Monday, October 31, 2016

Book Review: Story Genius by Lisa Cron

ISBN: 1607748908
Published: August 9th, 2016
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Received: Blogging for Books
Read from September 12th to 18th, 2016
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Following on the heels of Lisa Cron's breakout first book, Wired for Story, this writing guide reveals how to use cognitive storytelling strategies to build a scene-by-scene blueprint for a riveting story.
Story Genius is a foolproof program that saves writers from penning hundreds of pages only to realize that something's not working and they have to start again. Informed by story consultant Lisa Cron's science-based insights into how story structure is built into the architecture of the brain, this guide shows writers how to plumb the nitty-gritty details of their raw idea to organically generate a story scene by scene. Once writers reach the end of Cron's program, they will have both a blueprint that works and plenty of compelling writing suitable for their finished novel--allowing them to write forward with confidence.


This book is unlike many of the writing books I've read in the past in that it lays out steps to take to follow a very specific writing process. Most of the books I've picked up about writing in the past offer general advice instead of laying out a direct method.

In the beginning, I was skeptical of how much information from Cron's book I would actually use, but by fairly early in, she had managed to win me over quite a bit. For one thing, I enjoy her writing style. It made just reading the book pleasurable. But, also, I enjoyed quite a lot of her ideas about how to brainstorm for the book, how to outline/blueprint using scene cards, and how to use those to write your story. It's a more detailed method than I have often used in the past, and her method sounds more organized than I often am about it all.

Needless to say, I was won over, and I have decided to start from scratch with a novel I was working on and was currently unhappy with. I'm going to trash what I had (not literally because I can't bring myself to delete so much work), and I'm going to start over with the method in this book. Actually, I've already started as we speak. It will be a fairly long process, of course, but we'll see how it all works out. Maybe I'll decide that it's too detailed for me and abandon it.

For now, though, I find this method appealing, and I also enjoy Cron's writing style. I would recommend this book to any other writers out there for both of those reasons. Her method won't be right for everyone, but I do think it could be very helpful, especially to newer writers who really need help with how to flesh out their plans for a story.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Teddy Lupin (Not Being) in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

It's time to talk about one of the true travesties of Cursed Child: Teddy Lupin doesn't appear in the play. In fact, he's not even mentioned. Not even once. What?

Going into Cursed Child, I was worried about anticipating anything specific from it, including seeing any certain characters. Still, I did think Teddy would likely appear in at least some capacity. I, at the very least, didn't expect him to not even be mentioned.

Of course, he's not the only character who wasn't in the story. Hugo is only mentioned vaguely and isn't even on the platform at the beginning despite being in that scene of Deathly Hallows. That seems strange. It also seems strange that we see so little of Lily and James throughout the play. Then there are the various Weasley cousins. All of these characters should be at Hogwarts for at least some of the story, and I find it hard to believe that they don't have any impact on Albus. They should, at the very least, have as much to do with what's happening as Rose does. Why have such a focus on Rose's rejection of Albus but give us no idea what his relationship with the rest of the family is? The idea that he just doesn't talk to them seems too easy for me.

But that's a different rant. Teddy's not at Hogwarts during the story. That much is true. I would have been okay with him just being mentioned once because of that, but this complete lack of a mention is just ridiculous.

I'm biased; it's true. I love Teddy, and I always want to see more of him. I would have loved the opportunity to get to know his personality and not just have to speculate.

But why were so many people not even mentioned? You can say that the cast was limited because it was a play, but that doesn't mean that some characters should be ignored as if they don't even exist.

I'm bitter about it, if you can't tell.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Life Post: Voting and Break

This week has been one of those that's busy, but it's busy with so many small things that it's difficult to talk about them in a post.

I've been to the doctor twice this week. Once to get a TB test and again to get the test read. I also got fingerprinted again. This time it was done digitally, which was remarkably like getting it done with ink except with less mess on my hands afterward. I also got a haircut today, but it was just a trim.

The most noteworthy thing I've probably done so far this week is vote. I went to the courthouse with my sister for early voting back on Monday, so that's one task that I have out of the way. But don't worry, I still get to listen to all of the election coverage that you do until election day, despite having already voted. I'm sure it's going to be loads of fun.

Back towards the beginning of my fall break, I think I mentioned somewhere online that this was the first time I'd had a two week fall break. As it turns out, they feel significantly longer than fall breaks that are only a couple of days long. It's been really nice. It kind of feels like I've been on break forever, which could probably be seen as either a good or a bad thing. Oddly enough, I actually think these weeks are going by slower than the typical school week does. We'll see if that holds true once I'm back at school.

