The Harry Potter Tag

I saw this post on Jenny’s blog here. As a big Harry Potter fan, I had to fill it out with my answers. The original idea for this was to fill it out when someone tags you. I wasn’t tagged, so I’m not going to tag anyone. But if you see this and decide to do it, I’d love to see your answers.

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1. What house are you in?

The most difficult question first. Here’s where I reveal my Harry Potter nerd status. I’ve thought about this a lot, and I feel like I haven’t figured it out for sure yet. I could see myself in Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff. But I think no matter which house I were sorted in, I would stand out as different from the other students. I’m going to say Hufflepuff.

 

2. What is your Patronus?

A dog.

 

3. What is your wand?

Ash wood, unicorn hair core, brittle flexibility.

 

4. What would your boggart be?

I think my boggart would be similar Harry’s- basically fear itself.

 

5. What position would you play in Quiddich?

Probably a seeker, since these players are usually the smallest on the team.

 

6. Would you be a pure-blood, half-blood or muggle born?

Probably the second most difficult question to answer. I’ll say pure-blood.

7. What job would you want to have after leaving Hogwarts?

Writer or professor.

 

8. Which of the Deathly Hallows would you choose?

The Cloak of Invisibility.

 

9. Favourite book?

The Goblet of Fire.

 

10. Least favourite book?

The Order of the Phoenix.

 

11. Favourite film?

The Goblet of Fire.

 

12. Least favourite film?

The Order of the Phoenix.

 

13. Favourite character?

So many great ones come to mind: aside from the three main characters, there is Cedric Diggory, Neville Longbottom, Ginny Weasley and Luna Lovegood. Right now I’ll say Longbottom.

 

14. Least favourite/most hated character?

Tie between Gilderoy Lockhart and Delores Umbridge. Also there’s that Voldemort guy.

 

15. Favourite teacher at Hogwarts?

Minerva McGonagall.

 

16. Least favourite teacher at Hogwarts?

Tie between Lockhart and Umbridge.

 

17. Do you have any unpopular opinions about the series?

I don’t think of Hufflepuff as a lesser house compared to the others. I know Hufflepuff has increased in popularity recently. But I think this still remains somewhat of an unpopular opinion.

 

I’m always up for a conversation about all things Harry Potter. I look forward to seeing other people’s answers to these questions.

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Stars

They lie on their backs, shoulder to shoulder,
staring up at the stars. Wondering, is she the one?
Is he? But the most important thing is this moment;
the cool of the grass, the warmth of each other.
The universe hears their question. Attention and
patience will bring the reply. Until then,
with hopeful smiles on their faces,
they wish on each falling star.

Standing now, hand in hand. The Milky Way
stretching across the sky, looks brighter
than ever. Are we really made of stars?
These two people feel that to be true.
The night sky fills them with reverence,
wonderment, and love. They turn toward
each other. And the stars in each other’s
eyes give them the answer they seek.

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Once

When we met, our connection was immediate, unmistakable.

Everyone around us noticed, too. The music of our hearts played

for each other, and for all to hear. We found in each other,

a part of ourselves that we had been searching for. Learning

each other was discovering ourselves. We seemed to already know

what we would find before it happened. But forever was not

to be for us. And, somehow, we knew it.

Sometimes, love is better that way. A bright flame for a time,

then, like embers, glowing forever in the memories and hearts

of those it touched, and leaving two people changed for the better.

She will remember me. I know this just as I know the reverse.

Ours is not a fairy tale ending. It’s much more real.

My guess is that you know this love, too.

Two people, a chance meeting, and a lifetime of memories.

