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A Successful Camp NaNoWriMo 2019!

Image from CampNaNoWriMo.org

This April and July sessions of Camp NaNoWriMo (plus the in between months) were really successful for me in many ways. I’ve had many opportunities throughout my life to publish my writing in some kind of form, but I could be sharing much more. In the month of April, I realized that my blog could be a great place to share short writing pieces, especially if I don’t plan to publish them in other ways. I decided to participate not only in Camp NaNoWriMo that month, where I could work on any project, but also NaPoWriMo, which is the challenge to write 30 poems in 30 days. This was an interesting and amazing experience to find what I would write about each day, and help me realize that I have the freedom this year to be creative, especially each day. This was also a great way for me to improve my mental health through writing. I’m so thankful to IDONTMIND for inspiring me to share more about mental health, and making me strive to improve my mental health. The feedback I received from friends, fellow writers, family, and others about my writing was rewarding, motivational, and also helped me figure out what I could do to next. I also have enjoyed the support of my Camp NaNoWriMo cabin filled with local writers from the South Texas Scribes. Poetry is such a wonderful way to express and present different things. I feel like it led me to visit New York City, which I realized I could go by the end of April. On the weekend of May 25, I went to New York City, and fell in love with the city. I hope to visit again someday. I’m thankful for all the incredible experiences I had that weekend, and who I spent it with. When I got back, I truly felt like I had turned 30 early.

So many exciting opportunities were coming forward for my writing and with my jobs. Additionally, so many people that continue to inspire me and motivate me forward, especially those who I work with. My life isn’t perfect and there’s always things I strive for, but I feel like I’m at an amazing place right now. I’m excited for the future adventures ahead. This July, I began working on my second essay project this summer. I thought Camp NaNoWriMo could positively push me to finish the essay draft, just like it did for my first published essay. It did. I’m still waiting to see if it will be published, but I’m hopeful. I also used this month to write poetry and anything I felt like writing, especially on my blog. It felt good to have the option to choose what I felt like writing, especially when I felt stuck sometimes, or felt like writing something different. Both of these months, I didn’t focus on word counts. I look at pages and hours to see my progress. There was some freedom to the fact that I wasn’t focusing on reaching a word count goal. Only focusing on getting something done each day. There’s writing I still need to revise and so much I still want to write. I can’t wait to see how much more I can complete by the end of this year.

Additionally this July, I’ve even had time to learn how to bake pies by scratch with the Waitress the Musical pie book with the songs playing in the background. Life has an interesting way of bringing all the ingredients you need to write, but it’s up to you to create something with it. By the way, I recommend going to see the musical before it closes on Broadway on January 5, 2020. Truly everything changes. Besides July 31 being the final day for Camp NaNoWriMo, but it also happens to be J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter‘s birthdays. They both inspired me to become a writer, and become everything I am and do each day. They truly have taught me that we have all the magic we need within ourselves, and we can imagine and do amazing things. Thanks to them. Thanks to you for all the support, and I look forward to updating this blog with whatever is ahead. I’m so blessed, thankful, and excited. I hope to publish more of my writing in the future. I also hope you will continue to follow my journey, and I wish you all the best, especially on your creative endeavors.

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In Defense Of The Harry Potter And The Cursed Child Script Book

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne (Image from vanity fair.com)

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne (Image from vanity fair.com)

Beware: This post will include SPOILERS of the script book near the end. 

I’ve seen and heard many reviews/commentaries ranging from positive, negative, and somewhat in between about the script book, Harry Potter and Cursed Child. My reading experience leans towards the positive, and it was hard to understand why there was so much negative critique of the script book. I’m not saying that the script is perfect. It could have been delayed a bit to tweak the script from previews, so readers could read the official version now being performed. This script we were given was the one they used for previews, so they felt confident about what this script includes. Therefore we should give this script a chance, and I believe it is worth reading. Even though I enjoyed the script, I believe that this story is something that needs to be seen. Hopefully they will record the play with the original cast, and make it available through cinemas and/or television. And also record a dramatic audio book with the original cast.