Draco's Relationship with the Golden Trio in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

For all of Cursed Child's faults, there were some aspects of its story that leave room for interesting discussions. Not necessarily in a "this was so great!" way, but interesting discussion nonetheless.

One of those, for me, is Draco's relationship with Harry, Ron, Hermione, and also Ginny throughout the play.

Many Harry Potter fans spent years hoping that Draco would be friends with the Golden Trio by the end of the series (or at least be on his way there), and I know many were disappointed when he wasn't. I wasn't one of the fans waiting for such a thing to happen. To be honest, I never much cared about Draco's fate since I disliked him, and I think it's only now that I'm older that I've begun to understand why the idea was appealing to others. Though I still can't say it's appealing to me. I feel satisfied with the way Draco's story ended in the seventh book.

As I wasn't one of those fans, I do wonder how those fans felt when they read Cursed Child. What they had wanted from the books more or less happened (although quite possibly on a smaller scale than they had hoped for), but it happened in Cursed Child, which...Well, it isn't the Harry Potter series is where I'll leave that thought.

Personally, I found Draco's story within Cursed Child interesting, and I cared about it far more than I remember ever caring about his story in the Harry Potter series. I'd really like to know what sort of communication Harry and Ginny had with Draco (and Astoria before she died) in the years prior to Cursed Child. Their sons were best friends, but I can't figure out if Scorpius and Albus visiting each other's houses during breaks was a thing. Can you imagine Harry sending his son off to spend a week with the Malfoys? It would be strange for everyone involved, and seeing such a thing would no doubt be interesting.

Such a thing wouldn't necessarily mean Draco and Harry had to directly communicate though. They could have done it entirely through their sons, which is what I would assume was happening based on the play. Why go through the trouble of all the awkwardness when you can just tell your son to pass on a message? It's what I would do in their positions, not going to lie.

Cursed Child also raises some interesting questions about Draco as a husband and as a father for me, and I'm exploring each of those to a certain extent in the Harry Potter fanfiction that Cursed Child has inspired me to write. What I'm not really exploring in that fanfiction is Draco's relationship with the other characters, which is probably why I've ended up writing this post.

I kind of liked Draco's relationship with the others in this story. I never thought I'd say that, but I do. It didn't come across as that cheesy to me like so many other parts of Cursed Child did (which is impressive considering the redemption of such characters can often seem unrealistic to me), and the way Draco was portrayed in the play did make it feel like it had been a long time coming. I do, however, wish that the play had explored how Draco's own feelings had changed over time. I get that it wasn't Draco's story, and since this was a play, it would have been even more difficult to get such internal feelings across without adding a lot of time onto the play. Still, I kind of wish for it.

Cursed Child kind of made me want a Draco story about falling in love with Astoria and how his perceptions changed after the war. I think it could be quite compelling based on Cursed Child, and that's not something I would have said prior to reading the play. So I guess that's one thing I can think Cursed Child for along with Scorpius Malfoy's existence.

This is turning into something more than a post about Draco's relationship with the Golden Trio. Ultimately, I think, Cursed Child made me care more about Draco Malfoy than I ever had in the past. I'm not sure what that means about my feelings for him within the actual Harry Potter books, but I'm having a fun time exploring it.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Life Post: Writing, Unit Planning, Kentucky Down Under, Etc.

As it turns out, fall break is shaping up to be somewhat busy. There's a lot I need to get done by the end of fall break, so most of my time has been focusing on that. Some of it is taking longer than I had planned.

I know I've been talking about the Harry Potter fanfiction I'm writing because I'm just so in love with it that I keep gushing about it. However, I took a break from writing it for a few days in order to work on other stuff more. It was only a few days, and I actually did work on my novel over that time, so it wasn't a complete break from writing to do other things. That being said, I started writing the fanfiction again yesterday. I'm still so incredibly excited to be writing it, so at least I haven't burnt out on it yet.

There were two things I was really focusing on when I took my break from writing: my unit plan and getting some stuff together for an application (that I'm gradually talking more about despite telling myself that I wouldn't).

