Happy 20th Anniversary, Harry Potter!

I feel like I’m a little late in the celebratory Harry Potter has been around for 20 years posts, but I just really wanted to talk about it!

 

Because Harry Potter, obviously.  How can I not talk about Harry Potter?  If you need to know two things about me, it’s that I like Harry Potter and yarn.  Yarn is a completely different post, but Harry Potter…that’s why we’re here today.  I’m almost positive I’ve mentioned some of this before, but it’s worth talking about again…because this is Harry Potter we’re talking about here.

I can’t believe Sorcerer’s Stone has been around for 20 years!  I’ve spent most of my life reading and obsessing over Harry Potter, and I can’t imagine life without it.  I started reading Harry Potter when I was in high school, and I honestly have a hard time remembering what life was like before Harry Potter.

I have a lot of memories of Harry Potter, and it’s had such a big impact on my life.  I’m totally taking a trip down memory lane here:

  • I remember hearing about the books, and thinking they sounded a little stupid.  It wasn’t until I saw Sorcerer’s Stone on DVD one weekend that I checked out the first 4 books from the library and read them.  That DVD I saw?  A rental from Blockbuster…I can’t believe Harry Potter’s been around long enough that Blockbuster used to be a thing.
  • I only went to the midnight release parties for Deathly Hallows and Cursed Child.  Deathly Hallows…it was the first midnight release party I could go to, since I had no way to get to the ones for Order Of The Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince.  I honestly thought it would be the only one I’d ever go to, until Cursed Child came out.
  • I remember for Deathly Hallows, I went to the Barnes And Noble by my house, in a costume I threw together at the last minute, and then getting the book and staying up all night to read it.  I went into work that day tired, but glad I had done it, knowing it would be my last time staying up all night reading Harry Potter.  For a few weeks, everyone was reading it during their lunch break, and it was really hard waiting for them to finish so I could actually talk about it.
  • And when the Cursed Child script was released, I found myself at Mysterious Galaxy, dressed up as Fleur Delacour, and feeling like the magic was back, even if it was a script for a play I’d never see.  I don’t think I ever did a review on the script, and I haven’t picked it up since then, but still, the magic of Harry Potter was back for a night.
  • All of the time reading Mugglenet, and wondering what would happen next.  Also: all of the time I spent on fanfiction.net, and all of the fanfics I read.  Not to mention when I starting writing my own fanfiction.  Which I still do, and it’s the one thing I keep coming back to, at least for writing.  When in doubt, write Harry Potter fanfic!
  • That time I was obsessed with A Very Potter Musical.  I saw that one, and the sequel, but I never saw the third one I know is out there…
  • Really identifying as a Hufflepuff.  I always thought I was a Ravenclaw, since I LOVE reading.  But then I was sorted into Pottermore, and I was like, nope, I am not a Ravenclaw, I am a Hufflepuff, I have found my people.
  • I will always remember waiting anxiously for the next book to come out, and all of time spent reading theories and discussions.  In a way, all of the people who are reading Harry Potter for the first time are really lucky, because they don’t have to wait for each book to come out…but I don’t think I’d want to give up all of the title hoaxes and JKR’s interactive website with clues and all of the hype surrounding each book.
  • Being able to crochet some of the really cool things mentioned in the series.  I made the Luna Lovegood scarf, I have a Hufflepuff scarf, and I crocheted the hat and capelet I wore when I dressed up as Fleur Delacour.  There are so many other things I want to make, and one of these days, I will have to make more HP-themed things.

I do think a big reason why I really got into writing was my desire to write my own take on the series.  Would I still on gone on to write my stories?  Maybe, but I’ll never know for sure.  14-year-old me wasn’t very confident in her ability to write a story, but writing HP fanfic helped me believe in myself and feel more confident that I could write.

The Luna Lovegood Scarf

As evidenced by this list of Harry Potter podcasts, this post about reading Harry Potter with a sibling, a post wondering what would happen if Hermione had more female friends, Harry Potter tattoos, a wonderful post about reading Harry Potter as the series came out, and lessons we’ve learned from Harry Potter, a lot of people have been influenced by the series.  I know all of those links come from one blog, but…a lot of people have had their own experiences with HP, and I love that there’s such a range of thoughts and discussions, and things we’ve learned because of one series.

The Fleur Delacour Capelet (Left) and The Beauxbatons Hat (Right)

There’s something very special about Harry Potter, and it means so much to me.  I have a lot of really good memories associated with Harry Potter, and it’s something I’ll be re-reading for years to come.  My life would not be the same without Harry Potter.

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Currently Obsessed With: Wrapping Up 2016!

Happy new year!  I hope everyone had a safe and fun New Year.  I spent New Year’s Eve with a friend, and we watched Clue the movie, played a game, and watched the Doctor Who Christmas special.  It feels like 2016 went by so fast, and it was an interesting year, to say the least.  It felt like so much happened!  I thought, instead of just focusing on December, I’d take a look back at the whole year.