This script should be read differently as opposed to the seven novels we’re familiar with. First, it must be looked at part of a whole. The script does not include what the actors/actresses put into their characters, the set and costume designs, and the whole immersive experience of the theatre performance. It does help to look at the behind the scenes videos and images the production has provided on their website. This helps imagine how this play would be performed while reading the play. Many fans read the script, I believe, with really high expectations. It is somewhat expected since we have had much time to ponder what would happen after the Deathly Hallows epilogue, and our great love for the book series. The script though somewhat a continuation of the book series should be seen as an extra short story. A short story has a different focus than what a novel would. It is also a limited format. By looking at the themes, and what the story is trying to present, we can fully experience the play as much as possible to how it was intended. We should remember when looking at the script this quote from Poppy Miller, who plays Ginny, “The characters are older now, they’re ours to fill but with this fantastic backstory.” With all of this in mind, I’ll now focus on some of the important aspects from the script.

The story focuses on the psychological weaved into fantasy and a bit of comedy. The past is brought back to the present more than just through time turners. Even though Harry has had time to deal with the trauma of his past, there will be things that will trigger and come to the surface. Albus Potter is greatly affected by his father’s distance more than he realizes at first. As well, Harry doesn’t quite understand why parenting his son Albus is different than his other kids. They both realize at the end, as as do we, that they are more similar than they quite realize. This realization stems from Albus’s friendship with Scorpius. This friendship greatly affects Albus’s experience in Hogwarts, more than just being sorted into Slytherin. First because Albus helps Scorpius deal with bullying from the rumors that he’s the son of Voldemort, and ends up affected by the bullying as well since he’s sorted outside of what is expected. This struggle causes both boys to drift away from the rest of students because the treatment that they are both different from the rest. We also see that Scorpius’s relationship with his father is distant as well because of Draco’s upbringing, but most of all the lost of Astoria Malfoy. So the boys learn to rely on themselves, and made it easier for Delphi’s persuasion to change time. Albus and Scorpius, as well as many of the characters, had to travel through time to deal with the past, grow, and strengthen several relationships: friendship, father-son, and for the couples, Harry/Ginny and Ron/Hermione.

The second part of the script was stronger than the first because it was where we began to see where the story was going. The story focuses on the importance of friendship and family, and ultimately love, as always. I think that Delphi without love was made to believe that she was the daughter of Voldemort. She wanted to escape from being an orphan. She is the cursed child. She is the one in the design that we see on the cover. There has been some assumption that the child looks like a boy, but I think they purposely made the child look like they could be either gender so we wouldn’t know who the cursed child was. Delphi’s upbringing, and the rumors, were designed to bring Voldemort back. Delphi’s first name was foreshowing to her character. From what I know of mythology, the oracles of Delphi in Greece were not trustworthy and willing to shape prophesies for their own ends. It also seems clever that her name also comes from a constellation, very much like those in the Black/Malfoy family. In the same night sky of July 31st, there are constellations Delphinus, Draco, and Scorpius, almost or exactly like some of the notable characters in the play. Even in the night sky, there is a distance between Draco, and Scorpius, and you can find one above the other. As an Astronomy nerd, and English scholar, these little things excite me, and makes me realize how much astronomy affects the series. Most notably with Dumbledore’s death, but also within the play where Bane directs Harry unsuccessfully on the path that there was something affecting Albus.

The more I think about the script, the more I love it. I believe that J.K. Rowling left the play open to interpretation. So fans can interpret the story how they want. J.K. Rowling let Jack Thorne play in her world, but I think she had a large, even larger than the Harry Potter movies, influence on the story. They both allowed input from the director, John Tiffany, and as they mention at the end of the script (and the behind the scene videos) input from the cast themselves. This story was a group effort towards creation, but we also have a part in creating the story by finding what the play means to us, and most of all, enjoy the magic of the story. What I connected to the most with this story was the friendship between Albus and Scorpius. They reminded me that there are friends, and friendships, you and the world can’t live without. The present period of the story changed not only when these characters made changes, but when they were separated. It proves that friendship makes an impact larger than we could ever realize. Even though they did make a mess of things, their friendship ended up making things better at the end. Those who believe that some characters aren’t in canon, might have forgotten that characters aren’t perfect, they grow, and are affected by their life experiences. The women in the play are the strongest characters, they direct the other characters, and many of them provide strength in difficult times. There is so much that can be discussed about the play, and so much that are positives about the play, you just have to give the story a chance. I recommend re-reading the script. It’s even better the second time around. And I bet it gets better with every re-read, just like the previous books. I agree with what my cousin said after reading the script, “Every Harry Potter book is worth reading.” Always.

