Liebster Blog Award

For those of you who don’t know (I didn’t know), website like this the Liebster Blog Award is an award that is given to a blog with less than 200 followers (I have about 40 so that’s definitely me) and its basically to given some recognition to those up and coming blogs who are just starting or are trying to get some notice.

I’d really like to thank Geeky Book Snob blog for nominating me for this award.

In order to really accept your nomination, check you need to thank the people who nominated you (done, and done. I am so gosh darn polite), you need to paste the award image on your blog (done, and done again), and you need to choose other bloggers to nominate for this award (see below).

Another little necessary tidbit for this award (I’m learning as I go here people haha), is to either tell the word 11 little facts about your or answer the questions that your nominators asked on their blogs. I kind of have both of those. So what I’m going to do is do 6 little facts about me, answer five questions from the Geeky Book Snob‘s blog and then finish with my own nominations. How does that sound? You don’t like? Well, its my blog now, isn’t it?

6 Little Facts About Me

1. I am currently writing my second novel. The name of the novel is A Little Less Than Famous. My style of writing is definitely my own, but my biggest influences on my style would be Meg Cabot and Sarah Dessen. The book centers around a young woman named McKinley Evans who meets famous Jake Kennedy and how their lives are changed. It should hit Kindle and all other e-readers by December.

2. I have five tattoos. I have the Deathly Hallows symbol tattoo on my right wrist, I have “wit beyond measure” on my right wrist and “man’s greatest treasure” on my left wrist. I have the Rebel Alliance symbol on my back, just below my neck, and “The Last Enemy that Shall be Destroyed is Death” on my left shoulder blade. Then on my right ankle I have musical notes from my favorite Something Corporate song “Konstantine” and the word “Always” from Harry Potter.

3. I read really really fast. I mean, seriously really fast. I usually blow through a book in a few hours, if its a brand new book. I read Deathly Hallows in roughly five hours. I just finished The Casual Vacancy in about six hours, Mark of Athena in about four, etc. I just blow through books. I could read probably about 4-8 books a week, if I had the time between my friends, my boyfriend, my family, work and school.

4. The current television shows that I watch are Once Upon a Time, Doctor Who, Revolution, Switched at Birth, Suburgatory, The Walking Dead, Guys with Kids…and I think thats it. For now. :D

5. My favorite movie in the whole world is Star Wars: A New Hope. (Empire Strikes Back comes a close second). People always find that insanely surprising. “What, Harry Potter isn’t your favorite movie?!” No, its not. I adore the HP movies but they’re not my favorite. Star Wars is. Harry Potter is my favorite BOOK.

6. I have two favorite places in the world: Disneyland and Angel Stadium and I spend a ton of time at both of them. I love Disneyland because I’ve been going there since I as a kid and to me, no matter how crowded it gets or how much it changes, it just never loses that magic. Why do you think I’ve had an annual pass the last three years? And Angel Stadium? Well I love my Los Angeles Angels, my Halos. I love baseball and I love being there to see my guys play.

Now, questions from my nominator:

Who would you want to have dinner with most in the world?

Easy. Joanne Rowling. I mean, she’s my main girl. She’s amazing. The way she transformed the way we write and the way we read. Her books changed my life. I don’t have 3.5 Harry Potter tattoos for no reason. I would be awed just to be in her presence. I think I would cry during the whole dinner and not be able to actually thank her.

What is your favorite word?

Awesome. If you read this blog, you know that too. I use the word awesome every day in some way or another. I may say it to actually mean awesome or I may use it completely sarcastically like “oh, awesome” when I really mean is “oh, crap”. Awesome.

If you could choose 5 songs that would be the songs to the soundtrack of your life, what would they be?

I’m a boring person so I don’t feel like I’d really have a soundtrack to my life. I mean, I read, I write, I watch movies and TV shows, I hang out with my boyfriend, I go to Disneyland and Angel games, I don’t really have an exciting life haha. So I’ll list my five favorite songs: “Konstantine” by Something Corporate, “Fall” by Something Corporate, “Homesick at Space Camp” by Fall Out Boy, “The Ocean” by Led Zeppelin, and “The Calendar” by Panic! at the Disco.

What is the word you hate the most?

I hate the word “won’t”. Its different to say you can’t…and its another to say you won’t. (Sometimes I think when people say can’t, it just means they won’t.) I just feel like…its often said it terms of doing things for other people or even just doing things for yourself. And you should always do things for other people and for yourself.

If you could choose your own name, what would it be?