Immediately when school starts back, I'll be teaching my own unit plan. The entire unit is planned, yet I don't feel like it is. I don't feel like it's ready despite having at least a general idea of what is happening each day and a much more detailed idea of what's happening for the first half of the unit. I still feel like there's so much to do, and truthfully, there is. A lot goes into this sort of thing, and I'm sure there are things that I've forgotten that I'll only realize later. This is much more intimidating than just creating individual lesson plans, which was what I had been doing up to that point. Even though I'm pretty much only doing a bunch of those together (and doing everything that goes along with them), I think I'm making myself feel like it's even more intimidating than that. At any rate, I've been spending a lot of time on that and acting like I won't be able to do anything with the unit plan once I'm already teaching the beginning of it (including trying to make every single worksheet and handout before the end of break).

Then, like I said, I'm applying for a job. Let's just leave it there for now. That much isn't shocking since I graduate in December, but I'm going to stay somewhat vague, since this has no guarantee of happening, and I don't want to talk all about something that doesn't happen.

What I will say is that 1. I have to get an FBI background check, and because I messed up the last application, I had to schedule a new fingerprinting appointment for next week, which is great. And 2. I had to get a physical yesterday, which involved peeing in a cup. That was an adventure and one I'd be okay with never having again. I still have to get a TB test, but I have to go back for that next week, since they wouldn't have been able to read it in 48 hours because of the weekend.

Wow, this feels like even more stuff now that I've written it all out, but I'm not actually done. Today my family and I went to Kentucky Down Under, which was a lot of fun. I don't actually think I'm going to talk about it much now because I filmed some stuff there. We got to feed and pet kangaroos though, which was pretty awesome, and I got to pet some horses, one of whom was pressing his face into my stomach and it was wonderful. Oh, and a lorikeet pooped on me, so that was fun.

Overall, I'd say that fall break is going pretty well, even if I still have quite a bit to get done before it's over. Fingers crossed that, when break comes to a close, I'll feel like I've actually accomplished everything that I need to.

Friday, October 14, 2016

I Am the Reader Book Tag

The I Am the Reader tag was organized by Penguin Teen to promote the book The Reader by Traci Chee. As far as I'm aware, this was a tour meant for booktube, as that is where I found it after seeing Misty's and Mallory's videos. However, I am going to answer the questions in written form.

The Reader is about a world where no one reads. The main character Sefia discovers a book, an object that she has never heard of before. Because of the themes of The Reader, this tag is meant to celebrate being a reader, which I think is an amazing idea, and despite not having read the book (I'd really like to), I had to participate in this tag.

Choose one word that describes being a reader.

Eye-opening. That's the first word that comes to mind for me. It's incredible how, through books, we can live lives that we would never know otherwise, and I mean this whether we're talking about fiction or nonfiction. There are so many nonfiction books that force you to look at perspectives that you wouldn't have otherwise and to get to know the people whose stories they tell deeply.

What's the very first book you fell in love with?

I've been reading for as long as I can remember, and I'm sure that there were some early books that I loved but can no longer remember. When it comes to those I can remember, I'm not going to surprise anyone by choosing Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling. Through a combination of factors, Harry Potter provided an entirely new reading experience for me.

I know I re-read many books as a kid, but the Harry Potter series was the first time I really discussed a book in depth with others. Doing so forced me to notice things about the story I wouldn't have otherwise, and I think it helped deepen my love for the books.

Hardcover or paperback.

Always paperback. Not only are they easier to read, paperback are almost always cheaper, so they're going to win out every time for me. Not only are hardcovers harder to hold as you read, I often feel like I'm too protective of my hardcovers. Maybe it has something to do with the higher price or just a general feeling that hardcovers are more "valuable"?

For whatever reason, hardcover books feel like something I need to protect. I'm horrified of breaking the spine, and I live in constant fear of damaging them. With paperbacks, however, I love when they come to have a well-read feel to them. It feels special and like a mark of pride for the book.

Not even I fully understand why I have two opposite opinions on the condition of the book based on its format, but I do.

How has reading shaped your identity?

Since I was a kid, I've thought of myself as a book worm. That might have been one of the first labels I even gave myself, and for quite a while, I think it was my defining characteristic in my own mind.

Of course, there's more to my identity than being a reader, but there's no denying that being a reader is a huge part of who I am. Without it, I think I would be an entirely different person.

What book do you read when you need to be comforted?

Nine times out of ten it will be Harry Potter, although I used Harry Potter as a security blanket more frequently when I was younger. Actually, I used to pull out a Harry Potter book during thunderstorms. My grandmother who lived with us used to pull out her rosary to pray during storms, and whether it was growing up with that or genetics, I was incredibly anxious during storms as a kid. At some point, I started playing a game with my sister during storms where we'd open up a Harry Potter book to a random page, read a quote, and the other had to guess who'd said it.