Christmas Magic

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (J.K. Rowling, WB)

Many of the great Christmas stories come down to one thing. They make us believe anything is possible in Christmas. We have hope that some thing wonderful will come. No matter what you believe, we all have hopes and dreams for something this holiday season. It isn’t the typical Christmas list. It’s that deep down one thing you truly want. Some what like when Harry Potter looks into the Mirror of Erised. He sees his family. This season isn’t only about getting something special, but also sharing of oneself with others. What ever it may be, your talent, an unique gift and/or just spending time with people you care about. Make this Christmas a little special for someone or several people. If it’s tough to do so, take some time to think about your favorite moment of the holidays past, and just maybe something might inspire you. If not, maybe think about what might make someone smile.

This might bring you towards writing your own Christmas story. Or maybe your own, might inspire someone else. Let’s enjoy the holiday season by making stories on and off the page. We just have to prioritize our time to make sure we have fun, while still finishing everything we need to complete. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, a Merry Christmas, and a wonderful new year. Don’t forget to keep writing. We can’t get any where, if we don’t try. All you need to do is show your passion. It will all work out in the end. One more thing, tell those who you care about that they mean the world to you. There are some people that come into your life, and they change it for the better. So when you get a second chance, never take that for granted. Always.

We don’t have forever

Photo by Christy

Photo by Christy

As much as I would love to talk about the TV show, Forever, I will not (but I really recommend watching this amazing show & signing this petition). Clearly as other posts on my blog, I’m inspired to write with a theme in mind. It happens that this theme is inspired by the show. So it kind of all works out. Though it also is a bit inspired by the reading I’ve been doing lately, partly for the Comps exams plus Classic Alice (Thoreau’s Walden) & for enjoyment (Rick Riordan’s The Blood of Olympus). Plus recent life experiences. Anyways, all these things have brought me to a continued realization that I should live in the moment and take chances. Unlike Dr. Henry Morgan, we don’t live forever. Yet we can learn from him.

Yes, some memories are precious and we need to hang on to them. but Emily Dickinson wrote ‘Forever is composed of nows’ and she’s right. If we root ourselves too deeply in the past we’ll miss what’s right in front of us.

Sometimes, so we don’t get hurt, we quickly think of all that wouldn’t work instead of taking a chance. You really never know where that chance might lead. So it’s best to be open to possibilities, take chances, and hope for the best. It simple but difficult at times. This also applies with the uncertainty of investing too much of ourselves in a project, or a relationship, that might not turn out like we hope. I find that in some instances I can be spontaneous and confident, but when I have doubt, I’m more likely to be hesitant towards what ever it may be. Those are the times when I need just a little push of reassurance.

I never ride a bike because I have a fear of falling and getting hurt. This explains a lot really. I don’t want to get hurt. I don’t want to fail. Yet some how I’m still able to drive even after car accidents. We all have a similar fear. Most of the time it’s good because it helps protect us, but most of the time it can close us off from great opportunities. Sometimes it isn’t fear at all, but an uncertainty of how people will respond. We all have our best intentions, but we let these feelings get in the way, as well as forgetting or not quite realizing what’s around us.

If I hadn’t had reassurance from family and friends, along with great feedback from professors/editors, about my essay “Mentoring in the Wizarding World: Dumbledore & His Literary Ancestors” maybe those feelings might have taken control and I may have never completed the project that soon will be published. If hadn’t closed a door to my past, and decided to go to graduate school, I might have not been inspired to write the essay in the first place. So many factors, but it’s clear that when I really want to accomplish something I can achieve it. Yet I’m unsure what lies ahead. Sure I’ve got plans to apply for PhD programs, but who knows if I get accepted. There is still stuff left I need to do before getting on that train if it arrives. I know now that I’m not afraid to get on that train, and head towards a new chapter in my life. Just as we can’t stay too much in the past, we also can’t ponder too much about the future.