I always thought of that when I was younger. My name is Sara so I shared my name with basically my entire grade when I was in school. I thought about going by Elizabeth or Liz or Beth (that’s my middle name) and sometimes I do still think about it. For the most part though, I’ve grown to like my name :D

My Nominations:

The Urge to Write

Seeking Bazinga

The Nerdy Girl

I don’t know a whole lot about this award but I’m honored that there are others out there that would nominate me for something like that, not because I really think I have a shot at winning, but mostly because it means that people are out there actually reading this thing and its not just me, talking to myself in the form of words. I think the biggest compliment a writer can get is to read so that’s really awesome. :D

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Once Upon a Time Returns!

I love fall. I love fall because it has Halloween and Thanksgiving. I love fall because the weather starts to finally cool down (not today though, viagra dosage it was up at about 104 degrees today!) and I can put on cardigans and jeans and boots but not freeze my butt off. And I love fall because some of my awesome favorite television shows come back.

Doctor Who has come back and we allll know how I felt about that.

I’m still awaiting The Walking Dead and Suburgatory. I’ve enjoyed the beginnings of Switched at Birth and I am intriqued, if not completely sold, on Revolution.

Once Upon a Time though…that’s a great show.

I watched all of season one from the beginning and I fell in love with it as soon as it aired. The basic premise is this: we all know our favorite fairy tale characters, Snow White, Prince Charming, the dwarves, the evil queen, Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jiminy Cricket and so on. But do we know them as well as we think? This is an alternate view of all the fairy tales, but its also a modern view too.

The story begins with a woman named Emma, celebrating her 28th birthday. As she celebrates alone, she makes a wish and her son, the son she gave up for adoption ten years earlier finds her and brings her to the town of Storybrooke, Maine. Her son, Henry, says he brings her here for a reason, a purpose. She has to set all the citizens of Storybrooke free, for they are trapped fairy tale characters.

Rewind a little bit: the fairy tale characters live in their fairy tale world. But instead of getting the happily ever after she’s always dreamed of, Snow White is threatened by the evil queen. The evil queen is creating a curse, a curse to take all the people of that world and take them to a world without magic, our world, without any memory of who they are. Their only hope is Emma, the newborn daughter of Snow and Prince Charming, who they send into our world to come back to them when she turns 28 years old.

Usually an episode focuses on a conflict in the real world while flashing back to a conflict of that character as their true self in fairy tale world. The season ends with Emma breaking the curse and the people of Storybrooke remembering who they are. However, they stay in Storybrooke and the evil and cunning Rumplestiltskin brings magic to a land that has none. The season ends.

I couldn’t handle that kind of ending! How do you do that! Think about all the unanswered questions! What is it going to be like for Snow and Prince Charming to finally meet their daughter and know its their daughter? What is that going to be like for Emma, who has been friends with these people for so long? How are all these characters going to act on the evil queen, Regina, who brought them there? What is going to happen now that the magic has returned? SO. MANY. QUESTIONS.

I was very happy with the season premiere of season two. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. They created such a fun and altnerate universe. How would this translate into the second season.

The Good:

I liked the way Emma reacted to Mary Margaret and David becoming Snow and Prince Charming. And I loved the way they reacted back. They are so insanely excited to see her again. The last time they saw her, she was only an hour old? Maybe? Now she’s 28 years old and they are so so happy to see her; she found them and she saved them. But Emma is so reluctant. She’s been friends with them for so long, she’s seen them as equals so its kind of weird for her. It’s extremely real. I liked it so much. Its really awkward and realistic. They are feeling so much and Emma literally has a perpetual “WTF?” sort of attitude about it.

Rumplestiltskin and Belle. I mean, need I say more? Cutest thing ever.

The fact that they just don’t kill Regina. Even though she literally has made their lives a living hell, both in fairy tale world and in real world and she deserves the worst punishment possible, they don’t do it. I feel like it makes them the better people. I also hope that means they make her life a living hell before she does eventually go. The fact is, they didn’t return to their world and they’re in our world with magic and they’re pissed, everyone is pissed at her and it makes for an interesting story.

The Bad:

There isn’t a lot of bad. The only bad about this episode was the kind of messy “flashback” fairy tale parts. They are flashing to Aurora being woken up by Prince Phillip, who is weirdly accompanied by Mulan. Technically these parts are happening about the same time, instead of being flashbacks. When Regina enacted the curse, it left some parts untouched and there were some people left untouched. They hint at a safe haven where the survivors have banded together in a world torn apart. That part is interesting, kind of a little teaser for the rest of the season.

However, the Aurora, Phillip, and Mulan story with the wraith and all that was so confusing and kind of weird. I know this is alternate fairly tale, but Mulan’s presence was random and her being in love with Prince Phillip really bothered me. I also didn’t like Aurora. She was super pretty and her acting was fine but the character itself was really annoying. She was super weak, too much the damsel in distress, not at all the way they portayed Snow and Red and Cinderella. And she has this weird jealousy. She seemed very stereotype. I wasn’t into that.