As my sister had never read the books, I did tend to guess correctly more often than she did, but I remember her getting quite competitive about it. I feel like we did that for quite a long time in order to take our minds off storms.

Who taught you to be a reader? (Or did you do it all on your own?)

I didn't do it all on my own, though I can't point out one specific person either. My family read to me before I could read on my own, so they have to be given credit. I also think I had some great teachers in elementary school who encouraged reading and gave us opportunities to read books in class either that we'd chosen on our own or that they'd picked out for us. I found many of the best books I read as a kid because of my teachers, particularly my fourth, sixth, and eighth grade teachers. (Though there were some not so great choices in there too. Let's not talk about the books we had to read in fifth grade. I don't think I enjoyed any of them.)

Describe your dream reading lounge.

There would be books everywhere. Obviously. Ideally, they would be organized in some sort of system that I knew well so that I could easily find what I was looking for, which would be particularly necessary because of how many books there would be (we are talking dreams after all).

Most of the space would be taken up with books with only a small area with a cozy place to sit and read.

One very important aspect: I would want there to be really great lighting. I know warm lighting can seem cozy to a lot of people, but I really don't enjoy it, especially when it takes on a red tinge. (Is anyone cringing? I feel like that's not a popular answer.) I don't want to feel like I'm straining my eyes when I'm trying to read for long stretches of time.

What book changed the way you act or see the world?

I really liked the first part of Mallory's answer to this question in her video. She mentioned that it was hard to pick out specific ways reading had shaped her but that she was sure that most things she'd read had in some way. I feel the same way.

Each book I read shifts my perception of the world ever so slightly. I don't mean that in an "I'm easily swayed by new opinions. I'll believe everything" sort of way. I just mean that each book provides me with a new way of looking at the world, and even if I disagree with everything the book says, it will still have an impact on how I think about the world and therefore have an effect on my identity.

I'm sure some books have had a bigger influence than others. I think it's easier to pick out ways that some nonfiction books have shaped me than many fiction books, but I think that's a matter of perception than it is them actually having a larger influence. (With many nonfiction books, I think what they're trying to say about the world is often up to less interpretation than in fiction, so it's there on the surface, easily seen.)

That's all of the questions. I'm not going to tag anyone specific, but if you'd like to do this tag, then feel free. If you do, please let me know in the comments. I'd love to check out your answers.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Ron/Hermione in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry as a Father in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Welcome to another post where I talk about Cursed Child in more detail, ending on far more negative of a note than I wish it did. Today's topic is Harry's parenting skills (or lack of) in Cursed Child.

Over the past few years, several of my favorites series have gotten spin offs that included the son of the previous main character as one of the characters: Avatar, Naruto, and Harry Potter. Each of these spin offs included at least one storyline about the tension between said previous main character and their child(ren), which has been interesting.

I took Aang's failings as a father pretty well because I was happy with how the story was handled. With Naruto, I admit that I haven't watched everything surrounding Boruto yet, but from what I've seen, I think I'll like how it's handled. In the end, neither Aang nor Naruto were miserable failures at parenting. They just had conflicts with their children and weren't perfect, which is realistic, and overall, I think Avatar and Naruto both handled those storylines just fine. I got what the conflict between parent and child was, and I could believe that conflict happened based on the characters and their circumstances.

Cursed Child, on the other hand, didn't do a good job with the father/son conflict. I don't think that because I can't bear to see Harry as anything other than a perfect father. I could handle that.

The problem is that the conflict within Cursed Child makes no sense. Not only does the audience never know why Harry and Albus are fighting, Harry and Albus both admit in the book itself that they don't know why they're fighting. That's just...not how stories work...

Cursed Child is an entire book about a conflict between a dad and his kid except said dad and kid don't even understand why there's a conflict in the first place. There just is. Sure, they think it's about Albus being in Slytherin at first, but I think from a reader's perspective it's obvious from the beginning that it isn't. Even Harry and Albus figure that out later on, but then they never come up with a reason for it later. So we're left with a story about a conflict that isn't actually a conflict, and that's not a real story.

I think that, ultimately, was where Cursed Child completely fell apart. Although there are plenty of other bits and pieces of it that weren't great, making your primary conflict actually nonexistent means you don't have a story. There has to be something driving a conflict, and in this case, we had nothing.

Yes, there was the messing around with time and having to fix it, but that was never the primary conflict. It was supposed to be secondary to the conflict between Albus and Harry, but that "primary" conflict wasn't there.

