Saturday, July 25, 2015

Life Post: Paper Towns and Finishing a Rough Draft

I just got home from seeing the Paper Towns movie with the siblings. I've only just had time to shower since we got back. A full review of the movie will come later, so for now, I'll just link you to the Tumblr post on my quicker initial thoughts on the movie. Basically, I thought it was amazing. Probably even better than The Fault in Our Stars, but that's partially just because I'll re-watch a comedic movie far more than a sad one.

The other big thing that happened since my last life post is that I finished a first draft of the sequel to my Twilight fanfiction. I've been incredibly focused on that for the past month or so. It's been taking up a lot of my time. The ride wasn't the smoothest. I went back and forth between hating and loving what I was writing. By the time I finished, I was somewhere in between. I'm not sure how the editing process is going to go, but since I finished on Friday, I'm giving myself the weekend before I start that up. Usually, I would switch to a different project between drafts, but I'm not doing that this time. I want to get it up before the end of summer break, so I'm doing all of the edits now. (With a brief break to possibly work on something else while it goes out to beta readers.)

I imagine I'll be working on it the rest of the summer. It'll take up most of the rest of my break at least.

As for what I've been doing elsewhere on the Internet, I wrote some flash fiction about writer's block and how writing and music don't mix well for me. Over on Youtube, I reviewed both movies we saw at the drive-in: Inside Out and Tomorrowland.

Speaking of the drive-in, I'm absolutely covered in bug bites from that trip, and after my shower, they're starting to really act up. I think it's time to go find the hydrocortisone cream so that I can hopefully sleep in peace tonight.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Naruto Shippuden Review: Episodes 256-260

Every single time I post a Naruto review, it starts off "Wow! It's been so long!" I don't know why I still feel the need to do it. It's been two months since I posted one here though, which isn't really long for me I'd say. My review for the last five episodes was over on Youtube if you're interested in it.

Of these five episodes, four of them are essentially nothing but flashbacks to past episodes. Only episode 256 isn't. It's actually been a while since I watched episode 256, so even looking at my notes, I can't come up with clear memories of what happened. Apparently, I got really excited about ShikaTema at some point during it. I made sure to include that in my notes, and now I'm amazed that I've apparently forgotten what that even was. I'm a pathetic excuse for a shipper right now apparently.

From what I do remember, I found the end of that episode to be really awesome and dramatic. Now that I've seen the following four episodes, that's been pretty muted. It's hard to keep up excitement like that when you suddenly are deluded with flashback episodes, although that's something Naruto loves doing.

The thing is, I actually don't have anything against flashback episodes. When a series is as long as Naruto is, it's helpful to bring show stuff again and remind the audience about certain important scenes. Flashback episodes obviously accomplish that, and I think that's okay some of the time. Plus, I'd rather filler composed of flashbacks to good episodes over stupid pointless fillers anytime.

That doesn't change that fact that tons of filler, even in flashback form, can be just a bit boring after a while. Still much better than most filler though. And, like I said, my excitement level isn't quite where it was after episode 256. I don't know how long this particular stretch of filler episodes is going to last, but I'm just going to keep trying to remind myself that this can't possibly be as bad as the span of filler episodes while they were on the boat. (Please, I am begging you, do not let it be that bad.)

As for what actually happens in the filler episodes, I don't feel like there's much of a point to comment on it since it's all older stuff. It was nice to see it though. I'm someone who can get a bit emotional during flashbacks, and that's especially true with the Naruto and Sasuke stuff. That will at least help me make it through this span of filler until I get to something new.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Life Post: Drive-In, Contacts, and Passports

I meant what I said yesterday about finally getting my to do list down to something that wasn't really intimidating to look at, but since stuff keeps getting added to it, I'm still keeping myself busy. Actually, it's a lot longer than I expected it to be today, and I was really hoping I would have more of it down by now than I do. Oh, well.