Besides that though, I definitely enjoyed the episode and I am most looking forward to the rest of the season. I can’t wait to see what happens with Regina, and I can’t wait to see the sort of family bonding that happens between Emma, Snow, Charming and Henry. Its going to be a good season and I can’t wait.

We Say Goodbye to the Ponds

Last night was the fall season finale of Doctor Who, website like this Angels Take Manhattan, cost until it returns in December for the Christmas special. This was the last episode for Amy Pond and Rory Williams.

In all these interviews, try Matt Smith and Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill and Steven Moffat have been saying its a tearjerker and that it was gonna be a total downer. I had heard that for months. That coupled with the fact that it involved the Weeping Angels should’ve given me some idea of what this episode was going to be like.

I wasn’t prepared at all.

Damn you, Steven Moffat, damn you.

In the most wonderful, heartbreaking way possible.

First off, there was the fact that it involved the Weeping Angels. There are so many villians in the world of Doctor Who: the Atraxi, the Daleks, the Master, the Silence, the Cybermen, etc, etc. but one of the scariest ones to me are those damn Angels. I can’t look at a statue without shuddering now. There’s something very creepy about them. They’re so silent, they make no noises and they move so silently. You don’t want to look but you can’t take your eyes off of them. AND they added little baby angels to this episode. Those little giggling things freaked the hell out of me.

I was actually really glad River Song came back. For awhile there, I just couldn’t stand her. Seriously. Every time she came on screen, I wanted to throw my pillow at my TV. I didn’t, of course, because I love my TV but you know what I mean. When River marries the Doctor at the end of season six, I really didn’t know how to feel about it. But with River back, as the Doctor’s wife? I LOVED her. It was weird how much I loved having her back. Especially the way the Doctor is with her. Ugh. So much emotions.

SO MUCH EMOTIONS.

This episode was a huge punch in the gut. a HUGE one. I knew that this was going to be Amy and Rory’s last episode. I knew that. I just didn’t think it was going to affect me that badly.

The Doctor, Amy and Rory are in New York City, 2012, reading in Central Park. Rory goes off to get coffee, comes in contact with a Weeping Angel and gets sent back in time. The Doctor realizes that he is written a book by Melody Malone a.k.a. River Song, outlining the events that are taking place and that will take place. They make their way to 1938, where Rory is transported to and find their way to the Winter Quay, the headquarters of the Angels.

Rory has to die. He has to. Because he just saw himself, eighty-something years old, and so he has to die. Unless there is a paradox. So he runs, he does what every other companion does, he runs. Until he reaches the top of the building and the FLIPPIN Statue of Liberty is chasing after him! And he does something that only Rory would do, only the last Centurion would do. He decides to throw himself off the top of the building, on the faith that it’ll create the paradox needed to get out of that building.

And all I could think was, oh god Rory is going to die! He’s going to die! And wait, what is Amy doing? She’s climbing up on the ledge with him. Oh no, they’re both jumping. They’re both going to die. The incredibly, impossible power that creates the paradox is their crazy insane love for each other. It was so sick and beautiful, I was about to lose it.

And then they all reappear at the Tardis, in 2012, they’re fine. It worked! But I knew, I knew in my heart that this was not how it was going to end. This is Doctor Who we’re talking about. Rose Tyler was trapped in an alternate reality, never to see her Doctor, the one she loved ever again. (As far as we know). Donna Noble loses all her memories of the Doctor; she’ll never remember the amazing thing she has seen and done. The regeneration of the 10th Doctor was the saddest thing in the world…he didn’t want to go! So I knew this couldn’t be it.

Then Rory say his gravestone, an angel appeared and Rory was gone, disappeared off to another time. They can’t go get him, its impossible, there’s no way. And Amy is staring at the Angel, one blink away from disappearing and going along with him. And you can see the Doctor is in serious despair, he’s begging for Amy not to go, he can’t lose her. The Doctor loves Amy; Amy is his best friend. This is when the tears started, in the corners of my eyes, as you just see the Doctor begging Amy not to go.

But of course she goes. Through it all, through all the adventures and danger and insanity, Amy loves Rory. She chooses Rory over the Doctor and she as turns away from the angel to say her final goodbye to the Doctor, she disappears and her name also appears on the gravestone. The Doctor gets one final message, one last goodbye from Amy in the afterword of the book by Melody Malone…saying goodbye, and that her and Rory love him, that they were happy together and to remind the Doctor to never be alone.

I turned to my boyfriend and LOST IT. I cried like a little baby. It was such a sad and bittersweet ending to the Ponds long run with the Doctor. And Matt Smith…Matt Smith shows that utter sadness at losing the two of them. He does an amazing job with that scene that I could feel it. All the emotions. All the feels!