Currently Obsessed With

Crochet:

This was the year of the crocheted blanket!  I made quite a few blankets- I finished three, and I’m still working on another one.  Blankets are so easy, and I don’t have to think about what I’m going to work on next, but I also want to work on something different, so maybe I’ll find some other projects to work on.  I’m hoping this is the year that I actually make fun hats for NaNo earlier in the year, instead of scrambling to make something in October.

Books:

I got quite a few of them!  I got the screenplay of Fantastic Beasts as a present, I got the first 2 Iron Fey books on audible, and I bought An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir and Sorcerer To The Crown by Zen Cho.  I wasn’t sure what to get on Audible, because I have my eye on quite a few new-to-me books.  Nothing seemed right, and when I was looking through my wishlist, I noticed the Iron Fey books and decided to get the first 2.  They are narrated by one of my favorite narrators, it’s what I’m in the mood for right now.

I also bought A Thousand Boy Wishes by Tillie Cole, and I pre-ordered The Hate U Give and Frostblood with a Barnes and Noble gift card.  It was so hard picking which books to get- I had a hard time deciding between 2017 releases, and I have the feeling I’ll be pre-ordering quite a few books this month.

5 Favorite Things I Watched:

  1. Stranger Things is really good, and one of my favorite new shows!
  2. Fantastic Beasts was my most anticipated movie this year, and I have three words: erumpet mating dance.
  3. Deadpool was fun!
  4. The new Gilmore Girls episodes did not disappoint, and I loved going back to Stars Hollow.
  5. Finding Dory was adorable.

Fun Things From The Last Year:

  1. My trip up to Oregon.  I went for a cousin’s wedding, and had a great time.
  2. All of the book events I went to!  In particular, the signings for the Welcome To Night Vale scripts, And I Darken by Kiersten White, Imprudence by Gail Carriger and The Beauty Of Darkness by Mary Pearson.
  3. I had a great time at the midnight release party for HP & The Cursed Child.  When Deathly Hallows came out years ago, I never thought we’d get another midnight release party, and it was a nostalgic night but also cool to have another midnight party for a Harry Potter book.
  4. NaNoWriMo- it’s come and gone, but I wrote at a lot of cool places, and I won.  I do want to go back to it at some point this year, hopefully soon.  If I wait any longer, I probably won’t go back to it.

Some Cool Things To Check Out:

Dinosaur Tail Feathers!  These look so cool!

National Geographic’s 50 Best Images Of The Year.

I have food on the brain today, because I want to make these french toast roll-ups, this Cheesy Beef Enchilada Rice Bake, this chicken parmesan casserole, these Asian Pork Rolls, and Bacon Cheddar Waffles And Chicken.

While we’re at, here some of my favorite links from the last year:

The 100 Most Influential Photos Of All Time

Amazing Photos From A Pilot

Here are some cool photos of the Northern Lights

One more picture-filled link: 20+ Rare Historic Photos

Anyone want to play Jane Austen Bingo?

I really need to make these crispy chicken thighs again, because they were AMAZING!

And I am so glad I came across this DIY Oatmeal Packet, because I now make my own oatmeal packets instead of buying them from the store.  I love oatmeal, and this so much cheaper!

Looking At Last Year’s Resolutions:

To be honest, I’m only doing the non-bookish resolutions, because I’m saving those for another post.

I did not crochet 52 granny squares, and I most certainly did not work on a chevron blanket I have sitting next to me. I also didn’t go out of my way to exercise, and I had a pretty good year.  My room is organized enough, though it could probably be a little more organized.  And I saved some money, but not as much as I wanted to.  I’m still not sure what goals I want to accomplish this year.  I have some reading-related goals, but absolutely nothing in terms of stuff that’s not reading-related.  If I can come up with something, I’ll be sure to share!

Favorite Picture I Took:

I didn’t take a lot of pictures, but the one below is my favorite.  It’s a photo of Mt. Shasta in Northern California.

Mt Shasta

Music:

I thought I’d share a playlist of my favorite songs from the last year!  Minus I Don’t Wanna Live Forever, because it’s not on spotify, but it’s one of my favorite songs right now.



I hope everyone has a wonderful and amazing year!

Currently Obsessed With: November 2016

Currently Obsessed With is a once-a-month (but sometimes more) feature where I talk about my favorite things from the last month.

Currently Obsessed With

November was a busy month!  There was definitely a lot going on, so let’s get started!

Crochet:

Not much happened with crochet!  I participated in NaNoWriMo, and a lot of my usual crocheting time was taken up by writing.  I did crochet a little, mostly when I needed to recharge and take a break but still do something creative. Now that NaNo is over, I’ll definitely be picking up my yarn and hooks!

Books:

I most definitely did not buy any books last month- in fact, I barely read during the month of November.  I haven’t even figured out what audio book to get with my Audible credit.

T.V./Movies:

This I actually did!  I watched the new Gilmore Girls episodes on Netflix, which I talked about here.  I do have a couple more posts about the new episodes in the works that will have a lot more spoilers.  They should be coming out in the next week or so.