My family and I saw Inside Out and Tomorrowland at the drive-in last night. I'm going to review both of them, but there's no point not saying really quickly what I thought here. I adored Inside Out. It was such a good movie and one that I think everyone should go see. My entire family liked it. It might have won my spot as my favorite Pixar movie, but we'll see how that holds up over time.

As for Tomorrowland... Well, it held my interest, but not very well. I'll talk more about what I disliked in the review, but it was really easy to watch most of it while half asleep and not really care. I had my eyes closed for chunks of it even. I don't really feel like I missed anything...

Aside from the drive-in, I talked about trying contacts in my last post. Yeah, well. I've officially declared that a failure. I tried for a long time to get them in my eyes. I was working on it a lot, and my eyes have been in a perpetual state of soreness since I got the contacts. I can't get them in my eyes. I really can't, and I don't think I've been making any progress towards it since the first day. I tried to stay optimistic about it at the beginning, but it's become too frustrating. I went to try and do it today, and honestly, I looked at the contacts and kind of just wanted to cry in frustration. So, I went and told my mom that I'm giving up so she could cancel the follow up appointment with the eye doctor.

Maybe I'll try them again in the future, but I'm just too done with dealing with it right now. I don't want to look at contacts for a really long time. It's not worth it.

My last bit of news is much more exciting. Months ago I told my parents that the only thing I wanted for my birthday was a passport. I've asked for one for Christmas in the past, and my parents didn't do it because my mom said she didn't know how to go about it. I asked again, and I made it really clear that it is absolutely the only thing I wanted. Since my mom usually fishes for present ideas from us because she doesn't know what to buy otherwise, I figured I'd have a much better chance if I didn't hint at anything else I could possibly want. I also pointed out that I'm going to need one before it would expire anyway, and it's just easier to do it now instead of later.

Well, today my mom handed me a passport application to fill out! I was already pretty sure that she was going to go through with it and get me one based on the couple of conversations we'd had about it, but it's still awesome to know that it's definitely happening. I don't think I've ever been so excited to fill out paperwork. Yay!

I wrote a post over on my writing blog about how my story The Society came about if you're interested. I think it's cool how something can morph into something you never expected over time.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Life Post: Long To-Do Lists.

It's been almost a week since my last life post, and that week has been pretty crazy. It's been crazy in a very monotonous way that isn't at all interesting. I've been going to bed late and waking up early every day in order to get stuff done, and I've just been swamped. Right now, my to do list is the shortest it's been in a week, and I'm at twenty items on it.

That's really good actually, and I'm pretty sure I could finish it all up tonight. Except for the fact that my family's going to the drive-in tonight, so that's going to take up my entire night. I hope that doesn't get me further behind. I know I really need sleep at this point. I was struggling to put contacts in this morning, and I realized how bad my dark circles are when I could see them in a mirror even without my glasses or anything.

Speaking of contacts though, that's the most note-worthy bit of information I've got. I have contacts, but I have yet to successfully get them into my eyes. It's been a huge struggle, and I spend part of my day trying over and over again every single day. My eyes are a bit sensitive even right now because I'm messing with them so much. I'm almost reaching the point where I want to give up, but at the same time, I'm determined to get them in. Hopefully, I'll have a breakthrough soon.

I have managed to get some stuff up on my writing blog since my last post. I wrote about the meaning's of two characters from The Society's names: Devon and Emily. I also wrote a letter to J.K. Rowling, aka my idol. I posted my vlog about the Paper Towns fan event and also about throwing up in public. (Last week really was more exciting.) And I filmed a video on my phone that turned into me complaining about my keyboard. (Luckily, it's working at the moment.)

Friday, July 17, 2015

Book Review: The Beast Within by Serena Valentino

ISBN: 1423159128
Published: July 22nd, 2014
Publisher: Disney Press
Read from July 7th to 14th, 2015
Synopsis from Goodreads:
A cursed prince sits alone in a secluded castle. Few have seen him, but those who claim they have say his hair is wild and nails are sharp--like a beast's! But how did this prince, once jovial and beloved by the people, come to be a reclusive and bitter monster? And is it possible that he can ever find true love and break the curse that has been placed upon him?