Can I just pause for a quick moment to say how lucky I am to have a boyfriend who lets me cry, and comforts me when things happen to fictional characters that I love? He let me sob my eyes out after the last Harry Potter movie (all those deaths and the fact that it was over…I could barely handle it) and then last night, as I watched Amy and Rory die, he comforted me again. He’s amazing. Okay, moving on…

I thought it was a great way to end the fall season and a great way for Amy and Rory to go out. I felt like…even though it made me sad and it broke my heart, it was a devasting and beautiful way for them to go. Steven Moffat…you little rascal, you just know the perfect way to get a girl to cry.

Then they showed a nice little quick preview of the Christmas special, where Jenna-Louse Coleman will be making her debut as companion, and thats exciting. I can’t believe how long I have to wait until then! I’m going to miss Amy and Rory immensely but I can’t wait to see what the rest of series 7 has in store for us.

What did you all think of Angels Take Manhattan? Did you like it/dislike it? How hard did you cry when Amy and Rory were gone? As always, let me know in the comments.

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Book of the Week: The Casual Vacancy

Hello my nerd friends! It’s Friday, pills which means its that time again, its time for book of the week!

Now, for those of you who aren’t quite sure what that is, or just can’t seem to grasp the idea, you can definitely check out the FIRST EVER Book of the Week, which was posted last week. This is my new weekly segment on WhataNerdGirlSays, and between me and my darling, beautiful and ever so talented friend/fellow blogger, Jackie, we’re gonna bring you some awesome, and maybe not so awesome, books.

Please Please Please keep in mind that any and all Book of the Week posts (and other blog posts) will contain spoilers. I try my best to keep them out as much as possible but they are going to be there.

So let’s get down to business. The book of the week for this week is:

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

So, literally after going to FOUR different Target stores to find this book because people just didn’t seem to grasp the concept that this was the first adult novel from possibly the greatest writer of our time and the first novel from J.K. Rowling since the publishing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in 2007, I finally got this book, went home, sat down and consumed it in about five hours.

I read fast. Really really fast. I read Deathly Hallows in about five hours. I know, I’m a bit of a freak. Moving along now…

This is J.K. Rowling’s first book since Harry Potter. And its her first adult book as well. Its been five years since we’ve had that amazing feeling of new words from her. This was a highly anticipated book, and the title, the cover, the plot…all of these were speculated for months and months.

And now that I’m finished, I’m ready to share. I realize most of the world has probably not read this as fast as me haha but I am willing to share anyway and its my hope that you will enjoy this post once you have read it!

So the basic plot is this: it centers around the small town of Pagford. Pagford has that sort of nose in the air, head in a bubble sort of view of their town. Their town is the center of the universe. They are proud of every little nook and cranny in that town, even the old crumbly 12th century abbey overlooking the town. And there is a sort of hate when it comes to the neigboring town of Yarvil. The people of Yarvil are different, different accents and definitely different social class and the people of Pagford just don’t deal with that sort of thing.

Years ago, before the events of this book take place, Yarvil built more and more homes, to help accomodate the growing population. One of the sections of homes that were built were called the Fields. Now the Fields were not your luxury homes; they were mostly owned by those who didn’t have the means to take care of themselves, those who were on welfare, those who had addictions and now had close access to the rehab center. Because of politics and all that, the Fields and the rehab center bcomes part of Pagford and its jurisdiction. Obviously this does bode well in the Pagford mindset; the Fields needs to be returned to Yarvil and the rehab center needs to come down.

Fast forward many years later to Barry Fairbrother, born and raised in the Fields, who is on the Pagford Parish council and is fighting tooth and nail to keep the Fields in Pagford because of the opportunities that Pagford has given him. After his sudden death (which literally happens in the first chapter), there is an empty seat on the council, a seat that is vitally important in this huge debate about the Fields. As the whole town literally gets involved in this seat battle, you get a glimpse inside this perfect town and how completely imperfect it really is.

The Good or the Bad: 

Now I’m going to say mostly good. I liked it a lot. It caught me right off the bat and kept me interested the entire time. I finished it in about five to six hours so you know that it kept me interested.

Now, one, I do NOT at all recommend this for children. I’d say…a mature sixteen and up for this book. Sorry, little Potter fans, this is NOT a book made for you. Our Rowling’s writings have grown up immensely in this book. We’re talking about the fact that this book is riddled with “F” bombs and the dropping of the “C” word and there is no shortage of sex. (Not like Fifty Shades of Grey here, people. JKR writes realistically!). So just because it has her name on the cover, doesn’t mean its for everyone. Its dark. Very funny, but dark.