I also watched Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them!  I’ve been looking forward to it, and I really liked it.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, because this is the first time we get a Harry Potter/Wizarding World movie…with no idea what’s going to happen!  Eddie Redmayne was such a good choice for Newt, and I was reminded of Luna, Hagrid and Neville.  I think he’d get along with the three of them really well, and I can’t wait to see the other movies.  I just realized I never did a post about it!  I’m not sure if I’ll do a post about it, but I might.

Around The Internet:

I meant to link to this before, but here are 5 good reasons to add translated books to your TBR.

I tend to stay away from New Adult books, and this list of patterns is a big reason why I stay away from the genre. I like the idea of it, but it tends to be not what I’m looking for.  Which I know is unfair, but maybe in the future I’ll read more of it.

I am a proud Hufflepuff, and I just love seeing posts like this one.  Embrace your inner Hufflepuff!

Time recently selected the 100 most influential photos, and they’re fascinating to look at!  A lot of the images are very familiar, but the stories behind them aren’t as familiar.  You can explore them via Time, but if you want a straight list, then Bored Panda is your best bet.

November Stuff:

  1. Fantastic Beasts, which I mentioned!  I think I might do a movie review post after thinking about it for a few seconds.
  2. Gilmore Girls, which I also just mentioned.
  3. Thanksgiving!  It was a good day, and there was the Macy’s Parade and food, and it was nice to see my family.
  4. NaNoWriMo.  I wrote 55,000 words last month, which means I won for the 11th year in a row.  I’m not even going to attempt counting novels, since there were quite a few years where I did multiple novels.  I talked about it here, here, here and here.  I have one last post planned for NaNo updates, and then I’m pretty much done talking about it until next year.

Things Happening In December:

  1. Christmas!  I’m excited about Christmas, and I think it’ll be fun.  The shopping won’t be, since I have to go into stores, and this is my least favorite time to go shopping.  But I can’t avoid it, since I (unfortunately) can’t get everything online.  Maybe I just need to plan better and do all of the in-store stuff before Thanksgiving.
  2. Getting back to reading, crocheting, and blogging.  They all took a hit last month, and it’ll be nice to do those things again.  I do want to keep writing the story I was working on, so that may or may not continue.  We’ll see after taking a small break.

Music:

I was going to do a playlist of the music I listened to last month when I was writing, but I just feel lazy right now. I’ll try to share something fun next month.

Have a great weekend!

NaNoWriMo 2016: An Update From The Trenches

blog-graphic-nano-update

I can’t believe I’m 5 days into November!  I thought I’d give an update today so everyone knows how it’s going so far.

I went to the midnight write-in/kick-off party in my region (which is good, considering I am one of the ML’s and help plan events).  It was super-fun, and I got a bunch of writing done.

I also took the 1st off, since I knew I was going to be up late, and I figured sleep was more important than going to work exhausted because I either got no sleep or very little sleep.  I also figured I’d get some more writing done, and try to write ahead as much as I could.  I didn’t write as much as I hoped, in terms of the novel, but I was able to get a couple of blog posts done.  If I can manage to get the day off again next year, I definitely plan on doing it again.

I know I mentioned not being sure what I was going to write- I was deciding between an alternate 7th year fic where Hermione gets separated from Harry and Ron but ends up with Charlie Weasley instead and a post-Deathly Hallows but before the epilogue Marriage Law fic.

I literally decided what I was going to write an hour before midnight by rolling dice.  True story.  It’s easily the most interesting way I’ve picked what to write.

So what am I writing?  The alternate 7th year!

It helped that I was okay with writing either idea and that both ideas were vaguely outlined.  I was definitely prepared no matter what I decided to write.

I’ve been writing during my lunch break, and it’s been working really well so far.  I’m sort of surprised by how much I can get done, but it’s a good thing because it means I have less to write when I get home.  I think that’s part of why I’m ahead of where I should be- I end up writing more than I plan to, and even though I could probably take a day or two off of writing completely, I’ve decided to keep the momentum going.

I’m particularly glad that I’ve been writing during lunch because I’ve had horrible lower back pain the last few days, to the point where sitting has been super-uncomfortable at home.  I know it’s going to resolve in a few days (because PMS, not that anyone wanted to know or cares, and I’m sorry if it’s TMI), but it’s sort of something that’s going on right now.

MOVING ON: I was still able to write (even though I did have to write standing one night), but at least I’m enough ahead that if I only write at work, I’m still in pretty good shape.

It’s why I like having some sort of buffer- it’s great for when the unexpected happens, or when I can’t write as much.

blog-graphic-word-count-update

I am currently at 12,833 words!

It’s a really good start, considering I’m only writing one novel this year.  If I keep up this pace, I’m supposed to hit 50k on November 20…at which point I will stop writing, keep going or start one of the other ideas I have.  Assuming I finish early, of course, but I’ll figure it out if/when that happens.

I’ve also had some really funny/interesting sentences, and I’m going to have to share those.  When you’re writing and not paying attention to your inner editor, you end up with really random things. At least I got a laugh out of it!

That’s all I have for an update, but I’ll definitely be back with another update!