I knew absolutely nothing going into this book except that it had something to do with Beauty and the Beast, and since it was published by Disney (and had the Disney version of the Beast on the cover) that meant the Disney movie, not the original fairy tale. I got the book as a gift, and the synopsis on the inside flap is short, so that was all the information I had. I love Beauty and the Beast though. The Disney version is my favorite movie of all time, and I also love reading all the different versions of it. It's always interesting seeing what people do with the story, even if it's not as good as other versions I've read before. So, I was really excited for this book.

This book is the Beast's side of the Disney movie. The book opens with the Beast's reaction to Belle being in the castle, so I assumed this was going to be the events of the movie in his point-of-view and nothing before or after that. I was wrong. The book goes into a flashback pretty early on, and the vast majority of the book is the Beast's story before becoming the Beast and is known as the Prince (The book sticks with the Disney movie of never actually sharing his name.) and after the curse but before Belle. The actual events of the movie are pretty condensed and make up just a short bit of the book at the very end.

That wasn't what I was expecting, but it was probably a good idea. Direct retellings of a story just from a different point-of-view are typically boring to me. They can occasionally be done well, but most of the time they don't add enough to the story to justify it in my opinion. This book could easily have just become a novelization of the movie if it had gone that route, and that's definitely not what this is.

And this book does add to the movie. I still can't really decide if I like what it adds to the movie. You get the entire story of how the curse came about, but I think I preferred having that be vague and somewhat mystical. The actual event of it in the book doesn't quite work for me. There's four witches instead of one. One of them is the stereotypical sort of good witch who is spurned by the Beast once he discovers that she is poor. She does the actual curse because she genuinely wants the Beast to become a better person, but her three sisters are "wicked" witches who want the Beast to suffer for hurting their sister. I put wicked in quotations because they never feel like all that much of a threat. They're more along the laughably stupid side of things. Even for Disney villains, they're not scary, and they come across more as annoying nuisances. They do interfere and make things worse for the Beast, but even if I had been unfamiliar with how the story ended, I never felt like they could successfully pull anything off.

I accepted that part of the story pretty early on though, and I was willing to go along with it. The only thing in the book that I'd really say I had a problem with was the characterization of both the Beast and Gaston. They're childhood friends in this book, and I found both of them to be too sympathetic. Yes, the Beast refuses to marry the witch because she's poor, but the actual builds him up as being absolutely terrible to everyone around him. That's not how he came across in the book.

In the book, the Beast has a pretty great relationship with all of the servants, and it's clear from the beginning that they're basically his family. We never really see him be rude to anyone all that much except for spurning the witch. He's definitely on the shallow side and a bit annoying in his vanity, but he wasn't horrible enough for the curse to feel like adequate punishment. The curse is supposed to be about him learning to love at all, but in the book he seems to clearly love already. Yes, he fails at romantic love by focusing more on wealth, but he has relationships with both his servants and Gaston that clearly come across as platonic love. He's not a hopeless sort of case that would have justified everything better.

Gaston, too, is presented sympathetically. He has a sob story past, and again, he's not seen as all that bad because he's close to the Beast. The curse making him forget his friend is the only reason presented in the book for why Gaston's willing to go after the Beast later on. Again, he's shallow like the Beast, but he's given more of a sympathetic view than the Beast in this book due to his friendship with the Beast and what you're told about his past. That makes his eventual death feel unjustified as well. He doesn't seem like he deserves it in this context, and I didn't like that. I think a huge point of the original movie is that someone who looks like a beast can learn to love while Gaston, stereotypically "beautiful" on the outside, can have no redeeming qualities. In this book, he has redeeming qualities.

