Harry Potter Trivia Night

I got together with friends Sunday night. We went into the city for trivia night at a bookstore. It was Harry Potter themed and it was a great night had by all.

Harry Potter Trivia Night | Reading | Writing | Life | Harry Potter | Trivia | RachelPoli.com

My First Trivia Night

The first and only time I’ve ever gone to a trivia night was when I worked at the preschool. It was for a fundraiser for the school district and it was… fun, but not at all what I had expected.

Since it was a fundraiser, mulligans were involved. If you got an answer wrong, you could buy a mulligan and automatically get the answer right. The team that won bought about 20 of these and that was the reason they won. Granted, I understand it was to raise money, but it was totally one-sided and not at all fair.

The trivia was random facts. There were no real categories, just random questions. I knew one answer throughout the night. That was it. Not to mention, the host speed-read the questions out loud. There was no multiple choice and no visuals. Needless to say, I tuned him out a lot and just focused on eating – which we had to bring our own food.

After that, I never really got why people enjoyed trivia night. Sure, it was just one experience, but I felt kind of dumb at the end of the night.

Practice The Night Before

A few weeks ago, my friend’s friend discovered a Harry Potter trivia night at a bookstore in the city through an ad on Facebook. Teams were allowed to go up to six so we got a group together: myself, Kris, our friend, her friend, her sister, and our other friend. Kris ended up not being able to make it, so our friend’s husband joined us. The one who discovered the trivia backed out so our friend’s sister invited her friend. (I love how we have substitutes for friends.)

Anyway, we all got together the night before to practice. Kris joined us and she found a random list of Harry Potter trivia online. She read some questions and our friend’s husband knew all the answers. Like, obscure details that are in the books but we probably didn’t need to know. Apparently, he listens to the series on audio every year and practically has them memorized. Needless to say, we were thankful he was able to join the team.

We pigged out on chips and dip, salsa and cheese, and other goodies while we “practiced” for about an hour. Then we ended up playing the card game Uno for about three hours. It was a good night. Then, it was onto trivia the following night.

The Bookstore Cafe

The trivia was in a bookstore cafe. It was a cute place and if it wasn’t in the city (which is a pain to drive into – I’m too chicken and overwhelmed to do it). When walking into the bookstore, it’s just books upon books. There is a bar and cafe area and upstairs was the function hall, which was smaller than I thought it would be. Then again, it was a sold-out event and we were packed like sardines to fit everyone in. But it was comfortable enough at the same time.

Unlike the last trivia night I went to, there was a large TV screen that had the questions pop up as they were asked. Plus, they were all multiple choice which was nice. A few of my friends ordered drinks while I got a butterbeer and my usual soda water. My friend and I shared spicy fries which were really good. The place had a large menu from breakfast to dessert and it was overwhelming. There was a lot going on so it was nice to just pick at stuff instead of ordering a meal.

Harry Potter Trivia Night

Trivia lasted about an hour and a half. There were six rounds, each having five questions for a total of 30 questions. All the rounds were multiple choice on the TV screen except for the fifth round, which had pictures of the chapters from different books. Of course, the paper said, “write the chapter title of each picture.” If you’ve read the Harry Potter series, you know each chapter has a small picture along with the title. We completely guessed because who remembers the exact chapter titles?

When they went over the answers, they wrote the book titles. The directions were wrong and every team got them all wrong, so they automatically gave every team the five points. If we knew to write the book titles, we totally would have gotten them right anyway.

Aside from that, we only got three questions wrong out of 30 landing us in first place. We got a $35 gift card to the bookstore, which we gave to our friend’s husband because he was the one who knew all the answers for us. We won with 27 out of 30 points, the team that came in second had 25 out of 30 points. So we got the lead by two.

Overall, it was a great night. We had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs. Plus, I know some Harry Potter facts now… though some might be considered useless information, that’s okay. I can still say I learned something.

Have you gone to trivia nights before? Have they been themed like Harry Potter? Let me know in the comments below. Good luck! If you liked this post, please share it around!

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Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them by J.K. Rowling

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them by J.K. Rowling | Screenplay book review

Title: Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
Author: J.K. Rowling
Published: 
November 2016 by Arthur A. Levine Books
Genre: YA Fantasy, screenplay
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary:

J.K. Rowling’s screenwriting debut is captured in this exciting hardcover edition of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay.

When Magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when his magical case is misplaced and some of Newt’s fantastic beasts escape, it spells trouble for everyone…

My Review:

rp-first-thoughts

It’s another Harry Potter story, so of course, I was bound to pick this one up.

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We’re thrown back way before Harry Potter’s time set in America where Newt Scamander is researching and trying to protect magical creatures. He keeps them all in his magical suitcase where they co-live in their own respective habitats. It’s not until some beasts get loose that there’s a problem.

With the help of Tina Goldstein, a former Auror, and the help of Jacob Kowalski, a No-Maj (or Muggle), they go on a journey to find the beasts and bring them back to the suitcase.

There is one more beast roaming around called an Obscurus and it’s because of that they get into pretty big trouble with the Ministry of Magic.

Together they have to rally all the beasts and help wizards and Muggles alike against the Obscurus… and maybe save that beast as well.

rp-characters

All the characters were a love. Newt was especially my favorite with his quirkiness and Jacob was a wonderful addition to the cast since he wasn’t a wizard.

Tina took a little getting used to for me, but I think that was also because she was more trying to save her own job than actually help Newt for a little while. Queenie, Tina’s sister, was a fun character as well.

I found they had a well-rounded amount of characters for this story (and they picked a great cast for the movie).

rp-writing-style

This too is a screenplay. It was quick and easy to read as there were lesser details in it than the average novel. Still, it’s fun to get to know a little bit about the screenwriting process (from a writer’s point of view).

The book also had little illustrations and designs throughout the book with I felt completed it. They were pretty and fun to look at and added a little more to the story.

rp-overall

I saw the movie before I read this. This is the screenplay for the movie, so there were no surprises. Even still, this is one I would recommend seeing the movie first and then reading the book. You’ll get a little more out of the movie (visually so), but the screenplay is fun to read as well. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them by J.K. Rowling gets…
5-Star Rating | Book Review 5 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“My philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice.” –J.K. Rowling, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

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Harry Potter And The Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child | Book Review

Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Parts 1 & 2)
Author: John Tiffany, Jack Thorne, J.K. Rowling
Published: 
July 2016 by Little Brown
Genre: Fantasy play
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary:

The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

My Review:

rp-first-thoughts

I don’t have much of an introduction for this one. It’s Harry Potter, so of course, I’m going to read it.

rp-plot

When this was first released, I thought this was going to be more about Harry’s child being in Slytherin House and his Hogwarts years going through that (because we all know he doesn’t want to be in that house). So, I was surprised when this had a much more in depth plot.

Albus makes a new friend in Draco Malfoy’s son and when they get put into Slytherin house together, Albus is upset. He tries to prove himself better than the average Slytherin by attempting to stop a death that happened when his father attended Hogwarts. That means going back in time.

And we all know what happens when anyone, not just wizards, meddles with time.

The plot was definitely very interesting and unique. I was gripped from the moment it started and I thought it was a great throwback to the original series.

rp-characters

I didn’t know what to make of our old friends, Harry, Ron, and Hermione. I felt Harry and Ron were a little out of character at times, but then again, it’s 19 years later, they’re much older and they’re parents. Still, I felt as though Ron was “dumbed down” and was simply there for comic relief while Hermione and Harry tried to figure everything out that was going on with their children.

Albus, Harry’s son, got himself into repeated trouble, just like his father. With the help of his best friend, Scorpius Malfoy, they try to change the past in an attempt to make things better for themselves.

I did enjoy the dynamic between Harry and Draco as they tried to help their sons, but that was only after Harry realized how stupid he was being. He didn’t have a good relationship with Albus in the story, which caused everything to happen. He even tried to separate Albus and his only friend mostly because he was Draco’s son. But Harry’s better than that.

Yes, this is fan fiction, but it was still bothersome. The characters definitely could have used some work.

rp-writing-style

I enjoyed that this was a play. It was easy to read and fun to follow along. It was refreshing to read such a different format other than the average novel.

