Happy Birthday to the Queen, J.K. Rowling!

A huge happy birthday to my writing queen J.K. Rowling, one of the best literary heroes of all time Harry Potter—and of course, a day-late happy birthday to my favorite underdog-turned-top dog Neville Longbottom!

    

My last post already detailed why this author, her characters, and series are all so important in my life so I’ll skip the mushy stuff. Long story short, J.K. Rowling was the author who first inspired me to want to be a writer—and her stories, characters, and world are what helped foster my own love for storytelling in every way possible. I cannot say thanks enough.

So in celebration of these birthdays, I thought it would be fun to post a few Harry Potter pictures from my past trip to London. I went for academic reasons, but let’s be real: I went for all of the Harry Potter fangirling and sights. And boy, did I find them. It was like Harry Potter heaven.

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 10.09.26 AM

Obligatory Platform 9 3/4 shot a.k.a so many dreams coming true

 

1002565_10151809047062813_853129391_n

For reals, this is the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 7.00.01 PM

London’s very own Goblet of Fire to remember the Great Fire of 1666

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 6.56.42 PM

Ten points to Gryffindor to whoever can recognize where this was from

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 6.31.46 PM

This place is what dreams are made of

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 6.32.29 PM

Ah man, how did they guess my diabolical plan?

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 6.37.45 PM

Mirror of Erised where I saw everything that I desired: me, in the Harry Potter Warner Bros. studios

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 6.35.56 PM

Original wands on wands on wands

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 6.40.49 PM

It’s a knitting ghost!

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 6.41.59 PM

Harry’s Got Mail

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 6.46.16 PM

Hogwarts

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 6.47.50 PM

Thank you, Queen

I have sooooo many other pictures from this trip, but that would make one monster of a post which would probably break my blog from the sheer weight of fangirling-overload. Nevertheless, I hope you all have a magical rest of the day! ~*

Advertisements

Enter the Writing Cave (at your own risk)

No joke.

Writers who write know that the cave is not all sunshine and rainbows of endless creativity. I mean, I guess it can be in some way. Entering the writing cave can be like a fun, exciting creative pillow you get to fall on when you’re feeling crazy-inspired and productive. Or, it can be a soul-sucking black hole of hours gone and hours spent in pajamas and looking at a screen, typingtypingtyping, and wondering wtf you’re doing. Lucky me, I experience both, and it tends to veer toward the Dementor-like black hole side.

*also, on a Harry Potter note, moment of silence in memory of the Battle of Hogwarts*

I fall into writing caves A LOT. And when I do that, it will be as if I disappeared from the world. Seriously. I’ll pop my head out of the cave for food, of course. But when I’m trapped in that writing-frenzy where I just NEED to work on my story for my own sanity, you will just never hear from me again . . .

Just kidding. While I do hold my writing as my priority, it is healthy and good for the headspace to just step back and venture into the real world sometimes—which I have been doing these past weeks (*snaps for me*) in an effort to keep the writing cave from sucking my soul entirely.

I saw sun, breathed in fresh air, rediscovered civilization . . . okay, too dramatic. But I did go out a bunch of times and met up with old friends who I hadn’t seen in an obscene amount of time (three trillion guesses why), and it felt nice to leave the writer home. However, it was also nice to come back after a few hours away.

Sometimes falling into the writing cave is amazing for when you just need to pound out words and get the story-train chugging along. That’s my favorite writing cave. But sometimes there’s the risk of getting in too deep to a point where you start feeling out of the loop with the world, losing track of reading books, separation anxiety with your computer, or delay catching up on other interests for weeks on end because every free moment is devoted to your story. I’m totally guilty of that, so to be more proactive in trying to poke my head out of the writing cave every so often, here are some updates sans(-ish) writing.

Reading Things: Disclaimer: I am horrendously behind on my Goodreads challenge. What part of me thought that reading 90 books this year would be a good idea? It was super easy in the past, but now not so much. However, I refuse to admit defeat just yet! I recently read a cool graphic novel called Cairo by G. Willow Wilson, a wonderful NA titled Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover (GREAT recc, Akshaya!! We must discuss!), and I’m currently getting into a YA Fantasy Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch. Still, there are soooo many books on the TBR list, though. But to be fair, it is a mountain that cannot be conquered because it keeps growing. Hopefully I can get back into that obsessive reading frenzy as I do with writing to knock out some books on the list.

Television Things: I’ve been watching A LOT of Netflix and Dancing with the Stars, and I am totally not ashamed of it. I love dancing shows and movies, which is an obsession in itself that garners its own post. I’ll probably do another post on my television watches, just because I love lining them all up with funny little gifs. But for the sake of this post, the TV front is still pretty healthy.

