31 Days of Smallish Blogging

July Blogging Challenge: Day 23

Day 23 – My spiritual beliefs in one sentence

I am not a particularly spiritual or religious person, but there is one rule that I try very hard to live by, that is found in one way or another in most major spiritual or religious practices.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

That’s right, the old golden rule. Be kind to people. Treat them the way you want to be treated. Do what you wish as long as it does no harm. To me, this is something that is sorely lacking in the world right now. It would be a much better place if more people would do this.

31 Days of Smallish Blogging

July Blogging Challenge: Day 21 and 22

Yesterday was full of travel and chaos, so I missed yesterday’s prompt. Let’s make it up here, shall we?

Day 21 – The best thing about summer

Ugh. If I’m going to be honest, I am not a fan of summer. I’m much more of an autumn/early winter girl. I do like the more relaxed schedule of summer. Since the kiddos are not in school, there is less to keep up with. Plus I can sleep in a bit. So that’s also good.

Day 22 – It’s embarrassing but true

Not sure if this is embarrassing or not, but I specifically don’t bring it up usually, so I guess it embarrasses me a little? So confession time. This is actually something that most people probably don’t know about me, but I absolutely love fanfiction. The stupider, the better.

For anyone who doesn’t know (I can think of a few people who read this who don’t), fanfiction is when writers, typically amateur or hobby writers, take an established creator’s existing characters and/or story world, and use it to make new stories. This is often to make certain characters pair up that didn’t in the original, or sometimes to explore plot points that didn’t get fully explored.

I first started reading fanfic right before the last Harry Potter book came out. Several fanfic writers were using it to detail their book 7 predictions. After that, I couldn’t stop. I particularly like anything that is told from another character’s point of view (especially Hermione, because she is the best), but my favorite is dystopian Harry Potter fanfic, which details what could have happened if Voldemort had won, Harry had either been killed or captured, and a small group of fighters are trying to take on the new regime.

To further embarrass myself, I also tend to read Phantom of the Opera fanfic. Most of this either tells the story in a modern setting (not my favorite, but sometimes enjoyable), or finds a way to have the story end with the Phantom and Christine staying together (usually by turning Raoul into a complete jerk – poor Raoul).

I have, sadly, binged reading fanfic to the detriment of reading actual books. Sometimes I’m just in a mood. But hey, if you know any good stories out there, let me know! I’m always ready to go down that rabbit hole.

(And Alice in Wonderland fanfic is usually pretty good too.)

31 Days of Smallish Blogging

July Blogging Challenge: Day 20

Day 20 – A high and a low

A high – As of 4:30 PM this afternoon, I am officially on vacation! Whoohoo! Heading out tomorrow morning for Seven Springs, Pennsylvania and the World Boardgaming Championships. Geeks of the world, unite!

A low – I am still worried about these weird health issues and will be headed to a specialist once vacation is over. Every test they’ve done so far has given no indication what is causing the symptoms and the specialist will cost a fair amount.

31 Days of Smallish Blogging

July Blogging Challenge: Day 18

Day 18 – A recipe

It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I do not like to cook. No, scratch that. It’s not that I don’t like to cook, it’s that cooking can sometimes completely stress me out.

Unless . . .

Desserts, man. All the desserts. Why do the things that are bad for you taste so damn good! In any case, I am going to share one of my favorite recipes. This is not original – I am definitely not good enough to create my own. This recipe comes from Kitchen Comforts: Recipes to Feed Body and Soul.


I do love me a lemon bar!

Incidentally, when I pulled this book out, it was dusty like you would not believe. So that tells you two things: one, I don’t cook often enough, and two, my house is very dusty. And yes, I should probably do something about both of those things.

31 Days of Smallish Blogging

July Blogging Challenge: Day 17

Day 17 – My Patronus

So for anyone who doesn’t know (and seriously, y’all should know this by now), a Patronus is from the Harry Potter books. It is a spell that creates essentially a sort of spirit guardian in animal form that is capable of chasing away Dementors, evil creatures who are able to steal happiness away from people. When I saw this was the topic, I honestly wasn’t sure if they were speaking literally or metaphorically. When dealing with fictional concepts, it’s sometimes hard to tell.

So I’ll start with this: what do I use as a Patronus in my real life? The answer for me would be theatre. I adore it. There is nothing like the feeling of being onstage and having the support and camaraderie of the cast, the crew, and the audience. I haven’t been able to take part in a show for a while now, but nothing is able to lift me up like that does.

Going back to Harry Potter, of course, you can’t end a post about Patronuses without taking an online quiz to see what yours would be, and if you’re going to do that, you might as well take the quiz written by J.K. Rowling herself over at Pottermore. And it turns out:

That’s pretty cool!

31 Days of Smallish Blogging

July Blogging Challenge: Day 16

Day 16 – Three celebrity crushes

This one is slightly tricky for me, because I follow different celebrities than most people do, with one or two exceptions. But here we go.

  1. Ramin Karimloo – This one has got to be number one. He is a singer and actor who has performed on Broadway and the West End in many, many productions. Can’t get to either of those? Check out the 25th Anniversary concert of Les Miserables (he played Enjolras) or the 25th Anniversary performance of Phantom of the Opera (he played the Phantom). He is amazingly talented, beautiful to look at, and on top of all that, is a super nice guy. I have actually gotten to meet him twice, once at the stage door when he was in the Les Mis revival on Broadway, and once after a smaller concert he gave in Virginia on tour.
  2. Matthew Mercer – This one could be considered a crush, but is also someone that I just straight up admire. He is a voice actor who has been in many animated features and video games, but what I know him from is as the Dungeon Master on Critical Role, a web series where a bunch of voice actors play Dungeons & Dragons. He created the world they play in, the story arc, and a whole slew of characters, each with a unique voice and personality. It’s really remarkable what he does. Plus (again), he seems like just the nicest guy! Someone you would want to come over to hang out and play games with.
  3. Alan Rickman – Sigh. RIP Alan Rickman. I was so unbelievably sad when he died. I was at work when I found out and had to go into the bathroom and cry for a while. This one might seem a bit odd, since he would be old enough to be my father, but I have always loved the man. I first saw him in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, where he played the Sheriff of Nottingham. A lot of people don’t like that movie, but I always enjoyed it, especially his scenes. His character was so over the top crazy! And then . . . he played Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films.  That was it. I was done for. Seriously, I could listen to him speak all day long. His voice was just amazing. He could read the dictionary and I would just sit there enthralled. I got to meet him too (sort of). He was in a play in New York called Seminar, which was really funny, and I got to meet him at the stage door and get his autograph.