Still, as much as I enjoyed it, I do wish it was longer. I definitely could have kept reading more.

rp-overall

This was a refreshing read. I love revisiting these characters. The plot was fun, though I wish there were more to it. We barely saw Hogwarts and I would have loved to see more of Albus getting along with his classmates and his general classes. Not to mention, Harry and Ron should have been more in character. Still, I enjoyed it.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling gets…
4 stars book review4 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“The truth is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.” –J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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Going Out With a Bang

I had a post idea for today, but I never wrote it.

Kris, our friend, and I were supposed to have a Harry Potter marathon. The full eight movies right in a row, with comfy clothes, food inspired by the movie, etc.

I made butterbeer cookies, Kris made sorting hat cupcake, and our friend made chocolate frogs.

I was going to have pictures for you all, but I never ended up going.

I woke up Christmas Eve morning with a terrible head cold and I can’t get rid of it.

So that’s how my winter vacation from work is going… the kids got me sick and I had to cancel all my plans. I’m supposed to go to Disney on Ice tomorrow and I won’t be going to that, either…

I haven’t gotten sick once throughout 2016 and it’s been a weird year. I’m ending it with a bang, apparently.

So, if you’re wondering why I haven’t commented on your blog or respnded to comments on my own blog, this is why.

I’m writing this on my phone as my head has been throbbing too much to go to on the computer.

At least I’m getting the sickness over now and I’ll be starting the new year fresh as a daisy!

Inspiration Explanation

For those of you who read my March: Inspiration Board post two days ago, I wanted to explain further on some of my Pinterest boards and why those things inspire me to be who I am today.

It’s one thing for me to give you a link to my Pinterest and say, “These are all the things I enjoy. I hope you enjoy them, too!”

However, it’s another thing for me to say, “I pinned this because…”

I have a Writing board. I don’t know if you guys know this, but if I didn’t write I would go insane. I need my imaginary friends and I need to go to new places and be in different situations, real or fiction. I also have a Reading board. That inspires me to write. It inspires me to create my own worlds and create my own characters for others to love and enjoy. Reading and writing go hand-in-hand and one inspires me to do the other.

I have a Sunday School board. I am a teacher and the director of my church’s Sunday school. I love teaching to no end and while I don’t particular enjoy going to church (I can’t sit still long enough to get through an hour-long service), I love broadening the horizons of the church’s children. Because I’m just teaching them about God, Jesus, and the Bible, I’m teaching them about life.

Speaking of, I also have a Teaching board. I’ve been teaching preschool for four years and I can’t imagine myself not waking up in the morning to not see those kids every day. I have to ability to teach them a lot and I learn a lot from them, as well.

There are many different TV shows and movies that inspire me as well. Once Upon A Time, The Lord of the RingsHarry PotterPsych, and many more. I have boards for each of those. The characters are amazing and the writers are brilliant.

The same goes for video games; especially The Legend of Zelda and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. I hope to be able to write stories just as well as these game and the movies/shows mentioned above.

I obviously can’t explain all 93 boards to you, but those are the main ones. Those are what make me who I am today and I’m always going to keep growing into someone better. Now you guys know me a little bit better.

I hope you guys are inspired by a lot of things in the world just like I am.

Book Review: Deathly Hallows

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads):

Harry is waiting in Privet Drive. The Order of the Phoenix is coming to escort him safely away without Voldemort and his supporters knowing – if they can. But what will Harry do then? How can he fulfill the momentous and seemingly impossible task that Professor Dumbledore has left him?
The epic finale to an epic series.

I can’t begin to explain the amount of feels I have for this book; for this series. I am way behind on the times when it comes to reading this series and finally read it because I needed to read it for school. I read the first six books within a couple of months, but it took me a little while to read the last one.

I think maybe it was because I knew how it ended (according to the movie) and I didn’t want it to end. There are so many things in the books that did not happen in the movies, the books made me appreciate the Harry Potter world so much more. I don’t know why I have never read the books before.

However, I finally decided to read the last novel and I cried through half of it. Most were sad tears with a few characters dying, but some were happy tears.

Overall, I am satisfied with the ending of the novel, but like many others, I want more. I’m sad that the series ended and despite how different the movies are, I just want to sit on the couch all day and marathon all eight movies.

Favorite Quote:

“‘Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?'” –Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

You Are the Protagonist

“Every lie is built upon a kernel of truth.” –Henry Spencer, Psych

Fiction is a lie. Sorry to burst your bubble, but there is no Hogwarts, no Narnia, and no Shire. We all wish they exist (especially the men), but alas they don’t. We’re stuck on Earth with seven billion other people–95% of those other people don’t even know you exist.