I don't even know how to describe it because it seems like such a mess, but then again, I guess that's how I feel about Cursed Child as a whole. It was more or less a mess.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Rose Granger-Weasley in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

#CritYourFaves: Albus/Scorpius in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Queerbaiting?

This month I'm participating in #CritYourFaves, a blog festival hosted by Aentee at Read at Midnight. The purpose of this blog festival is to take a critical look at the things we love. We all love works that have problematic aspects, and while it's okay to like works that have problems, that doesn't mean we should let them off the hook. In many ways, it's more important to critique the things you love than anything else, which is why I'm so glad that Aentee put this festival together. Critiquing our faves is going to make a much more substantial difference than critiquing the things we hate.

When it came to signing up for a topic, I was indecisive at first. There wasn't a lack of ideas. I'm all too aware of a number of problems within my favorite works. Queerbaiting in Cursed Child was a topic that immediately came to mind, probably because Cursed Child has been on my mind a lot since it was released.

The idea was immediately the one that screamed to me the loudest, but I was hesitant. Surely, there was a better person than me to talk about such a topic, but I made myself write it down on the sign up form anyway, knowing I'd be annoyed with myself if I didn't. This topic has already been talked about by others more eloquently than it will be here, but this is an important topic, one that deserves to be talked about.

Before I get into queerbaiting within Cursed Child, however, I want to make sure everyone reading this post is aware of what queerbaiting is. It's a new term and one only common in certain circles, so I'm sure it would be easy for someone to stumble across this post without knowing it.

Queerbaiting is when the creator (or creators) of a work (whether that be literature, television, film, etc.) deliberately add hints of a romantic relationship between two characters of the same gender in the hopes of keeping certain factions of their fandom (particularly the queer members) happy. However, the creators have no intention of following through and developing a queer relationship because they want to keep the rest of the fans happy, and sometimes, the baiting can be used for comedic effect.

Countless works have been guilty of this. TV shows especially.

(Another important note about language in this post: I will be using the term "queer" throughout instead of LGBT, LGBT+, LGBTQIA, etc. While this term has a history of being used pejoratively, it has been reclaimed in more recent years as an inclusive term for the LGBT+ community, as not every identity is represented within the initialism, and as a label some choose as the primary label for their sexuality. Use of this term can still be controversial, but I have used it within this post in an effort to show that I am referring to all queer identities, not just those labeled within the initialism.)

Now, to get to Cursed Child. I do want to start this discussion by saying that I think it's debatable whether or not Cursed Child contains queerbaiting in the most literal sense of the term. That is, I'm not sure if there's enough evidence to say that the creators realized what they were doing. However, that doesn't erase what is in the text, which is what I am going to focus on instead of what intentions may or may not have been behind the text. In any case, being oblivious to the harm actions cause does not erase the harm of those actions.

In my original review of Cursed Child, I discussed how out of the blue Scorpius' crush on Rose came to me at the end. I hadn't interpreted their interactions earlier in the play as a crush on Scorpius' part. Because there was such an emphasis on Scorpius and Albus' friendship, I merely interpreted those parts as Scorpius wanting to become friends with Rose for Albus' sake.

I do acknowledge that this is a play first and foremost and how clear Scorpius' supposed crush is could depend a lot on how those scenes are portrayed by the actor. I haven't seen the play performed on stage.

What is both in the book version and what has to be in the stage version (as far as I can tell) is the intensity of Albus and Scorpius' friendship. What somewhat amuses me is the mentions of the Golden Trio's friendship within Cursed Child and the implications that it's an epic friendship that Albus should aspire to. Yes, the Golden Trio's friendship is epic, and most of us aspire to have friendships just like Harry, Ron, and Hermione's friendship. However, Albus and Scorpius take "friendship" to a whole new level, whether you think there's something romantic there or not. They're basically light years ahead of the Golden Trio as far as intense friendships go.

I know I'm not the only one who saw that while reading. Plenty of others have said it. If I hadn't been so unwilling to get my hopes up (I suppose I'm disillusioned), I would have expected them to end up together. If one of them were female, they would have ended up together. There is little doubt in my mind about this. It's only heteronormativity and the fact that some (or should I say "many"?) see a relationship between two boys and immediately assume that it's not romantic. They can be intense as they want, but "Nope. Not romantic."

To be fair, there is always going to be a gray area between friendships and romantic relationships. Where exactly that line rests is negotiated between people, and it can vary depending on the individuals involved. However, culturally speaking, there's a certain range we expect that line to fall within.

