beginning of the year or the beginning of the month and I start out strong and then just flop. And even if we did NaNo in March I’d probably still not finish but that’s neither here nor there.)

So I look at my measly 4,775 word count for the month of November and I think about the fact that I’ll likely be signing up for a Camp NaNo in the spring/summer and another full NaNo next November and I’ll probably fail. But oh well, at least I’m still writing!

Literary Musings · To Read or Not to Read?

Harry Potter Reread. Book 6, Post 3.

My thoughts on finishing Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince for the fifth or sixth(?) time. Reviewing pages 446-652.

  • Harry finally realizes that Draco is disappearing into the Room of Requirement. I know he’s kind of dimwitted sometimes but shouldn’t he have thought of the Room of the Requirement earlier considering the fact that he basically lived in it the previous year? I’m sure Hermione would have thought of it if she’d cared enough to think on it.
  • The scene where Harry takes the Lucky Potion so he can retrieve Slughorn’s memory always makes me giggle and think of the movie. Daniel Radcliffe did a good job in that scene in the movie.
  • We finally see Slughorn’s real memory of his Horcrux conversation with Riddle. I’m not sure why Dumbledore seemed to think they needed this memory? It honestly didn’t tell Dumbledore anything new. He already suspected that Riddle had made Horcruxes and the whole diary and ring thing already told him he’d made more than one…
  • The chapter where Harry nearly kills Draco and then starts dating Ginny. It’s kind of a whirlwind chapter and honestly, this is where Rowling sets up Draco for a redemption arc that never really happens and I’m so disappointed. Harry has been obsessed with the kid from the beginning and he pops up pretty dramatically in every book and he ends up being a somewhat important part of book seven but I just wish Rowling had expanded more on it. It would have been perfect and would have kind of paralleled Snape’s arc.
  • I reread the Dumbledore and Harry going after Slytherin’s locket with such trepidation. I just find it so sad and heartfelt when Dumbledore goes all “I am not worried, Harry…I am with you.” And I may have cried. (I definitely cried.)
  • And then the ending which I read more quickly than the whole rest of the book since it’s just hit after hit. Dumbledore and Draco, Snape killing Dumbledore, Bill’s attack, the funeral. So many emotions.
  • The promise that Ron and Hermione will stay with him throughout it all is also kind of emotional given that I know how that will go.
Literary Musings · To Read or Not to Read?

Harry Potter Book 6 Reread. Post 2.

My thoughts while rereading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, pages 217-446.

  • I still don’t get the whole Hermione cheating to ensure that Ron gets a place on the Quidditch team. Sure she has a crush on him and all but using a charm on another seems so wrong.
  • Once again something from a previous book comes back to haunt the characters. This time it’s that Muggle killing opal necklace from way back in book two. So clever.
  • The start of Harry’s crush on Ginny. I kind of wish it would have started because he noticed her doing something awesome during Quidditch practice instead of it all being centered around jealousy at seeing her kissing someone else.
  • I know Rowling has Hermione and Ron behaving badly and jealously around one another because their “in love” and all that but I don’t like it all. I think it just goes to show that their relationship would never actually work out. It’s not actually cute for the boy to always be pulling the girls pigtails and vice versa.
  • Hermione wants to get back at Ron for going out with Lavender so she goes out with Cormac who has already proven himself to be a jerk. Of course this is a bad idea but what I don’t like is that she approaches Harry to tell him she’s only just got away from Cormac. She makes it sound like he was accosting her under the mistletoe and Harry insinuates that she deserves it because she asked Cormac out. Um, victim blaming much Harry?
  • We finally hear the word Horcrux, a word which will haunt us until the very end. (See what I did there?)
  • I do like how we end up learning a reason as to why Harry always has a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher every year. Though I think it’s super petty of Voldemort to have cursed the position just because Dumbledore wouldn’t give it to him. That seems out of character. Or maybe not. He does have a Hogwarts obsession.
Literary Musings · To Read or Not to Read?

30 Favorites: Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday. Today I turn *gasp* 30 years old. So I figured I’d make a list of my thirty favorite books, in no particular order.

1-7: The 7 books in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

8: Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley

9: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

10-12: The first 3 books in the His Fair Assassin series by Robin LaFevers

13: Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim

14: Between by Jessica Warman

15-16: Garden Spells and First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

17: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

18: The Unquiet by Jeannine Garsee

19: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

20: The Friday Society by Adreinne Kress

21: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman

22: The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

23: Alienated by Melissa Landers

24: Ashfall by Mike Mullin

25: Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

26: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

27: Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

28: A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

29: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

30: Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley

 

Literary Musings · To Read or Not to Read?

Harry Potter Book 6 Reread. Post 1.

Here are my thoughts on rereading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, pages 1-216.

  • I always take the dust jacket off to read a book if I can just because it makes it easier without the whole flapping of cover going on. (I kind of hate that about very large library books. I get that the cover needs to have glossy protection and not come off but sometimes that gaping flappy thing that goes on is so annoying.) Anyways…Half-Blood Prince has the best cover color combination under that dust jacket. Purple and black are so pretty together! And it’s definitely a witchy/Halloweeny color combination.
  •  I like how the last couple books start with scenes outside of Harry’s perspective. It gives us more of an idea of how the wizarding world works. In this case we get to see how the Ministry interacts with the Muggle world and then we get to see more of Snape outside of school. Very interesting.
  • Dumbledore making himself at home at the Dursleys house and trying to teach them manners is just delightful! And I’m glad Harry (and the reader) get right into the information what with the Slughorn visit which, for those of us who have read this before, ends up being particularly important.
  • This book just makes me love the Weasley twins more and the scene in their joke shop makes for some lightheartedness that the book definitely needs.
  • And Harry’s Draco Malfoy obsession continues. I mean, we end up finding out Harry’s suspicions were correct in the most part but still…stop stalking your classmates Potter. It’s weird.
  • Snape finally gets the Defense Against the Dark Arts position. I should have known something like this would happen the first time I read it since we had to make it so Harry could continue with Potions and become an Auror.
  • The Half-Blood Prince’s Potions book. Obviously a very important part of the plot line but still seems so odd that Harry just randomly does everything it says including reciting invented spells from it. And he also doesn’t recognize the handwriting (which I guess kind of make sense…I know my handwriting has changed a little over the years but he still might have made the connection) and he never thought “hey, I know someone who loves Potions and went to Hogwarts.” idiot.
  • All of the meetings with Dumbledore make this such a faster read than the last book because stuff is happening, important and interesting stuff. So good. Voldemort’s history is so fun to read about and actually makes him a more well-rounded villain.