Without these fictional places and characters, life would be pretty boring. There would be no imagination, no creativity, and no pretending. Such a sad life.

Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest

However, if fiction doesn’t exist… where does it come from?

Surely J.K. Rowling didn’t actually attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in a past life and of course C.S. Lewis didn’t discover a new world in his wardrobe when he was a child.

They created and imagined it. So, where does that creation come from? I’m going to point you back to the top of this post and look at a quote from my TV Dad, Henry Spencer (from Psych) who once said, “Every lie is built upon a kernel of truth.”

Fiction is the same way–authors put a little of themselves into their writing. It is from there that inspiration sparks an idea. An idea becomes a novel.

I’m sure if you knew your favorite author personally, you would be able to pick up small truths here and there in their fiction. For example, YA author Sarah Dessen is coming out with a new book this May. As her husband read the novel, she tweeted:

Writers have a way of taking reality and playing around with it until it’s something no one has ever imagined. However, they’re still sane enough to throw in a few bits of real life.

To me, that shows readers what the authors are into; things they like, things they don’t like. Often, when writers add themselves into a story, they get added in as a character. For me, I’m usually the protagonist. My protagonists tend to either have a similar personality, looks, age, or sometimes a mixture.

It doesn’t have to be a character, though. It can be anything like an object, a setting, a plot, or even an occupation. I tend to have a character who writes or teaches for a living because those are two of my passions.

I think that makes writing all the more fun and reading all the more like a puzzle. The questions will never be answered unless you talk to the author personally, but I’m sure there are some novels out there that would be easy to try to guess. Some truths are easier than others.

Further Reading:

7 Authors Who Wrote Themselves into Their Work
What’s Your Opinion?
Six Real Life Authors Who Made Themselves Into Fictional Characters

Homework Complete

Aside from editing my story draft for my Fiction class and editing my Harry Potter essay for my Rowling & Tolkien class (both due in two weeks, so… whatever), I have completed my homework for the week!

One week’s worth of homework for four classes done in two days. I would like to complain and say it was a struggle, but it actually wasn’t. For some reason, I just didn’t get a lot of homework this week. Maybe it’s because next week we have off due to Thanksgiving? Whatever the reason, I’ll be sure to say I’m thankful for the lack of homework this week at the dinner table next week.

I’m busy after work for the rest of this week, but I’ll be sure to write every morning before work. I get up super early so I have an hour and a half/two hours before work. I’m behind on my word count, but if I can stay focused for those few hours for the next three mornings I’ll catch up no problem.

Saturday will be another Barnes & Noble writing date with my sister. I’m sure I’ll get a lot done then, too. Maybe I can even hit 50k by Sunday. Can I write 22k in five days?

If it happens, it happens. I’m not going to make it a goal. As much as I love writing, I want to take advantage of the lack of homework–it’s almost like getting two weeks off from school.

I have video games to play, people!

My priorities are clearly right where they should be…

In all seriousness though, I plan on hitting 50k by Thanksgiving. That gives me eight days to write 22k. It will be nice if I can do it in five, but eight days is my current goal.

Hopefully not everyone else is behind like me!

Homework Is My Life

Homework has always been a priority over writing. I wish it wasn’t, but you know… deadlines. I have a week to do my assignments and I don’t have any deadlines for my writing. Except for NaNo months, but… 30 days is more than seven days. So, again, homework wins.

BUT…

I did really well this morning! I woke up and got an hour and a half in of homework before I went to work. Then I came home from work, did a little more homework for about two hours and viola!

I completed all my assignments for two out of my four classes for this week. For my psych class I have to work on my project (which won’t take long at all) and take a quiz (which takes 15 minutes, but he doesn’t open the quizzes until Thursday so I can’t do it yet). For my Rowling & Tolkien class I need to critique two essays for the two classmates in my group. Again, that shouldn’t take long. I can finish all that (except the quiz) tomorrow morning and after work.

I also have to do the final draft of my Harry Potter essay and do the final draft of the first chapter of Detective Florence (which I sent in for my project in my Fiction class for feedback). Those aren’t due for another two weeks, though. I plan on slowly working on them this week to get them out of the way, but once the homework that’s due this Sunday is completed I am going to take the time to write! Writing will take priority over homework for that time being.