Currently Obsessed With: August 2016

Currently Obsessed With is a once-a-month (but sometimes more) feature where I talk about my favorite things from the last month.

Currently Obsessed With

Let’s took a look at what happened last month!

Crochet/Crafts:

August was a little bit of a crafty month for me!

I made my own Harry Potter wand…and as much as I love Harry Potter, this is my first wand.  It’s not fancy at all, but it did the trick for a Harry Potter party I went to.  I followed this tutorial, and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be.  I used knitting needles, because I, for some bizarre reason, have knitting needles.  It makes no sense, considering I don’t knit, but at least I put them to good use.  I ending up making two, because I have no use for two, much less one.

August 2016- HP Wands

I did, however, learn that it’s important to read the directions on the bottles of paint.  When you need a wand for the next day, it’s probably a good idea to NOT BUY PAINT THAT NEEDS 7 DAYS TO AIR CURE.  Because that’s what I ended up doing…and as I didn’t have 7 days, I found myself making a trip to Wal-Mart.  Mostly because by that point, Michael’s was closed and Wal-Mart is open 24 hours.  I definitely made sure I got some fast-drying paint. They turned out pretty well, all things considered.  And now I want to do more crafts.  As much as I love crochet, I think I want to branch out a little.  I’m open to suggestions!

I didn’t do a lot of crocheting last month, mostly because I haven’t been in a crocheting mood.  The only thing I really want to work on is my blanket, and it’s still too hot for that.  Maybe in another month or two, I’ll be able to work on it again.

Books:

I didn’t buy a lot of books this month- just The Beauty Of Darkness, which I also got signed!  I particularly liked this post about the signing event, which goes into a lot more detail about some of the questions she was asked.

Book Signing- The Beauty Of Darkness

As for my Audible pick, I got Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel.  I feel like I’ve seen it mentioned before, and I tried reading it in print, but that didn’t work for me, so I figured I’d go for the audio.  I have a feeling it’s going to work better as a audio book for me.

T.V./Movies:

I did not see Suicide Squad, mostly because I somehow forgot, and then when I remembered, I got lazy.  So there was no movie-going in August but maybe I’ll get to see something this month!

I finished Royal Pains, which I really liked.  I also watched Stranger Things in one day, which wasn’t hard, since there’s only 1 season, and it has only 8 episodes.  I kind of want to re-watch it already because it is sooooo good! I also started watching The Ghost Whisperer, because it seemed to be the only thing I was in the mood for.

I also watched the Olympics.  Well, some of it.  Normally, I watch as much of it as I can, but for some reason, I didn’t really do that this year, which is weird for me.

Around The Internet:

I really like this post about periods in YA.

This post about romance as a genre was really nice to read.  Also: historical hangover cures.  It’s an interesting read, and it’s not something I thought about before.

Why YA Needs Quitters.  This blog post makes some really good points.

Why Romance Readers Love Reading Digitally.  I only read romance very sporadically, but I can relate to a lot of the points listed.

The Differences Between Sex & Violence In YA.  I’m not a parent, but I thought it was an interesting post, and there’s a lot that I don’t think about because I’m not a parent.

Speaking of parenting, these picture books would make some great gifts for parents.

Now I want to re-read The Baby-Sitters Club.  It makes me wish I had held onto my old BSC and Sweet Valley books.

I made banana bread!  King Arthur Flour never lets me down.

I wholeheartedly agree with this list of things you should not say to romance readers.

I think quiet/underestimated characters are important, but they get overlooked a lot.

I also have a lot of chicken in the freezer, so I made Maple Dijon Chicken Thighs and Baked Crispy Chicken Thighs. It’s a good thing I like chicken.

Things That Happened In August:

  • The Beauty Of Darkness book signing.  I already mentioned it, but it was fun to go to, and I love hearing authors talk about their book and their writing process.
  • The Harry Potter Party!  There was a lot of Harry Potter-related awesomeness for a while there, and this party was a good way to end it.  It was super-relaxed and super-crafty, and now I have some cool crafts in my room. And there’s nothing like watching Harry Potter with other HP fans.

Things I’m Looking Forward To In September:

  • The people behind Welcome To Night Vale are coming to San Diego to sign the two new Night Vale books!  The scripts from the first couple of years are being released in book form, along with illustrations and behind-the-scenes stuff, and I’m looking forward to going, because I am a huge Night Vale fan.
  • Getting ready for NaNoWriMo.  Which isn’t until November, but I have a few ideas in mind, and I’m not sure what I’m writing yet.  I definitely need to start outlining those projects, and I’m hoping I won’t be too lazy to actually do it.  I might have to go to the library, since I seem to get a lot of work done there.

Music:

  • River by Bishop Briggs.  I cannot stop listening to this song.



  • Castle by Halsey.  This is another one I’ve been listening to a lot.  There’s something haunting about the song.

That’s all for today!  I hope today is a good one for everyone!

Currently Obsessed With: July 2016

Currently Obsessed With is a once-a-month (but sometimes more) feature where I talk about my favorite things from the last month.