Overall, I'd say I enjoyed the book, and I love the idea of having a story about the Beast's curse. On the surface level, it's enjoyable to read, and it does have a very fairytale-esque feeling to the writing style. The book's nothing amazing, but it's a quick and fun read. But in the context of the movie, the Beast and Gaston didn't work as characters to me in this book.

(I also just have to shout out the cover really quickly. The dust jacket is a picture of the Beast while the actual cover itself has the Prince in the exact same position. I really love that design.)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Life Post: Paper Towns Fan Event in Indianapolis

Yesterday, I went to the Paper Towns fan event in Indianapolis, and it was amazing, guys. I've gushed about it all over the place by now. I'm going to keep this post brief because I'm actually still exhausted from yesterday. My brain isn't being very helpful with writing. I also already filmed a video where I talked about it too, and I'm going to post that on Friday (unless it takes forever to upload and becomes Saturday instead).

It was so amazing though. We got to say good morning to Hank for a vlogbrothers video, which was one of my life goals. And we got to see nineteen minutes of the movie, which was fantastic. It looks so good. I swear that it was such perfect casting for Q and Margo. I was skeptical about Cara Delevingne at first, I'll admit, but despite some iffy moments with her accent, she was perfect. Plus, the Q and A was great, and everyone was hilarious, and it was just all around excellent.

Waiting around outside in the heat was not as fantastic, but it was definitely worth it. Like I said though, I already filmed a video about it all (and tweeted like a crazy person), and my brain is getting angry at me for making it think so much right now. I'll post the link to the video where I talk about it here once it's up.

It was seriously so awesome though. Wow. I still can't believe it happened.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Life Post: That Time I Threw Up in Public

Trigger warning: Discussion of vomiting.

Oh, boy. My weekend wound up being "exciting." Since I told the story on Twitter (and a video which isn't up yet), I feel like I kind of have to tell it here too.

So, my church has a summer social every year, and every year I work at one of the booths. I had a two hour shift right in the middle of the afternoon. It's miserable every year, and I always feel like I'm sick from the heat afterwards. But nothing all that bad has ever happened before.

Yesterday, I felt fine for the first hour of working. In fact, I felt significantly better than I usually do. It was strange. I felt really hot, but it wasn't anywhere near the usual. Then, the second hour came, and for the first hour of that, I started feeling bad. However, it wasn't anything that worried me. It was just closer to what I normally felt.

At the beginning of the last half hour I was supposed to work, my mom and aunt wandered over and asked if I wanted a drink. I asked for lemonade; they went off to get it. It felt like they were gone for ages, but I know they weren't. I began to feel so terrible that I was glancing at my phone constantly to see how much time was left, and I could see that it was only minutes. Before they came back, I began to feel like I was going to faint. I'd never felt like I did before. I'd felt light-headed before sure, but my ears were ringing, which was new. I could tell that I wasn't going to be able to keep standing, and in a split second decision, I just squatted right down on the ground where I'd been standing. I didn't think I could walk to sit anywhere else without falling.

My mom and aunt came back, I told them how I felt and that I didn't think I could stand up. They rushed to get me a chair and got me into it. The lady in charge of the booth came back and told me to go ahead and leave because it was obvious I couldn't keep working. But I couldn't walk yet, so I had to sit there for a while longer while they forced the lemonade on me and whatnot.

Eventually, I felt better. Not great, but I didn't think I was in danger of passing out. I left the booth, but my mom had to go off and get something. I stayed with my aunt, and for a second, felt pretty okay. Right when my mom came back, I started realizing that I really wasn't going to be able to walk to our car, which was up a flight of stairs. (Ironically, our house is also within easy walking distance from the church, but luckily, my mom's and my aunt's cars were both there to transport stuff.)

