What House Are You In?

Way back when Pottermore first launched, I took advantage of the early registration and eagerly anticipated my Sorting. Back then, if I recall correctly, the quiz was long and in depth.

Being younger, sillier, and considerably less comfortable with who I am, I was disappointed to find myself in Ravenclaw. Why, I don’t know. It was certainly the best fit for me at the time. But I wanted to be in Gryffindor; house of Hermione, Minerva, and Lily.

Some years later, when the newest iteration of Pottermore launched, I got re-sorted. Why not, right? Imagine my surprise when this time I turned out to be a Slytherin. I’d expected to be a Ravenclaw again, but Slytherin does make sense.

Today, I consider myself a Slytherclaw. I have more Slytherin gear as it tends to be easier to find, but I do have Ravenclaw pajama pants.

My question to you is, if you’ve sorted yourself more than once and gotten different results, which do you go with? What house do you consider yourself to be part of? Let me know in the comments.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what brought this to mind, my office is having a jersey day, and I thought it would be funny to wear a Quidditch jersey. Of course, then the question is, which house should I represent?

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Romances

As I play through Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, I’ve got to give Ubisoft kudos for the opportunity to have several types of romantic relationships.

For those who aren’t familiar with Odyssey, you can play as either of brother/sister duo Alexios and Kassandra. While playing, you have the opportunity to romance men and women, regardless of who you choose to play as. You also have the option to, ahem, have some fun *wink wink* with more than one person at a time.

I’ve got to knock off a couple “cool points”, though, because these romantic interludes tend to be “fade-to-black” moments. Not every one fades to black. Sometimes you get a time lapse video of what’s happening during your fun. But the general idea is the same.

Granted, I haven’t progressed very far in the game, so perhaps some of the romances I have yet to come across give you more than just playful banter.

After all, if we can slaughter people and watch their blood splatter your chosen character and the land, there’s no reason not to include a bit of sexy time, even if only a bit of a makeout session.

Strange Happenings

Something odd happened the other day. A bit after publishing my Troubles with Torrid post and sharing it to Instagram, I got a notification that Torrid had liked one of my posts. I had a momentary “Bet that was a mistake” thought, then promptly forgot it and went about my day.

Something called it to mind again the next day, so I checked to see if Torrid hand unliked my post yet.

Sure enough, no sign of Torrid liking the post. However, I checked if the notification was still in my “heart” section because it would make for an interesting blog post.

Screenshots showing Torrid's verified Instagram account liked my photo

Well, the notification was still there, but the post that Torrid liked was a vacation photo from September 24. Whoever liked the post would have had to scroll back 37 rows to find it.

It’s cool that Torrid liked one of my photos, but it’s not Torrid related, it’s not fashion related, it isn’t even plus-size or body positivity related.

So, if anyone has any suggestions as to why Torrid would randomly like one of my semi-old photos on the day after I shared my post complaining about them, please let me know. I can’t come up with a plausible reason.

Christmas before Halloween

I’m a little late on this post, but the point still stands. It seems to me as though every year, Christmas shows up earlier in stores.

I was really struck by it this year. I went looking for some orange yearn for a crochet project about 2 weeks before Halloween. (Side note, orange yarn is difficult to find. I could hardly believe I couldn’t find orange right before Halloween.) Already, Michael’s was half Christmas.

Springfield Town Center was completely Christmas-ed out the weekend before Halloween. They at least gave Halloween a nod by draping spiderwebs over everything. It still didn’t make it OK in my book.

Halloween and Xmas

I enjoy Christmas. I have no problem with decorations, celebrations, etc. What I dislike, what annoys me, is how Christmas is encroaching on the other holidays. It’s long since obliterated Thanksgiving, but now it’s taking over Halloween, too. What’s next, literal Christmas in July?

I also often hear and read grumblings that Christmas sales are down during the Christmas season (Black Friday – December 24). Perhaps if Christmas sales and shopping opportunities didn’t start in October – I swear I saw stuff in mid-September this year – sales would improve. Just saying.

