Literary Musings

Surprise!!

Writing a novel or a fanfiction for a blog post isn’t always easy because, if you’re not careful, the writing can take on a mind of its own. Case in point, the most recent fanfiction I started writing.

I think I’ve written about this before. That I have two different fanfiction accounts, one for my “regular” stories and one for my less tame ones. Not that I’m ashamed to have people know I write dirty things sometimes, I just feel as though it would be awkward if my family and coworker read them. (Honestly, I can’t imagine how weird it would be to be one of the well-known authors of the super smutty stuff. Imagine what a family holiday would be like if you’re mom/aunt/grandma had read the dirty, dirty things you’d written! So uncomfortable.)

Well, the most recent fanfiction I started writing was supposed to be one of those things that would fall under my pen name that isn’t linked to any of my other social media. It was supposed to be a one shot, smutty Hermione/Draco fic. And now, now it’s taken on a life of it’s own. It has a plot and it has heart and emotion and it’s not what I was planning on at all. It’s taken on a surprise life of it’s own. This would be why I’d feel the need to write an entire series before I started publishing them if I wanted to do a series…I’d be afraid the characters would take my novel and change the series in an entirely different direction than what my writing contract expected.

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Literary Musings

Twelve

Twelve. It’s a number we deal with every day in regards to time and the date. And, after an evaluation of my writing, it’s also the number of novels that I’m apparently in the middle of writing. Maybe that’s why, when I started pondering what I’ll be working on in November for National Novel Writing Month, I drew a blank. So let’s see what I have going on, in no particular order.

  1. The fantasy novel that I started working on way back in middle school, nearly half my life ago. It’s the novel that I call “Lord of the Rings-like but with an all female cast.” It’s mostly done other than the fact that every time I pull it out to edit it I end up changing entire passages and giving up because there’s just so much to do.
  2. A novel about mermaids and high school. If I’m remembering correctly this one may technically be “finished” as well?
  3. A novel about werewolves because of course there are werewolves. I think this one is also finished.
  4. There’s also a novel about fairy godmothers that I think is mostly complete but, like entries 2 and 3 I’ve never actually went through to edit.
  5. The one with Greek statues and gods and goddesses and flashbacks to ancient Greece. Mostly finished, it not complete?
  6. The vampire one. Only there’s cruise ships and various time periods and I’m pretty sure I wrote the first third and the last third but never the middle section.
  7. The fairy tale retelling that I just started last year and made major headway but then ran out of steam after National Novel Writing Month.
  8. My first contemporary novel which was set in the Greek system at a university. Only “Greek” meant way more than just sororities and fraternities. I think I only got about 1/6 of the way done with this one.
  9. The first of what I was thinking would be a librarian themed cozy mystery series because I started working in libraries and was using the whole “write what you know” theory. Only got about five pages in but somehow also managed to outline a sequel?
  10. The murder mystery novel that was born because I read a similar novel and didn’t like how it rolled out/ended. This one has a four page outline but I’ve only written about five pages of it.
  11. And yet another fantasy, this one born out of reading a series and not liking how it ended so I just randomly invented my own world and a whole outline for all three novels. I know I have pages and pages of characters and plotlines but I don’t remember if I actually started writing it.
  12. Another start to a cozy mystery series, this one with murder and magic. There’s an outline floating around and the first page but nothing more.

I’m guessing that I should probably cheat a little on NaNo and work on one of these barely started novels, especially since I have no ideas for anything new but my trouble is…which one?!

Literary Musings · To Read or Not to Read?

Harry Potter Reread. Book 4, Post 4.

My thoughts on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire pages 509-734.