Somehow, my family had impeccable timing that day, and that's right when my dad happened to show up. I told my mom I didn't think I could stand again, and she rushed to support me. As soon as she had her arm around me, I said, "I'm going to throw up." My stomach hadn't even been bothering me up until that point, and I wasn't gagging yet either. But it was one of those things where I just knew it was coming.

Like I said, that's right when my dad came over, and he, my mom, and my aunt rushed me a bit to the side. But I was still in plain view of everyone at the social, and according to my dad, I'd gotten a crowd by that point. I can't tell you how many people were actually watching because I had blinders on to everything except what was happening with me.

They'd just gotten me off the gravel onto grass when the gagging started. For quite a while (and I mean what felt like a while, in actuality it was probably less than a minute), I only gagged, and I started thinking I'd only dry heave. I hadn't puked in at least seven years before this, and I wasn't hoping to break that streak. It didn't feel like anything was going to come up.

But then it did, and I proceeded to vomit up my entire lunch. Not to go into the nasty details, but it felt like it took ages too. I'm pretty sure the food I'd eaten today felt like more coming up than it had going down.

Things were a lot better after that. They managed to get me to my aunt's car and get me home without anything else happening, and the only thing wrong with me when I got home was a massive headache. Not fun, but I'm glad that even once I ate more, the puking didn't happen again.

That might have been the most note-worthy thing to happen to me so far this summer, although that will hopefully change come tomorrow. I'll talk more about that later.

I posted a piece of flash fiction on my writing blog if you're interested. I did the Inside Out Book Tag over on Youtube, and I also did a vlog recently.

I'm Not a Collaborative Writer

Sometimes I wonder how certain writers do joint projects. I see books written by two (or more) people, and it kind of blows my mind. I couldn't do it. Sometimes, I want to try as a sort of challenge, but then I decide that it's just asking for trouble. I'm too much of a control freak about certain things, and my writing is one of those things. Sure, I can have people read it and critique it. I've gotten good at taking in people's opinions and trying to decide what's best based on them. But I still have ultimate control. It's still my work.

I haven't been published, so I can't talk about how I'd feel about edits in that sort of setting. Either way, I don't think anything like that comes close to how I'd feel giving 50% of a book to someone else and trying to make that work. I couldn't do it.

In a similar vein, I've thought about doing text-based roleplaying many times before. I've even tried it for short periods of time. I have some friends who do it and love it. I love the idea of it; it just never works well for me in practice. I get frustrated having to rely on other people.

I don't just get frustrated over a lack of control of the story. That's minor compared to other irritation I feel. You have to wait on other people, go at their pace, and if they decide they're done then that's it. That frustrates me more than what goes on with the story itself.

None of this is an insult towards collaborative works or role-playing. If anything, it's a compliment. I think it's amazing that there are people out there who do that sort of thing, and I wish I could to. There are still times where I tell myself I'm going to try out role-playing again, but that never pans out. Someday, maybe, it'll actually become a thing, but I really can't see it.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Life Post: Writing and Exciting Things

This post is going to be really brief a lot like yesterday's was. I just felt like sitting down to write something even though there wasn't much to say. Basically, I slept in today, and it was amazing. It was the first time I had a good night's sleep in about a week. I'd only been getting like five or less hours a night for a bit, and it was killing me.

I spent a lot of today writing, which isn't going as great as it could be. I've been focusing on the sequel to my Twilight fanfiction (as well as a few other things), and I'm just not as happy with this one as I was the first one. Hopefully that will change as I keep working on it, but I'm feeling like I'm in a bit of a slump with it at the moment.

That's been most of my time the past couple of days honestly, but some exciting stuff should be happening this next week that will give me more to talk about it. Basically, I still have my most exciting points of the summer to look forward to, and they're getting really close. It's reaching the point where I'm full of excitement all the time. Yay!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Life Post: Sleep and Dreams

I just wrote one of these yesterday, and nothing has changed, so I'm not entirely sure why I'm writing another one now. The only thing I've really got to say is that I slept in later today than I have in a while, and that felt awesome. I had two really vivid dreams, and I can't even remember how long it's been since I remembered a dream. I'm going to take that as a good sign.