I still have classes, Comps exams, and applying to PhD programs this year. I can’t lose focus, but at the same time, I need to remind myself to enjoy what I have right now. I’m always thankful to God for my life, family, friends, and everything. Yet I’m constantly reminded that I do have a habit of staying in my comfort zone. Not that it’s all bad because there are also great opportunities and happiness that lie there too, but I don’t want to miss what’s right in front of me and any opportunities that might arise or that I could create through my actions. Sometimes all it takes is making that first step is: going to a certain event (such as seeing a friend’s band), starting up a conversation, writing that first sentence, inviting people, finding something new to read/watch/listen, delving into a new relationship or maybe being completely silent and observe the world. After you make that step it makes you see the world from a new perspective, makes you realize that new happy experiences can happen in familiar places, and/or do something special. There are plenty of things that I need & want to do. Some aspects of my life that I really want to accomplish. All I can do is try to schedule, prioritize, make an initiative and work towards what is really important. Afterwards, let it be in God’s hands. Also I need to remember to not feel too guilty if I don’t get what I want done each day.

Even though I’m on break from grad school at the moment before my next class starts in July, I hope to accomplish a bit more, especially in relation to writing creatively. I must look at all the opportunities available to me continuously, and not let insecurity hold me back, so that way I don’t close a door too soon. Dr. Henry Morgan (who has a pocket-watch) made me look at my great-grandfather’s watch (shown above) in a new and special way. It’s something I’ve seen most of my life as a family heirloom, but never quite thought about what experiences my great-grandfather had with the watch and why it was of value to him. Most of all, it’s a stark reminder how we value time and the past. We want to hold the past and time in our hands because we don’t want to lose what’s most precious to us &/or get hurt, but if we hold too long and stop we may not see what happens now and the potential that lies in the future.

Author Interview: Christina Farley

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Once upon a time, the writer of this blog went to Orlando, Florida for a Harry Potter conference, Ascendio 2012. During this conference, there were many wonderful events in the programming. One of the best sections was called the Quill Track, which featured a variety of authors, agents and editors who were all Harry Potter fans. They were excited to talk about YA, publishing, writing and books in general. In one of the workshops, this blog writer met the author Christina Farley. From that moment on, I’m proud to say that she is my friend.

Besides the fact that we both have the same first name, she is an amazing writer willing to learn and write incredible diverse characters. I believe this comes from her experiences with teaching and traveling internationally. Christina was inspired to write the GILDED series. A YA series based on Korean mythology, about a Korean-American girl who takes her destiny into her own hands. The first two books of this series were published in 2014, one in March and the other in September. Her next book, BRAZEN, will be published this September. If you haven’t read her books yet, I would recommend reading them.

I want to thank Christina for taking some of her time to answer my questions.

1. What is your favorite part about the writing process?

My favorite part of the writing process probably is the first draft because it’s scary and thrilling all at the same time. I never know how the book will turn out of even if I can pull it off, and that’s a really crazy feeling. Definitely a rush!

2. What is your writing routine?

My routine pretty much is after I send my kids off to school, I start either revising or drafting first thing in the morning. I take occasional breaks on Twitter or Facebook. Then after about four hours, I’ll go for a run. Then three nights a week I also write for about two hours.

3. How does your family and friends impact your work?

It doesn’t at all. Family comes first. For my friends we have get together lunches and movie dates a couple of times a month. Lots of fun!

4. How has your experiences with teaching affected your writing?

I think it’s helped me keep my ‘teen’ voice. I’m not sure if I ever totally grew up! I think the biggest help for me is my school visits because I can really teach writing to kids in a meaningful way.

5. How do you accomplish writing about things you’re not familiar with?

I do a lot of research through interviews, articles, and YouTube. If I can take lessons, I always try to do that. When I wrote the Gilded series I took Tae Kwon Do and archery lessons so that those scenes could be more accurate.

6. What kind of tips would you give to writers who want to write more diverse characters and settings?

My tips would be expand your horizons and be open to learning about new places and people. Take time to spend with them, read all the books you can on that culture and watch movies and videos. I try to immerse myself in that culture and it really does make a difference! But more than anything, don’t be afraid to learn and try something new. And don’t be afraid to ask those from that culture to read your work and make sure you got it right.