  • Sirius shows up in Hogsmeade in dog form and meets up with Harry and company. This is kind of awesome because I love Sirius but then he adds that if they’re talking about him they should call him Snuffles. Um, shouldn’t they have also been using a code name for him when sending mail back and forth?
  • Nifflers during a Care of Magical Creatures class! Why couldn’t this scene have been in the movies?!
  • I really like how Hagrid and Hermione bond together again during this book which they also did back in Prisoner of Azkaban when Ron was upset about his rat. I think it’s just cute that Hagrid mainly took Harry under his wing but also ends up talking to all the misfits.
  • Oh Mrs. Weasley. At the beginning of the book the Weasleys are talking about how awful Rita Skeeter is, and Molly points it out again later, but when it comes to the rumors of Harry and Hermione she actually listens. Overprotective mother syndrome I’m guessing?
  • The whole scene with the insane Mr. Crouch is where everything really starts to go haywire. I can’t remember if I even had an inkling of what might be going on back the first time I read it?
  • The Pensieve scenes are super interesting and always have been but they are just uncomfortably invasive. I can’t imagine I’d be as calm as Dumbledore if I found someone walking around my memories. Also, this is when I really wanted to start seeing more of Neville Longbottom, after we learn what happened to his parents.
  • The Third Task. Like Harry you wonder if it’s so “easy” because they’re luring the champions into a false sense of security which actually probably would have been a good way to go. But then it goes unimaginably wrong.
  • Poor Cedric. Like I mentioned earlier we should have known something bad was going to happen to him since he became such a big part of the book so suddenly. And it was one of those cases where it all happened so fast and so much happened afterwards that it was hard to process. Just like if something like that were to happen in real life. (I just don’t like it when readers comment that characters didn’t take time to grieve or process a death. I mean, come on, they are worried about fighting for their lives. We’ll process later!)
  • All the Death Eaters and the Reverse Spell Effect. So emotional! And I love the big reveal of everything with Crouch/Moody. So creepy.
  • I like how quickly Dumbledore calls everyone together and we get to see the scope of the war effort.
  • Book four was when everything really started to get dark in this series which makes for some interesting, heart pounding reading.
Literary Musings · To Read or Not to Read?

Harry Potter Reread. Book 4, Post 3.

My thoughts on rereading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire pages 287-508.

  • In the last Harry Potter related post I mentioned that Ron never seems to learn from his mistakes. I suppose that’s nothing compared to Rita Skeeter who has to be one of the most frustrating characters. Until we read Order of the Phoenix of course.
  • Okay the fact that the kids get to tangle with dragons is fun to read about but honestly? The committee wanted there to be less of a chance for the champions to die during the competition and they decide the first task should involve dragons?! Well I guess it’s already a world where eleven year olds can fly around on brooms so safety already doesn’t seem like a top priority…
  • The whole House-Elf issue. I like that Hermione gets a plot line of her own and the fact that she’s fighting for equal rights is awesome but did she really have to be so annoying about it?
  • The Yule Ball. Beautiful imagery in the movies but that was just a mess all the way around. And Harry and Ron are the worst dates ever.
  • I really want to go to Hogwarts and become a Prefect so that I can use the bathrooms. A pool sized tub of warm water that fills really fast and you can add any number of colored bubbles?! Sounds amazing!
  • Harry is distracted and drops the Triwizard egg and the Marauder’s Map and finds himself in hot water. He literally just got through a challenge where his life depended on a Summoning Charm. Why the heck didn’t he Summon the egg and the map back to him? Idiot! A lot of the Crouch related stuff wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t lost the map…
  • The Second Task taking place in the Lake was a genius idea since we otherwise wouldn’t have gotten to see much there but I can’t imagine that was a fun event for spectators to witness? You’d think maybe they could have projected it somehow but clearly they didn’t or else Percy and Fleur wouldn’t have been so worried about their siblings. Also, come on Harry, you really thought they’d just let everyone die?
To Read or Not to Read?

This Is What a Librarian Looks Like… by Kyle Cassidy

As a librarian and book lover myself I was interested in a book which says it’s a “celebration of libraries, communities, and access to information” but honestly this wasn’t exactly a fun read through. With a title like “This Is What a Librarian Looks Like” I expected more diversity in the photographs. Sure there are men and women of various skin colors and with unique shirts, hair, and jewelry but all of the pictures are just more or less your basic school photo type picture. I think it would have been more interesting if the photographer had went to libraries and caught pictures of librarians in the act as opposed to just catching them at a conference and having them pose. That way people could have really seen the diversity in the jobs instead of hearing about it.

Another gripe, all of the statements from people and even little introspective pieces by authors were so similar. Perhaps we should have had everyone give more personal information instead of reading over and over again that libraries offer safe spaces, information, and services that towns/people might not otherwise get. How about you give us exact details on what you/your library offers? That’s why some of the essays were far more interesting because they got into the unique details of different libraries.