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The best books I read in 2016

I read lots of good books in 2016 across several different genres. I always enjoy revisiting a few old favorites as well as discover new books and authors. Here are a few of the best books I read this year.

theundergroundrailroad
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead will probably be the last book I finish this year. It is without a doubt one of the best. I discovered Whitehead through the recommendation of a friend in the early 2000s. His first book, The Intuitionist, had come out to much critical and commercial acclaim. I read it and liked it. But I didn’t read any of his subsequent books over the years, until The Underground Railroad. I recognized it’s author from his first book. And I couldn’t ignore this book after it won the National Book Award. His writing impressed me in his first book, and it wowed me in his latest one. Whitehead’s story of that famous “railroad” is brought with a combination of well-done research, sympathetic characters, and self-assured, lyrical prose. I will be reading the books of Whitehead’s that I missed, and I give his latest book my highest recommendation.

 

hemingwaysgirl
The second book on my list is also historical fiction. It comes from one of my favorite writers that I discovered this year. Erika Robuck writes historical fiction revolving around the lives of famous writers. She caught my attention with novels based on the lives of two of my favorite authors: Ernest Hemingway (Hemingway’s girl) which is pictured above, and F. Scott Fitzgerald (Call Me Zelda). She has written several other novels as well. Robuck has a wonderful way of writing about complex characters and relationships, while painting a clear picture of the specific time and place. I was also honored she accepted my invitation to talk about her books, and writing in general on my podcast, La Literati.

 

amancalledove

I read A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman with my friend, Jenny. It’s a story about a grumpy curmudgeon who has his life disrupted by people he would rather not have anything to do with. What follows is a novel with equal amounts of humorous and heart-warming moments. I’ve also recently seen a movie trailer, so I look forward to watching the film adaptation of this story.

 

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Next on my list is unique in that it is a one-act play written by my friend, Briana Morgan. Touch is a drama that takes place in a world where deliberate physical contact is a crime. The main character has never spent much time questioning this taboo. But the arrest of some of her classmates changes this. She decides to do it, and discoveres the power of touch, and how it affects people. It’s a short, thought-provoking read that I enjoyed.

 

truegritportis

I am a great fan of Westerns. This is probably due to my Dad’s enjoyment of John Wayne movies. In time, I came to love the Westerns that Clint Eastwood starred in. At any rate, I seek out these types of stories in books and movies. Fortunately, there are quite a few good ones to be enjoyed. True Grit is one of my favorites. I watched the movie with John Wayne playing the role of Rooster Cogburn. But I didn’t learn that it was a book until the remake came out with Jeff Bridges playing the marshal. I love this story, and prefer the remake to the original, which is a point of friendly contention between my Dad and me.

 

readyplayerone

The last two books I want to mention are science fiction and fantasy, respectively. In Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline, we are in the year 2044. Wade, the main character, like many other people don’t care much for the real world. Their escape is the OASIS, which is a virtual utopia created by James Halliday. Halliday has hidden clues to a golden egg: a massive fortune that is promised to the person who can solve all the riddles steeped in 1980s pop culture references. Halliday grew up in that decade, as I did. So that made this story a fun read. But even if you don’t understand or like all of the pop culture references, there is still the virtual quest with some romance added to the mix to keep you entertained.

 

uprooted

The last book is a modern fantasy, Uprooted by Naomi Novik. I heard about it through a combination of online buzz, and friends working at Barnes & Noble who kept asking me if I had read it yet. The Dragon is not a literal dragon, but a man. He is a magician who lives in a tower outside of town. The Dragon protects the town from the evil forces in the Wood. As part of the arrangement, the Dragon takes a girl from the town every ten years to serve him and live with him in the tower, after which time she leaves to start her life over eslewhere.

The time for the next choosing is nigh. And Agnieszka fears what everyone thinks, that the Dragon will choose her best friend Kasia. But he doesn’t choose her. What follows is a very original story with elements of folklore and fairy-tale.

 

So these were a few of my favorite books that I read this year. I would love to hear what you thought of any of these that you read. And what books would make your list of the best books you read this year?

A Scholarly Gentleman

My friend, Tosha, shared this with me in honor of my upcoming birthday. She is the best friend I could ever ask for, and an extremely talented writer and singer. Her blog is a wonderful read. I highly recommend it.