Hopefully that sleep helps today go pretty well. I guess we'll have to see. I don't have quite as much that I have to do today as I have recently either, so I feel really good about that. I'm hoping today will be kind of relaxing. We'll see.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Life Post: Lots of Things Going On

I've felt incredibly busy the last few days, but looking back on it, I don't feel like I've accomplished as much as I feel like I'm doing at the time. I have no idea if that makes any sense. I feel as tired as I typically do during the school semester, and I have no idea why it suddenly feels like there's so much going on. For some reason, it just does.

So, yeah, I feel like I'm rushing through everything that I have to do recently, and I haven't had all that much time to stop and think. I hope it slows down soon.

I posted a poem over on my writing blog (fair warning: it's terrible). I also wrote about where Greta's name came from. (She's one of my characters in The Society.) Over on Youtube, I got up a review of the first half of season six of Supernatural.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

My Newest Harry Potter Book

I just had to make a post showing off the newest book I own. My sister spent a month in Sweden, and when she came back, she brought me this:

A photo posted by Haley Keller (@hmweasley) on

Yep. That's a British edition of the first book. One of the new ones too. I can't remember how long those covers have been around now, but they're not the original British cover. What I can tell you, is it's even pretty in person, and the feel of it is amazing. I'm honestly in love with it, and I think you have to see it in person to fully appreciate the cover.

She said she was going to buy my a Swedish version, but interestingly, this was the only edition she could find in the store. (I have no idea what bookstore she in or if it was a chain or indie or anything like that.)

I'm really excited though. It's the first copy of Harry Potter I own that isn't one of my original American hardcovers from the first time I bought each of the books. (I want all the newer American editions, but none of that has happened yet.) I can't wait to be able to say I've read Philosopher's Stone as well as Sorcerer's Stone, but since I'm about halfway through the second book on my re-read, it may be a while before that actually happens.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Fact Checking

After practically growing up with the Internet, I think the most important thing I've learned is to not assume something is true unless you've got other sources that back it up. In fact, I've really honed my Googling skills over the year, and I use them. If something feels off or like it needs double checking, I jump on it.

Sure, there are still times where I don't bother to look into something or am falsely convinced by something, but usually, I wind up working out the truth eventually. Overall, I'd say I'm pretty good at knowing when something isn't a good source or someone's saying something that's wrong. And for any big claims I see, I definitely need to go find another source that helps confirm it, just in case.

It blows my mind that there are still people out there who never seem to check things. I don't know how they've never learned that that's a smart idea. But you see fake facts being spread around over and over again, and it really gets on my nerves, especially when I see the same false information for the tenth time. I can't help but ask myself, "Why is this still going around? Haven't enough people looked into it and confirmed that it's false?"

But I can't be the Internet police who jumps in and informs someone every single time they spread false information. Besides being obnoxious, I don't want to put in the time and effort of that. Still, it drives me crazy. It's one of my biggest pet peeves, and the Internet makes sure to provide me with more than enough examples of it.

Life Post: Post-Holiday Rest

While holidays are nice for various reasons, especially seeing family, I have to say that I'm glad the Fourth of July is over. The way the past week played out (i.e. me getting hardly any sleep for the second half of the week) didn't help prepare me for a holiday yesterday. I was exhausted.

And I'm still a little exhausted today, although I got far more sleep last night than I'd been getting during previous nights. Today's been a calm day though, and I'm thankful for that. I'm hoping the entire week will be because I think I need it after the past several days.

I haven't had time to do all that much since I posted my last one of these yesterday, but I did post on my writing blog just before this. I talked about Harry Potter and what it is that draws people back to it.