7. What advice would you give to writers; especially ones who want to publish their work?

Read, Read, READ!!!!! When you read, study how the author lays out their plot. Analyze the character’s growth. Consider why they choose that particular word or why they may have used that sentence structure. Plus reading what is currently being released keeps you up to date on what is happening with publishing now. 

Finally, write because you love to write. Always focus on the love of writing and then you won’t get pulled down into the negativity and frustration that can come with rejection.

8. How have blogging and creating videos helped your writing and promoting your published work? What do you enjoy the most about having an engaging platform?

I really love blogging and vlogging! Videos are a fun way to interact with fans, have them experience each book’s journey, and a great way to teach others how to become better writers themselves. I blog here and vlog here.

The Next Chapter

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Jenna as Clara Oswald in BBC Doctor Who

Every year we are positive that this year will be our year. The year that we will do everything we have ever wanted to do. We start out determined, and as we go on, it gets tough. We have to remember to make the year worth while. Sure, we can’t do something amazing every day, such as go on adventures but it’s important to make your days, no matter what happens, enjoyable. Even if you have a stressful day, make sure you take some time during that day, to do something you enjoy.

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Julian and Michelle as Charles & Mary in BBC Downton Abbey

We all have hopeful goals for the year. It’s good to have goals that way when the year ends, you can say that you’ve had a successful year. I felt that at the end of last year, even though I had some low points, the high points made the year worthwhile. It’s the journey that makes the story interesting.

Here are some of my goals for 2015:

1. Don’t worry too much. Everything will work out as it should.

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Rebecca & Noah as Eve and Flynn in The Librarians

2. Drink more tea.

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Paddington movie

3. More hugs and chats with friends.

Alex and Meredith (Grey's Anatomy)

Alex and Meredith (ABC Grey’s Anatomy)

4. Be inspired by stories, and try to live them out. Plus create some of my own.

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Kate & Tony as Alice and Andrew in Classic Alice

5. Enjoy every moment I have with my family.

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6. Look for mystery.

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Nathan as Richard Castle (with a Sherlock hat) in ABC Castle

7.  Remember to love always.

Hogwarts castle in Harry Potter (WB & J.K. Rowling)

Hogwarts castle in Harry Potter (WB & J.K. Rowling)

8. Hope for an adventure in every corner.

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Peter and Jenna as the Doctor & Clara in BBC Doctor Who

What are your goals for the new year? May you accomplish all them.

Every December is Last December

Harry Potter (WB)

Harry Potter (WB & J.K. Rowling)

Yes, the title is sort of referencing the latest Doctor Who Christmas special. I just couldn’t resist.

Every december, we prepare for the holidays, as a Catholic for me it’s Christmas. When the day is over, isn’t really over that excitement is suppose to last all year around, or at least a bit longer. That joy we have is hard to sometimes continue, as well as share, but it’s the best way to make our life worth while even when things don’t look quite well. This isn’t the last December, but maybe we should look at it that way. Have we completed our goals for the year? Have we showed kindness and love to others, as well as our family? It’s time to reflect back on the past, and look towards the new year. Even if things haven’t quite turned out has we hoped they would, we still have time to do something about it. Remember we don’t know what day is the end, so why not try to make every moment like it’s the last.

Doctor Who: Last Christmas (BBC America)

Doctor Who: Last Christmas (BBC America)

It’s been incredible year filled with ups and downs, but overall, I feel it’s been one of my best. As I look at my goals that I wrote in January, every thing I mentioned are still things I need to work on in the new year, but I feel that I’ve tried my best to accomplish those goals. By this point, I’ve completed the best that I could three semesters of Grad school, and I still have one more year left to finish, at least for my Masters. I’ve tried to let go of things that bring me down, tried to maintain my stress (tea really helps, especially from Lotus Dreams Tea), and pray when I could. I had an incredible 25th birthday party (with tea & live music). A downside, I still struggled to write and read more this year, outside of my classes, but I did have a course on Creative Writing, so that was a nice break from academic writing. Additionally, I started to read this year a great book series, GILDED, by my friend Christina Farley. I felt this recent semester, I was able to improve on having better balance. I felt that planning, drinking tea, and small breaks really helped me get what I needed done for grad school, and even complete my special essay (soon to be published, hopefully… I still don’t feel it will be real till I see my name printed). Did I really live life to the fullest this year? Well, I don’t know, but I tried, and that’s what counts. I did do something unexpected this year which was write a review & conduct an interview for the awesome web series, Classic Alice. I hope it helped bring more interest to the show, as well as support for next year during their crowd funding campaign (starting January 6), so the web series can continue through the next year. I think it’s worth continuing. There are so many things I’ve done this year, I’m worried I’m forgetting something. At the same time, this shows some good highlights. I hope you had some great ones too. Much thanks to all who have made this year special.