I loved the way it bounced between characters. It was all written in third person, which was great, because you were able to see different points of view of the different people in town, but still have those gaps when you didn’t quite know what was going on.

I enjoyed the role of the teenagers in this book. When you’re reading them, you’re not really aware of why they’re there. Its, like, okay, they’re doing teenager stuff and they’re thinking teenager things and that’s all fine and dandy but what does this really have to do with anything? Oh, but it does. You never piss off a teen; there are way too many hormones going on in those bodies to piss off.

One of things that was really hard, harder than I thought it was going to be, was getting away from the fact that this is J.K. Rowling. She’s Miss Potter. The only thing we’ve ever known from her was Harry Potter. And we all know how much Harry Potter takes up of my life. So it was hard to concentrate on that but I kept reminding myself to read it separately of that and I felt like I did a fairly good job of it. I fear there will be many people out there that just won’t be able to do it, which is a tragedy, because if you put aside Harry Potter for a moment, it is a truly great book.

The biggest thing I liked about this book was the kind of web that she spun with all these characters. She bounced around these characters so much and so fluidly that it was hard to keep sometimes, but in a good way. I was left, often times, going “what on earth is going on?!” and I had to keep reading because I had to know what was going to happen next. I had a little bit of a beef with the ending. And it wasn’t necessarily HOW it ended, but how FAST it ended. Suddenly, it was done and I was like WHOA! And was that a sad ending or what? I was practically in tears. JKR has not lost her brutal touch of killing people, lets just say that.

All in all, it was a true enjoyment and a very captivating book. If JKR was ever worried that her book would not be received well because it wasn’t Potter, she had another thing coming. Her writing is amazing and it translates well into this new genre. I hope that Potterheads around the world can put Harry Potter aside for a moment while they read this book. Harry Potter is one of a kind. It was an epic, incredible, amazing, life-chaning journey in the form of a book. It’s hard to duplicate that. But this woman has talent, plain and simple and this book proves that. I definitely hope to see more from her in the future.

So, what did you think? Like/dislike? Why or why not? Let me know! I will be posting more in a couple weeks, as my LADA and I are discussing this book as our book club choice next month and I can’t wait to share all the views! Until then, tell me what you think, as always, in the comments :D

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Stop by next week, as the one and only Jackie reviews Frozen Heat by Richard Castle.

Top Twelve Fictional Places (Oh Why Can’t They Exist?!)

Some of the best things about all these fandoms I’m obsessed with are the awesome worlds that come along with them. I think that’s partly what makes some of these fandoms so damn awesome: the fact that they’re taking place in some mystical, fictional place where amazing things happen. There are so many fictional worlds out there that I wish really existed and there are definitely places that I wish existed. So, of course, I created a list. I had to. I love lists :D and what a better list than one describing all of my favorite fictional places!

WhataNerdGirlSays’ Top 12 Fictional Places 

12. Pokemon World (Kanto, Johto, Etc). 

Pokemon Blue, Yellow and Red are my favorite video games of all time. They were really the first video games that I got into. I adored the show, I collected the cards, I played the game. Of course I did. To this day, I still love watching the show and playing the game (not so much the cards, I just never could understand it haha). I love the world of Kanto. For one thing, you’re ten years old and you’re ready to leave home and go on an awesome adventure. I don’t think I was old enough to walk home from school when I was ten years old! Then there’s all the awesome people, the pokemon, the training, the cool places to go, the battles, and so on. I wish this place was real! I could totally train pokemon! That or I’d just catch them all and stare at them all day because they’re so damn cute.

11. The Kingdom in Howl’s Moving Castle

“In the land of Ingary where such things as seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist…”

This mostly comes from Hayao Miyazaki and the Studio Ghibli team. They do an amazing job in all of their movies; their animation is stunning and the artwork is beautiful. This is what makes me want to live in Howl and Sophie’s world, known as Ingary in the books. I don’t know that they ever call it by anything in the movies but its called Ingary in the books. Yeah, the kingdoms are a little screwed up in their pointless war, but once that’s all done, I feel like it’d be an awesome place to live. The city where the palace is located is bustling and busy and so fantastically metropolitan. Then there’s the beach front town where Howl’s other shop is located where there’s the vast ocean and street market. Plus there’s magic and fancy clothes and it’d be so fun to do all of that. Oh yeah, and I want a fire demon named Calcifer, voiced by Billy Crystal.

10. Hundred Acre Wood

“Wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.”