Now, I'm going to go back to reading because that sounds like a nice way to spend the rest of my Sunday.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Life Post: Fourth of July 2015

Happy Fourth of July to all of the Americans reading this. I hope you're having a nice holiday. I did for the most part. My family has a cookout every summer, but while it's technically a Fourth of July cookout, it rarely actually falls on the fourth. This year it did, and it was fun.

My mom's side of the family is huge, and this is the biggest get together that we manage each year usually. (Although in recent years another aunt and uncle have started having the family together for Thanksgiving as well.) Even so, the entire family is never there. We're too big and spread out, and we only seem to get more spread out over the world each year. (Primarily because a good few family members are military and get stationed in different places.) But it's still nice to see the ones that manage to come.

Plus, this year the weather was particularly nice. It was the coolest I can remember it being for years, and there was a pretty nice breeze the majority of the time.

The only downside is that I'm not feeling my best today, and long story short, I wound up coming home early. So I'm going to miss the fireworks, which have yet to happen. I debated going back out there just for the fireworks, but I don't think I'm up for it. There's too much stuff to deal with at the moment.

It was fun getting to spend time out there though, and I'm happy I got to see so much of my family. And also get caught up on family news, like that one of my cousins officially has another kid. She was born a couple of days ago, so that's exciting.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Life Post: Caves Are Awesome

I didn't think all that much had happened since my last life post, but then I went to right this and realized there kind of has been. I think the fact that I've been exhausted the past couple of days makes it feel like it's been a longer period of time. A lot of what I've been doing is the same exact stuff I've said in past life posts this summer.

Last Friday though, my family went to Mammoth Cave. For people who haven't heard of Mammoth Cave, it's the longest known cave system in the world. They have a bunch of different tours and the one we went on was called the Domes and Dripstones tour. It was really, really cool, especially the "dripstones" part where we got to see all of the really cool formations. We also got to walk through a part where all of the rocks are broken up in pieces and are only staying up because they form this natural arc. I can't really explain it because I don't fully understand how it works, but basically, they all look like they're going to tumble down on you at any second. It's seriously like piles of rock on the sites and are all slid together like a puzzle, and they're like that even over your head. According to the tour guide though, they're fit together in a way that keeps them from falling. It's really neat.

A photo posted by Haley Keller (@hmweasley) on

Despite not living all that far away, it was actually my first time going to Mammoth Cave, and it was just awesome. I took a million pictures at the end because it looked so cool. And I only hit my head on a rock once. I loved it.

The other thing that's probably the most note-worthy was that we had to drive to Louisville on Wednesday to pick my sister up from the airport. She'd been in Sweden for a month, and her plane back arrived around eleven at night. Plus, then we had to wait around forever for her luggage. I ended up going to bed at two that night, and while that's not all that much later than I typically go to bed, I wound up getting up early the next day. So I spent all of yesterday feeling half asleep. Luckily, today I feel much better.

Regina brought me several things from Sweden that are awesome, including a One Direction tour shirt from the Europe leg of the tour, but what I'm most excited about it a Bloomsbury edition of the first Harry Potter book. It's so pretty, and it's actually the first time I've owned a Harry Potter book that isn't one of my original hardback American editions. I'm absolutely obsessed. And now I can read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone instead of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. It's kind of funny though because I just started book two on my Harry Potter re-read, so it may be a bit before I go back and read this copy.

Other than that, my days have still been filled with a lot of writing, but a bit less reading. I'm slipping behind on my reading challenge again. I'm about ready to just throw my hands in the air and give up. Maybe I set the goal too high this year even though it's only slightly higher than last years (which I finished really early).

Writing wise, I've started working on the sequel to my Twilight fanfiction. I'm pretty excited with how it's coming along and where this one's going to go. I've also updated my writing blog several times. I talked about being a fan of something before knowing how it ends, and I also wrote about why I chose to name the characters Ledia and Huritt in the story I've been working on called The Society. Over on Youtube, I talked about my ten OTPs and also did my monthly wrap-up and TBR.