It’s great to look back and see successes, as well as great moments. It’s almost that time again to see what goals we need to do to make our new year worth while. Are you ready? I know I’m ready for my next adventure.

Doctor Who: Last Christmas (BBC America)

Doctor Who: Last Christmas (BBC America)

 May you all have a wonderful 2015!

Academic and Creative Writing: Can’t I do both?

Yes, I know. I haven’t written a blog post in a while. I do have a good excuse, grad school. It’s been difficult to try to do everything that is required, plus make time for my family and friends. Some thing that I don’t have trouble making time for is going to church on Sundays, and I love singing in the choir at Mass. Anyways, it’s not just scheduling my life, but also it’s been difficult to get back into writing academically. I took a year and half in between my undergrad and grad school. So it’s wasn’t too long, plus it was a nice break (and self-educational as well). So it seems like it’s about adjusting to every thing that comes with grad school. I’m starting to feel a bit better about it all since I learned recently that I got an “A” on a journal assignment. I still need to continue to work hard, do my best, and schedule everything. Yet there is something about knowing you did well, that brings your hopes up. It’s possible. Kind of like when I finished writing my novella in April, through Camp NaNoWriMo (though I still need to edit it). I realized that it was possible for me to write 30,000 words in a month.

It’s October, so if you’re a writer you may realize what is coming up next month… (besides the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, and Thanksgiving), National Novel Writing Month 2013. There are already people preparing for this November’s writing session, and they will continue throughout this month. I’ve noticed online, even locally, that people are already excited for NaNoWriMo. All I can think about is how much I want to write creatively, as well as do well with my classes. I asked the official NaNoWriMo twitter account if it was even possible to participate in NaNoWriMo, while also going to grad school. They gave me a response, and I noticed after that there were several others that had, and/or planning to do the exact same thing that I thought was impossible. How could it be possible to write academically for your classes, do well, and still have time to write creatively? People were suggesting scheduling time to write early in the morning or whenever possible, a little bit each day and more on weekends, or several hours one day a week. Some times it sounds like it could be do-able, and then other times, when I wonder if I can even get everything done for school. Even my friend Gloria says, I could wait and try another year, and just focus on my classes, especially since South Texas Scribes, the writing group, was year around. Yes, I want to focus on my classes, but I still want to work on my creative writing. It’s not so I can get published, but just to keep up the skill and improve. Most of all, because I really do enjoy writing stories, though they can be difficult. So I thought, maybe not focus on getting the 50,000 words that Wrimos focus on in November, but just try to make time to write creatively, either a poem, short story, or longer, during that month. I just want to make sure I make time to write creatively as much as I able to (as well as writing blog posts), between all the school stuff and other parts of life. My friend Liz mentioned to me that I need to make some time in between school stuff, to take a break so I don’t get too overwhelmed. She’s not the only one that has mentioned that. By the way, she posted a new chapter of her novel, Ascendancy, you can read it here.

I do want to mention, even though I am stressed out about the workload, I am enjoying my classes and even excited about working on a research project (it’s a paper discussing Harry Potter and Merlin, the legendary character as well as the one from the BBC show). Luckily I can work on it through out this semester. It’s kind of obvious why I would be excited about that project. I strongly believe that if you enjoy a  topic, you’re more likely to enjoy learning more about it, and be able to apply it. It’s going to be difficult, but I know that if I do my best, I’ll get through it.

So, what do you think? Is it possible to do academic and creative writing (plus blog posting)? If you do, what tips do you suggest? Or even possible sources that I can look towards for my research paper (well, it doesn’t hurt to ask)? I can always try and see how it goes. I do know that not everything goes as planned. At the end of it all, school is more important. Now I really should be getting back to my studies… though it was refreshing to write a blog post.