Currently Obsessed With

July has been a fun month!  It’s also been really hot, and the lack of working AC didn’t help, so for the most part, all I had the energy to do was sit on the couch and watch t.v.

Crochet:

I finally felted the purse I talked about last month.  I tried doing it by hand, but I got really impatient, so I ended up throwing it in the washing machine.  I had to do it a couple times to get it to how you see it in the picture, but I think it also depends on how felted you want it.

July 2016- Felted Purse

I wasn’t completely happy with how the handles turned out, but that was my fault- I didn’t count as well as I thought I did for that part of it.  It’s also really small, so I’m not sure what I’m going to use it for, but I am using a different purse (that’s also bigger than what I’m used to), so maybe I’ll use it for smaller things like my keys and wallet.  But I’m not sure.  Below, you can see what it looks like, before and after felting.

July 2016 Purse Before And After

As you can see, you can still see the stitches a little bit, but I think felting is one of those things where you do it until you get the look you want.

I did a capelet and witches hat too, and both took longer than I wanted to.  But only because I got a bit lazy, so then I had to crochet furiously for about a week, just to get them done in time for the midnight release of HP And The Cursed Child.  But I got it done!  Somehow, I did, even though I’m not completely sure how!

July 2016- Fleur Collage

I really like the capelet, though I don’t know that I’ll wear it much beyond the Harry Potter events going on.  But honestly?  It was a lot cheaper/easier making it than it would be to buy it.  And it’s the same with the hat!  I will say, though, that the hat threw me a little.  I really like it, and it turned out well, but there was something slightly weird about it.

There were some rounds, mostly towards the end, where my stitch count was off for no apparent reason- and it was always the rounds where I didn’t increase.  I had the correct number of stitches in the previous round, I didn’t miss any stitches- even at the beginning and end of the round, and I even counted a good three or four times.  And yet, I was still off by one stitch, even though I should have had the correct number of stitches.  I don’t think it’s the pattern, because it was fine until the brim, so I’m chalking it up to crocheter-error.  You can find the pattern for the hat here, and the pattern for the capelet here, if you’re interested!

Books:

I went to the Gail Carriger book signing for Imprudence, and I had a great time.  If you ever have the chance to go to one of her books signings, they’re really fun.  She takes questions the entire time, and she’s funny, and people always ask really interesting questions, and she has some really funny answers.  One thing I might start doing is taking notes, just because I can never remember what they talk about, and I wish I could talk more about what people asked and what their answers are.

Also: Harry Potter midnight release party!!!!!!!!  That was fun, and I talked more about it here, but I will say that it was nice to go to another midnight release party for Harry Potter.  I can’t think of any other book that would get the midnight release party treatment.

As for the books I bought: I bought Imprudence by Gail Carriger, and Servants Of The Storm by Delilah Dawsonn. Of course, I also bought Harry Potter And The Cursed Child- both print and e-book.  I also got When Reason Breaks by Cindy Rodriguez from Audible.

T.V./Movies:

I saw The BFG, which I talked about here, and I also went to see Ghostbusters.  Ghostbusters was a lot of fun to watch, and in no way did it ruin the fact that I grew up on the original- which I now want to re-watch, because it’s been way too long since I’ve seen it.  I loved Holtzman, and Patty was awesome, and I loved that they were very much about the science, and what they had to go through in order to be taken seriously.  Also: Chris Hemsworth as the dumb receptionist was absolutely hysterical.  It definitely has its own story, and I think the all-female cast was a good choice because it meant it was really different from the original.  But there are also quite a few nods to the original Ghostbusters movie, and that was really cool.  And definitely stay for the credits, because it’s one of the most entertaining credits I’ve seen in a long time.

As for t.v., I’ve been watching Law & Order: SVU on Netflix, so I’ve basically been watching the post-Stabler seasons (which I’m sure are on hulu).  I will never understand how I can binge-watch this show.  I finished season 1 of iZombie, which I really liked, and now I’m watching Royal Pains.  I’ve only seen bits and pieces of Royal Pains, and the original stuff on USA is pretty cool, from what I’ve seen of Royal Pains and White Collar.

Around The Internet:

Reading rules we don’t follow as adults that we expect students to follow was pretty interesting reading and makes a lot of good points.

This blog post about genres and how important it is to place books into the right genre was also interesting reading.

On a semi-related note: How To Define YA and Do YA Characters Need To Be Role Models?

I liked this post about disability terminology, this one about navigating criticism and discussions about disability representation, and this one about chronic illness in YA.

I also liked this interview with 4 YA authors about sci-fi, sex and writing for young women.

If it weren’t so hot, I’d totally make these baked chicken strips.  However, that just means I may need to have these snacks on hand.

This honey lemon chicken looks really good!

This post hits the nail on the head about required reading in English class.

Speaking of school…I loved seeing these historical photos.  They really bring history to life.

I am a fan of page flags, particularly when I read non-fiction, and these make me want to buy some!

You can find all of this, and more, over on pinterest!

Things I’m Looking Forward To In August:

There’s not much, but there are a few things I’m looking forward to.