I didn’t write today and probably won’t get a chance tomorrow, but I can write from Wednesday all the way through next week. Next week I don’t have school and only have two and a half days of work because of Thanksgiving.

It’s like a NaNo jackpot!

I Skipped Three Days

It’s in the middle of week two for NaNoWriMo, 12 days into the month. Due to other obligations I ended up skipping three days so far. I skipped Sunday, Monday, and today.

I’m still ahead of the game, but only by about 1,000 words or so. If I skip tomorrow then I’ll be behind, even if it’s only a little bit.

I was hoping to have all my 50,000 words done by yesterday since I had a four day weekend from work. However, homework does tend to get in the way as well as life. Not to mention that I haven’t been feeling well, so that doesn’t help anything.

I have a 10-page essay to write with a five-slide PowerPoint and a three-minute audio presentation to go with it. Yeah.

So I finished just about all my homework for this week except for a few things that don’t open until tomorrow and… the essay. If I can just get that essay written and out of the way then all my troubles will be over.

The sad part is that the essay is on Harry Potter. Who wouldn’t want to write about Harry Potter? Well, if I was able to write about whatever I wanted about Harry Potter then it would be fine, but of course school has to suck the fun out of everything.

I hope everyone else is keep their heads above water when it comes to NaNo… and school!

Updates

I think it’s about time I’ve gotten myself into a routine, don’t you think? I haven’t been about to blog in a while. I haven’t even had a chance to really write anything in a while. Between school and work, life has been pretty hectic. So here are a few updates about my life. I think if I write them down it’ll help me sort everything out so I can get myself back on track.

Work:
While it’s nice that I’m just a teacher’s aide, it still saps up a lot of time and energy. I only have to be at work when the kids are there (which means I only work from 8 in the morning until 2:30 in the afternoon). I don’t have to do any prepping outside of work and I’m not obligated to go to any staff meetings (I still go, but it’s nice to have the choice). Once 2:30 hits, I’m done. But… I’m in the second lowest class. My kids are still learning how to talk (yes, they’re three- and four-years-old). It takes up a lot of energy and by the time I get home, I’m exhausted. I don’t want to write, I don’t want to do homework, I just want to watch mindless TV or sleep.

School:
I think I could discuss this forever. I think the topic of my school should be its own blog post, but I’ll spare you the boring details. I’m taking five online classes all of which give me a lot of homework. Well… it’s actually not bad and the assignments are “easy”, but a good amount of the them are very time consuming. I have to sit down and split my assignments into five days so I can finish my homework by Friday (even though they’re all due Sunday) so I can have the weekend to myself and also not feel like the homework is never-ending. My psych class virtually gives me no work, which is kind of nice. My Authors class (Tolkien and Rowling) gives me a ton. Most of it is reading, but if you’ve ever read The Lord of the Rings, you know how heavy that book is. Add Harry Potter and other online reading to that plus written assignments and you’ve got a pretty good idea of all the work I have to do for that class. My Place class is a normal amount of work, but I have no motivation to do it. My Spanish class is a decent amount of work. However it’s an accelerated class. So that ends the beginning of November instead of the middle of December like my other classes. This week is Week Five out of 14 and I was bummed. Then I realized for Spanish, I’m already halfway done because that class is only ten weeks long. So school should calm down in a little bit at least. I got a new professor for my Fiction class because my other professor had surgery. The professor is the guy who I had last semester for my Creative Writing class. He’s great, so I’m happy with the change. My homework level might dwindle down with him being in charge, which is a plus.

Sunday School:
Sunday school started up again with me as the director of the program and also one of the teachers. We’ve had two classes so far and I still need to write my lesson plans. So, that’s how that’s going. I’ve been more focused on my homework, so I haven’t really had time to work on Sunday school, but it’s definitely on my to-do list.

Babysitting:
I’m babysitting twice a week immediately after work. Two hours on Monday and three and a half hours on Thursday. Thursday I’m basically in the car the entire time, so that’s wonderful. I try to bring some homework with me to do while the kids do their own homework, but I don’t really get that much done. Then I go home around dinner time and crash.