Thank you, J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter!

J.K. Rowling reading Harry Potter to children at the White House during Easter Egg Roll event, 2010

When I was very young, my parents were the ones who help me love reading. As school began, reading became harder for me, and the magic of the story had started to disappear. In middle school, the first Harry Potter movie came out. I had heard so much about it that I decided that I would watch the movie to see what the book series was all about. The movie amazed me, and I came out of the theater wanting to know what happened next. Luckily some of the books were already out, so I began reading the series. I fell in love with reading all over again.

There was something about Harry’s story that interested me, very likely the magic element. I’ve loved stories with magic at a early age, and I still do. Though it’s more than that. I can’t fully explain why the series means so much to me. The books taught me about the importance of love and friendship. It even made me understand my Catholic faith better. It’s a bit hard to explain that, with out spoiling the story. From that moment I began Harry’s story, I continued till the end the series, books and movies. The story led me to the most amazing friends as well.

I believe every writer had to fall in love with several stories, that made them realize that they wanted to be a writer. Well, the Harry Potter series was one of the reasons why I wanted to be a writer. Not for the fame, but because I wanted to write a story that would mean a lot to someone else, as the series meant to me. It might never happen, but it still doesn’t stop me from trying to write a story worth reading about. There are other stories, authors, even characters, that have inspired me to be a writer but not as much as J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (WB)

J.K. Rowling was on a train ride, when she began to think about Harry Potter. She didn’t know then, that she would be famous, but found the story interesting. She explored the possiblities of what the story held. Though she didn’t have any thing to write with, some how she was able to remember when she did. Maybe that gave her a chance to fully imagine Harry’s world, with no distractions. Later we have been told that she started to write Harry’s story in cafe shops, with her daughter in tow. She was struggling to keep everything together, especially after her mother passed away. She has mentioned that Harry helped her get out of the lowest time in her life. Which shows how important stories are for us. We need them to strive for the future. Today is the birthday of J.K. Rowling, as well as her character Harry Potter. Every year, this time, I remember the series that she wrote, and thankful that she did. J.K. Rowling still continues to write other stories, though they will never be the same as this series, I still look forward to them to see how she grows as a writer and what stories she creates.

I know my life would be completely different if J.K. Rowling hadn’t written Harry’s story. I know it would be the same for many others in the world. That is why, today I’m also thankful to God, because He is the one who gave us everything, and everyone, as well as free will. We have the talents to make a difference in this world, but it’s up to us to make use of them. “It is our choices… that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”  

Happy Birthday, Jo and Harry! 

J.K. Rowling

Please donate to this wonderful charity, Lumos, for J.K. Rowling’s birthday. You can click on the image above, and it will send you to the charity’s website. Thanks!

For those who miss the Harry Potter series, now that the series is complete, remember this…

This quote is from J.K. Rowling’s speech she makes during the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Movie Premiere. Check out the video clip where the trio (Dan, Rupert, and Emma) and J.K. Rowling speak at the event: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKXuOj9d5o8

The Value of Fan-Fiction

fanfic writing Ah, fan-fiction… It’s something that I’m sure a lot of writers know about. How many actually admit to read, or even writing some of it? If you don’t know what it is, basically it is fiction written about characters already existing in some kind of media. It’s always interesting to imagine what stories we could come up with our favorite characters. Though I feel some times it can be seen as amateur. Some question the value of fan-fiction, especially since it’s not original work. Though I believe that it is important.

Fan-fiction might seem like a recent developement, but it isn’t. It has been done long before the invention of the internet, and some of it has been published. For an example, there are a lot of stories based on the character Sherlock Holmes, though the author who penned him originally has already passed way. Also how many Pride and Prejudice related books are published right now? I won’t even try to count. Plus there are tie-in novels for certain television shows, which could be like published fan-fiction as well.