  • A Harry Potter party!  I went last year, and it was super-fun, and I’m definitely looking forward to it this year.
  • I’m going to a book signing for The Beauty Of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson.  I’m sad the series is coming to an end, but I also need/want to know what happens next!
  • Suicide Squad!  I usually go see all of the Marvel movies, but I almost never make it to the DC ones.  But this one looks cool.

Music:

Here’s a playlist of what I’ve been listening to over the last couple of months.  Enjoy!



Book Talk: A Spoiler-Free Talk About Harry Potter And The Cursed Child Midnight Release Party

Book Talk is a sporadic feature where I talk about bookish things that aren’t book reviews.

Book Talk

Today’s topic is…Harry Potter!  Specifically, the Cursed Child Midnight Release Party, but I wanted to share a little bit of my own Harry Potter story.  I have read The Cursed Child already, and I’m going to talk about it but I promise there will be no spoilers in this post.  I will be probably be doing a review full of spoilers when I’ve had the chance to read it again.

A Little Bit Of My Harry Potter Story:

I’ve loved Harry Potter ever since I saw the first movie.  I saw it, loved it, and then immediately read the 4 books that were already out.  I anxiously awaited the release of each book and movie, reading theories on Mugglenet and mostly reading fanfiction (but writing a little too) and words cannot completely express what Harry Potter means to me. Whatever is going on my life, I know that I pick up Harry Potter, and everything will be fine.

I don’t have a lot of memories of midnight release parties for the books or the movies.  Bookwise, I only made to the Deathly Hallows midnight release party, and for the movies, only Deathly Hallows, Part Two.  I remember pre-ordering Deathly Hallows at Barnes And Noble, and going to their midnight release party, and wandering around the store a little, but also doing a couple craft, there was random trivia, and Harry Potter scene-it.  I got the book, and was up all night reading the book, and then going into work exhausted because I was up all night. But it was worth it, because I love having that memory.  And for Deathly Hallows, part two?  It was magical and fun to be watching Harry Potter at midnight in a packed theater, and the experience of that made it really fun and memorable.

Finding Out About The Cursed Child Script:

I remember seeing the news that the script for The Cursed Child on a blog post, and at first, I couldn’t believe it. I honestly thought it was a joke, and when I finally looked at the news headlines, and realized it was really happening, I jumped up and down screaming for about 10 minutes.  I immediately pre-ordered the e-book- I didn’t care that it was more than what I’d usually pay for an e-book (and the price can probably be explained by the fact that it’s a new Harry Potter book).

It wasn’t until recently that I had the thought to pre-order a print copy, to go on my shelf with the rest of the series.  I thought I had pre-ordered it too late, because Mysterious Galaxy had a wait-list going.  But I was really excited when they called saying they had more copies, and I was able to get one.

Either way, I was going to the midnight release party, because I didn’t want to miss out on the magic.

Going To The Midnight Release Party:

I knew that I was going to dress up, because how could you not?  I dressed up as Fleur Delacour- I made the hat and capelet she wears in the movie, because it was easier and cheaper than buying them.  I had a bit of trouble finding a dress in the right color, because when I need a powder blue dress, that is the color I can’t find to save my life.  Either I need to start planning costumes better, or I need to learn how to sew, so I can just make what I need.  But I was willing to go with any shade of blue I could find, but I found something close enough to powder blue that I wasn’t stressing out about it.

I arrived at Mysterious Galaxy, checked in at the register, and got my orange slip so that I could pick up my book when midnight hit.  I looked around a little, I got in line for snacks, colored a little, and watched people play Charades and Taboo.  I hung out with my friend Mollie, which was also fun, and made an already fun night even more fun.

And I loved seeing the costumes!  There were a lot of people in robes, and some of the kids had really cute costumes- one kid was dressed up as Snape, another as Malfoy, and a third was dressed up as a dementor.  There were people dressed up as Trelawney, Snape, and there was an impressively costumed Dumbledore and Sprout. And it was weird, but fun getting compliments, and a couple people even asked if they could get a picture of me.

They had really cool decorations- devil’s snare on some bookshelves, the flying keys, the floating candles, and textbooks, cauldrons, and potions bottles scattered around the store.  But I think my favorite thing was the muggle wall, where people wrote about their memories of Harry Potter.  The costume contest was fun, but the kid who won was cute (but then again, they all were), and for the adult costume contest, it was no surprise the woman dressed up as Sprout won.

Just before midnight, we sang Happy Birthday and then went to stand in line.  The line was (not surprisingly) pretty long, and wrapped around the building, but because everyone had paid already, the line moved fast, because they were basically just handing out the book.

So a little after midnight, I was holding the script for Harry Potter And The Cursed Child in my hands.  AND IT WAS GLORIOUS AND COMPLETELY AMAZING.

HP Cursed Child

In Which I Read The Script And Talk About It With No Spoilers At All:

I got home, changed into my pajamas, made some coffee (that I never drank), started playing Sorcerer’s Stone, and settled in on the couch.  And I read until I had finished.  It was only a couple of hours, because as a script, it went pretty fast.