 I have a completely unhealthy obsession with Winnie the Pooh for a fangirl of twenty-four. I ADORE Winnie the Pooh. I love the old A.A. Milne stories and I can’t get enough of the Disney adaptations. I will sit on that ride over and over again at DisneyLand and you can catch me singing various songs from the movies at any point in time. Is it no wonder that I think it would absolutely and totally brilliant to live in the Hundred Acre Wood. When I think of the Hundred Acre Wood, I think of childhood. It represents childhood so much; think of the last original Disney movie where Christopher Robin leaves the forest to grow up and go to school. And who doesn’t want to revisit their childhood when it involves adventures with a silly ‘ol bear and a nervous little piglet and a gloomy donkey and a bouncy tigger? I know this girl does.

8. Rivendell/the Shire

“Do you remember the Shire, Mr. Frodo? It’ll be spring soon. And the orchards will be in blossom. And the birds will be nesting in the hazel thicket. And they’ll be sowing the summer barley in the lower fields… and eating the first of the strawberries with cream. Do you remember the taste of strawberries?”

I’d like to say that I would love to just live in Middle Earth, but besides Rivendell and the Shire, Middle Earth kind of scares me, even after its saved. It’s so vast and unknown and there are so many creatures of unknown out there and it seems so dangerous. I like to stick close to home. Hobbits don’t stray to far from home, and some people may not like that much, but I don’t think there’s much harm in that. Of course, I want adventures and fun, but in the end, I love coming home. And the Shire is a quaint little countryside home that is perfect for those Hobbits. Besides, I would fit in sooooo well with Hobbits. And there’s Rivendell, where the lure is just the beauty and mysteriousness of it. Elves are such a mystery, even after all the encounters you have with them. They’re gorgeous (hello, Orlando Bloom in a wig. Hubba hubba). There is something very magical about Rivendell.

8. The Burrow

 

“It’s not much, but its home.”

I am part of a big family. I so know what its like to be a Weasley. There are seven kids in the Weasley family and there are six in my family. I think this is partly why Ron is one of my favorite characters; I can totally relate on the whole big family thing. That being said, the Burrow just sounds like everything I could’ve ever wanted in a home. It has the family together in once place, being a family together. It doesn’t have a forced feeling. It’s a real home, with messes in the rooms and the gardens, and homemade blankets and sweaters all over the place and a homemade dinner every night. Even though the Weasleys are poor, they have the Burrow and the Burrow is their home. It feels like a home. Its where their family gathers to be TOGETHER. Its where Harry gets his real, first experience on what its like to have a home and a family. And that fact that it’s a hodgepodge of rooms and additions makes it that much better. Like everything else Weasley, it’s a little crooked, a little out of place, but perfect in every way.

7. Narnia

“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…Come further up, come further in!”

Now I’ve probably said it about a million times already, but I mean MOVIE Narnia, not book Narnia. My quote is from the books, and don’t get me wrong, I do like the books but well that’s a whole ‘nother blog post. I like the idea of Narnia, as this secret place that the Pevensies escape to and its where they belong and where they are able to become themselves. If the Hundred Acre Wood was childhood, Narnia is that middle ground, where a child becomes an adult. All the sons of Adam and daughters of Eve that pass into Narnia give to Narnia…but Narnia gives them just as much back. I like the idea of being able to find a secret, magical land in the back of a wardrobe where I’m going to have adventures and learn more about myself and the world.

6. Tortall

 

“Does anyone in this land act like they’re supposed to?”

The quote itself explains it. Tortall is a land of its own, where things happen that seem so out of the ordinary. The King’s Champion is a woman, one of the most powerful mages in all the world is a woman, there’s woman fighting, there’s schools for the lower classes, there’s so much. Tortall has everything a fangirl could need with knights and mages and fantastic creatures and all of that, but it’s so revolutionary at the same time. It shows equality and tolerance. It promotes the idea of educating your population, all of it. It has a king and queen, who get to know their people, who act like normal people. Girls are amazing in Tortall; they’re clever and ambitious and powerful, just as they are in the real world. I would live in Tortall, easily. I could become a female knight or a mage (if I had the Gift) or a scholar or a Queen’s Riders or join the King’s Own. Tortall represents a sort of crazy wishful world, an example of what we should be. It’s not perfect but its near enough and King Jonathan and Queen Thayet work their butts off to make it so.

5. Time and Space in The Tardis

 

“Think you’ve seen it all? Think again. Outside those doors, we might see anything. We could find new worlds, terrifying monsters, impossible things. And if you come with me… nothing will ever be the same again!”

The Doctor has a way of pulling you, making you want to go with him, even though its dangerous. And it IS dangerous. The Doctor gets himself into crazy, insane, dangerous situations where your life, his life, a species life, the universe is at stake. And yet, you see amazing things as well. There’s a reason that his companions are so enamored with him; there’s a reason they’re so attached and they find it nearly impossible to leave. The Doctor gives you the entire universe, a life that is amazing and unique and different every single time. You literally have the entire universe in the palm of your hand. Anywhere in time and space.You can go anywhere you’d want to go. I couldn’t even begin to make a list of the places I wished to see. I wish that the Doctor’s world existed. I wish he existed and he’d take me along with him.