One of my best friends is celebrating his birthday soon and I wanted to do something special for him. Niles and I go way back and we’ve been seen some (insert curse word here) Twelve years of friendship and our bond just grows stronger. This is my tribute to a gentleman with a lovely creative […]

via A Scholarly Gentleman — Everything I Never Told You

Dragon Tales

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I’ve been nominated for the Dragon’s Loyalty award by my friend, Tosha Michelle. She writes beautiful poetry, has a fantastic sense of humor, a wonderful singing voice, and a huge heart. You should check out her blog here.

According to the rules of the award, I’m supposed to write seven interesting things about myself. Here goes:

1) I’ve loved to read since I learned to at a very young age. But I discovered a love of writing when I was eleven years old, and the school curriculum focused heavily on writing. The more I wrote, the more I loved it. And I never stopped. I’d love to be able to do it for a living.

2) Most people see me at my most outgoing. So people are usually surprised to hear me say that I am an introvert. I attribute that to learning good people skills. I can be friendly with almost anyone. And I’m not shy. But very few people really know me well.

3) I’ve been interested in Astronomy for a long time. If I understood math and science better, I probably would have pursued a career as an astronaut or astrophysisist. But Physics got in the way, as I understood just enough to get through my Astronomy classes in college.

4) I come from a very musical family. Lots of my family members can sing and/or play an instrument, such as my Mom and brother.  But I only have a basic understanding of piano, guitar, and percussion. And I wouldn’t subject you to my singing voice on purpose.

5) While the rest of my family has brown hair and blue eyes, I have hazel eyes and reddish/blonde hair. So I always felt like I stood out growing up. Speaking of hair, a lady who cut my hair a couple of times when I was a teenager told me that she wished she could bottle my hair color, because I used to have natural highlights.

6) Despite being quiet and reserved in crowds, I enjoy public speaking. One day, I’d like to find a part in a community theatre play to audition for. It might go terribly, but at least I could say I tried.

7) Ever since my first visit to the Great Smoky Mountains, I’ve dreamed of living in a log cabin in the mountains one day.

The Lover/ The Fighter

To be a lover; a gentleman
Like one in a Fitzgerald tragedy
Chasing amor ideal
Striving to master his domestic domain
To live the good life; to eat, drink, and be merry
Three piece suits and a classical music score
Filling his mind with the best of literature

To be a fighter; an adventurer
Like one in a Hemingway tale
Drunk on spirits and constant action
No time to waste sitting, thinking
Searching for the next grand chapter to his story
To dare, and attempt the daring
To feel the rush of adrenaline once more

Two masculine polarities, each with its own merits
With qualities worth aspiring to
But somewhere in the middle, I believe
Is where life’s magic lies

red

Artwork by my friend, Tosha Michelle, and used by permisson.

The Gentleman Blogger

Thanks to my friend, Tosha, for sharing about my blog and one of my poems.

Everything I Never Told You

Shameless plugs Wednesdays. It is now a thing. I’d like to introduce you to my friend Niles. Niles is not officer, but he is a gentleman. Suddenly, it’s lame sentences Wednesdays.

But I digress. Niles is like a brother to me. I’ve known him for years. He’s a lovely human being and a wonderful writer. I know he would be honored, if you would drop by his blog and check out his work. I’ve provided a link below.

Thanks,

Tosha

Autobiography – http://wp.me/p1E0N3-e3

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A Poem for Niles

Everything I Never Told You

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This post was written for a dear friend.  Happy Birthday, Niles. You are the calm to my storm. The voice of reason to my insanity. The jitter to my bug. The Niles to my girly Frasier

Without further ado, I give you my ode to you.

There’s once was a guy from Macon
who like to shake his bacon
his hips, yours for the taking

Kidding….

but seriously….

Still Waters

While other men measure success by titles and cash
He dreams of making text dance over the crevices
of uncharted pages, imaginary characters alive in his mind
He longs to breathe life into figures he has never met.
to fire his own artistic semantic round.
to pen The Great American Novel,
with sophisticated soulful prose that linger

While other men play golf and women
He’s happier with his nose in a book
Getting lost in CS Lewis and Hemingway
Sliding…

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