While I’m not the biggest fan of READING plays, I love Harry Potter so much that I did not care.  With reading plays, you are missing out on a big part of it: actually seeing it being performed.  Reading it just isn’t the same as seeing it live on stage, but with the Cursed Child, I’m glad I get to at least read it, because I’m sure tickets for it are really hard to get, plus there’s the fact that I’m not in London, so that’s a factor.

I fully acknowledge that there is a piece of the Cursed Child that I’ve missed, because I’ve only read the script and haven’t seen it performed.  But that doesn’t stop me from loving the story, because I did, and my rating, right off the bat, would be 5 stars.  That may change, once I have a chance to read it again, and actually have time to think about it a little more.  Because right now, I’m super-excited, and I have so many thoughts, and it definitely needs another read.

What I loved the most about the midnight release party, though, is the reminder that Harry Potter brings so many different people together, and how much Harry Potter means to people.  I can’t think of any other book that inspires so many people to have parties to celebrate a book coming out, and waiting in long lines just to get a copy, only to go home and stay up until they’ve finished it.

I am so glad that I got to go to one more Harry Potter midnight release party, because I never thought we would get another one for the books.

And, of course, I would love to wish a very happy birthday to Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling.

Currently Obsessed With: June 2016

Currently Obsessed With is a once-a-month (but sometimes more) feature where I talk about my favorite things from the last month.

Currently Obsessed With

Is it weird to anyone else that we’re now officially halfway through the year?  Because it’s a little weird to me.  June wasn’t an eventful month for me, but I think July will be more interesting!

Crochet:

It hasn’t been a big crocheting month for me.  I finished this purse…mostly.  I need to felt it, and then it’s done, but so far, it’s smaller than I would have liked, and I even added a few rows.  I’d definitely like something bigger, and I found a couple of things on ravelry that are felted and cute, but I may end up modifying it a bit to see how a bigger version would turn out.  Below you can see the “before” picture, and I’ll share the “after” once I actually felt the purse.

June 2016 Purse Pre-Felted

I also started this washcloth, but one side looks a little crooked.  It would be easily fixed once it’s done and I do the border, but I actually have to get to that point.  I may end up frogging it, and starting over, and have stitch markers at the end of each row if I have…which I might do, because even with counting stitches, it looks off to me.  Unless I’m not crocheting in the same spot at the end of each row, which is what I think I’m doing wrong, so maybe I need to do that, because I know it’s going to bug me.  Maybe I’ll make some face scrubbies to go with it…

I’ve basically put my blanket on hold for the summer, as I do not, under any circumstances, want to sit under a blanket in weather that’s probably going to be in the 80’s or 90’s for the next few months, so it’s in time-out for the time being.  Which makes me question whether doing a temperature blanket is a good idea for a year-long crochet project next year.  And I’m pretty sure I don’t have the right colors (or enough of the right colors for the one’s I do have), and since I’m trying to de-stash right now, I may do a blanket out of the random assortment of yarn I have.

I do have my eye on this capelet and this hat, as possibilities for a Fleur Delacour outfit for both a Harry Potter party I’m going to, and the midnight release party for the HP & The Cursed Child script.  That, or the sorting hat.  I may get stuff for both, and dress up as one for one thing, and go as the other one for the other thing.  I can’t seem to find a good pattern for adults, but there’s one pattern that comes up a lot for kids…I’d have to modify it, and I don’t feel confident in my abilities to actually do that, especially in a month, and with two other projects…and it seems like a few people were having trouble with the pattern, if the comments are any indication, so if I do go for a Sorting Hat costume, I might end up buying a hat off of Etsy.

Books:

It’s been quite the book buying month!  On my Nook, I bought Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton, For Darkness Shows The Stars by Diana Peterfreund, Positive by Paige Rawl, Midnight Bites by Rachel Caine, Lord Of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase, and Hello, Goodbye And Everything In Between by Jennifer E. Smith.

I also got a few books from Audible!  I bought Interpreter Of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, and The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell.  I also got Outrun The Moon by Stacey Lee with my Audible credit.

June 2016 Book Haul

I also went to a book signing for And I Darken by Kiersten White, which I reviewed here.  Marie Lu was there as well, and it was awesome to hear them talk about Kiersten’s book.  Especially having been able to read an ARC of it, and it makes me want to go back and re-read it, because I loved hearing her talk about the history and research that went into it.  And this blog post has a pretty good recap of what she and Marie Lu talked about.  I got a signed copy (and I absolutely love the cover, it’s gorgeous), plus I got a signed copy of The Young Elites. And I randomly bought Valiant Ambition by Nathaniel Philbrick earlier this month.

T.V./Movies:

For movies, I saw Finding Dory, which was absolutely adorable, and I’m so glad it finally came out!  I was surprised by the number of adults in the theater, which is totally cool, but it did surprise me!

And for t.v. (by which I really mean Netflix), I watched a couple episodes of iZombie, which I like so far, but I haven’t done much watching of anything lately.  Maybe this month, I’ll start up with something.

Around The Internet:

I love this list about why libraries are awesome!