Blogging:
I’ve started putting together a schedule for myself to make sure I keep up with this blog. I was doing pretty well until school and work started… I have a few ideas and changes for Spilled Ink, but that won’t be coming until 2015. Until then, here’s to trying to post a few times a week!

Writing:
Remember I had that schedule for myself? It was for editing Detective Florence, the first novel and the second one? Then outline the third one and write that for November’s NaNoWriMo? Well, let’s just say I haven’t gotten very far with that at all due to homework. I tried waking up early to write/edit for an hour each day, but I became too exhausted to keep that up. So I need to figure something else out. I’ve slowly been trying to figure out a schedule for myself, so there will be more on that later. (In other words… stay tuned for tomorrow’s post.)

So there you have it. This has been my life lately and I didn’t even include the fact that my house looks like it exploded because we’re painting four rooms and also the last minute things I have to do for my sister’s wedding, which is about three weeks away. Fun stuff going on over here! So, I’m in the middle of trying to figure out a new routine for myself; especially since October is creeping fast and I need to figure out what I’m doing for NaNoWriMo. This will be interesting.

First Day Of School

Homework

I started school today. I have five classes. I have about a billion assignments to do already. But… can I really complain?

Yes and no.

I’ve been looking forward to all my classes. I’m taking Creative Writing: Fiction, Writing About Place, Selected Authors: J.K. Rowling & J.R.R. Tolkien, Learning & Behavior, and Spanish. English, psychology, and Spanish. We all know I love English and creative writing, I’ve always had an interest for psychology, and I enjoy learning Spanish (regardless of whether or not I’m good at it).

The teachers (as far as I can tell) are pretty good, as well. My Selected Authors professor is 100% a nerd, which is awesome. She’s been doing a lot of fan-girling for Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. The professor for my Writing about Place class is nice as I’ve had her for another class. She knows her stuff. My professors for Fiction and my psych class seem to be good, as well. Spanish… I think she’s nice, but I can’t tell because everything is written is Spanish, so who knows?

All of my classes are online, so I don’t have to deal with people. That’s a plus. I’ve done the discussion boards for every class so far and my classmates seem interesting, engaged in the classes, and nice. I’m still happy I don’t have to see them in person, but if I did it wouldn’t be a bad thing. We all know how anti-social I am. I do much better over the Internet. I suppose that’s probably a bad thing, though.

Anyway, I’m listing all pros, aren’t I? Oops, I’m sorry. I forgot to mention all the homework.

To put it simply: I’m going to drown in homework this semester.

It’s a lot of reading and a lot of writing. Would you expect any less from an English degree? No, of course not. However, the weeks are always Monday-Sunday. We get our assignments on Monday, they’re due the following Sunday, and repeat for the next week. It’s Wednesday which means we have two less days. It’s always like that at the beginning of the semester, but my professors have always taken that into account. They always give us just a small icebreaker discussion board, give us a chance to get our textbooks or if we already have the book we can start reading to get ahead. They give us a quick assignment due by the end of the week, but also more assignments which are due to the following week. It’s almost as if we get two weeks for the first week… does that make sense?

Not these professors, though. They’re all treating it like a normal week saying, “Careful! We’re already two days behind, so make sure you get everything in on time.” Yeah, thanks…

My psych professor is a different story. He wants us to call this “Week 0.” He gave us a discussion board and called it a day. We’ll get into the real class starting on Monday. Needless to say, I got all my psych homework done for the week.

I only edited ten pages of Detective Florence today because of school. I hope to alternate between school and writing tomorrow and for the rest of the days to come. Do a bit of homework, edit… do a bit of homework, edit… so on and so forth.

Just wait for work to get added into the mix on Monday. That will be super fun!

11 Out Of 50 Squares Complete

It’s been a long time, but I have actually been keeping up with my reading! I usually don’t, so this is a pretty big accomplishment for myself.

I don’t know if any of you remember, but at the beginning of 2014 I found two Reading Bingo charts. I completely forgot about it for a while, but when I found the charts the other day I looked through my “Read” shelf on GoodReads and filled in a few of the boxes.