So why would we feel that fan-fiction is amateur? I’m not really sure. Maybe it’s because we’re piggybacking on someone elses characters, and/or ideas? Though what is really original work? Since we’re part of the human condition, there really isn’t anything that is completely original. They are just shades of something that has been done before. Either way, authors have been split over what to do about fan-fiction since it multiplied with the internet. Some authors have tried to defend their copyright such as Anne Rice, while others like J.K. Rowling and Douglas Adams encourage fan-fiction writing. According to the Guardian, “Douglas Adams claimed that fanfic expanded his understanding of the parallel universes he’d created in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and that they increased his sales.” The Guardian mentioned in 2003, J.K. Rowling was “flattered people wanted to write their own stories” based on her characters, but on one condition – that they did not try to make money from their creations. Her stance was tested when fan/author George Lippert, wrote a continuation fic, James Potter and the Hall of Elders’ Crossing, based on the fictional son of Harry. According to the Guardian, “Rowling threatened legal action for infringement, but after much adverse press from fans she relented and allowed the publication to go ahead. Check out what Naomi Novik says about Fan-fiction being part of literary history in this video. She is a published author who has a passion for preserving fan-fiction online. Novik has worked with the Organization for Transformative Works to create an online archive for fanfic called An Archive of Our Own.

Though for fandoms, fan-fiction gives fans a way to explore the what ifs. It’s part of the community. As a fan of Harry Potter, I know how much the fandom really is important to keep the stories alive even after the last page of the book series. Though I’ve tried to write Harry Potter fan-fiction. I just couldn’t do it, but I liked looking around at other stories to see what fans would think up, especially now that the series is over. I have written more fan-fiction related to TV shows. It’s likely because that’s the fanfiction I read the most of. I try to write my own stories, as well as fan-fiction. With both, I’ve learned how to write, and how to improve in my writing. I can really see how much I’ve improved when I look at what I’ve written. I’ve always been interested in writing stories. I feel that fan-fiction helped bring an interest in writing a story, because I knew I could instantly publish and get feedback. It was something different from what had seen in school. I wish I had teachers who did the NaNoWriMo Young Writer Program when I was younger. I might have improved dramatically in my creative writing, as well as academically. Though I still had some great English teachers who inspired me to write, and recently some English professors too.

i_love_fan_fiction_magnetSo what’s the point? Well, I believe that fan-fiction is a great way to experiment with writing. The world is already built, the characters are already introduced, and all you have to do is imagine the possiblies and write. There are plenty of writers willing to give feedback (especially on Fanfiction.net & An Archive of Our Own). Though don’t worry if you don’t get much feedback. A lot of people just like to read, but not comment. Be thankful for the comments you do receive, and the stats of how many people are reading your fan-fic. Though no matter what you do, original or fan fiction, it’s important to write, and have fun writing. That is the only way we can have a chance to explore, and let our voice be heard.

Remember even fan-fiction is okay for NaNoWriMo, and Camp NaNoWriMo!

NaNoWriMo

Another reason why I’m mentioning about this topic is because of my plans for Camp NaNoWriMo in July. I’ve tried to write an original novel last year in November. I completed an original novella in April during the first session of Camp NaNoWriMo. This time, I want to write a Doctor Who novella. There are so many BBC books published on the show. I’ve really fallen for the Doctor since 2011. Though I don’t believe that I’ll ever get a chance to write a script for the show, or write an official BBC published book. I thought I would would still try, for Camp NaNoWriMo, and in honor of the 50th Anniversary in November. Since I won’t be able to write much creatively in the fall, since I’ll be going to Grad School. I thought July would be a good time. Plus I want to do something fun before I start school up again. Though I love being an English major, I don’t really enjoy the stress of essays and papers. Anyways, I’m a bit nervous and excited about my Doctor Who story idea. I’m trying my best to plan ahead. I’ve even tried out the 30-day free trial of the writing program, Scrivener. So far, I think it’s amazing, especially with the help of some tutorial videos on YouTube. I hope I can receive it for my birthday (July 3rd), or some time soon. I believe it will be useful for Camp NaNoWriMo in July, as well as my writing for Grad School. This program has helped me so far figure out a basic outline of what I’ll be writing, and create character sketches.

What do you think of fan-fiction? Have any tips, advice, or suggestions about writing my Doctor Who story? Please let me know in the comments. Thanks!

Ten-Writing-in-his-Diary-doctor-who-13076806-500-281

This image would have worked well with my last blog post… 😀

Now who wouldn’t want to write about this adorable man, who loves to travel in a blue Police box (aka the TARDIS) through time and space?

20120717174303!11th_Doctor_wearing_a_Fez