I never really thought about books being translated from British English to American English before.  But I say keep the original British English in books, because changing it takes away from the book in it’s original form.

I totally agree that we shouldn’t shame people for choosing not to have sex, just the way we shouldn’t slut-shame people.  Let’s just let people make the decision that’s best for them.

This post about what the word diverse means is absolutely worth reading.

I love seeing these pictures of libraries from all over the U.S.

It might be good to make a couple batches of these cheeseburger sliders– one to eat right away, and one to freeze.

I also want to make this hash brown casserole.  It could be interesting to throw in some chicken or something.

And when it’s not super-hot, I’m totally making this Garlic Lover’s Spaghetti.

Speaking of not crocheting blankets during the summer, these are some good tips for doing exactly that.

I love this post about your go-to not being your go-to anymore.  I’ve noticed it a little bit with my own reading over the last year-and-a-half or so, as I’ve tried to read a little more diversely.

You could probably talk for hours about spoilers, and this Book Riot post does it quite well.

As usual, you can find all that and more over on this Pinterest board.

Music:

I’ve been listening to some good stuff, I’ve just been too lazy to actually put a playlist together.  I’ll do an extra-long one next month, I promise!

Have an awesome day, and for all of my readers in the U.S., have a happy and safe 4th of July.

Top Ten Tuesday Freebie: Top Ten Harry Potter Things I Want To Crochet

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish.  Every week, bloggers share their own bookish top ten lists based on the topic of the week.  You can check out Ten Tuesdays here.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Harry Potter Things I Want To Crochet

This week, we get to pick our own topic, so I thought I would about two of my favorite things: crochet and Harry Potter.  What better way to talk about them than to talk about Harry Potter crochet things?  All of the links go to where you can find the pattern, if you’re interested in making it yourself.

Top Ten Tuesday- HP Crochet Collage

  1. The Luna Lovegood Scarf.  Okay, so maybe I made this scarf already, but I want to make another one!  It’s the one on the left, in the collage above.  I really want to do it in different colors.  Maybe I could do it in house colors?  That could look pretty cool.
  2. The Sorting Hat.  It looks totally awesome, and I want it now.
  3. Harry Potter House Scarves.  I have one a friend made for me (in Hufflepuff colors), and I have a cowl in Hufflepuff colors that I made a while back (the one on the right, pictured above), but I have yet to make any.  I will have to make the full set one of these days.
  4. Crochet Fluffy.  Who wouldn’t want a crochet Fluffy?
  5. Crochet Mandrakes.  It would be so cool to have a crochet mandrake.
  6. Luna’s Radish Earrings.  I’d have to do clip-ons, since I don’t have pierced ears, but this would be awesome.
  7. A Snowy Owl.  I want to have Hedwig.  And since real owls are out of the question, a crochet one will have to do.
  8. Dobby.  Dobby is the most awesome house elf ever.
  9. The Ron Weasley Animal Crackers Hat.  I totally remember the hat from the movie, and it wasn’t until I came across the pattern that I knew how much I wanted one!
  10. There’s even a crochet time turner!  I would wear this so much if I actually had it.  I’d better start crocheting!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Bookish Things I Want To Own

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish.  Every week, bloggers from all over share their own top ten list based on the topic of the week.  You can find all Top Ten Tuesdays here.

Top Ten Bookish Things (That Aren’t Books) That I Want To Own

Okay, so, bookish things that aren’t books that I want to own…it’s not something I think about.  As much as I love books, I don’t pay any attention to the non-bookish things I could own.  With the help of pinterest and etsy however, I managed to find quite a few things that look completely awesome.  All pictures and links will take you to etsy or pinterest!

  • I’ve always wanted a Hufflepuff scarf, and considering I crochet, it wouldn’t be that hard to make a scarf.
  • I’ve seen a lot of awesome reading spaces/bookshelves on pinterest, and while I don’t think I’ve pinned any of them, I want some awesome looking bookshelves some day.

I love these coasters, found in Oh Gaud’s etsy shop.

  • I really need these Harry Potter coasters.  They’re chapter coasters!  With the chapter illustrations! Could I have regular coasters?  Of course, but they’re not the same as Harry Potter chapter coasters!
  • I came across this one shop on Etsy when I saw a Harry Potter charm bracelet that has all 7 books as the charms.  It looks like she has all sorts of book charm bracelets, and they look pretty awesome.

Accio Energy mug found on etsy, in Thristers shop!

Espresso Patronum mug, found in TooLegitTooKnit’s etsy shop

  • I also like this other mug with the grim on the inside.  I just love the idea of grim “tea leaves” on the bottom of a mug.
  • And this other shop I came across has really cool Harry Potter and Hunger Games inspired jewelry.

Really cool book page pendants, found in OwlsNestCottage’s etsy shop

Found on etsy, from PendantLab’s esty shop

  • And this owl pendant also found on etsy.  Mostly because it reminds me of Hedwig.

The Alohomora Deskpig Shirt, found in the Alohomora store

  • Is it weird that I want a deskpig shirt?  Because that would be awesome!