Three of the boxes you all ready know about… I read Coming Clean and The Hobbit, and I, Robot. I’m going to explain the other seven books I’ve read whether you’re interested or not. These are all the books I read on the general bingo card:

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads

For the square “a book with more than 500 pages” I read A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. I had to read this book for my Science Fiction & Fantasy class last semester. I know people rave about this series and the TV show, but…it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I was very glad I was able to get through it. I will admit that it was interesting and I liked it to some certain extent, but it wasn’t good enough for me to run to Barnes & Noble and buy the rest of the series.

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads

I read Psych: A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Read by William Rabkin for the square “a funny book.” I’ve watched and re-watched the TV show and absolutely love it! When I saw there were books based off of the show, I had to give it a shot. I must say, the author did it justice. The books are just as good as the show and I could hear the characters’ voices in my head as I read. It was written exactly like the show. Plus, it made for a good laugh.

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads

For the square “a book published this year” I read The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel. I was at Barnes & Noble one day and while waiting for my parents, I picked up the book and started reading it. I got through the first 50 pages and then decided I might as well buy it. The reviews rave about how funny the book is, but I didn’t find too many “hilarious” moments. Overall, it was a good book and a quick read.

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads

I downloaded A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton onto my Kindle for the square “a book with a mystery.” This is the first book of an “alphabet series.” The second book is called B is for Burglar and so on. I have yet to read the next book, even though I have it downloaded on my Kindle all ready. I read it because I started writing my own mystery series (Detective Florence) and wanted to read a bit in that genre. I look forward to finishing the series as the first book was very good. However, while the ending was satisfying, it was a bit abrupt which caused me to be a bit disappointed. I hope the other books don’t end like that.

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads

For the young adult bingo card, I read If I Stay by Gayle Forman for the square “a book with music.” It was an interesting story line and the book is short, so it should have been a quick read. Yet, it took me a while to get into it. It made me cry, so there’s a plus for the book. As weird as it sounds, I love it when a good makes me cry–it shows the author did their job and I feel for the characters. I look forward to reading the sequel, but at the same time, I’m in no rush to go out and buy it anytime soon.

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, I began reading the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I read The Socerer’s Stone for the square “the first book in a series,” The Chamber of Secrets for “a book that became a movie,” and just yesterday I finished reading Prisoner of Azkaban for “a book with magic.” Starting in September I’m taking a class called Selected Authors: Tolkien & Rowling. I’m going to have to read books one, three, and seven of the Harry Potter series and since I’ve never read the books before I didn’t want to read them out of order, so I’m reading the entire series now. I don’t think I have to say much more to say on the matter… I’ve always loved Harry Potter and I know most of the rest of the world does, too.

And that’s that! I’m going to continue working through through the young adult bingo card as I’m currently reading through the whole Harry Potter series. I’m hoping I can finish the series in the next month. It took me about two weeks to get through the first three books, so here’s to hoping!

Tipping Over

Balance

Life is hard. Can I just throw that out there? Of course, no one told me life was going to be easy and I never expected it to be… I mean, why would I?

It’s not that life in general is hard, it’s all the little bits and pieces that go with it. You just need to work your way through each one, but the trick is that you need to deal with it all at the same time. I can’t say, “I’ll go to work this week and then stay home and write the following week. After that I think I’ll go on vacation!” Sadly, life does not work like that.

So how does life work? I certainly don’t know and I’m pretty sure no one else really understands it, either. What I do know is that I need to have some sort of balance between everything that goes on in my life. That’s one piece of the puzzle solved, but how do I find that balance and implement it? Let me know when you figure it out because every time I find my balance–even if it’s just for a short while–life throws another lemon at me giving me a black eye.

For the past few days I’ve been writing “to do” lists for myself. So far it’s been working, but probably only for a little while. I’ve done this before and soon enough I get out of the routine whether I get sick, something unexpected happens, or I just get lazy.

We all know Kris and I have conversations about life and the future every so often, but with both of us getting older those conversations have been happening more frequently. We’re in no rush to leave our parents, but we want to move out for the experience. We don’t have the money to do it. Plus, I’m still in school so I have a lot less money than my sister does.

I’m going to be 21 in about a month. My friend who is three months younger than me got married and moved across the country. My other friend who is a year older than me (and also the sister of the other one) is pregnant. I feel as though I’m “behind schedule” even though I’m really not. I should be focusing on work and school and that’s what I prefer to work towards. Yet, it’s hard to work towards something when everything else is about money.