4. Camp Half-Blood

“Keeping Young Heroes Safe from Harm (Mostly) For Over Three Millennia”

I’ve been absolutely obsessed with Greek mythology for a good chunk of my life. It’s fun and it’s interesting. It was the religion of these people; these tales were what they used to explain everything, whether it was to do with the body, or the nature or anything. I remember wanting to name my cat “Artemis” once and everyone made fun of me. It took me awhile before reading the Percy Jackson series because I thought of it as a little kids’ series. Mistake one. Harry Potter is a kids series and I ADORE it. And I adore Percy as well. How cool to be a demigod, with a god or goddess as a parent (though in the book, they all seem pissed at their parents) and to have cool powers and save the world. Camp Half-Blood sounds so COOL. I wish I could live there. Its like all my obsession with Greek mythology come to life! Obviously I couldn’t be a daughter of Artemis, even though she was always my favorite, but I’d imagine being a daughter of Athena. Athena seems like a good Ravenclaw counterpart.

3. The Galaxy

“For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes”

I want to be a Jedi. I want to live in the Star Wars universe. I want a lightsaber and a blaster. I want to be Princess Leia. I want to rip Han Solo’s clothes off. I want to fly an X-wing or the Millenium Falcon. I want to race pod-racers. I want to save the galaxy. I want to live by the Force and battle the Dark side. I want to be part of the Rebel Alliance. George Lucas created a wonderful, vast, epic world and who wouldn’t want to be a part of it? The fact that the first movie came out in 1977, over thirty years ago, and still enjoys a crazy popularity just shows how captivating this world is. It has those classic elements of a typical fantasy, with the princess and the “knight in shining armor” with the swords (lightsabers) and the evil empire taking over. It has a magical component, it has the wide old man and the loyal retainers. And yet it is set in this badass science fiction world. Its the best of both.

2. Idris 

“To a Shadowhunter, Idris is always home.” 

Shadowhunters are humans who have angel blood and spend their lives fighting demons, and keeping the earth safe from demons. There are Shadowhunters stationed all across the world to keep it safe but their home is the country of Idris, and its capital city, the glass city, Alicante. It is described in the books as the sort of Jerusalem for Shadowhunters. I want to be part of this world and live in Alicante because I want to be a Shadowhunter and marry Jace Lightwood. I’m half-way kidding with that.There’s something intriguing about a glass city where the world’s most powerful warriors and protectors live.

1. Hogwarts

“Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”

“Hogwarts was the first and best home he had known. He and Voldemort and Snape, the abandoned boys, had all found home here. ” 

How much do I really have to explain about this? Hogwarts is my home just as much as it was to Harry and Snape and Tom Riddle. It was the first time I ever felt like I was a part of something. I learned the meaning of good and evil, right and wrong, the meaning of friendship, of love, of bravery, of tolerance, of courage, of happiness and sadness, of gain and loss. I get teared up just thinking about it, just reading those quotes by Queen Rowling. There is nothing in this world that has touched me or changed me like these books have. How could I not want to go to Hogwarts? Its enchanting, and mysterious, and fun and wonderful. It’s every good word that is out there. There is no fictional place in the world of movies and books that I wish was real like Hogwarts. Its real for us. It will always be real for us. Always.

So that’s my list of favorite fictional places. I’m sure there’s about a hundred more that you all are thinking of so share them in the comments! You know I always love hearing from you :D

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LADA…and Me

As I’m sure a lot of you can relate to, link I spent a lot of my life and time in school being teased and being bullied. It’s hard being a nerd. And I’m talking a real nerd. Lately, there’s been this blow up of “I <3 Nerds!” and “OMG I’m so nerdy!” and all that. I’m talking, straight up nerd, when you’re doing stuff that most other kids just don’t get.

So yeah, I definitely spent most of my time just being WEIRD. I’m sure, the things I liked were popular: Star Wars, Harry Potter, Pokemon, etc. But the extent to which I liked these things was a lot for people to handle. I’m a very intense person and when I find something that I like, I can be really intense. And a lot of people have a hard time understanding that. They can’t understand the serious LOVE I have for Harry Potter. No one can understand the sort of passion I feel for reading and the attachment I feel for fictional characters.

So I had a really hard time finding friends in school and outside of school. I followed my best friend for so much of my life and made friends through her. That kept me happy for awhile. I had good friends. They weren’t really MY friends, but I had good friends.