Music Things: Further proof that I am obsessed with Dancing with the Stars. Here’s something that’s not on my writing playlist, but I have been listening to it on an unholy repeat because it just makes me so happy. And, of course, DWTS.

Riker and Allison are my faves, just saying. Plus they did a PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN Paso Doble, which made me love them even more. If they don’t win, my tantrum will be heard all across the universe.

Social Media/World Things: Today, William and Kate brought a baby girl into the world! This to me is just sooo crazy, only because when I was last in London I was there during the pivotal time when Prince George was born. And boy was it crazy. The pubs were all celebrating the birth, Buckingham Palace was swarming with crowds right after, and EVERYONE in general was just so excited about the baby that it was like all of London was anxiously pacing in the waiting room as one big family. It’s blows my mind that now they have a princess–I guess it’s infectious because I’m unreasonably excited for them too!

Along with having a ton of other work-related things to do this week, with these updates and all the venturing into the outside world I’ve been doing, it’s been a solid period of not letting the writing cave suck me back in too too much.

Nah man, I’m good

 

 

Happy Birthday to the Bard!

And a happy/morbid death day as well, but regardless–HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE!!!

For those who don’t know, I LOVE Shakespeare. There are some people out there who think appreciating Shakespeare is more of a clichéd interest of pretentious readers/writers (insert eye roll), which I actually have major beef with (and I do bite my thumb at you, sirs). Throughout high school and college, I’ve spent my fair share of time with the Bard in all of my lit classes. I’ve written many an essay on him. Heck, I even studied abroad in London just to, you guessed it, take a class on Shakespeare–and actually saw one of his plays performed at the beautiful Globe Theatre!

IMG_0734

IMG_0736IMG_0738 setting up for Macbeth, which was such a GLORIOUS show (even through the rain and hours of groundling-status viewing)

Learning more about Shakespeare on his own turf completely changed the way I experienced the literature. And even though there is a crap-ton of murkiness behind his authorship and identity and whatnot, I have absolutely no shame in fangirling over his work. My absolute favorite would have to be The Merchant of Venice (‘If you prick us, do we not bleed?’–ughh, I LIVE for that speech and the moral debate over Shylock), along with The Tempest right after (I’m a fan of revenge, clearly), Macbeth (yup, revenge, though Lady Macbeth steals the show), Much Ado About Nothing (I live for the love-hate and the banter), and I actually really enjoyed Measure for Measure even though everyone in my class seemed to hate it. Boo.

My favorites usually change depending on my mood, but those top two are solid. So along with my favorite works, here are some of my other Shakespeare-related favorites and fun things to keep up the celebration:

SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE (of course)

A gorgeous medley of Shakespeare’s works (starring a hunky Will Shakespeare!) with way too many familiar faces and a whole lot of love.

GET OVER IT

A loose retelling of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in high school starring, yet again, way too many familiar faces in all of their early-2000s glory. Complete with a whacky musical I would actually put down good money to see in person.

ROMEO AND JULIET (1968)

While R&J is not my favorite Shakespeare work by a long shot, this is one of the films I grew up on during my childhood because my parents loved/still love it so much (yup, weird). Hence, it’s always held a special place in my heart. Plus, it’s kind of freaky how much Romeo looks like Zac Efron á la High School Musical. The resemblance will distract you the whole entire movie.

THE LION KING

This is the King of Disney Movies and Feels, which was also influenced by biblical tales of Jesus and Moses, as well as Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

SHE’S THE MAN

Of course. Anything starring a cross-dressing Amanda Bynes is hard to miss, especially when it’s a retelling of Twelfth Night that stars Channing Tatum, soccer dilemmas, and Gouda cheese.

NOTHING MUCH TO DO

In a fashion similar to the amazing Lizzie Bennet Diaries, this vlog series is a modern high school retelling of Much Ado About Nothing set in New Zealand. Discovered it earlier this year and was pleasantly surprised by it.

WARM BODIES

Yet another work I was pleasantly surprised by, and also based on a book by Isaac Marion, this film is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet as a zombie comedy. I know, sounds so random but works SO well.

 

And there are WAY too many more to add to the list, but clearly one can see the influence Shakespeare has had, and continues to have after all this time, on our world, media, and stories we create. Also, he coined SO many words in our dictionary, ‘swagger’ being the best gift of all. So Happy 451st, Shakespeare! Still killin’ it and touching lives everywhere, even in the grave.