Making Your Passion Your Job

“Do what you love and never work a day in your life.” How many times have you heard that? I can’t even begin to count. But, I’ve learned over the years that it’s mostly, if not completely, BS.

I typically try to keep my posts positive, but today I want to provide a cautionary lesson. More and more, recently, I’ve seen examples of people making their passion into their work and finding that those passions fizzle and burn out.

The nice thing about a passion that remains a hobby is that you do it because you want to. And when you don’t want you, you have the freedom to take a break. The moment you turn it into a job, you do it because you have to, and breaks aren’t really an option. Having to force yourself to do something you don’t want to do is a quick way to lose interest.

Continue reading “Making Your Passion Your Job”

Writing Outside Your Comfort Zone

I wouldn’t necessarily say I have a “typical” genre or style I write it, although I certainly prefer first person. What I will say, is that I feel as though the story I’ve been working on recently is outside of my comfort zone, and it’s been a good thing to try.

My publisher, Burning Willow Press, has an ongoing anthology series, Crossroads in the Dark. Volume 1: Anthology of Morality and Volume 2: Urban Legends are already available. Volume 3: Monsters Under Your Bed is due out on September 30. Volume 4 is in progress, and I decided to try writing for it.

Zombie Ghost PostI struggled for a while to figure out what to write. I based my first attempt on this tumblr post that popped up on my Facebook feed ages ago.

It didn’t go well. With about 300 words written, realized I didn’t like what I was writing. Determined to make it work, I outlined a few different ideas, and even started writing one of them, but the story just wasn’t going well. I wasn’t willing to try to force something that didn’t want to happen, so I decided to give it up as a lost cause and try to come up with a different idea.

Just when I was starting to think I wouldn’t be able to write anything after all, Jim (my fiance) and I had a fun conversation that sparked an idea. Figuring I had nothing to lose, I started writing.

It was slow going at first. I didn’t have a firm plan or vision for the story, and it was unlike anything I’d written before. But I got the intro and the ending written, and didn’t dislike them. I wrote bits as they came to me, and found that ideas flowed easier as I got further into the story. I suppose it shouldn’t really surprise me.

Finally, after a month (a whole month!) I finished the story yesterday. It sits at just over 4,500 words. I gave it to some friends and fellow authors at Burning Willow Press to give it a look. I didn’t want to submit something that people really disliked.

So far, though, it’s been well thought of. Everyone has at least enjoyed the story, which is all I can really ask for with a first draft. I think with a couple more read-throughs, and a bit of polishing, it’ll be ready to submit for consideration.

I definitely think I’d like to try writing outside of my comfort zone even more, as I’m pretty happy with the final story, and it was a fun learning experience. But I don’t know that I want to tackle a deadline-based story again. It’s hard for me to just churn out content.

I’ll certainly keep you all updated on what happens with this story. But for now, wish me luck!

Just Ask

We all need help at some point. No one can do everything entirely on their own, no matter what they may think or say. But sometimes it’s hard finding help. You don’t want to bug your friends. Or you’re worried about looking silly/stupid. So you plod along on your own, hoping Google will magically reveal the answer.l

Here’s my advice: just ask. Post something on Facebook, either on your feed, or in a group dedicated to the thing you need help with. Or try Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat. Call a family member (family can be blood relations, or super close friends). Talk to your neighbor. Ask a professor, or a coworker. Just ask.

You’d be surprised how often people are more than willing to help. It seems like they’re just waiting for a chance to pass on knowledge. As an added bonus, anyone who makes you feel bad, in any way, about asking questions, lets you know that they aren’t someone you really want to associate with.

And once your question is answered, return the favor. Answer questions for other people. Take time to respond to posts. Let your friends and family know that they can ask questions without feeling bad. The more you put good out into the world, the more good you’ll get back.

Now, I’m not saying there won’t be jerks, but if you practice a bit of due diligence to make sure you’re asking in the right places, they will be few and far between. And, for the most part, you’ll get a lot of great help and advice.

So set aside your nervousness, your fear, your worry, and reach out to someone, or multiple someones. We live in an age where you can connect with anyone in the world. Make use of that ability.