I want to be a writer and I’ve written many things, yet none of them pay as they’ve never been published. This is okay, but I’m wondering about when September hits. I will be taking five courses, one is accelerated (which will be kind of nice in a way because then the last month of the semester I’ll only have to worry about four courses), but one of the courses is going to make it feel as though I’m taking seven courses–not five. This course, by the way, is Selected Authors: Tolkien & Rowling; the class I’m super excited for. I don’t think I’m going to be so excited for the homework, though. Not to mention homework from four other classes, one being accelerated.

should also be working full-time. I say “should” because I don’t know if I officially have the job, yet. If not, I’ll still be a substitute which won’t be so bad with all the school work. Money-wise, it won’t be so good, but I have to take what I can get.

Then there’s babysitting on the side and…oh, yeah writing.

Camp NaNoWriMo is drawing to a close and I am at 41k words or something around there. I’m also done and I will win. I was actually hoping to be done by today, but I started reading Harry Potter to get a head start on my class in the Fall and I got so into the series that I’ve just been reading nearly non-stop.

(To throw a lame excuse as to why I haven’t been blogging a lot is because of Harry Potter, trying to win Camp NaNo, and also homework…but the school semester ends tomorrow, yay!)

So with that in mind I have about six days left. I plan on going overboard (but let’s get real–I probably won’t) and come August I hope to edit the first book (I’m writing the sequel now). I edited the first draft in June, but obviously still needs a bit of work.

Good luck in the last few days of Camp, people! I can’t believe the end is near…but at the same time, I feel as though the month of July dragged on. Maybe that’s just me. 😉

Easter and Other Happenings

Hey everyone! I hope we all had a wonderful Easter yesterday. It was a good day and great weather, too! The Easter Bunny brought me an army of Ninja Turtle Beanie Balls which was awesome, a new SD card for my 3DS, and the Kalos Pokedex as well as the Kalos game guide for the X & Y Pokemon games. I also got bark for Raph so I can finally clean her tank. I’m sure she’ll be happy. In addition to that, Kris got the movie Frozen. Best Disney movie ever!

A lot has been going on. One of the preschool teachers has been out for three weeks straight (plus more) so I’ve been working a lot. I also have school…school has been interesting. I just signed up for classes for the Fall semester. I’m taking a class called Selected Authors…guess who the authors are! J.K. Rowling and J.R.R. Tolkien. I get to read Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings for school. How awesome is that?! It’s pretty awesome, yes.

In addition to work and school, I’ve been busy planning my sister’s bridal shower, which is in August. Plus the bachelorette party, which is in September. Then we have the wedding in October. So that’s been holding my attention a lot. I’ve been babysitting a lot, as well. This week is April vacation so I get a break from work, right? No…stupid me agreed to babysit for four different families and before I realized what I had done, it was too late. I babysat for about four hours today, tomorrow through Friday I have another family for about five hours in the morning. Tuesday night I’m babysitting for a third family and Thursday night I’m babysitting for a fourth family. Wonderful stuff.

I’ve also been slowly trying to clean my bedroom. Kris and I don’t go in there much anymore unless we’re sleeping because now we have our office that used to be Lisa’s room. You guys should have seen all the dust and yuckies in the room. It was terrible. But we’re going to be painting and organizing it soon so it needs to be done. Of course, it should be done regardless, but…whatever. I bought the extended editions of the three Lord of the Rings movies so Kris and I have been pretty busy with those. We’ve been addicted to the series since I had to read The Hobbit for my Science Fiction & Fantasy class.

Well, that’s what’s been going on in my life. I’m sure you all noticed writing was not mentioned at all. Yeah, no. I’ve been failing at my writing recently. I can justify it because I have been really busy (except I guess watching three movies that total to over 12 hours probably doesn’t count as a good excuse), but it doesn’t look like I’ll be winning Camp NaNoWriMo this month.

I started off Camp strong and then I crashed and burned. In between homework and babysitting this week I’m going to really try to kick it into gear, but it’ll be difficult. I’m only at 16,000 or something like that. Kris and I are planning on going to Barnes & Noble on the 27th to write as much as we can though. So can we all keep our fingers crossed for both me and her? That would be much appreciated.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter and are writing each and every day unlike me! 🙂