It is difficult for me to wrap my mind around Scorpius and Albus' friendship being platonic largely because of the intensity of their friendship. I love fictional friendships. I love strong, unbreakable fictional friendships, which is epitomized in the Golden Trio. However, Scorpius and Albus felt like something else while I was reading. "Friendship" doesn't seem to cut it for them. I've never seen two friends with that intense of a "friendship" unless romantic feelings were somehow involved (even if they were one-sided). I can't separate that from the way I view the book or the way I view Albus and Scorpius. There's more there. There has to be.

I'm not alone in this. The Guardian published an article in which Albus and Scorpius' relationship is described as "intensely codependent".

Vox has a particularly great article that also touches on other issues surrounding Harry Potter. Here's one particular gem, though I highly encourage you to read the whole thing:
But Rowling’s wizarding world is already rife with intimate straight male friendships: Again and again, her plots turn on male camaraderie, male rivalry, and, often, betrayal among male friends. Harry and Ron have a deep and intimate friendship for seven books. What they don’t have is queer subtext: no repeated moments of charged physical contact, no repeated speeches of how much they love each other and can’t live without one another’s friendship, no instances where seeing their friend’s romantic interest in a girl inspires a rush of jealousy. In short, they have none of the specific homoerotic hallmarks of Albus and Scorpius’s relationship.
And these are just examples of two big sites writing about the topic. This says nothing about the countless Tumblr users who have said these same things and who are understandably upset.

Harry Potter is magical to so many of us. It's our escape from the real world, and understandably, it is a place where fans want to see themselves represented. Harry Potter has made strides in some ways, such as by casting a black woman as Hermione, but it has failed in so many others, from the train wreck that is the treatment of Native Americans in the North American backstories to the complete absence of queer characters (except a belated mention of Dumbledore) from the Harry Potter universe. We're doing a disservice to everyone if we don't discuss these failures at least as much as we discuss the successes.

Even more than that, it's one level of tragedy for Harry Potter to have no queer characters. It's another for there to be queerbaiting within a Harry Potter story. While queerbaiting in general is terrible, I'm sure I'm not the only fan who is particularly disappointed to see Harry Potter try to pull it off. Of all the things I love, Harry Potter holds the most special place in my heart, and it can be better than what it did in Cursed Child. I can't help but remember Albus and Scorpius talk of being tested within Cursed Child—this was a test for Harry Potter, and Harry Potter failed.

There's plenty more that could be said on this topic, I know. That's why it's important that both Cursed Child and queerbaiting in other works continue to be talked about. I'd love to continue to this discussion through the comments or Twitter, Tumblr, etc. Just please remember to stay respectful.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Life Post: Fall Break

I thought I'd written one of these posts just a couple of days ago, but as it turns out, it was nearly two weeks ago. Whoops.

My fall break has started as of Friday, and it's feeling pretty strange to not be going to school. (I say after only one full day that I typically would have been at school for.) Since the school I student teach at his on a balanced schedule, we get two weeks of fall break. That doesn't mean two weeks of just resting though. I have to have my entire unit planned before we start back, since I start teaching it that first day back.

Before break, I'd already made decent progress with my unit plan, but there is still more than enough to do in the time given to us. I'll manage to figure it out. I'm sure.

Maybe I'll have more to say later in fall break when more has happened. As of right now, that's basically it.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Life Post: Harry Potter Fanfic and Autumn Weather

This is another one of these posts where I don't feel like I have much to say, but I want to keep the blog updated. Student teaching is keeping me very busy as well as some other stuff that I'm going to stay quiet about for now.

Once again, I'm going to talk more about my writing than anything else I think. So, I've mentioned in several different places online that I began writing a Harry Potter fanfiction after reading Cursed Child because I was "inspired" by the play that I didn't much enjoy. Well, I've written a small fraction of the scenes in my current outline for that fanfiction, and I already have more than 40,000 words written. If I keep going that way, this fanfiction could become massive. I'm talking possibly the longest thing I've ever written, so that's...somewhat intimidating to be honest. But I'm also really excited about this fic and think I could end up being quite proud of it. We'll see how it goes. Considering the potential length, it could be quite a while before anyone's reading it.

In other news, it finally feels like autumn here, which is amazing most of the time, but it's not quite as fun in the mornings when I'd much rather it was warmer. Still, I'm appreciating it not being so hot the past few days, and I'm hoping it stays like this (without getting hotter or colder) for a bit.

Dragons: Race to the Edge Review: Season 1