All in all it’s nice to see so many people loving and promoting libraries but I’m not sure it works in this format.

Literary Musings · To Read or Not to Read?

Harry Potter Reread. Book 4, Post 2.

My thoughts on rereading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire pages 158-287.

  • Not only did we see the Diggorys at the World Cup but Amos Diggory shows up in the Weasley fire when the kids are getting ready to leave for Hogwarts. Honestly, even on my first read through I should have known something was going to happen to that family.
  • Ahh, the announcement of the Triwizard Tournament which was originally stopped because of all the deaths. Honestly, why didn’t the schools just have like a quiz bowl or something?
  • Mad-Eyed Moody who is not actually Moody at all. You know, just Voldemort’s most trusted servant transforming Slytherin’s into ferrets though I guess that may have just been payback for Lucius being one of those Death Eaters who got away? Either way, Moody was an interesting character. Even more so when we later meet the real Moody and he’s actual very much like the fake one personality wise…
  • But seriously though. Moody teaches the kids how to resist the Imperius Curse. Why do you want your enemies to know that!?
  • Beauxbatons and Durmstrang and all of the talk of keeping locations secret. But you know, everyone at Hogwarts has British/Scottish accents, Beauxbatons students have French accents and Durmstrang has Krum who everyone knows is from Bulgaria. Oh, I wonder where the schools are? Also, how is Krum a student and a famous international Quidditch star?!
  • The actual scenes with the Goblet of Fire bring on so many emotions. Fred and George growing their long white beards like they’re old which they’ll never see in real life. (Damn you, J.K.!) Also, Dumbledore “calmly” inquiring as to whether Harry put his name in. Come in movie how hard was that to incorporate?!
  • Honestly, after everything Harry has been through why would Ron possibly think Harry would want to partake in a magical competition he’s likely not prepared for? Stupid Ron. Now if only Ron had learned from this…
To Read or Not to Read?

Geekerella by Ashley Posten

Note: I received a free advanced copy of Geekerella from NetGalley.

Do you like all of those cheesy high school Cinderella type movies that pop up every couple of years? Do you like comic cons and the like? Then Geekerella is for you!

I am a sucker for Cinderella retellings, especially those set in high school. That setting just makes sense you know? High school would be the worst time to have hopes and dreams and an awful family life that is holding you back. That’s why I knew I’d love Geekerella before I even started it. And it ended up being super cute and adorably geeky.

Let’s start with the characters:
– Elle- Our modern day Cinderella who absolutely loves this old sci-fi show called Starfield (a show her now dead father really got her into) and is super excited when it’s rebooted into a new movie. She works in a food truck called The Magic Pumpkin and dreams of leaving her step-mother and step-sisters behind, all while taking her neighbor’s ill treated dachshund with her.
– Darien- The new Starfield Federation Prince. His father has got him into acting and made him out to be this hunky pop star type actor, forcing Darien to hide the fact that he’s been into Starfield all along and he’s just as geeky as the fans.
– Elle’s step-family- As tradition, the stepmother is an unfair pain, one of the sisters is a little witch (take away the w and add a b) and one of the sisters is more than what she first appears.
– Sage- The green haired artsy girl who works with Elle in The Magic Pumpkin and eventually becomes her best friend.

The characters were pretty awesome. I liked all the geeky references. I was super ticked off by Elle’s stepmother and one of her stepsisters. I liked Darien’s “handler” and bodyguard who were there for him more than his father/manager. I also really liked Sage and her mother.

And more into the plot. At the beginning of the novel Elle hears that the new Starfield is doing a cosplay contest at the ExcelsiCon that her father started back in the day. She wants to win more than anything because it will get her to the special admission only Cosplay Ball and a meet and greet with the new Federation Prince. But then she learns that it’s Darien who will be said Prince and he’s an actor that she does not approve of at all.

So begins an interesting web of issues with Darien getting griped against because his dad/manager wants him to play it cool and not show he’s a fanboy. Elle’s sneaking out behind her stepmother’s back to work with Sage on her costume.

It was fun, it was cute, it was somewhat predictable because, duh, it’s a Cinderella retelling but I loved it.