But as life happens, my best friend and I grew apart. In a seriously big way. And for the first time in my life, I felt truly and totally screwed. I had to make friends on my own and this wasn’t something I wasn’t used to. I spent a lot of years trying and failing, trying and failing to make friends. I met people I didn’t like, I met people that I did like. I met people who were really cool. But I just didn’t meet anyone who really clicked with me. I found a new best friend, as our boyfriends were friends, and I love this girl to death. She continues to be my best friend, no matter what. But I still needed to learn to make friends on my own, to branch out on my own.

And this is when I discovered the Los Angeles Dumbledore’s Army.

Its simple: its a group of 21 and over Harry Potter fans who get together and do seriously awesome things.

I first met them at Whimsic Alley when one of the members of the group, Melissa, who is a professor at a local university, did a preview of the Harry Potter Literature class that she was going to begin teaching. I was hooked. These were people who didn’t just see it as a book…it was so much more than that. I had to find out more.

The very first official meet-up I ever went to was the Intermagical Relations Quidditch Picnic. And yeah, I said Quidditch. It was a joint picnic between the LADA, the Auror Brigade, and the awesome people behind Harry Potter Day at DisneyLand. There were Potter themed games and food and you could learn to play Quidditch in preparation of an actual quidditch game. It was amazing. I had to go back for more. I was hooked, easily. These people were so welcoming and friendly and I had so much in common with all of them. I had never felt so much in my element.

That was almost a year ago. I’ve been a member of LADA for almost a year and I can honestly say that this group is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

One, the people. This group is all adults (there is drinking involved in these meet-ups though I, myself, do not personally drink) and we all love the same things: Harry Potter, obviously, Hunger Games, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Star Trek, comics, cartoons, Game of Thrones, books, movies, video games and so much more. Every single time I am with these people, I never run out of things to talk about it. I can go from one conversation on one side of the room talking about a recent book we all read and then cross the room and talk to a different group of people about the most recent episode of a t.v. show. I’ve never met a group of people who just GET IT, they just get me. They’re funny and smart and they’re of every race, gender, religion (or not), philosophy, career, whatever. They are such a great example of diversity and yet we’re all bonded together by this.

Two, the amazing things we do. I’ve only been a member for a year and this group has been around for about four years. And yet despite that, I have already experienced a great amount of awesome times. Every month there is a book club meeting, where we read a book and get together to discuss it. And I think we all know that I LOVE talking about books.

But we’ve also done quidditch tournaments. We did a Hunger Games party where we were “reaped” into different districts, went and saw the movie, and then came back to the Capitol party to compete in the games. We had our very first, extremely successful Harry Potter Roller Skating Night. We had an Avengers de Mayo party, where we saw the Avengers and then partied and played games. I’ve met Tom Felton with these guys, we’ve had Harry Potter pub nights and Harry Potter pub crawls and Potter game nights. We’ve done beach days and we’ve celebrated Harry Potter’s birthday. We’ve done a wizard version of Iron Chef called Wizard Chef. We did a wizard version of a white elephant party called white hippogriff. We’ve done tattoo days and we hit all the cons. We’ve gone and seen geeky parody musicals. I can go on and on and on. I’ve never seen so much creativity and fun in a group of people before. Its the ultimate geek partying. There are a ton of pictures below to show the awesome things we’ve done.

We even have a Harry Potter Bowling Night coming up soon, as a part of So Cal Wizarding Weekend (more on that to come).

Just one day ago, I went to the most recent meetup, which was the second Wizard Chef. And after we held our cooking competition, which was SO MUCH FUN, we all kicked back, opened up a couple of beers and just talked. And while I was sitting there, I realized something, something super happy.

I have met an amazing group of friends and an amazing group of people. Not only are these people my friends because we have so much in common and we’re all nerds together, but they’re all such amazing people. They’re mothers, and fathers, and teachers, and writers, and filmmakers and artists, and they can sew and knit and they’re creative as hell. I look forward to each and every meet-up because I know I’m going to have a fun and unique and badass time and I’m going to do it all with the best friends that I could possibly have.

Intermagical Quidditch Picnic

The costume winners at our Hunger Games Capitol Party

Me meeting Tom Felton at a small convention we attended

My fellow members at our White Hippogriff party

Celebrating 100th Meetup at Harry Potter Game Night

The various super heroes of Avengers de Mayo

The first ever LADA Pub Crawl

A few members meeting Tom Felton <3

If you’re in Southern California, I definitely urge you to join. Its the best decision I ever made. And if you’re not in Southern California, then I encourage you to go out there, and find that group for you, no matter what your thing is. Meetup.com is a great place to start. Good hunting, everyone! We all deserve to find a place where we belong :D

Are you a member of LADA? Do you feel the same? Are you part of a group that you’ve had some awesome experiences with? As always, let me know in the comments.

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